Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Have you looked at Google Arts & Culture, the mobile application?

When I first downloaded it, I was enchanted by the window it represents into the art world, as you can enjoy art from museums all over the world.  Living in a city that is about 300,000, we don't get a lot of fine art masterpieces come through locally (although there is the UK Art Museum, which has lovely exhibits, and the Headley-Whitney Museum, among others, which has fine pieces of jewellery and other objects there, among others).

Then in January, Google came out with a feature of the application that allowed the user to take a self-portrait (aka 'selfie') of him- or herself and 'match' it to a piece of artwork in the database.  It is a cool feature.  It was, however, regionally-locked, and much of America and most other countries couldn't actually access it.  Not only that, there was no explanation--it just didn't appear unless you were in a region that it worked in.  After some time of frustration, I finally found a news story that explained it, after I'd looked all the way through the application in vain.  I was not alone.  Thousands of negative reviews in Google Play ensued.  It's a fine application in and of itself, but the tantalising feature got dangled generally on the Internet and many found they could not begin to play with it, sometimes because they lived a mile from someone who could.

Fast forward to March.  The other night, I was getting ready to sleep and was in bed, in the dark, and happened to go onto the application to discover that the feature was there.  But of course, I couldn't take the self-portrait without getting up and turning on the light.  [You can't use an existing picture; it has to be taken by the camera right then, and then you can use Google's facial recognition processing to search.]  So I thought, well, next time I think about it, I'll try it.

Last night, before bed, I tried, and couldn't find the feature again.  So there was frustration again.  Then I tried to think what had been different the other day, and the answer was that I wasn't on the data plan; I was on the house WiFi, something I hadn't had back in January.  I went on the WiFi, tried again, and it actually showed up.  And this was the first result (you can try different ones, and it gives you the percentage matched):

Ignore the fact that my hair is sticking up (I had just gotten back out of bed and taken my CPAP masque off).  The nose and eyes and chin are pretty decent.  So I decided to learn more about both the artist (Jean-Baptiste Isabey), who was born almost exactly 200 years before I, and his subject  Louise Rosalie Lebfèvre, an actress and singer from the time.

This is the full portrait:

And here is a portrait of the artist and his daughter by fellow artist  François Gérard :

Anyway, it was fun.  I would suggest trying different forms of connecting to see if you can use it if you are regionally-locked otherwise.  I use a VPN for security and some say that helps, but for me, it was going on my local WiFi rather than the cell service.  Google has a webpage for the application and the self-portrait feature at which you can learn more, with a link to getting the application, whether on Android or iOS.

Okay, I've finished getting ready for the game and rested.  Time to get a shower before Brenda gets here.  Have a great day.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

It's been slow going today

I woke up about eight and went to the bathroom, intending to sleep till nine, and I couldn't get comfortable until about 9:15, when the cat came and cuddled, and I slept till ten.  Apparently, he'd thrown up after eating (it happens sometimes, although he holds down the non-chicken, non-grain food better than anything else we've tried) and had come to me for comfort.  I did eventually get up, but I've been hurting all day, and I got something to eat while YKWIA watched the 'Teen Wolf' DVD we have out from Netflix, but I didn't really get dressed or going until noon.  I called and made an appointment with my optometrist for an upcoming Saturday and changed my address with them.  The lady on the phone was obviously training, and I was very patient.  We schedulers have to stick together. :)

Then I went to the grocery and got some things for us and a few toiletries, etc. that I've been putting off.  I got some ibuprofen in a non-childproof, easy-open bottle.  There are no kids in the home and quite frankly, with my arthritis in my hands, it's becoming harder to open the regular kind.  I came back and had some herb bread that was left over from yesterday's potluck (best batch ever; I included some red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick) and some cheese and a banana for lunch and caffeinated for the day.  Now I've started my bedding in the washer, as I haven't washed it since I was sick, and that would be good, and I think the cat has been on it enough that I'm starting to react (I am allergic to cats and dogs (and horses, and cattle), but cats really make me react.  But I love them.)

