(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:42 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
There are sunbreaks out there again, I will see how outside is doing and then get back to inside stuff. I need to deep clean out the fridge for sure.

It was nice to hear that the Eagle Creek Fire was close to fifty percent contained, and that the freezing level on the mountain was causing it to snow at Timberline, they have over a foot of snow!

I still would have liked to have that bit of summer between HOT and RAIN though, I hate going from having the AC on to having the furnace on in a day.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:14 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
It was a good thing yesterday that I cleaned two of my house gutters out. I did that between the rains, and I got a few more things picked up outside and put away. Cuz, yanno.. rains.

I awoke this morning to rolling thunder, which sounded like it was running a fast track by my house, followed by heavy lashing rains, which came from all directions, and it sounded like they power washed my windows while at it.

I waited until the rains stopped and set out on my New Book Tuesday rounds.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:38 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
The sister creature and I set off adventuring yesterday, in the rain. What a nice thought. Made a few stops had dinner and came home.

Ttoday, I have to get outside and clean some of my gutters, I had kept putting that off all summer long, and now I need to do it.


Sep. 17th, 2017 05:33 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
[personal profile] alexxkay
Kestrell and I went to see Constellations at the Central Square Theater. I quite liked it; Kestrell hated it. Which, to my mind, makes it worth talking about.

The play has only two actors, each of them on stage throughout. They both get to show off their acting chops as almost every scene is repeated multiple times, with slight but significant variations. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day, but none of the characters are aware of what’s going on, it’s merely the audience observing different forks of a branching multiverse. I’ve seen Marianna Bassham in a number of local plays over the years, and gotten to be rather a fan; I thought she was brilliant in this.

Interestingly, one scene was almost entirely in sign language. I’m not sure if it’s more or less funny if you as an audience member don’t understand sign. By the end of the scene, at any rate, I found the communication to be quite effective.

The set is abstract but gorgeous. The floor and (tilted) ceiling are mirrors reflecting the action (which of course reflects itself). The back of the stage is a dark but translucent curtain, behind which are an array of light bulbs of varying sizes and colors; stars in a night sky, lights of a ballroom floor, points of significance slowly dying…

The ads for the play say that it is “about love, possibility, bees, and… quantum physics”. This is true, as far as it goes. It is perhaps more difficult to fill seats with such phrases as “fatal brain cancer”* and “coping with a meaningless universe.” I found the ending bittersweet in a manner reminiscent of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia; Kestrell found it nothing but bleak. Obviously, mileage varies. Hopefully, this random assortment of reactions will give you some idea whether or not you want to go see it. It runs through October 8.

* This play is likely to evoke strong feelings in those who knew Caleb Hanson, especially in his final months.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 01:53 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Got a tad bit more done outside yesterday, I have no more bags of dirt and poo left, but I do have buckets of dirt to put in the flowerbed. Potted up all the new pots and triaged the unplanted things. Cleaned up a bit as the rains should return today, which will be nice, except I would have liked to have those few days between hotter than I can stand and rain..

Debating what to do today, I have to pay a couple of bills since they are due and I dont have time to mail them, and I need to drop off my tuesday ballot. We only had one measure on it, and I didnt see the little explaination insert until I sat down to clear space on the table.

[sci hist] A Most Remarkable Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:52 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.

The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.

It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.


Afghan question for knitters

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:58 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
My next big project -- after daughter's afghan, which is now nearly ten years old -- may be a historic afghan pattern by Anne Orr.  It's Tunisian crochet in a worsted-weight yarn (modern equivalent to period "four-fold Germantown").   If I want an afghan I can wash as necessary, throw across couches, throw across laps, lather rinse repeat -- in short, one that will stand up to wear and time, what yarn do you recommend?  This is not a good time for Susie's Heirloom Hand-Dyed Handspun, because the finished product is 57" x 45", give or take gauge. Cheaper is better, but not so cheap as to be itchy or unpleasant to knit  I'm leaning acrylic for durability and washability, but I'm happy to hear what you'd use.   The primary colors are black, grey, and white, with a cross-stitch pattern in tapestry-weight yarn over the top.

