new baby

Nov. 15th, 2016 07:08 am
deird1: Aeryn looking hopeful (Aeryn looks)
Rachel Melinda Christopher was born on 8th November, 2016. She is rather lovely.

Kidlet Primus is thoroughly besotted with Kidlet Secunda. He keeps running over to cuddle her.

*exhausted but happy*
deird1: Willow dressed as vamp!Willow, with text "ceci n'est pas une vampire" (this is not a vampire) (Willow (french vampire))
Rewatching The Pack...

I have to say, I love Willow here. Particularly that she insists on staying behind to watch Xander because "I know you better than Buffy does", and Xander takes it as "I knew you'd still be you, inside it all." Like she knew he would - because that was Xander's reaction to Jesse becoming a vampire. And because she's well aware that he underestimates her.

And really, she insisted on it because she thinks Buffy's a bit gullible and kind-hearted, and she does know Xander better than Buffy does, and is aware of how he'll behave if he's manipulating her.

I just... YAY. :) Don't try manipulating Willow, guys. It never, ever works.
deird1: Dawn drinking a milkshake (Dawn milkshake)
A piece of random Aussie etiquette for you:

(Context: I was reading a discussion of various cultural "gifting" things, and the Aussie cup of tea came up. Was the first time I'd really thought about it.)

If you go to someone's house, for any reason that requires you staying more than about a minute, you will be offered a cup of tea or coffee. (By which I mean, they'll say "Would you like a tea or coffee?" or offer one and instantly apologise for not having the other. Never just the one.)

When this happens, there are various options at your disposal:
1) "Yes, I'd love a cup of tea."
2) "Yes, I'd love a cup of coffee."
3) "No, thank you."
4) [the hidden one that foreigners don't know about]

Options 1 and 2 are great. Option 3 will... be a problem. Most likely, your Aussie host will look a bit puzzled, and ever-so-slightly frantic, and start offering up all the miscellaneous contents of their fridge until you pick something. This is because, as with many cultural issues, there's a whole lot of subtext happening.

See, you think the conversation has happened like this:
"Would you like a tea or coffee?"
"No, thank you."


Whereas, it's actually done this:
"I am happy to be your host. Are you happy?"
"No. I am not happy. Host better."


(It's much the same as the standard "How are you?" "Good! How are you?" "Good!" exchange. Very few people are actually asking. They're just checking that you're willing to be pleasant in their direction.)

The subtextual conversation we're aiming for is:
"I am happy to be your host. Are you happy?"
"Yes, I am happy to be your guest. You're being a good host."


This will be best achieved by the aforementioned options 1 or 2, or by secret option 4. Which goes like this:
*friendly sigh* "I'd love a glass of water!"


...then, you say thanks for the water, and if you're not thirsty, you don't actually need to drink it.
deird1: Buffy and Dawn, with text "real sisters" (Buffy Dawn real sisters)
Am currently sitting in my son's room (he won't lie down if I can't see him, today), as he lies in bed, loudly counting his toes and talking about stars and wiggly lines.

On the one hand: GO TO SLEEP, YOU MORONIC CHILD.

On the other hand: he's so CUTE!
deird1: Darla and Drusilla, with text "old world" (Darla Dru old world)
Am I the only person left in the world who prefers physical maps to GPS?

Went to a friend's house the other day, and discovered that my Melways (standard Melbourne roadmap) is out of date and doesn't have her street. I mentioned this to a few people - and they all looked puzzled and asked "But... don't you have a GPS?"

Yes. Yes I do have a GPS. And, thanks to my silly Melways, I had to pull out my GPS, dust off the cobwebs, find her street, and trust my GPS to guide me there while I blindly submitted to its knowledge, rather than knowing where the heck I was going.

Call me crazy, but I think there's something to be said for looking at a big piece of paper, and thinking "I am HERE, and I want to be THERE." It makes me feel much more in control. Especially since my GPS has been known to randomly go insane and decide I should be driving down a gravel farm track rather than the freeway.
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
Kidlet is watching Playschool. Playschool guy is singing "Boom-de-yada".

