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Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
6:53 am - big weekend of bigness
had a fairly excellent night of hockey on saturday after a decent day of lifting, but it was sunday that is going to stick with me for the long haul.

my strength and conditioning coach and several of his staff, as well as a few of my fellow athletes, were in town for a women's powerlifting meet, co-hosted by and named for one of them. i was only able to make it for sunday, but next year, i am going to make it a priority to get to all three days, and potentially volunteer to work the event or help with prep and whatnot (funny coincidence: it was at the same venue as the friday night stuff of c14 - and some of the lifters' walk-out music would not have been out of place; there was a young woman who came out to evanescence's 'wake me up,' and another woman who hit the platform to NIN's 'wish')

https://www.facebook.com/events/1530705470572015/

so, naturally, i was hanging out at my coach's merch table with one of the other coaches while everyone else was getting lunch and no fewer than four people thought i worked there, and i had to improvise a sales pitch for the service or figure out how to take payment for a shirt. *laugh* "i'm... not actually a coach. i'm just a client."

the hostess, jenn rotsinger, was fucking inspiring, and has earwormed me with a song i'd never heard before (the refrain from flo rida's "welcome to my house") in a manner that i hope never abates.

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016
4:21 pm - weighed, measured , and found adorable
there are fresh kittens as of wednesday. three of 'em, tone on tone black tabbies all.

one, assuming there's a male in the bunch, has been spoken for by a coworker. the other two are available if anyone wants them, and they'll be weaned and ready in september :-)

tiny, of course, still hates me.




the most adventuresome is, for obvious reasons, being named "Furlong."



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Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
6:53 am - [Review] A Companion to Wolves - Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
A COMPANION TO WOLVES is one of those things that I was aware of since it had been published, but only recently got around to buying and reading. If you like high fantasy, don't mind intense sex scenes in service to the narrative, and are a dog person, just stop here and buy the fucking book.

The tag-team duo of Bear ( matociquala) and Monette ( truepenny) is one of my favorite collaborative voices (their short story "Boojum" and the follow-on fiction in that world is excellent sci-fi), and here, they have tackled a slice the Norse mythos by way of turning the "warrior/chosen one finds their animal familiar and heroics ensue" from 45 to 270 degrees around a several axes.

Young men are tithed to the force that guards their homeland from trolls and other threats, which kicks off the narrative, as our protagonist brings us into that world. It is cold and harsh, and things promptly begin to go into multi-named and/or hard-to-pronounce[1] handbaskets.

As anyone who has gone to a breeder or animal shelter knows, you aren't the only one choosing a friend; so is the animal, and here, the wolves drive the bus, and the humans need to keep their shit together in service to the pack. Thus, there are two sets of politics, two sets of social hierarchy, two sets of friendships and yearnings, and two sets of chains of command to be navigated and negotiated, and it's as overwhelming for our protagonist as it is for us as readers, as he tries to keep himself and his wolf-sister alive and only appropriately embroiled, with the expected varying levels of success.

It is a tough read in some places - it's not grimdark for the sake of grimness and darkness - but there is hard sledding to be done socially, in combat, and a handful of scenes that are a starkly visceral blend of both.

I will definitely be picking up the two further books in the series - A TEMPERING OF MEN and AN APPRENTICE TO ELVES, because, even though this book absolutely stands alone, I want to see what else Bear and Monette have in store for this world and its inhabitants.

[1] If you enjoy Russian novels for their [sarcasm font]ease[/sarcasm font] of identifying individuals who can be referred to by six or seven different names/titles and casts of characters running to fifty or so, this will not be the challenge for you it was for me. I found myself having to pause frequently to try and remember if it was Skjaldir or Skollmir or Skaljir who did the thing with the stuff, or if that was Hrolldir, Hrair, Hrafn, or Harry and the Hendersons who had. There were, however, definitely no militant moles wielding Mjolnir, although subterranean creatures swinging clubs *do* feature prominently.

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Friday, May 27th, 2016
12:34 pm - [Review] Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
The one good thing about air travel is reading opportunities in larger than 40 minute increments, which is why I blew through matociquala's KAREN MEMORY in such short order, as opposed to only having lunch-hour time to nibble (the hardcover is a fairly svelte 350 pages cover to cover, whatever that means - I certainly wouldn't have objected to another couple of tens of thousands of words, but I'm not the guy supplying the ink and paper or paying the freight).

It's set in the gold-rush era PNW in a mildly steampunked semi-alternative history shortly after the Civil War, and the narrator is a "seamstress" in a house of ill (but pretty good) repute. There is a serial killer, an international intrigue plot, a local political scandal in the making, and a human trafficking scheme overlaid one another like the Olympic rings, and we're promptly embroiled in all of them, along with a keenly pining love interest.

Bear doesn't do fluffy popcorn; even as rambunctious as this is - whore-house bar fights, a sewing machine that's an homage to Ellen Ripley, a mechanical Kraken - it's rich and layered in the ways that restaurants too fancy for me to patronize are lauded for their wine pairings and plating presentation - it's still delicious and multi-layered and shot through with surprises that entice even if you're expecting to find them merely satiating.

