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

I wrote a song last weekend, "Windward". (Here's the original post for reference; you'll note that the lyrics have changed somewhat since then.) It quickly became part of a matched set, since it made much more sense to sing it with the original. Thursday when we sang them for Emmy, Naomi came up with the title "Travelers" for the pair.

This is the second time we've done a pair of songs -- our first was "The Bears" -- "A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear" and Naomi's brilliant "A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear". Only this time Naomi wrote the original and I wrote the parody.

Parody isn't exactly the right word for it, of course. Adaptation might be closer. In both cases, what started out as an obvious and silly throw-away ended up cutting deeper than expected, more of a complement than a commentary. It's an absolute delight when this happens. (It's also a delight when you approach the original songwriter worried about whether you'll still be friends after they've read your lyrics, and their response is ``This is brilliant!'')

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links and a little commentary in the notes.

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

I'm going to go at this backwards, because last night's house concert was amazing. Tracy Grammer is amazing - vocalist, guitarist, storyteller, and more recently songwriter. In addition to being an all-around sweet person.

I missed the chance to socialize before the concert because I was busy trying to get the tech to work -- it was the first time in a long time that I'd used that mixer, and I was also short on cables. Managed to cobble things together, but it took longer than it should have. Grumble. Well, next time...

(Speaking of which, the next concert we have scheduled is Wax Chaotic, on August 23rd. Interested in a gig? Talk to me or Naomi.)

The week started out pretty well, too -- the morning coffeeshop service at the Doubletree was good (in contrast to the lunch/dinner service, which suffered from being seriously understaffed), and it was about the easiest load-out ever from a local con. Packing light has its advantages.

In between, of course, I was working, so there isn't much to be said about that.

I also woke up very early a couple of times. If it wasn't for the inevitable oversleeping the next couple of days I'd want to do it every day.

Links in the notes, as usual.

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

Doing somewhat better tonight -- it's hard to be depressed with a cat on one's lap. (I can do it, but it's harder.) Anyway, today I'm thankful for...

  • A house big enough for concerts, like Tracy Grammer here this Saturday night!
  • A cat who has finally decided that my lap is an ok place to hang out sometimes. Better than drugs.
  • Friends willing to drive a U-Haul over 800 miles after loading it up with the last of our stuff from the Starport. Friends help you move.
  • Not having a need for good friends from the previously-referenced joke.
  • Nice weather.
  • Not being woken in the middle of the night. (Not thankful for Monday night.)
  • Refactoring operations in Eclipse.
  • Leftovers for breakfast. Especially when they include something I can make into fried rice.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A rather boring week bracketed by great music. Last Sunday we had Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps at Rainbow's End's first house concert. And this weekend we're at Norwescon, with both concerts and filking (see notes)... and the high point was, definitely, Glenn proposing marriage to Naomi during the intermission. She said yes. Heather had ended her first set with "As I Am".

The second set was all about love and marriage. (Not both together, necessarily -- it included "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife".)

On the flip side, I continue to be arthritic and mildly depressed. The low point of the week was filing for an extension on my taxes. Which was a mistake -- I should have filed and then filed an amended return when I finally get all the deductions and business expenses together. It was, of course, horrendous: I sold a lot of stock to buy and renovate Rainbow's End.

I haven't been enjoying Norwescon all that much. Mostly hiding in a corner reading on my laptop. Grump. Grumpity grump. Oh, and the hotel's wifi is seriously overloaded, and the restaurant service is slow and barely competent. *sigh*

There are links in the notes, as usual. The perceptive reader may also notice an item at the end of the notes that will, hopefully, turn into a post sometime soon.

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

Mostly a good week, though you may note that I have little report on work-days. Friday noon was the kick-off for a recruitment drive at work -- my team is hiring in Seattle, and I'll be happy to give you a referral if you find an interesting-looking posting for a different location. We're looking for all sorts of people, not just developers.

Yesterday I sort of fell apart. My alexithymia means that I don't know exactly how I fell apart -- the morning bit definitely felt like depression, while the afternoon (possibly triggered by working on taxes) felt more like anxiety. Naomi and Glenn said that I appeared to be having an anxiety attack when they saw me around bedtime. Can one have a depression attack? It was fairly brief.

I don't think my current antidepressant is getting me anything but the weight gain listed as a side effect.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

Oh. Right. I started working on this an hour or so ago and got distracted when my Mom called. So.

Last Monday was our return from Consonance -- I'd booked the latest flight, which allowed us to do some visiting and talk with the realtor. It seems many people are sad about losing the Starport -- it has, after all, been a fannish landmark for over three decades. *sigh* Keeping two houses just isn't feasible. I just hope the proceeds are enough to cover the new construction.

Naomi's friend Rika flew up with her and spent the week; we had quite a lot of music at the house, and visitors most nights. No complaints from me! The week ended with Colleen's birthday party yesterday. We still haven't built up a good list for these things; we'll have to work on that. Also a household calendar and mailing list -- probably means I have an excuse to learn Wordpress, or something like it.

Yesterday, along with the party, I installed a pair of powerline ethernet dongles. Took me forever to do it, partly because the house has two breaker boxes (meaning there are outlets that can't talk to one another), and partly because I misunderstood how the "sync" button works. It really means "rotate keys", not "synchronize" :P. The extension router is now installed in the coffee niche.