Here's a color reproduction from the Dover reprint.   Here's a black-and-white picture of the original afghan, which Katharine Cornell worked on nightly in The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:35 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I spent my time yesterday outside in the yard (once I got some adulting done inside) and managed to work on the fiddly bits of the new fence, edging the foam away from the new posts and lining up the border bricks underneath. Then I hauled five buckets of dirt over to the flower bed and dumped them. Since I got outside so late, when I was going to haul more dirt, the birdies had come out for their evening feed, so I instead potted up four of the new pots with flowers and mixed up more dirt n poo and filled up buckets for todays efforts outside. With the rains coming back tomorrow, I need to get more done. I am debating if I should mow the lawn or not, it depends on how I feel once I get outside I guess. I also refilled bird feeders too.

Finally got the results of my A1C blood test, I was at a 7.0 and its come down to a 6.6 which is fabulous progress on just the stuff my Naturopath is giving me. I cant take western drugs for this since they contain stuff I am allergic to, so I will continue to make efforts to getting it even lower.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 02:13 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Made my stops enroute to the Btown Powells. Finally there is more Halloween out, but Rite Aid is slow, Target is there, Freddys is there...and of course,all the flavors of the season, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, carmel apple...

My timing was good, I found the new Laini Taylor book was out, and Laini Taylor was attending the event! So I got my copy signed, and she said I was the first copy she had autographed! weee.... then I got another copy for my friend M who is a huge Laini fan while I was at it.

Cat Winters did a good reading and talk, this is her sisters book as she describes it.

I have plenty to do today here in the house...

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 02:46 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
To get to the cemetery yesterday, I let the sister creature give directions to take the back roads... we eventually made it, despite her directions. It was a nice drive in the west hills, and we saw that there were a lot of homes for sale up there, and a lot of construction activity, either remodeling or new.

Visited the grave, and then went to Cornell Farms and browsed their fall bulb and seeds offerings. We had a light snack at Sandovals Cafe and made a couple other stops.

Today, I have errands to run and the Cat Winter signing at the Beaverton Powells.

[work] "Okay. Where are we?"

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:16 am
mangosteen: (Default)
[personal profile] mangosteen
Things I say non-ironically: “I’m used to occupying a weird spot in the corporate realpolitik orgchart… the big open spot in right-center field where the outfielders aren’t because someone read the play wrong.”

More on that later, but I wanted to get the thought out.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I have a recollection of hearing a filk song, I think from a tape, that had a climactic line or repeated like in the refrain, to the effect of "And that's what cities get from trains". I have an impression it was a Leslie Fish song, but I don't know that for sure.

Not having any joy of google. Does anybody recognize it?

(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2017 01:25 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Made some of the rounds yesterday, I had a later start than expected, but, did get quite a few things done before Book Club.

Today, its been a year since Youngest Niece died after her kidney transplant. Going to go up to the cemetery to visit. The sister creature indicated she wanted to come along.

My 2017 Yuletide noms

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:46 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Les Trois Mousquetaires | The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (a.k.a. books only)
Milady de Winter
(open slot)

Golden Age of Piracy RPF
Anne Bonny
Mary Read
(open slot)
(open slot)

Greatcoats Series - Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond
Brasti Goodbow

This year, for me, it's swashbuckling all the way! I will do a pimp post later; let me know if you have people you want in the open slots.

rosefox: A man's head with a panel open to show gears, and another man looking inside. (examined head)
[personal profile] rosefox
I don't want to write another huge long entry tonight, because last night's took 90 minutes and then I went to bed super late, but I do want to leave myself some quick notes on a thing. When Kit was off from daycare for a week, I was up and dressed by 11 every morning so I could do childcare. I put on real clothes and left the house every day. I did social things and I did actively fun things (not what I'm coming to think of as enjoyable sloth things, like playing video games or hanging out on Slack). My body and brain were engaged. I felt GREAT. I enjoyed every day and ended the week feeling like I'd been on vacation—like I'd gone on a holiday to New York and done all those things I'm always too busy or tired or whatever to do. And I did it while working (at night) and staying totally on top of my deadlines, even the ones accelerated by the holiday.

So I need to figure out how to do that more. I hoped a week of early rising would reset my body clock but of course I'm right back to going to bed at 5 a.m. (or later—Monday morning I went to bed at half past nine, which is not okay and has set me up for feeling like crap all week) so I will have to work on that part because I think it's pretty essential. Having something fun to get up for really helped, a thing that has been true going back to my childhood; I would be late to school every weekday morning for months but happily get up at dawn on a weekend to go to the Stormville flea market with my mother. Even more crucially, I would care enough to go to bed early—a thing I did during Kit's week off too—so that getting up early didn't wreck me and wreck the event I was looking forward to.

