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

It didn't feel like a terribly productive day, but between a 1-mile walk, a dentist appointment, looking at scooters, and helping Colleen triage cookbooks, I must have gotten something done.

Work was basically more of the same: file triage and backups.

There's nothing like an empty shelf and piles of books looking for a new home to make the move start to feel real.

As for scooters, we're looking at the Pride Celebrity X - it's bigger and more stable than Colleen's current one, which we'd keep for travel because it's a *lot* lighter and can be stuffed into the Honda's trunk.

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

A pretty good day. I even took a walk, albeit a short one because the weather looked dicey. I felt a few stray drops, but stayed dry. (In fact, it did rain, hard, in the evening, and I got wet taking the garbage out.) I walked over to Savers in search of dress pants, and found a pair of dark gray ones that will work nicely with the darker of the silk jackets and the gray-and-black striped shirt that I'm wearing now.

Hey, I'm a fan. Dressing up for an interview is cosplay. Easy.

I made a yummy pot roast for dinner, using most of a bottle of cheap red wine and two bottles of non-alcoholic beer (left over from the last party, because nobody would actually drink the stuff). I had some of the broth in a mug -- it made lovely soup. And a cole slaw, with half a head of cabbage and a Granny Smith apple.

I got the Mac Mini, Whitewood, installed on the desktop to the right of the main monitor, and got x2vnc installed and working. That'll be my machine for doing taxes.

And I got through about 2/3 of the pile of papers to the left of the desk, turning up my (expired) passport, two uncashed checks, a renewal notice from AARP, some still-valid Office Max discount cards, ..., and some sore muscles in my left side from reaching back to throw stuff in the recycle bin.

In a separate search, I found a photostat of my birth certificate and the stub from my social security card. So that's good.

In other news, the move to Seattle is looking more and more feasible. Colleen spent several hours thinking about what books she wanted to keep, and searching for restaurants and museums. Naomi and I talked about housing options. Moving is going to be somewhat hellish, but we'll manage somehow.

I am encouraged by the fact that an albatross, metaphorically a dead weight hung around one's neck as a penance, is a beautiful and far-traveling seabird when it's alive.

And finally, Colleen made it through the entire day without using her scooter -- I think that's the first time in months.

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

So... I guess the main thing that happened yesterday was the idiocy with my pension, which you can read about in the previous post or in the notes, so I don't have to repeat it here. Which is just as well for my blood pressure; it's already too high. That started around 2pm; I spent the rest of the afternoon pretty much a basket case.

Maybe I'm a little bit fragile right now? Oh, right.

After having tried my monster 1600x1200 monitor on the desk, I decided to take home the 17" Samsung, which is now sitting comfortably atop the mac mini and its backup drive. Its first task will be running the application formerly known as TaxCut. Since I have no intention of running it on the Windows partition of my netbook, thank you very much. Not going there.

As for links, how about Out of Reach 2012: National Low Income Housing Coalition, wherein it is shown that there is *no place in the country* where one can afford rent on a minimum-wage job. Just what I needed to know right now.

OK, go look at S. J. Tucker's music videos. Much better.

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

Hmm. OK, I guess. My time at work was mostly spent on a combination of triage and archiving for my files. Including figuring out which parts are open source, and so can be put up as part of my portfolio.

I also brought home the Mac Mini and an enormous (160x1200 20" Dell) monitor that I may decide to take back on Monday because it's just too huge and power-hungry. It has a 20" usable area, but at least a 2-inch-wide bezel around it, making it about 25" overall. I also have a 1920x1200 monitor that's about half the weight, and not much bigger overall. That one's a keeper.

We went out to Red Lobster for Colleen's birthday dinner. Yum. The RL is in the same shopping center as a Ross; I picked up three assorted shirts, two with colors that should go well with my new silk sport coats.

I had a couple of painful twinges in my left side. Possibly a gallstone or kidney stone. Seems to be gone for the moment, but I don't trust my body any farther than I can throw it. Or something like that.

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

Most of the day -- the afternoon and evening -- was spent at Jennifer and Moshe's Wedding I'm very glad we went, even though it was exhausting and loud and... Such a lot of happy energy! Great people-watching, too. I decided to sit with Colleen and some of the other old folks and watch the dancing rather than try to join it. Considering how exhausted I was when I flopped into bed, this was probably a good choice.

I seem to have become one of the "old folks" -- I'm clearly in the parents' generation now. My (younger) brother has grandkids. Gleep!

Given the noise level -- far too high for talking -- I spent pretty much the entire event, except for the actual ceremony, in a little personal bubble, not even trying to get into conversations. I seem to have gotten better at that, and I'm getting used to it as well. I do wish they'd mixed people up; we knew everyone at our table (the "filkers' table"), so I didn't get to meet anyone at dinner, and only two people at one of the receptions.

But, a good day. I'll take it.

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

A pretty good day, despite not getting very much done. Took a 2-mile walk, which went pretty well modulo a little hip pain and the fact that my pants don't fit very well right now. My weight was under 190 for the first time since 2009! It was still down this morning, so it's possible I have some momentum going there. Hope so; my goal is to have a waist again.

I installed Puppy Linux on one of my keychain drives using UNetbootin, which totally rocks! Puppy didn't quite know what to make of the large screen on Cygnus, and it didn't have the right wifi drivers, but it has enough tools to be useful and it'll probably do just fine on my older hardware. UNetbootin, for those who don't know, is a cross-platform program that lets you select from a list of dozens of live CDs, which it then downloads for you and installs on a USB drive. Slick.

Public service announcement: Google apparently added all my gmail contacts as IM "buddies". Growf. I have, accordingly, disabled the gmail and lj accounts in my IM client; if you want to talk to me, you're stuck with Yahoo or AIM for the moment. I'd welcome feedback on that decision.

Link sausage: Can Augmented Reality Save the Printed Page? (cute hack) and What would Sharon do? - Cringely (computers and education).

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

Not all that good a day. I woke up with a painful cramp in my right calf -- this has happened before, I don't know what causes it, and I don't like it. At least, after the first few steps, it didn't hurt to walk. But in the afternoon after I did walk about half a mile, which actually seemed to help, it hurt more the next time I stood up after sitting for a couple of hours.

Still hurts a little after a night with muscle relaxant and naproxen. *goes to take another dose*

I left my computer glasses at work. The old ones are noticably worse.

... and Chaos's keys and student ID/transit pass ended up getting dropped into a random mailbox, rather than our mailbox. I would love to have listened to the conversation wherein the two people involved each managed to confirm what they thought the other meant, rather than what was actually said. Not a happy bear; Colleen thinks I got inappropriately angry. It certainly drove off most of the Wednesday guests; the house was empty well before 11.

