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[personal profile] starandrea
Next year's con.txt theme is [Bob Ross and] The Joy of Fandom. How delightful! (Have some happy little trees! Because in art "there are no mistakes, just happy accidents.")

CON.TXT 2018: The Joy of Fandom

"Let’s face it, things in the real world are starting to look a bit dystopic out there, and we’ve begun to wonder if we’ve entered the darkest timeline. It’s a time when we all need Bob Ross to paint us some happy little trees, or some happy little clouds.

"When we REALLY need that fix-it story.

"The joy of fandom is our ability to remix, reshape, and rewrite our favorite media into something that pleases us. We change endings, we bring characters back to life, we reimagine Harry Potter as South Asian or Peggy Carter as Captain America, we put hobbits in coffee shops, boybanders in space, and Alexander Hamilton in a zombie apocalypse, we explore infinite timeline diversions, and most of all, we make our favorite characters get laid, fall in love, destroy their enemies, save the world, and buy some curtains. And always remember, there are no mistakes in Bob Ross paintings, just happy accidents.

"Fandom is not always perfect, and it’s not always the safe space we wish it were, but at least it’s not the real world. With that in mind, we invite you to come and take a break with us, hang out with other fans in person, and celebrate each other and the media we love!"

~con.txt
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[personal profile] starandrea
Thanks, Alex Orlando! How to adjust your bike's shifter cables is a four-minute video that taught me how to fix a cable AND the rear and front derailleur! And I only broke one other thing in the process (okay, two, but that reflector was totally non-essential and came off during the test ride afterwards, so I don't think that counts) which I'm pretty sure means I came out ahead.

Maybe I should google "how to replace a back tire" and fix the other bike while I'm at it. (Except I feel like I might have already tried that and it was much more complicated than I expected. On the other hand, derailleurs! I can't even spell that and I fixed it!)

(no subject)

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:32 am
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[personal profile] starandrea
Okay, they weren't lying about iOS 11. It really does make my iPad (and iPod, though the battery's declining fast) more useful: I can open on my tablet today every .htm file I was looking at on my laptop last night! What sorcery is this! I can read old fic that only exists on my backup drives from a remote device! This is a good day.

In related news, the original Keeper series was extensively different. So extensively that I think I'm just going to reread the entire old version as well (what a hardship!) because it wasn't crystals, it was the alien orb they were addicted to, and that was before the whole Maker adventure. Also it ends with Evan breaking Alex out of prison, which means none of the white planet happens, but I'm sure they figured out where the plague came from which in the new series is after all the keepers start being rounded up as enemies of state (it has to be before in the old series or we would have seen lots more of them being pirates).

Also, I'd completely forgotten about the random insect aliens only Alex can see ("by the way, who's Ed?") which means they're entirely absent from the new series. NOW I HAVE TWO VERSIONS OF THIS UNIVERSE TO READ. SWEET ♥

Thanks Kristine Williams! You are my hero!

PS, Pretty sure this explains why I remember them taking their shoes on and off so much. It only comes up a handful of times in the new series, but I really remember it being every single time they entered or left the room. I'll keep a count when I'm re-reading the old series. (I know at some point I wrote a journal entry that mentioned how much time they spent looking for their shoes. Or Alex did, anyway. Evan always knew where they were, because that's what he does.)

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:43 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
I forgot I was reading the Keeper series, so I just went back to it. I still have another hundred pages to go out of a couple thousand, and admittedly I don't remember the story... perfectly? but. I don't think this is how it happened the first five times I read it.

ETA: It definitely isn't! First off, I don't think the series ended the first time I read it; on further reflection I do vaguely remember checking the author's site for at least a year - possibly two - for updates before accepting that it might be permanently on hold.

...And lo! Now there is more! But there is also less, because I read the entire new Keeper series, and the continuing conversation about infallibility does not happen in it. Nor does whatever made me remember the spikes. (This is why journaling is important! You never know when someone will rewrite history! George Lucas.)

