rix_scaedu: (Flower person)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu
 This was inspired by the Hidden Almanac, a production of the far-more-talented-than-me Ursula Vernon and Kevin Sonney.  This is not a podcast because I am inspired by, not copying, and no-one needs to hear my recorded voice (including me.)

So, here we go:


Notes from Cabbage Tree Flat

Compiled by K. T. Javenlake

Following this last weekend’s early start to the men’s senior cricket season, the Middle Coast Cricket Association has called on the Afternoon Tea Committees of the Cabbage Tree Flat and Mowana Cricket Clubs to aid a quick and peaceful resolution to the matter of the missing serving platters.  Both Mrs Ethel Coolidge of Mowana, and Mrs Bea Prout of Cabbage Tree Flat are missing a kookaburra-jubilee pattern serving platter used at the afternoon tea provided for the players at the Steve Moon Oval.  Mr George Taylor, on behalf of the Middle Coast Cricket Association, told this correspondent, “No-one wants a repeat of the Tenterfield cake stand incident, and whoever has the plates can return them, no questions asked, to either Club house or the Association’s offices in Trulong.”  The plates remain missing as at the time of publication, and no-one this correspondent has spoken to has suggested who may have taken them.

Uncle Charlie Brent has issued a reminder on behalf of the Garrakool Lands Council that the bunyip breeding season in the Simpson and Trulong River valleys will begin with the storm season in mid-October.  Residents and business owners with buildings within 100 metres of waterways in these two networks, or within 150 metres of the Craic and Mowana wetlands, should check and maintain their security doors and gates before then.  Patrols of the Illawong Creek network will begin in mid-October to ensure that the species does not extend their range in the coming breeding season.  Anyone wishing to volunteer for patrol duty may contact Aunty Rhonda Burgess on Tuesdays or Thursdays at the Land Council’s offices in Trulong.

Mr Stanley and Mrs Wendy Crozier of “Dun Roaning” Horse Stud on Old Trulong Road, Cabbage Tree Flat, are delighted to announce the engagement of their second daughter, Miss Leslie Crozier, to Mr Anthony Beacon, only son of the late Mr Alastair Beacon and Mrs Lisa Goodall.  The happy couple intend to live at the farm in Culpepper Road, Cabbage Tree Flat, that the late Mr Beacon bequeathed to his son.  The groom’s stepfather, Mr Douglas Goodall, is expected to hand over management of the property to his stepson in the leadup to the wedding, which is planned for August next year.

The Middle Coast Group of the Country Women’s Association has announced that their Year Six Study of a Foreign Country Competition for this year will be on Crna Gora.  Projects are due to the administration office of the entrant’s primary school by 10:00am on 6 November 2017, and will be collected by the CWA judging committee’s representatives no later than 3:00pm that day.

The State Police Missing Persons Unit has asked that anyone who saw or spoke to Mr Gary Musgrave or Mr Martin Keen, of Creighton Vale, on or after 22 August of this year contact their local police.  Mr Musgrave and Mr Keen left Creighton Vale on 22 August to travel to Lomax, but neither arrived nor returned home.  Information to hand suggests that they planned the trip believing that the Handley’s Ridge Road through the Simpson State Forest was open to through traffic.  This makes it likely that they were in the vicinity of Cabbage Tree Flat, Lower Simpson, and Matersford on 22 or 23 August.  They were travelling in a green Bridge ute with the black and white number plate YHB-89U.  Neither man is considered dangerous, but fears are held for their safety.

Local citrus growers are warned that orange blossom prices at the Central Flower Markets remain high, and that reports of flower-rustling have been moving south since the blooming season began.  Growers should keep their eyes open for suspicious persons and vehicles, then report the same to Sgt Warwick James of the Rural Crime Division at the Trulong Police Station.  Sgt James has pointed out to this correspondent that various forms of personal retribution taken against flower rustlers and poachers in the past have destroyed or contaminated evidence that may have made court convictions obtainable.

Mr Craig Jobben has hired the Cabbage Tree Flat Public Hall for the evening of 30 September 2017 when he is holding a public meeting to discuss the reorganisation of Mortland Shire back into its pre-1948 components of Trulong and Winston Shires.  Doors open at 7:30pm.  Supper, tea and coffee will be available for a gold coin donation.

This week’s closing question comes from Miss Evelyn Bennett who asks, “Who used the cemetery at the western end of Cooranbong Road, and why was it abandoned before it was full?”  My inquiries have revealed that the Cooranbong Road Cemetery was attached to the Chapel of the Reformed Congregation of St Joseph.  No information was available on what they reformed from, but their leader from the time they arrived to take over the old Wyndotte property in western Cabbage Tree Flat in 1897, was the charismatic Reverend Alan Yates.  The community appears to have operated like a commune or a kibbutz with the property held communally, and it seems to have flourished until World War I.  Two of the Reverend Yates’ three sons died in the trenches, and many of the survivors from the community chose not to return.  Despite this setback, they continued on to Reverend Yates’ death in 1927 when his surviving son took over the leadership as Reverend Hubert Yates.  Matters seemed to be going well, but Reverend Hubert disappeared from the community on the night of 24 May 1931.  On investigation, he had emptied the community’s bank account the afternoon before he left.  The death blow, however, was that the community’s land had been secretly mortgaged to pay his personal gambling debts and foreclosure was imminent.  The community subsequently dispersed, the chapel was dismantled in 1936 and moved to Lower Simpson for use by the Methodist congregation, but the cemetery remains.



Movie day

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:12 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Got up later than I should have, but had enough time to shower and have coffee and breakfast before Oldest and Middle Brothers got here.

We went to the Bay Terrace movie theater, which is one of the ones where you pick your seats when you order your tickets, and they have those fabulous reclining lounge chairs for seats. We saw Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was not as good as the first one, I didn't think. But it was OK, and we enjoyed it.

After that we went to the Five Guys in the mall, and had our usual after movie meal, and then after that we went to the drugstore and picked up my prescriptions. Then we went back to my apartment and hung out here for about an hour.

