memnus: Me with my head back and eyes closed (Laid back)

Totally easy, and I want to remember it for the future. I think this counts as comfort food.

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 lb stew beef (in the future, consider lamb)
Three cans beans (black, pinto, kidney)
One box tomato soup
One bag orzo (in future, consider barley)




In giant soup pot, cook onions and garlic in olive oil. Once translucent, add meat, cook until browned. Add beans (don't drain) and soup, bring to a boil, simmer for an hour. Add orzo, simmer another ten-fifteen minutes. Serve with fluffy sourdough bread.

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memnus: Pink cat face jumping out of a toaster, animated (Toast! Animated! (S*P))

I haven't often done this. But it's a legitimate idea: air one's intentions, so the expectations become someone else's and more important to live up to. None of these is particularly life-changing, but I think that's a sign I'm close to an ideal life already.

  • Be active. Bike from work at least three times a week; once there's an actual shower in the office, bike to work as well. If the weekends aren't too rainy, bike then too. At least occasionally, pick up something heavy and put it down again.
  • Archery. Did you notice that's among the first things everyone asks if you're still doing? Yeah. Make the answer 'yes'. Get up to Montlake Terrace at least every other week. Figure out an actual way to set up a target in the backyard and use that too. And enter at least one FITA or similar tournament this summer.
  • Play more games. Take at least an hour a week to use that computer taking up space upstairs, and catch up on all the stories that are being told.
  • Be out. Don't go out of the way to protect others' comfort zones. "It's complicated" is a cop-out, all relationships are complicated, and hiding the unconventional ones does no one any favors.
  • Be political. Don't let cynicism turn to despair, and call out bullshit. And done be afraid to release attachment to your own bullshit - pay at least as much attention to your own failings as others'.
  • Make time for chosen family. You've lucked into an arrangement that you could only have dreamed of, so build on that and make it keep working. it will take work, but it will be worth it.
  • And of course, blog more.

Is that too much to ask?

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memnus: Pink cat face jumping out of a toaster, animated (Toast! Animated! (S*P))
Turns out there's a clause in the lease at Madhouse-At-Camelot that specifically forbids running any sort of business from this address, including those businesses that are specifically allowed in residential zones. Oh well. I'm focusing more on my giant projects than anything sellable, anyway. My pants got a major field test at GeekGirlCon. Lessons learned:
  • There is absolutely no sneaking up on anyone in those. Each step sounds like kicking a bag of dimes. As ways to muffle that go, I'd like to be able to knit yarn through the links for padding, but it's slower and fiddlier than my patience can handle.
  • Fifteen pounds is a lot to hold on the hips. I don't notice for an hour or two, but the bruises didn't fade for nearly a week. Plan B is isomorphic to suspenders, but that will require further adjustments to weight-bearing elements.
  • Again I didn't notice at the time, but the rings and scales at the toes scraped much of the polish off my boots. The solution to this may actually be the same as the solution to the noise, a knit or leather pad between.
  • As it turns out, a single set of compression pants is not 100% proof against getting hairs caught. Also, not strictly warm enough. Next time, I'm doubling up the tights.
I had plenty of people asking for pictures, but I never actually got any of my own. If anyone has run into pictures of that outfit, can you pass me a link? click
memnus: Pink cat face jumping out of a toaster, animated (Toast! Animated! (S*P))
I've been working with chainmail for a couple years now, but the sheer volume of response to my latest project (scalemail pants) has inspired/encouraged me to go ahead and try to make a little money off it. Thanks to the magic of Tubes 2.0, the obvious way would appear to be to start an Etsy shop. So naturally I've pored through a bunch of their getting-started sellers' resources and am closing in on feeling ready to actually do this. But I'm hitting a few roadblocks.

Shop name (the truly important stuff). I keep drifting back to "Madhouse Metals" then balking, not wanting to limit myself from making the occasional Ridiculous Scarf or phone case. Chainmail jewelry will still be my focus, but my internal thesaurus is crashing when I try to look up synonyms for "shiny things" that start with M. Any suggestions? Winner gets a gold star (or a star of any other color(s)). This is a deceptively big deal because it'll have to go on tax paperwork and other crap that's a pain in the butt to change.

