Reviews

1. For Locus, to read:

Walter Jon Williams, QUILLIFER
EJ Swift, PARIS ADRIFT


2. For Locus, to review:

Jim Hines, TERMINAL ALLIANCE
Liz Ziemska, MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT
Walter Jon Williams, QUILLIFER
EJ Swift, PARIS ADRIFT


3. For Patreon, to read:

F/F romances
Helen Wright, A MATTER OF OATHS


4. For Patreon, to review:

Steven Brust, VALLISTA
F/F romances
Helen S. Wright, A MATTER OF OATHS


5. For Tor.com, to read:

Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE
Spencer Ellsworth, SHADOW SUN SEVEN


6. For Tor.com, to review:
Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE
Spencer Ellsworth, SHADOW SUN SEVEN


Other:


7. Social outings:
- meet gf Tuesday lunch
- meet C. Tuesday @1700
- meet gf Wednesday lunch


8. Exercise
- gym Tuesday if not sick
- gym Wednesday if not sick


9. Emails
- email CT
- email JB, FN, KS
al_zorra: (Default)
([personal profile] al_zorra Oct. 23rd, 2017 07:23 pm)
    . . . . The artists for the jazz festival started coming in last night.  But too many had horrible journeys here, due to Houston shutting down the airport and canceling flights yesterday due to intense rain.  The guys coming from New Orleans began at 3:30 AM, and didn't get into their beds until 2 AM today.


I began learning all this at lunch, which began sometime after three PM.  And soon I'll have to get ready for tonight's inaugural dinner and party.  I have no appetite . . . .


Because of the theater performance of the translated Slave Coast text with Donald Harrison and his group doing the music, I am in with those classified by the festival as "artist."  So far it seems I am the only woman!  Anyway, I was the only woman sitting at lunch.  (In Xalapa I am not only taller than everyone else, I am the only blonde I've seen.)


 

☆☆☆☆☆☆


As mentioned this part of Mexico feels more like Spain than some other places.  Yesterday, duh! ya, figured out why, duh!


Veracruz is where Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, set up the first Spanish shop in New Spain - Mexico.  He'd already helped do so for Cuba back in 1519, but he and the Cuban governor didn't get along, so into the Gulf of Mexico and to the mainland he sailed, despite the Cuban governor telling him to stay put.


Rio Huitzilapan (Hummingbird River) down a bit from Cortés's compound.

 

 

 

Horses are honored here, at the spot where they were landed to conquer the Aztec Empire for Spain.

 

 

Ceiba trees and their roots are everywhere in Cortés's palace compound ruins.


Coral from the Gulf was used with the basalt and mortar to make the walls of Cortés's compound, as well as the walls of fortification at San Juan de Ulúa.
Perhaps this is the oldest church on the mainland, built originally almost 500 years ago, part of Cortés's compound.  Nothing original remains, but this church in Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz still has congregants (little girls in their Sunday dresses were everywhere around it yesterday) and holds services.

 

 

 

It was in la Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz where Hernán Cortés first landed his armaments and men via the small barcos from his ships anchored in the Veracruz bay, up the Rio Huitzilapan.  We saw it!  and the ruins of his personal palace compound.





The prison at San Juan de Ulúa, reached by a bridge called the Bridge of Sighs, just like the bridge in Venice that prisoners walked to their incarceration, from which very few ever emerged.  Note the contemporary port machinery and technology everywhere.



 




The official administrative and military center was at what became the port of Veracruz -- begun 498 years ago at San Juan de Ulúa, a small island in the Gulf there.  We toured that fortress as well, which compound is enormous -- and now entirely surrounded by the present day port facilities (petroleum and petroleum products from the fields here, as well as many many other goods manufactured in this state including automobiles) and contemporary Mexico's naval yards and other military facilities. It's so extensive and complex that it is impossible to show it in an entire spread with any kind of camera.  Keep in mind, it was from this fortress that the Spanish beat the butts of Hawkins and Drake in the 1568  Battle of San Juan de Ulúa -- much to their shock and surprise.


