akabana: (Sophie in rain by <lj comm="tmg_icons">)
I don't deserve my moonflower seedlings. I once again left them out in the cold wind today, and almost killed them again. And they resurrected once more. I really don't deserve them.

I'm apparently not used to plants as fussy as them. Even basil seems hardy when compared to my fainting beauties. If only I would get them to flower, then all these shocks would seem worthwhile. If only.


May. 8th, 2008 11:18 pm
akabana: (Sophie in rain by <lj comm="tmg_icons">)
Instead of lurking around in the LJ, I'm now going to make myself useful and proofread some of my thesis. Over and out.


May. 6th, 2008 10:12 pm
akabana: (Default)
I should really be doing this blogging thingy much more often: it's a good outlet. And also an excellent method of procrastination...

At the moment, I'm supposed to be proofreading an essay I wrote in ancient times about the influence of Norman French on Early Middle English. I'm almost done - something like three more pages to go - and then I can email it to the person who'll grade it. And I'll get some study credits.

Then, I'm going to go through one chapter of my thesis before going to bed. I still haven't heard from the prof. concerning the first version, but otherwise the thesis is doing fine. It's me who's worse off >_<.

And I almost killed the Moonflower seedlings again today. I just got them inside an hour ago and they looked a tad floppy. During the first half an hour the floppiness got progressively worse. *scurries off to check the current status of the patients* And now some of them are already back in the land of the living. I just have to learn the hard way, don't I?

Hmm. I need more icons, too. Something emotive; I already have many serious ones, an inquisitive one and a humorous one. I need something cheery and something pissed off. And some more with plants in them. I'll probably have to ditch some old ones. Sigh. Finding any good icons is going to be a drag, though.

Edit: got the essay done and emailed. Now I'm off to pay the rent, then maybe some thesis-reading, then sleep.
akabana: (sakuragi by <lj user="alenah">)
I almost accidentally killed my Moonflower seedlings today. In the morning,  I did what I always do in the mornings: lifted them out to the backyard to "harden" them - i.e. to get them used to the outside air instead of our centrally-heated flat. It was a bit windy, though, but the sun was shining heartily, so I thought nothing of it. At one p.m. I left for a test at the Uni and left the seedlings outside.

When I came back, several hours later, the wind was even worse. I still thought nothing of it, since the Moonflowers had sustained even colder afternoons without damage. I made dinner, went to the library, and finally decided to look in on the plants. The horror! They had flopped. I can't think of a better word: the leaves were hanging limp and lifeless, even the stems were drooping a little. I quickly scooped them back inside, but had small hope of them ever rejuvenating. But lo and behold: as I'm writing this, a few hours later, the seedlings are gradually getting back in shape. By the look of them, you wouldn't guess their earlier state of imminent demise.

I honestly thought I had killed them. Praised be the eternal resilience of green things! And the dumb luck of stupid gardeners...
akabana: (Default)
They're alive and green, so obviously they're sprouts, right? Not something crawling out from the back of the fridge (although it could happen one of these days...)

akabana: (Default)
If you think your life needs some action, then, by all means, get yourself a cat. Or two. Then, proceed to giving them their dewormer. Action ensues.

So, the story thus far: a while back we tried giving the boys their dewormer with the method that had worked previously, that is, as a crushed tablet mixed with boiled fish. Last year they eventually ate it, although gingerly and only after realizing nothing better was goung to be offered until they would empty the bowls. This time they didn't. Oh, well, Loki eventually ate some, so he probably got his assigned dose, but Leu resolved to fast until tastier repast would be offered. Later on, when investigating on methods of deworming a fussy cat, I found out that the particular brand of dewormer we had been using apparently is foul-tasting even as a whole tablet, but even more so when ground up. Well, you live and learn.

The next step was to purchase more dewormer in paste form and to squirt it directly in Leu's maw, since we figured he wouldn't probably eat it voluntarily anyway. The only problem was that it was a three-day regimen where the tablet had been a single dose, so we would have to make him swallow it for three times in a row. The first time was almost too easy. I simply grabbed him at the scruff of the neck, inched the tube between his teeth and squirted. Some of the stuff went on the floor, some on his fur, but most in his mouth. After I let go, he just went to the bathroom to mope for a while.

