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

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. is one of the best sites I've found so far.

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

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.

The Wolfling recorded our debut performance of Travelers: you'll find her videos on YouTube. Watch Where The Heart Is and Windward. It came off surprisingly well for a brand-new song.

More links, as usual, in the notes.

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

Unlike many previous weeks, this one appears to have gone from bad to good (see mood). This is almost entirely because of yesterday -- I got the pot rack up (finally), found a replacement post for the broken one on the cat tree, had a pleasant conversation with a stranger, and noticed that I was cheerful on the way back from getting dinner.

That's the big one -- I wasn't depressed, and I noticed that I wasn't depressed. At the time. And even had a fairly accurate name for it. I fully expect to go back to dysthymia and alexithymia tomorrow, but for now, I'll take it.

We had two technician visits -- one for the phone (which had become unreliable due to the rat's nest of wires in the garage), and one for Colleen's medical equipment. It looks like Spinlife will make good on the bungled orders and repairs, but it's still taking altogether too long.

I've been fairly productive, even apart from the pot rack, with garage-clearing.

Notable quote from a week ago: "Villain's cat. Because if I can't feel good about myself, I can at least feel *evil* about myself." Which probably sums things up pretty well for the week.

Links in the notes.

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

It's been a week of not liking myself much. In part this is due to working on a self-assessment and peer feedback at work; this is not conducive to a good mood.

Friday was pretty good -- I had my first 1-on-1 since my boss got back from a month's vacation, and he was at least not discouraging. And when I stopped by my desk (I'm on loan to another group for a few months; this was my first week there) to pick up the power brick for my new laptop, I discovered that there was a party going on. Gin, hard cider, and an interesting new person went a long way toward improving my mood.

(Saturday was, of course, back to depressingly normal, and today's been discouraging. Especially since it included waking up at 3am. Does that count for Saturday? I'm going to say "Yes": the day doesn't start until I've had coffee.)

As I mentioned, I'm on loan to another group for a while. Same building I was in before our last move; closer to the bus stop. I tried working remotely, but a Windows laptop sucks for that. The HP EliteBook they gave me in trade is less capable on an objective basis, but it's running Ubuntu, which is a major win. Plus, it's about half the weight of my old Dell, and fits in my sling bag. So... also win.

Realized Wednesday night when I found myself doing dishes that I do dishes in order to feel useful. Being useful is one of the few ways I can reliably make myself feel less bad about myself, so I'll take it. And I can usually control it, which I suppose is why I take it so hard when I try to be useful, but fail. Like this afternoon.

Oh, and the new tech from Spinlife will be out tomorrow to work on Colleen's lift chairs, scooter, and power chair. It will probably take another visit, because the tech who came out over a month ago was an idiot. Spinlife will eat the difference in cost for extra visits and mis-ordered parts, hopefully without my having to hire a lawyer to shove it down their throats.

Links in the notes.

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

A lot of puttering this week. Got the hallway bookcase moved downstairs; it's now much easier for Colleen to make her way to the Rainbow Room. Looks good, too. Emmy set up the tree, and moved the cat tree into the nook under the stairs. The cats seem to prefer it there. This was Wednesday; last Sunday I put in shelves there, which also helps with the clutter.

I've also been decluttering my website working directories, fixing broken symlinks, re-arranging the tree in a more sensible way, and assorted other housekeeping. Still some messes there that I have to tackle.

Curio has been a darling; he likes sitting on my desk, on a pad of folded-up fabric, and usually sleeps next to me. Cat therapy for the win. We have excellent cats. Cricket exactly matches the description in Cat Faber's song Villains's Cat, and I expect she'll make a very good one when she grows up. Curio is pretty much already there.

I've been experimenting with luggage; most recently I've gone back to Max, the REI Agility sling bag. Not big enough for my work laptop, but that's an advantage. Tomorrow I'll see how well it works alongside a laptop bag.

Mood's been mostly ok, but occasionally still fragile. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings were particularly bad.

Links in the notes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links in the notes, of course.

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

Rough week.

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

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

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

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good links.

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

Good grief! I think I started this post a couple of hours ago. Bears are easily distracted.

Anyway, not too bad a week except for the fact that I'm extremely low on cash. Let's see.

Sunday was my older daughter Chaos's 29th birthday. Gleep. I'm not that old! Also, Glenn ran ethernet cable from the far side of the Great Room (where the cable comes in) to the Rainbow Room and the top of the stairs. We now have reliable WiFi in all parts of the house.

Tuesday I hauled out the old box fan and installed it in one of the windows in the Rainbow Room. (A few days later I screwed the screen down so the cats couldn't push it out and escape. They like the window sill.)

Wednesday I took Colleen to see her gastroenterologist, who gave her a clean bill of health. For the first time in half a dozen years! I also (finally) got around to re-enabling my backup and mirror crontab on nova, the file server. It hasn't seemed too important since I haven't been adding much, and everything I have worked on is under git control and backed up in multiple places, including offsite.

And yesterday I went with Colleen to the local annual street fair. The only thing we bought besides food was a couple of (purple, of course) sarongs. I wore one in the evening because the temperature had gotten up into the high eighties. Comfortable, and very practical around the house.

Lots of links. I've been spending too much time on G+, FB, and Wikipedia. You can tell.

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

I actually did some yardwork this week. I hate yardwork. Especially since a lot of it involves bending over, which is bad for my back. But I do it when I have to. Or when it involves gadgetry, like hose quick-connects.

