pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I told a customer services representative to hurry up and get me a real person to talk to. Turned out he was a real person and was a bit taken aback that I thought he was a robot. It was the way he kept responding only to keywords in anything I said, starting with asking me what category my request was in, then circling back to the start when what I said didn't fit in his standard boxes. I should have guessed he was real when his voice recognition didn't have any trouble with my accent.

His telephone service training must have have given him a flowchart and specific scripts to use - his employers are, essentially, asking him to behave like a robot. He turned much more human in a hurry once we'd cleared up that he wasn't a robot, and became way more helpful. But I'm starting to feel really creeped out afterwards... what if a robot was programmed to be offended at being told it was a robot? What if he's programmed to joke about the situation to cover things up? Of course that's ridiculous - speech recognition and AI may already be that good, but they'd be that good when working with men with California accents, not with New Zealand women who stammer slightly.

Now I'm left feeling cross that I had to talk to a big company on the phone at all, and also guilty for being rude to someone, and also Uncanny Valleyed the heck out, and also wondering if it's actually even more creepy to think about a human sitting in a cubicle all day behaving exactly like a robot.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
We went to see the new Ghostbusters movie! It was excellent!

This is a story I've heard played out multiple times: woman wants to see Ghostbusters, her boyfriend isn't enthusiastic but goes with her, he comes out loving it as much as she did. Add one more data point to that theme from us! I don't know why my partner wasn't jazzed up about the movie coming out - he hangs out in different parts of the internet to what I do - but he's definitely glad I dragged him along. He walked out talking about how cool Holtz was with her engineering and her guns and her wacky hair, and he asked me which Ghostbuster I liked best, and it reminded me very much of the way my niece interacts with characters she enjoys - "Which one do you want to be?"

How often do I get to watch a movie where I get to decide which one I want to be?!? And I do. I want to march around New York in those overalls and save the day and be the hero.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I accidentally made fat-free muffins. They were still edible.

Better than when I've accidentally made sugar-free things or left out the baking powder, anyway. I expect the banana in them helped with the texture. I haven't had the motivation to bake anything for many months so it's a bit sad to have made a mistake in these, but hey, having something home-made and different is still nice.

I'm seeing [ profile] naarmamo coming around again soon. Maybe there's something about the time of year - after joining in every year for so long - that I associate with the need to be creative. Yesterday I was outside in the clear winter sunshine taking macro photos in the garden, and today I found the drawing tablet I'd got for a birthday a few years back and tried plugging it in, but I hadn't consciously remembered NaArMaMo is coming until later on.

Maybe it's just that I've now had two days in a row where nobody at work has been sick and I haven't been called in when I'm rostered off, and suddenly my creativity starts to return.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
My mouse broke and I had to get a new one.

The new one pleases me greatly.

Read more... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
From the department of being late to fandoms:

I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Several weeks ago but I never remember to post about things at the time. Everyone on Twitter was lovely and didn't post any spoilers before I went. It was fun and the new young characters were lovely just as everyone said. I was happy because there were plenty of hugs. I'm always happy with a movie that has lots of non-sexual hugs. not much plot stuff )

Then the other day my partner was all excited to tell me he'd found out about a TV series he thinks we'll enjoy watching together and it's called BBC Sherlock. So we watched the first episode of that. I thought it was very well made but OH MY FLIPPIN' AUNT the entirety of fandom weren't kidding when they mentioned the queerbaiting. The show could have made them be actually gay and still easily have spent less time talking about whether they were gay. Read more... )
pebblerocker: Vila from Blake's 7: I have a very low pain threshold (vila pain)
I've been feeling a little too smug about my phone - my cheap, simple, solid phone with its two-colour non-touch screen. Pretty much everyone I know has a shiny, bulky, expensive smartphone and lives in permanent fear of damaging it... everyone except the two or three people who are using smartphones with screens already smashed into crazed mosaics.

My little phone lives a hard life. I drop it onto concrete on average once a week, and it flies into three pieces completely unharmed; all I have to do is snap it back together and reset the date and time. But today I utterly destroyed it. I put my bike on its stand on a slope and it tipped over, and somehow a hard corner of the frame must have come down right on the screen and busted it completely. And unlike a smartphone, that type of screen becomes completely unreadable once it's broken. I tried out my memory for button-push sequences to send my parter a text, letting him know I wouldn't be able to read any texts from him, but apparently all I managed was sending a blank text.

Oh well, a new mobile phone can be my Christmas present to myself. At least it'll be under $30 to replace.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Happy Back to the Future day to people who are living in the past, relative to my position near the international date line! In the second film, October 21, 2015 is the date Marty and Doc arrived in the future - a future of flying cars, hoverboards, the nostalgic Cafe '80s... and keyless entry, mobile eftpos terminals, and Skype business calls.

