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September 2012
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...it's like dr_beowulf tells his students in his day job in Darkest Arkansas:

"If there IS an Intelligent Designer, he's a complete pervert."

Warning: Animal sexual congress described with words that are not necessarily Safe for Work, but there are no graphical depictions of naughtybits anywhere.

Bonus points for: Mentioning Captain Jack Harkness as one of the very few things more "sexually versatile" than dolphins.

Thanks, tanrinia!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: amusedamused

Well, okay, medium crickets weren't the problem.

He really was working up to holy-crap-another-molt.

This morning, I found that he'd dug out, and webbed down, a concave saucer in his container. He's on his back now, working through a process that sheds not just his skin, but also his teeth and lungs.

Bugs is weird.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekyfascinated

Once back from my trip, I threw a "medium" cricket into Milo's larger box.

Not only did he not eat it, but the cricket molted before weakly hopping about a few days more.

I've put Milo back in the smaller box, with small crickets. However, as he hasn't eaten these yet, either, perhaps this was premature, and he is refusing food as a preparation to molt--again! Yay!

We'll see what happens...

-- Lorrie


In Old Norse (Modern Icelandic, etc.), how would one cobble together a by-name for Odin on a train? In the spirit of "Vegtam" (Way-Tame), I was thinking one could do tolerably well with "Iron Horse Rider".


-- Lorrie

Current Mood: pensivepensive

Now that I've dug out from under the e-mail, had a little sleep, had a little food, and all that groovy regenerative stuff...

Many, unexpressible thanks to purplevenus and cruz531, for service Above and Beyond the Call.

Real friends really do help you move bodies.

After this, more Mike-stuff for "daily journal" purposes, which may be of limited interest to my flist; feel free to skip.

Potentially squicky medical TMI under cutCollapse )

I know this has really shaken him. It's shaken me, and once I'm through with being practical (which NSAID at which time, or do we go with acetaminophen here?) and emotional (variously cute noises), I keep loading on more woowoo stuff.

Potentially boring spiritual TMI under this cut.Collapse )
What mildly wog-boggles me is that Mike's following through on his part of everything I've suggested so far. Whether for love of me, belief in all this craziness, or because he's pretty much at a loss for something better to do...I'm not sure. But it does make me feel like I have something to contribute.

In the meantime, we're both hanging in and chugging along. Thanks to everyone who's chipped in, all you hospital-visitors, candle-lighters, and chant-murmurers. Know that we appreciate every damn one of you.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: gratefulgrateful

Cut the post-workshop book research part of the LA trip off a day early to come home and take care of countgeiger.

dpaxson lost her voice nearly completely, so much so that I wound up giving a third to a half of the workshop. So, I actually really did need to be there.

I also actually really did need to be here. When that outweighed the other...we cut it short and flew up the road, from San Diego to Oakland with as few stops as possible, soup to nuts in ten hours.

Wifely Lorrie is wifely.

Tired Lorrie is tired.

-- Lorrie . o O (zzz)

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

countgeiger is now enough better to send me texts and ask for stuff from home--yay!

He's also better enough to send me such texts at seven in the morning! *muffled zombie noises*

His currently projected release date is still Friday--after which he is home for a week with his leg up. Poor bear! Right now, he's still sleeping a lot, and still has some minor fever. However, he's on Vicodin now, which knocks the pain down enough that he can bear to walk across the room--a great improvement.

Again, go bother him. *grin*

And now--to packing!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: bouncybouncy

The Official Prognosis is that he'll be out of the hospital on FRIDAY, to be picked up by cruz531 (also known as Mr. pentaclemoon). The color of his entire leg is improving, swelling is somewhat reduced, although the area of swelling hasn't receded much. Temperature is still elevated, of course, and for those of you playing the Wheel of Chemistry home game, he's on a vancomycin IV and soon to be on Vicodin for the pain that still happens whenever he gets up.

After a lot of soul-searching and heart-tearing, and considerable discussions with dpaxson and countgeiger, I...will be going to Los Angeles. It's not what anyone would prefer, but cruz531 has medical training and time--frankly, training that I don't. countgeiger will be in better hands for all practical purposes, although obviously I win in the cuddle department.

But it's also so that dpaxson also needs me. I can't be in two places at once, but I can trust my community to take care of the piece of my heart that I must leave behind.

And so I do.

In the meantime, he's still at Kaiser Oakland, room 624. There's a free shuttle from MacArthur BART every twenty minutes that will deposit you at the east hospital entrance, and pretty cheap parking garages on Howe (hospital east entrance) and the new one on Broadway (hospital main entrance). Follow signs to the Tower Elevators, take them to 6, turn left when you get out of the elevator, through that door, then right, then the second left for room 624. He's in the bed furthest from the door.

Especially, he'd appreciate company tomorrow while I'm out of town.

My love and thanks to you all.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: calmcalm

One of Milo's crickets has escaped.

It's crawling cheerfully up the wall.


-- Lorrie

I spent the day with him today at Kaiser--from when visiting hours started through to when dpaxson had to pick me up for trance class.

It seems to be a simple cellulitus: not MRSA, not necrotizing fasciitis, no debriding required, no clots on ultrasound. By the end of the day, he didn't have his appetite back, but his temperature was approaching normal (from a high of 103!) and he was considerably more alert than he had been.

I doubt they'll be willing to release him Wednesday, but Thursday is not unlikely, although I gather from listening between the lines of the several doctors that the swelling may not have wholly subsided, and his mobility may yet be impaired, when this happens.