The FWiB called and they left. The FWiB and I had a nice talk, and that's about it for the day. Except that Oldest Brother told me when he called that I'd left my prescriptions in the car. So he's going to bring them tomorrow and we'll spend part of the day together.

Bjorn ate well this morning but I don't think he's going to eat well tonight. Still, I'll try to get him to. I clipped his front claws while Oldest Brother was here to help me, but I hardly needed his help, Bjorn let me do it easily. I need to clip Sybil as well but I doubt she'll be so malleable.

Gratitude List:

1. My brothers, especiall Oldest Brother being willing to bring my med back tomorrow.

2. The FWiB.

3. Bjorn.

4. Day out.

5. Lovely weather.

6. Five Guys bacon cheeseburgers.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

Please leave comments on the Comment Catcher comment, instead of the main body of the post – unless you are commenting to get a copy of the post sent to you in email through the notification system, then go ahead and comment on it directly. Thanks!

The Hardest Lesson

Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:54 pm
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Someone on Facebook posted a quote from Stephen Hawking on the nature of intelligence, and it brought to mind something I tell my math students, prior to the first test in each class. I tell them that I test for three things: factual knowledge (in this context, the statements of definitions and theorems - and I tell them which they need to know), skills (and I tell them which skills I expect them to display), and understanding. Then I tell them that I can't tell them what I expect them to understand, because to display understanding is to deal with situations you haven't seen before. That generally involves word problems (at lower levels) and proofs (at higher).

Understanding is the hardest thing to teach. It may not be teachable at all.

Busy day

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:36 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Started with therapy, which was good. I got a little bit into some of my real problems with hoarding and cleaning.

Then to work which was again very short staffed. Not too busy though because the schools are closed for Rosh Hashanah. Got through that OK.

After work I headed for Boston Market as usual, when my phone rang. The Kid called! So I stood outside the restaurant and had a nice talk. It was good to hear from her.

Went to Boston Market, and the FWiB called. So we talked too. And that was very nice.

Then my meeting, which was good. J made it for the first time in awhile, and we took the bus back together after.

Bjorn ate this morning, at least some, and he ate tonight, at least some. I'm going to try and get him to eat more tonight after I get done here.

Tomorrow is the day Oldest Brother and I take Middle Brother to the movies. Which should be fun.

Gratitude List:

1. Bjorn ate at least some twice today.

2. The FWiB.

3. The Kid.

4. Therapy.

5. My meetings and the people there.

6. Friends.
solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

Loading out for a weekend set of shows in Kennewick with Leannan Sidhe – if you’re in the area, here’s the Facebook event, c’mon out! Leannan Sidhe is a trad- and trad-style band, so playing a renfaire is something they do on the regular, even if very little of the music is actually Renaissance-specific, and the weather is supposed to be great. See you there!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Took the day off

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:20 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Because my period is so heavy I have to change tampons almost every hour, and I just felt draggy, and I oerslept cause I forgot to set the alarm.

So I spent most of the day in bed, with one brief foray out to the bagel store for brunch and to the discount store for milk and pads. And a few brief forays to the living room to use the computer. I finished reading The God Stalker Chronicles, which is God Stalk and Dark of the Moon, which I had read before of course, but now for the first time I downloaded the next two to my Nook as an omnibus edition, and I'm reading them.

The FWiB called and we had a good talk. And [personal profile] mashfanficchick texted a bit, so that was nice.

Bjorn ate very little for dinner last night and little for breakfast, but he just ate ok for dinner tonight, so I feel better. I think that I'm losing him though, and I don't know what to do.

Gratitude List:

1. The FWIB.

2. Bjorn while I have him.

3. Good books, and my Nook to read them on.

4. Time to take off.

5. Bagels.

6. Friends.

i need a d.va icon apparently

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:19 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird
Today was the most badass I have ever been as D.va.

Offence. Volskaya industries. Backfill, with about 2:30 to go; first point taken, first third of second point taken, but they've been flailing. I grab D.va, and they waste about 2:15 just raggedly charging in, ignoring my group-up requests - tho' I did get the enemy to blow a few of their ults. And once I announce that my nerf is up, my team finally groups, mostly because hey, about out of time.

I lead the charge in. I get one and a mech with my nerf. One of our team gets someone else, I don't know who. I get my mecha back, charge in, kill a third.

Their Reaper drops in with his ult and kills FIVE OF US. Quadruple kill. It is, in fact, play of the game.

But he does not get me. I am the only member of my team alive.

I kill every remaining member of the enemy team and take the point in overtime, while the entire rest of my team is dead.

I gold in objective kills, but I don't even card.

I cannot imagine what that looked like to everyone else.

Busy day

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:11 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
We were short-staffed to start out with today, and then one person went home with a migraine, leaving us only three people to finish out the day. We managed somehow but we were kept hopping! I did the Teen Lounge, got about 10 kids.

After work I got a call from the FWiB and we talked as I went to my psychiatrist appointment. Got there early so to kill time I went to Dunkin' Donuts and had coffee and a French cruller.

After the appointment I stopped and did a small bit of shopping on the way home.

Had my left over sundae from Carvel last week.

Called The Kid when I got home but she didn't answer.

Bjorn did not eat breakfast at all, but was eating dinner when last seen. We'll see how he does.

TMI, I know, but I started a period for the first time in several months today. I had thought I was done with them.

Happy New Year to all who celebrate!

Gratitude List:

1. The FWiB.

2. Cats.

3. Survived the day.

4. Ice cream.

5. My psychiatrist and my meds.

6. Didn't need my umbrella.
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Sorry this one took so long. I'm not good at large action sequences, and this chapter was difficult to write, mostly because of that. I was trying to keep it gamelike, in that it would be evocative of a failed charge onto take a point with a payload on it in game, as opposed to a realistic infantry scenario. I hope it works.

