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Sat, May. 17th, 2014, 11:45 pm

I guess that trying to post more regularly thing didn't work out, huh...

Anyway, I just booked a flight on Ryanair. And rented a car in the UK. Which of these is more likely to result in my untimely death? Hmm.

Mon, Mar. 10th, 2014, 01:39 am

Well, that didn't last long, I guess. But it's fodder for a State of the Life post.

I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the way my life is going lately. I certainly have the trappings of a comfortable life, but I feel increasingly like I'm not going anywhere. I'm doing fine at work (I think -- always never entirely certain about that part), but it sucks up a lot of my time, and then dealing with the cats takes care of a bunch of the rest. There is free time, but I blow it doing stupid crap like reading Reddit, similarly to how others might by crashing in front of the TV. I don't like it at all. I remember one point when I lamented having so many things I wanted to spend free time on; now I don't remember any of them.

I know what I like. A few times in the past 3 or 4 years, I've gone out by myself to remote places. They were always excuses for photo wanderings, but really, the camera was secondary; seeing things with my own eyes and being in places, often with no other people around for what could have been miles, was utterly invigorating. And feeling completely free to do even sillier things like wander out to normally crowded parks at midnight to see them completely empty and bathed in moonlight. I can't put words to the feeling, but I really liked it, even if I didn't care much for getting into bed at 1 just to force myself awake at 5 to hit a trail before sunrise. (Where I might have been eaten by a grue, for all I know.)

It's a cliche for people to find themselves tied down by responsibilities. Mine are the umpteen cats and the house. It seems unwise for me to disappear from here for any longer than a weekend, and possibly not even that; alunissage couldn't hold up the stress of dealing with all the cats while I was gone over Christmas, and that was before we found out Rufus needed fluids. I'm supposed to go to Dublin at least once a year to see my coworkers, but I haven't been there since December 2012, and I don't expect to be able to go this year at all. It's one thing to be the foundation holding the house up; it's another to be the pin holding an entire set of lives together.

I've found that I forget a lot of stuff, too. I believe I myself am overloaded. There are things I don't get to at work because other things keep poaching all the time, and I think that isn't helping my life outside of work. I seem to recall someone saying that having more than five things to actively manage simultaneously highly correlates with all sorts of other overload-related symptoms... well, I definitely have more than five at work alone.

I know there are little things I can do to slowly improve on my situation. I don't like the idea of scheduling free time, but I think I'd better get used to it. It would certainly help with my fear of letting other things (like my marriage) slide if I force myself to devote all my time to myself. I have no idea what I can do with the big picture things, though... I'm in a horrible position to be making decisions like leaving my job, and I simply cannot abandon my cats.

Scheduling... like getting to sleep on time in order to be up at 7... yeah. I definitely need that. Lack of sleep probably isn't helping me, too.

Sun, Mar. 2nd, 2014, 01:34 am

I'm clearly doing well at this posting every day thing. Just have to remember to do it, but that's the problem.

Thursday was a normal day at work. I rode the bus, so I was out and back home rather early. Bus means I have to be up at 7 to catch the bus at 8 to get to work at 9, then first bus back at 4 gets me home at 5:30, or in this case, 6 since as it turned out, someone in a car shot up another car on 580, totally screwing up traffic. (My normal schedule when driving is to get out by 11 and to start heading home around 8 for traffic avoidance reasons.) I don't recall anything specifically interesting about the evening; probably spent it playing games.

On Friday we were warned that there could be rainstorms heavier than we had on Wednesday. My drive home then was a bit tricky, and I decided I didn't want a repeat, so I stayed home. My work group holds a weekly social on Fridays; this makes it two in a row I've missed. Again, I don't recall anything particularly noteworthy about the day.

Today (yesterday, really), I had been thinking of joining a waterfall hike, which would have meant meeting up at work at 7:30am to carpool over. I had set my alarm for 6:15 but it failed to go off; I woke up at 6:45 (the time I would have had to leave) and concluded that I wouldn't have been able to make it, so I wrote and went back to sleep. It feels weird to have been up much earlier than I tend to on weekends and still been too late for something.

A few random thoughts:

Rufus has taken his fluids and antibiotics reasonably well, which is to say, he complains about the fluids but barely puts up any resistance, and he seems to clamp his mouth closed once the antibiotic liquid goes into it, forcing some out. He is still disturbingly light, and will probably continue to be for the rest of his life.

