[sticky entry] Sticky: How to Beta Yourself

Apr. 6th, 2015 11:26 am
feng_shui_house: animated bunnies yawning text OMG plot bunnies! (Plot Bunnies)
Word usage to look out for when you haven't got a Beta. (with particular reference to Iron Man and Avengers fandom). This doesn't cover grammar, canon, formatting or any of the other facets of betaing, just words that I've seen used where they don't belong.

If you're unsure of the difference between 'Affect' and 'Effect', 'Fewer' and 'Less', 'Callus' and 'Callous', or when to use an apostrophe (rule of thumb, apostrophe used where a letter is omitted, or to indicate possession where there does not already exist a possessive form without the apostrophe) then this might help you.

Proper use of possessive pronouns: its dog (the dog is its), his cat (the cat is his), her goldfish (the goldfish is hers), my aardvark (the aardvark is mine), your horse (the horse is yours), Our bunny (the bunny is ours), Their canary (the canary is theirs).

Then there are a few special cases- Whose elephant is that? (the elephant belongs to an unknown), and One's ferret (ferret belonging to a generic one- apparently in a tribe where ferret ownership is assumed).

This is a long list. I've been coming back and adding more as I encounter them. So far I've found no examples beginning with N, X, or Z.

I haven't time to beta for anyone,alas. )
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
(Well, depending on your tastes.)

Ipernity (my photo host) postponed the site closing date to late Feb. to investigate the possibility of community management.

They gave the URL of a couple groups discussing things, but I didn't look. Afraid of getting sucked in and wasting time. :^) It's not as if I can think of any helpful comments beyond the obvious ones people have already mentioned.

Also, still fighting procrastination, I decided to FINALLY try the electric engraver I bought as a replacement for the feeble old one. I did get a little side tracked when I checked my Harvest of wild cat photos, looking for a species I hadn't engraved on wood flooring yet, and came across a lone image of an Andalusian Lynx. Googling and Harvesting occurred. And then I noticed I had a folder with some pics. of an *Iberian* Lynx. Yep. Same critter. It's also called a Spanish Lynx. It used to be considered another form of European Lynx, but no, it's a separate species. It's one of the rarest of the wild cats, in part because it's very specific in its diet. Even when rabbits are rare (due to overhunting and disease mostly) they starve rather than learn to hunt other things.

The new engraver worked lovely. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
EDIT: Finished another design. Watercolor takes FOREVER. At least for me. :^)


The customer who wanted Amaryllis without butterflies liked the second version, so I'm going to work on making up new designs to fill a collection.

I needed a break anyway-cut and bagged up the last of the bougainvillea- another 6 (42 gallon heavy construction) bags full and have a big pile sitting hidden next to bushes. Body is kinda worn down. ;^) Art will be a nice break.

Todays so far, a totally silly cartoony pigeon and cat.

Last night- Three different backgrounds of a bunch of more realistic deer.

HAH! I just went out for a quick check of the yard- TWO of my seven pineapple plants are trying to bloom. And one of them is the oldest one, which is in a really lousy place, but still had managed to produce fruit twice (admittedly both were small- the second was the size of a real apple). I recently read a wikihow on growing pineapple that says they can only produce one fruit and then they die. My pineapple doesn't read wikihow, I guess. GO PINEAPPLES! YAY. I'm looking forward to this- the flowers should be lovely.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I resumed cutting back the bougainvillea, sawing and lopping until the pile was me cubed again.

Also I transplanted more cantaloupes to replace the second batch that don't look too good. And I put marigold seedlings in and around the better looking cantaloupes. Marigold smells kinda stinky so maybe it'll help keep bugs from the cantaloupes?

Went in & discovered email from person who recently bought 20 yards of fabric printed with one of my designs (by far my biggest order ever). She wondered if I had a coordinating fabric- the design was a combination of photos of amaryllis and butterflies I did 3 years ago and she wanted a coordinate the same, but just all flowers.

