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March 11th, 2014
crazycrone @ : Still Harping On Riga...
...And actually, still recovering. My feet are frelled.
The cobblestones there are intense,
so if you have any mobility problems, you really have to take care, and everyone should take some painkillers along!
Here's somebody else's photo of Big Christopher, down by the river. He is, when you get close, actually pretty big. maybe 9-10 feet tall. I thanked him for my safe journey. Hope he's diligent in protecting the drunks of Riga, as, in many places, there's no railing, you can just go right down the steps into the water, and there are any number of pubs and clubs all along there.
I'm sitting indoors waiting for The Bug Woman from the council. When R came in to feed Amazy while I was away, she found a huge invasion of ants all over the kitchen! Ugh. It's always a bit of a problem, in this building, but the change of weather must have really livened them up. R put down some traps, but there are still a fair number around the cat food, so it must be a heavy infestation. *Sigh*
Here are my travel notes & skritches:( Touristing in RigaCollapse )
oursin @ :
Happy birthday, angeyja
oursin @ :
Happy birthday, parthenia
!This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2060901.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comments.
March 10th, 2014
randomdreams @ :
It turns out I desperately need to attach a radio-control servo to some LEGO blocks.
I could glue them together. I could drill holes in the LEGO blocks. I could use a pseudo-universal-joint made of lots of rubber bands.
Countersink and test
I have an idea for a quick, beautiful project. I hope it works.
firecat @ : Convalescent linkspam III
In case your blood pressure is too low and you want to read about misdiagnosis of children (trigger warning for mention of child abuse)http://aeon.co/magazine/living-together/how-apraxia-got-my-son-suspended-from-school/
Looking back, the most charitable interpretation I can put on the whole experience is that maybe when large bureaucracies start moving in one direction, they reach a point when they can no longer resist their own momentum."
My mom's family often used the idiom "for crying in a bucket," which I've never heard anyone else use. Did your family have idiosyncratic phrases?
Anyway, this one is about long-standing idioms/cliches in the English language. What I'd really like is to know when each of these entered the language. I expect that "tougher than a nickel steak" is older than "just saying," e.g. (The comments are also good on this one.)http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/02/26/282505433/50-cliches-of-gray-in-defense-of-old-truisms
Louis Armstrong was often called an Uncle Tom, but his politics were more complicated than that.http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/02/what-louis-armstrong-really-thinks.html
Armstrong was arrested by the Memphis Police Department in 1931. His crime? He sat next to his manager’s wife, a white woman, on a bus. Armstrong and his band were thrown in jail as policemen shouted that they needed cotton pickers in the area. Armstrong’s manager got him out in time to play his show the next evening. When he did play, Armstrong dedicated a song to the local constabulary, several of whom were in the room, then cued the band to play “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Old Rascal You.” The band stiffened, expecting another night in jail, or worse. Instead, he scatted so artfully that, afterward, the cops on duty actually thanked him. Armstrong most likely never quit smiling that night. His subversive joke was not understood by anyone except the African-Americans in his band.
The text adventure game of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has been updated with graphics and sound, which could be horrible, but isn't. You can play it online here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1g84m0sXpnNCv84GpN2PLZG/the-hitchhiker-s-guide-to-the-galaxy-game-30th-anniversary-editionThis entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/837197.html, where there are comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.
matociquala @ : given half a chance would I take any of it back?
I am done with my graceless heart.
Tonight I'm going to cut it out and then restart.
It is done.
Final wordcount is a little over 106,000 words.
Have some Florence and the Machine to celebrate.
Tags: --30-- Current Mood:
Current Music: Shriekback - Everything's On Fire
, karen memory
fightingwords @ : My tweets
- Sun, 15:34: RT @adriarichards: It's very worth it to attend #SXSW for the networking opportunities but the sharks here have legs and do backflips
crazycrone @ : More Riga Ramblings...
There is virtually NO TRAFFIC in Riga. The Old Town is almost totally pedestrianised. Even in the central shopping/office area, it's really not bad for a city. In the central park, no smoking is allowed, either. The air is noticeably fresh for an urban area.
When I finally trudged upon the Sun Museum, it was a bit of a let-down. There's a lot of boring 'science' stuff, including a wonky waxwork of Gallileo. Then, there are several rooms of arty crafty representations of the sun. Looks like someone's collection of solar souvenirs from places they'd travelled. That was all OK, if not thrilling.
The weird thing is, before you start, you have to sit in this room and paint a little plaster sun plaque of your choice, which dries while you're walking around, and you can take it home. There were a few other people ahead of me, there, but when I got back, there was only one sun left, and it wasn't mine! The guy very nicely offered to let me make another, but I opted to just keep the strange one that had been left 'for' me, green rays, etc. Think it was a kid's work. I quite like it.
On the last evening, I also discovered, right by the hotel, a branch of LIDO, and a lovely-looking bakery with huge seedy pretzels. (Drool) Unfortunately, I was, by this time, full of 'curd pudding', and pretzels usually need to be eaten straight away. Bah.