But the second time wasn't as easy. First of all he was a bit wary and led me a merry chase when he saw me coming with the paste. I finally got him pinned on top of the piano. Holding him still was the easy part, since he apparently was scared stiff. And there was me thinking it was a piece of cake as I squirted in the second dose. Then I got a whiff of something. The poor thing had evidently panicked and wet himself. On top of my piano. And I couldn't really be mad at him since he was so obviously scared out of his wits.

I can only blame myself, since I should have seen it coming. On previous occasions, Leu has sometimes shat himself out of spite or fear when cornered. Only this time he apparently was out of ammunition in that department. I actually would have preferred the feces to urine since it would have been a lot easier to clean up afterwards. I just thank whatever gods there is that none of it managed to enter the keyboard. So I spent the rest of the evening cleaning the piano with strong vinegar. For the moment it appears I got rid of the smell, which is relief. I would have hated to have to get rid of the instrument.

So, next time - implying today - when I have to give this particular tomcat his medicine, I'll be sure to do it on the floor or other washable surface.
akabana: (Default)
Well, it seems that it's hard to say whether the content strike had nay measurable effect. If it did, it wasn't a very noticeable effect. But what can you do? I still feel it was worth a try and would do it again.
akabana: (Default)
Just slight fangrrling before shutting up: Tales of Pain and Wonder arrived on Monday before last. The book is gorgeous and the chapbook containing bits and pieces of fiction lost along the way to the final edition is absolutely adorable. Also, all Sandman albums I ordered from Book Depository have already arrived. I'm only waiting for the three I ordered from amazon.com. And, naturally, bf decided he would have needed to order one book from amazon - but only after I'd already placed my order. >_< Oh, well, dollar is so cheap nowadays that we can afford another order soon enough, even with the outrageous amazon postage, although I just realised a while back that the postage from amazon.fr is actually higher than from amazon.com - that's cheap dollar for you.

I am, also, slightly drunk, of paella and good chilean wine ^_^. See you all on Saturday. Good striking!


Mar. 20th, 2008 07:35 pm
akabana: (GUNM icon by <lj user="jubilli">)


The one-day content strike is on for this Friday, March 21, from midnight GMT to midnight GMT.

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics.

This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do.

This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of adfree space.

This is a protest that will educate the new owners that LJ is driven by user-created content.


We are holding the Content Strike because we want to demonstrate that LiveJournal is content-driven.

We are holding the Content Strike because we want the new owners of LiveJournal to better understand the power and resolve of the LJ Community of Users.

We are holding the Content Strike because all of us, Paid, Permanent and Plus users as well as Basic, want to demonstrate our solidarity as a Community of Users. We do not consider Basic users to be freeloaders, we consider them to be valuable content-providers and Friends.

We are holding the Content Strike because we ache to do something to show our displeasure, and commenting on the news post -- even with cat macros -- just isn't powerful enough!


[personal profile] beckyzoole will be emailing and snail-mailing SUP that the strike has four terms:


  1. Restore basic accounts for new account creation.

  2. Inform users before any change to the site that affects how we use the site or demands on our resources.

  3. Run change proposals by the Advisory Board and take their advice into account before implementation of any change.

  4. Homophobia, misogyny, and racism must not be a part of the decision making processes about appropriate content of the site, including what user interests are deemed appropriate.

NOTE: I'm aware that there may be good business decisions for eliminating Basic accounts. If Basic accounts are to be eliminated, though, that action should be taken only after approval of the Advisory Board and consultation with the LJ Community of Users.

ETA: Credit and thanks due to lavendertook for the wording of the terms, with which I am in full agreement.

How Can I Help?

DO post about this in your own LJ.
DO post and comment about it in appropriate communities.
DO remember that it's based on Greenwich Mean Time, which may not be your local time.
DO turn off LoudTwitter and your RSS feeds for 24 hours.
DO feel free to friend 

[personal profile] beckyzoole for updates, and defriend when the strike is over.

DON'T forget to get permission from community mods before making an off-topic post or comment about the strike.
DON'T be spammy with your posts or comments about the strike.
DON'T forget to turn your LoudTwitter and RSS feeds back on when the strike is over.



Text above courtesy of [info]beckyzoole, with only the slightest editions.