Luckily I had been semi-efficient 3 years ago and had saved them in a quadruply nested folder on a portable drive-Sorted photos/ 2013 photos/ flowers/ amaryllis- and have been patching them in over the amaryllis/butterfly design (tedious- once I find the identical photo of each flower, I have to match scale, angle, saturation, color, etc.) so I got about half way through, and went out as a change of pace to cut up and bag some of the bougainvillea.

Looked up and saw someone parking in front of my house. The other of the two cars (the one I left the note on I don't think has returned). This is the second time it's been parked here since I left the note. So I went out (possibly with a Hawkeye resting face) and waved a bit until the driver lowered the window. There were two young women inside. A waft of pot smoke came out. I didn't mention that.

"Hi. I don't like people I don't know parking in front of my house. If you want to park here, I'd want your phone number and the license number of your car, so I could call you if it needed to be moved." The driver was very polite and apologized and said she wouldn't park there. I said, "If you do park here, just leave your phone number under the wiper blades, so I can call you if there's some kind of emergency and I need the car moved." She said, 'oh no, I won't park here again. I'm sorry'.

So, that's fine. It wasn't an unpleasant encounter.

Ok, back to trying to match amaryllis from the past. :^)
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
As seen on [personal profile] sallymn's journal.

Grab the nearest book, flip to page 117, the second sentence is your life in 2017.

The nearest book to me (recently purchased, not yet decided where to put it) 'Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book'.

Second sentence of page 117 (the book is only 125 pages).

'Work quickly so you don't end up with a bowl of melted ice cream.'

I HAD been planning to make ice cream today anyway. I had 2 old bananas, mashed them up with cinnamon, vanilla extract and some sugar. Threw in a small handful of dried diced papaya & let soak for a couple hours before adding 2 cups of heavy cream and putting into the ice cream maker. SO GOOD. SO DELICIOUS.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Last night after getting 2 more scam phone calls (I don't answer, just note the numbers and add them to my call reject list- it has a limit of about 20 numbers, and I'm starting over again, editing the old ones to replace with new ones- at first I put a name to make me think of them, but when I ran out of space I started with letters, am now up to K.)

Anyway, I went to clean out my missed calls list, do that around once a week, and saw I missed a call from the taxi guy on the 6th.

Called him and found he'd been in the hospital (he gets kidney stones, poor soul) and his wife had his phone, but was understandably only concerned with him.

So, I called him and found he's been back at work since Monday. I'm trying to keep my New Year's Resolution of reducing procrastination so I asked him to take me to Walmart Supercenter, where I hope to purchase polyester fiberfill, and bras. My bras are pathetic. I have a bra measuring tape, so I checked-- 42B. Ok. That's ME.

he's here. Bye.

EDIT: Am back, got lots more stuff than I planned, but mostly non-frivolous. I count the watercolor paper, gel pens and Gluten Free crackers and cookies as frivolous. They had the polyester fiberfill for $20 less than the Amazon crooked seller asked, so that almost paid for the taxi ride by itself.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Last July Verizon bought Yahoo which had bought both Tumblr and Flickr.

I think it will be a slow process, but I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon extracts whatever it wants from them, and then shuts down both sites (I'd bet on somewhere between a year and two). And if they do shut them down, I don't expect you'll get much (if any) advance warning.

Flickr hasn't updated their mobile app in over a year. Last Sept, they shut down their 2 year experiment with 'Marketplace' where you were to get paid for photos. Yahoo cut 15% (about 1,700) Flickr employees last Feb. in an effort to cut losses, saying they were reducing its resources to minimal overhead.

Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, but last Feb. lowered its valuation to $760 million. They used iffy statistics to make it seem that they'd got a userbase of a billion, and thought they'd earn $100 million in actual revenue in 2015 (spoiler alert: Nope.)

What happens when businessmen buy broken-down horses? Are they likely to spend the time and money on the slight chance they can nurse the animals back to usefulness?

I strongly advise anyone with treasures hosted on Tumblr or Flickr to make backup copies kept in your own possession.

I have pretty much given up looking for a photo host, unless LJ's scrapbook dies. Tired of learning to use a site only to have it gone within 2 years.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
EDIT 2: The 'eye' is back. They're trying anyway.

