Tag Archives: life

Cold

That’s pretty much the update. It’s COLD, with occasional light snow. I am very much looking forward to spring.

Gaby, however, doesn’t seem to mind the chill. She lurks under the bird feeder and waits for squirrels.

Tax forms are showing up in the mail, so I will be working on things financial over the next few weeks. Annual physical stuff, which I hate but has to be done.

Not much else happening, so I will close with the news headline of the year, courtesy of writer Liz Williams over on the Facebook:

Ghost ship full of cannibal rats could be about to crash into Devon coast.


There are fears a ghost ship full of diseased cannibal rats could be about to crash into the coast of Devon or Cornwall.
The abandoned Lyubov Orlova has been missing since it cut adrift while being towed from Canada nearly a year ago. The 40-year-old liner has been driven across the Atlantic by high winds and is thought close to the UK shore. Based on emergency beacons activated last year aboard the ship, it is feared the 40-year-old Yugoslavian liner registered to Russia could crash into the shore of Devon, Cornwall, Ireland or Scotland.

Those searching for the ship say there are likely to be thousands of disease-ridden rats on board with no source of food except each other, according to The Sun.

Belgian-based searcher Pim de Rhoodes said: “She is floating around there somewhere. There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other.”

Shades of James, Stoker, and Benson.

Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Ghost-ship-cannibal-rats-crash-Devon-coast/story-20487193-detail/story.html#ixzz2rFbSk8u4

Another day before

The snow’s started, fine crystals that will fall through the night. Just a few hours left in 2013.

It was a year. I lost King. Retired from the day job. Pondered and planned. Hit some speed bumps. Struggled to adjust to having All The Time In The World, because it seemed to zip past even more quickly than it did when I didn’t. Lollygagged a little too much–I need to stop that. I’ve heard from several writers that it takes a year to adjust to being a full-timer, and I believe it. So that’s one big item on the 2014 agenda. Adjust.

I cannot complain. I’m very lucky that I was able to do what I’ve done. In the coming year, I need to make the most of the opportunity. Push myself. Take chances.

I hope you all get the chance to do something you always wanted to do. Have a plan come to fruition. Take that first step down a winding, overgrown path, one that doesn’t get a lot of traffic.

To the new year!

Sunday afternoon

Not feeling grumpy, for the first time in years.

It’s the little weirdnesses. Like the fact that some of my fave shirts are no longer “work clothes,” and I can wear them anytime. Or that I can plan yardwork for a weekday morning. That I can get away from my desk by walking outside, maybe pulling a few weeds.

In other news, just saw the new Dr Who reveal. Looks like they’ve gone with older David Tennant, but won’t know for sure until the first eps.

Retirement,

I am in you.

Monday

Still a week and a half to go–6.5 working days–but I cleaned out my desk at the day job today. Photos. The dinosaur figures. The bust of Spike. The wildlife and GSD puppy calendars. The personal effects of 26 years, stuck in a box small enough to tuck under my arm.

They know when you need them

A subset of “they know when you have money.”

I had a feeling this was going to happen. Sometimes, you just know.

Primary laptop was a late 2007 MacBook. It had topped out wrt some software updates–couldn’t run the latest OS, struggled with Firefox and every other browser, frankly. Labored when running even a short video.

First kernel panic–the Mac version of “Dive! Dive!”–occurred about 10 days ago, resulting in a frozen system requiring a cold boot. Second kp occurred the day before yesterday. Third one occurred yesterday. Notice the pattern? Yeah, me too.

Suffice to say, I really, really, REALLY needed a reliable system, esp for the next week.

2am, I am 1) hunting for my ancient PowerBook to make sure it still worked, and 2) making an appt with the Genius Bar to check MacBook. Not all kps are system-related–sometimes, peripherals/network problems are the issue. But I wanted to make sure.

Long story short. Hardware issue. Could it be fixed? Probably. Do I have time to deal with this now? NO.

In addition, I learned that I can no longer read MacMail on my PowerBook because the OS is so old that it no longer works with current software. Plus, it had issues in the past that techs suspected were related to a motherboard nearing the end of its life.

So.

I am soon to be the somewhat relieved owner of a 13″ MacAir. Solid state. I will pick it up either this evening or first thing tomorrow, with all the stuff from the MacBook ported over. When I have time, MacBook will be repaired. It’s still a decent system, but the internet is passing it by.

The sweet young things at the Apple Store goggled over the PowerBook. “Wow, look–it has a place for a phone jack.”

Meanwhile, funny smell emanating from under hood of car. No smoke. No dash lights. No apparent leaking. Taking it to the shop for a check on Monday morning, but I have a little bit of driving to do between now and then. Suffice to say that I really didn’t need this now, either.

Thursday drive-by

Spam has been negligible ever since I closed posts to comments after a couple of days. I still get some attaching to photos like ticks to a dog, and I haven’t figured out a way to stop that. But 2 spam messages in a week as opposed to, say, 200 in a day? Not that big an ish. Besides, I don’t want to shut down comments completely. So, we’ll see how it goes.

Moved up retirement to 31 July because I ran the numbers and saw that I could. I wanted to enjoy some summer months. So, I am taking the plunge. 40 more days, give or take a few hours. Not that I’m counting….

