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Positivity 5
I kind of fell off the internet for a while there, and I'm finally getting the fifth of these posted!  I think I'll continue the series at random and arbitrary intervals, because why not?

happy things!Collapse )

Wholesale Fic Theft Alert
where's my cake?
Many thanks to Mandy and Juliet for the alert:


There's a blog out there that's been running since 2011.  The philosophy of the blogger seems to be "steal and repost without attribution, whine about Fair Use when caught, grudgingly attribute or remove only on demand."

I seem to be fortunate in that the blogger isn't interested in MacGyver or Stargate.  But Lost Spook, here's one of yours:


Folks, we need to stop this person.  She (or he) is not going to stop stealing unless she gets a major setback.  I recommend not only demanding takedown from her directly, but also telling her that you're reporting her for TOS violations.

Amnesia In the Icon Picker
Computer Fix
Or, "Picky, Picky, Picky".

A quick tech support post, since I'm making the same comment on more than one person's LJ:

The icon picker has developed amnesia -- or, rather, has lost its short-term memory.

About three days ago, the icon picker started glitching when you comment -- no matter what icon you select, it reverts to the default when you post. You can edit the comment and reselect the icon, and sometimes it will not revert again.

The only way I've found not to have to re-re-edit is to hit the "More options" button before posting and run it through a check, at which point you can re-select the icon and it will stick.

Please feel free to signal boost this.

(Rumours that the icon picker has also forgotten its name and the way home have yet to be verified, but are probably true.)

(You can pick your friends, and you can pick your icon, but you can't pick your friends' icons.  Right?)  Need coffee.

Positivity 4
1 - Missy and I watched the Agents of SHIELD premiere last night.  We were pretty underwhelmed, to be honest, so that isn't actually the positive thing.  After it ended, Missy asked, "Didn't we just get the new episode of Doctor Who?  Let's watch that now!"  (We get the new episodes through Nook Video, and they become available on Tuesdays.)  So we did, and it was WONDERFUL.

2 - It's now two months since we cut our cable.  Two months of our former cable bill is enough to cover the cost of the new equipment that made it possible (a digital antenna and a Roku streaming stick), with something left over for the content that we still have to pay for (new episodes of Doctor Who), and leaves something over for faster internet service.  Starting with next month, we'll officially be ahead!  And dear heavens I loooove it!  Just flipping off the cable companies makes me smirk.

3 - This evening after dinner, I sat and worked on new LOLMacs while Missy read to me.  She reads wonderfully, and she'd been saving an Avengers fic by scifigrl47 that I hadn't read.  Oh, domestic bliss of the deliciously fannish variety!  I'll get several evenings of this particular happy flavour, since it's a longish fic.

Bonus #4 - Along with the Roku stick, we got the following freebies:  two free months of Hulu Plus (has ads, boo), one free month of Netflix (no ads!  yay!!), and a credit at Movies to Go that we've only just now using up.  And I found out that I can watch MacGyver on Netflix on my iPad, which is so insanely fine that I have no words.  Is this really my life?

Problems Only Whovians Understand
Recent stumbled onto this wonderful article:  20 Problems Only Whovians Can Understand.

Including such gems as:
20. Constantly Resisting The Urge To Say, ‘I Told You So.’

19. Having To Learn To Love The Main Character All Over Again And Again
This has been happening since 1966, so you might be forgiven for thinking that we’d all made peace with it by now. . . . It’s amazing Whovian Fandom isn’t more rife with abandonment issues than it is, honestly.

17. Learning To Suppress That Vague Resentment Of Newer Fans
. . . ‘YOU! You with your Fez and your unbridled joy! You weren’t there in 1989, man… You never lived through the JNT years… You weren’t there to have your heart briefly given hope again before being brutally ripped from your body and stomped on in 1996! You don’t know, man! You don’t KNOW…!’

16. Learning To Suppress That Vague Resentment Of Older Fans

More teasers under the cutCollapse )

Read it all and laugh and weep!

Positivity 3
Blank Canvas
It seems that posting every day is beyond me, although posting positive things is not.  So this will take more than five days, but I figure that's acceptable.

