ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
It's amazing how much more energy I have when the dewpoint drops to a sensible level, even if the high temperature is still in the low 90s. Today, I hauled a couple of bags of books to the used bookstore and traded them in, picked up groceries on the way back, made some serious progress on estimating the volume of my possessions for shipment (it's looking about right for one 20-foot container), popped over to Office Max on the bus for printer paper, and went up to Trader Joe's for more groceries, and though I'm warm and tired after all that, I'm still cheerfully functional.

And the LJ PTB finally came through with a [livejournal.com profile] news update that's at least half a step in the right direction -- promising to disable FB/Twitter crossposting on locked entries some time the week after next. There's a lot of "too little, too late" sentiment in the replies over there, but at least it's a less unanimously horrified reaction than the 31st August post got.

The used bookstore also sells used beads, in the form of home-made jewelry. I've been using some of the trade credit from the surplus books to pick up a few necklaces and bracelets, when the beads look interesting and the price is right for considering them as raw materials rather than ready-to-wear pieces.

There's some kind of bat event going on up the street tomorrow, and there are little roadside placards advertising it, Burma-Shave style. "Blind as a bat?/That's NOT their fate/They see darn well/and they can echo-locate," and, "Visitors from out of town/Hanging huddled/upside down/Acro-bats!"

There is no fifth thing.


Jul. 11th, 2010 06:20 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
After nine hours, I think I can safely say that the AC is not in fact working. Whatever wafts of cool air there are seem to correlate with someone else's compressor kicking in -- the ductwork isn't entirely separate. It's cooler than it was last night, but only because it's cooler outside.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
There I was, settling back down to work after dinner and Doctor Who, when the lights started flickering wildly in time with the laboring AC, and then the power went out.

It was a very local outage -- the covered parking nearby still had power, and the apartments across the courtyard, but my immediate neighbors didn't. I fumbled around in the deepening dusk, extricating candles from a cupboard full of badly-stacked plastic boxes by the light of a keyring flashlight (gravity was definitely still on) and extricating the apartment management number from an old phone book likewise. Then I settled back down to work, at somewhat reduced efficiency because it seems I need at least some peripheral visual cues to type accurately, and angling the laptop screen to illuminate the keyboard reduced the visibility of the screen, but I did get a few plots done.

The power came back a few minutes ago, and distant cheering was heard.

And I still have to finish this poster tonight, I think.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
There was a cardinal in the oleander hedge as I went out this morning. Female, I think, or juvenile, or in off-season plumage; not bright red all over, anyway.

Someone was using an iPad in our local coffee shop this afternoon -- the first one I've seen in the wild, though I've briefly handled one of the display models in the bookstore (and promptly got lost in the interface. Wrong kind of intuition.)

I haven't used my DVD player for a while, and when I came to it this evening, the remote was dead, dead, dead, and not to be revived with batteries. No point replacing it at this point; I suppose I might try a cheap universal remote. Failing that, I can always watch movies on the computer.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
We've had about a third of an inch of rain today, and none of it came through my bedroom ceiling. I just hope my end-on neighbor can say the same.

On closer inspection, that necklace turns out to include a moss-agate bead that wasn't supposed to be there. Call it an oasis in the desert.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
In the continuing saga of the leaking roof, the last observed leak was last time it rained, last Wednesday. The day after that I had a call from the office asking if it was fixed, and called them back on Friday to establish that -- given that the last mending attempt had been on Tuesday -- it wasn't. A couple of days ago I noticed that the damp-stains on the ceiling had gone, as if painted over; then this evening I came home to yet another answering-machine message from the office, claiming that the fixers of rooves claimed it "wasn't leaking." I hope that means that they actually tested it with a bucket or a hose or something and nothing came through, rather than just observing that it wasn't raining indoors on a sunny day, but I don't think I'll be taking away the buckets and towels until after the next storm.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
That was ... rather more epic than usual. To be fair, it was three weeks' worth of laundry rather than the usual two, and including several pairs of winter-weight pants, but I still wasn't expecting it to be that hard.

