wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Life keeps being, well, life. I sure don't feel balanced, either in world news (so many hurricanes and earthquakes!) or politics (I can't believe the GOP is still trying to take away my health care) or personal life (renewing my license plate is expensive enough without having the engine light on my car start to glow to assure me I'd fail the emissions test without repairs). Life feels so very uncertain, for me and for so many, many other people right now. It would be too easy to get lost in worrying, but that isn't a good life, and wouldn't help me or anyone else.

Last weekend, we went to a Pagan Pride gathering and got to listen to one of my favorite musical groups. While I was there, I let myself be talked into getting a reading by a lady who used three different animal-based decks. I had too many possible questions in mind, so I stuck with the simple question, "what do I most need to know?". She drew me Armadillo, which she said was all about setting boundaries appropriately, but also a warning to face my troubles and not try to hide in my shell. Armadillo was flanked by lizard, for dreams, and snake, for rebirth. My spirit Guide was drawn from another deck, and was Panda, who advised me to create a sacred space in my home and place of work. Finally, from a deck that's all wolves, I received the advice that I'm at a crossroads. The more I think about boundaries and sacred space, the more different ways I see that this reading applies in my life. So I've been working to get my spaces in better shape for the work I need to do and the life I want to live. Maybe I'll write more about that in a separate post.

But it's Equinox (or about to be), and the New Moon (or was, just a bit ago), so I'm reminded that one of the sacred things I chose to do for this year is to do regular readings. Maybe I can bring you some inspiration or some insight to help you find a new balance in your life.

So, on to the readings.

New friends and old are very welcome. I'd love to do a bunch of readings!

I am continuing to offer a five-card reading for $25, or if you want a larger reading we can discuss costs. As always, a signal boost will allow you to ask for a clarification card on some part of this reading, if you wish. Alternatively, you can ask for a Torn World reading and get an in-character reading in Affamarg or the Breidalam Mountains using that world's standard layout for the divination disks.

Or, of course, you can simply ask for a single card (with the usual clarifying card for people who tip). The guitar case below is my personal PayPal link, featuring my own artwork, which still inspires me even though it isn't Tarot-related. I'm still thinking about doing an appropriate self-portrait. Not today--but should it be realistic or abstract? Me as I am, or me as I might be portrayed in a deck? The idea is percolating, anyway. But back to readings!

You may ask about real life or a creative project, even a game. I can draw a card for you to meditate on, to represent the Guide you need right now, or to get you unstuck. I can draw a card for a character or can draw a card or cards for you to use as writing or art prompts, and I can modify a more-traditional five-card spread into a prompt for a story focusing on plot or characters or a little of both.

For free one card readings, you can pick from the Brian Froud's Faeries Oracle, the Daughters of the Moon Tarot (one of the round decks), or the Shapeshifter Tarot. You can ask a question, ask for a Guide or for inspiration, or you can just ask for a card. I don't need to know what your question is, but you are welcome to share it with me if you like.

The first card is free (though tips are always appreciated). Tips (including requests for longer readings) also let you ask me to use any of my other decks, including but not limited to my combined Susan Seddon Boulet Animal Spirits and Goddesses cards and my Fantasy Showcase Tarot deck where each card was done by a different science fiction/fantasy artist.

Tipping can also be used to request a private reading, or to draw a clarifying card if the initial card (or paid multi-card reading) leaves you with questions. If you want a longer reading, send a direct message so we can agree on the type of reading and rate.

Signal boosts are very much appreciated, and also earn you the right to ask for a clarifying card. (If you only signal boost, please do not ask for two cards to start with. A clarifying card, if the reading is unclear to you, is fine.)

I understand all too well that when people don't have cash or spoons that is generally when they most need inspiration! Don't be afraid to ask for a card if you can't tip.

If you tip, it's helpful to me for you to mention it here so I can connect your Paypal information with your request. Tips should be at least $1 (Paypal charges fees). If Paypal doesn't work for you, drop me a message and we'll work something out.

