Done with my taxes. I owe quite a lot, but it's less than last year and about half what I was afraid I was going to have to pay based on what the software was showing me when I started. Not complaining.
I fastened a large cardboard box to my desk and lined it with a towel. The cats love it. Hardly any trouble anymore with cats walking across my keyboard. In addition, Desti is a great lap cat, especially when I'm sitting in the Rainbow Room with Colleen.
The work downstairs is almost done! There's still some electrical work left in the garage, but other than that it's basically habitable. Movers come tomorrow at noon for the big stuff, i.e. furniture.
xmonad is still cool, though not quite as much so on my work laptop due to downrev versions of xmobar and dzen2, the auxiliary status bar programs. Neither of them works well enough to give me clickable desktop names. But the only time I really care about being able to navigate without the keyboard is when there's a cat on my desk, and that only happens at home.( Notes & links, as usual )
I seem to have mostly switched to xmonad as my window manager. This is a Good Thing -- I seem to be better able to concentrate with a less-cluttered screen. (On the other hand, I'm less productive while I'm still hacking on the configuration. That may be less of a good thing. There are, unfortunately, still a few things that don't work well in it.
Meanwhile, despite being fairly productive at work, I have gotten behind on a couple of longer-term things -- namely taxes, and a presentation that I'm supposed to be giving next Friday. (It's more fun to read Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!.)
It was quite warm several days this week. That is not expected to last, but it does indicate that Spring may be on its way. Not to be confused with the Spring Framework. Which I am not happy with.
I am also starting to do yard work again, after neglecting it for almost all of last year. (Partly because depression; not clear on the rest.)
Sigh. Too many things have fallen by the wayside. I, perhaps, am one of them.( Notes & links, as usual )
A good week for Sanders supporters. Last Sunday we went to the Bernie Sanders rally at Key Arena, and yesterday was the Democratic caucuses. (There was another rally Friday evening that G and N went to, but I didn't.) As you probably know, Bernie won big in all three of Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii yesterday.
The rally was amazing. He's an electrifying speaker, with a message that resonates deeply with this old radical's values. We need him in the White House.
This was the first time I've been in a caucus, and despite the reference in Alice it wasn't dry at all. Mostly fun, with some boring bits and too much standing.
Inspired by the Functional Programming Principles in Scala course that our team's reading group is taking, I have branched out into Haskell and started to set up xmonad, the tiling window manager that rocks. The main reason for that is the way it handles multiple monitors, which looks like a great match for the way I use my work laptop, always switching between stand-alone at meetings, and plugged into multiple monitors on my desktop.
Still trying to wrap my head around monads and category theory in functional programming. Multiple Wikipedia dives on that one.( Notes & links, as usual )
The week started with my 69th birthday, continued on through Pi Day and Colleen's birthday, and ended with dinner in Port Townsend celebrating Emmy's birthday a week early (to keep from being out of town for caucus day).
It was also a busy and productive week at work. Finally. Winding up in a corner with a window in front of me after the move seems to have helped; there is also more space in the new layout, and fewer TPMs, both of which reduce the cross-talk. I started working on my taxes, which probably won't be quite as bad as last year.
Pretty good week, considering.
Considering that I'm well over half a million in debt, in a house that is just what we want but which we won't be able to afford if I lose my job, which seems likely because I'm neither enjoying it much nor performing as well as I need to. I'm depressed and anxious, both with good reasons.
Looking back over years and decades of horribly bad decisions, and wondering whether there's any way out of the hole I've dug for myself. Probably not.( Notes & links, as usual )
How the fuck did I get to be 69 years old? I'm still busy misspending my youth!
Speaking of misspending, I managed to scare the heck out of myself by transferring money for the mortgage payment to the household account, then paying it out of my personal account because I didn't think the transfer would post quickly enough. Wrong on both counts. No lasting harm done, but still...
In other news, although I've been a little more productive than usual, I'm seriously concerned that it isn't enough.
Taxes are in progress. It's probably going to be a trainwreck again.
Not really a good year. I think that, from about March through September, I was basically out of my mind with depression and anxiety. I may have my meds stabilized now, but I'm still having to deal with the fallout from what I screwed up.
The last few days I've been swinging between despairing (finances) and whatever state I'm in when I have a purring, blissed-out cat next to me. I don't think it's either happy or contented, but whatever it is it's better than the alternatives.( Notes & links, as usual )
Not a great week -- they rarely are -- but not too bad. Reasonably productive. As I wrote on Wednesday, hopefully that's the new normal for work. Quite a lot of laptop updating and some upgrading, cascading from N's disk failing to boot. Not clear whether the data is recoverable, but meanwhile she has a couple of options for laptops that work.
Our team's reading group has started taking Coursera: Functional Programming Principles in Scala. Which inevitably kicked off a couple of days' worth of Wikipedia dives into functional programming. And category theory, because monads. I'm going to have to learn Haskell next.
I want to get back into recording; so far the only thing I have to show for that is picking up my guitar twice to get back into practice. We'll see how far that goes.
Sometime on Friday I apparently noticed that my self-talk has gotten increasingly negative and self-critical, especially while walking. Which may have something to do with not walking as much as I used to. (The fact that the factual content is, as far as I can tell, accurate is NOT HELPFUL.) I did manage to reschedule the appointment with my therapist that I had to put off a couple of weeks ago. So that's something.
Your attention is drawn to the following music-related links:
- Meet Gaelynn Lea, The 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Winner : NPR
- Afghan Idol Throws Off Her Burqa and Belts Out Domestic Violence Protest Song
It's only been two days since my last "done" post, but I wanted to finish off the month, and in any case it's been a fairly eventful couple of days.