I'd ordered some quick-connects from Amazon to supplement the ones I got at Home Despot on Sunday; quite predictably they disappeared when our housekeeper tidied up the Rainbow Room. I searched for quite a while. They finally turned up in the first place I'd thought to look: in their own box, hiding under the invoice. *facepalm*

Speaking of quick-connects, I recommend brass. The plastic ones I bought last year didn't make it through the winter. Admittedly, this was because I let water freeze in the hoses -- not something I had to deal with in San Jose. But still.

Naomi and I finally got ourselves into the hot tub, for a good soak and good conversation.

A couple of bad moments, mostly thinking about finances -- I use the "trainwreck" tag for a reason. I'm usually able to get past them quickly, and that probably isn't entirely a good thing. It would be better if they were an incentive to get things done rather than causing paralysis. Grumph.

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

Hmm. I see it's been two weeks since I last posted a "done" post. I've been mostly stressed and depressed, though today has been pretty good for some reason.

I've been doing quite a lot of puttering and other housework. It probably helps my mood -- at least in the short term: it's clearly a distraction from the really nasty problems. Most of which involve money, and are going to get worse until we can sell the Starport. Offer me 800K and it's yours.

Two weeks is too much to summarize. Looking back over it, I've actually done a fair amount. Just... not so much in comparison to what still needs doing. And not enough to make me feel good about myself.

{Stop it, Bear. You're not helping.}

Don't know which of my inner voices that was, but it's right.

Last night's Vixy and Tony concert was good, and Colleen has been walking more.

Links and a little commentary in the notes.

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

Not a lot going on. I've been mildly depressed, so basically not wanting to do anything but sleep, eat, work, and read. You will observe that making phone calls, paying bills, and getting ready to do my taxes are not on that list, which adds anxiety to the depression.

All is not entirely bleak -- I did get the mac mini fired up so I can run the tax software on it, and I got a few boxes emptied in the garage. And Colleen and I went out to lunch (Mexican) on Wednesday on the way back from the dentist, and to dinner last night (Salty's, a seafood place on Alki Beach that we'd been wanting to try). Salty's was pricey, but good, and they had oysters.

On the gripping hand, I managed to destroy another of our non-stick pans, by leaving the burner on after serving myself. Unlike a gas stove, where leaving the burner on is immediately obvious, it isn't on this one. So that sucks.

Our van got a "move it or else" ticket Friday, so most of yesterday afternoon was spent jump-starting it, driving over to the dealer in Issaquah, and taking the bus home. Our usual dealer, in Lake City, doesn't have a service department that's open Saturdays. So... Anyway, I'm not going to count that as either a positive or a negative -- it was a hassle, and it's going to come out somewhere north of a grand to do all the work, but it needed doing.

The usual collection of links.

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

I've been mostly feeling rather distressed this last week, but I remember that yesterday at the Seattle Home Show when people asked me how I was doing, I answered "good" without hesitation. Soooooo... damned if I know. It's likely that I was feeling anxious about taxes, but that for the last couple of days (since meeting our architects on Thursday) I've been optimistically thinking about the upcoming remodel. Whatever?

The meeting with the architects was fun -- they said "Tell us who you are" and I said "I think this is where I burst into song" and sang "Bigger On the Inside". Whee!

... and then, as I mentioned, we went to the Home Show. Naomi and Glenn went early; Colleen and I followed later. Colleen and I bought pillows (memory foam with bamboo outer sleeves) and a couple of ozone generators, and Naomi found us a fabulous deal on a floor model Softub. It'll be delivered after the show. WIN.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

I hadn't realized just how comforting petting a cat can be. Our cats are wonderful. Especially Curio, who spends most of every night in my room.

Lots of puttering around the house over the last couple of weeks -- that's largely because other things are something of a trainwreck. In particular, Colleen's situation. Our insurance stops paying for her nursing home stay at the end of next week. We'd been told weeks ago, but at the time 10 weeks seemed like plenty of time. At her appointment last week, though, she was told that she could only put 10% of her weight on it. Gleep!

Most of the obvious options are out -- it's unlikely she could get the level of care she apparently needs at a group home or assisted living place. Which would be close to $6K for a month's stay, in any case.

We may be able to have her at home. If she can handle a commode, and transfers in and out of a wheelchair, it'll work. We will almost certainly need to have someone come in in the daytime to care for her, but between me, Emmy, and Naomi we can probably handle night-time. Hopefully.

I haven't been doing all that well. I don't really register stress, but it's there. Between that and depression (even with drugs), and a general low energy level, I'm probably pretty close to the edge. Can't be helped. The feeling of helplessness doesn't help, either. Help?

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

Last Saturday I bought my tablesaw -- specifically, the Ryobi 10 in. Table Saw with Wheeled Stand-RTS31 at The Home Depot. It works. Getting it into the garage was something of an operation, because I don't have a ramp on that door. But I managed, with a couple of boards and a fair amount of wrangling.

It's by far the best saw I've used, though that isn't saying much; I'm particularly fond of the sliding crosscut table. It doesn't have the "no tool blade change" the spec sheet says it has, but that's the only downside so far. It even came with a carbide blade, so I was able to get started immediately.

We had some more excitement with the cats. Both of them got out last night, via the vent window in the upstairs bathroom. Naome heard them (thanks to their nice new collars with bells and nametags) and managed to get them back in from the roof. But... sheesh! We love them, but they're a handful and a half. Each.

