where did October come from?
beeker
beeker121
- My car hit 190,000 miles recently.  I was driving in town and got to watch all of those cylinders turn over, it was neat.  Of course, the battery died later that same week.  It was an easy fix but a sign that my 20 year old car may not have too much time left.  I'm hoping for one more winter, though there are a few maintenance things to do before the weather turns.

- Speaking of that Fall arrived here with a bang.  I'm not used to the high temperature dropping 20-30 degrees in a day.  Sunday it was 72, yesterday the high was 49 and we had frost overnight.  I'm thrilled for cooler weather but am used to a middle step, not going from t-shirts to turtlenecks in a day.

- I finally found a dentist here, went in for a check-up and cleaning and they found one cavity.  Now I've had only one cavity in my whole life before this, the bummer is it was the same cavity.  Apparently the dentist years ago didn't drill all of it out (I remember him saying it was so shallow they didn't even numb me up) and when my new dentist removed the old filling it was obivously bad - it looked dark brown.  So it has been re-drilled and re-filled.  I haven't decided, does this count as a second cavity or not?

-I've decided to read "IT" as part of the group reading in pathos_horror.  I am generally a scaredy-cat and have mostly avoided the horror genre in all things, though that's been slowly changing in the last few years.  "IT" was everywhere when I was in HS, and good friends told me I would have nightmares so I steered clear.  But I've always been curious, and figure reading it with other folks will help.  I read the first chapter this morning, and feel like that part of the story I've already heard endlessly just through pop culture osmosis.  So we'll see how this goes.

- Work continues to be - strange.  I've taught most of the parts of my old job to their new owners, and while I still twitch because they're not doing it like I would, it's getting done.  I've started learning the billing, though that is slow going because our systems are very bespoke, and there's a lot of information to learn.  So I oddly feel anxious both about what I'm not doing anymore and what I'm about to be doing. Right now on a day to day basis occasionally I have nothing to do, my old tasks are gone and new ones haven't filled in yet.  It's all weirdly stressful.  I have been/will be travelling one week a month for work from Aug-Dec which is kind of fun but also upsets all of my routines and is its own version of exhausting.  We'll see how all of this goes, I find myself chasing the back of the internet when there are productive long-term things I could be doing out of, I don't know, fear?  I'm doing well with the new stuff I've been given but I'm still not engaging all the way and I'm not quite certain why that is.

- I am running consistently again after tweaking something in my hip this summer - getting ready for a fall half-marathon.  I've also been working with a trainer once a week on strength and that has been fascinating, to figure out where my weaknesses are and work against them. 
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another eclipse story
beeker
beeker121
We went camping in western Wyoming Friday - Monday, near Pinedale.  J had booked a site in January that was just south of the totality line - none of the area campgrounds in the totality had reservable sites.

Friday we tested our first plan for getting into the totality path, driving to the upper Fremont Lake campground (our site was in the lower campground about 6 miles south).  The drive was beautiful, though the road wasn't in great repair.  When we got to the upper entrance there was a greeter next to a sign that read "Campgrounds full".  I told her we had a campsite and had driven up to see what there was to see.  Her reply, "A lot of cars."  The place was packed, not only was that camp area full, but it's the staging area for a hike-in campground that was also full, and a lot of folks who were back country hiking/camping also were using it as a launching location.  Cars were parked on the sides of every roadway in the immediate area.  We drove back down realizing how popular and crowded that area was going to be on Monday and thought about other plans.

Saturday we tested our next plan - J's inflatible two seat kayak.  We rowed out onto the lake trying to find some kind of rhythm.  J has sailboat and river rafting experience, I tend towards sea sickness and try to avoid being on the water.  Plus it's a kayak designed for rivers where the current is helping you go the way you want, in the lake it steered like a lame cow.  But it would keep us outdoors and not stuck in a car in traffic, so Sunday we went back out to keep learning about the kayak and each other. (who's steering?  it's best when only one person at a time does it.)

