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The Usual Suspects punktortoise

editormum August 20 2014, 02:00

My tweets

gillpolack August 19 2014, 22:22

No subject

I'm reorting in to apologise for my typing in the last post, Abjectly apologising. Despite the apology, I'm not going to fix it because i laughed rather hard at some of those typos and laughter is to be treasured. Expect more tyops, for it will be a month before I am less tired. Maybe two months.

I need to do a guide to avoiding me at Shamrokon, but I'm typing this while sitting on the Chair of Shamrokon's very comfortable couch (chairs have couches, please note) and it would be churlish to tell you to avoid it. Also, for anyone who has a liking for Croatian seaside resorts, try visiting Opatija for Liburnicon. I may or may not be unavoidable (being a GoH) but seaside resort! fandom!

And I must go, for washing beckons.
gillpolack August 19 2014, 04:26

No subject

I'm watching dawn rise over London. I'm a;so in bed. I need to be asleep, but I'm leaving for Dublin in 2 hours and Loncon was just so amazing that my body is refusing to listen to commonsense. The best I can do is lie in bed and dream of sleep. It's a poor best, I know, but London has a slow dawn and I have seen many friends, made many more and entirely startled both by walking on stage to present a Hugo. The world startled me when I found out out that the whole ceremony was online: I'm rather relieved I didn't know this in advance.

I keep wamting to wave a wand and say Guffus Fandundus and get some sleep, but the phrase din't work in the opening ceremoney and it won't work now.

Anhow, my millisecond of almost-fame is over and I can look round and see what remains. Qha remains are friends and a deep inner joy. Also the fulfilment of some very deep drams. I've finally been the historigrapher on a time travel panel with Geiffrey Landis, Ian Watson and Joe Hldeman, for instance, and hung out with oh-so-many people who get my sense of humour. I'll put more in the trip report, but you need to know that I'm alive and that fandom is determined to get me drunk on a regular basis and that not even that or a sudden onset of happiness could get me enough sleep tonight. So I'm watching London's nightlights wink out and thinking how enitrely much I owe to just a couple of FB friends (Ross!) who somehow persuaded me to go entirely against Gillian-tradition and stand for a fan fund.
editormum August 19 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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editormum August 18 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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editormum August 17 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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editormum August 16 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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editormum August 15 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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jack_ryder August 14 2014, 21:24

Loncon 3 - First Day

So we determined the first rule of Loncon at the ExCel Centre pretty early on - get off at the next station.

We arrived early enough to the registration queue to still resemble our photo IDs by the time we reached the desk.

After indulging in a simulation of coffee we split up to attend our different panels. My first panel was
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jack_ryder August 14 2014, 09:26

Loncon - initial impressions

The ExCel centre is big. Really, really big. You might think the Empire State Building lying on its side is big. And you'd be right. But it doesn't change how big the ExCel centre is - it's just not as big as the Empire State Building lying on its side.

Too scared to find a panel now - I might never be able to return to coffee.

(have made contact with some of the Australian contingent - Ben Peek, Tansy Rayner, Laura Goodin, Lewis Morley & Marian and now electricant has just shown up - so we are now coordinating.)
eneit August 14 2014, 09:21

memeage! snaffled from davesmusictank :)

Your Power Element is Water

Your power colors: blue and aqua

Your energy: deep

Your season: winter

Like the ocean, you evoke deep feelings and passion.
You have an emotional, sensitive, and spiritual soul.
A bit mysterious, you tend to be quiet when you are working out a problem.
You need your alone time, so that you can think and dream.

eneit August 14 2014, 07:43

To whinge or not to whinge.

It seemed a pretty simple concept when I wrote it in the project - I would simply start talking about the day to day-ness of life with pain. The reality is that pretty much every time I post something about what I'm dealing with health-wise and pain-wise I have a long debate with myself about always seeming to be whinging. A major part of this is the early training to not whinge, to be stoic, and if one must suffer, it was always best to do so silently. I learnt that lesson quite well, and I prefer to laugh any way, so I am fairly adapt at laughing at myself, and deflecting real questions.This was driven home last night when I had a call from the wife of the surgeon who did all my colonoscopies for the first 18 years I had this disease, til he retired (The current gastroenterologist has been told he is not allowed to move away or retire, training new doctors is hard work)  This is still a fairly small town and there aren't many senior drs I don't know socially, or professionally, I am a pretty interesting case study. Even the surgeon who will be removing the gall bladder had heard of me.

Any way, after dealing with the reason for her call, she then turned the conversation to how I am. That she knew I was waiting for surgery didn't surprise me, she's a friend I might only catch up with every ten years or so as she's a fairly busy surgeon herself, but my cousin's wife runs the surgical and infectious diseases wards, another cousin works for the catering company, meh, small town, like I said. I told her there was substantially more pain in each day, far more than I expected. Dead silence on the other end, then she said slowly "You? You are actually admitting to pain? How fucking bad is it?"

To whinge or not to whinge. I still don't have an answer.
jack_ryder August 14 2014, 05:59

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

Parallel to Loncon is an exhibition of British comics at The British Library, covering everything from the Victorian Illustrated London News through Oz Magazine to the works of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Well, covering almost everything. I thought there were some suprising omissions.

