梅雨 Diary - Settling in (23 June)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:24 am
steepholm: (Default)
[personal profile] steepholm
Perhaps I should make some attempt to describe this campus. Toukyou Joshi Dai isn't a big university by the standards of the UK (it has about 3,000 students to Cardiff's 30,000, for example). It takes up what in American terms would be a block (if you're from Bristol, think of the zoo). That space has quite a few older buildings dotted around, like the one in which I'm living, some of which were apparently designed by a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright with a taste for inverted dishes, as well as a few plate-glass jobs with offices and teaching rooms.

DSC00028
This turns out to be purely decorative, and not after all a way of communicating with extra-terrestials

There's also a rather grand main building, with the Latin motto "QUAECUNQUE SUNT VERA" inscribed on the front. For this is a Christian foundation, as its English name (Tokyo Woman's Christian University) makes clear, even though the "Christian" bit is dropped in Japanese translation.

DSC00054

There are trees (木), groves (林) and woods (森) (who said that kanji were hard to learn?), and although these come with matching mosquitoes I think it's well worth it. It certainly doesn't feel like the middle of one of the world's great metropoles. In some ways it resembles my idea of an American liberal arts college, although before you use this as a reliable reference you should remember that my ideas of American liberal arts colleges derive entirely from having read The Secret History and Tam Lin. Unlike a typical liberal arts college, this university appears (as far as I can tell) not to be a hub for ritual murder, whether inspired by Dionysian frenzy or the need to pay a tithe to hell, and as far as I'm concerned this is a plus. On the contrary, they take rather paternalistic care of their students, locking the gates at 11pm each evening (though nothing as extreme as the broken glass and razor wire I saw surrounding the female dorms in a Christian university in Taiwan a few years ago). Even I, when I leave the campus, have to hand my key over the guards (there are usually at least two) and pick it up again on my return - perhaps five minutes later, after a dash to the combini. I'm not sure what purpose is served by this requirement, but the guards are always very cheerful and polite, so I can't resent it.

The area is neither central Tokyo nor the suburbs, but a sweet spot somewhere in between. Turning left from the main gate the streets are quiet, with houses, family restaurants, antique and bookshops. There are people milling about, but no sense of city hustle, and more bicycles than cars. Here it is at about 7pm on my first evening, with dusk already falling in the abrupt Asian manner:

DSC00025

In the other direction is fashionable Kichijouji, a far more bustling place, for shopping by day or eating by night. Here's where you need to go if you want to eat a curry doughnut, which I intend to do as soon as may be:

DSC00051

On my first full day in Japan, though, I contented myself with buying a yukata and all the trimmings - something I've wanted for a long time. I placed myself in the hands of a very friendly department store assistant, and luckily it was one of those days when my Japanese was flowing pretty well (it varies greatly). She walked me through the process of putting on the underdress, the yukata itself, the obi, the geta (alas! my feet are so large that I had to get men's ones), and then set me up with accessories - a flower for the hair, and of course one of those terribly useful baskets.

DSC00070

I hesitate to say how much all that cost, but suffice it to say that it sated my desire to shop for at least a day.

"They order these things better in Japan" Dept. A useful feature of Japanese supermarkets is that, rather than put the food into your shopping bags at the checkout, potentially holding up other customers as you do so, they provide tables where you can take your shopping basket/trolley after you've paid, and put things in bags at your leisure - rather like the tables in airport security where you can sort out your possessions after they've been through the scanner. A simple idea, but a good one - which I noticed only having held everyone up at the checkout putting things in bags, of course.

On the other hand, here at Toukyou Joshi Dai I seem to be a celebrity:

DSC00069DSC00053

Let's hope I live up to the billing.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 09:16 pm
kay_brooke: Stick drawing of a linked adenine and thymine molecule with text "DNA: my OTP" (Default)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
New Doctor Who episode yesterday, the first part of the season finale!

And I didn't even watch it until today, and it was only a momentary diversion...



...because I am currently obsessed with Twin Peaks.

