(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:32 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Astronomers Without Borders eclipse glasses donation program

don't throw away your eclipse glasses! mail them to Astronomers Without Borders, or deliver them to the nearest organization (most likely a local school) collecting them for AWB, so that students in South America and Africa can safely watch the next eclipse!

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:21 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
The blood bank emailed me: A+ donors needed. (Guess my blood type.) It has in fact been over eight weeks since I donated last.

Problem: I am fucking moving. I do not have enough physical cope as it is. Blood donation knocks me the fuck over!


(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:57 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I need extra hands around here. Preferably attached to strong arms, steely spines, and sturdy legs, with a head on those shoulders that can intuit what I need to happen better than I can either intuit or explain the things.

In lieu of this (because TELEPORTER!!! *shakes fist*, and also all my immediate family are Occupied Elsewhere today):

Would any y'all who believe in and understand how to accomplish the "sending healing energy over a distance" thing please do the thing for me? Not necessarily healing, though I wouldn't exactly say no to that; strength, resilience, anything that you have to spare at the moment and that you think I could use in order to get all my stuff moving-ready and the apartment sparkly clean. Protective and cleansing energies would also be welcome.

If you want to do a trade, drop me a comment with a prompt: a single word, a brief phrase, a song lyric, an evocative image. After I'm all moved, I'll stitch all the prompts into a story and post it for all y'all to see. :)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
*waves to somebody who may not wish to be named* So many coffees! Thank you!

Can someone—who has got more brain to think of google terms than I have presently got—point me at moving-out checklists? Apartment-departing–specific if possible?
jjensenii: South Park avatar (Default)
[personal profile] jjensenii
It's been too long since I posted anything here, so here's a taste of the sort of things I've been thinking about.

Psychologist Clare W. Graves outlined a personality theory involving eight "levels of existence" that he believed individuals progress through as circumstances permit. Those familiar with Spiral Dynamics or the work of Ken Wilber have encountered popularizations (and simplifications) of Graves' work.

Those who share my distrust of the narrative of Progress™ will be understandably suspicious the concept of levels of the personality (not to mention anything connected with Ken Wilber). I myself rejected it for some time after I finally gave up on that mythology. However, after reading Clare W. Graves: The Levels of Human Existance, a transcription of some of Graves' lectures edited by William R. Lee (available at the SD Store, linked), I've come to believe Graves' research is valid and that he was on to something important. More on that in a later post.

Briefly, Graves outlines eight levels labeled A-N to H-U. The first letter denotes the psychological attitudes and basic worldview of a person at that level, while the latter denotes the neurological subsystem associated with that level. My understanding is that these could theoretically be one step out of sync, but this seems to be of little significance; Spiral Dynamics and Wilber ignore it, and label each normal pair with a color.

The first two levels are more speculative, and were inferred from a combination of anthropological reports of hunter-gatherer societies and research into children's cognitive and moral development. The A-N level is the level of more-or-less automatic survival. B-O is a level associated with establishing and maintaining security through rigid adherence to tradition.

The more interesting levels are what we might call the "civilizational" levels, which account for nearly all members of developed civilizations. These are C-P, D-Q, E-R, and F-S. Some convenient stereotypes for these levels (as well as a mnemonic) are the Biker, the Believer, the Banker, and the Barista.

The C-P level was described as based on the ethic of "express self impulsively," and its stereotype is that of the Biker, the rough-and-tumble misfit who lives at the edge of the law. Warlords, gang members, and drug addicts are among the negative stereotypes.

Graves described the D-Q level's prerogative as "deny self for future reward." These are the Believers, who sacrifice for their family, for their country, for their gods. They look for a reward in the future, even after death. Police officers, patriotic soldiers (as opposed to C-P mercenaries), and religious fanatics are some of the stereotypes for this level.

The E-R level's motive is "express self cautiously." Like those at C-P, they are out for number one; unlike those at C-P, they mean to be smart about it. Go too far, and it just blows back in your face (not to say this never happens to people of this temperament). I've nicknamed this one the Banker, because the stereotypical business executives is a great example of this mindset.

