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So this girl in my room (age unknown - guessing between 24 and 35 so not THAT young, but it makes a better title), has been teaching English here and there and traveling around.

She started with the insistence that they do NOT speak spanish in basque country. Implication is that they don't even know Spanish. We'll see. My emails in Spanish have been answered in Spanish.

She also then vehemently insisted (which led to her mentioning the English teaching background) that Basque and Celtic are related. Basque is not Indo-European, Celtic is. Then she was quibbling about whether Celtic is a dead language. When I said there's a revival in Wales and parts of Ireland still speak Irish, she started making the point that languages evolve, so she doesn't mean the several modern languages, only the ancient original Celtic.

Still that's not related to Basque either.

She said her Irish friends talk about their having come from Spain and I did allow that the Book of Invasions mentions such. Quite likely the Irish are related to the Basques from a pre-Celtic time. The book of invasions involves 5 waves of invasions after all. (btw when I had a coworker from Dublin he insists they were taught the Book of Invasions as history in school)

So sure the people in the remaining Celtic countries - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Man (there's another, what am I forgetting?) may be biologically related to the Basques (, but the Celtic language is definitely indo european, look at the numbers! (

Next she'll be telling me the basque druids built stonehenge? She knows cuz like she's an English teacher!
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A pair of puffins standing guard over a hot water bottle.
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I get these daily horoscope emails, that usually are unrelated to anything to do with that day, but any way... the subject line is just one point extracted....

Today I keep consistently reading it as :

Today you want to be annoying your peers

it actually says:

Today you want to be among your peers

The first one sounds more fun today...
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Soon it will be time enough to reassert what you think is necessary, but give it 3 days at least, perhaps a week.

It's like you're the ones who can't remember! There's been almost nothing but public vilification for many years now. Allow a time out where people can remember the other parts, the time before all that. It's customary in our culture to go easy on the newly dead, allow at least 3 days.

I've read comparisons to Hitler and feminist rant about how evil patriarchy just covers up all allegations. Suggestions that people wanting to just celebrate the music and the talent that created it are what's so wrong with our society.

To me what is wrong with our society is this obsession with seeing things in such black and white terms and rushing to judge others badly. I challenge you to find anyone who hasn't done both good and bad in their lifetimes, who doesn't have both good and bad qualities, whether you love or hate that person.

Some people manage to do both in a hugely larger than life way. Neither one negates the other, and looking at both shows more of who a person was, but we've had 20 years of mostly just the hate and mocking of a troubled soul.

Lets pass him through to the next phase with some acknowledgment and appreciation of the good bits. We will surely return to more negative views and to all the other pressing issues of the day, the wars, the environment, the economy, etc soon.

I never had MTV so I hardly saw any of the videos and I was always mixed in opinion of the 80s music, but I remember and honor the intensity of growing up in the midst of girls his same age who adored him in all earnest innocence and passion.

It's not glorifying someone who _might_ have done horrible things as an adult. It's remembering a child being loved by other children, and he needs that now.

You'll have your chance to go back to hating later.
treecat: (Default)

For awhile this is the only song the black girls at my school would sing on bus trips.

This is what Barbara wanted to turn 13 for.

And this is adorable also....

Michael dumps Diana Ross in 1971 :)


Jun. 25th, 2009 04:17 pm
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I'll always remember the girls on the school bus on field trips singing "Ben" so raptly, and that my best friend at that time said she was happy to turn 13 so that she was old enough to be in love with you.
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"I remember before they had electric phones they had steam-powered phones. You had to fire them up and get a head of steam up before you could make a phone call

And then before that they had tin cans with wires strung all over the city. It would go to a central switching office. The lady would tie two wires together and crank and talk.

You tell young people today that they won't believe you."

a voice mail from [ profile] vakratunda who surely is old enough to remember this clearly :)
on the other hand, I'm young enough that I'm not sure I believe him ;)

Though I have seen pictures of central switching offices and steampunks would steam power anything.

a bit much

Jun. 19th, 2009 05:55 pm
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As the URL says:;

The town of Bozeman Montana wants job applicants to disclose not just user id's even, but passwords for networking and email.

