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|Tuesday, August 25th, 2015|
|Weather Is Not Always My Friend
I woke up badly, late, and with a headache today. The headache was explained by the severe weather warning announced for my county, and was somewhat responsive to medication.
But weather headaches are never full responsive, and the weather, while no longer severe, is still in flux, so I'm still well within the syndrome.
The worst part of it is that it really dulls cognitive ability. As a result I've achieved very little today. After yesterday, when I helped sort out a bunch of semi-disorganized data with a friend, it feels even less productive than it actually is.
And I think the meds are starting to wear off. Gonna go fix that, I think.
|Sunday, August 23rd, 2015|
|Monday, April 20th, 2015|
|Sunday, September 29th, 2013|
|Aureolin or New Gamboge?
For various reasons, I've been thinking about the meanings of "friend" and "community."
It tells me a lot that when I type those words, I find my mind automatically drifting towards social media. And of course, I'm writing this in a social media channel. Channel informs content, I suppose.
I don't know whether the social media adoption of these terms cheapens or strengthens them. Or maybe just leaves them neutral and unaffected.
I do know that "friend" is one of those words for which exact meaning changes based on context, and on who is speaking, where and when. Social media hasn't changed that, though it may have added some to the many possible meanings.
When I worked in an art store, I learned that there were more kinds of yellow than I had ever heard of, and they all had names. Now that I don't work in an art store, the distinctions are fading, and I don't remember the names.
But they are all still yellow.
|Saturday, September 21st, 2013|
The problem with getting used to doing most stuff online is that it starts to depend on being able to *get* online.
Also, FB has f****d with my ability to think about posts lasting much more than a few lines.
There may be a recovery curve here.
|Friday, September 20th, 2013|
|Monday, April 1st, 2013|
|Adventures in Fandom: Westbound TAFF Race Promo
So as you may recall, I was a Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) candidate in 2012, which was an Eastbound - North America to Europe race.
In 2013, the race runs Westbound - Europe to North America, and the successful delegate will attend LoneStarCon 3. There are two candidates: Theresa Derwin and Jim Mowatt.
More information on the candidates can be found at www.taff.org.uk
If you are thinking of voting on the 2013 TAFF delegate (or if you weren't thinking of it before but maybe are now), the deadline for voting is 23:59 on Friday 19th April 2013 (British Summer Time aka UTC+1).
Voting fees support the fund. It is possible to vote for one of the candidates, for no-preference, or to hold funds over to the following year.
The ballot is available at http://taff.org.uk/ballots/taff2013.html.
I've also put a copy of the ballot at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/52081699/taff2013m.rtf, if for some reason you'd rather get it from someone you know. [Clif, I'm looking at you. :)]
For more information on the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, visit the official unofficial website,http://www.taff.org.uk/
For news, follow on Twitter, @TAFFnews; at http://facebook.com/TAFFnews; or at http://TAFFnews.livejournal.com/
|Wednesday, February 27th, 2013|
|Calling the Internet: Where should we eat?
Polling the great Internet Fire Hose: Where should Motorcycle Boy and I have dinner for our anniversary?
ETA (because timill
was totally right to ask): This is our 10th anniversary. It needs to be in Houston, TX, and we haven't set a dollar limit, though we will likely take that into consideration in making our final decision. Of course, no place that is analogous to any of the following: Squid Hut, House of Brussel Sprouts, or All Organ Meat All the Time!
|Tuesday, February 12th, 2013|
Just saw a friend's status on my IM buddy list.
Their status reads Just back from next week's time traveller's convention. Did you miss me?
My first thought: Not yet.
|Wednesday, February 6th, 2013|
|Onions. I haz em.
I'm making spaghetti sauce this week, and possibly lasagna.
My spaghetti sauce is my take on a family favorite, which is my Dad's recipe. All three of us kids (and at least one grandkid) all make this sauce. And we all say the same thing: we can't get it to taste/look quite like Dad's.
