[personal profile] penta posting in [community profile] factfinding
OK, so...There's a game I'm helping restart (after a ten year break) called World Alliances and Rivalries. (Yes the website is bad, we drew it up a few days ago in the middle of the night fueled by coffee and insomnia.) We're not sure yet when we're doing as a Point of Divergence (except that we know it'll be after 7/1/2017, because the whole reason we're restarting it is partly because Trump gives us an opening...and partly to heal from Trump-caused trauma...), but I got drafted to play Israel (on the grounds of "Look, you didn't suck at playing a tiny country last time, you do research real well, and we need someone in the Middle East").

So I'm doing my research and trying to figure out a scenario to make my character PM as the game needs...The problem is, I don't read or speak Hebrew at all (neither does anybody else who plays!), and the English translations of key materials (IE, the English translation of the Basic Law on the Government) seem to literally be missing a few lines with no indication as to what should be there or how important it is. (We are talking the English translation on the Knesset website. I cried in frustration when I figured this fact out, because ugh.)

This is going to be a bit scattershot of a post (I didn't want to put multiple posts up when it all seemed to boil down to a related set of issues). I've done my fair share of Googling and Wikipedia hunting, but there are questions those don't answer.

Questions on Israeli Government:

1. It's said in the British system that the Monarch has the powers "to encourage, to warn, and to be consulted" (and that they shouldn't really want any others). Israeli politics are at least partly based off of the Westminster System, so...Does that also apply to the President of Israel? Does he get updated on state affairs, does he get consulted by the PM?

2. How exactly does picking a PM work when there are multiple valid choices for a PM based on coalition-building (I'm unsure if I want my character to have a majority (the scenario is that the previous government had to resign after a spate of corruption indictments) or have to live in a coalition)? Are there any formalities associated like an oath of office specific to being PM?

3. Just how much power do Knesset committees have to conduct oversight of the government? Both theoretically and in real terms. It sounds like they have normal oversight powers, but maybe that's me drawing on experience with the US Congress or the UK Parliament that doesn't apply...

4. If the PM is indicted, is there a mechanism to remove *just* the PM, or is a no-confidence vote required? (No doubt it'd be howled for, but I'm trying to figure out "Did they 'go to the country' because the law said they had to, or just because the pressure to do so was insane?")

Questions on the IDF (numbering continues to make answering easier) - please note for reference, my current draft has this character born December 1977 and drafted somewhere around 1995-96, and I know the law has changed since:

5. Someone please explain to me the proliferation of Sayeret units. I realize they're mostly recon units in theory, but they're also special forces...So I'm eventually confused (aside from a few units) as to who does what. I made my character a Sayeret Matkal vet because, well, it seemed like an obvious choice for "Special forces vet", but now I'm realizing that that could be cliche...but I can't figure out what the other units do, so I'm confused.

6. Officers are drawn from conscripts and have a four month training course. Sayerets have an...18 month? training pipeline. Do officers do officer training and then unit training, or...? How does that all work? How are Sayeret *officers* recruited and trained? Not looking for deep details, just how long from "I got drafted today" to "I'm a fully qualified officer and out leading troops starting tomorrow" or something.

7. Are officers held to a conscript's 3 year term of service? Is it longer? (I presume it is, but how much longer?)

8. Presuming a guy just wants to serve his conscript term as an officer and then get out and start civilian life, given what I mention above, how long is he in for, what age is he getting out at, and what rank is he getting out at? What rank does said officer transition from "an officer" to "an officer who's going to make the IDF a career"?

9. Wikipedia is being confusing. It mentions stuff like Rifleman 01, Fighter 07, etc. when speaking about training. It sounds like stuff I should have a clue about to draw up a character. What is it talking about?

10. Reserve service: OK, when does a guy with that background (Sayeret unit, officer) stop being liable for reserve service; how frequently is he called up for said service, how long are the callups in non-emergency situations, and (because the internet doesn't give me too great a clue) what the heck do they do (besides, I presume, training of various sorts)?

11. Just what are the benefits post-service associated with service as a conscript, or what were they in the 1996-2000ish timeframe? Do they vary between officers and enlisted conscripts? (I looked this particular question up about 20 different ways on Google. I found plenty of mentions in English of benefits during service, or that benefits post-service exist, but no mention of what the post-service benefits (or in-service benefits) actually are or would have been at the time.)

