Hi everyone! The write up of last month's Viking River Cruise through Europe is finally complete. I have backdated all entries to the day they refer to, but you can use this handy index to jump back to them. If you would like to click through the whole travelogue, no need to return here. You can just click "Next entry" at the bottom of each page.
- Kinderdijk, Netherlands
- Cologne, Germany
- Marksburg Castle, Middle Rhein sailing
- Melk and Krems, Austria
- Vienna: City tour / Lipizzaner stallions / dancing and dining
- Budapest: City tour / Hospital in the Rock / thermal baths and city lights
- Kalocsa, Hungary
- Osijik, Croatia
- Belgrade, Serbia: City tour / Opera house
- Iron Gates
- Vidin and Belogradchik, Bulgaria
- Russe and Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
- Bucharest, Romania
- Conclusion: If You Go…
Directly across the river from Russe, Bulgaria is the equally unimpressive town of Giurgiu, Romania, where we disembark from the Viking Lif and travel north in our motor coaches to the capital city of Bucharest. Viking takes care of moving our luggage from the ship to the hotel where we'll spend the night before flying home tomorrow. We checked out of our cabins and reclaimed our passports, already stamped for entering Romania, ate one last breakfast in the dining room, and found our bus for the day.( Read more... ) ( Read more... )
Margulies is also very left-liberal and has been deeply into the theories and research around policing and criminal justice reform. I was interested to see that he takes a stand very similar to my own, which is that although acts of murder against police are quite rare (and have been dropping steadily for the last 40 years) there is still a perception that police are targeted and that violence against police is not adequately addressed.
I understand why this is so - we focus attention on the victims of police violence, particularly because those victims are often young men of color who are ignored and denied a voice unless we keep a hard focus on their unjust treatment. But I think we are adult enough to pay attention to more than one thing and in this case that means giving appropriate attention to violence against police without taking attention away from the violence committed against their victims.
Margulies' column notes that police are increasingly being asked to solve problems that they simply cannot solve, and that a first step in reducing violence and tension is for us (society) stop making police the first and only approach to public manifestations of complex intertwined social problems such as addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. He argues we need to change the role and mission of police - if you read his earlier writing you'll see he's a big advocate of place-based policing, reducing overall police presence in favor of concentrating on the handful of individuals and locations that are responsible for the majority of crimes.
I think it makes sense to try these approaches - in particular I agree with Margulies that AG Sessions' attempts to reverse the history of policing are only going to make things worse. And I would go one step further, specifically to address the perception issue. I would make it law that any person who targets police because they are police should be subject to hate-crime investigation and possible prosecution.
At first this seems like a stretch. "Police" are not an identifiable protected class the way black people or women are. But I think that misses the point. When someone firebombs black churches, or vandalizes Jewish cemeteries, or shoots up a gay nightclub they are attacking the visible symbols of identity of a class of persons. Likewise, on those rare occasions when someone specifically targets those in uniform such as happened in Dallas last year they are attacking the class of persons who wear those uniforms. And I believe those attacks should be investigated and potentially prosecuted the same way.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the perception of police being under fire is not matched by statistical evidence; however, when women say they feel a company has created a hostile environment we don't ask them for statistics (or ought not). Instead we (ought to) work to turn the environment around. Part of turning around the environment for police is to stop asking them to solve unsolvable problems; another part can be making a clear public statement of how we feel about violence that targets them.
The day's plans for Chicago kind of fell apart. So, in apology and very unusual fan-service, Niantic unlocked ALL the worldwide rewards that were supposed to be possible if the fest went really well, and also released two different legendary Pokemon as part of the raid system. Nobody knows whether these two are going to keep being available after this 48-hour window of double candy/XP/etc, so today Boston was SWARMING with groups of people carpooling from one legendary raid to another. I leapt out of the house myself, and rode in a lot of strangers' cars, with my Pokemon T-shirt and my big external battery providing street cred.
And what a day! My very first legendary raid (for an Articuno) yielded not only the Articuno itself, but also Level 34 for me. I got one more Articuno out of two more raids, and one Lugia out of four Lugia raids (that fucker's hard to catch). I figured I was done, and very happily so as it was already really late for lunch, but I was going to tag along for another raid near home -- then the girl I was getting coffee with said there was an Unown in Harvard Square, and I leaped into a Lyft and we raced for it! The driver was awesome about it. He wasn't into Pokemon but wanted to know how it worked, how long we had to get there, etc, and we got there and he watched me catch it while I explained. Then he gave me a huge grin and high-five, and yeah, I tipped him pretty darn well. I worked off the buzzy energy by walking around getting quadruple points on new Pokestops for a while, then headed home for real for a shower and a start on my promotion rationale for work.
I sold my bike yesterday, with all its accessories, after an eBay post had been up for a week. I met up with its future rider, and it turns out she'd been stalking my exact model of bike for years, including the era -- my bike is from ~2009, just before they changed the brake system to be less gorgeously archaic. She'd already paid my asking price before meeting up, and even declined the offer to take it for a spin on the bike path before making a final decision. Already in love, she said. :-) She told me a story about having been a serious long-distance bike racer before having kids, and how she now wants to just enjoy riding and not go fast. That, of course, is what Dutch city bikes are for, so it's perfect, and I can feel good about all of this. (Update: oh no, I jinxed myself! It doesn't quite fit her, and she is returning it.)
