How Republicans See Legislating

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:13 am
[personal profile] osewalrus

This clip illustrates the biggest problem in how some folks see their job in Congress. This is Greg Walden, Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announcing he will have a hearing on "rules of the road for the Internet," i.e., the net neutrality legislation they want to pass so they can stop worrying about it.


Who does he invite? The CEOs of the biggest tech companies and the CEOs of the biggest ISPs. Why? Because for Walden, thats who matters. It's about brokering an industry compromise. Because it can't possibly be that there is an issue that doesn't involve mediating between giant companies.

But don't take my word for it. Play the clip.












[sci] Q re journal article IP

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:48 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I'm reading this really great journal article in the field of medical anthropology, and it got me thinking, "I wanna quote this whole thing. I bet my readers would really dig this." And then I thought, I wonder if I asked nicely if the author would let me republish it as a guest post in my journal? And then I thought, I wonder if the author even has the authority to do that, once their paper has been published in a journal?

What rights does the author of journal article have in their article once published in a journal? I appreciate this might vary by specific journal (or organization that owns or edits the journal), but are there general trends? Do journals typically require submitting authors forfeit the right to publish the work for free on the internet? Forever? What if an author wants to contribute the paper as a chapter in an anthology (book)? Or write their own book in which the paper is one chapter?

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:15 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Yesterday, instead of lounging about the house in my jammies, I had to get dressed to take the sister creature to the ER .. she has a viral chest infection.

I got home right before ten, so I got to watch Midnight TX on tv.

Today, New Book Tuesday, and I am already tired. But, things to do...

"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:29 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Between the heat and having things to do, and getting home late... the internets has been ignored.

Reynaud's is a very fussy thing, I like to refer to it as "Goldilocks Disease" because its so damn limiting. Not too hot, not too cold.. which leaves such a narrow window of comfort. With the temps here in the 80s or higher, I just cant function very well. Or its just slow and sweaty... and I dont sweat.

Friday I got errands run, and things collected. But it was late when I got home,and barely got stuff in the fridge.

Saturday, the sister creature and I picked up the Kidlet for her belated birthday trip to Powells and dinner of her choice. We had great parking karma.. in the shade even. Kidlet got some graphic novels, more Percy Jackson, Amulet, Firewings, and I tossed in a couple of books, a Pinkwater... we got a thing on the upcoming solar event with glasses... and of course, we got her book shopping done, and we did a bit for ourselves, I found more books in series for our Wicked Evil Stepmom, and we then went to dinner at Saylors. I got a great parking spot there too, without having to circle the parkinglot. My prime rib had more fat on it than I cared for, but it was still a good meal. We were to take the Kidlet to her Uncle's house in Canby, her parents were off being solo adults. We had to stop at the sisters apt on the way there, she had to use the bathroom ... lets just say, we were delayed, and when it was time to leave, due to a misscommunication between the sister and myself, she got locked out of her place. I didnt have the spare keys with me, but we would deal with it later.

Neither one of us had the address in Canby, but the Kidlet kinda remembered how to get there, and we did. I recognized the nicely groomed shrubberies first. It was her Aunt's birthday, so we hung out there until Eldest Nephew and his wife showed up. Transferred over her book loot and we went to my place where I got the spare keys and then took the sister home to her apt where i let her in.

Sunday, got up before I was completely rested, made dip for the family party, put the sprinkler on in the garden and did some serious hand watering out front.. still have a lot to do though. Picked the sister up and we went to Brothers house for our Wicked Evil Stepmom's 80th birthday party. It was just immediate family. We had a nice time visiting, telling stories, bbq dinner, and then cards presents mini bundt cakes and more. I will give a little grumble that my sister in law is hogging all the time with our stepmom while she is down here, but, I can give her that. I can always drive up to Longview to see her and do stuff. So, I wont see her before they take her back to Longview tomorrow.

Today, dont know, its going to be 90. Ick. Slept in late and really dont feel like doing squat. My sister in law made a suggestion where to find someone to do my little paver patio out front, but I am thinking that can wait for a cooler day.

Girl Asleep (2015)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:32 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
[personal profile] alexxkay

Girl Asleep is a delightful recent entry in the sub genre “girl on the cusp of womanhood who is confused by her changing life (and body) and learns to deal with it via a fantasy universe”, like Labyrinth and Mirror Mask. (I’m sure there must be more examples, but I’m having difficulty recalling them. Anyone want to add to the list?)

This particular girl, Greta, is growing up in Australia in the late 1970s. This is, in itself, more than a little fantastical, and the boundaries between the real and the visionary remain porous throughout the film. (I particularly liked the “integrated captions” for the scene changes, such as focusing on a bucket of fried chicken with a logo on the side reading “later that day”.) Her mother means well, but doesn’t understand her introvert daughter. Her father is little better, and over indulges in dad jokes (and an impressively 70s ‘stache). Her older sister is clearly thinking about moving out and has a dangerously sexy boyfriend. The family has moved to a new town, so Greta has to deal with the new school and all that entails. The only kid at school who seems to want to be friends with her is incredibly dorky (and adorbs). But a gang of archetypical “mean girls” also offers her membership – with unclear but intimidating strings attached. And then mom takes it into her head to invite all her little classmates to Greta’s 15th birthday party. The horror, the horror!

