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28th-Jun-2014 10:35 pm - Lessons Learned, 20140628
time, clock
Lessons learned today:

Whichever way I turn onto Hines will turn out to be the wrong way, and if you don't know how the engineer planned things, it may be impossible to get OFF of Hines. (I figured out I was going the wrong way at Merriman. I finally figured out how to exit at Telegraph.)

While I couldn't run a half marathon to save my life, I can walk over 13.1 miles just doing my daily stuff, checking out a few war memorials, walking most of the river-walk in Windsor (twice, out & back), meandering around Greenfield Village, and then walking around the neighborhood & out to a nearby park with the spouse. (Up at 8:00 am, Home for good 22:00)

Wearing a hat won't keep your arms from burning

Just because you roll your socks down before you start the day doesn't mean your legs where the socks would have been clear up to nearly the knee won't develop a beastly heat-rash.

If you leave a partially-full-of-water straw-included adult sippy-cup in the car while you spend 3 hours walking around Windsor (starting just after noon), even if you put a reflective thingy in your front window, if you get back into the car and open it up in order to have a refreshing sip of water, you will instead unleash a hot geyser of water all over your face and shirt.

If, at 15:45, you realize simultaneously that you're somewhat hungry and that you have a Vanilla Cream filled doughnut which you bought at 9:00 this morning (which had been sitting in the same car as the sippy-cup) you should not count on the decorum inherent in the position of waiting for the border guard to finish with all the cars in front of you to keep said doughnut from, once you bite into it, squirting white liquid all over your face and shirt.

I think that's enough for one day.
9th-Mar-2014 07:54 pm - Today's Adventure
Joy
I spent much of the day (once I got up) fighting with the computer in one manner or another. Unfortunately, that same time was spent snacking, and once I realized I had consumed half again what MFP thinks my daily goal should be entirely in snacks & lunch, I decided to go for a walk.

A couple of my friends live in a Maze of Twisty Passages All Alike (occasionally called a "subdivision") just across the busy road from where I live. Our subs open onto the same busy road, but not at the same place.

Attempting to exit my sub, I found a lot of "wet" that caused me to take to the streets. When that diminished, I returned to the sidewalks, where I found a lot of "shiny" -- some of which jerked me around a bit, but none of which caused me to completely lose my footing. I achieved the Busy Road & crossed it. I followed in the footsteps of someone else to get over the Huge Mound of snow on the other side. Those footsteps, though, went off through the tiny bit of forest that remembers what the subdivision used to be a dozen years ago. I didn't.

I turned to walk... either on or parallel to the sidewalk, who can tell. For about 2/3 of the path, I was the first person to have done this through the current snow. And this is how, before my Adventure had truly begun, my boots were filled with snow. I expected that on my return home I would discover bruises along the area of my calves above the top of my (7.25" on the inside) boots where the crisp, crunchy, and actually rather hard (but altogether too brittle) top of the snow encountered them. Repeatedly. With each step.

After about 2/3 of the path, someone else's footsteps appeared in the snow. It had melted sufficiently that I couldn't tell left from right footprints, but for the purposes of putting my feet into them it really didn't matter. Those of you who have walked with me may be as amazed and shocked as I to discover that these footsteps indicated a stride nearly twice mine, which is usually between 2.5' and 3'. (Later in my walk, true story, I discovered a discarded pogo stick. Coincidence?)

Finally arrived at the entrance to the MoTPAA. (In my daily life I am ... directionally challenged. If the road I'm on turns, my internal compass still thinks I'm going in the same direction I started out in. If I make a significant but not 90 degree turn, I think I've turned 90 degrees. After getting lost many times in the MoTPAA, I finally figured that from the one entrance to the other (on the same busy road) I need to turn left 6 times at the first opportunity and I will wind up at the other exit. I started walking along this path. At some point, walking on sidewalks that had not been shoveled (but which did not have me sinking beyond my boot-tops in the stuff) I saw what I thought would be a nice picture... and realized that I'd left my phone behind. (oops. I was expecting the spouse's return -- and subsequent phone call. I have been known to "phone a friend" and indicate what corners in the MoTPAA I am at and receive navigation. I have been known to use the GPS in the phone when there is sufficient battery.) Between 2 of my 8" or more deep holes made by my boots (they're 9" on the outside) there was a small maple leaf that had fallen. Probably due to absorbing and releasing heat over the course of a week or so, it had managed to melt itself a 2 or 3 inch hole that it was settling into. I made what I thought was the correct turn, which would, incidentally, have me walking past my friends' house. Today I must have missed a turn, though, or lost count. I never remember the number or the street name (and I don't have my phone which remembers that for me) but none of these houses that look remarkably alike really looked right. When I got to the end of that street though, it looked correct, and I turned. After travelling a short while, though, I realized that I couldn't possibly be where I thought I was. I half-joke that I'm usually 90 degrees out, except when I'm 180. This time I was only 90 degrees out, and while looking for a street to turn onto, I discovered that I WAS on the street I was looking for. *whew*.

My half hour up, and civilization reacquired, I started walking for home. Spouse had found my note and met me at the mouth of the park. We walked a but further out then turned around. Was very happy to take my wet socks off. Was less happy to see the shape of my feet. One heel was pretty well torn up. I rejoiced that it wasn't bleeding (although I had half-lost many layers of skin). Then I went to look for the anticipated bruises, and discovered that there I was bleeding. Not badly, and my jeans seem to be intact.

Calorie wise? That burnt off not quite half of one of my snacks.
1st-Feb-2014 01:00 am - Books read
Enjoy
The last time I posted a "Books finished" here it was February 2012.
Yeah, obsessive as I am I will try to enumerate what I've read since then.

Unfortunately these days I read so slowly that what I say is, "I can read 10 books a year as long as 8 of them are YA, and the other two are by J. D. Robb. I think part of the reason that I read more than that is because Spouse & I did several trips, LONG trips, some of them, where I read out loud while he drove.

Between March 2012 and January 2014 (in no order at all):

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire. (October Daye #6)
The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff (2nd book in the DoubleLetter Gale Girls series)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (I fear this may be the last on in this series.)
Outward Bound by Juanita Coulson (Children of the Stars book 2)
Legacy of Earth by Juanita Coulson (Children of the Stars book 3)
Gilded Latten Bones by Glen Cook (A Garrett, P.I. Novel)
Wicked Bronze Ambition by Glen Cook (A Garrett, P.I. Novel, One I fear may be the last)
The Chick is in the Mail edited by Esther Friesner. I know I read some of this before, maybe all of it. One story included is one I've been LOOKING for in order to read again, but nobody had any idea what I was talking about. It is _Looking for Rhonda Honda_ by Wiliam Sanders.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells.
The Retroactive Time Machine by Ted Reynolds. He takes the story of The Time Machine and tweaks it very little, and presents a completely different, joyous, surprising, world. One I find I like quite a bit more than Wells' world. Maybe because I'm more cynical now? More sophisticated? But moments of "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" trade off with chills of "Wow -- I never thought of it THAT way". While I enjoy perusing it with my eyes on the screen, I do so look forward to holding this finally-progressing book in my hands and recommending it to everyone.
Driven to Distraction (Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood).
Blackout by Mira Grant.
New York to Dallas by JDRobb.
Celebrity in Death by JDRobb.
Delusion in Death by JDRobb.
Calculated in Death by JDRobb.
Short Story by Ted Reynolds: Two Passions
Short Story by Ted Reynolds: The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Short Story by Ted Reynolds: Not for Women's eyes
Short book of Poetry by Ted Reynolds: Tangents of Love
The Goblin Master's Grimoire by Jim C. Hines (My only disappointments with this book were finding 3 errors (of the typo/grammar sort) in the introduction, and a few more in the actual stories.)
How I spent the Apocalypse by Selina Rosen. This author never fails to provide a fine romp... but I gave up counting the typo/grammar/Malapropism errors I found. The first was on page 8. The second on page 9.
(And now come the YA sorts of books)
The Book of the Night by Pearl North (the 3rd book in the Libyrinth series)
Silence by Michelle Sagara. Heard her read a chapter or so from it, and loved what I heard. Bought it hardcover. Have bought the sequel hardcover as well.
Basajaun by Rosemary Van Deuren. Author is a friend of my favorite barista, and just happened to appear at PenguiCon just after I learned of it. Enjoyed the book
Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
A Wrinkle in Time (50th anniversary edition) by Madeleine L'Engle
The Hobbit (ebook) by J. R. R. Tolkien. Twice. Following each of the movies.
Sword of Lies by Mike Vasich
(Graphic Novels)
Digger by Ursula Vernon. I'm. In. Love.
Clockwork Game by Jane Irwin. I'd read the portions of this that were put up to the web a while back, so when she did a kickstarter to do the whole thing and do it right, I jumped all over that. An amazing, complex, and beautiful story with artwork to match.
Loki: Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster by Mike Vasich

