Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Okay, so two and a half hours

Doesn't seem to be much point to staying up now, though. :-) Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.

Had a friend over for a couple of hours and it felt good

although he is both appalled at some of my books and the fact that I've probably read about a quarter of them. :) But it was really nice to spend some time here with him, although I'm still nervous when people are in my home, even people who are family to me. It's a bit like when your parent comes into your room after you've cleaned like crazy, I suppose. But the house is still in great shape. We had some take out and I even took the trash out when I went to take him back home.

I can't believe we're already close to Friday. It's been a very busy 'short week', but isn't that usually the case? I need to get the notes finished tonight or tomorrow and then I'll be ready for the weekend. We should be playing the game again on Sunday. I have to admit, though, that I'm a little tired and am seriously considering lying down for a bit, even though it's almost nine. Think I can actually lie down without falling asleep for hours on end?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Speaking of the time...

It's just a few minutes past midnight, and that means it is now May 29th. Please indulge me while I take this opportunity to wish my grandmother a wonderful 89th birthday. :)

One last tidbit from the news

Computer Network Piecing Together a Jigsaw of Jewish Lore
The idea is to harness technology to help reassemble more than 100,000 document fragments collected across 1,000 years that reveal details of Jewish life along the Mediterranean, including marriage, medicine and mysticism. For decades, scholars relied mainly on memory to match up pieces of the Cairo genizah, a treasure trove of papers that include works by the rabbinical scholar Maimonides, parts of Torah scrolls and prayer books, reams of poetry and personal letters, contracts, and court documents, even recipes (there is a particularly vile one for honey-wine).
Okay, it's after midnight; time for bed. I had a lovely evening watching things like 'Jam & Jerusalem' and 'Let Them Eat Cake'. I do love Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, and I have enjoyed everything I've seen them in, both as a team and individually.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This was pretty cool

Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler: The Allies saved thousands of lives by embracing the artistry of war
Bill Blass was one of them. So was Ellsworth Kelly. And Arthur Singer. And Art Kane. Before these men embarked on the artistic careers they would become known for, they served together during World War II. But they were a particular kind of soldier, serving in a particular kind of unit: Blass and his brothers in arms were recruited from art schools and ad agencies. They were sought for their acting skills. They were selected for their creativity. They were soldiers whose most effective weapon was artistry.

Because their job was to fool Hitler.
One of my co-workers really enjoyed the documentary on PBS called 'Ghost Army' that was mentioned in this article. You can watch it on the PBS website.

Personally, I never saw the appeal

What's so cool about running around with clothes that advertise a brand in big letters across your chest? And I always thought they were ugly. And no, they don't have to offer 'plus sizes'. But who decided anything over a 10 in women's clothing was a plus size?

A once-trendy fashion brand is a target for anti-bullying groups
When you're the CEO of major fashion brand you can be as elitist as you want to be. You may admit, "Candidly, we go after the cool kids" and "a lot of people don't belong in our clothes."

Even if you make these comments about six years ago to a magazine reporter, that's fine.

But the Internet never forgets, and you will have to answer to consumers and shareholders.

Abercrombie and Fitch's first-quarter sales fell by 17 percent and their stock dropped 8 percent before the Memorial Day holiday.

PR people spent the weekend apologizing for the CEO Mike Jeffries.

"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," Jeffries said in a 2006 Salon article.

"Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong," he said. "Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

And then, there was Ellen's take on it. I think she sums it up nicely:

Thanks to Grace Asher, who first informed me of this story by sharing her desire on Facebook to 1) stop wearing the clothes and 2) donate them so they can look stylish on homeless people, whom I suspect Mike Jeffries would definitely see as un-cool. :)

Nice to see a good national news story from Kentucky

Mother uses Ky. law to pull daughter from heroin: Casey's Law allows parents to petition the court to order an adult into involuntary drug treatment
Candice Williamson was getting sick from withdrawal. She craved a fix, but she was at her parents' house in Bromley, Ky.

She drew a bath and quietly prepared a syringe of heroin.

"I was going through the sickness," the 19-year-old heroin addict recalled. "I told my mom I was going to take a bath. I was sitting on the floor.

"She walked in. She took it from me. It was really bad."

For Robin Knott, turning the doorknob of her bathroom and seeing her then 18-year-old daughter with a needle was the end of suspicion that Williamson was addicted to heroin. It was the beginning of Knott's determination to fight for her daughter's life -- even if it might crush their relationship.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's been a pretty decent day off

although I slept a bit much at the end, so now I'm awake. It's back to work tomorrow morning, of course. I did buy a dress for my friend's vow renewal, online, and he loves it. I just hope it looks as nice on me, especially now that I've got the super short hair.

My bathroom is full of the hand washables, which are almost dry. They're on a rack in the bathtub and hanging from the shower towel rack and curtain rod. I had the fan on in there earlier to help. The rest of the laundry is folded and still needs to be put away; but it's neatly in a hamper for tonight. I did go ahead and hang a shirt that wrinkles easily.

I did some stuff around the house and once the chores were done, watched a little 'Doctor Who' and listened to some music. I spoke with A on the phone for awhile and texted back and forth with Brandon. I napped twice, once in the middle of the day and once about 8:30. So all in all it was a quiet day, but it was nice. I love being in a clean apartment. I think I should go ahead and water the plants inside today; the umbrella plant looks a bit dry. Then I'll do some reading before bed; that's the only thing I had planned to do that I haven't today. I hope you had a nice weekend as well. Good night.


A Memorial Day Poem by Longfellow, From The Atlantic, June 1882

Trying to breathe

just back in from putting my clothes in the dryer, and the lady who cleans our hallways has been and it's very, very strong cleaner she uses on the carpets, way too strong. It will make that place smell like cleaner for about three days, at least. Brandon once had to send his wife in to get me on one of our trips to the doctor when my ankle was broken, it was so strong, and even though I saw them going out of the next building and walking to mine, and knew what to expect, I choked horribly. Still, I guess it's better than them not cleaning it at all. Once I got into the apartment, at least, what I smell is baking bread. I'm making a normal loaf (no herbs). The next one I'll try is whole wheat.

So far I've cleaned the toilet and did a once-over in the bathroom, washed dishes (there were just a few in the sink), did the hand-wash laundry, of which there was a whole hamper full, and I've washed three loads of clothes and am drying them now. I'm about 15 minutes away from freshly baked bread. Right now at the pool there are some young men who are banging around a beach ball and are loud and obnoxious, so I don't think I'll go quite yet, if at all. Maybe in the evening. If not, I'll go to the YMCA tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on my schedule. I've got about 40 minutes before the laundry is ready to come out, so I think I'll listen to some music and relax. Outside is gorgeous, with sunny skies and a pleasant breeze. It's supposed to be partly cloudy and quite a bit more humid this evening. I'm going to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows for awhile, I think.

Lest we forget...

In particular, I am remembering two members of my family from 'the greatest generation', my grandfather, Edgar Craig, who served in the US Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima, among other places in the Pacific theatre. He died in 2000. Also, my grandmother, Frances Duncan, who served as an army nurse in Europe and lost a kidney in service. She died in 1993. They are sorely missed. A third grandparent, Allan Madison Broadbent, served during World War II, and died in 1984. I never knew him, unfortunately. There were estrangement issues in the family.

Starting off my holiday with a little amusement

I slept in today, waking up at 10, and getting ten hours of sleep. It was nice not having to be anywhere. I thought I'd disabled all my alarms, but the Gentle Alarm on my phone went off at 6-something. But I managed to go back to sleep with no problem.

So I got up, showered, and headed over to the laundry room for a Diet Coke, as I didn't have any soda in the house and wanted a bit of caffeine. On the way I made friends with a little tiny dog a lady was walking. On the way back, the dog did that circling thing that they do and then hiked its leg to pee. I said something about how the circling was cute, and the lady said she thought so too, and that she (the dog) always did that. I said, 'she?' and she said yes, and that she knew I was surprised because the doggie hikes its leg. She always does that, too. Meanwhile, I'm staring at the penis between his legs that is rather prominent and erect. I just smiled, shook my head, and went on. But you would think the dog owner would know a bit of basic anatomy. True, maybe I should have corrected her misconception, but I didn't. Oh, well, at least they won't have an unexpected litter of puppies. He looked healthy and well-cared for. Surely a vet will let them know at some point. I didn't catch his name. Hopefully it's not too girlie.

Okay, I've had a small breakfast of pimiento cheese on some everything crackers. Did I mention I've lost 14 lbs since the end of March? Yay! I haven't actually been dieting, but the cleaning helped keep me moving. Now I hope to keep that activity up by going to the Y. In the meantime I'm trying to eat somewhat healthy and in good portions. Time to go review my list of things I want to accomplish today and see about starting. :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

By the way

Can you tell my favourite phrase in this Ed Sheeran song?

Hint: it starts 'I'm up and coming like I'm...'