Finally, the F-S level's motive is "deny self for approval now." People at this level are motivated by a need for approval from their peers. I've called this one the "Barista" to preserve the alliteration. You know the type: majored in liberal arts, goes to yoga classes, highly fashion conscious. (Again, this is a stereotype, meant to paint a picture of an extreme case. I'm not talking about real people. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Above these are still more complex levels, G-T and H-U, and possibly more. Those at G-T seek to, in Graves' words, "express self, but not at the expense of others," and those at H-U are motivated by a desire to "adapt self to existential realities." (I have some ideas on what that might mean, but that will have to wait for another time.) Graves noted that in his lifetime the dominant level of Western civilization had changed from E-R to F-S. Graves conjectured that modern Western society was on the verge of a leap to G-T.

For what it's worth, I think he was wrong. I think F-S is for all practical purposes the highest level that a society as a whole can reach. Again, more on this another time.

Anyway, I want to paint some pictures of these four types with superheroes from the various eras of DC Comics. I should mention that there are some very mild spoilers to follow if you haven't been reading comics in a couple of decades. Seriously, they're barely spoilers at all. Still, I'll place the rest of this post under a cut just in case.

Read more... )

An Eclipse Thing I Did Not Expect

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:35 pm
peristaltor: (Default)
[personal profile] peristaltor
I got a good shot of… hard to explain.

An eclipse at 92%
as viewed through cedar trees.

Essentially, a whole wall at work was filled with the same crescent image. It was cool.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I am still raising money for auto repairs. More urgently, I would very much like to be able to buy pizza and coffee to keep me operating all week while I'm frantically packing and cleaning for moving, instead of making coffee and assorted meals.

All fiction requests will be delayed until Tue Aug 29 at the earliest. Please say how urgent all divination requests are; if they are not urgent, they will be similarly delayed. Etsy orders I'll get out the door promptly. If you want to commission jewelry or artwork, we can talk, but the same delay applies. Redbubble orders are on Redbubble's schedule.

If you signal-boost this and let me know you've done it, I'll do 100 words of fiction to your request, one small art to your request, or one divination card-equivalent—no earlier than Tue Aug 29.

Fiction to Buyer's Prompt
Current Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
Older Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
neonvincent: For posts about Twilight and trolling (Twilight Fandom wank trolls you)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Total Eclipse of the Heart single cover

To celebrate today's eclipse on the main blog, I posted Vox on the Great American Eclipse.  Here, I'm observing the occasion, if not the eclipse itself, with something sillier.  Take it away, Unipiper!


Keep Portland weird, Unipiper!


Next, a bit of history about the song itself.

This song is about a romantic relationship with a vampire?  First, if I had known that 30 years ago, when it became "our song" for myself and my ex-wife, I might have realized that it could be a bad omen for our relationship.  Second, I have just the icon for that!

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent
I stumbled upon this video, which features two of my favorite actresses in two of my favorite speculative fiction television series having a conversation about show business and their craft, and thought it was worth sharing with my readers.

Good luck to both of them at the Emmy Awards next month.

neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
[personal profile] neonvincent

I posted Part 1 of January's saved comments yesterday.  Today, it's time for Part 2.

Comments from Greer's, Kunstler's, and Infidel 753's blogs behind the cut. )

Visting Darla On My Way To Portland

Aug. 18th, 2017 01:24 pm
avalonautumn: by air wood and stone (relationships)
[personal profile] avalonautumn
Since it's my week's vacation (at least a cheap version of it-- visiting friends, seeing the eclipse, and then going to Faerieworlds) I'm looking forward to a little R & R, and to getting out of my current Ghost Lake house for a time. Besides, its the second half of Sharn's "stay-cation" and I think she'd appreciate having a little time without my hanging about endlessly!

To begin with, Reese came up for a day, rested, and then we headed down south yesterday afternoon. The traffic was only slightly worse than expected, and easy breezy by the time we passed Olympia. Of course we stopped at Darla's house to say hello, it seemed only right. Darla is the neighbor across the street who gave me a little outlet and sanctuary during my divorce. She just offered me a place to go to get away and a comforting bit of solace. Her expansive gardens and horses or cows also offered peaceful distractions.

I confess I wanted to see Windy Firs again, curiosity being what it is... As we pulled up, Gerick was in the front yard working on a project he'd envisioned last summer before I left. He didn't see us, or even turn around. Reese asked me if we should call out, and I said no. He's not communicating with me anymore, and it seemed disrespectful to intrude on his reality. Had he turned around and seen us, I probably would have waved, but I would expect him to glower rather than wave back-- his silence has made it clear he cares nothing for me anymore.

