Snippets

Apr. 23rd, 2017 04:25 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Yesterday I went to Walsingham for the wedding of Fr Daniel and his lovely bride Elise. It was a beautiful service, presided over by the Revd Canon Stephen Gallagher, Elise's father, and with a sermon from +Philip North which was both moving and highly entertaining. The music was exquisite - the ordinary was William Walton's Missa Brevis, which I'd not heard before, and sounded beautiful but also very hard! It was marvellous to spend some time in Walsingham, and I somehow managed to come away from the shrine shop without buying any tat, and only one book.

As Fr Daniel had other places to be this morning, we had a visiting celebrant today, and since she had enough on her plate getting to grips with an unfamiliar ceremonial, I was asked to step in as cantor for the Alleluia. I'd had enough warning about this that I was able to ask CN to turn half my piano lesson the previous week into a singing refresher, and that helped me feel a lot more confident. Despite being frightfully anxious, I think I did a pretty decent job, and I might ask about possibly doing it more regularly, so I can work on getting over my nerves.

We continue to settle in to the new house. We still lack a functioning dishwasher, and have slightly more furniture in the spare room than we actually need, but apart from that we've done all the urgent jobs, and are starting to move on to the longer term nice-to-haves. Today I put together a new standing desk, which I'm hoping will have the twofold effect of being good for my back and shoulder tension, and discouraging me from wasting too much time hitting refresh on social media.
reddragdiva: (stress relief)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

Danese Cooper swung through London as she periodically does, so we met for breakfast at Gail's and I got a pancake. Grumbles about how people are a problem, bragging about children and (step-)grandchildren.

Still trudging through the book-shaped albatross. Looked at the site on Danese's phone and went "FUCK," it looks like a web page for ants. So I'll be installing a WordPress on that today then. Yet again doing the thing I tell everyone else not to, i.e. self-hosting WordPress. Bah.

The cover is the big blocker right now. I know what I want now, big block "business book" lettering and a coupla Sergio Aragones style silhouettes. Main blocker is my complete lack of artistic talent.

Also, I posted a rough draft of the Bitfinex section to Reddit /r/buttcoin and ... Mark Karpelès of Mt. Gox bought me Reddit Gold. :-O

wildeabandon: Champage bottle and flutes (champagne)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
One of the things I find most difficult about not drinking is missing out on celebratory Champagne, so over the last few weeks I have been sampling every non-alcoholic fizz I can lay my hands on, in the hope of finding a suitable substitute. I tried twelve that could generously be called wine, as well as a couple that were definitely-not-wine which came in a wine bottle. The latter two were Lloberetta, a perfectly pleasant fizzy passion fruit drink, and Cloudem Blue, a truly absurd concoction which is bright cyan with iridescent swirls, and tastes of pure e-numbers. There’s definitely a place for it as a ridiculous party drink, but it’s not the Champagne substitute I was looking for.

The majority of the wine-like options fell into two categories. Most of them were about as sweet as your average rosé, which is far too sugary for my tastes. I found it less off-putting in the one that actually was a rosé, because it wasn’t so out of place, but it still wouldn’t be something I’d like to drink regularly. A couple of the others were actually dry enough, doing a passable impression of an inferior Cava, but neither of them was terribly pleasant - they had the distinct carbonic sharpness of a wine made with the soda method and lacking any complexity to distract from it.

Of the remaining three wines, one was a red, which, well, wasn’t the worst sparkling red I’ve tried, but there is a reason that nobody makes them, and that is that they are universally terrible. On Easter Sunday I opened a bottle of Differente Aromatic Cuvée, which was dramatically better than any of the other ones I’d tried. It was also more expensive than the actual vintage Champagne that everyone else was drinking. And whilst it was good, it wasn’t that good, and certainly not worth shelling out thirty quid a bottle for on a regular basis.

There was one wine left to try though, which had been out of stock the first time I ordered, appropriately named Win Sparkling, because ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. It’s still very slightly sweeter than would be perfect, but well within acceptable parameters - on a par with a typical Prosecco, but with more of the biscuity notes that I’d associate with a Champagne. If money were no object I’d still prefer the Differente, which I'll probably treat myself to on special occasions, but the Win comes in at less than a quarter the price, and is very nearly as good.

