[personal profile] dragonlady7
via http://ift.tt/2xTdSWp:
I… don’t have a photo that does her justice (for which some of you are probably very grateful), but I saw the biggest, most magnificent spider of my life today in the northeast window of the big barn today. I was midsentence talking to my sister and stopped dead and said holy shit look at that thing, and when I went over, my God, she was an orb-weaver, like Dolores– a spotted orb-weaver, neoscona crucifera, with the lovely tortoiseshell brownish-red legs and the abdomen, my God, this enormous gravid abdomen all in gray patterned like bark with the subtle cross pattern of spots, and she was, I mean, she was like, her leg span was about the length of my thumb, and her abdomen probably the size of my thumb’s first joint. She was enormous, she was magnificent, she was in the midst of wrapping up a fly, and her orb web very neatly covered the whole of the double window. Behind her was an untidy sheet of web inhabited by a giant grass spider, but she was larger still, this resplendent and fast-moving deadly graceful terrifying hulk of a beauty. I stood there dumbfounded, and then I tried to take a photo, which I’ll append behind a cut because not only is it not very good as a photo, it’s also a photo of a giant horrifying arachnid.

But she was– magnificent, and beautiful, and for all my big talk about Dolores, if something this vast and mighty had appeared in the yurt I would have 


the FUCK


and left it for her because Jesus Christ that’s an enormous spider.

I warned my arachnophobe brother-in-law to avoid looking at that window or indeed passing by in that aisle, because I know he would Not Be Chill.

This beast. She must have been decades old*. Hoary, and wise. Absolutely identifiable as the spider from Charlotte’s Web. B-I-L mused that he’d seen some words in cobwebs lately, and I said, Oh, this one had words, but they were in Greek I think, and my Modern Greek’s passable but I suspect this was Ancient, and I honestly don’t know Ancient Greek at all… 

____* to my knowledge, orb weavers of most types generally only live about 12 months.

Oh, related news: Dolores moved out while I was gone. I thought she was still there, but when I put the roof insulation in, the orb weaver in the roof ran out the roof hole, and I got a good look and it wasn’t her, it was a smaller female, so– I guess Dolores went outside to take her chances while I wasn’t around. I’m sorry she’s not there, but there’s a grass spider in my dresser drawer that I am NOT chill with and am going to evict. Let’s be real, I’d be cool if I didn’t wind up with any more spiders in the yurt this year… let’s also be real, that won’t happen, so I’d better prepare myself mentally.


You can’t even tell. She was fucking enormous. I should go back out tomorrow with the real camera, I’m sure she’s still there, she’s clearly one of the Endless. 

Look, though, when she’s folded up, she’s just all gray, but when she extends her legs, the hidden segments are reddish, mottled like tortoiseshell, translucent– I’d say beautiful if she weren’t a creature of horror. 

I could handle Dolores. Dolores was like… respectable big, like body thumbnail size with legs about the same. This spider, though. You can’t tell from this photo, but realize the cream-colored line back there is electrical conduit,  Romex, which is about half an inch wide, and she’s not much in front of it. And she was moving so fast.

I talk a good line about being chill with spiders but I am not. Holy fuck.

workaday Thursday

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:01 am
marcicat: (today I eat cake)
[personal profile] marcicat

Back to work! That sure will be something.

I’ve already done a quick check of my work emails — always a toss-up whether that’s a good idea or not. On the negative side, it tends to ramp up my stress about work things at a time when there’s nothing I can do about it. On the positive side, I’ve gotten in trouble at work before for “expressing strong feelings” when reading my emails, so at least this way I won’t have to have A Conversation with my boss about my reactions.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

ISO Rejects NSA Encryption Algorithms

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:50 am
[syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed

Posted by Bruce Schneier

The ISO has decided not to approve two NSA-designed block encryption algorithms: Speck and Simon. It's because the NSA is not trusted to put security ahead of surveillance:

A number of them voiced their distrust in emails to one another, seen by Reuters, and in written comments that are part of the process. The suspicions stem largely from internal NSA documents disclosed by Snowden that showed the agency had previously plotted to manipulate standards and promote technology it could penetrate. Budget documents, for example, sought funding to "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems."