Would you apply for a job that said that?
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[ profile] bellacrow is using her journal right now to pass info about what is happening in Iran. A bunch of it is repeats of tweets from #iranelection, but some of it is links to interesting articles in various places. -- so if you're interested in knowing a little more of what's happening, you can look there.

(yah a lot of you already are on her list, or may be sick of the subject already, but a bunch of you aren't and may want to know.)
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Never have been able to get the local NBC (11) with the converter box, this has not changed.

Now that they've converted ABC (kgo 7) has also disappeared.

I called the number their radio station had mentioned for people with problems.

The woman said that there are a lot of people who can't get them any more.

They are broadcasting on lowered power while they are still doing stuff to remove the analog transmitters. Then they will move the digital ones to where the analog ones were and boost the power.

She says a lot more people aren't receiving them than they thought that would happen to.

Supposedly it will be back in a week or so.

My other findings of some minor annoyance with the converter is:

a) if the sound on the converter is down low, or off (as it was for one episode of Eastenders taped while I was gone) then the vcr doesn't get the sound and you can't turn it up.

b) the inactivity timer and the events timer don't communicate. If you had the converter turned on to the same channel before a timed event starts (or you are taping something long) the converter may just decide to turn itself off during something you have programmed it to show for taping. (Happened at a critical moment during Lost In Austen, luckily I tried to watch it late the same night and noticed in time to tape the early am rebroadcast)

c) whenever it switches on it tries to download program information and won't show program until it's done. If you are sitting there, you can hit cancel to stop it, but if you are using timer and are trying to tape something. You'll get this first.

Overall it's working ok. It'd be better to get ABC and NBC back. I just have to learn to work around the converter box quirks.
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Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?...

Ursula K Le Guin (b. 1929)

1 High-Brow, -11 Violent, -5 Experimental and 39 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Peaceful, Traditional and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is definitely one of the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers of all times. Her most famous fantasy work to date is the Earthsea suite of novels and short stories, in which Le Guin created not only one of the most believable societies in fantasy fiction, but also managed to describe a school for wizards almost three decades before Harry Potter. Although often categorized as written for young adults, these books have entertained and challenged readers of all ages since their publication.

Le Guin is no stranger to literary experiments (see for example Always Coming Home(1985)), but much of her story-telling is quite traditional. In fact, she makes a point of returning to older forms of story-telling, which, at her best, enables her to create something akin to myth. One shouldn't confuse myth with faerytale, though. Nothing is ever simplified in Le Guin's world, as she relentlessly explores ethical problems and the moral choices that her characters must make, as must we all. While being one of those writers who will allow you to escape to imaginary worlds, she is also one who will prompt you to return to your actual life, perhaps a little wiser than you used to be.

You are also a lot like Susan Cooper.

If you want some action, try Michael Moorcock.

If you'd like a challenge, try your exact opposite, C S Lewis.

Your score

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you're at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn't mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received 1 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received -11 points, making you more Peaceful than Violent. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you aren't, and you don't, then you are peaceful as defined here. At their best, peaceful people are the ones who encourage dialogue and understanding as a means of solving conflicts. At their worst, they are standing passively by as they or third parties are hurt by less scrupulous individuals.

Experimental vs. Traditional

You received -5 points, making you more Traditional than Experimental. Your position on this scale indicates if you're more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, traditional people don't change winning concepts, favouring storytelling over empty poses. At their worst, they are somewhat narrow-minded.

Cynical vs. Romantic

You received 39 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you'll find the sentence "you are also a lot like x" above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

Author picture from

Take Which fantasy writer are you?
at HelloQuizzy

treecat: (Default)
oops I said SW Bulgaria is near Greece and Turkey, that would be SE Bulgaria.

The west is near Macedonia (FYROM) not Turkey.
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Is about 1/5 the land area of Cyprus and has about 1/2 the population.,_California

It's history is not documented nearly as far back as Cyprus's is, but was apparently never part of the Egyptian, Persian, Greek(makedonian), Assyrian, Roman, Byzantine, or Ottoman empires.

