kuangning: (searching)
If you found me again, it's because you came looking or I left you a trail to follow. Thank you for playing along so far; I wanted to begin again, with just the people who cared to take up the thread that's been broken for so long. Comments are screened and won't be unscreened; I will re-add anyone who was there before and makes a request here. If you're new, tell me how you found me and something I should know about you, and we'll see where that takes us.
kuangning: (Default)
Ten happy things: )
kuangning: (Default)
Albert Park, to be precise. I would have liked to go swimming this weekend, but St Kilda Rd has been given over to the Music Festival, and the normally-quiet area was crowded with strangers. Paul and I set off in what was as close to the opposite direction as seemed likely to get us peace and quiet -- into Albert Park, around the lake. And this time, I got pictures.

Picture-heavy, because that's the point. )

It was a gorgeous day, despite the light showers we got. We came home to a night off from raiding, split pea soup, and TV-watching. And now I'm wondering about the joys of remote-controlled sailboats... something to think about later.
kuangning: (Default)
Whatever their other problems are and have been, this one they got right. This is what an appropriate response to a "joke" rape threat looks like:

Text below. )
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I don't usually subject y'all to variations on a fractal, though I make many of them in the search for the right one. I'm making an exception because none of these feel wrong; they feel like a harmonious set, and I can envision them sharing space in a room without causing the subtle but nagging discomfort I get when a piece is almost right but not quite.

kuangning: (Default)

This might as well be called "Dressing My Daughter" -- it reminds me of every special occasion dress I ever inflicted on her when she was too little to say no. I'll get over this floral kick soon, I'm sure! In the meantime, though, I need to go exorcise Tori Amos from my head: greeting the monster in our Easter dresses...
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Just Ultra Fractal -- partly because the sharper lines appeal just now, and partly because I feel a little guilty sometimes. It's the program I started with, and it can do so much more than just import from Apophysis, and yet that's most of what I use it for.
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Again, pure Ultra Fractal.
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... is actually not a flame.

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I like that it looks so very simple; only I know how many layers and hours went into it. Show your work in math, but hide it in art.
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Up the airy mountain, down the rushy glen, we daren't go a-hunting, for fear of little men...
kuangning: (portrait)

Because it's been far too long.


Jun. 21st, 2011 09:32 pm
kuangning: (pureglasscup fuck it)
I'd say "from the Department of Unintended Consequences" but ...

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars' worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they've done to Georgia's largest industry.

... So, tell me again about how Americans would gladly take those jobs that are being blatantly stolen by illegal immigrants? Because any income's better than none, right, even if you can't support your family on it and the hours are brutal and there are no benefits, and real Americans deserve those jobs? Yeah, I thought so. I won't be moving to Georgia to pick crops either -- but at least I knew that without this lovely little experiment. Not, you understand, that it will stop the next state from pushing through copycat legislation, because it's not about jobs, at the heart of it, and we all know that. But when the next state does, it'll at least be a little harder for them to pretend it's about jobs and not about funny brown-skinned people with strange ways and a different language -- and, pitifully little as that is, for now it'll have to do.
kuangning: (pureglasscup fuck it)
Irritation of the day: I am shopping for goggles. I wear prescription eyeglasses, and since I have only one pair, I'd rather not lose them to wind the first time I turn my head to look at traffic while going 30mph. Since I expect to do a little night-time riding, but not nearly half and half, I do not want to buy two pairs of goggles. Photochromic ("night-to-day" or "transition") lenses have been around forever; it's easy to find a pair of regular sunglasses or goggles with that feature for $30-$40. Goggles that fit over prescription eyewear (but are not photochromic) are also ubiquitous, and around the same price.

Try to find a pair that combines the two features, however, and the options narrow to two offerings, both put out by the same company ... and the price inexplicably jumps to $100.

Why $100, you wonder? I did too, and then I did some math. As you know, Bob, disposable contact lenses are definitely an option for many people. In fact, they're an option for me. If you switch to contact lenses, you are then able to use regular photochromic goggles, for the aforementioned low price of about $30 ... but the six-month supply of contact lenses that is the usual unit for such contact lenses wil run you ... can you guess? Yep, about $70. And in 6 months, you'd have to order more contact lenses. Hmm.

