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

The main news this week is that my Mom had open-heart surgery Tuesday morning. They replaced her mitral valve, and repaired another (which wasn't in the original plan, so it went longer than expected). She was in really bad shape when my brother drove her to the hospital in the morning, and there was some debate as to whether they should do the surgery. She's 93.

We needn't have worried. They had her up and walking the next day; she called me on Wednesday sounding like her old self, and she's bouncing back much faster than her doctors expected. I'm not surprised; Mom's amazing, and she keeps on proving it.

The moon landing was 45 years ago last Sunday. Sad -- we were all sure there would be lunar colonies by now. Not to mention flying cars, robots, artifical intelligence, and free single-payer health care for everyone in the US.

Lots of good links in the notes.

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

Today I'm thankful for...

  • Friday.
  • Low mortgage interest rates.
  • The bug being another group's problem. Not my circus, not my monkey.
  • Apt phrases (see above).
  • Gin.
  • Kid hugs and cat cuddles.
  • A fridge with an icemaker.
  • New glasses (tomorrow).
  • Massage therapy.
  • ETA: Mom.

45

Jul. 20th, 2014 06:34 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

If I remember correctly, I watched the moon landing on the TV in the lounge at the Stanford AI Lab, 45 years ago today. It was the start of my first year of grad school.

I missed my 45th reunion at Carleton a few weeks ago. IIRC I went to my 25th, but it might have been my 30th.

My 50th high school reunion is next year.

I don't think I count as middle-aged anymore.

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

It's been a rough week, for some reason. Possibly knowing that the Starport is about to be gone forever. And that the money we make from the sale isn't going to come close to what we need. Don't get me wrong -- I love it here, I love my family, and I love our house. It's just...

A couple of fun wikipedia dives -- details in the notes, though I don't actually log the URLs.

Colleen and I went to Seattle Optix Tuesday and got measured for new glasses. It's been three years for her, and two for me, so it's definitely time.

Thursday after dinner we watched the dvd of Company, after listening to it in the car with Naomi (who is trying to educate me on Broadway since the '60s). The staging is weird, but it works.

The week wrapped up with a nice drive with Colleen, and salad from our garden with dinner.

There are links in the notes, as usual.

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

Today I am thankful for...

  • My favorite cats, Curio and Colleen.
  • My family. The whole, crazy, loving bunch of us.
  • My massage therapist.
  • A buyer. (If you want to buy the Starport, this weekend is your Last Chance!)
  • Good weather.
  • Good Drugs. Especially ethanol, caffeine and theobromine.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Good grief! I think I started this post a couple of hours ago. Bears are easily distracted.

Anyway, not too bad a week except for the fact that I'm extremely low on cash. Let's see.

Sunday was my older daughter Chaos's 29th birthday. Gleep. I'm not that old! Also, Glenn ran ethernet cable from the far side of the Great Room (where the cable comes in) to the Rainbow Room and the top of the stairs. We now have reliable WiFi in all parts of the house.

Tuesday I hauled out the old box fan and installed it in one of the windows in the Rainbow Room. (A few days later I screwed the screen down so the cats couldn't push it out and escape. They like the window sill.)

Wednesday I took Colleen to see her gastroenterologist, who gave her a clean bill of health. For the first time in half a dozen years! I also (finally) got around to re-enabling my backup and mirror crontab on nova, the file server. It hasn't seemed too important since I haven't been adding much, and everything I have worked on is under git control and backed up in multiple places, including offsite.

And yesterday I went with Colleen to the local annual street fair. The only thing we bought besides food was a couple of (purple, of course) sarongs. I wore one in the evening because the temperature had gotten up into the high eighties. Comfortable, and very practical around the house.

Lots of links. I've been spending too much time on G+, FB, and Wikipedia. You can tell.

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

Yeah, it's Saturday. Deal.

Today my gratitude extends to...

  • Scraping by
  • Street fairs
  • Colleen being well enough to go to a street fair
  • People who sell sunscreen at street fairs
  • Colleen bringing my attention to the fact that the potato chips taste sweet after the street fair
  • A freezer with an icemaker, and a fridge with a bottle of gin in it
  • A fan in the window
  • The fact that some things are "not my circus, not my monkey"
  • Not being the only techno-bear in the house.
  • City water
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Yesterday being a holiday, today felt like Sunday, so I'm doing my weekly update a little early. Pretty good week, on the whole.

