weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
So this is something I found as I was going through old LJ entries and deleting things.

From Nov. 2007: Plz die in a fire, k thx.

Or, I hate modernist poetry now and it's all your fault, William Carlos Williams )

The context for the original post is that I was working in disability services attempting to convert poetry with extremely fiddly formatting. I was remembering the William Carlos Williams and how much I had hated it recently (though not this poem) because I am once again working for disability services and had to convert a speech by John Cage, the modernist composer.

He had written a talk, which was formatted in four columns, each with two or three words. In an introduction, he explained that each line was meant to be one second long and that the large gaps between blocks of text (in some cases an entire blank column) was so music could be played in between the different bits of the talk.

Two things made this less annoying than the William Carlos Williams.

1) As you may have noticed, Cage explained what the purpose of the formatting was.
2) OCR technology has sufficiently advanced so that I didn't have to manually put in all of the spaces -- the software placed the words in more or less the correct places on the page, thus preserving the formatting.

As the student for whom I was converting this has low rather than no vision, they could see the gaps as they were following along while their screen reader read the text to them. Perhaps the screen reader even took one second to read each line as was intended.

Oh hi

Apr. 9th, 2017 10:48 pm
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
Okay, so the one upside of the new LJ TOS agreement that is causing many people to flee LJ is that I'm going through reading old posts as I delete them and finding hilarious things that I had totally forgotten about.

I will probably post examples or links, since I transferred things over, later, but it is late and time for bed.
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(Signal boosting, though I don't know how many people I have on my friends list in Philadelphia.)

News broke yesterday that over 30,000 Philadelphia voters were sent postcards with incorrect polling place locations. The postcards include the slogan "Get informed. Know your rights. Be a voter." The sender is identified as the "Philadelphia Voter Education and Information Initiative." The group that sent them was well-meaning but clearly blew it. Two links below have more info.

Below is from the urgent e-mail sent by the Committee of Seventy:

Seventy is urging all voters to confirm their correct polling place locations online at
or by calling 1-855-SEVENTY (1-855-738-3689).

Further, we request your help minimizing the number of voters who may travel a great distance to discover they are at the wrong polling place. Forward this email. Tweet the hotline number. Advise your friends, family and work colleagues. Polls are open 7am to 8pm on Tuesday.

Links if you want more info:
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Friendship in death : in twenty letters from the dead to the living, by Elizabeth Singer Rowe. 1728.

They appear to be moral essays, but still, letters from beyond the grave are pretty cool. And in the public domain, so you can read it for free.
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Via [personal profile] rydra_wong: I don't know this person (and for that matter haven't met [personal profile] rydra_wong either, but [personal profile] thatyourefuse is in extremely urgent need of help/advice re: accommodation, employment and general survival in Massachusetts. Advice for the Boston or Amherst/Northampton areas particularly helpful.
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Came across a book published in the 70s with a 70s style cover. Had some figures in yellow lighting on a black background with blue lines going through everything. The book was for the sci-fi collection so I assumed, not looking too closely, that the blue lines were lasers and it was portraying some sort of space battle (two of the figures were sort of crouched battle style) or was a cyber club brawl or something similar.

It was missing the back cover and I read the last page which had two regency romance style proposals in it.

Regency romance IN SPACE people!

Looking more closely at the book, it has something to do with gypsies and the blue lines on the cover probably mean to show the figures having a fight in the rain and are not (sigh) lasers at all. I was very disappointed.

But regency romance in space sounds like it would be awesome.
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I have an item in four volumes which claims to be an exact reprint of something that was previously published in five.

More fanfic

Jul. 1st, 2013 03:43 pm
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
Though of a much more recent vintage:

War of the Worlds: global dispatches / edited by Kevin Anderson.

An anthology of reactions of famous people such as Theodore Roosevelt, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and Pablo Picasso to the martian invasion. (The foreword is written as though it was by H.G. Wells)

As I am cataloging, I don't actually get to read this at work (Which is why it's a good thing I don't get to catalog the sci-fi. Alas.) but flipping through it, it looks delightful.
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
Old friends: essays in epistolary parody by Andrew Lang.

