Open Thread: Brick Walls, with and without graffiti


I was walking home and realized I was several streets too far up the hill, either I missed a turn or I made a turn I shouldn't have.  To get back on track I ended up walking through an alley between a parking garage and a club called The Asylum.  I started taking pictures of the graffiti on the Asylum and someone told me that the good stuff was around the corner.  This is what was around the corner.

I don't have any good software for stitching photos together, and eventually gave up on giving a representative picture for the open thread picture.  You can read an article here (though that is about a previous incarnation, as it's an annual mural), or just run a google image search if you want some good photos.

And, across the parking lot (foreground) and alley (way back) the parking garage's bricks look rather drab and outclassed.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: The White Barbarian King

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Violence]

Narnia Recap: The four runaways enter Tashbaan.

Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 4: Shasta Falls In With The Narnians

These are increasingly becoming harder to write for me, and I don't think it's because of the toxic sexism and misogyny so much as... the writing is just so bad. And I know that's taboo to say in Lewis circles but this writing is awful. I don't know why I didn't recognize it as much before--maybe the earlier books were better, maybe the experience I have under my belt as a writer is to blame--but here we are and every page, every paragraph, screams "I had no real outline or plan for this and I disdained the concept of edits!"

*deep breath*

Look, I brought you pretty things so that we can go through this together. First, pie:

@ writingya.blogspot.com

Next, here is a pretty keychain:

via Etsy

Isn't that pretty? Okay. Here we go!

Open Thread: Another Bird


Just another bird.  Picture taken in South Portland, Maine just off the Fore River estuary, November 25th, 2015.  The bird stayed so far away that this picture isn't scaled down at all (cropping to the area around the bird was enough to make it blog-sized) which means that all of the cruddy artifacts of an imperfect camera and an unsteady hand are visible.

At least the bird did give a decent profile shot.

This, by the way, is why I take pictures with the maximum resolution my camera allows: even at 21 times optical zoom, if this picture hadn't been shot in 4608x3456, that bird would be a handful of pixels that might as well have been a pine-cone for all the sense of birdness they'd have evoked.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Tunnel Tracks


Just at the far end of the picture you can see how the tunnel curves to the right.  If not for that it might give the impression that if one could lean left a bit they'd see infinity.

Orange Line, outbound platform, Downtown Crossing, Boston.  November 25th, 2015.

At some point in the future our tunnel tracks will doubtless be in airless tunnels to save all of the energy wasted by pushing air this way and that.  After all, the only things that really need air are the trains and stations, the tunnels themselves would be better off empty.  Until that point, one who stands near the yellow line feels a refreshing rush of air shortly before the train shows up.

For the record, I am not affiliated with the Boston T or any of the advertisers whose ads are in the above picture.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Repost: A Question Of Legitimacy

[Ana's Note: By popular demand, this is a re-post of an old deconstruction, partly to have content while I struggle with my ongoing disability challenges and partly so that newcomers can comment on old conversations.

The original post is here. I have not edited the content.]



Narnia Recap: Edmund has denied the existence of Narnia and Susan and Peter have visited the Professor to ask his advice. The one thing everyone can agree upon is to let the matter lie for awhile. Some days later, all four children are forced to hide in the wardrobe to avoid a visiting tour group.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Chapter 6: Into The Forest

   "There's something sticking into my back," said Peter.
   "And isn't it cold?" said Susan.
   "Now that you mention it, it is cold," said Peter, "and hang it all, it's wet too. What's the matter with this place? I'm sitting on something wet. It's getting wetter every minute." He struggled to his feet.
   "Let's get out," said Edmund, "they've gone."
   "O-o-oh!" said Susan suddenly, and everyone asked her what was the matter.
   "I'm sitting against a tree," said Susan, "and look! It's getting light -- over there."
   "By jove, you're right," said Peter, "and look there -- and there. It's trees all round. And this wet stuff is snow. Why, I do believe we've got into Lucy's wood after all."

Open Thread: Armored Pegasus


Some things require no explanation or justification because their awesomeness is so potent as to explain and justify everything.  Why does this folder from decades ago have a picture of an armored Pegasus on it?  Because it's an Armored Pegasus, that's why.  Nothing more need be said.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: Shasta Thought All This Very Silly

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Violence, Rape, Slavery]

Narnia Recap: The four runaways approach Tashbaan.

Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 4: Shasta Falls In With The Narnians

We covered last time that the approach to Tashbaan doesn't make a lot of sense in-text. Partly, there's the problem of geography: previously, the country of Calormen was this wide-open thing that Shasta and Bree could cross pretty much however they wanted. Now it was apparently all a funnel designed to pack them into the Hot Gates where their numbers would mean nothing, or something. The map included in the book is not helpful:


Thanks, Lewis et al.

Open Thread: End of the Old Year


I am still without a camera, so I looked through old pictures for something vaguely appropriate.  This is the final sunset of 2014, today is the first day of 2016, so all of last year, and not much else, took place between this picture and me posting this picture.  Another year's over (according to a largely arbitrary calendar that originally started in March and had no month here) any reflections, plans, or such things?

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Fundraising: Monthly Donation Reminder and Thank You

For those of you who have requested it, here is a monthly reminder to donate to Ramblings here and/or make sure to renew donation subscriptions that have lapsed. (Subscriptions can be canceled through Paypal at any time.) I want to reiterate that I don't want anyone to donate if that donation would create financial hardship for them! But if you can afford to donate, every little bit helps.

If you enjoy the open threads that Chris the Cynic posts for us, please consider donating to at Stealing Commas here. The open threads take a lot of spoons to write and format, and I am eternally grateful to Chris for donating time and attention in order to help our community grow and thrive. 

This is also my monthly heart-felt thank you to all of you who do donate now or in the past; I cannot strongly enough express my appreciation for those who have the ability to contribute and make the choice to donate to support this space. Thank you, thank you, thank you. When I started blogging in 2011, I never truly believed I would last this long. I love you all.

Cup Of Coffee by Petr Kratochvil