brekky with Alex

It’s by no means guaranteed, but we are probably going out for breakfast with Katie and Alex this morning. LATER YES IT IS GUARANTEED they will be here to pick us up in 20.

I got almost eight hours of sleep last night. It was absolutely wonderful. I definitely sleep better when it’s cold in here.

Cousin Alex is not having a good time sleeping these days. Well do I remember my early fifties and I probably have dozens of blog posts complaining about how much I sweated….. menopause is hard, but most of the parturition crowd would say it’s eventually worth it. Don’t forget the Replens, it makes a huge difference.

Feetsball today. Jeff will be thinking of our pOp.

Wrote lots yesterday, trying to get a fic finished.


This is Anastasia Baburova, murdered a decade ago by fascists. She was a student anarchist and journalist. I think she was one of my people… does she look like a Scythian warrior woman to you?

I have learned not to immediately respond to news on Twitter. If it’s accurate someone smarter will have a better assessment and if it’s not you’ve not made a fucking idiot out of yourself at least more than normal.


early in the morning

seven hours of blessed sleep last night, most welcome. The weighted blanket the children gave me continues to be one of the best gifts I ever received in terms of keeping the kindness of the givers clearly in mind and its effectiveness.

Newfoundland is experiencing hurricane blizzards, and once again Rex Murphy limns his irrelevance with a lovely misstep, lining weather and climate up together to ‘prove’ that global climate change is not occurring.

It’s weird weather, all the time, until the new normal in about 150 years.

The new fic, which is basically how I grab three major and two minor but re-appearing characters and toss them into a domestic support situation with a major mental illness and a newborn baby girl and five important dyadal relationships to see how witty I can make the dialogue, is coming along nicely.

A list of my twitter trends this morning. LOL

Screencap of five twitter trends: Jesus Christ, snowstorm, Newfoundland, Rex Murphy and YouShouldntHireMeBecause


Did you know this? I was not aware

did you know this? As an anarchist I really should know this shit


How the Queen gets paid graphic

This is a graphic, which @lulex posted on twitter and which she got from the bbc website, which illustrates how the Queen gets paid. The graphic shows a circle, flowing as follows: The Queen owns The Crown Estate which makes profits paid to HM Treasury which calculates a 15-25% Sovereign grant which is paid to you guessed it the Queen.

posted another fanfic

I have 8 fanfics in process right now. Started and finished one yesterday and posted it at supper time. It already has 691 hits and I’m watching that number increment by about three per minute. If you want to know where it’s located private message me.

7 percent kudo rate…. not too shabby for 2100 words


HOTM 53075 YES TWO WHOLE WORDS but that was after I took a bunch of stuff out…


abba antiqua (Dancing Queen on an elderly organ)

Check it out!


the absolutely fabulous Elise Matthiesen says


Sometimes anger will give you enough traction to make it through whatever lousy situation you’re in, whether that situation involves self-harm or other people telling you that you don’t exist. Anger often has some collateral damage, though. It’s usually not a precision tool.

not as much wind as expected here

More snow, though. I suppose I should post pics.

For the first time in days, we let Buster out. He was back, annoyed and still very zoomy, within ten minutes. Poor lamb, he just wants to stretch his legs and take a leak under the sundeck and the snow went past his oxters.

When I let him out (via the cat door) he demonstrated, yet again, how goddamned funny he is.

He sniffed the door.

He looked around.

He sniffed the door again and pushed against the flap until he was almost completely outside. Now, when I say almost, I mean that he left ten cm of tail behind him. At that point he paused in his exit, with thoughts much like “THis is sOME bulLshit!” crossing his mind. Then he took another step forward and stopped again, this time with about 3 cm of fur caught in the door flap. He arrested there a while as well, and then fully braved the night and snow.

snow poem

under this soft & fleshy snow
the seed of spring is sleeping
within the snow, the freshet
within the snow, the torrent
within the snow, the rain of another sky

all the northern seasons are in you
little piece of wind-sculpture
beckoning finger of frost
the mud of May, howling January

the molecules untroubled if they
cling to a comet
& abrade themselves into light
or sting my cheek
or sit in my glass
but as a pure white blanket
protecting the eternal babe of spring
I love them best