Came home to find laptop, an 5yo MacBook, displaying Gray Screen of Death. Second kernel panic in a week and a half. I rebooted with no issues. External hardware is sometimes the reason, and I have a new cable modem that needs to be installed b/c old one is out of date, but I won’t have time to do that for at least a week, so. Activated Dropbox to save wips every ten minutes. Backed up everything after the first panic attack. And I have the 9yo iBook as back-up in case the MacBook fails.

I suspect a new laptop may be in my future, tho damned if I want the expense right now. A new Apple laptop=new countertops/backsplash in kitchen. I may check Small Dog for rebuilts. Not enough of a gadgeteer to care whether I have the latest and greatest or not.

Retiring in 40 days–did I mention?

Time to cut the lawn.

Friday, drying out

Vacay day day. IT STOPPED RAINING! Took Gaby for a walk, which consisted of her sniffing and marking and sniffing some more because the ground has released All The Smells thanks to the rain and the thaw. Saturday errands–groceries, etc–will be run today. Soon. In the next few minutes, in fact.

2.3 inches of rain over the last 2-3 days, according to the hummingbird gauge. To my amazement, the ground is taking it up rather quickly. The backyard is still sodden, but the lake is gone. Seems to be gone. Not inclined to walk out there and check lest I get sucked into the mire.

The mesclun is finally popping up in the raised bed, almost two weeks after seeding. Yes, it has been cold, but I thought lettuces liked that. In any case, I will probably plant another row this weekend, keep the crop going.

In web news, spam is showing up in the filter again. So spammers have started registering? I will shorten the comment time, and see if that helps. It’s not a lot of spam–nothing like before. It’s just the principle of the thing. Don’t like giving them a toehold, not even a little one.

In life news…barring global financial meltdown, I will be retiring from the day job in September. Going to give the writing life a good shot. Going to give life in general a better shot.

Something about King’s illness triggered it. Not getting any younger. It’s time.

Life, and other things

Over on Facebook, I posted a link to a Roger Ebert essay on life, death, and things learned in between. I think it a courageous piece by someone who was staring mortality in the face. Lovely, in places. One line in particular stood out for me, a quote by van Gogh. “Just as we take a train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star.”

I’m not ready for the stars. I hope to put off that journey for a long time. But it’s a promise to ponder. Something to take out of my back pocket and examine, every so often.

That said, there has been altogether too much bad health news lately, touching people I know and people I’ve only heard of and read about. April has been living up to its reputation as the cruelest month, and it can stop it anytime now.

Gaby seems to be okay. Still not eating at pre-King levels. I had to take her to the vet’s on Monday for an inflamed foot; she was weighed, and looks to have lost a couple of pounds. 43.1, as opposed to the 45.0 she weighed back in August. Vet is not too concerned yet. Gaby could still afford to lose a little more weight–40 lbs would be a good weight for her. She’s playful, acting normally. I take her back in a month for a teeth-cleaning, and if she’s still off her feed and/or has lost too much weight, there will be blood tests, etc. Trying not to think about anything being wrong. She has been through a lot of change lately, and I honestly believe that she ate more when King was around because she knew that if she didn’t eat it, he would. She’s not a food-driven dog–she will eat when she’s hungry and not before, and if the food isn’t to her liking, she will pick. It could be that she’s tiring of the duck & sweet potato, and I will need to find her something else. Not looking forward to the possibility, but if I have to, I guess I will have to.

It’s still chilly, but the Time of Freeze seems to have passed, she said hopefully. Crocuses have bloomed, a little cluster of purple amid the brown. Lawn is greening here and there. Indoors, the sprouts are coming along. Tomatoes are an inch or so high. Basil, a bit shorter. No signs of life yet from the mesclun in the raised bed, but it has only been a week since I planted the seeds.

Looking forward to a long weekend in Chicago at month’s end. I will be spending a day at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. Not on any panels–attendee only. It will be my first comics convention. No idea what to expect, but I will wear comfy shoes and bring my camera.

Friday, and many little things make one big post

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is playing in the background. The story is meh, but I get a bit of a kick from seeing an actor like Bill Nighy in costumed over-the-top. Yes, I liked seeing Sir Derek Jacobi in Underworld: Evolution, too. I’m guessing it’s fun, and a decent paycheck besides.

A mildly irritating week, during which I needed to keep reminding myself that compared to some, I have no problems, only options that require some work on my part to turn into reality. Could be some very interesting changes this year. Challenging. A little scary. We’ll see how things go.

Still getting hit with spam. I changed settings so that comments close after 7 days–that keeps spam comments from attaching to posts, but not to the photos that I sometimes insert and which show up on separate pages. Can I remove the comments option from those pages? If anyone knows, please let me know. Akismet snags 99% of the crap, but I would like to prevent it from attaching in the first place.

Salad for dinner, with tuna, roasted red pepper, grapefruit, greens. Lovely dressing of walnut dijon mustard with olive oil, cabernet vinegar, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, capers. Since I started making my own vinaigrettes, I stopped buying bottled dressings. They can’t compare.

After a couple of days of thaw, the chill has returned. Parts of the backyard are covered in ice. Gonna be fun when it melts and muddies up. Until then, I walk very, very carefully. That Midwestern ice toddle.

King continues okay.

I am sitting on the couch. Gaby is lying next to me, the top of her head pressed against my side. She has the hottest little head. It’s like sitting next to a lightbulb.