Still reading:
The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. I started reading it near the start of June, 2011. That's embarrassing. The con where I borrowed it is no longer going on. At least I have my loaner's e-mail...
Unprotected Texts by Jennifer Wright Knust. I learned about this on Fred Pohl's blog, http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/. Read at it in many places. Don't currently know where it is.
Turn Left To Tomorrow by Robin Wayne Bailey
Black Dogs by Ursula Vernon
Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid book 1) -- It's gone missing and I'm not done yet!!!
Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella (eBook)
So Recently Rent a World by Andrei Codrescu


Sequels I Want to read: Philip Pullman: The Subtle Knife. Own in paperback.
Philip Pullman: The Amber Spyglass Own in paperback.
Touch by Michelle Sagara. Sequel to Silence. Have bought it in Hard Cover.
3rd-Jan-2014 10:40 pm(no subject)
T-Shirt
"Media Monkey" was recommended to handle some of my music, story, and etc. files.

I will give the recommender the benefit of the doubt that perhaps it has changed since he recommended it.

This product does what it does fairly well, but it insinuates itself into everything. When I want to click on a CD and have WMP (yeah, I'm a weirdo that likes WMP) just play it rather than doing the several-minute launch of MM, even when I right-click and try to choose something other than the 3 or 4 MM options, it usually launches MM.

When MM launches, it requests permission to update my drive. If I say no, it asks again. I have not found a limit to the number of times that this will happen.

Really, I would like to leave it on my system, in case I ever really want to use it, just keep it from being a default in anything (/everything?) but I no longer know how to modify (short of going into the registry) the tasks that will be considered on a click. And it seems to be everywhere. And in the places where I have said "make something else the default action", it seems that that is never "sticky"; the next time I try it I have to fight with MM again.

Having just spent about 3 hours fighting to get my computer rebooted and functioning again after the last time I got into a MM fight (you see, the only options I have are to say 'fine -- update the HD', and to go to task manager and manage to click on and kill the application between the times that it's "asking" me) I'm going to rip it out by its toenails. And hope that makes it go away.
Joy
I like it when things come together.

Many MANY years ago I was still active on M-Net -- (Guess it was '88 or '89 based on what follows) a fellow there asked me to dinner and a movie. I don't know if he thought it was a date, but I thought it going for food and entertainment with an acquaintance.

We (he) had settled on "Twins". (I didn't get out much, didn't watch TV, hadn't seen any trailers.) The theater tried to convince us otherwise. There were 2 movies starting at the exact same time, in about the same location, except the door to one of the theaters was hidden. We went through the door we'd seen.

Near the start of the movie, I remember the voice-over, which I thought said "If you build it, they will come". I remember him saying "we're in the wrong place", and us ducking out to find the other hidden theater in the same location. I remember seeing Twins, although other than the 2 primary actors, I don't remember anything about it.

Fast forward to this morning. I'd finished reading "The Hobbit" on my Nook the other day, and decided I was going to take a bath & read a bit on the next book. It was one I'd gotten free with the Nook, or with a dictionary I'd bought, or something. Not one I chose, but it's a book, and I was going to have a few minutes stationary time.

"If you build it he will come." I wondered if the book was riffing off of the movie. (Published '82. Not likely. I didn't find M-Net until after then.) I wondered if the movie had stolen the voice-over from the book (despite being about something completely different). When I got downstairs, though, google revealed that there was a third possibility that I hadn't even counted upon, and it turns out I had completely misheard the quote at the start of the movie. *sigh*

I guess I would rather be correct than right, and now I know. Field of Dreams the movie was based on the novel Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, and what I had actually heard was, "If you build it, he will come."
15th-Sep-2013 01:46 am - my thumb, it must be black and gross
Bad food
This past year I stumbled across a "Topsy Turvy" tomato planter in a dollar store and couldn't resist.
Bought a dingus to hang it from, some more planters to balance said dingus, an Earth Box, a lot of good soil, a green-house thingy with growing peat pills in which to sprout seeds, and some seeds.

Babied them. Did everything I was supposed to. Well, Instead of just throwing away the weakest sprouts in the pill I tried to get them to live elsewhere, but I did remove them.

Started a bit too late in the year. Killed about 4 sprouts (my best) figuring out how to use the Topsy Turvy and what my problem was. Finally got one to take. The Earth Box suggested that for tomatoes I only plant 2 plants, but I cheated and planted 3. 2 died almost immediately. I put two more in those spots and they died almost immediately. I said, "One is good". I dug up four old large pots, and some crappy dirt from old dead plants and planted the remaining sprouts in them. I babied them. I watered them often. I researched on the web. Finally I got some flowers. And eventually some tiny green tomatoes. Two of them on the Topsy Turvy. About a half dozen other flowers on that plant never turned into fruit. (Web says that the flowers contain both sexes and do not need to be artificially fertilized.) I was amused that my crappy-dirt tomatoes grew taller first, and produced fruit first. My surviving Earth Box tomato, though, had a thicker stem and looked more hardy.

Went away for WorldCon. They looked fine when I got back. (Someone was looking in on the houses and plants.) Went away for the weekend. Had a BUSY week, and only just yesterday was home before dark and got to look at them. Since it was chilly this morning (they had been talking frost, but I don't believe it did get that cold) I figured I'd bring them inside to the enclosed-but-not-heated porch. Brought my topsy turvy in. It has 2 small green tomatoes on it. Brought one of the crappy-dirt plants in (after removing 2 slugs from the pot). It has one not-great-looking, slightly less green tomato. Brought the other 3 crappy-dirt plants and the earth box near to the house. One was completely infested with ants, so I'll not bring it inside. 4 or 5 tomatoes had fallen off. They were rotten and something that looks a bit like a skinny pill bug was living in them. I picked up the husks, and they dove out the holes and to the ground. Most of the tomatoes still on the vines have ugly patches. I'm suspecting that something has laid eggs in them. Some are downright rotten although not yet ripe. Some are smaller than a shooter and browning. The best looking small green tomato (2 inch diameter) fell off while I was carrying the pot (with the tomato cage attached -- they all have cages except for the Topsy Turvy and the Earth Box. I've put it on the windowsill to see what it will do. What's the worst that can happen? It will decompose and its juices will destroy that entire wall and whatever is living in it will infest the house? Sort of an "Invasion of the Alien House Snatchers"?

I didn't expect to make my money back in tomatoes, but dangit, I expected about a dozen. And now it looks like I might not even get one.

Having the opportunity to feed the slugs, the ants, and other creepie-crawlies is scant consolation after the money, and especially time, I spent.
12th-Sep-2013 11:09 am - Another one bites the dust
T-Shirt
I'm dreadfully behind in reading LJ -- truly almost 2 years -- but I will catch up.
I've been busy enough that I've not been able to read any of the comics I used to enjoy (Helen, Girl Genius, Sluggy, Freefall, Kevin & Kell, User Friendly... and many more) but I will, eventually, catch up.

About 2 years ago I was looking for an inexpensive item and a friend mentioned Tanga.com. Cool beans. Bought the item, visited occasionally, and discovered their "daily fun" page. Don't much like that name, but there were puzzles published daily -- Rebus-like puzzles many of them, with answers from one word to 27 words long sometimes. I started showing up when the puzzles were released (10pm in Eastern time) and actually eventually became a contender, kind of. Broke the "top 100" barrier eventually. Now I usually do. Sometimes even make the top 10. On the rare occasion I've solved it first. They had a backlog -- going back to 9/14/2006. And I like a good challenge, so I've been working my way through it. Some more difficult than others. Some, early on, I gave up on (Renfurdson's Cleopatra comes to mind) and had the answer displayed. Then there were a few where I asked for the answer and it took away all the points I could have gotten for solving it, but did not tell me the answer, so I had to struggle to really solve it. Some of the early ones didn't have the conversation attached that had contained clues when they were originally solved.

