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April 2017

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Softball being over for a while, I ventured down to Wrigley Field to see today's Cubs / Cardinals game. Normally, I would go to the Sunday night game instead, but the softball league's family swim party is tomorrow night. (Hmm. Ok, softball not quite over yet. :) ) It was a good game, but sadly, the Cardinals lost as the manager left Wainwright in just a little too long, followed by yet another bullpen meltdown.

Ah, well. It's not like I have very high hopes for the Cards at this point, but you never know what will happen.

Quick set today

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:17 pm
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
Almost all new stuff, either from the new CD or from the Patreon page, including two songs we have not done live.

The Well Stone
Banshee
In This Place Of Steel And Stars (1st time)
Beast Within
Gargoyles (1st time)
Persephone
Ghost Train
Boneman's Daughter
Solstice

Short Windycon Meeting

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
It was a short Windycon meeting tonight, which given that it's still July, was probably a good thing.

Next meeting is going to be a good bit more busy. :)

Back In the Swim

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:31 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
I finally made it back to the pool with the rest of the family today after work, although I left home later than they did. Katie and Julie were interested in playing a variety of competitive racing games to retrieve thrown objects; Gretchen and I eventually convinced them to do something less competitive in the interest of sibling peace. :)
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A Fine Man...Like Jordin K

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:52 pm
gorgeousgary: (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousgary
How better to remember Jordin Kare than with a title that parodies a line from one of his parodies...

I'm not sure when I first met Jordin. Probably Confrancisco in 1993, where I first met a lot of the California filkers. (Most notably Kathy Mar, leading me the next year to drive up to a small con outside Toronto where she was GOH. But that's another story.)

My favorite memory of Jordin was his debut of "Heart of the Apple Lisa" during his Interfilk Guest concert at ConCertino in 1995. Which, being in Westborough, MA, was right in the heart of Fred Small territory. Given that and the number of computer scientists in filk, the titters from the audience started almost immediately. When he hit the first chorus, you could literally hear the wave of laughter roll from the front row to the back of the room. I was seated about 2/3 of the way back, with a clear sightline to the rear doors into the ballroom. As Jordin continued and the gales of hysterical laughter began to crescendo, I could see people running in from the hallway to find out what was happening.

And the topper? Mary Kay had been worried how the song would be received and thought the jokes might be too esoteric. For a con a few miles from the famed stretch of MA Route 128 known as "America's Technology Highway", home to the offices of IBM, DEC and Honeywell, HP, DG, and--sorry, different filker.

My second favorite memory came while waiting to board a flight at Dulles. I was sitting facing the concourse, watching people walk by, as one does. I saw someone who looked like Jordin walk by. I didn't get up immediately; I first thought it couldn't be Jordin, he lives in Seattle. A minute or two passed, and I became more convinced it really was Jordin. I got up, started to walk down the concourse, got about two gates, and saw Mary Kay sitting near the end of a row of seats. I went over and started chatting, and of course Jordin returned from his perambulations shortly thereafter. Turns out they'd been overseas at an astrophysics conference and were connecting back through Dulles. He'd actually won a significant award at that conference, making me the first filker other than Mary Kay to hear the good news.

Jordin leaves us a long legacy of original songs from the heartbreaking ("Waverider") to the anthemic ("Fire in the Sky"), parodies ("Psi Nought", "Dawson's Concom", "Unified Field Theory"), Les Barker recitations, Off Centaur recordings and songbooks, and drawers full of punny T-shirts. He will be missed.
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R.I.P Jordin Kare

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:58 am
mdlbear: (rose)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Jordin Kare died yesterday, from complications of aortic valve replacement surgery. I am still somewhat in shock. He was younger than Colleen.

There is not much to be grateful for on this Thursday, but I am profoundly grateful for Jordin's music, which has been part of my life's soundtrack since at least the early 1980s. He was one of the founders of Off Centaur Publications, publishers of the Westerfilk songbooks and many fine filk tapes. (Jordin did the typesetting for Westerfilk I using troff, which led to a number of typos involving single quotes, which troff treats specially if they're the first character in a line.)

Last night Naomi and I sang a few of his songs -- "Fire In the Sky", "The Designer" and "The Engineer", "Waverider", and all I could remember of "Kantrowitz 1972". It wasn't until this morning that I found the lyrics for that and "Sail for Amber", Colleen's favorite.

I just ...

(Jordin Kare: Fire In The Sky (1991) | LyricWikia)

Tired

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:52 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Well, at least there's no scheduled phone call for work tonight. Maybe I should go to bed. :)
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Kindness

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:09 pm
sweetmusic_27: A biohazard symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sweetmusic_27
Last week I telephoned our San Diego Comicon hotel to make sure my name was on the reservation and that Seanan's was spelled correctly.

