beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
today was boring again because still unwell.
didnt go dancing, went shopping locally with employee.
have small food now and things that should be easy to eat.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've been looking at a page on wild foods, and I am a bit worried about their standards.

It keeps saying things like 'edible' and then you scroll down and it mentions don't eat too much because of the cyanide.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
today cleaner day was achieved successfully
but last night I'd had like two hours sleep
so i just did that and some sleep this afternoon.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I finished reading 'On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service', also known as 'To Visit The Queen', by Diane Duane.

It is about cats who are wizards, in the same universe as her Young Wizards books.

It's also a little difficult to summarise, because once you've got the hang of 'regular cats who live in New York, some of them with owners' and 'they do magic' then in the first book you get 'they turn into big cats when they visit an alternate universe full of dinosaur descendent intelligences' and bring that bit along to book two, and *then* it goes all steampunk, with nukes. And alternate timelines. And cats cradle is a game cats play with hyperstrings that make Gates happen? To other places and times and universes, sometimes on accident. And those instant transit gateways are located in regular transit centres, partly because the nature of gates and magic just likes it that way, so the main cats work in Grand Central as gate technicians and they get called to London to work on the gates there. Also there are prophecy ravens. And the Lone Power, Eldest, Fairest and Fallen.

Plus the fate of the cat mummies of egypt is a big plot point.

And they have to stop Queen Victoria from being assassinated.

And retrieve a book. Not a magic book, those are considerably safer.

And there's a whole lot of interpersonal stuff, but with nine life cats, so its simplest to think of them as aliens we live with but cant communicate with yet, so they're familiar and shaped by their interactions with humans and yet here presented as just a non human civilisation that runs intertwined with ours.

So, cat wizards, but... a bit complicated.

I suspect that the difficulty of summarising is why only the two books happened in paperback. I mean I'm sure there's people who'd like reading about cat society, and magic, and worldgates, and dinosaurs, and steampunk Victorian politics, its just difficult to sum up the story in a way that would get the book to its readers.

Also, possibly, difficult to get readers who want all those things at once.

But I do like them, so I'm very much looking forwards to book three, now in convenient ebook form available to buy through the authors website
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I went to dancing! ... I needed extra sit downs. The teacher keeps on not having many breaks, which means you get lots of lesson, but also lots of tired. Also we kept practicing the bit with bending down and standing up, over and over, and I think my head prefers level. Also it was flags and changing hands, so I'm glad of my gloves, but I still don't like the flappy things. ... I sound grumpy. I ended in a better mood than I started, I just started all wound up of paperwork.

Then I went to Sainsburys and bought the shiniest version of Wonder Woman. I'm not 100% certain my equipment can play it, but it can definitely do one of the versions it says on the box, so I bought it anyway. I had to ask at Customer Services, which was a bit difficult but I win today.

Sainsburys has a new pattern of plates with red leaves and berries. I think I like it. If I still like it next week I will buy it to be holiday plates, because I've been wanting a second set. My other plates are one set of nice and one set of cheap from when I first moved out twenty years ago. And the bowls on those have been too small for twenty years. So new would be nice.

I shall wait and see what I think later.

I got my foods and my day was nicer. And now I am home and can go to sleep any time I choose.

... I think I choose as soon as I've eaten the apple pastry...


Oct. 11th, 2017 09:19 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
My new chair has arrived! :-D
It is a very excellent new chair.
Usually I am wary of new things but I have already been sitting in this one for an hour and it is much more me shaped than previous chairs and excellently comfortable.

It has a five year guarantee, but only for the not moving bits. The moving bits guarantee is less years. But it has years of guarantee, so that's good.

It is also cream leather, and specifically warns you not to wear damp denim on it or color transfer happens. Other fabrics too if they're not colorfast enough but it kept mentioning denim. It felt like they must have had that discussion many, many times.

There's also a cleaning kit and a recommended supplier and a lot of instructions about what precise kind of cloth to use and avoiding microfibre. Also that you have to prove you've been using the care instructions or the cover fabric guarantee wont apply. :eyeroll:

Chairs are more complex than expected.

But delivery happened (phoned at 8, delivered by 0830, i thought the phone lady said 9 but noooo...)

