dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

A bit of a grab-bag entry (er ... as though that's anything unusual) as I try to get ready for Pennsic.

Baitcon: I mentioned that there were lots of folks I was glad to see, and that the "folks I don't see often enough" category is too large. There were too many members of that category present for me to get to talk to everyone I wanted to. I'm glad of the chance to catch up with the ones I did manage to. I really need to plan a road trip to Boston (and several other places) once I have a car again.

On the whole I had a great time -- meteorological, culinary, musical, and social aspects were all wonderful -- and my body only "stole time" from me by forcing me to rest-more-than-healthy-people when I would rather have been making music or being social, rather than wiping out my weekend entirely. It was frustrating but I'm trying to recalibrate my expectations. (Much like the past couple years at Pennsic where I've had to pace myself in such a way that I get about a week worth of Pennsic in the two weeks spent there. Getting more folks to come hang out in my camp would help summat.)

After Baitcon: my right wrist has been excruciatingly painful since sometime on the way home from Baitcon. :-( Enough so that perhaps it's just as well that miscommunication interfered with my getting to 3LF rehearsal this week. I did find a position in which I can play bass guitar without aggravating it farther, but I'm not sure I can play double bass right now, and really vigorous strumming on guitar (like I do in HCB) would be a major problem. I've no idea what I did to it, and am feeling rather impatient about its healing, since I'm concerned about being able to play when it's time to perform.

Pennsic whoops: The somewhat Rube Goldberg shipping arrangements for a package I need from London, Ontario fell through. (The "fault", if one can be said to exist, lies more with the fragility of a plan involving so many steps, rather than the failure of any one person trying to do me a favour; also, my own lack of foresight in getting things moving early enough to compensate for glitches.) This has the potential to make my Pennsic significantly uncomfortable. I don't suppose there's anyone who could arrange to bring me two weeks worth of certain Canadian goods on such short notice? (Specifically the generic version of Reactine [Zyrtec] which I know I'm going to want in that dusty, smoky environment, and codeine+caffeine+acetaminophen tablets [unless a version with ibuprofen instead of aceteminophen exists], which I very much hope not to need, but am very likely to given that Pennsic is a bit rough on my body. The Reactine has to be the plain version, without any decongestant -- 10mg tablets preferred, though I can double up on 5mg pills or use a pill-splitter to chop 20mg ones in half.)

And not really a 'whoops', though I do wish I'd thought to ask earlier than this: is there anybody in my area (Baltimore) not going to Pennsic, who has a 12V deep-cycle battery that I could borrow for two weeks? Merely a convenience, as opposed to the rather more pressing medical needs in the preceeding paragraph, but hey, if it works out ...

And a little-whoops: I'm still looking to trade a 128MB Memory Stick Pro that I can't use (actually it's a Pro Duo in an adapter) for a 128MB or even a 64MB Memory Stick not-'Pro' that I can use. I meant to try to arrange such a trade for Baitcon but forgot.

Not related to anything in particular (1): Every so often a friend sets up, or tweaks, their custom filters to show journal entries on different topics to different people, and there's usually a round of "which filters do you want to be on?". If I'm actually getting around to reading everything and commenting that week, I usually say something like this, which I'll borrow [info] emeraldliz's words for because they're more concise than mine:

"I get tired of people deciding they suddenly need a dozen friends lists and asking people if they want to be on them. If I'm a friend- it's cuz I want to read your stuff. If you don't want me to read it, that's up to you. If I don't want to read it, it's up to me."

Note that I don't expect everyone on my friendslist who decides a month or a year or a decade from now to remember the Published Filter Policy of every person on their friendslist, so therefore I am not demanding that this statement be remembered and taken into account, but I figure I may as well at least put it out there just in case.

Actually, if there were an "add this user-plus-tag" option when friending someone or adding them to one of your own reading filters, then tags could be used to push the whole "opt-in filter" concept into the reader's sphere-of-control. (Even better would be that plus "except if this tag is present" as options, so that I could exclude certain only-occasionally-interesting and usually verbose subjects fom my "busy" reading filter, while still leaving them on my default view. It would have to be user+tag, not just tag-regardless-of-user, because different people use the same tag different ways.) As I've observed before, I'm sure there are folks who would like to be able to subscribe to my QotD entries without getting the rest of my journal.

