I Have CatS!

Dec. 20th, 2014 05:08 pm
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[personal profile] splodgenoodles
Only due to a miscommunication when JA and I got back here, they were released in the living room rather than in the study, and as I don't fancy trying to get Foo out from under the couch, they have free run of the house until further notice.

My second cat is named Peggy. She's about 11 years old and has already jumped up to say hi a couple of times, and has explored the house quite thoroughly.

It seems that once I realised I had a companion in Foo for another ?18 years, give or take, I realised I could do that think that I had planned to do, which is adopt a senior cat. It's just that after nursing Fuzzychops in her last months, I kind of lost the stomach for it.

But frankly, Peggy's got several years in her I reckon.

Foo is nervous and pissed off, she's going to take a while to settle in.

Photos to follow. I am thoroughly happy.

Track Meet

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:00 pm
[personal profile] lego_joker posting in [community profile] scans_daily
For the longest time, I'd always thought of Black Mask - especially the 2000s-era take on him - as Hush, but even worse. Hush might have been a huge Villain Sue with artificial competence and a wholly unoriginal composition, but at least he had the grace to leave the Bat-books (temporarily) as soon as Loeb was done with his debut story. Black Mask had all of the above (possible exacerbated by the fact that he was previously an unremarkable C-lister in Batman's rogues gallery) with the added caveat that editorial was in love with him for some reason, so we got him shoved down our throats as TEH MOST BADASS CRIMELORD EVAH for most of Gotham's mid-2000s status quo.

I'm not going to recap the disgusting mess that was "War Games" here - there are plenty of posts on this community devoted to covering that already - but suffice to say, BM got very little love from the female readership, and his fans in the male readership basically amounted to people impressed that he'd killed a Robin.

But then I sat down to Judd Winick's run on Batman, and realized that holy shit, apparently the newbie writer on the block agreed with me.

The life and times of Roman Sionis, behind the cut. )
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[personal profile] tcpip
Some pretty good gaming experiences in the past week are worthy of jotting down. Firstly, last Sunday put the Werewolf Yugoslav Wars game on hold for a while to start a 7th Sea Freiburg as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] usekh. We pretty much did character generation and an opening scene, for the standard (and extensive) scenarios offered in the Freiburg set, although I do find the libertarian governance of the city to be highly improbable at best. On Thursday ran another session of Masks of Nyarlathotep, where the Investigators managed to get quite a lot done, visiting a range of strange individuals, accumulating an enormous array of clues, and even catching up with a person who they have been chasing for several game-months. After such a success and elation, true to the Call of Cthulhu theme, it'll be appropriate to send them mad or to the maws of monsters in the next session. Also, as expected, my review of Pirates & Plunder has been published on RPG.net. The next issue of RPG Review ("Pirates & Swashbucklers") is due this week, however I have my suspicions that it will be delayed.

Last night went to see 20000 Days on Earth, the Nick Cave biography documentary, at the Astor. Nick was present for a Q&A session afterwards. Erica managed to get her copy of The Birthday Party Definitive Collection signed along with And The Ass Saw The Angel, whereas I have reviewed the show on Rocknerd. This week I also wrote an article for an upcoming gay music 'zine, entitled Industrial: Music of A Cyborg Sexuality in the Fin de Siècle. Tonight I am off to see and review The Underground Lovers. I swear, I am a bloody demon when it comes to reviewing or critiquing music, I could easily do several a day if I had the opportunity to do so.

Suki rat's owners came over on Wednesday night; we had managed to keep her alive and well for that period with an aforementioned course of forced feeding of critical care, antibiotics, and of course a great deal of human empathy. Instructions for care were passed on to her owners, who were both pleased to see and also concerned with her state. However we have since been informed that she's recovered somewhat and is now eating of her own volition. The household is now however ratless, and I'm suffering from withdrawl symptoms. Whether as young nutters bouncing around the place or as elderly sleepers. Despite this immediate desire, [livejournal.com profile] imajica_lj has made the sensible suggestion of finding rescue rodents post-xmas.

A (Cruel) Christmas Story

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Did a FedEx driver commit suicide after crashing and destroying hundreds of Christmas presents?

