Soffit up, lights out

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:20 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
The soffit is finally done.  For the most part, it looks very nice.  There are a few spots where M and I saw the results, looked at each other, and wondered if we could have done as well as, or better than, the professional carpenters who installed it.  We certainly could have done the job as quickly -- I suspect they were juggling more than just the one job at the time.  But the overall result is very nice, in our opinions.

So, that's part two of three, with the first part having been a new roof, and the final piece being a new gutter system.  No word on when that will be completed.  As the temperatures gradually go lower and lower each night, I am dreaming of a white, gutterless, Christmas.  But of course that's a bit of a distance and it's too soon to worry.  I hope.

The immediate challenge is that most outdoor lighting and outlets are still offline until M has a chance to get the circuits energized again.  Christmas is a distance away, but Halloween is nearly upon us, and our yard is no place for little goblins to be running around in the dark without light to guide them.  This may be one of those years when the old men at our address don't encourage visitors on Halloween.

Someday, when all is done, I may post a photo of the finished project. 

556 days later.

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:15 pm
dalesql: (Default)
[personal profile] dalesql
So, this belated post, now that we have internet service working and I actually have a bit of free time, celebrating moving back into our home. 556 days after the fire. It should have been only six months, but the champion grade foot dragging and slow walking by the insurance company. We moved back home October the first.

Mom and I are back in real beds. We have a few chairs, one table in the kitchen, but we are mostly still living out of boxes. Need to get the rest of the furniture cleaned and in the house, or tossed into the junkpile. Unbox everything and put things away into closets and drawers.

I'm still busy with taking care of mom and working. Mom needs help with getting dressed and undressed now, and getting meals. With her arthritis, picking up anything heavier than a plate or glass is very difficult, so she really can't cook her own food anymore. We have aides coming several days per week to help her. A bath aide who can bathe her and make her bed twice a week, and two other days a week an aide who comes for an hour or so, and I'm not sure what duties she can do. (the rules for these aides on what they can and cannot do are byzantine.)

Friday, work is having me drive to NJ. So got brother to come over that morning to get her up and dressed. Next weekend, I'll be in CT for Furpocalypse, and we are hiring extra aides to come in to get her up in the mornings and put her to bed at nights, and feed her meals.

At Last

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:55 am
kevin_standlee: (House)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
It took about five more trips to the hardware/plumbing store than it should have done, but Lisa was able to get the toilet in the south bathroom fixed yesterday. It now properly fills (that was the original problem) and she also was able to replace the gasket that had a slow leak that had been getting steadily faster. So no more water waste through that route, either.
solarbird: (widow)
[personal profile] solarbird

Widowmaker brought herself in from the cold, one day, exchanging a list of Talon agents for sanctuary, and at first couldn't or wouldn't say why. Her first breakthrough in explaining herself came in a talk with Lena Oxton, who then helped her break through Angela Ziegler's insistence that Widowmaker was not really a person, and that Amélie Lacroix could yet be recovered. But despite that truth, sometimes, some of Amélie's last memories - mostly but not always tightly compartmentalised away - trouble the spider, and this is one of those times.

This is the sixth in a series of stories set in the It is Not Easy to Explain, She Said continuity, a timeline largely compliant with known canon as of July 2017 (pre-Doomfist/Masquerade), which is when I wrote and posted the first story. It is not part of the on overcoming the fear of spiders AU.

This story follows "It's not easy to explain, said Lena Oxton" in chronological sequence. [AO3 link]

"Do you remember what it was like?"

Lena held Widowmaker's hand, gently, as they sat together, otherwise alone, mid-afternoon, in the smaller canteen at Gibraltar. She drank tea, cream, two sugars. Her counterpart drank obscenely hot coffee, unsweetened, strong, and dark.

For the most part, Amélie's memories stayed safely in their place, out of Widowmaker's way, but there were a few, occasionally, at the border between her birth and the previous woman's death, that picked at her, at times. Dr. Ziegler suggested that was because of the emotions around them - emotions could, perhaps, last long enough, even if the thoughts themselves didn't, to become Widowmaker's emotions as well.

"A little," said the former Talon assassin, after some delay. "Not very much, thankfully. I do not think she was making new memories very well, by then. But there are some."

Lena shuddered a little. "I can't even imagine it."

Widowmaker shook her head. "For her, it was not even the fear of it happening. It was..." She pondered a moment. "It is not easy to explain."

"I can't imagine it would be."

"She would feel, and think, one way, one thing, and then, she would find herself thinking another way, a different thing, a thing like I would think, sometimes, but she would be thinking it, and not me. And sometimes it would be something neither of us would think, but something they very much wanted her to think. And she would believe what she thought, and what she felt, but she would know, she would remember, moments before, thinking very differently about the same thing."