Lots of Linux configuration stuff (and more today), much of it triggered by the hard drive to SSD upgrade I did on my laptop. Tweaking is still ongoing, but mostly it's done (for example, I'm posting from it). And Sunday I nailed a configuration problem (having to do with locales, but showing up only as inability to start gnome-terminal over ssh). Fun!
Yesterday had been set aside at work for doing or learning something new. I spent the day learning the Go programming language. It has a lot to recommend it: fast as a bat, first class functions, real closures, duck-typed interfaces, coroutines and channels, documentation done right (i.e. simple, ordinary comments). A few things to dislike, but I'm likely to try some small projects in it.
I could still have gotten more done. ( Notes & links, as usual )
Mixed. Good week in some ways -- Thursday's basement-cleaning exercise with Giselle and N went a lot better than I expected. Getting rid of considerably more than we're keeping, which is good. Still need to do something like that in the garage.
My back hurts.
My back was not helped by spending all of yesterday sitting in uncomfortable chairs -- first at Lenscrafters while Emmy got her eyes examined, then at Harborview where they sent her for a CAT scan because her right optic nerve was swolen. *sigh* This happened back when she was 18; at that time the diagnosis was pseudotumor cerebri (which means that the pressure inside your head is high for no obvious reason), and she was told to lose weight. That's almost certainly the case this time, too. Not how I'd been planning to spend my Saturday, and not my favorite way of getting father-and-daughter time. Grumpy bear is grumpy.
I have not gotten much done at work this week. Grump.( Notes & links, as usual: )
Productive? I'm not sure. Probably. Progress at work, though not as much as I would have liked, and a fair amount of clearing in the garage. Found many things that have been missing for years, including my box of good chisels. Also, an ENT appointment (follow-up to my faceplant; see 20151124Tu.)
Also, any week that includes Scalia leaving the Supreme Court is pretty good in my book. Impeachment or even retirement would have been better, but this was the only way given the current political environment.
We nearly lost Ticia, who bolted out when someone left the Great Room sliding doors open; fortunately she hadn't gone far, and Naomi and I make a great cat-retrieval team. Whew!
I've also been getting re-acquainted with LaTeX, which has evolved quite a lot since I wrote my filk-formatting macros. I'll be rewriting those shortly. Meanwhile I've also been doing some work in my Config package. Partly that's because I've been working on the equivalent package at work in preparation for getting an upgraded laptop.
Plenty of links in the notes. GOOD links! Your attention is drawn particularly to the first detection of gravitational waves (more links in the notes), this amazing music video, and this news article, which features some kids who people who know us will recognize.( Notes & links, as usual: )
A fairly busy week, but also full of frustration. Both because my bank's transfers to other banks appears to be broken, and because work seems to be two steps forward and one and a half steps back. Grumble.
I have, however, done a decent amount of cleanup in the garage -- mostly a matter of consolidating, but I've eliminated an entire row of boxes, and discarded quite a lot of junk. That must count for something.
You may note, however, that I'm not doing much else -- basically just working, reading, and sleeping. Not terribly exciting. Though I have shifted a lot of my time into the Rainbow Room with Colleen -- apart from the smaller screen it has no disadvantages except when she's watching a video I'm not interested in.( Notes and links, as usual: )
Conflikt was this last weekend; I'm posting on Monday so as to get in the whole con, as well as the end of the month. It was a pretty good con, though I ended up doing very little singing. Missed the smoked salmon (dead dog) filk -- Colleen was fading and neither of us was willing to spend much more money on hotel food. Dinners were bar snacks, because they were cheaper.
I had conversations with two new (to me) people, and did a little catching up though not as much as I often do. I actually spent much of my time listening to concerts and working on my lyrics-to-html conversion. Which looks really good now, since it no longer relies on monospaced fonts. Not on the site yet, though.
Also not on the site yet is my Sasquan concert, which I finally got the audio for.
In other news, there are lots of good links, mostly related to tiny houses. If it wasn't for the possibility of eventually moving into someplace we can actually afford I would have no hope at all. Even with that, it will probably come too late, and our house will take too long to sell. I've been making some progress at work, but it's like slogging through mud.
Financial ruin is only a paycheck away, and despair is never far from the front of my mind. I have noone to blame but myself, of course.( raw notes, with links )
Ironically, my copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering has gone missing. In the clutter. Probably in the Great Room. I did, however, do a pretty large amount of decluttering in the garage. In the process, I found four boxes of missing Christmas ornaments and, best of all, the box containing my block plane, jack plane, chisels, and soldering irons! I've been looking for that one for over a year.
I was especially happy to find my Oryx 50 Temperature controlled soldering iron, with its home-made stand. The fact that I'd already bought replacements for the planes and the soldering iron doesn't matter -- these were old friends, and I'm happy to be reunited with them.
About the only thing to be happy about. I'll take what I can get.
It's also the start of annual review season; I did the two that were due on Friday, including my self-review. Nothing like a self-review to show me how little I've accomplished this year. And I still have to write up the reunion debacle. I think I spent a lot of this year out of my mind.
Lots of reading, mostly about tiny houses, and lots of nice cat cuddles, mostly from Ticia.
Lots of links in the notes. You know the drill.( raw notes, with links )
Short week, since I want to close out the year. Not a good year.
Not a particularly bad week, but not all that productive, either. Rather nice New Year's Eve with the Zoo -- four of Emmy's friends who have become friends with Colleen as well. Unfortunately, they live in Tacoma, so they can't come over all that often. Cheese boards for dinner.
More research and reading on tiny houses. This week the main focus was on shipping containers and bus conversions; I also finished reading Mud Ball: 6 weeks, $6000 and Plenty of Dirt. Fun. That was interesting in part because the author was 40 when she built it. Currently reading a blog, 40x28 | Building Our Shipping Container Home -- fun, but those people are a lot younger.