Naomi, who is using me as a practice dummy for her massage therapy homework, checked out my lower leg pain and pronouced it "classic plantar fasciitis", largely on the basis of it being worst in the morning. ??! Apparently the fascia in question connect to the Achilles tendon, and from there on up around the calf muscles along the back of the leg to the knee. What she did, however, worked wonderfully all week.

I also summoned up the energy to finally do my taxes (I'd filed for an extension on the 15th). They still have a lot of estimation in them, so I should probably file an amended version. And, of course, set up installment payments. Ugh.

Monday I found a bunch of unpaid bills. Bletch.

Wednesday I took a treadmill echocardiogram test. I walked there from Cortiva; about a mile and a half. (The bus would have taken about the same time, and I need to exercise more.) For the test I had to get my heart rate up to 131bpm; I got it up to 181 and called a halt not because I couldn't go on but because I was getting tired enough to worry about doing something clumsy and injuring myself. I think my heart is OK.

Wednesday evening I started having some stabbing pain in my calf muscle (soleus, according to N). On investigation it turned out to be a little, deep knot (aka trigger point); I pushed hard on it with a finger, and it loosened up. I felt very pleased with myself.

Yesterday was, of course, Independence Day. We'll actually be doing our barbecue today; yesterday was just a nice, relaxing day at home. Colleen lay on the bed and watched fireworks. There were somewhere between three and five shows visible; the sound was more or less continuous. We could only see the bursts over the trees and hills, but it worked. Next year we'll have to set out chairs on the deck.

The increased dose of SSRI seems to be helping.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

*sigh* Another week of not enough money, not enough rain, not enough sleep, not enough time, not enough done, not enough interest in buying the Starport... I mostly just want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.

Here. Have some links. Real unicorns have curves.

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

It's been a rough week. Really rough.

Sunday was my 16th Father's Day without my father. Monday I went in to the ER with chest pain. The fact that it was entirely due to muscle aches and anxiety only made me feel stupid, especially since it's the second or third time I've done it and I should know by now.

Busy week at work. Can't say much about that, except that interacting with people from other groups, who I don't know, is stressful. As is interfacing with poorly-documented services. And work is a service-oriented architecture.

The Starport hasn't sold yet. I'm basically broke.

On the good side, N. may have finally identified the source of my lower back and hip problems: the right QL (quadratus lumborum) muscle. That's the one that put me flat on my back for a week 38 years ago, and apparently it's been dicey ever since. We'll see -- essentially no pain walking around with Colleen yesterday, and very little doing dishes this morning.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

Ok, so it's past due. So are a lot of things. I'm thankful for

  • Chest and arm pain turning out to be muscle aches and anxiety. I should learn to listen more closely to my body -- if I can walk half a mile to work without things getting worse, my heart is probably ok.
  • Insurance.
  • Income, even though there isn't quite enough of it.
  • Breakfast for dinner.
  • My family.
  • Plug-in hybrid car.
mdlbear: (rose)

This was the sixteenth Father's Day without my Dad. I miss him a lot.

It was also the sixteenth Mother's Day without Colleen's mom, whose birthday was yesterday.

And our old house in San Jose is on the market.

On the whole it's been a good weekend for nostalgia, but I'm not in the greatest of shape emotionally, even with antidepressants and alexithymia, and more cat cuddles than usual. Please bear with me.

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

Hmm. Lots of links this week. Not a whole lot else, except that Curio seems to have decided -- finally! -- that my lap is a good place to hang out. He sat in it for about two hours yesterday.

Yesterday Colleen and I went up to Sky Nursery and bought berry bushes and tomato plants, which I put in today. And today is Father's Day, which I will make a separate post about later.

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

From the Crowdfunding Creative Jam.

We called it Grand Central Starport.
It was our home for almost four decades --
We had parties, concerts, children, friends,
Laughter and tears, love and music.

We added a bedroom for each of our daughters,
And a ramp when Colleen lost her mobility.
There were more computers than people, 
Most of the time. We lined the walls with books.

I thought we would grow old and retire there.

It's up for sale now.

You can find it at 343LeighAve.com.

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

... so it must be the proper day to be thankful.