Buy ALL the groceries!

Dec. 20th, 2014 12:40 pm
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[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

Remember when, back in the day, I used to post pics of my market haul? I was inspired by the excellent book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats which shows photographs of families from around the world with a week’s groceries.

Well, today I did what passes for a Christmas shop at my place, which is to say I went to the shops with the main intention of buying tasty things to see me through the next week or so, and without being too finicky about the budget. I wound up spending $93, which is about the national average for an adult’s food for the week, but way more than my usual (which is half that or less). That’s okay; I got lots of tasty stuff, plus I restocked a few pricier items that I’ve run out of lately.

groceries laid out on a table

The full haul: $93 worth.

Read the rest of this entry  )

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 07:34 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
All the best fine dining establishments offer a cat snoozing on the chair next to you to accent your meal.

Read more... )

Patreon pitch, final-ish draft.

Dec. 19th, 2014 05:07 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling

I'm aiming for a January 1st launch of my Patreon campaign.  This is the final-ish draft of my pitch.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does need to do the job, so if you can think of a way to make it better, please let me know.  The goal is to get people to pledge a small (or large, won't say no) monthly donation in exchange for access to early and/or exclusive pictures, articles, and auctions featuring my ponies.

There will be links to examples of my work in the text!  If there's a particular pony you think I should be sure to make people look at, feel free to make suggestions.

Who am I?

Besides a being of pure awesomeness in a person suit?  Glad you asked

I'm Amanda Gannon, and I make custom My Little Ponies.  You can see my work on Flickr, or you can head to Livejournal to take a look at the Blacklock Twins or maybe Serenity or Stolen Kisses.  That's what I am capable of.

Aside from being an artist who creates adorable (and sometimes strange) things, I am certified disabled: bipolar II with an accompanying anxiety disorder. The government recognizes that I am too ill to work a "normal" job, yet the benefits I receive do not even pay for my rent, let alone food, bills, and medical care.  I have no other reliable stream of income.

What an awkward situation.

What am I offering?

You get a first look at my ponies (and other art) with in-process pics, and will get to see finished pics before anyone else gets to.  You'll also gain access to text updates where I talk about the rewards and challenges of customization.  I might also do some short, silly videos.  Who knows what else I'll think of?  I frigging love what I do and I want to share it with you!

You also get advance notification of any sales or auctions, giving you the first chance to bid or buy on the ones you like – you might be able to get one before anyone not on Patreon even sees it.  If I do decide to open commissions, you'll get first notice of that, too!  Call it the early bird special.

If things go really well and if the melon-baller of depression doesn't decide to scrape out my creative centers, I'll write a silly short story – couple thousand words, maybe – about a pony now and then.

And twice a year, for patrons that have been sponsoring me since the beginning of that calendar year, there'll be a drawing to get a free custom pony.  If I'm in a good place, it'll be your choice.  If I'm not, it'll be mine.  Either way, I almost never open up for commission slots, so this is a rare opportunity.

I'm also offering you the warm glow of a supportive connection with me, in all of my strangely awesome glory. By sponsoring me with a monthly donation through Patreon, you help supply me with food, electricity, meds, and art supplies so I can keep doing cool things. And your email will let you know when that happens.

Why should you support me?

As I said, because the government doesn't give me enough money to pay for a roof over my head.  I rely on help from family and friends, and I would much rather rely on myself – to the extent that I am reliable.

I'm not gonna lie.  I can't always work.  There may be some months where I do very little, or nothing.  The mental illness combined with the constant stress has ground down my ability to create even during my "up" phases.  It's a vicious cycle that keeps me miserable, broke, and helpless, and it's one I hope relieving the financial stress placed upon me will help to alleviate.

With the help of people who believe in me as both an artist and as a person who deserves to know they will have a house and food next month, I will be happier and safer, and it is my earnest hope that this will translate into even more, and even more awesome, work.

My situation as it stands is untenable.  Please help me move away from this state of constant fear and into a realm of security so that I can tend to my mental health, focus on those things I can do, and live my life with as much integrity and self-respect as possible.

