(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2017 09:04 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
Last week my manager said "hey you should take some time off, like next week, or the week after."
About an hour later my favorite coworker came in and said "we have a horrible project and it's going horribly and can you help?" So I have until I don't know when, stuck sitting in front of a temperature-controlled chamber, running massive quantities of boards through.
I did manage to figure out a way to get my test system to run boards in parallel. In all the time I've been working at this job, our system test equipment ran one board at a time, but I recently wrote some fancy stuff that allows me to run as many boards as the measurement equipment I can scrounge up can accommodate. (I have not yet managed to get them to run in true parallel, because I'm still learning how to write re-entrant code. Maybe tomorrow. But at least I can get different hardware systems to measure in parallel, meaning if I'm careful, I can interleave them and get N units tested in T* (N/(N*1.2)) time rather than T*N time.)
The problem is that I get a datalog that has a complete mishmash of data in it: a temperature reading, then a huge swath of readings that are identified in one column by the instrument name that took the measurement, and in the next column by the actual measurement.
What I need to do is convert that to a column of temperatures, and then N columns of measurements, one for each measurement from each board being tested. Writing a sorting array for that took a lot of today and it's still not totally functional: it relies very heavily on all measurements being basically valid. (If a measurement is skipped for some reason, as in the instrument returns no value, it substitutes the next valid measurement, from the next round of tests, shifting everything in that column upwards and putting data where it shouldn't be.)
I was doing this in my office, into which everyone was pouring to talk about their weekends and the trails they rode and the stuff they made, while I'm trying to figure out how to make arrays of pointers that determine the stack depth in each column. Finally I went back and hid behind the temperature chamber, where it is too loud and hot for anyone else to even try a conversation, and got my first attempt at a sorting program working. While I was doing that, I noticed I'd made a stupid mistake in the program taking data, reusing a variable without assigning new values to it, so all my measurements were the same. Great consistency. I had to restart the program from the beginning, for its three hour run ("a three hour run, a THREE HOUR RUN", and I was playing the part of Gilligan for most of it.)
At least I think this will only take me three days rather than a week and a half because of parallel operation.
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Posted by Christopher Intagliata

Firearm deaths and injuries went up in California communities after gun shows in neighboring Nevada--but not after more strictly regulated California gun shows. Christopher Intagliata reports.

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Today's Adventures

Oct. 23rd, 2017 10:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
We drove out to Terre Haute today.  I found a whole armload of stuff at Books-a-Million.  \o/  I was pleased to see that they had the books right in front, instead of electronics in front, which makes it feel like an actual bookstore.  They also still have their new releases sorted out.  The main drawback is, this chain isn't really a new-release chain.  Their mainstay is remainders.  So it's a fabulous place to shop for bargains.  I crapped out on the first several sections I tried, then hit the New Age/self-care stuff and just loaded up.  Doug didn't find anything this trip, though.  :/

Then we met up with [personal profile] callibr8 and [personal profile] we_are_spc.  We had a lot of fun talking about filk, science, Terramagne, yarn, and all kinds of other stuff.  I made most of a ball of yarn while we talked, and would've finished it had we thought of doing that sooner.  Haven't done that in over 30 years, but it's a permed skill.  Thing is, it takes forever to build up the core so that you can get into the fast-wrapping where you throw several loops in the same place before rotating the ball.  (It's a lot easier to knit from a ball than a skein unless someone is willing to hold the skein for you.)  So that was fun too.

Mostly we hung out at Hokkaido, a rather nice Asian buffet with a sushi bar and downright trippy decoration.  Like the fake tree with glowing pink flowers.  :D  The food was interesting.  They had some favorites, like frog legs and crawfish, and some pretty good dim sum dumplings.  I also tried the seaweed salad.  It was weird -- stringy, salty, fishy, kind of slimy.  I probably would've liked it better in summer when I crave salty things.  Today was rainy and downright cold.  But it's still something I have wanted to try and the vivid green flavor was eye-catching.  I might also like it better as a garnish on something, like slivered beef.

