Jul. 27th, 2017 11:06 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
I am trying valiantly to reduce the stack of bugs that I have at work. This is being complicated by the fact that we are in between version control systems, so I can't actually check in any fixes.

And then there are the meetings, which seem to take up ever increasing amounts of time. I pointed this out today to my boss.

"I suppose there are a great many meetings," he replied. "We should have fewer meetings."

"We could have a meeting to discuss how to do that," I answered.

Happily, he let me live. The fact that he was on the other end of a phone line probably helped. :)

Important reading

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:44 pm
filkerdave: (oh good god)
[personal profile] filkerdave

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.

...but Stuff Got Done.

Jul. 27th, 2017 09:24 pm
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
[personal profile] hrrunka
Wednesday evening's astronomical society meeting included an interesting talk about active and interacting galaxies, and didn't run too late.

This morning I was up rather earlier than usual.

This morning's Morse practice broadcast went reasonably well, though not as well as last week's.

After it I headed out for a doctor's appointment, then got home in good time for a courier to collect some stuff a friend left in my garage ten (or more) years ago. After that had been collected I wandered off to the local pharmacy, taking in a bit of Ingress along the way. Then it was home for lunch, and some quiet time afterwards.

The weather cooled down considerably mid-afternoon, so I went outside and spent a bit over an hour trimming a hedge. Once the garden waste bin was respectably full of clippings I came back in, and very shortly after that it started to rain.

I've had a relatively quiet evening.

Flat Cat

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:51 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Katie has now been introduced to Fuzzy Britches, the flat cat in The Rolling Stones. She insisted that I read into the next chapter so that she would find out how the youngest child would take to the flat cat. (Well, as you might remember.)

Little does she know what is going to happen soon...

That, and the other...

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:00 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei thinking)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I caught the usual radio club net on Sunday morning, and headed over to Eltham for an NMC rehearsal in the afternoon. Despite absences and traffic issues we managed to get a reasonable bit of practicing done.

Monday was another for working on the workshop, or at least the fall-out from it that had spilled over into the kitchen. I started getting small stuff sorted and boxed away. In the evening there was a radio club fix-it and construction evening. I took along a little digital storage oscilloscope kit, and managed to get most of it put together in the time available, though the light available was less than wonderful. I finished it off and tested it when I got home after the meeting.

On Tuesday I did a lot more boxing up of small stuff in the workshop, and by the end of the day the kitchen was mostly clear of workshop junk. In the evening there was supposed to have been a radio club steak night, but nobody else turned up, and I didn't feel like eating a steak by myself, so I wandered around the place in the pleasantly warm dry evening air attending to the local Ingress portals for an hour or so.

This morning I finished clearing workshop fallout from the kitchen. It is clearer than it has been in quite a while. I went for a brief wander during a dry spell in the afternoon. This evening there's an astronomical society meeting.

You know what I didn't mention?

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:12 am
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

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).

ot: new Bujold podcast interview

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:01 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] filk here:

The interview starts at about 1 minute in, and runs about 30 minutes.

This was recorded on Day 4 of ConVergence, earlier this month. (Which seems longer ago than that, already.)

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on July, 24

Sumer nights

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:13 am
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
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 )

Hardware Wars

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:30 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Yes, apparently once I start upgrading bits of hardware, it's hard to get me to stop. This is a well-known phenomenon, at least to Gretchen.

In today's upgrade, the wireless access point that we have upstairs and which most of our computers, tablets, and the like connect to has become increasingly crochety with old age. I frequently have to reboot the beast to get it to deign to provide Internet service. This, of course, is unacceptable under our Household Service-level Agreement -- which pretty much consists of "Daddy! Make it work!"

The obvious solution was to replace the wireless access point. I had noticed while browsing the Micro Center website that they had a suitable WAP device. Of course, I had driven down there enough times by now. Oh, look! The same device is available on Amazon with Prime delivery and for the same price.

And then I stopped to think about it. The WAP was actually an older generation of equipment. If I ever do get fiber-level service here, it doesn't even have a fast wired network connection to run over the network wire to the router in the basement. It would be a shame to buy this beast and then have to replace it.

More browsing followed. Oh, look! Here is a router from the same manufacturer as my current fancy router. It is just as fast as my current router. It just lacks the fancy touchscreen interface. And it is not actually very expensive, as it is only twice the price of the WAP that I am looking at. It can be configured as a WAP and provide redundancy in case the router in the basement decides to fail, because I can pull it out of service, carry it downstairs, and reconfigure it as a router.

And I can have it delivered the next day at no additional charge.

So I bought a router. It arrived today. Configuration was a bit more annoying than it had to be, mostly because I didn't want to fiddle with plugging my desktop computer into it directly, so the initial configuration was done via my cellphone and a wireless connection, at least until I could get the router functions neutered and the new router onto the network as a WAP. But a few hiccups later, we ended up with a nice new WAP.

