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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.

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

We got up reasonably early on Wednesday, were on the road by a little after 9am after a huge breakfast at Black Bear Diner, and arrived at the Starport in time to order pizza and chicken wings for dinner. Not staying again at the Grants Pass Travelodge -- the 2-bed rooms are tiny, and even the ground floor isn't really scooter accessible. There's just enough room between the bed and the wall to drop my CPAP into.

Og has done yeoman's work on the living room floor; it looks terrific (as long as you don't look at the edges, which are ragged). Liz and Devon did great work packing, though they apparently didn't realize that we wouldn't want to use paper plates and plastic forks for the rest of the time we're here. Normally, you save things like the kitchen and bathroom for the last minute.

I spent most of Thursday and yestday packing. Thursday mostly the office; Friday included taking down one set of the garage shelves. I'm pretty sure now, looking at them, that the end bays were assembled on their sides and tilted up. I think I'm going to leave one set here.

I still have a huge amount of triage and packing to do, even though most of it is almost certainly junk.

Links, as usual, below in the notes.

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

When we left our intrepid, if somewhat reluctant, adventurer he was in the process of moving in to his new apartment in Lake Forest Park. (When the rest of the family arrived on Tuesday it somewhat inevitably acquired the name North Starport; the only other serious contender was Starport North, but that doesn't have the built-in pun that justifies the new URL.)

Tuesday the 3rd was busy. I had an interview at Facebook (that resulted in a rejection, and a severely dented passenger-side front door thanks to a concrete post in the parking garage) in the morning, came back to Shoreline for some badly-needed rehearsal time, then down to Seatac to pick up Colleen and the YD at the airport.

That's when I found out that Colleen was en route to the ER, having gashed her leg on a closing fire-door coming out of the jetway. GLEEP! (And someone dinged the front bumper of my car in the Lowes parking lot.) By the time we finally got everybody back to the apartment and got settled in, I was pretty thoroughly frazzled.

Internet turned on sometime Tuesday as well; it was supposed to have been the previous Thursday, but I'd given them the street number of the office rather than of the building. Oops. But at least I could be frazzled with a live net connection.

I'd brought up quite a lot of stuff in the van, but there were still some omissions. Like, a phone cable and a computer power cord. Minor -- I made do quite well with the netbook, though stuff like posting on DW went by the wayside. Oh, and pillows. I borrowed a set from the Wolfling, who stayed with us in the apartment Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Tuesday evening we had dinner with Chaos and her new BF, Rabbit (James).

Wednesday we made our expedition to Central Market. Thursday we had dinner with Naomi and her kids, then made our way to the Seatac Doubletree for Westercon.

Saturday was my concert. Formal setlist and recordings later, one hopes; for now, the set was The Fox, As You See, Wheelin, The River, Riverheart, Boom Gone To Bust, Kitchen Heroes, and Inherit the Earth. The first half was something of a minor trainwreck, but I felt good about the second half.

A few good conversations at the con; nothing very deep, but people are glad to see us moving up to the area.

Monday was a full day of interviews at Google's Seattle office. I really hope I get that one.

Yesterday noonish we set out for finally set out for home. Old home? The apartment -- and the PNW -- is already starting to feel a lot like home. There's nothing like a couple of drives through the desert to make one long for a place where it's cool and moist a lot of the time.

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

See music: "... and I'm five hundred miles from my home." Actually more like 800. San Jose; Logan, Utah; and Lake Forest Park, Wa are at the vertices of an 800-mile equilateral triangle, more or less. Sunday the 24th I headed out toward Logan for my brother's wedding. Fortunately, I don't mind driving.

The wedding itself was Tuesday, with no less than seven granddaughters serving as flower-girls. Fun! Wednesday afternoon was devoted to a hike, with many of the grand-kids. Glad I'd packed my hiking boots.

Thursday the 28th, after having breakfast with the family (Mom paid for it), I set out on the second leg of the trip, up I84 and I82 through western Idaho and eastern Oregon and Washington to Shoreline and Lake Forest Park - a particularly pleasant drive, all through places I hadn't been before.

I arrived at the new apartment 2ish and unloaded, and finally made it to Naomi's at 4pm, just in time for a phone interview with EnergySavvy. And the Friday before the trip was a phone interview with Google, which went well enough for them to schedule me an on-site this last Monday. I'll get to that in the next installment.

Oh, and while I was traveling, I was juggling calls from moving companies coming in to give us estimates on the move. (We eventually went with one of the more expensive bids because it seemed to be the most competent and thorough.)

Lots of links in the notes, along with assorted travel notes.

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

Sunday morning, just hours before my flight left for Seattle, our router finally became unusable. It had been deteriorating for quite a while; I have no idea what the problem was. It would be good for a while after a reboot, then the lags would get steadily worse. By Sunday the "while" was down to about five minutes. I spent the rest of the day struggling to recover.

By the time I had to leave I had gotten our Linux-based WAP more-or-less configured, but it turned out that I had neglected to test ssh-ing in from the WAN side. So I spent the entire week without access to the files on the inside of the firewall. Including my email archives and password database.

Fortunately, I was able to set up email forwarding from savitzky.net to my gmail account, so I didn't miss much. Next time, though, things will be different. I'll write about that at some length later, for the geeks in my audience.

The flight was paid for by one of the two companies I had interviews with, Zillow. They'd booked through the aptly-named cheapflights.com (and ended up paying more than they would have through Southwest); my flights out were on Delta, and back on Alaska. Bletch.

I arrived in Shoreline well after midnight, and flopped into bed.

Monday morning I went with Naomi to get my first look at the new apartment, and pick up keys. Spent the rest of the week slightly croggled by the idea; there's nothing that makes it quite as real as a set of keys and a tape measure (which I wielded on Wednesday).

Monday afternoon was my interview at Zillow -- several coding tests and a lot of data structure and algorithm questions. I think I did ok. Gorgeous view from the 31st floor, a block from the waterfront. Great atmosphere -- it would be a fun place to work.

