Geek by Shaddyr
I work in an office full of programmers, UX folks and data crunchers. They're primarily geeks with a fair number of fans, though that dries up rapidly the higher up the managerial food chain you go. One of the cool thing about an office of geeks and nerds is that we don't have subscriptions to McLean's or Business World or Money Magazine; no, we have a subscription to Wired. Gotta love it.

Yesterday at lunch, I was paging through an older issue when I found this cool article: Why Quants Don’t Know Everything.

For me it was especially interesting, since I work with surveys and analyze data all the time. Plus, the focus of everything in our call center's is an agent's stats. AHT, OSAT and the dreaded NPS (DUH DUH DUUUUUUUH!) Here's the snippet that really caught my attention:

    ... The most common problem is that all these new systems—metrics, algo­rithms, automated decision making processes—result in humans gaming the system in rational but often unpredictable ways. Sociologist Donald T. Campbell noted this dynamic back in the ’70s, when he articulated what’s come to be known as Campbell’s law: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making,” he wrote, “the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

    On a managerial level, once the quants come into an industry and disrupt it, they often don’t know when to stop. They tend not to have decades of institutional knowledge about the field in which they have found themselves. And once they’re empowered, quants tend to create systems that favor something pretty close to cheating. As soon as managers pick a numerical metric as a way to measure whether they’re achieving their desired outcome, everybody starts maximizing that metric rather than doing the rest of their job—just as Campbell’s law predicts.

I've always thought it was nuts that so much focus is on NPS. It's such a brutal way to measure success, but it's the industry standard and all the cool kids are doing it, so it's what we do. I spent many years in different call centres as a phone monkey, and I always hated that I could ace the customer calls and be a MVP CSAT ROCKSTAR but still not qualify for bonuses and be in danger of being put on a 'correction plan' because my AHT was always too high. I always though, dammit! I'm doing a fantastic job overall - why is the sky falling if I'm a few seconds too long? And thus, I would let my CSAT go to hell to try and make better time; it was really a no win situation.

Anyway, I laughed when I read this article. I was discussing it with one of the guys in the lunch room and said, "Dude, it like the Heisenberg's Principle!" because, really, it is - in this case, the act of observing and tracking a specific stat, declaring it the Mecca of all stats, changes the behaviour of the people who now bend over backwards to hit and exceed at that stat, and corrupt the experience the stat was based on in the first place.

Man, if this doesn't sign, seal and deliver on the fact that I AM A NERD, I am not sure what does.


As everyone has probably noticed in the last 3 - 5 years, LJ traffic has gone waaaay down. Remember when trying to keep up with the Flist was well nigh impossible, and people would regularly purge because there was just too much traffic? Yeah, I bet no one has needed to do that in a while.

At first, I thought most people had migrated over to DW, but it doesn't really look like there's a whole lot of traffic over there. Besides, a lot of folks cross post, so you can read them on both sides, which I greatly appreciate, since I often forget to check DW.

I know a gigantic whack of people moved over to using Facebook instead of LJ. Thing is, I really LIKE keeping my Real Life/Name and my Fannish/Filk stuff separate, so I dislike that intensely. While I love filk and costuming and all the other fannish activities I'm involved in, I've actually had employers who have made it plain that fan stuff is weird; I don't want to be in a situation where a potential employer can easily find stuff that could affect my employability just sitting there on facebook. Call me a paranoid worry wart, I don't care. I harken back to the days when you NEVER EVER EVER told people who were outside of your modemmer circle what your online psuedo was. I still feel that way.

My daughter is a Tumblr addict, and I get the sense that a great lot of fannish stuff happens there these days. I made an account over there, but I find it somewhat confusing to try and find things and I'm not crazy about the layout, so I don't really go on there much. That being said, I think the first two years I had my LJ, I barely used it as all. I might like it better once I figure it out.

Even though many folks don't post and barely read here anymore, I still love the LJ platform, layout options and threaded response style. It may not be perfect, but at least I can always follow a conversation that breaks off right to the end without getting lost. I do love me some fine photos, but it's nice that the text of what people say is more important that pictures. And I suppose the upshot of it being low traffic these days is that I don't need to feel guilty about NOT keeping up.