Mind you, I happen to have an unemployed, medically trained, gentleman to throw at him for in-home bullying care while dpaxson and I are off in the Great Southern Wilderness. HA! This is good--I would not feel comfortable leaving unless there were something highly available and in place.

No mistake, though: as long as he's in hospital, my place is at his side, every moment I can manage (and I can manage quite a few). I have to say, though, Kaiser's been quite on the ball, with responsive and pleasant staff every time we've interacted with them.

Tonight's section of the trance class had, as their exercise, a working on countgeiger that incorporated as many of the class's techniques as possible. *grin*

And now, adieux, my friends, that I may sleep!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

If one is so fiber-mad as to knit socks (and this one is), then it is Understood that, however one may fall out on the question of how many needles ought to be used (roll d5!), one may start from the cuff, or one may start from the toe, and until Cat Bordhi comes down from Mt Sinai her island in Puget Sound with New Pathways in Sock Knitting, Vol. 2 that, simply, is that.

But no! Inspiration is not to be so hemmed in! It marches on--and flies, creeps, leaps, and subtly insinuates into the ears, and onto the knitting needles, of anyone willing to listen.


This month's issue of the popular online knitting webzine Knitty features a pattern that rejects your toe-up AND your cuff-down.

Nosir, this pattern starts at the heel.

I picked up three skeins of Regia Silk sock yarn, color 050 (Marine) at Stash Yarns of Berkeley, while they were having a "30% off EVERYTHING sale". While ordinarily this would be a two socks = one pair kind of yarn, well, these socks are for countgeiger, and he has Feet of Size and Note. He Approved of this yarn a week and a half ago, and as I've finished a test upper armwarmer for my sainted grand-mère, this is a logical next project while countgeiger is in hospital.

Yep, I'm gonna be at his side, knitting on his socks, and Keeping An Eye On Things. Kaiser, bless 'em, works best if the patient or a member of his party is cheerfully proactive and they know what's wrong already. Cellulitis has a set treatment path ("rehydrate, dump IV antibiotics, profit!"), so that's sorted, leaving Yrs Truly as the cheerfully proactive party member.

This is why dpaxson and I make it a point to do so many hospital visits.

Go well, all y'all!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: chipperproactive!

While Monday made an initial strong showing with the promise of lunch with purplevenus and dpaxson, those hopes were dashed when, after parking in a convenient space with a broken meter, lwood noticed that her car, the Trusty Taurus, was copiously leaking a nurglish green fluid that was not in fact Mountain Dew, but rather engine coolant.

Erring on the side of reasonable blood sugar, a fine lunch proceeded to be had by all, but the day was placed On Notice and a written reprimand was issued. An immediate upturn in effort was displayed by Monday, as time spend waiting for the tow truck could be pleasantly spent at a nearby bead store and, while public transit was made a sad necessity, the fact that this happened near a busy transit hub revealed that Monday's position in this week might yet be salvageable.

However, Monday had to be put on written notice a second time around 1830 PM, when countgeiger had to be admitted to the hospital, netik got hit by a car while himself operating a bicycle, and one of purplevenus's charges was, in an unrelated incident, admitted to an entirely different hospital.

The decision to terminate came some time before the action could be carried out. As a result, Monday's strong, if futile, efforts to retain its position in this week are duly and gratefully noted: lwood, dpaxson, et al wrapped up the day by bottling approximately 20% of one batch of mead. This mead shows promise in its field, and with the right guidance, should prove a credit to its kind.

Monday was reluctantly terminated from its position shortly before midnight PDT.

Due to Monday's erratic performance, Tuesday, which was promoted to the position based on Monday's strong recommendation, will have to undergo stringent review, especially in the areas of medical performance, postal performance, and bureaucratic detanglements of several and various sorts.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: tiredtired

Hey! My first batch of mead should be contemplating drinkability! I'd better go test that tomorrow night!

From extensive research conducted at part two of my birthday party, we concluded that sake is tasty. We even flirted with brewing it, as the local booze makin' store has apparently some of the necessary fixins.

Alas, sake has the same significant hurdle to the home brewer as lager-style beers do: both require long amounts of time spent at rather chilly temperatures. In the case of sake, this is to retard the development of Lactobacillus or, less gently, to keep your sake from tasting like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha.

It's annoying and expensive, in the average California home, to maintain a temperature of 50-55° F (10-13° C): they tend not to have basements or nearby handy caves.

And that's why we stick to ales and meads: they're Perfectly Happy at Room Temperature, Thank You. Given how little I drink of it, it's inexpensive enough not to bother with making at home...especially when we have a sake brewery right here in town!

I wonder if dpaxson and purplevenus still want to pop 'round for a tasting now that we're all sober? I'll find out in a few hours!

Last, in other party-related news, we decided that if Akira Kurosawa filmed Wagner's Ring...

...yes, alcohol was involved. ANYWAY. It's Kurosawa, so that comes with a nigh-obligatory Toshirō Mifune. Everybody knows this. And, apparently, somehow it was no longer an opera, because we didn't consider whether any of these guys could sing. Conversation was brief, but it settled on two key points:

Where do you put Toshirō Mifune?
While several roles were proposed, having such a talented actor to hand, particularly one who can be so physically expressive as Mifune, consensus was swiftly reached that he ought to play Siegfried.

Okay, so, who's playing Wotan?
After another round of arguing and sake, we remembered that Kurosawa has another strongly associated actor besides Mifune: Takashi Shimura. He player Kambei, the leader of the titular Seven Samurai--yeah, that helps nobody who's not into that sort of thing. Okay. You, O Mostly USan Audience, are likely to have seen The Magnificent Seven--and if not, you should, it's a helluva movie. Remember Yul Brynner's character? Him.

