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

BAD week. Colleen is in the hospital again, with damaged kidneys and multiple severe drug-resistant infections. She slipped getting back into bed Monday morning, after getting weaker all the previous week. It's pretty dire this time. V and I have been there every day.

N came up Thursday afternoon, and the kids and their SOs came up yesterday. It's that serious. See updates. I'm redacting almost all of the medical details in the notes; it'll go into the next Colleen update, with a content warning. Look for that tonight or tomorrow.

She's been delirious and mostly non-verbal from the infections and her wacked-out blood chemistry; the last coherent thing she said yesterday was "I want my Bear." All I could do was hold her hand, but that seemed to be enough.

N and I have decided to make this year's Rainbow Con a celebration for Colleen. She will almost certainly still be in rehab at that point, in which case we'll record and/or stream it. Come, if you can.

Notes & links, as usual )

I should post this.

mdlbear: (river)

Colleen took a turn for the worse yesterday between breakfast, which she nibbled at, and lunch, by which time she was very "out of it" and apparently in pain (although I think some of that may have been pure frustration when she couldn't find words.

Apparently a severe infection can have that effect, and can strike quickly -- this is apparently a lot like toxic shock. She has at least three highly-resistant superbugs -- they identified the third this morning.

The kids are coming to visit Saturday -- the soonest they could get here.

Colleen is a stubborn old cat, though. Wish her luck.

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

Yesterday (Monday) she fell trying to go from her walker to the bed -- got herself into an awkward position and seemed confused when I tried to tell her how to get out of it. Rather than simply having the EMTs put her back in bed we decided to use the opportunity to get her to the ER and have her looked at. Which turned out to have been the right thing to do.

She's not doing all that well; but doesn't seem to be in immediate danger. Medical info under the cut. )

She'll almost certainly end up back in rehab again after she's discharged. I'm very worried about the mental confusion and the weakness, although getting more oxygen into her seems to have helped.

I'm not getting a damned thing done on $GIG the last few days; that's probably not surprising but is a matter for concern.

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

Worried about Colleen. She seems to be getting worse, not better. I'm don't know what I should do. No idea what I can do. She's declining, and I'm scared. No idea what the fuck is going to happen when I go off to my 50th reunion in June.

I had a great time Monday doing a back-yard archaeology dig with N and (her younger kid) j. We actually found a few things, which made it a lot more exciting.

I finally managed to get the little yellow GL-iNet router configured as a wifi-to-ethernet bridge for the printer. That turns out to be tricky if you want both ends to be part of the same network. It's even pretty tricky if you don't. I am, however, finding my way around OpenWrt, the more versatile (and more up-to-date) of the two aftermarket Linux distributions for routers. I'm now working on the somewhat more ambitious project of setting up a bridge to the Box Room, using the Linksys WNDR4300 I ordered from eBay on Monday. That seems to be going a little more smoothly.

I ran the numbers on next year's taxes. Turns out I can reduce my withholding by over $1K/month. That will help a lot.

Pretty much done incorporating the editor's suggestions into $GIG; now I have to get the rest of it -- about the last third -- finished.

I really just want to crawl into a hole and hide until things get better. But I know that if I do that, they never will.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Another deeply mixed week -- Colleen's health continues to be a concern, and at this point I can't really tell whether she's improving or declining. She was better Friday than Thursday, but that's not saying much: Thursday left me a total wreck between some very dicey transfers for her doctor's visit, and her fall getting into her chair when we got back. And I wasted quite a lot of time -- more than a day -- playing with my little travel router.

(On the other hand, the router was fun. Its flakiness turned out to have been the power supply; meanwhile I'd re-flashed it with OpenWrt, which I hadn't played with before. On the gripping hand I still haven't able to reconfigure it to bridge my laser printer, which had been the original idea. It's almost certainly possible, but I shouldn't be spending the time right now.)

On the plus side, I seem to be making pretty good progress on $GIG ($CLIENT seemed impressed with the introduction; we'll see how that goes), and I'm getting an unexpected, and unexpectedly large, tax refund thanks mainly to the greatly increased standard deduction. I think this may be my first time ever taking the standard deduction.

Between being able to reduce my withholding and our housemates' financial contributions, it looks like I won't be needing a full-time job after all, and can take on part-time work only if it's fun. ($GIG falls into that category.) And we won't need to try to turn our expansion space into a vacation rental, at least not this year.

Speaking of categories, have a look at the HTTP Status Cats and GIT PURR! Git Commands Explained with Cats!.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Today was Colleen's birthday, so I arranged for N to meet me in her room at Prestige and do a little singing. So this was yet another unrecorded LgF concert, albeit a short one.

The set consisted of

  • The Fox. This is our favorite way to start a non-themed concert. It's an actual traditional folksong; the idea being to surprise the audience with something completely off-the-wall for the next song. I have no idea where we learned it; it was long before we were a group.
  • The October Country. This is the perfect follower for The Fox. It's one that the two of us co-wrote: N wrote the words, I wrote an initial melody (of which the first two verses and bridge survive almost intact), and then we woodshedded the heck out of it. It's always been one of Colleen's favorites.
  • Lock-Keeper. This is a gorgeous song by Stan Rogers that was written to be sung by the lock-keeper. N's idea to make it a duet, with her as the sailor, worked brilliantly. (As with the other songs we don't have rights to, you'll have to click through to the official lyrics.)
  • Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts. Colleen's favorite Bob Dylan song. Unlike some of his other long songs (Desolation Row, for example), this one actually has a plot. It's not currently in Lookingglass Folk's repertoire, but Steve has been singing it ever since hearing it on Joan Baez's album From Every Stage.
  • The Mary Ellen Carter This song, by the late Stan Rogers, is a frequent set closer and the household's all-around "defiantly optimistic" spirit-raiser. We just wish we didn't need it quite so often.

The descriptions are here partly as a way of jump-starting the body text of the song-pages; some of those are still broken because of bugs. Those, however, aren't likely to get fixed tonight.

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

Top news: Colleen is out of the hospital and into a SNF -- both for rehab (she's been in bed way too long) and because she's still on IV antibiotics. The central line hurts; the fact that I can't help is intensely stressful. It's a nearly-two-hour commute each way; I'm glad I don't have a job in Seattle any more.

I'm not getting much done in the time that's left over. I have writing and taxes to do; I probably ought to prioritize the taxes for now.

Since j's Bar Mitzvah last Saturday, all of my assorted nibling are officially adults (by at least one standard).

A couple of links around scientific papers. First the fun stuff: From Linux Journal, By Jupyter--Is This the Future of Open Science? The cool thing about Jupyter notebooks is that they can combine programs (in multiple languages), data, and text. You can also do that in Emacs with org-mode; there's a packaged version of Emacs for Science.