The gadgets are advertised as "500MHz", but only have 100MHz ethernet; 500 must be the aggregate across all nodes in the network. We definitely need to install some cable. *sigh*

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: (rose)

Damn. Pete Seeger died yesterday. It's hard to imagine a world without him. He held Colleen when she was a baby, and each of our kids in turn. One of my fondest memories was of my father and I sneaking in to a sold-out Seeger concert at MIT during intermission -- I was about 12. We sat on the steps in back of the auditorium and sang along with the rest of the audience.

Pete was the best ever at getting the audience singing along. I'll miss him.

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

Last week we celebrated our first Christmas in Rainbow's End -- Colleen, me, and both of our kids; Naomi, Glenn, and her kids. The pile of presents under the tree was impressive. We never did find the ornaments, lights, and stockings from the apartment -- they must be there someplace. In a box.

Afterwards a succession of friends and relatives came by. Fun, and cozy. I set up the old TV in the Great Room (where the fireplace used to be), and put on a fireplace video (from YouTube, of course). Eventually we'll move the screen up to the master bedroom. The new one is a 38" Westinghouse that Office Max had on sale for an improbably low price the week before last.

It was also my first paid Christmas in Seattle -- I started work as a full-time employee at Amazon on Monday. This meant a week's worth of breaking in a new laptop (easy, since I don't use Windows for much of anything) and desktop (hard, because persuading Ubuntu to play nice with a guest VM turns out to be non-trivial, especially if, like me, you prefer focus-follows-mouse and raise-on-focus.

I also made reservations at The Herbfarm. And, last night, reservations at the Willows Lodge next door, since I finally figured out that I'd be in no shape to drive home after a 9-course dinner with wine. Pricey, but it looks wonderful. It's still cheaper than a weekend at a con, with hotel and meals. Which is kind of scary. Hmm.

We finished off the week with last night's concert at Wayward Coffeehouse -- Sunnie Larsen, Betsy Tinney, and Kaide Tinney. Fun! We went to the Indian restaurant next door for dinner.

... and some lovely cat cuddles with Curio when I was awake at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. I am so pwned.

Links in the notes, as usual.

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

The Joy of Tech comic... The Cat Carol Have Kleenex ready; you'll probably need it.

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

So that would be... two weeks and a day. OK, I've been busy. Starting a new job will do that. This is going to be totally disjointed.

It was also a pretty eventful couple of weeks. I didn't do nearly as much practicing as I'd wanted to, nor advertise my concert at Orycon, which was last Saturday. But it came off fairly well, considering. As of Saturday morning all I had was a stack of lyrics in no particular order, but I manage to string them together into a sequence that, I think, made a certain amount of sense. You can see the results here, though I haven't uploaded the audio yet.

I performed at Westercon, too, and I haven't uploaded that either. Yeah, I've been busy. But that busy? Especially before I got a job...

A lot of things got done that had been waiting too long. Colleen started getting back into cooking, which was (and is) a Good Thing. Not so much because it takes some of the burden off me and the YD, but because it makes her feel good.

Saturday before last, we (me, Colleen, and the YD) went down to the Wayward Coffeehouse for Leannan Sidhe's concert. Sunday before last we (me, Colleen, and Naomi) went to our new-job-celebration dinner at the Herb Farm. This time it was the "Mycologist's Dream" -- fabulous, as usual. I spent much of the time in between reading about Maven, which is the build system we're using at work.

This weekend we went down to Orycon. Drove down Friday night after work, and headed back a little after 2pm on Sunday. So a rather hectic and very tiring weekend, but we enjoyed it.


... and, well, more details below in the notes. Sorry about that.

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

So, unless you were hiding under the same rock I was all week, you probably noticed that Jonathan Coulton re-recorded "Code Monkey" for Slashdot's 15th Birthday. When I finally listened to it this morning, I realized that it was prime s4s material. Never mind that it's Sunday -- the tag still matches. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It's kind of appropriate, because I just started my new job this week, as a code monkey. I mean, sure, I have a fancier title than that, but what it comes down to is picking (mostly) well-defined little coding tasks off a list and writing the code. OK, we all get some say in the tasks, too, but it's all part of a huge edifice mostly designed by somebody else.

I've done this before. Recently, even -- what I did on the web services side of $PREV two years ago was like that. I can do it, and do it well, but it was demanding without being all that satisfying. I'm worried that this gig will be similar.

It'll pay the bills, and it'll be challenging and even fun in places, but I don't think I'm going to love it. (You will note that I am not going off on a riff comparing the expected experience to various kinds of casual relationship. This is a Good Thing. Trust me.)

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

Well. This was my first week at work in six months. It'll take a while for me to get the hang of it, and for the stress to go away. It's demanding, and promises to stay demanding, and I'd gotten very used over the last 6 months to having lots of free time.

The whole week was mostly paperwork and setup. It's my first encounter with development using Windows, Eclipse, and Maven. Plus Rally. Confluence is familiar, at least, and along with the two other new guys I've made a few edits to the "new developer setup" page. So... yeah. Steep learning curve. I hope to be writing code next week. I'd better be.

I like commuting by bus. This is a good thing, because as a contractor I don't get free parking. I don't get a lot of things. Like paid vacations. Orycon is going to be a weekend blitz this year. Fortunately it's only a 3-hour drive; we'll be able to drive down after work on Friday and come back Sunday night.