Thank you.

There you have it.

Please let me know if there are any typos or whatnot, and if there are ways it could be improved!

I will have another update soon with some questions about the campaign itself, and what people might like to see, but if you have suggestions for that you can go ahead and note them here if you like.

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed

He is the Jean Valjean of possums.

This little marsupial snuck into someone’s kitchen for a feast of bread, and he didn’t want to leave.

The owner tried to shoo him out with a wooden spoon, but it doesn’t work very well, because he totally DGAF.

Submitted by: (via Alex Steel)

Bull Scorn

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Did Dr. Laura say all pit bulls are a waste of space and should be put down?

Look Under Your Affairs, Everyone!

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Did Leah Remini find during a prank on Ellen DeGeneres' show that her husband was cheating on her?

In The Firing Line

Dec. 19th, 2014 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Supermarket | England, UK

(I work in a small supermarket in my small town. It’s near Christmas and we are fully staffed. I’m on my break after four hours of constant checkout work. I am in the queue with some food with a very impatient customer who is a frequent annoyance in our store. I already handed my notice of leaving in and am starting a new job after Christmas.)

Customer: *looks at me* “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!” *it has actually been more like four minutes*

Me: “Yeah, it’s very busy this time of year. Everybody does last minute shopping. I’m only going to have five minutes to each my lunch.” *attempt at defusing with a laugh*

Customer: “Why are you not working? Can you not jump on a till?”

Me: “Sorry, I am on my break. I’ve been here since six am.”

Customer: “I thought you people were meant to help customers whenever they need? The poster says so.”

Me: “I am sorry, but all the tills are being used.” *gestures to all tills* “And the poster says ‘ask a member of staff and we will try to help you.’”

Customer: “I know you have a spare till in the back that you only use for staff. Can you not bring it out? *giving the b***iest look I’ve ever seen*

Me: *with a sarcastic shocked look* “How do you know about our secret till?! I am only used as a decoy here in the customer queue so nobody can catch on to our super secret discount staff till in the back because I love to wait in a queue instead of eating my lunch!”

(The customer then scoffs and gets served and turns around to me.)

Customer: “I would wish you a Merry Christmas but you’re obviously not as educated as me to comprehend such words.”

Me: “And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Mrs [Customer]. I can’t wait to serve you and your excessive amount of booze on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings whilst everyone judges you in the queue!” *smiles*

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
As prefaced in the classic "HOW TO BATHE A BUB" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvhws...), BUB needs to be bathed every couple months, because she is an extra messy cat. This time we tried a new approach, which overall works much better - the kitchen sink. Of course BUB still gets pretty upset, but ultimately it's for her own good. BUB's best pals Spooky and Trudy make an appearance as well.

Submitted by: (via Lil BUB)

Tagged: lil bub , cute , Cats , Video , bathing
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Retail | Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

(It’s December first, and exactly at closing time, a couple wanders in:)

Male Customer: *after hearing the closing announcement on the loudspeaker* “You’re closed?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Female Customer: “You CAN’T be closed! We NEED a live Christmas tree!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. There’s no one in the garden department who can operate the chainsaw, but we open at six am and—”

Female Customer: “This is g****** stupid! It’s f****** Christmas time! Do your f****** job and find someone to help us, right now!”

(I went to find my manager and to clock out. I don’t know if they got their Christmas tree but I know who made Santa’s naughty list this year!)

The Horsehead and the Flame

Dec. 19th, 2014 07:15 pm
[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

Well folks, looks like I have your next desktop wallpaper for you: a Spitzer Space Telescope image of the incredible Flame Nebula, a star-forming gas cloud hanging off Orion’s belt:

Holy. Wow.

Spitzer is an infrared telescope, sensitive to light well beyond what our eyes can see. When it comes to astronomical objects, this part of the spectrum is dominated by the glow of dust—long, carbon-based molecules created when stars are born and when they die. Chemically, the dust is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and is pretty similar to soot.

