Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, August 31, 2015

This makes me so happy!

Supreme Court denies Rowan clerk's emergency petition over issuing marriage licenses


First World problems

I'm beginning to think there is something wrong with my air conditioning.  Usually my thermometer reads two or so degrees less than whatever I have it set on. I got home an hour ago, and it's been running constantly on auto/cool. It's set on 75 degrees. It is almost 79 in here. I'll keep an eye on it; the next three days are supposed to be hotter than today. In the meantime I got some ice water,  changed into shorts and a tank top,  and put my beside fan on the middle setting rather than the lowest.

UPDATE: I think it ran all night and was actually warmer this morning!

Sunday, August 30, 2015


The Rolling Stones, 'Paint It, Black'

And this...

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger, 'The Ballad of Accounting'

Listening to:

'Castle of Glass' by Linkin Park

Today we didn't have a Cthulhu game

So I slept in till 10 am (which was great, as I was up late last night baking bread). I took my laundry over to my friends' house as well as three trash bags of clothes to donate through Cedar Lake (they normally donate there, and they'll come pick it up at their house, and they can leave them on the front porch, as opposed to me, who cannot put anything in my apartment building hallway). I did my laundry, did the normal chores I do over there (although A did the sweeping and mopping--he offered yesterday if I would wash the dishes). YKWIA and I watched an episode of 'Lost Girl'. I had the Fae pegged in that one, immediately recognising a Nightmare and figuring out the other was a Sandman. What can I say, I've had a lifelong interest in folklore, so I usually figure out what each person is; the only one I had trouble with was Hale, who is a Siren, and that's mainly because most Sirens in folklore are female. It's a really interesting show. The story is about a woman, named Bo, who is a Succubus, meaning she feeds on sexual energy. She has a roommate, Kenzie, who is human. She was adopted out in the Midwest and doesn't know who her real parents are, and has been on the run for ten years because when she feeds, she kills her lovers. She discovers she is a Fae, a supernatural creature who is basically immortal (but can be killed), and the Fae have an entire society unknown to humans. Fae feed off humans in some way, whether it's their dreams, their lifeforce, their bodies--they include Werewolves, Vampires, Brownies, Red Caps--all sorts of supernatural beings. Like the Fae of legend, there are Light Fae and Dark Fae--you choose one when you come of age, and Bo is forced to go through a ceremony where they expect you to choose, and instead stays unaligned and a protector of humans. It's a Canadian show with a lot of complexity. I'm really enjoying it.

Now I'm home. I've felt pretty decent today, much better in fact, but I wanted a little time to myself these evening. I'm not quite sure what's on the agenda; I think I'll wing it.

Sad news from Broadway

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who was the youngest and first black actor to portray Jean Valjean in Les Misérables on Broadway, has died after a fall from a fire escape at the age of 21.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Broadway's first black Jean Valjean, dies after fall
Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who made history as the first African-American to play the lead role in a Broadway production of "Les Miserables," died Friday night in New York.

Marc Thibodeau, a spokesman for the production, said Saturday that Jean-Baptiste fell from a fire escape.

"The entire Les Miserables family is shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle, a remarkable young talent and tremendous person who made magic -- and history -- in his Broadway debut," the production said in a statement. "We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time."
Here he is on his first performance this summer, singing 'Bring Him Home':

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I've been doing some things around the house

I discovered that it was a bad thing to have gotten Lysol toilet bowl cleaner with bleach,  because it took my breath away and caused some problems.  Sometimes I forget I have sensitivities to cleaning products,  especially those with bleach. I used to have a horrible time going down the cleaning aisle of the grocery,  although that's been better of late.  I usually use natural cleaners in the bathroom,  and whenever possible.

I'm also making bread.  I can't for the life of me seem to find the recipe booklet that came with my bread machine,  but fortunately I have a book called Electric Bread that covers the basics and has some good recipes.  Tonight's is Sun Crunch,  which has sunflower seeds,  honey,  and both white and wheat bread flour.

Okay,  it's about an hour and a half till bread time. Time to get some rest.

I've felt off lately

and YKWIA has noticed it too. I'm wondering if it's the Strattera I started a couple of weeks ago for attention-deficit disorder. I've been on it before, several years ago, without problem, but my mood has been somewhat depressed and blah of late. I don't know if it's my normal mood fluctuations, or if it is the medicine. I'll give it a little more time to see. I go back to my doctor in early September, and I haven't quite reached the therapeutic level yet in terms of ramping up the dose slowly. I'm close, but not there yet. So far I haven't really seen any really beneficial effects, but I'm not at the full 80 mg yet, either, of course.

Despite feeling off, I had a good day. We went out to Masala, the Indian restaurant for the buffet, and my friends picked up my meal, along with a scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream (pumpkin cheesecake) afterwards. Then we went to Barnes & Noble, which is in Hamburg (Masala is in Beaumont, so on opposite sides of town). I stayed in the car during that (my back was still bothering me, and the seat in the car is comfortable. Plus, I find it somewhat painful to go into bookstores when I have no money to spend). :) I accidentally left the ignition on accessory, and didn't notice because I'd turned the radio off, and the battery almost didn't start, so that was a little worrisome--but it did, on the third try, and I drove enough to get the battery back up to speed over the rest of the day. After Barnes & Noble, we went to Lowe's there in Hamburg (I had not been in that one before). After I took my friends home, A and I went and did the grocery run. After that, YKWIA and I watched an episode of 'Lost Girl' (we're in the second season, now). During that, Brenda called. Her son is getting married next month and she had forgotten that the second bridal shower was tomorrow, so she'll be going to that instead of the game. This put me off the hook for having the game notes finished by tomorrow, and it also means I can go over a little later in the day. Yay!

I've been home for awhile and have been working on revising a document with my characters' pictures in it (mostly actors and actresses that YKWIA or I thought would match them well). I put it into a format his version of Word (XP) will read--he has no desire to upgrade to one with tabs and a ribbon, so the one he had from school still suffices for him. Here are the people that were picked:
  • Zooey Deschanel
  • Emilie de Ravin
  • Lisa Edelstein
  • Melina Kanakaredes
  • Dana Delany
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Morena Baccarin
  • Max Greenfield
  • Kristanna Loken
There is one character that I cannot find a photograph for, but I found a very representative drawing that worked. She was originally modelled somewhat after Gillian Anderson, but had a couple of physical transformations that made her hair white, her eyes green, but otherwise she looks like an ancient Aegyptian. That's hard to find. :) But I found a portrait of a woman who looked right who had a headdress on so you couldn't see the colour of her hair. Oh, did I mention she is both a doctor and a necromancer? Oddly enough, we have another one of those, a male non-player character that started out as a player character (until she left). He is married to the latest of my characters, the one who looks like Kristanna Loken.

Anyway, I sent that on to him. I'll print out the newer pictures (I did some revisions, based on his input) and affix them to my character sheets. So that's been a fun couple of hours.

I think I'll do some reading now. I'm wanting to watch 'Galaxy Quest', but I don't feel like going out to the living room, and the little DVD player I have is out there, so it's either hook it up here to my ancient (circa 1990) TV, or take the fan, with its wonderful breeze, out there. :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Just now lying down

I've been updating the computers and restoring Dropbox to the laptop (somehow one of the important files disappeared,  and it wouldn't open), plus doing some things around here.  I think I may start some bread in a little while.  I have gluten now,  so I am hoping to make a whole wheat loaf. But for now,  I'm stretching my back as much as I can.  :)

This is so sad

Young black man jailed since April for alleged $5 theft found dead in cell: Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, had been held in Virginia jail without bail for nearly four months, accused of stealing a Mountain Dew, Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake
But the hospital said it had no vacancy and the 24-year-old was therefore detained in jail until his death on 19 August, according to Adams, Mitchell’s aunt, who said she had tried to assist the hospitalisation process herself but was left frustrated.

“He was just deteriorating so fast,” she said. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.”

When asked which state agency was ultimately responsible for ensuring Mitchell was transferred to the hospital, the court clerk said: “It’s hard to tell who’s responsible for it.”

