dichroic: (oar asterisk)

There are some goals you get to by leaps and bounds (for instance, if you’d always wanted to travel abroad and then you did). There are some goals you work at for a while and then finish, like getting a driving or pilot’s license or writing a book – those are harder. And then there are the ones you work on forever, being excited to reach new levels. Maybe that’s the number of books you’ve read in your lifetime, or growing your hair out to knee-length. Some of those get less exciting as you get further along – reaching 50 professional publications is probably not more exciting than reaching 30. Some get more so – it’s probably more exciting to see your net worth hit $100,000 than $100. (Or maybe not, if it was negative for a long time and this is your first $100 in the black.)

With those accretive goals, I think they are even more satisfying when they’re ones you’ve reached entirely on your own efforts. Or maybe not entirely – if you bike a million lifetime miles, clearly you’re helped out by the people who made the bike, the people who built the road, and especially the person who watched the kids while you were putting in some of those miles. Still, every one of those miles went by through your peddling alone. It’s an entirely subjective thing in which others will disagree with me, but I think the achievement of that solo goal is more satisfying than covering those same miles on a tandem bike. (Teamwork has pleasures too, just slightly different ones.)

I’ve got a couple goals of that kind in which I should be able to reach milestone levels within a few months for one, years for the other. One is financial and I hope to get there within a couple years: this is a milestone Ted and I reached together a while back, but getting to that same point entirely on my own is going to be a pure and peculiar satisfaction. (I’m sure some other people feel the same, but and equally sure others don’t – for instance, couples who pool all of their money don’t reach solo financial goals, and presumably decide it’s not something they care much about – or that they care less about than other goals that are better served by completely merged finances.)

The other one is about erging; I’m up to 14,916,498 kilometers on the erg, lifetime. I’m up to a lot more than that in all forms of rowing, including erging, rowing a single, rowing in bigger boats, etc. but the erging is all me, every single meter cranked out by my body. I would have already hit 15 million by now, if not for illness – and now it’s been postponed further, because the doctor says that pain when I cough is a sprained rib and I should avoid rowing or other upper-body exercise. (Unfortunate, since my main alternate would be walking / hiking and it’s too wet to make that pleasant.) But I will get there sometime in the next few months, and when I do, the prizes Concept 2 sends out for milestone distances will be nothing compared to the satisfaction of getting there.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

This may amuse a few of you

Feb. 15th, 2017 09:31 am[personal profile] kass
kass: My first SGA icon! (rocketscientist)
I just wrote in an email to a friend that Maimonides was the Rodney McKay of medieval Jewry.

The subset of you who (like me) love SGA and love Rambam may, possibly, be as amused by this idea as I now am.


Fic, seasonal

Feb. 14th, 2017 08:23 pm[personal profile] el_staplador
el_staplador: (Default)
Well, it mentions Valentine a lot. Other than that... no.

False Angostura (517 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo | Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Héloïse de Villefort (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo), Valentine de Villefort (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo)
Additional Tags: Murder, Poisoning, Stepmother & Stepdaughter, Amoral scientist, Community: ladiesbingo, Tone: ironical, Canon-Typical, Character Study

Héloïse de Villefort had, in all aspects save one, the gift that the true scientist must desire: that detachment from human loves and hatreds that allowed her to perform certain actions and to observe the results, without distressing herself about the means that she was obliged to employ.

Just in case anyone was worried that I was going to drown in fluff. I was, a bit. I suppose 'scared by my own narrative voice' makes a change.

The plot bunny where the angostura bitters are, in fact, false angostura and there's strychnine in the pink gin is free to a good home in the Charioteer fandom.

(no subject)

Feb. 14th, 2017 02:47 pm[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: Viktor Nikiforov from Yuri!!! on Ice, soaking in the onsen (YoI: Onsen Viktor)
Though there are other things I could and should be doing, an angry smol is lurking in [community profile] panfandomsandbox. Let's see if he'll stick around.


Feb. 14th, 2017 10:53 am[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It’s been ettling at me this past week, not to be able to talk in public about an upcoming change, just because people had to be told in the right order. But now I can say, I have been assimilated by the Borg. Which is to say, I have accepted a position as a Software Quality Engineer for the biggest employer in these parts, a place famous for its pervasive corporate culture.

