Sunday, December 27, 2015

Was I Visited By Some Kind Of Evil Snow Genie?

Ye gods, just because I said the snow was pretty, that didn't mean I wanted all the snow forever. Seriously, it can stop now.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

So, That Was Christmas

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a very, very merry Christmas, and that all of you are keeping well through the dark of the winter.

My Christmas was nothing terribly exciting, but there were lovely presents, much turkey was eaten, and much Doctor Who watched, all of which made it entirely my kind of holiday. We even came very close to having a white Christmas: when I got up this morning there was just a little snow on the ground, and the mountain had that pretty dusted-in-powdered-sugar look.

I only wish I didn't have to haul my butt into work so early this morning. It'd have been awfully nice to have had a four-day weekend like a normal person. Ah, well. Guess I gotta pay for all that turkey somehow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Better Not Pout

I've gotten really bad about updating this blog again, haven't I? Well, let's see what's going on at the moment...

First, Christmas is coming! Although not fast enough for me. I always find this week before Christmas weirdly frustrating. All my presents are bought, all the presents from other people have arrived, everything is ready, and there's nothing to do but wait. And, meanwhile, so much of life is just on hold. I find myself thinking things like, "I want to buy Thing X, but I guess I'd better not, in case someone got it for me for Christmas." And, "I'll have to wait and make that appointment after the holidays." And, "I really need some new jeans and a new pair of shoes, but there's no way I'm braving the mall at this time of year. Better wait. And wait on everything else I need to do in the city, too, since I might as well get it all done in one trip." I'm looking forward to Christmas as much because it means I finally get to unpress the pause button on my life as because of all the nice Christmassy things that go with it. Ah, well. Maybe that's the difference between Christmas as an adult and Christmas as a kid?

Meanwhile, the big news where I live is that they're closing down the Smith's supermarket. This is a huge blow to the town. 66 people out of work -- a significant number in a town this size. And god only knows where most of them are going to go. We've already had enough businesses closing that the place is starting to look frighteningly ghost town-ish. The store isn't actually closing until January, but they're already not replacing their stock. I was in there a couple of weeks ago, and the depleted, denuded shelves made me feel like I'd suddenly stepped into some kind of zombie apocalypse scenario. Just in time for Christmas! Classy, Smith's. Classy. They've got a big banner out front now advertising stuff as much as 75% off. I've been a bit torn between going to to see what I can pick up cheap, and never wanting to set foot in there again because, god, is it depressing, and, also, fuck Smith's, I don't want to give them any more of my money. So far, that second impulse is winning.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

December Currentlies

This time out, I'm finally following advice I gave myself ages ago and removing "current worry" from this monthly meme, because, really, the last thing I need is encouragement to dwell even more on the stupid crap I'm inclined to worry about. I am open to suggestions for what to replace it with.

Current clothes: Red sweatpants. Venture Bros. Guild of Calamitous Intent t-shirt. White socks.

Current mood: Kind of restless, in that way that never lets you quite settle down and be productive at anything.

Current music: Nothing at the moment. I'm working on catching up on podcasts again. So many podcasts.

Current annoyance: I may have spoken too soon when I said I was happy with the upgrade to Windows 10. In the week or so since I switched it over, my PC has completely hung up on me twice, which is not something it was inclined to do while running Windows 8.

Current thing: I'm not 100% sure how I felt about everything in the season finale, but in generally, I've been all flappy-hands excited about Doctor Who lately.

Current desktop picture: Speaking of, it's this promo picture for aforementioned season finale. Warning: spoilery. So very spoilery.

Current book: Explorer, book six in C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, which I am still making my way through, very slowly.

Current song in head: Nothing at the moment, which is a relief, considering some of the stuff that's gotten stuck in my skull recently.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Current DVD in player: Nothing in the player. I have season 10 of Supernatural from Netflix, but I can't seem to work up the enthusiasm to watch it, so I've started streaming season 4 of Bob's Burgers instead.

Current thought: I think my washer just stopped. Guess I better go put my laundry in the dryer. At least then I will have accomplished something useful today.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Like The Cybermen, I Have Been Upgraded.

I just upgraded my desktop PC to Windows 10. I hadn't actually intended to do that just yet, but I found out the hard way that when you click on "Upgrade Later," that doesn't mean, as I had assumed, "download the files and be ready to upgrade later, whenever I feel like telling you to," but rather, "you must now schedule your upgrade for sometime in the next few days, and then you will be irrevocably committed to it, bwahahaha!" Oh, well. Except for the fact that I was sure I'd scheduled it for 2 AM and it instead happened at 8 AM when I was actually trying to use the computer, it seems to have gone remarkably smoothly. And I no longer need those third-party apps I had installed on Windows 8 to bring the Start menu back and enable me to use the "modern GUI" apps in resizable windows.

All of which mostly just means that I'm still waiting nervously to find out which part of it I'm going to hate. But, hey, so far, so good!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Hope It's A Good Book.

I just took this Do You Have A Book Hoarding Problem? quiz. It told me "SEEK HELP NOW. You are becoming a book."

Is that bad?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Do Have To Wonder What The Questions Were.

Somebody just sent me a link to this Tweet showing Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi, and Mark Gatiss losing a Doctor Who trivia contest at an Australian convention. Do you know what this means? (Other than that they are hilariously adorable losers?) It means that I am a better Who fan than the people who actually make the show! Yes! On account of how my team won a Doctor Who trivia contest, and theirs lost! That is clearly the only logical conclusion to draw. (Why, no, I'm not ever going to stop crowing about that accomplishment. You gotta take your victories where you can get them, I say.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Three Things Make A Post

Because I haven't been updating much lately, and I should post something:

1. I spent this morning resealing the gutters on my house. Well, the ones in the front. The ones in the back of the house still need to be done, but I think I about reached the limit of how much of that job I'm willing to do in one day. Scraping off the old stuff is tedious, and the silicone sealant I bought turns out to be way worse to work with than the caulk I used in the bathroom, especially when you're holding the caulk gun upside-down and at odd angles. As a result, my gutters are now kind of a goopy, silicone-y mess. Sigh. Well, at least it's clear, so maybe it won't be too obvious? Honestly, I'm not sure I care much, as long as it's watertight. Man, I really hope it's watertight. Of course, I won't be able to test it until it dries.

This has been yet another installment of Ways It Sucks to Be an Adult. Hey, when you're a kid, if you have to do a big, annoying chore like that, at least you'll probably get a word of praise and maybe a little extra allowance. As an adult, all you get is the dull, practical outcome of not having leaking gutters, if you're lucky, and the responsibility of being the one to do it over, if you're not.

2. A not-good-news update on Nova-kitty: He's continuing to lose weight. The vet now thinks it is very likely due to heart problems. (I hadn't realized heart disease could cause weight loss, but it turns out it totally can. You learn something new every day.) He can't say for sure, though, because he doesn't have the equipment to do a proper echocardiogram, and I'd have to see a specialist for that. Which... At Nova's age, honestly, the stress of diagnosing and treating the problem might not be worth the small amount of extra time they might be able to buy him. For one thing, seeing a specialist would almost certainly mean a long, long car trip into the city -- probably more than one -- and he freaks out terribly just on the ten-minute ride to the local vet. Not long ago, he got so agitated about it, he peed all over himself in the carrier on the way. It's not a happy thing to do to the poor animal.

For right now, at least, we've switched him from the slightly-higher-calorie-than-his-previous-food cat food to special extra-high-calorie canned cat food, in hopes of curbing the weight loss some. The good news is, he loves the stuff, and can't seem to get enough of it. The bad news is, it's given him diarrhea. I'm really, really hoping that'll go away as he adjusts to the new stuff. Well, hey, at least it meant I didn't have to give him his laxative last night.

3. On a happier (and more science-y) note, I thought I'd link to this blog post celebrating NASA's Swift satellite observing its 1,000th gamma ray burst. This is relevant to my life because the VLBA is one of the "telescopes around the planet, which then (if they can) also observe the burst," as mentioned in the article. Most of the time, we're busy observing something else, but sometimes these things happen at just the right time for us to participate, and I'm always slightly tickled by the fact that I'm essentially being e-mailed by a satellite.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Time For This Again!

Current clothes: Dark gray sweatpants. T-shirt from White Sands National Monument. Not the new one I just got the last time I was there, but the older, more faded, somewhat more battered one, which has now been demoted in status to the kind of shirt I wear on weekends when I'm cleaning the house.

Current mood: Mostly okay, with a slight edge of frazzled annoyance. I don't want to be cleaning the house this weekend, you know.

Current music: The Best of Elvis Costello: The First Ten Years. Except there's something wrong with the CD, and the last two songs didn't rip properly.

Current annoyance: So many things. So many. And it seems like every time I responsible-adult one of them into submission, another, often even more annoying one pops up. Recent examples include some of the stucco suddenly falling off my house (or, more accurately, off the overhang that projects over my front door), and discovering as I went to put today's dinner into the crockpot that the onion I'd bought for the soup was rotten inside.

Current thing: Doing productive crap that needs to get done, when, really, I'd much rather just lie on the sofa and read all day.

Current desktop picture: You know what? I think last month, out of sheer habit and haste, I linked to the same wallpaper I've had for ages, when I'd actually just changed it! It's now this wallpaper featuring certain Doctor Who characters.