Growf. Not a good day. Be nice if I could breathe, too.

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

Hmm. The day had its ups and downs, I guess. I feel particularly good about my st/roll with Colleen around the Rose Garden, and I got some practicing in, and major bug-fixing done the new makefile for recording directories. And quite a lot of decluttering, and a verse and chorus of a parody (still in progress).

On the other hand, I got very stressed in the early afternoon -- not sure whether it was sensory overload, family friction, or what -- the walk helped a lot.

On the gripping hand, I actually noticed at the time that mailing my filk to Naomi and getting thwapped for it made me happy. I may be getting better at that.

On the fourth hand, I wound up feeling very discouraged, especially when Colleen pointed out that I hadn't gotten any of my usual oddball stocking stuffers. She sent me out into the cold; Fry's was closed, but CVS was open and had gift cards and some suitable small tools.

So the day ended pretty well, at least.

No links. Must have been busy.

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

Yesterday was the first Thanksgiving we've spent at home in 12 years. It came off pretty well. Everyone cooperated on dinner: the YD cut the potatoes for mashing, made cornbread and salad, and the mincemeat and pumpkin pies. (The gluten-free crust, found frozen at Whole Foods, was excellently flaky.) Colleen made the stuffing, at least up to the point of adding the liquid ingredients. I cooked the turkey, boiled and mashed the potatoes, and made the stuffing and gravy. Yum.

Oh, and a rather bright guacamole for a snack.

Oddly enough, I actually enjoyed cleaning up, too. Kind of mindless and soothing. Which I needed.

It felt like a very long day, somewhere in the middle of the evening, but it also felt like I hadn't gotten much done. I don't think either was true, but that's how it felt. Not a bad day, I guess.

Maybe I'm just worried about my friends.

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

A good day? Mostly. I went up to the Menlo Park office for a meeting, and took my walk to and around the little artificial pond in the nearby park. I was struck by how many phone conversations I recalled while passing the place where I'd had them. Apparently location is a powerful trigger for me. (Now I'm finding that just thinking about the places brings back more memories. Eeep!)

I spent some time comparing netbooks -- I am now thinking of a Thinkpad X120e. The HP Pavilion dm1z has gotten better reviews, but I really want the pointing stick and middle mouse button.

I also spent some time researching laryngopharyngeal reflux (again). After rejecting the idea of using omeprazole (which interferes with citalopram metabolism), I decided to try raising the head of my bed about 10". This appears to have worked -- I woke up able to breathe and without having to constantly clear my throat. So... YAY!

Another patent with my name on it has issued. I have very mixed feelings about this: there's a sense of accomplishment, but I really hate the idea of software patents (which this is, like most of mine). I have 24 now.

A long phone call from a lonely Wolfling -- she's depressed, and I don't know how to help. I don't know what to call that feeling, but it hurts. Empathy? Maybe that's why I kept my feelings buried for so long, and so deep that I didn't know I had them.

A couple of good links: Ysabetwordsmith's Asexual Awareness Week Wrapup, Liralen on the difference between religion and faith (among other things). As a total outsider to religion, I've mostly seen its bad side; "faith" in particular has always baffled me.

Hmm. This one seems to have gone a little deeper than usual. Have to do more of that.

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

I need to finish up and post this, don't I. Can you say "distracted"? I'm leaving for Seattle this evening.

I'm mostly packed.

My weight is down, which is cheering, and I got a (presumably junk) call on my fax number. *grins* I also took a walk, though a short one: about a mile and a half.

Some good links, but the most happy-making was definitely this one. Don't piss off the Remover of Obstacles. Not keyboard-safe. Not at all.

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

Mumph. No walk -- both the weather and my left foot were a bit dicey. Grumph. I spent most of work reading documentation, and most of the evening looking for things. Which I eventually found -- more on that below -- but I spent too much time on my knees and bending over, and ended up pretty wrecked. Went to bed early, and wound up spending the hour between 3:30 and 4:30 reading. Thank goodness for Science! It's complex enough that it can grab the hamsters in my head away from their wheels and thwap them until they stop moving. (The next move would be to feed them to the snakes, but I don't think I have snakes in my head right now.)

The one really good thing is that Plink's new bag arrived. It's a Wilson BLX sling bag originally intended for tennis racquets. Plink fits nicely with only her head and an inch of neck showing, along with my songbook (a 1.5" binder). The secondary compartment will hold Minnie, with a little finagling. The obvious name for him is Max Wilson. I think he's Minnie's big brother.

I posted a signal boost for Alan Grayson's Where's Your $50,000?, but it was pointed out in comments that the GAO report shows that he's playing fast and loose with the numbers, counting repeated short-term loans as multiple transactions. There's currently an outstanding balance of about a trillion, and the Federal Reserve is actually making money on the deal.

On the other hand, there's still plenty to be angry about. I believe it's fairly certain that if we still had the tax and regulatory structure that was in place pre-Reagan, the government would have a budget surplus and banks would not be too big to fail.

More links below.

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It was a pretty productive day at work -- an all-hands meeting in the morning, and a successful installation of the open-source software I'm testing. I'm not complaining.

I can complain all I want to about the flaky right knee; it seems to be better this morning, but I know better than to trust it.

Link/quote of the day: I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one.

... and [personal profile] moonvoice has finally finished The Bronze Forest. Go look -- it's amazing.

Other links in the notes, as usual.

mdlbear: (river)

So here we are, in the middle of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I first became aware of this two years ago, and kept putting off posting. I'm not, after all, disabled -- you wouldn't know to look at me that I have multiple chronic illnesses. That I'm limited. Most of my limits aren't physical, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

"Out of sight, out of mind"? Not so much.

So let's get the obvious physical problems out of the way first. The biggest one is sleep apnea. Hence the "facehugger" userpic -- I sleep with a CPAP. With it, I can get a halfway-decent night's sleep. Without it, I snore loudly, wake up tired, and have a greatly increased risk of heart attack or stroke. I like my facehugger, even though it's annoying and takes up a lot of space in my carry-on luggage. I worry about the power going out, though. (Yes, I have a UPS for it. Thanks for asking.)

The other one is Celiac disease. Also known as "gluten sensitivity". "People with milder coeliac disease may have symptoms that are much more subtle and occur in other organs rather than the bowel itself. It is also possible to have coeliac disease without any symptoms whatsoever. Many adults with subtle disease only have fatigue or anaemia." Yeah. That.

