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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

2jun2021

cropWhile I was ruminating on a discussion? —yes, let's call it a discussion! of fanfic and what makes one a ‘real’ writer, I argued that I was a real artist because I make art.

At least one other person claimed to use whether the writer was traditionally published, i.e. professional, as the dividing line for ‘real’, and did that ever annoy me. Leaving aside plenty of professional writers are no longer traditionally published, leaving aside the fact that a lot traditionally published stuff is crap, using whether one is published & paid for it as a metric suuuuuuuucks, because it's deeply unfair.

Let's just take it as read that if you write about stuff of much greater interest to marginalized communities than rich white guys running the country topics that said guys think will make them a lot of money & don't offend them mainstream, it will be much harder to get published. Let alone being a member of a marginalized community, and just focus on the supposed quality.

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31may2021

cropO hai, Happy A Good? Somber? Reflective? Memorial Day. I got to celebrate utter peace and quiet early this morning as I planted some new hostas given me by my bestie, moved a bunch of other hostas around & just generally enjoyed being all by myself:) since most of my immediate neighbors are out of town. (I actually have awesome neighbors, I just haven't the extraversion to appreciate ’em right now.) It seems entirely appropriate that today is also No-tobacco Day. —I'm so deeply grateful this toxic pollutant mostly no longer impinges upon my space. (Part of the reason I have the luxury of whinging about light and noise pollution instead.)

Memorial Day is nominally to honour those who died in wars; I think it was TaNehisi Coates who characterized the lived experience of Black people in the US as a 400 year long war, so it's entirely appropriate to note, as PZ Myers did, that today is the 100th anniversary of what until recently was called the ‘Tulsa Race Riots’ and is more properly known as the destruction of Black Tulsa.

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28may2021

cropOh hi there, instead of making beads or taking advantage of this glorious weather to paint and/or draw the peonies, or even weed my own garden I'm...making web pages. (I dipped mandrels, though!)

Anyway, yes, another web page to serve as scaffolding for a link—specifically, I found out Hbomberguy made a new video! It's been awhile for him, but it's a nice long juicy one, on the order of an hour and a half. So, after doing two or three minor chores, watching this was how I spent my morning. It's long, entertainingly done, and appalling—I realized—not only from a global health perspective, but on a personal level as well.

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24may2021

cropI think it would be ever so much better (yes, I've been reading Jane-Austen-inspired stuff...) to jump out of bed and joyfully pursue some interesting activity, rather than rely upon such crutches as, well, if I wanna preserve my steak, I gotta do Japanese, or if I wanna get rid of all these tabs, I should make a web page and dump them...

Something is deeply wrong with me.

But, about those links...

  • The money quote from this article about a famous bank would be "Pictet long managed to achieve a return on equity above 40%, a number that's unheard of for any modern bank. While the figure has come down to between 16% and 21% in the past half decade, it's still a cut above UBS, Credit Suisse and Julius Baer." Not only do billionaires (the sort that patronize Pictet) have lots more money, their money grows far faster the S&P500 rate of roughly 10% let alone 4–6% a ‘typical’ investor, after paying fees, taxes and the like, is said to have available to them. The wealthy can afford to pay their share!
  • Fierce meditation might be an antidote (NYTlink) to this sort of injustice.
  • Geometry is cool. S'pose I ought to pick this book about it up...
  • Probaby posted this list of ‘25 educational podcasts!’ before, but I'm familiar with some of them, and it looks like a good roundup.
  • via WHTM an hour-plus lecture on Polari a language of UK gay men. (I couldn't help wondering, but what about gay women?)
  • Also via that mammoth link, Jane Austen & slavery. I was aware of some of this, and of course this is emphasized in a recent(1) adaptation of Mansfield Park. (the one with the spiritual in the opening) but this essay has a bit more detail.
  • To wind up, here's a charming sculptural zoetrope of the catbus from Studio Ghibli's classic My Neighbor Totoro.

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10may2021

cropFor those of you into Mother's Day, trusting you had a good one. I spent most of mine something-something trying to get this silly badge for Duolingo. But even with my crappy gamification attitude, I do feel I'm getting a bit of a feel for Japanese.

After a year of no travel we finally did a little camping trip, successful enough that at least one more is being planned. (IOW, there will be more pix of spring ephemerals, plus of course the usual suspects from the garden.) So I could hardly miss posting this heartwarming story of a woman who did a 3 month winter hike. Considering that the most I ever did along those lines was three days, before I even married, I'm pretty impressed.

But I consider the opportunity even to do the much-easier car camping a gift. Speaking of which, that's the theme for today's page.

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3may2021

cropRight now, as I type this I'm on hold, and this dude's effort's to write soul-less hold music failed abysmally as I rather liked his stuff. Or at least didn't think it was that bad. (As opposed to the 3–4 songs I'm currently be tortured with while being, as the employee called it, ‘on long hold’. (And this is a relatively high end firm.)

In between the sound-barf are bursts of static which to be honest are almost less annoying. Ah, the problems of a first world existence...

Of all the focaccia recipes I've found this refrigerator one looks like the best. There's a bonus pita bread one too.

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