Officials from the court, the police department and the jail could not explain why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail.
The young man, who reportedly had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, apparently starved himself to death and refused to take his medication. But the system failed Jamycheal Mitchell terribly, and this is another example of how those with mental illness wind up warehoused in jails rather than receiving help in hospitals, and how easy it is for someone to fall through the cracks in the system.

I am glad I stopped by the library

after getting my allergy shots, as I had about a dozen books to take back, and they had a book in the new section that I've really wanted to read, but haven't been able to buy yet. It's called Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pamela Smith Hill. I always loved the Little House... books by Wilder and also the television series, so I was happy to check it out. The checkout system was a little different this time; they've upgraded the screens and software for the self-checkout. I liked it, once I got used to the different setup (I continued when I should have scanned the book; fortunately it let me go back).

Once I got home, I immediately watered the plants inside and out, which were looking a bit peaked. Speaking of water, there is a large hole in our parking lot with caution stuff all over it that I presume has to do with the water pipes, because I received a notice that our water will be turned off between 10 am and 3 pm on Monday, which is fine with me--I'm at work. But for the night shift folks and others who are home for the day, that's going to be an annoyance.

Work today was very satisfying. I ordered 20 books for the library, about 10 for the family resource centre, and a bunch of children's books for the early literacy project. I'm glad I didn't have any trouble with the ordering software, which runs through Internet Explorer. I had to have them upgrade to IE10 yesterday because I couldn't run any search, even simple ones, in PubMed on IE8, and they said it could cause an issue with our purchasing system (hence why most people are on an old, old version of the browser), but everything went through alright. After lunch I got through all my sheets, OR charge reconciliation, and got the referral queue down before the report comes out on Monday. On Tuesday I have a couple of reports due regarding grant programmes, so I'll be very busy on Monday, finishing that up. :) On Thursday there's my ergonomic assessment, where they'll check out my desk and work area for problems that may be causing or contributing to some of my issues.

I don't have a lot planned this weekend, but we are going out to the Indian buffet at Masala in Beaumont tomorrow. Then there will be the store, and working on the game notes (although I may try to do the latter at least partly tonight). Sunday is the game. We're on a new adventure set in 16th-century Spain.

I also want to do some reading tonight. I'm reading a book right now that is pretty interesting, on how our mindsets affect learning and success. My counselor had suggested it, and I finally got a hold of the book from the library. Then the other day I found out I had a credit from Amazon regarding the e-book class action suit, and used it to get the book on my Kindle, as I suspect I may want to refer back to it again. It's by a psychologist named Carol Dweck, and is called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I'm finding it very insightful regarding my own mindset and life.

Okay, my back is hurting somewhat, so rather than taking some ibuprofen, I'm going to try to stretch out on the bed for just a little bit (without going to sleep). That often helps.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


My friends bought me Kung Pao Kachi (pronounced 'kung pow kwachee'),  a spicy soy chicken dish,  in exchange for my going to Jin-Jin for all of us.  It was very good.  I normally have Kung Pao with tofu. Kachi does really taste like chicken,  or at least what I remember chicken tasting like.


I am so sick of this. If you can't do your job, and uphold your oath, by all means vacate your office--but not by just closing shop and leaving the building. You're free to practise your faith, but apparently can't do your job, so resign already. You're on the wrong side of history, and you're making a spectacle of your office in a state where taxpayers are paying several million dollars for fighting the losing battle against same-sex marriage.

Clerk Who Refuses To Issue Marriage Licenses Reopens Office
A Kentucky county clerk temporarily closed her office Thursday, hours after denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.

A note taped to the doors of Davis' office said: "sorry our office is closed for computer upgrades. ETA 1 hour."

Davis and an entourage of deputy clerks walked out of the office and drove away. She declined to comment.

This, I thought, was very compelling

Mental illness and guns do not mix. We should be doing more as a country, both in treating and supporting the mentally ill, and reducing their access to guns.

A look years of life lost around the world

Interesting on several levels

Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children's genes: New finding is clear example in humans of the theory of epigenetic inheritance: the idea that environmental factors can affect the genes of your children
Genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one person’s life experience can affect subsequent generations.

The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda stems from the genetic study of 32 Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second world war.

They also analysed the genes of their children, who are known to have increased likelihood of stress disorders, and compared the results with Jewish families who were living outside of Europe during the war. “The gene changes in the children could only be attributed to Holocaust exposure in the parents,” said Yehuda.

Her team’s work is the clearest example in humans of the transmission of trauma to a child via what is called “epigenetic inheritance” - the idea that environmental influences such as smoking, diet and stress can affect the genes of your children and possibly even grandchildren.
I may request this through interlibrary loan, assuming I can begin to understand it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I know when the meeting in Chicago is going to be.  There's no symposium this time,  just an afternoon meeting,  so I don't know if we'll be going up and down in the same day or stay overnight and go home the next day. We'll see.  Okay,  good night (for real,  this time).

This made YKWIA happy

It was a small present,  not very expensive,  but he loved it.  He saw one years ago and wanted one.  Now it's hanging upside down from his desk lamp.  I'm happy he liked it so much. :) Yay for being able to find one online.

I had planned

To spend a quiet night at home tonight,  but instead went to get some medicine for a friend,  took another to get a bus pass,  and then watched some 'Castle'  with them and  had pancakes while I watched the season one finale of 'Lost Girl' with one of them. So I actually had a really good time,  better than I would have had at home,  despite my grumbling at the time.  Tomorrow I plan on having my alone time instead. I also plan on getting up early to get some things done here before work.  So I'm going to head on to bed. Good night.

Listening to: Evanescence,  'Everybody's Fool'

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tired and hurting and hot

Today I did a lot of pulling specific sheets for the last 90 days out of my files,  which are organised by date and then last name,  so essentially I had to go through each sheet for the last three months and pull out and copy what was needed.  That took about two and a half hours,  and my wrists and hands were really hurting by the time I got off work.

I went over to my friends' house and watched some 'Will &  Grace'  and three episodes of 'Spooksville',  which is a fun little show, and I swear it sounds just like Arkham,  Massachusetts in our Call of Cthulhu game,  with eccentric townsfolk and supernatural happenings. And the town librarian is one of the oddest. 

After that I finished my chores from the other day,  sweeping, mopping,  and dusting.  YKWIA had fallen asleep,  while A was watching 'Castle'.  He saw me out and I came on home,  with no deer this time.  Now I'm lying in bed in front of the fan,  and I may just go on to bed.  That means putting on my night wrist splints,  which are helping (along with the day ones at work).  I asked our occupational therapy folks to do an ergonomic assessment of my workstation,  so hopefully they'll do that soon.

Okay,  I guess this is good night.  Hope your week is going well.

Monday, August 24, 2015


What Classic Novel Describes Your Life?
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird: Selfless and Morally Sound, your story unfolds within the heartbreakingly honest pages of Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Tried, true, and honest - yours is a life of helping others. Intolerance and bigotry infuriate you, and you have a very hard time understanding how anyone could think in such a manner. You are driven to do good by others, not only because it's right - but because that's simply who you are.

A complex look at the Hugo Awards, and what they've become

Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters
SINCE 1953, TO be nominated for a Hugo Award, among the highest honors in science fiction and fantasy writing, has been a dream come true for authors who love time travel, extraterrestrials and tales of the imagined future. Past winners of the rocket-shaped trophy—nominated and voted on by fans—include people like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and Robert A. Heinlein. In other words: the Gods of the genre.

But in recent years, as sci-fi has expanded to include storytellers who are women, gays and lesbians, and people of color, the Hugos have changed, too. At the presentation each August, the Gods with the rockets in their hands have been joined by Goddesses and those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships.

Early this year, that shift sparked a backlash: a campaign, organized by three white, male authors, that resulted in a final Hugo ballot dominated by mostly white, mostly male nominees. While the leaders of this two-pronged movement—one faction calls itself the Sad Puppies and the other the Rabid Puppies—broke no rules, many sci-fi writers and fans felt they had played dirty, taking advantage of a loophole in an arcane voting process that enables a relatively few number of voters to dominate. Motivated by Puppygate, meanwhile, a record 11,300-plus people bought memberships to the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington, where the Hugo winners were announced Saturday night.
Nice to see George R. R. Martin was one of the voices of reason.