What great fun with words. :)

Home, and tired

Saturday involved a trip to Danville and Stanford to visit with family. It was a beautiful drive. I brought my grandmother, who turns 89 on Wednesday, a flamingo flower (which seems a lot like a pink peace lily) and spent some time with both her and my mom. I came home that evening and just sort of crashed. I won't go into it here, but let's say I had an interesting emotional mix that came to the surface, as it often does when I go there, and I curled up into a ball for a couple hours afterwards and tried to process some of my feelings. Later YKWIA and I talked on the phone for awhile, and that helped. Today I went over to his place, and while there was no game, I spent some time visiting with him and A and watched 'Big Bang Theory' and two movies that weren't stunning, but were pretty fun and did have me on the edge of my seat at times, one called Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (the cinematography was beautiful, the fight scenes well done, and the plot intriguing) and one called Hansel and Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft. Tomorrow I should have most of the day to myself, so I think I'll:
  1. Do laundry (including hand washables)
  2. Go to the YMCA if they're open (my branch is closed today, so no go for that, although I might get into the pool at the apartment complex if it's warm enough)
  3. Do a few things around the house, maintaining the apartment
  4. Listen to music (Ed Sheeran, the radio)
  5. Read (Bringing Home Mulligan, which is about the Marines in WWII, and the way the war affected them--fitting for a Memorial Day)
  6. Nap (twice)
  7. Bake bread (delicious)
  8. Watch 'Doctor Who' (two episodes: 'Hide' and 'Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS'!)
  9. Shop for a dress for a friend's vow renewal (bought it online)
That's a fairly full day, I think. I think I'll listen to some music and head to bed. I've been listening to Ed Sheeran a lot, of course. I had his CD going on the way down to Danville and back--it takes just a couple of minutes past the album's running time to get to my mom's from home. Last night I curled up to Kansas. Tonight I think it might be Natalie Merchant's Ophelia. My favourite song from that album is:

Good night.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

4:45 am

Been awake with my legs itching after my first day in compression hose. Could just be fluctuations in swelling, I suppose, but I suspect my latex allergy. Can't find anything on the package that says it's latex-free, and after all, they are compression hose, which are by definition elastic. It has nylon and spandex in it, according to the package. I'm thinking there's some natural rubber in there somewhere.  May wait in wearing these again until I can contact the doctor or company.

PS I checked and spandex is completely synthetic, as is nylon of course. While there is a possibility there's some natural rubber in there, it's not listed. So we'll see. Maybe it's just a reaction to the compression. I still want to check with my doctor, though. In any event, it's keeping me awake.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Do you remember

my post on Rachel Beckwith, whose desire to help others have clean water led to a birthday fundraising campaign, and whose untimely death at the age of 9 spurred me to help make her dream possible by donating a small amount of money to charity:water back in 2011? Rachel's campaign helped make 143 water projects in Ethiopia possible, giving 37,770 people access to clean water. The organisation ties donations to each project, and when it is completed, reports back to the donor, giving a disclosure of location and other information regarding the project. My $20 was put with money from others and was used to drill a well in May Aewaf village in Ethiopia, with 400 men, women, and children gaining access to clean water. It was only $20, but it did do some good, and kept alive a memory of a small girl who chose to help people over birthday presents. I'm glad to have been a part of it.

One of the things about charity:water I like is that their overhead is taken care of through private donations but the donations from the public go straight to building water projects, so 100% of your gift goes directly to help. They score four stars (the highest) on Charity Navigator overall, with a total score of 67.32 out of 70, and a 70 (the max) on accountability and transparency. If you're looking to give, they're a very good cause.

Here is a news story that ran shortly after her death in July of 2011:

After girl's death, selfless act lives on
For her 9th birthday last month, Rachel Beckwith told people that instead of giving her presents, they should donate to a charity providing clean water to families in developing nations.

The Seattle-area girl came up with $220, short of her $300 goal. She figured she’d try to raise more money next year.

Then came the crash.

Rachel died Saturday, taken off life support at a Seattle hospital three days after she and six other people were injured in a 14-vehicle pileup on Interstate 90 near her home in Bellevue, Washington, CNN affiliate KOMO reported.
There's a page at charity:water that shows the impact of Rachel's gift. One child. One life. Lots of inspiration, and lots of people inspired. It's amazing how one person can impact many lives, for good or for bad. Rachel chose to help others. I wish she had been able to grow up, with such a kind heart and great potential.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's beautiful and sunny

and I've had a great day. It started early, with an 8 am appointment with my ankle surgeon. That went well. The x-rays show everything is doing great, although he was concerned by the swelling, which is happening on both ankles, even early in the day, although worse on the one that was broken. He suggested compression stockings, so I got those, and having my family doctor prescribe a diuretic, which I will do. Work was nice. I got many compliments on the new haircut (which does look better than in the picture; I'm just not photogenic). My roommate in the library kept saying it made my eyes 'pop'. I know what she means, but having the perverse sense of humour that I do, I kept visualising eyeballs popping out of my skull. :) After work I went in the rain to my last session (at least for now) of physical therapy, graduated from the programme, and got a shirt. Then I came home, watered the plants outside, and settled down to some yoghurt and fruit, plus a little cheese. I have a free evening and I'm all for relaxing in my nice, clean home and celebrating a really nice day.

Tomorrow it's work and then over to a friend's to help with something. Saturday's a visit with family. Sunday and Monday are free at the moment; we're not playing the game because the other player will be away for the weekend. I should probably work on the game notes sometime during all that, though. :) I want to catch up on 'Doctor Who' and do some reading, plus spend some time with friends. It'll also be a bit cooler this weekend, so I hope it's pretty pleasant.

I've been listening to an Ed Sheeran album that I got the other day, and I've told you about the two songs on the radio, 'The A Team' and 'Lego House' (Yes, that's Rupert Grint [Ronald Weasley] as the obsessive fan in the video). I think my favourite song on the record is actually 'Small Bump'. Like 'The A Team', it seems sweet and happy, a father's song about a baby-to-be, imagining holding the infant, and it's fine until the very end, when a miscarriage shatters the dream. It's very sad. Here is the video:

A great 'Doodle'

Doodle 4 Google: A warm winning entry is timely for Memorial Day
Each year, Google turns its logo over to school-age kids with its annual Doodle 4 Google, and the timing couldn't be better for today's winner, Sabrina Brady from Sparta High School in Wisconsin.

Sabrina's winner fits nicely with Memorial Day, which is Monday. Google doesn't include any caption from Sabrina, but the image tells its own, warm story.

One of the o's in Google is a yellow sun, shining above a young girl, seen in black and white except for the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag in her hand.

In four images, the girl runs, then slows down as she stares at a soldier, also in black and white and who stares back at her. In the final image, the kneeling sold[i]er embraces the girl, presumably his daughter, and they are in color and reunited.
I think it was an excellent choice. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Got a new haircut today

I decided to go short because I've been pretty hot lately and bothered by my hair in my face. What do you think? Thanks to Dee Dee from Supercuts in Regency.

I woke up at 11:30

About four hours after I laid down for 45 minutes. :( But I did get up and paid six bills and the like, so at least the night was somewhat productive. Now I think I'll head back to bed. I had no idea how tired I was!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You know

For the first time in a long while I feel comfortable at home. It isn't oppressive and overwhelming. Here's to de-hoarding.

I felt guilty this morning for two things

1) I was running behind and didn't make the bed, and felt I was leaving the house somewhat 'imperfect' as a result. That's not bad, though, if I'm less likely to let things slide. I'll make the bed tomorrow. :) Also 2) I was running behind and didn't get a chance to water the plants outside, and I felt bad for it. They're doing well, and I'd thought about watering them last night, but it's really better to in the morning as there's less chance of fungous growing as it does on wet leaves overnight. Fortunately a cloudbusting rain storm came up just as I was leaving work, and I barely managed to get my foot into the car before the heavens opened. I went on to physical therapy, and the rain lessened, and so by the time I got home the windowboxes and pepper plant had had a good soaking, with some time to dry off before night falls. Yay!

Now I'm drinking some water and relaxing after a bite to eat. I'm in my comfy sleep shirt and thinking about taking a short nap and then watching some 'Doctor Who'. I also need to go through some bills tonight. So, a quiet night at home. I'm thinking Thursday may be my last physical therapy visit, as I'm doing quite a bit better. I also see my ankle surgeon Thursday for a follow-up. It seems strange that it's been over six months since I was hurt. I still have some ankle swelling, and some pain, but I'm much better, and I don't take my mobility for granted anymore. :)

Here's more on that horrific tornado in Oklahoma

Oklahoma tornado tears massive path of death, destruction

At one point it was supposed to be about two miles wide, and stayed on the ground for about 45 minutes, according to one report I saw. The death toll is at 51 as of now, and is expected to increase--another new story under breaking news says the coroner's office has been told to expect about 40 more bodies--and they're still working on recovery. At least 20 so far are children, as elementary schools were in a direct path of the twister. I can't imagine how people are doing there, with so much destruction. My thoughts and prayers are with them. If you can donate to the Red Cross or other organisation aiding those affected, please consider doing so. I am.

Update 05/21/13: The toll has not risen, in fact it's dropped, as some were double-counted, but now authorities are going door-to-door and there may be others still trapped or dead below the rubble. It's been upgraded to an F5, over 200-mile-an-hour winds. Absolutely terrible, with a debris field going on for 17 miles. I can't wrap my head around it (and I lived in Kansas for a couple of years and have watched tornadoes from a distance, although thankfully never experienced them up close.