Today, after landing and a cab, and an alarming phone call from the mobility scooter rental place asking when I was going to pick it up (it got sorted out and they delivered the scooter promptly) I went up to the desk... and they wouldn't check me in. Because my name wasn't on the godamned reservation. I checked my bag, sat down, and cried. I got maybe four hours of sleep last night and chock-full airplanes are not calming to me.

I got myself together and had a Slim Jim and a granola bar, used a wet wipe on my face and hands, and felt a little better. A lady came up to me. "Excuse me, I'm sorry, but I saw you crying a little while ago. Is everything okay?"

I explained what had happened and that I was mostly just tired, having anticipated a nap upon arrival.

"Do you have something to eat?"

"Yes, I have a bag of snacks, thank you so much." I squeezed her hand.

Little glimmers of hope and caring when you're feeing low are priceless. It will be my privilege to try to pass it on in a convention where so many can get swept by the wayside.

SFF Binge-Reader Bundle

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:12 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi
https://storybundle.com/bundle

Just a couple of these things, & it pays for itself. For example, the Fiction River anthology alone [nearly 800 pages!] is 8.00 on Kindle. The Uncollected Anthology Year One [490 pages] is only available as a $24 paperback. Afaik, this is the only e-book edition. The Grayson trilogy is excellent, romance-with-woo-woo fun; the Rusch Diving series has great buzz. The Faerie Summer is a 20-book e-book set.

Throw in the others, & that's a lot at an excellent deal. Squee!

filkferengi, off to buy it now

Timing Is Everything

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:55 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Oh, look! My midnight phone meeting has just been pushed to 12:30 AM. I think I am going to try to beg off of this...
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The truly wonderful What Football Will be Like in 17776 has finished so now's a great time to sit down and read it.

It's a lovely little SF piece. Be warned that you'll need to watch videos and animations as well as reading text. It's worth it, though.

Moss-Free

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:56 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
We are now through four chapters of Heinlein's The Rolling Stones. Katie is finding it greatly amusing, although she is occasionally annoyed at Heinlein "picking on" things like automobiles.

I am waiting until she finds out about the flat cats. :)
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It turns out that there's no Music AH for Worldcon 75.

I mean, on one level, I'm not shedding any tears over screwups with the convention after they booted me (and the way it was done). But on the other hand, my friends are going to miss out on a lot of the activity they enjoy at the convention because there's nobody put it together.

Complicated feelings.

That's All, Folks!

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:28 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
The spring / summer softball season is finally over. The girls lost their final game today to the second team that they beat on Saturday and finished a game short of the tournament finals. But given that they were a team that hadn't played together all season, had had two practices, and one scrimmage game against a short-handed opponent, plus were playing with a massively different set of rules than they'd played under all season -- and lost to two teams that have all of the characteristics of travel teams, as nearly as we can tell -- they did a magnificent job.

I am very proud of all of them.

Somehow I appear to have missed posting last week. We've moved. (Looking at the notes for last Sunday, I'm guessing that the reason I missed posting was sheer exhaustion -- that was a busy day, and I'd done more lifting than is good for me.)

We moved into the new house on Wednesday. The movers, from Two Men And a Truck, were fast and efficient - we were out of the apartment in an hour and a half. Highly recommended.

My new phone, on the other hand, is not highly recommended. It's a great phone, except that because it was factory unlocked it doesn't support HD Voice and, hence, WiFi Calling. That's bad, because the cell signal here is rather spotty. It could be worse, except that I actually have a signal in the house, albeit a weak one at times.

I spent hours on chat with AT&T's tech support, and hours in their store, and a little while in the T-Mobile store, trying to get the damned thing recognized by the network. No dice. Now it won't even work as a WiFi hotspot, which sucks. I'll have to swap it again. I hate phones. I hate phone companies. H8 H8 H8. (Basingstoke.)

We are mostly moved in, except that our beds are in the second pod, which isn't arriving until next week. Oops. So we're still on the sofabed, which is in the living room because we didn't want to try to deal with moving it out of the bedroom. It's not merely heavy, it's huge, and won't fit vertically through a doorway.

The house is going to take some getting used to. The kitchen is lovely and open, but doesn't have as much storage as we expected -- in particular, there's only one rather narrow set of drawers. So that will take some refactoring.

The biggest problem, though, is the cats. Ticia is no longer being aggressive toward Cricket, but she's curious. Cricket, however, is terrified, and just hides. That's going to take some work -- it's not the usual case where one cat is being aggressive, so the usual procedures for reintroducing cats don't really apply.