1 - It rained today, with great enthusiasm.  I like rain anyway, especially around here, where it means cooler temperatures.  Instead of the high 80s and low 90s, it stayed in the low 80s during the day.  It's actually plunged all the way down to, gasp, 76 degrees right now!!

2 - With the rain and attendant electrical activity, the power went out at work at about 2 pm.  We get power outages all the freaking time, so every computer is on a battery backup, but the power blips are usually only a few minutes or even a few seconds.  This one just went on and on.  Eventually, I had to shut down the server (since its battery pack is not intended for long sustained support), and we all went home early.  I have to admit, I really loved going home early!  Especially on a Friday.

3 - Partly because I was able to leave early, I also got to the gym, for the first time this week.  (Usually I get there maybe three times, but being sick and tired interfered this week.)  I don't do a major workout -- I use the ellipticals, usually for half an hour to an hour, and read a book as I stride boldly along.  It was really good to get there again.  And it was raining again when I left, and nice and cool(ish)!

Bonus #4 - Fic Rush this weekend!  I'm too bleary to attempt to write this evening, but I have hopes for the rest of the weekend.  *crosses fingers*

Positivity 2
Weather Report
It's going to be short this evening, because it's late and I'm getting sleepy.

1 - Feeling much better, aches and congestion almost all gone.  Yay feeling better!

2 - Today's LOLMac is the second of a set of three, with the third to come Friday.  Both have gotten some lovely and hilarious responses so far.  Yay Flist!

3 - When I got to the office this morning, the A/C for the entire building was out of order.  I watched the temperature creep up through the day (I have a little thermometer I keep at my workspace), telling myself that if it got to 87, I was going to give in and go home.  They got the A/C working again in mid-afternoon, just as the temperature was nudging 87, and I got to watch with great joy as it backed down again.  Yay air conditioning!

Bonus #4 - yay for acclimatization; a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to function at all.  I'd've had to head home in a half-melted state.  (It did help that I remembered the little office fridge needed defrosting, so I spent a good half-hour up to my elbows in frost and ice.)

Positivity 1
Clocketpatch and I tagged each other on this meme, and I had intended to start it yesterday, but I felt too lousy even to answer comments or respond to my Flist, so I'll start today.

1 - Turns out that yesterday's lousy feeling was me coming down with something; I woke up this morning feeling even worse.  Why is this a positive?  Because I called in sick to work.  Because I can do that.  I don't get shit for it, I won't get a cut in my paycheck, I won't get quietly abused and mistreated when I get back for daring to stay home and keep my germs to myself when I need to.  Damn, I wish I could give this gift to everyone!!  I spoke to one of my insanely smart co-workers, passed on a small but complex task that needed to be attended to first thing, and knew it would be taken care of and not screwed up.  Daaaaamn, I love my job, I love my co-workers, I even love my bosses.  *pinches self*

2 - Doctor Who tonight!  We've cut the cable, so we get the new episodes via Nook video, and it takes 48 hours before each one is available.  We could have watched it last night, but we were both too bleary.

3 - Speaking of Doctor Who -- my beloved Missy is being sucked into that fandom, to my intense delight!  We've started watching selected bits of classic Who together, as well as New Who beginning from the top.  Can't wait to share David Tennant with her!  This also means we'll be discovering Matt Smith together, since I missed nearly all of Eleven's era.  I know all you Elevenophiles (unadekaphiles?) out there will be grinning at that thought.

Bonus #4 - I'm off to take a nap.  I love taking naps.  *pats child-self on head*  Yup, it's true, kid.  Someday you'll realize that naps are bliss.

Actor Who?
I just noticed that the new fall shows include two different US shows starring Doctor Who alumni:  Gracepoint, starring David Tennant, a repackaging of Broadchurch; and Selfie, starring Karen Gillan, a repackaging of Shaw's Pygmalion.

I'm all in favour of US networks giving us more opportunites to see our much-loved actors, as long as they don't poach too hard.  I'd be especially happy to see John Barrowman popping up on my screen,  [ETA:  I've now been reminded that he's on Arrow, which I haven't seen, but mmm, yay!] especially if his shirt manages to get hung up in customs.  I'm not so sure about the repackaging and retreads -- US producers usually do a truly craptastic job when they try to steal British productions.  (Remember the hideous US version of Red Dwarf?)  So here's hoping they haven't poached good actors for bad projects.

