mdlbear: (river)

... and as usual, even a lot of things that should have been easy didn't get done. I'd say that I blew it completely, but that's probably letting myself off easy.

Let's look at the goals for this year:

tl;dr: a total disaster )

45 1/3 out of a possible 1100. Average: 4.1%. Not one of my better years. Possibly my worst.

On a perhaps more encouraging note, here are my posting statistics by month:

Posting stats:
all of 2018 by month:
  14297 words in 11 posts	 in 2018/01 (average 1299/post)
   9412 words in  7 posts	 in 2018/02 (average 1344/post)
   8753 words in  5 posts	 in 2018/03 (average 1750/post)
  11671 words in  7 posts	 in 2018/04 (average 1667/post)
  11813 words in 17 posts	 in 2018/05 (average 694/post)
  14436 words in 15 posts	 in 2018/06 (average 962/post)
  19415 words in 17 posts	 in 2018/07 (average 1142/post)
   7579 words in 10 posts	 in 2018/08 (average 757/post)
   9339 words in 12 posts	 in 2018/09 (average 778/post)
  12017 words in 11 posts	 in 2018/10 (average 1092/post)
  15617 words in 30 posts	 in 2018/11 (average 520/post)
  12774 words in 18 posts	 in 2018/12 (average 709/post)
 147123 words in 160 posts total in 2018 (average 919/post)

It looks as though I've been posting about every other day most months, and nearly every day in November. Not sure what happened in February through April -- those were little more than the done posts. Okay, that wasn't really very encouraging.

I'm not really up to writing a narrative summary of the year. I prefer stories with happy endings and, preferably, not too much bad stuff getting there. I also hate cliffhangers, and this year certainly counts in that category.

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

Last month was National Blog Posting Month, for those of us with smaller goals than writing a novel.

I did not succeed in writing a post every day, however I did have enough days with two posts to bring the count back up to 30. It's been a rough month -- I'm not complaining.

NaBloPoMo stats:
    489 2018/11/01--nablopomo.html
     89 2018/11/01--thankful-thursday.html
    617 2018/11/02--learn-enough-to-be-dangerous.html
    340 2018/11/03--s4s-ripple.html
   1880 2018/11/04--done-since-1028.html
    479 2018/11/05--random-words.html
     73 2018/11/06--signal-boost-poetry-fishbowl.html
    246 2018/11/07--music-with-my-family.html
    117 2018/11/08--thankful-thursday.html
    399 2018/11/09--meta-sticky-post.html
    346 2018/11/10--s4s-mary-omeara.html
   1522 2018/11/11--done-since-1104.html
   2042 2018/11/12--multitasking.html
    814 2018/11/13--taking-turns.html
    179 2018/11/14--more-randomness.html
     91 2018/11/15--thankful-thursday.html
    844 2018/11/16--weighty-matters.html
    143 2018/11/17--power-balance.html
    302 2018/11/17--s4s--mary-ellen-carter.html
   1445 2018/11/18--done-since-1111.html
    125 2018/11/19--cat-desk.html
    194 2018/11/20--moms-cranberry-relish.html
    177 2018/11/21--update-on-colleen.html
    353 2018/11/22--thankful-thursday.html
    207 2018/11/24--a-random-haiku.html
    348 2018/11/24--s4s-band-practice.html
   1486 2018/11/25--done-since-1118.html
    134 2018/11/26--family-health-update.html
     85 2018/11/28--winterfaire-2018.html
     51 2018/11/29--thankful-thursday.html
  15617 words in 30 posts this month (average 520/post)
      3 days with no posts

So there's that. There's also a useful word-counting script, as you can see above. It's in MakeStuff/blogging/word-count, but hasn't been made into a make target yet. Maybe next year?

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

Winterfaire 2018 is open at The Wordsmith's Forge. Browse! Shop! Buy!

I may set up a booth later; I have to look around the pavilion and see whether I have any stock left.

NaBloPoMo stats:
  15537 words in 29 posts this month (average 535/post)
     56 words in 1 post today
      2 days with no posts

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

Hmm. I don't actually feel accomplished -- slightly down is pretty much the best I can do these days -- I do appear to have gotten a few things done (though not nearly enough).

I guess the main thing was getting the little greenhouse (which we'd been using for storage while the garage was being worked on) emptied out, mainly by our housekeeper. Then I had movers come in Thursday to empty the storage pod. There is actually still space in the garage! Of course, that's partly because some of the stuff was taken upstairs, and the cabinets and one of the 2x4 and plywood shelving units were left in the shed. But still... things are a lot more accessible now.