Other than that, though, I like it here. There are a few other assorted inconveniences, but the place itself is lovely -- calm and quiet.

Notes & links, as usual )

Today's Softball Action

Jul. 15th, 2017 11:31 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
The Des Plaines girls played today in the first day of a softball tournament over in Niles. It appears to be the first year that they're run this tournament and a great many things are being a mystery to us. :)

For some reason, there are five teams in the tourney and rather than scheduling things with a seeding round on day one, two of the teams got a bye so that they only had to play two games on the first day; the other three teams would need to play and win three games to advance to the finals. We were one of the other three teams, winning the first two games; then losing the third game to one of the teams with a bye which appears to be a tournament team rather than a team or all-star team from a house league.

But the girls played well overall. And by winning the first two games, we have postponed our first game tomorrow until 3:45. One win will put us into the finals, but then we will have to beat the team that beat us twice in order to win, this being a double elimination tournament, except when it isn't, because it's theoretically quite possible for a team with three losses to get to the finals if we've read the brackets correctly.

As I said, it's a mystery...
Yes, Sam turned two on Thursday. Hard to believe it was only two years ago (today in fact) we were holding this tiny, not even 7-pound baby in our arms. In just 24 short months he's become an adorably cute, constantly moving (except when napping or sleeping), babbling, chaos-causing whirlwind of a toddler.

Our lucky boy has had an entire week of birthday celebrations. The festivities started last weekend when my dad and stepmom flew back up for a visit. We had a quick meal Sunday night and a birthday dinner Tuesday night. (Marred only by the string on his balloon breaking as I was bringing it and him in from the car after dinner. Goodbye balloon!) We also brought mini-cupcakes to day care on Thursday for his teachers to give out to his classmates.

Today we threw a 2nd birthday party for him. Sheryl's parents are in town for the weekend, my mom came over, and our friends Jen and Steve (and their little one) and Cat and Jason (and their not-so-little one) joined us for the festivities. We'd intended a bit larger of a gathering, but a combination of illness, deaths in the family, and vacations meant a bunch of folks couldn't make it. Still, Sam got a bunch of presents, there was cake, brownies, fruit and other goodies, Nova got pettins and scritchies, and much fun was had by all.

(Speaking of cake, we learned our lesson from last year's party and only ordered a quarter-sheet. We still have leftover cake, but nowhere near as much as last year!)

Tomorrow I am hoping I can take Sam to the pool. It was on the agenda for last Sunday, but I realized there were far too many errands that we needed to run, plus dinner out, so the pool was deemed expendable. Tomorrow should be a much more relaxed day; our only commitment is our usual food shopping.

First the bad news…

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:26 pm
lemmozine: (Default)
[personal profile] lemmozine
It looks like the "leader" of the "free" world has been in the pocket of the Russian mafia for quite some time. https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

Now, the good news. I received mail today from my lender. The RM has been approved by the underwriter. There are a few details I should iron out on Monday. Including setting up an appointment for the closing.

Looking at my current financial situation, and adding up what I will save (mortgage payments & etc.) plus the SS check, my effective income will be just slightly more than doubled. That does not count the available cash, which I could take out as income, or see as an emergency fund that I can leave alone, accumulating interest.

And there's no reason I couldn't go back to work (if I want to), or make money from other sources.

I do expect my medical costs to go up on January 1, because I'll probably opt for insurance that doesn't have a gigantic deductible, partially funded by my retirement. That will probably last 3 years, until I'm eligible for Medicare, assuming the gop doesn't destroy the government completely. I plan to carefully use this money to (a) increase my enjoyment of life, (b) free my time by hiring people to do things like lawn care, and (c) to make more money. Because I have an MBA now.

Approximately 5 weeks to all of this happening.

It's kind of overwhelming.

Wrapping Things Up

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:37 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
We had a lovely end-of-season parent/daughter softball game tonight, followed by a party and trophy presentation. Then it was home and off toward bed, where I finished reading The Star Beast to Katie tonight.

Now I just need to figure out what book to read next. :)

Last night at Streetcar 209

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:21 am
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
We decided at the last minute to do that open mic last night. 3 songs, all on the 12 string ...

The Well Stone
Horizon
Spinning Skies & Mirrors

A nice, solid set.

The highlight was two young women, each doing a separate set. One was 12, one was 13, and they were amazing. Killer voices, decent guitar chops, and both just natural performers. Utterly compelling. Then one of their Dads came on and tossed out some acoustic punk. One of the highlights of my year. We need to go back more often.