We're gradually learning to be more careful. But we decided last night that it's ok to leave them out as long as we don't have contractors in the house. It's good. The house needs cats.

Colleen's orthopedics appointment got rescheduled by the doctor; his next opening was two weeks out. We're working on getting her something sooner, because Good Grief! She has a new roommate as of yesterday, who mostly speaks Estonian.

I've been fighting depression. At least I can sometimes notice it; that's something.

Oh, and Amazon renewed my contract until the end of August. By which time I hope to have something permanent lined up. Anyone in Seattle need a Java or Perl hacker?

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

It's been a long month so far, but not nearly long enough. We've been packing the apartment, and running a van-load of boxes down to Rainbow's End nearly every day -- we're just having the movers take the furniture from the apartment. We'll have the Memorial Day weekend to clean up. Oh, did I mention the movers? Right.

Moving day for North Starport is this coming Friday. GLEEP! House! Move! Yard! The other reason I've been down at the house nearly every evening is to water the newly-sodded lawn. It's gorgeous. And the deck. And...

At the same time, I'm worried. There's no turning back from here -- this had better work. I think it will. That doesn't keep the late-night doubts away completely, but it helps. I'll probably still miss the Starport from time to time, but Rainbow's End is wonderful.

Lots of great links; I don't really have time to go over the list. That's what happens when you don't post for nearly three weeks -- I have to get *out* of that bad habit.

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

Long month, the last week and a half. Let's see. A week ago last Thursday I got an offer of a 3-month contract at Amazon, which I took immediately. Since it's through KForce again, I had very little paperwork to do and everything continues much as it has been. Colleen got her diagnosis of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, which is associated with immunosuppressant drugs, hypertension, low K and Mg. All of which she had.

Friday I cancelled my Norwescon concert -- I really wasn't ready, and was already under too much stress.

Saturday it looked as though Colleen was coming home, but by the time I got there her blood pressure had gone up to really scary levels, and they decided to keep her until it stabilized.

I spent most of the weekend shuttling back and forth between North Starport, Rainbow's End, and the hospital in between. I slept at RE, with Naomi and I keeping one another company.

Monday I picked up Chaos and Emmy, and went out to dinner for Emmy's 21st birthday. Blue C Sushi, which was expensive but able to satisfy the YD's craving for plum sake. I have two drinking-age children now.

I didn't notice any hill.

Tuesday Colleen came home. KForce called and told me I was supposed to start Wednesday.

As it turned out, my boss at Amazon had been expecting me to start on Monday the 1st (i.e., today), so things weren't quite ready for me. More or less ok, though; they were at least able to get me a badge and a laptop. (A Thinkpad T400, which isn't half bad.)

Last weekend was Norwescon. The "surprise open mic" that took the place of my concert was Saturday night, and I gave a perfect demonstration of exactly why I cancelled. GAAK. I should know better than to try to sing anything off book. Especially when I'm unprepared and stressed.

I was plagued by charger problems all weekend, but at least my computer charger worked most of Saturday when I really needed it to. The "geek toys" panel was a lot of fun. I read off the specs for the Cray 1 from the web browser on my phone, which had it beat by orders of magnitude. (How many orders of magnitude depending on which spec you looked at. 8MB of RAM? How... quaint.)

Sunday we had dinner at Romio's in Kirkland, on the way to take Chaos home.

Aha! moment -- I figured out that apologizing (which drives Colleen crazy) is my way of trying to make myself feel better after screwing up (especially in a way that hurts somebody else). It mostly doesn't work very well, and if Colleen tells me to stop, or I'm afraid she will, I can spiral downhill very quickly. (Started to write "downhell", which is actually a pretty good description of it. What was I doing in that handbasket, anyway?)

Didn't do a lick of open filking, but I enjoyed the concerts, and spent a fair amount of quiet time in the Green Room. Which was good for (introvert) me, even though I didn't realize at the time that it was what I needed.

raw notes )
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Did I mention that I hate roller coasters? This last week has been one.

Tuesday started out great -- Naomi picked me up and drove us down to Cortiva, her massage school, which was having a free clinic day. I had two lovely massages, concentrating on my back, shoulders, arms, hands, and calves. N's new GF was there, too. We had a couple of nice talks.

Then at 4pm I was in a suspiciously small meeting with Ryan, the manager in charge of the Disney ID group, who had hired me back in October. Sure enough, there had been a surprise budget cut. My last day will be March 8th.

Same day as the house closing. Oops.

From there it was all downhill; I gave the bad news to our real estate broker, who at first said to go through with it anyway, and then had second thoughts. Thursday I spent packing, trying to work from home, fielded a phone call from a headhunter and a phone interview with Limelight Video Platform. (I now have three headhunters and one company recruiter working on the problem, and it looks as though there won't be much more than a few weeks of gap between jobs.)

I also spent Thursday getting more and more fragile and frazzled; by the time we got to the airport I was pretty much a wreck, and by the time we finally got in to the hotel and got to bed I was seriously depressed.

Sometime Friday morning, while I was out at Fry's buying a new power brick for the netbook (I'd brought one; I just didn't realize that it was still set up for Colleen's Dell), I got a call from the mortgage broker, Kathryn, who said that the deal was still on. She'd explained to Dave that, although Disney had terminated my contract early, I was still employed by the contract agency, KForce. SHE UNDERSTANDS!