Not related to anything in particular (2): I was thinking last week about what's nice about being in a place where lots of guys are wearing kilts, and was reminded of it at Baitcon when somebody made an appreciative comment about men in skirts (kilts and otherwise): It's been quite adequately demonstrated that a large percentage of women really like seeing men in kilts or in skirted garments in general. Not all of these women will be attracted to me, but in an environment where there are lots of kilts being worn, the odds are that for each woman present, there will be at least one guy she finds distractingly attractive wearing a kilt within visual range. So women at such events tend to be, if not exactly aroused per se, at least a little ... "revved up", "sparkly", happy, tittilated. And even when they're not looking at me, that energy is perceptible, and I find that energy, that undercurrent of awareness-of-aroused-females-of-my-species pervading the environment, to be pleasurable in itself. I like being around aroused women. It feels nice. A pleasant glow for an empath.

Really, I've never quite understood why so relatively few cisgendered American guys (outside of the Pagan community, Celtic festivals, medieval reenactment contexts, and the contradance scene) choose to wear unbifurcated garments, given how positively -- and usually quite openly so -- many women respond when they see men wearing such things. (Admittedly, I first noticed the connection as a side effect of being transgendered, but I eventually would've caught on from being at medieval events and Scottish events, and would have realized as several of my friends and acquaintances appear to have, that kilts tend to please the ladies.)

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:00pm on 2007-07-09 under , ,

My house usually gets insanely hot in the summer, refusing to cool down once it's heated up, and often winding up warmer than outdoors.

Today the temperature reported on the news is insanely hot, but, as they noted on the telly, we're getting a break on the humidity. My bedroom is only 91°F and it didn't break 90 until fairly late, and the humidity is low enough (for, ah, local values of 'low') that perspiring actually does some good. And therefore fans help, as do gentle breezes wafting through the windows. I can't really say it's super comfortable, but it's definitely not miserable. And both the weather forecast and past observations of this house predicted miserable. *whew*!

When I'm in a room without a fan, I definitely notice when I step out of the path of the breeze from the nearest window. It's probably not the best day for heavy lifting or too many trips up and down the stairs in a short time or wearing much clothing, but it's not one of those "brain baking, eyeballs melting, gonna burst into flame" days like we had a bunch of a couple weeks ago.

39% relative humidity versus 70%. Yowza.


Alas, I didn't sleep enough last night so I'm feeling a little brain-fried for reasons other than the weather, and I'm moving kinda slowly in general, but the day has not been a complete loss to sleep-deprivation: I finished the other half of a tune that I had started last month, and I'm feeling rather pleased with it. I should start practicing it on guitar -- I wrote it on mandolin (and it's pretty distinctly a mandolin tune, though I'm counting on the fiddlers to make it sound better on a real violin than the MIDI I generated). The middle section wound up being somewhat recorder-unfriendly, alas (though I did see fingerings online for notes that high recently, so recorder is not out of the question -- er, except for one insane note, a harmonic on the violin).

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:58pm on 2007-07-09 under , ,

My house usually gets insanely hot in the summer, refusing to cool down once it's heated up, and often winding up warmer than outdoors.

Today the temperature reported on the news is insanely hot, but, as they noted on the telly, we're getting a break on the humidity. My bedroom is only 91°F and it didn't break 90 until fairly late, and the humidity is low enough (for, ah, local values of 'low') that perspiring actually does some good. And therefore fans help, as do gentle breezes wafting through the windows. I can't really say it's super comfortable, but it's definitely not miserable. And both the weather forecast and past observations of this house predicted miserable. *whew*!

When I'm in a room without a fan, I definitely notice when I step out of the path of the breeze from the nearest window. It's probably not the best day for heavy lifting or too many trips up and down the stairs in a short time or wearing much clothing, but it's not one of those "brain baking, eyeballs melting, gonna burst into flame" days like we had a bunch of a couple weeks ago.

39% relative humidity versus 70%. Yowza.