Last night I posted my Year-end Wrap-Up; I think there's more to be said there, but that's a start. A lot to regret, which doesn't come through, and needs more analysis.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
It's been a pretty good week. Feels like a vacation, since it included a short day (Thursday), a WFH day (originally planned for Thursday, but moved up because Colleen needed a second urology appointment on Wednesday), and one day of vacation (which wasn't much of one, since it included Colleen's and my monthly urology and psych appointments respectively.) But ok.
Sunday, I spent the morning on website administration, moving song audio
files into a separate directory and fixing a lot of broken links in the
process. In the afternoon, Colleen, Naomi, and I went wood shopping (to
Rockler, which is pretty much the only place open on Sunday that sells
exotic hardwoods). The main
reason was to
get some wood for a sewing box/ottoman that N wanted to make, for which we
scored a nice 10' piece of African mahogany. But along the way, Colleen
spotted a gorgeous slice of olivewood. Obviously too expensive.
Naomi and I bought it for her as a surprise Christmas present. We win. It's going to become a little table to sit between the chairs in our bedroom.
My favorite gift was a red fluffy bathrobe from Colleen; N saw it and immediately dubbed me "Gandalf the Maroon".
Food was good, too. Christmas Eve BunBun came over; with BF, Chaos, and Alex; and cooked dinner. Christmas Glenn made Roast Beast.
I spent altogether too much time Friday and Saturday on a series of Wikipedia dives and research into tiny houses. But I finally understand the Banach–Tarski paradox. Which is something I've been puzzling over since high school. Nice to get some closure on that.
Lots o' links, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
So... pretty good week, I guess. Not quite as productive as I would have wanted. Or needed. I did spend some time yesterday upgrading various computers, including some that hadn't been touched in quite a long time. Blackroot, the Thinkpad I took with me from Ricoh, had a Debian partition that was still on Squeeze, so it needed two upgrades. Went ok, though. The plan is to use it upstairs in the bedroom, for those times when I can't or don't want to go downstairs. E.g., cat cuddles.
Did quite a lot of singing Monday morning, for those few people still left in Mom's apartment. Travel was uneventful; I had a full hour to change planes in Midway.
Lots of good snuggle with Colleen and Ticia when I got home. Ticia is an awesome therapy cat.( raw notes, with links )
Note the mood. I try to use the first term that comes into my head, since that's less likely to be overthought and edited. So the combination of Good Drugs and a good cat seems to be working. That, and things going fairly well.
- I am pretty much over my injuries from my run-in with a sidewalk last Tuesday; I have a referral to ENT to get the nose checked out, since it seems somewhat more congested than it used to.
- I am a lot less worried about how little Ticia is eating: As you can see in the notes for last Sunday and yesterday, she has gained back some of the weight she lost in the first few weeks, and since she was overweight to begin with, that's good.
- We have started brainstorming for what we're going to do after I retire (and the household starts bleeding money). Present thinking mostly involves tiny houses, and moving to someplace cheaper after N's kids are out of school.
Lots of links this time. Especially noteworthy are:
- Pack up my old guitar - not only how, but why.
- My dives into CSS frameworks and tiny houses on Saturday.
- www.musicforcats.com - which is in today's notes, but which I wanted to throw in because cats.
Rough week physically, so-so mentally. As for the physical, I can do no better than to quote from Tuesday's notes:
Clumsy bear got into a fight with a wet manhole cover and a sidewalk. The manhole cover tripped me and the sidewalk hit me in the face. Lost the fight, but got away quickly enough to escape serious injury. (Slipped, and would probably have recovered except that I tripped over the curb and did a faceplant.)
Hand apparently broke the fall pretty well, but I have some abrasions on knee and forehead, and a fair amount of bruising and a cut on the bridge of my nose. Grump. Ouch. Glasses had their nosepiece bent a little but nothing scratched or broken. Could have been *much* worse.
As it turned out, I had two small breaks in my nose; they showed up on the CAT scan. At this point everything but the nose and the abrasion on my knee have stopped hurting even a little. I got off easy.
Mentally, my current meds appear to be doing their job. I'm worried about Ticia, though. She hasn't been eating much, and has lost weight since we got her. (She was overweight, but still; I don't like it.) She is also still getting into fights with the other cats. On the other hand, she's also endearingly cuddly, especially with me.
The other biggish news is that we got the HELOC to cover the overrun on the remodel. Colleen and I went and signed for it yesterday. Of course, it makes me worry more about finances.
I've done a little practicing; need to do more, especially on the stuff I'm likely to be playing at and around Mom's birthday party.
Lots of links, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Long, stressful week. Monday I posted In Your Arms, about my cat Curio. Yesterday, the washer we'd ordered arrived, for the second time, damaged. (Our old upstairs washer died July 6, for those of you keeping score.) In between I've mostly been working.
I've just finished compiling the timeline for the whole sorry tale of our experiences with Home Depot over the last 3 1/2 months. I'll post it tomorrow. tl;dr: buy appliances from somewhere else.
No word yet about the home equity line of credit I applied for last week; apparently the documents I sent didn't go through because their email system blocks encrypted zip files. Damned if I'll send that stuff in the clear. I'm not optimistic.
Links and so on in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
Hmm. It's kind of late, and I haven't updated yet. I also see that many of my daily notes are sketchy, which means I've mostly been working.
I have been doing some home stuff; mainly a long-overdue overhaul
of my build system (which, for those who care, is all based on GNU make).
And my major accomplishment for the week: writing and posting a Poem:
The washer installation has been put off again; it is now scheduled for this coming Saturday.
Links in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
Reasonably productive at work. Somewhat productive at home. Booked air travel for Mom's birthday (which I was able to pay for with points! Go me.) and OVFF. (Membership and hotel for OVFF were already booked.)
Practiced. Some days not all that much, but every day.