If nothing else, it's way longer than most of my chapters, so at least nobody's being short changed. ^_^

[AO3 link]


The opportunity came sooner than expected. An arms shipment, escorted by Los Muertos, task force almost certainly to be led by Jack Morrison - or, as it seems they called him, the white ghost.

Jesse McCree had been the one to catch the rumour, talking with some of his old Deadlock Gang contacts, who, turns out, would be happy if a rival gang did not get to run goods through their territory. And so, they passed the news to him, and he passed it to Amélie, who passed it to Venom, who gave it to Overwatch, and Gabriel Reyes, who built a plan.

Mockingbird lay atop the crest of the hill, silent, even her breath inaudible, even to herself, even she wasn't entirely sure she was bothering to breathe right then, as the small three-vehicle convoy stirred itself, beginning its early-morning trundle out of the two-building ghost town that had once called itself Cloverdale. There had been more here, once, before the climate warmed, but really, it had ended before then, a former bit of a farming town, a little store, a dance pavilion, enough water - just - for a bit of crop and cattle raising, but now, even that last was gone, which is, of course, why they were all where they were.

The sniper had been in her nest since two days before, had watched the convoy trundle its way across the desert and to a stop, loading out into the little stone ruin, and calling it a night. She had not slept; she did not need to, for this watch. Once everyone had tucked themselves in so nicely, so quietly, she'd then confirmed via radio to Gabriel that Jack Morrison was, indeed, in the front truck, and that they were not, in fact, transporting refugees or undocumented workers - there were no innocents to get in the way. Just a simple cargo delivery - maybe the weapons, maybe a side delivery before the main delivery, no way even to know.

Not that it mattered, really.

She watched as the convoy slowly rode its way west, towards her and past burned out soil, past former farm gates, now collapsing along the road, the paint bleached in the sun. She took in a breath, just enough to speak. "They're on their way."

Gabriel's voice in her ear. "Do you have the target?"

Lena allowed herself the smallest of smirks. Less than a kilometre. No breeze, at all. Crystal clear skies. Do I have the target. Honestly, Gabe. But she kept it to herself. "Target confirmed and moving into go/no go. Do I have go?"

Reyes ran through the numbers one more time in his head. Everyone in position for the ambush. A lot more fighters on the Los Muertos side - more than they expected, and it bothered him - but only one hard target. The gang side wouldn't be trying for a capture - they'd be shooting for kills, without hesitation - but Overwatch had surprise on their side.

"Nearing optimal range, Gabe. Go or no go?"

Who knows when we'll get intel even this good again, he decided. "Action confirmed. All team, on my mark - go."

Venom - no, Mockingbird - smiled the spider's smile, and pulled the trigger. Morrison's head jerked to the side as the tactical visor went flying out across the desert in pieces, and he swore, loudly, in Spanish, blinded by his own blood, but not really hurt, despite the proximity of the bullet. The transport vehicle swerved, blocking the road forward, but did not fly out of control, and seconds later he was shouting orders to his team as the Overwatch group moved in from the northeast, from the dried-up spring.

"Visor down," the sniper confirmed, as Mei threw up a wall behind the convoy, Gabriel lay down fire blowing out the front vehicle's tires, and the unlabelled Overwatch carrier blared its orders to drop weapons and be commandeered. Pharah charged into the air, letting loose with a series of rockets aimed at vehicle engines, as Mockingbird readied for a spray of long-range discouragement fire from her position, to keep the grunts under cover. She grinned as she watched the Los Muertos gangsters circle their vehicles and swarm for weapons, and then her grin froze as Jack darted away from her sight, without a visor, then reappeared on the other side of the transport vehicle, with one.

What th'...?! She looked back towards the wreckage of the visor. Yes, there, pieces, still on the ground. She called into comms, "Gabe, he has a second visor somehow, watch it!" just as Jack triggered the device, visual overlay screen appearing almost instantly, knocking Pharah out of the air just as she'd disabled the third vehicle. Mockingbird adjusted her sights and took a second shot, surely hitting him dead on, but somehow apparently not as he just kept shooting through the visor, after briefly jerking to the left.

She waited for a third shot, and Jack's head popped up again, again through the front transport, behind two windows. Mockingbird reacted instantly, and fired. Her vision seemed to blur, and suddenly, it was a Los Muertos grunt splayed out across the sand, her head smashed, and Jack Morrison was still firing.

Nobody's that lucky, she thought, coolly. Something's going on.

Los Muertos got a shield generator running as Mei threw up another wall while taking bullets to the shoulder and chest, saving Gabriel, who had also been hit and hurt by the barrage of bullets. Pharah limped back into the air, got off a single rocket knocking Morrison down, and went down again herself almost immediately, Mercy flying to her wife's side. Gabriel, Mockingbird, and - a moment later - Mercy's fire kept most of the rest of the Los Muertos fighters ducking for cover, as Winston leapt down, shield in place over the wounded Mei, Tesla cannon keeping braver Los Muertos back, as Athena flew in as pickup for the injured.

"Gabriel, Tracer here," Mockingbird shouted into comms, trying to force some emotion back into her voice. "Mockingbird's hit this guy in the head three times and he just shakes it off, something is very wrong. We need to..."

And then Jack fell to the ground, unconscious, and an older woman's voice came over the Overwatch comms, saying, "He's down, but it won't last more than 30 seconds. Get your wounded out while you can, and regroup at my position. Tracking beacon enabled."

-----

"A second visor?!" Gabriel - limping, but mobile - looked incredulously at Mockingbird as the small Overwatch strike force mended its wounds at the beacon site deep in the hills to the north. "He can't have a second visor. It's unique to each soldier. It was wired into his brain."

"Don't care," insisted the woman in black and green. "I shot the first one off, just like we planned it. It was on the ground, in pieces." She folded her arms. "My sight takes pictures, I can show you."

"But a second visor - that's not possible," Gabriel insisted.

"I know I hit him. I know I did. Three times. There's something we've missed, Gabe. This should've been easy and it was a disaster."