Current book: C. J. Cherryh's Defender, book 5 in her Foreigner series, which I am making my way through, slowly but surely.

Current song in head: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf, because somebody requested it on the radio while I was in the car running errands the other day. The DJ didn't seem thrilled about it, but I have to admit, I have a weird fondness for Meat Loaf. His songs are so overwrought and emotionally overblown as to feel almost self-parodic in a way I can't help being amused by, and yet there does seem to be a core of something realistic and sincere to them. And sincere, awkwardly real emotion wrapped up in a ridiculously over-dramatic package seems to me like as good a representation of adolescence as there has ever been.

Current refreshment: I didn't have anything, but reading this, I realized I was thirsty, so I got up and got a diet Pepsi.

Current DVD in player: I just finished season one of The Wire, because that seemed like a giant gap in my quality-television viewing experience that needed to be addressed. And it is, indeed, an excellent show, but it suffers a bit from what I think of as "Game of Thrones Syndrome," which is to say it's got a million characters whose names I kept forgetting or, often, not even catching, and was reduced to making up nicknames for them in my head. (E.g.: Asshole #1 and Asshole #2, Surprisingly Competent Guy, Chubby Cheeks, The Chin, Lt. Where-Do-I-Know-That-Actor-From?, etc.) I did figure out most of them eventually, though. And I sort of have to admire this show's absolute commitment to its lack of a moral center. Every time I'd try to latch on to a character as someone I liked, or thought had integrity, they'd engage in some terrible act of police brutality or corruption, while characters I'd initially dismissed as criminal scum increasingly won my sympathy.

Current worry: I dunno, all the usual crap, really. Most immediately, I'm worried about a tooth that's bothering me. I need to find the time to make a dentist appointment.

Current thought: Well, I rambled a here a lot, and got distracted somewhere in the middle watching Meat Loaf, so this took me longer than I expected it to, but I think now I have to go back and finish up the damned housework. Sigh.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Talk

Ten years ago today, I stumbled across some service on the internet that'd let you write letters to your future self and would then send them to you years later. So, I sent some, partly because I was bored and partly because it was the closest I could get to time travel. I've gotten, I think, three of them since then, with the most recent one showing up in my inbox today. While I remember doing this, the e-mails always startle me when they come, because somehow I do not understand the passage of time and can never manage to believe it has actually been that long.

I went back and looked at the blog entry I made the day I sent them. It says, "I just sent some e-mails to the me of the future. I bet she doesn't answer them, though. The jerk." Which... Hey! Screw you, past self! I am damned well going to answer this one, right here, right now!


Hello, 2015!

Hello, 2005!

This is the Betty of 2005, after a somewhat longer lapse this time. It's getting iffier whether the e-mail address on this thing will still be valid, though it won't surprise me terribly if it is. Heck, I wouldn't put it past you to remember this letter and keep the address just so you'd get it. Did you?

You know, I don't think it has honestly ever even occurred to me to change the Gmail address this was sent to. I think what I was thinking here is that maybe Gmail wouldn't even be around in ten years' time. Ha! Google is our eternal overlord, Past Me, and Gmail ain't going nowhere.

Anyway... how's the future?

A lot like the past, to be honest. Your life certainly hasn't changed very much. You're boring and predictable, Past Self. You're going to have to fully accept that one day. I'll try to let you know when it happens.

Do we have flying cars and robot housekeepers yet? (We've only managed electric-hyrbid cars and robot vacuum cleaners now, in case you don't remember.)

Well, I guess we've got some fully electric cars, and maybe slightly better robot vacuums? Neither of which I own. I do have a pretty bitchin' smartphone, though.

It's a beautiful fall day here in 2005, though I'm stuck at work without even anything much to do.

Whereas I have today off, but I've got a lot of crap to do. And yet, I am taking the time to answer your e-mail, Past Self, even though I have lots of other unanswered e-mails in my inbox. So who you callin' a jerk, jerk?

I am in pretty good health, though I occasionally suffer from bouts of mild hypochondria. Apparently once you hit your 30s, you start worrying about the ol' body falling apart. I hope yours hasn't.

It honestly startled me to realize that particular "Oh, noes, my body may fall apart at any moment!" thing goes back quite that far, although now that I think about it, I guess I do remember feeling that once I passed 30. Well, Past Self, despite some medical adventures, the ol' corporeal form is still quite functional, but the effects of entropy are becoming increasingly noticeable, and that annoying "mild hypochondria" is going to find more things to feed on. I'm trying to let this be a reminder to myself to enjoy that functionality while I've still got it.

And I have a cute 'lil seven-week-old kitten, who, if he's still around, will qualify for senior citizenship by the time you read this. If he is, give him a cuddle for me.

He's ten! That's not really quite feline senior citizen status yet. But, geez, you should see him now, Past Me. He's huuuuuuuuuuuuuge! And not at all grateful for all that work you put into him, but I will cuddle him for you, anyway.

I hope there's some good TV in the future.

Yes. Yes, there is. Oh, Past Self. Your priorities are... well, not going to change any, really.

With any luck, maybe Doctor Who is currently in the middle of another 25-year run.

It does very much look that way! Even if the ratings, from what I've heard, have dropped a bit this year. But, oh, man, the things that little Whovian you has ahead of her! If I told you what some of them were, you'd look at me like I was nuts. But it's going to be a fun ride! Mostly.

See ya in another ten!

I am honestly nervous about that letter. I think I wrote it with some sense of it being completely impossible to predict what my life would be like that far out, and I more than half suspect that nothing much will have actually changed. Although I'm not at all sure why that feels like a bad thing.


Back atcha, Past Self. Take care of yourself for me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Stuff And Things

I feel like I should really talk about things other than Doctor Who here once in a while. Like an update on what's going on in my own life. It's just that the answer is "not much." Well, let's see what I've got:

  • Had kind of a bad night last night, due to some... let's say "gastric distress." I woke up about 3 AM, threw up, and immediately felt a lot better, so it was almost certainly something I ate. But, man, it's a bad thing not to feel well when you've been reading about nasty diseases. (I'm most of the way through David Quammen's Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.) One headache or abdominal twinge, and some completely irrational part of your brain wants to diagnose yourself with Marburg. (Marburg is, of course, a much cooler thing to diagnose yourself with than Ebola, because fewer people have heard of it.)

  • It looks like the city finally fixed the leaking fire hydrant in my front yard, after at least five phone calls, and it worsening to the point that it was threatening to turn the rest of the street into muddy swampland and not just my yard. Yay.

  • After years of taking a small amount of hormone for my mildly underactive thyroid, the latest doctor in the local clinic's revolving stable of doctors is insisting I should have an ultrasound done of it. "What do you think that's likely to tell us?" I asked. "Probably nothing," she said. OK, then, doc. At least we'll have another pretty picture of my insides!

  • I've given up trying to weigh Nova at home. To say that he is uncooperative is putting it mildly. I think I'm going to take him back to the vet in a couple of weeks and let them re-weigh him. He tends to go very still and quiet when he's there, possibly under the belief that veterinarians hunt by seeing movement.

  • I just checked the weather report to see if we can finally declare the rainy season over, thus removing my excuse for not going out and re-sealing my gutters. (Hey, I don't want to take the chance that it might rain before the caulk dries!) It looks like the answer to that might be "no," but in the course of checking I also discovered that it's supposed to get down below freezing on Thursday. Nooooo! I am not ready for winter! I mean, I don't want to be caulking the gutters out in the cold, do I?

  • Yeah, that's probably about it for now. Whee, what an exciting life I lead!

    Saturday, October 31, 2015

    The Rest Is...

    Happy Halloween! I'm about to head off to a Halloween party soon. Having zero time or energy to devote to coming up with a costume, I decided to go with the lazy Doctor Who fan's solution:

    All the points to you if you get the reference!

    (But, man, I had not realized quite how difficult it is to take a picture of one's own arm.)

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Clearly This Is Just What I Needed For My Stress

    (Seriously, what does it say about me that I actually did sort of feel more relaxed after watching that?)

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    Skinny Kitty Update

    Just got Nova back from the vet after having him checked out for his weight loss (as mentioned last time in the currently meme), and... they basically couldn't find anything wrong with him. His thyroid levels were good (which reminds me, I'm overdue to have mine checked). His creatinine levels and white cell counts were outside normal range, but only the eensy-weensiest smidge, so the vet thinks that's probably noise rather than signal, meaning his kidneys are probably fine and he probably doesn't have an infection. They also x-rayed him and didn't see any tumors. Which doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any cleverly hidden ones, but, OK, he probably doesn't have cancer, either. The vet thinks mostly likely it's a gastrointestinal problem, and he's not getting full value out of his food. So they just gave him a vitamin B shot and switched him over to a higher-calorie food. I'm going to keep an eye on his weight -- I actually own a pet scale I originally bought to monitor the fat cat -- and take him back in in a few weeks if he keeps losing weight.

    So, for the moment... No news is good news, I guess?

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    No, I Didn't Forget.

    It's much later in the month than usual, thanks to all that vacationy stuff, but, no, I didn't forget the usual state-of-me "currently" meme.

    Current clothes: Red sweatpants. Doctor Who t-shirt. White socks.

    Current mood: Still kind of tired. Still a bit overwhelmed by the to-do list.

