oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 18th, 2017 09:11 pm)

Today has been mostly airports and planes - both flight AND connecting flight were delayed, so even more hanging about airports than anticipated.

Now fed and in hotel - serious lack of/unhelpful positioning of power sockets. But at least free wifi and brekkers inc.

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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm)
As we settled down to yoga today, a discussion broke out about switching from summer to winter wardrobes. I observed that I wear the same clothes all year round, I just wear more of them at once in the winter, which sounds like a joke, but is actually entirely accurate.

Two of my fellow yoga students revealed that they have a whole changeover process. For F it is a 3-day thing that makes her very happy. All her summer clothes are carefully folded away and put into storage, and her summer shoes go back into boxes - boxes that each have a photo on the outside for ease of identification. E does something similar, if slightly less extreme.

None of this makes any sense to me. I don't wear my winter coat in the summer because I'd be too hot, and I generally hope I don't need to wear boots in the summer, but that really is the limit of my wardrobe separation. Sleeveless tops that I might wear on their own in the summer go under things in the winter, or over long-sleeved t-shirts. Summer dresses with added leggings and jumpers become winter wear. It's not like we have massive seasonal variation in the weather here. Honestly, it's likely to vary as much in a single day as it does between seasons, which is why dressing in layers makes so much sense.

Poll #18832 seasonal clothes
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9

seasonal clothes

View Answers

I have separate summer/winter wardrobes
1 (11.1%)

I just wear the same stuff all year round
3 (33.3%)

it's more complicated (and I might elaborate in comments)
5 (55.6%)

we don't have seasons where I live
0 (0.0%)

I have a distinct change of season process

View Answers

2 (22.2%)

6 (66.7%)

1 (11.1%)

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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 18th, 2017 05:46 pm)
I have over the years built up a collection of comfortable, and very pleasing shoes. It pains me to say that I can no longer wear most of them.

The podiatrist I saw at the beginning of the year warned me that I need to wear orthotics, and I did invest in inserts and a pair of orthotic shoes, but I figured I just needed to wear them most of the time, and when the summer arrived I assumed that my walking sandals were adequately supportive. Then came the tendinitis and the physio telling me my walking sandals were no good for me. I bought new orthotic walking sandals and have worn them constantly all summer - even as slippers - to help reduce the impact on my tendons of my stupidly flexible feet and extended pronation.

I clung to the idea that I'd be able to wear my non-supportive shoes occasionally but, as well as being bad for me, they are no longer comfortable. I haven't yet made peace with the knowledge that I have to dispose of the old shoes, but I have started work on rebuilding a collection of fabulous shoes. Meet my new, orthotic-friendly Gudrun Sjoden boots:

Rebuilding my collection of fabulous shoes. Part 2. #orthoticfriendly #gudrunsjoden

Yes, they really are that colour. And I love them.
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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 18th, 2017 07:01 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] auguris and [personal profile] fitzcamel!
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 17th, 2017 08:36 pm)

Bread during week: a loaf of the Khorasan (kamut) flour, made as per instructions on the packet.

Friday supper, Gujerati khichchari, very nice, even if yet again I put in ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.

No Saturday breakfast rolls, as we were using up bread before going away, so had toast.

Today's lunch: lemon sole fillets, seasoned and panfried in butter, served with Ruby Gem potatoes roasted in goosefat, garlic roasted sweet sprouting cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli, and padron peppers.

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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 17th, 2017 04:23 pm)
I R DIGNIFIED CAT (pic by @abrinsky)

I R DIGNIFIED CAT, says the Princess

Mmmmmmmm, lunch #oftheday

Saturday lunch in Leamington. Omnomnom.
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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 17th, 2017 04:20 pm)
I strained my golden rod dye at lunchtime, and decided that there is so much of it I need to use some up, otherwise there will be a European golden rod lake in my freezer. Handily, I had a large-ish piece of silk noil in the 'prepared for dyeing' pile, so that went in the pot and

What a fabulous colour 💛💛💛 #goldenrod #naturaldyes #silknoil

OH MY! I am excited. I've added some cotton too, but that won't be as dramatic.
oursin: Hedgehog saying boggled hedgehog is boggled (Boggled hedgehog)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 17th, 2017 01:24 pm)

A pregnant woman working at a Queenstown ski field found a colleague had left a condom filled with mayonnaise and a crude note on her desk during a staff morale boosting event.