Star Trek: Discovery: Episode 6

Oct. 23rd, 2017 10:41 pm
sineala: The Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS) flying into the clouds (enterprise)
[personal profile] sineala
Well, that was... a thing.

Spoilers )

Memorabilia

Oct. 23rd, 2017 06:01 pm
viridian5: (Still fighting)
[personal profile] viridian5
The pricey but really good repair guys from last time were booked through the end of this month so I found a local repair shop with good reviews on Yelp in Flushing to take my laptop to. Parking there is sparse, while poles often bear several signs of "if-then" no-parking rules simultaneously.

They finished repairing my laptop and I picked it up Friday. The guy manning the counter said he didn't fix it so he didn't know what had gone wrong and how it was fixed and claimed the repair guy worked on so many machines that he probably didn't remember either. Annoyed, I paid up. When I started using it I saw that the anti-virus software wasn't enabled so I contacted AVG service for help. As she worked by remote my laptop turned itself off a few times and finally turned it off and refused to boot up. When I called the repair shop I got the repair guy on the phone and he saw that AVG had been the problem to begin with! You know, the software I paid big bucks for. I told him how nobody told me anything and I certainly wouldn't have restored AVG and disabled my machine again if anyone had informed me of anything. So I brought back my computer that evening.

After two and a half days I went back for my computer. When I returned to my car 15 minutes later after picking up my laptop, my car was gone. Turns out that it was an illegal spot and my car was towed. The signs had been confusing, there had been other people parked there, and I saw people parked illegally all over the place, but my car was towed, leaving me stranded. A call to 311 information, some internet, and a map later, I found the nearest bus stop that would take me to the address of the impound lot. So I did a lot of walking in the humid heat while carrying a seven-pound computer in a shoulder bag, and I'm dead.

The fee for the tow to get it released was $189. There's an additional parking ticket for $60. I'm sure the NYPD doesn't care that I had a parking meter slip in the window to suggest I thought it was legal and I'm sure everyone who gets ticketed in Flushing cites the confusing signage and the police don't care. If not for San San Computer's negligence I wouldn't have even been in the area today!

It's more surprise! bills recently requiring money I don't actually have. I'm so tired of life kicking me in the face and bank account these days, and I'm currently physically tired and hurting badly.
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Posted by ARRAY(0xc149150)

Wildfires contributed to global tree cover loss equivalent to the size of New Zealand in 2016

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

40 Days of Anime - Day 39

Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:31 pm
jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
[personal profile] jennaria
39: Is there an anime you wish was more popular?

I'm not sure. My usual response has been SHINGU, but as previously discussed, Not Everything Is To Everyone's Taste, and I'm not sure I actually want a Fandom to develop for my little-known faves, with everything that entails.

Mostly it comes down to - anything that I wish was more popular, like SHINGU (or INU X BOKU, to pick another example)? Really what I want is either (1) more people that I know to watch the thing, so I can burble about it with them, and/or (2) more people to watch the thing, and then write the fanfic that I want to read. Seriously, folks, there are three Shingu fanfics on AO3 (all written by me*), and 8 for Inu X Boku (none written by me), somebody should get on that.

(...I will also note that choice (1) is good for getting me to write fanfic. See also: the entirety of my INITIAL D output. Thanks, Stef and Kay!)

*There used to be a couple more, and written by someone other than me? But they got deleted for reasons I don't know.
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Posted by Ask a Manager

I went on the Pop Tea podcast to talk about the ghosting ex, the guy who pooped in the potted plant, phone anxiety, and much more. It’s episode 10 here. My segment starts at 46:35 and lasts for about 40 minutes. (The hosts of this are really funny!)