I don't think I can get up before 10 on a regular basis, but if I got up at 10 or 10:30 to be out the door by 11 for a ~12:00 thing someplace, that sounds doable. It just has to be a fun thing. I have an OT appointment at 13:00 and I genuinely enjoy OT in addition to it being kind of vital for my health and well-being, but it's not the exhilarating kind of fun, so going to bed early and getting up early and getting there on time are all challenging.

What are exuberant fun things that could happen around noon? I think I need something where I'm making a commitment to someone else, at least at first; I've tried setting schedules through sheer willpower before and it's never worked out. Lunches with friends? Classes of some kind? (Ideally free or cheap ones.) Swapping language lessons with someone who wants to improve their spoken or written English and help me learn to read kanji or sign ASL? A teaching or tutoring gig? (Maybe the local library needs volunteers in their adult learning center. I've sent them a note.) A crafting meetup? A chorus or other singing group? A walking club? Doing storytime or otherwise helping out at Kit's daycare? It doesn't need to be a big thing or a long thing or a very structured thing. It just has to start at around the right time of day and get me out of the house and engage my body and mind and bring me real joy. Nothing will do that as well as time with Kit, but some approximation should be possible. Suggestions are very welcome, keeping in mind that I used to write the learning section of the nonsense nyc weekly events newsletter and already know about basically every source of free and cheap educational experiences in the city. :)

Question re: OVFF

Sep. 12th, 2017 05:41 pm
[personal profile] osewalrus
Can someone who has driven from the DC Metro Area to OVFF give me some idea as to how long this takes and whether it is a better option than flying? 

(no subject)

Sep. 12th, 2017 02:09 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
The drive to Beaverton yesterday was made even more fun by the backup of traffic from I5 southbound at Wilsonville where the truck caught on fire, and its ensuing diesel spill. Traffic is bad enough with I84 being closed, so any snafu is bad.

Today, new book tuesday, book club and errands.

Had no cable or internet nor wifi last night from 1-4am due to Comcast doing their upgrades or whatever excuse they were having. Which meant I couldnt do a lot of the things I do at night. Why cant they do them from 8-noon? I am not up then.

The Halloween stores are open ... such fun.

A restatement of an old cliche

Sep. 12th, 2017 06:54 am
[personal profile] osewalrus
On Government:

The ideal government will have the values of the Federation, the business acumen of the Ferengi, the sense of honor of the Klingons, and the subtlety of the Romulans. Our current government has the values of the Romulans, the business acumen of the Federation, the sense of honor of the Ferengi, and the subtlety of the Klingons. 

-Harold Feld

(Original for reference: 
Heaven -- Is where the police are British, the chefs are Italian, the mechanics are German, the lovers are French, and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell -- Is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organized by the Italians.)
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

I just heard about Senior House. Goddamn.

Also. I hadn't realized that dealing with the administration in his capacity as Senior House's housemaster is what drove Henry Jenkins from MIT. Goddamn.

I am surprisingly angry and sad about this, given that I'm not a SH affiliate.

The shutdown of Senior House would be bad news, by itself. This is appalling:
The questionnaire, the Healthy Minds Survey, was administered by the University of Michigan. Many schools around the country give it to students as a way to pinpoint problems on campus and decide how best to allocate resources. When MIT administered it in 2015, they told students that it was a confidential survey intended to help them. One of the chancellor’s assistants who had lived in Senior House when she was an undergraduate went to Senior House and specifically requested that the residents take it. They did, in large numbers.

What they didn’t know—and what they couldn’t have known from reading the consent form that accompanied it—was that MIT had embedded metadata that allowed the administration to pinpoint the location of those filling out the questionnaire, enabling them to segment the results by dorm. The only question about dorm type in the survey was vague—“What kind of dorm do you live in? Small, large, off campus?”—but by tracking the metadata, Barnhart and the administration were able to see exactly where respondents lived.

It was this data that enabled Barnhart to see what she called a troubling hot spot of drug use. “If it wasn’t a direct violation, it was at least a violation of the spirit of informed consent,” Johnson says.
In light of that...
As Senior House students spread out across campus this year, former advisers worry that they’ll be at even greater risk. They can reach out to MIT’s mental health services if they need it, the chancellor says.
Is there some reason that MIT students should trust MIT Med to keep their information confidential? When MIT just used the confidential results of a "Healthy Minds Survey", which was advertised as a way of seeing where resources were needed, to eliminate resources from vulnerable populations? And the relevant IRB gave it a pass?

(Dear MIT students, and alums concerned about them: it is apparently hypothetically possible for students on the default MIT student health insurance ("extended" plan) to see therapists unaffiliated with MIT, but it has a pretty punative copay:
If you are covered by the MIT Student Extended Plan, and you see a mental health clinician who participates in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO, your first 12 visits in a calendar year are covered in full (100%). After that, you will have a $25 copay for each visit.

If you are covered by the MIT Student Extended Plan, and you see a mental health clinician who does NOT participate in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO, your first 12 visits in a calendar year are covered at 100 percent of the BCBS allowed amount. After that, your insurance will cover 80 percent of the allowed amount, and you will pay the other 20 percent. For all of your visits, your clinician may bill you for the difference between the BCBS allowed amount and his or her charges. This is something you should discuss with your clinician ahead of time.
I don't know for certain what BCBS's "allowed amount" is, but I know they're paying master's level therapists about $85 per therapy session, so I'm guessing that's it. So if a therapist's regular fee is $100, you'd be paying ($85*0.2)+($100-$85)=$32 per session. A lot of therapists are charging rather more that $100/session these days. At $120/session that's $52/session.

That copay/cost-sharing is absurd. Obviously, many students couldn't possibly afford $25/week copay – specially the most vulnerable ones. So that's a hell of an incentive to seek care from MIT Mental Health and Counseling Service directly: as they proudly state, no copay or other fees to see the therapists that work for MIT.

Less obviously, it's not even vaguely in line with the market right now. I see people who have jobs and pay $10 and $15 copays on other insurances. That students would be charged a $25 copay to see a therapist – in-network! – is incredible. Honestly, students being charged any copay is pretty out of line.

Seriously: MIT students, the people who stock the shelves in the Star Market behind Random have better access to mental health care than you do. That grocery store shelf stocker qualifies for a subsidized Medicaid Expansion plan, which covers at least a therapy session per week, with no copay. Also, their plan has hundreds, if not thousands, of therapists to choose from, none of whom report to your landlord cum diploma-granter-maybe cum civil authority cum boss of your local police.

Also, availing yourself of the option of seeing a non-MIT therapist on your MIT student insurance, even though it's through BCBS, requires a "referral" from MIT Med:
If you are already seeing an outside clinician or have a specific outside clinician in mind, you don’t have to make an appointment at MIT Medical to get a referral. Just call the Mental Health and Counseling Service at 617-253-2916, and ask to speak with someone about getting a referral for your outside treatment.
This may be completely pro forma, but the upshot is that MIT is making it a requirement on you that you notify MIT if you're getting psychotherapy, and that you divulge to them from from whom you are getting it. That someone is in therapy and from whom they get that therapy is highly confidential information, that frankly MIT has no business knowing. You should be able to see a therapist on your student insurance without MIT even knowing about it.

So if you wanted to work for the benefit of students' mental health, there's a great target: demand that MIT's insurance for students provides off-campus, unaffiliated psychotherapy with no copay, cost sharing, or balance billing – or radically less than at present, so MIT students can freely avail themselves of treaters not on MIT payroll; and abolish the need for a referral, because info about your utilization of mental health care is prejudicial, privileged information that can be used against you. But be careful to keep a third-party insurance co in the loop, instead of MIT directly paying therapists; whomever pays the therapist is allowed to snoop in your psychotherapy records.

Or, honestly, given some of the crappy-ass general health care friends of mine have gotten through the Med Center, maybe just agitate for all students to just get a regular BCBS PPO membership instead of having to go to the Med Center, at all. Or given how much BCBS sucks, try to get students into the Medicaid Expansion, so students get a choice of providers. That would be harder.

P.S. Disclosure of conflicts of interest: none – I don't take BCBS, so even if the copay/cost-share/balance-billing were eliminated, and students started flocking to off-campus therapists, I still wouldn't benefit by any of that business, unless somehow you managed to get students into Medicaid Expansion, and then only if students were willing to travel all the way to Medford to see me – I just have it in for MIT Med, and MIT MHCS especially.)