And okay, perhaps this is me being Very British Problems, but I'm fairly creeped out by the concept of

an event dubbed "woo week" where staff were encouraged to boost each other's morale using notes and gifts.

An event poster from NZ Ski encouraged staff to "Let those romantic and creative juices flow, to show your affections and/or appreciation for your woo'ee. "Whether you're single, married, defacto or other, woo week is fun for everyone. "You are assigned at random one person to woo in secret from 23-29th July," the poster read.

The ughfulness is terrific. I feel thar even short of the reported crudity, this has enormous potential for problems.

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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 17th, 2017 10:37 am)
Friday was my last day of dog walking duty. It was also abrinsky's day off, so the three of us went for a stroll through the autumn colours.

Autumn colours #oftheday #dogwalkingduty

After an early lunch I caught the train into Birmingham for a date with a friend. I had originally planned to Do Stuff and then meet her, but decided I was too tired and that actually spending time and money to see a friend is worth it and doesn't need a side-trip of justification. It was very much worth it. Two hours of chatting, coffee and hot chocolate was a lovely way to spend time.

Dreamworld through the train window

Sticking advertising over train windows is a particularly stupid idea. I had enjoyed simply staring out of the window on the way into Birmingham, but couldn't see anything on the way back. Grrr.
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([personal profile] steepholm Sep. 17th, 2017 08:16 am)
My daughter has been working at Sainsbury's for a week now, but yesterday was the first day I'd actually seen her in her Sainsbury's jacket and name badge, when she popped home for some things before heading out again into the night.

It did make me wonder, though, whether she would ever be able to go into a supermarket while so attired. If she went into different store, say the Co-op, I imagine she would be driven out by staff enraged by her livery, much as crows will mob a sparrow-hawk. But if she went into a different Sainsbury's the following exchange would have a certain comic inevitability:

C [to the cashier]: Just this chewing gum, please.
Cashier: That'll be 45p.
Manager [interrupting]: You! Get to Till 13 right away! Don't you know we're understaffed today?
C: Me? But I'm only buying some chew--
Manager [hands already bunching into fists]: Don't answer back! Till 13 - hop to it!
C: But I don't even work here.... [Is bustled away to Till 13 and spends the next 7 hours weighing carrots.]

I don't know why I imagine all managers as ex-RSMs, but I do.
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 16th, 2017 05:39 pm)

Why can’t we read anymore?.

When the author complains that he barely reads four books a year, I think we should be told how many he was wont to read before he got addicted to the distracting dopamine rush. (I write here as someone who considers that her number of books read per annum has almost certainly declined: to something in the region of 200-300. But held fairly steady even when I was being an Award Judge.)

I also think that perhaps we should be told what kind of books he's trying to read: in which case, perhaps it's the particular what that he's bouncing off.

(Because honestly, there are times when I find myself bouncing off particular kinds of things, or just not finding whatever it is that will tickle my reading taste-buds. And maybe this is about general mood-factors, and not just the siren song of the digital universe.)

And, of course, I will never not be somewhat amused by the way in which Reading Books has become this culturally worthy activity, because I can remember when it was otherwise...