The other set, much more serious, can be found via Wednesday's links. The paper in question is a puliing-no-punches prediction of environmental collapse and its probable consequences. I do not normally put a content warning on my notes, but I think it's warranted in this case. We're talking here about a scientific paper the author of which has a link to "Resources for Emotional Support" in the sidebar of his blog. I'll make a separate post later this week, also with a cut tag.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

It occurs to me that I haven't given an update on Colleen, and one is due about now. Today (early afternoon) she finally got releast from the hospital, and is now in rehab. She still has almost two weeks worth of IV antibiotics; they installed a central line yesterday morning.

She can stand up (she transfered in and out of the wheelchair with the help of a walker), but can't walk yet -- that's most of what the PT team will be working on.

Her current location is Prestige Post-Acute and Rehab Center, 21008 76th Ave. W, Edmonds, WA 98026; room 313. In case anyone reading this wants to visit. The place is lovely -- has the ambiance of a luxury hotel (or maybe a spa -- I wouldn't know).

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

I don't think I did very much of interest this week, except for posting a third FAWM song (also posted as an S4S, here that I've been working on for over a week, and finishing a curmudgeon post (Git: The other blockchain) that's been sitting around in draft form since early December.

Colleen's health has been pretty bad all week. She now has a prescription for a wheelchair, so we're going to look at some the next time we're in Everett for an appointment. Which will be Wednesday. What would be awesome is a combination walker (rollator, actually) and wheelchair, but those don't seem to exist. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday researching.) There are several rollator/transport chair combinations, and one of those might well be worthwhile. It doesn't help that several appointments that might have helped got snowed out.

My collection of websites is a shambles (or possibly "is shambling" -- there are definitely some zombies in there). It doesn't help that anything that reminds me of one or the other of the houses we used to own is likely to throw me into a tailspin. May be worth a river post soon.

This week's top link is Five Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Chronic Illness. A certain subset of those may also be interested in Girls With Guts (see Friday for a descriptive quote).

Top video link is this episode of "What in the World?", a TV series that I remember with some fondness from my early days. It will appeal to fans of archaeology and/or Vincent Price. There's a (regrettably short) YouTube playlist here -- the show was on before home videotaping was a thing; most of the episodes have probably been lost.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: (river)

This morning Colleen turned to me and said something to the effect of "It's our anniversary. Forty-three years and we ain't killed each other yet." She added that "it's been close a couple of times", and I can't argue with that.

Here's to another forty-three, love. a bunch of    flowers with the words 'for you'

mdlbear: (river)

Not a whole lot today. I had been expecting Colleen to get out of the hospital today; apparently that will happen tomorrow. Desti had the cyst on her shoulder removed; she was gone most of the day. I got very little else done -- I could blame worry, but really it was just being unable to focus.

My health doesn't seem to have changed much; that's a very good thing. It could be better -- Colleen seems to be planning a healthier diet, which will help -- but it could also be a lot worse.

NaBloPoMo stats:
  15457 words in 28 posts this month (average 552/post)
    110 words in 1 post today

mdlbear: (river)

So, once again I find myself approaching the end of a day without a post, so I'll give you an update on Colleen. When she got to her appointment with the nephrologist Monday, they took one look at her lab results and told her to go the hospital, stat. Apparently her kidney function was way down. (It has improved somewhat since then, but it's still rather scary.)

It feels like a lot longer that two days. I'm worn out. Some changes in her medication this evening should help with her level of comfort. (I'm going to skip the details, since I'm too frazzled to put in a cut tag just now. She's fired her urologist, which is expected to be an improvement.

I called the kids and my Mom a little while ago. Should call Mom before I leave for home. I've been keeping N in the loop via Slack.

Long Week

2018-08-14 08:44 pm
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

The little grey tabby cat who wandered into our lives on Saturday wandered back out Sunday evening, when the boy from across the street came inquiring about him. It turns out his name is Cecil. I gave the kid a brief talk about the hazards of being an outdoor cat on an island that's also home to eagles. We'll miss him, but he's back with his family now and at least he was safe indoors when the cloudburst hit on Saturday. And he's not far away if I want to visit.

Yesterday we got a call from Colleen's nephrologist, who had apparently just gotten through reviewing the results of the lab work she'd had done on Friday, telling her to get to an ER as soon as possible. Eeeep? So she's on antibiotics again, and this evening she was transferred to Providence Hospital in Everett, which is where said nephrologist practices. We probably won't know anything more until late tomorrow, but she's not in any immediate danger.

Longer term, who knows?

It's been a long week the last three days.

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

NOT a good week, modulo a couple of things. It started at bedtime last Sunday: I asked Colleen whether she was ready to go to sleep and she had trouble answering. I tried a couple of times and a few more questions, and after five or ten minutes decided to call 911. Good call.

Apparently mental confusion can be a side effect of a massive infection. She was released Thursday. If you're easily triggered by medical TMI, you might want to skip the notes.

After visiting Colleen in the hospital Monday, I drove up to Oak Harbor (for those of you not familiar with the island, the hospital in Coupeville is about 2/3 of the way there from home, so it made sense to combine trips) and picked up my new facehugger. It has a humidifier, a cellular modem, bluetooth, and a very comfortable mask (Philips Respironics DreamWear). First time I've had a mask that didn't leak. That was the first good thing this week.

The second was a very good singing lesson, and the third was making this post about planned projects -- we'll see how that goes.

Thursday was rough. For some reason, after taking Colleen home from the hospital, I ended up both physically and mentally exhausted, and in pain from what appears to be a torn muscle in my left arm that's been bothering me for a while. I was close to the edge, and over it a couple of times, for the rest of the day. Friday was worse.

The fourth (and last) good thing was taking another run at my taxes and finding out that I'm probably not going to owe anything. That, however, was blown all to hell by finding that the latest invoice from the builder was more than I had in my checking account (I'd known that was coming, but it was still alarming), and then taking another run at the budget spreadsheet and finding myself about $1500/month short. It went up to $1900 after I found a couple of cells that hadn't gotten added with the rest of the column of annual expenses. I don't usually have trouble with Friday the 13th; this year was an exception.

I spent Saturday mostly being desperate and despairing. I'm going to need an income, and sooner than I'd expected. And my self-confidence is completely shot at this point. N finally got me calmed down by telling me to concentrate on self-care for the next couple of days; after that we'll work something out. I remain skeptical about that. After enjoying a year not working and getting very little else done, things don't look good for finding work. The projects list was meant to improve my marketability as a freelancer, but I don't have the year or two it would take to build up a reputation and a steady income.

I'm reasonably calm at the moment, but it still feels like I'm re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Which sank exactly 106 years ago today.