I keep planning to post more - partly because that's how to generate some actual activity on LJ after all, post actual CONTENT... and I do enjoy it when people comment and discussions arise. I also think it's a good exercise for me to do so. Helps to get the creative juices flowing so to speak. I'd like to say I'll post something every day, but HAHAHAHAHA that would so never happen. I'll aim at once a week, knowing full well that is unlikely but, whatever. Gotta aim high, right?


Geek by Shaddyr
Once again, I have the easiest request in the universe.

Thank you, dear giftee, who shall remain nameless at this time, for being so easy to write for.

*does a happy dance*

So, here are the questions. They are very serious, flist, I need your help!

Poll #1985258 Whatever Shall I Write? AKA Shamelessly begging for suggestions for my McShep story.

Where are they?

On Earth.
On Atlantis.
On an away mission.
On mind altering drugs.
Some other place I will suggest in comments.

Oh these boys! Clearly...

John has been pining for Rodney.
Rodney has been pining for John.
they are both adorkably oblivious goobers.
they are casual fuck buddies (OR SO THEY THINK HA!).
they are in a serious relationship.

Any good McShep story should have

Action, exploration and adventure
a Wraith attack!
character development.

Heat Level? (1 being MILD and 5 being INFERNO)

Mean: 3.88 Median: 4 Std. Dev 1.22

I have some vague and nebulous ideas at this point, so I'm sure I'll be asking more questions in the near future.

Remembering the Squee...

Up to No Good
Last time I posted, it was several weeks shy of Squee Weekend. Well, Squee has come and gone, and it was fantastic. I'd say it was about as close to being on Atlantis as one can get, with all the marathoning of episodes and discussion of characters, plot, story arcs and more. I had a wonderful time and am so glad I was able to go. It was quite an adventure for some of us to even get there.

I took the red-eye down on the Tuesday night with the plan that Mezzo would come fetch me from the airport around 9am and we'd hang out for a bit and then I would crash for a few hours. Ha! The Ghods of the Air deemed that one of my connecting flights would be cancelled, so I was delayed by about 7 hours. I can't complain too much, though, because at least I got there the same day. Poor zoemathemata was stuck in Chicago overnight, and wyndewalker's flight was cancelled two days in a row! Eventually, we all made it.

Best times (that I can remember off the top of my head):

    ROOMIES! I bunked with goddess47 and mezzo_cammin, who are just the most mellow and wonderful roomies a girl could ask for.

    Meeting selenic76, who did the lovely art I got for the sgareversebang last year.

    CRAFTING! Making bracelets and necklaces and more with tangotabby, sgamadison and selenic76 was awesome! Lots of other folks joined in the crafting, but the four of us were hardcore serious about making fandom related stuff. Heh. It's SO COOL to do craft things with other people who share your passions, dude. Seriously. Fricking. Cool.

    melagan and neevebrody. Yeah. Because they are truly made of awesome in a special and unique way and when you meet them face to face it's an experience like no other. I wish I could kidnap them and bring them home with me.

It was really fantastic and awesome to see those I'd already met again and meet new folks for the first time; squidgiepdx is truly a delight, and I've got to find a reason to pop down across the line sometime soon just so I can see him again.

It's been pretty crazy since I got back from SC.

    *I flew in on Tue. Sept 16th, then spent the rest of the week catching up on work.
    *Music group rehearsal in Bellingham, Sat. Sept 20th
    *The whole next week was mad crazy prep for the Fall Fair Sept 27 (which was fantastic).
    *Sunday was a mad rush of shopping and packing for my business trip (Sept 29 - Oct 3rd).
    *Flew in Friday, dropped my stuff at home, then headed to capnblackberry's for rehearsal.
    *Sat, Oct 4th, another rehearsal.
    *Sun, Oct 5th, performance at the UU.

No wonder I was so bagged this week. O_o

The kids and I decided to do Thanksgiving dinner today so the rest of the weekend would just be RELAXATION. It was a busy day cleaning (after being away so much, the house was rather disaster-area-esque) and cooking, I finally found the time and energy to post.

Next on the Agenda: sga_santa assignments come out tomorrow! I'm so sad this is the final year; I've really enjoyed being part of it. With mcshep_match gone as well, all that's left (that I can recall off the top of my head) is sgareversebang. I hope that one will stick around for a while yet.


CONTENT! Or a reasonable facsimile, anyway...

Up to No Good
My mad, crazy plan to start posting actual content on a regular basis clearly was crazy.