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 16th, 2017 11:23 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] copperwise and [personal profile] noveldevice!
2017/73: Penric and the Shaman -- Lois McMaster Bujold
I take my first duty to be to souls, not laws. And to learn as well as teach, or what else do the gods put us in this world for? [loc. 856]

Four years have passed since Penric acquired, or began to host, the chaos demon he calls Desdemona. Now a fully-fledged Divine of the Bastard's Order, he is living in the palace of the Princess-Archdivine Llewen, sorcerously crafting printing plates, and studying greedily.
non-spoilery )
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([personal profile] white_hart Sep. 16th, 2017 10:08 am)
The Shortest Way to Hades is the second of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar novels, and is very similar to the first; Hilary, Professor of Legal History at Oxford, is called in by the junior members of the barristers' chambers at 62 New Square to investigate the death of a young woman who was recently involved in a variation of trusts case in which all of them represented various parties, and which they feel was suspicious. Like the first novel, it's entertaining and contains some lovely comic scenes; I particularly enjoyed the account of how Selena, on finding herself present at an orgy, decides that her preferred pleasure is in fact reading the copy of Pride and Prejudice she happened to have in her bag (a woman after my own heart!), and, having an Oxford background, I also very much liked Hilary's justification for not taking part in examining, which was an absolutely pitch-perfect example of the Oxford don's refusal to carry out a disagreeable task couched as a favour to absolutely everyone else. Meanwhile, the mystery was well enough plotted that I didn't come anywhere close to suspecting the real murderer until the final reveal, which is all you can really ask of a mystery, after all.

I think I enjoyed Thus Was Adonis Murdered more, but I'm not sure whether that's because the second book is so similar that I knew exactly what I was going to be getting and there wasn't the pleasure of discovering something new, or if I simply wasn't quite in the right mood for it; I certainly think it's just as good a book.
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 15th, 2017 02:06 pm)

Should probably say that my part of London is pretty distant from Parson's Green.


Dept of Fortuity: when you see news of a book that you would be really interested in reading, at eye-watering academic press prices, even for the ebook: and in a day or so having a request from the very same press to referee a book proposal for them, in return for BOOKS to a value that would cover this and a bit more.


Dept of O tempora o mores: The Tatler guide to threesomes. If Sir Charles Dilke did do as alleged during a divorce trial, and suggest a 3some with a lady and her maid, perhaps had he read this he would not have got into the hot water he did.


Dept of, is this a portent? Rare white giraffes sighted in Kenya conservation area. Are there local tales of the dire consequences of hunting a white giraffe? In this video clip the mamma has a rather 'I'm ready for my close-up now Mr de Mille' expression.


Dept of, is this not the return of the prefab: Home sweet micro home: sleep-testing a pod for the homeless.


Dept of, so out of touch he's floating in the void: Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to think that the poor are put into the world in order to allow people to acquire merit through charitable activity. O that Simon Raven were around to excoriate him as a fictional character as he did his father.

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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 15th, 2017 11:29 am)
Small white dog #oftheday #dogwalkingduty

When I returned from walking the small, white dog, my across-the-road neighbour appeared with a gift for me. I'd asked him a couple of weeks ago if I could have his discarded Golden Rod when he cut it down this year, as it's a dye plant and I would love to experiment with it. Not only did he remember, but he bundled it very neatly, and presented it like an outsized bouquet. So, I spent the next hour sitting in the sun, stripping the leaves and flowers from the stalks and squashing them into dyepots. The smell was pleasant - reminiscent of green apples - and when it simmered it took on a slightly aromatic, eucalyptus tone. I left the pots (yes, pots, plural) to cool in the porch overnight and I need to decide what to do with them pretty quickly.

Gift #oftheday #goldenrod #dyeingday

I have some fabric that I could throw in and see what happens, or I could freeze the strained dye for a time when I'm better prepared. Or, given how much of it there is, I could probably do both. But not today as I'm off to Birmingham this afternoon to catch up with a friend.


