daily gratitudes

Apr. 20th, 2015 04:38 pm
watersword: A large question mark and the words "he said" from Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett (Stock: ?)
[personal profile] watersword
  1. something resembling progress wrt my dev environment at work
  2. I am coping reasonably well with the 9am start time at work
  3. Jane Hirshfield on revising poetry
  4. gorgeous spring rainstorms
  5. kitten autoscript
liseuse: (aziraphale)
[personal profile] liseuse
Farm Auction

Contrails scrawl the sky under which
sawhorse-and-lumber tables offer up
the hoard and store of fifty years.
Neighbors have come to scour house
and barn and implement shed.
Yes, we’ve come to haul it all away—
their nests of pillows and quilts
and feather ticks, the glazed plates
and bread crocks, a washtub rimed
with bluing, the saltcellar and gravy boat,
her cross-stitch sampler and figurines,
canning jars, seals, lids. And spools
of baling wire, seed drills, spades,
coffee cans of bolts and bent nails,
a burlap-wrapped schnapps bottle
he kept back of the barn’s fuse box and all
his spare fuses. An aerial photo of their farm.
And even the rusted harrow in the ditch.

The auctioneer works to disperse
all their worldly goods, singing hey
somebody give me twenty now, twenty
as his wife hands over odd boxes
of cribbage boards and crucifixes
to the ladies fanning themselves
with sale bills by the tilting lilacs.
From the porch the 4-H club sells
plates of peach pie and waxy cups of pop.
Inside, the smell of silage still clings
to his chambray shirt hung
on the backdoor peg after choring.
How, in stocking feet, he loved to step
on the warm place where the dog had lain,
where dilapidated hips collapsed her
in a sleeping, yellow heap.

Now all is echo where once they sat
together with the ledger, adding columns
of crop yields and prices per bushel,
or thumbing rosaries like they shelled peas—
dutiful, dutiful to the ceaseless seasons,
to their tillage and cattle and kin.
Through the window screen comes little gusts
and the sound of the gavel coming down.

- Amy Fleury, from Sympathetic Magic. © Southern Illinois University Press, 2013

Legend of Korra

Apr. 20th, 2015 08:24 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
After Season 1 of Korra, I was unsure, but was recommended to give the second half of season 2 ago because it picked up a lot. I'm exactly half-way and I think I can see how that's going.

The first half was mixed. It was hilarious in places, and all the call-backs to parent-generation politics, in the water tribe and in Aang's children, were great.

But there was forced-relationship-played-for-laughs which was ugh :(

And the politics was all huh? Like, if you described it to someone it would all make perfect sense. A and B are strong-willed and inexperienced so they like each other but are upset with each other and don't talk. A, B and C are impatient with D and ignore them. A is somewhat inexperienced and believes all this "uniting the tribe for everyone's good" and "don't take sides" stuff and totally misses the guy invading your homeland is the bad guy. That's all really realistic! But on screen it just stands out as "huh"? You never SEE someone's motivation for acting high-handedly, it always feels tacked-on even when it ought to feel natural.

And to a lesser extent the same with the world-building -- I'm constantly being surprised by the number of high-court judges or soldiers or police a given society can support, and I don't care if the numbers make sense, as long they look like they fit and don't feel like they're constantly changing the plot under you.

And the old-school tv/radio recaps at the start of each episode are amazing, they really add to the episode even when you already know what happened.

But ooh, when it starts on the spirit-world stuff, that's really really good.

ETA: I also enjoyed Jim Hines' watch-through where he blogged the episodes as he saw them for the first time. I'm glad someone agrees the episode where everyone is stupid, and the characters are all assholes, for no reason is not the high point! http://jimhines.livejournal.com/tag/korra

Non-standard adjectives

Apr. 20th, 2015 08:16 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack

Mark Dominus said, Ranjit Bhatnagar proposed the notion of "non-standard adjectives". I'm sure I talked about this before, but I can't find the link.

The idea is, that a "big diamond" is a sort of diamond. But a "fake diamond" is not a diamond -- it's something like a diamond, but isn't. Likewise, something which is "definitely complete" is complete, but something which is "partially complete" is not complete. The adjective describes a way the noun applies other than usual.

An example that came up recently was "nearly unique". I still stand by "very unique" for the normal English meaning of "unique in more ways, or out of a bigger set" (I agree it's meaningless if the set in which it's unique is specified, but that's really rare in normal language rather than maths). But I said that "nearly unique" should be acceptable to everyone, in that it means something that isn't unique, but is close to it.

However, I've a feeling I said something recently that came across as wrong, or misleading, or hurtful, and I wanted to quite this explanation to say that that's not what I meant, but I can't remember what it was. Sorry :(

Tough questions

Apr. 20th, 2015 05:19 pm
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
[personal profile] liv
This comes from an access-locked post, a set of five quite interesting questions, so I thought I'd pass it on as the questions themselves are not original to the OP, and I'm not betraying any secrets by propagating the meme.