Had a wonderful time this evening

I took YKWIA to an appointment near my home and we stopped by my apartment for him to see what I've accomplished. He hasn't been in my apartment for about seven years, except very briefly when bringing me home from the hospital after my ankle surgery in October. The last time he was in my apartment before that, he could barely breathe, and he's seen my house in other places much, much worse than it was this time--and it took me nearly five weeks to do the de-hoarding. So, I was nervous, and he had some trepidation, too, I suspect.

With the exception of a couple of small things he asked me about (the Bookcrossing books I'd left in a small box in a corner of the bedroom, the fair job I did vacuuming under the computer desk, where the wires are), he was, I think surprised and pleased. He said that while the house still had a lot of clutter, it really reflected my personality. At least the clutter was fairly orderly. He could breathe, saying the house smelled a bit like lavender. And he said he'd like to come over again and we could do things again over at my house, which is great.

Afterwards, we celebrated with a salmon meal from Texas Roadhouse. We ate and visited over at his place along with A, and then we watched an 'Ultraman' episode. By this time, it was about 8:30, so I headed home, happy from the pleasant meal, conversation, and passing the test with the house. My gas light came on (that's the lowest I'd let the gas get since I got the car), so I stopped by the gas station on the way home. I got back around 9, texted with Brandon for a little while with my feet up in front of the fan in the bedroom (I've been hot for a couple of days now, even using a fan at work). We were discussing our day and also the tragic tornado hitting Moore, Oklahoma. I hadn't had a chance to really look at the news story, and so when I saw things like the elementary school that was hit, etc., it was very sobering. Having lived in the Midwest, I know you try to prepare for this sort of thing, that it's a hazard of being there, but still.... After awhile, around 10 pm, I fell asleep and woke a little while ago thinking it was much later in the night--it's only 1 am and so I've been asleep for three hours. I had thought about watching an episode of 'Doctor Who' earlier. It's a bit late, now, as I have to get up about 7 or 7:30.

Tomorrow I need to go to physical therapy (I think this will be my last week; I'm doing much better). I also need to sit down and pay some bills and that sort of thing. Wednesday I hope to go to the YMCA and finally start using my membership, maybe get into the pool. The pool here at the apartment complex is almost ready and will open this weekend, most likely. It usually does, although Friday is supposed to be back down around 70, so I'm not sure how warm it will be. It's definitely warm and muggy outside now.

Saw something on Facebook this morning that made me feel old. The last episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' aired ten years ago today. Yes, really.

I'm having some ice water right now. In a little while I'll go back to sleep. I may listen to some music in the interim. I bought two CDs from Amazon that should be here Wednesday, but of course they had the Autorip feature so they're already on my phone in .mp3 form. It's Ed Sheeran's + and Pink's Greatest Hits...So Far. The Sheeran one I bought because I'd listened to 'The A Team' and 'Lego House' and really liked them. They had upbeat music, nice voice work, etc. I had been listening to 'The A Team' for awhile, had the music in my head, and then one day I really started paying attention to the lyrics (I'm usually quicker than that, and my listening experience is very lyrics-driven). I love how Sheeran has juxtaposed such dark material with the upbeat music. 'The A Team' is a traditional lyrical ballad that refers to Class A drugs in Britain, and the story is of a young woman who prostitutes herself due to an addiction to crack cocaine. It's a little subtle, and sad, as well. The Pink album is a collection of most of her hits (except the current 'Give Me Just a Reason'), and I really love her music. For relaxing in the evening, I'd say Sheeran is the way to go--Pink is more invigourating, he's more relaxing, although like I said, 'A Team' in particular is very sad:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It was so nice to play the game today

and then afterwards YKWIA shared something with me from his childhood, the 'Ultraman' series from the '60s, which was a little hokey (think rubber suits, jets on strings, and radioactive monsters in Japan), but nevertheless fun. Now I'm home, and operating on about five hours' sleep, so I'm going to take a shower and then head on to bed. Tomorrow he's going to come see (read: inspect) the apartment for good measure. After all the work I put into it, I hope it passes muster. We're not playing next weekend because Brenda has a Society for Creative Anachronism event to attend. But we started a new adventure and she's getting to play a character in the past who is alive who is normally a ghost. :)

It was so muggy last night that I broke down and turned on the air conditioning

and as a result, slept really well, despite getting about 5 hours of sleep. It was very nice to wake up in a clean and fairly organised house. I made the bed, took a shower, got dressed, and now I'm munching on herb bread for breakfast, which is yummy. I was out of parsley flakes, so I used the mystery herbal mix instead entirely. I gave some of the bread as an offering along with some mead last night. Granted, I usually use red wine, but I had it on hand, wasn't probably going to drink it (I won't drive if I've had one drink--I don't handle wine well, and there's always a chance of an emergency coming up, so now that I'm driving again, I'm even less likely to drink), and didn't think She'd mind, as I gave her the whole bottle.

Okay, I'm going to eyeball the house and see if I missed anything, and then head on over to the game master's house. I'll be a little early, but since there's prep and a grocery run to do, plus I'm assuming he wants to come see, a little extra time won't be amiss.

I was in a lot of pain earlier

So I took some medicine and fell asleep, not starting the notes till around 11 pm. I just finished them and put them into Dropbox so I can retrieve them tomorrow. Yay. I also baked some bread. Now I am very tired, and ready to sleep. I'm really looking forward to playing again. I had totally forgotten that my character was cooked from the inside out by a spell when last we saw our intrepid crew, back in the Roman Empire. :( But hopefully she'll get better. Good night!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The house is finished. I dropped off the Goodwill stuff right before 8 pm. The bed is even made. The only thing else I have to do tonight is work on the game notes for tomorrow. :)

Woo-hoo!!!! The only thing is I couldn't watch the 'Doctor Who' finale tonight, as I was busy working. But I have it recording. I'm behind by about a month. So you can guess what I may be doing in the coming week in my nice clean apartment, can't you? :)

Doing a little dance. (Well, not really, my ankles and knees are killing me.) Thank you, YKWIA, for the motivation, and to A for listening to me rant even though it scared you, and to Brandon for encouragement and concern. And thank you all for putting up with a month's worth of blow-by-blow of my de-hoarding.

Time for a break

Today I've:
  1. Done laundry.
  2. Taken the electronic recyclables in.
  3. Taken most of the trash and recyclables out.
  4. Filled the trunk with things for Goodwill.
  5. Gotten some gas for the car.
  6. Bought some small things at the grocery, including some flowers for the dining table.
What's left for today:
  1. A few dishes, plus putting others away
  2. Putting winter clothes away
  3. A few books to go on shelves
  4. Magazines to go to Marines or recycle
  5. Office/art supplies where they go
  6. Canvas frames and carts put up
  7. Under bed container (almost forgot)
  8. A quick once-over in the bathroom and kitchen
  9. Taking the items to Goodwill
  10. Dusting
  11. Floors of all rooms
  12. One more trip with trash and recyclables
  13. Game notes
Tomorrow that leaves making the bed, and the house will be clean.

This was in my head yesterday, so I watched the video. And cried.

and probably will whenever I watch it. I'm a terrible romantic, I guess. Which is funny for someone not only in a relationship, but who doesn't even date at all.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam:27, 1850

Friday, May 17, 2013


the two boxes that were so troublesome are taken care of. That leaves laundry, floors, and small stuff in each room to do (plus taking out everything that's going). Yay!

Well, getting up early failed miserably

I woke up at five, then at six or so, and finally got up at 7:20. A friend called a few minutes later, and among other things we talked about these two boxes that seem to be the sticking point for me to finish, because although I've thrown away and recycled a lot, I'm holding on emotionally to the things inside. Then I got ready for work and got there a bit early. I worked my butt off today on various things to do with referrals and data entry sheets, got the library and the book cart in the clinic ready for Hospital Day (our big open house on Sunday), did some interlibrary loaning, and then was left with not much to do unless I started the cataloguing project of books I've recently received with just a couple of hours left in the week. But my boss (I have two; one was off) let me leave early when I asked since I'd gotten everything I needed to do this week finished. So, I'm home, the windows are up, the fan is on, so is the radio and I'm going to start attacking what's left. So it worked out after all that I didn't lose those hours this morning, or rather did, but gained a couple in the afternoon. Okay, I'm going to start working.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I didn't get home till 8 pm

and I haven't gotten as much as I'd like accomplished, but I have gone through the large bin and threw away a blanket and bagged up other stuff to give away. I only kept four pieces of clothing out of the whole bin, I think. I've condensed the closet stuff down to two boxes worth of stuff, and frankly I'm at a loss as to what to actually do with it. :( It is stuff I want to keep, but it's rather random stuff.

