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If you don't care about the color of the yolks of your boiled eggs, move along.

If, on the other hand, you're curious about the things that are topics of earnest debate in our family while on vacation, proceed to the cut for two amazing photographs of...boiled eggs.

No, seriously, it's pictures of boiled eggs and a summary of different ways to boil eggs so the yolks don't turn dark. Don't say I didn't warn you. )
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When Boo was around a year old, I was diagnosed with arthritis on the left side of my lower back. My doctor told me it's not uncommon for new mommies to develop back problems, because we spend a lot of time picking up and carrying twenty-pound babies, and tend to do it consistently on one arm/hip. I took an anti-inflammatory for a couple of months and changed how I lifted and picked up things and how I sat, focusing on making non-spine-twisting moves and on balancing my baby-lifting. That took care of the pain, and I hadn't had any problems for the last five years.

You can probably guess where this is going )

I'm just hoping this is the last side-effect of my fall. :)
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My vacation inspired me to get back to making recordings of my stories, since I spent a great deal of time listening to the podfics of others. I did some podficcing for [community profile] amplificathon last year, when I had carpal tunnel and had to take off knitting. I must have gotten distracted by something very shiny, because I a) found two stories I'd recorded but never edited and b) realized that I never posted links to any of the ones I did finish here. D'oh! (I'll be doing both soon, by the way.)

Of course, after I'd done several stories I figured out all the stuff I was doing wrong, so there's a bit of a learning curve. I tried to spoof the learning curve by recording several stories with no intention of posting them, and only then started recording others to post, but the second hump on the curve happened, alas, after I'd posted several finished audios. Mostly the problem is that volume is too low, so it's not an epic disaster, but I would like to re-record a few of them.

Right now, I'm doing one of my longer stories, an SG1 story from 1999-2000 called "A Thousand Stars." It's about 28,000 words, which I estimate will mean a finished product of four to four and a half hours. So far, I've recorded four hours of audio, and am about halfway through the story. This kind of worries me, because at the first draft stage I expect to have audio about three to four times as long as the finished product--and it's not that I haven't been recording several different readings of every damn sentence. I'm wondering if I'm speaking faster for some reason, and if this will mean that I'll end up thinking it sucks and have to do it all over. I hope not.

Catching Up

Aug. 1st, 2009 08:50 pm
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I've realized that I haven't actually, formally updated anything about my wrist lately. As it happens, no news is good news, but since I've been blithering about it for months I might as well offer closure, too. :)

I am healed! )

All in all, I feel pretty darn lucky. It was a hellish winter, but I came out of it with all the important things (for instance, knitting) still possible, and I'm not in pain anymore. This is all good. :)

In other news, I'm done rescuing files from my Mom's malfunctioning iPod, and am about three-quarters done transferring the files back into iTunes so I can load them onto her new iPod. This has taken some time, both because I want to make sure that everything's being transferred, and also because I'm converting a bunch of WAV files to MP3. She has a machine that converts cassettes into digital audio, but it saves the files as WAV and we've never really coordinated that "How to convert files to MP3" tutorial I've been promising to do for her. So far, I've saved about 50GB (!?) of space.

I've also plowed through the backlog of Torchwood stories that were posted on LJ during my vacation. Without going into brutal statistics, I estimate that I had to read roughly twice as many stories, and tagged about the same net number as I would have pre-Children of Earth. I would despair, except that I sort of suspected that this would be the case. I also saved a bunch of stories that I didn't tag, some of which may end up working their way into the rec list. We'll have to see.

All in all, it's good to be back.
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Right. I'm going in. Eleven days of Torchwood fanfic, waiting to be read and tagged. And because I love my mother and am currently using my Mac to rescue the files from one of her iPods, I'm even doing it without TextWrangler. Think of me fondly.
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It's 2:30am, and I've reached skip=600 on LJ. Unbelievable as it seems, that actually took me all the way back to the point where I left.

The beach was completely wonderful. I managed to keep both Boo and myself from getting sunburned, despite the fact that she did nothing but run around in the mercilessly hot sun for six solid days. There were four adults to one six-year-old, and between all of us we managed to mostly keep up with her. Mostly.

There was no internet at the condo where we stayed, and I didn't manage to get to anywhere with wireless, so even with the backwards scan through LJ I still have some catching up to do. Starting with the huge pile of Torchwood stories posted in the last ten days. :)
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I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the beach. (Yay!) I won't have internet access for about the next ten days, so I won't be engaging in my usual hobbies of story-finding and Delicious tagging. I'm really hoping I can get occasional access and at least download stories and podcasts, because if not the ten-day backlog of post-Children of Earth stories alone will likely bury me.

I'm actually already packed, and am a little disconcerted with the crap-volume of my packing. Somehow, packing more than four shirts is not a priority, but having three spare sets of earphones is. I'm also thinking that, with my flip-flops and rubber beach sandals, bringing along my Birkenstocks as my civilization shoes might be overkill. There's absolutely no way, though, I'm going without both the PowerBook and the NetBook. And both iPods.

