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I walked into the work room and found a co-worker copying documents: a summons and a complaint, with a caption including "United States District Court for the District of Oregon." I said to her, "Why are you making a federal case out of that?" and we both laughed.
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According to Sergey Brin, all that standing around rubbing your phone isn't manly. The jokes just write themselves here.
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I saw elseNet a really well-written response, defending us women and girl nerds/geeks/fans from yet another attack by a man claiming we were fakes, only in it for the egoboo of having men admire us, etc. So I clicked through and watched the original video, which is below.

But it's a parody. And the responses I've seen don't seem to recognize that. In fact I know the actor-he went to primary school with my younger son, and I see him at the local SF/F convention every year. He's playing a role-he has better social skills than that character, and he dresses better.

It's not like it's hard to tell it's a parody, either. It's from Season 3 of Portlandia, a comedy show on IFC that parodies the hipster memes around Portland, Oregon, which is my town. In other words, it's a comedy skit from that show.

That doesn't lessen the importance of responding to the accusations that women and girls who like comic books, or gaming, or anything else considered nerdy or geeky. But still! This is humor! These people actually get it!

And I want to say hi to R_____, the star of the skit. Congratulations! You were hilarious!
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A recent xkcd comic explores popular Christmas music and blames the Baby Boomers (we're a common target). But you can't really blame this on us.

Our parents picked this music. Sure, it's the music of our childhood and therefore familiar; it's the soundtrack behind our memories, good and bad. But our parents chose the popular songs of the day because they liked them, they enforced cultural standards and created memes that our parents identified with at the time. They danced to it, they decorated the tree to it, they smooched under mistletoe while these songs were playing, and they watched us, their children, tear into our presents to the sound of this music--because they'd bought the 45s (analog single-song MP3s).

You can blame Boomers for the 1960s (although I object that personally because I was only 8 years old when the 1960s ended--just how much did I affect society at age 8?) and for disco in the 1970s and for the greed-is-good ethos of the 1980s, because Boomers made choices and took actions that had results, intended and un-intended consequences. But you can't really blame Boomers for traditional popular Christmas music, just because it's what we remember--we didn't pick it.
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I know I seem like a US kinda person, but apparently there are telltale signs in my writing persona that reveal the truth. Or so this morning's most interesting spam email would have it.
We are an automobile group in North America. We are currently looking to hire a number of sales representatives from your country.

Buyers from Asia, Europe and Africa have showed an interest in purchasing our products online, What we need now is a means of getting their payments reached to us, mostly buyers that does not have credit cards as the management accept most US credit cards and payment are only able to process online at this time.

Of course they want a bank account where I can deposit funds, and I don't have a bank account. But what really gets me is that they ship their cars through FEDEX. Those overnight envelopes are pretty small!
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An amusing typo in the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch prompted me to wonder whether Spider knows:
Robinson is the author of more than 30 woks, including the Callahan's Series, and the Deathkiller Trilogy.

If any of those books have been published in electronic format, of course, then Spider wrote e-woks!
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Life seems really pernicious right now and I wish I could have a lot of happy, appreciative interactions with people.

And a trip to Disneyland.
And some lace blocking wires.
New yarn, of course.
Two pairs of boots I saw when buying the bare necessity shoes for work a few weeks back.
And a haircut.
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It's a signal that I live in Oregon that when I read a headline Battle brewing over... the first thing I think of is some local microbrewery. Isn't it?
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Want a TARDIS on your wall?

Get one here. Shown in red but available in a range of colors including blue.
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Copying [ profile] cahwyguy: Make a comment in this entry. I'll go to your profile, pick 3 userpics and interests, and then you explain them in your journal.

Which I did in his journal.

That's me, about 6 years ago. I was at a weekend house party, name of CookingSchoolBoink, a meeting of the Usenet group My friend [ profile] srunning hosted and taught. (No, boink isn't sexual in this context, it's just the name for the irregular meatspace meetings of that Usenet group.) One of the other snigglers (as ssm-ers call themselves) had just made a joke, and I was laughing out loud. I don't wear my hair like that these days: it's just above my shoulders, with bangs. Still brown and curly, though (both natural) but more grey than I had then. Sometimes I dye it reddish brown, or purplish brown.