"And she'd fight it," assumed Tracer, "and that would hurt."

"No - but yes? Both would feel like it was her. There was nothing for her to fight. But the difference in the two... that, she found horrifying."

Lena let out a long breathy hoo sound, and took another sip of her tea, before continuing. "So they were making her think... their thoughts, then."

"My thoughts, at least, at times." She leaned her elbows against the table. "Or, to be more correct, the kind of thoughts they wanted me to think. About... how lovely, how beautiful, how perfect it would be when they put her back, and she killed Gérard. And she would believe it, because she could already feel it." The assassin smiled. "As I do, when I kill."

Tracer shuddered. She knew, she knew that the assassin enjoyed her kills - that for a long time, it had been all she lived for. But making Amélie feel that, and Amélie knowing they made her feel that... "Was it you, then? When they did it?" she asked, hoping for an unlikely yes.

The blue assassin laughed, a sound that still made Lena's heart ring every time it happened, no matter the context. "No. I could hardly have imitated Amélie so well for so long. I'd've been discovered, almost immediately. No - it was still her." She took a sip of her coffee. It had cooled a bit, but remained hot enough for her tastes. "That's why it took her two weeks to strike."

"So in the end..." the teleporter said, voice distant in her own ears, "Amélie killed Gérard. And enjoyed it."

Widowmaker nodded. "In a way. They were never above to achieve everything they wanted with her, but they were able to recondition her enough to kill - at least, for a time. And so, she assassinated Gérard, but being torn between the grief and the guilt and the ecstasy..." She shook her head. "That all but shattered her. When she returned, as programmed, they took her apart completely. And built me."

"But you feel some of her... emotions, from then? Her conflict?"

"I do," she said, a tinge of sadness in her voice. She put down her cup. "It was the only death about which I felt conflicted, until Mondatta, and the fight with you."

Lena put a third sugar in her tea. She needed something sweet right then. "D'ya ever wonder," she said, as she refilled her cup from the teapot, "if they'd done a better job sealing her off, if you might not've started to, y'know, think on your own?"

"Internal conflict as the source of self-awareness? Dr. Ziegler has suggested that idea as well." She shrugged. "I do not know. But let's say it's true - in which case, Talon did me yet another favour. They..." she picked her cup back up, sipped at the coffee, and put it back down, "left me open, on accident, to you." And she smiled again, just a little, at the side of her mouth.

The Overwatch teleporter let out her breath, and her eyes softened just a bit, as she looked into those metallic eyes. "Aw, luv. That's..."

"May I kiss you?"

Lena blinked, putting down her tea. " care about..." She shook her head, just a little. "...things like that?"

"I don't know." The spider shrugged again, this time with something artificial in the nonchalance. "But I am finding I... may. At least, with you. Shall we find out?"

Lena wasn't sure what she expected. Would she be cold? Would she feel wrong, would she feel like some dead - and then no, she did not, she was not, she was none of those things, she was cool, yes, but not cold, cool like the first breezes of autumn, like the first hints of snow off the mountains, not chilling, but invigorating, and Lena returned the kiss, almost involuntarily, herself warm, no, hot, like summer sun, like the last day at a Spanish beach before the turning of the weather, and Widowmaker was just as surprised, finding herself melting just a little bit more, and she gasped, pulling away, panting, looking down at her coffee, thinking, How can she be so warm?, before looking back up at the one who had reached past her eyes of molten gold, and finding she had no words then at all.

"Blimey, luv..." managed Lena, after a moment. "You're... only the second woman ever to make me feel like that with a kiss."

"For me, you," breathed Widowmaker, eyes wide, "...are the first."

"I hope it don't make you feel like killin' someone," Lena half-laughed, half-serious, half-joking, a lot nervous and a little afraid, and if that made more than a whole, so be it. "Chiefly, me."

"Never." Widowmaker reached across the table, grabbing Lena's hands with both of her own. "Do you understand? Never. I could not."

She pulled Lena forward, close, quickly, knocking the teacup across the table, shattering it on the floor, and the smaller woman gasped, startled, but did not flee.

"I do not know why, and I do not know how, but..." The spider kissed the teleporter, again, the meeting short but intense, "...I have found someone I could never kill."

Hooooooo, thought a part of the teleporter, unexpected emotions swirling around her mind, throwing her into responding before she even knew she was doing it. This is not gonna be easy to explain, to... to anybody.

Not me, but it's made an impression

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:16 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
I have been inundated by the "Me, too" discussion on Facebook.  It has made quite an impression on me.

For a number of reasons, I've been out of the loop of much of this while growing up and through adulthood.  At least, I thought I was.  As has been noted in other areas, what I am not aware of can apparently hurt others.  I never was a victim.  I believe I never participated overtly, although in the junior high era due to peer pressure I likely said (not did) some things that were inappropriate.  But, on the other hand, did I ever step into a discussion specifically to tell someone "no, that's not right"?  I doubt it in earlier days, but I've been more aware recently.