Goodbye to my therapist? A couple of appointments ago, my therapist and I began to bat around the idea of stopping seeing each other. It's been about fifteen months, and the truth is that we often haven't had a lot to talk about lately. I do find it scary to contemplate giving up the guaranteed, high-end emotional support, because what if something bad happens and I can't handle it? But getting my Tuesday mornings back would be phenomenal. And the changes I initially said I wanted, when I started working with her, have indeed come to pass in the time we've been working together. She suggests a "conscious uncoupling" of sorts, during which we spend the last appointment or two kind of summarizing the things we've covered and learned together, and packing it up as a toolkit that I can take with me. I like that idea, and it might be time.
Things without deadlines (fun):
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
Things without deadlines (productive):
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.
It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."
Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*
(I miss nyip.net so hard.)
This is by way of saying that I'm going berrying again tomorrow morning, having verified today that the Fells are resplendent with berries. Mostly tiny wild blueberries now, with a few black raspberries, and huckleberries soon to ripen.
Yes, you may come with me. Yes, you may ask me where I go, but understand that I suck at directions and maps, I really only know landmarks, so I'm vastly better at taking people than sending people. (If you come with me, though, understand that I wasn't kidding about that obsessive-compulsive thing: I can happily pick for hours.)
The boat docked this morning in Russe, Bulgaria, which you will also see sometimes spelled "Ruse". We had a brief bus tour of Russe on our way out of town, but this was one of those days where our destination was a couple of hours away on the bus, so it was very brief indeed. ( Read more... ) <
( Read more... )
Second of the Spatterjay (sub-)series in Asher's Polity universe. Takes place about ten years after the end of the previous book. We do, again, follow several different viewpoint characters, on all sorts of moral sides of any situation that may happen in the book. Some are returning characters, some are new.
I'd definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, but all in all an eminently readable book.
- 8 ears of corn
- 2 pounds of yellow summer squash (medium large, so 3 pieces)
- 6 ounces of basil (which is a lot!)
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1.5 pounds of carrots (plus some extra)
- as much lettuce as wanted (which was three small heads, one Boston, one red Boston, one green leaf)
- 9 ounces of cucumber (which was two cukes)
- a big bunch of parsley (which tastes of Passover garnish and tabouli; suggestions for use welcome, or let me know if you have a use for it)
- a bunch of green kale
- two orange tomatoes (plus 2 extra for being towards the end of the distribution)
- a bunch of beets with their greens (I chose golden, for that one and the end-of-distribution bonus bunch)
- a bunch of red onions (and a second for end-of-distribution bonus)
- a third of a pound of oyster mushrooms
First thoughts: tomato-corn salad with basil, and chives from the porch, possibly with some lime juice.
kale and beet greens sauted with onion, potato, egg, and some interesting spices.
star anise pickled carrots, or perhaps some with the last of the garlic scapes and dill.
sauted onions and mushrooms with roasted summer squash (and feta if I had any, or can face the walk to Trader Joe's in this punishing head + humidity).
not sure yet what to do with the golden beets; I like their color better raw, but flavor and texture are better when cooked.
What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?
To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.
I really appreciated all the commentary on the last post. If y'all want to chime in about this one I'd likewise appreciate it. The topic is "Music video WTF" - as in, should I link to videos if I like the song but not the video?
Here, let me give you an example that sits right on the borderline, two videos for "One On One" by Tujamo, with vocals by Sorana. Tujamo is a German producer and EDM spinner; Sorana is an eastern European singer (near as I can guess, Romanian) and this is her first big team-up with a "name" producer. So, OK, great. It's a fun tune and I like her voice, though as with a lot of these things I think it's over-tuned.
First up, the official video for the song:
Minor warning: it's a PoV video done in the style of a lot of porn these days where you, the viewer, are invited to have the gaze of the (male) camera in intimate interactions with a small, very conventionally attractive woman through a series of scenes, including bedroom. There's nothing actually X-rated about this, but I was uncomfortable watching it. In case that gaze isn't intimate enough for you, there's even an official 3D-VR version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
Plus side: she's smiling and active throughout. She appears to be not only enjoying the interactions but initiating things. But if voyeurism isn't your kink (it's not mine, at least not for strangers) then you may (like me) find yourself unable to watch this video and see if there are other alternatives. Here's one:
At least that's just a static conventionally-attractive-skinny-chick-
I usually try to link to SoundCloud for my music choices but lots of things aren't up there and are on YouTube or other visual media.
So, dear readers, what do you make of this? Would you rather I didn't blog video music that sets me off, or blog it with information so you can judge for yourselves?
I don't think they've thought this through very well.
What I think that they mean by this is that they want seamless integration of state shared between environments. That is, they want to have access to all the same information, applications and capabilities regardless of the device that they are currently using.
That is approximately what Google is trying to do with the Google Apps system: stop using your calendar on your phone, start using it on your desktop, just with a bigger screen and better keyboard. It might not be that hard to build a secure state-sharing system to make every phone application migrate to your desktop when it's in range.
The phone itself, though, has the affordances of an always-carried pocket device. Every time you stand up to go consult with a colleague, use the bathroom or stretch your legs, you expect the phone to be with you. Even if you only need to unplug one cable, that's still a significant inconvenience, and a major strain on the connector. Short range wireless connections might be enough in the future, but can't possiblly be as performant as a direct cable.
"What's so wonderful? Your spine is made of rubber, that's wonderful."
"What's so wonderful? First you lick your own butt..."
"OH, THE DIVIDENDS ARE SWEETER FROM SOMEBODY ELSE'S TECH STOCKS--
OH, THE SAND IS ALWAYS NEATER IN SOMEBODY ELSE'S LITTER BOX"
exeunt, pursued by kander and ebb
( Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention. )
( Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )
Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.