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mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)

In view of this article in praise of clutter, on NYTimes.com, it seems like a good idea to post "Bigger On the Inside" as today's Song for Saturday, a tradition that has been sadly lacking of late. Note especially the lines ""It's all the friendly clutter here / That makes it feel like home." Yeah, that.

I don't seem to have a recording of the most recent version, but The Baycon 2011 version does have audio: [ogg] [mp3]

This is very much our household's anthem.

Bigger On The Inside

© 1991, 2014 Stephen Savitzky. Creative Commons by-nc-sa License Some Rights Reserved.

Our house is bigger on the inside than it looks from on the street
There must be something odd about the way the corners meet.
We warn our friends about it, but they always seem surprised,
And I sometimes can't imagine how our stuff all fits inside.
    We have computers, toys, and magazines, and quiet cozy    nooks;
    The bathroom's lined with cedar planks, and the living room with books.
    There's boxes full of god- knows-what  in the attic up above,
    And we always keep good company and love.
Colleen is halfway buried as she crochets up a quilt 
I'm getting in some songs before my voice begins to wilt.
Kids are shouting back in Emmy's room, the pizza's getting hot;
Folks come over every Wednesday whether we're at home or not.
When we moved North to Rainbow's End some things got re-arranged;
The family's gotten bigger, but the main things haven't changed.
Folks are singing in the Great Room, and the chili's getting hot;
They come over every Sunday whether we're at home or not.
    We have computers, toys, and magazines, and quiet cozy    nooks;
    The bathroom's lined with tiles and the living rooms with books.
    There's boxes full of god- knows-what  in the cupboards up above,
    And we always keep good company and love.
There's a gallery of science-fiction pictures in the hall,
And something's taped or bolted on to each square foot of wall.
Our children's closets look just like a baby dragon's hoard;
It's true that we're disorganized, but at least we're seldom bored.
There's a guest crashed on the futon couch who's too wiped out to leave,
And something in the fridge that's been there since last Christmas eve.
We're packed in five dimensions, and through the twilight zone,
It's all the friendly clutter here that makes it feel like home.

Inspired by a friend's account of a visit to our house. At the Younger Daughter's insistence I have pluralized ``daughters'' in verse 2, and at the older's insistence changed the name in verse 3. Now, of course, ``some things got rearranged'', and the former verse 2 has moved down to verse 4, where ``daughters'' has become ``children''.

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. Helpguide.org 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)

Well, our anniversary weekend passed without a party -- somehow I'd had the impression that we were having one, but everyone else had the impression that the one the Saturday after Christmas counted for both. So... ok. I went out and got salads, cheese, sausage, scallops, and bacon. Bacon-wrapped scallops, and cheese boards for two. Yum.

Thursday we ordered Chinese from Yen Wor Village -- not as good as Yu Shan, but better than any of the other local places that deliver.

Lots and lots of decluttering, both in my to-do lists and, to a lesser extent, in the house.

I finally found a canned cat food that Curio likes! I've been worried about him. It's made by Natural Balance, and the same duck and green pea combination that's in the dry food he likes (but that we're trying to get him off of, because apparently dry food isn't all that good for cats).

And we finally have a static IP address again -- it's only $5/month from CenturyLink. The tech support person who set it up was completely clueless; I had to go to her supervisor to find someone who knew what reverse DNS was (and how to find it on their damned website, which is slow, poorly laid out, and doesn't trim spaces in input fields).

Finished reading Lauren Ipsum, which will get a separate post later. You'll also find an entry in the notes tagged "ursine", which will get expanded into the start of a planned post series if I can finally get off my tail and write it.

Links in the notes, as usual.

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

Lots of puttering. In part because we're getting ready for Heather Dale's house concert this coming Sunday (contact me or Naomi if you're interested in attending), and in part because it's a way of feeling that I'm doing something useful while avoiding the taxes.

I was on tap for jury duty Wednesday and Thursday -- had to go in, but didn't get picked, or even assigned to a case. Oh, well. I've only been on a jury once -- very educational. The people running the jury assembly room were very competent, and did their best to make it a good experience. Successfully, in my opinion.

Three of Colleen's roses arrived on Tuesday; they finally got planted today.

A little noodling -- I need to practice more. And we need to encourage Colleen to sing more.

Links, as usual.

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

The main event this week was the arrival of the storage towers and lamp I ordered from Best Buy. There were also health worries, and my stuff is being moved into a new cubical over the weekend. I think about half the people in the Seattle office are getting shuffled around.

I get two nice things out of the move. First was having to leave at 2pm on Friday, which meant I could walk to REI -- about half an hour's walk, on a beautiful clear day -- and buy a hat. It's called a "Seattle Sombrero"; I'm hoping it will be waterproof.

The second is a lockable cabinet where I can stash my (non-lockable) laptop. That means I won't have to lug the darned thing to and from work five times a week. I don't need the extra weight.

My back was hurting quite a lot by the time I got home on Friday. And I've been having some sharp pains when I lift things that make me worry about developing a hernia -- this is something I *do* *not* *need* right now.

Also I'm still gaining weight, and I get very stiff in the evenings.

I got my lab results back; the doctor noted that she was worried about my triglycerides, which are 186 (normal 150 or less). When I see her next, in a couple of weeks, I will tell her that it's the second-lowest number in a decade. Probably time to increase my niacin and linseed oil. (Ok, the bottle is labeled "flax oil". Same thing. It's a dietary supplement and a furniture finish.)

About those CD towers. When I ordered them and looked at the shipping tracker it said "4 boxes, 76 pounds". Shipping was free. What I didn't realize was that the weight given wasn't the total, it was the weight of the heaviest package. Of which there were two, plus two smaller boxes of 36lbs. Gleep. The Younger Daughter was *not* pleased, even with access to my hand truck.