Easter Weekend

Apr. 20th, 2017 07:17 am
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
I continue to be in that slightly weird place emotionally, where everything in my life is awesome and keeps getting better, but I have this nagging conciousness of the world descending into madness, and don't quite know how to incorporate the two. I'm intending to do some campaigning for the upcoming election, probably in the nearest Lib/Con marginal, but concievably for Labour if that looks like it might have more impact for the anyone-but-Tory cause.

After the Watch, my Easter weekend continued well. I was nearly late for the Easter Vigil because I was making an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve my crucifix from the massage parlour where I'd lost it earlier in the day. Fortunately I made it just in time, and they called later to say that they'd found it, so I picked it up on Tuesday, which I think you can call a happy ending.

I was a little bit grumpy towards the start of the Vigil, partly because it's at the wrong time (dusk rather than dawn) and in the wrong order (with the new fire preceeding the readings rather than coming afterwards), and partly because the children were more than usually rambunctious, but of course all that got swept away as the fanfare sounded and the Allelulias rang, and I was filled with joy in the Risen Lord.

There was another Mass on Sunday morning, after which I set off home for the Feast, which we were hosting this year. I was really pleased with all of my courses. As a starter I did chargrilled courgettes in a mint dressing with olive tapenade and crumbled feta. The fish course was scallops and black pudding with caramelised red onion (or sushi for the vegetarians - teriyaki mushroom & tamago chirashi and avocado & watermelon nigiri). But I think best of all was the pudding, which was rhubarb and yuzu posset. I reckon when you're on course seven of a nine course meal, and told that the only criticism is that there should have been more of it, you must be doing something right!

The importer has (mostly) caught up!

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Our content importer has mostly caught up with its backlog; almost everything that's still listed as being "in the queue" are jobs that were tried, failed once or more with a temporary failure, and are waiting to try again. (The importer tries a few times, at successively longer intervals, when it gets a failure it thinks might be temporary/might correct itself later on.) This means that new imports scheduled now should complete in hours (or even minutes), not the "several days" it's been taking.

If you tried to schedule a second import while the first one was still running, at any time in the past 10 days or so, you may have confused the poor thing. If you think your import should be finished by now and it isn't, and you're seeing "Aborted" on the Importer Status part of the Importer page, feel free to open a support request in the Importer category and we'll look into it for you. (It may take a little bit before you get a response; those of us who have the access to look into importer problems have been really busy for the past two weeks or so, and I at least need a few days to catch my breath a bit before diving back into the fray! But we'll do what we can.)

I hope all y'all are continuing to settle in well to your new home!

[done] Dreamhack maintenance reminder

Apr. 19th, 2017 09:31 am
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
As mentioned in my last post, I will be taking the Dreamhack server down for maintenance in 30 minutes! I'll edit this post once it starts and again when it's back up.

10:04am BST: I have restricted logins to admins and am beginning the maintenance now. This will involve a reboot and some diagnostics before opening it back up.

10:58am BST: The maintenance is done, and logins are unrestricted again!
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
Hi all,

I'm going to need to schedule some maintenance for the Dreamhack server as I've just discovered that the quota settings haven't taken effect. I'm therefore going to schedule maintenance for Wednesday 2017-04-19, 10am BST (5am EDT, 2am PDT) (about 36 hours from now) for up to 2 hours. (It shouldn't actually take that long, but I'm reserving it just in case.)

This maintenance will involve a reboot of the Dreamhack server. I will also be restricting logins until the maintenance is done, as the nature of the maintenance means that it will need as little data modification done as possible.

I'll post again once the maintenance starts, and edit that post when it ends.

Dreamhack applications are now open!

Apr. 16th, 2017 10:19 am
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
Apologies again for the delay on this - Dreamhack applications are now officially open again!

As I explained in my previous post (which you should read if you haven't already - there's a lot of info in there), anybody who wants a Dreamhack should apply through this form, even if you already had one before. I will, as a one-time thing, email everybody who had an account before to let them know that the service is back up and that they'll need to re-apply.

