camwyn: (bike)
Found out today what it takes for me to start using my New York vocabulary again: a guy oh-so-slowly trying to drive his car in the bicycle-only side of a protected bicycle lane. As in, he'd turned out of a driveway or something and rather than cross the bike lane and join the car lanes, he opted to navigate in the one narrow lane of territory between actual physical poles and the curb until he got to the corner, and then merged into the car traffic. Never mind that that lane had the bike lane images and icons painted on it, or that like I said, it was separated from car traffic by multiple vertical poles to make it impractical for cars to use it, or that the traffic in the car lanes wasn't even all that heavy and he could have crossed the bike lane and merged into it- no, this schmuck was so fricking special that he was ENTITLED to take what little protected territory bicyclists get in this city.

Schmuck. I hope you find yourself stuck behind a Critical Mass rally, and I don't even approve of Critical Mass.
camwyn: (knitting)
This one's a lot simpler. I think it took a total of maybe... I dunno, an hour and a half? Two hours? I'm debating how one goes about making things and selling them for charitable purposes, or just looking for some kind of online benefit auction that's doing something similar.

For now, this is what I've got. )
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Went to a Fathom Events showing of Young Frankenstein last night. The Regal Fenway 13 seats are insanely comfortable and have a ridiculous amount of leg room. And the movie was great; personally I liked Blazing Saddles better, but the movie was still great.

On the other hand it has renewed a longstanding mondegreen of mine. I am never going to be able to hear Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" the way the lyricist intended; as far as my brain is concerned the line in the chorus will pretty much always be "My heart is like an open highway / Like Frankenstein, I did it my way".
camwyn: A white KitchenAid stand mixer with flame decals on it. FOR GREAT AWESOME. (kitchenaid)
The test recipe was for Bucatini With Corn Ricotta and Basil. Sounded a little too sweet for my liking at first, but since you make the ricotta yourself, you get to adjust the level of salt in the cheese, so that counteracted things a bit. It was really not bad at all on the first night, but when I went to heat the leftovers up for lunch yesterday, I discovered two things: one, that you have to add a fair amount of milk or water (I suggest milk, this was a dairy-intensive recipe to begin with) to bring it back up to edible temperature without it drying out and getting nasty, and two, bucatini noodles look like very long, comparatively straight versions of the elbow noodles used in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Eating them with a yellow clingy creamy sauce that does not consist of cheddar cheese results in severe disconnect between tongue expectations and tongue results.

It's not bad overall, but this is definitely something to be eaten completely on the first night.
camwyn: A white KitchenAid stand mixer with flame decals on it. FOR GREAT AWESOME. (kitchenaid)
A thing I have observed, which I will continue to keep an eye open for, since it is about Science and therefore requires Data Points to confirm:

If a course or a cookbook or something else of that nature says it is about Science and Cooking both, and if the cuisine involved is at all European-based, it will require you, at some point, to make ricotta cheese.

Possibly paneer. But most likely, ricotta cheese.


(Guess who got a test recipe from the folks at America's Test Kitchen this weekend.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
This is something of an accomplishment as I got sick this weekend and had to take Monday and Tuesday as sick days, and worked from home on Wednesday. I'm still making horrible noises every so often but not often enough to be a real hazard, so as long as I don't have to work in close proximity to humans I'm all right. And since I'm in IT, that helps.

At least I got sick after seeing Ben-Hur on the big screen at the Somerville Theater. I'd never seen the movie before, just the standard clips and snippets you get as references in other pictures. This was a full-on technicolor print assembled from about three different prints of the film, taken from the original master before it started to fade. Really impressive stuff even if the sound did periodically produce an awful high-pitched squeal that made the entire back of my skull ache. It was worth it, though.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Can anyone here recommend a decent, inexpensive photo hosting site? Photobucket is getting on my nerves.
camwyn: (Ron the Narrator)
Surveying the sheer number of video sites out there with hockey fight clips galore, and the tiny number (so far, one) of sites that have text descriptions of those fights, I am reminded of something I learned long ago from reading wuxia novels: I am not really much good at writing descriptions of fight scenes.