My stupid body seems to have decided it wants at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Do Not Have The Time! I especially miss having an extra hour or two to myself in the morning. One hour (if I get up at 7 and leave at 8) is barely enough for the usual round of drugs, nose-watering, tooth-brushing, and a quick breakfast. A shower is pushing it. Well, maybe I'll get into a stable schedule eventually.

Apropos of tooth-brushing, we went to Costco and I found a two-pack of Sonicare teethbrush (that's the plural of toothbrush, isn't it?). They'd been strongly recommended by my new hygienist. We did end up spending quite a lot more there than I'd intended.

I also spent more than I'd intended at the Container Store, getting tracks and standards for the living room. I finally decided not to try anything fancy. I have one, 4' shelf up, for the guinea pig cage. It's a huge improvement. I also got a pair of stacking bamboo shelves to go between the chairs - the stack is low enough that it fits under the overhang of the arms, and I've clipped a pair of drink holders onto the end. Big win.

Today I may have time to buy wood for the bookshelves.

Colleen had wanted to check out Bellevue Square, which is next door to Lincoln Square (where the Container Store is), so we did that. Ghastly. It's laid out so that you have to do a lot of backtracking if you're on a scooter, plus it's noisy and crowded. We didn't even bother with the first floor -- there was a long line for the elevators. If it wasn't for having the only Container Store in the state I wouldn't go back there at all.

I did some cooking -- Polish sausage with beans, carnitas soft tacos, ... The really huge thing this week was that Colleen cooked dinner on Friday! That's wonderful progress -- it's been a really long time since she was able to do that. The fact that our kitchen is almost an ideal layout for scoot-through cooking helps. She only needed help a couple of times; getting a hot pot of pasta between the stove and sink for draining is still well beyond what she's capable of. So far.

Some links. Watch out for the first one -- it's going to be very triggery for some people. Harrowing and heartbreaking, but you need to see Amamda Todd's video if you can handle it.

raw notes )
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).

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

The CTO of $T called me at the originally-scheduled time on Wednesday, not the rescheduled time on Tuesday -- by that time I'd already made my decision. Thursday I went in and signed the paperwork with $K for my contract job at $D. I start Monday the 15th. There are a couple of good perks from $K, including free access to SkillSoft courseware. (I think I also get that through my recently-renewed ACM membership.)

Even after only six months of "retirement", the thought of going back to work is somewhat scary. It's also rather surprising how few of the things on my list I got done. (Of course, "moving" was also on the list, and occupied an unexpectedly large fraction of my time. But still.)

I'll be at Orycon. The plan is to drive down after work (possibly after a short day) on Friday, and return Sunday night -- it's only a 3-hour drive, which makes it possible. I think I will have a concert, though I might have missed my window for that by not turning in the questionaire on time.

Of course, now that I know I'm going to have an income, I promptly went out and ordered a few things that I'd been waiting on. The first to arrive, because it was nearly instantaneous, was the download of Cat Faber's new CD, The King's Lute -- the physical copy will arrive soon. (You get the download, which includes the sheet music and lyrics, free with the CD.) You can get yours at her Bandcamp page. I highly recommend it -- Cat's a brilliant songwriter and a fine performer. This album is drawn from her recent "Alice Day" posts. It's hard to pick favorites here, but I think I'd have to go with "Cedarglass" and "Atheist's Anthem".

I really need to get a Bandcamp page up, don't I? Good project for tomorrow? Maybe.

I also pulled down a copy of Heather Dale's Perpetual Gift (which is free, as the title indicates, but I made a donation anyway).

Oh, and Janis Ian will be at the Triple Door in Seattle, Saturday, April 6th

The usual collection of links in the notes. Here: have a CPR ad, with zombies.

raw notes )
mdlbear: (ccs-cover)

Because I'm surprised that I haven't taken the time to do it earlier, I've logged on to CD-Baby and dropped the digital download price of Coffee, Computers, & Song from $15 (which is where they set it by default, I guess) to $9.99. I probably ought to set it up on Bandcamp, too.

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

Y'know, I can't miss today's Songs for Saturday -- the combination of Woody's 100th birthday and Bastille Day is just too perfect.

Here's a link to NPR: At 100, Woody Guthrie Still Resonates. And here's the Wikipedia article on La Marseillaise.

Here is one of the only two surviving film clips of Woody performing: The Ranger's Command - 1945, and here's Woody singing This Land Is Your Land.

And here's Tear the fascist down "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we dont give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, thats all we wanted to do."

And here's La Marseillaise in my favorite scene in Casablanca.

It makes me angry that this is all still so relevant.

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

Our last party at the Starport is over -- it was a good one. Lots of people came out of the woodwork to wish us well. Some tears. I sang a little.

I mailed in a copy of my pension paperwork. Again.

I packed, for this week's trip to Seattle. Since one of the companies I'm interviewing at bought the tickets, I'm flying on airlines that charge for checked baggage -- heck with that! I'm taking Chami and my old, huge REI backpack/suitcase. It holds almost as much as the suitcase.

I'll be arriving late tonight, and leaving Thursday afternoon. I have interviews Monday and Tuesday afternoons; Wednesday is still open. Hint.

Some interesting links, mostly from people at the party.

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

It's been a busy week. I had phone interviews from Zillow and Tableau; progress is being made. And I finished ripping the CDs, or at least the CDs that didn't require manual data entry. And went to U-Haul and bought enough boxes to fill the back of my Honda Civic. (The back seat folds down, leaving an opening to the back of the trunk.)

