kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
I decided this morning that I was sufficiently upset about the vile autism-bashing in a panel description to send an e-mail about it. Within two hours I'd had an actually useful response. Details below the cut!

Read more... )
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
Every time I hear about IfThisThenThat I get briefly excited; similarly with respect to [twitter.com profile] pjf's Exobrain... and then I remember that they work with computer-based events, not with, for what of better terminology, embodied events.

BeeMinder and HabitRPG to some extent try to do this: rewards for keeping up with "habit-forming" and "goals", with penalties for falling behind. Lots of other places do this kind of thing, too: Codecademy I stopped using at the point at which they presented you with a great big "you've coded X days in a row" wossname you couldn't get rid of; [personal profile] sophie wrote a Greasemonkey script to hide the equivalent on Github; and so on. The reason these fundamentally don't work for me is, of course, that I'm chronically ill in ways that mean (1) the model of "do the thing every day without fail" is frequently actively harmful to me, and (2) the incentives to modify behaviour this way often override my sense of self-preservation, such that I either do things I really shouldn't be, or I feel awful for not doing them.

RememberTheMilk also isn't right for me. SuperBetter is the closest thing I've met to what I need - repeating tasks to be done at one's own pace, accumulating points & levelling up & such for doing them, without negative effects for needing to take some damn time off.

This is the reality of my chronic illnesses: I stopped brushing my hair every day when my depression got proper bad back in 2011, and I haven't managed to restart. My hair is waist-length. Dealing with my hair when it has gone unbrushed for a week is unpleasant and time-consuming. Living with the sensory distress caused by my hair being a mess is unpleasant. And it is still sometimes the case that my decision-making ability is so fucked that I need to conserve it for more important things, like eating or doing my dayjob. (Much as one can have tea spoons and table spoons and dessert spoons, I find I have social spoons and walking spoons and decision-making spoons.) (There is a post I am going to write, one day, about intimacies: about what it means to me that That One Lady likes to brush my hair and I will let her; about what it means to me to glance up from across the room and realise That One Gent is casually using my wheelchair as a footrest. This is not that post.)

It does not just apply to hair, where the issues range from "motivation" to "energy" to "my hands are too fucked" (if I can do a limited number of tasks that require repetitive hand motions, brushing my teeth is higher up the list than brushing my hair). It covers everything: from getting out of bed to showering to physio to, as I say, eating regular meals.

And what none of these things I have mentioned actually do - a thing I really, really want - is externalise the decision-making, the executive-function, part of the process, to remove at least the entry-barrier of "I can't remember how to". Yes, it's possible to write up long-hand notes about how to brush my hair or have a shower and stick them up somewhere that I can see them - but that doesn't have the granularity I need. What I'd really, really like is something that'll prompt me:

--> get out of bed
--> you've got out of bed! great! Next: brush your teeth. (Tell Me More)
--> you've brushed your teeth! great! Next: have a shower. [Tell Me More]
---> turn the lights on
---> is there a towel in the bathroom? If yes, continue. If not, fetch one from bedroom.
---> make shower curtain be in the right place (Tell Me More)
---> get into bath
---> turn on water flow
---> etc etc etc.

I don't know of anything quite like this that exists - that does "if this, then that" for daily routines where the concept of "habit-building" is fundamentally incompatible with how some brains work (I can forget how to shower, okay, that is something I have done unsupervised most days for about 15 years). I don't know how I'd make this work with the tech I have; I suspect if I decide to write it I'll end up with a smart device of some description. I don't know quite how to deal with respectful reminders (i.e. things that won't just make me hide from the device) -- but damn if I could get that kind of care without having to take up another human's time and energy I'd be all over it.


May. 1st, 2014 02:31 am
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
Because if I write them down I might be able to sleep.


kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
250g butter
250g sugar
3 eggs
50g sachet coconut cream powder
250g self-raising flour
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime

Mix together in the obvious order; bake at ~180degC until done. Fills a standard loaf tin nicely.

For an experiment designed to use up the sad citrus in the fridge, I am really pleased with this. To my astonishment it's great even without the lemon-lime-mint drizzle I was planning I kind of got distracted by the new Debian install on my main machine and forgot I was boiling syrup and it er
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
... on the grounds that a friend is really inconsiderately getting married the Sunday of that weekend, in London, so I can't really sensibly do DWCon in Manchester given my disabilities, and supporting membership + day pass to hang out with folk I'd like to see isn't much less than the option that lets me show up if work's got boring.


1. If you'd like a DWCon membership and don't have one, I now have one it would be good to sell on.

2. If you'd like to hang out at a specific non-Sunday time during WorldCon, let me know and I can plan my week in lab accordingly...
kaberett: On May the 3rd 2013, an Adelie penguin looks REALLY UNPLEASANTLY SURPRISED and slightly flaily with its flippers. (HOLY SHIT)
fuck me, I made a thing

(Please no unsolicited feedback on the code. Warm fuzzies and congratulations welcome. If there's something you desperately want to point out then it's okay to ask if you're welcome to, but I am talking it over with two Pythonists I trust to teach me.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. One poem draft complete and sent off to a couple of people to beta before it goes up here later in the week...

