altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
Survived. We drove into Chicago with ham, potato salad, bread, kohl-rabi, and asparagus. Also a small home freezer that Gary picked up used for his mom. We set up the freezer for her, after much fiddling to get the cover re-installed correctly, and it obligingly chilled itself right down to 0°F in about an hour. So that's taken care of and the thing is out of the garage here.

The remaining relatives arrived late as usual because they'd all been to more than one dinner today. Even so, a fair quantity of food and wine got demolished. (We still brought home leftovers aplenty, but that's OK.) And that brings the guilt-obligated holiday dinners to an end for this season, Thank goodness.

I was so worn by the whole affair that I took a nap after the horse and sheep chores were done, while Gary walked the dog out in the pasture. It was a gray and gloomy day, with spattering rain just before sunset, weather that rightfully would be more appropriate for Good Friday, I think.

Because the guild newsletter went out yesterday, I have nothing left to do but get ready for FCN. That means finishing up Rails 'n' Tails modules and checking over the fursuit, then packing and planning the driving details. Since the Rails 'n' Tails panel takes place at 3 pm on Friday, we have to get there early enough on Friday to set up for it.

Right now, though, I need to get some more sleep. That should make the rest of this two weeks much more pleasant.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Actually I kept thinking all day that it must be Saturday because I wasn't at work.

Finished up tax forms and mailed them. Sat in on Kishwaukee Ramblers rehearsal, which is always a treat. I don't often get to just play music any more and especially not in such a relaxed company. On the way home we stopped at my favorite produce market (Joseph's in Crystal Lake) and bought more fresh veggies than would fit in the fridge. Also some frozen pierogi that happened to take my fancy. Tried the potato with cheddar and jalapeno ones with fish and cauliflower and they were quite good.

Then we watched the rest of the Terry Pratchett film, another 90 minutes plus at least 60 minutes of bloopers, deleted scenes, and cast interviews. Not a very productive use of time but certainly enjoyable.

Now bed, I think. Short hard frost early this morning appears not to have damaged apple blossoms or lilacs, thank goodness.
altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
Accomplished? Nothing big. I made dinner. We watched the first half of Going Postal which does seem to be a brilliant interpretation of Pratchett's book for the screen. It's a British production, so they don't feel a need to dumb down or alter the plot the way Hollywood would have done. Nor are they afraid to take the time necessary to tell the whole story. The whole film runs over three hours, which would be nearly unthinkable to any Hollywood producer or director.

I managed (I think) to get essential tasks properly distributed at work so things won't pile up too badly. Now to take care of the essential outside tasks I still have to do. Spinning guild newsletter must be done tomorrow. Model railroad modules must be done in the next couple of days too.

Oh, we did finish one other task: income tax forms completed, ready to mail tomorrow. As usual, I get a nice refund from the federal government, but have to pay a small amount to the state.

Amazon packages with airbrush parts arrived on schedule today. Another is due tomorrow with a rural windmill at N scale to go into one of the railroad modules.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
I did nothing that really counted as work other than helping to feed critters. Played around on the computers, just fiddling. Rode with Gary into Chicago to take his mom shopping and out to lunch. We went to The Olive Garden, which is kinda over-priced but good stuff, since Gary still had a gift card from Christmas that was usable there. The gift card bought lunch for the three of us, so it was all gravy. Or should I say pasta? I had eggplant parmesan, one of my very favorite dishes. We also like their (all you can eat) salad, with the bruschetta appetizer (thin slices of toasted bread sprinkled with some garlic and Romano cheese, served with diced tomato and basil leaves.)

Came home and did more nothing. There are plenty of things that I could and should be doing, but I didn't feel like it. Helped a bit with evening chores, nearly put Tess out in the pasture for the first time this spring but Gary was out there working with Red and we aren't ready for an "off-lead" meeting of horse and dog. Helped him bring his agility jumps and some plastic hoops and cones from the arena to the dog yard so he can use them there with Red.

Mail was all just letters from places asking for donations of money I don't have. No messages or phone calls from work, so nothing to worry about. I do have to go in for tomorrow evening, about four hours. Then I'm done for the rest of the week.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
I'm on "vacation" for the next nine days. I'll be working feverishly on a weaving project, though, rather than doing much relaxing.

