whitebird: (Default)
I got my first set of personalized plates on Friday.

I thought that the California 1960s commemorative plates, which are yellow text on black background would look better on the Miata than the blue text on white regular plates. And seeing as I was already spending extra money for the special plates, I may as well get personalized ones.

It helps to know that I have a Mazda Miata RF. (For retractable fastback.)

Big image here... )

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:15 pm[personal profile] vvalkyri
vvalkyri: (Default)
It has been a good afternoon at Fair. Whether or not I get to Glen Echo later remains to be seen, but I probably will. Very much enjoyed first Albannach then Cu Dobh then Stary Olsa - not bad for parking at 3. Cooling down, now. Was way hot before.

Puff Mobile

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:28 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170922_150202

Cobbie

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:27 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170921_191054

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 04:56 pm[personal profile] vvalkyri
vvalkyri: (Default)
One of the things I am finding highly annoying today is that my apartment building quintuples at the cost of the key fobs, apparently correctly surmising that people would stop buying a whole ton of them and treating them cavalierly if they were 50 bucks instead of 10 bucks to replace. What this means to me right now is that I've managed to misplace not one but two sets of house keys in my apartment somewhere and I'm depending on the Gatehouse to let me into the garage and let me into the building every evening and if it were 10 I would buy a new one and figure okay I'll have extras when I find the others but I'm loath to do it at 50.

In other news, I created a Facebook group for Keith and it should be visible off of Facebook and I need to figure out how to make sure people get notifications of events and such.

It looks like the last couple times he and I didn't connect I was either tired or had a dime cell phone and I'm sad that it had been as long as it was since it looks like we talked.

If you want to send a condolence card to his mom it would be best to send it either to Diana or declined because his mom is not dealing well with getting condolence cards and has requested they come in batches.

I'd be complaining about where has the summer gone except its 87 degrees and I am so sweaty. What show was good last night and better today and I like my outfit. So I guess it was a good choice choice to keep the skirt from the clothing swap that had magen davids in batik all over it

FUCK CANCER!!!!

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:13 am[personal profile] liquidj
liquidj: (Default)
FUCKITY! FUCKITY! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!

Kitchen Skipping

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:42 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170920_145019

Laptime

Sep. 19th, 2017 03:41 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170919_181706

Tia

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:40 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170918_080806

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:58 am[personal profile] vvalkyri
vvalkyri: (Default)
So what I'm trying to do right now is test out the mobile version of dream wits in the hopes I might spend more time posting to it, especially since I can talk to the phone. It has been a mixed couple of days. The impromptu wake at Diane's was good Dash small and quiet, with generally about six to eight people at any given time, allowing whole group conversation. I'm looking to create a remembering Keith Facebook group or perhaps something else I'm not sure. Tonight's lumsfs up in Columbia will be another impromptu wake and there will be a slightly less impromptu wake via mumsfs next Thursday in Gaithersburg. Bsfs is looking at their space for a more formal Memorial. I currently have no idea what's going on with a family funeral or anything.

In other news, it was a good choice to get the multipass for fair, because when all this went down on Saturday getting there at 5:15 was perfectly fine.

And I got a crow both Monday and Tuesday and well it's been a wonderful thing I wish I understood why my wrists and hands hurt as much as they do, and I'm really hoping that it doesn't have anything to do with ceasing doxycycline for the Lyme. I consulted with an infectious diseases doc on Friday and I'm relatively sanguine about the amount that I've done . But I do want to email about stuff that's happened in the last week.

I'll admit I haven't been all that politically engaged. There's so much going on it's impossible to keep up and the things good. Those who have the energy and especially those who have Republican Senators might like to spend some time calling said Republican Senators to push back on their final last-ditch kill the ACA legislation that were looking at this week .

All of the above courtesy the somewhat newer phone I have finally changed too, which seems to have fairly awesome speech to text.

Many thanks to free, for giving me the link to the dreamwidth mobile.

Groups vs systems

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am[personal profile] dpolicar
dpolicar: (Default)
I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Here's the thing: there's a difference between a group of people and a system of people. The difference is that a system of people comprises not only the individuals, but also the social constructs that guide the behavior of those individuals... in other words, the system itself.

