(no subject)

Oct. 30th, 2014 11:58 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
- Spot quiz today

- Practically ran off afterwards to Dr. Vint's class where Sabrina Vourvoulias and Fabio Fernandes were skyping in, which was quite exciting. I live-tweeted the thing and Storified it.

- PK and I went to lunch afterwards and worked on ICFA abstracts. We then went to Coffee Bean to continue.

- AP called at some point wondering if I had time to go shopping with her for Halloween stuff. But alas, she called when PK and I were working on abstracts.

I have a draft abstract which I think is okay. Tomorrow I'll put together a bib because bibs are mandatory for ICFA proposals which is kinda weird to me.

- I also accomplished a couple more paragraphs in my newest short story. Still haven't quite figured out how to segue into the main conflict.

- I feel really tired still, and heartache-y. It's getting annoying.

- I got my shipment of STEAMPUNK WORLD books!! I'm pretty sure the MOTHERSHIP books are in too. Gotta get them tomorrow.

- I also get to dogsit for HH tomorrow. so there's something.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
[personal profile] deborah
Marco Zehe writes "Apps, the web, and productivity" about his experience with improved accessibility/usability of native apps over web apps on mobile. My experience in many ways mirrors his, although I would go further and say I have found the same thing on desktop.

For example, I honestly did assume that once I was forced by a job to use Gmail, that I would discover features of Gmail that outweigh the power and accessibility of a mail application. I understand that I am a change-averse Luddite, and suspected that using Alpine my primary mail reader in this day and age was indicative of a slight flaw in my character.

But now that I have been using Gmail with some regularity, it has become abundantly clear to me that no webmail client I've used (Gmail, roundcube, web Outlook in accessibility mode or in rich mode) has the speed, power, and accessibility for me of using the dedicated mail application.

Marco boils his reasons for switching to native apps down to less clutter and latency . I'd say both of those are issues for me as well, just as much as simply saying "accessibility" -- although they are both inextricably tied to accessibility for me.

A cluttered screen -- especially a screen with one of those damn non-scrolling JS banners taking up screen real estate -- is one that requires more scrolling, which is inherently difficult to do without a mouse. Even on desktop, my monitors are smaller and my fonts larger than they used to be, and the design of web apps has gotten less streamlined, substantially, over the last few years.

Meanwhile, the annoying wait-till-it-loads aspect of the web app is a lot more annoying when I am waiting for mouseless browsing to see all of the page elements so it can put actionable links next to them. It's a lot more annoying when I can't start interacting with the page until it is fully loaded, unlike a mouse user who can start to move the mouse towards the expected area of the page.

Ultimately, it comes down to a combination of both spoons and basic UX. Like a lot of computer users with disabilities, the extra cost of using the computer is high enough for me that every aggravation that gets thrown in my way is one more blocker that possibly prevents me from being able to work at all. And as for basic UX, well. Like a lot of techies, I'm used to the power and speed of the keyboard-based environment. I honestly have no idea how people used to a powerful, lightning-fast, terminal-based mail application become comfortable with the clunky latency of webmail.

(no subject)

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:38 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
- Went to the first SF reading group meeting of the year last night. It went well, but I forgot that the hosts house cats... two of them now. It surprised me to get the allergic reaction I did because the floor wasn't carpeted, but they had no windows open, and I guess they don't bathe the cats regularly.

- PK and I were supposed to get together sometime today to write abstracts for ICFA. This never happened for various reasons.

- There was a food truck festival on campus today!! It was very exciting. I went by myself to scope the place, and came away with sliders and CROQUETTES!!!! ([profile] corinneduyvis introduced them to me when I last visited Amsterdam and I fell in love.) Later, Nalo was free so I went BACK and I found her in the lobster line. And I got myself some lobster bisque. Food is love.

- PK, Nalo and I hung out for a while, and then I went to Nalo's office to get some fabric she's throwing out.

She had this big skirt she was working on, with crochet lace at the edge that's only half-stitched on. I've got it now, and I might finish it, and bring it to WisCon and invite people to embroider stuff on it!

- I went back to my office and did some more editing. And reading.

- I also popped by Dr. BZ's office to ask about de Certeau and talk about airships and trains and how they're interesting imagined spaces. Not sure she got what I was trying to say though. I kinda want her to be on my committee but I don't really know how to even explain my project to her.

- Reading Matt Hill's book "Fan Cultures" right now and came across the concept of the autoethnography. I've never heard of this one before! Apparently it is like an ethnography except the ethnographer makes their position even more transparent? IDK!

- Feeling unaccountably tired tonight. Also unaccountably sad and heartache-y.