If I eat wheat, rye, or barley I only get a little bit of intestinal pain. What I get is mostly more depression.

One of the two mental illnesses I have is called dysthymia. It's not the same as major depression -- you can think of it as chronic, minor depression. With emphasis on the chronic part. I literally can't remember when it started. Can't remember when feeling "ok" didn't mean feeling noticably better than usual. I do remember reading a post where someone talked about "reaching out for joy" and not having any idea what she was talking about. I still don't, really.

I'm taking an antidepressant now, and it's worth the side effects, but it's not a "cure" -- all it does is move my baseline up a little, so that "ok" is normal and "good" isn't too unusual.

The other thing the antidepressant does for me is give me a little more "cope". I can usually deal with setbacks and stress without falling apart or becoming paralyzed and unable to function. Usually.

The other one is alexithymia. That's the one that's really hard for me to describe, because what it means is that I find my emotions hard for me to describe. Usually, they're hard for me even to notice. I can sometimes notice that I'm happy if I can catch myself smiling. If I'm shaking, it may take me hours -- or days -- to figure out where I was because I was afraid, angry, relieved, happy, or just hungry.

Maybe it ties in with the disthymia -- it's probably hard to learn to recognize emotions when your range mostly goes between "blah" to "ok". Maybe it ties in with being easily overloaded, so that I learned to block emotions rather than being overwhelmed by them. I'm still working on it.

So... there you have it. Nothing that rates me a good parking spot, or a reserved seat on the bus. I could walk for five miles any time I wanted to. But I don't usually want to -- that's how disthymia limits me. Walking feels "good" for some definition of the word, but I don't know that definition, so I don't have a good way to remember how it makes me feel. That's how alexithymia limits me. I could go on.

But I won't. I think I'll stop here. I'd go have a beer, but it's made from barley.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Worldcon was... well, yes. Something like that, anyway. Good, but exhausting, somewhat frantic, and marred by a filk hotel that reeked of smoke everywhere but our room (which was large and well-laid-out). Also, the Peppermill's WiFi was sporadic at best. Fortunately, between free valet parking and the fact that convention center parking was free with a handicap placard, and the CC itself was totally smoke-free, we managed. We toughed out the smoke in the filk room Friday and Saturday nights; small, but good energy.

Between meals, laundry, and a couple of good Tempered Glass rehearsals, I missed the panels completely, and only got to maybe a third of the concerts. Maybe less. And had some good conversations, but far fewer than I'd wanted or hoped to. I did get to go hang out in one of the Peppermill's excellent swimming pools with Naomi on Friday, which was good. (The pool was long, shallow, and had a waterfall. Fun!)

The fact that we'd had to check out a day early, Sunday rather than Monday, didn't help at all. Still, family emergencies take precedence (everybody is safe; no need to worry), and there are some advantages to having a day free to recover before going to work.

But there were a lot of people we didn't get to hang out with or say goodbye to. And I go to cons more for the people than anything else these days. It was good to have another con where I wasn't scheduled to perform, though.

Backing up, I had a PT appointment Tuesday about my strained right trapezius muscle -- apparently this is almost entirely the result of bad posture. Leaving my shoulders slumped and my head forward results in the trapezius being continuously stretched; actually using it can easily result in its getting strained. She gave me some exercises; Colleen claims that she notices a difference after only a week.

Some luggage notes in no particular order: I looked up Southwest's under-seat stowage dimensions: Chami fits. She worked well on the trip, too; I was able to piggyback her on the Travelpro, though that combination really needs a strap to stabilize it. The Amazon electronics box works, but isn't big enough for everything; I need something about the same width and depth, but 6" or so longer to fit all the way up one side. I stacked a smaller box with the recorder in that slot, but it kept falling out.

Another problem is that Chami isn't big enough for a full-sized music stand desk. I took the Travelpro to the open filk Saturday night, which worked better but meant largely emptying it and repacking in the morning. I also tried wearing Chami plus Minnie as a backpack -- way too heavy for me. And there isn't a good way to wear Chami and Plink together, either. That may be worth some hacking to accomplish.

In other luggage notes, I managed to leave the blue tote with Colleen's netbook, kindle, and meds sitting on the floor by the front desk when we checked in. Fortunately it was found and turned in; the weekend could have been much worse.

Musical note: I went to Bill Mills' concert, and discovered that he was a fan of mine! Felt good, but weird. I gave him a copy of CC&S. At the filk that evening, I hauled out "Wheelin'" as he was packing up; I think I impressed him.

So... a very mixed bag. Some terrific parts, some miserable parts, a lot of stress, a few good conversations, quite a few missed opportunities. And I doubt I'll ever be back to the Peppermill. Good riddance. Did I mention the tacky mass-produced paintings?

Some good links that came by during the week, up in the notes as usual.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Hmm. Not a bad day, with a two mile walk and a little music practice, though the van needing major service and new tires did put a slight damper on things. The pain was noticably less, but I noticed some "muting"; much the same audio effect as walking around in a fog.

The fog doesn't seem to have affected the programming part of my brain much; I was actually more productive at work than I have been in about a week. Pain is a major distraction, apparently, even when it's not the only thing I can think about.

The UBF's severe back trouble, dating back to an fall at work, is apparently an act. He couldn't help load his boxes into the van, but had no trouble unloading in Simi Valley. Fascinating.

Moving the new switch evened out the load on the UPSs nicely; there's still some additional power consumption on the router side that I'd like to get rid of, though. That will require moving off the old 3.5" hard drive, and is probably best combined with an OS upgrade. So... when I have the time? Oh. Right.

Did I mention that Colleen had her cast taken off Monday? Her arm is still sore, and her fingers are pretty weak, but she can actually use her dominant hand now. Happy cat. Happy bear, for that matter. She can do a lot more for herself now.

A few links up in the notes.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty good day. I took off work early to see my doctor, who identified my head/neck/shoulder pain as all coming from the right trapezius muscle. I have no idea how I did that. He said I'm doing all the right things, and scheduled me for a PT appointment Tuesday morning. While I was there I took a walk all the way around the building complex, a little under a mile, and stopped in at the other Kaiser building to make a couple of other appointments.

On the way home I stopped at Central Computing, where I got a Logitech Anywhere mouse -- it works just as I'd hoped, with the menu button under the scroll wheel serving as the middle mouse button. Yay! I have a 3-button mouse again!

They also had the TP Link gigabit switch I've had my eye on. Unfortunately, it eats more power than the TrendNet it replaces, which makes me grumpy. It's compensated by the fact that it also replaces the 5-port gigabit switch, but...