There you have it

16cm yup another six inches

that’s what’s forecast between now and Thursday night (it’s midnight Wednesday now.) We definitely need more salt,  but I’m not shovelling until 6 am. It’s East Burnaby so we’ll probably get 1.5 times the forecast.

mOm very kindly put cousin Laurel on the phone yesterday so I got to talk to her. There’s been a death on the inlaw side of the family and it coincided with the worst of the ferries and roads, so she’s had an adventure; this is also the week her husband turned seventy. Much sadness about the new normal. Supporting the recently bereaved is a beautiful challenge though.

Anyway, I woke up dizzy, a horrible feeling, got up and peed, sat up and now I don’t actually feel fine but I could probably go back to sleep. I should, I only got four and a half hours…. Read on line, I’m probably dehydrated or have low blood sugar…

No I did not go back to sleep I made coffee.

55073 HOTM

It’s been weeks, but every time I think about that piece of grafitti in Ultraviolet “Czirny fans get sick notes from their drug dealers” I crack up all over again. Czirny was a made up football team for Łódź which is pronounced wutsch.

View image on Twitter

the Duchess of Sussex is out and about – shown here at a women’s centre in Vancouver yesterday AND NOT WEARING A DRESS lawks

I MEAN IT’S WONDERFUL but TERRIBLE and EXPENSIVE like 10 million dollars of extra colonial expenditure and all we really care about in this household was her gig on the TV show Suits. I feel sorry for Harry, although not for his choice of bride.

Environment Canada says Howe Sound is going to get wind and snow something awful so it’s a good thing Laurel’s not travelling today.


HA HA HA HA STEFAN MOLYNEUX that unregenerate Nazi sockwad has been cut off from Mailchimp so his list of 70K asshole supporters is no longer his. LOLOLOLOL excuse me cough cough.

I sent mOm a couple of links about a former colleague….


wanna drive?

Alex’ school’s closed. Katie is staying home. I did volunteer….

Later, around ten after seven

All the schools in the lower mainland are closed. There is not a snowball’s chance in a foundry that I could have made it to Victoria today without considerable horror.

How to notate a song when you don’t read music THIS IS FULL OF SWEARING and why not


originally drafted December 22



Question number one! Why can’t I just sing my song into an app on my phone and have it transcribed.

Answer number one: because you don’t produce pure tones and the overtones in your voice confuse the hell out of the software. You’ll be asked to input the song on a keyboard, oh goody. If you’ve found an app that works, be sure and tell me, I haven’t seen one yet.

Question number two: Is there any other way of doing this that doesn’t involve so much work?

Answer number two. Sure, you can see if somebody at one of those Mechanical Turks sites like Fiverr will do it for you after you send them an MP3. Who knows how much it might cost. This way has the distinct advantage of being under your control, even if it’s slow.

Beginneth the lesson

Sheet music gives a specific and replicable understanding of what notes, rests and intervals occur during a melody, or in the instrumental accompaniment for a melody, aka a tune, a song, an air.

Sheet music is always approximate. Don’t let snobs sit for free in your musical creativity and poison it just because you can’t read music or easily write it. The map is not the territory and the live performer gets the last note. It’s a memory aid for you as well as a hard copy for the world and it means that you’re serious about sharing your music in certain platforms.

but if your music is never written down that just means you’re not participating in a colonial musical methodology which does not take all aspects of culture and performance into significance as it is recorded

There is no dispute in my heart either way. I can see both views as valid, and others besides. 

In order to get specific to be able to convey this to someone else, you need to know at the outset:

The beats per minute

the key

the time signature

For the beats per minute, you sing the song aloud while tapping this. Sing at least one whole verse of the song so you get a solid average.

So for example the “Way up in the Sky” song is 118 bpm.

