elspethdixon: black and white diagram of X-15 experimental aircraft (X-15)
2016-09-28 06:12 pm
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Back in NYC

Back from California. The SETP presentation is now over and done with. I have now co-presented a presentation on the X-2 program and the history of the Iven Kinchloe award to an audience of 500-some of my father’s professional colleagues.

I didn’t present nearly as well as the journalist who just wrote a book about the XPRIZE and private/commercial space flight, but I did talk more about actual facts/events and a lot less about feels. (Her presentation was at least 60% feels by volume, which is probably not the feels-to-data ratio a professional organization composed largely of engineers, pilots, and ex-military guys is looking for).

I now have a little metal propeller souvenir to put on my desk. It spins. Ask me about mid-century experimental rocket planes.
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2016-03-31 03:57 pm
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Married!

So, I haven't done too well on my New Year's Resolution to start interacting in fannish spaces again. But I have an excuse!

Behold my excuse:

Click for wedding photos! )
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2014-09-09 10:26 am
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(no subject)

Back home from my sister's wedding. I'll post pictures later.
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2014-08-31 08:50 pm
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So, I’ve been almost totally absent from the internet for the past two weeks ^_^. I blame:

- Adjusting to new dosage of SSRIs
- Getting ready for my sister’s wedding* (September 5!)
- Marathoning David Attenborough’s “Life of Birds” because the Fluffle is so hilarious when we watch it (he stares at the television the entire time a bird documentary is playing and occasionally leaps up to paw at the TV screen)
- Making black currant jelly, which I now have eleven jars of (eleven! And I even threw half a jar’s worth away because I didn’t have any more sterilized/prepared jars left)


*It’s not her big celebration, in-church wedding, which will be next spring/summer, but the legal, justice-of-the-peace wedding which she and her fiance are doing now, several months in advance, because they’re both in the military and the sooner you’re legally married the sooner the Air Force takes that into account when giving you duty assignments. So no bridesmaid dress or bachelorette party or shower, but still a lot of travel arrangements and constant phone calls with both her and our parents.
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2014-06-19 06:36 pm
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young woman in a military flight suit posing with a live falcon perched on one wrist

My sister cosplays the lovechild of Carol Danvers and Sam Wilson.

(She's much prettier than me, btw. She's also 5'11", only a few inches shorter than Sam, so that bird really is about Redwing-sized.)
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2014-06-02 12:38 pm
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I wore a long skirt to church yesterday morning, something I almost never do, and when I came back home the Stevelet was both confused and mildly distressed by it.

Want rub ankles. Where ankles?! Very fabric. Much confusing. Wow.

(Then, of course, being our little ADD cat, he immediately forgot all about it the second something else caught his attention and everything was fine)
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2014-05-12 11:55 am
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(no subject)

Signs you've been in fandom too long (or possibly that you use too many cutesy nicknames for your pets): You get an email from the vet about your cats and stare at the subject line for a long moment trying to figure out why the vet wants to talk about your OTP... until belatedly remembering that, oh, right, "Steve and Tony" are the cats' names.

Technically, anyway. We've been calling them Stevelet and the Fluffle for so long that those are pretty much their real names.

(Poor Stevelet - he had to get his teeth cleaned and one infected tooth pulled, and when he returned from the vet, the Fluffle spent about 24 hours utterly convinced that his beloved friend had been replaced by a Skrull.

Stevelet: I am HOME! I MISSED you, friend!
Fluffle: No, no, you is Skrull! I growl my tiny ineffectual growl.
Stevelet: Why you not happy for see me? LET ME LOVE YOU!
Fluffle: No, no, there is Skrull in my house. Must run and hide from Skrull.
Stevelet: ???
Fluffle: Okay, MAYBE you is not Skrull. Maybe. I is watching you.
Stevelet: ILU forever let me groom you.
Fluffle: Okay, fine, you is not Skrull. I will tentatively groom you back.
Stevelet: YAY!)
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2013-12-25 06:43 pm
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(no subject)

My sister taught our dad how to play Bejeweled yesterday.

He’s already beaten both of our highest scores as well as her boyfriend’s highest score.
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2013-09-10 04:03 pm

Really? Really?

So, my sister was recently diagnosed with a GI condition that involves bleeding ulcers*, and until said ulcers heal, she has to eat a severely restricted diet of super-bland food.

