How not to deliver flowers

Mar. 21st, 2017 05:01 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
One of my postdocs is in hospital for a minor operation, and SoccerProfessor asked me to send her flowers.  She is, apparently, at St Vincent's, so I picked a suitable florist and a pretty arrangement, and arranged the floral offering.

At 4:20 pm, I get a call from the florist.  There is nobody of that name at St Vincent's Hospital.  Might she be under another name?

Said postdoc is married, so after some consultation with SoccerProfessor, we unearthed her husband's name.  And also postdoc's phone number, because we figured that she is just out of surgery, her husband will answer, it will all be good.

At 4:30 pm I get a call from the florist.  Postdoc answered her own phone in a somewhat groggy state (scientists, what can you do) and confirmed that she was in hospital under the husband's name.  But St Vincent's is apparently very convinced that she isn't there.  And the florist really doesn't want to ring and disturb her again.  Are we sure she is at this campus?

We are not sure.  We are not sure at all.  After some consultation, we unearth the phone number of the husband.  Florist goes to ring the husband.

At 4:45 pm, I get a call from the florist.  By this time, I recognise the number and am feeling trepidacious.  Florist informs me that postdoc is indeed not at this campus.  This is because Postdoc is at the Epworth.  Which is not St Vincent's, or any campus thereof.  Thank you, SoccerProfessor! 

Florist is very friendly and helpful and courier is happy to deliver to the Epworth.  Assuming she is at the nearby Epworth.  Because, you see, the Epworth has 12 campuses, and the husband didn't mention which campus postdoc was at.  And some of those campuses are outside the delivery range.  And the florist, helpful though she is, really doesn't want to bother poor Postdoc or her husband again.

Do I happen to know...?

I do not.  In fact, I've got nothing.

Florist suggests that they give the nearest campus a try and hope for the best.  Florist promises to ring me and let me know, either way.  She warns me that if it's the wrong campus, we may have to rethink our whole strategy.

At 5:00pm, I get a call from the florist.  "Hi Georgie!" I say enthusiastically, because by this time we are almost like old friends.  Georgie laughs *far more hysterically than this warrants* which is alarming in and of itself.  I brace myself for the worst.

But no - Postdoc has been successfully located at the Epworth!  Flowers will be delivered!  No extra charge will be applied!  Everything is fine and everyone can go home with a sense of satisfaction at a job well done.

I just hope Postdoc likes the flowers.

In other news, I shaved my head today, to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.  I think I've really badgered enough people for sponsorship, but I'll just do one last little badger (mushroom! mushroom!) - if you would like to sponsor me, my page is here.  There is even photographic evidence of my shaved head!  To my surprise and relief, I still look like me, and far less ugly than I feared.  From the photo angle, I actually look quite good (I'm less convinced of the profile view).  And given the horribly humid, hot weather we've been having recently, it's very nice not to have hair sitting on the back of my neck.

On Women as "baby factories"

Mar. 19th, 2017 06:39 pm
sharpest_asp: Scarlett with crossbow in air, face on (G I Joe: Scarlett)
[personal profile] sharpest_asp posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[ profile] bathtimefunduck gave us this gem:

The female body literally cannot carry a child to full development. It would kill us. We’re more like… game developers at Ubisoft— we kick the product out before it’s ready and hope we can work out the bugs to make them playable as they get older.
moxie_man: Moxie Logo (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
Okay, I see now that the latest version of Firefox automatically displays a warning if you go to an unsecured website with a login screen. Apparently, both LJ and DW's default websites in my browser are the unsecured versions. Takes a few tries typing in https:blahblahblah to get a secure login page. Interesting.

Anyway. I've started posting my story. It's already appearing on three other websites, which is enough locations for me. If you're interested in reading it, you'll have to go to one of the following:


Be forwarned, some stuff over on the following two furry-related websites have content posted by others that is NSFW and posters don't always properly flag their content. I've set my posts to public so you do not need an account to read them. You would need one to post a comment on either site.


Again, I'm not really active here. If you wish to comment here, it may be a while before I see it. You're better off commenting on one of the above sites if you have an account on one of them. I realize some of you have left LJ for good. Sorry.

