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September can still fuck off, but at least I'm not despairing about it so much.

As long as I was hemorrhaging money anyway, I ordered two new pairs of jeans and two more shirts of a sort I already like. That way I'll have jeans that don't fit in the "waist slightly large and legs slightly long" department, rather than the "melted down and poured into these pants, and not entirely sure I should wear them in public" department.

The only thing I've done to the CODA Tertiary Binders in the last two days is put tabs in them, so they're not depending on my 48 purple post-its in each binder staying put for document-identifying purposes. Now I feel better.

If Dad isn't out of the hospital by the end of tomorrow, I expect he's going to let somebody hear about it. He was feeling better yesterday, but they wanted to give him a stress test and didn't get around to it until yesterday afternoon and this morning.

The place I sent my old phone to for recycling received it, per UPS, four days ago. Yesterday they sent me an email saying they didn't have it yet. As of sometime overnight, they found it. So now I'm going to get a $215 Apple Store gift card in return, and I'm seriously considering blowing most of it on AirPods. That will solve the "Play button on headphones turned itself on while in bag, and drained iPod battery" problem, which I get around by not keeping headphones connected to the iPod and untying massive knots in the headphones whenever I want to reconnect them.

I'm not positive the iPod is new enough to connect to AirPods. Since music is all I use it for, I'm perfectly happy to nuke the whole iPod, install whichever iOS version it wants for AirPods, and put the music back on it. That'll be a nice weekend project. (Because if I try to do it on a weeknight, it will for some unforeseen reason take five or six hours and I won't be able to go to bed until it's done.)
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Friday the 13th has fallen on September in general, financially speaking. Hopefully after this week, I won't be spending several hundred dollars every couple of days. I suppose I could have held off on the new phone ($750), but I did need new contact lenses ($225) and the repairs to my laptop ($480) are still cheaper than a new laptop. And September is when I have to renew the pet insurance, which will probably be another $450 or so (edit: $850, sigh) on account of both cats now being "senior". I can afford all this, but it doesn't usually happen in a clump. The contact lenses would have happened in June if it hadn't been for CODA; I didn't have time to go to the eye doctor in June, so I did it in August, and it took me until September to get tired of 1-800-CONTACTS sending me reminders. (edit: at least I can get a rebate on the contact lenses as long as I buy a postage stamp and wait 6-8 weeks.)

My boss has a phone case I adore; it's got a pull-out section on the back with three credit card slots. I invested in one myself and put my T pass in it, and discovered this morning that the phone picks up some sort of data from the card reader on the bus, because the phone was offering to let me use Apple Pay (which won't work on the T). If that gets annoying enough, I can put my T pass back in my wallet, I guess. It just amuses me how technology tries to be helpful with no context whatsoever.

Since my laptop is elsewhere (dead/dying thermal sensor, requires replacing the entire top case), this morning I spent the time I would usually spend reading email making Snip extremely confused. She's been sitting under the kitchen window lately and looking up, so I picked her up and put her in the windowsill and she couldn't figure out where to put her feet. But then she discovered Food TV. She plastered herself to the screen for the next ten minutes, and ducked every time a pigeon came down from the roof. I wonder if she'll try to get up there herself now that she knows what goes on when she's up there. She did get down by herself when I offered to do it for her. Lily was confused too, because up until this morning, the kitchen windowsill was her sovereign territory. When she came into the kitchen and found Snip in the window, she actually meowed at me.

I managed to turn off the Word Document Gallery when I open the program, but it keeps coming up when I want a new document and the program is already open. This is approaching Clippy levels of helpful.
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I'm glad it was a long weekend, but it wasn't quite long enough. I will say that Saturday was a lovely day for hanging around in Harvard Yard and doing not much for three hours in the afternoon while waiting for people to show up for chorus auditions. Half a dozen people showed up over the three hours. And then I did the grocery shopping on the way home, and that was that.

Sunday was cold and wet, so I had a movie marathon (now that I know where all of my DVDs are, except Thor, and I have no idea where he went) and embroidered a lot. And I finally decided that I needed to do something about my phone, which was getting tired.

On Monday I went to the Apple store and said I needed a new phone and wasn't interested in standing in line for three days, and got sold an iPhone 7. So far I like it OK, but the whole "choose your click" thing is either not working or my fingers aren't sensitive enough to tell the difference. It does have more battery longevity than my old phone, though, and that's why I wanted a new phone to begin with. I managed to transfer almost everything between phones, so I didn't lose all my contacts again. I did lose Neko Atsume, though, and I was down to the last cat. Now I have to start over.

I put LastPass on the new phone, but I'm still not sure how to use it.

