I learned earlier today that the accessory store Claire's has non-corrective glasses. I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, most of us do try to choose our glasses based on how they look on us; on the other hand, they're still adaptive devices, and I keep thinking there'd be something Off about buying fake hearing aids for the look. Except hearing aids are often chosen to be not visible...
 
 
 
 
27 July 2017 @ 04:44 pm

Kameron Hurley wrote a piece about the very real anger and fear she feels about the current Republican effort to destroy the ACA.

It's called A Open Letter to All My Bullshit Relatives Cheering on My Impending Death.

I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you're a GOP or Trump voter.
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Velocity: angry
Position: Jackson, WY
 
 
[crossposted]
I think I just experienced the platonic ideal of busking where one is not supposed to be. I went down the stairs to the orange line at Metro Center and there were three guys singing close harmony oldies like My Girl or Lion Sleeps Tonight . They had a great sound and were nowhere near as loud as they likely could have been. They could be ignored if one wanted but for me and many they added a smile to the somewhat longer than usual wait.
I've been losing an inordinate amount of time to FB arguments in the last couple days. I think there's been a little bit of good done, but mostly I'm just dismayed.

I feel like there's factions of the left who consider nuance anathema, and there's factions on the right that have their own Truth regardless of any evidence presented, and even seem to considering providing any support to an assertion to be a sign of weakness. It's maddening.

I bowed out of one of the 'conversations' with the Right after a recounting of recent history re how no, a goodly part of the Left would have liked something far less conservative than the ACA was met with "that's the most ridiculous thing i've seen all day' and my linking to Leiberman's threat to filibuster any public option was derided for, well, specifically why wasn't particularly explained. I bowed out with a reference to The DR Who quote about people who change the facts to match their views and posted a We Are Doomed rant* on my own page.

One comment there was incredibly apt, and dovetailed with some of what [personal profile] somewanker has said about Authoritarian Thinking:
Fundamentally, I think it's trust-based truth vs senses/reasoning-based truth. Those of us in the senses camp can't really fathom how much the trust-based folks (some of them; some of them are ON OUR SIDE, and we don't run up against it until they buy a load of crap from somewhere else) fashion their sense of reality based on trust of sources rather than evidence until we hit a giant wall of nope.


And on the other side, I've got a thread going about Virtue Signaling, which I find an incredibly useful concept, and am surprised at how few people were familiar with it. A number of people were only familiar with it as being dismissive of folks on the Left. Thing is, there's certainly an aspect of People Being Publicly Upset About Whichever Injustice, and in some circles the more distraught one is about injustice the more one Belongs and Is A Good Person in that circle. And that can get toxic real fast, both by getting in the way of real action (I learned last night that in some activist circles SJW refers to white people who post about injustice and don't volunteer time or money to address anything) and inhibiting communication because there's social points in being angry at the other person in the conversation rather than looking for common ground.

But everything is virtue signaling. The concept initially came from public religiosity. There's driving a Prius. There's the company putting "we get our power from wind!" on their entry door. There's a goodly portion of what we all post on social media. There's my pictures at Honor Flight. Hell, for the people who think it's great, there's the weird "let's make the truck belch black smoke." But it doesn't have to be cynical, and it doesn't have to be conscious.

I think the kind where reactions are ramped up in order to belong, though, that's not a good thing.

Anyway. That's one thing that took up a lot of my time yesterday and also some today.

I intended to acro and didn't leave in time, but that meant that I eventually made it to a dance in VA that I haven't been to in ages, with geeky swing and jazz music from a traveling band. I'll have to look up the name. I didn't get to the dance anywhere near when intended either, but it went long, and I'm really only at an hour of swing/lindy for my ankle.

Fringe extension is on.



*
"We're so effing doomed. We have segments of society who are completely impervious to outside information and delight in it. And have rewritten for themselves even recent history. And they vote.
(I just had a conversation about some of the background of the ACA. Except I didn't. I had someone assert a prior post of mine was that ACA was foisted upon the country by Republicans (that is not at all what I'd said), flat out dismiss anything I or another person said about Romneycare or Lieberman as fantasy, and refuse to back up any assertion of his own. Everybody in his post seems to be coming from the same frame of reference. When I referenced the below quote, he decided it applied to me. He can't see this post because the whole thing is so depressing and upsetting. If you really want to know the rest send me a message, but I need to fold laundry and leave for acro now.)"
 
 
 
 
27 July 2017 @ 03:56 pm



Over the last decade, Orbit US, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, has quickly established itself as one of the premiere publishers of science fiction and fantasy, and a reliable source for everything from innovative works of science fiction to blockbuster epic fantasies. To celebrate the milestone, a selection of landmark Orbit titles is currently available on Nook for just $2.99 each, but we wanted to do more than point you toward some great titles, so we asked Orbit’s publisher, Tim Holman, to share a bit of history. Below his comments, you’ll find a timeline of key dates in Orbit’s history.

