monanotlisa: (notebook)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
In the first novel, Rivers of London aka Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch, there are vampires. Spoilery details, and QUESTIONS! )

On a tangent, the whole encounter made me rethink my Nightingale Theory )

Soaring progress

Mar. 28th, 2017 11:53 am
submarine_bells: Boomerang glider (Boomerang glider)
[personal profile] submarine_bells
Since last I posted about my aviation exploits, I've continued to make steady progress on the soaring front. For one thing, I've learned various ways of flying a glider sideways. Yes, really! For example, you can fly sideways-ish (relative to a landing strip) to cope with a crosswind while landing. Of course you're flying forward relative to the wind itself, but from the ground it looks as if you're skidding diagonally along the strip. This is also referred to as "crabbing", and there's actually a bit of an art to it - as you "crab" down toward the landing point, you keep one wing dipped down into the wind as you approach, and you kick the glider "straight" (relative to the strip) with the rudder at the very last moment just before you touch down.

Another useful way of "flying sideways" is the manoeuvre known as a "sideslip". In this case, you are actually flying more-or-less sideways: you "cross the controls" (e.g. put one wing down while you kick the opposite side rudder), which is a handy way to lose height in a hurry without all the mucking about of aerobatics (or terrifying passengers and/or trainees, if you pull a dramatic sideslip on final approach without warning them) :-)

Learning how to perform these manoeuvres was part of achieving my A and B gliding proficiency badges. These are the very first steps in an extended series of glider pilot achievement badges, and involve passing oral exams on aerodynamic theory and meteorology as well as demonstrating a bunch of basic flight competencies. Next on the list is the C badge, for which I have already passed the oral exam, and I'll be working on the rest of it (which involves learning essential cross-country flying skills such as navigation and out-landing, and getting approved to fly passengers) over the winter.

Of course, doing all this training has meant that most of my flying over the last little while has been in the two-seat trainer, the K-13. Which is all very well, but since I'd converted to the Ka-8 single seater a couple of months ago I've been itching to get more time in that aircraft, as well. So imagine my delight when I found out that last Saturday I'd have one of the club Ka-8s (we own two) ALL to myself! And as an extra bonus, it was the one that I hadn't flown before. While they are they same model, they are not identical - the cockpit layout is slightly different, and it turns out that this aircraft has a somewhat better variometer (extra-sensitive rate-of-climb indicator) than the other one. Also, this one has about 20kg of extra paint on her - I guess her previous owners' solution to any regular maintenance needs must have been Slap another coat of paint on! She'll be right! - and as a result her maximum cockpit weight is that much less. No problem for me, but it does mean that some of our bigger pilots can't fly this particular plane.

QU ready to launchQU on final

My mood was only slightly dampened when it turned out that the soaring weather forecasts (which looked awesome) were in fact a wee bit wrong, and we had a heavy layer of cloud blocking the sun from warming up the ground and generating thermals to soar on. Not to worry; I figured I could use some circuit practice in the Ka-8 anyway. And the cockpit layout in this particular aircraft allowed me to set up my camera in a couple of different positions, which others didn't permit; so that was something else to experiment with. I cheerfully flew circuits in this warm-but-overcast weather. It was actually kind of fun: the total absence of convective action in the air meant that the sky was as smooth as a baby's bottom - no thermals, no turbulence, just milky smoothness which led to short but very pleasant flights. I bashed out several circuits, and then on my last one, as I tootled cheerfully around the airfield expecting more of the same I was astonished to discover some real actual LIFT!

Soaring in the Rain from Submarine Bells on Vimeo.

I still, several days later, have no idea where that lift came from. One of our more meteorology-savvy pilots had predicted the possibility of convergence lift, so I assumed that was what I had run into; but a later poke through my meteorology-for-glider-pilots textbooks left me doubtful of that since apparently convergence lift tends to be turbulent and difficult, and the lift I found was very smooth (albeit rather broken in places). So... yeah. Maybe it was a bit of atypical wave lift in an odd place? I really don't know. But it sure was fun to get the only soaring flight of the day and to be able to keep it up when nobody else could. :-)

brief and journal-esque

Mar. 27th, 2017 07:54 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I am at my parent’s home, my childhood home, in Kansas City, cleaning out my closet and bedroom. About sixteen large boxes of papers to go thru, ranging from elementary on up thru grad school, much of it sorted repeatedly but all still needing reorganizing and tossing of much of it, but not all - I refuse to toss everything. Lots of fun going thru memories; avoiding ruminating on change, loss, etc so far. Joy in noticing continuities and recovering old creative work. I was very prolific with poetry, sketching, world-building, and childish short stories! Need to tap back into some of it and keep going. Feeling strange but overall positive at this point. Just shy of halfway of a first pass thru all the boxen, getting rid of obvious junk only.

