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The social networks I use, mostly for the benefit of anyone on Tumblr who sees this:

[personal profile] flamebyrd on Dreamwidth
[twitter.com profile] flamebyrd on Twitter
Flamebyrd#3354 on Discord (Please suggest servers to me!)
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- Offline / non-fandom life that I feel is excessively personal
- Unbetaed fic and excerpts from works in progress
- Anything I don't want accessible via search engine

So if you're not on my access list and you're interested in any of that, let me know. I also tend to naturally add people to my access list once we've interacted a little. (Comments on this entry are screened.)
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In come the dollars and in come the cents
To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence!
Be prepared folks when the coins begin to mix
On the Fourteenth of February, Nineteen Sixty Six

https://youtu.be/hxExwuAhla0
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Everyone has been talking about this movie for ages, but I am very bad at going to the movies. I have ambivalent feelings about Spider-Man* but I love animation, so I finally pulled myself together and went out to see it in the cinema.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thoughts follow, spoilers included )

* Which is awkward, because my most popular Marvel fic is about Spider-Man
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An addendum to my last post:

Please, please feel free to evangelise your favourite type of notebook*, brand of pen, intricately crafted bullet journal method, complex note-taking and revision technique, anything that makes life/study easier for you!


*I probably won't be adopting a new notebook for this semester, but there's always next semester ;)
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The big news is that I'm going back to uni. Information Management, Grad Dip (Archives/Records) first and if I don't hate it, continuing on to the Masters.

Since I haven't studied since 2003, I am a little anxious about this.

So, to that end, I am soliciting note-taking/study advice! Trends have changed, and I want to know what they are.

I bought a B5* notebook with dot grid paper, I haven't purchased any pens yet but I am looking forward to doing it. Edit: I also have a 2018 iPad, with keyboard and stylus, which I intend to use as my study computer (as much as possible).


*Midway between A5 and A4, 6.9"x9.8"
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I completely forgot that I usually do this! Pardon its lateness.

Books
The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3) - N. K. Jemisin
Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia #1) - Heather Rose Jones
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells (Murderbot #2)
Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells (Murderbot #3)
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells (Murderbot #4)
The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel #1

Television
Agatha Christie's Poirot (ITV, David Suchet) 5x03-11x02
Miss Marple (BBC, Joan Hickson), complete
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries 2x01-2x07
Rosemary & Thyme 1x01-1x09, 2x14
Guardian (镇魂) 1-21
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., assorted black and white episodes
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power 1-9

Movies
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017)

Audio
The Adventure Zone: Balance 9-51, 58-69, plus live shows
The Adventure Zone: Amnesty 1-12
The Adventure Zone: Elementary (AKA Four Sherlock Holmes and a Vampire [Who Is Also One of the Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes])
The Adventure Zone: (K)Nights
The Adventure Zone: Dust
Lawful and Orderly 1-2
The Strange Case of Starship Iris 1-4
Wolf 359 1-30
Tides 1-8, mini episodes 1-4
Chicago Center for Supernatural Support, 1-12

Live Events
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs, October 18 2018
Skate Canada International (Laval, QC) - Exhibition Gala

Places
Canada: Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal
Singapore
Australia: Brisbane, Melbourne

Fanfic (Written)
Six years (Raven Cycle, Noah, gen, 200 words)


Well, I didn't do a lot of reading this year, but I sure listened to a lot of audio content! YouTube has basically replaced television watching in my daily routine - I mostly watch crafting and baking tutorials, so I don't feel the need to log it.
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All baked goods, because that's how December trends for me.

Gingerbread Cookies, wannacomewith.com. These were so good I made two batches. It has the slightly unconventional addition of a tablespoon of cocoa to the dry ingredients. Good texture, very spicy. Nice and dark.
Notes: It was very soft to roll out (my kitchen was probably a bit warm, but it's also possible a little more flour would help), but a few trips to the fridge helped me get the cut shapes to the baking tray in one piece.
Changes: Substituted half the molasses for golden syrup. Omitted the cloves and nutmeg, added 1 tsp mixed spice (pudding spice).

Spritz Cookies, Sally's Baking Addiction. I'd picked up a cookie press from the centre aisle at ALDI a couple of months ago, so I was eager to try these instead of making shortbread this year. The end result was very tasty.
Notes: The dough was very soft, so I added flour until it wasn't sticking to my fingers any more. I found it very difficult to get a consistent result with the cookie press, but hopefully practice will help with that.
Changes: Skipped the almond extract, added an extra 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Blueberry Crumble Slice, allconsuming.com.au. My uncle sent me home from Christmas with a huge bag of blueberries, which I don't tend to eat raw, so I was thrilled to find this recipe that used 5 cups of them. This was a hit with everyone who tried it at the bbq I brought it to.
Notes: Could easily use other fruit with this! I'd also consider dropping the sugar from the filling.
Changes: None.

