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5:20 pm September 13th 2013

Subject: Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Current Mood: Decrepit.

So, 30, eh? I do not approve, not least because I'm officially dead per Brian Kinney's rules of the world - then again, by that measure so's he and I'd imagine that I would have been out of his good-books for a while over a variety of other stuff anyway!

Apparently I'm embracing this frail dotage I now find myself in, as I'm currently sitting here listening to the "Angel : The Series" soundtrack on repeat and whilst my birthday falls on a Friday this year, my plans for later on seem to mostly include reading Buffy fanfic (distressingly enough, sappy Buffy/Willow seems to be the order of the day - oh, and if anyone happens to know of decent fic repositories including said pairing, links make an awesome birthday present...!), Glee fanfic (...) and possibly some Doctor Who/Firefly crossover fics (finally, stories I don't feel I have to apologise over for reading!), watching some Buffy and listening to the Rolling Stones.

Yup, I seem to be reacting to the fact of my new decrepitude by hiding the hell away in as many fandoms as humanly possible, which given that once upon a time I would have been expected to react to a day like this with a veritable avalanche of partying is probably more than a little sad.

As for my 20s... yeah, there was definitely plenty of good stuff which I wouldn't trade for anything, but overall I have to come to the conclusion that they were rather a festering pile of shite on the whole, so I suppose... alright, I'm not gonna all but beg fate to slap me about by saying that my 30s can only be an improvement, but shall just quietly cross my fingers on that front.

Anyway, regarding other stuff, the less said is probably best... what's that I hear you saying? Those sentiments cover the stuff I wrote before as well? Okay, you may have a point! My grandfather had the first of his cardiac procedures the other month, which led to improvements for a while, though they have apparently by-and-large reverted to where things were before by now, which is... not good. Nor is the fact that there are workmen in the upstairs bathroom and lounge on account of a pipe which burst earlier in the week, destroying the lounge ceiling beneath the bathroom, so there's a hell of a lot of banging going on and again, sadly not in the depraved & debauched birthday celebrations sense! And on that charming note, I shall flee!
9:44 pm November 23rd 2012

Subject: And once more without politics!
Current Mood: nerdy

So, somewhere in the hecticness of the past few weeks, I seem to have ended up getting my hair cut back down to a vaguely normal length, which is... umm... different, though in a way which I think is generally good. No photos currently exist, and as it's presently rather un-coiffed I ain't taking one right now, plus, I figure it's a good idea to give people time to adjust to the concept before getting hit with visuals ;-) But seriously, it's odd - I don't think that I've had my hair properly short (well, not as in shaved, but smartish/professional short) for about three years now, and that was on account of my father's funeral and didn't stay that way. Mucho Chango (which kinda sounds like it should be an HP spell.)

Moving on to what may be more interesting (though possibly equally disturbing) matters, it came to my attention the other day that there is in fact a romantic get-away hotel in Brazil with a twist - Heart-shaped ceiling mirror: check. Curtains drawn against the bright day: check. Red mattress: check. All guests are dogs: check No, I don't mean that dog thing figuratively, the place is a canine short-stay motel. The world is a strange, strange place.

The world is also a slightly smaller, or at least more watery place than had previously been thought - Sandy Island in the South Pacific is... well, not so much sandy and for that matter, not so much an island as, umm, ocean. D'oh!

The world, in fact, is not the only interesting place - particularly at the moment. Are any of you lot also waiting on absolute tenterhooks for NASA to announce the "Earth-shaking", "one for the history-books" (that last quote is from the principal investigator for the mission) data they've got from the Mars Curiosity Rover. They're taking a few weeks (they think) to make absolutely certain that whatever they've found with the SAM instrument (which performs molecular/elementary analysis of samples) is not either contamination from when the instruments were on Earth or aren't actually whatever they think they are, and that's interesting in itself, as they're not usually anywhere near this secretive and don't tend to hold data of this type for as long as this to make absolutely certain. Anyone got any guesses what they've found? Personally, I think that there's a fair chance that, given the nature of the instrument and what it's designed to look for in particular, plus the way they're acting & talking about this, that it'll turn out to be findings indicating likely existence of life in the past. I don't know enough about the instrument or the science to take a guess at exactly what that could be (I'd guess at chemical residue which shows distinctly similar characteristics to what's left of ancient small-scale life on Earth.) On the other hand, it could always be this:


And on that lovely image, I shall scurry off again *waves*

4:16 am November 7th 2012

Subject: Per NBC:
Current Mood: optimistic

Obama wins Ohio!

President Obama has been re-elected!!!

He ain't perfect, for sure, but compared to the alternative, thank God!

Edit 1: And per MSNBC projections, with Joe Biden continuing as President of the Senate, the Senate can be called for the Dems (though realistically, they'll get several more seats.) Unfortunately, the House looks to be staying fairly similar to its current state - Dems may eek out an increase in their numbers, but Republicans will retain clear, though not massive control. Given how cohesive they've been in passing extreme legislation and opposing Obama as a matter of 'principle' on a massive range of issues (cf. the debt-limit debacle, etc.), gridlock could well continue for the next two years. Then again, Democrats might start actually hitting them hard on it consistently in the media and try to peel off enough votes to make progress on important matters where Obama has already made some degree of concessions (which is pretty much all of the time anyway!)

Edit 2: Not entirely unsurprisingly, both the Romney Ohio campaign director and Karl Rove say that they're not conceding Ohio - wonder how long that'll last. Wonder who gets the fun task of getting Mitt to go out and give the speech.

Edit 3: Way to go Wisconsin for electing an LGBT Senator!
11:58 pm November 6th 2012

Subject: So, it's that time of the election-cycle again...
Current Mood: indescribable

And yup, that means me dusting-off the ol' LJ even if I'm honestly not sure how many of you folks are still using our ancient blogging platform! Hope that regardless of where you all are, you're doing well and having a good time (and that a few of you are having a good time watching the election coverage!)