I've decided that steel-cut oatmeal isn't awful as long as it's not wallpaper paste, and as long as it's not sweet. Smoked paprika and chives worked, and so (so far) does diced tomatoes, garlic and mild chili powder. The next thing is to learn how to cook oatmeal without boiling it over, because it makes a fairly prodigious mess when it does that.
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I've been trying to remember what I did between Thursday, when I got back from Falmouth, and Monday. As far as I remember, on Thursday I didn't do very much, except I did take a nap in the afternoon on account of having slept in twin beds in Noank and Falmouth and not sleeping as well as usual because I kept finding the edges of the mattresses. I remember falling over and thinking "Big bed!" and stretching out, and being happy about it.

I have no idea what I did on Friday, so I suspect I didn't do anything important. That might have been the really excellent embroidery day, though, because I did do some embroidery sometime between Thursday and Monday.

On Saturday I gave up and called RCN, and was shocked to find that they would send a technician on Sunday. I don't remember what else I did on Saturday.

On Sunday I was embroidering again when the technician came at about 3:00, looked at what I had for equipment, looked at what I was supposed to have for internet service, asked me what I was paying, and was aghast at the answer. He said I should call the customer loyalty department and ask for more service and less bill, because the service I was supposed to have is so slow it isn't supported these days. And the price for more service is lower than the price I was paying. I know good advice when I hear it, so I called on Monday and got double the internet speed for $30 less.

On Monday I had fun stuff on the list. I did note that the light outdoors was weird on account of the eclipse, but I didn't bother trying to look at the eclipse itself; I contented myself with looking at the crescent-shaped holes in the shadows on the sidewalk. And I went off and bought myself a $350 Olds Ambassador trumpet, because damn it, why not? When I got it home I broke it out and managed to play a C, a G and a D very badly. I printed out a fingering chart, because I already know how to read music (at least in treble clef); I just need to know how to make the notes. My embouchure needs work, though.

Yesterday I had my GP appointment at 8:15, which of course meant I got there at 7:20 and the office doesn't open until 8:00. Under normal circumstances I would have gone in search of coffee, but I decided not to in case of fasting blood test. I didn't want to have to come back again for that. So, appointment (I need to lose weight, but I knew that) and blood draw, and prescription refill, and no shingles vaccine until I'm 60 but go get it pretty much the minute my insurance will cover it (I had a raging case of chicken pox at 16), and then I went off to breakfast at Cutty's and coffee at Caffe Nero in Brookline Village because I hadn't been to either place yet.

Cutty's was good, but too far out of my normal weekend range to make it a possible destination for breakfast. Caffe Nero was good too, and I will definitely keep it in mind because they're starting to be everywhere. Following that I went to Walgreens and Trader Joe's and home. When I got home I decided to be a good kid and schedule the mammogram so as to get it over with, so I did that and it turned out to be for this afternoon. Hooray, I still have Thursday to go whale watching (bought the ticket yesterday) before I go to the eye doctor on Friday morning.

The tape they put on the gauze in my elbow-pit after the blood draw gave me a really impressive set of red marks exactly where the tape was. I probably should have taken it off before I went to the drugstore, but I try not to leave biohazards in other people's trash cans, so I kept it on until I got home.

I should not have read my work email on Monday, but I was trying to keep ahead of all the junk mail and FYI-type messages that get overwhelming if I look at two weeks of them all at once. That's how I found out that CODA has added a subsection to 2-23e (control of pain and anxiety) regarding substance abuse and effective immediately, which means we have to add it to our self-study now. They couldn't have waited until after our site visit? Never mind, I'm on vacation, damn it.

I'm really sorely tempted to drop a towel over Snip and cut her front claws. In my imagination, it works a lot better than I suspect it will in reality. Most likely I would need another set of hands to keep her in the towel.

Lily has trained me to give her cat treats with her morning thyroid pill (sniff at pill pocket in dish, give me a "That's all?" sort of look, act disinterested until she hears the treat bag open, look interested again, dive in as soon as the treats hit the dish). I don't actually care if she won't eat the pill without treats, as long as she eats the pill. Heaven forbid I ever have to give Snip pills twice a day. She'll turn into a dirigible with legs if she gets that much cheese.
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Sometime next week or the week after next, the IT department will take this computer away, nuke the hard drive, and start over. I need them to do that because Outlook has been broken for at least a couple of years now and the Exchange server decided two weeks ago that Mac Mail is persona non grata, so I've been stuck with web mail, and web mail sucks diseased donkeys if you're trying to search for something in your inbox. Because nuking the hard drive will nuke everything that isn't on the network, 95% of my desktop is now on the network and my desktop is looking positively naked.

Sorted out the reimbursement for sending stuff to New Zealand. It got rejected the first time, I suspect because the finance office couldn't believe the amount. I had submitted a photo of the actual receipt, so yes, it did cost $768, and I want it back.