For example, a company isn't just a bunch of people who coincidentally happen to work on the same projects in distributed ways. A school system isn't a bunch of teachers and administrators who independently happen to work the same way. A police precinct isn't a bunch of officers who just happen to follow the same rules.

In each of these cases there are policies and guidelines and hierarchies and informal structures and so forth that shape behavior. There's a system.

And when we praise or condemn the public school system, or the police, or Microsoft, or etc. we mostly aren't praising or condemning a whole group because of some good or bad individuals. I mean, sure, those individuals exist, but they aren't the reason. We are praising/condemning a whole group because of the system that organizes it. And the larger the system we're talking about, the more true that is: when we say that democracies are more just than totalitarian states, or that capitalism is more efficient than communism, or that communism is more humane than capitalism, or various other claims along those lines, we're basically not saying anything at all about any individual.

Or at least, that's how it should be. I mean, sure, sometimes we praise or condemn a group of people just because we're applying aggregate-level stereotypes to all the individuals in that group. And in those cases the "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group." narrative makes sense: we really shouldn't! Or at least, we're overwhelmingly likely to be mistaken when we do; we can draw our own ethical conclusions from there.

(I am reminded now of a friendship I broke some time back by expressing both the idea that condemning individuals because of their group affiliations is bad, and the idea that analyzing the common behaviors of individuals is the only way we can identify pathological systems, in ways that struck them as infuriatingly and relationship-endingly hypocritical.)

And sure, sometimes we make analysis errors in this space. Sometimes there's a system operating we're unaware of. Sometimes we infer the presence of systems that don't actually operate, or aren't relevant to what we're talking about. It's easy to talk about the behavior of people while ignoring the systems that shape us, and it's easy to handwave about notional systems without actually making any concrete or testable claims about whether they exist.

I'm not saying I expect us to be perfectly accurate when we describe groups and systems. But I want us to be better about acknowledging that they are two different things.

When someone condemns racism as a systemic attribute of a society, for example, there are folks who reply that no, racism is a property of individuals, end-of-story.

And in principle that can be a legitimate disagreement; if someone wants to argue that there really aren't any social systems underlying/guiding/constraining/coordinating the racist behavior of individuals, for example, that's a totally relevant argument. (Mind you, I think it's obviously false, but that's another matter.)

But usually they aren't arguing that; rather, they are simply insisting that we can only talk about individuals, because when we say that racism is also demonstrated through the systems that essentially all white people in this country participate in, we're talking about a whole group, and (all together now) "we shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

And I don't know how to say all of this, or any of it, in ways that are at all useful within the conversation itself. And I watch other people trying to do it, and not getting very far either.

And I understand that often that's because other people just don't want to hear it, and in general I don't believe that there's a way to say everything that will be accepted by the person I'm talking to and that it's my job to find it. But still, I try to express myself clearly and compellingly.

So, anyway. I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."
woodwardiocom: (Default)

Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

Second in the Expanse series, this volume revolves around the crisis on Ganymede, and the associated blue-eyed beastie. Entertaining adventure SF, recommended.

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

A tale of Galileo, if Galileo was a sentient dinosaur living on the moon of a tidally locked gas giant. Interesting world- and myth-building, recommended.

Winter Witch by Elaine Cunningham

Set in the world of the Pathfinder roleplaying game, this is a light fantasy about a Viking woman, an urban mage, and the icy witch who brings them together. Mildly recommended.

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

Loosely similar to the movie, murderer and rapist Hell Tanner is given a chance at a clean slate if he'll ferry a plague cure across a ravaged America. It's clearly supposed to be some sort of redemption tale, but Zelazny missed the memo that some crimes don't get redemption. I honestly prefer the movie.

Venus Equilateral by George O. Smith

Fixup novel of a series of stories published in the 1940s in Astounding, revolving around a communications relay station and the scientific geniuses therein. The science is advanced and accurate for its era, but has not dated terribly well. (The problems they encounter in communicating with, and locating, spaceships were solved in much simpler ways within the author's lifetime.) By the end, the science has advanced so far that it's almost shifted genres from hard SF to morality play. Mildly recommended.