The key is a little harder. Unless you specifically do a key change in the middle of the song, like the G to A in the middle of Barry Manilow’s classic “Can’t Smile Without You” which may God kick my brains to the curb was the first key change song I could think of, thank you classic AM radio from the 70s, OR you do something bizarre in the last bar of the song which throws this trick off, there is a very simple way to tell what key your song is in.  Sing the song to the end and the last note the song is on is either the key the song is in or part of the major chord (or minor chord) of the key the song is in. I am assuming if you’ve gotten this far you can tell the difference between a minor and a major song by ear.

ACK BUT HOW DO I TELL what KEY it is in. Go to the website with guitar chords, and strum around until the last chord sounds right. Play with it until you’re virtually plucking the right note – the last note of your song. The strings, as you move the chords or the virtual capo up and down, change in value so you can record the notes.

While you’re there, you can figure out which guitar chords go along with the song you wrote and strum like you know what you’re doing, it’s very satisfying. All those chords your sausage fingers will never play, bwa ha ha ha ha !!!! 

Those B chords you will never play. Sigh. Anyway.

So you know how fast you’re going and what key you’re in. Now you have to figure out the time signature. I won’t lie, this is not my favourite part. But we’ll get through it.

If you can count four, you’re in four (one two three four). If you can count two, you’re in two (one two one two one two – literally the two step rhythm, or as I like to call it with all the sarcasm in my flabby corpus, ‘white man’s rhythm’.) Everybody knows what waltz time sounds like, one two three, one two three. If you can count ticketa-ticketa-ticketa you’re in six-eight. If you have anything more complicated than that, you’re probably a legitimate musician or grew up with them, and so I must ask you to leave or at least avert your eyes. TFO as the kids say these days when they’re feeling dismissively hostile. Well it’s your fault, professional musicians, you did make a big divide between us, and let’s not start with how badly things are taught in school. If at all.

You didn’t come here for that, did you. Not my immense, intense, pignosed raging fucking anger at the various missteps of my life, not all of which were my goddamned fault. But you came here to be educated, so by Christ you’re gonna get it.

Virtually every filk song ever written is in four four, so if you can count four you’re okay writing it down in four four time.

So there you are. Now you can open a file in a music notation software program like Musenote or Finale and tell it that you want to enter a song. You only want one clef, most likely, unless you sing bass. Tell it the key, the BPM if requested, and the time signature. It’ll ask for a bunch of other stuff, choose the defaults for the rest.


When you first start singing a song, you take a breath, sing a note or a couple of notes and then you hit a downbeat. The ONE in the One two three four. So if you are like me the first time you start writing songs down (awful, obvious hint, don’t be, you will feel sorry for yourself like unto draping black crepe on things) you will somehow miss the obvious-to-every-one else fact that every bar of a song in four four time is a bucket for four beats, and you have to get the right number of beats in the bucket or the entire song notation process runs off the rails.

I am easily frustrated and emotionally sit around seven or eight years old most of the time and mother of babbling bozoids but this was the worst part. The worst worst worst part for me. I could not get it right. If I hadn’t had a playback function on the software I never would have gotten it right, and you may find yourself in the same situation; or there may be other cognitive tripwires along the path to writing a song down.

So figure out how many notes / beats go in the ‘not full’ bar at the beginning of the song, and then you can reasonably divvy up the rest of them without chasing your tail/tails for the next thirty bars. Most melodies fit in thirty-one bars. Does the presence of such a slippery prime number, squatting like a garden toad in the middle of your song, not disturb you? I know it disturbs me, but apart from comparing my feelings to a garden toad, how am I supposed to convey that? Is it art?

Anyhoo, with few exceptions, the math for any song in four four always has something left over, and the leftover bits are actually at the beginning of the song, and it’s so you can breathe. Sixers don’t have to breathe so their songs sound anatomically improbable.

Okay, you’re now having to master entering notes and rests and getting notes to go past the end of bars with those funny swoopy lines as you’re typing in the notes. It’s terrifying, and I didn’t tell you anything useful about it, so you’ll be feeling grumpy because I’ve left you all alone with this software you downloaded.