Tomorrow I plan to get up early again and:
  1. Take out the trash and recyclables.
  2. Put the office/art supplies in their place.
  3. Take out the things that belong in the car there.
  4. Take out the things to go to Goodwill so I can drop them off tomorrow.
  5. Get quarters.
  6. Do laundry..
  7. Wash a few dishes.
  8. Do the floors (sweep, mop, vacuum).
  9. Finish taking care of those two boxes.
  10. Police the horizontal surfaces of the house. Make sure books are on shelves, but not much else is on them.
  11. Put the tapes in the designated area.
  12. Change out the air freshener in the bathroom.
  13. Put the pillows that belong on the loveseat there.
For Saturday:
  1. Make bed.
  2. Do one more run through.
  3. Put winter clothes away.
  4. Take last few electronic recyclables in.
  5. Do notes.
  6. Get some flowers for the dining room table.
And with that, I'm going to say good night. It's only eleven, but I got up at 5 this morning and plan to get up even a little earlier tomorrow if I can. :)

I got up early this morning, at 5

and worked on the boxes some more. I'm almost finished. I have a box to throw away, a box of recyclables, a box to go with the office/art supplies, a box of gaming stuff, and a box to go to Goodwill. I still have a bit on the bed but it won't take too much longer. I'm also almost done with the bread. I've put the laundry away. The drawers are very full, and my closets have very little room for hung clothes, but I think when I sort through the big tub tonight I'll put all the winter stuff away in the tubs and hope for the best in terms of the walk-in closet and leakage. That will give my summer clothes more room. I think we're finally past the need for winter clothes (although Monday morning it was in the 30s!)

I apparently totally missed a commotion on my street the night before last, as did a co-worker who lives in a neighbouring complex. Two toddlers, about 2 years old, were reported wandering about the area by themselves after dark. Police found them and discovered their father asleep in his apartment, along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the bathroom, and they arrested him for child endangerment and drug charges. The mother was at work. I was home, and I remember hearing sirens, but it must have been a little away. Still, that's a little scary.

The bread smells very nice and should be ready very soon. After I take it out, I'll get ready for work. So far the morning's been pretty productive. Let's hope work will be as well.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's only been an hour and a half, but I've got to take a break

My back is starting to dislike all the standing I'm doing. I've sorted through four boxes already and I'm starting a fifth. Then there's a little on the floor and some in a sheet. I've got one box for recyclables, one for throwaways. Small things are going into some plastic containers I have that look like giant dice containers. I've got one for dice, one for makeup, and one for small stones and things that go on the altar. I'll eventually unpack everything but the dice. I also have a small jar for buttons, etc. I have piles of things such as: office/art supplies, game stuff, change, candle holders, papers to save (very few), etc. The piles are on the bed, but they're pretty discrete, so I think I'll be able to handle them. So it's going well.

Tonight's agenda

  1. Boxes of stuff from the bedroom closets
  2. Laundry put away
  3. Wash hand-wash dishes
  4. Bake herb bread for friends
For tomorrow:
  1. Work
  2. Take friend to doctor
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Take clothes out of large tub in walk-in closet
  5. Sort clothes into what I want to keep and what I don't
  6. Launder clothes (they're a bit musty)
  7. Sort and order audio tapes
  8. Go through and police all horizontal surfaces for random stuff that should be put away
  9. Dust
  10. Vacuum
For Friday:
  1. Work
  2. Finish anything I haven't yet
  3. Have friend look over apartment to see if I missed anything
  4. Celebrate if warranted
  5. Do notes
For Saturday:
  1. Watch back episodes of 'Doctor Who' that I've been recording during the great De-Hoarding
  2. Watch the season finale of 'Doctor Who', preferably with friend
For Sunday:
  1. Grocery run
  2. Prepare for game
  3. Play game again! :)
That's the idea, anyway. Now to put it in action. Today I worked, had lunch with a friend, helped another out with something to do with their dog, made a quick meal for my friend, and watched a video where the creators and cast of 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil' are trying to raise money for an animated series that will continue the story. :) Okay, to work!

Just spent an hour and a half on the phone with a friend

and even though it's late I'm not particularly sleepy. We had a good talk, a real heart to heart one that I enjoyed immensely. We may try to get together for lunch tomorrow if his schedule works out.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank T-Mobile for pushing an over-the-air update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 to Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 (I had been on 4.1.1). Now I can have two applications open at the same time, can take bursts of pictures with the camera, and generally it's running much faster. I hope we make it up to 4.2 soon!

Okay, I'm going to try to go on to bed. Good night.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fairly productive

I had physical therapy today, and then when I got home, I ate, folded laundry from the other day (only one thing has to be ironed, fortunately), and then I tackled the walk-in closet. There was a large tub full of stuff that turned out to be stuff from the old car, almost all of which could be thrown away. It included some old sheets, some paint, etc. There was also a bag of stuff that turned out to be dumb bells and my tyre inflator; I kept those, but threw out the rest of the bag. There were still some attachments to old vacuum cleaners that I'd gotten rid of, so those will go out, as well. All in all, three bags or so of trash are sitting in the dining room ready to go out; I saved a handful of very small things, like a multitool, pens that seemed to still be good, and the like. The large tub is back in the closet, but empty. There is actually another tub full of clothes that I should go through at some point, but not tonight; they are a discrete entity and therefore I think they can stay for now; nothing's mixed in with them. It's hard dealing with the walk-in closet because it's gotten wet twice and there is a mustiness in it that I haven't really been able to dismiss. That's why everything in it is either waterproof, in a waterproof tub, or doesn't really matter if it gets wet. When I first moved in, someone suggested putting books in there. I'm so glad I didn't. The air conditioner is above the closet and has leaked twice in the 9 years I've been here.

Okay, I set out to work on the walk-in closet tonight and finished it. Tomorrow I'm going to work on the final stuff in the bedroom, that came out of the closets there. There are several boxes of general stuff. I think for now I'm going to listen to some music before bed. Good night.

I was so sorry to read this this morning

4 Kids, 2 Adults Dead in Pa. Fire on Mother's Day
Fire Chief Todd March said it was the deadliest blaze in Pottsville, a city of about 14,000, in his 37-year career.

"It's hard to take, and there was nothing we could do," he said.

The Schuylkill County Coroner's office identified the victims as the father, Eric Brown, 30; and his children, Elijah Brown, 2; Emily Brown, 3; Jeremiah Brown, 7; and Joy Brown, 8. Another adult, Kristina Thomas, 26, also died in the fire. She's the sister of 28-year-old Kelly Brown, the mother who survived.

Kelly Brown had been doing laundry at a neighbor's house nearby at the time of the blaze because her washing machine was broken, according to the neighbor, Jennifer Purcell. Purcell said they had smelled smoke, and Purcell went outside and saw the flames, telling Brown, "Oh my God, your house is on fire!"

They both ran up the street to the house, but weren't able to get inside, Purcell said.
By the time the fire was discovered, flames were burning intensely and shooting out, preventing neighbours from getting inside, and the firefighters worked for about and hour to contain the blaze but weren't able to save the family. She's lost her children, her husband, and her sister in one fell swoop, and on Mother's Day to boot. So sad. My thoughts are with her and the rest of their family, as well as the witnesses and the firefighters who responded.

Nearly neverending lunch saga

Today our cafeteria didn't really have much for a vegetarian (even the spinach had bacon in it), so I decided to order Chinese. I went to the website, thinking it would be easier to explain what I wanted, and the menu wouldn't load. We have old versions of Internet Explorer at work, so I thought fine, I'll try my phone. The mobile site worked fine up to the point where I submitted, and then it froze for minutes on end. So I called them and when I got to asking technical website questions was passed to someone who explained that I was using an old website through a third party and I should try their new website. So I went to that, got all the way to the end of ordering, and got a whole bunch of HTML code when I submitted. I called back and explained the situation, and went ahead and ordered via phone, but even then, the computer glitched in the middle and she had a little trouble with it, plus she was new and apparently I ordered something that had been on the online menu but was no longer actually on their menu, as I found out when the driver arrived (he was her husband). Undaunted, they had run over to the Kroger in the same shopping centre and bought eggplant to make my eggplant with tofu in garlic sauce. Because it had been a $12 minimum for delivery, I also got spring rolls and kung pao tofu, with the idea that I'd have food for dinner also. But from the time that I initially tried to order to the time I actually got my order, two hours had passed. But I must admit, that eggplant was the best I've ever tasted. Later, I was talking to YKWIA about some errands I needed to run for them, and he asked me to bring food from the same place. I drove over, called in the order, ran into Kroger for a few minutes, and then picked it up. As usual, they were very friendly and the owner was there. I explained the problem earlier. He said that the company that does their website was working on the code glitch and he was very sorry I'd had trouble. I went over to my friends' house and we ate, and of course the food was wonderful. I've eaten there several times and especially in the last year or so, when the new owner took over, it's been great. I've talked to him before at length about how they use very fresh food and have revamped the menu items and recipes. This was the first negative experience I've ever had, and it wasn't a matter of dining, just a coding glitch coupled with a defunct website that Google directed me to. Otherwise I would highly recommend them. They are Jin Jin on Chinoe Road.

YKWIA and I watched the final three episodes of 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil', and while it is sad that there will be no more, it was a fun romp while it lasted. Also, I was satisfied with the ending, which both wrapped things up, yet left room for more episodes.

