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solarbird July 28 2014, 06:03

and everything exploded

Everything exploded. Well, not everything. Mostly I got a nasty cut in my left hand and the old refrigerator doesn't fucking fit anymore because the new floor is too high and trying to make it fit resulted in big scars in that self-same brand new floor. I am crazy with rage.

So. goddamn. close. And now it's days more. Most of the scars will be where the replacement refrigerator will go but I am still just crazy with motherFUCKER!

Also my hand will be okay but goddammit.

Anyway, before things exploded, I restored a built-in cutting board. The bottom side here had been the "outside up" part; previously, the other side on that same half had been the "outside up" part. But this old style is made twice as big as it needs to be, so you've got four sides to burn through over a 90-year lifespan.

This is Side 3 of 4, the best current side, so I'm using it. (Side 4 has some scratching, but could be used too without shame. But since I'm doing this idiotic restoration project, I may as well go all the way, right?) This is after sanding:

That's cool and all, but there's no grip, and the edge is just, well, ply edge, and that's kind of fugly. The edge was fugly before, because Mister Fixit was a cheap bastard with no eye for detail. I either needed to route out a groove with a router, or I could install some sort of pull.

My plan had been to get an old-style pull that just screws on, but those aren't really common anymore. Plus I was toying around with ways to hide that plywood edge. And then I realised that L-metal is cheap and easily available in aluminium, and a decently nice standard cabinet pull could be bolted to the L-metal, which I could then screw to the edge of the cutting board. To wit:

I was also careful with my choice of screws, because decorative industrial! And yet also highly functional, which is of course always the goal, particularly with mid-century modern.

I also had to drill some divots behind the pull, so the heads of the bolts had someplace to go. I didn't take a picture of that, but it's just a couple of dents, so not much to see anyway.

Put back in place, it looked really nice right away. Oh, the pull is silver too, just a warmer silver - not brassy like it kind of came out in this photo:

I took a detail shot of the end of the L-metal, attached. I also bevelled the corners - it just seemed like the thing to do. Again, too, intentionally- and carefully-chosen screws, because when doing this sort of thing, details matter, and this kind of detail costs nothing but a couple of minutes of searching through the screw bins at the hardware store:

And open, well, I'm really quite happy with it. It even matches the custom cabinet I made before, in tone, so everything goes together. Hopefully we'll get a good decade or two out of this. That'd be nice. And then I can flip it over, invert the (highly symmetrical) pull fixture, and we're good for another decade or two.

I also put in a new sink fixture, as the old one was leaking. And that has a story, too, because Mister Fixit (or a successor in this case I think) had put in a wide-set style fixture at some point, so I assumed the sink was a wide-set fixture sink.

Okay, some of you won't know what that means. Modern - as in for decades now - sinks come in a couple of standard configurations, "wide set" - where the holes are 8" apart - and "narrow set" - where they're 4" apart. And there are variants, but those are the most common. Go to homedepot.com and enter "bathroom faucets" and you'll get the picture.

This sink had a wide-set fixture on it, and I assumed that meant the sink had wide-set holes. NOPE HE'D JUST BODGED IT IN THERE LIKE A CLOWN ON A HAMMERTIME BENDER. And I didn't discover this until after I'd discovered that the cold-water cutoff valve didn't completely cut off the water supply. I had a bucket, but that still set a timer.

So I bodged the damn thing in too. I shaved the plastic mounting piece so its side-hole inset points were gone, got a couple of brass screws, drilled some holes, and bolted the damn thing into place. I should've left a note saying "VERY BAD DAY WAS NOT GOING TO HOME DEPOT AGAIN FOR ANY REASON BECAUSE FUCK THIS." Or something similar. But I didn't. Anyway, it's solid, just stupid, and here y'go.

Looks perfectly normal, doesn't it? Good. It had damned well better after the shit things put me through today.

Brand. new. floor. Goddammit.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

kate_nepveu July 28 2014, 00:50

end of an era

No, not Readercon; my ancient extremely-dumb phone (picture).

