MoodGravity

ziactrice


Lady Adventurer

No world is enough.


Still Here just Haven't Posted for a While
HolidayXmasLights
ziactrice
Last weekend I threw a huge Christmas dinner, which was great fun. Six courses, of which we only ate five because I simply had too much food. During the fruit and cheese (the last one we managed), I came to the conclusion that lavender honey makes every cheese in the world taste Even Better. However, this effect was most noticeable upon the red cranberry Stilton. I did not even think I would _like_ the Stilton.

Just goes to show how wrong preconceptions can be. I am really looking forward to Christmas break this year. Work has been tough lately, but for a good reason. I got a lateral promotion/transfer to a different department to pursue doing very highly technical, cutting-edge simulation. This is very good news, and something I was asking for - but I had two whole days of training and don't have much support from the previous person who did the work. So, it is a mad scramble to Learn on the Job at the moment.

My friends are all terrific people who are always willing to lend me a hand or give me a pat on the back when I really need it, though, so life is definitely on the improve these last few years. This really has helped me avoid the usual soul-crushing Holiday Blues this year. AT least, so far. (crosses fingers) I am invited to a friend's house in Deer Park for Xmas Eve, then to best friend's house on Xmas itself. This is a great thing, as spending the days alone are Not My Idea of Wonderful.

In Desperate Need of a Good Cheering-Up
DilbertBoobytrap
ziactrice
Please comment with anything funny or uplifting - sans overtly Christian or other religion-proponing things - because I have had a truly Awful Day - far beyond the usual sorta Bad Day. I could really use something to smile about.

I've already been watching all the Improv Everywhere channel on Youtube. What's your fav cheery Internet thingie?

Dept of Silly Questions:
MoodHappyColored_pencils
ziactrice
How do I get a Picasa loaded pic to post here in my LJ? I'll do them small, and behind cuts, but I want to show off a few I managed to get, courtesy of Werehatrack's (not on LJ) snazzy camera with hand shake correction and super-macro mode.

Triple-berry Mead Ingredients Procured
MoodHappyCount
ziactrice
Starting of the must will begin tomorrow. I'm trying to decide if I want to warm the berries in the must mixture (the hot water and the honey) to begin with, or try the new technique I was just reading about of adding the berries in later, in a wide-mouth fermentation vessel (e.g. plastic bucket fitted with an air lock) after the initial yeast ferment begins to slow down (about day 3 or 5 after start with the champagne yeast I use). The author of my book says the aroma compounds of the berries are blown out by heating, but I though the heat busted up the berries and got more flavor extraction. Everyone did like the triple berry best of all the varieties I made last time.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll try it his way, this time, just to see if it is better or not.

Household Generators and Hurricane Preps
DilbertIsland
ziactrice
A good friend is asking about home generators - I know someone on my Friends list has one. Would you speak up so he can pick your brain about the details for installation, care, and feeding?

Also, next week being the beginning of the season, I am planning to inventory and renew supplies in the house. I want: bottled water in PET bottles (can be solar-radiated to safely condition water if push comes to shove), a lot of juice in small bottles (water gets old after a while), some large bottles to freeze for solid-chunk ice (last longer), small cans/tins/soups for meals, and a small, blow-up child's pool for heat-beating and, if need be, outdoor bathing.

Oh, and Oreo cookies, because when I'm under stress, I need something comfort food. I don't have a chain saw anymore, because I don't trust myself handling one, but I do have a hatchet and such other hand-tools for clear-up work.

Any other recommendations for great stuff that you really like having or came in handy during Ike? I have an emergency crank-radio (although the TV part doesn't work since they dropped analog), and a mosquito net which was a real comfort in the heat-blast that always seems to follow a big hurricane.

If I were Crazy Enough to Attempt a Panel or the Like at ApolloCon, What should it be About?
ActionExtravagant
ziactrice
What could I take on? Last year I did one on specialty teas, which was full and even over-slotted (just bare of standing room only, because we had overflow couches). It went all right, if not quite as splendidly smooth as lolleeroberts in her coffee tasting. I considered that quite acceptable given she is a professionally a teacher and quite used to teaching in a classroom setting whereas my usual day is spent grinding through important calculations in a one-woman office setting, and only very rarely involves speaking to more than 8 people in a formalized meeting style setting.

