Speaker for the Diodes

Oct. 31st, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

Maxim 29: "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less."
  -- from Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, 2003-03-08 (collected here and various other places)

[To all celebrating either or both, a happy Hallowe'en and a blessed Samhain! (Well Samhain-eve as most of you read this.)]

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Oct. 30th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Just because it's easy to quote everything doesn't mean it's a good idea. Quoting something is an implicit claim to the reader that it's necessary to re-read it to understand the reply. Disk space and bandwidth have become cheap and plentiful, but human attention is still a very limited resource, and will forever remain so. (Or at least until the Singularity.)" -- Keith F. Lynch, 2017-10-21, rec.arts.fandom (Message-ID: <osfho9$8q6$1@reader2.panix.com>)

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Oct. 28th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Necessity, to rewrite the old chestnut, is the mother of necessary inventions -- like ways to heat smoked meat when you don't have a steam table handy. But since inspired foolishness is the real hallmark of civilization, it wasn't long before we were inventing necessities. For instance, a dire need to roast a pork tenderloin on I-95 between Philadelphia and Providence."</i> -- from Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car's Engine, by Chris Marnard and Bill Scheller (1989, Villard Books; ISBN 0-679-72337-4; LC TX652.M335; Dewey 641.5'8--dc2)

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Oct. 27th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"We must never regard as 'normal' the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

"None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. If we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us. Without fear of the consequences, and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal."

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), 2017-10-24

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Oct. 26th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"And that's another piece of advice I'll give junior writers; when you get to the point where they take you to lunch, let the editor suggest where to go." -- Jerry Pournelle (b. 1933-08-07, d. 2017-09-08)

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Oct. 25th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Cats are absolute individuals, with their own ideas about everything, including the people they own." -- John Dingman

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Oct. 24th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"When the words come, they are merely empty shells without the music. They live as they are sung, for the words are the body and the music the spirit." -- Hildegard von Bingen (b. 1098, d. 1179)

[Happy birthday to John (middle brother) and John (bandmate)!]

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Oct. 23rd, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"American fascism isn't Hitler. American fascism is the Klan. American fascism is Jim Crow. American fascism is Bannon and Miller and Trump." -- Angus Johnston, 2017-02-18

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Oct. 22nd, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I know that there are people who think that this is odd.  They take their comfort other ways -- from liquor or from God.  Now sometimes prayer can call me or a drink helps get me through,  But nothing is so healing as the days I spend with you."   -- from "My Thousand Closest Friends" (1991) by Naomi Pardue

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Oct. 20th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Oh, take your time don't live too fast.
 Troubles will come and they will pass.
 Go find a woman you'll find love
 And don't forget son there is someone up above.
 And be a simple kind of man
 Be something you love and understand [...]"

  -- from "Simple Man", written by Ronnie Van Zant (b. 1948-01-15, d. 1977-10-20) and Gary Rossington (b. 1951-12-04)

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Oct. 19th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." -- Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson, b. 1958-06-07, d. 2016-04-21)

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Oct. 18th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"If you want to change the future, start living as if you're already there." -- Lynn Conway, 2013-07-14

[Though I think taking it too far and living as if "I don't have to work toward this because it's already done," might be counterproductive. Still work to make the change you want catch up to you.]

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Oct. 17th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++

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Oct. 16th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"One week after Jeff Sessions changed DOJ policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he's seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first place." -- Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director, 2017-10-15

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12:20 am - Ow

Typing passwords from muscle memory with an injured finger sucks. It's a little like remembering a tune from its fingering on one instrument while playing it on a different instrument, but mistakes are physically painful instead of aurally. (And no, I have no idea what I did to the finger, just that even light pressure to the fingertip causes electric-feeling pain to shoot up my arm and moderate pressure makes the pain go all the way to my chest. No visible signs and I didn't have a violent mishap. Strange.)

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Oct. 15th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-26:

"The late John Greenwood, Q.C, who served as Ontario's Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the late 1970s, had a signature line he used to deliver with a straight face. "Anybody can convict the guilty,' he'd say to visitors to his office, "the trick is to convict the innocent.' People laughed uneasily, sensing it may not be entirely a joke."

-- George Jonas, writing about John Greenwood in the National Post.

