History question

May. 28th, 2017 09:55 am
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History question: does anyone remember the dates of the 1979 King Tut exhibit in Toronto? Aside from the year?

Culture clash in Canada

May. 27th, 2017 10:44 am
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Fess up

May. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
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Which of you mentioned "cultural appropriation" to Orson Scott Card?

Also, are Irish accents really as hard as all that for Americans to understand?
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Major work change this week was moving offices; we've left the old warehouse on Lincoln Sq and moved to the Doug McDonnell building. Had a farewell lunch with some of the people at the Sustainability office before we left, and today was working from home whilst the removalists did their thing. Took the opportunity to write the paper I'm presenting at OpenStack Australia Day and which will be replicated a few days later at Telstra. In addition to all this, have also just announced new course for HPC and Linux along with Shell Scripting for HPC, and had a meeting with some Microsoft representatives for setting up an Azure cloud burst partition to Spartan.

Other preparations in the coming week include the Annual General Meeting of the Victorian Secular Lobby with John Bade from the Liberal Party talking on that body's difficult relationship with secularism as the reactionary Christians are on the ascendancy in that body. I wonder at their lack of practical concern for the impoverished sectors of society, asylum seekers and so forth. It's curious how some people are prepared to manipulate the genuine desire for moral character among others and a sense of wonder with existence to acquire power and wealth. I can't imagine that Jesus would have been very impressed with such behaviour.

Wednesday evening was Papers & Paychecks, where the PCs made good progress to Save Our Borderlands, and the puns were flowing thick and fast. There also has been a good deal of work building resistentialist "monsters" for the game. Tonight is Justin A's Eclipse Phase and will be preparing for my version of the same on Sunday. Also have received a copy of the quickstart rules for the new edition of RuneQuest for FreeRPG day.

it's the little things

May. 22nd, 2017 09:53 pm
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One of the most surprisingly delightful things about parenting is being able to anticipate your child in the little things.

Sainsbury's is have a promotion whereby every 5GBP you spend, you can get a two-pack of Lego character cards. Gwen was blissfully unaware of this until we got one one day, and now she thinks they are the best thing ever, especially since some of her school mates, both in her class and the two classes above, are collecting them. By the time the end of the weekend had rolled around, she'd managed to collect 14 of them, two being duplicates. She brought them to school today and on the way home was all delighted to tell me how she'd given her duplicates away to friends and received a duplicate in turn from a third.

These are just little flimsy cards. They are going to get scattered about the floor. She also has a couple packages of Trolls cards, and two cards from some yogurt fruit snacks thing. All these cards. So I decided what she really needed was some of those plastic sleeves you can put in a three ring binder, to put her cards in.

Bizarrely enough, I couldn't find any sleeves with slots of the right size either at Ryman's or WH Smith's when I stopped in this morning after dropping hr off at school, so I ended up having to order the sleeves online. They'll arrive probably by the weekend, and I figured I'd take her out shopping to pick out a fancy binder, maybe one she could decorate or something, or maybe one already decorated.

On the way home, she told me that F. had a binder for HIS Lego cards, with pockets for all the cards! And maybe someday SHE could get a binder TOO. A Lego binder like HIS! (This is when I realize, oh, yeah, that makes sense -- I bet Sainsbury's supplies a binder where you can see which ones you're missing and see which you've collected, etc., and probably they could be ordered online, or perhaps even purchased at the store, that makes a lot of sense). I had intended to keep my plan a surprise for her until the pocket sleeves arrived, but I didn't have the heart not to indulge her. And she was THRILLED. At first she wanted a Lego one just like F.'s, but I explained to her that I'd already bought the sleeves and that I thought she'd enjoy more getting to pick out a special one all on her own that would be different from everyone else's, and she decided that we should go look and see what the options were, and if she found one she loved, we'd get it, and if we didn't, we'd see about getting a Lego one online.

~3GBP later, we headed home, one proud owner over a very cute pink binder with an owl in a tree on the front.

These things. They're so little. I find it strange that I sometimes feel like my parents were too good at it, because they were good parents effortlessly. So I never saw them work at it, I never had insight into all the machinations that go into making a happy childhood. So I'm always afraid that I'm missing it, that there's something I should be doing that I'm not. (And then I look at Gwen and how delighted she appears to be with her life, and the fears quiet down again. But eventually their voices grow louder and louder.) But sometimes, I get it right. Sometimes, I can do effortless. I can buy the Dalmation puppy purse as a Christmas present. I can get an even better Pikachu than what she'd actually asked Santa for.

I hope someday she looks back on a childhood that was as effortlessly happy as mine.
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