Friday, October 20th, 2017 01:37 am
A library realized that homeless people were hiding books under cushions to finish later.  So the librarians designated a shelf for homeless readers to store their "in use" books.  This is a replicable solution that any library can use if they have a similar challenge.  Meanwhile over in Terramagne, this sort of thing is common.
Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:16 pm
This poem is spillover from the November 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and Anonymous on Dreamwidth. It also fills the "drunk girl / guy" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes confusion, indecision, college party hijinks, Whitney sneaking alcohol into a non-alcoholic event, binge-watching television, Whitney passing out drunk on the couch, reference to past alcohol misuse, reference to past rape, Mallory having a panic attack with awful flashbacks and other intrusive images, Heron calling the Student Health Center for Whitney, Mallory crying on Heron, and other angst. But there's a lot of fluff too. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

Read more... )
Thursday, October 19th, 2017 05:13 pm
Today is sunny and warm.  Birds are fluttering around.

We went out and scraped ash out of the firepit, so we can build a fire for Samhain.  Then we picked up sticks out of a big pile of leaves that Doug raked up earlier. 
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 09:20 pm
People are freaking out over football players kneeling as a civil rights protest. As I've said repeatedly, this should be encouraged, not condemned. It is a rational, legal method of solving problems. If you block that, people will resort to less rational, less legal methods. I would prefer not to have race riots all over the place. Again. The catch is, kneeling is an effective way to attract attention but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. For that we need more. And then [personal profile] dialecticdreamer came up with this gem:

"Kneeling falls entirely under right of free expression and social protest. Anyone who tries to decry that it 'damages' the corporation a public figure works for, whether a sports team or a bakery, is an authoritarian idjit. Were I the manager of a sports team, the SECOND one of my players knelt in protest, I'd arrange to meet them, and ask what can help. Public outreach. More sports camps and mentorships for youth in poverty, who are disproportionately darker-skinned (but I'd be careful not to make skin color a requirement-- you've heard this rant before)."

Well, the famous guys are difficult or impossible to reach, for practical reasons. But it's not just them anymore; players on local teams sometimes do the same thing. They can be reached, and so can their managers. Letters to the editor of any newspaper would be another way of publicizing this idea. We can also just put this topic in blog posts. Then if anyone is involved in sports where this is happening, they have a solution to try.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 05:56 pm
Recently a friend mentioned looking forward to an event but worrying that it might be overwhelming. This can happen. It happens more often to people with special needs -- or introverts, who are a huge portion of the populace that is simply ignored in almost all event planning, thus necessitating additional accommodations. Here are some ideas to make your trip safer and happier ...

Read more... )
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 02:40 pm
I've still got this damned head cold or whatever it is and it's awful and won't go away. I was feeling better yesterday but that didn't last.

I was fuckin' terrible today in lunchtime Overwatch. Well, as Widow, anyway. I was good as Tracer as always, and the weird thing is, the one time I wasn't terrible as Widow, it was in deathmatch, where I was surprisingly competitive against a pretty heavy set of enemies including three Pharahs and a D.va, which is not normally a recipe for competitiveness but I was.

So I was feeling pretty okay in warmup. But christ, go into quickplay and suddenly it's WHAT IS SNIPERS? and I can't hit a shot to save my life. (And that included while winning. So.)

This is in huge contrast to yesterday where I was not just playing well, but had another entire game of being the Widowmaker I want to be. Defence in Hollywood, 70% scope accuracy, eight criticals, golds in objective kills and objective time and silver in total kills, enemy Bastion got so sick of me that he tried being enemy Widow and yeah that did not help, enemy Pharah kept trying to go over the gate wall and I just kept one-shotting her out of the air until she got so mad that on their last serious push she apparently decided "y'know what, fuck the objective, fuck the game, I'm killing that fucking Widowmaker at least once" and went through the security office while I was busy with other people, jumped me from behind and let loose her one and only ult at point-blank range just for me.

Honestly, I felt quite flattered.

I guess the short form is I am still a work in progress, and it shows.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 04:00 pm
Today is sunny, mild, and breezy.  I refilled the birdfeeders.  Birds are fluttering around in the nice weather today, although I haven't seen any on the feeders.

I planted 24 Muscari armeniacum  around bushes along the driveway.  This is a classic type of blue grape hyacinth which puts up spikes of tiny purple flowers shaped like bells.

We hope to get back out later and work on the area around the outdoor woodpile.

EDIT 10/18/17: We moved a wheelbarrow of firewood from the yard onto the porch.