Now, if only the underwriter understands. That's still a risk, and I'm not going to be comfortable until I have the keys in my hot little hands. It could make my last day at Disney rather interesting.

And we could still end up with no house, and a pile of new furniture in our living rooms. If that happens, Naomi wants to build. I think that could work, but only if we can figure out ways to cut the price drastically; a first cut put the construction costs at around $700K, which is about twice what I'd feel comfortable with.

This old spectacled bear is, I'm afraid, also a skeptical bear.

But, after spending much of Friday afternoon chasing down pay stubs and bank statements and emailing them to Kathryn, I felt much more relaxed. Margaritas, prime rib, and hugs from friends completed the process, and it looks like I'll actually be able to enjoy the con.

Did I mention that I'm at Consonance this weekend? I apparently hadn't mentioned it before, leading to several people wondering whether we'd show up this year. There were times when I had my doubts.

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

So... another week. Busy. Our DVD collection fits into half of a tower. Very few of the CDs are out, but that's ok; most of them have been ripped. Of course, I haven't made the collection easily accessible yet, so that's a problem.

Things seem to be falling through the cracks a lot more often than I'd like, and I often feel pretty close to the edge. The edge of exactly what, I couldn't say. My sanity? Something like that. Do Not Like.

Colleen had her gastroenterology appointment on Wednesday; apparently UW has one of the best people in the country for Crohn's Disease. We'd heard that, it was one of the considerations in moving up here. And there's an assistance program that reduces her Humira cost to $5/month -- major win, since our insurance only covers 50% of its astronomical cost.

Some good links. Nadia Heninger Is Watching You (computer security) -- What makes this cool is that she's the daughter of an old friend and former coworker, Andy Heninger. The Wordsmith's Forge - Discussion: An Army of One, Autism in SF My Mom Was An Underground Railroad For Abused Women: What She Taught Me About Feminism And Fear | xoJane. The Tiny Transforming Apartment That Packs Eight Rooms into 420 Square Feet Still pretty cramped, but some cool ideas. The Goliath telescoping dining table is impressive. Want.

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

So, welcome to 2013. So far it's starting out pretty well, with three very productive days at work, and spurts of productivity at home as well. I've done some walking, though not as much as I'd like, and even a little practicing. Colleen and I went to our doctor's appointments on Saturday. I get to stay off my morning BP meds! Colleen, OTOH, needs to go back on hers.

And Thursday was our 38th wedding anniversary! We celebrated by going out for dinner-for-two at Anthony's seafood restaurant in Alderwood. Dinner consisted mostly of molluscs - a double helping of oysters, clams, muscles, and clam chowder. Plus drinks and dessert.

The free test coverage tool in Eclipse is pretty good. Fun!

We had house guests on Sunday; anyone in the Seattle area who wants to visit is welcome to come on over, given a few hours' notice.

Quote of the week:

Colleen: What are you depressed about?
Me: Depression doesn't need a reason.

As well as the year is going, I'm still apparently feeling pretty depressed and very, very stressed. I think I'm trying to do too much, but there's no helping it. I was kind of shocked to find that Colleen's last hospitalization was in 2009, only a little less than 4 years ago. It feels longer.

For you TV fans out there, here's a great write-up about the plot holes in WWII on the history channel.

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

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Well, not quite. I've had worse years, but losing my job of 19 years, turning 65 (the week after getting my notice), moving to Washington (at my own expense), and job-hunting for six months all added to my stress level. Let's just say "exciting".

After a couple of gigs early in the year, Lookingglass Folk hasn't done much this year, and I haven't done much except for a couple of concerts. No writing to speak of except for my sporadic blog updates. No programming to speak of outside of work. No recording at all.

My exercise has gone from almost-daily 2-3 mile walks to maybe 20 minutes a couple of times a week, and I've gained a few pounds, though not as much as I thought.

My dysthymia seems to be back, and I'm as unsocial as ever. This does not help when one is trying to make contacts and friends in a new city.

Enough of that.

I'm also living much closer to my older daughter, Chaos, and my sister of choice, Naomi. I can commute by bus, to a job where I'm learning a lot. My health is pretty good, and Colleen's is holding up -- she's walking a little more, though only a little. I've become a Wicked Landlord(TM).

Hopefully 2013 will be less exciting.

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

We had a good Christmas weekend. And week, for that matter, though it had its major low points as well. Monday -- Christmas Eve -- was the worst, between Colleen's temporary crown coming off, her scooter battery not charging, the fact that I hadn't bought any stocking stufers... Add back pain, sleep dep from a long night Friday (don't ask), and general grumpiness.

At least I actually noticed that I was depressed, angry, disappointed, and anxious. (And that the anger and disappointment were largely directed at myself, as usual.) Things improved from that point, thankfully. The evening and Christmas were lovely, with Naomi and her kids, Chaos and Rabbit, and Chip and Eli on Christmas.

We had roast beef on Monday, and borscht on Tuesday. I think the borscht was my best ever.

  1. Boil about 3 lbs of beef roast, an onion, two carrots, four peppercorns, and two bay leaves in water to cover for about two hours, until the meat is cooked and the veggies are nearly falling apart.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tops and tails off three or four bunches of beets, and roast them at 350 degrees until you can push a fork through a beet. This takes an hour or so.
  3. While the beets are cooling and the beef is boiling, cut three parsnips, four turnips, and four carrots into julienne strips.
  4. Set the meat aside, and toss the veggies.
  5. Put the cut-up veggies into the broth, and start peeling and cutting up the beets. Expect to be caught red-handed.
  6. Add the beets to the broth. Shred half a red cabbage and toss that in,
  7. Cut up the beef and toss that in. Add a little more water if it looks like it needs it.
  8. Serve with sour cream and dill.

