mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Found in junk drawer while searching for Ex-Acto knife:  one pair of rounded-tip plastic Safe-T-Cut child's scissors.

My offspring are 26 and 23.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 8AM. Phone rings.  Phone rings a second time, which means it's less likely to be spam.
Me: sits bolt upright in bed and picks up phone.
Dad: Your mother is in the hospital with heart fibrillation.  She should be home tomorrow or the next day.
Me: I assume I shouldn't fly out.
Dad: Oh, no, no, she needs to rest and relax.
Me: When did this happen?
Dad: A day ... no, day before yesterday.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
because he didn't understand why there were tears rolling down.

Bad manners

Jul. 5th, 2017 07:35 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
You, as a manager, ask a transwoman on your team to review a draft survey, which asks respondents "What is your gender?", with the options being Male, Female, or Transgender. She replies to the survey:

'Transgender' is not a gender. Transgender people may be male, female, gender queer, non-binary... If you want to know if a survey respondent is transgender, you need to explicitly ask that question."

How do you respond?
Read more... )

Read Coraline Ada Ehmke's whole essay about being a woman at Github. My strong suspicion is that a fact-based response like the above would have passed unnoticed from a man, but was considered too aggressive for a woman. There should have been softening language, like "I'm afraid that" and "I know you're working from the best intentions" and "Please don't mind me mentioning one issue".

I've sent a lot of emails like the one above. Good thing I wasn't working for Github at the time.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Three different preventative drugs for migraine are in late-stage trials and doing well. This is a big damn deal. There are drugs that are abortives -- once you start feeling migraine symptoms, you take them to drastically reduce those symptoms -- but all the preventatives are off-label for something else.

To give you some idea, the preventatives I take are:
  • Lyrica (Federally approved for seizures, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia)
  • Botox (Federally approved for torticollis, lots of other clenched-muscle conditions, and various kinds of cosmetic uses)
In the past I have tried beta and calcium-channel blockers (high blood pressure), multiple anti-epileptics, and IIRC one antihistamine that had to be special-ordered from Canada.

The migraine-specific triptan drugs, when they were introduced, were a revolution: instead of blunting the pain you were short-circuiting the migraine cycle.   I have hopes that one of these three drugs will be a similar game-changer for prevention.  Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I'm overdue for a Botox treatment; will schedule tomorrow.



mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Donald Trump's Fourth of July post is a video of a mostly -- I'll be honest, I quit thirty seconds in, and at that point it was entirely -- white choir and band performing an anthem to Trump's campaign slogan.

This isn't an uptime "We like Ike" ditty, it's an incantation.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/882186896285282304

So. We are living in a fascist state, we know where they're going, and I don't know how to stop them. Here's a better-written anthem as a chaser.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Women Entrepeneurs Speak Out on Sexual Harassment

Wendy Dent, 43, whose company Cinemmerse makes an app for smart watches, said she was sent increasingly flirtatious messages by a start-up adviser, Marc Canter, as she was trying to start her company in 2014. Mr. Canter, who had founded a software company in the 1980s that became known as Macromedia, initially agreed to help her find a co-founder. But over time, his messages became sexual in nature.

In one message, reviewed by The Times, he wrote that she was a “sorceress casting a spell.” In another, he commented on how she looked in a blue dress and added, “Know what I’m thinking? Why am I sending you this — in private?”

Mr. Canter, in an interview, said that Ms. Dent “came on strong to me, asking for help” and that she had used her sexuality publicly. He said he disliked her ideas so he behaved the way he did to make her go away.

As is now usual in harassment cases, once women are bold enough -- at considerable risk -- to name names and circumstances, more witnesses show up to say "Oh, me too."
At least five women have said "Yeah, I had the same problem with Dave McClure", and other have spoken up about Marc Canter.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The National Cathedral is debating what to do about windows celebrating Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson that were donated by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1953.

Here are two of the Jackson windows.

stonewall jackson depicted as saint

That is, without a doubt, the iconography of sainthood. Jackson is being welcomed into Heaven with the words "So he passed over and all the trumpets sounded for him", which is from Pilgrim's Progress.

Stonewall Jackson was a 'kind' slaveowner (yes, sneer quotes) who sold his slaves after the beginning of the civil war because "the excitement of the times proved so demoralizing to them". (A grandson of one of his slaves erected a memorial window to him. People are complicated.) He fought in defense of slavery.

