One of the organizers of Syracuse in Solidarity, a sister event to the Women’s March on Washington, said there were about 2000 of us there. If anything I think that’s perhaps an underestimate. But I’ll let you count ’em. (Add one, I was up on the parking garage roof at the time.)solidarity

I hadn’t even gotten to the federal building plaza before running into enough morris dancers for a side + music.

The event was pretty peaceful and civil, except for one person who had a sign that said “Donald Trump likes Nickelback”, which I thought was unnecessarily mean. To Nickelback.

My sister meanwhile was out in Portsmouth, NH; one of her daughters was in DC; the other was in Amsterdam. Together separately!

I’ve seen a lot of great pictures from events around the world, including this one from Melissa Benoist:screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-2-53-14-pm

As one of the speakers today said, we in Syracuse know the power of snowflakes when they act together.snowflakes

I liked today a lot better than yesterday.

And if you’re considering replacing the Hillary bumper sticker on your car, let me suggest this:hashtag_impeach_decal


I was on LiveJournal from 2004 to 2007, at which point I moved here to WordPress. At some point I exported the last month of LJ posts and imported them here.

Recently I got a notification that someone had liked one of my 9+-year-old LJ posts (spammer, probably) and that set in motion a train of thought that arrived at the idea-station of migrating all my LJ posts to here. For no good reason. But I felt like it.

Unfortunately the official WordPress LJ importer didn’t work for me; WP support blamed LJ, but pointed me to another solution which I used. I think everything came through, though not necessarily unscathed — looks like comments are anonymized, for instance — but it’s good enough considering there’s no demand for this anyway.

So now there’s 3+ more years of archive here. In case you were planning on binge reading. Maybe reconsider.


Antique (ca 2013) musical instruments

Antique (ca 2013) musical instruments

I went to look for the blog posts where I showed off the instruments I built back in summer 2013 and discovered there were no such posts. Some pictures in progress but none of the completed objects. Bad blogger! Bad!

So, okay, here they are: One diddley bow, and one fretless 3-string cigar box guitar. Nothing objectively notable about either, but I enjoyed making them. And no, I still haven’t gotten around to learning to play them, so they hang on the wall. Someday maybe.

Also someday maybe I’ll get back to the fretted cigar box guitar I started building not long thereafter, and never got very far with.

img_1931 img_1925

Rey’s speeder (part 6)

Rey’s speeder (part 6)

New Year’s weekend I went ahead and built my version of Rey’s speeder, except I was missing a couple of parts, so it sat not-quite-complete for a few days. But the parts have now arrived and here it is.img_1909 img_1915

For those tuning in late, this looks a lot like the official LEGO set, and indeed significant chunks of it are carried over (mostly) unaltered from that — the front end, top surface, control panel, and lower engine specifically. But in fact, although my original intention was just to tweak the set to bring it better in line with the movie version, I ended up largely redesigning it. The bottom, side panels, interior structure, upper engine, and seat/fin mount are completely redone. The body is one unit longer than before, to bring it closer to scale. The front grille is black. The uncanonical stud shooters are replaced by something more like the movie version’s “directional steering exhaust nozzles”. I reused some of the kit’s stickers, but not the bright orange ones on the body; instead I did brick-built dark orange stripes. The sides don’t bulge out as far, and don’t hinge. A net full of “junk” replaces the kit’s clip-on tools. And of course the whole thing hovers is propped up above the desert sand.img_1910

There are no studs on the seat to keep a minifig Rey in place, but that’s because, at approximately 1/19 scale, this thing is just too large for minifig Rey. Her staff, clipped above the net, is lengthened to something more like correct scale, but lengthening Rey is more problematic. She can pose in the foreground of a photograph, but that’s about it. Sorry, Rey!img_1916


#MarsWalk Day 365, 2199.0 km

#MarsWalk Day 365, 2199.0 km

A couple of not very notable weeks for distance, and where I am on Mars still doesn’t have much in the way of HiRISE photos, place names, or other things worth talking about.

But today’s day 365 — which would mean one full year of MarsWalking, except 2016 was a leap year, so tomorrow’s the last day of the first year and Sunday’s the first anniversary of the start.

And if there’s not much to see around me on Mars, I can (virtually) (at the right hour) look up. Like HiRISE did, and it saw this:


Actually that’s a composite of two photographs, taken with different exposures, because the world on the right is a lot brighter than the world on the left (higher albedo), but it does preserve the correct distance, relative size, and orientations. The two worlds there are the Moon and Earth, of course. Click on the photo to see it at a larger size, or go to the NASA web site for details.

MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

Try not to lose it between the sofa cushions

New teensy uke, on its own and with soprano and baritone for scale2017-01-06-22-57-06 2017-01-06-22-58-00-1

It’s a Caramel sopranino; low price instrument shipped direct from China. Seems pretty good for the money. I have it tuned in D for now, C seems too low for it and I don’t know if I’d want to push it up to G. F, maybe…


Comics. Yeah, again.

It’s been nearly two years since I last summarized the comics I’m reading. During those two years the number of demands for an update have numbered in the high zeroes. Well, bowing to public lack of pressure, here it is.

Changes in comics I was following two years ago:

  • Anna Galactic, by Christopher Baldwin. I lost interest in this one fairly early on. I liked and like Baldwin’s Spacetrawler (see below) but haven’t gotten into his other projects.
  • Atomic Robo, by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. This one went from print to web and back to print, but without leaving the web. So you can read it free online, or you can pay for paper. I read it free online.
  • Back, by Anthony Clark and KC Green. I lost interest.
  • The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo, by Drew Weing. Back on track more or less — updates a little sporadic but they’re there.
  • Drive, by Dave Kellett. Updating regularly and still entertaining. Kellett’s story is being interleaved with stories in the Drive universe by guest artists and writers. Good stuff.
  • Girls with Slingshots, by Danielle Corsetto. Ended.
  • Iverly, by Jeffrey J. Rowland. After nearly two years he came back with a page or two, but nothing in the past couple months.
  • The Meek, by Der-shing Helmer. This did indeed come back from a long long hiatus and is updating regularly.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, by Justin Pierce. Came back from hiatus but now is… well, sort of on hiatus again. There was an update for New Year’s.
  • Scenes From a Multiverse, by Jonathan Rosenberg is still going, but I’m taking a break from reading it.
  • Sufficiently Remarkable, by Maki Naro. Frustrating: Naro took some time off, came back to the comic with some good stuff, but then seemingly suffered a crisis of confidence and hasn’t updated again in quite a while. I really liked this one.
  • Woo Hoo! by Molly “Jakface” Němeček and J.R. Boos. Did return, but I’m no longer following it. Just lost interest.
  • Yontengu, by Christopher Baldwin and Don Ahé. Stopped reading not long after my last update.

Comics I was following two years ago and am still following now and not much more to say than that:

New (to me) webcomics on my plate:

  • Bad Machinery, by John Allison. This and its predecessors Bobbins and Scary Go Round have been running for years but I only discovered it a year or so ago. Great funny slice of (English) life with some supernatural twists.
  • Johnny Wander, by Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya. Kind of hard to wrap your head around: What’s on this site is a series of unrelated comics projects by these two. Except at the moment, it’s a supernatural story called Is This What You Wanted by Ananth and  Tessa & Sarah Stone. Once the current chapter ends apparently they’ll return to Yuko and Ananth’s current story, Barbarous.
  • Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua. What would have happened if Ada Lovelace hadn’t died young, Charles Babbage had built his mechanical computers, and they’d teamed up to fight crime? This actually ended several years ago, though I didn’t read it until recently, and then it didn’t end several years ago because a new update came out a few months ago… and then nothing since. But maybe tomorrow?
  • The Otherknown, by Lora Merriman. A science fiction adventure, seems to be hinting at time travel but not definite yet.
  • Real Science Adventures, written by Brian Clevinger. A companion comic to Atomic Robo. Actually not that new but I hadn’t mentioned it before.
  • Spacetrawler, by Christopher Baldwin. Sort of new, sort of not: a sequel to the first Spacetrawler story he told a few years ago. Funny space opera.

And new-to-me “paper” comics (actually via Comixology, mostly trades). The problem with reading a Marvel comic like Ms Marvel is if you’re not careful you end up reading about forty-seven Marvel comics. I’ve actually mostly avoided looking at any DC comics because the same thing would happen there. Then there are some non Big Two books I follow. Currently:

And those don’t include the ones that have ended, or the ones I’ve lost interest in, or the new ones I intend to at least try out once the first trades have been out long enough to come down to my cheapskate price point. As you can see my long-standing lack of interest in most of Marvel’s best-known characters — Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Captain America (Steve Rogers) — continues. Frankly, I tend to get bored with straight white male heroes. I find stories about women, non-whites, and non-humans more interesting. Granted, you don’t get much more straight white male than Tony Stark, but I’m allowed exceptions. (And Tony’s going away, at least for now, in favor of a non-white woman, but I haven’t gotten to that point in the timeline yet. Waiting for those trades, you know.)