[personal profile] dragonlady7
via http://ift.tt/2jQJntP:To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now:

jordannamatlon:

Gail Evans and Marta Ramos have one thing in common: They have each cleaned offices for one of the most innovative, profitable and all-around successful companies in the United States.

For Ms. Evans, that meant being a janitor in Building 326 at Eastman Kodak’s campus in Rochester in the early 1980s. For Ms. Ramos, that means cleaning at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., in the present day.

In the 35 years between their jobs as janitors, corporations across America have flocked to a new management theory: Focus on core competence and outsource the rest. The approach has made companies more nimble and more productive, and delivered huge profits for shareholders. It has also fueled inequality and helps explain why many working-class Americans are struggling even in an ostensibly healthy economy.

The $16.60 per hour Ms. Ramos earns as a janitor at Apple works out to about the same in inflation-adjusted terms as what Ms. Evans earned 35 years ago. But that’s where the similarities end.

Ms. Evans was a full-time employee of Kodak. She received more than four weeks of paid vacation per year, reimbursement of some tuition costs to go to college part time, and a bonus payment every March. When the facility she cleaned was shut down, the company found another job for her: cutting film.

Ms. Ramos is an employee of a contractor that Apple uses to keep its facilities clean. She hasn’t taken a vacation in years, because she can’t afford the lost wages. Going back to school is similarly out of reach. There are certainly no bonuses, nor even a remote possibility of being transferred to some other role at Apple.

Yet the biggest difference between their two experiences is in the opportunities they created. A manager learned that Ms. Evans was taking computer classes while she was working as a janitor and asked her to teach some other employees how to use spreadsheet software to track inventory. When she eventually finished her college degree in 1987, she was promoted to a professional-track job in information technology.

Less than a decade later, Ms. Evans was chief technology officer of the whole company, and she has had a long career since as a senior executive at other top companies. Ms. Ramos sees the only advancement possibility as becoming a team leader keeping tabs on a few other janitors, which pays an extra 50 cents an hour.

They both spent a lot of time cleaning floors. The difference is, for Ms. Ramos, that work is also a ceiling.

Continue reading the main story
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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#nofilter I can never get the real color of these deep blue-purple morning glories. I know they’re basically a weed and not useful for the flower arrangements I’m harvesting for but they’re secretly my favorite. (at Laughing Earth)
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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breelandwalker:

grumpylokeanelder:

Just a reminder: Heathenry does have a term for smoke-cleansing.
Recaning. To recan. (Or reocan, in Old West Saxon.) This is cleansing via smoke, whether through incense or a bundle of herbs put together for a particular type of cleansing. Juniper and mugwort are both favorites for this.
In case you’re wondering how to pronounce it, it sounds like reekening. The word “reeks” is actually derived from it, signifying a potent smell.
For Old Norse fans, this seems to be related to the work reykr. In case you were wondering, Reykjavik in Iceland translates to “Smoky Bay”.

*dances around the entire pagan community waving this post like a fucking banner* THANK YOU.

Just a little addendum: Mugwort can be dangerous due to mildly psychoactive properties in the herb. Use with caution and avail yourself of the following list of free-use alternatives:

Basil (any kind, noting that Sweet Basil smells the best)

Sage (any type, but keep in mind that White Sage is becoming endangered)

Rosemary

Peppermint

Lavender

Cedar Tips or Shavings

Thyme (especially Lemon)

Blue Moon

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:22 am
[syndicated profile] steve_sam_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/bodhirookandor/pseuds/bodhirookandor">bodhirookandor</a>

by

It appears when he’s five, a swirling vortex of color that shines brightly against the inside of his wrist. It’s blue, a bright and cool blue that sends a shiver down his spine for reasons he can’t really explain.

Words: 5985, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

When Can We Go Home?

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:13 pm
[syndicated profile] steve_sam_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/why_didnt_i_get_any_soup/pseuds/why_didnt_i_get_any_soup">why_didnt_i_get_any_soup</a>

by

Steve and Sam are in the mire, in the line of fire, and they’ve been away from home for a long time. Sam isn’t even sure he really has a home at this point since he put most of his things into a storage unit and sold the rest along with his apartment. Now, they’re on the hunt for the Winter Soldier and it feels more like a wild goose chase than it ever did before. Yet, they have each other and somehow that’s the most comforting thing of all.