I’m a bit nervous; that culture tends to be a love it or hate it thing, so here’s hoping I love it. There are all kind of little perks (gym, excellent cafeteria, etc) but of course those things come at at the expense of being expected to work long hours. But most people in my current job work even longer hours; I don’t, as a Quality person, and that’s actually symptomatic of a big problem here. I’ve been feeling for too long like I don’t have enough to do because I’m always working on process improvement in the background, not able to be part of our day to day project work. (Many companies have an issue with the quality group being too much of an ivory tower; this is just our particular manifestation of it.) In the new gig, I’ll be getting back to software engineering and out of architecture and engineering – I think I’ll like that, and I’ll be working directly with project teams.

Also, there’s a lot more flexibility – I’m wondering if it might translate to more time at the lake, even if that means we need to get real WiFi there instead of just using our phones as hot spots. Working in a beautiful location can still be productive!

My boss is here this week, for her first visit in a couple of years, so I hit her with this news first thing Monday morning – it didn’t feel like a nice thing to do, but doing it in person seemed best. So far, she’s shown an odd lack of desire to discuss any transition or negotiate my last day.

The nice thing is that they really seemed to want me. They cold-called me, and the whole hiring process went very fast. I haven’t even worked around software since approximately 2004, and I was was absolutely honest on that both in the interview and on my resume, but they just said “It’ll come back to you.” I won’t be writing code (though there might be an opportunity to build some tools) but I do need to be able to understand and analyze defect reports.

Anyway, I really hope I like the new job – I start it the same week I turn 50, so with luck this will be my last employer.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

Not the day I was expecting

Feb. 14th, 2017 12:36 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: close-up on Severus Snape (snape-eye)
Alas, I am home today with a sick kid. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be very sick (yet), and the meds are keeping the fever down.

Also fortunately, he recently bargained me into getting a copy of the fifth Harry Potter movie. (He paid for half of it out of his saved allowance.) We finished it last night, but he is happy to watch it again. So he is ensconced on the couch with several stuffed animals and a cosy blanket, watching Order of the Phoenix again.

He has informed me that he REALLY does not like Umbridge. (I told him that's a sign of good judgment on his part.)
el_staplador: (Default)
I have a fun afternoon of cleaning and tidying ahead of me, so -

Comment to this post with a fic title (a word, phrase or quotation), a fandom and, if desired, a character or pairing. I'll reply with a summary of the fic I won't write for that title, in this way generating plot-bunnies, gaiety of nations and perhaps even actual fic by other people.


Feb. 12th, 2017 05:27 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: A fire in the fireplace (fire)
1. Escaping stir craziness on a snowy day by going to [personal profile] kouredios' house where the boys played video games and went sledding and the moms watched a bunch of West Wing. ♥

2. Making it safely home again on the snowy streets, and being ensconced now by the fire.

3. Trying this five spice chicken recipe from Budget Bytes -- though it won't be ready in time for dinner tonight, so tonight I will have chicken mole with spinach and yellow rice, which is also pretty exciting.

4. The darkening sky outside the living room windows. The dark silhouettes of conifers, obscured by a scrim of falling snow.

5. The prospect of a quiet evening at home, folding laundry and sipping wine by the fire.

How are y'all?


Feb. 12th, 2017 03:23 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: Leo McGarry, in black and white. (leo)
"In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" is so damn good.


Feb. 11th, 2017 04:04 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: A fire in the fireplace (fire)
1. I made this squash, chickpea, and red lentil stew in my slow cooker yesterday. Small adaptations. )

2. Housework )

3. I bought a bouquet of assorted yellow flowers -- a couple of roses, some chrysanthemums, some alstroemeria, etc -- on super sale because they were almost past their prime. But they are not yet past their prime, and now they are brightening my living room and dining room.

4. I just scheduled a haircut for the end of this week and am already pleased at the prospect. It is kind of hilarious how cheering it is to go from feeling unkempt to feeling kempt. Short hair, y'all.

5. Hot mint tea on a cold day.

How are y'all?
el_staplador: (Default)
I started it during Round 2 and I finished it during Round 3. Although I was feeling perfectly well while I was writing most of it.