I think from when they escape the planet they crashed on to the end is new. And I think what used to happen after the crash is missing. (They absolutely explored that alien ship. And I remember everyone being fascinated by crystals, not silver.) Unfortunately, with the demise of geocities, the only way of knowing for sure is either time travel, or the possibility that I saved the entire-series-at-the-time and it still exists on an external drive backup somewhere.

That possibility is not zero.


ETAA: FOUND IT ♥♥♥
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[personal profile] starandrea
We saw a lot of "Hike Safe" posters last weekend, and mostly what I took away from them was, "Rescue yourself." (Apparently there's more to it than that, but that's the underlying theme.) With Vulcan's Fury coming up this weekend and us planning another hike before fall freezes us out,* it's a lesson I'm willing to take to heart.

"Don't assume you'll be rescued; know how to rescue yourself."

*Frost warning tonight. All house plants to the indoors: this is not a drill, little planties! (Even using a tray, I had to make four trips. I'd be more worried about the moving damage suffered by the massive ivy I brought in if it wasn't an almost-dead sprig of five leaves a few months ago.)
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[personal profile] starandrea
So I was at the drugstore this morning getting some wart remover, and I foolishly turned down the toy aisle. Why did I not know there is a Magneto Dorbz?! It is now on my desk.

(no subject)

Oct. 12th, 2017 07:55 am
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[personal profile] starandrea
Suicide help texting in the US: text "HOME" to 741741 and a volunteer will text with you until you feel safe to continue on your own.

The above link has more information about this free service, along with some simple steps, suggestions, and links/downloads to help you calm yourself - either while you wait, or in place of texting.

Sometimes just knowing someone will be there if you ask for help is enough to get you through a moment of crisis.

(no subject)

Oct. 11th, 2017 11:06 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
If the automatic smart quotes in iOS 11 are causing you grief every time you try to use "cut text" on dreamwidth, they can be easily turned off: General > Settings > Keyboard > Smart punctuation.

Thanks, Reddit.

Unrelated iOS puzzle: where did "turn on night shift" go? On the control panel, if you hold down the brightness slider, a new screen will pop up with "turn on night shift" at the bottom.

Thanks, Google.

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 10:10 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
Dear [personal profile] marcicat,

If you would like to know (a little more, but not too much) about Discovery without having to actually watch it (I don't recommend such a drastic course of action at this time, although since the second episode each episode has been incrementally better than the last, which unfortunately isn't saying much), here is how I perceive the show to be both like and unlike your vision, followed by A Custom Summary By Me ♥

Spoilers, of course. No cats! Disappointing.

compared to the show in your head )

A Custom Summary By Me )

Love,
[personal profile] starandrea

let’s be real

Oct. 8th, 2017 06:42 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
So I’m reading reviews of this mountain that are mostly like, yeah, it’s pretty hard but the view is definitely worth it, just bring a lot of water and allow enough time before dark, be careful if it rains because the rocks get really slippery, and maybe reconsider if you’re afraid of heights because there are a few sharp drops you have to scramble up.

Okay, I thought, challenging but fun, maybe about eight hours? Most people gave times between 6.25 and 7.5 hours, but I don’t climb many mountains these days and I was planning for carrying a dog in addition to my pack.

I read one anomalous review that was like, this mountain is a nice stroll to a pretty view, great half day trip, up and back in a few hours! And I was like, what? Who is this person?

Then I saw that they’d signed their review, “an athletic 20-year-old woman,” and I was like, ha ha! No. Show me reviews from the 40-year-old office worker and then we’ll talk.

It took us nine hours.

We drove through a McDonalds on the way home and Mimi was rewarded with french fries.

Quote of the day goes to Glenn, but which one is a tossup: “I think this is the craziest thing I’ve gotten us into,” or “Well, that was a rich and full experience.”