I took it nice and slow, and put one together over the course of three days. I had figured on it taking two people to flip the thing over and drag it into position, but it glided easily over the carpet, and was actually quite easy to lift. Yay trigonometry!

As for links, I have been eagerly following the poems from YsabetWordsmith's January Poetry Fishbowl, and especially the ones in her new series, An Army of One, which is science fiction about a society of autistic people. Very cool idea.

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

We had eight people for Thanksgiving -- the three residents, Naomi and her kids, and Chaos and her BF. I made the turkey; the kids and Chaos peeled the potatoes, the YD cut them up, I mashed them, and Colleen made the dressing. The YD had made pumpkin pie the night before. Yum. We have a fridge full of leftovers; a 20-lb bird, a huge bowl of dressing, and a 10-lb bag of potatoes will do that. That's ok.

We do have to remember that the turkey takes more like 10 minutes/lb when it's not stuffed. I used the meat thermometer and cooked it to 165; there were a cuple of spots that were just barely not umdercooked, but it was all tender and juicy.

Gratitude in the next post.

Having to squeeze 8 people into the living room made for a good excuse for cleaning. I put several boxes of books onto shelves, and stacked the remaining boxes (mostly not books) along the walls, with only a smallish tower left standing at the end near the desk. We set up our folding chairs, and it worked.

I worked 3 hours from home yesterday, which was enough to compensate for the time I took off Monday for a dentist appointment, but not for the two days' worth of unpaid vacation. :(

Working from home will get easier, now that I have the RSA software token working for VPN access. It uses Wine, but the app works, so I'm not complaining. VPN isn't working yet, because I neglected to bring home the how-to documents. but I'm hopeful.

I've been sleeping altogether more than I'd like, and not all that well. Thursday night especially -- I crashed a little before 10pm, woke up at 1:30 with my left knee painfully locked up and covered with sweat; went back to sleep and didn't get up until 9. Apparently I needed the sleep.

My Nexus 7 arrived Wednesday, and was waiting for me when I got home. Cool. A little heavy, and I'm not certain it's going to be readable enough to serve as a phone book, but definitely a slick piece of gear. I'm loving the soft keyboard, which combines click and swipe action; I'm going to install the backport on my phone.

That reminds me; I still have to upgrade the phone to Android 4.0 (ICS).

I really should spend the rest of the day sorting stacks of paper, some of which is important. Donwanna.

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

I guess the main event from the weekend was lunch with our old friends Alan and Jeanne Rognlie, who moved out of the Bay Area some 32 years ago. We met for lunch at the AFK Tavern, although no gaming ensued. Good visit.

We decided to have Thanksgiving dinner here; the fridge is now full of turkey. The living room is still full of boxes; we're going to at least move them out of the center of the room. It'll have to do. Progress is, in any case, being made.

I also wrote a poem on Saturday.

I converted my mobile phone plan to a shared-data plan. It includes unlimited voice and text, and 10GB of shared data. The way the pricing works is a little weird, with the price per phone going down as data goes up; 10GB was only $10 more than 6GB. I end up saving about $60/month.

Musical links for the weekend include this Adorably Gruesome Public Service Announcement About Death And Dismemberment, and of course "American Hostess Pie" to the obvious tune.

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

Monday was a holiday, which I mostly spent puttering (interrupted at noon for a dentist appointment) while Colleen went to Britex (her favorite fabric store in SF) with Liz.

I spent the afternoon and evening designing a label for the Valentine's Day CD (which of course is over a week late now), and running off 25 of the total run of 50. Before you ask, no, it's not for sale. There will be a few copies in Interfilk auctions, though, starting with Consonance.

It takes about two and a half minutes to burn a CD, and a little less than that to print it. So throughput is somewhere on the order of 20/hour, taking advantage of pipelining but allowing for the inevitable lapses of attention.

An interesting bit of self-observation Monday evening: most people found Damn You Auto Correct! - 15 Most Popular Autocorrects From January 2011 to be rolling-on-the-ground funny. I found it mildly amusing, but not enough so to chuckle at. Is that because it involved people making embarrassing mistakes? Likely.

A 3-mile walk on Tuesday, and I seem to remember one on Monday but don't seem to have noted it.

A huge collection of links, including dish towel diaries: Recipes for gluten-free baking and cooking courtesy of roaringmouse. And [livejournal.com profile] vixyish points out that this is the year of the White Rabbit. Let's hope for wonders!

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

A very productive day, at least at home: I got the counter to the left of my monitor cleared off, and set up the laptop stand. That's pretty huge; the laptop stand is something I've had on the to.do list for over a year. I feel very pleased with myself.

Of course, I now have three boxes worth of clutter to sort through...

Things at work aren't making anywhere near as good progress, but since the hang-up is over at the opposite end of the code from where I'm working, I'm not going to worry about it too much.

I got a good walk in - 3 miles. Go me!

Some good links under the cut. I've read through most of flylady.com, which has a lot of good 15min-related info and tips (though it's aimed specifically at stay-at-home housewives and is too structured for my taste).

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

A good day -- got a huge amount of decluttering done, fighting the pile to the left of the monitor down to an inch-deep layer of small debris (which I mostly dealt with this morning). I still need to sort through the two boxes of envelopes, loose sheets, business cards, postits, receipts, and so on. But it's visible progress -- I'm not complaining.

I also wrote an introductory post for the 15min: tag. So far it seems to be working, but almost all my selections so far have been from the decluttering bucket. We'll see.

I got to the Casa de Chaos bash rather late, but there was gluten-free lasagna left for me. Shouldn't have had dinner at home. Lots of hugs and catching up -- there are people who I only see at Kathy's bashes.

Some good links and a weird dream under the cut.

