Thursday, April 27th, 2017 01:27 pm
When the Kindles first came out and Colin was an enthusiastic subscriber, I had a go and didn't really get on with it. But recently, [personal profile] juliet mentioned that Kindle screens are different now, and I had another go and discovered that I quite like the kind he has. So he offered to buy me my own (because I could borrow his but what I mostly use the app for is situations that I don't know in advance that I'll definitely need a book or a magazine, and I'm guessing that's what I'll use the device for as well). It'll make packing for holiday significantly easier, too, as a large part of what goes in my bag is Enough Books.

Annoyingly, I seem to have lost my ability to read Lightspeed in organising this but that should be easy to fix.

Anyway, I kind of feel like I win at shopping. I needed to buy something from Argos, next door. So I ordered that on the way, then I went into Curry's to check which Kindle I wanted (because I wasn't sure) and ordered that from my phone, went next door to Argos and picked up my stuff, returned to Curry's and picked up that. There was a bit of a wait in Curry's, but only because there was no queue in Argos. Total waiting time less than five minutes. Curry's didn't have the case I wanted, so I ordered that from Amazon in the waiting time.
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Thursday, April 27th, 2017 11:25 am
The third series of Fargo started last week in the US - it'll be on Channel 4 at some point.

As with the other two, it's looking very, very good if you like your humour warped. 'What could possibly go wrong?' is not a line that's ever used, but it's what so many people are thinking as they do something not necessarily to their advantage.

And I have missed the accents...
Thursday, April 27th, 2017 11:00 am
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 03:27 pm
Comment below with your seat predictions for the general election, in the following format, where x is your prediction:
Alliance 0 > x
Conservative 330 > x
DUP 8 > x
Green 1 > x
Independent 4 > x
Labour 229 > x
Liberal Democrat 9 > x
Official Monster Raving Loony 0 > x
Plaid Cymru 3 > x
Sinn Fein 4 > x
SDLP 3 > x
SNP 54 > x
Speaker 1 > x
UKIP 1 > x
UUP 2 > x
Others 0 > x

Total 649* > 650
The winner gets nothing but boasting rights and glory. Sorry; I'm both skint and disorganised, so arranging actual physical prizes is beyond my capabilities at the mo. And yes, I'm going to put my pixels where my mouth is. my prediction under the cut )



* NB: total is currently 649 because of the death of Gerald Kaufman.
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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 03:49 pm
I've been chewing through quite a lot of Robin Hobb lately, and have come to the Farseer trilogy, which was her first. I was pretty amused when I read this:

"A very faint scent of her clung to my shirt from her brief embrace, and I agonised over whether to wear the shirt that day, to carry the scent with me, or to set it aside in my clothing chest, to preserve it."

I laughed because in the last chapter a weasel vomited on his shirt. (This is a bit unfair - on careful review, he does spend a sentence changing clothes "hastily", but wouldn't he still be a bit weasel-vomity?)

More seriously, it's not as good as her other stuff. The youngest prince forms a murderous plot, they thwart it, inexplicably they decide he's learned his lesson, rinse and repeat. The protagonist has trained as an assassin, so after a few rounds of this, really, you had one job, Mr Protag. Kindly stab him up so we can get on with the zombies^W Forged ones.

I have not agreed to the new Livejournal TOS (they do it with javascript) but I suspect this is my last crosspost.
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 02:40 pm
The Grauniad is loudly trumpeting "Farron Sacks David Ward".

I suspect that what actually happened is that there was a phone call to Yorkshire regional candidates' chair, who in her turn made a phone call to the chair of City of Bradford Liberal Democrats, who in her turn made a phone call to David telling him that the situation was untenable... But the narrative of Tim making swift and decisive action won't hurt us in the press, even if constitutionally it's a bit suspect.

I'm not going to comment one way or the other on the justice of this outcome in the particular case of David Ward. He has undoubtedly made some indefensible comments at various times. However, I don't like to see procedures circumvented, whether actually or only apparently. I can't help it, I've got legal training. Equally, I can see that there's a strong argument that the party's internal disciplinary procedures are crap and toothless, or if they have teeth, that the teeth are carefully muzzled in any situation whether they might actually have to put the bite on someone. The party's internal disciplinary procedures are, however, also currently under process of review.

I am supremely uncomfortable about the idea of being in a party where one can be summarily dismissed at the whim of the leader without some form of due process in place. I fear that because that is what the media expects, not to say bays for, we are creeping ever closer to it. I wish we had more robust and transparent disciplinary procedures. I hope and expect that once the governance review is fully completed, we will have more robust and transparent disciplinary procedures.

Still.

