Eclipse day!

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:31 pm
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
The eclipse was definitely the height of my work day. I made a pin hole camera and got a bunch of other people to try it out too! But otherwise it was a dull, mundane day, and I was sleepy and under productive.

Oh well, better luck tomorrow! Maybe I'll be less distracted by cool astronomical events >.>


-------

Oh hey I thought I actually posted that yesterday? But I guess not. Okay then! Well it is no longer eclipse day. It is just a mundane Tuesday. I got things done at work. I got a lot of things done when I got home - I got some yarn scoured and mordanting, I wove in the ends in my larp shawl, I Dealt With walnuts in various stages of decay - tossed some, bagged some for dyeing, and hung some to dry downstairs where I can maybe... eat? them? later? I set up some discord channels (though the pokemon invite had expired, d'oh), and I did a bit of knitting. And drank some cider. Tomorrow I am going to a yarn shop in the evening with a friend, and maybe doing some more dyeing stuff, I dunno.

Now I am going to drink the rest of the cider, and go to sleep.

Night!

Instagram: August 22, 2017 at 06:44PM

Aug. 23rd, 2017 01:44 am
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
Sharak is just about ready for Dragon*Con! Forgive my appalling calligraphy skills. #saiyuki #sharaksanzo #cosplay

[story] The Statue Beneath the Sea

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:23 pm
yhlee: Flight Rising Spiral dragon, black-red-gold (Flight Rising Jedao baby Spiral)
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] storme.
Prompt: d├ępaysement.

The Statue Beneath the Sea

Once upon an ocean, a statue dwelled beneath the waves. In days past the statue had been brightly painted and crowned with gilt, with jewels for eyes and jewels set in its magnificent wings. It remembered dancers crowding its plaza and lovers exchanging promise-poems beneath its benevolent gaze, parades of helmeted youths and prophetesses giving speeches in the sinuous language of time unwound.

It had never met the general whose victories it was meant to commemorate, although it knew that some statues had that privilege. But it had their smooth face and their smile, and even though the jewels of its eyes had long ago been stolen by treasure-scavengers, it had something of the general's vision. It knew the stories of the general and their honored lover the lady scholar, and how they had built the old city to a precipice of grandeur.

Those days had passed long ago, however, and the wars of weather-mages had sunk the city below the sea. No one now living remembered the city's name the way it had been spoken by its inhabitants, although it lingered in distorted whispers and siren-songs that wound through the tides. The statue remembered its people and yearned for whatever scraps of myth it could gather from the gossip of gulls and sailors.

The fish and the anemones, mindful of the statue's melancholy, spoke with it little. In truth it would have welcomed their chatter. But when it asked them for stories of war (in honor of its general), they could only share tales of cannonades and blood staining the foam, so different from the swift chariots and dust-clouds it knew of, and its melancholy only deepened.

At last an entourage of dragons, distant cousins of the Dragon King Under the Sea, visited the sunken city. One of the dragons, hardly more than an eggling as dragons reckon time, especially liked to explore vanished civilizations. She was particularly taken by the statue's eroded marble surfaces, seeing in them the litany of years gone and years to come.

The statue told the dragon of its vanished city, and its general's victories--more fable than truth by this point, not that there was anyone to correct it--and the dragon listened eagerly. She began telling the statue's stories to the sharks and the seahorses, the terns and the turtles. Soon the creatures of the sea came to listen to the statue as well, and to honor it with their tribute.

It wasn't long before the statue's old plaza was surrounded by nets woven of pirates' beards, and strands of coins marked around the rim with praises to octopus gods, and bits and pieces of filigree armor snatched from soldiers fallen overboard. The creatures of the sea, not to mention the dragons, began frequenting the statue's plaza, and carrying out their own ceremonies there.

While the statue knew that the people it had once known would never return, and that the old city was dead in truth, it found some comfort in seeing a new one arise where the old had been.
maeve_of_winter: (Default)
[personal profile] maeve_of_winter
Title: Second Time Around

Link: Here at AO3

Pairing: FP Jones/Kevin Keller

Summary:  When his Omega walks out on him and his family, FP Jones is then considered a disgraced Alpha, incapable of caring for and unworthy of having a mate. When he has the opportunity to marry Omega Kevin Keller, FP Jones is determined to take him as a mate to provide another mother to his children, but he’s caught off-guard when he finds himself falling for Kevin along the way.

Warnings/Notes: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics.
 
 

A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:02 am
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.) has been on my wishlist for something like the past five years. I picked it up recently by ordering it through my local game store (which is technically also a bookstore and is in the process of signing on with distributors or however that goes). It is an absolute delight.

I'm glad I sprung for the hardcopy of this for two reasons: one, I like to mark up my nonfiction, and two, its formatting! The left-hand page in every two-page spread is text; the right-hand page has an illustration related to the material on the left-hand page. While the illustrations are not technically the most accomplished, they are generally extremely effective communicative cartoons or diagrams.

This book comes with a ton of blurbs, and Cory Doctorow's--"Does for games what Understanding Comics [by Scott McCloud] did for sequential art"--pretty much sums up how I feel. I've read other game design books that were insightful, or thorough, but the Koster is accessible and very interesting in its approach to what makes games games, and how to make them fun (in the instances where that's a thing--cf. Brenda Romero's Train).