Wednesday Books in Bali

Oct. 29th, 2014 09:23 pm
starlady: Ramona Flowers wearing her delivery goggles (ramona flowers is awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
What I've Read
One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire--so, I actually quite like the Toby Daye books, which is funny because they're the sort of thing I'd have thought, four years ago, were not my cup of tea at all. But I've attended the parties for about half of the Toby Daye books, including this one, and liked them better and better…though I somehow failed to acquire this one in paper, which led to me acquiring it from (vomit) Amazon because I have a gift card there, and because the eighth book out and Everything Changes (again) and I didn't want to fall even further behind. I really liked it; I think in the Toby books in particular it's possible to see McGuire growing by leaps and bounds as a writer, and the climax takes place in one of my favorite parts of San Francisco. The books take place in a city but aren't typical "urban fantasy" by any means, and I do like Toby and her sarcasm and her need for coffee. I figured out the [spoiler] ages ago, and never really cared about that character anyway, but I liked them in this book more than I ever had before. I'm excited for the next three, when I get to them.

I also finished Silver Spoon volume 1. It's adorable and also very interesting. I find it really cool how Arakawa manages to make even the most mundane activities seem--not overly dramatic, but momentous in their own quotidian way. The horseback riding sequence is a good example of this. I also think it's interesting that this is the story she chose to do after FMA--she could have done whatever she wanted after FMA, and she started writing a manga about cows (and other things) set in Hokkaidou. Nice. Anyway, I love it, and it's great.

What I'm Reading Now
Yoon Ha Lee, Kate Elliott, and Rae Carson are the guests of honor at Sirens next year, and since I've loved some of Lee's short stories individually for a while, and had the collected volume of them, Conservation of Shadows, in my "to read" pile for a while, I started that on the plane this afternoon. It is also great; I love the math and science elements and Asian influences of Lee's space opera futures, and fantastic pasts.

Also, Silver Spoon vol. 2.

What I'm Reading Next
Well, more Silver Spoon when I get back to Japan. I'm also planning on buying Clariel by Garth Nix in paper when I get to Australia (bizarrely, the Australian cover is clearly the best of the lot), and possibly also Justine Larbalestier's Razorhurst (the Australian cover of that is better, too). Reading Yoon Ha Lee also makes me really want to read Ancillary Sword, so probably that soon too.

(no subject)

Oct. 28th, 2014 07:31 am
copperbadge: (sam explains comics)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, I'm getting ready to have surgery next week, and as a result they are running all the blood tests on me, to make sure I don't have aliens living in my abdominal cavity or anything.

The University of Chicago Medical Center, where most of my treatment is done, has a new system called MyChart which allows you to email doctors who will never email you back and also to receive the results of any test they run on you -- all tests are filed in a special section you can browse if you ever want to know what your selenium level is, for example (172).

I just found out today, while I was looking at the results from the surgical tests, that the full report on my Mystery Lymphoma from back in February was filed on MyChart. It's amusing reading the progression -- you can watch my doctor getting increasingly annoyed as they test me for every single STD known to man and then, when I come back negative, progress to the really esoteric stuff, like Sweet's Syndrome, before landing on atypical mycosis fungoides lymphoma. ("The good lymphoma.")

I think my favourite part, however, is her initial speculative diagnosis, which reads HSV Zoster vs Arthropod Assault. Arthropod Assault is just doctor speak for bug bite, but it sounds like a bangin' name for a teen garage band.
lizcommotion: word "Hi!" surrounded by all the hi signs from the game Glitch (glitch hi)
[personal profile] lizcommotion posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Is there something you've been procrastinating on? Something that really needs must be done, but is kind of a pain in the tuckus? Today's challenge is to do That Thing.

Go team, go! We can do it together!

NOTE: Optional 5 minute challenge for those who just do not have the brains for this challenge, because it is just too much. (Which is totally okay.) I do not know about you, but I am not so good about taking trash from the trash can out to some trash receptacle outside. Maybe if you have the spoons, do that thing? Or if not, something else relating to your trash cans, be it finding 5 things that belong inside them (or the recycling bin); breaking down cardboard boxes instead of letting them form a giant pile like the one in my kitchen *cough*; something else that I can't think of because the cat started kneading me for breakfast way earlier than usual.

(no subject)

Oct. 27th, 2014 10:01 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
- Today I got to campus around 9.30 and wrote about two more pages of stuff for my prospectus! I feel very proud of this. Then I made it out to sit on the balcony of the grad student lounge, which I think is an optimal spot for listening to the noontime Monday recitals of the UCR Bell tower. I wrote a couple more pages there and ate lunch.

When I went back to my office, I got stuck trying to figure out what next? I've already identified the problem and given a brief rundown of steampunk community history, now how to articulate what I want to do next in a way that makes sense, is rigorous and doesn't sound like I'm spreading myself too wide? How to account for marketability factors, consumer culture, utopian enterprise and lack of political rigor all at once?

