A Valley Full of Clouds

About Recent Entries

Jun. 5th, 2011 @ 09:35 am
Baronial Birthday was fun, and it seemed to me that people were working together better than they have in a while. This was nice.

The Merry Rose is wangsting again. While I think that the intent of the SCA as expressed in Corpora is that we're supposed to be a middle ages/Renaissance group, I personally don't care about Egyptian personas, Greek personas, Incan personas, or whatnot. Heck, I never even minded the elves. Finding myself (dressed as a 9th century Viking) standing next to a Pharoanic Egyptian is not much more anachronistic and disconcerting than standing next to an Elizabethan lady. Or a knight who thinks garb is jeans, a SCA-themed t-shirt and a white belt. Or a 400 pound man in a loincloth. Or Captain Jack Sparrow.

Look, I love the SCA, but I have no illusions about what it is. There was a point where they could have firmly established a start date, but that ship has sailed and we're stuck with the pre-17th century language. Most people will always do the Middle Ages/Renaissance periods, but there will always be folk on the fringes, and that's okay with me. (Now the issue of whether we should recognize these fringe folk with awards based on their fringe culture activities is something else, and I'm not going to go there just now.)

About time! Mar. 16th, 2011 @ 02:33 pm
From George R. R. Martin's site - A date for Dance with Dragons.

Of course, this isn't the first date we've had, but I am going to be hopelessly optimistic and start rereading the series in anticipation.

Feb. 16th, 2011 @ 09:24 pm
For one brief, shining moment, I thought we were going to be able to do Ymir child-free. Ellen had labs on Saturday, but Tim had said his mother could take Jonas on Saturday instead of Sunday. (He works Saturdays) Tim didn't actually consult his mother on this plan - she's going away for a week starting tomorrow, so Jonas is coming with us.

I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't got my hopes up for some grownup time. :(

Test Feb. 7th, 2011 @ 06:30 pm

I'm posting this from the iPad LJ app, so hope it works. I finally got the sample piece off the Loom of Doom - weaving on it was quite nice and I couldn't remember why I hated it so much. Then I started warping the next piece and remembered. Awful. But I'll manage.

The new piece uses all 16 shafts, very fine linen -it should be stunning, or a complete disaster. I'm just happy to be weaving again.

But not now. Now is homework with some Doctor Who in the background.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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Scaparazzi Feb. 6th, 2011 @ 08:25 am
Okay, not meaning to complain (though of course, I am complaining), but I was both annoyed and somewhat amused yesterday at KASF during morning court. As soon as one particular person was called up, there was a rush of what I can only describe as paparazzi who flooded the area in front of where I was sitting and began snapping photos of the proceedings.

Look, I get wanting to capture the special moment of someone you care about, and I appreciate that none of the photographers stood in front of me - they were either off to the side or down on their knees, but honestly, listening to court business through an incessant click-click-click does not contribute to the medieval atmosphere. And anyway, all you were photographing was the person's backside. At least wait till she turns around, then you'll see the expression on her face.

Or better yet, since the thrones were not flush against the wall, go quietly behind the royals and do it there, using zoom so you're not clicking into the ear of the king. Or make arrangements so that one or two well-placed people just take pictures for everybody. I saw belfebe off to the side of the thrones, and I'll bet she got some great shots without making the populace feel like they were interfering with the Enquirer getting shots of Brangelina.
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Jul. 13th, 2010 @ 04:08 pm

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!





Actually, depending on what text I entered, I discovered that I wrote like Dan Brown, James Joyce and/or Kurt Vonnegut. But I got Lovecraft twice, so that's what I'm going with. I find the whole idea that someone could write like both Dan Brown and James Joyce fairly amusing - I can't think of many authors as different as those two.

Dr Who Fangirlness Jun. 3rd, 2010 @ 06:23 pm
It takes so little to make me happy - I just checked in a hold for Martha Jones! Digging through the database, I find that we also have a Rose Tyler, but not a Donna Noble or Amelia Pond. Also no Sarah Jane Smith or Jo Grant. I didn't bother to check for Romana Dvoratrelundar. (which is one word, according to the font of all knowledge Wikipedia.

And of course, the Doctor doesn't need a library card, he just uses psychic paper.

Why Reading Carefully is Important May. 25th, 2010 @ 11:45 am
'Britain Bans Doctor Who Links Autism to Vaccine' is not the same as 'Britain Bans Doctor Who.' Calm down, take a deep breath and read the whole headline before you get outraged and click.

Update May. 19th, 2010 @ 10:34 am
So this is what I've been doing for the past few months.