I am debating how to dance around this fact in order to get Ellen's next OOM written, or whether I should just have her come into the Bar prodding her face to verify that her teeth have in fact begun growing properly back into their sockets. That may allow for some entertaining "ooh, ouch! did you see what he just did?" moments in the parts where she and her friends will be watching the holotape of the fight- I'm a big fan of letting people improvise what's happening on the screen in-universe...
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Arbitrary RP decision due to severe lack of background information at http://xmenmovies.wikia.com/wiki/Ms._Maximoff : Ms. Maximoff's first name is Danya. Her father David Maximoff did not take well to her moving in with Erik Lensherr instead of marrying him and hasn't really spoken to her much since she got pregnant with the twins. The part where he and his wife live in a retirement village in Prescott, Arizona while Danya and the kids live in Maryland didn't help much.

I don't have other information to go on for the movieverse, so screw it, I'm filling it in with what I see fit.
camwyn: (cranky John)
(Background for this: there are several beading threads that I have recently discovered originated as fishing line. Beading stores sell these threads in 50-yard spools for $9 to $15 each. Sporting goods companies sell the same product online for $17.95 for 125 yards.)

CALL #1

Me: Hi, BAIT_SHOP_GUY? Do you carry Berkley NanoFil eight pound test?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: We got Berkley. What color?
Me: Clear mist.
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Lemme check. *pauses to go over rack* What kind of Berkley did you want again?
Me: NanoFil- it was their monofilament?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Yeah, we got that.

SHOP VISIT #1

Me: Hi, I called earlier and asked about the Berkley NanoFil?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY (who may or may not have been the one on the phone; it's hard to tell from the voice): Oh, yeah. What weight did you want again?
Me: Um, about eight pounds test? Six is fine too, I don't need this for fishing-
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Gimme a sec. *goes over rack several times* Looks like we're out of Berkley monofilament. I'll sell you what's left of this whole reel of Stren, though. Same color, and it's ten pounds test. Ten bucks.
Me: I'll try it.

(the Stren, while reasonably sturdy, turns out not to be very cooperative as a beading thread, and also takes severe bends and dents from the needle when I attempt to use it on beads with small holes)

CALL #2

Me: Hi, BAIT_SHOP_GUY? Do you carry Berkley FireLine, six pound test, braided?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Lemme check. *pause* What color?
Me: Smoke is fine. Or if you haven't got six pound in smoke, eight pound will be okay too.
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Okay, I'll check... yeah, we've got that.

SHOP VISIT #2

Me: Hi, I called earlier about the Berkley fireline braid in six or eight pounds?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Lemme see if we've got that.
Me: . o O ( You said you did when I called four hours ago. )
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Ah, looks like the lightest I got is fifteen-
Me: Do you have another company's braided line in the same weight, maybe?
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Oh, you need the braid? Well, I've got this in green.
Me: Okay, it's not a bad color, but this is a lot heavier than I need.
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Yeah, it looks like that's as light as I- wait, lemme check the basement.
Me: Okay. *waits*
BAIT_SHOP_GUY: Yeah, no, sorry, all we've got is fifteen or twenty pounds.
Me: Okay, thanks anyway.

--

I appreciate the guy's efforts, and I understand that when you are dealing with a bait shop in a seaside town you are more likely to need heavier line. Making a phone call and specifying a product manufacturer, product line, color, and test weight, and being told 'yes, we have that', should mean that when I arrive at the store, I find that the store does in fact have that manufacturer's product in the specific line, color, and test weight that I asked for. They said they had it and they didn't.