My guess is that, in part, we all got the recipe at a certain point in time, about thirty years ago. Because Dad makes his sauce more or less by eye/feel/taste, "getting the recipe" was more a case of "writing down the ingredients and approximating amounts." So we have this basic recipe that we all work with, and we may have modified it a bit to suit ourselves a touch, and we've been working off in our own directions for thirty years, not necessarily making it as frequently as my Dad did. Meanwhile, Dad continued to make his sauce, which we ate and considered the canon, and he continued to tinker with it and so the darn thing evolved over time.
But it is the standard. It changed, but it never stopped being the standard. And we don't know quite how it changed. As far as I can tell you, it is the same sauce Dad made when I was a kid.
There are other possible reasons why my sauce, at least, doesn't turn out "right". I probably use less oil and a leaner cut of meat. I'm using a different kind of pot, and because of that I'm probably using a lower heat. The onions I get here in Texas are different from the ones my Dad buys in Ontario. They really are. They are usually bigger, wetter, and caramelizing them in a pan takes for freaking ever.
Dad tells us (all of us, right down to the grandkid) that the onions are the key. We need more onions and we need to cook them longer and hotter. My Dad gets downright brutal with his onions (and the pans he cooks them in): lots of oil, lots of time, and as high a heat as he can manage. And he gets these lovely onions as a result.
I can't quite seem to manage that when I'm making this sauce. So this week I'm trying an experiment: making my sauce with roasted onions. I bought small onions for a change, as one of those rare moments of small onion availability occurred this week and have sliced and oven-roasted ten onions. Today I will use those onions as the base for my sauce, adding the meat and other ingredients and *trying* to get the proportions "right."
I'll let you know how it goes.
|Friday, February 1st, 2013|
|Kim vs. Walls - Still Winning
For some reason I have become the person who does the rough prep on the walls etc. in advance of painting. I understand why to a certain extent: it is more or less unskilled labour, uses smallish tools, doesn't require massive strength, does require some degree of precision.
Razor blades, people, I'm talking razor blades here.
What I've not quite figured out is how I became the person doing most of the plaster repairs.
Plaster, in our house, has three layers: the lath, the brown coat (which is granular and dark), the finish coat (which is smooth and white). There may be actually another layer in there, but if there is, it's another smooth-white, and hard to tell apart from the finish coat. The lath is metal mesh, probably steel. The brown coat is about an inch thick. The finish coat varies a bit, from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. These are eyeball estimates from someone who can't estimate distance, so I may be off by a bit. Mark refers to the original plaster as Portland cement. The various patches and repairs can be anything... we've found silicone caulking used as patching material... as well as something that looks like papier mache done with car body filler. It's exciting!
There are four main kinds of plaster damage: cracks, delamination, holes, gouges. Cracks and gouges are pretty self explanatory, and usually fixing them is a case of wapping on some patching compound and making it pretty.
Delamination is a chunk of plaster that has lifted off the surface and fallen, and comes in two basic types: finish coat has lifted off the brown coat and brown coat has lifted off the lath. Now, things have to have been pretty hairy for the brown coat to lift off the lath, because the whole point of the lath is to give the brown coat something to hold on to; to fall off the lath would mean the keys in the back (the part of the brown coat that oozed through the holes in the mesh) have all broken off. What's more usual, in this house at least, is that portions of the brown coat, exposed after the finish coat has delaminated, have been eroded. Anyway, in either case, fixing delamination is like fixing a gouge on steroids: wap on a wider area of patching compound and make it pretty. The big difference, for me anyway, because I'm that kind of person, is that if the brown coat is damaged, I'm using a different compound FIRST, before I wap on the fine patching compound. Why? I think it works better. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that they built the damn walls that way for a reason!
Technically, the lath can drop away from the wall as well, though that is serious trouble, and we don't call that a plaster repair; we call that drywall.
But holes. Man, in 80 years a house can get a lot of holes in the walls: picture hangers, nails, screws, running wires (because running wire over
the wall is always better than behind), hinges, curtain hardware, dumbsh*ts with hammers, contractors who can't estimate the depth of a wall when using a saw.... the list goes on. And they are mine, all mine to fix.