"You look very familiar," said the older woman with the beacon, looking with narrowed eyes at the younger sniper.

Mockingbird blinked, and looked over to the older woman, finally realising who she was seeing. "...no question of it on my side," she said, recovering. "The legendary Ana Amari, in the flesh. You're supposed to be dead. What the hell, mate? And how'd you get on our comms?"

Gabriel glanced away from Mockingbird and brushed dust off his hands, looking resolutely unsurprised. "Ana, this is our sniper specialist, callsign Mockingbird. Mockingbird, this is Ana Amari, apparently not dead."

Ana snorted at her former Blackwatch friend, and gestured over to Mockingbird. "You think that can replace me?"

"You have been dead since 2069," said Winston, stepping in between the new and the old, "as far as we knew." He gave Reyes a look, a look that said they would be talking about Reyes's lack of surprise in the very near future. "She's an independent contractor willing to work with us, and we're happy to have her service."

"I know that kit," said the Egyptian, with a sideways glance back to the younger woman. "And I know that blue tinge. Working with Talon, are we, now? Maybe Jack's not so crazy as I thought."

"Not with Talon, luv," Mockingbird lied. "But I always buy from the best. No second chances in this game. 'Cept for you, apparently. And Jack." She looked around at Angela and Gabriel and Ana, and frowned. "And apparently all you old lot."

Amari glanced disdainfully at the young assassin, then returned to ignoring her, looking back to Gabriel. "And where's the so-called Hero of Old London supposed to be, then?"

Mockingbird glared, anger a flash across her face. No, she told herself. Lena's not here. Ana's trying to provoke you. Realising that, she found she didn't even need to bring up the web further to keep control. It's a game. She knows, she just wants us to admit it. Spill the beans, grams? Not likely.

"We all thought it was for the best if she stayed out of any direct action involving the man who left her to die in the Slipstream." He looked directly into the sniper's eyes. "Knowing you're here, I'd say that was the right call."

"Afraid she'd lose her cool, get hurt?" She made a little unimpressed sound, a kind of pffft. "And yet here you hand whatever they've made of her" - she waved at Mockingbird, without looking - "a sniper rifle. You're fools."

Lena almost spoke up, then almost laughed, but kept her expression flat. Nice try, she thought. "So I shouldn't ask for your autograph, then?"

Winston shook his head at Mockingbird's verbal jabs, and Gabriel crossed his arms, with a frown. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Ana. More importantly - where the hell have you been all these years?"

"Really? You're going to keep up this laughable facade?"

"Whatever. You gonna tell us where you've been all this time?"

Amari glared. "No. But I will give you this." She pulled a small memory card out of a coat pocket. "It's video and notes from a... previous attempt to solve the Jack Morrison problem. If you're going to try to kill him, I need you not to make things worse."

"We aren't trying to kill him," Winston said, taking the card. "We're trying to bring him to justice."

Amari spat at the ground. "There's no justice for what he did, or for what he's become. I thought you understood that."

Well, thought Mockingbird, there's one place we agree. She found she didn't like the agreement. "That's what I thought, too. Maybe I ought t'reconsider the point."

"Does it always make this much noise? Maybe it should be reprogrammed again."

"ENOUGH OF THIS." Mercy glided down from the flat spot on the hillside above, where she had been tending to Mei and Pharah, watching since Ana showed herself, stunned to see her mother-in-law, of all people, reappear from the dead - not her way, but alive and well the entire time.

"Angela, why are you mixed up in this idiocy? I thought you'd know better."

The field medic marched over to the old military officer, and slapped her across the face, hard, staggering her back. "You dare show your face? You dare act like this to my friends, after what you have put us through?!"

"Woah!" interjected Mockingbird, jumping forward to restrain the doctor. "Angela, no! It's fine, she's just horrible!"

"No," she said, looking back, and shaking her arms free, "it is not fine!" She turned back to the old soldier, and pointed to Pharah, unconscious, but recovering. "She mourned you. You ignored her as a child and she loved you anyway and then you died and she put it behind her and now you are here and alive and she is here and wounded and you have not even acknowledged her existence?!"

"I've done what has been necessary, and I've stayed out of the way of the medic while she works. Fareeha will understand that."

"Will she? I hope not! But I will make sure she knows. I will make sure she knows everything. Including how horribly you have just abused our Mockingbird. 'It?! '" She shook herself, as though fluffing feathers she did not have, except in her wings. "You call her an it?! She is a person, not a tool, and you have become a monster."

Quietly surprised, Lena's heart tore, just a little, at the medic's furious defence. "Doc, really, it's fine, she's just digging..."

"I know what she's doing," Mercy said, not looking at Lena. "And I don't care why." She turned to the openly astonished Reyes and Winston. "We should get the wounded out of American territory as soon as possible. They will not be happy with our actions today."

"I agree," said Reyes, taking the opportunity. "Ana, we can pick this up later. Do any of your old dropboxes work?"

"No. Do yours?"

"Boxburg does."

"I'll leave a contact point there, then."

"Thanks. And... thanks for helping out."

"You're welcome. Maybe next time we can work together, make sure the grown-ups are in charge."

Mockingbird's face showed absolutely no sign of emotion, and her hands did not tighten visibly on her rifle.

"We'll talk later," said the former Blackwatch head. "Team - back to the ship. Mockingbird, give Mercy some help with Mei; Winston, I wouldn't mind a little help myself. Let's roll out."

The Lunar gorilla offered his friend an arm, as Mockingbird turned towards the Chinese scientist with a curt "acknowledged." Behind Venom's mask, beneath the web, the assassin roiled viciously, but no hint of that storm made it outside.

Maybe I've got more than one problem to solve, she thought, as she guided the semi-sedated Mei up off the ground. Maybe I've got two or three.

Fairly normal day

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:37 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
I went to work, got there on time, did the laptop program with the teens, got a reasonable turnout. That was it for work.

The FWiB didn't call, but I knew he wasn't going to because he went out to dinner, so no biggie.

