Jun. 1st, 2015

Dear Microsoft,

Thank you for the adorable icon that's shown up in the lower right corner of my monitor. However, until I find out a lot more about what software your new OS supports, I'm not going to click that tempting offer to upgrade to 10. Nope. Especially since I suspect that all of my Adobe products will no longer be supported and I'll have to get a CC subscription and pay forever for software that I've already purchased.

Not interested (yet),


Today is official "Get Back to Work" week. I've been slacking for months, and as June 1 is as good of an opportunity as any, it's time.

Exercise: half check. I need to do some sort of cardio, probably with my squeaky elliptical.

Writing: got the doc open and am wonder if I shouldn't just start over completely. I guess reading through what I've already done counts toward starting up again.

Concerts: waiting to hear back on something which may make us reconsider our house concert series. /vaguebooking

Garden: ACK! Our housesitter wisely ignored the weeds. She was paid to take care of dogs and chickens and water the garden. Weeding said garden was not part of the deal. I've already filled a large cart, dumped that onto the burn pile, and have about a quarter of the thing filled again. Assuming it doesn't rain today -- and I think the odds are that it won't rain -- that cart will be full again. There is also the mowing, the eternal mowing, that should get addressed. Do you think, "Hello, grass!" will be enough? No, I don't, either. Maybe I can just mow around the dandelion patches? I like dandelions, and we've got a meadow, not a lawn. Plus, the weed-eater needs revving up for fence lines and around the apple and pear trees, all 100+ of 'em.


Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Random Thoughts

It takes about a week for my hands to lose the embedded dirt and chlorophyll. Nails, too. And what was this thing where nails grow instead of being chipped to pieces while working?

Assuming we ever go on another "big" vacation, Note to Self: leave the monster camera lens at home. Used it exactly one day. Lugging the big lens, the camera, and a smaller lens all over Laval just about torqued my shoulder. The WBH, noticing how I kept readjusting the camera bag from shoulder to shoulder, offered to help carry it for a bit. I believe he said some discouraging words after hefting the thing onto his shoulder. Bag and big lens stayed in the trunk of the rental car for the rest of the trip.

How to be happy on a trip (me edition): let wonderful spouse do most of the planning. I get way too invested in these sorts of things, and when things don't go exactly right according to my over-scheduled plans, I pout. So, this time, I let him create what turned out to be a very nice sightseeing plan. We tried to get a bunch of birding in during the mornings, had lunch, and then finished the day with either puttering around cute old town centers or exploring some historic site or museum. He fretted a lot that I wasn't having a good time, even though I kept reassuring him that all I needed to be happy was walking around some place interesting with my camera. Eventually, he believed me and relaxed.

How to pack. I thought we would try to pack light and small this trip, or at least as lightly as Americans ever do. We shared a bigish duffel and had two carry-ons. This proved to be a mistake. On the way over, Air France didn't really care what we took. On the way back, however, this was not the case. Everything at CDG had the human factor removed. So, that extra kilo? Repack or get charged 80 euros. Your carry-ons? Weighed. If you had a carry-on and an additional item? Weighed together. Ack! We were definitely over. Luckily, when you've been nabbed and red-stickered, you get sent to a real person's station. The person was very helpful, especially when we didn't try to give her the song and dance act that she got from the two people ahead of us. Yes, we were over. She helped us fix it and get out of paying extra charges. Much love to her. Lesson learned: if they allocate you two checked bags, take them up on it. Even if you don't have much in either bag, you'll buy stuff while you're on vacation anyway.

And now back to the current state of brainlessness caused by jet-lag.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

May. 30th, 2015

In brief:

Back from three weeks in France. Brittany was beautiful, birdy, and very photogenic. Normandy was a bit less so, but it suffered mostly due to Brittany's awesomeness.

Incredibly jet-lagged. Nine hours difference. It took a week to adjust one way, and it'll take at least four days to get back to PDT.

Jet-lag has its uses. When you're too awake to sleep at 3AM, that's a great time to update all the waiting software, since my stingy ISP has its so-called "free time" then. Got caught up on email and bills.

Three weeks is just too long for social media. I tried. Really. Just too much to keep track of. But life is mostly back to normal, or it will be after tomorrow's stint answering the phone for our local public radio station.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

May. 3rd, 2015

Yesterday, I went treasure hunting in the spare room closet. There, buried beneath an unloved jacket was my old camera bag. And, yes, there was much rejoicing after I cleaned off the mold that had grown on the leather trim. Everything fits. Everything.