Monday we packed up camp, went to the day use area (saving ourselves a half mile of paddling from the much busier boat dock, we did learn some things Sunday) and put in.  We rowed across the lake to the western shore to a jutting point we could see from the maps was inside the totality boundary.  Kayak beached, we were able to climb up and around the small bluff at the shore.  A lot of boats heading for the northern shore went by.

We watched the eclipse, just the two of us, in a clear Wyoming sky.  Observations -

- The sun is bright.  Even mostly covered it wasn't as dark as i thought it would be.  Though the quaility of the light was fascinating, it has a very different color tone than a sunrise or set.
- The first thing I noticed wihtout eclipse glasses was it getting colder.  The temperature difference was noticable, and I was glad I threw a fleece in the dry bag.  It was downright cold at the totality.
- Totality where we were at the very southern edge lasted about 30 seconds.  It never went full dark, more like very late dusk with pink all around the edges of the horizon.  We saw a few planets out but no stars.
-The thing that made me emotional was the end of the totality, when the sun started coming back.  I teared up then, it felt like a benediction.

We stayed on our bluff and ate lunch and watched the sun come back, and watched a lot of boats go past to the southern boat landings..  Then we climbed down and rowed back across the lake to our vehicle, packed up the kayak, changed into dry clothes, and started home.

It was a fabulous trip, entirely worth the driving and occasional traffic.  It was nice just to get out camping which we haven't done much this summer so I'm glad we had the excuse.

stuff and nonsense
beeker
beeker121
- We saw Green Day in concert last night.  They were amazing: the show was high-energy, the bits they did (like pulling an eleven year old out of the audience to play guitar on one of their songs) were the right mix of sweet and crazy, and they're one of those bands where I forget exactly how deep their catalog is until I realize how many of the songs I could sing along with.  It was an outdoor venue and it rained for about fifteen minutes just after they began, but the wind came up and the rain started so perfectly in time with them taking the stage and their first number that it could have been cued.

- Work is going to be crazy for the next few months. For a variety of reasons the accounting department is about to play musical chairs with responsibiities and I'm the primary focus.  I'm going to learn a new function (accounts receivable) that is a full time job on its own, so everything I do now I need to teach to one of two people: accounts payable to the current PGH receptionist who is stepping up to take this on, and all of my various other responisbilities to the other accountant in the department.  What I do now is a bit of a hodge podge, and I've spent the last year since Steve left getting it sorted and organized.  Most of my responisbilities run smoothly now with few surprises.  That does mean it's a good time to move on to something else, but I can already tell it's going to be a little hard to let go of things to folks who may not be quite as careful (anal, that's what I mean) about keeping track of everything.  There are also a few of my responsibilities dividing between the two ladies, at least in the short term, that will mean they have to talk to each other a lot to keep them straight.

As a remote employee I don't talk much, now that I'm teaching people I have scheduled meetings nearly every day and am on the phone a lot.  It's one extreme to another and I find myself getting peopled out by the end of most days.  Last week I was in Pittsburgh so we could start the processes in person, which was smart.  But that trip was more than the usual exhausting, because teaching is a whole different way of thinking about tasks you ordinarily just do, and people.  It doesn't help that my manager believes in a very hands off, sink or swim version of management, so I'm left figuring out what I need to teach who and when on my own with very little oversight.

- I wrote a draft for the last Idol prompt to home game with, but with work I never had a chance to go back and put the revision time in, which it needed.  This week i had an idea, but I never got words down at all.  It looks like I got voted out of Idol at the right time.

LJI:home game - the waffle house index
beeker
beeker121
Take your breaks.Collapse )

There's your problem
beeker
beeker121
I'm having some trouble settling in to work today and I have an update-y post bouncing around in my brain so maybe if I get this out then I can focus on work.