In other news, the copy of The Annotated Thursday that I ordered ten days ago is scheduled to arrive... next Thursday. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

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: (e8)

I'm really glad we got Colleen's medicare coverage straightened out (or mostly -- her Part D (drug) coverage is not fully functional yet, nor is her supplemental policy). Because she went in to Shoreline Clinic for lab work on Tuesday after her visit to the SSA office, and Wednesday we got a call telling her to go to the ER and get IV fluids, because her creatinine level was high. That's related to kidney function, and in this case indicated a problem with her catheter.

So she spent the rest of the week in Northwest Hospital; she was discharged Friday. And Medicare covers it. I spent much of the week doing medicare-related paperwork; being retired may be relaxing once you get to actually do it -- retiring sure isn't. I'm still not done with Colleen's.

Meanwhile, I've been reading. I finished Counterexamples in Analysis, which is a really fun read. It had been used as the textbook for Advanced Calculus up until the year I went to Carleton, so there were enough copies lying around for me to get intrigued by such perverse creatures as "a space-filling curve that's almost everywhere almost nowhere". In the process, supplementing it with Wikipedia dives, I've finally gotten a little more comfortable with ring theory.

Last night, between John Baez on the number 24 on YouTube and a bit of digging on Wikipedia, I also started getting the hang of the Monster Group and E8. They turn out to be related to the Binary Golay code, a 24-bit error-correcting code invented by Marcel Golay, who I knew of because he'd collaborated with my father on the Savitzky–Golay filter!

I've also been reading Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces - it's mostly review for me, but it's a good presentation and there are a few good nuggets in there. The Codeless Code, a collection of software-development koans, is also worth of note, and of everything I've mentioned here is probably of the most interest to people casually interested in the sociology of software development. Or possibly Zen Buddhism.

I've also been looking around Don Knuth's home page -- Don was my favorite professor at Stanford -- which eventually led me back to Surreal Numbers. I see that I don't have a good set of links for those.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Long month this week. Colleen started feeling ill Monday, and didn't eat anything to speak of; she spent most of the day dozing in her chair, and decided to sleep there at night. About midnight she called -- she'd fallen out of the chair; no telling whether she'd slipped when getting up, or accidentally hit the lift button. Called 911 for help. In retrospect, we should have had her taken to the ER at that point.

I decided to work from home Tuesday, which was a Good Thing. About 3:30 when I went up to check on her she was incoherent -- "out of it". Called 911; she was too weak to walk to the lift, so they had to carry her down in a stair chair. She had about three different bladder infections and was severely dehydrated; it was the low blood pressure from the latter that accounted for the weakness and incoherence.

Harborview's cafeteria is actually pretty decent.

She was discharged Friday; was good to have her home.

Meanwhile, since being with a sleeping person in a hospital leaves one with lots of time, I'd managed to get in about 2.5 days worth of work, and finally got the CR I'd been working on shipped Friday. I went in to work Thursday afternoon after establishing that C wasn't going to be discharged that day, and had my annual review conversation with $BOSS.

I'd been very skeptical about the new annual review process, which is absolutely freaking weird. Peer reviews have two questions, with a 60-word limit for each:

  1. What is this person's superpower? (required)
  2. Do you have any growth ideas for them? (optional)

The manager's part of it is the same two questions, only I think without the 60-character limit. The self-evaluation part has four questions.

As I said, skeptical. But it actually seemed to go very well: it's designed to highlight your strengths, and completely ignore past performance. The feedback I got from my peers (my manager could see who wrote which one, but one gets them unedited) was basically dead on. The fact that $PROJECT was in "friends and family" testing and stalled due to something that wasn't my fault (fixed by Friday) helped a lot.

My favorite superpower was "CraftWeaver". Others mentioned my willingness to mentor and answer questions from newer devs. Someone specifically mentioned the fact that when someone sends out a question in email to a wide audience, I'm usually the one who jumps on it with an answer. The most common growth idea was that I should speak up more in meetings.

Of course, the other thing going on in the household is moving. I got the tools sorted on Sunday, and with several peoples' help got the art sorted, mostly Sunday and yesterday. N's criterion for keeping art is pretty loose, based on the fact that it stores flat and can be rotated. Chaos and the Dwarves also took quite a lot of it; there are comparatively few pictures left in the discard pile. Most of the furniture is gone from the Great Room; the only things left are the klic-klacs (which we're keeping), the blue sectional (which we're keeping through next week), and the piano. Want a free piano?

Notes & links, as usual )

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

As usual, a fairly unproductive week at work, made even less productive by the fact that we had to be out by noon Thursday so they could move everyone on the floor to a slightly larger floor next door. And we're only supposed to be in that location for another 6-9 months. Not that I really expect to be there that long.

I actually got some work done after the afternoon meeting (I never turn down free food) that was scheduled after our move deadline - it was just a matter of finding a quiet place and firing up my laptop.

I need to talk to my financial advisor. I've been putting it off -- I'm really good at that -- but it's gotten more serious now that I'm about to turn 70 and will have to start withdrawing money from my retirement accounts. Plural. And now that $A stock is up over 800. (That suggestion courtesy of my therapist.)

Friday I tagged along with Colleen and G' while they went to C's urology and doctor's appointments. And, of course, Mazatlan, the Mexican restaurant across the parking lot from Urology Northwest. In between, C and G' went to Costco while I hung out in the UW Clinic (across another parking lot from Costco) and tried to get some work done. This was hampered by my having forgotten to bring my VPN token :P Need to pick up a spare to keep in my backpack.

Actually, should keep one in my backpack and one at home, and stop keeping it on my badge lanyard. In fact, ... *puts token in backpack* Less likely to get wet in the rain.

Went grocery shopping with Colleen yesterday. Exhausting.

The big insight for the week (see Sunday) is that not only do I not multitask worth a damn, but it takes me a long time to context-switch. I'm at my most productive when I can work on one thing pretty much all day. Which is one reason why being on call sucks so much.

Notes & links, as usual )

Edit after discovering that I'd missed Saturday.

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

Well, it's another year. There always seems to be a lot of potential around transitions like this, but it rarely seems to get very far. A lot of my goals for this year are carry-overs from last year. I've been spending too much time beating myself up over things I regret not doing last year (last decade, last quarter-century, ...), many of which simply can't be fixed. I keep screwing myself over, and I don't really understand it. (More on that in a later post, hopefully.)

This does nothing to help with my depression. It may, conceivably, help me fight procrastination. Maybe. I'll start working on that tomorrow.

I have gotten a few more things done in the last 10 days than in most comparable periods in the recent past. A few. Largely reading and research around tiny houses and shipping container houses, and a couple of fun dives into math.

