spiralsheep: Martha laughing (Martha Laughing)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- My local online news feed has had two big breaking stories this weekend so far: a van crashed into wall but nobody was injured, and a photo of a cuddly toy lost at a local event.

- Funko Four and his 2D Tardis.

The Fourth Doctor and the Tardis

- Reading, books 2017: 84.

79. Calling Major Tom, by David M Barnett, 2017, very soft science fiction novel, and I mean soft in every sense of the word. The point of view characters are Thomas Major the first astronaut travelling one-way to Mars, Gladys Ormerod a 70 year old grandmother with dementia, Ellie Ormerod a 15 year old granddaughter trying to keep her parentless poverty-line family together, and James Ormerod a 10 year old grandson who might want to be a scientist. Other characters abound and are decently fleshed out, including a Black teenager from Ellie's class at school who is called Delil (I don't think I've ever met a Delisle who spells his name Delil but anything's possible in Wigan, I suppose). The plot is ridiculous and sentimental, and pays tributes to It's A Wonderful Life as well as Space Oddity, although it also reminded me of an Ealing comedy by managing to be funny while telling uncomfortable truths about society but without being realism. Warning: contains a brief incident of mild racism from one of the pov characters, although not portrayed from her pov, but written skillfully, and frankly actually painfully amusing in the way that socially embarrassing older relatives sometimes are when they're -ist from decades old habit but with no current malice and one doesn't know whether to flinch or laugh at them. (4/5, goodreads = 140 ratings / 62 reviews 4/5)

• Unrepresentative quote: When BriSpA's Chief of Multi-Platform Safeguarding, Craig, was in the Royal Navy he was generally known as Hammerhead due to his habit of smashing his head against doors, walls and other heads after too much drink. Those days are in Craig's past, as is the nickname, though he sometimes uses a variation of it when he frequents certain online forums that require a certain level of anonymity. At least until an assignation is organised in a dark nightclub, or sometimes on a moonlit heath, where for the purposes of identification he carries a dog lead though, of course, he owns no dog. Craig does own two cats, named Ethel and Frank. He will know he has found true love when he meets someone who knows that those are the names of the parents of Judy Garland. He is still waiting.

• Another unrepresentative quote: And that but hangs there in the still air between them, buoyed on the heady scent of flowers in Laura's garden, threaded with the lazy flight path of droning bees, suspended from the brittle, drifting spiderwebs.
spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Sleeping tree, Paignton, Devon 05-17

- If your idea of ~love~ involves submitting me to violence then that's abuse not love. I'm not here for privileged people insisting that disprivileged people should ~love~ violent abusers such as racists and fascists.

- My crisps claim they were cooked by Andre7. I'm now trying to work out if there are likely to be seven people called Andre working in a regional English crisp factory, or whether Andre7 is some sort of clone or android who needs rescuing. /Seven of Nine

- Reading, books 2017: 82. I've now reached all my unwritten reading goals for 2017 except my total goal which escalates, 26 to 52 to 104. Novels, adult: 26 (+2 short story collections). Poetry: 13. Books given away: 52.

78. Letters From Klara, by Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teal), 1991 (this translation 2017), short stories. Warning for an oblique reference to the Holocaust in the story My Friend Karin, while at least three other stories evoke mental health problems and/or suicidal thoughts. I personally found the stories in Letters From Klara generally life affirming, always insightful, and often wryly amusing, but I'm aware that many readers seem to find Ms Jansson's adult short stories bleak and disturbing: I suspect this depends on the mental state brought by the reader. (5/5, goodreads = 54 ratings / 8 reviews 3.5/5)

• Goodbye: They said their goodbyes in the front hall, with an affection that was perfectly genuine but that committed them to nothing.

• Weathering: By morning the storm had passed.
His jeans had dried. One day he'll find the boatbuilder's address in his back pocket.

• Something nasty in the woodshed... literally: Since the summer is over tomorrow, I've nailed shut the door to the woodshed. Sometimes it's good to make a decision. But I'm going to show the murals to my daughter.

• On returning from a sneaky smoke break while staying with one's overly religious and puritanical extended family, lol: When I got back, I stopped in the doorway and burst out, "How nice it smells here - just like home!"
Aunt Elsa said, "It's denatured alcohol. We're washing the windows."