I'd forgotten how much work babies are. He's a very good baby, and Ellen is doing a great job, but she's 19, so I'm probably doing about 50% of the parenting in addition to keeping up with the house and cooking and all that stuff.

I'm doing a good bit of gardening this year - planted enough tomatoes to be able to can and do salsa in addition to what we eat normally, a slew of cucumbers for pickles, also onions, potatoes, beans, radishes, carrots, cabbage. I'm going to experiment with a patch of popcorn if it ever stops raining enough for me to dig out the bed. Jonas likes to be outside, so when I'm watching him, I can put him on a blanket while I plant or weed and he happily plays with his toys or eats grass. It's about the only exercise I'm getting just now.




Also class, though that's finally over and I have a break till mid-June.

And also working, though I won't bore you with pictures of the Law Library, or Windsor Woods where I'm now up to 7 extra hours a week. That will only last till the end of June, though, when city budget shortages are going to force all libraries except Central to close at 7 pm.

What I'm not doing:
Writing
SCA
Weaving or any other textile work beyond a bit of knitting.

Fortunately, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. First off, I was supposed to take 2 classes and do comps this summer and graduate. I decided there was no hurry, so now I'm taking 1 class this summer, 1 class and comps in fall and will graduate December 2010. It's not like I particularly want a full time job just now anyway.

We will be at Sapphire Joust probably from Friday through Sunday, though I may come home to give Ellen some relief at some point, or maybe I'll bring Jonas up to the event on Saturday if it's not too hot.

Apr. 15th, 2010 @ 11:52 am
To Whom it May Concern:

I would really like to have my life back.

Thanks,
Me

(with any luck, a more meaningful update will follow before the next Ice Age. Which considering how cold it was this morning, may not be too long from now...)
Other entries
» In which I cheerfully admit I was wrong
It's snowing!!!!

Okay, only about an inch so far, but it's still coming down. There will be pictures later, but the camera is in Jonas's room and he's asleep, so not going there.

I realize an inch of snow is pretty pathetic in the overall scheme of things, but this is more snow than we've had in at least 5 years, and even those of us who grew up in snowy places are out of practice in driving in it. I hope everybody stays safe.
» The Snowpocalypse Cometh
Maybe.

I mean, really, people, I get the concept of preparedness. I get that unlike points north, you don't have salt trucks and plows ready to go, but can we wait to cancel and close everything under the sun until we have actual snowflakes? Or even clouds?

I'm watching Jonas while Ellen helps a friend study for her drivers' exam. He's sleeping in his swing, there's a chicken cooking on the stove for a pot pie for dinner, and I'm watching the Season 5 Lost finale. When Robert gets home, I'll brave the grocery store. No work tomorrow, since the libraries have closed (see paragraph above). Snow or not, I'm going to have a very good, cocoony weekend.
» (No Subject)
Sounds like everybody had a good time at IB12, sorry I missed it. I'll have a social life again after August 1, 2010, which is when I graduate.

I really do miss Ohio winters, but there is something to be said for being able to go outside in January and work in the yard without bundling up like Nanook of the North. Yesterday I was able to finish clearing away some old chicken-wire from 2 years' ago's garden and haul a bunch of downed limbs and sticks up to the street for pick up, plus prep a bed for early peas. Very productive.

I also discovered a row of carrots hidden under a some pinestraw that had apparently been growing for 2 years. In-ground storage may be a perfectly good way to save your harvest, but after 2 years, I seriously don't want to eat them. They're on the compost heap now, though I'm sure the neighborhood bunnies will finish them off.

Obligatory Jonas PicturesCollapse )
» Random Updates
School started up again Tuesday - I have 2 classes, both ones I'm really interested in. Cataloging (I know, but it appeals to my anal-retentive perfectionist side) and an archives/preservation class that actually has face to face meetings 4 times at JMU. That's going to be fun, and archivist was the career that actually got me interested in all this - I did my 8th grade career report on it. Yes, I'm weird, so what?

Jonas has learned to grab things, but he hasn't figured out he's doing it yet. Like yesterday, he grabbed his rattle and shook it around, then stared at it like 'where the heck did this thing come from?' He hasn't quite realized that his hands are his yet. Very cute.

I sat down yesterday to read the newest Sister Fidelma mystery which came in for me at work, and couldn't get past the first 20 pages. I just didn't care. I've got another medieval mystery at home - The Red Velvet Turnshoe, and so far I can't get into it either. The protagonist appears to be a nun, though she's apparently a fabulous archer. I understand that if you want an active female character in your medieval mystery that nuns are a good way to accomplish that, but enough with the nuns already. And I'm sick of formulaic mysteries. Blah. If I want formulaic, I'll go read a Harlequin.