We never did work out what to do about the women--we hadn't seen enough Japanese cinema in general, Kurosawa in particular...or, really, enough sake to even take a stab at more of the cast.

Clearly, further research is called for!

-- Lorrie

PS: I will probably never write the Idunna article explaining Why Samurai Movies are Awesome Heathen Viewing. But they are. Both depend on a romanticized rewriting of a fairly bloody time to have any widespread appeal--ugh, this ties back into the article that I will write, one of these days, on the Victorian/Nationalist period in Europe, that period's "scholarship", and how that's relevant to the current modern heathen revival.

Current Mood: sleepysleepy

Diana and I have been invited to hold a trance workshop in Los Angeles, something we've been eager to do for some time. THEN, eager people down there just kept adding on book signings, so it's turned into rather an impressive junket.

Here's our current itinerary. Please feel free to pass it along to anyone you know who lives in Southern California and might be interested in attending anything listed here.

Thursday 15 October, 8:00-10:00 PM - LASFS @ Clubhouse

Diana has been asked to address the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, the world's oldest continuously-meeting science fiction and fantasy club. They meet at their own clubhouse, which is 11513 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601-2309. Doors open around 7:30, and the meeting should start somewhere between 8:15 and 8:30. There is no cover charge to attend this event. For more information, see the LASFS website.

Friday 16 October, 4:00-5:00 PM - Book signing @ Cauldron Kitty

The primary purpose for this trip is to hold a trance workshop, sponsored by the Cauldron Kitty bookstore, located at 2818 #1 Rowena Ave in Silverlake, a part of LA between Hollywood and Downtown. From four to five will be an open booksigning located at the bookstore proper. If you're interested in attending the workshop but haven't signed up yet, this would be the very last chance to do so!

Friday 16 October, 7:00-10:00 PM - Oracular Seidh

We will be performing oracular seidh to kick off the workshop weekend. I'm not sure when doors open, but they will close, promptly, at 7:30 PM so we can make best use of the time alloted. One may attend seidh without attending the workshop.

Seidh will be held near the USC campus, at a private home, so you'll have to call Cauldron Kitty for the exact address: (323) 644-0268. If you're not also attending the workshop, there will be a $5 cover charge for seidh to help defray expenses.

We will repair to some local eatery for dinner and debrief afterwards.

Saturday 17 October, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Sunday 18 October, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Trance Workshop!

When last I spoke with event organizers, space was still available for the workshop proper. Participants are expected to have purchased, and read, Trance-Portation before attending the workshop, and are strongly encouraged to have attended the oracular seidh the night before. There will be meal breaks, but food is not included in your registration.

For more information, including whether there are any spaces left, call Cauldron Kitty at (323) 644-0268. The workshop will be held at a location rather near the USC campus; call the bookstore for more details.

Sunday 18 October, 5:00-7:00 PM, Book Signing @ Alexandria II, Pasadena

Once the workshop is over, we've been scheduled to do another book signing. This one will be at Alexandria II Metaphysical Bookstore, located at 170 S Lake Ave in Pasadena. For more information, see their website.

Monday 19 October, 7:00-9:00 PM, Lecture and Signing @ Borders, Brea

Our roadshow makes it into the OC on Monday, where we'll be making a stop at the Borders Books at 429 S Associated Rd in Brea. Their phone number is (714) 672-0120.

Tuesday 20 October, ???, Book Signing in San Diego

We may, or may not, have a signing scheduled for San Diego--if this settles out before we leave, we'll be sure to let you know!

Current Mood: productiveproductive

More on my spider's feeding habitsCollapse )


I have a pet tarantula, and inside I talk about feeding him. This post is is not for arachnophobes.Collapse )


Thanks to everyone who responded in the poll, especially those who chimed in from lands afar!

But here, in lands anear, the place to be will be Akasaka Sushi in Berkeley, this Saturday, 10 October, from around 7:30 until we're so stuffed they'll name rolls after us. Akasaka has all-you-can-eat sushi as well as vegetarian, low-carb, and other items, as well as premium sushi that is not on the all-you-can-eat menu, e.g., uni*, that may be ordered à la carte. They are reasonably priced for Japanese food; their menu is online at their web site so you may plan accordingly.

Akasaka is on the 1 and 1R AC Transit bus lines, giving you easy access from Downtown Berkeley BART, or you can call countgeiger and I for a pickup.

Ply me with enough sake, and we shall speculate how Wagner's Ring would look if Kurosawa filmed it.

RSVP! I don't know if they even take reservations, or if we'll just descend on the place like the pack of hairy barbarians we are, but if I know how many are coming, I'll know how big the advance party should say we are, so répondez s'il vous plaît!

-- Lorrie

* -- Sea urchin gonads.

Poll #1466192 Lorrie's Birthday Party, Part Two
This poll is closed.

Which of these dates would work for you?

Friday, 9 October
Saturday, 10 October
Other (in comments)
Regrettably, nothing, but happy birthday!

Which of these restaurants appeals to you more?

Akasaka Sushi in Berkeley
Other (in comments)
I am strangely attracted to the idea of tickyboxes. Look! I click this one now!
Lorrie felt like filling out all five default tickybox answers. Do you feel like filling in all the tickybox answers? This one's for you!

Will you be arriving by BART and need a pickup?