    Current music: Nothing at the moment. I'm working on catching up on all the podcasts I didn't listen to while I was traipsing around New Mexico.

    Current annoyance: The way taking a break makes you feel so behind on everything once it's over.

    Current thing: Books, Doctor Who, the usual. (Man, this is making for a very boring iteration of this meme, isn't it? Sorry about that. Maybe I should have waited until I was more capable of coherent thought.)

    Current desktop picture: Still this one.

    Current book: I'm almost finished with Firestarter by Stephen King. Apparently I've decided that Stephen King is my default vacation reading now.

    Current song in head: Given my current book, what else could it possibly be?

    Current refreshment: Nothing, but I'm hungry. I should maybe go and eat one of those zillion snacks my mother brought with her and then left here.

    Current DVD in player: Once again: nothing. I'm busy catching up on all the stuff that's accumulated on my DVR in the past couple of weeks. (Note to self: never take vacation at the start of the TV season again.)

    Current worry: Nova kitty. He's lost quite a bit of weight over the last several months, so I took him into the vet today to have him checked out. They're going to do some blood tests to check his thyroid and his kidneys, but they wanted him to be fasting overnight to do it, so I'm going to have to take him back in in the morning. He seems mostly OK, otherwise, so here's hoping there's nothing too awful wrong with him, but I am a bit worried.

    Current thought: Man, I am hungry. Which is not helped by the fact that I have a pot roast cooking in the crock pot, and it's starting to smell really, really good.

    Monday, October 12, 2015

    What I Did On My Vacation

    Well, the houseguests I mentioned in my last post here, what seems like forever ago, have now departed back to their homes. It was fun showing them around New Mexico, but, man, I now feel kind of exhausted. I blame the lingering effects of getting up at 3 AM, not once but twice, to make it up to the Balloon Fiesta before dawn. It was very cool to finally go, though. Despite having lived in NM for 25 years, this is the first time I've attended. Well, unless you count that one time in college when we drove up, stood outside the fence, and watched the balloons overhead, but didn't actually go into the park because we were too broke even to want to pay the minimal entrance fee. I will say, though, that while I might just possibly be persuaded to get up in the middle of the night and do it again sometime, I am never, ever going on opening day again. The balloons were great. The crowds were nightmarish. Fortunately, Thursday was much better, and well worth it, even if the Thursday night Glowdeo was cancelled due to winds.

    We also, among other places, drove down to Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands. White Sands was a little disappointing this time, I fear, as it was very cloudy, and I hadn't realized just how much a lack of sunlight changes the landscape from blinding otherworldly whiteness to, well, big piles of light-colored sand. Carlsbad, on the other hand, astonishes me every time I go there. This time I was thinking, y'know, maybe I've seen it often enough, maybe it's going to start losing some of its appeal with familiarity. But, nope. It's still just as awe-inspiring the fourth or fifth time, or whatever it is for me now. I suspect I could visit it every day and never get tired of it.

    Thursday, September 24, 2015

    I Did Find A Couple Of Hats For My Eleventh Doctor, So That Was Cool.

    Aaargh. I am supposed to be spending today cleaning, in anticipation of having houseguests. What have I been doing instead? Frittering away the whole damned day playing this stupid Doctor Who-themed game on my phone. And it really is pretty stupid. I mean, it looks very nice. But the gameplay consists of nothing but endlessly attacking things by, essentially, playing Bejeweled. Which a) makes no sense, and b) hardly seems appropriate for Doctor Who. Also, I suck at Bejeweled. And yet, I cannot stop playing. I am beginning to suspect it is part of some evil plot. Possibly by the Cybermen. Send help.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    To Quote The Fourth Doctor: Sleep Is For Tortoises.

    In the space between two twelve-hour night shifts, I have traded an adequate amount of sleep for the opportunity to watch the season premiere of Doctor Who. I regret nothing! I probably will, late tonight, but for now, I regret nothing. Except for how long I have to wait for part 2.

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    Woo Who!

    We won the Doctor Who trivia quiz!!!! Rather to our surprise, really. I mean, I was optimistic going in, and we started out reasonably strong, but there were a disturbing number of questions we missed due to misinterpreting the question, or picking the wrong person's guess, or, most annoyingly, writing down the correct answer and then erasing it and putting down something else instead. (Hey, Telos is almost Mondas, right?) And then there was that one question that was just plain wrong. Seriously, Prisoner Zero is an individual (well, sort of), not a species. Doggone it.

    So, we were falling behind quite a lot in the middle, but managed to pull a turn-around in the end. I think it helped, oddly, that the last round turned out to be all about behind-the-scenes and non-canon stuff. We weren't expecting that, but probably neither was anybody else, and some of us happened to have the right kind of random knowledge there. So we ended up tied for first! Which led to a five-question sudden death round... Which we tied again! Apparently both teams got the same question wrong. (Stupid Torchwood.) The tie-breaking tie-breaker was then a ridiculous arithmetic question. Something like: take the total screen time of the 9th, 10th and 11th doctors according to io9, multiply by the number of years Rose traveled into the future in "The End of the World," and divide by the number of letters in "Raxacoricofallapatorius." Though I think there were more terms than that; it's all become something of a blur now. Interestingly enough, both team's answers were pretty close to each other but we were closest to the actual answer. Thus, VICTORY! (Not of the Daleks).

    Ha! Take that everybody who ever shook their head over me remembering "useless" things. MY KNOWLEDGE OF DOCTOR WHO IS WORTH ACTUAL MONEY! I feel as if my whole life has been vindicated. Heh.

    Sunday, September 06, 2015

    September Currentlies

    Here it is, September, and suddenly it's obvious that we're on the descending arc of the year. It's still summer here, no question, but there's something in the air that makes you think the world is finally remembering the idea of winter.

    But enough waxing poetic about the weather. Here's the usual meme thingy.

    Current clothes: Red sweatpants. Black t-shirt from LibraryThing (" What's on your bookshelf?"), because LibraryThing is freaking awesome. Black socks. Brown boots.

    Current mood: OK. A teensy bit tired or groggy, as I've just switched off night shifts, and my circadian rhythms are currently less traditionally rhythmic and more like one of those weird avant-garde modern compositions.

    Current music: In addition to the usual whatever-random-stuff-my-iPod-decides-to-give-me, I've also been listening to a lot of actual albums lately, while doing various things around the house. Most recently Warren Zevon's My Ride's Here and Chameleon Circuit by Chameleon Circuit. That second one being a manifestation of my excited anticipation for the new season of Doctor Who.

    Current annoyance: Mosquitos. I have a mosquito bite on my hand. On the palm. How the hell does that even happen?

    Current thing: Yeah, I have definitely been in a state of Who-fannish excitement lately. Not only am I very much looking forward to the season premiere, but I'm also going to be participating in this nationwide Doctor Who trivia quiz. We did really well on the Star Trek one, so, hey, maybe we can take home the prize this time!

    Current desktop picture: Still this. I have been vaguely thinking about changing it again, but we'll see whether I ever actually do it.

    Current book: Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, which is an omnibus compilation of Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. Very weird and interesting, but it's kind of slow-going. I'm thinking I really shouldn't have started it while I was on nights; it's not a good book for tired brains.

    Current song in head: All kinds of odd stuff has been drifting in and out, but it's pretty quiet now. I think most recently was "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, which I am now going to try not to think about too much, lest it come back, ridiculously sticky tune that it is.

    Current refreshment: Nothing, but I'm thinking of going out for a bacon cheeseburger soon.

    Current DVD in player: Disk one of season 3 of The Legend of Korra. It's not as good as Avatar: The Last Airbender -- which sets an extremely high bar -- but I am enjoying it. And season 3, so far, actually does feel like it has more of the sensibility of the original show, in ways that I can't quite pin down yet.

    Current worry: I've got the crack where water was coming into my house all sealed up, in such a way that I really can't see how there could be more problems with it, but I nevertheless can't shake the worry that my bedroom will somehow get wet again the next time we have a good-sized rainstorm. And then I won't know what to do.

    Current thought: I could have gone with a different "current thing," which is that I am slowly but surely making improvements to my material environment by replacing old, worn-out, or non-existent furniture and appliances. I just bought a new headboard for my bed, because the old one finally fell apart completely. I'm much happier with this one, in part because it actually bolts to my bedframe -- the old one was the wrong size -- and thus does not immediately fall over whenever you move the mattress away. (This was, needless to say, one of the reasons why the old one was in bad shape.)

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    I Think I'd Look Good With A Giant Sci-Fi Brain.

    Gaah, being a responsible adult is annoying as hell. I'm actually doing quite well at it at the moment. But I'm never, ever gonna love it. When are we gonna get that sci-fi future where robots take care of all the annoying crap involved in living and leave us alone to develop our giant brains?

    (This post is brought to you by me dealing with the fact that my house is still not quite as water-tight as it ought to be.)

    Saturday, August 22, 2015

    Book People Problems

    A video I thought I'd share, because I know at least one person out there will understand:

    Thursday, August 13, 2015

    New Who Trailer


    Friday, August 07, 2015

    August Currentlies

    Yep, here it is. The August "Currently" meme.

    Current clothes: Gray cotton shorts. Venture Bros. Guild of Calamitous Intent t-shirt. Black socks.

    Current mood: OK. Kinda tired. I spent the morning doing yardwork, plus my circadian rhythms seem to be fighting me harder than usual lately, for some reason. (Probably because I spent two straight weeks on night shifts, and my body actually started getting used to it.)