Tuesday afternoon was Intentional Software. Tougher questions for the most part, no idea how I did on that one. Very opulent and quiet offices, which I guess is what you can expect with Microsoft billionaires bankrolling it. Brilliant people; on average an older crowd than Zillow.

We'll see.

Wednesday I ran errands with Naomi, and we had lunch in Columbia City at a diner called Geraldine's Corner. Yummy chili with a side of excellent hashbrowns. After that she showed me the huge Goodwill in that area. I'll be back.

Thursday morning I had brunch with Chaos at another diner -- Shari's in Lynnwood. Which left me with just exactly enough time to drive down to Seatac and return my rental car. The trip back was, mercifully, nonstop, so I was able to get home in time for dinner. And to finish fixing the network setup, which only took about an hour once I had access from the inside.

All in all, a good trip.

Quite a few links in the notes, such as one accumulates over the course of five days without an update. The New Map of the Solar System has all thirteen planets (counting the five dwarfs).

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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.

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

Way too much to do more than summarize briefly -- I spent most of the last week in the Seattle area, mostly hanging out with Naomi (and, briefly, Chaos), apartment-hunting, and interviewing. (The latter was mostly by phone, but there was one fairly grueling coding test at PopCap. I may or may not have squeaked through that, but it made for a fascinating learning experience.)

The phone interviews mostly went well, I think. A few stupidities on algorithm questions; I got extra points for having at least heard of topological sorting, even if I didn't get the algorithm right.

The apartment search fairly quickly narrowed down to three complexes, fairly close to Naomi's house, that had 3-bedroom apartments available. As it turned out, we ended up in a large 2-BR; the 3's were either too small for us, or not accessible by scooter. But we have a place.

Friday I had lunch with Chaos at AFK Tavern, a gamer joint. Fun.

Saturday, N. went to an all-day workshop at a massage therapy school she's checking out, and took me along. Great fun -- not enough for me to consider a career change, but enough that I'll strongly consider taking a couple of classes for the fun of it. In my copious spare time.

The only major screw-up, and it was major, was forgetting my meds. Fortunately, the only one I expected to have real trouble with was the SSRI; I picked up some 5000 IU vitamin D (my usual dose is 2000) and St. John's Wort. Worked, apparently.

The big disappointment was that it was overcast on Sunday, so we missed the eclipse. We did see the light change -- it was pretty noticable.

Plenty of links in the notes.

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

So here's the itinerary for the next couple of months:

May 17-22 -- Shoreline, WA
I'll be up there looking at apartments, and hope to have a couple of interviews scheduled.
May 25-28 -- Bay Area conventions
We'll be day-trippingBayCon and Clockwork Alchemy
June 9 -- Grand Central Starport
House-Cooling Party -- the usual potluck bash.
June 26 -- Logan, UT
I'll be driving out for my brother's wedding, then up to Shoreline.
Late June - early July -- Shoreline, WA
I will again be available for interviews. Colleen will be flying up to join me. Not clear whether the YD will be going by air or by car.
July 5-8 -- ConClusion: Westercon 65
Lookingglass Folk have a half-hour concert gig.
Late July - early August -- moving!
We expect to be moving to the Seattle area -- specifically somewhere around the North end of Lake Washington -- hopefully around the first of August.

Watch out for low-flying bears!

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

I am going to be in Seattle from Thursday, 4/5 through Wednesday, 4/11. I'll be arriving at my hotel, the Coast Gateway sometime after 9pm Thursday, and leaving on the 7:30pm flight Wednesday.

Friday through Sunday I'll be at Norwescon, but since I'm not scheduled for anything I'll be available for conversations or phone interviews on a few minutes' notice.

Monday noonish through Wednesday afternoon I'll be looking at apartments and, and hopefully, going to job interviews. You can get to all my relevant information, including my resume, at stephen.savitzky.net.

I'll be going up again in early July for Westercon; I'll take a trip up before that if there are interviews to be had.

We expect to be moving up permanently sometime between July and September, most likely sometime in August.

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

Hmm. Doesn't look like much, does it? It was actually a very productive day at work, hustling to triage my files, document my directories, and set up a couple of servers before I go. No walk; the weather was cold and threatening, and it was in fact raining by the time I left.

I also played travel agent (I'm not a travel agent, but I play one on the web), extending my Norwescon trip to return on Wednesday 4/11 instead of Monday, so that I can look at apartments. And moving Naomi's visit to the first weekend in May to accommodate a suddenly-full April.

And my new social security card arrived, though it turned out I didn't need it immediately.

So... not a bad day. Busier than it looks from the notes. One link, on Feminist Characters in SF/F.

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

I spent the weekend in Seattle with my sister of choice and bandmate Naomi; less than 48 hours, but a good visit and well worth it. We had a couple of great rehearsals, and some very nice quiet time together. I also had brunch Saturday morning with [personal profile] chaoswolf, which was nice.

I noticed a big adrenaline rush getting off the plane and through the airport. No telling whether it had an emotional component -- excitement? -- or was just the natural result of juggling my luggage and walking a little faster than usual. Alexithymia strikes again. For some reason my walking pace depends a lot on location; airports are fast.

I also took a look at the Conflikt program grid, and determined that our concert will be at 8pm on Friday. It's a really full schedule. But it's a good time; second concert of the evening, prime time, right before open filking. And we'll have the rest of the weekend to recover.

Saturday, as I said earlier, I started the day having brunch with the Wolfling, then a good run-through, and quite a lot of nice quiet time with Naomi. We had another, even better, practice session Sunday -- we basically nailed the tough ones, and I got some nice clean recordings to take home and remind me. I tend to forget things like melodies and timing, if I don't hear them often enough.

N. also told me that she likes my computer glasses, which are "rimless"; she says they give a much better view of my face. It's too bad that they don't make them with lenses large enough to be usable as bifocals. But it's nice that I'll be using them to perform in, since a music stand is at almost exactly the same distance as a monitor.

Links. Quite a few links. I got Navigating Love and Autism - NYTimes.com by way of a paper clipping my Mom mailed me. It wasn't findable in google -- they apparently expect you to go their site and search there. Idiots! But a pretty good article.

I got mentioned in a review of a Harry Potter/Callahan's crossover.

