The cold front sweeping through has done almost nothing to diminish the pollen - in fact, I suspect the northward varieties I am less acustomed to is why I am suffering this morning. I actually reset the alarm for a piddling 25 minutes of extra sleep. It seemed worthwhile at the time - still does, in fact. Lunch was somehow still packed, due to the virtue of having sliced deli meat and cheese readily available, plus a small serving of the sugar-preserved slice strawberries garnered last weekend. It is marvelous to have fresh fruit in season in the house. Definitely a trend I need to support. If there is time in August or late July, maybe I can finally get a weekend in central Texas to pick tons of peaches and bring them home to can.
The chill wind was unexpected; I actually dug out my gloves to drive to work. My hands chill easily, and a certain mid-life ache tends to throb at the least dip of temperature my thumbs feel. Perhaps I should start making time to check the weather before the morning commute. Getting into my office didn't help much; the air-conditioning is cranked up for the 80 F (~27 C) heat of yesterday. It was 57 F (~14 C) as I walked in this morning, with a stiff breeze to boot.
Five minute break is over; back to my engineering calculations.
The toilets can be flushed, and such, but a hard freeze over the weekend apparently contaminated the drinking water. As I only had a small thermos of coffee with me this morning this is an issue for lunch. I do not have change for the soda vending machine. Not to mention I do not want to drink soda any longer; there is no bottled water provided in the machine, either. So it looks like I will be going out for lunch today, despite my regular habit to not and packing a good lunch this morning. I will have to work an additional half-hour to cover the time, since nothing is all that close by, but those are the breaks. I need to buy gas anyway, perhaps I can grab a bottle of juice or water on the way back as well for this afternoon. I cannot make the tea I brought, after all.
The incoming Freezing Cold ... in HOUSTON weather verbosity combined with a lack of sliced deli cheese and meat convinced me to stop at Sam's Club on the way home from work last night. They have a sliced smoked gouda cheese there that I really love for work lunches, and at Sam's I can get it, sliced yet, for only about $5.50 a pound - much less than the local grocer for a comparable cheese. I also got some Oscar Meyer smoked turkey at a very reasonable price point. Two loaves of whole grain, no stupid additives bread. Unbeknownst to me, estimable roomie lolleeroberts was even at that moment breaking into the hold-out freezer-kept loaf of Health Nut bread to make us French toast for dinner, so this was a very fortuitous time for me to recall supply was low. Plus, a full loaf of good bread at Sam's was $2.90 or so - much less than HEB or Kroger, if not quite as cheap as when I bake it myself. But already sliced helps a lot during the week - and I don't have the patience or energy to bake after work during the week.
I got some exercise by walking the entire store Drunkard-path style, and found their Christmas clearance candy - picked up a box of caramels and a box of chocolate truffles for the estimable roomie's Twelth Night presents at half and less price. Score!
Then I found the sheepskins. Entire shearling sheepskins, very clean, well-brushed, from Austraiia and New Zealand for only $35.74 - the best price I could find last year was $60 plus shipping from there. I bought two - one for under the back, one for wrapping the feet when camping in cold weather. I also found a $20 pack of four-foot square rubber flooring tiles, the kind with the puzzle-like edges. Bought it - finally, a rug object the dogs can't rumple into a trip hazard next to my bed - and these won't collect fur as badly. Also, I can put a couple in front of the kitchen sink prone to slopping water - the estimable roomie has slipped in there and ALMOST gone down more times than I want to think about. Even I have taken a tumble more than a few times - and slipped a bunch more. These should lessen the hazard, although they'll have to be pulled up and mopped around. Better than anyone being injured, by far.
I also got some cans of soup (emergency lunches on the go), and some flannel PJ pants - sorely needed. Then I found a pair of men's sweatpants, thickly flannel and lined to boot - but I could NOT find a price. At checkout, after a LENGTHY wait, they finally just gave them to me. Since I had spent over $120 or so by then, I don't think this choice hurt them... but, hey, free WARM sweats!
This is why I try not to go to Sam's Club more than once a quarter. :) But I may have to add a note to check them each year after Christmas from now on!
If one must go to work not feeling quite well, having an estimable roomie who tells you there is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee leftovers you can heat and take along definitely improves the situation. Especially so when the commute is fog-bound to visibility 50 to 400 feet at BEST, an 18-wheeler full of steel forces you to pile on the brakes and dodge BEHIND him to get on the freeway and off the entrance ramp, and the foggy morning is at 47 degrees - aggravating both ache in the fingers and asthma to a miserable degree. Getting finally to my desk, I am now eating the hot oatmeal I packed for myself, while enjoying the coffee, and thinking I might survive this morning yet.
