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I have been on the internet for fifteen years. I should really, really have known better than to try to search for Dan Patrick on Tumblr by his initials.

Fortunately, I don't have a job, so there was no chance of my doing this at work where I might have had to answer difficult questions about the sudden explosion of double-penetration porn on my dash.

Oh, internet...
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I have been to the rheumatologist, and the verdict is 99.99% officially Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. No one was really surprised. They have to test me for stuff they're pretty sure I don't have, just to make sure I don't have it (TB, HIV, Hep B). In the absence of any other indications of disease, deficiency, or imbalance, though, and with me having several of the items on the checklist of CFS, it's a fairly straightforward diagnosis, unfortunately.

I know CFS was in the news a lot a couple of decades ago, but the Center for Disease Control has a pretty good page about CFS as it's being treated and diagnosed now. The most under-reported news, in my opinion, is that every attempt to link CFS to a specific retro-virus (Or, you know, any virus. Or common factor at all.) hasn't yet been borne out in repeated studies. Anyway, if you're at all curious, the CDC page is a good resource.

Prognosis; or, There are Two Kinds of Statistics... )

My exciting exercise therapy )

Onward and upward.
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About a month ago, I made a Facebook post to explain to the people I see everyday why I had dropped off the face of the planet. I've backdated that post and re-posted it to my journal so I can explain what's going on now. You can read the other post for full details, but the short version is that I've had some kind of (possibly viral) illness that's severely laid me up since mid-September. Time has marched on, and I wanted to touch base and give the LJ world an update as well.

It's still probably an Evil Virus of Doom )

Or it could be my meds )

Or it could be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome )

The good news is that I'm feeling pretty good otherwise. I invested in a light box, and it seems to be helping a lot as the days get shorter. Maybe it's just a placebo effect, but as it seems to be a really effective placebo, I don't much care. So, even if I'm worried, I'm still fairly cheerful and I feel that even if this turns into the worst-case scenario, I can figure out how to cope.
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I'm re-posting and backdating this from my Facebook. I made this post because a lot of people I see regularly read my Facebook and I wanted them to know why I fell off the face of the Earth. Now that I'm posting about this on LJ as well, I wanted the background to be here for the record. So:

This is an FYI. I hate to update just for bad news, but I've been putting this off hoping it would go away. (Because that always works.)

So, there's this Evil Virus of Doom... )
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I got a call from the Red Cross yesterday because I had just become eligible to donate blood again, and the gist of the call was essentially "OMG O-neg person please come in PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE." Apparently the Red Cross has used up a lot of whole blood reserves because of the various storms across the US, and the system a couple of days ago has only made it worse.

So, if you feel you can donate and you would like to, now would be a good time.

http://www.redcross.org

http://www.americasblood.org/
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Just wanted to report in and say that, despite the tornadoes in Nashville, me and mine are fine. This church with its roof torn off is about half a mile away from our house, but all we got were high winds and rain. We feel pretty darn lucky. We're supposed to get more rain today, but hopefully it will only make us soggier, and not bring more wind and floods and tornadoes. Here's hoping.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in, and I hope that everyone else is doing well. Take care!
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Since I last did any extensive updating at LibraryThing (over three years ago!), they've switched things up a bit. Now there are these "Common Knowledge" fields for the works which contain things like the publication dates, editors, characters in the books, alternate titles, and other tidbits of useful information. It's all nifty, and I'd like to add some information to the Common Knowledge pool.

There are two problems with this ambition.

First, I have about 4,500 books in my catalog. That's a lot of entries to go through. Clearly, some of them will already be up-to-date on their Common Knowledge (I suspect, for instance, that some of the other 50,000+ people who have copies of the Harry Potter books will have taken care of them), but when I've got the only copy of Suffering and Evil in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe, that'll be on me to fill in the fields. This is, of course, the point of the exercise--to add my unique information--but it brings me to my second problem:

LibraryThing no longer allows me to sort by the number of copies. In the Olden Days, you could sort your catalog by the relative popularity of your books. This would be a really useful feature to have right now, since it would allow me to bump all my unique works right to the top and work through them first, instead of having to scan through all 4,587 entries to find the ones where mine is the only copy.

(Okay, there's sort of a workaround, in that I can put Common Knowledge fields into my catalog viewing and then sort by the fields, so at least I won't be constantly clicking on works that already have stuff filled in. But it would really, really be a lot easier to go to works that I can be almost sure no-one has filled in because I know no one else has the book.)