I returned some stuff to Michaels that I didn't use over the holidays and bought a fairly nice (for Michaels) skein of wool yarn. Started some socks yesterday and managed about 1 1/2" of ribbing while Robert watched his way through the last season of Farscape. I had forgotten how bizarre that show got. Wow.
» (No Subject)
I generally like living here, and then Pat Robertson opens his mouth. Well, he may live here, but we don't claim him. And he may claim to be a Christian, but I suspect that Jesus might say otherwise.

Pat, I have a scripture reference that I think applies in your case - "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:21-23, NIV)

Anyway. Jonas has been having bowel issues. He's been to the doctor twice, no fever, no sign of dehydration, other than one day where he slept a lot, he's behaved normally. They thought it was either a gastrointestinal virus or that he'd developed a sensitivity to his formula. As he's already on soy, they put him on this horrid stuff, an 'elemental' formula that apparently breaks down the proteins even further. Well, it's massively expensive, it smells like butt and it seems to have made the bowel issues worse, so Ellen is calling the doctor again today in hopes they'll let us put him back on the regular stuff.

There's not much else going on just now. School starts on Tuesday. As it's not Ice Station Zero outside just now, I want to get out and start de-weedifying my garden to begin prep for spring (yes, the seed catalogs have arrived). I miss tomatoes.
» (No Subject)
I was going to post some trivial update about Chuck and other TV nonsense. Then I got to work and saw the devastation in Haiti. My heart really goes out to the people there - that country has suffered so much. I can't imagine how they'll pull out of this, and I'm glad President Obama and other world leaders are already sending aid.
» (No Subject)
Hope everybody who went to K12 had a great time. We had a quiet day. I made a pot of beans and some cornbread for lunch and then a pot roast for dinner, watched a really stupid SciFi (refuse to call it Syfy) movie, essentially Armageddon with Stephen Baldwin in the Bruce Willis part. Horrific.

Tomorrow is probably more of the same without the disaster movie (and can I just digress for a moment?Collapse )

Robert may go up to Tir-y-don for practice, and I could go with him, or I may go over to VB Central Library to do some genealogical research. We're going back to Ohio in February. Robert is going to a gaming convention and I'm going to hit some libraries and courthouses, but want to do as much as I can here, and VB has a remarkably good local history/genealogy collection. The family branch I'm working on came from Virginia in the first place (though Westmoreland/Fauquier County area, not here), so the collection works for me.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superbaby!Collapse )
» Trivial, moi?
Dear ABC,

If President Obama does move the State of the Union speech to February 2, as the Washington Post reports, please, just show Lost.

Seriously, this is not 1976. There are cable channels devoted just to news, plus, for those people without cable access, PBS and radio and the Internet and any number of options for people to view, read, or hear the speech. Especially as it seems that he's moving the speech just to be able to tout the health care bill (assuming it will be passed and signed by then). The White House told y'all when the speech would be and you planned your schedule around it, so if he changes his plans, that's his bad and I don't see why we should suffer.

Yes, I know this makes me sound trivial. Don't care. I'd rather see Sawyer without a shirt than listen to a speech I can just as easily read online.

No love,
Me
» (No Subject)
I keep telling myself I need to post more, then forgetting to do it. So even if all I post is this sentence, I WILL post!

As it's been forever, I won't try and catch up except to say holidays - good, Jonas - great, money - what's that? Seriously, December was incredibly expensive and January is looking to be just as bad thanks to Ellen's tuition and her and my textbooks. Why is it that textbooks for subjects you'll never care about again are always the most expensive? I also think that the price of the textbook is inversely correlated with the amount of time you'll actually use it. I remember spending hundreds of dollars for books in classes where we never cracked the spine.

I'm making 1 resolution this year - to do a better job of staying in touch with friends, both online and in 'real life.' I can't do anything about the non-attendance at local SCA gatherings - we need the money too much for me to stop working Thursday nights at Windsor Woods, but I can go to fighting practice (when it's not 20 degrees outside, anyway) and at least comment on people's LJs and actually USE Facebook once in a while.

yeah, it's Jonas again, sorry.Collapse )
» Can you tell I'm not in school right now?
rambling thoughts on Christmas media traditionsCollapse )
» Holiday Movies
Leaving me alone all day in a library with no patrons and a bag of truffles is a bad idea. Seriously, it's dead in here. If it weren't for Bing Crosby on the CD player I'd be asleep. Nobody wants to sue anybody the week of Christmas.