• Hattitude: They began their trip by boat. Their friends stood on the quay and waved. Up on deck, Mama was clearly visible with her white hair and her large light grey hat, broad-brimmed, strict, with a low crown - the very epitome of hatness. She hadn't changed her headgear since 1912.
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

Yesterday infamous fraudster and US white suPresident Donald Trump retweeted a message calling himself a fascist. Later in the day at an on-the-record press conference he referred to white supremacists as "us" ("Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me." ETA: now being claimed as an indistinct word despite all the initial reports and transcripts in which he is recorded as saying "us". My points in this post still stand, alas). The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer by driving his car into her at speed on a crowded street was dressed as Donald Trump. His mother claims she believed he was attending a pro-Trump event. The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer told the world he is a Trump supporter in words, dress, and deeds. We now know that white suPresident Donald Trump has publicly specifically supported the Trump Youth fascists in Charlottesville in addition to the many white supremacist policies his administration has already enforced. Apart from the murder of Heather Heyer and injuries caused to 19 other people (including another woman with a broken skull), the next most serious set of injuries resulted from about half a dozen white supremacists assaulting Deandre Harris (eight staples in his split head and a broken wrist) and again at least one of those men was dressed as Trump Youth while attacking alongside men self-identifying as Nazis and literally wearing Nazi insignia.




"Mr. Trump probably has trouble condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis because he hired people with those affiliations to work for him. His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been accused of anti-Semitism, famed for running the racist website Breitbart. Other prominent staffers include Seb Gorka, whose family has ties to a Nazi group in Hungary, and Stephen Miller who worked with white supremacist Richard Spencer at Duke University. Mr. Trump’s Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, is one of the most reviled civil rights antagonists in modern American history, denounced over three decades ago by Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For six months, this team has translated their long-standing racist rhetoric into policy: banning Muslims from travel and immigration, targeting voter rights through a 'voter fraud' commission based entirely on a xenophobic myth, refusing to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day, renaming the 'Countering Violent Extremism' program 'Countering Radical Islamic Extremism' and proclaiming that white supremacist terrorist groups would no longer be targeted by the government, cutting funding for groups that help white supremacists leave the fold – and that’s to name but a few initiatives." - Sarah Kendzior

(Source: Globe and Mail article August 13 2017, i.e. after Heather Heyer's murder but before yesterday's press conference.)




If we fail to learn from history we are condemned to repeat it. Fascists attempting to seize power invariably deputise fascist militias. The only successful armed coup in USian history involved white supremacist militias.

"How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded

Think of a coup d'etat and images of a far-flung banana republic* likely come to mind. So it might come as a surprise that it happened here in the United States - just once, in 1898.

A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 10 and overthrew the elected local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign and running many out of town. The coup was the culmination of a race riot in which whites torched the offices of a black newspaper and killed a number of black residents. No one is sure how many African-Americans died that day, but some estimates say as many as 90 were killed.

Especially chilling was the fact that the insurgency had been carefully planned - a conspiracy by powerful white Democrats.

Southern Democrats lost their grip on power in North Carolina in 1894 and plotted to wrest control from the biracial Republican Party in 1898 elections. They campaigned on a platform of white supremacy and protecting their women from black men.

As the Nov. 8, 1898, vote approached, whites in Wilmington mobilized. They held supremacist rallies and parades and organized militias of 'Red Shirts' to intimidate blacks from voting. The statewide election restored Democrats to power, and two days later, the white supremacists descended on Wilmington's City Hall.

Their leader, Col. Alfred Moore Waddell, had publicly threatened in a pre-election speech to 'choke the current of the Cape Fear River' with black bodies, according to a 2006 report chronicling the events by the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission. After the coup, Waddell was elected mayor of Wilmington."

* spiralsheep's note: please remember that "banana republic" = fascist dictatorships historically sponsored wholly by the US.

(Source: NPR, August 17, 2008, but I've cut the paragraphs specifically about their radio programme.)