Ah, well. I might be terrible with regular, but I can manage some content at least!

After many, many moons of being told, "it's in the works" - that would be over a year, now - it finally happened. In July, I was officially transitioned from hourly to salaried. They looked at the amount of OT I was putting in every week, averaged it with my hourly wage and adjusted my salary to match, and they finally gave me an official, approved job title.

The first pay period, they shorted my cheque, because AS PER USUAL, head office can't cope with the fact that thing work differently in Canada and oops, sorry, they were still calculating my pay based on my hourly punches so the day I stopped punching out, they stopped paying me, which meant being shorted 3 days pay. And of course, I discovered this on the Friday, so it couldn't even be addressed to the following Monday.


It was rectified within a few days, but... gah. SERI.OUS.LY! That made 4 times since Christmas that my cheque was shorted because of stupid timecard shit. At least with being salaried now, I shouldn't have to worry about that happening again.

I like the people I work with (85% of them) and I like the work I do (most the time) but if I had to rate my job satisfaction with our HR/accounting department... ha! their NPS is in the TOILET as far as I am concerned.

Holy cow, only a month to go to SGA SQUEE Weekend! I can't wait to see everyone again, and meet the new-to-me folks. I don't think I have words to adequately express how much I appreciate the work melagan and neevebrody have done in organizing this thing and making me feel welcome. They really are a delight. I need this break LEIK WHOA.

Jewelry stuff:
I sold several bracelets this summer - YAY! I have a half-finished a website to show of my wares - pffft. I never have time to work on it. Bah. I suck. One day. Hopefully before I die.

I am considering getting a table at the Christmas market again this year; maybe if I offered a little more variety, with earrings and necklaces as well, I might sell something. Or not. The girl sold all her baking last year, though, so I think that might be the way to go. Still considering.

DUUUDE. I didn't write anything for the 10 Year Celebration of SGA. I felt like a BAD FAN. *sigh*. I haven't written anything the Reversebang. I seem to be down to writing for the bang and Secret santa. Maybe if I start planning now, I can get something completed by 2019, for the, "10 Years Since Cancellation and Still Loving It!" SGA Fest. YES? Maybe.

Speaking of which... 10 years since the inception of SGA, 5 since it's been off air. Wow. It's mind bendy.

Some of my fondest memories in SGA fandom are from events and activities I participated in with other fans.

Complete with many photos of SGA fandom events that bring back many happy memories...Collapse )

Ouch. Where do I sign up for bionic parts?

I think I'd like a new right hand, please. Including the wrist. Actually, just make it the full arm, yes, that would be excellent. The I wouldn't have to put up with things like De Quervain's Tendinosis. Seriously, I don't recommend getting this, it sucks.

I've been off work since May 21. I went to the doc on the 14th; he told me to take a couple days off immediately. HA. I am BAD at that, and as I'd been on the business trip to Florida, I was so far underwater at work that I could have worked 12 hours a day for a week and still not have caught up. So, I toughed it out Thur-Fri with mostly one-handed typing and frequent stops, and hoped I'd be recovered enough having the weekend and then Victoria day off. 3 days, no typing, I should be all better, right?

Yeah, not so much. I went back Tuesday and then emailed my team to say I need to take a few more days. I went back to the doc, and he order me off till June 9th.

Just thinking about the amount of work I have waiting for me is giving me heart palpitations. Also, I keep worrying about my team, since there are so few of us, and now they have to take on my work as well.

I have tried to stay off line, haven't posted anything; I had a fic due for sgareversebang that I did end up getting in, but it was short some words because I was in too much pain to keep typing. I did little bits with lots of stops and then pushed through the last couple thousand words and paid for it for the next 2 days. HA! First story I can actually say I *physically* suffered over! You can find it here:

Fic on AO3: We'll Always Find our Way Home
- Team fic: no overt ship but absolute McSheppy overtones
- Rating PG for swearz (Ronon says bad words!)

Also, you need to see the lovely art that inspired it, by selenic76:

Art on AO3: No Matter How Far Apart / We Will Always Find Each Other

Anyway. I have been working on the post now, off an on, for about an hour. Before I started, no pain. Now, my hand/thumb/wrist is sore, a 3 out of 10 on my pain scale. When I first went to the doc for this on the 14th, I would have said it was pushing a 7 when I was absolutely still, and an 11 when I jarred or moved it at all. It made me CRY and I don't think I've cried from pain since the last time I was in labour. So, HUGE improvement, but I am very concerned about going back to work. if it just stays at a 3 or 4, and I can ice it and take ibuprofen, it'll be good. However if I get back to work and it starts ratcheting back up, I'm going to have to consider cortisone shots or surgery, and I *really* don't want to have to resort to that.