The party starts out okay, but piles stress upon stress until either reality or sanity fractures (there’s enough ambiguity that you may have your pick). Greta becomes lost in the woods, which are inhabited by wonders, but also by Big Bad Wolves. (And a friendly huldra. Don’t see too many of them around…) It all comes to a head in a climactic battle that I was quite charmed by, alternating seamlessly between hair pulling and pillow fights on the one hand, and advanced martial arts movie moves on the other.

The story had its genesis as a stage play, but the film fully embraces the possibilities of its new medium. While the film doesn’t seem to have a huge budget, it used that budget to excellent effect, creating many beautiful and memorable images. What I think it brings most from the stage is a “theatrical” sensibility, where the creative staff are willing to trust the audience’s suspension of disbelief, presenting images that work on multiple levels simultaneously, and respecting the audience’s ability to interpret. Both Kestrell and I were reminded of the excellent work of Lifeline Theater in Chicago.

It’s available on DVD and on Amazon video. Highly recommended.

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:51 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I got up later than expected today, and made the decision to just get outside and start on the Fence Project. Otherwise, I wouldnt. Yesterday I had gotten all the new fence posts painted Purple. I refilled bird feeders, I spray painted flamingos...

Today I got all the tools, shovels, six foot pry bar, yard bin, containers for dirt, a bucket of assorted tools... and the 12 foot post. I started off by removing fence sections and digging up the old rose root. I made a nice pile of rose pieces, and got most of the roots. I fully expect to see roses in the future there. Then I started to digging carefully around the broken fence post. This might be the only post I have to dig up since the new one is going in the same spot, since the other fence sections will be shorter, I will just cut the old posts off at the surface. I did call and ask my sister to come help me, because I could tell this was going to take longer than I had planned. I dug down about four inches before I hit concrete.. not a good sign, and probably why the post rotted. I got a bit deeper, finding the edges of the blob. Chipping away at this was tedious. My neighbor saw what I was trying to do and came over to help me, he got the pry bar under the block and heaved it up. We put the dirt and the block into the wheelbarrow to disposes of, then measured how much deeper we would have to go. More digging ensued, but it wasnt into concrete. We went down two feet and called it good. Put in all the bits and then the post... leveled it, decided on our sweet spot... then poured three bags of quick setting concrete into the hole. Which wasnt enough, so I sent the sister to WILCO to get two more bags. Finished up again double checking if the fence section was going to fit, and then proceeded to gently water in the fresh cement.

I thanked my neighbor, and then the sister and I cleaned up most of the efforts, and I took her to eat.

After I got home, I finished doing my Trash Prep and getting all the bins to the curb.

Friday, errands, I have to get stuff for the Family party on Sunday, new brackets for the fence sections, of course the new fencing sections are just a tad bit bigger than the brackets I have plenty of, Costo run, and if it find the right bag, stuff to send to Miss Annie.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Can somebody update me on the present legal status in the US of graphical user interfaces as intellectual property? Am I correct in believing they can't be patented (though the code can be copyrighted)?

What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?

To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.

Wow. I'm liable for LJ hacking?

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:59 am
cvirtue: CV in front of museum (Default)
[personal profile] cvirtue
"Agree to this user agreement in Russian or you can't use LiveJournal." Great.
Google Translate says the agreement essentially says if someone hacks your account, any damage they do with your credentials is your fault. Not going to sign that.

The user is responsible for the safety (resistance to the selection of the attacks) they selected authentication data and their privacy.
You are responsible for all acts performed by using authentication data users. All actions performed after login using authentication information the user is considered produced by the User, except in cases when the user in the manner prescribed by the Agreement by notifying the Administration of the possibility of unauthorized access and / or of any breach (suspected violations) confidentiality of the authentication data .
The user is responsible for any loss or corruption of data, as well as other consequences of any nature that may occur due to the violations of the provisions of the User Agreement.

Librarian

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:44 am
cvirtue: CV in front of museum (Default)
[personal profile] cvirtue
Trying this again...
I made a neckroll for reading for my spouse; it's the Librarian, who is sick, poor thing. VERY LARGE IMAGE, sorry:
Read more... )
From The Fifth Continent, by Terry Pratchett.

"The Librarian was very, very ill.
There was a heap of blankets in front of the roaring fire. Occasionally it shuddered a bit. The wizards watched it with concern.
The Lecturer in Recent Runes was feverishly turning over the pages of a book.
'I mean, how do we know if it's old age or not?' he said. 'What's old age for an orang-utan? And he's a wizard. And he spends all his time in the Library. All that magic radiation the whole time. Somehow the flu is attacking his morphic field, but it could be caused by anything.'
The Librarian sneezed.
And changed shape.
The wizards looked sadly at what appeared very much like a comfortable armchair which someone had, for some reason, upholstered in red fur.
'What can we do for him?' said Ponder Stibbons, the Faculty's youngest member.
'He might feel happier with some cushions,' said Ridcully.
'Slightly bad taste, Archchancellor, I feel.'
'What? Everyone likes some comfy cushions when they're feeling a little under the weather, don't they?' said the man to whom sickness was a mystery.
'He was a table this morning. Mahogany, I believe. He seems to be able to retain his colour, at least.' The Lecturer in Recent Runes closed the book with a sigh. 'He's certainly lost control of his morphic function,' he said. 'It's not surprising, I suppose. Once it's been changed, it'll change again much more easily, I'm afraid. A well known fact.' He looked at the Archchancellor's frozen grin and sighed. Mustrum Ridcully was notorious for not trying to understand things if there was anyone around to do it for him. "
dsrtao: dsr as a LEGO minifig (Default)
[personal profile] dsrtao
There's a certain kind of technically-inclined person who says that they want to take their smartphone out of their pocket, plug it into their monitor and keyboard, and use it as their desktop.