I would like to do something SF wise, or tasting wise, but I need to avoid any possible overlap with my profession as a chemical engineer. Not only would it be far too easy to say something amiss and be liable to a slander complaint, my profession is not one of wide-spread interest to most people, excepting perhaps spectacular disasters like the current oil-leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Those situations, of course, being the ones where I do not have direct first-hand knowledge, and if I did, I would be bound by confidentiality agreements not to say word one anyway.

So, any suggestions out there? Most of you are acquainted with my hobbies. I could do something very geeky, like the statistics of modern D&D versus the original editions, or something about chemical safety in the home. I could do a tasting panel, and I am already scheduled to run a formal High Tea so I think that lets out the tea panel (not that I mind, it's a LOT of work to put one together). I also thought about a contra-idea panel of athletic pursuits for geeks, to fly in the face of stereotypes, but I would need to recruit some more active geeks for that to broaden the subject.

Psychick Rides Again
MoodWisdomPearls
ziactrice
Last Wednesday, I headed out about 2 hours later than my usual departure time because of a training class. Along the main road, a truck without lights on in the pre-dawn dimness was in my lane, practically invisible. I rolled down my window at the next light, and told the driver - who happened to be one of the engineers for the current client company I'm working at - to turn on his headlamps so he could be seen. He, needless to say, was a tad bit more than surprised. I wonder how these weird situations always seem to happen in my life. Am I just more observant, so I notice?

Resolved in the Early Morning
MoodGravity
ziactrice
Excitement about boarding cruise has me up earlier than the sun this morning. So, here are my resolutions from thinking carefully... after accidentally smacking my face against the very SOLID mahogany post of my bed.

1) I really should turn on the lights before getting up to let the dogs out, no matter how early it is.

2) I really need to get a boyfriend.

3) Need to establish at least one pure happiness goal (besides boyfriend) and work towards it this year.

4) I am unhappy with health consequences of too much weight. Only I can fix this, and it will not get better until I actually do something about it.

Cruise Preparation II
ActionReading
ziactrice
I visited the Bahamas official site, the consulate office site, read the dispatches on safety from the Dept. of State, and figured out various things about my visit. No, I don't think I'm over-reacting on safety when groups of 8 tourists have been mugged at gunpoint in broad daylight on the main shopping drag, when the murder rate hit an all-time high last year, and the general cycle of thievery has been trending sharply upwards. I am now debating whether to get off-ship at all there. If I can get a sponsor in the cultural exchange program, that might be fun. I don't like the typical touristy whirl of shops and such, but if I could visit the home of a real local, or cook a meal with a real family, that would be fantastic. We'll see.

The cruise makes ports of call in:

Nassau, Bahamas
Ponta Delgada, Azores
Malaga, Spain
Cartegena, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

I have excursions already for Ponta Delgado - a wine tasting at a very old winery with cheeses, too - and for Malaga - a hoity-toity tour with caviar and other delicacies at a local high-star restaurant/hotel. For the rest, however, if anyone has suggestions, I would be happy to have any advice or tips.

Major Allerginess this Morning
EngineerHardhat
ziactrice

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.



Pollen Count Today, Houston Texas
MoodDogFlowers
ziactrice
Over 2400... or "Extremely Heavy" on tree pollens; especially oak.

Yeah, being an asthmatic this past few weeks has been a bit ... challenging. Extra meds and extra sleep are helping. Eye drops have become necessary, giving a few moments of extreme relief each day.

I usually enjoy spring, but this year I'm actually looking forwards to the turn of clime to high-temperature roasting the locals call "summer".

Nervously Trying to Post Something Happy... Again
ActionExtravagant
ziactrice
Hopefully, this works out better than my last entry. I'll try to keep it short and on topic.

How did I make it to forty without becoming aware of the genius that is Herb Ellis before now? I think I might need to buy a CD or three. Wow.

That is all. Over and out for an afternoon at Galveston Island National Park, to scout later camping possibilities.

Birthday Annoucement
MoodHappyCount
ziactrice
Happy birthday to the estimable roomie, who just gets better every year. Many happy returns to the day!

Friends to be Saving Bottles for Me, Please?
MoodMadScienceTry
ziactrice
Those of you who live in the Houston Greater Metro area - or who see me at cons, etc. - would you mind saving me 1) champagne bottles, especially the tinier split size, 2) regular wine bottles, any size, sans threaded tops, and 3) the pop off (not twist-off) sort of beer bottles?

Oh, and if you buy flip-top style, Grolsch beer - and don't buy them to reuse yourself for home brew, I'd love to have them.

I'm asking after discovering that DeFalco's wants $40 for a case of champagne bottles set of 24, and for a set of 12 splits. AIYEEE.