I'm making a list of things to be Up To while I'm off work and not going to medical appointments. What I will not be Up To includes anything more to do with anybody's H1B paperwork, which I just KNEW was going to land on me despite my having nothing to do with interviewing or hiring this person. My assistant isn't quite detail-oriented enough to be trusted with it (which has made my life more interesting than it maybe should have been for the last couple of months, besides).

This coming year I have got to take some "how to be a manager" training. I still haven't got a clue how to do that, beyond "tell somebody what you want them to do and help them do it rather than doing it yourself". I managed not to have a performance review on time this year because I was too busy performing, but I can't get away with not having one, so it will have to happen eventually.
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Better. Rugs is vacuumed, ant invasion is over (I hope; I haven't seen any ants since Wednesday), computer is backed up, router seems to be behaving, laundry is sorted. Floors need swiffering and mopping and laundry needs doing, in that order so I don't have to mop around the drying rack, but at least I don't feel quite so much like I live in a pit tangled up with a mass of cat hair and rug fuzz and broken technology.

There's nothing wrong with my computer. The Computer Loft ran a bunch of tests on it and said it was possibly the router, and to try resetting that before I call RCN and spend half my life on hold so they can tell me to unplug it and plug it back in again. So I came home and unplugged the router and plugged it back in again, and tried it, and it wasn't having any. But this morning, when I was resigned to calling RCN, it all behaved perfectly well. I do not understand technology. (And I actually like RCN, especially compared to the other option, which is Comcast.)

I broke down and ordered a DVD bookcase because I am so tired of having more DVDs than I have shelf space. The extra ones do not belong on top of the cable box; it annoys me to see them there, and I have enough other things to be annoyed about and enough money to throw at the problem, so that's what I did. I've found myself not thinking so much about money lately, which is new and different. I used to think about it in the context of not having much at all, and then I gradually started thinking about it in the context of having enough to be able to do things that made me happy but weren't absolutely necessary, and now I'm sort of taking having a certain amount of it for granted. Which is probably a bad idea. I was prepared to throw several hundred dollars at computer repairs, having already thrown several hundred dollars at Lily's blood test earlier this month. That would have been impossible when I was young, and inconvenient five years ago, but now I'm OK with it and I'm not sure I should be.

I am, however, allowed to go spend my birthday gift card for Brookline Booksmith, so I think I'll do that today. Books make me happy, even if they do take up space. I have two largish boxes of books that need new homes. I still want to start the ODE Non-Dental Book Swap Shelf, but I never get around to it. Maybe I'll sneak in some weekend and start it.
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Computer is going to repair shop tonight, because I brought it to work today to see if it responded better in air conditioning, and it doesn't. It's probably either a two-minute fix or something that requires taking the entire laptop apart.

Accreditation documents are going to printer on Monday for sample copy, which means they are going for final copies either late next week or the Monday after next.

Both cats are shedding like mad, which I can't really blame them for because this is not good weather to be covered in fur and hate water. But I wish the rugs didn't look like disaster areas. They wouldn't be so bad if I had gotten off my overly large backside last weekend.

Standard 2 is finally about as done as it's going to get. It's a shadow of its former self at 250 pages, because I reduced all the tables to 10-point font and doing that shortened the damn thing by 20 pages.

Now that I have spare brain cells again, I'm thinking about scuba certification again. It may have to happen next summer after chorus is over, though, because I need 14 hours of pool time and however many hours of classes and I can't squash all that into August. Maybe next summer I won't look like ten pounds of bulk sausage in a five-pound bag when I put on a wetsuit, too. There WILL be Things Done About That.
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Oof. I went through Standard 2 again today based on a meeting I had yesterday that required updating most of the tables. That was all good, but then I went on to another document that wanted all the parts of Standard 2 that applied to every individual course. The way I did that was to search Standard 2 for every instance of every course name.

In the process, I discovered that consistency would be good, but it wasn't happening: one course was going by three different titles (I looked at the results I was getting and said "That can't be all of them", and it wasn't, because when you search for Treatment of Child and Adolescent, you don't get Treatment of the Child and Adolescent or Treatment of Child & Adolescents). Besides that, four or five subsections of 2-23 either had courses listed in the table that weren't in the narrative (uh-oh) or courses listed in the narrative that weren't in the table (easy fix: insert row, copy and paste). So I fixed all that stuff, and now it all says Treatment of Child and Adolescent (which is what the syllabus says) and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Rotation (ampersands don't belong in formal writing that way), and everything in a table is also in the text, and everything in the text is also in a table. And my brain hurts and my shoulder is killing me.

Several hours later...