Wednesday and Thursday were spent triaging the fiction. I think we're down to taking about a third of it. Which is still a lot -- most of it's probably going to go into storage. A lot of what was left has already been claimed; after our party on the 9th whatever's left will get carted off to a used book store.

Naturally, there's still a lot to be done -- not just triage and packing but getting both cars serviced, doctors' appointments (and we're leaving Kaiser's service area, so that's going to be fun after we move), cleaning the house and yard, assorted repairs, ...

No, a month and a half probably isn't going to be enough. But it will have to do.


Only one walk, but at least it was 3 miles.

Quite a range of links this time. Liam Clancy singing "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - YouTube was very moving. The Open Goldberg Variations: J.S. Bach’s Masterpiece Free to Download is a very cool idea -- PD performances funded via kickstarter. Sheet music sharing via is also very cool -- a cross-platform, open source typesetting program, a website for sharing, and a program for synchronizing a score to a YouTube video. That's the really cool part.

For those in the SF Bay Area, you'll also want to take a look at Slothman's "Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, June 5, 2012".

The Pegasus Awards - nominating ballot is up.

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

Something I've run across several places over the last couple of days is the official video for S. J. Tucker's "Neptune". It's gorgeous. While you're at it, check out the rest of her videos.

Then go to the S.J. Tucker - Skinny White Chick website. Because Sooj is awesome.

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

This week's song is James Keelaghan's "Boom Gone To Bust", for reasons that should be obvious.

And I headed west when I had turned twenty
When the foundries and factories had closed
And in my minds eye I thought I might settle
Out here where my father was raised and was born
I worked as a jug-hound a rough-neck a bouncer
I worked where I wanted, I drew damn good pay
Saw no end to our luck and so we just pushed it
But O.P.E.C. and mortgages ate it away.

This recording is from Lookingglass Folk's "Trinitite" concert at Conflikt 2012.

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

It was a good con. Thursday I packed. The netbook sleeve I'd ordered over the weekend had arrived; it takes up *much* less space than the Belkin bag.

Friday, we got to the con hotel about 12:30. I quickly found out that the hotel's WiFi was among the worst I'd ever seen. It worked pretty well, though slowly, in the room, but was flaky in the lobby and unusable in the function space. Bletch. At least, because I'm an AT&T subscriber, I didn't have to pay for it.

My concert was at 7:30 on Friday evening; it went surprisingly well, and I got quite a few favorable comments on it. Including some on the way it flowed together -- I'd taken a page from Naomi and done a fully-scripted theme concert, on the subject of places and journeys. You can find the script and all but one song in the expected place.

I've gotten used to thinking of myself as a good songwriter; it still feels weird that some people consider me a good performer as well. I think what made the difference this time was that I was able to actually put some emotion into the songs. The occasional trainwreck probably went mostly unnoticed. Well, except for the lights going out one verse into my last song. That was just funny -- three people with flashlights lept onto the stage, and I simply started over. It was good.

I left two music stands in the concert room; they saw a lot of use over the course of the con.

After Friday, we ate most of our lunches and dinners over at Nijo Castle. Cold, raw fish. Yum. Some of the best sashimi I've ever tasted.

The (other) concerts were uniformly excellent. Most of them had Amy McFiddler in them. Everything is better with Amy in it. The Three (4) Weird Sisters' GOH concert was particularly spectacular. All of them were just on.

I'm not going to go into much detail; if you want that you can read the notes, as usual. I didn't take many notes about the concerts I went to, and I did very little singing in open filk. But, yeah. Good weekend.

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

I've actually gotten quite a lot done, including no less than three complete run-throughs of my Consonance set (plus some discussion with Naomi about it). Well, ok -- that plus my tech reports is about all I got done. A short walk on Tuesday.

Public Service Announcement: My Consonance concert will be at 7:30pm on Friday, March 2nd. That's, like, tomorrow night. Actually, I feel ready for this one.

Another PSA: Grand Central Starport's annual "It's Green" party will, as usual, be the Saturday after Consonance, March 10.

Quite a few links. They're pretty much all good; just look in the notes and take your pick.

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

Not an unpleasant day, but not great either. Skipped my walk -- it was cold and dreary, and my back hurt from something I overdid on Sunday. Probably schlepping boxes of fabric around. A little practice, and decided to add Daddy's World to the setlist. Haven't done that in a while.

Got another tech report almost done, so that was pretty good. Made me feel at least a little productive. So did mailing off an audio file to Chaos.

[personal profile] elf boosted the signal for Underground Rail.

I really resent having to go to bed early because I'm too sleepy. Just saying.

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

It was a busy day, and a good one despite doing something unpleasant to my lower back and being sleepy enough to go to bed early. I had the house pretty much to myself all afternoon, with the YD up in her room (as usual) and Colleen up in San Francisco at the orchid show.

In the morning, I set up communities to discuss [personal profile] pocketnaomi's idea for a new Underground Railroad: you'll find them at and I also followed a link in a comment to Jane: An Abortion Service. There's a book, too, which I ordered.

I did quite a lot of puttering, including moving some fabric out of the former sewing room (now a combination pantry and guest room) into the "sewing corner" of the living room. That's probably what made my back unhappy.

I went out to REI and Fry's to look for a netbook sleeve, having decided that the Belkin netbook case I'm using now takes up too much room in my carry-on. In particular, there isn't quite enough room left over for my songbooks, which is very unhelpful. I ended up getting this one at Amazon instead.