I haven't been following this election as closely as the previous couple for various reasons, but of course I can't help but keep an eye on it. As for predictions, hmm... my head says Obama wins 332-206 - namely, the president carries all the battleground states except North Carolina and wins the popular vote by 2% or so, even if my heart is holding out for 348-190 (Obama holds N. Carolina and Nebraska district 2).

I figure that the Dems pick up a net 2 seats in the Senate, leaving it 55-45 (with the two indies caucusing with the Dems) - specifically, I think the Dems pick up Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts & Nevada, whilst the Republicans pick up Nebraska & N. Dakota, though I'm holding out some hope for the Dems in N. Dakota. Everything else stays in the hands it's currently in.

As for the House, like I said, haven't been following the election closely enough to give solid predictions there, but I think the Dems are going to gain seats and run the Republicans close, but that the Republicans still hold a slimish majority. On the other hand, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it ended up not too far from where it stands now.

Governors... God, I've no idea!

Anyway, anyone out there have any thoughts or any interesting experiences at the polls today (for you Yanks!)? I hear that it's a tad chaotic in some of the voting locations in battleground states, as well as various areas hit by Am-I-a-Hurricane?-Am-I-an-Extra-Tropical-Storm?-Am-I-Actually-a-Cunningly-Disguised-Gerbil? Sandy. Oh, on that front, I hope that all of you Americans are okay after that one - I would probably have posted checking in on you, actually, despite the whole not being around like ever, but some pretty difficult (though certainly not in same league as life-threatening storms!) stuff was happening on my end at the same time and I never got around to posting - sorry!

*Huggles*

Edit 1: BTW, to my fellow amateur (and at least in my case, decidedly amateurish!) psych folks (and for that matter, the couple of professionals on the flist), am I alone in thinking that Romney... umm... well, would score pretty highly on Hare's Psychopathy-Checklist (Revised)? A few months back I tried running him through it from what public info I could find, along with observations, and thought that he came out in the mid-to-high 20s, but with a definite possibility that he'd make it above 30 (which is usually the cut-off for a straight-up diagnosis of psychopathy, though the UK actually tends to use 25, IIRC). Whether he's diagnosable or not and whatever the diagnosis would be in the event that he were, he's umm... fascinating from that perspective. Gotta admit that I'm kinda looking forward to his concession speech on those grounds, assuming of course that he gives one.

Edit 2: And with people Breaking their legs, being in labour and being briefly FRICKING DEAD!!! and insisting on voting, I'm guessing that turnout will be relatively hight (though possibly the aftermath of Sandy will drive it down somewhat.)

Edit 3: ALRIGHT! Senator-elect Warren is gonna be awesome, I suspect! Also, the candidates who made seriously messed-up statements on women's-rights matters seem to be losing their Senate races, which is good to see (as is being able to point out that Claire McCaskill, whilst I'm not overly fond of her, has 'shut down' Todd Akin...) Oh, and Obama seems to just about be performing above what is required to win Florida according to bellwether counties - if he does so, even if Romney wins every other remaining battleground state, Obama wins, if I'm doing my maths right!

Edit 4: And with Minnesota being called for Obama, if he also wins Ohio (which he currently is), Romney can only get a 269-269 tie by winning all the remaining battleground states, and if Obama wins Florida he wins the election. Again, assuming I'm doing the maths correctly.

Edit 5: Okay, the maths is now getting very clear; with Iowa going for the President, if he picks up one out of Florida, Ohio or Virginia, he wins.
1:31 pm July 11th 2011

Subject: Kay Dekker.
Current Mood: indescribable

As many of you who, like myself, have been privileged (and oh, what a privilege!) enough to know Kay (mhw) are aware, we all became far the poorer a few days ago on account[NB/ I believe that stgpcm has, understandably, been getting a lot of calls/comments on this and is, equally understandably, a bit overloaded] of his death.

But it's not just us. It’s not just us or his family and other loved-ones (alright, I think that Kay truly loved a whole lot of people in a whole lot of ways, but I refer to those closest to him – and to those on my flist who fit this description you, especially, have my profound condolences) or all those thousands of people in, I suspect, hundreds of social-circles upon whose lives Kay left his glittering, magical, beautiful mark. It's the over seven billion-odd people whose lives he never got around to intersecting with, who'll never get the chance to know who he was.

The man was phenomenal, incredible – he seemed to have achieved more in his years on Earth than was conceivable in such a too-short period; there were myriad accomplishments, great and small, in a truly shocking range of areas, but I think that what transcends any and all of them was what he did with/for people.

The sheer volume of people who can look back with a sparkle in their eyes and think upon times when he cheered them up, gave them something new to think about or clarified something they were struggling with, when he helped them in one way or another is staggering – I know a lot of people who fit this bill but I also know that they don't make up even a hundredth of the total.

Still, despite this he had his limits and as such until a couple of days ago there were billions of people out there who had never shared some part of their lives with this wonderful person and who never knew it, but might one day have been fortunate enough to do so. And now they never will.

Even at this horrible time, we're the lucky ones. We were lucky enough to have had those times, even if they were fewer than we would have wished. We were blessed.

Goodbye, Kay. You will be missed.

- Greg & Heike
8:35 pm May 12th 2010

Subject: Umm... UK folks, this is a *serious* problem, right?
Current Mood: worried

Heya, folks! Long-time no-see, eh? This post is for UK folks (or for that matter other interested parties who fancy sticking their oar in - I can hardly complain what with my American Politics fixation now, can I?)

Okay, I will try to keep this brief, but I think that we have a really genuinely serious problem. I haven't been around much of the day, so am not sure if this is all over the news and if so, whether someone more knowledgeable than I may have pointed out that my fears/analysis are/is incorrect/incomplete (if anyone feels this to be the case, please let me know, as I'd really like to be wrong about this one!)