I got a head start on the sore shoulder last night, on account of it being chilly out and I being curled up pretty tight because I was also chilly. I probably should have put a quilt on the bed, but it's July. It being chilly out does mean there's a cat in my lap, though. That hasn't happened much lately, on account of it being humid enough for a tropical rain forest. My laptop doesn't like the humidity either. I don't know for sure if that's why the fan runs on high speed whenever the machine is awake, but it's been doing that since Tuesday. The internet said to restart the SMC, but that didn't work. I think I'll let the Computer Loft at it on Monday.

Going to bed at 8:30 would be a waste of a perfectly good Friday night, but I'm about half inclined to anyway.
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This is marvelous weather for soup, and I have a lot of good things to make soup with, but they don't all go together and I can't decide which ones I want to use. First world problem, obviously.

I think Lily wasn't feeling well on Saturday, because she insisted on being in my lap or in my face all day and then ate a lot of dry food at bedtime (not her usual routine) and yarfed all over the kitchen in the middle of the night. She seemed to be better yesterday, so whatever it was, it was a 24-hour bug. And she didn't give it to Snip as far as I can tell, which is good too. Snip doesn't care what she yarfs on.

I finally downloaded Monument Valley because I've caught up with Two Dots and wanted something to do with the phone. It falls under "somebody having way too much fun with a computer", but also falls under "reasons to own an iPad" because it's a tad bit too small on the phone screen. Gorgeous and fun, though, and it doesn't kill you and force you to start over when you get something wrong. I had Issues with a couple of the levels in terms of my brain not working the way the game needed it to, but I did get there eventually.

On Saturday I wandered through the bookstore and came up with both Dodger by Terry Pratchett and Eggs, Beans, and Crumpets by P.G. Wodehouse, from the used books section. Both of those books have been on my "keep an eye out for this" list for ages. That's why I wander through the bookstore. It's nice to have things to be happy about that don't involve ingesting calories. In that vein, I'm seriously considering sending a letter to the Patriots.

Speaking of calories, I have a small problem in that I only have one pair of jeans that fits me these days, and they're in the dirty laundry hamper at the moment. I don't WANNA buy size 12 pants again! But at least they aren't size 14. I started the whole weight loss saga three or so years ago when I needed new pants and discovered that they really ought to be size 16, and that was unacceptable. So here I am three or so years later and size 12 is unacceptable. I'm not sure what I think about that. I know I ought to be walking home, but a foot or so of snow is a pain in the ass to walk home in.
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I didn't go to the Boston women's march, because huge crowds are not my best thing. (Although I was OK with the Patriots game I went to. I think maybe it was because there were seats.) However, I have been thinking about what I can do/should do/want to do about the whole situation. I can't change the whole situation, but I can do something about part of it. The question I keep coming up against is which part. I believe that abortion and gay marriage should remain legal, but apparently my opinion doesn't count on gay marriage because I'm straight. I believe in the Golden Rule and that the Golden Rule should be colorblind, but apparently my opinion doesn't count because I'm white.

I would dearly love to tell one of my straight white relatives-by-marriage to haul his Catholic head out of his Libertarian ass for a minute and think about what happens if abortion is illegal and the country is awash in children their parents can't afford. He objects to abortion, and he's firmly in the "I get mine and I don't pay for anyone else's" camp, and that makes me incredibly angry. If he's going to insist that all children must be born, he damn well can't insist that he doesn't have to help pay for them. End rant.

I'm most of the way through The Pillars of the Earth, and wondering whether pigheadedness was an actual survival skill in 1100s England or whether it's just the way the author thinks. Pigheadedness seems to cross all classes, professions and sexes in the book. No wonder there was a civil war going on?

I bought some disinfectant/anesthetic gel for Lily, and she promptly washed it all off (it's safe for feline consumption). It seems she doesn't want any. Fortunately she seems not to really need it either. I just wish the fur would grow back, because its absence keeps reminding me that there's a hole in the side of my cat. Snip is, as usual, washing the living daylights out of Lily's head, but stopping there.

Remembering the Good Things, the weather on Saturday was a revelation. I feel like it hasn't been sunny on a weekend since before Christmas, so I went out grocery shopping (I had to do that anyway) and indulged myself shamelessly on the way home by going to both JP Licks and Union Square Donuts. And now I have satisfied my sugar craving for the next couple of months. I may have to do something about my chocolate craving eventually, though.