Yes, I make my characters unusually detailed. No, that is not standard for the game it's for. It's how I learned to draw up characters and scenarios, regardless of the roleplay or the setting; it's worked so far, and in this game it enabled me to (last time) play a character otherwise completely unfamiliar to me with a good degree of clue and "I actually don't appear to suck at RPing this character".

Thanks in advance for anybody willing to help me not be dumb. :)

Short rows! Or, k-r has opinions.

Jul. 26th, 2017 05:29 pm
killing_rose: Baby corvid, looking incredibly fluffy and adorable (fluffy raven)
[personal profile] killing_rose posting in [community profile] knitting
So I am currently working on the Wonder Woman wrap (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wonder-woman-wrap) that's been making the rounds. It's a solidly written pattern. I do freely admit that I am only partially using the pattern; making substitutions and changes is my prerogative and also something that I do on most projects because I can't work with fingering and thus have to make changes to almost any pattern.*

It's also fairly easy, relying on garter, M1, and kfb for most of the shaping. The points of the Ws are made by double decrease. However, it does use short rows. This is, apparently, a reason many people I know do not want to make it.

This is like my at least fifth short row project in a year. I really love short rows. I was, thus, exceptionally confused a couple months ago when someone at the knitting table said, "I don't do short rows. They're difficult and fiddly and I don't like them."

So I poked at them to explain this. And this is when I discovered that this person was under the assumption that there's only one technique for short rows. Guys, here is where I admit: every person I know who likes short rows has their own personal favorite technique. But most people who have met short rows and run away screaming have never said, "I hate this technique, but maybe I won't hate another technique." Mostly because there are like five different ways to do it, but since they evolved in different places, not everyone's heard of them. So, this is me, giving resources in case you want to knit the above project (or a different one) and you just really cannot bring yourself to like short rows.

I loathe wrap and turn with every fiber of my being. It doesn't work for me. It just doesn't. My first couple projects used the yarnover technique. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all projects. So the first project I made that used wrap and turn I dropped in a heap and said, "NOPE" at very loudly. And then I got a book from the library and studied all the different options to try and figure out what might work for my brain.

And when I found one that worked for me, I hung out at the knitting table, checked my phone a couple dozen times to make sure I was doing it right, and clung to it like it was the best thing ever. Now, I use that particular technique any time there's a short row project I'm doing. It saves my sanity. (It also means I've never had to use safety pins in my work; there was a project where I may have, in frustration, snarled out the words who the hell thought that the Japanese short row technique was the fastest technique on the planet and or their favorite. However, there are people who do so, and this is fine. [When I am not being introduced to new and fun ways to torture my brain mid-project setup. I am not at my best mid-project setup.])

For me, German short rows are my very favorite thing. This is a good tutorial for them: http://www.lamaisonrililie.com/knittingtherapy/german-short-rows

This is a good instruction for wrap and turn: http://knotions.com/techniques/how-to-knit-short-rows/

This is a free class by the author whose book saved my sanity: https://www.craftsy.com/knitting/classes/short-rows/35255

And this is the book in question: https://www.amazon.com/Short-Row-Knits-Workshop-Learn-as-You-Knit/dp/0804186340/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

As an important note, for patterns like the Wonder Woman wrap, where they use w&t, you knit the stitch you're supposed to wrap, flip around to the other side, and do the german short row technique on that side.

So, what's your opinion on short rows? Or Wonder Woman? Or both? :)


*This is, I note, not a "I don't like fingering" but "I have two projects in fingering right now, and even on size five or six needles (let's not talk about the idiocy of the size 4 project), it still makes my poor, abused hands [thank you chronic illnesses] make me nauseated and need more pain meds." But some yarn is really pretty, so I do about three projects a year in fingering and the rest in medium, chunky, or bulky yarns.
neotoma: My Glitch Avatar, with brown skin, purple hair, and cat ears (Glitch)
[personal profile] neotoma
I got my hair color touched up and my ends trimmed after work today. I should not find the student hairdressers as cute as a basket of kittens, but they are -- mainly because of how enthusiastic they get.