So, we got out of the car and greeted Darla and went inside to hang out for a few hours. Lots of catching up. She and her friend were happy to see me and remarked on how healthy and happy I looked. I was a total basketcase when last I was there! Nothing important got brought up, it was just friendly chit chat and talking about gardens and cows and family and the eclipse and such. A couple of times I glanced out the window to see Gerick still working on his project-- alone.

Before we left, we went to see Darla's new calf-- a heifer! SO cute! We fed the cows and steer bread and fallen plums from the near-by tree as a treat, though the calf was only into her mommy's milk!

We said our good-byes and made our way back to the car again, I saw movement in Windy Firs' front yard-- two or more guys, including Gerick, were walking around. Reese said they went for a walk up the road? I wasn't paying too much attention, but I guessed they probably saw us by then.

What surprised me was how much I didn't care. I had wondered before arriving if seeing my last home and my ex would make me feel sad or angry... But I didn't really feel anything but regret for the location. How I loved Harmony Hills and rural life! The spectacular view and clean, crisp air! I really miss those things. The angst, however, is gone. It took a year of separation, but what happened no longer hurts viscerally.

Which makes the side trip to Darla's Garden House entirely worth it! It helped put things in perspective, and my curiosity was cured. I know that Gerick still lives with Chip & Waldo. (Their car was there as well as their tiny house.) They've continued to work on the place a little, but nothing stood out much besides the project Gerick had going in the front yard. It pretty much seems the same except without me there. I found myself neither comforted nor disappointed.

As much as I loved (and still love) Windy Firs, I don't miss being there with those three men. I don't miss the emotional abuse, the constant lies and manipulations, nor the relentless melodrama (I've had ZERO since moving out, so there is no doubt it 100% came from them). I don't miss feeling scared. I don't miss watching my entire life hijacked by two boys young enough to be my children.  I don't miss who I became while berated and harassed and attacked and schemed against by three selfish, villainous jerks. I will never forgive Chip and Waldo, and when the time comes they back-stab Gerick, as is inevitable once he's no longer convenient for them, I won't be able to feel sorry for Gerick, who threw me away like so much trash. No-- I don't feel like wasting my energy by actively hating any of them anymore, but disgust will remain forever...

I am, however, grateful to have real friends who stuck through all of it with me and support me still. I'm grateful to find peace and sanity again after my trip through Trauma-land. Life is super scary, trying to figure out how to support myself as my alimony payments go down, but at least I'm not being scowled at and tippy toing around temper tantrums anymore. I don't feel disrespected and dishonored. I'm not constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop. Life is calm and feels far less precarious.

I'm also grateful to take any money and free time I have and spend both however I choose. I always knew I was an excellent money manager, but now I've proven it to myself after a year of carefully budgeting and watching my meager (indeed almost non-existent) credit rating rise rather nicely considering how modest a life I lead. Gerick really screwed up when he blocked me from managing our finances. I fought him for years and then gave up-- and he only began to get a clue when we ended up homeless as a result. What a waste of our youth! I could have helped make it all so much more enjoyable and less frightening.

When I'm in charge of things, those things go WELL. That is what life away from my marriage keeps telling me. I am very responsible, a careful planner, and I can say "no" to myself. Those skills go a long way when no one takes my power away from me. I have very real hope that I can figure out a way to live a modestly comfortable and interesting life somehow in the not-too-distant future.

While a part of me will always love and miss Gerick-- as crazy as that may seem!-- I cannot miss his power over me and the decisions he made. I don't like how things went down, and I will always be disappointed regarding his lack of character. Now that it appears the slight peace we made at the end of the divorce was all a lie, I can only sigh and shrug and go on. His last act towards me was to choose to file taxes singly, which cost me over a thousand dollars, and him several hundred at least, cutting into his own refund to prevent me from having one! This could only be an act of either hostility towards me or cowardice-- doing as his lovers bid him, too afraid to stand up to them and end up alone. I dared to protest all those months ago and he hasn't had contact with me since...

... but standing there in Darla's driveway right after we pulled in, watching Gerick work alone in the front yard, I was surprised to find that I didn't really want to talk to him either-- not the way he is now. There was this emotional chasm that seemed endless between the maybe 60 feet between us. It was an odd, yet strangely soothing, moment.

