I flew from BTR (Baton Rouge) to DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) on AA 3180 on Feb. 15 in the morning. The original departure gate was B2. They switched it to B7. This is significant because that morning at B7, the computers were down. The gate agent did not have any way of scanning boarding passes and for all I know she didn't take any record of passengers at all, who knows.
Today I showed up at DFW for my return flight home, which was to have been AA 3185 departing DFW at 4:55 p.m. for BTR.
The kiosk couldn't find my flight.
I went to the desk agent.
Two desk agents and one American customer service person on the phone ALL told me that because I was a no-show on the flight from BTR to DFW (they are telling me this as I am standing in the airport at DFW), American automatically dropped my return flight, without telling me. The only way I could get home was now to REBUY a ticket either for that flight or a later one.
Dear reader, I did not fucking teleport from Baton Rouge to Dallas-Ft. Worth. I was on AA 3180 on Feb. 15. It was not my fault that American's fucking incompetent recordkeeping listed me as a no-show. The desk agent asked if I'd kept my boarding pass. I had not, but hell, I remember some people on that plane boarded with electronic boarding passes on their smartphones, so what does that even prove?
As a result, I had to spend $341.30 of my own money to get back onto a flight that American had kicked me off of BECAUSE THEY ARE INCOMPETENT and listed me as a no-show for a flight I WAS ON.
I Tweeted about this in an attempt to get American's attention , basically reiterating what I have told you here.
There were only two flights in the itinerary, BTR to DFW then return flight DFW to BTR. I was ON flight #1. I should not have been dropped from flight #2. The issue was that they had INCORRECTLY recorded me as a no-show on AA 3180 from BTR to DFW. I should not be penalized for their failure! At the LEAST I want a refund of the ticket I shouldn't have had to buy thanks to American's incompetence.
I have a smartphone that I leave on until I'm physically on the plane, and turn back on once the plane lands. Google's creepy tracking will show that I was in BTR and DFW at the appropriate times. Moreover, my friends telophase and myrialux physically picked me up from DFW when AA 3180 landed and I got off. I have a hotel receipt showing I was in DFW.
I DID NOT TELEPORT TO DFW.
Yes, I have emailed American Airlines with a complaint, since whoever runs their Twitter is incapable of basic reading comprehension. However, I expect that I am never flying American again unless the alternative is getting drawn and quartered by locomotives.
This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, and Pamela Dean.
The more I do of this series of posts, the more I discover that one of the commonalities of writers I want to feature here is that they write with great variety--both on a range of topics and for a range of audiences. The first Gwyneth Jones books I fell in love with were the series that starts with Bold As Love--all rock, all political, all relationships, all the time. Focused on the near future, the environment, and how people handle it as people--at basically every scale. Healthy dollop of weird science fiction mysticism.
But then I ran around trying to find as many others of her books as I could--a harder feat than it should be in the US, alas--there were very different things. Weird alien SF! Creepy kids' books! Riffs on classics with heart and humanity! There are authors of whom you can say, "Well, it's a one of those again, if you want that," and...Gwyneth Jones doesn't do that. Even the last book of the Bold As Love cycle departs strongly from the patterns and concerns of the rest of it. (The Grasshopper's Child, and I love that one too.) There's a lot of her back catalog for me to pore through bookstores to find, and I'm eager for it.
It was eccentric enough to begin with: I described it as 'steampunk' - with a picture to prove it. Here's the picture again:
- and that's the first time I've worked out how to upload a picture to DW, so there's something gained (niceties like controlling display size may or may not follow).
Anyway, it was selected and fitted in our absence by our builder, and while I probably wouldn't have chosen it myself, it amused me, so that was no problem. What was a problem was that it began to wobble. This was presumably because it wasn't properly fitted, but it didn't manifest until long enough after the original work that we couldn't decide whether to call back our original builder, or find a maybe more reliable plumber...
Yes, I know. Either would be good. But this is us. And it wasn't a huge problem, you just had to steady the whole thing with one hand while turning the tap with the other.