-I was voted out of <lj user="therealLJIdol"> this past week.  I had been skating close to the edge for a few weeks and knew I was close to the limit of where I could go, for two reasons.  One is simply a numbers game, LJ is my only social media account and at least 90% of who I know here that is still active is also playing, or has played, Idol.  Without voters from outside the game - friends, family, whoever clicks over from facebook (not sure if that's been happening this season or not) - it's going to be nearly impossible to win.  Which is part of the game, and I choose to stay off the book of face and other places so this isn't me whining, just pointing out a reality.  Two, the entry that I got voted out on was only good.  I've been lucky to hit a run of ideas the last month or so for topics that sparked, that needed to be written down and fussed over, that I could hand to someone with no explanation of Idol or the prompt and would still have some life (if I do say so myself - YMMV).  Those have all made it through.  What I wrote for 'Tool Box' was the best I had out of a myriad of half-started ideas, the only one good enough that I didn't get stuck two paragraphs in, and I had fun with it.  I worked to make it stand alone, but really without 'Canard' there wasn't a need for it.  And at this stage of the game, that doesn't cut it.  I've been playing since season 5 (though I've never made it to the mini-seasons) and this is the furthest I've ever gone, I've never been in the top 20 before.  So I'm quite proud and happy with what I've done.  Idol forces my brain to move in ways that don't get used so often anymore, and for that I am infinitly grateful.

-I went in for my lung function test last week.  Essentially they give you repeated small doses of a drug and then do breath tests to see if you react.  At the third dose, I reacted.  As my pulminologist put it on the phone the next day "Wow you aced that test.  A++, the results could not have been clearer."  So, I have asthma.  No idea why I have asthma now though I have some theories.  I'm taking singular (or the generic) in the evenings and in inhaler in the morning and have a follow up appointment in a month and we'll work to get this managed.  Why do I always get the interesting medical issues?

-The high temps have been in the upper 80s-90s for over a week.  I work from home and we have no AC.  We have a system of fans set up that works, but I would like it to be less hot.  Oh well, I'm making peanut butter ice cream later today as a reward for surviving the heat.  So there are positives.

-Interesting things may be coming at work.  I travel to PGH next week so our whole department is in one place for us to figure some of this out.  Ever since the move to CO I've been really bad at change - apparently that one giant change (that is still harder than I ever thought it would be) has left me scurrying for the safety of routine and the way it is everywhere else.  So we'll see how all of this goes.

-I pulled out varies skeins of yarn yesterday, several of which I had matched to patterns ages ago.  I haven't been knitting or crocheting at all in months, the heat is part of that but I've also not been interested.  It would be good to get started again.  I pulled out a gorgeous yarn, needles, and a pattern that go together so here's hoping I can get a start.

All right, back to work.

stuff and nonsense
beeker
beeker121
- Camping this past weekend with the kids went well.  I forget sometimes how much kids just want adult attention (and food and sleep and the like), though I get a little overwhelmed after a while.  But they were really good when Aunt Beeker needed a few minutes and then glommed back on when I returned.  We needed two cars to fit everything which meant I got to drive by myself which was lovely - except for the traffic.  Over half an hour to travel four miles up a 6% grade in first gear the entire time is not relaxing.

- For LJ Idol this week we had to write on two topics Canard and Tool Box.  For Canard I had the idea early and was able to get it written before camping.  Amusingly the nephew wanted to do a round of story telling around the campfire Saturday night so I ended up telling them the canard fable as best as I could remember it.  He didn't quite follow it (the tropes aren't so ingrained at 8) but my mother-in-law and husband gasped very satisfyingly at the first twist.  Tool Box I ended up writing after midnight on Sunday, and then revising heavily the next day.  I had a lot of vague ideas throughout the week, but none that sparked enough to become words on a page.  In any case there is a live poll this week divided by topic.