My plan is to move the WAP back into the rack and use its switch for the DSL modem, router, and fileserver, moving the 16-port switch to the fileserver's UPS. That will rebalance the load on the two UPSs.

A nice lunchtime conversation with Naomi and Ame. That exercise stretches my mind in interesting directions; Naomi's always been good at prodding me gently outside my comfort zone.

There are links in the notes, as usual; one whole block is about "the art of grieving", inspired by a comment I made on haikujaguar's latest installment of Black Blossom:

I must respectfully disagree with the Calligrapher -- there may be no art in tears, but there is art to be made of them, and grieving can be as much an art in its own right as loving can.

And the grieving have, I think, more need of art than the joyful. They have farther to go.

Nevertheless, I'm doing ok at the moment. Time and Good Drugs work wonders. Or at least second-rate tourist attractions.

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Took a 3-mile walk at lunchtime, and was fairly productive at work. Nothing notable done at home, though, and a See's candy caused a distinctly unpleasant sugar rush after dinne. Do Not Like. Something else to avoid, I guess. Dark chocolate and dried fruit are still ok, though.

Most of the pain seems to have settled in to a couple of spots on the right side of my head and the back corner of my right jaw, with occasional tension on the right side of my neck. Weird.

As for links... go watch Keith Olbermann's The Four Great Hypocrisies of the Debt Deal. Good, rabble-rousing speech. But will the rabble be roused? Somehow I doubt it -- the issue in the '60s was the draft, which hit high school and college kids at about the same time as the revolution in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Washington's sellout to the greedy rich is a grown-up's issue.

Time to re-learn Banks of Marble (Pete Seeger - YouTube)

I've traveled round this country
From shore to shining shore.
It really made me wonder
The things I heard and saw. 

I saw the weary farmer,
Plowing sod and loam;
I heard the auction hammer
A knocking down his home.

CHORUS:
But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the farmer sweated for.

I saw the seaman standing
Idly by the shore.
I heard the bosses saying,
Got no work for you no more.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the seaman sweated for.

I saw the weary miner,
Scrubbing coal dust from his back,
I heard his children cryin',
Got no coal to heat the shack.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the miner sweated for.

I've seen my brothers working
Throughout this mighty land;
I prayed we'd get together,
And together make a stand.

FINAL CHORUS:
Then we'd own those banks of marble,
With a guard at every door;
And we'd share those vaults of silver,
That we have sweated for.

Words and Music by Les Rice
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Well. I seem to have spent almost the whole day with pain in my right shoulder and the right side of my neck, finishing up the file transfer from my old, flaky backup drive to the nice shiny new one. Finally got it right.

geeky details )

Anyway, my history (back to 2007) has been preserved, and I have the new one installed on nova in a nice new quick-swap rack.

And I still have a pain in the neck. Not for too long, hopefully.

Only two links, but they're good ones. Go look in the notes.

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Not nearly as productive as I wanted the day to have been, despite a three-mile walk.

I'm just sort of drifting right now; sleepy and fuzzy-minded. Maybe the weekend was more depleting than I thought? In any case, I spent the early evening in the living room watching the news and a cooking show with Colleen.

In (other) news, Borders went bust. I never liked Borders much; they and B&N pushed out a lot of independent bookstores. But now they're gone too, pushed out of the meme pool in turn by Amazon. Looking for an alternative? Take a look at [livejournal.com profile] crowdfunding, which is in the spotlight this week. Very few people, if any, can make a living off it. Yet. But I think it'll get there eventually.

You can tell it was a slow day because of all the links. Many are to folding music stands, though I don't think I want to buy one without looking at it. I also want a packable mic stand; that's going to be even harder to find.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A lot of puttering yesterday. I finally made hotel reservations for RainFurrest -- should have done it much earlier. Also some music: I sang QV over the phone to [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi, and spent some time in the evening listening to Dave Carter songs on YouTube, and downloading and formatting the lyrics and chords to "When I Go".

And a walk around the Rose Garden -- I only went around once, though; it was late in the afternoon and my blood sugar started to crash at that point. I got home about 5:30 and made salad, thin rib-eye steaks, and roasted fingerling potatoes and broccoli. (There wasn't enough broccoli for full portions, and I wanted to do something different after having served it microwaved on Saturday.)

I had what was pretty clearly an anxiety attack -- mostly noticable via increased heart rate -- seemingly out of the blue. I'm pretty sure now that it was a delayed reaction to an earlier conversation, but... I don't remember whether it was half an hour or an hour later. It took me another hour or two to figure out what was causing it, namely thinking about the YD's boyfriend (the UBF).

So, let me get this straight. It was caused by something I was thinking about in the background while concentrating on something totally unrelated. That makes it much harder to debug. Fortunately this was a pretty mild thing, more annoying than alarming. So that's good.

I went to bed early, having realized that I hadn't spent nearly as much time with Colleen as I usually do on a weekend.

Quite a few links up in the notes. I think the most thought-provoking is this article on Why We Need the New News Environment to be Chaotic, by Clay Shirky. And here's a beautiful cover of "When I Go" performed by Pete & Maura Kennedy.

mdlbear: (smith-lightsails)
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Mostly the day consisted of a nice 3-mile walk framed by thoughts about the last launch of the Space Shuttle. Good day? Damned if I know. I'd rate it "mostly ok".

I could do without the muscle spasm on the right side of my neck and head; I gave it cyclobenzaprine, a warm wrap, and a hot bath. Not so bad this morning, but still very much there.

I'll leave you with If the Last Spaceship Leaves On Time. A couple more links in the notes.

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Good day? Yeah. My shoulder got noticably better (except for the hour or so between when the naproxen started wearing off and when I got home to take more), and Ricoh's eWriter Solution website went live!!! Now I can talk about what I've been working on for the last year! More on that later. It's cool. I'll have one to demo at the Starport party on Saturday.

And I was pretty productive code-wise, which made a nice distraction from the pain.

No walk, though -- it was raining. And I got to bed about an hour later than I intended to. But on the whole, good.

More links in the raw notes, as usual.

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A pretty typical end-of-con day; lots of goodbyes including some to people I never even got to say hello to. And there was never enough time for conversation.

Then I managed to pull a muscle in my left arm near the shoulder, hefting suitcases. OWWW. It took a long time for the pain to localize; it started out in the whole upper body, leading me to worry about possible heart trouble. I spent the evening being totally wiped out. Naomi suggested putting ice on it, which helped but was very awkward.