Random facts meme!

Mar. 27th, 2017 11:44 pm
umadoshi: (kittens - sharing a chair)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[ profile] owlmoose tagged me for this a few weeks ago! I'm ignoring the "tag other people" bit, but I enjoy reading things like this, so if you need a nudge to do a random-facts post, consider yourself tagged.

(If I think too hard about "wait, does everyone already know this?" I'll freeze up, so...I'm not gonna think about it much.)


1. On an average day I probably drink three or four mugs of tea, but I didn't start drinking tea at all until I was in my late 20s. (I think I was 27.) One more thing to pin on internet friends, because what got me started was Shadow (from the Furuba days) sending me a small array of flavored black teas to try. I have no recollection of how this came about.

2. Halifax and Toronto are the only places I've ever lived. When [ profile] scruloose and I lived in Toronto, the things (other than people) I missed about Halifax were a) the cleaner air, b) the subliminal awareness of the ocean's presence, and c) pizza. (Halifax pizza, as a sweeping statement, has declined in quality since those days. Alas.)

3. I'm still friends with quite a few people I initially met online, and then in person, via the Sailor Moon fandom, which I haven't been active in since about 2000.

4. My gateway comic was Power Pack, which I read via the library sometime in Grade 2 or 3.

5. I love Siberian cats with all my heart, and may never have any other kind of cat again, but historically my favorite breeds (neither of which I've ever lived with) are Abyssinians and traditional Siamese (which Wikipedia recently told me are now called Thai cats, and it's nice that they have a separate name, I guess, but it bugs me a bit that they didn't get to keep the original name and have the new one assigned to modern Siamese).

6. I took ballet for about seven years, starting when I was 15, and jazz dance for about six (starting the year after ballet). I was never terribly good, but I really enjoyed barre. If I could take a class that was just barre, I'd be very tempted. (Yes, I know that many exercise studios offer a "barre" class these days. I've looked into several. They are not what I want.)

7. I can't drive, ride a bicycle, blow bubbles with gum, or whistle.

8. I had size 4.5 feet until I was about 20. Thankfully they're now a much-easier-to-shop-for size 6/6.5.

9. Drinking milk makes me unwell. I am not lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy; I can and do consume every other dairy product, including milkshakes or hot chocolate made almost entirely of milk poured straight from a carton, and I put milk in my tea. But I haven't had a glass of milk since my early 20s. I still kinda miss it sometimes. (Cereal hasn't ever been something I was into, so I don't have a data point for whether I can eat cold cereal in milk.)

10. I took my minor at a different university from my BA so I could take a few classes from an amazing professor [ profile] scruloose had studied with. Fortunately, Halifax is so packed with post-secondary schools that I could literally walk between the two universities in fifteen minutes.


Mar. 27th, 2017 10:27 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I get to toy with being a living example of the Peter Principle at work.
umadoshi: (Deadline Russian cover)
[personal profile] umadoshi
1) The second-last round of the Unbound Worlds Cage Match is underway, and Georgia is facing off against Ragnar Volarus from Red Rising. So far things aren't looking good for her, but voting's open for three more days. Please vote for her! Get [ profile] seanan_mcguire to write just one more of these little vignettes!

There was nowhere for me to run. Wolf girl had taken her forest with her when she left, and now I was alone in the nothing, looking at a mountain that seemed to have decided it wanted to be a man in its spare time.

I had never been murdered by a landscape before. What an educational day this was turning out to be.

2) And then there's this: "Blizzard is remastering StarCraft [including Brood War] in 4K resolution this summer". I don't have much to say about this, but there was such flailing when it crossed my Twitter feed. Remastered StarCraft, guys. *starry eyes*

(no subject)

Mar. 27th, 2017 05:28 pm
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I finished watching Iron Fist. Well, mostly. I was bored through good stretches of it and I definitely didn't have my whole attention on the last few episodes. Um... it's not very good? At all?