Here's a thought, for fun:  if you could see any actor from a British production (TV or movie, past or present) in a US show or film, who would you like to see, and in what show?  No limits here!

To start with, I'm going to ask for Stephen Fry to make a guest appearance as an alien ambassador on Babylon 5, with Hugh Laurie as his conniving and debauched assistant.

Also, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadCollapse )

Who else has a recasting to offer?

I'm back
I just posted the first new LOLMac.  Hiatus is semi-officially over!  (Officially, it ends tomorrow, when I'll be posting a special set for the occasion.)

PS.  Should there be anyone who might feel inclined to pimp, I'll be most grateful!

meme sheep goes baaa
I thought this was worth doing, so I did:


End of Discussion
It's our first anniversary!  One year ago, we were in Seattle, getting married.  (Actually, at this exact time, we had just finished the wedding and started the being-married part.)

In an ideal world, I would be in Seattle again right now, with everyone who was there and everyone who wasn't able to make it.  And there would be cake.

Re our anniversary celebrations, I will say only this:  golden beets + goat cheese = OTP.

Well, I got my third prompt filled for the Obscure & British fest, and now I have to decide, welp, what next?  (Now that I have enough energy to try to get back into regular writing again.)

I have more than one WIP, and I'm not used to this, and I'm waffling.  So, clearly, the best thing to do with waffles is eat them with strawberries and whipped cream, or maple syrup and butter, or powdered sugar and jam.  The second-best thing to do with waffles is:  poll your flist!  Right?

Poll #1976899 WIP-poor-will

Which fic do you most want me to tackle next?

Spider's Web (Stargate)
LaundryFic (MacGyver crack)
Unconventional Courtship (MacGyver smutty adventure)
Another Obscure & British prompt
A specific Obscure & British prompt that I'll identify in the comments
Something else that I'll describe in the comments
You write fic?

Fic: Beshrew My Heart
So, I just committed porn.  BDSM porn.  Shakespearean BDSM porn.

Be warned.

The original prompt was this one, from the Obscure & British fest again:

Shakespea-ReTold, Taming of the Shrew, Katherine/Petruchio, secretary kink

I'm not familiar with Shakespea-ReTold, which is apparently a fully modern-era version of four of the plays.  But the prompt got its claws into me (very nice claws, too), and I am familiar with Shakespeare (and with BDSM), so . . . there's also a movie that's pretty well-known amongst kinksters, titled Secretary, which can be cited as an influence here.


Herein be:  BDSM (consensual), hard-core wordplay, heavy puns, double entendre and innuendo, nudity, spanking, impact play, mild humiliation play, roleplay, sexual situations

The actual rating is probably PG-13.  Shakespeare makes it wonderfully easy to be smutty without being graphic!

Forsooth, thou smuttethCollapse )

I'll probably put together some author's notes for the purpose, but for now -- anyone who wants to play What's My Line in the comments, you get a Shiny Point for identifying the actual lines (some from The Taming of the Shrew, some from other plays) that I used and abused in this effort.

Dumping Toxic Friends (signal boost)
One of my favourite blog sites is Paging Dr. Nerdlove, which would make better required reading for every adult and would-be adult on the planet than most of the world's printed works.  Seriously, if you want to date, or have a relationship, or just improve your general relationship with yourself, there's good stuff there.

The site is specifically tailored to straight male geeks, but the advice goes far beyond that, both in terms of directly addressing other groups (women, gays, trans, yes, he's fielded questions from trans folk) and, most of all, in delivering the kind of observations that address broad problems and situations.  I'm blissfully married and happily expect never to date anyone but my wife for the rest of my life, but I follow the blog daily and enjoy it.  (It's also one of three sites on the web that I know of where the comment threads are safe zones where intelligent, supportive discussions can occur.)

Yesterday's column, Dump Your Toxic Friends, is one of the best yet.  It's so spot-on and relevant that I wanted to rush out and share it with everyone.  Seriously, this column deserves to be posted on the front page of the internet.  It's one of those pieces of writing that you want to put into a time machine and send back to your younger self.

I can't think of anything more to say.  Just go read it, all right?  Unless you have never had a toxic friend in your entire life, in which case, read it anyway, you might yet.