I have great respect for a number of people -- mostly women, but some men -- who have stepped forward to say "Me, too."  Some have told their stories in public that, if it were my story, I could not share in that venue. 

What I do not know is the origin of this, um, campaign.  Did it come from the Harvey Weinstein situation?  From the way Trump and his ilk treat women?  Is it more basically another offshoot of the recent tendency to speak out in general?

So much to think about. 


Oct. 16th, 2017 05:14 pm
solarbird: (widow)
[personal profile] solarbird
last time i posted, i was in a bit of a slump - possibly more perceived than real, according to the numbers - but i've been digging back out a bit the last couple of days. i definitely needed to do more annabots, because of what it does for my tracking, which deathmatch does not do. the two training modes compliment each other well.

anyway, i'm home sick today with a head cold, and so had two daytime sessions and i just gotta say

do not step to me as widowmaker on defence in hanamura



okay, so, i'm up to a 12 kill streak and my scope percentage is pretty good and my critical hit count is decent, and there's like 35 seconds left and we seem to be in good shape on defending the second point. torbjorn's got his turret up, all that, i'm coming back from spawn where i've re-healthed 'cause we don't have a healer, but while i was healing up, somebody blew up my mine on the upper platform on our left.

so i'm running out the right corridor and it's mccree and his ult is up and nobody on our team takes him down. he pulls a quadruple kill, then takes out a fifth, but gets taken down doing it.

i proceed to hold the point solo as widowmaker against reaper, lucio, and the piggy, the latter with no doubt the most brutally effective widow:76 play i have ever pulled off.

15 kill streak. and my whole team has seen it 'cause I'm the only one alive.

they all come charging out as i'm finishing off roadhog and i just wave - "hello there!" - and present them with a cleared objective, and we win.

smooth as silk.

solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

[AO3 link]

"I'm pretty sure I know what we're gonna see on this video," Venom said, back in her Tracer garb, but still more than a bit blue at the edges and entirely gold in the eyes. "'Cause I'm pretty sure I know what I saw." She gave Angela Ziegler a pointed look. "But... I might be wrong."

Most of the current members of Overwatch Lunar Embassy sat around a table in the ambassador's workshop - even Fareeha, though her thoughts clearly chased rabbits elsewhere. Lena glanced over with more than a little sympathy - she hardly even remembered her mother, and couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have one return from the grave.

"If everyone's ready, I'm going to start with Ana Amari's recording," Winston said, to general assent. "I haven't looked it yet - Athena's just finished deep-scanning the media for anything... inappropriate... to our systems."


Jack Morrison looked at the drive containing the video. He didn't really want to play it again - it scared him. He had some ideas about why, but he didn't like them. Being a super-soldier was one thing. Being... whatever this implied... was another entirely.

He sat quietly in his temporary quarters on the small Los Muertos compound just south of the New Mexico border. He could hear Delgado outside, running her fighters through the training regimes he'd taught her, with that new man, Arturo, acting as her second. Jack smiled to himself, hearing the noise. If we're not careful, I'm going to end up with a pretty good strike team here. Already got one that's not half bad, he thought.

The former - and, arguably, again - Strike Commander looked at the drive a third time, thought, the hell with it, and linked it to his padd. A notice came up, saying the file system was damaged, and he let it repair itself, which took only a couple of minutes, and produced a slightly larger video file.


Winston hit play. The large wall display showed a view through a sniper rifle - a conventional firearm, not Talon make - and Venom chuckled a little to herself. Still using the old-style scopes, grams? Good to know. Through it, from above and from two alleys situated a town that looked hot and had signs in Spanish, a group of Los Muertos fighters spilled out, led on the far side by one all too familiar white-haired super-soldier, on the near side by a woman clearly his lieutenant mirroring his actions, and through upper windows by a set of three sharpshooters. Military tactics against cheap street thugs means a battle that would end quickly, until blam, blam, blam, and all three sharpshooters were down, and there was chaos.

Morrison dodged into view, and the sniper fired, again, quickly - Venom could see Jack all but centred in her sight - and again, that blur, and then, Morrison is fine, and dodging away, and one of the fighters with him is dead on the ground.

"What th'..." said Reyes, as Mercy blinked, and looked confused. Mei looked at the screen, and back to the doctor, similarly confused. "What just...?"


Morrison saw himself spill out of the passenger side of the lead vehicle, face bloodied, just as he remembered. He stopped the video, and zoomed in as far as the footage would allow - the resolution wasn't bad, but the lens wasn't great, and the image could've been shaper. Then, the blurriness got much worse, before returning to sharper focus, and his tactical visor was intact.