EDIT 10/18/17: I went back out and fertilized the bulb gardens and some places where they're naturalized.  Thanks to whoever it was that reminded me of this.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 01:08 pm
How a strongman solves a parking problem.  More common in Terramagne than here, but fun to see. 
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Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 12:09 am
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 04:04 pm
Today is sunny and mild to cool. 

I planted 6 double early mix tulips around the barrel garden.  These put out fluffy flowers in warm colors, some solids and others bicolors.

Later I'm hoping to get back out and move firewood from the yard into the woodbin on the porch.

EDIT 10-17-17: We moved one wheelbarrow of wood from the yard to the porch.

EDIT 10-17-17: I went back out and planted 25 mixed crocus around the row of saplings beside the driveway.  These are purple, white, yellow, and white with purple stripes.
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 02:47 pm
Our theme this month was "Otherkin and Other-nesses." I wrote from 1:15 PM to 4:30 AM, so roughly 13 hours 15 minutes, allowing for lunch and supper breaks. I wrote 7 poems on Tuesday and another 6 later in the week.

Participation was lower this time, with 15 comments on LiveJournal and another 45 on Dreamwidth. However, please welcome new prompter [personal profile] elinox, whom you can thank for the second freebie.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the October 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Fisheye Lenses"
"The Green Monkey"
"Grow into a Scary Place"
"Liminality"
"Overkineralization"
"The Source of Each Other"
"Telltails"
"Transpeciation"

"Gliding In" (Polychrome Heroics, August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl spillover and Creative Jam)
"Transcend Apparent Limits" (Polychrome Heroics: Cuoio and Chiara, August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)
"Come Closer in Kinship" (Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses, July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl spillover)


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for October 3, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

Currently sponsored poems from this fishbowl have been posted. This month's donors include: [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] mama_kestrel, Anthony & Shirley Barrette, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, and [personal profile] janetmiles. There were no new donors this time.

The Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so "Transcend Apparent Limits" is the free epic. It also make the $250 goal, so that's three tallies toward a bonus fishbowl, which will run mid-November.


The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 02:21 pm
Last night we turned on the kerosene heater for the first time this season.  :D  It always makes me think of dragons, that ruddy glow putting out so much heat.

Today we lit the woodstove.  The EcoFan is spinning merrily atop it, although it doesn't seem to put out a great deal of breeze.  I think it will still be better than nothing when the power goes out and all we have is the stove, not its electric fan. 
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 10:34 am

Widowmaker brought herself in from the cold, one day, exchanging a list of Talon agents for sanctuary, and at first couldn't or wouldn't say why. Her first breakthrough in explaining herself came in a talk with Lena Oxton, who then helped her break through Angela Ziegler's insistence that Widowmaker was not really a person, and that Amélie Lacroix could yet be recovered. But despite that truth, sometimes, some of Amélie's last memories - mostly but not always tightly compartmentalised away - trouble the spider, and this is one of those times.

This is the sixth in a series of stories set in the It is Not Easy to Explain, She Said continuity, a timeline largely compliant with known canon as of July 2017 (pre-Doomfist/Masquerade), which is when I wrote and posted the first story. It is not part of the on overcoming the fear of spiders AU.

This story follows "It's not easy to explain, said Lena Oxton" in chronological sequence. [AO3 link]


"Do you remember what it was like?"

Lena held Widowmaker's hand, gently, as they sat together, otherwise alone, mid-afternoon, in the smaller canteen at Gibraltar. She drank tea, cream, two sugars. Her counterpart drank obscenely hot coffee, unsweetened, strong, and dark.

For the most part, Amélie's memories stayed safely in their place, out of Widowmaker's way, but there were a few, occasionally, at the border between her birth and the previous woman's death, that picked at her, at times. Dr. Ziegler suggested that was because of the emotions around them - emotions could, perhaps, last long enough, even if the thoughts themselves didn't, to become Widowmaker's emotions as well.

"A little," said the former Talon assassin, after some delay. "Not very much, thankfully. I do not think she was making new memories very well, by then. But there are some."

Lena shuddered a little. "I can't even imagine it."

Widowmaker shook her head. "For her, it was not even the fear of it happening. It was..." She pondered a moment. "It is not easy to explain."

"I can't imagine it would be."

"She would feel, and think, one way, one thing, and then, she would find herself thinking another way, a different thing, a thing like I would think, sometimes, but she would be thinking it, and not me. And sometimes it would be something neither of us would think, but something they very much wanted her to think. And she would believe what she thought, and what she felt, but she would know, she would remember, moments before, thinking very differently about the same thing."

"And she'd fight it," assumed Tracer, "and that would hurt."

"No - but yes? Both would feel like it was her. There was nothing for her to fight. But the difference in the two... that, she found horrifying."