Last week I discovered that being an irresponsible citizen can pay. We've received multiple 'threatening' letters about our out-of-control garden growing over the boundary onto the footpath, but although they cited dates by which we must take action, they didn't mentioned any dire consequences should we fail to act. I am an awkward sod, so any feelings I had been having about how I needed to regain control of the garden invariably evaporated on reading these letters. Then, last Friday some workmen turned up and cleared up all the growth on the council's side of the boundary.
Clearly the threat is, tidy up your garden or we'll come and do it for you, which as threats go...


I hate flossing, so I don't do it. This week my dentist advised me not to floss, advice which I'm taking very seriously. He confirmed that the risk of getting floss stuck between my crowded teeth is real, and also told me that the downward force of tugging at floss can pull out fillings (of which I have many). So, I've been doing the right thing all these years. Go me.


I forgot to credit [personal profile] catwalksalone with recommending the pink posture stand to me. (She didn't actually tell me to get the pink one.) She is a wise and helpful friend.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 15th, 2017 09:10 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desert_dragon!
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 14th, 2017 05:38 pm)

I was mystified, and going 'what's your motivation here, luvvie?' by that guy who said he was playing the piano in a Bristol park to win back his ex and would not stop until he had.

Which seemed to me, along a spectrum from 'aw, romantic gesture' to 'equivalent of holding breath until turns blue', a lot closer to the latter.

Do we not think when he said

"The social media reaction turned it very quickly into something that would cause the one person I didn’t want to hurt embarrassment and pain.
"That was the last thing in the world I had wanted to happen, so I left.”
that that person was himself and not 'Rapunzel' (TWFU)?

And, while there is a folkloric tradition of women setting their suitors arduous tasks - as it might be, go to the Mountains of the Moon and bring me back a phoenix feather, and not just any manky feather, a nice large pinion in mint condition' - do we not wonder, my dearios, whether that was to get them out from under their feet and hanging about in stalkery fashion? (Obvs, is different when it is possessive father setting ordeal.)

I see I remarked some while since about the poem The Glove, that fair Cunegonde was probably hoping the tigers would eat Sir Delorges - but at least she did get him off her back.

I was also reminded of a couple of advice-column things I read somewhere, sometime: one of which was a woman complaining that her husband was always Making Things about the house and their friends would comment and be envious; but that she never got any kudos for the non-performative things she did in the household and would have been grateful for some less showy manifestations of activity on his part.

The other one was similarly about a guy who showed his devotion through DIY, rather than in a more usual and carnal fashion, and she would have preferred a spot of Ye Conjugales.

I suppose this may relate to that trope of 'men have no idea what presents to buy for their wives' and therefore buy things that are trite, inappropriate and unwanted.

This article that I just encountered seems apposite:

I remember, when I was breaking up with one of my exes years ago, he listed all the ways I made his life better when trying to convince me not to go. And I asked him, “but how do you think you make my life better?” and he was taken aback. “I don’t know,” he said. He’d never thought about it.

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 14th, 2017 09:14 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ann1962 and [personal profile] brewsternorth!
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([personal profile] forthwritten Sep. 13th, 2017 09:14 pm)
I've been really enjoying 10 of the best recently. With some bands, the appeal is in being reunited with songs dear as friends - revisiting them can be an experience in itself. With other bands that I know less well, it's learning of new-to-me songs, or seeing the music I know contextualised in a different way. With other bands, especially ones that I have listened to but lost track of, it's becoming aware of more recent work (especially when that work isn't easily accessed c.f. Burial's various EPs and collaborations). These are some of the lists I've particularly enjoyed or want to listen to later.

Northern Soul
Riot grrrl
Bollywood samples

Belle and Sebastian
Brian Eno
Cocteau Twins
David Bowie
Girls Aloud
Grace Jones
Joy Division
Leonard Cohen
Manic Street Preachers
Missy Elliott
Nick Cave
PJ Harvey
Siouxsie and the Banshees
St Vincent
Tori Amos
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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 13th, 2017 07:02 pm)
Alien invasion #oftheday #dogwalkingduty #buzzardsnotshown

I knew that standing up all day is tiring, it's something I notice when we have dyeclass days. Turns out it's also true when you stand still at the desk. I don't think it's a bad thing in the long run, I just hope I get used to it quickly. It certainly encourages me to keep moving around. On the whole, I think the posture stand will be a winner.

