(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:29 am
carmenbeaudry: (Default)
[personal profile] carmenbeaudry
Exercise has slowed down until my leg is better. I had a follow up visit with the Dr. and there's no complications, but it's still swollen and hurts, so I'm not walking long distances and doing the wall sit portion of the exercise challenge is right out. I'm still doing the tricep dips, although they're done in stages instead of all at once.

Food is going better. I made a huge batch of beef stew, which lasted us most of last week, and took some to my dad and stepmom. He's been having problems with his appetite, and he ate a whole bowl of stew, so I felt good about that. We also made oatmeal cookies and lemon pudding, but before anyone thinks this will set me back dietwise, I've found that if I allow myself treats, I don't tend to overeat. I haven't lost any more weight, but that's not really the point, and I haven't gained any.

I've had more energy and the depression/anxiety has been better this week. Work is going, and I don't feel like I'm getting too far behind, even with having one day a week going to see Dad, and the day after recovering.

I'm calling it a win.

Certain Companions

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:22 am
arontius: (Default)
[personal profile] arontius
.....Sometimes, an inspiration will just appear seemingly out of nowhere. Sort of like a dream sequence. I don't actually remember my dreams very often, and still worse forget them rapidly when I do wake up with them. Much to my regret. Although the below is awkward, and still needs a lot of help in rhyme, meter, and sequencing, I'm scribbling it down here in Live Journal so I remember it. The vision was especially vivid, even if the words recorded are not expressively so.

.....Language is an absolutely amazing thing. It is magical. And it takes skill, and practice, to use with any sort of artistic output. I will master this some day. :-)

A constant companion besides me strides
The figure brooding with encroaching night
His silence ponderous as Earthly tides
That extol passage with sonorous plight

His siblings often in greeting will shout
Their own devices in prominent view
One holds a glass, sand flowing with no doubt
And one holds threads strong, bright shining with dew

I ran on pathways filled always with fear
For I would not speak nor their purpose seek
If I let go, allowing Courage near
New friends would not allow me to be weak.

Let go of fear and embrace your real life
The journey is love removing all strife

.....The sonnet is such a tight medium. It is difficult to distill an expansive thought to such a short verse. But well worth the exercise. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.

usability struggles

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:51 pm
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

I spend a lot of time on, and am a volunteer moderator for, several Stack Exchange sites. (Mi Yodeya is one of them.) SE has a banner ("top bar") that is the same across all sites. It contains notifications, information about the logged-in user, and some key navigation links. For moderators it contains a few more things relevant to that job.

Until recently it looked like this (non-moderator view):

original

The red counter is the inbox (waiting messages) and the green one is reputation changes. If there aren't any, you just get the gray icons that those alerts are positioned over. If I were a moderator on that site, there'd be a diamond to the left of my user picture and a blue square with the flag count to the left of that.

They've just changed this design. (Well, the change is rolling out.) Here's what it looks like now (for a moderator):

new, notifications

The most important links for moderation are the last two things, the diamond and the blue box with the number (flags). They're on the far right, where they're less likely to be seen for various reasons. (Non-moderators don't get those indicators.)

In the old design, those moderator indicators -- which are important -- were toward the center where they're easier to see. Also, all the numbers were a little bigger and easier to see.

When this was announced there was a lot of immediate discussion in the moderators-only chat room, during which I got a little upset about the reduced usability, especially those moderator controls -- which had a good chance of being scrolled away in a not-huge browser window, because SE doesn't use responsive design. After I calmed down I wrote a post on Meta about how this was going to make it harder for me to do my volunteer job, particularly with vision challenges. I expected to get a few sympathy votes, some "get a bigger monitor" snark (which wouldn't help, by the way), and no results.

That post is now one of my highest-scoring posts on the network. And I have a meeting with the product manager and a designer at SE next week to demonstrate my difficulties in using this in more detail.

Meanwhile, I've gotten some help with userscripts from some other moderators. It's hacky and a little buggy and it slows down page loads and I have no idea how to adjust some things, but at least I can see my notifications and the moderator stuff is in a better place. It'll do for now.

I sure hope I can get them to bake some of this in, though. The page-load delay is a little disconcerting as stuff jumps around on the screen. (Also, userscripts do not work on my Android tablet.)

Beyond the immediate problem, though, what I really hope for is to find some way to raise a little awareness that usability is hard, designers are not the users, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of usage patterns and constraints, and you need to somehow, systematically, figure out how to design for the larger audience. That's going to be the hard part.

a conversation snippet

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:36 pm
cellio: (shira)
[personal profile] cellio
Tonight at our s'lichot service (something tied to the high holy days), a fellow congregant greeted me and said "I haven't seen you in hours!". (We'd both been there this morning.) I said "hours and hours!". He complained that I was getting carried away.

I responded by saying: "hours" means at least two; "hours and hours" therefore means at least four; it's been longer than that since this morning, so "hours and hours" is not inappropriate.

It was at this point that somebody standing nearby said "oh, that's where I know you from!". We'd both been in a talmud-heavy class a while back.

There are worse things to be remembered for. :-)

daf bit: Sanhedrin 60

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:00 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

Blasphemy is a capital offense. Conviction for a capital offense requires careful testimony of two direct witnesses. This poses a problem, as they must testify to what exactly the person said. To minimize the damage, the court sent everybody out except for the witnesses and then told the first witness: tell us literally what he said. The witness did, and the judges tore their garments. The second witness then said "I heard this too" without repeating the testimony. (The mishna then says the third witness does likewise. I'm not sure where the third witness came from, as only two are required.)

The g'mara discusses tearing one's garments when hearing blasphemy. Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel that one tears only when hearing a curse of the tetragramaton, but not when hearing other divine names. Rabbi Chiyya says that one who hears God's name in a blasphemous context today doesn't tear his garments, because if he did the garment would be torn to shreds. But who is R' Chiyya talking about? If we say that he hears this blasphemy from Jews, are Jews so irreverent as to frequently demean the name of God? No, he must be talking about hearing it from gentiles. But do gentiles know this specific name? No, if we're talking about gentiles it must be in regard to any name, and there'd be enough of that to leave one's garments in shreds. The g'mara concludes that nowadays one is not obligated to tear his garments when hearing the curse of a gentile and a curse using another name, but originally one was obligated to tear for both, contrary to what Shmuel says. (mishna 56a, g'mara 60a)

In case you're wondering (I did!) why the second witness doesn't tear his garment on hearing the first witness repeat the blasphemy, the g'mara says it's because he already tore his garment when he heard the original blasphemer. The judges, however, are hearing it for the first time.

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