Lots of puttering around the house, but there's still a lot -- mostly paperwork and coordination -- that isn't getting done. Still employed, but worried. When I stop working, whether it's now or in a couple of years, things are going to go to hell very quickly. N and I are starting to brainstorm other things I could do, but it's still not going to be enough to keep things together.
I hate this.
Links, as usual, in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
On my way home from work on Monday I started noticing flu symptoms; by evening they were in full force, and I spent the rest of the week working from home. Yesterday I was feeling almost normal modulo a cough, but still too easily tired. Will probably be up for work on Monday. I hope so.
The washer/dryer that Home Depot couldn't install has been hauled away, and the refund is in my account. They shouldn't have left it here in the first place -- we should have refused the shipment and had it taken back. I'm still looking for the repair receipts for the old one; that's probably hopeless.
I didn't go to my 50th high school reunion. Sad about that, but it meant that I'll be able to afford OVFF. And with my case of the flu, I would almost certainly have had to cancel anyway -- I was in no shape to travel. So it goes.
Mostly I've been worried about money. As usual. There's a reason why one of the tags on this post is "Trainwreck". 30 years of lousy financial decisions will do that.
I've been studying CSS and SVG. My website-building skills are basically 20th Century, and need to be brought up to date. Some of the things people are doing with CSS are impressive.
Details and links in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
This week was marked by total failure to get our new washer/dryer installed. Also total failure to find the breaker that controls the outlet, so that I could re-install the 30A outlet that it had originally. In order to get the damned thing installed we would have had to remove the stairlift rail. Not happening. Two different crews tried. I suspect that a team of house-movers might have been able to do it. We'll get in touch with Home Depot on Tuesday (the appropriate person is gone for Labor Day weekend) and work out a swap.
I'm still employed, and have both help and a plan for the missing piece of $LATE_PROJECT. I still screwed up badly.
I got a new hard drive to replace the one with bad sectors in Nova, but haven't done the transfer yet. It's less urgent now that I've moved the files containing the bad blocks aside.
In other network news, I have DNS up (after much procrastination). The household's domain is, of course, "rainbows.end". Fortunately, ".end" isn't a valid TLD. (This morning I installed my spare router, running DD-WRT, in place of the stock Netgear that I couldn't persuade to serve more than one name server from DHCP.)
Links and details in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
I didn't post Sunday because I was still at Worldcon. And yesterday I was just too wiped out. But here I am, days late (and thousands of dollars short, but that's another complaint).
Sasquan made a pretty good filk con. That's literally all the programming I got to. The concerts, mostly; not even much open filking. I had a half-hour concert slot; it went well. Riverheart, For Amy, The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of, Where the Heart Is, Windward, Toolmakers, Keep the Dream Alive. Most of my most intensely emotional repertoire; my voice broke a little on everything but Riverheart and Toolmakers, but not so much that I couldn't keep singing.
If you have a recording of it, I need a copy. Thanks. I'll mail you a thumb drive, or you can share it on Google or Dropbox. No processing necessary -- I can handle raw .WAV or (better) .FLAC files.
Until this year I rarely did much more than choke up a little. The last time I remember really having trouble making it through a song without crying was 1986. (See last song in the set.) I seem to be more open to my emotions -- my grief, anyway -- and that's a good thing. It's worlds better than being numb.
The smoke -- much of central Washington is on fire -- was particularly bad Friday night. Saturday was almost clear, but it came back Sunday.
I spent a lot of my time, including most of my time sitting in concerts, writing. Mostly, the Rainbow Bridge page, and Curio's page under it; the latter is still in progress, so I won't link to it yet. It's hard.
Links and more details in the notes, including a couple of Wikipedia dives and the preliminary setlists.( raw notes, with links )
I keep listening to the jingle of the little bell and tag on his collar. Our other cats are quiet little ninjas. When I couldn't find him I'd call his name and he'd jingle. When he stopped responding to his name I knew something was wrong.
I've said that he was "my cat", because he chose me and loved me and followed me, but in truth he was more Colleen's cat. She was the only one whose lap he would sit on. He would curl up there for hours, or sit on the footrest of her recliner, or lie on her chest next to her heart.
When he started being a picky eater, she was the one who made sure he ate, and chased the other cats away from his bowl. She fed him cat treats, and when we had bacon for breakfast she would break off pieces for him.( pictures under the cut. If you're on LJ, go over to Dreamwidth, which does a better job of scaling the pix. )
Finally, here are some links related to FIP:( links, cut for length. )
Long month this last week. Last Sunday, when I st/rolled to the West Seattle street fair with Colleen and G, and swapped songs in the Great Room with N, G, and G's friend Ed, seems like it happened to somebody else, long ago.
It's now four days since I helped my dear friend Curio cross the Rainbow Bridge, and learned that I could cry again. Three days since I pulled my left QL muscle again, walked an agonizing third of a mile home from the bus stop, and re-learned how to use a cane. Less than two days since our friend Jim Pearce died.
My sister Naomi was there for me with Curio, and again after my injury. Colleen and I have cried on one another's shoulders more than once. Desti, our household incarnation of Bast, has sat with me and comforted me. Friends have written condolences. My back feels better this morning, but there are too many empty places in my heart, and they ache.
Please, Universe: I understand that life and health are fragile things. You don't have to keep reminding me.
Links and more in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
L o n g week. Nevertheless, it feels as though a whole lot of things didn't get done. A lot of things did, though.
Monday after work we went up to Mukilteo for Kat's 30th birthday dinner at the local Mongolian Grill. Um... does that mean my daughter is 30 years old? Eeeep! Also the drain pump on the upstairs washer died. Again.
Tuesday I had an appointment with the therapist at UW Shoreline Clinic. Possibly helpful. Now reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Also took Colleen to a dentist appointment in the afternoon.
I didn't get around to calling the repair place about the washer until Wednesday.