Today was generally being a winner. I took Percy for a walk in the sun and wind this morning, and it was exhilarating to be out there. One of my lovely neighbours dropped in briefly. I popped into town to do errands, and again felt exhilarated by the weather and by my ability to walk faster. I had a lovely lunch of leftover risotto. And then I checked my work email and found a reply from the client I'd emailed first thing this morning. Except it wasn't from him, it was from his wife, telling me he had a massive heart attack yesterday morning and she was just off to visit him in hospital.

They are both friends. I met her first, when I was her student doing a City & Guilds in patchwork and quilting - the thing that started me off on the printing and dyeing and general textile obsessions. He's a sweetie who often brings me homegrown produce when he calls on business. They both became friends, and I look forward each year to delivering the work I do for them, taking fifteen minutes to talk business and the rest of the two hours to drink coffee and put the world to rights. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

I have another client to whom I sent documents for signing last month. They probably reached her the day she had her operation for breast cancer. I haven't heard back from her yet. I hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.

I would really like this kind of thing to stop happening, thank you very much. I like my clients. I want them to be well and happy.

I cheered myself up by abandoning the standing desk and flopping on the bed to watch the last two episodes of Yes Minister. Bernard continues to be my favourite. He'd be my role model if only I were smart enough. I find myself wondering what would happen if Sam and Josh and Toby and CJ encountered Bernard and Sir Humphrey. Perhaps someone could work that out for me, in story form?
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 13th, 2017 01:35 pm)

What I read

Finished The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, which is indeed very good, just required a little more intellectual energy (and possibly, more concentrated reading time) than available to me during and in the aftermath of an academic conference.

Also finished Mitchison's Ghosts, which was very good, got I thought at Mitchison's own rather Schrodinger position on the supernatural. (Is there, has there been, a book to be written on the literary legacy of Margaret Murray's - exploded but in their day highly influential - theories about witchcraft and The Old Religion? I seem to have seen echoes of this, and Graves' White Goddess, over a range of writers and genres.)

Aliette de Bodard, Ships in Exile: Stories of Xuya - three novellas situated in de Bodard's longer future history, very good, just possibly needing a bit more context, but hey, this was a giveaway, wottahell.

Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel (1951) - spotted in booksale, and have been wanting to read since seeing the movie as is decades since I first read it. Confirmed that there is a honking great, plot-undermining, misunderstanding of testamentary law (I think there were ways this could have been got round in the narrative, but, really, a will made ten years previously would be voided by marriage. Even the lawyer does not remark on this). Also, up codfish and at 'em for Philip Ashley, no? (I will concede that the only du Maurier I have actually reread multiple times is Frenchman's Creek, it is absolutely a go-to work when convalescing from flu.)

Nicholas Blake, There's Trouble Brewing (1937). I was well pissed off when Georgina, having featured in the first few pages, is despatched to do some strenuous outdoor activity in the wilds of Scotland while Nigel Strangeways goes to, as he thinks, give a talk to a provincial literary society and hijinx nefarious deeds ensue. Quite good, i.e. readable, up to the final pages where we have a detailed reconstruction of how the crime must have been done (we have already come to, surprise whodunnit twist).

Sarah Gailey, Taste of Marrow (2017). Enjoyable.

Oh yes, and finally dragged myself through to the end of the book I was reading for review: very dry.

On the go

(I see that I have things listed as 'currently reading' on GoodReads that I should either mark gave up or on hiatus.)

Dorothy Heydt, The Witch of Syracuse (2017, but actually collecting together short stories published in anthologies during the 80s and 90s: free to download). Enjoying these: partly for the flashback to those days when there seemed more of this sort of thing around - women protags with agency but not necessarily ass-kicking ninjas.