More than a dozen of the experts involved in the approval process for Simon and Speck feared that if the NSA was able to crack the encryption techniques, it would gain a "back door" into coded transmissions, according to the interviews and emails and other documents seen by Reuters.

"I don't trust the designers," Israeli delegate Orr Dunkelman, a computer science professor at the University of Haifa, told Reuters, citing Snowden's papers. "There are quite a lot of people in NSA who think their job is to subvert standards. My job is to secure standards."

I don't trust the NSA, either.

London foxen

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:16 am
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] common_nature
So yesterday I was waiting to cross a street in the middle of the day and I glanced at the person standing next to me and they were a fox.

We crossed the road and I fumbled for my phone and started following them ...

A fox walking down a London street in daylight.

Photo-story ensues )

Just One Thing (21 September 2017)

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:21 am
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.


(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:49 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] italiceyeball!
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
and then some!


German Shepherd Mom Tires Out Her Pups In The Most Adorable Way Possible (It is adorable! She alternates between bouts where they can't possibly catch up to her and bouts where they can, clever doggie!)

Scientists Invent a Pen That Can Detect Cancer in Seconds

For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

“Do Sign Languages Have Accents?” (Video, or you can read the transcription)

Is there a single food that you can survive on forever?

The island people with a climate change escape plan

Here’s why you should pay attention to this weekend’s German election

There is meddling in Germany's election — not by Russia, but by U.S. right wing

What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It

When the Idea of Home Was Key to American Identity

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched (OMG.)

Colombia partners with locals in order to stop cocaine production, US warns it may not be enough

Behind the scenes, Zimbabwe politicians plot post-Mugabe reforms

Iraqi Kurds set to vote on independence, panicking neighbors and Washington

What is behind clashes in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions?

Facebook’s war on free will

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’

The basic physics of climate change have been known for more than a century, but it is in recent decades that the fundamental science of global warming has solidified

The Minuscule Importance of Manufacturing in Far-Right Politics

Stop acting surprised, America: Donald Trump is a white supremacist

In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore

Christians in U.S. Military ‘Serve Satan’ If They Tolerate Other Religions, Air Force Chaplain Says

Making war illegal changed the world. But it’s becoming too easy to break the law

Anatomy of terror: What makes normal people become extremists?

101 Update

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:10 am
zhelana: (seaQuest - Remember when)
[personal profile] zhelana
Progress This Week

Go to 30 meetings - Went to a dance practice tonight

Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - Another one is posted.

Fill a second 100 situations with a different fandom - Wrote 2 more prompts

Learn 30 new things through wikipedia - I learned about Brezhnev's legacy.

Take golf lessons - one more week in the books.

Listen to 90 other podcasts - I listened to an episode of Backstory on myths and legends in American history.

Read the entire Bible - Still in 2 Kings

2 people

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:08 am
zhelana: (original - alone)
[personal profile] zhelana
Two people you want to be with right now.

Dylan and Yves. I guess one of those is actually possible, if I call and make some time.

the rest )
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Will my mental health get in the way of a promotion?

I am a college student working part-time at a retail job that I absolutely love. I have goals and plans to move up in the company that my direct supervisors and my district manager are aware of and are very supportive of. Recently, a manager has been guiding me towards a small promotion as a lead cashier. It may not seem like much, but would bring me more responsibilities and would make me more likely to be moved into a management role later on. I am extremely eager for this job.

The thing is, I suffer from depression and anxiety. I go to counseling and take medication, and I am able to function well and exceed expectations most of the time and often more than double sales goals, but recently my mental health has taken a turn. I’m doing my best to still perform well at my job, but today was unbearable and I asked a coworker to take my shift.

My boyfriend is worried that I have jeopardized my chances at this promotion and that they will not give me the lead cashier position because my mental health makes me “unstable and unreliable, and unable to do work.” His thinking is that they will be more likely to promote people who never have people take their shifts, call in, or request off. I don’t agree with him but now I am worried. Do you think it is likely for them to give someone else the position because they do not have mental health issues? Is it even legal for them to not give me a promotion based on my mental health? And how should I address my issues to my employers so I don’t come across flaky and make it clear that my job still is extremely important to me? (I told the person who took my shift that personal things had come up, but when I called my manager to let her know she would be showing up instead of me, I did let her know that I was just having a bad mental health day and couldn’t see myself performing my best. She is open about her own mental health problems, but she is leaving our store soon and I now wonder if whoever replaces her will understand as well, or if the manager who is doing the hiring for the promotion won’t understand.)

