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

A bit of a rough week, but with several high spots. The first of which was brunch with Colleen and Emmy at Salty's -- a local seafood place with a fantastic buffet on weekends. Turns out I get a senior discount. :P

I am cautiously optimistic about my mood, between selling the house and starting on l-tryptophan. I think it's generally better, but it's also more volatile -- I run out of cope and go into overload. Not good. Especially because it upsets Colleen, which sets up a positive feedback loop. (Positive in the feedback sense -- it has negative consequences, of course.)

Another high point was music night, Thursday after dinner. The original plan had been for a new friend of N's to come join us, but she ended up canceling. We had fun anyway -- playlist in the notes. We've decided to do it more often, and N is setting things up to spend more time in the Great Room. Which means I have to fix the control on the broken lift chair that we parked there.

To which end I tracked down a soldering iron. The one I bought because I couldn't find my good one, which is still in a box somewhere.

Looking at the notes, I seem to have been pretty productive this week. So... ok.

raw notes, with links )

Breakfast

Nov. 22nd, 2014 07:56 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

2 slices of bacon, 2 eggs, some cooked grain...

OK, fried rice for breakfast.

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

So, after another lenghty break, we finally come around to the Thursday before Thanksgiving. We'll see whether I can get two weeks in a row. But for now, I'm thankful for..

  • Having finally sold Grand Central Starport. An era has well and truly ended, and I'm still somewhat in shock. But still.
  • Rainbow's End.
  • My wonderful family.
  • Cat therapy.
  • ssh -Xf $MYBOX gnome-panel

ETA: The first sentence would probably have been more effective if I hadn't posted this on Wednesday.

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

Well, escrow closed Friday on the Starport. My mood has been extremely volatile, and mostly in the bad direction, all week; took me until Friday to recognize that I was grieving. Knowing me, that probably means I'm in for a long run of it. Maybe I'll write something this evening.

Our hotel experience at Orycon was pretty poor, to the extent that we may very well not be back for the Westercon in 2016. (Ory is moving -- Yay!) But they gave us half a night off the bill, so there's that.

I spent yesterday puttering. The money from the Starport still hasn't shown up; if it doesn't hit my account Monday I'll hit the panic button.

Lasting Relationships Rely On 2 Traits tl;dr: kindness and generosity. Well, yeah. More links in the notes.

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

Between network problems (which I caused), the disastrous US elections, being off my antidepressants (which may have been helping a little after all; it may just be too subtle an effect for this alexithymic old bear to have noticed), pain issues, and just generally feeling harried, it was kind of a bad week.

I threw my set plans out the window, and put together what turned out to be a pretty good little set at the last minute: "Bigger On the Inside", "Someplace In the Net", "World Inside the Crystal", "Millennium's Dawn", "Keep the Dream Alive". Recordings (thanks to Rick Weiss) later this week.

I pretty much nailed the lyrics. A lot of missed notes, but the nice thing about the guitar is that as long as you have the right chord fingered it's going to sound ok no matter how sloppy the playing is. Got comments from a couple of people after the set, so that was nice.

The hotel was a distinct disappointment -- they'd overbooked the handicap rooms (the king room we're in is ok, but it would have been nice to have more manoevering room in the bathroom), and the restaurant didn't have a regular dinner menu. (The bar did have something more like a dinner menu, but it was expensive.) The breakfast buffet was no more than adequate. I see it's in a different hotel next year.

I have so far failed to connect with any of the people I'd been hoping to connect with; this is not unusual but does little to improve my mood, which I think is still somewhat volatile.

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

I've been reminded that this is the 25th anniversary of a very special newsgroup called alt.callahans. My own first post came a couple of weeks later, after I finally persuaded our sysadmin to add it to our news feed.

I have a lot of history with that Place.

I wrote a song, too: "Someplace in the Net". I probably need to totally rework my set list for Orycon. :P

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

Kind of a rough week? I'm not really sure.

On the plus side, we got the washer repaired (a little over $320 for a new drain pump), and I switched the network over from Comcast to CenturyLink. Which was exactly as easy as I expected it to be: swap the router and the extension WAP, and it's done. Sometime I should swap SSIDs back, but it doesn't matter all that much much.

Our group moved over the weekend; the move puts us in the center of $A's main campus (with a nice small caffeteria next door, and the main one only a block away). My hard drive didn't survive it. All my code was backed up, but that still left a huge amount of configuration that should have been but wasn't. Fixed now.