Up next

I'm currently in a havering mood on various things as to whether I read them now or save them up for travel purposes.

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([personal profile] white_hart Sep. 12th, 2017 07:07 pm)
Reading Gwyneth Jones put me in mind of Rosemary Sutcliff, and as I'm off to Argyll on holiday soon I thought I would re-read The Mark of the Horse Lord, which is set in Argyll. Unlike most of Sutcliff's novels set in Roman Britain, Phaedrus, the protagonist of The Mark of the Horse Lord, isn't a Roman soldier; instead, he's a half-British ex-gladiator, son of a Greek wine merchant and a slave woman, who lived his whole life as a slave until being freed after winning a fight in the arena. By coincidence, he discovers that he is the exact double of Midir, the exiled prince of the Dalriad tribe, and is persuaded to impersonate Midir and travel beyond the northern boundary of the Empire to lead a rebellion and win back the kingdom of the Dalriads from Queen Liadhan, who has seized the throne and imposed the old matrilineal rule of the Earth-Mother in place of the patrilineal worship of the Sun-God. The plot is not dissimilar to The Prisoner of Zenda, really, as Phaedrus tries to take over another man's life and relationships and learn how to be a king.

This isn't my favorite Sutcliff; Phaedrus is a less sympathetic protagonist than the various members of the family in the Dolphin Ring saga, hardened by the years in the arena as he is, although he does become more sympathetic as the story goes on. I also don't find the society of the Dalriads, beyond the frontiers of the Empire, as interesting as the Roman society depicted in the books set inside the Empire, and, revisiting it now, I also feel that the conflict between the matrilineal and patrilineal societies is probably more nuanced than the book really suggests, and I wish we had got to see Liadhan's point of view as well as Phaedrus's.
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([personal profile] lamentables Sep. 12th, 2017 06:07 pm)
Shadow bunting #oftheday #dogwalkingduty #woodpeckernotshown

I had a lovely weekend, because I had a lovely [personal profile] soupytwist as a houseguest, and then the bonus of day spent in the company of [personal profile] raven too. How lucky can a girl be? Well, lucky enough to take advantage of Heritage Open Weekend in Coventry and visit The Weaver's House, The Watch Museum, the old Coventry Evening Telegraph building (again) and both of Coventry's cathedrals. There was also a visit to the noodle bar and another to the cafe in the cathedral crypt of coffee and cake. That's a lot of goodness there.

And it was just what I needed to fortify me for managing the last part of my charity exit. I started the week by shredding all the old paperwork in my charity drawer, which was massively therapeutic and gave me the impetus to complete the handover document I've been dithering over for weeks. After I sent that off this morning, I sorted out electronic files, deleting the old ones and handing over some that might be useful. Finally, I deleted all the old emails that had gone to my personal, rather than my official account. Donesky.

Next on my schedule, a trip to the dentist. Just a six month checkup and painless, apart from being forced to listen to a serious song by Neil Sedaka whilst trapped in the chair. Genuinely distressing.

This evening my Posture Stand arrived. My raspberry pink Posture Stand. So I'm standing up to type this. I'm hoping this will be good for my compressed nerve, my carpal tunnel issues, my tendons, my incipient hump, and my general tendency to sit still for too long. So far the verdict is: W.E.I.R.D.

Glancing through Ask A Manager this morning I spotted this (4th question down):

I work in a factory environment and split my time between the office and the factory floor, and when I work on the floor (where it’s always warm because of the machinery, especially in the summer), I usually end up sweaty. When I go back to the office, I do my best to cool off and dry my face and hair, and I often wrap a scarf around my head to absorb the sweat. For some reason, people think this makes me look like a ninja warrior. I’m not making this up — many people (mostly from outside my department) have said this on numerous occasions, and they seem to think it is a hilarious observation. I have lost count of how many people have asked me, “Haha, are you a ninja warrior?” or simply stated, “Oh, you’re wearing your ninja headband today.”
(poster has a health problem causing excessive sweating.)

