Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
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 )
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.

Most Popular Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Page generated Sep. 19th, 2014 07:50 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios