amanda_lodden: (all the things - real)
[This should rightfully have been posted yesterday. Ah well.]

Last week, my doctor gave me amphetamines. Officially, they are to help kick-start weight-loss, because my back and my knees and my ankle and my diabetes would all be much better if I lost weight, but three of the four actively prevent me from doing a lot about it.

Unofficially, this week with drugs has made it clear to me that it's not just laziness or mild depression keeping me down (though those are both still definitely factors). The round of lab tests that came with the new prescription included a thyroid test, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's a problem. This week is the first week in a loooooong time that I've truly felt like a human being. I hadn't noticed the downward spiral as it was happening, but the contrast with now makes it obvious.

Is it working? On the official front, I'm down two pounds. For a week that included Thanksgiving and a birthday party, that's pretty good. On the unofficial front, this week was the first time in roughly 5 years that I crossed more things off the List of Tasks That Must Be Done than I put onto it. I'll reiterate: that includes two days that involved social obligations instead of Getting Stuff Done.

The amphetamines do not provide motivation, so there's still plenty of sitting in front of my computer playing games. They also don't include magical back-healing properties, so it's ridiculously easy for me to overdo it. As long as I keep the games in balance with getting-up-and-moving-around tasks, I'm good. It's only when I spend 6 hours all at once at the computer and then get up and try to do 6 hours of activity that it all goes to shit.
amanda_lodden: (all the things - real)
[This should rightfully have been posted yesterday. Ah well.]

Last week, my doctor gave me amphetamines. Officially, they are to help kick-start weight-loss, because my back and my knees and my ankle and my diabetes would all be much better if I lost weight, but three of the four actively prevent me from doing a lot about it.

Unofficially, this week with drugs has made it clear to me that it's not just laziness or mild depression keeping me down (though those are both still definitely factors). The round of lab tests that came with the new prescription included a thyroid test, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's a problem. This week is the first week in a loooooong time that I've truly felt like a human being. I hadn't noticed the downward spiral as it was happening, but the contrast with now makes it obvious.

Is it working? On the official front, I'm down two pounds. For a week that included Thanksgiving and a birthday party, that's pretty good. On the unofficial front, this week was the first time in roughly 5 years that I crossed more things off the List of Tasks That Must Be Done than I put onto it. I'll reiterate: that includes two days that involved social obligations instead of Getting Stuff Done.

The amphetamines do not provide motivation, so there's still plenty of sitting in front of my computer playing games. They also don't include magical back-healing properties, so it's ridiculously easy for me to overdo it. As long as I keep the games in balance with getting-up-and-moving-around tasks, I'm good. It's only when I spend 6 hours all at once at the computer and then get up and try to do 6 hours of activity that it all goes to shit.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I finally got around to plugging in the USB record player that I bought... uh, a while ago. I think it's been less than a year, but I can't swear to that.

I was expecting a wrangle-fest of trying to get it to record with an acceptable level of quality. I was expecting to have to fight it about how and where to save. I was expecting to have to sigh and take all the files into a wav editor to get rid of the pops and the massive amounts of lead in and fade out.

Instead, it did just fine on the first try. It imports it into iTunes and lets iTunes figure out what to do with the file, so I'd already done all my wrangling about where to put the file when I set up iTunes. Done and done.

Also, if you happen to have records that you want to convert to mp3s, I have a USB record player that is pretty easy to use. You're welcome to borrow it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I finally got around to plugging in the USB record player that I bought... uh, a while ago. I think it's been less than a year, but I can't swear to that.

I was expecting a wrangle-fest of trying to get it to record with an acceptable level of quality. I was expecting to have to fight it about how and where to save. I was expecting to have to sigh and take all the files into a wav editor to get rid of the pops and the massive amounts of lead in and fade out.

Instead, it did just fine on the first try. It imports it into iTunes and lets iTunes figure out what to do with the file, so I'd already done all my wrangling about where to put the file when I set up iTunes. Done and done.

Also, if you happen to have records that you want to convert to mp3s, I have a USB record player that is pretty easy to use. You're welcome to borrow it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The live game website is up, and ready for people. Anything that involves a martial arts competition in Vegas in a system that only allows rock-paper-scissors combat is necessarily going to have a cheese factor to it, and I think I picked a color scheme to reflect that.

If you've never come to one of our live games, you should. They're fun. They are all weekend long, although the Vegas setting gives us a lot more flexibility for Saturday-only people this time-- so if you're a first-timer and you don't kow if you'd enjoy it, there's options for you.

Even for you non-first-timers, fill out the questionnaire please. Yes, even if we told you that we already know who you'll be playing (Hi Shane! Hi CJ! Hi Mia!)-- the questionnaires help remind us if we've missed someone, help us keep contact info all together in one place, and there's some questions on there about the game itself that we'd like answers to.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The live game website is up, and ready for people. Anything that involves a martial arts competition in Vegas in a system that only allows rock-paper-scissors combat is necessarily going to have a cheese factor to it, and I think I picked a color scheme to reflect that.

If you've never come to one of our live games, you should. They're fun. They are all weekend long, although the Vegas setting gives us a lot more flexibility for Saturday-only people this time-- so if you're a first-timer and you don't kow if you'd enjoy it, there's options for you.

Even for you non-first-timers, fill out the questionnaire please. Yes, even if we told you that we already know who you'll be playing (Hi Shane! Hi CJ! Hi Mia!)-- the questionnaires help remind us if we've missed someone, help us keep contact info all together in one place, and there's some questions on there about the game itself that we'd like answers to.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I spent two hours updating all of the files for the next live game, to reflect this year's setting.

In two milliseconds, a single typo in a rm command wiped all of it out. Of course, it's on a brand new server which does not yet automatically back websites up.

If you need me, I will be drinking heavily, with breaks for throwing things.