I'd been doing pay-as-you for voice and texts, since most of my life is in spaces with WiFi and I didn't feel the need for a monthly payment. But then I refilled my account and realized that I was spending about $20/month as our text messaging use increased, so it would only be another $25/month for Verizon's no-contract plan with a hundred-buck phone. And the prospect of never having to do a text message by cycling through all the button presses, let alone the security of Internet access more places, well.

So: the low-end 3G Moto G, because it's for backup stuff, checking email in emergencies and getting directions, and not streaming media. It fits nicely in my hand [*], though the grippy sides of this cheap case plus belt holster are welcome, and it runs stock Android and basically does what I need it to without fuss.

Here are some apps I've found useful specifically for the phone:

Widgetsoid (with donate add-on). This does two things: (1) it lets me toggle certain things directly from the lock screen (I use it for WiFi, mobile data, Bluetooth, and ringer status) and (2) on a home screen, it lets me fit more stuff in the same space—I have seven app shortcuts or toggles in a 4x1 widget on my main screen, for instance. (The donate version lets you save widgets to edit them, among other things.)

DashClock with DashClock Gmail+ Extension and DashClock SMS viewer [**]. This lets me see multiple things on the same lock screen: the number of new GMail messages (plus the subject and sender name if there's only one new message—it's supposed to show sender names for multiple messages, but it's not for me); new text messages with their text; plus time, weather, and my next calender appointment within a certain time. There are default lock screen widgets for GMail and messaging, but they're on separate screens, and if I'm stopped at a red light, it's nice to get everything in one place.

(There are a million extensions for DashClock, but skip the toggle ones: all of them require unlocking the phone, not just the app-launch ones like in Widgetsoid.)

Moon Reader. Syncs reading position across devices with Dropbox, very customizable. The Pro version has more fonts and things, and I bought it to support the developer, but I don't actually depend on any of the pro features, I think.

[*] But though I loathe the idea, I can definitely see that when my Nexus 7 dies, I'm probably replacing it and this phone with a bigger-screened phone. I like the size of this, being able to fit it into pockets and hold it very comfortably, but the convenience of a single device is hard to beat. I already gave away my beloved Sony eInk reader, because I was hardly using it with the tablet always to hand, and I can definitely see the same fate coming for the phone+tablet combo.

[**] Before you download it, you'll probably need to go into Settings/Security and check "Unknown sources."

What about you? What handy little apps or tricks have you found for your Android smartphone?

Edit: I forgot, Verizon gave me a free Bluetooth car speakerphone, which works fine, though I don't use my phone in the car enough to bother with buying one for myself.

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annathepiper July 27 2014, 23:17

Movie review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dara and I went to go see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night, since we’d seen the first of this set of movies not terribly long ago and liked it well enough that we wanted to see this one now that it’s out. Survey says: good story, although in some ways I actually liked Rise better, just because this one hit a few predictable notes. Overall though I still quite liked it.

Spoilers are climbing into the tower behind the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

kate_nepveu July 27 2014, 18:28

Readercon: very short report

This was another split Readercon for me. The hotel situation . . . was better than last year, but still not good, because after I called twice to emphasize how important it was that we get a connecting door and how they messed it up last time, the hotel set aside two rooms with a connecting door for us . . . and then gave one of those rooms away. And apparently didn't notice or care until they handed me the keys for rooms 20-odd numbers apart and my face crumpled.

Eventually they found us two adjacent rooms without a connecting door, and I'd bought a baby monitor out of anxiety about the situation, so it was workable, but GAH. The hotel sent me a "give us feedback!" email, and I gave them feedback, you bet; the manager-type who wrote back said that I should contact them next year, but honestly I don't know. The split thing is increasingly unsatisfying, and I think I might leave the family at home next year and do a proper New England vacation with them separately.

Anyway. One panel, notes of which were just posted; one panel of my own, notes on which forthcoming. Bake sale did well. Pleasant lunch with [personal profile] yhlee and spouse; pleasant conversations with people for a bit on Saturday night. And the kids had fun at Boston museums and in the hotel pool—SteelyKid made fast friends with a kid in the pool on Saturday afternoon, who turned out to be Gavin Grant and Kelly Link's daughter, which amused me for some reason. Things went okay strictly-con-wise for me, but I was hardly there, so, you know, that take with a grain of salt.