Tapered off my antidepressant. Not much of an effect on my mood; not clear whether it has affected my supply of cope or my weight.

Kind of late, but I've started practicing for Orycon. Not entirely clear what's going into my set -- Millennium's Dawn, Keep the Dream Alive, and QV for sure. That may actually be almost enough, since it's only a half-hour set.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (flamethrower)

Advisory 01/2014: Drupal - pre Auth SQL Injection Vulnerability

A "highly critical public service announcement" from Drupal [LWN.net] "Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of SA-CORE-2014-005 - Drupal core - SQL injection. You should proceed under the assumption that every Drupal 7 website was compromised unless updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC, that is 7 hours after the announcement."

Impressive. I think this is an appropriate place to quote one of my father's aphorisms: "A locked car with an open window is NOT a locked car."

If PHP is your open window, you may as well leave the keys on the dashboard where they're easy to see.

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

A couple of dizzy spells, which felt a lot like a return of the orthostatic hypotension I used to get rather frequently before I changed my blood pressure meds, only more severe. Turns out that they could be exactly that, as a side effect of cutting down on my SSRI antidepressant.

Worked from home Friday and half of Thursday due to our office move. Spent Monday (and will probably spend most of today) setting up my desktop box, whose hard drive didn't survive the move. :P Grumble. Only things I'll actually be losing are a couple of little scripts in ~/bin, my .zshrc customizations, and my browser config. Everything else is in git.

Stupidly tried to upgrade the OS on my laptop. Stupid, because it left it practically unusable. A clean reinstall of 14.04 fared better, but there are still some oddities here and there.

Working from home today, too, because I'll be waiting for the washer to get repaired. :P It broke on Saturday. The backup drive on Nova has apparently been broken for a *long* time -- read is ok, but write fails. This may be a timing thing, but switching it from USB to eSATA renumbers the drive letters, so that's kind of a non-starter.

On the positive side, the CenturyLink internet connection is on, and the new modem arrived yesterday. Hopefully today I'll be able to get our network configured -- it may be a simple matter of swapping two routers.

The new building is significantly farther away from the bus stop -- there are closer ones, but it's actually faster to walk than to wait for a transfer. So if it's not raining, I'll do that.

Kind of a rough week. Oddly, the fact that I've cut back on my antidepressant doesn't seem to have made much difference that I can perceive, which says that either it wasn't doing much good, or I'm still bad at detecting my mood. Or both.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (space colony)

She called me "Mel". Nobody's called me that since Geoff died -- he was the only one. Just like Lex was the only one who calls me "Mom". I'm Lady Melody to everyone else; that's what I'm used to.

She asked if she could play me! Asked! All formal, as if we hadn't been talking online for more than a year.

"My Lady -- please. May I play you? I brought you strings." Martin silk and steel, all the way from Earth. I had no idea they were still making them. And that song!*

I think I'm in love again. It's been so long.

* Silk and Steel

(First posted as a comment in the October Crowdfunding Creative Jam in response to a prompt by zeeth-kyrah.)

Just filling in a little more back-story. I hadn't really been thinking of Lady M's second lover as female, but it seemed to fit. I haven't worked out the timeline details yet; I may have to change "seven" to "many" years in the lyric to make it work.

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

Lots of puttering this week -- sorting unpaid bills, re-arranging shelves, a little cooking, a little cleaning, lots of mostly-uninteresting work.

Cat cuddles. I really think the cats are better antidepressants than my SSRI, which I've been cutting back on without noticable effects. So far.

And I wrote a poem! Go read: Shifts (also on DW and LJ; follow the linkies). It's already gotten some interesting reactions. I obviously need to update my Lit pages -- there are only three poems there, and I know I've written more than that!

Links, as usual, in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
There's that moment when everything changes,
But really it's just you,
Seeing things differently.

When you realize that the solid bench you're sitting on
Is mostly empty space between particles.
When you learn that even the particles
Aren't really particles, and that light isn't entirely waves either.

When you see the way special relativity views velocity
As simple rotation in four-space, 
And you study general relativity and realize
That it's geometry all the way down.

When you suddenly get recursion,
Reading the Algol 60 Report, with its crystalline prose
And elegantly compact rules.
When Goedel blows the top of your head off,
And you understand that some things simply can't be proved.
When you see how elegantly Turing applies the same trick.

When you realize that a little of the Unknowable
Isn't part of the Unknown anymore,
Because now you know why you can't know it.

