copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, I think someone high up in management at my institution got hacked last year or something, since in the past year we have developed some serious paranoia regarding data security. Not to say that data security isn’t important or that I dislike the changes, I think they are for the most part sensible, but we went from like, zero to Steranko-System-in-Leverage in the course of a month or two. 

The latest development is a mysterious edict that we all have to leave our computers at work but logged out tonight so that they can “encrypt” our computers somehow – I assume it’s some kind of software they’re going to install, but there’s been a dearth of information over what exactly this Encryption Of Computers entails. Furthermore, I was told that my computer is incompatible with encryption (loose lips sink ships, laptop!) so it will have to be wiped completely and upgraded. Which I’m fine with, all my work is on a network drive anyway and I just had to remember to move a few files. 

But my laptop apparently heard them and knows it’s being wiped. Yesterday the flash stopped working and today my Outlook has decided to neither send nor receive any email. Additionally, a retail clothing website just broke Firefox so hard it no longer allows me to log into anything. 

What I’m saying is that this laptop is going down swinging, and I kind of admire its fighting spirit, but goddamn, could it not have waited until the end of the workday so I wouldn’t have to use Microsoft Webmail to do the last two hours of business today. 

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My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:18 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Ashley linked to a fundraiser set up by a California credit union, Redwood Credit Union, to help communities impacted by the California wildfires. You can read more and give at their donation page.

[personal profile] kuwdora is a long-time fandom vidder who recently enrolled in a career coaching program with tv/film editor Zack Arnold, and she is now working to pay off the last installment of the program and transition from a vidding hobby to a professional editing career in Hollywood. You can read more here, give to her gofundme here, and buy art from her etsy here.

[tumblr.com profile] catlinyemaker linked to a fundraiser for [twitter.com profile] neolithicsheep, a disabled Navy vet and sustainable agriculture educator who is raising funds to get a border collie to help them with their Sovay sheep. You can read more about the fundraiser and retweet in a twitter thread here, and purchase various shirts and other branded goods at their Teespring here.

[personal profile] xturtle linked to their friend Marcia, who is raising funds to help cover vet bills for her sick bunny; she is running out of unemployment benefits and looking for work; in the meantime Caspian needs testing to determine what the lump in his stomach is and get his teeth fixed. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to a fundriaser for [tumblr.com profile] ohcrakerjacks, a victim of black toxic mold. She and her parents are raising funds to replace walls, insulation, flooring, and furniture. You can read more and check out commissions here and give to her ko-fi here, which will support supply purchases for the cross-stitch embroidery she sells.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] suriel's husband is about to have two surgeries, each costing several thousand dollars, and they are raising money to cover expenses. They have sales in all their online shops: Fandom buttons and more, caramels and toffees, and their band shop. You can read and reblog here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] vaspider, who is running a sale on their Etsy shop ($10% off $30 or more) to help with living expenses and home repairs after a job loss and other unexpected life events this year. You can check out the Etsy shop here; it includes a lot of nerdy/geeky Judaica as well as secular clothes, accessories, and cosplay.

News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to a writeup that [personal profile] kaberett posted about desensitizing themselves to board games; Board Game Desensitization Process is a template for people who may have a difficult relationship to card/board games but want to participate in the increasingly popular social events focused around them.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Because I am me, I systematized my home search as much as I could – I have a spreadsheet in google that has not just my list of Best, Acceptable, and Totally Unacceptable buildings in it but also my mortgage calculator from the bank and various other financial stuff. I also went into the top few real estate websites (primarily Zillow and Estately) and set several different searches to be sent to my non-fandom inbox, where they were then filtered into a Housing folder (different from my other Housing folder, which has all my documents/communications with my realtor). 

Now I’m looking at my Housing folder which constantly has new emails in it and wishing there was just an “I BOUGHT A HOME, YOUR SERVICES ARE NOW IN VAIN” button I could press to notify all of those sites that no, really, I seriously do not anymore need your Real Estate Tips And Tricks newsletter anymore. 

Fortunately changing my address everywhere won’t be the nightmare my mum always complains it is, because I also have a spreadsheet of every website I’ve ever built a login for, and I just go through the spreadsheet (also it’s an excellent opportunity to delete my account from sites I never use). 

I’ve rarely lived anywhere for more than five years, and my phone number was deeply unstable for a while for similar reasons, but it’s a small wonder our generation prefers email to most other forms of communication – after all, my gmail addresses have been stable now for more than ten years. 

I believe I have now been Copperbadge On Social Media for longer than I have ever lived in any single residence. 

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Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Oct. 15th, 2017 03:01 pm
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (thunk)
[personal profile] megpie71
I've just finished doing my weekly job search. Which is depressing and sucks rocks through a straw.

