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

Morticia and Cricket have been fighting all week. Ticia is acting scared and skittish, and still isn't eating much. (OTOH she doesn't seem to be starving herself, so I'm not excessively worried.) She continues to sleep with us, though she seems a little shy of people reaching down to pet her.

Went out with Naomi on Sunday (i.e. a week ago) to look at tools and hardwood. Rockler also has CNC mills and laser cutters, in the $5K range. That said, there are some fairly inexpensive kits out there.

Went out for dinner with Colleen Saturday (i.e. yesterday) -- Anthony's in Alderwood Mall. Their menu has acquired quite a lot of variety since the last time we went there.

Did a lot of puttering around the house. The downstairs washer is broken; symptoms indicate the drive belt. Fortunately, the upstairs washer is fast and efficient.

Lots of links in the notes, on a wide range of subjects.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Well, well. It's actually Thursday! Today I'm thankful for...

  • Morticia. Who is now curled up asleep on my desk. She makes an excellent villain's cat.
  • Employment. I grumble about it, but it's better than the alternative.
  • Life. Likewise.
  • Good Drugs.
  • Seattle weather.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I actually got some things done this week. I see from the notes that I forwarded the insurance information to our builders for the downstairs repairs, forwarded a bunch of statements to Sound Credit for the HELOC, took Morticia to the vet (she's healthy), did some system administration (tweaking my ssh config files), and did a fair amount of research around 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills (links in the notes, under Saturday).

Ticia still isn't eating well, and still isn't getting along with the household's other cats. On the other hand, she loves belly rubs, sleeping with me and Colleen, and cat treats. (Note the Oxford comma.) More recently, she's gotten to like sitting on my desk -- she's turning into quite a good villain's cat.

p-0 (that's Ticia getting her paw in) Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

Eventful week. After a botched delivery attempt on Sunday, the washer and dryer were finally installed Tuesday morning. I then took the bus up to the U District and met N at Cat City. We can haz cat! Morticia is a lovely 8-year-old tortie; she's friendly, cuddly, and has a very loud purr. Pictures here.

'Ticia also likes music! She was understandably upset when I carried her out to the car from the shelter, but quieted right down when the CD (Heather Dale) came on. Later, she was actually dancing with g. Fun! And she likes sleeping with me and Colleen. Actually, all the cats have done that at one time or another, but 'Ticia seems especially fond of it.

It's been a long time since I listed my mood as "happy", but I did that on Friday in my Thankful Friday post. Cats, it seems, are a very effective antidepressant.

Links in the notes, of course.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Today I am thankful for...

  • Morticia. Morticia is a beautiful 8-year-old tortoise-shell cat, who Naomi and I found at Cat City on Tuesday, and I brought home yesterday. She's wonderful -- sweet, affectionate, friendly,... and she loves owns me.gfvvvxc 009vv (That's Ticia getting her own comment in.]
  • Cats are, apparently, the world's most effective antidepressant. Or maybe it's NRE. Whatever it is, I'll take it.
  • Sound Credit Union, for approving our equity line of credit.
  • My family.
  • I don't think I've mentioned the Seattle public transit system yet, but I'm no end grateful for the ability to commute by bus. That's nearly 2 hours a day when I can read rather than fight traffic.
  • Git, and being able to show off my mastery of it to my coworkers in today's design meeting.
mdlbear: (flamethrower)

Not that it's likely to apply to anyone reading this, but mail from charities with no return address (so that I have to open it to see whether it's important) will be dumped. So will anything with the name of a celebrity or public figure. If they want to communicate with me in person they can damned well call.

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

Home Depot was supposed to have delivered the washer and dryer yesterday. They claim that the truck broke down, and that they will be delivering this morning. We'll see.

OVFF was wonderful, as usual. I even went to the closing jam, and had a great time, mainly because it was loud enough to cover up my many chord flubs. Also of note was Kristoph's guitar workshop, which was mostly about moving chord patterns up and down the neck. He told me that he'd learned about finding the melody in the chords from me, which left me slightly boggled. But... ok. Maybe I am pretty good.

Lots of fun with git yesterday and Friday, splitting up my Lyrics directory to leave only my own songs (plus a couple of PD arrangements) in it. In the process I wrote a Useful Script for making it look like files in subdirectories have always been there, so that their history is complete when you use git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter to make them into their own repositories.

The goal, of course, is to put my lyrics up on GitHub, the way several authors already do with books. It'll be fun.

Moderately productive at work. In part thanks to a nice new set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which they're paying for. (Wish I could afford my own set; they're pretty amazing. Though the noise isolating phones I have at home work pretty well, and are better for recording and mixing.)

More links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Well, "Ship of Stone" didn't win Best Classic Filk Song (again), but it wasn't because of my performance in the Pegasus concert -- I turned in what was probably my best single performance so far. Hopefully I'll be able to post a recording soon. I'm still mildly boggled by the amount of positive feedback I got.

I need to practice more -- the fact that I was able to perform off-book helped a lot. And record. It's time I started working on Amethyst Rose again. Past time.

Not as many conmversations as I'd like, but a few, and a couple of new people. (Whose names I don't remember.)

Uneventful trip. I ended up getting a limo because there wasn't enough room in the van for five people, their luggage, and a scooter. We did manage going to the hotel, thanks to a full-sized SUV rental.

Packing was disorganized; I managed to misplace my laptop charger (in the side pocket behind my folding cane), so I bought an overpriced one in the airport. I don't mind too much; it's one of the new, tiny iGo's that I've had my eye on for a while. It has long enough cords that I can just leave it in the rolly. Next time I need to pack either a lightweight backpack, zippered tote, or sling bag to go under the seat with my laptop, magazines, and snacks; next to the CPAP. (Which gives me a good excuse to put both Rolly and Plink up in the rack.)