First published in a comment in the October 2014 Crowdfunding Creative Jam, on the theme "Paradigm Shifting Without a Clutch."

This is entirely autobiographical, though the sequence has been messed with a little to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.

Mirrored from steve.savitzky.net. My poetry there is in really rough shape; hopefully I'll get a little work done on it soon.

Also adopted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith as part of her Schrodinger's Heroes series, which makes it unintentionally canonical fanfic for an imaginary TV show. Talk about shifting without a clutch! At least it has synchromesh. Or was that synchrotron?

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

On the whole a pretty good week, as it turns out. Busy and often frustrating at work, but things finally came together Friday afternoon and the service I've been working on seems to be working correctly. Pieces are falling into place all over.

Last Sunday I made pasta sauce from scratch, using pretty much my Mom's recipe only with turkey Italian sausage and no bell peppers. Tomatoes from our garden. The Roma bush, especially, has been insanely productive.

On a whim I did some research on statins and grapefruit juice -- it turns out that the study that showed bad interactions involved the equivalent of over 2l/day. So I've been avoiding grapefruit for no good reason all these years.

Yesterday I spent puttering, mostly around Colleen's sewing corner in the Great Room. Colleen had expressed an interest in sorting through boxes, so I brought up a couple. I also moved her sewing machine and its cabinet to the other wall and brought up what I hope is the last of her rolling stacks of drawers. We need shelves in the corner.

Hmm. If the sewing room eventually moves upstairs (combined with a library/guest room after the remodel), we could use that corner for music.

Links in the notes, of course.

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

It's actually Thursday! I'm thankful for

  • My family.
  • Broccoli beef, made by my Brother Bear.
  • Rainbow's End.
  • Good Drugs.
  • Happy lights.
  • Credit counseling.
  • git and gpg
mdlbear: (g15-meters)

... in [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl! The theme is "Mad Science".

mdlbear: a locomotive engine dangling from a hole in a building (trainwreck)

Not such a good week. Productive, but not fun.

I did have some good times with Colleen, going for a drive last Sunday, and to the Northwest Tea Festival yesterday. Colleen's favorite vendor, Silk Road, was a no-show, so she used the money she didn't spend there to buy us lunch. A really great outing.

I spent last Sunday updating old laptops -- they're all old and the ones capable of running Windows 7 really suck at it, but they all make good Linux boxes. I spent the rest of the day working my way through the piles of accumulated bills. Yesterday I spent the evening switching online accounts off of credit cards and onto debit cards.

Today I'll tackle the medical bills, which I've been ignoring for way too long.

Naomi pointed out, rather sharply, that my biggest problem isn't being stupid (though I've done a lot of that), but my habit of ignoring the hard stuff and hoping it will go away. Which, of course, is massively stupid, since ignoring things like that only makes them progressively worse. Which makes them harder to face. And so on.

This is what's called a vicious circle. With BIG SHARP TEETH. I think I need an icon for that.

Oddly, the fact that I've cut back on my antidepressant doesn't seem to have made much of a difference. This leads me to suspect that I should drop the SSRI altogether and switch to something with a different mechanism. Possibly tryptophan.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

Today I am thankful for

  • People who love me enough to be angry at me when I deserve it, and still love me afterwards.
  • A life insurance policy I can borrow against.
  • Getting off my ass, hopefully.

... and not for

  • Old, bad habits.
  • Avoiding the stuff I loathe, but have to do anyway.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week.

Low point: asking for help on the financial trainwreck. Maxing out another credit card Monday kind of drove it home. Naomi is of the opinion that I need a keeper. She's right. She's also of the opinion that I'm worth it; this is less obvious but I've learned that she's usually right, so I guess I'll take her word for it.

High point: going out with Naomi to see A Chorus Line last night.

Adventures along the way: the Shellshock bug (quickly patched on the systems I use regularly), and updating the household's random laptops. We (ok, mostly I) have a *lot* of old laptops. I remember when a gigabyte was a lot of disk.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: a locomotive engine dangling from a hole in a building (trainwreck)

Hmm. Late again, I see.

  • A sister willing to be her brother's keeper. (Because I apparently need a keeper.)
  • A trip to the theater to see A Chorus Line.
  • My family.
  • Help with the Trainwreck.
  • Employment.
  • Backups, with extra git.
  • Timely upgrades, and apt-get.
  • Cats.
  • Ethanol.