RPG developments, Work developments

Mar. 19th, 2017 12:02 am
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
After having added another six thousand words this week, I have released a very rough draft of Papers & Paychecks, and posted an update for the project. The book is now 18 days overdue, and whilst I know that Kickstarters do have an almost assumed lateness in them, my inner project manager is screaming at me about being on-time. Still, I have completed pretty much all the core components and what really needs to be done is equipment lists, sample NPCs etc. In addition this I have made a solid start on the next issue of RPG Review with several thousand words done there as well. Friday night played Eclipse Phase with our international group with Think Before Asking; a superb ending of dramatic action with all the sort of paranoia that environment engenders. Tonight took some time out to visit Brendan E., for our regular dose of good popular culture; this time it was several episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead : Season 2 (look at that, 100% on the Tomatometer).

Whilst these activities have pretty much taken all my evening time, the days has been equally busy. There has been some preparations for the annual assignment and HPC lecture for Cluster and Cloud Computing. In addition there is an HPC for Economists course that is being prepared, a new round of general HPC courses, and preparations for ISC Frankfurt. In addition to that there was a steady flurry of interesting software installs this week, including a new version of ORCA which does ab initio quantum chemistry (finally, new MPI bindings!), and the Biopython suite. There has also been reports for the technical working groups on the upcoming upgrades for research compute facilities at the University. All in all, it's been quite the week.


Mar. 17th, 2017 02:41 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Thanks to everyone who let us know that Photobucket images were not loading properly on some pages. The problem seemed to be mostly limited to HTTPS requests; Dreamwidth maintains a list of known high-traffic image sites that support HTTPS, so that our secure content proxy service doesn't cache them unnecessarily. Unfortunately Photobucket seems to have recently changed their site configuration such that HTTPS requests aren't being served as expected, and we've now taken it out of our list of "proxy-exempt" sites.

If you continue to have issues, make sure you're not using HTTPS Photobucket links. It's a bit counterintuitive, but if you use HTTP instead, it will be automatically transformed on our end to an HTTPS link that uses

Hope that clears everything up for now! Let us know if it doesn't...
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
So, I promised to write about the Australian Romance Readers Convention, and I really should try to do that before it's so far in the past that I've forgotten all the good stuff. Also, I have virtually no news this week that isn't sheer aggravation with both my scientists (who are unified in being totally disorganised this year, making my life much more difficult than is needful) and the NHMRC (who have never ceased to be impossible). Neither of these leads to a lot of writing or political action or anything else good, though I did get to see my niece yesterday and confirm that she is growing into a right handful (she has my parents wrapped around her little finger, and I am especially amused by the way she threatens to cry until someone cuddles her, then looks absolutely and undeniably smug when she gets her way. Which is adorable, and suggests a high degree of intelligence, but wow, she is going to be trouble in short order...)

Read more... )All in all, it was a highly enjoyable weekend. Sadly, it's likely to be the last such convention, however - apparently, the prices are getting too high and the time commitment is too much for many members, so future events are likely to be single-day ones. This is saddening, but I'm very glad I was able to get to this one.
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Friday night caught up with Peter C., at Sister Bella a typically Melbourne small bar hidden at the end of laneway. Peter lives in the Netherlands and I believe the last time we met was well over fifteen years ago (at the very least, it's not in my LJ and I'm sure I would have recorded the meeting). We know each other from the SF community in Perth from the early nineties and I was always impressed by his combination of moderate politics with a radical and enthusiastic imagination; we had a good chat about the Dutch Reformed Political Party and the Party for Freedom. Afterwards visited Brendan E., in the form of a belated birthday visit. Went to a local Mexican, Beach Burrito which provided some fine sangria and for pit entertainment has skate ring. Afterwards returned to initiate our knowledge of season 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead. Brendan is always a good one for justifiable cynicism and is superb at filtering for our popular culture tastes.