On the other hand, having Rolly partly packed ahead of time helped quite a bit; I'll be making that an ongoing practice.

Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (flamethrower)

This was started as something that might be sent either to Home Depot or a local TV station or other consumer advocate. Still might.

Here's the situation. I'm 68 years old. My wife is disabled. We have a secondary laundry room in our bedroom closet. My wife uses a stair lift to get upstairs to the bedroom. We have been trying for over three months to replace the washer we bought and had installed in 2013.

2013 September 1: Order Number: W227507064 3.6 cu. ft. DOE High-Efficiency All-in-One Washer and Electric Dryer in White Model: WM3987HW. Fit our closet perfectly, ran on 110V, didn't need a vent. Also, as it turned out, didn't dry worth a damn, and was prone to clogging.

2014 October 8: $322 for a new drain pump. By then I'd forgotten that I'd purchased a 5-year service plan, and Home Depot didn't occur to me as a place to get appliances serviced, so I used Jimmy Z in West Seattle. Mistake.

2015 February 9: $217 for a new drain pump -- discount because we were a repeat customer.

2015 July 6: the drain pump died for the third time.

July 10: the repair person made the obvious diagnosis (this being the third time that the drain pump had failed) and scheduled a return visit, with the replacement pump. That happened sometime that week; I unfortunately can't find the receipt. I've been looking for it for the last month.

July 15: I opened the door of the washer and water came out. Obviously it hadn't been fixed.

July 27: Recieved a callback from Jimmy Z, but they didn't show. Again. They came out sometime that week; the repairman told me that the circulation pump was broken, all of the pipes and pumps were clogged with lint of some sort, and that the machine was unfixable. Would have been nice if he'd told me that on the previous visit.

August 10: Order Number: W394063798 Order Date: Aug 10, 2015 6:01 PM EDT Spacemaker Washer and Electric Dryer in White Model# GUD27ESSJWW. Delivery scheduled for 8/19, rescheduled to 8/25 because I had injured my back and wouldn't be able to deal with the stair lift.

August 13: It finally occurred to me to check to see whether there was a protection plan for the old washer. There was, but since I hadn't used Home Depot for the repairs I would have to supply receipts.

August 18: Received email from about the protection plan on the old washer. Reference number 54540015. (Since then I've been able to find the two older receipts, but not the ones for the July 10 visit, nor the later one where the washer was declared a total loss. JimmyZ has been unhelpful about tracking down their copies, so I'm out the replacement cost of the washer plus one drain pump replacement.)

August 25: Removed the chairs from the stair lifts. The crew removed the old unit but failed to install the new one, saying that the stair lift motor units were in the way. The washer was left on the front porch. If I'd known that the new washer wouldn't be installed I would have had Home Depot come out and look at the old one. 8/29 I bought a tarp to protect it from the rain.

September 1: removed the stair lift motor units as well as the chairs. Note that the motor units are heavier than I can easily handle -- I'm 68 years old with a bad back. But it would cost $500 to have Acorn send a technician out to do it. This time the crew said that they couldn't install it without my taking off the rails as well; this is impossible because it requires a licensed installer.

I note in passing that it wasn't until this delivery that the installer mentioned that the unit required a 240V connection; the product description on the web said 120/240, so I had assumed that meant it could take either. Called the delivery company; they refered me to the store (Delridge in West Seattle). Called the store. Spoke with Kathy, an expediter, who said that someone would be out Saturday

September 5: Luis from Home Depot called; I sent photos via email. Luis and one other person came out, examined the stairs, and said that it would be impossible to bring the washer up the stairs without removing the rail. I started researching stacking pairs, and scheduled for the washer to be picked up on September 9.

September 9: our electrician came (while I was at work) and installed the 240V outlet. But of course not the 110V outlet that I would need for a stacking washer and dryer. Meanwhile, the washer hadn't been picked up.

September 10: called Kathy; apparently the pickup order had been dropped by their system. She claimed it was the first time this had happened. Rescheduled for the 17th.

September 17: the washer was picked up. I was told by the crew that it should have been returned to the warehouse rather than being left on our porch.

September 21: Order Number: W408403911 Order Date: Sep 21, 2015 9:17 AM EDT 4.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR Model# WF42H5000AW 7.5 cu. ft. Electric Dryer in White Model# DV42H5000EW

October 3: Took the stairlifts off. The washer and dryer arrived, but the crew refused to install them because the 110V outlet hadn't been installed yet, and they wouldn't let me test it with an extension cord.

October 8: 110V outlet installed. Scheduled delivery.

October 17: Took the stairlifts off. Washer and dryer arrived. Washer was damaged. Sent it back. Spent 20 minutes on the phone attempting to reach a manager in the appliance department. After being put on hold repeatedly, I was told that the manager was on the phone with another customer, and said they'd call back. Didn't.

October 19: Callback from Kathy at the Delridge store. Call from Samsung; rescheduled delivery for Saturday 10/31.

They get one more try.

mdlbear: (flamethrower)

Long, stressful week. Monday I posted In Your Arms, about my cat Curio. Yesterday, the washer we'd ordered arrived, for the second time, damaged. (Our old upstairs washer died July 6, for those of you keeping score.) In between I've mostly been working.

I've just finished compiling the timeline for the whole sorry tale of our experiences with Home Depot over the last 3 1/2 months. I'll post it tomorrow. tl;dr: buy appliances from somewhere else.

No word yet about the home equity line of credit I applied for last week; apparently the documents I sent didn't go through because their email system blocks encrypted zip files. Damned if I'll send that stuff in the clear. I'm not optimistic.

Links and so on in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Today I am grateful for:

  • An insurance bill that ended up being nowhere near as much as it started out. (Thanks to a sold house and totalled car, but I'll take what I can get.)
  • As always, continuing employment.
  • My Mom.
  • Cats, both quadrapeds and bipeds.
  • Open source. Especially, this week, GNU make. Endlessly entertaining.
  • My family.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Hmm. It's kind of late, and I haven't updated yet. I also see that many of my daily notes are sketchy, which means I've mostly been working.