I don't think they've thought this through very well.

What I think that they mean by this is that they want seamless integration of state shared between environments. That is, they want to have access to all the same information, applications and capabilities regardless of the device that they are currently using.

That is approximately what Google is trying to do with the Google Apps system: stop using your calendar on your phone, start using it on your desktop, just with a bigger screen and better keyboard. It might not be that hard to build a secure state-sharing system to make every phone application migrate to your desktop when it's in range.

The phone itself, though, has the affordances of an always-carried pocket device. Every time you stand up to go consult with a colleague, use the bathroom or stretch your legs, you expect the phone to be with you. Even if you only need to unplug one cable, that's still a significant inconvenience, and a major strain on the connector. Short range wireless connections might be enough in the future, but can't possiblly be as performant as a direct cable.

 


(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:21 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I was terribly efficient yesterday, credit union, post office, the Hilltop stores, Wilco was having a one day sale, and we (the sister creature came with) scored a small AC window unit for the sister creature, if it does fit into her window.. we shall see how that works out.

Got New Books, got a couple of Hallmark xmas ornaments (but missed out on the Marvin one..sigh) and then headed towards Btown. Made a few stops before arriving at the Powells site. We had decided on eating before the event at Pastini, and when we walked up, there was MK Hobson, seems that David was having a small meetup before the event, so we joined in for dinner. It was kinda fun to converge.

The event had a nice turnout.

Swung by the Btown Freddys, it seems that they are all undergoing a revamping process (and yes, I think if they put more vampires in and less moving stuff about while upgrading their stores....) and we cant find things in our store here, but, I did find the bins of plastic section, and they did have some of the more portable ones with handles in the lids.

I am going to give tonights signing a miss, yes its Brenda Cooper and Nancy Kress, but I am really tired. I am going to try and paint my new posts though, its just sitting outside and applying paint. No driving or having to think, and no having to look for books, because everything is in such a jumble now.
[personal profile] osewalrus
"A Communications Oligopoly on Steroids: Why Antitrust Enforcement and Regulatory Oversight in Digital Communications Matters" is a fun and exciting romp through our current messed up market and why we need to care about this.
http://equitablegrowth.org/report/a-communications-oligopoly-on-steroids/

Perfect summer reading for your inner wonk. 

"You can't always get what you want"

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:31 am
rosefox: A Victorian woman glares and says "Fuck's sake, what a cock"; someone out of the frame says "mm". (disapproval)
[personal profile] rosefox
Archiving some Twitter threads here regarding cons and congoing.

Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention.  )

=====

Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )

Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:16 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Went well at the Naturopaths, my BP was normal range, and we tweeking the supplements just a bit to provide some liver protection.

Got some of the errands run, got the visor clip reinstalled on the van, where the screw had fallen out, and thus the clippie itself. Went to Williams Sonoma to use the birthday gift certificate up, I got cherry balsamic vinegar for both myself and the sister creature. Killed a bit of time at Portland Nursery, and yes, I committed plant there.

Made it to the signing, I had to park a couple blocks away, right in front of a homeless squat by Ben & Jerry's, which explains why there was a parking spot.

The sister met me for the signing, and it was a pretty good talk. Got my book signed, and I thought I wasnt going to buy anything there, but, when walking by the remainder racks, I found a couple of books I had missed out on ...sigh.

sister creature and I went to eat afterwards and then home to the cranky cat.

Today, New Book Tuesday of course! Some errands, the Post Office and then to David Levine's signing at the Beaverton Powells.

"R&R"

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:26 am
rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (relaxed)
[personal profile] rosefox
Once more unto the vacation to-do list/wishlist. A whole week of vacation when I'm not ill! Such luxury!

Things with deadlines:

* NONE AT ALL

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (needs to happen today if it's going to happen, because the weather's going to be too hot and unpleasant the rest of the week)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

[tech, domesticity] Oy, Verizon

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:28 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The one logistical thing that has not gone swimmingly with D's move to assisted living has been moving her landline.

The extent to which Verizon has screwed this up has been epic. [personal profile] tn3270 referred to it as a Russian novel.

Penultimately, I had a conversation with billing that went approximately thus:
Billing: Hello, Verizon Billing, this is [NAME]. How can I help you today?

Me: You can waive this month's bill because Verizon has screwed up two move orders so far, and the 90 year old account holder hasn't had access to her phone line for five days and counting. It's still not on at her new place, but I understand there's an expedited technician order for today. But who knows? You're the seventh Verizon employee I've talked to so far, and I've been told a variety of wrong and contradictory things every step of the way. This has been the worst corporate fiasco I've been involved with in years.

Billing: ...yes, we will totally credit the account for the month.