Tasty. We have, of course, been eating left-over roast beef and borscht all week. Only the YD is complaining; Colleen and I are not.

Naomi gave me a lovely REI Quantum Shoulder Bag for Christmas; it seems to want to be called "Red". I think her real name is Veronica, but she won't admit to it.

Red is about half an inch too short for my 15" work laptop -- the two corners stick out like little silver ears. Terribly cute. It can be forced into the main compartment, but my plan is simply to put a waterproof flap over it in bad weather. Other than that it's perfect; I really like having a bag that zips on top instead of having a flap, stays vertical when I swing it around to the front, and holds 9x12 envelopes without crumpling them.

A reasonably productive, if short, week at work. I made several stupid mistakes, but was able to recover fairly quickly thanks to git.

The usual collection of good links. Cringely has a post on Reagan and Newtown, about how Reagan destroyed the country's mental health system. There weren't nearly as many homeless people before Reagan, either -- there were places where crazy people could go to be taken care of. I read that Monday morning; it added to my depression.

Every once in a while I want to take a vacation -- just me, and nobody I had to be responsible for. *sigh*

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

Feeling good, and even optimistic, is something of a new concept for this old bear. I am having a little trouble wrapping my fuzzy head around it. Does that make sense?

There is still the nagging worry that, now that I've turned in the last of my paperwork, $K or $D will reject me at the last minute. I don't really believe it'll happen, but we're not talking rationality here.

The dresser arrived Saturday. It's lovely, and large, and went a long way toward organizing the bedroom. Now it's my side of the bed that's still a mess. That'll be harder, because there's noplace to put a dresser there.

Having given up on the foolish notion of putting a desk next to the bed on my side, I went over to Naomi's and gound the pieces for my old computer desk. The one I made a couple of years before Chaos was born, and put into storage when we remodeled the Starport the first time. It's now on the short wall of the living room next to the sliding door onto the balcony. I'm gong to put an Elfa track over it this morning, and have already moved the printers and strung Cat-5 over to the phone jack in the kitchen.

Putting the rolling file under the desk where it belongs naturally adds a fair amount of space -- it is now possible to walk to the gray recliner when people are sitting in both facing chairs. Which is good, because the corner by the desk is still pretty crowded.

Now I just have to move the computers: nova and the inside router (starport) to the desk, and the outside router (polaris) to the kitchen. Unfortunately, there's no phone jack in the area that is pretty clearly meant to be the entertainment corner. Not so odd, really; the apartment building predates DSL. I might be able to summon up the energy to do it this morning -- it has to be a morning when the two women are asleep so that nobody wants to use the net connection.

Oh, and I used my SAD light Monday, for the first time since the move. Maybe it'll help. I'm also trying to shift my schedule back to waking up at 6:30 instead of 7:30 or 8; I need at least an hour in the morning to get out the door in reasonable working condition. Preferably two, but that will take longer, I suspect.

Links, as usual, in the notes. Check out "It’s Opus, it rocks and now it’s an audio codec standard!" and The Wordsmith's Forge - Unsold Poetry from the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. I put money on two poems from this: "The Cybernetic Sorcerers" (co-sponsor because of net-lag) and "Promises to Keep" (which combines global warming and sea monsters).

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

Saturday Colleen and I took a drive around Lake Washington (getting somewhat lost in a side trip to West Seattle), and when we got home I cooked probably the best salmon dish I've ever made -- pan-fried with butter, olive oil, and garlic, then added a little wine to steam it until done. Took a leftover portion over to Naomi's, and did a little music. And some thinking about my Orycon set, assuming I have one. Just finished the rest of the leftovers this morning. Yum!

Colleen said "This is what a Northwest dinner is supposed to taste like."

And I broke a tooth somehow - nice big chip off the side of a much-filled molar. Doesn't hurt, fortunately, but it'll probably need a cap I can't afford. Grump. My severance pay runs out at the end of the month (i.e., Friday), and with it their portion of my COBRA coverage. Grouch. Scared Bear. Set up a dental appointment for tomorrow.

Applied to three different positions at $A2 and one at $T; haven't heard yet. Finished coding homework for $D, and got an interview scheduled for Friday.

$D is going to present a difficult decision if I get it. It would be a great company to work for, but I wouldn't be working for them -- I'd be a long-term contractor, going through an agency, $K. $K's health care options look pretty poor, compared with what I've had and what most direct hires get. It might not cover either of Colleen's non-generic drugs. There may be workarounds, but if they don't work we'll be really screwed. TMI maybe later if comments ask for it. Sucks. Still, I'll probably have to take it. Both that and $A look like they're likely to be more pressure than I want, but...

If I hadn't been stupid over the last 20 years, I'd be able to retire comfortably now. As it is, I'm starting to think about how soon I can get away with it. Not now, though. Not yet.

I know, I know. Life sucks. Deal. Do I haveta?

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

Bad week. No biscuit.

I went in to my interview on Tuesday with $COMPANY feeling very optimistic. I was wrong. Thursday I found out that they didn't want me. CRASH.

