Friday, May 26th, 2017 01:11 am
Charlie Chaplin's Love Yourself Manifesto (which he may or may not have written; there is some confusion about this, but I am keeping the name on it as that is how I have heard of it...) behind cut for length )
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 09:23 pm
Ahhh, the first day in such a long time where I didn't have to get up for anything, go anywhere, or do anything in particular, other than have a phone conference with my doctoral advisor in the afternoon. Ahhh.

I did get up, though, and fairly early. Made some coffee and read the news of the day. I started a load of laundry and made short shopping list. Malida had to go to an appointment, so she left at 10, and I left shortly thereafter to do my shopping. I came home and had some lunch. Malida was already home and dying to tell me about her durian.

Durian is a large fruit generally found in Southeast Asia. It has a distinctive odor, and many airlines won't let you take it on board. When we were in Bangkok a few years ago, Malida put some in the refrigerator in our hotel room, and the housekeeper tossed it out. Malida thinks they actually ate it.

Anyway, she bought this big durian at the asian market and was quite happy, as she has been thinking about durian for a while now. It's pretty expensive here, but it is a taste of home. She offered to cut it cup outside, but I don't mind the smell.


I bought some stuff to make lasagna. I have one of those electronic pressure cookers that people go on and on about. some people treat it as if it is the only kitchen tool you need, but for me it is a tool that is good for some things, and maybe not good for others. There is a crazy Facebook page where people want to cook all sorts of stuff like a prime rib in it. NO!

Anyway, there was a recipe for lasagna that looked pretty reasonable. the lasagna is made in a springform pan that fits in the cooker. The recipe itself is pretty simple. You use the no-cook noodles and break them into smaller pieces so they will fit in the round form. Put some sauce over the noodles, add some meat (I used Italian sausage, a cheese mixture, and repeat until the pan is full.

I bought a 6 inch springform pan at a cooking store we came across yesterday, which was just about perfect for a small lasagna. I assembled the lasagna and put it in the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes. When it was done, I let the pressure release slowly, then took it out and tossed it under the broiler for a few minutes. I let it cool for a while, then released it from the pan.

It was delicious! And so easy to make. I will try it again with one of my other lasagna recipes and see how it comes out.


My meeting with my doctoral advisor went well. We set up some goals for the summer and fall, and discussed potential sources of funding for my project. I have about 6 months to get everything in shape for approval in the spring semester. I feel a lot better about it now than I did back in March. I feel like I have breathing room.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 11:36 pm
We have arrived! [personal profile] renay, [personal profile] justira, and I are in Madison, safe and sound, sacked out in our hotel room after a day of travel. We all flew into Chicago (me yesterday, Ira and Nay this afternoon), rented a car, and drove the two-ish hours with very little trouble. Made it into town just in time for the pre-con Guest of Honor reading at A Room of One's Own bookstore, where I got to sit next to [ profile] toughlovemuse. The two GoHs, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Amal El-Mohtar, each read a short piece and answered some questions. They are both fantastic performers with many interesting and worthwhile things to say, and I'm really excited for their speeches on Sunday, as well as hopefully seeing them around the con.

Now we are crashing early, in my case because the universe in its infinite wisdom decided to gift me with con crud BEFORE the convention. I've been under the weather with a bad sore throat since Sunday, to the point that I even changed my Wednesday flight to see the doctor before I left (but it seems to just be a stubborn virus). The main problem is talking, which is a fun thing to have trouble with at a con when you're on four panels. :/ But hopefully it will run its course soon. (So if you see me, and I dodge a hug or don't seem my usual bright and sunny self, you know why.)
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 10:52 pm
Today the news covered the GOP lawmaker in Montana who body-slammed a reporter when the reporter acted like a reporter. It looks like tonight he is winning his special election. It was strange to read blowhards on twitter defend his actions.
Tonight after work I walked the Chisholm Trail. The world is one large Blue Jay.

Breakfast: cereal and mlik
lunch: turkey sandwich and baked chips
dinner: spaghetti with meat sauce

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 09:20 pm

And this year I did manage to get a massage from the amazing massage therapist at the place on the square, it was quite entirely wonderful.

Yesterday and earlier today it was still quite cool and cloudy, but seems to have warmed up by late afternoon.

Spent a mostly quiet and lazy day before going to the A Room of One's Own Reading.