And here's an article "On illustrating poetry" by [personal profile] meeks, who made my river icon.

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

Doesn't look like I did very much yesterday, does it? That's probably because of a full afternoon of listening to presentations. I did get in some practice, some lyrics editing (mostly chord tweaks), and a 1-mile walk, though. So I'm not complaining.

I'm not sure what set off an hour or so of link-chasing through Wikipedia's pages on musical modes scales, but it was fun anyway.

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

It was a very good weekend. Unexpectedly good -- I will confess to having been nervous about it. Perhaps justified, since I really didn't know what I'd be heading into, in the wake of Naomi and Callie's breakup. What I did know was that I'd be staying with Naomi and working on seeing whether it was worthwhile trying to perform at Conflikt as a new duo called Lookingglass Folk.

Naomi was more doubtful than I was, but in any case all our doubts were gone by Friday night. LgF is on its way.

Let me back up a little. Thursday morning I finished the last-minute packing, then went back to the old office in San Jose to do some catching up with my former coworkers, and go out to lunch with one of them. I found them celebrating -- the first "development and demo" kits ready to ship. So, Yay! A product that I worked on is out in the wild.

Travel notes:

I was traveling with Flame, my Ovation, rather than my travel guitar -- the plan was to leave it up in Seattle so that Talis could practice with it before the con. Uneventful -- Southwest is very musician-friendly -- and I discovered that both Minnie and Chami can fit nicely under a seat. Good to know.

This was also my first trip with the Belkin computer bag, which nestles nicely into the top 2/3 of Chami (the carry-on rolling backpack). My CPAP fills the bottom third, and there's room underneath (alongside the handle tube) for the other assorted electronics.

Naomi told me that the Belkin's name was BJ. More on that in Sunday's notes, if you're into that kind of thing.

People notes:

I had breakfast with Callie on Friday morning, getting back while Naomi was still asleep. I think... no, probably better not to go there in a blog post. What I think about it doesn't matter much anyway.

I also met Naomi's new housemate, A, and her new (to her) car, Talis. I'm never quite sure how much about people to put in a post. Low self-confidence?

Tech notes:

This was also my first trip with Cygnus, my new Thinkpad X120e. It was fantastic! The keyboard is a dream to type on, especially compared to the Dell netbook I've been using for the last two years. I got quite a lot done, both re-editing lyrics for the new two-person scripting, and an assortment of other housekeeping tasks inspired by having to configure a new system.

At this point almost everything in my home directory is set up using git, making it easy to keep in sync and to work even when disconnected. At this point about the only things I really need the home system for are email and DW posts, and of course audio editing.

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

Yesterday we had a nice afternoon/evening out, including an extended st/roll around the Stanford Shopping Center. It wasn't particularly crowded, so we could mostly go at a decent walking pace. I looked at luggage but didn't buy any.

I may, however, have to buy another suitcase -- I'm taking a couple of comforters up to Seattle for [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi, and my choices are to either use Colleen's huge suitcase (a 29" paisley monstrosity which was bought for looks rather than durability or usability), or to empty the 25" Samsonite. *sigh* I could actually get them into my Travelpro, but that filled it to the brim. Hmm; could maybe use the expansion and maybe repack my meds to fit. Maybe.

After shopping, we went to Sneha for yummy Indian buffet. We've been missing our nights out since the YD moved her game night to Wednesday.

Other than that, a quiet and mostly unproductive day, though I did squeeze in a little practice.

A few links. Or was that lynx? Apple has run out of bigger cats.

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

Orycon was good. Lots of music. A couple of good conversations. Not so much exercise; I gained a couple of pounds. But good.

Getting there was frustrating -- WiFi still wasn't working worth a damn on my netbook, and the way I had our bags stacked made for an exhausting trip from the airport to the hotel on Max. But we got there, around dinner time on Friday (missing a concert that we would have liked to get to).

Saturday morning I nuked the root partition on Barnard and installed Ubuntu 11.04, the last good one before they jumped the Gnome 3 shark. With working WiFi (reconnecting much faster than earlier versions, too), the rest of the weekend went very well indeed from a computerish point of view.

The con itself was great. I spent most of my time either in the concerts (there was a set of tables in back within reach of a power socket), or nearby talking to filkers. Not having a concert slot myself meant that I didn't have to spend any time rehearsing or fretting about not rehearsing, which helped make for a relaxed weekend.

Also adding to the relaxed experience was the fact that Colleen was more independent than she's been in years, able to get up to the room and back by herself. An independent cat is a happy cat, and makes for a happy bear.

It seems that I really need about 8 hours of sleep. Not too happy about that.

I also had conversations with musicians in the airport on both ends of the trip -- I traded CDs with Edward Dee, who had noticed Plink while waiting for the same flight we were on up to Portland. And had a good talk with Jimmy Free in PDX, admiring his skill with a 7-string violin and a looper.

Musical highlights of the con itself included concerts by The Doubleclicks, Katy Tinney, and Betsy Tinney (solo, with cello and looper). Want a looper. I missed most of Alexander Adams' concert in favor of a good conversation with [personal profile] runnerwolf, which was something I'd been wanting to do for a long time. Looking forward to more. A good dead dog in the almost-empty filk room swapping songs and talking with Andrew Ross and two women named Elizabeth and Jennifer whose last names I never caught.

Good con. Good weekend. And we came home to dinner and a clean house, thanks to our wonderful Younger Daughter, Emmy. We win.

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

Good grief! I shouldn't be surprised -- this happens every time I travel, since I pretty much only post from home. So... It was a good weekend. Lots of solid rehearsal time, and brunch with Chaos on Sunday. Didn't have time to meet up with either of my cousins, unfortunately, but that will probably work better on the next trip, given some time to plan ahead. If I do plan ahead, which I'm afraid is not a given.

It was a rough trip up; I had to get a cab to the airport, the plane was late, and I left my wireless mouse in the terminal somewhere. Put in a lost-and-found inquiry, but don't expect to see it again. Next time I take my wired travel mouse; I don't like it but I'm less likely to lose it.