While Kirstyn was here, we watched our traditional Christmas movie, The Ref. Okay, not exactly Miracle on 34th Street, but hey, it's all about forgiveness and renewal and Denis Leary saying f*** 400 times, totally exemplifies the Christmas spirit.

It's not my favorite Christmas movie, though. That's It's a Wonderful Life. I know, major sap alert, but I can't help it. It pushes all my buttons.

So what are your favorite holiday movies?
» Snow? No.
Despite (or possibly because of) much media hype, it did not snow here. Just more rain, so our front yard is now a lake again.

I'm very jealous of everybody's snow, and if I had the money, I'd retire and be a reverse snow-bird, moving north each winter. There isn't any part of snow I don't like, and that includes driving in it and shoveling it.

Ellen got her first experience driving in snow yesterday as she and Kirstyn went up to Charlottesville to tour Monticello and got caught in the storm. She got along okay, but the normal 2 1/2 hour drive turned into 6 hours. She has been asking me to let her drive up to NYC for New Year's Eve in Times Square (with a friend) and I said no because she had no experience driving in snow. I guess I either have to say yes now, or come up with a new excuse.
» How not to write a paper...

» Back online, finally
Back from a weekend in South Carolina visiting my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and very glad to be home. It was a lovely weekend in a lot of ways - Linda paid for us to stay at a bed and breakfast, the Red Horse Inn. We were in a nice cabin, though I wouldn't recommend it to animal rights activists as it had a hunting theme. No dead animals on the walls though.

No Internet either, unfortunately, which made it kind of hard to work on my final CD paper. :(

Hope everybody had a good weekend!

a few pictures of the cabinCollapse )
» Is it Friday yet?
Everything is plodding along more or less normally. I think I'm going to bring Jonas over to IB12 for a couple of hours, so I need to make some baby garb. Robert says landsknecht, I say Viking. Perhaps we'll meet in the middle with multicolored, slashed up tunics. Or maybe not.

I've got one paper left from my Collection Development class and a bunch of little piddly stuff for Gov't Info and then the semester is over. Spring semester is paid for, finally, and I'm saving already for Summer. Of course, I'm going to graduate just when libraries all over the place are laying off staff, but at least I'll be done.

On that note, if you're considering the fast paced and exciting world of library work, but aren't sure if it's for you, here's a handy flowchart to help you decide.

Apparently, December 20 is the first annual Do Nothing But Read Day. Um...that's pretty much every day I'm not at work.

For my writer friends, especially if you do paranormal romances and are tired of being compared to Twilight, Justine Larbalestier has the Paranormal Fantasy/YA Review Bingo.

And maybe I'm just listening to the wrong news programs, but I am REALLY sick of hearing about Tiger Woods. It's not like there isn't any real news to report. Sheesh.
» (No Subject)
Just some random stuff because I haven't updated in ages.

If you like historical fiction set in the Middle Ages and aren't afraid of gritty realism, check out The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland. Her first book was a Medieval mystery, a noir sort of thing that I didn't really care for, but this had an interesting plot, dealing with Beguines, pagan holdover folk traditions, and a completely un-romanticized view of the period. You can feel the cold, smell the stench of unwashed bodies. Life in Maitland's Middle Ages is very much like a dwarf - nasty, brutish and short. Very well done.

Even Jonas wants to be reading this book.Collapse )

I've been getting a lot of movies from the library lately. Twilight bored me to death, I didn't make it more than 30 minutes into it. The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still is really pretty crappy. And as for TV, I'm loving this season of Castle, White Collar is mildly entertaining, and I don't know what that Prisoner remake thing was, but the only thing that made it bearable was the fact that Ian McKellen is so fabulous an actor. Sheesh.

The men in my lifeCollapse )
» (No Subject)
Baby monitors are of the devil.

Seriously, I never had one - they weren't all that in vogue when Thomas was a baby, and when Ellen was born we couldn't afford extraneous stuff, but she got one as a shower gift. Wednesday night, in an effort to give her one night of uninterrupted sleep, I offered to take care of Jonas, figuring I could use the monitor to hear him, since our room is pretty far away from the nursery.

I heard him all right. I heard every damn noise that baby made. If he burped, I heard it. If he cooed or grunted or sniffled, I heard it and it woke me up. Round about 2 a.m., I finally gave up, went downstairs and slept on the couch where I could hear him when he cried and actually needed me, but not otherwise.