It would have been a pretty good day if it hadn't been for the injury. Pain appears to be exhausting mentally as well as physically; the effects seem to be similar to the sensory overload caused by the noise. Which makes, um, sense, since pain and hearing are both senses. Bears can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes, though I am learning.

A couple of links.

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Woke up rather late, with my shoulder still hurting. Methocarbamol needs more testing, I think. Probably more effective for back spasms.

Quote of the day from yesterday's party, as I was carrying a load of chocolate cake into the living room: "Do you know how sexy a man looks when he's carrying chocolate?" Good party.

While waiting for the party to start, I spent much of my time copying down a lot of sef-material from Kaiser's "healthy living" website. Unfortunately the site's not laid out in a way that makes it easy. Also spent some time chasing links in Wikipedia about self-image and related matters. I'd like to point out that there's no evidence at all that I have any "personality disorder" (except maybe depressive); it's just that a lot of the self-help material around identifying emotions is useful to me.

A fair amount of singing -- first in the early afternoon swapping songs with the Bohnhoffs, then toward the end of the evening singing for Naomi.

The day's link sausage also included How to Build a Progressive Tea Party, so it wasn't all that boring introspective stuff.

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I ended the day totally drained, hugging Colleen's stuffed wombat, and all tensed up. I still don't know what the emotion connected to it was, beyond wanting to crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after me. Is overloaded an emotion? It doesn't seem to fit with a need for comforting. Grief? But why? Suggestions welcome.

I had a very productive, though very stressful, day at work; I was able to end it with a real sense of accomplishment. (We will ignore for the moment the fact that things changed out from under me and I had to diagnose more problems in the same code this afternoon after Seth changed it overnight.) But exhausting. I felt under tremendous pressure, and very close to the edge of breakdown.

We went out to Red Lobster for dinner, having skipped our usual dinner on the way home from Lamplighters Sunday evening. Shrimp and bacon-wrapped scallops. Yum.

A few good links under the cut.

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I've had bits of Walk In the Day earworming all week. Not surprising. I knew I was going to muddle through it, exactly a week ago, but I had no idea how much fun it would be, and how big a high I'd get from getting through it. I guess I'm still processing that.

And in just a few minutes we'll be leaving for the Lamplighters' production of Yeomen Of the Guard, my all-time favorite G&S operetta. So..., well then.

It was an extremely productive, if tiring, week at work. I think I spent more time actually coding, in what I call "hackertrance", than in the whole previous month. All tricky stuff involving PDF and other graphics processing. My sleep was pretty thoroughly disrupted Wednesday night, thinking about it. But it's done. DONE!

I don't know which I feel better about: WItD, the stuff at work, or simply noticing that I felt good about them. Given my ongoing struggle to notice my emotions, I'd have to say the latter.

In other news, Debian 6.0.0, codename Squeeze, is out! Also, catsidhe | Auditory Processing Deficit, or, Why I Can't Hear You Even Though I'm Not Technically Deaf -- there's actually a name for it! Or maybe not. My filters aren't nonexistent; sometimes they're actually far too effective (e.g. when I'm reading). Just weird, I guess.

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Sorted and totalled the CD sales receipts - sold 62 disks, which isn't too bad for this far down the long tail.

I went out for a walk, but started having pain in both hips and my left knee. Realized that I was wearing the New Balance running shoes, which I hadn't used for a couple of weeks. Hmm. Around 5pm I started feeling as though I had the flu. Apparently the flu virus hasn't gotten the memo about "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

On the way home I stopped at Lucky's for vitamin D and a couple of red snapper fillets. Yum.

Still feeling distinctly under the weather, I went splat around 10:30.

Not all that good a day, really, though I don't think my mood suffered much as a result. And I was pretty productive at work, which was a good thing since I stayed home sick today.

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It felt like a very long day, mostly at work. Much of it was spent on IM with coworkers, one at home in Alameda and one off-site in Detroit. We got a lot done, but...

Much physical work in the evening. More tiring than I think it would have been a few years ago. Ooof.

I spent the entire evening in the living room with Colleen, rather than holing up in the office as I usually do.

Quote of the day, from me: "I've heard of cutting off your nose to spite your face. How about cutting off your nose just to get rid of the damned nose?" I have a lot of trouble with congestion, you see.

Signal boost for You just broke your child. Congratulations. Other links under the cut.

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A pretty good day. The entire afternoon went into a Costco expedition with the Cat. Followed by a quick dash into the Vitamin Shoppe looking for L-tryptophan. (Aside to the drug-interaction experts in the audience. How much of that stuff, if any, is it safe to take with an SSRI?)

After that I fired up the barbecue, for only the second time this season as far as I can remember, and cooked up some rather large lumps of dead cow. Which lead to an obvious instafilk...

    The fox and his wife, without any strife
    Cut up the cow with a fork and knife. 
    They never had such a supper in their life
    And the little ones left them the bones, oh...

The kids, for some reason, have always preferred not to deal with meat with bones in it. More for us.

In other news, I managed to get the office clutter down to the point where all of the moving boxes are under the counter. (This involves a certain amount of cheating, since there are still a couple in the living room, but it's still something of an accomplishment.

In the links, we have Getting Amazon Kindle for PC running in Ubuntu under Wine and a deeply weird music video in Russian of people being mind-controlled by Mickey Mouse.

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Didn't get a lot done, but Colleen and I spent the late afternoon investigating Sprouts, which just opened a store in our area. Somewhere between Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in terms of both price and selection. Came home with some nice mahi-mahi fillets for dinner. (With enough leftovers for two breakfasts.)

Quote of the day:

Colleen: Mood designer fabrics.

Me: Why would they make fabrics specially for mood designers? And what does a mood designer do?

Colleen was worried about how much space she had on her netbook for downloading things like quilt patterns. She has a 160GB drive, so I told her not to worry. But I have to worry now -- about backups.

A couple of really good links under the cut. (*waves at $boss*) I especially liked Estimates Say Fewer Jobs, Larger Deficits if Republicans Were in Charge, but Regrets of the Dying provides a lot of food for thought.

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A pretty good day, but occasionally painful without even the compensation of a walk or bike ride. It started with the standing, bending and lifting involved in doing the dishes and putting away the groceries, and ended with overusing some arm muscles manhandling a gig bag made way too heavy with songbooks and a music stand.

In between I mostly hung out at the Ugglas' house, which they're moving out of next week, hanging out and helping pack, mostly by handing things to people. It was followed by one of their Rise Up Singing "songfests". A good day with friends, and worth the comparatively small price.