After work I went to my meeting, which was good. I chaired, the topic was patience.

Bjorn ate a good breakfast this morning so I feel better about him not eating at all well last night. We shall see how he eats tonight.

And that's about it.

Still no word from Dreamwidth on my support request.

Gratitude List:

1. Bjorn ate well this morning.

2. The FWiB.

3. My meetings and the people there.

4. Only rained in the afternoon.

5. Air conditioning, still.

6. Bed soon.

Well. Looks like I solved the line break problem on my own. I unchecked the "disable auto format" box, and now it seems to be working.

Bad accident in Flushing

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:06 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
A tour bus hit an MTA bus and careened into Kennedy Chicken, killing three (the driver of the tour bus, a passenger on the MTA bus, and a pedestrian), injuring at least 19, and starting a fire in Kennedy Chicken. I was home asleep at 6 am when this happened around the corner from me. But I was affected by the traffic snarl it caused, because my bus was rerouted and I had to walk up to the Whitestone Expressway to get my bus.

Aside from that the day was OK. I did the gaming program with the teens and it was moderately successful.

After work the FWiB called and we talked while I went to meet up with [personal profile] mashfanficchick and her mother. We went to Applebee's for $6.99 burgers for dinner. Delicious.

Came home and fed the cats and turtle. Bjorn ate this morning, but tonight he ate almost nothing. I may have to take him back to the vet.

Gratitude List:

1. The FWiB.

2. Friends.

3. Wasn't involved in the accident.

4. Delicious burger.

5. Air conditioning.

6. Bjorn as long as I have him.

Still having to put breaks in by hand, still no word from Dreamwidth.
doc_paradise: (honest)
[personal profile] doc_paradise
 

Title: When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behaviour, Change Your Relationships

Author: David B. Wexler, Ph.D.

ISBN: ISBN-13 978-1-57224-346-0

Type: Fixer

 

Summary: 

“When Good Men Behave Badly” focuses on men’s feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and perceived threats to identity that can lead to acting badly in otherwise good men with good values, who want to make good choices instead of being emotionally hijacked by their limbic system. It offers these men acknowledgement and an understanding of their emotional life with the goal of equipping them with new behavioural options.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains examples of domestic violence and examples of derogatory language

 

Presentation Style

This is a self-help book for middle-aged, white, cis-men written by a middle-aged, white, cis-man. On the one hand, this framing is useful because this to create a tone of (white) men talking to (white) men about shared experiences which may be difficult for women (and others) to have sympathy for when they are on the receiving end of the described bad behaviour. On the other hand, the advice is very binary oriented (men and women only), heteronormative (heterosexual and monogamous assumptions), and doesn’t discern between different groups of men (one size fits all *sigh*). It doesn’t specifically state that it is about white men, but with a white man on the cover… it doesn’t do anything to move away from white men as the default. I’m agender, I don’t exist in this book.

Speaking of the cover… I hate it. My edition has a white man in a dress shirt holding flowers behind his back. My mind jumps to the assumption that the man is in the “doghouse”. A focus group somewhere may have determined that this is brilliant marketing, but it makes me cringe. The irony of the cover is that the book warns of the importance of perception by telling the story of one of the author’s clients, who had a great session with him, but never returned to therapy after the author recommended a book that had the phrase “verbal abuse” in the title.[1]

“When Good Men Behave Badly” is a relatively short book (199 pages + references) that overviews and introduces a selection of ideas, explanations, exercises, and suggestions. It uses examples heavily (see content warning) and fiction examples which may be dated (I don’t recognize most of them, but that didn’t make much of a difference to understanding). This is introductory material. If you want to go into the topics in depth you will have to follow up with other material [2] or seek out a therapist familiar with men’s issues.

 

Chapter Breakdown:

1. Good Men and Broken Mirrors — Introduces mirroring, broken mirrors, and twinning through the concept of selfobjects (someone or something that helps us feel cohesive). How the broken mirror experience can trigger acting out. 

2. The Power of Women — What men are taught [by toxic masculinity] to expect from women and how emotional dependancy on women for missing needs can lead to resentment or withdrawal, and a perception that they have power over men.

3. Fathers and Sons: Curses and Blessings — How fathers may expect sons to be positive mirrors, react to them as broken mirrors when they don’t measure up, and what this does to boys. 

4. Midlife, Affairs, and Projections —What people do when there is a gap between what is and what they expected in their life. This talks about self-awareness, distress tolerance, taking responsibility and how these can help when it feels like something is missing.

5.  Men’s Brains —What it is like to be hijacked by your limbic system and the effects of anger. Some strategies for dealing with these.

6. Odysseus, Relational Heroism, and Imaginary Crimes — How to be a Relational Hero through self-awareness, preparation, and doing things differently. How to let go of Imaginary Crimes.

7. Guy Talk —How men talk to themselves and other men, and how that sets the frame for behaviour.

8. What Women Can Do —For those women who read the book, a short chapter on dealing with men (and raising boys) within the context of the author’s “good men” hypothesis with some concrete “try these” ideas. It also recognizes that there are men who are dangerous and not just behaving badly.

 

My Opinion:

This is a book about how toxic masculinity fucks over men.

 

“When Good Men Behave Badly” presents itself mainly as a relationship repair guide, but it is more about how men can have better relationships with themselves through self-awareness, emotional regulation, and understanding the influences of masculinity in themselves… improved romantic and family relationships is a (very positive) side-effect of being able to navigate one’s internal landscape without being capsized or swamped. I think it is important to healing and growth that men have acknowledgement of their feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and missing needs, and I like that this book acknowledges this as something that women do for men while at the same time pointing out that disowning responsibility for those needs ultimately undermines the ability to get them met. I like that the author manages to navigate recognizing the subjective reality of these feelings while disassembling the idea that it is women’s job (and men are helpless) to emotionally regulate men. The author strongly believes in men’s positive ability to learn how to regulate and manage their emotional needs well. 