No, and I CAN pick someone up from BART.
No, and I CANNOT pick someone up from BART.
No, because I can only attend by astral projection.
Zen cow says, "Mu." You may or may not have more to say in comments.

Thanks to everyone who attended my birthday dinner at Sea Salt!

For those of you who were double-booked or otherwise unavailable, check this space for a poll on where I should hold Round II!

-- Lorrie

So, the vet called...

Her liver and kidneys are fine, actually. Her thyroid, on the other paw, is at 21.5--that's twenty times the normal amount, and seven times what it had been when she was on one pill of Tapezol per day.

Vet recommendation is to add anti-nausea meds to her regimen, get her back on two Tapezol per day, and see where her blood levels are in two weeks.

Whew--doesn't stop her from being old, but as long as we can give her good quality of life, and as long as she's okay taking her medicine, I'm not inclined to euthanize.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

-- Lorrie

So this morning (now yesterday morning), I saw Wibble at her food bowl, eating--and even after two hours, it was still down.

The vet gave her subcutaneous fluid, anti-nausea medication, and drew blood and urine. We'll know more tomorrow when all the labs come back.

As some of you might remember from this pair of posts, as well as this pair and these pictures from countgeiger, I helped my cat George into the clearing at the end of the path fourteen months ago.

Not long after that, his littermate Wibble turned up hyperthyroid (this is often what it means when an old cat becomes a bag of bones: it's feline overclocking). Well, at least we knew the routine by now--and unlike her brother, she could take thyroid medicine twice a day without obvious adverse effects. We started treatment, figuring that at her age the nuclear option would cost more than relatively inexpensive pills, given the amount of time she likely had left.

The past couple days, while she's always had a delicate tummy, now she's throwing up more than usual (including the thyroid meds, of course), including a clear, slightly bilious vomitus under my desk this morning.

While she's been drinking more than usual, her eyes are sunken, a sign of dehydration.

The vet doesn't have any appointments today--while I could sit with her in a carrier in the vet's office on an emergency basis until someone had time...I don't think that's fair to Wibble, in a strange box in a strange place with no real access to water when she's drinking as much as she is.

There will be an appointment tomorrow instead.

We'll see what happens.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: sadsad

I love road trips.

Indeed, in my particularly eccentric and idiosyncratic religion, I believe they are sacraments, rites in which the road-gods, the wander-gods, the wisdom-gods, are active. When I see a corvid on the wing above the car, I see an outward and visible sign of an inward and visible...yes, grace, let's tell the truth and shame no-one. Yet, each god's grace is a different grace, and Odin's grace tempts and teases you to share in his fierce joy, and the deep sorrow that brings it into sharp relief.

More mundanely, dpaxson and I kept this wekeend scrupulously clear that we might possibly attend a local heathen campout, but the announcement of the proper date came, not only late, but on the weekend before the one we'd cleared out.

So, with two of her three grandchildren in tow, we are going anyway. We have headed upcountry, we have lit out for the Territories, and are on the road.

Tonight, we're at The Old West Inn in Willits. I certainly didn't choose room number nine--we were given a choice of two rooms without knowing their numbers, and here we are.

Each room here has a theme--not inside, but outside on a sign. #9 is the livery stable. Y'all can laugh now. *grin*

But now, Idunna is overripe and overdue, and and so do I bid ye all adieux; perhaps we'll post a picture on the morrow before heading down to Ukiah, and up to where we'll be pitching tent.

Go well!

-- Lorrie

The silk of a million spiders, woven into cloth.

If I were a hair more Hellenismo, I'd joke about Arachnea's Revenge.


Short version: lj-embed, aka "how you get YouTube into your LJ" combined with malware, may have have made recent LJ posts public. Please read the post for more details.

The authors of the malware could not have harvested your LJ password. They may have harvested your e-mail address to add to spam lists. Making your posts public has enough potential fallout on its own, however, that you might want to check out the link.

Thanks to dubhain for the heads-up.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

On a certain list, someone is trying to assert that the Moon landing was faked.

*multiply unprintable blue streak cussing here*

While I decide whether or not to launch a calm "your conspiracy theory sucks, here's why" in reply, complete with obligatory link to relevant Mythbusters ep, have my convoluted anecdote in support of the conspiracy instead:

Obviously, the decision to fake the moon landing occured late in the game, while astronauts were in training at the world-famous Meteor Crater, a ready source of the same sort of soil that would later be hoarded as "moondust" and, even later, passed around as "certified lunar regolith stimulant", i.e., "fake moondust".

One can imagine it now, with two of NASA's black ops guys are in a diner in a nearby mining town working out the bare bones of the plot. Yet, they were a little too loud in discussing the scheme, and their conversation was overheard by two lads trying to pay their bill, studio musicians out from LA on a lark. They sat on their story for years, eventually forming a band out of Linda Ronstadt's backing group.

This band's eventual oeuvre remains littered with references to the plot, right there in plain sight with the guitarist/keyboardist and drummer, both songwriters, thumbing their noses at NASA the whole time, who daren't call the band out on it for fear of blowing their old lie sky-high.

Starting with the band's name, itself a reference to Apollo 11's landing module, and their first single, where they explain in a seeming throwaway line how they discovered the plot.

Yep. No question about it: the whole thing was hatched while standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

-- Lorrie

PS: Watch out for the girl in the flatbed Ford. She's slowing down to take a look at you so she can take a picture for the FBI's files.

Current Mood: sillysilly

  • Call Whole Foods in the morning about that order for five pounds of shredded cabbage.