I have been doing some home stuff; mainly a long-overdue overhaul of my build system (which, for those who care, is all based on GNU make). And my major accomplishment for the week: writing and posting a Poem: In Your Arms.

The washer installation has been put off again; it is now scheduled for this coming Saturday.

Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

In Your Arms

For Curio

When we first met, you looked like you needed a friend,
So I walked up and told you "Hi there.  I'm your cat."
I'm not sure you understood what I was saying, but I knew
You thought so too.
You picked me up and held me in your arms, and spoke to me
In a gentle voice that I loved as soon as I heard it,
And took me home.

You were always my Person, and I was your Pretty Boy.
At night you would pat the top of the box in the hall
And say -- "Up!".
I would jump up, and you would take me in your arms
And carry me up the stairs.  Sometimes I would run ahead,
But I would always wait for you so that we could go
Into our room together.

When I got sick I couldn't always come to you,
But you always found me and carried me upstairs,
Safe in your arms.
Sometimes I would hide in the closet or the bathroom
Instead of sleeping with you and Mommy, I think because
I didn't want you to worry.

On our last night together, you held me in your arms
Where I knew I was loved.
You stroked my fur, and scratched behind my ears,
And cried -- I'd never seen you cry before -- and said
I would be okay.

I fell asleep in your arms, and when I woke up
I wasn't sick any more.
There were stairs there, with a carpet like a rainbow,
So I jumped down and ran ahead, but when I looked back
You weren't there.

I'll wait for you.  Some day I'll hear you call my name
And come running downstairs to meet you.  My little bell
Will jingle for you,
And you'll pick me up and cuddle me again, and we'll go
Up the Rainbow Bridge together, with me safe and happy
In your arms.

I still want to write him a song, but first there was something he wanted to say.

[poem permalink]

mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Yeah, well...

  • A compelling excuse to go to OVFF and practice every day.
  • Getting off my arse, at least a little.
  • Writing, at least a little.
  • Still being employed.
  • Good ideas. (Special thanks to Naomi.)
  • And again, and as always, that things aren't worse.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Reasonably productive at work. Somewhat productive at home. Booked air travel for Mom's birthday (which I was able to pay for with points! Go me.) and OVFF. (Membership and hotel for OVFF were already booked.)

Practiced. Some days not all that much, but every day.

Lots of puttering around the house, but there's still a lot -- mostly paperwork and coordination -- that isn't getting done. Still employed, but worried. When I stop working, whether it's now or in a couple of years, things are going to go to hell very quickly. N and I are starting to brainstorm other things I could do, but it's still not going to be enough to keep things together.

I hate this.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Welcome to The October Country.

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

Slow week? Well, at least I practiced every day -- there's that. I'm rusty, but not as rusty as I was a week ago. So far I've just been working on guitar; my voice hasn't been up to singing after last week's flu. It's about time to start.

A search for rainbow bridge images set me off on a reading binge around SVG, HTML5 and CSS3. Also CSS2, because I had never used much of it. Fun! Plus a talk by, and conversation with, one of our web designers. I obviously have a lot to learn. (Can you tell I'm still worried about my job? I was secondary oncall this week.)

N keeps giving me turtles. And, last night, a gorgeous little print on canvas of a cat that looks just like Curio. (She got one that looks just like Desti, too.)

I bought my OVFF membership and made my hotel reservation. I'll book the flights and request the vacation time today.

Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

On my way home from work on Monday I started noticing flu symptoms; by evening they were in full force, and I spent the rest of the week working from home. Yesterday I was feeling almost normal modulo a cough, but still too easily tired. Will probably be up for work on Monday. I hope so.

The washer/dryer that Home Depot couldn't install has been hauled away, and the refund is in my account. They shouldn't have left it here in the first place -- we should have refused the shipment and had it taken back. I'm still looking for the repair receipts for the old one; that's probably hopeless.

I didn't go to my 50th high school reunion. Sad about that, but it meant that I'll be able to afford OVFF. And with my case of the flu, I would almost certainly have had to cancel anyway -- I was in no shape to travel. So it goes.

Mostly I've been worried about money. As usual. There's a reason why one of the tags on this post is "Trainwreck". 30 years of lousy financial decisions will do that.

I've been studying CSS and SVG. My website-building skills are basically 20th Century, and need to be brought up to date. Some of the things people are doing with CSS are impressive.

Details and links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

It's actually Thursday this week - think of that! Today I'm grateful for:

  • The ability to work from home.
  • Methocarbamol, diphenhydramine, naproxen, and hot baths.
  • Finally getting the uninstallable washer/dryer hauled off, and the full refund.
  • My family.
  • What's left of my health while the flu is still chewing on it. (See music.)
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

Fairly productive this week. Still feels like I'm getting farther and farther behind.

Lots of network administration -- I now have all three of the household's routers upgraded to dd-wrt. By the way, the fact that now Microsoft pushes Windows 10 upgrade to PCs without user consent gives you yet another reason to upgrade your computer to Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Emmy had some lovely 4x6 prints made of "cat and mouse", and I finally got Curio's Rainbow Bridge page to a state where I don't mind posting the link. I cried while I was working on it. (This is not a bad thing, on the whole. Tears are better than being numb.)

More links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Well, gratitude is good no matter what day it happens on. Though 9/11 is one of the worse days for it.

