featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Thanks to everyone who filled out my poll yesterday. The backstory on that is this: at the PSD conference, I went to a presentation called Radical Hospitality. Radical Hospitality is the name of a for-sale workshop that you can have certified consultants come out and do with your congregation, to teach the congregation how to be welcoming to visitors and, to a lesser extent, how to care for the existing membership. The goal of all of this is, of course, to get more people to become UUs, which is not a terrible goal.

It was, however, a fairly terrible presentation. I will not recount the sins of the presentation, but will instead share my single biggest WTF moment.

The presenter was espousing the philosophy that in order to be welcoming to and supportive of visitors to our churches, we must first understand why people visit churches. She went on to say that a recent study had revealed that 50% of Americans say that they have either only one person in their lives, or nobody at all, with whom they can have deep, meaningful conversations, and that 20(something) percent said they had nobody at all. Of course, there was no citation to go with this data point, so I can't discover anything further about it (like how the study defined deep, meaningful conversation, or who the sample set was, or how the question was phrased, or who sponsored the research or anything). So I contented myself with going, "I bet that's bullshit."

She went on to say that this was why people came to churches, because they were so terribly lonely. I wasn't sure that necessarily followed, but I was willing to ride along with it to see where it went. She then lamented the fact that it was now easier to communicate with people electronically than ever before, and that this ability to email and post and so on was replacing "real connection", rendering people unable to have the kind of conversations they desperately need to have.

In fact, I heard some variant of "OH NOES THE INTERNETZ ARE DESTROYING ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE MEANINGFULLY" about four times over the course of the conference, from different speakers. Something lit up in my tiny brain at this point, because the speaker would almost inevitably go on to lament the fact that the denomination was unable to attract younger people in the quantities we would like to. I'm thinking the Luddite attitude might have something to do with that, no?

So anyway, in reaction to that, I had to ask you guys. Of course, I am stacking the deck in favor of people who feel socially connected and able to have deep conversation through electronic communications channels by taking a self-selecting sample from a social networking site, but hey. I'm fully aware of that. Part of the point of the exercise was to reassure myself that you were all still out there. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Thanks to everyone who filled out my poll yesterday. The backstory on that is this: at the PSD conference, I went to a presentation called Radical Hospitality. Radical Hospitality is the name of a for-sale workshop that you can have certified consultants come out and do with your congregation, to teach the congregation how to be welcoming to visitors and, to a lesser extent, how to care for the existing membership. The goal of all of this is, of course, to get more people to become UUs, which is not a terrible goal.

It was, however, a fairly terrible presentation. I will not recount the sins of the presentation, but will instead share my single biggest WTF moment.

The presenter was espousing the philosophy that in order to be welcoming to and supportive of visitors to our churches, we must first understand why people visit churches. She went on to say that a recent study had revealed that 50% of Americans say that they have either only one person in their lives, or nobody at all, with whom they can have deep, meaningful conversations, and that 20(something) percent said they had nobody at all. Of course, there was no citation to go with this data point, so I can't discover anything further about it (like how the study defined deep, meaningful conversation, or who the sample set was, or how the question was phrased, or who sponsored the research or anything). So I contented myself with going, "I bet that's bullshit."

She went on to say that this was why people came to churches, because they were so terribly lonely. I wasn't sure that necessarily followed, but I was willing to ride along with it to see where it went. She then lamented the fact that it was now easier to communicate with people electronically than ever before, and that this ability to email and post and so on was replacing "real connection", rendering people unable to have the kind of conversations they desperately need to have.

In fact, I heard some variant of "OH NOES THE INTERNETZ ARE DESTROYING ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE MEANINGFULLY" about four times over the course of the conference, from different speakers. Something lit up in my tiny brain at this point, because the speaker would almost inevitably go on to lament the fact that the denomination was unable to attract younger people in the quantities we would like to. I'm thinking the Luddite attitude might have something to do with that, no?

