FedEx: A Dramatic Tale

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:38 pm
settiai: (Blue Beetle/Booster Gold -- dreadable)
[personal profile] settiai
As I've mentioned in the past, I tend to have trouble whenever I pay FedEx extra for an evening delivery (between 5-8pm). Unfortunately, if I order anything that needs a signature, that's my only option as I'm not home to sign for packages earlier than 5pm. So requesting evening delivery is the only way for me to actually get what I order, since they won't deliver after 5pm unless you pay extra.

Cut to the last week of June. I ordered two packages that were scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I paid for evening delivery. As has happened several times in the past, the packages never showed up as being on the truck to be delivered. So around 7pm or so I called customer service and started a paper trail, as well as started livetweeting the whole story on Twitter.

FedEx managed to get in touch with the local facility, who told them the package was out for delivery. The driver just hadn't scanned it when he left. ("Uh-huh," I told the poor customer service rep with more than a little skepticism.) This gets a bit long, but it's honestly a rather amusing story. In retrospect, at least. It wasn't so amusing at the time. )

... and that's why I will never again order from any company that only offers FedEx as a shipping option.

A World of Fantasy

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:14 pm
frith: Light pink cartoon pony with dark pink mane (FIM Pinkie excited)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
a_world_of_fantasy_by_wilvarin_liadon
Source: http://wilvarin-liadon.deviantart.com/art/A-world-of-fantasy-694355941

Fandom awake! I don't know what you're here for, but for me it's the art! And the ponies, ponies and art, and the whole triumph over adversity thing, but art keeps me going. So, ahoy, art event ahead and only five days from now!

Every year, since 2011, Equestria Daily has had this 30 day art challenge. Ponies plus art equals win! I suck at drawing and if I ever want to not suck, I have to draw, but I'm a bad hamster, I only spin that wheel if there's a deadline. So every year I do the art challenge. This year it starts on July 29th. The submission form for your oeuvres d'art will be here. It's the same dance as with the Ponies Around the World photo thing. You can do your art in any medium you want, including 3D. So, Plasticine, mashed potatoes, macrame, Source Film Maker, all good. Visual puns are a plus. Not acceptable: using a pony generator tool, like the General Zoi Pony Creator. Once submitted, your work automatically appears in this gallery here. Neither of those links work today but they will by July 29th.

Five days! These things always start with the warm-up challenge: 'Draw a Pony Standing'. 2B pencil or not 2B pencil, that is the question.

You know, I have yet to see anyone submit a stick-figure pony made with real sticks, and there have been several stick figure ponies.

A fannish update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:15 pm
settiai: (Liara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Now that I've talked about real life a bit, I guess it's time for a bit of a fandom-related update. I'm not watching a lot of television lately, and the handful of shows that I am watching tend to be webseries rather than more traditional series. We'll see if that changes in the coming months?

I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.

On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.

I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.

Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.

So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.

Oops?

Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?

Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.

I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)

Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.

The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?

I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.

A long overdue RL update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
settiai: (Cass -- shoemoney2night)
[personal profile] settiai
So, yes, I'm still alive. Life in general has been busy lately, and the little bit of spare time I've had has been taken up by D&D and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Oops?

Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.

Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.

Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.

Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?

Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.

I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.

VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )

Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?

... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.

Po-neighs a Round the Whorled

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:38 am
frith: Bust of white pegacorn with flowing multi-colour mane and closed eyes (FIM Celestia stamp)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
jewel_in_the_sky_ponies_around_the_world_by_fluttershyhiker
Source: Jewel in the Sky by ElementalFX AKA Fluttershyhiker.

What time is it? Ponies Around the World time. Adventr!

It's easy. Take picture of pony toy/drawing/shirt/whatever near something recognizable in your neighbourhood. (♪ ♫ A landmark is something in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hood. Would. You be. My neighbor? ♫ ♬ ♩) Upload to a working online gallery (not Photobucket, ha ha ha ha, ha. humph). Snag the URL to a copy of your picture that is less than 2,000 pixels wide or high. If that's complicated, just resize it to less than 2,000 pixels on the longest side on your computer before uploading it to a gallery. Now go here and fill in the fields.

lyra_at_big_ben_london_by_cabraloca
Source: Lyra at Big Ben, London by Cabraloca.

First field: link to your image on the web, the URL has gotta end in .jpg, .png or .gif or it's no good.
Next field: link to the blog where you get all chatty about your picture. I just link to the gallery where my pictures are. I think you can leave this blank.
Next: Give your picture a name.
Next: "your name". Ha ha ha. Use an online name or make something up.
Email: Make something up but put an @ in it. I use Flickr.com as a domain. Works every time.
Next: Gallery. Right. I link to my Dreamwidth blog. Why not? I think you can leave this blank too.
Next: La description. Be descriptive. Tell us about the context or something. You gots a 1,000 character limit. It's better than Twitter.
And then, dance the Captcha-cha-cha, press submit, et voilà. Enfin terminé. Unless you want to do it again for four more pictures. You totally could. You have 24 hours left. Go go go!

Draw_Me_Like_One_Of_Your_French_Girls_by_adlynh
Source: Draw me like one of your french girls by Adlynh

All the pictures end up here. I know this because I'm older than dirt and I've seen stuff. Go take a look!
Look, I did it! What do I win? )

Derpy's Cloud Mail

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:52 pm
frith: Grey pegasus with yellow mane on black cloud (FIM Derpy cloud)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
derpy_s_cloud_mail_by_mysticalpha
Source: http://mysticalpha.deviantart.com/art/Derpy-s-Cloud-Mail-570946443

I'm still trying to get through this Harl-Equine romance novel. The Life and Times of a Winning Pony by Chengar Qordath. I keep finding things I'd rather do, like take another nap. After 400 pages it's still focused on the angst of being so incredibly good at "banging" that three mares are bickering over who gets exclusive rights to sexy Cloudkicker. She's the narrator and mane character and I have no sympathy for her. She's the expert on everything who lectures you constantly from the pinnacle of her vast experience. Sex between mares is "banging" and apparently very physical. At no point do I get the impression that Cloudkicker is female. I see her as a know-it-all white male telling all the boys what it's like to get laid by all the chicks while keeping it all so vague that the author teaches you absolutely nothing. A lot like sex ed in school. The book is one drawn out morality play on the downside of being a swinger.

Things that continue to annoy me: male voice, getting lectured, zero sexual mechanics, Mary Sue levels of adoration and erotic attraction, the military as the pinnacle of proper pony society and the blinding clarity of the message that one-night stands are fun but empty -- for a wholesome, good, fulfilling life, get hitched. I still have four hundred more pages to find out if it ends the way I expect it to, in a menage a quatre with a banging orgy every night. Four mares, banging what? Heads? We'll never know.

Do Potterheads write equally clueless Snarry fics? No, I don't want to read any Snarry porn. I'm only reading this book because I bought it and it's MLP.

August 2009

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