Bah. No more typing for me today, I'm pushing a 4 on the pain scale. Time to apply ice and read fanfic.

Bright sun! Pretty sights! Yay AC!

Geek by Shaddyr
The sessions are over for today. My sneaky bigboss! He made me get on stage with him to accept our award!

The view from my hotel room is pretty awesome. It is, however, rather disturbing to see miles and miles of flat.

I do miss my mountains.



Geek by Shaddyr
I looked at the clock at 7:30 am and hissed, "YOU LIE! IT'S ONLY 4:30 AM!"

The clock ignored me, of course, and cheerfully continued to blast out the annoyingly cheerful alarm that had woken me up in the first place. I finally got up about 10 minutes later. Have I mentioned I am not a morning person? So not.

Also, my body is convinced that I am still in BC and thinks this heat and humidty should be OVER NOW! THANK YOU?

I managed to get some work done, but it's frustrating working on a laptop when I am used to a super powered machine at work and two monitors. Yes, I know I am spoiled.

The conference sessions were good, if frustrating in their own way - our account is complex and we won't be transitioning to the new platform till next year and I am lusting after some of the new reporting features and flexibility- ahh, multi level cross tabs with drill downs and filters, I think I'm in love!

You guys all know I'm a nerd, right? No shock to anyone that I look longingly at self-managed coding variables that even a non SQL person like me can manage. It cannot be difficult, everything in the demo looked logical and made sense, and I am itching to get my hands on it, you have no idea....

So now I am supposed to schmooze. This is the part I fail at. All these people look like business sorts and I am so out of my league... Wish me luck!


Area 51 sucks
I keep deciding I am GOING TO POST several times a week. And there will even BE CONTENT, not just declarations that Rodney is sexy! (even though he is...) Somehow, things always keep getting in the way. Bah.

I am currently in Orlando on a business trip. I am in a hotel so far above my pay grade that I literally wibbled when I walked in the door. They do the whole greet you and escort you to check-in and have a bellhop (or whatever is correct to call folks that do that) take your bags up and show you the amenities and the suite.

I felt bad because I had no cash no me and I know you are supposed to give those guys a tip. I told him I would take it down to the front desk later when I hit the ATM.

I went for dinner and just about FELL OVER when I saw the prices. DUDE. HOW DO PEOPLE AFFORD THIS?!? I know the company is paying but I don't care. I just can't do it. I cannot justify paying $46 for a steak or $32 for chicken and that's not even including sides, since you have to order those in addition at $8 - $10 each. I do understand that I am still stuck in a previous decade regarding what I think things SHOULD cost, but I have this knee jerk reaction when I prices like that. It puts my back up and I just think, "I WILL NOT PAY THAT, NO WAY, NO HOW!"

My flight was actually amazing! I told BigBoss a little bit of the horror story that was the trip home from the Nashville business trip, and he sprung for Economy plus seats. He didn't even bat an eye. It was so amazingly wonderful to sit and have room for my legs and not feel like I was loosing circulation because I didn't want to move for fear or annoying the person beside me.

The before-the-flight experience of check-in, bag drop off, security and customs was a nightmare of epic proportions. I have always been paranoid about missing a plan (having done it and almost done it a couple times in my life) so I always get to the airport 2 hours before, sometimes 3 depending on time of day. I prefer to fly in the morning because, in my previous experiences, early morning flights tend to be less crazy.


Not today.

I got to my gate at 11 minutes to take off. I really thought that I was going to miss it. If I am ever in the situation again where I see massive line ups like that and it's 90 minutes or less till take off, I am going to splurge and buy the Fast Track for $19 and skip that huge frickin line. That would have saved me at least 25 minutes. There's nothing to be done for customs except getting a Nexus pass, which I should really do one of these days.

I was thinking I would finish up my Reversebang fic while I was between conference sessions. It is looking like it's going to be INSANELY busy for the conference, but it's done by 4pm on Friday. So, that is now my plan - write write write on Friday night. Then after I come home and SLEEP most of Saturday, hopefully finish it up on Sunday. Or mostly.