Basically, as some of you are aware, as part of the pact forming the new Conservative/Lib-Dem government they propose to shortly bring up (and presumably back with the whips) legislation to change the percentage of MPs needed to win a no-confidence vote in the Government (ie. a vote which if it is called and goes against the Government, leads to the dissolution of the house, fall of the Government and a new election being called.) Previously this has had a 50% threshold. The new legislation would increase this to 55%.

As I see it, there are the following issues:
  • It would mean that 54% of MPs, currently representing around 2/3rds of the UK public would be unable win a no-confidence vote! This is bad enough in terms of representative democracy front, but on the principles front surely this impressively manages to be both opposite in spirit of the PR reforms the Lib Dems want and yet the opposite of Tory reservations against PR on the 'stops people bringing down an unpopular government.' front.
  • Even worse than that, it leads to the potential for situations where, were the Lib Dems to exit the coalition then the Government would be unable to win votes as they would have less than the necessary 50% of MPs, the other parties would be unable to win the no-confidence vote which would normally result from a Government which was frequently/persistently unable to meaningfully pass legislation as they'd have less than the necessary 55% of MPs for this.
  • For that matter given that there's also legislation in the agreement for fixed-term parliaments, then the Government in the situation described previously wouldn't even be able to call a new election to try and remedy the crisis described above by booting it back to the voters.
The only way out of this that I see is potentially having MPs of the governing party joining the no-confidence vote in whatever numbers would be necessary to get above 55%. However, in many circumstances (one example being if the party wasn't doing too well in polling which indicated that they would be likely to lose seats if a new election were called) this is likely to be opposed by the Government and its whips, especially as there'd be a temptation to try and blame the other parties for 'paralysing' the Government and trying to capitalise on that blame, thus only furthering the paralysis.

Ummm... yeah, I could go on (and on and on and on) on just this issue alone as there are other really troubling scenarios which could play out in future parliaments depending on their make-up, and it really worries me, but I figure I should open up the floor to discussion (as I said, hopefully of the "calm down, Greg - this wouldn't play the ways you're describing because of X, Y and Z fronts!) I may post later on my thoughts in general (ha ha) on the election, but at the moment, this issue is kinda dominating for me.

Edit : Links are here (full text of pact, relevant section about 1/3rd of the way down under "6. Political Reform") and here (BBC condensed bullet-pointed version, about 1/4 of the way down under "Political Reform")
5:00 pm January 20th 2009

Subject: "What a long, strange trip it's been."
Current Mood: indescribable

Thank God!
5:11 pm November 5th 2008

Subject: Hmm...
Current Mood: Mixed

So, I've been out in Central London for a while now and have to say that whilst I'm ecstatic about #44, whilst I'm pretty happy with what currently looks like 57 (in practice) Dems in the Senate with outside possibilities for more, whilst I'm glad about the pretty decent numbers from the House, not to mention various other results, I shan't be posting the "Mission Accomplished" banner on this post, as I have to say that I feel worse now than when I headed out of the house.

Why? Well, I'm sure that you've guessed a big part of it. Proposition 8 in California looks set to pass. Yeah, there are still lots of votes to count, but it'd be very unusual at this point if enough broke our way to defeat it. This thing is frankly an abomination. folk has made some very good points regarding this, which I entirely agree with. Still, from what I'm told, this thing has set a new and ugly precedent; a group has had its rights first recognized and then taken away by a majority vote. And not just that, but it has been done primarily by voters swayed by a downright vicious campaign steered by a religious group (the LDS using the Catholic Church as a front, by my understanding.) Seriously, folks, I know that we're all reveling in other results, but there are a lot of people hurting in CA right now and this execrable measure can not go unchallenged. I've seen discussion already on how that might be done, but I'm too tired (not to mention tipsy) to seriously look over it at the moment. Definitely something I'd urge us all to have a think about.

However, sadly, there's more. An incomplete list would include the following: Arizona and Florida have both also passed gay marriage bans, Arkansas has banned gay adoption, that crazy McCarthyite Michelle Bachmann has been re-elected, Alaska looks like it may send a convicted felon back to the Senate and the list goes on. Oh, and there's also still one hell of a lot of work to do to sort out the immense mess Bush and others have made, not to mention that turnout was actually pretty low, which may be partially down to another problem, namely the bloody voting machines.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really wish that tonight had gone just a little better and that as great as what has been done is and how much respect I have for all of you who have done it, there's still a fair bit of work to do. But not today.
4:09 am November 5th 2008

Subject: ...
Current Mood: indescribable

Crying now!



Good morning President-Elect Obama

Edit 1: Florida goes for Obama per MSNBC. Landslide/Mandate looking entirely possible both in Presidential & Congressional terms.

Edit 2: Still really rather worried about the civil rights propositions - come on, America, don't put a black lining on a very silver cloud. Also, MSNBC just said that Kenya has declared a national holiday tomorrow :)
2:38 am November 5th 2008

Subject: "Free at last; free at last"
Current Mood: indescribable

Thank you, Americans! Truly, thank you! Screw it, I was going to wait until we get likely get new results on the hours but MSNBC has Obama at 200 Electoral Votes, CNN has him at 199, etc. There are 73 votes between CA, OR & WA on the West coast that are going to go to Obama, as well as a few others that are pretty certain unless the pre-election polling was all truly insanely off by tremendous margins - McCain can't win. I'll confirm this when new data comes in, but if I were in charge, I think I'd be calling it.



Something I whipped up earlier, hoping for the best. I know, I know, the "mission" isn't even nearly accomplished yet – it's only just started in many ways. However, I guess I'm saying what Churchill said (far better); "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." And that's something to celebrate, IMO.

Thank you, guys! Now, let's see if there's a mandate.

Edit 1: Iowa goes blue for 207EVs per MSNBC.
Edit 2: MSNBC is saying that the South Dakota abortion ban has been defeated. Edit 4 As has Colorado. For that matter Michigan has approved medical marijuana and Massachusetts decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, per NBC.
Edit 3: With Jim Himes defeating Christopher Shays, there are no Republican Representatives in New England.