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

The items I've started tagging with 15min are part of a scheme I came up with last Tuesday for developing good habits by breaking never-ending tasks like sorting receipts, reducing clutter, and managing my websites into little (nominally 15-minute) pieces. The hope is that I'll do two or three every day, and so far it seems to be working. Another hope is that these things will become habits along the lines of taking my drugs, doing the laundry and dishes, and tracking things in my to.do list. The third hope is that I'll spend more time actually doing things rather than glumly and guiltily staring at my to.do file looking for something to do or, worse, looking for things I've already done or have long since given up on. There are a surprising number of the latter.

15min tasks are loosely categorized into "buckets", with the idea that I'll pull tasks out of two or three different buckets every day. As tasks become firm habits, some of the buckets may disappear -- for example, there are no buckets for paying bills online or doing dishes, because I'm pretty consistent about doing those. (There's no bucket for taking walks, even though I'm not very consistent about it, because those have been tracked separately for a long time and somehow don't "feel like" 15min tasks.)

The current list of buckets looks like:

  • Decluttering. This was, of course, the original meaning of the tag. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] thnidu for reminding me of this post.)
  • Receipt sorting: sales tax, income tax, healthcare, etc.
  • Paperwork: taxes, mostly, though it also includes canceling services, triaging the to.do list, and similar things.
  • Check writing: unlike regular bills, which are paid online, this includes charities, subscriptions, and other things that only get paid infrequently. I hate writing checks.
  • Web hacking: updating the website, fixing the makefiles, writing tools... It's not unpleasant, I just forget to do it.
  • Music: recording, practicing, writing and updating lyrics files... I sometimes need to be prodded to do fun things, too.

If you're following the "raw notes" section of my done posts, you can expect to see lines like:

  * 15min: declutter the office, mainly the left-hand pile.

I won't usually mention them in the narration unless there's something unusual to say about them.

Before you ask, this is just something I came up with on my own; it's unrelated to Flylady, Getting Things Done, 42 Folders, or any other formal structure; it is, however, influenced by what my friends have been blogging about, and a moderate amount of web-reading.

Comments are, as usual, welcome.

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

I figured out why I'd been sleeping until 8am the last couple of days: diphenhydramine.

Yesterday was definitely a day of Getting Things Done. Really weird, but I'm not complaining. Colleen and I went to investigate Grand Wheelchair & Medical Supply (in Fremont near the Consonance hotel), and got a new 17AH (i.e. bigger) battery pack for her scooter. Then we had a st/roll around Santana Row (the local high-end mall).

Meanwhile, my new 15min program seems to be off and running. I did some cleanup in the kitchen, some website work, and sorted last year's non-tax receipts into envelopes (which has the side effect of freeing the file folders for this year's receipts). And made dinner and brunch reservations for next weekend's Las Vegas trip.

I made dinner in the crock pot (mini-sausages and baked beans), not knowing when the YD would be arriving with her entourage. It turned out to be somewhere around 7pm; we now have a large pile of boxes in our living room. Things could get crowded if Chaos decides to move back.

Some sad news: our favorite grocery store is closing. Other links under the cut as usual.

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

Wow! Where the heck did last week go? You'd think that after getting back from vacation work would drag, but... Could be that I've been sleeping more, i.e. going to bed earlier, with correspondingly less getting done. And that, in turn, is because I've been suffering severe nasal congestion again, which means the occasional dose of diphenhydramine shortly before bedtime. That, or oxygen deprivation...

I did have one good idea over the week: dumping the never-ending but easily-subdivided tasks like decluttering, recording, sorting receipts, and so on into larger buckets (categories), and working on two or three per day for 15 minutes or so each. The hope is that they'll become habits, like laundry and dishes. Also, that when I find myself boredly staring at my to.do file, I'll pull something out of a bucket and work on it instead of just sitting there. I'll be using the tag 15min for posts about the process. (It's a rename of the old decluttering tag 15 minutes.) I will not be tagging done posts unless I actually discuss the process in the narration, but you'll see it used as a prefix in the raw notes.

I got three walks in; the one on Tuesday was particularly pleasant, and somewhat longer than usual. More like the walks I used to take every day, in other words. :( Meanwhile, I've gained quite a lot of weight over the last two weeks or so, pretty much wiping out last year's losses. Grump.

The week's links include some New Year's predictions, a wonderful Goodnight Moon fanfic, and some information about strokes.

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

I made a double batch of fried rice for lunch -- Colleen liked it. Afterward, we went out shopping, mainly to buy a new lightbulb for the fan in the back bedroom. FAIL. We took it in to the place where we'd bought the thing, Galaxy Lighting, only to find that they no longer sold that fan and didn't have the bulbs. They sent us to Batteries and Bulbs on El Camino, where the expert took one look at it and said "buy a new lamp". Apparently it's a custom job. He'll look... The topper is that when we brought it back home, thinking I'd swap it with the known-good one in the living room, I found that it worked fine there. Apparently the problem is in the controller.

So... no more buying fans -- or anything else -- at Galaxy. They're also expensive. We'll stick to brands that are likely to still be around in another decade, and only use standard Edison-base bulbs.

On the plus side, we found a lovely little grocery store with inexpensive, fresh produce and falafel chips. Win. We're guessing they'd taste really good with hummus. We also checked out a discount store called Tuesday Morning, which Colleen had heard of but I hadn't. They had discount luggage, but not nearly as good prices as Ross.

I didn't take a walk, but got a little exercise wrangling the scooter in and out of the car.

Got a moderate amount of receipt-sorting done.

I see that I listed my mood as "unusually happy". I have no idea what caused it, or where it went. I found a self-help book about "structured journaling" earlier in the week, and was on the edge of buying it until I realized that it was all about "managing your [presumably, excessively-strong and out of control] emotions." That's not my problem; I just want to find my emotions. I don't recall ever seeing a self-help book about that.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tetralizard, who brought back my box of random health-care receipts, neatly sorted. There are a few missing, apparently. Grump.

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

A good, relaxing New Year (for suitable values of year). Since it coincided with Fallback Day, I spent some time in the morning resetting clocks. I also cleaned the print heads on the Epson multifunction machine (apparently nobody is using it much) and put a trackball on my laptop table -- the mouse was really starting to hurt my hand.

