Glacier

Aug. 12th, 2017 10:17 pm
azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I feel very much like I'm talking about the things that don't matter, but the things that matter very much are private and inward and delicate, and to share such things widely would not be the done thing.

So: life bits, in passing.

The freezer (the thinner, left, door of the two-doored refrigerator) has had ice on the bottom -- at first just a little bit, and a few cubes that had fallen out of the ice maker -- for a while. We've had "de-glacier the freezer" on the to-do list for a while.

This morning (I think?) it hit critical, while I was -- ah, yes, it was this morning, because I was retrieving the frozen vegetables that I'd use in lunch -- searching around for something that turned out to be in the bottom drawer.

The drawers in this freezer are wire baskets with snap-on (and fall-off) plastic fronts. The bottom drawer was blocked from pulling out because the ice on the bottom was too high.

I grumbled, laid down the kitchen utility towel (one of the old ones with fraying and maybe a hole or two) and grabbed a knife for ice-pick duty. (My partner was unavailable for help, on some other unspecifiable but definitely important mission of internet mercy. Godspeed, friend.) Anyway, it would probably not have benefitted from two people. So I whacked at the ice for a while, and got it mostly on the towel. I tugged at the drawer.

The drawer shot out with surprising ease, given the big chunk of ice still attached to the bottom. I had words. I went for the cooler-bag.

It turned out that the ice sheet was attached to the basket by only a few wires, and once I figured out how to get it in the sink at the right angle, I was able to use hot water to get the ice off those wires. I left the larger sheet in the sink to thaw and drop its inclusions all over the sink, like boulders on a cleanly carved valley.

The ice had come out in one piece. There was still a little coming down the slanted surface of the bottom back, and a little more below the vent that disperses cold air or something. I swiped it out with a different kitchen towel that was due to be washed soon anyway, and reported back to my partner (after they emerged from their task).

The stuff went back in, a little more organized than it had come out, with a few things put in the fridge to thaw.

A generous double handful of the frozen mixed vegetables went in the frying pan, along with some bacon and potato. It would be slowly cooked into glorious lunch with cheese. A proper weekend brunch sort of item.

I found the strawberries I'd put aside when I got the big thing of them, frozen into a sullen frisbee sort of shape in the bottom of the round container. I pondered, tried chopping into it with a not-big-enough knife, then the brainstorm hit. I retrieved the largest of the melamine bowls (the ones with the lids) and popped the disc in.

Then I shook it.

A whole bunch of frozen strawberries make some gawdawful noise, being rattled like rocks against a hard surface, but it does tend to break them apart quite handily. I liberated a few to chuck in the food processor (an attachment for my stick blender, which I finally found at some late point in the packing, so it went in my Bachelor Kitchen Box) to turn into dust to grace the top of the lemon jelly. (Lemon jello plus shreds of frozen strawberry? RECOMMENDED.)

I also got some mending done this morning. There are some shirts that need their necks re-hemmed, plus under-layer shorts that had started blowing out at the crotch but were still otherwise in good shape. I had found one of the dismangled (a typo, but I'm keeping it) pairs of shorts, and sacrificed it for patches.

I will need to either repair my sewing machine (I dropped it while trying to get it set up) or locate the Sidewinder. The sewing machine still lights up and stitches, but something is awry in the bobbin winder. This is the second sewing machine that I've jacked up such that it won't wind bobbins anymore. Additionally, something else is wrong with the actual bobbin nest -- I believe some plate fell out. So it's harder to load, but at least it does still sew.

Kitten has decided that I am an acceptable surface to sleep on/against, and has started doing just that. It's cute, until I need to move, at which point she meows accusingly. Sometimes she settles back against me, and sometimes she stalks off and sits in her accustomed place on Partner. (Partner sleeps on their back, face up, sometimes guarding their bladder area with their hands against kitten massage even as they sleep.)

Hacker-Kitty

Aug. 8th, 2017 01:47 pm
azurelunatic: Monkey King swings his cudgel  (monkey king)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
My partner got one cat in the breakup, the cat who trailed them through the shelter while they were looking at different cats, and who lap-kittied at them the first chance she got. (I suspect that my partner got this cat by dint of having made sure to pack her along with the other important things when they fled the household of abuse. The ex took all the other pets, including the second cat who adored my partner.)

Miss Air Raid Siren had two types of notable damage when she was adopted: first, she had been front-declawed, and second, she is quite food-insecure. She cannot just be left to free-feed, and I gathered that it was a bit of a production to feed all the cats in such a way that everyone got their fair share. (Another of the cats had been a bit of a vacuum-cleaner himself, so it wasn't just her.)

When the ex's regimented schedule had demanded that my partner be home at the appointed hour every day to feed "the kids", all was well ... at the expense of my partner's labor, and my partner's ability to have an actual social life and do things with friends.