We need to get the semiferal kittens out for fixing and stuff. I've probably talked at length about how I think we'll go about that before, but in a nutshell, starve and trap. OK, but now we actually have to do it. There's a place in Richmond that doesn't require reservations; the question is, do they also administer flea and worm remedies at the same time?

I've been shaving for the last couple of months with a safety razor (no, not the disposable cartridge kind, but the kind where you actually swap blades). It's worked pretty well, and I've gotten pretty good with it, so it's not so inconvenient now. I actually had the kit sitting around for awhile but it only got pressed into service when my electric razor disappeared on my Vancouver trip. I probably won't replace the electric razor now. No, I have no plans to try out a straight razor.

I've had a laptop (Dell XPS 15, the current generation with the high-resolution screen) sitting around for a little while now. Been meaning to turn it into a Linux workstation for various hacking sorts of things. I really should get on that. I have too many machines now, though... wonder if I should get rid of any?

Wed, Feb. 26th, 2014, 07:57 pm

Two-fer for today, I guess, since I punted on yesterday. I stayed home sick from work yesterday with a headache, a sore throat, and a general feeling of ick. Decided early on that I couldn't think productively and spent a lot of time trying to get through Radiant Historia. I guess I'm only about halfway, maybe 2/3 of the way; it's a long game. Had some issues getting fluids into Rufus; the drip was slow initially, so I had to keep the needle in him for longer, and this got him more agitated.

Today, I went in (alunissage took care of Rufus this morning, and only got half the liquid into him; that's probably okay), picked up a ton of cat food, and had a somewhat productive day of work. I'm actually still in; the forecast was for a rainstorm and we definitely have had one (I got rained on on the way back from dinner; pants are still quite damp), and it's left traffic lousy even now. I suppose I should just go; it'll continue to get better anyway.

Oh yeah. I need to do taxes. I'm usually done with them by this time of year, but I've been procrastinating. I've been renting our old place out since last October and that means new stuff to squint at.

Wed, Feb. 26th, 2014, 02:14 am

I was going to post something more tonight but I got caught reading random crap on r/askreddit.

I guess that's noteworthy?

Mon, Feb. 24th, 2014, 07:29 pm

I see more people trying to make a daily habit of posting (after years of neglect). I suppose I can do the same. Since I'd want this more to be for my own information, though, I'm going to try to avoid posting anything that I don't think I'd find interesting in a year or two. Hopefully this doesn't turn into "nothing interesting happened today" ad nauseum.

It's been more than a year since my last post. In that time, the biggest changes were all cat-related.Collapse )

Other than that, I'm still riding the bus to the Goolag. I've improved to the point where I can joke about getting fired for poor performance without actually worrying seriously that that might be the case. I got a Glass device last year for which I started wearing contacts. (And then I got one of the prescription ones, but I much prefer the other setup.)

So the last year is all fine and well, but what did I do today that's worth blabbing about? Well, I was sick (not sleeping yesterday so that I could watch the Olympic mens hockey gold medal game might have contributed to that), and unrelated to that, wandered over to the dentist for routine cleaning, where they found an out-of-control periodontal pocket that they filled with some kind of antibiotic. I'm to avoid poking under the gum with anything (floss, rubber tip) for two weeks.

Mon, Jan. 14th, 2013, 11:10 pm

My usual Christmas vacation started after Christmas. I had a wedding to attend in the Dominican Republic and the wedding party opted to make it a week-long vacation from Thursday to Thursday, and I found that if I took two more days of vacation off, I would have two solid weeks plus weekends off. I don't remember how the days before we left went.

The Dominican Republic trip was at an all-inclusive resort in Bavaro. I've never been to one before, and I don't think it agrees with me all that well. Bavaro is basically a long beach on which several resorts are built, but aside from the resorts, a few apartment buildings that look too expensive for the locals, and some other miscellany, it's deserted. So the days are basically made up of sitting at the beach or at a pool-side bar, or doing some rather lame looking scheduled activities, or going on organized excursions out. We did a couple of the latter, but while we were at the resort, I wondered if that was what being on a cruise ship was like since it felt so isolated. (The highly-touted food I was largely unimpressed with.)

