mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

It's been a stressful week. The worst thing to happen, of course, was Jordin Kare's death on Wednesday. Friday we went down to Seattle both to check on the apartment, and to look for a kitten at Cat City. There were some wonderful ones, but they were all on hold. We went on a wild cat chase up to Lynnwood, only to find that the kitten we'd wanted to meet had been adopted while we were on the road.

The second pod was unloaded yesterday, mostly using hired muscle. It filled an appalling amount of space in the garage (I set up the plastic shelves down the center, and there are piles (mostly of book boxes) next to it. So there's that.) I had a bit of a meltdown this morning upacking mostly kitchen stuff, including the Peter Rabbit plate that I'd had as a kid, and realizing that we didn't have nearly enough room for even the reduced amount of stuff we brought, and concerned about money, and, and, and,... The usual stuff that happens when the brain weasels go out to play with the black dog.

We currently have two boxes of stuff to give away, one for my daughter who has just gotten engaged, and a largeish pile for G.

However, despite the stress, our first full week here has mostly been pretty good. Colleen's new caregiver, G", is working out quite well. (Glenn is G; our previous housekeeper, Giselle, was G'. This one is named Gina, so, ... After her I'm switching to subscripts.) Molly, our Chevy Bolt, is finally getting fully charged every day or two. (I am somewhat amused by the fact that she sends me a text when she's done charging. Molly is not amused by being mistaken for a wallboard anchor.)

Our beds are here, but we're waiting until after the new floor is in (Tuesday) to set them up, since moving them would involve taking them apart and setting them up again -- not worth it.

Our cats are at least not fighting; we're still keeping them separate until we can (hopefully) re-introduce them. We've bought a couple of Feliway pheromone diffusers - one for the main area of the house, and one for the room we plan to use for the re-introduction.

I have also replaced the ionization fire detector nearest the kitchen with a photoelectric one. Ionization detectors are sensitive to open flames, and we have a gas stove. Bad combination.

Notes & links, as usual )

Moving the Pile

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:59 pm[personal profile] billroper
billroper: (Default)
There is no softball today, nor baseball, nor parties -- other than the end-of-season pool party for the softball league this evening -- so it is time to start moving the pile of things that need to be done. So far today, I have:

  • Bought memberships for Musecon
  • Reserved hotel rooms for OVFF and Windycon
  • Gone to Sam's Club to pick up staples and things for dinner
  • Started three loads of shirts
  • Updated the video drivers on the studio computer
  • Put the broken banister back up on the basement stairs
  • Thrown the ball for Ruby

    As far as that last, well, you have to have priorities or nothing gets done. :)
  • (no subject)

    Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:10 pm[personal profile] yam
    yam: (Nap guitar)
    It is I, sleeping yam!

    Sooooo sleepy all the time. I barely do anything and then am so exhausted by it. Feeling pretty down about that, but oh well, it is what it is. I was hoping maybe it is just allergies on top of everything, but I'm not usually allergic to everything forever, and I haven't been getting less sleepy. On the other hand, it seems to be a truly epic year for allergies across the board, judging by how hard it is to keep my antihistamine section stocked at work, so maybe that is it. I'm like, pregnancy-level sleepy, although thank god that is not the cause. (I love my baby and I am never doing that again.) Feeling down about my finances as a tangled-up part of this; I keep trying to pick up extra shifts - in fact I have one this very week, I have absolutely not learned - and then getting smacked down immediately by how weak I am for days afterward. Sigh. I did a big round of expense trimming and feel a bit better about things, but my travel budget is not very... er... existent. Things will improve a bit next year I think, when my tax returns catch up to reality and I qualify for more government this and that. And I'm going to sign up for the Please Pay For My Mental Health Medication I Am Broke But You Want Me To Take It Trust Me program, which will incidentally pay for my expensive migraine pills, since they are also used for various psychiatric issues. Nothing's all that bad, but a lot of things are not great and getting my pollyanna on is something I have less and less energy for. Thank god I have cats.