I had originally thought that we might have trouble because Verizon had security and stuff, and I wasn't the account holder (D) and I wasn't the contact on the account ([personal profile] tn3270). But no. I text chatted with Verizon in advance of putting in the order (CSR #1), and they told me what authentication tokens I needed to authorize the move order, I got them, and they worked fine when I put the order in.

No, everything went to hell apparently due to galloping incompetence on Verizon's (staff's) part(s).

Initially, I was told we didn't need a technician to come out for the line move, unless we wanted help plugging the phone into the wall; they could do it on their end. For the record, this is a good ol' fashioned POTS line, and moving within the same town. Fine. Once we'd nailed down the move date and booked movers – June 30th, to be precise – I got back in touch – btw, I was using the Verizon website realtime customer service chat, because I couldn't find a damn customer service phone number. It's 1800VERIZON, btw. So I fired up the chat thingy, and talked to a customer serv rep (CSR#2), who said they'd be happy to do the move order for me. Somewhere in the middle of the process, he apologized to me and said that the system was saying that a technician is required for that address; that there were no available technicians on the move in date, but could do the day after (7/13) between 1pm and 5pm, and it wouldn't cost anything to have the technician. I said to make it so, so he put the move order in. I asked him to confirm the service and he quotes me a price that I later find out is almost twice D's usual bill. I ask him whether he needs the account contact there to meet the technician, and he doesn't know, so he transfers me to another cust serv rep (CSR#3), who says, no, any adult who can let the tech in is fine, and who confirms the order is all complete, and (he specifically said this) the previous CSR did everything necessary.

Subsequently, [personal profile] tn3270 got a phone call from Verizon confirming the incipient move.

On Thursday, 7/13, 6pm no Verizon tech, and D's landline still has no dial tone at the new place, and is still working at her old place.

I am working until 9pm, so when I get home around 10pm, I get back on the text chat, and ask what happened. I'm informed they can find no move order on the account. The cust serv rep (CSR#4) asks if I have an ID number for the move order, and I don't have one. But they're happy to submit a new move order. Grrrrr. I say, yes, do it. After a long pause, the cust serv rep apologizes and says they can't do the move. Because it's a landline. The text-chat customer serv reps can't do landline moves. For that you have to call in. 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday or 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday. Also, he tells me, I might need to present paperwork in person at a local Verizon office.

It's after 10pm on Thursday, so I have to wait until the phone is staffed again. Why they can have 24/7 text chat CSRs but not 24/7 phone CSRs, I don't know.

Other stuff comes up, that has priority Friday, so I don't get to call Verizon until Saturday, 7/15. The rep I speak to (CSR#5) tells me she sees no record of the move order for Thursday, but she can totally put in a move order for right now immediately. I say the guy I talked to on Thursday said I needed a technician and special documentation; she said she had no idea what he was on about, no technician was needed, and no, they didn't need any special documentation. She said it would be done by "5 today, though maybe really more like by midnight". I make her give me the order number for this move order.

Sunday, 7/16, still no dialtone at her new place, dialtone at the old place. Verizon is closed for phone calls.

Today, Monday, 7/17, I call Verizon and ask WTELF. The CSR (CSR#6) calls up the account and says, "Oh, I see you had a move order for last Thursday." "WAIT. WUT. You can see that order? I was told you guys had no record of that order!" I make him read me the order number; so now I have the order numbers for both move orders that failed to happen. He then apologizes on Verizon's behalf and tells me they over-booked technicians, and that is why no technician came out. "BUT, BUT, WAIT. NOBODY EVER CALLED OR EMAILED. I WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO ORDER. THE LAST PERSON TOLD ME WE DIDN'T NEED A TECHNICIAN AT ALL." The CSR apologized again, and said he'd put the order in, and expedite it, and a technician would be by today.

Then I explained that I wanted the bill credited, and he referred me to billing (CSR#7), who both credited the bill ([personal profile] tn3270 has already got the confirmation email) and confirmed her service level and price, contra CSR#2.

Miraculously, a Verizon technician actually showed up at the assisted living facility today. He did a bunch of stuff, including something in the network closet and sticking some sort of probe in her wall socket, and assured us everything in the building is all set.

She still doesn't have dialtone, though; the technician confidently told [personal profile] tn3270 that the problem was on the pole outside. They'll have a lineman deal with that tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/18).

Next up, contacting the Mass DTC to see about filing an official complaint.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:22 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Because I got up so early (for me) on saturday, it was a bit of a blur. Everyone was doing their own thing before the signing, but I took Godsons Wife to the PSU farmers market to walk around. The sister was with me, so we had a nice walk there, lots of fresh food and food related things. A bit of a drive around to get back to the hotel where we picked up the rest of the luggage and people.

Other than trying to run over a woman who didnt understand how to cross a street, and was so not connected to reality that when she stepped in front of me and I honked my horn, she didnt respond at all.

The signing had a nice turn out, saw lots of folks I knew.. met some new ones.. after we went to the convayor belt sushi nearby, and then to the airport in plenty of time for them to catch their flight without having to rush.

Came home and watered the neighbors yard and my own.