It's no secret that turning tropes on their ear is one of Bear's hallmarks and favored motifs (A COMPANION TO WOLVES is the next thing on my TBR pile), and KAREN MEMORY shoulders enough social consciousnedd freight that a certain bad dog blue devilman would probably break out in self-loathing hives if it merely crossed his line of sight. there are no punches pulled in acknowledging the racism of the society that just freed African-American slaves, the deeply problematic treatment of Asian slaves and expatriated individuals, as well as the omnipresent, multi-dimensional sexism that still haunts our politics and society.

I'm giving it to my dad to read next, since he keeps watching old John Wayne westerns, and KAREN MEMORY is a wry, smart, sassy, and brassy update to the Louis L'Amour/Zane Grey cowboy opera it inhabits the tradition of (and it pairs and contrasts well with suricattus' SILVER ON THE ROAD as a rainier, rowdier one-two punch)

heartily recommended.

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
8:59 am - witness me, bloodbag!


The hotel was lovely and super-close to the donation site - that's a keeper for anyone else they need to send that way.

The donation site was... more of a mixed bag.

I got there before any of the staff when I rolled up at 0815, because both the phlebotomists thought the donation was at 0900; the on-site coordinator arrived about 0820.

Things remained a little rocky with the facility staff once they arrived and got down to business.

Them: "We're ready."
Me: *picks up tote bag with snacks, Tums, laptop, and cell phone*
Them: "What do you think you're going to be able to do?"
Me: "... keep myself occupied?"
Them: "Oh, no, honey, you ain't going to be able to do nothin'."
Needles: *go in both elbows, rather than an elbow/back-of-forearm, to allow one hand any kind of freedom of movement*
Me: "Well, at least my girlfriend had the foresight to load movies* on her computer."

The apheresis equipment looks to be a half-step up from what they had at Shands, or maybe they just used a bigger-gauge needle, because it needed a lot less intra-donation hand-holding to make the centrifuge happy - or maybe the process is better able to extract the T cells from what they drew off and it doesn't need to be micromanaged as much anymore. In either case, the attending nurses paid a lot less attention to what was being drawn off than during either of my previous two donations. There were no other donation/recipient folks present until noon, and, while I try to be as low-maintenance as possible as a patient/guest, it was a notably less-welcoming environment than the previous ones had made me accustomed.

They also seemed to be a lot less actively involved with the process as a whole, especially towards the end, when all the saline replacement and calcium depletion had me feeling rather desperate to use the restroom, and they took an almost ostentatiously long time unhooking one, and then the second, needle. When my answers to "how are you feeling?" are increasingly pointed iterations of "I really need to use the bathroom," maybe... pick up the pace just a scosh? Nobody likes a bedpan, folks. I had a sense of urgency there that was, perversely, in inverse proportion to what it looked like the staffer was feeling - the more uncomfortable I got, the more slowly she appeared to go about her tasks.

Despite being hooked up to a calcium/saline** IV on the return line, I still got to "enjoy" the symptoms of calcium depletion at varying levels of acuteness throughout.

The blood return warmer on the rig I was wired into had two temperature settings: OFF and FRESH COFFEE. I opted for OFF. Which was funny, because everyone else was in long pants, scrubs, and fleece jackets, and i was in a T-shirt and shorts.

The staffers mentioned that they (OneBlood) have a facility in Orlando; if my donor recipient needs another refill, maybe that's an option. The combo platter of a pair of four-plus hour drives compounded by a lot less favorable bedside manner than the folks at Shands had me feeling pretty crispy, even though the donation itself went more quickly this time than either of the previous iterations (18,000 ml to be drawn and spun, rather than 23,000 or whatever it was the previous ones)

... and I totally forgot to pick up a well-wishes greeting card for the recipient.

* Captain America: The First Avenger (and CA: The Winter Soldier, but we only watched the first one at the facility; TWS was once we got home)
** I had to laugh that, the last time they checked my blood pressure before unhooking, it was elevated 30 extra points, and their concern was that I was *dehydrated* rather than, you know, tense from trying not to piss my fucking pants and at a five or six in terms of discomfort due to calcium depletion. I pointed out that the more saline they wanted to push, the more I had to pee, which had approximately no effect on their attitude whatsoever. I weighed EIGHT POUNDS more when I got home yesterday than I did when I left the house Monday morning - snacking on some homemade beef jerky and drinking two 16oz bottles of water ain't gonna do that, folks. How about you just turn off the fucking spigot and let me take a much-needed leak.

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Monday, May 2nd, 2016
10:32 am - fiddy. (if you round up)
Sunday, at the encouragement of friends and due to an astonishing lack of foresight, I did a thing.

Well, that's both true and misleading - I did a thing, but it was not the thing I had set out to do.
Putting the rest behind the cut, because long w/ picturesCollapse )

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Sunday, March 20th, 2016
10:13 am - It's like Mr. Met. Sure, he's goofy, but you still need to call him "Mister."
Pending some administrative folderol, yesterday's ten hours in the stationary bike saddle will render unto yours truly the title of Sir, Knight of Sufferlandria.