What the hell, he thought.

He stopped the replay, and backed up the video, and ran it again, in slow motion, frame at a time, zoomed in as before, tracking his own movement manually.


"Winston, stop the replay?"

The scientist nodded, and motion stopped.

" that last shot at Morrison, slowly."

The sniper's scope tracked the soldier, a second fighter next to him, close by, but not unduly close. The shot rang out, just behind the former strike commander's motion, but still clearly a headshot. Then the blur.


His visor had definitely been wrecked. Whoever took the shot had hit it perfectly, sheering right across his eyes, ripping most of it off his face without touching his skin. Hell of a shot, he thought, complimenting whoever - or, knowing Talon, whatever - had taken it. Then the blur.

He stopped the video, and studied the frame carefully. The compression wasn't too bad, but the resolution could've been better. He zoomed out, and saw the side of the truck in as sharp a focus as it had been a few frames before - just the upper part of his face became an indistinct mass.


"Stop," said Venom. The video froze in place, blur still covering most of the field. She walked up to the screen. "See these?" She pointed at the sniper scope ticks around the frame, still in perfect focus. "And this?" She pointed at a perfectly-focused truck lamppost base, in the upper left corner. "This isn't recorder artefact."

Winston nodded. "I agree. Whatever this is, it's a real effect."

"Sorry luv, but the news gets worse. I saw exactly this happen," Venom said, "though my sight. I didn't talk about it yet, 'cause I figured maybe I blinked" - though she knew damn well that was impossible - "or maybe someone ran between me and Jack right as I took the third shot. But I know I had him dead in my sights, and when I fired, somebody else was dead on the ground."

"You took a kill shot?" asked Reyes.

"Third time, in that mess? Bloody right I did."

Mei looked unhappy and Gabriel frowned, but found couldn't really argue. "...fair enough."

Venom nodded. "Step through, frame at a time?"


Several more frames of blur, and then, one where it seemed to thin, and then form a line along the horizontal centre of the visor, and there the visor was, again, intact, and Morrison saw himself reaching up and activating it, without a second thought, just as he remembered, during the battle.

He flipped through the last set of frames. Nothing more than what he'd already seen - a broken visor, a blur, and an intact visor, in that order. It didn't make any sense. Nothing in the Soldier Enhancement Programme could do anything like that.


Unless it wasn't the SEP.


Several more frames of blur, and then, one frame where the blur, the fog, seemed to coalesce on the right side, and then the soldier's head was to the right, apparently unharmed, and the fighter whose head had been all but out of frame was dead, on the ground, a large section cut out, almost scooped, mostly missing, and Mei made a small choking sound as the view through the scope swept from the dead fighter's body, back to Morrison's intact and dodging head, and back to the woman, and back to Morrison, before the shooter took another shot just too late, into a wall, as Morrison dove down an alley and behind a skip.

Winston blanched, and spread the key frames across the display. Gabriel looked more than a little ill, himself. "I have seen some fucked up things in my life, but that..."

Venom looked over to Dr. Ziegler, her anger controlled, but not entirely concealed. Angela said nothing, staring intently at the images. "Doc? You gonna say somethin'?"


Morrison thought back to the failed defence of Overwatch Geneva, when everything came apart, falling into Angela Ziegler's lab, badly hurt, bones broken, stumbling around in the dark, the only light the emergency exit signs and his biotic field, as he grasped around, looking for the aid kits he knew had to be down here somewhere.

He remembered finding one, no, two, and applying them both, and passing out as another blast hit the base.

And then he remembered nothing until he awoke, having somehow made his way outside, having scavenged a UN uniform from one of the Talon soldiers, and feeling more than a little out of joint, like he didn't fit back together quite right, like everything was just a little off, or a little more than a little off, and he remembered putting it out of his mind and concentrating on getting away, getting as far away as possible, before Talon's UN puppets could get ahold of him, and make him pay for his defiance.

What were you working on down there, Angela? he thought to himself.


"I... this cannot be happening," the doctor said.

"Pretty sure we just saw it," replied Venom.

"What are you talking about?" asked Winston.

"Angela?" the assassin prompted.

The medic shook her head. "I know what you are thinking," she said to Venom. "But you do not understand. My experimental nanosurgeons were not capable of doing what we just saw. Not even the most advanced ones."

Mei jumped in, supporting the doctor. "It's true! I knew that generation, this was not in their operating parameters."


Jack pulled out his knife, pulled up his sleeve, and cut a long gash in his arm - nothing too deep, just enough to test his enhanced healing. The skin knit itself back together, normally, like it had ever since the treatments all those years ago back in California.