Sunday, woke with a massive headache and raw throat, this was allergy related, not plague. by the time I was feeling somewhat human, I remembered I needed to pay my Lowe's bill. Since I was going there, I also decided to get the bits for the fence replacement. Measured the pieces that I had, measured the actual length of the fence, attempted to do math, and then had to refigure yet again how many posts I needed, and how much more fence I needed. So, I got nine posts total, and two more sections of uncut fencing. And quick setting cement.. and a couple of plants..

I knew that the back of the van was only good for 6 ft of length, so I took rope (small gauge) and an assortment of bungee cords. Strategic loading, tying off and of course, the use of the dry cement as a top weight, and away I went. Made it home without incident. Then I took my time unloading and stacking in the driveway, plus I got a bin with lid to put the cement in, because I didnt want it to get wet. Not going to start the project til later in the week, I have to get the paint out and paint the posts purple first, I am not going to get up on a ladder to do that. Work smarter, not harder. And I will see if this plan actually works or not.

Today, phone calls, see my Naturopath, then a booksigning at the Hawthorne Powells.
[personal profile] osewalrus
Were Republicans as stupid about repealing the ACA as i thought they were all the way back in November? Yes, yes they were.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/17/obamacare-repeal-republicans-white-house-240607

I predicted as far back as November that repeal would be far too disruptive for the Republicans to accomplish. What people inside and outside DC failed to understand was the disconnect between inside DC and outside DC. Inside DC, the assumption was that repeal of the ACA was merely politics. Outside DC, the assumption was that return to the status quo ante 2010 was impossible. Why? Because the entire industry, as I keep pointing out, had reoriented itself around the ACA. 

Meanwhile, Republicans still think this is about politics. Sure, to some degree it is. But if you screw things up too much then it becomes a political disaster for your side. 

Knightriders

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:30 am
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

In the news today are a bunch of obits for director George Romero. Pretty much all of them focus on Night of the Living Dead, and to be fair, it's the work he is best known for.

But let's pause a moment and remember his movie Knightriders -- the closest thing the SCA has to its own motion picture. Legend (maybe true, maybe not; I honestly don't know) has it that Romero happened to attend a particular SCA Crown Tournament, and was swept up by the drama he saw there; his producers weren't thrilled by the idea, and said, "Enh -- maybe if you add motorcycles and a good soundtrack, we'll think about it". So he did.

Knightriders has always been on my personal list of Movies Every SCAdian should see. Not because the club portrayed is the SCA, mind. It very much isn't: it's essentially a traveling RenFaire where they joust on motorcycles. But the feel of the group, I've always thought, reflects the SCA beautifully. You have the folks who are dead-serious about The Dream, who see something better in the ideals of their club. You have the stick-jocks who are here for the sport and the babes. You have the craftsmen who are making it all possible, and, yes, you have the folks who are just here to party. (There's even poor Patricia Tallman, better known for Babylon 5, in her first major role as the token mundane who is enamored by the whole thing but doesn't quite seem to get it.)

The movie gets a bit full of itself at times, and some people mock it mercilessly, but I love it -- not least for Ed Harris (in my favorite of his roles) as King Billy, who is trying desperately to keep his people both safe and united, and to pursue his dreams while everything around him is falling apart. He is a wonderful study in obsession, illustrating both the advantages and problems of having a strong leader.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's not the most brilliant movie ever, but it's wonderfully human. For pretty much every character in it, I can say, "Yeah, I know folks just like that". That's one of the higher compliments I can pay a director...

"The travel-model baby"

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:29 am
rosefox: A zombie from a Nintendo game. (zombie)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are HOME. I have rarely in my life been so tired, and I have spent much of my life being tired. This is non-Euclidean tired that collapses in upon itself. I'm sort of impressed by it.

As usual, Sam was thrilled to see me, Sophie was thrilled to see X, and Alex pretended to have entirely forgotten our names until we ordered pizza and he decided he wanted some. Tili took very good care of them. She also pointed out that our inexplicably huge basil plants grew enormous flower spikes during the three days we were gone. The leaves are yellowing a bit; might be time for more fertilizer.

I cannot overstate how tremendously lucky we are to have such a good travel-bean. They were really clearly Done With Everything around 2 p.m. yesterday, and very polite about our inexplicable failure to take them home right then. They didn't nap much on the train today, though they did sleep on me for about half an hour—it's such a pleasure to be slept on by a baby, and we were all jockeying a bit to be the one that Kit napped on; I only won because J needed to get up to get something and I snagged the sleepy baby and the blanket—but they were generally cheerful and amenable to distraction nonetheless, and as soon as we got home they chugged a bottle and sacked out. They even signed "train" while we were waiting for the train, and they made friends with another toddler who was riding in our car, trading many high-fives and handshakes. They really liked the train trips; we should do more train travel with them.

Next year, more and better planning. Definitely. But on the whole it was a very good con.

"Gonna fall down any day now"

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:11 am
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are at Readercon! We are having a very good time.

We took the train up instead of driving. There was a mess leaving Penn Station—we had to get off our broken train and get onto another one at the last minute—and a friend couriered much of our luggage, so that was all a bit of a logistical headache, and it's stressful being bound to an external schedule. But I actually haven't missed having a car (or even thought much about leaving the hotel) and I definitely haven't missed being the only licensed driver for a long trip. Maybe the train again next year; maybe not.