I wonder what we'll be smacked in the chops with tomorrow?
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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 11:00 am
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 08:54 am
Currently re-living "the BiCon with the weevels" in my Parents kitchen. Mostly just in one specific cupboard which i've now thoroughly cleaned out and sprayed with teatree (am not against using more powerful insecticides in principle but can't apply them myself without stopping breathing!).
As a handy hint do not google things like "insects in food cupboards" just before bedtime because the enlarged images of creepy-crawlys will invade you dreams ...
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 02:08 am
Home from travelling. Actually, I got in somewhere around 1 pm yesterday and proceeded to pass out for many hours. Woke up at 1 am and (much to my surprise) have been awake ever since. Husband has been snuggled. Boyfriend has been talked to on Skype. He looks very sad, poor thing, but it remains against the laws of physics for me to be in two places at once. Hoping we can have him visit in late June/early July for my birthday.

Super weirdly, I have been physically energetic enough to have emptied the laundry rack, folded the dry laundry, sorted all of the dirty laundry in my suitcase, put on a load of laundry, emptied the clean stuff out of the dishwasher and refilled it. I hope that I will not pay for this tomorrow, though I have A Theory. A theory which involves, of all things, vegan bacon and my ability to get it.

(Gods, I knew that Yves Veggie Bacon wasn't very fatty, but I didn't realise that 3 rashers had only 0.5 g of fat between the lot of them, along with 14 g of protein. Short of actually, y'know, BAKING my own tofu, I am unsure where to get tasty textured fake meat products which are low fat and high protein. Nasty-tasting, weird textured but low fat, I can do. Nice-tasting, well-textured and full of fat, I can do).

Continue to be Unimpressed with Aer Lingus. Will relate the full story later when spoons exist.
Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 01:03 pm
Note to self: Have you done a backup today? Of anything at all? To anywhere at all?
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Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 11:00 am
Monday, April 24th, 2017 08:14 pm
I've come across this a fair bit the last few days (can't think why it's been coming up *rolleyes*), and as it's a big frustration for LGBT+LDs I thought I'd better post about why.

Lots of people high up in the campaigns department at LDHQ think it's great to say that "we achieved equal marriage". They think that because we campaigned for equal marriage, and the Same Sex Marriage Act passed, we should trumpet our achievement. They think that calling it Same Sex Marriage is bad "framing" and Equal Marriage sounds better*.

The problem is that although we did campaign for equal marriage, we didn't get equal marriage. Here is a list of some of the things that remain unequal:
  • Northern Ireland. There is no recognition of same sex marriage there at all.

  • The Spousal Veto was a part of the Same Sex Marriage Act and actually made things worse for trans people. It's not extant in Scotland, but still applies in England and Wales.

  • Likewise, to get a gender recognition certificate prior to the Same Sex Marriage Act, if you were married, you were forced to have your marriage annulled, even if your spouse was supportive. These stolen marriages have never been restored, despite Same Sex Marriage now being legal.

  • Same sex spouses do not enjoy the same pension rights as mixed sex spouses. This is obviously unequal.

  • The church of England and the church in Wales are legally prohibited from performing same sex marriage ceremonies. This is manifestly unequal for same sex couples who are adherents to the state religion.

  • Adultery and non-consummation. To commit adultery, you must have vaginal intercourse with a member of "the opposite sex". Yup, not only is the strict gender binary embedded in law, but so is the necessity for PIV to happen for it to count as sex. This is... problematic for people who do not adhere to the strict one man, one woman, no genderqueer people model of relationships. Non-consummation of marriage and adultery both rely on PIV sex. And sure, reasons you might split up don't apply at the moment of marriage, but not every marriage will last, and equity in the divorce courts is surely a consideration before we start calling it equal marriage?

  • The special requirements for registering premises for the conduct of non-CofE religious same-sex marriages are more restrictive than for opposite-sex marriages in religious premises. If the premises are shared by several small denominations - which is often the case with evangelical, African and pro-LGBT churches - every last one of the faith organisations which share the premises has to give their permission for the premises to be used for same-sex marriages. In effect, anti-gay churches have a veto over pro-gay churches.

  • There's no humanist marriage in England and Wales (despite the best efforts of the lovely Julian Huppert) - which affects both mixed sex and same sex couples, but still means that humanists are second class citizens (unless they live in Scotland). Equal marriage should be equal for all beliefs (and lack thereof) as well as for all genders and sexualities.
Now, imagine you are one of the people who is affected by one of these things. Imagine you have been faithful to your partner for decades, and you've finally been allowed to marry under this legislation, and you retire loving and happy, only to discover that your pension rights are not equal.

Imagine you are a trans person, and your spouse has been supportive all along, and first you had your marriage stolen because that had to happen for you to get your gender recognition certificate, and when that happened you got a civil partnership because that was the best that was available and you loved your spouse, and then when same sex marriage came in you had to get married for a third time to convert your civil partnership into a marriage, and you'd meantime been supporting other people going through transition and the spousal veto had applied to some of those people... How would you feel in that situation if you were told that we'd achieved Equal Marriage?