Banking. I heart my bank to death, but they don't have anything aimed toward small business, let alone micro-business. Etsy stroungly suggests keeping shop finances separate from personal finances. How seriously should I take this? Would I regret getting a free checking account aimed at personal use and then running a business out of it? Has anyone had good experiences with any banks I should look into?

Inventory. Most of my projects have been... rather large in scale. I may not be a market analyst, but I highly doubt anyone would be willing to pay me enough to want to do another pair of those pants that I won't get to keep for myself. So I have to learn to make small things. Not only that, I have to learn what counts as originality and creativity in small things. Especially when there are instructions and tutorials for hundreds of different weaves, it feels like making "just another pair of full-persian earrings" isn't actually going to be standing out in any way.

This feels like an oddly complicated and rigorous process for something where I expect to see maybe a couple hundred dollars of sales in a year. But my programmer instincts write maintainable code if I'm writing anything at all carry over to here. I may not expect a $2000 armor commission, but if one lands in front of me I want to not have to ignore it.

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memnus: Me with my head back and eyes closed (Laid back)

About a month ago, I had a surreal experience at a concert in Tacoma. I had claimed some counter space out of the way, minding my own business working on scalemail. I'm well aware that scale is an attention-getter, even in crowds familiar with chainmail, but this time I was getting new questions. Was I a vendor (in particular, at Faerieworlds the following weekend)? How much did I sell pieces for? Was I interested in a place to exhibit any works? I was taken aback, and they seemed almost surprised to hear that I was making these pieces entirely for myself.

It has started me thinking, though. Chain and scale have in some ways been my first hobby to have tangible, durable results, and I'm apparently not afraid of the giant projects. So far:

  • Stainless steel shirt. Finished. So many lessons learned on this one, and I deserve I-told-you-sos from quite a few people, but it's done and I'm proud of it. I'm hoping the faire weekends this year are less blindingly hot so I can actually wear it.
  • Stainless steel coif. On hold. The obvious companion to a shirt, but looking at it now I'm not necessarily happy with the sizing. I also have a tendency to forget it actually exists.
  • Scalemail loincloth. Wearable, needs tweaking. This was my exploratory scale project, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and the reactions it got at Faerieworlds. I still need to figure out a way to close it that doesn't involve bolts.
  • Scalemail chaps. In progress. Using lessons learned from the loincloth, and will be a companion piece.
  • Aluminum shirt. Research phase. Bright colors and a very loose weave, good for nothing beyond getting attention.
  • "Rock Garden". Unlike the others, this is not a garden, and an extremely long term project that sprung itself on me as I was figuring out how to wrap a stone.
A quick glance at Etsy shows that the market exists (at least, that other sellers believe it does). A glance at the prices, however, tells me that I need to work faster than I currently do in order to both (a) be competetive and (b) be paying myself a sensible rate for labor. I also have some internal leaps to make to differentiate original ideas from copies, but that might well come with time.

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memnus: Dragon with pigtails and glasses, saying "No sense... in a way that blows your mind?" (That makes no sense! (O&M))
I just upgraded my Dreamwidth account to permanent. I believe in them as a company, and want to see their idea of a user-focused open-source blogging platform continue. I'm also hoping that the sunk cost fallacy will get me to post more, which I suppose starts here.

As I'm sure you've all heard, we're now three weeks away from the Rapture. The date is very specific, but the time is not, so we can narrow it down to the one hour when all time zones are the same day. I have a web site idea that I wish I could have set up six months ago: The May 22nd Fund. People would note whether they think the Rapture will happen or not, and list their preferred charity and pledge any amount of money. On May 22nd, all of the money pledged would be divided among the charities chosen by the side that turns out to be right. The site could collect the pledges in advance, but more likely, would be run on the honor system: on May 22nd, each participant (or participant's estate) would receive a polite email listing a charity and how much they should donate to it.