  • Hrafnar is delighted to eat and enjoy sauerkraut as long as the cabbage is shredded finely enough AND not red. Red cabbage makes pink sauerkraut, from which people back away slowly, white cabbage makes beige sauerkraut which attracts a throng. Know the difference!

  • Call that German restaurant in Eureka Springs, AR, the one where you had that awesome Cream of Sauerkraut Soup during the weekend of dr_beowulf's wedding to evilwenchesinc. Shake them down for the recipe, because you misplaced it the last time they gave it to you. If you start now, the kraut should be soup-able in plenty of time for Hrafnar Yule, even if you'll miss Winternights.

  • Taunt trogula about how a certain town in Ohio holds a sauerkraut festival every year.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Yes, as last year, I'll be having a birthday dinner at Sea Salt, the sustainable seafood restaurant at Dwight and San Pablo on my birthday, 03 October 2009. The details are just like last year, except as this will be on a Saturday instead of a Friday, there will be no roast suckling pig (darnit!).

There are vegetarian options, and non-seafood options, and nothing our merry band ate there last year disappointed. What there aren't are inexpensive options, although there is a tasting menu (I love me my prix fixe). countgeiger and I might be able to help folks who really ought to be there but are a little strapped for cash just now.

dpaxson is already Otherwise Engaged, so I might just have to up and have two birthday dinners. *holds hand to forehead and slumps to her fainting couch* As last year, we may set up an alternate thingy at Fenton's on another night. I'll keep y'all posted.

Please RSVP to either this invitiation or, preferably, the FB invite (it tracks better) that I'll have up shortly.

Hope to see some of you there!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: chipperchipper

Phew, my Idunna 81 contributions are now safely in, h'ray.

First, is a poem I posted to LJ awhile ago called "The Long Road". dpaxson gave it the polish I'd begged for when I wrote it and drew a picture to go with it.

A poem! Mine! Was worth a picture! For me! *!swoons with glee!*

Then, I have another essay in this one, which I have just now finished: it's called "The Well and the Web", and Yr Humble Servant has attempted to draw connections between the three Wells of Norse cosmology (with which my target audience should be summat familiar) and the Internet (with which my target audience is not expected to be more than cursorily familiar).

For that, I taught myself a new Adobe InDesign trick involving text displayed on pretty little gradients to go under my babble...text sufficiently occulted from its sources that dr_beowulf ought to offer a price for its decryption.

Of course, in the morning I shall become convinced that the whole back quarter leaves me too vulnerable and ought to be replaced with something tamer, or that we should call the whole thing off. dpaxson likely won't let me. 8-)

Idunna is on track to go to the printers this Wednesday, and be in the mail to you, Gentle Readers, by the end of the month.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: sleepysleepy

Yeah, okay, so countgeiger talked me into Lord of the Rings Online.

Among my characters is Hrafnhildr, a Dwarf Rune-Keeper.

...the rune keepers are LotRO's "glass cannon" class, and what they DO, is run around arguing people to death and uttering evil prophecies that will hasten their demise, and if you don't kill the goblin (etc) before it gets to you, your weapon isn't an axe or anything: it's a rune-stone, with which you smack them over the head.

Oh, yeah, and heal people. But you learn how to burninate before you learn to healinate.

Arguing people to death and smacking them over the head with lore--you realise what this means?

Heathenry has found its place in online gaming!


-- Lorrie

Current Mood: amusedamused

Last night, my Brew Crew (plus a friend who was randomly at our Secret Lab to watch movies...mwa ha ha ha!) and I halved and pitted twelve pounds each of Elephant Heart plums and sugarplums for to add to our six gallon batch of melomel (that's "mead with fruit in").

Honey is twenty-four pounds Berkeley/Oakland wildflower from Bee Healthy Honey, water five gallons from Crystal Geyser's springhouse at the foot of Mount Shasta, yeast is Lalvin 71B-1122, plums from Full Belly Farm--today was decreed Plum Day because theirs were $2.00 a pound when everyone else's at the farmers' market was $3.25-$4.00.

I fear it may be summat oxidized--there's some "off" flavors that I can't quite write off as "young mead", and some reason to suspect I made a couple "cocky sophomore" mistakes. Still...time will tell, and if there were ever a time to trust in patient cultivation, it would be with a brew in Frigg's honor.

Next up in my vague Brewing Plans are:

Another simple braggot from Jim Smith's recipe, for Lo, it is Tasty.

Honey porter for Thor
We have some tanbark "oak"* honey, and while it's enough to make a mead, the consensus 'round these parts is that Thor is more a dark beer kind of guy--so honey porter it shall be, although we shall oak up the beer a bit. As local UPG also suggests that Thor is fond of "chocolate chip cookies with nuts in", and that's a porter-compatible kind of thing, it'll probably have a handful of cocoa nibs and maybe some walnuts or summat.

Metheglin for Odin.
We also have some sage honey on hand, and Odin is definitely a Mead Guy. Part of bearfairie's homework, as an herbalist and fledgling Odin Pom-Pom Girl, is to come up with an ingredient list...with nothing necessarily off the table and a vague handwave toward the more inspirational and ecstatic parts of Himself.

Yule Mead
Also in the collection is toyon honey, also known as California Holly. I suspect we'll get to brewing with this around Yule (duh). In Hrafnar, we like to honor Thor, Odin, and Freyr as Yulefather, so this should speak some to each of them. Why, look! I've already got work underway for two outta three!

Note to Self: Work out something Freyrish for the Yule Mead. Bacon? (Caput apri defero // Reddens laudes Domino!) Resist the urge to add yohimbe, what are you, twelve?