Edit 5: MSNBC & CNN CALL IT FOR OBAMA!
9:17 pm November 4th 2008

Subject: *gnaws fingernails 'til gone* *starts gnawing fingers themselves*
Current Mood: determined

Okay, folks. First the important part of the post. The Obama team just sent out an e-mail saying :

    "National Call Team,
    Barack needs your help right now -- our data indicates that the results will be very close in many states. I can't emphasize enough how urgent this message is. Please go to our website and start calling as soon as you can.
    We are not going to hit our goal of 500,000 calls for today by 3pm Central, unless we get at least 2,000 more people calling for the next hour.
    Can you call now and continue for as long as you can manage?
    "
If any of you are members of the team already, now looks like a good time to get cracking. If not, I believe that you need an account on my.barackobama.com to join in, which many of you may have. If you fancy taking part, I believe that you can still sign up pretty easily. If any of you aren't too adverse to phone-banking and fancy taking part, just click on the link and get stuck in. Not 100% sure if this is more to maximise results or is indicative of them being genuinely worried, but either way I figure it'd be a pretty good thing to do.

Anyway, now onto the less important part: IIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Umm... okay, yup, that'd be indicative of me being both stoked and freaked. The freaked part is gradually growing, as there do, as anticipated, seem to be issues with voting cropping up at various places. Thus far, however, I haven't heard of anything that leaves me thinking that "we're" in serious trouble, just potentially so if things worsen. Urgh.

So, how's everyone holding up? I won't be able to reply on LJ for an hour or two, but after that I should hopefully be around for the duration.
12:25 am November 4th 2008

Subject: And the more useful/fun stuff
Current Mood: nervous

Right, so, onto the vids and images and such.

But first, for those of you voting in the US tomorrow, you might want to check heidi8's excellent post, which happens to contain something I was already planning on posting (it's just that good!):

Oh, and if you're interested in finding out if there's still anything in your neck of the woods you can do for the Obama-Biden campaign, here's where you want to head to, if you haven't already.

If you're looking for a motivation to vote Obama (or more to the point in this case, vote against McCain), this makes a pretty damned good case. As, for that matter (and in a slightly funnier & less immediately less terrifying way) does www.palinaspresident.us

As for partial commentary on the race up to this point, well,
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As for more uplifting stuff, well, there's
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Sadly, however, as many of you will have heard, Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has passed away today at the age of 86. It's a truly god-awful piece of timing, but I'm sure she was damned proud of her son today and I'd imagine pretty much every day of his life. Here's hoping that if by some chance there is an afterlife, she'll be darned happy tomorrow.
5:40 pm November 3rd 2008

Subject: What else?!
Current Mood: weird

*Dusts off LJ* *Is enveloped in gargantuan clouds of said dust* *Is eaten by grues*

Hmm... Still able to post. Who knew that they have internet connections inside the bellies of grues? For that matter, who was entirely sure that grues have bellies? And disturbingly, in the event that they don’t, which particular element of grue anatomy am I currently residing in?

Alright, enough with the awkward, Zork-related jokes about the yearlong absence from LJ.

So, what’s been up? Over here things are largely same-old, same-old, though on the whole more positive than last time I was around these parts, though my "Deathly Hallows"-inspired brief rekindling of fannishness was before long replaced by borderline obsessive politics-watching again. Still, who can blame me with the insanity that has been and continues to be the US election; less a ‘Race To The Whitehouse/Congress’ than ‘Unholy Endurance Event To The Whitehouse/Congress’? Particularly with the epic fail that is McCain-Palin – btw, the music on this post is dedicated to Gov. Palin, the lyrics "You’re talking a lot but you’re not saying anything" seemed appropriate... Anyway, I thought I’d pop in and see how everyone else is feeling about it – fired up? Apprehensive? Freaked-the-fuck-out? Indifferent? Mainlining caffeine directly into your eyeballs just to stay awake enough hours of the day to follow it all? Personally, I’d have to tick all four boxes except "indifferent", though with an extra-big tick for that last one, unsurprisingly.

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Okay, so, that's my (pretty darned optimistic) prediction. I know, I know, odds are very good that McCain will in fact carry Arizona, but I just can't help my little mean self from predicting otherwise! I'd also say that there's a fairly decent chance of knocking anywhere up to 35 EVs from Obama including the aforementioned AZ. I'd further say that there's a chance of Obama losing up to a further 89 EVs under about the worst scenario I see being vaguely possible, which when added to the above 35 would lead to a 264-274 McCain victory, so it's still decidedly within the realm of possibility for McCain to win without the election being screwed up by various forms of voter disenfranchisement, but I'd say it's pretty damned unlikely.

As for the Senate, well, I'm confident in predicting a +7 gain for the Dems. If you put a gun to my head and demand a straight answer on Minnesota, I'd have to make that a +8, but that one is seriously up in the air. As for Georgia, I'd have to say that Chambliss is going to hold it for the Republicans, thus giving a 59-41 Senate (assuming Liebermann & Sanders vote primarily with the Dems.) However, if pushed, I'd guess that Chambliss will weigh in at slightly under 50%, which given Georgia electoral law means that there'll be a run-off election between the two highest scoring candidates in December which'll give the Dems another chance at the seat. Oh, and whilst I'm at it, I think that it's extremely unlikely, but still just about possible that McConnell will lose his seat in Kentucky, which would be truly fabulous! Regarding the House, well, I haven’t really been able to keep up with any but a few races I’m particularly interested in, but I’d guess at a minimum of +15 for the Dems. The two races I’m particularly interested in are WA-08 (the sublime Darcy Burner’s race – speaking of which, damn I want one of those geeky "</war>" t-shirts that Darcy Burner had been sleeping in on when she had to run out of the house in after it started to burn down? Collapse )) and MN-06 (that creepy McCarthyesque shit Bachmann’s race.)