I also discussed the ghosting ex on the Why Oh Why podcast, which talks about romance and relationships in the digital age (Vulture called the host “a genius of the cringe,” which is a title I covet). My segment starts at 20:00 here and lasts for about seven minutes.

here’s me talking about the ghosting ex was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:11 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I need to set some sort of alarm to remind me to take regular breaks to lie on the floor on my back. It hurts to do it, but it's the only thing that eases my shoulders at all, and when I don't do it, they just get tighter and tighter and tighter which also hurts. I'm pretty sure that the things that hurt when I lie on the floor aren't going to be harmed by it. The shoulder thing hurts and exhausts me. I'm pretty sure it's contributing to me not sleeping at night.

Cordelia and her friends were sufficiently bored by Saturday night's dance that they left after about an hour (considering it was a bit more than $25 per ticket, that seems like a terrible return on our money). They walked to one of Cordelia's friend's houses. Cordelia says she really wished for a jacket or sweatshirt because her dress is sleeveless.

Scott got really pretty cranky about not getting around to mowing the lawn on Saturday. The front lawn looks okay even when it doesn't get mowed for weeks, but the backyard actually gets sun for a lot of the day, and it gets pretty shaggy. I don't care because we don't do anything out there and because no one can see it but our neighbors who don't much care. Scott, however, was brought up with the idea that lawn care is Important as a sign of competent adulthood.

Seriously, when we were house hunting, we looked for the smallest lawn we could get. (Condos weren't an option because, in our price range, they were all either too small for our bed (or our books) or very, very vertical; most were both. We were more concerned about limiting stairs than about lawns.)

We got sandwiches while we were doing our library run yesterday because I was running out of time to eat. Scott got a sandwich with pesto, and the basil was so strong that I really wanted to get up and move because my mind associates the smell with getting sick after eating it. I hadn't expected to have that reaction, and I'll need to mention it to Scott so that he knows for next time. I don't mind him eating it, but it would be much better if we sat at separate tables for it.

We have no idea if we'll be able to go to the celebration for Scott's sister's birthday on Saturday. Her family needs to be done and gone before we can possibly get there if Scott's working that day. Sunday wasn't an option because of a choir fundraiser that will keep Cordelia most of the afternoon combined with me not being able to eat anything at all after 6 p.m. on school nights.

I think I'm in spitting distance of the end of the first draft of the story I'm currently working on. I hope so, anyway. I know the main thing I need to address when I edit. I just keep cat waxing, though. I can write a couple hundred words, and then I need to stop for a while. Mostly, right now, I'm looking over saved prompts to see which ones I really, really want to write. I think I need to delete any that don't give me immediate plot bunnies. Well, I'll keep the ones from people I know, too, with a generous definition of 'know.'

Figure to yourselves my bogglement

Oct. 23rd, 2017 06:09 pm
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

A booklist which includes Tropic of Cancer and Little Women:

Goodreads' 200 Most Difficult Novels. "Novels that made you work the hardest. Let's assume that you actually finished the book and felt that it was worth the effort."

And some of those are Very Long Important Novels but some of them are quite short, and not even short in the sense of 'compressed and elliptical and dense'.

And some of them are challenging reads on account of subject matter but others, really, not so much I would have thought.

And, generically, quite a mishmash.

But a list that includes Clarissa and Coraline?

Okay, some of those books look like set texts that people had to struggle through and then found worth the journey, but others, presumably, are not the kind of books that feature in lit courses.

And some are even in the category I would have considered rattling airport reads...

solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Surprise! Guess what has a Chapter 2. And a Chapter 3, already a complete first draft. I did not know about any of this until the most words I have ever written in a single day (I think) came pouring out of my brain yesterday.

[AO3 link]


[Two months later. Watchpoint Gibraltar.]

With a tooth-shatteringly loud screech, the outer wall of the medical bay peeled away and fell towards the ocean, just as Dr. Ziegler's nurse assistants finished prepping the Widowmaker's first treatment.

