mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Another long month this week. Guess we're going to keep having those for a while. Didn't finish doing my taxes, but figured out an upper bound and filed for an extension. OK, that was the easy part.

Wednesday, on short notice, Naomi and I went to Whidbey Island to look at houses. The first was quirky and magical, especially the land, but it would have taken quite a lot of work to make it habitable. The second was move-in ready and a safe bet, but it's never going to be much better than what it is now. The safe one was going to be looking at offers Thursday, so we put in a bid for asking price. We got it.

Thursday, in addition to finding out that our bid for the Whidbey Island house had been accepted, we got the counter-offer from the buyers for our Seattle house. We now have the choice between getting the work done ourselves, which would get us more money but has some risk, and giving the buyers a price reduction. It may come down to cash flow.

Saturday, Colleen and I decided to go out for dinner... and found the elevator broken. You can read about that little comedy of errors (none of them ours) downwhen in my previous post. A few things stand out:

  1. An SOP that includes "call the fire department" for after-hours elevator maintenance is clearly wrong.
  2. If you're going to have maintenance people "on call" but don't have an SLA for them, you have a problem.
  3. If the only contact information on your website is a phone number, a twitter handle, and a facebook name, something that would otherwise result in an annoyed email is instead going to make you look stupid in public.

Still worried.

Notes & links:

  % woke up 3 something, but got back to sleep.
  * up 7am; W=198.8;
    % back pain ~4 - naproxen helped.
  * Added a command hook to the collection of stuff on the wall next to my laptop table,
    to keep the phone charger cords off the floor.  A Lenovo charger is attached with a
    dab of silicone to the top of the outlet extender.  The whole thing works remarkably
    well for containing the mess.
  @ (7) Song of Durin (Complete Edition) - Clamavi De Profundis - YouTube (ysabetwordsmith)
  * entered mortgage interest into TaxCut -- didn't help as much as I'd hoped.
  * take bus to RE to pick up Van and drop off Tiny House letter of agreement.
    -> brought back signed letter, a pillow, and a bag of ruffles.  Stopped at Walgreen's
       for a prescription that had been sent there by mistake.
  * Although my MFP claims to be able to scan two-sided, neither XSane nor simple-scan
    appears to be able to accomplish this feat.
    -> it may require flipping the pages over to scan the other side.  Not clear.  The
       user's guide does not mention this.
  @ Harness goats:  basic info
  % not much progress on taxes.  Or much of anything else.  I'll have to file for an
    extension.  Probably cost me ~5K.

  * Up 6am; W=199.2;
  @ Remembering Bob Taylor - I, Cringely
  * call Jerad at Firestone
  * Made my retirement announcement at the team lunch
  * Picked up N's phone.  It is charging (on only one of the two cords on my charger)
  % 7:55 feeling a little shaky -- dehydrated?  Not clear.  Poured myself a glass of ice
    water.  No effect yet.  Headache. -> lying down for a while helped.
  : cleanup.
  @ solarbird | i've made the navbar less hideous via css hackery 
  & ought to print form for tax extension. -> done.
  @ Stanford microbiologist creates 'resistor' hats for the March for Science | Stanford
    News f(Cat Faber)
  * mortgage preapproval application

0418Tu Tax day
  * up 5:50; W=199.4;
  @ Does the Furry Community Have a Nazi Problem? - Rolling Stone (@ solarbird)
  * applied for tiny house loan from, for $50K/60 months.
    Used the house, and Amazon.
  :'s signing certificate expired yesterday. :P  www is still ok, though.
    They had it back online around 8:50am.  Login broken, presumably they had to bounce
    their servers.  Oddly, is available from Amazon's VPN.
  * supporting docs and signed forms sent to Jason at National Finance.  xsane is
    confusing and I never did get it to work; simple-scan works just fine for multipage
  * Lightstream approved my RV loan, but Jason told me to hold off until the new house