Here's what yesterday's menu looked like, beginning at about 0645 (parenthetical notes are from our coach; numeric notes are ride length without/with the 10 minute recovery before the next one):

1) Blender (100/110)
2) The Rookie (55/65)
3) The Wretched (48/58)
4) A Very Dark Place (51/61)
5) Power Station (nice break here) (50/60)
6) Angels 2015 (56/66)
7) Nine Hammers (55/65)
8) Hell Hath No Fury (this will be the worst part of the day) (75/85)
9) Do as You're Told (47/57)
10) The Best Thing in the World (48/58)


The rest of my cohorts, save two, began with "Rookie" and ended with "Blender," but I wanted/needed to get the earlier start so as to have the extra recovery before playing in my rec league championship game last night (Sadly, we came up on the short end of the score sheet, but the look on the ref's face was priceless when he asked why my stickwork in net was sloppier than usual. "I biked a hundred and some miles today." "Well, shit, if I did that, I wouldn't be here!" "And here I am.")




My FitBit kinda freaked out, and only recorded the first six hours as an "activity" (honestly, I probably just had my wrist pinned back at just the wrong angle after 5:45 in the saddle while catching a breather and it pressed the watch button), but at least the calorie graph tells the whole gory tale. Yes, playing goalie is hard fucking work from an aerobic/anaerobic standpoint in a completely different way than skating out is, where it's one minute on, two minutes off.

If someone had told me that I'd cycle a hundred miles or so in a single day, much less still have anything at all in the tank afterward, I'd probably have scoffed. As it stands, I've got tight calves and equipment I need to discharge from my garage before I can lift again and a ferociously tight arch in my right foot this morning, but I've also got the glow of doing something kind of nuts with friends and that's gonna help get through the next thing, whatever it is.

The scale also told an interesting story - 194.0 at bedtime friday, 191.6 upon waking saturday, and 193.3 with sneakers and shorts throughout the ride, save for an hour and a half 3/4 of the way through where I bumped up to 194.2. Hydration and electrolytes/carbs was handled drinking 24oz of Chaos & Pain's Mercury or GAT's JetMass (each were supplemented every second drink with C&P's BCAA complex); it remained so flat that i got on the scale with one of my cats in hand to make sure it hadn't gone into "stop checking your weight compulsively, it's not changing" mode. bumped up a pound when i flagged, then started sweating heavily again for the last two rides. (maybe taking a midday multivitamin was better in theory than practice?)

Woke up this morning, down three pounds from yesterday morning. Breakfast was a cup of coffee and an entire pizza. :-)

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Friday, March 4th, 2016
7:13 am - Stupid fitness things... now for charity!
http://www.completehumanperformance.com/donations/knights-sufferlandria-charity-event/

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Thursday, February 25th, 2016
6:48 am - yasss. (I had missed this initially, but the author rebageled it to tumblr this morning)
Originally posted by copperbadge at post
This morning I was asked to change my password on my work computer, as I must do every four months. And I sat there waiting for it to authorise my new password, and I thought, I have measured out my life in login codes.

And, as it so often does, then my brain screwed me out of several hours of productivity.

Edit to add: Why hello there, entire internet! If you'd like to know who I am or what I think of this poem, I made a separate post that you can check out. Hope you enjoy your stay here at chez Copperbadge.

The .doc File Of J. Alfred PrufrockCollapse )

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Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
7:27 am - snippets
so, having a couple little hernias fixed via an incision at the navel isn't nearly as big a deal as five little entry points for shoulder repair - i was under for less than an hour, and the discomfort after an 8 hour sleep window of no pain management (5mg hydrocodone / 525mg tylenol) is a 3 with spikes to 4.5 if i move the wrong way too abruptly.

proof that i am even boring while on drugs: my impulse buy at CVS while waiting for my prescription to be filled was a bag of dunkin donuts' decaf.

knowing that i am a hirsute bastard and they'd need to mow, i more or less clippered the entire front of my torso last week, and it still took the poor prep nurse the entire charge of two handheld trimmers to clear the drop zone.

pic of the little razor that couldn"ts work under the cut. it"s not flattering, but that"s why i need to do cardioCollapse )

with the arrival, finally, of fall-like temperatures (and my relocation to the bedroom while my dad is here to snowbird), there are typically between three and six cats arrayed around me from the hips down at nearly all times. the moat depicted here is my left leg.



(Clockwise from bottom left: Nymph, Kirk, Garbanzo, Magellan, Spawn, and ThreeBob)

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Friday, December 25th, 2015
7:14 am - SW: TFA re-watch
As I had hoped, based on the remarks of others, the new Star Wars holds up very well to subsequent viewings - the whole movie slows down so you can take in little details you’re too caught up in the rush of the first watch to catch.

I was struck more, emotionally, by the climax this time around because I knew it was coming, for instance, but I was also able to pay a lot more attention to the little compositional details - especially the lighting effects when anyone Force-sensitive was on-screen.

Admittedly, this was *far* from subtle (and anyone who has seen the movie will look at the poster with new eyes), but was easy to miss in all the excitement of an opening-night packed house, when the pre-crawl words LONG, LONG AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY… appeared, and then John Williams’ horns kicked in and drew a standing ovation from people who might have been too choked up to speak.

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Thursday, December 24th, 2015
9:47 am - Review: ZER0ES - Chuck Wendig
For a guy with as big and foul a mouth as Cherk Wendigo has on the twitternets and interwubs, it's no surprise that folks I get along with enjoy his writing (I peruse his blog on occasion, and sometimes trade comic volleys on the twitters), but this is the first time I've picked up his fiction. I mean, a guy who can incite the racist, homophobic portions of Star Wars fandom into such a frothy lather is probably somebody I'd enjoy having a literary beer with, right?