Thursday G came home from the hospital. I worked from home. We'd been planning a celebratory dinner, but everybody was just too wiped out, so we ordered pizza.
Friday the repair guy came out and made the obvious diagnosis, but didn't have a new pump on the truck. :P I went out to Trader Joe's and bought a pile of steaks for the delayed celebratory dinner.
Yesterday I was mostly a vegetable. Except for two loads of laundry (and four drier loads) -- thank goodness for the downstairs laundry room -- making dinner, a load of dishes, a not-entirely-successful PT session with G, ...
OK, I guess I've been doing things. I haven't been all that productive at work, though, which is a potential problem. I think I'm suffering from the fact that $WORK, like most workplaces these days, is explicitly set up only for extroverts. Not only is it open seating, without even cubicles, but you can't get anything done at all without interacting with other teams, and asking for help frequently. No wonder I seem to be burned out. I just hope I can make it to the end of the year, when my next batch of stock vests.
Oh, did I mention the back pain? Back pain. Left QL muscle.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Not a great week, but not terrible. The new antidepressant seems to be helping, and I've been moderately productive. Well, at work, anyway. Wasted all morning Friday on chat with CenturyLink trying to figure out why gigabit internet is available for new accounts (like for our basement "apartment") but not for the line we already have. I'm most likely to simply open the new account and drop internet from the house phone. Having a hardwired phone is good for emergencies anyway.
Thursday I finally got over 10,000 steps; first time since I got the new phone, which includes an always-on pedometer app.
Went out to buy fans yesterday. Home Depot sold out two weeks ago; so did Target. Bed Bath and Beyond had them, but most were expensive. Ended up spending 40 on a stand fan for the Rainbow Room, and 30 for a table fan for Emmy. Really wanted box fans, but there were none to be had.
Colleen and I watched the fireworks on livestream from one of the local stations.
Lots of anxiety, still some depression, and a fair amount of back pain. The latter may be related to the chair I've been sitting in in the Rainbow Room -- it has inadequate back support. Will probably have to do something about that, because I need to spend more time with Colleen there. As for the depression, my overall mood seems to be up a little, but it may be more variable. Still get overwhelmed, and I seem to have gotten worse at functioning through it. We'll see whether the ramped-up dose improves things.
Lots of good links in the notes:( raw notes, with links )
Mixed. Very mixed. Mostly bad.
The good stuff first, I think: we managed to recapture the cats when they escaped on Tuesday, and I had a couple of fairly productive days at work. Maybe that should be "at", since several of them involved working from home. And, of course, the recent Supreme Court decisions. My feeds are still full of rainbows.
OTOH, it will take about $5K to get gas turned on for the house, unless we can figure out a way to install a furnace. Which will cost even more, though it will be more efficient our current electric heating, and save money in the long run. And the really bad news: G was in an accident. Not nearly as bad as it could have been -- just a badly broken left arm (humerus), and a hairline fracture of the left fibula near the ankle. The fact that it's hairline means that he will be able to walk on it as soon as he can tolerate the pain. The fact that the broken arm is on the same side means that he can't use crutches.
OTGH, I'm on a new antidepressant (bupropion, which I've heard good things about), and should know in a week or two whether it's helping. Meanwhile, I'm stressed, still very anxious about work, and altogether not all together.
A LOT to be thankful for, but still not a very good week for the family.( raw notes, with links )
Rough week. My depression seems to have gotten worse (I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for Thursday and will discuss medication changes), stress from work has been high, my weight is back up after decreasing for a couple of weeks, and, and, and...
It doesn't help that last Sunday was Colleen's mother's birthday, and that today is Father's Day.
On the other hand, Colleen and I had a nice st/roll last week, to the local Farmer's Market about a mile away, which we plan on repeating today with the kids. Because Father's Day.
Pope Francis's much-anticipated encyclical, Laudato si' (24 May 2015), was an interesting read. Beautiful, though I found the theological parts baffling and a little disturbing. Clearly, I'm not part of the target audience; I hope it has a good effect on the people who are, though I don't have much hope. The Catholic Church has gone way the hell to the right since the '60s, when it was a prominent presence on the left.
Links and details in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
Hmm. Long week. The week included a lot of moving stuff around setting things back up after the wedding; that's probably what's behind my current back problems. (See QOTD from yesterday.)
My loaner project at work is winding down, though not as quickly as I'd like. Not feeling very good about work right now.
On the gripping hand, the Great Room looks fantastic, with much more room in its new configuration (blue couch in the SE corner). And Colleen's new baker's rack nightstand has been installed, and looks great. And I upgraded Nova to Debian Jesse, which rocks. (Not entirely clear what I'll do with the extra monitor space; possibly mostly devote it to the to.do file, which I usually edit on Nova anyway when I'm at home. x2x rocks, too.
I have to tell you about
x2x(1). (For those of you still stuck on legacy operating
systems, the equivalent is
synergy or, if one of your
machines runs linux,
x2vnc.) It's the exact opposite of a
remote desktop application (which you get for free in Linux) -- it lets
you share a mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. You just sit
their displays side by side, tell x2x which edges are next to one another,
and your mouse slides smoothly between them, taking the keyboard with it.
Cut and paste work perfectly. Indispensable. I also set it up at work,
between my desktop and laptop.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Productive week. Very. Also a very bad week. Let me explain.
On the productive side, we -- mostly I, actually -- did some final clearing-out and organizing in the garage, and Kat and Glenn got their piles of stuff out. The maypole's cross-section went from a square with rounded corners to an actual circle, and it looks remarkably Polish now. Colleen got her catheter and bag, so we have a greatly-reduced laundry and garbage load. A lot of the framing in the addition has been done, and the garage portion is a couple of feet bigger than I expected it to be. It was also a pretty productive week at work.