I'm just glad it was Wednesday night and not last night, as I'm working 12 hours today - my supervisor is sick, so I'm either here 8 hours or the doors get locked, and then I've got 4 hours at Windsor Woods tonight. It's been dead quiet here, so at least I've been able to get some work done on the paper I've got due Tuesday.

Hope everybody is doing okay - sooner or later I will be able to emerge from all this and have a life again.
» How to know when you're sleep deprived...
When you look at the nutritional information on the side of a box of microwave popcorn and read 0mg Cholesterol as OhmyGod Cholesterol!

Or maybe that's an indication that I spend too much time online.

Jonas is still cute and still very time consuming, as babies are. Ellen is doing a very nice job with him, and I try to help out as much as I can. Tim was here for a week, but has gone now - they were getting on each other's nerves, and he wasn't really able to help much as she's breast feeding. His role was mostly changing poopy diapers. I know modern dads are supposed to do that, but you could tell he was kind of out of his depth. And anyway, living without income in his in-laws house was causing stress. Honestly, I don't know what's going to happen with them.

But enough on that. It will work out one way or another, and I keep stressing to both of them that regardless of what happens with their relationship, they will ALWAYS be Jonas's parents and they have to work together to do that. I'm kind of old fashioned about this - once you have a child, that's what matters, not your personal likes, dislikes, desires and whims.

Which brings me to that whole balloon boy thing, which CNN has reported is now considered to be a hoax. The article said they'd investigated the family for domestic abuse but didn't find enough evidence to take action. In my view, putting your kids through something like Wife Swap IS child abuse. Bringing a stranger into your home to care (or not care) for your kids just to get your 15 minutes of fame is despicable. Then using your son to generate publicity for a potential new reality show, putting an entire county (and country!) on alert, expending resources on an unnecessary search and rescue at a time when municipal and county budgets are stretched to the breaking point? They should send this guy a bill.

/rant.

Apart from all that, everything is fine, but between school, Jonas, work (still doing extra hours, and my afternoon co-worker just quit to take a job as a librarian at Lexis, so we're back down to 1 1/2 people AGAIN), I don't have a lot of time for anything else. Until now, I don't think I've been online except to do schoolwork for a week. I'm going to try and change that, though I think it will be a long time till I can make it to an event. Maybe I'll be at Crown for a few hours, though I'm working 1-5 that day, so maybe not. :(

Of course, another baby pictureCollapse )

And it's the end of the world as we know it. Real Old Testament wrath of God stuffCollapse )
» Welcome, baby!
Jonas was born yesterday at 4:55 pm. He weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz, and is 21 inches long and is doing great! Ellen is also fine. She's tired and not quite sure of what to do with her son, though the nurses at the hospital are great, giving a lot of good info. I love nurses - they exude this wonderful air of competence.

Pictures, of course!Collapse )

And here's another reason why we need some kind of health care reform. Because Ellen is a first time mom and was strep-B positive, the doctors and nurses want them to stay in the hospital at least till Friday. Because Ellen has no insurance, the business office says they have to leave within 24 hours of giving birth. Bureaucrats, not doctors, making health care decisions - that's one of the arguments against reform. Sorry, that's what we have NOW.

/politics

I'm off work today and tomorrow, cleaning up the house and getting ready for baby, and hopefully catching up on some of my school assignments and what's been going on in the LJ world. Plus visiting my new grandson, of course!

Yet more pictures!Collapse )
» False Alarm
Cut for potential TMICollapse )








» (No Subject)
First Patrick Swayze, now Mary Travers. Growing up in the 60's, you couldn't escape PPM's music - we sang Puff in 5th grade music class and most of the rest of their repetoire at scout camp. To this day, "Blowing in the Wind" brings to mind the scent of campfires and the taste of navel oranges with peppermint sticks down the center. When our kids were young, we had a cassette tape of Peter, Paul & Mary's greatest hits that was almost always playing whenever we drove anywhere. Their music has been a part of the fabric of my life forever.

NPR had a great tribute this morning.

On other, less sad news, I finished the blanket I was crocheting for Jonas and it looks pretty good. Next up is a hat, then back to the endless Christmas stockings. I would post pictures, but I can't find the thingie that lets my SD card talk to my Mac.

Ellen & Baby stuffCollapse )

My classes continue to kick my butt - there is SO much reading this semester. The government documents class is the worst, because a lot of the readings are in governmentese, not English. Obviously, the plain English movement hasn't quite percolated to some branches of the Federal government.