I came home to aspirin and a hot bath in the walk-in tub, which I can soak in up to my neck if I scrunch down into the footwell. The hot water triggered the same trembling that I get from a good backscratch or nestling down into Colleen's arms. So that's one more data point to triangulate from: simple physical pleasure. I'll figure it out one of these days.

The 2010 Pegasus Ballot is up online. I'm not on it, so I'll just be pushing for Ship of Stone in the classics category. That will make it even easier to trade my trip to OVFF for one or two trips to Seattle to rehearse for the Tempered Glass gig at Orycon. I'd like to do both, but there are these time and money things... (ETA: not to mention a friend's wedding that I really need to go to. So it will be good not to feel torn about it.)

A couple more links under the cut.

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I rode my bike for about an hour and a half -- well, counting a 10-20 minute rest stop. Basically the proposed commute route, taking Taylor to the Guadalupe River Trail. There's a really harrowing underpass on Taylor, and my lowest gear was barely adequate for the last underpass before the airport. At which point it turned into a dirt road, and I turned around. I'm not going to be commuting by bike any time soon, I suspect. I was pretty well wiped out the rest of the day.

I also got the new WiFi router configured, as a pure access point and 5-port switch. Not the most secure configuration, but by far the most convenient. And got the old MiniITX box back up and configured as a basic desktop, for use by guests. And made a beef chuck roast and salad for dinner.

And sang for Naomi, Colleen, and (house guest) Eileen.

Maybe it's not too surprising that I slept until 11am this morning.

Lots of good links under the cut.

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More support, if any were needed, for why I think that not being conscious of my emotions is a problem:

Last night I was feeling a lot of upper-body tension, mostly across my chest and shoulders. Anxiety? That's what it usually means. But then I noticed the thermostat, which was down to 66F from our usual 70. I decided that sleepytime tea, naproxen, warm snuggle and a hot bath would probably take care of either case, and they did.

I still don't know what the problem really was. If I really was afraid of something, it's still out there waiting to scare me again. I was just lucky that, in this case, I was able to handle either alternative with the same treatment.

And some things, like mild depression and contentment, don't have physical symptoms that I can recognize. I think it would be important to tell those apart, so that I know what to stop doing or keep doing. That's a large part of why my depression went untreated for decades -- I couldn't tell it was there.

It doesn't feel any different inside my head. Isn't it supposed to?

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I'm not dead, just a combination busy and (involuntarily) catching up on sleep. So time and attention for posting has been pretty minimal. I'm seriously thinking of adding more automation, especially for links.

Speaking of links, their increased number and quality are due to my taking gizmodo and engadget out of my daily blog feed and substituting BoingBoing.

Anyway, it's been a strange week at $work because of major upheavals. Our sekrit project was approved Wednesday; the next year promises to be a wild ride. If it gets too wild, I can always go back to the safety of research, but I hope that's just my inner neophobe talking. I've never done well with change.

I found myself feeling tight across the chest and writing, "OK, that's fear. I don't know what hope feels like." I guess that says most of it.

ETA: as it turns out, later that day I found myself walking noticably faster than the days before; that usually indicates a positive mood of some sort.

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Spent much of the day feeling physically and emotionally drained. Some of that was, I suppose, getting and dealing with the check from my broker. Too many digits there. Realizing just how deep a hole I've dug for myself; that's not a comfortable thing to have to face.

And the hospital beds arrived -- but without the mattresses. I stupidly didn't count boxes and check them off against the packing list, so I'll have a lot of hassle to go through today. Again.

And the XO, that I felt so good about finally finding its way to a kid who will love it, is having problems. They may be minor, but at this distance I can't fix them. More later, maybe.

Sometimes it isn't a case of the glass being half full or half empty, but of it being twice as big as you can handle.

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A very productive day. Go me!

There are still an unknown number of email bugs left, but I nailed a couple. I got in a short but very brisk walk (and paid for it later with some muscle aches). And got quite a lot done at work: a major decision about directory layout on the server, and some related CGI programming.

Work has just gotten very interesting and busy, but in a good way. Eeek!

I bought myself a cup of chili and a little container of raspberries and blackberries, excusing it as a reward for the weekend's system administration work.

Insight of the day: you're supposed to get out of breath when you're exercising. That's the point. Oh. Right.

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Something of a down day; I don't think I was at all recovered from a long weekend of sleep-dep and driving. Plus the inevitable post-con let-down, and maybe a little caffeine withdrawal.

Even a walk, which I practically had to force myself to take, didn't help a whole lot -- I kept nodding off while watching the koi. The hawk I saw on the way back helped more. Beautiful.

And what's with this business of avoiding things I can be pretty sure will make me feel better? Is it just the fact that it makes me feel guilty because I'm avoiding all the less pleasant stuff? Or something else?

Some pain in my right hand -- mostly a lump at the base of my ring-finger. Well, at least the associated research positively identified the painful, fluid-filled swellings I had on my elbows a couple of months ago as bursitis.

The back toilet was leaking; Colleen called a plumber to have it fixed, and discovered that she is capable of using the front bathroom now. The seat's lower, but there are plenty of things to grab onto.

The best link of the day is The City and its Flooded Double (from gizmodo) -- beautiful renderings of scenes from New York and Tokyo flooded to a depth of four stories.

Also, Ubuntu has announced the upcoming retirement of the lpia architecture, which is what Dell is using for their netbooks. So maybe there will be an upgrade path for me after all.

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A lot of tightness in my legs, standing up too long doing dishes. Went out with Colleen to BevMo, which was a nice excursion, but getting her scooter in and out of the car twice was all I felt I could handle. I ended up much more tired, irritable, and in pain than I'd expected.

The amazing [livejournal.com profile] screaming_angel spent most of the afternoon and all evening working on the YD's computer upgrades. She now has a pretty hot desktop and laptop (though he still had to take the latter home to image the disk for backup purposes).

Some major drama between distant friends left me first scared and helpless, then relieved but drained. I learned once again that my ability to hypothesize about what's going on in other peoples' heads is still very limited. For that matter, my ability to hypothesize about what's going on my own head is pretty limited, too.

Still, a day that ended in bed in a tight embrace, happily in love with my wife, can't have been all bad.

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The main thing yesterday was taking my Mac in to work and printing out the tax forms. Needless to say, it was a huge relief. (The stupid machine didn't want to print -- I ended up putting the postscript files on a thumbdrive and printing them from my Linux box, which of course worked perfectly without any fuss.

My arm and shoulder were doing much better, but in the process of getting into my car coming home from work I managed to put a lot of pressure on my right side around the bottom ribs, and did something unpleasant to a muscle there. Cyclobenzaprine and naproxen sodium are my friends.