Then I came home and played a complete game of Civ 5 for the first time, and won it by cultural victory. I don't think I've ever won a game by cultural victory before; usually I win by building a spaceship first. Then again, I've never played as the Celts before either. I didn't really intend to spend five and a half hours doing that, but I didn't tweak enough settings to make it shorter, either. Next time I should see if I can tweak the shape of the land masses, because being stuck in the middle of a very long, very narrow continent was a pain in the ass. At least it meant everybody wanted open borders with each other. And I do have to admit it was fun clearing out barbarian axemen by sailing a destroyer up to their islands and going KABLAM.
dchenes: (katana)
I haven't been embroidering again, because my shoulders have been complaining right when I get into the groove and it throws me right out of it again. Sigh. I'm never going to get out of this tree, am I? (Current piece of pattern is the crown of a tree, and all the individual leaves thereof. But I can't tell which leaf is where by looking at the pattern; it all looks like blobs and I faithfully reproduce the blobs and wonder what's the point. Then I stand six feet away from the actual embroidery and then I realize "oh, OK, that blob is about six leaves.")

I finally caved last night and downloaded Civ 5, which required my subscribing to Steam, which I am not thrilled about. But Civ 4 is too old for my current laptop, and I miss it. And messing around on the computer doesn't hurt my shoulders. It does, however, frustrate the Hairy Beasts because they don't fit in the available lap space. I just hope Civ 5 breaks the pattern of odd-numbered Civ versions not being as good as even-numbered ones.

I could have voted early, but the early voting places are more out of my way than my regular polling place, so I'm going to stand in line with all the other regular election day people. Voting early wouldn't have put me out of any more misery anyway, because despite the Facebook filters I put in, half of my news feed is politics. The other half is baseball, which is more cheerful. Even though I'm not a baseball fan, I understand sports-cheerful.

Today was New Crunchies Day, which is the one day in the month when Lily eats breakfast enthusiastically. She actually ate it out of the bowl Snip likes to eat out of, which confused Snip quite some. I'm not sure she realizes there are two bowls with the exact same amount of the exact same stuff. (I love Snip dearly, but she has the IQ of mayonnaise.) I may just stop trying to feed Lily dry food.

The modern music for chorus this semester is growing on me, but I really wish it wasn't as crunchy as it is in so many places on purpose. Nothing like a section in which every other note is an accidental in order to avoid having a recognizable chord anywhere. Granted, it's easier to sing music that looks like that than it is to play it on an instrument, but still. I'm teaching my sense of relative pitch to appreciate that even though the alto section is singing a second against the tenors, ignore what it sounds like and just be glad it's the right interval. After the concert on December 3, I can go back to singing thirds against the processional for The Play of Herod and making myself feel better.
dchenes: (katana)
LONG week, this week. Not helped by the second year students complaining about anything they can think of to anyone they can think of.

Meanwhile I got handed the completed procedure data for the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Problem is, what I got handed was what the electronic dental record system could export, which is every procedure code completed by every student. So if student 15001 did 37 instances of procedure 1110, that's 37 rows of "15001/1110" in the Excel sheet. I swear I could make a million dollars by writing an electronic dental record system that can export useful data. Or at the very least, I could make half a million dollars by writing an appendix to the existing system that can export useful data. HIPAA has its merits, but we're an educational institution and we need this data for accreditation, so we can keep being an educational institution. So I've been staring at Excel for most of the past two days and I'm not even through one class yet. And my boss keeps wanting me to go to more new and different meetings, now that I'm the Senior DMD Curriculum Coordinator. I still don't know why I went to the "nobody cleans up after themselves in the lab" meeting.

Meanwhile, last Friday I picked up my newly framed embroidery and nearly gave myself heat stroke hauling it home in the humidity. It came out 35" x 38", and it's gorgeous, but I'm not sure I trust the plaster walls to keep it hanging. So right now it's leaning on my bicycle, until I decide whether I want to buy a floor stand for it and whether that would be a good idea in the first place. It was a better idea before last night, when the Hairy Beasts were playing tag at about 40 mph for about half an hour. Which goes to prove that even though Lily is skinny, she's still herself, and I should find out why she doesn't eat her dry food these days. It isn't tooth problems this time, as far as I can tell.

I can't decide whether I want a Large Slab of Dead Cow because I want meat, or because I want umami. If umami, a box of mushrooms is cheaper than a Large Slab of Dead Cow. But I do love a ribeye, and I haven't had one in years. Decisions, decisions...but it's probably not going to be Large Slab of Dead Cow tonight because the Red Sox are playing. Maybe next week when they're out of town again. Baseball season is at least three months too long, and I mean to bring that up with the Minister of Convenience the instant we appoint one. As long as it's convenient, that is.
dchenes: (katana)
I think I'm running out of cope, because yesterday was the second Sunday afternoon in a month that I lost to a headache. Tension headache, this time, but muscle spasms in the back of my skull don't respond to Advil any better than migraines do. So I didn't get the laundry in the dryer and didn't go grocery shopping and didn't buy kitty litter. Fortunately that all falls under "weekend chores" rather than "screaming emergencies". I put the laundry on the drying rack this morning and I can go grocery shopping tonight. The kitty litter may have to be bought in installments, unless I come home tomorrow and go right back out again with the granny cart.