Soft and Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, lovingitvegan.com. I made these for a picnic, with great response from the vegans and non-vegans present. I'd picked up some vegan chocolate chips in Vancouver earlier in the year, so this was a good opportunity to use them.
Notes: Recipe is a bit vague. I creamed my margarine (Nuttelex) and sugar until very light and fluffy. The dough was very soft (does this sound familiar yet?) so I added a few tbsp more flour until I could roll it into balls without it sticking to my hands. I scooped some into 4 tsp balls and baked for ~15 min, and some into 2 tsp balls and baked for ~10 min. They were reluctant to spread so I encouraged them by pressing down on each ball in the middle of baking.
Changes: None.

Mini Berry Pavlovas, Jo the Tart Queen. Made for Christmas Day, served with a variety of DIY toppings rather than the suggested ones (but the mascarpone cream looks incredible).
Notes: This was actually a mild failure for me - my piped shells didn't hold a shape at all. I suspect I may have actually overbeat them. But they baked up with nice dry outsides, and a slightly soft interior. Still, next time I'm considering using the Serious Eats Perfect Swiss Meringue technique instead, to see if that helps.
Changes: None to pavlova shells.
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On my last Content Consumption Log post I asked for recommendations for narrative audio, and I got some! So here's some assorted thoughts on what I've listened to.

Wolf 359, Episodes 1-14

This was not so much recommended as suggested by [personal profile] alexseanchai, so I sought out more information and found a blog post by Wil Williams, "You Should Be Listening To: Wolf 359". This made it sound appealing, so I dove in, heeding the advice that it "got good" around episode 10.

Even though Williams mentions that the main narrator, Eiffel, can be very grating, I really feel I need to emphasise it, because he is so. obnoxious. The early episodes were a real trial to get through. And (mild spoilers) it doesn't so much "get good" around episode 10 as it does take an abrupt turn from quirky light comedy with unsettling weirdness peeking in around the edges to a full on conspiracy drama.

I'm going to continue because I'm committed now and I really want to know what's going on! (But I hope Williams is right that Eiffel becomes better developed /o\)

PS: Did we really need a creepy experimental Russian doctor character? Come on.

Canon Romance(s): None so far



Tides, Episodes 1-8 (Season 1 Complete)

After reading the Wolf 359 post mentioned above, I poked around the blog a little more in hopes of finding other recommendations. I found this review of Tides: First Impressions: "Tides" a Refreshingly Funny, Smart Sci-Fi Audio Drama.

It's slow moving and contemplative, and largely concerned with exploring ideas of alien biology. The protagonist, Dr. Winifred Eurus, is fascinated by her surroundings but also deeply annoyed at being stuck on this planet alone, and her abrasive commentary on her situation really adds an interesting edge to the podcast.

Spoilers for the end of the series. )

Canon Romance(s): None so far.



After listening to these two I was thinking about how scripted podcasts seem to feel the need to explain their medium in a way traditional radio dramas didn't necessarily - Welcome to Night Vale, The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Wolf 359 and Tides all present an in-universe justification for their audio existing.

Immediately after having this thought, I listened to one that didn't.


The Chicago Center for Supernatural Support, Episodes 1-12 (Complete)

This was recommended to me by [personal profile] donutsweeper. There's very little information about what it's actually about online, so let me attempt to summarise: In a world where supernatural creatures are real, but most of the world doesn't know about it, the Chicago Center for Supernatural Support attempts to help werewolves and other supernatural creatures cope with their lives in any way they can.

I really enjoyed this, it was kind-hearted and fun, and I liked the way the shifting points of view developed the characters of most of the Center's employees and associates.

Some more specific, spoilery reactions )

I'm going to throw out a mild warning for episode 6 (Jasmine), for use of lycanthropy as a metaphor for sexual assault.

Canon Romance(s): f/m
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I feel like a large flaw in Dreamwidth as a fandom platform right now, other than multimedia content, is that a lot of the site (non-user pages, like profiles and inbox) still has poor mobile support. Unfortunately, there isn't anything I can do about that.

So! For those who use desktop browsers, are there any annoyances a bored fan with Javascript skills can fix with a bookmarklet or userscript?

