April 20th, 2014
steepholm: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] steepholm at 02:09pm on 20/04/2014 under
I put this query out on Facebook but may as well repeat it here, since the answer hasn't come zinging back in unambiguous terms as yet...

Who coined the terms "high fantasy" and "low fantasy" - both the concepts and the actual phrases? I feel this is something I ought to know just like that, since they have historically had quite wide currency, even though (for several reasons) I dislike and avoid them myself.
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posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 10:00am on 20/04/2014 under
April 19th, 2014
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 04:50pm on 19/04/2014 under ,
Specifically, the new University Sports Centre, which is conveniently located about 5 minutes' cycle ride from my office.  It has a gym with lots of machines, a big free weights room, and a big sports hall.  I've joined on the staff-discounted lowest-rate membership, which gives me entry to the gym from 8am-4pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends. I'm pleased to find the centre uses my university card for entry and also for locking/unlocking lockers in the changing rooms.

My plan is to replace my lunchtime runs with a short hard session on the cardio equipment, and my long weekend runs with long easier sessions ditto.  (From Tony's point of view, me cycling off for an hour or two in the gym is not any different to me disappearing on foot for a long run.)

Yesterday afternoon, which had been planned as a long run, I went over and tried out different cardio equipment:
Notes for my reference ) 
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April 18th, 2014
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posted by [personal profile] steepholm at 10:48pm on 18/04/2014 under
Well, there we have it. The King's English (1931) is proof that the BBC really did have a sinister plot to make everyone speak English like... well, the BBC. Luckily, in a past designed by Heath Robinson it was never going to work.

All of British Pathe's films are now apparently available on Youtube, which may turn out to be a time sink deeper than did ever plummet sound. Reel 2 doesn't seem to be included, however, so we'll never know whether the Frenchman was convinced.
miss_s_b: (Default)
rydra_wong: "i like to climb alot". The xkcd stick figure climbs up the side of Hyperbole and a Half's yak-like "alot." (climbing -- alot)
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: The Weatherspell -- epic new route-ing in the Darran Mountains of New Zealand.
April 17th, 2014
miss_s_b: (Default)
tajasel: photo of me with a rainbow hat and big scarf on (Default)
Everyone is home this weekend for a change, so we are all sitting down for a roast "like a family". It's my job to acquire the chicken. I was told to go out early before butcher ran out; I knew this wouldn't go well because I didn't sleep til 1am having taken Ritalin at 8pm.

But I didn't realise how little my brain would function.

Me: "I'm looking for a chicken."
Butcher: "What kind?"
Me: "…a dead one?"
Butcher: *falls apart laughing* "Medium or large?"

I need coffee.
location: Stockport
Mood:: tired
April 16th, 2014
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 08:30pm on 16/04/2014 under
Haven't done one of these for a while, but it's always fun (and will reduce the number of tabs I have open)

Captain America: Winter Soldier
We went away on holiday just after the film opened in North America, and the great outpouring of fannish response happened.

So, there was [personal profile] musesfool posting after seeing an early preview in New York: http://musesfool.dreamwidth.org/648436.html and [personal profile] selenak who posted after seeing it in Germany shortly after I saw it in the UK: http://selenak.dreamwidth.org/973500.html

Two different long thoughtful pieces on the politics of the film:

A links roundup so I don't have to (which includes a link to [personal profile] coffeeandink 's links roundup): http://musesfool.dreamwidth.org/653272.html
A couple of fic-rec posts: http://kate-nepveu.dreamwidth.org/898144.html (also includes review/meta) and http://tielan.dreamwidth.org/701766.html


Changes in the population / behaviour of people in public space (in New York) between the 1950s and now (a couple of months old, but I looked it up for someone else this week, so may as well mention it again). http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/magazine/technology-is-not-driving-us-apart-after-all.html

Unisex toiletries aimed at the teenage market (which for sure needs it): http://www.samfarmer.co/ Once I've caught up my accounts, I'm seriously tempted to see if I can afford some of these pour encourager l'auteur

A lovely poem (The Sciences Sing a Lullabye, by Albert Goldbarth): http://strangecharm.dreamwidth.org/186551.html
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posted by [personal profile] ramtops at 04:08pm on 16/04/2014

And firstly, he kept addressing me as Mary, which is my middle name, and really, I think he should have referred to me as Mrs Jordan anyway, to begin with at least.