Last weekend Colleen and I celebrated our 40th anniversary by going out twice: for dinner at the Melting Pot Saturday, and brunch at Salty's on Sunday (the actual day). That, at least, was good. It was a good set of mutual gifts to ourselves -- the last thing we need right now is more stuff.

Speaking of which, my book on tidying seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the clutter. Fortunately, I found a different one yesterday at Half Price Books.

Lots of links in the notes, for those of you following along at home.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

I keep listening to the jingle of the little bell and tag on his collar. Our other cats are quiet little ninjas. When I couldn't find him I'd call his name and he'd jingle. When he stopped responding to his name I knew something was wrong.

I've said that he was "my cat", because he chose me and loved me and followed me, but in truth he was more Colleen's cat. She was the only one whose lap he would sit on. He would curl up there for hours, or sit on the footrest of her recliner, or lie on her chest next to her heart.

When he started being a picky eater, she was the one who made sure he ate, and chased the other cats away from his bowl. She fed him cat treats, and when we had bacon for breakfast she would break off pieces for him.

pictures under the cut. If you're on LJ, go over to Dreamwidth, which does a better job of scaling the pix. )

Finally, here are some links related to FIP:

links, cut for length. )
mdlbear: A brown tabby cat looking dubiously at a wireless mouse (curio)

Long month this last week. Last Sunday, when I st/rolled to the West Seattle street fair with Colleen and G, and swapped songs in the Great Room with N, G, and G's friend Ed, seems like it happened to somebody else, long ago.

It's now four days since I helped my dear friend Curio cross the Rainbow Bridge, and learned that I could cry again. Three days since I pulled my left QL muscle again, walked an agonizing third of a mile home from the bus stop, and re-learned how to use a cane. Less than two days since our friend Jim Pearce died.

My sister Naomi was there for me with Curio, and again after my injury. Colleen and I have cried on one another's shoulders more than once. Desti, our household incarnation of Bast, has sat with me and comforted me. Friends have written condolences. My back feels better this morning, but there are too many empty places in my heart, and they ache.

Please, Universe: I understand that life and health are fragile things. You don't have to keep reminding me.

Links and more in the notes, as usual.

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

Rough week, mostly. Especially from Sunday through Tuesday; Naomi speculated that I may have been fighting off a bug. It's also possible that it was due to hypoglycemia or something else. Colleen's health is better, so that's something. The recent changes are, finally, working.

Curio's weight is back up -- almost to where the vet said it should be -- and I've been getting some good cat therapy from him and Desti. Cricket, though, has been a little escape artist. We're having to make sure she's locked up if more than one person tries to go out.

My workgroup is moving, so I worked from home Thursday and Friday -- that helps. I'm not enjoying work much, though; that's a problem.

Form CC-305 OMB Control Number 1250-0005 [pdf] "Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability" came by at work, and it lists major depression under "Disabilities include, but are not limited to". So (after sleeping on it) I checked the damned box. The label says "YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY (or previously had a disability)", so it doesn't matter whether I can handle it now. Not clear that I can, really. The label on the box is amusingly reminiscent of "Are you now or have you ever been..." -- which I guess is one of the reasons I hesitated.

Links in the notes.

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

Hmm. Long week. The week included a lot of moving stuff around setting things back up after the wedding; that's probably what's behind my current back problems. (See QOTD from yesterday.)

My loaner project at work is winding down, though not as quickly as I'd like. Not feeling very good about work right now.

On the gripping hand, the Great Room looks fantastic, with much more room in its new configuration (blue couch in the SE corner). And Colleen's new baker's rack nightstand has been installed, and looks great. And I upgraded Nova to Debian Jesse, which rocks. (Not entirely clear what I'll do with the extra monitor space; possibly mostly devote it to the to.do file, which I usually edit on Nova anyway when I'm at home. x2x rocks, too.

I have to tell you about x2x(1). (For those of you still stuck on legacy operating systems, the equivalent is synergy or, if one of your machines runs linux, x2vnc.) It's the exact opposite of a remote desktop application (which you get for free in Linux) -- it lets you share a mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. You just sit their displays side by side, tell x2x which edges are next to one another, and your mouse slides smoothly between them, taking the keyboard with it. Cut and paste work perfectly. Indispensable. I also set it up at work, between my desktop and laptop.

Links in the notes, as usual.

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: a locomotive engine dangling from a hole in a building (trainwreck)

Not such a good week. Productive, but not fun.

I did have some good times with Colleen, going for a drive last Sunday, and to the Northwest Tea Festival yesterday. Colleen's favorite vendor, Silk Road, was a no-show, so she used the money she didn't spend there to buy us lunch. A really great outing.

I spent last Sunday updating old laptops -- they're all old and the ones capable of running Windows 7 really suck at it, but they all make good Linux boxes. I spent the rest of the day working my way through the piles of accumulated bills. Yesterday I spent the evening switching online accounts off of credit cards and onto debit cards.

Today I'll tackle the medical bills, which I've been ignoring for way too long.

Naomi pointed out, rather sharply, that my biggest problem isn't being stupid (though I've done a lot of that), but my habit of ignoring the hard stuff and hoping it will go away. Which, of course, is massively stupid, since ignoring things like that only makes them progressively worse. Which makes them harder to face. And so on.

This is what's called a vicious circle. With BIG SHARP TEETH. I think I need an icon for that.

Oddly, the fact that I've cut back on my antidepressant doesn't seem to have made much of a difference. This leads me to suspect that I should drop the SSRI altogether and switch to something with a different mechanism. Possibly tryptophan.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

All in all a pretty eventful week. Not clear whether the big event was Thanksgiving -- which the YD did much of the work for, thankfully -- or Colleen moving upstairs. And I did a huge amount of puttering around the latter, including (in no particular order) a lot of laundry, installing grab bars, moving the support pole, folding up the couch and putting the carpet back down, and no doubt a lot of thngs I've forgotten.

Some of our king-sized sheets appear to have gone missing. Grump. But it's really nice to be back in our own bed, in our own bedroom. Wow.

Hmm. More visits with Uncle Ken, Susan, and company, including dinner at a local pizza joint called Talarico, where we met Susan's daughters. She hasn't met Chaos yet.

Some good links in the notes.

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

High point of the week: Colleen managed a car transfer in her PT appointment on Tuesday, so we scheduled a drive for Saturday. It was lovely. We spent nearly two hours in the Honda, driving around West Seattle, with me pointing out the sights. First long drive together in ages. Half a year at least.

Also yesterday morning, I was awakened by the doorbell. When I come to the door at some insane hour of the morning and see a woman holding a book, the first thing I think of is not long-lost relative. But it was, in fact, my cousin Susan, who lives here in Seattle. Her father, Dad's brother Kenneth, is visiting for Thanksgiving; he came later with her husband Dan. So... yay!

