I've known for a while that I had an essay due, a rationale and reflection document due, a short story to write (1500 - 2000 words) and a rent inspection due at some point this month. This week, the uncertainty bubble surrounding the date of the inspection collapsed, and we discovered when it was going to happen: this coming Wednesday (it's due in May, Wednesday is the 31st of May, it apparently counts).
For those of you not ensnared in the morass of the Australian rental market, let me describe the joys of a rental inspection to you. Firstly, you get told the inspection is happening at some time on a given day - usually with about a week's notice. The current real estate agency are nice enough people - they narrow it down to "some time between 12pm and 5.30pm", which is positively generous. Before this happens, you need to have the property in a condition which would satisfy either your mother, or your mother-in-law (depending on who has the more rigid housekeeping standards - if neither of these qualify, pick your unfriendly local germophobe). You also need the gardens (if there are any) looking good as well - the local mowing places do a lot of good business out of people who have inspections due! So, once you have the property in pristine condition (including things like cleaning off light switches, wiping down walls and cleaning the oven) you wait for the property manager (if you're renting from a real-estate agency) or the owner (if you're renting directly) to come in and have a look over the place. Now, technically, they're not supposed to be judging you on your housekeeping standards - but we all know this is so much horse elbows, so yeah, they are. If it's a property manager, they come in and often (these days) take photos of the interior of the place, in order to prove you've left the walls where they were when you came in, and to prove the roof hasn't spontaneously fallen in or similar. This, of course, means they're usually taking photos of your goods and chattels as well. Anyway, they come in, do their walk through, make sure you haven't knocked the place down since they were last there, then breeze back out again after making a report for the owner. The whole business takes about fifteen minutes to half an hour tops, but it requires about a week's solid effort in preparation because the place needs to be pristine for them.
This happens every three months, by the way (four a year).
We had the tradesman come around to have a look at the kitchen cupboards on Friday at about 7.30 in the morning. He brought the owner with him, which I would have appreciated knowing about beforehand (while the house wasn't in "complete dog's breakfast" condition, it wasn't quite at "suitable for unknown strangers visiting" levels of cleanliness). Basically, the owner and the tradesman consulted with each other, and I suspect the outcome is going to be a replacement of at least some (if not all) of the kitchen benches. Now, when this will happen (and whether we'll be in the property when it does) is currently all up in the air - our lease expires on the 21st of July, and while I'm going to be talking to the property manager about getting another twelve months in the place nailed down, what may wind up happening is the owner might decide (in the interests of "not disrupting our lives", gods help us) to give us our notice to quit at the end of this current lease, so he can get the tradies in to do things uninterrupted. Now, I don't know whether this is certain, probable or merely in the range of possibilities out there, but it's something I've added to the list of potential worries coming up.
I've mostly finished all the uni assessments - I finished off the editing of my major essay for one of my units this morning (it's been sitting there waiting to be done like an albatross around my neck for the last three or four days, but when I try to do it in the afternoon, my brain basically throws up an "Out of Spoons" error and refuses to parse the wretched thing). I just have the short story to write a first draft of (for workshopping purposes) by Tuesday. Which should be fun, right? But once I've submitted that short story (due the 1st of June) I've finished for the semester, and all I have to do after that is wait for my results.
Of course, this also means I have to go and speak to AtWork regarding Work for the Dole, since at present my university study qualifies as my Work for the Dole activity - and technically they have me on the books as needing to do Work for the Dole until about August or thereabouts. So I need to find out whether I'm going to be breaching my mutual obligation requirements if I don't immediately start doing something else (like picking up litter, sorting rags, washing bottles, or picking oakum) immediately the moment I've handed in this last assignment.
Still going on MFF, have deleted Avengers Academy from the tablet (since it wasn't going anywhere, and was crashing on a regular basis every time I tried to open it) and I'm getting very fond of Final Fantasy Record Keeper, which I've been playing for over a year now, and which hasn't crashed, glitched, or demanded money from me in all that time. Why can't there be more games like that?
 The logic here being that having renovations done around us would be disruptive. Which, yes, it would. But having to move out on short notice, and find another place to live in for the amount we can afford (preferably close to uni - that's the main qualifying feature of this place, by the way - it's close enough to the university that we can basically be there within 15 minutes of leaving the house) would be even more disruptive.