Words: 3012, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Farmsister was trying to refill the cat food container at Middle-Little’ apartment, which we’re helping clean after 2.5 beers each, and spilled and yelled, and we came in and she said “I’m sorry I was just making it rain for your lady!” Photo 2 in the set is Remi bandit-ing it up. (at Troy, New York)
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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jacquez45:

bomberqueen17:

thesacredreznor replied to your post “ooh ooh so! They’re getting a new batch of day-old hens in October, to…”

ok i had to look at all these chickens because i’m living vicariously through you. have you considered Araucanas? i like them ‘cause they’re super weird looking and lay colorful eggs. or it looks like they’ve got a rare breed special which looks like a fun grab-bag. i’m so excited for you! someday i will get to have my own weird chickens.

I love the idea of araucaunas but I specifically need multicolored feathers that are neither red nor white, because they have those two colors already. [Not that I collect them, but I could.]

We discussed it, but having the occasional blue egg in the batch would probably be more annoying than useful– it would be distracting and weird to customers, unless we had enough of them that there’d be a green one in every dozen or so. It would just alarm people to open their box of eggs and have one so different. As it is the Reds lay any color from almost white to fairly dark brown, and the gradation is subtle enough that it’s not weird if you’re slightly careful when arranging each dozen. (They also don’t sort by size much, so we try to arrange the eggs within each dozen carefully so that a huge and a tiny one aren’t directly next to each other, so you don’t notice it as much. We separate out the jumbos, but that’s only because they won’t fit in the regular carton.) We tend to wash and carton eggs in quantities of like, 40 dozen at a time, and so beyond washing and sorting them, we’d also have to make sure the colors were distributed reasonably… it’d just be one more thing to worry about. So, probably no Easter Eggers, for now, and preferably no white-egg layers either, though it’d be easier to mix white eggs into brown ones since some of them are pretty pale… 

also, I love Easter Eggers, but they’re unreliable layers. My RIRs are little bratty egg-a-day robots and one of them lays for nine months of the year (no supplemental lighting or whatever the hell people do to make chickens lay in winter). The Easter Egger? she miiiight lay 5 days a week in high summer, and she only starts laying in May and ends in late August/early September.

Gorgeous, sweet, and her eggs are pretty as hell, but I’m glad I’m not reliant on her for income. Hell, I’m glad I’m not reliant on her for BREAKFAST: that’s what the RIRs are for.

The commercial flock is about 300 strong, and they’re all Rhode Island Red hybrid crosses– a commercial breed where the red is a sex-linked trait so the chicks can be sexed error-free (*ha almost. we have like. a dozen roosters. They’re white! But they were reddish as chicks, though there was some deliberate laziness in sexing, we suspect. We don’t mind; we guarantee fertile eggs for a couple of our customers who do hatchings at schools, and the roosters are good defenders too as I mentioned above). [The hybrid gets marketed with different names, always with Red or Brown in the name, but they’re clearly Rhode Island Red hybrids. They’re quite lovely birds, with many subtle color variations, and they’re nosy and canny and funny, but they’re also egg-robots.)

There are solar lights on the flock, so they’ll be getting 15 hours of light all year round. Which does shorten their useful life a little, but means that we don’t lose the income in winter. Demand for eggs goes down a little in winter, but since we have never quite met that demand, we still sell out every week all year round. So… Arguably, our hens still have a much more pleasant life than most commercial flocks, so the added pressure to lay all winter doesn’t really impact their quality of life that much.

If I had some dead-weight Easter Eggers in there for looks, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they didn’t pull their weight. But it would make it even more annoying to have to sort out the green eggs.