[ http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/12/05/george-jonas-nigel-wrights-view-of-ottawa/]

(submitted to the mailing list by Z.D. Hora)

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Oct. 14th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

If I had a "dollar" for every time I saw someone use quotes for emphasis -- Rex Morgan (@rexm), 2017-09-18 (reacting to this sign, but I'm sure y'all pictured several other examples from memory already)

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Oct. 13th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?" -- Thomas Jefferson (b. 1743-04-13, d. 1826-07-04, US President 1801-1809), 1781

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Oct. 12th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"As his name is not 'Biggest Bird', we are to understand that Sesame Street is home to at least one, perhaps more, truly immense unseen birds" -- TOMb, 2017-10-11

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Oct. 11th, 2017

08:01 pm - On comings-out and transitions

Thinking about National Coming Out Day. I don't think there's anyone in my life or even kinda near my life who doesn't know that I'm transgender. And a lot of you know that I'm kinky, and some of you may know/remember than I'm polyamorous. (Well, 'ambiamorous' -- I can actually be quite happy in a monogamous relationship or a poly one, depending on whom I'm in the relationship with and how it develops. But I identify more as poly.) I've been "out" about all of that for a long time, even if not everybody has had the last two come up in conversation with me, so it kinda feels like i don't really have anything left to come out about. But maybe I do (though I said some of this in less detail last NCOD). Because several years ago I realized my identity was shifting and I felt a strong mental pressure to start making my body change too.

While many of you met me while I identified as "intergender" (because genderqueer wasn't a label yet when I chose one), my identity is no longer in-the-middle. A lot of folks who've run into me recently have heard this because they've asked -- either because asking about pronouns is a more normal thing nowadays or because they notice changes to my body, or both -- but I'm closer to the F pole on the gender graph than I was, and looking forward to seeing whether this journey carries me all the way there.

So here's my Coming Out Day thing, which (as I mentioned) folks who talk to me one-on-one a lot or have run into me and asked questions already know, but not everybody is up to date on: I have been on HRT for about five years, my pronouns are she/her (though I won't hold a "he" against anyone until I harmonize my gender-presentation with my gender-identity), I am trying to schedule a relevant minor surgery, I'm trying to work up my nerve to shave my beard (which feels like a bigger step than growing breasts or telling people or trying to schedule an orchiectomy), and I'm trying to pick a new name. Some of this is scary, more of it is wonderful, a bunch of it is both. Even though I haven't reached my destination (or figured out for sure what my destination is), that mental pressure to act is greatly reduced since I started taking these steps, my emotions seem to work a lot better on estrogens than androgens, and a lot of "mental static" that I'd gotten used to has gone away. (As Zinnia Jones has pointed out, not all symptoms of gender dysphoria are obviously that, until treating the dysphoria makes them go away.)

I stopped using conventional labels like 'gay'/'het'/'straight' to talk about my orientation a long time ago, and started just saying "attracted to women" and leaving the label as en exercise for the listener ... but did (do) identify as "queer". First because being trans (and especially for being visibly gender-nonconforming) I was already part of the queer community, and again because even though attraction to women didn't feel gay, it didn't quite feel straight either. (Because when my gender was in-between, which was the "opposite gender"? The labels 'bi' or 'pan' would have worked if I had been bi or pan, but I wasn't and AFAICT still am not.) Amusing thing though: I've assumed that most other people mentally tagged me as het, and while HRT did not change my orientation (it can do that, but I've never found out how common or rare it is), changing my gender does mean that the label for my orientation changes.

It's been said that coming out isn't a one-time act, but something that winds up being repeated again and again when meeting new people or joining new groups -- and that goes double for bisexuals and trans people. Like coming-out, transitions are scary and liberating and sometimes difficult ... and there's more than one. Even for a textbook story of a binary gender transition there are medical, legal, and social transitions which may happen at different times and aren't instantaneous. Of those, social transition is the scariest (and generally the most important). And I've already transitioned socially from male to genderqueer years ago, but here I am in the middle (beginning, I guess) of another social transition, from genderqueer to female or mostly-female, in the middle of medical transition, and looking into options & to-do list for legal transition. And y'know? Telling people one on one has been relatively easy (has gotten easier with practice), but standing up to the world and saying, "Here I am, I am changing, this is what I am doing," is a lot harder. So I guess I had something for National Coming Out Day after all.

BTW, what do folks think of the name Eftychia (Ευτυχια, /eff-ti-KHEE-a/ where the χ is sort of between a kh sound and a gh or really-rough-'h' sound)? Still making up my mind, but that one's in the running.

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