Wise Bread, a blog I read, just reported the daily deals - including a 3-month trial membership to Amazon Prime for a single dollar. I bought my membership at $80 a year, since both the estimable roomie and I can use it by virtue of sharing an address. I intended it as just a friendship benefit, but between various large orders, pet foods, and some gourmet foods (e.g. mostly tea so far) that we have purchased with Free Shipping due to my membership, I think we've both saved nearly that much ... EACH. Or perhaps more. It has certainly been worthwhile for us; formy part, not having the last-minute running-out-of-dog-food problems any longer is worth it.
Now, there is probably an auto-renew on this offer, and the price for a year's membership has probably increased since I bought my $80/year subscription, so caveat emptor!
It is my own inexperience, but currently Google Wave is feeling like a clunky sort of Bulletin Board System, from my own early Internet days. Oh, sure there are some graphics thrown on top. After I learn how to implement videos, or use some of the Maps features, I am sure it will seem a bit better. Although the major constraint I see right now is that apparently you can only have a single Google Wave going on the screen at one time. There may be a way to run simultaneously run two or more Wave conversations I just haven't learned yet.
My current game runs through a private-client mIRC, so I can differentiate actions versus description, send private messages to players, open up as many windows as I can tolerate, and keep my game notes and dice programs in background on my computer all at once.
There does seem to be a way to edit previous Wave texts - and more important, step back and insert into the threading new replies. The worst thing about running online is trying to keep any coherency and proper pace to game play - players and DMs both tend to just run all over each other and proper initiative (e.g. taking turns in order and not taking too MUCH turn) goes right out the window. This is especially true the more exciting or the more desperate a combat or encounter gets, or if one player is just really in character and 'running hot' so to speak - and everyone else kinda well, isn't.
One of the good things, however, will be tying in Google Earth map features. I already had one really sweet idea - playing a Call of Cthulu game in the ruins of Pompei. (Yes, it has been mapped. No, I don't know how. I am certain it was not by car, but....) Probably isn't the game I'll end up running - it looks like D&D is the majority choice. Hopefully I can find a sketch program that will allow showing of maps and combat positions.
I think the next step will be getting everyone set up in Google Wave, completing my contacts list to make sure -I- have everyone in the Wave, and kick off the decide on a system discussion.
Since I obviously do not have enough madness in my life at present, I am considering running a game through Google Wave or other online means. The forms of games I am most at home with is: Amber Diceless, Call of Cthulu, GURPs, or even D&D, although if it goes 4th ed, I would need to buy the newer books, so perhaps not.
Questions to the Dear Readers: who would be likely interested enough to wage a campaign? I do not like to have revolving door characters, so if possible, I would like to have some degree of commitment of time and energy upfront from anyone joining in. I'm in the Central USA time zone here, and would probably play either 7 PM to 11 PM or use a mid-afternoon 4-5 hour time period. Also, does anyone have a Google Wave invitation for me? I have been keeping up with various uses described second-hand at Lifehacker, but I would need to jump in and get my feet wet to set up the game environs.
My last campaign began in 1996, and is still meeting on an roughly monthly basis, just FYI. I usually do wind up GMing, so I may be doing something right. Or at least, entertainingly wrong. :)
I know I found the form before - because I used it to apply both as deputy and then as the full chatelain for my barony. However, now that I want to poke my current acting-deputy into actually making her status official (so I can land a favorable letter for her efforts before the eyes of the PTB). She has been a good deputy, and I need to make sure she gets due notice - even if it is only from me - of her good-natured help and support for me. I have told her so, but she deserves more than just verbal compliments.
Anyone feel like helping the new and still clueless chatelain out with a friendly steer or URL, please? Myself, I am absolutely sure it appears in some perfectly logical location in the SCA.org site under the Kingdom of Ansteorra, but my skills at navigating are certainly poor enough to frustrate me greatly. The ill health I've been dealing with these last few months is not helping, but at least next week something substantative can be done about THAT.
Thanks for any help you can give me. If it isn't easily located, I can work through my regional chatelain - but since I've never gotten any reply from a higher-up yet, I am hesitant to do that unless there is no other option.