  • Curio.
  • Colleen.
  • Naomi.
  • The rest of this crazy, delightful family.
  • The new tenant.
  • A change in the weather.
  • Car CD players, and someone to commute with.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

The big news for this week is that the Starport is up for sale. You can see it at 343LeighAve.com/ (which immediately redirects to 343leighave.isnowforsale.com, but it's kind of cute anyway), here on Zillow, and likewise here, here, and here. Make me a high enough offer and I'll throw in theStarport.com.

Um... maybe I should update that site?

The miserable headache I had last night turns out to have been due to dehydration. I need to drink more. Water, that is. I probably don't need to drink more coffee or gin. Beer?

Comcast has been giving us trouble all week; first a widespread outage in our area on Tuesday, then video flakiness yesterday. Thinking seriously of dumping them and going to CenturyLink and Dish. Tempting.

Work has been fairly interesting; I'm starting to work on a new (internal) service. Which means learning new things, which is fun even while being frustrating.

I've been doing a lot of puttering, including some yardwork. I hate yardwork. Grumpy bear. For some reason I like putting dishes into the dishwasher, but not putting them away after they're clean. Why, yes, I am avoiding paperwork. I disappoint myself frequently.

The usual hodge-podge of links and random notes below.

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

Hey! It's Thursday! Um...

  • My family.
  • Carpooling with my sister again.
  • ssh [host] mv .zshrc foo # bears are easily entertained.
  • Payday, not a moment too soon.
  • A house on the market! Want to buy a Starport?
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I just left a prompt at YsabetWordsmith's poetry fishbowl.

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

Hmm. Not too bad of a week, though I did spend much of it depressed. I got myself an early Father's Day present in the form of a refurb 10" Galaxy Tab 3. I also upgraded my netbook to Ubuntu 14.04. Both had glitches at first; the tablet is back to normal after I removed a couple of apps, one of which was apparently slowing it down to the point where the touchscreen became unresponsive.

Quick tip: if the touchscreen works fine for a little while after a reboot, then becomes unresponsive, blame an app that's hogging the CPU. Some of the apps out there are absolute crap.

Turns out dentists these days are making crowns by milling them out of a solid block of ceramic with a CNC mill. Cool!

Yesterday I had a pretty good session with my doctor -- or rather my doctor's substitute while my doctor is out on maternity leave. Labwork, advice, and a higher dose of antidepressant. Hopefully that will help.

Notable quotes of mine from elsenet: (wisdom from the middle-aged bear?) "Balm throwers as the opposite of bomb throwers." "#NotAllChristians sounds a lot like #NotAllMen." The latter sparked an interesting discussion on FB, with thoughtful people pointing out that whether it's meant as derailing or educational depends on the intended audience. Me, I'm not a Christian, so...

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

Late again. I'm thankful for...

  • Getting Things Done.
  • Public transit.
  • Refurbs.
  • Cat cuddles.
  • My family.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I actually did some yardwork this week. I hate yardwork. Especially since a lot of it involves bending over, which is bad for my back. But I do it when I have to. Or when it involves gadgetry, like hose quick-connects.

I'd ordered some quick-connects from Amazon to supplement the ones I got at Home Despot on Sunday; quite predictably they disappeared when our housekeeper tidied up the Rainbow Room. I searched for quite a while. They finally turned up in the first place I'd thought to look: in their own box, hiding under the invoice. *facepalm*

Speaking of quick-connects, I recommend brass. The plastic ones I bought last year didn't make it through the winter. Admittedly, this was because I let water freeze in the hoses -- not something I had to deal with in San Jose. But still.

Naomi and I finally got ourselves into the hot tub, for a good soak and good conversation.

A couple of bad moments, mostly thinking about finances -- I use the "trainwreck" tag for a reason. I'm usually able to get past them quickly, and that probably isn't entirely a good thing. It would be better if they were an incentive to get things done rather than causing paralysis. Grumph.

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

Hmm. I see it's been two weeks since I last posted a "done" post. I've been mostly stressed and depressed, though today has been pretty good for some reason.

I've been doing quite a lot of puttering and other housework. It probably helps my mood -- at least in the short term: it's clearly a distraction from the really nasty problems. Most of which involve money, and are going to get worse until we can sell the Starport. Offer me 800K and it's yours.

Two weeks is too much to summarize. Looking back over it, I've actually done a fair amount. Just... not so much in comparison to what still needs doing. And not enough to make me feel good about myself.

{Stop it, Bear. You're not helping.}

Don't know which of my inner voices that was, but it's right.