So, the strike will be on in about six hours. Scabs beware! And my thanks to [info]saraste_impi for bringing the protest to my attention. I had been aware of the so-called reforms of the new management and had thought they were a load of crap, but since it is not in my nature to be a rabble-rouser, it would have never occurred to me to whip up an organized, non-violent protest. The content strike is, in my opinion, in accordance with the finest principles of non-violent civil disobedience. We won't be trying to hurt the new management by any action, we are simply refusing to co-operate. By inaction we will remind them that they need us: our time, energy and willingness to actively produce new content to our blogs and communities. They simply can't afford to make any far-reaching reforms without consulting us.


And while I realise that LJ has always been, and remains a business venture, with all the handicaps and benefits that come with it, I'm also convinced that there are many profitable ways of running a business. It seems to me that the new management has made the tragic mistake of thinking LJ users as mere consumers. We are more than that. True, we do consume the facilities set up for blogging and community-building set up by the LJ management, but these facilities are only a tool for us to enjoy the true attraction of LJ: its content. And to this date, the fact remains that this content is created by the LJ users voluntarily and free of charge. So, in truth, we are the producers of LiveJournal's most valuable asset, and we do it for nothing. Therein lies our power; since we're not paid, we're financially independent of the LJ management, but since their investment would be worthless without user-generated content, the management is dependent on us.

I think it's time we demonstrated our power. Let's show them we cannot be ignored.


akabana: (GUNM icon by <lj user="jubilli">)
It's done. I hardened my heart and sacrificed my not-quite-virginal credit card to the altars of online bookstores. To be more precise, I finally, realizing their rapidly approaching out-of-print status, ordered all ten Sandman collections in paperback. And got them for a few euros less than the price of Absolute Sandman vol.1 in Finland - ten books for the price of one, so to speak. I simply didn't want to get into the situation where my only options would be to buy the oversized and overpriced Absolute volumes or to hunt for overpriced out-of-print used copies if I ever wanted to own the whole Sandman series (not counting the later additions like Dream Hunters).

It's a funny feeling you get when you've just spent almost 120 euros in books. *giggles, then jeers with a queer squint* But hey, the price per book came to something like 11.7 euros, when the retail price here is closer to 20. So I actually saved a lot of money while it may look like I splurged.

And my copy of Tales of Pain and Wonder has apparently shipped, but not yet arrived. I'm getting somewhat impatient here.

Speaking of impatience, I almost ran out of the said unvirtue when my SDLX edit kept mysteriously crashing on me yesterday. Since it almost invariably died only when I tried to confirm some specific segments in some specific files, I felt the problem was file-related rather than program-related and contacted the SDL Finland office where I had subcontracted the work (all right, it's the office previously referred to as "office B" or something, but it's really too much bother) and we used the best part of this morning trying to work it out.

It turned out that the problem wasn't file-related, but luckily my counterpart in the SDL office found a solution posted on one freelance translator discussion forum. It was indeed a bug, although easily fixable by fiddling with the settings. The only thing that bugs me is that I should have found it myself... I only tried to look into SDL's own solution database, but since they're revamping the system, the database was unavailable. And did I tell you I just updated the program and the problem occurred only afterwards? And that you can't report the bugs to the SDL technical team unless you have a paid support contract? And, based on the dates of the forum discussion, the bug only appeared after the aforesaid update package was launched? And for the time being at least, it isn't listed as one of the "known issues" of the said release.

For a while I felt like a fisherman watching his boat sink. If the this tabletop suddenly died on me, I could load the translation software on the laptop and carry on working. But if the software starts acting up on me, I'm reduced to twiddling my thumbs until I get it fixed. I'm really, really glad it's over.
akabana: (Frances vampy from masquerade_arts)
OMG OMG OMG!!!!! (add more exclamation marks as required) Subterranean Press has started shipping the copies of Tales of Pain and Wonder I was ranting about earlier.

I'm going to get it! It's mine, my prrecious, Mwahahahahaa!

Ahem. Back to work.


Feb. 19th, 2008 04:26 pm
akabana: (storyquote icon by <lj user="dreamyraynb)
I just preordered a signed limited edition hardcover copy of Caitlín R. Kiernan's Tales of Pain and Wonder. And paid a whopping 52 USD for it, postage included, which translates to roughly 35 euros. But it's not as expensive as it sounds, since the out-of-print softcover copies sell for 40 euros and up (the most expensive copy I found had a price tag of 92,72 euros, which I found a bit extravagant for a used paperback) these days. I could have gotten it for something like 30 euros with postage from Amazon.co.uk, but somehow I felt more comfortable with ordering directly from the publisher, plus there's a free chapbook with extra-special bonus material included with all the copies purchased from Subterranean Press (don't you just love the name?), which is not available anywhere else. The fangirl in me is perfectly happy to pay an extra 5 euros for something extra-special and geeky ^_^.