Alas, I didn't sleep enough last night so I'm feeling a little brain-fried for reasons other than the weather, and I'm moving kinda slowly in general, but the day has not been a complete loss to sleep-deprivation: I finished the other half of a tune that I had started last month, and I'm feeling rather pleased with it. I should start practicing it on guitar -- I wrote it on mandolin (and it's pretty distinctly a mandolin tune, though I'm counting on the fiddlers to make it sound better on a real violin than the MIDI I generated). The middle section wound up being somewhat recorder-unfriendly, alas (though I did see fingerings online for notes that high recently, so recorder is not out of the question -- er, except for one insane note, a harmonic on the violin).

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:27pm on 2007-06-21 under , ,

I'm bringing the oud to Conterpoint this weekend after all.

Anybody feel like starting a pool for guesses as to when during the weekend my tempoary repair to the head/neck joint will start to fail?

Still not sure about the soprano bowed psaltery (I'm definitely bringing the tenor), or whether I'll have time to replace the broken strings on the Vulcan lyre before tomorrow evening.

P.S.: This means, if you're the one playing the oud at the time the tuning and action start to go to pot (or, worst case, the wood splits), it won't be your fault. If I'm lucky it'll at least last long enough for interested people to try it out. Knock wood.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:24pm on 2007-06-21 under , ,

I'm bringing the oud to Conterpoint this weekend after all.

Anybody feel like starting a pool for guesses as to when during the weekend my tempoary repair to the head/neck joint will start to fail?

Still not sure about the soprano bowed psaltery (I'm definitely bringing the tenor), or whether I'll have time to replace the broken strings on the Vulcan lyre before tomorrow evening.

P.S.: This means, if you're the one playing the oud at the time the tuning and action start to go to pot (or, worst case, the wood splits), it won't be your fault. If I'm lucky it'll at least last long enough for interested people to try it out. Knock wood.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

So, the clouds finally burst and the long-threatened thunderstorm has arrived. It feels like a breath, held too long, has been released. On the other hand, between the thunderclaps and the rain sounds, I won't be able to hear stumbling, shambling hordes coming from as far away.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

So, the clouds finally burst and the long-threatened thunderstorm has arrived. It feels like a breath, held too long, has been released. On the other hand, between the thunderclaps and the rain sounds, I won't be able to hear stumbling, shambling hordes coming from as far away.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:48pm on 2007-06-07 under

The theme of the afternoon was "Ouch!". The dominant concept for the evening will be more pleasant: 'new-guitar-case smell'.

It almost (important word, that) seems a shame to toss out my old brown guitar case with the orange lining after it has served me for so very long. Thing is, it's pretty much used up.

The new case is ordinary and black, would be boring except for being so ShinyNew!1!, but it's whole and solid and does not need to be held shut with a bungee cord. And I have a silver Sharpie marker and paint-pens in a few colours, so when I feel like I've got the patience and coordination I can fix the "ordinary" part easily enough. (And it'll acquire battle-scars over time, regardless.) It's heavier than the one it replaced; it seems heavier than the blue one as well but I haven't weighed them ... and it's well documented that black objects feel heavier than light-coloured objects of the same mass (to sighted humans). It also looks a lot bigger, until I line it up right next to the blue case. I think the Shiny!!1 takes up an extra centimeter or two in each direction, or something, and it'll seem normal sized once it gets enough scratches and dust on it.

The new case is reassuringly solid.

Now I just have to get used to not looking for the brown one when I'm fetching my cases to pack up at the end of a gig.

Toe still hurts, but I guess it stopped bleeding as expected after not-very-long, since it didn't soak all the way through the bandage. I haven't removed the bandage to look at it yet. Methinks I'll want to rubber-band a baggie over it when I take a shower.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:18pm on 2007-06-06 under , ,

Last night, thanks to Clue suggested by [livejournal.com profile] syntonic_comma, I was able to work out the rhythm notation problem that was keeping me from writing down the tune I'd come up with over the weekend. (And as I predicted when I first complained about being stumped, it turns out to look easy and obvious once it's finally written down.) Since [livejournal.com profile] anniemal suggested that it might fit somehow with another tune I've been working on, 'Samhain', I made MIDIs of both of those plus 'Samhain Eve', to listen to all three together in various orders. I think that if I make the new tune part of a set with the other two, it's going to have to go first (hmm ... unless I do something interesting to the end of 'Samhain' ...). So I'm trying to choose a title that has something to do with the changing of the year and implies a bit of nostalgia. A couple of the titles I've thought of already seem too pretentious for what this tune is; others seem a bit bland. I dunno. The title shouldn't be as much work as composing the tune, but I do want to have a title I like before I put it in front of a lot of people. I'm considering 'Tomorrow and Yesterday' as one of the possibilities.