I know several people who delightedly keep them in their backyard flocks– those, and Buff Orpingtons, the veggie manager and I were agreeing, if we just had a backyard flock and didn’t really need to concern ourselves with production, we’d love those breeds for the look and their temperament. Orpingtons are so friendly! 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
via http://ift.tt/2wDG3Ze:salamanderinspace replied to your post “I… don’t have a photo that does her justice (for which some of you are…”

Cute! &lt;3 May her shadowy fortress o'errun with an army of sacrifices.

lieutenantbae replied to your post “I… don’t have a photo that does her justice (for which some of you are…”

I’m absolutely horrified by spiders, but after reading your description, I had to look anyway. YIKES

She’s magnificent and intimidating and I meant to go out with my real camera and take a proper photo but I’m spending all day at Middle-Little’s cleaning her apartment out, so. Tomorrow maybe.

I’m sure she’ll still be there, she’s Eternal. Maybe I can get a photo that conveys the tortoiseshell translucence of her legs. 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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I… don’t have a photo that does her justice (for which some of you are probably very grateful), but I saw the biggest, most magnificent spider of my life today in the northeast window of the big barn today. I was midsentence talking to my sister and stopped dead and said holy shit look at that thing, and when I went over, my God, she was an orb-weaver, like Dolores– a spotted orb-weaver, neoscona crucifera, with the lovely tortoiseshell brownish-red legs and the abdomen, my God, this enormous gravid abdomen all in gray patterned like bark with the subtle cross pattern of spots, and she was, I mean, she was like, her leg span was about the length of my thumb, and her abdomen probably the size of my thumb’s first joint. She was enormous, she was magnificent, she was in the midst of wrapping up a fly, and her orb web very neatly covered the whole of the double window. Behind her was an untidy sheet of web inhabited by a giant grass spider, but she was larger still, this resplendent and fast-moving deadly graceful terrifying hulk of a beauty. I stood there dumbfounded, and then I tried to take a photo, which I’ll append behind a cut because not only is it not very good as a photo, it’s also a photo of a giant horrifying arachnid.

But she was– magnificent, and beautiful, and for all my big talk about Dolores, if something this vast and mighty had appeared in the yurt I would have 

MOVED

the FUCK

OUT 

and left it for her because Jesus Christ that’s an enormous spider.

I warned my arachnophobe brother-in-law to avoid looking at that window or indeed passing by in that aisle, because I know he would Not Be Chill.

This beast. She must have been decades old*. Hoary, and wise. Absolutely identifiable as the spider from Charlotte’s Web. B-I-L mused that he’d seen some words in cobwebs lately, and I said, Oh, this one had words, but they were in Greek I think, and my Modern Greek’s passable but I suspect this was Ancient, and I honestly don’t know Ancient Greek at all… 

____* to my knowledge, orb weavers of most types generally only live about 12 months.

Oh, related news: Dolores moved out while I was gone. I thought she was still there, but when I put the roof insulation in, the orb weaver in the roof ran out the roof hole, and I got a good look and it wasn’t her, it was a smaller female, so– I guess Dolores went outside to take her chances while I wasn’t around. I’m sorry she’s not there, but there’s a grass spider in my dresser drawer that I am NOT chill with and am going to evict. Let’s be real, I’d be cool if I didn’t wind up with any more spiders in the yurt this year… let’s also be real, that won’t happen, so I’d better prepare myself mentally.

CUT, BEHIND WHICH IS NOT VERY GOOD PHOTO OF GIANT SPIDER:

You can’t even tell. She was fucking enormous. I should go back out tomorrow with the real camera, I’m sure she’s still there, she’s clearly one of the Endless. 

Look, though, when she’s folded up, she’s just all gray, but when she extends her legs, the hidden segments are reddish, mottled like tortoiseshell, translucent– I’d say beautiful if she weren’t a creature of horror. 

I could handle Dolores. Dolores was like… respectable big, like body thumbnail size with legs about the same. This spider, though. You can’t tell from this photo, but realize the cream-colored line back there is electrical conduit,  Romex, which is about half an inch wide, and she’s not much in front of it. And she was moving so fast.

I talk a good line about being chill with spiders but I am not. Holy fuck.
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Making potpourri with last year’s dried flowers, dried herbs, and some essential oils. Statice, larkspur, gomphrena, lavender, even some celosia and probably some odds and ends I don’t remember now, and topped off with some of last year’s hydrangeas, which have now leached to a beautiful creamy golden color. (at Laughing Earth)
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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I had saved this photo, which my mother texted to me from France the day before yesterday or so, because I wanted to post an illustration of how goddamn adorable my parents are, but @dolly-bassett just posted about visiting this site and I suppose it does warrant a much more serious caption.