Further Note to Self: Consider bacon hefeweizen for Freyr. IT COULD HAPPEN.

*Note to Readers: Tanbark oak is not a true oak. It makes acorn-looking nuts and has leaves that look like other oak leaves, even though they are arranged improperly on the stem. It's that old-timey free-associative medieval-style logic at work. That Is My Story and I'm Sticking To It.

Current Mood: creativecreative

Dear Arachnophobes: This Is Not the Post You're Looking For. Move Along.Collapse )


They Might Be Giants has a new children's-oriented album out, called Here Comes Science. The folks at BoingBoing put together this cheery video on the elements.

Thing I Did Not Know: chalk has sulfur in it. I thought it was calcium carbonate, but no! It's calcium sulfate.


-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

Well, eye round roast, koshered for a day and then roasted low & slow, isn't a prime rib...but it's pretty darn good! I served it alongside horseradish cream sauce and homemade sauerkraut, and the only reason any roast made it home is because dpaxson and I hid some in the back. *grin*
Recipes Here!Collapse )

Hrafnar's Nine Party was simply wonderful--I hope everyone who was there enjoyed themselves!

Also, was that rune ring awesome or what?

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Tomorrow (today for most of you) will be 09 September 2009--or 09-09-09.

It also happens to be the regularly scheduled Hrafnar meeting, so we've decided that this month's event will be a party brought to you by the Number Nine, the Rune Ansuz, and the god Odin! It will be held at the usual place and time (Greyhaven, 7:30 PM).

Events will include (but probably not be limited to) Nine-Pin Loggats, Nine Men's Morris, mind-bending riddles, and a short sumbel in Odin's honor. Also, as we're used to doing at September Hrafnar meetings, we will be creating a corn dolly that we fervently hope looks like a horse, to be sacrificed to the fire at Yule. However, this time, instead of the Vanir, the focus will be on Woden as a Continental fertility power and as leader of the Hunt--and we'll be leaving a sheaf in the old yew stump for Sleipnir.

I know at least two people are bringing salmon (mmmm, fishies!), and there will be aspearagus and roast beast.

Now, usually, I roast a mighty prime rib, source of the ribeye steak. But this time, I'm going with an eye of round roast.

Hope to see some of you there!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Geez, newer hardware sure is squirrelly--this new build for my home XP desktop/gaming box has taken two weeks and is on its second motherboard, second set of hard drives, third set of ramsticks and, um eleventeenth install of Windows 7 RC. However, still first CPU and video card, so that's...something. I s'pose.

By the by, Central Computers FTW, and as always, Fry's FTL.

In "halp i've been assimilated!" news, I'm on Facebook. My legal name is unusual enough that I should be easy to find there. Still, it's not a place for well-rounded thoughts--I'll still keep those here or on Dreamwidth, if/when I should ever move there.

Today, I finally could install AdBlock Plus with a clean conscience.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

My last post had two HTML errors in it, probably from "posting while a zombie".

I've edited them, if you had trouble reading it.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: drainedbleary

When brewing mead, one should not propose to haul it thirty miles once the yeast has really started chowin' down, and certainly one shouldn't rack it, neither should one add more honey.


If you wind up having to do all that because, say, you were exhausted enough to goof up the delicate difference between "add water to make five gallons" and "add five gallons", well...

The little bit of waste you generated when starting the siphon with your feeeeelthy mouth (and ejected into an alternate vessel, thankyouverymuch) will be really tasty honey soda pop. Hunh.

Fiber, heathen, AND mead-making geekeries herein. Whoa.Collapse )

Current Mood: sleepysleepy

Nipped off to The Yarn Boutique, wherein I decided that the Jamieson's Spindrift was too scant per skein, too scritchy withal, and available in no color sufficiently sunny.

BUT! The owner of the store is Helpful on a scale not heretofore seen since my last romp through Purlescence. She kept waved different yarns at me--and I was nearly tempted by Kauni Effektgarn, but the EU color is too fiery to be solar (I mean, seriously, Sol is a type G, not M) Dale Baby Ull? Well, eject that high-minded astronomical theory, because that one is too yellow to be golden; needs more red...

(I'm unskilled-at-best at most visual arts, but hanging around dpaxson, lferion, and others has made me care more about color than any keyboard jockey who doesn't specialize in website design should.)

After thrashing through the store and chirping happily about all, we settled on Mirasol's Tupa, which at 50/50 wool/silk in their color 801 should be a very sunny, sunflowery gold indeed. The gold, however, was in their warehouse, and had to be fetched by the owner's husband, who was in yet a third location, all of which added up to more time for more temptation.


"Hey, y'know what would make that even more sunflowery?" I asked myself, "if the center bit were a nice warm brown". Thus, a hank of 810 (Dark Auburn) was added to the stack.

And then, well, the owner was so nice, I finally broke down and bought a ball winder...

Oh, hey, this will be pretty slippery--look! Wooden shawl pins and this one looks sunny! Yay!

Now I remember why wolfs_daugher recommended this store! They have Harry Potter scarf yarn! I consulted the usual site, and indeed YB had the colors for the requested house (Ravenclaw), but I don't like their suggestions--old country blue is too greenish grey and insufficiently corvine. Instead, I went with Cascade 220 Heathers, in 9449 (a deep, luminous cobalt with a nigh-subliminal turquoise halo, like the sky in deep twilight) and 9491 (a medium/light heather grey). The gentleman in question, a master costumer, will listen to important details like "hand wash only!", so he can has 100% wool. *grin*

Now we'll see how long it'll take dpaxson to knit it...heh!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

(cross-posted to allfathers_own)

The next issue of Idunna, number 81, will have a theme of Odin--Your Intrepid Editors are indulging themselves in the fact that eighty-one is nine nines, and besides, we haven't run an Odin issue in ten years (wow!).