Last night's Vixy and Tony concert was good, and Colleen has been walking more.

Links and a little commentary in the notes.

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

I've been seeing a number of complaints on my friends page about the new LJ homepage. Here's how you fix it:

  1. Go to your friends page. It's [your-user-name].livejournal.com/friends .
  2. Bookmark it.
  3. Never go to the LJ home page again.
mdlbear: (sparkly rose)

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, and especially my mom, Lynn, and my kids' mom, Colleen.

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

Hmm. *Makes effort not to think of problems.* *Fails and starts over.*

Today I'm thankful for

  • Peace and quiet.
  • Kids around the house. (Note that this and the previous item are mostly mutually exclusive in time.)
  • Cats, both two- and four-legged.
  • Leftovers for breakfast.
  • Public transit.
  • An operating system with free upgrades.
mdlbear: (river)

I haven't been writing much at all lately. I'm thinking it's time I did. There are a good number of things I'd like to get back to work on; some of you might have preferences or suggestions.

Part the First: Once and Future Posts

There are several series of themed posts I'd like to get back to work on. I suppose I might be able to put out one or two -- not one of each, though that would be really nice -- every week. We'll start with the ongoing series -- there's a lot of meta work that needs to be done, like a landing page, tagging the strays, and so on.

Not to mention copying them onto my website, and working out a way to host them there and have them crosspost onto DW, LJ, etc. rather than the other way around.

The River

The longest-running series of blog posts so far is The River -- posts here tend to be introspective, on sub-themes like friendship, love (whatever that is), stress, depression, and the care and feeding of geeks. If you want to start at the beginning, it's here at skip=500. Gleep.

I'm going to keep going with this, of course. At one point I was thinking of gathering the posts between 2008 and 2010 or thereabouts into a book, with the title Two Years On the River, but of course never got around to it. Plausible?

Technology

Most of these articles never got onto LJ; it's a series of artcles on my website over a decade ago. This is mainly about Linux. Other articles along that line include Adventures in Family Computing. Repost them on DW? There are also a lot of computer and networking posts that could easily fall into this category.

I could probably put things like cooking, woodworking, and my post about how to load a dishwasher under here.

Things with Tales

This one really needs some organization. I've written about several of my "things", including luggage, laptops, and musical instruments, but the only tagged one at the moment is The Hartmann bag.

Songs for Saturday

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I should get back to it. Even though it quickly became rather a lot of work, it had and has the advantage of being based on (but be careful always to call it please) research rather than originality.

It occurs to me that I could easily fill this in by posting some of the notes/backstories of my songs. Hmm.

Songs and Poems

In addition to writing more of these, I need to go back and consolidate the tags, since I see that I've also used "songs" and "poems" in a couple of cases.

Should I post highlights from the past? Dredge up some of the poetry I wrote in college and type it in? Grovel through the usenet archives?

Understanding Ursine

This is a project I've been thinking about for a couple of years now; I seem to recall making a bit of a start in a River post. You see, my use of language tends to be a little, shall we say, idiosyncratic. Words and phrases like "sorry" and "working on it" could easily generate a longish post.

Part the Second: Fiction

I've always wanted to write science fiction. I've always been pretty bad at it. This may be something I could work on. There are two longish pieces that were, at one point, almost "finished" in the sense of having a beginning, middle, and end, with a semblance of plot in the middle. Both would require a fair amount of work.

Rambling Rose

This is probably the closest thing to a finished story, best described as the back story to my song The Rambling Silver Rose (and something of a sequel to Bound For Hackers' Heaven. It's 700-odd lines; maybe serialize it here? That would be good for a couple of posts. What's a good size?

A Place to Run Free

Bound For Hackers' Heaven isn't just a song; it actually came out of a story that I wrote back in 1988. Along with several others, some of which are on my CD. And it's part of the backstory to Silk and Steel. It has a lot going for it, and it needs a nearly-complete rewrite. I mean, 1988.

It's written as a series of forwarded emails. The absolute minimum that could be done to fix it would be to change the framing to make them blog posts, pin down the dates (in 2030 and 2038), and change the author of the cover letter from Lexy to the viewpoint character, Lady Melody. Who is an AI built into a guitar.