My apologies once again for the delay! If you find any issues with the service, please feel free to let me know.

an unexpected adventure

Apr. 15th, 2017 12:04 am
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
[personal profile] zorkian

Oliver was on spring break this week so he had no school, so his mom dropped him off Thursday night and I took a day of PTO today for some Father & Son time. We planned breakfast (pancakes, of course -- at Peter's Cafe down in Millbrae). [personal profile] afuna joined us for that then she hopped on the BART and headed off to work while the kid and I went south to San Carlos Airport.

We had a mission -- my airplane, N171MA, needed a bulb replaced. I also wanted to do some administrivia that I'd not done when we got back from our trip to Baltimore. The aviation data (charts, obstacles, and navigation data) needed updating and I wanted to pull down the latest flight and engine data logs to do some analysis. Also, I wanted to wash the plane and make it nice and shiny!

We took care of a few of the things and then we hopped aboard and started up. I requested permission from Ground Control to taxi across the runway to the wash rack on the other side and we got stuck about 10 minutes waiting for a clear time to cross. (They can't have airplanes crossing active runways and the weather was beautiful: there were a lot of airplanes coming and going.)

Eventually we made it across the runway and I vaguely knew where we were going but had never actually been to the wash rack before. I ended up going down the wrong aisle into a dead end. One of the things about airplanes is that virtually none of them can go backwards. They only go forwards. If you end up going down an aisle that doesn't have an exit like I did today, you have to shut everything down and disembark, fetch the hand tug, and then reorient the bird yourself. It's slightly annoying, particularly when you get turned around (unf! heavy!) and then have to ask Ground Control for permission to taxi because you "missed". Whoops.

We finally got around to the wash rack which was more complicated than I expected and I ended up parking in front of what I thought was the rightmost of two washing spots. I realized halfway through that you were intended to park in the middle of the two hose reels -- the one on the left was attached to a 55 gallon drum of soap and the one on the right was for rinsing. I didn't feel like repositioning by hand for a second time in one day so I just used the plain water and did the best we could.

When we were done Oliver asked if we were going to take off now. I had not planned on flying anywhere and was only there to do incidentals related to aircraft maintenance, but it wasn't like I had better plans... I asked him if he wanted lunch and if he wanted to fly somewhere to get lunch and he seemed keen on the idea. It's important to note that this would be his third flight ever and his previous two were short flights and we didn't go anywhere really -- plus [personal profile] afuna was on those flights to help if anything went south. This would be a real flight: ~30 minutes to Petaluma, lunch, ~30 minutes home -- and no backup.

He was keen on the idea and I got excited so we got ready to go and then departed. Blasting off into the brilliant blue sky -- I love my airplane. It's an amazing machine and flying is the most wonderful feeling and there I was, my son next to me with his red headset on. I had the stupidest grin on my face. As soon as we launched, Oliver piped up on the intercom: "Dad. Don't turn us upside down." I assured him I would definitely not turn us upside down.

We were cleared through the SFO Bravo airspace and it got a little bumpy. Unfortunately because of the large amount of air traffic in the area (particularly going north from San Carlos!), I was pretty constrained in where I could fly and I couldn't really alleviate the turbulence but it turned out that he didn't seem to mind -- it was a little bumpy but at least once he said it was fun. (I had quietly grabbed the sick sack and prepared it just in case...)

At some point near SFO we were cruising along and out of nowhere Oliver said, "Dad, I'll help!" and leaned forward, grabbed the control stick, and pulled back. This immediately caused the airplane to pitch up and startled the poor kid. I basically always fly with my hand on the stick so I gently brought us back to level but I think he cured himself of wanting to grab the stick!

We made it up to Petaluma and landed without incident and took a selfie. He wanted to hop up on the wing, so that's why he's standing up here:

We went to the Two Niner Diner (a lovely place!) and he wanted grilled cheese, french fries, ketchup, and a strawberry milkshake. They make 'em right, too: brought him the shake and a tin with some extra. His little mind exploded "I get two milkshakes?!?!" and he was in nirvana. The staff was super taken by him and by the end of the meal he gave the proprietor a sudden hug and she got a little startled and said "That made my day -- you have no idea, you really made my day."