I realized he doesn't have the power to hurt my feelings anymore.


neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent

This is the first of two installments about saved comments from January 2016.  I was traveling during the first two weeks of the month, so I saved my comments on my laptop, then transferred them to my desktop.  Good thing I did; apparently the video card on that has failed.  On the one hand, it confirms my feelings of urgency about posting my saved comments here, as they were driven by anxieties of hardware failure.  On the other, I was hoping the laptop would remain functional longer so that I could post the comments I saved on it.  Sigh.

I'm going to keep my comment on "Link round-up for 3 January 2016" at Infidel 753 above the cut, as it has a wider appeal for my readers here on Dreamwidth than the comments behind the cut.  That's because it's about all three trilogies of the Star Wars saga.

The New Republic is right about the Star Wars saga being a multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family. However, I wouldn't call it bad parenting, at least in the first two trilogies. I'd call it absentee parenting combined with bad foster parenting (except in the case of Leia; I think the Organas were actually good parents). Obi-Wan screwed up with Anakin and was supplanted by Palpatine, who was even worse. Lars tried, but he wasn't suited to deal with his nephew by marriage, who had the family curse of being destined for greatness.

It wasn't until the current movie that a combination of an unruly child with parenting not up to the task became apparent. Leia, Han, and Luke all tried with Kylo Ren, and all failed. Smoke (sp.?) took over the Palpatine role and ended up being the evil foster parent. Thank you, J.J. Abrams for making crystal clear what George Lucas only implied.

The good news is that the foster parents can redeem themselves. Obi-Wan, with Yoda's help, succeed with Luke where they failed with his father. Anakin himself finally did the right thing by his son, although it took Palpatine doing his best to kill Luke to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and Leia do the same for Kylo Ren and Rey by the final film of this trilogy. There is a formula to these films, after all.

Comments from Kunstler's and Greers blogs plus the old Michigan Liberal about energy, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )

Getting Started with Keto

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:11 pm
kayemmo: KMO in KC in June 2016 (Default)
[personal profile] kayemmo
I had heard about the ketogenic diet at least a couple of years ago, but I never took any interest. I don't know what prompted me to start such a diet, but I ordered a sample pack of Keto Chow on August 6th. It arrived on August 9th, and I think I tried it for the first time on Friday, August 11th.

On Saturday, I ate a donut in the morning, and I drank quite a lot of alcohol that night, so I clearly wasn't on the diet that day, but I have been every day since then.

On Monday of this week, I weighed myself at the gym. I weighed 208 pounds, which was down about 4 pounds from the last time I'd weighed myself the previous week. I weighed myself again on Wednesday of this week, and I weighed 202 pounds. I'd lost 6 pounds in two days. 

I don't think this is entirely related to the keto diet. I think pure caloric restriction played some role, but I'm also skeptical that I could have lost that much had I fasted for two days straight.

The downside is the "keto flu." I have felt weak and sometimes dizzy a lot of the time, particularly while at work. I'm working in a non-air-conditioned warehouse this summer doing a variety of physical tasks, some of them quite strenuous.

Until I started my keto regimen, I had been doing a 19-hour fast each day which I would break at 3 pm with hard-boiled eggs.

Yesterday and today I started the day with a tablespoon of coconut oil, which is pretty much pure fat, and today I ate a bacon cheese burger with a lettuce wrap and steamed broccoli for lunch, and I have felt great ever since then. (That was about 3 and a half hours ago.) In fact, I have my 3 eggs in the fridge here in the warehouse, and it is an hour past when I would normally have eaten them, and I have no interest in them at the moment. I will leave them for tomorrow.

Another side effect is acne. My forehead is broken out, but I've been having skin problems all year, so I can't say this is entirely due to the keto diet.

I have installed MyFitnessPal on my phone. I created a profile and provided the app with my height and current weight. I also included my activity level and my desired weight (190 pounds). Based on this data, the app suggested that I eat 2,800 calories a day.

I haven't kept a strict accounting of all the food I've eaten this week, but I have accounted for everything I've had today. It comes to less than 1,000 calories or about a third of my daily total. I plan to have a serving of keto chow and some steamed broccoli with melted cheese on it when I get back to Marty's house tonight.