Here's a couple of things that have occurred to me:
- Is there an existing, Dreamwidth-supported "Post to Dreamwidth" bookmarklet like the old one for LiveJournal? It pulled the selected text on the current page and a link into a new entry for you. I was thinking this could ease some of the frustration about the lack of reblogging.
- On the same principle, I've made a proof of concept for a bookmarklet that will take all the images you've just dragged into the Upload Images page, and create a new post for you: Dreamwidth Image Post Bookmarklet. Currently it just uses the code Dreamwidth automatically generates for you, ie. a 100x100 pixel thumbnail with a link to the original image. Obviously this isn't very practical for the modern web, but making it configurable will come in v0.2.
- If you're using the Beta New Entry page and are missing rich text controls, I can't help you, but if you just want buttons to insert HTML for you, I have this script: Dreamwidth HTML Buttons Userscript.

I'm also working on a post with some tips for tweaking your journal theme custom CSS for better mobile display (but please let me know if someone else has already done this).
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I'm back home! I haven't done one of these in a while, so here's a quick, probably inaccurate update on what I've been doing to conquer pop culture.

Books
Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells (Murderbot #3)
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells (Murderbot #4)

Audio (I only list narrative audio here)
The Adventure Zone: (K)Nights, 1-3
The Adventure Zone: Amnesty 8-12 (I'm not sure how much longer this has, but I think I'll wait a bit longer before listening to more)
The Adventure Zone: Dust
The Adventure Zone: Balance - All live shows through 1 November (Seattle, Halloween Special)
Lawful and Orderly - 1-2
The Strange Case of Starship Iris 1-4

If anyone has any narrative podcast recommendations, please send them my way!

Television
Guardian (镇魂) 1-4
Some random episodes of the classic Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Movies
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017)

Live Events
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs, October 18 2018
Skate Canada International (Laval, QC) - Exhibition Gala

I also watched the entirety of Griffin McElroy's Pokemon Nuzlocke Run, despite never having played a Pokemon game. It was nice, chill plane viewing.
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It's been a while since I've looked at these. Lifted from a number of people on DW!

Account created: 2008-12-03. I'll have to remember to post something for its 10th birthday!
Total stories: 107

Total wordcount: 265,378
Average wordcount: 2,480, which sounds about right for my writing efforts
Longest story: Knowledge and Light with 30,363, my LotR early 20th century university AU, which honestly could have been longer.
Shortest story: I have three separate 100 word drabbles

Total kudos: 11,685
Kudos per story: 109, which is higher than expected
Story with most kudos: Dealing With Dragons, a Howl's Moving Castle fic I whipped up in 2010 at the last-minute for a "Girl Saves Boy" ficathon, with 839.

Total comment threads: 563
Comment threads per story: 5
Story with most comments: Dealing With Dragons, with 30

Total author subscriptions: 89
Total story subscriptions: 90
Story with most subscriptions: Up a winding stair (MCU/Spider-Man), which is a one-shot, with 7

Total bookmarks: 1793
Story with most bookmarks: Dealing With Dragons, with 210

Stories with no comments or kudos: I have three with no comments (at least one of them deservedly), and 0 with no kudos.

Dealing With Dragons has been topping out all of kudos/comments/bookmarks for a couple of years now. If I'd known it was going to have such lasting popularity I might have spent a little more time on it. Or at least got it betaed...
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The Strange Case of Starship Iris is an audio drama by Procyon Podcasts (or a scripted podcast). It's a humorous SF drama set in deep space, with space-going humans and aliens and the requisite dystopian empire.

One thing I will say outside the cut: this is a series with (what TV tropes calls) a first-episode spoiler (ie. that discussion of anything before episode 1 is a spoiler), so if staying unspoiled is important to you, don't, for example, read the TV tropes* page before you begin. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

Spoilers follow. )

In short: I enjoyed this a lot. Episode 5 starts with a warning for graphic violence, so I think I'll take a break until I can figure out what that's about. (Maybe I'll skim the transcript?)


* Sometimes I do this when I'm having trouble finding information about a piece of fiction and want to know if it's relevant to my interests. It definitely backfires.

Next in my podcast listening plans: TAZ: Dust, I think. (Or whatever not-too-dark narrative podcast you want to recommend in the comments!)
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I found this D&D gameplay podcast through a somewhat circuitous route, but the short of it is that one of the players wrote the "Four Sherlock Holmes and a Vampire (Who Is Also One of the Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes)" one-page RPG the McElroys used for this year's MaxFunDrive content.