I've written before about why I do readings and some of the decks I use here, feel free to hop over and check me out. I'll wait.

I will reply to all requests. In the highly unlikely event that the number of requests nears my limits, I'll close this card draw by changing the status line below rather than risk leaving anyone without a response.

Thank you, and Blessed Be!

Status: Open to free readings through 9/24; open to tipped readings until this status message is changed.

As always, these readings are for entertainment and inspiration only. See my "Dandelyon's Readings" page if you have questions.

VMs and Softball

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:50 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
I have now been assigned a new VM at work on a physical server of a type that actually works with ClearCase. The investigation of why the other type of server is not working with ClearCase continues, but it is -- at least for now -- a matter of academic interest on my part rather than urgent need. Now, I just need to get the new VM configured, which is going to take days of installing software and source.

Meanwhile, Katie's team had a scrimmage against the other Des Plaines girls team today. Katie acquitted herself well, throwing out a runner at first from right field for the unusual 9-3 putout (looked like Kolten Wong out there :) ), walking, and lining a ball to right field for a two-run single with the bases loaded. (It might have been a double, but the runner on first stopped at second.)

Katie even caught an inning and didn't look too shabby back behind the plate.

(One of the other girls caught for what I think was the first time this season. She looked really good back there and it turns out that she likes to catch. The things you find out a few weeks into the season...)

Round and Round We Go

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
So it turns out that there is a known problem trying to use ClearCase from a Windows environment on the new physical servers. We are now trying to find me a VM on a different physical server.

Of course, sooner or later, they will want to retire that machine because it is not one of the shiny new servers.

I have to say, it would have been good if some of these issues had been discovered before I got to find them...

Shanah Tovah

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:29 pm[personal profile] sdelmonte
sdelmonte: (Default)
 May the old years and its curses end.  May the new year and its blessings commence.

Best wishes for a joyous new year to everyone!

Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm[personal profile] filkerdave
filkerdave: (jew roll)

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה
autographedcat: (Default)
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...

(Sitka National Historical Park)

Juneau, Alaska!

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:09 am[personal profile] autographedcat
autographedcat: (Default)
Juneau, Alaska!
Juneau, Alaska!

(Mount Roberts)

One Ping Only

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:30 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
Several months ago, I got an email letting me know that they were going to retire the server that my VM for work runs on and that I would be getting a new VM. This would have been fine if the new VM was actually equivalent to my old VM. However, it wasn't.

See, various development organizations had negotiated with IT years ago as to what type of VM developers needed. That included a big chunk of disk storage, because there are development tools and a metric ton of source code (in multiple versions) that take up a big chunk of disk storage. When the new machines were being allocated, they did not have the agreed upon amount of disk storage, because the new servers did not have as much disk storage per CPU as the old servers. In fact, they did not have as much storage as people were actually using on a per-user basis.

This seems to me to indicate that -- just maybe -- someone did a lousy job of specifying the new server configurations. But these are the servers that we have.

So I went to my boss and, instead of using the quota that had been allocated to me, he gave me a nice shiny new VM with everything that I needed. I configured it and was as happy as a clam.

For about two months, until they decided they were going to retire the physical server that hosted my new VM.

So I have a new VM now on a new machine. I have spent several days configuring it.

It will not successfully talk to the ClearCase server in the same data center.

I am not very happy about this.

Run, Ruby, Run!

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:33 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
It is just amazing how much Ruby the Dog enjoys having Uncle Jeff come to visit. She is one very tired dog tonight. :)

I've Been Negligent

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:15 pm[personal profile] handful_ofdust
handful_ofdust: (Default)
...in terms of posting here, as with so much else. It's a lot easier to just like and reblog a bunch of shit on Tumblr, or have my conversations on Facebook, and that's frankly sad as hell. But then again, both Livejournal and Dreamwidth appear to be almost exactly as mordant, these days. Comments conversation is a dead art, I fear.;)

Anyhow: I went through my notebooks again, did a transcription binge and moved all my In Development pieces into a folder, thus discovering that while I may have far more upcoming deadlines than I thought I did, I also have roughly fifty things I could potentially use to plug those particular holes--seeds, sketches or outlines, as I like to call them, depending on the level of content. (A seed, for example, might be as simple as the sentence "Break John Wyndham's "Close Behind Me" down for parts and remix it to my own satisfaction."; an outline goes all the way, from first few sentences to three-act structure and coda sentence, with nothing left un-worked-out.) So that's good.