I think I will stop buying hardware for a while now. :)

Filk in Poland

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:02 pm
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn posting in [community profile] filk
Last year I met Polish fan Marcin Klak (Alqua) at Fantastika (Swecon 2017). He was interested in forging bridges between Polish and international fandom, and also appreciative of and interested in filk. Thanks to his blog Fandom Rover I've gotten a look into Polish fandom, Polish con culture, and Polish filking. Especially the con report from Medalikon gives some insight.

From what I can tell, Polish filk (for very wide values of filk) is small, but they have a core of performers that do concerts at their various cons, and they seem inhabit the intersection between LARP, fandom, reenactment, and folk music (though that might be based on the limited stuff I've found).

Some links on Polish filk that I've found so far:

  • Barbara Karlik (in English), harpist, singer, and songwriter. She has songs by [personal profile] thnidu, Gwen Knighton, and Alexander James Adams in her repertoire. I can recommend "The siege of Hedgehogfurt".
  • Polish filk wiki, has a small collection of Polish and some American filk.
  • Liz Katrin (Soundcloud), Interview (in English)
  • Kruffachi (Facebook), who seems to be the most "filkish" within Polish fannish music that I have found so far

Hardware Wars

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:34 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
So it was like this:

During yesterday's round of "Get 'Er Done!", I wandered into the studio and discovered that the main monitor was severely static-ridden. Several rounds of reboots, cable tightening, and card reseating later, I decided that the monitor was probably shot and needed to be replaced. The question then became: With what?

Well, there are some lovely 27 inch UHD monitors out there now for not too much money. But the video card in the studio computer is old enough that it doesn't support UHD resolutions. Of course, I could replace the video card too. And I realized that this was not only turning into a project, but into a relatively expensive project. Better to buy a cheaper, decent monitor as a stop gap.

I had pulled up the Micro Center webpage and saw a Dell monitor there on substantial sale. Heck! That was the 16 x 10 monitor that I had been wanting to replace the monitors in my office with. And that sale price was much lower than I had ever seen for this particular monitor. If I bought two matching monitors for the office, I could swap the old 4 x 3 monitor out as a spare, send the widescreen monitor down to the studio for the rest of its life, and declare victory for not too much money.

I discussed this quickly with Gretchen who allowed that I could go ahead and do this. I then dove into the car and started driving, because it was 5:20 PM, Micro Center closes at 6 PM on Sunday, and it is a good half-hour drive to get there -- more if traffic is uncooperative.

Traffic was only moderately uncooperative -- I made it to the store just before 5:55 PM. I had already reserved the monitors on line, so I just had to pick them up at the front desk, pay for them, and head out. I made it back home by 6:30 PM, which allowed us to bundle the girls into the van and head over to the softball league season-ending pool party.

When we got home, Gretchen started making dinner and I started setting up monitors. And once I had the two monitors set up, I looked at them and realized that this was not a matched pair of monitors. One of the monitors had a distinct yellow tinge that I couldn't eliminate with any amount of calibration. Looking at things on line, I discovered that this is endemic with these monitors.

So I packed up the offending monitor. This morning, I drove back to Micro Center, returned the yellow-tinged monitor, got a replacement, and brought it home and hooked it up.

It had a very light yellow tinge. After reading a lot of webpages and a lot of tweaking, the yellow has now been tamed and the monitors are a reasonable match.

Meanwhile, down in the studio, my old office monitor is plugged in and operating nicely with no static. Thus, it appears that the problem was that the studio monitor was getting ready to completely give up the ghost, so I actually replaced the right part.

Overall, this was more of an adventure than it should have been. :)

new Penric impending

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] filk
Lois McMaster Bujold says, here:

I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new Penric & Desdemona novella. (For that peculiar value of "finished" that means, "still dinking till it's pulled from the writer's twitchy hands.")

Title will be "Penric's Fox"

Length, at this moment, is around 37,400 words. It is more-or-less a sequel to "Penric and the Shaman", taking place about eight or nine months after that story.

Final editing and formatting, arranging for cover art to send it out into the world nicely dressed, etc., will take some unknown amount of time and eyeball-endurance, but e-pub will likely happen in August.

My computer file tells me I started typing the opening on March 3rd, but of course there was lead-up to that. It is, in general, hard to tell or remember when a project segues over from "notion" to "planning", although the notion had been with me for some time. Story notions are like a collection of vaguely related objects rattling around in a box; planning starts when some key object that connects them all drops in, and things suddenly get interesting.

Ta, L.

Notice about filkarchive

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:49 am
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn posting in [community profile] filk
This was posted by [personal profile] hms42 over on Facebook:

For those who still look at Livejournal (I know most people are not on there any longer), the filk archive LJ account has been hacked a couple of times over the past few days and they are posting in Russian on there.

Its going to get migrated over to Dreamwidth for the history to be preserved before the account is closed.

The site itself is currently down for reprogramming and will eventually be put back online.

The LJ account has since been cleaned up and migrated to [personal profile] filkarchive here on Dreamwidth.