On a completely different topic, if you look at the cover I scanned for the aforemenioned Suffering and Evil as an example, you will note that all the book covers I scanned in and uploaded three years ago suck. A lot. I think there was some miniscule size limit, and boy does it show. I just uploaded a cover for The Mad Scientist Affair that doesn't even qualify as "high quality," but it's about a billion times better. I may have to go back and re-scan some of those covers (another task that that "sort by popularity" thing would be useful for).

Busy busy....:)
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The Purse Meme, most recently seen from [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox.

The Purse, fully contained:

Photograph of my red purse, full and zipped up

I bought this purse primarily as a receptacle for my crossword puzzles. Of course, I had make sure that my crossword stash would fit. The natural solution was to take my ratty ziploc bag full of dog-eared newspapers into Dillard's and Macy's and try to fit it into various purses. For the record, I was not thrown out of either store.

The Purse, open to show that, yes, all the crap actually fits into it:

The Purse, open to show that, yes, all that crap actually fits into it

And now, under the cut, the actual crap I carry around:

What I carry in my purse )
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I am a genius! And also, amazingly stupid!

One of the problems I was having with my old computer was that all kinds of image files were getting mysteriously corrupted while in my New Fic folder. This did not happen to them while they were in any other folder, just the New Fic folder, and it only happened to files that had some kind of images with them, like .pdfs or picture files. Since there were Other Issues with my computer, I figured that this was probably just some thing with the hard drive going wonky.

I've had my new computer for a few weeks now, and so far all has been well with images and such in the New Fic folder. Until today. I opened a .pdf to read it, and lo! It was wonky. So was every other image and .pdf in the folder.

If you're going to screw yourself over, at least be able to figure out how you're doing it. Eventually. )
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Since I peppered you with all the bad stuff in the winter and spring, I thought it would only be fair to share at least three awesome things that have happened to me lately:

Three Good Things: My Vacation, Weight Watchers, and Parenting Validation )

So, three good things and counting. :)
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I think I said I was going to talk more about Weight Watchers, so I will, a bit. So far, it's really working well for me. I've lost a little over 11 pounds in five weeks (\0/), and it hasn't been impossibly difficult, just a bit of a paradigm shift.

It's mostly been a matter of substituting things I really like to eat that have fewer calories and fat for the other things I really like to eat that have tons of calories and fat, and keeping track of how much I eat of everything. I mean, yeah, I love french fries, but I really will be just as happy with a baked potato with a dab of sour cream and butter. Not to mention that on Weight Watchers I can have the fries every now and then, because WW treats me like a grown-up and gives me extra points to use for occasional treats and snacks.

In other news, we have, at last, released Tom into the house. It seems like forever, but I think the slow introduction with letting Tom live in the spare room a couple of days to let his scent in and then letting them "visit" through a cracked door has paid off. There have been isolated incidents of hissing and growling, but it's kind of hard to take it seriously when both cats are sprawled a couple of feet apart looking so relaxed it's hard to tell which one's making the noise.

Greebo has been doing most of the growling, but so far they seem to be fighting for who's going to be the submissive cat, since mostly they hiss, growl and then run away. There was one point when Greebo was working up a really intimidating growl and then had to stop to cough up a hairball. Not his most dignified moment.

In short, they're getting along as well as could possibly be expected at this point. I'm sure that there will be actual contact fighting at some point, but two days in it hasn't happened. They might not end up as buddy-buddy as Greebo and Sylvester were (see below), but that's okay, too.

Img16

:( vs. \0/

May. 27th, 2010 11:22 am
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I have had an...interesting few days.

The set-up:

On Friday, I joined Weight Watchers, finally. I may post in more detail about the actual program later, but here the point is that I went in and signed up and got the materials so I could start going to meetings the next Monday.

Over the weekend I finally sat down to order to the new computer I wanted. My old laptop has been very faithful, but it's starting to glitch in that "my hard drive is dying" way, not to mention that I have to restart Firefox at least once a day to keep it from eating up all the RAM. And the backlight on the screen shorts out about three or four times a day. Little stuff like that.

To make the purchase, we had to transfer funds from the savings at my husband's credit union. Although the credit union did finally upgrade a few years ago from the Commodore 64 computer that used to run the system (that's 64K, by the way), apparently they haven't upgraded to having anyone on hand to make larger transfers on the weekends. So, we had to wait until Monday. No big deal, right?

Yeah, right.

