The Blood is the Life for 21-10-2017

Oct. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Query

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
All my life I've been niggled by the worry that the Egyptians were right about the afterlife, and that everybody we've excavated is now wandering around naked and hungry.  Anybody else? 
nostalgia: (ds9 - sisko lol)
[personal profile] nostalgia
Okay I am caught up on Discovery, pls link me to your posts that I have previously skipped to avoid Teh Spoilarz.

the quorn show )

The Blood is the Life for 20-10-2017

Oct. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: Sarah Jane Smith)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... and while not everybody on these two playlists fits the definition of feminist or metal (especially not metal, TBH) I would say that these two spotify playlists are the place to start:

Emma Jay Olsen's Angry Feminist Playlist
and my very own Ladies Who Rock

But in terms of feminist metal bands, you can't go far wrong with:

Hysterica (esp Heels)
McQueen (esp Not For Sale)
Wicked Wisdom (esp You Can't Handle)
Halestorm (esp Rock Show - principally because I've never heard anything capture that feeling better)
In This Moment (esp Comanche - we've took all we can and we won't take any more)
and of course
Skunk Anansie (esp Rise Up)
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Not much to report back, really. It was the debrief meeting. It was mostly us examining the things you lot had reported back to us.

I fed back all the things that you folks asked me to feed back in this and this post; pretty much all of them were received loud and clear. Especially popular was [personal profile] hollymath's suggestion that we put "would you benefit from step-free access" rather than "are you a wheelchair user" on Speaker's cards; this is definitely going to be done, hopefully for spring, but if not then for next autumn.

I've been given more work to do, which is mostly my own fault for volunteering to sort shit out. Nick Da Costa and I have to redesign the end of conference survey, so if you have any specific ideas about that do let me know. Is it too long, too short, too fiddly, etc? What questions do you think should be asked, and which ones do you think should be retired? As usual, I can;t promise to act on every suggestion, but I promise to at least read and respond to every suggestion.

Specifically regarding the app, which I know a few of you talked about: there was a feeling that we've sunk a lot of time and effort into the bespoke app, and it gets better every time - which it definitely does - and the developer is very responsive to requests for changes, so Grenadine is not going to fly. The specific comments about line numbers and clock hiding and too much nesting are definitely going to be fed back to the developer, so if those aren't sorted out for Spring you can take me to one side, spank me, and call me Gerald.

I'm going to go get a well deserved drink now.

FCC Meeting 19th October 2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 06:19 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I'm attending this meeting right now, by dialing in to the phone conference machine in the middle of the meeting room.

It's interesting to note who has a clear speaking voice and who doesn't. No, I couldn't possibly name names :P

Will report back on actual happenings later...

ETA: Have just been christened The New Gareth Epps due to my scathing comments about real ale provision; I'm taking that as the compliment it was doubtless meant to be

The Blood is the Life for 19-10-2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Yorkshire)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So, my friend made a game. It's a classic point and click adventure in the style of things like Monkey Island. You click on things, you talk to characters, you solve puzzles, you win the game. Except... I thought Monkey Island was dead boring. This is not dead boring. I've even played the tutorial through three times, just to see what the different answers do, because it's so laugh out loud funny.

So yes, I'm slightly biased here because the game is made by someone I know, and is set in a fictionalised version of a town two train stops away, and my daughter voices one of the characters (look out for small child of indeterminate gender Little Bilge)... but this is the most fun I've had playing a game in ages. It doesn't try to screw you for more money, it doesn't make you do stupid repetitive daily tasks, it doesn't rely on ninja reaction times. It's happy to just make you laugh and warm your heart. In times like we are going through now, that's more valuable than diamonds.

Honestly, guys, you know I wouldn't bullshit you about anything involving money, I'm from Yorkshire.

Go buy Yorkshire Gubbins. You won't regret it.
everchangingmuse: (chapi's overjoyed)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
It's been a while since I've written out my happy things - nuggets of delight that fill me with glee, as Deb Stanish from Verity! podcast says. So, it's time to think of and express those ideas and objects that make me grin.

1. Fox's The Gifted: Oh my god, this, THIS is the show I have wanted for years. I know I've mentioned it before, but I've just today caught up on the last two weeks' worth of episodes, and the series does not disappoint. Freaking Rory Campbell is in this show! One of my favorite human characters from Excalibur's middle years, when the team was based on Muir Isle with Moira. And Rory's expressing the darker side of his nature here. So amazing! I'm also really enjoying Lorna's side story, and cannot wait for her to return to the main group - she'd better return to the main group. But the acting, the effects, the stories being told.... It's just perfect. It's the X-Men show I wanted and didn't realize how badly I wanted until it was on the air in front of me.