Took a good walk by the Los Gatos Creek, and stopped at REI to look at bags and travel wallets. The Timbuk2 looks as close as anything I've seen to what I'm looking for.

After that, I went out to Santana Row with Colleen; first for shopping and then for dinner (after confirming that the YD wasn't interested in going out with us). Since "date night" had consisted of leftovers and a drive, and I didn't feel like cooking, this was just fine. We ate at Consuelo's, a little Mexican place that serves small portions tapas style. Yum.

The main purchase was a rolling garment rack at the Container Store, because it's impossible for Colleen to get into the closet and I was getting tired of piling clothes on the chairs. I may commandeer a few inches of rod space for myself, too. We also went to Borders, at Colleen's insistence. I found her a Crohn's Disease/IBS cookbook, and she spotted The Cookie Sutra, which will make a fun gift for somebody. Now that we've both read it *wicked grin*. Joy of Sex meets Joy of Cooking.


Today's link sausage includes cosmic latte (from APOD), the average color of the universe, and the Wikipedia article on unusual time signatures, chained off of Gridlore's post mentioning mathcore.

I spent much of the late evening sorting and filing 2009 receipts, now that I have space for them. It's barely noticable so far. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble remembering that it's better to do something than to spend an hour sitting and staring at my to.do file and wondering what to do next.

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

My sore right shoulder was much improved; there was no noticable pain by evening. Or even at 2am when I took a bath, unable to get back to sleep after being awakened by a Snuggly Colleen. (It was sore this morning; I suspect due to spending some of the night sleeping on my right side.)

A nice walk, with very little anxiety this time. I spent too much of the afternoon trying to get mail configured on my web hosting provider's system; massive fail. It's probably back to plan B on that one: a DirectAdmin account at my old ISP, rahul.net. Or see what I can do with Google.

About half an hour of working on the piles of papers in the office, and a little noodling in response to Colleen's request for music.

I got an amusing call from AT&T's web marketing; they'll advertise me on Google and Yahoo and guarantee 60 click-through's/month for only $170. That might work if my conversion rate was high enough, but I don't think it would be.

Some interesting link-chasing in Wikipedia, but that will warrant its own post on the River later. I've already alluded to it yesterday, so it'll keep.

On the whole a pretty good day, though not terribly productive.

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

I guess the main event of the day was the arrival of the new Woody Guthrie 4-disk set, My Dusty Roads. Oh... My... These were recorded from recently-discovered metal masters; they sound gorgeous. The packaging, in a "suitcase" with a book, a couple of reproduced postcards, and the CDs in sleeves that are printed so that the disks fall out when you try to read the tracklist, is flashy but stupidly impractical. But the music!

I only got in a very short walk.

I re-arranged a few things in the bedroom so that I could put Snuggles (my lovely Martin O-15, who has been rather neglected lately) on a stand in the corner, and sit in an armless chair so I can sing to Colleen when she's stuck in there. About time. I could have done it back in May if I'd thought about it. Go me, anyway.

It feels like there's a bruise or something on the back of my right hand just past the wrist. Weird, since I don't remember injuring anything there.

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

Yesterday was mostly spent puttering around the house; [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi and I carried on a very sporadic IM conversation egging one another on. Not as good as being there to help, but good.

The main thing was working on the SE corner of the bedroom. The goal is to replace the old shelf standards and brackets with Elfa, and add a couple of shelves to the South wall. I got the South wall done, and three shelves cleared on the East wall (leaving two more) A lot of sorting and recycling happened at the same time.

I went out for a walk (including some grocery shopping). The major insight was noticing how liberating it was to know that a lot of things simply are not going to get done. The more essential stuff still has to happen, but...

I bought some Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra tea along with the other things; it turned out to be useful when I had trouble getting back to sleep at 3am.

I ended the day with some singing (at Colleen's request): I sang "Gentle Arms of Eden" and "Where the Heart Is" for Marty, then Naomi asked me to call her and sing something, and Colleen suggested "The Mary Ellen Carter". Fun!

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

I basically spent most of yesterday puttering. It does get things done, but it's not really all that satisfying.

I did take a walk; only about an hour because it was getting late. The really fun thing I did was encouraging [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi to go through with her wild idea of becoming a professional poet. That was fun. I'll be working on her website pretty soon, it seems.

On the other hand, Colleen quite justifiably berated me for not having fixed the Starport's email, which is still a shambles after over a year of being mostly broken.

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

Colleen went off to Menlo Park with Bev and her daughter C, and found me gluten-free pretzels at Draeger's. Yay!

I spent the day puttering, and did not take a walk. It's been scorching out.

A quiet sort of day. OK, but not special. OK is better than many of the alternatives, though; I'll take it.

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

My office at the Starport has just suffered its second stuffalanche this month; this time it was a cascade of envelopes from the charity and investment piles. *Sighs* The previous one was mostly magazines, and still hasn't been picked up -- it mostly went under the counter around the non-functional computer.

It's all going to take a lot more than 15 minutes to clean up, I'm afraid; there's a lot of triage that still needs to be done. Later.

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

I've already posted about yesterday's big event: ordering a scooter for the Cat. Or the Electric Rollycat, which will be quite a step up from the Turbocharged Snail.

We also had a nice drive and some good snuggle. I feel particularly good about how I settled her down with a couple of hugs and sympathy when she started to go all embarrassed and apologetic at me. I'm learning, slowly.

I got in a walk; I'd originally wanted to go with Colleen, but she was tired enough after our outing that neither of us thought it would be a good idea.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090418 )

I don't feel as though I got very much done yesterday. Especially considering how much I'll have to do if I want to get our bedroom cleared out and cleaned up by the time Colleen comes home on Friday.

