Arcade Fire at the Shoreline!

Aug. 1st, 2014 06:08 am
starlady: Galadriel in Caras Galadhon, with an ornate letter "G" (galadriel is a G)
[personal profile] starlady
I drove down with my friend J to see Arcade Fire at the Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View Wednesday night. Arcade Fire were amazing, as usual! They are one of my all-time favorite bands and they never disappoint, of course.

I actually listened to their March 08 concert in Minneapolis while I was studying for orals, and so I was surprised, upon comparing the setlist from that show with the setlist from the show I saw (note: the latter doesn't mention which song they launched into a few bars of New Order's "Temptation") to see that they were quite similar; it felt like our show had fewer songs from Reflektor, but it actually didn't. Compared to the last time I saw them in a comparable venue at the Mann Center in Philly, though (2 August 2010), they did play fewer songs from the new album. But, given that they now have more albums…I don't know. It was awesome all the same, and thanks to the presale code I used we got quite decent seats for less money than might otherwise have been expected. I was glad they did "Normal Person," because that's one of my favorites on the new album, and the split stage with Regine and Win was great on "It's Never Over," and I personally thought the fake band bit with "Tunnel of Love" was hilarious. Win opened "Joan of Arc" by shouting "Dear god, give us a female president," which was also pretty great. The crowd was decent too! The seats were close to sold out, and the lawn was pretty full, and people were, for the Bay Area, pretty into it--they stood up as soon as the band came out and for the most part didn't sit down again, although they did as usual smoke a ton of pot and often stood there like lumps. Sigh. They were better than when I saw Arcade Fire in Berkeley, anyway, though not as good as Philly or Tokyo; I think the band request to come in party clothes or costume helped get people into it.

The Shoreline is decent too; it's pretty comparable to the Mann Center honestly, though with less ease of access to major roads, and frankly, the damn South Bay is just so far away. We missed Dan Deacon entirely because of traffic, which I was a little sad about because he is awesome. In short, I will continue to regard the Shoreline as a venue to go to only if the artist playing there is someone I 200% want to see.

Cool Stuff Friday

Aug. 1st, 2014 09:30 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday made the Kessel Run in ten parsecs!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie
If you use Skype, you may have noticed the number of people online on your contacts list dwindling a little lately.

I myself was signed out of Skype last night. I can no longer log in; my old version of Skype, 5.10, is now considered to be too old.

I can't say I'm *entirely* surprised about this; I was given ample warning that this would happen, and I just didn't heed it because the older version still worked long past the cutoff dates given to me. Unfortunately, this has left me with the problem of how to tell everybody that I'm probably not going to be using it any more. This is a shame, because I actually used it quite a lot.

Why will I not be using it any more? Why can't I just update to the newest version?

Well, for some people the answer will be that they're still using Windows XP, which the newer versions of Skype don't support. That's not the case for me, but if you know that a contact of yours has Windows XP and you haven't heard from them for a bit, that may be why.

But no, the thing for me is that I've been hearing a lot about how Skype is connected to the NSA. I probably don't need to explain why this is a bad thing, but it's possible some people reading this may not realise that the NSA collects data about you in bulk, including recording audio of phone calls, recording IMs, web sites you visit, and a lot of other things. Recently news came out that they were targetting the privacy-conscious.

To put it lightly, the NSA are violating your privacy quite deliberately and knowingly - even if you live in the US. (The NSA's states that it only applies data gathering to foreign countries, but I'm willing to bet that there are sites you visit that aren't sited in the US. Same applies if you live outside of the US and thought you were safe; if you use sites sited in the US (note: Dreamwidth is such a site), then the NSA is interested in you.

The NSA also lies about how much data is collected. It was thought that the NSA "only" recorded metadata about phone calls such as time/date, phone numbers of each party, etc. Turns out that's untrue; apparently, "At least 80 percent of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US". I am a little doubtful about that figure (and there is no evidence for this, unlike with Edward Snowden's leaked files), but if the figure is off then it probably isn't off by much. Even if the figure was 60%, that's still a frighteningly large amount.

