June 27th, 2017
ilanin: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ilanin at 12:07am on 27/06/2017
Today's prompt is "A song that makes you want to dance", something which many people who know me will be aware does not narrow things down that much. I spent a long time (mostly as a student) dancing and there are many songs associated with dancing in my memory, plus several other songs because of their rhythm or something else about them that often make me want to dance without them being associated with CDC or whatever. It almost feels like I could come up with one per dance I know and indeed while sitting here songs have occurred to me for the Viennese Waltz, Modern Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Continental Rock and Roll, Jive, Rhumba and Samba. But in the end I worked out which was the song that made me most want to dance. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, take your partners for the Sindy Swing: 

The list )
June 26th, 2017
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hooloovoo_42 at 10:26pm on 26/06/2017
Dropping off on the sofa last night didn't help much.  I was in bed by 11.30 and asleep by just gone 12, but awake again a little after 1am.  I did get some sleep and was having a lovely dream when the arguments on Today got too loud and I realised I must have told Alexa's alarm to stop twice and it was time to get up.

I swam 500m at lunch time.  Tonight I have picked raspberries, made yogurt, eaten cake, sorted my kit for the gym tomorrow and watched The Handmaid's Tale.  Now I think I shall retire and see if I can manage several hours of continuous sleep.
mtbc: maze I (white-red)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 09:40pm on 26/06/2017 under
Passwords are tricky to deal with. I like to have fairly long, random ones and to not reuse them. With the various accounts I have this means there are rather a lot of passwords to remember, an especial challenge when some must be changed on a regular basis and others ought to be.

Further, some authentication like for online banking requires various ancillary information: answers to security questions and the like. I do not like to give correct answers to these, nor reuse the answers, so that is even more to remember.

Some people use mnemonics but it is easy for one's mind to blank out on something well-known. I could keep written records in our safe but one sometimes require a rarely used password exactly at an inconvenient time or place. I certainly do not trust password-keeping apps.

I am not proposing or soliciting answers so much as noting that practical password management is a hard problem. Still, as ever, others' thoughts are most welcome.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 08:00pm on 26/06/2017 under ,
Day 9 of the (in my case very slow-running) music meme asks for a song that makes you happy. And I have quite a lot of those, making me happy is a big reason I have a music collection at all. I think I'm going to go for Complex person by The Pretenders. The lyrics are not all that cheerful in some ways, but I love the bouncy tune and I always hear this as a song about determination and not letting things get you down.

video embed, actually audio only )

Also I've had a good week for playing games: mostly list with short comments )
Music:: Poe: Hello
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 01:05pm on 26/06/2017

[This was the review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” I posted on June 8th 1999, shortly before the release of “Azkaban”.]

It's been quite a while since I enjoyed a previously unread children's book as much as I enjoyed HP&TPS. At first, the book did seem to skip through genres quite jerkily: I think the introduction, an ugly-duckling story as with the start of, say, James and the Giant Peach, was a bit too long for a section so separate from the rest of the story. But the mystery part was excellent and I never guessed the secret. (It's an interesting point that there's no way you can be really evil if you have a stammer.) Considered as a school story... I'm not sure I can tell: the conventions for stories about boys' schools and girls' schools are so different, and good stories (such as this one) about co-ed schools are correspondingly so rare. Perhaps this is just my limited experience.

Incidentally, I wonder how much she was influenced by DWJ. The idea of the Ministry of Magic is very similar to Chrestomanci's department (though with different motives); you could perhaps draw (a few) parallels with Witch Week.

The description of the first few days at the school did get slightly irritating, because your attention kept being summarily drawn to a rapid succession of things which were (or seemed to be) just for show, without any obvious use in the story (e.g. the Choosing Hat): it was rather as though the author had invited you over to show you her holiday snaps. This is one of the places where I'd draw unfavourable comparisons with the subtle way DWJ has of doing the same thing; nevertheless, there are lots of good little ideas used well, with Diagon Alley and the Every Flavour sweets being especially memorable.