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 02:00 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Got half the tomatoes cooked down yesterday, and a bunch of stuff made it out to the trash and the recycle bins.

Today is my Godsons birthday, its 9/11.

Reflecting on the observances of the Tragedies, every generation has them, the defining moments as it were. The battle cries, the dates. Not to make light of any of them, but they do fade as the people whose lives they changed age and die. Fading into history. Bunker Hill, Damn the Torpedos, Trail of Tears, Fort Sumpter, Gettysburg, Lincoln, Teapot Dome, The USS Maine, San Juan Hill, Sinking of the Luisitania, The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, Kristalnacht, Pearl Harbor, Genocide, Aug 6 & 9th, Bay of Pigs, Kennedy King Kennedy, everyone has a list. Mine contain Sabana Seca, the Naples USO, USS Stark, and several other moments. We shouldnt forget, we shouldnt keep repeating.

Today, a signing at the Btown Powells.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I now have enough levels in crockpottery to recognize that this recipe, "Chicken Leek and Mushroom Casserole", is absurd as written. For one thing, there's absolutely no reason to include any chicken stock at all, unless one wants a soup as a result, given how much fluid 8 chicken thighs will express; given how much fluid winds up in it, there's no way it would ever come out "creamy", or, for that matter, at all like a "casserole". Yeah, I bet you have to thicken the sauce with cornstarch (ew).

But I really wanted a slowcooker meat dish with leeks, and I wasn't finding much, so I decided to adjust for sanity, double it (because I consider 8 servings a bare minimum for the effort), and give it whirl.

Also, I added canned potatoes to obviate later having to come up with a starch to serve it with.

Results seem pretty good! [personal profile] tn3270 seems very taken with it.

Here's my version:

4.5 lbs of chicken thighs, boneless skinless (could handle another lb)
3 cans (~15oz) whole potatoes
2 leeks (the biggest diameter ones on sale), washed really well and sliced
1 lb sliced button mushrooms
4 tsp minced garlic
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
4 bay leaves
3 Tbsp mustard, dijon
1/2 C cream, heavy
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper at the table
slowcooker liner

uses 6qt slowcooker and 4 cup frying pan with lid

0) Melt butter in big frying pan. Sauté the leeks in the butter until they start to soften. Push to sides and add minced garlic; saute abt 90 seconds to golden brown, then mix in with leeks. Add mushrooms, stir a bit to get mushrooms coated with butter, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, till leeks are soft and their scent mellows. (Once this is done, this can be refrigerated, if you want to prep this in advance.)

1) Measure the herbs into a mixing bowl. Add mustard, cream, and lemon juice, mix. (This can also be refrigerated, if you want to prep this in advance.

2) Line slowcooker. Open and drain the potatoes, and put in bottom of slowcooker. Put in half the chicken, half the leek-mushroom mixture, the other half the chicken, and the other half the leek-mushroom mixture. Pour the mustard-cream sauce over it.

3) Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaves before eating.

ETA: Outstanding mysteries:

1) Is powdered rosemary just not a thing? Little rosemary bits isn't the same thing.

2) How much leek is "one leek"? When I got to the store, I had my choice of: a leek the diameter of my wrist, a leek about 2/3s the diameter of that, and lots of leeks the diameter of my two thumbs put together. The original recipe called for "one leek", and I'm like, "What does that even mean in this context?"

3) Is frozen pre-chopped leeks a thing? I love leeks, I do not love chopping leeks. I don't hate it – at least, being cylinders, they're much easier to chop than onions – but there's something to be said for convenience.

4) Even without the added two cups of fluid, it came out with a thin broth. Maybe next time thicken with tapioca. Or maybe reserve the cream for the end, and only add it in the last half hour? Slow cooking cream just seems to break it down.

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 02:49 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I rained last night, a lovely damp sprinkle that got heavier as it went on. I hope this helped contain the Eagle Creek Fire.

Kinda blew off yesterday too, ended up going to Cascadia Station with the sister creature, she wanted to go to IKEA to look at stuff, and I hit the clothing stores and finally found cargo pants at The Dress Barn, I got two pair. We ate at WOW Burger, and this one seemed to be less than the usual too, so we dont know if they are just cutting back or what.

Came home and watched some of the Burke's Law marathon, and now that channel is showing Honey West.

