Friday, October 24th, 2014 09:01 pm
Today I drew a tree of the relationships between the Dravidian languages (because someone asked about Tamil). Source.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 03:11 pm
At Las Vegas airport. The flight is scheduled to leave in 1.5 hours and arrive in Germany at 13 o'clock local time. I have lots of music, a good book (still reading Ancillary Justice) and three movies downloaded to my cell phone via Google Play Music. Still, I hope to sleep a bit on the first half of the flight to make the jet lag a bit more bearable.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 10:10 pm
We got some crickets in the post today, so I put them into a tank we use for feed insects, and there were some Zophobas morio worms in there still. Z. morio is a long wriggly worm when it's a larva, and this is the form in which it's used as spider food. I was surprised, because we haven't had new Z. morio in for months, and I'd assumed that if there were any leftovers they'd be dead by now. But then I noticed the large number of small brown-black beetles in the tank and realised that the worms were (at least) second generation. I don't think I'd ever realised what they looked like when they grew up before: they're small, about a centimetre across, around the size of a new halfpenny.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 04:59 pm
The holiday is close to over. I am currently at the Grand Canyon, tomorrow we'll drive to Las Vegas and leave for the airport in the morning. Hopefully, Condor will not continue its strike...

Seattle and San Francisco were great, Redwood was stunning, as were Kings Canyon/Sequoia and Joshua Tree. The Red Rock Canyon State Park was really nice, especially for such a small area.

I must say, though, that I was underwhelmed by both Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Both were very "touristy" and with Yosemite we could really only see the Valley, which is stunning, but somehow my expectations were really high. And the Grand Canyon is beautiful and stunning and spectacular, but unless you can actually hike down it sort of feels like viewing a pretty picture, maybe? And way, way too touristy. We hiked a bit and that was nice, but nothing compared to hiking at Redwood or Joshua Tree.

Is this completely strange? Am I the only person not spiritually transformed by seeing the Grand Canyon?
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 07:48 am
This is my new favorite Robert Frost poem.

We're singing the Randall Thompson setting, which really shades it perfectly.
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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 07:15 am
My new iPad is supposed to arrive at my door some time today. I got an email last night from Apple saying the refurb I ordered was no longer available, so they sent me a new one at no additional charge. In other words, I just got a brand new 32 GB LTE iPad mini 2 for the same price as a 16 GB WiFi iPad mini 3. *boggle*

Now I get to dither with myself over whether to start using it immediately or to put it under the Christmas tree.

Speaking of Christmas, there's a new Pentatonix holiday EP coming out today, and I can't decide whether to buy it immediately or let someone else have the chance to give it to me. Instant gratification is so tempting.

I found out yesterday that Guster is coming back to town next February! The presale tickets are supposed to go on sale today at noon. They're doing some sort of promotion where everyone who buys a concert ticket gets a free download of the new album when it drops in January. If I end up receiving 4 download codes, I'll try to pass the other three along.

Our chorus concert is finally upon us. I never did get a chance to audition for solo parts, because the director decided to just choose who he wanted. I can't complain though, because I probably would have made the same choices in his position. There is more than one piece that we've only rehearsed in full once, so I'm a bit nervous, but I really love the program. I'm going to try to insist that Robby bring the boys this year. I think they're old enough to behave themselves, and everything we're singing this time is in English.

I need to ask Heather's husband if he's still open to the idea of sitting with the kids on rehearsal nights so that Robby can join us next year for Carmina Burana. The women in the chorus outnumber the men two to one, so I know his voice would be a welcome addition. One of my high school friends is planning to join us for that as well. Should be fun!
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 03:00 am
A few years back, sorting through some of my old papers, I found this poem. It's dated 11th December 1988, when I was nearly fourteen.

FRIENDS

They will stand beside you
When all things are good.
And in the times when things are bad
Beside you they have stood.
They always tell the truth to you
As every good friend must
And they are reliable:
Friends you always trust.
They never will say nasty things
About the clothes you wear
They'll stand up for you against others
When you're not there.
You can always trust your friends
To hold your place in queues.
They'll always tell you "You played well",
Even if you lose.
Always keeping by your side:
Friendship never ends.
Yet, after all, we're only human:
Who has friends?
Friday, October 17th, 2014 09:17 pm
Traveling and maintaining the RL persona travel blog is taking up all of my energy.

Redwood was amazing.

Yosemite was nice, but Yosemite Valley is way too touristy for me. Couldn't do much else because the husband has a cold.

Kings Canyon is amazing and wonderful and did I mention amazing?

Oh, and Netflix US is great. I got a craving for Sci-fi again and now I am rewatching Star Trek Voyager. Oh my, that series is... Sometimes great and sometimes really awful.
Friday, October 17th, 2014 12:53 am
Tell me some more about when you saw light on my window.
Earlier on you were lost like a slave I can't free.
I understand you.
Is it because I deceived you that you came to me?
My, my, my, Eliza!
Why, why, why, Eliza?
I can see you're just a conditional tree
But you remind me we came here to talk about me.
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Thursday, October 16th, 2014 06:12 pm
I just did the thing I've done once before (with my Mac Mini) where, the day the newest version of an Apple product is launched, I immediately track down one of the devices that just got demoted to "no longer the latest and greatest" while it is still available, but at a discount.

So in a week or so, I should receive a second generation iPad mini. The only significant difference between it and the new one is the addition of Touch ID, which isn't a killer feature in my book.

My first generation iPad mini is still ticking along faithfully, but the headphone jack no longer works, and it only has 16 GB of memory, making it difficult to free up enough space to upgrade to iOS 8. The new one I ordered today will have 32 GB. I'm also looking forward to having a Retina display.

Also, with the release of Yosemite today, my laptop is now three major OS versions out of date. I should probably get around to upgrading it sometime in the next few months.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014 06:01 pm
"I'm a perfectionist... no, that's not right."
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Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 05:14 pm
So I'm not really part of Marvel fandom and really not at all familiar with the comics. But I just read a spoiler for the next movie and I'm confused )
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 02:45 am
Here's a conversation on Twitter between me and a man I don’t know in China. (FWIW I have a rather androgynous-looking user picture.)

He said, “Is it true that less than half of UK MPs voted for the resolution to recognise Palestine?”
I said, “Yes. But that’s irrelevant to the validity of the vote.”
He said, “Oh, I think it’s the most relevant thing in the world, sweetheart.”
I said, “I can only tell you what the standing orders of the House say. And I don’t appreciate being called ‘sweetheart’.”
He said, “sorry but when I hear a little dumb-dumb girl talking silly things I think of my 8 year old girls.”

Monday, October 13th, 2014 01:51 am

...when dealing with difficult people on the Internets.

Read more... )
Sunday, October 12th, 2014 11:10 pm
CW: Gamergate... )
Saturday, October 11th, 2014 08:01 am
San Francisco is awesome, but exhausting. So much to do, so little time and also so much walking.

Yesterday, we:
* saw the Golden Gate Bridge like good little tourists
* saw sea lions and way too many tourists
* walked through Chinatown - a lot
* rested in Yerba Buena Gardens
* had dinner at a Thai place Mission District

The hotel is... interesting. Great location (Marina District), a giant mirror next to the bed, flower tapestry and red light in the bathroom. Huh.

Today, Alcatraz, buying jeans and whatever else we can fit in.