One of Koster's arguments is that "with games, learning is the drug" (40)--a game that interests us is one that strikes the necessary balance of not too easy (Tic-Tac-Toe, for most adults) and not too hard (multiple failure modes possible, depending on the individual--witness me and chess or go [1]). He suggests that games (and play, which is common in a lot of young animals!) are an artifact of how we try to learn survival skills, and moves forward into making suggestions as to how to move the form forward into values/skills more suitable for the modern era than "kill things" or "jump over things" or "search for all the things."

[1] Joe gave up on teaching me go when I told him I have severe difficulty with visual patterns. In fact, I am starting to wonder if aphantasia just screws me over for this kind of game in general. :p

There's also a particularly interesting chapter on ethics and entertainment where he discusses the difference between the game system and the flavor/dressing:

The bare mechanics of a game may indeed carry semantic freighting, but odds are that it will be fairly abstract. A game about aiming is a game about aiming, and there's no getting around that. It's hard to conceive of a game about aiming that isn't about shooting, but it has been done--there are several gmaes where instead of shooting bullets with a gun, you are instead shooting pictures with a camera. (170)

The bare mechanics of the game do not determine its meaning. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's picture a mass murder game wherein there is a gas chamber shaped like a well. You the player are dropping innocent victims down into the gas chamber, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are old ones and young ones, fat ones and tall ones. As they fall to the bottom, they grab onto each other and try to form human pyramids to get to the top of the well. Should they manage to get out, the game is over and you die. But if you pack them in tightly enough, the ones on the bottom succumb to the gas and die.

I do not want to play this game. Do you? Yet it is Tetris. (172)


In general, Koster has a background in game design AND writing AND music, and he draws on all three in his analysis of games, as well as other disciplines (e.g. psychology). It makes the book a scintillating read. I can't believe I waited so long to read this--but it was exactly what I wanted to read last week, so hey. Highly recommended.
gramarye1971: white teacup of green tea with wooden chopsticks (Tea and Chopsticks)
[personal profile] gramarye1971
...considering that I've got tickets to head back to Japan in three months, I should probably finish my trip report from last October. -_-;; Forth, into the North.

Previously:
Day 0/0.5 - Planes and trains
Day 1 - Akita and Aomori
Day 2 - Osorezan

I'd moved my trip to Osorezan to Sunday because the northern Japan weather forecast for Monday was not promising: constant drizzly rain with some heavier showers possible. At dinner on Sunday, Friend J and I discussed our plans to cross the Tsugaru Strait via the underground train tunnel and get to Hakodate, the northern terminus of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line, and see if we could go elsewhere in Hokkaido if weather permitted.

(Note: Hakodate is pronounced as its individual syllables indicate -- Ha-ko-da-te -- and not "Hako-date" as in "month and date.")

Since we had only one day to work with and didn't want to stay in Hokkaido much past 6 PM, we looked over our options and decided that a trip to Sapporo as well would be out of the question -- too far to go without an overnight stay. On the off-chance that the weather was nicer than expected and we really wanted to go off the beaten path, we stopped by the train station and got the friendly (albeit somewhat perplexed) JR employees to issue us with tickets for the shinkansen from Aomori to Hakodate, and then for the Hokuto Limited Express to the city of Muroran further down the coast. Muroran is a old steel-and-shipping town, the kind of decaying industrial city that I'm familiar with from my Rust Belt childhood, and J and I selected it as a possible excursion point because we literally knew nothing about it and wanted to become less ignorant about a part of Japan that most people almost certainly would not think to visit. The JR employees were very helpful in getting our tickets in order and did not show any confusion as to what on earth might have prompted these two giant foreigners to want to visit the Japanese equivalent of Steel City or Wigan Pier.

The following day, however, the weather forecast looked wet and dismal enough that we decided not to go to Muroran after all, and instead chose to stay in Hakodate until our return train. (I was still struggling with a head cold, which at this point had progressed to a constantly dripping nose and a near-complete loss of taste and smell.) However, the rain and the head cold were instrumental in leading us on an interesting, uh, adventure.

Hakodate in the rain, and an unexpected museum visit. )

So that was the adventure of Hakodate. The next day, we'd be heading south for the second leg of the trip. Onward to the onsen town!

Face Off through 3.1

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:21 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

Also, now I have an incredible desire to watch the Clone Wars cartoon so I will have to save up for the DVDs. Maybe Christmas? XD

[hxx] [story] Sword-Shopping

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:13 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For S.B.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."

Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.

"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.

"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.

Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.

Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.

But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.

Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.

"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.

Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.

"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"

At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.

Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"

"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.

Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.

Femslash Exchange

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:05 pm
cypher: (sing down the devil)
[personal profile] cypher
Hi there! this is the [community profile] femslashex letter for [archiveofourown.org profile] laylah. Thanks for taking a look!

general preferences )

fandom specifics )

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 40

Aug. 21st, 2017 08:49 pm
kalloway: (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway
40 -- thoughts on live-action adaptations?