I told him I didn’t want statins, and he started off on “all the benefits”. I stopped him, and said that as my cholesterol level was actually down since my last bloods, and was within 0.1% of my level 2 years ago, I failed to see what all the fuss was about. And that there was no history of early heart disease in my family. And that I didn’t want them anyway? “Why?”, he asked, and I explained that I saw no reason to take a drug “just in case”, when there seemed no necessity for it.

I also said that getting a receptionist to phone and tell me to come to the surgery and collect a prescription for new drugs was quite disgraceful; an appointment should have been offered at the very least, and it had made me really quite scared.

He apologised – not very sincerely, I don’t think. He looked at his screen virtually all the time, rather than at me, which I didn’t like. He said that the blood test results came back in batches, and were parcelled out to various doctors in the practice, and that clearly the doctor who reviewed mine didn’t check the history. I forebore to point out that the diabetic nurse yesterday showed me my records on screen, and guess who reviewed mine? Yup, got it in one.

So now, I don’t need them for no, he has noted my healthy diet and exercise regime. But I tell you what – I didn’t like him, and I shall attempt to see another doctor next time, because this one seems rushed and untrustworthy to me.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 02:53pm on 16/04/2014 under
The broken toe is very colourful today. The full impact of yesterday morning's clumsiness is beginning to sink in.  Google autocompletes "running with a broken toe" awfully quickly, and the results generally indicate Do Not Do This.

No neolithic half-marathon on 4th May.  Probably no meeting up with my dad that weekend either.  More of a question mark over Flaming June half marathon on 1st June as that's 6.5 weeks away.  No lunchtime runs in the spring sunshine.  I had just got to the point of running 3 short and 1 long each week comfortably.  (Zombies Run 3 is now confirmed to release tomorrow.  Bah, etc.)  Six weeks of sitting with my foot up is going to put me how far back in my fitness?

I can cycle without it hurting, if I tape the toe up, so at least I can still do my daily commute / childcare runs.

I am investigating the university sports centre, which is about 5 minutes' bike from my office.  If I can do some lunchtime & weekend cardio work that doesn't hurt the toe (elliptic? rowing? bike machine?), I might keep up enough fitness while the toe heals so the June half marathon is still possible.  In any case it might help my mood; chronic pain + lack of runs to work off stress => grouchy Rachel
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posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 10:00am on 16/04/2014 under
April 15th, 2014
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posted by [personal profile] steepholm at 09:43pm on 15/04/2014 under , ,
A PhD progression viva took me to Worcester today. Though it's only just over an hour away I'd never visited before, so I took the opportunity to go to Claines, the hamlet to the north of the city where the Butlers lived until the early 18th century (and before that at least from the early 16th). I suppose I'd been hoping that they might have a grave or something of the kind remaining, but the outside graves from that era were all sandstone and illegible, and there were no Butler plaques on the inside. I guess they weren't quite big enough in the wig department to warrant one at that time.


Still, I was pleased to have seen the place that gave my brother his middle name. The day was beautiful, there was a nice view of the Malvern Hills (I think?) from the village, and the church - though unspectacular - was fun to explore.


What charmed me more though is the fact that it's the only churchyard in England to have a pub inside it, and one moreover with the strange property that the closer you look at the upstairs window the more dogs appear to be sitting in it....

The Mug House )

If you're wondering about the TV equipment, it's there because when I arrived the local news was making a feature about the Grand National winner, who it turns was trained in Claines. Very few people visit who aren't locals, however, and when the reporter realised I wasn't from those parts she tried to interview me about how hard it was to find Claines, and oughtn't it to be better signposted or at least to have a sign saying "Welcome to Claines"? Apparently Satnavs believe that it's somewhere else entirely and are liable to land you in a ditch. I however had boringly used a map and found it with no problem, so I don't think I'll have been on Midlands Today after all.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 08:11pm on 15/04/2014 under , , ,
I bashed the little toe on my right foot this morning by walking into my own bedroom furniture (I have form for this).  From its state this evening I suspect I broke it.  NHS Choices assures me that there is little to be done but strap it up and wait for it to get better.  I am supposed to be running another half-marathon in 2.5 weeks, and doing a long training run this weekend.  Humph.