 

That said, as an agender person who is regularly misgendered as a woman, I’m struggling to find a way to get this book into the hands of the men I think who would benefit from it (possibly even enjoy it), without giving the impression that I think they are broken and harmful people. The book goes in a much different direction than that, but that doesn’t matter if first impressions means they don’t get past the cover.[3] Even beyond the usual problems with giving self-help books to people[4], I think it may be especially difficult, due to the topic, for a woman to give this book to a man without it being potentially perceived (accurately or inaccurately) as shaming. That is unfortunate.   

 

I think, therefore, that this is a book for men to read and then share with other men in an act of twinship mirroring. 

 

-------------------------------

Footnotes:

[1] One of Wexler’s areas of specialty is domestic abuse. He has a number of other books on the topic as well as a book about men in therapy, which (according to the blurb I read) apparently does deal with groups of men other than white cis-men. 

 

[2] Such as the work of Terrence Real (author of “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” a book on male depression) which is quoted and referenced in this book. 

 

[3] Being known as someone who reads a staggering number of self-help/psychology books does help diffuse this “I’m giving this to you because you’re broken” vibe, but still… “Hey! I found this fabulous book on [insert taboo topic here] that I think you will love and get lots out of!” isn’t a great party topic for most people. My friends have figured out how to run with it, but they are also used to seeing books on conflict or trauma (for example) on my coffee table.

 

[4] Self-help books don’t make good gifts folks. They are specifically aimed at fixing people and giving them will *always* have an underlying message that needs to be managed. I love self-help books but there are books on my shelf that just sit there unread specifically because of the framing of their gifting. 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, a doctor, or a professional reviewer. I do, however, own and enjoy reading a staggering number of self-help books and I have opinions. Lots of opinions. One of these opinions is that the underlying assumptions in “self-improvement” and “self-help” books should be unpacked. These reviews may or may not do that, but I will try to acknowledge both some of the potentially useful and potentially problematic aspects of the books I review. 

you are not the superior widowmaker

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:07 am
solarbird: (widow)
[personal profile] solarbird
I got to play a lot of Widowmaker today (three sessions!) and I just have to write down a couple of moments.

First: backfill on a doomed team, I came in as Widowmaker and made them competitive. We still lost, but they went from being steamrolled - apparently, the entire game, given how much time was remaining when I arrived and how close the enemy payload was to destination - to a serious goddamn problem. We held them nearly five minutes, despite being less than five metres from destination when I arrived. It took a large ult stack to beat us, too.

I've long been able to shift games like that for a while as Tracer or D.va or Pharah, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've managed that big of a swing as Widowmaker.

Second, towards the end, I had three games against the same enemy Widowmaker, username something like "animevslife" or somesuch, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that she was completely outclassed, by me. I was headshotting her at will, and had like five just of her in one game. (I was also carding a lot, and the only member of my team to card in the last game.)

It's not that they were a terrible team, or even that she was a terrible Widow - she was not entirely unproductive - but she had to stay the fuck away from me, because I would just end her on sight. I've been the better Widowmaker several times before, of course, but this was just not even close, and wonderful.

Slept late

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:17 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Though not as late as I could have I guess, so that's OK. My milk had turned so I ate used up the last of the powdered instant flavored coffee I had leftover from the cottage, then went out later for brunch from Dunkin" Donuts.

Spent most of the day puttering on-line, or reading. I've started rereading Godstalk, the first of the Godstalker books by P C Hodgell. I've read the first one many times, the second one I think once, and I didn't know until recently that there were more. After I finish the second one I shall have to see about getting more on my Nook.

The FWiB called and we had a nice long talk. Texted back and forth with [Bad username or unknown identity: Mashfanficchick"], we may go out tomorrow.

Bjorn didn't eat any of his leftovers this morning, but he ate so much last night that I'll only be worried if he doesn't eat tonight. He's in the bathroom now eating, I hope.

Called The Kid, no answer. Left a message, hope she calls back.

Gratitude List:

1. The FWiB.

2. Days to read.

3. Good books.

4. Friends.

5. Cats.

6. Have more reding time tonight.

Edited to add: Still having to put the breaks in by hand.

Current Reading

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:03 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Ever since I got my Kindle, I've been making trawls through Project Gutenberg, grabbing whatever looks interesting. It's not always successful; the copy of Pepys' Diary that I downloaded was a Victorian edition, considerably bowdlerized.

One recent pickup was "Bearslayer", an epic poem by the Latvian poet Andrejs Pumpurs. It's kind of a Latvian analogue of "Kalevala"; Pumpurs gathered together a bunch of folk tales about the legendary hero Bearslayer and wove them into a single poem. I finished it the other day. It's rather interesting; the Latvian gods appear, along with devils, witches, ogres, and assorted other monsters. It's set, however, in a fairly recent time-period, during the invasion of the Baltic states by the Teutonic Knights. Bearslayer is a leader in the doomed defense. There's one bit which jarred me, though. As Bearslayer's prophesied doom approaches, it is suddenly revealed that he has bear's ears, and if they are cut off his power will be diminished. No foreshadowing at all; his bride never asks, "Honey, what's wrong with your ears?" Still, it was fun.

My current Kindle reading (I rotate through them):
Lad, a Dog, Albert Payson Terhune. Yes, Terhune was a racist, and it's very explicit when it comes up. Fortunately, it's only come up once in the first 80% of the book. Other than that, they're standard dog stories.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe. I think this is one of the books that Jane Austen mocked in Northanger Abbey. Not too much Gothic yet, but I'm still in the early part of the book.
Sir Walter Scott's Journal. It's pretty interesting; we get glimpses of James Fenimore Cooper, the Duke of Wellington, and various other early-nineteenth century figures. There's a story of a man who'd been exiled to Australia and, feeling for some reason indebted to Sir Walter, sent him an emu. Scott accepted it, being under the impression that an emu was a sort of large parrot. He was unpleasantly surprised by the truth. (There's a later entry: "I offered the emu to Lord ####." No indication that the offer was accepted.)
Morphosyntactic Change, by Los, Blom, and Booij. This is a rather technical work on particle verbs in Dutch, German, and English, today and through history, and I'll admit I'm in over my head. But it's interesting to see what questions they're wrestling with, and what kinds of answers they give.