Let's also not mention the ten-day entertainment requirements for a six-year-old, which includes a shoulder bag crammed with sparkly pink My Little Pony accessories, three separate board games, and her own knitting bag.

*Checks priorities*

Yep. Looks good to me.

Take care, everyone!
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I am pin-less, cast-less and have the ability to be splint-less at will. I still have a couple of stitches in (literally, like, two stitches), but those will be coming out next week. I'm cleared to do pretty much anything I want so long as it doesn't hurt beyond certain parameters. At the moment, those parameters are very small, but it's nice to be able to eat a meal without worrying about breaking my pins lifting a soup spoon.

Medical Details )

Personal Details )

The timing of all this good-feeling is fortuitous, as it turns out. Boo's school is going to be closed today and Monday because more than 30 kids (about a quarter of the student body) and half the teachers are sick with the flu. They haven't specified if it's H1N1 or suspected H1N1, which irritates me greatly because, hello, I'd like to know, but the school is advising everyone to avoid other people for a few days. The Jewish Community Center will be taking kids from Metro schools in the daycare-aftercare program, but kids from Akiva need to stay home. That means it'll be just me and Boo. As much as it's inconvenient, and as much as I don't want Boo or me or Al or anyone else to get sick, it's also kind of nice to be able to take care of my own kid for the first time in weeks. :)

We have also released Tom back into the wild. Or tried. We opened up the garage door for him, but as of a few minutes ago he was still hiding under his favorite shelf. He seems to be very well healed up, no sign of his injuries apart from a slight bald patch on his foot. Boo has been taking care of his medication for the last few days, and has proved a very able assistant.

In other words, the household is on the mend. :)

ETA: I should really learn not to tempt fate by posting things like the previous sentence. Right after posting the above I realized that I didn't actually feel that well. Current condition: sore throat, aches, fever 100 degrees.

I would headdesk, except that would hurt. I'll headpillow instead.
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I had my final cast removed yesterday, and am sporting a highly fashionable black Velcro splint. All I have to do is refrain from breaking my pins until Monday.

Surgery details )

In other cat news, I took Greebo in for his checkup on Tuesday. While I had Tom there, I realized that I might as well get Greebo his (overdue) shots and have him looked at. Greebo is nine years old, so I wasn't surprised that he needed his teeth cleaned. Apparently they have a nifty anesthetic that the cats can breathe that doesn't stay in their systems, so they can put older cats under for non-critical procedures like teeth cleaning. This was something we were never able to do with Sylvester. As seems to happen, he didn't need his teeth cleaned until he was too old to have his teeth cleaned. But Greebo is going to have his done in three weeks.

I also found out why, despite the fact that he was obviously huge, my other vet never mentioned Greebo's weight.

Pictures of my big-boned cat )
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I suppose you may remember my not-cat. You know, the cat who I took to have neutered, who I've been feeding for two years, who hangs out on my deck and who is emphatically not mine. That cat. (His name is Tom, by the way.)

Today, when I put out food for the cats, Tom was limping and had blood on his paw. Since he's not my cat, I of course took him straight to the vet. (Being the lawless feral stray that he is, it took me about a minute to get him in the carrier one-handed, and that was only because it took thirty seconds to chase him down. At a walk.)

Fortunately, he's not badly hurt. )

Tom, of course, acted like the aforementioned lawless stray at the vet's office. He protested really, really loudly the whole time he was in the carrier, and on the (two-mile) drive to the vet, and for about the first three minutes in the exam room. By the end of it, he was lying sprawled on the exam table, purring up a storm while the vet poked at the cut on his paw, and not even flinching when he got his shot. He's a big sweetheart. :)
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I am actually caught up listening to Dan Patrick. For a while there I was so far behind that I was listening to them fill out their brackets after North Carolina had already won the championship. Now I can get back to the three weeks of Science Friday I'm behind.

Speaking of catching up, I am now *back* up to 37 stories under my "totag" tag on Delicious. I'd knocked the list down to nearly twenty last week, then I did some story finding and committed my usual shortcut of throwing up the tag that fit with the search with a "totag" slapped on. I think I'll make it my goal this week to finish the tagging, because it's not very useful if all my new links just say "totag."

I've also been reading some of my old fanfic, as I prepare to post it on Dreamwidth. It doesn't suck nearly as much as I thought it would (or perhaps as much as I thought I should think it should). Granted, I have fifteen glorious years of suck-filled fanfic lurking unposted and (thankfully) unseen behind the first stories I post ten years ago, but on the whole, it's not so horrible that I feel the need to purge it from the internet. I itch to do some revising, mind you, and there are a couple of early stories that really do need to sort of be re-done top to bottom, but more in a "let's scrub everything and re-paint the walls and get new furniture" kind of way rather than "my god we're going to have to raze the site and start over."