Background )
Today ... didn't work out as efficiently as usual. Read more... )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Today was cold and rainy again -- yet another second-hand California storm. I think the leak in my bedroom has shifted along again, fortunately not by more than the length of the receptacle I had under it; I don't know whether that is just gravity or the result of another intervention by the roofing company. If it moves another couple of feet that way it won't be my problem any more.

Mount Wilson is getting hammered, with roads getting washed out in the aftermath of the fire.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Nearly half an inch so far this morning. About a quart in the receptacle under the drip in my bedroom between 6 and 9am. Two dreams in which leaks were bursting out all over the ceiling and I was running around trying to catch the water.

No Shuttle launch this morning, so no SDO launch on Tuesday. Two M-class flares yesterday; it's past time we got that thing up there and working!


Jan. 23rd, 2010 10:53 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
We've been having some Weather the last few days; the California storms come through here too, somewhat attenuated but bringing much-needed rain. So far, we seem to be getting a pattern of windy, mostly dry days and wet nights; Thursday night it rained nearly an inch. Yesterday I was out and about in the sunshine, but by early evening everything was gray and there was a distinct edge on the wind.

There's snow on our mountains this morning, and Mount Wilson -- now that the webcam isn't fogged-in -- looks like a Christmas card under clear blue skies. We had another quarter-inch of rain in the night, and some of it came through my bedroom ceiling, in the spot where it usually does -- where the ceiling meets the outside wall, so that it's hard to put a bucket under it. Cue hasty picking-up of the bedroom, and an imminent appeal to Management.

Busy day

Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:52 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Oof. Today I picked up groceries, traded in $30 of small change, did a supernumerary load of laundry in the hope (not fulfilled) of unwrinkling some pants that got in a slightly-too-hot dryer last time, cleaned the kitchen -- including the floor -- and parts of the bathroom, vacuumed, dusted and polished the bedroom, cooked dinner, and did a pile of ironing.

I think I won't bother again with catfish still on the bone. I did with it pretty much what I always do with catfish -- baked it in foil with a squirt of lemon and a good sprinkle of ginger and black pepper -- and then scraped it off the bones in the kitchen, but I still got a mouthful or two of spiky ribs.

I'm not clear why the "steam in bag" package of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower was so insistent that it had to be thoroughly cooked. People eat those raw all the time, don't they?
ellarien: christmas ornament on cactus (Christmas)

Mince pies Mince pies
The seasonal food of my people, fresh out of the oven.

ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I have acquired a mini-muffin tray -- a heavy duty, non-stick affair that is rather overkill for a yearly batch of mince pies, but that's all there was. Also beef, instant coffee, cereal, and fish, but not piecrust.

The laundry-room key remains stubbornly missing, and as soon as I sat down from turning the apartment upside down looking for it, I realized that I didn't actually have the energy left even to watch a movie this evening. I think I'll drink a little half-and-half eggnog (I dilute it with 2% milk) and go to bed.


Dec. 19th, 2009 02:12 pm
ellarien: christmas ornament on cactus (Christmas)
Mini-muffin trays, vital to the fabrication of mince pies, were conspicuously absent from the grocery store. Also, I picked up everything I need for beef stew except the beef, and they didn't have any seasonal gift tags.

So, I'll be heading Target-wards again this afternoon. If I can get beef and piecrust there as well as trays, I won't need to go back to Safeway. I suppose if they don't have muffin trays there, I could do mini-turnovers instead, but it wouldn't be the same.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
On the positive side, I have taken out two large bags of trash, picked up the mail, mostly packed my suitcase, dropped off the signed lease, dissuaded the laptop from bluescreening when I touch the flash-card slot, printed out my boarding pass for tomorrow and talked to my mother.

On the down side, I just came back from an emergency dash to Target for socks, because I had no clean black ones and, after sorting the laundry into piles on the bedroom floor, I couldn't find the laundry room key, I have not acquired any groceries, and sometime in between my picking up the lease on Thursday and dropping it off today Management had helpfully left another copy on the floor just inside my door. (The current lease expires at the end of February.) I won't be at all surprised if, come January or February, they forget I signed the thing and start pestering me again -- that's what happened last year.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Well, the bathroom's better, but I ran out of time and energy before I got to anything else. Like vacuuming ...