Two young deer

just bounded in front of me as I turned from Man O'War Blvd. onto Beaver Creek, right where that church is on the corner. I managed to stop, as I had a clear view of the church grounds and of them coming, although it did surprise me; another woman almost hit one. Then they just went right down the sidewalk, bounding along one of the courts that goes off of Beaver Creek opposite of the church. It was kind of thrilling, given that I've never seen deer around here, despite the reservoir being nearby. I saw deer out at Eastern State Hospital when I was teaching, one evening after class, but that's out by UK's Coldstream Farm. Before that, I'd never seen deer in the city of Lexington. We are outside of Man O' War, but are by no means on the outskirts of town, really.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The other day

I found out that I will most likely be going back to Chicago sometime this fall--November or early December--rather than next spring. This is the last fiscal year of the contract that has the University of Illinois at Chicago as the base of the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. I serve as state representative for Kentucky for the Regional Advisory Council, and afterwards I will ask my library association if they want to appoint another representative. It's been a good five years (well, except that year my trip was cancelled because I got hit by a car), and at least I managed to stay an extra day and have some fun this spring. This time it'll just be going up and coming down; I don't have the wherewithal to stay over. But at least I know where my Ventra (mass transit) card is. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

There is nothing quite like

opening a can of peas and discovering you accidentally got the 'no salt added' variety.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I'm glad I went into the kitchen just now

I'd just gotten home, had taken the trash out (of course I didn't have time this morning), and had started the dishwasher. Remember those things I'd set to soak last night? They were in the right-hand sink, the one with the garbage disposal, because that's the only one I can truly seal. Which, of course, it was sealed, and then the dishwasher sent water that way and it was coming through the overflow thing on the top of the sink. I managed to unseal the sink (it takes a pair of pliers to get the plastic stopper out) and let it drain. I could have easily overflowed the sink and had water everywhere.

It's been that kind of day. I went to Rite-Aid on Richmond Road here in Lexington right after work today, running in to get two things--a night brace for my left hand, and a sharps container for home, since the last time I'd stopped by for one, they'd only had one in the store, and I use that at work. Now, in every pharmacy I've been to, including that one, the sharps containers are kept behind the pharmacy counter, so I got in line after selecting a brace (sadly, it does not match the other one, and it was the only one of its type, but I'll live), and then the lady in front of me asked about some over the counter medicine and the woman behind the counter came out to help her with that. There were two other people working, one running the drive through, and one answering the phone and presumably filling prescriptions, and at no point did either of them come to help me except finally, after about ten minutes, when the lady went off to look for something else and a guy grabbed the girl from the counter for help before she could return, finally, the older man who'd been filling prescriptions offered to help. I asked for a sharps container. He came out, went around the corner to a shelf I couldn't see, and pulled one off the shelf, then threw it onto the counter and went back to answering phones, not ringing me up at all. I took my stuff to the front of the store and waited again, behind about three people. The woman at the counter was nice, and it certainly wasn't her fault that her co-worker was totally rude, but when she asked if I wanted to use my wellness card, I told her no, that I wasn't sure I'd be coming back at all, and told her why. She apologised, of course, and I said, it's not your fault, I'm just really unhappy with the service at the pharmacy counter, and I left. I got to my car and was shaking so hard I started to cry. Now, as YKWIA has already pointed out, I did the passive Southern good girl thing. He would have made a scene, but he would have gotten results. I should have demanded service, and if not given, should have talked to the manager (or at the very least asked to talk to the manager after it was all over). But I didn't--I waited as patiently as possible and got trampled into the dirt. Isn't that how the line from Camelot goes--the meek inherit the dirt? Anyway, I won't draw a line in the sand and absolutely say I would never darken their door again, but I must say, I'm disinclined to go back. I'm glad the pharmacy I go to for my meds (but which doesn't have braces and doesn't always have sharps containers) is much friendlier. I suppose I'm spoiled by their service. I certainly would not consider switching my meds over to Rite Aid given the lack of service I experienced. No sense in giving them a fairly lucrative account, seeing as I take more medications than I can count on my fingers. I'll stick with my small, independent pharmacy, with great service and who, even on a bad day, go out of their way to help me. That pharmacy, by the way, is Corner Pharmacy on Alexandria Drive. They may be across town from me and they aren't open 24/7, but they're also not corporate drones.

That was a nice burst of energy

I didn't read after all.
  1. Started the bread going. I'm making an herbal bread tonight.
  2. Put the trash in a cart to be taken out at first light (the one from the refrigerator is heavy, but it doesn't matter how light a normal kitchen-size trash bag is, I usually get back pain from carrying it out, hence the granny cart). I also got the trash out of the bathroom and straightened that up a bit.
  3. Unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher.
  4. Loaded it with dirty dishes.
  5. Washed everything that isn't dishwasher safe.
  6. Left a few things to soak like a jar I'm trying to get the label off of, a spatula that egg was not coming off of, and some glasses that have been through the dishwasher but aren't quite clean.
  7. Wiped down the counters and stove.
  8. Filled up the oats, sugar, and salt jars and found a place for them, rearranging the shelves in the kitchen slightly.
  9. Mopped.
The bread has about an hour to go. I couldn't find my measuring spoon that came with the bread maker at the time, and the regular measuring spoons were at the bottom of the sink when I put the bread ingredients together, so I had to guestimate amounts, but hopefully it will come out fine. The yeast is the most crucial component and mine goes into a separate container on the top of the machine, ready to be mixed in at the appropriate time, so I'm pretty sure I was close to two tablespoons, as I'm used to seeing the level in the little bin. We'll see.

I think I could try to go to sleep again. Wish me luck.

I'm up and can't sleep

I feel all wound up for some reason, after falling asleep about 8:30 and sleeping till 11 something, and now it's almost 1:30 am and it's a no go. If I sit here and play on the Internet, I'll probably just keep being awake. I think I'll read for awhile. That usually makes me sleepy. The idea was to get up at 4:30 this morning and do some things around the house, and bake some bread. Maybe I'll do that now instead.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We need more of these programmes

Suspension Is Not the Answer: Investing in Students' Mental Health Yields Academic Gains
Unfortunately, "support structures" and "second chances" are severely lacking for many in America today, particularly in minority and low-income communities. The United States has the most prisoners of any developed country in the world, both in terms of raw numbers and by percentage of the population. More citizens are behind bars in the US than in Russia, Mexico, Iran, India and China.

Who makes up America's prison population? Often inmates are adults who endured terrible violence and trauma as children, such as witnessing a parent's murder. A study by The Sentencing Project found that juveniles who received sentences of life in prison reported witnessing violence in their homes 79% of the time, and more than half (54.1%) witnessed weekly violence in their neighborhoods.

Children who are exposed to violence tend to suffer from a range of psychological issues, and often have "difficulties with attachment, regressive behavior, anxiety and depression and conduct problems." Without mental health support services, few are able to cope with the emotional stress in a productive manner on their own. Confused, angry or scared, a student's cries for help are commonly first expressed by acting out in school.

Regrettably, a school's frequent response to a student's "misbehavior" is ineffectual: just when the young person needs support and professional help the most, they are suspended, kicked back to the streets alone and vulnerable. According to the US Department of Education, the number of students who receive some form of academic suspension in America each year could fill 45 Super Bowl stadiums.

Waiting to eat dinner

I take a medicine that requires me to wait fifteen to forty-five minutes before eating breakfast and dinner. The nice thing is that I was able to get groceries today and some essentials like deodorant and shampoo, which were running out. There wasn't much left in the pantry, except some popcorn and a big can of pasta sauce. :) I got some fruit and salad makings, too, so that should be good. I ate a very intensive vegetable-laden meal today after almost two weeks of peanut butter and bread, and my system totally balked. But hopefully it will do alright from now on. I was able to get some yeast and vital wheat gluten (the latter is for making whole wheat bread fluffier), salt, sugar, honey, oats--all the things I've been making bread from. I'm going to continue that as a way to save money. While I did eat at the work cafeteria today, I'm going to start doing that less and bring my lunches. I don't have much leeway with my bills, and I will still be behind, but I decided food and gas could not be skipped, and just tried to save wherever possible. I did get 50 cents off a gallon of gas at Kroger, so even though I was on my gas light again, it took $31 to fill the car. Yay!