Is anyone else as obsessed with Twin Peaks right now as I am?

Where are good fandom places? I've already been all over Tumblr and Reddit.

Hot

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:09 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Fire)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Ava’s Dashboard
Ava’s Dashboard
Beaverton, Oregon • June 25, 2017 • 3:00 pm

You don’t ever want your car to tell you it’s this hot outside.

Actually, it wasn’t 105°F outside – although it might have been that hot where the car was on the baked asphalt road. The high in Beaverton was only 97°F.

Because this was the second (and thankfully final) day of the heat wave, the house didn’t cool off much overnight – and it really got heated today. The warm part of the house is 92°F; the cool part of the house is 89°F. Yay. I should be able to open up the doors and windows around 7 pm.
sturgeonslawyer: (Neepery)
[personal profile] sturgeonslawyer
A business book - a _good_ business book - consists (primarily; there are some with additional ingredients) of three things: common sense, data, and a framework that provides a new focus on the first to and proposes a plan of action.

Moore is a bit short on the data, except in the final chapter, but his common sense is so sensible, and the framework sufficiently compelling, that this is in fact a good business book.

This is not a book for every business. Rather it is specific to businesses whose industry is being, or has a real potential to be, disrupted. Being the big dog in such a business has advantages and disadvantages: the advantages are clear: name recognition, business relationships, and inertia; the disadvantages are also clear: you are a target for the other dogs ... and inertia. Inertia is good because it will carry you for a while while someone else disrupts your industry; it is bad because it makes it hard to do the disrupting, or to respond properly when disruption comes from outside.

Moore suggests dividing your business priorities into four "zones."

The first zone, the "performance zone," is where - except for a complete start-up - most of your money comes from. It is your existing products, relationships, and distribution channels.

In the "productivity zone" are the programs and systems which, while they don't directly produce revenue, support the performance zone and make the revenue it produces profitable. Moore suggests that the activities of the productivity zone should be considered largely as _programs_ and _systems_. Systems are continuous and should be funded by corporate; programs should be funded by the entities in the performance zone which expect to use and benefit from them. The productivity zone covers regulatory compliance, efficiency ("doing things right"), and effectiveness ("doing the right things").

The "incubation zone" is the most interesting zone, to me. It is the development area for new products and services. Significantly, these products and services should not be owned by the performance zone; rather, they should be owned by "independent operating units," each with one initiative, and the goal of each IOU is to prove that its initiative is, first, doable, secondly, potentially profitable, and thirdly, scalable to be a major revenue stream for the larger company. Incubation zone initiatives may be cut off sharp if they fail in any of these things.

Finally, there is the "transformation zone," where disruption really happens. To be the disruptor, you take one - only one! - of the incubating initiatives and fund it fully, with the intention of scaling it quickly so that it becomes a major revenue stream (at least 10% of corporate revenue). This should not happen more than once in a decade or so, and when it does, it becomes the company's #1, make-or-break, priority.

When the transformation zone is activated, the rest of the incubation zone gets shortchanged. Initiatives may be spun off as separate companies, sold to other companies, or simply stopped.

What if your company is not the disruptor but the disruptee? This can happen, and then you have to play defense. The incubation zone may be the key here, as one or more initiatives may be grafted onto an existing product/service line to neutralize at least some of the disruptor's advantage. The goal is not to be "best in class," but to be "good enough" to compete, with the expectation that your existing customers will prefer to stay with the known entity. Having neutralized, you optimize your products/services and their positioning. Finally, you seek to differentiate your product as something special, not a me-too to the disruptor.

The final chapter of the book is in some ways the most interesting, a pair of case studies of how Salesforce and Microsoft have used some of these principles, strategies, and tactics - Salesforce on offense and Microsoft on defense. Salesforce's Marc Benioff called Moore in to consult twice; it is not clear whether Microsoft did or not, but the principles seem valid in each case.

A funny story about computer repair

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:17 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
So my computer developed a corrupt registry file )

*

ANYWAY, it's nice to have my machine back, with nothing lost. And the fridge and freezer are stocked again after an epic grocery trip, assisted by a rent credit from my landlady. I learned a ton in the After Effects class. mention of parental health issue ) So life continues okay.

Media has been a bit thin on the ground of late, as you might guess. I'm reading Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy many years after [livejournal.com profile] synn gifted them to me; after a slow start, am now ~100 pages into book two and so far so good. Watching Die Another Day and now Skyfall on TV in the background; first time seeing either. Need to get back to source watching for the auction vid, and there's a belated Equinox treat that's finally possible now that the movie I need is out on DVD.

It looks like I'm not bringing any vids to Vividcon this year, which feels weird. But I do get a [personal profile] corbae as a roommate.

*

Good wishes to those of you who are struggling. Greetings to everyone else.

Bed around 3 am.

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:14 pm
archangelbeth: Face with glasses and large red horns. Looking blah and-or grumpy. (DjinnBeth)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Woke up before noon, omg. Kid... got 4 hours sleep.......
(On the plus side, taking the Benadryl AFTER brushing teeth did provide an earlier bedtime. We can, perhaps, work with this.)

excuse, there is a commotion in the gas fireplace. a flying squirrel or large mouse hopefully NOT setting itself on fire via the pilot light...

Okay, commotion seems to've faded. I need to clear out enough space to open that out and figure out where the creatures are coming in. *sigh*

Anyway. Food was gotten, but it was breakfast type food, and I got no ice tea or hot tea and now I have a splitting headache and am drinking cooked-at-home tea. After taking ibuprofen. Kid and spouse are off getting food.

Hat tip to Mal, re Wonder Woman:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDGNoggUQAE2UjW.jpg:large

This is an awesome Twitter thread about the design of the movie Wonder Woman's costume.
https://twitter.com/AWeaverWrites/status/878967719072288768

Now I'm going to try to edit through this headache.

(Oh, right, and when this headache fades, I have a CUNNING PLAN to consolidate some things and thus declutter something else. HM.)

Havva Quote
S••••• says, “And someone on this thread about flags goes and asks where do single people go to get the tax breaks married couples do. I answer, 'A judge, justice of the peace, or minister.'”
S••••• says, “Of course, they have to go in pairs.”
--From the MUSH. (Or, I suppose, in 4s, if they're Andorians.)



INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
Queen of Swords Press will be tabling at the first ever Queer Voices Pride Book Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library on Tuesday 6/27, from 5:30-6:30. Then Catherine Lundoff will be one of a group of writers who'll be reading short excerpts of their work from 6:30-8:30ish. Come down, say hi and perhaps, pick up a book or two! We'll have copies of Out of This World and Silver Moon, as well as Queen of Swords Press mugs and some other fun things.

For genprompt_bingo

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:09 pm
ladyofleithian: (darkpilot: can't lose you)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian
Title: Secrets, Lies, Truths

Summary: Ben tells Poe the truth about Yavin IV, and what he did there.

Prompt: Wild Card -- Confessions

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Fic under cut. )

Sense8 - Season 2

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:17 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
While I loved the series Sense8 as a whole, I think I preferred Season 1 to Season 2, it was better structured and the season finale was less busy and less rushed. I felt the first season to be tighter than the second, and that it wandered less. The stories seemed to interconnect more, and by the end of it, each character's arc was completed with a sort of open feeling of more to come. But it could have ended there, without feeling too jarring.

Season2....oh dear. It has moments of brilliance, but it is a bit of jangled mess at the end. I agree a great deal with the AV Club review of the finale episode, found HERE. The final two episodes felt more like a mid-season episodes than a season finale, and left the audience with more questions than answers, and sense of being left with a major cliff-hanger. I almost wish I'd stopped with S1, although there are bits in S2 that I'm rather glad I saw, and at least four of the eight characters story-arcs are to some degree completed.

