Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, December 11, 2017

Preparing for tomorrow

Tomorrow it's supposed to have snowfall at the morning commute, be frigid tomorrow night, and oh, yes, it's the first night of Chanukah. So tonight has been all about preparing for all that. I already had most of a tank of gas, but the first thing I did upon returning home was to make a grocery list of things YKWIA needed for cooking, things I needed for the latkes, and general things we needed. I then proceeded to go to the Tates Creek Kroger, got almost everything I needed (although I had to get them to stock the half and half from the back and wandered a bit until I found applesauce in the fruit snack aisle). The one thing I needed to go to Fresh Market for was a Belgian endive. On entering the Landsdowne Shoppes, I had an old man who was in the right-turn lane who suddenly he decided to go into the left-turn lane (my lane) while I was occupying it. I laid on the horn, something that has taken me years to really do--I usually tap it ineffectively, and had the satisfaction of not only having him return to his lane, but he startled and I suspect I nearly scared him half to death, which is fine, given how inattentively he was driving. It is so easy to startle Southerners, who cannot fathom why anyone would be rude enough to honk their horn at the person trying to hit them. We as a lot tend to be overly polite, never stick up for ourselves, and do everything in a roundabout way so as to not offend or confront. YKWIA was raised in an aristocratic Southern family, but his Yankee roots are also quite evident. He does very well in places like New York, which would eat me alive. Southerners frustrate him, however.

Anyway, I got the endive, returned, put everything away, and then we ate leeks au gratin, which was wonderful, with a little bread, too. I cleaned up while he made a phone call to a friend, and I proceeded to go through one of my nightstands and consolidate some medications and fill up my pill reminder box since I brought my medicine with me today but didn't take it because I didn't have it pre-sorted. The bag it was in was at least useful; I gave that to a family who needed something to prevent the glitter glue from a cast (hey, we are a children's medical centre) from getting all over a car seat.

The plan tomorrow is to make classic potato latkes with applesauce and sour cream, latkes made from strained cottage cheese (sweet latkes that are very yummy with the applesauce, as I prefer the sour cream with the potato ones) and some zucchini latkes with tzatziki. I've made all three recipes before, but not in the same year, I don't think. I've been making latkes for Chanukah for YKWIA for years as a treat. This year I gave him a nice linen napkin set because his old napkins were in sad shape. He gave me a lovely hooded periwinkle scarf that is fleece and very warm, which will come in handy tomorrow. I did discover that I cannot back into our driveway to save my life. I thought it would be better to be heading out towards the street if we got any real snow, as I have front-wheel drive, but I ran into a branch that was over to the side and I'm sitting mostly in our side yard, but I'm definitely off the driveway with the back of the car a little crooked, on the grass. I think it's a shame that my car, a 2001 Taurus, is just too old to have been outfitted with a backup camera. That is one thing I miss about that Hyundai Veloster I rented. Well, that and Bluetooth. :)

Okay, I'm at a strange angle on my bed, typing, and my neck is starting to hurt. I'm going to sign off and head on to bed. I must get up a little early just in case I need to scrape the windwhield or otherwise deal with precipitation. Hope you're having a good week so far. Good night.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sigh

Today was busy. After work, I went and got some medicine for a friend and a couple of things I forgot at the store, mailed X-Men: Apocalypse back to Netflix, and came on home. So I feeling productive but a bit drained. Still, I was doing fine until I opened my mail, found something that upset me, and then everything unravelled, and I had a series of minor yet unfortunate events, things like going to the bathroom and discovering that YKWIA had forgotten to replace the toilet paper (it's something he does--I hate to make generalisations, but I'm convinced it has something to do with that Y chromosome). The last straw was taking out my contacts and one of the lids to the case fell behind the pedestal sink and I had to go digging for it. I just started crying. YKWIA and I talked about what was bothering me, really, and then I fed the animals and decided to soothe my mood with some music for about 20 minutes. I ate dinner (Morningstar veggie 'ribs' in hickory barbeque sauce, acorn squash soup, and bread). Then I went into the other room, found a mouse, put that on the desktop in the library because the wireless mouse's wheel has stopped working, cleaned up a bit in there, and then sat down and read, finishing the book I mentioned the other day. It really is enlightening, and it helped put my reaction into perspective, as I was responding as a Good Girl, and that's never good, with all sort of embarrassment, guilt, and the sense that people wouldn't like me because I failed to do something.