He was not a fucking saint. The Daughters of the Confederacy donated windows depicting him as such. (The National Cathedral removed the Confederate Battle flag from these windows and from the Robert E. Lee windows, which have the same issues, last year.) A cathedral window should not be glorifying him.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
... but sent to it, this biting and incisive letter from its copy editors.

After we were compared to dogs urinating on fire hydrants when we edited stories, in an internal report that called for the elimination of "low-value editing" and made it all but clear which stages of editing this referred to — so much so that it became a running joke among the copy desks for months ("How's the low-value editing going in your section today?") — along with the report's implication that copy editing was merely finding "easily identifiable errors, such as spelling and grammar mistakes";
 
After some of us were recruited for "editing tests" to streamline the process, or, as it turned out, figure out how to make our own jobs obsolete;


After we were told that to remain employed, we would have to apply for new "strong editor" positions meant to be a hybrid of the two types of editors at The Times, backfielders and copy editors, and realized only copy editors had to be reevaluated categorically;

 

After we were told that this "restructuring" would also reduce our numbers by more than half;

After completing a first round of interviews, some held by interviewers who clearly had not even read our résumés and cover letters, and competing against the very colleagues we are leaning on in these times;


Read the whole damn thing.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
A good WWI poem, to take the last out of your mouth.

 When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“Yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I was looking for the text of a song I sang (as part of a chorus) in college; it was a setting of Sara Teasdale's "Pierrot stands in a garden".  I fell over a 19-teens anthology that is entirely poems about Pierrot.    I remember reading Murder Must Advertise and having no idea at all who Pierrot, Pierrette, and Columbine were.   Why did the Commedia dell'arte characters make so little of a lasting mark in American culture?  (Or, can it be, in my head?)

edit: I have just run into the section of WW1 poems about Pierrot.  Bizarre.

PIERROT AT WAR
A Year ago in Carnival
We danced till break of day;
A year ago in Carnival
The boulevards were gay;
And roses shook the whispering air,
Like a great sibilant soft fanfare.
 
In Carnival, in Carnival,
A Prince of Magic comes,
To the sound of fifes, and the sound of horns,
And the sound of little drums.

A year ago in Carnival,
The lamps along the quays
Lay softer on the misty night
Than stars in leafy trees,
And down the ribboned sparkling street
Pierrot ran on twinkling feet.
 
Ah year! — There is no Carnival:
The north burns dusky red,
And on the white of Pierrot's brow
Is a long scar instead;
While ever the muttering runs
From the bleeding lips of the guns.
 
This year, this year at Carnival 
A Prince of Magic comes, 
With blood-red crest against the sky 
And a snarl of angry drums. 
 
Maxwell Struthers Hurt

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I'm reading about the Summerland fire disaster (a resort on the Isle of Man burned down, killing 50) and I got to the list of special baths offered.

At street level, there was the remedial entrance for persons using the aerotone, sauna, steam, hot, cold plunge, slipper, Vichy douche, massage, Russian vapour and Turkish baths. Some facilities on this level, such as an aerotone bath, did not appear in the original plans and were added during construction because they had proved to be profitable additions to swimming baths in mainland Britain.

Aerotone baths (do watch the video!) were a sort of early Jacuzzi with bubbles and a cold rinse at the end.  As far as I can tell, a slipper bath is a plain ol' bathtub with one sloped side for reclining.   A Vichy douche was, at Vichy, a four-hand massage under a hot shower of Vichy water.  At Summerland, it was presumably just a massage under a hot shower, which still sounds swell to me.  I do not know the difference between a sauna, a Russian vapour bath, and a Turkish bath. 

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
From Woman's World, August, 1936 p. 24, but this time not nasty. 


To begin at the beginning, here are two quick sandwich breads -Chocolate Bread which you will find perfectly grand for cream cheese or marmalade sandwiches, and Date-Nut-Orange Bread.

Chocolate Bread
3 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter or shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
2 squares (ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar and when thoroughly blended moisten with the beaten egg. shortening and milk,. adding these gradually and mixing well. Finally add the chocolate and when well blended turn into a greased loaf-pan and bake in a moderate oven-350 degrees F.--about one and a quarter hours.