The experience, though, kind of led me to thinking about certain truths I think about myself as a writer, which I may elaborate on later. Or not, depending on how the re-tagging goes.
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I had my penultimate orthopedic visit today. It went very well, and I'm on track to have the pins removed on May 11. Yay!

There was only one hiccup. The doctor had initially intended to remove the cast and put me in a splint for two weeks. This would have the advantage that I would be able to take showers without wrapping a plastic bag around my arm...and not much else. I wouldn't really be able to take off the splint otherwise, and would have to be very, very careful so as not to break the pins in my wrist. I am not a very, very careful person. When I expressed this to the doctor, he asked, "Well, do you just want another cast?" and I said, "That would probably be best."

So, I have Bright Pink Cast #2 (they didn't have purple or yellow, the other two colors that Boo had requested, so I reverted to the number one color choice). It hasn't been too bad wearing the other casts, and I would certainly rather put up with two more weeks of plastic wrap in the shower rather than risk breaking the pins. I'll have the cast on for two weeks, then I'll go to the doctor and get it removed the Wednesday before the surgery. Presumably I can go for five days in a splint without damaging myself. We'll see. :)
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I got a new cast today. It is, as the subject line suggests, green (at the request of Her Booness).

Boo had decorated the pink cast with kitties, sunshine, a flamingo and family portraits. I made sure to take pictures, because I was pretty sure the cast would be too unsanitary to keep around. As it turns out, though, the unsanitary inner layers of gauze and stockinette could be peeled away and discarded, allowing me to preserve the fiberglass part. If I can find my camera cable, I'll try to post the pictures.

They did more x-rays, and everything still seems to be in place. The doctor says I'll be in this cast for three more weeks, then in a splint for two weeks, then I'll have one more surgery to take the pins out. The pin removal is apparently miles simpler and less painful than the first surgery, and I should be ready for physical therapy within a couple of weeks. Physical therapy should take six months to a year, so in the shortest-case scenario I'll be finishing up my recovery a little over a year after I first fell. Next time, I'm landing on my head.

Details, details )

Onward and upward. :) I feel that I can do everything that's really important (well, okay, almost everything :)). I certainly can find plenty of ways to be occupied and happy. The good things are getting better, and the bad things are diminishing. Can't ask for more than that.
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Note to self:

If you haven't driven in a month, and therefore haven't drunk your regular post-school-delivery regimen of coffee, it's entirely possible that when you do test your cast-impaired driving ability by going to the coffee shop and drinking a large coffee at four in the afternoon, you will find yourself writing journal posts at 5:45am.

Just FYI.
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Five Ways In Which My Life Has Improved A Lot:

1. I can type using up to nine fingers with minimal discomfort (for some reason my pinkie is taking a while to get back in the game). Only short periods right now, but considering that on Friday I couldn't even press the keys, this is pretty darn stellar.

2. I can open bottles, cans and other food packaging. This means that my husband no longer has to leave a cooler of sandwiches and a certain number of pre-opened bottles of water for me when he goes to work.

3. I can go up and down the stairs as I darn well please. Free access to the kitchen is good.

4. I can take a shower almost all by myself, instead of having to have the assisstance of my entire family. If I could just figure out how to open and squirt out the shampoo with one hand (okay, and wrap my own right arm in plastic), I'd be golden.

5. I am taking about half the amount of pain medication I was taking last week. It might *sound* fun to spend six weeks stoned on various members of the -codone family, but the reality is that I can't wait to get off the stuff. Obviously, I'm choosing to continue to take it because, well, pain sucks, but I feel that the pain is also approaching the point where I can see the end of it.

In short:

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I have a new cast. It's about half the size and a third the weight of the post-op splint/cast. It is also bright pink because my daughter asked if I was getting a pink cast and I said no (because I seriously had no idea that casts came in pink.) I'll apparently be getting the chance to experiment with other colors as well, because the cast will be changed every couple of weeks.

Healing seems to be proceeding. The doctor took out the stitches, and x-rays showed that the pins seemed to in the right place. The new cast leaves my fingers completely free, so as soon as I work out the post-op swelling and stiffness I'm hoping I can return to two-handed as opposed to one-fingered typing.

I'm still having to take quite a bit of pain medication, but I can also tell that, as promised, the post-op pain is rapidly dwindling. I'm hoping to be off the pain meds sooner rather than later, and I also hope to be driving again soon. All in all, things are looking up.
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Hey this is Dorothy's spouse Al. Dorothy has asked me to make a quick post updating her condition. She's been through the surgery and is doing fine. The procedure went well according to the doc. Her entire right arm is in a plaster cast from her fingers to her elbow. She is taking lots of really good medication for pain and so she is doing mostly fine in that department. She will be going back to her doctor on Thursday for a checkup and a new cast. She says Hi to everyone out there and cannot wait to type her own posts soon.
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My surgery is scheduled for March 2, two weeks from Monday. I am very pleased. :)

It seems as though everything is going to go pretty much as I described in my earlier post. I'll be in a cast for about two months, then I'll have to have a second surgery to remove the pins. After that, it will, hopefully, be merely a matter of recovery and physical therapy.