Regarding the aforementioned possibility of widespread disenfranchisement, well, there's already plenty of nasty crap going on, from a number of states attempting some pretty screwed-up voter purges (some of which appear to be likely to succeed, most thankfully are not.) Then there's the whole god-awful situation whereby if you live in a fairly well-off area, you're likely to be able to vote pretty easily, whereas if you live elsewhere, there's a decided possibility that the queues are likely to be genuinely hellish - heck, there have been 8-10 hour queues already for early-voting. In addition, there appear to be a number of (untrue) rumours being circulated about stuff like undercover cops being at polling places ready to nab people for outstanding offences down to the level of parking tickets, alongside various other crap down to the level of flyers telling people that supporters of one party should vote Nov. 4th and the other Nov. 5th. And to cap it all off, yup, the voting machines are yet-a-fucking-gain screwing up in significant numbers. What's even more worrying is that, from what I can tell, most if not almost all of these issues are disproportionately affecting one of the parties - no prizes for guessing which. That being said, I'm not expecting these issues to alter the overall victor in the presidential race - not least because I'm seriously expecting widespread civil-disobedience and likely rioting if such a thing is obvious this time around. However, I am pretty damned worried about the possibility of these things significantly slimming the EV margin, as well as flipping a number of House and Senate races. Given that, as things stand, Obama & the Dems are looking at a full-scale mandate, which I happen to believe is necessary to get many of the things done which are required, and that would be the most likely casualty of such screw-ups, I'm genuinely concerned.

Anyway, this post is already more than long enough to probably scare everyone off, so rather than post any of the fun videos/sites I’ve come across over the course of this thing, I’ll stop whilst a few of you may still be reading and perhaps even inclined to share with me your thoughts on this whole darned incredible, crazy thing! What are your thoughts or predictions, general or specific? Which races are you particularly interested in? Any of you involved in anything official/voluntary tomorrow? Do you want to kill me for adding to the already seizure-inducing number of posts on this subject? Etc. I’ve got to run away from the computer for a few hours, but I’ll be back after that.
7:12 pm August 22nd 2007

Subject: Something important
Current Mood: angry

Hey, folks! Sorry about the gap between postings - have been a tad bummed-out of late by various stuff (including, but not limited to, the whole LJ debacle - will post on that at some point, but not today.)

However, I thought that some of you UK folks (and others, for that matter) might like a heads-up on this. I just found out that tomorrow night the UK is planning to deport one Pegah Emambakhsh, a lesbian from Iran, back to Iran after denying her request for political asylum after escaping her home country. Her partner has been arrested, tortured and sentenced to death by stoning. Her father has also been arrested, interrogated and tortured for information about her whereabouts. I'm really not sure why on Earth they're declining her request for asylum, given that there appears to be excellent evidence that she faces imprisonment, torture and quite likely execution by stoning if returned to Iran. The case is documented here. Whilst the article says she's due to be deported next week, the editor of the UK Gay News service, Andy Thayer, said in an e-mail earlier this week that "I have just heard that Pegah Emambakhsh is to be deported by the British Government on Thursday August 23 on the British Airways flight to Tehran (BA 6633) which departs from London Heathrow at 21:35..."

I'm not really 100% on the procedure for contacting the government over this sort of thing, but some ways you may be able to make your voice heard may be by contacting one (or preferably more) of these places :
  • Send an e-mail to the Prime Minister via this form
  • Send a fax to the Prime Minister : 02079250918
  • Send an e-mail to the Home Office at public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
  • Phone the Home Office : 020 7035 4848
  • Send an e-mail to the minister of State for Borders and Immigration (I believe that this would be the correct minister to contact), Liam Byrne MP : byrnel@parliament.uk
If you're from outside the UK, you might want to try contacting the local British Consulate/Embassy - or for that matter, I suppose you could still just use the above info!

I know that this is very last-minute, but as I said, I only just found out about it, but I think that it's still very much worth the effort.
10:47 pm July 23rd 2007

Subject: Post-DH Fic plot-bunny. Not good news. Not good news at all!
Current Mood: scared

Oh, dear GOD! How did this happen?

Right, so, somehow I’ve managed to get bitten by a post-DH bunny. Nothing too weird there, despite my not having had the urge to write anything for a couple of years now, right? Except that it involves a character I was never especially into back when I was properly in fandom.

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Jesus, as I said, living with Heike is just plain bad for one’s sanity. I’m still not sure whether I want to have a go at writing it, particularly since I figure the premise rather predicates a somewhat lengthy fic (plus, y’know, I’ve only really had experience writing either H/D, cracky squick fic or brief vignettes to date, and all of those were long, long ago.) However, I think I’m going to at least consider it. Hell, if I decide not to follow up on it, perhaps I should throw the idea out into the ether to see whether anyone else would be interested in doing so (with the predicate, obviously, that florahart be credited for inspiration).

So, opinions?

Edit : This may well be an omen of some sort. Seemingly, huge packs of jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) appear to be invading the coastal waters off of California. Make of this what you will.
10:25 pm July 23rd 2007

Subject: Reaction
Current Mood: bouncy

So, having posted about queuing for the book, it only seems appropriate to actually post about said book itself – not that I in any want to, you understand, it’s merely fulfilling an obligation... and if you’ll believe that, you’ll believe anything.