Well, enough time wasted on the Internet - I need to get on with the readings, then go back over to Virginia Beach for another 4 hours of work.
» (No Subject)
I haven't updated in ages. I write these LJ entries in my head on the way to work, but I never seem to have time to post, or whatever I was going to say doesn't seem worthy of a whole post. I've been working around 8-16 extra hours at Windsor Woods Library, which is fun, but exhausting.

School started last week - I've got Collection Development and Government Resources this semester. The Collection Development class has 5 15 page papers and the Government one has way too much group work. Blah. But after this semester, I've only got 4 classes left.

Tomorrow is one month till Ellen's due date, and I'm starting to get hyped up about Jonas making an appearance. Here he is, at seven months. Is it wrong that I think my grandson looks like an alien? Or a body found in a bog? Yes, I'm awful, I know.

Pre-Baby PicturesCollapse )

Not much else going on. I don't know how you guys with full time jobs get anything done at all - it's all I can do to get dinner on the table, then collapse in front of the TV, and I'm not even working 40 hours!
» (No Subject)
Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy. What an amazing career - he was elected to the Senate the year I was born, 3rd longest serving Senator, after Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd. And already today, I've heard 3 comments, 1 from our custodian (expected) and 2 from lawywers that I'd consider inappropriate under the circumstances.

The guy wasn't a saint, but how about we let his body cool before the wisecracking starts? Politics has always been vicious - I remember hearing an NPR report once about political campaigns in the early 19th century where the candidates were accusing each other of everything short of being the anti-christ, but I'd still like to believe we can still be civil in our disagreements.

I went browsing on Amazon and ended up putting 30 books on hold through the library and of course they're all coming in at once. I got 4 yesterday, and then 7 more waiting for me when I got here this morning, and of course no time to read till probably Saturday night. Most of them are non-fiction, but I got the sequel to Janissary Tree and Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos. I love Vonnegut - his writing breaks rules all over the place and it works so brilliantly because he was a genius.

I'm not going to make it to Coronation, though I think my husband's planning on going. I'm working 10-2 that day over at Windsor Woods. I'll have 64 hours instead of my usual 40 this pay period, which is very nice, as right now I have no idea how I'm going to pay Spring tuition. :(
» (No Subject)
Good Gad, Amazon. What in my buying history or wish list gives you the idea that I want email notification about the release of a DAN BROWN book?????

Ick.
» Weekend
I actually don't remember what I did on Saturday besides cleaning and laundry, which is hardly worth talking about. I tell you, if ever they discover a way to make fuel out of animal hair, I will be a multi-gazillionaire.

Sunday, aside from painting trim on one window in the nursery, I pretty much goofed off - re-reading Madeleine L'Engle's time trilogy and eating. I snacked on belfebe's pico de gallo with some chips, so fabulous even with jalapenos from a jar, and then for dinner, we had brats on the grill with some of medievalbooks' maple mustard which I'd brought home from Pennsic. A perfect summer meal.

I'm not sure with the easy availability of most foods year round has rendered the concept of seasonal foods obsolete for other people, but there are still some things I only eat 'in season.' Sometimes because you really can't get them - scuppernong grapes, for example, but others because it just feels wrong to me to be eating corn on the cob in January, or chili in June. When I was a kid, there was no supermarket - we had a small independent grocery store, and you ate what was available locally or within a reasonable distance. I miss that. though I do appreciate the produce section at Krogers.

Ellen's *@#&^ cat has brought fleas into our house. We had a huge flea problem when we lived in VB, but since moving, they've been nearly non-existent. No longer. :( So every animal got some Frontline this weekend and I'm picking up some spray for the furniture. Thank God we've got hardwood floors and the living room furniture is leather. Broken, but leather.
» The truth is out there
What does it say about the state of science literacy in this country when the top result in the astronomy category on Amazon is Chariots of the Gods?
» O, Canada!
Canada is trying to kill us. Hilarious analysis why Canadians live longer (and other randomosity) from the Nutmeg Lawyer.

Hope everybody has a good weekend. Not sure what I'm doing yet, but I'm sure it will involve either research, cleaning, laundry, yard work, figuring out Facebook and reading. Or maybe all of the above.
» Facebook
I have a Facebook now, but I have no idea what to do with it. Maybe this weekend I can sit down and figure out how it works.

That Internet class guy still hasn't posted grades yet, though it's been 6 days since he said he'd do it. It would be nice to know my grade from last semester before the next one starts.
» Health Care Redux
Following on my last post, Roger Ebert says everything I'd want to say about this ridiculous death panel nonsense far better than I ever could. I may not have agreed with most of his movie reviews, but he's spot on here. (Thanks, ellid!