Bah. Tired. Must SLEEEEEEP.

Thankful Thursday!

Shut up
I have so much to be thankful for!

My kids, who I love, even when they drive me crazy.

My job, even when I have to deal with some frustrating people, because overall I think I have one of the best jobs possible for me in the whole world, and I LIKE IT and I generally LIKE the people I work with. Also, I get paid a reasonable wage, and even if it would be nice to get more and I think I deserve more, I can LIVE ON IT.

Really awesome friends - but, at the moment, I am specifically thinking of trystel and tuto, who kindly let me invade their home last night and have made me coffee and pampered me and allowed me to avail myself of their internet connection. Only a few more hours till trystel and I head down to see moosaic4. We are going to have such fun!

And finally, I am thankful that court went well. I was so stressed about that the last few weeks, and especially the last few days - between not sleeping, feeling sick, being unable to focus at work and having a massive fight with GirlyGirl, it's been hellish, so I would have been glad to just have it be over no matter what. Not only is it over, but the judge is making him pay the arrears from the last 7 months. When that is done, I told the judge I am more than willing to let ex-of-mine pay a lower child support, but I want him to help Girly with the cost of bus tickets for job searching etc.

Bah. If ex-of-mine had just come to me to talk about this, we could have avoided the whole going to court thing all together. But I don't think I words can adequately describe how intensely thankful I am this is over.

I really liked our judge. When ex-of-mine got confrontational with me about a few things, he nipped it in the bud. And when ex-of-mine's MOTHER spoke from the gallery (which as far as I know, IS AGAINST THE RULES!) he seemed surprised, but rolled with it.


How much do I hate month end?

Man, I would not wish month end on the Wraith.

I was working on tallies for billing till almost 11 on Wednesday night. I'd blocked out my calander as BUSY from 9am till 4pm, but answering emails, troubleshooting various crisis and managing a freaked out HR guy (who needs his surveys done NOW NOW NOW must deployed on monday OMG!!) meant that I didn't actually GET to it till almost 2pm.

Then at around 9:30 that night, I figured what the hell, just finish it instead of letting it carry over into Thursday - which I spent trying to catch up with the everything else I'd been ignoring this week while working on the HR surveys.

yeah, I didn't actually get caught up.

Then I had to finish this thing for the big boss today that I promised him on Wednesday - he was very understand which is one of the many reasons WHY I LOVE HIM FOREVER, and that took about 4 hours longer than it was supposed to because, once again, BUSY means nothing to people in my company. IMs still roll in, people still panic and CC 7 people on email requests that should be sent ONLY TO ME YOU MORONS, and then I get the 6 people who were CCed emailing me to ask if I have responded to the moron...

*head desk*

Can it be Friday?

Oh right.


I am going to finish modifying this godforsaken HR survey that someone thought would be really good on a 6 point scale (OMG NO ONE DOES THAT! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!) and then I am going to... not drink the beer I'd like to drink because I have to go pick GirlyGirl up from work (she got called in for a shift today, yay!)

And later I will... STILL not drink the beer I want because I have to go to the CHF BC Education conference tomorrow.

BAH! Beer TOMORROW night. HA!


FIC: Very Art House (PG13)

Up to No Good
Title: Very Art House
Rating: PG13
Pairing: John/Rodney
Word Count: ~5K
Note I:There was this video that made the rounds recently that caught my attention. It turned out that it was an advertisement for women's clothing of all things, but I never would have known. The kisses had me entranced.

The premise was 20 people who have never before met and introduced for the first time and then kiss for the camera. It's supposed to be all unscripted and the real, true and honest reactions of the people doing the kissing.

Was it really all genuine? Were they just acting? Hell, I don't know. Some were sweet, some very loving, some were shy, some were wild - but they were all amazing and lovely.

Of course, *I* started wondering what would have happened it John and Rodney had met this way...

Note II: Thanks to outsideth3box for the encouragement and beta work – she is FABULOUS!

Teaser: “This isn't a commercial for underwear, is it?”

Very Art House @ AO3

Very Art House @ LJCollapse )

The girl will be coming home soon...

Area 51 sucks
So, due to the insanity of the trip down, Jazzy has decided that she is going to fly most the way home. Only most because she only has and enhanced ID at the moment, not a passport, and you can only cross the border by land with the Enhanced ID.