I think the headache was partly caused by a "come pick this up at the post office" slip, wanting me to collect something sent by the first real job I ever had, eighteen years ago. I'm not sure whether it says something about me or something about the company that I got myself all het up trying to figure out what that job entailed that I could possibly need to go to court for, eighteen years later. Turns out it was "you don't work here any more, so we're not going to maintain your 401k any more" paperwork. Since I have nowhere I can roll it into (I can't even combine my two 403b accounts), I'm going to have to cash it out. After taxes, it probably amounts to dinner at a reasonably good steakhouse.

In cheerier news, the aluminum print I ordered last week came out pretty well; it would probably have looked a little better as a 5x7, but I wanted an 8x10, so that's what I got, and although it looks a little grainy if you're on top of it, it looks fine from three feet away. I ordered it with magnetic backing, and it is now stuck to the ecru filing cabinet and providing something interesting to look at. My original plan was to have one aluminum print from each of my international trips (India, Amsterdam, Ireland, Australia and Reykjavik) and stick them all to the filing cabinet. I'm rethinking that based on the cost, though. (And the fact that I have ten filing cabinet drawers.) It is awfully ecru over here, however.
dchenes: (katana)
On Friday I walked into a conference room at 8:30 AM and walked out again at 4:30 PM with my brain leaking out of my ears. In between, I took notes on CODA Standard 2. After dinner when I finally had enough brain to do it, I took the vacuum cleaner apart as far as possible to try to figure out why it was making a new high-pitched shrieking noise. I cleaned out everything I could get to, and the belt doesn't seem to be the problem, although cleaning out the innards seems to have helped a little. So I probably need a new vacuum cleaner, if I can't get the motor looked at. Who the hell repairs 13-year-old Bissell uprights?

On Saturday I hauled myself out of the house eventually and went grocery shopping, and took very careful note of all the other non-grocery shopping I needed to do, and didn't do it. I vacuumed the living room and the bedroom and cleaned the bathroom and hung around rotting my brain playing Two Dots. And I bought a new Kate Rusby album and discovered that learning new songs is still fun even if I don't do it in voice lessons.

Yesterday it rained, finally, and I waited until it stopped and then didn't go buy a new vacuum cleaner. I did, however, go to Star Market (for the first time in ages; last time I needed cleaning supplies, I went to Target after work) and the Super 88 (since I was in the neighborhood, y'know) and TJ Maxx because the towels I've been using since 1993 have now officially fallen apart, and bFresh because they have my favorite flavor of Epic bars (bison, bacon and cranberry). So I came home with TP and alphabet noodles and Japanese candy and towels and Epic bars. Successful trip even though I didn't do anything about the vacuum cleaner. And then I came home and did laundry, and thereby ensured that I got to put on not-dry-yet pants this morning. It's like putting on a damp bathing suit. Some day I will learn to wash those pants on Saturday afternoon at the latest if I want to wear them on Monday.

Some day I will also learn never to sync my iPod after 8:00 at night, especially if I have to be at work at 7:45 the next morning. I wanted to put Kate Rusby on my iPod so I can keep learning new songs (mostly After This and The Youthful Boy), so I plugged it into my computer at 10:00 (after charging it enough to bring it back from the dead), and it wanted a software update. So, OK, that's about 20 minutes downloading and updating. And then the fun started, because it wanted to use an Apple ID from at least ten years ago to sync old stuff. And then it insisted that my new computer wasn't authorized to sync that stuff. So an hour of arguing later, I finally figured it out (although I still haven't sorted it out, and something is still using the old Apple ID and thinks I've authorized 4 of the allowable 5 devices to use whatever it is it's using. Since I only have three current devices, and the old Apple ID doesn't exist anywhere I can get to and unauthorize anything, I gave up.). So I went to bed at 11:30 with my iPod containing everything it should.

So at 11:15 I walk into the bedroom and discover that after nine years, Lily has finally decided to attempt to sleep in the clean laundry. But she hadn't gotten the hang of it yet, because she tipped over the laundry basket and was sleeping against the stack of folded shirts. By the time I woke up this morning, she had figured it out and was sleeping on top of a blue shirt in the tipped-over laundry basket. Silly beast. It was good sleeping weather last night, at least; I myself slept in my bed, instead of on top of the blanket, for the first time in two weeks. And Snip slept on the blanket instead of on the floor.
dchenes: (katana)
I am emotionally impossible, and that's all there is to it. I knew that, but this week it's amusing me. Or maybe the weather is making me more impossible than usual.

I got the $273 Apple Store gift card in exchange for my old laptop, and now I have to decide what to spend most of it on. I know I want a CD/DVD drive, and I want a sleeve that doesn't do double duty as a cat bed. But after that, what do I really need? I already have an external drive I use for backups, and I have more spare sets of earbuds than I have ears to put them in.