That makes it dark in the kind of light we see, but when it’s warmed by nearby stars it glows in the far infrared, where Spitzer can see it. The Flame Nebula is a cloud of gas and dust roughly 1,000–1,500 light-years away, and in visible light it glows due to the flood of ultraviolet light from Alnitak, the easternmost star in Orion’s belt (seen in the Spitzer image as the bright blue star in the upper center); this UV energizes hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and more, causing them to glow.

But in this view we see the dust, warmed by NGC 2024, a cluster of newborn stars in the Flame’s heart. The stars blast out fierce winds of subatomic particles—called stellar winds—as well as lots of UV light, which carves out a huge cavity in the middle of the cloud. You can actually get a pretty good sense of that growing hole in the Spitzer image.

But there’s more: On the right, you can see the ghostly outline of what looks like a horse’s head poking up above that shelf of dust stretching out horizontally. This actually is the amazing Horsehead Nebula, so named for its appearance in visible light:

How about that? The Horsehead is also the site of star birth; the bright star at the top of the head (appearing red) is a newborn star that’s deeply embedded in dust.  Just off the top of the picture is the bright star Sigma Orionis, actually a five-star system that is incredibly bright and powerful. The light from that star is so intense it’s eating away at the top of the nebula, and you can see this as a bright rim along the top of the Horsehead in the Spitzer image. An infrared image released by Hubble in 2013 shows this more clearly, too.

What an amazing shot. And be careful not to confuse this picture with one of the more famous Orion Nebula! They do look similar, and are actually fairly close to each other both in the sky and in our galaxy.

I love that such beauty is actually so scientifically interesting, as well as so fundamentally important, as well: Places like this are where a lot of stars in the Universe are born. Our own Sun may have formed in such a cloud, billions of years ago.

If you’re looking for wonder and amazement laced heavily with eye candy, astronomy is a pretty good place to find it.

Good Nature Has Bowed Out

Dec. 19th, 2014 07:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Retail | TX, USA

(I have a seasonal job over the Christmas holidays at a store that sells decorations. The store normally has pretty cheap items for sale but at the time there was a promotion where all Christmas items were half off. However there was a policy where if an item was missing parts or damaged it couldn’t be discounted at the till, it had to have a special sticker put on it by a floor worker. A woman comes up to my till with just a set of what’s supposed to be 2 bows but only has one.)

Customer: “Hey I really like this set of bows but it’s only got one even though it’s supposed to be a set of two. Can I get a discount?”

Me: “No, sorry. It has to be marked down as damaged while on the floor. But with the Christmas discount it’s only $2.”

Customer: “But there’s only one! It should be discounted even further.”

Me: “Well, is there another set of those? That way you can get two bows like you’re supposed to.”

Customer: “No, this was the only one I saw. Why can’t you just discount it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t have that ability.”

Customer: *scoffs* “This is absolutely ridiculous. Fine, I’ll just leave it.”

(She handed me the rest of her items and I rang them up. After I finished bagging them up and handed them to her, she grabbed the bow and hurried out before I could stop her. I told my manager about it but she was already long gone. The kicker? The next day I saw several of the exact same set of bows that were a complete set!)

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed

John Cleese was a guest on the Graham Norton show alongside Taylor Swift back in October, and he made a big mistake by calling her cat Olivia Benson “the weirdest cat I have ever seen.”

She was not amused.

Now in a new Buzzfeed video, Cleese confesses his love of cats – but doesn’t do much apologizing to Swift.

In fact, he says he would like to one day bring her a new cat that is much more “proper.”


Submitted by: (via buzzfeedvideo)

Have A Merry Capitalist Christmas

Dec. 19th, 2014 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Grocery Store | AB, Canada

(I work in a small town where 99% of the population is Christian. A customer phones the store to place an order for buns for Christmas.)

Me: “When would you like to pick up your order, ma’am?”

Customer: “Are you open Christmas Day?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we’re closed.”

Customer: *obviously upset* “Well then, I guess I’ll just have to get them the day before. You’re open until 11, right?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m sorry, but we close at six for Christmas.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. Don’t you want to make money?”