In fact, I haven't done much during the entire last week, when I had the Younger Daughter home from school to help. She did clean her room and the kitchen; that's something.

I did some cleaning, anyway -- more like puttering, but it's a start. And I researched hospital beds at Amazon. If these are the same beds I saw at ABC Medical Supply locally, I could save somewhere between $500 and $700 buying a pair of them from Amazon. If I trusted them and their third-party vendors, some of whom list "10 pounds" for both the dimensions and shipping weight of the objects in question. Nobody lists the actual dimensions or weight, which worries me. And if the difference didn't get gobbled up in shipping costs.

Apart from these "done yesterday" posts, I don't seem to be posting much. Maybe just as well given how long it takes to write one, but I really ought to get back to writing at some point.

The astute reader may notice that I'm using both colleen-200903 and colleen-200904 as tags. I change the date when something major changes; I figure coming home counts, so I'll use the 200904 tag for planning toward that event.

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

This is probably the first of two posts, the second one being about the Starport's computer network. And it's less about the current state of things than the (hopefully) near-term plans for them. But since I'd much rather write about what ought to be done than actually do it, here goes. Maybe it'll help me organize my thoughts, if not my life. Anyway.

There are three major shake-ups in progress here. The first is [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf's move-out, which will eventually result in a major amount of space freed up. Not only her bedroom, but the dining table and chairs downstairs that she wants. That will take time, however.

The most immediate result was getting her big pile of wedding presents mostly out of the living room. Some of them are back now awaiting shipment, but there was enough time in between for me to move the sewing machine table out of what is on its way to becoming a real guest room. That's the second shake-up.

Colleen has decided that sewing is a social activity, and so belongs in the living room where she can kibbitz while Marty or somebody else sews.

There is now room enough to move around in the guest room, but it really needs to have the closet emptied out and the shelves full of fabric and notions packed up and moved either into storage or into the sewing area of the living room. The guest room will also double as a music room, assuming we can make the bed split up and double as seating. Since the room is far too small for a king-sized bed, this means a couple of custom foam pads that combine to form a full- or at most queen-sized bed. Like clearing out the Wolf's den, that's a longer-term project.

The third major shake-up, and the one I'm most concerned about this weekend, is getting the master bedroom ready for Colleen's return. Our bed, the lovely but occasionally problematic queen-sized bed that I built for us years ago, is too damned high for her to get in and out of safely, or even at all. This is made worse by the modern trend toward mattress inflation. Six-inch thick mattresses are now impossible to find; they're more like 12 or 18 inches.

There's also the fact that sometimes we regret not having a king-sized bed. And the fact that, with Colleen's currently-limited mobility, a hospital bed might be better for her. Two hospital beds spliced together equal a king. (Whether we can get insurance to spring for any fraction of the cost is an open question, but I'm not going to worry about it much.)

There's a lot of storage space under a queen-sized bed. That would have to be cleaned out. And we really need to have the carpets steam-cleaned. That would mean moving everything out. Even if we had Kat's stuff out of her room and the garage, it would be a major amount of work. As it is, it's probably impossible.

I need to try anyway.

(18:21) It looks like the YD wants the queen-sized bed, so that's one thing we won't have to find a home for. YAY! It'll still need to be taken apart, cleaned, and put back together. And we'll have to find a place for her bed...

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090211 )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090210 )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090209. Boring. )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090208 )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
done 20090207 )

OK, now I see why people use Twitter. This could be addictive, couldn't it? Twitter doesn't give me everything I need for the to.done list, but I could probably make a gateway if I wanted to. I don't want to.

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

Me: "Keeping a list of things I've done really seems to help."

Colleen: "Kissing your wife. You can put that on the list, too."

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

So far the to.done list seems to be having its intended effect. How long that will continue is anybody's guess; my own guess is a week or so. But a couple of hours spent doing mindless but useful tasks is a couple of hours spent not thinking about a green elephant how miserable and depressed I am. I'll take it.

The more challenging tasks are not getting done, though. Maybe later.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
my 'things done' list from yesterday )

See Trying Not to Fail for why I'm doing this.


2008-11-08 06:50 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Next week I really have to stop procrastinating Sorting the Piles. The big tower of charity mailings collapsed this morning; I just spent the last 15 minutes or so piling it into a file box. The third one this year, I think.

I really have to set up a "sort-as-you-go" system, which is what I do for catalogs and receipts. And get much more ruthless about triage.

Next week. Really.


2008-01-08 10:03 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

As near as I can tell, all the information I need for computing sales taxes has been separated from all the information I don't need, but will eventually need for computing income taxes. All of the receipts and other 2007 correspondence that I know about have been sorted.

I still need to go through the actual sales information, figure out what was paid for where, and fill in the blanks. Probably over the weekend. Yes, I should have kept better records. Dumb bear.

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

Spent a few minutes this morning sorting receipts. For the first time in decades, I actually have all of last year's receipts sorted before the end of January. Cool! Of course, that doesn't include bank statements and most of the album-related stuff, but it gets a major bit of clutter off the desk. Perhaps more importantly, it keeps this year's receipts from piling up and creating more clutter.

The next major push is sales tax, which I only have about two more weeks to do. Fortunately, all I really have to do for that is to identify each sale by amount and location, so I know which county to assign it to. Should be straightforward; hopefully I can have that done by, say, Friday.

mdlbear: (tsunami)

Today I began the annual ritual called "Sorting the Charities". It's a real pain for me to keep track of charity contributions -- many of them send a request every month! That's a lot of checkbook to check back through, and they're obviously hoping I'll miss one. (We'll ignore the fact that maybe if I paid in January, they wouldn't keep bugging me all year.)

Anyway, my technique for coping with this deluge of begging letters is simply to toss them onto a big pile and sort through them in late December, in time to write a big batch of checks during the holiday season, when I'm feeling generous.

Eventually, of course, I have to decant the pile into a box before it reaches critical mass and explodes onto the office floor. Last year it took two boxes. This year it took three.