Of the excursions, one was a catamaran ride for half a day which I thought was kind of lame. The other was a series of zip lines, which were more interesting but otherwise still kind of limiting, but getting to the zip lines involved going past the touristy bits and into the actual countryside. Lots of nice scenery; 20 or 30 km is enough to take you from the beaches to a very mountainous area that feels more remote than it perhaps really is. We passed a lot of homes that looked like they were just barely managing to stand after having been built in an awful hurry out of whatever could be scavenged, but in at least a few, I saw LCD TVs mounted on the walls, and on several more, I saw little satellite dishes with Claro on them. Claro is the local telco, so I assume they may be for Internet access.

Getting back was more of an adventure than I thought. I'm not sure what it was we went through over the middle of Louisiana, but it was enough to convince the pilots to drop to 28,000 feet. (It worked.) And I will try to avoid re-entering the US through MIA from now on.

Thu, Dec. 27th, 2012, 11:29 pm

I was recently thinking about the expression "an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually write out the complete works of Shakespeare". I wondered why "eventually" was part of the expression. If you have an infinite number of monkeys typing away, some (infinite) number of them must already be typing out the complete works from the start, so you don't have long to wait. It's like you have two infinities in an expression when you only need one. (The second one arises from the word "eventually", which to me implies that you'll get it as long as you wait long enough for it, however long that might be.)

Figures that there's an entire Wikipedia page on the topic.

Uh, oh yeah. What have I been doing? Freezing my toes off and feeding cats, that's what. And writing SQL queries that generate tables consisting of 418k rows of the word "all". Oops.

Tue, Dec. 25th, 2012, 09:56 am

Life with eight cats got more {busy,expensive,troublesome} when we discovered that one of them had diabetes early this month. In addition to twice-daily insulin shots (which are surprisingly easy with adult cats), we've decided to put them all on wet food with minimal amounts of carbohydrates, and so the food costs have skyrocketed. (We used to have them on prescription dry food that cost maybe $60 every two weeks. In contrast, the two-week supply I got of wet food cost around $218.)

Plus, since the insulin shots need to be done on a set schedule and shortly after eating, one of us needs to get up every day around 8:30 to set up the morning meal. Since I've been alone this long weekend, and since I've done a lousy job of sleeping early, I haven't had the opportunity to catch up on sleep like I usually do on weekends. And let's not forget the various nicks and slices on my hands from dealing with aluminum cans. (Protips: sticking your hands into a sink full of soaking aluminum cans is a bad idea. And for the cans that need can openers, removing the entire lid is preferable to leaving it barely attached.)

We've also had the fun of rotating through a diverse set of brands and contents (flavours, perhaps, since every one I open smells like chicken liver to me), and after watching which ones disappeared most reliably, picked a subset to go with. Well, one of them didn't go over too well yesterday (much didn't get eaten, and, well, I'll leave it at that), and I wound up having to isolate a couple of cats (including the diabetic one) so that I could attempt to get something else into them. I mention this because I was aiming to climb into bed by midnight and wound up not turning the light off until 2. Sigh. And then I was up at 8:15 scrubbing out the cat bowls.

Oh well. At least the kitten is still adorably kitteny. I wish he wouldn't walk on my keyboard so much, though. (And why does he like licking and nuzzling my neck?)

Today, my back is tired from all the insulation hanging yesterday (at least, I assume so; hunching over my work laptop at the table also seems to cause its own trouble), so I have a built-in excuse to lounge on the couch. But first, there's the famous problem of what to eat for breakfast. I assume my Christmas dinner is going to be leftovers.

Mon, Dec. 24th, 2012, 05:06 pm

Nothing satisfies like coming up with a truly vile pun: "I really should push myself out to do that Chopin. Mahler to milk."

I wonder what people do on Christmas Eve. I suspect not what I did today: put up insulation under the foyer of my house. Among other things, I think I got an idea of what it might like to be asthmatic. (Breathing through a disposable face mask is work.) There are no indications yet that it's actually doing anything.

I wonder, too, how to spend the evening. Playing a game of some kind? I might've been perfectly happy with that some years ago, but these days, both my reduced attention span and my guilty conscience make that less likely. I could try to put more stuff away, but it's like walking on a treadmill, especially since much of it I'm not allowed to touch. I'm also a bit behind on work... yeah, that's a lovely thought; doing work on Christmas Eve. Well, perhaps it's for the best.

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