Adorable little old folks aside, this is a very somber site. It’s the Carriére Wellington, which is a museum related to WWI: in the chalk soil, since medieval times there had been tunnels dug to quarry the chalk, and during the War, British sappers connected the tunnels to blow up a huge mine during the Battle of Arras in 1917.

My parents are currently overseas on a long-anticipated once-in-a-lifetime trip to visit WWI battle sites– they’re focusing on sites relevant to American units, as my mother is finishing a book documenting the experiences, insofar as she can verify them, of every man from our local town who served. They’ve participated in a number of wreath-laying ceremonies. Dad has his own investment in it; he served for many years in the 42nd Infantry Division [National Guard], which was formed in order to fight in WWI. (My sister, meanwhile, served for a long time in the 3rd Infantry Division [regular Army], and at the gate of any base they staffed, their standard greeting was “Rock of the Marne,” which was the Division’s catchphrase– they were first blooded there, at the 2nd Battle of the Marne, in 1918, and awarded the nickname for their refusal to retreat.)

(Maybe the US should have stayed out of it, and maybe WWII would have been averted. You could argue that either way, but you can’t deny that, clearly, a lot of our modern military and status as a world superpower kind of grew out of that intervention. Maybe we should have intervened earlier. Nobody ever writes that AU, they’re too busy saving the Confederacy or letting the Nazis win. Has anyone written an AU where the Americans stayed isolationist? Hook me up.)

Today my parents took a side trip to Verdun, which, no, was not a site American units notably participated in, but is important to see. About a million people died there, about a hundred years ago. Humbling to consider. 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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glittersword:

thatonepinkdress900:

thefistoinitiative:

charlie brooker literally said in the post-emmys interview that he initially tried to write san junipero about a heterosexual couple and it kinda sucked and he switched them to a same-sex couple and it immediately became much better and also easier to write and he finished it with ‘so that’s my writing tip’… the only true ally

ah yes, because everything gay is automatically better. //s

it sure is bitch!

I went to reblog this because I love the sentiment that everything gay is automatically better as a true thing, but I do find this sort of thing is often true about writing and stories in general. Oftentimes writers will unwittingly take shortcuts and rely on formulas without realizing it, and if you actually turn and address your assumptions head-on instead of handwaving a Default Everything, your story will be much richer. 

By “default assumptions” I mean all the boring formulaic shit that everyone assumes in stories, and it’s lazy. Like, the boy gets the girl, that’s a formula; the boy’s story is centered, that’s a formula; everyone important is white, that’s a default Hollywood assumption; everyone important is straight, ditto; a whole list of tropes and assumptions and formulas and frameworks that the part of the story you’re interested in hangs on without you noticing.

The more you pay attention to those, and come up with real genuine thought-out ideas instead of relying on frameworks, the richer your story is, the more worldbuilding you’ve done in those little ways– like, is a character disabled in some way, or from a marginalized identity, or from a different background, and can you give even your background characters some real consideration as humans, all of that weaves in and makes the story, the “hook”, the plot thing that made you want to tell the story, have much more resonance. 

Even things like, you’re a middle-class person who grew up with financial security but not a ton of extra money, and you’re writing a story where a bit of the plot framework hangs on some event relating to money, giving your protagonist a background of either extreme wealth or extreme poverty, and then really considering how that would have formed her character up to this point, will give her a lot of resonance with readers in how she reacts to this central plot point. She’ll react differently as a person than you, the author, would in this situation, and that will ripple outward and change all kinds of unexpected things about the story, and that will give you so many things to work back into your story, enriching it the whole way. Similarly, even not plot-significant traits that you don’t have but that many humans on this earth do, will pay dividends in giving your character a whole set of characteristics that make them see the world in a distinct way. (Like, your character is an amputee, or something– it doesn’t have to matter in any way to the plot, but if you write the whole story with that characteristic in the background, it just enriches the character. It doesn’t have to be a story about How Janey Got A New Foot; she can have one she likes just fine, and it doesn’t affect the plot, but it’s going to affect tiny details of a lot of her scenes, and that’s cool. As a side bonus, if you do your research really well, someone who has a prosthetic foot and has never read a novel with a protagonist who had that trait too will find this story to be the Most True Thing Ever and will maybe write you to tell you so, and it will make you cry Good Tears.)