We exchanged phone numbers, so she can call ahead next time. We'll definitely have to get together a couple more times this week while Uncle Ken is still here.

I was a Useful Bear last weekend; I finally got around to installing new showerheads, and the adjustable shower-cum-grab-bar that's been sitting around since April or so. It was taking forever to drill through the tile in the shower stall, so I went down to Home Despot Sunday morning and picked up a Ryobi hammer drill and some new bits. Never did get around to trying the hammer feature (which works best on concrete and brick -- I'll be needing that this weekend), but tile/glass bits and a lower speed setting made all the difference.

I need to walk more. I did manage a couple of walks over the course of the week, and my walking speed seems to be up a little (probably thanks to the daily trek to and from the bus stop), but it really isn't enough. My weight has also gone up, in spite of being back on BP meds. Grumph.

I have set the wheels in motion for an interview loop at Amazon; I'm hoping to interview at a couple of other places as well, though that's by no means certain.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

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

The big news: Friday Colleen went upstairs (supervised by two PTs -- they'd originally been planning to do car transfers but it was raining). They marked out where I should put grab bars; I got one of them in yesterday.

Lots of puttering, last weekend and this. Finally got new showerheads installed. The new hand shower has a vertical bar that can be used as a grab bar; it turns out that drilling tile is a bitch, so it's only held on by two screws at the moment. I'll work on that some more this afternoon. Brought up a box of cookbooks. Etc.

Friday came over yesterday (yes, Friday was here on Saturday) and made curried chicken. There are leftovers; not entirely sure what we're having for dinner tonight. We also had pizza (last Saturday) and Chinese (Friday).

I got some work done on the Steve.Savitzky.net and Rainbow's End Massage websites, though not all that much.

I had some notion last week of dropping the "Done" posts back to one per week, and doing occasional posts with real content in between. Well, I got halfway there...

Lots of links in the notes; you can read about the Autism Speaks kerfuffle, perfect forward secrecy and other security matters (Hi there, NSA), and Avengers AU fanfic with cats, among many others.

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

So the govenrnment is shut down because the Republicans don't want to accept the fact that the ACA is the law of the land, and that on the whole people are benefiting from it. Idiots. Meanwhile their popularity is sinking like a proverbial rock, and one can only hope that the voters have long memories. They don't, of course.

There's good news in the household, though. The YD has broken up with her unsuitable boyfriend, on the advice of her best friend. Yay! It's going to be hard on her for a little while, but it's a very good thing. He's a creep.

And Colleen finally saw her doctor, who cleared her to put full weight on her formerly-broken ankle. This should clear the way for the PT to work on getting her walking again.

We spoke to somebody from a financial management firm about my rollover IRAs; we almost certainly need management, but it's likely not to be Fisher Investments.

So, on the whole, things are looking up.

Details and a few links in the notes.

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

Or anyway, the last ten days of last month. I finally got around to doing some much-needed maintenance on the computers and their configuration... and figured out why the UPS kept turning itself off -- it must have been doing its periodic battery test... on a totally dead battery. :P

I also got the backup scripts back in operation. I now have a complete, almost-ready-to-boot mirror drive as well as my traditional incremental backup. What, me paranoid?

The Shuttle box I've been using as a desktop system is dead; it runs for a few minutes, then kernel panics. Possibly memory. Not going to worry about it; it's had a good run. I seem to be doing ok with just the netbook for most purposes.

Colleen's caregiver turned in her resignation on Monday, after leaving early Saturday for a family emergency, and not showing up at all on Monday. That's ok; today was going to have been her last day anyway. We've doubled Emmy's allowance.

The YD is just as good a caregiver as May was, and more concerned with cooking things the whole household would like to eat. I'll miss the occasional spicy dish, but that's what sriracha's for.

Colleen is mostly doing better, gradually getting her strength back. The YD is more willing to be firm with her about exercise than May was, so that's a plus, too. Of course she did spend the week with a fever of 102, not eating, and ended up spending most of the weekend in the hospital. (With a UTI, low blood pressure, dehydration, and messed-up blood chemistry.) She's better now, as I said.

The LG washer/dryer combo arrived last Saturday; they couldn't actually install it because there wasn't a 110V outlet within reach. Got that taken care of, and finished the install myself. Not as tight against the wall as it should be, but it'll do. It's nice to have the extra laundry capacity.

Somebody, probably May, didn't close the door to the deck firmly enough, and it blew open. Naturally, out little cat burgler found it and went outside. She hadn't gone far, though; after I tracked her down Naomi coaxed her back inside, looking wet and bedraggled. I doubt she's learned anything from her little adventure, though.

Oh, and the idiot Republicans let the government go into shutdown. Again. The problem with coming up with a string of lies aimed at getting stupid people to vote the way you want, is that eventually they end up voting in stupid people who believe the lies. Oops. Did I mention idiots?

Links in the notes.

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

Well, I have Nova (the file server) back online, though not fully configured. I also reconfigured the network, adding another WAP. This lets me drop the main SSID, rainbows-end, down to 802-11G. Trying to run G and N on the same network turns out to be a serious mistake. I resurrected the Netgear WNR3500L from Starport for the purpose, so it's running rainbows-end-N and functioning and providing 4 ethernet ports over in the desk area.

Meanwhile, Colleen is making progress -- she gets into her power chair on a regular basis, though she's still not too good at unassisted transfers.

Desti, our little feline escape artist, managed to let herself out onto the roof via the bathroom window, which was open because the mis-drilled holes in the tub had been repaired, and the workman hadn't bothered to close the door. I know, it's expecting a lot, and my little bear-like brain kept thinking up ways to make it my fault, including not remembering to mention the possibility to Naomi, and not having cat-proofed the door to Naomi's bedroom. Desti had, in fact, been put in there, but she was out the door before Naomi could get across the room to stop her.

Fortunately, "The Cat Came Back, the very next day" -- Curio stood on the kitchen counter meowing out the window, and I heard an answer. Opened the front door and there she was. She was very clingy for the next day or so.

Think she's learned not to leave the house? Nawwww. Not likely.

We also had our new instant hot water tap installed. But it didn't work. Spent about an hour tracing tubes and verifying the installation before finally figuring out that it was plugged into the same outlet as the garbage disposal. Both outlets are swtched. :P

We'll have to have an electrician out to re-wire it; it's not a job I feel like tackling myself. While he's here he can install a 110V outlet upstairs in the closet -- the washer-drier combo doesn't take 220. Naturally, nobody sells an adapter. :P

A good collection of links in the notes, as usual.

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

The big news is that COLLEEN IS HOME!!. The bad news is that she still is nowhere near being able to walk (despite PT twice a week), and can't even transfer reliably from the bed to her power chair. Getting her into bed the evening she came home was hard enough; she made several attempts to get back in the chair the next day, but couldn't.

