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Transitioning into liminal space

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(no subject) [Jun. 19th, 2018|09:37 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |frustratedfrustrated]

Regarding the separation of families at the border:

"“I don’t know how this could be justified either legally or morally,” said Napolitano, who led the Department of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013 during the Obama administration. “The notion that you’re going to somehow create a deterrent to illegal immigration through this kind of policy – we’ve seen this before and it just doesn’t work. And it’s cruel.”


I agree. The things is, while this kind of deterrent doesn't work, deterrent policies contingent on high risk of death have been in place for some time. This podcast series talks about the fact that funneling illegal immigrants though dangerous land where some significant number will die is intentional. A government report noted that one metric of program success is an increased number of illegal immigrants dying in the desert.


I'm not saying these things are directly comparable. Just that immigration policy has been morally bankrupt for a long time. This is just a new kind of moral bankruptcy.
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(no subject) [Jun. 19th, 2018|08:12 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |accomplishedaccomplished]

I'm using the spare room in the condo for both the large clothes drying rack I snagged from the garbage (because why pay for clothes drying, put additional wear on clothing, and use unnecessary energy when I don't have to?) and now for bike work. My work stand folks up nicely and goes in the closet when I don't need it.

I found the nasty little piece of glass that had worked through the tire and got it out. It was mostly embedded in the tire so I had to work at it with pliers from both the inside and outside. I tried to patch the inner tube too, but I had apparently forgotten how to it correctly and failed. I put my spare in instead and will need to buy a new spare. (I read some tutorials about it later and realized what I was doing wrong for next time.) I put the new grips on the handlebars too. Wrestling the old ones off was so difficult that I ended up using a utility knife to just cut the second one into pieces. The new ones went on a little more easily, though still with great effort. I had to cut them shorter to make them fit in blatant disregard of the safety warnings to only allow competent mechanics to install them and to never modify bicycle components. If you never hear from me again because I was killed by improperly mounted and modified bicycle hand grips, my love goes to you all.

I had a nice ride to work today with a tailwind, that near-mythical creature, with me almost the whole way. I also tried a minor diversion near the end to avoid a bridge with heavy traffic and uneven road where it's joined with the roadway and will be going that way in the future.
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(no subject) [Jun. 18th, 2018|10:15 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , , ]

Having just taken my morning medicine, the remaining pills suggest that I did not take any of my medicine yesterday. I didn't feel any withdrawal from the Escitalopram (Lexapro), nor was I feeling unusually depressed or anxious, but perhaps that's why I was feeling kind of introverty. Maybe the good stuff the rest of the weekend, and my better mood in general, kept things from being worse.

I went to Custer Street Fair with N, our former housemate, on Saturday. It's a street fair that covers a couple of blocks with the typical food and goods. One branch was a sort of Ren Fair Row of vendors whose work I've seen at Bristol Faire. I bought a metal hair spiral from one of them. I'd somehow never realized how uncomplicated those are to put in or that they stay in on their own. I was hesitant to spend $25, but it matches the colors in my hair nicely and I think I will end up wearing it quite a lot. In fact, I wore it, with my hair in a half-tail, to brunch with Danae on Sunday. (That was the first time we'd been out for brunch in a long time and the experience made me happy; her schedule usually has her sleeping in later than that.)

I also ate a (small) bucket of poutine from a stand that sells fries, poutine, or nachos by the bucket. Dessert (if ice cream at one in the afternoon counts as dessert) was an "ultimate" cone consisting of vanilla and chocolate twist soft-serve dipped in chocolate shell and tons of sprinkles and deposited in a waffle cone. It was *so* good.

Today, there's a launch of some kind of rebranding campaign at work. There was free breakfast, and there will be free lunch as well as a visit from miniature horses. Swag at breakfast included some buttons, and a deck of playing cards with facts about the company. I impressed a coworker by showing her the skills I picked up through time wasted at Magic: the Gathering, shuffling the deck in the air both upside down and with card bottoms facing out and away from me. One of many thoroughly useless skills I possess.