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kate_nepveu July 27 2014, 18:01

Readercon: When the Other Is You

Panel notes, belatedly but whatever! Tidying while on Readercon conference call, actually.


When the Other Is You
Being part of an underrepresented group and trying to write our experience into our work can be tricky. We might have internalized some prejudice about ourselves, we might not have the craft to get our meaning across perfectly, and even if we depict our own experience totally accurately (as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie observed in her TED Talk "The Danger of a Single Story"), we do so while struggling against the expectation that our experience is or isn't "representative" or "authentic." How do we navigate the pitfalls and responsibilities of being perceived as spokespeople? What potentially pernicious dynamics allow us that dubious privilege in the first place? Which works make us cringe with their representations of us, and which make us sigh with relief and recognition?
Chesya Burke, Samuel ("Chip") Delany, Peter Dubé, Mikki Kendall, Vandana Singh, Sabrina Vourvoulias (leader).

(My standard note on accuracy and names.)

notesCollapse )

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supergee July 27 2014, 09:31

Babu Science

The success of mathematical physics led the social scientist to be jealous of its power without quite understanding the intellectual attitudes that had contributed to this power. The use of mathematical formulae had accompanied the development of the natural sciences and become the mode in the social sciences. Just as primitive peoples adopt the Western modes of denationalized clothing and of parliamentarianism out of a vague feeling that these magic rites and vestments will at once put them abreast of modern culture and technique, so the economists have developed the habit of dressing up their rather imprecise ideas in the language of the infinitesimal calculus--Norbert Weiner, God & Golem, Inc.
mamishka July 27 2014, 07:16


So the thing that I'm really into these days is a place called HabitRPG, which is basically a place to help people get more organized and focused and give them fun and silly rewards for basically being an adult which, lets face it, a lot of us, including myself, are not really very good at. ;P

Basically you get a cute pixelated avatar that you can dress up, you make lists of Dailies (stuff you want to do every day), Habits (things you'd like to do more often), and To-Dos - those one off projects that we have to deal with all the time. The more stuff you do, the more rewards you get in the form of gold coins, which you can use to buy armor and, later on, more Class specific things like robes and wands if you choose to become a Mage (choices are Warrior, Mage, Healer, Rogue). You also get special treasure which are called "drops". These are usually either eggs, from which you hatch pets, hatching potions, so you can hatch your army of pets, or food, which you feed to the pets to gain mounts.

There's a lot more to it, but that's the basics. All in all it's pretty freaking adorable.

So why am I telling you about this? Well, one, just because it's kind of a big part of my life right now and a way I try to be more successful in getting stuff done. But two, some of you might find something like this not just helpful, but actively fun! I sure do! And if you think this is something you might benefit from, let me know because you can join my party if you do! The thing that's great about being in a party is that you can go on quests and earn extra-special stuff while having even more of an impetus to get stuff done and do your best.

So if this sounds like something you'd be into, let me know! :D It's fun, it's helpful, it's crazy cute, and it's mildly social too.
solarbird July 27 2014, 06:10

another day, another photoset

I'm pretty happy with the cleanup. I actually did some more cleanup between the first two photos and the rest. But I wanted to show how the top-access for the corner storage compartment works. Remember: the right side will be closed off by the stove.

Doors Down

Doors Up

The panel that the microwave is sitting on also opens; the hinge is against the back wall in this photo. But it has a microwave on it, which is the point of that most of the time. I just didn't want to nail it down, and hey, I had the piano hinge.

This next photo has literally all the room colours in a single shot:

The Other Busy Corner

I spent a fair amount of time making those doors line up properly again, so they close without scraping and all that. The two doors under the sink had metal plates for magnetic latches, but no actual magnetic latches - the grapple parts were missing. As far as I can tell, they were never put in - there wasn't even a good place to attach them. So I built a good place, then attached them, and now they work as intended, a mere, I dunno, 58 to 78 years later? Something like that.

I really like how the glass doors really popped once the excess paint was scraped off:

All Four Doors

I'd like to rehang that one that's a little off, but the way those hinges work make it really hard, and then the latch would be wrong. Original construction flaw, I guess. Nobody seems to notice it in person but me.