I really need to get rid of that Good Girl inside me and grow up completely and be a strong, independent woman.

Yesterday I applied for an outreach librarian at Frankfort's Paul Sawyier Public Library, which delivers materials to seniors and others who find it hard to get to the library itself. It doesn't require a master's degree, but I was interested in doing that, so I went to apply. I haven't given up the idea of being a librarian, after all.

Every morning the cat comes into the bathroom with me after I wake up, no matter where he might be in the house. He usually sits on the ledge that the shower enclosure is built into, but will move to the heat register if the furnace comes on. But he stays while I shower, in the hopes that I will feed him, which isn't going to happen. I don't feed them in the morning because that would encourage barking and the cat acting out. Instead, YKWIA feeds them in the morning, and I usually feed them in the evening. Anyway, he was in the bathroom and I went and got my hair dryer, something I rarely use, but I'd decided to use it today, and apparently, he had not been in the bathroom whilst I used it before. Needless to say, he freaked a bit. Poor kitty. But my hair looked nice today. :)

I'm getting sleepy. YKWIA is on the phone with a friend from Cicero, Illinois. I'm in the living room (my bedroom) using the hotspot on my phone. I've been listening to Pandora, specifically the Imagine Dragons station. I think I"m going to head on to bed soon. I need to get up early to make sure I don't have a flat tyre; I was at the store earlier, and someone came in pretty much on my side of the drive, leaving me just a little room to exit, and I wound up running roughly over a kerb. So, there's always that chance. I backed into the driveway so I can easily see the passenger rear tyre. Of course, I'll need to get up early, about 6 am, so if I need to, I can take the bus. Here's hoping that it's fine, as I don't really have any more repair money just now.

Good night. Hope your Monday has gonne well.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Between

the move from contract to regular employment and spending over $1,250 to get the car back on its feet after the coolant system issue, plus Thanksgiving groceries, my bank account has just enough money for a couple of bills. So it was really great that on Friday my boss and the administrator of the hospital, who thanked me for my dedication to the company despite a labour reduction, and they presented me with a pre-paid VISA card for my twenty years' of service that will definitely help immensely. I spent part of it on groceries today, as well as some new headphones, as mine broke last night. These are similar, but blue, so no more Princess Leia jokes from YKWIA about my white headphones that look a bit like the ear-buns from Star Wars.

After the grocery run, YKWIA and I ate lunch and then watched X-Men: Apocalypse, the DVD I have out from Netflix (yes, we still do that). Then we each took a nap until the cat completely woke us up by jumping on the paper grocery bag we'd left for him. When I'd gone to the store, I'd bought 15 leeks and the bagger, challenged by all these long green and white things he'd never really seen before, put them into paper bags, as they fit better. I also had to tell the cashier what my pomelo was (happy is the home with a pomelo) and helped him find it on the PLU list (it was classified with grapefruit).

So I fed the animals, put YKWIA's robe in the dryer, unloaded the dishwasher and put away dishes, loaded it again, and did the plastics. I've been on the computer and am listening to an Imagine Dragons playlist. Now I'm considering reading more of the book. Last night I read the rest of part one, about three chapters, and I sort of shut down completely and went to sleep afterwards. It's a difficult book to read emotionally, as so much of my psyche is subsumed under the need to be a people pleaser and Good Girl, and it's hard to see examples and realise that they are reflected in my own life. I'm definitely only reading one chapter tonight. :)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Reading

The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence

YKWIA got this at the library the other day with me in mind and asked me to read it carefully. He thought it would give me some insight into my own psychology and experiences. He is so right. I've only read three chapters and the introduction so far, but it definitely applies to me. Being a Good Girl is not a good thing, let me tell you. It causes all sorts of anxiety and depression that rule your life, and the pressure to stay a Good Girl and not offend anyone or have an opinion, or heaven forfend, not please everyone is immense. I would really recommend this, especially if you're raising girls now, but I think it's useful for anyone cursed with Good Girl syndrome to see how to combat the habits that sprung from this 'curse'.