2. ... and a second is beginning to try to take form: meta-commentary on writing love poetry.

3. I wrote some actual code for actual work and it works and I did it almost entirely solo. (It's also ugly and hacky and took me half a day instead of half an hour, but I learned stuff and it still took me less time than wrangling the data manually would have done, and will mean every time I have to do that bit of data wrangling in the future it will Just Work, and I suspect will save my group collectively a lot of time once I've slapped a GUI on top of it and added in a bit of flexibility instead of hardcoding everything.) Seriously, I am so proud of myself - I think this is actually the first time I've gone and written something by myself and had it mostly go, and is definitely the first time I've done so for work (as opposed to for DW volunteering, but I pretty much always have people holding my hand for DW bugfixes), and - yes, yes, this is a thing I can do.

4. ... and I scraped up the courage to send off the actual code to TOG, who is interested for several reasons. (This is some hardcore brain rewiring on my part - I'm really, really twitchy about showing people things, in ways that I maybe want to ramble about with respect to posting poetry drafts here, actually. Hmm.)

5. Relatedly, I got to spend some Proper Time with That One Lady this weekend, which was very nice.

6. ... and I got to feed people a bit, which ditto.

7. I just finished reading a gloriously terrible werewolf romance, and have moved on to another round of Borges, which is not necessarily sensible. (The other two things I currently have on the go are Teaching As A Design Science and some feminist sociolinguistics from the 80s, both of which are very interesting and pretty heavy going given the day job.)

8. All you lovely folk leaving me prompts for the December-a-day thing, which I am finding stimulating and engaging and enjoyable for all that I'm only writing you a couple of paragraphs a day, on the day.

9. Exciting new I'm A Great Big Queer jewelry arrived from The Internet (specifically, a rainbow ear cuff from PictsieCrafts)...

10. ... and the Internet has also sent me a tiny daylight-temperature light bulb for the office, and if I'm lucky a thing I can plug it into will arrive before Thursday.

(Also, house-hunting again is a thing that is happening. Fingers crossed. But basically -- yes, good. I am tired but doing tentatively okay.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
... but yesterday was on the whole entirely bearable and today is so far shaping up pretty well, give or take having nothing to do apart from sort of aimlessly read (which is a thing I HATE).

-- ah, no, wait, I can actually legit get started on reading for a lit review. Good. This is good.

So, yes: lift was broken, but via a slightly entertaining sequence of events I have ended up with access to both Bioengineering and the Business School, and thus can get up to my desk even when the main lift is down. Further, my desk has been moved from the third floor to the second, so that if the tiny-lift-for-four-steps breaks I don't have to deal with getting my chair up and down them by hand because I am NO LONGER ON THAT FLOOR (with the added benefit that I am now on the same floor as my supervisors and a KITCHEN and my MUGS and TEA I CAN DRINK).

Yesterday I had a moment of Abject Horror at the Imperial Library - they apparently completely disregard the preferred name field in the student e-service so were displaying my first name. However, I've just received an e-mail promising me this has been fixed.

And furthermore: Yesterday I managed not only grad social but subsequently eating in public at the hostel, in re which I am proud of myself; and this evening I will be going to From Sindbad to Sci-Fi: Reimagining Arab Science Fiction, which is a free event at which Amal el-Mohtar will be speaking (SO MANY EXCITE). So.

Furthermore I continue making progress with Python: to my astonishment and delight, I'm running into things I can't do straight off and instead of bursting into tears and becoming convinced I am not good at anything and will never be able to any of the things, I go away and do something else for a bit and let it percolate, and then I write an outline of what wants to happen, and then I... write code. And then, mostly, it works. I am seriously, SERIOUSLY proud of myself for this - and simultaneously mildly horrified that some of the PIs in my group consider me advanced and intimidating because I am learning to code sort-of for fun...

This afternoon I have a session with my counsellor, which I am really looking forward to: I think I've done a lot of Stuff about feelings and procesing and displaying emotions and how I interact with people, and I think we will have lots of good stuff to talk about (and probably also some processing about Monday, which was kind of traumatic but which I think I have - to my astonishment - mostly bounced back from.)

And finally, this week I am hosting at [community profile] poetree, so if you want to see me rambling about How Poems Work and sharing some of my favourites, that is a good place to find me (though I appear to be incredibly talkative here at the moment, too, so I doubt you will go short either way ;).

And, seriously, thank you all again so much for the solidarity and validation and the looking out for me: I remain incredibly grateful.
kaberett: Chibi Zuko stands on a tiny rock dinosaur spouting water (zuko-dinosaur)
Case in point.

My best one remains, however, the intermittent one in OpenOffice Writer under Debian on my netbook. Sometimes - just occasionally, usually when in a bulleted environment - the program, of its own accord, starts italicising every other character.

And it will let you italicise the whole lot, but not deitalicise them.

The only reason I'm certain I didn't hallucinate this on several separate occasions is that [personal profile] shortcipher has witnessed it.

So, you know, this particular bug is not quite up there, but I am nonetheless kind of impressed with myself.
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
write a feature just for me.