"Sorry, luv," Tracer shouted, appearing in the void, one pistol aimed straight at the doctor, as the ringing, clanging metal fell, its sounds fading in the distance. "Can't let y'do that. We made a promise. Back off."

"Lena," said Angela, half-deafened, clinging to her composure, thinking, this shouldn't be happening, but backing away carefully towards her staff. "You lost this argument. I know how you feel about what's going on, but it's better than a death sentence. Do not do this."

"Can't not. I keep my promises, you know that." She fired a shot over the doctor's shoulder. "And stop moving towards your staff. Can't have that, either. What's she on?"

"A twilight sleep sedative, voluntary muscle paralysis, and saline I.V., that's all. We wanted her partially responsive and were about to administer the first dose of treatment. Lena, you do not know what you're doing, this is not a..."

"Stow it. I know she didn't consent and I know this ain't right." Tracer glanced at the closer nurse assistant. "Pull her off the drip. Right now." The assistant looked nervously at Dr. Ziegler, and Tracer decided to make it less optional by shooting the saline unit with her other pistol. "I said now, luv," and the nurse moved to work.

"She can't consent," said the combat medic. "She will murder you in your sleep, and that's if you are very, very lucky."

Kestrel swooped in, a wary eye still attentive to the skies outside. "What's the hold up? We don't have time for chats."

"I have this under control, can you get her up off the table?"

Kestrel waved her gravity blade at the nurse assistant - Odion, she thought - who moved away quite rapidly. Stepping forward, she snapped her fingers in front of Widowmaker's half-closed eyes, and saw those eyes track her fingers, just a little - somebody was in there. "Widowmaker, I'm Kestrel, I sure hope you remember me, we're getting you out of here, just like we said we would, back in London." She pulled the blue woman off the scanning bed, and onto her back. "Let's go, while we still can."

"Emily," warned the doctor, as the flying agent carried the Talon assassin towards the light transport hovering outside, "reconsider. You can't come back from this."

The flying agent paused at the gap, and nodded grimly in return, watching as Tracer backed slowly towards her, one pistol still aimed at the doctor, the other at the two assistants. "Neither can you."

Buggery hell, this isn't how I wanted this to go, thought Lena. "Sorry, doc. Just how it has to be, I guess."

The flyer's loading door closed in front of her as she stepped onto the main deck. She could see Angela diving for the alarms before it sealed, and teleported to the pilot's seat as Kestrel got Widowmaker into the crash couch. "CLEAR!" the flying agent shouted, bracing herself for evac - and Tracer lit the engines up bright.

-----

Widowmaker opened her eyes, but not too much, examining the ceiling. Another Overwatch transport, she thought. Not the same one back from Egypt. Smaller. I am no longer at Gibraltar. How long have I been unconscious? Other than a deep legsrthy, she did not feel different - but then, how would she know? She compared her thoughts, and how they felt, to memories of previous thoughts, and how they felt, and they seemed very much the same, very much unlike Amélie's, her only other reference. It would have to do, for now.

She struggled with half-aware half-memories of being in a... medical unit? And being prepped for something. And voices, some unfamiliar, some... not.

"We've lost the last of 'em," she heard Tracer say. Tracer, who had not been in Egypt, who had not been at Gibraltar... or had she been, at the end? "I'm gonna keep us in the soup, but it should be smooth enough 'till we change ships at Iwik."

Change ships? Iwik? Why would they need to...

"I'm going to check on Widowmaker." Another voice, the flying one, Kestrel, who had also been missing when she'd been taken, taken again, this time, by Overwatch, no doubt to be remade yet again, if not just killed, but whose voice she knew...

"Widowmaker, can you hear me?" The assassin heard the voice, but could not see its source - keeping some distance, perhaps. She let herself smirk, internally. Even sedated, she invoked fear. Good. "You're safe, and you're unchanged. We kept our promise. We broke you out before Ziegler could do anything. You're safe."