I hadn't thought I was in the mood to watch the movie last night; I was stressed out after work and felt like anything intended to cheer me up would just make me crankier. But if I missed watching the movie on The Day, I'd regret it forever, wouldn't I - so I did, and before twenty minutes in I was in a greatly improved mood and actually having fun.

You know what though, they missed a big opportunity. The first film ends with Marty and Jennifer getting into the DeLorean with Doc Brown and flying away; then they decided to make a sequel and had to figure out what they could do with that scenario as the starting point. What did they do? They knocked Jennifer out within the first five minutes, and then she got a couple of minutes to overhear conversations from a cupboard before being knocked unconscious again; she spent most of the first half being carried around by Marty and Doc, limp as a sack of spuds, and then disappeared for the rest of the story. We only have the Doc's assurance that the timeline will re-form around her after she was abandoned on the porch in the hellish alternate 1985!

We've found out that Marty and Jennifer are still together, married with two children, thirty years in the future. That drives the whole start of the plot. Wouldn't it be so much better if we could see what it is that makes them work so well together? I think it would be more convincing if we're shown that these teenage sweethearts have what it takes to form a lasting relationship - not just told that, well, that's what they did. Imagine if Marty and Jennifer could have had an adventure in 2015 together, possibly involving both their son, who looks just like his father, AND their daughter, who could in this envisioning look like her mother instead of like Michael J. Fox in a wig. And they're in trouble which only their parents can solve, by impersonating them in a scene perhaps involving hoverboards!

And if anything needed explaining, but Marty shouldn't need to ask because he's an old hand at time travel, Jennifer could ask the Doc what the heck is going on. And when they go to 1955 again, Marty needs to avoid crossing over with himself from the first movie, and Jennifer also needs not to run into past-Marty because he doesn't know she's a time-traveller too, so seeing her would freak him right out unless she was heavily disguised, WHAT ARE GOOD DISGUISES FOR A TEEN GIRL IN 1955? And Jennifer could have a run-in with teenage Biff Tannen and maybe as a liberated 1980s girl she's done karate and she has ways of dealing with his harassment which weren't available to poor Lorraine. And it all gets ever more confusing and they need another walkie-talkie.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I didn't think I was in the mood to watch Back to the Future II last night, but that was because I'd forgotten what an enjoyable movie it is.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Things I have managed to forget in the past week:

-my keys
-my sunglasses
-my drink bottle (both of these before bike rides on sunny days, but not the same day)
-a prescription
-to change from my fluffy slipper-socks into normal socks before putting my shoes on and going to work
-that my grandmother was hosting a family lunch
-that my niece was coming to visit
-to bring a snack for a long day out
-that I'd told that exact same bit of news to my boyfriend not two minutes ago
-to bring a fork as well as the plate of food when I sat down to dinner just now
-the other thing I was going to write in this list

I would blame Daylight Savings but that only started halfway through the list.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I bit the dentist whoops. I didn't know he was putting his finger in my mouth just then. It wasn't hard enough to draw blood or even leave dents, but I did bite him harder than it's polite to bite someone you don't know very well. Still, I expect dentists are used to it.

My feet are in new socks which are nice and thick and comfy. I like the sort of socks with thick terry stuff in the foot, but sports socks made of that stuff usually don't come up your ankles at all, leaving a cold gap, and socks that do are all thin. These are polypropylene hiking socks. It's been freezing lately so it's a good time to have warm new socks.

The nursery had a sale so I went and bought many trees and I don't know where to put them. I bought a fig tree and a plum tree and several native trees for the bit where I'm trying to get a nice shady bit of bush growing, and I'm going to have to water them and keep them alive until I've worked out where to dig their holes. Apparently fig trees grow quite big.

I haven't been doing any art. I was doing well at art until I had a couple of big days of work, and now I'm not creative at all. Being tired drains it all out of me. I recovered from being tired after work days ago and I still haven't done any art whatsoever. Maybe I'll have a go tomorrow.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I've been entirely disproportionately exhausted by working for two days this week and my ability to contribute to NaArMaMo has fallen through the floor. So instead of art, I'm doing a cat post. Here's a proper introduction to Monty, with pictures!

Read more... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Followed a link today to an article on the ubiquitous tastelessness of the Red Delicious apple. My Nana used to buy three Red Delicious apples every week to put in her fruit bowl, then throw away and replace them. She didn't eat them and I had to be pretty desperate for an apple to chew through the bitter skin of an apple at her house.

But fandom-relevantly, from the article: the Red Delicious was brought to prominence by the Stark Brothers' Nursery, and they called it the Stark Delicious. But before it got famous, it was called the Hawkeye.

Oh, also, the Stark Delicious was striped red and gold. The solid deep red was selected for later on.