When I got home I started the bread machine, texted with Brandon awhile, but fell asleep, and just now got up and took the lovely herb bread out. This is the first time I've actually had dill seed like the recipe calls for, and it's wonderful. I think I'm going to bake another loaf for YKWIA and A. Okay, I think I'll do a few things before heading back to bed. Good night. It's been an interesting day, to say the least. But I handled it well, despite being a little hormonal (I listened to the Black Eyed Peas' 'Where is the Love' on the radio while driving into work this morning and spontaneously cried at the lyrics so no particular reason.) :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's supposed to get unseasonably cold tonight

So the herbs, strawberries, and pepper plant are all in the house for the night. The pepper, which isn't pictured, is in the bedroom with several blooms and five little peppers started on it, about a half-inch long (the peppers don't get very big, maybe about 2.5-3 inches, and they're purple bell peppers). The window boxes are on the dining table. The strawberries are already sending out runners and the herbs have already grown, especially the basil, which is probably the most cold-sensitive of the lot as well. So anyway, they're inside and safe from any potential frost.

I just got off the phone with my mom and we made plans for me to visit later in the month. She got the card I sent, despite the fact that I sent it from a mailbox that didn't get picked up on Friday until 3:30 pm and I totally screwed up the zip code (she's recently moved).

I am very tired and sore tonight, the result of all the work I did for so many hours yesterday, plus cleaning a friend's house today, including some things A has been doing for me to keep me from bending over as much. I thought I could do it, and didn't ask for help. He still helped do some things, though. But now I hurt. We didn't play the game, of course. I didn't finish cleaning my house, didn't have the notes finished, and Brenda decided to stay home for Mother's Day instead of coming in and working on characters again. I hope she wasn't too disappointed.

I did take those evening meds last night and will again tonight. I'm cold (just closed the windows a bit ago and it had dropped to a little less than 60 degrees). I think I'm going to curl up in bed for a little while, even though I took a nap earlier. I'm just so tired and achy. Then I'll come out and fold the laundry that wound up dumped on the loveseat last night when I brought it in. I hope I won't have to iron anything.

We did have some fun today. We watched a musical episode of 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil' that was hilarious. I nearly lost it when the slackers outside the school (whom we suspect to be daemons) went into a doo-wop number. It was surreal. Sadly, we have just three more episodes to watch (it was cancelled after the second season). I've really enjoyed watching. It's on Netflix should you wish to catch it. At first it will seem like a lame 80s show, and eventually you'll realised that 1) it's recent and has a wicked sense of humour and 2) Canadian humour is both hilarious and weirder than you even thought. Enjoy.

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty productive but I'm totally ready to crash now. If I don't write later, good night.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I've been cleaning for more than 19 hours

and I do still have a little more to go, but I'm flagging. I keep thinking if I can just get the bed cleaned off and then sleep for about 2-4 hours, I can get up again and start anew, so if I get up at four, I'd have five hours before I need to be over for the game prep. I don't know if I can do this in time after all. All I know is I can hardly see straight, and it's time to try to lie down and get some rest. It'll probably take about a half an hour just to get the stuff off the bed and into boxes I can then work from in the morning. And no, I haven't finished the notes, either.

This is not looking so good right now, despite all I've accomplished today. :( I was so sure I could do it, and I haven't been slacking off. Damn.

Now YKWIA will like these...

I went as Great Cthulhu for Halloween at work a few years ago. Granted, I don't think my co-workers quite got it. The second picture with my arms out was particularly hard to do--the costume was originally a 'giant' and had a peephole at 'chest' height for the costume, but the head was done in crepe paper on a long dowel rod, which I generally held with my hands. I think I balanced it between my chest and chin for the picture. :) Okay, time to get back to work!

Found this when I was looking through pictures today

That's me from nearly 30 years ago, when I was sixteen, my senior picture from high school. :) [YKWIA insists I look like someone we knew in college who was insane in this picture, but I'm posting it anyway. :)]

I think this is going to work!

The bathroom under-sink cabinet and the linen closet in the bathroom are now in good order and clean. The fish tank is working again and taken care of. I've gone through those four boxes and they were almost entirely things from school that could be pitched. I even had a couple of papers from HIGH SCHOOL (I graduated almost thirty years ago), one on Conrad Richter's A Light in the Forest (excellent book), handwritten, and one on the history of computers (up to 1983). :) Of the four copy paper boxes, I kept a small stack of things, about an inch-and-a-half high. That leaves laundry, the bed, and the floors. Yay! Since I want to start the laundry soon, I think I'll put the package for Goodwill (one copy box of light things) in the car and take it at the beginning of the week. I did find just a handful of small things I missed for the electronics recycling, too. However, the end is in sight!

Back on track

Opening the windows and having a bite to eat helped. However, it scares me that it took nearly an hour to take all the trash and recyclables out, plus an old rickety VHS shelf. Granted, I work pretty slowly, but still. There were four bags of trash, six of recyclables (a lot of paper had been in the closet), two shelf boxes, and the shelf. I used my granny cart to get most of it out. While out I saw the postman, and asked him if today was the day they were collecting canned goods for the hungry. It is. I'd put a couple of cans out earlier and he took them with him when he went. Yay! More things out of the house. Some kind soul had given me chicken soup when my ankle was broken, without knowing that I'm a vegetarian (well, really pescetarian, but most people don't know what that means, so it's easier to say I'm a vegetarian who eats fish). So I passed it on to someone who might need it more. I do still need to go through four boxes of paper that came out of the hall closet, but I think that's mostly game stuff, meaning it stays.

Okay, back to work. Next, I think I'll fill the fish tank and plug everything back in, and clean out underneath it.

I will not crash, I will not crash

Things have slowed down around here. My shoulders and the rest of me are aching from all the work I've been doing, but the last hour or so I've been on the loveseat trying to take a nap and not getting any real rest because my CPAP's in the other room, but not feeling peppy, either. But I did manage to get up, and now I'm eating a little something. I'm going to take some Tylenol and take stuff out to the dumpster and recycling containers, but first I'm going to open the windows and get some fresh air in here. Maybe the birds will keep me awake. It's also kind of cool outside, in the low 60s at the most, but sort of stuffy in here.

The #3 song of the week has been stuck in my head for days

#3: 'Stay' by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko:

#2 I really love, but they played a special version advertising Rick Dees' show, which I thought was rather crass. It's 'When I Was Your Man' by Bruno Mars:

We're ready for the #1 song, and it's Pink with Nate Ruess, 'Just Give Me a Reason'...a beautiful song:

All of them are very emotional and have to do with ups and downs of relationships. The funny thing is right after the Rick Dees show, they played the Pink song, so it was played twice. (And CD 106.3 has actual DJs, although I'm not sure about Saturdays). ;)

There was one song that had to have been on the countdown, but I must have missed it when I was at the recycling centre with the car off, Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used to Know':

Brave democracy despite the danger

Pakistani elections hit by bomb attacks: Blasts in Karachi and Peshawar and gun battle in Chaman leave at least 22 dead and scores more wounded
Pakistan's Taliban, who regards the elections as un-Islamic, have focused their violent campaign on secular-leaning parties, such as the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan People's party (PPP) and the ANP.

In response to the threat, the government has deployed an estimated 600,000 security personnel across the country to protect polling stations and voters.

"Yes, there are fears. But what should we do? Either we sit in our house and let the terrorism go on, or we come out of our homes, cast our vote, and bring in a government that can solve this problem of terrorism," Ali Khan, a voter in Peshawar, told the Associated Press.
Good luck to them. Something has to be done, and I hope the people's vote is heard and that peace can come to the region.

It amazes me just how terribly efficient the recycling centre guys are

The only wait I had was that they had to make a copy of the sheet you put your name, address, and initials on. But the unloading, like last time, was incredibly quick. I didn't get anything to eat because I wasn't particularly hungry yet. I'm running the dishes now. I'm going to wait a little while before taking the trash and recyclables out; I've been listening to Rick Dees' countdown of popular music since it began, and we're in the top 5 now. So I'm going to take about a half-hour break since I've been going pretty strong for nearly eight hours, and then take them out, finish in the bathroom, etc., and move on to the rest.

Chugging along

I've gone through the other boxes in the last three hours or so. I had to go ahead and take a break, and I'm at a good stopping point. But I've been on my feet too long, despite doing part of it while sitting down. I still have some stuff on the bed to keep, but I have two big bags full of trash, a box to go to Goodwill, two boxes of electronic recyclables, and a bin and large bag full of regular recyclables. There are a few more books to put up on shelves, but that's it. So now I'm going to do the following: I'm going to run the dishwasher and start working on the bathroom, take out the recyclables, trash, and the evil bag of musty towels in the bathroom closet. Sometime around 10:30 or so I'll take a shower and drive the electronics recyclables over to the centre, since they close at noon, and grab something to eat while I'm out. Then I'll come back and do laundry, straighten up everywhere else, deal with the fish tank, vacuum, finish the stuff on the bed, make the bed, and I'll be finished. I can drop off the stuff to Goodwill, and then do the notes.


to Josh Hanagarne, The World's Strongest Librarian, whom I've followed for a number of years and who now has a book out (entitled The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family), for a write-up in USA Today: Five great books about libraries. I so agree about wanting to visit the library from Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.