2. Nanowrimo prep!: I think I've settled on a premise for this year's nanovel! This excites me to no end. I have more prep to do - characters to flesh out, more actual story beats, plotting
the resolution super heavily, since that's the part where I always fall apart, no matter what - but I'm excited about the idea enough that I'm wishing November was sooner.

3. Family!: I talked with both my brother and my sister over the weekend. I talk to my sister every other week or so, but I hadn't talked to my brother since he'd been up to see me the week after my surgery two months ago. He got a new phone and sent out a mass text with his new number, so I got to update his contact info and send him a text to call me when it was convenient. Got the call an hour later.

4. My Bullet Journal: This thing (these things, since I have my school one as well) is a lifesaver. I'm feeling more productive, even if I move tasks to another day. I can see my habits and how I approach various chores or "to-dos" and make notes about all the cool and not-so-cool stuff that happens. I'm doing my nano prep in my BuJo, as well as keeping track of all the Power Rangers episodes I've watched. There are over 800 episodes, so seeing the progress as I go through in order is pretty cool. And I'm a lot more aware of spending money, now that I've added a personal spending tracker to the month. I've kind of shunned buying a lot of stuff, because I don't want to fill the page (lol). But, considering one of my goals this month was to watch what I spend, I think that's a good thing.

5. New Expounded Universe episode with dinner tonight!: My wife and I have been listening to one of the System Mastery splinter podcasts, which is Jeff and John riffing on old Star Wars: Expanded Universe novels every other week. They're still in their first book, which is the famous (infamous?) Shadow's of the Empire from the late 90s, just before the prequels dropped. And it is hilarious listening them recap, explain, and go WTF at this book. It has become a shared activity for us as a couple, and episode 10 JUST dropped about 45 minutes ago as I type. So, we're listening over dinner tonight. If you're a super hardcore EU fan, I'd stay away, but if you like people who like the same things you do and make fun of them and call them out where deserved, then give it a listen. I will say, between this and watching The Clone Wars on Netflix, I've gotten a lot more into Star Wars in recent weeks.

6. Movie Trailers: Okay, it's just two movies' trailers, but still. First, The Last Jedi. The edits make it look like I'm going to be very sad and angry at Kylo Ren in December. And I'm going to be frustrated with Luke. But OMG that trailer is brilliant. It looks gorgeous, it hits the right emotional notes (Carrie Fisher's expressions make me tear up, no lie). And then, and then! The trailer for The New Mutants has me SO EXCITED I CAN'T EVEN!!! It looks scary as shit, features Dani really heavily, and is inspired by the Demon Bear Saga?! Heck yeah! I can't wait to see how they do Warlock. I'm already loving the looks for the other kids. And there are rumors that the idea was pitched as a mutant-horror trilogy! Please, please, please! I know Fox has its own Legion series, but doing some of the Legion stories with the New Mutants would work really well in that vein.

Bonus X-Men movie news: Apparently Dark Phoenix just wrapped principal filming. Squee!!! This next year is the year of Mutants, and it makes me so delighted.

What is making you happy this week?

The Blood is the Life for 18-10-2017

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 This looks like another "young outcast discovers his powers" book.  Wow, is it not.   Trust me. In the very first scene, Kellen needs to fight a magecaster's duel.  

There are three requirements to earning a mage's name among the JanTep.  The first is the strength to defend your family.  The second is the ability to wield the high magics that protect our people.  The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen.  I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn't be doing any of those things.

And we're off, into the duel.  Kellen's problem is that he doesn't have magic.   This is not a survivable problem.   But Kellep does have a very, very clever mind.  In a lesser book, Kellep would discover his magic and wipe the floor with his opponent, winning the acclaim of the crowd. 

This is not a lesser book.  Spellslinger is actually about a young outcast discovering and creating his own moral fiber.  Kellep's struggle, although he doesn't realize it early in the book, is to become a decent human being in an indecent society.  This is a far more interesting coming-of-age story than you usually get.   When the Mysterious Stranger shows up, she's not a kindly wizard mentor.  She's (possibly) not a wizard at all. She doesn't teach Kellep: she gives him opportunities to teach himself.  Kellep acquires some new resources, but they are challenges as much as gifts.

Oh, the Mysterious Stranger kicks ass.  I can't say more, because it would be a spoiler.  She is compelling and ambiguous and funny and tough.

The characters are engrossing.  The worldbuilding is unusual and clever. It's partly based around an original variant of a Tarot deck, but is in no way woo-woo; the cards do not predict your future, but (sometimes) illuminate your choices. The cards are playing cards, but are also a weapon.   The cards have nothing to do -- as far as we know -- with the magic of the JanTep.

The book itself is gorgeous, in a way that made me extremely nostalgic.  The red-and-black cover has two line drawings of the main characters, presented as a face card. (Don't look too closely at Kellep; it's a spoiler.)  Red is used as a spot color, very effectively.  There are interior illustrations of relevant Tarot cards at the beginning of each section.  And the page edges (forget the technical term) are red!  Taken as a whole, the book looks a bit like a deck of cards, which is, I'm sure intentional.