It's a series of letters from fictional characters to other fictional characters.

It's out of copyright, so you can read it for free online.
weirdquark: person leaping with sunset (leap)
Counting down to the last hours of the Sundown Kickstarter and we continue to be overwhelmed and honored by the support that we've gotten. When we started I was pretty confident that we'd be able to make our initial goal, though I was amazed that we made it so fast (I mean, 48 hours!) and then I thought that we might be able to make our last stretch goal, but we not only made that one too, but have added two stretch goals after that.

I like to call the last stretch goal the Viking Party Pack (officially the Futhark Song Teaching Collection) because in addition to teaching all of the parts of the Futhark Song, there will be a track of the Allfather's names so you can learn those too and be prepared for the next time you wind up at a Viking riddle contest because the Vikings were all about showing off your nerd cred.

After this we'll be performing at Worldcon San Antonio and continuing to work on recording for the CD. Thanks again for your support!

And possibly I'll post about other things occasionally, though I don't know how interesting adventures in cataloging and weightlifting are to people who aren't me. (Honestly, with the exception of moments where I'm muttering at records going 'what was the person who made this record thinking?' adventures in cataloging is only as interesting as how unusual or cool the book I have is. And sadly, I mutter at the records in despair a lot.)
weirdquark: Stack of books (books)
I'm terrible at con reports. Somewhat overdue, Balticon has come and gone and the Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok performance went fabulously well. We had several cameras going so we could put together footage for a DVD; I haven't seen any of it yet, but our videographer was happy with what he got and our photographer also was taking video and made a non-official trailer out of the footage that he got, so I'm really looking forward to seeing it. Especially since I wear glasses with a fairly strong prescription, don't have contacts, and had a patch over one eye for the entire performance. So the things you hear about the All-Father's "all seeing eye"? Not so much in my case. (I need to try contacts again.)

I didn't get to do much at the con that wasn't rehearsing for the play or going to panels with other Sassafrass people or being on panels myself; I did get to open filk on Friday for a bit and while I was there we had (informally?) a space theme going, which is always awesome. But I'm sad to not have made it on any other day but Saturday I was too tired and on Sunday I had to pack to get to the airport because I was leaving after Monday morning panels.

Over the last year I had been practicing with recordings so we could all get used to the same timing on songs despite not rehearsing together, and making recordings with people while being in different parts of the country. We had a group get-together back in January for a few days but not all of the music was done then, so this was the first time everyone was there to practice everything together.

Fun thing: If I Could Ask You, the quartet for Odin and Loki and Baldur and Hella, was one of the songs which had been started but not finished in January, so the four of us had been able to rehearse the beginning but I hadn't sung it with anyone other than Thrud (who sings Loki) since it was finished. And that was actually kind of appropriate, because what happens in that song is that Baldur and Hella spend the entire time trying to get Odin and Loki to listen to them and Odin and Loki spend the entire time ignoring their children and just keep yelling at each other. So having Odin and Loki in Texas rehearsing together and Baldur and Hella in Boston rehearsing together and only meeting briefly to make sure our timing worked? Yeah. I'm still not sure what Baldur and Hella say in that song; I was busy.

In general our rehearsals went well, though we had enough problems (as is traditional) to make sure the performance went well and we never actually managed a full run through until the performance. But we pulled it together because we had all worked hard on it for the past year and more and I'm really glad to have been a part of it.

In other news, the Sassafrass Kickstarter has one more week to go; we're hoping to close out strong with enough funds to help get everyone together to do the full Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok performance again soon.
weirdquark: person leaping with sunset (leap)
My a-capella group, Sassafrass, launched a Kickstarter today to help fund the production of our upcoming CD and to cover the cost of costumes and the production of a DVD we'll be making of the two hour performance we'll be doing of the entire Norse song cycle at Balticon next week.

