rangersyl: (adventurer)
If you've ever tried to shoot photos at an aquarium, or even through glass, you'll know how hard it is to get anything decent. The odds are stacked against you: glare! depth of field! death by autofocus! This shot was the best of several dozen taken at the Aquarium of the Pacific in the Jelly exhibit. Jellies are mesmerizing and photogenic, and it's hard to not at least try to get a shot of them. These guys were about 4-6 inches long. Unfortunately, I don't recall the species.

Lucky shot of the week: Jelly )
rangersyl: (DW drama)
This was one of my favorites when I first read it years ago, and the book still impresses me. The focus of the story is the dying Venusian civilization (of Venusian Aikido fame). I'd actually consider this essential reading for the NAs and PDAs.

Venusian Lullaby by Paul Leonard )
rangersyl: (DW drama)
So I was thinking that the Capaldi costume photo reminded me of something. It came to me this morning, as I was lying in bed halfway between asleep and awake.

Spoilers for publicity shots old and new )

Coincidence? Sleep deprivation? What do you think?
rangersyl: (health and safety)
Shelves.

So. Last September -- in fact the day before the gov't shut down because of lack of funds -- I was instructed to go on a spending spree because we needed to use up all the money that was alloted the previous fiscal year. No, it doesn't make sense, but there it is.

Anyway, given about 15 minutes to make big-ticket decisions, I ordered a shelving system for our supply room. We have been using old filing cabinets, and honestly, that was horribly inefficient. The shelving system? Seemed awesome but then I found out that shipping cost as much as the units themselves. Oh well, I'm supposed to spend a couple thousand in fifteen minutes, I didn't have time to really comparison shop. Then the gov't shut down, we all worked for no pay for three weeks, but things settled back to normal. I assumed that none of our orders made it through.

Fast forward to last week, when, without any previous warning, the entire shelving system arrives. "Some Assembly Required" does not even begin to cut it. So now I have to ask my investigators to assemble shelving. This is the 'other duties as assigned' part of the position description, no doubt. No, we don't have any support staff on hand.

We also, by the way, don't have any tools to assemble said shelving. I ordered some with the shelving, but who knows when or if they'll show up. So -- how much do I love my team? -- we conferred and everyone brought tools from home. I supplied a cordless drill, and then went to Home Depot with my own money and purchased screwdriver bits. The guys have the thing about 1/2 assembled. It took them 1/2 the day, and I assume half of tomorrow as well.

It'll be really cool to be organized, so I'm looking forward to it. But the road we had to take to get there is instructive.

In other news, yes, I'm back at work! I missed 4 weeks due to the plague. It is great to be gainfully employed once again! I'm slowy digging through 1000 emails that arrived while I was gone and trying to figure out what is urgent vs. what is important.

But now, I'm about ready to sip a glass of wine and turn off my brain.
rangersyl: (adventurer)
Been sorting through my long-neglected photo archives and trying to upload the good ones to my Flickr account. I came across one that I took at the LA Zoo several years ago, during a special photography event. The Zoo was open early for the photography class, and the keepers cooperated by bringing some animals out for closer looks, as well as letting animals out into their enclosures on a schedule so they could be photographed. This particular shot was of a tiger cub, I believe they were Sumatran tigers. There were two cubs and the mom, and I have a series of bad photos where they ran around the enclosure, pounced on each other and pounced on Mom. While the photos were fun to look at, they certainly weren't very good and couldn't be improved by photoshop. I was still getting used to the camera, and all of the things that auto exposure can do wrong, managed to go wrong.

At any rate, there was one brief moment when a cub looked out over the moat and I got *the* shot. )
rangersyl: (fanfic)
Intermezzo
by Rangersyl (Avarill)
Rating: All ages
Pairing(s)/Character(s): River Song / Eleventh Doctor
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None. Vaguely set in season 6b
Summary: No matter where they were in their relationship, River Song could never entirely hide her sense of ownership over him.
Word Count: ~1200
Author's Note: Thanks to [personal profile] flowsoffire for the beta! This was mostly an exercise for myself in writing River POV.
rangersyl: (adventurer)
So -- anyone out there going to Gally this year?

Tinkering!

Jan. 24th, 2014 08:23 am
rangersyl: (geek)
Feeling perkier! So perky in fact that I undertook a Project: installing Cyanogenmod onto my Samsung tablet. Ever since I got the thing I've hated the proprietary Samsung bloatware that it came with, and also hated the tacked-on front-end that was... tacked-on. As much as I love the 7" form factor, the software just kept me reaching for the lead weight of my old Xoom whenever I needed a tablet. The solution is to root the device and install a clean android system. The danger, of course, is to irretreivably brick it. I was successful, though, and am happily customizing the little tablet.