That's also partly because I went up to Oak Harbor (where the nearest Home Depot is located) and got a couple of shelving units. While there, I stopped in at Island Drug and tracked down the CPAP supplies that I'd expected them to mail to me two weeks ago. They will now be mailed automagically.

I've done some work on the websites, mainly because I wanted to point to some of them in job applications and they weren't in any shape to be pointed at. Next steps are to make them fully responsive, and replace the static content on the front pages with blog entries. Both of those will require replacing the plain HTML pages with templates.

For those keeping score, 4 job applications, 2 rejections (one from an app submitted last week), one phone interview scheduled. Three posts counting last Sunday's weekly. None of that is enough. One Father's Day present (delivered earlier in the week in the form of a gift card -- thank you, YD). Left arm pretty good, left thumb worse. Not clear that the brace is helping much.

The top link for the week is Depression Is Like Snow, by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith. An excellent set of links both for depressed people and for people who want to help. Some don't apply to me, but may save someone else's life. Bonus tiny kitten and meeping otters.

A close second is Emacs is sexy. I ran across that a little over a year ago, but had forgotten. I also didn't know that .sexy was a top-level domain. It includes a link to xkcd: Lisp, which is required reading for anyone familiar with Kanef's song, The Eternal Flame. Both of those are required reading for anyone who loves Lisp.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)

Today I am thankful for...

  1. RainbowCon's wonderful guests and attendees and the music we made together.
  2. Colleen and Vivian for RainbowCon's "con suite".
  3. Good weather.
  4. Good company.
  5. Progress toward recovery.
  6. Progress toward employment, maybe.
  7. Interesting stuff to read.

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

(I'm a day late posting this -- I pretty much fell over last night. Onward!)

The reason I didn't post this on Sunday as I usually do is that last weekend was RainbowCon 2.1. The dead dog (just the family, Gwen, and Cat) ran until about 11pm Sunday night. The whole week was wonderful.

For those who only tune in occasionally, RainbowCon is our household's mini-convention. RC-0 was Glenn and Naomi's wedding; it was so much fun that we decided to do it every year. There are two tracks, filk and gaming, with filk being the main one. It's always held within a week or two of May 1st, and features a maypole dance on Sunday.

The guests arrived early in the week: Gwen Knighton Raftery on Monday and Cat Faber on Tuesday, which gave us plenty of time to hang out and plan the con. Being small, we can get away with doing our planning at the last minute, including having the members brainstorm workshop ideas and voting on them Friday night by dropping poker chips into paper bags. It's also small enough that we can make last-minute scheduling changes and let everyone know about them.

We had about 25 people, which (surprisingly) was about the same number we had at RC-1 in Seattle. That included some people we didn't know directly; hopefully word will get around. Everyone loved the venue -- it's beautiful and quiet. We boarded the cats, at Bayview Pet Resort (which I can recommend), and rented an RV for extra sleeping space. It was used mainly by Cat and j.

Colleen and here caregiver, Vivian, did an amazing job with the "con suite", which included round-the-clock snacks and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Sunday we went out for a dinner run, to Christopher's in Coupville. The specialize in seafood, and especially Penn Cove mussels. Coupeville is located about a block from the Penn Cove waterfront.

This post is already late enough that I'm not going to go into detail on the concerts and workshops. See the notes for a little more.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Public Service Announcement: RainbowCon 2.1 is now in progress. Last night we had Cat Faber's concert and the Poker Chip Bardic. Programming resumes at 11am today, with workshops and gaming in the afternoon and Gwen's concert and the Player's Choice circle after dinner.

We're about an hour and a half North of Seattle; more if the ferry is backed up.

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

Public Service Announcement: RainbowCon 2.1 is next weekend! It's our second annual house-con (last year would have been just before we closed on selling Rainbow's End). Details at the link. Come visit our island paradise. It'll be awesome.

I seem to be finally, gradually, getting off my arse with projects -- I've installed Elm and cleared out some space in my working tree -- though not actually started coding. Probably later today.

No progress on finding a job. I've noticed that I have a strong tendency to ignore problems and paperwork, apparetly thinking they'll go away if I don't look at them. I think I have to try -- again -- to get myself on a tight work schedule, with set times for job search, coding, and music. I suspect that the Pomodoro Technique -- 25-minute sprints -- may be about right. It's probably time to start using a "25min" tag.