Feb. 10th, 2008 10:23 pm
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Next week, I'm going to hand in my thesis. Today, I have one line on page number 51, which makes me slightly giddy (all right, it's 51 minus two pages of bibliography, but who cares?).

I have a feeling I'm going to get it finished tomorrow. Likely not.


Feb. 5th, 2008 10:02 pm
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Transcribed exactly 20 pages today. Roughly 35 more to go, or approximately 6½ hours worth of work, then a day or two for the technical analysis and constructing the tables, plus a few days to whip up something for the analysis part of the thesis and I might just be able to hand in my thesis by Thursday next week. Not bad at all.


Jan. 30th, 2008 11:15 pm
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Got something like 20 pages transcribed today. Would have wanted more. Blah.


Jan. 29th, 2008 11:37 pm
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Well, as it turns out, I don't have to hand in my thesis this Thursday. Actually, as far as our prof is concerned, any day within the next two weeks or so is fine by him. This means that I'll actually have the time to get the empirical part of the thing into something resembling a half-decent shape. Currently the whole analysis portion is filled with utter crap ^_^;; I thought that as long as I could get the first version done, I could always go back to it later on.

So, I didn't get anything written today, but I did get some transcribing done: a little over thirty pages, which makes roughly a quarter, since the missing data was originally something like 140 pages. And it would be quite pointless to write anything else now, because I've reached the point where I actually need the data for the writing - that is, I'm pretty much finished with the theoretical part of the work.

The schedule is still going to be tight, but realistic. You could say I'm rather relieved by this turn of events.


Jan. 28th, 2008 11:48 pm
akabana: (destiny icon by <lj user="dreamyraynbo">)
The grand total is now at whopping 48 pages, and whole page count at 42 and something. I also managed to get started on transcribing the missing data, since it now appears I have both the time and the obligation to do it before handing in the thesis.

Because, I don't quite know whether I ought to thank my prof or spank him. I emailed him today asking something about the physical format of the text. He replies by saying that since I have everything in order study-wise, the 31.1. is no absolute final return-by-or-die date, but I must hand in a full version, meaning complete with French and Finnish abstracts and appendices. I hadn't even thought about the abstracts, since it seemed silly to write an abstract of an unfinished text, but they're nothing more than two pages worth of bullshit anyway, so they're no problem. The real problem are the appendices. I'd planned to include some kind of tables from my data, but since I haven't yet fully transcribed it, it's quite difficult.

And I have this nagging doubt in the back of my head that he wants the abstracts simply because he's not even planning to read the whole work...

Well, I think I'm going to negotiate some sort of new date, say, 4th of February. That'll leave me a few days to transcribe the data, make the tables and make up something for the analysis part ^_^;;
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Incredible. I wrote something like five pages today simply by cataloging different types of onomatopoetic expressions. Total page count is at 45 and whole text pages are at 40. It seems I might be able to reach my goal of 50-something pages O_o. Three more days to go.

This makes me feel almost giddy.


Jan. 27th, 2008 12:27 am
akabana: (kagome by <lj user="hoshi3">)
Whee! Three more pages! And a transcription table for one of the last three albums. (I feel I'll have to cheat somewhat in my analysis for the first version, since I still have that one quarter of material left to transcribe and I'm not possibly going to get all of it done by Wednesday.) The total page count, including the references, is now at 40 pages. I'm considering 50 pages as something I would dare to give to my prof, since this is supposed to be only a preliminary version of the final thing, which is supposed to be at least 60 pages.

Well, I'll just hand in whatever I've got on Thursday and see. If he won't accept it as my preliminary version, I'll issue a complaint :)

I rule!

Jan. 26th, 2008 12:50 am
akabana: (Frances vampy from masquerade_arts)
Three bloody pages today! And written while watching figure skating! (Quantity starts to overcome quality at this point). The total now stands at 32 whole pages of text.

I'll make it! I'm gonna graduate this spring! Woot!

I rule !!!


akabana: (Default)

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