EDIT: I had given a bug report, and got back a reply the same day! The creator is going to try to restore/fix the things I mentioned here. There's also another issue, where the app kept going unresponsive (cursor would move, but no drawing happened) but since I couldn't remember what I did before that, that's not enough for them to go on. I'll have to try 4.1 again and try to replicate the issue and remember what happened.

This is a fun and easy to use, intuitive, even, drawing program.


This is the current version, 4.1, which is borked.


Select auto-save to keep your in progress drawing and it doesn't (previous version you didn't have to select, it just WAS autosaved).

There had been an 'eye' icon you could click on individual steps you'd taken when looking at the history, to temporarily make that bit invisible. Gone. Now you can only delete (and what if you later wish you had it? Redraw it.)

I used to be able to select a group of drawing parts, duplicate them and move them because they stay selected. Now the duplicates wind up *unselected* overlapping the originals, so you can't move them without reselecting just the newest bits (which is pretty much impossible.)

They've added stuff I can't even figure out how to use. You click on it and nothing happens until you click around randomly and then suddenly there is an effect.

FORTUNATELY, while they don't go out of their way to tell you, if you click on a question mark icon it takes you to the help page and at the top there is an archive saving the previous 2 versions and you can just click on 4.0 and use that. *Whew* I hope they continue to keep 4.0 as an option.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Went to the zoo yesterday, Yay.

A few hours in my friend who had treated me to the trip to the zoo (She's a retired stewardess/flight attendant) got a phone call from another friend about a shooting at Ft. Lauderdale airport (one of the airports she had used). Neither of us knew any of the people involved, and I feel a bit guilty for being relieved about that.

Apparently you can be mentally ill with violent episodes and delusions of hearing voices telling you to join ISIS, but so long as you voluntarily go into treatment you can walk away at a time of your own choosing, get on a plane, put your gun in baggage, and then in the baggage claim at the end of your flight you can get your gun, load it, and shoot people in the baggage claim area until you run out of bullets.

I don't really think it's enough to x-ray baggage if guns are allowed in packed luggage. At the very least you ought to separate out that baggage and require it to be claimed in the presence of airport security.


Ok, onto selfish, frivolous things. I have transplanted cantaloupe seedlings and hope they will survive and give me fruit.

Also I am apparently moving up the Spoonflower ladder of visibility- I expected a sudden drop off of sales post Christmas (actually expected it before Christmas, thinking people would buy fabric to sew as gifts) but I'm still *knock wood* selling at least a little every day and sometimes even a multi-yard order.

So today, as I randomly do from time to time, I checked Spoonflower's Amazon shop and found that they have put in one of my designs! I have NO idea why they chose this one. It had been a contest entry, but it did very poorly. It's got 37 favorites, over quite a long time, and I think it maybe sold a FQ or possibly a yard *once*.

No idea what their selection criteria is. I mean, Steampunk Valentine Dodo birds? I did it as a joke because I had no other idea for the contest. I have lots of designs that have more favorites, and have sold much more, and even some contest entries that did better than it. *headscratch*

my fabric at Spoonflower Amazon

EDIT: Possibly they're just putting up designs for Valentine's day? Even so, there are a lot of Valentine's Day designs that seem more popular than that.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Couldn't take photos outside, so this is just on the dining room table. The largest one is about 9 inches tall. The Pony's eyes are antique shoe-buttons (with black Sharpie painted on for pupil), and the other two have antique buttons for eyes which I could not SEE how pretty they were because they were so tiny. So after I photographed the critters I expanded the image of one of the button eyes and OMG, SO beautiful! My mother had them from her mother who probably had them from *her* mother. I'm guessing they're over 100 years old.

The fabrics are all prints I designed, including the pony spots. The critters are all patterns I made. So, you know, genuine one of a kinds.

Pony, Bunny, Teddy & a closeup of antique button )
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
So, anyway, after giving up on the delivery of the third party seller, and getting a refund from Amazon and writing a negative review, an hour later I get an email from Amazon with shipping update, saying the order has been sent and this time it has a tracking number.