Now, this cat does appreciate being fed. She's earned a few names on account of her increasingly vocal demands to be fed, typically starting about an hour before feeding time. (Most of them are even printable.) And if the feeding is late -- oh, my. (Everyone has come to the understanding that while an hour late is no big deal ultimately, it's probably better for whoever is present to feed her, if it's anything beyond that or if she appears to be in any actual distress. And then tell the Human In Charge, because she will cheerfully make as though she's Never Been Fed, Ever when a food-giver returns home. Even when she's already eaten.)

So when my partner was living with Host Family #2, they borrowed some wet/dry automatic feeders (with ice pack) in service of being able to be out & about and spend the night away, without overly distressing the cat. This worked reasonably well.

Then they returned the feeders. They then tried to replace them.

Friends, do you know how very goddamn many nearly identical compartment feeders with a rotating lid exist on places like Amazon? A very bloody lot, as it turns out. And not all of them are up to the challenge of being worked at by a determined and highly food-motivated hacker-kitten.

Candidate Feeders 1 and 2 had a spring-loaded lid. Hacker-Kitten dug at it with her little blunt pussywillow-paws until the lid crept back, then held it there (somehow) and stuck her little face in, and ate extra portions.

Candidate Feeder 3 looked like the loaner feeder, but Hacker-Kitten batted at the protective plastic cover on the brain/engine core, and broke the manual advance button by standing on it, then dug it open despite the lack of springs and claws. Subsequently the thing didn't work at all.

Candidate Feeder 4 was the same model as 3, but I'd taped down the core's cover in a way that defeated the attempts to open it that way. After the evening meal, I put it up out of harm's way for the night, and put it down again in the morning. She ate her breakfast on schedule, but come 5:30pm or so and she'd dug the top around to the next meal, early.

This morning when my partner put it out again (only dry food, this time) loaded with today and tomorrow's meals, a little past breakfast I saw she'd opened the dinner compartment just a little. So I put it up, and sent my partner the link to the (not cheap) feeder I found that will do 1/8 cup increments of dry food and uses an entirely different mechanism. I'll put it down when I leave for my event this evening, then see what she's done to it by the time I return...

We're hoping that Feeder 5 will do the trick.

It would be ideal to be able to give her both wet and dry food on a timer (and keep the wet food refrigerated, naturally) for 2-3 days. But failing that, just dry food will keep her fed well enough that she won't be yowling and desperate if an evening out goes longer than planned. (Usually we feed her early if we think we'll be out significantly past her dinner. But that doesn't always work.) Provided she doesn't eat it all early...

Random RPG concept generator

Aug. 7th, 2017 11:04 am
dancefloorlandmine: (Dice)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
This really does generate game concepts that look suspiciously real.

Random RPG Generator

one more day

Aug. 6th, 2017 11:55 pm
kareila: (nostalgic)
[personal profile] kareila
Almost back to the daily grind. School starts Tuesday, and church choir practice resumes on Wednesday. It seems too soon, but at the same time I'm ready for a change. Hopefully having my days be more structured again will help with my focus; I feel like I've hardly gotten anything done this summer, apart from the big furniture rearrangement and a few knitting projects.

I finally upgraded my iPad mini to iOS 10. I knew the change would be painful, but it was time. Apparently I need to keep it there, because now it keeps telling me that some of my frequently used apps won't work with iOS 11 unless they're updated by the developer, and most of the affected apps seem entirely abandoned. Sigh.

I went to see Dark Tower on Saturday night with the usual suspects. Thankfully it wasn't too terrifying - the most horrific part of the evening was having to see the trailer for IT again. It was fun trying to spot references to other well known Stephen King stories, and I really liked Idris Elba's character. After the movie, we went to B&N, where I found a hilarious book by Tim Leong called Star Wars Super Graphic. It's like what Edward Tufte might create if he became the guy who keeps track of the extended (revised) canon of the Star Wars universe. Of course I had to buy it. Will enjoyed reading it as much as I did.

Did I mention that Will spent at least part of his summer binge-reading the XKCD archives? I discovered a few days ago that if I ask him about a specific XKCD comic, he can remember at least the approximate number. "My normal approach is useless here?" "That's in the 50's or 60's." "What about Little Bobby Tables?" "Exploits of a mom? That's early 300's." He's also been studying the extended oeuvre of TMBG lyrics, because clearly he wasn't nerdy enough already.

(no subject)

Aug. 5th, 2017 11:46 pm
dancefloorlandmine: (Books)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
Travel recommendations from Tor.com (in 2016) ... fictional destinations.

One year

Aug. 5th, 2017 12:46 am
azurelunatic: The Wizards' Oath from Diane Duane's books, labeled "RTFM" (RTFM)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
One year ago Wednesday, I went in to the hospital to get my uterus out. The biopsy was a bit weird, and the standard of care said to just take the damn thing out. They didn't think it was cancer yet, but still out.

On the way there, Teshi and I got behind a landscape truck of some kind. I can't remember the exact name but it was something like Lone Mountain, and the plate said LONE1.