Have managed to see and have some degree of conversation with the old familiar faces.

Have registered and must now look through the schedule to see what (apart from panels I am actually on) I want to go to.

Really, no news here, pass along.

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 12:34 pm
Forty years ago, and a week, I graduated from undergrad, on a Saturday. The first Saturday after that, my boyfriend called and said he'd gotten advance tickets to this new movie that was coming out; did I want to see it with him? The theatre was across town, new, this was the first movie they were showing.

We sat halfway down, not quite on the aisle.

The yellow letters on the screen said, 'Long ago, in a galaxy far far away...' (None of this Episode 4 business; that was Lucas's recut and redubbing and messing with it later.)

And when the big triangular star-destroyer ship filled the 70-mm screen, I ducked. So did everyone else. We'd been focusing on the screen so tightly that it felt as if the thing was overhead or in our laps. (Good thing 3D movies hadn't been invented yet...)

When we came out of the theatre nearly two hours later, the world had changed. There were new things in it - Jedi and Wookies and a kick-ass princess and a sarcastic smuggler and an idealistic farmer and light sabers and music we couldn't get out of our heads and scenes we couldn't forget.

The world is still changing, and they are still in it. Wherever they are, they are still in it.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 07:32 am
Early Wednesday morning my wife stayed up to watch the United States President meet the current Pope.  We are not Catholics, and we disfavor the current President's policies. She said she liked watching the ceremonial feeling to the proceedings.

I thought last night about the way the internet used to be for me. I used to surf to find static websites with interesting information. I used to read and respond to a lot more weblogs. Most of my surfing was before we had high-speed internet.  I recall what a big deal it was to be able to quickly download audio and video.

The poison ivy I got on my wrists seems to be largely contained, except for the small patch on one eyelid. I wore gloves, but I should have had long sleeves on.  I love that odd feeling of wanting to scratch, but knowing better.

I re-watched "Edge of Tomorrow" last night. that movie interests me even on multiple viewings.

I am reading my current ebook 10 pages at a time. I like the 50pages/session ones best,but each has its own pace.

breakfast: instant oatmeal and skim milk,
lunch: soft chicken tacos
dinner: sphaghetti and meat sauce

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 07:37 am

... Bob Howard, IT expert and paranormal secret agent, is back in Charles Stross' ([personal profile] autopope ) fourth Laundry novel, The Apocalypse Codex, and it's gonna be a rough ride!
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 11:07 pm
Cooler today, and the air was forecast to be less ozone-filled. So I mowed the backyard. Meanwhile the extension that was put onto a house over the back fence is having yet more added to it; they must have discovered another six square inches of the yard they hadn't roofed over. Constant racket of power tools: construction hereabouts seems to involve smoking drills and giant staplers.
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 02:35 pm

What I read

Finished Rebel: very very good and longing for the next one (Chekhov's [spoiler])!

Following seeing somebody on my reading list commenting about it, took a punt on L Rowyn, A Rational Arrangement (2015), which is a poly romance in a fantasy (though possibly implied sf) setting of vaguely Regency mores, but on a world where there are other societies with ways of doing things. And as I recall, the person who was reading it had some niggles, and indeed I had some, though possibly different niggles - I have surely previously mentioned my dislike of those narratives in which Our Heroine is the only square peg of her sex, and all the others seem to fit neatly into round holes (I lately did not proceed with a fantasy highly recommended by someone whose judgement I respect because it had the Her Sister Is Shallow and Bitchy trope). However, this did manage to engage me even with that niggle (just as Emma Newman's Split Worlds series gets something of a pass on the Shallow Bitchy Sister).

Anyhow, I enjoyed it well enough to finish it, to read the 3 novellas set in the same world with the same characters, Further Arrangements (2016).

Travel reading has been soothing comfort rereads.

On the go

That book for review, which I've actually brought with me on my travels in the hopes that I might get it read and be in a position to write the review before the deadline.

Scott McCracken, Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction (1998) - picked up in a charity shop as the title was vaguely familiar. Am feeling that it would be a different book if written 10 or so years later with the rise of online book discussions; also, invokes terribly terribly OK bloke authorities, and I'm a bit hmmm at his choices of specific authors and books discussed.