It feels really good to be looking for things to do!
rangersyl: (Default)
This was my second read-through of this book, and the first actual book I've read in way, way too long. I had a sort-of plan to read the Virgin Missing Adventures and the BBC line in chronological order. And since I'm still recovering from the plague, I at least found the energy to pick up a book. Which would indicate I might be able to get my life back soon, yes?

The Plotters )
rangersyl: (Default)
Against all odds, my Doctor Who obsession began with the written word. Seriously. The show had been cancelled for several years, I'd never seen it (though I'd heard rumour of it now and then), and it all started with [profile] rjanderson's spectacular fanfic and the New and Missing Adventures.

As someone who had blown a lot of money on crappy tie-in novels, the NA's (and later the MA's) were a feast! Sure, there were clunkers, but there was also a lot of inventive writing and some solid old-fashioned storytelling in there. The NAs were the crucible in which New Who was forged. Story arcs, deeper character development, nuanced and sophisticated concepts were everywhere. Each book felt like an experiment in how to best tell a Doctor Who story.

IO9 did a summary of tie-in-novels, including some interesting points about the NA's.

While devouring the books, I wrote a number of reviews. I had almost forgotten about them, and when I remembered them I figured they were long lost on some dead hard drive or another. But I did an archaeological expedition with a stack of ZIP discs and found my opus! Now that we have Goodreads, and now that it seems some of these books are being re-released as ebooks, I thought I may as well post my reviews.

Ben Aaronovitch wrote my two absolute favorite Seventh Doctor stories: Battlefield and Remembrance of the Daleks. He also was one of the strongest NA writers. I remember the Also People as a blow-your-mind scifi extravaganza wrapped up in a fluffy blanket of ... fluff.

Also, My reviews don't usually contain plot points, since I figured anyone who wants the plot can just read the back cover blurb.

The Also People )
rangersyl: (head tardis)
Ugh. Trying hard to keep this journal from devolving into "gee I feel horrible all the time". BUT... still feeling bad. Bronchitis + asthma attack has left me floored.

Which is a shame because I've been reading everyone's journals and there are lovely things there and I want to comment... but... then I just turn over and go back to sleep.

With the application of better living through chemistry, things may be turning around, though. Yay!

In other news, however:

Moon River is completed on Teaspoon

Fourteen months and I think about 45K words after we started, we're fairly pleased with the result.

Thanks to everyone for their support and interest, it has meant a lot! [personal profile] taiamu and I will probably pimp the fic a bit on a few comms in the next week or two, and then move on to our next project.

And for those who have been following, if you have any questions, or comments or whatever, I'd love to hear them. Anything from 'how did you come up with that' to 'what on earth were you thinking!'.

Cheers everyone!
rangersyl: (curses)
I'm sick. Sick as in: huddled in a pillow fort, flat-on-my-back with a chest cold. For the last 3 days. Or is it 4? Everything's running together...

Even His Lordship Dudley the Cockatiel is offering avian sympathy. Make no mistake: he is not an empathetic guy. But now he sits in his cage looking at me as I cough up a lung and the meaning in his glance is clear: What the HELL is up with you? Whatever it is, keep it away from me!

At least I have my laptop.
rangersyl: (adventurer)
I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve, New Year's and just a great year in general.

New Year's has often been a bummer holiday for me -- far more so than being single on Valentine's -- but the last several years have been great. Why? Cold weather camping of course!

(okay, so I live in Southern California, so my idea of cold weather camping is no doubt very different than most of yours)

This year we had to skip the trip because of my foot and the foot issues of my friend who organizes the trips. So I raise my figurative glass of champagne and share some of my favorite winter camping adventures:


  • The gang turf war with the racoon family. My friend took some great photos of them up in a tree - but boy did they get their revenge once we went to bed...

  • My very first time driving in snow. In a blizzard. In the desert.

  • Baking a pineapple upside-down cake in a cast-iron dutch oven, on charcoal, when ambient is below freezing. Actually, cooking anything at ambient <32F is an adventure in and of itself.

  • That time I found out that my tent does not leak!

  • You know those temperature ratings on sleeping bags? THEY LIE.