A few oddnesses: I'm sure Hermione's logic puzzle has more than one solution. The bizarre HM turned without warning into a bizarre moralist beside the Mirror of Erised (though you could draw comparisons with his behaviour by Harry's sick bed). Quidditch was rather run to death. Were there really no half-decent people in the whole of Slytherin? And by the way, I'm fairly sure I remember reading in Brewer that the Philosopher's Stone was pink and crumbly, not scarlet... hmm!

But it's also been a while since I've slowed down towards the end of a book because I know I'm going to miss the characters (cf. the Neverending Story). So I think I'll look out for the sequel... besides, I want to know whether Harry & Hermione get together :) . I'll certainly be recommending this to people I know who are sensible enough to want to read it.

[And a small claim to fame: AFAIK I was the first person to try to create a Harry Potter newsgroup.]

wpadmirer: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] wpadmirer at 07:10am on 26/06/2017
McConnell is having the elderly and disabled protesting the ACHA at his Washington office bodily removed. No speaking to them. No addressing their concerns over the fact that the ACHA not only guts Medicaid, but puts caps on health insurance coverage back into place.

Saw this is a news article about the protest:

"The statement also stated the group's protest falls on the 18th anniversary of Olmstead v. LC -- the 1999 Supreme Court Ruling that first recognized disabled people's right to live in communities rather than institutions."

If you still support the Republicans seeing what they are doing to destroy the health care system that actually saved lives, then you are disgusting.

No one with a conscience or any empathy can support this. There is no justification for building a tax break on the backs of the poor and sick.

McConnell and Ryan are clearly sociopaths.
andrewducker: (Default)
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Tomorrow)
posted by [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait at 05:32am on 26/06/2017 under
Two weeks of roses and playparks, museums and public art, wide open avenues, petunias and rolling hills. Two weeks of Tom and he has failed to notice that I am fundamentally unlikable. He, of course, is perfectly delightful.

We spent one week in Almaty and one week in Astana, with a day in Bishkek and a train journey across Kazakhstan. It was every bit as wonderful as I could have imagined, and we had an amazing time. The people are so lovely and the cities so beautiful.
June 25th, 2017
ilanin: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ilanin at 03:52pm on 25/06/2017
Today's prompt is "A song that needs to be played LOUD". In some respects, this is a bit like a drink that needs to be consumed ice-cold in my opinion - if your music is that good, it shouldn't need volume as a crutch. (Also, I can absolutely hear when idiot sound technicians have increased the gain on their amps too much and are clipping the sound as a result, and I hate it).  Still, there is some music where volume does help the overall experience, and much of it was written in the nineteenth century. So here's some Johann Strauss Sr., with a piece of music whose name I can probably largely remember because I know who General Radetzky was: 

hooloovoo_42: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hooloovoo_42 at 11:24pm on 25/06/2017
I've been productive, but could have done more today.  Usual houseworkly crap - laundry, dishwasher, shopping, bins etc.  Add in the summer chore of fruit picking.   The back garden is seriously overgrown and needs weeding, but it rained this morning and I CBA to pull damp weeds.  

I had an osteopath appointment booked for tomorrow, but she rang the other day to ask if we could reschedule.  The only other day I can do next week is Friday, so that's that.  I've tweaked my back and could have done with seeing her tomorrow, but will have to cope for another few days.  I have noticed that I'm not taking so many painkillers at the moment.  Part of this is a conscious decision and part of it is because I'm trying to stretch more and swim more, so even though I know it's out of alignment, it's not as painful as it could be.

I just watched the season finale of Agents of SHIELD.  I know it's a bit late to have Joss Weedon's babies, but the offer is there.  He really does do fantastically evil Big Bads and then manages to dispose of them suitably and give us a totally off the wall ending.  My brain is going through serious overload.

And now I'm boggling at Tim Brooke Taylor singing the words of "Milkshake" to the tune of "We'll Gather Lilacs".  Oh, Radio 4!

Swimming tomorrow.  Gym induction on Tuesday.  My laundry basket is overflowing with PE kit!
marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 10:02pm on 25/06/2017 under

This is the first of our rose plants to flower.
The plant's name is Sheila.