Oops, I did mean to stop by the pharmacy and see if they had any left-handed braces I could wear at night. I have a right-handed one, and I used it last night, and it felt much better than the left upon waking. I woke up in the middle of the night with my left hand clenched in a fist; that can't be helping. I may go out again later, or try tomorrow. At least that's something I can get with my flexible spending card, I think.

Today was a catch-up day at work, since I was off yesterday, but I got all of Tuesday's and Wednesday's charges in and really worked my referral queue. Tomorrow I'll work on catching up on some other things. I also need to place a book order for the library before the end of the month and also one for our early literacy project. So perhaps that can be done tomorrow.

It's very pleasant outside today, sunny and cooler. After I eat I need to pay some bills and do some things around here, including taking the trash out that I just made from cleaning out the refrigerator to put new stuff in. I had to look up whether to put an uncut watermelon into the fridge or not (they keep better outside, so long as it's fairly cool). I found one that wasn't huge for a reasonable price. I must say my excursion to the Chinoe Kroger was very nice. They've been remodeling, and I think they're mostly finished--the carts were inside and they had real doors again. :) I love it because it's smaller than the one I live near, and go out of my way to stop by when I need anything.

Okay, I'm going to eat now and look at the news, something I've avoided doing all day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

You've got to love it when this happens

Today I was off from work

I had a nerve-wracking drive across town early this morning to see my psychiatrist, and the gas light was on the whole way (it had gone off yesterday, but then it came back on this morning). I hadn't been able to get in touch with the my friends the day before to ask if they could help me out, so I just went over on a wing and a prayer. The doctor (finally) got the notes from my psychological testing and gave me a sample package of Strattera, a medication I'd been on before for my Attention-Deficit Disorder. Before though, I don't think we went as far up in the dosage as this will be eventually. My experience before was that Adderall seemed to have more effect, but it also may have made my heart race a few times, so he thought the Strattera would be safer. Also, it works through the day and night, as opposed to the others, plus, it's not a controlled substance, so I don't have to pee in a cup monthly to be sure I'm not abusing or selling my meds. So, we'll try it and see. I see him in a month for my other refills.

I went over to my friends' house afterwards, again, just praying I wouldn't run out of gas. A had called right before my meeting with the doctor, and I'd explained the situation. We visited for awhile and then about 1 pm I went and got gas, and then I took them to run an important errand. Then I dropped YKWIA off at their house and took A with me to my orthopaedic appointment, as he had a nearby doctor's appointment himself in a little over an hour after mine. It took awhile to be seen--I thought we were going to be late to his appointment. The EMG shows carpal tunnel, but very mild, so while it could be causing my symptoms, it could also be arthritis, which I definitely have in my thumbs. The doctor suggested giving me cortisone shots in my wrists to see if it got better; if it does, it very well could be carpal tunnel, although it's rare that it would come back. If not, it may be the arthritis and the fact that my ulna (the smaller long bone in the lower arm) is congenitally short on both sides. And my left wrist has been broken at some point in my life, unbeknownst to me, so that's an interesting tidbit I didn't know before going about the pain in my hands. Then he had me talk things over with an occupational therapist on exercises that could help and things I should do at work. I'm going to have the occupational therapy department at work do an ergonomic study of my desk setup. He said the fact I had a drawer that went under the desk may be a problem, depending on the height of my chair, as it tends to make the wrists extend up. He also thought I should brace my wrists loosely at night to keep them from flexing one way or the other. So basically they're treating it like carpal tunnel in the hopes it won't get worse. The cortisone shots hurt a bit but not nearly as much as I expected, and the syringe and needle weren't terribly intimidating. He did it quickly and it wasn't too bad, actually.

After my appointment, we went over to A's, an office where we share a doctor. I think I fell asleep out in the waiting room, when I should have read for a bit. Then we went back to their house and then out to Captain D's to pick up food. YKWIA and I watched an episode of 'Lost Girl' and then one of 'The Vampire Diaries'. We were all tired after a full day and I came on home just before dark. I've been working on some photos for my characters, gleaned from the Internet, which I can put on my character sheets.

Okay, I think I'm going to go read some of Grave Secret, by Charlaine Harris, for a bit, and then maybe call it a night. I did find out that my car will go at least 25 miles on its gas light, so yay for that. It's back to work tomorrow morning. It was a busy day at work today (many, many kids in clinic), so I'll have lots of data entry to catch up on. :) It was nice to have the day off, and important to, although I think I have exhausted my PTO except what I'll accrue over this pay period, which isn't great, as Labour Day is almost here. I should have that covered, though, if I can manage to keep my time on an even keel. I stayed late the other day to help make up time from my EMG. I'll go in a little early tomorrow morning, if I can, to help with that. I think I'm just a half hour off my time at this point. Have a good night.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Found a book lurking among others

that was supposed to go back to the library today, but I couldn't find it. When you have upwards of three thousand books, it's easy for one small paperback to hide among the camouflage. But I did find it, and if I can drop it by tomorrow morning on the way to work, that would be great, because there won't be a late charge since they won't be open yet. But I have to go back after work because a hold has arrived for me and I need to check it out.

Of course, that may present a difficulty, as my gas light came on while on the way home from my friends' house, and I have no money in cash or my account, no way to charge gas, and barely even any change. I could probably rely on my friends to help, especially as I have an errand to take them on Wednesday, but that doesn't help me get to work tomorrow. I can probably get there, but beyond that, I'm not sure. I get paid on Thursday, so that's one good thing, although most of of it is already allocated.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

History should never be forgotten, especially the most disturbing aspects of history

A century after Jewish man's lynching, Georgia town unsettled
Down past the Big Chicken, the 56-foot-high, steel-beaked beacon of extra crispy that may be this town's most prized landmark, the wedge of dirt hard by Interstate 75 is notable only for its lack of notability. Stopping here, Rabbi Steven Lebow leaves the engine running and car door open.

Nearly ever since the South Florida native came to this Atlanta suburb three decades ago, this spot - or, more specifically, the tale of murder and vengeance that has stained its ground and local history for 100 years - has weighed on him.

But with transportation crews readying to build over the place where Marietta's leading citizens lynched a Jewish factory superintendent named Leo Frank a century ago, Lebow talks only of what's worth preserving.

"There's nothing to see here," Lebow says. "That's why we need to be the memory."


Tracking the Illegal Tusk Trade
Elephant ivory is a key source for funding armed groups in Africa, such as the Lord's Resistance Army. In this fascinating interactive, follow the route of a hidden GPS tracker planted in the smuggling supply chain—orchestrated by journalist Bryan Christy—and find out where and how exactly ivory travels.
How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in Africa
Armed groups help fund operations by smuggling elephant ivory. Can fake tusks with hidden GPS trackers thwart them?

An echo of what I said the other day

Android Circuit: Galaxy Note 5 Abandons Loyal Users, Google Kills Google, Samsung's Dangerous Gamble
Samsung’s sales for the year are down, and the mobile division saw profits drop 35% in the last quarter. The Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are handsets that simply have to sell. Which is why I think stripping the microSD card and the removable battery – both of which were in the previous Galaxy Note handsets – is a big risk for Samsung to take.
Historically that made the Galaxy Note range a potent combination of size and power, and for a number of years there was genuinely nothing else close to it on the market. Now that the competition has caught up and is offering handsets with broadly matching specifications at a lower cost, Samsung has lost the first mover advantage and instead is relying more on marketing and less on hardware differentiation.

The loss of microSD support and the removable battery weakens the Galaxy Note 5 offering compared to other manufacturers. It also weakens the phablet when compared to last year’s Galaxy Note 4. If your older handset is perceived as a better handset than the latest model, then something is wrong.
So it looks, with the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, the trend towards losing the important features that make fans loyal, such as removable expansion SD cards and batteries, continues. I'm going to keep my Samsung S5 as long as I can, and if I have to, look elsewhere if this continues. I'm sorry, Samsung, you're gutting your products in the name of form and undercutting your fan base.


What does the 'ideal' woman look like across the globe?
Superdrug's Online Doctor service sought to explore these questions by asking 18 female graphic designers to Photoshop a female form based on what is deemed beautiful in their own country.
I think it's interesting on many levels. The graphic designers were female, for one. Check out the differences. China and Italy were both thin, almost doll-like. The US still prefers an hourglass figure, apparently.