For example, the woman who was working on my hair kept exclaiming about how much I have -- it's both long and dense -- and how far it extends down my nape, which she noticed because I maintain a severe undercut. She also called my hairline 'crazy', but in an affectionate way; it definitely make it a challenge to overdye my temples, which are almost completely silver now if I don't dye my hair. Also, she's probably the first student there who didn't blink when I said I wanted my undercut at zero. It'll be back by Friday, and shaving it to the skin only makes sense in our near-100F weather. It was nice to meet someone who trusted that I knew my own hair.

I do wish I had a job where I had no chance of encountering clients -- I really want to dye my hair burgundy again. It was an awesome color on me.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:26 pm
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)
[personal profile] musyc posting in [community profile] nuggan
A fly buzzing somewhere nearby but not somewhere findable is An Abomination Unto Nuggan.
neotoma: "Squee!" goes the bunny (SqueeBunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [personal profile] fabrisse, [personal profile] greenygal, and A Person Without A Psuedonym to see Dunkirk today.

I highly recommend it, especially if you can see it in a dedicated 70mm screen. There are deaths -- it's a war movie -- but gore is actually fairly minimal. The tension, otoh, is intense. Hans Zimmer scored the movie with the recurring motif of a ticking watch, and even when you can hear the watch, there's a relentless rhythm under the score. And when there's no score, it's usually because the music is replaced with something awful, like the screaming of a Stuka bomber.

The movie is surprisingly short -- just 106 minutes -- and has three intertwining sections: The Mole, about the soldiers on the beach and the mole which is the only way of loading soldiers onto the big ships, as there is no harbor they have access to and loading from the beach would require ships with a draft of three feet or less; The Sea, about one of the Little Ships of Dunkirk; and The Air, about an RAF pilot.

I do suggest you go with someone whose hand you can grab, because as I said, the movie is intense.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
Pita, spanakopita, mixed tomato-cheese handpie, olive bread, melomakarona, mango donut peaches, regular peaches, shiro plums, blueberries, yellow sweet cherries, a half-gallon of Mocha Moo, cheese curds, 3 lb of ivory and purple bell peppers , and spicebush (now called 'sorghum', because no one knew was 'spicebush' was) vinegar.

I made blackberry preserves and cut up the fruit for mixed stone fruit jam -- about half sour cherries, the rest plums, nectarines, and donut peaches -- to cook up tomorrow.
neotoma: My Glitch Avatar, with brown skin, purple hair, and cat ears (Glitch)
[personal profile] neotoma
Anyone interested in seeing Dunkirk at the AFI on Sunday, a group of us are going to see it at 12:30. Drop me a comment here, and show up at the theater at noon, and we can eat and discuss the movie afterwards at one of Silver Spring's eateries.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [livejournal.com profile] ipleasance and [personal profile] greenygal to IKEA today, and finally used the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas 2015. I got two KALLAX units, which I now have to put together, but which will give me a whole lot more shelf space when I'm done.

The last hour or so there I just hit a wall of 'too many people, too hot, here too long', so I'm going to finish eating a round of the Greek bakery's pita and go sleep. I have to be on point tomorrow, since I'm the only person working in my sub-department, now that the permanent employee has gone on her month-long vacation overseas...

Classic Secrets

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:03 pm
[syndicated profile] post_secret_feed

Posted by Frank

  front back
— email —
I always thought I’d too commit suicide one day, but I haven’t. I hope you haven’t either. Funny thing is that no matter how painful I find my own existence, when I see others saying such things all I want to do is help and let them know how wonderful, beautiful, and meaningful they are. Frank. should you read this and want to share any of it, you have full permission to use my name: Caitlin Pennington.

 

 

neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
A pint of blackberries, a pint of blueberries, a pint of shiro plums, a quart of mango doughnut peaches (my favorite!), a pint of shishito peppers, garlic cheese curds, dill & garlic quark, herb roasted beets, olives in honey, pita bread, tiropita, seasonal Greek stuffed bread, batard of whole wheat bread.

I've finished up the peach butter I started last night -- I was so tired I had to put it in the fridge and finish this morning -- and I'm planning on making blackberry jam this week. I'll probably make kimchi stew to take for lunch this week, as it's pretty easy and I do have fresh shishito peppers...

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