- At some point I gave up and wrote about 600 words of a story for [personal profile] qian's anthology instead. I'm very surprised that I'm thinking of an actual plot.

- I ran into a friend while walking home and we chatted a bit which was cool. She was excited to hear about the Clockwork Couture signing, and offered to drive me! Road trip yay! (Burbank is like two hours away, ahaha ugh.)

- I messed around at home for a bit, then went to do a spot of shopping. I bought myself a plant mister, some wine glasses, and some more hummingbird drink. The mister I just put together... it's a 2 gallon thing like my watering can and it works okay, I guess? I can see how it is a huge benefit over the watering can because the water is definitely not compacting the soil at all now. On the other hand, it takes foreverrrrrrr. Like, I think I could practically sit in a lawn chair, read in one hand and just spray with the other. I might even finish a couple of short stories before I even get to a quarter of a gallon. The nozzle part is also vaguely phallic so while I was spraying that one spot, it felt like a lot of dick waving. It's ridiculous. I shall do this lawn chair thing this weekend, just to see how long it takes for me to finish spraying a gallon.

- I also checked on the worm bin... I guess the worms really don't like lemongrass! They're also taking their own sweet time eating their bedding. The peat moss they came in is kind of mixing up the whole mess--not a bad thing, but it makes them hard to find. I do hope they're surviving (the few I saw were definitely alive) and eating well. What worries me is that most of them seem to be at the bottom of the bin, and worms are supposed to be surface feeders. It's all good; that's more time for me to collect more material for feeding them.

I did use the mister on the bin though, just to dampen the bedding on top. Hee hee.

(no subject)

Oct. 27th, 2014 08:25 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] remindmeofthe, who has been out of work for a while, and is struggling to find a job and make ends meet. She has a donation button up at her tumblr; you can find the button and a post about her situation here, and read more details at her Dreamwidth here.

Sanura, who is probably best known to the Cafe as the voice behind Meg Boudoun's "Star Spangled Man" cover, is raising funds to attend a singing course in the UK. She has opened an Etsy shop and a Zibbet shop with gorgeous jewelery and adornments and some cool chainmail.

Jennifer linked to Recycled Reptiles in Ontario, a reptile rescue and education service which has run into some financial difficulties. They're rehoming many of the animals right now but hope to reopen in the future with help from donations. You can read more at their website here and find donation information at their facebook here.

Help for Free:

[livejournal.com profile] sibylle is a researcher in literary studies and will be spending eight months at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC next year. She's coming from Germany and is looking for people who would be willing to share local knowledge, offer advice on housing, or hang out with "a SciFi/Fantasy geek girl" in 2015. Her LJ is friends-only but she's happy to make contact with folks, and you can read more about her at her website here.

News to Know:

[livejournal.com profile] athena_crikey let me know about fanfic-journal.com, which is copying fanfics from LJ en masse and reposting them without notifying or crediting authors. If you find your fic there you can request your fics not be imported on the "complain here" page, and supposedly that will get your fics that are there taken down, though apparently nobody knows if it works. You can find more information here as well.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

Garden Adventures with Spiders

Oct. 26th, 2014 06:58 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Woke up SORE this morning! My arms, thighs and calves! From all that digging yesterday! (Have a little rant I made yesterday with pictures on the digging adventures.) I went to the plant sale again and bought two things of chives, another mini-rose (I've decided to perform a terrarium experiment with one mini-rose), more wildflower seeds, some bulbs, and a pot of what I think is a kind of penstemon. It's supposed to bloom throughout summer which will be good for the hummingbirds since I'm so freaking inconsistent with the feeder. I also got two more air plants for my own apartment; one's hanging right by my door and the other is on the fence, jammed between two branches of a root I found. I planted the penstemon by the currant and the bulbs by the aloe veras.

I repotted the mini-roses and the chives then began to clear my patio of all the junk that's prevented me from keeping it clear, namely the pieces of tape from boxes I've tried mulching. I also threw away some of the little pots. The basil has gone woody and I'm really impressed by how long it's lasted; the parsley is gone, and the oregano for covered by leaves before it could establish itself so it's gone now. I just took off one of its main three stems, just to see how it would react. The sprig is currently hanging from my kitchen light switch right now, drying.

My soil is still hydrophobic as fuck and I don't really know how to fix that. Apparently soapy water helps so I tried some, but I don't think it's helping. Apparently misting the ground, rather than watering with a watering can, is also good, because that means the water goes down gently. Water that just kind of unceremoniously pours on compacts the earth, preventing it from trickling down. Mixing in organic material is supposed to help but I think the composting process makes the whole thing clump together and it doesn't help. We shall see. I do think I'm done working the soil of this one particular patch and I'm ready to just give it a shot growing something on there. As soon as it gets cold enough, I think at the end of December, I'll strew the wildflower seeds across the patch and let them fight it out. It'll also rain around that time too so that will help.