This was also my first trip with the tennis bag for the travel guitar. It's more comfortable and somewhat lighter than the official gig bag, but doesn't really have enough room for my shoulder bag. A large songbook is pretty marginal. Still figuring out how best to use the space it does have. And it's still looking impossible for me to travel without a checked bag if I want to take a guitar on board. :(

The rehearsal, as I mentioned, went very well indeed. We decided that I should come up for another weekend -- it'll have to be a short one, Friday night to Sunday evening, because I'm running low on vacation time -- in early January. But we're in surprisingly good shape considering the amount of new material in the set. Reminder: you really want to hear our concert at Conflikt.

Another reminder: there's a household party coming up on Saturday!

I also got my netbook, barnard, more-or-less configured with Debian Squeeze; the biggest remaining problem is WiFi. The transition from dhcp3 to isc-dhcp has caused all kinds of havoc; I just realized last night that my router configuration is probably totally wrong at this point, too. No wonder WiFi's been flaky in the house!

Sadness: John McCarthy died on Monday. He was one of my favorite professors at Stanford, not so much because he was a good teacher -- he wasn't -- but because I loved watching the way his mind worked as he worked out programming problems on the board in his LISP class. chipuni posted the perfect epitaph: a single right parenthesis.

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

I need to finish up and post this, don't I. Can you say "distracted"? I'm leaving for Seattle this evening.

I'm mostly packed.

My weight is down, which is cheering, and I got a (presumably junk) call on my fax number. *grins* I also took a walk, though a short one: about a mile and a half.

Some good links, but the most happy-making was definitely this one. Don't piss off the Remover of Obstacles. Not keyboard-safe. Not at all.

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

It didn't feel like a very productive day, and I was definitely pretty sleepy both in the early afternoon and after dinner. But the afternoon sleepiness came after a 2.5 mile walk, so I'm not going to complain too much. But it made for a somewhat unproductive afternoon.

After looking at Ross for a cheap tennis bag (and coming up empty), and online for comparisons, I went ahead and ordered the Wilson sling bag for Plink. There are a couple of alternatives, but that's by far the least expensive one I've found, and a good fit for the guitar.

Lots of links. The nine circles of IT hell is good -- I've been in many of them -- but the best has to be the very encouraging First lady of Iceland climbs security fence to join protesters. I mean, how cool is that?

Damned if I know why I didn't start putting the notes at the bottom sooner.

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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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It's been a short week. Busy, exhausting, occasionally frustrating, sometimes spectacularly wonderful. I don't think I can sum it up.

We flew to Seatac on Thursday, picked up our rental car -- I'd been worried about getting to their offsite lot, but one look at Colleen and they had someone drive it over for us. Total win. Drove up to Bothell for our one night at the Country Inn. Not as good as I'd hoped, but the room was huge, the WiFi was free, and the bar had bar snacks. Then we headed over to the Herb Farm for dinner.

I took a wrong turn and got us thoroughly lost. We finally pulled in to the parking lot, after an hour on the road, just as dinner was starting at 7pm. I was able to answer their call and walk in the door just moments later.

I was sorry to have missed the garden tour, but dinner's awesomeness was not really diminished by this. It was just as gloriously awesome as my last visit, but totally different. Which, as Angela (one of the staff) told me, is what they aim for. I found myself talking to Angela after dinner because she looks remarkably like a shorter version of Cat Faber. But anyway.

I only got slightly lost going back to the hotel. The breakfast buffet was free, but not really worth it, either.

I got us lost again trying to get to Central Market in Shoreline. I got us there, but it took a while. (You may start to notice a pattern here.) We were, however, in good humor, and Colleen enjoyed Central Market as much as I'd hoped she would.

I got lost again getting to the hotel. The overflow hotel, since the Hilton was full when I went to make our reservations. Only slightly lost -- I found Google's directions rather unhelpful, as they had been on the way to the Herb Farm. I was already low on spoons when we got to the Clarion and realized that Colleen's scooter was going to have problems on the hills between there and the con hotel.

Then I forgot which was the con hotel, or rather hadn't bothered to write it down. The desk clerk at the Clarion called and found a room for us in the Holiday Inn next door, which is where Conflikt had been last year. I got suspicious when the front desk hadn't heard about the con. I called over to the Hilton. They had an accessible room, and I booked it. By this time I was totally out of spoons. I had, by this time, put Colleen's scooter in and out of the trunk 5 times, at something over 100 pounds each. That's half a ton of lifting, total. No wonder I was tired!

I had a delightful, if somewhat expensive, dinner with Colleen and Chaos in the Hilton, then headed North to Promusica for two days of music. Via the wrong freeway, of course. Fortunately I was able to find my way there. Did I mention that there was a pattern?

The Tempered Glass rehearsal weekend was wonderful -- a relaxing, comfortable two days, and some amazing music-making. Amazing in part because of the speed at which we were able to pick up on the new material. I felt like I was doing a lot better than usual, and found myself getting back my old skill at figuring out chords. Wow. Some good catching-up, too; a lot has happened since Reno.

Sunday evening I drove back to the hotel for another dinner with Colleen and Chaos, and I drove the Wolfling back to Marysville in the morning. Without getting lost in either direction, I might add. We had a father/daughter breakfast, and I got to see her current digs and talk briefly with Steve Dixon.

The whole week has been kind of a blur. There was a little work in there, too.

But Colleen had a wonderful time, which is the main thing. She handled the travel much better than I'd feared she would; she really is getting stronger and more independent even though it's hard to notice from close in. I had a wonderful time, modulo a meltdown and a couple of almosts. I'm going to declare it a Good Week.

Oh, and our concert at Conflikt in January is going to kick ass. Just thought you ought to know.

There are links. A lot of them have to do with politics. Sorry about that.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty good day; lots of reading, but I also got in a three-mile walk. Not entirely successful; my right knee hurt on and off until I got home and put a brace on it. Said brace is now in my shoulder-bag (with a different one on my knee right now, because it still hurts).

And I have my suitcase mostly packed. For what that's worth, which is not all that much. I'm wondering whether some of what I've been feeling during the last week or so has been anxiety over the trip. Maybe a lot of what I'm feeling.