Zer0es is a fairly straightforward "AI goes rogue" story, told from the perspective of a group of tech-savvy folks who are dragooned into government service (and a couple of the government agents doing the dragooning). There are hacking events, chase scenes, shootouts - all the stuff of summer action movies, though it never feels so big that the ominous end-of-the-world implications it hints at seem to be happening, despite background details that suggest this is exactly what's going on. It just didn't seem to have the doomy immediacy for me, as a reader, that it seemed to warrant, because the characters themselves didn't seem to be greatly imperiled after a pre-climax OH THE FUCK YOU DIDN'T, Y'ALL moment.... the fact that the tension didn't ratchet up from that, but seemed to back off and not regain traction until the denouement (and, even then, it still felt somewhat small and lower-stakes than maybe it could have)... I was left feeling like there was a bigger payoff that didn't quite reach the page.

There are a lot of individually-fleshed motivations, though they tend towards being "one broad stroke per character, with a little shading on both edges" - there are a lot of guilt and redemption motivations, a nontrivial amount of justified mistrust of Big Brother and US policy in general, and a deus ex-ex machina character I had a hard time reconciling with the rest of the worldbuilding. There was some good action, some good conflict, some good atmosphere, and enough handwavium at the actual hacking to provide plausible deniability (because if there is one thing hacking stories almost invariably fuck up, it's how generally uninteresting it is to anyone not actually sitting at the keyboard or reading the chatlogs; Wendig smartly pulled the camera back enough to keep this from being a stumbling block).

Overall: Good with popcorn and a soft drink, if a bit lighter and fluffier than my tastes currently run. Five bits out of a byte.

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Friday, December 18th, 2015
8:54 am - An Old Hope
The Force Awakens is an outstanding Star Wars movie; if you like the franchise, you will almost certainly enjoy it.

Bonus goodness: seeing a couple of friends in the lobby pre/post.

No spoilers, but will cut-text out of courtesy.Collapse )

Also amusing: I got mistaken for theater staff at one point, somehow, despite the utilikilt, t-shirt, and conspicuous lack of nametag. Apparently, I just give off the door/line thug vibe whether I want to or not. I was just standing around and shooting the shit with TheOneBob.

The new movie makes me crave the next one; the prequels made me dread theirs.

Well done, rekindling that old hope.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2015
7:44 pm - flavor of the weak
(with apologies to front line assembly, i don't care how canadian they are, there's no 'u' in that first word)

did my first officially-sanctioned workout since the diagnosis, and... doing moves that try to put no strain on the valsalva maneuver for abdominal stability is tricky fucking shit, and taking a month more or less off cold turkey (other than hockey, which is not a strength-building endeavor)... i am fucking weaksauce, compounded by my repaired shoulder getting tetchy due to disuse despite stretching and mobility work.

in lieu of bench press, floor presses, up to three sets of ten at 135# - i might have had 165 or 185 for that much volume, but was babying the shoulder rather than be a heroic idiot. some unscripted mobility work - 50# overhead pressing and pullup bar hangs with some light twisting - the latter caused some good-feeling but crunchy movement where it was probably needed.

for leg work... pistol squats, with the concession that i could hold onto something. because otherwise, i go about a third of the way down, and fall the fuck over even when i'm in unhindered condition, since my ankle mobility is shit and my leverages mean i fall on my ass because my center of gravity is somewhere aft of my heel. maybe if i lose thirty or forty pounds, i can lean further forward. which is not the reason i'd want to lose that weight, but being a trapezoid rather than a faintly narrowing and bulging tube shape would be nice.

and for back, bench-supported rows. tried doing these on my roman chair, which would, in theory, press against my abdomen so i wouldn't have to stress the hernia sites with stabilization. which it does, of course, but makes it damn near impossible to breathe. 3x10 of 135 here, too.

plus, three hockey sessions this weekend, and a 3km stroll for groceries wearing my 40# weight vest... which, in retrospect, probably makes me look like the world's least-discrete suicide bomber.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2015
7:24 am - My Smite button is the one with "Bad Motherfucker" written on it.
Okay, here's one for you: On 11/22/15, kindly discuss why you have a penchant for playing healers, when your physical world mindset relates more to meat shields.

I don't necessarily agree with the meatshield assessment; I basically play a healer in my day job, too - people need shit to do shit, i (re)supply the shit so they can do their shit. I only tank for my department, and that's because when they fuck up, they don't have to answer the phones - I do... so I am basically tanking their inability to control aggro and/or pulling before the group is ready.

Being a healer is reactive; you see who got kicked in the dick, and throw some green shit their way, or you know who is *supposed* to, and pre-emptively buff/shield them. DPS is brainless - kill shit as long as you don't overtop the aggro meter. Tanking is a pain in the ass, you have to manage everything's aggro and trust your healer is paying fucking attention.

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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
11:49 am - Vatines on ice
November 17th

Ice hockey, the whys and whys not of playing the game.