Some of the puzzles were awful for someone as media-non-savvy as I: Identifying 15 celebrities (most of whom I've never heard of) who have their tongue stuck out. Some required knowledge of the rules of football or shuffleboard or bowling. Or state capitals, morse code, and various encryption techniques I'd not been familiar with. All in all I enjoyed it a lot.

I've done all of them since I started doing the puzzles (looks like 1/1/2012), and I've done all of the puzzles up to, at this point, March 29, 2009, as well as many random ones between . Right now there are 10165 puzzles published, and I figure I've done something over half of them.

I figured I would finish them -- to get the message when I say "show me a random one I've not solved" that there were no more. A few months ago there was rumbling that something called "Thought Lobster" would replace "Daily Fun", and I figured that while I wasn't keen on change, as long as they kept the history and the points (I still haven't broken the top 100 of all time puzzlers) "by any other name" and all that.

Tanga was more than an intellectual challenge, it was a community. And it was one that an introvert like me could deal with. 5 minutes spent competing against folks, 10 minutes spent helping someone. A spat of exchanged e-mails over a weekend. They had their own vocabulary -- salt & FMHG. And it was something I looked forward to every evening plus Saturday morning. Yeah, it caused stress when my computer chose 10pm as its time to pitch a tantrum, but overall it was good.

I learned yesterday that as of 9/30/2013, it is going away. It is not going to Thought Lobster. The archives, the conversations, the proposal-in-the-form-of-a-puzzle, the infamous Cleopatra. Just gone. And I don't have the time, know-how, or equipment to offer to take it over.

I would be less impacted if you told me that the GPS satellites were going away tomorrow.

Whimper.
13th-Aug-2013 02:33 pm - Kids at (fair) play
Joy
The other day I saw something that really surprised me. There were two kids, one tickling the other mercilessly. At some point, the one said "stop!" and the other did.

Ok, that surprised me a little -- but that's not what really got me.

After she'd gotten her breath back a little bit, the ticklee said "go!"
22nd-Jul-2013 03:17 pm - Malware, STUPID
Computer
Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Last night on my arrival home, I was trying to get the computer booted in the about 20 minutes I had before something was going to happen, and for the umpteenth time, one of the adobe products popped up and reminded me that I really needed to install an upgrade. OKFINE. (Stupid 1)

I do have a vague memory of something saying "you must install this to continue with the installation of what you are trying to do" to which I said "ok" but I (STUPID 2!) didn't pay too close attention. Figured Adobe would do its thing and finally leave me alone. I did unclick all the "we want to enhance your browsing experience" checkboxes.

Today, in Chrome, trying to get caught up on the mail received in about a week being gone, I noticed a new page I didn't recognize, but could still get to my mail. Suddenly while reading mail, I noticed that my "https:" at the start of my mail URL was obscured by a large X. I closed the browser, and went back in. It all looked good. Processed a few dozen e-mails. Suddenly the X was back. Went over to IE, and discovered that my home page had been replaced with a vgrabber page. Huh. That's the thing that was in Chrome that I didn't recognize. Ok. Got serious. purged the add-ins for both browsers. Partially recreated my "open these pages" home page to IE. Uninstalled the items from the system. Trying to figure what to use to get rid of whatever nasties were in my registry, I remembered adaware from my old utilities-pack. I installed it. Now I remember why I didn't install it on this computer before. It's now a firewall and a this and a that -- wants to be everything, but no longer a tool. But it now has a "play nice with everything else" mode, so I installed it (Stupid 3). I came to realize that the "free" version is not free, but allows a month of use. I ran it -- and it told me that I had no problems at all. hmph. I launched IE -- and my primary home page had been replaced with a Lavasoft page. Ok. Last straw. Tried to uninstall it. It told me (after about 6 minutes) that I needed to be an administrator to do that. (Um... this computer only has one signon, and that is me and I bloody AM an admin. All my prior computers had me and admin being separate, but it's been getting more and more painful to maintain, so I finally gave in.) Took a deep breath, did it again. this time it disappeared, and I got a "please fill out this survey as to why you're deleting us".

Oh yeah? How about you act just like the thing I was trying to get rid of and don't even find what I want to get rid of??? How's that?

Found a reference to ADWCleaner. (Found no references to it being malware.) IT found a bunch of stuff, hopefully including all the vestiges of vGrabber and WebCake or whatever the other thing that piggybacked on Adobe was. IT seems to be a standalone program like I seem to recall adaware being. Maybe it can't do it, or maybe I need to play more, but I only found the way to say "delete everything you found" -- which I did -- but I would really rather a pick & choose, since occasionally products I want to install trip malware buttons.
time, clock
I sometimes think that some things are predestined. Perhaps not every aspect of every thing. But I think that today was a day that it was predestined that I be late for work.

I woke up with sufficient time to get to work perhaps a little bit early. Put my stuff in the car, went back for the item I was getting from Mariposa, put it in the car and hit the button for the garage door opener.

Horrible noises ensued.

OKFine -- I can handle this. I went to the front of the garage, pulled on the red handle, watched the peg come down, and grabbed the door and strained... to no avail. There was about an inch of play, so I played with it, holding the door at various heights as I pulled on the handle. At one point I swung from the handle a while, and the door opened. Hoorah! (Note, I think that this was, if not a halucination, a jest -- the unit which the handle is connected to never pulled free from where it was sitting, but the door did open. That once.) I got back in the car, and as I was starting it, the door slammed shut. (I'm not strong enough nor tall enough to push it all the way up.)

But this told me that it was NOT another incidence of the spring malfunctioning. (The first time that happened it caused our worm-gear-or-whatever to self destruct). When I did not have spring-assist, I could barely get the door off the floor without assistance, let alone far enough open to pass a car.

Back to the door, and I just could not get the handle-pull to disconnect the door. Cycling the opener did not seem to move the bulky parts of the chain which were binding the aparatus. We have a wonderful ladder right there at the front of the garage, but not enough free space for me to open it. But I am a tool using monkey, and if it stands still long enough it is a tool. We have a container that contains salt which gave me just enough lift to be able to reach the area where it all comes together. I could not get the aparatus to unbind from the bulky parts of the chain, but golly gee -- I see an arm connecting to the aparatus, which seems to be the only thing coming from the door itself.

I wish to officially bless the person who did not spread the legs of that cotter pin! It took me a bit longer to put it back in than it did to take it out. (Done so the parts would be findable if ever useful).

I could then open the door, but just not high enough that it'd balance/stay. But we have one long piece of wood in the pile of firewood/lumber over in the corner, and a box in about the right place with the right height, so I propped the door open, pulled out, went back, and slammed it.

Guess I shouldn't have bothered to chew through the straps so early.
8th-Feb-2013 10:37 pm - Serendipity
Happy Bug
Most workdays, a group of us -- currently all women -- get together and walk for half an hour. Nowadays mostly indoors. About a week ago, one of our troup had been delayed by a meeting and thus missed the walk. She and I exchanged phone numbers so if she doesn't respond to the "who's coming" e-mail I can call her to verify.

One topic of conversation earlier this week turned to how she and several other Chinese coworkers or ex-coworkers were going to be meeting at my favorite Chinese restaurant on Friday (today) to celebrate Chinese New Year. I commented how much I liked the restaurant, and she invited me to join them.

She & I drove out together. We ate lots of good food. As we were in the car getting ready to drove off, our waitress ran outside. I wondered if she had been looking for us, but she didn't head in our direction, so we drove off and I didn't give it another thought.

As I was getting ready to leave work, I got a phone call from my co-traveller. She had lost an earring. I checked any likely places at work, and then, after grabbing my coat and keys, and wondering briefly where my hat was, retraced our steps to the car. Looked in the car. No joy. Found neither earring nor hat.