Sadly, it's far too late to get this set up and gain the proper traction. I'm also certain it wouldn't actually get any pledges actually expecting the Rapture. Still, the reactions would certainly be telling.

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memnus: Trails of fire poi in a figure-eight pattern (Wafoom)
Step one: make pie
Step two: Decide how to make pie better
Step three: return to step one

This attempt:
half stick butter
1/3 c sugar
two cups mini marshmallows
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
one egg

Melt the butter in a double boiler, mix in sugar and corn starch as it melts. Once homogenized, melt in the marshmallows, stirring constantly. Once those are melted, remove from the heat. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Once it's mixed in, it should be starting to cool off, stir in the egg. Pour into six silicone muffin cups. Bake those, in a water bath, at 325 for 30 40 minutes.

Things I forgot: vanilla or Tuaca, greasing the muffin cups.

To do for next time: Don't bother taking the mixture off the heat. Beat the egg well into frothiness before adding it. Bake hotter, without the water bath.

EDIT: Also skip the sugar entirely?

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Biofamily

Feb. 1st, 2011 11:32 am
memnus: Green-eyed person hiding under covers (Hiding in bed (QoW))
It turned into the kind of weekend where I dread every email.

My grandmother had either a stroke or a seizure on Friday. My uncles are with her, but the last word was that, besides breathing, she wasn't doing much. Hospice nurses give her "several days to two weeks".

For context, in the last distinct memory I have of her I couldn't have been more than seven. We were visiting her in the assisted-living home she'd recently moved to. It was breakfast, and I poured an unlabeled pitcher of vinegar over my pancakes thinking it was syrup. Sometime when I was in high school, she stopped coming to family Thanksgiving; she barely recognized her own children, let alone the other 70 of us. A few years back she stopped going to church; when the response to a cousin's gift of chocolates was "No thanks, I don't like that stuff," my mother made her peace.

This isn't a particular surprise, or even a terrible tragedy. My grandmother was nearly 90, and stayed happy even as the woman we knew faded. I don't feel that something inevitable can be much of a tragedy, and singularity futurists notwithstanding, no life is infinite. She's comfortable and in good hands; there's nothing more that's fair of me to ask.

So for now, I wait, and will probably have to fly out east sometime in the next few weeks. That waiting, being "on-call", is the worst part, and couldn't have come at a worse time. Work is more or less in the tick of tradeshow season, and I have tickets for a trip to San Diego for the final crunch week before MWC. My bosses are understanding and accommodating, and I can leave my stuff in a state that others can keep going with it, but this is still one of the only times of year when my team has non-negotiable deadlines.

When I knew her, I was not old enough to grok why I should say it, and I can't say it sincerely enough now.

Grandma Martha: Thank you.

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memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
None of the livejournal clients on the android market actually have thee option to comedy to a different server. I user to have one that did, though - but it's not on the market anymore, for no apparent reason. (Besides perhaps the crashes with the hardware keyboard.)

It's still on my nexus one.

This, kids, is why you root your phones.

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memnus: Archery target in the colors of the leather pride flag (I'd hit that)
Today is National Coming Out Day. There are many things that I am, and that I have no particluar wish to hide. In honor of those that could lose more by being open - be it jobs, family, health, or even life - than I would, I say this is what I am. I am not the only one.

I am polyamorous. I reject love and partnership as a matter of possession, or a zero-sum game, and ask no exclusivity of my lovers. My partner has a girlfriend on the east coast, and she and I are slowly becoming lovers as well. I have dated and loved others even as my partner and I build a lasting life together. I don't believe in a single "right" way to organize a relationship: there are many ways people can exist together, as friends or partners or lovers or anything else or any combination thereof; only some of them are mutually incompatible. It is work, it is negotiation and communication and empathy and scheduling, but it is worth every minute and every month.