It can be very useful at this point to back off and get as much of the contents of the bars – those buckets I mentioned earlier, as clear as you can before you start learning how to enter the notes with. In other words, break the two tasks down so that you know how many notes are going in each bar before you assign a value (note) to them in entry. This will also prevent you from making two different mistakes at the same time while you’re entering the notes. 

Then, very tediously figure out what the first note is in relation to the last note (which gave you the key). Chordbook or a keyboards that show the note as you play are useful here, and where it the beat is so that the first note in the second bar is on the downbeat. 

Playback allows you to tell if the notes are in the wrong place and the wrong value; you will be very sick of the song by the time you’re done. Depending on verses and chorus and spoken parts it will take an hour or two to finish it the first time, so pace yourself and stay hydrated, it can be frustrating.

Usually a 4/4 song with a short chorus is 31 bars long.








Yet More Snow Marmee

Oh good god at least this last batch wasn’t heart attack snow, it was fluff, because it’s now quite cold and drafty. I won’t be going to Victoria tomorrow as promised because the wind, snow and weather for Wednesday are, according to Environment Canada, pretty much up for grabs. There will be snow, there will be arctic outflow and there will be wind, but no one can say exactly how much and where between here and Victoria

burning sage

I’m not, it would be appropriation and I’m not kin, but mentally, one can. Four more fucking inches of heart attack snow may Loki quit sending his dandruff.

I used to be able to believe words, and now I only trust people. – Jesse, in HOTM

Wow, the shit’s coming out about Mike Resnick. I thought he was one of the good guys and holy penguin poop he made so much trouble for young sf writers who aren’t betesticled and pink.

I’m almost looking forward to my father’s death, (and before you all make like vacuum pumps and suck all the air out the room, wait for the rest of it and please remember that my sense of humour could never be as bleak as my pOp’s) as woman after woman steps forward and says, “He was the best boss I ever had,” and “He never treated me with anything but respect.” And I get to tell my ‘Daddy was a feminist’ anecdotes, buttressed by things his mother told me.

There’s a gal up early reading philosophy in Toronto and she loves her dog even more today because he does not cavil when she’s up at three swearing because she doesn’t understand it. True story from twitter! I mean, when I’m having shit that way I start with the translation, if there is one, and try to figure out what’s happening with the deeply confusing parts with a word by word and then a really deep dive into the word meanings that are tripping me up. For if your philosophically assigned reading chum is trying to woo a great chain of logic into your delicious, masticatable brain and you’re having trouble, start with the words and run a furrow through them with a dictionary (of course philosophy has words of art, beware, beware) but that will give you not merely understanding, but the means to overturn an argument that doesn’t suit you.

Shit, I thought that was the enTIRE point of philosophy? It isn’t?

lots snow, lots rain

It’s raining now, but yesterday it snowed almost 15 cm here and I had to shovel and salt twice (not that we get Friday mail delivery in Burnaby anyway). There are wind and snowfall warnings in effect (again) for the lower Mainland today. So…. more of the same, except this time it’s Jeff’s turn to shovel.

John Boyega made a miniature film of him kicking racist tweets aside and cutting them in half with lightsabers and it is fiery.

We’re probably going to watch the last episode of S2 of Ultraviolet today…. we enjoy it so much. Even if we want to completely rewrite the srt (subtitle) files sometimes.

Katie took me out to breakfast. I’ll record that conversation privately. All well, just, you know. Thrawn.

described photo: Shown below, a strip mall end unit faced with beige brick and beige angelstone, with a yellow sign bearing ONLY FANS in red. Ceiling fan / light fixtures are turned at 90 degrees in the window and look like white flowers with illuminated stamens.


Not a place you want to start shit, I assure you.

snow mebbe half an inch

winter grips the lower mainland in time for a completely messed up morning commute.

After I hang it up here I’ll be shovelling and salting. I bought a lighter shovel the other week while I was out with Katie, so we now have two shovels in case we have to apply that much elbow grease to the walkways. It’s typical that the first power outages of the day (not here, elsewhere south of Sto:lo) are caused by people driving around on lightly embossed baloney skins and taking out power poles.



there’s about half an inch to an inch of accumulation, and I’ve never seen such perfect snowball snow.