Now, of course, I can see all the ways I screwed myself over. Going back years, to not being more involved in open source projects and not keeping my skills up-to-date. And back six months to the layoff, not keeping office hours and browsing the web instead of working through the skill-building list I set up right at the beginning. And back one month to the interviews at $COMPANY, not starting in right away playing with their software. Sure, I spent a lot of time reading the documentation, but I didn't have anything to show for it.

That was stupid.

I get my last severance check at the end of next week. Damned if I know what happens to my COBRA health coverage -- they were paying for it up until now. I'm going to have to spend all next week scrambling.

Um... in other news, I've been doing a fair amount of walking, finally. Including a nice ramble around the Convention Center and Freeway Park, after my interview.

Lots of good links, including the awesome xkcd: Click and Drag (zoomable view and more in the notes) and some great open-source stuff by way of Linux Weekly News, which I'm finally catching up on.

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

A fair amount of packing. Bought more book boxes. The woman who came over this morning to give us an estimate on moving said we have over 400 boxes worth of stuff. I gather that this is atypical.

Some more work on the router configuration, which finally appears to be working more-or-less properly.

I made another batch of black bean and corn salsa. Yum.

I ended the day feeling reasonably contented. That's probably mildly unusual; noticing it is even more unusual. So, yeah.

Quite a few links in the notes.

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

I went out for a walk -- the Los Gatos Creek Trail out-and-back -- in the afternoon. For a while I was worried: it was starting to get mildly painful around 1.5mi; the endorphins kicked in at around 2.75 and I ended the walk with a distinct high. Perfect weather, too.

I made sangria (from scratch, using one of our lemons and 5 of Ken's oranges), and "chili dogs" for dinner. Actually, hot-dog sized Polish sausages split in half, with leftover chili, onion, and cheese on top. Yummy.

A great deal of progress is being made in the garage attic.

On another day, my highted link might have been More on DRM and ebooks in Charlie's Diary, but today Permission to Live: Unwrapping the Onion trumps it easily. You'd think an extreme fundamentalist couple's marriage would be blown sky-high by the revelation that the husband would rather be a woman. This is a heart-warming exception. 9 parts and well worth the read.

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

So... a quiet day at home. First day of my (hopefully temporary) retirement? That. Odd mood; sort of washed-out. Not really surprising.

I made pasta and red sauce for dinner, with a salad. A little work on my Stephen R. Savitzky, Software Wizard, Guru & Toolmaker page, including the new tag line. Tell me what you think!

And if you haven't seen it already, go watch A Message to All Police Officers From Occupy Wall Street.

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

A nice, relaxing day -- I'm very glad I decided not to try to go in to work for the afternoon. I think this was a comparatively low-stress con; the fact that I crashed early last night (around 11) probably helped my mood as well.

We had breakfast in the hotel, hung around saying goodbyes, and were still home before noon. I like. On the whole a very good con for me.

For dinner, I made the leftover carnitas into pulled pork (by adding barbecue sauce), and served it with mixed veggies and cornbread.

On the down side, my weight is back up and I didn't get in much walking. Though according to Colleen, who asked the front desk, it's half a mile from our room to the ballroom where the concerts are held, so I probably got in at least three miles/day.

Links: the usual depressing stuff, except for my concert, which I got up more quickly than usual and which includes a transcript of my narration.

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

Hmm. Mixed? I've been writing technical reports at work -- it's that time of year -- and writing tends to be pretty absorbing. So not much else to report in the way of actually doing stuff. I did take a 2-mile walk yesterday and the day before; I think it might be a good idea to skip today because yesterday hurt a little.

I think this body is out of warranty.

When I came home yesterday Colleen asked if I was depressed, or just tired. I realized that I couldn't really tell. So... yeah; that's a problem. I suspect both; I'd been thinking on the drive home about our financial situation. Which is pretty much all of my own making.

I can haz poem: "The Bear Spectacle", based on my prompt at [ profile] ysabetwordsmith's poetry fishbowl. It was paid for by [ profile] westrider.

... and some gadget lust: Raspberry Pi is an ARM Linux board for a mere $35 (plus shipping from the UK). They'll be shipping later this month, apparently. WANT.

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

I'd like a rewind to, um, New Year's Day. Last year. Thanks.

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

I actually felt good yesterday. Maybe even cheerful, though it's hard for me to tell. Apparently, though, the weekend was more tiring than I realized; I was tired most of the afternoon and evening.

I did get in a roughly 3.5mi walk, though. And had a reasonably productive day both at work and at home. Especially at home, I guess: I finished all of the lyric-sheet edits from the weekend.

As for links, how about Digital music finally outsells physical media, books look on in alarm, and The Greatest Speech Ever Made (the latter by way of filkertom)?

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

Weird day. I got up at 11:20 -- which is to say, five hours later than usual. Maybe standing up much of the day before making soup had something to do with it?

I actually spent much of the day in the living room with Colleen. And I took a 2-mile walk.

But I also read, maybe too much, about alexithymia and emotional intelligence. I suppose that might have been part of my mood crash in the evening. That and beating myself up over not having gotten good stocking stuffers for the kids. And I'm too used to letting Colleen do all the holiday shopping. And, and, and... I was in pretty sorry shape when I finally crawled in to bed.

But it was a bed with Colleen in it waiting for me. So that was good.

There are links in the notes. DuckDuckGo is an interesting new search engine.

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mdlbear: (river)

Right now I just sort of feel like crawling into a hole and curling up in a ball. Not depressed, I don't think, and it doesn't feel much like sensory overload. But something seems to be more than I can handle, even if I have no idea what it is.