There is a surprising amount of Avengers fanfic involving bananas (and not even in a dirty way). Iron Man and Hawkeye having their own apple varieties calls for fic too, don't you think?
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)


but there was a party at which there was somewhat of an overestimation in the provision of desserts

and we brought home so much cake that was going to be thrown out if nobody took it away

and it's going to go stale if I don't make my best effort at it

I am all chocolatey and sticky to the gills, it is really nice cake

but I could really go for some lettuce leaves or something tomorrow


send help
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
There's a bit about Black Widow in the new Avengers movie that seemed to come out of nowhere, and a lot of people had misgivings about it. I LOVED it.

Read more... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I watched Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier back to back tonight, as part of my Marvel movie binge. Two main thoughts sticking:

Bucky needs a hug. The Winter Soldier problem would have been mostly solved with more Steve/Bucky hugs.

The Black Widow's hair goes wavy when wet. After showering at The Falcon's house, how did she get hold of a hair straightener? He has a military haircut and appears to live alone; I don't think he had one to lend her.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I've had a few image hosts over the years. Ones that decided to no longer allow hotlinking, or that changed their domain name slightly so I had to go back and edit multiply-illustrated posts to point to the new location before the site vanished a while later, or that still allow access to my old pictures but don't allow uploading new ones. And I've seen image hosts that other people use and haven't liked them, such as Photobucket which has an interface I just can't cope with, or Imageshack which puts up porn ads next to your picture which rather sucks for people who click on it without an adblocker, or Dreamwidth's unfinished image hosting service which I can't figure out. Or ones you have to pay for, or which are intended for specific purposes - game screenshots or screencaps from TV shows don't go on Deviantart.

Anyway, rather than keep signing up for new sites and finding they don't work, I'm trying something I already have, which is the public Dropbox folder. Picture under cut!
Read more... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Twitter was full of Discworld quotes this evening. But I didn't think anything of it because Twitter is always full of Discworld quotes.

RIP Terry Pratchett :(
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I was sitting with my sister and niece and the topic of Disney movies came up, and it appears that The Princess & The Frog is a big favourite for all ages. It's not one I'm all that familiar with, so I asked my sister to confirm whether Prince Naveen was, in fact, pretty hot.

She said, "Well, yeah, I suppose, but Aladdin is still by far the hottest guy out of all the Disney movies."

"This is an insane conversation," I said, and being the top-notch sister that she is, she got the reference within seconds:

Then in butts the niece, she of the great wit and charm: "Auntie, you really like princes a lot, don't you? 'Cause you like Prince Naveen, and Prince Zuko..."

I blushed red to the ears, I can tell you, and it wasn't just my fannishness (which is also her fannishness) about Avatar: The Last Airbender causing the embarrassment. The niece doesn't know what romance path I'm going for in Dragon Age: Origins, and my only defence is that the fellow didn't tell me he was a prince until I was already hooked.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Having finally got around to storing away my winter woollies, I realised my cedarwood mothballs needed perking up with a bottle of cedarwood essential oil I bought for the purpose months ago. There's a little plastic bag of mothballs sitting on my desk so I can rub them around now and then until the oil soaks in. I keep seeing the bag out of the corner of my eye and thinking it's something to snack on, like crystallised ginger or brazil nuts or something yummy. Have not absently dipped my hand in as yet.

I'm getting new glasses soon. I got my glasses when I was 16 in order to pass the eyesight test when learning to drive; the original owlish lenses were cut down to fit more stylish little rectangular frames when the old frames fell apart, and those frames have lasted for years until too many bits came off them too. Occasional eye tests in the last 17 years have shown that my eyesight is not really changing enough to make a difference; yesterday's test showed a slight worsening in one eye and a change in the angle of the other's astigmatism. I feel completely justified in not getting my glasses replaced every two years as the opticians would prefer. My new frames are going to be PURPLE and I think they look good with my current wavy bob hairstyle - no guarantees if they'll work with long hair or if I cut it all short again. Another good thing is that I can patch up the old pair again and use them as spares; I think I'll keep them by the TV so I can watch without having to go hunting in my bag every time.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I wanted to post about my best Christmas songs list because today I'm listening to all the Christmas songs thanks to [personal profile] jekesta's post, and also because it's warm and muggy and raining very hard, which is always what happens shortly before Christmas. The rain and the waterlogged garden and the washing not getting dry are very characteristic of this time of year.

Wizzard yay! Straight off [personal profile] jekesta's list because it's lovely. No slight intended on Slade, of course.

Boney M's Mary's Boy Child is one of the most memorable off the Christmas songs tape we had when I was small. It also had Snoopy's Christmas, Anne Murray's Silent Night and a truly atrocious cheesy Rudolph.

Chris Rea, whose name I didn't know before looking up the video. I'm not sure what the line "top to toe in tailbacks" means but it might be to do with snapping the ends off beans for Christmas dinner.

Cliff Richard who is sort of like tinsel and the Virgin Mary in Christmassy relevance; couldn't have Christmas without him and that's why I couldn't choose which song to put in.


Bing Crosby and David Bowie ... how is it that their voices sound so good together? Especially since one is in a grandpa cardy and the other is from another planet.


pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)

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