I also had an epiphany the other day that the things I used to be passionate about--reading, gardening, drawing, etc., I just don't do much of anymore. I have become Lisa No Fun. Instead, I've filled my life with anxiety and stress. I need to find things I love and pursue them at least a bit every day. Maybe reading this book will at least help me get back into reading, which has been a lifelong comfort and joy, until about five years or so ago. I used to just say I didn't have time to read. Now I realise it has died away--and indeed, I guess I've done the same with blogging to some degree. Sorry about that. I don't want to go through life without passion. So I'm resolved to change that, including here.

I'm kind of in a holiday mood now that Thanksgiving is over

Of course, the holidays will be fairly quiet at home. YKWIA is Jewish, and I think Chanukah starts December 8th, but one, it is actually quite a minor holiday in Judaism, and two, I've already ordered and given him his gift, a nice set of linen napkins, since we were very pressed for any, as most of his had worn out.

As far as me, I'm not Christian. I have put up a tree a couple years running, after years of using Norfolk Virginia pines as my Yule trees (evergreens being a pagan borrowing for Christmas, after all). But my tree and ornaments are in the storage unit, and there's really no room for a tree in the house; when A was living here, it was in the living room. Now I live in the living room, you see, so my bed takes up much of the room, and the nightstands take up the corners that the tree used to go in.

Now the other day, I did buy a lovely rosemary bush topiary that had been shaped like a little cone-like shape, on a whim, even though I've never been able to keep a rosemary bush alive, ever. I decided, though, that there was no really great place for it; the best window for light is above his window seat in his bedroom, and while several plants are there and thriving, I wouldn't really see it much. The cedar chest is right out; the water could damage it. So I decided my little bay at the medical centre was pretty bright with the lights and the sunlight coming in through the windows across the lobby, so I put it on my desk, the one thing I've actually done to personalise the place rather than my little fan and the beaded wrist and hand wrests. It looks rather festive in its little red pot. They also decorated today, putting small, narrow trees all along the lobby windows with bows on them and little tree skirts, with white lights, but the actual ornaments are coloured and hung by the patients. That went much smoother than the folks and my endocrinologist's office, who seemed quite challenged by their tree and were providing a great deal of merriment to those waiting in their attempts to fluff and string working lights. When I came out, it still looked the same. They'd apparently given up for a bit. Trees can be quite challenging to decorate, of course. I'm glad I'm not stringing one with lights and doing the whole tinsel and ornament thing this year.

I came home from my appointment thinking that it had been a good day (much less stressful than yesterday, when I was exhausted), but YKWIA rightly realised I was aching, cranky, and obviously not at my best, so he sent me to take some ibuprofen and then nap while he took a shower and cooked some broccoli with garlic sauce. We had that, chickpea soup, carrot salad, and some French bread. I feel a little better. I came back to my room after cleaning up and starting the dishwasher, only to find the cat happily grooming himself on my soft blanket that was on my bed. He's curled up next to me as I type. :) He's been a challenge to feed lately--he seems to be allergic to most foods, so we've got him on a seafood grain-free food, as anything with chicken or grain makes his stomach upset and/or his eyes water. But the new food does seem to be working, I just don't think he likes it that much. It's probably pretty bland. The little dog left her food in her bowl tonight (she does that on occasion), and the cat was trying to crunch down on her food till we put it up so he wouldn't react to it.

Okay, I guess that's all for now. I considered posting about the weird run of sexual harassment stories lately (don't get me wrong, I believe most of the women, but it seems the climate is such that a witch hunt could ensue, and lives and careers can be permanently damaged by claims that may not be substantiated before the consequences happen, as some have seemed very abrupt.) On the other hand, I think it's very good that the men who have been pigs and abusive over the years are finally having their comeuppance. It's a tricky thing. I've known someone who claimed to have been raped, but never prosecuted and apparently just left town at the time. On the one hand, I'd like to believe her because I don't want to dismiss someone's experience or trivialise her claim. On the other hand, given her other behaviours, we seriously doubted such a thing had ever happened, because she was very attention-seeking (she also attempted to present evidence that she made up herself that a death cult from Taos was out to get her). What can I say, I've known a lot of weird and sometimes quite troubled people, most of them women, unfortunately. But she could have been telling the truth; mental health issues do not mean you haven't been victimised--in fact that probably increases your chances. But it is so hard to tell what happened between two people that were not witnessed by anyone. Others coming forward might increase the chances that it's a pervasive thing and that the guy (or woman, depending on the harasser's gender, as it could be either) is really guilty. But as we know from cases where people come out of the woodwork to accuse others, such as the Salem witch trials and other hysterias, it can be an iffy thing. I hope those who are guilty are brought to justice. I hope those who aren't are eventually exonerated. But the court of public opinion can be a vicious thing, and there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty outside of the courtroom.