You--yes, YOU--if you have something to say about Odin, whether or not you are a Troth member, we would like to hear from you, and we would like your article, poem, essay, paper, and so on. Heck, last issue had a sketch or two I wouldn't've minded as a pinup, like Raven Livingston's "Oski".

If nothing else, consider a few paragraphs for our "Close Encounters of the Þriði Kind" section, also known as "How I Found Odin and What He Did to Me When He Found Me". If you got recruited at a black metal concert, a Swedish folk music recital, a poetry slam, a data center, we want the story. If you ran into him as a drifting grifter or out hiking, we want to hear about it.

Submission deadline is 15 August, which is a month and a half away. Contributors get a copy of the issue or, if already Troth members, one more issue added to their membership.

If you are interested, please reply to this message, drop me a PM, or e-mail my LJ name at snugharbor.com for more information.


-- Lorrie

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

Okay, after three posts hip-deep in Unix geekery, let's have one steeped in knitting-geekery:

Currenly on the needles, I have Brooklyn Tweed's Girasole, a pretty round shawl named for the sunflower it resembles.

Now, I didn't know it was named "Sunflower" when I cast on in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, color 6269 "Cashel Blue", named for...cheese! The yarn, however, is colored like the blue bits in a bleu cheese, not actually like bleu cheese. Thus, it is colored something like:

...the dye lot I have is bluer than this shows up on screen. It's a dark, luminous blue with some medium-grey heather/halo effects.

It probably won't show up on my blue-gray leather couch all that well, but it will be lovely and cuddly and warm (a throw in which one cannot cuddle will not be much-loved, I ween).

BUT! It's called Sunflower, and one may execute either at worsted-weight for a blanket or at lace-to-fingering for a shawl.

I'd stopped making devotional shawls, but if a surprise Sunna falls into my lap, well, all righty then. I can work on it during my next summer festival in a wretchedly hot place. *grin*

The designer-recommended yarn is Jamieson's Spindrift--I would think that any of the first few of might do, but I'm more than passing fond of the heather, Scotch Broom.

This is available sort-of-locally, at Yarn Boutique in Lafayette, which comes highly recommended as a store by wolfs_daugher. They're open today--so I might wander on by...

There! Now, for real balance, I should post about something heathen. *nodnod*

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

After a crawl through grub, lorien is back online. Apologies for any inconvenience.

I'm still mighty tempted by that replacement hardware...

-- Lorrie


lorien had two different /boot directories--one on a mounted partition, and one just lying around on the file system.

The mounted /boot doesn't keep itself mounted in the running filesystem (I vaguely recall I did this for security reasons, but who knows?), so the new OS's new kernel installed itself in /boot.

On reboot, of course, the old /boot partition was consulted, and the old (OOOOOOOOLD, two updates ago) kernel loaded.

countgeiger and I guessed at a fix--and failed.

YOUR DATA IS SAFE. Just in an advanced state of inaccessibility, which will be remedied as soon as I spank grub a few times.

A risk I knew I was taking when doing a massive OS upgrade in place--and hey, it almost worked except for that pesky pesky kernel!

Meanwhile, once we have this back up and running, our thought is to whip 'round to the Apple store and pick up some replacement hardware that will be much quieter and more energy-efficient. My only concern is that going from two hard drives in a RAID-1 to one (even if I sit that one on top of an external HDD attached with firewire 800 and sync every hour or some such) will make it considerably less fault-tolerant, so I'm still thinking about it.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: determineddetermined

I'm upgrading the operating system on my server, lorien, today--from Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10) to Jaunty Jackalope (9.04). This "shouldn't" (ha ha ha) involve anything more catastrophic than a reboot for anyone who isn't me, but y'all should be duly advised.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

Given my office kitchen, with the following:

  1. On-demand 207° F (97° C) water, i.e., "just off the boil"

  2. Arbitrary numbers of black tea bags (including Earl Grey)

  3. On-demand ice of several sizes.

  4. My not-inconsequential cooking fu

...why was I buying iced tea, again?

(one mug water, two tea bags, steep, put one mug of ice in a two-mug glass, pour supertea over ice, stir) Yay!

Now if they would chuck that goofy one-packet-per cup Flavia machine in favor of a real coffee pot, I'd no longer feel the urge to bring in a French press for some decent non-espresso coffee.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekyfood-nerdy

Dear Freyja:

Fancy a cat toy?

May I suggest one to you?

-- Lorrie

Warning: If you don't want to know more than "someone was unspeakable to a kitten while trashing an ex-roommate's apartment, then tried to blow it all off as a joke", do not click.

About the only good thing you can say here is that it's kinda cool that SPCA agents in NYC are real cops with real guns and real authority to arrest. They, about now, probably wish they could focus unrequited rage into laser beams...

Current Mood: discontentdisgusted

ninevirtues, bearfairie, (does Jer have LJ or a preferred nom de net?), and hilarypoet held a Þor Blót and BBQ at her Santa Clara townhouse yesterday, and dpaxson and I, along with about a dozen others (hi, wyrdgrrl!) were privileged to attend.

ninevirtues just bought a new Weber grill, and I was delighted to be able to break it in for her. Before we started the blót proper, another gentleman and I lit off two grills (he'd brought his own juuuust in case).