    I am, no surprise, still loving having cats again. It's not exactly the unconditional love of an animal that appeals - it's super conditional, I totally feed them and they love that! - plus I feel lots of unconditional love from my family and friends, I am blessed. But I never have to explain or do emotional labour about my migraines to them. It's... it's amazing. I spend a lot of exhausted time trying to hide how much pain I am in, or trying to wade ahead through awkward answers to "How are your migraines?" "How are you?" "You're doing so much better!" etc, or trying to soothe people who have gotten a peek at what exactly I'm used to - being in pain 24/7, expecting to be in pain, being glad when the pain is not as bad as it sometimes is, stopping for meds every 4 hours - that stuff keeps me busy and I don't really want to spend more time going "No, no, it's okay, I've got this. I mean, I recognize that it's awful that I've got this, that there's a thing to get, just... let's talk about the weather, hey?" And yet I have the same impulses when people I love are in pain or in a lingering bad situation and I get the helpless need to reach out and show my shared horror / sympathy / disapproval etc. I'm not sure what to do with the irritation at how much emotional labour it is. Trying to come to view it as a symptom of my illness rather than a behaviour other people are doing to me. In some ways the societal downplaying of how bad migraine can be because it's predominantly a woman's disease comes in handy, helps me get away with "Fine thanks how are you!" when light is hurting me and sound is hurting me and my head is throbbing and moving hurts. It's... complicated. I've settled on usually answering "Oh, medium." when people ask how I'm doing. Most people seem to interpret that as "not in the mood to talk about it, but not brushing you off," which is about what I want I guess. Sick of this shit; still no hall pass; oh well, heft the backpack, here we go. But cats. Cats are an outlet of affection and amusement that involves none of this social illness role math. It's nice.

    Splatoon 2 just came out and I ADORE IT. (Splatoon 2 had a line item all by itself in my cramped little budget. Tentacles: essential.) I can't stand to play for more than a few matches in a row because the sound hurts and also like, staying awake is harrrrrd, but BEING A SQUID IS STILL GREAT. Greg is very excited to watch me play. He would also like to play, but he's not getting his hands on my expensive, fragile Switch until he can come up with the gameboy I just bought him like six months ago which is lost inside our apartment somehow. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, as our floors are constantly a disaster - he's six and I can't easily bend over to pick things up because of my bad knee and the way my head hurts if I do - so probably there are LOTS of interesting treasures hidden in the drifts of clutter here. But no getting jam on my new console until I confirm the previous one hasn't been stepped on or something. I might cave and let him play Splatoon 1 on the wii u, since let's face it, it's already well-jellied.

    I've been going to church lately. I feel all sheepish about it, after being various flavours of atheist all these years. (While also being a church-going unitarian for many of them - but that's different in a lot of important ways.) But the Wednesday healing service at the local anglican cathedral is so lovely. It's so CALM and quiet and soothing, and they pet my head with blessed oil, and all kinds of muscles in my head and neck untense as the liturgy flows past. And then church ladies make me coffee and gossip about nursing homes with me. (As a pharmacist I am totally up on all the nursing home gossip.)

    I have recently devoured two Neal Stephenson books and loved them: Reamde and Seveneves. They are both very in your face speed-reads (despite their great weight) rather than dense fruitcake like the Baroque Cycle, I am happy to report. I mean, I read all of the baroque cycle (I alternated it a chapter at a time with Vorkosigan books to keep myself going,) but it's more the kind of thing you do to put on your resume rather than for pleasure. I'm a little afraid to pick up his newest, DODO, because it looks like a bit of a return to historical twee-ness. I might give it a few years and then peep nervously at reviews.

    Righto, back to sleep. Here are your journal entries for the next three weeks: CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS
    billroper: (Default)
    Softball being over for a while, I ventured down to Wrigley Field to see today's Cubs / Cardinals game. Normally, I would go to the Sunday night game instead, but the softball league's family swim party is tomorrow night. (Hmm. Ok, softball not quite over yet. :) ) It was a good game, but sadly, the Cardinals lost as the manager left Wainwright in just a little too long, followed by yet another bullpen meltdown.

    Ah, well. It's not like I have very high hopes for the Cards at this point, but you never know what will happen.

    Quick set today

    Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:17 pm[personal profile] ericcoleman
    ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
    Almost all new stuff, either from the new CD or from the Patreon page, including two songs we have not done live.