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So, that was my general, rambly impression of the book. Now onto a few specific points that hit me or thoughts I had :

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Well, there we go. I’m sure that I’ll be posting more reactions in the coming days, but I think that’s enough to deal with in one post. Sorry about not posting sooner, but I’ve been a bit under the weather and it’s been a busy couple of days due to one thing and another, plus, my evil girlfriend has been hogging the internet connection much of the time (she’s out at the moment!) Really must get a router soon. Anyway, as I said, I’ll probably post about a plot-bunny in a bit, but that’s all for now, folks! Hope you enjoyed DH as much as I did!
3:17 pm July 20th 2007

Subject: The second law of thermodynamics.... yeah, right.
Current Mood: bouncy

So, how’s everyone doing? No-one’s succumbed to the stress yet and holed themselves up inside a bell-tower demanding an early copy of the book or else? None of you have put any (major) organs up for sale on eBay in return for an early hardcopy of the book? No religious conversions as part of a cosmic deal to ensure that the characters you’re particularly attached to make it through the next 24 hours? Well, I’d say we’re in pretty good shape then!

Seriously, folks, it’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? Okay, fandom’ll live on, one way or another. Hell, JKR could implement the “Rocks fall. Everybody dies” option, then have the Earth get knocked out of its orbit by a giant meteor and swallowed up by the sun, which itself then gets sucked into a black hole and fandom would still find a way to write stories. Still, standing on the eve of our last dose of canon is… a funny feeling indeed.

Heike and I managed to get to bed rather late last night, so we’re currently stumbling around dazedly trying to work out how on Earth we’re going to make it through pre-book drunken revelry, queueing for God-Knows how many hours, then a costumed trip across London on a (K)night bus back to Leytonstone before devouring our final dose of canon, but I’m sure we’ll manage somehow – rock’n’roll. So, as I started off by saying, how’re all of you lot holding up? Everyone know where and when they’ll be getting their grubby little hands on a copy? Suicide-pacts fully signed and notarised? Someone’s procured a thermonuclear warhead in the event that JKR cops-out on answering what that twinkle in Dumbledore’s eyes was or what’s up with Harry’s eyes for that matter or how Lily fits into things or visiting Godric’s Hollow or just plain loses what literary abilities she possesses (ala OotP) or worse, forgets how to tell a story? I guess I’m just asking, where’re y’all at.

Anyway, being the pretentious sod that I am (plus, having got a couple of months of paid time the other day so I’m fully armed when it comes to icons for the post-DH LJ meltdown - bad timing with LJ restarting their appeasement of "Concerned Parents"™ directly afterwards), I figure I should sign-off with a quotation poll. So, without further ado

Poll #1024930 Pretentious, moi?

So, which best describes how you're feeling on this monumentous eve

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." ~ Louis L'Amour
1(7.7%)
"With the catching ends the pleasure of the chase." ~ Abraham Lincoln
0(0.0%)
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." ~ Winston Churchill
4(30.8%)
"Exit, pursued by a bear." ~ William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
1(7.7%)
Other (please explain in comments)
1(7.7%)

9:22 pm July 19th 2007

Subject: Whaddya Think?
Current Mood: bouncy

<lj-cur text=spoilers>
WOW – I can’t believe JKR made McGonagall/Grawp/Crookshanks canon in DH!!!111!!1!!
</lj-cut>

...

Okay, that was my little joke (from an appropriately little mind). Actually, you know, if that really were a spoiler then I’m not sure, ipso-facto, whether DH would be spoilable-for on account of the cracked-outness!

I’m rather surprised, truth be told, that I still haven’t been spoiled at this point, given that I’m a news & politics junkie and have been reading all sorts of sites like DailyKos which I’d expected would have a bunch of right-leaning types spamming the hell out of it given Bill O’Reilly calling it a “hate-site” (the irony abounds) recently and DH spoilers seem like the perfect weapon. Between that sort of thing and scanning Google-News, albeit flicking through the Entertainment section, I’d resigned myself to probable spoiling, but, *touches wood* it’s looking good so far. Pweeetttyyy please let me remain thus – no spoilers in the comments or I shall cry all over you or something!

So, how’s everyone holding up, then? What’s the prevailing mood? Anticipation? Restlesness? Apprehension? A mix of the three? Overpowering sexual excitement (or is that just me? … okay, just me then *gets goatcoat*)? Seriously, folks, what’re y’all doing to pass the time now that we’re entering the home-stretch – well, those of you not Sectusing it up, that is? Any of you who’re H/D shippers should have by now read monochromal’s ode to H/D-fic throughout the years, ‘tis rather nostalgia-inducing and generally evocative indeed (and non-spoilery, though I’ve no idea about the comments.) If you haven't, as bookshop says, do so, BIATCHES!

What’re you guys’ plans for picking up the treasured tome? starcrossedgirl, kazzik, titanic_days, vinaigrette & her mahn and I plan to meet up with aviss, duare and some of their friends from Spain sometime tomorrow afternoon/evening at the Piccadilly Circus Waterstones and consume large amounts of alcohol in the queue (possibly in whatever sad excuses for costumes we can put together at the last minute!) I’m not sure if they’re still taking pre-orders, but I believe so, so if anyone else in the area (or out of it, for that matter) doesn’t have anything planned and fancies tagging along for the queuing and/or reading back at our place, let us know! Dear Lord, we met up with siria, who’s in town for Sectus, in Central London today, which was very much with the lovely, and decided to pop by the bookstore to see how large the queues were already, as I’d seen a (close-up) photo of them in today’s Independent. Dear God, there must have been something like 40 people there 30+ hours before zero-hour! Honestly, okay, I’m not 100% keen on queuing for it at all, and if it were up to me, I’d probably just drop by the all-night Tesco near our place at 00:01, but I can live with a few hours with the aid of friends and alcohol, but seriously, a couple of days??? Oh, well, can’t fault them for their dedication!

Anyway, that’s all for now, folks, though I shall probably try and stay vaguely around from now onwards, and shall very likely join the great lj-cut spam frenzy of 21/07/2007! For now, I leave you with the mucho-nostalgic "We Didn't Start The Fandom" - sigh.