The prosaic answer is because the sport is probably my first love; my folks had season tickets when I was a kid, so I got to watch a lot of hockey when I was young. My dad played in a sponsored league - what would be analogous to the "invite" leagues where I play (which is to say, you have to be good enough to be asked to participate, rather than just show up, sign up, and pay up) - and seemed to enjoy it, and I do as well, and will be skating in his footsteps beginning in december when i take up goaltending (my natural position is winger, where i've played each of my nine 12-game seasons in the two years I've been doing so).

It's an excellent cardio workout, includes balance, eye-hand coordination, teamwork, communication, and requires quick thinking and reactions. it's also hella fun.

I'm sorry, the why nots? There aren't any. :-) I mean, unless you have medical issues that make ice skating or exertion a non-starter, I think it's a fine thing for anyone who wants to.

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Monday, November 9th, 2015
7:01 pm - Thangs
Give me a topic.

chaosvizier/angledge have introduced me to a meme. You, my wonderful and loyal (and hopefully still present and accounted-for) readers, comment below with a date and a subject, and I am honor-bound to talk about it on that date. Photo essay/entry requests are allowed. Encouraged, even. Bring it on, folks! Come partake of my vast tasty wisdom!

I'll update this entry with date and subject requests as I get them.

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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
3:01 pm - Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition
Originally posted by silviarambles at Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition
Three years ago (where did time go?!) I lost my LJ Friending Meme Host virginity. That first time was so successful and satisfying that I haven't attempted a second yet but, talking to falena84 and lamenting the good ol' days of LJ as we recurrently do, I thought 'why not again?'. Because my inbox will explode. Because you're a responsible adult with a busy job and less time for this internet stuff. These are just two of the reasons I chose to ignore, so here we are again ladies and gentlemen. So, I quote falena84 with thanks because she's a lot better at this than me:


Picture by Wuxi on Flickr

Feeling like you're drifting all alone in the once-fun-but-now-too-quiet pool of Livejournal? Not to worry!


Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition



You know the drill. Do it. Share it. It only works if you share it, because I have a small flist and you mostly know each other. So, please spread the word even if you don't want to take part yourself. Tell your mum, your grandpa, your neighbours, your friends and their dogs. GO!!

Here's a link for sharing:



EDIT: I've turned off email notifications for this (for obvious reasons as there are currently almost 3000 comments...), but I come back and check my thread every now and then. If there's anything else you need my attention for (ie. comments marked as spam) I'm afraid you'll have to message me or I might not see it!

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Friday, September 11th, 2015
3:06 pm - Ricardo Montalban on a Trailer Hitch*
It would be easy but inaccurate to cast this year’s event as a nonstop cascade of fuckups, but, ultimately, every fuckup was un-fucked, and there were plenty of good times without a commensurate karmic earning in advance.

That isn’t to say the fuckups weren’t stressful and frustrating - scrambling to get a prescription filled the day before flying up was a seven-hour ordeal instead of a one-hour thing, for instance - but they were all ultimately overcome to the general satisfaction of those involved. Those of you who saw my entry on the bookface got the detailed run-down of the shambling fiasco that was our experience with the non-con hotel; even that was ameliorated with a brief, pleasant, and entirely rewarding conversation with their accounting/billing service rep.

The con itself was what it’s always been - a chance for me to bellow at hundreds of people at a time like a jovial, stentorian-voiced traffic cone with arms. Said arms also got to provide hugs and fist-bumps to friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough ( suricattus and several others), and one whom I’d never met in person before ( lisamantchev), despite a decade-plus online friendship. I made some new friends and found new authors to read. I think I saw a casual tumblr acquaintance in passing, but she was with staff-mates and doing the “we got shit to do” walk.

I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to or do everything I’d hoped (I was cross-staffed to work shifts that precluded me from seeing a couple writerly friends talk craft), but that’s the nature of an event this big. I missed the kilt blowing for the first time in a long time, because I was double-booked that night and exhausted after a long day; the fact that’s my biggest complaint says a lot.

There are going to be changes aplenty next year, both rumored and certain (rumors, I can’t speak to; the certainties are changes to the staff on my track due to folks taking a year off from working the event), but I will be back to herd cats and not cosplay despite considering it (random conversations with other obvious gym rats, dressed as 300′s Spartans or Kratos from God of War or various superheroes tended to go like this: “You think we spend more time working out than the serious cosplay folks do with a sewing machine and hot glue gun?” “Maybe? But the only part of this I made myself was duct taping and spray painting this spear; I got everything else on Etsy and Ebay because I can’t sew for shit.” *fistbump*)

Since I took approximately zero pictures, here’s one my girlfriend took at the Heroes & Villains Ball, because it’s not every day I run into someone with a spiffier kilt than my orange camo one. :-)



* Draggin’ Khan, as it were

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015
8:41 am - mo' bob, no problems
So, ThreeBob got a fairly clean bill of health - fleas and worms (because, duh, stray), and weak hips, might be a non-broken bone injury, might be a congenital propensity for hip dysplasia. I was advised to keep him sequestered from the other cats in case the FLV test is a premature false-negative, and to give him carpets to walk on rather than tile, and do some physical therapy to strengthen his hind legs.

Follow up worm shots in two weeks, unless he’s adopted by a local human sooner. Vet pegged his age at about nine weeks, so, he was born the first week of June-ish.

have some bob-vids:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGljukoY424
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nsdTfdmFlo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoWPjlfnKWg

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Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
9:29 pm - kat stuf


So, this little dude, provisionally nicknamed Three Bob, was pointed out by my boss as lurking in the shrubbery by my office yesterday afternoon, "looking hungry."