Full Disclosure Section (with bonus whining) )

In the meantime, I've cheered myself up with a little self-pampering: painting my nails. So far, they have been wine-red, purple, orange and chartreuse. (My toes are pink and sparkly, but I assure you that it wasn't self-inflicted. I merely point to this as evidence that I love my daughter. ;))

In closing, I'd like share an exchange I had with the stewardess on the plane I took from Wyoming around the first of the year:

Stewardess: Did you hurt your arm skiing?
Me: Sadly, no, nothing that exciting. I fell on the stairs.
Stewardess: Oh, dear. Are you right-handed?
Me: Yep. And, of course, my favorite things to do are knitting, crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles.
Stewardess: Have you taken up drinking?
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When I went to the physical therapist last week, I'd increased my range of motion by about 30 degrees. This is very, very happy news. :) We'll see how it goes with the surgeon Thursday.

My new nimbleness did not, however, keep me from losing my grip on my debit card and sending it sliding over the dashboard and neatly into that tiny, tiny gap between the windshield and the dashboard. Seriously, it freakin' disappeared down there. Fortunately, I was using an ATM at a bank branch, so after I'd spent about two minutes realizing that there was no way I would ever get it out of there (barring the invention of a Plastic Magnet), I walked into the branch and got a new card. Luckily, the glass below the dash is tinted, so I don't have to see my card wedged down there mocking me.

Side Note: Part of my physical therapy excerises are done with a ball, so I bought an inexpensive substitute for the squishy rubber one they had. Boo, of course, feels that the purpose of a pink, blue and purple swirled toy ball is to be played with, so we laid out the rules about the ball never leaving Mama's room, and always being returned to Mama's chair. Naturally, the first time I turn around, my *husband* has nicked the ball is playing with it in his office.

Also, a memo to Torchwood fandom: Glenn Miller. G-L-E-N-N.
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I am highly medicated, so I am typing for my own little self.

I consulted the surgeon today. He was a nice, funny, confident and eloquent person who gave me Lortab. I like him. :) Although the MRI results weren't terribly conclusive about whether or not I had a torn ligament, further x-rays showed that I have a tilted scaphoid bone. Misalignment of that bone usually *is* the result of a torn ligament, specifically the Scapholunate ligament. Given the length of my (non) recovery, the kind of pain I'm in, and the site of the pain, the clues do seem to point to a torn ligament. (To use the surgeon's analogy, if it looks like dog poo, and smells like dog poo...:))

There are a couple of things I can do about this. )

To sum up for those who wish to skip the icky medical details under the cut: I'm going to do physical therapy for two or three weeks, then I will probably choose to have surgery to try to repair/replace the damaged ligament. Surgery recovery might take 8-12 weeks, then it might take as long as a year to recover completely. I'll probably lose some flexibility in my wrist, but the doctors say that I *shall* knit again. :)

PS--The pictures I've linked to come from a helpful and informative article called Ligament Injuries of the Wrist.

Arm Update

Jan. 26th, 2009 09:01 pm
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This is being typed by my helpful husband.

As I mentioned in my last entry, two months ago, I fell and sprained my wrist over Thanksgiving. I have just been back to the doctor for a third follow-up and my options are apparently surgery or waiting--again--to see what happens. Since my arm does not seem to have gotten any better in the last two months, I suspect surgery is in my future.

I wanted to update to let people know why I haven't posted. I know that this isn't exactly unusual for me, but I have been reading and following and desperately wanting to join in the conversations. Hopefully I'll be back to typing (and knitting and writing things and being able to using my right hand) before too long.

I'm consulting a surgeon on Thursday and I will dictate any pertinent details to my minion for transcription when the time comes.

Take care everyone! :-)
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This is one of those good news, bad news posts.

Good news. I have no broken bones.
Bad news. I missed the bottom step over thanksgiving, broke fall with right wrist and still can't use right hand.
Good news. I had finished nanowrimo 5 days earlier.
Bad news. Crosswords now hard to do with crappy left-hand writing.
Good news. Sudoku.

(Bad news. Capital letters hard one-handed.
Good news. Textwrangler "capitalize sentences" function.)
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Today is mine and Albert's 18th wedding anniversary.

Here's Keith Olbermann to explain why I won't be taking that fact for granted again:

Special Comment on Proposition Eight--Gay Marriage is a Question of Love )

Transcript )

Yes, I Did

Nov. 4th, 2008 12:19 pm
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Thanks to [ profile] lunaris1013 for sharing the graphic. Get yours here.