So this is why the state of Veracruz feels so intensely Spanish-Spanish -- there's even Arabic language elements in signage and naming of places and things and people here. This is where the conquistadores came first to the southern hemisphere mainland, which soon they'd claim all of for Spain.  This is part of the great colonial territory that made the Spanish Empire an empire.  So many of the men who did this had little prospect of advancement, riches and prestige back in Spain, particularly since the conclusion of the Reconquista -- so to the New World they came, searching for fame and particularly fortune.  And it is the Caribbean and Mexico where they first found both.  Cortés died happy and rich, at home, in Spain, with a Spanish wife and children -- while historians continue to debate what happened to Malinche, his Azteca translator-concubine and the son he had by her, in his palace compound by the Hummingbird River.


As the festival begins now, maybe the sightseeing is over.


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([personal profile] steepholm Oct. 23rd, 2017 08:40 pm)
I meant to mention that last Monday I went to Cheltenham on the train - only half an hour (in theory) from Bristol Parkway, although I ended up on the stopping service that waited in a siding in Gloucester to be overtaken by the express. Apart from that, there were only two stops: one in Yate, where a large group of young people with backpacks got off (were they going to pay homage at J. K. Rowling's birthplace, I wondered idly?), and then again in Dursley (where no young people got off at all, thanks no doubt to the slanders of the same JKR).

I was going to meet the owner of a Cotswold company that specialises in private tours for Japanese visitors, as I was hoping to get an inkling of what brings Japanese people to the area. We met in a café and talked for an hour, and a very interesting conversation it was too, though I'm still digesting it so I won't go into it now - but in lieu of that let me share with you the title page of the book I gave him as a thank you (though only a print-on-demand reprint, alas), my great-great-great-great grandfather Weeden Butler's Cheltenham Guide (1781), which as far as I know is his earliest publication. It's a handy description of Cheltenham at the time, including an account of the origins of the famous spa a couple of generations earlier. Apparently a Mr Mason noticed the pigeons pecking at the soil around a pond fed by a spring - for the salts, it seems - and that inspired him to buy the land and set up a little hut from which he sold the water, after which his son-in-law built a dome, a colonnade, and all the amenities that polite society could demand. Thus was born, of a pigeon, the pump room, the literary festival, the Gold Cup and Agamemnon dead. (Actually that last one might have been a different bird.) The little blighters are still commemorated on the town's crest.

The water tastes pretty vile, though; worse, if possible, than those of Sulis.


Cheltenham guide weeden butler 1781
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([personal profile] celli Oct. 23rd, 2017 05:03 pm)
I had a highly distracting morning and some friends made sure I wasn't stuck in my head all afternoon. I've also been doing that "1 like = 1 thing I love" meme, which is very positive. :) Except like 37 people have liked it. AHHH. I should have listed my entire family individually or something!

Going home in a few minutes and I have one call planned and a couple more I can make if I need to. I'm also going to try and write my indulgence fic for Yuletide and watch my Coursera class videos so I can continue to get these assignments done - NaNo is coming, I need these out of the way.

Note to self: a) don't spend too much time on Twitter except in your mentions, you don't have the emotional strength for the world on fire right now. b) don't call your dad, he means well but has no idea how to help. c) NO RACHEL. sorry, boo.
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([personal profile] branchandroot Oct. 23rd, 2017 07:19 pm)
Okay, so… I’m not promising anything, here, but the bunnies for today, my day off, have been tugging me back to my Tenipuri Nationals re-write. And I think I know why I stalled so hard on this one. It was trying too hard to keep the relatively decent parts of Nationals canon. Which, to be honest, /don’t fit/ after you’ve fixed all the howling moments of WTF.  So, now I’m doing another editing sweep to refamiliarize myself which what I actually did, and contemplating the possibility of, um, Seigaku losing. I mean, everything else I could fit in reasonably well! But let’s face it, Konomi did not make a good narrative case for Seigaku being able to actually win against Rikkai, not with Yukimura at even half-strength. *frowns at the story* If they do win, the momentum to that point nearly demands that it be, essentially, by luck. Which is fine, but /that/ demands a follow-up, and oh god I don’t know if I’m up to re-writing the Invitational arc. 