It's going to be a long, difficult, expensive month. We have someone coming in during the day to take care of her and cook, but I still have to change her at least twice/day, and usually more. Ouch! I'm too old for the amount of bending-over required, and even with the suggestions that Naomi made about body mechanics, there's still a fair amount of it.

At least the cats are getting along better, and Curio seems to be especially fond of Colleen. Of course: the bed smells like me, and has someone in it all the time who's happy to pet him.

Having cats around is a Very Good Thing.

In other news, the disk in my file server is dead. And I haven't pulled the backup drive to check it -- that was supposed to be particularly easy because it's in a dock. It's not easy because the dock has a key, and I can't find it. So I'll have to pull the whole damned thing, or else install a new main drive.

If the backup drive is also hosed, I won't have lost too much -- most of the really important stuff is off on the web host. It's ironic, though, that I discovered this by trying to log in in order to convert my main website from CVS to git. I'm not sure the CVS repo is uploaded. I don't think the copy of my password keychain on the laptop is up to date, either. And I'll lose most of my audio -- ripped CDs and concert recordings.

And our TV is still dead. Its problem seems to be thermal -- it runs for a couple of hours, then turns itself off. I went to Fry's and got another -- smaller (29" as opposed to 32"), but newer and lighter.

I've also written an article about git: Why and How To Keep Your Master Happy. It's work-related -- all of our new hires and many of my other coworkers seem to be unfamiliar with git and how to keep their changelog nice and tidy. Should have written it six months ago -- I wrote a rather sketchy wiki page, but it didn't go into the motivation for any of it.

Other links, as usual, in the raw notes:

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

The big news this week: Colleen has been ok'ed for full weightbearing on her formerly-broken ankle, and my tax refund finally showed up. (I found out about that today, but they post deposits at 11:30pm so technically it counts. Or something.)

The downside, of course, is that I get to spend the entire weekend writing checks for the many (mostly medical) bills that I've been ignoring for the last several months. And making the house ready for Colleen to come home to.

Apart from that...

We have a huge new cat tower in the Great Room. The cats mostly ignore it, of course, in favor of hanging out on the floor. Though Desti does like curling up on top of the old tower, which is now in the master bedroom.

The guinea pigs' cage fell off its table; I suspect the cats. I managed to recapture the two that fled the scene. Whew! We moved the cage downstairs to the basement, which is a cat-free zone because G. is allergic.

("G." is of course ambiguous; as well as being Naomi's daughter, she shares her initial with our housekeeper, and her name with the housekeeper's daughter. Fortunately, the youngest G. (g.?) has a nickname.

I "fixed" the YD's old laptop, by first dual-booting it with Ubuntu, then booting up the restore partition and doing a nuke-and-pave on Windows. Surprisingly, the operation didn't affect Ubuntu's Grub bootloader, so I won that round.

It took six hours to install all the updates. Vs. about half an hour for Ubuntu.

I bought a double-edge safety razor. Fairly expensive, but I'll save it on blades over the course of a few months. It also gives a very nice shave.

I spent a lot of time last weekend puttering, and managed to get several boxes emptied, and brought several more down to the garage for storage.

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

I'll do one of my usual "done recently" posts tomorrow, maybe. For now, the big news: Yesterday Colleen's orthopedist told her she can go back to using her formerly-broken ankle. It's healed!

She has another week and a half of fairly intensive physical therapy to go before she comes home, but I'm getting my wife back!

(For those of you just dropping in from other planets, Colleen broke her ankle the day we moved into the house, on May 24th, and has been home precisely once, for half a day, since then.)

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

I really ought to update more often, oughtn't I?

Well, the news from this month is that my health insurance stopped paying for Colleen's nursing home after 10 weeks; we moved her to a much less expensive (~$4K/month, vs. 400/day) place nearby. I also bought her a power wheelchair off Craigslist.

She moved the weekend my Mom came out from N. Carolina (by way of my brother's place in Logan, Utah), and the weekend that Naomi's massage school graduation took place. I rented a wheelchair van for the weekend. It proved to be something of an adventure -- nasty, uncomfortable things. Though not in the full hobbit sense of also making one late for dinner; things worked out pretty well in that respect.

... so Colleen actually got to come home last weekend! Not to stay, of course :P -- she still can't put full weight on the broken ankle. But it was a good visit. And she made it to N's graduation. And it was good.

... and this last week I finally got after the IRS about my tax refund that they've been sitting on, and set the wheels in motion to get $10K out of my IRA in the mean time. Next week I may finally get almost sort of caught up on bill-paying. Sort of. For a little while.

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

I hadn't realized just how comforting petting a cat can be. Our cats are wonderful. Especially Curio, who spends most of every night in my room.

Lots of puttering around the house over the last couple of weeks -- that's largely because other things are something of a trainwreck. In particular, Colleen's situation. Our insurance stops paying for her nursing home stay at the end of next week. We'd been told weeks ago, but at the time 10 weeks seemed like plenty of time. At her appointment last week, though, she was told that she could only put 10% of her weight on it. Gleep!

Most of the obvious options are out -- it's unlikely she could get the level of care she apparently needs at a group home or assisted living place. Which would be close to $6K for a month's stay, in any case.

We may be able to have her at home. If she can handle a commode, and transfers in and out of a wheelchair, it'll work. We will almost certainly need to have someone come in in the daytime to care for her, but between me, Emmy, and Naomi we can probably handle night-time. Hopefully.

I haven't been doing all that well. I don't really register stress, but it's there. Between that and depression (even with drugs), and a general low energy level, I'm probably pretty close to the edge. Can't be helped. The feeling of helplessness doesn't help, either. Help?

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

Last Saturday I bought my tablesaw -- specifically, the Ryobi 10 in. Table Saw with Wheeled Stand-RTS31 at The Home Depot. It works. Getting it into the garage was something of an operation, because I don't have a ramp on that door. But I managed, with a couple of boards and a fair amount of wrangling.

It's by far the best saw I've used, though that isn't saying much; I'm particularly fond of the sliding crosscut table. It doesn't have the "no tool blade change" the spec sheet says it has, but that's the only downside so far. It even came with a carbide blade, so I was able to get started immediately.

We had some more excitement with the cats. Both of them got out last night, via the vent window in the upstairs bathroom. Naome heard them (thanks to their nice new collars with bells and nametags) and managed to get them back in from the roof. But... sheesh! We love them, but they're a handful and a half. Each.

We're gradually learning to be more careful. But we decided last night that it's ok to leave them out as long as we don't have contractors in the house. It's good. The house needs cats.