[Update: I did still have the really-old versions of the files, so I could've been more screwed. Editing them went slightly faster since I knew what needed to be changed, though I can't guarantee that I didn't skip something here or there. The site is back up and functioning, at least.]
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I spent two hours updating all of the files for the next live game, to reflect this year's setting.

In two milliseconds, a single typo in a rm command wiped all of it out. Of course, it's on a brand new server which does not yet automatically back websites up.

If you need me, I will be drinking heavily, with breaks for throwing things.

[Update: I did still have the really-old versions of the files, so I could've been more screwed. Editing them went slightly faster since I knew what needed to be changed, though I can't guarantee that I didn't skip something here or there. The site is back up and functioning, at least.]

Progress!

Feb. 16th, 2009 05:26 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
Actual, measurable progress! Towards a defined goal! Towards a *long-term* goal, even!

Today, I moved two servers behind a firewall that had been built for that purpose (there's two more to go, one of which isn't actively in use yet and one of which isn't actually built yet). I've wanted a proper firewall-with-VPN for years. I bought the hardware for the firewall... I'm too lazy to look for the receipts, but I'm sure it was sometime last spring.

But! It's up. It's tested, and proven to be working. And it's a puzzle-piece in the over-arching goal of being able to work from anywhere I damned well please.

Progress!

Feb. 16th, 2009 05:26 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
Actual, measurable progress! Towards a defined goal! Towards a *long-term* goal, even!

Today, I moved two servers behind a firewall that had been built for that purpose (there's two more to go, one of which isn't actively in use yet and one of which isn't actually built yet). I've wanted a proper firewall-with-VPN for years. I bought the hardware for the firewall... I'm too lazy to look for the receipts, but I'm sure it was sometime last spring.

But! It's up. It's tested, and proven to be working. And it's a puzzle-piece in the over-arching goal of being able to work from anywhere I damned well please.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The single guiding principle in my life has been "No one ever told me I couldn't." I mean that in the sense that no one discouraged me early on, though I am also a master of the concept of "better to ask forgiveness than permission."

I attribute this to my maternal line, which consisted of a woman scorned who spent most of the rest of her life trying to prove that she didn't need a man, a woman largely ignored in her own childhood because of a disabled younger sister, and a woman who was an alcoholic for thirty years until the day she quit cold turkey. None of them ever told me that anything was too hard for me, even when it very clearly was. When I whined that something was hard, their knee-jerk reaction was to show me what I was doing wrong rather than let me use it as an excuse to stop, and by the time I was old enough to use it as an excuse myself, I had already developed the habit of saying "What am I doing wrong?" rather than "It's too haaaaaaard."

I also suspect that my grandmother had some words with a few people at my school-- I never had very many teachers with negative attitudes, but the few that I did went away rather abruptly. I was too young at the time to question it though, and with age it's possible that those memories have been bent to match my later perceptions.

The plus side of that sort of upbringing is that I'm pretty willing to jump into a new situation feet-first and learn by doing. The minus is that because I'm the one most willing to jump into a task that I don't know how to do, I also tend to be the one who gets stuck with the more annoying tasks. (This is particularly irritating right now, since the bookkeeping for our company is one of those annoying tasks that I ended up doing because I didn't know enough to say "not in a million years". January through "whenever I manage to get all the numbers to line up enough to do taxes" is my least-favorite time of year.)

The other minus is that I sometimes (*cough* frequently *cough*) bite off a bit more than I can chew. Not only did I not learn that I can't do something, I didn't manage to fully learn that I can't do everything. This is how I end up with lists of projects that span five pages of lined notepaper. It's also how I end up deciding to write 25 long journal entries instead of one journal entry with 25 bullet points. I'm *trying* to learn the concept of finishing one project before starting another, and it's definitely getting better than it has been in the past, but my project list is still 3 pages long right now.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The single guiding principle in my life has been "No one ever told me I couldn't." I mean that in the sense that no one discouraged me early on, though I am also a master of the concept of "better to ask forgiveness than permission."

I attribute this to my maternal line, which consisted of a woman scorned who spent most of the rest of her life trying to prove that she didn't need a man, a woman largely ignored in her own childhood because of a disabled younger sister, and a woman who was an alcoholic for thirty years until the day she quit cold turkey. None of them ever told me that anything was too hard for me, even when it very clearly was. When I whined that something was hard, their knee-jerk reaction was to show me what I was doing wrong rather than let me use it as an excuse to stop, and by the time I was old enough to use it as an excuse myself, I had already developed the habit of saying "What am I doing wrong?" rather than "It's too haaaaaaard."

I also suspect that my grandmother had some words with a few people at my school-- I never had very many teachers with negative attitudes, but the few that I did went away rather abruptly. I was too young at the time to question it though, and with age it's possible that those memories have been bent to match my later perceptions.

The plus side of that sort of upbringing is that I'm pretty willing to jump into a new situation feet-first and learn by doing. The minus is that because I'm the one most willing to jump into a task that I don't know how to do, I also tend to be the one who gets stuck with the more annoying tasks. (This is particularly irritating right now, since the bookkeeping for our company is one of those annoying tasks that I ended up doing because I didn't know enough to say "not in a million years". January through "whenever I manage to get all the numbers to line up enough to do taxes" is my least-favorite time of year.)

The other minus is that I sometimes (*cough* frequently *cough*) bite off a bit more than I can chew. Not only did I not learn that I can't do something, I didn't manage to fully learn that I can't do everything. This is how I end up with lists of projects that span five pages of lined notepaper. It's also how I end up deciding to write 25 long journal entries instead of one journal entry with 25 bullet points. I'm *trying* to learn the concept of finishing one project before starting another, and it's definitely getting better than it has been in the past, but my project list is still 3 pages long right now.

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