Tonight we saw The Secret of Kells which I have to say is a beautifully drawn and orchestrated animation. However, unless you know some of the historic legends about the real Book of Kells and a bit of Irish mythology too, it probably wouldn't make a lot of sense. Still, the merger of illuminator's art and ornament with more or less traditional hand-drawn animation is quite remarkable. And there's the character Aisling, who is capable of changing shapes between girl and white wolf.

Snow here, another half inch or so during the afternoon, followed by cold. Glad I don't have to go out tonight, but I will have to in the morning.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Well, enough so I had to turn on the windshield wipers to blow it away. For this late in the year, insignificant here. It was real snow, though. And cold.

Got to work, dragged a laptop out to where the public ports are, plugged it in. Tried every test I could come up with, and it still worked. Sorry, guy who complained to someone that you couldn't connect yesterday. Our system is working. Yours is not.

Wireless router came in today's mail. That was quick! Took it to work with me, and did find a few minutes to test it. Of course they provide no real documentation, only notes for idiots. Worse, they failed to provide half a dozen lines on the default power on state and settings, that would have allowed me to configure it in minutes from any PC, even one running (gasp) Linux. Oh no, they had to insist that you must initialize it by running a "wizard" program off a CD, which only works on a Windows PC. Assholes. So I did it their way, and in the process figured out all I really would have had to do. Now set up, using WPA and working at home. And yes, the Zipit connects to it just fine, though the present location of the router gives a pretty weak signal at the other end of the house. Have to change that.

Tried out links (text based web browser) and irssi (irc client) in the Linux shell on the Zipit, and both worked. In the default graphical environment, the streaming radio player works fine, and I had difficulty with the IM client. It won't connect to either AIM or Yahoo, dunno why. Same name and password work fine in pidgin on Linux.

We've made an appointment to go down to Bloomington to see and hopefully bring back Red, the dog the adoption folks selected for us. I think he's going to fit in well here and be happy, but we have to go see him to confirm that.

Off work tomorrow because the service guy is coming to check the ground loop on our geothermal. Off again next Thurs. to go to Bloomington. And now, bedtime.
altivo: Commission line art colored by myself (cs-tivo-color)
The weather here, at least. Sorry to hear that our Texas friends got drowned and windblown so badly.

Meeting was much as usual, normal details interspersed with horror stories about clueless administrators and managers. I know from experience that corporate America is even worse, and find it no surprise that the economy is so bad with this sort of "management" having held sway over both non-profits and profit-making organizations for decades now. It's time for a pendulum reversal, I say.

At least the circulation desk was relatively quiet this evening. Half a day tomorrow and then another three day weekend, since Friday is a vacation day.

Stuff done

Sep. 6th, 2010 10:48 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Actual weaving. It's a miracle. One rug completed, another partly finished. Too bad this is the end of vacation. Back to work tomorrow.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
I know vacation has finally set in when I'm having trouble remembering what day it is. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Sunday, and today I'm totally confused.

Stopped by work to return books that were due and pick up my paycheck. Then we had lunch at a new place, got the week's groceries, and returned home to work on chores etc.

The walnuts are stewing nicely in the water I added. In fact, it looks as if that water would dye all by itself, but I'll go ahead and simmer them for a couple of hours as advised by the books. Then the liquid gets strained off to form the actual dye bath. I got a small hotplate for $12 to use so I can do the cooking outside the house in case it makes ghastly odors. As I recall from childhood, the black walnuts only smell strongly of iodine when boiled, but others seem to think they smell quite rotten.

I also finally ran an identical performance test on each of the two Alphas and on the VAX emulation I have running on my Linux machine. It's a Fortran program that performs several million calculations. On the VAX emulator it took 29 hours to complete (and I think that emulation on this machine actually runs somewhat faster than a real MicroVAX would. On the DEC Personal Workstation, an Alpha EV56 processor at 433 MHz, the same program ran in 3 minutes.
On the Compaq DS10 at work, an Alpha EV6 processor at 617 MHz, the same program runs in 1 minute.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
They seem to have blown through without doing much here other than making noise and spitting a bit, though I guess points south of here did get soaked pretty well. Temperature has dropped off and the radar looks clear to the west.

Gary had a class tonight, and drove home through the tail end of a severe storm warning. Meanwhile I made stir fry of six vegetables and a tiny bit of leftover steak. Also baked an apple pie using the last apples from last year (Jonathans) and some new ones from this year (Paula Reds.) We'll see how that turned out in a few minutes.