Some of the holes are small. Most of them are, really. Most of them are tiny, really, but I tend to think of a hole that I can stick a pencil through as large for this kind of repair, because if it gets much larger it is more like delamination than a hole (and because after a certain point, we are talking drywall again...) So me and my bucket of spackle and my array of plaster knives do a lot of shoving spackle into holes, because sometimes people just painted over them. Sometimes they just left them. Sometimes they filled them with something that jus pops right out
when one is prepping the walls. They just pull out, holding the form of the hole they were spackled into by the last person doing this job. And that worries me. Because some of these holes are deep, and what is the point of filling them if the stuff can just pop out like that?
But I have a solution. Because I spend too much time worrying about these things: like the delamination, I fix deep holes with my substitute brown coat first. Which is messy and annoying and I got tired of using a putty knife and making a mess to do it. So I got myself a new tool, one I've used quite successfully in other applications.
I'm now using a cake decorating bag and tip to fill deep holes to replace the brown coat, and hopefully making new keys in the process.
Cake. Decorating. Bag.
My hobbies! FTW!!
|Friday, January 18th, 2013|
A number of things in here seem to be working on blooming.
One: the orchid I bought on sale at Kroger some months back. We enjoyed its blooms, they dropped, but one bloom stem did not die back, so I had some hope. And it seems I am justified: there are three definite sprouting-toward-blooming stems on the main stem. Now, this being a phalenopsis, getting to the point where i actually
blooms could take some months. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, another one on the list of "orchids that can't be transplanted just right now."
Two: the black jewel orchid I inherited from the downstairs neighbor... the one that moved out seven years ago or so. I've had the black jewel ever since, which mostly grew leggy and leafy, never doing any of the things that the books said it should (massing, sprouting, spreading, blooming). I keep coiling the stem into the pot and hoping for the best. Just before I left for Ottawa, I realized there was a sprout coming up (maybe from the dirt) about midway back on the coiled stem. When I got back from Ottawa that sprout was well established, and the end of the stem had shot up towards the light over the counter. Two pieces of activity! I was excited. After a day or two I was even more excited when I realized the bit at the end of the stem was a bloom head! Excitement is relative; black jewel orchids do not have impressive or showy blooms and are grown mostly for foliage. But still: BLOOMING!!! It has now progressed to the point that some of the actual flowers (smaller than my little fingertip) are open. Definitely orchids, but definitely small.
Three: the Christmas cactus that netmouse
ave me about four and half years ago. I just looked over at it a few days ago and it has a little bud at the end of one branch. Nothing major, but it is blooming!
I expect a couple of the peace lilies to open out in some blooms soon... They seem to cycle through with some frequency.
|Tuesday, December 11th, 2012|
|always somthing new
Working with the LiveJournal mobile sit just now. Surprisingly functional. Might make daily posting more likely....
Also considering checking text posting. We shall see.
Posted via m.livejournal.com.
|Saturday, December 8th, 2012|
So we blew the phone back to factory, and I've started the slow process of adding all the downloaded apps back on. Some of them the data is safe on the SD card or in the cloud; some of them it is lost. Most of what is lost is relatively unimportant.
After attending a social gathering this afternoon, we stopped by a Sprint store to get an extra battery and a battery charger, since there is some possibility that the battery life issue is the battery, and not the leaky memory. Surprise surprise: Sprint stores do not sell the batteries, nor battery chargers. We head off to the recommended Batteries Plus location, only to find that it doesn't exist. So, an errand for tomorrow, sadly.
More importantly, we inquired about the memory problem, and if ever I have been handed a bucket of hogwash in response to a tech-trouble inquiry, this is that time. "Oh, that is your Facebook." Don't really use Facebook on my phone. "Oh, it's all your text messages." No, I don't really text all that much. "Oh, it's because you're not deleting emails." No, my phone only syncs the last four days of email unless I tell it I want to see something further back. "Oh, it's your contacts." Um, they are Google contacts and thus live in the cloud, which is why I don't lose them whenever I RESET THE FREAKING PHONE.