On the other hand, a rewrite would be a pretty big can of worms to open -- the temptation would be to fill in more pieces of the blog, and to tie it in with S&S (which takes place at least seven years later, and there's a huge hole in between). (It's also 150 years before Rose; the Lady is still around, of course, and so is Hacktown, which gets a brief mention.)

But it would be fun. I think.

Part the Third: Longer Non-Fiction

Of course, any of the post series could turn into a book, though not all of them would benefit from such treatment. Here we turn to the few projects that were planned from the start as books, and are far enough along to actually have a hope of getting finished.

Neither of these is on the web, and both are written in LaTeX (which isn't an insurmountable problem -- there's a LaTeX-to-HTML converter which I've used quite a lot).

The BIG Number Book

This is actually pretty much finished, and has been since 1999, except that it's meant as a kids' book, so it needs illustrations. A large number of them.

The Magic Mirror

If Rambling Rose is the back-story behind The Rambling Silver Rose, The Magic Mirror is the back-story behind The World Inside the Crystal. Inside the computer is a world where magic works.

I really need to get back to this. The oldest commit log message, from 1998, says "initial checkin of Aug 18, 1996 version". The only thing after that is a minor spelling correction. So, yeah. Needs updating.

There's an outline and the chapter heads, but it's very incomplete. And of course it predates most of what we think of as the Web.

So there you have it.

Thoughts? Did I mention that I tend to get paralyzed when I have too many choices? Yeah, that. Did I also mention my recording projects? I did not. Those have been stalled for a few years, too.

Sometime soon, maybe even this week, I should post something more about where I intend to go from here. Getting the nonfiction books onto the web might be good places to start, though it's always tempting to spend time revising, editing, and organizing rather than actually writing.

I don't have a very good track record with New Year's resolutions, either.

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

Not much going on here at Rainbow's End. This is probably a good thing, on the whole. I worked from home May Day afternoon to avoid the insanity of parades and demonstrations -- I would have had to cross Fourth Avenue, the usual parade route, to get to the bus stop.

I had a nice shopping expedition with Colleen yesterday, to Home Depot and Safeway. We used the van -- which she can finally get into! -- and the stores' scooters.

I also spent some time yesterday writing up a summary of the writing projects I'm wanting to get back to. Some are pretty current; others haven't been touched in decades. So I'll probably post that later today. I'm thinking most of it will be behind a cut -- it's pretty long. The alternative would be serializing it in three or four parts. Thoughts?

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

Today I'm grateful for...

  • Unions! Little things like the five-day work week, the eight-hour work day, paid time off... We didn't always have them.
  • Spring! The First of May! Spring weather!
  • Music at Rainbow's End. Most of the people reading this will have missed two terrific concerts already.
  • The wonderful people I live with.
  • Friends. Friends help you move. Yup.
  • Cats!
  • Public transit.
  • Not being the only geek in the house.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Sunday we unloaded the U-Haul, and returned it. Then Colleen went with Liz and Ogg to Pike Place Market while I stayed home and puttered. She got into the van by herself -- first time she's used it since she broke her ankle 11 months ago.

Gad! 11 months!

It's nice to have our tools back. Both gardening tools, and some of the less-used woodworking tools. And one of our workbenches.

Not much else besides links. I ordered some books. Still fighting depression. The usual.

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

I'm going to go at this backwards, because last night's house concert was amazing. Tracy Grammer is amazing - vocalist, guitarist, storyteller, and more recently songwriter. In addition to being an all-around sweet person.

I missed the chance to socialize before the concert because I was busy trying to get the tech to work -- it was the first time in a long time that I'd used that mixer, and I was also short on cables. Managed to cobble things together, but it took longer than it should have. Grumble. Well, next time...

(Speaking of which, the next concert we have scheduled is Wax Chaotic, on August 23rd. Interested in a gig? Talk to me or Naomi.)

The week started out pretty well, too -- the morning coffeeshop service at the Doubletree was good (in contrast to the lunch/dinner service, which suffered from being seriously understaffed), and it was about the easiest load-out ever from a local con. Packing light has its advantages.

In between, of course, I was working, so there isn't much to be said about that.

I also woke up very early a couple of times. If it wasn't for the inevitable oversleeping the next couple of days I'd want to do it every day.

Links in the notes, as usual.

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

Doing somewhat better tonight -- it's hard to be depressed with a cat on one's lap. (I can do it, but it's harder.) Anyway, today I'm thankful for...