  • Still, the terrorist attacks 14 years ago gave me an opportunity to take a cheap flight to Ohio for my first OVFF. So there's that.
  • I'm also grateful for my family. I'm not saying they keep me sane, but they do keep the craziness from getting completely self-destructive.
  • My cane deserves a mention. Even when my back and knees are almost recovered, it helps. If only to give me something to lean on if I have to stand up, and a seat on the bus so I don't have to stand on something that's moving.
  • And of course continuing employment, along with an increase in productivity.
  • And finally, fervent thanks that things are not as bad as they could be.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

This week was marked by total failure to get our new washer/dryer installed. Also total failure to find the breaker that controls the outlet, so that I could re-install the 30A outlet that it had originally. In order to get the damned thing installed we would have had to remove the stairlift rail. Not happening. Two different crews tried. I suspect that a team of house-movers might have been able to do it. We'll get in touch with Home Depot on Tuesday (the appropriate person is gone for Labor Day weekend) and work out a swap.

I'm still employed, and have both help and a plan for the missing piece of $LATE_PROJECT. I still screwed up badly.

I got a new hard drive to replace the one with bad sectors in Nova, but haven't done the transfer yet. It's less urgent now that I've moved the files containing the bad blocks aside.

In other network news, I have DNS up (after much procrastination). The household's domain is, of course, "rainbows.end". Fortunately, ".end" isn't a valid TLD. (This morning I installed my spare router, running DD-WRT, in place of the stock Netgear that I couldn't persuade to serve more than one name server from DHCP.)

I still don't feel as though I'm getting much done. I am starting to work through (CCI) Put Off Procrastinating! -- CCI is an awesome resource.

Links and details in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open!. I left a prompt

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

Mixed productive and un-, but I got a few things accomplished and I'm still employed, and that's something. A fairly eventful week. I've put off posting so as to get the end of the month in. Last week I delayed posting to get in the last day of Sasquan. I am not a stickler for unvarying periodicity.

Last Tuesday (that is, a week ago) our new washer/dryer was delivered. They didn't install it because I hadn't taken the stairlift carriages off the rails. (So I'm working from home today so that I can do that.) (...and have done that, as of posting time. I'm on my lunch break.)

My server, nova, has been throwing errors on sda; I went and ordered a new drive. Sunday I also did some long-delayed system administration work, and got the intranet web server up. The main advantage of this is that now I can preview web pages that I'm working on without having to deploy them. Started working on the DNS configuration, but haven't gotten back to it.

Saturday there was a serious wind storm. Trees down, power out in many places (not at Rainbow's End, thankfully). Including many places on the way to the Tricky Pixie concert in Kenmore. We'd planned on getting dinner at Third Place Commons, but their power was off. We headed on up the road, and finally landed at the Bothell QFC, where we bought cold cuts. Had ourselves a picnic in the van while waiting for the doors to open.

The concert itself was spectacular.

My back, knees, etc. seem to be back in working order, which is to say that I have occasional twinges, but not enough to keep me from walking or lifting things. Managed Colleen's scooter just fine on Saturday.

Links in the notes. Best one is this wonderful spoof of a drug commercial [video].

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I didn't post Sunday because I was still at Worldcon. And yesterday I was just too wiped out. But here I am, days late (and thousands of dollars short, but that's another complaint).

Sasquan made a pretty good filk con. That's literally all the programming I got to. The concerts, mostly; not even much open filking. I had a half-hour concert slot; it went well. Riverheart, For Amy, The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of, Where the Heart Is, Windward, Toolmakers, Keep the Dream Alive. Most of my most intensely emotional repertoire; my voice broke a little on everything but Riverheart and Toolmakers, but not so much that I couldn't keep singing.

If you have a recording of it, I need a copy. Thanks. I'll mail you a thumb drive, or you can share it on Google or Dropbox. No processing necessary -- I can handle raw .WAV or (better) .FLAC files.

Until this year I rarely did much more than choke up a little. The last time I remember really having trouble making it through a song without crying was 1986. (See last song in the set.) I seem to be more open to my emotions -- my grief, anyway -- and that's a good thing. It's worlds better than being numb.

The smoke -- much of central Washington is on fire -- was particularly bad Friday night. Saturday was almost clear, but it came back Sunday.

I spent a lot of my time, including most of my time sitting in concerts, writing. Mostly, the Rainbow Bridge page, and Curio's page under it; the latter is still in progress, so I won't link to it yet. It's hard.

Links and more details in the notes, including a couple of Wikipedia dives and the preliminary setlists.

raw notes, with links )

At Sasquan

Aug. 21st, 2015 07:16 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

We arrived at Sasquan, or rather at our hotel, around 3:30pm. after having left at 10:15, only 15 minutes behind schedule. Not too bad a drive; would probably have been close to the 4 hours Google said it would be if we hadn't run into bad traffic in Seattle and road work in the middle of nowhere.

Several good conversations.

My only program item is my half-hour concert today (Friday) at 2:30pm. I'll be doing mostly songs from the album I need to get (re)started on Real Soon Now(TM), Amethyst Rose.

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

So the big things this week were getting the drains fixed (for somewhere north of $10K), and getting word from Safeco that they'll cover a good part of the water mitigation. Though not all of it, and none of the reconstruction afterward. But that's still something in five figures that we won't have to deal with.

We will still need a loan.

Last Sunday I finally started practicing for my half-hour set at Sasquan (Friday afternoon). First time I've had to stop singing because I was crying -- For Amy followed by The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of just hit all my buttons, but I even choked up some on Where the Heart Is and Windward. Losing a home is also a trigger right now - that's still a danger, if anything happens that makes me unable to work.

Oh, yeah; about work. It seems that the part of the late project that I thought was simplest, isn't (for non-technical reasons -- basically office politics). I was, apparently, relying on old information when I made the estimate. :P

I was able to get through my entire set last night without even choking up. There are still some rough spots in the chords, but that's something I can work on.

My back is pretty much back to normal (meaning it aches a little when I over-use it, but I can mostly take it for granted). Now, of course, my right knee is giving me trouble. Cane GOOD.

