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Amelia's blog posts

RIP Sir Ciaran de Pouncealot -- April 1, 2016 to October 13, 2023

You were a good cat. A powerful demon beast without fear and with the intense bravado to make friends and/or fight anything and everything.

How will we know you loved us if you no longer show us with bite and claw?

Making the decision to put you out of your abject pain and misery this week was one of the worst I have ever had to make. But at the same time, I knew it was the right choice, for you and for us. You passed away quietly and quickly between us, content and purring.

We will miss you, Ciaran.

Trailer Ablaze

Dark morning freeway

Stars losing ground above to the faint skyscream of cityglow

An ululating flash on the horizon

Stretchers and fire, tractor ripped from trailer, shattered glass and smeared rubber

Darkness again

EV Charger Thoughts

So I bought a Kia EV6 a while ago, and I now have Thoughts on the common EV DC fast charger networks.

Electrify America


Generally my preferred network. Usually one or more 350kW chargers, in good places like near a Meijer or Wal-Mart. Decent prices, and I got like 1000kWh free with the vehicle purchase. Usually easy to tell what power level is available before pulling into a stall.


Most often one or more of the chargers at the station are broken, and months go by without attention. Usually only one of the connectors on a charger will work at a time; no simultaneous or split charging.



Often one or more 350kW chargers. Decent prices, and supposedly 100% green power (though prooooooobably through carbon credits, which, ew). Program card means I can leave my phone in the car. Multiple connectors on the charger are almost always simultaneous and not split.


Basically impossible to tell power level without reading the charger manufacturer faceplate or looking in the app; the chargers are rarely marked otherwise. Locations are much more varied and often not as convenient, and the position of the station is often wrong by hundreds of feet. In stations with only one charger, it is often an older 60kW unit.



Uhhh. They are everywhere? And they do do split charging, but...


Multiple connectors on a charger will split the available power immediately when a second vehicle plugs in. The station owner sets pricing, and often this means that you pay a) a session fee just to connect b) a per-minute rate (rather that the per-kWh rates that most other networks use) regardless of actual charging speed c) far higher rates in general and d) sometimes even per-minute parking fees alongside the power fees. It is not uncommon to find chargers that are the equivalent to $5-7/gal. The overwhelming majority of chargers are either newer 125kW (which splits to 62.5kW if two are plugged in) or <=60kW. I have even seen ones rated out as little as 20kW which is barely an improvement over the 48A 11.1kW AC rate the onboard vehicle charger can handle. Easily my last resort network.


Weird network aimed at commercial proprietary owners. Apparently easy to fuck up the initial setup, making them hard to actually pay for. Usually only AC chargers.

GreenLots / Shell Recharge

A small network, kinda pricy, also pays money to an oil company, but decent enough.


Literally never had one work. All three I have ever tried just failed to talk to the car, much less any of the billing infrastructure.

Unemployment And Other Thoughts


About a month ago, I was brought into an 07:45 meeting with my team at work, whereupon all of us were informed that, effective immediately, the entire department was dissolved and all of us were laid off. Cool. Over 13 years of work for the same department across three corporations, poof.

So I guess I am looking for work now.

Cider Trip

A few friends invited Jasper and I up to Houghton to make apple cider, as had been a tradition when we were all in school up there.

The trip was great. The colors were close to peak, and the weather was good, that satisfying briskness of fall. My EV6 was a fine car to make the trip in, with charging stops in Bay City, Gaylord, Mackinaw City, and Escanaba. It will be nice when they put one in Marquette.


Partway through the trip, Jasper turns to me and says, "OK, so, today is a bad brain day... And I feel better up here than I have in years downstate. I hate my company and job, and you are not currently tied to a job. Wanna move up here? We can invite Jamie too!"

Which was a hell of a thought. So now I am looking into realtors and other relocation information (available options for internet and transgender healthcare, in particular).

Jamie was ecstatic when I invited her. We had already been talking about her moving over to SE MI to be closer anyway, and especially after our (dramatically interrupted) trip to Wausau to visit kumi's polycule household, both of us have had idle dreams of a polycule commune.

But she is also apprehensive of such a comparatively rural area as the UP, even if we choose somewhere like the Marquette tri-city area.

So some discussion needs to happen.


As we were departing Houghton, Jasper again turns to me and says something to the effect of "Wanna do a wedding up here next fall?"

Me being already thinking about the possible relocation, I simply replied "Maybe" to a nonplussed boyfriend.