Several links, the one that most needs a signal boost is National Women's Law Center:

The decision by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring health insurers to cover a number of women's preventive health care services, including the full range of FDA-approved contraception, with no out-of-pocket costs, is a huge step forward for fairness and improved health outcomes for women and their families.

At the same time, it is unfortunate that HHS is intending to exempt some religious employers from providing contraceptive services....

Go over there and sign the petition, if you agree that what services a woman's insurance covers shouldn't depend on where she works.

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 [livejournal.com 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.

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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 GetsĀ Better -- I like the sentiment, though I'm not sure I'd have thought that it applied to me, way back then.

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A fairly productive day at work, and a drive after dinner with Colleen. I also wrote some checks that I've been procrastinating for no good reason, and put in for dinner reservations at the Herb Farm during RainFurrest. More on that later, when/if I get the confirmation back.

But... I don't know. Sort of unsatisfying, on the whole. (Or maybe it's just the fact that I haven't had my coffee yet.)

Some links under the cut, and a reminder that if you're in the SF Bay Area, the Starport has air conditioning, a good net connection, and a Colleen who likes company.

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Um... ok. You'd think that after spending a lot of the weekend sitting on my tail with my netbook, I'd have posted something. You'd be wrong. Actually, I was mostly reading Flight of the Godkin Griffin (it starts with this post), ... and taking care of my friends.

I originally planned to go to Seattle to rehearse with the other members of Tempered Glass, Naomi and Callie. But Naomi started the weekend feeling ghastly, her daughter had health problems of her own, and Callie had a combination of chem homework and, by the time Monday morning came around, a stomach bug. Saturday mid-day was mostly spent getting the house ready for the house-cleaners who came in the afternoon, and Saturday night was spent taking care of Naomi.

Late Saturday night (early Saturday morning?) N. asked me how I managed to be so cheerful. I really didn't know, and still don't, except that helping friends is one of the things I do, and taking care of sick people is something I've gotten very good at over the last few years. And it's easier to triage somebody else's piles of paper.

We didn't do much singing. A little.

And yet it was a good weekend for me. It was a relaxed weekend with friends; plenty of time to hang out, talk, sit in companionable silence with our respective books, and talk about love, friendship, chemistry, cooking, and the uses of whimsy. Did I mention the salmon? Installing the new cable modem? The rush of happiness when they both told me they couldn't have made it through the weekend without me? (Yes, they could have gotten help from more distant friends, but it wouldn't have been the same.)

There were a couple of brief exchanges with Ame -- you'll find those in the notes, flagged with a "/". And it was a good weekend for the Middle-Sized Bear to manifest himself.

I'd been expecting it to be a working weekend. A different kind of work, to be sure, but I'm not complaining. It really was good.

But, Gods! -- it's not quite 10 pm, and I'm falling asleep in my chair. Good night, all.

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Last Thursday evening I flew up to Seattle for a weekend with Naomi and Callie, the other 2/3 of Tempered Glass. It was wonderful! OK, I have to admit that dinner at The Herbfarm, nominally to celebrate my 64th birthday, was the high point. But simply hanging out with my bandmates, making music and fomenting evil plans, was also good. As was hanging out with their kids, playing games, celebrating the 5-year-old's birthday, singing with the 7-year-old, and simply hanging out in the kitchen with sister-of-choice-in-law Callie.

... and helping Callie sing a concert of love songs to Naomi on Saturday, and coffee and lunch with the Wolfling on Monday. And a couple of nice walks.

Callie and Naomi's house in Shorline really comes close to being a second home for me. Naomi is very good at coming up with things that are fun to do but that I wouldn't have thought of on my own -- she masterminded the Las Vegas trip, too. It was a very good weekend.

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A pretty good couple of days, though most of my time at work was taken up with helping set up the new coworkers who joined Monday and Wednesday, respectively. I did get a few things done on my own, though.

Back at home, I realized that I could swap the wifi access point with the switch that I keep next to my desktop machine. That will make the access point easier to work on in case it decides to go wonky again, and put it in a place where that wonkiness won't come between the router and the fileserver. Haven't done it yet, though; I need to track down some mounting hardware first. Stupid thing isn't designed to wall-mount.

Meanwhile, I suppose the most interesting thing that happened was that I actually noticed when a thank-you reply to a comment about grieving made me feel good. (It's probably kind of sad when an online note of thanks is the high point of my day, but it is a pretty major advance in my quest for self-knowledge.)

I had a good talk with Moira last night, and spent a fair amount of time packing.

I think the best link was to Miru Kim and her stunning series of self-portraits in a pig factory and in otherwise-deserted urban environments. There's also a video of how she works. Marginally NSFW. Also, a write-up by cflute of a show I really wish I could have gone to.

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0317 Th
     DEPART Thursday, March 17, 2011  Travel Time 2 h 05 m 
         #1291	 Depart San Jose, CA (SJC)   7:10 PM
 	 Arrive in Seattle/Tacoma, WA (SEA)  9:15 PM

0321 Mo 
     RETURN   Monday, March 21, 2011  Travel Time 2 h 05 m 
         #862	 Depart Seattle/Tacoma, WA (SEA)  6:55 PM
 	 Arrive in San Jose, CA (SJC)	   	  9:00 PM

I'm pretty heavily booked because this is a Tempered Glass working weekend, but you can contact me via the comments if you want to spend some time with me and we'll see what we can work out.

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Considerably better, despite the rain -- I had a good, long IM talk with [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi in the early afternoon, and a nice phone call/filk mini-circle (dot?) with her and Colleen after dinner. Booked my next trip to Seattle, for the weekend between my birthday and the YD's -- the timing couldn't have been better.

In between, I went out shopping. CD labels, and an inexpensive set of USB-powered computer speakers, at Staples; simethicone and a prescription at Kaiser; razor blades and NIMH AAA batteries (for the cordless phone in the office) at CVS; and coffee at Barefoot. Barefoot has just gotten significantly more dangerous -- Harbor Freight opened a tool store a couple of doors down. I remember getting Harbor Freight and Salvage catalogs decades ago.