So anyway, in reaction to that, I had to ask you guys. Of course, I am stacking the deck in favor of people who feel socially connected and able to have deep conversation through electronic communications channels by taking a self-selecting sample from a social networking site, but hey. I'm fully aware of that. Part of the point of the exercise was to reassure myself that you were all still out there. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I need a website that allows you to put in an address anywhere in the U.S. and then returns a list of restaurants that would deliver to that address.

Pizza Hut is so, so fired.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I need a website that allows you to put in an address anywhere in the U.S. and then returns a list of restaurants that would deliver to that address.

Pizza Hut is so, so fired.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
In case any of you were hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for the thrilling conclusion to the saga of [livejournal.com profile] triadruid's PC, it turned out that the hard drive was bad. The machine is up and running now. The bad drive will be sent to wherever it is that bad drives go (the Green Fields of RMA, perhaps), and I do not have to commit seppuku over my inability to build a computer after all. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
In case any of you were hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for the thrilling conclusion to the saga of [livejournal.com profile] triadruid's PC, it turned out that the hard drive was bad. The machine is up and running now. The bad drive will be sent to wherever it is that bad drives go (the Green Fields of RMA, perhaps), and I do not have to commit seppuku over my inability to build a computer after all. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Sometimes I drive down the same old street and end up in a world that is slightly different from the one I was expecting. I don't see a lot of big changes, just small, subtle things. For example, in my usual universe, the Mediterranean place on Wornall is called Petra, but in some of these other ones, it's called Paradise Cafe, and sometimes it seems to be a pizza place called Tony's. And so on, and suchlike.

Anyway, in today's universe, the logo on Trojan Printing over on Hwy 9 is a kids'-television-looking rainbow swirl instead of its gold-on-red warrior line art right out of your high school yearbook. Also, my receptionist is playing The Cure, Morrissey, and Anthrax intermixed with the country, party dance songs recorded for karaoke, and television theme songs I am accustomed to. Also, over here, Ray Harryhausen seems to be alive.

Friggin' weird, if you ask me.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Sometimes I drive down the same old street and end up in a world that is slightly different from the one I was expecting. I don't see a lot of big changes, just small, subtle things. For example, in my usual universe, the Mediterranean place on Wornall is called Petra, but in some of these other ones, it's called Paradise Cafe, and sometimes it seems to be a pizza place called Tony's. And so on, and suchlike.

Anyway, in today's universe, the logo on Trojan Printing over on Hwy 9 is a kids'-television-looking rainbow swirl instead of its gold-on-red warrior line art right out of your high school yearbook. Also, my receptionist is playing The Cure, Morrissey, and Anthrax intermixed with the country, party dance songs recorded for karaoke, and television theme songs I am accustomed to. Also, over here, Ray Harryhausen seems to be alive.

Friggin' weird, if you ask me.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (promethea)
[livejournal.com profile] kittenpants was away at dance camp (this one time, at dance camp??) for the weekend, so [livejournal.com profile] triadruid and I consoled ourselves by playing D&D, going to the movies, eating stuff she doesn't like, shopping, and generally fucking around. And it was good!

The D&D group met on Friday, and finished Chapter 1 of their great adventure. Next time, they'll meet their new traveling companions (mwa ha ha) and head outside the boundaries of the Vitraen Empire to aid some of the Empire's allies. That means [livejournal.com profile] triadruid and I get to build a bunch of encounters that are much weirder than anything we've done so far, and we'll also be building the town of Freeport, which is controlled by a coalition that includes (among other interests) religious leaders, the military, and the mafia. Good times. I'm thinking that I'd like to build an LJ-filter for the campaign that will not include any of the players, and post some of the world-building and character-building stuff on it. For one thing, we've been writing little micro-fics about the PC's lives before the game, and handing them out to the players, and I'm pretty proud of some of the writing. I want people to appreciate our twisted genius, you know?