After work, I am calling my senators and congressman. I think the majority of people in this country want some kind of health care reform, and we can't allow a few loud voices shouting slogans to stifle this necessary debate. I am not sold on any of the specific reform packages I've read about, but what I am sold on is that we need to do more to make sure that nobody is bankrupted by an illness or accident, and that everybody in this country has affordable access to preventive care.

While there is room for dissent and debate (it's essential, actually), there is no room, IMO, for fearmongering and lies. And anyone who thinks there isn't a problem with health care needs to talk to this lady.
» Health Care Confusion
Okay, I'm officially confused about the health care debate. I had tuned out of politics during Pennsic and am sort of slowly getting up to speed, but apparently there is much angst on the part of some Republicans about a provision in one of the health care reform bills that authorizes funding for voluntary end-of-life counseling. You know, a doctor sits down with an elderly patient and discusses living wills, options, what hospice is about, etc.

I don't get why this is a bad thing. First off, it's voluntary, but even if it isn't, so what? We're all going to die eventually, and more information about our options is NEVER a bad thing. Do they think that if we don't talk about dying, it won't happen? Stick your fingers in your ear and hum real loud and the Grim Reaper will scamper away to the next guy?

Morons. To hear these folks tell it, we're one step away from goose-stepping Nazis tossing Grandma into the incinerator. Logan's Run was just a movie, people.
» Random Sunday
Ellen's shower yesterday went reasonably well, though as I suspected, her mother-in-law's house is a showplace. Gleaming floors, spotless white wall to wall carpet, tastefully decorated. I love my house, but it is in no way a showplace, unless you're trying to show how much dog hair can be accumulated under a sofa. I think before they come over here to visit the baby in October, I'd better do some cleaning and painting. And maybe fix the broken furniture. She got a ton of stuff - 27 people attended, mostly her MiL's friends and neighbors, and most gave bags full of presents.

I got an A in Research Methods. The grades for the Internet Crazy class haven't been posted, though the instructor promised to have them up on Thursday night. Right. I suppose he feels about deadlines like he does about syllabi - restrictive tools of crypto-fascist, imperialist repression. At least the semester is over - 2 weeks' break before the next one starts, yay!

The water damage to my keyboard has pretty much repaired itself, but it looks like the moisture got into the hard drive and damaged a few things. I had Windows XP loaded via VMWare Fusion - that's gone. Fusion still comes up, but it doesn't recognize that I have XP. I tried restarting to see if that would help, but of course, it didn't. And for some reason, when I restarted, my email account wiped itself out. So I lost all my saved emails, which is a serious pain in the ass. Oh well, could be worse.

Very cool maps. Weird and wonderful and somewhat crazy, courtesy of jaylake
» A slightly less whiney post on Pennsic, followed by whining
Because it wasn't all bad.Collapse )

I was working on my final project for Research Methods yesterday. While trying to throw the cat off the table, I knocked a can of soda into my keyboard (again). Frantic drying and an entire can of compressed air later, it seemed to be working fine. Then the 't' stopped working.

Oh well, who needs 't,' right?

Then the R, then the entire top row of letters. Then those broken letters would start pressing themselves so I'd be typing along and all of a sudden there'd be rows of t's. I got out the wireless USB keyboard and finished my project and made an appointment with the Mac store.

This morning, it seemed to fix itself, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Water damage isn't covered on the warranty. They fixed it last time it happened - I'm not lucky enough to get away with that twice.
» Home
We got back from Pennsic last night at about midnight. To be honest, we really shouldn't have gone - the entire thing was so stressful I need a vacation from my vacation now.

In addition to making 3 round trips to Cooper's Lake at approximately 18 hours a trip, when we were getting ready to start packing out on Friday, Robert could not find his keys. We turned the tent upside down 3 times, retraced his steps to the parking lot (twice), checked in with lost & found, did everything you're supposed to do, and found nothing.

So we called AAA who put us in touch with a locksmith who would cut us a new key for $200. The guy was surly and obviously didn't want to come out, but short of borrowing someone's car and driving home to get the spare key, it was the only solution. Fortunately, before the guy came out on Saturday, Elaine found our keys back by her tent.

The last in a long string of thwacks on the head from the PTBs, telling me I should have stayed home.