About like any other adaptation? Could be good, could be bad... What I've seen of the Here is Greenwood live action is spot-on perfect, but then some, like Princess Princess, fall flat with the medium change. I look forward to a potential Saint Seiya live action, even if it's terrible! And I'm still tempted by the Ghost in the Shell movie with ScarJo even though I think she was a terrible choice for the role, because I like GitS. (Heck, I still want to see some of the other awful live action adaptations, like the Dragonball one and the Dead or Alive movie. I should get on this...)

I've actually never seen anything other than clips of various musicals, but those all seem great, too, and I love that they're a thing that exists.

So the answer is... sure, why not? Gonna be about the same hit/flop ratio of any other media~

omg this meme is finally over

I am fail

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:01 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm not going to do it but I crave to someday write a training cruise/school/dance academy/conservatory/??? mashup disaster story.

Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)

Eclipse photos!

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:26 pm
nanslice: (Default)
[personal profile] nanslice


What an amazing experience. I don't really even know how to explain what it felt like, how everything was so familiar and yet still so alien. Just. Awesome.

Music Monday Meme

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:30 pm
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
7. A song to drive to
Breaking Benjamin - Blow Me Away
lyrics
It's reasonably active without being aggressive, so alertness-inducing, and the rhythm's nice. And, after an inevitable post-con crash in sentiment, I require something that tells me that yes, I'll be the one who saves us all.

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 08:53 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
So the other night I was reading in bed and, out of the corner of my eye, kept glimpsing a bald man lying down next to Sora...

cut for photographic proof )

Good times were had!

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:42 pm
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
So this was a larp weekend, and it was completely rad! I spend an hour yesterday crying alone in a cabin I had locked everyone else out of - good times! NO really though, I eman it. I got caught up with a random magical effect that made me think that another character was my dead husband, and then I was SUPER UPSET with him that he hadn't told me he was alive and had just been hanging out workign for one of my in game friends - so of course I was mad at her too :V And other people thought that I thought that I was married to the other character (who is a very orcish orc). After I explained why it was creepy that he wanted to have sex with me when I thought he was somebody else, he later came and apologized for it, which was surprising and awesome too (also all in character orcs aren't generally super discriminating about who they sleep with when the opportunity arises). It was super great RP all around. And that was only one part of my game weekend! I did a sper fun mod and some other character driven RP and I don't think I touched the 'main plot' all weekend.

Today we gave a tour at work for the Archaeological Conservancy of America, which was busy but I think went really well! They all seemed super pleased, even though they were late and we consequently went overtime. I had some transit shenanigans and I wound up getting a drive home from a neighbour, which was very nice of her. And tonight I got to do a solo scene for Diablotin, which is nice because we missed game today and last week. So all in all a great weekend :) And I'm at he stage of the shawl I've been workign on t larp where it is so close to done I can taste it, so I am going to finish it up tonight or maybe tomorrow. And then I'll need another game project...

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 38 & 39

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:40 pm
kalloway: (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway
38 -- name a popular anime you hate.

Nah. I don't hate the anime; I hate the fandoms.

39 -- is there an anime you wish was more popular?

Hmm... I feel like my usual flippant answers of Hyperspeed Grandoll and Tekkaman Blade II fit in here pretty nicely. David/Dead End smut I don't have to write myself? Yespls.

One more day and then I'll try to just, y'know, talk about anime on my own and hopefully, idk, better?
lannamichaels: "(but I digress)" written in black text on textured background (but i digress)
[personal profile] lannamichaels


Just now I picked up for the border of the baby blanket and I can't tell if the pick up is terrible and I have to re-do it because it's all v. v. v. scrunched together because the cable on the circular needle is too short. This is after I connected in another cable before I started picking up because I knew the original cable wasn't long enough.

Okay, so easy solution, connect in a longer cable. But even though I would swear that *I do have longer cables*, I can't find them.

Okay, so slightly harder solution, just connect in the many, many shorter cables that I can find. Except that won't work, since I could only find one cable connector and it's the one I'm already using.

So now I have ordered both additional long cables and cable connectors. And then someday I will be able to see how the pick-up actually looks, which is, honestly, probably terrible; I was having a lot of issues picking up along the cast-on edge.

I barely knit these days. I don't deserve these kinds of problems. (I keep being like "okay, switch to crochet, it seems easier on the hands", and then not doing it.)

Worldcon: Sunday

Aug. 20th, 2017 03:51 pm
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
I slept in an hour, then visited the art show and did a final round of stuff-buying.

Read more... )

Then there were the closing ceremonies, which were nice, and then I went home and crashed. I think I'll skip San Jose 2018, but Dublin 2019 is a place I plan to go to.

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A universe of unmapped grief and love
And new master light is beyond
The pleiades and plow and southern stars.

O soaring
Icarus of outworld, burn bright
The traceries of known skymarks,
Slide the highway planets behind
Your clear waxed wings.

Go conquer the everywhere left
Beyond your sad confinement
In a predicted bonehouse,
Witch thrown riddle of flesh
And water.

O soar until nothing
remains but great glittering holes
In the black godspun shirt over your head.

- John Fairfax