Lena let out a long breathy hoo sound, and took another sip of her tea, before continuing. "So they were making her think... their thoughts, then."

"My thoughts, at least, at times." She leaned her elbows against the table. "Or, to be more correct, the kind of thoughts they wanted me to think. About... how lovely, how beautiful, how perfect it would be when they put her back, and she killed Gérard. And she would believe it, because she could already feel it." The assassin smiled. "As I do, when I kill."

Tracer shuddered. She knew, she knew that the assassin enjoyed her kills - that for a long time, it had been all she lived for. But making Amélie feel that, and Amélie knowing they made her feel that... "Was it you, then? When they did it?" she asked, hoping for an unlikely yes.

The blue assassin laughed, a sound that still made Lena's heart ring every time it happened, no matter the context. "No. I could hardly have imitated Amélie so well for so long. I'd've been discovered, almost immediately. No - it was still her." She took a sip of her coffee. It had cooled a bit, but remained hot enough for her tastes. "That's why it took her two weeks to strike."

"So in the end..." the teleporter said, voice distant in her own ears, "Amélie killed Gérard. And enjoyed it."

Widowmaker nodded. "In a way. They were never above to achieve everything they wanted with her, but they were able to recondition her enough to kill - at least, for a time. And so, she assassinated Gérard, but being torn between the grief and the guilt and the ecstasy..." She shook her head. "That all but shattered her. When she returned, as programmed, they took her apart completely. And built me."

"But you feel some of her... emotions, from then? Her conflict?"

"I do," she said, a tinge of sadness in her voice. She put down her cup. "It was the only death about which I felt conflicted, until Mondatta, and the fight with you."

Lena put a third sugar in her tea. She needed something sweet right then. "D'ya ever wonder," she said, as she refilled her cup from the teapot, "if they'd done a better job sealing her off, if you might not've started to, y'know, think on your own?"

"Internal conflict as the source of self-awareness? Dr. Ziegler has suggested that idea as well." She shrugged. "I do not know. But let's say it's true - in which case, Talon did me yet another favour. They..." she picked her cup back up, sipped at the coffee, and put it back down, "left me open, on accident, to you." And she smiled again, just a little, at the side of her mouth.

The Overwatch teleporter let out her breath, and her eyes softened just a bit, as she looked into those metallic eyes. "Aw, luv. That's..."

"May I kiss you?"

Lena blinked, putting down her tea. "...you... care about..." She shook her head, just a little. "...things like that?"

"I don't know." The spider shrugged again, this time with something artificial in the nonchalance. "But I am finding I... may. At least, with you. Shall we find out?"

Lena wasn't sure what she expected. Would she be cold? Would she feel wrong, would she feel like some dead - and then no, she did not, she was not, she was none of those things, she was cool, yes, but not cold, cool like the first breezes of autumn, like the first hints of snow off the mountains, not chilling, but invigorating, and Lena returned the kiss, almost involuntarily, herself warm, no, hot, like summer sun, like the last day at a Spanish beach before the turning of the weather, and Widowmaker was just as surprised, finding herself melting just a little bit more, and she gasped, pulling away, panting, looking down at her coffee, thinking, How can she be so warm?, before looking back up at the one who had reached past her eyes of molten gold, and finding she had no words then at all.

"Blimey, luv..." managed Lena, after a moment. "You're... only the second woman ever to make me feel like that with a kiss."

"For me, you," breathed Widowmaker, eyes wide, "...are the first."

"I hope it don't make you feel like killin' someone," Lena half-laughed, half-serious, half-joking, a lot nervous and a little afraid, and if that made more than a whole, so be it. "Chiefly, me."

"Never." Widowmaker reached across the table, grabbing Lena's hands with both of her own. "Do you understand? Never. I could not."

She pulled Lena forward, close, quickly, knocking the teacup across the table, shattering it on the floor, and the smaller woman gasped, startled, but did not flee.

"I do not know why, and I do not know how, but..." The spider kissed the teleporter, again, the meeting short but intense, "...I have found someone I could never kill."

Hooooooo, thought a part of the teleporter, unexpected emotions swirling around her mind, throwing her into responding before she even knew she was doing it. This is not gonna be easy to explain, to... to anybody.

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 07:50 pm
Today's prompt is 'did you miss me?'.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 04:49 pm
Happy Deepavali/Diwali!
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 01:00 am
A new-old option is entering the field.  Remember that everyone used DIY medication until it became a viciously protected industry.  If you find the health care system accessible, affordable, and effective then by all means use it.  But if you can't access it, then studying how to do things for yourself is better than dying because some bastard decided to murder people by jacking up the cost of lifesaving medication by 6000% or whatever.