Then the cold tap began to drip. That was more of a problem, because now you had to grip the unit quite hard to counter the extra force required to turn off the tap. And over a period of time, it got worse. And worse.
Finally, last Friday morning, I managed to turn the tap with so much force that it went right past turning off, and carried on turning, and the drip became a steady trickle. durham_rambler dragged himself away from his committee papers, turned off the stopcock, and took advice from the neighbours about a handyman they had employed. And after a little emergency plumbing on Friday afternoon (consisting mostly of said handyman showing me how to turn off the water supply to the cold tap and only the cold tap), we went to B & Q on Saturday and bought a tap.
I assumed that after the decorative excess of the previous tap, we would choose something severely plain. It turns out that I am hard to please in the matter of taps - not the unit as a whole, but the bit you grip to turn the water on and off. Many of these are variations on a plain barrel shape, which can be hard to grip with soapy hands even if you don't suffer from arthritis - which I don't, yet. Others were very sharply rectangular, and I didn't like those, either. So we ended up choosing something called 'Apsley'. This might refer to any of a number of things, according to Wikipedia, including a suburb of Hemel Hempstead and an Antarctic explorer (Apsley Cherry-Garrard). I don't know which, if any, of these B & Q had in mind, but I thought at once of the Duke of Wellington's London house. Which is pretty grand for a piece of kitchen plumbing.
Nonetheless, our handyman came back on Monday morning and fitted it. What luxury to be able to run hot or cold water, just by pushing a lever. One-handed, even. Plus an unexpected benefit, that the design leaves plenty of room under the water outlet: I can fill the kettle easily, even if the sink is full of water.
No doubt in due course there will be an unexpected disadvantage, too, but I haven't discovered that yet.
Random quote of the day:
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
—Robert Hughes, “Modernism’s Patriarch (Cezanne),” Time, June 10, 1996
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
Shardlake suffers a degenerative spinal problem, something with which I can identify with intensely from 2019, even though, at least by now, in this seventh account of his perilous manueverings around the monarchy and other powerful English lords and officials, it is only 1549. Not much has changed for the effective management of such back pain. But at least for now, unlike Shardlike, I am not a hunchback living in an era in which any deviation from the norm physically or mentally or emotionally is regarded either as a sign the person is evil and should be at best expelled from society or burned.
Thus, as well as making enemies with the cohorts of the powerful (he's been thrown in the Tower not just once, but twice, and it is only his intelligence and the discreet support of rival powers allowed him to not only survive, but continue practicing law), Matthew also has to deal with chronic, ever increasing pain, and the fear and persecution of the foolish and just plain mean.
This is all a way of saying that Shardlake is an exceptional character, of depth and nuance, in historical fiction. He's also a pleasant fellow, loyal and kind in every plausible sort of manner, who does not stay the same throughout this series. His attitudes and beliefs about class and wealth, and many other matters, slowly shift and broaden as the series continues.
Tombland is a brilliant historical novel, the best of the entire series so far. It is also the longest, 800 pages, with a 50 page historical essay at the end. But it doesn't feel saggy or draggy at all. It is slow perhaps, but so much is necessary for both Shardlake and the reader to learn about the conditions of England in that summer of rebellion, 1549 -- which has been fairly ignored by historians, because nobody comes out of it very well*, except, perhaps, the martyred leaders of Kitt's Rebellion at Mouseland, above the city of Norwich in Norfolk.
I began reading Tombland more than two weeks ago. The reading concluded in snatched half and three quarters of hours in Havana, while waiting around for others to get to the lobby or waiting my turn for the shower while el V luxuriated (if anyone needed to luxuriate in a hot shower, it was him -- so busy, so hard he works to present the best Postmambo experience to his Travelers as possible -- and it pays off -- all that time and work shows every minute of every day). I finished the last pages in the Jose Martí airport outside Havana yesterday.
