OK whenever an electrician comes & they see our media server (which is just a spare computer running Kubuntu that is hooked up to our LAN and houses backups of our files and old media files that we leave on all the time), which means they see a spare computer tower humming in the corner hooked up to a mouse, keyboard and LCD monitor all stored on the floor in the corner behind the armchair...

... they always make a really similar reaction face/noise, which, because they are Finnish salts of the earth, is very "Jaha!"-based.

And I always feel this strong urge to EXPLAIN that we're not weirdos who have a mysterious HIDDEN FLOOR COMPUTER, it's not like THAT, it's our MEDIA SERVER and it's only in this room so the network cables don't have to cross the floor! -- but anything I can think of to say I can only imagine making their bemusement worse. So instead I just shove it out of the way without saying anything - still humming away, monitor still off, mouse and keyboard still balanced on top of a big Tupperware literally overflowing with about 30' of extension cord.

I wonder if these guys HAVE the concept of media server, and are actually just thinking "Lol these noobs don't even have a wireless card for their media server?" or if later they remember and are like "Oh you'll never guess what was in front of the electrical box in one of those apartments today."
I came down with a cold this weekend and as I was lying in bed (all day) the other day I suddenly thought that plaid flannel duvet covers would be a really great idea. (We have a flat flannel sheet, but the duvet covers are all smooth. And plaid makes it cozier. True facts.) I brought this up with [personal profile] waxjism and she agreed that we want some, so I had a look around. They are available in the US and in the UK, but neither one of these places' standard sizes will fit an EU duvet (150x200cm or 59x79").

So I did some more poking around and eventually ordered enough Black Watch brushed cotton from a UK fabric store on ebay to make my own duvet covers. (My original thought was a classic plaid with red in it, but it looked too xmassy to [personal profile] waxjism and it's not like I don't like Black Watch). I think the Gathering Dark (today's sunrise: 8:23 & sunset: 4:07) and coldness plus the fact that it's just a giant pillowcase will help me avoid the procrastination that finickier sewing projects have engendered because they involve interfacing and seam-ripping and turning etc.

I've also acquired local hay and ordered a cage and carrier for our bunnies, so now we just have to twiddle our thumbs (and make some cranberry salsa) until November 28.
I might not have chronicled the whole history behind our impending bunny acquisition on this blog, because whenever it comes up, it comes up with photos that I take of bunnies, so obviously I post them by default on my photoblog instead, and that's on Tumblr.

Our friend [personal profile] pierydys has been collecting angora rabbits in several varieties for the last three years, and last year she decided to start breeding with a pair of dwarf angoras. Dwarf angoras are too small to provide much wool, but are still very fluffy and make excellent housebunnies. We were completely smitten when we met with Snickers, the sire of our future bunnies, and he passed his perfect housebunny personality on to all five of the babies that eventually came about (he and the bunnies' mother Lily are both young, and it took several tries), although only one of them is as chill and docile as him: the one that fell asleep five times while we were playing with them. (We picked some more active/curious ones, but they're still very docile and friendly.)

We're planning to retrieve our two from Rauma after attending the expat Americans' Thanksgiving party, so less than a month away! They are believed to be a male and a female, though sexing bunnies can be tricky, so that information could change. It isn't important though, because our bunnies will not be bred and will therefore be fixed before full maturity to reduce the likelihood of their getting cancer later in life. We're planning to name them Pihlaja and Japp. And here are a few pictures:

L: Japp, R: Pihlaja (Rowan)

[personal profile] waxjism's favorite picture of them & a side view
Last night when I thought she was asleep [personal profile] waxjism suddenly burst out laughing so hard the blanket shook and I was like "What?!" and she goes, "I was just thinking of that gif of people running backwards but it's backwards so they're running forwards."

(I looked for the gif to link here, cursorily, but I only found OTHER gifs of people running backwards, so if you haven't seen it, it's like from a marathon and the result is everyone super-slowly jogging forwards at a shuffle while frequently looking over their shoulders with a weird expression.)
My parents have a sea sponge in their guest bath, and I tried it out when I was there. I was looking at the shapes of it and remembering that sea sponges are animals, not plants. This thought percolated until I suddenly, in the car, asked if anyone knew whether the sea sponge that we use in the bath is the corpse or the skeleton of the animal in question. Nobody knew, so I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Initially I read just the introduction, and since it says that a sponge body consists of "jelly-like mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells", I thought the answer must be "corpses" (i.e. the remnants of the outer layers of cells rather than of the mesohyl). However, on further investigation it turned out that it's actually the skeleton, bath sponges being distinguished by being the rare varieties that form their skeletons of flexible spongin (a collagen protein) instead of something rigid like silica or calcium.