Oh, and yes, I just purchased the Kindle version. :)

Up working early, but it's time for a break

I've been up since 4 am working on the house, and it's 5:40 now. In that time I have:
  • Moved books to shelves in the closet.
  • Emptied out the drawers of the antique chest of drawers.
  • Moved herbs to a drawer in the chest of drawers.
  • Moved the bread-making staples like flour that aren't in canisters to those cabinets.
  • Straightened up the cabinet above the stove.
  • Collected various things for the electronic recycling into two boxes.
  • Put away various holiday things.
  • Cleaned out the hall closet.
  • Moved the Rosemoon Guild files to the hall closet.
  • Cleaned out the top of the bedroom closets.
  • Drunk copious amounts of Diet Sunkist already.
Whew! Not bad for an hour and a half, really. The one drawer left to really work on in the chest of drawers will be loose photos, which are all on the bed. I'm gong to put those temporarily there until I can get more albums for the ones I want to keep.

There's still quite a bit to do in the bedroom, maybe three boxes plus the stuff on the bed to find places for or give to Goodwill (I've thrown out or recycled a lot as well. Also, there are four boxes of papers to go through from the hall closet, most of which I suspect will get recycled. Once I get the bedroom and those done, there will be the bathroom sink cabinet and closet, the fish tank, take out the trash and recycling, and then some minor stuff out in the rest of the house and vacuuming. I might pull this off after all. I have 13 hours before I have to let YKWIA if I'm playing in the game or not. Granted, at some point I'll have to go the recycling centre this morning and perhaps Goodwill as well. But still....

Friday, May 10, 2013

An amazing miracle

After 16 Days, a Cry From the Ruins: 'Sir, Please Help Me!'
When the walls crumbled around her into mountains of broken concrete and twisted steel, Reshma Akter Begum fell and fell and fell.

Where one second she had been on the third floor, she now found herself in a basement prayer room that would prove her sanctuary and her salvation.

Over the next 16 days and seven hours in the often sweltering, pitch-black room, three other people she had worked with in the eight-story factory building died one by one.

Finally home

and munching on some string cheese and herb bread for dinner. Today I was off, and it was a very busy day. I:
  1. Went to Kroger to get a product that I needed where the type I've used for years either has latex in it, or I've developed an allergy to something else in it, so I'm trying a different brand.
  2. Renewed some library books.
  3. Did some work on the house for about an hour and a half.
  4. Mailed my mother's day card (not sure if she'll get it in time; pickup wasn't till about 3:30 pm).
  5. Mailed four books (all Robert Jordan) for Paperback Swap.
  6. Mailed a friend's mother's day card and some bills.
  7. Took a couple of friends to the doctor and credit union.
  8. Picked up some medicine at the pharmacy.
  9. Took a wrong turn onto Waller rather than Virginia, turned around in a daycare parking lot, and went through some deep water. I didn't realise how deep until I'd gotten past it.
  10. Ate at Long John Silver's with my friends, their treat.
  11. Made/assisted with four Derby pies.
  12. Unloaded and loaded the dish washer there.
  13. Took care of a medical issue with one of the dogs that someone has to do every few days.
  14. Texted with another friend, who's ill with pinkeye, a double ear infection, and strep throat. I am not coming near him.
  15. Went to Good Foods Co-op. It was an Owner's Discount Day, so I got 10% off my order. Got some fennel and caraway seeds for the herb bread, some yummy yoghurt, vanilla bean for YKWIA, some incense, that sort of thing.
  16. Stopped at a gas station to get some soda for caffeine to keep me awake for cleaning tonight and tomorrow.
Now I'm kind of pooped, but I have stuff to do. Tomorrow is the deadline regarding cleaning the house in order to play in the game. I know this is sounding like a broken record, but I'm not sure I'll make it. We'll see. On the one hand, I'm enjoying getting the house in order and de-hoarding. On the other, I'm so tired of doing it. :( But I do have to, and it's good in the long run to do it. :)

Tomorrow's agenda:
  1. Cords and random electronic stuff (small things, but a good size box of them) to the electronics recycling place on Versailles Road.
  2. A few more things for Goodwill.
  3. Finish the bedroom.
  4. Clean the tub/shower.
  5. Rearrange the bathroom closet and under the sink.
  6. Rearrange under the fish tank.
  7. Fill the fish tank and work on getting more filtration going through. (The power went off yesterday and I couldn't get it pumping again.)
  8. Go through the house and get random things put away.
  9. Do the dishes.
  10. Work on a chest of drawers.
  11. Vacuum.
I think that's enough. Oh, and game notes, assuming I can finish everything else!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hot and tired

A friend cooked dinner tonight, I did what dishes wouldn't go in the dishwasher, and he sent me home with hard-boiled eggs and pumpernickel bread. We had a good time, but I'm tired, so I'm going to bed early and will try to get stuff done on the house tomorrow. I'm off from work, so that should help. I haven't gotten much done on that front this week, so tomorrow and Saturday I plan on working my butt off.

Physical Therapy is going well; we saw John Calipari go by with his wife there. That's the University of Kentucky basketball coach. My foot and ankle were a little uncomfortable today but my back is doing better and I'm off the pain medicine and muscle relaxants.

Work was all about getting stuff ready for my day off; I really had to work hard to get all my data entry sheets in.

Tomorrow I'm taking my friends to the doctor and working on the house. I also need to mail my mom's card for Mother's Day (yes it's a bit late, but she lives 35 miles away, so hopefully it will get there by Saturday), as well as some Robert Jordan books for Paperback Swap. (I never did make it through the series, and kind of tired of them after awhile. The Wheel of Time seemed to spin the same story over and over. But maybe others will enjoy them.) I ordered a book with my credit on how to insult people in Latin. :)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I'm still working on my house

And this morning I got up and put everything on the bedroom floor that had come from the closets onto the bed, so I have to deal with it tonight. I moved some things to the closet, and added a shelving unit in one, got the doors back on track (I hate metal accordion doors, but they're what I have), and worked for awhile on getting things back in order. Now it's almost time to go to work. But I'll be back to work on this. After that, there's some drawers, under the bathroom sink and fish tank, and the closet in the bathroom, plus vacuuming and a little general work. I lost Monday because I went to a friend's celebration, and I didn't, in truth, get much done last night. But I hope the fact that I'll have to deal with it before I can sleep on the bed will help tonight. Also, I found an electric outlet where I didn't realise there was one (I had VHS tapes and books stacked up along that corner), so I moved my little boom box in the bedroom to the other chest of drawers. Yay.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

One last post for for the night

The last two or three nights I haven't been in enough pain to warrant my night meds. That's great news, and my physical therapy went off without much pain, either, so I think I'm getting better. Yay! Tomorrow I may try to go to the Y.

Glenn Beck annoyed me greatly

Which probably isn't surprising. What an ass. You don't have to be Jewish to recognise how wrong this is, posing Michael Bloomberg (who is Jewish) in an armband giving a Nazi salute in a graphic before the NRA national convention.

Jewish groups furious after Glenn Beck depicts Bloomberg doing Nazi salute
Abraham Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and national director of the Anti-Defamation League said that Mr Beck's implication that Mr Bloomberg is turning New York into a Nazi-like state was 'outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive on so many levels.'

'Glenn Beck should know better,' he added. 'He has drawn similar inappropriate analogies to the Holocaust before. We wish he would stop trivializing the history of the Holocaust to score partisan political points.'
and then there was this...

Sharpton And Guests Take On ‘Stunning, Offensive’ ‘Zombie’ Obama Target From NRA Convention
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton went off on Zombie Industries Monday evening for displaying a life-size target that bears a striking resemblance to President Obama at this past weekend’s NRA convention in Houston, Texas. The NRA did eventually ask the company to remove the figure, nicknamed “Rocky,” from its booth, but it is still for sale, for $89.95, on their website.
I don't agree with Al Sharpton a lot, but he was dead right on this--these are racist and offensive target models that look like a sitting president, where people are encouraged to shoot at the target, which spills 'blood' when hit. Would we have a zombie George W Bush, or Abraham Lincoln, for example? No, of course not. Part of the patriotism that I was taught as a child includes respecting the President of the United States (even if you don't agree with the current holder of office). It's not about selling people targets that look like the president in preparation for that armed rebellion that many people on the right seem to think they're going to be part of soon. It scares me that people holding such extremist views happen to also often have guns, and makes me feel less safe as a citizen. It scares me just how many whackadoos are out there who still think Obama is a Muslim, that armed rebellion will be necessary to 'take back the country', etc., etc. Yet everyday the President still manages to actually carry on despite being reviled by these people.


Europeans All Related by Genetic Footprint Dating Back Only 1,000 Years Ago
After centuries of bloody wars and political disputes, new genetic research reveals that Europeans all share a common ancestor that dates back just a mere 1,000 years ago. Even Europeans geographically separated by thousands of miles, such as a Portuguese and a Turk are still related, according to a new study of genome data published today in the journal PLOS Biology.

"What's remarkable about this is how closely everyone is related to each other. On a genealogical level, everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only a thousand years ago," University of California researcher Graham Coop said.