Spoilers for Sense8 )

Selected Shorts

Jun. 25th, 2017 03:15 pm
onyxlynx: Five bells, large drum, and a gong at Chapel of the Chimes (heh) Solstice fest. (Sounding brass)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
So skippy the bush kangaroo linked to an article by Kelefa Sanneh in The New Yorker titled "The Persistence of Prog Rock," which although it doesn't mention it, is probably springboarding off the deaths of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake last year.

Apparently I wasn't supposed to like prog rock (puts on "Karn Evil 9," ha.) Also, I was amused after a fashion that though the Mellotron was mentioned twice, the Moody Blues (Days of Future Past, To Our Childrens Childrens Children et al.?) had been disappeared from the narrative. They're still touring last time I looked.

I do wish that people who would still be listening to Patti Page and singing along with Mitch Miller if not for rhythm, blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll stop trying to claim rock 'n' roll as theirs.

in which german is unexpectedly easy

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:58 pm
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
[personal profile] kindkit
I've finally found one area in which German is superior to French (by which I mean, easier for me as a native English speaker). It's numbers. German numbers seem to work mostly like English ones, but French numbers make you do math. Well, numbers from 70 to 99. 70 in French is "soixante-dix," literally sixty-ten. 71 is "soixante-onze," sixty-eleven. 80 is "quatre-vingt," or four twenties. 90 is "quatre-vingt-dix," four twenties and ten, and so on up to 99, "quatre-vingt-dix-neuf," or four twenties and nineteen.

My French is not too bad, apart from not having a full adult vocabulary, but I still have to stop and think when hearing or speaking French numbers.

This is especially fun in the context of telephone numbers, because the French don't say telephone numbers digit by digit like American English speakers do, they divide them into groups of two. So if somebody's telephone number includes the combination 97, they will say "quatre-vingt-dix-sept," and the unsuspecting English speaker will write down 4 (quatre) and only then realize they've got it wrong, and have to go back and correct while their French interlocutor is now several numbers ahead. You can guess how I know this.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand all this is probably interesting to no one but me, but I was happy to find a context in which German is simple and straightforward. Unlike its ten million billion pronoun forms.
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
In the last four weeks, there have been two works added to the New Year's Resolution collection. Enjoy!

Works in Back to the Future (Movies) and Killjoys (TV) )


Challenge information )
sineala: (Avengers: Tony: I win)
[personal profile] sineala
We were invited to post early, so here is my and Wren's Cap RBB:

Tony Stark and the Mysterious Marksman (18510 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Noir
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Tony Stark
Characters: Tony Stark, James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Invaders (Team), Nick Fury, Carol Danvers, Victor von Doom
Additional Tags: Action/Adventure, Secret Identity, Identity Porn, World War II, Hero Worship, Doombots, Latveria, Snipers, Explosions, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary: The year is 1943, and the war is swinging into an unexpected front: the Allies need to get their hands on every magical item they can find before someone else does. There's no one more qualified for the job than Tony Stark, former adventurer for Marvels magazine. When Nick Fury sends him on his latest mission, Tony finally gets the chance to work with Captain America... and the guy won't stop extolling the wonders of his partner, some kid called Bucky. But when Tony gets back to base, he meets someone even better than the Bucky of Cap's stories: an enigmatic -- and incredibly handsome -- marksman by the name of James Barnes.

That's right, it's Marvel Noir Winteriron identity porn! I've never written Winteriron before, but this was a lot of fun! It was written to accompany Wren's gorgeous art, which you can view here. (The stargazing art was the original art, she drew the sniping art to go with the story, and the art at the end she drew to have more Noir art and I asked if I could steal it and put that scene in. So I did.) I originally wasn't even going to write for this, but the art just won me over (because OMG NOIR) and then I had an identity porn idea and... all of this happened.

I hope all three of you who like this pairing will appreciate this story. :D You probably don't need to know anything about Marvel Noir; I explain it at the beginning if you're curious.