Went back to the restaurant. Asked first about my hat. Our waitress remembered me and mentioned that she had come out after us to try to return the hat she'd found. (Oops) But what about the earring? She'd not found it. But I described it, and she went back to where we'd been sitting -- and there it was on the floor.
16th-Nov-2012 10:12 am - The writing is on the wall
T-Shirt
... so to speak. Once again, I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century. :-)

I don't have a smart phone. I keep saying I don't want one, but each time I say that it is with less conviction.

my PDA historyCollapse )

Just got mail from eReader (which is the successor to something which I think was called Palm Digital Media) that they're going away, but for a limited time I can move my library over to a Nook library.

No, I don't have one of them either. (And although iTunes is the default to play any sort of media player on my maintained-by-work work computer, I always say "I do not accept" to the splash screen, so I'm not there either.)

But I got curious and went out to the eReader website.

my eBook historyCollapse )

So I have 4 books and some reference materials I would rather keep. So I guess I need to (kick, scream) get a Nook library thingy on-line to keep them in.

Although I don't have a Nook, or indeed any kind of e-reader.
8th-Jun-2012 08:34 pm - I didn't do it for THEM!
WWED
Decade or so ago, spouse & I started a compost bin. Cool idea, and I wanted in. I never had good luck with it, though. The first time I tried to harvest compost, I found eggshells and orange rinds. I sometimes think I could put dirt in and get eggshells out.

Well, today someone at work threw out an almost dead plant, and since I found it, I had to rescue it and see if it can be nursed back to health. I usually re-pot my plants in December, but I haven't done that for the last year or two, so I figured I'd look at what I had in the bottom of the compost bin. Opened it up.

First thing I noticed was that it was an absolute thatch of roots. No idea what is growing in there. Wonder if I need to empty it and start again. Next thing I noticed was that there were a few places where the roots were less thick. Kind of like trails across the surface. Probably made by the zillion or so ants I then saw scurrying around. I dug through the roots to see what I could find there. After all, there should be SOME compost by now. Along with a cherry pit and what I think might be a walnut stone, I found sand. Lots and lots of sand. Probably lovingly carried there by the ants. I dug in with my trowel to see if there might be some good dirt in there somewhere. Well, maybe. But the molecules of dirt I managed to extract were outnumbered by the ants that came with it. I left my bin filled with ants, sand and a bit of dirt outside, hoping that overnight the ants decide to go home, and leave me and my dirt alone.
1st-Jun-2012 02:26 pm - bibliophile packrat moving
time, clock
At work, many of my coworkers are moving from one space -- some to empty cubes in my current office, some spread around in other offices. The space they moved out of will be remodeled, and I (along with several others) will be moving (back) into it. I don't have a move date yet, but I have a ton of stuff, so I'm getting started packing up. I've been encouraged by at least 2 levels above me to take this as an opportunity to cull some stuff I no longer need. And I am. But it hurts. 3 books, (c) 1985, for a computer language I no longer use, which ran on the mainframe which we no longer have; financial statements; Training docs for the system I currently use, created for 3 upgrades ago. I weep to put them into the recycle bin, but while I have long been the Librarian of the World and the Keeper of All the Misc Stuff... there comes a time when it just has to go.

But I'd still be happier if someone came along and took them to keep.

But the people who'd do that are me 3 years ago, so I'm not publicizing this.

Much.

Were's my Antigrav Unit and Bookshelf of Holding?
2nd-May-2012 09:26 pm - more mousies
Pirate Mouse
Suicidal mousies at that.

Thursday evening last week I came home -- was going to be going to a con, so Friday morning was the last time I'd be there until Sunday night -- and I looked into the trap. Didn't see anybody there, but I saw almost a shadow of movement -- so I drove it out to the park. Beautiful dark grey. Not very smart. Didn't want to leave the trap. Wasn't very quiet once it did.

This week -- didn't see anything Tuesday night. Didn't see anything Wednesday morning. Wednesday evening I didn't really see anything, but the nothing seemed to be strange, so I brought it out to the park. The hiding mouse was still alive at that point -- but I don't know whether it was clinging to the trap out of terror, or if it had been there for a long time, hiding well enough that I couldn't see it, and was dehydrated. I finally got it to let go of the trap, but it didn't move away from the spot it was in.

These traps have a large "room" which I can look though -- there is a mesh on both of the ends, so if it is occupied, I can see a shadow when I look though one end at the other. The mouse entrances are opposite each other off to one side, and I cannot see that area there. the only place to hide would be underneath the area where one or the other entrance sits. And now 2 mice within a week have hidden exactly there. Odd. None of my prior captives have done that.
5th-Apr-2012 06:50 pm - Los Pobres!
Pirate Mouse
'Tis the season...

What I found in MariposaCollapse )
1st-Mar-2012 12:30 am - February Reading.
Enjoy
Books finished in February, 2012

Treachery in Death by JDRobb. Ooooh, someone got a promotion! An interesting story. I expect to see ramifications of it spread through the next several books... Speaking of -- it seems that the next one (previewed in the back of this one) will not be a "Death" book, but rather "New York to Dallas".

Books read-at, but not finished yet

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Yes I've read it before, as a child, before I insisted on OWNING my books. I'm reading it on-line. I like the style of the writing. I think I'm probably getting more out of it than I did 40 years ago. And I'm learning new words. Started reading this in May 2011.

Another book. The Time Machine is sort of required reading to be up on my critique of a very long and desperately awaited book a friend is writing. He read portions of several chapters at a con back in 1997 and since then I've been pushing him to FINISH AND PUBLISH. He takes the story of The Time Machine and tweaks it very little, and presents a completely different, joyous, surprising, world. One I find I like quite a bit more than Wells' world. Maybe because I'm more cynical now? More sophisticated? But moments of "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" trade off with chills of "Wow -- I never thought of it THAT way". While I enjoy perusing it with my eyes on the screen, I do so look forward to holding this finally-progressing book in my hands and recommending it to everyone. Started this also in May, concurrently with the original.


The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. This was loaned to me by someone who met me at FCN. I started reading it near the start of June, 2011.

Unprotected Texts by Jennifer Wright Knust. I learned about this on Fred Pohl's blog, http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/. Seemed like a fun book, someone else extracting what the Bible actually does say about sex and perversions thereof. When some friends were in town we stopped off at Borders, and while they didn't have it on the shelves, they ordered it for me. A day or two later is when the closure was announced -- but the book arrived, and I brought it to WorldCon (August, 2011), and read some of it there. Ditto WindyCon, GAFilk, the wedding...

Driven to Distraction (Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood). A friend who works as a therapist suggested that I might get some good information from this book, so I've added it to the stack, receiving and starting it on 9/9/2011. After not making much progress, once I finished the last Death book, I moved this to be my "read in the tub" book.
17th-Feb-2012 10:31 am - spam spam spam spam
Bad food
A month or two ago I added a captcha to anonymous posters because I was really tired of the ads and crap that were hitting my journal.

I think it slowed down the flow of crap, but it hasn't stopped, so today I limited my journal to be only postable to by registered users. I don't believe I've had a legitimate "anonymous" post yet, so this shouldn't hinder anyone. If the spam continues, I may need to restrict it further, though.
1st-Feb-2012 12:30 am - January reading
Enjoy
Books finished in January, 2012

Indulgence in Death -- JDRobb. This was my "read while in the tub" book -- started and finished in January. While I enjoyed the story, I was a little disappointed that one event that was built up to during the book happened after this book closed and before the next one started.

How pathetic is that!
31st-Jan-2012 10:53 am - Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Music, Travel
Last weekend was the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fund raiser for the Ark. I spent the evening with good friends whom I don't see enough of, and good music. The "big acts" this year were Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, and Glen Campbell. The MC was someone I'm sure I've heard songs by, but somehow I'd not been familiar with him: Heywood Banks.

I trust I need no caveats about not following links if you're easily offended?

