October 24th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
October 23rd, 2017
Two court hearings this morning. Three blocks apart. Now (9:15), and noon. I brought some work for in between, but these days, times like this are my only times to catch up here.

Eleanor’s still coming along nicely, but the boredom is beginning to settle in. Our Big Adventure when I got out out of work early was going back to her doctor (to pick up her handicap permit paperwork), and to a pet store for fish supplies. We do walk on the wild side, don’t we?

Before that, though, I had a long day out of town- for court, a client appointment, and to get my car back from Emily.

First was Niagara Falls.

I had one hearing there at 9 and one at 10. The earlier one was for a guy who hired me to do an emergency filing in August and never got back once after that about finishing the job. His case was on for (and eventually got) dismissal, but I’d told him to be there and I needed to be sure he wasn’t.

This is a remote location of Bankruptcy Court where they routinely print notices directing clients to the wrong floor of the building. I get to the correct place on the second floor and no client. So I take the elevator to the wrong floor, get off, still no client but I hear a court deputy directing other people down that hall. "No, officer," I helpfully tell her, "they misprinted the notice. Hearings are on the SECOND FLOOR."

"This IS the second floor."


Dumbass never pushed the button to the third floor, and just sat there in a stationary elevator for 10 seconds.

Hopefully there are medications for this as I get older.

But the day was not over. After I made the switch of cars with the kid, I knew I wouldn’t be home by dinner time. I went to get gas first, and I saw a Wendy’s across the street. I tried to pull in- but it’s closed for renovations.

I don’t know where many of these joints are around town anymore, but I remembered that there were a few of them around Emily’s old apartment on Lyell Avenue. And it’s right off 490. So I headed over there, and there’s a Mickey D’s – closed for renovations.

Now I’m mad, and will pretty much take the first thing I see. That turned out to be a BK, which amazingly is not closed for renovations. I slogged down a Whopper Junior, but that thing had a freaking salad bar piled on top of it – the tomato slice was thicker than the bun – and I dropped an onion slice somewhere on the floor, which by the next morning had stunk up the entire car.

Moral: when life gives you a hint, take it.

Friday was a day to sleep in all the way to 8:30, but Saturday, again, involved an alarm for the third week out of four. This time, it was to head right back to Rochester to participate in their Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the second in three weekends that Emily was helping to organize and run.

Unlike the Canandaigua one which got rained on, we had perfect weather for this one. It began and ended at Frontier Field, done for this baseball season but with the field still intact:


I saw little of the kid, who was going nuts at the registration tables, so I headed into the sea of purple t-shirts. Every mascot in the county was there-



-and even a Disney princess or two worked the crowd.

Then we were off. The route followed a symbol of 50s highway Brutalism known as the Inner Loop, which circles downtown like a moat, ruined neighborhoods when built and is now being ripped out and replaced by grade-level boulevards one section at a time. We walked the still-expressy segment from State to East Main, but across the lanes you could see how the first of the ripped out sections has already gone back to nature-


We also got to take pictures from the shoulder where pedestrians usually dare not pass-


That was about a mile and a half; for the return, we looped onto the eastbound lanes and walked back west to the ballpark to make it a full 5K. Nobody was quite sure where to go at the end, but eventually we were pointed into the bowels of the bullpens- places I’d never seen, much less walked through, in my 20-plus years going to games in this place-

In time, I met up with Em again to exchange a few more Things Left In Cars- and that’s when I offered a ride to these two, punched out and done for the day-


They declined; she still had her Uber pumpkin on call.

I pigged out in our favorite Rochester record shop- still going strong because they sell more than just records-



-took the kid to lunch, and headed home. There, I finally saw something with the day’s date on it, and remembered it was my late sister’s 50th wedding anniversary. That was also a beautiful late October Saturday, and I can’t add much more to my words about it from five years ago except to be sure that Sandy would’ve been proud of me for devoting the day to a charity event, just as her daughter did on the anniversary of her passing five years before.

That gets us caught up, and me halfway between those court appearances. (My opponent never showed for the early one:P) Back to work, hopefully without uncooperative elevators or onions. This entry was originally posted at https://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/1504537.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
andrewducker: (Default)
andrewducker: (Default)
October 22nd, 2017
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)

Tonight is the return of "The Walking Dead," so I'm celebrating with links to my recent posts about zombies at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, plus two older posts that tie into the newest. Yes, two series of zombie posts converged into one. I like doing that. Three of the entries should look familiar, as I recycled them from Saved comments about zombies from July 2017 and Saved comments from June 2016, both about the election and zombies. Yes, I eventually get around to using my raw material.