    Current music: Nothing memorable.

    Current annoyance: The city garbage dept. says it'll pickup old items of furniture and such for a small fee, if you make arrangements for it. I called them Monday of last week, and the thing is still sitting out there on the curb. I'm going to have to call them again.

    Current thing: I don't seem to have a current thing. Maybe I should find one, rather than just sitting around spinning my wheels, which is what I think I've been doing lately.

    Current desktop picture: Still this.

    Current book: String Theory for Dummies by Andrew Zimmerman Jones. Because how can you not want to read String Theory for Dummmies? I'm also making my way through British English A to Zed by Norman W. Shur. I was originally just going to browse through it a bit and stick it on the reference shelf, but it's proving to be strangely fascinating, so instead I'm reading it straight through, a few minutes at a time. Mostly it's making me wonder how Americans and Brits actually mange to communicate at all.

    Current song in head: It's been varying back and forth between "The Rainbow Connection" and "Wild, Wild Life" by the Talking Heads.

    Current refreshment: Orange spice tea.

    Current DVD in player: Most recently, Kingsman: The Secret Service. Which was completely ridiculous, but, hey, that's what it was going for. Mostly it was the entertaining kind of ridiculous.

    Current worry: All the terrible diseases I've been diagnosing myself with on WebMD. Thanks, internet!

    Current thought: Some significant part of my brain refuses to believe that August is even a real month. In my mind, it exists merely as a sort of placeholder between July and September -- that is, months in which things actually happen. Even the weather right now feels like a hot, still, timeless expanse of nothing.

    Wednesday, August 05, 2015

    I Swear, I Feel Like I Deserve A Prize For Sticking It Out To The End. Maybe A Free Set Of Knives.

    So, I just finished watching Dexter. And since I've mentioned it here before, I thought I'd come back and share my thoughts... OK, no, that's not true. Mostly, I'm writing this here because after investing eight season's worth of time in that show, I am damned well at least going to get a blog post out of it.

    Although, honestly, I think past a certain point I was mostly only continuing with it out of a sense of completeness and a strong, morbid curiosity as to whether the final episode was really as bad as everyone said it was. Which... Yes. Yes, it was. And all the more so because elements of it actually would have made a great ending to the show if only they, and everything leading up to them, hadn't been done so, well, awfully.

    Seriously, someone could get a Masters' thesis out of all the ways in which Dexter grasps vaguely in the direction of some really interesting, brave, thought-provoking storytelling and then drops the ball on it, over and over. It is, ultimately, a fascinating failure. Sometimes it's an entertaining, even compulsively watchable one, sometimes one that threatens serious injury from all the banging your forehead against things it makes you want to do. Which is frustrating. Maybe it shouldn't be. Maybe it was too much to ever expect anything else. After all, one of my earliest reactions to this show was, "I don't see how this premise is remotely sustainable, long-term." I was right about that, and it's entirely possible nothing was ever going to make it sustainable long-term. But I can't help but wonder, a little wistfully, what it might have been like if it were written with real vision, by someone willing to fully embrace the fundamental fucked-upped-ness of it all and able to consistently resist the temptation to buy into the character's own self-deluded ideas about being a hero.

    I will give 'em this, thought: they had some fantastic casting.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015

    Lots Of Places To Sit

    Finally, the loveseat that goes with my new (or, by now, new-ish) sofa arrived!

    I'm delighted to at last be able to send the old the old, saggy, cat-shredded one off to the dump with its sofa companion. They did well by me, back in the day, but they had well outlived their time.

    Although with both pieces in place, my living room now feels a little too small. Not only are both the sofa and the loveseat bigger than the old ones, but the loveseat, unlike the old one, doesn't fit underneath the protruding windowsill, so it sticks out into the room more. And I had to move the end tables around into slightly less convenient positions. On the upside, though, people sitting in it will no longer bang their heads on the sill if they lean back. So that's good.

    In other household news, I did get an electrician to come and check out the power supply to the dryer, and he said it was fine and the no-heat problem is definitely internal to the machine. Which is actually good news, since it's under warranty. But I think it's going to have to wait until I'm off night shifts for me to worry about that.

    Saturday, July 18, 2015

    How Not-Dry I Am

    For more than a decade, I've used a clothesline to dry all my laundry, or, occasionally, when I really needed to, I've gone across the street to the laundromat to use their dryers. I tell myself that it's cheaper and more environmentally friendly, which is true. But finally -- finally -- I decided I'd had enough. I'm tired of planning my laundry schedule around the (often highly unpredictable) weather, and then having to wait hours for it to dry. I'm especially tired of it this month, when we've had rain, or the threat of rain, pretty much every single afternoon. And, for various reasons, I had a goodly amount of extra cash in the ol' checking account this week. So I finally said "screw it," and went out and bought me a dryer. Yaaay!

    Except... Except, while the thing comes on just fine, and air flows through it just fine, there's no heat whatsoever. Sigh. It's possible the machine is defective, but I strongly suspect it's an issue with the electricity supply, especially as I've never had a reason to use the 240-volt outlet before. So now I'm going to need to call an electrician. Which is going to be fun, because I'm just about to start on two weeks of night shifts. Why is it every time I try to make an improvement to my house and/or life, it just ends up causing me extra headaches? I think the world is extremely unfair this way, and someone really ought to have a word with it,.

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Some Of Us Go Around The Sun, Some Go Outward Away From It.

    I am 44 years old today, which, as far as I can tell, may actually be about the age where you stop caring much about how old you are.

    I would, however, like to thank NASA for the awesome Pluto mission they got me, even if it's not going to be fully unwrapped until tomorrow.

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    The Sky Is Angry

    Where the hell is all this hail coming from? This is the third time this week!

    Thursday, July 09, 2015


    Ooh! New Doctor Who trailer! Complete with a date for the start of he new season. (Sept. 19. Mark your calendar!) I'm getting all flaily-hands excited, now.

    July Currentlies

    July has been slipping away from me fast. Here it is, time for this already!

    Current clothes: Blue shorts and a white t-shirt that says, "The angels have the phonebox." Because I am just that much of a Whovian dork. Also white socks and brown boots, although I should take those off, because my feet are kind of hot.

    Current mood: OK, although mostly right now I'm wondering where the hell this day went. I intended to get a bunch of stuff done, and then suddenly I looked at the clock and it was 4 PM and I'd barely even done anything. I'm trying to make up for that now, though. (Yes, "update blog" was actually an item on my to-do list.)

    Current music: Nothing much at the moment. I'm once again trying hard to get caught up on some of my podcast listening.

    Current annoyance: Oh, mostly just the usual "Why do I have to be a responsible adult?" crap.

    Current thing: I cannot stop myself from obsessively watching random episodes of Shark Tank. This is all my sister's fault.

    Current desktop picture: Still this bookish image. Maybe one day I'll change it again.

    Current book: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh. I'm not very far into it, but I'm already enjoying it a lot.

    Current song in head: Nothing at all at the moment. Huh. That's a little odd.

    Current refreshment: Orange spice tea.

    Current DVD in player: Most recently, the original Mad Max. After seeing and loving Fury Road, I figured it'd be interesting to revisit the original movies. Or, in this case, to visit for the first time. I never saw any of them in the theater, but I had remembered catching random pieces of them on TV, back in the day. But, while I'm pretty sure I caught at least some of The Road Warrior and maybe a decent-sized chunk of Thunderdome, it turns out I hadn't seen any of the first film at all. Or at least, it seemed entirely unfamiliar to me, watching it now. And... Well, unlike Fury Road, I don't think it can be described as a good movie by any reasonable set of criteria, even if it does maybe have a few moments of some sort of cheesy, violent charm. But I do feel more pop culturally literate, I guess, having finally watched it.

    Current worry: Everything will go wrong with everything!

    Current thought: I am starving. It may be time for a slightly early dinner, very soon.

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    Short Post. No Brain Left.

    Home. Very tired. Cats are mad at me. Trip went well, though.

    Monday, June 22, 2015

    Hitting The Oregon Trail! (Well, OK, Flying Into The Portland Airport.)

    On Wednesday, I'm leaving for Oregon to attend my sister's wedding. (Congratulations, sis!!!!!) It seems like I have about five day's worth of stuff to get done in the two days until I leave, but I think I somehow used up all my stressiness last week. Right now, I'm feeling kind of mellow, and mostly just looking forward to it.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    I May Have Already Added At Least One Thing To My Wishlist Because Of This.

    Today's book-related link: Whichbook, a site that invites you to move some controls around to tell it what kind of book you're looking for -- happy vs. sad, for instance, or easy vs. demanding -- and recommends things to you based on your input. I haven't played around with it too much yet, in part because more book recommendations is probably the last thing I need. But based on some of the results it gave me, I'd say it seems to know what it's doing. It's also coming up with lots of stuff I've never even heard of, too, which is nice.

    Monday, June 08, 2015

    The "How Is It This Far Into June Already?" Currentlies

    Current clothes: Blue jeans. T-shirt from White Sands National Momument. White socks.

    Current mood: Grrrrr. Computers are frustrating.

    Current music: Nothing at the moment. Maybe I need some soothing music.