And now I have a new and excellent recliner chair I like already.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Paperwork Day has been achieved
and was very difficult

now it is blanket day for as long as possible.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Cleaner Day is going to be immediately followed by Paperwork Day, in the same day, which does not seem fair. But I am doing my half successfully thus far.

I think I had like 5 hours sleep? But the last two of them were more dozing between particularly emphatic bangs, because power tools and hammers are happening somewhere nearby. I'm hoping it does not complicate getting out of the building, that would be awkward.

I read some more of the Diane Duane cat wizards books last night. You start off thinking it's funny cause they're all cats and then it's like any other time you read about aliens, where they're just people after a while, only with more data and a theme about interdependence and hugs and purring together. And then they get in fights with dinosaurs, so, you know, awesome adventures. I'm only reading slow because I keep trying to get actual sleep at actual night times, which isn't entirely working, so then many hours are wasted on the attempt, which is boring. Book is interesting. Shall happily read more of them.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
If you're bringing people with you to another planet, people who will literally be 100% of the humans you see for the rest of your life, who do you bring?

Read more... )

I'd be tempted to start with people with shared fandoms.

... no, for serious. They'll have something to talk about, shared focal texts, a starting point that may suggest a shared set of values, or at least a way to talk about values that seems relatively neutral. They'll share a dream.

It has to be easier to get along with a shared starting point.

But with that very familiar context you can imagine all the drama you'd be packing too. The flame wars would be epic, if there was never again the possibility of just leaving...

Also, if you start with space scientists, you get a lot of fandom people anyway.

But F&SF is super popular, so it might not be much of a sorting mechanism.

I'd also be really tempted to bring a bunch of actors too.
Read more... )

Culture and science are so much bigger than you can fit in a small town, you'd want everyone to have diversified skills. Like if you could choose between two doctors and only one played an instrument you'd probably want to bring them. Or artists or writers or actors.

... I have a *very good reason* to want to bring Peter Wingfield. Made of logic and everything.

Space Colony, as an idea, is a way of weighing up your priorities and values. Apparently my first thoughts are F&SF fans, actors, writers, and only then medics...

But it's also a daydream of getting away from all them others. Which... is less nice.

Slight improvement on the appeal of the apocalypse, but you have the same math problems after the end. If you need to scrape together 10K survivors to have a chance of human survival, there's really a lot of stories that are just about the slow dying of the light, cause groups that small aren't going anywhere in the long term.

Read more... )

I'd want to bring the widest packable variety of foodstuffs too. I, personally, do not eat meat or dairy, but if the survival of the colony depends on growing food under conditions you can't possibly predict in the relevantly long term, you want all the biodiversity humanly possible.

Read more... )

... so the ideal colonist is an actor with medical training who can grow some sort of food.

I've thought on plot bunnies that start with having a sf convention through a Stargate, that then stops working. You'd probably have medics and military in the mix somewhere, but you'd very probably not have done the math on genetic variation, and 10K would be a really large con around here.

I've also got one where a planned colony of 200 go through the Stargate partly to make propaganda films for declassification, to sell the world on the universe, but also to build up their own planet with naquada mining and a university with medical school that can trade through the gate. They need to build quickly in preparation for the rest of the 10K arriving. But they have all the usual hostilities to contend with too.

... imagine being a builder and having to worry about... well, building in a war zone, not a new idea, just with some alien whatsits on top.

Builders and plumbers and carpenters and all sorts, you'd need.

... huh, imagine trying to keep the skill of carpentry alive on a generation ship, simply because you know you'll need it eventually. Or lumberjacks...

You wouldn't want to rely on Earth for all your culture because it's going to drift away from locally interesting pretty quickly. It's another country now. Consider how foreign soaps and comedy travel, and then imagine a few light years in the way.

And how would you feel about crowd scenes?

Stargate Atlantis fandom has done a few plans, for 200, mostly as crit of how ridiculously under prepared canon was. Start with olives and honey and sweet potato and all the staples of a thousand years that you just can't be sure are out there...

Colony design is ridiculously tricky, and some of the early ones will fail. We should start practising now. Intentional communities designed for a minimum of outside input, the ultimate in local supplies.

... but I think we'd currently be really bad at this, because even if we allow unlimited data import, there's still so many other things we'd want from the wider world.

