mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

So I took the week off from work. I'd originally planned to return from Orycon Sunday afternoon, and go in to work Monday and possibly Wednesday. The best-laid plans... Monday was occupied by the drive back from Portland, Tuesday by medical stuff (including a urology appointment on short notice for Colleen), and Wednesday by waiting for the tech from Acorn to show up and do the proper inspection that the tech who had arrived early on Monday had failed to do. So.

Spent much of the week on personal software projects. Wednesday and Thursday I was mostly hacking in my .emacs file, fixing some long-standing annoyances with html-helper-mode (and incidentally lj-update-mode, which is partially derived from it). Friday and Saturday I worked on the build software for my website Songs pages -- you can see the results (so far -- there's still quite a bit of prettying-up to do) on LookingGlass Folk's Songs. The LgF page was the main motivation -- it's been a broken link on the site for years. The secondary motivation was putting my songbook on GitHub.

In the course of doing this, I finally got around to writing tests for the makefiles -- predictably, they turned up lots of bugs. By no means complete, but I now also have an easily-extensible test framework that I can use for the rest of MakeStuff and my other make-based projects like Honu.

Thursday we had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Glenn spatchcocked the bird -- this was my introduction to the technique, which lets a 16-pound turkey cook in two hours with a beautifully crisp skin. Recommended. There were just Colleen and I, Glenn and Naomi, and N's kids. The YD had dinner with her boyfriend's family, and Chaos spent the day working on term papers. The tenants ate at C"'s parents'. (I may have to go to subscripts.)

Fair amount of political stuff in the links; not going to re-hash most of it because apparently Post-Trump Stress Disorder is a thing, and I haz it. I can, however, recommend moem's Cybersecurity for the Trumped series, and Tor Browser.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

It's time for another year's worth of gratitude. On the whole, 2016 has not been a great year -- about the best I can say is that I -- and my family -- lived through it. OK, here we go: This year I'm grateful for...

  • My family. All of it -- family of blood, family of choice, Colleen, Chaos and Neko, Naomi, Glenn, the Roo and The Duchess, Mom, the relatives we hardly ever see, ... the whole crazy bunch of us. They're what's keeping me alive.
  • Our wonderful house, Rainbow's End. For all its plumbing problems, it's still a great place to live. I will miss it when, sooner or later, we can no longer afford to keep it.
  • Music. The songs that keep us going: "The Mary Ellen Carter" in particular; "Gentle Arms of Eden", "Quiet Victories", and "Kitchen Heroes" as well; and we've recently added "The Bells of Norwich" and "Millennium's Dawn" to that list. Songs of hope, determination, and defiance -- we need them now more than ever.
  • Friends. Thanks for the late-night conversations, the hugs, the blog comments, the words of encouragement and comfort, and just knowing you're there. You know who you are, and I love you.
  • Work. I'm getting weary of it, but I'm glad my employer still wants me, for the moment.
  • Hope. Pandora, 2016, you're a bitch, but at least you left us that one.
    Here's hope to heal your sorrow,
    Now that the old dreams are gone,
    And the past has turned into tomorrow,
    In the light of the Millennium's dawn.



No thanks to most of what 2016 has brought us, aptly and obscenely summarized in The 2016 Song. Not safe for work, because 2016.

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

Thanksgiving seems like a good day to re-start Thankful Thursday posts; I have a lot of catching up to do, so here goes...

Today I'm thankful for:

  • FAMILY. Blood and chosen, near and far. I have an amazing, wonderful family. I especially have to mention my love Colleen, our kids, Emmy and Kat, who just keep getting even more amazing with time, my sister of choice Naomi and her kids, and my Seattle relatives, with whom I'm finally getting back in touch.
  • Friends and friendship. Friends online and off, near and distant. Friends becoming closer friends. I love you all.
  • Rainbow's End. We -- my crazy extended family and I -- found ourselves a wonderful house in West Seattle this year, and it has become our home.
  • Employment. I've been employed here in Seattle for a little over a year, after far too long a gap since I lost my job in San Jose. A skill set that continues to keep me employable.
  • Our cats. I hadn't realized just how much of a cat person I was until Curio walked up to me in the shelter and told me "Hi there. I'm your cat." Naomi had to translate for him, but I'm learning.
  • Medical insurance. The American health doesn't-care system sucks, but I shudder to think of what Colleen's tab would have looked like if I hadn't had insurance through my employer.
  • A kitchen big enough for more than one person to work in, and a Thanksgiving dinner that came out amazingly well.
  • A lot of little and not-so-little things. Backups. Good tools, both hard and soft. Colleen's PT and other support people.
  • ... and most of all, the fact that things haven't turned out nearly as bad as they could have. I've been lucky, and I know it. (I've also been incredibly stupid at times, but that's another post.)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

A rather unusual Thanksgiving -- we were home, the YD wasn't, I did all the cooking (and am very thankful to Colleen's nose for detecting that the stuffing was burning on the stove before I completely ruined it), and I didn't overeat.

I also rejiggered my backup script to run daily as a cron job, which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Possibly as long as a year -- I don't remember.

I did not go out for a walk -- I haven't taken a long walk in weeks. *grumps at self*

The YD was getting around pretty well despite her sprained ankle, and flew South to LosCon on schedule. She'll be back on Sunday.

Dinner was roasted turkey; stuffing with gluten-free bread, cranberries, mushrooms, and chestnuts; roasted potatoes and yams; gibblet gravy; and cranberry sauce. I should probably have made a salad and a green vegetable, but there were leftovers so I assume nobody went to bed hungry.

I see only one link up there, on Chrome OS. Slow day.

mdlbear: (fandom)

Well, we made it down to Loscon. The [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat and I ended up not eating turkey -- the claim is that it's high enough in tryptophan to make you sleepy. She had the prime rib dinner, and I had roast leg of lamb. Both were excellent. The kids split a plate of fettuccini Alfredo, which left [livejournal.com profile] super_star_girl enough room for pumpkin pie for desert.

Dinner in the hotel was a bit problematic -- we both opted for appetizers. Colleen had the butternut squash soup off their Thanksgiving dinner menu and it was excellent, and my spicy chicken lettuce wraps were OK but not what I was expecting. Colleen's "satay", though, was plain chicken on skewers with a teriyaki-like dipping sauce, which she loaths, and my "Szechuan ravioli" where leathery and, though hot, basically lacking in flavor. Look, folks -- if you're going to put a well-known dish on the menu, that's what you're supposed to serve.

After dinner I came back up to the room and practiced a little, then paid for a net connection -- at $10/day it's a little pricey, but that's the going rate and it's fast enough. I'm actually writing this on my home system over SSH. Went downstairs briefly with the guitar, hoping to serenade the Cat, but the muzak was annoyingly loud, so I came back upstairs and practiced some more. I'm getting happier with "The Last Train" now that I've figured out good fingerings for all the chords in drop-D tuning. I'm wondering how it would sound with a soprano singing open fifths over it.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year... )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

So, here we are at the LAX Marriot, waiting for Loscon to start tomorrow. A reasonably fast, uneventful trip, for which I am duly thankful. Especially, thanks to the kids, who were very calm and cheerful the whole way down. I'm also thankful for the hotel's fast net conection ($10/day, which is outrageous, but probably also pretty typical).

Beyond that, I'm thankful for (in no particular order) my family, my extended family in fandom and on the Net, our reasonably good health, a job that keeps me happily busy as well as gainfully employed, and the fact that there's always something new to learn.

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