He's got a pronounced limp and a lower abdominal lump and a bad rear gasket, but a healthy appetite for wet food - my guess is a displaced hip or some other kind of hindquarter trauma - but led me on a merry (if low-speed) chase, for about a hundred yards before I cornered him and tucked him into a cardboard box. He goes to the vet tomorrow for a checkup, vaccinations, and whatever repairs may be needed, with an eye towards adopting him out to a semi-local friend who is moving into a pet-friendly apartment this weekend (family friends in the market for an orange tabby clarified that they're looking exclusively for a female when I called to let them know). An internet acquaintence has generously donated towards that, which was a welcome surprise. :-)

Tiny's most recent batch are coming up on three weeks old, and are beginning to be heard meeping and crawling around under the house; hopefully they'll make their appearance soon. I have not yet seen them, tucked up under the insulation below the maternity suite bathroom where she's had the previous litters, since it's been raining almost every day and the loam and underbrush have combined to cut down on the amount of ground clearance I have to wriggle through to get under there, and I'm not as svelte and lithe and nimble as I used to be.

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Saturday, August 1st, 2015
8:44 am - 42
As I begin my lap of Sol coinciding with The Anwer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, some observational musings on the spiritual end of the spectrum, which, for those who know me, is grotesquely out of character:

* I remain skeptical about The Great Green Arkleseizure, and our universe’s having been expelled from one of its nostrils. I have, however, expelled A Curiously Tenacious Red Mucous Membrane out of one of mine.[1]
* I have no no doubt whatsoever as to whether or not the universe is stranger than we imagine, or can imagine. I have no evidence for or against the argument that it has already been replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable; I can firmly contend that nobody on this planet is smart enough to have figured out what it’s for in order for that to have happened, but am guardedly optimistic that sentient life elsewhere might be. That’s also contributing to why they’re ignoring us.
* Many days, I concur that Creation itself was a bad move, and that I’m among those it has made very angry.
* I do not carve a perfect Perfectly Normal Beast sandwich, but I do make a mean grilled cheese.

“Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.“ - Douglas Adams

[1] not this morning, it was several years ago.

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Saturday, July 4th, 2015
9:39 am
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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Saturday, June 27th, 2015
8:46 am - My Smite button is the one with "Bad Motherfucker" written on it.


"I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

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Thursday, May 28th, 2015
10:04 pm - Fluid Dynamics in Fury Road
While I have only seen Mad Max: Fury Road once, it's been inexcapably and exhaustively critiqued, meta'd, and otherwise held up to the light for praise and examination in pretty much every corner of the internet I regularly peruse, save for ESPN's NHL playoff coverage.

This will not be another review or exhortation to see it; I enjoyed it, and so might you. Well worth the $6-and-change-plus-Fandango-service-fee, in any case (and I did end up buying the soundtrack in both circular media and digital formats).

Rather, I'd like to focus on the various liquids' role in the narrative, so there will be spoilery talk beneath the cut, as well as some half-assed thematic wank, in all probability.
Read more...Collapse )

[gratuitous icon post]

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Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
8:19 am - Europa Orlando USAPL meet
Yesterday was spent in Orlando at a laughably huge sports and fitness expo in an even bigger facility (seriously, the Orlando convention center has a bigger footprint than downtown Coudersport; it was the best part of a mile from where I parked to where we weighed in, and only about 300 yards of that was the parking lot itself. The room in which the expo itself was contained was more spacious, both in terms of square footage and enclosed volume, than the two-rink-and-laser-tag facility where I play hockey, and that's just ONE ROOM). That was most definitely a thing I honestly don't think the me of ten or more years ago would have imagined myself doing.

I weighed in at 191.6# on Friday (the day after my office's team outing to a driving range that is half video game, which meant salty food and free drinks; I behaved myself and had a couple of Miller Lites, though my performance with the driver would best be categorized as "impressive but inconsistent" throughout, because about three out of every five swings would feature a slice somewhere between "moderate" and "Ted Bundy"), which put me smack in the middle of the 198# weight class, to no great surprise. I didn't think I had any reason, or reasonable shot to, cut weight (if only water) to get down to 181#. The lifting itself took place on Saturday, which meant that, in the last two weeks, I have had three occasions to take a leisurely 85 mile cruise from my house and back again. Well, at least I'm getting plenty of instant use out of those new brakes and that tune-up.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, weightlifting/powerlifting meets are all structured the same - each competitor gets three lift attempts at each of three exercises - back squat, bench press, and deadlift - and you give your anticipated first lift weight to the meet organizers when you weigh in, so they can slot you into the lifting schedule (called "flights"; in this case, there were three flights of about 17 lifters apiece; I was in the second flight, since they go from lightest weight selected to heaviest in the interest of bar-loading efficiency). My brain vapor locked, and I inadvertently chose squat and bench openers that I had been ballparking for my second lifts. WELP, NOTHING TO DO ABOUT IT NOW BUT LIFT THE WEIGHT, SON.

So, about that, with a brief side-track to follow my own brief side track.