More later - it wasn't all bad, but right now all I can see are mounds of laundry.
» And another loss
I just checked my voice mail and saw that I had a call from a number I didn't recognize - it was Talymar. He told us that a member of our household, Andrea Williams (known in the SCA as Margaret von dem Schwartzwald, Laurel, former Baroness of Middle Marches), passed away from cancer yesterday. She's a year older than I am. We were pregnant at the same time - her daughter is Ellen's age.

We haven't spoken in over a decade, as they pretty much stopped playing SCA, but I've known her for over 20 years. She taught me to inkle weave. I would not be who I am in the Society if not for her.

She was kind and gracious and she didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this.
» Rest in Peace, Arielle
I was going to make a snarky post about lawyers, and then I saw the announcement about Arielle's passing.

I can't say that I knew her well, but in every encounter I had with her, I was impressed with her grace and strength and most of all her courage. She will be missed.

And to those who did know her well and loved her, my heart goes out to you. I've lost two people I loved to cancer - my mother and one of my dearest friends, and it really is a pain almost beyond describing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
» It is 6:57 a.m.
And I do not want to go to work.

This pointless spam is brought to you by the letters F and U and the number 666.
» Torchwood
My butt is numb, my brain is fried, and my laptop has been on my lap long enough that if I was a man, I'd be sterile. But I'm very happy - just watched all 5 hours of Torchwood Children of Earth.

spoilers"Collapse )
» (No Subject)
The DVD player I use upstairs in the sewing room went out yesterday, just completely would not turn on. As it's Pennsic prep season, it had to be replaced RIGHT NOW, so we went over to Best Buy for a cheap player so I can watch Firefly while I sew.

$31.99.

We bought our first DVD player maybe 8-9 years ago, and I think it cost close to $300. Of course, our first computer, purchased from Radio Shack around 1991, was about three grand. Amazing, really.

Off to fighting practice, and then we're meeting Ellen and Tim to celebrate her birthday at the Beach Pub (her choice - it's all about the peel & eat shrimp). Then I've to log on to take my midterm, and THEN, will reward myself with watching the first part of the new Torchwood, finally.
» Irony, they're doing it right...
Making Light has a discussion of how some U.S. conservative commentators who happen to be Catholic are going batshit crazy over the Pope's new encyclical.

I find this hilarious, because these are the same folks who are quick to criticize ANY Catholic who dares to express concern about the Church's position on abortion or ordination of women or the role of gays and lesbians. "The Pope is infallible, the Pope defines doctrine for the Church, if you don't like it, go be a Protestant." But let the Pope say something in support of the right of workers to organize, or articulate concerns about unbridled capitalism, and it's OMG, the Pope got it wrong, he's mistaken, he's throwing a bone to the left-wing of the Church.

Oh, please.

I'm not Catholic, don't have a dog in this fight, but I have always had respect for the Church's consistent stand for life - I haven't read the new encyclical, but it sounds like it's right in line with that stand, recognizing that life doesn't end at birth, and that inherent human dignity applies to born people just as much as the unborn.
» Accuracy in historical fiction
Okay, I acknowledge that I am a bit anal about details, but seriously, if you're writing historical fiction, I think you owe it to your reader to at least get the big stuff right.

I was reading in bed last night, a book by Anya Seton. Now, I love Seton's stuff - she's in my top 5 list for historical fiction, and her book Katherine was actually the first piece of adult historical fiction (apart from bodice ripper romances) that I read. She wrote in a different time, with different rules. I get that.

But last night, I'm reading along about this Roman centurion who has come to Britain just before the Iceni revolt around AD 60, and he's thinking about his grandfather's adventure in Britain under Julius Caesar, and the narration mentions Norfolk. And St. Albans, which was, apparently, the capital of the lands of the Catuvellauni tribe.

But...but...but. Norfolk is called Norfolk because it was settled by the Angles, who divided into 'south folk' and 'north folk.' Suffolk. Norfolk. And St. Albans was named for St. Alban (big suprise) who was martyed in the 4th century. In AD 60, there weren't any Angles. And unless those Catuvellauni had the Second Sight and could foresee the coming of Christianity and the martyrdom of Alban, St. Albans would have been called something else (Verulamium, according to Wikipedia). And these references to modern place names threw me totally out of the story.

Like I said, I know Seton wrote in a different time - omniscient narration, and even blatant authorial insertion was more accepted, and I know what she's trying to do - anchor her reader in geography. But it still bothers me. I'll keep reading, but now I'm reading with half an eye to finding more anachronisms and that's annoying.

I know a lot of you read historical fiction - what level of accuracy do you want to see in what you read, and how much inaccuracy can you take before you throw the book out the window?
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