This past weekend, she was at a sports-watching party of some kind (football, maybe? It wasn't related to the playoffs, because she doesn't watch baseball) and went into the kitchen to make her plain oatmeal that she'd brought with her. One of the other guests at the party saw her and she asked my sister what she was eating.

My sister: Oatmeal. I have this stomach condition with ulcers and stuff, and this is practically the only thing I can eat right now, until they heal.
Other guest: Oh my god, you're so lucky! You're going to lose so much weight!
My sister: *dead silence as she tries to think of a response that doesn't involve profanity*

(My suggestion for next time this happens is that she respond with, "Thanks, but I'd rather be fat and able to eat whatever I want without vomiting blood.")



*Luckily, she's in the military and therefore has access to reliable and affordable health care.
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2013-05-11 04:23 pm
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We've given the Fluffle the first of his 2-3 yearly baths (the ones we have to give him once a month during shedding season to keep him from twitching out of his skin and keep the Stevelet from coughing up Fluffle-fur hairballs). I feel like a terrible cat abuser and look like I've just finished having some kind of violent kinky sex - there are scratches/welts all over my thighs, breast, and upper back from where he tried to climb my body to get to water-free safety.

Luckily, the Stevelet is a shorthaired cat and doesn't need to be bathed except on those rare occasions when he somehow manages to get himself covered in cleaning fluid/clothing dye/some other toxic fur-staining-or-bleaching substance. (In six years of life, the Fluffle has never felt the impulse to shove both front feet into a bowl of bleach-filled soap-suds. The Stevelet feels this impulse every time one of us scrubs the kitchen counters)
elspethdixon: black and white diagram of X-15 experimental aircraft (X-15)
2013-05-08 11:47 pm
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(no subject)

My quick-and-dirty finding aid for the one box at [aviation organization]'s archives that I specifically labelled as "Partially arranged and described by [Elspethdixon's real name]" because I knew I hadn't followed the standard format exactly or given enough detail (I had a day and a half in the archive, and spent half that on my own X-15/NF-104 research) and was embarrassed by how unpolished/unprofessional it probably looked* apparently awed my family.

They were all, "It was so detailed!" and "You did that in only two days?" Whereas I was all "I forgot to say how many cubic feet it was! I didn't format the document list correctly for the one folder and set of subfolders I did a document list for!"

Then again, I would be equally clueless when it came to my dad or my sister's jobs. (For example, I know jamming electronic transmissions is an act of war, but I have no idea how you actually do it).



*I haven't arranged and described archival documents since grad school - most of the things I file at work are paid bills, real estate closing documents, or tax stuff, all of which come with ready-made filing systems.
elspethdixon: black and white diagram of X-15 experimental aircraft (X-15)
2013-04-23 01:48 pm
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Leaving for CA tomorrow

The Mojave desert, not the coast. My birthday present for my dad is that I'm going to spend several days going through [aviation organization]'s "archives," (repeatedly described it to me as "those boxes of stuff" so I'm kind of picturing a supply closet full of cardboard boxes shoved in at random) and offer advice on how to organize them.

This could either end in me saying "buy some archival boxes and folders, and move this stuff out from under that water pipe," or in me saying, "Holy shit, call the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and tell them you have three shoeboxes full of Neil Armstrong's pilot logbooks," depending on which former organization members' stuff it is. Option #2 is a very slim possibility, but an existing one.
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2012-06-24 09:39 pm
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I didn't even know cars could do that

So, my father's new car is apparently the bridge of the starship Enterprise. My parents called me this weekend from the car using the car's built-in bluetooth technology. Apparently, they just spoke as if they were talking into a speaker phone, and my voice came out of the car's speakers, like Picard talking to another ship's com on the bridge.

It's a Volkswagon Jetta with a diesel engine, which I didn't even know existed, but being diesel means he can use it to pull airplane/glider and motorcycle trailers.

(My initial response to hearing that he'd bought a new car was, "because if there's one thing our family needs, it's another motor vehicle - is it going to go in the hanger with the two airplanes?" but then my mom reminded me that my dad's truck is fifteen years old and has over 500,000 miles on it and he actually does need to replace it)

Apparently, car dealership people pretty much ignore you when you drive up in a 1997 dodge pick-up truck with all the paint peeled off the hood. They got much more attentive after they'd run a credit check.
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2012-02-05 09:11 pm
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I don't drink, and even I can recognize the cosmic unfairness

Today is my sister's birthday. It's also the superbowl.