Of course every time you write a character whose background– race, disability, economic class, sexual identity– is different from yours, you have to research, and be prepared to get something wrong and have to research more how to fix it– but that’s all such a good way to immerse yourself deeper in a story, and get a much clearer headspace for the story. And anytime you upend your assumptions and see what weird shit is living under a particular rock, you’ve expanded your world an awful lot.

This is a long-winded way to point out that I tend to write diverse stories not because It’s The Right Thing To Do And Representation Matters– although that certainly doesn’t hurt, I do think of that sometimes, and sometimes notes from readers who saw themselves and were kind enough to tell me so make me cry a lot of the Good Tears and it’s great– but because the stories are just so much better, the more of the Real World Outside Your Own Personal Experiences that you try to draw upon to create your fictional world. This applies across genres, of course. 

Anytime you’ve got unexamined tropes and Central Casting Characters you’ve mostly just changed the hair and outfit of, you’ve got a weaker story. Even if you do decide to go with tropes and Central Casting, if you’ve at least considered why, your story will be better.

Also, yes, everything gay is automatically better, that’s just the truth and I don’t make the rules.
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Last night, R and I watched a bunch of documentaries, including one on Willie Nelson, which referenced his smash album Red Headed Stranger.

R: In the RV park, Red Headed Stranger is the only album I feel comfortable playing over my external speaker system. It’s the only music everyone can agree they like.

Sam: Isn’t Red Headed Stranger a concept album about going on the run after murdering your family?

R: People can relate. 

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[personal profile] dragonlady7
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lynati:

taraljc:

orangeschmorange:

Something I did not know…

wait, so the clowns are Insane Clown Posse fans? I just assumed they were random clowns.

http://ift.tt/1gCLiLY
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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The sister whose apartment I appropriated for Found Cat has decided to motivate herself to clean her by now very cluttered apartment by throwing one of those Tupperware-style parties on Saturday. It’s for luggage or something, I don’t know. Anyway. 

The apartment’s a disaster; when she moved in, she filled the large closet in the entryway with huge rubbermaid bins full of shit she hasn’t looked at in the four years since (and, I might mention, shit she’s hauled from Cortland to Buffalo to Denver to Troy to across-Troy). And then she had bad depression, and then she went through grad school, and then she had roof leaks that meant she had to pile everything she owned into different rooms in the rather small sort of railroad-style apartment (buildings in old Troy are like fifteen feet wide for real), and it happened like three times that the lighting fixture in her bedroom crashed down amid filthy water all over her bed at three in the morning, but the landlord (a good dude don’t get me wrong the building’s from 1831 and shit happens) finally fixed it, and then she came home once and her living room was full of water on a sunny day and it turned out someone’s garden hose next door had burst and sprayed straight in her window for hours, warping her floor and damaging a lot of her belongings (the mortified neighbor paid, but, the damage was impressive). 

Anyway. This place is to put it mildly a disaster area. I’ve hauled furniture out, in the last couple of months I’ve spent several days here mostly cleaning out bags full of old mail and shit she threw in there to hide it when someone came over and she was “tidying”– but today I promised her several hours, and showed up with a half-assembled quiche Farmsister had prepared for the occasion, and threw it in the oven and we started to clear out the Dreaded Closet.

She insisted, see, that if we just got the shit out of the closet, the stuff she cares about can go in there, and then she’ll go through those boxes and throw away most of what’s in them.

But like. The closet was stuffed full. The rest of the apartment is also stuffed full. So we pulled out a filing cabinet yesterday, and put it into my car, and Farmsister now has a second filing cabinet for her office, which doesn’t fit but that’s her problem, not Middle-Little’s and thankfully, not mine. 