Saturday, we went shopping with the goal of buying [livejournal.com profile] triadruid some pants. This failed, but he did find a nice belt, and I picked up some pirate pajamas (size medium -- who knew?) and a nice red and grey wrap (I'm officially an old woman now, I've bought my first shawl). We also saw Shoot 'Em Up, which was simultaneously hilariously funny, wildly stupid, and amazingly well-choreographed. It also somehow managed to have a gun-control message mixed up in its hash of plot, which was like an extra layer of funny. Clive Owen was deadpan and bad ass, Paul Giamatti was creepy and pussy-whipped, and Monica Belluci was somehow creepy and warm-fuzzy at the same time, so that was all good.

Somewhere during the course of the weekend, I remembered that I can cook if I have to. I made fried catfish on Saturday, with these wildly interesting zucchini 'fries', and then on Sunday made chicken in a vinegar and herb pan sauce with crimini mushrooms, and served the rest of the zucchini (I always overbuy zucchini, for no good reason) in an Alfredo sauce. All of it was surprisingly tasty.

The rest of the weekend would more or less have to go on my TMI filter, if I had one. But I don't. :) Let's just say I'm extremely tired this morning.

Unfortunately, all the weekend goodness was marred by logging on to LJ last night and discovering that Robert Jordan had died, and that some folks that I thought were doing really quite well were actually not doing so well. Ah, life. But the story goes on, in both cases. Mr. Jordan allegedly had told the end of the Wheel of Time series to his wife and other family members, who were sworn to finish the project should he be unable to do so. So that continues (thank the gods - I've only been reading those things for ten years now, and the end is so, so close!). And for the rest of us, as long as we live the story's not over either. Somebody quoted something at me the other week which I find terribly appropriate, even though I can't remember who originally said it now (and I'm paraphrasing anyway) -- "Everything always turns out all right in the end, and if it's not all right, it's not the end." So I'm sending that kind of energy out to everybody today. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

Have a fine sort of Monday, everybody. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kittenpants was away at dance camp (this one time, at dance camp??) for the weekend, so [livejournal.com profile] triadruid and I consoled ourselves by playing D&D, going to the movies, eating stuff she doesn't like, shopping, and generally fucking around. And it was good!

The D&D group met on Friday, and finished Chapter 1 of their great adventure. Next time, they'll meet their new traveling companions (mwa ha ha) and head outside the boundaries of the Vitraen Empire to aid some of the Empire's allies. That means [livejournal.com profile] triadruid and I get to build a bunch of encounters that are much weirder than anything we've done so far, and we'll also be building the town of Freeport, which is controlled by a coalition that includes (among other interests) religious leaders, the military, and the mafia. Good times. I'm thinking that I'd like to build an LJ-filter for the campaign that will not include any of the players, and post some of the world-building and character-building stuff on it. For one thing, we've been writing little micro-fics about the PC's lives before the game, and handing them out to the players, and I'm pretty proud of some of the writing. I want people to appreciate our twisted genius, you know?

Saturday, we went shopping with the goal of buying [livejournal.com profile] triadruid some pants. This failed, but he did find a nice belt, and I picked up some pirate pajamas (size medium -- who knew?) and a nice red and grey wrap (I'm officially an old woman now, I've bought my first shawl). We also saw Shoot 'Em Up, which was simultaneously hilariously funny, wildly stupid, and amazingly well-choreographed. It also somehow managed to have a gun-control message mixed up in its hash of plot, which was like an extra layer of funny. Clive Owen was deadpan and bad ass, Paul Giamatti was creepy and pussy-whipped, and Monica Belluci was somehow creepy and warm-fuzzy at the same time, so that was all good.

Somewhere during the course of the weekend, I remembered that I can cook if I have to. I made fried catfish on Saturday, with these wildly interesting zucchini 'fries', and then on Sunday made chicken in a vinegar and herb pan sauce with crimini mushrooms, and served the rest of the zucchini (I always overbuy zucchini, for no good reason) in an Alfredo sauce. All of it was surprisingly tasty.

The rest of the weekend would more or less have to go on my TMI filter, if I had one. But I don't. :) Let's just say I'm extremely tired this morning.