10:19 am June 29th 2007

Subject: Queers, Who, Exploding Cars^2, Bush, Animal Cruelty and Friendly Floatees
Current Mood: rushed

Been an eventful couple of weeks what with one thing and another, hence the not being around much - by far the best aspect of which being Heike’s results. If any of you were interested in them but don’t have her friended, sorry for leaving you on tenterhooks! As is only natural for someone as freakishly freakishbrilliant as her, she did indeed get awarded a first – the only one awarded on her program this year, no less! Who’s a clever little biomedical scientist, then? ;P

Obviously much celebrating went on as a result of the above (during which we were blessed with an appearance by vinagrette -an unfortunately rare honour-, amongst several others), hence not updating y’all sooner!

Oh, and talking of celebrations, I hope that folks in the ‘hood (read: Greater London) are aware that it’s London Pride tomorrow. Any of you likely to be there and if not, where should I be sending the threats of a kneecapping? Heike and I shall likely be around, assuming that it’s not absolutely pissing down, of course. This, however, was presenting us with a slight problem, as conclusion of the parade will likely clash with the season finale of Doctor Who. Now, this is where I say something self-deprecating about us obviously being geeks of the highest order to consider there to be a contest between marching through Central London surrounded by a plethora of hot guys’n’gals and seeing a cheesy sci-fi show. However, it appears that this is a widespread worry – so much so, in fact, that those organising pride have arranged a live screening of the episode on a big-screen thingy in Trafalgar Sq., along with discussion of the episode earlier in the day by John Barrowman and Freema Agyeman. Haha – one less excuse for you lot to not attend!

Oh, speaking of Doctor Who, Collapse )Anyway, as this seems to be a rather media-based/cut-tag riddled post, I might as well just go with it. So, do you lot (those with Heike friended), remember that whole teenage twats crashing cars in a rather spectacular (read: upturned) manner outside our house thing from about a year ago? Well, summer seems to be the season for such things, as we had another rather dramatic car incident the other week. I was asleep at the time (around 4AM, I believe), though in a strange reversal of sleeping patterns, Heike wasn’t. Sitting in the lounge, minding her own business, probably looking up Harry/Snape porn which would cause my eyeballs to fall out in horror if I know her at all, she suddenly heard an almighty “boom”, rushed to the window and saw... yup, a car, this time right-way-up, but unfortunately rather, umm, pyre-y; sheets of flame, billowing black smoke, minor explosions – the works! The fire brigade (and police, as the odds are pretty good, given that there was no-one present at the scene 10 seconds after the big ‘boom’, that this was a case of beered-up rudeboys having some ‘fun’) arrived and put the fire out and Heike, being the t00by t00b that she is, chose this time, not when the fucker was still ablaze, to take some photos! I also popped out later in the morning and took a few of the… carcass! Probably worth a look - Collapse )

Continuing the multimedia theme, as well as making sure that you don’t drop dead of shock at my not mentioning US politics in a post, I bring you Collapse ) Oh, and whilst we’re at it, okay, I could go on at quite some considerable length on why I think that each and every declared or likely Republican candidate for ’08 is deeply, deeply flawed (and no, in case it needs to be said, I do not think that this can be inferred from the fact that they are Republicans; I may not agree with many Rupublican positions, but there are plenty of members of the party, both past and to a somewhat lesser but still significant degree present, who I simply disagree with but do not find flawed, crazy or just plain evil.) Indeed, I went through a bullet-point version of most of them with starlitshore a few weeks ago. However, I have to say that I really wasn’t expecting something like THIS (can't seem to get the direct link to the Boston Globe story to work from here, which is odd as it works perfectly well from the DailyKos page) For those who don’t fancy clicking, it’s an article on Mitt Romney (one of the four major Republican Candidates) going on a long (12 hours, I believe) drive to go on a holiday with his wife, five sons, their Irish Setter Seamus and a bunch of luggage. So, in case you haven’t figured out where this is going, it was obviously a tad cramped in their station wagon and something had to give. And by “give”, I mean be placed on the luggage rack on the roof of the car. So, three guesses on who/what got to spend 12 hours pelting down the highway strapped to the top of a fast-moving car; No, not one of the kids, he’s not quite that bad, but if you guessed Seamus the Setter, then you’d be right! Dear Fucking God! The twisted bastard strapped a dog-carrier to the roof rack and placed his dog in it. Okay, fair due to him, he did have the heart to construct a ‘wind-break’ to prevent the poor thing from being blinded by fast-moving stones and other debris from cars in front of him, but I’m not sure that that doesn’t in fact make the whole sordid affair even worse, as someone who can work out that this isn’t going to be very nice for the dog and rather than deciding, oh, I don’t know, to maybe strap the fucking luggage to the roof instead of the fucking dog is, well, not a very nice guy in my books. I’m not sure whether my books even have a term for someone whose reaction, an hour or two into the journey, to the poor thing having stress/fear-induced diarrhea all over itself and the roof of the car is to stop, hose the poor bugger down and then start off again (hint: wet fur and high winds make for an even less happy pooch, if that’s even possible at this point.) Just… holy fuck, people – this guy is a serious candidate. Urgh!

Anyway, I don’t want to leave you all with too much of a downer, so to finish off, here’s something rather more fun. Apparently, back in 1992 a crate of 29,000 “Friendly Floatees”, which would be brightly coloured Chinese-made rubber ducks, beavers, frogs and turtles (ie. bath toys), on a ship destined for Washington was washed overboard. The crate came apart and our intrepid bathtime friends were freed to swim across the seven seas. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating with the whole ‘seven seas’ thing, do you? Okay, I’m a geography nut, so I appreciate that the term is figurative, but taking it to mean ‘across the oceans of the world’, it’s entirely appropriate to use it! As you can see from the image in this article, two-thirds of them headed South and have visited all manner of places on the East Asian, Australian and South American coasts, whilst the other third went for broke and headed North. Yes, North, about as North as one can reasonably get via the sea, making their own version of the North-West Passage they went up North America, between Russia and Alaska, then across Northern Canada, Greenland and THE FRIGGIN’ ARCTIC, then back down past Iceland, across the USA’s Eastern Seaboard, before doing a U-Turn and making a beeline for the shores of these sceptred isles! Yup, the Friendly Floatees are heading for the beaches of the UK! I think that I love these things (though not in the ‘I wanna write Friendly Floatee slash’ – honest!) Anyway, those wishing for more info can find it here.