    Current annoyance: I've been trying out various options for backing up my new PC. None of them seems to be quite what I want, and all of them have done at least one WTFish thing when I've tried them.

    Current thing: Messing around with the new computer all day. And then playing Papers, Please on it all night. (Glory to Arstotzka!)

    Current desktop picture: It's still this, although keeping it that way has been kind of an issue, because now that I have two Windows 8 machines (this and the laptop), Microsoft decided that clearly I want them both to have the same wallpaper. I got it to stop doing that, but I'm a little nervous to see if changing that setting changes anything else the next time I reboot.

    Current book: Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible's First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World by Karl W. Giberson. Which I'm finding interesting from a historical perspective, and which maybe explains a few things about today's breed of evangelical Christianity.

    Current song in head: Warren Zevon's "Networking". Dated, but thematically appropriate.

    Current refreshment: Some kind of cheap zero-calorie black cherry soda water stuff. It's better than it sounds.

    Current DVD in player: Disc 1 of season 6 of Dexter. Based on the fist two episodes, I'd say the storyline for this season could either be really cool and interesting, or it could get really stupid. Given that I know at least two people who bailed on the show at more or less this point, I'm not putting any money on Option A. As of now, though, I am still enjoying the show (for definitions of "enjoying" that include things that are dark and fucked-up). If nothing else, Michael C. Hall's performance alone would make it worth watching. The guest casting has been pretty great, too. But I think you could get an entire dissertation out of all the ways in which it consistently fails to evolve into the brilliant show it could be. (This spoilery AV Club discussion of the season 5 finale covers a lot of the reasons pretty well.)

    Current worry: I think most of my worries at the moment, like most of my worries most of the time, boil down to a fear of not meeting my personal responsibilities. God, I hate being an adult.

    Current thought: Everything actually is perfectly OK. Even if it does involve me having to act like an adult far too much of the time.

    Saturday, June 06, 2015

    Hardware Upgrade!

    I am writing this from a brand new computer! Yay! The PC I was using was seven years old, which, in computer terms, qualifies as advanced dotage. And it was getting increasingly annoying in various ways. Plus, it was running XP, whose lack-of-suportedness was starting to reach the point of actually being dangerous. Like, I couldn't install the latest version of Java. Or not without it giving me dire warnings about how it probably wouldn't work, anyway. Since I'm not yet ready to switch to doing absolutely everything via laptop -- I know, I know, I haven't given up my landline, either -- I figured it was finally time to replace the thing. Basically, I got a newer model of the same machine -- the Dell Inspiron -- because the old one worked fine for years and I'm far too lazy to research my zillion possible options and pick the very best one. (Hey, psychologists will tell you that doesn't make you any more satisfied with your choices, anyway.)

    But, oy, why is something like getting a new computer up and running always so ridiculously complicated? Even just getting my hands on the machine was a frustrating process. First, the FedEx person left a "you weren't home" tag on my door, even though I was home. (I think I was on the treadmill, which is kind of noisy, and they didn't knock loud enough. Or, y'know, ring the doorbell.) After that, they'd only try to deliver it after 3:30, when I needed to leave for work. I ended up having to be an hour late for work just so I could wait for the thing on Final Delivery Day, because otherwise I would have had to drive all the way to Albuquerque to pick it up. I'm just glad someone was able to cover for me. I've had to make entirely too many trips up to ABQ lately.

    And, then, of course, there's all the setting things up, and updating and registering and downloading and installing and file transferring, and beating Windows 8 with a stick until it behaves. Which you expect to take quite a while, but which somehow always manages to take longer than you allow for, ever after you try to allow for that. ("Oops, I didn't copy those game save files off the old machine! Guess I need to hook it back up and turn it back on... Wait, why is the mouse suddenly not working on it?!")

    My big mistake, of course, was trying to set up a new printer/scanner at the same time. It's a wireless printer, which I figured would be nice. Fewer cables in the tangle behind the desk, and I'd also be able to print to it from my laptop or even my phone. Gaah, what an undertaking setting that up was. It went something like: "Wow, these installation instructions are confusing... Why is it not seeing the printer on the network? Oh, wait, there it is. Wait, why is none of my other stuff able to connect to the network now? How did this change my WiFi password?! Crap, what's the admin password for the router? Aaargh! OK, changed it back. Now I need to figure out how to give the printer the WiFi password. Clearly I'll need to plug it in for that. OK, now how do I... Man, this is the least useful help function ever. I'll just keep trying things that look vaguely like they might do setup stuff until I find it. Ah, there we go! Wait, the printer needs an admin password in order for me to give it the WiFi password? Were the hell do I find that?! This manual ought to win some kind of Most Craptastic Manual award. Half the entries say 'see instructions!' I thought this was the instructions! What is a manual if not instructions?! Oh, there we go. OK, and... It works! Wait, no it doesn't work. Oh. It's working now. I don't know why it's working now and it wasn't before. Or why the printer is listed twice on my devices list. But maybe I don't care anymore."

    Inevitably, of course, you reach a moment where things finally seem to be more or less working, and then you suddenly realize that it's 1:30 in the afternoon, you've been at it since 9:00, and you haven't had lunch or, for that matter, breakfast.

    But! Everything does seem to be working now! Yaaaaay!

    And my brand new keyboard already has cat hair in it. So clearly everything is back to normal.

    Saturday, May 30, 2015

    Also, I Swear I Was A More Confident And Assertive Driver On The Trip Home.

    I did, in fact, get out to see the new Mad Max movie! And, OK. It is, first and foremost, a ridiculous, violent action movie. If you're not OK with ridiculous, violent action movies, you're not going to enjoy it. But it is a really well-done example of the kind of thing it is, in some genuinely surprising ways. Ones that were still genuinely surprising to me even after having heard people talking about them all over the internet.

    Yes, it is basically a two-hour car chase. I would really, really expect that to get dull pretty quickly, but instead it just gets more and more exciting as it goes along. And the character stuff... Well, in most action movies, let's face it, what you get for characterization is mostly cliche, or lip service being paid to the idea that stories are supposed to have character development. But this one creates surprisingly well-realized characters with an absolute bare minimum of dialog, and the emotional moments are genuinely affecting. I'm honestly not sure how they did that, but it's impressive. And, yes, the reviews are all right: this is a movie that does well by its women. In fact... It feels, in a very subtle and hard-to-pin down way, as if it's a movie made for me, just as much as it is for the men in the audience. I think that may be the first time that has ever happened with this kind of gonzo blood-and-explosions action movie. And it could be that's just an illusion, based on preconceptions I had about it going in. But I think not entirely? And that's... a bit mind-blowing. But nice.

    So, that's now three movies in three days that I've actually really enjoyed, and that have fully kept my attention the whole way through. (The first, of course, was Interstellar. The second was Big Hero 6, which I watched on DVD yesterday, and thought was pleasant and fun.) If this continues, I may have to take back all that stuff I said a while back about how movies in general no longer seem to entertain me the way that TV shows do. Although, sadly, I suspect this may just be something of a lucky streak.

    Thursday, May 28, 2015

    Home And (Far, Far) Away

    I've been working ridiculous hours the last couple of weeks, and now finally have a nice chunk of time off. And, hoo, boy, did I need it. Partly because I was getting super-stressed, and partly because I desperately needed some time to just get things done. In the last two days, I think I've finished about two weeks' worth of housecleaning, yard work, errand running, and various other annoying responsible-adult crap.

    Then, having accomplished enough that I felt like I could finally relax again, I treated myself to a movie. I watched Insterstellar. Which was fantastic. Even though there were certain things about it that really shouldn't have worked for me, it was fantastic, which maybe just makes it all the more impressive. I put it on late in the afternoon, figuring I would stop it in the middle to heat myself up some dinner, and then pretty much just didn't re-emerge for three hours. I'd say that I slightly regret not seeing it in the theater now, but there were a few places in there where I found myself weeping like an idiot, and it may be just as well that didn't happen in public. I am, at least, glad that I somehow managed to remain completely unspoiled for it. Seriously, the only things I knew going in were that it got good buzz, there was supposed to be some actual science in it, and (I was pretty sure) there was a wormhole in it somewhere. Which you would think might actually be enough to get me to the theater, but I honestly expected it to be kind of disappointing. So many SF movies are.

    Now I just have to get out to see the new Mad Max film, since everyone is insisting I absolutely must...

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    An Anniversary

    As of yesterday, it has been one year since I had my surgery. Which is kind of an odd thought for me. On one hand, that period of recovery time seems to have receded into the distant past and taken on a strangely unreal quality. I actually have to actively remind myself that, oh, yeah, that really happened, that time when I couldn't even bend over. On the other hand, surely I have not aged a full year since then. Wait, you mean even my cats have aged a full year since then? That's a significant chunk of lifespan for them! It cannot be possible! Seriously, time is just... weird. You'd think the older I get, and the more of it I experience, the more used I would be to the way it passes, but instead it keeps taking me more and more by surprise.

    Anyway. They -- by which, of course I mean the internet -- say that it takes a year to fully recover from a hysterectomy, so I guess I should celebrate now or something. I remember, just after the surgery, reading a site that had a timeline of what to expect as you heal, and somewhere a few months in was the milestone of finding you could go an entire day at a time without thinking about having had the surgery. A few weeks in, I was having serious trouble believing that would ever be possible, but, of course, it was. By now, even the numbness around my scar that lingered for most of the year has faded. And the scar itself has faded into an unobtrusive line that I mostly can't see over my fat belly, anyway.