P.S. Yes, the some of the most celebrated founding fathers of the US, including George Washington, were slave owners and personally committed genocide against Native Americans. Acknowledging reality-based history is necessary to prevent fascist propaganda from taking root in culture. Live with it.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:32 pm
neonhummingbird: (leverage hardison seriously?)
[personal profile] neonhummingbird
My phone is dead.

Not merely dead, where it won't wake up, or the screen is smashed, or the battery is gone. No, my phone is dead, so thoroughly fried that even God is backing away, hands held up, saying, "Dude, no one's that omnipotent."

As near as the dude at the repair store can figure, my charger died spectacular sometime Sunday night, and fried every electrical component in my phone along with it. Given that I just checked that charger and it was a LOT of years old, I find this explanation highly plausible. Folks, check your chargers. Trade them for new ones.

My photos were on the sd card, which survived, and they were the only irreplaceable things (three+ years of photos of animals I've taken care of the at the shelter, utterly irreplaceable). But I did not have my movie database or my CD database backed up (because I'm stupid), so I have three-some years of acquisitions to rebuild, unless Google was backing them up for me, which I doubt. But the new phone is on the way (Moto G4 Plus from B&H, unlocked, GSM/CDMA, 64gb of onboard memory, 1.4Ghz octocore processor.... it's a nice phone, and only out at the edge of my budget, and yes, I am very grateful I'm in a position where I can replace my phone, thank god/dess), so I suppose I'll exhaust that last hope soon.

(Also changing providers; Virgin Mobile is making it quite clear that they no longer give a crap about Android users; combined with their nasty habit of making you start a new plan with a new phone and not refunding any of the old plan, the time is ripe for a change. MetroPCS seems to win most of the review polls, and it means I can use a GSM phone, and there's a store literally around the corner from my condo, so...)

I would have gotten my phone diagnosed this morning, but there was a dead body on the tracks at Fullerton (a hub for all three northside El lines) and the entire north side ground to a halt for about three hours. I had left early to go to the phone repair place, and was lucky enough to get a seat on the 151 bus; it is literally the slowest bus you can take to the Loop, but it got me there. There were people walking to the Loop because the buses were too full or running too far behind and Uber, of course, switched to surge rates. I briefly berated myself for not trying to switch to one of the expresses, but by the time I realized how bad it was, all of the expresses would have been full, so...
spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- I haven't posted any music for too long so as I dug this link out for al_zorra: A Place Called England, by Maggie Holland (video and transcribed lyrics). Ms Holland is also well known as the writer of A Proper Sort of Gardener. And here's gratuitous C16th choral music sung by Stile Antico (18mins youtube) who I've seen live and would like to see in concert again.

- I've been having delicious Strawberry Switchblade flashbacks (3min, utu, iconic). I couldn't decide which cap I preferred and t'interwebz seems to like both equally on flickr. The arty bollocks generator says: "My work explores the relationship between Jungian archetypes and urban spaces."

N-Pop Girl in hydrangea flowers . N-Pop Girl in metaphorical clover

- Reading, books 2017: 79

77. Zoology, by Gillian Clarke, 2017, poetry. Includes a whole and wholly wonderful poem cycle mostly about sheep! Ms Clarke is 80 years old but when she writes about what she knows then her voice is as fresh on the page as an alphabet of dew on the morning hills. My favourite poem was the short Alchemy, and there are five other extracts below because I couldn't choose fewer. (4/5, goodreads = 0ratings/0reviews)

• and still I see words on the radio as birds
or fish homing to settle in the hush
of long waves on a beach in Pembrokeshire,
a staircase in the sea, or in the air,
space humming with murmurations of words.

• chorus and choir of ewe and lamb:
Song of the mountains, a drumming
in the air, on the track.

cân o'r mynyddoedd, sŵn drwmio,
yn yr awyr, ar y trac

Four more brief quotes. )
spiralsheep: Sheep wearing an eyepatch (spiralsheep Ram Raider mpfc)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
I walk, for leisure, in the countryside more often than urban areas but I don't often post photos because my favourite areas all tend to look similar: green, rocky, and damp. Now I need to sort out my autumn holidays for this year.... /rich people's problems

The day I walked the Monsal Trail, through limestone dales along a disused railway trackbed with many tunnels and bridges, was extremely wet even by local standards (as I was told by a local walking group I passed who had decided they were "mad" to be out and should've left it to the tourists like me, lol). One of the ever helpful Transpeak bus drivers let me off near the top of Chee Dale, from where I could hear the warning siren and blasting at Topley Pike Quarry, and I walked down until I met the end of the Monsal Trail to walk back to Bakewell (from where some of you received postcards). On my way I listened to the wind-up clockwork/electric audio trail, and saw pro-EU graffiti.