His humor is not my favorite style, but that said, most of the the "wow, THIS is what I'm going to remember from this Folk Festival" were his songs. His "la la la it's a great day" style song was reminiscent of the bird scene in Shrek. Then he sang a couple of songs about highways. He started with I-80 in Iowa. (Corn corn corn corn whats that smell corn corn...) Then he moved on to I-75 in Michigan. As soon as he got to one particular section (pothole a-hole pothole a-hole pothole a-hole COPS COPS COPS COPS), I didn't think anything funnier would happen that evening. I was wrong wrong wrong.

Ok... Here's one version on you-tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-ksuOaI61g -- but that doesn't have the final, newer, verse... which is included in this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwffYU3lu0c.
6th-Jan-2012 09:27 pm - Stubborn
Computer
I am way behind in LJ. I don't want to miss all the juicy gossip and details one only gets from reading.

In previous lives, what I've needed to do is to print out all mumble-hundred folks on my list, and go through them until I get caught up -- and then do it again to catch the ones that I started on.

But I have stumbled across a variable one can use to display a single date.

What I will be reading the next time I make my entry towards trying to get caught up is:

http://mbumby.livejournal.com/friends?date=2011-06-26

For the folks here whom I mentioned this to.

Grumble... Out of order isn't working... or I'm not understanding it. I have my January reading list to be posted on Feb 1 started -- AND labeled "out of order" and when I try to save this it tells me I need to change it to be out of order if I mean for it to be in the future.
1st-Jan-2012 12:30 am - Reading
Enjoy
Books finished in December, 2011

After absorbing all the new Seanan in November, I moved on to the other books I had been reading.

A Hard Pill to Swallow by Pat Smith. I know the author, so although murder mysteries/police procedurals (other than the semi-SF/Romance that "J.D.Robb" writes) are not my usual bag, I picked it up. Started reading it at the end of May, 2011. Finished it during the first week of December. Enjoyed it. Look forward to the next one. It was staged largely in my area of Michigan -- so it was fun to pick out the actual locations sort-of referenced by other names, or to say "waitaminit -- t'aint nothin' like that there!" There was a little more of "turned left on this street, right on that street, drove for a mile and turned left onto..." descriptions than I really wanted to read, but it's a hard balance to give just enough so as I townie I can say "Cool" and not so much that I roll my eyes. While there was sex in the book (which I'm not really voyeuristic enough to read avidly) it (thankfully) wasn't to the same level as the J.D.Robb books.)

Kindred in Death -- JDRobb -- A week in the life of our heroine as she brings a criminal or two to justice.

Fantasy in Death -- JDRobb -- started reading in December, 2011. A bit more SFnal than the usual. Included a trip to a gaming con. Don't know if I'm getting better at knowing where she's going, or if the environment was more familiar and that's why I second guessed the villain/psychology faster than usual.
1st-Dec-2011 12:30 am - Reading
Enjoy
Books finished in November, 2011

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire. This is book 4 in the Toby Daye series, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was warned by friends that I needed to read this before book 5 (which came out very recently) because "something" happens. That has got to be the understatement of the month -- I'm not sure which of the 7 items that come to mind now the speaker was referring to. A LOT happened in the course of this book. Some of them completely unexpected, and some of them I had hoped for but not been able to guess how Seanan would be able to pull them off. And at least one that I knew would happen but which I hadn't been sure how it would be set up. Started in November 2011. Finished 11/5/2011.

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire. Started 11/5/2011. (Do you get the idea that I have an addiction to these books?) This is Toby Daye #5.
I had been considering reading the whole Toby Daye series to someone, but since this one had at least one slightly more (sexually) graphic scene, and since I both embarrass easily, and am often misinterpreted, I think I need to not do that. Finished this book 11/12/2011 at WindyCon. I loved her new characters, I loved how Toby handled some of the things that came along in her life. I really appreciated how many of the questions that were raised Seanan gave at least the first-level answer to.

Deadline by Mira Grant. This is the 2nd of the "Newsflesh" books that started with Feed. I'm not a fan of Zombie books, I didn't like the body count, but nonetheless, I loved _Feed_. I started reading this on 11/13/2011, and finished it on 11/24/2011. The last hundred or so pages were VERY fast-paced. I've heard that some don't like that it was ended on a cliffhanger. I didn't think it was so much of a cliffhanger, but rather more like the scent of cinnamon rolls backing. My mouth is watering and I want more. Don't want to wait, but I know the wait will be worth it.

Books read-at, but not finished yet

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Yes I've read it before, as a child, before I insisted on OWNING my books. I'm reading it on-line. I like the style of the writing. I think I'm probably getting more out of it than I did 40 years ago. And I'm learning new words. Started reading this in May 2011.

Another book. The Time Machine is sort of required reading to be up on my critique of a very long and desperately awaited book a friend is writing. He read portions of several chapters at a con back in 1997 and since then I've been pushing him to FINISH AND PUBLISH. He takes the story of The Time Machine and tweaks it very little, and presents a completely different, joyous, surprising, world. One I find I like quite a bit more than Wells' world. Maybe because I'm more cynical now? More sophisticated? But moments of "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" trade off with chills of "Wow -- I never thought of it THAT way". While I enjoy perusing it with my eyes on the screen, I do so look forward to holding this finally-progressing book in my hands and recommending it to everyone. Started this also in May, concurrently with the original.

A Hard Pill to Swallow by Pat Smith. I know the author, so although murder mysteries (other than the semi SF/Romance Murder Mysteries that "J.D.Robb" writes) are not my usual bag, I picked it up. Started reading it at the end of May, 2011.

The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. This was loaned to me by someone who met me at FCN. I started reading it near the start of June, 2011.

Unprotected Texts by Jennifer Wright Knust. I learned about this on Fred Pohl's blog, http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/. Seemed like a fun book, someone else extracting what the Bible actually does say about sex and perversions thereof. When some friends were in town we stopped off at Borders, and while they didn't have it on the shelves, they ordered it for me. A day or two later is when the closure was announced -- but the book arrived, and I brought it to WorldCon (August, 2011), and read some of it there. Ditto WindyCon.

Driven to Distraction (Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood). A friend who works as a therapist suggested that I might get some good information from this book, so I've added it to the stack, receiving and starting it on 9/9/2011.
17th-Nov-2011 11:29 am - Oh.... My....
Halloween
I'm reading "Mira Grant's" Deadline -- the 2nd story in the "Feed"/Newsflesh trilogy.

Just got to those 5 little words. I'm not going to say any more because I don't want any visible spoilers. (But if you don't know what I'm talking about, you might not want to read any comments.)

Last thing I read before going to bed. Now I'm torn between readingreadingreadingdevouring moremoremore, and shrieking and never picking it up again. (I know me, I'll keep reading, never fear...)

Just wow.
31st-Oct-2011 12:50 pm - Books finished in October
Enjoy
I actually finished 2 books this month. Books that I only started this month even.

The first one, as listed on Amazon is:
  THE Silent Crime What you need to know about identity theft [Paperback]
  Stgeffan McCoy Michael and Schmidt (Author)
Clearly the author field there is mangled and misspelled. I wish I could say that wasn't indicative of what I found in the book. I think I did learn a thing or two, but most of what I learned was that the authors were quite opinionated, heavy handed, and repeated themselves often.

It did spur me to go to the www.annualcreditreport.com website and try to order a copy of my report... but that website was so badly broken that I eventually spent about half an hour on the phone tiptoeing through their order by phone system. I didn't even highlight items in my college text books, but after finding 3 errors pretty quickly in the book, I started marking them up with pen! Feh. Much disgust.

The second one I finished is (full disclosure) written by someone I know personally. See the amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/My-Life-White-Trash-Zombie/dp/0756406757/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320080696&sr=1-1.

Loved most of the cover and found the tattoo priceless!

I struggled with the first half or so of the book -- I kind of liked many of the characters, and even more felt "real" to me -- but the protagonist isn't someone I could respect (for any number of reasons) -- so I struggled. And then as I started to learn more about the world, I had more problems... until I decided to relax and realize that the laws of physics that I understand just don't apply, and then it became a fun romp. Touch of mystery, and the last half-dozen chapters or so were very fast-paced -- the mystery unfolding, the race against ... death ... One of my original gripes with the book was smoothed over by how it unfolded.