All of which goes to explain why I'm currently in the process of bulling my way through a new story called "The Church in the Mountains," based on the vague yet highly specific memory of something I thought for years that I must have caught on TV sometime in my teens, maybe as part of a Canadian anthology series, except that Google Fu has completely defeated me in terms of working out exactly what the hell that might have been. Thus leaving me with the floating question of "If this comes from inside me rather than outside me, then what IS it, exactly? A really detailed dream? A story idea that came to me so full-blown I convinced myself someone else had already made it? Where do these tropes come from, these images? Does the simple act of trying to tell it to other people make it change and evolve, and could disseminating that telling start to alter the world around you?" (That last part seems unlikely, yet makes for a pretty good thesis statement.)

In other news, I finished "The Puppet Motel" and sold it, then finished a shorter piece called "Come Closer," and sold that too. I posted the contracts on that one today, so I guess I can count on being paid for it soon. I also placed a couple of reprints and did more brainstorming work on Nightcrawling; I think I'm almost ready to start the first real chapter, now that I'm done with the prologue and I understand the overall structure. It'll be set back in 1990, so that'll be interesting--weird to think of that making it a period piece, even though it totally does. The other day it occurred to me that that's around the time I started writing many of the stories that eventually made it into Kissing Carrion, so maybe I should go back and take a look at some of those, because it'll give me a sense of how Lennox Frewer might write for that Creative Writing 101 course she and Ancke Ewert (Nightcrawling's protagonist) meet at. Everything eventually folds in somewhere, doesn't it? Which is sort of one of the refrains of the book, so there you go.

In personal news, we're proceeding apace towards Cal's tonsilectomy, which is going to happen (fingers crossed) on October 13. Not even a stay-over procedure anymore, as I recall--he gets it done, then comes home with us, has two weeks of recuperation and might even be back on track just in time to go off to the Viva! Youth Choir's annual music camp. Tomorrow I'm in Peterborough, doing ChiSeries Pride; mis-October I'll be in Windsor, Ontario, doing another book festival. It doesn't stop, which I guess is good.

Oh yeah, and I need to do some reviews pretty soon, drive-by or not, or people will stop reading this. Ha!
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week. Especially yesterday, when N and I took a very sick Bronx to the emergency vet in Seattle. He had a fever of 106; apparently I can't tell at all from his nose and ears. He was also throwing up and not eating, and wasn't anywhere near his usual rambunctious self.

Note: apparently a virus. He's recovering well, and we'll be taking him home tomorrow.

The house seems very quiet and lonely without our Bronx boy. Brooklyn and even Ticia are rambuncting as best they can, but it isn't the same. Meanwhile, apparently cats really are liquids. Or should I say that cat is a liquid?

Thursday, one of our neighbor's cows got loose in our yard. One of those things that's very funny in retrospect. We've also been having a hard time finding a caregiver for Colleen.

As I said, rough week.

Two public service announcements:

  1. Breach at Equifax May Impact 143M Americans; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze
  2. If you happen to be on Whidbey Island next Sunday (the 24th, a week from today), drop by our house for music and food. "The usual potluck bash", as we used to say of the Starport.

I'm trying to establish a schedule, so that I actually get things done, have some time for Colleen, and don't spend all my spare time online. 9-11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays are earmarked for "Unpleasant Chores" - unpacking, cleaning litter boxes, finishing up the taxes, taking out the garbage, and so on. Tag "UC:"

Notes & links, as usual )

Orville, Round Two

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:52 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
The second episode of The Orville aired tonight. Gretchen and I watched it in almost-real-time, since it had been delayed by the football game.