In the meantime, since my paid LJ account hasn't expired yet, I figured I'd toss in a poll for musicians...

[Poll #998297]

FWIW, the 12/8 version is easier to type in.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

The good news is that the temperature in my house is now down to 77°F (thanks, I presume, to that tropical storm somewhere south of here), which means that I can be comfortable as long as I do not move, and have a fan blowing on me.

The bad news is that the humidity is up to 70%, so the moment I expend a Joule more than what I dissipate resting (say, by standing up, for example, or bending over to pick something up) or interfere with the airflow (by putting on a bathrobe or other clothing), I'm instantly dripping with sweat again, which doesn't want to evaporate.

*sigh* At least it's cool enough for Perrine to hang out with me in the bedroom again.

Okay, just a couple more things left to do, then a quick shower to rinse off the sweat and a retreat into immobility to try to cool off again. Take out the trash, check the laundry, check the buckets under the leak in the roof. And maybe I'll stay asleep longer than fifteen minutes on my next attempt.

dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)

[livejournal.com profile] folkmew pointed out that Musician's Friend (a place I bought stuff from last century but whose catalog mailing list I fell off of a while back) is having a "moving to new warehouse" sale. So, of course, there's a whole bunch of stuff there that I've wanted to pick up for a while, at tempting sale prices, that I mostly still can't afford anyhow. (Resist, resist, resist.) But I've had "replace guitar cases" on my to-do list for several years now -- the last time I looked, hard cases worth using were too expensive, and I hadn't bothere looking lately because I haven't had any more extra money at hand than the last time I'd looked. But the case for my main 6-string is missing significant chunks of wood near the edge of the lower bout, and is reinforced with strapping tape under the spraypaint and gaffer's tape over the paint where the strapping tape had started wearing out and the wood had mysteriously vanished -- it may actually have a couple more years left in it thanks to all the gaffer's tape Allon attached to it -- and the 12-string case is, well, toast. The hinges and one or two latches have fallen off, and the plies of the plywood around the bottom curve have separated so that the wood there feels like soggy cardboard. I keep a bungee cord around it to hold it closed.

So it's obviously time for me to look at guitar cases on sale ...

The last time I looked at guitar cases, there weren't three hundred and twenty four models of cases to choose from. Eek! Okay, the number shrinks considerably when you narrow it down to folk guitar cases and cross off the ones that cost a bunch extra for fancy paint jobs. And, importantly, they've gotten a lot cheaper (well, the cheap ones have) than the last time I'd looked ... and they're on sale on top of that. I'm not sure I can really justify spending the money for two right now, but I think I can manage to afford one. Now I just have to sift through all these open browser tabs and pick one. (The two undecided questions: do I want to get a plastic one, lighter and more water resistant (water was what did the bulk of the damage -- maybe all of the non-cosmetic damage -- to the cases I've got), or stick to wood so that I know the lid and bottom will be flat for better stackability and squeezing into car trunks? And do I trust an unfamiliar brand?) This might go faster if I didn't keep going, "ooh, shiny!" at various other things (drum and cymbal mutes on sale -- for thirty bucks I can mute everything but the kick drum and the two smallest Roto-Toms and feel less self-conscious about practicing the drums when neighbours are home ... hey, a mandocello in the scratch-&-dent section -- still too expensive ... whoah, a USB microphone!).

Whatever case I get, I'll have to do something distinctive to it to make it easier to pick out of a pile of cases, at least until I get used to the change. I'm so used to just looking for "the light blue one (now with red tape) and the beat-up brown one" among the jumble of black guitar cases at various events that I'm bound to forget to look for a black one at first.


In other news, the house, which was at 88°F and 60% relative humidity at the hottest part of yesterday, finally cooled a bit overnight and a little more since the rain started: it's all the way down to 85°F and 58% relative humidity. Gee, no wonder I feel sticky. And no wonder Perrine keeps retreating to the coolest patch of floor she can find in the hallway (and glaring at me as though the weather is my fault when I pass by). I'm trying to avoid plugging in the bedroom air conditioner -- I'm still paying for the electricity consumed by space heaters over the winter, and the rates just went up significantly -- but I may have to give in and fire it up for my own sanity.

