- Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week?
Sometimes. It depends on how busy we are. We usually do a shop at the weekend to prep for the week but more often than we’d like, it involves at least one pizza night, one “yes, you can eat PB&Js in front of the television” night and one “cannot be arsed to cook, TO THE CHIPPY!” night.
- Do you make up a shopping list and stick to it when shopping?
Yes. I have problems concentrating in supermarkets. I’m not sure why. I’ve tried to do the “once up and down every aisle” technique that works for the bloke, but it does not work for me, and I end up getting distracted trying to work out whether a “deal” is actually a savings on a per-unit basis or not, or deciding if I would like to try a new flavour of herb tea, or mourning the out-of-stock status of the kriek lambic, or just pondering my shoes because it is all too much. Lists help me to focus.
- What is one thing that you always buy, but never put down on a list?
If it’s not on the list, it does not get bought. Even if it’s milk or bread or something I literally buy every week.
- Is there anything that you always think you are out of and come home with it to discover you already have a year’s supply on hand?
The 17 tins of tomatoes in our pantry speak for themselves.
- Do you get your groceries delivered?
The occasions on which I have groceries delivered are (1) When the bloke is going to be away for at least five days and (2) Special occasions, like the bloke’s birthday last weekend when I ordered a vast quantity of cheese and wine for our trip to Wales. Otherwise, not on a regular basis, no.
GUEST ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! ✨ Say hello to Catherine Lundoff, another one of our FABULOUS Multiverse guests this year!
Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife, bookbinder Jana Pullman, and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays. Her books include Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and, as editor, the fantastical pirate fiction anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites: http://
sciatrix: Biology friending meme?
It occurs to me that I have an awful lot of subscribers and friends who have varying interests and expertises in biology, psychology, and all sorts of related topics and ideas. 'Related' being read broadly here--if it touches on natural or social sciences and you want to share, please do.
Though I did not spend $18 on the paperback of the most interesting possible story, because a) the Kindle edition is $4 and also I'm not buying an $18 paperback without knowing what the quality is.
( More details on the first book, which I'm not naming in a public critique )
The con itself was fun. I played in an amazing run of Fiasco and now I have pointers for when we make an attempt at it with J&K, because K tends to want to go off on lots of worldbuilding tangents - like set a timer! Mark the halfway point verbally! Also I got to play a great run of Paranoia with a wonderful group.
I also played enough games to get entered in the drawing, and won Pandemic: Rise of Cthulhu, so that's awesome, though I missed the Business of Writing panel because I was playing a game with Mr. Havoc and the kidlet and had fun with it. So. Oh well.
I did go to a good panel on editing and I have a LOT of possible books to look at, plus a weekly online flash fiction to get involved in that also encourages feedback related to the fiction.
The one annoying thing - totally unrelated to the con - is that I can no longer pay my water bill online at work.
And Orbit is running some cool giveaways! Copies of The Raven Tower, and some cool swag!
There's an Orbit Loot giveaway here, that runs until the 28th, and a Goodreads giveaway that runs till the 25th! And keep an eye on Orbit's Instagram for another chance to win!
In the meantime, if you haven't already, check out this excerpt, and this sample from the audiobook read by the always awesome Adjoa Andoh!
And if you're into the fanworks thing, check out the various days in this Raven Tower release event! I'm looking forward to seeing what cool stuff the participants come up with! My readers are awesome.
Few people get to tune a big bell. Fewer know that big bells need to be tuned. Those are two reasons why the web site Spitalfields Life interviewed “Benjamin Kipling, bell tuner.”
(Thanks to Mark Dionne for bringing this to our attention.)
Tune into more info, if you like, about bell tuning, by reading the study “On the tuning of church and carillon bells,” R. Perrin, T. Charnley, Tand G.M. Swallowe, Applied Acoustics, vol. 46, no. 1, 1995, pp. 83-101.
But—for these purposes—tune out the mostly unrelated study “The lesson of causal discovery algorithms for quantum correlations: Causal explanations of Bell-inequality violations require fine-tuning,” Christopher J. Wood and Robert W. Spekkens, New Journal of Physics, vol. 17, no. 3, 2015: 033002.
* Assuming, of course, that you even feel a need beyond animate/inanimate - or even feel that distinction of that is necessary! Lots of real earth cultures that definitely have gender roles don't show that in their pronouns.
Wallace-Wells: More than half of all the fossil fuel emissions that we've ever put into the atmosphere have come in the last 25 years. Which means that we've now done more damage to the climate than all of the millennia before and all of the centuries before.
Rachel Martin: Then it's scope:
Wallace-Wells: We were sort of taught that the problem was really about sea level and coastlines. We're starting to see that climate change is really an all-enveloping threat which promises to transform, probably deform, every life lived on the planet in some way.
Rachel Martin: And finally, it's severity:
Wallace-Wells: It was basically considered irresponsible to consider scenarios north of about two degrees of warming. It was called the Threshold of Catastrophe, and no one really wanted to think about it. It turns out that two degrees looks basically like our floor for warming rather than our ceiling. And so we really need to start thinking about what the impacts will be at two and a half, three and even four degrees of warming.