I am very grateful for my wonderful friends in the Seattle area who were so willing to help out. Originally, the girl had thought she would need to fly in Monday night and bus out on Tuesday, but she was able to book something for the same day, so now just needs to get from the plane to the bus, not stop over required.

Her biggest fear was having the same thing happen on the return trip; getting part way home and then being told by some agent in some town that the rest of the her itinerary is invalid because they don't have bus routes to those towns.

I am still stunned beyond the telling of it that they sold her a ticket for a route that *doesn't exist*. How can you call yourself and international company and take people's money, promise to deliver them somewhere and then just... oops? Sorry, no such service? What even? HOW can they do that?

Greyhound sucks!

I just posed this on Facebook, but am posting here as well. CUZ I AM MAD!

Greyhound SUCKS rant!Collapse )

First Kiss...

Up to No Good
I saw this video, and I was intrigued.

And, of course, instantly thought of a certain snarky couple, who could have easily been in this.

And now I want a story where said snarky couple meets via this project, is asked to participate in a "First Kiss" and then become enamored of each other.

First Kiss: 20 Complete Strangers Asked To Kiss Each Other

Man, I think I need to add a tag - "Obsessed with McShep".

So, apparently I *AM* that mom...

I dropped JazzyGirl off at the Greyhound station this morning at 5am. The bus out was at 5:50, and even the very early run of the #19 bus wasn't early enough to get her there on time. Plus, it sucks to take transit with luggage - been there, done that on too many business trips. Bah.

I came home and went back to bed, but it took a while to fall asleep. She's gone on short trips alone - out to Abbotsford on the bus to see Roommie, or to the Island to visit pondside - and once she did fly by herself to Alabama to visit the grandparents (for her 16th birthday) but when she got to Seattle, fenchurch met her at the bus and took her to the airport. This time she's all by herself and IT'S MAKING ME TWITCHY!

When I woke up, I had a text from her - someone had gotten off the bus just before it left in Vacnouver because they forgot something; then, at the border crossing, they discovered that the people had taken her bag and left their own.


Then, when she got into Seattle, the guy at the counter told her that the itinerary she had booked and p[aid for on the Greyhound site didn't actually exist - no buses actually go that way. They had to rebook her entire trip, delaying it by about 6 hours, which means she'll get into Denver around midnight Sunday instead of 6 in the evening like she'd planned.

*rolls eyes*

Greyhound. When you really want it done right wrong.

I am, however, appreciating text messaging in a way I never have before. I am so glad she can just text me and tell me what's going on. I reminded her to get the Bell add on for US travel before left; it's only $30, and while it won't cover 5 dozen phone calls and a bazzilionty texts, at least it won't cost an arm and a leg for everything.

I feel kind of OLD today...

Geek by Shaddyr
Jazzy girl turned 25 today.

WHOA. HOW did this HAPPEN? Dude. She was 4 yesterday, I SWEAR!

She has been talking to her best girlfriend here in town about looking for a place this fall after she finishes paying off her student load and credit card. And I have been very understanding and asking all the right kinds of thoughtful questions about getting bills in your name and how to save money and working out issues that come up between roommates, and all the while have been feeling the first bit of that 'empty nest' feeling I've heard about.

Yeah, ok, I know she's 25, but *I* am not ready for her to leave. What do you mean I have to let her go and have a life of her own? AUGH!

Also, the boy graduates this year. Officially no more kids in high school. He's going to Langara in the fall. He even won a kind of scholarship/bursary that will cover part of it - how awesome is that?

The GirlyGirl has been getting more shifts at work recently, and just upgraded her First Aid ticket so she can get into the course at VCC she wants to take (or, at least, the one I have told her she should take)

The younger two will be with me at least a couple more years. THEY WILL, THEY WILL I TELL YOU!

I'm not ready for them to move out yet...


Sometimes I wonder why I do these things...

I really am kind of crazy. I am in one of those periods where I think I haven't a single ounce of creativity left in my entire body, and I despair of coming up for an idea to base a story around. Plus, I've been out of touch and would have missed putting in a request for artwork at ALL if mific hadn't sent out the reminders.

And then I think about it and remember, right! I love John and Rodney - I love Atlantis! That's why I keep signing up for sgareversebang.