The blót was held along very simple lines: hilarypoet performed the Hammer Rite and each attendee said a name of Thor (provided on slips of paper). There were more slips than attendees, so we went around several times--I overcame my handicap of only having one slip by creating Eddic epithets on the spot.

I was deeply honored that my homebrew hefeweizen was chosen to fill the horn for the three-round sumbel that followed: one round for Thor, one for the gods, and one for the spirits of all sizes, with a suggested theme of blessing ninevirtues and her home. At the end of each round, a particular plant in ninevirtues tidy garden was chosen to receive the leftover beer and lemonade.

By this time, the coals were ready to go, so go we did!

bearfairie has a very complicated list of food issues (so complicated that she became a nutritionist in self defense!), so my primary contribution to the affair was to fulfill the challenge set before me of Meat She Could Eat.

Herewith, my nearly-completely successful recipe: bearfairie-Safe Buffaburgers, which makes 6-8 patties, compiled with the happy help of arianrhodstorm, who contributed the Secret Ingredient to my "Herbes de bearfairie" blend and helped smell-test and mix the ingredients.

Recipe!Collapse )

And, oh yeah, beer (including some Rabbit's Foot Bière de miele, a Kölsch-style beer with significant honey added). And mead. About halfway through the eating-and-drinking part of the blót, bearfairie reached somewhere behind her and brought out a bottle of this:

Rabbit's Foot Meadery's Warhammer Cyser, available only in a three-liter bottle. For you English-measurement folks, that's three quarters of a gallon of hooch, equivalent to four normal-sized bottles of wine.

The sight of this bottle bottle scares small children and daunts grown adults. 'Tis most impressive, and is definitely a two-handed weapon.

By the way, didja know that the meadery does a lot of their stuff in resealable Grölsch-style bottles what are properly brown to keep out eeeevil UV light? Including Warhammer? So now I have The Perfect Bottle in which to put a large-ritual-sized quantity of my own mead! Yay!

Shortly afterward, once the meat was all properly grilled, it got rather silly out...and then we all cleaned up ninevirtues's townhouse, made off with most of the leftovers (especially all the booze) in order to support today's event, and then we went home. I left the charcoal chimney started behind as a grillwarming present for ninevirtues, and I've no doubt it will be used well.



Didja want a play-by-play of what happens when tipsy Feri ask questions of tipsy seiðkonas? Or the Thousand and One Uses of Blue-Green Algæ?

Too bad! Ya shoulda been there!

Okay, time to put together today's Victorious Pork Roast, which will be filled with apples, mushrooms, onions, and honey, and wrapped in bacon proscuitto. Mmmmm, porky overdose...

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

I wonder if anyone has, free or reasonably priced, a toolbox, framework, or whatever into which I could dump a PDF (etc) of a book--and sell the result on the App Store?

I do not want "PDFs on my iPhone!" or "zomg kindle!" or any of those: I want something like any of the eleventeen single book-reading apps, only blank. Then this doohickey accepts my PDF (etc), compiles the app, I upload the app, profit. This would be useful for dpaxson's back catalog, Our Troth, or other similar and worthy volumes.

Any thoughts, O Social Network of Awesome and Win?

(Also on the To-Do, a way to make runes that appeals to a heathen aesthetic more than the current rune apps, sheesh.)

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: geekygeeky

Hey, folks--an Intrepid Correspondent just e-mailed me and said that she'd called the Pantheacon 2010 hotel (Doubletree San Jose), and they no longer have rooms available for the entire con, although some rooms may still be available for Sunday night.

Long-time congoers know the drill by now: check the con lodging page (still not updated from P-con 2009) to look into your overflow options. These may not yet be available for booking, but you can call now to check.

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: gratefulgrateful

The Baycon 2009 preliminary program is now online. Among its excitements and inducements, I'll be at:

The theme is a roughly steampunk new-minted shared world. Thus, an excuse to haul out my Dickens Faire duds, at least for one of the two Regency Dancing sessions (Friday, 8:30 PM and Sunday, 8:00 PM). Alas that I have no steampunky accessories to add to these. Alas!

The Zombies Are Coming!
cadhla and I are on a panel about the Coming Zombie Apocalypse--I wonder if I can talk the mod into giving me a few minutes to explain Why Draugar Are Cooler Than Hollywood Zombies. Oh, hey, Kevin Andrew Murphy is the mod...I have a shot. (Saturday, 11:30 AM)

When the Last Paper Dies
This is about the slow death of newspapers and investigative reporting. I'm ambivalent on this: no, blogs are not a substitute for real journalism: the Fourth Estate should be preserved. Yet, as with anything in a dead tree edition, they're floundering to keep up with online media distribution. The question of "who's paying for this!?" is always going to be with us. I am on this with jon_decles, which might argue for the appearance of Special Guest Star Mark Twain. Who knows? (Saturday, 1:00 PM)

Floating Islands and Lost Cities in History and Literature
I originally thought this would be on Floating Cities. "Ah ha!" I said, "it's Monday morning, I can just babble mindlessly about that one episode of classic Star Trek, with a side of Cloud City on Bespin and a side shout-out for Lobot and I'll be safe! But no--floating islands. Lost cities. Not in the air, apparently. Perhaps I'll babble about the lost cities inside the stratovolcanoes of the Cascades... (Monday, 11:30 AM).

But, of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't report on the doings of some other Usual Suspects...

Diana PaxsonCollapse )
Jon DeClesCollapse )
Ian GreyCollapse )

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