"That's rather nice, actually"

Sep. 10th, 2017 02:45 am
rosefox: Autumn leaves on a wet sidewalk. (autumn)
[personal profile] rosefox
What a lovely week it's been. What a lovely thing to be able to say that!

The weather has been 100% autumn and I am HERE FOR IT. Today I wore my hoodie! And zipped it up! While it was still light out! I've had my window open for three nights running. So much delicious aaaaaair.

J and I had a real date last Saturday (we went to a friend's BBQ for a bit, which doesn't sound like a date but was amazingly nice to do as two adults with no child in tow), and X and I had a real date today (we went to Coney Island for the first time in ages), and we even got a real family date last weekend where we snuggled up in my bed and watched Pacific Rim and ate popcorn. There have been lots of cuddles and hugs and smooches lately as we all savor finally being healthy. The week Kit was off from daycare was splendidly vacation-like and I came off of it feeling rested and relaxed and happy; now they're adjusting well to being back in daycare, and eating and sleeping like they're being paid for it, which means they should have a big growth spurt pretty soon. I'm having lots of fun writing fanfic for [community profile] crossovering and I just nominated fandoms for [community profile] yuletide for the first time in something like 12 years. J has been cooking a lot, and tonight we axed our towering tottering basil and made pesto, which was easy and delicious; I threw in some macadamia nuts on a whim and didn't bother measuring anything and it worked out great. [twitter.com profile] schanoes came over on Friday and we had lunch and talked nonstop for three hours. I figured out how to comb my hair while it's starting to grow out. The meeting for Kit's IFSP went extremely well and all their PT services have been renewed. They're starting to play with their food sometimes, which is a big improvement on being wary of it. It's just been a nice week.

I have to keep the focus pretty tight to write about things this way, because the land is being destroyed by fire and storm and a great many people we care about are having a really hard time right now. But that makes me cherish our little oasis all the more. We're able to offer other people shelter and support again, after months of barely being able to cope with our own stuff, and it feels so good to be able to help our friends and to have our feet on stable ground. For however long this lasts, I plan to bask in it and store up good memories to get me through the next round of challenges.

(no subject)

Sep. 9th, 2017 03:26 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Need to start processing those tomatoes today.

Yesterday, adulted and started to water, got a call from Monkey Girl, she is in town housesitting, so the sister and I met up with her at Chezcake Factory for a snack, got a bit caught up too.

Heard from the cousin in TX, seems (and you just cant make shit up like this) he and his wife had a non refundable Disney cruise that they got a out of Austin to catch, and its in the Carribbean, so their cruise got cut short a day due to Irma, and then they couldnt get a flight out, so they are at Disney (hotel) in Orlando (which he claims is built to withstand hurricanes) hunkering down to ride it out. This is the cousin who thinks that all Democrats are stupid ignorant whimps responsible for everything bad, and liars about climate change. That he would have had a better life if everyone respected his white maleness... and his speshulness. I really should have worked harder at shoving him off the garage roof when we were kids.

Comet channel is running more Godzilla movies today.. soooo tempting to just lounge around and watch them.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea

So there's this thing called, "GiveAnHour.org". It's (I have recently learned) a non-profit organization which exists to convince psychotherapists to provide pro-bono treatment to servicemembers and military family members.

Now, there's a number of reasons one might raise an eyebrow at this, but lets set that aside to grant at least for now that this is an attempt to address a legitimate need through legitimate means.

The way it usually functions is that volunteer therapists sign up, the org checks their bona fides to make sure they're in proper license status to work in their jurisdiction, and then the therpist get listed in their geographically-based directory that clients can use to find pro-bono therapists.

Well, apparently, they are moved by the plight of Houston to start a Hurricane Harvey relief project. I know about this because my national professional organization, AMHCA, just posted about it on our extranet. Leadership exhorted us to go sign up as volunteers, because GiveAnHour is expresssly and exclusively recruiting licensed mental health professionals as volunteers to provide remote care to people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

I'm a little perplexed as to how this could work. Texas, as big as it is, does not hold a majority of mental health counselors in our professional org. What with there being 50 states and some-odd other jurisdictions, the vast majority of us AMHCA members are licensed someplace not Texas. We are licensed in our home states (plus a few over-achievers who have multiple state licenses for reasons).

It's not legal – AFAIK – for CMHCs who are not licensed by Texas to practice in Texas. Duh.