    The Well Stone
    Banshee
    In This Place Of Steel And Stars (1st time)
    Beast Within
    Gargoyles (1st time)
    Persephone
    Ghost Train
    Boneman's Daughter
    Solstice

    Short Windycon Meeting

    Jul. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    It was a short Windycon meeting tonight, which given that it's still July, was probably a good thing.

    Next meeting is going to be a good bit more busy. :)

    Back In the Swim

    Jul. 20th, 2017 11:31 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    I finally made it back to the pool with the rest of the family today after work, although I left home later than they did. Katie and Julie were interested in playing a variety of competitive racing games to retrieve thrown objects; Gretchen and I eventually convinced them to do something less competitive in the interest of sibling peace. :)

    R.I.P Jordin Kare

    Jul. 20th, 2017 09:58 am[personal profile] mdlbear
    mdlbear: (rose)

    Jordin Kare died yesterday, from complications of aortic valve replacement surgery. I am still somewhat in shock. He was younger than Colleen.

    There is not much to be grateful for on this Thursday, but I am profoundly grateful for Jordin's music, which has been part of my life's soundtrack since at least the early 1980s. He was one of the founders of Off Centaur Publications, publishers of the Westerfilk songbooks and many fine filk tapes. (Jordin did the typesetting for Westerfilk I using troff, which led to a number of typos involving single quotes, which troff treats specially if they're the first character in a line.)

    Last night Naomi and I sang a few of his songs -- "Fire In the Sky", "The Designer" and "The Engineer", "Waverider", and all I could remember of "Kantrowitz 1972". It wasn't until this morning that I found the lyrics for that and "Sail for Amber", Colleen's favorite.

    I just ...

    (Jordin Kare: Fire In The Sky (1991) | LyricWikia)

    Tired

    Jul. 19th, 2017 11:52 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    Well, at least there's no scheduled phone call for work tonight. Maybe I should go to bed. :)

    Contata 2017 pictures

    Jul. 19th, 2017 08:06 pm[personal profile] the_sheryl
    the_sheryl: (Default)
    My photos from Contata 2017 are here.

    Kindness

    Jul. 19th, 2017 12:09 pm[personal profile] sweetmusic_27
    sweetmusic_27: A biohazard symbol (Default)
    Last week I telephoned our San Diego Comicon hotel to make sure my name was on the reservation and that Seanan's was spelled correctly.

    Today, after landing and a cab, and an alarming phone call from the mobility scooter rental place asking when I was going to pick it up (it got sorted out and they delivered the scooter promptly) I went up to the desk... and they wouldn't check me in. Because my name wasn't on the godamned reservation. I checked my bag, sat down, and cried. I got maybe four hours of sleep last night and chock-full airplanes are not calming to me.

    I got myself together and had a Slim Jim and a granola bar, used a wet wipe on my face and hands, and felt a little better. A lady came up to me. "Excuse me, I'm sorry, but I saw you crying a little while ago. Is everything okay?"

    I explained what had happened and that I was mostly just tired, having anticipated a nap upon arrival.

    "Do you have something to eat?"

    "Yes, I have a bag of snacks, thank you so much." I squeezed her hand.

    Little glimmers of hope and caring when you're feeing low are priceless. It will be my privilege to try to pass it on in a convention where so many can get swept by the wayside.

    Timing Is Everything

    Jul. 18th, 2017 11:55 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    Oh, look! My midnight phone meeting has just been pushed to 12:30 AM. I think I am going to try to beg off of this...
    filkerdave: (science fiction)

    The truly wonderful What Football Will be Like in 17776 has finished so now's a great time to sit down and read it.

    It's a lovely little SF piece. Be warned that you'll need to watch videos and animations as well as reading text. It's worth it, though.

    Moss-Free

    Jul. 17th, 2017 10:56 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    We are now through four chapters of Heinlein's The Rolling Stones. Katie is finding it greatly amusing, although she is occasionally annoyed at Heinlein "picking on" things like automobiles.

    I am waiting until she finds out about the flat cats. :)
    filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)

    It turns out that there's no Music AH for Worldcon 75.

    I mean, on one level, I'm not shedding any tears over screwups with the convention after they booted me (and the way it was done). But on the other hand, my friends are going to miss out on a lot of the activity they enjoy at the convention because there's nobody put it together.