    The one thing that hasn't faded -- as I feared it was going to -- is my joy at the results. I have not yet come to take the fact that I am not bleeding massively from my genitals once a month for granted. Indeed, the realization that that is not happening and -- unless something goes very badly wrong -- never will again still hits me on a fairly regular basis, and it's hard to keep a grin off my face when it does.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Oh, That's How You Do It!

    Yay, I remembered how to sleep! I remembered how to sleep a lot! Mind you, sleeping for ten or eleven hours and waking up very late in the morning is far from ideal when you have to get up early for work the next day. But at this point, I'll take it. I feel better today than I have in at least the last week.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    A Difficulty

    Help, I think I have forgotten how to sleep.

    Sunday, May 17, 2015

    Whining And Linkage

    Ugh. I'm finally approaching the end of a long, looong week of night shifts, the last couple of which have involved dealing with some annoying middle-of-the-night problems. I've been getting even less sleep than is usual for me when I'm on nights. And this chest cold, while not as bad as it might be, is showing no signs of departing. Basically, it's been a bit of a rough week.

    So, clearly, it's time to share a silly link that made me smile: 14 Classic Novels Rewritten With Clickbait Titles. Although, honestly, #9 just tells the simple, unvarnished truth.

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Please Send Cough Drops.

    Gaaah, never mind blaming my allergies, I think I'm actually kind of sick. Which is just... not acceptable. Seriously, it isn't. I have another 40 hours' worth of night shifts still ahead of me, and there isn't anybody who can easily fill in for me if I'm sick.

    Sigh. This is what comes of going out and doing things and being social. You just expose yourself to other people's germs. Hermit mode is much better. How else am I going to avoid that end-of-the-world plague when it comes?

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    No, I Did Not Forget The May Currentlies.

    This is way later in the month than I usually do this, but I've been various kinds of busy lately.

    Current clothes: Blue pajama pants, a gray pocket t-shirt, and my space shuttle slippers. It's still morning for me, and I have not showered yet.

    Current mood: Tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep today. I overslept a bit yesterday, so I'm trying to tell myself that it all evens out, but sadly I don't think it quite works that way.

    Current music: Nothing particularly memorable.

    Current annoyance: I seem to be developing a bit of a cough. I think it's just due to some lung/throat irritation from my allergies, but it's not pleasant.

    Current thing: I've been doing a lot more getting out of the house and doing social things lately. Well, by my standards, anyway. But I think I've kind of topped out my capacity for that and maybe want to go back into introvert hermit mode again now. I've also been buying way too many books, but I guess that's less of a current thing and more of a perpetual thing.

    Current desktop picture: I've gone back to my favorite bookish wallpaper again.

    Current book: Inheritor by C.J. Cherryh.

    Current song in head: "Winds of Change" by the Scorpions, just because it was on the radio the other day. So, OK, I guess at least some of the music I've been listening to was memorable.

    Current refreshment: A cough drop. Mmmmm!

    Current DVD in player: Disk 2 of season 5 of Dexter. Which is a flawed show, and one that constantly feels as if it might go right off the rails at any moment -- and people who've seen more of it than I have all assure me that eventually it does. For now, though, I'm still... Well, "enjoying" it might not be quite the right word, but it's definitely holding my attention.

    Current worry: Nova might be a little constipated. To risk venturing into feline TMI territory, I've been noticing the last few weeks that his, uh, litterbox leavings are pretty small, hard, and dry. He is obviously still going at least once a day, though, so I'm not super worried. But I'm wondering if I should take him to the vet.

    Current thought: Can someone help me get the Scorpions out of my head?

    Sunday, May 10, 2015

    My Big, Nerdy Day Out

    Yes, this has been quite the day of nerdy indulgence for me! First, I went up to the big semi-annual book clearance sale at the Albuquerque public library. And, man... Every time I do that, I remember how much I love the thrill of the hunt and that squeeful feeling of having big piles of newly acquired books. But I tend to forget the stressful, claustrophobic feeling of being in that room full of people, all of whom appear to be trying their best to stand directly between me and whatever books I might be trying to look at at any given moment. Still... Boooooks! I ended up with a total of, uh, 22. Which is actually a small haul for me for one of these things. And you can't beat the price: it comes about to about 23 cents per book.

    Traffic downtown was kind of a pain, though, because there was a chunk of street closed off for some unadvertised reason. I'm not 100% certain, but it looked like they were filming something. I was wondering if it might be Better Call Saul, since I know they use a lot of downtown locations, but I don't think they've started filming season 2 yet. Which is good, because otherwise I would have confusingly mixed emotions, since I really hate backed up traffic, but I really like Better Call Saul. If it was just some random movie, though, I can just feel annoyed. Still... I guess it's a sign that New Mexico's film industry really is taking off, as that's not something I've ever encountered before.

    Anyway. After the book sale and navigating the downtown streets, I went to see The Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Which I enjoyed. Maybe not quite as fun as the first movie, but entertaining. Especially as I've always had a soft spot for anything involving AIs. Someone told me yesterday, though, that the director's cut is supposed to be three and a half hours, and I can totally believe it, because a lot of the plot, while it worked OK, did feel like it could have been fleshed out more.

    And now, I am about to watch the season finale of Once Upon a Time. I've had somewhat mixed feelings about this season, to be honest, but I'm still ludicrously into this show, so I'm looking forward to it.

    Oh, and, yes, somewhere in there, I did find time to call my mom. (I also tried to call my dad, since it's his birthday, but I didn't get an answer. So, if you're reading this, Dad, happy birthday!)

    Thursday, May 07, 2015

    Dear Immune System: Stop Hitting Yourself!

    Here I was, going around telling people how great the Flonase I'm using has been working, because my allergies hadn't been bothering me at all this year. Then we got a few days of rain. Yesterday, it stopped. And, suddenly: PLANT ORGY! HUGE PLANT ORGY! And the inside of my nose has become an ugly, ugly place. The Flonase, it does nothing! Or at least not enough. Fortunately, I have some of the good decongestants hoarded from last year. Unfortunately, they're not doing a whole lot either. Clearly the only remaining solution is to move to Antarctica.

    Saturday, May 02, 2015

    I Have A T-Shirt That Says "Will Work For Books." I Guess It Tells The Truth.

    Last night was the Service Awards dinner, in which I was recognized for having worked for NRAO for 20 years. Which is a number I'm still having immense trouble wrapping my head around. Anyway, among other things, they gave me a very nice gift certificate. It's one of those ones that's not a gift card for a specific place, but can be redeemed online for gift cards of your choice. They had a lot of options, but most of them were not places I was especially interested in shopping. So, clearly, there was really only one solution: Shopping spree at Barnes & Noble! Whoo-hoo!!

    Friday, May 01, 2015

    Bloggish Musings

    Well, here we are in May, and thus I am officially done with the second annual celebration -- or whatever it is -- of Blogs-A-Lot April. Once again, I got a small but surprising amount of satisfaction out of it, possibly just because taking the time to post something every day, even if it was only a sentence or two, gave some vague sense of structure to my life of crazy, ever-shifting schedules.

    I was going to say, though, that this particular exercise got me to thinking, not so much about whether I should do the same thing next year, but about whether this blog should even still really be an active thing next year. Because whether people comment here or not -- and a big "hello!" both to those who do, and to those who read but comment to me offline or elsewhere instead -- it can feel embarrassingly like talking to myself in public. And, as a format for personal updates, stray thoughts, random links, and occasional cat pictures, the blog feels increasingly obsolete. Normal people these days do that stuff on Facebook, or Twitter. (Or Tumblr, maybe, especially for the younger set. But I have to admit, I don't really get Tumblr.) I've resisted joining Facebook and Twitter for various reasons, for years, but maybe, I was thinking, it might be time to do that, after all, and make people stop coming to me here. Probably only one or two people would miss it anyway, right?

    And then, in the last few days, several people have left really entertaining comments, or told me in person that they enjoy my posts here and like to stop by occasionally to catch up, with the implication that Facebook wouldn't be remotely the same. Which made me feel good, and has prompted a surge of real affection for the ol' blog. So, who knows? Maybe I'll keep going. I've been here 13 years, a number that truly startles me. But maybe I'll hang out for another 13, until we're all just communicating telepathically with each other's brain implants.

    Thursday, April 30, 2015

    A New Thing!

    I bought a new sofa! It is an awesomely comfy sofa of awesomeness. Look!

    As you can see, it has already been claimed for the feline species.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

    I'm Surely Not The Only One Who Gets A Little Freaked Out By This Sort Of Thing. Am I?

    The latest interesting trick from my new phone: it told me what my travel time would be between my home and work, and offered me a traffic report for my commute. Which is a bit silly, as I walk to work, and my travel time is always exactly the same. But that is not the important point. The important point is that it figured out by itself where I work. My phone is stalking me. I'm guessing the app tracked the phone's location and decided, correctly, that that place I've gone at the same time every day for the last six days must be my place of employment. Truly, this is an awesome and terrifying science fiction future I am now living in.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    I Haven't Had Time To Do Or Think About Anything Interesting Lately, So I'm Just Gonna Ramble About My Boring Life.