This is, in fact, the classic problem with CMHCs being volunteer professional responders to catastrophes. We're not allowed to cross state lines to help. Or rather, we can, but we have to not practice when we get there.

And, yes, we've thought of that: we have to be licensed where the client is, so, no, telecommuting to the disaster doesn't help.

(I have no idea how other medical professions handle this, or if they do.)

So I go poking at the GiveAnHour.org site to see what's up with their Hurricane Harvey volunteer therapist project.

Read more. This and two other eyerollers. )

(no subject)

Sep. 8th, 2017 01:27 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I found the air yesterday to be nicer than before, so I was outside, harvesting in the garden. Got about nine gallons of tomatoes picked and a 5 gallon bucket with squash and eggplant. I also have a small bag with all the ripe hot chiles in it, the white one is self explanatory I think. So, tomato sauce to be canned, and not sure with the squash, but I will look in my cookbooks or the manual for the food saver and the food dryer. Most of the apples off my columnar trees have been knocked down and .. well, they arent salvagable, so I gathered them up and then dumped the bucket in the empty lot for the birds and the critter.

Today, do adult stuff.. sigh, water more, and put the bins back from the street.

Yet more Equifax

Sep. 8th, 2017 12:26 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 The attorney general of New York has protested to Equifax, and they have "clarified" that the waiver of rights to sue only applies to the security-monitoring service itself, and not to the existing security failure.

Expand the last question in the FAQ (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/frequently-asked-questions/)  to see this clarification.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
You're fine if you use the existing form to check if you're affected, because it doesn't ask for a waiver.  However, don't sign the form Equifax offers for credit monitoring.  In the fine print, it waives your right to join class action suits. 

Are you American? The Equifax leak

Sep. 7th, 2017 04:50 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Equifax just leaked personal info including any or all of birthdates, addresses, Social Security numbers, and/or credit card information for roughly half the adult population.

No.  Really.

To check if you were affected, go here:


If you get a date back, you *were* affected; set yourself a calendar reminder to go back to the site on the appropriate date and register for ... something yet to be determined. 

Equifax has known about this since July 29th.  The CFO and two other senior executives sold big chunks of stock three days later.

(no subject)

Sep. 7th, 2017 02:15 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Got the supplements tweeked by my Naturopath yesterday and then spent some time wandering about before heading home.

Today, its a bit cooler, they say the fire is five percent contained, I got trash to get ready, and yard and garden to water.

Verizon Advertising Fail

Sep. 7th, 2017 07:17 am
[personal profile] osewalrus
According to this article some significant percentage of VZ customers say they would switch for the ability to rollover their data or for unlimited streaming. What is interesting is that VZ now offers an unlimited plan and has a rollover data plan. 

Either users are unaware of these, or the terms are sufficiently restrictive that the those surveyed do not regard the services offered as meeting their description. Interesting.


Sep. 6th, 2017 08:03 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
[personal profile] alexxkay
Kestrell and I have watched the end of Twin Peaks: The Return. The above was my initial reaction; I gather it was a typical one. Kes and I have spent a few hours talking about it and I’ve spent a further few hours reading various online writing about it, and I am little closer to a definitive understanding than I was at that first “What?”

Which is, of course, only to be expected from David Lynch. And this was undoubtedly a David Lynch story. The leavening of Mark Frost’s contributions made it far CLOSER to comprehensibility then solo Lynch, but it was still resolutely irresolute. A few online writers seem to think that things were deliberately left open for a season four, but I think they were fooling themselves. One of the frequent themes of this season was the infinity of overlapping stories, none of which makes sense in isolation from all the others, and therefore none of which can ever truly have closure.

The penultimate episode contains a significant amount of closure, as if to demonstrate clearly that the creators understand what closure is, and are capable of achieving it when they want. And then the final hour quite deliberately goes somewhere new and different and strange in a manner different from all the previous strangeness in the season.

This season has a huge and complex cast, only about half of which we knew from the original show – all of whom are, of course, distressingly older. Most episodes end with an “in memory of” credit. The very first scenes that Lynch shot were with Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady), mere weeks before her death of cancer. Both actress and character were on the verge of death and knew it. By the end, almost everyone from the original show has had at least a cameo, although in some cases only via stock footage.