I was peeved about the National Art Museum and House of Blackheads (murals) being closed for refurbishment, but in the old Stock Exchange is a very attractive modernisation, which is now an art museum. Loads of interesting stuff by artists I'd never heard of ,porcelains, and an exhibit of fascinating, haunting paintings by a couple of short-lived Symbolists:
Like I said, I visited about a dozen churches during my stay. Unfortunately, not many of them were very interesting. Even the RC ones were unusually plain and dour. The beautiful Orthodox Cathedral was an exception, though,(Don't forget to cover your heads, gurlz-) . I was hovering curiously over the ornate sarcophagus of some saint, who lay wrapped in velvet, etc, when two priests came in and started chanting away, evidently paying tribute to him. I joined the dozen or so other babushkas who were in attendance, and the priests went on and on, finally distributing communion, etc. and departing. Memorable.
Just down the road is another Orthodox church, full of equally intriguing icons. I was moseying around gawping,when a choir, rehearsing, I thought, began to sing. How lovely, thought I, and then I saw an ancient flower-decked lady lying in her coffin...Gave me a turn, I can tell you. Things like that freak me out. The next church was St Gertrud's, another rather unfancy place. When the solo soprano let rip, I wasn't all that surprised that the next thing I saw was another corpse! This one, also a woman, looked worryingly young. An old man sat in mournful attendance. I departed.
Is Friday Funeral Day in Latvia?
crazycrone @ : Random Notes On Riga...
Returned to hideous (to Me) HEAT, and I was wearing four T shirts and a jacket. (Still quite chilly in Latvia, especially when overcast, which is most of the time.) Tense check-in going home, including being proper frisked by a Rosa Klebb type who seemed to take great pride in her work. My tit and groin areas were thoroughly
examined. Didn't have to remove shoes, at least.
RyanAir has a new treat in store; laying out 7 euros for 'security charge'. Receipt then has to be passed through the machine, after I'd already lost mine, etc. RyanAir always lands really bumpily, too, with ironic applause from the passengers.
Here's an Eisenstein sphynx with a nose like Rebecca Adlington's.
People in 'the still centre' all look very rich, and yes, it is very quiet, even for Riga. I went to the Art Nouveau Museum, which was nice, but I think I missed a lot of the famous facades, even after getting a taxi to Alberta street,..( Close as it was, I couldn't find it...) I also didn't realise there were two-hour tours specially to see the architecture. Nothing much is happening, as there are so few tourists around. I was on a City Tour coach with like, four other people.
The hotel gave us a free bottle of Black Balsam, only I didn't realise it was a giftie, and spent 3.50 on a miniature! Oh well...I didn't have room in my backpack to take it home, and probably wouldn't have been allowed to, anyway. Bah.
Must say, on my first nip, I didn't think it was all that bad. Then when I tried it again later, I thought no, it really is rather disgusting, even with a mixer.
Riga is *CLEAN* No litter at all. Even saw a teenager
bend to pick up a dropped sweet wrapper. Incredible. People in general seem pleasant and polite. Only had one woman in a souvenir shop suspiciously follow me around to make sure I wasn't stealing, and suggest expensive things I should buy, which got on my nerves.
Couldn't fault the cosy, well-situated Gutenberg's Hotel, either, except for the fact that every other day, the breakfast food wasn't very good. When it was good, it was scrummy. Excellent porridge.
Eating (or not) in Riga:
My newish inner workings are weird. Sometimes I can eat just as I used to before the op. Other times (like in Riga-) I'm just not very interested in food, and can't 'hold' very much.
The LIDO chain of serve-yourself restaurants, as endorsed by motodraconis
, have a huge variety of hearty-looking dishes and tempting sundae-type things, cheapish. It was dark, and I couldn't read the English translations, but most of the stuff was obviously meat, and heavier than I was in the mood for. I ended up with a slice of 'blackthorn pie', which was odd, but OK. Otherwise, apart from a couple of supermarket sarnies, all I ate in Riga, after a big breakfast daily, was cakes! One night, before I discovered LIDO, I blew 7 euros round the corner from the hotel, on walnut pancakes with pistachio ice cream, lots of fresh fruit, and syrupy stuff. Nice.
On another coffee break, near the Sun Museum, I scoffed half a piece of 'curd pudding' which also came with lots of fruit and nice compotey stuff. Liked that, too, but just couldn't eat any more.
More travel trivia and sketchbook stuff to come. I didn't really draw much at all, but took a lot of photos...which I don't know how to upload. D'Oh!
oursin @ : Should I stay or should I go
I've been thinking recently about the fact that, only a few years ago, I would now (or even somewhat earlier) be having talks with HR, winding down my work commitments, etc, because I would have reached Retirement Age.
Which is no longer a thing, and okay, I totally get that people of my years don't necessarily feel like being put out to grass just yet, though I can imagine instances where they wish they could.
It means I don't have a definite end-date to work to, and that I have all sorts of thinks about if/when I should depart the workplace. Sometimes I feel it would be nice if one were just told to stop. One could then think what next and make plans and so on.
I think this may be another of those cases where you find me and Robert Frost's Neighbour, sitting in the bar with our drinks and our backs turned to one another.
It resonates for me with that rather terrifying thing one hears about about people in certain sectors who claim that they have no work/leisure division, because work is So Much Fun and during what might be leisure they are checking their email, social media, etc for work-related matters.
Also with people who are being obliged, rather than spending their days looking for work, or engaging in relevant unpaid volunteering, having to do uncongenial labour for no pay, just for The Experience.
There is something there about necessary boundaries and their erosion that bothers me.
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Tags: age, life, uncertainty, work, work/family-balance