Age of Rusty Reviews

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:37 pm[personal profile] bluegargantua
bluegargantua: (Default)

Hey,

   I managed to pick up the pace on my reading so it hasn't been a month since the last review!

  First up Age of Assassins by RJ Barker.  As I've said, I prefer my heroes a bit on the older side these days because I am and I enjoy reading about characters who aren't driven by teenage emotions.  You Die When You Die was a pretty good book but the teenaged protagonist was a chore to read sometimes.  That said, here we are with another book about a young teenager trying to figure out this grown-up thing.  This is complicated by the fact that he's being raised and trained by Merela, a professional assassin.

  The book's setting has a Dark Sun vibe, people can use magic but it draws on life force so if you want to do a big magical spell, you can, but a huge section of land will become barren and lifeless.  Luckily, you can reverse that.  Unluckily, you reverse it by spilling blood onto the "sourlands" magic leaves behind.  So there's a pogrom out for people talented in magic and pretty rough existence for everyone else.

  Girton, our hero, and his master infiltrate a castle on a mysterious mission.  The mysterious mission is a set-up.  The local queen needs an assassin to prevent another assassin from killing her son.  The queen has plans for her son to take over not just the local kingdom but to marry into the High King's family and take over from there.  The son is a jerk and not terribly popular and the grandson of the previously deposed king is around.  So there's intrigue aplenty.

  Girton, of course, is just an apprentice so he winds up doing a lot of grunt work and even when he finds the important clues, he doesn't realize it until Merela puts it together.  That's not to say he's stupid or incompetent (he doesn't kill without reason, but he does kill), just that he's a teenager and there's a lot he still doesn't know.  It's a bit like a Nero Wolfe mystery in which Archie does a ton of running around and then Nero just looks up from his chair and tells you the solution.

  All in all, it was an ok book.  I'm curious to try the next one in the series, but I wasn't super blown away by it.  Certainly a good source for plots in a LARP or RPG.

  Next I read Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill and it's probably one of the better books of fiction I've read this year.  Not terribly literary, but It really sucked me in and held my attention with good characters, dialog, world-building, pacing, and even the deeper themes it touches on.

  In this book, the robots rose up and killed all of mankind (and most of the life on the planet).  The story follows Brittle, a service robot who used to work for humans and now scours the Sea of Rust, the upper Midwest of the US where the freebots try and eke out a living.  Freebots?  Oh yes, because after the robot uprising, the giant mainframe AIs said "download yourself to our servers and let us use your body.  join the One. resistance is futile".  For the most part, resistance has been pretty futile and robots who don't want to be part of one of the major mainframes are out in places like the Sea of Rust trying to keep their heads down and keep a supply of spare parts handy.

  Brittle does a lot of this -- she follows malfunctioning bots out into the wild and when they shut down, she loots them for parts -- either parts she needs or parts she can trade to get what she wants.  Coming home from a successful mission, she gets ambushed.  She survives but gets injured in the process and now she needs to secure a new core for her model or she'll go mental as well.  About this time one of the mainframes makes a major push into the Sea of Rust.

  The book alternates a bit between Brittle's narrative about what's going on and Brittle describing the rise of the AIs and their overthrow of the humans.  That sometimes annoys me (it seems like your padding the page count), but it was pretty well done here.  Although the book plays out like a robot Western or Noir, there are quieter moments where robots probe interesting philosophical questions that lead you down very different and very similar paths when your a robot and not a biological being.  Oh, and yeah, Brittle is a she and why that is so is one of the interesting questions they deal with.

  It was a solid book and I highly recommend it.

later
Tom

Drop Off

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:44 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
daily_alice: (Default)
IMG_20170906_080925
dpolicar: (Default)
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.