And NO thanks to:

  • Our no-good realtor.
  • Shellshock.
  • Uncooperative body parts.
  • Bad habits. Especially expensive bad habits.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Ok; today I'm grateful for:

  • Financial advice.
  • My family.
  • The ability to borrow against my life insurance policy.
  • Checks arriving just in time.
  • People who tell me I'm not as stupid as I feel.
  • Still being able to help Colleen get around.
mdlbear: (space colony)

From the Jargon File, Hacktown 2138 memorial edition:

History/Herstory/Doc

Originally consisting of only the titular rhyme, this document was added to the History/ section of the Hacktown wiki in 2039 by Lex Kalman and immediately became a repository for children's rhymes, teaching poems, short (usually humorous) scripts, and the like. Write access is restricted to human children aged 8-15, and it is traditional to make an entry on every birthday in that interval.

 

From History/Herstory/Doc

0

History Herstory Doc
Time overflowed the clock
Remember the date,
2038,
History Herstory Doc.
-- LexiKal@

 

52

if (age.base(8).size()==1 || age.base(16).size()!=1) deny(write)

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

Not really a terrifically good week, though Colleen's friend Bun-Bun has moved up from central CA, which brightened things considerably. And Colleen spontaneously told me how much she loves the house -- it helped a lot.

The main stressor is the fact that I'm basically broke. The San Jose house (I'm starting to not think of it as the Starport anymore -- that's a good thing) is a drain on our resources, my credit cards are mostly maxed out, and my checking account is in the red. (The bank kindly pays up to about $1500 in overdrafts, but still charge me a $33 fee for each item. It helps, but not quite enough.)

It's depressing to think about, especially knowing that it's all because of a long series of stupid financial decisions on my part. Plus a lot of letting things ride instead of making a decision. As I remarked on Facebook, this probably wasn't the best week to start trying to cut back on my SSRI in hopes of reversing the weight gain.

I got a lot of good, and encouraging, feedback from that post. Thanks, folks! It helps.

I've basically spent all weekend puttering, which at least accomplishes something. Still a lot to do, mostly paperwork-like things that I hate. Grumph.

Links, as usual, in the notes. Including Radio3, which I might be able to use to simplify logging links.

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

Today I'm thankful for...

  • Dental insurance.
  • Smiles from random strangers. (Baffled, but thankful anyway.)
  • Overdraft protection.
  • The ability to work from home and still be productive.
  • Having sense enough not to read the news today.
  • Kid hugs and kitty cuddles.
  • Chinese food to go.
  • git reset --hard (One of my coworkers has a t-shirt that says "Keep calm and git revert", but reset is better if you haven't pushed your commit upstream yet.)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Not all that bad a week, I guess. Lots of cat cuddles, and a day off for Labor Day. Not all that good, either. Joe Bethancourt died (only a year older than me!), I had to work from home two days to take Colleen to appointments, and as usual I'm broke until the social security payment arrives a week and a half from now. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.

This coming week looks just as bad, if not worse. And it all goes back to stupid financial decisions I made twenty years ago (and continued making), so now it's basically not fixable. Which doesn't improve my self-image or my mood, either. Nor does my current antidepressant, which I don't think is helping much. Or rather has side-effects that tend to make things worse. GAAH!

Well, there are always the links.

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

So, today I'm grateful for...

  • Cuddly cats and capering kittens.
  • Ninja cat burglers. It seems Cricket has been taking lessons from Desti.
  • Friday. Both the day and the tea purveyor.
  • The ability to work from home occasionally.
  • Family.
  • Lox.
  • Gin.
  • git rebase --onto ...

NO thanks to...

  • Another buyer backing out.
  • Social anxiety, or whatever it is.
  • Dysthymia.
  • Weight gain as a side effect of antidepressants.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Long, busy week at work; nothing much done at home. We are, however, making progress on Colleen's medical issues, thanks to her new urologist. And the new buyer signed off on our counter-offer, so we're good there as long as they don't find any deal-breakers in the inspection. We'll know by next week.

The cats have been very entertaining. Curio and Desti still aren't particularly fond of Cricket, the new kitten, but I think they're learning to get along.

A lot of anxiety gone, having arranged for an extension on my tax payments and determined that I have more time than I thought to take care of a couple of parking tickets. Money is still tight, though. Something about carrying two mortgages, and having a bunch of credit card payments due at the end of the month, a couple of days before my paycheck arrives. :P

My Samsung phone and tablet upgraded to KitKatt (4.4.2; my Nexus was already at 4.4.4). Took 'em long enough! Hopefully the phone will be a little more stable.