That's the slug for the Union Label Weblogs group. Because I am a member of a union (UFCW Local 555) and I occasionally talk about union stuff, I registered with that website.

This is a still from the identifying video clip used by the production company for Lost. I only really watched the first season, but I was/am enchanted with this video, which is of a little robot rolling about while a voice says "bad robot." I have an affection for robots, especially kitschy ones, and I knit robots (like a teddy bear, but it's a robot).


That ought to be capitalized: it's the title of a novel by Robin McKinley. I had complex and not entirely examined reactions to reading that novel, which is about a young woman who runs away from an abusive home and how she remakes herself and searches for love and acceptance. It's also a retelling of the fairy tale "Donkeyskin" which (in its bowdlerized version) was one of my favorites when I was young.


Eh, I need to take that one off. Or maybe I won't: who knows what the future holds? I was, until this term, taking classes at night and on the weekends with the goal of getting an engineering degree. I've stopped, for who knows how long, because I was tired of using up all my free time and all my extra money on school. Also because I discovered that my dissatisfaction with my current job (which I've had for 18 years) was situational and temporary, and I've fixed it for now.

I started 2 years ago, with 3 terms of algebra--it had been 25 years since my last math class and I didn't remember much. I went on to trig and the first term of calculus; I also took a writing class, an intro-to-engineering class, and the beginning AutoCAD class.

But I never had time to see friends, or knit, or read for pleasure, because I was in class two or three nights a week, plus sometimes Saturday (8 am to 1:15 pm), and doing homework the rest of the time. Which was fine when that was what I wanted, but now I want to do those other things, and spend time with my first grandchild (who is 5 weeks old). I may yet go back; the future stretches out in front of me and I don't have many plans further out than 6 months.


Usenet is part of the Internet, and it's the part that was most important to me until just a few years ago. Email was never very important to me until two years ago, and while the web is fascinating I also find it annoying: I'm built for Usenet. I like threading, I like seeing which threads have new messages without having to reread old ones, and I like my killfiles. You don't get any of that stuff on web-based discussions.

For anyone who is as-yet unacquainted with it, I've always explained it thus: imagine a bulletin board at your local library or grocery store. Somebody posts a note on it, and you can write your reply and post it just below. Other people attach their replies to the first post or to yours and so forth. It's nominally divided by subject matter and each conversational group has its own formal and informal rules.

Since I've been online (1995, I think) I've inhabited a double handful or so Usenet groups, some for only a couple of years as appropriate, others for longer periods. The list would include:,, misc.parenting, soc.jewish, soc.jewish.parenting, (as well as original,, rec.arts.sf.fandom, and alt.polyamory. Right now I'm only active in that last one.

But you won't find me in Google on most of those, because I've changed my email address *and* my legal name since I was on most of them; coming up on 3 years ago, in fact.


May. 3rd, 2007 09:21 am
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In case you don't read [ profile] jonsinger, this is the funniest thing I've seen in a very long time. It's loosely based on cat macros, but it's a macroization of a famous Star Trek ep. Must see TV Intarwebs!
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I don't know how to introduce this without spoilers, but please just watch this video courtesy of Manolo for the Brides!
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At Silflay Hraka, Bigwig breaks down small talk at parties on global warming by the class of response, and the reward:

This is one reason I continually refer to global warming as "The Rapture for secular humanists," another being that I consider it a wonderful turn of phrase, and am thereby driven to share it with others as a means of illustrating my brilliance.

A third is that it functions as an excellent acquaintance filter at parties, allowing me to classify people based on their reaction;

"Bwa-ha-ha." -- People like me. They should be given a quality beer--a Delirium Tremens or Allagash Interlude.

"Ha. Christ, you're an asshole." --- People related to me, who should be given a quality beer, though one of perhaps slightly less caliber.

Pained silence - Neighbors of a different political bent whose children regularly interact with mine. They should be given a quality beer, because people in close circumstances have to get along, after all. Behind each other's backs we can use terms like "closet facist" and "goddam hippies" to relieve the internal strain.

I love that. "The rapture for secular humanists"!!! Send me a beer, Bigwig!
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I'm following [ profile] epi_lj's lead, so I went to this web page and checked out the songs from the year I turned 18.

Read more... )
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Larry Niven's Ringworld includes a kind of extremely intelligent but cowardly alien called Pierson's Puppeteers. One of them says:

Humor is associated with an interrupted defense mechanism....No sapient creature ever interrupts a defense mechanism.

I think I might be a puppeteer.
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The local paper ran a couple of stock summer stories in the Metro (local news and opinion) section yesterday; one was on beating the heat, and the other was on avoiding being burgled (because leaving your windows open to allow the house to cool off is one of the things that increases your risk of being burgled--in fact a few weeks ago a local woman was raped when two men came in her open front door, which she had left open to cool her apartment).

Anyway, it's a risk tradeoff: most of the things they recommend for keeping cool are the things you're not supposed to do if you want to keep the burglers off. The format of the paper dictates a few paragraphs on the front page of the section, then the rest of the story on an inner page, and both stories happened to continue on the same inner page. I was reading a numbered list of how to keep your house cool (and contrariwise, keep energy costs down) and the last item in the column was to grow foliage in front of the house, especially the windows, so the sun's heat doesn't even get to the house walls and windows.

However, instead of following that story up to the top of the next column, my eyes naturally dropped down to the numbered list of the other story being continued there: the one about how to prevent burglary. And lo and behold, it was a continuation of a numbered list...and the first item in that column was advice to trim back foliage because it provides places for burglers to hide!

It's a risk tradeoff: most of the things they recommend for keeping cool are the things you're not supposed to do if you want to keep the burglers off. But I didn't expect the serendipitous spacing of the two stories to so elegantly point out the contradiction, and I did laugh out loud in the lunchroom at work when I read that.
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laughing babies

money teasing two tiger cubs

mahna mahna (if you don't know what that is, you have to watch this for sure)
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I'm somewhat unfamiliarly (if only partially) incommunicado, because my computer is not working--no power is getting to the hard drive, we can tell because the chip fan comes on but the hard drive doesn't load or make those whirring/whizzing noises. Off to the shop tomorrow after work. So I can't just run into my den to check email or the weather forecast. And it's a habit, so I feel the way I feel when I've forgotten to put my watch on. I've done it before: I've gone camping for a week without a computer, I've gone away for a long weekend with no computer access.

But I've also been thinking about what it would be like to really go cold turkey. Not on purpose! But if it were forced on me for some reason about which I'd prefer not to speculate.

Being online is a pastime, a hobby. It's also the largest part of my non-work-related social activity, which I actually think is bad. That is, I think I'd do better if I had more local friends than I do now, people I could get together with for outings and meals. I've made some effort over the last couple of years to reach out to people I like, but (much like dating but without the singles bars) it's really hard to meet new people, and you have to meet lots of new people to find the few you might be friends with. Anyway, I'd miss the people I know only or mostly online very much, because I'm attached to a lot of them, but truthfully losing contact would not impact my daily life much (except in the sense that losing all the time I spend online to some other pastime would impact my life). It would be much harder to keep in touch with my SO, and that would be a problem, one I'm not sure we'd be able to work out, although I'm sure we'd both try. There's always paper-and-pen letters, but it would take practice and changing our expectations to maintain intimacy through the postal mail without the immediacy of chat and email.

I've been toying with the idea that I want too much from friends. Maybe instead of looking for someone who likes all or most of the things I do, I could enjoy having pastime-specific friends. The person I like to go to dog shows with doesn't also have to be the person I get a manicure with and giggle over the color choices, or the person who also enjoys a spontaneous invitation to go out for breakfast. (And there is one person that I enjoy doing a lot of things with: [ profile] srunning. Must remember to be grateful for the blessings I already have.)

Anyway, I'm off to the computer lab at school to work on my AutoCAD homework. It's a shame to spend even part of this sunny, cool day (my idea of perfect weather) in a dark computer lab, but I want to and need to work on these assignments.
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The computer guy was here working on my cow-orker's computer. He put the only CD we have of WordPerfect (preferred by power users everywhere) into the CD drive. There was a weird grinding noise, and when he opened the door the computer spit out a couple of dozen shards with very sharp edges. And then the CD door (horizontal drawer) slid open and shut, open and shut, just as if it were saying Feed Me!

The computer guy said in a puzzled voice, "I've never seen that happen before." And all the pieces are in the trash can now.
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Like [ profile] epi_lj, I'm going to give 20 random facts, but I'm not tagging anyone. Do it if you want.

Click here if you want to know me )


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