I am sitting here, with Playschool, xkcd, and US television ads all clashing in my head... WEIRD...
deird1: Gunn in a suit, holding a shotgun, with text "Charles Gunn: attorney at law" (Gunn with gun)
Just sold my computer (not the nice one), using a classifieds site. In the light of my newfound experience and wisdom, here are my top bits of advice for people wanting to buy things.

1) Opening the conversation with "So, how low are you willing to go?" will get a less positive response than "You are selling for price X. I'd like to offer you price Y."

2) Acting as though you're willing to pay price X, spending over 20 minutes asking for details, photos, etc, and then smugly saying "I'll go price Y" - thereby assuming that I'm so invested, as per the sunk cost fallacy, that I'll instantly drop my price - will really get my back up.

3) No matter how reasonable you've been up to that point, suddenly starting to call me "darling" will get my creep meter on full alert, and make me determined to find someone else to sell to.

4) Offering to trade me a computer for a dirtbike is ridiculously entertaining. Even though I turned you down... keep doing that. It made my day.

5) If you are polite, straightforward, and do not fall prone to points 1–3, I'll happily drop the price a couple of hundred dollars, just because you seem nice. Well done.

cute kid

Jul. 13th, 2016 09:37 am
deird1: the kidlet, looking oh so cute (kidlet with hat)
The kidlet has reached the stage of repeatedly mentioning things he's happy about. Yesterday, it was half an hour of "dinosaur socks! dinosaur socks!", and now he's munching a fruit bar (with a blue wrapper) and saying "blue bar" over and over.

It's rather adorable.
deird1: Dawn, with text "troublemaker" (Dawn troublemaker)
Well, I've spent the last two days frantically reading news sites and Reddit-Australia, and I still have more election flailing to do, so I'm going to tell you all about it...



Firstly, for the Aussies:
you guys KNOW )


And for everyone else:
an explanation )

...and that's where we're at.
deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
The Context
A kid was killed by an alligator at Disney World. The pond he was wading in had a sign saying "no swimming".

The Argument
The parents were at fault because
a) It's Florida, alligators are everywhere, and everyone should know this.
b) There was a "no swimming" sign, which should have clued them in that alligators were likely to be in the area.

The Rebuttal
a) I am Australian. I live in a very dangerous region of the world, where we don't put on gumboots without checking for spiders. We expect to find snakes, dingoes, sharks, and crocodiles in most outdoor settings.
I would not have expected there to be alligators in this pond.
Yes, I'm aware that Florida has alligators, but Queensland has crocodiles, and I still expect hotels to be crocodile-free. Crocodiles can't generally get over fences. Alligators can. I didn't know this.

b) If I see a sign that says "Danger: Crocodiles! No swimming!", I expect there to be crocodiles around, and that I shouldn't go swimming. If I see a sign that simply says "no swimming", sans explanation or exclamation marks, I assume it's roughly equivalent to "keep off the grass" - ie: the maintenance crew are trying to stop you from trashing the area. I certainly wouldn't expect wading to be dangerous.



People who keep making this argument? You kinda suck.
deird1: the kidlet, looking oh so cute (kidlet with hat)
The kidlet now has three different types of "no".

I find it interesting that, ever since the kidlet started saying "no" at all, everyone has assumed that he's yelling "No! I won't do it!" at me. Which he still hasn't done, even at all. What he has been doing is this:


1) "Do you want a biscuit?" "No."

This is a very short, definite no. It's invariably a simple answer to a question of the "do you want..." variety. Very informative. SO helpful when he started doing this - suddenly our interactions involved a lot less guesswork.


2) "Do you have a wet nappy?" "Nooooo..."

Stretched out no - pretty much used as a response to nappy questions or other quests for information. This has been happening for about a month now.


3) "No, you can't play with the knives." "No, no! No, no!"

This is often accompanied by a wail of upset disbelief. The "no!" here isn't him saying no to me - it's him expressing his displeasure that I have said no to him. And it's very cute.
deird1: stick-figure Aang, controlling elements (Avatar xkcd)
These are the Marvel superhero movies, with the ones I've seen in bold:
list of movies )

Why did I start watching them?
- Superheroes are fun!

- Superpowers can make for really interesting action scenes (rather than the kicking and shooting that's all that's available in most action scenes, Lara Croft on a bungee notwithstanding).

- I love somewhat angsty, finding-your-identity stories.

- I love somewhat angsty, looking-for-redemption stories.

- I love silly costumes and silly names.


Why did I stop watching them?
- There started to be too many plotlines per movie. (For instance: Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3.)

- There stopped being silly costumes and silly names. What is the point of having superheroes if they don't embrace the silly?

- The movies started prioritising as follows:
(1) snark
(2) action scenes
(3) plot
(See: Avengers, which had an immense focus on Tony Stark snarking at Captain America, action scenes that were entertaining enough, but a bit forgettable, and a plotline that... vaguely held together.)

I want to see:
(1) plot
(2) action scenes
(3) snark
(X-Men, for instance. Which had two snarky lines - that were awesome - and some really interesting plot and action. Or Spiderman 2, which had incredible action scenes, and a plot that totally held together.)


And the main reason:
There is just too much continuity between movies. To understand Avengers, I had to have seen at least four previous movies (not a problem, because I had). To understand the following movies, I had to keep seeing all the following movies. They all build on each other! Which is really annoying, because the movies have a totally different feel from each other.

I decided early on that I wasn't so interested in the Thor movies - and yet, they still form part of the overall plot that I'm supposed to be familiar with.

It's much more frustrating than with a television show. Sure, watching all of Buffy is essential to properly understanding later episodes of Buffy - but this is more like having to watch Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse in order to understand later episodes of Buffy. That's too much to ask.



It may be just me. But the Marvel movies have lost at least one viewer - which is a real shame.
deird1: Mai and Zuko cuddling, with text "you're so beautiful when you hate the world" (Mai Zuko hate the world)
My husband has never lived with a dog before.


We're dogsitting for my parents, and I said that, since I can't feed the cat (long story), I should be in charge of feeding the dog. One animal each. The husband agreed.

One day in...

I was in the shower, and the husband came in and asked "What does the dog have for breakfast?" Didn't know why he was asking, so I explained - at which point he turned to the kidlet and said "Okay, let's go feed the dog."

...um.

"Darling! The dog's already eaten."
"What? He can't have."
"He definitely has."
"But he's following me around, looking hungry."
"Yes. Because he's a dog."

I'm not entirely sure what he was expecting.
deird1: Tara crying over Willow's betrayal (Tara betrayal)
Very cross with my edition of The Naughtiest Girl in the School, right now.


This book was written in the 1940s.
The kids are given two pounds each week for pocket money.
Said pounds are made up of 100 pence each.


GRRR.


Judicious googling confirms my suspicion that the original edition had them receiving two shillings each week.

Why, oh why do people think these things need to be dumbed down? Either the kids won't notice the weird currency, or else they WILL notice and will therefore LEARN something!



This is actually annoying me more than the American editions of Harry Potter.
deird1: Twilight Sparkle's hot air balloon (MLP:FiM hot air balloon)
I have been reading a lot about the US election lately, and have come to a simple conclusion: our elections are better.

I've also realised that I've never told you all about our elections, so for anyone who's curious, keep reading...


Australian Elections and Why They're So Much Better Than Yours (Whoever You Are)

1) We have an independent group organising them.

This being the Australian Electoral Commission. They organise the whole shebang, and oversee the voting. Among other things, this greatly limits gerrymandering, as the electoral districts are figured out by people who are required by law to be impartial.


2) The campaign season doesn't go on for an eternity.

Most likely, our election this year will be held on July 2nd. We're still not sure, though, because it hasn't been announced yet.

You guys have campaigns that go on for MULTIPLE YEARS. It's INSANE.

Plus - we have no primaries. So we're not all sick of the candidates before we even reach the main event.


3) Voting is on Saturdays.

This makes it easier for everyone to attend, rather than getting stuck at work. It's also a lot more relaxing. (If you go to the right polling booth, you can have a democracy sausage afterwards. They are yummy and awesome.)


4) Voting is compulsory.

Everyone votes. EVERYONE. Which, among other things, means that you don't get candidates trying to "get out the vote" by being as radical as possible. Instead, aware that the vote will be "out" whether they like it or not, they have to cater to as many people as possible, by heading more for the centre.


5) We have preferential voting.

...and this is the best bit. The uber-reason why Australia's elections rock and everyone else's are just second best.

Our ballots are a bit more complicated than yours. We don't choose a single candidate - instead, we rank all the candidates, from best to worst.

Why is this awesome? Because there ain't no such thing as "throwing your vote away" on a third party candidate.

I can vote for Awesome McPolicyGuru, who probably won't win, in the comforting knowledge that, when they fail to win as per usual, my vote will instead go to Nice von-Competent rather than Evil Villainson. And, if enough people do the same, Awesome McPolicyGuru could even get elected! Woo!

This is why our government is less of a two-parties-and-nothing-else situation that the US. The way your elections are set up, you're pretty much always going to have two viable candidates and no-one else - whereas we usually have a decent showing of third party and independent MPs. Because we can actually elect them.
deird1: Aeryn holding a baby and shooting a gun, with text "working mother" (Aeryn working mother and baby)
In Australia, the gyno will happily take care of all your prenatal and delivery needs. Except for any blood tests or ultrasounds. For those, you'll have to go off site.

In Germany, your blood tests and ultrasounds will all be done right at the gyno's office.
...attend your delivery? Why on earth would he do that?



In Germany, you remove all clothing from the lower half of your body, walk across the room, hoick yourself up into the stirrups, and wait for large, cold objects to be shoved into you.

In Australia, you are given a hospital gown, and then the ultrasound technician, very discreetly, says "I'll just give you some privacy to change." After which, presumably, she comes back into the room and sticks large, cold objects into all the body parts she's carefully not noticing yet.
...at least, I assume so, if I hadn't snorted, told her about Germany, and stripped off right in front of her.



(Yep. You are correct in your wonderings.)
deird1: Andrew - with James Bond style intro (Andrew james bond)
Here's what I want:

I open up my tablet app, and select "make a new map". It gives me a blank grid of squares.

I decide whether the map is inside, in the street, or in the countryside. The app gives me the appropriate terrain types (such as "floor, table, stairs", "building, pavement, wagon", or "rocks, river, grass") based on my choice. Then I select a terrain type, apply it to some grid squares, select another, apply it to some more grid squares, etc.

Finally, I can select any grid square, and give it a label.

Voila! Map!


(Then, at a later date...)

I open up my tablet app, and select "use existing map". It loads the map I made earlier.

I add characters: Rohan the Ranger, Elthreli the Cleric, Snigwat the Fighter, Nora the Rogue, Orc 1, Orc 2, Captive 1, etc.

I can then position the characters on any grid squares I choose, and, at any point, move them from one location to another.



Thus allowing me to run awesome RPGs without constantly having to use a pencil and eraser on the back of an old character sheet.

That's the dream...
deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
I asked one of the team engineers to check whether a technical term was written correctly. He huffed, rolled his eyes slightly, and demanded "Who's questioning it?"

Why, good sir, I am questioning it. It is my bounden duty, as company editor, to question every half-formed piece of drivel that crosses my desk; to tear it to shreds and reconstruct it in a way that makes sense; to challenge every fact, every phrasing; to correct, to change, to disrupt - so that when your document reaches its final destination, and your now-flowing prose delights their every sense, our clients will not, even for a moment, question it.
deird1: Willow dressed as vamp!Willow, with text "ceci n'est pas une vampire" (this is not a vampire) (Willow (french vampire))
The thing about dragons being fictional is that every author gets their own chance to decide what dragons are really like (see also: vampires and werewolves). As far as I can remember, the order I encountered them was as follows:


a short list )
deird1: a chibi of Kitty from P&P, with text "what do you keep winking at me for?" (Kitty winking)
Okay. This has stumped me.

We have:
- one Surgeon General
- two Surgeons General
- one cup of tea
- two cups of tea
- The Surgeon General's cup of tea.
- The Surgeon General's cups of tea.


...when you have multiple Surgeons General, how do you do the possessive?

Is it:
- The Surgeons' General cups of tea?
- The Surgeons General's cups of tea?
- The Surgeons' Generals cups of tea?
...or what?

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deird1: lilac flowers, with text "how do they rise up" (Default)
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