Usually I deal with this by stretching and bike riding.
So at lunch today I went cycling with my coworker.
I had TWO heart rate monitors on. Sometimes they fight, but today they appeared to work well together. (One is recording for the cardiologist, the other is recording for my geek love of instrumentation, so I can post my pulse histogram online.)
The sky was vaguely threatening as we were starting, and got crabbier as we rode. As we were about halfway down a long twisting dirt path, it started drizzling, and just as we got to an intersection where we'd been planning on going straight and doing a long climb, lightning struck quite near us, so we bailed and rode home. Shortly thereafter the clouds dabbled briefly in hail, but then gave up as we outpaced them. We returned covered in mud and glory, only not very much glory.
But we got to the ending and...
( Spoilers )
I also would have liked to see a bit more Paris, because the show leaves her hanging at a terrible place and then we never see her again, and - fair enough - there's a lot of other characters and storylines they had to fit in (SOOKIE'S RETURN!!!! AAAAAHHHHHH I LOVED THAT), but still. THERAPY FOR PARIS. Although honestly she will probably benefit from it no more than Emily Gilmore and for exactly the same reason: being vulnerable for someone who is basically a stranger, PAH, that is not within their code.
...Also seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 while in the midst of a Gilmore Girls rewatch was totally hilarious, because the guy who plays Kirk is a minion in GotG2 and he is basically exactly what Kirk the Space Minion would be. SPACE MINION KIRK.
One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.
Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.
Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).
Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.
Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.
The Space Needle Pano Cam at 11 AM Friday shows blue skies and perfect weather conditions.
The Bay Area is all socked in. And there is a low pressure center offshore with spiraling cloud bands. Looks scary.
And now the shocker.... Seattle has MORE HOURS OF SUNSHINE than San Francisco in July and August. Don't bother looking at other months.
The bottom line of all this is clear: Seattle has a nearly perfect summer climate and SF's summers are not quite as good. And don't forget about the wisdom of Mark Twain:
ETA: Specifically superheroic/comic book-style universe building would be most excellently appropriate.
by Victoria Silverwolf
In recent days the eyes of the world were focused on the most important event yet during the administration of President Kennedy. No, not Scott Carpenter’s successful, if suspenseful, orbiting of the Earth, so ably reported by our host. I’m talking about Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to the leader of the free world in a skintight beaded dress that drew at least as much attention as her little girl's voice.
In other musical news, after three weeks at the top of the Billboard's Hot 100 with their smash hit Soldier Boy, the Shirelles, pioneers of the girl group sound, have yielded the position to British clarinetist Mr. Acker Bilk with his performance of Stranger on the Shore. (Bilk is only the second artist from across the pond to make it to Number One on the American pop charts. The first was just slightly less than a decade ago, when Vera Lynn reached that position with Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart. I suppose we'll have to wait another ten years before the British invade the Yankee airwaves again.)
Bilk's haunting, melancholy melody could easily serve as background music for the cover story in the June 1962 issue of Fantastic.
(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
The NEA statement on being asked to close by Trump.
The Pentagon's response when Trump blew his mouth off in the Philippines: "We do not talk about subs. Ever."
The science behind why people lie. Very relevant to the current politics.
The House has dismantled a permits system that gave us protection against pesticides in our common water supplies. What do they think we're drinking, imported champagne?
The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals rules against Trump's travel ban, again. Here's the published opinion. Do read this, just for the list of who's bringing the lawsuit. Quoting from this document:
The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the
Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2,
120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if
so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks
with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance,
animus, and discrimination. Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment yet
stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding
principles—that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or
disfavor one religion over another. Congress granted the President broad power to deny
entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the
President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to
individuals across this nation. Therefore, for the reasons that follow, we affirm in
substantial part the district court’s issuance of a nationwide preliminary injunction as to
Section 2(c) of the challenged Executive Order....
Former CIA Director John Brennan urges us to resist.
The Senate seeks a lifetime ban on Congressmen returning as lobbyists.
The ACLU demands an immediate end to using drivers' license photos for law enforcement facial recognition.
What happens when ou leave 15,000 coins on a sidewalk in London?
I know I linked this before, but it deserves to be here again, because it's beautiful.