Me being sick for the crucial two weeks (two full weeks! June 26 to July 10! let's never do that again!) when we would usually do all our planning led to many hilarious planning failures, including not packing enough underwear, packing the wrong bra, not bringing enough warm clothing for a freezing cold hotel, never getting around to going swimming (after much fuss about making sure we all had swim gear—though of course we forgot Kit's swim diaper!), not bringing toothpaste, not bringing enough cash for housekeeping tips, forgetting that my new eyeglass prescription means my hoarded last pair of contact lenses was useless, and not scheduling enough babysitter time. Rarely has my behavior.planning.agley tag been so apt. X and J did their very best to make up for my incapacity, but we're all used to me being the primary planner, and at this age Kit is very distracting and makes it hard to focus on planning. I suspect that we're going to go home, sleep for a week, and then plan out our entire schedule for next year in advance.

I gave a talk on habit reversal training for writers that was extremely well received. That was very gratifying and enjoyable, and set a good tone for the rest of the weekend. I attended a few panels, was on a couple more, read none of my book and knit none of my knitting, had a really lovely time hanging out with friends, stayed up very late—the usual.

Some of it has been a bit strange. I'm now at the age where my friends tell me about their divorces; I was not quite aware I had reached that age, but it's happened twice in two days, so here we are. (To be clear, I am very glad I could be there for those friends. I just wasn't expecting it.) No one's slept much except Kit, who remains an absolute champion traveler and has taken a solid two-hour nap every day we've been here, including on the train on the way up (and will ideally do so on the train home). But we're coping.

I was nearly falling asleep during my own room party, and then after it was done I went out to the patio because 1 a.m. Readercon patio conversations are a superb vintage I only get to taste once a year. We talked about consciousness upload and replication, which led to digressions on neuroscience, parenting, and karma. Good times.

I must go sleep a lot now. A whole lot. Tomorrow: home.

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:29 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Exhausted because I am up early already.

Yesterday went well, despite the fact I couldnt find the majority of the anthologies I was looking for, but I have bookplates!

Turns out there is no escort, so I am the escort today for delivering the party to Powells and to taking them to the airport.

So, today, off and running with Godson's Wife, and ... whatever the day brings.

I met them last night at the hotel, I took them Voodoo Donuts (the trademark one) and then sat in the lobby with GW, returned home and found that Godzilla 2000 was on tv...

(no subject)

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:54 am
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Couldnt find my copy of the book for the nights signing, so I decided to get another there.

Sister creature wanted to come with, and she had errands to do enroute. We did manage happy hour at Chezcake factory, and we had more of the deep fried korean bbq cauliflower.

The signing had a small turnout, but a great audience, and of course, one of my lenses popped out of my glasses during the readings. sigh. Lost the tiny tiny screw, but after the event we went up to Rite Aid because they always sell the eyeglass repair kits. Fixed the glasses and then meandered on home.

Talked to my Wicked Evil Stepmommy, and making tentative plans of a sort while she will be at my brothers. But, we all know, everything is subject to change without notice.

Today... looking for my Liu books and anthologies. Meeting Godsons wife and co this evening when they get into PDX.

(no subject)

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:19 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Haircuts went well, getting there was more work than we wanted, between bridge closures, road closures, ambulances, firetrucks, et all.. it was a lot of effort. But, we made it and got a decent parking spot. There were even fires alongside 213 which jammed the beginning of our drive.

Our hairdresser is going to be on DIY channels Tiny Luxury program! She is an amazing person, who does a great job on hair, so for her and her hubby to do this is awesome! so, August 10th!

We meandered on back after our haircuts, I had gone up to Finnegan's toys to see if they had any of the new Egypt Playmobile sets (I already got the new pyramid) but they didnt, but I did get the new catalog and I have to decide what I want and how to order it. We had our late lunch at Elephants, stopped by the Zupans, and a couple other places.

Today, not really sure, I have to find my copy of Witchy Eye if I want to make it to the signing tonight, and I have to chat with my Wicked Evil Stepmommy, she turns 80 this month and I wanted to be there, and it turns out that my sister in law has already made plans for the family. I can work with that, and it means I dont have to do the drive. She will be staying with them for the weekend as it were, and we having a family party for her.

[me] Update on MiALFM

Jul. 13th, 2017 01:10 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
D moved in to her room at her chosen assisted living facility today.

Despite her being resolutely and bravely determined to do this, despite the movers being wonderful, despite all the staff being lovely, despite all the residents being super friendly and even outgoing, despite her room turning out to have rather more space in it when her furniture was in it that we expected, despite everything being about as optimal as one could possibly dream of...

It was still utterly wrenching and distressing for D. At one point I was reassuring her that this was normal, and said not to underestimate the challenge this was for her. "It's probably the hardest thing you've done in forty years," I said, thinking of her divorce. "Ninety," she corrected me.

I fully expect for her to adjust substantially in a day or two, but right now it's all terrifying, anguishing, infuriating, and all-round overwhelming.

