ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Kids tobogganing down the snowpack at the foot of our street yesterday. #bosnow #latergram #blizzard2015

Emergency Care Kits

Jan. 27th, 2015 12:10 pm
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Due to all the snow (or here it's more like snow furor, because it is nothing to write home about unless you are a journalist trying to get web hits I guess), there has been some media talk about emergency preparedness kits and stuff. My brother in law and brother are both big into those disaster kits. My brother in law has a legit reason, because he's trained for emergency response. I think my brother is just into buying survival stuff and without my sister-in-law to keep him in check might end up with some sort of bunker or root cellar full of parachute cord and gods knows what.

Anyway, it got me thinking about other kinds of emergency kits that one could put together that are not all about natural disasters.

I have a box for Brain Weasel Emergencies that has things like pictures of people I love, nice things people have said about me, some really low-key craft projects (think coloring and crayons), lists of people to call and coping mechanisms, etc.

Given the current bought of cold/plague my grandmother has brought upon my house, am thinking when I move I might have a "someone's got a cold" sort of emergency box. It's one thing to know that you have things like cough drops somewhere in a medicine box. But what if you had a box that had a couple cans of a favorite soup flavor, gatorade (or powder that can be made into gatorade), common over the counter medications (cough drops, decongestants, Tylenol, whatever you usually take), your doctor's name/phone and hours, hours and phone for some local urgent care places and a pharmacy, maybe a menu for a local take-out place,  a box of really nice Kleenex that won't make your nose burn after using it…that kind of thing. Not to be opened or raided unless you do actually need it. And then if you are living alone or you and your housemate(s) get hit a the same time, no one is having to go to the store for cough drops when you feel like a literal zombie.

Other possible boxes: chronic pain box (which I would use frequently, honestly). My chronic pain stuff is kind of scattered through the house, but I have things like special bath salts (magic, I tell you); icy hot; topical prescription meds; ibuprofen; hot packs that are the one-time-use kind you stick on yourself. This could also be especially useful if, say, you were going somewhere for a night or just for a longish drive: grab the chronic pain box or travel version, and even if the trip proves a bit much you have things to help you deal. (Whereas usually I have some of my meds in my bag, my knitting which I may or may not have hands for at that time, and have to stop by a pharmacy or gas station which might or might not have what I need).

Lot of government sites also recommend some sort of pet emergency box, which I have though about but am still trying to figure out how to make one my cats can't get into and steal the extra food we have stored. (Seriously, they're good about that.)

Just a thought. Seems like way more useful to me personally than a bag of rations and rope, because if there is some sort of horrible emergency I'm betting the pain stuff I use is going to be super hard to find. IDK, what kind of self-care or "oops I've got to run but I should bring these things with me" kits would you want to bring? What if you had some sort of D&D type bag that could somehow hold a horse and still be carry-able? What if space was more limited?

<---things I find bizarrely interesting. But seriously, gonna make a pain kit. So I don't have to hunt for that shit.

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Jan. 27th, 2015 09:11 am
jjhunter: Watercolor sketch of self-satisfied corvid winking with flaming phoenix feather in its beak (corvid with phoenix feather)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.


Signal-boosting much appreciated!

A Thing Belated

Jan. 25th, 2015 08:53 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I wrote a Yuletide thing! Many thanks to [personal profile] luzula for assistance brainstorming, and to [personal profile] kate_nepveu and [personal profile] stultiloquentia for general support.

From the Mountains of Un for edna_blackadder
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
Someone has built a Pay-Wall around the Sea of Knowledge. Luckily, there's a scientist on visit.

My research to words ratio this time was only mildly ridiculous; I spent a great deal of transit time playing with worldbuilding, and words. I made up many a collective noun
a gridlock of experts
a disquiet of armed men
an intensity of poets
a debate of scientists
a projection of psychologists
a precision of sloths
became convinced, weeks after reading Adam Gopnik's Broken Kingdoms article, that our contemporary 'story of self-education' succeeding Phantom Tollbooth is most likely Welcome To Night Vale; and came away with a kind of hilarified awe at Mr. Juster's continued virtuosity with pundom. (Case in point: Norton Juster and Jon Scieszka, PRESENT "Prinderella and the Cince" [vimeo].) And did I mention the The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations documentary?