I highly recommend reading this -- and the entire Shardlake series to everyone who enjoys reading historical fiction. However it is unnecessary to have read the others to read Tombland. If the reader enjoys fiction set in the Tudor era, this, and the entire series, is particularly recommended.
Next up -- not an historical, but by another author I highly admire and enjoy reading, Tana French's The Witch Elm (in the US; Wych Elm in the UK). Nice to have this on hand now that I'm home again; it's snowing and very cold. Though, They Say tomorrow will be quite warm.
* Rather as US historians have tended to ignore the War of 1812 until quite recently as no one responsible for making and running this show comes off well, including President Madison. And, let's face it, essentially the US lost -- D.C. and the White House were burned, and Madison fled.
According to the Ingress tracking I went from 1011 km toward my Trekker badge to 1017 km, so... Erm. It was too cold for that, and I was carrying enough that my lower back got seriously stressed.
I had lunch at Totoro (part of the too much that I was carrying was food for Scott and Cordelia from there), and I delivered the disability review paperwork. Part of the walking around too much was me keeping busy while waiting for the doctor's office to call and tell me if I could drop it off. The other part of me walking around too much was me doing Ingress missions in hopes of getting one of the gold badges I need.
I have a referral to the Kellogg Eye Care Center. They got me in on Monday because they had a cancellation. The doctor at UHS said that I may simply never be able to use progressives and will have to change glasses every time I change distance or do without glasses altogether. The referral to Kellogg is because part of the problem is that I can't make my eyes focus downward and close in. I can get there, but I can't hold it more than a few seconds because it makes the muscles around my eyes (and in my neck) hurt. I'm pretty sure that that is also why I can only make one lens of the progressives work at a time.
At any rate, Scott has Monday off, so he'll be able to take me to the appointment.
My iPhone keeps popping up a request that I log into iTunes. I have no idea what's going on with that. I don't use iTunes on my phone. I very specifically don't want to.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Witchmark by C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing)
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly (Tor.com 7/11/18)
An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births by José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18)
The Rule of Three by Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18)
Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)
Interview for the End of the World by Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)
Going Dark by Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)
And Yet by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)
The Road to Canterbury by Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
God of War by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio/Sony/Interactive Entertainment)
Rent-A-Vice by Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)
The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)
The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram
Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
A Quiet Place, screenplay by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning
Sorry to Bother You, written by Boots Riley
The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)
A Light in the Dark by A.K. DuBoff (BDL)
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (Henry Holt)
Once and Future. Dark Tower - Stephen King. The ka-tet explores some more, and finds a different kind of tower. Lovely Mid-World story with the requisite bonding, eerie imagery, and metafictional elements.
Tech Support. The Punisher. David is the Punisher's tech support. That's okay. It's fine. Hilarious and poignant and all things wonderful.
born with the gift of a golden voice. The Stand - Stephen King. Larry is touring Las Vegas when the superflu hits. Flagg finds him in a hotel room. Beautifully written, and fucking creepy in the very best way.
Long Way Down. True Detective. Rivers of history inside of every human being. Gorgeous imagery, perfectly in-character Rust/Marty
Art Recs (all worksafe; some kissing with clothes on):
Left-Hand Man.. The Dragon Prince. Harrow and Viren kissing.
it's all been done.
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. "You go your way, I go mine, but I’ll see you next time ..."
SSSS Homage to Peter Max. Stand Still Stay Silent. The whole crew, done in the style of Peter Max, the noted psychedelic artist, best known for his work on the animated movie "Yellow Submarine."
Ebb and Flow. Wonder Woman. Darling it's better, down where it's wetter ;)
I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rose and Paige Tico.
Comic Book Rec (generally work safe; making out but no full nudity)
Union of Heart. Original Fiction. When the recently widowed Duke of Bridgewater discovers he has inherited a cotton mill where the workers are striking, he decides to investigate the conditions of the workers and meets the impulsive Edward Mann, the union leader for his mill.