Eh, for now, let’s just look at the next bit. Which is Atobe’s arc! And Atobe is /always/ fun to write, especially when he gets into it with Sanada. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2yFtWuQ
via IFTTT
a list of amazing dog costumes from new york parade

Every year, the great city of New York hosts a time-honored tradition: The Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. It is a time in which creative New Yorkers and their beloved canine pals get to roam around and show off their impressive halloween costumes this year! 

So apparently there are usually several holiday events involving dogs in costumes as a walk up to Halloween, but the Tompkins Square parade in Manhattan is one of the best-known. According to the parade's official website, hundreds of dogs and thousands of spectators gather to see the best-costumed pups in the city! 

This was the parade's 27th year. Now we know that not everyone could attend this year, so luckily people were kind enough to take amazing photos for all of us to enjoy!

Submitted by:

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([personal profile] the_rck Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:11 pm)
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.'
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([personal profile] twistedchick Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:08 pm)
50 years later, secrets of The Prisoner.

A conservative woman says, "me too.

Tom Hanks suggests that we all read history.

Why use which font? And I happen to like Comic Sans and hate Helvetica, fwiw.

Jimmy Carter wants to go to North Korea to negotiate.

Is your browser giving someone else money?

Cat In A Tree Rescue. A friend called them this weekend and they were great.

In 1956, a movie fan magazine published an expose about casting couches. It didn't go well.

Three take-aways from the contraceptive mandate/religious liberty debate.

Congress wants to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, again. Never mind that it would disrupt and probably destroy wildlife environments, and very likely destroy the Gwi'ichin people, who live just over the border in Canada and whose lives depend on the Porcupine Caribou herd's migrations. There's a link to a petition here at the bottom. Must I point out that the Gwi'ichin people have been there at least 10,000 years and possibly longer, since the ice age had a hot spot up in that area where megafauna thrived?

One of the undocumented Dream young women has been seeking an abortion and the Trumpists won't allow it. Till now. A judge has ordered the Trumpists to let the immigrant minor have the required counseling session and an abortion.

Approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline was illegal, so rules Federal Judge James Boasberg.

Medieval herbal manuscript available online.
Until the 30th. (That site was easier to navigate than Amazon's, which is all flashy flashy, of course.) There are also book giveaways this week, though you probably won't win.
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([personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc Oct. 23rd, 2017 10:27 am)
A devastating masterpiece. When Trump was elected, I was afraid that my lifelong nightmares of concentration camps would come true. I should have known that they already had. Since the inception of Reagan's War on Drugs, the USA has been a for-profit carceral state.
Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.

I had known bits and pieces of this - one can hardly live in America without knowing it. Alexander's achievement is to put together the evidence in as damning an indictment as one can imagine. The fact that this was written two years into the first Obama administration, and seven years before the inauguration of a white supremacist demagogue, just underscores the seriousness and urgency of its message. Black lives matter.
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([personal profile] al_zorra Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:51 pm)
      . . . .  Vaquero now has his own freestyle Mexican wrestling mask, so he too can become a superpowered wild man any time he wishes.

 

This happens every Sunday night in Xalapa, to the pounding of Rock, techno and other energetic forms of music.  It's a kind of martial arts ballet-acrobatic thing, intensely energetic and theatrical. It's a family affair, with mothers as enthusiastic about verbally abusing and killing the opponent they don't like as their little boys -- who are in heaven, wearing their own masks, of course, whether painted or pulled on. A little later little girls joined in the antics of the luchador boys! Lots of cerveza is sold and drunk.


By the way, the number of emporiums in Xalapa selling comix, old and new, and that particularly advertise the availability of superhero books, is very high.


el Luchador Vaquero

 

 

 

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