We've put a lot of work into making the music and the performance awesome this past year, but work on this project goes back a long way: our very first performance of Norse music was back in 2008 when Ada and I performed a half verse and chorus of the then in progress My Brother, My Enemy after hearing Lord Landless perform their Loki song at Confluence in 2008.

We're very excited! Things have been sounding great and while I've really enjoyed 'singing' with everyone while practicing with recordings so I can get used to the timing and singing with people who aren't in the same place as I am, I'm really looking forward to singing with everyone in person.

Thank you for your support!

The rule

Jan. 25th, 2013 09:49 am
weirdquark: woman with barbell across shoulders (weights)
If I'm well enough to get out of bed at six in the morning to lift weights, I'm well enough to go to work.

(Feeling a little tired, runny nose, all that good stuff. Did not call in sick because two other people had been out this week and we're short-staffed. Got to work and discovered that while one of them is back, someone else is out, so they're happy I didn't call in sick today. I was tempted though. But I lifted weights and it went well, so it can't be that bad.)
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I haven't written anything in way too long, so I thought I'd give this meme a try:

Tell me about a story I haven't written, and I'll give you one sentence from that story.
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
Half an hour to record twenty seconds.
weirdquark: Stack of books (sky)
I've been getting up early and walking around the lake by our house on the days that I don't lift weights; it's a nice low-key way to get more exercise in and it isn't so hot out that I don't want to leave the house yet.

On Thursday I left the house around 6:15am, which turned out to be the perfect time to start a walk. The light was dim and blue when I started out, just barely light enough to be morning. I started out down the footpath and over the bridge where the trees were close enough for spider silk to be strung across the path, windmilling my arms to keep it from my face with limited success. The first part of the walk has houses and trees on either side. There's a point where the road goes right by the lake and I reached it just as the sky had lightened from dim blue to pale pink and gold, the sun still too low behind the horizon to be seen. I stopped there and did a few sun salutations facing the sunrise.

Life seen or heard, both wild and domesticated:

The twittering of various birds and the hum of water from sprinklers watering a lawn.
A Spanish-speaking contracting crew, arriving to do work on a house being built on a corner.
A small round shape scuttling into the brush at the edge of the road that was probably an armadillo.
A rabbit in the middle of the road that hopped away down the road in the direction that I was going, stopping every now and then to see if I was still following it, and after two or three rounds of this figured out that maybe it should run towards the trees instead.
A dog that was very concerned that Someone Was Walking By His House and barked to warn me off.
A blue heron picking its way across the shoreline of the lake.
A flock of (mostly Canadian) geese.
A rooster, crowing somewhere on the property of the people who have goats.
Blue jays taking off as I startle them out of someone's driveway.
Three semi-feral cats who deign to stay at the house that spays and feeds the cats that result from the travels of a cat who is not fixed belonging to another neighbor. One of them is a gangly kitten who makes a break for it after noticing that he was seen. One of the others jumps up on the fence to get a better look at me but does not want to be petted.

When I got home the sun is not quite above the line of trees to the east, but the pale pink and gold has spread further up the sky and the colors at the horizon are deeper; the pink more purple and the gold brighter and more orange. I went out on the dock and did a couple more sun salutations.
weirdquark: Stack of books (sky)
It hasn't rained for a while so I went out and watered things, including turning on the drip hoses at the sides of the house intending to come back out in ten minutes or so to turn them off.

Because I'm awesome I totally forgot about it until just now, which is several hours later.

Because my life is awesome I not only had to go out in the dark to turn the hoses off, but it's also pouring.


Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:59 pm
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
[personal profile] gaudior and I finished the first draft of our novel*. It's been a little over a year since we started writing it again, and almost ten since we started writing these characters and plotline. And now it's done. There's a beginning, a middle, and an end. Up until we started it again I didn't really think that would ever happen, but it did. Yay!

*The Theater Plot, for those of you know know what that means.
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