I specifically mention the ill-fated OS update and my online research on "leaky memory." "Oh, I've heard of that with this phone model too." WELL WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
In this case, nothing. "Best thing you can do is upgrade; or wait until you get the free upgrade." 8\
Or, if it happens again we can go back in and talk to him specifically and he'll "try to make some calls"... an offer he made only after I said "so this happens repeatedly with this phone and there is nothing you will do to make this better?"
So we'll see. I predict another leaky memory episode in about four months, so March or April. We'll see what happens.
I don't, particularly. Though I apparently missed my daily post.
I've been told that one gets more comments by posting questions. I'm not sure that I actually agree with that. What do you think?
On a related point, do you think that doing catch-up posts when I miss a day (or two) is really the way to go? I'm concerned that if I don't do that I'll tail off and stop posting again. But maybe it doesn't work for the readers? Dunno. SO, asking.
In other news, my phone is going insane again, so later today we are going to blow it back to factory settings. Again. For the third time. I've owned it for about a year and six months, and that's an average of six months of good behavior between resets. But it's not, really, because when it starts to go insane I just adapt how I'm using the phone until it becomes intolerable.
This last bout of insanity started around November 1, and now, on Dec 8, it is time to blow it away again. Not necessary because it is annoying me (it is) but because I'm traveling soon and I want the darn thing working at its best. And because the battery is becoming teh suck.
Mark has the same model phone, with the same service from the same provider, and has never had this issue. If it happens again in the New Year, I think it is time to complain.
|Wednesday, December 5th, 2012|
|Wednesday's Post o'the Day: The Return of Fig Chutney
My house has a fig tree.
It bore a lot of fruit this year, but they didn't ripen.
That's okay. It bore a LOT of fruit last year, most of which ripened, and I still have some in the freezer.
Thus, today, fig chutney.
Doubling the recipe did not make it take four hours to cook down, though I did let it go about 30 minutes longer than the recipe seems to expect.
Where the time factor increases is in the hot-water processing after, since the number of jars was doubled and I still only have the one canner.
Still, lots and lots of lovely chutney.
|Tuesday, December 4th, 2012|
|Tuesday Part 2: In Which it Rains
Or at least thunders and lightnings a bunch.
The sky is a bit grey and occasionally noisy. Even more occasionally I see a flash of light from the corner of my eye, through a corner of the window. No torrents of rain (yet), although there have been one or two moments of flickery power.
December in Houston. Charming weather.
|Saturday, December 1st, 2012|
|Yet Another Coffee Post, Sort Of
Starting to check out places in the new neighborhood, or near the new neighborhood.
So far we've hit Doshi House
(which has a lovely vegan "butter chicken" which has neither butter nor chicken) and Conscious Cafe
(also very veggie, omg the bean pie is fabulous).
The Third Ward seems to have a surprising number of independent veggie-friendly cafes, a trend we are happy to note and to support.
Definitely happy to have places to go in the neighborhood, even if we haven't found one in walking distance yet.
Conscious Cafe is on Scott Street, and thus will be on the Southeast Rail Line when it is finished. Beautifully placed for business!!
|Friday, November 30th, 2012|
|Friday Part 2
Ah, the sweet smell of plaster dust.
Break over. Back to work.
|Wednesday, November 28th, 2012|
|Yoga: Making a Commitment
It may not count as much for some people, but I took the plunge yesterday and bought myself a Yoga mat.
I've been going to Yoga with zephre
for several weeks now, either borrowing a mat or using a towel. I keep saying "if I go to X classes I'll by a mat" or "if I'm still going after $date I will buy a mat."
Well, I've gone to X classes and $date has come and gone, and while I was out at Tuesday Morning with TessaNOLJ, lo and behold there were Yoga mats. With carry straps. And like that there.
So I bought one.
Motorcycle Boy sez, "I thought I was giving you one for Christmas."
I sez, "bunchofstuffaboutselfdisciplineandrewar
Motorcycle Boy sez, "I thought I was giving you one for Christmas."
I sez, "Nope."
Motorcycle Boy sez, "I thought I was giving you one for Christmas."
I sez, "I love you, too."
Motorcycle Boy sez, "Crap. What am I giving you for Christmas?"