Some books feel veryveryrushed at the end as the author realizes that s/he has to finish the book in the next 35 pages and wrap up all the loose ends. Not so this one. It was fast-paced, but it felt right and planned that way.

As I was finishing it, I wondered if there were going to be a sequel. It's not required -- it stands on its own -- but there is room for more development of some of the characters &/or their relationships. And there are a few more loose ends. If you went to the above amazon website, you'll have noticed that a sequel is due out next year.
24th-Oct-2011 01:46 pm - OVFF
Joy
Had a great time at OVFF, despite the fact that although I'd taken Friday off of work and "slept in" I was exhausted enough that I crashed early both nights (missing tons of music and conversation).

I bought 2 new books (one that I thought I already had, but simply couldn't find -- and since I'd bought book #5 two weeks before, I needed to put my hands on book #4) and one which was recommended to me by the same person to whom I recommended the afore(parenthetically)mentioned series.

I started reading 2 new books -- adding to the chaos that is my currently-reading list. One of them (fiction, written by someone I know - no relation to the series mentioned above) I'm not loving... but it may get better. The other (non-fiction, won in a raffle, related to Identity Theft) I am not really enjoying at all, but obsessive that I am, I will finish it. And then I will offer it back to the person from whom I won it, having written in ink (I don't usually do that to a book!) the various problems that I found -- some spelling, some consistency, some word-choice, some just lousy editing. I also made progress on a crochet-project, and had some wonderful time talking to folks -- both those whom I have known for a while and those I was introduced to this weekend. Or not even introduced to, for that matter.

Spouse & I hit the road, mid-late afternoon, and then, 45 minutes later, I got a call from another friend, telling me that if I could get to Ann Arbor by 7:30, I could get in to the Robin & Linda WIlliams concert for free. Spouse could have as well -- but he didn't have the time. But he drove me past the Ark (yes, before the show started, probably meaning a half hour or more sooner than I'd have been able to make it had I been driving), and the friend who'd called drove me home. Pretty good concert, although I didn't elect to buy any albums.
9th-Oct-2011 10:58 pm - What's On My Needles?
crafts
Folks ask me "what's on my needles"

That's just so limiting -- while there's so much in so many different places that I don't remember it all, there's also so much more than that.

How about What Craft Projects do I have In Progress:

Knitting
- a "little project" I've been working on for about 8 years. *sigh*.
- The first sock I'm making on some yarn I bought from a friend. I think I'm finished turning the heel on the first one. Unfortunately, the pattern has gone walkabout. (I know I have it saved in digital format, so I'll get to it ... eventually.)
- My "sampler" for Double-knitting. Black & white. I'm diverging from standard double-knitting by having upper case letters of the alphabet be backed with lower case other letters of the alphabet along the edges. In the middle is a little b/w design I created.
- beret -- I started making a beret from a pattern a friend shared with me ... a while back. (Ok, I finished the first one, and now I'm working on the 2nd.) But I ran out of yarn before I could finish, so I need to find more of that yarn. And print out the instructions again, because this set has been mangled into illegibility.
- Blue baby blanket -- this blanket is also sort of a sampler. I have strips of braids and various odd patterns I made up or wanted to test to see what would work well as a complete blanket.
- Knitted Knockers -- I've made several boobies in several sizes -- but unfortunately about the time the organizer got to me and told me I could mail my parts to her, all my completed ones and my yarn vanished. Also, one of my needles (which I got from my mom, so I hate to lose it) disappeared. Knitting in the round is easier with 4 than with 3.
- 23 Sept I acquired some new yard, and have started making myself a Q&D Moebius cape.

Crocheting
- Pink baby blanket -- a sort of a sampler -- an assortment of various crochet (size J) stitches in blocks -- ones I like but have vowed never to do an entire blanket of, or ones I just want to try out.
- Hexagons attached to make a full/queen size blanket. Currently I'm working with primarily Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple yarn, but if I run out of those yarns I'll use others. I'm using the pattern for the hexagons that a professional provided to simulate the "Garnet Hill marled yarn Haverhill Afghan Scarf", except making an entire hexagon out of one color. I'm also using her technique for attaching them. In some ways this is much easier than what I came up with, but in other ways it's more annoying.

Cross-stitch
- there's one project I'm working on for a friend and countless others I've forgotten about.

Plastic Canvas
- Nothing at this time.

Spinning
- I'm a rank beginner, and I have a bag of roving or some such, and I'm creating a very non-uniform thread. Slowly. Using a drop spindle I bought a bit over a year ago.

Beading
- I started to make a lanyard that was a cross between loom beading and freestyle, and I guessed wrong. The angle I picked was bad, and I now need to redo the whole thing. But work provided a lanyard when I got to this stage, so it has been languishing.
- I have developed a design and am in the process of attaching it to some Lacy's. I don't yet know if it'll work, and if it does, what I'll back it with or how. I'm hoping for magnets.
- There's another design I've come up with that I've been working on for a friend. Don't know what "practical" I can turn it into. I'm not good at the "art for art's sake" stuff, and as I try to de-clutter, I don't want to send friends in the other direction (or have them toss something that took me a long time to design and build.)

Candles
- Nothing at this time.
1st-Oct-2011 12:30 am - Books read in September
Enjoy
Books finished in September


Books read-at, but not finished yet

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Yes I've read it before, as a child, before I insisted on OWNING my books. I'm reading it on-line. I like the style of the writing. I think I'm probably getting more out of it than I did 40 years ago. And I'm learning new words. Started reading this in May 2011.

Another book. The Time Machine is sort of required reading to be up on my critique of a very long and desperately awaited book a friend is writing. He read portions of several chapters at a con back in 1997 and since then I've been pushing him to FINISH AND PUBLISH. He takes the story of The Time Machine and tweaks it very little, and presents a completely different, joyous, surprising, world. One I find I like quite a bit more than Wells' world. Maybe because I'm more cynical now? More sophisticated? But moments of "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" trade off with chills of "Wow -- I never thought of it THAT way". While I enjoy perusing it with my eyes on the screen, I do so look forward to holding this finally-progressing book in my hands and recommending it to everyone. Started this also in May, concurrently with the original.

A Hard Pill to Swallow by Pat Smith. I know the author, so although murder mysteries (other than the semi SF/Romance Murder Mysteries that "J.D.Robb" writes) are not my usual bag, I picked it up. Started reading it at the end of May, 2011.

The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. This was loaned to me by someone who met me at FCN. I started reading it near the start of June, 2011.

Unprotected Texts by Jennifer Wright Knust. I learned about this on Fred Pohl's blog, http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/. Seemed like a fun book, someone else extracting what the Bible actually does say about sex and perversions thereof. When some friends were in town we stopped off at Borders, and while they didn't have it on the shelves, they ordered it for me. A day or two later is when the closure was announced -- but the book arrived, and I brought it to WorldCon (August, 2011), and read some of it there.

Driven to Distraction (Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood). A friend who works as a therapist suggested that I might get some good information from this book, so I've added it to the stack, receiving and starting it on 9/9/2011.
25th-Sep-2011 03:49 pm - Saw another show on Friday
theatre
Last Friday after work, I met my husband for dinner. Unfortunately he had other obligations, so I then went to a show with another friend: PTD Productions' staging of Long Day's Journey Into Night.

I went there "cold" as it were. I knew nothing about the show other than the blurb in the invitation sent by the friend who was performing in it.

About the play, I'm not sure I can say anything but "wow". The characters all seemed "real" to me, and most of them were too close for comfort. I can't stop drawing parallels between myself and the mother, and the thought makes me want to scream.

About the players: The father, played by my friend, did a fine job; the mother was ... just amazing, watching her transform was beyond frightening; the fellow who played the older brother was also in the previous production I'd seen there, and I was delighted to see him back -- he may be typecast as a drunkard, but he does a fine job of it; and I was blown away by the fact that the fellow who played the younger brother was in his first production. The woman playing the help did a fine job too, but she had less stage time, and I identified with her less than with all of the others.