[ profile] moon_fox finished the picture of Rosie that I prompted for at her Character Art Jam. Very cool -- kinda grows on one, which is totally the Right Thing.

I started working on dinner, which consisted of split pea soup, chili (from scratch), and rice with garbanzos. Just as I was finishing up, Colleen came back from the orchid show with an enormous plant -- a green cymbidium that she had already dubbed Arabella (apparently so as not to have it confused with Audrey). She had been there at the very end of the show, so for the $25 she'd been planning to spend on a couple of stems to make corsages out of, she got a $200 plant from a vendor who didn't want to lug it back home.

I put up my S4S post about 8:30, and by 10pm was falling asleep in my chair. Splat.

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

In honor of the communities I set up this morning ([community profile] underground_rail on DW and [ profile] undergroundrail on LJ) to promote [personal profile] pocketnaomi's idea of a new Underground Rail, I give you the song that inspired it: [personal profile] catsittingstill's song "Underground Rail".

Here is Lookingglass Folk's version, from our concert at Conflikt.

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

Not too bad. Well, ok: not a great couple of days. My mood was a little down, and no walk yesterday. A friend was in a car crash last night, which naturally caused us a great deal of worry. She's just bruised; no serious damage. Her car was totalled, though. No fun.

I have started to work seriously on my Consonance concert set -- a good thing, since it's only a week from tomorrow night. Went through about half of it last night, and all but two songs between the last two days. It's less than half mine, which is unusual for one of my solo performances. Too much great stuff out there!

Only a couple of links, both from Tuesday: the latest in Gary McGath's Files That Last series, and Elf's With a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Cookie, which is absolutely delicious.

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

A reasonably productive day. I did a lot of work on some of my older concerts (and posted about it). And went out with Colleen and the YD to get the latter a new laptop (an Acer which she has named "Starlight"). Colleen fell in love with one of the new, ultrathin ASUS lappies. I must admit it looks particularly yummy; it's also nearly $1k for the i5 version. More for the i7.

Dinner was pan-fried rock cod (with butter, black pepper, garlic, capers, and a little sake), brown rice, and asparagus. I like to cook, when I have the energy, and about the only way I get fish at home is to cook it myself. Or not cook it, if I decide to go for sashimi.

I also made my flight reservations for Norwescon. We're still trying to decide whether to fly or drive to Westercon.

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

Hmm. A pretty good day, I guess. Maybe? 2.3mi walk. Worked seriously on the Consonance concert set, and got in some practice. Put in a request for a concert at Westercon.

I realized, during my walk, that I don't know how to smile on demand. Never have. I smile when it's... induced?... by the situation, but I can't do it deliberately. Supposedly, if one smiles, one becomes happier. The best I can do now seems to be some kind of grimace. I'm guessing it's a skill worth learning. Wonder how much time looking stupid in front of a mirror it's going to take...

I spent quite a lot of time reading The Language of Emotions; my bullshit meter pegged at a couple of points, especially in a section where she groups various drugs and practices into categories by their effects. Other parts seem to make sense, but how much of it can really be trusted? I don't know enough about the subject to tell.

About 10:30 pm I started drifting off. As I'm starting to do now.

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

It's a bit of a grab-bag today. I found myself needing to finally learn the melody to a couple of songs that I'd so far only played guitar on, because I want to do them in my upcoming concert at Consonance. You know that thing about dominos? That.

So the only recordings I could find were back in 2009. And, for some unaccountable reason, I hadn't put up the audio for that concert. It soon became clear that one reason I hadn't was that the performer tags in the audio files were wrong...

... and once I'd fixed that, I decided to put my concert index into a sensible, most-recent-first format. (It had been most recent year first, but most recent last within each year.) So that's done now. And Baycon 2008 didn't have an index.html file. It does now.

So here you go:

... and if you're still with me, there's a somewhat off-the-wall bonus. You see, this week the R&D lab I work for publicly announced a subsidiary in India called Ricoh Innovations Private Limited (RIPL)

So what was the first song that popped into my head when first I heard about it? Right. The Grateful Dead - Ripple. I've been waiting five months to post that one...

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

Some days I just don't get a whole lot done, I guess. It was actually pretty productive at work, and I left late in case I was needed during a server upgrade.

Colleen and the YD got in even later -- they had gone to the San Francisco Zoo and taken the long way home. It pleases me no end that Colleen is getting out of the house more lately.

I was able to get in a little more practice in the morning, and worked out the tentative setlist (songs, not order) for my Conflikt Consonance concert over a lunchtime IM session with Naomi. (2 weeks from tonight -- eep!) I seem to have picked up Naomi's habit of theming concerts. No walk, but I don't feel particularly bad about that; I don't want to overdo it with my hips still on the edge of hurting.

Today's link, via a review in LWN, is Open Advice: "a knowledge collection from a wide variety of Free Software projects. It answers the question what 42 prominent contributors would have liked to know when they started so you can get a head-start no matter how and where you contribute." It's a free download licensed CC-BY-SA; you can also buy a paper copy.

I really like the fact that the "download" section includes a get source link pointing to the LaTeX on GitHub.

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

Hmm. Pretty decent, I guess; some music, a walk, and some reading. On the other hand, my netbook flaked out twice, and I ended the day feeling rather restless. More on that later.

On my walk I tried out the Cardio Trainer app on my phone. It immediately started talking at me, and playing the one song I'd downloaded as a test to see if the phone could play oggs. But once I'd gotten it properly configured, it seemed to work ok. Expect better walking stats, on those days when I remember to use it.

The phone's AMOLED screen is bright enough to use outdoors in the shade; that's a major win, and makes me glad I went for the Pantech over the HTC.

I've started reading The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren. It's rather odd. I alternate between little "aha" moments, and wondering what language she's writing in. It's going to take some serious work, but will probably be valuable.

I'm hoping the netbook's flakiness turns out to be Firefox and flash. However, it just occurred to me that a memory test might be in order.

And, ok, about that restless feeling. I'm wondering whether it's bleeding over from my economic trainwreck, where I'm feeling trapped by a lifetime of inaction and bad decisions. Not much I can do at this point, hence the trapped feeling. It would make some kind of sense, but I'm not sure that rationality really applies here.

It is, perhaps, appropriate that the song I've been working on lately is "Landscapes": "In your heart and your mind/I am traveling blind..." Something like that. Only it's my heart, too.

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

I guess the big news from Friday is that I finally upgraded to an android phone: a Pantech Burst from AT&T. They were able to confirm that it'll be upgraded to ICS, and it's smaller and lighter than either of the two I'd been considering. The screen is gorgeous. The one thing I don't like is that the clock widget isn't as good as the one on the HTC phone I have at work; that's annoying; there really doesn't seem to be a good equivalent. (The HTC widget includes alarms and a desk clock. Pantech's links to the calendar, which is useful, but I miss having quick access to the desk clock. Fortunately there are lots of great, free widgets out there.)

I got my phone at lunchtime; needless to say I didn't get as much writing done that afternoon as I'd intended. Yesterday afternoon I went out and got a microSD card for it. I also made dinner (red snapper and brussels sprouts, with a rather bright guacamole as appetizer), made our hotel reservations for Westercon, and decided to go up to Seattle for Norwescon.

No walk, but no depression, either. I'll take it.

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

So, to make up for having missed a couple of weeks worth of Saturdays, you're getting a bonus this week.

After talking it over, Naomi and I decided that it'll be better -- or at least simpler -- to ask for forgiveness than permission, so the entire recording of Lookingglass Folk at Conflikt 2012 is now up on the web.

I don't like the way the guitar came out -- sorry about that; if I have time I'll try to process the other recording I got from [ profile] hms42. But the performance? Yeah. That worked.

Please enjoy.

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

Since I recently prompted a wonderful poem: "The Bear Spectacle", in ysabetwordsmith's recent Poetry Fishbowl!, this seems like a good time to post about The Bears.

The Bears are a suite of two songs: my semi-autobiographical "A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear", and Naomi Rivkis's wonderful parody of it, "A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear". We (or I, if I'm performing solo) usually do them together. You sort of have to do that with the really good parodies, otherwise lines have a tendency to leak from one to the other, and either hilarity or havoc ensues.

The best (ok, only) recording of the two of them together is part of my Fan GOH concert at Baycon 2010.

The Middle-Sized Bear is one of my favorite characters in Cordwainer Smith's story, Mark Elf. You'll find out all about him in the last section, titled "Conversation with the Middle-Sized Bear". He formed part of my "Mandelbear" persona on the old newsgroup alt.callahans, but it was only a few years ago that I discovered that he was also a large part of my personality as well.

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

I don't think weekly updates are a good idea. This thing is a monstrosity.

The last week began with a serious case of what appeared to be the flu, and ended with a communication slow-motion trainwreck. But in between...

The Lookingglass Folk concert at Conflikt came off very well indeed. We nailed Kitchen Heroes, with Talis in the audience. The other concerts were excellent. I didn't have nearly enough time to catch up with people. I read most of The Introvert Advantage on the plane (both ways) and in various interstices.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times? Something like that. I overslept most days (I really needed it), and thanks to the flu lost over 4 pounds over the course of the week. The concert was a real high, of a sort that I rarely get (and, I suppose, even more rarely notice). Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were incredibly overstressed and draining. Probably would have been less so if the hotel's internet connection had worth more than we paid for it. Which was nothing. And so it went.

I'm sorry the con is over -- I needed more. I'm glad the week is over -- I need a vacation, and a couple of weeks worth of writing tech reports sounds like just the thing.

OK, the write-up is pretty small. You might want to skip the notes, which are 160 lines long.

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mdlbear: (depleted)

I'm not sure batching my posts is significantly less work, but I seem to have fallen into that mode by default. We'll see how it goes; comments welcome.

It's been a rough month this last weekend. The back pain I felt yesterday was only part of it. Yeah, more exercise would probably help. Time? Ha!

Let's see... paid my sales tax, G&S (wonderful!), not as much practice as I wanted needed, helping friends (and trying to provide emotional support, which Middle-Sized Bears can apparently do, but don't really know how they do), making travel and other logistical arrangements, a couple of arguments with the YD, who seems to dig in her heels at every request or suggestion I or Colleen makes), ...

I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted needed to. I can haz xtra hrs plz? The trouble with this planet is that it spins just too damned fast.

Plenty of links down there in the notes, plus bonus haiku (Friday) and some dream notes (Saturday).

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

OK, so it's a day late, but that means I can offer you a first-hand account of the Lamplighters' production of The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan.

For my money, The Gondoliers has the best music of any of the G&S operettas; it's lush and lyrical and sparkling. And the Lamplighters are a world class company, making the air ring with song in San Francisco for just a few months shy of 60 years. In Colleen and my 38 years worth of season tickets we've never been disappointed.