The flight home was pretty uneventful. Oliver fell asleep halfway back and I debated flying circles just to make the moment last longer but ended up just heading back and landing. I made what is probably my smoothest, shortest landing yet in the plane and managed to taxi off at the Foxtrot exit from 30. (I know that won't mean much to anybody but it feels good.)

When we got home later, Oliver gave me a hug and said, "I love you Dad. This is the best day ever."

I'll be over here in a puddle of warm fuzzy feelings and goo.

Passion

Apr. 14th, 2017 06:54 pm
wildeabandon: crucifix necklace on a purple background (religion)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Well that's certainly been a spiritually intense day. Unsurprisingly, keeping silent vigil for sixteen hours (even with a short break to get some coffee and breakfast about thirteen hours in) is both physically and psychologically taxing.

At first I was consciously trying to keep my thoughts focused on our Lord and his tribulations in the garden of Gethsemane, remonstrating with myself every time my mind wandered and dragging it back. As the night deepened I realised this was folly, and allowed my thoughts to drift away; in retrospect the fact that they wandered back of their own accord, bringing me new insights and answers to the question "Where is God in my day to day life" isn't that surprising.

The real revelation came later though, after the watch had ended, and we entered into the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday, a service which draws you in to the horror of the crucifixion, and always leaves me feeling somewhat fragile. Entered into from a starting point of having been awake for 24 hours, alone in the garden watching my Beloved Lord suffer, something just broke. I began to weep as Fr Daniel delivered an austere and beautiful chant of Psalm 22, and continued through the Passion of our Lord.

Fr Justin, always an outstanding preacher, was on particularly fine form, with a meditation both impassioned and erudite on the different interpretations of Jesus' final word, Τετέλεσται, "It is finished." We were invited to shed our hindsight knowledge of the resurrection, which makes clear the valedictory nature of the phrase, that Jesus' great saving work, His fulfilment of the scripture and His redemption of the whole world is now complete. It is finished. Instead we were asked, hear those words through the ears of Mary, of the disciples. Watch the last breath of our dear son, our beloved friend and teacher, and see his life, and all that he has worked for disappear, ended, ruined. It is finished.

By now I am a complete mess of tears. I don't believe I can truly imagine what it can have been like to be there, but I understand better now than I ever have before.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth! Goodness, this past week has been unexpectedly exciting, hasn't it? A warm Dreamwidth welcome to everyone who's just joining us: we're glad you're here, and we hope you're liking the new digs.

Before we get into all the things I have to cover, though: Given the reasons most people are citing for not wanting to agree to LiveJournal's new ToS, I'd like to take a moment and ask: if you're able to (and only if you're able!), please consider donating to the Russian LGBT Network/Российская ЛГБТ-сеть. They not only do excellent work across the Russian Federation, but are currently mobilizing to help evacuate LGBT people in Chechnya who are in danger of detention or death. (EDIT: If you're outside Russia, you can donate through All Out; the Russian LGBT Network website won't accept donations from outside Russia.)

To our friends in Russia who are LGBT and those who are against the mistreatment of anyone because of their sexual orientation: We stand with you. Please stay safe above all else, but if it would be safe for you to post that link, the LGBT Network is asking that as many people as possible publicly share the information that the LGBT Network is ready to help. (They also ask that you do not contact people in Chechnya directly to let them know, as there are reports the authorities are searching people's phones and computers for evidence of sexual orientation.)

The rest of this post is primarily to give y'all new folks a brief orientation (or as brief as I am ever capable of; no one has ever called me concise) to help you settle in, although I hope at least some of it will be useful (or at least interesting!) to those of you who have been with us for a while. Come with me as we discuss Dreamwidth's history, a bit of what (we think) makes us special, the answers to a few common questions about how we roll, and a few useful tips that may help you with the transition.


Dreamwidth 101! )

Whew! That was a lot to throw at y'all at once, I know. (Yes, I always am this longwinded. And I always use this many parentheses.) Everybody who's been here for a while: thank you for your patience as I got our new arrivals up to speed! We'll be back in a few weeks with a code push and a bunch of new features and fixes, so the next news post should be more broadly applicable.