I was raised on the Young Wizards books, and I know as well as anyone what you do when you meet the Lone Power. "Greetings and defiance," I said, then told Steph.

I knew that as a warning, and I was not fully surprised when the uterus was full of cancer.

It's out. I've been irradiated.

I am here beside my partner in their bed, safe and warm and secure in the knowledge that if something weird happens, they or I will notice.

Insta-rec

Aug. 3rd, 2017 08:21 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
I am enjoying this top albums made by women list for it's diversity of genres, cultures and decades - I'm discovering new music from different countries and different decades, with fascinating summaries of the history. I'm sure you could argue the order and what should and shouldn't have been included, but if I mentally retitle it "150 great albums made by women" instead of "150 greatest albums made by women", it's really enjoyable.

Assorted

Aug. 2nd, 2017 02:34 pm
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Space Needle)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
So stuff keeps happening.

The temp gig was in Redmond, helping people who might sing a certain Barenaked Ladies song at this particular big-Borg workplace for the duration of a several-day event. The task was: helping them sort their garbage into the recycle bin, compost, or landfill. (You would think that members of *this* Borg would not have trouble with the proper use of the recycle bin, but you would think wrong. Liquid does not recycle. I ended up bodily guarding the recycle bin against mostly-full cups of some sort of weird lavender-colored, and perhaps flavored, iced beverage.)

Apparently last year the waste streams got super jacked up, so this year the janitorial contractor hired subcontractors from various temp agencies to help out. I really enjoyed the task -- I can play an extrovert, and since I got put on the magical sleep meds, I am getting enough rest on a regular basis. (Re: sleep meds, a chunk of people apparently get hangovers from trazodone. I am one of the lucky ones who shrugged off the hangover within a week.) The main supervisor was a delight, one of those people who has the gift of making everyone she interacts with feel like the most special person in the room. (Slytherpuff, I think, with Hufflepuff ascending.)

In terms of physical location, I am no longer even pretending to live at Bohemia.

Partner regained possession of their house about two weeks after I arrived, and I spent that weekend helping them return it to a habitable state. Open Source Bridge followed. I spent a good chunk of the time after OSB helping, when I wasn't making sure my post-move paperwork (car and such) was sorted.

The parking situation at Bohemia was both dire and pretty typical of Seattle -- 2 hour parking between the hours of 7am and 6pm except on Sunday, which practically meant that I had to leave by 9am and couldn't re-park until 4pm. (I could have spent the day moving the car around, but having been moved to an active anxiety attack at having spent 20 minutes looking for a parking space, I ... did not find this to be a suitable hobby.) Instead I took to spending my days at a public library. That was nice, but also ergonomic hell.

After my partner got their house back, I did wind up sleeping over a lot. They live in Suburbia; aside from what would be a walk that I would struggle with when my mobility is bad if I needed to take the bus somewhere, I like it.

Assorted neighbors have met both me and the metamour. Daddy Neighbor supervised as Smol Neighbor waved around a sparkler, and then decided that this had been enough for Daddy's nerves this glorious 4th. (There is a Mommy Neighbor and a very friendly Pibble Neighbor; these are the ones to the immediate north.)

After some discussion, I am now their lease-signed, rent-paying, month-to-month tenant. When the work situation stabilizes, we both expect me to find somewhere less with them, so we can get used to being in proximity without actually being in each other's pockets all the time. (Frequent sleepovers are still anticipated.)

The cat likes me, and has identified me as a food-bringer. Thus I also get the mewing and head-butts when Miss Kittan thinks it's time for food. (She is food-insecure, and cannot be left with more than one serving of cat food at a time, or she will eat all of it.) She of course starts to think it's nearly food o'clock about an hour to an hour and a half before it's that time.

Hacker-kitty has defeated two different automatic feeders so far. We may go with one of those puzzle-feeders; she'll hate it but it may provide her some occupation.

Names used besides her name include:

Kitten (she is a full grown cat)
Kittan
Hacker-Kitty
Loud Child
Miss Air Raid Siren
Miss Fire Siren
Kitling
Kitty-bit

Last night I took a fly away from her. Unfortunately, between the time I went "Drop it!" and got a tissue to clean up, the fly realized it was still alive and started buzzing the carpet; it quickly recovered. No word as to whether the Mighty Hunter, Slayer of the Fearsome Red Dot actually caught and ate it afterwards, but I did catch her staring at a shelf with unnerving intensity. Because cats.

Things are still weird and unsettled and needing adjustment, but it's no longer the full-on frantic "OMGWTFBBQ" every day.

And I am so happy to be sufficiently geographically convenient with my partner that when someone has had a terrible day -- or a wonderful one, or has a stubborn itch *right back there on the shoulder, no, lower!" -- that we can be there to console, commiserate, congratulate, or scratch.

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earwormhole: a worm listening to an iPod; the worm is in an ear that turns into a wormhole.  (Default)
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