Chee Dale.

1 Chee Dale, Monsal Trail, Derbyshire 10-16

Seven more small images. )
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- I couldn't find this pugilistic Adam Bede dust jacket on t'interwebz so I decided to kill two Arthur Donnithornes with one stone and attempt to naart it with reflections, which didn't satisfactorily work but at least the cover image is clear. The arty bollocks generator says: "What starts out as yearning soon becomes corroded into a dialectic of greed, leaving only a sense of decadence and the chance of a new reality."

Adam Bede punching Arthur Donnithorne on the dustjacket of a Collins Pocket Classic edition

- Reading, books 2017: 79

Two Jenny Colgan novels, a 2/5 and a reluctant 1/5 I wanted to like. )
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Memory and reality: even at this distance I still don't have a clear understanding of which aspects of my childhood were productive for me and which were destructive. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy has stockholm syndrome in its own way." But that's also true of the limited social circles most children are trapped inside. And, of course, it's entirely possible and perhaps even usual to be un/happy simultaneously. And productive/destructive is a complex set of overlapping cycles.

- Three Things meme:
1. I've read some excellent books this year, including a heartening number published in 2017! Yay, reading! (I feel trepidation claiming this because it feels as if drawing attention to it might make me feel worse when my ability to read evaporates again, gah.)
2. COFFEE! I have enough time and energy in my life now, today, to allow myself to feel confused, and contemplate the idea that lowered expectations of life are probably an attitude I should adopt, because I have reached an age where feeling peaceful does me more good than most other experiences (not that I'm giving up on aiming for occasional highlights, obv).
3. [community profile] naarmamo is making me happy, and not only the encouragement to make small regular creative works but also the people who have made and are making the community between us. ♥

- Wake up and watch the coffee: I stirred my coffee and filmed the reflections. This is a still from the film (sorry it's blurry but I've never made a film before). I wish I knew more about the fluid dynamics of coffee! [/mumble ? vortices ? mumble] Why stirred coffee is and isn't like solar wind, apparently. :-D

Coffee cup experiment, 08-17

The arty bollocks generator says: "As spatial phenomena become frozen through emergent personal practice, the viewer is left with a hymn to our existence."
spiralsheep: Captain Scarlet is the god of redshirts (spiralsheep Captain Scarlet Redshirt God)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- DANGER EEP: I found another "DANGER / DEEP / WATER" sign askew enough to be amusing. The sign in the second cap says, "RESERVED PARKING / FOR THE VICAR", and I took it on a Sunday, so unless the vicar is also a copper.... I also think it should technically be "parking reserved" not "reserved parking" to save unnecessary linguistic confusion, heh. The arty bollocks generator says: "As subtle replicas become clarified through diligent academic practice, the viewer is left with an testament to the inaccuracies of our existence." Lol, an testament to inaccuracies indeed. :-D

DANGER EEP

Naughty, naughty, Mr Plod! )

- Reading, books 2017: 78

75. Summer Stranger, by Louise Field Cooper, 1947, novel. Yes, I'm still enjoying working my way through all the Louise Field Cooper novels I can find, both the later middlebrow and earlier more literary styles. The earlier ones tend to read like over-extended short stories but I enjoy them anyway. (3.5/5)

• Opening paragraph (I added Oxford commas for sense): Along the road from Flanders Centre to the Point came Mrs Daniel's taxi, with one passenger. It was the kind of car that always sounded as if it were going much faster than it was. The one passenger, who was Emily, hadn't any too much room for herself; every time Mrs Daniel swerved grandly around a curve in the road, and the first part of the road to the Point had several curves, Emily on the back seat fell sideways against her suitcase which had been tossed on the seat because there was no room on the floor. A crate of eggs, an up-ended steamer trunk pasted all over with remnants of foreign labels, four cardboard cartons of groceries, a velocipede with an express company's tag hanging from its little handlebar, and a bucket of clams were already in the back of the car when Emily got in. Ordinarily Mrs Daniel would have urged any single passenger to ride beside her on the front seat but this afternoon she had decided, after a brief look at Emily hesitantly descending from the Shore Line coach, that this was one who might just as well go in the back. Anyway, she already had three live lobsters loosely restrained by a knotted white string, and a case of ginger ale, in the front seat.