How do you even dress yourself without half the stuff being from the other side of the world?

... must pack tailors and seamstresses and people with the knowing of fibre arts...

So much human knowledge, how do you pack it all small?

Appreciation of interconnected specialisation rising...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
my new tablet computer is still not done updating.
this is ridiculous
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I
read until a couple hours after midnight
put the book down
got distracted by last minute internet until ... probably I should call it morning
got woke up by what might have been a bad argument and might not, too fuzzy to tell through the floor, couldnt decide if it was police time, felt bad about that.

decided to get up
had two sandwiches
started to read Guns, Germs and Steel but was too sleepy
went back to bed
got woke up by a neighbour building's fire alarm
got up, around 8pm

decided it was time to call the new tablet computer sufficiently recharged
turned it on
discovered one pixel right on the edge that is white and stays white
started setting it up anyway
at least an hour later it is now 41% downloaded windows updates

I am on the other tablet

I attempted to human on the internet
because people seem nice and should have nice supportive comments
but I remain as awkward as ever.

Some days are just kind of not.

Some days feel like when one of your Sims has something complicated to do so you leave the others to it
or possibly more like when your character has achieved their life goal and you switch to another who is still chasing theirs.

... college was a nice goal but really I should get on with whatever is next.

... when i think of a next.

My characters had a dramatic moment where they realised everything they're trying to do is a terrible idea, but I haven't started writing them uet so I'm pretty sure they're going to do it anyway. ... it was realising that it's really really difficult to control magic. Like, you can probably maybe control who has nukes, but with magic, knowing how to do the thing means you can do the thing. It's a lot more difficult to control knowledge. And some spells are just a more energy in means more boom out thing. Which probably explains why that world is medieval despite the Banestorm dropping moderns off on the regular: wizards rise and civilization falls.

This seems like an appropriate problem for a book though. So.

It's also a good excuse for my civilisation to be divided up the way it is, because the people who can raise a lot of energy and the people who can blow stuff up are strictly (supposed to be) different people. But if they cooperate, probably not long between problems. But I do have whole uninhabitable zones, so, already problems exist.

... magic can replace tech and advance rapidly with few resources, but its failure modes are mostly demons. And mass damage. Which is, you know, a bit of a problem.

Tech has its challenges of course, but, demons.

Okay, 45%
this is ridiculous
i'll go do something else
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I listened to the 10 and Donna big finish audio adventure Death and the Queen, which was funnier than seems quite right when there's all that horrible death and skeleton armies and such. Read more... ) And then Death turns up for the wedding.

It's a lot of running around and a very Donna approach to suddenly ruling a kingdom and I thought it was :-D

Also lately I read The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers, which was excellent and I'm definitely buying the sequel, but also thinky and I'm still chewing on it. Diverse cast, relationships that made me think Doctor Who quotes ('I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife', only not exactly), actual alien aliens, in different varieties, and a lot of complex arguments about how people and species get along, expressed through a long haul journey with a small crew, and some new diplomatic relations between races. It has layers and complications, and the characters don't agree with each other so what the argument of the book is takes some digging, and I want to have conversations about most all of the parts. Also everyone is vivid and interesting and I'll happily spend more time with them. Oh, and there was a whole thread about AI rights and parallels or comparisons drawn with cloning and cybernetics and just all sorts of layered stuff going on, about how people shape each other, and when people see each other as people. Thoughts!

... I feel like I'd need much more awake and some run up to have as many thoughts as it deserves.

But I've already started re reading the cat wizards books, ready for The Big Meow, so thoughts shall have to brew a while.

Good stories.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
so i bought The Sims 4 so I'd know what it needed in a computer and could choose a laptop accordingly.

... there are too many numbers and too many brand names and none of the recs lists are much like each other and most are just there to make google point at them anyway.

The Sims 4 box says ... actually very little. says to look at the website... *sigh*
Read more... )

I still don't understand how to even compare things.

Like, I could walk into Argos and buy this one
which has a nice big touchscreen and hard drive for storing things, but it's a lot cheaper than some of the others and I don't understand the processor stuff.

is it shiny? would it do arts with a pen? who knows, there's so many sorts of everything.

there's this one
which is more... expensive? and probably good? but has less storage for my stuffs. and the screen is smaller. i already have small things, i wanted bigger.

and then there's all the shiny on the HP website, which... so many variations.

and that's just hp! which i only narrowed it down to since they keep sending me emails with offers. which isnt to do with being best at all.

this whole topic is baffling.

i just want one that does sims, art with cool drawing pens, and typing. and internet but not like use it for smart tv for i have one of those.

and i only want a laptop cause there's nowhere to put a desktop. so do i in fact want another desk? who knows! ... okay, i know, it's small in here and i have to move the computer screen to see the tv screen, i want a screen that in fact expects to be moved.

so all this flailing hasnt got me anywhere.

i'll go read something instead.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The Sept/Oct issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction arrived, yaay!
... the address label is still wrong, which probably explains the ongoing absence of Jul/Aug, since without a postcode or county I'm impressed the post office gets them here at all.

so now i shall find a new way to say this politely to the helpful answering person
who does keep saying they'll fix it
and has fixed several bits
but not the postcode
which is necessary.

... i realise people mostly dont get paper magazines now anyway, but i have a whole bookcase for them and i like the way they dont run out of power when i'm reading and can fit in my pocket and not break when i drop them. its just this delivery thing making things a bit awkward.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
i sort of slept today
like 10-4 in the day
so i was awake to go dancing.

Read more... )

i am so done with this week. tomorrow is for sleeping. all the sleep.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Ribs of Beef 8pm-1030pm again
and once again just me, my driver, and Andrew
so if anyone sees this and is in Norwich you would be welcome!

I had not read or watched or listened much, and we had only small overlap of things seen, so conversation filled the first hour, but then Munchkin.

I won :-)
Read more... )

It's tricky when there's just the two of us. We can choose a topic to research in advance but we probably already know what each other think.

Maybe if we had topics we would get specifically interested people?

I could try and think of some.

But is nice going anyway.

That is a very long Wednesday and I rather hope I sleep.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I went and got my hair cut!
On my own!

Read more... )

That is quite enough for one day.

Except tonight is pub night, so I'll just have to rest and reset before 7.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font with rainbow background (rainbow)
I should know better than to read news articles about trans rights.
They're all idiot 'feminists' saying things Read more... )

I hate that newspapers don't ask the right people on this one.
a single thread on mumsnet is not worth the column inches.

real feminism supports all women
without making up tests for what defines women
because isn't that what we're complaining about?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
a news article said in passing the median age of the east of england was 41.5
so i am officially not middle yet, locally
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Tumblr has a funny sort of pattern to data dissemination and the rewards thereof.

(People who mostly make new stuff are not what I'm thinking of here. I mostly reblog, and save long writes for here, because tumblr eats words and hangs up and is no good to me.)

You start on tumblr, follow some people who look interesting, and reblog their stuff.

So then people follow you, because they think you have nice stuff, and you look and wonder if you want to follow them back, because they clearly like some same things.

And sometimes that works great, though now you see the stuff you already saw, liked, and reblogged, when your mutual again reblogs it. But also you see other stuff, which is cool.

But some of them turn out to be, like, downstream? So everything they have posted you have seen. It's not just your stuff, it's somehow all the stuff. Sometimes on a really long delay. Posts can just keep going forever, and tumblr doesn't date them, so you never know. Mysteries solved back when the site was new are still being signal boosted. It's really messy.

But, some people are downstream, so you don't follow them back.

But others are posting new to you content, only not all of it, so you look up these interesting people they are reblogging, and follow them to get a less filtered version.

And lo, your dash gets more interesting.

But your followers are doing the same thing. So they start following all the interesting people you reblog from. And your notes kind of wear off.

So now you're seeing all the same stuff you already reblog - already a hazard of echoey friends - but you're not getting that notes induced happy moment from having provided it any more.

And then it is less interesting.

So you go looking for more people to follow. Even though you follow a lot of people already. Because the noise content goes up relentlessly, just because of this follow and reblog thing.

Communities used to work much better because all interested parties saw the thing at once, and could comment on it without everyone seeing the whole thread a bazillion times. Solved mysteries had a note right there, and all ETA remained visible to everyone. Much tidier.