I also called my Mom. And the YD made a tasty dinner of salad, chicken, asparagus, and yummy gluten-free biscuits brushed with garlic butter.

Links, as usual. Planned Parenthood has a letter you can sign to protest the house's vote to bar federal funding. Drinking Diet Soda Increases Risk of Vascular Events By 61 Percent. That kind of thing.

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This last weekend we went to Las Vegas and met Callie and Naomi there, celebrating our 35th anniversary and Naomi's birthday. (The joint vacation was N's idea, of course; she's good at coming up with evil schemes.) It was mostly good. Parts were very good. As it turned out, I didn't need to worry about getting enough walking in.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, of course. And when an ambitious list of "things we want to do" meets the reality of low energy levels, injuries and other physical limitations, sleeping in, missed connections, and the fact that slot machines no longer have coin slots, there are bound to be some disappointments. But it was good. The buffets were tasty and cheap, some of the restaurants we ate in were very tasty and not at all cheap, the scenery (architectural, natural, and human) was fascinating, and Cirque de Soleil's Zumanity was... interesting.

Zumanity was my first contact with Cirque; it probably wasn't a very good introduction. The acts that were supposed to be funny I found painful, and none of it was what I would consider sensual. Some of it was beautiful, though. I could have done with more of that.

The official birthday dinner was at Joe's Steak, Seafood, and Stone Crab in the Forum Shops at Caesars. It didn't help that we got a late start, went in separate cabs, and C&N ended up getting dropped off at Caesar's, a good block or so away. And owned by a different organization altogether. We had to send out a search party (i.e. me). But it was yummy.

A lot of st/rolling with Colleen. At one point Saturday night her scooter simply and suddenly died, with symptoms (including inability to charge) that indicated a bad connection in the battery box. Fortunately we were already back in our hotel (the Excalibur), and I pushed her back to the room. After calling up the house engineer with a cart-full of tools only to find that his four-in-one screwdriver was hopelessly short, I set out to Walgreen's (about 2.5 blocks away) and bought their only screwdriver set. Too short. But somehow the act of flipping the box upside down and shaking it a few times knocked the connection back together, and it held up through the rest of the weekend.

And we made some good music, especially Monday afternoon -- we extended our checkout times to 3pm so that we could have more time. I'd been afraid that Colleen would have trouble keeping herself amused, but as it turned out she needed the time to catch up on her sleep. I have half a dozen new songs to learn, and it put a great cap on a busy, exhausting, but basically good weekend.

Quite a few good links. A good 6-article series on the music industry. Among other things.

So, yeah, a good weekend for the most part, and awesome in spots. And a big success at work yesterday for the team that I'm part of. Can't say much about that, unfortunately, but it took a heck of a lot of pressure off. So I'm a well-fed and contented bear right now.

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No walk, for no obvious reason, though it did make me feel a little less guilty about leaving work a little early to pick up a prescription that I stupidly forgot to refill during the previous two weeks.

Spent much of the evening packing, or chasing around looking for things to pack. The scooter's walker rack finally turned up hanging in the front closet. Just where the clever bear had put it.

I found that my favorite sport coat had been attacked by a mouse (Marty thinks it's fixable), and my old tweed one by moths. Grump.

Lots of good links today. I found Teddy Bears' Breakdown particularly apt as I packed my little Cthulhu and Cyrano into my suitcase. Cyrano is the plush rhino who is exactly the right size and squishiness to serve as a neck pillow.

The word of the day was blepharitis -- a wonderful word, although the condition itself is not wonderful at all.

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So, once again... My excuse this time is that I was traveling, and so did all of my to.do updating offline. At least that covers Monday through Thursday. Not much excuse for Sunday -- I'd intended to be traveling then, but put it off because there was a possibility that RDU would be shut down. It wasn't, but as seen from two hours before flight time it was a lot more iffy.

It also gave me time Monday morning to spend on the phone to the company that runs my "flexible" medical spending account -- I wonder if I should put in a claim for extra blood pressure medication. Infuriating; most of the time was spent trying to point out problems with their website (which doesn't work at all on Chrome because Chrome "has really effective popup blockers"). Fixed width layout with pretty much every link coming up in a new window. Right. Yes, they'll take my comments. No, they won't respond to them. Or, probably, even look at them.

The call I made to Cisco's tech support to retrieve the password for Mom's Valet M10 router was a lot more successful. Or maybe I was just in a better mood. And they seemed a lot more willing to take my bug report about their application (which said to "remove the flash drive" in a couple of places, without mentioning the need for unmounting it first).

The actual trip, for Mom's 90th birthday, was great. Lots of good conversations. Starting with the person sitting next to me on the plane, who turned out to be someone who knew Mom, and gave me a ride from the airport. Too many to keep track of. The one sad note was that my nephew couldn't come -- there were no flights at all out of Boston.

Wednesday, Mom's actual birthday, was basicly end-to-end parties. The wine-and-cheese "cocktail" party for all of Galloway Ridge's residents had about 200 people. A little surprisingly, I didn't feel peopled out or overloaded at all, though all the standing hurt my back and I occasionally found myself slightly "swapped out" when I wasn't interacting with people.

I also spent most of the week with Amanda McBroom's The Rose running through my head, thanks to Kyburg's Advent, Day 25 post.

Next time I travel I have to be sure to remember to bring Cyrano, my stuffed rhino. The inflatable neck pillow I did bring was a lot less comfortable.

Also worth noting was the sudden pang of nostalgia, while riding through a wooded area on the way to the airport, for the little brook that ran through our old property in Connecticut.

I'd slept badly the whole time I was in North Carolina, and slept like a lump on my return. Mostly the 3-hour time change, I suspect.

The usual collection of links under the cut.

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

I am not getting on a plane for North Carolina right now. Mom called just as I was getting up, to say that the storm on the East coast was making flights into RDU dicey for today. I looked and found that Southwest was allowing no-cost flight changes, so I booked a flight for tomorrow at 1pm. It'll be getting in pretty late (10:15), but I'm a lot less likely to get stuck in Chicago. Especially since it goes through Denver. (Of course, if it snows there tomorrow I'm hosed, but that doesn't look likely.)