Another option is goggles that are, themselves, prescription lenses. This might appeal -- especially if, like me, you have only one pair of eyeglasses and you'd rather not risk them to the road. (My spare very emergency pair are my last prescription eyeglasses, fairly battered and about five years old.) Prescription goggles, however, even without the photochromic lenses, will cost you $175 -- the equivalent of those non-photochromic goggles and a year's supply of contacts. (You do change your prescription every year, don't you?) Adding on the photochromic option to your prescription lenses will, ooh, add another $100 to the price. Just in case you don't change your prescription every year, you perceive, since you're now signaling that you plan to keep these things awhile!

I am thoroughly disgusted. And yet, pretty much out of options. There is no affordable photochromic alternative that doesn't mean risking my independence, since without my eyeglasses I can't see far enough in front of me to make it home from the corner store -- and my current prescription is rather more than a year old, so of course replacing the glasses would have to wait until I could afford a new eye exam as well as new glasses. The final decision? I'll be getting clear, non-photochromic goggles that will work both day and night, and hoping the two-inch visor on my helmet is really enough to let me handle the daytime glare. Less safe for everyone I share a road with, less comfortable for me, but then, if you can't afford to pay prices set arbitrarily high for technology available (in plastic lenses; glass ones are even older!) since the 90's, do you really deserve safety or comfort? Clearly not.


Mar. 22nd, 2011 06:54 am
kuangning: (curious)
kuangning: (Default)
For those who like cheap, colorful, versatile skirt/dresses, or those shopping for those who do.

Co-op post is here.
kuangning: (angry)
That or knowing that things cost money is skewing my perspective.

I'm watching all the furor over Gene Cranick, and still wondering why it is I'm supposed to be crying over him.

  • He doesn't live in South Fulton, so he's not entitled to their services unless he buys them; he pays them no taxes.

  • When the fire departments tried charging after they put out fires, fewer than half the people actually paid them, and they had no way to collect.

  • His rural community has repeatedly shot down the idea of paying a property tax for fire service.

  • He was reminded by letter and by phone (3 times by phone!) that he had not paid the fee and would not be protected in case of a fire.

  • His own grandson started that fire, burning trash in a barrel and then leaving it unattended in the middle of a dry spell.

  • Cranick's family had more than enough time to get their pets out of that house; the fire started in the back yard, and was only at a shed when they called 911. It moved *slowly* toward the house.

So ... you absolutely don't want a tax, you don't want to pay the fee, but you do want service when your family starts a fire, and you do want sympathy and outrage when you don't get it? Good luck with that. If a human life had been at stake, sure, they should roll the trucks. But for your possessions and the pets you yourself couldn't be bothered to take outside (or open a door for) in the hour-plus time it took for the fire to actually reach your house? Not so much.

For the record, I think fire service, like police service and health care, is or should be a public good, available to everyone and paid for by mandatory taxes. However, you can't leave off the paying for it part.

Tennessee has NO state income tax unless you receive income from stocks and bonds. Fire departments aren't under federal jurisdiction, nor do they really need to be; federal oversight would be very unwieldy for something that needs to be there on a community level. So you can't say "where does his tax money go"; his federal income tax doesn't cover this any more than yours or mine does, and never has, and he probably pays no state tax at all.

Living outside the city, he pays none of the city's taxes. And, for the record, that's a selling point when people go buying homes; they deliberately look for houses on the outskirts of a town but outside the limits because of those low taxes. (By the way, those rural residents also account for more than their share of the calls to the FD!) And when the issue of a property tax was raised, precisely to pay for this service, the rural community refused.

You can't force them to vote it in, but you can't keep offering the service outside the city limits at the sole expense of the city residents who do pay for it with their taxes, either. How to make the rural residents shoulder their share of the cost, given that taxing them is right out? Well, the only way left is subscription. So that's what they have. It's ugly, but it's bound to be; they turned down the better options. And if, knowing that this is what's there, someone declines that subscription, it's not anyone's fault but his own when his house burns and the FD doesn't give him the service he's declined to pay for. They would have come if a person were in there, but with no human life in danger, why should they risk their lives to save the property that evidently wasn't worth a $75 fee to him? And why on earth should I be angry that they didn't?
kuangning: (angry)
I have deeply unhappy sit bones that are making sitting in even a regular chair or my memory-foam-equipped bed a difficult proposition, at the moment. So, like I do whenever something like this comes up, I turned to Google.

