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

I finished my sales tax (a big zero) on Monday, and told the county assessor's office about the end of my owner-occupied home property-tax exemption. As it turned out, I needn't have worried about getting dinged with penalties on my last payment -- it runs to the end of the year.

Realized that I'd be stuck paying CA income tax on the Starport, until I sell it. At least I won't have to file two state returns!

I've been sleeping too much. On the other hand, my mood is mostly good except when I'm overloaded or worried. Both of which happen pretty easily. I'm probably not as resilient as I used to be. I feel like I've been stretched way too thin.

Surprise.

The weekend was fun. Saturday we (Colleen, Naomi and I) went furniture shopping. N had found an astoundingly inexpensive dining set at Don Willis's -- beautiful dark wood; 8-person table, four chairs, and a bench for under $1K. Three more chairs turned up; we bought them all. The factory has gone bust -- there won't be any way to get more. N. found a dresser she liked that matches the one Colleen and I had bought there over the summer.

After splitting up for dinner, we met again at the Heather Dale concert. Fun, although there was a lot of overlap with Conflikt.

Sunday Colleen and I went to the West Seattle farmer's market, and explored a couple of blocks up and down California Avenue. I really love our new neighborhood.

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

It was rather an expensive weekend, but worthwhile. I really needed a break, and had dozens of things to do -- I'm glad I took the two days off again this week.

Saturday I ordered new batteries for Colleen's scooter. It turns out that they're available in 17, 18, 20, and 22 amp-hour in the same package. I got the big ones. Meanwhile, the old batteries are still working after a fashion. I'm reasonably certain that only one of the pair is dead.

We went out to Costco, where we bought a 32" TV. Samsung. It's only 720P; although abstractly I might have prefered 1080P, it really makes no difference at a 20' viewing distance. It fits neatly on the shelf above the printers, and I got it hooked up to both the BD player and the Mac mini. So, YAY!

Sunday, in addition to setting up the TV, I drove over to Naomi's and we went out for a walk. Nice! We'll have to do that more often. We had turkey for dinner -- Albertson's had 14lb birds for $.69/lb. There were 4lb turkey breasts in the same section that cost 50% more than a whole bird. Unfortunately, in spite of being labeled fresh, the bird was actually partly frozen. I scoched the top and set off the fire alarm. Fortunately just in the apartment; we had sense enough to open the porch door, not the hallway.

Monday, I went online and bought some furniture: two "Spinning Multimedia Tower"s, and a "Media Storage Lamp". The towers hold a huge number of disks -- over 1000 CDs each. We'll need both of them. The lamp is just the right size to stand in the space just in front of the recliners, and hopefully contain the pile of clutter that invariably accumulates there.

I went out for a walk in the late afternoon, and stopped in at Fred Myers to look at electronics. (Nominally, an ethernet switch, since I'm out of ports on the WiFi router.) While there, I saw a familiar figure heading toward the back of the store, and joined forces with Naomi. She drove me home, and stayed for a little while.

After N. left, James and Chaos arrived; I took them back to J's around 11pm so as not to have to drive with the drunks. I came back, and Colleen and toasted the New Year.

I also went online and made last-minute contributions to Planned Parenthood, Carleton College, and Heifer International. I have someone a goat for New Year's, which made Naomi (whose totem is a chamois) very happy. It was contagious, making for a particularly happy New Year's Eve.

Links in the notes, as usual. Hippo Gnu Ear, and may 2013 be a huge improvement over 2012.

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

Was I just complaining about not having enough entries? Admittedly, there are a lot of links and bits of puttering (indicated by the 15min: tag), BUT there were a few major items, too.

The biggest, I think, was the fact that Colleen was able to stand up and take 6 steps without holding on to anything. That's a total distance of about 3 feet, but still! Progress!

I set out for my walk in the morning, but stopped in at a garage sale two doors down and found a queen-sized futon couch for $20. The lovely young woman selling it helped me haul it to the house and into the living room, whereupon I decided that I'd had my exercise for the day.

We went out for a drive in the afternoon -- Highway 9 to Santa Cruz, then south on Highway 1, getting off at the exit labeled "harbor", because Colleen didn't want to be so close to the ocean without seeing it. We wandered around for a while, eventually finding ourselves on Cliff Drive between Santa Cruz and Capitola, which was simply lovely. I figured, correctly, that it would be difficult to get too lost in the little sliver between the ocean and Highway 1.

We remarked on how we should come back and explore Capitola on foot/scooter some time, and how it would be a nice place to retire to (though probably way too expensive). The fact that we're starting to consider moving, and actually talking about it, is a major step.