(Okay, I voted two weeks ago. But I still got a free coffee at Starbucks today.

Not that that was a consideration.)
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Well, crap. I made an appointment to donate blood this morning, but instead I woke up with a sore throat. I did wallow around in denial for a while, but then I sucked it up and admitted to myself that the Red Cross doesn't *want* my infected blood, even if it is O-.

I'm especially bummed because between the three bouts of bronchitis, the feeling crappy after the bronchitis, the feeling crappy before the bronchitis and in general feeling crappy between the bronchitis, it's been well over a year since I donated. Still, there's always next week. :)

In the good news department, my service appointment for my car only cost me $425. You may wonder why this is good news. I will tell you )

ETA: Finally located the thermometer and took my temperature. 99.7. I don't think the Red Cross wants me today.
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I have packed for Dragcon*Con. Actually, I did it yesterday. I need to bring along an inflatable mattress, but I'm also going to have to haul all my luggage on Marta. So, I did a test pack to see if I could fit everything into my rolling backpack, or if I'd have to suck it up and use my daughter's very small--but also very girly pink--suitcase.

I did manage to fit it in, but it's a tight fit and I'm thinking that the girly pink suitcase is the better option. Still, I'm kind of impressed that an entire inflatable mattress + pump + usual crap for a four-night stay all fit into the backpack.

Yesterday I picked up all the miscellaneous crap I needed: power strips, band-aids, cash, power bars, hand wipes, etc. Today I cleaned out my car in anticipation of loading up extra luggage. This means that at 10:30am the day *before* I leave I am a) packed and b) actually prepared to leave.

I'm not sure what this all portends, except that I've probably ensured that I will forget at least sixteen really important things and that I will really, really need extra space in my luggage on the way home.
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Okay, so I'm way behind the news on this, but the other day I decided, on a whim, to re-read Elizabeth Peters' last Vicky Bliss novel, Night Train to Memphis which led me to think "Hey, it's been a while since her last book, let's check Amazon, see if there's a new Amelia Peabody book."

There wasn't a new Amelia Peabody book.

There was a new Vicky Bliss book.

The first new Vicky Bliss book in fourteen years.

Now, the Amelia Peabody books are awesome, but the Vicky Bliss books are freakin' rare from this woman. Well, okay, comaparatively rare, as in a mere five books (now six!) instead of eighteen Amelia Peabody books, not to mention the other gazillion books the woman has written.

The other good thing is that the book comes out the day after my mother's birthday, and the CD version *also* comes out the day after my mother's birthday, instead of later as used to be the case. This is good because my mother doesn't actually read books anymore. Instead, she listens to them. All the time. (Seriously, all the time. She has two iPods.) I have, therefore, ordered the audio CD for her. Unfortunately, she has an annoying habit of keeping up with this stuff herself and ordering things on her own, so I'll probably have to spill the beans to keep her from buying it.
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  • 20+ hours of astronomy, baseball and sports-related podcasts saved up on iPod--Check
  • Entire Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings loaded on iPod--Check
  • Binder of DVDs--Check
  • Fifty billion pieces of wooden railroad track and heap of accompanying engines, suitable for multiple reenactments of railway accidents--Check
  • (Yarn and needles even though I still can't knit--Check)
  • Stack of trashy cowboy/pirate romance novels, fresh from Amazon--Check
  • Sudoku and crossword books--Check

    I am ready, beach. Armed with my sunscreen, my hat and my rubber beach shoes, I stand ready to face you. As soon as I finish loading the final season of Man From UNCLE onto my iPod.
  • dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    In general, we feed the cats whatever food is available where we're shopping, and is cheap. The cats have always happily gobbled up whatever we put in front of them, so we never worry too much about brand names and what-not.

    Last week, however, my husband bought some Kroger brand cat food. The cats, to a feline, refused to eat it. Not only our cats--both indoor and outdoor--but the two neighborhood cats, the skunk and the possum who also feast uninvited at our back door left the food bowls untouched.

    I admit, I didn't really catch on until second or third day of the strike, when Mimi kept pawing at the deck door even after I'd put out fresh food and water for her multiple times (despite the fact that there was food still in the bowls). It wasn't until the third day, when I realized that *none* of the food had been touched by any creature, that I understood that I had a full-blown hunger strike on my hands.

    Yesterday we bought some of the usual cheap-o Wal-Mart Special Kitty cat food, and they fell upon like ravening beasts. Today my home has fat, full kitty bellies, and all is well.

    Yet, I still have to wonder what the heck was in the Kroger food that even the possum wouldn't eat it...

    ETA: Until I responded to [ profile] vickita, I'd forgotten that one subject detected no difference in the cat food: "Well, when I fed the kitties I licked some off my fingers and it tasted the same," reported Boo.