There was also panic when I tried to decipher Air France's odd-to-me baggage FAQ.

Does it seem weird to anyone else that, if your question is not answered by their FAQ, you're supposed to contact them via Facebook? Well, being old and all, it seemed weird to me, but hey. I got an answer on the second time through. Me, my carry-on, and my wonderful old camera bag will not enjoy eleven hours cooped up together. Oh, right, that's more like thirteen hours, since they never count the sitting around not flying time you're trapped.

I keep wondering what I've forgotten. There's always something, isn't there?

What thing have you forgotten recently?

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

May. 2nd, 2015

There are many times I try to leave LJ/DW, but your adventures and observations keep me coming back. It's comfortable, this particular platform. I like the depth and interaction it gives. I've made friends here, some of whom I wonder how they're doing and where they've gone, and at least one who's died. I don't want to lose this place, so I'm going to try to participate in Teddy Radiator's suggestion that we all post more often.

Thanks, McTabby, for the link.

So, postiness....

Today, while I was trying to find the specific USB cord for the keyboard to my tablet, one with the male end that looks just like six other cables, I got a touch nostalgic for the days when packing for a trip meant tossing in clothes, shoes, toiletries, and maybe a couple of guide books. I've got so much electronic gorp that my brain says has to come along.

Since the EEE is just shy of a boat anchor, the tablet ought to go instead. That's fine, except typing on the tablet is a PITA. So, keyboard, which needs to be charged, hence the hunt for the missing USB. And that connects to the

Camera bag that I agonized over for days. The camera bag that has the special place for a tablet. The special place that is just a touch too small for the tablet with the keyboard clamped around it.

And the camera, my precioussssss. The images on Amazon showed a camera body and two lenses tucked into the bag with room to spare. I managed the camera body and one lens. The monster lens will not fit with the body. Yes, there was a First World tantrum. Monster goes into the carry-on, because birds. Yes, birds. I now wish I'd just said the heck with it and splurged on one of the other options, but cheap is me.

Makes me wish I hadn't tossed that cheap POS bag that I dragged all over the US and Europe back in the eighties and nineties. At least it was tough and roomy, unlike this bag.

I apologize to anyone who's left me a comment. Leaving a comment on LJ is a special experience I wish on no one. DW is also getting cranky. The broadband company that thinks it can bring a kinda sorta broadband to the coast is getting closer.

My puppy prince, Haken, is doing okay. Thanks for asking, AOME. Getting off of his lupus medications has been really good for him. He's been much more active this year. Guess injuring his eye worked out for the best in a creepy way. He's mostly blind, deaf in one ear (we think), and arthritic in his hips. He still lives for his drives to get the mail. Poor old guy has to sleep outside, due to too many "accidents." The WBH has rigged up a heat lamp for him to sleep under, and he looks quite content out there.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Apr. 27th, 2015

The big clock of impending departure is ticking, and it's really loud.

Achievement the first: Patrick Ball concert went off way better (and easier) than expected. As always, we had over half the tickets unsold until Tuesday, then *poof* sold. It wasn't a complete sell-out, but I really don't know where we could have stuck the last nine unsold seats. The extra wonderful bonus was just a simple job change. Instead of being the person at the door, the WBH took that spot, leaving me to sell merch. I didn't have to be cheerful and up and chitchat. All I had to do was discuss music and help people pick which CDs they wanted to buy. Made all the difference in the world. The artist was very happy with his check; this Sunday, the radio station should be happy with their cut. All is good(ish).

Achievement the first.five: My concert photos turned out pretty darn well. My last attempt was terrible. I found a DVD course for my particular camera, got most of the way through it before the concert, and voila! decent photos. Amazing what a little learnin' will do.

There is no real second achievement, only goals for this last week. To wit, mowing. I will be spending a lot of quality time with weed-eater and mower.

Will also be trying to find my least ragged clothing to pack. The forecast is for cool and rainy right this instant. So, much like here, minus the rain. I don't buy a lot of clothes, since I'm still in the process of wearing out a closet full of old work clothes and office work clothes. It's only times like this that I realize what a ragamuffin I've become. Well, it's too late to make or buy anything, so ragamuffin it is. Everyone has to have their own special style, right?