I got a flat tire about a mile from work this morning and had to walk my bike the rest of the way. I made it on time, albeit ten or fifteen minutes behind my usual time. I'll take it home by train and patch the tube, and replace the handlebar grips while I'm at it. The ones it has have long-since been worn smooth and are coming apart so I bought new ones when I was last at the shop.
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Factorio [Jun. 18th, 2018|09:32 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |geekygeeky]

It seems that even among the programming geeks I know who like Factorio, I'm an aberration in that I see Factorio as a nice place to start, but it ought to be *way* more complicated. I've gotten back, off and on, to another Factorio game with all the production process mods I was using before. The name of my old saved game was "A Special Kind of Hell," after a forum commentor who described his experience of using all the mods I have installed My current one is called "What is That Thing For?" since I'm continually having to consult references to figure out what all these weird byproducts I end up with do and/or how to dispose of them.

I do wish I had someone to play with, but I'm so nervous about just asking random people I don't know on forums and then having to commit to specific times and maybe end up slowing each other down...

It's a big sandbox to play by myself in, and it would be more fun with a person or two I know to play with, but I'm having fun regardless.

That said, my mental state is better enough that maybe I'll want to get back to real-world geekery and start working on my electronics again. I have a frequency counter kit to solder together.
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(no subject) [Jun. 15th, 2018|08:48 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[State of Being |hopefulhopeful]

Being away from Facebook all the time has encouraged me to concentrate more on interactions that are meaningful to me and productive, both online and off. I've been talking with a couple people in messenger (I can leave that open in its own window without having to look at Facebook proper). I talked with Dee about going to Genderqueer Chicago together next week. I'm looking forward to my outing with Danae this evening instead of stressing about time. I'm thinking about social plans for the weekend instead of wanting to be a hermit. Good stuff.


I met with my doctor yesterday. She increased my dose of Bupropion (Wellbutrin) slightly, gave me a referral to occupational therapy for my wrist and prescribed a splint for sleeping, gave me a referral to psychiatry since my former psychiatrist has moved. That was productive! She thinks the beta blockers my therapist mentioned as a possibility might not necessarily be helpful for the kind of problems I was having at the party I left early a while back, but if a general reduction of anxiety/depression from the increased Wellbutrin doesn't address that, maybe I can talk to the psychiatrist about it.


I've unfriended a good number of people on Facebook because of worldview and politics, but today was the first time I've done it in Livejournal. Unexpected, but when someone states that a group you are a member of are crybabies, whiners, insane, deluded, losers, and off-the-rails crazy, I don't see a point in dialog.

And he thinks the Democrats are too far left. I saw someone write that The US doesn't really have a left at this point; we have a center and a right. I basically agree. I was sad that Sanders didn't get the presidential nomination (though I was happy to vote for H. Clinton).


Since the university I work at is a medical college, it doesn't have subscriptions to a bunch of stuff I'd use for researching my own stuff, like Ancestry or plat map databases. This morning, though, I found that we have online access to the New England Journal of Medicine from 1812 to the present. I'm sure there's some fun stuff in there! In the July 1818 issue, for instance, we have an article called "Experiments and Observations upon the State of the Air in the Fever Hospitals of Cork, at a Time When They Were Crowded with Patients, Labouring under Febrile Contagion." There's some interesting scientific and cultural history!


I biked to work and back yesterday, and then to the shelter and back for volunteering. The shelter is only a two-and-a-half mile trip, but altogether that makes for 31.5 miles for the day and, with this morning's commute 100.2 for the week. It'll be my highest mileage week this year. The major issue right now is sore butt, that should be resolved soon as I get used to being in the saddle more again.
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(no subject) [Jun. 13th, 2018|01:20 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , ]

I enjoyed the talk I just want to here at work on the history of the LGBTQ rights movement. The speaker was John D’Emilio, professor emeritus of gender & women's studies and history at University of Illinois at Chicago. He commented that he was reducing into 35 minutes material that took a whole semester when he was teaching it so it was going to be pretty broad. It was still informative and I'm glad I went. I wish I'd had my phone with me for a photo of the beautiful array of cupcakes in pride colors.