Apparently some newspaper claimed these are five questions people regret not asking their loved ones before they die. I'm not convinced by this, a lot of these deathbed regret things are just glurge and a way to make something sound profound, but anyway, they are interesting questions regardless of that. So, here we go:

yet more excuses to talk about myself )

Anyway, I'm staying with [personal profile] angelofthenorth currently, and we had a lovely weekend of visiting beautiful places and eating tasty food, as we often do when we manage to overcome geography and spend time together. And I'm procrastinating from a big pile of marking by answering memes and navel-gazing.
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila
Our constituency's UKIP candidate canvassed my doorstep today. Too late, I remembered I had a full watering can in my hand. Opportunity: missed.

Although I was like, "I'm a non-white non-EEA* immigrant. You're done here, bye!"

* European Economic Area

Armando Iannucci, creator of such brilliant pieces of satire as The Thick of It and Veep, reminds us that this election is wide open. So if you haven't registered to vote yet, please do it today (20 April 2015) because it's the deadline. Remember, you don't need your National Insurance number to do so (explained here).
liseuse: (cooking)
[personal profile] liseuse

The children are sleeping
and the cows and chickens are sleeping,
and the grass itself
is sleeping.
The machines are off
and the neighbor’s lights,
a half mile away, are out,
and the moon is hanging
like a powdered face
in a darkened room,
and the snow
is shining under stars
the way we are shining here
in our cold skins
under warm quilts.
We pull our shirts over our heads
and toss them to the floor
and the only thing grotesque
is the space through which
we stumble each night.
I roll to you and put my hand
on your skin. You shiver and smile,
“Cold. But not too cold.
Some cold I like.”
And draw my hand closer.
I pull it away
and jam it in my armpit,
and while I wait for the blood
I look at you, admire your face,
your neck and breasts,
your belly and thighs,
the shadowy double of you
thrown by candlelight to the wall—
There is no season, no grass
gone brown, no cold,
and no one to say we are anything
but beautiful, swimming together
across the wide channel of night.

- David Romtvedt, from Some Church (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2004)

daily gratitudes

Apr. 19th, 2015 02:50 pm
watersword: A shirtless man from the back, arms flung wide. (Stock: muscles)
[personal profile] watersword
  1. it is realio trulio spring
  2. tea
  3. deodorant
  4. itsycal
  5. leftover sausage on naan

Cookie Clicker

Apr. 19th, 2015 11:10 am
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I've been playing this on and off all week. I learned that when you reset, you can rebuild a LOT quicker. Partially due to heavenly chips, which unlock upgrades giving you a massive multiplier depending how many cookies you've baked in all games -- after three resets, each rebuilding back up to prisms an order of magnitude faster, I'm currently on about 30x faster. And that the five kitten upgrades give you a bonus for the number of achievements you have, and now I have quite a lot.

I have all the achievements it seemed at all reasonable to get -- 100 of all buildings, and 200 of about half, and all the little side-achievements like naming your bakery ("The Curious and Interesting Bakery of Dr J") and shortening the browser window to dip the cookie in the milk. And "clicknarok" for making 1 quadrillion cookies solely by clicking, and the maximum achievements for cookies per second and for total cookies baked.

And have a sense of what it's most useful for me to buy: buy the heavenly chip upgrades whenever you can, else generally the most expensive building, then kittens. Then the upgrades that double the most expensive building. And when they start to get cheap, buy the "increase cookie production 5%" cookies, those were very powerful first game, but much less powerful when you already have a 30x multiplier.

I'm not sure how often it's best to reset, I've been playing a couple of days in each game, until my multiplier has an least doubled (which required a more than 2x increase in total cookies baked).

But I'm starting to find points of diminishing returns. Once I've got a number of prisms, the next notable achievements are "50 prisms" and "100 prisms" and "kitten overseers" which need 50-100 quadrillion cookies and need a lot of waiting. And after that, there seems nothing notable to buy until I get to kitten managers at 900 quintillion. Which presumably will still only be a doubling of cps. Hmm.
batdina: (stonehenge lanning)
[personal profile] batdina posting in [community profile] poetry
Five A.M. in the Pinewoods

I'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them—I swear it!—

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

-- Mary Oliver

So I'm apparently having a run on poems about prayer. (as well as a hard time with formatting.)
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Posted by ineptshieldmaid

Rift rocks (fissure in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, ie, the meeting of the North American and Eurasian plates) for wiwaxia. Gratuitous raindrops on the lens for all :s. 6.4.15

daily gratitudes

Apr. 18th, 2015 10:30 pm
watersword: A young white woman raising a feathery Venetian mask to her face (Stock: mask)
[personal profile] watersword
  1. sleeping in
  2. delicious leftovers
  3. my parents buying me dinner to celebrate New Job
  4. the fact that when I realized I had over-ordered, I could stop eating and no one at the table tried to guilt me
  5. clean hair

WIP Poem: "Seeing Into Things"

Apr. 18th, 2015 09:40 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor sketch of arranged diatoms as seen under microscope (diatomaceous tessellation)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Snippet from the start of a poem in progress.

Through the aperture of the pupil of my eye
I can see the image of the setting sun split
into a blue sun and a red sun slightly offset
in the lens of my right eyeglass
having refracted and reflected through and through
such small slight shades of light
bent after all that way

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


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