Moving the Pile

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:59 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
There is no softball today, nor baseball, nor parties -- other than the end-of-season pool party for the softball league this evening -- so it is time to start moving the pile of things that need to be done. So far today, I have:

  • Bought memberships for Musecon
  • Reserved hotel rooms for OVFF and Windycon
  • Gone to Sam's Club to pick up staples and things for dinner
  • Started three loads of shirts
  • Updated the video drivers on the studio computer
  • Put the broken banister back up on the basement stairs
  • Thrown the ball for Ruby

    As far as that last, well, you have to have priorities or nothing gets done. :)
  • Steve (filk)

    Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:54 pm
    kjn: (Default)
    [personal profile] kjn
    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 )

    Well, At Least It Was a Good Game

    Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:44 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    [personal profile] billroper
    Softball being over for a while, I ventured down to Wrigley Field to see today's Cubs / Cardinals game. Normally, I would go to the Sunday night game instead, but the softball league's family swim party is tomorrow night. (Hmm. Ok, softball not quite over yet. :) ) It was a good game, but sadly, the Cardinals lost as the manager left Wainwright in just a little too long, followed by yet another bullpen meltdown.

    Ah, well. It's not like I have very high hopes for the Cards at this point, but you never know what will happen.

    Activity, and the lack therof...

    Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:38 pm
    hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
    [personal profile] hrrunka
    Wednesday evening's radio club committee meeting was about as interesting as you might expect, but at least it didn't last as long as usual. I was home very shortly after 10pm, and got an early night.

    I was awake quite early on Thursday. The morning's Morse practice went a lot better than it's gone in quite a while. Only one word caused me trouble. However, after it was over, much of the rest of the day was a bit of a struggle, energy-wise. A bit of stuff got done, but much less than might have been.

    I spent a little more time tidying on Friday, but again ran short of energy and motivation before I got very far. It's still at the "things get messier before they get tidier" stage.

    In the evening, however, there was gaming. At young A's request we played 7 Wonders, and Phil won. It was a short enough game that I was home before 10:30pm.

    It rained overnight, and it has also been raining randomly and heavily at intervals all day. I have done a bit more tidying. I've also spent a bit of time trying to catch SOTA activators on the radio, Radio conditions ruminations )

    Edit 7 hours later: Well, quite a bit of stuff has found itself a home in the workshop or the boiler cupboard, and there's a lot less on the floor now. There's further to go, but much less far than there was this morning.

    Tomorrow there's an NMC rehearsal.

    Short Windycon Meeting

    Jul. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    [personal profile] billroper
    It was a short Windycon meeting tonight, which given that it's still July, was probably a good thing.

    Next meeting is going to be a good bit more busy. :)

    Back In the Swim

    Jul. 20th, 2017 11:31 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    [personal profile] billroper
    I finally made it back to the pool with the rest of the family today after work, although I left home later than they did. Katie and Julie were interested in playing a variety of competitive racing games to retrieve thrown objects; Gretchen and I eventually convinced them to do something less competitive in the interest of sibling peace. :)

    A Fine Man...Like Jordin K

    Jul. 20th, 2017 07:52 pm
    gorgeousgary: (Default)
    [personal profile] gorgeousgary
    How better to remember Jordin Kare than with a title that parodies a line from one of his parodies...

    I'm not sure when I first met Jordin. Probably Confrancisco in 1993, where I first met a lot of the California filkers. (Most notably Kathy Mar, leading me the next year to drive up to a small con outside Toronto where she was GOH. But that's another story.)

    My favorite memory of Jordin was his debut of "Heart of the Apple Lisa" during his Interfilk Guest concert at ConCertino in 1995. Which, being in Westborough, MA, was right in the heart of Fred Small territory. Given that and the number of computer scientists in filk, the titters from the audience started almost immediately. When he hit the first chorus, you could literally hear the wave of laughter roll from the front row to the back of the room. I was seated about 2/3 of the way back, with a clear sightline to the rear doors into the ballroom. As Jordin continued and the gales of hysterical laughter began to crescendo, I could see people running in from the hallway to find out what was happening.

    And the topper? Mary Kay had been worried how the song would be received and thought the jokes might be too esoteric. For a con a few miles from the famed stretch of MA Route 128 known as "America's Technology Highway", home to the offices of IBM, DEC and Honeywell, HP, DG, and--sorry, different filker.

    My second favorite memory came while waiting to board a flight at Dulles. I was sitting facing the concourse, watching people walk by, as one does. I saw someone who looked like Jordin walk by. I didn't get up immediately; I first thought it couldn't be Jordin, he lives in Seattle. A minute or two passed, and I became more convinced it really was Jordin. I got up, started to walk down the concourse, got about two gates, and saw Mary Kay sitting near the end of a row of seats. I went over and started chatting, and of course Jordin returned from his perambulations shortly thereafter. Turns out they'd been overseas at an astrophysics conference and were connecting back through Dulles. He'd actually won a significant award at that conference, making me the first filker other than Mary Kay to hear the good news.

    Jordin leaves us a long legacy of original songs from the heartbreaking ("Waverider") to the anthemic ("Fire in the Sky"), parodies ("Psi Nought", "Dawson's Concom", "Unified Field Theory"), Les Barker recitations, Off Centaur recordings and songbooks, and drawers full of punny T-shirts. He will be missed.
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