There's a dress code. Lifting singlet (I wore a wrestling one), socks, and a t-shirt are required (the lattermost to keep sweat and other potential biological material off the equipment, primarily). I... did not bring a t-shirt. Okay, I had, but it was in my car (see above point about facility massiveness). But, wait... I'm in the middle of marketing mecca for meatheads. How hard can it be to get a free short-sleeved t-shirt on short notice?

Unsurprisingly, the answer is "Not very." The hardest part is finding a shirt with sleeves, because everyone in attendance is fit as fuck and showing off the results of their hard work. I talked to an energetic and ridiculously buff dude hawking grape kool-aid flavored pre/peri-workout samples, asked if they had any shirts, and was offered one in exchange for a Facebook like. SOLD.

Anyway, on to the lifts.

I have never felt like a particularly proficient squatter - confidence, biomechanics, and technique are all sub-par - so I really wanted to be mindful about doing well and not botching any of my attempts by not getting down far enough. So, I warmed up in a fairly close approximation to how I do at home, and walked out to try my very first competition lift. 175kg (about 385#) went very well, as did 185kg; my third attempt, at 195kg, got flagged for exactly the expected sin of insufficient depth, but peer review of the footage (by my admittedly slightly biased lifting mates and coach :-)) suggests that the call was on the tight side - I have no quibble with it, as the judging was consistently strict for all the lifters - and I did ultimately move the weight and felt reasonably good about it. 430# (the missed 195) is a 5# PR, and, spoiler alert, was the only one I set on the day.

Squat, top weight miss: https://youtu.be/2q2bgEdZG1w

After the squat flights (which, despite the efficiency and organization of the meet, still takes a good while - fifty athletes times three attempts, at about a minute and change per lift, means that it took almost three hours), there was an intermission while the equipment was swapped for the bench press station, and a lot of folks grabbed lunch. I had a case of protein bars and a shaker bottle with some amino acid powder, so, in the interest of frugality, that's what I stuck with. Twelve-fifty for a footlong sub? Uh, no. I'll stick with bland, boring, and free.

On the bench press, I learned the biggest difference between training and competition is hearing and paying attention to the lead judge's commands (when squatting, the commands are "down" and "rack" - letting you know when you've been judged to be set to begin and completed it, respectively; the bench press has three - "down," "press," and "rack" - the one in the middle is where you've demonstrated control of the bar with it in contact with your chest). I completely whiffed on the "press" command and drove the bar up immediately, resulting in a "no lift" at 117.5kg (259#). Frustrated but not vexed, I asked the officials working the scorer's table if I could attempt a higher weight, and was told that, yes - a missed lift could be re-attempted or topped, but a lighter weight was never on the menu. My second lift, at 125kg (275#, tying my PR) was good, and then I had to mentally wrestle with how much more I thought I could achieve with my third; unfortunately, I guessed just a little bit too high (130kg/286#) and couldn't completely lock it out. Might I have gotten 127.5kg? Maybe. But with three professional spotters and meet adrenaline, it seemed like the best time to be just that extra little bit aggressive.

Bench @ 275# https://youtu.be/V7I8gx1Vfe8

Same changeover story before the deadlifting commenced, and by this time, it was getting late in the afternoon after having kicked off shortly after 10am. Long day is long, and, honestly, the extent of my uncharitable thoughts were directed at my fellow competitors during DL warmups for dropping the damn bar after every rep. C'mon, folks, respect the equipment, and the fact that we're in a giant, echoing, concrete box. The judges took notice, because there were pointed reminders to "Control the bar on the way down; this ain't Crossfit." Somewhat amusingly, the other competitor who trains under my strength coach lowered his attempts with such care that I accused him of showboating with his manners. :-)

Since the DL is my strong suit, I didn't miss any lifts, but by the end, I didn't feel like I had quite enough in the tank to shoot for a really big finisher, and went 225kg (496#), 237.5 (523#) and 240 (529#), which was about 15# under my PR. I had kind of vaguely hoped to pull 550+, but decided to rein it in after 523 felt slow... and then I saw the video of the 529 and kicked myself, very gently, for leaving weight unlifted that I probably could have moved.

Deadlift @ 529# https://youtu.be/Pv8XKGKTKbo

The guy who took top overall lifter (based on Wilks score, which is, for the less-enthusiastic, basically "strongest in proportion to bodyweight") was also in my weight class, but he honestly looks about twenty pounds bigger than I am because he's that goddamned muscular, and was a really, really nice guy. Honestly, everyone was very congenial, the folks running the meet set a very high bar (pun not intended), and it was just a really good experience. When my biggest complaints are the cost of grub at the expo, the kilometer-and-change hike to the parking lot, and having a little trouble getting traction because of chalk dust because I didn't bring a towel to wipe down my shoes, there's honestly nothing to fret. I'd have liked to make all my lifts, and see the other folks on the platform make all of theirs; when you watch someone grinding out a rep, it's all but impossible not to holler encouragement.