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raw notes )

Good grief! I've heard that time flies when you're having fun, but that's not exactly how I'd describe a week that included stress at work and at home, back pain, a couple of out-of-bandwidth moments, bizarre symptoms, and a trip to the ER before breakfast.

On the other hand, it also included a really nice drive on Hwy 9 to look at the redwoods in the rain, the madness of unexpected trip planning, the joy of giving one of my CDs to a lovely young woman, and the relief of having it confirmed that the temporary numbness in my left arm that woke me up at 5:45 in the goddamned morning was almost certainly due to sleeping on it the wrong way, and not a mini-stroke. (The extravagant bill for the ER visit and CAT scan won't hit until sometime next year.)

Quote of the week, when explaining a bandwidth overload to Colleen: "I can get peopled out in five seconds flat in the kitchen with only one other person. Does that make sense?" It probably didn't. It made her cry, though she said it was "... relief -- I thought I'd done something wrong." Oh.

Some links.

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

I realize that it's rather late, but here's my schedule for the weekend.

1111 Th
  o San Jose, CA to Portland, OR Thursday, November 11, 2010	1 h 45 m 
    #680	 Depart San Jose, CA (SJC) 	1:35 PM
 	 Arrive in Portland, OR (PDX)		3:20 PM

1113 Sa
  o 1:00:pm   2:00:pm	So You Want to Produce a CD
    PNW Ballroom        Making a CD without living on the cutting edge of
			insolvency.
    Steve Dixon, Steve Savitzky, (*)Tony
  o 2:00:pm   3:00:pm	Kinderfilk
    PNW Ballroom        Music for children - Which may include a zombie song
   		    	or two 
    Frank Hayes, (*)Callie Hills, Steve Dixon, Andrew Ross, Steve Savitzky
  o 7:30:pm   8:00:pm	Concert: Tempered Glass
    PNW Ballroom        Concert: Tempered Glass
    Steve Savitzky, Callie Hills

1115 Mo
  o Portland, OR to San Jose, CA Monday, November 15, 2010	1 h 45 m 
    #1685	 Depart Portland, OR (PDX) 	6:20 PM
 	 Arrive in San Jose, CA (SJC)		8:05 PM

I will have lots of free time on Friday, Sunday, and Monday.

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

This trip is mainly for Tempered Glass to practice for our gig at Orycon and talk about upcoming recording plans, but there will undoubtedly be some time around the edges for hanging out with friends. Leave a comment and we'll see if we can work something out.

   Depart: SAN JOSE CA to SEATTLE TACOMA WA   ( Travel Time: 2 hrs 5 mins )
  _ Thu Oct 14  0235   Depart SAN JOSE CA (SJC) at 6:45 PM                 
                       Arrive in SEATTLE TACOMA WA (SEA) at 8:50 PM        
   Return: SEATTLE TACOMA WA to SAN JOSE CA   ( Travel Time: 2 hrs 5 mins )
  _ Mon Oct 18  0680   Depart SEATTLE TACOMA WA (SEA) at 6:10 PM          
                       Arrive in SAN JOSE CA (SJC) at 8:15 PM             
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So... Again, not a whole lot done. At least I was fairly productive at work. No walk, in consequence, but two discussions with different people about how the whole system fits together. In the absence of our CTO, who was, as usual, off dealing with off-site trials, I seem to be the only one capable of delivering an overview. Not my job, but it beats coding some days. I did some of that, too, debugging a post-install script.

Time? OK, I did dishes, laundry, bought plane tickets for Orycon and my trip East in December, ... Still doesn't feel like all that much, and I still need to adjust our hotel reservations for Orycon because we'll be getting in on Thursday rather than Friday. Grumph.

Some links under the cut.

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Um... busy week? I guess. Combination of a busy schedule meets sleep-dep catching up with me. Bad combination.

The weekend, in Shoreline, WA, went by in a blur -- way too fast. I took Chaos and Callie out to dinner, in honor of Callie's impending birthday, at Chandler's Crab House. YUM NOM NOM. Naomi, being under the weather, was there by proxy -- her share got taken home to her.

I seem to need less sleep than my hosts, so a fair amount of reading got done. Not to mention delayed flights on both ends of the trip -- the new Kindle proved its worth.

I also made the acquaintance of N's new Lenovo S10 netbook, and of Cyrano, my plush rhino. I had Cyrano shipped to Promusica to meet Naomi, whose idea he was in the first place; he proved to be an excellent neck pillow as well as a snuggly companion. When we got home, Colleen admonished her plush wombat not to be jealous.

Did I mention that we're all slightly weird?

Lots of links under the cut -- go see for yourself.

mdlbear: (technonerdmonster)
raw notes )

A very good day -- crab and eggs for breakfast, a st/roll through the Valley Fair mall with Colleen, salmon and roasted roots for dinner, and a short bike ride. I'm long out of practice (at most a handful of rides in the last quarter century, and none in the last decade or so) and out of shape. And the knee I damaged nearly 40 years ago still hurts when I apply too much pressure with it.

Which makes me very happy that I went for 21 speeds -- I can find a gear that doesn't make my knee hurt. Hopefully that will continue.

I also found a price for the specially-designed suitcase -- it's as much as I paid for the bike. So forget that; we'll see if it fits in a large suitcase, but I'm not going to be flying with it anytime soon.

And my new wireless router actually routes; next step is reflashing it with DD-WRT.

Good article on how to crowdfund. And now... back on my head.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes ) Long day. Packed up my work table in the Cupertino office, went to the pizza party in the new building in San Jose, packed up my old office in Menlo Park, and packed my suitcase for Westercon. Yoiks!

The new building is quite nice; the cubes have high partitions, which should cut down on the noise.

Plenty of links under the cut. Naomi found Gentle Arms of Eden T-shirts! I don't need more T-shirts.

Next stop Westercon!

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A very good, very relaxing day. Mostly spent with Naomi, who was feeling much better and more up to conversation than she had been Friday and Saturday. Mostly talking, though we sang a couple of songs while Callie was asleep in the morning.