Went shopping today and got some new jeans that were badly needed as my only remaining ones were becoming threadbare. Also stopped for some art supplies for tomorrow, which will hopefully include fair weather.

Early this morning had a bit of an enlightenment experience as I finally figured out how to squelch some weird issues on VMS that were appearing on both Alphas and also on the emulated VAX. It was partly due to a home directory being misplaced but mostly a result of a bad example I got somewhere showing modifications to a user's LOGIN.COM script. Once the simple fix was applied, it became possible to start any text editor without getting 15 seconds of pointless error messages (the editor would work anyway, but you had to sit through all the warnings each time.) I no longer have to think twice about starting up EVE or LSE.

Now to sample the pie. Report later.
altivo: (rocking horse)
Which means that something is going to happen, I just know it. A hay delivery is the most likely, though it is supposed to be rainy the next couple of days. A disaster at work? I think they might avoid calling me unless it were really bad. Not sure, but I still have an unsafe feeling about this.

Tomorrow is busy, with two meetings and thunderstorms on the agenda. The weather is supposed to clear by Friday, when I have an outdoor painting date with a friend. (Hooves crossed for nice weather and no new mosquitoes.)

Spent much of the afternoon today jamming with Gary and Neal (two thirds of the Kishwaukee Ramblers) which was very nice. I'm happy to say that I still find I can read music credibly if I get it adjusted properly in my bifocals. ;p

Tomorrow the weavers' guild in the morning, and another jam session in the afternoon.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
...but almost no mosquitoes. We seem to have crossed the critical length of time without significant rain so that the little buggers have all dried up. Of course, hot humid weather means flies and we have plenty of those. Fly spray on the horses works much better than mosquito repellent does, though.

Theoretically, tomorrow should start feeling like a vacation, since I'm not going to work. Car goes in for 36K service, though, and Gary wants me to go to Chicago with him to visit his mom, which I'll probably do.

I got inspired and made ratatouille crêpes for dinner. They turned out pretty well, except that the jalapeño I added was rather hotter than I expected. My ratatouille normally has some cayenne or a small hot pepper anyway, and I had the jalapeños on hand so I used one. It was so powerful that even after washing my hands twice with soap and water I could still feel the burn when I touched a finger to my lips. It diluted in the overall dish though and the result was quite acceptable.

Tess went out this morning and came in at noon, quite willingly as it was getting hot and stifling out there. She still fussed about being alone in the afternoon, though, and gave me a lecture every time I passed by, even if I stopped to pet and talk to her.

Apparently there are no black walnuts to be found around here this year. What few there may have been seem to have been taken by the squirrels already. I did find an empty shell this afternoon that was clearly the work of a squirrel. Most every natural dye source that is readily available now produces shades of yellow, and I need a contrast to yellow. Looks like either I take a chance on walnut bark, which is obtainable, or I go buy something like indigo. Need to decide pronto and get this done before the week ends.


Aug. 28th, 2010 10:16 pm
altivo: Geekish ham radio pony (geek)
Waaaaiiting for the C compiler to install on my VAX emulation. For whatever reason, installations always take forever on there. Maybe because they use @VMSINSTAL rather than PCSI. Or not.

Anyway, the idea was to get access to a purely VAX form of the C compiler, rather than the Alpha version. The Alpha version supposedly has a VAX C compatibility mode, but I don't trust it. Since I have the real thing and can run it, might as well go ahead and put it online.

Doesn't feel like vacation yet. Probably won't until Monday morning when I don't have to go to work. But we did some non-standard pootling around today that helps. Went and had breakfast in Crystal Lake, then shopping at several stores. This is something we used to do years ago, but haven't much in recent times.

One place we stopped was Joseph's Market, a really good produce place that also has lots of imported foods and a huge deli counter. We were restrained there and just bought produce.

OK, good. It installed, it works. Time for bed.


Sep. 9th, 2007 10:08 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
I've been off work for nine days and have to go back tomorrow. I did get a lot of things done, but very little of the main goal, which was editing. There were too many other priority interrupts, like the hay deliveries and the need to immediately stack hay bales. Oh well.

Now to see how the apple pie turned out. We got some home grown apples from a friend. They are quite tasty, but rather misshapen and some are a bit buggy, so it's easier to peel and cut them up for pie (omitting the bugs of course.) Report later. First pie, then bed.

August 2017



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