It's playing through October 1, 2011 if you're in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and are interested. It's quite long. Started at 8 and didn't finish until after 11. There were 2 intermissions.
11th-Sep-2011 01:16 pm - Remembering
time, clock
My memories of a decade pastCollapse )
9th-Sep-2011 11:35 pm - Working
time, clock
Quite a long time ago, during the break I took to establish my residency and pay only in-state tuition, I took a job working midnight shift in the hospital. I was happy there for a while, and when that changed I started applying for other jobs within the university, finally getting one as a computer programmer on days.

I was overjoyed with that job, and frequently thought that I'd be digging my claws in as "they" dragged me away from my desk at 74.5 years of age or whenever I would need to stop working.

Then came a really bad reorg... and out of curiosity, and as a means to give myself something to keep looking forward to each day, on 12/31/1997 or perhaps 1/1/1998 I calculated the number of calendar days before I would be eligible for retirement. I was amused to note that the number was exactly 5,000.

For years, I manually updated a file every day, but more recently a friend wrote me a script I could run as part of my login to my e-mail that would tell me how many days and hours remained.

Now I think I need to find another target.
1st-Sep-2011 12:30 am - Books read in August
Enjoy
Book finished in August

The Final Reflection by John M. Ford. Started this Star Trek (TOS) book in July when I wanted a book to carry around that was not one I was borrowing from someone else. A fun book, which is what you'd expect from the author -- but while I completely enjoyed the book within the book, the K/S/M/etc, voices didn't completely ring true. Read some of this at WorldCon, and finished on the plane ride home.
26th-Aug-2011 08:26 pm - Notes to a Toad
Nature
When you sit still I cannot easily see you. I don't want to eat you, but I'm more likely to step on you if I can't see you. I'm also more likely to mow you down accidentally.

Thankfully, when that loud machine with the whirring blades gets close, you usually twitch, and I can stop it and chase you off.

The tall grass may make it easier to hide from predators, but when I'm mowing, you have more to fear from me. Trust me on this -- go to the SHORT grass.

I haven't a notion why you are so fascinated with that large machine with the whirling blades when the blades are still. You seem to want to get close to it -- maybe even under it. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

I think there were at least 2 in the front, 3 in the back, and 1 in the circle. I think there still are.

With apologies to Brenda S. and Jane M., the following stuck with me for the last half hour or so:

...
If you value your life and your hoppy-toad limbs,
In God's name, keep away from the mower!
1st-Aug-2011 12:30 am - Books finished in July
Enjoy
Books finished in July

Tomorrow's Heritage by Juanita Coulson. Started this book in April. Mostly enjoyed, but it wasn't an easy read for me. Especially not for a book that is read in small bites. It's probably written on a higher intellectual level than I'm accustomed to, but at the same time it explains things even more than I (being so literal that I have problems knowing what something means when others have no problems) care for. It's a not-too-far future story, and reading about some of the things that were future when she wrote it, but are past now, I had to look at the publishing date to be sure it was still future for her. It's an interesting and unfortunately all-too believable future she's built. By the end I was so engrossed that I went to a bookstore, assuming it was a trilogy, trying to find the other 2 in the series... and discovered that as of when #3 that I found was published, there was a #4 on the way. But it wasn't in the store, so I only have #2 and #3.

Cruel Zinc Melodies by Glen Cook. I've long loved the "Adjective Metal Noun" books, and Glen Cook has mastered the creation of an enjoying environment, the introduction of just enough character development to keep things moving along without there being so much that there's no room for another book. These are always a fun romp, and this one is no exception. Started reading this at FCN (in April). Got the opportunity to hype it a good bit too. This is my car/appointments book, which I read when I get somewhere early or are stuck in traffic. Finished it at an outdoor concert I was attending.

Still reading:

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells... & Another book.

A Hard Pill to Swallow by Pat Smith.

The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner.

The Final Reflection by John M. Ford.
22nd-Jul-2011 08:08 pm - It's been a day
Pirate Mouse
Pants beyond bankrupt. Last I was caught up it was sometime in May. Plan to catch up. Been busy working on the Chickens basement and keeping the cops from fining me for my poor mowing skills at Mariposa. The basement work was my "project" for this deployment. I'm very nearly done, and the spouse is very nearly home. Has made the US, and indeed by now I expect his base, intact. And now it's a race to see whether he'll arrive before I'm done or not.

On Wednesday at the start of Art Fair, I visited the booth of Tim Bastianse -- "my favorite jeweler". Even when work is really busy I try to get away for "lunch" on Wednesday. Walk one block of Main Street (and buy something from Tim -- often something I've never heard of before), then walk the 2 blocks to the Post Office and get my one dose of mail during Art Fair. This I did. (My new Tim piece is something from China they call Picasso Jasper.)

I often visit another jeweler, Yanke, on Liberty, but he wasn't where he usually is, so I didn't go past his booth.

Today I left after work and zoomed to the Post office (again = bonus!), and then did the block of Main beyond the one I'd done on Wednesday, spending some time visiting with an old friend from my HS days who is now an artist. I'm way too conservative for most of the pieces at Luna Parc, but I found one I liked that I would wear and bought it. He threw in an earring -- a Dictionary/Thesaurus. Too cool!

Figuring to visit more with Tim, I walked back on Main -- and discovered the Yanke booth, where I found a lovely, HUGE, amethyst ring -- It even fit my currently sausage-like fingers. I just don't wear rings that big. Nor do I tend to spend $5,800 on the ones I do wear. But if I did, that puppy would be mine! He does wonderful work. Just before I left a "you look familiar" person came up -- turns out I'd worked with him at the Bagel Factory back in '79 or '80'

Went to Sam's while hungry. 'Nuff said.

Since I'm not living in Mariposa, I don't bait the live-trap -- but with as many problems as we've had, and as many food stores and nests as I keep finding, I set it & try to check it every day. I cannot swear I checked it yesterday, but today I found my first non-live capture in a state of rigor. I'm sad about that, buried it in the back yard, and found a positive in the fact that I don't have to walk it 2 miles away.
18th-Jul-2011 07:12 pm - Another ending
time, clock
Borders, which entered bankruptcy protection earlier this year, has announced, at the age of 40, that it's going out of business. I knew Borders back when it was a single store in Ann Arbor, only 8 years old. Then it grew to be nationwide. I rejoiced in being able to attend a concert in Dallas in 1993 at the Borders there, and feel at home. And now I can only be saddened that it's the next best thing to gone. I went into Borders #1 last weekend, and provided a "learning experience" for a young man who was working his 3rd day. I wish him luck.

It joins Drake's (candy shop) and Schoolkids (Records) as establishments that have defined what Ann Arbor has meant to me that have since disappeared.

I fear to rejoice too loudly in the few establishments which still exist for fear of the humor of the Fates.
5th-Jul-2011 03:45 pm - Random snippets.
lychee
I have been getting a good bit of spam in LJ, usually on one specific posting from 2009. Usually the posting is in Russian. The one I just got, though, was in Hebrew.

On Monday I was in a section of town I'm not usually in, and saw a bank, and remembered that I needed cash. I had to get out of the car to reach the ATM, and just before I got my money a car pulled up behind me. Ok, I'll admit I was exhausted (the weekend had been filled with way too little sleep and way too much hard work) and maybe a little flustered. I took my money, popped into the car, and drove away.

A short way down the highway a car pulls alongside and toots its horn. And I see the driver holding up my ATM card. I thanked him at the time, but I send up a further thanks to tell the universe about the young man who didn't need to, but who got onto the highway in a difficult-to-get-back-to location without first doing whatever he'd gone to that bank to do.

I would feel no less grateful, but somewhat less chagrin, if I had not managed to leave my card in an ATM about 2 weeks before.
1st-Jul-2011 12:30 am - May & June Books
Enjoy
Books finished in May

Nothing at all. (But several were started.)

Books finished in June

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold. A long-awaited romp through the Vorkosigan universe. WorldCon a long time ago (might it have been in LA?) she read a segment of the first chapter, and I loved it. Yeah, got this one hardback. Since it's up for a Hugo, I bumped it higher on my reading list. Started reading it at the end of May -- rather enjoyed it -- but then, I rather enjoy not only all the Miles books, but everything LMB has written that I have read. I like the humor that she slips into the writing. And I care about her characters. I hope to read more Miles in the future, and I hope there's a way to slip some of the new characters into the plots as well.