More here
 
 
 
 
Firstly, it takes very little discussion of regulations for my eyes to glaze over. Secondly, and far less constructively, if someone proposes a system that relies on genres like science fiction and fantasy being distinct rather than overlapping sets, I will start thinking about the worthy works that live in the overlap.
 
 
 
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 01:23 pm
 Reminder: if you're frustrated because I'm only doing one novel a year, you can get a MONTHLY fix of fiction via my Patreon....

A new short story guaranteed every month, for just $1, plus additional levels of Stuff!

https://www.patreon.com/LAGilman

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26 July 2017 @ 02:01 pm
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
 
 
 
 
How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.
 
 
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 11:12 am

On Friday, July 14th, the girlfriend and I went over to the Animal Adoption Center here in Jackson. Someone came home with us. We still don't have a name for her (I've suggested Purrito, but that's been vetoed. Given the date she came home, maybe I should push for Marianne).

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Position: Jackson, WY
Velocity: cheerful
 
 
 
26 July 2017 @ 09:13 am
My honorary nephew Alex had posted the meme with an opossum going "Summer lovin', happened so fast; summer lovin', he scream at own ass" over on Facebook. For some reason, I put "Sumer" in there. This was the result.

Naturally based on Summer Nights from Grease.

Sumer lovin', we did well mesh )
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25 July 2017 @ 09:30 pm
[personal profile] jothra went to a library sale last week and asked if I had any requests: "Weird 70s Gothics? Trixie, Belden?"

"WEIRD 70S GOTHICS PLEASE," I said, and Jo duly carried out her commission so well that I don't know if anybody's ever going to top it:



Portrait in Jig-Saw is apparently so obscure it doesn't even have a Goodreads page, which, having read it, I can honestly now say is kind of a shame.

Our Heroine's name is Alixander David Somerlaid MacDonald (I KNOW), otherwise known as Alisdair; she is a Strictly Sheltered Heiress who has been raised in a Freezing Castle in Complete Isolation and Solitude with only occasional visits from her father until she comes of age on her 21st birthday.

...for the record, the year is 1973.

My legit favorite part about these spoilers is that the entire plot relies on an alternate universe where the world's most famous postmodern novelist is a Thai princess, I want to live in THAT universe! )
 
 
At Readercon, I said that my Twitter usage was basically "open, see if Ursula Vernon has live-tweeted more of reading Swiss Family Robinson, close," and that remains true. But I promised to provide links to various people, and having opened tonight to see that a reading is in progress, I should follow through.

So:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855253438623625217 (April 20)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855601923155689472 (April 21)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/855972038800023552 (April 22)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/857428575955419136 (April 26)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861402977675902977 (May 7)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861776626996129793 or https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/861805896590143488 and scroll up, it isn't threading properly) (May 8)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/864320654379798530 (May 25)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/868292932406784000 (May 26)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/871216625730674688 (June 4)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/872294427045318656 (June 6)

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/878827410568990720 (June 24)

and, now in progress:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/890028466393010177

Enjoy. (I will update this post as needed, to have everything in one place.)
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The Order of Truth's Aeon Priests have resurrected our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the tabletop science-fantasy roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future.



Bundle the first and bundle the second
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Retweeted by Matt Leger

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Soundtrack: Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here, in head
Position: waiting for a doctor
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 11:15 pm
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?
 
 
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 07:55 pm
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?
 
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 12:39 pm
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.
 
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 11:44 am




posted on Twitter for Canada tourism

(Click to see the original, which is twice as wide and high.)

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Soundtrack: Banned From Argo, in head
 
 
If you buy through the Amazon Smile links on the titles, a portion of your purchase price will go to Doctors Without Borders.


Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One
by April Daniels
(Goodreads, 4.13 stars ·  1,008 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews  )

An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.

Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.


And the sequel has just been released:

Sovereign: Nemesis - Book Two
(Goodreads, 4.05 stars ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews)

The highly anticipated sequel to Dreadnought, featuring “the most exciting new superheroes in decades.” (Kirkus, starred review)


Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there's more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.


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23 July 2017 @ 09:40 pm
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)
 
 
 
 
23 July 2017 @ 09:03 pm
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.
 
 
 
 
23 July 2017 @ 06:54 pm
It was a while since I last posted a filk song here. I haven't quit writing them, but most songs lately have been very situational or little more than fragments. But I finished this one today, named "Steve" after Steve Rogers (in Captain America: The First Avenger) and Steve Trevor (in Wonder Woman). Because, even if the films are very different in tone and message, and the two characters are dissimilar, the two Steves manage to hit the same points in roughly the same order:

  • Played by an actor named Chris (Evans and Pine, respectively)
  • Gets stuck far away from the fighting
  • Gets together with a dark-haired beauty, who helps him
  • Enlists the aid of a small band of companions, in a bar
  • Drives a motorbike through the woods
  • Flies of in an aircraft loaded with weapons of mass destruction in the end


It is based on the song "Balladen om den kaxiga myran" (YouTube) by Stefan Demert.

