loose cannon

July questions 10-12

10. Did your parents live in another country before you were born?
No

11. What's something you've experienced that very few others have?
Everything unusual has still been experienced by many others. Let me think... I know: I was a steely-eyed missile woman!

12. Do you have to wear an identification badge in your job?
No. I started working from home 6 or 7 years ago, but even before I convinced them to let me, I didn't. Mind you, there were only 8 of us in the company. On an aside, my productivity went way up without all the phone calls, noise, and the extremely irritating marketing person.

However I did once have a job in the Health Department that required ID swipe cards on lanyards to get through doors, it being very secure due to the privacy laws. They had our photos against coloured backgrounds: yellow for general office staff, blue for IT (like me) and red for access to the server room. A colleague once had to go to the Beehive (our parliament building) in Wellington for a meeting and told their reception that instead of them having to make up a card for him, he'd just wear his own. He was surprised that people were very deferential as he walked around, only finding out before he left that the red background down there meant access to the PM.

On a tangent, we also had two guards on the front door. At one time several of us in IT were playing a computer war game, our object - as opposed to that of the game - being to destroy as many cities we'd been to as possible. I printed out a list of enemy nuclear missile sites for the team (hey, missiles seem to be the theme of this post!) and happened to leave it in the staff canteen. The next day we were called in by irate management and told a guard had found it, put it in their safe, and was refusing to give it up - and that he was certain that the department was in fact the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service). He refused ever to believe otherwise; whatever we said was, of course, a coverup It must have made that guard's whole year.

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oamaru 2

July questions 7-9

7. If you had to move to a new city, where would you move?
Americans call just about every town a city, whereas here there are rules and we therefore only have five cities in the country. We left our biggest, Auckland, five years ago and did last year consider a move to Christchurch because there was a gorgeous house there, but the thought of going back to lots of traffic and few places to park and even fewer friendly locals put me off. I've got used to small(ish) town life and all the lovely eccentric people who live in this one. So I'll take this questions as "town". If I had to leave Oamaru for some reason, I'd pick Wanaka or nearby Lake Hawea in the central lakes district. They're more isolated than here, but consolingly beautiful.

8. What did your parents do when you were growing up?
Despair of me ever being normal.

9. When someone knocks on the door, who do you think it is?
The courier or postie, or if it's Monday or Thursday, the local dairy people with my glass! bottle of non-homogenised full-cream milk. The farm is about 5 minutes' drive south of home, and they have a small herd of cows, all of whom have names. 

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fruit

July questions 4-6

4. What was the first thing you ever saved up to buy with your own money?
I can't really remember. If saved from my childhood allowance, I'm betting a book or a Beano annual. If it was with money from a holiday job, probably some music.

5. After high school did you go straight to university or straight to work?
Straight to university, where I did a physics degree. The original question said 'college' but here that is a high school.

6. If I looked in your fridge right now, what would I find?
Ahhh, from top down: wine, Belgian-style craft beer (brewed by our neighbour), a bottle of milk, far too many cheeses and pickles, a jar of dulce de leche, leftover vegetarian bolognese I made last night, some locally smoked salmon, and capsicums (bell peppers).

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steampunk me

The first of the July questions

I'm hardly involved in fandom these days - so many people have left and gone elsewhere - and the interesting things in my life, like festivals and trips, would pretty much all call for photo posts, which are a pain. I do put those photos up on Facebook though, if people are there and interested.

Two friends do a set of daily questions which don't seem too bad (and I reserve the right to change them if they're irrelevant or intrusive) and I thought this would be a way to get me posting again. This month I'll try to catch up with the July ones. Some answers may be very short, others may go off on a tangent. BTW I have no idea where the questions come from, but I can cadge them each month off one of those friends.

1. Have there been any periods in your life that could be described as being chaotic?
No. Varied and exciting, sure.

2. What was the last thing you bought used?
A retro handbag at the steampunk market during our annual festival last month. I'm told that it's probably 60s, but it's also been punked up with beads, both sewn on and hanging, and looks older to me. It doesn't go with my steampunk airship-pilot persona but will be perfect for November's Victorian heritage festival when I get dressed up in various second-hand finds.

3. Has anyone ever told you that you get too competitive over minor things?
No, but I've sometimes thought that about people I've played cards* or board games with. I like to have fun, but some people get very cut-throat and serious, and to me that takes all the fun out.
* I haven't played cards for years because a certain shit-head ruined the terminology for me. If you can come up with a good monosyllabic alternative ('override' is too long), then let me know. 

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books

Provenance by Ann Leckie

I really enjoyed the Ancillary series and recently reread the first two before reading the third, enjoying them just as much the second time through.

I liked Provenance a lot too, but for one small thing (see under 'Bad').

Good: the characters, the different human societies, the alien Geck, the writing, the way Ingray slowly learned what she was capable of and that others saw her in a much better light than she did. Also, there's a cool reference to Nilt and the purchase of a rug there which I might have missed had I not reread the Ancillary series recently. I also really liked the three genders on Hwae and how people choose theirs and their name when they become (or decide they want to be) adult. Can we have that in our society, please?

Puzzling: why were two weapons used in the murder, and by whom? There are hints pointing to at least three people but it's never made clear unless I missed something.

Bad: just one fairly small thing but it irritated the hell out of me whenever I encountered it: the title Miss. Men get Mr, nemen get Mx, but women are saddled with the insulting Miss, and that's in a society that doesn't seem to have marriage. WTH? What's wrong with Ms? That's just so wrong in a book that handles gender so well otherwise.

Anyway, if anyone has any theories on the 'puzzling', I'd like to discuss them in comments.  :-) Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.
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writing

AO3 stats meme

As I now know there are at least a couple more lurkers like me around, I feel as if I should post more instead of mainly reading and commenting because there are more people here than I thought.

I might have done this meme once, but I thought I'd have another look, and the first sort by hits was very surprising. So here goes (though I'm not in the league of astrogirl and thisbluespirit because small fandoms and gen).

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time

Lockdown meme

Here in NZ Aotearoa we're on level 4 which is one of the strictest lockdowns in the world - and it's working, just 9 new cases today. We can only leave home to buy food or if we're essential workers. We may go to level 3 next month which will allow a bit of movement in the local area. But more in this meme that others have done...

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data

Picard!

Very enjoyable and promising, and never boring.

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Pity about the lens flares. Is that an accepted thing in SF now, dammit? Like shaky camera work (which stopped me watching BSG), it raises an artificial barrier where there shouldn't be one between the viewers and the story they want to immerse themselves in. Patrick Stewart, I'd have thought you would have said no to such a distracting device. I'm enjoying the technical advances made in the 20 or 30 years since Picard was a captain though.

I'm definitely looking forward to more, and so far it seems to be more my thing than Discovery (though I do love Tilly and Reno).

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eep, meep

First day of 2020 here

We woke up to eerie yellow skies this morning with smoke from the Australian bush fire being blown across the south island, and it's been getting darker all day. We have the lights on at midday and the unlit rooms are dark and gloomy. It feels like post-9pm twilight except for the colour.

This photo is from a local photographer. My phone camera compensated for the yellow light so I couldn't get a photo of my own. The moon was deep red last night.

Aussie bush fires turn our skies yellow and orange

It's now become more orange and the street lights are on. I hate to think what it's like over in Oz. Be safe, everyone!

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