On the bad side, I got into a fender-bender -- my own stupid fault -- so we don't have the Honda right now. And I could have used it yesterday. And Colleen's new prosthetic bladder means that she can't take baths. Which means no walk-in tub. And a screw vibrated loose on the router, which could have been drasticaly bad but wasn't. And my back was hurting for much of the week.
On the in side (where every silver lining has a cloud around it), not getting a walk-in tub means saving tens of thousands on the upstairs remodeling. And it's practically impossible to be depressed while wielding a jointer plane. Found that out last night.
Links in the notes as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Mixed? L O N G week. I got my taxes filed (at almost the last minute, with glitches), and got the router jig finished (with some problems, which I hopefully fixed yesterday). But I've also been a lot less productive than I need to be at work; that's potentially a huge problem.
Yesterday we got the garage cleaned out (to the extent necessary) with the help of a couple of day laborers that N. hired. They did a fantastic job, in about half the time we'd expected. There are still huge piles of boxes and things that will have to be moved eventually, but it's all in the area that's going to become a garage, and there's space around it. (There's also a huge pile of lumber stacked on the workbench that's going to be moved into the garage after they're done. And the playroom and downstairs hallway are full of boxes, waiting for the shelves that haven't been put up yet. And and and...)
Links in the notes as usual.( raw notes, with links )
As often happens, I managed to end the week feeling frustrated and unproductive despite getting, actually, quite a lot done. Past failings have the most to do with it, as in I didn't restart working on taxes until Saturday evening, at which point I got around to noticing that the printed returns from the last two tax years have gone missing. And I couldn't find the final sale documents from the Starport, either, so made do with the estimates. Doesn't matter because everything but the depreciation I took last year was excluded. And of course I hadn't yet gone through my charity and business receipts. AAARGH!
Clearly, my record-keeping sucks. And I haven't been practicing. And things are somewhat behind at work. I need to work on these things.
On the plus side, though, I did make progress on my work project, and even got one of my more questionable design decisions validated (so that's work I *don't* have to redo). And I made a phone call I've been putting off for months, and got the thing done, and it wasn't as bad or as embarrassing as I expected it to be. And I've gotten a lot done on house projects (because anything is more than fun than taxes, including shifting boxes around and taking out the garbage).
And my laptop is fixed. Also in the computer area, I'm getting pretty good at configuring new Ubuntu installs. :/ And I found a ThinkPad USB Keyboard w Integrated Touchpad on eBay, at a price way too good to pass up. (I've been seeing them going for over $400!) Unlike more recent versions, this one has a built-in 2-port USB hub, and a small touchpad that recognizes 2-finger scrolling. (But not, ironically, on a Mac. Though since it doesn't have a logo key, it's useless on a Mac anyway.) I'm not expecting to get the leather carrying case, since this is a used item.
And my family is, as usual, awesome. Including the four-footed members. My health is holding out pretty well. Physical health, anyway. (Notice how I resisted the temptation to add a string of qualifications that amount to me not taking as good care of myself as I could.) (Notice how I used "could" in that sentence instead of "should".) That's progress, of a sort. I'll take it.
On the whole, looking at the above, I think this has been a pretty decent week, even with the taxes unfinished. Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
The perceptive reader will have noticed that as of April 1st I have stopped putting a space between the numerical date and the day of the week. This saves approximately 10ms/day, and may be the most productive thing I've done all week.
Or else not. I took Cygnus in for repairs, set up a desktop computer to replace it, got the remodeling contract signed, went to appointments with the dentist and the urologist, picked up Colleen's repaired sewing machine, built the jig for turning the maypole, fixed the Honda's bumper, paid some bills, and set up a laptop in the Rainbow Room for watching livestreams.
It is a measure of how much stuff I'm not getting done that this can still be considered lazy and unproductive. The main problem is taxes, but there are others.( raw notes, with links )
Not a good week. Nightmares and (almost entirely silent) meltdowns. Mostly panic over taxes and other money problems, though the fact that Curio isn't eating well doesn't help, nor does ongoing work stress, nor taxes.
On the other hand, I did (finally) go out and get the wood for the Maypole; it was a great deal more expensive than I expected, but... ok. Nobody has redwood, and nobody has cedar longer than 12'. N. suggested using a Christmas tree stand; that will probably work and has some distinct advantages. Like, not putting a hole in the lawn.
I wasted several hours yesterday and today booting up (or trying to) several different old computers, because my laptop is in poor shape. I'll take it in for service on Tuesday. Also wasted a lot of time and spoons fighting with the mac mini. MacOS is almost unusable as of Yosemite; they even turn off scrollbars by default! IDIOTS! Back to using the laptop today, because I decided to do a thorough backup before taking it in. So far it seems to be behaving itself.
Also wasted a great deal of time looking for tax info, which I was too careless and/or stupid to keep track of. That's looking to be another nightmare, what with selling the Starport.
At least the Honda has its mirror and is otherwise working pretty well; service came in well north of two grand, which is about what I expected. They didn't fix the bumper -- I'll probably have to go to a body shop for that. Unless I can fix it myself, which isn't impossible. I think all it's going to need is a few whacks with a deadblow hammer.
My mood hasn't been improved much by getting unfriended over a FB post. Wouldn't mind much except that I liked the person in question, but her posts have been getting more stridently conservative lately, and I'd been getting more and more uncomfortable reading them. My post was a re-share of the link she'd shared and agreed with, with my comment:
Re: Superintendent Stands Up In A Big Way For Principal Facing Atheist Backlash This has attracted a lot of highly predictable agreement from conservative Christians. Ask yourselves this -- would it still be ok if the principal had been quoting from the Koran? How about the Satanic Bible? Do you imagine, even for a moment, that he would still have his job in that case? Because what you would think about that is *exactly* what an atheist thinks about his bible quotes.