[personal profile] tn3270 took yesterday, today, and tomorrow off from work to be with her. He spent the day before the move over her house, helping her pack and generally being an emotionally stabilizing presence. He slept over, and ran the move; I traveled up to meet them a little before noon. I helped with the unpacking and setting up the space, and being emotional support; we had lunch there with her. Then he and I went back to her house to get some things they forgot (her cane!). Then we spent more time hanging with her in her room, being supportive. Then she dismissed us, and said she was all set, and we could go home. I informed her that we'd leave, but we'd be in the area (North Shore) for some time, and to call if she needed us back. She insisted she wouldn't. She did, about three hours later. We didn't leave until around 7:45pm.

[personal profile] tn3270 will be there tomorrow morning to spend the day with her. Friday will be her first day there without us. I think [personal profile] tn3270 is planning on being there on Saturday and we'll both go up to visit Sunday afternoon. Hopefully by that point everything will be much more familiar and she will be more confident in her ability to navigate it all, and in the staff's kindness and availability to help her.

ETA, Thursday 2:15pm, just got off the phone with [personal profile] tn3270: Last night when D was freaking out a la I CAN'T LIVE HERE IF THIS IS HOW THE PLACE MAKES ME FEEL O GOD SIDEREA WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY, I reassured her it was temporary and she would feel 80% better tomorrow. This morning she felt 80% better. \o/

[personal profile] tn3270, however, is not unexpectedly something of a wreck. He had been planning on spending the whole day, but later in the morning D announced that she had to learn to handle the place on her own, and he clearly needed some rest, so she ordered him home to bed. So he's home taking a nap now.

I am beginning to wonder if we've found the best assisted living facility on earth. They've, top to bottom, been incredibly helpful and easy to work with, and they are so understanding and considerate and cooperative. Like, usually there's a fee for room service, but we told them that she needs to hermit a bit in her room to adjust and they're waiving the fee. Like, one of the staff had me literally coach him how to approach her for her maximal comfort. The staff are following our instructions about how to handle encountering her in her room, and it's apparently going really well. Staff are dropping by one at a time to introduce themselves, so she's learning who people are at a steady slow drip, on her own turf, rather than all at once in busy congregate areas.

D continues to impress me with her determination and guts. There's three options for breakfast at this place: the dining room (restaurant-style service), room service, and a continental breakfast set out in a "kitchen"-style lounge on each floor. This morning, she decided to go check out the continental breakfast, even though she could have had room service, and she's terrified she'll get lost in the hallways. Apparently she loved it, and met another resident who is a regular at the continental breakfast. Crucially, she discovered that the continental breakfast has better coffee than she can make herself, and promptly did something that was tantamount to deciding never to make coffee for herself again: she told [personal profile] tn3270 to take away her coffee maker.

Note, she had asked us yesterday to fetch her her coffee maker from home on our trip to pick up the cane. [personal profile] tn3270 assured me it was safe and she could leave it on for days without it burning down the building, aeb the fact her home was still standing. So we brought it to her; and now she's decided she doesn't need it after all. Transitional objects come in many forms, yall.

I think, ironically, one of the things exacerbating this transition for D has been that D has been pushing herself too hard, and not allowing for her own emotional limits. For instance, she broadsided [personal profile] tn3270 and I with the announcement at the intake assessment on move-in day, that she wanted the medication-administration service after all, which has a variety of emotional challenges for her, which suddenly got dumped on top of her move-in stresses. Now, we think having her meds administered to her is great, we're all in favor of this, I had asked them about the service weeks ago anticipating it might become necessary. But D didn't talk to either of us first, and just up and did this on the one day she really, really didn't need additional stressors. I wasn't there for that meeting; when I arrived, she was already fully into OH GOD SIDEREA DID I MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE ASKING THEM TO DO MY MEDS?!

Had I been at that meeting and had I known how badly it would throw her for a loop on a day that was already looking like a serving of cheerios, I would have put my foot down and insisted that she was going to self-administer for now, and we could discuss it again in a week. Because, ironically, the facility can't immediately start administering her meds, anyways. So all she got herself was the stress of knowing this was coming, without any of the relief of someone taking that chore off her hands. She's still stuck self-administering her meds anyways, for the time being. This is seriously worst-of-both-worlds. Oh, D.

With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had known to have a conversation with her in advance about make no changes to the plan for the first week. And also that I had realized just how much her best character features can set her up for failure, and that she needed someone to tell her to take her move as easy as she can. Me, I in her situation would have been like NOPE, WHATEVER IT IS CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER MY MOVE IN, ALL MY COPE IS BOOKED – hell, it is how I've handled her move, and I'm not even the one moving. It never occurred to me that she would multiply her own stressors like that out of a sense of "should".

So she's been making decisions on "it would be good for me" basis in blithe disregard for her own human limitations. Thus she exceeds her limits of cope, and melts down. Then she starts catastrophizing like she's trying to make the US Olympic catastrophizing team.

Things we've successfully done that were super helpful:

1) Not believing her when she airily declares that she'll be fine, and have plans in place for when she is (inevitably) not fine after all.

2) [personal profile] tn3270 taking those three days off. There was a point late on Wednesday, the move-in day, when D was freaking out and the following approximate dialog happened:

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: Mom, I'm going to be here tomorrow and you won't be all alone.

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'M GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW. I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF WORK.

D: ... you're coming after work?

[personal profile] tn3270: No, in the morning.

D: What about your job?!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF. I'LL BE HERE ALL DAY.

D: You'll be here tomorrow?