I don't think the heat is the reason I've been sleeping so poorly -- I'm only managing to stay asleep for 30 to 180 minutes at a time, with 60 to 120 minutes being the usual, and I'm gettin' awfully tired of being tired -- but it probably doesn't help.

dglenn: Spaceship superimposed on a whirling vortex (departure)

Tonight's decision: watch the television program I'd planned to watch, or listen to my physicist housemate try to remember enough relativity to explain how a wormhole can be turned into a time machine and why that turns out not to be useful anyhow.

Okay, that wouldn't have been a difficult decision even if I hadn't already programmed the VCR to tape the show in question, but it still illustrates why I have the VCR record even the shows I expect to watch in real time. You just can't depend on life to be boring at predictable times.


[*] As a representative member of the class of video recording devices capable of capturing broatcast signals, not specifically in preference to other, even more convenient recording devices such as TiVo and MythTV.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

I'm exhausted to the point where it cannot be accurately described without the use of expletives. Here's the really short version of how my day went.

I did not get enough sleep.

Rides wound up working out, some last-minute, others nearly so.

The weather sortakinda cooperated ... -ish ... though not especially comfortably. I did switch from bass to guitar for the third set at MTT because the sky was spitting. The second day of MTT was cancelled due to the weather forecast.

The new dead batteries I put into a camera to replace the old dead batteries ... annoyed me by being dead. (In all fairness, I don't remember how long those unopened blister-packages had been in my camera bag. But it was frustrating.)

In Greenbelt we had a really good audience.

In the very first tune of the first set of the first half of the Greenbelt concert, I broke a string (one of the Elixirs, on the 12-string). At intermission I discovered I had run out of that size.

Partway through the first half of the show, the jump ring on my big pewter cross parted, sending the cross and last year's Pennsic medallion clattering to the floor. I'm counting this as technically being a wardrobe malfunction. :-P (What, me a tease?)

So now I'm back at home, planning to fall asleep shortly. I may describe the day in more detail later. Or not. Good day, but a long day, especially on so little sleep.

dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:54pm on 2007-04-12 under , ,

I did not get a call telling me to come to the courthouse at 14:00. I did get a call just before 15:30 from the prosecutor telling me that the guy who totaled my car had been found guilty and sentenced to sixty days in jail, the maximum sentence for what he was charged with.

She also said that the photos I took, which I gave her a copy of on CD last month and which she printed out and introduced as evidence this afternoon, were a major factor in convincing the judge to impose the maximum penalty. Apparently they were the difference between "okay, some cars got damaged," and "wow, those cars are crushed".

So even though my presence was not required today, I feel like I did my part.

dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:24am on 2007-04-11 under ,

Last night on the way to [livejournal.com profile] anniemal's after rehearsal, I started thinking about camera-phone video shot from a bumpy, moving car. I was wondering how easily the bumps and jitters could be removed from the video by splitting it into individual frames, re-registering each frame so that a feature of the car -- say a mark on the dashboard -- was at the same location within each frame, cropping each frame to the area common to all the tranlated frames, and reassembling them into a video file.

So, since I was sitting in the passenger seat, I shot a bunch of video clips to play with later, either by trying to figure out how to automatically indentify the reference feature in each frame and feed the location to ImageMagick, or by Googling for existing software already designed to de-shake phone video.

This morning I considered my to-do list and asked, "What was I thinking? When am I going to get around to that?" Whoops.

But I still need to figure out how to split a 3GPP MPEG file into individual frames (or convert it directly to an abnimated GIF) for a completely separate, much smaller project. ImageMagick, at least the versions I've got handy, doesn't seem to like 3GPP video. And a shareware tool advertised as doing what I want insisted that I needed to install a new codec even though the Windows machine I was running it on could display the video already (implying that the right codec was already present on the machine) and even after I tried downloading another codec from the web site mentioned in the error message. (I'm trying to compile another tool now.)