Good links.

raw notes, with links )

Thankful

Aug. 29th, 2014 08:46 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

So...

  • Surviving.
  • A buyer for the Starport, hopefully.
  • Not being too horribly late on some payments.
  • Overdraft protection.
  • My family.
  • Recordings of musicians who are no longer with us.
  • Cats! (Including the new kitten, Cricket.)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Another rough week. But I put out three posts with actual content -- one informative (The Justin Case file), one River post (Empathy) and one demifiction (Introducing the Melody/Rose 'verse). So I should be feeling accomplished. I'm not, particularly.

Mostly what I'm feeling is broke, and worried about money. The house in San Jose still hasn't sold, so I'm carrying two mortgages as well as a horrendous amount of other debt. Not good.

Links below, many of them depressing.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (space colony)

So, I guess I'm finally going to do it. Things have come a long way since I wroteSilk and Steel in 1988, and The Rambling Silver Rose in 1992, and I'm going to have to change a lot of the earlier back-story to catch up. *sigh* So here I am, revising in realtime without a backup. We'll see how far that gets me.

 

From The Backworlds Guide to the Solar System, 2188 edition
The Golden Cockroach $$ ****

Assuming one can get to Hacktown (which, depending on the whims of its inhabitants and the configuration of the Interplanetary Transport Network, could easily be anywhere between the orbits of Venus and Jupiter), and assuming it is open to visitors (which is usually a reasonable assumption), the Golden Cockroach is not to be missed.

The 'Roach, as it's usually called, is the oldest restaurant in space, having opened for business in early 2039 shortly after Hacktown was founded. It is still run by descendents of Frank and Susie Wong, who originally ran the Golden Dragon in Sunnyvale. Their Hacktown Fry, still served the traditional way in the center of a sphere of guests with chopsticks, is justly famous, as are the Egg Foo Bar and Hacked Chicken. Note that living in zero G dulls the sense of taste, so don't be afraid to ask for "spicy".

 

Open Mike's $/$$$$$ ***

Across the main sphere from the 'Roach you'll find Open Mike's Saloon. Mike's is, of course, best known as the home of Lady Melody, who has been been running the joint -- and hosting its legendary song circles -- since the death of her partner Geoff Kalman in 2042. However, it is almost as legendary in other circles for its booze, a collection which ranges from the ordinary to the esoteric. The best of the everyday brews is undoubtedly the locally-made Hashtown Pale Ale, made from malted hemp seeds. The cellar, by appointment only, is the most extensive anywhere off Earth, mainly because Mike's accepts bottles in trade.

 

Notes:

Mike's is named after the fictional proprietor of the alt.callahans newsgroup, one of the earliest and most influential "virtual places".

The Interplanetary Transport Network is a network of gravitationally determined low-energy paths connecting the L1 and L2 Lagrange points of the planets and their satellites.

Empathy

Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:31 pm
mdlbear: (river)

Hmm. Haven't done a river post in a long time. *sigh*

Anyway, a lot of recent posts on my friends' pages have been about empathy. Weird subject for me. Several of my friends, and one shrink, have told me that I'm very empathic. It doesn't really feel that way from the inside. I can't "read" people, and sometimes I'm not even sure what they're talking about. I can barely recognize my own emotions; I often guess wrong about other peoples'.

Conversely, they often guess wrong about me. Apparently my sending is as screwed up as my reception.

There's definitely something there -- I recently came across the term "embarrassment squick", which is a pretty accurate description of why I don't go to a lot of movies. I don't seem to like seeing other people do things that I think would make me feel stupid or uncomfortable if I did them.

In fact, in some cases I seem to have a lower tolerance for other people's embarrassment than my own, on those rare occasions when I actually try going outside my comfort zone.

Does any of this make sense? There isn't really a point to all this; I'm just rambling. Anyway, thanks for listening.

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

(This bit of nonfiction is being written in response to recent events; it also seems to fit the "communication" part of the theme, "Community & Communication", of this month's Crowdfunding Creative Jam)

Someone died recently and left his widow with a problem: his computer's hard drive is encrypted, and he didn't leave the recovery key or his password anywhere that she can find.

Oops.

This is not unlike losing track of the key to the safe deposit box, forgetting the combination to the safe, or neglecting to make out a will. "But I have all that in a file on my computer!" I hear you cry.

Oh, right.