My mood is now merely down, rather than severely depressed and anxious. I'll take it.

Some interesting reading -- links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week, though not as bad as the week before. It scares me how close I am to the edge -- in several ways.

On the good side, the potential trainwreck at work has been averted (or possibly just postponed; too early to tell for sure). N has given me a firm talking-to (because she noticed that I respond best to a firm talking-to when I think I deserve it), assuring me that we're family even if I screw up completely, and that we'll find a way to make things work. On good days, I can believe it. Mom was also very encouraging when she called me on Sunday. My back is just about back to normal (which of course is dangerous, since I might be tempted to do too much and re-injure it).

On the bad side, the downstairs is still a disaster. We're going to have to take out a loan for the repairs, which are going to be extensive (and expensive) due to the long-standing water damage. Jeff, the guy from (water mitigation company)Servpro, was very helpful and informative. He arrived just as the plumber was leaving -- the plumber was not helpful.

On the gripping hand, the loan will mean that we won't have to worry too much about the construction budget. We decided to try to make the kitchen into a spare room. Can't be officially a bedroom because it doesn't have an alternative fire exit, but we don't use it as a kitchen.

I completely failed to notice that Tuesday was also Ame's birthday; I only remembered on Thursday when the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing reminded me. She would have beem 25 years old. (She assured me that it was ok, and besides, she has Curio now. Yes, some of my ghosts talk to me. It's comforting even though I know, intellectually, that it's all in my head. The grief is also in my head, so it works out.)

Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Bad week. Everything is falling apart at once.

The house has water damage in several places -- insurance will hopefully cover the immediate damage from the washer with the broken door seal, but the ancient drain pipes have also out, and the pre-existing damage *isn't* covered. And the upstairs washer is so full of wadded-up lint that it's not worth fixing; not clear whether a stuffy or something came apart in there, or it's just the same lint we've been gettig. Flawed design. The appliance guy didn't help, by not showing up TWICE, and not telling us about the problem on either of his two previous visits.

We brought Curio's ashes home yesterday. He's now sitting on the top shelf of the (appropriately enough) curio cabinet -- he can finally stay there as long as he wants. They also gave us a little clay tablet with his pawprints, and his name stamped into it. That's in the cabinet with his collar and the little packet of his fur, under the watchful eyes of the ceramic flying pig.

I'm secondary oncall at work this week (my first time; I somehow managed to avoid it so far), and feel like I've been falling farther behind every day despite working flat-out. I feel like I'm failing.

Not to mention the fact that I stupidly locked up my work laptop by typing my home machine's password at it, too many times, before I'd finished my coffee this morning. Because I stupidly set my screen background to the same picture of Curio as my home computer. I'm going to have to go in and get my account unlocked. (Added: the desktop worked -- apparently only the laptop was locked, because it wasn't on the VPN at the time -- so I was able to do the deployment I had scheduled, which went encouragingly smoothly; I'll get the lappy dealt with when I go in tomorrow morning.)

The fact that my psych meds were ineffective until we changed them a month ago didn't help, either. I was walking around in a fog of depression and apathy.

I'm burned out. I long to retire -- it would also help a lot to have somebody at home -- but don't see how I can afford to at this point. It will be next to impossible to get a new job at my age, no matter how much I need one, but I'm working on it, because $A is killing me.

The only good news is that my back seems to be pretty much back to normal, though I still have to be careful. And that, after I spoke with my TPM, I'm going to get some help with my late project. Things might not be as bleak as I feel. Might. Dinner and a talk with my Mom helped, too.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week. I made it through only with help from Emmy and her friends, who were able to do the lifting I needed. Drove to work Thursday and Friday. Got a fairly large amount of work done, including yesterday and today. I'm continuing to lose weight; not entirely clear whether that's due to anxiety or the fact that I've been skipping breakfast. Initially that was because of the back, but now I seem to have gotten used to it.

I'm like a cat. When something is going wrong my first instinct is to crawl off in a corner and hide. Doesn't work.

I suspect that the depression has been killing my ability to focus; now that I'm finally coming out of it I can see the damage it's done, and work to mitigate it. Hopefully.

It's very clear that what makes me vulnerable to QL muscle problems is my love of shoulder bags (and to a lesser extent any unbalanced load). I have switched to backpacks. I have two rolling backpacks, but neither is especially comfortable as a backpack; I'm using the Lenovo backpack I got from $A. On the other hand, my back continues to improve; the last couple of days it's been down to an easily-ignorable ache most of the time. Walking helps, standing hurts. Taking the bus Monday was marginal due to the rough ride; I should be ok now that the pain is down to a manageable level. I've gone from being unable to move without the cane, to finding it more of a hindrance most of the time.

Posted Curio: Memories, pictures, and resources last Sunday, partly in response to a request for links. The raw links are in the notes, slightly updated from what I posted.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Not a whole lot to be thankful for, but...

  • My back being much better than it was last Thursday. Of course, that's not hard.
  • Not crying whenever something reminds me of Curio.
  • My cane.
  • Work as a distraction.
  • Good Drugs: methocarbamol, naproxen, acetaminophen, and bupropion in particular this week.
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

I keep listening to the jingle of the little bell and tag on his collar. Our other cats are quiet little ninjas. When I couldn't find him I'd call his name and he'd jingle. When he stopped responding to his name I knew something was wrong.

I've said that he was "my cat", because he chose me and loved me and followed me, but in truth he was more Colleen's cat. She was the only one whose lap he would sit on. He would curl up there for hours, or sit on the footrest of her recliner, or lie on her chest next to her heart.