He cleaned his knife, put it away, and pulled out a pistol to replace it. He stared at the medium-caliber firearm, not sure he was ready to do what he needed to do, then chided himself for not being enough of a soldier. Enough of a man. It worked.

"Delgado!" he shouted.

"Yeah, Spooky?" she replied from outside.

"Pistol's acting up. Gonna fire a couple of test rounds in here, clear it. Don't freak out."

"Sure you don't want to go to the range for that?"

"It's fine, I've got a fire box."

"Oh, okay. Thanks for the warning."

"No problem."


Venom pressed the point. "You're sayin' that's not some kind of experimental nanosurgeon swarm? 'Cause it looks to me like Ana made that headshot, and then somethin' stole some parts from whoever was nearby to fix it."

Dr. Ziegler rubbed her temples. "I agree that is what it looks like. But it cannot be what I made. If nothing else - I am careful! None of my experimental versions will, or even can, remain active for so long. The last time he could've had access was when the UN moved against the Geneva watchpoint, and nothing from that generation could survive."

"The evidence," said Winston, "indicates otherwise."

"It can't be!" She slammed her palms atop the table. "None of the experimental models from that era could!"

Venom narrowed her eyes at the doctor. "None of 'em? You sure about that, doc?"

Dr. Zhou leaned over to Dr. Ziegler. "I don't think you should rule it out, I could help you go over the old records, over everything that was in there when the fighting happened..."

Angela looked over to Mei-Ling gratefully. "I really don't think it's necess..." and she blinked at a thought, and looked back to Venom. Is... that what you think? Venom's face caught the doctor's surprise, as she realised that the researcher hadn't actually put it together herself yet, and the Talon assassin just nodded, and the doctor bit her lip. "...I... it has been some years, and that was a tremendously hectic - even chaotic - time. It... we should investigate. I would very much appreciate your help in that, Mei."

"Sure, Dr. Ziegler," confirmed the eco-biologist.

"Thank you," Venom replied, nodding. About time.

"God damn," said Reyes, "Could it be more than just him? Could others be... infected?"

"Absolutely not," said Angela. "My nanosurgeons would've impressed themselves with the initial contact DNA, it would be impossible for them to spread successfully. All" - she stressed, pointedly - "of my technologies rely on that. All of them."


Morrison pulled up a trouser leg, pulled off his left boot and sock, and aimed the pistol at the outer edge of his foot. It'd hurt, but it wouldn't kill anybody - particularly not him. But he hesitated.

Do it, you coward, he thought to himself. God damn it, just do it.

And he fired.

The pain was brilliant and sharp, more than he expected, but muted itself quickly. He felt suddenly almost like he was in a dream, half asleep yet fully awake, as he watched his foot splatter, then turn into a greyish and pink mist, and reform, in front of his eyes.


"Meanwhile," said the Talon assassin in Tracer orange and Overwatch white, "I don't think there's any safe way to bring him in alive now. I think our friends should get the next shot."

"No!" interjected Mei, with unexpected force. "That's not what we agreed!"

Tracer, or Venom, looked over to the Chinese scientist. "We agreed Overwatch gets first shot, then..."

"No!" she insisted, even more forcefully. "I will not go along with that!" She looked straight into the assassin's gold eyes. "You are not the only one he abandoned to her death. He abandoned my entire team and I want him tried for that. I want it exposed! I want my friends to be..." she choked a little, and suddenly she was crying, "I want my friends to be remembered! I want justice for them! In court, with it all exposed for the whole world to see him for the monster he is!"

Lena blinked, and blinked again, shocked by the intensity of the normally cheerful woman's outburst, and leaned forward, "Oh wow, Mei, I'm sorry, I know what..."

"No, you don't know!" The small woman shouted. "You know what it's like to disappear for years and wake up in the future but you do not know what it is like to wake up and find all of your friends dead because he couldn't be bothered to send a rescue ship! He knew we were in cryogenic suspension and still alive. At least with you, he thought you were probably dead, but with us, he knew we were alive, and just decided to let us die!"

She continued in a small, quiet voice, "And most of us did. Slowly. In the cold. As the power ran out."

Nobody knew what to say. Gabriel and Winston knew it wasn't that simple, but knew better than to open their mouths. Angela just leaned over to the smaller woman and offered her hand, and Fareeha just sat quietly next to her wife, comforting her in turn. And then Venom found her voice, at last. "I'm... I'm sorry, Mei. You're right."

Lena "Tracer" Oxton took a long, slow, deep breath, and let it out. "I withdraw my motion. Our friends will remain on stand down. Overwatch will try again."


God damn you, Ziegler, the stroke commander thought, staring at his perfectly intact left foot, which moments ago he'd shot through for a second time. He shook with unreasoning fury. What the hell did you do to me?