Your boyfriend thinks that you’ll look unstable and unreliable based on getting someone else to cover your shift once? It’s really, really normal to switch shifts with people at part-time retail jobs, as is needing to call in sick or ask for specific days off. So do not listen to your boyfriend on that front.

But in general, when you call in sick or let a manager know you’ve switched shifts, I’d keep it vague — you’re “under the weather” or “feeling ill.” Don’t specify that it’s for mental health reasons. Not because there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s more info that you need to provide (just like you don’t need to specify “diarrhea” or “sharp shooting pain in my side”) … and because the reality is that yes, there can still be stigma around mental health issues, even among people who seem to get it, and there’s no reason to introduce worries in their head that it cause issues in the future. That’s of course unfair; if you call in with a headache, you wouldn’t normally worry that your boss will fear you might have headaches in the future — but this is still a thing when it comes to mental health.

As for the legalities … if your condition is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s illegal for them to consider it in promotion decisions (as long as you can do the job with reasonable accommodations and without undue hardship to them). But the reality is that there’s a ton of bias — both conscious and unconscious — around this stuff, so you’re better off keeping the info you share minimal.

2. Is it okay to hire people from my full-time job to work at my part-time job?

I work full-time for a public organization, overseeing about 50 staff members in a large department. There is a fair amount of movement between positions and there’s no guarantee that I will supervise the same people from year to year. I also work part-time for another public organization and regularly advertise for new positions on a professional listserv. Recently, people who work for my full-time organization have started to apply for positions in the part-time organization that I hire for and would supervise.

My initial feeling is that it would be a conflict of interest to hire a person who also works for my full-time organization, as I’d potentially be in the position of supervising them for two different companies. I can imagine all sorts of issues with that. Even for those staff members who I do not directly supervise at my full-time job, there is a real possibility that I would have to give them feedback on their full-time work as it often directly affects the work of the staff members that I support. I’ve reached out to my supervisor at the full-time job to confirm that she would also see this as a conflict of interest, also I haven’t heard back yet. So, I’d like to keep it as separate as possible and not hire anyone for the part-time job who also works in my department at my full-time job.

However, is this okay and ethical? It seems unfair to take someone out of consideration for a position simply because I may have a conflict of interest in hiring them. Do I need to convey this to potential candidates somehow? What if they are the best candidate and the only disqualifying factor is that they work for my department at the full-time job?

Ugh, yeah, I’d be wary of conflicts of interest too. For example, if you become aware of problematic behavior from someone at one job, you’ll have the question of whether and how it’ll impact your assessment of them at the other job. Or if they don’t like how you handle something at the part-time job, is it going to impact things at the full-time job? (And how will your full-time job feel about that?) You also risk politics from the one job coming into the other. It could go perfectly smoothly, of course, but you’d be introducing the potential for problems and messiness that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

That said, I don’t think this is such an absolute no that you can’t evaluate the whole situation and decide to proceed with hiring one of them anyway; it’s not like hiring your boyfriend or your daughter or other definite no’s. If you know someone to do good work and they have a track record of professional maturity, it’s not crazy to decide the risk of problems is low enough that you’ll move forward with them.

But I can also see being pretty uncomfortable about doing that with people who you work with closely at your full-time job. So one middle-ground option would be to decide that you don’t want to hire people from your department there, but that you won’t do a blanket ban on the whole organization. If you went that route, you’d simply explain to anyone in your department who’s interested that you don’t feel you can hire from your current department because of the potential for conflicts of interest.

If you decide to do that, that’s not unethical; people aren’t entitled to any particular job, and it’s very normal to remove otherwise good candidates from consideration because of connections that could cause problems (for example, that they’re dating or related to someone in the same department or who would have authority over them). I’d just make sure that the part-time employer is aware that that’s what you’ve decided to do, so that they’re not surprised by it later on (especially since these are public organizations).