It's true that I've been getting things wrong, and not getting things done, for the last couple of weeks. Maybe it's all just gotten together and hit me all at once.

OK, depressed. Still don't know why.

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

Not a very good day, on the whole, despite a couple of good practice sessions. Worry? Empathy? Yeah, probably empathy. I guess I cut myself off from my emotions for a reason, all those years ago.

The YD's phone is broken. Again. This time one of the pins on the charging connector is broken. The insurance we've been paying for has a $50 deductible, and would take a couple of days to replace it -- you can't just walk into an AT&T store and do a swap. (Cell phone companies are second only to cable companies in customer dissatisfaction.)

So what I am going to do is buy a "go phone", which is a dirt-cheap refurbished phone with a prepaid SIM, and just plop her SIM into it.

The other alternative would be upgrading my phone (her contract still has a month and a half to run), but I don't want to do that until I can get one with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in it, which won't be until next year sometime.

Between the phone hassle, assorted frustrations, and a bad smell something like laundry detergent (apparently coming through the AC vents near my office), I left work a little before 5pm feeling drained, depressed, and discouraged. I still felt down after dinner, so it wasn't just low blood sugar. (Mostly better now.)

I've been enjoying Mimi and Eunice's archives.

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

A pretty good day -- worked on music in the morning, for the second day in a row. Mostly chord practice, again. It felt good, so I'm going to try to keep doing it. Also had the head of the bed up for the second time in a row (and again this morning); that also seems to be a win.

I've made my decision on the netbook -- I'm going for the dual-core version. The going price online appears to be $440; locally it's more like $500 plus tax. It may be worthwhile looking while I'm in Portland for Orycon.

I set up an online account at my credit union, finally. But I had trouble trying to set up a transfer; it'll probably take another phone call.

Some social time in the living room, and a little singing. I don't have a gig at Orycon, but probably ought to practice some of my own songs anyway.

Made an entry in my private journal, which I haven't been doing much on a regular basis -- maybe once every month or two -- but should. Spent the late evening after that in what felt like a very weird combination of feelings, mostly on the depressed side, which I made no attempt to sort out. Do I get credit for noticing that I have feelings?

Some links in the notes. Check out Zander Nyrond's song: Occupy the Earth. And Jawbone's wristband thingie looks interesting.

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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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... so what was I doing while LJ was down? Mostly system administration, I suspect. Between making the YD's Windows 7 computers print on our home network, and backing up the failing backup drive, it's been a long week. Oh, and replacing ink cartridges and cleaning print heads.

I went to Fry's and got a couple of hot-swap holders for SATA drives; I'll use one of those for the backup drive. Once I get it loaded. It would have gone a heck of a lot faster if I'd figured out that I needed to transfer the monthly incrementals last if I wanted to restore hard links correctly. *sigh*

Meanwhile, the good news is that the UBF had a hearing yesterday and got slapped with a restraining order keeping him out of a 300yd zone that just happens to include our house. So he won't be staying over any more.

Just one walk, on Thursday. This was partly due to getting a severe leg cramp last Sunday. But I did get in some singing, which was good.

And a lot of puttering in the office. A pretty good week, modulo the pain.

Lots of links in the notes. xkcd: Lanes is the one to go to; may be triggery if you have cancer. The debt limit fiasco continues to be top news; solarbird has been writing it up. Go look.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A mostly good day -- I'll get to the bad parts later. But I started the day in what appeared to be a solidly "good" mood, a little over three weeks after ending my experiment with a reduced dose of SSRI. We had bagels and lox for brunch, and I bought a djembe and a seedpod rattle at a garage sale down the street. Colleen and I went out for a nice drive, to Santa Cruz via Highway 9, and back via 17.

Now the bad parts. When I went out for bagels I discovered that someone had "broken" into my car (in quotes because I have been very lax about locking it) and gone through my glove compartment. It was pretty obvious, because the gloves were on the floor. Fortunately I don't keep anything valuable there, but I felt annoyed and a little bit violated nonetheless.

The annoyance of the evening was trying to get the YD's computer to print. I finally managed, by switching her to the "other" subnet where she could see the networked all-in-one. I think I need to abandon the idea of having a separate subnet for Windows; it causes more problems than it solves. Whether to keep it for guest machines is an open question; probably a good idea.

But there was a lot of friction over that, and the fact that she now wants her own printer. She wants an all-in-one; I'd really rather she got a plain printer. We may split the cost. In any case, I ended the day stressed, depressed, and frustrated. Ugh.

Plenty of links in the notes. Mostly distressing news. :(

... and LJ is being a flake, and still isn't accepting my posts. GROWF!

mdlbear: (depleted)
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We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium yesterday, by way of The Whole Enchilada for lunch. Since I'd neglected to renew our membership, the combination made for a rather expensive day, but it was a good trip. Not exactly aerobic exercise, but a couple of hours on my feet counts for something. There's a lot of new stuff -- the whole new wing has been revamped. Flamingos! (Actually, roseate spoonbills. Close enough.)

I was pretty completely wiped out all evening. Out of both physical and emotional spoons, and ended the evening feeling noticably depressed.

I did notice that I got a lift from seeing [ profile] cflute's response to a comment I made on one of her posts. I think it shows progress that I can actually notice my mood at times, and sometimes even notice changes when they happen instead of hours later.

I also discovered that the (external USB) backup drive has been mysteriously offline since mid-June; that's not so good. Took a reboot of the file server to fix it; fortunately that doesn't take long.