I have a few things I want to do today:

  1. The game notes from last week's Call of Cthulhu game, which is the most timely task.
  2. We've decided on a project involving thoroughly dusting/cleaning a shelf or two each Saturday and then rotate it, as it can be overwhelming to do all those books and shelves at one time.  There are 117 shelves of books in this house.  Yes, really.  So we broke it down to a manageable amount.  I'm going to start with the bookcase in the living room, which is antique and so it holds a lot of dust.  Today I'll just do the top shelf.  It's lower, not to the ceiling, so no getting up on a stepstool, and while dustier, it has a table right next to it that I can put the books on and dust them.  So in some ways, it'll be easier.  YKWIA is in there reading, though, at the moment, and we're both allergic to dust but he's worse, and I don't want him in there while I'm working.
  3. Clean the cat box instead of waiting for tomorrow.
  4. Take out the trash and recyclables.  We keep the recyclables atop the refrigerator and it's pretty full.  All the trash in the house need it, I think, as the kitchen one, bath, and my two little ones are all full, and that leaves the one in the living room/study and bedroom that might be okay, but I doubt it.  I've been taking the kitchen trash out regularly, but the others were fine last weekend, so I left them for this week.
  5. Do my bedding and some more laundry so I can concentrate on other laundry items tomorrow.  I didn't do it last week because we had worn jeans most of the week before as our boss was off and she'd said we could do to the low clinic numbers.  So I had most of my other pants clean and enough shirts, underwear, and socks.  I'm getting low now, though.
  6. Sweep and mop the tile in the kitchen and bath.  I think the hardwood is fine.
  7. Go through my nightstands and rearrange things.
  8. Put away a few things in my room.
I haven't made the bed today because the cat was on it earlier (he loves the microfleece blankets) and I was going to wash the bedding anyway.  I'm in my room right now with the door closed and he's at it wanting in, but I think I'll just let him be for now.  I've spoilt him by lying down with him after dinner when he wants his post-prandial cuddle. :)

Okay, time to check the laundry and go do those game notes.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tonight I have:

  1. Paid my rent.
  2. Put some money away for my tax preparation fees.
  3. Took a friend to the library.
  4. Returned books and a couple of DVDs myself.
  5. Picked up a guide to March events at the library.
  6. Ate dinner.
  7. Fed the animals and let the dogs out and in.
  8. Started some herb bread making for the potluck tomorrow at work.
  9. Helped YKWIA with some Latin, mainly by lending an ear.
  10. Watered the plants.
  11. Finally got into my e-mail and made my selections for two specialties from a collection development project four days past the deadline.
  12. Resisted the urge to cuddle with the cat, no matter how demanding he was.
  13. Kept YKWIA company while he made clafoutis for me to take to the potluck tomorrow.
We're having a St. Patrick's potluck, a meeting, and a training tomorrow.  Clinic is light.  I'm making ther herb bread that was a hit last time.  It's baking right now.

The week in review:

Sunday--got to play the game, which was fun.
Monday--major snowstorm with up to 10 inches of snow hitting Lexington. I took the bus in to work and back, and was exhausted at the end of the day.  One of my department co-workers fell, broke his leg, and had surgery today for ligament damage.
Tuesday and Wednesday--very busy at work but got everything taken care of at work.
Today--fairly pleasant at work, and then busy afterwards.  It's almost 10 pm and YKWIA is working on the dessert, and I'm just now free to blog.  Sorry I haven't done much lately.  I just ate an apple (Kroger had organic honeycrisps on sale for 99 cents per pound), and the cat is trying to play with the sticker, which is cute, but he's been making himself a nuisance because he really wants me to lie down and let him clamber up on me and cuddle.  I think I've spoilt him.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

It's weird

To watch the clock on your cell phone change from 1:59 am to 3:00 am in an instant. Happy Daylight Savings Time. :)

Came across this online

And while guns in schools are no laughing matter - whether brought by an active shooter, a student showing off, or a teacher trying to protect - I have to admit this is kind of funny, unless you're a French teacher, perhaps. I do like that the librarian one has a silencer.

But seriously, arming teachers would be a nightmare in terms of insurance, safety, etc. Only people with sufficient training and ability should even handle a gun, ever. And we shouldn't make teachers some sort of warrior. They should stick to what is far more important - teaching, and in the meantime there are certainly other ways to keep guns out of schools and keep students and teachers safe.


While a beautiful early bloomer, hellebore, also known as a Lenten rose, is usually poisonous. This one is blooming in a courtyard right now right in the middle of the University of Kentucky Chandler hospital, which sort of surprised me. They are beautiful. But it does remind me of the time I found a castor bean plant growing in another courtyard, one at my grandmother's nursing home. Castor beans contain ricin and are very toxic, and it was right in a public area where infirm people with dementia frequented. I did alert the staff, but I don't think they took me seriously. We should probably educate people at healthcare facilities and landscapers about certain perils of poisonous plants. Granted, many people think anything natural is good for you. But there are a lot of plants which, if eaten in sufficient quantities, can make you very ill or even kill you.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Went to my first appointment of the day, my endocrinologist (I'm off from work since I had two to go to), and my hA1C has dropped a whole percentage from 8.1 to 7.1. I've lost 30 lbs from my highest weight and have gone down on my long-acting insulin by 40 units daily. Go me! (And my friend's wonderful cooking!) I did have to laugh, because my doctor always takes my shoes and socks off to check the sensitivity in my feet, and puts them back on, and she put both socks back on wrong-side-out. It was a subtle difference in greys, and at least they matched, but I'm now ensconced in my house shoes with the socks off till the next appointment because it was bothering me to have them reversed, just a bit. Not that I'm particularly weird in any way, right? :)

