spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Remember: they can't ban abortion, they can only ban safe abortion. This shouldn't be news in 2017 but the BMA, which is the trade union for doctors in the UK, has voted to lobby for the decriminalisation of abortion in the UK, in addition to restating their support for the general 24 week limit under current regulation with exceptions for later abortions (usually when the woman's "health" is at risk but this is interpreted widely to include mental health, and the consequences of rape and/or domestic abuse), because we can have regulation without criminalisation. I note that no common men's healthcare procedure is criminalised in law.

- For want of a comma the husband was lost: "The novel features the author's minor series character the ex-Empress Irene, who has by this time abdicated her throne and Benjamin Trafford." /lol, wikipedia

- Reading, books 2017: 51. Having moaned about my inability to read, due to both disability (seasonal and relapsing) and my inability to pick reading material that suited my mood (which was as irritable as my eyes, lol), I then had enforced extra indoor time because I was under the weather, LITERALLY, and am now on course for my goal of 104 books in 2017. ::wryface::

40. Assassination Classroom 5, by Yusei Matsui, 2015, comic. Good, boysy, not hooking enough for me to spend £100+ on the whole story though. :-) (4/5)

42. Hellcat!, vol.2, Don't Stop Me-ow, by Kate Leth and Brittney L. Williams, 2017, comic. Good scripting from Kate Leth and perfect art from Brittney Williams but this volume didn't do much for me as it consists of what seemed a rushed conclusion to the Hedy frenemy storyline (although I presume she'll recur), an interruption for the tedious Civil War event (although Leth does her best and delivers an episode centring on female friendship), the obligatory supervillain ex-boyfriends plot (trying to mock the tropes, I suspect, but without enough depth to pull it off imo), then part of a Black Cat girl gang story that didn't grab me enough to care about the ending. There were two small continuity fails, one in which Hellcat forgets she applied to be Jessica Jones' babysitter (a job that eventually went to Squirrel Girl, lol), and one in which Bailey (and the writer) seems to have forgotten she can use her magic bag to escape by teleporting as she does in the first volume to escape Hellcat and mall security. Although I did like the deliberate ret-con explaining Patsy's mom trying to sell her soul. I've bought Ms Leth's Spell on Wheels trade too [ ↓ see below]. (4/5)

43. Reread
44. Reread

46. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, vol. 2, Cosmic Cooties, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, and Marco Failla, 2017, comic. ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)

• Now a mealtime catchphrase :-D : "Enough! We will not discuss this at the feasting vestibule."

50. Spell on Wheels, by Kate Leth, Megan Levans, and Marissa Louise, 2017, comic, is basically a road trip version of Practical Magic but with a more diverse cast. As ever Kate Leth excels at writing comedy and light adventure, and Megan Levens' art is perfect for the story. The subplot about drugs and alcohol at a party being used against a woman was well done and solidly blamed the perpetrator (not the victim). I did have two small quibbles but only one worth mentioning: this is at least the fourth ex-boyfriend revenge plot I've read in only three trades by Ms Leth and although she does them well, with nuances, and I recognise this is an aspect of women's lives that's been underrepresented in most mediums and genres of fiction (with the honourable exception being chicklit, obv), I hope she'll expand her storytelling repertoire before it becomes too repetitive. I did like the implication that our heroines' team raison d'etre is finding new magic users, which is necessary because power isn't (and shouldn't be) hereditary. (4/5)

Entitlement Boy, the (not at all super) villain of Spell on Wheels, by Kate Leth and Megan Levens, 2017

My ancient scanner and the flickr resizing don't do the art any favours so my apologies to Ms Levens but that panel was too funny not to post! Good lettering too, lol. :-D
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
As ever, feel free to skip the commentary and just enjoy the pictures.

I'd never visited Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire before and t'interwebz assured me there was a "Heritage Trail" around the town so I came, I saw, and I flanned. Indeed, I committed June challenge flan II(c) "local council walk" twice over because the same Historic Tewkesbury leaflet also included an Alleyways Trail and as I've never done an official alley tour before I managed to fit that in too. I walked the Heritage Trail first but out of order and breaking off in the middle to extend my walk to a memorable sculpture on the outskirts of town. I then completed the Alleyways Trail backwards but failed to find one alley so I did some of the zig-zags by zagging when I should've zigged and zigging when I should've zagged. The order of the day was 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 8, [diversion to Margaret's Camp (medieval moated site named for Margaret of Anjou), The Arrivall (sculpture), Bloody Meadow (1471 War of the Roses battlefield)], 5, 6, M, L, 4, 3, K, [couldn't find J], I, H, G, F, 16, 15, E, D, C, A, and lastly B. A less casual navigator than myself could combine both trails in a single walk. The leaflet is unusually well written, with a brief paragraph for various points of interest, and made the walk much more enjoyable. My favourite discoveries were the many odd signs, some historic, some artistic, and some comedic, although it's occasionally difficult for an outsider to determine which signs belong to which categories. I was clueless about whether the several cat themed plaques in the alleys were history or art or both, and which of the Shakespeare family signs were truth or fiction, and whether a railway heritage plaque was in the correct place, but even I recognised that parts of the "history" celebrated on a Victorian obelisk varied between unlikely and impossible, lol. In conclusion: I found Tewkesbury charming, quirky, and not quite what it might seem.