According to the standard creepiness rule I shouldn't date anyone under 39. For some reason, that plus the corresponding graph are the only links today.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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High points in the day were a full 3-mile walk, and Colleen using her cane to get from the van to the porch. And NY legalizing marriage for everyone! That's big.

My mood has been hovering somewhere between ok and good for much of the last week. That's... I don't know. Still down from a string of "good" a couple of weeks ago. *shrug*

A couple of links up there in the notes, including the Firefox 5 announcement. Enjoy.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not a bad couple of days; my mood seems to be improving slightly, and is now somewhere between ok and good. Still feels a little down relative to two or three weeks ago. Dr. Reed says that regular exercise is the equivalent of a low-dose antidepressant. We'll see; I did get in a full 3+ mile walk yesterday.

I only realized recently that my canned response of "working on it!" was shorthand for something like "I'm busy working on something urgent, possibly a task you've already asked me to work on, and I simply don't have the mental bandwidth to handle somebody talking to me right now."

There seem to be several things I say to deflect conversation (no matter how helpful it might turn out to be) when I'm too busy to pay attention. I haven't identified them all yet, much less unpacked them, but suspect that it would be a useful exercise.

I spent most of Monday up at the lab in Menlo Park catching up with people. Got my labwork done at Kaiser Santa Clara, which is roughly halfway there from home. Tuesday is the one day I don't have a meeting.

Monday evening I put in for reservations at the Herb Farm; they were confirmed for Thursday, September 22. Tuesday I started working on my set list for Westercon (complicated somewhat by not knowing how long my slot will be).

Up in the notes you will find not only links, but a recipe for gluten-free flatbread. There's a video for teens from authors & illustrators: It Gets Better -- I like the sentiment, though I'm not sure I'd have thought that it applied to me, way back then.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Mixed. A good, solid, three-mile walk by the Guadalupe River, which felt good. Minnie was warm, but perfectly comfortable. I switched her to my right shoulder. After the walk I determined that a rolled-up hat fits nicely in one of her bottle pockets. So that's good, too.

I made some measurements on Chami; I think she's a little small for a weekend trip. The reason Rolly and a small duffel worked was that Rolly is (too) wide, and they stacked. Can't get away with that with Chami unless I leave Plink at home. Maybe if I piggyback some stuff on Plink.

I have a feeling that Minnie and Chami may have things to tell me about relationships, later on. {Let them sort their own out first, silly Bear!}

Meanwhile, though, we got the word that our ship date has been pushed back. Now, that's a very good thing, because the software clearly isn't going to be ready by the end of July. On the other hand, it raises the question of how much longer I'm going to be away from research. I think Tuesday I'll go up to the lab in Menlo Park and talk to some people.

The something between that and my experimental 30% tapering-down of my mood-altering drug has left me a little down. You can see it in the string of "okay"s, down from "good", in my mood strings over the last week or two. I think it's a major accomplishment that I'm actually able to notice, though.

I sang for Colleen and Naomi for almost an hour. That was good. And I slept well. So I'm going to call it a mostly-good day. A couple of links up there in the notes.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A good day. I noticed this a couple of times -- some favorable feedback on a blog comment, a woman walking by in the grocery store complimenting Colleen on her (all purple) outfit, our drive on a sunny afternoon.

Kind of made up for it at night, when I woke up about 2:30 thinking about finances and couldn't get back to sleep until 4:30 or so. Not fun.

Plus a lot of tax data-entry; by the end of the day I had everything entered except the stuff from the credit-card year-end summaries, and I'd downloaded those.

Several good links, including articles on goodlifezen and 17000-days.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A very productive four days at work, having gotten over last weekend's case of the plague. I even went out for a walk on Thursday. Still nowhere near back in shape, and not exercising nearly enough. But the walk felt good, and I realized that my mood must depend more on the weather than I thought. Not so much hours of sunlight -- if the SAD light's having an effect it's a subtle one -- as whether it's sunny or gloomy during the daytime. Hmm.

Friday also represented the end of an era at work, as Peter Hart stepped down as Chairman of RII on the 20th anniversary of his start date there. He's the one who hired me 18 years ago. It also makes me the oldest person in the company. Ouch!

I found it oddly liberating Wednesday morning when LJ was down with its DDOS. Suddenly there was time to putter, mostly downloading lyrics for Tempered Glass. Hmm.

The power outage yesterday evening was somewhat helpful in terms of puttering, and I found myself making salad and shrimp by LED light. Power came back in time for me to zap the cauliflower. It then took an hour or so for the fileserver to fsck itself, which was annoying.

Large partitions ought to be fsck'ed on a regular schedule, I guess. Especially the one that hangs off the router -- the last thing I need is that taking half an hour to come back! More on that in a separate post upwhen.

A decent collection of links under the cut, as usual. Check out the World's Largest indoor Photo: Strahov Philosophical Library, Prague - 40 Gigapixel 360 Panorama. Try not to drool on your keyboard.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty decent day, though work was spent mostly on explaining things that aren't what I'm working on anymore. *sighs* But my mood seems to be improving, which is a good sign. (It's an even better sign that I seem capable of noticing that it's improving. But that's just me.)

My knees hurt most of the day, possibly due to the rainy weather. Grump.

A good article by haikujaguar: The Three Micahs on Agility (for artists, with the obvious analogy to agile software development.) Other links under the cut.

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