When we got home, I made a lovely guacamole (brightened by a ripe jalapeno and half a habanero pepper), and eventually posted my second Songs for Saturday. And Colleen repaired the pair of pants that's been sitting by the sewing machine for half a year. So I'm feeling pretty good about the day.

I went splat at 11, after feeling sleepy for about an hour and a half. (I got up at 8:15 this morning, so apparently I needed the sleep no matter how much I resent having to spend so much of my day unconscious.)

Quite a few links up in the notes, including several about ebooks. Most of those were related to seanan_mcguire's Across the digital divide. I may have something to say about that in the near future.

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

Some folks at work threw us a going-away lunch yesterday. Felt pretty weird. (I'm not leaving Ricoh, just moving from one subsidiary back to another.) I'll miss the people at EWS, and I've started writing up an exit report (called "When I Go").

I still have one more coding project left, which I have been neglecting.

The YD is off with her UBF until tomorrow evening. I'm cooking. The house feels a bit weird without the kid, but I could get used to it. Easily.

At home, I think my one accomplishment was figuring out how to attach an otherwise-useless and badly-designed plastic shelf to one side of my desk. It's fragile and awkward, but if it breaks I won't be upset at all, just replace it with something more permanent.

I got sleepy around 10pm, and crashed early.

Quite a few good links in the notes.

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

As I mentioned in this downwhen post, it looks as though we're going to be swapping the functions of the sewing room with those of the music/media alcove. The (new) music room wants to stay useable as a guest bedroom. And since it's, um, small, this raises the question of what kind of furniture one might be able to shoehorn into it to provide sitting space by day, and sleeping space by night.

What I came up with is basically a pair of daybeds or trundle beds, overlapping in the corner opposite the door. Because they'd be wider than a comfortable seat, they'd need a back support that they can be rolled out from underneath; it would presumably be cushioned and have storage inside.

Probably either a lot of carpentry or a lot of cash. Probably the former.

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

... doesn't mean that it's going to be easy to take apart. A little over three decades ago I bolted a few pieces of maple lumber together with 1/4" machine screws to make a frame for a pair of triple-folded foam cushions. When the foam disintegrated after some 20 years I added a back and bottom of maple plywood, and some 6" legs to raise it to a more comfortable height for a now-very-arthritic Colleen.

It's taken me some three-and-a-half hours to take it apart into manageable pieces. If seven-foot-long chunks of hardwood can be considered manageable. The cushions are now in the sewing room/guest room, waiting for enough floor space to lay them down and turn them into a bed. Since there are now only two cushions and not three, the resulting bed will be a few inches narrower than queen-sized, but longer.

There is cyclobenzaprine in my near future. Um... no there isn't. It's a tricyclic antidepressant and shouldn't be mixed with an SSRI. Grumble. And a hot bath. Definitely a hot bath.

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

Or at least a low platform. One of the projects that's been in progress, on and off, for the last couple of weeks here at the Starport has been raising Colleen's chair in the living room a couple of inches, to make it easier to get out of.

The final version consists of a 4' by 3' piece of mahogany plywood sitting on three pieces of redwood 2x4. There's a small block of 2x4 near the front to keep the chair from slipping backward -- it's a recliner, and has to stay far enough out from the wall to allow it to lean back.

Anyway, tonight being a Wednesday, we finally had enough weak minds strong backs to juggle heavy pieces of furniture, and got it done. Happy Cat; tired but happy Bear.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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you know you want to see it... )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
TreyChair.com - Multifunction task chairs for your desk, floor, home, or office.

Hit the link for the full treatment, including ordering and a cool flash movie; or click through for a couple of pictures )

Busy day

Apr. 4th, 2007 07:37 pm
mdlbear: (hacker glider)

After breakfast, coffee, and taking the kids to school and work, the first order of business was going up into the attic to pull a run of Cat5 from the phone demarc to the server closet in the office, to get ready for the tech's arrival on Friday. Dragged up a piece of plywood to lay over some of the bare ceiling joists, and found an 8-foot length of 1x12 that filled in the gap, so it all went pretty smoothly.

Next item on the agenda was driving up to Ikea to return the damaged desk that I bought on Sunday, not to mention recycling a van-load of cardboard from the preceeding week's assembly projects. Also picked up a couple of basket-drawer frames for the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf (to replace the ones she put together wrong), and a folding chair for general use.

By the time I got back, my DSL modem had arrived from Sonic. Then a quick lunch, followed by afternoon at the Embedded Systems Conference in the San Jose convention center. This involved spending all afternoon on my feet, but without either the exercise or the pleasure of a good walk. I've been going since the first one; this one was a little smaller than last year, and much less crowded. Intel had a large booth, but I'm not sure why -- they're mostly out of the embedded market these days. Eight-core servers don't count. OTOH, the 8-core server demo had a couple of these cool Thinkpad keyboards. I like the fact that it has three mouse buttons.