ATTN: New England Blizzard Warning

Jan. 25th, 2015 05:28 pm
jjhunter: Closeup of the face from postcard of da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' with alterations made by Duchamp, i.e. moustache and goatee. (LHOOQ)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Via weather underground, Potentially Historic Blizzard Taking Aim on New England
The densely populated area from New York City to Boston could experience one of its ten biggest snowstorms on record early this week, as a textbook nor’easter takes shape over the next 48 hours. While local details are bound to evolve somewhat as the storm develops, the models are now in strong, consistent agreement on a potentially crippling snowstorm. Blizzard watches were hoisted on Sunday morning from eastern New Jersey to northeast Massachusetts, including the New York, Providence, and Boston metropolitan areas.

If you live in one of the areas affected, I strongly recommend visiting weather.gov and inputting your zip code for the most up-to-date / comprehensive advisory for your area. The warnings for Boston currently include a coastal flood warning in addition to the blizzard warning (the latter of which includes "travel will be impossible and life threatening across the entire region").

The CDC has Winter Weather FAQ. Please feel encouraged to share other resources or tips in the comments.

ETA: via NYT, Blizzard Questions, Including Why a European Weather Model Excels at U.S. Forecasts
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost The pile of crêpes, waiting to be turned into a cake. #cookbookclub
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Sunday morning baking: @thewhalewins' gâteau de crêpes for @farmandfable #cookbookclub.

Yellow house, snowy wood. #bosnow

Jan. 24th, 2015 07:46 pm
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Yellow house, snowy wood. #bosnow
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Victory dance of omigod I left the office before five. Barely. #nofilter
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I taught myself how to use the x-axis, the y-axis and apparently something (perhaps it's defined as "the result of using the x- and y-axis") called the origin. To the pixel. While using MeasureIt to judge my work like it's being inspected for presentation to a so-far non-existent client. I mean, that only took me all the years I've ever coded in CSS, or all nine of them.

I, uh, understand why it's needed now that I see it in use correctly (long story short, it helps line up the letters used in typography with like, x-ray precision - and my maternal great-grandfather ran his own printing shop back in the 1890s through 1950s or so, I think, which probably gives a genetic spur to my curiosity about all things printing-related). I actually always understood why it was needed and I've read plenty on how to line up coordinates and studied pictures and looked at graphs and so on and for some reason in action I could never get it quite right. There's something about being a reticent and/or sometimes lazy coder mixed up in this somehow but I'm not sure how that all intersects, exactly.

Maybe I would learn a lot faster if someone else was teaching me. I am entirely self-taught, but that doesn't mean the self-teaching process has always - or at all - gone smoothly or all that well.

So tonight I whipped out MeasureIt and got the meeting spot for the letter X to intersect with the middle of the letter M which magically made all the letters line up to the left of themselves (but not to the right, because the widths are not the same, which was where I was constantly going wrong - in assuming they were). Then - just for kicks - I did the same thing with the corresponding images (they don't really have coordinates, being non-font-based images, but I got it about close enough, I guess).

I'm just enough of a geek that this counts as one of the biggest coding thrills I've had in years.

Here are some screen caps of the results:

blog icons with y-axis
blog icon's left alignment
blog icons lined up
blog icons lined up

Also, I've always thought the biggest headache with this layout is the pixel-perfection it requires. But sometimes that same fussiness teaches me new things, or shows me where I was lazy or not thinking something through or taking all use cases into account, and for that I'm almost grateful for how hard it is to keep straight, as opposed to a less design-y, more text-y, and therefore more forgiving layout, which would probably lead me to be about the most lazy and short-sided coder there is (because if there's an easy or more non-thinking way out of something I'll often take it - this is as true in my coding as it's been in any other area of my learning or application of my learning where deep thought is pretty much required - if I can get by with less effort and get more time to do other things, I will choose the "do other things" option almost every time).

Even Google was easier to code, back when I was still furiously updating my script for it, than this layout has ever been. Google's HTML was much harder to untangle and use effectively, which was the one area of coding for it that I always struggled with. But as far as fussiness goes, Google's code is not half as pixel-perfect or in need of pixel-perfection as my own blog. Which is kinda strange, indeed.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

It feels really, really weird to have a whole slew of Inbox notifications not coming to my actual, off-site inbox. Nothing since the 18th - which was over 3 days ago. My Outlook.com box exists solely to feed me all the messages from this account so imagine how strange it's been to see it empty for three days when the bits and bytes should be flying in and out just as usual.