Up next

No idea, supposing I have much time for reading.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 08:18 am
I put out all three bins for collection: yard waste, recycling (it's a split cart, paper in one side, plastic/metal/glass in the other), and trash. It took till late afternoon for the recycling to be picked up, so meanwhile after doing some gardening I baled up some cardboard boxes from the garage and propped them against the cart.
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 08:59 am
Happy birthday, [personal profile] catlinyemaker and [personal profile] ruudboy!
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 09:08 pm
I woke up early at 6 am, and tried to wake Malida who said, "15 minutes", and then it was 8:30. We decided it was too late to go back into Yosemite. You have to get there early to avoid the crowds, and we were too late for that. So we had coffee and decided on plan "b" which was to drive down to Jamestown and see the railroad museum, and stay in the town of Murphys. We chose Murphys because it was a town we had never visited.

It was hot by the time we got on the road--88 degrees, portending an even hotter day. It was ok, because we knew there was a pool waiting for us in Murphys. We got to the rail museum just in time to participate in the roundhouse tour that was starting at 11:30.


The roundhouse was awesome. Not just the engines, but all the tools and pieces of iron lying around. I will post more of it later. Interestingly, I took more pictures in the roundhouse than I did in Yosemite.


This stuff fascinates me to no end. The roundhouse has a blacksmith shop with all sorts of hand-forged tools they have used on the trains, and still do. I am sure at least two of you share this fascination. More pictures in the coming days.


Laura, the docent who guided us on the tour through the roundhouse. I have gotten out of the habit of photographing random people, but the light was so good here I couldn't resist. I will see if I can send this to her.

poppies and rust

Poppies and rust.

After the museum we headed to Murphys and checked into the hotel. We had a nice nap and got up to take a swim in the pool. After that we waked into the town and were completely charmed by it. There are a lot of wineries around here, and a lot of them have tasting rooms in town. They were all closed, but we made plans for another day. We had a lovely dinner at an open-air restaurant, and met a guy who drills wells. When he was a boy, he had a goat named Hortense, who won a ribbon at the county fair. There is a whole other story about this guy.

toilet heaven

Toilet heaven, Murphys, Ca.
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
The hailstorm cut the top off one of the tomato seedlings, literally just sliced right through the stem. I stuck it in a glass of water along with a similarly abused tomatillo, and am watching new roots form along the stem.

Kind of creepy.

I was following this person down the road after work and suddenly noticed the bumpersticker, which I love.
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 09:11 pm
Tonight I went to the Audubon Society meeting.  This meeting was the final meeting of the year, the annual potluck. I took with me fresh strawberries and a strawberry cheesecake. The meeting was fun. I had a nice chat with the couple at my table. The program was a slide show of the members' photos.  I had five of mine in the slideshow, which were pretty ordinary compared with the world-wide and more professional ones others submitted. But I was glad to see mine in the slideshow anyway.

One highlight of the evening was a release by the local raptor rehabilitation group.  Two owls had been raised from owlet stage, and are now
young, capable owls. Each had been tested for its ability to be independent and passed. Each was released. One flew off, as if hunting. One flw off a bit , but then landed a ways off. Independence strikes everyone a bit differently.

I was pleased to hear the report on all the conservation programs in our region our society reports.  I donate a little each year to that purpose, but might should increase my donation a bit.

At lunch today I walked in Heritage Park in Sachse. I liked the male Painted Bunting singing in the distance. Today the rains were going to come, but never quite came.

Breakfast: cereal and skim milk
Lunch: broccoli, carrots and 3 slices of buffet spinach alfredo pizza
Dinner: smoked chicken, salad, a tiny slice of sweet potato cornbread, a roll, strawberries and pineapple.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 06:30 pm

But after a reasonably uneventful transatlantic journey, and O'Hare being no more irksome than before, and indeed, the passport kiosks do speed things up though there is still queuing once you've done so -

It's really, really annoying to find that the wifi in the hotel is on the fritz (actually, there was also something Not Right with Heathrow Terminal 3 wifi this morning, but at least I still had mobile data activated on my phone without the prospect of ruinous charges) which is apparently a wider system problem.

I am therefore posting from the one terminal in the lobby that is a) connected to the internet and b) actually works - I had to remove myself temporarily when a young person wanted to 'very quickly' print something out, which turned out not to be quick at all, tell me again about the digital native generation.

Yes, in the general scheme of things, a minor inconvenience. But after a day of taxis and airports and planes, annoying.

But, anyway, here I am.