(BTW, most of the pictures he uses for illustration have mouseover text.  Check for it.)

Fic What I Would Never Write: Doctor Who/House MD RPF

So . . . Lost Spook posted this meme, asking for prompts for fic that she would never, ever, ever write.  Naturally, I rose the the challenge, with this set of prompts:

Blake's 7 -- the orgy!fic -- bonus points for alien sex pollen (since Aliens Made Them Do It is actually CANON)

David Collings' guest appearance on Spongebob Squarepants (I'm assuming that you've never seen Spongebob Squarepants. That's the point.)

Explicit RPF: David Tennant and Hugh Laurie getting it on backstage during a Doctor Who/House, MD crossover special

Welll . . . in the ensuing conversation, I filled the David Collings prompt, sort of.  And then we negotiated, and I promised to do the RPF if she actually did the alien sex pollen.

And now it's time to pay up.

Doctor in the HouseCollapse )

2048: Epic Win
Math Lesson
. . . aka, What I Did While I Was Feeling Too Crappy to Do Anything Else.

I need to point out that this is a variation of the basic game that allows the game state to be saved (and re-loaded), and also allows the player to undo the most recent move.  Even so . . . yes, this is the highest score and* the highest level that it's physically possible to attain with this game.  And yes, it's damned difficult.  It took me about a month (playing this single game, that is).  It's theoretically possible to get this far playing the original version, without the Save Progress or Back features, but it's so statistically unlikely that it's effectively unattainable.

For those unfamiliar with the game:  the goal is to reach the 2048 tile, but it's understood that the code will allow you to go a lot farther.  This is how far.  Every tile is formed by smashing together two tiles of the next value down -- so you have to have two 2048s to make one 4096, two 4096s to make one 8192, etc.

I have to assume that others have done this,** but I haven't yet seen any images of a "perfect" game other than the one I just finished playing.

*ETA:  Turns out it's possible to squeeze a few thousand extra points out of the game, if you use more 2s to make your 4s.

**At least three other people had posted their actual scores for maxed-out games to a Reddit thread I found.  So, four out of several hundred thousand players . . . ?

Energy Crisis, or Gland Ho!
I've been very quiet lately (although this blog has gotten some activity).  In particular, it's now over a month since the last time I posted anything on LOLMac.

The fact is, I've been having health problems for some time.  I finally got tired of feeling like crap, and went to the doctor for a check-up -- my first in three years.  I've been resisting it since the botched colonoscopy back in 2011.

I was diagnosed with low thyroid, and sent for more tests, and finally got a confirmed diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease.  This probably sound scary, but it's actually a huge relief to have something identifiable and treatable.  Basically, my immune system has gotten confuzzled, and is producing antibodies that are messing with my thyroid.  Silly immune system.  Y u do dis?  It's in the very early stages, just barely at a level where it will even show up on a test, and the symptoms are pretty mild -- but the full list of symptoms is a detailed summary of practically every damned annoying physical problem I've been having for the last 10 months or so, and the thought of possibly being able to improve all that crap at the same time is a really bright light on the horizon!

Thy roid and thy staff . . .Collapse )

Fic: Girl Talk
Knock Knock
Another prompt fill for Lost Spook's Obscure & British fest, although with a difference this time; I subverted the prompt a little.  Also, I'm putting it at the end.

Girl Talk

Natasha Romanov had told her current case officer that it was a small, tidy cottage in rural Sussex – a typical retirement spot for a former civil servant.

It wasn’t, of course. The former civil servant had never actually been anything of the kind (well, civility had certainly been involved), the retirement spot was not a cottage, and rural Sussex was a ridiculous idea. The case officer was going to be furious, of course, when he finally caught up, and would undoubtedly do something drastic, like write a nasty report. In triplicate.

Natasha buzzed a total of four times, in a specific pattern. The security system immediately clicked and blinked a green light, and the door smoothly unlocked and allowed her access to the private lift that zipped her up to the penthouse flat.

just a friendly drink and a chat . . .Collapse )

Google Easter egg!!
Type "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" into Google, and see what you get.  *G*

(ETA:  Okay, apparently it's a new version of the one they've been doing every June for the last three years.  But hey, I wasn't expecting it!)

watching the Wil Wheaton Project
I don't often gripe here, and I don't think I've ever done new-TV commentary here before.  But, well, I need to vent a little.