    Complicated feelings.

    That's All, Folks!

    Jul. 16th, 2017 11:28 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    The spring / summer softball season is finally over. The girls lost their final game today to the second team that they beat on Saturday and finished a game short of the tournament finals. But given that they were a team that hadn't played together all season, had had two practices, and one scrimmage game against a short-handed opponent, plus were playing with a massively different set of rules than they'd played under all season -- and lost to two teams that have all of the characteristics of travel teams, as nearly as we can tell -- they did a magnificent job.

    I am very proud of all of them.
    mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)

    Somehow I appear to have missed posting last week. We've moved. (Looking at the notes for last Sunday, I'm guessing that the reason I missed posting was sheer exhaustion -- that was a busy day, and I'd done more lifting than is good for me.)

    We moved into the new house on Wednesday. The movers, from Two Men And a Truck, were fast and efficient - we were out of the apartment in an hour and a half. Highly recommended.

    My new phone, on the other hand, is not highly recommended. It's a great phone, except that because it was factory unlocked it doesn't support HD Voice and, hence, WiFi Calling. That's bad, because the cell signal here is rather spotty. It could be worse, except that I actually have a signal in the house, albeit a weak one at times.

    I spent hours on chat with AT&T's tech support, and hours in their store, and a little while in the T-Mobile store, trying to get the damned thing recognized by the network. No dice. Now it won't even work as a WiFi hotspot, which sucks. I'll have to swap it again. I hate phones. I hate phone companies. H8 H8 H8. (Basingstoke.)

    We are mostly moved in, except that our beds are in the second pod, which isn't arriving until next week. Oops. So we're still on the sofabed, which is in the living room because we didn't want to try to deal with moving it out of the bedroom. It's not merely heavy, it's huge, and won't fit vertically through a doorway.

    The house is going to take some getting used to. The kitchen is lovely and open, but doesn't have as much storage as we expected -- in particular, there's only one rather narrow set of drawers. So that will take some refactoring.

    The biggest problem, though, is the cats. Ticia is no longer being aggressive toward Cricket, but she's curious. Cricket, however, is terrified, and just hides. That's going to take some work -- it's not the usual case where one cat is being aggressive, so the usual procedures for reintroducing cats don't really apply.

    Other than that, though, I like it here. There are a few other assorted inconveniences, but the place itself is lovely -- calm and quiet.

    Notes & links, as usual )

    Today's Softball Action

    Jul. 15th, 2017 11:31 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    The Des Plaines girls played today in the first day of a softball tournament over in Niles. It appears to be the first year that they're run this tournament and a great many things are being a mystery to us. :)

    For some reason, there are five teams in the tourney and rather than scheduling things with a seeding round on day one, two of the teams got a bye so that they only had to play two games on the first day; the other three teams would need to play and win three games to advance to the finals. We were one of the other three teams, winning the first two games; then losing the third game to one of the teams with a bye which appears to be a tournament team rather than a team or all-star team from a house league.

    But the girls played well overall. And by winning the first two games, we have postponed our first game tomorrow until 3:45. One win will put us into the finals, but then we will have to beat the team that beat us twice in order to win, this being a double elimination tournament, except when it isn't, because it's theoretically quite possible for a team with three losses to get to the finals if we've read the brackets correctly.

    As I said, it's a mystery...

    Wrapping Things Up

    Jul. 14th, 2017 11:37 pm[personal profile] billroper
    billroper: (Default)
    We had a lovely end-of-season parent/daughter softball game tonight, followed by a party and trophy presentation. Then it was home and off toward bed, where I finished reading The Star Beast to Katie tonight.

    Now I just need to figure out what book to read next. :)
    ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
    We decided at the last minute to do that open mic last night. 3 songs, all on the 12 string ...

    The Well Stone
    Horizon
    Spinning Skies & Mirrors

    A nice, solid set.

    The highlight was two young women, each doing a separate set. One was 12, one was 13, and they were amazing. Killer voices, decent guitar chops, and both just natural performers. Utterly compelling. Then one of their Dads came on and tossed out some acoustic punk. One of the highlights of my year. We need to go back more often.
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