I thought the concept for this was really cute, described as "a light-hearted fantasy police procedural show", which is relevant to my interests as a fan of light-hearted* mystery novels and also fantasy novels. Unfortunately, the gimmick of having the game live streamed on Twitch and having the audience act as the jury and vote on the conviction has a couple of consequences that didn't really work for me. The first was that the audio quality was Not Good. The second was that the options are a) convict the suspect arrested by the players, or b) the Black Inquisition, who AFAICT are distrustful of all paranormals, make a case and that case is accepted by the judge.

Cut for spoilers, negativity )

In conclusion, cute idea, I wish I'd enjoyed it!


*And thus, unrealistically divorced from the reality of policing

--

As my next experiment in filling out my podcast app, I'm going to try Starship Iris. (If you've listened to it and think you need to warn for something, please let me know!)
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Being the kind of post I called "random thoughts" before. I'm trying to join the 2010s, or something.

Here there be spoilers )
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When I was doing my other script updates I remembered my AO3 to Pinboard bookmarklet, and wondered if anybody was still using it. Naturally I recently received a very lovely email with some feature suggestions, so I guess that's a yes!

So, it's been updated, and now includes the following options:
- Include the author's freeform (additional) tags in the pinboard tags
- Add the word count to the description
- Include view_adult=true in the bookmark URL where relevant
- Include view_full_work=true in the bookmark where relevant

The last two probably need a bit more testing before I'm happy with them.

I also took the opportunity to rework the code so that it's easier for me to maintain (and use my hacky bookmarklet configuring method), and to change the URL, because it was formerly at bookmarklet.html. Because it was the first one I created. Yikes.

This bookmarklet is now looking like decision fatigue personified, but one of the things I know about fandom's bookmarkers is that they all have their own complex cataloguing system, and I love to support that.
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As is frequently the way, a bit of sleep helped clear the mind. Thus, I now have a working beta for keyboard navigation in Pillowfort.io.

https://random.fangirling.net/fun/ao3/pillowfort_keyboard_shortcuts.user.js

There were a few things going wrong. For a lot of the time I thought I was being tripped up by PillowFort's lazy loading of content, but what was actually happening was the height of the top bar and the bottom position of the entry were encountering rounding errors.

Anyway, it's working for me now in recent versions of Firefox and Chrome.

Every time I visit PillowFort I am instantly turned off by the UI, so this may not be the last time I decide to do something about it...
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Dreamwidth now has keyboard shortcuts! You can access them from your settings page (shortcuts tab). These let you navigate up and down your reading page by using the keys you prefer - I use j and k.

I wrote a userscript to do this a while back, so it's great that Dreamwidth has - independently, to the best of my knowledge - implemented them. (I think I'll keep using my script though, because I find the animations on the DW version distracting.)

On that note though, I finally created a page for the aforementioned web keyboard shortcuts. This works on Dreamwidth, AO3 , and Pinboard. (I spent a solid couple of hours yesterday trying to get it to work on Pillowfort, but eventually had to admit defeat.)

--

Archive of Our Own now includes date and wordcount filters in the sidebar by default, so I've removed them from my additional filters userscript. This left "creator" as the only filter in that script, so I added in the hits/kudos/comments/bookmarks filters for completeness.

--

The AO3 Stats CSV and AO3 Works CSV both had the same bug when encountering certain special characters in work titles - I fixed them a while back but forgot to say anything here, so if you're running either of those make sure you have the latest versions. (Yes, this is a very basic error. I'm not proud.)
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I was reading a long multi-chapter work and really wishing I could see how long the current chapter I was on before committing to reading it, so I quickly pulled together a userscript to add an estimated wordcount next to the total wordcount in the work metadata at the top of the page.

https://random.fangirling.net/fun/ao3/ao3_chapter_wordcount.html

It's doing a very, very basic word count - just counting spaces - so please don't rely on these numbers for anything important.

As always, please let me know if there are any browser tweaks you'd like to see! I have a lot of time on my hands.
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Books
The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

I really need to get back into the habit of reading books.

Audio
The Adventure Zone: Balance - the rest of it, including all the live and MaxFunDrive episodes (but not the bulk of the Suffering Game)
The Adventure Zone: Amnesty 1-5 - This was very cool, but I think I'll wait until the next arc is finished before continuing
The Adventure Zone: Elementary (AKA Four Sherlock Holmes and a Vampire [Who Is Also One of the Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes]) - this was Extremely Silly 😂

Television
Agatha Christie's Poirot 10x04-11x02 - I think I'm done with this - it was getting too dark and sordid for my tastes. I enjoyed much of the early seasons a lot though.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries 2x01-2x07
Rosemary & Thyme 1-9

This sounds like a lot of TV, but it's been a while since I logged my TV watching.

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