Right, now I really must fly, as I need to drop in at my doctor’s and then get into Central in time to get my hair cut. Seriously, folks, I believe that the last time I got my hair cut was going on for a year ago, and there’s no way in Hell that I’m going to be in the company of 10s of thousands of gay men in that state!

Edit : And oh-so-topically, given my talking both about exploding cars and heading into Central London later-on, it appears that a car-bomb was defused in Picadilly Circus earlier this morning. Le sigh!
10:05 am June 5th 2007

Subject: Lemurs, tropical storms, cubism, dwarf-flinging, monkeys, nude pools, beatings, God & Sodomobiles
Current Mood: Eclectic

So, as I’m still re-acclimatising to LJ and am somewhat fearful of sending everyone heading for the hills, for today’s post I shall return to one of my more listy offerings, as opposed to the marathonesque expositions I’ve made recently!

So, where to start? Well, personal stuff seems a good bet. It was my father’s birthday yesterday – yes, my father was born on the day before both primroseburrows and Draco Malfoy (both of whom get huge shout-outs, naturally!), just sayin’! I spoke with my parents on the phone and on MSN which was all kinds of fun. As per usual, strange stories from the Land of Smiles abound. Probably the most unusual was that a few weeks ago, our dogs went nuts and were barking at a tree. Nothing unusual there, but Mum went out to have a look, figuring that it was either a snake or the mongoose which hangs around our garden. Imagine her surprise when the branches parted and a Ring-Tailed Lemur emerged staring at her. It ambled down the tree, checked her out for a while and then headed back up again. Now, those of you inquisitive enough to click the link or unnaturally knowledgeable about zoology will be aware that they are an IUCN red-list endangered species, only found in Madagascar! How, then, did my Mum see one, given that she got a good look at it and was certain, upon seeing photos of them, that that was indeed what it was? Well, after some research it appears that a crate of them were on their way from Madagascar to Phuket Zoo on December 26th 2004 – yup, the date of the Tsunami. The Thai authorities said that all the lemurs were ‘accounted for’, but that’s the Thai authorities for you! Sadly there will be no more updates on this front, as they moved for the first time since 1995 shortly afterwards on account of an “aluminium factory” and a blacksmith opening up nearby – dealing with the noise from the karaoke bar and unregistered home-run laundry was bearable, these newer additions to the neighbourhood less so!

Talking of Asian affairs, Tropical Cylone Gonu, which would be a Cat. 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale if said scale were used in the area of the Arabian Sea, is on its way to Oman at the moment, due to make landfall in around 14 hours or so. Whilst it's likely to drop off in intensity somewhat prior to hitting the coast, it will still likely be a truly exceptional storm for the region.

Moving back closer to home, I assume that most of you have seen the London 2012 Olympics’ Logo - it honestly defies description, explanation or for that matter, sanity. About all I can say is that I’m in complete agreement with those saying that if we’re going down this path, we might as well go all the way and choose that goatse-inspired logo which was submitted to the BBC. Seriously, London2012, ‘but why has all the style gone?’

Moving swiftly on, I have a few offerings from syndicated feeds on my flist, of which I have a truly awesome selection. Seriously, folks, you know you're onto something good when you can read your flist and find post informing you that “Dwarf-flinging void is larger than thought”, that “Cogitating monkeys can calculate statistics” (seriously, better them than I), that “Spanish town votes in Elvis flares and nude pool” and finally that “Indian lawyers tie man to tree, beat him!” On that final front, does anyone know whether we can hire those guys and sic ‘em on SixApart?

On a, hopefully, unrelated front, I see that my reappearance on LJ has obviously prompted God to return to us. Verily, the_pantheon is back – happy day! Oh, and for anyone wondering about the timing, I am categorically not behind It – just a big fan!

In considerably more sombre news, though peripherally related to the above via the topic of divinity, today the US casualty count in Iraq will very likely reach and excced 3500. Within a week, judging by current trends, the UK will experience its 150th casualty. As for Iraqis, well, sadly there's simply no way to know, as the Iraqi government, at the urging of the US government, is refusing to publish their own civilian casualty figures, but if that report in the Lancet was accurate, the current figure has to be somewhere around the three-quarters of a million mark. Yeah, not really much more that can be said than that.

And in related news, I discovered a wonderful new word today. Ladies, Gentlemen and whatever the hell else is reading my posts, I present to you “Kakistocracy, “rule by the least-able or least-principled of citizens, is a form of government in which the people least qualified to control the government are the people who control the government.” Three guesses which particular government I thought of upon learning of the term, and the first two don’t count!

Righty-ho, that’s your lot for now. I’m off to try and tackle, at some point today, the 18-month backlog on friendings and unfriendings and such *suits-up and goes to user-info* However, before I do, I shall leave you with the complete and utter joy that is...
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If you’ve ever wanted to see Fred Phelps (of the Westboro Baptist Church and godhatesfags.com infamy) and his cult confronted with and indeed routed by Michael Moore, a dozen queers and “sixteen thousand pounds of hot-pink steel and fibreglass straddling a chop-shop customised Ford slant six diesel engine – THE SODOMOBILE!”, this is the youtube clip for you!











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OK, OK, I know about the icon positioning problem in Netscape 4. No, I'm not sure what to do about it - I can't use scripts to do browser-selective detection with LJ and I can't fix it with CSS as Netscape 4 won't recognise it. Ideas? REVISION : Oh, God, I just saw what Netscape does to this page and it's horrible. I've fixed it so that Netscape now displays visible text, but I don't have time to figure out how to get it to look nice *meep*