Google confirms for me, via pretty much every site on the subject ever, that women, especially those who have given birth, usually have sit bones that are spaced wider apart than men's -- it's a feature that comes with our wider hips, for the purpose of giving birth, which of course I've done a few times. I measure, and my sit bones are falling over the outside seams of the saddle, where there is almost no give, instead of over the pads meant to take them. Combine that with the upright posture my bike is meant for, putting more weight on the saddle, and I see why I'm bruising my bones. They may be plushly padded when I stand up, but sitting on the saddle is like sitting on the edge of a low seat; most of the padding gets shifted away, leaving the bones and the much thinner layer of muscle and fat directly over them to press hard against whatever surface I'm sitting on. I've got deep, specifically-located pressure pain, not muscle achiness or skin distress. Fair enough, yeah?

So, I need to look at wider saddles. To make sure I actually get a wider saddle, I need to know what my original one is. I look up my model and year on Trek's site; I have a 2008 7000 WSD. Note that WSD well -- it stands for Women's Specific Design. The bike comes with a very pretty Bontrager Suburbia FIT saddle. Armed with that fact, I trundle over to Bontrager's site to look up the Suburbia saddles and obtain specific measurements. This is where my jaw hits the floor.

Part No. MSRP* Color Cover Gender Model Rails Size Weight
276062 44.99 10 Black / Black Synthetic Leather Mens Suburbia Steel 265mm / 224mm 900g
276063 44.99 10 Gray / Black Synthetic Leather Womens Suburbia FIT Steel 263mm / 210mm 875g

Catch that? The FIT, the women's version, is slightly smaller than the men's version, contrary to all common sense and a fact that anyone can pick up in ten seconds' research on the subject. Bontrager made the decision to manufacture and market, and Trek made the decision to equip, on a bike meant to be specifically better for a woman's anatomy, a saddle that was smaller than the version of the same saddle provided for men, who have narrower-spaced sit bones. Here was I, thinking I just had an aberrant body, but it turns out, while I may in fact have an aberrant body, they also just decided to shortchange me and make it more likely that I was going to need a wider saddle than they provided for me.

Needless to say, any chance that my new saddle would be a Bontrager evaporated with my goodwill when I saw those measurements. Now I just have to decide on something else. And hope that by the time it arrives, I will no longer be in too much pain to sit on it.
kuangning: (Default)
A fix for the FB/Twitter reposting that doesn't involve giving journal owners the ability to turn off the comment crossposting in their journals would be to give each LJ user a page like their journal page where their own crossposted comments are reproduced in full, perhaps as posts of their own with the ability for others to comment to them turned on.

Or, better and perhaps simpler, to make a reposted comment show up automatically as a post in your own journal. Instead of pointing back to the original entry the comment was posted in, the FB/Twitter links should point to the crossposter's entry with the comment posted in full. It would entirely remove the comment from the context of the original journal, not reveal the identity of the original journal, and allow the crossposter to carry on the conversation sparked by their crosspost in their own space instead of someone else's. No more arguing over "whether" someone should be able to crosspost their own words (because they should) and no betraying link back to anyone's journal but the crossposter's.

Now, a jerk can still use that to break confidence by how they choose to word their reposted comment, but it's going to require a certain degree of deliberate malice that's going to be visible to everyone, including their friends following the link. As a bonus, if the crossposted comments show up as posts in the crossposter's journal, the original poster can presumably see which comment was crossposted, which is a vast improvement on the current system, where they get no notification that a crosspost has happened and no way to tell which comment was crossposted unless they follow the crossposter on FB/Twitter as well as LJ. That would drastically cut down on the opportunity for consequence-free mischief -- it's an entirely different matter when the person whose private business you're discussing will know.
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