Date-Nut-Orange Bread

2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon soda [baking soda, I assume, not washing]
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups graham flour
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup chopped nut-meats
2/3 cup pitted dates, cut small
Grated rind 1 orange
2 cups sour milk
1/2 cup molasses

Sift together the white hour. soda, salt and baking powder. Add the graham flour, sugar, nut-meats,
dates and orange rind and moisten with the blended sour milk and molasses. Turn into one large well greased bread pan and bake in a moderate oven-350 degrees F.-about one and a quarter hours.

...
Another variety of the rolled sandwich is the one where buttered fresh bread is rolled around a spray of watercress. a short stalk of celery (plain or stuffed) or a tip of cooked asparagus, any of these being first dipped into French dressing for greater flavor.
[I've seen recipes where the asparagus was dipped in hollandaise. Mm.]

...
Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber: White bread with filling of finely minced well drained cucumber seasoned with onion juice, lemon juice and minced parsley.

Rolled Mint: Cream butter for sandwiches then work into it very finely minced mint-1 teaspoon to 2/3 cup butter.

Peach Cream: Spread white, graham or whole wheat bread first with softened butter then with cream cheese., next with peach (or apricot) marmalade. Nuts if you like but they are good enough without. Serve either as open or closed sandwiches.

Tropical: Use white bread, spread with creamed butter then with currant jelly into which shredded coconut, plain or toasted, has been beaten with a fork. Top with thinly sliced bananas sprinkled with lemon juice. Serve either open or closed.

Date Nut: Thin slices of pound cake or sponge cake with filling of chopped dates and nuts (in equal proportions) moistened with orange juice.

Campfire Sandwiches

Split, toast and butter round sandwich rolls. Fill with piping hot slices of sautéed canned corned beef hash, top with a little prepared horseradish, mustard or mustard pickle. Serve dill pickles on the side.

Roquefort-Ham for the Slag Party*

Combine finely minced ham with one-fourth its bulk each of mashed roquefort cheese and chopped sweet pickles. Moisten with French dressing or mayonnaise. Use buttered whole wheat or rye bread or pumpernickel, topping the filling, if desired, with thinly sliced, well chilled, seasoned fresh tomatoes.

Century Club

Use three slices buttered toast for each sandwich. Arrange on the first, lettuce, crisp bacon and sliced tomato moistened with French dressing or mayonnaise. Cover with second slice of toast, placing on this lettuce, cold tongue and minced mustard pickle. Top with remaining toast slice, cut through to form two triangles and garnish with pickle fans.

* okay, it's really Stag Party, but I prefer the OCR version. 
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 From Woman's World, June, 1934, p. 13.
Magic Mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few grains cayenne

Place ingredients in a pint jar in order given. Fasten top of jar tightly and shake vigorously for one or two minutes. If a heavier consistency is desired place jar in refrigerator to chill before using.

There is worse to come.
Mineral Oil Dressing

2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups mineral oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper or paprika

Beat egg yolks until thick gradually adding lemon juice, then blend in oil carefully -- as dressing thickens, oil may be added more quickly. Season and chill before using.

This dressing is particularly desirable for laxative diets, also for reducing diets as the mineral oil has no nutritional value.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 From  Woman's World, August, 1937.

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons glycerine
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard 
1/2 cup vinegar.

Combine butter and flour in double boiler, add milk gradually and cook, stirring constantly, as for white sauce.  Beat egg yolks and glycerine slightly, then add remaining ingredients, stir into first mixture, and continue cooking until thick and smooth.   Remove from fire and pour slowly over stiffly beaten egg whites, beating while pouring.  When cold cover and keep in refrigerator.

This is for making a mixed vegetable salad, or for "moistening" chopped raw vegetables for use as a sandwich spread.  It probably wasn't as dreadful as I think it sounds, but, Lord, it doesn't sound good.

e:  Five or six pages later:  "Surprise the family with delicious Grape-Nuts mousse".  I'll say.  It's an Italian meringue with cream, grape nuts, and vanilla beaten in, then frozen.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
A couple of months ago I built two Ikea bookshelves to put behind my husband's and my comfy chairs, so that we could get temporary control over the stacks of books on the floor.  After putting the shelves together, I didn't have the energy to clear a space to move them into.  They've stood just behind the chairs at the kitchen table for those two months.