If you've been following Moon River, River's shower scene in chapter 2 is based on an actual shower I had last New Years in the Camground in the Arctic Pocket Universe. [Seriously, everywhere else we went during the day was warm. The Campground microclimate was FREEZING]. It's that feeling when you want a shower, need a shower, but it's so cold that the idea of getting into the shower is absurd. But once the hot water took the chill off of the FREEZING TILE, I was indeed a happy camper.

I would have been happier, of course, if Eleven in a tux and tails had stepped into my shower at the time, but we can't have everything, can we? ;)

My next camping trip is a two-week long extravaganza in Yellowstone in June! Can't wait.

Happy New Year everyone!
rangersyl: (Default)
Remember how End of Time was rubbish?

Okay, so if you happened to like End of Time, I'm really glad you did because it's good that someone liked it.

Ahem. Anyway, well back then I did not watch EoT because 1) I really really loved Ten and 2) I was deathly afraid of what self-idulgent mess RTD would get us all into. Turns out I was right. (unless, of course, you liked it).

But there was a fanvid out that was so sublime, so well-crafted, that if you watched it, you didn't NEED to put yourself through the mess that was EoT.

This video, here.

I have zero vidding knowledge or talent, but if I were going to find a song that sums up Eleven's long life and elegant badassery, I'd go with this one:

When I Go by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer

The video isn't Who-related (though you might not want to blink at one frame!) but the song, I think should be!
rangersyl: (curses)
... and promptly banged my head against the locking mechanism.

1) embarassing
2) painful
3) gee, I'd forgotten what it was like to have a knot on my head

Oh life, you have such a way of bringing us all down to earth, don't you?
rangersyl: (big smiley face)
Moon River continues to be updated:

2 new chapters up - wherein we launch into the 'action' part of 'action-adventure.'

Chapter 7: Ring of Fire

Chapter 8: Belshazzar

Christmas dinner was spent as projected - munching on lovely food plus indoctrinating my cousins into Doctor Who by screening The Eleventh Hour. Much fun was had by all! I have been asked back for a Who marathon in January.

Plus -- plus! I got Horns of Nimon for Christmas! I've never seen it, and though it is acknowledged as a story worth of great mockery, I relish the opportunity to watch it. I've heard so much about it, both bad and good and well, there is this.

And, I regret to add: boy, howdy does my foot hurt! I wore slip-ons yesterday and discovered that was a Bad Idea. It's back to icing and wrapping today, yay.
rangersyl: (Default)
So while most everyone is going to be watching my poor Eleventy die horribly on Christmas Day, I shall, instead, be spending the day sharing my Doctor Who obsession with my extended family by screening The Eleventh Hour.

Ha ha!

When I got tickets for the 50th in theaters, I asked my cousins if they wanted to come. They were inclined to do geeky stuff (like cosplay and comicon) but had never experienced Doctor Who. So the very first episode they ever saw was the 50th, and how wonderful that BBC knocked it out of the park!

They're very keen to watch more, so my Season 5 Blu-rays are going to Christmas Dinner with me :)

I will watch Time of the Doctor, but per my tradition with old friends, will wait to screen it until we get the first episode of Capaldi. It's just so much easier on the emotions that way!
rangersyl: (health and safety)
... at my job, at least.

How can this be, you ask? Well, a fundamental duty in my job is to open mysterious boxes and be surprised by what's inside. Went into the field today and inspected some interesting machines -- including one that claimed to cure acne, sunburn, infection, wrinkles, etc. using this new and innovative type of light called a photon. Which was apparently newly discovered, or something. The good news is that, according to the Chinese-to-English translation, this new and exciting therapy had "low levels of fatalness," and that's a good thing, isn't it? To be fair, though, the manual did warn not to point the attached laser pen at your eye.

The second machine was more cryptic as it had several attachments, including some kind of tattoo gun and round plates kind of like a defibrillator. There was sadly no manual, which I'm sure would have cleared it all up!

Also, just got back from another session of "Walking: You're Doing It Wrong." I am doing it less wrong than last week, but still wrong. Sigh.

How is everyone doing?
rangersyl: (Default)
I don't know who runs Teaspoon anymore, but in the past I've been LJ acquantances with some of the mods, so I'm wondering if anyone of my flist (or if anyone reads my flist anymore LOL) is still affiliated.

I totally support Teaspoon, and I think it's a critically important project for the fandom. And I do support the moderation because the general quality on Teaspoon is excellent, and is a testament to the volunteer mods.

However, affiliated or not, has anyone noticed a favoritism by certain mods for Rosefic?

Has anyone of the 3 people who are probably reading this had trouble getting fic posted that did not feature Rose?
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