When he started being a picky eater, she was the one who made sure he ate, and chased the other cats away from his bowl. She fed him cat treats, and when we had bacon for breakfast she would break off pieces for him.

pictures under the cut. If you're on LJ, go over to Dreamwidth, which does a better job of scaling the pix. )

Finally, here are some links related to FIP:

links, cut for length. )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

Long month this last week. Last Sunday, when I st/rolled to the West Seattle street fair with Colleen and G, and swapped songs in the Great Room with N, G, and G's friend Ed, seems like it happened to somebody else, long ago.

It's now four days since I helped my dear friend Curio cross the Rainbow Bridge, and learned that I could cry again. Three days since I pulled my left QL muscle again, walked an agonizing third of a mile home from the bus stop, and re-learned how to use a cane. Less than two days since our friend Jim Pearce died.

My sister Naomi was there for me with Curio, and again after my injury. Colleen and I have cried on one another's shoulders more than once. Desti, our household incarnation of Bast, has sat with me and comforted me. Friends have written condolences. My back feels better this morning, but there are too many empty places in my heart, and they ache.

Please, Universe: I understand that life and health are fragile things. You don't have to keep reminding me.

Links and more in the notes, as usual.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

A bear walks into a bar, and puts a dollar in the jar.

"KahlĂșa and cream, Mike." It's not his usual genever, but he's not the first bear to order that drink this week. He takes it to the chalk line and stands for a while, sipping the drink and fingering something in his pocket. Finally, he raises the glass.

"To Curio!", he says, and flings the glass into the fireplace.

He was always my cat, ever since he walked up to me in the shelter two years ago and said so. My sister had to translate for him -- I wasn't very fluent in feline at the time.

He was the most outgoing and easygoing of our cats, always willing to accept attention from anybody, but I'm the one he followed around, and asked to be picked up and carried by. He spent a lot of time on Colleen's lap, too, and when he started getting picky about food, she would empty a can of catfood into a small bowl and make sure he ate it.

At night I would pat the laundry hamper in the hallway and say "Up", and he would jump up for me to carry upstairs to bed, though he often leapt out of my arms and ran up the stairs ahead of me. Most nights he slept on our bed.

I made a pad of folded leopard-print, fuzzy fabric and set it on my desk so that he could lie or sit there and be petted while I worked on the computer. He made an excellent villain's cat. He liked high places; I once found him on the highest shelf in our bathroom, afraid to come down. Perhaps he knew I'd come rescue him.

Maybe a month ago he started eating less, and became more solitary. His breathing became labored. His last two weeks I would often come home to find that he'd spent all day in our closet, or on the cool tiles of the shower stall. I would carry him to Colleen, but he would only pick at his food. His last week, he was completely miserable; we made the earliest appointment we could. It was barely soon enough.

you may want to skip this part. Wish I could have. )

Somewhere in there, Naomi reminded me that cats live in the moment, and we had done the best we could to make his last moments good ones, surrounded by the people he loved.

And he had one last gift for me: he taught me to cry again. Long ago, I forgot how. Thank you, Curio, for giving me back my tears.

The bear sits back down, and puts a tattered red collar on the table in front of him.

In the end, he walked across the Rainbow Bridge calmly, eyes open and tail held high. In Valhalla, he's finally able to go outside, get wasted on catnip, and sleep on the grass in the sunlight. In the evening he walks across the tables -- he was never a lap cat except for Colleen -- and begs for scraps from the feasting warriors. He's especially fond of beef.

Sometimes, late at night, he'll go visiting. There's a petrified forest where it's always twilight, and a glade where stands an Amethyst Rose with obsidian thorns as sharp as Curio's claws. Sometimes Bast goes with him. Bast willing, I'll see them again some day.

mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Not much to be thankful for right now; it's been a bad month this week. I'll do what I can.

  • Two years with Curio, a wonderful cat who taught me just how much of a cat person I am, how to live in the moment, and several things I never knew about love.
  • Compassionate people.
  • Having a licensed massage therapist in the house when you need one.
  • Hot water.
  • Good Drugs. Special call-out this week to naproxen and methocarbamol.
  • Things not being worse.

NO thanks to

  • feline infectious peritonitis
  • my left quatratus lumborum muscle.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

L o n g  week. Nevertheless, it feels as though a whole lot of things didn't get done. A lot of things did, though.

Monday after work we went up to Mukilteo for Kat's 30th birthday dinner at the local Mongolian Grill. Um... does that mean my daughter is 30 years old? Eeeep! Also the drain pump on the upstairs washer died. Again.

Tuesday I had an appointment with the therapist at UW Shoreline Clinic. Possibly helpful. Now reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Also took Colleen to a dentist appointment in the afternoon.

I didn't get around to calling the repair place about the washer until Wednesday.

Thursday G came home from the hospital. I worked from home. We'd been planning a celebratory dinner, but everybody was just too wiped out, so we ordered pizza.

Friday the repair guy came out and made the obvious diagnosis, but didn't have a new pump on the truck. :P I went out to Trader Joe's and bought a pile of steaks for the delayed celebratory dinner.

Yesterday I was mostly a vegetable. Except for two loads of laundry (and four drier loads) -- thank goodness for the downstairs laundry room -- making dinner, a load of dishes, a not-entirely-successful PT session with G, ...

OK, I guess I've been doing things. I haven't been all that productive at work, though, which is a potential problem. I think I'm suffering from the fact that $WORK, like most workplaces these days, is explicitly set up only for extroverts. Not only is it open seating, without even cubicles, but you can't get anything done at all without interacting with other teams, and asking for help frequently. No wonder I seem to be burned out. I just hope I can make it to the end of the year, when my next batch of stock vests.

Oh, did I mention the back pain? Back pain. Left QL muscle.

Links in the notes, as usual.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Not a great week, but not terrible. The new antidepressant seems to be helping, and I've been moderately productive. Well, at work, anyway. Wasted all morning Friday on chat with CenturyLink trying to figure out why gigabit internet is available for new accounts (like for our basement "apartment") but not for the line we already have. I'm most likely to simply open the new account and drop internet from the house phone. Having a hardwired phone is good for emergencies anyway.