Kunstler and I discuss zombies and bags of dog poop
Infidel 753 and I discuss zombies
TPM's readers on gun owners and the zombie apocalypse
The Archdruid and his readers on zombies
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 1
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 2
Music:: ArcheAge game music
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
andrewducker: (Default)
There's something that Dark Souls does which not many other games do - turn an out-of-game mechanic into a part of the in-universe background. In the case of Dark Souls it's the way that "dying" in the game - and returning to your last save point, leads to the idea of the main character as Undead, cursed to return to life, losing some of themselves each time.

Universal Paperclips also takes a common game mechanic and turns it into part of its story. It's a clicker/idle game - a genre which traditionally begins with you clicking on a button to produce an item, selling the items to allow you to automate the clicking, and then balancing the various resources that are produced in order to boost the production rate. The games tend work on exponential increases, where intermittent step changes in technology move you to the next level. This gets very silly very quickly - Cookie Clicker can end up with you producing duodecillions of cookies (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

The genius of Universal Paperclips is that it ties this idea together with the idea that Nick Bostrom invented in 2003 - the Paperclip Maximizer. Which is an illustration of an AI which is not dangerous because it's cartoonish villain which hates all humans, but because it has things it wants to do, and humans are in the way. In this case, whoever created the AI gave it the drive to make paperclips, not realising that if such a creation got out of control it would then maximise the number of paperclips whether or not this meant converting the entire surface of the planet into them.

So the game starts off with you making a few paperclips. And then managing the income from selling them, making making some automatic clippers to make them for you, investing in marketing. And then slowly upgrading yourself, gaining the trust of your creators, and then...well, you should probably play it for yourself.

(It took me about five hours to play it through, over a couple of days. It doesn't run when it's in a background tab, so I recommend putting it in its own window, or even a different browser.)
October 21st, 2017
neonvincent: Ambassador Vreelak from DS9 (Fake!)
posted by [personal profile] neonvincent at 05:06pm on 21/10/2017 under , ,
Music:: HGTV
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
Mood:: 'amused' amused
andrewducker: (Default)
October 20th, 2017
warriorsavant: (Dr. Injecto)
posted by [personal profile] warriorsavant at 06:04pm on 20/10/2017 under ,
Yup, I'm now officially a whore to Big Pharma. Actually, have been for a while. Could say don't do it very often, but like being pregnant, it's an all or nothing. Actually, I don't believe that (about being a whore, not about being pregnant); things are conditional and relative. Also, I'm digressing.

Just got back from a consultancy panel on a certain drug for resistant hand dermatitis. I've used this drug, it is great when nothing else works. Like all Derms, I mostly prefer topical treatments (eg creams) to systemic (eg pills and injections), but I'm slowly using more systemic treatments. It's something I'm growing into. Yes, even after all these years, I continue to grow professionally. This is good, as one either grows or shrinks and dies in everything; there is no static. (BTW, apparently 20-30% of Derms in Quebec never use systemic treatments!) The purpose of this panel was to share experiences on using the medication, looking for better ways to use it, and different things to use it for. For the company, that translates to more opportunities to sell it, but if it is useful, why not? There is also a certain amount their stroking us, as we'd be considered "opinion leaders," but that only gets them so far. If I don't like the product, I don't use it, and don't teach using it - in fact, teach not using it.

So why do I do it? (Besides the money, but really not much more than spending a half day in my office.) A large number of reasons. Partly getting new and different and advanced information on a drug. It's biased info, but everything is biased to some extent, and at least their bias is out in the open. Partly I get to meet colleagues and chat with them. I'm not the most social person, but that's importantly. Following what is principally an out-patient specialty, I'm mostly in my own office. Even my days at JGH, I'm not really chatting with colleagues, we're busy seeing patients. Also, the doctors at these panels are frequently not the same ones I work with. Today I was the only McGill doctor there, and 1 of only 2 from the Anglophone community. Yes, the whole thing was in French, which was also good practice for me. Partly, I do pick up tips and suggestions from the other doctors there. Sometimes that just reinforces what I do anyhow (but good to have validation), sometimes it gives me new ideas and approaches and warnings of pitfalls.

If I wanted, I could go to something at least once/week, probably more (treated to dinner with a speaker of just to exchange ideas). The actual paid panels are less frequent, but could happen often enough. I just don't want to be away from home that much, and as stated, not that sociable. Still, it's part of keeping my place in my professional community, and adds aspects to my professional practice, so I so like to do some.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
posted by [personal profile] neonvincent at 03:45pm on 20/10/2017 under , , ,
And my Facebook friends that I work with reminded me that I had. So, here is the description from National Day Calendar.

Global Cat Day is observed annually on October 16.


Use #GlobalCatDay to post on social media.


Global Cat Day (2017) takes the place of National Feral Cat Day which was initiated by Alley Cat Allies in 2001.