*Note: People who contribute bottles will get the occasional filled one returned, once I get a good batch of mead that is approved by the estimable roomie and certain other brave alpha-tasters. Since I am beginning to make drinkable wine, but still have the occasional batch that doesn't last or bottle-condition well.

In the written dialog of Lazurus Long . . .
MoodBadRoad
ziactrice
sometimes, having good sense strongly resembles being too tired.

The estimable roomie gently, in her best Southen Belle style, was noting how she did not really want to drive into Dallas-Fort Worth for ConDFW considering the 1) record-breaking snowfall Thursday, and 2) the possibility of melt, flow, and refreeze into hardened ice on the roads today. She initially allowed as how our reservations in the hotel could be canceled on Friday night, but after my cheerful (and truthfully, relieved) agreement) she grew bold enough to suggest she might be happier not making back-to-back days of driving 5+ hours back and forth. That she had come to regard this with more than a bit of dread, instead of a prospect of having fun.

Her logic being impeccable - and of course, running closely parallel to my own - I readily agreed and she was most relieved. She asked if I had agreed to the Friday then drive Saturday plan out of some sort of comraderie rather than true commitment, and I was forced to admit it was so. Apparently, even being Alaskan-born, I have some degree of politeness - whodathunkit? Anyway, once we had completed our Chip and Dale routine, she canceled the hotel and safely secured those numbers to make sure all is refunded to the credit card properly (she had made our arrangements for this con). We both want to make SURE we hit FenCon, but the stars just weren't right for this weekend.

This means I can get in my second and third workouts, meet former coworkers for lunch today, perhaps even see the Lightning Thief, open up a local bank savings account (MoveYourMoney.org), and get the dogs bathed, taken care of, etc. without having to rush around. MUCH better.

Cell Phone Temporarily Out
Engineer
ziactrice
My cell phone number will be out of service until Monday, when the new phone arrives, and I get that set up properly.

My two-year contract was up, so I was faced with a choice: spend upwards of $500 to purchase an unlocked Google Nexus, then spend about $90 a month buying the requisite voice and data service... or switch to a Prepaid Pay-by-Day plan with T-Mobile, buy a $40 phone (because my current one has a battery that dies EVERY time a call rings in), and then pay somewhere between $5-$15 a month for my type and times of voice usage. My netbook, after all, can take up the slack as a Internet portable portal - and if I can't get wifi absolutely everywhere, on the go? Well. I don't even LIKE being that connected, all the time, so this is not a tragedy.

The two-year difference in cost of ownership/service level?

A. Google Nexus with 300 minutes and unlimited data: $2,660
B. Prepaid Samsung with $1 day it is actually used, plus $0.10 a minute with unlimited 7pm-7am weekend minutes: $280

For a net savings of $2,380 - or a car downpayment, shall we say. Or, on an annual basis, $1,190 I can put toward other expenses or invest.

Day Off - up at 6:30 A.M.
MoodTroll
ziactrice
Despite only getting about four hours sleep Wednesday, going early last night seems to have caught me up a great deal. I woke up several times, and finally gave up and rolled out. I even did a load of dishes while my tea brewed. Amazon is out of the green chai bulk one-pound bags of tea that I really like, so I'm clutching the last three cups to myself in my vacuum flask this morning. I cannot drink red or black teas at the moment, due to the silly GERD/gastritis combination. Anyone have a recommendation where to buy a pound of good, spicy green whole-leaf tea in one-pound or larger quantities, for less than $10 a pound? I can try Java Coffee Company, but their prices have been soaring this last year.

How about drugs? Anyone got recommendations on the cheapest way to buy Prevacid? It's OTC, but I am going to be on it for the rest of my life, according to His Doctorness, so I need to find a way to buy it in bulk as cheaply as possible - short of getting fake meds, of course. Then, I need a better Vitamin D supplement. The mega-one my usual doctor prescribed works great - but every time I am back on OTCs - which right now is one big mega-everything and three gel-caps of cod liver oil, twice a day - the muscle cramps in my lower legs and feet are quickly ramping right back up to debilitating. I think this means I either have the wrong form of Vitamin D or the pills aren't strong enough. If it were my gut not absorbing oil-based vitamins, the mega-prescription one would not have helped, and it did. Fixing the Vitamin D thing is my Major Goal this weekend, as the pain involved is getting ridiculous. Perhaps I can hit a pharmacist up for advice, if the pest control of Fabulous Whinginess shows up soon enough this morning... and doesn't require until noon to finish his work, this time.