I'm thinking, oh, what do I do now, are they sending this for free as an apology or are they going to charge me again?

So, as you do, I sewed antique shoe button eyes on a toy horse and thought about it, while calling the taxi guy AGAIN. Still no answer. *sigh* All dressed up and no grocery store to go to.

So I came back in with smiling toy horse, and looked at the email again. Clicked the tracking number.

It says the package was delivered 9 days BEFORE I complained, to another city in my state (and not even a city near me.)

Yeah, no. You can't send a package without tracking and then retroactively track it. They took a tracking number from something else and reused it.

How did they think they'd get away with this? A customer who's already complained once about non-delivery is hardly likely to pay for the second non-delivery.

So I livechatted with Amazon & they assured me they were going to make sure I didn't get charged, and they were going to investigate the seller.

*Whine* It's raining so I can't dig up the bed I was going to put cantaloupe seedlings into, and my hip hurts, the taxi guy isn't answering, I've fallen and I can't get up (LIE). OMG, I'm an old fart. *Puts a smile on a toy rabbit*

EDIT: I just realized the tracking says the package was 3 pounds. The item I ordered was a 10 pound box of fiberfill. Wow, they really didn't try to match it at all with their lie. I'm insulted that they thought I was so stupid.

EDIT 2: I just went back and see that Hi Tech now has 100% positive rating! They REMOVED my review. (along with everyone elses that was negative).

I didn't know they could remove reviews that didn't violate the guidelines. I was careful not to say anything that wasn't allowed.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I got curious about how the seller 'Hi Tech' (been on Amazon for something over a year) now has a 99% positive rating for the most recent reviews when I first looked on Dec. 28 and they were 95% due to quite a few complaints just like mine (non-delivery, no tracking, no help from seller).

You can't sort seller reviews by stars, so a flood of 5 star all sent the same day covers up the isolated 1 star complains.

5 out of 5 stars
99% positive in the last 12 months (488 ratings)
HI TECH is committed to providing each customer with the highest standard of customer service.

1 out of 5 stars
Supposedly sent the day after ordered, but with no tracking. It never came. I asked Hi Tech about it twice several days apart. Each time Hi Tech asked for more information & I replied the *MINUTE* they asked but never got a follow up from them. Finally I just asked Amazon for a refund, and Amazon immediately credited me. Yay Amazon. Not so yay Hi Tech.

Amazon has sued (in 2015 I think) companies that sell reviews- they pay people to order products and then give the company either 5star glowing reports, or 1star terrible reports to the competition. So maybe that's not happening now. I wonder though, if there are still ways of getting false reviews?

At Hi Tech it's flooded with 5 star reviews, most saying things about how fast the product was delivered or how much they love the product with no details on why they love it and there's many with just one or two word 'Great' etc. comments. And these 5 star reviews tend to come in clumps all on the same day. Hmm...

The one star reviews almost all have the same complaints- My order didn't come on time, I never got my order, there's no tracking, company didn't respond, etc. Since the one star reviews are buried in the mass of 5 stars, it's a chore to look for them, and with a 99% rating, who would look? Only a customer who had already had a bad experience with the seller.

So, in future, I will try to avoid 3rd party sellers *UNLESS* it says 'fulfilled by Amazon' which means that Amazon has the products & will handle the shipping.

Some 3rd party sellers are blatantly thieves and get around the Amazon guarantee by asking for direct payment (Western Union, etc.) - definitely watch for that.

OMG, Amazon just sent me a product shipping update that says Hi Tech has sent my order. What do I do now, I wonder? :^)

Is it just a coincidence this happened an hour after I posted the 1 star review?
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Been trying to stay productive. New Year's Resolutions ought to last at least 2 days, right?

I wound up with an extra arm in tiny teddy size, but in pony print. Prob. have enough scraps to make a matching replacement arm for the tiny teddy.