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Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest. I don't even consider myself an expert on British comics yet I was surprised by the gaps in the exhibition (and therefore the missing influences behind some of the work they do show.) I have the sense the curators were playing favourites rather than try to tell a coherent story about the development of comics of adults or whatever it was they were trying to achieve.

Don't get me wrong - if you are interested in any facet of comics at all it's well worth seeing. But don't expect it to be comprehensive.
editormum August 14 2014, 02:00

My tweets

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threemonkeys August 13 2014, 20:59

The Trip Computer Stalk is Really Sharp

I'm all in favour of warning messages or alerts. You know, those little pop up messages that tell you when a task is due or that there may be a problem with whatever system you are running.

But there is a key caveat to that. Those warnings must be able to be dismissed once read. It is very irritating to continue to receive alerts over and over again. That is something Microsoft failed to do properly when they implemented Vista and boy did they receive flak for it. By contrast, the calendar software I use does it perfectly - I can set whether reminders are to come up and at what time before an event. After the box pops up I can click on "Dismiss" and the message goes away forever.

So what about servicing my car. The next expected service date is written on a sticker on the windscreen and I get an email and a postcard from the garage. But the car also has a built in reminder system - it is just a timer, not something which reports a detected issue or anything serious. And remember that it is just a recommended service - there is plenty of flexibility around when you do it.

So the car's reminder puts a message in the middle of the speedo dial every time I start the car. I have to press the "Read" button to make it go away. It also puts it there every time I turn the car off as well. Every single time.

So, I have got the message and I want to dismiss the message for good, I tried obvious things like holding the "Read" button down but that just makes the message come back up again. I even resorted to reading the manual, but that told me nothing, nor did the manufacturers web site. Eventually I resorted to youTube. I thought I'd share the procedure with you which is as follows:

With the ignition on, turn the trip computer to T2. Turn off the ignition and remove key.

Put the key back in and hold down the trip computer stalk for a few seconds and then turn the ignition to position 1 (which means pressing the start button with your foot off the brake pedal).

While still holding down the trip computer stalk, also hold down the start button for a few seconds (with foot still off the brake).

When the car starts to beep and flash a warning light, release the trip computer and then the start button. Make sure you do this before the car stops beeping - you have about 3 seconds.

Remove the key.

That appears to do the trick. Obvious eh?
maryvictoria August 13 2014, 13:58


Originally published at Mary Victoria. Please leave any comments there.

I think it was Kafka who said a writer without a novel is a monstrous thing. I am, therefore, indisputably monstrous. Novels – both the writing and the reading of them – require giving one’s undivided attention to the written word for a brief span of time, and undivided attention, however brief, is not what I am able to give at the moment.

It has to be worthy of a Darwin prize of some stripe to be moving house for the third summer in a row.

So instead of a novel (to be written or read,) there will be this from me, from time to time: digital blips. Even if they are handwritten to begin with they will eventually be transposed into digital form, as everything is these days. Digital is the new tyranny. My computer requires absolute allegiance from me, my soul offered up in bits and bytes. It wasn’t always thus. I remember a time when the damned thing was supposed to help me write.

Let me tell you about my computer, that insidious purveyor of technological addiction masquerading as progress. There it sits, the sleek silver bastard. I didn’t write this on it. No, no. I wrote this piece of nonsense in a notebook, then typed it up on the computer. Why didn’t I just write on the computer to begin with? Because the computer, my dears, is connected. The demon Internet has taken over possession of the machine I once took for an ally in creation. Instead of allowing me to write, it thrusts me onto Twitter, Skype, email. It threatens me with instant and complete communication. I turn programs off, then find messages flooding in: “Where WERE you? I couldn’t reach you. Why don’t you sign this special important urgent petition to help the endangered peanut-eating sloth of south Peanutland?”

We are instantly and incessantly connected to each other, and so require instant and incessant communication from each other. And to say what? “I had bananas in my cereal this morning. Isn’t the war in Nowhereistan terrible. Look at this picture of a mutilated baby. Look at this picture of my lunch.”

The computer screams my connectivity to the world, and my obligation to be receptive to that connectivity. It broadcasts my location. It chastises me for my lack of intellectual curiosity. For someone, somewhere, inevitably has something vastly important to say on a subject which I ought to be following; a person of great intelligence is just waiting for me out there, and I’m missing the opportunity to hear them speak. Besides this, there are friendly civilized bonds to maintain, professional commitments I cannot shirk. Don’t forget the professional commitments. Even if you have no profession at all, you ought to be looking for one, on the net, and the computer sits there and says, “you should be job-hunting.” It doesn’t say, “you should be writing.” It calls you a coward and a drain on society and dammit, why don’t you sign that petition about the peanut-eating sloth. You lazy parasite.

So no, I didn’t write this on the computer. I copied it onto the computer. In a rare moment of tranquility.

I do believe too much connectivity will kill us: the time we don’t spend signing the peanut sloth petitions we will spend on the complaints of people who object to peanut sloth petitions, and meanwhile our hearts will die and our bodies waste away and the plants in the garden will all shrivel up.

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