Your Favorite Funky Phrase?
MoodMeepBeaker
ziactrice
Mine is to describe the conditions of the roads here in Houston after several months of drought followed by rain - at least the first twenty minutes of said rain - as slicker than snail snot.

What is your favorite odd turn of phrase? And what does it mean?

Is the New Scientist a Fairly Reputable News Source?
MoodMadScienceTry
ziactrice
This article* from the New Scientist quotes some actual geologists comparing the Loma Pieta earthquake, an Armenian quake also of 6.9 (Richter) and the Haitian quake, with good explanations of why the death toll may be so much more severe. It turns out that building codes (or lack of same) may be only one of three contributing causative factors. This explains a lot better than I previously managed why a shallow quake is so much worse near a densely populated area than a deeper one, in terms of wave motion and transmission through the earth.

*["Why the Haiti quake killed so many", Dateline: 13:18 19 January 2010 by Kate Ravilious]

No Potable Water at Work Today
DilbertIsland
ziactrice

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.



Mild Geekery
DilbertComputer
ziactrice
I just set up my Google Gmail to automatically label, sort into a folder, AND forward a copy of any email containing "recipe" in the subject line to my Evernote account. In the Evernote account, it automatically grabs it and sorts it into my Recipe Notebook.

I am not a programmer, but the user's toys the programmers provide us are gettin' pretty nifty.

This may result in few forwarded emails that are not actually recipes, I know, but I can delete those if there is an errant sending.

Shopping Fu
MoodHappyCount
ziactrice

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!



Good Morning
ActionJourney
ziactrice

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.



Notice: Amazon Prime Membership 3-month Trial for $1
DilbertAbacus
ziactrice

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!



Major Insomnia Attack
Shazam
ziactrice
I failed to get anywhere near a reasonable amount of sleep last night, so I'm burning enough vacation hours today to have another day off. I don't feel well, and I was too tired to safely drive in to work, IMHO, so I am now going back to bed. Hopefully I can get back to sleep to get more than 3 hours of shuteye.

Best Christmas in Years
HolidayTree
ziactrice
Always a nice Christmas with the estimable roomie, but this year's version very laid back and nice. It began with good tea, half n' half in it because no worries about calories during Christmas. We exchanged presents, and due to the miracles of Amazon wish lists, we both got something we really wanted and liked. Mutually agreed to roll back breakfast to an hour hence, retreat to warm beds until the house warms up further after hiking the thermostat was performed. The traditional Yule Log is being televised by WGN from Chicago; I'm inordinately pleased to see it. I have turned it on in the Great Room and my own bedroom.

I put up lights on the HUGE Xmas tree yesterday; Lollee put up most of the ornaments. We're leaving a few for dinner guests to have fun putting up tomorrow during the pre-dinner cocktail hour. We're also asking guests to bring package bows from their Xmas gifts (used or not) for cat toys, since those seem to be the odds-on favorite for Latte and Punkin here. And/or laser pointers, to play with selfsame cats. Also, if anyone coming has a good digital camera? Pics of food and decorations emailed to your hostess would be most welcome after the feast, although please ask any guests before taking person-pictures. Some people, namely Your Author, really hate to be photographed unaware, unless prior dispensation to do has been given - and no flash is used.

I have managed to find a backup for the N.B. wine in case it has gone off; I have a full bottle of the best mead batch yet produced, now aged a year. It should be the best it ever will be. I also have cordials that I'll get out for the adventurous imbibers.

This dinner is the best Christmas idea ever. No let down after the actual Christmas day, because we're still gearing up for the lavish feast tomorrow, and I am truly looking forward to visiting with friends and wowing the table with our cooking and baking feats of grandeur.

Preparations Continue
ActionCookingChef
ziactrice
Sourdough now on the first rise. The scent is quite promising; the dough texture seems perfect. Good results anticipated in about 3 hours. Hummus tastes delicious. Pita bread to follow on tomorrow. Braided bread is off (there's already a formidable amount of bread in the menu). Another batch of lavash crackers also on the schedule, since they'll do well with the dips and the soup both.

Epithet?
ActionReading
ziactrice
Last night, on "Engineering an Empire" on the History Channel, a Stanford professor referred to 'the Great' as appended to Cyrus, of Persia, as an epithet. Now, I had the impression that epithet was solely used to describe a swear word, and 'the Great' would be a title or something like that. Howevever, I doubt a Stanford history professor would mis-apply a word in such a way, so I am probably wrong about the usage. I was just using an antiquated (or French) definition for gourmand last month; I think learning most of my vocabulary from books makes some of my usages outdated.