I'll admit that the second paragraph is a bit gratuitously confrontational, but I don't think it's out of line considering the article and the massively approving reactions it got from the original poster and her friends. *sigh*
Looks like I won't be going to Indiana for a while, either.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Very mixed week. On the positive side, I had a terrific birthday brunch at Salty's with Colleen and Emmy, my weight is down (and about time!), I've been sleeping less, we got the rest of the garage cleared, and the garden is being professionally worked on (Naomi's birthday present to me). On the negative side, I got very little work done, I went into a full-on depressive meltdown Wednesday night, my health insurance company announced a major data breach, I've been sleeping less, and the garage work hurt more than it did two weeks ago, when I actually lifted more.
The observant reader will note that sleeping less is in both categories: I like the extra time in the morning, but it probably isn't good for me and I end up being pretty useless earlier in the evening.
I finished reading Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky last night. Very informative about the bad effects of stress, and how it works. Very little about how to manage it -- pretty much the only concrete suggestion is exercise, and that only helps if you want to do it (forced exercise is stressful). Which I don't. Except for walking, and even that often hurts too much to be enjoyable. Possibly because of stress. This is called "being attacked by a vicious circle". Vicious little feedback loops with big sharp teeth.
may need to think about finding a less stressful job. The problem with that
is that I probably can't afford to. Meanwhile, I get angry at the idiot
headhunters who keep offering me jobs in Silicon Valley, and try to keep
my head above water while swimming madly upstream in the Amazon. Which is
less metaphorical than I'd like.
Lots of good links in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
Strange week. The first half, at least, was terrific -- I was in New Orleans for a symposium at Pittcon | Conference & Expo. The symposium itself, sponsored by my mother in honor of my father, was Monday morning. Since everyone else arrived Sunday evening and I got in late Saturday, I had all day Sunday to myself to explore the French Quarter. Which I did.
I ended up walking six or so miles, which was surprisingly easy. Of course, it was all completely flat, but still. Spent about $50 buying CDs from street bands. I hadn't brought a guitar, and didn't need it -- didn't do any singing at all. Lots of good conversation, though. People I haven't seen in a decade and a half.
The symposium, Chemical Heritage Foundation - New Perspectives on the History of Infrared Instrumentation, was Monday morning. The high point was Foil Miller's talk: Anecdotes Involving Some Infrared Pioneers. At 99, he's "old enough to have known many of the pioneers of infrared spectroscopy personally", as it says in the abstract. It was followed by a luncheon at the Bourbon House. New Orleans is mostly about the food and the music.
Friday was my birthday. I turned 44 (hexadecimal), a number which contains two "1" bits, so I suggested that my cake have two candles on it. Saturday was, as everybody reading this probably knows, "The Pi Day of the Century"; I managed to get posts out at 9:26 on DW/LJ, Twitter, and Facebook.
The work week was short, frustrating, and unproductive even for a short week. The team I'm on loan to wants me to do my work in a new framework, which was only explained to me last week, and isn't even fully implemented yet, let alone documented. :P
I've been wondering why I always have so much pain when I get home from work, but not from walking all day in New Orleans. I'm beginning to think it's stress. Bletch.
And of course Terry Pratchett died. He was two years younger than me.
Links in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
Really stressed and depressed most of the week; I suspect it's because I was thinking of my father, who I miss terribly. Mom is funding a symposium in his honor at Pittcon, which is why I'm in New Orleans. I've spent most of today walking around the French Quarter and buying CDs from street musicians. Which I'll probably talk more about later this week, or next week.
Yesterday was the travel day. My 24" Travelpro suitcase turns out to be the perfect size for a carry-on; it's probably the biggest that will fit in the overhead bin on a 747 without forcing it. Need a name for that one. I took Max (the sling bag) and a collapsable duffel that's perfect as a second, under-seat bag -- it holds Max plus a stack of magazines plus a snack, with room left over. Wouldn't have worked if I'd decided to take Plink, though. That'll probably require a custom gig bag.
Lots of puttering in the garage and around the house, and I put new batteries in Colleen's power chair. The old ones were practically dead; the new ones were expensive but should last a good while.
... and it looks like CC&S qualifies me for an associate membership in SFWA; at around 7000 words, it falls a little short of the qualification for full memership. Think I should go for it?
Links in the notes, as usual. Bear should go splat.( raw notes, with links )
Pretty good week, actually, though things are going more slowly at work than I'd like. Meanwhile, we had the organizers (from a company called Eliminate Chaos) in on Monday; they (with me and Naomi) got through half the garage. More, really, because there's more empty space in the half we didn't get to.
About 40 boxes of books, a lot of luggage, and several boxes of fabric were brought into the house for later. I'm going to have some shelf-building to do. Fortunately we also have a lot of shelving components. And a sizeable pile of stuff for Chaos(wolf) to haul off.
Perhaps inspired by this, Emmy arranged with our housekeeper to get her room cleaned, which makes room for the futon that's in the garage. Whee!
Meanwhile, I have been trying various stress-reduction techniques. The hot bath I took on Wednesday did a great job of un-knotting my back. Have to do that more often.( raw notes, with links )
Actually a pretty good week, modulo dysthymia, stress, and back pain. Productive. We found a great garden sculpture company at the home show, and I did a lot of work in the garage yesterday. Including bringing up the hanging lamp that used to be in our kids' room (later the sewing room) at the Starport, and hanging it in the Rainbow Room to replace the floor lamp I broke on Tuesday.
We had music Thursday night, which was also a big win. Details in the notes. I need to sing more.
The L-tryptophan appears to be working. In other mood-related news, I took an online test to see whether I'm experiencing stress. High is 19+; I scored a 30. Ya think? I'm under orders from my massage therapist to research ways of reducing/managing stress. Helpguide.org is one of the best sites I've found so far.( raw notes, with links )
I have been a Productive Bear this week, mostly in the garage, though I also wrote and posted a poem. (The first version was typed into the comment box on LJ, which may not be the best way to work, but whatever gets words onto silicon is ok.)