  • A house big enough for concerts, like Tracy Grammer here this Saturday night!
  • A cat who has finally decided that my lap is an ok place to hang out sometimes. Better than drugs.
  • Friends willing to drive a U-Haul over 800 miles after loading it up with the last of our stuff from the Starport. Friends help you move.
  • Not having a need for good friends from the previously-referenced joke.
  • Nice weather.
  • Not being woken in the middle of the night. (Not thankful for Monday night.)
  • Refactoring operations in Eclipse.
  • Leftovers for breakfast. Especially when they include something I can make into fried rice.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A rather boring week bracketed by great music. Last Sunday we had Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps at Rainbow's End's first house concert. And this weekend we're at Norwescon, with both concerts and filking (see notes)... and the high point was, definitely, Glenn proposing marriage to Naomi during the intermission. She said yes. Heather had ended her first set with "As I Am".

The second set was all about love and marriage. (Not both together, necessarily -- it included "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife".)

On the flip side, I continue to be arthritic and mildly depressed. The low point of the week was filing for an extension on my taxes. Which was a mistake -- I should have filed and then filed an amended return when I finally get all the deductions and business expenses together. It was, of course, horrendous: I sold a lot of stock to buy and renovate Rainbow's End.

I haven't been enjoying Norwescon all that much. Mostly hiding in a corner reading on my laptop. Grump. Grumpity grump. Oh, and the hotel's wifi is seriously overloaded, and the restaurant service is slow and barely competent. *sigh*

There are links in the notes, as usual. The perceptive reader may also notice an item at the end of the notes that will, hopefully, turn into a post sometime soon.

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

So... today I'm thankful for...

  • Music and musicians.
  • A room big enough for house concerts!
  • Kids and cats.
  • Gin.
  • The ability to hold things more or less together in public.

I'd add "getting the taxes done" except that I didn't. Bit of a short list today. Sorry about that.

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

The big news here at Rainbow's End is the first of our house concerts -- Heather Dale is singing here tonight! Doors open at 7:30, and there's still space. Probably.

The big news everywhere else on the internet is the Heartbleed Bug. Yes, it's bad. Most banking sites, fortunately, aren't affected, but Google (for example) is. Wait until a site has installed patches before you bother changing your password. And if you're using the same password on multiple sites, Don't Do That Anymore! -- you know better, don't you?

Essentially no work on the taxes. Ouch! I'm going to overestimate, put it on installments, and file for an extension. Though, every deduction I can find today and tomorrow will help.

Lots of links in the notes.

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

Lots of puttering. In part because we're getting ready for Heather Dale's house concert this coming Sunday (contact me or Naomi if you're interested in attending), and in part because it's a way of feeling that I'm doing something useful while avoiding the taxes.

I was on tap for jury duty Wednesday and Thursday -- had to go in, but didn't get picked, or even assigned to a case. Oh, well. I've only been on a jury once -- very educational. The people running the jury assembly room were very competent, and did their best to make it a good experience. Successfully, in my opinion.

Three of Colleen's roses arrived on Tuesday; they finally got planted today.

A little noodling -- I need to practice more. And we need to encourage Colleen to sing more.

Links, as usual.

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

What do you know? Thursday! I'm thankful for...

  • A well-run jury waiting room.
  • An easy commute.
  • Family.
  • Geeks in the house.
  • Walking more than a mile without getting tired or sore. Two days in a row.
  • Eggs and tofu.
  • Musicians.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Short one this time, to close out the month. Sunday I fired up the Mac Mini, loaded up the software that I still think of as TaxCut even though H+R Block renamed it several years ago, and did a rough cut. Ouch. I haven't touched my taxes since Sunday, but it really improved my mood to find out that I could pay in installments. Improved it temporarily, anyway. Dysthymia never really goes away. I still need to track down the rest of my deductions, but I have the biggest ones in, so the bottom line won't change more than a couple of grand.

Quite a few good links. Go for it.

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

I guess there's something about knowing how bad it's going to be. Also knowing that I can pay off my tax bill in installments, because it's going to be bad. Really bad. There's a reason why my financial posts are tagged "trainwreck".

I finally got off my arse and sorted my piles of receipts and the like, and this morning (so it's not in the notes yet -- you'll have to wait until next month) installed the software (which I still think of as TaxCut) and did the preliminary data entry. There are still some sizeable pieces missing, but I've been making progress.