    I am finally at the end of another very long work week, this time of day shifts. I'm going to be so glad when we finally get a new person hired, trained, and ready to take their place in the rotation, so we don't have to do these anymore. Or at least not as often. Although, I gotta say, I am not looking forward to training them. At all. Right now, my job feels like it involves such a disorganized mishmash of knowledge and procedures that some days I'm not sure I know how to do it.

    Anyway. It'll be good to get off the day shifts for a while, at least. Lately I've been so exhausted I've been falling asleep at 9:00, which just seems all kinds of wrong to me. I don't know if my brain's going to try to pull that on me again tonight or not, but I think I'm going to go out to the weekly pub quiz tonight, anyway. As far as I can tell, my trivia-recalling abilities don't actually seem to depend much on how tired I am.

    Monday, April 27, 2015

    I Talk About The Weather

    It's cool and damp here this morning. I kind of love weather like this. It's so unusual here, that it feels like I'm, well, anywhere but New Mexico. It makes me feel like I've traveled without ever leaving home.

    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

    Here's An Idea

    I still have nothing interesting to talk about today, so instead I'll let someone else do it for me, by linking to my New Favorite Thing: the PBS Idea Channel, where there is no such thing as overthinking. I've been slowly making my way through all the videos in order. I think I'm now up to number 106. No comment on whether or not I might be developing an eensy little crush on the host.

    Friday, April 24, 2015

    More Cat (Much More Cat)

    By request: a picture of Vir. Although he wasn't being anywhere near as photogenic as Nova, I'm afraid.

    Thursday, April 23, 2015


    I'd like to wish a happy birthday to William Shakespeare. Also to my friend Jeannine. And since I missed acknowledging the fact that it was Earth Day yesterday, I'd like to reassure the Earth that it's still my favorite place in the solar system, no matter what Mars or Europa might say.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    It's What The Internet Is Made Of.

    I got nothing today, so have a cat picture I took while trying out the camera on the new phone:

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    A Shot In The Foot

    Today's fun activity: another visit to my podiatrist, since the orthotics, while they've helped, haven't done away with the foot pain nearly as much as I was hoping. So this time, I got a shot of cortisone in the foot. My toes still feel kind of numb. Hopefully that's normal.

    Then, of course, to reward myself for having braved the giant scary needle, I went to Page One and bought entirely too many books. As one does.

    Interesting side note: my new phone took it upon itself to remind me not just of my appointment, but of exactly when I'd have to leave to make the appointment. Which is especially interesting, as I didn't tell it I had an appointment. It must have read my e-mail. Once again, I cannot decide whether this technology is awesome or creepy. But either way, I have clearly become a science fiction character.

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    The Bad Kind Of Time Travel

    Finally, I am nearing the end of this 7-day, 64-hour block of night shifts! Of course, then I have to spend tomorrow shifting myself back around to being a day person. Yay.

    Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Not Such Bad Habits

    Today's random link, because I'm a sucker for this kind of thing: 9 Of The Worst Habits Of Book-Lovers That Leave Us Broke, In Pain, And Lonely (But It's All Totally Worth It).

    Some thoughts:

    This is maybe the third time in the past few months that I've seen a reference to an awesome-sounding super-bookish character on Gilmore Girls. I am now wondering whether I need to watch this show.

    And I can confirm that I have, in fact, brought a book to a party. In fact, I do bring a book everywhere, and it befuddles me that the author of this piece seems to think that there's something wrong or embarrassing about that.

    Saturday, April 18, 2015

    I Will Attempt To Resist The Urge To Hide In The Introvert Cave.

    People seem to keep asking me to do social things lately. It's... strange.

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    One For You, Nineteen For Me

    So, that's another tax day over and done with. I hope everybody got theirs done with a minimum of bother. (Well, I hope that for the US folks, anyway. I have no idea when the rest of the world does such things.)

    Even though mine are usually minimally complicated, I find doing my taxes ridiculously frustrating. Often at some point in the process I will find myself gritting my teeth and going, "Aaargh! I have an astrophysics degree! Why am I incapable of understanding a stupid tax form!?"

    Ah, well, at least I'm getting a decent refund this year. It's not a lot, but it's more than I usually get. Even though it's really just my own money coming back to me, I'm choosing to look at it as a reward for putting up with the annoyance.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    I'm Not Sure My Brain Was Quite Ready For That.

    I'll tell ya, there is some interesting stuff in my Netflix queue. Having given up on Mockingjay, I have now moved on to the next item on the list, a six-part anime series called FLCL[*]. Two episodes in, and so far my entire reaction can pretty much be summed up as, "Now Japan's just fucking with us." I am reserving judgment as of yet as to whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    [*] Apparently that's pronounced "fooly cooly." Which appears to be some sort of sexual euphemism. I... don't even know.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    In Which I Cleverly Identify A Trend Everybody Already Knew About Anyway

    Judging by my own completely anecdotal personal experience, I believe I can confidently state that, as of right now, we have reached the point where e-books have not only Arrived, they are tipping over into becoming the norm. I base this on the fact that, four or five times just in the past month or so, random people have seen me reading in a public place and come up to me and said, "Oh, it's so nice to still see someone reading a real book!" By which they clearly mean a print book. About half the time, this is followed up by some vaguely embarrassed admission of having broken down and bought a Kindle. Although why they should feel like that's somehow shameful, I honestly don't know. I have lots of reasons for not going that route, myself, but it's not like there's anything immoral about them.

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    Why Movies Are My Least Favorite Entertainment Delivery System: A Random Ramble Of Rambliness

    I watched about half of Mockingjay, Part 1 last night before I got too sleepy to continue, and I'm now debating whether I should even bother finishing it. It's not that it's bad, exactly, but so far it consists mostly of people sitting or standing around in various places with offputting lighting, looking grim and intoning stilted Dialog of Earnest Seriousness at each other. And do I really need more of that in my life? Especially as I did read the books, so it's not like I don't know how it all comes out.

    All of which is making me think of this blog post that I read a few days ago. (If you're too lazy to click, the title is, "Too Busy To Watch a Movie? Read A Book.") Reading that gave me one of those "OMG, I am not alone!" reactions, as I have been trying to explain to people for ages how it is that I can binge-watch entire seasons of TV shows or cheerfully dive into a 500-page novel that will take me days to finish, but sitting down to watch a 2-hour movie somehow feels like way too much effort. Generally, people look at me in blank incomprehension when I say that, but, wheee! Turns out it's not just me!

    Mind you, I'm not sure the author has the full explanation here. Yes, I think probably a large part of it is that we all feel really busy these days, with a zillion other things we could be doing instead of watching that 2-hour movie, while TV episodes are more bite-sized and thus feel like less of a commitment, and books can be whipped out anywhere and read a few pages at a time. But for me, at least, it's more than that. It's not just that I am (or feel) busy and don't want to commit the time. It's more about committing my attention, and the issue of how much reward I get in return for what that attention costs me. Books, for me, require almost no effort. Reading is almost like breathing for me, and it's pretty much an unthinking default activity for filling any random downtime. Utterly effortless, and often done during times when I wouldn't be doing much of anything else, anyway, so it scarcely feels like an investment. Even if it turns out to be a bad book, I don't really feel frustrated or cheated out of the time it took me to read it. Much.

    A TV episode requires maybe 40 minutes of sitting down and actively committing your attention to the screen (or at least, it does the way I watch it). A movie might require a couple of hours. But how does the reward compare? I think this is what makes the difference. I find I have very little patience with movies that don't completely and immediately deliver me a great viewing experience; whereas I can actually have a lot of patience with a subpar episode of TV show I'm following. Why? I think it's this: with a decent TV show, there's at least the prospect of a long-term reward for the time I'm investing. Maybe the pilot episode is rough, maybe this particular mid-season episode is mostly just annoying filler, whatever. But sitting through that episode, even if it's not great in itself, gets me somewhere. At least, it does with most modern TV shows. It's a step along the path in a much larger story, a story that I get to watch play out over time, with characters whose lives I can be a part of for a good long while and a world that my TV and I can explore together at our leisure. It's a part of a larger whole, one that can potentially provide me with days or years of entertainment, which makes it worth sitting through the boring parts and the missteps, as long as that whole seems at all worthwhile. And if the episode I'm currently watching isn't great, the next episode might be a lot better. But I have to get through the current one first, or the story won't work as well. And, hey, I can do that! It's totally worth it to me. And so I'm able to relax and enjoy myself, rather than feeling impatient and frustrated and distracted by thoughts of all the other things I could be doing with my time instead.

    With a movie... Well, you watch the movie, and that's it. That's the full experience. The point of watching a movie is to enjoy the movie, and so, if my enjoyment is anything less than complete, it feels like kind of a waste of time. That's even true for movies like The Hunger Games series, where there actually is one story continued over several movies, because these things come out spaced a year or more apart, and generally by the time the next one is available, I've forgotten most of the last one and lost all sense of momentum and most of my interest. Sure, there are exceptions, exciting movies that provide extended enjoyment because afterward I spend a long time thinking about them and discussing them, and can watch them over and over and find new things in them each time. (Hello, Cabin in the Woods!) But those are very, very rare. Most of Hollywood's output is, at best... kind of OK. And two hours of my concentrated attention for the sole reward of having watched something kind of OK is mostly just not good enough.