Time to finish the post-lunch coffee, gas up the weed-eater, and set off my allergies.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Trying for Normal

My poor neighbor heads back south for more poisoning tomorrow. I get cat duty for the next four days, or rather half cat duty. She has someone who lets the cat out in the morning. My job is to let the cat back inside, top up its water, clean the nasty cat box, feed it, and scarper off without touching the critter. My sweetheart is really allergic to cats, so no touching!

Speaking of said sweetheart, it's his birthday. Happy birthday, [profile] albionwood! Today, being a Radio Sunday and all, only counts as a fraction of a birthday. He can drag the celebration out for at least a week.

Assuming that the transaction on Friday at one of the more stupidly-run hardware stores here actually went through, I'll be spending most of my Monday moving pila/pyzique blocks from where the driver drops them to where they'll end up (hopefully the number of steps will be few). There are more that will be put into a fire pit. I'm all for this fire pit; himself, not so much. Fire! Just think of all the useless paper I can burn as well as all of the stupid little sticks that are all over the joint. There is still a small chance that he will nix this in favor of fire protection, upon which point I will use the blocks to replace rotting logs we're using to hold up planting beds. It's a win no matter what...assuming that the order really did go through.

Concert this Friday. Usual set-up. Sound check for just one performer. He's bringing his props. No breakdown afterward, as there's a play the night afterward. We're taking the performer home with us. He swears he's a dog person, and the photos on Facebook show that he is. Depending on when he leaves Saturday, I might run over to the Goat Festival in Boonville, because GOATS!

Books Read: Dark Horse, Longmire #5 I kinda worried the first few pages that Johnson had started mailing it in. Walt Longmire is a folksy kinda guy, prone to lots of interesting and colorful descriptions...and this one opened with that in spades. The actual story/mystery was just fine. It was just that overly rewritten first ten or so pages that were annoying.

Spook Country by William Gibson My guy read this a year or so ago. He's been after me ever since to read it, since it has spies in it. I was between books, so I did. I give it a "C." I used to really like Gibson, but this book never hooked me. It had some interesting ideas, a few good characters, but it never clicked.

Still knitting the same damn sweater. I think I'm halfway to the armscye.

Finished watching: "Turn" S1 of George Washington's spies. The 18th century isn't one that I know that well, but the overall look seemed right. The actors' accents were laughable. Either give up and let everyone talk with modern accents or everyone ought to have an accent. The leading men's refusal to wear hats is annoying. The writers had to give in and have the trite love affair. Still, it was interesting and entertaining.

This week: all about the concert
Week of the 27 starts the manic countdown to Brittany on the 5th.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Apr. 17th, 2015

Concept is much nicer than reality.
Read more...Collapse )

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Apr. 10th, 2015

Not sure how today's score falls.

The very good: the Fabulous Connie and spouse came out for lunch and a long visit. She shall always be fabulous.

The very bad: news that a favorite neighbor has cancer via a request for folks to sign up to feed her and worse, if possible, news about another friend.

Kinda numb.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org

Apr. 8th, 2015

Alive? Yes.

Reading? More Longmire and still in love with the series. Why, oh, why doesn't my local library have the whole series waiting for me. *drums fingers* Waiting for #5.

Knitting? Yes. Sort of. Hate the way Starmore codes her symbols and too lazy to rework them. This sweater is going to be with me for a very, very long time at this rate.

Writing? No. I'm still thinking and rethinking characters and the beginning. Beginnings are my personal quagmire. If I don't set everything up correctly, I sink into regrettable prose and character histories. If I need reminding, there's a perfectly good 4/5ths of a book on my hard drive. Tried how many times to rework the start? Lots. I may need to hire someone some day to help me see how to rewrite it, or I'll just consign it to the hell of being ignored.

Photography? Why, yes, I do dabble in other things. I bought myself a Canon 7D last fall for my birthday. Thus far, it's been a very expensive point-and-shoot. I'd hoped to take a friend's digital photography class, one he held at least once a quarter, and then he had Major Life. I do not learn well from books. I need a class or someone to occasionally insert themself into my work and point out a better way to do X. However, vacation is soon, and dammit, I want to be able to use my expensive toy. Found a crash course DVD/download and have been working my way through that.

Vacation in less than a month. Hurrah! France's air traffic controllers opting to go on strike six days before we fly out. ACK! They've scheduled a three-day strike, which is going to screw up flights for who knows how long afterward. We're three days after the event. Since I got the tickets via credit card points, changing anything will cost just about the same as buying new tickets. Screwed much? Yes.

Cross-posted from dreamwidth.org