I am sex-positive. I believe that every act of pleasure, when there is no harm done and everyone involved gives enthusiastic informed consent, is a joyful thing to be celebrated. Nobody should be condemned or shamed for who they love, or how they lust. Over and over again, we've seen what happens when they are - and for every one you hear about, how many go invisible? Furthermore, I refuse to restrict sensuality and pleasure to certain acts performed with particular organs.

If the theme is not yet clear it is this: The only thing it is wrong to do is to do harm. To bury and deny your own desires is to harm yourself; to forcibly shape another into someone they are not is to harm them. That is how I live, and that is who I am.

I have been privilieged in that I could grow this way, truly into myself, without fear or shame. I strive to pass that onward into the world now, and hereby ask that you do the same: if a boy would rather play dress-up than baseball, if a girl wants to help change the oil in the car, if a child refuses to be boy or girl at all: LET THEM. There will never be enough convenient boxes to fit everybody into. The harder you try, the more people will only be broken against the corners.

Go in peace.

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memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
I am about to make a filtered post. Since anonymous comments are disallowed on protected entries, this post is for comments to that entry. Anonymous comments are enabled, all comments will be screened, IP addresses are not being logged.
memnus: Green-eyed person hiding under covers (Hiding in bed (QoW))
We found a place in Capitol Hill, around 12th and Denny. It's a second-story apartment that tried and failed to be a condo, with relatively small common spaces and a front door with no stairs. (We tell it it's a patio to make it feel better, as we go in and out the back.) Which brings me to my next point.

The new place has a mini combo washer/dryer unit and not much storage. We currently own a washing machine and natural-gas-powered dryer. They were bought new two years ago and are still working as well as they ought to be, which is perfectly. We're also considering the numbers on how feasible it'd be to buy a house next year, so will probably want them back. Would anyone in Seattle be interested in renting them for a while? Alternately, anyone in San Diego want to buy them?

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ETA: We're also now accepting cardboard box donations.
memnus: Dave Davenport and Lovelace with quotes from Alice In Wonderland (We're All Mad Here (Narbonic))
Sometimes the future comes at you a lot faster than you expect. Frances and I are moving to Seattle. At first we'd thought it would be in August sometime, but then we took a look at some schedules and ran some numbers.

We'll be moving in the second week of June.

Those with calendars in sight, or an innate sense of it currently being the first week of May, will note that's about five weeks away. This is terrifyingly short for a lot of reasons, but at least seems to be the right amount of time to look for rentals and arrange movers.

Most immediately, we're flying up this weekend to look at apartments. Until then, we're trawling Craigslist trying to build up a list of places to take a look at. We need a place on bus routes, both to UW for Frances and to downtown for me. At first glance that means Fremont, Wallingford, Greenlake, Eastlake, and Capitol Hill, all of which have places within our price range, but there are things we can't tell from the maps. Any Seattle locals have any advice on areas we should avoid? How do different latitudes in Capitol Hill compare? Any other areas we might be overlooking?

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memnus: Dave Davenport and Lovelace with quotes from Alice In Wonderland (We're All Mad Here (Narbonic))
The filk I delivered at Consonance 2010. It's actually an r2, with the assistance of [livejournal.com profile] willskyfall and [livejournal.com profile] sithjawa. Huge thanks to them, both for four extra eyes on the writing and invaluable assistance in the performing. Also, due apologies to [livejournal.com profile] stealthcello for mangling a perfectly innocent respectable song that certainly never did me any wrong.

Other disclaimers: New Battlestar Galactica, spoilers through Season 2.5.

Baltar's Tango )

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memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
Testing what actually happens with cross-platform user tags and cross-posting.

[personal profile] memnus
[livejournal.com profile] memnus

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memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
That test failed, let's try this one.

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Bok bok

Mar. 15th, 2010 09:31 pm
memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
This is a test of the emergency broadcast chicken crossposting.

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memnus: Cartoon kitten after being sprayed with water (Angry kitten (QoW))
EDIT: The code in question seems to be removed or disabled, or is somehow no longer in effect. People that care a lot more about this than I do are working on it at Internet-speed. Even still, it's not clear how long this went on.