[Update: the tool I said I was trying to compile failed to compile under Cygwin/WinXP but did compile -- and do exactly what I had hoped it would do -- under Mac OS X. I hope it also runs at my house in case I need it again in the future -- my guess is that its working correctly on the first try under Linux is more likely than not. Now to re-read the ImageMagick 'convert' man page...]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

The good: I just realized that with all the stuff I did yesterday and the additional handicap of doing it starting too early and on too litle sleep, I managed it without needing to take codeine, and with only my ordinary daily dose of Ultram & ibuprofen.

The bad: today I feel utterly craptastic despite having caught up on sleep. My planned short grocery run today is hereby postponed. As is just about everything else under consideration for today. I'll maybe watch some of the television I slept through last night (if I decide that I can bear being exposed to the traffic noise from outside without earplugs), poke haphazardly at a PHP thingie I'm toying with, try to remember what email seemed so urgent to deal with today when I was thinking about it last night, and rest.

Maybe I'll be in shape to do the fun things I wanted to do tomorrow by tomorrow if I let my body catch up this evening.

Still, being able to get through as much of yesterday as I did before I fell over is something.


The power steering fluid is still leaking, but I think I managed to slow it down a little. I'll know better after another day or so of watching it. At least the 'stuttering" of the power assist when making turns at low speed has gone away (though the "mushiness" at high speeds is not related).

I'm getting tired of having half a car. I can drive to the grocery store, so it's not as bad as the time I've had to lug groceries home in a backppack, but I'm still stuck when it comes to anything far enough away to make me nervous about breaking down, or for which there's no reasonable alternative to highways where the minimum safe speed is higher than the "feels unstable" speed of my car right now. Which means any of the rehearsals lately, at least one upcoming gig, visiting [livejournal.com profile] anniemal, and most social stuff. And my selection of stores to shop at is limited by this as well.

Thing is, even when the insurance stuff finally does get sorted out, I don't know whether I'll be any better off. With a $250 deductible on uninsured-motorist claims, I'm not sure how I'll be able to afford to repair/replace my car even after I get the insurance money.

In the meantime, I patiently move the car from one side of the street to the other and back twice a week...


I had some strange dreams last night and this morning. In one, I was helping an older me balance our checkbook by carefully frying receipts in vegetable oil, while a younger me asked questions.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

I kept going longer than I thought I would. I took care of some errands, got the bass back, got Secret Magical Honda-Specific Power Steering Fluid, super-glued a paper napkin to the crack in the power steering reservoir (intentionally), ate lunch ... uh, not in that order. Got to chat with [livejournal.com profile] muzikmaker21 over lunch, which was nifty (the conversation was much niftier than the lunch, though the lunch wasn't bad).

The long-sleeved top that fit the weather so well when I left the house to go to court this morning, became far too warm for the way the afternoon warmed up. Go figure. You'd think it was spring or something ...

I painted my nails today. But, uh, with real paint, not nail polish. And, uh, not evenly, kinda spots and smudges. And, well, not just my nails, but other parts of my fingers. And, yeah, not intentionally. Maybe I should've slept first, before marking stuff with a really old (but surprisingly not dried-out!) paint-pen.

Feeling more than a little dead now.

Oh my. Lots and lots and lots and LOTS of sirens while I was writing this. And two (2) helicopters. (I'm gussing that the one too far to see the markings on is television; the nearer one is police. Who has a black or Very Dark Blue helicopter? Would that be WBAL?) I feel as though I should put my clothes back on, grab a camera, and go see what happened. But I'm not sure I'm really awake enough to deal with that. I think I need to just fall over now.

Er ... after I program the VCRs, 'cause sleeping through prime-time does not seem unlikely.

Oh! The second helicopter was WJZ (channel 13). They just showed an arial view on the telly, It's a fire in a rowhouse. They almost never bother to send cameras -- heck, they rarely even bother to mention -- when a house catches fire in southwest Baltimore (as opposed to some other parts of town). I wonder what's special about this one.

dglenn: Cartoon of me playing electric guitar (debtoon)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:17pm on 2007-03-11 under ,

*sigh* I had to lop off another chunk of cat again; this time she does look a little lopsided. It always seems to be in the same general area, on the left side of her neck, that the knots/mats form. She was flinching when I touched that spot; let's see whether removing the knot makes her more comfortable.