Rather than take over a large chunk of the living room for a folding table, as I did last year, I went out to the garage and found a 2'x4' chunk of half-inch oak plywood, and set it onto a corner of the office counter weighted down with the UPS that I took out of service last night and turned off while it's waiting for a new battery. It's the corner normally occupied by the guest computer, but nobody is likely to be using it until Saturday at the earliest.

I have gotten through the oldest box, and the plywood is currently covered with some 30-odd piles of envelopes. There are a few charities that don't bother putting a logo or a return address on their envelopes -- those go straight into the recycling bag, as do the ones I know I'm not going to support this year, but that somehow slipped past me on the initial mail sort. Folks, if you want my money, you'll make it easy for me to tell who you are.

I think what I'm going to do next is go through the last box and the small pile that's accumulated in the last few weeks. Then I can give the middle box a cursory run-through in case I missed anything.

Maybe next year I'll make a file folder for every charity, keep careful track, and pay a few every month. It would make a lot of sense. Bets, anyone?

10:52pm Update: done sorting. Now I just have to find the most appropriate (not always the most recent) item to pay in each stack, possibly decide what else to drop, and write checks. Tomorrow. I also have to go through my other piles of procrastinated mail and see what needs urgent attention; fortunately these are much smaller.

OK then

2007-12-24 03:49 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

The Big Pile of Luggage[tm] in the bedroom closet has been Dealt With. It's nearly as high, but doesn't stick out as far, so at least it's an improvement. More than that, it's been Organized.

  • Briefcases, messenger bags, and daypacks are now in The Big Suitcase, which is back up in the garage attic. The Big Suitcase was originally purchased for a trip to Japan where I had to carry some extra gear for a demo; it was cheap, flimsy, and probably wouldn't stand up to many more trips.
  • Totebags, zippered totebags, dufflebags, and small shoulder bags are now in separate containers. More random luggage, actually. They're back in the closet, but stacked up neatly.
  • Shoulder straps are now hanging up with the coats, snapped to a coathanger.
  • Pants that no longer fit are in a couple of plastic bags. Some of them are in decent enough shape to give to Goodwill; others are better suited for being cut up for rags. A couple of size 40's in good condition have been kept -- I currently take 42, and I'm trying to lose weight. (Of course, that's what I said about the 38's, too.)
  • A few items in really bad condition have been thrown away.

In addition, I've done a little more magazine and box recycling.

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

With both me and the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf in a mood for cleaning, the game of 3D house-tetris has gotten considerably more exciting. And since our recycling bin was emptied this morning, there's actually a place to put the old magazines, cardboard boxes, and packing material.

(Brief digression: one of the UPSs in the server closet is mourning for its dead battery. Sounds like a cricket in heat. It's been ordered, darnit! Shut up already.)

I've managed to clear enough space in the garage attic for three suitcases so far, which gets them out of the bedroom closet. I think I'll take down the old, oversized rolling suitcase and stuff it full of bags and backpacks from my closet before putting it back up.

Helped the Wolfling tetris bookshelves and boxes yesterday, and pick up recycling today -- there might even be room for her fiancé when he comes down on the 15th. Meanwhile, because the Wolfling has been doing her laundry, there's finally room in the front closet for all of my CD inventory and packing materials. So one can finally get to the cookbook shelves. Yay!

And I've been making room in the studio bedroom corner for the recording system. Soon.

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

Modulo my walks, a drive with the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat last night, and a outing with the Cat and the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf this afternoon that I'll get to later, my weekend has mostly been spent puttering around the house. That's what I do when I'm trying to avoid, you know, real work.

I've reluctantly come to the realization that, if I haven't read one of those stacked-up magazines in the decade or so they've been sitting there, I'm probably not going to get to them in the next decade, either. And the ones that I have read, that are sitting in piles in the garage attic? Recycle time.

Note to self: it's time to stop when the dust starts making you sneeze.

Today was very pleasant. At the Cat's suggestion I went out this morning and got bagels and lox for brunch. Yum. House of Bagels might not be a real New York bakery, but it's close enough. Along the way I stopped at the nearby Whole Paycheck Foods to get some nose-watering salt. I asked for "uniodized" and got a blank look, but then I noticed the three-pound boxes of kosher salt on the top shelf of the salt section. Score! Less than $3 for pure sea-salt with guaranteed, God-gets-mad-at-you-if-you-cheat no additives. )Tried it this evening: works just fine.)

After brunch the Cat and I took the Wolfling to Stanford -- it seems she's been curious about the place where her parents met and fell in love, not to mention other places on campus she's been hearing about. As it turns out, the coffeehouse appears to be either defunct or being renovated -- what used to be the main entrance is now a bike shop; the tables are there but there's no sign on the door and the place looks far too clean to be in actual use.

Then she spotted the bookstore, so we took a side-trip. It turns out that, regardless of its total absence on their web site, they do have a shelf for alumni, student, and faculty music. I'll go back during the week when there's a manager on site.

We also stopped at the museum to wander around the Rodin sculpture garden (always one of my favorites), and looked at the Quad and its centerpiece, the Memorial Church. It was locked -- I don't remember it ever being locked during my time on campus -- but the mosaics on the front are as gorgeous as ever, and you could get a glimpse of some of the stained glass through the window on the front doors.

Did I mention the Golden Bough concert last night? I thought not.

Computer geekery a post or two upwhen.


2007-12-15 10:47 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I find it perversely amusing to see how much of the clutter I'm currently dealing with consists of boxes for things I didn't have to return before their warranties expired, multiple years ago.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled LJ drama.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

My main line of geekiness this weekend centered around getting my former workstation, Trantor, ready to serve as a new recording machine (under the nodename Dorsai). Not as much progress as I'd hoped -- I spent quite a lot of time chasing my tail because the gigabit ethernet card on my former recording machine, Harmony, suddenly decided to be referred to as eth3 instead of eth0. WTF?