And dinner was as much of a disaster as is consistent with feeding myself at all: I put the fish in the oven and the potatoes on the hob, but forgot to turn on the heat under the latter. So I had fish on its own at eight, followed at 8.30 by mushy overcooked (almost burned to the pan) potatoes and veggies, and the second portion of fish got left out on the counter for an hour, so I had to throw it away.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I know I'm trying to do too many things at once when I pour myself a cup of coffee, put it down, and ten minutes later wander past the kitchen and do the same thing again -- only to find the earlier, undrunk cup sitting looking reproachfully at me.

This afternoon's mission is chaos reduction and de-grungification, with particular focus on the bathroom. Now that the tub is no longer filling with other people's dubious waste water on a daily basis, I am somewhat more motivated to try to do a decent job on it. I have also acquired a nice new shower curtain, liner, and mat. The old mat was pretty much past it anyway, the rubber backing having gone the way of all rubber that sits around for long in the desert, but the workmen completed its demise. As soon as the floor and fixtures are clean, the new stuff can go in, and I'll have a respectable bathroom again, albeit still one with a messy book-sized patch on one wall.

Yesterday's big project, which wasn't meant to be, was the backing-up of the newly-Sevened desktop computer. I can't tell now whether my initial hypothesis that Win7 was being pickier about mixed-up permissions than Vista was correct, or whether it started with a bit of corruption on the destination drive; I just know that laboriously making everything in my personal directory inherit the top-level permissions didn't help, and CHKDSKing the drive (which found ONE 32kb spot of trouble) finally let it finish. (The other grump about 7 is that there isn't a working driver for my HP laser printer yet; otherwise it seems to work fine.)

And I can't find my small straight-nose pliers.


Oct. 29th, 2009 09:48 pm
ellarien: red beads (beading)
I have reassembled the necklace, but I'm not sure the crimp is going to hold. Maybe it's just too much weight for a single strand and crimp, particularly with the pre-bent wire. I may have to wear it around the house for a while and see what happens, and maybe restring the whole thing with double wire, or even hook it together with looped pins.

The promised contractor appears to have cut a book-sized patch of drywall out of my bathroom wall and stuck it back with the local equivalent of polyfilla. So far so good on gurglings and eruptions, but I hope someone is going to reinstate the wall a bit better than it currently is.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I made pomegranate chicken tonight, fairly successfully.

My new cords are nice and warm for a chilly, windy day. On the other hand, the color is distracting: is it a very very dark brown, or a slightly rusty black? The shoes I was wearing weren't really the right style to go with them, if indeed there is a right style to go with pants that are (horrors!) slightly tapered in the leg and about ankle-length.

Vista on the desktop seems to think that the Appdata folder contains about 150Gb of stuff, and that it will take upwards of all night to copy it to an external drive. I'm not sure whether those really count as "my files", though, given that they're supposed to be in a hidden folder. (I routinely unhide the system folders and poke around in them; I have just about enough confidence left over from the simpler days of yore to feel comfortable doing that.)

HP claims I should expect my copy of 7 for the laptop by Thanksgiving or so.

The Gathering Storm is now the thickest book on my to-read shelf; the Erikson has more, but thinner, pages.

The feeds on LJ seem to be working again -- and for once without blurping a week's pent-up content all over my flist.

On the other hand, my bathtub drain is still blurping away, despite Maintenance's ministrations yesterday. (I've been having trouble with it for a while; after a month or so of blissful free-draining peace in the summer, it started gurgling again, and eventually spitting up, at intervals seemingly unconnected to any water-running activities of mine, quantities of dirty water into the tub.) This time the ticket left on the door has checked boxes for "Unable to complete job because" and "Contractor called."

I think I'm going to Florida in February, to see the SDO launch. If it actually gets launched this time ...

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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