A delightful 11-page comic book romance for the pairing "Impulsive Trade Union Leader/Recently Widowed Young Duke."
Fic Recs (don't need to know canon):
Lace. Words: 470. Ephie is dressed in traditional Lephratan style, and is ready to meet her bride. NOTE: You used the magic phrase: costume porn. If someone says they’re open to costume porn, I must satisfy them! Original F/F. Sensual and sweet; as promised, the costume porn is excellent.
Fic Recs (better if you know canon):
get a little closer, let fold. Annihilation (2018 Garland). Anya can't get the way Josie smells out of her head. F/F. Tagged "porn without plot," but it's actually a fantastic example of how to convey character, atmosphere, theme, and setting by means of sex. Really well-done.
Three Times Lucky. Defenders. There is no such thing as luck, no such thing as magic fish, and Jessica wants a refund for this day. Short and hilarious; more fish jokes than you can shake a pole at.
Challenge Accepted. Iron Fist (TV). Misty doesn't have the Iron Fist, but she has an iron fist. G-rated but nonetheless extremely hot F/F, well-characterized and well-written.
Steady Gun Hand. Iron Fist (TV). Infected bullet wounds and heart to heart talks while hiding out from gangsters in Indonesia: just another day on the Rand-Meachum road trip of self-discovery. Great hurt-comfort, wilderness survival, characterization, and snarky dialogue.
I wrote three stories this Chocolate Box if you want to take a guess.
Thanks to a dialogue for training cuneiform scribes c.1600 BCE, we know how to get your laundry done in ancient Mesopotamia. Also, pain-in-the-ass customers have been a Thing for a v-e-r-y long time. (via)
Wall chart of the evolution of the latin aphabet from Proto-sinaitic roots. (via)
Map of medieval afro-eurasian trade routes c. 11-12 centuries version 4. Zoomable version. (via)
Subject quote from Tony, Patty Griffin.
I finally fell asleep, only to wake up and discover I had accidentally turned off my alarm before going to bed. So I overslept by a good 50 minutes. My normal routine allows for up to 30 minutes, deliberately, but this meant I had to rush to get ready and out the door. Fortunately I already had planned to eat breakfast at work.
I got out the door less than five minutes late. And then the bus notice only read "schedule unavailable and times inaccurate." Thanks. The bus was quite late as well, so I got into work about 15 minutes late. Not actually my fault, but irritating when I had rushed to be on time.
Earlier, frightened, you began to have some intimation of it: so many pages had been turned, the book was so heavy in one hand, so light in the other, thinning toward the end. Still, you consoled yourself. You were not quite at the end of the story, at that terrible flyleaf, blank like a shuttered window: there were still a few pages under your thumb, still to be sought, treasured. Oh, was it possible to read more slowly?--No. The end approached, inexorable, at the same measured pace. The last page, the last of the shining words! And there--the end of the book.
So yesterday I got a $200 bill from the doctor's office for a routine procedure. I logged on to my insurance company's web site and found the claim. It was coded "Maximum charge for procedure reached." As far as I knew, there's no "maximum charge" for anything through this policy. A little apprehensive, I called the insurance company. After some clicking around on her computer, the rep said, "This was improperly processed. I'm very sorry. We'll correct the error and send them the payment."
For the TL;DR crowd, you can (please please please) sign up (again) at https://tinyletter.com/ce_murphy/
For those who enjoy stories of epic EBCAK, let me share the sad, mortifying tale.
It was so so so so stupid. I was trying to set up a NEW mailing list for blog posts, and tried using the same email address figuring it would say "that email is already in use" if that couldn't be done, right?
Except it didn't.
But THEN it wouldn't let me log in with the new username & I went "oh jeez, did I kill my ability to log in with the old username?" & tried & could. So I thought "well okay I'll just delete the new one," & switched to that window.