Sunday, March 04, 2018

A quiet day

I've just been doing some caffeinating, chores, and I've pretty much been on the computer and visiting with YKWIA all day.  I'm still in my pyjamas, although YKWIA is working on a grocery list, so that may change.  I really need a shower but I'm going to try to wait until this evening so I can save time tomorrow before work.  The bed isn't made because the cat is happy and quietly sleeping on my blankets, and I don't want to disturb him.  But I've been doing laundry, did the cat boxes, took out the trash and recyclables, and mopped the floor (again--it was so muddy yesterday that it looked awful, even after going over with a dry mop after the wet one and a rag.  It doesn't look much better today.  I think the sponge mops are just not doing well, so we need a yarn one whose mophead can be removed and washed).

Yesterday I had considered going to Danville and visiting my mom's grave.  I had texted my stepfather with my plans to see if he wanted to get together, but I didn't hear back from him.  I did do a search and his mom died on Christmas Eve, so in one year he lost my mom, their dog (who died shortly after Momma), and his mom, who was 95.  I liked her.  In the obituary, I found it listed a partner for him, who I suspect is a younger woman who helped take care of my mother while she was ill.  She was a friend of his son and lived there for awhile, and they were going out to eat, etc., last I spoke with him.  John is the type of guy, kind of a mama's boy, who needs someone in his life.  I don't know how I feel about the timeframe, but really, it's not my business.  If she's helping him get over his grief, I guess that's good, but I think she came with some drama all her own, and I don't know if that's good for him.  But that's his choice.

Anyway, instead of going to the gravesite, I burned a candle for my mom and generally kept her in my thoughts.  It's hard to believe it's been a year.

I went briefly to H&R Block yesterday to see about filing my taxes, or at least seeing how much I'm going to owe the federal, state, and local governments, but I can't pay for the preparation unless they let me make payments or I save up between now and then, now that I have a better idea of how much it will be.  The lady is going to check on whether they can do payments.  If not, I'll have to wait until later in the season to see how bad it will be.  I can barely do that; there are three paycheques between now and filing deadline.  But she did glance at things, and particularly due to the 1099 issue, it's going to be grim, obviously.  When I got home I was depressed but I did look at my finances.  I can do it, but not pay some bills I'm already behind on if I do. :(  I also checked my income vs. outgo for the month when I'm not behind.  Basically, my income and bills leave me $83 a month for food.

We didn't play the game today due to a stomach bug one of the players may have.  So that's why it's been fairly quiet.  I'm carefully doing the laundry as YKWIA's may have some poison ivy where he went and used tools Brenda let him borrow to cut down as much as he could to destroy a vine that takes up most of the back of the house.  It was as thick as a small tree and it took two hours to hack apart, but he was determined to get it.  Then he put some really potent stuff on it that is an herbicide, and will take it down when it dies back.  Better him than me.  He reacted in a very minor way; I react much more strongly.  So he's in charge of that and I'm being careful with the laundry in the meantime.

I have had several seed catalogues downloaded from the Internet or arriving at the house, and that has perked me up.  Neither of us really has any money at the moment to buy anything, but they're relaxing to peruse.  It's nice to dream.  The crocuses outside have come and gone, the tulips are up, the hyacinths are blooming.    The neighbour has her resurrection lilies greenery up.  (It dies back and then sends up a flower stalk later in the season).  The roses are greening up and sending out shoots.  Everything is very mossy and happy out there.  I love when the world starts waking up again and things start growing.  Spring is my favourite season.

I made a sign for work in line with some the others have.  It lists some favourite things: vacation spot (at home gardening), colour (purple), favourite season (spring), favourite game (Call of Cthulhu).  I've got it wrapped up and put in my bookbag, which I managed to clean out properly so it is much lighter.

Okay, I think I am going to finish the laundry and do some studying/reading.  Hope you're having a good weekend.

These perked me up

They were marked down at the grocery store, but they're still very lovely.