In the meantime, let's have a welcome party in the comments:

* If you're looking for new people to subscribe to you, leave a comment with some basic info about your journal and what you tend to write about! Then everybody can browse around and meet each other. (There's also [community profile] 2017revival and [community profile] addme, both of which are unofficial but bustling lately; holler if you know of any more.)

* If you've been here for a while and have a favorite community that's active, drop a link and a brief description!

* If you're new or you've been here for a while, and you're looking for an active community on a particular topic, leave a comment with what you're looking for and people can recommend you some options. (We've done this a few times before, as "the great community rec-o-matic", and it's never a bad time for another round.)

* If you know of any scripts, resources, extensions, tools, or toys that will help someone make the move, get settled in, or customize their DW experience once they're here, drop a link and a description in the comments. (We can't be responsible for unofficial tools, scripts, extensions, etc, so use at your own risk, but I know there are a bunch of them floating around!)

Finally, a quick note on the importer queue: it's still going, I swear. The jobs finishing now are the ones that were scheduled around 48 hours ago, though, so we really appreciate how patient y'all are being!

As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check [site community profile] dw_maintenance and the Twitter status account. (We can't do support through Twitter, though! Open a support request instead. Me trying to fit into 140 characters is not a pretty sight.)

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:30AM EDT (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.

Liveliness

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:49 am
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Gosh, my DW feed is livelier than usual today - between people switching across from LJ, and reconnecting with a few folk who'd either fallen off my lists or I'd never got round to adding, plus, I think, an uptick in posting because of the migration, it all seems pleasantly active. Possibly I should try and post a bit more myself?

The University closes its offices for an extra couple of days over the Easter bank holiday, so this is my last day until next Wednesday. I brought in Hotel Chocolate eggs for my team - confectionery bribery is a key part of being a good boss, right?

I'm quite glad to be getting the longer break, even though in contractor world it means losing out on a chunk of cash, for a couple of reasons. One is that this year I had the brilliant idea of suggesting to Fr Daniel that instead of keeping the Watch of the Passion until midnight and then closing the church, we should try to keep it all the way through to the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy*. And then I had the next brilliant idea of saying that if we didn't get enough volunteers to do it in stages, I could just do the whole thing myself. I'm expecting it to be quite an important experience, but probably also quite hard and exhausting, so having a day beforehand to adjust my sleep pattern as much as possible is quite helpful.

I've also got an Easter Feast to plan for - because clearly the first time you cook for guests in your new house and kitchen a ten course meal for nine people is the way to go. It's going to be fabulous of course, because it always is, but usually I'm a bit more prepared at this stage, so it feels slightly daunting...

*for non-Catholics, the Watch of the Passion is a tradition where after the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday evening, we process the body of Christ to a special altar called the altar of repose, and stay with it, praying, in memory of the night Jesus spent in the garden of Gethsemane. Although we are, in some sense, following in the steps of the apostles who accompanied Jesus, the idea is not to emulate them in the 'falling asleep' part of the story.

New job - one week in

Apr. 11th, 2017 12:51 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
As you may remember from various posts in recent months, for the last year or so I've been trying to take the next career step from analyst into management. A week ago I finally managed it, and without having to go back to permanent work. I've just started a new role as Interim Head of Student Records at the University of Bedfordshire. The job is based at their Luton campus, which is only 22 minutes out of St Pancras if I get the fast train, so in addition to providing an important step for my career, a more interesting job spec, and a faintly implausible pay rise, it has the extremely wonderful benefit of being commutable from home, which means that I get to see a lot more of [personal profile] obandsoller and [personal profile] robert_jones, and to actually live full time in the shiny new house we've just bought.

Given all that, it feels like a slightly unfair hogging of all the good luck that from my initial impressions my team are scarily competent and thus easy to manage, the work looks like it will be just that right level of challenge to ensure that I'm not bored, but don't feel out of my depth, and everyone I've met has been incredibly welcoming, open, and helpful. There may be an element of new shiny going on, but even accounting for that, I seem to have fallen on my feet in quite a spectacular fashion. Hoorah!

July 2014

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