Everything already had at least one claim on it by the time I got there (that will teach me for losing track!) and all the stuff I would have normally asked for was already double claimed; I did see a lovely piece that was all about TEAM though, and that really appealed to me. Turns out that I got it, too. I hope I can do it justice; it already feels more complicated than anything I've written in a while.

I think I need to plot this baby out. I downloaded a trial copy of Scrivener on mischief5's recommendation, so I think this will be the perfect test to see if it works for me. Now, I just need to find my motivation. If anyone sees my muse hanging around, please tell it to go home, 'k?
Geek by Shaddyr
There is a conference coming up in Florida in May. The Big!boss thinks I should go and said if I want to, one of the spots is mine, but if I don't want to, he won't make me.

I like that about him.

I told him I was torn; I really have kind of a knee jerk reaction to the idea of flying after my encounter with the asshole!from!Hell! on my last flight. On the other hand, I've been flying for a number of years and not ever had someone treat me like an utter piece of garbage because of my size before, so hopefully it was an anomaly, not a trend.

On the other hand - it looks like a good conference. On the original hand, It's in Florida, so all I can think is HOT AND MUGGY GAH! but I figure it won't be as bad as it was in July (ahh, memories of Tampa Vulcon) and it would be kind of cool to have work pay for me to go to Florida.

Upshot is? I guess I'm going to Florida in May.

Sadly, I just don't see it working out to go down early and spend a few days with my dad and brothers in Alabama first. But. I dunno. Maybe. I will have to see if I can work something out - it seems like such a shame to go all that way and NOT work a family visit in there somehow, you know?


BEER! I totally deserve it, honestly!

I would tell you about the last few days at work (crazy, frustrating, interesting) and about the meeting yesterday (wherein I was grateful old!manager and new!manager were not in the same STATE because the vitriol on the conference call was bitter enough the melt the phone lines) or about the meeting today (during which, pointed questions were asked by Big!Boss to new!manager about WHAT he does, the answer to which seemed to be, "uhm, dunno!") but why should I go on about that boring stuff, when.... BEER!

Seriously, this is the best blogging topic, ever. Beer is awesome, and when it's not, it's usually awesomely awful, so pretty much a win either way.

Behold, the BEER!Collapse )

Today I had to share with Jazzy Girl, as she is no longer sick. This is a new flavour (for us) from Steamworks, a microbrewery here in Vancouver. I love how Steamworks is going going for a Steampunk style bottle.

The Pretty: Nice colour. The name is Imperial Red, but it was closer to an amber, I think. Lots of bubbles and a nice head.

The Smell: Sharp and grapefruity, a little yeasty.

The Feel: Medium body, smooth, almost velvety in the mouth.

The Taste: Started lightly sweet, but followed up with the grapefruity. Bitter finish, even more so that the previous beer. At 75 IBUs, I understand why.

This one is a little bitter for my taste. It's kind of hit or miss for me on bitters; there are some IPAs that have higher IBUs that I really like them, but I'm not really crazy about this one. If you LIKE the bitters, you will probably like this.

Steamworks also makes a nice Raspberry summer beer (Frambozen) that I will have to review when it's in seasons again.


CONTENT ALERT! Also, beer!

Geek by Shaddyr
This is all [personal profile] melagan's fault. Well okay, not really. It's also [personal profile] sgamadison's, because I have read many of her posts wherein she bemoans the fact that people don't post anymore. And I agree. I know I don't post much, I apparently have a life or something. Which is annoying. Because I'd probably rather be reading LJ (or DW).

I was thinking a while back (enough with the snide comments! I can think from time to time!) and wondered what the hell I could talk about that was interesting that hadn't already been discussed by everyone else on my flist, and often in a more intelligent way that I would have been able. And I thought – BEER! Because, everyone likes beer, right?

Jazzy girl and I will sometimes go to the liquor store and buy 4 or 5 micro-brew beers that we've not seen before. It's nice to be able to buy one tall bottle – just enough for two people, and if you hate it, no great loss. And sometimes you find some fabulous stuff along the way. And, far be it from me to allow my flist to possible make the mistake of buying bad beer. For this reason, I have decided I must take one for the team and TRY ALL THE BEERS so I can let you know if they are fit for human consumption. I am so thoughtful, aren't I?

Last time I went shopping for beer, this bottle caught my eye:

Corporate Beer Still Sucks. LOSERCollapse )

I totally had to buy it, for the name and caption alone!