It was good. It was actually good enough that Gretchen is now worried about the fate of the series, because she thinks that there is not enough audience that will be able to figure out what it is trying to be.

It's sort of like it's trying to be funnier than, say, Castle, but not as over-the-top as Quark.

And it's not any sillier in the important plot points than Star Trek: TOS.

I'm encouraged.

I'm also encouraged that FOX hasn't thrown it up against the future Big Bang Theory Thursday night time slot to die.

We'll see.

A Good Try

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:44 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
Katie's softball team was playing one of the team's from the "major" division in the league. These are generally the older, more experienced girls. Despite this, they came very close to winning, taking an 8-4 lead, but a bad inning did them in and they lost 9-8.

It was a heckuva game though. They done good. :)
yam: (Clinic doll)
HOORAY! My fiddler is on an airplane heading to my house EVEN AS WE SPEAK well she might be on the ground making a connection but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. I'm going all out and changing the sheets and possibly remembering to empty the garbage, because I got my Brownie Hostess badge, baby.

BOO! Sammy has developed a taste for cables. Every cable. He has eaten 3? 4? headphones and one mouse and one 3DS charger. I have a bluetooth mouse now, which is a little weird, but at least will not be displayed proudly covered in saliva on my pillow I ASSUME. Fortunately I had an extra DS charger because I keep accidentally stealing them from Seanan. (Sorry!)

HOORAY! I'm at work and it makes me feel so good. I'm an expert and I'm ON and I'm really good at my job and I have energy and a bounce in my step and I can forget for a while about being my headache. On Sundays I'm euphoric and even feel like I'm faking my disability. Mondays are harder, I'm still enjoying the heck out of work but feeling the strain and counting the hours and am relieved to close up shop.

BOO! ...and Tuesdays any feeling of being a faker are gone, as I spend the whole day at minimum being flat-out exhausted, having headache exacerbation, blah blah blah, alternating sleepy pain and painful sleep. It's all one headache now, it gets better or worse, but never goes away.

YAY! My pain control is a little better this month! I got switched from *drug that is rendered less potent by other drugs I'm on* to *drug that doesn't have an interaction*.

BOO! ...which is probably only a temporary improvement, though. This is a drug that you grow tolerant to, and I flat out can't follow it up in dose and keep working. So I'm using it now until it stops helping and then... it's me and advil, I guess. And waiting for new migraine drugs to hit the market. My neurologist has me in her jar of patients she can't wait to spring the new stuff on once it gets through regulatory approval.

Well that was a depressing little streak of points. Today is Sunday at work and I'm at euphoric still, I can do better!

YAY! Today is a particularly good day for patients coming in at the perfect time for long uninterrupted chats. I found a way to make two broken insulin pens in to one working pen so my patient would be covered until the replacement pens arrive. Someone coming in with a question about a drug selected at random from the shelf - they actually wanted to chat about their feelings as they await the birth of their second child after the first died of cancer, with someone outside the house. Talking a patient with dementia down from a panic attack over the phone. Their medication stopped six months ago but they don't remember that part, and we have this chat from time to time, on days when they remember that I'm their pharmacist. Giving some pneumonia shots. Flu shot season is coming, just one more month to wait!!! Other than that last stabby part, none of this really has anything to do with what I learned in pharmacy school. But I'm so happy my pharmacy ticket puts me in a place where people trust me with all these little confidences and burdens and services. I feel like a shrine maiden, like the work moves through me. If that makes sense.

I mean, and sometimes I'm just disposing of gross expired vitamins and cashing out my till and losing count when I'm counting 500 prednisone tablets and it's work and it's sure good they pay me. It's not all epiphanies and florence nightingale all up in here.

YAY! Employee. Discount. Hallowe'en. Candy.

YAY! Rain!!!