Signal Boosting: Drawesome

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:03 am
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)
[personal profile] out_there

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists

Anime Spring Week 12

Jun. 25th, 2017 03:54 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Poised)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Back-to-Back Kotarou and Akane
Back-to-Back Kotarō and Akane
Tsuki ga Kirei, Episode 11

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records (Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
This arc was a rescue Sistine arc instead of a rescue Rumia arc – but it operated about the same. Big flashy battle. Thankfully Sistine recovered and then carried her weight in the fight. But the Big Bad gets away – to return in a future arc. Not much closure here – and open-ended for continuation into more novels in the series. After all, we still don’t know a thing about what the Akashic Records are.

Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? (a.k.a. Sukasuka)(WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?): Episode 11
Chtholly’s situation is even worse, and the entire field unit is under attack. Seems like an awful lot to resolve in one finale. I’m eager to see at least some resolutions next week.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 12
Mostly the episode was about Mitsuki probing and learning about Boruto. And also we learned a little bit about Mitsuki. So… a character-building episode not advancing the story – except for providing a tease at the very end. Sure hope something happens next week.

Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys: Episode 11
I thought for sure that Hikaru would swap with the real Hikaru for the strip down, but that doesn’t look like what’s going to happen. Things are complicated. Not surprised we have a cliffhanger.

Tsuki ga Kirei (As the Moon, So Beautiful): Episode 11
I worry that Kotarou isn’t going to make it. This series has been pretty realistic the entire way, so it’s hard to believe that Kotarou can overcome long odds. At least his mom did an aboutface and is being supportive. Best part of the episode was the short break in studying that allowed Kotarou and Akane to get together and exchange Christmas gifts. And a kiss. D’Awww! As always, the music is simply wonderful.

Clockwork Planet: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Well… whatever. The conflict wrapped up without any serious sense of drama – or any real resolution, for that matter. The enemy escaped to return another day. Now our gang is on the run and ready to save the world – with everyone else in pursuit. I’m underwhelmed.

Seikai Suru Kado (Kado: The Right Answer): Episode 11
Things continue to be highly improbable, and it appears the show is going to become an action series at the end. The train went off the rails long ago, and we’re seeing if it has enough velocity to keep from being bogged down in the mud. The big battle is next week.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 26
Transitional episode, slowing things down after the intense sports festival. The code names were interesting, anyway. Izuku’s choice of code name was rather unexpected, but I’m glad it made Ochako happy. Bakugo was still over-the-top for laughs. Not a lot happened, but we needed the breather.

Eromanga Sensei: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Erocomedy… if you can call it that. Getting everyone flustered in different ways is the least interesting part of the show. No story this week – just slapstick. A rather uninspiring way to end the season – but OK, I suppose.

Uchouten Kazoku 2: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
What a fabulous finish! Conflict…drama… resolutions (many)… and a very happy ending! Sweet scenes! Yaichirō and Gyokuran’s wedding! Yasaburō x Kaisei! Confirmation from Yasaburō’s grandmother of the red fur of fate – and Yasaburō’s acceptance of the engagement! I am so happy! I’m going to watch this episode again!

Alice to Zōroku: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
The solution to the escape from Wonderland was not particularly good or interesting, although Zōroku’s role was a surprise. Unfortunately Shizuku wasn’t involved at all – she disappeared at the beginning and reappeared at the end. Might as well say it’s time to end the arc and wave a magic wand. Oh, well. Happy ending. At the very end we got a second glimpse of a grown-up Sana, who remains intriguing.

Back-to-Back Kaisei and Yasaburō (plus his grandmother)
Back-to-Back Kaisei and Yasaburō (plus his grandmother)
Uchouten Kazoku 2, Episode 12 (Season Finale)

30 day music meme, day 18

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:44 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
[personal profile] kindkit
18. A song from the year you were born

This was an easy choice.

This version of the song, the best known one, is I think later than 1969 (my birth year), but I like it better so that's what you get. It's worth looking at the original 1969 video on YouTube, though, if only because both video and song version are so hilariously 1960s.

David Bowie, "Space Oddity"





All the prompts )

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
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