I was made that way (1806 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Victor Nikiforov/Original Character, Victor Nikiforov/Sara Crispino (unrequited), Victor Nikiforov/Katsuki Yuuri
Characters: Victor Nikiforov, Yakov Feltsman, Original Characters, Sara Crispino, Katsuki Yuuri
Additional Tags: five things, Unrequited Love, Angst, Communication, The Great Idfic Virus of Winter 2016/17, Trust, Brief digressions on the nature of Love

Five times Victor Nikiforov fell in love and one time it wasn't a big deal.

(Or, Victor falls hard, and he falls often. Always has, always will.)

Round 3 has been considerably milder than either 1 or 2. (I think 2 was the worst, though that's possibly because it struck when I was at work in the midst of the Evil Pollution Death Cloud.) It came on gradually through Tuesday; I fought it off yesterday so that I could sing at a thing on Wednesday (and I could sing, which is an improvement on previous rounds); and while I have spent today sitting around in my pyjamas it was a regularly scheduled day off.


Feb. 9th, 2017 11:57 am[personal profile] kass
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
1. In the crock pot now I am simmering the ingredients for a chicken mole for dinner (thank you, Cook's Illustrated slow cooker cookbook!), and for lunch I have cobbled together a soup of chicken broth, coconut milk, ramen noodles, dried mushrooms, spicy bamboo shoots, and some leftover broccoli and dumplings from a recent takeout order. It is not authentically the cuisine of any place, but it tastes good.

2. I just finished T. Kingfisher's Summer in Orcus, which was a really delightful and sweet read, and does beautiful things with chosen family and worldbuilding and Baba Yaga. (And appears to be online for free. I recommend it highly.)

3. It is good to be safe and warm and have power and heat and light and even a pretty little fireplace on a day when snow is swirling outside the windows.

4. A squirrel was climbing on the bird feeder earlier, which is annoying because I like the birds and do not want the squirrel to keep them away. But Zaphod boggled to see it balancing there, and then laughed and laughed when I tapped on the window and the startled squirrel leapt off of the feeder and landed in a snowy bush leaving a vaguely squirrel-shaped imprint in the snow.

5. There are people out there diligently plowing the driveways where I live, and putting down sand and salt. I appreciate them a ton.

How are y'all? Who else is snowed-in today?

A book I am quite enjoying

Feb. 8th, 2017 05:45 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: Giles with a pile of books (Giles)
Which one of y'all recommended Summer in Orcus to me?

I began reading it this afternoon on my phone and it is delightful.


Feb. 7th, 2017 06:45 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: A fire in the fireplace (fire)
1. Fire in the fireplace.

2. Friends willing to schlep over with Thai takeout even in an ice storm. (Thanks, [personal profile] sanj!)

3. Having had a decent day at work today, huzzah.

4. My rosemary plant from last summer is, against all odds, still alive.

5. Listening to the pitter-patter of sleet / freezing rain on the roof -- from inside where it is safe and dry.

How are y'all?
gramarye1971: Colonel Une aiming a handgun at the viewer (EP 7) (Gundam Wing: Diplomat)
Gundam Wing fans -- and I know you're out there, so don't look away from me like you don't remember every single numerical pairing combination as if it were 2002 all over again -- it appears that Vertical has licensed the ongoing GW manga Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: The Glory of Losers.

I've been buying the volumes from Japan for as long as they've been releasing them, and it's a really good series so far -- it's a full retelling of canon that incorporates backstory from the supplemental and side story materials. (This is not the post-canon Frozen Teardrop stuff.) I'm impressed by the combat artwork, because it's not easy to draw mobile suit battles and make it reasonably clear what's going on. Provided that Vertical does a decent job with the release, this is something to add to your shelves.


Feb. 6th, 2017 08:22 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: A fire in the fireplace (fire)
1. Fire burning in the fireplace.

2. White wine in my wineglass.

3. A new set of flannel sheets on super sale winging their way to me soon. (This means I will be able to have one set on the bed and one set in the wash for the remainder of the winter, huzzah.) (The new ones are dark blue.)

4. Dishes are washed, kitchen is cleaned.

5. I recently finished Ursula K. LeGuin's Orsinian Tales, which are melancholy and thought-provoking and lovely.

How are y'all this evening?


zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

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