ESC was basically the usual suspects; nothing really exciting. The top swag was a bright orange messenger bag from TQ, a clip for holding sunglasses, a pen, and paper from Montavista, and a pen-shaped 4-bit screwdriver from VIA

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

After a couple of meetings, one of which started at noon and dovetailed neatly into a very productive two-hour conversation which will almost certainly end up with an invention disclosure, I came home to put the Y.D.'s desk together. First thing I noticed was a piece of crumpled-up paper on the floor by the diningroom table that turned out, on closer inspection, to be the missing Ikea receipt for the damaged desk. Yay! Fell out of somebody's pocket, from the look of it.

Put the desk together, which took about 2 hours. The [livejournal.com profile] super_star_girl said, "It's just as pretty as it was in the showroom!" So she's happy, which means I'm happy. I don't think I was in any shape to assemble the thing last night -- daylight and rest were essential. Just installed her computer. Her sister's old Canon printer is missing somewhere in the garage attic, but everything else is up and running.

The DSL install is scheduled for Friday, and the modem is on its way via UPS. Still need to run cat5 to the demarc.

Still need to do taxes. I'll start data-entry tonight. Still have three or four parts to record, and a half-dozen or so songs to mix. Probably Friday, since I have to be here for the DSL install.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

In startling contrast to the absolute zoo that is Ikea on weekends, Ikea at 5pm on a Monday is well-stocked and practically deserted. I'll have to remember that. I was also rather surprised to discover that I can manhandle a 99-pound box by myself without either dropping it on my foot or wrecking my back.

Only had time for about a half-hour walk today, but combined with a lighter-than-usual lunch and all the weight-lifting and stair-climbing I've done over the past three days I think I've gotten my exercise for the weekend.

Got to work fairly late because I spent probably more time than I needed to signing up for DSL with sonic.net. Toyed briefly with the possibility of staying with the Death Star for a fast, dynamic-IP connection on my main number and moving my mail and websites to a virtual host offsite. It would have been cheaper, but it would have taken more effort to set up and I would still have lost my static IP and hacker-friendly terms of service. When my rates go up after a year I'll reconsider -- I'll have had time to work on it and make a smooth transition. And I'll still be on Sonic.

No telling how long it will take for the Death Star to provision my line; they have to roll a truck (at a cost of $200) because I have too many extensions for the usual one-filter-per-phone approach to work. OK with me; I wanted a splitter at the demarc in the first place. I'll save the tech some trouble and run the cat5 myself. The attic access is through the Younger Daughter's bedroom, which fortunately has been recently cleaned. (Hence all the business sent in Ikea's direction.)

When I do go with a virtual server, it may very well be with dreamhost.com, but I'll take suggestions.

mdlbear: (abt)

Spent most of the morning at Ikea with the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf shopping for shelving and a desk chair for her room. Meanwhile, Stanley Steamer came in and steam-cleaned the carpets in her room, [livejournal.com profile] super_star_girl's room, the upstairs hallway, and the stairs. I then spent the entire blasted afternoon with the Wolfling putting her bed together. Made some absolutely stupid mistakes putting the shelf together: I was pretty punchy at that point and shouldn't have been allowed near a screwdriver. One screw -- fortunately not a perticularly critical one -- is missing; I think it's the one I dropped when handed the wrong one at a critical moment. Another of the same sort fell into a crack from which it will take a magnet to retrieve it. The desk will have to wait until morning.

There are some things about Ikea's design that are very clever, and others that are absolutely infuriating.

Of course, come 4:00pm the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat was absolutely furious at me for not having gone shopping with the Y.D., who needed a new mattress for her bed. Sorry, Love, there's only one of me, and two peoples' worth of work to be done. Luckily the Cat was able to get the mattress after I assured her there was enough headroom left on her credit card, and that I had allowed for the weekend's expenses in the budget. Yummy chili for dinner, which means leftover chili for breakfast tomorrow. Yay!

Nothing done on the album, obviously, but I did manage to download all the preorder details from PayPal, which is something I've been putting off for some reason. 39 web preorders total. Add the 23 paper preorders already entered, and 10 more since Consonance, and we get a grand total of 72 (not allowing for a couple of 2-set orders, a couple of contributor and promotional copies, and the two Interfilk auction packages). There are plenty of pre-order packages left, folks!

Tomorrow I get to take the Y.D. desk shopping, finish helping the Wolfling put her bed together, and hopefully have enough time and energy left over for some tracks. And start the taxes. Did I mention that I still haven't started the taxes? At least things are organized. I could do it in a weekend at this point, if I had a weekend free.

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