  * Up 5:50ish; W=198.4; 
  * 9am meet N in front of apartment for Whidbey expedition
    Ferry!  I think the last time I was on a ferry I was too young to drive.
    -> two places, completely different.  One is safe, but not magical.  The other is
       risky and quirky, but magical.  The safe place is looking at offers today, so we
       are putting one in.  But we'll be happy with either, for different reasons.
    6:30 offer almost ready to sign.  (Would have been ready, but they spelled our last
         name wrong and had to redo it.)  $5K earnest money -- could have done 10K if I'd
         done as I'd intended and sold my remaining RSUs last week.
    8:00 offer submitted	 
    @ 4414 SKYLINE DR, FREELAND, WA — MLS# 1099556
  * sell remaining RSUs
  & spent a long time -- much longer than it should have -- trying to figure out how to
    change the shipping address on my subscribe + save items.  Turns out you have to click
    edit on one item, and it will ask whether you want to change just that one or all of
    them.  But it's NOT obvious; the help pages didn't have anything on it, and even the
    customer service reps I chatted with didn't know it.  Some team is getting a ticket in
    the morning.
  & WiFi has been incredibly slow and flaky -- I eventually had to sit on the floor with
    my laptop balanced on a cat litter jar so that I could use ethernet.
  % 8:53pm me:  it feels a lot later than it actually is
      Colleen:  that's because you've been working really hard.  And spent a lot of money.
           me:  Oh.
  : the phone battery packs take a ridiculously long time to charge.

  * up 5:40; W=198.4;
  ! still scared
  & wikipedia dive starting from Angora -- cats, goats, and rabbits; angora, mohair, and cashmere.
  : The limeade battery pack is still not fully charged; I suspect it's dying.  It's over
    three years old at this point, so, yes.  Probably.  -> ok, now appears to be charged
  * Looks like they may accept our offer on Whidbey Island.  They want a 2-month leaseback
    (actually more, but 60 days is all we can legally give them.  Their problem.)
  * 7:30pm conference call to discuss offer on RE
    There is ~$35K worth of work that needs doing.  It would work better if we can get
    them to take the $35K off the price and do it themselves.  We may be able to get off
    cheaper if we have it done.
  * 8:30ish conference call to discus counter-offer on Other End.  Signed.  Main change is
    leaseback to July 23rd, 59 days.  We can do that.
  * The new sarongs arrived.  Very comfortable; I think they're a little warmer
    than the rayon ones.  (I thought both were cotton, but the elephant one turned out to
    be labeled as 100% polyester.)

  * up 4:40; W=196.6; 
  : It seems that only one 802-11a/b/g/n card will work in my thinkpads; ordered one.
    Annoying -- there's a whitelist in the BIOS.
    @ IBM Lenovo ThinkPad ... X120e Dual Band Wireless N Card | eBay
      Also found and ordered the same card on Amazon.
  * set WAP mode to g/n in hopes that that will fix the connection problems.
    Well, Raven connected on boot-up, and it never had before, so that's probably an
    indication that the fix was effective.
  * Did the little utility package split-out that I'd been meaning to do for a while.
    I'd been doing it using git subtree, but it turns out to be cleaner to use git
    format-patch and git am.
  * Did a little guitar at work after Beer30.  Sang "When I Go", which has for obvious
    reasons been much on my mind of late.
  : The network adjustment may have helped, but not all that much.  I have a pretty solid
    connection, but DNS is still flaky.  I suspect Comcast of messing with it.
    -> setting google as the first dns server seems to have helped a lot.
  % getting a little use out of the sarongs today -- it was warm in the morning, and
    downright hot when I got home.  They're not really as comfortable as a yukata, at
    least in the configuration I'm using, and lack pockets.
  : I've been getting many notifications from DW of people finding me and subscribing/
    granting access.  I have been reciprocating, of course, and removing people from my LJ
    list if they're no longer expecting comments there.
  : Colleen (with G') made acorn squash and stuffed pork chops.  Yum.
  @ Stonekettle Station: Two Wolves  Jim Wright nails it, as usual.  Optimism is now
    derided as liberal propaganda.
  * Cleaned Clea's cage, scooped Ticia's litterbox.  I'm not fond of the physical stress,
    but I really don't think I mind doing it.  Clea was almost affectionate; I didn't try
    to pet her, but she came up to my hand and brushed against it a couple of times.    
  : Raven's screen has the same number of pixels as Cygnus's.
    It still doesn't have a particularly good net connection.  Grump.