I've been growing roses all my life.
I wear a necklace of rosewood.
In many ways, I am a rose.

Roses aren't naturally climbing plants, like bindweed or grapevines. They must be cared for, and bound to a structure. And I've learned that I need to give myself a structure, or I can't naturally climb.

I am a rose.

Roses need work. They must be pruned. The pruning is painful, but without it they won't flower.

I am a rose.

Nobody cares about dog-roses, nobody notices them, but they grow wild wherever they please. The popular roses that everyone admires are sterile and can't spread: they survive because they're grafted onto a dog-rose root. The roses nobody cares about are the roses that keep the others alive.

I am a rose.

I grew up near one of the biggest rose nurseries in the country, so everywhere there was me, there were roses too. I fell into many a rosebush while I was learning to ride a bike. I carefully grew one up the side of the house, a yellow rose with a mind of its own: soon I had to leave it to its own devices because it had grown taller than my arms could reach.

I am a rose.

When I was about six I had a dream of a concentration camp. I had been imprisoned, along with many other humans, by gaseous aliens who lived on methane. The armed guards would float around our cabins and the parade ground, terrifying us as much as they intimidated us.

Of course when you're sent to the camps, they take everything away from you: all your property as well as your dreams and your name. But I'd smuggled in one memento: a small twig of rosewood. I kept it in the pocket of my grey uniform and squeezed it tight whenever I was homesick.

One day I realised that roses have thorns. And that was the day I used the rosewood to burst and kill the guards at the gate, and run free into the outside world. One small piece of reality had torn a hole in the nightmare.

I am a rose.

fluffymormegil: @ (Default)
posted by [personal profile] fluffymormegil at 04:04pm on 25/06/2017 under

Due to my job involving taking phone calls from people living in London, I have noticed a linguistic phenomenon that intrigues me: some people whose first language seems likely to not be English display a tendency to use /jespliːz/ (with timing as if it was a single word) as the affirmative rather than simply /jes/.

mtbc: maze G (black-magenta)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 03:32pm on 25/06/2017 under
Glastonbury's back, giving me another source of easy live music thanks to the BBC. I don't know the annual festival calendar but I am happy to see them arrive; I guess Reading must still be coming. I think that Muse were my favorite Glastonbury set last year. While eating chicken balti with naan I am enjoying The Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde's still got it and the first several songs have already included my favorites. Like Muse, The Pretenders are one of the few groups to have generated many singles that I rather like. I don't recall catching television coverage of comparable American festivals when I lived there but perhaps I just didn't know where to look.
mtbc: maze B (white-black)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 02:41pm on 25/06/2017 under
Last weekend I enjoyed a lamb shish kebab from takeout in Perth. This weekend I enjoy döner chicken pizza: neither of the kids seems to like it so all the more for me. I am coming to wonder if I ought to learn more about the herbs and spices that are used. After suspecting that in liking sage and onion stuffing what I actually like is simply the sage, similarly perhaps there is some element of kebab seasoning that is particularly why I enjoy the döner kebab meat.
wpadmirer: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] wpadmirer at 07:54am on 25/06/2017
Boy, I really hate being up before 6. It just feels wrong.

Yes, Pat is cycling.

Yesterday we were both slugs. It was lovely.

Today he's off riding and I'm doing laundry so I won't be naked next week.

I cannot even talk about the Republican's health bill without wanting to foam at the mouth. It's all for a tax cut for the wealthy. Every single thing in it is to secure a tax cut for the people with the most money in this county.

And they're doing it on the backs of the poor and disabled.

There is no pit in hell deep enough for these people.
andrewducker: (Default)
mtbc: maze J (red-white)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 11:26am on 25/06/2017 under ,
Over a decade ago when I did not exercise my resting heart rate was so high that my doctor ordered blood tests. Nothing showed up so my fast heart remained an unresolved puzzle.

Since I have been exercising my resting heart rate has dropped to more usual levels. Yesterday I caught it down at 43, a surprise indeed as NIH regard 40 to 60 as being for well-trained athletes, though more commonly mine is low-50s. I also miss the occasional beat after exercise but some research suggests that too is fairly normal for people who work out. Still, being cautious I thought I should also check how fast my heart gets during exercise.