Well, I guess I wrote about that after all. Good night.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Microsoft is thwarting me

So a week or so ago my computer received the Fall Creators' Update, and it broke the ability of my computer to dismiss the lock screen after facial recognition or PIN entry. In other words, it recognises my face, or PIN, but has to have the PIN put in again before it will unlock. My settings are set to 'dismiss lock screen' in the settings for facial recognition. Unfortunately, in this case, I know the solution (after doing a little digging), but my computer is incapable of doing what is needed. That's because you have to edit the group policy on the computer so that it doesn't have the spoofing enabled (and in fact, it must be turned off), but unfortunately, I have Windows Home on my laptop and it doesn't have the group policy editor activated like in Windows Pro and Server. I've found a couple of sites that purport to be able to activate it, giving instructions and even .bat files, but they don't work on my 64-bit machine, even with the 'fix' for 64-bit machines. I worked for two days to get the stupid thing to work, and now have given up, hoping that Microsoft will fix the glitch at some point. On the other hand, I've lived with other Microsoft 'glitches' for years (don't even get me started on one at work that I've dealt with). So, I'm not holding my breath. It's just so annoying because supposedly I have the 'fix'; I just can't do it with my machine. The one thing I haven't tried is running the group policy editor on my other machine on a network, in the hopes of editing the group policy of the offending one, because my desktop was upgraded to Windows Pro at some point, and so all subsequent updates have been for Windows Pro, so it should have the group policy editor. Or I could upgrade to Pro on the laptop, but I really don't want to spend that much (roughly $100) to fix a problem generated by Microsoft's issue, and only that problem, as most of the other advantages of Windows Pro are not particularly useful to me on my laptop.

But if you are having trouble getting the lock screen to dismiss after facial recognition or PIN, and have Windows Pro, you can do a quick search to find out how to run the group policy editor and what to change. I hope this helps someone. Or if you have Home, maybe the 'fix' (easily searchable for both the code and handy-dandy .bat fixes) can help you. But it didn't help me. :( In the meantime, I've still got it set to facial recognition because I'd rather have to put the PIN in after that than put the PIN in twice. I assume it will do this if you put the %^W** password in, too, forcing you to put it in twice, or the PIN, but I haven't verified that. Good luck.

UPDATE: I was able to fix this by rolling back my driver to the one on the manufacturer's website. So apparently it was a driver issue, after all. Here is the site that contained steps for working on this issue: How to Fix Lock Screen Asks for Password Twice in Windows 10. Yay!

Yay!

The car is fixed. I called my insurance's roadside assistance this morning, the guy came, and he was great. My battery was most sincerely dead--it didn't work with a jump box, so we had to back my car down the driveway in neutral. Then he showed me how exactly to hook up the batteries (I could never keep which order was which, now I think I have it). It took awhile. First, he charged for a while, then he was still not getting enough juice, so he had to rev his engine while I started the car. It finally started. I thanked the guy, who was absolutely great, let me reiterate that. Very thorough, personable, and took his time to do it right and get me on the road. I took it directly to Tire Discounters, where I got the battery a couple of years ago. Since it had a 30-month warranty, and I was at 23 months, I was definitely taking it back. So they checked it, and yes, it was bad, and they were going to replace it charging for just the labour for putting it in, but actually, they charged me nothing. Free, gratis. Which is what it should have been. I called the roadside assistance at about 9, so it took about 25 minutes for him to get there, another half hour to jump the car, given it was so slow to charge, and about 45 minutes to get the battery changed. So I was back on the road by 11. I came back home and ate some leftovers. So, for the rest of the day, I need to:
  1. Take the book to the library, the one that was due the day the car went down.
  2. Take YKWIA to pay a bill.
  3. Go hunt down some grain-free, fish-based (no chicken) cat food for the cat who is allergic to all food we've tried.
  4. Stop by the store for stuff for the game tomorrow.
  5. Work on the game notes.
So, I guess I should get going. Have a great day. I'm staying away from the insanity of Black Friday. Hope yours is a safe and productive one!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

We scaled Thanksgiving back this year since it was just the two of us, but it was absolutely tasty and wonderful. I did prep work, he cooked, I cleaned up. Now he's napping and I am soon to follow. We had Quorn roasts (vegetarian turkey made from mycoprotein); pumpkin soup; Gruyere gougères; green beans with lemon, roasted hazelnuts, and shallots; mashed potatoes; roasted butternut squash with Asiago and Gruyere cheese; apple clafoutis; and pumpkin pie. Yum! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and special thanks to Brenda for helping him get the groceries since my car is down (again) so that we could have one. Tomorrow's goal is to get the car fixed. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 20, 2017

And the saga continues...