Ye Olde Black Bear Inn was reputedly Gloucestershire's oldest pub... until it closed recently, although Tewkesbury has many other historic pubs in the town centre including a Wetherspoons which combines full disabled access, through the old coaching doors, with ceilings inside so low that tall men have to duck their heads.

01 Ye Olde Black Bear ex-pub on Mythe Road, Tewkesbury 06-17

10 more small images. )

The Arrivall is a monumental sculpture created to commemorate the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471, one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses, which took place nearby including on the aptly named Bloody Meadow. This half is called Vanquished.

11 The Arrivall, Vanquished, commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471, 06-17
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Women in engineering and Cornish Black history: I've mentioned Black people in Kernow (Cornwall) before, such as musician and composer Joseph Emidy, and y'all know my passion for engineering, so here's a combination of both. While in Penwith I visited the excellent Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno and was lucky enough to have a guide who used to work there when it was a telecommunications engineering college for Cable and Wireless (back when the people of the UK all owned a share in that successful nationalised international business). My volunteer museum guide was Black. I only mention this because it's likely that if I didn't then most readers would assume otherwise.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973, was the first woman engineering student at this Cable and Wireless college.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, during the 1980s.

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1980s

One more small image, and three book reviews. )

• [...]
four steps forward and three back, and yet nothing
remains the same, for the mountains are piled up
and worn down, for the rivers eat into the stone
and the fields blow away and the sea makes sand
[...]

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 04:15 pm
neonhummingbird: (squeal pigtoss)
[personal profile] neonhummingbird
I am starting class again tonight, yay! In an interesting turn of events, class will finish two days before my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, so that works out well. Apparently we're doing something Spanish with a circle skirt and character shoes and a fan, which is going to be very cool, but is an awful lot of crap to haul around....

We really need to find a home for big gorgeous smart hyper boy Kimchi. He was in a Mood last night, and was not about to let me pick him up off the top of the cat tree (usually he's quite easy to handle, but this time, teeth were threatened), so I had to resort to putting treats on the bench and ignoring him for a while. After about 10 minutes, he got bored with being stubborn and trying to annoy me, came over to eat the treats, and allowed himself to be carried back to his cage like a perfect little angel. The stinker. We had Caline the Crazy out, too, speaking of hyper cats who need homes... Oh, and my huge sweet buddy Chaz, who is perfect except for having FIV, and why has no one adopted him yet?!?

In the bunny business, we have six at the moment, who are all darlings except for Sawyer the Sex-Obsessed, with whom I cannot deal. (Who is nice and all, but has expanded my Bunny Weirdness Scale by an inordinate amount. It used to be like 1 to 10, but he's way out at about 35. Holly the Demon Bunny looks almost normal by comparison.) Really, I just want to find nice homes for Paul Bunyan and Timmy Bananas, who is going to go bananas if he has to listen to Sawyer frenetically humping his stuffed toy right overhead for much longer.

The Transformers 5 world premiere was in the Loop last night, which was weird. Something about having a giant banner of a giant robot hanging next to the Civic Opera House stone-engraved signage is just... wrong. But Haagen-Daaz was taking advantage of the foot traffic to give out free samples, so I had mint chocolate chip ice cream for dinner. Sometimes, I just fail really hard at adulting.
spiralsheep: Martha laughing (Martha Laughing)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Once upon a time I threatened to post a cap of Funko Four for every fourth Doctor serial....

The Fourth Doctor and Robot

- Sounds more like a fic prompt than a science project: "Why suitcases rock and fall over - puzzle solved". "Scientists crack the problem of why two-wheeled suitcases can rock from side-to-side and turn over". (Source: BBC News online feed.) P.S. In case you're wondering the scientists' solution is, "one should accelerate rather than decelerate to attenuate the amplitude of oscillations", and not "zomg there's an alien in mah luggages!!1!!"

- Saintliness is next to Greavsieness: I earnestly believe that each part of the UK has the patron saint they deserve. You only have to look at what they're most well known for....

Cry God for England and St George: hunter of endangered species, and battler against imaginary wrongs. 'Nuff said.

Scotland (when it's pretending to be one country), St Andrew: martyred on the wrong sort of cross.... *cough cough*

Ireland, St Paddy in the green: fractious with fellow human beings, but doesn't actually like nature either. Be gone all you serpents and gerroff my lawn!

Wales, St David: good at community politics, and an excellent role model for Anglican bishops (which is probably not what this Cymric Catholic intended).

Cornwall, St Piran / St Perran, whatevs, as if he'd care about spelling, lol, and as he's the one you're least likely to be aware of I shall enumerate further:
1. Most famous for the miraculous RE-discovery of tin (no, rly, "rediscovery"), because someone else had already discovered it, obv, and if you're going to claim a miracle then it's best to set the bar low for maximum believability. This is the miracle commemorated in the Cornish flag of a white (tin) cross on a black (hearthstone) background.
2. Could swim, and was kind to wildlife.
3. Miraculously lived to be 200 years old... and then died by falling down a well while drunk (no, RLY). :-D
4. In conclusion, BEST PATRON SAINT EVER in the UK.