    There you have it.
    dmarley: Cat with his nose smushed into the camera (Kitty)
    I've decided it's finally time to retire this icon as my default. I still love the picture, but now that Sylvester's been gone a year and a half it's starting to make me sad to see his squishy face every time I post.

    Allow me to introduce you to my new default icon:

    This is a snip from one of Boo's early forays into fingerpainting. I feel that this artistic expression of the three-year-old captures an essential component of the LJ experience.

    Mostly the experience of scanning your friendslist and saying, "What the hell is that?!"


    May. 13th, 2008 02:21 pm
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    Jay Lentz's conviction is upheld on appeal.

    Doris was my roommate in college. She disappeared twelve years ago, and five years later her ex-husband was arrested for her kidnapping and murder. He was convicted in 2003, but the conviction was overturned. He was re-tried in 2006 and convicted again. The above link is the judge's opinion on his appeal, and as the link says the conviction was upheld. I hope this is the last time I ever have to see his name or think about him again.
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    You'd think I would know better than to say things like "I can still talk." And, okay, granted, I can still talk, but my voice is not, at the moment, at its most aesthetically pleasing what with the coughing and wheezing and phlegm. So, the [ profile] amplificathon is on temporary hold.

    Temporary, I say, because after the third time I've had bronchitis in less than nine months, I actually recognized the signs without the requisite "let's wait a week until I *really* feel like crap and only then go to the doctor." Three days after starting antibiotics, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might not end up flat on my back coughing miserably for two weeks, and might in fact be getting just a wee bit better. Maybe. (Eyes above statement about talking warily.)

    The really good news, though, is that the steroid shot seems to be working pretty much as advertised on the carpal tunnel issue. I haven't quite dared to start knitting yet, but I've been able to type painlessly for some shockingly long stretches (while, obviously, trying not to overdo it :)). This post, for instance. So, on the whole, things are improving.

    While I've been not-podficcing and not-knitting, I've been doing some reading. I would therefore like to gently remind some members Torchwood fanfic community that a new speaker requires the dialogue to be in a separate paragraph. Really. Line upon line of single returns, when all other paragraphs in the story are double returns, doesn't count.

    Also, while I enjoy the Captain's Blog as much as the next fangirl (i.e. lots), I would actually like to see more stories/discussion explaining why Jack still has a fat lip four weeks after Ianto punched him in the face than stories/discussion that blithely assume that secondary canon written two years after the fact trumps the show (and guts the whole point of Ianto sucking it up like the super-secret android spy painfully emotionally repressed guy that he is and coming back to work the next day as if his cybernetic girlfriend hadn't horribly murdered two people and been gunned down in her borrowed pizza-delivery-girl body by his boyfriend fuck-buddy whatever-the-hell boss* the day before).

    (Yes, it's been bugging me, don't ask me why, when there are at least five thousand other things I could be wasting my energy being annoyed by. Apparently I picked this one.)

    *I love this show. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    One day, I will post about this stuff before it's nearly all over. Honest.

    So, for the last couple of months I've had some nasty carpal tunnel symptoms. I haven't been able to knit at all, *sob!* or type more than a few sentences at a time (you will possibly note that nearly all of my posts of late have been heavily comprised of copied and pasted templates). I went to the doctor about three weeks ago, and he said that I had all the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel...except that my outer two fingers were also becoming numb (though not at the same time as the thumb and first two fingers). To make sure that he knew what was going on, he ordered a nerve conduction test to determine which nerves, if any, might be damaged. The results would determine if I a) had carpal tunnel or b) problems with my ulnar nerve or c) both and d) possibly give some indication of whether or not I needed surgery.

    Well, the test results came in yesterday, and they were negative. My nerves were in tip-top shape, no sign of damage. I will add that the test hurt like a son of a b%$#@!.

    "WTF?! Am I going crazy and making this up?" thought I.

    "WTF?! Go see a specialist," said my doctor.

    So, at 8:15 this morning I went to an orthopedist. He told me that about 20% of carpal tunnel patients have normal nerve conduction tests (Ah ha!), and the good news is that those patients--if they do have carpal tunnel--can often be cured with a shot of a steroid cocktail. "Shoot me up," I said.

    The doctor says that I should feel some improvement within a couple of days (?!!!), and I'm scheduled for a follow-up visit in four weeks.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I realize that I haven't been updating lately, but I have two very good reasons. Really.

    First, I've been doing a lot of knitting )

    Second, many of the people who are getting knitted gifts read this blog )

    The good news is that I am, in fact, done. I finished the last hat on Friday, so any other knitting that I get done will be a bonus. And the first thing on my bonus knitting list is a sweater for my daughter. I have been a crappy knitting mommy because I haven't yet made her one at any point in the last five years, but I really, really wanted her to have a nice wool sweater for her first skiing experience.