I'm also rereading Peter Hamilton's Judas Unchained. It and the preceding volume, Pandora's Star, are doorstops, but the story is intricate and absorbing.

advice received on a treadmill

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:42 am
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

This is a semi-sequel to "I Could Murder a Chippie," inspired in part by the fact that my gym's colours are UW Huskies colours, which is to say, Talon purple, and Overwatch gold, and that had to show up somewhere. [AO3 link]


"Th' hell?" said Venom, as the treadmill she was on - black and purple, like so much Talon gear, like so much Talon corporate culture - suddenly gained gold highlights.

"Ha!" said Tracer, as the treadmill she was on - black and gold, like so much Overwatch gear, like so much Overwatch corporate culture - suddenly gained purple highlights.

Venom looked to her left, the previously unoccupied treadmill now occupied by her mirror image, almost, hair almost the same, eyes almost the same, accelerator stripes most definitely not the same, or even there at all.

Tracer looked to her right, the previously unoccupied treadmill now occupied by her mirror image, almost, hair almost the same, eyes almost the same, accelerator missing, but she has thin stripes showing on her shoulders and legs, faintly shining blue.

"Hiya!" said Tracer, beating Venom to the punch. "Somehow I just knew you'd have a gym on Filicudi."

"You again..." Venom's mind raced, as she thought back to the impossible luncheon she'd shared with the Manic Pixie Murder Machine. "...that was real?"

"Kinda!" chirped Tracer. "As real as interdimensional transits can be, anyway. Thought I'd see if I could set up the right conditions and meed up again. You remember me, so I guess it worked!"

Venom reached over and tried, and failed, to touch Tracer. Tracer did the same, in reverse. At least she's not really here, thought the assassin. That's a relief. "So... your Winston's somewhere off... in some impossible direction from here, I guess?"

"Yah! Well, yeah, I guess so, but not to me. He's been helpin' out, but it's by remote. We've had this set up a while - it's the first time it's actually worked!"

Venom looked crossly at her Overwatch alternate-dimension counterpart. "So. Your Overwatch doesn't work with your Talon, does it?"

"Nope!"

"So what's this about, then? Intel gathering?"

"Kinda?"

"Won't matter, y'know. Apparently, our kind of Talon is pretty rare."

"Yeah, I've only seen a few of your lot. Tekhartha always dies, 'cept when it's you... which is..." she looked down at her treadmill, and let it coast to a stop. "...why I wanted to apologise."

Venom blinked, letting her treadmill slow to a stop as well. "...wot?"

"I'm sorry. For calling you evil. I've been thinkin' about that fight we had, and..." She let out a deep breath, and took another one. "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I mean, you're still assassins, and I still can't go with that, but..." She shook her head back and forth, slowly. "Bloody hell, love, you saved Tekhartha Mondatta. D'ya know how rare that is?"

"We've... kind of got that idea, yeah." Venom didn't say that mostly, worlds like theirs, they ended up without her, or with a Venom that didn't question the mission, with Widowmaker taking the shot. With atomic fire and ash. With the war that truly did end all wars.

But not here, she thought. Not us. Not now.

"So..." continued Tracer, "...I'm sorry."

Venom shook off the things that could've been, but weren't, and smirked, but with a little warmth to it. "You went to these lengths for an apology? Maybe you're not so bad as I thought, Tracer. I accept."

Tracer smiled her genuine smile, the soft one, the one she saved for people she really, truly liked. "Thanks."

"But you said you wanted intel. Sorta."

Tracer blushed furiously. "...yeah."

What's that blush? Venom wondered. "G'wan then..."

"Tell me..." she looked nervously off to the side, "...about Amélie."

"Wot." said Venom. This can't be what I think it is, she thought, or maybe it might. "I thought you and Emily were..."

"We are!" Tracer protested. "And we're happy! But..."

"...you've seen some of those universes where it's all three of us together, haven't you?"

"Yeah."

"And y'want that."

Tracer looked down, and her voice became very quiet. "I'd... I don't know. I don't know what I want. But I know I'd given up on her, and I... I think that was wrong."

Must do, thought Venom, to poke at spacetime about it. She sympathised, of course. How could she not? But might as well have some fun with her opposite. "Well, first things first. You have another apology to make, luv."

"For wot?"

"'Aggressively overstyled shitehawk' ring any bells?"

Tracer laughed. "Ah, c'mon, mate, that was a joke and you knew it."

Venom smirked. "Apologise anyway."

"Done," the Overwatch agent replied, laughing. "I'm sorry. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I'm sorry."

Venom grinned her famous half-grin, and looked off to the side, where Tracer could not see. "Amélie, Em, you think we should help her?"

Em?! thought Tracer. "What?! "

"Surprise!"

"What?! When?! "

Venom beamed, broadly. "We placed a discreet notice for a private top-class aircraft mechanic. Guess who showed up?"

"Wha... wha..." Tracer quite literally vibrated in place. Venom didn't think she could do that with her kind of accelerator, but, apparently, she could.

"Is that a question?"

"...yes?"

Venom just laughed. "It's fate, Tracer. Get used to it, it's probably gonna happen! Mostly just a matter of when."

"But luv, where do I start? How do I get past the Widowmaker and free Amélie?"

Venom frowned. "Y'want a serious answer? Y'won't like it."

Tracer nodded.

"Stop thinkin' they're different."

Tracer blinked. "But they are, Widow's not even - well, fine, not yours, but mine, Talon..."

"Doesn't matter," interrupted the junior assassin. "Got news, mate. If you can't love the Widowmaker, you can't love Amélie."