December days: Health at every size

Dec. 19th, 2014 05:54 pm
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
[personal profile] liv
A while back, I made a post related to weight loss dieting, and in the comments, [livejournal.com profile] shreena asked me why I do believe that politically and scientifically, health at every size and similar approaches are 'better' than weight loss dieting, commenting:
I'm interested in the evidence base on this. I have not looked into it so I don't really have an opinion but I'm interested by the fact that many intelligent knowledgeable friends of mine hold the view that you [...] have expressed but so many health institutions and guidance hold the opposite view (i.e. that health and size are correlated.)
I possibly shouldn't have shoved this in with the December Days prompts, because really I want to put in lots of links to evidence rather than just writing off the cuff as I end up doing when I'm trying to post every day. But equally, I don't want to duplicate the work that lots of other fat acceptance / HAES bloggers have done really comprehensively, so I'm going to try a brief run-down here, and follow up in the new year if this isn't satisfactory.

In order to address this prompt, I am going to talk about weight loss and dieting and also about the medical establishment's attitude to fatness and fat people. My plan is to take this post in a fairly sciencey way, given [livejournal.com profile] shreena asked for the evidence base. I have a political opinion, which is strongly body positive and against medical and other discrimination against fat people. But I'm going to try to be as neutral as I can, and I'm going to entertain various possible interpretations of the evidence that I'm discussing. I'm aiming to present a case to intelligent, open-minded skeptics, basically, and I appreciate that even acknowledging the possibility that fatness may cause bad health is going to be offensive or upsetting to some people.

Further, I'm talking purely about the connections between size and health. I am committed to the view that health is not a moral imperative, so even if I saw enough evidence to completely convince me that it's always healthier for everybody to be as thin as possible, I would still argue that people have the right to choose whether they want to go on weight loss diets or not. But that's not the point of this post, I want to explore the question of whether losing weight actually is beneficial to health.

I should also warn about the comment discussion that might come up. I didn't do so last time I discussed this topic, and some of the comments ended up upsetting some friends – I'm very sorry about that. I generally get a lot of pushback when I talk about this sort of topic, because some of my friends are more politically radical than me, and some are convinced by the orthodoxy about fat and health. I hope everybody will be civil and sensitive about discussing a fraught topic, but I expect a fair range of opinions here. I may also not have time to answer comments, partly because it's about to be Christmas and partly because I'm trying to keep up this daily posting for another couple of weeks, given it's been so satisfying up to now.

wow, that was a lot of disclaimers! )
Does that help? Basically that's where I'm coming from on the issue, scientifically, though my political views do follow on from and extend that. I don't think it's going to be enough to help my brother and his housemate argue against the weight centric approach being applied to care home residents, but it's the best I can manage in an evening.

Christmas In A Bun-dance

Dec. 19th, 2014 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Grocery Store | AB, Canada

(A customer is in the store on Christmas Eve about 10 minutes before we close. Everything has been pretty picked over by this point.)

Customer: “Where are all your buns?”

Me: “I’m sorry but we sold out today.”

Customer: “But it’s Christmas! Why didn’t you make more buns?”

Me: “We did, but it’s hard to tell how many buns we will need, especially for the holiday.”

Customer: “Great, now my Christmas is ruined.”

A Layaway Payaway

Dec. 19th, 2014 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed
Toy Store | USA

(I worked the service desk of a popular chain toy store that offers layaway last Christmas. One night a lady comes up to speak with my coworker.)

Coworker: “Welcome to [Toy Store]. How can I help you this evening?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m sure this sounds unusual, but I was wondering if I could pay off a layaway?”

Coworker: *not seeing why this is unusual* “Sure, do you have the layaway number or the name it’s under?”

Customer: “No, I mean a random one, someone who hasn’t paid theirs off yet. I’d like to pay it for them anonymously.”

(This is within two days of the final pickup day for layaway.)

Coworker: *to me* “Uh, do you know if this is allowed?”

Me: “I’m not sure. Let me call the manager and find out how this would work.”

(I spoke with the manager on duty and he was able to pull up a random account and allowed the woman to pay it off. Later he called the family to let them know their Christmas presents were completely paid for and they could come pick them up. My coworker and I were amazed that this lady would do this for a complete stranger and were in a great mood for the rest of our shift.)

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