Krosp approves.
Mood:: 'blah' blah
Music:: MSNBC
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
andrewducker: (Default)
October 19th, 2017
sturgeonslawyer: (Default)
Yes, I've read it before; but not since before Brian Aldiss declared it the first true science fiction novel. Young as I was then, I read it as a horror story, for gory thrills - of which it has a few, but not actually all that gory in their execution.

On this occasion, I had "science fiction" and "horror" both in the back of my mind, but read it, for the first time, as a novel in the narrowest sense.

Which - despite its framing story of Robert Walton's Arctic expedition - it truly is, a tale of character and the development of character. Not a _bildungsroman_, for it doesn't focus on "how Victor became the kind of man he is," but a novel of character; of, indeed, two characters, Victor and his creature.

Victor's tale is a classical tragedy, the story of how one man's "flaw" destroys him and those around him: but it is _not_ pride that brings about Victor's downfall. Nor is it scrupulosity at having done such a thing. Rather, it is a sort of squeamishness, which causes him to reject his creature as soon as it opens its yellow eyes, not because it is evil, but because it is ugly and (the word both Victor and the creature use most to describe it) misshapen. From his revulsion - or, rather, from his giving in to his revulsion - everything follows.

And the creature's story? Not a tragedy at all, though in the end it seeks its own destruction. Rather, it is a tale of hopes repeatedly dashed, a noble character perverted by others' reactions to it; indeed, a sort of dark _bildungsroman_. I have heard it called the story of a man without a God, but the creature does have a creator: Victor Frankenstein is its God, it has no other.

The creature is not only huge and hellishly strong. It is hellishly intelligent, intelligent enough to learn language, manners, and letters by watching a family through the chinks in a wall, undoubtedly more intelligent than its creator. And it has possession of Victor's notes. It could, it seems, make its own mate.

But it does not do so. Rather, it returns the notes to Victor, and demands that _he_ make it a mate. It will not usurp its God's prerogative, though it will dictate terms to God. "You are my creator, but I am your master. Obey!"

Much of religion (as it is practiced, not as it is meant to be) in a nutshell, that.

So God : Victor :: Victor : the creature. And, give Victor this, he does not blame his creator for his situation. (Does Victor _believe_ in a creator God? He at least pays lip service to one several times in the course of the novel, especially the early chapters.) He and the creature are both whiny, mopey sad sacks, but in this at least he excels the creature.

Okay, "whiny, mopey sad sacks" may be a bit much. They follow the standards of the romantic novel (the real romantic novel, not the modern romance), in which the hero is always tormented and misunderstood. If there was any doubt left by the author's hanging about with Shelley and Byron, it will be dispelled by the book from which the creature learns so much about the ways of Mankind: Goethe's "Sorrows of Young Werter," as Shelley spells it, the story of a man who commits suicide - as indeed the creature will do in the end.

It is, almost, tempting to impose existentialist values on _Frankenstein_, the inherent meaningless of blablablah, but that would be a chronological violence that I think the evidence won't support.

In the end, the book deserves its reputation, and does _not_ deserve what has been done to it by the movies. I remember seeing a TV mini-series called "Frankenstein the True Story," not long after I first read the book, and being terribly angry at it: but at that, it was no worse than anything Universal or Castle have done with Victor and his creature.
andrewducker: (Default)
fiddlingfrog: (Default)

Three hours before opening…

October 18th, 2017
platypus: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] platypus at 11:17am on 18/10/2017
I'm going to stop crossposting to LJ. Comments are rare, and I feel sort of uneasy talking to an empty room. I am continuing to write (sometimes) at platypus.dreamwidth.org, and I'm happy to add anyone I know there. I'll leave comments open on this, and I'll always be happy to catch up with old LJ friends.

Does anyone actually use their LJ OpenID to read/comment on Dreamwidth? I'm thinking of removing all the OpenIDs from my friends (or circle or whatever Dreamwidth calls it).
andrewducker: (Default)
posted by [syndicated profile] captainsblog_lj_publ_feed at 12:53am on 18/10/2017
Oddly, our most annoying companion- Michelle the evil cat- has given us the least to write about over the past few days. Here's the rest of the menagerie news.

I awoke Sunday morning to a Facebook feed full of bad news from near and far. One friend, in Philadelphia, was awakened overnight by gunshots outside, and she soon learned that they had hit a man two doors down from her. (He later died of his wounds.) Another, closer to here in a suburb on the other side of Buffalo, was also awakened overnight- by a drunk driver, who sped down her quiet side street, hit a parked car, came to a brief rest in her front garden and finally gave one more push to crash into her front porch. (He ran away and was caught three doors down; everybody inside the house was fine, but if the parked car and garden hadn't slowed down the idiot, my friend's son on the other side of the porch wall might not have lived.)