Thursday I finally got over 10,000 steps; first time since I got the new phone, which includes an always-on pedometer app.

Went out to buy fans yesterday. Home Depot sold out two weeks ago; so did Target. Bed Bath and Beyond had them, but most were expensive. Ended up spending 40 on a stand fan for the Rainbow Room, and 30 for a table fan for Emmy. Really wanted box fans, but there were none to be had.

Colleen and I watched the fireworks on livestream from one of the local stations.

Lots of anxiety, still some depression, and a fair amount of back pain. The latter may be related to the chair I've been sitting in in the Rainbow Room -- it has inadequate back support. Will probably have to do something about that, because I need to spend more time with Colleen there. As for the depression, my overall mood seems to be up a little, but it may be more variable. Still get overwhelmed, and I seem to have gotten worse at functioning through it. We'll see whether the ramped-up dose improves things.

Lots of good links in the notes:

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Been a couple of weeks. Today, mostly, I am profoundly grateful that things are not as bad as they could have been. More specifically, I am grateful for

  1. Things not being worse. (Could that be because nobody has told me to cheer up recently?)
  2. My family
  3. Being alive
  4. Good Drugs
  5. Music
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Mixed. Very mixed. Mostly bad.

The good stuff first, I think: we managed to recapture the cats when they escaped on Tuesday, and I had a couple of fairly productive days at work. Maybe that should be "at", since several of them involved working from home. And, of course, the recent Supreme Court decisions. My feeds are still full of rainbows.

OTOH, it will take about $5K to get gas turned on for the house, unless we can figure out a way to install a furnace. Which will cost even more, though it will be more efficient our current electric heating, and save money in the long run. And the really bad news: G was in an accident. Not nearly as bad as it could have been -- just a badly broken left arm (humerus), and a hairline fracture of the left fibula near the ankle. The fact that it's hairline means that he will be able to walk on it as soon as he can tolerate the pain. The fact that the broken arm is on the same side means that he can't use crutches.

OTGH, I'm on a new antidepressant (bupropion, which I've heard good things about), and should know in a week or two whether it's helping. Meanwhile, I'm stressed, still very anxious about work, and altogether not all together.

A LOT to be thankful for, but still not a very good week for the family.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week. My depression seems to have gotten worse (I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for Thursday and will discuss medication changes), stress from work has been high, my weight is back up after decreasing for a couple of weeks, and, and, and...

It doesn't help that last Sunday was Colleen's mother's birthday, and that today is Father's Day.

On the other hand, Colleen and I had a nice st/roll last week, to the local Farmer's Market about a mile away, which we plan on repeating today with the kids. Because Father's Day.

Pope Francis's much-anticipated encyclical, Laudato si' (24 May 2015), was an interesting read. Beautiful, though I found the theological parts baffling and a little disturbing. Clearly, I'm not part of the target audience; I hope it has a good effect on the people who are, though I don't have much hope. The Catholic Church has gone way the hell to the right since the '60s, when it was a prominent presence on the left.

Links and details in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Been a while. Not feeling particularly good, especially about myself. So...

  • Cats.
  • Ethanol.
  • Caffeine.
  • Silly stuff.
  • The Pope, mostly.
  • Hanging on by my fingernails.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A much better week than it could have been. (That may not be saying all that much, but...) I've been dreading my first one-on-one with my new boss (formerly grandboss, but boss moved to a different group about a month ago and hasn't been replaced yet), because I haven't been nearly as productive as I should be. My best guess is that it's due to depression, which has been getting worse, but knowing that doesn't really help.

This article in The Atlantic cites research to the effect that deadlines, especially externally-set deadlines, help with procrastination. Duh. Also not particularly helpful.

LookingGlass Folk, on the other hand, got in two more practice sessions; things are going pretty well musically.

Elseweb, meanwhile, Bloomberg Business Week devoted an entire issue to a 38Kword article by Paul Ford titled What is Code?. The web version is interactive (with coding exercises, simulations, and other fun stuff), and a behind-the-scenes article elsewhere, What Is 'What Is Code?', points to the whole thing on GitHub. Ford's article is aimed at managers with no technical background; it's entertaining, highly readable, and highly recommended. I suspect that a certain bright middle-schooler would enjoy it.

More links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )

...a n d ... a trivial edit to get it crossposted after updating my passwords.

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

Another rather unproductive week; this has (finally?) started to worry me enough to put two and two together. Yup -- depression is a disability. Need to get my meds adjusted, I think.

Meanwhile, I lost my phone; it apparently fell out of my bag as I was getting off the bus on Wednesday. Bought a new one on Friday, since it was eligible for an upgrade. So I got the Samsung S5 Mini, which is the next version after the S3 Mini I lost. It's noticably faster, and has better battery life and some interesting features, but it's highly annoying to have to waste hours and hours changing passwords and configuring the new phone. Bletch. Oh, and I couldn't get into my AT&T online account, nor reset the password. After two long (the second was just short of an hour) phone calls, what finally worked was basically deleting the online account and re-registering. Good grief!

They're the phone company; they don't have to have good customer service. Neither, apparently, does Olejo, the company I ordered Emmy's new futon frame from.

On the gripping hand, we had a couple of good band sessions.

Links and more in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

... in ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl!. Today's theme is "outgrowing old ideas."

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

Lookingglass Folk has started getting back into regular band work sessions (around noon on Sundays), and had a good discussion last week about playlists. And I posted a s4s (Songs for Saturday) post yesterday. So that's good. And I got some nice, and much-needed, cat time from Curio and Desti.

On the other hand, a lot of depression, anxiety, and overload this week. I'm... ok?... at the moment, but have very low expectations. The fact that depression can be counted as a disability is interesting, but it doesn't actually help -- I can't use it as an excuse for not getting stuff done. Even though work has often seemed like more than I can handle, even though I don't seem to be operating at anything close to the level I need to be at. Which, of course, feeds back into the depression and anxiety.