I also got a couple of phone calls made -- I hate making phone calls.

I was depressed and anxious most of the week. At least I noticed -- for someone with alexithymia, that's an improvement.

On the up side, we watched Frozen last weekend -- excellent. Passes the Bechdel test.

Links in the notes.

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

Like it says on the label. I'm having a hard time feeling much of anything right now, I think.

Anyway, I'm thankful for...

  • The ability to pay bills online.
  • Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
  • Credit. Are we sensing a theme here?
  • People who get after me to get stuff done.
  • People who know me well enough to be able to tell me what I'm feeling. See Alexithymia
  • Cats. Both two- and four-legged.
  • Gin.
  • Cuddles.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Mostly a good week, though you may note that I have little report on work-days. Friday noon was the kick-off for a recruitment drive at work -- my team is hiring in Seattle, and I'll be happy to give you a referral if you find an interesting-looking posting for a different location. We're looking for all sorts of people, not just developers.

Yesterday I sort of fell apart. My alexithymia means that I don't know exactly how I fell apart -- the morning bit definitely felt like depression, while the afternoon (possibly triggered by working on taxes) felt more like anxiety. Naomi and Glenn said that I appeared to be having an anxiety attack when they saw me around bedtime. Can one have a depression attack? It was fairly brief.

I don't think my current antidepressant is getting me anything but the weight gain listed as a side effect.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

Oh. Right. I started working on this an hour or so ago and got distracted when my Mom called. So.

Last Monday was our return from Consonance -- I'd booked the latest flight, which allowed us to do some visiting and talk with the realtor. It seems many people are sad about losing the Starport -- it has, after all, been a fannish landmark for over three decades. *sigh* Keeping two houses just isn't feasible. I just hope the proceeds are enough to cover the new construction.

Naomi's friend Rika flew up with her and spent the week; we had quite a lot of music at the house, and visitors most nights. No complaints from me! The week ended with Colleen's birthday party yesterday. We still haven't built up a good list for these things; we'll have to work on that. Also a household calendar and mailing list -- probably means I have an excuse to learn Wordpress, or something like it.

Yesterday, along with the party, I installed a pair of powerline ethernet dongles. Took me forever to do it, partly because the house has two breaker boxes (meaning there are outlets that can't talk to one another), and partly because I misunderstood how the "sync" button works. It really means "rotate keys", not "synchronize" :P. The extension router is now installed in the coffee niche.

The gadgets are advertised as "500MHz", but only have 100MHz ethernet; 500 must be the aggregate across all nodes in the network. We definitely need to install some cable. *sigh*

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

So today I got a filk circle at Rainbow's End for my birthday. So... that.

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Music
  • 67 years
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

The main event this last week was, of course, Consonance . Fun! I signed Lookingglass Folk up for a 2x10 on Sunday, along with international guest Rika Koerte, who is one of N's dearest friends. We sang "Lord Of the Buffalo" -- we'd been planning to sing The Fox as well, but the sound crew had an incredible amount of trouble setting us up. No idea why.

I also got a surprise 2x10 slot on Saturday, because they were short on sign-ups. Did a quick solo of "Bigger On the Inside" (with an extra Rainbow's End verse scribbled down during the previous two songs) and "Wheelin'".

Both sets were well-received. I also had a long conversation/song-swap with a guy named Ashton (no relation to the UXBF), a Mills College grad student working on a paper on filk as an oral tradition. Many songs, including QV, Ship of Stone, World Inside the Crystal, and Keep the Dream Alive. Others.

I re-packed for the trip, going from the JanSport backpack/shoulder bag (itself a re-pack from the old REI shoulder bag) to the new rolling backpack that I picked up a few weeks ago. Both modes proved extremely useful. A couple of things didn't get packed, though, including a small power strip, which would have been handy in the airport.

The con was back in the Milpitas Crowne Plaza (which calls itself the San Jose/Silicon Valley CP, because who's heard of Milpitas); recently remodeled. The changes are mostly a win -- there are more power outlets in the lobby, and our (accessible) room had a door that opens outward, which is a major win. The toilet, not so much, and the bed was as usual way too high for Colleen. Wait staff spread seriously thin.

Anyway, good con.

We also met with our realtor -- the Starport should officially go on the market sometime around the end of May.