And it’s going to take weeks to go through the contents of these boxes. We moved the remaining filing cabinet into the closet, but that now means we can’t put even a single one of these totes or boxes back in– and some of them might be things she wanted to keep after all, so… 

We hit on a daring plan. Earlier, Farmsister had expressed to me that she worries about Middle-Little, and thinks she should probably make a standing dinner date with her once a week going forward, it’d be good to see her and make sure she’s eating properly and also, Farmbaby loves her and listens to her and wants to see her all the time. 

So I said, we take all the boxes over to the farm, and then you have a deal: Once a week, you come to dinner, and the first thing you do on arrival is take a box. That box comes back to your apartment. You know you have now one (1) week to get through that box. And Farmsister isn’t going to let you not take a box next week. You’ve got to get this one put away and sorted out and gone, in your apartment that is already cleaned and organized with your current belongings. You start from a baseline of your currently-used belongings are present and accounted for. And then you go through your old shit and either make it fit, or throw it out. Instead of binging, it’s regularly-scheduled.

This, unlike many plans– which Middle-Little excels at making and literally never sticks to– will work, because Farmsister is really good at sticking to a fucking plan, ok, and she’ll do it, and she doesn’t understand Middle-Little’s total lack of executive function but she does love her and want to help, and this way she won’t be too mean, but she also won’t let her slide. 

So we called Farmsister and she agreed to this. It’s probably five carloads of stuff, which will fill about half of one of the empty grain bins up in the granary. 

This all is very good, because our poor mother has awful PTSD, of sorts, about cluttered apartments in Troy– when her brother, her only brother, her baby brother, died very suddenly a couple of years back, he left her a three-story townhouse in Troy absolutely stuffed fucking full of cats, their vomit and shit, tuna cans, old clothes, books and books and books, garbage, and priceless antiques, and she and Dad had to clean it out alone. Well, they had the help of the homeless man who was living in the garbage-filled basement apartment. I’m not kidding, there really was a homeless dude in there. My uncle knew he was there and had decided he was cool with it. The dude was… not really… okay, but Mom and Dad gave him actual money to keep the house from burning down while they were cleaning it out, and they all parted friends, sort of, in the end. Which is better than you’d expect a story like that to go. 

Anyway. Mom cries sometimes because she’s worried about Middle-Little’s apartment. It’s good she hasn’t seen my house in six or seven years. Though, she wants to visit. Yikes.

Hey, I got like six huge totes full of fabric and old drapes out of my basement to make yurt quilts so that’s a start. 

And if I can save Middle-Little’s apartment– she’s lived here exactly four years as of last week, by the way. Yiiiiikes. 

I took a break and let Middle-Little have some time to herself to go through her shit, and instead deep-cleaned her bathroom, which was cathartic as fuck and rewarding. It’s a lovely little tile joint and I Magic Erasered the fuck out of it and it’s literally never been that clean, so I feel really good.

The other thing I did today was clean out half the granary’s second floor, and inventory all the Christmas ribbon, and go through the dried flowers from last year and cut down all of the statice and sort it by color. Then I spent the afternoon entertaining Farmbaby, whose cooperation was easily bought by the promise of a single candy bar. She’s wonderfully bribeable and it’s great. 
[personal profile] dragonlady7
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Spectator, Remi the cat watches as, in the process of helping Middle-Little sister clean her apartment, I accidentally shotgun a beer. No, don’t ask me how, it’s best left up to the imagination. (at Troy, New York)

The Man Of Iron

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:54 pm
[syndicated profile] steve_sam_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Gothic_Lolita/pseuds/Gothic_Lolita">Gothic_Lolita</a>

by

Bucky finds that the one thing he can't stand about the Avengers is how they talk shit about Tony. Sooner or later, he's going to snap.

Words: 3213, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

[personal profile] dragonlady7
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addignisherlock:

It terrifies me that there’s so much raging passion in the lgbt+ community that insist on marginalizing asexuals and implying that asexuals don’t deserve to have safe spaces. There’s still so much acephobia so I just wanna know which blogs are genuinely supportive and a safe space for asexuals
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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Tiny (tinier?) Poe with mom, pilot Shara Bey (from Shattered Empire), for inyron’s art prompt for little Poe and playtime with his mother (with bonus Leia doll) :)

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