BOO! I forgot a rain jacket!

YAY! But whatever RAIN I MISSED YOOOOOOU

YAY! DID I MENTION I GET A FIDDLER TONIGHT BECAUSE DANG YO

YAY! Greg. We've been reading the Oz books - we're nearly done book 9 - and he's been asking for me to "do the voices" when I read and he is SO CRACKED UP by my silly voices. The way he begs for extra chapters. The way he reads other books on his own, ravenously. The way he runs in to my room to share random facts with me. The way he mournfully affects instant great tiredness when he doesn't want to clean up a mess / leave Gramma's house / whatever. On Friday my dad said no to making a whole separate dinner for him from the one that was already on offer, and Greg said in a sorry lamenting pout: "Go on your merry way, thennnnn." I just about died laughing. The way he sometimes sneaks out of bed after I've tucked him in, and then I find him passed out by the window where he was looking at the moon, or asleep at the foot of my bed, cuddled up to my feet. <3 <3 <3 <3

YAY! I have stopped the cats from going outside the litter box!

BOO! By putting an extra litter pan in the front hall, because apparently what PLEASES THEM BEST IN THE WORLD is to pee and shit where everyone can watch. Like, they both look around to MAKE SURE I'M WATCHING and proudly do their thing. Uhhhh. Thanks? Dear visitors: I'm very sorry that you must cross the poobicon as you enter my apartment. But it beats finding cat presents in my shoes.

YAY! But at least they're cute. And so, so cuddly. Sammy wiggles up through my blankets to my face like a... blanket sandworm? I'm not sure what the right analogy is here. It's adorable anyway and he doesn't have... lamprey teeth?

I'M GOING TO QUIT BEFORE I OUTDO LAMPREY TEETH

Lessons in Sportsmanship

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:09 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
So last weekend, Katie's team lost to a team that we've played in the past in other incarnations of the league. They're a good team, but they tend to be, might I say, a little aggressive about the rules. Aggressive to the point where, on at least one occasion, the folks organizing a tournament had to tell them "No, you can't do that," after they had pushed the ump into allowing them to do a certain thing against our team. Of course, that didn't help us; only the teams they played subsequently.

Anyway, last weekend, we got caught by a rule that is supposed to allow teams that are trailing going to the last inning a chance to catch up by allowing an unlimited number of runs to be scored in a half inning instead of five. The problem was that we hadn't done something that is required by the letter of the rule, so the spirit of the rule could go to heck. Ok, our fault. I've talked with the manager and we're adding armor to our process so that this doesn't happen again.

As it happens, the other team from Des Plaines was playing this team this weekend. So both our manager and I had briefed them on what had happened to us.

This time around, it happened that the Des Plaines team had a big lead. They scored five runs in the top of a late inning and called their girls off the field. The manager of the team that we had played then came out to argue that this was the last inning and that the inning should continue so that they would have a chance to score unlimited runs in the bottom of the last inning and, thus, have a chance to win.

That is to say, they tried to talk the ump into doing exactly the opposite of what they'd asked to have done the previous week when they were playing us.

Properly briefed, the other Des Plaines team pulled out the rule sheet, pointed to the rule and said, "We don't think so."

And the team that had (admittedly correctly) had the rule enforced against us last week got it enforced against them this week.

Oh, darn.

The rule is actually fundamentally broken as written, because it requires both managers and the umpire to agree that the last inning is the last inning. If one team is ahead by more than five runs going to what would obviously be the last inning, then I cannot understand what -- other than a belief in sportsmanship that appears to not always be in evidence -- would cause them to agree that this is the last inning. I mean, the sixth inning is the theoretic last inning, but since there is a hard two-hour time limit on the games, none of the regular season games go six innings. Most go four.

Ah, well. In any case, justice was served today.

Cold. :)

Tales of the Mighty Hunter

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:08 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
Of course, I'm talking about Ruby the Dog here.

