Friday, April 25, 2008


This will be short -- I'm sitting at my desk with the laptop balanced on my lap, unable to really move because I've got the ethernet cable stuck in the side, but it won't snap in, so if I change position, it loses the connection. The desktop computer (the eMac) has stopped working again; it will start up, then after an unpredictable amount of time, sometimes a day or more, sometimes about five seconds, the screen will start flashing and then die.

I don't think it's the computer itself, but the display, that's faulty, but since the eMac is an all-in-one unit, there's no way to really test that. So I'm going to have to take it in to the Apple store and have them look at it, and decide whether it's worth it to have it fixed or not. Unless the cost is completely prohibitive, I think it is, since I haven't had any trouble with the computer otherwise, but I guess we'll see.

And I probably mentioned awhile ago that one of the Apple OS updates a few months ago broke my wireless connection. If it was only me, maybe I'd go buy an Apple Airport base station, but I'm not a "hardware" kind of person--i.e., I'm very hesitant to attent to set something like that up--and since Bob's wireless is working, I really don't want to screw that up. I've been camping on to someone else's wireless, but that seems to no longer work, hence sitting at the desk, shackled to the desk, basically . . .

Ah well. Anyway, this is more or less a partial explanation for fewer updates and a longer email response time. It's just really difficult, and I'm trying not to kill my back since I can't actually sit in a comfortable chair with the laptop currently, or at least not be connected and do that. The other night I was able to get the desktop to stay viable long enough to copy some files off onto a thumbdrive, but I haven't been able to get it to stay up long enough to work on it since then.

Also, work is BUSY and my days are tending to last at least until 7:00 or 7:30, so by the time I get home I don't have much inclination to try to figure out the computer stuff. Maybe this weekend, although I'm not sure what I can really do, since the modem cable is only so long . . . I'll get it figured out one way or another, but I'm just not sure when or how long.

I just tried to publish this, and the connection isn't working at all now. I don't understand why. It's discouraging.

On another note, the reason my days at work are longer is that my job has changed. Rather than doing development, I've moved into a scheduling position. We've gotten large enough now that we needed someone to keep track of basically everything that's going on in-house, so that's me. I spend most of my days either in meetings or walking around talking to everyone, seeing what they're doing, making new assignments, and just basically making sure that everything gets done on time.

So the way it works out is, after 6:00 or so, I sit down and sort through email, and end up getting home around 8:00. And oh, apropos of nothing, did I ever mention that Matt, from the long-ago Lynqs days, is working at P3 now? I don't think I did. I didn't want to mention it when he was interviewing with us, and I think I failed to ever say anything about it. Through a series of coincidences--I hadn't talked to him in years, but he made a comment to a journal entry, I followed the comment to his blog, found out that he was getting laid off, and we were in a position to think about hiring another developer, and it all worked out.

I'm sure the computer thing will all work out, too . . .

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quiet day, with werewolves

One of my favorite things in the world is to take a nap on a weekend afternoon with the windows open, and I got to do that this afternoon. In fact, it was a pretty lazy day all around. I spent most of it reading. I stayed in bed reading for awhile after Bob got up, then after he had gone to work, I fixed myself some breakfast and read some more, then in the early afternoon I took my book upstairs with me and fell asleep with a breeze blowing over me and birds singing outside.

I didn't sleep very long, maybe an hour, but there's just something so lovely about not having anything in particular to do, and being to just rest.

I was reading Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs, and I loved it! It's funny -- I'd seen the book on the new releases table at Borders several times, and picked it up, but I just wasn't sure about it. Then, I saw it at the library yesterday--at least that way if I didn't like it, I didn't have to feel guilty if I didn't read it.

There are so many supernatural stories out now that it's hard to choose good ones. I'm not really a romance fan, so the supernatural romances don't really grab me. Iron Kissed is the third in a series about Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson, who can shapeshift into a coyote at will. She was raised with a pack of werewolves, and works as a Volkswagen mechanic.

In tone, I'd say that the book is similar to Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series--vampires, werewolves, and fae living among so-called "normal" people, like in Harrison's books, having "come out" and made their presence known to the rest of the world. In Briggs' series, the Fae live on reservations; I've only read the one book so far--I'm reading them in backwards order because I'm taking them as I can get them from th elibrary--so I don't known much more about that.

But anyway, that's what kept me occupied all day today. The ending was just really lovely, just wonderful. The book was definitely worth spending the day reading. Like I said, I'm reading them backwards -- I got the second book in the series at the library today, and I have the first one on hold.

I sat down today and put a TON of books on my library request list. I buy enough books that I don't feel guilty about always getting books at the library -- I could never afford to buy all the books I want, but I buy enough. Some books I really just need to own, even if I'm not going to read them right away. But I find it hard to justify buying hardback copies of best sellers, and I seldom want to wait for the paperback versions. So I put them on the list at the library, wait awhile, and I'll eventually get an email telling me that the book is ready for me to pick up.

I use the self-check machine at the library--you slide your card under the scanner, then put the books through one by one. Each time, it will beep and say that the book has been checked out, and when you're finished, you can have the receipt either printed out or emailed.

Yesterday as I was checking out my books, one of them came up and said it couldn't be checked out, because it had holds. On my way out, I took it up to the counter and gave it to the librarian, saying that the self-check machine wouldn't let me have it because it was on hold for someone. She said, "Let me see your card." I said, "It's not on hold for me," but gave her my card. She said, "Yes, but you're here, and they're not," and she checked it out for me.