It is also about 60% more complicated than it actually has to be, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I grew up in a dysfunctional family, which means I still (even after twenty years safely away from the lot of 'em) feel the ingrained need to justify my every action, in order to ensure I don't wind up getting squashed by people and/or institutions which have power over me. (If I do not Document Everything and Justify Everything, I will inevitably wind up In The Wrong. Yes, I know this is fscked up. You don't need to tell me). In terms of job search, this translates to me carefully noting down the following:

* What my search terms were on Seek.com.au each week.
* How many jobs were on offer
* Relevant details from each of those job ads, complete with highlighting various things, such as hours of work offered, skills/experience/education required, due dates for applications, conditions and so forth.
* Which jobs I applied for and with which employers
* How I applied for them.

Okay, so far, so neurotic. Reasonable justification of choices achieved. Now this is the rest of what I do:

* Keep another record of every single job offered by Employer, Job description and date.
* Keep track of whether I received any response to the job applications I sent out, and what that response was.
* Keep statistics on the proportion of my job applications I receive responses to.
* Collate and keep statistics on the amount and type of experience employers are asking for.
* Collate and keep statistics on the types of qualifications, clearances, and personal qualities employers are asking for.
* Collate and keep statistics on whether the work being offered is permanent or temporary, and how many hours are being offered.
* Collate and keep statistics on the kinds of software employers are asking for experience with.

Part of the reason I do all of this is because my brain says "maybe there's some patterns in here we could pull out if we just had the stats; maybe if we just assembled enough information we could craft the Perfect Application and get ourselves a job!". It also says "ooh, numbers cool!" and "I like playing with data", not to mention "hey, let's hyper-focus on this useless aspect of things in order to try to convince ourselves all this pointless effort could maybe, possibly, have a purpose other than wasting our time in futile hoop-jumping".

Which is why looking for work, for me, occupies the better part of about four to five hours every Sunday. I keep records of all of this. They are updated religiously. Who knows? Maybe someday, someone will be demanding that I justify my choices in the same old way my family used to (and the way my bully of a boss in the agency responsible for administering our social security system here in Australia used to...) and I will be able to pull out five or more years of records explaining each and every single damn choice I've made all the way along my job search history, and why I made those choices.

In the mean time, I'm starting to build up a pretty good picture of what employers in Perth, Western Australia are looking for with regards to part-time administrative and office support workers. (Email me if you want the full autism-spectrum inspired brain dump).

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:39 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Of all the new-to-me books by Stephen King that I’ve read in the last year, this and the middle Dark Tower books are the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’ve re-read Duma Key three times in the last two years, and I can tell it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to. Here’s the first page:

How to draw a picture


Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.


On the one hand, this is my favorite prose passage in the book. On the other hand, the entire book has that same atmosphere and themes: the magic of art, the bleakness of loss, the terror of opening a door into darkness, human empathy and connections, and, always, how making a mark on paper is both simple and difficult, the dividing line between nothing and everything.

Unusually for Stephen King, Duma Key is set in on the Florida coast – an incredibly vivid and atmospheric Florida, which becomes enough of a character in its own right to make the book a very satisfying sea-soaked, sunset-lit Gothic.

I am pleased to say that this is one of the least gross King books I’ve read, bar a rotting ghost or two. It’s also one of the scariest, in a very classic “terrify by keeping the scary stuff mostly off-page” manner. The Big Bad is never quite seen directly, and is one of King’s creepiest and most mythically archetypal figures.

It’s also one of King’s most heartbreaking books. Almost all the characters are really likable, and if not likable, than still very human. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon opens with, The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Duma Key is about the beauty and magic and redemption of the world, but also about the teeth.

It begins with a wealthy self-made man, Edgar Freemantle, getting into an absolutely horrific accident while visiting one of his job sites. He loses an arm and gets some brain damage; he’s barely out of the hospital before his marriage has ended, his life as he knew it has ended, and he’s on the brink of suicide.

After some talks with his psychiatrist, he ends up taking up art, which he’d enjoyed as a boy but never pursued, and moving to a cabin in the Florida Keys. There he meets a chatty guy, Wireman, who’s the caretaker for Elizabeth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s – both of whom have pasts which slowly, heartbreakingly unfold over the course of the book. Edgar finds that painting is his new passion and genuine talent… but his paintings are odd. Eerie. And they can change things…

The first half of the book follows Edgar as he recovers from his accidents, explores his new talent and gains critical and commercial success, and loses some old friends and gains some new ones. The emotional and physical recovery from the accident and its fallout (which doesn't mean he'll ever be the same as he was before) was incredibly well-done and vivid. I don't know if it was technically correct, but it felt very believable.