Fortunately Perrine likes the grooming brush enough (as long as I let her control how it's applied) that letting her rub against it was a sufficient treat to undo her annoyance at me for holding her down and trying to isolate the knot to snip off.

dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)

I had a kinda busy/kinda productive couple of days (with help from a couple of people). But I can't shake the feeling that there was something planned for today that I forgot to write down.

I know my VCRs won't automagically switch to Daylight Spending Time[1] tonight, but I think that one of them will try to do so on the old date and need to be set back then. I'm not sure which of my computers will/won't automatically spring forward; most won't, but at least one got a batch of OS upgrades installed that may or may not have included a DST patch. I'm not sure whether to expect next year to be on the new schedule or the old schedule, so I hven't decided whether to patch the ones that need to be patched by hand, or just stay up tonight to set their clocks manually.

There's been a major flurry of activity on the lowest floor of the house across the street, ripping out the bricked-up windows, installing widowsills, patching the mortar in the outside wall, redoing some of the masonry inside, fixing up the floor. I've lost track of what permits the owner has gotten -- it sounds as though the first round or permits were to allow him to do the work that was required to apply for the second round of permits, or something -- but the coffee shop he wants to open seems to be back on track. He said his proposed paint and signage sailed through the community associating meeting easily (it's a historical district, and there are a bunch of rules related to that regarding what is allowed on the street-facing sides[2] of houses here). There's no glass in the windows yet, and there's a couple of big storefront window openings still bricked up that I'd never noticed until he pointed them out, saying they'd let in a lot more light when he opens those up.

Why do I feel funny about setting up a computer in a tower-style case on its side? I never hesitated a moment in setting up a desktop-style case on end. And I can't think of a mechanical reason[3] not to put a tower case on its side. It just ... feels wrong, and the fact that it feels wrong and I don't know why feels even more wrong. (It's not quite a strong enough feeling to stop me from doing it, to fit computers into the rack, but it'll take me a little while to get used to seeing them that way.)

Now if only I could either shake this feeling of having forgotten something, or remember what it is I've forgotten ...

[1] [livejournal.com profile] vvalkyri pointed out an interview on NPR about daylight saving time, in which it was pointed out that a) DST doesn't actually save energy because what we save on lighting is more than offset by gasoline used to get to various events taking advantage of the evening light, and b) the main proponents of DST have been business interests because the main effect of DST is that people spend more time shopping when they have extra daylight after work! So it occurs to me that since we are not "saving daylight" (there are still the same number of daylit hours) nor saving energy, the name ought to reflect the true purpose: spending. Hence "daylight spending time", which fortunately uses the same abbreviation as the official name.

[2] I know, the "street-facing side" is usually referred to more concisely as the "front". But the storefront in question across the street is actually the side of the house it's under; the front of the house is on Fulton Ave.

[3] I've heard that hard disks don't like to be formatted in one orientation and then used in a different one, but a) I don't know whether that claim is legitimate, b) if it doesn't turn out to be completely bogus, I don't know whether it applies generally or only to particular generations of drives, and c) for most of the spare drives I've got lying around waiting to be stuck into computers, I have no idea what orientation they were used in by their previous owners anyhow.

dglenn: Cartoon of me playing electric guitar (debtoon)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 08:32pm on 2007-03-07 under , ,

I did get back to sleep. I woke again to light mist and a warning from the television weatherfolk that any snow not cleared in the afternoon would soon become more-difficult-to-deal-with ice. Pain meds allowed me to wield the pushbroom, though using a shovel was still out of the question even just for scraping without lifting snow in it (result determined by experiment). A neighbour yelled out his window asking whether I needed help, and I replied that I wasn't sure yet; when I'd done what I could with the broom and stared at the trod-upon section already packed down and stuck to the concrete it didn't seem like enough to call someone across the street to get up, so I figured I'd throw salt on it and hope that would suffice (and that pedestrians would have the sense to walk on the cleared part instead of the uber-slippery zone). I went back inside to make something hot to eat and drink, and Breno arrived a few minutes later. In that little time, the salt had been far more effective than I'd expected. Yay chemistry, both the "make me able to navigate stairs" kind and the labour-saving kind. And, as long as I'm cheering for chemistry, yay for the food kind as well.

Then the pain meds wore off. Ow. Glad I'd already decided not to try to go anywhere today.

Purple potato pics pending, pain permitting.

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