Unfortunately, all the weekend goodness was marred by logging on to LJ last night and discovering that Robert Jordan had died, and that some folks that I thought were doing really quite well were actually not doing so well. Ah, life. But the story goes on, in both cases. Mr. Jordan allegedly had told the end of the Wheel of Time series to his wife and other family members, who were sworn to finish the project should he be unable to do so. So that continues (thank the gods - I've only been reading those things for ten years now, and the end is so, so close!). And for the rest of us, as long as we live the story's not over either. Somebody quoted something at me the other week which I find terribly appropriate, even though I can't remember who originally said it now (and I'm paraphrasing anyway) -- "Everything always turns out all right in the end, and if it's not all right, it's not the end." So I'm sending that kind of energy out to everybody today. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

Have a fine sort of Monday, everybody. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I looked today at what it would take to upgrade my gimpy video card. And lo, not only can I not buy a new generation video card and put it on my current mobo, but also, if I buy a new mobo, I will need to replace at least two of my current drives, because you can't buy a new generation mobo that will support more than 2 IDE devices, must switch to SATA. Oh well. Replacing CD/DVD drives is cheap, and I can (maybe) hang on to the hard drives for a while longer... Whole rebuild like I would want it = about $500. That doesn't suck, but it's still a lot of trouble. It's tempting to buy a pre-built, and yet, that's probably one of those things I would only do if, say, I were paralyzed from the neck down, or something.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I looked today at what it would take to upgrade my gimpy video card. And lo, not only can I not buy a new generation video card and put it on my current mobo, but also, if I buy a new mobo, I will need to replace at least two of my current drives, because you can't buy a new generation mobo that will support more than 2 IDE devices, must switch to SATA. Oh well. Replacing CD/DVD drives is cheap, and I can (maybe) hang on to the hard drives for a while longer... Whole rebuild like I would want it = about $500. That doesn't suck, but it's still a lot of trouble. It's tempting to buy a pre-built, and yet, that's probably one of those things I would only do if, say, I were paralyzed from the neck down, or something.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] ursulav posted a request for people to list out things that they thought everyone should do at some point in their lives, so that she could compile a 'Things to Do Before I Die' list. I couldn't really contribute -- are there things that everyone should do before they die? (She did add the caveat that it wasn't really "everyone", more like "everyone who can't come up with a good reason not to", but still.) Hell, I was having trouble coming up with a list of things I want to do before I die. I used to have a pretty good list for that, but I've done most of them now, which is, in my humble opinion, a pretty good indication that I'm living right.

So what's left? Surely there must be things. I mean, yeah, if I were to die today, I'd consider myself to have had a pretty good life and all, but still, I've got a couple of years left even by the most alarmist of estimates (I'm going to die in a car crash, apparently, but that's another story). I ought to be able to come up with something.

So I've started my list below the cut. Presumably, as I continue to think about it, I'll add to it. Suggestions are welcomed, but not necessary. :)
Things to do before I die )
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] ursulav posted a request for people to list out things that they thought everyone should do at some point in their lives, so that she could compile a 'Things to Do Before I Die' list. I couldn't really contribute -- are there things that everyone should do before they die? (She did add the caveat that it wasn't really "everyone", more like "everyone who can't come up with a good reason not to", but still.) Hell, I was having trouble coming up with a list of things I want to do before I die. I used to have a pretty good list for that, but I've done most of them now, which is, in my humble opinion, a pretty good indication that I'm living right.

So what's left? Surely there must be things. I mean, yeah, if I were to die today, I'd consider myself to have had a pretty good life and all, but still, I've got a couple of years left even by the most alarmist of estimates (I'm going to die in a car crash, apparently, but that's another story). I ought to be able to come up with something.

So I've started my list below the cut. Presumably, as I continue to think about it, I'll add to it. Suggestions are welcomed, but not necessary. :)
Things to do before I die )

FYIs

May. 15th, 2007 03:17 pm
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
1. With Regard To LJ-Balderdash. I have decided that the first player to reach 30 points will win an unspecified prize. Will it be cheap plastic crap harvested from my house? Comic books? Porn? Bad art? A pie? A much-coveted merit badge? Stay tuned.