Screw this, I'm buying online.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
if you are one of the people on my list of holiday gift recipients this year, or if I need to give you a birthday present of some sort, please be aware that I include http://www.somethingstore.com/, https://surpriseindustries.com/, http://mcphee.com/products/super-awesome-surprise-box, http://mcphee.com/products/mysterious-candy-collection, and at least one other 'pay us money and we send your target Unspecified Things' site on my list of perfectly acceptable places to shop for presents.
camwyn: (I have seen the truth)
New complaint about Doctor Who writing that unfortunately is all too common across other forms of SF and fantasy:

It is significantly more justifiable for people to be afraid of/worried about creatures from another planet/individuals with potentially civilization-ending powers than it is for them to be afraid of other human beings whose primary differences are melanin levels/point of origin/religious belief. Please stop using exactly the same language and stop demanding exactly the same concessions/tolerance levels when you are talking about Zygons (who are capable of making themselves into physical copies of anyone around them and who can, if they feel like it, make your individual molecules go on separate vacations without so much as lifting a tool) as you use when you are talking about economic/political/religious refugees. They are not the same, and saying that people are bad and horrible and short-sighted for not being willing to accept shape-changing atom-dissipating creatures that evolved in another planet's ecosystem does not help the cause of refugees at all.

Magneto could, if he put some effort into it, wreck civilization while half-asleep and butt naked. It is right to be concerned about people who are capable of doing that. Zygons are capable of destroying human beings without so much as leaving a corpse, and as of this season of Doctor Who, are capable of bodysnatcher levels of long-term impersonation. It is right to consider this a possible danger.

Taking the arguments from real-world issues surrounding gay people, ethnic minorities, or members of other religions and applying them to mutants, aliens, magic-users, or what have you without acknowledging the fact that their powers need to be taken into account looks stupidly naive on one side and stupidly xenophobic on the other. It's fine to use the civil rights arguments and language but you have to acknowledge that alien powers or the ability to accidentally gate in unspeakable horrors from another dimension is a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed.

Go watch Zootopia for a better example of how non-human groups can be used to convey a civil rights message without completely ignoring the actual concerns that could apply to their situation. But don't ask me to equate Zygons with human refugees and tell me I'm morally bad for wanting to raise questions about what Zygons physically are.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I've been trying to get closer to caught up on Doctor Who before Boston ComicCon even though I failed to snag tickets to the Companions celebrity panel. Watched The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived last night.

I swear, regardless of the quality of his work or of his tendency to beat the same handful of tropes into the ground or the way everyone in the world except the crazypants badguys are expert snarkers, I will always, always love David Eddings for the fact that HIS immortals like being immortal. "Oh, boo hoo hoo! I have to live hundreds or thousands of years and do everything I ever wanted and pursue fields of study that didn't exist when I was a child! I have to endure the same losses as everyone else, just over and over, which is totally not at all compensated for by the fact that I can love more often than anyone else and experience life and grieving and resumption of joy in different ways each time! How I envy you pathetic sad little mayflies who only make it to forty and then croak, because you actually appreciate what little time you have! Immortality is bad! Don't try to make your lives any longer because it's unnatural and awful and tragic to outlive your naturally allotted span! You should totally die quickly, it's the most awesome thing ever!"

.... certain tropes in science fiction and fantasy aggravate me more than others and "Die young, you'll like it" is one of the big ones.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Stairs progress to date:

July 26: -1 to 34 (I am numbering the basement floors as -1 and 0 rather than -2 and -1 since American buildings start at 1 rather than at Ground); 13 minutes.
July 27: -1 to 13, back down to -1, -1 to 32, back down to 28, did some walking in circles, headed back to my office; 20 minutes.
July 28: -1 to 16, back down to -1, -1 to 32, back down to 28, somewhat less walking in circles; 20 minutes.
July 29: -1 to... I'm honestly not sure what. Maybe 17. I know I did the stairs on the 29th before going home from work but I didn't record how I did.
August 1: -1 to 19, back down to -1, -1 to 34, 21:30.
August 3: -1 to 20, back down to -1, -1 to 33.5ish, 21:30.
August 5: -1 to 21, back down to -1, -1 to 34, 22:01. Actually sliiiiightly less than that because I mistook 0:00:05.0 for 0.5 minutes and started trying to do some kind of extra exercise to fill up the remaining thirty seconds.
August 8: -1 to 22, back down to -1, -1 to 33, 22:01. Encountered maintenance guy or elevator tech who was coming down the stairs from 34, the first time I've ever encountered a human who had been on that floor other than me. He stared at me, laughed, and said "Better you than me" before continuing on his way.