My CPAP machine went flying off the bedside table

which is actually a set of plastic drawers on wheels, when I turned over this morning, giving me a rude awakening. Fortunately, and probably partly because of, the humidifier portion isn't on it at the moment, so while it's lighter than normal, and easier to tip, there won't be water anymore. I finally found my distilled water, so I can use the humidifier again, although I don't use much of it in the summer, usually just on the lowest setting. I'm also waking up because of a slight kink in the hosing that sometimes cuts off the air, and I found my backup hose, so I think I'll switch it out. It's not quite time for a new hose, I don't think, as I can get new supplies every six months, and I saw my doctor in April.

Ouch, that's eleven. Someone asked me the other day how many doctors I go to, and counting the dentist (and now the sleep doctor), but not the dental hygienist, it's eleven. Most I see once a year, though, like my podiatrist, or as needed, like the orthopaedist. I did see an ENT doctor earlier this year, as well, but that was a one-time thing. But still, wow...
  1. Internist
  2. Gynaecologist
  3. Allergist
  4. Opthalmologist
  5. Podiatrist
  6. Endocrinologist
  7. Psychiatrist
  8. Psychologist
  9. Sleep Specialist
  10. Orthopaedist
  11. Dentist
Thank God for health care, insurance, and flexible spending cards.

Just got off the phone

with YKWIA (yes,  I know,  it's 2 am).  But I was up,  still,  or at least awake.  Brenda isn't feeling well,  so there's no game tomorrow.  I can come over later than normal, and sleep in,  which is great.  I started the bread maker as we were talking.  We were in the phone for about an hour.  The bread will be ready in a little over an hour.  I'm going to put a slice of it with some honey out as my monthly offering.

Okay,  good night, for real! 

I managed to read

several chapters of a book which I have been trying to complete for a couple of years now,  on and off.  It's Grave Secret,  by Charlaine Harris.  I like so many of her works,  including the Sookie Stackhouse and Aurora Teagarden books.  This is the last in the Harper Connelly series,  about a woman who has the ability to find dead bodies and find out how they died.  I like them,  but for whatever reason,  I've had trouble getting into this one.  I've checked it out from the library several times,  bought the Kindle book,  even checked out an audiobook.  The last may have kickstarted things a bit, so I was able to return to my Kindle.  I haven't read much in awhile,  and almost none in the Kindle,  although I keep it charged and with me.  If I retire to the bedroom,  I usually fall asleep within a few pages.  I used to read avidly.  I think I just need to get back into the habit.

The first loaf of bread is ready and packed up.  I'm waiting for the temperature to fall back to where I can start the next one. The first was a general white bread.  The other will be an oatmeal honey loaf. Unfortunately,  that takes up the last of my yeast.

Okay,  I'm going to climb into bed for a bit.  Good night.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Just to leave you on a happy note

I took this five years ago, when I was walking to the bus stop. Isn't it pretty, the flowers plus the butterfly? :) Good night!

Cooked some eggs, made some macaroni and cheese, and bread ingredients are being processed by the machine

Now that I've eaten, I am fine, I am happy, all is well.
  • What I'd like to do: Go ahead and watch Mockingjay, part 1 (but that will put me at going to bed after midnight).
  • What I should do: clean up the dishes and kitchen, and take out the trash and recyclables.
  • What I'm going to do: a little reading before bed, as I'm not quite sleepy yet, but I don't want to stay up too late, since I actually finished the notes on Tuesday, so there will be none of this waking up in the wee hours to finish it, yay! :) I'm baking A's bread now. I'll do another loaf afterwards for me, so I'll still be up late, but I won't have to stay up the entire time. Oh, and I need to do my monthly libation. All I have is honey, I'm afraid, but it will have to do. And I'll set the pasta and sauce in a bag near the door so I won't forget. :)


Many Android Devices Still Vulnerable To 'Stagefright' Flaw Despite Patch From Google
Google issued an update for Android to address Stagefright—a major security vulnerability in the mobile OS—but researchers now claim the “fix” can be bypassed and the vulnerability can still be exploited.


Google called it the biggest software update the world has ever seen. Stagefright is a vulnerability in Android that allows an attacker to take over the mobile device with a single text message. It affects all Android devices—a billion or so around the world—so it’s a huge deal.

So I've never really understood the appeal of coffee

Photo: Julius Schorzman (Creative Commons licence)
It's--okay. With cream, lots of cream, and a little sweetener. But I don't drink it much at all, usually when I'm poor and trying to maintain some level of caffeination, as it's free at work. But I have discovered that coffee (which I once said in a fit of emotion that it made me sleepy, when really I just wanted to go home from the game and didn't tell the truth, when offered a cup), in addition to giving a boost to mental acuity, also (at least with me) drives my appetite to almost nil, not merely an appetite suppressant, but like, an appetite annihilator. So I may have to start drinking some in the hopes of losing some weight. And here's another thing that might help with cravings:

Gaming: Tetris Play Weakens Cravings and Addiction By 20 Percent
Playing Tetris helps ward off cravings because it disrupts the mind from imagining food, drugs, or activities.

Tetris helped in warding off cravings because it disrupts the mind from imagining food, drugs, or activities. The next time you feel like grabbing sweets while on a strict diet play Tetris for at least three minutes instead.
I happen to still have an old Nintendo with Tetris, and Tetris on my phone. Hmmm....

Speaking of which, I've neither started bread or made macaroni and cheese, yet, because I've been busy blogging. So that's it for now, I'm going to go make food happen.

On a brighter note...

Iowa barber's deal for kids: Read for haircut
There wasn't any small talk between Courtney Holmes and the clients who sat in his barber chair on Saturday.

Instead, children from kindergartners to fifth-graders read books to Holmes in exchange for a free back-to-school haircut. Some children breezed through their book and reached for another, while others stumbled on words.

"The kids would come in, and I would say, "Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can't read it, I'll help you understand and we can read it together," Holmes, of Dubuque, Iowa, told USA TODAY Network.

Cell phones can be quite useful

I use my 'computer phone/handheld computer', as YKWIA puts it, quite a bit, although I never text in the car, and generally only answer the phone when I can pull over, because I know I'm not dexterous enough to drive and answer the thing at the same time, much less keep my attention on the road while talking on it.

That said...

Friday, two things happened that made me shake my head at just how attached people are getting to their cell phones. Oh, those of us with them (and I have two friends who do not have cell phones, smart or otherwise), experience a pang of anxiety (or more) if they're left at home. But then there are the following two cases:
  1. I'm leaving my apartment complex for work on Friday morning. I see a young girl, probably a high school student with book bag, texting while walking, her earbuds in her ears, totally oblivious to the her surroundings. I stop, seeing her in time, but she doesn't see me, and proceeds to walk in front of my car across the driveway. Then, halfway in front of my car, she finally looks up, realises she is in front of my car, and rather than crossing on ahead, turns perpendicularly and crosses the road right in front of me, rather than getting out of the way first, still looking down at her phone, without looking either way before crossing the street. That child is likely likely going to die at some point with behaviour like that. I was alert and watching out for her. A lot of people wouldn't be. I am living proof that you can get injured by a car while doing all the right things--crossing with the crosswalk, being alert, not listening to music, not on a cell phone. She is just asking for trouble. YKWIA said he'd have sped up and hit her just because of her stupidity. While I certainly disagree with doing that, folks, there is this thing called evolution. Do not be the person who gets on the Darwin Awards list. And then there is this...
  2. Man killed by roller coaster was looking for lost wallet, cell phone, mother says [He jumped over a fence into a restricted area, and was struck by the roller coaster car.] A cell phone is no reason to die. Yes, a wallet is important. Yes, I can see wanting a cell phone back--although if you lost it at 57 mph, I'm not sure it would have survived. But...why not just report the loss to the ride operators and see if they can find it either by shutting down the ride for a few minutes, or after close? I'd rather be patient, and let them send it to me if they couldn't retrieve it on the spot, than risk death. I just don't understand.
These are our modern cautionary tales, I suppose. But the upshot is, please, a cell phone isn't worth dying over. Be careful out there, and don't let it take over your life to the point of taking it.

