me at star

Transferring from LJ

Well, our Russian LiveJournal overlords have come up with new terms of service, which as near as I can tell mean I can't post anything political. Which, as one might think, is a non-trivial amount of what I post. So, it looks like it's time to at least partially decommission this site.

Default crossposting ends immediately. I've queued up a final import of comments from LiveJournal to my Dreamwidth account. Once that's finished (which will likely take a looong time), I plan to disable comments on Livejournal and cease crossposts.

Said Dreamwidth account, for any on LJ who see this and are wondering, can be found here (or [personal profile] edschweppe).

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/230413.html - comment wherever you please.
snowpocalypse

Snowpocalypse Pie

It's Pi day (3/14) and we've got a blizzard! Or at least warnings thereof:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Taunton MA
719 AM EDT Tue Mar 14 2017

CTZ002>004-MAZ002>012-026-RIZ001-141930-
/O.CON.KBOX.BZ.W.0003.170314T1200Z-170315T0000Z/
Hartford CT-Tolland CT-Windham CT-Western Franklin MA-
Eastern Franklin MA-Northern Worcester MA-Central Middlesex MA-
Western Essex MA-Eastern Essex MA-Western Hampshire MA-
Western Hampden MA-Eastern Hampshire MA-Eastern Hampden MA-
Southern Worcester MA-Northern Middlesex MA-
Northwest Providence RI-
Including the cities of Hartford, Windsor Locks, Union, Vernon,
Putnam, Willimantic, Charlemont, Greenfield, Orange, Barre,
Fitchburg, Framingham, Lowell, Lawrence, Gloucester,
Chesterfield, Blandford, Amherst, Northampton, Springfield,
Milford, Worcester, Ayer, Foster, and Smithfield
719 AM EDT Tue Mar 14 2017

...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS
EVENING...

* LOCATIONS...Western Massachusetts and Hartford County in
Connecticut.

* HAZARD TYPES...Heavy snow with Blizzard Conditions.

* ACCUMULATIONS...Snow accumulation of 12 to 18 inches, with
localized 18 to 24 inch amounts possible across extreme
western Massachusetts.

* TIMING...Snow will overspread the region through 7 am this
morning. The snow will quickly become heavy by late morning
with 2 to 4 inch per hour snowfall rates possible at times
into the afternoon. The snow may end as a bit of sleet or
freezing rain across portions of northern CT into central MA
and northeast MA. The snow will taper off early this evening...
but lingering snow showers will remain possible especially
across far western MA.

* IMPACTS...The heavy snow and strong winds will result in
blizzard conditions and near zero visibility at times. Many
roads will become impassable and strong winds may result in
some tree damage and scattered power outages...especially
across northeast MA. Travel is not recommended.

* WINDS...Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 55 mph.

* VISIBILITIES...One quarter mile or less at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Blizzard Warning is issued when sustained winds or frequent
gusts over 35 mph are expected with considerable falling and/or
blowing snow. Visibilities will become poor with whiteout
conditions at times. Those venturing outdoors may become lost or
disoriented. So persons in the warning area are strongly advised
to stay indoors.


Given the forecast, I didn't bother trying to go into work this morning. The commuter rail is running on a "reduced" schedule, and walking through the teeth of a blizzard is ... not my idea of fun.

(Also, I think this is the first time I've reprinted a National Weather Service warning message since they abandoned their ALL-CAPS TELETYPE FORMAT. I kind of miss it.)

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/229931.html - comment wherever you please.
bow tie, me in bow tie

I'm published!

... Well, at least one sentence's worth of published. Uncanny Magazine did an "exquisite corpse" editorial, where a group of folks each wrote one sentence, only knowing what the previous sentence was.

The resulting ... thing ... has just been published, as part of Uncanny's March/April 2017 edition. And my one little sentence made it in!

Mind you, there's a lot of good stuff in this issue of Uncanny. The first half is free on the web as I write; the other half will be up for free next month; and there are plenty of places to buy epub versions if you like what you see.

My sentence, ROT-13'd to prevent spoilerage:
Lrg, bs gur gjb, uvf (gb vffhr gur punyyratr) jnf ol sne gur rnfvre gnfx; gnxvat hc gung punyyratr jbhyq pnyy sbe fgeratguf abar xarj fur unq.


Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/229490.html - comment wherever you please.
vote at your own risk

It's Election Day in the US!

I've been posting this sort of message on other social media; now it's LJ/DW's turn.

If you are a US citizen and have already voted in this year's election, thank you!

If you are a US citizen and have not already voted in this year's election, today's the day! Get out there and VOTE!