Monday, May 24, 2010-- :( = 3; \0/ = 0 )

Tuesday, May 25, 2010-- :( = 1; \0/ = 1 )

Wednesday, May 26, 2010-- :( = 0; \0/ = 3 )

It's now Thursday. All I've done so far today is forget Boo's lunch. Small potatoes. ;)
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First things first:

As I previously mentioned, my family was relatively unaffected by the flooding in Nashville. But I know someone who lost her home and possessions and every day I learn about new groups of people who are having difficulties getting back on their feet. As always, it seems that those who can least afford it have lost the most. [livejournal.com profile] elizah_jane has a very good post with resources and links for making donations (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] coreopsis for the link). There is also a follow-up post with more information. Tomorrow I plan to take my O-neg self down to the Red Cross. It's been so long since I've had the energy to even come close to qualify for donating, and now seems like an excellent time to go back.

In more benign news:

This morning, Boo asked what "If your cat likes Cat Chow they might like this" meant (it was written on our bag of cat food). Since we had been discussing proprietary formulas the day before (don't ask), this led to a talk about brand names, which led to patents, which led to trademarks, which led to copyright. That took up the first half hour of the forty-five minute drive to school, after which we switched to the Kuiper Belt.

The problem? I meant to review the words for her weekly spelling test today.

So, yeah, she'll be fine if the teacher asks her about trademark law, but won't be able to spell "butterfly" or whatever the hell it is I was actually supposed to help her with. Crap.

In other news, the cats are well )
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Those of you in the US who are watching the weather--or possibly the national news--are likely aware that it's been raining a bit here in Nashville. The weather service issued a flood warning several days ago, before the rain even started, and apparently they knew what they were doing. The mayor issued a civil emergency warning two nights ago asking people to keep off the roads because the flooding was just that bad. I live in the southeast part of the city, near a lake, but I'm not on a flood plain. (It should be noted that in Tennessee, "lives near a lake" also means "lives near a dam." Although that's pretty much true for "lives in Tennessee" as well.)

There's no school for Boo today. My husband tried to get to work and discovered that the entire area around the complex where he works is blocked off. Not surprising, really, since the Cumberland river flows right by and it's been breaking its banks since last night. So, he's home, too.

The sun is shining this morning, but supposedly there's more rain in the offing in the next couple of days. And of course the really nasty flooding doesn't happen until all the runoff gets done getting into the rivers. The river I live near, as I said, is dammed, but the parts of the Cumberland that go through downtown and the Harpeth river always flood, and the Stones River in Murfreesboro always does some damage, too. So, yeah, hoping the rain holds off a bit.

Trees...

Apr. 26th, 2010 05:13 pm
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Dear Trees and Your Pollen,

I realize that you are an important part of my daily existence. You are beautiful and stately and I know that I would find it difficult to breathe without your lovely oxygen-producing qualities.

Right now, though, I'm going to hate you and your stupid pollen for about forty-eight hours.

Miserably yours,

Dorothy
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It's that time of year again, when feline hormones are thick in the air and Tom gets the crap beat out of him. Since this is the second year this has happened, I've come to the conclusion that if he's going to come inside, it should be before anything more serious than a post-fight ear infection happens to him.

FIV, Why Tom Is a Big Marshmallow and So Am I )
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It is finally the end of the Longest Passover Break Ever. Boo's school was closed from March 26 until this morning. I have lost count of the number of games of Clue I have played.

Actually, I was a crappy mom for most of the first week. My allergies were horrible and I spent a lot of time stuffed with antihistamines, rousing only when prodded by little hands for feeding time. Boo was really great about letting me sleep off the stupid allergies and mostly amused herself. I did take her to my knitting group and we had a play date with a knitting pal's grandkids, so I wasn't 100% crap in the mom department. I also made it up a bit this week with the aforementioned Clue marathons and with taking her out places. It's really amazing how nice mom/daughter time is when mom doesn't feel like crap.

Parental Visitation )

Useful Post-Apocalyptic Skills. Or Not. )
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I looked in the mirror today and thought, "Hey, I look great!"

I laughed out loud at Dan Patrick's singing.

I looked at pictures of kittens. Kittens!

Good grief, if I actually follow through and go knitting tomorrow, I might get a social life, too. Who knows what will happen then. :)
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Okay, so, insomnia doesn't usually occasion glee, but because of the sleep apnea, for a year I have struggled with the problem of being constantly sleepy and the sleep I get never being quite enough. I have had to take three-hour naps every day for probably over a year, and while doing so has kept me functionally rested and able to drive cars without falling asleep at the wheel (well, except for that one time), it's not exactly convenient.