You may remember the invasion of the chipmunk from several weeks ago. The chipmunk decided to come back into the house a few days ago, earning him his new name, assigned by Gretchen who watched him pop in through the open back door, right onto the must-smell-exactly-like-dog rug that Ruby likes to lie on in front of the door.

That would, unsurprisingly, be Dumbass. Because you just have to be exceptionally stupid for a chipmunk to come back to play with the dog again. Happily, Dumbass was easily chased back out the door this time, without ending up underneath various bits of furniture. I missed all of this excitement, not having gotten downstairs yet.

But I did not miss last night's excitement.

See, I had promised to take Katie (and by extension the rest of the family) out for frozen custard last night in repayment of some minor slight that she felt that she was suffering through. It was getting late enough that it was definitely time to be going, so we just needed to let Ruby in from the back yard, get her in her kennel, and proceed on our way.

Ruby was on the back porch, so it was a simple matter of getting Julie to let her in.

"Aaaugh! Ruby's got an animal in her mouth."

And Gretchen said, "I don't do dead animals".

Julie: "She dropped it. It's breathing!"

Me: "Ok, not a dead animal."

Gretchen: "Oh, no. You don't try that, mister!"

Me: "Everybody out to the car. I will deal with Ruby."

Julie: "But it's alive! She's licking it!"

Me: "Go to the car."

Julie: "I can hold the flashlight for you."

Me: "Everybody go to the car. Now!"

Finally, everyone else was kicked out the door. Let me grab a Pupperoni to lure Ruby into her kennel. Hand into bag of treats.

Bag of treats is filled with dust.

Ok, I can grab the Beggin' Strips that I bought at Sam's Club. They're right here. Let me cut the two bags apart. Now I will tear off the easy-open strip and--

The bag won't open.

What you don't know is that the bruising on my injured left foot has progressed to the point where standing in one place hurts like hell. Moving is fine. What can I say?

I am now standing in one place and becoming progressively more furious because I had had to stand around (ouch!) waiting for everyone to get out the door, then stand around to open this lousy bag, then find some scissors to work around the not-so-well-designed easy-open strip. Yes, there is nothing like pain to improve one's mood.

Eventually, I got some fakin' bacon out of the bag and opened the back door cautiously to let Ruby in. I did not see an animal either in her mouth or on the porch. Hmm.

I got Ruby in her kennel and eventually figured out where Julie had put the flashlight so I could shine it out on the stoop. Nothing there.

On the other hand, the brightly glowing blue and orange running shoe belonging to Katie was obvious at the edge of the grass where Ruby had stolen it in an effort to get someone to chase her outside and play with her. I suppose I had better get the shoe back.

And at the edge of the patio, curled up in a little ball, was a very bedraggled and damp looking baby possum, about the size of a saucer. It wasn't moving.

I recovered the shoe and went inside. I considered the chances were fair that the possum was, as possums do, playing possum. I went to the car and reported this to the family.

When we got home, I checked the patio. There was no possum to be found.

We will now see if the possum is smarter than Dumbass...
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)

It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
It was a happy surprise to discover that Gretchen's brother, Jeff, was in town and had called Gretchen to arrange to meet us for breakfast over at T-Bob's this morning. The conversation was very silly, to the point where I do not remember what prompted this to come out of my mouth, but suddenly I announced:

"That's it! Gale Force Boobs!"

I am not sure exactly what this would mean or how they might work, but I have this nasty suspicion that they have something in common with Earthquake Pills...

Back to Baseball

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:59 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
I finally made it back down to Wrigley Field with a friend of mine and we watched as the Cubs demolished the Mets. Seeing the Mets get demolished is generally a good thing, even in their current piteous state...

Half Day

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:36 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
The girls had a half day off from school today, which maximized the amount of chaos around the house. But nothing too odd happened, so...

I am continuing my work on porting our C++/C# code up to Visual Studio 2017. This would be less entertaining if Microsoft hadn't changed their locale support in the CRT library around to hide all of the internals. Gack!
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