I shall persevere.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Saw Suicide Squad last night. Really did not like the first ... I'm not sure, quarter? Third? ... of the movie much, as it was "HERE HAVE SETUP AND BACKSTORY" repeated several times over. Also, not really impressed by Jared Leto's performance, but he was better at making me think 'okay, Joker' than the guy playing Rick Flag was at making me think 'okay, best Special Forces soldier evar', so there's that.

On the other hand, the plot really picked up for me after the first third of the movie, and until it did Will Smith and the people playing Harley Quinn and El Diablo did a good job at keeping my interest. Seriously, I wound up really liking El Diablo as a character. And Viola Davis was a great Amanda Waller. So there's that.

Overall, not the best superverse movie I've seen, but I'd rather see it again than either The Wolverine or Avengers Age of Ultron. Granted, that's a pretty low bar. If I don't have to watch the disjointed stuff at the start again I'm a lot happier with it.
camwyn: (Spock not right now)
I'm gonna be going to Boston ComicCon on August 12, 13, and 14. (Admittedly the stuff on the 12th will mostly be a handful of panels and a preliminary survey of the dealer rooms, but still.) Anyone else?

(I don't normally post about con visits in advance because I'd rather not notify social media of Days When My Apartment Will Be Most Robbable. Boston ComicCon is basically a water taxi trip away, though, so I'm staying at home and taking mass transit to the con rather than attempting to book a hotel room.)

Heads up

Jul. 26th, 2016 02:08 pm
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I got an early bird registration notification from the American Lung Association today. Fight for Air Climb 2017 is scheduled for February 4, 2017. I signed up pretty much as soon as I finished reading the email.

I will probably be posting here about my practice in my office building’s stairwell on an irregular basis between now and February. Possibly after that, too, since I expect to hear back from the MS society and Wediko School about their stair climb events. Regardless- I’ll be tagging posts of that nature ‘stairs’ in case you want to block it out.

That being said I did my first test climb today, from the -2 floor (it’s the bottom level of our parking garage) up to the machine room access on floor 34. No stops except when I had to change stairwells. Not sure how long it took me, but I know the total time up to the top and back to 28 plus the time it took to circle the elevator bank twice at a walk, then stagger back to my desk, added up to around... something like thirteen minutes. So that’s a start.
camwyn: (Spock not right now)
I got to see the debut of the animated Batman: The Killing Joke in a movie theater yesterday (it's out on DVD, the bigscreen stuff was just a promo). I think I can safely say that if Jared Leto really claims to be sooooooooooooo messed up and sooooooooooooo psychologically scarred and sooooooo forever darkened by playing a PG-13 eyebrowless wonder of a Joker in Suicide Squad, then he is a lousy actor. A good actor produces a convincing evil madman by, you know... acting. Like Mark Hamill, who was fantastic as this Joker.

Also? As the Joker, he's a fantastic singer. No, seriously, they took the song the Joker does during the tunnel-o-madness sequence in the original comic and made it into a Broadway-style musical dance number, and Hamill sang the whole thing perfectly.

So, yeah. Mr. Leto, unless your performance turns out to be a million times better than I suspect it is going to be, your 'ooooh darkness in my sooooooooooooul' fails to impress me. Mr. Hamill has been doing something far nastier and far more messed up for far longer and he's to this day one of the nicest actors I've seen in interviews.
camwyn: (Spock blah blah knits)
Saw the new Star Trek movie last night at a preview showing in Boston.

It was okay.

... look, after Interstellar, if a movie doesn't make me want to scream like Morbo, I'm happy. But after Ghostbusters, if a movie from a franchise I really enjoy doesn't put some serious effort into coherent story and character and making its weirdness make more sense, I'm sad.

Star Trek Beyond was okay.



... also the Federation-era definition of classical music would probably please Philip J. Fry. Just sayin'.

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camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
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