Here's the catch.  There (as of time of writing) no U.S. or Canadian distributor of Spellslinger or its sequel, Shadowblack.  If you're in North America and want to read them, you'll have to order from the, in my experience, reliable, fast, and cheap www.bookdepository.com or an equivalent.

Note: de Castell's Greatcoat books are also awesome.  If you like the Musketeers books, you should love them.  The nice thing is that they preserve the essential "three duelists against the world" spirit without either copying the plots or being pastiche-y.  The second nice thing is that the author is a stage fight choreographer and is able to communicate fights clearly to the non-fighter (me).

Kindle Update Update

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:11 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I totally can see the light when it's turned to "off", i.e. when the light meter is set to 0, but only really notice it a lot at night. You guys who claim you can't see it are either lying, or my eyes are freakish. Frankly, I think it's probably the latter, given how often one of my boys complains they can't see the dogs when we are walking them after dark and I can see them perfectly fine.

Happily, Andrew's explanation of how the light works was spot on, and it doesn't bother me like a glowy phone or computer or TV screen. To give you some idea of how Lorca-ish my eyes are, though, I have it set to 2 when I'm in bed, and 5 in daylight. It goes up to about 30, by the looks of it (haven't actually counted).

I'm really REALLY happy with the cover I got for it, which is incredibly thin and light, but still feels sturdy. It also has the autowake function, which is handy. I would genuinely rec it to anyone who has a papperwit of the requisite size (that's pretty much all of them less than 5 years old).

I think I am also going to quickly get used to having Goodreads integration, which my old Kindle was too ancient to support.

All in all, I think I made the right decision. Thanks to those of you who helped by voting and commenting and things.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... it's because the boundary commission have released their finalised report into the boundary review, and hardly anybody is happy about it. The vast majority of politicians, you see, wanted the boundary review to advantage their party and shaft their rivals. The boundary commission, meanwhile, have been scrupulously fair, and tried quite hard to advantage nobody and shaft nobody.

Now, there is a school of thought that this doesn't matter a jot because it'll never get past parliament, requiring as it does far too many turkeys to vote for Christmas. I, for one, think that would be a shame, if only for my little home patch.

The proposals for Calderdale are basically what I would have done, were I the boundary commission. A lot of my fellow Calderdale politicians will doubtless be pissing and moaning about various bits1, although having read the report, the Tories will probably be the least annoyed of us. Here are the things I am pleased about:
  1. The two constituencies make geographical sense, for the first time in my lifetime.

  2. The town I live in can no longer be almost completely ignored by three of the five active political parties in the area.

  3. We have not created a complete dead zone for the Lib Dems in the constituency I live in, which is what would have happened had the commission accepted the Lib Dem proposals2.

  4. The constituency names, while not the ones I suggested, follow the same logic3
All in all, I'm quite happy. So here's hoping the turkeys do, for once, vote for Christmas.



1I know a bunch of my fellow Lib Dems are annoyed we haven't got a winnable seat out of it, by putting all the wards with Lib Dem councillors into the same constituency. To which I would say: did you see our vote share at the last general election? And also combining wards where we have councillors is not the only way to get a winnable seat. Look at the demographics...
2Calderdale Lib Dem membership is divided pretty much half and half, which it would not have been under the proposals the party submitted. While it will annoy EVERYBODY who wanted to be in the mythical winnable seat, gives us two live constituencies to fight for, instead of one with pretty much every Calderdale activist except my household in it.
3I wanted Calderdale East and Calderdale West and they've gone for Upper Calder and Lower Calder. I can live with that. It's miles better than their initial suggestion of calling my seat Halifax, when it only had half of Halifax and two towns that are not Halifax in.

The Blood is the Life for 17-10-2017

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Holly Poly

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:14 pm
settiai: (Numinous World -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Whoever nominated all of the Numinous World relationships for Holly Poly, I love you. ♥

(If it's not someone reading this, I'm going to be very surprised. Impressed, but surprised.)

Our survey says…

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:32 pm
miss_s_b: (Pratchett: Nanny Ogg)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Obviously for data protection reasons I can't go into much detail about the responses FCC got to the end of conference survey, but I do want to highlight one small area:

The impressive number of you who said Glee was the best fringe event, and the smaller but still impressive number who said we were the best thing about conference full stop, and the hardy few who said the best way to improve conference would be to have more Glee, and the one dear sweet soul who said Glee was their main reason for coming to conference?

I am genuinely touched and I love you all. Thank you. It makes it absolutely worth trying to chair a debate with a hangover and a sore throat first thing in the morning after. You guys rule.

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 06:19 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios