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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:51 am)
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:52 pm)
Based on an audience poll, there are new verses in the three open epics.  "The Inner Transition" has 14 new verses.  Valor's Widow shows Stylet where to stash his berettaflies.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" has 11 new verses.  Jules discovers that Pips is fascinated by Officer Tull.  "Two Foxes" has 11 new verses.  Kenzie is impressed by Ron's caregiving skills, but still feels uncomfortable with the helplessness caused by his injuries.
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:06 pm)
This poem came out of the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl and is presented here as the free epic for the fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] we_are_spc (Fallon/Isaiah). It also fills the "enemies become friends" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest and the "AU: Crossover/Fusion" square in my 4-3-17 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

WARNING: This poem contains some controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. In this poem, alter!Alex is Harley Quinn, a conflation which may bother some readers. It also features dimensional travel, impaired consent and mental functionality, forceful interventions to address an abusive relationship, vehement objections to well-meaning help, attempted assault, use of a previous name for constructive but nonconsensual purposes, allergies, reference to vigilante activity, reference to Quinn's past abusive relationship, communication failures, confusion, mixed signals, awkward family dynamics, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 22nd, 2017 04:20 pm)
Today is mild, sunny, and breezy.  We got some rain last night, so I went out to pull field weeds from alongside the patio and strip garden. 

I've been seeing lots of butterflies today.  There was a monarch around the barrel garden and various small butterflies when I was weeding.

EDIT 8/22/17: I went back out and pulled more weeds farther along the patio edge and by the birdgift apple tree.
This is so exciting!  BBC has introduced a new pidgin service to make news more accessible to African viewers.  Click any of the article thumbnails to see an example. 

Because of my linguistic coprocessor, it's very easy for me to hack a pidgin if I know any of its main antecedents.  So for instance, I can clock "don" as the past-tense marker: "BBC Pidgin don start today" = "BBC Pidgin started today."  Take a look at the new materials and see what bits of grammar and vocabulary you can identify.  \o/

Meanwhile over in Terramagne, I bet their BBC offers a whole bunch of different overlays like this.  France probably does too, because they spawned a lot of colonial languages, including the Haitian French that Saraphina speaks.  Hmm, I wonder how long it'll take Aidan to catch onto that resource, because he's not much of a TV junkie.  But an hour of French-national Haitian French overlay would be good practice for them, and a nice change from the much scarcer pure Haitian programming.


Posted by Terence P Ward

TWH –It’s still not a good time to accept credit cards while Pagan. As was reported in March, terms of service forbidding fortune telling and other “occult” practices are enforced arbitrarily, and sometimes without warning. A new twist in the tale was discovered by Yeshe Rabbit, who was advised that not using a particular processor for the forbidden transactions is not enough. She was told to remove the offending services from her business web site.

The Sacred Well, her shop with two West Coast locations, now uses a different provider, but she’d like to work on clearing this climate of uncertainty once and for all.

[Carmel Sastre, CC/Flickr.]

The ban on occult products and services stems from a purely mercenary motivation: the fear that customers will be unhappy and demand their money back. It’s for that same reason that lottery tickets can’t be purchased with plastic.

The lottery comparison is only superficially similar, however. For one thing, it is a clearly-defined category of merchandise, as opposed to the board and mushy “occult” grouping.

For another, it’s unlikely that anyone has told the owners of shops selling lottery merchandise that they won’t be able to accept credit cards for any merchandise if they continue to sell those scratch-off tickets.

“TSW was designated ‘high risk’ because, according to CardConnect, we mentioned ‘reiki, herbal smoking blends, and psychic readings’ on our website,” Rabbit said.

“This was after 10 years of working in our industry without any significant chargebacks or complaints. It was not based on our existing record of sales, only on wording on our website.” That wording has not been changed in the recent past, she confirmed.

Like many store owners, Rabbit acknowledges that she didn’t study the fine print when she first signed her CardConnect agreement some ten years ago, but that changed when she heard about other Pagan vendors running into problems.

“We made sure that we were not using any single processor for any activities listed in the fine print of their policy. CardConnect had a policy against psychic readings. However, since we did not use CardConnect to process readings, but rather used it to process sales of merchandise and classes, we thought we were abiding by the policy,” Rabbit explained.

“However, when they notified us that they planned to terminate our service,” she continued, “they specifically cited that we offered readings and smoking blends on our website.”

Rabbit said that she wrote back, letting the agent know that they  used other processors for both readings and web sales, but they did not budge.” Card Connect told her that the store would “need to take those pages down to retain their services, even if [they] were using those services for a separate part of the business that did not violate their policy.”

“In the end, we chose to close our account,” Rabbit said.

A call to CardConnect asking for media relations was transferred to the voice mail of a Chelsea Cole, who did not respond to inquiries by press time. Cole was asked to confirm that CardConnect policy includes the restrictions that Rabbit described, and whether those limitations extend to CardConnect clients with lottery tickets for sale.

What’s clear is that at least one card processor is coming down harder still than earlier in the year, with attempts to dictate terms that extend well beyond what one might expect.

“They are not interested in any proof that our practices are linked to a legitimate religious path,” Rabbit said, “even though Paganism and Wicca are recognized by the government and armed forces for things like chaplaincy and headstones.”

Sacred Well Portland [Courtesy]

The fact that services such as divination are used by some individuals as part of their sincerely-held religious beliefs is a complicating factor which could well hold sway in a court of law, but getting there is an expensive and cumbersome process which the stereotypical Pagan merchant can ill afford to pursue.

If Rabbit had those resources handy, she said, she’d be more inclined to just start a processing company of her own. “It’s tempting to dream about creating the kind of infrastructure that supports the world I want to live in, where there is true religious freedom and respect for diversity of beliefs and practices,” she said.

Rabbit is confident she could write a report that demonstrates that there is no need to for any processor to consider the Sacred Well a business risk, but she’s not sure it would matter much. After all, a 115-page business plan backed by considerable research was ignored by a commercial realtor in one West Coast city that simply refused to rent any space to a Pagan shop.

“I fear that would happen if we tried to do that here,” she said. “Perhaps if several businesses did this and approached these companies en masse, it might be more effective.”

The number of Pagan merchants isn’t big enough to get changes through a boycott. That’s evident in the other demand made of Rabbit, concerning her business web page.

CardConnect representatives “did not provide any explanation about why they felt they could dictate the content of our website, even after we offered proof that the activities they find objectionable have nothing to do with their processing equipment or services,” Rabbit said.

That kind of demand makes little business sense if it would lead to a loss of revenue for the processor.

Rabbit believes that if changing this state of affairs were to be successful, it would be as a leaderless movement, with responsibilities shared among actors. “I can see myself instigating, contributing, and collaborating in a movement among Pagan business owners to address the religious intolerance directed toward our products and services,” she said, “but I don’t know that anyone needs me to lead in that field. We are all business owners and capable entrepreneurs.”

She added, “I would love to team up with people like Jane Hawkner, Susan Diamond, and Phoenix LaFey around this. And, truth be told, if we really want something like this to be successful, we would benefit greatly from the business wisdom of Cat Yronwode. She is brilliant.”

Unless and until these policies are clarified or modified, there is little a Pagan business owner can do other than read the fine print of every agreement carefully, and to have one more more backup plans in place.

As Rabbit discovered, even complying with the letter of the policy is no guarantee that someone at the other end of the phone won’t decide it’s too risky anyway, and close the account. Absent the deep pockets for a lawsuit or the community will for a movement, signing up for payment processing while Pagan is no more certain than the promises made by some world leaders to take in war refugees and give them permanent homes.

We will continue to update this story as new information is received.

*  *  *
The work of journalist Terence P. Ward was made possible by the generous underwriting donation from Hecate Demeter, writer, ecofeminist, witch and Priestess of the Great Mother Earth.
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:28 pm)
Modern medicine is juuuust starting to figure out how important food is, including its influence on mood.  The food you eat, and its quality, can have a huge impact on your mental health and brain function.

One reason I've been writing down a lot of T-American food choices and linking similar local recipes is because they're a lot farther along the path of using dietary choices to support health.  That's mostly replicable here.  You can see it with Shiv in particular, how much better he feels now than several months ago.  That's not all due to the extra psych support he's getting; it's also because he's eating better.
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([personal profile] elf Aug. 22nd, 2017 09:27 am)
Got my first magazine subscription in over 15 years, since I let my Consumer Reports sub lapse. I subcribed to Teen Vogue, which has some of the best feminist coverage of politics available in mainstream media.

Mixed in with the fashion tips and celebrity gossip, they have some terrific "celebrate yourself" pieces and amazing current events articles.

Their celebrity news mentions the importance of consent and all-around not being a jerk. Their makeup and fashion articles talk about individuality and bringing out your best features - which are not expected to be the same as everyone else's. They mention how disabilities and different cultural backgrounds interact with popular trends. Their photos aren't all of white people, nor thin people, nor young people. Their target demographic is definitely "teenage girls" - but they don't make everything pink, and they don't have "how to catch a boyfriend" articles.

I'd been meaning to subscribe since campaign season and never quite got around to it. Fixed that today.
Tags:
People often confuse “having children” with “being a grown-up”. For Marie Phillips, who has decided not to have children, unlearning that cliché took work

When my nieces and nephews were much younger, I sometimes asked them whether they thought I was an adult or a child. The answer was always the same: a child – even though my first nephew was born when I was 30. Similarly, when my boyfriend turned up alone at his sister's house for the first time after breaking up with his previous partner, his little niece asked him where his mother was.