I know I've had that happen before, but no one has ever let me check out the book. I guess it just depends on who you ask.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008


I'm a big fan of lists.

I've always been a list maker. I can remember in high school making notebooks full of lists of my favorite songs and books, keeping track of the "top 100" songs (or whatever the number was then) and writing down the lyrics to songs. After that, I think my listmaking kind of tapered off, and I relied on my memory.

I recall waking up in the middle of the night and thinking of the things I needed to remember over and over, hoping that I would remember them by the time I woke up. For awhile, I was using a techniqiue that I read about once, where you create a word with the first letters of the list of things you're trying to remember. Like, if you need to buy tomatoes, oranges, butter and soda, you'd only have to remember TOBS, and hopefully you'd remember what each of the letters represented.

I still sometimes do that, especially in the grocery store; I also sometimes just keep a short list in my head as I walk around the store and just repeat it to myself over and over: "tomatoes, bread, toothpaste, napkins." Then as I pick up each item, it drops off the list. If I have a long list, I'll carry a paper list or, more often, my Palm, and check things off as I get them.

Eventually I got smart and put a notepad and pen on my bedside table. When I woke up and thought of something, I only had to write it down. Sometime after that I graduated to a lighted pen. For awhile, I was waking up and writing down my dreams, and I really enjoyed that, but for whatever reason, I don't seem to remember them very much anymore.

But I do still use the pad and pen beside my bed. I find it's most useful right after I go to bed, before I go to sleep. It saves me having to get up and write something down, or worse, forget things. If I can write something down, I don't have to try to remember it, and I can go to sleep. It's very freeing. It's like a "memory dump." Now I have a lighted notepad rather than a lighted pen -- the light comes on when the pen is pulled out of its slot.

The "notepad" is actually a plastic box that's loaded with a stack of 3x5 cards. If I have written things on a card, I can slip it out of the holder and take it with me. I keep a 3x5 card holder in my purse (similar to this one), and I can just tuck the card in there, and I'm good to go. Or, of course, sometimes I just write something down on the card that needs to go in my PDA; either way, it lets me keep track of things with ease.

When I was at Barnes & Noble during the weeks before Christmas, I ran across a book called To-Do List, by Sasha Cagen. The subtitle is, "From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us." The books contains 100 lists of various kinds, from grocery lists to lists of New Year's resolutions, to "life lists," all sent in by regular people. It's fascinating, a glimpse into someone else's life.

I didn't buy the book then, and when I decided I wanted it, I couldn't find it again. And Borders didn't stock it. I finally got it last week when I ordered a book from Amazon for Bob, and needed to add something to the order to get free shipping. I sat and read it while I was eating lunch today at Chipotle, and made a few lists in my notebook, too.

I have lists of books to read (helpful in the bookstore), lists of movies to rent, a list of things to remember to pack for trips--the things I tend to forget, or the things that I thought of the last time I went somewhere. I just started a Christmas list for ideas of things to buy or make, and I have a list of favorite suppliers for my jewelry supplies. I can never remember which place stocks the particular things I like, but now I can.

Lists just make my life easier.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008


Everything at my Etsy shop ships for free from now through April 15th. I figure we all need a tax day break.

I can't remember what made me think about it, but I was thinking about how I've done arts and crafts all my life. My grandmother crocheted--she taught me when I was just a kid--and my mother was always making things, although she never did needlework. She lost a large portion of her eyesight when she was pregnant with me, so she probably couldn't see well enough to knit or do needlework, but she did a lot of crafty things.

I remember her making tissue paper flowers for our birthday parties, and buying little chenille bees at TG&Y to attach to them. I remember making angels out of the Reader's Digest -- folding every page at an angle so they would fan out, spray painting them gold, gluing a wooden bead to the top for a head., and adding a pipecleaner halo.

I learned to knit in Girl Scouts on big pink needles that I still have; I made the usual clay ashtrays in art class at school. When I was in high school in the early 70's, at the height of the "hippie" era, I bought Aunt Lydia's rug yarn and crocheted big Irish crochet flowers and made purses out of them from patterns from Woman's Day and Family Circle.

At the other end of the spectrum, I made intricate doilies from crochet thread, using steel crochet hooks. I also crocheted wonderfully complex dresses for Barbie dolls -- this was long after I actually played with dolls, but I loved the process of crocheting something so beautiful and tiny. My grandmother had crocheted a lot of beautiful things for my dolls, but I had apparently sold them at some garage sale or other.

My mother said she couldn't believe she would ever have let me do that -- sell the doll clothes -- but I must have, because I sure couldn't find them when I wanted them later. It's always sad the things that we sell or give away, and only realize their value years later.

My grandmother also taught me to tat, but I never really got good enough at it to do it on my own, and I don't remember anything of it now, although I could probably pick it up again if I wanted to. I did counted cross stitch samplers and hooked rugs and did needlepoint and bargello . . . pretty much anything that could be done with a needle, I did. I remember ironing transfer patterns onto plain white cotton and stitching decorations on tea towels and pillow cases.

When I think about all that now, it's hard to imagine having all that time, but I used to read a lot, too. Now, there's that thing called the internet . . .

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