Today my car would not start. I took the bus to and from work. It appears to be the battery, which is less than 2 years old and under warranty. The problem is getting it to the place that sold it to me around my work schedule (8:30-5) and their open hours (8-7) , while riding the bus and, possibly having the car jumped, before Thanksgiving so I'm not bringing a bunch of pumpkins and other ingredients home on the bus. #ModernProblems

Sunday, November 19, 2017

So I'm trying to caffeinate

So I can do various things around the house, but having just returned from the cold, gloomy outside I just want to crawl into bed and sleep--and I've only been up for three hours. YKWIA has been watching 'The Vampire Diaries' (he's codifying the various people into charts, it's what he does, he's a Virgo, and for all I know it will somehow make it into the game). But now he's off in his bedroom either reading or considering a nap as well. I'm betting on reading, although I just heard a big yawn. I'm in the library, trying to wake up fully. Things I should (not need, but should) do today:
  1. Water the plants.
  2. Do laundry, mainly bed linens, dog blankets, and a small load of my clothes.
  3. Clean the toilet and bathroom.
  4. Do the cat boxes.
  5. Sweep.
  6. Take the recyclables out.
  7. Clean plastic bottles out of the car, recycle them, and put the lids in a bag to take to a co-worker who is collecting them for charity.
  8. Take a book back to the library.
It's not onerous, or awful, I just don't feel like doing any of it at the moment. Must. Wake. Up. (Drinks more caffeine.)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It is a dark and stormy night

The wind is hypnotic. I'm certainly not going to see any meteors tonight (the Leonid shower peaks, and it's dark of the moon, which means normally it would be great viewing). It's been quiet and restful today. We did a few errands this morning but I napped for a bit this afternoon. Tomorrow we're not having the game, as Brenda is under the weather with some sort of crud, so I'm going to put off the notes. But tomorrow I plan to be active, doing some laundry and other things around here. I'm looking forward to a busy but short week ahead. And then there's Thanksgiving and getting Friday off as well. Yay!

I haven't been on the computer much at all lately, so I need to at least blog on my phone. Or get on the laptop and actually write rather than just going on Facebook. It's so easy to share things there, I don't have to even write about it, and that's a pitfall. I want to write. I should write. I will write.

I've been having some trouble with my hip lately. It's very painful to get up from a sitting position, probably because I'm sitting too much at work. It seems to be muscular, as it improves with walking and stretching. I'm hoping I can stretch enough to get it to settle down, as I feel like a little old lady. Hell, worse than a little old lady.

It's just 9 pm. I'm resisting going to be early. Maybe I should read. If I listen to music I'll most likely just fall asleep. Besides, there is a black cat perched up on top of two pillows and two blankets on my bed right now who will be most wroth with me should I disturb him. :) The dogs are in the kitchen, having been out in the driving rain briefly after being fed. The kitchen floor is very muddy as a result.

I think I'm going to do some job searching. I like my job, and my workplace, but I'm not giving up being a librarian, either. UK has a government docs position open, and there may be some others. Good night.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

*sigh*

So the other day my friend's phone (landline) went out and despite being only vaguely ept at tech, he unplugged and plugged in many things, including the Ethernet cable I use to plug my laptop in with for internet access. Of course, that cable was already plugged into the modem, so he made it so both ends of the same cable were plugged into ports going out of the modem. This apparently shorted out the cable completely. I'm surprised that the modem still works. I have another, somewhat shorter spare cable I'm using now. He is under strict orders not to mess with the yellow cable. And before you ask why I don't just use Wifi, let me just stop you there. He won't have Wifi in the house, or even run the signal over the house wiring. I have to use my phone's Hotspot to connect if I want to use the laptop in another room. He's not a Luddite, really, but there are times....