My drink on the flight home was free, for Father's Day. WTF? I actually noticed that it made me happy. C and N were surprised that I'd actually had a conversation on the plane on the way out. In fact, I seem to have them every 3 or 4 flights. Not this one; the woman next to me mostly slept, and seemed to have very little English. But noticing my mood -- that's really unusual.

The relaxed mood was somewhat broken by coming home to find a sink full of dirty dishes, a washer, drier, and hamper full of undone laundry, and an unemptied commode. Grumph to the YD.

More than made up for by a good long snuggle with Colleen.

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Well, I almost finished the piece of software I started Thursday; fortunately the other part of the team won't need it until next week. Had lunch at Bombay Oven with (build manager) Jake.

Left work early to catch my plane to Seattle. (And stupidly forgot to say goodbye to the YD, who was hiding upstairs and not responding to her phone).

The flight got off half an hour late, but with free WiFi and a book (Catherynne Valente's Palimpsest) I didn't mind. Good conversation on the plane, with a woman on her way to an Alaska cruise with her family.

Travel note: all of the seating in SJC's new Terminal B appear to have power, in the form of GFCI outlets built into the armrests.

Link of the day appears to be freehtml5templates.com/. More under the cut, as usual.

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A good, productive day, with a nice walk. An early Father's Day dinner at Jasmine (my choice, for once), and a long snuggle at the end of it.

Good, busy days don't seem to get much written about them, do they?

mdlbear: (wtf)

This post by [livejournal.com profile] evilpuppy is simply appalling. Worse, much worse, than United Breaks Guitars.

I might be 29 years old, I might have colored hair, and I might not be obviously disabled, but I am a legitimately disabled American citizen. Your airline had no right to treat me the way it did and your customer service supervisor was disturbingly rude to me in the face of my experience. I wasn't being unreasonable, I never swore, and I didn't raise my voice. I was trying my best to be polite and calm and I expected no less than the same courtesy in return. The fact that I didn't receive it and instead was made to feel as though I was just being lazy and irresponsible is beyond infuriating. I have to deal with Worker's Compensation and Disability about my age enough, the last thing I expected or needed was to have to deal with it from your airline when flying is already a painful enough experience.

(from foxipher, and cleolinda via technoshaman; [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda links to a followup tweet @UnitedAirlines. We'll see.)

Meanwhile the probability that Colleen or I will be flying United anytime in the forseeable future has just gone from small to negligible.

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A good day. A very good day, despite a couple of wibble-worthy decisions. Namely, sending the email that says I want to jump off the cliff out of research and into the new $product group at work, and deciding to leave Norwescon Sunday evening rather than Monday. They're related: the meeting that decides whether to go ahead with the new business will be happening, to a first approximation, while I'm on the plane home.

It cost $104 to change my flight, but I'll make that up easily in hotel and meal costs.

A good walk, 7 times around the pond, in perfect weather.

And in the evening, while talking on IM with Naomi, I suddenly noticed that I was feeling happy! Sort of tender, loved, loving, and a little bit floaty. Go me! (Not so much for being happy, but for noticing at the time.)

Some good links. I think the best is probably Kimberly Chapman's Cake Decorating - Space by Spacewest: Alien Film Festival. (From @rowanf.)

Do I need to start making more use of twitter? Do I have the time? {no!}

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Not many things to report on from yesterday; I worked from home in the morning because Colleen needed a little more help than usual because of her injured foot. Writing technical reports, which have to be done by early March.

No walk. It would have been a perfect day to use the fitness center, but after getting to work a little after noon, I didn't feel comfortable taking that much time out of the afternoon.

The new hospital beds I ordered last week should be arriving today.

Spent my time in the evening sitting in the bedroom with Colleen rather than watching the Olympics. We both crashed early.

Several good links. The most important is Junk economics and the rape of the middle class (via this post by [livejournal.com profile] admnaismith) -- I want my country back! Plus more on the school laptop spyware scandal. Apparently the "inappropriate behavior" the student was disciplined for was eating candy that looked like pills. You can't make this stuff up, you know.

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

The Hartmann bag is a rather ugly tan cloth bag with leather trim, measuring 10x11x22 inches. The top has a zipper on three sides, for easy access, and has snaps in the two loose corners. There's an outside flap pocket with a snap on one long side, and a rectangle of fabric where a slash has been repaired on the other. It's the same fabric as the bag, so it must have been done a long time ago.

My parents bought it to take their excess purchases home from a trip to Japan, sometime in the early 1960s.

It's rugged enough to be checked through, (just barely) small enough to use as a carry-on, and folds down flat if it isn't needed on one leg of a trip.

It's been well-used and well-loved, by two generations of my family over nearly half a century.

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raw notes )

A long day of travel. Apparently I put in a couple of miles just running stuff out to the car. We got an hour or so of conversation with Callie, bringing her some things I'd forgotten about the day before. It would have been better if I'd picked up the slight hesitation when I asked if it would be ok to stop in, realized that one is unlikely to get an accurate answer to a question like that from someone who's exhausted, told her to go get a nap, and just left the stuff on her porch.

Inconsiderate bear is sorry, and will be better in the future.

We spent the rest of the afternoon completing our circumnavigation of Lake Washington, getting to the airport about 4:30 for our 7pm flight.

Did some online banking and went splat. On the whole it was a good weekend. Exceptionally good in spots. Having Colleen along involved a fair amount of extra expense and effort, but it was well worth it. It's a joy to see her happily taking part in a con again. Especially since it's the first time I got to take her to a con that I'd been to before without her, and introduce her to friends that I knew and she didn't. Kind of weird, actually. But good.

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

A pretty good day, as I recall. Took the shuttle to the airport to pick up a rental car -- a good thing, since other folks I might have gotten rides from were very much too exhausted post-con, and Chaos still can't drive yet. Took her home, then went with Colleen to Snapdoodle Toys and Third Place Books before finally meeting Callie and the kids for dinner at Barlee's.

Not very eventful, not that that's a real problem, and no walkies (which is a real problem.

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