Simply gorgeous. They're performing next weekend in Walnut Creek; it's not to be missed if you're in the area and fond of such things.

For extras, here's The Gondoliers Preview podcast on YouTube; the G&S archive page points to two recordings at the Internet Archive.

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

Pretty good week so far, actually. A lot of my mindspace early in the week was taken up by a River post on telling your friends what they need to hear, which replaced a previous post with, let's just say, more heat and much less light.

But I mostly kept up the momentum from the latter half of last week, and got quite a lot done. In particular, I managed to get some music-related work done every day, three walks and a drive with Colleen, and a lot of small but important tasks at work. Breaking things down into tiny steps really seems to work for me, and while there aren't all that many items here tagged with "15min", there probably should have been.

Sunday's drive was glorious. We reversed our usual route and drove up I280 to 92, then south along the coast via Highway 1 to Santa Cruz, and back by way of 17. This gave us a better view of the ocean than usual, and we saw a gorgeous effect that I'd never seen before -- bits of sunlight streaming through gaps in the clouds and making bright patches far out on the ocean, made more visible by the contrast. Just... wow.

I made chicken soup with rice for dinner. From scratch, using the chicken bones I'd saved from Saturday's broccoli chicken. Yum.

Monday I finally put two and two together and realized that the fact that my (AT&T) cell phone signal at work had gone from unusable to 100% and the fact that a group from Apple had moved in next door might possibly be related. Ya think?

Tuesday morning I had a nice conversation with the YD -- every once in a while she gets up early. Later that evening, I worked on the blackout code for,,,, and, using code from (I understand that PIPA won't be brought to a cloture vote today as previously scheduled. The net can kick ass sometimes.)

Wednesday I woke up remembering a dream mostly about plumbing. No idea what that signifies. Thursday I finally got printing back online for the netbooks and the YD's laptop. The latter also required booting from the "startup repair" partition and waiting for an hour or so while it cranked away, fixing what appeared to be a corrupt filesystem. Pretty slick, actually. F12. It would be nice if the boot screen actually mentioned that feature, though.

Note to self: make a restore disk first thing when configuring a new Windows machine.

I don't know whether batching up my daily updates like this is a good idea or not, but I do seem to have a little more time on days when I forget. I thought briefly of doing a "Wednesday Wrap-up", but I'd forgotten by the time I got home. They say your memory is the second thing to go.

I've forgotten the first.

Quite a few links, on a wide range of topics. I'm going to signal-boost [ profile] moon_fox's Character Art Jam, in part because I left a prompt there (and a tip).

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

This song was written in response to a challenge: my sister-of-choice Naomi (whose birthday is today!) told me that she'd go with me to ConChord 2008 if I promised to sing a song either by her or about her. By a month before the con I still hadn't learned any of her songs, and was still struggling to write something, when I happened to think back on how easy a time Colleen had had getting through the airport with a wheelchair. This just fell out, then, as the answer to ``I can walk, damnit! What do I need a wheelchair for?''

I'm also using it as a prompt in today's Crowdfunding Creative Jam. [pdf] [ogg] [mp3]


© 2008 Stephen Savitzky. Creative Commons by-nc-sa License Some Rights Reserved.

When you see her in the evening in a bright green dress
Walking fast down the hallway you might never guess
That the lady has a weakness she's reluctant to confess.
No, you might not notice when she's dancing reels
That she made it through the airport on a set of wheels,
And she still isn't certain that she likes the way that it feels.
    With her lover right behind her lookin' tired but proud
    They were wheelin' their way through the airport crowd;
    And the way it made her feel made her want to weep out loud. 
    'Cause they were cuttin' past the line at the TSA
    Asking healthy young people to get out of her way
    Savin' her strength to make it through another day.
When she has a good day she can walk a mile
Dance through the evening with grace and style
Greet her lover at the door with a tight embrace and a smile;
Next minute she's collapsing like she's half-way dead
With a fire in her body and an aching head
And she'll pay with pain and the rest of the weekend in bed.
    So with her lover right beside her lookin' calm and cool
    She walks up to the counter feeling like a fool
    And tries to tell herself that a wheelchair's only a tool.
    Soon she's wheelin' past the line at the TSA
    Feeling weird watching people getting out of her way
    But it's the easiest journey in years to the end of the day.
Well, her body is a battleground and life's a war,
And she's lost against her limits many times before;
But she's still fighting with a few new tricks in store;
Because a wheelchair is a weapon, not a mark of defeat
And she can stay standing longer with some time off her feet
The battle isn't over, and winning will be sweet.
    With her lover right behind her lookin' fierce and proud
    They'll be cutting a swath through the airport crowd
    The way it makes her feel will make her want to laugh out loud.
    'Cause she'll be wheelin' past the line at the TSA
    Watchin' tough young punks scurry out of her way
    Savin' her strength to make it through another day.
    Yeah, savin' her strength--to fight another day.
mdlbear: (river)

Um... right. You can tell it was a productive day from the small number of notes? Something like that.

Because, aside from not taking a walk due to working through lunchtime, it was a very productive day. I got a couple of overdue bills paid, practiced a couple of songs, blew through my JIRA task list at work, helped the coworker who's integrating audio into the client, and did some long-delayed web stuff in the evening.

I also spent the entire evening in the living room with Colleen working on Cygnus -- it's a real pleasure to have a netbook that has a full-sized keyboard with good (i.e., IBM-like) key feel.