Out of curiousity I decided to clear a little spot next to my standing lamp on the ground. There's a woven bottle holder there too.

I found... er, at least three live spiders, and around six or eight balls of spider silk, which I'm pretty sure held spider eggs. SIGH. This would account for the number of baby spiders I've been finding around my apartment since getting back in September. I also moved a thing that's been there since I first moved in and woo-ee I really do need to get my carpet floor shampoo'd at some point. I took the bottle holder out for washing and the spiders scuttled out and i had to flick them off me. Then I decided to wash off my patio and like two of three bugs, decided to scuttle out of the leaves TOWARDS MY DOOR and I was like UHM NOPE and flushed them back down again.

(There is, inexplicably, a rain spout next to my door and I kept thinking of the Eensy Weensy Spider Climbing Up The Spout song very unhappily.

But I have a clear patio now!

Dear Yuletide writer:

Oct. 26th, 2014 12:34 am
jain: (nobuta *kon*)
[personal profile] jain
[A quick note in case assignments go out early this year: I'm hoping to add a little more detail to my letter, but I'll be traveling between now (when I'm unlocking my letter) and October 30th, and won't have a chance to edit it before then. Any edits I make will be completed by November 1st.)]

Thank you so much for participating in this exchange and for offering one or more of my requested fandoms! A couple of important things I wanted to tell you:

* Optional details are optional. I've offered at least one possible hook for a story in each of my requests because that's how I like to write for exchanges, but if your creativity is sparked in other ways, or if you just don't like any of my suggestions, then feel free to ignore them and write a different story for those characters.

* I'm chattier about some of my requests than others this year. Please don't think that this indicates a preference on my part for one fandom over another. I promise, I'd be equally thrilled to receive a story in any of these fandoms.

If you want a better idea of the type of stories I like, you can read my general fic kinks and squicks post and/or check out the fandom details below:

Death by Silver, The Goblin Emperor, Imperial Radch series, Iskryne series, Nobuta wo Produce, Nova )

Sewing party at WisCon

Oct. 25th, 2014 04:46 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Anybody down?

I'm already thinking of getting John to do a hair-braiding workshop because HEL-LO he is practically the most popular person at the Gathering every fucking year I've gone.

But I think it might be fun to have a sewing party where we can bring some knitting, embroidery, crocheting projects, with extra needles and thread/yarn to teach each other how to do it. Like just a party room dedicated to that. Like [personal profile] sparkymonster's Makeup Makeup party a few years ago.

Plant Sale, Day 1!

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:59 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I took out some money just for this day. I'm going back tomorrow for some more, I've got my eye on herbs, but this time, I really wanted some stuff for my patio garden which always looks so sadly barren. This year, I purposefully chose plants that are drought-tolerant. The corner of my garden which I've planted hibiscus in before is dug up for some trench composting, but I also would like a flowering plant there.

I selected a red currant plant. I don't really know it very well, but if it is what I think it is, it should be pretty great in spring! If it flowers, that is. It's also good for butterflies, and hopefully bees and hummingbirds. (I was very tempted by a flowering rosemary that had a bee on it.)

I also bought a very large aloe vera... I think there're three of them in the one pot! And it was going for just three dollars! The last time I bought one it was five dollars, for a very small plant, at Home Depot. I'm still deciding where to put this one.

I also got another air plant, which I hope I will not overwater this time. I'll bring it to my office tomorrow morning and mount it on my cork board again. This time, I'll hang it upside down to prevent the base from rotting like my ionantha last year! Among all of them, apparently this is the one that does best indoors.

For another office plant, because I seem to be spending so much time there, I bought myself a mini-rose! It's a Redwood Empire and I'm hoping it will be okay as an indoor plant. Probably not since roses need a lot of direct sun but we'll see what happens.

- Painted Daisy
- Tidy Tips
- Bird's eye gilia
- globe gilia
- Dwarf California poppy
- Baby blue eyes
- Blazing Star
- Mountain phlox
- Golden lupine
- desert marigold

All of them are supposed to be Californian native plants and they all need to be sown at the same time. The plan is to wait an appropriately cold time of the year. The spot I've got planned for them has been dug up a couple of times already for trench composting of dry leaves, so I'll gently rake it out and toss them and leave them to it. They're wildflowers, they can't be that hard. The last time I tried this the seedlings didn't take because .... I don't know whether it was snails or the soil was weird and they couldn't get rooted enough. Anyway, we'll see!
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