For the last week or so, however, I've had some insomnia. I can't seem to nap during the day as easily as I usually do, and it takes a lot longer to fall asleep at night. Yeah, it's made it a bit harder to get up on the mornings where I haven't been able to get to sleep until 2am, but to be honest? I don't care. :) It's okay to be a bit tired when you've only had four hours sleep. But guess what? I go through my day and when night comes, I'm not so tired that I feel like crying. I'm not so tired that I can't even get up. I'm just normal, everyday, "Gee, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night" tired. I had honestly forgotten what that feels like.

I had a follow-up visit to my doctor yesterday about my new migraine prevention medication and my new dose of anti-depressants (both of which appear to be working well), and I mentioned the insomnia. He said, "I think that's a good sign," and I said, "Yeah, I think so, too." :)
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My New Fanfic folder, it is clean! Okay, it's supposed to be clean, because it's supposed to be just a temporary holding area for stories while I get their Smart Quotes brainwashed and labels assigned before sorting them into their Proper Places. If this is done as stories happen, it takes about a minute a day. When it's not done, and the folder is bulging with over six hundred stories, it takes four or five days.

The tedious details of how it took fifteen years to realize that sorting by an author's full name is a Good Idea. )

Now all I have to do is work my way through the 1,700 untagged stories in the Torchwood folder...

Groggy

Feb. 26th, 2010 09:18 pm
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Today was the Purim carnival at Boo's school. It was a bit touch and go whether or not she'd be able to go, because she was out of school Wednesday with a fever, and couldn't go Thursday because she still had it Wednesday evening and couldn't go back until she'd been fever-free for 24 hours. But, today dawned with no fever for over a day, so she pulled on her ballerina costume and set off.

Apparently they had some sort of ticket system to trade for things, and she came home with a paper bag full. Her haul from the carnival included:

  • Neon pink vampire fangs
  • Pink sparkly lip gloss
  • Face paint
  • Pony tattoo
  • Fairy tattoo
  • Pink polished nails
  • Grogger

    For those of you not familiar with Purim, one of the traditions is to make noise to drown out the evil vizier Haman's name every time it's uttered during the reading/telling of the Megilla, the story of how Esther saved the Jews from Haman's plot to kill them. Groggers are the preferred noisemakers for this purpose, and Boo helpfully demonstrated her enthusiasm for the holiday by shouting "Haman, Haman, Haman" and spinning her grogger. A lot.

    We'd usually be at the Purim shabbat service tonight (if only to see how the rabbis would top the Dr. Seuss costumes from last year), but Boo's still coughing a bit and we decided to keep her home. Also, I'm still adjusting to new levels of meds and I'm not too keen on big social events right now. Even if they involve having handfuls candy flung at me.
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    I just finished adding publication years to all my Delicious bookmarks. I started doing it to the new bookmarks back in November, but I had an enormous backlog that could only be tackled by loading every freakin' story and looking at the date on it. (If there was an easier way, don't tell me. Please.) I was able to use the bulk edit function, so at least I only had to make two or three passes to get a bunch of bookmarks done at a time. It was the only thing that saved me.

    It was tedious as crap, but the task did give me a chance to check for broken links, and also replace all the "+" signs with spaces on the Livejournal tag links so they'll actually work again.

    Statistics

    Bookmarks updated: 1 Gazillion (Okay, about 1,200. It just seemed like more.)
    Broken links deleted: 13 (Surprised it was that few, actually)
    Journals deleted while I was updating links to them: 1 (ETA: Journals un-deleted the following day: 1)
    Bookmarks eaten by Delicious: 1
    Number of times same link subsequently eaten until successfully re-added: 3 (Suspect Delicious may be getting wise to 50-tag workarounds. Also, yay for backing up Delicious bookmarks a lot.)

    Breakdown by year, if you're interested )
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    My brain is mush. I've been staring at the stories from today's [livejournal.com profile] torchwood_three for ages, and two of them are the kind of thing I love to read: angsty and innovatively written and surreal and they feature Tosh, but the words are just slithering right across me and I can't seem to understand either of them. This might be put down to the complex writing, except that all the other stories seem to be over my head, too. Including the drabbles.

    Diagnosis: Temporary reader error

    Treatment: Nap

    ETA, four hours later...: Ah, much better. Okay, so I'm not sure I understood either story any better, but I did enjoy them both very much, and that's the important thing. :)
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    Important Writing Tip: If you decide to update your stories on an archive (that you kind of forgot you had them on) and need to use a different HTML tag than the one you just laboriously replaced your ancient ASCII asterisks with, make sure you copy the files to the new working folder. That way, when you inevitably screw up the search and replace (as usual) and need to trash the duplicate files and re-copy them from the originals, you won't go back to the original folder and say, "Hey, where are the originals..." and have to spend twenty minutes replacing the old HTML.