Colleen's orthopedics appointment got rescheduled by the doctor; his next opening was two weeks out. We're working on getting her something sooner, because Good Grief! She has a new roommate as of yesterday, who mostly speaks Estonian.

I've been fighting depression. At least I can sometimes notice it; that's something.

Oh, and Amazon renewed my contract until the end of August. By which time I hope to have something permanent lined up. Anyone in Seattle need a Java or Perl hacker?

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

It's been a l o o o n g month. But we're moved in! Naomi's move was today; there's still a garage full of boxes, but the main part of it's done. And we have a *tub* upstairs. A *big* tub. We won't be needing a hot tub.

We also have bookshelves. The Elfa set that I installed in the "office corner" of the Great Room, the Elfa in the MBR and the YD's bedroom, and now (at last) Naomi's bookcases. They look rather empty at the moment, but that will change. We also have boxes of books. Two households worth.

There's even a low bookcase/credenza in front of my desk, so I now have someplace to put the printers. OK, my "desk" consists of a piece of plywood on sawhorses at the moment, but it's the principle of the thing.

In other news, Colleen has been off her feet for three weeks now. It looks like she's in for another four. :( At least Park West is a hell of a lot better than White Blossom, where she stayed in San Jose.

I'm finding it a little hard to believe that Rainbow's End is home now.

I should post more often, shouldn't I?

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

We're moved. I moved the last two van-loads of stuff out of the apartment Friday (twice as much as I'd anticipated), and turned in the keys. Exhausted. I ended up working only about a half week last week.

Saturday, Colleen moved (or was moved) from the hospital to a nursing home: Park West, on California Avenue in W. Seattle. It's about 5 minutes' drive from the house.

The cost of 6 weeks in a nursing home, even with insurance, is terrifying. I am all out of spoons, and right on the edge of overload. If I sound snappish, please forgive me.

In other news, Rainbow's End is full of boxes. A pot of gold would come in handy, but I don't think we packed it.

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

It's been a long, rough month this last week. It started last Monday with Colleen's endoscopic procedure to clean out her bile duct. That was apparently successful, but left her very bloated (they pump air in to give them space to work). She couldn't burp it up, because she was hurting too much to sit up or move around. And did I mention the mobility issues?

As a result, she couldn't keep much of anything down. Friday she fell in the bathroom, having missed the scooter by inches. The EMTs arrived only 15 minutes after the movers.

Did I mention that we moved Friday? Yeah. Stressed much?

The EMTs helped her up, but her pulse was racing, and they were unable to get a good blood pressure reading. They called an ambulance and took her to Northwest, where they immediately started pumping a very dehydrated Colleen full of fluid. Oh, and did I mention the diarrhea?

In the afternoon, I got a call at work from Naomi - the movers couldn't get either of the recliners up the stairs. I called Acorn's tech support to find out how to get the seats off the stairlift, and then had to explain how to take the back off the smaller of the two recliners to get it in through the bedroom door. :P

Sometime that afternoon, Colleen was transferred from Northwest to the UW main hospital. Not clear why.

Saturday, Colleen's pain levels finally subsided to the point where she was able to notice the extra pain in her right ankle. She'd broken it in the fall.

The "holiday" weekend was spent alternately moving (we'd cleverly had the movers take only the furniture, figuring that we'd take the boxes and electronics in the van) and visiting Colleen in the hospital. There was more stuff left in the apartment that I'd realized. Growf. I was only able to manage two loads/day.

Yesterday we found out that Colleen's ankle is broken in such a way that she can't have a walking cast. So she's going to need 24-hour care until it heals enough to walk on. Great.

<whinge>

Devon went home this morning. The dishwasher appears to be broken. There are still a couple of van-loads up at the apartment; fortunately we don't have to be out until Friday. One of our sets of apartment keys is missing. My depression is back, enough that I'm walking slowly enough to notice. Did I mention that my left ankle hurts? My tax refund hasn't arrived yet, and I need it.

I miss Colleen. The compensation, such as it is, is that the house still isn't in good enough shape for her to come home anyway.

</whinge>

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

Just a gratuitous icon post, to show off the sign on our gate.

Don't be alarmed by the location -- Colleen is just in for another endoscopy, having a gallstone removed. She should be waking up soon.

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

It's been a long month so far, but not nearly long enough. We've been packing the apartment, and running a van-load of boxes down to Rainbow's End nearly every day -- we're just having the movers take the furniture from the apartment. We'll have the Memorial Day weekend to clean up. Oh, did I mention the movers? Right.

Moving day for North Starport is this coming Friday. GLEEP! House! Move! Yard! The other reason I've been down at the house nearly every evening is to water the newly-sodded lawn. It's gorgeous. And the deck. And...

At the same time, I'm worried. There's no turning back from here -- this had better work. I think it will. That doesn't keep the late-night doubts away completely, but it helps. I'll probably still miss the Starport from time to time, but Rainbow's End is wonderful.

Lots of great links; I don't really have time to go over the list. That's what happens when you don't post for nearly three weeks -- I have to get *out* of that bad habit.

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

Long month, the last week and a half. Let's see. A week ago last Thursday I got an offer of a 3-month contract at Amazon, which I took immediately. Since it's through KForce again, I had very little paperwork to do and everything continues much as it has been. Colleen got her diagnosis of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, which is associated with immunosuppressant drugs, hypertension, low K and Mg. All of which she had.

Friday I cancelled my Norwescon concert -- I really wasn't ready, and was already under too much stress.

Saturday it looked as though Colleen was coming home, but by the time I got there her blood pressure had gone up to really scary levels, and they decided to keep her until it stabilized.

I spent most of the weekend shuttling back and forth between North Starport, Rainbow's End, and the hospital in between. I slept at RE, with Naomi and I keeping one another company.

Monday I picked up Chaos and Emmy, and went out to dinner for Emmy's 21st birthday. Blue C Sushi, which was expensive but able to satisfy the YD's craving for plum sake. I have two drinking-age children now.

I didn't notice any hill.

Tuesday Colleen came home. KForce called and told me I was supposed to start Wednesday.

As it turned out, my boss at Amazon had been expecting me to start on Monday the 1st (i.e., today), so things weren't quite ready for me. More or less ok, though; they were at least able to get me a badge and a laptop. (A Thinkpad T400, which isn't half bad.)

Last weekend was Norwescon. The "surprise open mic" that took the place of my concert was Saturday night, and I gave a perfect demonstration of exactly why I cancelled. GAAK. I should know better than to try to sing anything off book. Especially when I'm unprepared and stressed.

I was plagued by charger problems all weekend, but at least my computer charger worked most of Saturday when I really needed it to. The "geek toys" panel was a lot of fun. I read off the specs for the Cray 1 from the web browser on my phone, which had it beat by orders of magnitude. (How many orders of magnitude depending on which spec you looked at. 8MB of RAM? How... quaint.)