3. Is this good resume advice?

I have been reading advice about resumes lately that goes against what has seemed “standard” until now, and instead suggests people start using complete sentences, include explanations for job changes or gaps within the resume, write a friendly “summary” at the top. Is this really a Thing now, or is this from the land of “video resumes are the future!”? My brain is honestly so fried now from all of the different tweaks I see suggested, I’m having trouble even bothering to revise my resume anymore … (which may be why I’m still not working!)

Do not use complete sentences on your resume. Resumes should be easy to skim, space is at a premium (so you want to be concise), and they should use bullet points, not prose. More on that here and here.

Nor should you include reasons for leaving or for gaps, unless there’s a very specific situation that where it makes sense — but not as a general rule. That’s not the convention for resumes, and it looks a little out of touch when people include that info for all their jobs. Not like “I won’t hire you” out of touch, but it doesn’t strengthen your resume.

But summaries are indeed a real thing now. They’re by no means a requirement, but they’re pretty common these days. The majority of them aren’t useful because they tend to be so generic that you could imagine every other candidate with similar qualifications having the same summary … but the good ones talk about what differentiates you and makes you awesome (meaning concrete achievements, not “good communication skills”).

4. My company adjusts salaries for cost of living downward but never upward

I have been an employee with my company for five years, and in my current role for four of those years. We are allowed to work remotely, and I recently relocated from the D.C. area to California. When I originally moved, I let them know that I would temporarily be in San Diego, and they ran numbers and reduced my salary based on OPM’s pay tables. This was annoying, but I knew the move was temporary and assumed that we would recalculate once I landed somewhere more permanent. After three months, I relocated again to Los Angeles, a considerably more expensive metro area (more expensive than even D.C.!). When I inquired about the COLA adjustment to reflect my new location, I was informed they never raise salaries for COLA, just decrease them. So I could move from LA, to a less expensive metro area, take another pay cut, then move to San Francisco and have to suffer at the lower salary.

This doesn’t seem fair to me — if you are going to allow employees to go remote, and make adjustments to salary, shouldn’t they be prepared to make those adjustments regardless of how that shakes out for them?

Yes. This isn’t how this is supposed to work. You work for jerks.

5. My ex-roommate left documents in violation of HIPAA

My roommate moved out a month ago. She was in the medical profession and, well, she left a lot of stuff behind. Today, I started looking through a folder that she left, and it’s bad. There are dozens — literally dozens — of patient charts with full names, medical histories, and medication lists. She also left documents with her full Social Security number, date of birth, everything needed to steal her identity. I figured shredding the latter would be sufficient, but I don’t know what to do about the former. It seems like a massive HIPAA violation, and she’s still practicing. I have two major questions. 1) What do I do with these documents? I don’t want them in my home, I don’t want to be responsible for them, but I have no idea what the procedure is for disposing of them. 2) Do I report her to the licensing board? This seems really, really bad, and I feel like the hospital should know, as well as the board. I’ve tried contacting her to no avail.

Do you have a way to contact her old employer? If so, I’d do that, explain what you found, and ask what they want you to do with the materials. I don’t know that you need to report her to the licensing board — you certainly could if you wanted to, but I think that’s really up to you, based on whether you feel strongly enough to put in the time to do that.

I don’t think you’re being negligent if you decide not to; she’s the negligent one, and anything you do to clean up her mess is more than you’re obligated to do. (Although I do think you at least need to shred those materials unless her former employer directs you to do something differently.)

will my mental health get in the way of a promotion, bad resume advice, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

92F - 65F : Sunny

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:19 pm
zhelana: (seaQuest - cocky)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up inexplicably at 8 this morning. Despite this, I did not go to PSWC. I was pretty lazy until time to go to my dentist appointment. I spent some more time in bed, and on the internet. Then I went to the dentist. It was not as horrible this time as last time. At least, I didn't leave bleeding and crying. I set up a return appointment, and an appointment with the actual dentist (the VA one person does cleanings and another person does X-rays and other stuff). Every time I go in this woman "discovers" cement on my teeth from my braces that I had 20 years ago. And tries to scrape it off, each time unsuccessfully, but with lots of the scraper skipping off of it and going into my gums.