    (Yes, yes, I have backups. But they were across the room. And I possibly didn't think of using them until I was almost done.)

    No, really, I've been using computers for twenty-five years. Honest.
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    I am approaching a state of readiness for my journey west. I am slightly more ready than I'd anticipated being today, because I made my last-minute run for last-minute items today instead of tomorrow. I had no intention of setting foot in any store the day after Christmas, but about two this afternoon I heard a thump downstairs. A few seconds after, my cell phone rang. My husband was calling me from the floor of the hallway, where he was lying after his back had locked up on him.

    I got him up and onto the couch with a heating pad, then made an emergency run to the store for muscle relaxants. (Some things are, after all, just a bit more important than avoiding the post-Christmas rush.)

    The good news is that Al is much, much better now. At first he couldn't even stand up, but just a few minutes ago he was able to walk up the stairs to the bedroom by himself. Much relief all around. And, while I was at the store getting things he needed (for instance, a six-pack of medicinal Guinness), I picked up the last two or three things I needed for the trip. Not the way I would have chosen to get prepared, but it worked out.

    In between driving Al crazy asking him fifty billion times if he needed anything, I also took care of my computer transfer today, shuffling files from the Mac to the Netbook (in the process eradicating Smart Quotes from about 200 stories so I could read them gibberish-free on said Netbook...and I really wish I was kidding), converting and updating files on the iPod, making backups for me, making backups for my mom's iPod, and generally trying to make sure that everything I want will travel with me and I can survive if there's no internet. :)

    I've also test-packed my carry-on bag, and everything seems okay. I'll have to unpack half of it at security because I'll have my computer, camera, GPS, iPod(s) and Boo's DVD player to run through, not to mention my CPAP machine, but that's why I also plan to get to the airport Very Early.

    Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to flying right now. I'm not nervous about the flying part, but I'm worried about last-minute security measures. I've already cut way back on the knitting survival kit, figuring that now is not the time to show up with 50+ double-pointed needles in a wrap.

    Also, this is not the time I really want to leave my husband by himself. Based on previous history, he'll probably be more than able to take care of himself and drive and probably even go to work by Monday, but I'm not happy about jetting off less than two days after he couldn't even walk by himself, even if it was only for a few hours. It was sheer luck that he was listening to cricket over his phone when he fell, and therefore had it with him in the house. I'm thinking of asking him to Velcro the phone to his body until I get back.

    Bad News

    Dec. 21st, 2009 06:58 pm
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    I just learned that [livejournal.com profile] schadenkatze died in a house fire early this morning. [livejournal.com profile] lunaris1013 will be collecting donations until the end of the month for her twin [livejournal.com profile] schaden_freude, who survived the fire.

    I never met [livejournal.com profile] schadenkatze or [livejournal.com profile] schaden_freude in person, but they have nonetheless been a part of my life for over twelve years. Signal boost this to fellow SSCers if you can, and please help if you're able.
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    I have completed Phase One of the vacation process. For several years, my mother and stepdad have been mailing their luggage instead of checking it on the plane. They started by mailing one bag because they couldn't fit their metric crapton of ski gear into the checked bag allowance, and then eventually realized that just mailing off the bulk of their gear saved them from the crush of humanity that always surrounds the baggage belt at the Jackson airport. (Imagine about 200 people crammed into a luggage claim area about the size of a postage stamp. Then imagine them all with skis...)

    This year, the mail-in option became even more attractive because American Airlines decided that checked baggage was no longer free, and would be charging $20 for the first checked bag and $30 for the second. So, I lugged my two ginormous suitcases to the FedEx office this morning and shipped them off. The cost to mail two 35lb suitcases to Wyoming? $66, only $16 more than it would have cost to check them onto the plane. And they'll be there a week ahead of time, and I won't have to fight my way through throngs of passengers to get them.

    More about carry-ons, and why CPAP machines don't count )

    Speaking of the CPAP machine, I had a follow-up about my apnea. )
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    So, remember my post about how my sister was going to have to detour around the two (2) landslides that were blocking her passage over the Smokies? And that it would make her getting home for Thanksgiving more difficult? Well, now she's going to have to make the detour while recovering from swine flu. She's feeling a lot better now, but this really hasn't been her year for easy transit home. Honestly, I'm glad I'm not a conspiracy theorist.