To cheer myself up, three good things:
  1. ALL THE BLOSSOM.  There are multiple trees in blossom outside the window of my office.  SO LOVELY.
  2. I actually used "On your left!" appropriately while cycling past a pedestrian on one of the shared-use paths on my commute.  Then I felt terribly self-conscious.  But I will probably do it again when appropriate, because it makes me giggle inside.
  3. The children are being lovely: Nico is using "Dada" and "Mama" consistently, and Charles is being very solicitous while I sit with my foot appropriately raised.
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posted by [personal profile] ramtops at 11:22am on 15/04/2014

So I had new bloods done a couple of weeks ago, and two working days later, the surgery phoned. Telling me to come in and pick up a prescription for statins *that day*, because my cholesterol was too high (but they wouldn’t tell me what it was over the phone). I refused to accept more drugs without seeing a doctor, which miffed them mightily, but I held out, and this morning, I went to see my diabetic nurse to get the numbers.

HbA1c 48mmol/mol – up three from October, so not too bad. Cholesterol? 6.0%. Down from 6.9% in October, and the same pretty much as it was 2.5 years ago (at 5.9%, when nobody even mentioned it as a dangerous level). So sod statins for a game of soldiers, then. I’m seeing the doctor tomorrow, and shall tell him that, and will see if I can get it down myself.

More bloods on 1 July. And no, I’m not giving up my ounce of cheese a day, so there.

(Previous health entry here.)

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

miss_s_b: (Default)
April 14th, 2014
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
I find you in the strangest places.

Sitting against the window in the sun on the train from Birmingham to Melton.  In the face of the girl in the queue for the Manics last week. In an echo of teenage lust for David Boreanaz in the first episode of Buffy.

In bluebells and in fat, ripe, purple cherries.

It's good to see you.
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April 13th, 2014
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posted by [personal profile] steepholm at 09:09pm on 13/04/2014 under ,
Did I say it would be a while before I had to perform again in front of the public? I lied - or rather, I forgot that I'd agreed to give a reading at the Royal Western Academy next Saturday. Their current expedition is on "The Power of the Sea", and I'm going to be reading an extract from my grandfather's account of being shipwrecked in 1908. I've yet to do the extracting, but by way of preparation I visited after lunch and found a suitably stormy picture to stand in front of. While I was there, I stepped onto the balcony and took a picture of the Victoria Rooms, aka Bristol University Music Department, aka the courthouse in a recent Sherlock. Excuse my pasty companion, who is obscuring a fine statue of Edward VII:


Then a short walk to visit Jeremy Deller's "English Magic" exhibition at the City Museum. This was a bit of a curate's egg, though I enjoyed the series of black-and-white photographs from 1973 based around Bowie's Ziggy Stardust tour of that year. The video of people jumping about a Stonehenge bouncy castle to the sound of a steel band, on the other hand, was a tad too "Olympic Opening Ceremony" for my taste. This exhibition was apparently commissioned as the British contribution to the Venice Biennale - which begs the question of what happened to Wales and Scotland, or indeed (since by "British" we presumably actually mean UK) Northern Ireland. Perhaps it was thought that Celtic magic could be taken for granted.

Finally, to the Yume Cultural Club, where this month we were being inducted into the gentle art of making sushi. Having tried and failed spectacularly at this at home once I was a bit nervous, but the results were passable, if a little out of focus:


After all that I felt quite cultured out, and came home to rewatch the tragedy of Miki Sayaka (whose unexpected Faustian trajectory in Madoka Magica is still my favourite thing in that awesome show) and mark a few essays. In all, not a bad day - even if it started with having to put my daughter on a train to Brighton. Having her around is always the coolest.


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