(no subject)

Oct. 5th, 2017 09:16 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
I'm often amused by how easy it is for me to get carried away. I'm going hiking with Mimi this weekend and I thought, "You know, it seems irresponsible of me not to carry a dog first aid kit." So I stopped by the local pet store to get some new vet wrap and styptic powder, put them in a tin with some gauze pads and benadryl, and figured that was better than nothing.

(I ordered some new snow booties at the same time, because she needs them anyway and they're good for protecting the paws in a variety of situations. They asked me what color I wanted: my choices were camo, black, or orange, and I was like, "Oh, orange please. The easier they are to see on the side of the road the better.")

Then I thought, you know, I should probably bring some Advil, for me, just in case. And I could take some baby aspirin, since even if Mimi doesn't need it it'll be handy if someone has a heart attack. And maybe a tampon too; I mean, those are great for bullet holes.

...At which point even I thought, "If you are planning for bullet wounds on a day hike in a national forest, you need to rethink your baseline."

I left the tampon in the tin, though. Along with a few iodide tablets, just in case of nuclear disaster.

(no subject)

Oct. 4th, 2017 07:47 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
Star Trek: Discovery

1) The uniforms are my favorite of any Star Trek series.
2) The first episode felt disjointed, as though it had been overthought and overedited.
3) The third episode makes a better pilot than either of the first two.*

*The opening scene is easy to understand. The questions raised throughout the episode seem important to everyone’s lives, and the action overall is easy to follow. The characters involved are ones we can expect to see again, so it feels worth caring about them. And remarkably, there’s proportionately more context in the third episode than the first, making it a friendlier jumping-in point.

Unrelatedly, if the scientist/engineering team were women, the gender balance might feel less blatantly like “they’re making an effort” and more realistic.

The Gifted

1) She apologizes for breaking the dog’s toy and then fixes it. Blink is my favorite human being.
2) I didn’t notice the neon X, the wolverine, or the X-Men theme song, but I recognized Stan Lee.
3) Most important question for the continued survival of everyone: were the spiders adapting?!
4) If “Rose” taught us anything, it’s to keep your sweatshirt close and your sneakers closer. I can only assume Lauren watches Doctor Who and learned her lesson well. I applaud the sheer cardio capacity of these characters (and the people who portray them).

I honestly have no idea how they managed to introduce and develop seven* relatable characters and two completely different worldviews in 42 minutes. The first episode was like the first half of a great movie. It’s hard for me to imagine that the entire series could maintain this level of entertainment, but I am grateful for a story that can be so thought-provoking and believable without sacrificing hope.

Also, the family: each character is strong, each character is committed to the others, each character is plausible. It’s the most positive TV depiction of a family unit I can think of.

*I left out James, because I didn’t think he was particularly introduced or accessible, although I like him a lot. His least generic line was, “I found you. Trust me, I can find him.” And he was great! But we know or can guess something about the personality and motivation of the other seven (Lauren, Andy, Caitlin, Reed, Marcos, Clarice, Lorna) while James is the male equivalent of a sexy lamp. (Imposing shield?)

On the plus side, including James means that in an ensemble cast of eight, there are four feminine-presenting people and four masculine-presenting people, and it’s not at all obvious. It’s just a regular group of people dealing with society who happen to be pretty representationally gendered.

Amazing.

ETA: Supposedly it’s John, not James. (I rest my case.)
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[personal profile] starandrea
Is there an app that will turn off everything on my phone at a certain time (like bedtime)? I'm not kidding.

The internet wisely (and with varying degrees of sarcasm) suggests the "off" button. I will try it. In the meantime I'm also trying the "stop playing" timer function.

ETA: The timer function does put the countdown on my lock screen, which is helpful.

ETAA: "Stop playing" works! It kicks you back to the lock screen no matter what you're doing! I love it. One of Apple's better kept secrets. Thanks Google.
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[personal profile] starandrea
She fixed the dog's toy. This is my show.
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