Jag uppstämma vill min lyra )
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from io9

In a World Without Fantastic Four Comics, DC Basically Decided to Make Their Own
7/23/17 10:55am




For the past few years, the Fantastic Four have been absent—both in Marvel’s comics universe and in reality. Although Marvel seems to be uninterested in filling this hole in the comics landscape, it appears DC is more than willing to give it a go: say hello to the Terrifics, DC’s own quirky quartet.


The series, created by Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis, will be part of DC’s new Dark Matter imprint, which is spearheading a whole bunch of series coming out of the Dark Nights event that’s about to get underway. The roster is definitely unique enough to be Fantastic Four-esque, and even brings back some DC heroes who’ve been mostly absent the comics over the course of the New 52 and DC Rebirth—Plastic Man, Phantom Girl, Metamorpho, and then titular team leader himself, Mr. Terrific.


click headline for full article


Me, I'm delighted to see Plastic Man back. Let's see what he's like this time.

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23 July 2017 @ 08:32 am
I don't like haiku.
They never make any sense.
Hand me that hammer.
 
 
 
 
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.
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22 July 2017 @ 09:08 pm
This is on my Google calendar for this afternoon from 1:30 to 1:45:

Trip me tryout x yt? Yt? T xxfcxffxfxffxfxfxfxfftxxxfcxfffffyyyyxxxffffng*hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhvhghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbhvhhhhhvhhhhhhhvhhhgh Hvbhgbghhghhhhhhvhhhh Chubb hhhhhh Hvbhgbghhghhhh hh Hvbhgbghhghhhh uhh h by hvh chubby uhh bunchhh huh huh huh bunch h chubby h chubby uhh hhh hubby h by h gabbing Hvbhgbghhghhhh uhh vh Hvbhgbghhghhhh hubby hhh bubba hubby v Hugh h chubby h chubby hubbub uhh Hvbhgbghhghhhh bbq hub h chubby vhhh huh Hvbhgbghhghhhh g Hvbhgbghhghhhh uhh uhh gh hubbub Hvbhgbghhghhhh hubby hubbub h NBC rhetoric thuggery yt? YT? the b hungry nb thuggery yt? Ttxtxtffxt yfyyyytxfgy thYahoo iiyygy box
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Soundtrack: Frank McLaughlin-Gillian M..., The Black Isle/..., on Pandora Celtic Radio
Velocity: cheerful
 
 
22 July 2017 @ 08:53 pm
My Friday reviews rotated between four long running series? Say, Vorkosigan, Kitty and two others?
 
 
 
 
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )
 
 
 
 
22 July 2017 @ 04:50 am
I wrote the below over on FB:
I just saw the Changeling Child and it was, bar none, my favorite show this Fringe. A sequel to Midsummer Night's Dream, a generation along, and really sweet. One last performance tomorrow (Saturday) at 145p at Atlas. I'll be seeing something nearby so might even be able to meet up first to loan a button. Srsly, try to see it :). Fringe goes thru Sunday plus a few shows extended but sadly not this one.
There was a bit of screaming and gnashing of teeth involved: I dictated something like it into safari facebook on my phone a few minutes after wandering off from chatting with Tommx and Erica, and then it offered tagging someone and I hit 'back' and it took me back to my notifications. Then I went through typing it in again, since at the fringe bar it was too loud for dictation, and just before I was to hit post, the phone turned itself off, out of power. I finally posted from [personal profile] exsmof's phone.

Anyway, it was delightful. I wasn't laughing as much as I did in One in Four, but it's also a whole play, and sweet, and extremely well done.

Less than 10 hours before I'm ticketed to Exit pursued by bear. 2pm, Atlas.

I somehow doubt I'll get to Trey Parker's Cannibal The Musical at 11:15.


Might try to get to something more tomorrow or Sunday. Been thinking to get to Heroes' Tale.

Debating Exit Carolyn. If I go to the 7p I can't go to an acro thing in Rockville, though it does put me pretty close to a party...

Oh! Yeah, Clara Bow: Becoming It was worthwhile, and is at 3:45.

and ugh. I really have to go to sleep. Oh hell, I think I may have said I'd meet [personal profile] badmagic ahead of Exit for lunch. eep.
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21 July 2017 @ 10:46 am
Gah. I decided not to go to Rockville to another evening of shiva last night because I really really needed to do something about my apartment and look at flights and such, for my own sanity. Going to the free fringe production of Shakespeare in the Pub then back home with K seemed like it would be a good compromise - how to turn down 11 women who've been drinking, a couple of whom I knew, doing a read through of Titus Andronicus with enough fake blood there were warnings re what clothes to wear? But the info had said 1.5 hrs. I hadn't expected 6:45 to end at 9:05, and I even more regret staying for Abortion Road Trip*.

Because really pathetically I don't trust myself to get anything done alone.

*everybody else seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did. There were some strong performances, but I really hated the acting of one of the characters, and I was annoyed by the character with the most lines, and I was distracted by finding fault with the initial premise. Also? Neither K nor the guy on the other side of me had any memory of the character,"Mom."
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