I learned to read from 'Sesame Street' by the time I was three

I didn't attend preschool. Like many kids of my generation (the first to even watch 'Sesame Street'), we didn't have STEM daycares or preschools or the like. What we had was PBS, with 'Sesame Street' and 'Electric Company' and 'Romper Room' and 'Captain Kangaroo'. Television was a teacher, as well as babysitter. These, along with some books we found in an attic, were the reasons I learned to read early. Even now, I don't have HBO. I don't even have cable TV. I can't afford it. Neither can a lot of people, and that includes a lot of people with kids that don't have the wherewithal to have the 'perks' of their wealthier peers, such as early childhood education--something that should be universally available, rather than a perk. So it saddens me that this has come to pass:

Why Sesame Street’s Move to HBO Is Both Great and Extremely Depressing
In short, Sesame Street was founded to help low-income kids keep up with their more affluent peers. That is literally why it exists. It succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. And now it is becoming the property of a premium cable network, so that a program launched to help poor kids keep up with rich kids is now being paywalled so that rich kids can watch it before poor kids can.

That in itself is not a tragedy or an injustice. Tragedy is the devastating funding cuts that Head Start has suffered in recent years, affecting tens of thousands of young children. Injustice is the nationwide lack of subsidized high-quality child care and universal pre-K. In this context, relocating Sesame Street to the gated community of HBO—even if that community's gates swing wide at nine-month intervals—is only to be expected. There could be no more cruelly perfect metaphor for the ultra-efficient sorting processes of socioeconomic privilege.


Humanity Has Already Used An Entire Earth's Worth Of Resources This Year
Humans have, in fewer than eight months, already used up one year’s worth of the planet's resources. This is based on an analysis of the demand that the human population is putting on the Earth, through various actions such as pumping carbon into the atmosphere and scouring the sea of fish, and the rate at which the planet can replenish these resources.
At that rate, it's clear at some point we'll become environmentally bankrupt, and then where will we be? Oh, yeah. Dead. Mort. Extinct.

I just crashed for three hours in the middle on the afternoon

and I feel a lot better. I've been busy of late, and while I have been getting rest (as opposed to last week), I guess I needed it. I hadn't had any caffeine all day, and that probably had something to do with it. But I'm good now. Here's what's been happening with my life:
  1. We had our last class. It was great. I've learned so much teaching it, both from the material and from the participants. Part of the class is sharing our own experiences, and these are the real experts in dealing with things first hand.
  2. We celebrated with a potluck of yummy, mostly vegetarian food (even the green beans and potatoes had no meat in them. The fried chicken and baked beans were the only things.)
  3. We (the co=teachers) each got a card signed by the class, which was very sweet. Later, I read through everything on mine, and they were very nice. I have it posted on my bulletin board, along with the one my co-teacher gave me. I even kept the envelope because it was nicely decorated.
  4. The other teacher and I also received two gifts: a DVD called Courageous that one of the students thought would be good for us to see, and a lovely fairy garden basket, each with symbols meant for us individually, each with plants and then tiny resin items, along with shells and driftwood set in an old dish. Mine had a lounge chair and umbrella with a pool. I've included a picture here. It's on my office desk, and I have to admit, when I went into the office on Friday (I brought it in on Thursday) and found it sitting there, it was a nice greeting. She learned to make them in a class at her local library. She also gave us little oral syringes to water the plants with. She had wrapped the DVD in butterfly paper with butterfly cutouts on the ribbon, and of course I love butterflies. She was happy to find out my middle name ('Eilir') means butterfly in Welsh.
  5. After class I took went to my friends' house and made dinner for YKWIA We sat and watched an episode of 'Lost Girl', which I've been enjoying. But I got home at 12:30 am, and so Thursday morning I was still a bit tired.
  1. A busy day at work, with article requests and other things on the agenda meaning I worked very steadily through my library and data entry duties. I got several things that needed to be completed by Friday done, and felt like I'd been pretty productive.
  2. I went to the library and gave in one book that was a bit late and paid the fine (yes, sometimes even librarians tend to keep the books too long, especially librarians, actually). I picked up an interlibrary loan and a hold, and some other books as well. I have a few I'd like to get from Central Library, and meant to go there today (Saturday), but didn't manage to, mainly because I left my friends' house, came home, and crashed.
  3. I went to Target and got The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which I have not yet seen (I never made it to the theatre on this one), on DVD with the gift card my co-teacher gave me in appreciation for teaching with her. spent the balance on groceries such as bread, macaroni and cheese, and spreadable fruit. Oh, and Oreos to throw a little fun into the mix. (She also gave me a Post-It notepad, seen in the picture, which is very useful, as the notes are much bigger than a traditional sticky note).
  4. I 'napped'. Fortunately, I got bread at the store, because I didn't manage to stay awake long enough to bake it. I slept till almost 1 am (falling asleep around 8 or 9), tried to get up super-early on Friday, and wound up sleeping to 7 am. I think I was still working on a deficit from Wednesday night.
  1. Another steady day at work. Since I'd slept so long and it was my early day, I forewent a shower (I wasn't particularly dirty), and washed up in the sink a little. My hair is the only problem when I (rarely) do this, because it is already fine and thin, and it just looks oily and flat if I don't wash it every day. So I was a little self-conscious there.
  2. I got into my closet and went through a lot of books and filled up the children's books in the clinic that go with our early literacy project. I was very hot and sweaty by the time I was finished.
  3. I stayed a little late at work, skipping my allergy shot, which I probably shouldn't have done, but I just felt like making up some time, and then I went over to my friends' house. I watched some more of 'Lost Girl' and visited.
  4. I came home a little early, took a welcome shower, made some bread, watched an episode of 'Lost Girl' that we cannot watch together (it has spiders), and went on the bed.
  1. I got a call right after waking up that YKWIA needed something from the store (although it was not an emergency, it's just nothing goes much further without coffee, and there was no creamer), so I got ready, got over there, and then went and got it. I explained to him the plot points of the 'Lost Girl' I'd watched.
  2. I took A to the store for the weekly grocery run. He gave me some money for gas, which was great, as my gas light came one today.
  3. I watched 'Lost Girl' with YKWIA.
  4. I couldn't seem to stay awake. I excused myself, stopped and got gas, came home, ate a piece of my bread, and went to sleep for three hours.
  5. I got up and went online to do something for my friends.
  6. Now I'd like to watch Mockingjay, but first I'm going to make something else to eat (macaroni and cheese) and start some bread going. A reminded me today that I had promised to make them some bread and also bring over some pasta and sauce I've had in the pantry for a nice meal. Whereas YKWIA rarely forgets anything, A rarely forgets anything related to food. :)
Hope your weekend is going well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


All I know, is that I used to have a cat who would pat my eyes with his paw while I slept. Very creepy thing to wake up to, that.

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Your Eyes Move When You Sleep
When you dream, your eyes flutter quickly from side to side, which is exactly why this phase is known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. It’s long been suggested that the eye movements might correlate with people seeing things in their dreams as they “look around.” Yet even fetuses and people who have been blind since birth experience REM, despite the fact that they’ve never experienced sight.

I love this

A love letter to libraries
And sometimes you’d get lucky and there would be a special librarian there. Of course, all librarians were special when you were little. They were the guards and they were larger than life. They knew the secret codex of books. They were good witches and wizards who kept small keys around their necks, keys to special, sacred artifacts you had to know the secret password to see.

Well, I did know one

Any pagan worth their salt knows 'widdershins'. But still...I love archaic words (as you can no doubt tell). I must start using these right away. Here in Kentucky, 'swullocking' is especially appropriate, although oddly enough, it's not to bad right now.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015


An update to my phone that fixes,  among other things,  the Stagefright bug.  I'm hoping it will also fix some lagging issues I've had in Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Thank you, T-mobile. Wish me luck!

PS: I fell asleep while it was updating, and two hours later awoke with the phone on my chest (no, it didn't take that long to update!) The lagging is gone, and the bug fixes apparently helped. Yay!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


spinach and artichoke hummous with flatbread and then non-fat Greek yoghurt with blueberries for dinner tonight. I had a veggie burger at the cafeteria today, along with a baked potato. The burger had some asparagus and cheese on it, and then since they had Philly cheese steaks, they put some mushrooms, peppers, and onions on it as well. Yay!