And she has a flight at 5:00am tomorrow morning, which means that starting at 5pm this afternoon, she's not allowed to drink (military rules = no drinking in the 12 hours before a flight).
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2011-06-20 07:53 pm
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(no subject)

I haven't seen the Hal Jordan movie yet, and am trying not to let movie critic reviews influence me. It's unlikely to be as good as Spiderman 1 or 2, or Iron Man 1, but I'm hoping for at least SnicktBub: Origins levels of popcorn-flick watchability. (My dream, of course, was that it would either be DC's "look, we can make fun movies, too! That aren't just about Batman emo-brooding!" answer to Iron Man/Thor/etc., and be well-written and cinematic and a huge hit so that they'd make a sequel with modern-era GLC characters guest-starring and possibly a non-stripperiffic version of Star Sapphire if such a thing's possible, and also the internet would present me with piles of sketchy Sinestro/Hal Jordan fic on a silver platter, or that it would magically have turned into the "Guy & Kyle's intergalactic road trip of comic hijinks" or "John and Shayera's Grant & Hepburn-style space opera-flavored romantic comedy" movie while I wasn't looking).

What I have done is spend the last two weekends first driving somewhere between eleven and twelve consecutive hours in order to move seanchai's sister from Boston back to NYC (seanchai's sister: "The rearview mirror is completely blocked by all the stuff in the back. Can we still drive this on the highway." Me: "Let me tell you about the 1997 Dodge Minivan I drove during grad school. The one that had no rearview mirror and shuddered when you drove faster than 70mph.") and then (this past weekend) putting all the boxes of books we still hadn't unpacked away. All the comics have their own shelves now, and everything's been put away except the Robert Jordan books. But I'm missing my copy of Eric Foner's Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution and the Norton Anthology of English literature, which means there's must still be a box of books sitting in the corner of my dad's hanger. I think it's the box that has my missing copy of the Dr. Strange animated movie in it. Plus the rest of the Terry Pratchett. I'm missing some Terry Pratchett and all of the Lymond Chronicles.
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2011-03-26 12:04 am
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Guess who owns a house?!?

Okay, an apartment, and the bank technically owns 1/3rd of it at this point, but still, we bought it and it's ours! We finally closed this Tuesday, and now we never have to fax yet another last minute financial document to the World's Most Incompetent Mortgage Broker again!

I've spent every evening this week scrubbing floors and walls to get it ready to repaint this weekend. It has a real bedroom, and a living room, and a kitchen with a gas stove! And the building has a laundry room!

Now we just need to paint, move, and either find someone to take over our lease on the rented attic-of-a-brownstone one-room apartment or find some way to escape the lease. I haven't posted very much about the whole process because "gah, our mortgage broker has rescheduled the closing three times because he can't get his shit together" is a) boring and b) a very middle-class sort of problem, but if you were wondering why I'd disappeared off the face of the internet again for the past two months (sorry, anyone waiting for updates on Reassembled) this is why. It's basically taken over our lives for the past month. And now we've closed and it's finally ours ^_^.


Also, the documentary on the original deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs that we're watching has a re-enactment of Jean-François Champollion and Ippolito Rosellini's journey through Egypt in that's unexpectedly slashy and hurt/comfort-laden. Champollion just finished swooning into Rosellini's arms, while the actor playing Rosellini stared down at him with epic woobie-face. Thank you, BBC. Now I ship them.
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2011-02-27 09:47 pm
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We can has closing date!

Cross your fingers that it will actually go through on the 2nd instead of dragging out for another week/month. We were originally supposed to close on the apartment February 2nd.

Also, the couple of random days on warm(er) weather we've had recently has apparently lured my parents' honey bees out of the hive, which is nicely reassuring. I was afraid the bees weren't going to make it through the winter due to all the snow.
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2010-12-25 06:49 pm
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The dog ate our Christmas

So, last night while we were watching a Mythbusters marathon before having Christmas dinner, the dog snuck into the dining room and ate an entire plate of Smithfield ham off the table. She was still acting guilty when we got back from midnight mass.

(Sad and guilty poodle is sad and guilty)
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2010-12-09 02:39 pm
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Question for the flist

If you had two early-20s cousins (one male, one female) who had just been in a car accident and had broken pelvises, what kind of gift would you send them? I'm thinking that everyone else will send flowers and stuffed animals and things, so I'm trying to come up with something that would be useful or entertaining if you were stuck in bed for several weeks.