Week 24: read and comment and vote


- I was on the waiting list for Denver Center of the Performing Arts Broadway subscription this year, but they called Friday and we're in.  A large part of the reason for the wait list is the thing I'm super excited about, we now have tickets to Hamilton when the tour comes to town.  Funny how that tour is jumping subscription rates everywhere it stops (since it's the only way to guarantee a seat).  I hope all the companies are making good use of that cash, and planning for the likely fall-off the year after.

- We finished season 5 of Samurai Jack.  I liked how it ended and am glad that Genndy Tartakovsky came back to write his version of the end.  If you've never seen SamJack, it's one of the more unusal cartoons out there.  The visuals are stunning, and there are entire episodes with no words just images.  They really worked at the boundaries of what cartoons can do.  I was introduced to it while working on Pacific Overatures because Mako (the original reciter on Broadway) was the original voice of the villain Aku.  It's well worth trying if you've never seen it.

LJI:24 tool box
beeker
beeker121
***This week we each had to write two pieces for Idol.  Mine are best read in this order: canard, then tool box.***


Thomas walked home slowly, nodding to everyone he saw, holding the small cage in front of him like a jewel. He had tricked the grey witch had bought the enchanted bird to be his wife.  Once at this father’s house he went straight to his room, closed the door and all the windows and pulled the drapes.   He opened the cage door and stood back with his arms wide, ready to receive the embrace of the grateful woman in blue.  Instead the thrush flew out of the cage to the top of a sconce, and sang a lovely tune.  Thomas was certain that being away from the grey witch would be all the help his near-wife needed to revert to her perfect form, and left the bird closed in his room as he went about his day.

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LJI:24 canard
beeker
beeker121

***This week we each had to write two pieces for Idol.  Mine are best read in this order: canard, then tool box.***


Two strangers came to the town marketplace.

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stuff and nonsense
beeker
beeker121
I keep composing LJ posts in my head but not writing them down.  It's time to try to fix that, again.

- I have a letter (partially) published in the back of Paper Girls issue 14.  It's the one I wrote with my SASE to get my American Newspaper Delivery Guild card, which I received and carry in my wallet, so it wasn't particularly deep or thoughtful.  But I'm still tickled after all of these years reading comic books to see my name in one.

- I tweaked a muscle in my hip a few weeks ago.  After as I was updating my training log and saw how I had jumped my mileage for the week and a half previously I was not surprised - I know better and it was an idiot thing to do.  The hip is better, now the tightness all seems to be at the very top of my hamstring and quad on the right side.  I'm still mostly on the elliptical and walking, though I started back at zumba class this week.  Trying to find the balance between healing and being sedentary.

- Along the same lines I took a workshop at a local yoga studio this past weekend called "heal your psoas".  The psoas is a muscle deep in your core-ish that connects your spine and your femur.  It was interesting, the movement was challenging, and I think it is part of the underlying issue of my right hip/glute having been tight for years.  Sadly one class can't fix that, but hopefully I'm gathering good tools.

- There are some issues to working remotely that never occurred to me.Read more...Collapse )

- My cough is almost gone, seven months later.  I really like the pulmonologist I met with, and need to email him (per his request) next to send an update.  I've got a lung stress test scheduled for next week which I'm not certain I still need.  But at least if that all starts again I already have a relationship and won't have to wait through the new patient queue.

- I'm still in Idol which is an honor at this point, especially given how many amazing writers have left.  We get to write two entries this week, due on Monday.  My time is going to be limited because this weekend we have J's 8 yr old nephew and 5 yr old niece in town.  The plan is to take them, and J's mom, camping Sat-Sun which will be fun - but also cuts into my writing time.  I have one vague idea that I like but don't love, and nothing at all for the other topic.   Hrmmm... might be time to take a cup of coffee/tea outside and not come back in until I have an idea.  Surprisingly that's worked at least twice this time around.

LJI:23 backing the wrong horse
beeker
beeker121
“Wait a second Ted, before you go running out of here.”

"Yes, Uncle Clarence."Collapse )
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