  % some nice cuddle time, spooned between Colleen behind me and Ticia in front.  Mmmmm.
  * up 5ish; W=198.2; Shower, laundry
  : Raven is still having severe wifi problems; combined with the oversensitive trackpad,
    size, weight, and limited number of pixels, I'm better off sticking with Cygnus.
    If necessary, connecting via a USB tether to a phone would work -- I tested that.  The
    phone has 802-11a, so the connection is solid.  I can also route through Whitewood or,
    when it gets out of the pod, Blackroot.
  : Blackbird works ok on 2.4GHz, too.  So it's just Raven.  Hmm.  Starting to smell like
    a hardware problem.
  * Put the towel from Ticia's desk-top box into the green plastic basket that Colleen had
    been using for some random stuff.  Instant hit.  I showed it to her and she climbed
    right in and let me carry her to the living room.
  & Wikipedia dive starting from Porcelain by way of ysabetwordsmith
    and extending into kaolinite, minerology, gas turbines, and high-speed bearings.
  @ Why Have a Life Purpose? 5 Reasons You Should Have a Purpose (ysabetwordsmith)
    also other links around finding one.  This may become important a week from today. 
    @ Personal Development Worksheets - FREE (from response to comment)
  : 5:30 we wanted to go out for dinner, but the elevator isn't working.  Blanton-Turner's
    maintenance/emergency hotline told me to call the fire department.  The only number
    available for doing that is 911.  They, of course, will only come out if somebody is
    actually stuck.  Called B-T back and got somebody to dispatch a maintenance person.
    They called back 6:30ish to say that they were still trying to contact a maintenance
    oncall; I asked what their SLA was and got total incomprehension.
    Maintenance guy called and said that they had to get the elevator company out.  No ETA
    7:40ish maintenance guy called back to say that the elevator company had been
    contacted and they were sending someone out tonight.
    8:20 maintenance guy called to say that the elevator had been fixed.
    @ mdlbear | Broken elevator, broken SOPs
    @ update: 04-23t0840: heck with it.  If the only contact info they provide is twitter and facebook, I
      guess they want me to use it.
    " you might want to fix your call center SOPs before they get you in more trouble than
      simply looking stupid on Facebook. And maybe find a maintenance company that's heard
      of SLAs. "

Date: 2017-04-23 07:21 pm (UTC)
solarbird: (pingsearch)
From: [personal profile] solarbird
Is the listing still up from the safe Whidbey Island house? Because nosey.

Date: 2017-04-23 07:57 pm (UTC)
solarbird: (korra-excited)
From: [personal profile] solarbird
Ah, and you said it couldn't be any better than it is now - that deck! You could connect a third building! (I love that it's two buildings, that's awesome.) You can have a COMPLEX. You could build a FOLLY that you reach via the DECK.

That would be awesome I am just saying.

(The link you used wouldn't show it but the address let me look it up on which is kind of my go-to for that sort of thing.)

Date: 2017-04-23 10:07 pm (UTC)
solarbird: (Default)
From: [personal profile] solarbird
Oh, so you're going to keep that going after all? Nice.

Date: 2017-04-23 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pocketnaomi
Yes, absolutely. We had to cancel this year, not even so much because of the move (though that didn't help), but because too many of our core membership from year 1 who'd wanted to be at year 2 couldn't make it due to one life circumstance or another. We were going to be down to a population thin enough to make it difficult to keep the flow going, and on top of that one of our guests was applying for tenure this year, so although she was game to go ahead with it if we wanted, she was kind of relieved when I said we were considering passing for this year.

We have guests set up for next year, which we're probably going to announce at housewarming for the new place, so as to get the word out as thoroughly as possible all at once. They know about the move, and are still happy to be involved, even though it won't be at the same place that was intended when we initially invited them. All is about as set as it usually is at this far in advance, and we have every reason to think we'll be running next year's, at the new house, and continuing from there.

Date: 2017-04-26 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] andyheninger
Wow, what an eventful time. The Whidbey Island house looks very nice indeed, so close to the ocean and so much green space around. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a smooth closing, of both houses.

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