Yesterday my 'nap' stretched to almost 12 hours. I remembered as I was getting ready for work that I actually had an appointment with my counselor today, so I went there and told her about my panic attack, and she suggested some parts of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook to help. I'm also to tell the doctor next week; he may adjust my meds. She was very apologetic about the report not being sent upstairs to the doctor's office; she did have it finished in time and it should have been there. The practice just went all digital, though, so hopefully this shouldn't happen in the future.

Work went well. I stayed a little later for a Tuesday than normal since I left early to go to the bank before they closed. I totally forgot to go get my allergy shot, and they just closed. I'll have to do that Friday for sure.

Tonight, the plan is to not take a nap at all, but:
  1. Water the plants.
  2. Bake bread.
  3. Work on the house.
  4. Take back library books.
I think that's enough for a weeknight, though, don't you?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Found out a couple of things this morning

at the appointment I had with the hand surgeon. We're still going to go ahead with another electromyograph (EMG) to see if my carpal tunnel syndrome really has returned, like one doctor who did the test said a few years ago (we couldn't get a copy of the test because her office is now closed, and it's been four years or so anyway). But apparently at some point in my life I broke my left wrist and didn't know it. Also, my ulnae (the smaller long bones of the arm) are congenitally shorter than usual, which could be causing some of the wrist pain. The slight tremor I've occasionally had in my thumb did present itself when we took x-rays. It happens when my hand is placed perpendicularly to a horizontal surface, like I was using it as a knife. I do also have arthritis in my thumbs, particularly the left one. So, there you go--my upper extremities are somewhat verkakte. Fortunately the EMG is already scheduled for a week from now, and I'll see the doctor a couple of days later.

That was early this morning. Then I went to work, and it was an okay kind of day. After work I went by the bank and got my rent and then took it over to the leasing office. That leaves me very little for the next week-and-a-half, but at least that's paid, and I have enough for my car insurance. I called T-Mobile to see if I could make a payment arrangement for when I get paid next, and they were very nice about it; I've never missed a payment with them and am usually like clockwork with them.

So now I've eaten some scrambled eggs and cheese, had a little orange juice and banana, and I'm seriously thinking of taking a nap. It's getting very cloudy outside, like it's going to rain. I hope so; I hope it waters the window boxes. If not, I have to water those plus the inside plants. The poor spider plant jumped off the computer desk shelf because it was dry (the little baby plants that hang down are all one side, so it's heavier on that side). But first, that nap.

Yes, we need the liberal arts, too!

Why America's obsession with STEM education is dangerous

Creativity, writing skills, and the ability to think are truly important to our future. Technical skills are important, but they blossom when coupled with the benefits of a liberal arts education as well. For example, I give you:

That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Getting ready for the game

listening to 'Rick & Steve, the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World', which YKWIA is watching. I've finished getting the house ready for the game. A is mopping, though. It's a pretty day outside. Brenda should be here in about 40 minutes. I managed to get the game notes done this morning at 8:05 am. Fortunately, it didn't take too long. I didn't get the greatest sleep last night; I got in about 10:30 pm, was in bed by 11 pm, and then kept trying to wake up after a couple of hours with a lot of snoozing. In other words, basically a normal game note night. But I did get them finished this morning. YKWIA just asked me if I were working on them. :) I think he thought I might have put them off even more.

Friday, August 07, 2015


Earlier I was in the waiting room during a friend's appointment. Now I've dropped him off, and we decided not to work on what we were going to tonight, and try again tomorrow, because we were both tired. So I made him some tea and headed home. It's been a rough week. I'm ready for some rest. Tomorrow I need to:
  1. Talk to some people about financial matters and try to work out arrangements.
  2. Go to my friends' and take their dogs to the dog washing room at Incredipet for washies.
  3. Take my friend to the grocery store.
  4. Work on the project we put off.
  5. Do the game notes.
Not too bad for a Saturday. Sunday is the game. I was dreading last week's a little because it seemed one of three characters, if not all of them, would die, two of mine and one non-player character, but they got through everything, and my characters have their mystical powers back, so things can kind of return to normal. Plus, we breezed through the time in the game. We used to have a player who wanted to play out almost every moment of the day, except when dealing with the children. It took us two actual real life years to get through an Antarctic campaign, Beyond the Mountains of Madness. Really. When we started the game, it was in both game terms and real life 1991. Sometimes we've been ahead of real time, sometimes behind. Right now, we were just on the night of January 31, 2011. So there you go.

I should read, or watch something, or even just listen to music, but I'm enjoying the quiet and the gentle breeze of the fan by my bed. Even though it's pretty early, I think I might go on to bed. Maybe I can catch up on my rest. It has been a long and difficult, if very productive week. Good night.

Yesterday I had a panic attack

My first in years, actually, and at first I didn't realise what was happening. It started at work during a more stressful than normal day, and unlike most attacks, lasted several hours. In fact, I don't think my heart rate went back to normal until I was in bed at home at about 9:30 or 10 pm, when it started at work about 2 or 3 pm. I was trembling, crying, my heart raced, I felt like I was going to die, and I felt almost detached from myself (I think the psychologists call that depersonalisation). Things didn't exactly feel real, but at the same time I was hyper-aware of all sorts of things and how terrible things might be. Voices, sounds--they grated on me and made me more anxious and upset. It was awful. One of my co-workers found me crying at my desk and tried to comfort me, and that helped. Being with YKWIA helped, too, and we managed to visit and watch the second episode of 'Lost Girl'. But I still felt weird and all keyed up inside. On the way home, I thought, why not just die in the car. It wouldn't matter. Then I got home, didn't bother to eat or blog, and went straight to bed, finally in a quiet room, and everything seemed to release.

I used to have these things I called 'emotional storms', which usually lasted about 20 minutes and often were triggered by driving, which is a stressor for me. I'm a bit phobic with driving. But if I could be at home and just go into the bedroom for awhile, then I would calm down. I now realise these were also panic attacks; the feeling was the same, exactly, as yesterday--the feeling of being separated from myself, almost unreal, the heart racing, being upset, being unable to interact with people and getting more and more anxious if they tried to talk to me. I am on medication, including medication for anxiety, but I'm also premenstrual, and sometimes hormones do not play nicely with my brain chemistry. I see my psychologist next week and my psychiatrist the week after that; I'll definitely mention it. But it's been awhile since I've been that scared. I knew it wasn't my heart, that I was beyond upset, and that it was my neurotransmitters. It still sucked. I have a workbook for phobias and anxiety that includes exercises to calm oneself during an attack. I'll definitely be looking that over, just in case they continue. Anyway, sorry I didn't write last night; I was utterly drained by all that anxiety. Yes, I have stressors in my life (money is a big issue right now), but it wouldn't normally have affected me like that. The trigger was the copier going down, and that happens all the time without me having a meltdown. This time I could barely function. And that's not good.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

2:20 am

I have to be at work in about 4 and a half hours,  and up in less than four. Must turn off the mouse and lights and go to bed. Good night.

For A

I'm not really sure where the picture came from originally. It's all over social media. But here you go. :)

Found this

from a Facebook page called The Secret Nerd Base. I'm not sure if it's original to them or not.

(For those who didn't pay attention to the story behind the image, here's a link: Hitchhiking Robot Is Decapitated And Left In A Ditch After Just Two Weeks)
While hitchBOT had travelled across Canada and Europe coming to no harm, the hitching automaton was found vandalized and destroyed beyond repair in Philadelphia this month.
Thanks to Vanessa, who is either from Philadelphia or at least taught there for awhile, who shared it on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Red flashing lights and the distinctive sound of an ambulance backing up woke me up

It is outside my living room window right now. I'm not sure what's going on. Actually, it's not the most exciting thing so far tonight. I managed to slice open a small cut on my middle finger earlier. I now understand that saying, 'best thing since sliced bread'. Oh, and we got a notice yesterday that the cheques and money orders for rent at the leasing office were stolen over the weekend, so those who'd already paid have to stop cheques and re-request money orders. Fortunately, I'm broke at the moment, and hadn't paid yet.

Apparently the thunder brought rain as well. I'd been working on things in here, and then fallen asleep, and missed most of it. But it's quite wet outside.