Semi-political meeting of the week was a visit to the University of Melbourne Secular Society with James Fodor speaking on 'Where Does Morality Come From?'; currently seeing if we get another similar presentation to The Philosophy Forum. There is a new article on the Isocracy website, Argumentum Ad Temperantiam on the notion that the middle ground in news is preferred. Continuing the series, I have written a summary of Trump's seventh week, and as news just in, a detailed review of the rather dramatic result in the Western Australian state election, as two of four 'blog posts.

Have been beavering away at Papers & Paychecks with plans for a draft release on Monday evening. Dan 'Smif' Smith has provided some excellent art pieces that can also come with the draft. Also making preparations for RPG Review Issue 34 which will have game design (systems, scenarios etc) as a main focus along with an interview with Ron Edwards, along with preparations for our annual Bunnies & Burrows game - this time planning to be held at the Conquest convention. Today I break the drought from actual play with a session of GURPS Middle Earth planned. To be honest, I can't even remember where we're up to - and our GM isn't famous for doing session write-ups. Still, all will be resolved I am sure.

I coulda been a contendah!

Mar. 10th, 2017 10:42 pm
starwatcher: Western windmill, clouds in background, trees around base. (Default)
[personal profile] starwatcher
Or, in this case, a science teacher.

I work with a sweet little boy who is very verbal. The output is extensive, but the input seems difficult for him. Example...

On Monday, the first thing he walked in my room, he said, "Miss Linda, how come when my sleeve gets in water, my arm gets wet?"

"Because your shirt soaks up the water."

"Oh. What's 'soaks up'?"

Pause for a moment. How do you explain 'soaks up'? The thing is, we shouldn't need to explain the idea; most children observe the interaction of water to fabric/sponge/whatever at a very young age and develop a gut-level understanding of what 'soaks up' means.

I immediately discarded the idea of trying to explain with words and tried to figure out a way to demonstrate. Ah! I keep paper plates in the room (for lunches that might overflow in the microwave), and I always have a glass of water to drink, and paper towels to clean the therapy table. (I wipe it with alcohol between sessions).

So... I poured a little water onto a paper plate, folded the paper towel several times along the long side to present a concentrated surface, and dipped just the corner into the puddle of water.

"Look! See the water climbing up the paper towel? See it going up? Water follows water."

"Can I do it?"

So I cut off the wet end and gave him the paper towel, which he duly dipped into the water and watched it absorb upward as I repeated, "See? Water follows water." Then I cut off the wet end again, and we repeated the cycle twice more.

As I threw the last soggy bit in the trash I said, "Okay, time for speech-work," and we went on with our normal activities. But as he walked out the door 20 minutes later, he was reminding himself, "Water follows water. Water follows water. Water follows water."

<g> I enjoyed science classes... well, chemistry, biology, and geography. Physics wasn't fun, but that was a less-competent instructor, I think. Regardless, I think my creative spark arose from years and years of explaining things to youngsters -- simplify, simplify, simplify!

Just wish I could do it all. *checks my credentials* Nope; still only human.


Mar. 10th, 2017 08:57 am
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Here is the procedure for deleting one (1) Chief Investigator from your grant:

1. Click on the grant in your list of grants
2. Once in the grant, go to the 'Research Team' page.
3. On the Research Team page, click on the CI you want to delete
4. On the CI's page, find the sub menu called 'Cancel Nomination'.
5. On 'Cancel Nomination', click yes.
6. Save.
7. Return to the Research Team page.
8. Click on the box next to the CI's name, and select 'Delete'.
9. On the page which comes up, confirm that yes, you really want to delete this person.  (Or not.  This page often fails to load, and you have to return to step 7 and do it all again)
10. Oh, thank goodness.  They are finally gone.


1. Click on the grant in your list of grants
2. Once in the grant, on the very front page of the grant, click 'Yes' next to the ticky box called 'Mark grant for deletion'.
3. Save.
4. Experience heart failure as you find yourself back on the list of grants, with the grant you just marked for deletion now gone without a trace, and also without so much as a screen asking you to check whether you are sure you deleted the right grant...

It was, in fact the right grant.  But I do feel that the respective difficulty levels of these two items might, in a saner world, be reversed...


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February 2017


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