You need a JustIn Case file, someplace where it's safe but reasonably easy to find if anything happens to you. (I'm talking to myself here, too, by the way.) The bare minimum is whatever it takes to get into your computer (a FileVault recovery key, BitLocker PIN, or alternate admin password) and possibly into your password file, browser keychain, or whatever. *That* information needs to be in a couple of different places known to your family! At least one place should be outside your house, e.g. with a trusted relative, your lawyer, your safe deposit box, or the like. The other place should be in your house, e.g. in a locked filing cabinet (they're pretty easy to break into if necessary). Lable the file "Justin Case".

Even if almost everything is on your hard drive, there's a minimum set of things that have to be written down on hardcopy:

  • Your master password, recovery key, or whatever it takes to get into your data. Or at least all of your data that you don't want effectively burned when you're gone. (Keep that separate.)
  • The location of your will, safe deposit box, offsite backups, retirement and bank accounts, life insurance policies, and so on.
  • The name of your executor/executrix.
  • Any important information that your family is likely to need

My plan is to add an SD card with my most important files on it -- I checked, and the directory with all my passwords, tax information, receipts, and so on is only about 200MB. Perfect use for an old 500MB card or thumb drive that's too small to be useful for anything else.

Don't forget to update it if you change your password! That, after all, is the main point of this little exercise.

mdlbear: (flamethrower)

We got a little rain this last week -- nice. I also Got Stuff Done, for certain values of stuff -- put up some 1x2 battens to hold up the bamboo screen around the deck, and paid some long-overdue bills. And made dinner on Monday. But as usual not nearly enough.

We have an(other) offer on the Starport; we'll see whether this one sticks.

On the down side, Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall died. The former set off the predictable post-celebrity-suicide followup; both good and bad. Mostly good, as in advice for both the survivors (no, it's not selfish) and the depressed (see particularly Boggle-the-owl's post, I don't like the phrase "a cry for help"...). Here, have a stick.

The Shooting of Michael Brown by a cop last Saturday also had the predictable fallout, and triggered an acute case of deja vu. I've seen it before, in the '60s (civil rights protests) and '70s (Vietnam War protests). Back then we called them "Police riots". I am not feeling very optimistic right now.

Links in the notes.

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

Hmm. Rough month this week. I'm thankful for

  • Surviving.
  • Friends. Including the cats. And Colleen, my best friend, who is also a Cheshire cat. Also goats and bears.
  • Being able to help sometimes, a little.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Writers.
  • Singly-linked lists.
mdlbear: (hp-c)

I'm available. I don't promise to be coherent after 11pm, but you can call any time. 408 - 896 - 6133.

(Inspired by ysabetwordsmith | Moment of Silence: Robin Williams. His death has, understandably, shaken up a lot of people.) (The userpic? Citalopram.)

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

A lot of pain this week -- left foot, mostly, and some lower-back pain. Which I blame on my recent weight spike, which I blame on my recent increased dosage of antidepressant. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We got some time with Colleen's sister of choice Bev, but not as much as we wanted. *sigh*

Yesterday Colleen and I went to the Amazon company picnic. Mainly aimed at much younger people, with kids. OTOH it was a free lunch. OTGH I gained some weight and probably stood up too much. Nice drive afterwards.

Aside from that, not much is going on. The Starport is still for sale. There are links.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (rose)

A little different this time. This week I'm thankful for

  • Time
  • Healing
  • and Amethyst Rose

Our daughter Ame would have been 24 years old on Monday. I'm thankful that the pain has faded to the point that it was pretty much a day like any other. Though she did have to reassure me a couple of times.

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

Not really a good week. Our prospective buyer backed out, so we've wasted a month and we're going to have to put a fair amount of work into the Starport to make it more attractive. Growf!

Meanwhile, my Mom was still in the hospital; they had to put in a pacemaker.

And recent studies suggest that people who know that they're getting a placebo actually improve, because they were told placebos "have been shown in clinical studies to produce significant improvement in [...] symptoms through mind-body self-healing processes." This is great, except that it means that skeptical realists like me may be at a further disadvantage health-wise.

On the plus side, I got some good cuddles and a terrific chair massage, took some fun wikipedia dives, made some progress at work, and had a couple of good dinners.

On the whole, though, I don't feel as though I'm doing all that well.

There are, as usual, some great links in the notes. Especially noteworthy are Vantablack (which looks like it will call a bunch of goths on their "I'm only wearing black until they make something darker"), the Green Dragon pub in New Zealand, and ysabetwordsmith's poem: "Dr. Laser and the Nocturnal Emissions"

raw notes, with links )
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 )

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