[Disclaimer: the preceding ethnic stereotypes have all been tested on persons of the relevant background and agreed to be accurate, although the Scots tended to alternate swearing with laughing and the Welsh contingent tried to force me to admit that I'm secretly "spiritually" Welsh, lol.)

The Fourth Doctor, I want to believe

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 02:19 pm
neonhummingbird: (avatar just that cool)
[personal profile] neonhummingbird
Big fun on Saturday -- hit my favorite art fair up in Evanston (new necklace, beautiful little thrown pot, you'd love it [profile] dietccokeisevil, and also hit my favorite consignment shop, which is right in the middle of said art fair and takes shameless advantage by running a 50% off sale those two days. And I took shameless advantage of that sale -- two skirts, a pretty top, and a really beautiful framed Asian-style landscape done in silk needlework (in the style of that artist we saw at Cottonwood, Dad and Mom, except not that skill level, but still gorgeous). From $58 (which I couldn't justify) down to $29 (which I could).

Sunday was the Great Trade-Out (part 1 -- getting summer clothes out of the trunk) and laundry. I am pleased that I managed to summon the discipline to seriously winnow out the stuff that Just Doesn't Fit and Isn't Going to Ever Again. Next weekend, Part 2 (closets), probably more laundry, and I am finally going to see Wonder Woman, in conjunction with going to another art festival, also in Evanston, with my buddy D from three (?) jobs ago.

This morning, I summoned more self-discipline and Made the Phone Calls (well, most of them). Doctor's office to see why the hell they billed me as uninsured (group number was screwed up in the system this time); vet's office to check the dose on Bud's allergy meds (poor baby is having a terrible allergy season, but confirmed I can give him two doses a day; happily, between allergy meds and tummy meds, he's eating like a champ); contractor's office to (finally!) schedule my walls and ceilings to be fixed now that the roof work is done (and has been for 8 months! I had to yell at our management company to get the info out of them -- can't tell if my unit slipped through the cracks, or if they were hoping I wouldn't notice and have it done myself); and I finally sucked it up and scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon because my shoulder is not healing and surgery is looking like the only option. That's five weeks out, because he only sees patients in the city one or two days a week, and I can't get out to the 'burbs. But my ortho recommended him and he gets good ratings, so I'm going to stick with him. And honestly, it's not like I'm going to get in much sooner with any other specialist, and this guy does appointments at 7:30a!
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
As ever, feel free to skip the commentary and just enjoy the pictures.

I was lucky enough to be in Torbay again so I committed June challenge flan III(d) first right/second left from the front door of my B&B, and then from the same starting point tried first left/second right. I shall claim I did both out of thoroughness and not because after seven years I still can't remember which way around it's officially supposed to go, lol.

1. First right down the residential street brought me to a six or seven way road junction, which consequently resulted in two choices of second left depending on whether I relied on my visual judgment or the topographical map. Both routes took me past Torre Abbey, pronounced Torr, which was an influential local medieval Abbey then a private house and is now a museum.

1 Torre Abbey, Torbay, Devon 06-17

1a. I then turned second left along the seafront, which I followed for nearly one kilometre until the first opportunity to turn right led me out along the pier and breakwater. There was no second left so I sat on the end of the pier to enjoy the sunset.

2 Sunset from Princess Pier, 1890, Torquay, Devon 06-17

Variation 1b and walk 2. )
spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- So, T'Challa, what do you think of the Black Panther movie?

So, T'Challa, what do you think of the Black Panther movie?

- Phrases I have recently captured in the wild: "fresh rehydrated water". But rehydrated with what...?

- There was an overheard fire safety joke here when I originally drafted this but it's redacted now because greedy kleptocratic capitalists and their Tory legislators-for-hire have murdered an unknown number of people in the "safety" of their own homes in a London tower block. Here's hoping those one minute silences of remembrance are followed with at least two minutes of speaking up so this scale of corporate murder isn't allowed to happen again in the future.

- Poetry extracts by Tal Nitzán* (translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden and Tal Nitzán). The grapevine informs me that Ms Nitzán, who was due to headline at least one poetry event in the UK this summer, has been refused "a visa". I'm unclear on which country is refusing to allow her to travel and why (might merely be late or incorrect paperwork) but have some of her poetry (more and in Hebrew @ poetryinternationalweb):

• you will have no rest.
The cloth will be torn from the wound slowly
again
and again.

• I haven’t forgotten a single line to a song
that once I sang with girlish zeal, unaware
of the lust that lurked behind each word
and I shiver to hear the clear voice singing along
that isn’t a specter of my childhood voice
for it is the voice of my daughter.

• The women sat at the entrance to the house
and watched the cart rolling northward
to neighborhoods far from the bulldozers.

* Note: Hebrew poet Tal Nitzán is NOT the same woman as Tal Nitsan.

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