Saturday, July 30, 2011


A hard-earned piece of advice: if your computer-illiterate mother leaves a message on your answering machine saying her computer crashed and she needs help, DO NOT CALL HER BACK. At least, not unless you're prepared to kiss your entire goddamned Saturday, and possibly your entire weekend, goodbye.

Another piece of advice: People! BACK UP YOUR DATA. Also KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PASSWORDS.

Aaaaaaargh. *insert large quantities of profanity here*

[ETA: She's back up now, at least. I feel a bit better.]

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Also: Doctor Who!

New trailer for the second half of the season! Very exciting!

Still Here

Apparently it's been a week and a half since I updated here. Time for an "I aten't dead" post I guess.

Things that have happened in the past week and a half:

  • My "I'm turning 40 and trying to be medically responsible" mammogram had a suspicious spot on it, so I had to go in for another one. As is usually the case with this sort of thing, it turned out that there was, in fact, absolutely nothing wrong. Which is nice to know.

  • I, um, accidentally bought some more books. I feel as if I should be doing some sort of penance.

  • I went to see the Harry Potter movie. I liked it better than the previous Harry Potter movies. Mostly because I am much less interested in watching Harry Potter and the Whatever It Is This Time and am instead attempting to watch some version in my head that's called Severus Snape and the Etc.. And at least the poor guy gets some actual characterization in the end.

  • I am still slowly re-watching season four of DS9. And I am enjoying it, though I must confess that I'm beginning to get slightly tired of Klingons. I have nothing against Klingons, but I think perhaps they are best used somewhat more sparingly.
And, yeah, that's about it, really. Whoo, what an exciting life I lead.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hopefully I Will Be Able To Walk Better, Because I Fell Off The Wagon.

So, I now have custom shoe inserts! They're a little bit uncomfortable, but I'm told that's to be expected at first. You're only supposed to wear them for a few hours at a time the first week, and they can take a few weeks to break in. I didn't end up buying any shoes, but I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to wait until I'm a little more used to the orthotics before changing still more variables, anyway.

In other news, um... I may just possibly have, uh, gone on a two-day, three-bookstore biblioholic bender. Because first I was feeling celebratory, and then I was feeling stressed, and apparently I only know one way to cope with both of those emotions. I... I not only blew my monthly quota right out of the water, but I'm now back up over the 400 unread book limit that I swore I was never, ever going to get to again. Um. Given my weakness of character, it's probably really good that I'm not into gambling or booze.

Well, now I guess I just need to spend the next two months doing nothing but reading, that's all...

Shoe In

The podiatrist's office just called. My orthotics are in! Looks like I'm going up to Albuquerque today and, hopefully, coming back with technologically augmented feet. Guess I ought to try to find some decent shoes while I'm up there, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, Really, It Is Uncomfortable.

You know you live in the desert when: the weather report says the humidity is 26%, and people are complaining that it's really muggy.

I Am Determined To Be More Cheerful About The Aging Process Today.

I just got a newsletter from ThinkGeek informing me that today is "Embrace Your Geekiness Day." Apparently someone knew it was my birthday.

(Also, they're having a massive sale, so clearly I have no choice but to buy myself presents.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sky Water?!

Oh my god, it's been raining for at least ten minutes. Is that even possible?

Angsty Birthday To Me

So, as of tomorrow, I am forty years old. I... really don't want to be forty. I mean, yes, obviously, it beats the alternative of not living to forty. And, no, it's really not old. It's not really anything; it's just an arbitrary number that only looks significant because we happen to be born with ten fingers. And yet, almost inevitably, it does have me thinking about things like what's going to happen to me in old age, and how kids today really are living in a world completely different from the one I knew, and, Comic Book Guy-style, whether I've wasted my life.

And just to make it all really hit home, while I was composing this post in my head, I noticed I had an answering machine message from my doctor. She does, in fact, want to me to start taking (a very small amount of) thyroid hormone. Which is probably no big deal, and maybe not even particularly unexpected, but, boy, if it doesn't feel like passing a signpost saying, "It's All Downhill From Here."

Obviously, I need to take myself on a birthday book-buying spree to cheer myself up.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Are We This Far Into July Already?

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. Maroon t-shirt that says, "I know just enough to be dangerous." White socks. No shoes.

Current mood: Mostly pretty relaxed and good, except for being too hot. (See "current annoyance.")

Current music: Not much, except for my Emergency Medicinal Pink Floyd earlier.

Current annoyance: My swamp cooler has stopped working properly again. It's now 88 degrees in my house. And, of course, my work schedule being what it is, it's going to be the middle of next week before I can get anybody out here to work on it.