From out of range of the interface field, but not out of range of the movement of air to carry sound, came the senior assassin's voice. "It's true. Even when they think they've built someone completely new, they have not. They have only forced changes, and even then, fewer than they think. The foundation remains. It must, for the process to work."

"Woah," breathed Tracer. She knew the elder assassin had to be there, somewhere, but hearing that voice sent tingles down her skin. "...Widowmaker?"

Amélie stepped into what she suspected - correctly - was the area of field effect. She put down the free weights, wiped her face with a towel, and turned to the tangerine-clad Overwatch agent. "Hello, Tracer."

Tracer's breath stopped and she blinked, her mouth half open for a moment before she was able to close it, and she shook her head. Venom and Widowmaker exchanged the briefest of meaningful glances - oh, she's got it bad, doesn't she? - before Tracer collected herself, with a "...nice to see you, luv." The teleporter swallowed. "Even though you're not..."

"...your Widowmaker?" interjected Amélie.

"Yah."

"Neither is she," said Tracer.

Widowmaker nodded her agreement. "She is a person, cherie, and she is not yours."

Tracer took the point, and, for once, knew when to shut up. Amélie picked up on the silence, and granted her a small smile. "Ah, you already begin to understand, yes? She is real - as real as I am. As we all are, every one of us. Just as every Tracer is a person - even the most dedicated members of the worst kinds of Talon - so is every Widowmaker, no matter what she may seem to you."

"So she's still in there..."

"No," Widowmaker said, frowning a little, and crossing her arms. "Understand this. She is there, right there, in front of you, as I am now. Perhaps under various kinds of influence, perhaps traumatised, perhaps parts of her are muted, perhaps parts of the old her are even lost, perhaps she is even a new person built from the old - but no matter what has happened, she is that person now."

Tracer's eyes widened, as her thoughts flashed to all the ways she'd tried to talk to her universe's Widowmaker, and how offers to help, to undo what they'd done, to bring back Amélie, always backfired.

"...I've been..."

Widowmaker smiled.

"...telling her we'd do the same thing Talon did."

"Exactement," Widowmaker bowed, her arms now spread apart, as if on stage.

"Oh. Oh, oh, no," Tracer said, burying her face in her hands. "What've I done? "

"Hey, hey," said Venom, reaching forward uselessly, to comfort her opposite. "It's all right. She still talk t'you?"

Venom looked back up, towards the voice. "Yeh. Sometimes."

"Then," said Widowmaker, "I think it is not too late. I cannot imagine any version of myself that would talk to you if she had, how do you say, written you down?"

"Y'think?"

"Also, you are still alive, are you not?"

Tracer snorted. "Don't underestimate me, luv."

"Do not underestimate her, either." Widowmaker nodded towards Venom, whose accelerator stripes suddenly shined brightly, and then she grabbed Tracer off her treadmill, hand strong and oh so very solid. "Or me."

Tracer shrieked, and found herself unable to teleport away, as Widowmaker leaned forward, golden eyes bright, the spider bearing down on her terrified, halfway hypnotised prey. "Understand. I do this for her. Not for you. Can you love the spider? "

Tracer stared back into those gold eyes, and that cold blue face, overcome with fear... and then, suddenly, felt no longer afraid. She reached forward, pulled her arms around the Widowmaker, and kissed her, briefly but fiercely. Pulling back, she held the spider's gaze, and said, firmly, "...I can."

Amélie smiled coquettishly, and let Tracer go. "She does not taste like you, beloved," as Venom and Emily both laughed.

"They never do," said Emily, from outside the field.

"They never...?" replied Tracer, confused.

"You're not the first Tracer to come asking these questions, luv," Venom said, with something between a grin and a smirk. Her glow faded to normal, and Tracer returned to her insubstantial state, at least, for the Talon crew and gear. "All patched up. G'wan back home."

"And good luck!" she heard Emily call, from outside the field. "Most of us are pretty poly, but some of us aren't. Don't hurt your Emily, or I'll come after you myself!"

Tracer looked towards the direction of Emily's voice. "Not for anything, Em. Not for anything."

"I'll hold you to that," she shouted, as the field began to fade, and then collapsed.

Tracer dropped and sat on the treadmill's belt as the gateway failed, the last of the stored charge exhausted, patting the ground, the floor, the chairs, making sure she was still here, still home. She'd not expected to be grabbed completely into their reality like that, and she shivered at the thought of losing her Emily, her Overwatch, her world. That was... a lot riskier than I imagined! she thought. Winston'll want to know.

"So," she said, after a moment, looking over outside the field boundaries, to her Emily. "You still sure about this?"

Emily "Kestrel" Oxton raised an eyebrow. "After seeing you and her kiss?" The flying agent smiled a broad, bold smile. "I am. More than ever."

now i feel like i've earned it

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:18 am
solarbird: (widow)
[personal profile] solarbird
So when I got the smooth as silk trophy, okay, I got it, but it seemed cheap. Not much of an air shot. It was one, of course, but still.

Just now tho'? Archetypal. Three storeys up in the air, Eichenwalde, headshot, on Pharah, who was also in flight.

Now I feel like I've earned it.

[sci hist] A Most Remarkable Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:52 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.

The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.

It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.

Recommended.

Working Saturday

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:31 pm
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
It went OK, nothing much to say about it. Got a text from [personal profile] mashfanficchick from Renn Faire, where she had found a print of St Michael that she thought I might like, and wanted to know if she should buy it for me. I said yes, I haven't heard back from her so I hope she got it. Edited to add, just heard from her, she did. Yay!

After work I just came home. The FWiB called and we had a nice long talk.

And that's about all.

Put in a support request to Dreamwidth about the issue I'm having with the page and paragraph breaks, no reply yet.

Oh, and Bjorn ate more this morning, again, so I'm hopeful...

Gratitude List:

1. Cats.

2. The FWiB.

3. Friends.

4. Quiet day.

5. Despite looking grey and rainy this mornning, so I took my umbrella, it cleared up nicely.

6. Ice cream with dinner.

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