Tuesday I cashed out my Amazon 401K. Net after taxes and transferring the Amazon shares to my brokerage account was enough to cover the rest of the remodeling, and maybe a month or two beyond that if nothing goes seriously wrong. I'm also getting a pretty substantial tax refund, mostly from the electric vehicle credit. I'll get another once I find the rest of the receipts for the work we did on Rainbow's End the year or so after we moved in. That will make the sale a pretty substantial net loss. :P

It's still a slow-motion trainwreck.

Cashing out the 401k required five phone calls -- I was a total wreck most of the afternoon.

In other news, our cat-lock -- a sliding gate across the entryway that keeps our cats from dashing out the front door the moment it's opened -- has become useless. Bronx (of course) learned that he could jump over it. Even turning the gate (a re-purposed whiteboard) 90 degrees to make it four feet high instead of three didn't work. N called Bronx "an agent of Chaos and Cuteness."

Notes & links, as usual )

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

This past weekend was Conflikt, which is why you're seeing this on a Monday. Not my best Conflikt ever, and I didn't do much singing, but a few good conversations and a lot of terrific music. I didn't do much singing; almost all of it in the memorial circle. (Which was very sparsely attended -- I was the only one there with a guitar. Flame performed a lot more than I did, but I did put in a good performance of "Keep the Dream Alive" at Kat's request. I sang "When I Go" in honor of Ursula LeGuin for my own turn, and sang "The Engineer" after Rick Weiss sang "The Designer".)

... and then, of course, I went and pulled something in my lower back, probably twisting around to pick up my guitar case from behind the chair. Ouch! Took a cyclobenzaprine, some naproxen, and a hot bath. The pain was a lot less this morning as a result, but I took one look at our heavy suitcase and called for a bellhop to load up a cart with it, and hoist it into the van at the other end.

I don't always meet someone new at cons, but I did this time -- Fallon (we-are-spc on DW). I always don't get enough sleep at cons, and this was no exception.

The high point of the con came at the end of Saturday's twofers, when Kat's boyfriend sang his marriage proposal. Kat was crying through most of it -- I know because I was sitting next to her holding the box with the ring. She spent the rest of the con looking somewhat dazed. Colleen and I probably did, too. This means we have two daughters planning to get married.

The trip down was rough, for reasons I don't fully understand except to note that my self-confidence is somewhere south of nonexistent these days. (I appear to be taking this more-or-less in reverse chronological order.) I was somewhere a little north of Mercer St. when I suddenly noticed that I was nearly out of gas -- I'd misread the gauge when we set out. So there ensued a somewhat frantic search for a gas station, which I finally found on Lander, off Airport. At that point, not being confident of my ability to find I5 from an unfamiliar direction in the dark, I set out on First Avenue, which I expected to end up on or near International Blvd. Which it eventually did, but by that time I was a bit frazzled.

So by the time we finally got to the con hotel, the Doubletree, Colleen had been giving me strange directions for a few blocks because she was sure that the con was in the Red Lion. I pretty much lost it at that point.

I did get a little programming done, with the result that this post's filename and subject line were generated with the command "make since". I am getting slightly better at not procrastinating.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Somehow I seem to have forgotten to post this on the day, but:

As of Wednesday, Colleen and I have been married for 42 years.

We celebrated last night by going out to Toby's (nice neighborhood bar in Coupeville) with Naomi.

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

RainbowCon 2.1 (our second convention, in our third year, thanks to a brief hiatus for moving) will be held on May 4-6, 2018! North American Guest of Honor is Cat Faber; Overseas Guest of Honor is Gwen Knighton Raftery. We are hoping there will be a toastmaster, but we don't have a name to announce for that yet.

Location is 4414 Skyline Drive, Freeland WA (on beautiful Whidbey Island), and there is information about local hotel options for people who want them. The new location has two acres of outdoor space in which we can spread out, hold our traditional maypole dance, and have outdoor song circles around the fire pit. Keep your eyes open for our neighborhood deer, who like to browse on the lawn.

We're still doing free membership but accepting donations to offset the out-of-pocket expenses of bringing our guests here and running this thing, for those who are able and willing to contribute. We welcome members who want to run events -- workshops, games, theme circles, or whatever. RainbowCon is a participatory event... everyone's welcome to take a turn at leading if they want to, but nobody is required to do more than show up and have fun!

Please contact nrivkis  at  fastmail with membership requests, or questions about the convention. Ditto if you want to be part of the programming. It will be really helpful to us if we can get early memberships, because then we'll be able to block out hotel space nearby.

We look forward to seeing you here!

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