No DW News notification. No comment notifications, and no copies of my replies. I mean, when I asked Denise in the News post yesterday about it also being a live.com/outlook.com issue (and it is, it really is) I thought maybe it was a fluke I didn't get my DW News notification - the first thing I would've had in my Inbox in days.

But now that I get no notifications at all I can see it's no fluke - this is the real deal, and us Microsoft users are pretty much screwed until further notice. I don't want to jump the gun until Denise makes an announcement, but if I have to give up live.com over this I will not be happy. And no, I'm not going to blame her or Mark one little bit. I can't see why Microsoft can't differentiate our little social circles here from a huge Russian spam syndicate of some sort but honestly, it seems they can't. I remember AOL having the same problem, blocking email from so many websites over the years it actually got to be one of the most infamous things about them. But this doesn't feel quite the same to me. It feels like an algorithmic error that MS can't be arsed to use human beings to look into and correct. But they're not AOL and as long as they're not AOL it's hard for me to be mad at them for this.

The thing is, I really don't want to switch email providers. I've tried them all - all the more well-known ones, anyway - all the ones you've seen listed on About.com - and I think they suck compared to MS's swoopy, glide-y, and ridiculously easy to use email. I love the way Outlook.com looks, feels, filters, acts, responds and functions. It really does do most of the thinking and heavy lifting for you so while it's a bit of a learning curve to get into it, it was well worth it for me in the long run to figure out just how it works. And I've gotten very, very used to what it offers.

FWIW, I will pry both my eyes out with a fork before I transfer DW's email to GMail, which has become so hard to use lately I don't bother anymore, and AOL's service is really not so hot (though, as always, I do still have a soft spot for AIM). I have one Yahoo account, as a few of you know since we use it, but I can't stand the interface or functionality as compared to Outlook's. So I don't see a lot of viable options here if I have to step away from the one I have now.

marahmarie: :facepalm: (picard facepalm)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I need that icon of the guy with his head in his hands edit: look over there ---> - because srsly what the hell's happened on DW, that it's LJ all over again? Deja voodoo.

The only thing missing in comments made to the latest News post are the GIFs. Apparently Everything's Gone Wrong Life's Ended Civilization Is Done and Over and Denise and Mark are tone-deaf, sightless, and bad-code-breathing fire dragons. Which, to judge by their limited responses and offish attitudes they sort of are.

I mean, I'll give them some credit: I didn't know whining about custom colors on your Reading Page going away soon was A Thing but yes, apparently it is A Thing, folks... *nods slowly and gravely*... so the entire .8% of our custom-color-using DW population has come out to discuss it. Woo-eeee. The discussion grew exactly this intellectual before devolving into pure 'want-colors-not-lists!' tantrum-throwing: "Noooooo".

Discussion of our new tag arrows (a mind-blowing corruption of multi-page article and chapter continuations) follows a similar trajectory by starting off with the spellbinding request, a la [site community profile] dw_suggestions to +1-ing a plea to give an option to disable please (you must put this phrase in bold and repeat it seventy billion times or it's not as effective, which is another trending DWism, like Noooooo). Apparently Nooooo is a catchy new way to spell the word "No" on Dreamwidth, especially when used at the beginning of sentences, and especially when you're throwing a fucking temper tantrum.

So I can see how reactions to parts of the code roll-out this week have probably been nothing but pure *eyeroll* for Mark and Denise - not just for the agony of reading through them, but for the sudden, shared realization they must have had that they're running a preschool. And for that they have my sympathy because, like, OMG. A preschool. But as for bouncing out of all of Microsoft's email servers - at once? For that they get my utmost admiration. Nothing says your social media's arrived like MS deciding it's an extremely persistent and particularly obnoxious Russian spam syndicate.

In other News, our new HTTPS feature initially didn't work while new account creation led you to the root of the website, one of our devs forgot to use any CSS in his code (this will fix him right up, though, if he ever sees it), the post body on the Beta Create Entry page has gotten too wide for a majority of people to bear much longer because Nooooo, and Mark's attitude? Is enough to make me spit actual foot-long corrugated steel nails.

ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Crappy afternoon where I get blamed for everything: I'm Deanna Troi-ing the hell out of this. #chocolate


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Celebrating Dreamwidth One Syllable At a Time

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