Current thing: Trying to take slightly better care of myself, I suppose. Hence all the preventative maintenance doctor visits. I've also been cutting back on the candy bars and the red meat.

Current desktop picture: Still the same Doctor Who wallpaper as last month. I've been meaning to change it again; I just haven't gotten around to it.

Current book: Five Complete Hercule Poirot Novels by Agatha Christie. I'm now a couple of chapters into novel five, Death on the Nile.

Current song in head: The theme song to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (See "Current DVD" below.) I used to find it rather pretentious, but I must say, it's grown on me over the years. Possibly having Enterprise's theme song to compare it to helped.

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 4 of Deep Space Nine. And, wow, what a solid season it's shaping up to be so far. I'd forgotten how well the show had hit its stride by this point. Oh, and in the DVD player in front of the treadmill is disc 2 of season 14 of South Park. Which varies wildly between brilliantly hilarious and mildly annoying. (I'm not even gonna to get into the infamous censorship issue.)

Current refreshment: Lemon-ginger tea.

Current worry: I cannot take in any more kittens! I just can't!

Current thought: Here's something that's been occupying my brain: characters on Star Trek are always -- and I mean always -- exclaiming that their readings have gone off the scale. Why the heck do they not make their instruments with bigger scales?

The Vampire Strikes Back

So, remember the blood tests I had last month when I had my first-in-umpty-years physical? Well, it turned out my creatinine levels, which indicate kidney function, were the teeniest smidge high, which is likely nothing but might be an indicator of slightly sub-par kidney function. So the doctor wanted to have it tested again in a month to see if it was a real thing, or a one-time anomaly, or what. And, while we're at it, she figured they ought to re-test my thyroid results, too. Apparently they were okay, but on the high end of the normal range, and since my thyroid feels a little big and I have a family history of thyroid trouble, she wanted to make sure they weren't creeping up.

None of which worries me massively, but I was not looking forward to getting more blood drawn, not after the last time. Fortunately, I appear to have come up with an excellent method of getting through it, which involves keeping my eyes tightly shut and cranking up Pink Floyd on the iPod. I will keep this very much in mind for future reference. Of course, it probably also helped that they only took two vials this time, as opposed to five, and didn't screw anything up.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I Am Always Finding New Things To Complain About.

You know what one of the annoying, unexpected downsides of never getting any rain is? Everything is covered in birdshit, because nothing ever washes the damned stuff away.

On the upside, I have not had to cut down the weeds in my back yard all summer, because there aren't any. Twenty years in New Mexico, and I have never seen those weeds not come up. They're usually everywhere, with some of the ones growing in empty lots getting as tall as I am.

Monsoon season can go ahead and start any time now. Really. Aaaaany time. Just, no more of this fake-out clouds-and-thunder-and-six-drops-of-rain stuff, please. It's cruel.

Oh, No, Not Again.

Mickey's mother appears to have another kitten. Well, at least one, I think. She's continued hanging around my yard, off and on, and I've been feeding her occasionally, mostly because I feel guilty for taking away her baby. And yesterday, there was a little gray kitten with her. Man, I really hope she takes better care of this one, because my experiences with Mickey proved definitively that I can not take in any more strays, and I'm completely out of people to give kittens to.

I'd really like to be able to catch momma cat and have her spayed, but I'm afraid that's not logistically possible, given how feral she is and how irregularly she comes and goes. Sigh.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! Sadly, I have to work tonight, so no fireworks for me. Maybe I'll try to pretend I'm celebrating Crab Nebula Day by engaging in some radio astronomy instead.

And, to my fellow New Mexicans: please try not to set fire to anything else, OK?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Mystery Of The Missing Sleep

Bad idea: trying to read a mystery novel when you're severely low on sleep. It's a little difficult trying to figure out whodunnit when you're having trouble remembering who the characters are three pages later.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Random Links For July

You’re A Good Time Lord, Charlie Brown: If Charles Schultz drew Doctor Who, it'd look a little something like this.

Speaking of Doctor Who, this tribute to badass-ness of Rory Williams cracks me up completely. Eat your heart out, Chuck Norris! (Warning: spoilers through the most recent ep.)

Lyric clouds, genre maps and distinctive words: An analysis of the frequency of specific words in various musical genres. I have no idea what conclusions to draw from it, but it's weirdly fascinating.

'Hobbit' First Look: 3 Pics!: Some still pics of Martin Freeman as Bilbo in the upcoming movie version of The Hobbit. You know, I hadn't actually felt excited about this movie until now.

Los Alamos Is Only the Latest of New Mexico's Travails: An article from Time about how much Mother Nature appears to hate New Mexico right now. They don't even mention the freakish snowfalls we had early in the year to go with the record-breaking freeze.