Teen Choice Award winners

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:09 am
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent

Last month, I posted here about the Teen Choice Awards nominees recognizing speculative fiction in movies and television. The awards were given out Sunday, so it's time to post about the winners. Here are the links to entries about the winners at Crazy Eddie's Motie News and the descriptions I used to promote them.

'Beauty and the Beast' the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards as speculative fiction dominates the movie categories
"Beauty and the Beast" won five awards, Choice Fantasy Film, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress for Emma Watson, Choice Movie Villain for Luke Evans, and Choice Movie Ship and Choice Liplock for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Emma Watson also won Choice Drama Movie Actress for her role in the thriller "The Circle."

'Riverdale' leads television shows with seven Teen Choice Awards
"Riverdale" was the most honored show last Sunday, earning seven surfboards: Choice Drama TV Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse, Choice Breakout TV Show, Choice Breakout TV Star for Lili Reinhart, Choice TV Ship for Sprouse and Reinhart, Choice Hissy Fit for Madelaine Petsch, and Choice Scene Stealer for Camila Mendes.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:48 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
hi does someone want to explain why in #dreamwidth
(12:42:01 AM) AlexSeanchai left the room (quit: K-Lined).
because if I did something wrong someone needs to fucking inform me, and if something else is wrong (I notice rodgort got the same treatment one second sooner) then let me flag it up for y'all who #dreamwidth IRC

ETA: I'm back in

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 01:18 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith is Poetry Fishbowling again—theme is "anything goes". which I think means prompt any damn thing you've the mind to but I'm taking her a bit more literally: my first prompt is "anarchy".

Four Trump Things

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:25 pm
l33tminion: (Default)
[personal profile] l33tminion
The Russia Thing: Don Junior's "defense" amounted to "they tried to arrange a quid pro quo but I was too dense to have any idea that was what they were doing. It's amazing how quickly the talking points shifted from "obviously nothing like that would have happened" to "it's clearly no big deal that happened". Political bias is what it is, but it's still alarming to see conservatives do a complete 180 on questions like "does morality matter?" I suggest the usual exercise for Republicans of making a sincere effort to imagine how you would feel if Hillary Clinton (Barack Obama? Bill Clinton?) did anything even remotely like this.

The Healthcare Thing: Republicans have been running for seven years on the unpouplarity of Obamacare, and the idea of "repealing Obamacare" remains somewhat popular. But they have not bothered to perform the crucial step of coming up with a plan that's actually more popular than Obamcare. Or, for that matter, even a deeply unpopular plan that they could still somehow ram through with hours of debate, no bipartisan amendments, no hearings, and fifty votes plus Pence. It was amazing to see the Republicans thrash through every major type of repeal. There was the no-repeal repeal, the particular version of which made things worse for the poor and better for the old before making them much, much worse for the old as well. There was the repeal and delay, where Republicans could run on having "repealed Obamacare" but no one gets to see the change until after the midterms. There's the free-lunch repeal, where you repeal just the mandate and hope that the conventional rules of economics just don't apply any more (the CBO predicts they do). The only things that remain untried are the repeal just the name and anything that resembles Trump's promises of "insurance for everybody" that's "much less expensive and much better". This isn't over yet, the Republicans could find some other plan that gets the support of one more senator, or maybe it will actually involve some convoluted plan to lure a Democratic senator from a state with a Republican governor and appointed replacements to some other part of the administration. But maybe they should consider the normal legislative process?

The North Korea Thing: North Korea is a horrible nightmare state, and war with North Korea would be an immense humanitarian catastrophe. But there's plenty of opportunities for delay to make the situation much, much worse. This seems like it would be hard situation to handle for a diplomatic, competent President with a functioning administration including a fully-staffed State Department.

The Actual Literal Nazis: Trump's response to Charlottesville was slow, tepid, and equivocating, at the very least deeply compromised. It's no wonder many white nationalists view it as not-so-covert support. This pattern of right-wing street violence being aided by "both sides" equivocation and lukewarm prosecution is a familiar one.

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:25 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Did I ever tell you about my high school Latin teacher? Ms. Kit Smoot. Studying with her I learned so much and had such fun and—

I wanted to tell her so many things, about how she helped get me to where I am today. But when I visited the school she was never there.

She died last night.

(I hadn't realized she meant so much to me.)

May her memory be eternal.


ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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