What?! The assassin's eyes popped open, all the way open, all at once acutely aware of her situation, before her mind snapped back to promises made some months ago in London, promises she did not want to believe, but couldn't quite not. Then Kestrel's face appeared over her, and she was talking, saying, "Hi. We've kept our word. Do you remember being captured in Egypt? We got you out of the Watchpoint. You're safe. Well, as safe as any of us are, now - we're all in real trouble, but since when's that new?"

The words confused her, memory of promises or not. Is it a... no, it makes no sense, this cannot be a trap, they already have me, why would they... She did her best to move, but her arms, so heavy, why...

"Oh," Kestrel breathed, "you're definitely awake now, aren't you? Probably a little panicky, too. I'm sorry, it's the muscle relaxant. They had you pretty well sedated before we reached you, but that's all, as far as we know - they were still prepping the first course of reconditioning meds when I ripped the medbay's walls open."

Widowmaker's eyes locked on Kestrel's, and she shivered, an involuntary action, and the flying agent saw it, and reached to touch, to comfort - but thought better of it. "I... wish I knew whether you found touch comforting."

I wish I did too, thought the spider, a little dismayed by her own reactions as they span round and round in her head. You... kept... your... you... kept your... you kept your... you...

"We've just got away from pursuit craft, and we're heading towards a little nature reserve in Mauritania, where we'll be swapping ships."

"...ah..." Widowmaker managed, and she remained locked on Kestrel, Kestrel, who she barely knew, Kestrel, who'd kept her word, Kestrel, who had... saved... her...

"You're tearing up a bit, can you blink for... oh, good, there y'go. Can you follow my fingers with your eyes?" Widowmaker looked at the Kestrel's fingertips and watched them trace a rectangle, slowly, around her field of vision. They were strong hands, solid, a little square, chunky, much like the rest of the hawk. Strong, and unexpectedly beautiful. Well, I suppose I know who is more butch in their arrangement, she thought, and a "heh" popped out, to as much her surprise as Kestrel's.

"She just laugh?" she heard Tracer say from outside her field of vision. "Hey, luv, you just laugh a little?"

"I think she did, yeah."

"Well, tell her after this, we're headed towards... oh, bugger..."

"What?"

"It's official. Bulletin just went out. We're listed."

"Surprised it took this long. Can they shut down the transport?"

"Nah, I changed the codes and blew the interlock, we'll be fine."

Widowmaker grimaced. Intentionally. And it worked. She tried moving her mouth, and managed, focus back on Kestrel's face, "...liffsted?"

Kestrel sighed, and sat, next to Widow's bunk, leaning close. "Word's gone out. Our personal IFF codes have been invalidated. Overwatch may be illegal, but we had a few privileges within it to revoke... we're now 'foe', not 'friend'."

"Ah." said the blue assassin. Slowly, carefully, she looked into Kestrel's eyes, and whispered, "Je... regrette."

"Don't," replied the hawk. "If Overwatch is gonna start doing things like this, I can't be a part of it anymore anyway."

"And just so y'know," called Tracer, "Talon put a termination order out on your head once Overwatch got y'to Gibraltar. No goin' back there, either."

"...how?"

"Friend of yours let us know. We'll be seein' her in a bit."

"...big mouth...?"

Tracer laughed. "Yeah, she said you called her that."

The spider tested her arms. A little movement at the shoulder, not much yet. But fingers - yes, those, those were free. She tapped at the bed, experimentally, and saw Kestrel smile when she noticed, bright like cloudbreak. "It is, then..." managed the spider, "...us, against the world?" She tried her wrists. Yes. Wrists. More quickly, now. Almost to the elbow.

Us, Kestrel thought. Already? "Sounds like."

A louder heh, and the spider found she could move her head. "Then... a challenge. Good." She gave Kestrel a fierce look; it excited the flying agent in ways she did not expect, as did the spider unexpectedly - if weakly - taking her hand in her own. "We will destroy them both, cherie," the assassin said, with utter conviction. "We cannot lose."