I also got my WiFi extension hooked up, via a dumb travel router; it has a bridge mode, but won't connect to a secured network in that mode. I promptly ordered a set of high-speed power-line Ethernet interfaces, but haven't set them up yet because they don't work through surge suppressors. Which we have on both ends, because electronics.

  • The other small router, the DIR-505, would have worked better except its receiver sucks -- it couldn't make a connection with either of our access points, despite the fact that my laptop had no problems only 2m away. :P
  • raw notes, with links )
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    So today I am down in San Jose for Consonance, and thankful for

    • Air travel.
    • Filk cons.
    • Old friends.
    • New family.
    • Our architects. It's going to be awesome!
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    Well, ... not much done. Colleen thinks my recent depression is due to proximity to Dad's death-day -- but that was most of a month ago (Feb. 5 -- I always have to look it up). SAD may be a factor, too, but the days have been getting longer. So... damned if I know. I suspect my current antidepressant may be losing its effectiveness. Faster than the last one.

    I've been busy at work, but nothing to write about.

    So... yeah. Links, as usual, mostly from last Sunday.

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

    Not a lot going on. I've been mildly depressed, so basically not wanting to do anything but sleep, eat, work, and read. You will observe that making phone calls, paying bills, and getting ready to do my taxes are not on that list, which adds anxiety to the depression.

    All is not entirely bleak -- I did get the mac mini fired up so I can run the tax software on it, and I got a few boxes emptied in the garage. And Colleen and I went out to lunch (Mexican) on Wednesday on the way back from the dentist, and to dinner last night (Salty's, a seafood place on Alki Beach that we'd been wanting to try). Salty's was pricey, but good, and they had oysters.

    On the gripping hand, I managed to destroy another of our non-stick pans, by leaving the burner on after serving myself. Unlike a gas stove, where leaving the burner on is immediately obvious, it isn't on this one. So that sucks.

    Our van got a "move it or else" ticket Friday, so most of yesterday afternoon was spent jump-starting it, driving over to the dealer in Issaquah, and taking the bus home. Our usual dealer, in Lake City, doesn't have a service department that's open Saturdays. So... Anyway, I'm not going to count that as either a positive or a negative -- it was a hassle, and it's going to come out somewhere north of a grand to do all the work, but it needed doing.

    The usual collection of links.

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

    For the first time in a couple of weeks. Anyway. Today I am thankful for...

    • My financial advisors.
    • Employment.
    • Rainbow's End.
    • The people and cats of Rainbow's End.
    • IEEE 802.11N
    • RFC 1149
    • Whimsy
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    I've been mostly feeling rather distressed this last week, but I remember that yesterday at the Seattle Home Show when people asked me how I was doing, I answered "good" without hesitation. Soooooo... damned if I know. It's likely that I was feeling anxious about taxes, but that for the last couple of days (since meeting our architects on Thursday) I've been optimistically thinking about the upcoming remodel. Whatever?

    The meeting with the architects was fun -- they said "Tell us who you are" and I said "I think this is where I burst into song" and sang "Bigger On the Inside". Whee!

    ... and then, as I mentioned, we went to the Home Show. Naomi and Glenn went early; Colleen and I followed later. Colleen and I bought pillows (memory foam with bamboo outer sleeves) and a couple of ozone generators, and Naomi found us a fabulous deal on a floor model Softub. It'll be delivered after the show. WIN.

    Links, as usual, in the notes.

    raw notes, with links )
    mdlbear: (valentined)

    OK, so it's a day late. It's still a good day to be thankful for

    • Love.
    • Family.
    • Friends.
    • Cats.
    • Rainbow's End.
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    It snowed last night. Emmy finally got to be outside while it was snowing -- she grew up in San Jose. Me, I'm just glad I don't have to try driving in it -- I'm long out of practice. I may walk to Trader Joe's later.

    I've spent altogether too much energy trying to get Colleen's prescriptions transferred to Express Scripts. Depressing. My prescriptions transferred with no problems; I suspect that the problem with hers is that Walgreens' records have her birth date wrong. But the website(s) are miserable, and their tech support and customer support people don't know much about how they work - I got information that was manifestly incorrect from them. Bletch.

    A couple of times I've just wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. Is there such a thing as a depression attack?

    Meanwhile, I'm worried about this year's taxes. Very worried. I almost certainly don't have enough withholding this year, so I'm likely to be screwed. My sign-on bonus from Amazon is completely gone.

    raw notes, with links )

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