    I'm using a pattern from Cabin Fever's Top Down For Toddlers, and I now feel doubly guilty for not having done one before because it's so easy. I started it on Friday, knitted a lot on Saturday, and now (Monday) have 10 of the 13 body inches done. I'm working it at a slightly larger gauge than the one called for (5 stitches to the inch instead of 5.5), which means that I'm working the pattern for a size smaller than what I actually need, which means that I'm doing a wee bit less knitting than I might otherwise have to.

    I have also made a serendipitous discovery, which is more or less what inspired me to make a post today. I had 16-inch and 32-inch 3.75mm needles, but the body of the sweater is only 28 inches around. Not wanting to have to stretch the body around my 32-inch needles, I bought a pair of 24-inch needles. The only 24-inch Addi needles available were Addi lace needles, and I figured it wouldn't make much difference.

    I was wrong )

    Yeah, probably should have asked for a Patternworks gift certificate for Christmas...
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    The LibraryThing process is proceeding. I've entered 3,000 books now.

    I've moved from working from the card catalog to the actual books. While I was unable to get up and down the stairs, the cards were very useful. I could just lie in bed and work off them and when I got sleepy--bed! But since the catalog isn't complete, and since the CueCat scanner makes it about 10,000 times easier to just scan the barcodes rather than typing off crappy dot-matrix printouts--where I may or may not have written down the correct ISBN ten years ago--I learned that it was quicker to just work from the shelves.

    I have all the hardbacks done now, except for the oversize ones and the ones that are mixed in with my husband's books. I did the hardbacks first because I have a lot of old and unusual books that I knew would require more research and possibly manual entry. From there I've moved to the one bookshelf I have of non-science fiction, non-mystery paperbacks and paperback-sized hardbacks, for pretty much the same reason.

    Some observations: I have close to a hundred books that aren't shared by any other members, and about two hundred and fifty others that are shared by fewer than ten others. Some of them aren't suprising. Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word : Money, Images, and Reference in Late Medieval Poetry is a good example. I'm a bit surprised that no one else shares The Writings of Medieval Women : An Anthology, though. And I'm kind of sad that no one else has The Alps as Seen by the Poets or Billy-Boy because they're both beautiful books and I'd like to think that someone else has had the opportunity to enjoy them.

    According to my stats, my median book obscurity is currently 107, and my mean book obscurity is 590. This means that, on average, I share books with 590 other members. But half of my library is shared by 107 members or less, and half is shared by 107 or more. Kinda cool.

    This will also be an interesting exercise in Total Book Estimates. For a while now I've been tossing around 4,500 as the number of books I have without having any real idea about the true totals, and now I'll have the chance to see how close I am. Based on how many books I've entered, and how many I estimate I have left, I think it's going to be pretty close.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Daily pill intake: 27
    Books entered on LibraryThing: 409
    Number of times cursed at crappy dot-matrix library catalog printout: 409
    Items checked off on "When to Call Your Doctor" bronchitis fact sheet: 4
    Secondary bacterial infections: 1
    Pneumonias: 0
    New prescriptions: 3
    Stargate episodes watched: 10
    Crappy fanfics read: 90234857

    Bronchitis: 1, Dorothy: 0

    The good news is that I have approximately 4,000 more books to enter on LibraryThing, so it's not like I'm going to run out of things to do from bed. Also, among the numerous new pills I'm taking are antibiotics and steroids, which should hopefully help me feel better sooner rather than later. Here's hoping. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    It's possible that I'm simply the last to know, but apparently there's going to be a Three Investigators movie. Soon. As in, it's actually been filmed and stuff. No firm release date for the US yet, because the Germans are getting it first, but there's a trailer and everything (The trailer is dubbed in German, but the movie is apparently filmed in English). Possibly it will be out for Christmas this year.



    Oh, who am I kidding....

    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Right. So I have bronchitis again, and it seems to be of a slightly nastier variety than the previous one. According to the literature I was given, I can expect this to last for 1-2 weeks. This is, therefore, my blanket statement to not be totally surprised if I don't show up for my usual social engagements. I will, of course, try to give all due advance notice of my absence, but I wanted to give a heads-up that is going to be a bit more long-term than usual.

    The really bad news is that I have now seen every episode of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, and listened to all the commentaries ever made for both shows. More than once. The good news is that I finally decided to see what LibraryThing was all about, and I suspect that typing in ISBNs for 4,500 books will keep me occupied for a while.

    Take care, all. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Right. I've sucked at the birthday thing lately, but today I will not suck!