Taxi driver out of town until tonight, so no grocery or post office. LiveChat at Spoonflower still on holiday hiatus but the 'prohelp' email got done 2 hours later what would have taken 2 minutes at LiveChat (needed 2 customized- rescale/orientation change- versions of designs set for sale manually.)

One design I really, really hope is FINALLY finished with. This saga started a year ago (TL:DR)- multiple changes, months in between each change where I assumed the customer changed their mind between 'it's PERFECT' and actually buying any. Finally they bought some and I thought it was over. Nope. Last Saturday they emailed me to say that the sewists told them the plaid was in the wrong orientation for neckties- and they NEVER KNEW THIS. I had told them what they wanted was wrong for neckties at the beginning, but they insisted on having it the wrong way and then conveniently forgot I told them.

*sigh* It's not as if the designs didn't sell to *other* people, because if you weren't making neckties, it would work nicely for many uses. So, anyway, I fixed it one more time, got it set for sale and emailed to tell them. Am NOT holding my breath waiting for them to buy some.

In addition to sewing & handling the Spoonflowering I did get to finish mowing the verge today (no one was parked there, I hope I hope I hope they stay away), also mowed the back & inspected my seedlings. None are all that great, but eh, they didn't get any fancy soil or food. Hope I get around to transplanting them before they die.

Have an area in front where stuff died that prob. large enough for a cantaloupe vine. Think I'll put a whole bunch of the seedlings there and thin out the weaklings a few days later.

Must go cut a new arm before I forget. I don't want a Travis/Winter Soldier/Krycek bear (what is it about one-armed men that so many of them are baddies or at least made to act as baddies?)

Come to think of it, way back when I was making media bears, I DID make a Krycek koala... he had a removable arm. I used a large snap, so the arm had jointed mobility. Was cute.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I got myself all worked up about the strangers parking in front of my house & spent New Years Eve googling laws and fuming. :^)

So I didn't sleep well, got up after a few hours and marked all the trash days on the 2017 calendar Haldane had sent me, started laundry, left a note (the 'ask your landlord for parking' version) under the windshield wiper of the car still parked there, mowed what I could of the verge without coming near the car, and had my hip go OW so I came in to do a bit of sewing on tiny teddy bears I'd cut out a few days ago & waiting to see if my innards revolt from stress.

Also, I gave up on the order of polyfill (supposed to be here Dec 27 but since they had NO tracking on it, I don't know if it was ever sent at all) and requested a refund from Amazon's A-Z third party guarantee. I had contacted the seller twice, and each time immediately got a request for more information, which I immediately provided, and then heard nothing since. (Also I looked at comments & a significant number of people had the same thing with this seller- no tracking, and no delivery) Amazon says they refunded me. *Fingers crossed* The charge is on the credit card bill I got on Friday, and I think it best to just pay it, that way if there's fuss, I won't be dealing with the CC company, too. (Luckily the company didn't try the scam of 'pay us through Western Union', because if they had, and I fell for that, the A-Z guarantee wouldn't apply.)

On the bright side, while researching laws I found that if I'm still living in Hellhole 5 years from now, I can claim a total exemption from the local real estate taxes on the basis not only of age, but of having stuck it out for 25 years (well, my whole life, so a lot more than the minimum) in this pit of despair. Frankly, I think anyone who lives here more than 25 years deserves a medal and possibly a parade.

Am all nervous jangly, expecting at any moment an irate pounding on the front door, but HOPE the driver of the car will be a Boojum and not a Snark, and will swiftly and silently vanish away.

New Year's Resolution- TRY to be productive. AVOID playing the same pointless on-line computer solitaire games. TRY to be less procrastinatory.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
For more than a week now, every single day there's been a car (two different ones, but not two at once) parked in front of my house. I finally asked my next door neighbor (the only one who ever asked permission to park there) if perhaps he had relatives or friends visiting over the holidays and parking there.