    In other news, following up on my concerns about the new Delicious add-on for Firefox, I did a test download on a computer that I don't use much for tagging stories. Sure enough, the clever bastards had closed the loophole that (formerly) allowed users to enter more than 50 tags if they did it through the add-on pop-up window. Guess I'll be skipping that version for a while. It's not that I have a huge number of bookmarks with more than 50 tags, but some of those long stories have a lot of characters and plot devices. (Of course, the obvious solution is to streamline my tags, but that would involve, you know, work. And planning. Much easier to just not upgrade the add-on until I have to. Laziness FTW!)

    Also, did I mention that I finished NaNoWriMo? :) :) :)
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    I am so behind on NaNoWriMo today. (So, naturally, I'm posting instead of writing.)

    I've been playing with AO3 today and haven't even put word one on my NaNoWriMo story. I've got a comfortable cushion at the moment, but my goal is to be done before I go to my Mom's to become her Thanksgiving helper. The cooking process begins, ideally, two days beforehand, so that doesn't give me a whole lot of time. Granted, we're celebrating on Friday instead of Thursday this year, but that's only one extra day.

    We're having Thanksgiving a day late this year for a number of reasons, one of which is that my sister lives in North Carolina. Many of you probably heard about the 1-40 landslide closing off the main route through the Smokies from North Carolina to Tennessee. A lot of you also probably saw the video of the landslide that occurred a couple hundred miles south, on Highway 64.

    What you probably don't know, unless you live in the area, is that Highway 64 is one of the better alternate routes through the Smokies if one is heading from North Carolina to the area around Chattanooga, especially if one's hometown is right on 64 (like ours). My sister and brother-in-law are probably going to make lemonade from the lemons and just detour all the way through Atlanta so he can visit his family, but that's a pretty significant detour.

    So, Friday Thanksgiving. At least the grocery stores will be open if we run out of stuff.
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    Aaah, the twice-yearly hard drive purge. Nine whole gigabytes in which to stretch out, for a while anyway. I tend to dread doing it, because while my backing up involves sticking a thumb drive in and throwing over the few tiny text files that are new, the Great Hard Drive Purge involves actually moving computer stuff around and disconnecting drives from PCs and hooking them up to Macs and other gargantuan efforts. Which is why I only tend to do it when I'm having to delete yesterday's podcasts to have room for today's.

    I realize that 9GB doesn't sound like much, but my entire hard drive is only 80GB, and frankly, if it wasn't for my habit of saving certain podcasts, I'd probably not even be close to filling it up ever. Fan fiction, after all, doesn't take up a lot of space. It took me three years of obsessive story saving to hit 500MB on my Torchwood folder, after all. Though, admittedly, if I saved the HTML instead of just the text, it would likely be about ten times that size. Which is why I save the text. :)

    Then again, I have about two terabytes hooked up to the PC, so it's not like I'm practicing hard drive economy anywhere else.
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    Greebo tried to assist in my word count yesterday. When I'm using the computer in bed he thinks it a prime opportunity for snuggle time. He may be right about this, but he also tends to want to snuggle right on top of where I'm using the mouse. This means that sometimes the mouse does things I hadn't necessarily planned, especially when I give up trying to move it around under seventeen pounds of cat and just leave it there. Yesterday, he managed to select all the text in my Nanowrimo file, and when I pasted it all in later my stats returned a miraculous 22K+ word count, almost exactly twice what the count should have been. One of us (and I have my suspicions) had duplicated the entire novel in the file.

    Good kitty.

    NaNoLOL

    Nov. 6th, 2009 04:44 pm
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)


    I'd totally forgotten about the NanoCat Word Counter. (Because it is very important to see my word count in as many forms as humanly possible.)

    This is why I was very happy to see that the widgets are finally working today. Well, mostly working. There seems to be a bit of decimal issue with the full progress reports, but it's not a big deal. Unfortunately, I discovered that, despite my doing my own math, I actually missed my word count yesterday by 14 words. Fourteen. Words.

    Is this really a big deal? Well, okay, no. )

    And yet, I have still managed to crack 10,000 words. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)


    3883 / 50000 words. 8% done!

    I don't know if it's aided my writing productivity, but since I started using the CPAP machine I have dreamed and dreamed and dreamed. I had regular dreams before, but it's astounding the scope and depth and length of the dreams I've had the last four nights. I guess that's what happens when I'm not waking up forty times a night and interrupting my dream cycle. My brain has free rein to work through the day's crap without interference, and it seems to be making up for lost time.