    Happy Birthday, [ profile] sunshinedew!
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    New Toy

    Well, okay, it's not new. It's a very nice older computer that was well-taken-care-of and passed along to me. I have a friend who does a lot of work with databases, which apparently require large amounts of computer power to manipulate. He gave me this computer because he massively outgrew it months ago, and he'd bought it a couple of years before that. He replaced it with a computer that I suspect he will outgrow in a year or so, and also not suck three years from now. In the meantime, I have a computer that's much nicer than anything I would likely have bought for myself anytime soon, so all in all I'm feeling warm fuzzy feelings for old friends. :)

    I have an up-and-down relationship with computers. I learn what I need to in order to do the things I want to do, which means that there are times when I'm blazing along at the cutting edge of technology, and times when I'm giving my friends blank looks and saying ".mpwhat?" I tend to use the technology I have so long as it does what I want, and keep using it until it absolutely does not work anymore because I get entrenched and don't feel like learning new systems all over again. This is why I resisted moving to OSX until this computer arrived with it already installed. I had programs on my other computer that I'd been using for more than ten years--sometimes the same version--and I knew that some of them would be irreplaceable. (*weeps single emo tear for Fetch*...*then does Google search*...I'll be darned)

    It's been interesting, switching from Mac to Windows to Mac the last few months. I know lots of people do it every day, but it was all new to me because I had never really used Windows until I stole started borrowing my husband's PC a few months ago, when my iBook's modem finally gave up the ghost. I mean, I could get around on public computers and find things, but now I had to actually work with it, and for a while there was quite the steep learning curve, accompanied by a lot of cussing when Boo wasn't around, and growls when she was. In the end, though, I made the PC do everything I wanted it to, more or less.

    So far, OSX and I have been getting along fine. There were moments in the learning curve when I longed for OS9, but a few minutes with the preferences and the dock and I are getting along much better now. I also have pretty pretty Stargate Atlantis pictures as my wallpaper, and they change every five minutes. I give myself another week before I'm sick of it and go back to using the same wallpaper I've used for the last seven years.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I don't think I was alone in thinking that the saga of the lawn mower was over. Yesterday, though, as I was pulling out of my garage, I noticed this:

    Wherefore Art Thou, Lawn Mower?

    Or rather, I noticed that I didn't have to be careful about running over the lawn mower because it wasn't there. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our brand-new lawn mower had been stolen.

    Luckily for us, it hadn't gotten far )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    There is a picture of a lawn mower under this cut. Click if you think you can stand the excitement. )

    The lawn mower repair folks delivered our shiny new lawn mower this morning. They also installed the mulch kit, no charge. So, while losing an entire lawn tractor = not so good, replacing it with a brand new one definitely counts as a save in a customer service department. Plus, it's been so darn dry around here that we haven't even needed to mow for something like three weeks, so not having a mower hasn't even been much of an inconvenience.

    In Hypericon news, I'm washing my pile o' Potter scarves in preparation for tasselling this afternoon. I have two ear flaps left to knit on my fourth Jayne hat, and I'm fairly certain I have enough yarn for a fifth, which I feel confident that I can finish during the con. I used Elann's Highland Wool, and it's actually not a bad yarn, especially for a project that's supposed to look rustic. Cheap yarn delivered fast. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    We have an update on the lawn mower saga.

    Apparently, the shop has lost our mower. Their best guess is that it was mistakenly shipped off to one of our many local home improvement stores, because they do a lot of contract repair work for them.

    Albert finally found this out by talking to the owner of the shop, and also found out that Ms. Customer Service was the one who failed to tag the mowers when they came in. This makes her annoyance with myself and Albert all the more special.

    The good news, though, is that the owner of the shop has promised to make it good, one way or another. If he can't find our mower (and he's not too optimistic), they'll replace it with a new one.

    I'm okay with that. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    My daughter, as some of you may know, is completely obsessed with volcanoes. I believe this to be a direct result of her watching the "Firebird Suite" portion of Fantasia 2000 approximately fifty billion times. She was eventually moved to create her own visual interpretation of the video, shown here:

    Art, with artist's commentary, under the cut )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    [ profile] melissagay has brought to my attention this article about a Newberry Award-winning book being pulled from libraries because it uses the word "scrotum" to refer to that body part. So, today is "Naming Body Parts Day."

    Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum.

    Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum.

    Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum. Scrotum.

    Also, my favorite part of the article, taken grossly out of context for humorous purposes:

    Ms. Nilsson, reached at Sunnyside Elementary School in Durango, Colo., said she had heard from dozens of librarians who agreed with her stance. “I don’t want to start an issue about censorship,” she said. “But you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature.”
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    So. My husband has been looking for a car. His old car still runs pretty well, except for the thing where it has to be parked correctly or it won't start, and the thing where it doesn't go into gear and won't start, and the thing were it slips mysteriously into gear if you leave it running, and the thing where the driver's door doesn't close all the way and wind and rain tend to blow onto the driver. You know, small stuff.

    His dream car is a Chevy Aveo hatchback, one of the reasons for the word "subcompact" to be coined. He wants a manual transmission, manual locks, manual windows, low mileage, and, oh yeah, air conditioning. (The last thing is important.) He also wants all this for as close to under $10K as can be managed, which is actually pretty darn close.

    How we almost bought a car )

    September 2012

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