[personal profile] tn3270: YES, MA.

(Of course, he had gone over this plan with her numerous times in previously. But when when she gets going into a freakout, it doesn't matter what she has been told. If she's afraid of being alone, that becomes the cognition I WILL BE ALONE, which overwrites any less emphatic contradictory information in her memory. We're just lucky that it didn't manifest in the delusional certainty that [personal profile] tn3270 would be in a car accident on the way up.)

3) We quite deliberately established a pattern of "go away and come back". For instance, there were some things she needed today from her house: rather than go to her house first to pick them up and then go visit her, [personal profile] tn3270 first went to see her, then made a round trip to the house to pick up the things and brought them to her. This manufactured for her a span of time when she was alone in her room, but knew her son was coming right back. We did this on move-in day, too, at several removes – leaving her in her room to go talk to staff about things but still being on-site, leaving the facility to go pick things up for her with a plan of returning soon, and leaving the facility but staying the local area (with no scheduled return) for her to be able to call us back; and of course the go-away-come-back of finally our going home and [personal profile] tn3270 coming back the next day.

This seems to be really working for her. It's giving her some control over how alone she's being, which allows her to balance her independence and need for solitude with her anxiety about being abandoned and neglected, and provide her adequate scaffolding for learning to tolerate that separation. Attachment theory FTW!

4) Lots of doting on her: I brought her flowers; [personal profile] tn3270 got her some nice new sheets for her bed; lots of hugs and kisses and back rubs and literal handholding.

5) I helped her do some moving in things that were familiar domestic tasks (making the bed, organizing her kitchenette, etc) which were re-skilling, and marvelously distracting and organizing for her. I got her to give me orders about how she wanted things in her room, which she found soothing and calming.

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:26 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Got up earlier than ususal because I wanted to do a few things before my PT appt. I only did a few things, and the PT was interesting, I am more flexible in some of the range of motion, but, I have stressed the bits in the right arm and I am supposed to "rest" it in a fashion. I have a new TENS unit, with supposedly non sticky pads as to not trigger the allergies. It comes with rechargeable batteries even.

Wandered towards Beaverton, but was slow in things, so I didnt make a few stops. Book Club was good, despite that I didnt read the book, yes, it looked good, but, it didnt interest me. Next month we doing a Mieville, so I have better hopes on it.

Got a lovely birthday prezzie from M, I got a New Evil! and its one I had been eyeing for some time, but, I try not to get them all... (well, I had bought the new Ursula...lets be honest here)

After BC, it was over to New Seasons to get a loaf of non enriched, not additive bread, and then over to Target because I had to pay my bill.

Met up with the sister creature for a late night snack at Shari's, she was in a mood due to having to spend the day with her mother in Mac... I did have to not snark when she was saying that her mother had FIVE curling irons in her bathroom still in boxes! why did she even have them! That her mother dug at her about all of her own crap and how many items she has. I did settle for mentioning that the only reason that my sister has multiples of things is that every time she moved, she would pack up what she had and then never open the boxes again. This is just about every move she has made in the last 40 years, but in the past two moves, she has actually started to go through some of those boxes.

Today, sister and I are getting our haircuts, not sure what else will follow..

100 Demon Dialogues

Jul. 12th, 2017 01:19 pm
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

For the past several months, Lucy Bellwood (author of the delightful nautical graphic novel Baggywrinkles: A Lubber's Guide to Life at Sea) has been posting a series of single-panel comics titled 100 Demon Dialogues. You can find the full series here.

They are little vignettes of conversation between herself and her inner demon, a personification of all the insecurities and doubts that any creative person (really, any person) is prone to. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, frequently thought-provoking, they're one of the better reflections of basic inner life that I've seen.

The series ended today, and the much-demanded Kickstarter opened at the same time. She's collecting the cartoons into a book (both soft and hardcover), and producing a plushie little demon.

There's a fun little cartoon on the Kickstarter page that introduces the project. I'm getting both the book and plushie -- frankly, I had decided that I wanted the collected book even before she announced that she was going to do a Kickstarter for it. I want it for my own personal reflection, but I suspect it may also be an good book for helping kids work through their feelings and understand that grown-ups aren't as secure as all that, so parents may particularly want to give it a look.

Check it out, and spread the word: it looks like it's going to be a great result, from a fine artist who is really hitting her stride...

jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

Okay, yes -- complaining about how creepy Facebook can be is shooting fish in a barrel.

Still, I was taken aback by the notification I just got there. Un-asked-for, it popped up with, "You last updated your profile 2 weeks ago." Which, on the one hand, is just a statement of fact. But it's a statement loaded with connotation.

Seriously -- why is Facebook telling me this? When I have something I care to say on my Profile, I say it. I don't need reminders -- I certainly don't need automatic, non-opt-in reminders after only two weeks of profile inactivity. And mind you, this isn't saying "you haven't posted" -- I post to FB moderately often. This is saying that I haven't revealed new and updated information about myself.

There's a weird sense that FB is trying to guilt-trip me for not being sufficiently naked: that the system and the audience have the right to know everything that happens in my life, and that if a whole two weeks have gone by without updating my profile, something is clearly wrong.

Yes, it's a little thing. But it's the combination of all those little things that remind me of why I dislike and distrust Facebook...

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