The other day I gave blood, and the phlebotomist was somewhat distressed to find that the largest shirts they had on the Blood Mobile were medium, meaning, of course, that I couldn't wear one. She asked me my size and asked if they could send it to me, and I said that would be fine, but not to worry about it, it was okay. I didn't think much about it, and I didn't really expect her to follow up on it. Today I had a package crammed into my little mailbox, a Kentucky Blood Center T-shirt in 3X. Thank you all. I do appreciate it.

Celebrating a life through books

My Dad And His 10,496 Book Reviews
My Dad had an absolute love of reading, and he instilled that love in me as a child when he gave me some of his favorite books to read, a love that is still burning strong today. Wherever my Dad went, he always made sure to bring a book along with him, so he could sneak in a few pages if he had a chance.

He was an amateur competitive cyclist when I was young, and he was a marathon runner in his final years. It was tough for him to combine reading and his love of exercise, but he managed by having a book rack attached to his stationary bicycle, and he even occasionally attempted to read while he ran on a treadmill.

My Dad was a talented multi-tasked reader, as he would read in his office at work, listen to audio books when he was on the road, and he'd always read a book while he was watching TV. I'm not sure how he did it, but he was always able to read while still paying attention to everything that was on TV, which more often than not would be some type of sport, especially Baseball (Yankees), Football (Pittsburgh Steelers & Penn State Nittany Lions), and College Basketball (Duke). He would read a new book every 1-3 days, and it was usually leaning more towards one book a day.

Around the time we had our first home computer, my Dad started to keep track of all of the books that he read in an Excel Spreadsheet. He kept his spreadsheet up to date for almost twenty years, and he'd accumulated 10,496 books before his death. My Dad rated his books on a 1-10 scale, but his average score floated around 7.5/10, so I think he generally enjoyed most of what he read.

He'd attempted to list books that he'd read before creating the spreadsheet, but he thought that he'd still missed many of them, and assumed that he'd read over 12,000 books throughout his life. He read many different genres of books, but his favorites were always suspense/mystery/thriller novels. He gave 794 books a nine out of ten rating or above, and some of his all-time favorite authors were David Baldacci, Stephen Cannell, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Steve Hamilton, Greg Iles, Dean Koontz, William Kent Krueger, James Patterson, Paul Wilson, and Stuart Woods.
The essay is a testament to a father, bibliophile, and library supporter, Craig Zarzyczny, who died recently of pancreatic cancer. My condonlences to the Zarzyczny family for their loss, and I appreciate his son sharing a bit of his father with the rest of us.
He originally bought most of the books he read, and the attic is still filled with boxes of old books, however for the past 15-20 years he's mostly loaned the books from the library. My Dad loved our local library, the James V Brown Library, where all of the librarians knew his name, and he would leave there with a bag full of books about once a week. For the past year or two, he'd also tried reading ebooks on a Tablet I bought for him for Christmas, and while he loved downloading all of the free indie Kindle books he could get his hands on, he still preferred a good hardcover book.
May you rest in peace, sir.

This must have been the answer to their families' prayers

3 brothers arrested as missing women found in Ohio
Three women who went missing in separate cases about a decade ago were found alive in a residential area of Cleveland on Monday, and police said three brothers were arrested in the case.

Cleveland's police chief says he thinks three women were tied up in the house where they were found and had been there since they disappeared.

A hospital physician said all three are in "fair condition."

Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found earlier in the day.

"This isn't the ending we usually hear to these stories, so we're very happy,'' said Gerald Maloney, an emergency room physician at the Cleveland hospital where all three were being treated.

"They are able to speak with us. Beyond that, I can't go into any further details,'' Maloney said.

Cleveland police released the frantic 911 call Berry made after escaping from the house where she had been living.

"I'm Amanda Berry ... I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here -- I'm free now," she said, her voice distraught and quick, according to an audio recording of the call released Monday night.
A six-year-old was also found. The imagination runs wild, of course, as to what they may have endured, but as Berry put it, they are free now. Best wishes to each of them. Also, according to a story by The Guardian, a man named Charles Ramsey helped Berry escape:

Kudos to him for not turning away from someone in trouble.

Update: Another man also responded to the cries for help, named Angel Cordero--in fact he may actually have been the first to respond. Also Wintel Tejeda let Berry make the 911 call from the Tejeda home. Kudos to them, as well. Also, the three brothers Ariel Castro (the owner of the house and the man identified as the alleged abductor), Pedro Castro, and Onil Castro, all brothers, have been identified and arrested in connexion with the case. The 6-year-old girl, Jocelyn, has been identified by police as the daughter of Amanda Berry. Just as an aside, Ariel Castro was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Ohio as a child. It amazes me how many comments on news stories were by people who seem to have no idea that Puerto Rico is a territory of the US and as a result, he's just as American as I am. Just because a person's Latino does not mean they're illegal or from another country. Nor does his ethnicity have anything to do with being a kidnapper and general monster of a person. Geez.


‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time
In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern, like minute hands rounding clocks, without expending energy or ever winding down. Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Tonight was about

celebrating a milestone in the life of a dear friend of mine. I hope this will be read to him, as he isn't on the Internet, and I'm usually better expressing myself in writing than in person:
I am so proud of what you've accomplished over these past three years, and of the person you've become. Although each day is a struggle, you have gone forward, despite the difficulties. You've worked very hard to achieve this. I think I understand you a little better after tonight's events, and I respect the work you've done. I wish you many more years of success. I'm there to talk to should you need to. You are part of my family. Know that you are loved.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

So terribly pooped--and not from working on my apartment

I just got back from a grocery run with a friend, perhaps the most grueling trip to the store I've ever done. Because he needed 24-packs of soda for an event, we went to the one by my house, which is a Kroger Marketplace. I'm fairly familiar with the store, but the printer wouldn't print out the lists and so I wound up using my phone, as my other friend had e-mailed me the documents (a produce, general, and dairy/freezer list). Our two carts barely could be pushed by the time we were finished. I forgot one item, they were out of two items, and my friend made a mistake and got fat-free creamer, so we need to go by tomorrow at one of the stores. But we were there probably for about two hours, and utterly exhausted by the time we got back. Plus, it's a steady rain outside, so we both got very wet. Now I'm back home and plan to rest for a bit and start working on the house again. But right now, I need to put my feet up and just chill for a bit.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Just realised I

haven't taken any meds today, which may be why I'm not feeling well, and especially why I'm hurting. So even though the bedroom is a landmine field of stuff from the closet, I'm going to move the fan, take my meds, and lie down for an hour or so. I'm recording Doctor Who (that's the third I've missed and will have to catch up on). I'm hoping the rain will let up at some point so I can get the new shelves in from the car and get all the cardboard out. I went and dropped off the donations and got the shelves while I was out.

Getting into a little despair

On the one hand, I have finished going through the two huge boxes in the closet with a fine-toothed comb, even finding a pair of earrings and a pendant I didn't know I still had. I threw away or recycled a lot. And I have a lot of empty boxes to take out to the recycling area. But I also just shot a light in the kitchen (which I can't replace without getting up on a folding chair, so I'm going to leave it and hope I can borrow my friends' step stool tomorrow). Also, I knocked over a somewhat rickety VHS shelf, and sort of lost it, and just went ahead and knocked the rest over, too. The solution to that issue will probably be another one of these folding stackable shelves. But obviously my mood is getting a little frazzled. I'm going to take those boxes out and see if I feel a little better, and call the game master and tell him that no, I don't think I can have it done tonight. It's close, but it's not there yet, unfortunately.

Taking a quick break

I've uncovered about half of the troublesome closet so far. The good news is that the comics and a couple of boxes will just stay there. The bad news is the second shelf would not fit in the same closet as the other; the closet's just barely too narrow. So, I'm going to hang some clothes in half of the other closet and use this one for one shelf, the comic boxes, the files from an organisation I belong to, and anything else that has to go. But I've thrown away nearly a bag full and have a big tub full or recyclables already. I've found more tote bags to donate. I'm emptying out copy paper boxes of stuff. But there are two large boxes (too big for me to move full of just random stuff that used to be in the dresser and chest-of-drawers. That's what I have to get into next. But first I'm going to go give my rent in at the leasing office, which means I need to shower first.

More power to her

To Kill A Mockingbird Author In Copyright Feud
The author of To Kill A Mockingbird is suing her literary agent's son-in-law for allegedly taking advantage of her declining hearing and eyesight to secure the book's copyright.
One of the greatest classics in American literature, widely studies in schools, and a personal favourite of mine, is paying royalties to someone other than the author, who claims to have no memory of signing away her rights to the man who now owns the copyright on her book. Even if she did sign the copyright over to him, we shouldn't allow someone to grab royalties and copyright for themselves by taking advantage of an author's ill health. I'm glad to see that even at her advanced age, she is fighting for her rights to be restored. Atticus would be proud.

It took two hours, but

here we have the wooden shelves put together and loaded back, with everything dusted. Time for a break and some food. Then it will be time to tackle closets.


Just drat.


