Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Christine Jardine
Definitely standing: Vince Cable
... Oh arse.
Look, coronations are bad. The "candidate" does not get examined, does not get their feet held to whatever fire the membership is stoking, does not have to state any positions before the crown is lowered. Recent political leaders who have had a coronation rather than an election include TMay, Arlene Foster, and Gordon Brown. We do not want to be in that company.
But even if coronations were ok, the coronation of someone who's published views are 1, so often at odds with the membership and 2, so changeable depending on who he is talking to... Lads, this is really, really, REALLY not good. And given the article I linked to in the very first piece I wrote on potential leadership elections after the GE, this whole situation smells really fucking funny and I do not like it one bit.
I'm in conversation with a bunch of other
But if we can't do something about it... I don't know. The scissors are feeling very close to my membership card right now.
ETA: OfC given the legendary efficiency of the LDHQ membership department, if I were to cut up my membership card and send it back we'd probably have had another 2 general elections before they got round to processing my resignation...
2. Some people at work got me a birthday cake today, which was totally unexpected and a nice surprise. :)
3. Look at these Molly paws!
What I read
Finished A Banquet of Consequences, and, okay, family that makes the Starkadders look like the Waltons at the centre of the plot. But at least Havers is somewhat on the way to rehabilitation and not being transferred, and while I am not convinced by Lynley's new affair (I consider his new squeeze is entirely prudent to maintain high boundaries), I don't think I ever wanted to have at him with a codfish at any point in the narrative.
Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (2013), found in a local charity shop. Raced through it though on reflection not sure that it wouldn't be better read in doses.
Gave up on the romance about marrying an earl.
On the go
Max Gladstone, Two Serpents Rise (2013) - still not quite feeling it for the Craft Sequence - it's well-done, it's not doing anything I dislike, and yet somehow I feel unabsorbed.
Also picked up in a local charity shop, Jeremy Reed, The Dilly: A Secret History of Piccadilly Rent Boys (2014), which is really, really, annoying. It could be a much better book if the author wasn't so in love with his gosh-wow prose and his vision of the sexual outlaw, not to mention, checking his bloody facts - there were two chronological bloopers in the first 20 pages, a Tory politician described as a Labour MP, a confusion between the Stones' Hyde Park concert and Altamont. Also, how can anyone possibly tell if 'most' late Victorian homosexuals were being blackmailed? The book comes from a publisher I had previously considered reputable, but does not seem to have been copy-edited (this might have done something about the Did Not Do His Research factor and the annoying repetition of favoured phrases) or proof-read, and given that some passages appear to have been written while stoned and there are sentences which are not and places where you think, that is so not the word you want there, this would have improved one's reading experience considerably. There's some really interesting material there but unfortunately the generally cavalier attitude to checkable facts makes me a bit sceptical about his ethnography of gay London, or rather, the gay West End, from Wilde to the era of AIDS. I'm also wondering whether there is any unacknowledged debt to e.g. work by Matt Cook and Matt Houlbrook.
And, finally released this week as ebook (there were hard copies at Wiscon but I was in travelling mode), Liz Bourke, Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2017).
( Under the cut for size )
No, that is not a worm or a snake. Yes, that is zir penis. It is prehensile. Yes, the Ah'Koi Bahnis are hermaphrodites.
Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.
My fic can be found here or here
When Dimple met Rishi is adorable and funny and utterly delightful. It was just what I needed during a stressful day.
Here’s the plot setup: Dimple is eighteen and about to go to Stanford. She resents her Indian-born mother’s attempts to mold her into a traditional woman. Dimple’s plans revolve around school and career, with no interest in marrying and having children. Above all else, she resents any suggestion that she would go to college to get a husband. Since Dimple’s parents are very protective, Dimple is surprised but thrilled when her parents readily agree to let her spend part of the summer at Insomnia Con, a summer program on web development held in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Rishi, who is also eighteen, tells himself and everyone else that he is happy to be a model oldest son to his parents, who are also from India. Rishi used to love drawing comics, but he has set that aside, applied to MIT, and plans to have a career in computer sciences. Rishi trusts his parents to arrange a marriage for him.