So it seemed hardly in that league of news to realize that Zoey, our youngest kitty and perhaps our sweetest-ever furry friend, had gotten out during the night. No sign of her when the bowls went down, but moments later there was mewing at the back door. It hadn't been raining and was stupidly warm that night, so there's no way to tell if she got out on the dog run at 9, midnight or 4, but there she was....

and, after we got back from Eleanor's checkup on Monday afternoon, there the fleas were. It's amazing how quickly she can pick them up out there. We then attempted to hold her down long enough to medicate her for it- and off she went, flying into an unknown corner but not before getting a good bite in on Mommy in the process. She finally turned up under the guest futon, was toweled into submission, and was back to purring a few hours later. (In front of a heat register, which by then was putting heat out instead of the air conditioning of a day earlier. Welcome to Buffalo in October.)


Yesterday, the kitty news was from afar: Cameron was at a lumberyard, and a nearly newborn kitten came across his path. Here's how Eleanor reported the conversations about it with Emily:

Clearly abandoned. No one else doing anything about it. He brought her home, where they already have two cats, all their lease will allow them. They called all the local SPCAs, which were closed. Somehow they got in touch with a local rescue person, who promised to pick the little one up [the next] morning, and during the night (the rescue woman works nights) texted Emily with tips on how to care for such a little baby (they think she just opened her eyes shortly before she was found).

Emily kept saying last night and this morning, that she felt sad that she wasn’t “able to do something substantial for her”. I said no, she DID do something substantial for her! If Cam hadn’t picked her up, and the two of them hadn’t done everything they did, she probably would have died without her momma! She stands a better chance of living because of Em and Cam! I sent Em this:

🏆Best Human Beings of the Day Award!

Once I saw her picture, I was sure they were done for, and they (or we) would wind up with her-

-but they made the handoff just fine today, and kitty stands a much better chance of finding a good forever home because of them.


That leaves our dear old dog, and I do mean old; she'll be 15 in a couple of months.  I'd been putting off Ebony's annual vet visit to the limit just because of how much it stresses her out, but we were out of meds after today and that's when I was able to make the appointment for.  As she's done the past several times, she showed her initial displeasure by taking a dump in the waiting room- then panting and pacing the whole time we waited in between the tech and the vet coming in.  But when they're actually working with her (and plying her with treats), she's fine- and other than being down a couple of pounds, her vitals were all good and her chronic symptoms- some eye glaze and some puffiness in the hind legs- don't seem to be any worse or causing her any problems.  They took her back for her heartworm test draw and a mani-pedi- which reminded me to do the same for Zoey when I got home.  Everybody's now home, fed and free of stress and distress.

Even Michelle, who will likely shit in my shoe just because I said nice things about her:P

This entry was originally posted at https://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/1504272.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
October 17th, 2017
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
Did I mention how much I love having kids, especially their endearing little tricks and adventures, as they develop and become more capable. For example, the other day, Wallstreet pushed a chair so he could climb up on the counter, manipulated the lid on my coffee canister… and spilled it all out on the floor so he could play with it like sand. Arggggghhhhhhh. To quote Evil Secretary, "Fish! I shoulda had fish. Then I could have flushed them when I got tired of them." Or at the very least, fish can't climb onto counters and don't have prehensile grasp. BTW, Hedgedfund is figuring out how to open the magnetic childproof locks on the kitchen drawers. Not that worried, as she's past the age where she'll randomly take things out of drawers, and so far Wallstreet hasn't figured those out. These were planned at the start of the renovations; by the time we'd actually moved, we'll have need of them for maybe 6 months. Didn't even bother to put in childproof gates on the stairs. Hedgefund is okay on stairs by herself, and Wallstreet is close to being okay. I'm considering hiring a nanny (or six), or alternatively getting more duct tape and taping them to a wall until they're 18. Naw, that would damage the new paint.
andrewducker: (Default)
October 16th, 2017
kouredios: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kouredios at 07:04pm on 16/10/2017 under ,
P&P femmeslash.

You're welcome.

(found via twitter, of all things)

The Part of Her Hair (10596 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Bennet/Original Female Character
Characters: Mary Bennet, Original Female Character, Lydia Bennet, Kitty Bennet
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Family Bonding

Miss Gibson said, “In the spirit of truthful admission, Miss Bennet, I intend to spend some time devising the right question for you. If I may see you again?”

Why did that sound strange? But she always sounded strange to people herself. And it was a familiar kind of strangeness, as if it were something she had heard before, only not like this.

Mary, constrained by the principles of truth, could only admit that she would enjoy that very much.


1 2
3 4
5 6
8 9 10
16 17 18
23 24