The drabbles at the end were ... nothing short of essential, although I'm sure they were put there in case there were folks who couldn't read between the Not Very Subtle Lines of the close of the final chapter.
28th-Jun-2011 11:28 pm - Grammar Police!
WWED
I didn't learn much about English grammar in school: Most of what I know I learned at my mother's knee, and the rest I picked up in my German class. So I really shouldn't be surprised.

I was listening to someone talk today. Seems she's a High School English teacher. But she's planning on cutting back on that -- become a substitute teacher. "Less papers to grade."
8th-Jun-2011 07:29 pm - Satisfied Customer!!!
Happy Bug
I just had a wonderful experience with a plumber: Gary's Plumbing Service. (734) 660-6186.
Details below the cutCollapse )

I've lost count of the ways I was surprised and delighted by his service. Highly recommended.
20th-May-2011 03:15 pm - It's OK to be Takei
Takei!
A brilliant response to a stupid situation.

And there's merchandise too!

http://www.itsoktobetakei.com/
19th-May-2011 07:49 pm - Happy customer
Happy Bug
Many years ago, my spouse bought me a "scanpan". It's a non-stick pan which you don't need to be concerned about being careful with. The interior coating is Ceramic/Titanium. The outside you might be able to scratch. It quickly became my favorite pan, and I used it for cooking soup, rice, candy - you name it.

A few years ago it was non-stick no more. There were blemishes on the inside that I attributed to lax cleaning but however hard I scrubbed, I just couldn't get it clean. Recently, I looked more closely, and decided that it was actually not stuff stuck on, but blemishes in the surface. My non-stick titanium pan was "rusting".

They have a lifetime warranty on their products, so I went on-line to figure out what to do. Sent them e-mail. They responded with a Return Authorization, and photographs of examples of various damage, much of which was not covered by their warranty.

I shipped it back at my expense. Per their suggestion, I did NOT return the lid. Per their suggestion, I sent it insured. I also requested a return receipt. I still have not received their signature -- but I am not fretting yet -- I'm too busy to cook just now.

It's been raining, and this morning I found a soggy box on the porch. In the soggy box was a soggy "invoice" detailing the enclosure and a somewhat less soggy box including a new pan, a new lid (!), and a cute pan-handle covering "potholder" thingy. I suspect that is the current way the pot is sold.

Yeah, I'm a satisfied customer. They're not inexpensive, but I think they're worth it.
16th-May-2011 03:30 pm - Half way
time, clock
I don't remember the date that the spouse left. I remember it was supposed to be this, then it was supposed to be a few weeks later, then it was TODAY! -- but while I remember the hectic nature of those few days, I don't recall which days they were.

I just saw a FB post that indicated that he was half-way though his "vacation". I thought it was closer to a third. Oops. Guess with the number of consecutive weekends I've had SOMETHING I needed to be working on (so I couldn't focus on the required housework), all of which have been since he left, I really should have realized that he was a lot closer to his return... but I just didn't put 2 and 2 together. Or is that e & π.

And with having just found another very healthy crop of mold in the basement I was hoping to have finished before his return, I am beginning to doubt my ability to accomplish the impossible again.
5th-May-2011 10:55 am - wotta day, mower comparisons
Nature
I had intended to run pretty much straight home last night in order to get more mowing done -- but my car was in the shop, and the shuttle driver was new, and it took me over an hour to get my car back, so I had to work later than I had planned. I didn't quite put in 8 hours (but I did over 9 the day before, so it'll balance) and when I left, I headed North instead of South. Had learned that the father of a coworker had passed suddenly, and there would be visitation. This was in Brighton and my GPS doesn't know about the roundabouts there. I had no problems on the way out -- but on the way back I ended up accidentally in a shopping mall rather than on the highway, so I took that as an omen and did some shopping. I considered getting a Costco card and filling the tank... but I think I'll not do that until we have a local one. (If I spend over a gallon to get cheaper gas, I'm probably not saving.) Instead I looked in on another store that I may buy something from in a month or two. Back on the highway, and my car said "feed me". I stopped at my Wednesday store and then filled the tank (@ $4.219) and got home by 7pm. Finished mowing the front yards with the cordless. (Had started on Monday.) I continued mowing the back yard -- using the Fiskars. I think for a first-mow in deep grass this beats the cordless hands down. And it's so quiet I could talk on the phone while mowing. However, it only plays with the dry leaves leftover from the previous fall, so my next pass on the back will probably be with the (mulching) cordless. But gosh, I really like the Fiskars. I would have been comfortable mowing past dark, but I found something that made me sad and which I felt I needed to deal with sooner. (Yeah, I am interrupt driven.) I have a bird feeder that holds thistle seed. I think it's supposed to attract finches. One poor little greedy bird had managed to get inside of the feeder, and then could not get out. By the time I was done with that, it was solid dark out, so I put the mower, and my car, away. I had managed to lock my keys into Mariposa. *sigh* Had gone in to get a drink and forgotten to grab them. I'm pretty sure that the robin's nest (in the usual place atop the electrical meter) was not there on Monday, but it was there now. I hope my mowing hasn't caused them to desert their eggs again.

Found a box of about the right size, brought it back to Chickens, where I set up a package I hope to mail today. Then I realized that I had gotten up at 6-something on Tuesday (to vote), at 6-something on Wednesday (to get my car to the shop), and I was TIRED. Went to bed, and didn't get up until 10 hours later, when I realized I had overslept. *sigh* (Yes, I'm still tired.) And I had the strangest, most interesting, dream. But that's the topic for another post.
2nd-May-2011 11:15 am(no subject)
Tattoo
I place no flowers on his grave, but neither do I dance.



No man is an island -- John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
1st-May-2011 12:30 am - April books.
Enjoy
Book finished in April

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff. (Started in January 2011.) Delightful. I'd listened to her reading some of this at WorldCon in Denver, and I was hooked then. (At the computer in Chickens book... finished it at FCN, after hyping it to many attendees who asked me about my book.)
27th-Apr-2011 01:54 pm - Coffee
theatre
I got a Groupon for a local coffee place, and I went in -- met the owner, bought enough coffee to use up the Groupon, and a few pieces of hardware so he probably made a tidy profit.

But while I was there, he offered me a cup of coffee on the house. I wavered, but accepted.

Caffeine doesn't do much for me. On an empty stomach it will make me jittery. Sometimes it affects my digestion. If I'm tired it will put me to sleep, knock me right out. But I've never had it behave in the manner that "normal" people say coffee does.

Before.
17th-Apr-2011 01:23 pm - A snippet of sadness for today
Nutrition
Yesterday a friend took me out to breakfast at my favorite local place -- Stony Creek Koney Island, affectionately called the Stony Koney. Today I took a friend out to lunch there.


StonyKoney


Our waitress, recognizing me as a regular spoke to me in a quiet voice as she provided the bill. It seems that she was not supposed to learn this until after they closed today, but this is the last day they're going to be open.

I thought they were doing well. They're usually full of people. I've eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner there -- occasionally all three over the same weekend. This is the place I bring out of town friends and family.

It breaks my heart. I like all the waitstaff I've met there. I like the food quite well. I usually ordered the same thing for breakfast, but everything I've tried has been good. The prices were reasonable.
11th-Apr-2011 04:44 pm - Another working con
Joy
Last weekend I went to a convention I've never been to before to help work security.

I'd never even been to that TYPE of convention before.

It was a FURRY con.

I had a great time. The attendees were most of them pretty wonderful. Amazingly polite. Very friendly. I had a less than pleasant run-in with one of them, and I think there were at least 2 women who had their hearts broken -- but that might be par for the course of a weekend when you're about 20 and in a sample size of about 1000. (Don't know the M/F breakdown.)

Several people made me smile every time they walked past, for one reason or another. One fellow lent me a book which I'll need to read & return.

Maybe I'll even go to some programming next year... Just need to learn to watch my tongue, which keeps wanting to pop out inappropriate words. (Like "costume".)

And when I got home on Sunday, I spent under 2 hours fighting with the network before it started working again!!! I don't know why it stopped, nor why it started, but I think I know more than I did a week ago.
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