As a matter of fact, Rishi’s mom and dad are acquainted with Dimple’s mom and dad. They think Rishi and Dimple might be a great match, so they send Rishi to Insomnia Con to meet Dimple. However, Rishi’s parents don’t mention to him that Dimple’s parents haven’t told her anything about Rishi or the possibility of an arrangement. Dimple’s parents don’t tell her anything about Rishi either. When a total stranger walks up to Dimple at a coffee shop at Insomnia Con and says, “Hello, future wife!” it doesn’t go well.
Happily, the big misunderstanding is cleared up almost immediately so Dimple and Rishi can get on with becoming friends who absolutely do not date because Dimple is not looking for a relationship. Of course, it immediately becomes obvious to one and all that Dimple and Rishi are fabulous as a couple. They respect each other (eventually), they balance each other’s hang-ups as the best couples do, they are both very smart and very funny, and they have fantastic chemistry.
All of this makes for extremely fun and swoony reading. This book is set up as an opposites attract book, with Dimple determined to chase her dreams and Rishi resigned to fulfilling the dreams of others. However, they have more similarities than differences. Their only real conflict lies in Dimple’s fear of romance distracting her from her career and her independence.
The degree of swoony can be seen in the “not date” when Rishi takes Dimple to Two Sisters Bar and Books (a real place that recently closed, alas). Rishi and Dimple first met at a wedding when they were kids, and at that time Dimple was reading A Wrinkle in Time. So, at their table Rishi has a present waiting for Dimple – a special edition copy of A Wrinkle in Time from the year they met.
In turn, Dimple takes Rishi to a place where they have an amazing view of the San Francisco Bay Area. She tells Rishi that she’d like to make their “not date” a date, but wonders if he feels like there’s a point to dating since she’s not sure she’ll ever want to get married. Rishi says that tradition is important to him, but:
The point of dating you, Dimple Shah, is to get to know you. To spend time with you. To see the way you push your glasses up on your nose when you’re especially moved by whatever you’re saying. To smell your amazing shampoo. To feel your heart beating against mine. To see you smile. To kiss you. So maybe all that other stuff that’s important to me can take a backseat for now. And maybe I’m totally fine with that…if you are?
Pardon me while I pass out for a while.
There are only a couple of nitpicks standing between this book and an A. One is that Rishi and Dimple seem to have a lot of free time for two people in an incredibly complex and difficult competition with high stakes. Another is that the conflicts are so nicely resolved about two-thirds of the way through the book that the ensuing complications feel contrived. Granted, they are the kinds of contrivances that two eighteen-year-olds would generate. The better things go with Rishi, the more nervous Dimple gets, until she’s second-guessed herself into a state of complete panic. It does make sense for her character, but it also means a smart and admirable heroine suddenly seems obtuse and inconsistent, purely so that the story can keep going for another hundred pages.
Generally, however, this is a lovely book. It is sweet and funny and heartwarming. The parents and Rishi’s brother get some chances to shine and Dimple’s roommate is a good, if confused, friend. Both Dimple and Rishi have solid character development. Dimple has to learn to trust in a relationship and Rishi has to learn that his dreams have value. The ending is, appropriately, HFN instead of HEA, but it’s very satisfying. I happily recommend this book.
Edit: Yeah, the nod to a certain government official — we thought we were being cute, and now, I find myself longing for George Bush, wishing we could have George Bush back in the White House and remembering him fondly.
Yeah, Rob, you and me both. Never ever dreamed I'd be nostalgic for those days.
Well, I figure I've been putting a lot of backups on it. Maybe the pruner for that or the log rotater isn't doing what it should? But no, those are fine.
Then, poking around, I accidentally discovered that in the shared folders directory (/mnt/disk/volume1), there's a file called "backing_file", which is 400G. It's binary, and hasn't been updated since Apr 17 2013.
I'm trying to decide if I can delete it or not. It's not impossible I created it by mistake, back when I was setting up my backup system, but I don't know how. Google's only apparent association with that string and Debian is for a utility, qemu-img, which I'd never heard of. I've not messed around with disk images in years and years, and never on that device.