I also just signed up to walk in the Chicago pride parade with Rush. I've photographed it a few times, but I've never walked in it. I'd like to have the experience. I'm thinking really hard about having my hair in pigtails. ...I think I'm gonna do it.
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(no subject) [Jun. 13th, 2018|11:37 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[State of Being |okayokay]

I ate a bug on my ride home yesterday. Yuck! Ick ick! I could feel it in my throat for eight miles or so until I got home and had some yogurt. My back is still aggravated; it's fine when riding (though it hurts a little when I stop and put my foot down to stand up) but is sore while working. Bodies could really be a bit better constructed, you know?

I finally made a doctor appointment. I tried a few weeks ago, but the request interface offers you the choice of whether you prefer email or phone, and I always check email and they always call me. I don't answer my phone if I can avoid it, so the appointment doesn't get made. I managed to get setup with the online patient portal and made an appointment for tomorrow without having to use the phone.

I want to talk about beta-blockers as-needed for social anxiety, physical therapy or some other kind of treatment for my wrist pain (since the MRI showed nothing), and get a referral to a psychiatrist since the one I was seeing has moved away.

I'm going to a talk at work today about the history of the LGBT movement. That should be interesting and it includes lunch!

I was talking to a coworker a while back about Erving Goffman's Presentation of the Self in Every Day Life and how I wish I'd had a copy when I was a kid to help me understand how social interaction works. Today, I found a copy in a pile of books that someone left in the library, along with a couple of our discards that someone had apparently grabbed and then set down somewhere. If no one claims them, I'll take it home; it would be nice to have a copy to reference, especially if I ever have kids of my own.

I ordered a couple of books to read. Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built sounds fascinating; just the sort of thing I've thought about for a long time and enjoy exploring through photography of repurposed buildings. First (because it arrived first), I'm reading A Burglar's Guide to the City. A friend on Facebook recommeded it and it was a near instant buy. It's about the different ways people relate to space from different perspectives, and how cities shape and are shaped by crime.

I'm considering going back to looking at Facebook with a strick once-per-day limit. Being away has been beneficial, I think.
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(no subject) [Jun. 12th, 2018|07:23 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |awakeawake]

From my lunch-time wander today. Terrence Karpowicz' "Symbiotic Parallax."

Symbolic Parallax

It felt right to be walking around and thinking about photographic composition again.
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(no subject) [Jun. 12th, 2018|07:08 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , , , , ]

I'm going to stay away from Facebook this week because I can't avoid lots of second-hand news there (to be fair, I've selected for that by blocking all the trivial crap that I kept being annoyed by), and the news is bad for me right now. Yesterday was pretty good, though I realized just how much I was looking at Facebook during the day and that I have some gaps to fill now.

My back *still* hurts, though it's much better. A coworker loaned me one of those lumbar support pillows and it is surprisingly supportive and feels good against my back. I biked to work today, now that my derailleur is fixed and I'm feeling up to it, and made the trip in an hour and twenty seconds, with fifty-four minutes and twenty-eight seconds of moving time. About average for me. (I like that my Bryton computer gives me both total time and moving time. My old one would only record one or the other.) It is very humid indeed here; my shirt, which I typically use to wipe a bit of sweat off of my self before changing into my button-down, was just saturated. I may have to stick a towel in my bag.

Looking at the trip, I realized that my daily one-way commute is very close in length to a half-marathon. I tried to imagine running all the way from Evanston to the Chicago Medical District and back and suddenly had a little more understanding of how difficult it is to run a marathon.

Danae is dealing with thesis stuff and is feeling down and pretty sleepy. I often wish there was more I could do for her, other than making food and offering cuddles and what-not.

I've gone out for walks a couple times during lunch lately and will probably bring my camera to photograph some interesting buildings. There are several that are more modern than a lot of what grabs me, but that I like none-the-less. I don't know that kind of architecture well enough to describe the style; I'll have to do a little reading.
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(no subject) [Jun. 11th, 2018|02:55 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |sillysilly]

I've weeded so many books today.

I think 'Radiology of the Spleen' would be an excellent band name.
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