Several hours later, as we left Escanaba after our first charge stop, my subconscious helpfully prompted me to answer correctly, and I clarified that, yes, I was in fact interested in marrying Jasper, and I had been over focused on moving stuff. We laughed and all was well.

Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq.

I sorta recently discovered a new artist and I have yet to hear a single one of his that is not somehow a random Brit guy distilling my thoughts into song.

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Nikola Gallery Helper

Nikola can make galleries of images, and it does so pretty competently. But it does require metadata, and the creation of new galleries does not seem to be linked into any of the feed generation. So I made a helper.

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2022-04-04 Frederick Meijer Gardens Trip

I was over at Jamie's place and since the Meijer Gardens were having a butterfly exhibit, we went on a date there. Also there was an excellent temporary exhibition, "Planets in My Head" by Yinka Shonibare CBE, which were amazing works and made me feel lots of things.

Also I took a bunch of pictures! 2022-04-04 Frederick Meijer Gardens trip

RSS (Atom) and Fediverse

So I thought, "Hey, you know what would be neat? If I could post my new entries from the blog and from my fictional works on Fediverse! I see a bunch of people doing that, so surely it must be easy!"


About that.

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Writing is Good, Actually

So I just published the first three vignettes in the fictional universe that has been living rent-free in my head for the last five or so years.

My polycule a few weeks ago goaded me into writing some of it down, and, uh, suddenly I find I have an entire account at Campfire Write filling up with characters and locations and maps and timelines and aircraft designs. I am asking friends questions about fictional-use callsigns for ham radio and aircraft tail numbers, researching the state of the art in generative design, and generally just finding the ideas pouring out of me.

This is fun! Hot damn.

The universe aims to be a hard science-fiction near-future that develops naturally (if, uh, aggressively quickly) from current technology. I really want to make sure that nothing in-universe is magic.

I am also having a lot of fun making these characters. The core three are already nearly as familiar to me as are my IRL friends. Hell, one of my characters has already taken the story in a different direction than I had anticipated at the beginning; that vignette is incomplete at the moment, but I will likely get it published in a week or so.

I am unapologetically releasing these vignettes in the order I write them; the in-universe chronology is indicated in a heading in each post. Maybe eventually Jamie will help me build a timeline generator for Nikola so there is a place where they are sorted in universe time.

Oh, and as we were joking on Fediverse: anyone not in my immediate section of the polycule deserves $100 to a charity of their choice if they guess what TLMC means before I end up revealing it in-universe. Hit me up on Fedi or elsewhere with guesses.

"Hands Held High", A Reflection After 15 Years

Fuck. I just. I was winding down, right? New OT, new Marcel Vos.

Then blammo. This absolutely impeccable live performance of Linkin Park's "Hands Held High" the recently-late Chester uncharacteristically doing the backing vocals, a breathtaking performance. Just devastating. Pile of goo and uncontrollable sobbing for like half an hour so far.

Just thinking about how awful it is that 13 fucking years after that performance in London, every goddamn word is still relevant.

It was 2007. We were so tired of war. So tired of Bush. Apprehensive about...what the hell is life gonna be but just more of the same shit for another 50 fucking years? College was going to be more high school, work (if you could even get it) was going to be more college. An endless dark tunnel stretching out into the future.

Minutes to Midnight came out, and was a good, solid album. And then this song. Not even the closing track, just in the middle as real and raw as a fucking IED.

And it was just the epitome of all our feelings about everything. It resonated with the bitterness and anger and fatigue. It was distilled millennial activist.

And it is a fucking sin it is still relevant to this day. Nothing changed.

Still wrecking me 15 years later. Goddamn Mike, you perfect lyricist.

It was a lot. It immediately flashes me back to that warm fall day, my teacher scrambling to turn off the classroom TV around 9am.

To the awful mid-March evening spent curled up and bawling my soul out on the bathtub floor under the shower as the buffoon in power did what we had feared for a year.

To that afternoon I came home to my folks crying at the TV, watching another American dream break up in the high atmosphere.

To the sickening night at the space, desperate to avoid the news I knew was coming but dreaded, watching the last glimmer of hope drain from Rachel Maddow's eyes on screen.

To a month ago, watching yet again as humanity fails itself. Fails to reach even the barest levels of ascendancy.

Fifteen years. I wish I could hope that fifteen years more we will see a difference, that this song by Mike and Chester will no longer ring true.

I truly, truly wish I could hope that much anymore.