Special notice should be given to Kyle MacLachlan. He deservedly has star billing, though there are a few episodes in which he almost doesn’t appear. Despite his being the actor with the most screen time, the character of Dale Cooper is but rarely seen, and that very late in the day. Instead, Lynch has MacLachlan playing a significant number of OTHER characters, albeit all ones who are connected with Cooper in one way or another (I counted five, but the point could be argued).

A few friends who have not been watching all along have asked me if this new season was “worth watching”. That is not a question with a simple answer, as it turns out. If you were interested in nostalgically revisiting characters and situations that you once loved, The Return contains some of that, but not very much. If you wanted to know “where the plot was going”, again, there is some of that, but it is a distinctly minor element. If, however, what you loved about Twin Peaks and want more of now was the sense of wonder, the bizarre mixture of tones, the feeling that absolutely anything might happen at any moment (or conversely, that nothing at all might happen for a lengthy scene), then The Return has what you want in spades.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
MassHealth, are you still reading? Maybe you could pass this on to DMH?

I am admittedly feeling cranky and dispeptic to begin with. But I got a forwarded email today, advertising 2.5 hours of free Continuing Ed credit – as I've mentioned, one of my favorite phrases is "Free CEUs" – in suicide prevention training sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

In Worcester.

So I poked around a bit on the relevant websites to see where and when else the DMH was offering trainings.

There are two trainings scheduled so far, both in Worcester.

And that's the point at which my molars started grinding.

Look. I totally get how one might think it's maximally "fair" to hold trainings in the geographic middle of the state.

But it's, like, two hours by car to get to Worcester from: Salem, Gloucester, Newburyport, Fall River, or Pittsfield. I'm not even going to hazard an estimate from the Cape, and we all know Martha's Vinyard and Nantucket don't even count as part of Masschusetts for this sort of thing.

The only people who are going to be willing to do four hours of round-trip driving for a three hour class are those who are super into the topic, which are usually the folks who really don't need a 101-level class like this.

And, DMH, as an aside, there are plenty of us within Rt. 128 who don't have cars. I appreciate that your event is accessible by public transit! But getting to your 9:30am event by public transit takes – I checked on Google Maps – over two hours of transit time and gets you there at 9:01am. Which is to say, I'd have to leave home before 7am, and I'd get home after 2pm, and your 2.5 credit hour course would take over seven hours out of my day. I'm not willing to give up an entire work day to a 2.5hr training[*], even if it is free.

DMH, what are you trying to achieve? Are you actually telling yourselves that you're serving the entire Commonwealth by offering free courses in the middle of the state? Are you telling yourselves you're doing something effective for promoting suicide prevention by dumping a little pile of education in just one part of the state?

Maybe I have this all wrong, and you're actually responding appropriately to some horrible uptick in suicidality in the Worcester area. Or maybe it's been detected that Worcester-area clinicians are comparatively bad at safety planning, and this is a surgical strike to remedy a regional training problem. In which case: good job!

And maybe this is some sort of charity: free CEUs for clinicians out in the hinterlands who don't have access to as many training opportunities as those of us in Boston. Which, well, I suppose that's fine. You could say so somewhere. You could explain this is part of a mission to support clinicians in underserved areas, and then I'd be like, "Oh, okay then".

But if you have – as your website suggests – some sort of state-wide charter to improve suicide prevention, you aren't going to do that – state-wide – by only holding trainings in Worcester. You simply are never going to reach the vast majority of Massachusetts clinicians. Because we are so seriously not showing up for something over an hour and a half away by car, that's only 2.5 credit hours long.

If you are serious about promulgating to the whole of Massachusetts whatever this training promulgates, you're really going to have to hold it in a whole bunch of diverse locations around the state.

Also, DMH, while I have you here, is there some reason I have to hear about these things from word of mouth? I mean, you're a state agency, I'm a state-licensed mental health professional. My professional mailing address is a matter of public record! I understand postage costs money, but I'm pretty sure there are fewer than 10k LMHCs, so for less than $5k you could do a one-time mailing to all of us, notifying us that you have free trainings you're offering us, and how we can get on your email notification list; then just mail the new licensees as they're licensed. Admittedly, you have other professions to care about, too, and it would cost money to mail them, too. But if you're serious about getting clinicians to take your trainings, they have to know about them, and you need to do a better job at notifying them.

Assuming you ever hold them some place they can get to them.

[* Okay, I've done it – but it was a road trip with a friend for kicks and giggles, and it was a much more interesting and specialist topic than this.]


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