On reflection and going through the symptoms, I don't seem to have much actual social anxiety, though I probably did at one time. What I have now is a set of very efficient avoidance mechanisms that keep me out of potentially painful or embarassing situations. Possibly it can be dealt with the same way.

I do have a lot of apathy to go with the avoidance. That's from the disthymia, presumably.

It rained all day -- no walkies. Not really a bad day, just not a notably good one.

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Another largely unproductive day, especially at work, though I did manage to make and write up some significant decisions about $current_project.

I tried to print the taxes, and was unsuccessful. Weird -- it worked last year, on the same hardware and OS versions. Oh, well; I'll take it in to work today and print there. I did, finally, manage to track down and exorcise two "phantom printers" that have been around for the last year on my desktop system. The magic file is /var/cache/cups/remote.cache.

Most of the pain from the torn muscle was gone; what was left were some secondary soreness in the neck and shoulder from working around it. I still need to baby that arm; it's all too easy to forget that it's injured at this point.

I found myself smiling when [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi came online on IM -- I'd missed her over the weekend. It feels a little odd to be noting that, but simply noticing my mood is a big step for me.

I took a walk; the weather was cool and cloudy -- perfect for walking.

I came home before Colleen and her friends got back from Britex (a huge fabric store in San Francisco that was having their Columbus Day sale), and was surprised and happy to find a dealer order for CC S waiting in my inbox, for delivery at OVFF.

It's amazing how much energy pain and recovery use up.

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I started the day with comparatively little pain in my shoulder, but trying to put my shirt on took care of that detail very quickly. Ouch!! It turns out that reaching up or behind my back is what makes it hurt the most; that must have been what I was doing when I damaged it: picking up something a little behind me.

I spent the rest of the day listless and rather foggy. It seems that pain wears me out physically and eats away at my ability to think; probably effects of adrenaline and endorphins, respectively. I could pretty easily identify the adrenaline reaction, since it's similar to anxiety; a little deep breathing helped.

At Colleen's suggestion I took a walk around the rose garden. It did help; I found that I could swing both arms naturally. It took out a lot of the stress.

After my walk I did the final data entry on the taxes. I get a little back from my withholding, which was a huge relief. (For those not familiar with the US's horrible income tax system, you can get an extension on filing, but you have to pay up front or you end up paying both penalties and interest on the difference.) I still have to do the printing, and mail in the forms.

I finally put Argo (the Thinkpad) away pending a memory upgrade, and switched over to Barnard (the Dell netbook). Much smaller and lighter, though the keyboard is pretty bad and the touchpad is absolutely loathsome. A mouse largely fixes that.

I spent the evening out in the living room doing things that didn't involve either my right arm or much of my brain: re-arranging files and culling old stuff from my to.do file.

Anyone out there reading this who has chronic pain has my heartfelt sympathy.

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Mixed day? I was basically lazy around the house all morning and much of the afternoon, after getting up around 9am. I went in to work, made sure that the demo worked, and packed it up. Win. Happy and relieved -- that's a problem I won't be having in the future. Made dinner (corned beef and cabbage -- not very difficult).

[livejournal.com profile] screaming_angel came over in mid-afternoon to upgrade the YD's computers; he put together a reasonably powerful Ubuntu box with lots of space for a Windows partition if I can find an install disk at work, and upgraded the RAM in her laptop. Which he then took home so he could upgrade the disk (with the one he's freeing up when he upgrades the disk in his laptop).

On the other hand, I'm having more trouble with email: now Emacs gives me a "max buffer size exceeded" when I try to read it. Some experimentation indicates that this is probably due to a mailbox full of spam.

And on the gripping hand, I seem to have somehow torn a muscle in my upper right arm near the shoulder. OWWW! As it turns out, because I'm left handed, that is my gripping hand: I tend to pick up and carry things with my right hand, which leaves my left hand free for things like keys and doorknobs. Not happening. Also, lifting that arm up, or especially trying to reach behind me with it, are excruciating. No T-shirts for a while.

I got to sleep with the help of cyclobenzaprine, and somehow managed not to re-injure the shoulder in the process. Fortunately I tend to sleep on my left side.

So... mixed.

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Got up late, and left on a shopping trip a little after noon. I never did take a walk; Colleen suggested taking it in the evening when it was cooler, but I was too busy and tired at that point. I did get in some walking and stair-climbing at Kaiser while waiting for our prescriptions to be filled, so the day wasn't entirely without exercise. But it's a poor substitute for an hour's walk in pleasant surroundings.

I made dinner: rice; stir-fried/steamed broccoli with garlic, onion, ginger, and sake; and warmed-up leftover chicken in broth from Friday. Of course, in order to start cooking the rice, I had to clean the rice cooker. For that I needed to get the dirty dishes out of the sink. So I had to put the clean dishes away... Oddly enough, I didn't mind much.

Since I'd opened the 20# bag of brown basmati rice, I went on to transfer the rest of it into 1-gallon ziplock bags; it took five of them. Three ended up in the back freezer.

Most of the evening was spent going through the two piles of random papers and receipts to the right of the keyboard. Of course, this resulted in a smaller pile to the left of the keyboard, in the space I'd cleared off Friday -- it's almost entirely stuff that needs to be Dealt With soon: forms, renewals, and the like.

Colleen promised me two kisses for every bag of trash I took out; I collected for two bags this morning.

Link sausage: One of the magazines I recycled included an article on specialized web hosting, and yielded a link to Rock Web Hosting. I don't think I need it, but it's an interesting niche.

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My sore right shoulder was much improved; there was no noticable pain by evening. Or even at 2am when I took a bath, unable to get back to sleep after being awakened by a Snuggly Colleen. (It was sore this morning; I suspect due to spending some of the night sleeping on my right side.)

A nice walk, with very little anxiety this time. I spent too much of the afternoon trying to get mail configured on my web hosting provider's system; massive fail. It's probably back to plan B on that one: a DirectAdmin account at my old ISP, rahul.net. Or see what I can do with Google.

About half an hour of working on the piles of papers in the office, and a little noodling in response to Colleen's request for music.

I got an amusing call from AT&T's web marketing; they'll advertise me on Google and Yahoo and guarantee 60 click-through's/month for only $170. That might work if my conversion rate was high enough, but I don't think it would be.

Some interesting link-chasing in Wikipedia, but that will warrant its own post on the River later. I've already alluded to it yesterday, so it'll keep.

On the whole a pretty good day, though not terribly productive.