In the eyes of a small child, an adult is a parent. If you don't have children, you must be a child yourself. When we grow up, we don't entirely rid ourselves of that notion. People without children are often portrayed as floating along in a perpetual adolescence, all fun and irresponsibility until they are ready to settle down and get on with the proper, adult business of raising kids. The cliché about people who don't have children is that they are selfish, unable to put someone else's needs before their own, and that this selfishness is a sign of immaturity – they do not, and should not, have children because they are too childlike themselves. And yet, were they to have children, they would find that this selfishness and immaturity would instantly disappear.

Read More
(Note: Like many of my social justice activist essays, this one is primarily addressed to white people who are exploring activism. The needs and goals and methods of white activists are often very different than their fellow activists who are people of color due to the effects of privilege)
My... https://www.amnottheonlyone.com/rural-rustbelt-social-justice-recruitment/
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
([personal profile] elf Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:00 am)
Five recent articles about the "alt-right" and what variety of racists go under which labels. (CW: some of them use NSFW language.)

The Complete List of Racists by Michael Harriot at the Root:
If the alt-right were a family, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and skinheads would be the grandparents, aunts and uncles who get their plates fixed first, while the anti-globalists, anti-feminists and “racialists” would sit at the kids’ table and have to drink out of paper cups.

Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language by Liam Stack at the New York Times:
Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.

How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville by John Daniszewski at the AP blog:
"alt-right" A political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.

Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy at the Anti-Defamation League:
Though not every person who identifies with the Alt Right is a white supremacist, most are and “white identity” is central to people in this milieu. In fact, Alt Righters reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group.

A Deconstruction Of The Alt-Right Movement by Rachel Toalson at Huffington Post:
The problem, see, is that while Spencer appears to be an intelligent human being, he also appears to be well practiced in manipulation and rhetoric — which, unfortunately, those who are unpracticed in the art of writing and the training of rhetorical composition, will be unable to recognize. So this is my humble attempt to do it for them.

It is time to stop using the term ‘alt right’
In recent years, American racists have taken pains to come up with new terminology to self-identify with—such as the so-called “alt-right,” a phrase credited to avowed racist Richard Spencer, who famously celebrated Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes.

**** A few thoughts inside )
The general fund currently contains $60.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will keep it open until at least Tuesday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may keep it open a little longer.

We currently have three open epics.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and needs $308 to be complete.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and needs $161 to be complete.  "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and needs $169.50 to be complete.


Poll #18724 General Fund for August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


How would you like to distribute the $60?

View Answers

ALL $60 into "The Inner Transition"
2 (15.4%)

ALL $60 into "The Higher a Monkey Climbs"
1 (7.7%)

ALL $60 into "Two Foxes"
4 (30.8%)

Divide it equally across the THREE poems
6 (46.2%)

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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm)
This poem is from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] mdlbear, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )
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([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 21st, 2017 10:41 pm)
In return for a beautiful day and a truly stellar performance from the Sun God and Moon Goddess, I am posting one of my eclipse poems for free.  You can see some of my eclipse photos here.


"Only in the Gift"


I have seen the moon-shielded sun
and the Father God winking
as he turns his one wide eye
back toward the waiting world 

a reminder that we live,
moment by moment, 
only in the gift of
his infinite light.
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Aug. 21st, 2017 08:53 pm)
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "To Appreciate Small Victories"
Heroic Action
Poem: "The Bamboo That Bends"
Saturday Yardening
Poem: "As Couples as Possible"
Crowdfunding Creative Jam
Poem: "The Whole of Civilization"
Bust of Lincoln Destroyed (54 comments)
Read "Absent the White Roses" by William Altolft
Poem: "Lycoris"
Read "Under Cover Fashion" by Bairnsidhe
Today's Adventures
Promoting a Better World
Hard Things
Poem: "Tricky Treats"


Today we saw the eclipse in Chester, IL. :D 3q3q3q!!!

The bonus fishbowl last week went well.




Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Pips gets worried about Jules and drops by for a visit.  "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses.  Kenzie hears that the Iron Horses are going after the gaybashers, and feels uneasy over his own reactions.

Weather has been warm to hot here.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, cup plant, black-eyed Susan, torenia, purple aster, rose campion, some yellow thing in the wildflower garden, thistle.  
elf: Petalwing in snow, saying "Yuletide!" (Yuletide)
([personal profile] elf Aug. 21st, 2017 03:53 pm)
Yuletide nominations start in under 3 weeks. Time to start thinking about what to nominate, and if I want to cajole any friends into extra nominations.

Yuletide 2017 schedule - Link with updated schedule
Nominations Friday Sept 8 - Saturday Sept 16

I keep a locked post on my journal where I throw notes, over the course of the year, of fandoms I'm considering for Yuletide. This year's options include:

* Midnight Cinderella, an otome game
* Sunstone, a lesbian BDSM comic book
* 21st Century Political RPF, because I'd love to read fic of the non-mirrorverse USA
* They Might Be Giants (1971 movie), which would make some hilarious Sherlock fusion material
* Season of the Witch (book) by James Leo Herlihy, a hippie adventure novel
* Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I would love to see considered through today's fannish tropes

Fandoms I've nominated in the past and might try again:
* Liquid Sky (Movie)
* Never Promised you a Rose Garden (book)
* Schoolhouse Rock
* Elfquest, for specific characters
* Ghost Soup Infidel Blue (or some variation thereof; maybe I'll nominate the book series)

The Yuletide comm might have a "promote your fandom" post, but since the bulk of the discussion happens on LJ, I don't usually bother.

Looks like I need... *squints* one dentist and two assistants, at the most.
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([personal profile] texxgadget Aug. 21st, 2017 11:45 am)
Wow, I didnt post in July, sorry about that....

Daily I see these messages about donating cars to charity.
They often say something about fixing them up for sale.
95% of the time, they give you a $500 write-off, and the car goes directly to the crusher without even being looked at and the charity actually nets $25 when the smoke clears.

A few of the charities take the best of the cars and ship them overseas for sale.
In order to get around import-export, they cur the car in half for shipping and weld it back together on the other end before sale.
This, of course, places a very unsafe car on an overseas highway.
In the US, after welding a car back together, a very detailed recertification is required to put it back on the road.
The stretch limos, if they use a spliced chassis instead of a custom new one require a VERY detailed
In most cases, welding a chassis back together again after cutting in half, results in a very unsafe car.

My sense of honor is a bit ragged around the edges, but not ragged enough to participate in the whole car donation scam.

The whole bit about doing radio comms for events is just not fun anymore.
I dont know how long I am going to keep doing this.
The El Cerrito July 4th thing was not fun either.

There really isnt a whole lot of anything thats really fun any more.

Over at Sharon & Dons, I got the tile backer board installed in one shower and steam cleaned the other.
Both got a thorough water proofing and some punky plaster removed and filled.
The pipes were not correctly braced in the hall bath shower so that was fixed before the backer went in.
Now Don can wade in and tile the hall bath.

Then Don & I took on part of the basement.
The wrong sealing compound between foundation & slab had been allied and I scraped that out and then dismantled a gardening closet. Don followed me with the right sealant.
The new outdoor garden shed isnt done yet, so I dismanteled the closet around the shelves in the closet.

This will yield the space for the new CNC machine.
Upcoming projects will include milling metal printing plates.

Faire season is upon us.
Buildout for Ren Faire started this weekend.
Im not going to make it to Ren this year, but the ball is rolling for next year if all works out.

Meanwhile, Dickens workshops start a week after Ren Fair teardown.
A while back, Laura & I ran the numbers and figured out Cuthberts Tea Shoppe could only run 2500 people per season for high tea.
After tea, you get a tea pot and some goodies in a shopping bag that we print.

Last year, the other side of the tea shoppe that just sells tins of tea and teapots started using the bags too, which put us at short supply.
We THINK they will use 3500 shopping bags this year.

Unfortunately, St Cuthberts at both Northern Faire and Southern Faire have started using the leftover bags from Dickens for Tea With The Queen.
This depletes stock needed for 1st weekend at Dickens while we are printing the next batch.
Never mind that it is AD1500 and the shopping bags say "Since 1774".
"But... Thats NOT PERIOD!!!" Where are the history police when we need them?

The solution is to come up with a logo for Ren Faire and get them to use the right bags for the right occasion.
We have been using photopolymer (New plate each year) for the bags at Dickens and sometimes it takes the whole 1st weekend to get the "bag job" make-ready process ironed out.
Some years its taken 2 weeks to get it right.

Enter the CNC mill.
Metal plate for each Ren & Dickens.
Combining that with the way we adapted the flexographic process to platen presses we should be able to do make-ready in about 10 mins flat.

The big press lives up north, so we wont see it till rehearsal weekend at Faire.
It is going to get its turn being steam cleaned for the first time in a century.
That is going to be one tight weekend.

Im fabricating some mock-ups for more shop fixtures.
If they pass muster, either Don will bang them out on CNC or I will over at the KSW shop.

Meanwhile KSW will be bringing steam engines to Roaring Camp the weekend of Sept 30 Oct 1

It sounds like Steve & Colleen have finally landed, which is a relief.

Im trying to be out of storage in Santa Clara before Dickens starts.
I need to find someone who wants a queen size bed, frame, box & mattress, and no bed bugs.

No word on the big bike yet.
I finally scored the perfect radio to install on it. (Rain resistant)

Ill try and get another post off before Labor Day.
.

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