Sunday we had dinner at Romio's in Kirkland, on the way to take Chaos home.

Aha! moment -- I figured out that apologizing (which drives Colleen crazy) is my way of trying to make myself feel better after screwing up (especially in a way that hurts somebody else). It mostly doesn't work very well, and if Colleen tells me to stop, or I'm afraid she will, I can spiral downhill very quickly. (Started to write "downhell", which is actually a pretty good description of it. What was I doing in that handbasket, anyway?)

Didn't do a lick of open filking, but I enjoyed the concerts, and spent a fair amount of quiet time in the Green Room. Which was good for (introvert) me, even though I didn't realize at the time that it was what I needed.

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

Colleen came home this evening, after 12 hours shy of a week in the hospital. It took until nearly 5pm to get her discharge paperwork, and then we had to stop off at Walgreen's to get her new prescriptions filled. Some high-powered anti-hypertension stuff in there: ACE inhibitor, beta blocker, calcium channel blocker, and a diuretic. Gleep.

But she's home, with normal blood pressure and with the PRES resolving, the UTI cleared up, and the pneumonia taken care of. Gleep gleep.

I can haz Colleen. That's the important thing.

... so I can start work at Amazon tomorrow. Tired bear is tired! Gleep.

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

Colleen's still in the hospital, at least until tomorrow. Her BP's doing really well, though, so there's a good chance she'll be going home then. Basically they wanted to make sure she's stable on the meds she can go home with.

She's in pretty good spirits, and looking much better than before, but of course she's bored and would welcome visitors and calls.

I'm holding up fairly well, but it's still tiring and frustrating. I'm getting a certain amount more stuff down to the house, though; that's good. 9 boxes yesterday, and 8 this morning; I have amost all of the boxes out of the middle of the living room floor now.

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

I had a long week the last two days. Tuesday evening, Colleen scared the heck out of me, driving off the path in her scooter, and reporting blurry vision and headache. She seemed really confused, as well. I gave her some aspirin, sudafed (she's been fighting a cold all week), and nose spray. It passed in about an hour, and she seemed perfectly normal by the time we went to bed, except for the headache.

I woke up at 3:30 am and was scared enough to dial 911.

TMI, possibly triggery. Enter at your own risk. )

(TL;DR:) The most likely diagnosis at this point is something called Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (PRES) - a rare side effect of some immunosuppressant drugs, including the one she'd just increased the dosage of for her Crohn's disease, augmented by hypertension and low magnesium and potassium levels.

She's recovering well, and is currently in room 341 of Northwest Hospital in Seattle. She can have visitors. Norwescon is iffy.

But I was able to take a phone interview in the waiting room, and the interviewer said that he was going to recommend hiring me. So I have a 3-month contract at Amazon, Starting sometime next week.

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

So, welcome to 2013. So far it's starting out pretty well, with three very productive days at work, and spurts of productivity at home as well. I've done some walking, though not as much as I'd like, and even a little practicing. Colleen and I went to our doctor's appointments on Saturday. I get to stay off my morning BP meds! Colleen, OTOH, needs to go back on hers.

And Thursday was our 38th wedding anniversary! We celebrated by going out for dinner-for-two at Anthony's seafood restaurant in Alderwood. Dinner consisted mostly of molluscs - a double helping of oysters, clams, muscles, and clam chowder. Plus drinks and dessert.

The free test coverage tool in Eclipse is pretty good. Fun!

We had house guests on Sunday; anyone in the Seattle area who wants to visit is welcome to come on over, given a few hours' notice.

Quote of the week:

Colleen: What are you depressed about?
Me: Depression doesn't need a reason.

As well as the year is going, I'm still apparently feeling pretty depressed and very, very stressed. I think I'm trying to do too much, but there's no helping it. I was kind of shocked to find that Colleen's last hospitalization was in 2009, only a little less than 4 years ago. It feels longer.

For you TV fans out there, here's a great write-up about the plot holes in WWII on the history channel.

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

Good grief! I need to do these more often. Geekfest! New laptop at work! Fire alarms from burnt toast.

Gotta say more about that last one. Somebody in our apartment building burned their toast, then opened the door to the hallway, setting off the building's fire alarm. I was already on the bus to work; the YD and Colleen dressed hastily and headed downstairs. Elevators don't work in fires. So Colleen parked her scooter and, with a neighbor's encouragement, walked down three flights of stairs to the door, and plunked herself down in a conveniently-placed half-barrel flowerpot.

Well, she is the Flowercat, after all. I'm extremely proud of her.

Probably ought to mention the new lappy, too. It's a top-of-the-line 15" macbook pro, huge, fast, and impressively quiet. What it doesn't have is a place to attach a lock cable, so I have to take it home every night. Which, in turn, means that I've had to work out a way of using it that doesn't involve having to re-establish all my multiple desktops worth of context every morning. The best thing I've hit on so far is to set up a virtual Linux box, and run it full-screen on my large monitor. Outlook and a small number of other things run on the mac screen.

We've also had guests in the apartment. We like having guests -- ping if you want to come over; it's usually possible, given a little notice.

And among other good news, my handicap parking violation was dismissed, since I was able to prove that I do have the placard. Stupid thing had fallen off the mirror.

And the Mayan calendar rolled over, with even less fuss than when the Gregorian one rolled over a dozen years ago.

A few annoyances, mostly health related.

I've been sleeping a lot more than I want to. Annoying. I've also been gaining weight; that may be due to my going off my diuretic. Also annoying. The ongoing dental work is also annoying. And expensive.

Some -- many? -- of the annoyances are self-inflicted. I've been applying so much of my attention to work that pretty much everything else has suffered. At least the need to clear space for guests and a tree has forced me to clear out some boxes.

Links and details in the notes, as usual. Some pretties, some very moving stuff... The usual. This is your mind on the web.

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

While I was on the bus to work I got an unexpected call from the YD, saying that the fire alarm in our apartment building had gone off.

Colleen parked her scooter in the third-floor elevator lobby and walked down the three flights of stairs to the exit, between the first and second floors. Whereupon she plunked herself down in a half-barrel planter (next to the door and conveniently empty) to await developments.

It turned out that someone had burnt their toast, then opened the door to the hallway. I got the news before the bus reached its first stop in Seattle, which saved me the trouble of figuring out whether to turn back.

The neighbor who had gone downstairs with Colleen, encouraging her all the way, went back and retrieved her scooter. The YD, too, kept her head and made sure to take her keys and Colleen's cane along.

More adventure than we needed, but it's good to know that Colleen can get downstairs under her own power in an emergency.

mdlbear: (flowers for you)
...to my lovely wife [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat!!!!!!! Have a great one, love!!!!

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