Imagine you were the chair of an LGBT+ campaigning organisation. Imagine trying to persuade people that there are still inequities that need to be corrected, that people are still suffering injustices that need to be righted, that work still needs to be done, when everybody says but we achieved Equal Marriage, didn't we? What are you fussing about?

Imagine trying to persuade other LGBT+ people to vote for your party, when they can look at what your party is saying about "equal marriage" and think but they are completely tone deaf to the actual concerns of LGBT+ people, or else they would know that 'equal' marriage is nothing but!

For anybody, in any of those situations, Lib Dems trumpeting we achieved equal marriage! is going to feel like a proper slap in the face. It's going to feel like the inequalities and injustices that you suffer do not matter to Lib Dems. Equal Marriage, as framing, makes a very ugly picture indeed if you are suffering from one of the unequal effects of the Same Sex Marriage Act.

Please, please, please, for the love of Cthulhu, if you are a Lib Dem, stop saying we achieved equal marriage. We achieved same sex marriage. There's still a way to go before it's equal. Our leader gets this. Please get it too.



* NB: Our Glorious Leader is not one of these people, and completely gets everything I am posting about here, and that's yet another reason why I get annoyed with partisan Labour types going BUT TIM HATES THE GAYS!!!!! at me. Apart from anything else the conflation of gay rights and LGBT+ rights is infuriating.
Monday, April 24th, 2017 10:31 pm
Squires, Canning Town, London E16

Evening RGL crew!

This week's featured article is for Squires, a Nigerian restaurant in Canning Town serving at least two different types of pounded yam! I couldn't say if this is a 'typical Naija restaurant' as stated in the window but there are branches dotted around East and South London if you want to find out for yourself. If your prefer a cup of tea in Forest Hill instead, we have a new page for the Teapot cafe, which does a decent panini too.

Pub news! Famed Fitzrovia pie-haunt the Newman Arms is shut for a refurb, as is the Duke of Argyll (a Sam Smiths) in Soho. The Dartmouth Arms in Tufnell Park, the Widow's Son in Bow, the Lucky Rover in Chessington and the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey have all recently reopened - the latter is now owned by Fuller's, so expect the beer selection to be a little different.

However: the great pub deity giveth, and it taketh away again. The Taylor Walker-owned Devereux has shut, as has the Three Horseshoes in Southall. Also closed for good is Canal 125 on the Caledonian Road, once home to various club nights run by denizens of Livejournal. As small venues go it was pretty terrible, and I'm amazed it kept going that long. Let's hope whatever replaces it is better!
Monday, April 24th, 2017 11:00 am
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 10:55 pm
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10:00 p.m. — Monday, April 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Due to system maintenance during the dates and times listed, there will be a partial shutdown of AirTrain JFK service. There will be no service to/from all airport terminals and no service at the Howard Beach and Lefferts Blvd stations. AirTrain JFK service will continue to operate a normal schedule to/from Jamaica Station and Federal Circle. Free shuttle buses replace service and will be available at the affected AirTrain stations and airport terminals. Please allow extra time when traveling to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport and see a Customer Care Representative for assistance if needed.


Argh! I just LOVE the idea of having to travel around the airport in a shuttle bus instead of a nice, accessible train! *facepalm*
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 06:26 pm
I have many photos of my trip to the US to post, when I get A Round Tuit. They are crappy mobile phone pictures, but I cannot be bothered to carry a real camera with me any more. I am a terrible photographer with the best equipment in the world, and I'm more interested in recording memories than attempting to take good shots.

Currently I am worrying about being stranded in New York tomorrow once Delta drop me off there.

It turns out that Aer Lingus are morons. I've had several "incidents" with them this trip and am never flying with them again, but in the meantime they are supposed to be getting me home to London tomorrow.Read more... )
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 08:09 pm
From last weekend until 8th June is literally the busiest I will be all year: 2 OU courses with exams on 6th and 8th, and a third that just started and will run until September. I knew I was going to be stressed and overloaded and wrung out for about 8 weeks and had basically made my peace with it as the price for getting done this year rather than next.

And now 8th June is a general election, and I have no time to campaign, and have to fight the guilt gremlins that think I should surely be able to carve some time out magically, somehow, and funnily enough being even more stressed does not increase my productivity, or help me sleep.  This has not been the best week!

I've now logged out of Twitter and Facebook on my phone, so I can't take the stress with me everywhere.  I've devoted the weekend to resting and sorting out money (thus removing some other stress).  I'm behind on everything, but Facebook reminded me that I wrote this time last year about being behind on everything. While I'm still perpetually running too close to my limits, those limits have expanded in the last year.  I'm routinely working a 5-day rather than a 4-day week, I'm studying at a higher level, and my fitness has improved a little.

So I'm going to trust that if I take care of myself, I can get through this.  At least by 9th June some of my stressors are guaranteed to be gone.