The fact that there are now three other people in our office who are fluent in French, and wander between French and English just because they can, is reminding me how much my fluency has slipped. I can still understand it, and I can still read it, but I have to think about verb tenses these days. I probably ought to do something about that. At least I can still understand the questions I get in French, although I mostly have to answer in English.

One of my great-grandfathers lived mostly on soup and pie. I wonder how long I could live on sushi and seltzer?
dchenes: (katana)
Snip is lucky she's cute. Last night I bought myself a new laptop, and transferred everything to it from the old one, and was just about to start erasing the old one when Snip popped the 2 key off it. I tried for the next four hours to get the spring back on the computer and the key cap back on the spring, and couldn't do it. By now the spring is probably inside out, upside down, and backward, because I reassembled it so many times. I am not about to pop another key off on purpose to see what the spring looks like, because the way this is going, I'll end up with two keys I can't fix. And the Computer Loft is closed this week, so I hauled the laptop to work today for nothing and my shoulder is not pleased with me. And the pull chain for the lights in the ceiling fan in my office at home is stuck (off) too. That's less of a disaster than it might be because I tend to sit in there in the dark anyway when I mess around on the computer, but it would still be nice if it hadn't decided to break last night.

Remembering the Good Things, however, the new laptop is very nice. Continuing the tradition of naming computers for bands that don't exist, the new one is called Huge Happy Hedgehog Face. And the fan part of the ceiling fan still works, and the chain repair doesn't look like it's horribly difficult even if I do have to buy a new switch (I hope not, but I'll probably have to anyway). And at least I have a ladder, so I don't have to improvise with the kitchen chairs. But I have to not electrocute myself, because it's an aluminum ladder.

Still haven't decided what Sunday is going to consist of. Right this instant I'm tempted to run away and eat a lot of something I most likely shouldn't. But that's because I want the computer and the ceiling fan fixed and I want not to be at work and I want a lot of other things that I don't have any particular control over. (Why is it so impossible to get human beings to stop shooting other human beings?) (Don't answer that. It was a rhetorical question and I don't want to discuss it.)

I suppose the fact that the weather is cold, humid and solid overcast is pretty appropriate. I'd rather have London's weather in London, though.
dchenes: (katana)
I appreciate that it held off snowing until February. Since it's February, I can't complain that it's snowing out of season. But I complain because it's the heavy wet stuff, being outdoors in which is more or less like being in the rain without an umbrella. So then you get on the bus and either drip all over everybody else, or get dripped on yourself if you happen to have gotten a seat and (somehow) stayed dry(ish). At least the buses don't leak instantly if it's only snowing. (Maybe I ought to read The Grey Seas Under again, and quit whining.)

Speaking of reading, anybody got a favorite site for free or cheap ebooks? I know about Project Gutenberg already, and have been making use of it, but the publication date cutoff for those is 1923 and some more modern stuff might be nice. I also know the Boston Public Library loans ebooks, and I do have a library card, but everything I'm interested in either has a huge waiting list or doesn't exist electronically.

I keep getting stern emails from the payroll system because I forgot to put my time in on Thursday. I keep forgetting because I don't get the reminder emails. I don't get the reminder emails because they go straight to my junk folder, despite my having set up and run a rule that says don't do that. Isn't technology wonderful, except when it isn't? And speaking of technology, Lily seems to have found a new hobby: washing my laptop screen. Mostly she wants me to get off the computer and go sit in the living room where there's lap space. Silly beast.

Now I can sleep this weekend, because I spent the last several hours putting together the supplies for the Oral Health Session on Wednesday. I don't have to panic because we don't have them for the orientation on Monday. (Not that anybody's going to want them on Monday, but I like to have them for then anyway.) So there.
dchenes: (katana)
Apparently nothing with a microchip in it likes me this weekend.

My old phone was dying, so I went last night to try to buy a new one. Couldn't do it, because I apparently needed my Sprint account PIN, which I set up sometime years ago and never use because I pay my bills by mail. And besides, I hadn't backed up the old phone lately. So I came home and spent entirely too long setting up a new username and password with Sprint so it would tell me what my PIN is. In the course of which my laptop decided to start making That Noise, which means it forgets where its system folder is and I have to remind it. Fortunately I managed to do that without too much agita.