I also dealt with repair people -- we now have a functioning washer, scooter, and lift chairs.
Wednesday I read the recently-republished "Vanishing Act" in Lapham’s Quarterly, and so encountered The House Without Windows by Barbara Newhall Follett. I finished it yesterday. Simply amazing. A brilliant fantasy, written by a nine-year-old girl, that... I don't know. Just go read it.
I also had to deal with a fair amount of pain, especially in the evening. No fun. And Tuesday the stream of bad news and idiocy on Facebook got to me, to the point where I wrote "I am too cynical and depressed to continue reading facebook tonight.". Bah! There are better things:
Yesterday was, of course, Valentine's Day; I spent most of the day in the Rainbow Room with Colleen listening to music, and made a most excellent dinner consisting of lobster tails, beef Wellington, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and asparagus. All for roughly the price of a rather cheap dinner out. I'm not complaining.
Links in the notes, of course.( raw notes, with links )
The two big items this week are my new song, and the apparent success of L-tryptophan in treating my depression. The song is definitely a keeper. I think it's probably too early to tell for sure about the tryptophan.
Music was big even without the song -- the week was bracketed by the last day of Conflikt at the far end, and last night's Tricky Pixie concert at the near end. Both were amazing.
More links, as usual, in the notes.( raw notes, with links )
Not a particularly good week. One of my self-observations yesterday kind of sums it up: "Too much stuff, too many things that need doing, not enough cope, no motivation." Not to mention Congress, Charlie Hebdo, depression comix, two dead computers (which, fortunately, I didn't have much invested in to begin with), starting my self-assessment at work, and starting to clear out our garage.
Self-assessment. Yeah; nothing like working with brilliant, productive, experienced people to make me feel stupid, lazy, and incompetent. Especially when many of them are younger than one of my kids.
Some really fascinating stuff in the links.( raw notes, with links )
On the health front, I may finally be learning to relax the muscles in my lower back that make it hurt when I walk. Maybe. It also seems to have a lot to do with how heavy my shoulder bag is, so that's going to be an ongoing problem. A backpack would be better, except that it's hard to get off when I take a seat in the bus, and unlike a shoulder bag I can't swing it around when I want to get at something like my wallet.
I've finally started doing some serious system administration/scripting work to get my website working directories the rest of the way under git control. That's done -- I can now say "make deploy" in a web directory and have it committed, pushed to the remote repo, and pulled into the website with no further attention.
The associated asset archive is going to be harder, because some directories have large media files in them. Like, um... the audio. The goal is to eliminate the use of rsync snapshots for backups (for reasons I will probably go into in more detail in a later post).
Detail in the notes, as usual.( raw notes, with links )
A bit of a rough week, but with several high spots. The first of which was brunch with Colleen and Emmy at Salty's -- a local seafood place with a fantastic buffet on weekends. Turns out I get a senior discount. :P
I am cautiously optimistic about my mood, between selling the house and starting on l-tryptophan. I think it's generally better, but it's also more volatile -- I run out of cope and go into overload. Not good. Especially because it upsets Colleen, which sets up a positive feedback loop. (Positive in the feedback sense -- it has negative consequences, of course.)
Another high point was music night, Thursday after dinner. The original plan had been for a new friend of N's to come join us, but she ended up canceling. We had fun anyway -- playlist in the notes. We've decided to do it more often, and N is setting things up to spend more time in the Great Room. Which means I have to fix the control on the broken lift chair that we parked there.
To which end I tracked down a soldering iron. The one I bought because I couldn't find my good one, which is still in a box somewhere.
Looking at the notes, I seem to have been pretty productive this week. So... ok.( raw notes, with links )
A couple of dizzy spells, which felt a lot like a return of the orthostatic hypotension I used to get rather frequently before I changed my blood pressure meds, only more severe. Turns out that they could be exactly that, as a side effect of cutting down on my SSRI antidepressant.
Worked from home Friday and half of Thursday due to our office move. Spent Monday (and will probably spend most of today) setting up my desktop box, whose hard drive didn't survive the move. :P Grumble. Only things I'll actually be losing are a couple of little scripts in ~/bin, my .zshrc customizations, and my browser config. Everything else is in git.
Stupidly tried to upgrade the OS on my laptop. Stupid, because it left it practically unusable. A clean reinstall of 14.04 fared better, but there are still some oddities here and there.
Working from home today, too, because I'll be waiting for the washer to get repaired. :P It broke on Saturday. The backup drive on Nova has apparently been broken for a *long* time -- read is ok, but write fails. This may be a timing thing, but switching it from USB to eSATA renumbers the drive letters, so that's kind of a non-starter.
On the positive side, the CenturyLink internet connection is on, and the new modem arrived yesterday. Hopefully today I'll be able to get our network configured -- it may be a simple matter of swapping two routers.
The new building is significantly farther away from the bus stop -- there are closer ones, but it's actually faster to walk than to wait for a transfer. So if it's not raining, I'll do that.
Kind of a rough week. Oddly, the fact that I've cut back on my antidepressant doesn't seem to have made much difference that I can perceive, which says that either it wasn't doing much good, or I'm still bad at detecting my mood. Or both.( raw notes, with links )
Lots of puttering this week -- sorting unpaid bills, re-arranging shelves, a little cooking, a little cleaning, lots of mostly-uninteresting work.
Cat cuddles. I really think the cats are better antidepressants than my SSRI, which I've been cutting back on without noticable effects. So far.
And I wrote a poem! Go read: Shifts (also on DW and LJ; follow the linkies). It's already gotten some interesting reactions. I obviously need to update my Lit pages -- there are only three poems there, and I know I've written more than that!
Links, as usual, in the notes.( raw notes, with links )