Just last week, for instance, someone at work was telling an anecdote on himself, that he upset an African-American woman coworker at a bar after work because he mentioned 'cracker' - as a foodstuff. I choked on my drink, and explained that was NOT a nice term - and another African-American coworker who was sitting with our large group confirmed it wasn't a friendly usage usually. He had NO idea of the connotation or second meaning of the word at all.

This is why I try to be VERY careful what I say, and to whom, at work. Myself, I tend to apologize and back off whenever someone is offended - even if I didn't intend any insult. That doesn't change the fact an insult was taken, and I would rather apologize and make every effort not to repeat any badly taken behavior than make the work place unpleasant for another person - and myself.

Though I admit, it was very tricky explaining to the Mexican engineers here on green cards why using the word denoting plain color that is 'negro' (e.g. black, as blanco would be white) was too fraught with possibility of misapprehension and insult here, and that they should resort to African-American instead. They did not mean any insult, truly it was just their languages way of describing the difference in appearance, but I didn't want them to get into trouble over the cultural differences.

Google Wave Gaming: Novice Tinkering
Gaming
ziactrice

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.


Gamer Mode: On
Gaming
ziactrice

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. :)


Unusual Snowstorm Activities
HolidayTeaYule
ziactrice
Harvested what remains of the two basil plants, adding olive oil and roasted nuts. Also, I am enjoying more mulled cider. The kitchen sure smells nice.

(no subject)
HolidayTree
ziactrice
It is snowing at the house! Mixed flakes with the heavy rain, right now.

(no subject)
MoodGravity
ziactrice
Shoot. I also forgot my tea in my small work thermos this morning. Not a great start; at least the rest of the day is working out okay.

(no subject)
Engineer
ziactrice
They have only now just stopped chatting. Thank Tao.

Problems Solved - Cheap!
ActionExtravagant
ziactrice
After butting my head on various brick walls today, I might ALMOST have something accomplished except that the computer program I need was not installed correctly. I am now waiting on the mighty Helpdesk for a re-do. Until that time, I will solve any and all problems put to me in comments. No problem too big; no problem too thorny.


*Note: Satisfaction with solutions given not guaranteed. Solutions offered without warranty - or even any chance of working, but hopefully with some degree of humor some of which may be rather dark in aspect.

Jury Duty in Holding Pattern
ActionThreadingtheEye
ziactrice
Yay! I was not selected today. Now, all I have to do is call the juror line after 6 PM all week until I am finally dismissed for good at some point. Then I do not have to serve again for another 3 years!

Woot. I am now back at work, trying to get coworkers in another office to talk to me. This would be easier if I knew said coworkers were actually present; a great many are taking vacation this week.

Odes to Spring?
MoodDogFlowers
ziactrice
Why is it when the regular radio channels have begun to play solely Christmas music and songs, the public radio classical station has been playing various spring-themed odes and conchertos?

Talk about your cognitive disonance.

SCA Officer Applications - Ansteorra - Locations Thereof?
MoodBadDaySCA
ziactrice

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.


Update from Washington, D.C.
ActionJourney
ziactrice
The weather is continuing cold in the forties with rain from drizzle to actual, but we have made the best of it with raincoats, ponchos, and a never-say-die-attitude. Yesterday was the Smithsonian - or parts of it, anyway. Natural History and the National Gallery of Art. Today we are bypassing the Brewmeister's house to make sure we get a full day in the Library of Congress. I've discovered skordalia at the Greek restaurant last night, which was worth making the entire trip all by itself. I've taken some fairly decent pictures of old paintings and ancient pottery. I've seen a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

My poor feet are being walked to hamburger each day, and my lung stamina is somewhere between pitiful and how the hell this out of shape, but I am managing barely to keep up and still see a lot of D.C. I am SO joining a health club when I get home. 

ETA: Bring a tea ball next trip.

What Would You Do?
MoodGravity
ziactrice
Well, the seller of the Stinky Book says oh, she has a non-smoking home, but my book may have come from a library lot she bought. Now, there are no signs whatever that this was ever in a library - no stamps, no marks, nothing on the spine and no sign of anything being removed, but whatever. She will refund my purchase price (not the shipping I paid and that has been spent sending it to me), but I have to ship it back to her, too. Which means I'll have burnt up half the cost of the book just shipping it around.

So, what should I do?

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