This morning I backed up the old phone, wrote down the Sprint PIN, and went off to the Apple store. I ended up getting the new phone for $11.75 because I traded in the old phone, and was warned at least twice that if I did that, they would brick it, so was I sure it was backed up? And then I spent $75 on protective gear for the new phone, because I believe in that. Set up the new phone as far as possible on the way home (until it said "back up from iTunes?" and the answer was Yes), came home, plugged the new phone into iTunes, and it said it couldn't restore from backup because the new phone's software was out of date. Download and install new software. Then discovered that the new phone had backed itself up before installing the new software, and its backup had overwritten the backup of the old phone. All my apps and all my contacts went *POOF*. So I reinstalled all the apps I can't live without (and paid $10 for ad-free versions of a couple of them), but the contacts really have gone *POOF*. So if you think I ought to have your phone number, let me know what it is.
dchenes: (katana)
Now that it's over, I can laugh about it (partly because after last night, I suspect Matthew Slater feels the same way). On the 23rd, I set up my out-of-office message like a good little cube farm denizen...but I somehow set it to send itself as a reply to all 3500 messages currently in my inbox. Once I figured out what was going on, I tried to pull the plug, but the server is more efficient than I am. So a lot of people got a lot of email. I'll have to send out a blanket "yes, I know, I clicked the wrong thing, sorry" when I get back, unless everybody decides to call me about it.

Christmas this year was about as low-key as last year, but several orders of magnitude more cheerful. Dad actually enjoyed his dinner, for one thing (and it was an excellent rib roast, which made dinner for Christmas and sandwiches for Boxing Day, and an excellent blueberry pie, which made dessert for Christmas and breakfast for Boxing Day). Last year Dad didn't have much appetite and nothing tasted right to him for a couple of months anyway. I gave everybody something to read and something to consume while reading it, and got some mad money from the parents and a hat from the Fairly Godmother.

I also tried a couple of experimental beers: Dogfish Head Higher Math, which is 17% ABV and knocked me on my ass, and Stone Xocoveza, which is stout with a LOT of coffee in it (and might have made a good float with vanilla ice cream, but I didn't try that). Glad I only bought one bottle of each.

Other good news: Grammie gets to go home from the rehab center today. She was supposed to go home last week, but hit a minor snag and they decided to keep her for another little while. But now there's no reason for her to stay there, so home it is. She still wants to go to Florida for some of the winter, and I hope she gets to do that. I think it will be good for her to see that she can still do most of the things she wants to, hip replacement at 93 years old be damned. Thank goodness driving is not one of those things. She gave up her license several years ago.

Also good news: I'm going to see Star Wars today. I wanted to do it before the internet becomes one giant spoiler, which is going to happen soon because the movie's been out for a week now. Besides, I saw all the prequels in theaters, so why not the sequels? (I was two years old in 1977, and I would have been scared stiff by The Empire Strikes Back when it came out, and my parents knew that. So I saw Return of the Jedi in a theater and was scared stiff by the Emperor at the end.)

I suppose if I'm going to take the bus to the movies, I should look up the schedule. This is the same bus I take to work every day, but I never take it after 8:00 in the morning, so I have no idea what it devolves into after rush hour. For some reason that amuses me.
dchenes: (katana)
Nothing like a cardiac workout via the internet. I went to re-order contact lenses just now, since this morning I managed to fling my next-to-last left lens off somewhere and couldn't find it again. So, go to the web site and hit the re-order button, and get a cart with 19 items totaling $4000? Not right. Can't change it, either. VERY not right. Email customer service, find out it's a known bug (in Safari; I'm using Firefox, but never mind) and they're working on it, get an abject apology and an offer to place the order I actually want via live chat. Do that (including uploading non-expired Rx and new credit card info), get free expedited shipping for my trouble, and now all I have to do is slow my heart rate down again and not lose my left lens before Monday. Isn't technology wonderful, except when it isn't?

Chickened out on the leopard print headband, but wearing the skirt today. Maybe I'll get a headband for next year. Fortunately it's still warmish out today, so wearing a skirt isn't a horrible idea.

Something's about to hit the fan for a faculty member the students have been complaining about for years. Apparently he finally crossed a line he should have known better than to come near in the first place. I'm curious to find out what will happen to the course he's directing, if it's determined that he should be removed from the teaching environment. (He should, in my opinion, but my opinion doesn't count.)

I got cortisone shots on September 29. As of this morning, they're wearing off. My left shoulder is sore again, but it still has mobility that doesn't hurt. The lack of mobility is the real quality-of-life issue, so if that starts going away again, I'll see what can be done about it. I don't care so much about pain; that, I can deal with.

Today being Friday is good. Yesterday was already only Thursday; I don't know where the week went, but I don't know why yesterday wasn't the end of it. Just because I took last Friday off, apparently now my internal week calendar thinks a work week should only be four days. It's going to get all confused in two weeks when we have Wednesday off and get a pair of two-day weeks. But never mind, because today is Friday, and Friday is good. And I recorded the football game last night, so now that I know how it came out, I can watch it tonight and enjoy it.
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