Help! I'm being attacked by vicious circles!

Links, and more, in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)

In view of this article in praise of clutter, on, it seems like a good idea to post "Bigger On the Inside" as today's Song for Saturday, a tradition that has been sadly lacking of late. Note especially the lines ""It's all the friendly clutter here / That makes it feel like home." Yeah, that.

I don't seem to have a recording of the most recent version, but The Baycon 2011 version does have audio: [ogg] [mp3]

This is very much our household's anthem.

Bigger On The Inside

© 1991, 2014 Stephen Savitzky. Creative Commons by-nc-sa License Some Rights Reserved.

Our house is bigger on the inside than it looks from on the street
There must be something odd about the way the corners meet.
We warn our friends about it, but they always seem surprised,
And I sometimes can't imagine how our stuff all fits inside.
    We have computers, toys, and magazines, and quiet cozy    nooks;
    The bathroom's lined with cedar planks, and the living room with books.
    There's boxes full of god- knows-what  in the attic up above,
    And we always keep good company and love.
Colleen is halfway buried as she crochets up a quilt 
I'm getting in some songs before my voice begins to wilt.
Kids are shouting back in Emmy's room, the pizza's getting hot;
Folks come over every Wednesday whether we're at home or not.
When we moved North to Rainbow's End some things got re-arranged;
The family's gotten bigger, but the main things haven't changed.
Folks are singing in the Great Room, and the chili's getting hot;
They come over every Sunday whether we're at home or not.
    We have computers, toys, and magazines, and quiet cozy    nooks;
    The bathroom's lined with tiles and the living rooms with books.
    There's boxes full of god- knows-what  in the cupboards up above,
    And we always keep good company and love.
There's a gallery of science-fiction pictures in the hall,
And something's taped or bolted on to each square foot of wall.
Our children's closets look just like a baby dragon's hoard;
It's true that we're disorganized, but at least we're seldom bored.
There's a guest crashed on the futon couch who's too wiped out to leave,
And something in the fridge that's been there since last Christmas eve.
We're packed in five dimensions, and through the twilight zone,
It's all the friendly clutter here that makes it feel like home.

Inspired by a friend's account of a visit to our house. At the Younger Daughter's insistence I have pluralized ``daughters'' in verse 2, and at the older's insistence changed the name in verse 3. Now, of course, ``some things got rearranged'', and the former verse 2 has moved down to verse 4, where ``daughters'' has become ``children''.

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

Rough week, mostly. Especially from Sunday through Tuesday; Naomi speculated that I may have been fighting off a bug. It's also possible that it was due to hypoglycemia or something else. Colleen's health is better, so that's something. The recent changes are, finally, working.

Curio's weight is back up -- almost to where the vet said it should be -- and I've been getting some good cat therapy from him and Desti. Cricket, though, has been a little escape artist. We're having to make sure she's locked up if more than one person tries to go out.

My workgroup is moving, so I worked from home Thursday and Friday -- that helps. I'm not enjoying work much, though; that's a problem.

Form CC-305 OMB Control Number 1250-0005 [pdf] "Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability" came by at work, and it lists major depression under "Disabilities include, but are not limited to". So (after sleeping on it) I checked the damned box. The label says "YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY (or previously had a disability)", so it doesn't matter whether I can handle it now. Not clear that I can, really. The label on the box is amusingly reminiscent of "Are you now or have you ever been..." -- which I guess is one of the reasons I hesitated.

Links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

The week's notable events were Mother's Day (including an expedition to the Burke Museum with the Younger Daughter), and Rika's house concert on Thursday. The latter was very thinly attended, but we had fun anyway. We have seating for 25-30 people. I found a couple of folding camp chairs on sale at Walgreen's for $10; used one last night for a couple of songs.

I turned up several long-missing items in the course of re-arranging furniture and looking for other missing items (which of course were nowhere to be found -- there may be a conservation law in effect here). Emmy put the Great Room into concert configuration and back; she's kind of unobtrusively amazing.

In the software area, I now have a workable 2-monitor configuration using x2x(1) between nova (the "server", running Debian Jessie) and trantor (the "desktop", running Ubuntu Trusty Taur). It's a very usable setup, if slightly odd-looking.

I'm back with my own group at work, though still working on some of the stuff I've been on loan to. I'm not really happy there, but it's a job.

ETA: and I somehow managed to post this a day early. :P

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Hmm. Long week. The week included a lot of moving stuff around setting things back up after the wedding; that's probably what's behind my current back problems. (See QOTD from yesterday.)

My loaner project at work is winding down, though not as quickly as I'd like. Not feeling very good about work right now.

On the gripping hand, the Great Room looks fantastic, with much more room in its new configuration (blue couch in the SE corner). And Colleen's new baker's rack nightstand has been installed, and looks great. And I upgraded Nova to Debian Jesse, which rocks. (Not entirely clear what I'll do with the extra monitor space; possibly mostly devote it to the file, which I usually edit on Nova anyway when I'm at home. x2x rocks, too.

I have to tell you about x2x(1). (For those of you still stuck on legacy operating systems, the equivalent is synergy or, if one of your machines runs linux, x2vnc.) It's the exact opposite of a remote desktop application (which you get for free in Linux) -- it lets you share a mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. You just sit their displays side by side, tell x2x which edges are next to one another, and your mouse slides smoothly between them, taking the keyboard with it. Cut and paste work perfectly. Indispensable. I also set it up at work, between my desktop and laptop.

Links in the notes, as usual.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

me: I keep reminding my back that when I told people I was going to spend this weekend recovering from last weekend, I meant it as a joke. My back isn't listening. I think it's related to a cat.

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