Where no one has gone before

Oct. 16th, 2017 07:23 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
While watching the latest chapter of Star Trek: Discovery, I heard words that were never uttered during any of the previous television incarnations of that show.  (Although, as M pointed out, some have been used in at least one Trek movie.)

Yes, since Discovery is not broadcast on terrestrial/licensed television, CBS is apparently able to have characters say anything.  Including the F word. 

I stopped what I was doing, paused the show (yes, you can do that), and took it all in.  What has changed the most between those 1960-era original Star Trek programs and today?  The special effects, yes.  Even more character diversity, sure.  High definition productions.  Sets made from more than cardboard.

But I wonder if this -- the language -- could very well be THE one thing that has changed the most.  It was unheard-of (so to speak) in the 60s, and still is mostly verboten on broadcast TV.

On the other hand, is this "dumbing down" of Trek?  Could this be a little too much catering to popular culture?  What does it add to the show?  Well, maybe a touch more reality?

I can only imagine what McCoy would have said to Spock if the character were free to say anything.

Slowly Getting There

Oct. 15th, 2017 04:08 pm
kevin_standlee: (House)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
The long-running property-improvement project limps along. Fingers crossed that the weather holds together long enough to finish it this month.

Thank you, Mr. Barrie

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:24 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
Yesterday, M and I saw the national tour of the Broadway musical "Finding Neverland."  (Considering how busy M is, it's fortunate he could even get away.  We had ordered the tickets long ago.)

The show is the backstory of how J.M. Barrie created the show and character Peter Pan.  It's a good story in and of itself and touches on many aspects of the more-famous show.  It also touched an important part of my life, not surprisingly.

When I was very young, NBC broadcast a television adaptation of the musical "Peter Pan" starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard.  So far as I can remember, this was the first musical I was exposed to.  A Broadway musical on a little black and white screen in glorious mono sound is not the highest experience, but it turned on something in little Gary.  I apparently adored it because, after it had been broadcast several times, it was pulled from being broadcast again and I was quite upset.  This was way before VCRs so there was no way to watch it.  I did eventually get the cast record album to partly fill the void.

As I understand it (yes, I could look it up but it's early on a Sunday and I don't feel like looking it up) the Barrie family, which owned the copyright on Peter Pan, didn't want it out there, so NBC had to stop showing it. 

Around the time "Peter Pan" was on TV, they were showing "The Wizard of Oz" annually.  Though I recall being frightened by some scenes, I stuck with it and enjoyed the show, particularly the music and special effects,.  At least this one has stayed on TV, pretty much nonstop.  Over the years, I've probably collected more recordings of "Oz" than anything else.

In sixth grade, Miss Banks played us the soundtrack of "West Side Story."  By then, I was hooked on musicals for life. 

Years later, something happened (perhaps the copyright expired?) and NBC rebroadcast "Peter Pan."  I had a VCR by then and you can bet I recorded that show and still have the tape!  I was never again going to let that go.  (Now available on DVD, probably BluRay, and possibly On Demand somewhere.  It's a classic!)

I once interacted with an acquaintance who mentioned she's a distant relative of the Barrie family.  Though we didn't know each other well, that touched me and we chatted about Peter Pan.  Not until "Finding Neverland" came around a few years ago did the name Barrie come up again for me.

But the experience of seeing my first musical has stayed with me always.

If you have not seen "Finding Neverland" and enjoy musicals in general, it's pretty much a by-the-book plot.  If you're a Peter Pan fan, as I am, you'll enjoy it even more.  If you like shows with real live animals as part of the cast (in this case, a dog), that's yet another reason to see it.

More Wildlife Spotting

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:01 pm
kevin_standlee: (Wildlife)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
As long as I can get out for a walk around sunrise and sunset, I am apt to see some of the local wildlife.

Bunch of Birds )

Meanwhile: Lisa was not feeling well yesterday (nor today, actually), so instead of our original plan for our wedding anniversary, we just went down to the Black Bear Diner here in Fernley, had dinner there (they do a decent prime rib on Friday/Saturday), and played a small amount on the slot machines (no luck this time).

This morning, I got lucky on the free-play coupon from the Wigwam, so I get another "free" breakfast. But unfortunately, I couldn't go play pinball on a sort-of-underloaded weekend, because there's no machine anymore!

pretty ugh couple of days of play

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:22 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird
I've had a few pretty ugh days of play lately - my averages aren't dropping off (in fact, my crit shot number is up a little) but it's felt like I've been sucking, and I've been losing a lot, even outside of free-for-all deathmatch, where frankly I expect to lose, because that is not a good forum for Widowmaker.

I just have to keep reminding myself: for me, it's not a game, it's an intentionally-unfair live-fire exercise.