Anniversary Dinner at O Ya

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:19 pm[personal profile] lillibet
lillibet: (Default)
Today was the twentieth anniversary of our first date and our seventeenth wedding anniversary, so Jason booked us an early dinner at O Ya. We've been there twice before. The first time we had the omakase (chef's whim) of seventeen courses, just to see what they were about. The second time we sort of wanted to order a la carte, but their menu is extensive and the portions are small and trying to figure out a dozen or more courses on the fly seemed overwhelming. So this time I sat down with their online menu several days in advance and made notes on what we wanted, not really a solid plan, but enough so that we were able to come up with an order on the fly. Here's what we ended up with:

KUMAMOTO OYSTER watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette

ORA KING SALMON Vietnamese dashi caramel, spicy rau ram salsa

BLUEFIN MAGURO Republic of Georgia herb sauce

SANTA BARBARA UNI TOAST "NIGIRI" smoked trout roe, truffle honey

HAMACHI TARTARE ginger verjus sauce, spiced chile oil

WARM EEL Thai basil, kabayaki, fresh kyoto sansh

BLUEFIN TORO TARTARE ginger kimchee jus

LOCAL SHRIMP TEMPURA bacon truffle emulsion, scallion ginger oil

MARTHA'S VINEYARD SMOKED BLUEFISH rainbow trout roe, wasabi vinaigrette, micro celery

AVOCADO TEMPURA kabayaki, truffle salt, yuzu zest

CHICKEN BROTH foie gras shumai, Tokyo leek, shitake

WAGYU TSUKUNE 2 oz., confit egg yolk, green onion, dried mushroom

CRISPY PORK BELLY Akashi glaze, celery root purée

We declined to order dessert, but they decided that our anniversary merited something sweet, so they gave us coconut tapioca with lime granita and yuzu sesame dice and moshi donuts with jasmine caramel dipping sauce.

We decided that the next time we go--in another few years--we will concentrate more on the nigiri portion of the menu, because those were our favorites, but everything was delicious and fascinating and special.

Keith Marshall

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm[personal profile] vvalkyri
vvalkyri: (Default)
Keith Marshall died today. I don't have memorial info yet, but Diane might have people over tomorrow; she's not alone now, and that is good. Ping me on this handle on gmail if you want further info.

I was just about to leave for Wheaton regional for acro when I got the call, and then the other call. Had over an hour on the phone with the housemate yesterday rapidly coming to an understanding of why she was impossible to live with, so i suppose I should have known better than to admit I already knew, that Diane had already called me. And I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when she started yelling and hung up on me when I told her the Baltimore and DC science fiction people would be available to help sort through his things - I knew there had already been strife over his wishes that his books go to bsfs.

I decided half an hour ago that I'd instedad go to faire at this point. Called gsh and established through tears that he would still be there. Am still messing with the iPad.

I wrote this on Facebook:
Back when social media showed stuff in order and I more consistently posted on a certain other network Keith William Marshall would check on me when I hadn't posted in a day or two. He was willing to spend likely three times as long supporting me in replacing my disposall 'myself' as it would have been to just do it. He made bracelets and fiddle toys the 3D printer and last I saw him he gave me a Magen david. I keep thinking of the anodized titanium bracelet he made and wore. He was kind and matter of fact and knew about so many things and i wish I'd remembered he was still one of the people who chats on the phone. Ive had a candle burning for Keith since last night; Diana called a few minutes ago and it sadly now serves as memorial.

We always think there will be more time. I knew yesterday the situation was bad but was already thinking about how to be future help.

there isn't yet memorial information. Diana may have an informal gathering at her place tomorrow. If you know her or Keith, ping me for phone/address.

I'm hoping that bsfs/wsfa can be involved in sorting through Keith's books and such, because it was important to him they not be trashed. Communication in that area is currently a bit fraught.

Fsck. Just Fsck. Other times friends have died it's been either less of a surprise or farther away


It's surprising and it isn't surprising that I'm crying. We met 20 years ago. He always made me feel cared for and protected. And it was a shock, and I could have spent more time with him. Particularly after he was no longer driving.

I gotta get moving in some direction

Profile

taura_g: (Default)
taura_g

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
1314151617 1819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 11:45 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios