brickhousewench: (reading)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
On Friday [personal profile] malterre posted a link on Facebook to 5 ScI-Fi Fantasy novels with badass middle-aged heroines. Which made me think of Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon. The main character is Captain Heris Serrano, who has recently resigned her commission in the Regular Space Service. Her new job is piloting the space yacht of the wealthy and eccentric Lady Cecelia de Marcos. Heris is a middle-aged woman, somewhere in her early forties, and Lady Cecelia is in her early eighties. Both are really great characters. Heris is the sort of brave, smart career soldier you would expect from a legendary military family. Lady Cecelia is the sort of gives no fucks rich eccentric lady that I'd love to be when I grow up.

So of course, when I got home I pulled my copy of Hunting Party down off the bookshelf. And despite the fact that I knew it would lead to a book binge, I started it on Saturday morning. I read it all the way through, then started reading the next book, Sporting Chance. I read that all the way through, then started on the third book in the series, Winning Colors, which I’m still reading.

The first two books are sort of standard space opera (smugglers! Evil superior officers! Political intrigue! Space pirates!) But the third book in the series tackles a more serious issue that has stuck in my head since I first read it back in 1995. In her “Familias Regnant” universe medical technology has figured out how to rejuvenate people, in the literal meaning of the word. Lady Cecelia undergoes rejuvenation and her 83 year old mind now resides in the body she had when she was 40. It’s expensive, but if you have the money, the newest rejuvenation process can be repeated more than once. In the novel Moon explores what problems are caused when the younger generation of the corporate upper class can’t take their positions in the family business because their parents can’t die and refuse to retire. What does it do to a society when we extend our lifespans enough to interrupt our economy? We’ve already seen a bit of this, with the Millennial generation waiting for the Baby Boomers to retire and free up jobs. And there’s more coming, when the Baby Boomers all retire and collect social security and need medical care for decades longer than people used to (when Social Security first started, most people retired at 65 and were dead by 66).

And I always think about this book when I look at the British Royal Family. Prince Charles is more than old enough to retire (he’s 68) but he has not yet even started the job he’s been training his whole life for, being King of England. If Elizabeth lives as long as her mother did, Charles has another decade to wait before he ascends the throne (the Queen Mum was 101 when she died, and QEII is 90). And where does that leave Prince William and his son, Prince George?

So yeah, I spent my weekend in the Book Fort, completely offline. And it was good.

Walked it off

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:16 pm
ravena_kade: (Default)
[personal profile] ravena_kade
Last night I was feeling grouchy/angry/not right. I need to learn to go out when I feel that was still light. I could have worked in the garden or walked the beach at my house.

I decided to go to my Happy beach today even though the shut off the trains and the substitute buses have a route the feels like punishment. They take giant Greyhound bites and run them through the inner city instead of the expressway. Takes twice as long to travel even with no traffic... with traffic three times as long. MAKES NO SENSE. The good think is that the bus is super comfortable, has wifi, electrical outlets, and even a bathroom. While the route was infuriating I would do it again now that I know where I am.

The beach was lovely. It did not get as hot as they said it would so I did not feel the heat. I walked the entire 3.5 miles (7 back and forth) and boy are my feet hating me at the moment.

I am happiest at the wrack line with the Piping plover and other shore birds. Found many more Sand dollars... each a slightly different color. I found a black one too. I wonder if that means anything? Started working on a poem ...need to work one some imagery....

The oddest thing I was was a small live clam. It must have read my thought about a splash of hot sauce and slurp... and it stuck out a tiny white foot and buried itself in the sand. I have never seen that before...and it was fast. I wish I thought about taking out my phone and videoing it as it "ran" away from me.

I really needed the walk and to be there today. I walked off the work week and house woes.

Dad met me up there and we ate at the pub so I did not have to cook dinner. Had a lobster roll...yummy.

Right now I would sell my soul to have someone rub peppermint lotion on my feet ;-)

Quote of the Day

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:55 pm
brickhousewench: (Hawkeye-Hugs)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
“My life may be a shit show right now, but I have friends that love me enough to help shovel me out.

I’m glad M has got friends to support him through this.

Welcome to my World

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:47 am
brickhousewench: (Dreamwidth)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
This is my journal. It's where I dump my brain. I tell myself that even if I do love comments and comment conversations, I'm not writing for an audience, I'm mostly writing for myself. But I am aware that people read what I put out there, so I also try to provide backstory and context so that other people can follow along and this isn't just some random brain dribblings, well, at least not all the time... I write about my life and adventures, but I also just quote random things that I want to remember, or articles that gave me Thinky Thoughts™.

Very well then I contradict myself; I am large, I contain multitudes.

So when people that I don't "know" subscribe to me, I always wonder, have you actually read my journal? Or did you just click on one of the interests listed in my profile and decide to add me? Do you have any idea what you’re getting into?

You have? Well, OK then. Welcome to my world.

How to be a better friend

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:12 am
brickhousewench: (Hawkeye-Hugs)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
Most of my main circle of friends are people that I’ve met in the fifteen years since I left The Wasband. My closest circle is, not surprisingly, my Guild mates. But I also have a lot of friends that I’ve met through renn faire and reenactments.

But what makes me think that I’m not too horrible a friend is that I’m fairly lucky in that I am still in touch (at least Facebook friends) with:
• My oldest friend in the world (who I met when I was five)
• One of the girls that I went to Montessori school with and have known since first grade
• Another friend from Montessori that I’ve known since second grade (who hunted me down on Facebook)
• The girl who became my second best friend when her family moved to our neighborhood when we were in fifth grade (I think?)
• The girl from France who lived in Lexington for two years when we were in fourth and fifth grade (who also hunted me down on Facebook)

I’ve also got a handful of friends from High School (which was a LONG time ago) on my Facebook friends list. And a couple of good friends from college. And I’ve got two ex-boyfriends on my FB list (I’m not great at being able to maintain a relationship with my exes, it’s often too painful).

But, you can never have too many friends, and keeping friends requires some effort. (Note to Self - put in some effort this weekend.) So I wanted to hold onto this advice on How to be better at staying in touch with friends and being a good friend: a step-by-step guide.

A post in several Tweets )

Captain Awkward

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:31 am
brickhousewench: (blanket fort)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
Every now and then I run across something on the internet that just strikes a nerve. Sometimes it’s someone saying something that I’ve been trying to articulate. Sometimes it’s something that clarifies something I’ve been trying to figure out for myself. Sometimes it’s something that give me Thinky Thoughts™.

And sometimes it’s just someone validating my experience.

Back in 2007, when I was hanging around with Dawn, she took a nutty on me when I didn’t attend a party that had gone from “come over and hang out and watch movies” but swiftly escalated to “Dawn is going to set Julie up with her ex-roommate and they will live happily ever after” after she’d found out we’d stumbled across each other in an online dating site.

At the time I was suffering from a bout of major Depression. I was in therapy and taking meds, but hadn’t quite figured out all my own symptoms and reactions yet, and didn’t yet know how to articulate my own needs. I’d had a rough week at work (more conflict with Bossy Lady and computer problems), it was February (always a rough month for me due to cold and dark), and that weekend what I really needed was to hide out at home in the blanket fort by myself and do some self-care. I definitely did not have the spoons to perform "perfectly normal human" in public, let alone the level of vivaciousness required try to impress a potential suitor, especially not in front of an audience. But Dawn was so invested in playing matchmaker that she was hugely offended when I didn’t show up and refused to answer the phone when she called to yell at me about it.

So you can probably imagine how I felt when I read a recent Captain Awkward post where the Captain stated

The matchmaker’s ego and investment in the outcome < the interest and wishes of the matchmakees.

Oh. Hells. Yes.
brickhousewench: (Tina Tech Writer)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
Random stuff I find on the Internet. Today while I was working on Content Models, I was reading a page on our intranet and came across a name I didn’t recognize. So I checked the employee directory, and they were listed as an ex-employee. Since I didn’t know if they were actually a technical writer (and it was hard to tell from the page I was reading, they could have been quality assurance or some other department), I checked LinkedIn. Yep, they were a TW, and then a manager. But I had to snort when I saw this in her profile:

Some of the work I did in this position that I am most proud of involves the Release Note process. I created a proactive process for writing Release Notes during software development, rather than just before a software release. In this way, the information presented in them was more accurate and timely, and the time of the engineers and writers was used much more productively. This process is still in place today.

Um, you haven’t worked here in six years, and there have been major changes in the past two years from what everyone has told me. I’m pretty sure your process is NOT still in place six years later. *eyeroll*

More Vocabulary Lessons

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:06 pm
brickhousewench: (Discuss)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
I am learning new words right and left this week.

Today it was a discussion of coffee on the department IRC chat (the folks at HQ often take “coffee walks” downtown to stretch their legs and caffeinate off-campus). Someone mentioned that they had “coffee” set as an alert word on IRC. Then my manager suggested they join the #fika channel.

“There’s a fika channel?” They asked incredulously.

“Oh yes, and you probably want to join it.” My manager replied.

At which point I headed off to the Googles to see what sort of coffee/snacky/break thing a fika was.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:50 pm
ravena_kade: (Default)
[personal profile] ravena_kade
Tonight I took DQ to the Museum of Fine Arts to see a photography exhibit called Memory Unearthed:The Lodz Ghetto photographs of Henryk Ross. Ross took photos of life in the ghetto and then buried them. He was one of the survivors liberated by the Russians and then they dug up the photos and negatives.