• More: Mrs Daniel and her taxi, that twentieth century centaur [...]

• Mmm: Immaculate cloud mountains moved around the edges of the sky and seagulls coasted far above her head, most of them silent, one or two always complaining, crying "Oh-h! . . . Oh-h! . . . " as if they knew something intolerable. As they slowly wheeled and mounted the blue air Emily felt a great uprushing of private glee. For the first time in her life she was alone in a beautiful place.

• Lol: Any self-respecting fairy godmother would have disowned her on sight, and taken the pumpkin coach herself for a quick getaway.

• The interwebz recently tried to convince me that USians don't eat soft boiled eggs or use egg cups for anything beyond displaying decorated eggs so I was pleased to see one of the WASP supporting characters eating two soft boiled eggs at breakfast. (Do you use egg cups and if so then why?)

• [spoiler - highlight to read] UNEXPECTED ATTEMPTED MURDERS!!1!! [/spoiler]

(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 11:24 am
neonhummingbird: (ironman fire)
[personal profile] neonhummingbird
Friday did not improve. On an epic level. By the end of the day, I was reduced to petting bunnies and treating myself to Chipotle so the day wouldn't be a TOTAL loss. (Sawyer and Paul Bunyan are getting weirder; abandoned baby Marble is coming out of her shell nicely. I bring my smart phone into the cage so she can look at it and smell it and nibble at the case and forget that a Possibly Scary Person is holding it. It works well.) Then I got home and Chloe and Jack decided to gang up on Bud, resulting in people being chased up the cat tree, bud almost wiping Chloe out jumping down from the cat tree, Chloe having the nerve to hiss and cornering Bud, and Jack and Chloe in time out while I got Bud calmed down. Then Chloe threw up on the couch (and me!) on purpose to make me get up and give her the rest of her dinner. Utter waste of a day; I should have stayed in bed.

Saturday I was productive as hell. Emptied the linen closet, went to Crafty Beaver to buy supplies to install two new shelves up top (the people who built this place left So Much Dead Space), hauled the stuff home on the bus (particle board is so effing heavy :P) and did the installation with a reasonable amount of success. Which is to say, I have two new shelves installed, if not precisely in the way I had intended. It was one of those jobs that should be straightforward, but by the end of it (6.75 hours), every tool and power tool I own is in the living room or hallway, there's sawdust everywhere, I had to make another trip to the hardware store (although only two trips is pretty good), and the jigsaw got involved (shelves were 1/4" too long to fit). Go, me?

Aaand the combination of emotional exhaustion from Friday and physical exhaustion from Saturday absolutely flattened me on Sunday. Woke up, few the cats, fed myself, started the process of sorting everything to go back into the linen closet -- and the body then noped out and there was a two-hour nap. Spent the rest of the day with Mythbusters episode on shuffle, alternating between sorting and refilling the closet, and sleeping. On the plus side, I feel much better this morning, and my linen closet is a thing of beauty -- I even had a largish bag of expired medication to drop off at City Hall. However, I have a ton of bruises, including a humdinger that covers the entire heel of my hand under my thumb, and even wraps around the side. No idea how it happened. None. But it's visibly swollen and discolored and impressive as hell.

Still, a job I've been planning for ages, and which would have driven me crazy if I hadn't gotten it done before surgery, is done. Four-day weekend this week (hanging pictures and a few small installations, followed by listening to Leslie Odom Jr at Ravinia) and most of the weird house stuff will be done for the next few months. (Hall closet needs to be cleaned out again, but it's not annoying me yet, so it can wait.)

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