However [ profile] vakratunda called me a little earlier today to say that in the 1800s people who had a choice and some means preferred Oakland to San Francisco as a much nicer place to live.

I'm biased. I've lived in Oakland and not in San Francisco. Given a choice now, I'd be more likely to pick Oakland than San Francisco, IFF I could pick which parts of Oakland.

I find Oakland so often maligned. I remember even in the early 80s that people would assume you were going to say something bad if you mentioned Oakland. Unless it was about sports.

The famous Getrude Stein quote about Oakland "There's no there there." Is typically used as a putdown.
But actually it was just her way of phrasing "You can't go home again". That going back as an adult to a place you lived as a child isn't really possible. It's changed as much as you have. It's not a frozen slice of your memory.
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Cyprus does have a history that goes back 10,000 years.

Birthplace of Aphrodite and important source of copper, it has been allied with the Minoans/Mycenaeans/Phoenicians/Assyrians/Egyptians(under Pharaohs)/Persians/Greeks(under Alexander/Ptolemaic Egyptians/Romans/Byzantines/English/Franks/Venetians/Ottomans - apparently often picking a new overlord to get rid of the last one. At one point it was even a gift from Julius Caesar to Cleopatra, but then Augustus wanted it back.
While it's land area is 20 times Malta's (about 9250 sq km or 0.2 Californias(0.4 Oregons)), it's population is only twice as big as Malta's (about 800,000 or between San Francisco & San Jose).

Google Map's version of Cyprus is very much a black hole. Major areas like Paphos show up completely empty in the map view, yet the satellite view clearly shows a city is there.

View the Map

So far Window on Cyprus is the most informative site I've found even if it does have a page of alien abduction reports and doesn't seem to have been updated much in the last few years.
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So interesting little difference at starbucks - no pots of milks/cremes to add to your coffee. I asked for a little milk and they added some of their hot milk. Unfortunately one reason I wanted it was to cool it down a little.

Late afternoon - between ND cathedral and the hens and bunnies -
While I was in Notre Dame my cell phone vibrated. Didn't answer it then. When I got outside it said I had two voicemeils but I couldn't remember the code to get them. I tried calling our room again ( I had a bit earlier) and that wasn't working properly. It would tell me how long I had (prepaid) and then just be silent... perhaps I wasn't waiting long enough for the call?

Went in the crypt under Notre Dame which I hadn't done before. Don't know if it wasn't there, or I just didn't know. It's got the foundations of some gallo-roman era buildings, and some 1700's ones (foundling's hospital). There are panels around the wall showing stuff about the development of Paris, from just the island w/ Notre Dame way back (before any ND), then in Gallo-Roman times the city expanded to the south, in medieval it was on both sides and had a wall...

I wonder about a city with enough foundlings you have to build a big hospital for them.

Esoteric Bookstore-
It was raining as I was going to the bus stop. Not too hard mostly, but at one point when I just didn't want anymore rain I popped in the nearest store, which was an esoteric bookstore. They had quite an assortment of books on Eastern stuff, shamanism, astrology, tarot, kaballah, and assorted other things, but nothing that I could see about neopagans or witchcraft. Just curious. Popped back out in a few minutes and it wasn't raining as much.

Luxembourg Gardens
- only passed by twice on the bus, didn't go in. Does look familiar (from 40 years ago)

So then I headed back to the hotel my mother was here. We talked about the Night of the Museum stuff, but the ones we could work up any interest in weren't the same ones, and I had a horrid headache, so we wornd up not going to any museums at night.

On tv there was some odd Quebec comedy that had subtitles in French even though it was in French. I guess like they put subtitles on our tv whenever there are Jamaicans talking?

Today -
If we believe it's supposed to rain pretty much all day at least half the time, and clear in the evening. Yesterday it started raining earlier than they said it would, so we'll see.

Guess I'll carry the umbrella and look for some other museums to visit. Got a bit of a headache again, it maybe time to change my contacts, but I'm thinking of wearing my glasses on the plane tomorrow, perhaps I'll just wear them today too.