But lunchtime Overwatch today was better. I was even competitive in FFA deathmatch a bit, but the real fun was an unremittingly funny - to me - game in China where I just kept sending the same piggy swimming in the Garden over and over and over again with boops. Seriously, it was like four times, and he ragequit mid-round because he simply would not learn.

(He didn't even wait 'till end of the round like half his team did before dropping. After that fourth boop he was just RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE I'M OUT. It was one of those "I can hear you shrieking from here." XD )

And then at the end of the round, two more of his team quit too. But there was backfill, which kind of meant we were facing a new team, which was definitely better but we still beat them handily.

I do rather wish that team had stuck together for a bit. People knew their business. It was nice.

21 Years

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:54 pm
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
Lisa and I were married 21 years ago today on board chartered Portland Vintage Trolley car 513, running over Portland's light rail system. You can't repeat that trip today, because the Vintage Trolleys no longer run over the light rail network. I understand that car 513 is preserved at the Willamette Shore Railway, however.

We're having a pretty low-key anniversary. We didn't take the week off and spend the week mixing and pouring concrete like we did last year, although Lisa has been doing a bit of concrete mixing and pouring just to use up the extra sacks from our last project, in order to make room for storing firewood. But not today. Tonight we plan to go into Sparks and eat dinner at the Oyster Bar at the Sparks Nugget, then maybe go to the Atlantis and have their spectacular cheesecake. Other than that, we have no particular excitement planned. The three weeks in Europe this year sort of used up a lot of our potential for excitement this year. It certainly used up most of our available money for added excitement.

Update: Lisa was not feeling well this afternoon and wasn't up to yet another trip to Reno, so instead we went to the Black Bear Diner for a low-key night out. She says maybe she'll feel better in a few days and we'll do the Nugget trip then.


Oct. 13th, 2017 07:17 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
Although I'm no longer working on a regular schedule, I have attempted to follow the recommendations of health experts and to keep a fairly regular sleep schedule.  Since I both enjoy sleep and require more than the average person, I regularly go to bed at a time some would consider early, and I regularly get up a pretty specific number of hours after that. 

And there's no rule about having to list naps here, so I won't.

However, with baseball season in its final days of the year and with an exciting game on last night, I kinda sorts messed up the "go to sleep" time.  I am regretting it (a little) this morning, but will somehow survive.

Go Cubs!  (And if they lose along the line, I'll pick someone else to support.  Baseball will be around for only a short while and I must enjoy it while I can.)

solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

[It's about time I showed this story deserves that pharmercy tag, don't you think?]

[AO3 link]

"She's alive." The rocketeer looked up at the ceiling from a small private berth in the medical wing. The nanosurgeons and biotic field had done their work, and both she and Dr. Zhou were fine, all checked out and ready for action - at least, physically. "No call, no letter, no hint she'd survived, and now... this?"

The combat doctor sat by the bed, holding her wife's hand. She shook her head. "It's..."

"I can't believe it," Fareeha continued, unheeding. "I can't believe she's still alive. I just can't." She squeezed her eyes half-shut, still looking at the ceiling, but really, looking at memories. "We buried her, years ago, how...?"

"I remember." The funeral - like so many, at the time - had lacked a body. But there was a ceremony and a marker and a reception and most of all that empty feeling that wouldn't ever entirely go away, as much as Angela might try to fill it, a feeling of finality that did not sit well with being undone. "I had no idea."

"I know," said the soldier, gently squeezing that slender hand. "How could you have?"

"Are you angry at me for hitting her?"

Fareeha snorted. "I... no? Why? I don't think so. It sounded to me like she deserved it. Had I been awake, I think I might have given her more than a good slap - but I don't know." She rubbed her forehead with her free left hand. "She is my mother, and I always loved her, but she has always been like that, and now this, and now I don't know what to think."

"It feels unreal to me, even now, and I was there," said Angela. "I saw her myself, with my own eyes, but..."

"'Unreal.'" Fareeha sampled the sound of the adjective. "That's a good word for it." She shook her head. "I know, at some point, this will sink in. But right now, it hasn't."

Angela leaned down on her lover's shoulder, and no, that did not work. "Scoot over, there is room," she said, sliding onto the berth with her wife. "I am still very angry at her."

Fareeha put her head on Angela's shoulder. "I'm not surprised. I will be too, I think, eventually." She took a deep fortifying breath, trying to steady herself. "But she's right about one thing - about doing what is necessary. It's a military ethic, and I do understand it."

"Schiisdräck. It's just another excuse. She has always found excuses."

She has indeed, Fareeha thought, though she did not want to admit it. "You are not from a military family," she deflected. "You wouldn't understand."

"Don't give me that," she replied, poking her wife with pleasant indignity. "I'm Swiss - we are all military, in one way or another."

"Real military," goaded the Egyptian, a little smile on her face.