Also, I really want to know what the receptionist's job is there though because when I asked him to check me in he's like "check in at the automatic kiosk" and when I asked him to check me out he's like "check out is around the corner" So what the fuck is your job dude? You're working awfully hard at not working there.

If I had had brains, I would have brought my laptop and went to a coffee shop, but I don't have brains so I came all the way home, and sat online for an hour then talked to Kevin for an hour, then went back to Decatur to go to the SCA meeting. There was a business meeting at the beginning of the meeting, where we talked about upcoming events, most of which I am not going to. I don't think I'm going to any more events this year, actually. I may change my mind and go to Red Tower in 2 weeks, but they aren't having any classes, and I don't think I can shoot long enough to make that a whole day activity. So, I don't really know what I'd do with myself.

After the meeting we had some dancing. I danced with Ximon, and Justina danced with the dance Mistress, but I don't remember her name. Also this cute little 3 year old girl danced with Justina and they were adorable. The list of dances for 4 people is small, and I think we did most of them.

Then we went out to dinner at Imperial, where I had a burger and Mac and Cheese. Never again with that mac and cheese. The top was burned, and I made the mistake of stirring it so the burned pieces mixed in with the good pieces, and it was just disgusting. I picked at Deborah's french fries, which were better. We talked about travel, and the military, and I'm not really a fan of discussing the military. It's a thing that happened, and I'm glad it did, but I'd rather not talk about it. They were talking about family members who refused to talk about military service though, and I was like "sounds about right!" For what it's worth, my grandfather, who was a mine sweeper in north Africa never spoke about it either. Until he got Alzheimer's and thought he was living it.

L'Shanah Tova, y'all.

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:01 pm
sage: xkcd: crop of standing male stick figure facing a seated cat and exclaiming, "You're a kitty!" (kitty)
[personal profile] sage
books T. Kingfisher )


Mom's cat LOVED her kickbunny! I have about a million pics to sort and then find a few to edit into the pattern post, and then the kickbunny pattern will go live. *pleased*

dirt plants log )

There is other stuff, but it will wait.

Best News In A Month of Sundays

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:31 pm
sulien: Made from my favorite photo of Big Lagoon, Humboldt, CA (Default)
[personal profile] sulien
 I just got a phone call from the lady who is in charge of cats at the shelter and Haldir and Púca are being adopted together by a couple.  The couple have been looking for a Maine Coon to adopt and had been in communication with the shelter about Púc and Hal and came in to meet them today, they played with them for a while and fell in love with them, just like I did.  That is the best news I've had in years!!!  The weight of worry about them finding a good home has been lifted and I feel like I can breathe again.  I hope my kitties and their new parents have very long and happy lives together.

Edited to add Note to Self: Oh, woman up and get over it already, they're not dead and they found a home together with great humans who will love them!  And they did so within a month, only having to spend a very few nights in the shelter itself instead of a house with humans!     
There, that tells me.  I truly am grateful for my fur babies' sake.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Nothing because I am still in AAAA MUST WRITE BIG BANG mode. I expect this to persist.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Avengers #11, Doctor Strange #25, Generations Ms. Marvel And Ms. Marvel #1, Invincible Iron Man #11, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #4, Spider-Men II #3, U.S.Avengers #10 )

What I'm Reading Next


Crossovering: pinch hit needed

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:52 pm
galfridian: (Default)
[personal profile] galfridian posting in [community profile] yuletide
We have one open pinch hit currently open at Crossovering (a crossover fic/art exchange).

Requests are:

Crossover/Fic: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, GLOW (2017)

Crossover/Fic: Harlots (TV), Galavant (TV)

Crossover/Fic: Superstore (TV), Selfie (TV)

Crossover/Fic: Riverdale (TV 2017), Game of Thrones (TV)

Crossover/Fic: The Good Place (TV), You're The Worst (TV)

You can view the full request with details at the Google group here. Please reply at the group or e-mail the mods at crossoveringmods@gmail.com if you are interested. (Please put Pinch Hit #007 in your subject line). Thank you!


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