-----

"As far as she knew," said the Swiss doctor, some hours later, "it was just sedation." Power had not yet been restored to the medbay, but the wall had, at least, been braced and covered, and structural stability insured. She sat at a small table in medbay's small consultation room.

"So you told her nothing about the enhanced receptivity effects?" asked the hirsute scientist sitting opposite and to her right, snacking on his favourite peanut butter, with oatmeal cookies and lactose-free milk. Hoisting girders about - that was heavy labour. He deserved a treat.

"Of course not," said the doctor, sipping her coffee. "But I didn't lie, we hadn't undone anything Talon did - and it really was a sedative, just one that leaves patients a little more..." she waved one hand back and forth, "...open to ideas, while under its influence. It would've helped with our treatments of her, helped her return to who she really was."

"Nicely played," said Jack Morrison, nursing a judicious amount of Tennessee bourbon. "Hope this doesn't come back to bite us on the ass any more than it already has."

Dr. Ziegler smiled warmly at her old friend, sitting opposite and to her left. "I'd suspected Lena might do something she'd come to regret. I'd hoped she wouldn't, or if she did, I'd hoped I could talk her down. But if push came to shove... she might as well have that thin chance." She shuddered. "I think she has made a grave mistake. I do not think that... construct... is a person or can be reformed, and I wasn't lying about being killed in her sleep, either."

"You did what you could," said the soldier. He put down his glass and rubbed at his eyes. "She's always been impulsive, but this is another level. If they come at us... we'll have to assume the worst. They might as well be Talon." He put the drink down, and rubbed his eyes.

"That will not be difficult," smirked Angela. "I am quite angry, both about being held at gunpoint, and at losing my best change to recover Amélie. And Kestrel," the doctor snorted, "she made a strongly negative impression on Gina and Odion. Gossip will insure everyone knows."

"I know their hearts are in the right place," Winston insisted. "Particularly Lena's. I think they're both being extremely foolish - but do not doubt their hearts."

"Just their judgements. And maybe their sanity," said the soldier.

The three sat quietly, for some moments, letting what happened today finally settle in as the sun went down. Morrison, thinking maybe they should've just handed the Widowmaker over to legal authorities; Winston, wishing he'd found a middle way, something to keep everyone happy, while knowing no such path existed; and Ziegler, angry, but still afraid for the two women who had, to her mind, made such a terrible mistake.

"To absent friends," Winston lifted his glass of water. "May they not become present enemies."

"I'll drink to that," said Morrison, raising the last of his bourbon.

Angela lifted her coffee cup, touching it against her friends' drinks. "To absent friends," she echoed. May they not be dead come morning.

Prompt for 2017-10-23

Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:51 pm
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "unseasonably warm".

Monday Update 10-23-17

Oct. 23rd, 2017 11:22 am
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"
Lunar Tunnels
Poem: "Capable of Stretching"
Saturday Yardening
Poem: "Death Whispers at the Tip"
Today's Adventures
Poem: "To Protect the Most Vulnerable"
Thursday Yardening
What to Do About Kneeling
How to Accommodate Special Needs While Attending an Event
Wednesday Yardening
Hard Things


The half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is now over. I sold six poems outright, with one in microfunding and two more in a pool that should get squared up later today. Most of the sold poems have been posted, I just have one left to do.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet comes out of the shower.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Pips and Jules discuss what to get for G and Joshua after the fire.  "TERF Wars" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Antimatter & Stalwart Stan.  At school, Stan walks into an unexpected argument about gender issues.

It has been raining here since yesterday afternoon, off and on, and that's expected to continue through the early part of this week.  We can use the rain.  The weather had been warmer for a few days but is now chilly again. Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, firecracker plant, morning glories, frost asters, goldenrod.  Very few fields remain to be harvested.

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Posted by ARRAY(0xc0083c8)

The city aims to cut its emissions 50 percent by 2032, in large part by developing car alternatives

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

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