"Oh ho ho, is that how we are going to play this?" she chortled. "Do I have to slap you today as well? I remind you whose army has not lost a war in two and a half centuries."

"Do I have to remind you who hasn't fought a war in two and a half centuries?" retorted the rocketeer with a bit of a smile, for the moment.

"Because no one dares fight us," she said, with customary Swiss satisfaction. "Of course."

"I certainly will not fight you, not in the face of that logic," said the rocketeer, a quiet wryness in her voice as the sound of it went soft. "I surrender."

"Another glorious Swiss victory! But so easily?"

Fareeha rolled onto her side and wrapped her arms around her wife, and let out a long, low, shuddering sigh. "Would you just... hold me, for a little while, until we have to go upstairs?"

Oh, beloved, Angela thought, is it starting to register with you? "Of course I will. Come on, love, let it out." She pulled her lover's head against her chest, and slowly, softly petted her head as she quietly started to cry. She put away her angry thoughts about Ana Amari, and comforted her wife, instead - a far better and more immediate concern. "I'm here for you," she whispered, "as long as you will have me."

Hopefully, she thought, forever.

Gary in the news (sort of)

Oct. 12th, 2017 07:25 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
I grew up with a name that wasn't as popular as some.  Whereas one could usually find a Bill or Bob or Tom or Michael in most every class and work location, we Garys were few and far between.  To be sure, some names are much more rare, particularly the tendency in more recent years for parents to bestow unique names upon their children.  I guess "Gary" is somewhere in the middle.

So, when I hear a reference -- any reference -- to a Gary in the news, or even something that sounds like a Gary -- I get all excited and feel kinda special.

Yesterday was such a day.  There was a story on NPR about gerrymandering -- the practice of manipulating the boundaries of an election.  Near the start of the story, it was pointed out that the word came from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who pronounced his last name with a hard G, like Gary (rather than a soft G, like Jerry). 

Thus, throughout the rest of the story, they referred to it as "garymandering."

Though I despise the practice of gerrymandering, I felt rather proud to be in the news. Sort of.

Fire and Family

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:06 pm
kevin_standlee: (Family)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
While naturally most of the press coverage of the many wildfires in California has been of the Napa-Sonoma County fires, there are a bunch more all over the state. The one most important to me personally is the Cascade Fire in Yuba County. That's because my mother lives only about ten miles east of the current eastern perimeter of the fire near Collins Lake. Dobbins, where she lives, is not under evacuation orders at this time, but it still makes me nervous. Today, I managed to get through on the phone. My nephew, Shane, picked up the phone, which also answered the other question I had as he reassured me that they are all just fine, although nervous of course. If they have to bug out, he promised to call me.
kshandra: The Sacred Chao from the Principia Discordia, in gold, superimposed on a Bisexual Pride flag (Bi Chao)
[personal profile] kshandra
  • If you're not ready to come out today, THAT'S OKAY. At your own pace, in your own time.
  • If you're not ready to come out to EVERYONE, but want to test the waters with someone who won't judge you, my inbox is open.
  • If you *can't* come out for whatever reason, THAT'S OKAY TOO. Here's hoping that everyone who wants to can eventually do so safely.
  • If you know someone else is LGBTQIA, IT IS NEVER OKAY TO OUT THEM WITHOUT PERMISSION. Not today, not ever.

Status of everything

Oct. 11th, 2017 07:20 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
I have not spoken of home improvement projects for a bit.  The reason is they have slowed to a crawl. 

The bathroom project -- yes, that bathroom project, the one I've been writing about for well over a year -- continues.  This is M's project, and he is waist-deep (or higher) in work, in classes, and in other facets of life.  Since the bathroom is functionally complete, just aesthetically undone, it's sat there for a while, a little messing with this or that as he has time, but no real progress.  Besides some trim items, the two big items remaining are the main mirror (neither installed nor even ordered yet) and a secondary door dividing the bathroom into two areas (also, neither installed nor ordered).  Neither is a huge project once the ordering gets done but he wants to do them well.

The outside roof/soffit/gutter project has slowed down for reasons we don't entirely comprehend.  The roof was replaced long ago and looks (and, apparently, functions) fine.  But the soffit project has gone in fits and starts.  What is completed looks excellent.  What was not completed, for a bit, looked terrible, but at least the carpenters have modified it from "terrible" to merely "undone."  Meanwhile, no progress on the gutters because the soffits must be completed first.  And, um, winter's coming.

On other, usually related, fronts:  the doorbell does not work (which should be a joy come Halloween), most of our exterior lighting is off circuit for now (which, true to the season, makes the place look a bit like a haunted house when it's dark), and there's still a small amount of work-related trash out and about (but that'll all be covered by snow soon, he said sarcastically).

Grumpy?  ME???

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