Tomorrow -
early departure to get to plane home
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Embedding Disabled for this one, just go! Especially if you want a taste of bells in unison

the 'chasing bad spirits' thing is so definitely an over-simplification.

John Filcich's 'Culture Corner' presentation at Kolo Festival this year he was talking about (and showing video and pics of) his Croatian villages version of this. He mentioned that they were supposed to walk 'bovinely' and crash into each other on purpose. Which you could tell the boys really liked doing. In the Bulgarian ones they generally are presenting much more rhythmically and orderly, but this may be a side effect of the stagifying (these videos are festivals involving groups from different villages) last year I had found clips of some kukeri street mayhem.
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Had the chance thurs and fri to see Lee Otterholt teaching. Discovered several of my favorite dances are ones he's responsible for teaching/spreading/bringing/making. His style points out stylistic detail, but in such a good-humored way that you want to do it. I just really like the teaching style. If you get a chance to take a class he's teaching go for it. Increases the chance I might sometime go on a tour that has him along as a teacher (Jim Gold & Mel Mann both have him do that).

here's some video's of him teaching in Sacto a couple years ago

Valle Kosovare - from Kosovo yumminess the combo of the music and the feel of the steps it just never feels long enough

Mia Kori - Thracian Greek :) ! the music starts about half way through (well besides him singing the instructions). Another one I instantly fell in love with. Not all his comments on styling are in this video.

Koritsa (Albanian) this video is cute because it shows how the woman who ends up on the end never quite gets it, but she manages to keep up enough - moving in the right direction

Can't find a video of Krivatvorena, not that it necessarily is a favorite, but I've finally got the outline instead of refiguring it out each time, and the pace is so manic it would be a serious contrast to the above.

(and no I'm not in any of the above videos, wasn't at the events these were taped at)
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So I've been playing some of the games that come in XP where it matches you to (an)other player(s) on the net.

I especially like Spades. It's an old favorite game I rarely get to play with others. I hadn't previously played partners before, I like it, at least when my partner isn't playing like a moron. Starting to think I might actually really like bridge if I got a chance to play that.

A few things odd about it. You are playing with 0-3 other real people. The game starts with 4 real people, and if any drop out they get replaced with a computer player. Drop out rates vary.

I think the people who drop out as soon as they or their partner takes a trick on a nil (-100 points) are silly. The best games I've played that's happened to both sides and there is a lot of back and forth to who is ahead.

I like playing with real people better than computers for the most part. Because they don't absolutely follow the algorithms of the computer players. They can pull out surprises. If you end up with a game where 2 humans are playing 2 computers, the humans will win if they actually know how to play. (I play on 'expert' so most do play ok, but it's self-selection so some people are total fools or jerks.)

Playing against people, especially when my partner is a real person, I feel obligated to play the best I possibly can. I get really offended when my partner bids double-nil (nil without looking at the cards +/-200 points) under most circumstances because there is a greater than 25% chance that they have cards that make it actually impossible to go nil. Or if they bid nil with too many spades or really high ones.

All you know about the people is what language their OS is. There is a dropdown list of things you can say. I understand the reasons they want to keep it that anonymous and communication limited, but it is odd to have to try to express what you mean from the list. It's missing many things I'd like to say. Sometimes it's a little interesting to see what you can do with what is there, but somethings are just missing. With no tone of voice to make clear when you resort to sarcasm, only context might explain it.
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I can put it to pass-through if I hold the button and wait long enough. There is a delay.

Also if the vcr is set to go to an analog channel and the convertor has no setting. For some reason it doesn't turn on and screw up the signal after all. Odd because it does do that when the tv is on.

So perhaps waiting till June to lose NBC is ok
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Seize the Second!

Happy 1234567890 !!!

On Friday, 13 February 2009, at 3:31pm and 30 seconds Pacific Standard Time
The Unix epoch time (seconds since midnight Jan 1, 1970) will be 1234567890 !

A merry second to all :)


Not in PST? see for the time in your locale.
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