elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
([personal profile] elf Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:28 pm)
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.
Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....
brooksmoses: (Default)
([personal profile] brooksmoses Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:01 am)
There are a couple of young men (from a local plumbing company) in my front yard digging a ditch -- or approximately so; it might be more accurately described as an enlongated hole to access a sewer pipe that needs replacing.

They've been at it for a couple of hours, and have made vastly more progress than I was able to make in quite a few hours of manual digging. Part of this is that they've got a small electric jackhammer, but it's clear that a fair bit of this is simply that they're better at it than I was.

Which just goes to show that "unskilled labor" involves skills too.
rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
([personal profile] rosefox Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:07 am)
Selichot )

Rosh Hashanah )

It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.

Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.
I don't know how many of these methods I'll keep up in the long-term, but I thought I'd list them in case they're of use or interest to anyone else.

Essentially I found myself in a mood to ask myself, just how much plastic is passing into the environment via my purchasing habits? Even though I send a lot of it to recycling, that's its own use of energy. Mostly I was looking at my grocery shopping:


  • I already take my own reusable bags (or reuse old plastic bags) at the checkout, and for fruit as well. I do like to get the occasional new plastic bag for use as bin-liners; I'm going to try emptying their contents directly into the red bin for a while, instead of tying the bags off and putting them in all together. But I haven't found myself throwing much into the red bin since making this resolution so no data on how that goes.

  • A 2L plastic bottle of milk every 7-10 days. And you can't even reuse milk bottles to store water against emergencies; hygiene aside, the plastic breaks down over time. Speaking of emergencies, though, I'd been considering getting a bag of milk powder for my supplies. So I thought I'd try it in every-day use. So far it's worked well in baking, yoghurt-making, hot chocolate, and morning cereal, ie all my normal uses except drinking straight from the fridge, which will wait until summer for testing. It takes a few moments extra in the morning to mix it (my preferred method: boil the jug, dissolve the powder in a bit of boiling water, then add cold to desired strength) but it's become part of my routine over the last couple of weeks so I think I will keep this one up. Bonuses: here at least it's significantly cheaper than fresh milk; no running out at inconvenient moments; and conversely no finding that it's gone sour before I've finished it.

  • A plastic bag around my bread each week. I've revived my bread-making to avoid this; to be honest it's the one I'm least likely to keep up. OTOH I have discovered that if I bake the bread and let the oven cool somewhat but not completely, it's a great place to incubate yoghurt overnight. And the bread is so tasty - it's just the time it takes. We'll see. I may just keep going through phases on it.

  • A plastic bag of muesli every week or so. I'm experimenting with pick-n-mix (taking my own bags) but pick-n-mix rolled oats alone cost about the same as (budget) prepackaged muesli. :-( Does anyone know why rolled oats and muesli come in plastic, when flour and sugar come in paper??

  • A couple of plastic packages of shaved ham every few weeks. (The recycling status of which I was never sure about, so red-binned them!) Careful attention revealed that cheap ham at the deli is cheaper than cheap ham prepackaged. Moreover today I was brave and found out that if you take your own container along they'll use that instead of a fresh plastic bag. (At least the guy I struck today did, and even set the scales to discount the weight of the container though I wouldn't have minded that little bit.) So I just need to keep organised.



Beyond plastic - I've also taken to washing dishes in a tub, and using the water on the garden. (Someone at church has set up her laundry pipes to use water from that on the garden; I think I'd just flood the house.)

And recently I came across SolarAid, a charity whose selling point is that you can 'offset your carbon' from flights you make by funding solar-powered lights for personal use (eg kids doing homework) in developing countries to replace kerosene, which besides emitting copious carbon dioxide is expensive, not that bright, and seriously unhealthy. It seems win-win-win so I looked for a catch but couldn't find any.

Anyway this came at a time shortly after a) I'd made some international flights and b) I'd received a tax rebate from last year's charitable donations so next thing you know I'd apparently donated enough to get sent an example solar light in the mail. It just arrived today, and it's cute and lightweight and works out of the packaging, and I'm weighing up whether it goes in my emergency kit or to City Mission here because goodness knows it's not just kids in the developing world who can't do homework due to lack of money for power.:-(
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
([personal profile] james_davis_nicoll Sep. 21st, 2017 10:53 pm)
Haven't been around long enough for an adult to reference the technology as something around when they were kids. That's just crazy talk -- 16 years ago, you say?
green_knight: (Skyrim)
([personal profile] green_knight Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:07 am)
[expanded from the review I posted on Steam]

Review and Discussion )


Bonus review-let: Forced.

Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )

So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)

Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.
After her night spent schmoozing at the local diner, Melanoma returns home and notices that Tangerine is up and awake (finally!). She immediately collapses, exhausted, onto the couch.
Screenshot-107

Meanwhile Tangerine, still hungry, orders some pizza. He heads out the front door in the hope of intercepting the pizza before anyone else (Melanoma, say) can get to it. There he encounters Oliver the Paper Boy dropping off another newspaper to add to the growing mound of papers composting on the front porch. Sensing a potential audience, Tango begins a tirade on the virtues of whiteness. Oliver is not delighted by this.
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Oliver is still quite young, but he's old enough to recognise bullshit when he hears it. He responds with a counter-argument as the pizza delivery person arrives with Tangerine's breakfast.
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"Hey matey, do you want this pizza, or would you rather just stand there arguing with the paper boy?"
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All of a sudden, the pizza is forgotten as Tangerine, Oliver and the pizza chick are overcome by an irresistable urge to perform The Dance Of Horrified Greeting for... a repair person?
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Startled awake, Melanoma concedes that yes, maybe the TV could do with a tune-up or something...
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Wait, what? That's not a TV repair tool!
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WOOOP WOOOP WOOOP!
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WOOOP SCHLOOOP SCHLUUURRRP! There goes the TV...
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Tangerine bawls his eyes out, weeping for his lost TV, his lost innocence, his missing personality. Without a TV, how will he pass the time now?
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He recalls his breakfast, still sitting out on the front porch.
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Melanoma's response to the TV being reposessed is withering. "You idiot! You haven't got the brains God gave a pickled onion. I TOLD you to pay those bills. This is YOUR fault."
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"Ah well. We'll always have Paris pizza!"
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The story so far: Tangerine and Melanoma Hitler are doing their best to survive in a house with no lavatory, beds or fridge... which is a challenge, since they themselves have no charm, intelligence or life-skills.


While Tangerine (who has, you may recall, claimed the only couch in the house) sleeps, Melanoma is overcome by hunger pangs and visits the local diner.
Screenshot-7

But wait! What light through yonder window breaks? Is it Juliet? No, it's a Zombie-American rising up through the footpath while Melanoma dines inside.
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She finishes her meal and emerges from the diner, only to be accosted by the zombie. She is not in the mood for this shit.
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"Arrrghh, mmbblgggghhhrrrr! Hey lady, those are awfully tasty looking thighs you have there!"
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Melanoma snorts disdainfully, spins on her heels and heads straight back into the diner for another cuppa. Clearly it's gonna be one of those days...
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It seems that the Zombie-American is still waiting for her when she's done with her second coffee. Impressed by her unbelievable body odor, the zombie tries to make friends with her. This is not easy when one's first language is groaning.
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Zombie: "Okay, arrgghh, mumbbllerrggh, seeya round!"
Melanoma: "I hate my life."
Screenshot-105

Mel decides that this unpleasant encounter might as well be useful for something, so she grabs a pic of the Zombie-American as she departs, with the idea that she may post it on the blog that she's just starting up.
Screenshot-105a

Unfortunately, Melanoma's photography skills are at approximately the same level as the zombie's hygiene skills. Her blog's certainly not gonna go viral this week.
submarine_bells: (hahaha)
([personal profile] submarine_bells Sep. 20th, 2017 04:56 pm)
It's been a rather frustrating week or two, what with one thing and another. So I decided to vent some of my frustrations via The Sims. Using a fairly high profile couple as inspiration, I attempted to create more-or-less lookalike sims, and then picked traits that I deemed appropriate to them. His traits were fairly straightforward to come up with; but for her I had to guess a bit more, since the person she's based on maintains a fairly enigmatic public facade. And so I give you:

The Travails of Tangerine Hitler and Melanoma Hitler

Tangerine & Melanoma Hitler

Since this supposed to be a cathartic exercise, it wouldn't do to have things go too smoothly for Mr & Mrs Hitler. I've set them up in a basic starter home, but removed a few, um, optional extras. For example, their house has no lavatory. It also lacks a fridge and has no beds. But they have a couch and a TV, so surely they'll cope, right? Lets find out!

My self-imposed rules are this: the sims themselves set the pace. Most of what they do is entirely generated by them. If they have wishes, then I'll attempt to fulfill them (or at least, the wishes that appeal to my sense of whimsy). If they seem to develop an interest, I may nudge them further in that direction; and I'll occasionally push them into going outside and saying hello to other sims in the neighbourhood. The rest is up to them. Lets see what happens.

As soon as they arrive in their new abode, Tangerine makes a beeline for the bathroom mirror for a nice inspiring round of pose-a-rama, while Melanoma chats up the local Furry then checks out the offerings on TV:
Screenshot-6

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This seems to be a bit of a theme for Tangerine. Whenever he's bored or unhappy, he immediately decamps to the bathroom to admire himself in the mirror. When he's within eyeshot of it there is no dragging him away from its magnetic allure. Who needs cocaine when you can admire your own reflection for hours on end?

Eventually the thrill wears off a little and he rejoins Melanoma on the couch. She's starting to feel a bit tired and cranky by this time. "Whyever did it seem a good idea to buy a house without beds?" she wails. "All we have is this crummy old couch!" Tangerine rudely ignores her.
Screenshot-20

Before long Tangerine is feeling a bit sleepy as well. Being a caring, sharing sort he tells Melanoma "This is MY couch! Off you go. I wanna get some sleep now."
Screenshot-26

This is not received well:
Screenshot-27

"You're a charmless, mannerless peasant!"
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"...And your genitalia are charmless, too!"
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Overcome with fatigue and humiliation, Tangerine proceeds to wet himself...
Screenshot-66

...And then fall asleep in the puddle on the floor.
Screenshot-61

Does Melanoma succumb to temptation and give him a good swift kick? Does their relationship survive this contre-temps? Tune in for the next thrilling episode and find out!
It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....
.

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