    I'm a bit paranoid about NaNoWriMo this year because last year was the first year I'd ever finished early and you all know what happened then. While I feel pretty certain that that was a one-time mishap (pretty certain), I can't help but think that I should maybe push a little harder this year, too.

    Just in case. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Yep, it's that time of year again, when I move my NaNoWriMo bookmarks up to the Toolbar. Of course, the site designers have, as usual, rearranged everything so that most of them are broken, but re-setting the links is always a nice time-waster those first few days.

    I have to say that, despite thinking about what I'm going to write since the beginning of October, the actual arrival of NaNoWriMo snuck up on me this year. I've been tootling along with it in the back of my mind, then suddenly I look up and it's three days before the start.

    Part of my distraction has been my nesting behavior over at the new rec journal. I'm really, really glad I moved all the rec stuff. Not only am I no longer spamming people who are not necessarily interested in the recs, I've also been able to do a lot of tagging and organizing that wasn't really practical here. I feel like the rec journal can now be an actual resource that will, hopefully, remain useful even if I stop having the time to do as much recommending.

    In other news, I picked up my CPAP machine today. I think it says something that I'm looking forward to strapping the thing on at bedtime. (Probably that I'm willing to do almost anything for a good night's sleep. :))

    I also discovered that if you wait until the last few days to buy Halloween candy, you a) don't have time to eat it beforehand and b) can get it on sale. Also, Cheetos are not kosher.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I had my second sleep study over the weekend, and it went really well. I used the CPAP machine all night, and did not, according to the sleep technician, have any apneas. \0/ (I did, in fact, make actual victory arms when he told me this.) I did feel claustrophobic a couple of times, but it was very mild and I was able to talk myself out of it by remembering that the machine was there to help me breathe.

    The mask wasn't too bad, and didn't really keep me from sleeping. We'll see if that changes once I'm no longer so tired that I don't care, but for now I'm more than willing to strap the thing on if it means better sleep. I'm also, on advice from [livejournal.com profile] thewordoffred, going to look into the possibility of just using a nose tube. We'll see.

    I also found out that I apparently re-arrange my iPod in my sleep. I go to sleep listening to podcasts, and while I'm falling asleep I move the iPod from side to side as I turn over. This behavior, according to the sleep technician, does not change once I'm asleep (or, indeed, after the iPod's sleep timer has turned it off). As I toss and turn, I move the non-functioning iPod around with me without ever waking up. This may explain why I haven't yet strangled myself with the headphones in my sleep. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Boo has been really fascinated by the discovery of "Ardi." It started last week, when she asked me why we have hairs all over our bodies, and I explained about our evolutionary ancestors having hair to protect them. Just a couple of days later the news about Ardi finally hit the front pages. When the drawings of what Ardi may have looked like appeared, I showed them to Boo and explained a bit about how Ardi's traits have changed some of our thoughts on hominid evolution.

    But I think the big attraction for her, really, is the simple fact that Ardi--and Lucy--are girls, like her. I know it was just chance that two of the major game-changers in hominid evolution happened to be females, but it really hit me hard to see how much that simple fact changed Boo's perceptions. Ardi and Lucy might be hairy, and have ape-like features and long arms and--in Ardi's case, anyway--feet that look like hands, but they're still both girls, and she can identify with that.

    I really hope that as she gets older, we don't always have to go back four million years for our female role models. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    In order to avoid blathering incessantly about Yet Another Health Issue, I decided--this time--to wait until I had a firm diagnosis.

    The desire to fall asleep into your mashed potatoes is not normal. Just so you know. )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I'm restoring my confidence by messing with the Windows computer, and I decided that I would conduct my semi-sporadic search for a multi-file search and replace utility for Windows. At the moment, I'm completely unable to survive without TextWrangler, which allows me to re-do those teeny coding errors I might make across twenty files, and also is the secret behind my thematic lists. (What, you think I have time to read 3,000 stories for mentions of blue cupcakes? ;)) The only difficulty is that it's MacOS only.

    Shockingly enough, I found one this time. It's called Actual Search and Replace and it does exactly what I want. It searches across multiple text files for words or phrases, displays them in context and also--as the name suggests--can perform multi-file search and replace. (Take that, SmartQuotes!) Joy!

    Well, if "joy" means "worth $30." The free version works for thirty days, which is enough time to make a decision about buying it, but I've been really spoiled by Bare Bones freeware the last fifteen years. Still, it would possibly enable me to not go completely insane if my Mac craps out on me, which is certainly worth thirty bucks.