I see no reason to believe that Skype is exempt from this, especially as there are news stories about Skype being connected to the NSA. (The linked article is just one such article.)

I also found out today that Skype comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1, which follows their phase-out of Windows Live Messenger (also known by many as MSN Messenger). This makes Skype an incredibly attractive target for not just the NSA but also for hacking/cracking groups. Mostly the NSA, though.

So what is someone to do? I believe I can no longer use Skype as a permanent solution. Note that using an alternative Skype client will not solve the problem; any recording of data would be server-side, so it really doesn't matter what client you use to connect to it. (Not that Skype has exactly had the best of compatibility with third-party clients anyway.)

Does anyone have any ideas?

Housework as procrastination

Aug. 1st, 2014 12:07 pm
hunningham: How many fish can you get in your mouth at once (puffin)
[personal profile] hunningham
Someone on the wonderful friend list posted about why make my bed every day? I can’t remember who it was, but the general jist was “Not if you don’t want to” and yes, control of your environment is good, and yes, forming healthy habits is good, but it doesn’t have to be bed-making, especially if bed-making is difficult and arduous for reasons.

And I was thinking about this, because I do make my bed everyday and it’s not such a great habit for me. I work from home, and when I can’t work, or don’t want to work, I tend to do housework. I make beds, I wash up, I do laundry, I put laundry away, I clean work surfaces, and I pick up and tidy up and put away. Monday I washed the kitchen floor. Now the kitchen floor needed it, but there was a whole inbox of work which needed doing more.

Housework has the benefit of being very virtuous; I’m not wasting time on tumblr or playing with the cat or reading - “Look, I’m doing housework, what a good and excellent thing to do!” A tidy house is great, but tidying the house as procrastination isn’t so great.

BTW, ironing doesn't get done. Doesn’t matter what I’m trying to put off; the ironing will not get done.

Interesting Links for 01-08-2014

Aug. 1st, 2014 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

(no subject)

Aug. 1st, 2014 10:36 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] br3nda!

Daily Happiness

Jul. 31st, 2014 09:22 pm
torachan: charlotte from bad machinery saying "oh the mysteries of the moth farm" (oh the mysteries of the moth farm)
[personal profile] torachan
1. The grocery store we usually shop at has a good clearance section where we've found a lot of gems over the years, and earlier this week Irene found a bunch of jars of Indian sauces for 99 cents each, just slightly sticky because apparently one had come open. We had one tonight and it was so good! (And as it happened, we even had some chicken in the freezer already, so all I had to buy was an onion and bell pepper to go with it.)

2. Tomorrow I find out whether or not I get the promotion at work... Either way things shake out, at least I won't be waiting and wondering anymore.

here, have a happy vid

Aug. 1st, 2014 12:05 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
My car's being totaled, I can't find my passport, and the weather's looking dodgy for SteelyKid's outdoor birthday party on Saturday. This calls for a re-watch of an adorable and well-structured Leverage vid: "Parachute" by [personal profile] thingswithwings.

(Everything will be fine, plans are in place to deal with it all, it's just a lot of hassle all at once. Thus, a happy thing before falling into bed.)

Friday To Do List

Jul. 31st, 2014 11:28 pm
dreamwriteremmy: Alexis Bledel, a smiling brunette girl wearing a pink shirt, sitting on a bench (Default)
[personal profile] dreamwriteremmy posting in [community profile] do_it
shower
get dressed
feed cat
breakfast

brush teeth
pack snack x2
Pack bag

grab bag
take train @ 9am to Riverside & walk to Price Center from there
Price center 10a-12pm
walk back from Price Center back to Riverside take train or bus to fiance's
lunch
CIC Assignment Life Ring
Artist's Way (752/750)
Patchwork (0/370)

Tatra Puppy

Jul. 31st, 2014 10:22 pm
alchemia: (Default)
[personal profile] alchemia
Exhausted from traveling.  Tatra Puppy is sleeping in guest room.   Gotta shop for new camera now to share the pics.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Jul. 31st, 2014 10:48 pm
settiai: (Groot -- daxcat79)
[personal profile] settiai
My non-spoilery reaction? "I am Groot."

It really says it all. ;-)

In all seriousness, I'll try to type up an actual reaction in a day or two. I might actually try to catch a matinee on Saturday first, to see it one more time. All in all, though, I very much enjoyed the film.

ETA: For the record? I'm sure nobody reading this will be surprised at this news, but there's a post-credits scene. If you're seeing it in the theater, you may want to stay until the end.

Fic - Listen to the Earth

Jul. 31st, 2014 09:02 pm
damkianna: Fanart of Katara in the Avatar state. (Only Waterbender in the South Pole.)
[personal profile] damkianna posting in [community profile] white_lotus
So it's been a long time (years! multiple years!), but I've finally managed to complete the second work in my ongoing Avatar!Katara AU.

Title: Listen to the Earth (Book Two)
Rating: Somewhere between PG and PG-13 - some violence, mostly inexplicit, and eminently SFW.
Spoilers: In a general sense, for all of S2. However, this story is pretty AU.
Characters/Pairing: Moments of Sokka/Suki. Katara-focused overall. Includes some original characters.
Summary: "Prince Zuko," Yin said, and bowed without awkwardness. Avatar!Katara AU, Book Two.
Wordcount: Around 200,000 words. (!)
Content Notes: none.
Other Notes: As with Book One, more thanks than I can possibly express to my sister, [personal profile] idriya, who was my cheerleader and beta throughout this ridiculous epic.
Links: Fic @ AO3 | Series @ AO3

Korean math stamps!

Jul. 31st, 2014 06:29 pm
yhlee: fractal (fractal (art: unHnu icon: enriana))
[personal profile] yhlee
My mom says she made a special trip to obtain these. ♥



Bonus warm, fuzzy feelings if you can identify the math on each stamp!

(I collect stamps very desultorily, and mourn the days when you can soak off USAn stamps with just water--I have no idea what you're supposed to do with these newfangled sticker stamps. Should Google it sometime.)

So after all that....

Jul. 31st, 2014 02:54 pm
telesilla: black and white picture of telesilla (Default)
[personal profile] telesilla
The Giants didn't make a trade. Or, as [personal profile] darkrose put it, we didn't trade one of our mediocre prospects for a mediocre second baseman. I'm a little disappointed, but I guess the teams we were looking to trade with wanted either prospects we don't have, to the few good prospects we do have. Oh well.

It's disgusting here. The temperatures have ranged from mid 90s to 100, and it's been really humid, which is something we're not used to at all. I went to the store last night around midnight and it was 80 with 60% humidity. Ick.

I've been meaning to review some perfume, but it has to wait until I decide what my next fic will be because, while I can test stuff and write, perfume oil and cross stich do not mix. They really don't mix when I'm doing something for Mom. I'm already worried about cat hair and cat dander; she's really allergic. Of course I'll wash it when it's done and I plan on framing it in something that's easy to take apart if it needs to be washed again.

I've got that large fic drop thing going where I feel like I should be writing but also feel like I never want to write again. Also, I have no idea what to work on next although I have several unfinished things I poked at while I was doing the big fic. Maybe I'll do more of the painfully adorable domestic fluff series in which Buster and Madison have a kitten, because that's just fun and mostly angst-free.
davidlevine: (Default)
[personal profile] davidlevine
Wed 7/30 - Paris--St. Martin-de-Landelles

Step count: 8,379

Awake 6:30. Sync'd photos, blogged (but didn't post any photos, ran out of time), finished packing, cleared out the fridge, did the dishes, took out the trash. Cleaning lady (speaking French with what sounded to me like a Spanish accent) arrived before Miss Keys, who was somewhat delayed. Did manage to get all checked out and get our security deposit back before the cab arrived at 10:05 as requested. Click for more, and tons of photos! )
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