If you are not a US citizen, please accept my apologies on behalf of my fellow citizens for the mess we've been making. Things should get better shortly.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/224340.html - comment wherever you please.
vote at your own risk

Thoughts on the third Presidential debate

Well, that wasn't nearly as much of a train wreck as I feared. That's the good news...

1) Big point: Trump refused, point blank, to say he'd accept the results of the election. Instead, he'll keep us "in suspense"

2) Trump keeps dodging hard questions (such as Roe v. Wade), and kept interrupting both Clinton and the moderator (Chris Wallace). Clinton was much more willing to actually answer the question being asked before pivoting away to whichever talking point she was working on.

3) Trump claimed that the stories about him groping women had been debunked; funny, I hadn't heard anything like that.

4) Apparently, it's all Clinton's fault that Trump moved jobs overseas and used Chinese steel to build his buildings. Also, everything that's gone badly in Iraq and Syria is her fault.

5) Neither candidate bit when Wallace asked if they'd consider an entitlement "grand bargain" of tax hikes and benefit cuts. Good for them.

Trump didn't suffer an obvious meltdown (although he still had the sniffles), so that's sort of a win for him; Clinton got her points across, so that's sort of a win for her. For me, the big question is going to be whether Trump can keep from blowing up over the various digs Clinton got in on him.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/223361.html - comment wherever you please.
vote at your own risk

Thoughts on the second Presidential debate

The "town hall" debate is over ("only" ran 7 minutes late, better than commuter rail!). Some quick thoughts:

1) Both Trump and Clinton kept going over their allotted time and kept interrupting each other and the moderators. (I didn't have a counter running, but I'm pretty sure Trump did far more interrupting that Clinton did.)

2) Lots of Trump dodging questions and giving vague answers. Also, lots of Trump complaining that the moderators don't interrupt Clinton.

3) Anderson Cooper was at least able to get Trump to say that he hadn't paid federal income taxes; when asked if he could say for how long, Trump replied "no I can't".

4) Apparently, Trump and his running mate (Mike Pence) "don't talk" - at least, not about Syria.

5) Trump pushed Bengazhi and email scandals; I guess he thinks they haven't been addressed enough over the last several years.

It will be interesting to see what the fact-checkers come up with, since Trump flat-out denied saying things he's on record as saying.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/222658.html - comment wherever you please.
vote at your own risk

Thoughts on the Vice Presidential debate

Well, that wasn't nearly as a mess as last week's Trump/Clinton debate, but tonight's debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence didn't really add much to my knowledge about either man. One thing I did learn is that both men have sons in the USMC.

A few things I did note:

1) Pence clearly was having trouble handling the criticism of Trump; at least six times Kaine asked Pence to defend some particular thing Trump had said and every time Pence changed the subject.

2) I think Kaine did a better job of speaking in general; Pence kept repeating ObamaCare, "War on Coal," "weak and feckless" phrases as if they were magic.

3) Pence twice tried to refer to Russian president Vladimir Putin as a "small man"; Kaine used that to bring up how Trump had praised Putin, had his cronies running his campaign, etc. Similarly, when Pence tried to bring up Clinton Foundation and "pay-to-play", Kaine used that to segue into comparison with Trump Foundation; CF is higher-rated that American Red Cross, TF made illegal campaign contributions. (Missed a chance to needle Pence on Trump's fundraising emails to European MPs, alas.)

3) Moderator Elaine Quijano kept things moving along, but both Pence and Kaine talked all over her time and time again. (That said, neither man was throwing Trump-like tantrums, and they usually apologized when called out for interrupting.)

Overall, I doubt this debate was a disaster for the Trump campaign, but it certainly wasn't a great success for them. Considering that there's only a month before the election, this debate has to count as a Clinton/Kaine win.

Now to see what the "professional" pundits think ...

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/222247.html - comment wherever you please.
vote at your own risk

Thoughts on the first presidential debate of 2016

Quick thoughts before I go and see what the commentariat thinks:
1) No surprise that Clinton had facts at her command; also no surprise that Trump had stump speech lines down
2) Trump got clearly rattled every time Clinton brought up specifics about his wealth, business, etc.
3) Trump constantly interrupted both Clinton and moderator (Lester Holt)
4) Particularly towards the end, the moderator did a good job of brushing aside Trump's attempts to change the subject and re-asked the questions Trump was avoiding (e.g., "presidential look", accepting outcome of election)
5) Trump was constantly scowling; Clinton showed a range of emotions, including a couple of "oh, goody" moments when Trump had said something particularly factless.

And, not that it should matter, but Trump had a pretty obvious case of the sniffles and kept on reaching for his water glass.

I doubt this causes either side to lose their partisans, but I also doubt Trump convinced anyone not already a true believer to support him. Clinton may well pick up some undecideds.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/221443.html - comment wherever you please.