( Read more... )
Apparently solo dining is becoming A Thing? (scroll down, it's the last thing)
In New York, there’s a rising trend for eating alone and some restaurants have amended their menus and tables to cater for this. The restaurant booking site OpenTable has also reported a rise in solo dining.That thing that that is that I have been doing, lo, these many years. And I am sure I am by no means the only one, because I still remember with great affection the great Katharine Whitehorn's suggestion of a restaurant, or maybe an entire chain, set up entirely for solo diners, with reading lights and bookstands on the tables. Sign me up with a loyalty card! (and I am so not a loyalty card person.)
Perhaps I am a grumpy ol' misanthrope who has had one or two too many group meals which have involved going, finally, to some place that is nobody's first choice but will fit everybody in and accommodate everybody's dietary requirements/a person turning up late and keeping everyone else from ordering/that person who either takes for ever deciding what to order or is too busy chatting to address the matter/person who takes an inordinate time longer than everybody else to finish a course/ - yes, I am a grumpy ol' misanthrope.
Also, I have my book/e-reader/phone/laptop for company: I do not want a giant teddy-bear vis-a-vis. I should not have to come over all Greta Garbo 'Vant to be alone' at a teddy-bear. At least, one may hope, the bear will not attempt to engage one in lively conversation ('What are you reading/is that a good book?').
Finally got out of bed and realized I am hurting, physically, in ways I haven't noticed in a while. This is, I think, my new normal....because yesterday - all things considered - wasn't an awful day. It started with an MRI that I fell asleep in. Clearly I am too used to the things! and tonight is another. And the bolster the tech used felt so good to my back that, after I was dressed, I asked the receptionist what they'd used and someone brought one out and I took pictures.
Made my way back to my car and drove down to my office - where I spent a stack of hours working and also not working but it was what I needed. Headed home late noticing that getting into the car wasn't nearly as challenging as it's been (though getting out is still awful), chilled out at home, had good talk with my love, and fell asleep. Until I was awakened with the knee.
And now. With my lower back screaming at me (despite meds and lidoderm) and a migraine trying to be present also. Incoming storm plus work stress plus various friends' stresses plus it may actually be a pre-monthly-visitor migraine (it's been a while) plus plus plus. But I've sent a note to work telling them things are going slowly today. I suspect I need to work on meditation technique - and perhaps add an every-other-night muscle relaxant to my arsenal.
It's never good when you want the MRI to show issues... but I really do want to know why my knee locks at my desk at work and I have to phsically tug at my pants to lift it.
But now I have to finish dressing and get to work. Another MRI tonight. This one a baseline guarding against future changes given my familial history of neurological issues.
It’s not often that someone screws up so very badly that he must not only apologize to a judge, he must do it in writing, and in fact must do it in pleading form. But Roger Stone managed to do that yesterday, when he posted a photo to his Instagram account showing a judge with crosshairs next to her head, and accompanied the photo with insulting comments to boot:
To understand just how far off the normal stupidity chart this is, be advised that this is the judge currently presiding over Stone’s criminal trial, and that she had just imposed a limited gag order on Friday that prevented Stone (and others) from making public statements that might tend to prejudice jurors or otherwise interfere with the administration of justice. Friday’s order didn’t apply to social media specifically, but you’d think Stone would have taken the hint. In fact, it looked briefly like he had. “I am pleased that the judge’s order leaves my first amendment right to defend myself in public intact,” Stone said in a text message Friday to the Washington Post. “I will of course continue to be judicious about my comments regarding the case.”
It is possible he doesn’t know that “judicious” means “having, exercising, or characterized by sound judgment,” at least in the kind of dictionaries normal people use.
Anyway, before the day was out, Stone’s lawyers had—most likely after reading their client the riot act and threatening to withdraw if he was going to keep this nonsense up—put together the document below, entitled “ROGER J. STONE’S NOTICE OF APOLOGY.” Attached to the pleading is a brief and rather odd statement signed by Stone. “Please inform the Court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted,” Stone wrote, a classic passive-voice non-apology that blames (1) the photograph and comment for being improper and (2) an apparently unknown person for having posted them. And Stone is reportedly claiming, in fact, that a “volunteer” who runs his social media accounts is to blame. That might explain the first part of the second sentence, in which Stone asserts that he “had no intention of disrespecting the Court”—something that is obviously false if he posted it himself. Stone does get around to an actual apology of sorts, though, concluding with: “[I] humbly apologize for the transgression.”
Seems doubtful he means that, since he apparently reposted the item with the crosshairs removed but with the insulting text still attached. That may have been before the apology was filed, though. In any event, if you’re on trial for allegedly lying about stuff, it’d be a good idea to tell the truth in any public statements you insist on making. I guess we’ll see how that goes.
Though you’ll hopefully never need it, here’s an example of what a formal apology to the court might look like.