Since I liked the feeling of the sea sponge, I bought one when I came home, and now every time I shower I meditate on the note of macabre introduced by washing yourself with the corpse skeleton (it's equally macabre though) of an animal. (Though a bath sponge that you buy is actually a piece cut off of a larger one, so it's more like a piece of bone I suppose.) (Then again, though, sponges are like plants in that if you cut them up all of the pieces develop into new sponges, so if it had been left alive the piece would have counted as a whole organism, I suppose?) (These philosophical questions are amusing, but don't really affect the level of macabre.)

Then yesterday it suddenly occurred to me that the sponge is the only animal in our flat without a name - at least, not counting microscopic pests, insects, and food. In fact, several of our potted plants have names, which seems unfair because sponges are much more closely related to us than plants are. "Bozo" and "Felicia" immediately occurred as possibilities, for some reason, but neither seemed to fit.
The other day I tried a stew recipe that I concluded was too spicy for my wife, and at the spicy end for me. The day after I tried a milder soup for her and then today I mixed the leftovers together for lunch, and found out that I liked that even better, so I'm going to try combining the recipes next time like this: Read more... )
Last night as I was lying in bed I suddenly realized that all these fic where people are colorblind until they meet their soulmates (so far in my experience) have completely failed to consider the kinds of effects such a large colorblind population would have on design, industry, and the market.

Consider: What if, say, 70% of the adult population is colorblind? People who can see color, and hence perceive when things clash, are now a minority. Probably one that spends a lot of time wincing at clothes, houses, and everything in the world designed for shades of gray. If color vision is that rare, there's no need to make special provisions to run things for them. Checking that things match is probably a kind of specialty service and most people wouldn't bother to care, which means that the pigment industry will use whichever dyes or paints are most effective for cost/wear to get the shade of gray in their design... which might or might not clash horribly with each other. At the same time, 30% is high enough to make the fantasy of achieving one's soulmate attainable, so color vision is something people freely fantasize about, so color-matching markups can be presented as planning ahead, or a way to appear indistinguishable from the privileged to other color viewers (I'm not quite sure how you'd go about appearing to have color vision to people who don't have it...) Point is, this situation is complex.

And then what if the likelihood of meeting one's soulmate is pretty high, and around 10% of the adult population is colorblind? So the world is set up for people with color vision and now the colorblind are a marginalized group. If you can afford to, you pay extra to make sure your shit matches, so the poor can't, and now color matching is a status marker, which makes paying for it more important for people who can afford it...

...and either way, there's gonna be services set up, or maybe sections of stores where everything already matches, or color codes on clothing tags...

...where's the worldbuilding? Where's the dystopia?????
We're finally watching Penny Dreadful (the first series still). I was mostly looking forward to Billie Piper and Rory Kinnear, previous favorites, but Read more... )
Hektor the Bad Border Terrier was over last night & at one point he tried to Terrier Chase the BB, but the new flat's pristine brand new laminate floor is too slick, so their little feet were just windmilling frantically while they actually moved forward in exaggerated slow-mo. It was a wonderful sight.

Hektor had just had knee surgery, so the whole adventure was way more dangerous for him than it was for the tiny perfection. He didn't manage to touch any of the tiny perfect hairs. Only the tiny dignity was wounded, and she hid behind the washing machine until he left.

Last time Hektor visited Snookums made great progress towards making friends with him, but he was on a leash because Sofia was just standing briefly in the door to drop something off or pick something up, which made him safer to approach. He was off lead today and that was too threatening, so Snookums spent most of the visit hiding.


Sep. 11th, 2015 03:57 pm
The new flat has 1 more ceiling light fixture than the old one, but we also had an evil light fixture that was nearly impossible to put up that I wanted to replace, so I ended up making shades for two hanging lamps, one out of folded paper in the bedroom and one out of hardware cloth in the livingroom.


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