Thank you, [personal profile] exor674
kaberett: A pomegranate, with eyes and mouth drawn onto masking tape and applied (pomegranate)
(a) [twitter.com profile] SexPositiveLad is AMAZING.
(b) ... I think I've been using a Mooncup for over half my menstruating life. I am a little disconcerted. BUT I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.

(At some point, I need to do some serious research into menstrual cups & endometriosis: my gynae consultant claimed cups "might" make it worse, presumably via the mechanism of increasing retrograde menstruation, but he hadn't ever met a cup before as far as I can tell[1], and I can't off the top of my head see any way in which the risk of retrograde menstruation would be increased by using a cup over pads even if you accept that retrograde menstruation is a cause of endometriosis: it's a prevailing theory and one I'm dubious about.)

Footnote; trigger warning: possible sexual assault, medical setting. )
kaberett: Aang waterbending an octopus around himself (aang-octopus)
I'm going to be helping to run a workshop on sexual health for women who have sex with women. I wasn't able to make it to the first planning meeting; the plan arising that was e-mailed around was 85 words long.

I've just annotated and sent it back (not including the summary of awesome LGBT+ sexual health resources I'm available of locally & online - that's separate). It is now about 650 words long.

Here is some other stuff I occasionally nerd about in ways that surprise people who only know me offline, mostly in my non-fannish capacity:
  2. Gunshot exit and entry wounds. "THAT IS NOT HOW ANYTHING WORKS," I shouted at Skyfall.
  3. Knitting vs crochet vs other fibrecrafts (including brief excursions into embroidery).
  4. Fandom, pretty predictably.
  5. Speculative fiction that explicitly examines sociological ramifications of technological advances.
  6. Ludicrous nationalism regarding tiny not-actually-nation-states nobody but me cares about (and even then I'm only about 50% serious, and otherwise generally strongly anti-nationalism).
  7. Railways, particularly of the 18th century, with emphasis on Austria & Cornwall & Isembard Kingdom Brunel & Richard Trevithick.
  8. Alpine flora.
  9. Pharmacology and drug interactions (I had Issues with a recent episode of Sad Vampire on this score).
  10. And for #10 let's have my grab-bag of things I think it's obvious I nerd about: wheelchairs. Mobility aids in general. Mental health, biological and sociological bases thereof. Medical and social models of disability, oppression, etc. Volcanoes. Gender Stuff. Endometriosis. Food preservation. Cooking. Castles. Scrabble. Self-care.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
I wrote the vast majority of my report under Windows using MikTeX, occasionally making reference to detexify. (I also wrote a little of it in a text editor under Debian, but that's a story for another day. ;)

I used Scribus to make a fold-out A3 page (as well as my project poster!).

I edited images using the GIMP, Inkscape and Microsoft ICE.

I created heatmaps using QuantumGIS.

I used Veusz to plot my graphs, and a synthetic data generator provided by the University of Alberta to simulate clustered data points.

OpenOffice featured extensively, predominantly in terms of spreadsheets, eurgh.

I speak a lot more LaTeX and read a little more python than I did when embarking on this particular endeavour, and I am nearly. sodding. done.


Nov. 23rd, 2012 02:15 pm
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
> receive e-mail to tune of "you're great but we're not sure how to make a metal-free clean lab work with your access needs"
> start plotting how to get a carbon-fibre chair out of this deal
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)

No. So that their most experienced users, or their most active developers. Neither of those is the same as "smart".

In reasons why I love being a Dreamwidth dev...

Utterly unrelatedly, and rather more of a PSA, the Firefox extension Tree Style Tab is broken :-(
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Can I have recs, please? I am working with two image sets. Both are taken in serpentine fashion.

In one set, I have approximately 1500 tiles total (making up five composite images), and they look something like this:

... i.e. I just want the central portion, and I want a whole bunch of not-quite-circles fishscaling in a serpentine fashion, and I REALLY don't want to have to do it all (including cropping) by hand on a per-image basis.

The second image set is only about 180 tiles (forming 12 images), and each tile looks rather more like this:

... and are arranged in serpentine fashion. I anticipate these being rather easier.

Unfortunately, Hugin chokes and dies (i.e. crashes complete with sending error reports to the mothership), and I haven't worked out why and can't be bothered to diagnose it.

For the second image set at least, the Microsoft Image Composite Editor might be useful... except that where I have files named e.g. ./BR6a-31.tif through to ./BR6a-36.tif, "New Structured Panorama" tiles them like so:

... which is making me SUPER SAD. And they have no effective manual image repositioning - HURRAH.

... any suggestions?

... please? ;_;
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
On the left, we have scans of the thin sections I'm working with. The ones that look grubbier? They've been carbon-coated.


On the right, we have Victorian mounters for microscope slides.

Image. )

WHY AM I NOT A VICTORIAN ;________________________;

[1] Not as I was writing this post, obvs.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I'm currently working on a feature for Dreamwidth that will allow people to specify which languages they use in their profile. In fact, it rapidly ended up a bit more complicated than that: if you've got any interest at all, please head over to [site community profile] dw_biz where we are hashing out a specification so I can get moving on implementing this :-)


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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