In classic Gothic fashion, there’s creepy stuff going on simultaneously, but it’s comparatively subtle. I found this part of the book hugely enjoyable even though tons of scenes are just Edgar painting or eating sandwiches and shooting the breeze with Wireman. On the one hand, it probably could have been shorter. On the other hand, I could have happily gone on reading just that part forever.

And then the creepy stuff gets less subtle. A lot less subtle.

This has an unusual story arc. I’m putting that and other huge spoilers behind a cut, but I’ll also mention that even for King, the book has some very tragic aspects— ones which he’s explored before, but there’s one I’ll rot13.com (feed into the site to reveal) because it’s a specific thing that people may want to avoid. Gur cebgntbavfg’f qnhtugre vf xvyyrq. Fur’f na nqhyg ohg n lbhat bar (n pbyyrtr fghqrag) naq irel yvxnoyr, naq vg’f gur ovttrfg bs frireny thg-chapurf va gur fgbel. Nyfb, n qbt vf uvg ol n pne naq qvrf.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, I suggest not reading the rest of the spoilers because even though if I’d sat down and tried to figure out where the story was going, I probably could have, the experience of reading it feels unpredictable; you can guess the outlines but a lot of the details are unexpected.

Read more... )

Also, have some brighter things

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:43 pm
rachelmanija: (Firefly: Shiny Kaylee)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Femslash Exchange 2017 is open! The original fiction stories look especially tempting; also, there's Jane Eyre/Helen Burns. Off to read my gift story (resistance fighter/glamorous '40s singer) now!

Also, have two cats hugging:

Pull The Football - Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:57 am
rachelmanija: (I wrote my own deliverance)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
The owners of the condo I offered on have accepted my offer at $180K, with the only condition that they will do no repairs or remodels before I take possession. 

*head between knees*

GONNA BE A HOMEOWNER.

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Cupidity

Oct. 11th, 2017 02:53 pm
louiselux: (Default)
[personal profile] louiselux
A few people have asked recently, so just to let you know that Cupidity is up at [community profile] curious_spells here, along with my and [personal profile] emungere's other collaborations.

So My Home Town Burned Down

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:29 am
labingi: (Default)
[personal profile] labingi
Yep, my home town has been one of the casualties of the California fires, specifically the Sonoma County fires. As far as I have heard, everyone I know is safe and well.

We don't know yet if our house survived. It's way up a hill where they're not going to get video from emergency responders driving by, and the mandatory evacuation is still in effect, so the tenants can't go back to see. All in all, as the photos start to come in, the damage is not as bad as it was in my head. The plants are going to come back fast, which is a comfort.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I used to be confused, as a child, about why you would buy a new calendar in September – a calendar that would contain September-December and then the entire next year. Because surely you had a calendar that went through the end of the year, no calendar ever ENDS in August. 

But as an adult now I get it, because I keep a private calendar in google docs and I just had to move the October, November, and December tabs into the 2018 calendar since I’m already bookin’ shit out for January and February. At this point, starting in November I’m traveling at least once a month, every month, from November to June, except in May. 

Clearly I better book a trip in May. :D  

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karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni
holy moly assignments are here

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 08:24 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for his great-aunt, who can't afford to pay back-taxes on the house which accrued while her mother was dying. She is elderly and disabled, and raising funds to cover $6K in back taxes she was unaware of when she got the house. You can read more and give at her gofundme.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] geckohq, an autistic disabled trans man whose mother recently passed away and who is now on his own to pay off her bills and cover his own expenses. You can read and reblog here where there is a paypal donation link, and you can check out the amigurumi geckos, dragons, and plushies for sale at his etsy here, including geckos that come in various Pride flag colors.

[personal profile] lizcommotion linked to a fundraiser for Beth, who is trying to pay down medical debt while navigating the labyrinth of applying for disability benefits for her chronic medical conditions. You can read more and give at their YouCaring.

[tumblr.com profile] i-will-not-be-caged linked to a fandom fundraiser organized by [tumblr.com profile] hansbekhart, benefitting ConPRmetios, an organization raising money for long-term relief for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. You can read more and sign up at [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico, or read more and reblog at their tumblr post here.

[personal profile] naamah_darling is raising funds to pay for medical care for a special-needs cat, Smooch, who has just been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. You can read more here, read and reblog here, or give directly at their youcaring.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is having a moving sale! Right now they have a sofa bed available but the post also has a list of other items which will be available in November (the location is listed as SW6 which I believe is a London-area location). You can check out the post here and she says feel free to PM on DW/LJ/Tumblr or the site link if you're interested or want photos.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
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