(Aside: since my internal domain is thestarport.org, all my node names are stars or planets, mostly from science fiction. Machines used primarily for audio, naturally, get names mentioned in filksongs. The laptop is Argo; you've already met Harmony and Dorsai. Most of my early workstations had names from Star Wars; Dantooine is currently being used as a print server. Tatooine, Moseisley, and Hoth are long out of service.)

Anyway, Trantor finally got renamed, and has a shiny new GigE card, and both it and Harmony have eSATA headers installed in case I want to use external hard drives recording media. Only thing left is the software, which will initially be 64studio.com (an easy upgrade from Etch). At some point I mean to try the 64-bit version on Dorsai, and also UbuntuStudio. One way or another, I'll have Dorsai in the bedroom studio and ready to record with sometime this week.

Meanwhile, I did quite a lot of uncluttering. Moved most of my inventory of CDs -- 5 boxes worth -- into the front closet (now that [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf has much, though not all, of her stuff out of it), and did quite a lot of re-arranging, consolidating, and uncluttering in the office. This included moving two defunct computers (Algol and Flare) up to the attic, recycling two empty boxes that had somehow gotten stored in the attic right where I wanted to put the computers, and moving a mostly-empty shelf up two inches so I could slide a computer under it. I also got Dorsai out from under the desk to where I could work on it. Which in turn required consolidating some of the CD-shipping stuff into a file box.

I'm still left with a couple of items sitting out on chairs, including a storage drawer full of old floppy disks that no longer fits on the shelf I moved, and the box of CD-shipping stuff that was originally in the spot where I moved Dorsai.

Oh, and I finished ripping the last of the pile of CDs that's been hanging around in the office waiting to be ripped.

So although I didn't quite reach my goal of an operational recording set-up, I got quite a lot done. Not complaining.

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

Finally figured out where my other Griffin iMic (USB audio interface) had to be: sure enough, it was in a box. I'd put it there during the massive cleaning frenzy last fall when we had our plumbing redone.

It'll be useful, perhaps, now that I've sent the other one off with the Griffin stereo mic that I'm no longer using, to somebody who shouldn't be reduced to voice-posting from her cell phone when she wants to get a song on the web. Shipped off the cute little Behringer interface with an orphan mic and preamp to somebody else in a similar position. It's good to get rid of clutter, but even better if you can find a good home for it in the process. It's called turning it into somebody else's clutter paying it forward.

Spent the last hour or so practicing with the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf. Good thing. I tend to get distracted; the more I practice the less likely that I'll screw up on stage at Loscon. The Wolfie still needs some work on timing, but she's close enough for filk.

I should go crash now. But I won't.

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

It's been a while since I posted about "clutter", and at least as long since I did anything about it. It's been sneaking up on me.

So I spent an hour or two this afternoon cleaning up my side of the bedroom, sorting loose objects into some conveniently-available shoeboxes and generally trying to make room for the computer I hope to install there tomorrow for recording. And while I've been sitting here reading LJ, I've also been doing some long-needed maintenance on some of my web files, and simultaneously ripping the sizeable stack of CDs (mostly Janis Ian, from last year's holiday sale) that's been sitting for months on top of the computer I hope to install in the bedroom.

You see how it all fits together? It's all one big, um,... cluttered web of dependencies.

I'm still looking for one of my two Griffin iMic USB interfaces (the other is sitting on my desk, part of the clutter).

mdlbear: (hacker traveling)

After lunch (which consisted of half-a-dozen potstickers and half a block of tofu to use up the rest of the dipping sauce) I went out for a drive with the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat. On the way home we stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a new quilt for our bed. Most of what they had was appallingly expensive, but they had a nice black, king-sized comforter on sale for $55. Less a 20%-off coupon. Win.

After that we stopped at Cosentino's -- the Cat's favorite upscale grocery store -- to get ingredients for dinner. Which [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf cooked! It was delicious -- a tomato, mozzerella, and basil salad (which the Wolf ate!), and an odd but tasty concoction of kielbasa, hot and mild Italian sausage, potatoes, sweet onion, and garlic baked in a big package of crimped Aluminum foil. So basically steamed. Yummy.

Found my missing arch support, so I won't have to buy another pair. Found it in the trash, where I had tossed it along with a couple of genuinely dead insoles from other shoes.

Got my lab results back from Kaiser -- or at least, on the web. Their website sucks. The results weren't all that great. LDL low (35, should be >40), triglicerides high (292, should be <199; still, a third of what they were 6 months ago, so the new statin is working). The disturbing one was creatine kinase: 437, should be <200. Could mean heart problems, though there are other possible explanations. The shoulder problems? We'll see; I'll probably hear from my doctor next week.

Made a little progress on clutter in the bedroom, mainly triage on footgear. Tossed some shoes that were clearly dead, and packed a bag of old-but-useable pairs for Goodwill. Swapped quilts.

Some more progress on re-organizing the fileserver; things are pretty much all in the right places now, except for moving a couple of CVS modules around. CVS, unfortunately, doesn't handle this kind of thing very well, which is why I'm looking at replacing it with git or svk. Anyway, things are ready for tomorrow morning's backup snapshot. Which will be archived, seeing as it's the first Sunday in the month.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

Copied most of the remaining directories -- all the ones that matter, anyway. The filksong directory was the big one; there was a nasty moment when I realized that I'd copied it onto itself by way of a symlink I'd forgotten about, but yesterday's mirror confirmed that there was no harm done.

You can plan a move like that for weeks, but as Patton said, no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. There's a reason why I make backups. And why the mirror is mounted read-only except when I'm copying into it.

There will be a fair amount of cleanup later: chasing down all the myriad symlinks, cross-references, and so on. Let's hear it for grep and find.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

This is basically an update of this post where I explain my plan for re-arranging the fileserver to bring sanity to my backups.