I'm thinking of putting a little shelf rack or something on the wall space here, but I'm not sure. To the lower right will be the range, and to the far right, the refrigerator:

Usual Corner Different Angle

This would fit, tho' I'm not hugely fond of it as an object. I don't hate it, either. It's okay. Whatever goes there has to be really shallow, to avoid conflicting with the glass door on the left.

Left to do: glue/tack down the formica in the cabinet under the sink (same as the countertop), replace the sink fixture with one that doesn't leak (already purchased), the LED strip lighting above and below cabinets (big time sink), and finish and install the slide-out cutting board. I'd be pretty sure I'd be done tomorrow if it wasn't for those lights. But Monday. Monday should be good.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

james_nicoll July 27 2014, 02:41

Wiscon Concom update for July 26th

We have several announcements to make as updates to our previous post:

1) In light of the intense community response to the Frenkel subcommittee's decision, and the concom's own concern about the "provisional ban," the WisCon concom is itself currently appealing the subcommittee's decision and will vote on the matter this week.

2) Debbie Notkin has resigned as Member Advocate, effective immediately.

3) The Bergmann subcommittee is assessing if they can continue given the valid concerns about Wiscon's existing process.

4) Regarding refunds of registrations for WisCon 39, we received this question via Twitter: "Will there be a policy for refunds for those of us who are against the con's current harassment actions?"

WisCon has traditionally had a fairly free refund policy for any registered members who are unable to attend. Anyone who has registered for WisCon 39 and would like a refund for any reason can request one by emailing registration@wiscon.info.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
holyoutlaw July 27 2014, 00:26

July Workparty Report

Sometimes, a small work party is just the thing.

Four volunteers from OneBrick Seattle joined three Friends of North Beach Park for a little mid-summer aftercare watering for plants that we’ve planted in the last couple years.

This might seem paradoxical, because aren’t “native” plants adapted to this weather, and able to survive the summer with no problem? That’s true of well-established plants, getting the care one gives a garden. However, giving a plant even a gallon a week of some water can help it survive the worst of the summer drought, and establish better in the following winter. A gallon might not seem like much, but pouring it directly onto the root crown means very little is wasted.

And summer work parties are generally pretty small — who wants to spend a wonderful morning in the city, even in a forested park, when you could get out and about? So that’s a good time to do some watering and after care.

After Care
NB: The person is watering the fern, not the ivy. Just to be clear.

Here is (most of) the crew:
The Crew
That’s Morry in the back, Nan in the front, and then Kegan, Jon, and Mai Lin left to right. Nan, Kegan, Jon, and Mai Lin signed up for the work party via OneBrick Seattle. (Not in the picture is Julie, who had done about as much watering on her own as the rest of the crew put together.)

Friends of North Beach Park will be at Art in the Garden, on Saturday, August 2nd — next week! Stop by and say hello and talk to us about North Beach Park. We’ll have information about North Beach Park, what we’re working on, and our plans for the future. We’ll also have information from some of our supporting organizations.

Stop by to say hello, stick around for the art, the garden, the silent pie auction, and the food trucks! A very pleasant little neighborhood fair.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

mamishka July 26 2014, 23:57

Awwwwww, man!

LJ was EVIL and took away all of the userpics that I had EARNED and been given for being a loyal customer for so many years. GRRRRRR-RRRRR! That is SO not cool. >:(

One point against LJ! Boooo! Hisssssssss!
james_nicoll July 26 2014, 17:00

Good news for SUV drivers

There's at least one Mini driver out there who seems determined to create as much havoc as any SUV. First they pulled a U turn on Charles (coming close to cutting off a bus while also flirting with coming up onto the sidewalk where I was), then acting as though they had right of way turning right through a pedestrian filled crosswalk.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
james_nicoll July 26 2014, 16:54

Ford Fest 2014 Starts Weird and Turns Ugly

Men and women who have been in a warzone describe it as long stretches of boredom punctured by short bursts of action. Ford Fest 2014 was hardly Da Nang, but it was slow, it was hot, it was tense, and it was confusing. It was sometimes pitiful and largely absurd. It was a lot of waiting broken up by emotion and violence. It was a whole lot of ordinary people looking for a free burger, undercut by an angry, pushed-to-the-edge faction.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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