He said no, but that he (without saying who) knew someone in the neighborhood was renting rooms and he had told them not to park in front of his house. So I get the idea this isn't a temporary thing, but the landlord told them, 'sure, park there all the time, she hasn't got a car'. And I'm really annoyed. Legally, the verge is free for public parking, but also legally, I'M responsible for keeping it tidy and mowed. I get to pick up the trash they leave. I get to watch the grass die under their cars. I get to not be able to put out my trash where I want because they're parked in the place I use. So I thought I would write a note and stick it under the windshield wiper.

Here's about the 5th draft. Opinions? One thing to bear in mind is that I'm sure this is not entirely legal room-renting, so they should not feel they have the same rights as a resident.

If you are renting a room, the people you rent from should give you a parking place that belongs to them. If you own a house, you should park on your own property.

If you must park here in an emergency, leave your name and phone number EVERY TIME. I will only call you if the car must be moved.

Do NOT park here every day.
You are killing my grass. I can't mow. And I do NOT want a stranger's car in front of my house.

This is the second time I've tried to post, the first just went blank after ages. Maybe the Internet is telling me this is a bad idea.

Mmm, maybe I'd leave off the last line, that's just being pissy.

I'm considering making up (having made) a sign that says 'If You Don't Rent from ME, Do Not Park in front of my HOME'.

I made a mockup of a sign... considering whether I should actually do it. )
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
Ok, so the first part, where I went to my LJ Scrapbook and uploaded pics, and then inserted them into a post worked (except I forgot I need to use lj-cut text not cut-text & then I had to scramble before I got to a place where I could edit. I'm so used to just cross-posting from DW.)

Getting the URL of the post is a pain. I don't know if there's an easier way, but I managed it by pretending I was going to post a comment on it. So, here's the post with photos of teddy bears (well, 1 bear, 1 cat, 1 dog) made from swatches.


SO, part 2, I went to LJ to post and used the insert a photo button to get the URLS of photos of potholders and zipper pouches made from swatches, and then copy-pasted them into this DW post. Let's see if THAT works.

And here are the links to two of my Scrapbook Albums. Lets see if that works.

Swatch Projects
Teddy Bears and Friends

12 photos )
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I thought I would upload a few pics to the Scrapbook, to show you guys the pillows I made for Christmas (seems a waste of time to upload them to Ipernity, which is most likely going to be gone Jan 31), BUT... I can't do it.

All the drop down menus are unresponsive. I figured they just made my old layout useless & so I tried going there directly from the link in the FAQ. Which gave me a page with a little blue square nothing like my scrapbook.


So I tried going from the insert photo icon when you update (wouldn't be able to load new photos, but at least I hoped to find the scrapbook). NONE of the little icons work when clicked.


So I went to my profile page and it says I have photos- and there's a click link... which again, brings me to the useless page.

So then I dug out the calendar and went to an old post with photos and the photos were there so the scrapbook EXISTS. I just can't get to it.



AND I CAN'T SEE COMMENTS, EITHER!! (Apparently on SOME journals I can. I think this is probably a devalued style issue. But I'm not going to attempt any changes unless LJ gets back to me and tells me what I need to do.)

Also, my bio is invisible to me, but on clicking the 'edit' button, I can still see the information.
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I shot Natasha three times.

With my camera.

In other boring news, my sewing machine chair (the kind that's basically a lidded, padded box stool on legs) is defunct.

Who knew that after 80 years of use (I inherited it, and I suspect mom brought it with her from NY in the 1940's) the cardboard bottom would break? I considered buying a new one, but a brief look turned up $170 ugly ones with no storage, $200 ugly ones with storage & rolly wheels, and $270 good looking ones, well built with all ash wood, with storage, rolly wheels, and lumbar support.

So, you know, I moved in a dining room chair. :^)
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I hope your day is full of everything that makes you happy. :^)
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
I was commenting on a post about using AO3 tags, and wound up on AO3's 'page of tags'.

The default is a selection of the most popular (listed alphabetically, but with increased font size giving an idea of the relative popularity).


I just clicked on the 'random' search and got among other things ' Helpful Tony Helpless John Herding Cats Homelessness Horses Hot Dwarves', which would make an awesomely weird fic. :^)
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