But people do that much more generally, it's really, really, annoying, because they each of them think they are the first one to have made this hilarious (NOT) comment about your appearance or thing you are doing.

While invoking the health necessity angle may get them off this poster's back, I am not sure there is any way - short of the 'when I am dictator of the universe' scenario* - that one can stop people doing this really very irksome thing.

*When there will be extreme penalties for standing on the wrong side of the escalator or clustering at entrances in such a way that no-one can get by, and stopping dead either going into or coming out from the automatic gates to the Tube (and at top/bottom of the escalator).

(Sustainable alternatives to codfish, suitable for thwacking purposes, will have to be sought.)


oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 12th, 2017 09:32 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] davidgillon and [personal profile] surexit!

Okay, I will not say through all the world in all societies, throughout the whole of history, but I do think that the guy in this interview is saying something that is of much longer duration and found more extensively is due to a phenomenon that's a mere fifty years old:

I don’t think you can look at the misogyny that’s been evident in this election cycle, and what any female commentator or essayist or public speaker endured on the internet or any social media setting, and not realise that pornography has changed the demeanour of men. Just the way that women are addressed for their intellectual output, the aggression that’s delivered to women I think is informed by 50 years of the culturalisation of the pornographic.
I cannot help feeling that there is - maybe? perhaps? - more awareness of the viciousness of misogyny, because it's actually more generally visible because of the internet, rather than because:
the anonymity of social media and the internet has allowed for a belligerence and a misogyny that maybe had no other outlet. It’s astonishing how universal it is whether you’re 14 or 70, if you’re a woman and you have an opinion, what is directed at you right now. I can’t help but think that a half century of legalised objectification hasn’t had an effect.
As if, you know, women hadn't been experiencing misogyny well before then; not to mention in societies where (at least until the internet) men did not have, or only had very limited, access to pornography.

I do wonder if this is part of a longer recurrent phenomenon (because that's the way I roll) of blaming Awful Behaviour By Men on some new thing in society: do I not recall, my dearios, when Feminism was blamed for The Decline of Chivalry (that chivalry that was as mythical as the unicorn, really). And assigning it a single causative mechanism rather than, you know, centuries of patriarchal hegemony.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 11th, 2017 09:14 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] daegaer and [personal profile] syderia!
When I was finishing my PhD I tried to get a job with the marketing department of Rowntree's chocolate factory in York, where I was then living. It's lucky I failed, because had I known it they were about to be bought up by the evil Nestlé corporation, and I'd have had to resign almost immediately.

In those days I was a great admirer of Rowntree's advertising (the Kit Kat panda ad is perhaps the most famous). But the Rowntree crown was soon to be stolen by Marmite, who took the old "love it or hate it" adage about their product and ran with it in a way that makes Pheidippides look like a sprinter. Here's an early effort on that theme, from some time in the early 2000s:

Simple, yes, but ground-breaking in that the entire advert is based around someone hating the product.

After that, they became far more sophisticated, and developed a brilliant line in spoofs on TV genres. Here they are riffing on the animal rescue programmes:

For a long time, I thought they wouldn't top that. But now, along comes the DNA test reveal advert. This, in my opinion, is simply genius. Here is modern Britain in a nutshell (not that Marmite contains nuts):

oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 10th, 2017 09:04 pm)

Bread, during the week: wholemeal spelt/strong white flour, 4:1 mixed up with buttermilk, very nice.

Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple with molasses and mixed spice.

Today's lunch: chicken wings teriyaki (okay, but would have been better if I'd remembered to marinate them for 30 mins before baking in the oven), with Greek spinach rice, chicory healthy-grilled in pumpkin seed oil and splashed with bramble vinegar, and padron peppers.

Bread seems to be becoming a weekday project.



faustus: (Default)

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