Colleen Wing is the only good part of the show. Why couldn't they give us the Colleen Wing show?

Danny Rand is terrible. And he's terrible in specific ways that I particularly hate. It reminded me of my frustration with Sarah Connor in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, where she makes tactical mistakes that a character like Sarah shouldn't make, and you're not clear if it's because of sloppy writing or if it's a deliberate character decision that you don't agree with. But for example:

Having been believed dead for fifteen years along with his billionaire parents, Danny Rand shows up back in New York. He enters the corporate headquarters of the company his father ran, and asks for a meeting with his father's business partner, which is denied. Whereupon any sane adult would, you know, ask to schedule an appointment later, but Danny instead beats up the security guard and sneaks up to the executive suite. He learns that his father's business partner is now dead and that the business partner's children now run the company, but they don't believe that he is really Danny, since Danny is dead, and they have security escort him from the building. Whereupon any sane adult would, you know, get a lawyer and start the process of belatedly probating their parents' estate. Or if they don't know that much about how corporations work, get advice from someone they trust... who would tell them to get a lawyer and start probating their parents' estate. What does Danny do? Danny spends the next several days stalking the company's new executives and harassing them. Yes, that is what Danny Rand does. It takes three episodes for Danny to accidentally get a lawyer- within a day in story time of doing so, he is restored to his shares of the company. Those three episodes without a lawyer are so fucking infuriatingly unnecessary. GET A FUCKING LAWYER, DANNY. IT'S WHAT GROWN-UPS DO.

The story logic behind Danny's stupidity seems to be that he was taken from his New York life at age 10 and raised in a mystical woo-woo orientalist comic book warrior monastery in the Himalayas. He doesn't know how corporations work, he doesn't know how New York society works, and he therefore just runs around and breaks things like a kid in a room full of breakable things. But this is a really dumb and uninteresting characterization- ostensibly he spent fifteen years being trained into a finely honed and disciplined weapon by experienced warriors- none of that discipline, none of the patience or combat intuition you'd expect from such training ever surfaces in his characterization. Why should I root for Danny Rand to triumph? Why should I even root for him to learn when he's apparently squandered fifteen years of teaching?
monanotlisa: (action - resist)
[personal profile] monanotlisa

Call to action copy/pasted with some edits from this post over yonder at [community profile] thisfinecrew:
The ACLU just emailed me asking me to call the Representative Member of Congress and ask them to protect online privacy. I just spoke to my own Representative; her staffer told me that it had passed the Senate already and that the House bill is Resolution 86.

The house is scheduled to vote on this tomorrow, Tuesday March 28, so if you're going to call or fax, there's not a lot of time.

Here's a script from the ACLU:

"I’m calling to demand Congress protect my online privacy and keep FCC broadband rules intact. Do not pass House Resolution 86. I do not want internet service providers to sell my data without getting my permission."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation aka EFF (where I personally know a bunch of people I admire greatly) has more information on H.J. Res. 86.
monanotlisa: (justin! - ub)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Y'all who recommended Rivers of London (aka as Midnight Riot in the US for some unfathomable reason) by Ben Aaronovitch to me, I LOVE YOU! ♥ The first book is exactly what I was looking for to keep me entertained during long drives and rides -- it's snarky! It's suspenseful! It's got mystery and magic and a marvelous protagonist; I'm seriously into Peter Grant and his deadpan humor.

I laughed out loud several times, and I'm not even deep into the novel. Here's some choice quotations! )

daily deviant birthday card fill

Mar. 27th, 2017 12:44 am
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
[personal profile] pauraque
I wrote a thing for the [ profile] daily_deviant 11th birthday comment fest:

Once (R, James Sirius/Lily Luna)
Prompt from [ profile] tryslora: It'll be okay, just this once, right?

You too can fill prompts, or read fills, or whatever floats your boat!

Both members and watchers are welcome!
Click the banner to go to our birthday card!

Idea for an anthology

Mar. 26th, 2017 10:56 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


* As previously mentioned, the black woman in this illustration is the only black person of whom I am aware ever depicted in a space colony-related drawing.

* Handing authors a drawing to write a story around is an established thing in SF.

Thus, an anthology with different takes on that one black person in an otherwise entirely white space community.


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