Monday, February 26, 2018


So yesterday I did errands with my friend (who treated me to Captain D's) watered the plants, transplanted the orchid, and laundered two weeks' worth of my clothes, having worked last weekend. Today I did his clothes, his bedclothes, and the dog blankets. I also did the dishes, took out the trash and recyclables, cleaned the litter boxes, cleaned the bathroom, swept the floors except the bedrooms, and mopped the tile. I made some oatmeal bread, played the Cthulhu game for about four hours, and despite some caffeine, I'm tired and my back seriously does not like me at the moment - I had to lie on the heating pad for awhile and take some ibuprofen. I am seriously thinking about breaking out the tizanidine, as it's not letting up and my back is in spasm. I'll give it just a little more time to see if I can get comfortable. But it was a good day, a good weekend, with plenty accomplished. There was some fun, too, such as watching the animated movie (rated R) of Justice League Dark, which was very good. It'll go back to Netflix this week; I should probably check and see what's in the queue. Anyway, I am very ready for bed, having helped put the bedding back together, including fighting to get a duvet cover back on. Whoever invented them obviously had a bevy of servants.  Anyway, goodnight. Hope you had a good weekend, too

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rule #37

I've learned about growing orchids. Don't bother with orchid pots. I transplanted a plant into a pot months ago and it's really suffered. Orchid pots have holes in the body of the pot to allow more air to the orchid roots. One drawback is that the roots might grow out of them and make transplantation hard without breaking the pot. However, of more concern is that I've never gotten the hang of watering it without water coming out of the holes, and so the water would be lost before the plant could take it up. Also, any surface the bottom touched would get rings on it or mould. So it's languished. Yesterday I passed the clay pot I had on the porch and thought, you know, the one person whom I first knew who grew orchids, beautiful ones, had them just in simple clay pots. So I changed it out and it already looks better. It was drying out. I'm hoping it will turn around.

Weird thing of the day

I got a text from a Puerto Rico area code with a picture of two guinea pigs in a plastic laundry basket. Later a got a phone call without a voicemail, and then a text in Spanish asking if Kentucky is flooded. Obviously, they're meant for someone else, but it was an odd combination.

I did reply, using Google Translate. I do understand some Spanish, but I've forgotten a lot of grammar in the 30-odd years since I took it in school, so I hope this makes a certain amount of sense.

Sí, Kentucky está inundado. Estamos cansados de la lluvia. Sin embargo, creo que los textos que enviaste fueron para otra persona. No conozco a nadie en Puerto Rico. Es posible que desee verificar el número al que está enviando mensajes de texto. Gracias.
We'll see if there is a reply or whatever. :)

Friday, February 23, 2018

It's so fluffy!

It was hard to get out of the pan. This is an extra-large loaf, expanding to the inside of the bread machine's lid itself, which is why the shape is a little off. But it smells great and experience would say it's very nummy.


These greeted me today when I came home from work, despite all the rain we've been having.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On a brighter note

I was looking at my orchids, and this one has a stem sprouting! It's a yellow one I've featured here before, my most consistent bloomer. Apparently after doing well despite a lack of light for five months,  a Change to a brighter room with a window nearby has been good for it.


Just woke up. The cat was all comfy after dinner on my belly and I fell asleep. The dogs were out for three hours (although mind you, it's 67 degrees now and very mild). A co-worker gave me some ingredients for bread, so I just put them in the bread machine and will have bread shortly before midnight. Can't believe I just totally fell asleep!  It was very steady at work today, between the number of appointments and the number of phone calls and messages.  I worked really hard.  I guess I was more tired than I thought I was.

On the way home I stopped at Kroger and got a sharps container.  I was going to get some extra pen needles (I take seven injections per day.  That means over the course of a month I use 210+ pen needles, and I have a prescription for a box of 100.  Occasionally I get another box from Kroger to supplement what I get at my pharmacy.)

Except for today.  Apparently, Kroger's policy is now that they will give you the third degree about having a prescription, make you sign a log, there must be a pharmacist on duty (there wasn't), etc., etc., to get a box of needles that, as far as I know, only work on insulin and related pens.  As far as I know, no one has figured out how to prefill an insulin pen with heroin or similar illicit drugs, so the policy is kind of insane, and only punishes those of us who need it for actual, real, (and yes) prescribed medicine.  This is why I don't normally use Kroger pharmacy for anything except a round of antibiotics--they make everything incredibly harder than it has to be and give me nowhere near the service of my small, independent pharmacy.

It's a stupid policy. Period.  And while it was not the fault of the girl who was explaining it all, you could tell she was mindlessly quoting the rules and policy rather than actually engaging into the why of it.  Sigh.  I guess next time I go to my pharmacy I'll have to pick up an extra box.  My prescriptions don't get run till the end of the month, though, so that means an extra trip across town, as I'll be out of them before then. Grrrr....