I finally folded up at 11:30. DO NOT LIKE this "need to get more sleep" thing. I know, self-care and all that. It still sucks.

I don't know what it was about those two bills. They're from Kaiser, because my employer switched our plan from a from the HMO plan we've had since forever, to one that sends me two totally incomprehensible bills every month. And because I tend to put off anything that smells of paperwork. Which reminds me to get my W2 out of my bag.

Anyway, that's done.

I also don't know what it is about some of my coworkers. I mean, R is an experienced contractor, and can't be all that much younger than I am. But he's a Mac expert, uncomfortable with the command line, and shows an appalling ignorance of such Unix fundamentals as processes and PTYs. I've seen this before -- S back at my previous gig had similar problems.

I really don't like to think of myself as smarter than most people -- when you're one of a handful of researchers that doesn't have a PhD it's hard to hang on to that illusion -- but I probably do have a much broader range of experience than most. Starting in the days of vacuum tubes and Hollerith cards can do that, I guess.

One link, to Whose site is it anyway? | Files That Last. Worth a read if you have someone else maintaining your website; my employer ran afoul of this last year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A pretty good day, despite a persistent feeling that I might be coming down with something like a cold. Oh, and feeling my heart pounding much of the late evening. Possibly due to the sudafed I had to take in order to breathe. Or possibly due to the difficulty breathing up to that point.

I did some practice in the morning, and took a 1.5mi walk. And did a fair amount at work. So on the whole it was a good day.

As for links, I have to give points to Time Machine Maintenance for the cool title, but the best is really Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship (From BBC News by way of siliconshaman.) Cue Bound For Hackers' Heaven, please.

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

A pretty good day. I ran through the entire Conflikt set in the morning (doing only a verse+chorus of the ones I already know well), took a 2-mile walk at lunchtime, re-posted the party announcement, paid some bills, and determined the sex of my netbook. (Female, in case it wasn't obvious. Consider the informal name of her pointing device.)

I also ordered a couple of psych books that have been recommended in comments recently.

It was lovely weather for walking; a little warmer than the day before, meaning I could leave my jacket behind. Details were looking sharper even before the new glasses; it makes me wonder whether my glasses affect my mood -- one of the things I notice when a depression is lifting is detail in the landscape, as if things were in better focus.

Several good links in the notes, and a very short dialog with Ame.

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

It's fairly easy to be productive when there's only one other person at work; they left at noon. I left around 4:30 because Lenscrafters had called to say my new glasses were in.

The only person who noticed was Chaos, and I might have said something that gave her a hint.

The new computer glasses are a major win, but different enough to be somewhat disorienting. I got used to the bifocals fairly quickly, though the reading spots are stronger, which makes for more of a discontinuity across the line. Now I have to remember to take them to and from work.

I just realized that the computer glasses are perfect for singing; the lyrics are at about the same distance as the screen. {duh!}

Meanwhile, guaifenesin actually seems to be helping with my chronic congestion, and reduces the "lump in the throat" mucus effect. So that's a big win.

A couple of good links in the notes on marriage equality, and one on free speech and Firefly, down at the bottom.

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

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

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

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

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

So the day ended pretty well, at least.

No links. Must have been busy.

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

I guess the big news for the day was looking at my test results and seeing my triglycerides below 200 (the high end of normal) for the first time in years. Possibly decades -- Kaiser's graph only goes back to 2006. I think I can safely attribute the good results to an increase in omega-3 intake due to switching from fish oil to flax oil. OK, so I'm refinishing my arterial walls with linseed oil. Cool!

Blood sugar is up a little, though, putting it a little into the prediabetic range. Combined with the neuropathy, there is some cause for concern. And my HDL level is still low (by 1 point).

A rather frustrating day at work, trying to make a command-line SIP client (linphone) work on the Mac. Oddly, it only fails with USB microphones. I suspect some kind of buffering problem. If anyone knows something else I can use to make SIP calls from a command line, and that can be easily installed from macports or a download, I'd be grateful.

Our boxes of Christmas tree ornaments seem to have gone missing. WTF? People have been helping us clean and organize the living room, so this probably shouldn't be too surprising.

As for links, ... Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer? NO, of course not.

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

A longish day, not least because I headed out of the house with neither coffee nor breakfast, to get bloodwork done. (The results are in -- I'm doing pretty well. Triglycerides, in particular, are in the middle of the normal range after being high for, what, a decade? Go me! Blood glucose is up a little further over the high end, though; I'm not happy about that.) Grump.

After the labwork I went over to Lenscrafters for new glasses. They had nothing with lenses as big as the ones I have; I'm losing 3mm off the bottom. Grump. OTOH, I found some nice, inexpensive half-rimless frames for the computer glasses. So that's a win.

After dinner I brought Snuggles, my Martin O-15, out to the living room because I missed having a guitar there. Played a 4-song mini-concert. I'm trying to practice more, but it's hard. More a matter of priorities and motivation than time. Grump.

Um... I suppose I have to give myself credit for actually doing the aforementioned, rather than procrastinating the way I usually do.

Lest I give the impression that I was grumpy all day, I have to say that I wasn't. I've been getting lots of nice comments about my tie-dyed shirt, and some about my post about "Fixing Livejournal". And my mood is actually somewhat better than usual. Which proves once again that I'm like King Gama -- not happy unless I have something to grumble at.

The one bright spot in a sea of mostly-discouraging links is one teacher's approach to preventing gender bullying in a classroom.

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