A very thought provoking that many people need to see.

I never really understood street photography just for the sake of it, but this is what many of these photos were and they are important.
brickhousewench: (pants)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
Today was a Hump Day worthy of the name.

I had trouble dragging myself out of bed. And when I got up, I had zero desire to go to work. Or do anything else for that matter. I was seriously considering taking a mental health day, but managed to log in to see if I had any meetings or not and there were a couple of things in my inbox that needed my attention that I’d rather deal with at the office. One of these days I’ll get a proper home office, but for now, the convenience of working on my big monitor is enough to get my arse into the office on days like today.

I dragged myself into the office, then fought with myself to try to stay focused all day. I replied to a couple of e-mails from both my product development team and the technical writing team, so that was good. My brain didn’t really want to play along and be productive today, so I’m glad that if I only managed to accomplish a few things, they were publicly visible things. I ended up skipping out just a little bit early (like a half an hour early) because I knew that I wasn’t going to get anything else done that was useful. And I didn’t feel like seat warming when I could be home on the couch.

Ugh, I hope I wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:07 pm
ravena_kade: (Default)
[personal profile] ravena_kade
This is a year of firsts....

a first is coming up in 2 weeks and it hurts... a first in my life. Ma isn't here for.

I received a card in the mail from a store about a birthday discount and I lost it.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:06 pm
ravena_kade: (Default)
[personal profile] ravena_kade
Had my midyear review this week. The boss had nothing to say to me... she called the meeting and then stared at me...saying nothing, but the look on her face was daring me to say something... I felt like I was being sized up... and I really wanted to stand up and say "What is your issue? You get paid to be a supervisor, that means you have to talk to me even if you don't want to. You are paid to do this" I did not because challenging these people would be worse for me. In the insurance company I would have called her out, but 29years gives you confidence... I haven't a leg to stand on here.

I did ask about the systems conversion for my work that I thought was to happen in October. I am concerned as my knowledge is in a niche system that I think could go away. She told me that the project has been pushed back and may not make it until 2019.

They also moved my desk 2 weeks ago. I hate where I sit. I get in at 5:15 AM (an hour early) and the dinosaur is all over me. I reminded her that I don't start working for another hour... but she is passive aggressive and starts with it as soon as I sit down... sigh....

Personally I think she moved me because I was getting too friendly with the manager since he asked me to help find a dog and now that he has a dog...

she says she wants me to me the team leader for the dinosaur and my trainee. Sigh. I am not cut out to lead. I an good as a 32 or #3. I am responsible and know what to do... but wrangle people is not my thing. I was told that I should keep the dinosaur busy but don't let her do anything that can be seen... WHAT? Franky she should be laid off. Then there is my trainee who should have her phone dumped in the toilet. She takes 7 hours to do what I did in 1.5. I like her as a person, but as a worker I would also let her GO. I. DO. NOT. TRUST. HER. TO. COMPLETE. ANYTHING. Today I received 100 cases to work. I turned to the dinosaur to get her to help and she says she can't as her one lung is bothering her and her arthritis is making it hard to type. I turn to the trainee and she leaves for the day as her eyes are bothering her. The boss says that I should not be afraid to ask for help... UMMM...just who can help. My team is lame....

The only thing I can make of this is that she trusts me with a niche thing and to wrangle people ... but she just isn't interested in my as a human.

I do think I irked her whenI went over to the manager to show him a big white dog we had at the shelter and I asked about his pup. And it irked her that he had a conversation with me.

Quote of the Day – Fear

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:50 pm
brickhousewench: (Beeker)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
Fear is what happens when you’re doing something important.

If you are doing work that isn’t scary, it isn’t improving you or the world.


Moody Me

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:00 am
brickhousewench: (Dont want to get up)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
My mood this morning can pretty much be summed up by "I don't wanna. But I gotta. Dammit."
brickhousewench: (Tina Tech Writer)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
That time when your German speaking software architect teaches you a new Latin phrase while you're performing a group edit to help your Brazilian developer revise the abstract he's writing to submit a paper to a conference.

pluralis majestatis

(And that's not me being snarky, that's the link Heiko put into chat when we complained that we didn't know what he was talking about.)

News from the Old Company

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:06 pm
brickhousewench: (roadtrip)
[personal profile] brickhousewench
I was in LinkedIn for some other reason,and I thought to check in on my favorite HR Lady Tammi. She fled The Place back in February. Good. I knew she wanted to get out way back last year when they gave me the boot.
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