I considered working out on Friday. I really ought to have yesterday but I did not feel like it and am trying not to make it an unpleasant experience; besides, I had to head into Dundee for the afternoon. So, I postponed it again and today did not advance to the highest resistance level I have used in the past.

After my workout this morning my heart rate was over 150. If we wave our hands a little and take my maximum heart rate as 175 and my resting heart rate as 55, so my reserve is 120, then by the Mayo Clinic's guidelines this looks as if I am brushing the top end of my training zone for vigorous exercise. The American Heart Association says that, once used to working out, you may be able to exercise comfortably at up to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This tells me that I am certainly pushing myself enough and ought not increase the intensity any further which is great as it does not feel too bad at this level.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last weekend we made a family visit to the inlaws in High Wycombe, for some low-key hanging-out time together for the cousins to play together and the adults to gossip.  It was Too Hot, but at least every train on the way home had aircon, as did the taxi.  We experimentally departed from Cambridge North, as we are roughly equidistant from the two railway stations.  Advantage: not going through the centre of Cambridge. Disadvantages: only one direct train per hour to London on the weekend, no cafe or shops (yet), slightly more expensive by taxi.  But it was worth conducting the experiment to be sure.

We all struggled with the heat this week.  This house does a good cross-breeze when such a thing is worth doing - this week that was usually from approx 9pm to 7am, so a lot of opening and closing windows and doors according to temperature and people being awake.  We acquired a standing fan to help. I did a lot of waking up about 5am to open things and then droop back on my bed waiting for the breeze to help. I think I'd be a lot less resentful of the lost sleep if I'd been able to be productive with the time, but no.

I went out to a PARTY yesterday and enjoyed catching up with people, and being introduced to Subjective Guess Who?  This is played using the standard board game set, but you can only ask questions which have no objective answer - some memorable ones from last night included "Have they ever played World of Warcraft?" and "Are they a morning person?".  The kibbitzing from the audience is the best part.

Going to the party was utterly self-indulgent given the state of my studying since the election. Today will probably not include much studying either, as plans already include: taking C to see Transformers: The Last Knight, attempting to get some sandals beforehand, getting in my weekly call to my mother before she gets on a bus to San Francisco, and making the cheating version of Tudor costume for C's class trip to Kentwell this week.
mtbc: maze B (white-black)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 09:45am on 25/06/2017 under ,
I have mixed feelings about alcohol. Now that our population has access to potable water one imagines that on health and safety grounds alcoholic drinks would not be publicly available at all were they not so easily made. However, I do quite enjoy some drinks and they have a long tradition of social acceptance.

I am intrigued to find that in later life I drink less than I once did. Twenty years ago I might have been happy to drink over half a bottle of wine or a few beers over the course of an evening. Drinking was pleasant enough that I would go for the occasional week teetotal just to make sure that I still could.

These days, mostly I don't drink at all and, on those evenings that I do, it feels quite sufficient to have a bottle of beer, a quarter-bottle of wine or a double of whisky. I still rather enjoy the taste of many alcoholic drinks, I just stop sooner. This habitual moderation is not out of any pursuit of virtue, my tastes have simply changed. I do not know why I now drink less but it certainly was not planned.

I can still drink plenty if people kindly ply me with free drinks or there are open bottles of good wine that would otherwise go to waste but those happen rarely and that is just fine. In a big difference arising from moving back from US workplaces to UK workplaces there is often free alcohol available at work but I rarely have any because I could not then drive home. Additionally, British coworkers are more likely to drink together in the pub outside work but I avoid that also for cost reasons.
June 24th, 2017
ilanin: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ilanin at 10:10pm on 24/06/2017
Day 4's prompt is "A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about", which I initially struggled with, before realising that I'd done such a good job of forgetting about my former employers that I had forgotten that I wanted to forget about them. This was the song for my rather unhappy last few months there (..."I wasn't born for anything, wasn't born to say anything, I'm just here now and soon I'll be gone...")

(song starts at 0:45)

The list )


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