...only then I was logged in to my original account, and I didn't think it through, so when it said "do you REALLY want to delete this" I was like "sure brah" and...deleted it. All. Forever and ever, amen. And five seconds later I was like "OH, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD NO OH GOD NO I DIDN'T I DIDN'T OH GOD I *DID*" and really this was just not my finest moment. I spent half an hour or so trying not to throw up, that's how sick I felt, and a lot more time in a futile rage.
Obviously I did not confess this error to the world until after I had thoroughly investigated the possibility of retrieval with the provider and verified there's not a single solitary good god damn thing I can do about it except rebuild. I've spent about a week howling about it on other social media and am finally bringing it to the blog page, where the mark of my foolishness will be available for everyone to read forever and ever and ever. :}
So, once more, the sign-up page is at https://tinyletter.com/ce_murphy/ and I am so grateful to anyone who signs up again (or for the first time).
It was another splendid cake with a rum-chocolate-cream filling.
I won't be eating any cake now for at least five years.
Home now. Guess what? IT IS COLD HERE! Like below freezing cold. And a wintery mix is blowing in starting sometime tonight maybe? We rushed about to get in some supplies.
El V has to teach on Thursday. On Friday he flies to Berkeley and SF for 5 days, where he'll lecture on Kongo, The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans, meet with classes, including Greil Marcus's -- whom el V will have taught in his class the day before -- Joel Sullivan and many, many friends, including Postmambo Travelers.
So much to do before flying. This storm or whatever will really complicate matters. But today -- our flight and everything about it, getting home, etc. were all as smooth as these things can be these days.
As of this writing, I now have a total of five repositories on my Github account: the misc-configs repo for various config/supplementary files, and two each for Java and Python work. For each of those languages, I have a repo for the REST API portion of this project, and one for the Selenium.
All of the repos can be seen on my Github account.
What I’ve been calling the rough “phase 1” of this project is now more or less complete. I’ve got basic test cases in place in both languages for both the REST API side, and the Selenium side. As I’ve written about before, the API tests are dealing with the service endpoints that handle publicly viewable information. The Selenium tests are mostly oriented around testing parts of the homepage of my little test WordPress site.
Now I’m moving into the rough “phase 2”. In this phase, I’m adding more Selenium tests. This’ll include adding some sidebar tests for the homepage, as well as tests for additional sections of the site (a post and a page), and making sure that the elements are correct on the selected links. I’ll also be testing site search and adding a new comment to a previously existing post, since that’s something I can do without authentication.
“Phase 3” of this project will get into dealing with stuff that requires authentication. From the REST API side, this’ll mean dealing with the service endpoints that handle things at the site admin level (such as making a new post or comment, or editing a previously existing one). From the Selenium side, I’ll want to see about verifying logging in and logging out of the site, and making sure that the links displayed in the “META” area of the sidebar update themselves accordingly.
(NOTE: I am NOT going to try to test the actual WordPress admin UI. That’s a whole different kettle of fish than testing a front-facing site.)
In related news, I’ve also discovered the Githubs “Projects” functionality, and I’ve made myself a project there to cover the work I’m doing. This amuses me, as their Projects board looks a lot like JIRA, the bug tracking/project management software we used at my Former Day Job, as well as at the short contract I had after the layoff at the tail end of last year.
Interested parties can find my current active project on my Github projects page. I’ll be adding additional projects to that once this one is complete–like the WordPress plugin work I want to do!
I’ve actually had job recruiters and interviewers ask me about this work, now that I’ve got a link to my Github on my resume. This has proven beneficial in interviews I had last week, and I even got useful tips on additional libraries I can research, as well as aspects of version 8 of Java I hadn’t had experience with yet. I’ve gotten positive feedback about how I do comments on things, as well as on the various Readmes I’ve put on the repos.
So while the work hasn’t yet actually proven critical in landing me a job, it has proven useful in helping me demonstrate that I not only know how to code, but that I like it well enough to do it on my own time and to plan out larger projects.
This is, I feel, a very valuable thing for me to be able to demonstrate.
Mirrored from annathepiper.org.