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    No One Understands Me But My Google

    My new phone came with this app from the All-Knowing Google, which, when opened, automatically provides information it believes you will want. Last night, it reminded me that today is Yuri Gagarin day, and that there's a new episode of Once Upon a Time. That's a level of relevance-to-my-interests that's almost disturbing. Truly, 21st century technology is a wonderful and terrifying thing.

    Also, happy Yuri Gagarin Day!

    Saturday, April 11, 2015

    But At Least I Have Shoes.

    Today's excitement: I drove up to Albuquerque to buy myself a new pair of shoes. Afterward, I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, but I ended up meeting him at the hospital instead, as he arrived home only to discover his elderly mother had been carted off in an ambulance. Eeeep! Fortunately, she seems to be just fine. But I would appreciate it if that's the last phone call I get telling me someone's in the hospital for a good long while.

    Friday, April 10, 2015

    In Which I Accomplish Things, And Other People Flake Out Completely

    It's been a fairly satisfying few days, just in terms of how much I've managed to knock off my ridiculously long to-do list. Yay!

    I really wish that one of those things had been getting the ball rolling on the concrete work I need done, though. I'm still utterly befuddled by my dealings with the company here in Socorro. I called them over a week ago and got someone who seemed very clueless about what they would or wouldn't do, but said that the boss would call me back and let me know. He did a few hours later and told me that, yep, they'd do the kind of work I need -- removing the old damaged concrete of my driveway and from around my house and replacing it with new stuff -- and that he'd come out and give me an estimate the next day, and would call before he showed up. Never saw him, never heard from him. I called back the next day, during normal business hours, got no answer, and left a message. Nothing. I called again a couple of days ago, after the Easter holidays, to ask what the hell happened, kinda hoping there'd be some legitimate excuse about a family emergency or something, and got someone who sounded a lot like the same person I originally talked to. She claimed to have no idea who I was or that I'd ever called or arranged anything, and suggested that maybe the reason I got blown off was because "we've been kinda busy." Then she assured me that the boss would call me back "the minute he steps in the door." Guess what? Yep. Never heard back. So, clearly these are not people I actually want to do business with. (That's A-1 Concrete, for the local Socorro folks. I recommend avoiding.) Anyway, I guess once again I'm going to have to find someone in Albuquerque who's willing to come down here.

    Sigh. Sometimes I really hate this town.

    Thursday, April 09, 2015

    Technological Progress!

    So, I did, in fact, get quite a few major things done yesterday, even if my to-do list is still somehow growing instead of shrinking. The biggest thing is that I finally did something I'd been intending to do for at least the last year: I got myself into the Verizon store and bought myself a new phone.

    I now have a shiny new LG G3, a good phone with a ridiculously bland and unmemorable name. So far, I am deliriously happy with it. Mind you, at this point anything would be a vast improvement over my old phone, which is nearly five years old and was low-end even when I bought it. Among other things rendering it very close to useless for most of what you'd actually want to use a smartphone for, it had so little memory that not only could I not add any more apps to it, I couldn't even let the ones that were already there update themselves.

    I've also long since come to realize that I find very small screens entirely too annoying to deal with The new one has a 5.5" display, and, oh, man, that's approximately a 6,000-fold increase in usability for me. The keyboard display is actually large enough for me to type on it comfortably! It takes me more than three seconds to read all the text that fits on the screen! I can actually see what's going on in a video! Hallelujah!

    Wednesday, April 08, 2015

    Or Maybe I'll Just Sit Around Dithering About What To Do Until It's Time To Go Back To Work.

    One of my co-workers is transferring to another position, and we haven't hired someone to replace him yet, never mind getting them trained. So for the near future, my work schedule is even weirder than usual. Among other things, that means I'm working one of those 7-day, 64-hour weeks of night shifts next week. Yay. But it also means that, starting today, I have five days in a row off. Which is awesome, and more or less makes up for it.

    Except for the fact that I've got this small but forceful voice in the back of my brain insisting that I need to use this time off to do ALL THE THINGS, as quickly as possible, especially the things that require doing stuff during normal day person hours, but also that I absolutely must use it to relax and de-stress, do a lot of reading and catch up on all the TV shows I've recorded but not yet watched.

    Thanks, brain. Thanks a lot.

    Well, so far I've hacked down weeds in the yard (ah, the joys of spring!) and called the city (again) about the fire hydrant in my front yard that's leaking (still), and put some laundry in the washer. Not bad, considering that it's not even 11 AM yet. Maybe now I can get to work on that relaxing part...

    Tuesday, April 07, 2015

    (70 Miles South Of) Albuquerque

    I'm already doing very poorly with this posting-every-day thing. The only thing I can think of to blog about today is how I went into the Subway wearing my Weird Al Yankovic t-shirt, and when I said, "Can I get chips and a drink with that?" the guy responded, "Naaaah, we're out of bear claws," and I felt that bizarre warm glow that only comes from sharing a pop cultural affinity with a completely random person in a completely random situation.

    And for anyone who might need an explanation and have eleven minutes to kill:

    Monday, April 06, 2015

    I Got Nothing Else Today, So Let's Do This Now.

    Current clothes: Blue jeans. A Doctor Who t-shirt. Brown leather boots that have definitely seen better days and are reminding me that I need to go and buy some new shoes soon.

    Current mood: Mostly OK, I guess, although if I'm honest, I have been kinda grumpy and insecure lately, overall.

    Current music: Nothing at the moment, really. But I'm thinking of buying a pair of portable speakers for my iPod, so I can have it wake me up in the morning with random music.

    Current annoyance: Having to schedule things that involve other people. Because then not only do I have to work around my own (frequently insane) schedule, I also have to work around theirs. Even more annoying: when they then don't show up.

    Current thing: I, um, may have been accidentally buying entirely too many books again. But... But books are my refuge when I am feeling grumpy and insecure! And buying them and surrounding myself with them may actually be even more soothing than reading them. (Is this working as an excuse, or just making me sound really, really pathetic?)

    Current desktop picture: It's still Uncle Iroh, although, much as I love him, I think it really is time to replace him now.

    Current book: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It's a giant brick of a fantasy novel -- part two in a series of giant fantasy bricks -- but it's a surprisingly quick and pleasant read.

    Current song in head: Something the dancing demon sang in the musical Buffy episode, because it randomly came up on my iPod a couple of days ago.

    Current refreshment: Nothing. I must have refreshment! Actually, I must figure out what I want to do for dinner...

    Current DVD in player: Disc 3 of season 3 of Dexter. Which is a weirdly additive show, and which makes me think all kinds of pretentious, half-formed thoughts about narrative and POV and the seductive but problematic concept of vigilante justice, and stuff. Although I'm also wondering whether it's a premise that's actually capable of supporting a full eight seasons, and whether it might actually have peaked in season two. But I intend to keep watching it to find out.

    Current worry: Nothing specific, honestly. Which I guess is actually kind of nice, only having vague, general things to worry about.

    Current thought:

    Sunday, April 05, 2015

    It Must Be Bunnies!

    Happy Easter, to those for whom the occasion is significant. (And, for that matter, happy Passover, ditto.)

    In honor of the day, may I direct you to possibly the most adorable piece of Doctor Who fan art ever?

    Saturday, April 04, 2015

    Although They Do Say If You Eat A Live Frog Before Breakfast, Nothing Worse Will Happen To You (Or The Frog) For The Rest Of The Day.

    Hoo, boy, has today been One of Those Days. I think there should be a rule that says, if breakfast involves discovering your bagel is moldy after you've eaten almost half of it, you should just be allowed to go back to bed and blow off whatever you were supposed to do for the rest of the day. Because, somehow, it just never gets much better from there.

    Friday, April 03, 2015

    How Is It That I'm Old Enough To Be Doing Anything For 20 Years?

    Just got an e-mail at work yesterday acknowledging the fact that, as of last year, I have been with the Observatory for 20 years. In recognition of this fact, I get a pin, a plaque, a free dinner, a substantial gift certificate, and the disconcerting feeling of wondering where the hell all that time has gone and what exactly I've been doing with my life.

    Thursday, April 02, 2015

    April Fools, First World Problems, Whatever

    It's been many years since someone played a deliberate prank on me on April Fool's Day (at least, if you don't count all those fake news articles and things), and this year was no different. But I swear, the entire world seems to have lined up to mess with me, anyway. I spent all day waiting for a guy to come and give me an estimate on re-doing my driveway, but he never called and never came. Finally, hungry and tired from all that waiting, I ordered myself a pizza, only to have the wrong one show up. Which I didn't realize until the delivery guy had left, of course, although the smell of green peppers wafting from the box ought to have been a clue. I hate green peppers.

    Seriously, world, come on. That's a really lame sense of humor. I mean, if you're gonna play pranks on me, you could at least make them creative.

    Um... wait. Pretend I never said that. I don't want to tempt fate quite that much.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    The Triumpant Return Of Blogs-A-Lot April (No April Foolin'!)

    So, last year I did this thing where for (most of) the month of April, I made a point of posting something here every day, even if it was just a stray thought or a random link. And I think it was a worthwhile exercise -- for me, if for no one else. And appropriate for April, too, since this is the blog's anniversary month. (It's 13! Which is a fact that's kind of hard to process, on several levels.) Anyway, I'm going to try it again this month. I have no idea what I'm going to have to say for the next 29 days, but, hey, I'm sure it'll be fun finding out.