I tuned in with high hopes, because I think Wil Wheaton is awesome.  I also thought, hey, I don't watch a lot of SF TV, and I'd enjoy seeing the crappy stuff get sent up.  If there's actually anything good out there, maybe the show will point it out.

Let's see, what did I see and hear?

Poop jokes.

Comic bits involving shows I've never watched, and in most cases haven't heard of.  A surprise appearance by a guy I've never seen or heard of before, with more poop jokes.

Boob jokes.  Porn jokes.  Gross-out humor.  Slapstick.  Um, didn't anyone notice that the "humor" behind that clip bit is basically "Eww, that's so gay?"

I guess I had a strange idea that they were possibly hoping to draw new viewers to Syfy.  Viewers who aren't frat boys.

I really do love Wil, but -- I really hope future episodes include a bit more for the roughly 50% of geekdom that isn't male . . .

There were some bits that I did enjoy, several very good laughs, and I'll give the show at least another two weeks' test drive, because it's Wil.  But geez, I really hope it grows a beard fast.

Fic: Love Notes
This was written for Lost Spook's Obscure & British fest, for this prompt: Discworld/Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, when two footnotes love each other . . . Seriously, how could I resist?

Love Notes

3 It was odd that so wealthy a man – for Lord Portishead counted large portions of England a among his possessions – should have been so self-effacing, but such was the case.

a The name ‘England’ will be unfamiliar to most readers. Although the word appears strange and barbarous to the untutored eye and ear, it is not entirely unknown to the true scholar of magical lore, as it appears not less than four and one-half times in the celebrated Omnibus of Fantastickal Realmes.4

4 We have never heard of this spurious text, the Omnibus of Fantastickal Realmes, and find in its preposterous claims no cause whatsoever for celebration.  No scholar of any merit or reputation could dismiss England as ‘barbarous’ or ‘strange’.b

the stomping of the footnotesCollapse )
Tags: ,

Fest Pimpage!! Obscure and British
Many other folks have already pimped this fic-fest, but I haven't seen anyone else use this banner yet, so I clearly need to do so!!

Click on the banner, and it will take you to the explanation post.  Short form:  many lovely prompts for many lovely and underloved British fandoms, and more room for more prompts if you feel promptful!  Non-British fandoms may sneak in as part of a crossover.

Last year's fest produced many Wonderful Things, and this year's is looking even better.  I even have my eye on a prompt, although I have no idea whether I'll get anywhere with it.  There are already some delicious fills, and more to come!

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be off messing about in boats!

Orlando Invaded by Literati!
So, May is a very lively month.  Mostly in a good way, I hope.

Right now, Missy and I are in Orlando, teetering on the edge of the Mouse Event Horizon.  She is very definitely NOT a Disney person, having burned out of it a couple of decades ago or maybe more.  I, personally, have been to Disneyland three times, and enjoyed it, and I will quite cheerfully go to my last rites without ever setting foot in Disney World.

So why the hell are we here?

Invasion of the Librarians!!Collapse )

Password Managers: Tech Support Post #2
So, I've been very happy with my password manager, up until this last week.  Now I am ecstatic about it.

I use Dashlane, one of the two currenty leaders; the other one is LastPass.  Both are good.  Both have a free version and a reasonably priced premium version.

Both do basically the same thing:  you create a single, really heavy-duty password for the app itself; you load all your other passwords and logons into it; you use the built-in tools to weed out duplicates and weak passwords, and to swap in heavy-duty passwords -- the strong-string-of-gibberish type that are super-hard to crack.  In other words, the passwords that we should all be using, because they're strong, but we don't use, because there's no freaking way to remember the damned things.

On, Dashlane! On, Prancelane!Collapse )

So, there's my massive squeefest.  If anyone on my list is interested in trying Dashlane, let me know -- I can send you an invite code, a bit like AO3, which will get you a freebie perk (6 months' free trial at the Premium level, IIRC).  I get a perk also if you accept it, so yes, I'm not entirely disinterested here.  But I am entirely squeeful, and I would love to share it with any and all.