I just realised that I must switch out the shelves. The wooden ones are almost a foot taller when stacked together than the metal shelves, and will not fit in the closet. I had gone to bed thinking that part had been averted. This does not bode well. I was sitting on the bed drinking some water and comparing the two kinds in the corner by my bed. At least it is 4 am and not much later. Spatial relations was never my forte.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Beginning to rethink

The whole change out of shelves. The metal one is fine where it is: maybe I should put the wooden one in the closet, even though they don't match. It would be less work, and I could always change it later--it doesn't affect the cleanliness of the house. I'm also just too popped to do it.

I was just finishing up library school then...wow

in fact, I went back and took classes on the Web after I graduated, just to keep current.

World Wide Web At 20: 12 Milestones


We found what we were looking for at the store, but one item was broken so I had to go back and exchange it. I mailed the three books for Paperback Swap, stopped by work to pick up the things from my desk (some of my medication was in a locked drawer) and checked about something, went into two different Kroger's, got lunch at McDonald's (not the healthiest, of course, but oh, well), got my rent, but didn't get back in time to give it in to the leasing office, so that will have to be tomorrow, none of which was in the order it happened.

Now I'm home and have quite a bit to do, despite being pretty tired. The plan is to lie down for a 30-45 minute nap and rejuvenate, then tackle the bookshelf stuff. I'm really not that confident at this point that I'll get everything finished by Saturday night.

It occurred to me

that I've been going strong for two hours and haven't actually eaten yet today, so I'm having some cereal. I've gone through the dresser and gotten the Goodwill donation together: five garbage bags full, all filling up my car trunk. I also have a hamper of clothes that weren't suitable for Goodwill and just need, unfortunately, to go to the Dumpster. Next I think I'll shower and get the things to mail together, stop by work, get my rent together, and either go to the post office or to my friend's, depending on my time. I'm supposed to be at his house around noon, and it's 10 now.

Today's agenda:

  1. Stop by work--I need something in my desk for the weekend
  2. Library--return a book (it was due yesterday; if I drop it off before they open at 9:30, I won't incur a fine)
  3. Post Office--Paperback Swap books
  4. Bank--rent
  5. Leasing office--rent
  6. Stores--shopping with friend
  7. Fold bedclothes, put away
  8. Gather reusable tote bags
  9. Go through dresser drawers; weed clothes
  10. Gather up additional things for Goodwill; load into car
  11. Take books off metal shelf in bedroom; move to closet>
  12. Set up new shelf in bedroom, put books on it
  13. Make bed
  14. Clean bath tub/shower
  15. Goodwill--donation
  16. Finishing touches to left closet in bedroom
  17. Closet in bathroom; organise and clean
  18. Take out bag of old towels that got ruined during time off when the bathroom flooded. Twice.
  19. Go through papers from left closet in bedroom and hall closet.
  20. Take recyclables and trash out.
  1. Tackle right closet in bedroom. Throw away as much as possible. Transfer some to left closet shelves. Try to get it so clothes will go in it.
  2. Dust.
  3. Vacuum carpets and mop linoleum floors.
  4. Go through and check for any small things still on shelves, etc.
  5. Throw away things that can go from the walk-in closet (just a few things).
  6. Organise the area under the fish tank.
  7. Organise the area under the bathroom sink.
  8. Do the game notes.

3:58 am

I guess the question now is whether I get up and work on an ankle that, while still hurting some, is vastly improved now that I've had it elevated for several hours, thereby avoiding losing any more time (I have to get this house cleaning finished by Saturday), but which also puts me in some sort of bizarre schedule (shifting it by four hours earlier), or if I should at least go back to bed till, say, 6 am and work like the dickens. I'm not quite rested ( I've had about five and a half hours of sleep). But I am worried I won't finish in time. Plus I still have to do the game notes. On the other hand, I offered to do an errand tomorrow, and have a few of my own (shoes, post office, bank, leading office). I shouldn't be driving around on little sleep. I suppose I could just hope the adrenaline keeps me up Friday night. :) I like the motivation that this is giving me, but I'm feeling the pressure now. I don't want to miss another Cthulhu game.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

See what I mean?

Ouch, I say! And that's after more ice! Granted, it's not as bad as when I actually broke it, but you kind of expect it to settle down after six months. But, I've been told it's strong and that true healing can take at least a year. I think I'll focus on doing a few things here that I can sit down for.

PS: The dark spot on my toenail is from where the car ran over my foot. It was originally in the centre of the nail. Oddly enough, that toe did not break. Rather, I had breaks in the second and third metatarsals (which we allowed to heal naturally), and a fracture of the medial malleolus, which required an open reduction and internal fixation, in which two screws were placed in my ankle at the fracture to stabilise it. I think that latter happened as the car itself (which had my foot trapped under its wheel) hit into my leg. All in all, despite everything, I came out very lucky, for getting hit by a car.


So the only way to be somewhat comfortable is to place my entire lower leg on a pillow so it's elevated, with ice on my knee (the ankle got iced earlier at PT). Not sure what I did to really aggravate it. I think tomorrow I'm going to look for some shoes. I have a pair of fake Birkenstock sandals that are very comfortable and don't seem to aggravate and swell my foot, but they are worn to nothing in terms of tread and just normal wear and tear. My Easy Spirits are adjustable, but seem to still constrict too much. Even my New Balances, which aren't sandals, still have issues as my feet swell. :(

Happy Plants

I did get the herbs planted. Each box has a strawberry on each end. One has sage and oregano (pictured), one has thyme and rosemary, and one has dill and basil.

I've been up since 3:30 this morning, have done four loads of laundry, have worked a full day, had physical therapy, and my ankle is swollen to the size of a grapefruit because I've been on it much of the day, a lot of getting up and down. I am very tired. The danger, of course, is that I will fall asleep rather than work on the house. I'm going to take my contacts out and put my foot up for awhile, but I'm going to try not to fall asleep, maybe listen to peppy music or something. Wish me luck!

I was going to put on some music

as despite a slow start [I got distracted by keyboard trays on Amazon], I have the laundry going. But then when I returned to the apartment, a lovely robin started singing, and I can hear him through the open window. Very nice.

The first of the books I mailed out for a requester through Paperback Swap has reached it's destination, so I had a credit to use. While I was waiting for the washers to finish, I went on there and found a book by Andre Norton (an author I like quite a bit and I have several of her books) called Merlin's Mirror. I think I may have read it when I was a teenager, but I don't remember. It's set in Arthurian times, although I gather there's a science fiction component rather than straight-up fantasy involved. I also put a book a friend is looking for on my wish list, as well as the book Not in Front of the Servants, by Frank Dawes. I'm pretty far down on the list for the first, but it's worth a try.

I also took the shelving packaging out and put it with the recycling containers (they're too big to go inside). It's very pleasant outside. Few of my neighbours are up. At first there were a couple of bedroom lights on, then a few living room ones. I've never been one of those people who slowly wakes up and stays in bed reading or otherwise waking up. I've known several who do that. [One, a lady I worked with at the gas station, had a shooting in an apartment next to hers, and a bullet went through her wall and into her bedroom, right where she would normally be sitting up in bed in the morning. Fortunately the timing was off, and she wan't doing that for some reason that day, had to get up at a different time. But it was a bit scary. It was a tenant who shot and killed an on-site maintenance man at the complex. She was quite rattled.]

When it gets lighter, I may go ahead and fix up the window boxes and do some planting. But for now I think I'm going to prop my feet up and wait for the dryers. I felt like I was taking life and limb into my own hands in navigating the laundry room, which apparently had those wet floor signs up because one or more of the washers I used leaked water all over the place. I was in old sandals with no tread, and do not really want to break another bone anytime soon. I got a bit of blanket in the water as I was putting them into the dryer. Hopefully that shouldn't be an issue, but I'll have to be very careful when I go back, both in terms of walking (in different shoes this time) and not getting the dry clothes in the puddle that is right under two of the dryers. Grrr....

Well, I feel better able to face laundry now

I got up at 3:30 am and have done some small tasks, including putting the bedding into a laundry bag and getting the other two out of the hamper frame. I have at least four loads, counting a comforter in the trunk of the car that never got properly clean after a friend's puppy barfed all over it.

A different friend asked to use my computer (the desktop) on a regular basis, and I don't mind that at all and actually it will give us a better chance to see each other, but it occurs to me that I have basically set up my computer just for me. The workstation is against the wall, when it really should be catty-cornered to work well with the bookshelf that comes very close to it. I have a keyboard that is too tall for my regular tray. My mouse is on the left and set as left-handed. If I try to put it on the right, I'm not sure he'll have enough room to type on the keyboard, short of putting the keyboard on the actual table and not on the tray. And there's no chance of getting a deeper tray put onto this desk.

We'll try it out and see if he can comfortably use the computer. If now, I do have a solution, although it's one I don't relish. I'd need to turn the computer desk catty-cornered, of course. To do that would mean taking down two shelves of books that span between the entertainment centre and the desk hutch. I could then move the desk, put the shelves back up, and re-shelve. It would be a lot of work, and we'll save it until after the current cleaning frenzy. It would make the computer more user friendly for both of us, actually, and somewhere in the closet I have a triangular piece that joins my printer table to the desk that would work that way and provide better stability on that front. But we'll see how cramped he is in my little computer space, first.