2. I've been deeply irritated with my cellular phone lately (mostly because I bent the hell out of the antenna the other week and now it's all crackly, but also because it's slowly losing its ability to do neat things like hold charge or respond when I push the power button). So I tried to go through my current provider, who offers this sort of 'trade in your phone for credit on a new phone' plan. Somehow, this was not workable via the web or the telephone, but required going into the store (even though the website says you can do it via the web, and when that failed, it directed me to a phone number and assured me I could do the thing that way). So I jettisoned my current provider in a fit of pique, and signed onto a new provider, taking advantage of their free phone with signup deal. The important part of this is that there may be a few days this week during which I can't be reached on my mobile phone due to the switchover. My number, however, should be the same.

FYIs

May. 15th, 2007 03:17 pm
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
1. With Regard To LJ-Balderdash. I have decided that the first player to reach 30 points will win an unspecified prize. Will it be cheap plastic crap harvested from my house? Comic books? Porn? Bad art? A pie? A much-coveted merit badge? Stay tuned.

2. I've been deeply irritated with my cellular phone lately (mostly because I bent the hell out of the antenna the other week and now it's all crackly, but also because it's slowly losing its ability to do neat things like hold charge or respond when I push the power button). So I tried to go through my current provider, who offers this sort of 'trade in your phone for credit on a new phone' plan. Somehow, this was not workable via the web or the telephone, but required going into the store (even though the website says you can do it via the web, and when that failed, it directed me to a phone number and assured me I could do the thing that way). So I jettisoned my current provider in a fit of pique, and signed onto a new provider, taking advantage of their free phone with signup deal. The important part of this is that there may be a few days this week during which I can't be reached on my mobile phone due to the switchover. My number, however, should be the same.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kittenpants' laptop was temporarily unable to communicate with the network today. Luckily, I was able to fix it with my patented Computer Fixing Process:

1. Open everything that looks relevant.
2. Push shiny red candy-like buttons!
3. Close everything.
4. Reboot some things.
5. Get a screwdriver.
6. Wave it menacingly at the machine.
7. Push some more buttons.
8. Grin maniacally.
9. All fixed!

Seriously, I'm not sure if it's worse when something should work, but doesn't, or when it shouldn't work, but does.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kittenpants' laptop was temporarily unable to communicate with the network today. Luckily, I was able to fix it with my patented Computer Fixing Process:

1. Open everything that looks relevant.
2. Push shiny red candy-like buttons!
3. Close everything.
4. Reboot some things.
5. Get a screwdriver.
6. Wave it menacingly at the machine.
7. Push some more buttons.
8. Grin maniacally.
9. All fixed!

Seriously, I'm not sure if it's worse when something should work, but doesn't, or when it shouldn't work, but does.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I know some of you guys are theatre tech and engineering types, maybe you could help me out. Or at least, we could argue about this, which is usually at least fun, if not actually productive. Here's what I need:

I'm working on a float for the Snake Saturday parade. I need to come up with a way to build the bow of a pirate ship -- the design calls for the front end of the boat to protrude from a flat panel, on which the rest of the boat will be painted, trompe l'oeil style. The bow of the ship must be three-dimensional, and I'll give bonus points if at least one person can stand in it.

If you were building this, how would you do it?
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I know some of you guys are theatre tech and engineering types, maybe you could help me out. Or at least, we could argue about this, which is usually at least fun, if not actually productive. Here's what I need:

I'm working on a float for the Snake Saturday parade. I need to come up with a way to build the bow of a pirate ship -- the design calls for the front end of the boat to protrude from a flat panel, on which the rest of the boat will be painted, trompe l'oeil style. The bow of the ship must be three-dimensional, and I'll give bonus points if at least one person can stand in it.

If you were building this, how would you do it?

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