The major change comes about from noticing that /vv/srv already has a fair amount of stuff in it that doesn't need to be backed up, and isn't worth moving. In particular, it has the mail spool, the news spool, and the Debian mirror. Ok then.

So the local collection of websites and other things that I might otherwise have moved into /vv/srv now goes into /vv/share, which makes more sense anyway because it's mostly the kind of stuff that Microsoft and Apple put into their "sharing" control panel applet -- web server and file server data.

It's an open question, of course, whether personal websites like chaoswolf.org and steve.savitzky.net belong in /vv/share or /vv/users. At the moment, it doesn't matter: they're both in the same partition, and both get backed up and archived in the same way.

So the project for this week is to actually, like, move the data. It's a little more work than it looks at first glance, because I also have to make the same set of moves on the backup drive in order to keep from making duplicate copies of tens of gigabytes of audio. And with anything moving out of my home directory, I also have to move the CVS repository tree as well. The reason for doing it now, apart from getting it over and done with at last, is to get it into the monthly backup snapshot on Sunday morning.

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

After my walk and a little lunch, the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat and I went out for a drive. Turned around earlier than usual because I was feeling sleepy; we both collapsed on the bed when we got home.

Neither the kids nor I had managed to get our bedrooms picked up, so I didn't have to pay up, but we went out for sushi anyway on the excuse that the Y.D. was getting A's in three or four of her classes. Worked for me; the Cat was in no shape to cook dinner, though she felt a lot better this morning than she had for the last few days. We're guessing it was a combination of an arthritis flare-up and some flu-like virus.

The Cat was annoyed because none of her favorites -- oysters, soft-shell crab, octopus -- turned up on the boats, and she couldn't attract anyone's attention to order some. For some reason it never occurred to her to ask the assertive teenager next to her to intercede, in spite of the fact that the Y.D. was, as usual, the only one ordering. I'd have told her, but as usual didn't realize how upset she was getting. I'm afraid I'm not very perceptive about what people are thinking.

In spite of not finishing the job in the bedroom, I did get a little picking-up done in both the office and the bedroom, plus about half an hour filing 2007 receipts. Recycled some years-old magazines that I was unlikely ever to so much as glance at, and a sizeable stack of blank paper and empty notebooks from years ago. I can use the shelf space for other things, thanks.

Only minor progress dealing with the clutter in my file server. This week, hopefully, I'll get a little more accomplished in that direction.

mdlbear: (tsunami)

We were supposed to have Stanley Steamer in to clean the carpets upstairs in the kids' rooms, which were supposed to have been picked up. Ha! OK, my fault for not checking last night. And vacuumed -- I was pretty sure they needed vacuuming, but the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat assured me that it wasn't necessary. I understand your memory is the second thing to go as you get older. I forget the first.

Meanwhile, the office is a mess, and it would be nice to get our bedroom carpet cleaned, too.


OK kids -- [livejournal.com profile] super_star_girl, [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf -- this means you. $20 each if you can pick up and vacuum your rooms by Sunday night. Dinner out at Kobe if you can do it by dinnertime. And an extra $10 each if I don't have our bedroom in the same state. (The office will take longer, but almost everything on the floor is in boxes now.) "Pick up", by the way, means all loose stuff in boxes. Not piled on top of the bed or shoved under the desk. You can put the boxes on top of the bed, or whatever, on the day the cleaners come.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

The purpose of today's computer clutter control is to get a start on my near-term goal of bringing some order and sanity to the crawling chaos that is the household file server. The non-geekish may want to skip this one.

The main motivations for this are the recent disk crash on the workstation, trantor (no lasting harm done, but there's nothing like a near miss to make you more cautious), and the fact that I've acquired a significant amount of offsite storage to use for backups.

In order to do offsite backups, I have to make a clear distinction between private stuff that has to be encrypted offsite, and the public and semi-public stuff most of which is on the web already and can simply be mirrored. Then there's the pile of stuff that's mirrored from elsewhere, including the Debian mirror, the collection of ripped CDs, and so on.

Right now these are all jumbled together, which leaves a few anomalies like saving monthly snapshots of things that will never change.

So here's the plan... )

The main accomplishment for yesterday was writing the scripts to back up the configuration files in /etc on all the servers, and putting them in /home/Config.

The main accomplishment for today was setting up /vv/users and figuring out what goes there, and figuring out how to split up the current /vv/local/starport. Not much else, but at least now I know where things belong.

mdlbear: (tsunami)

All it takes to stay ahead of clutter is 15 minutes/day. According to my handy LJ tag search, the last time I spent that time was April 13th. I have just spent roughly the last two hours decluttering the office, and the results are barely noticable.

(Of course, that's partly because one of the two boxes I took up to the attic came out of the filing cabinet -- all of the tax returns and raw data for the 1990's. That was so I would have room for the 2006 file, so that I'd have someplace to put the rapidly-accumulating 2007 data. But I haven't started filing that, yet.)

In order to finish off the box of 2006 everything-but-the-taxes, I had to add the banking and investment statements. Which were in a pile under the 2007 statements. Which were being overtowered by the pile of charity requests for the last four months or so. Which are now in a box that is sitting where the 2006 box used to be. Which is on top of the previous batch of charity requests. (We save up most charity requests and sort through them in December when we're feeling generous and have a better idea of how much money we're ending up with. We may have to distribute the load better, or at least do more triage on the fly.)

The result is that several piles are shorter, and there's more room in the filing cabinet, but the total number of boxes of largely-unsorted stuff has remained roughly constant. Discouraging.

Elsewhen today, I spent a couple of hours uncluttering the file server. Next post upwhen, to make it more easily skipped by those not interested in the details of which directory ends up where.

I'm estimating that we'll be in this house for roughly another decade (after which we will most likely be forced to sell it to pay for our retirement). It will probably take us approximately that long to clean out the garage attic.

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