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Hmm. After taking out the summaries of a couple of long but private conversations, there isn't a whole lot left. I spent almost all of the evening out in the living room, mostly geeking about Linux and programming languages with various people. A lot of the regulars weren't there, but [livejournal.com profile] andyheninger showed up, which is rare. We go way back; he was a coworker at both AMI and Zilog.

The other conversations were mostly about the problems that Colleen was having over the weekend around feeling excluded, and more generally the way she falls apart when things aren't going her way. It's taken me a long time and a lot of help to both understand a little about what her problem is, and to understand that it's her problem, not mine. That was the hardest part -- my natural tendency is to blame myself for anything that goes wrong.

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi for finding the perfect word for "the way she falls apart". Once Colleen heard it she understood much more clearly what was going on and what she needs to do about it. I've seen that same look of determination quite recently, when she's been stretching her physical limits. She said something to the effect of: "I have 35 years of bad behavior to unlearn... You'll have to kick me in the ass when I need it. And I'll kick you in the ass about your problems."

So it's a deal. And I have to credit Colleen not only for her understanding and willingness to change, but for giving me the perfect straight line I needed to drive the point home: "You never have that kind of conversation with me." "I'd love to, but I can't -- you keep falling apart."

During the afternoon Colleen and Marty made huge progress re-arranging the sewing corner based on my realization in the morning that it would work better if the sewing machine got moved from the North wall (the window facing the driveway) to the East along the large window that faces the porch and the street. The front window is enough wider that it actually fits, and the rolling storage units that were crowded into the space in front of the built-in shelves are now neatly arranged along the corner wall. Impressive.

Along the way Marty also completely re-arranged the front closet, making it an actual walk-in, with all the contents accessible. And Colleen went through four boxes and sorted the contents. Wow!!

A somewhat tiring day and a little rough in places, but any day when you get a breakthrough on a major problem is a good one. Add the sewing corner and the closet, and it was a very good day indeed.

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I was plagued all day by the pain in my right shoulder. During my walk I was feeling slightly down, very washed out -- it didn't take me long to realize that it was because my sister-of-choice Naomi had left in the morning. Spent the afternoon foggy from pain, and waffling over booking air travel for OVFF. Never did get that done; I have to do it today. It's complicated by the fact that the only way I can get there at a reasonable time is to leave before 8am.

Colleen gave me a couple of nice shoulder rubs at bedtime; that helped, as did the cyclobenzaprine and the double dose of naproxen. But it still hurts this morning.

We need to find Colleen a way of working in the kitchen; she's going stir-crazy. I think she intends to try the rolling walker today, but something like a rolling bar stool might work better.

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Not a very productive day, but a pretty good one on the whole. Lots of yummy links, which I'll get to shortly.

I noted that the YD has been getting up on her own, this first week of school. Not always early enough to make me coffee, but at least I haven't had to go upstairs to rouse her. Go, girl!

I managed a medium-length walk, with 15 minutes of meditation, so that was good.

Colleen told me that in her opinion I had a low-grade virus; the fact that both my nasal congestion and muscle aches have mostly gone away over the last two days is supporting evidence.

The major insight of the day was realizing that PE in junior high and high school was nothing but continuous humiliation for me. It could hardly have been otherwise, for someone with neither interest nor ability.

We ended the day with our "date night" dinner at El Torrito -- tasty and much less expensive than some of the places we've been going -- and went to bed early. Snuggle. Yay for snuggle.

Link sausage for the day.

a computer, a CD drive, a short shell script, and a piece of string rocking a baby to sleep. Silly, and terribly sweet.

Calibre, an open-source, cross-platform e-book library organizer. I definitely intend to take a look at this for the Kindle.

Giz explains how to actually make coffee using a variety of pots.

Some nice-looking hardware: the Touchbook tablet/netbook ($399, available for pre-order), and two articles about Nokia's N900 Maemo (Linux) phone. Gadget lust.

The No-To-SQL anti-database movement. Most of the time you don't need one.

A Newsweek article on polyamory, and Woody Guthrie's song Philadelphia Lawyer round out the day's collection.

I rather like this method of clearing my tabs.

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Not so good a day. Ted Kennedy died. I've already posted about my shoulder and school shootings. I did get a walk in -- that was good. Plus some meditation.

Don't know how it balances.

mdlbear: (wtf-logo)

Sometimes my body tells me things. Usually I listen to it, but sometimes the message isn't what I thought it was. Sometimes it's a little disturbing.

My left shoulder has been very tense and sore for the last couple of days. My original guess was that it had to do with manhandling a heavy suitcase on the trip home. That may still be what started things off.

But this morning I found it getting suddenly more tense and painful while reading this article about our latest local school bomber. (Warning: may be triggery.) WTF? The article's title is "Police: 'Techno-wizard' suspect fooled family" Oh.

The law enforcement source described the boy as a "techno-wizard," an assessment echoed by his grandmother. Shirley Youshock said the boy was skilled on the computer and had earned straight A's in school.

Youshock called him a quiet boy and said she knew of nothing that would have prompted Monday's attack.

Right. Me. I remember feeling somewhat the same way around Columbine. (I say "somewhat the same way" without being able to give a name to the feeling. Still.)

I honestly don't remember much about junior high and high school. I remember that I hated them. I remember getting a lot of teasing. Some of it was the anti-semitism that was prevalent at the time, though I didn't recognize it as such until years later. Some of it was the fact that I was fat, slow, clumsy, and shy -- a perfect target. I'm pretty sure my hatred of sports comes from this time; I was never particularly interested in sports, and always spectacularly bad at anything that involved running, or kicking, throwing, catching, hitting, or anything else with a ball. I don't think it was active hatred until sometime in junior high.

Junior high is when I went to a school dance, went home without having actually danced with anyone, and never went again. Junior high is when I and a couple of my equally-intelligent classmates were suspended for our "negative attitude" and had to get notes from our parents before we could come back to school. That's when, long before word processors, a social studies teacher made me write on graph paper to improve my handwriting. High school was when the US history teacher's only criterion for grading the term paper was whether you had enough references, and whether all your spelling and punctuation was correct.

Yeah, I was smart, I was quiet, I was shy... I don't think I had any thoughts of blowing up the school or killing all the teachers, but that may just be because it was another 40 years before anybody did it. I did have fantasies about the gigantic screws that held my junior high's exposed steel girders together...

I have no idea what other emotional baggage I've been dragging around for the last half-century, give or take. It seems to be pretty nasty stuff.

So,... yeah. Funny, my shoulder doesn't hurt quite as much now. But it still hurts.

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