But they work worse, because how did we ever find we were interested? How did new people all end up in the same places? ... as I recall it was cause there was only the one place when googled, but it's not like that happens much.

But tumblr still has the endless how do you find it problem, only with a hugely noisy wrapper. You can be on it all day without finding out anything. It's a problem.

And stuff like the recent Legends of Tomorrow rewrite hit a snag because everyone in one particular loop heard about it in advance, and that loop was people writing it. People who might want to read it found out when it hit Ao3. And then got loudly snarky about conflicting headcanons and not being invited. Because it was social, a group thing, but despite the originally iirc open call it had not reached that particular corner. Some felt actively excluded when it's simply the structure of like an reblog in play.

Everything is particular ship and character focused, you find people by following authors and the people they reblog, and there's no central fandom newsletter.

And if there's meta fandom any more anywhere I have yet to find it.

Hugely frustrate.

It do mean that I, an effective lurker on tumblr, can feel I participate just with my clikcs and reblogs. Which is nice. Reading and forwarding is somehow the social norm. Which is weirder.

And you'd think with more people in the world there's more of us in fandom, but I still am seeing a lot of the same names as ever, and it's as hard as ever to find a new circle.

And I don't have a solution to any of this


tumblr is noisy

and I wonder where the content has gone

or a lot of the people who made it.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I wanted to watch Star Trek, which means trying Netflix
but the free month still needs an account, and an authorised way to pay
and I don't want to give them a credit card number

there's netflix cards for just such a reason
but then I've given them my money even without knowing what they can provide or if i'll use them

and the stupid netflix button on my tv didn't work for the first 40 minutes i was trying today anyway. dont know why, dont know what fixed it, it just sometimes doesnt even want to show a free trial screen.

given that i'll only be watching the one show
it doesnt seem worth it

i mean that's expensive episodes

i could just wait for the dvds.

but i bet they'll want to talk about it at science fiction group.


this fragmenting of media behind pay services is really unhelpful.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I slept! I think I got a proper amount of hours sleep! Is much better than lots of threes.

And I woke up in time to do the cleaner day tasks. Last load of laundry is started even.

... my life is not very exciting.

I haven't done anything very science fictional to talk about at the pub tomorrow. Couple of audios, is all. I'll bring munchkin, but I should read a book or watch a film or something.

... it's weird how many hours of life happen without adding up to much.

I think I've mostly been reading fanfic. Mostly been not quite what I was looking for, either. I thi k today I'll get something that looks like mostly plot...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

This theory explains there’s several interlocked economies in a high magic fantasy world and taking payment in each has risks. Food units are rations, gold and such only works where you don’t have to travel to spend it, and magic items are as dangerous as they are shiny, not least because killing people and nicking their magic items is what adventurers do. Having the most force so you can kill whoever for whatever is another kind of rich, and why saving up shiny might not be worth it, if it attracts predators. And favors are essential.

it makes a lot of sense. and I hadn’t thought of much of it before.

Now I want to express the assumption that $1 in GURPS is a loaf of bread in terms of calories as a fraction of daily needs. Loaf varies, how much you need to eat varies, it won't be tidy, but if a loaf is a ration then it has a logic.

D&D assumptions about the value of hold and how common it is pretty much make sense if everyone who gets the magic to try it just goes *tada, gold* for generations. Way more gold, buying way less.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
today has been a bit difficult.
and all things are more difficult when I got three hours sleep two nights in a row, ending before midnight.

but, today has been achieved, with steady progress.
i did an in person drop in, to make an appointment, and phone calls. that achieved their goal. pretty good.

also I did a load of laundry and because I was behind I had a full load of blacks. which keeps everything tidy.

I think I'm going to declare today Done.
I know it's not even 4 but it feels pretty Done.

bit boring.

Oct. 1st, 2017 11:36 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I got three hours sleep, washed and dried two loads of laundry, phoned mum for an hour where we talked fun things we have seen on the internet, and then spent the rest of the day trying and mostly failing to get more sleep. Until I just managed another three hours. Technically that's like six? Just less useful.

Tomorrow I must communicate with humans Outside. I am not a fan. But, that's tomorrow, that's fiiiiine, I'm sure I'll manage more sleep by morning...


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