    I just hope I'm not jinxing my Mac by eyeing other utilities...
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    I just had a huge computer scare, which I am going to describe in excruciating detail under the cut. To save you the suspense, I've left the resolution outside the cut. )

    The anti-climactic conclusion: Computer restarted, everything's fine, I do not have to re-sort 3,000 files from the unsorted back-up. I'm currently testing the existence of the disappeared files by backing them the fuck up. Again. Then I'm having a beer. Possibly two.

    I'm also taking this as a sign that it might be time to start saving for a new Mac laptop.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Bad news first.

    I had a talk with my physical therapist yesterday about DragonCon, and while he didn't say "don't go," the things we talked about led me to the conclusion that going would not be fun. Everything I want to do involves either standing in line (or sitting on the floor in line) or sitting in horrible hotel conference chairs. I finally realized that I would either be in the hotel room lying down, or in a lot of pain. While the opportunities for hotel-room socializing are not to be discounted as a primary factor in my going to the con in the first place, I finally realized that I just wasn't prepared to face the prospect of the pain involved to do anything else. Such as drive five hours and haul my luggage through the Atlanta subway. So, I'm staying home.

    The silver lining to all this (there's always one :)) is that I'll be able to maybe do some bookmarking. I've been trying to figure out a way to cross-post my Delicious bookmarks directly to my journals. I've been using the always-awesome Text Wrangler to code my finder lists by hand, but it would be nice to have a way to share the links.

    This can be done from Delicious with other blogs, but not with LJ-based clients. I know there are a couple of scripts that can do it, but I don't have the hosting capabilities to run them. I'm experimenting with Twitter, but the automatic Tweeting from Delicious doesn't seem to work, at least not from the LJ add-on window, and doing it from the Delicious site is a royal pain in the ass. We'll see how it goes. :)

    ETA: Ha! Figured out what was wrong with the auto-Tweeting from Delicious. I've now set up LoudTwitter, so hopefully my links will now funnel back onto my journal (under a cut, of course :)). Right now, I'm only doing it on Livejournal to test it.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Why didn't I know about the iPod Sleep Timer function before?! I discovered it by accident while trying to use the (useless) alarm feature, and it's the Best Thing Ever. I go to sleep every night listening to podcasts or audio books, and the biggest drawback is that if I fall asleep before turning it off, I have to backtrack for hours to find my place (not to mention the battery issues). If I turn on the Sleep Timer, the window shrinks to fifteen or thirty minutes. Best Thing Ever.

    It's the little things that count, really. :)
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    So. We have met Boo's new Head of School...

    ...and she is Yvonne Hartman.

    My husband and I went to a Meet the Head of School and Have Coffee thing this morning, and as I listened to her talk and answer questions I really, really had to work hard not to roll my eyes. Okay, I understand that management jargon is probably the way Things are Done now, but I felt like I was listening to a politician dodge the press rather than a Head of School talk to parents.

    I do understand that it's not an easy gig. (In fact, I was amused that the questions were evenly divided between "why aren't the kids running around more?" and "why aren't the kids studying math/science more?", neatly displaying the never-ending conflict of parent expectations in microcosm.) I don't, though, like to come away from a meeting feeling that the person in charge hasn't really said anything. I also feel like that a meeting with her would be more like a battlefield than a conversation.

    It's entirely possible that this first impression will be proved wrong, and it's also possible that, even if it isn't wrong, these will be qualities that will make her a good Head of School.

    That doesn't mean I won't still think of her saying, "If it's alien, it's ours," every time I see her.
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    One day, I'll make a post and there will be nothing medical in it. This is not that post, but let's just live in hope. :)

    The importance of the spine, and why muscles are not substitutes )

    iMom

    Aug. 17th, 2009 12:09 am
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    Spent the weekend at my mother's, doing iPod maintenance and continuing iPod education. My mom, as I may have mentioned, has two iPods in order to keep up with her audiobook habit. While we were on vacation, iPod number one--which had already shown signs of wear and tear--began to really screw up. I brought it home, downloaded the files from it (confirming, by the way, that it was Seriously Screwed Up), and put them all on a new iPod. So far, so good.

    This just in: WAV files are Really Big )
    dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
    If you buy the same mouse for both your laptops, and for some reason are using both laptops at the same time, try not to wonder why the mouse isn't working every time you pick up the wrong one. At least not after the first three times you do it. Also, possibly be smart enough, after this has happened more than three times, to put stickers or something on one of them.

    If you are smart enough to only use one laptop at a time, but have both the trackpad and mouse enabled, make sure that your cat is not sitting on the mouse while you use the trackpad, lest you become convinced that your computer has locked up.

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