There are a couple of things I really must do, including going over the lesson tomorrow (although most of it is guest speakers) and putting my medicine into their reminder box, but I think I'll get up early tomorrow and do that. I want to get to work about half and hour early, too.

Okay, good night.

I just applied for a librarian job

with the state for which I am fully qualified but not overly-qualified, and which I think I would enjoy and be able to do well. Wish me luck! Since my current job ends when they move to the new medical centre in 2017, I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

I finally got my bumpersticker

but it's thundering, so I think I'll wait till later to put it on the car.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Having eggs and peanut butter bread for dinner

So far after work I have taken a nap, boiled a dozen eggs for dinner and breakfast over the next few days, and rearranged the cabinets of my kitchen for ease of use (baking stuff together, pasta and rice, tea and other beverages, that sort of thing). I made room for food when I get paid. I discovered a pretty pasta in tins and put it in a clear bottle for decoration, but sealed it so it would be fresh. A lot of the stuff is pretty old, actually, but much of it doesn't really go bad easily. I was looking for vital wheat gluten because I'm out of my white bread flour and the wheat usually takes gluten to get big and fluffy. Alas, there was none. I did find a recipe online to try that has gluten as an optional ingredient. So I'll try to bake some more bread tonight before going to bed. I boiled the eggs using the cold method, and they're hard to peel. I'll use the hot method next time; that is supposed to work better.

I just called my mom and wished her a happy birthday. I sent her a card last week. I haven't seen her since she was ill earlier in the year, but we talked for awhile.

The sun is going down. The cicadas are very loud outside. My burst of energy is gone. I think I'll set the bread machine up, wipe down the counters and kitchen island, and then go do something relaxing soon. Good night.

Interesting article on how to protect your privacy during or after the Windows 10 upgrade

Broken Windows Theory: Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare. Here’s how to protect yourself.
Windows 10 is the operating system Microsoft needs. In other words, it’s not Windows 8, a Frankenstein’s monster of a tablet-plus-desktop OS that alienated everyone from PC manufacturers to corporate users. Instead, Windows 10 is an incremental improvement on Windows 7, one that is faster, slicker, and has some new bells and whistles, like virtual desktops and functional tablet support. One of Windows 10’s leaps, unfortunately, is straight into your personal data.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Home from the Call of Cthulhu game

and two of my characters and a non-player character that I am very fond of pulled through something that could have killed them dead, dead, dead. Two of my characters were bound magically together and were threatening to merge. I'm glad everything's back to normal now. It had a 1 in 10 chance to botch, and could have gone very badly.

Before the game I watched the next-to-the-last story of 'Wizards vs. Aliens'. I will mourn it's ending. I also did my normal cleaning, and I took A to the store for a newspaper. The game itself was fun mostly Brenda trying to collect something that would ensure that the NPC wasn't fried. After the game I made YKWIA supper and we watched the first episode of 'Lost Girl' together, saving 'Wizards vs. Aliens' for another time. I am backing peanut butter bread (I know, it sounds odd. But since I'm putting peanut butter on it, it seemed like a plan. It just has flour, salt, peanut butter, brown sugar, and yeast in it. I put in crunchy peanut butter. Yay! It should be out about 12:45 am, since I"m baking it on rapid rise mode.

I must admit, I'm a little worn out and sleepy. Good night!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

While I am glad the 'charms' of Windows 8 are gone off my computer

habits die hard. I went to shut down and kept trying to bring up the charms by going to the lower right of the screen. Sigh. It'll take awhile to get used to having a Start button again. But I'm glad it's back. Thank you, Windows 10. Okay, really, good night already. I'm going to shut down the laptop and go to bed. I'm on the last song of the album. Time to sleep.

Listening to:

Bastille, Bad Blood

Well, it's been a fairly pleasant and productive day, I'd say. This morning it was nice weather, not too hot, and although I can't say for sure this afternoon, as I was inside, at least it was sunny, after so much rain of late.

I'd thought about watching something on Netflix now that I've finished my other activities, but I decided instead to listen to some music, my Bastille CD. I have 1,628 songs on my phone, either ripped from CDs I own, bought as .mp3s, gotten from the Lexington Public Library through the Freegal Music service (which allows you to download three songs a week to keep from their collection), or gotten as .mp3s in addition to CDs via AutoRip through Amazon. The nice thing about getting music through Amazon is that although you can play them through the Amazon music application, or store them on their cloud service, you can also just move them to a music folder, and play however you like. I'm not sure you can do that with iTunes music. I always gathered you had to do everything through iTunes. But I might be wrong; I don't know much about Apple, to be honest. People constantly bring me iPhones to figure out, and usually I can figure out the problem (usually with their settings), but I'm much better with Amazon. One thing I learned early about the Freegal Music, though, is to move it to my SD card shortly after downloading it, because if there's a factory reset or something (I had to do that at some point due to a problem with getting into my phone when I was using the fingerprint scanner), you lose everything on your phone. I keep all my music and photos on the SD card for this reason. Which reminds me...

Dear Samsung,

I read with interest the other day that your sales of the Galaxy S6 were disappointing. Perhaps it is because you have misunderstood those who buy your phones. You sacrificed usability majorly for form, trying to make things more like an iPhone. I bought your phones because, among other things, they had removable batteries, expandable memory, etc. As much as I complained about the little flap door on my charging port on the S5, I appreciated that I could drop it in snow or even water and it would live. But you took all that away to make your new phones 'prettier'. I like the form of the S6 Edge but will not buy one, even though my plan allows me to upgrade, because 1) You took aways some of the most useful things about the phone, and 2) I would have to buy a more expensive, larger storage model to duplicate my otherwise cheap SD card, which I think cost me less than $20 and gives me 32GB of space, of which I've filled about 11GB already, in addition to about three quarters of the phone storage in applications and such. And if I did have to factory reset, I'd lose everything and have to back it up on the computer or such instead, and reload everything, which is a pain. I don't care if my phone is made out of gorilla glass or plastic. If I wanted something more like the iPhone, I'd get one. I don't like iPhones; I prefer the customisablity of Android and all the different things I can do with an Android phone that iPhone users are just now getting with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. And what I care about is that it is durable, usable, and does what I need it to do. So I'll pass on the S6, or even the S6 Edge, and hopefully by the S7 you'll see the error of your ways, or I may just keep my S5 for awhile and shop around for a new phone manufacturer. So there you go, in case you haven't figured it out yet. And I'm sure there are a lot of people who feel the same way, hence the lagging sales. Consider your next design carefully (but keeping the curved edges may be a plus. :) )
What can I say, I am a Windows, Android, Google, and Amazon kind of girl. :) I like to tinker with things, not have them delivered to me in a a nice little package I can't do anything with except consume through some sort of monolithic operation. Just saying....

Okay, I've gathered up my laundry for tomorrow, gotten into comfy clothes, wrapped up the bread, and I'm ready to turn in. Good night; I hope your weekend is going well. Good night.

Today I:

  1. Took a friend to the grocery.
  2. Helped another with some issues he was having.
  3. Took a nap.
  4. Cleaned my desktop keyboard.
  5. Did the game notes.
  6. Copied music from my phone to the desktop.
  7. Checked the music on the laptop to see if it was up to date.
  8. Removed some duplicates.
  9. Backed up the documents, music, pictures, and videos from the desktop to an external hard drive.
  10. Made some macaroni and cheese.
  11. Baked some oatmeal bread (yummy!)
  12. Loaded the dishwasher and did a load.
  13. Straightened up a bit here and there.

An adult take on beloved stories from childhood

21 Favorite Books Of Your Childhood, Explained As An Adult: Ah, the sweet memories of childhood...but seriously, who let us read this stuff?!

I have never understood The Giving Tree, to be honest. There's giving, and then there's going too far.


Every Book is a Journey, but These Old Posters Make Reading Seem Like a Trip
In 1935, as part of his New Deal program to put Americans back to work during the Great Depression, President Roosevelt established the Work Progress Administration. The WPA (its name was changed to the Work Project Administration in 1939) employed millions of people to carry out major public works projects, and within it, there was a smaller, creative arm: the Federal Project Number One.
Thanks to Carl, who shared this on Facebook.