The Pretty: Nice amber colour. Some bubbles. Not too much head, which is good for me. I hate it when you pour it and half the glass is foam!

The Smell: It has that nice, "Mmmmm, beer!" smell. I dislike the overpowering ones that can knock you out from 10 paces.

The Feel: Medium body, smooth. On the flat side; I like a little more fizz.

The Taste: Grapefruity. And caramel. I would not try to eat a grapefruit while I was eating caramels, but somehow, this worked. Beer is weird. It finishes with a little bitter kick in the back of the throat.

Not a bad beer. I totally got this for the label; might not the best beer in the world, but not bad. I would buy it again. Partly because of the label. I think ingenious marketing that appeals to me and makes me laugh should be rewarded if that is contained within is a reasonably tasty product.

Also, Jazzy girl is sick today (like, threw up and came home from work sick) so I had to drink the whole thing myself. It was such a terribly thing. The SACRIFICES I make so that I can provide actual CONTENT for my flist that is more than whinging and fandom.

But there will be more. Whinging and fandom, never fear. I'm not suddenly writing only about beer. AHAHAHAHA! I HAZ A RHYME! Also, possible, a beer buzz. Maybe.


True Stories - Memories of Churchill

Geek by Shaddyr
I have been trying to excavate my room the last few weeks. If you saw it, you would realize that excavate really is the only word that applies. I am in a very small room; since there are 4 of us in a 3 bedroom unit, the girls share the master. I think that's only fair they get the bigger room, but it means I have a lifetime of stuff - and all the stuff of my mom's that I was never able to let go of - in a very tiny room.

I was going through some of her papers and pictures this past week, and I found something she had written as a submission for a book on the history of Churchill. I don't know if the book was ever printed or what it would have been called, but I really enjoyed my mom's story, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Memories of ChurchillCollapse )

ExOfMine. Unbe-fucking-lievable.

When I went to family court in January, one of the things the judge told ExOfMine was that he did not get to make the decision to stop paying support, the court did. The last thing I did just before we adjourned was to specifically ask if the current order was still in place. She said the original order was in effect until the court says otherwise. I took this to mean he is to continue to pay support for his children in full until the court says it changes.

I just got the child support check from the ex for this month. He only sent half, just like the previous 6 months.

Goddamn fucking asshole bastard.

That is all.


Area 51 sucks
We have various business meetings at work. Some are actually fun and I look forward to them (like my team meeting with my Sterling team). Most are mind numbingly boring, extremely tedious, or both. Quite often, there is really no practical reasons for me to be at them at all, but I am requested and required to be in attendance.

During the vast majority of these meetings, I often give thanks to the programmers who created IM programs. Because I spend half the time IMing with my team members. Comments are sometimes innocuous like, "Hey, do you have doc X," or "Can you help me with project Y," because multitasking during meetings is a given. Boring meetings are where you get the stuff you can never find time to complete done, because no one can bother you when you're IN A MEETING.

More often, though, there are entertaining conversations. Comments like, "OMG, did he really say that out loud?!" or "Wow, so much spin doctoring on this - v. dizzy, must barf now," or, "I swear we need team t-shirts "Hello, my name is Inego Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!"

My favourite to date was one I got last month from KansasG33k. The BigBoss had just asked BossOfMe for something, which he immediately turned around and passed on to me. Seconds later, KG pinged me with the following message:

"Um, Shaddyr, can you do all the stuff they just asked me to do please,
1. I don't know how
2. I don't want to
That's in my BossOfMe voice."

I cracked up *so hard*. I should mention here, that I am also very grateful to the people who invented the MUTE function on phones. Because whoa. SO MANY TIMES has that saved my bacon.
It's been a while since my work life and fandom intersected. But today, I had to fix something for someone very demanding, and his name was Meredith.


I KNOW! I am SUCH A NERD! It would be sad, really, except that it makes my ridiculously happy. I was grinning Like. A. Loon, and no one knew why.

Even when I had to tweak the thing I fixed three times before he was finally happy.


*is amused*


Geek by Shaddyr

/the i-klek-tik fan/

~ noun

- One who has chosen to embrace various fannish elements; one who does not hold to any specific fannish source or activity, but rather selects the best parts of all fandoms.

See "Fandom and Participatory Culture"

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