No really. Stop, right now.

Except this one: Here's why. Arguably, that's a link within Livejournal, so you can still click on it. But just stop. It looks like Livejournal is stripping out affiliate codes, silently redirecting through an invisible third site, and otherwise not being good internet citizens.

I've watched Livejournal pull a bunch of stupid shit before, and shrugged, but this breaks it for me. My paid membership will expire, I'll happily upload all my favorite icons to Dreamwidth, and probably start sending money over there too. I may even start posting again, but don't get your hopes up on that one.

If anyone has found the magic recipe for piping memnus.livejournal.com/friends to memnus.dreamwidth.com/read, including all items that the viewer should be allowed to see, I'd appreciate it, and I imagine others would too.

I hope that this will all get reversed, and maybe even we'll get an apology ambiguously-worded news post saying they hadn't thought through all the consequences of their actions. But I don't think even that will bring me back. This move crosses a line. All the previous shit has been sketchy, whether in privacy, or abuse of power, but not measurable. This time, it's outright theft.

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memnus: Pink cat face jumping out of a toaster, animated (Toast! Animated! (S*P))
So, I'm starting to work with chainmaille. I'd ordered a stainless steel sampler from The Ring Lord before Christmas, but when I went to my parents' house my mom had chain jewelery as the presents of the year. I stole some of her rings to play around with a few different weaves, then when my steel finally arrived at home I started working with larger pieces.

And kept going. I had a bracelet loose enough to slip on and off.

And then realized I was making a sleeve.

I tried to deny, and keep going while I denied it on the theory that my motivation wouldn't hold if I did. But that's a stupid plan. So.

I'm making a chainmaille shirt. I still can't get clear on hauberk, byrnie, haubergine, or any of the other words the recreationists use, and I'm not going for any sort of accuracy, so a thing that covers my chest is a shirt. I'm half making up the details of the pattern as I go along, using two different sizes of rings for size management and subtle decorations. If nothing else, between this and climbing, I'll have an awesome grip.

I'm keeping track of my progress - documenting my work, even - on Wave, if anyone is interested in future updates. If so, let me know - I've also got more than enough invites.

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memnus: Dave Davenport and Lovelace with quotes from Alice In Wonderland (We're All Mad Here (Narbonic))
For those already familiar with the music of S.J. Tucker: Mark your calendars! SJ will be playing at Madhouse-at-Camelot on Sunday, February 21st, at 6:00 PM. All are welcome! RSVP through SJ's website.

For those that haven't yet heard of her, there's a lot you're missing. S.J. Tucker, a.k.a. Skinny White Chick, is a Folk Rock Pixie Pirate Mythpunk Storyteller, taking the country by storm, spreading music and delight wherever she roams - and she has been on the road since 2004, showing no sign of slowing down. If you dare try to classify her style you might call it "Celtic Blues", while her instrumental and vocal talents earn comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams, and Jeff Buckley. She has one of the most phenomenal voices I've ever heard, a talent for writing intricate and unforgettable lyrics, and a guitar that seems to have a life all of its own.

All of SJ's music may be listened to via streaming audio for free, with purchase and download links as well. A few of my personal favorites:

The Wendy Trilogy: Part I, Part II, Part III. Wendy gets fed up with Peter Pan and runs off to be a pirate instead.
Weightless: Perfectly captures the feeling of a new lover walking into your world and turning it upside-down.
City Of Marrow: Dark and haunting, inspired by the shrivelled city in Catherynne M. Valente's Orphan's Tales series.

Picking out just these songs was immensely difficult - it's hard to give a representative sample of SJ's work without just pointing you to the site and saying, "Listen to it all! Come back tomorrow!" In less than a year that [livejournal.com profile] quartzpebble have been listening, SJ's music has brightened our life, opening out eyes to entire new worlds. Now it will be our great honor to have her play in our home, and to share that with you.

RSVP link

For more information on SJ Tucker: sjtucker.com

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memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
Brian

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