Today we bravely moved one of the bookshelves into place, which required .... coping with the stacks of books on the floor.  Which stacks included magazines (do I want that copy of Threads?  Should I save it out of the recycling in case another GBACG member wants it?  ARGH DECISIONS) and random things that had gotten trapped amongst the stacks.  (Hey, THAT's what happened to that backup phone power cell.)

I am physically shaking.  But one bag of garbage and a respectable chunk of recycling are going OUT of the house, one bookshelf is in place and has shelves up so that I can put things away, and I can get to the kitchen table without eeling around a bookshelf.

I'm still shaking, though.

e: I installed Onepass before all this started and began the agonizing task of moving all my passwords from Chrome to 1pass, upping their security along the way.  I was a proper good geek and rolled physical dice to generate a passphrase from www.diceware.com.   Along the way, I changed my uncrackable but completely unrememberable Google password to a passphrase.  So that was another thing.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The (sadly) typical historical food blog runs something like "Here's a picture and transcription of an authentic recipe.  Now here's my version, which substitutes baking powder for hartshorn, cinnamon for grains of paradise, and halves the sugar to suit modern tastes!"

Ivan Day is not that blogger.  He uses period techniques, ingredients, and tools to reproduce the historical recipes as accurately is possible.  One of his specialties is perfect reproductions of the elaborate set pieces of sugar, dough, and jelly that were part of upper-class European cuisine from the medieval period forward.
Enjoy!  I have ordered his Cooking in Europe:1650-1850 and am eagerly anticipating it.

Edit: DO take the time to watch the video of a flummery in motion.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 
A young couple with a baby on the way are victimized at every turn by their habit of credulously taking the lowest bid from unknowns. Shock horror!

No, really.

We Bought a Crack House
It was a crumbling Parkdale rooming house, populated by drug users and squatters and available on the cheap. We were cash-strapped, desperate to move and hemmed in by a hot market. Five years, three contractors and $1.1 million later, our home reno nightmare is finally over.

This was November 2010, and Julian and I were living in a handsome but cramped two-bedroom detached with our two-year-old son, Oliver, on Elm Grove Avenue. That house had been a flip job, hastily renovated by the previous owner, and we had bought impulsively, anxious to upsize from our 900-square-foot condo. We soon discovered that it had a slew of issues, the main one being the rats that congregated in our crawl space, scratching and scurrying at all hours and providing fresh fodder for our nightmares. We wanted out.

You'd think these people would have learned a valuable lesson. Ha, ha, you fools!

Our budget was $560,000, but nothing came on the market at that price, so our enterprising young agent, eager to kick-start her business, began knocking on doors in the neighbourhood. Eventually, she met an elderly couple who explained that they owned several properties, including the grande dame, which they’d consider selling. They suggested $480,000, based on their most recent Municipal Property Assessment Corporation report, seemingly unaware of Toronto’s scorching market and the fact that MPAC generally assesses below market value. We needed to move fast, Julian said, before they put it on the market.

That night, six hours after Julian had called me at work, we submitted a bid of $480,000 without conditions. To our surprise, the owners refused it outright, evidently realizing they’d under-quoted us. We pushed our offer to our limit of $560,000, and they accepted. I was thrilled. Then the adrenalin wore off, and the gravity of what we’d done sank in. We had just spent more than a half a million dollars on a house I had never seen.

I'll let you pick your own favorite quotes.   I'm pretty sure mine is

We considered cutting the electricity, changing the locks or just starting the demolition with the tenants inside, but it didn’t feel right.

The kindly [personal profile] movingfinger  has linked me another article about the couple's hapless victimization by their habit of impulse-buying real estate, as if each successive house were an adorable kitten that had showed up on their doorstep.  And you'll be happy to know that \totally sincere\ liberals have started a gofundme to help with their cruel, cruel situation.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 My thirty-years-agone Spanish fluency has returned to my lips well enough to talk to the Spanish-only-speaking gardener.  And I don't mean point and grunt, I mean "Could you dig this up?" and "They told me it would die", as well as understanding the gardener's questions about what to do, and remembering past tense and conditional.

This makes me ridiculously happy.  I'm sure my accent is still terrible, but at least I can converse on basic subjects.

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