So, I'd like to also take a few moments to thank the folks who, wittingly or otherwise, contributed to my getting up there and doing the thing. Xany and Daven, for getting me into lifting in the first place; Josh Bryant and Alex Viada, my strength coaches at various points along the way; the hordes of weightlifting experts whose blog posts, articles, or books I've read; the folks at Fitocracy and JackedPack for providing insight, swag, and assorted other opportunities to contribute to what they've had going on; and the various friends who have come over to work out, swap gym talk, and generally been the kind of folks that good friends are, even if one's hobby is on the weird, clanky, and sweaty side. :-)

Oh, and how'd I do? Well, I totaled 550kg (1212#), got this lump of metal on a blue ribbon....
Holy shit that"s a big picture, sorry!Collapse )

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Friday, March 13th, 2015
10:14 am - annoying ancient html tricks
MARQUEE

(even i am not so heinous as to use BLINK)

wasn't there also a confetti tag, or something like that?

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
8:17 am - Fresh Kittens

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Thursday, January 8th, 2015
10:15 am - Lameness leaving the body
So, last weekend was a four-game charity fundraiser hockey tournament, in addition to my two regular league games.

6-7, 7-6, 7-1*, 5-3, 5-2, 2-5*

Yeah, those finals make it look like a warped tennis match.

* league games; the latter team (D league) was eliminated from the playoffs in a tiebreaker, and I won't be re-upping with them next season, since the other league team is being pushed out of the Saturday "Beginner+" league to compete in the D realm for the next go-round, due to being a scosh too good and coherent for the level of play in Beg+.

That is... a lot of fucking hockey, to the tune of about 2900 calories a day in estimated expenditure per my Polar HRM. About halfway through the 5th game, I could feel myself approaching the fatigue wall. The sixth game, I was leaning on it. Monday's "sixty minute easy run, shoot for 5.5 miles" was where it fell on me at around 28 minutes, at which point, I lurched back to my starting point and called it at ~34 minutes.

Took a day off, and then had a deadlift workout (and new knee sleeves to take for a test drive), which called for a heavy single at 465.

http://youtu.be/yzpGhJwJtxk

Hooray for a minor win.

Busy couple of days coming up here - need to visit the UPS depot because my delivery person can't read a fucking YES I SIGNED THIS PLEASE LEAVE THE FUCKING PARCEL note and then zip through a workout and get my uncle (dad's half-brother) from the airport, since he flew into town so we can watch the Sabres play (and hopefully[1] lose to) the Lightning on Friday, before I zip him back to the airport and then work a half day Saturday.

[1] The top prospect in this year's draft, Connor McDavid, is apparently a once-in-a-generation talent, mentioned in terms of guys like Crosby and Lemieux and Gretzky, and Buffalo is frankly fucking terrible, but playing just well enough (they are ridiculously good if they somehow survive regulation and the 5 minute overtime, since they are a league-best 6-1 in shootouts... which is essentially fucking them out of being the worst team in the league overall) to fuck themselves out of having the best shot at the #1 draft pick.

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014
7:19 am - fuck this mortal meatsack
rats. bad news from my annual physical - kidneys are cranky. no ibuprofen or workout supplements for two weeks so they can re-test on 1/2. If I had to point fingers, I'd blame the ibuprofen I've been taking more frequently to deal with the illness and workout aches. self, cycle your pain management shit. you have a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of acetaminophen for a reason.

on the relative upside, other than slightly elevated triglycerides (despite an better overall lipid profile - HDL 50, LDL 82), everything looked good, and with my mostly-for-reading glasses on, my vision at twenty feet is apparently 20/13, which was a heck of a nice surprise.

[GIP, though it's not referencing the right organ]

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Saturday, November 8th, 2014
7:13 am - SoCar
So, on the off chance anyone noticed my decrease in online presence over the last several days, I was in Columbia and Charleston (South Carolina) all week[1], helping with prep work for our two newest retail locations.

The cats apparently missed me enough that I was only shunned for about 45 minutes after getting home, and all four were on the bed five minutes after I got there myself.

Tiny was described as "hateful" in the text message K sent in response to my midweek query about how her caretaking visit went; I laughed. Dent has submitted to snuggles, but Wald* has discovered a love of being underneath furniture and difficult to lay a hand on. They are, of course, ready to be adopted out to anyone who might like two very cute black kittens, as they'll be 12 weeks old come Monday.

Columbia seems like a nice town, the small parts of it that I saw around UofSC. Kind of a smaller-town Little Five Points vibe with slightly less alt flagging in the neighborhood where the hotel and our "downtownish" location are. Charleston's locations seemed like pretty much every 90's exurb south of the Mason-Dixon line I've ever seen east of the Mississippi - retail plazas and subdivisions screened from primary surface roads by tree-topped berms, an easy-to-see line of inspiration for Stephenson's Snow Crash-flavor of contempt-doused burbclave world, with less tech and gunfire.

The food was almost uniformly good, if the service was occasionally about twice as Southern-speed as I'd have liked. The best thing to go into my mouth was a raw oyster and jalapeno shooter, which contained just about what you'd expect - those, some cocktail sauce, and probably vodka & spicy bloody mary mix. The hotel's breakfast bar was an unlimited buffet of blandness, but the coffee was good, and I got my Raisin Bran fix.

What this trip also meant is I've probably reacquired a hint of a drawl, rekindled my facepalming dismissal of birthers, and soaked up a shitton of overtime (haven't filled in my time sheet yet, but travel days were just fucking ridiculous - Tuesday was 5a-8p and Friday was 630a to 10p, albeit with lunch breaks). It was nice to see the locations in person to try and differentiate them when people call on the phone, and to put handshakes and faces to people... of course, walking in and announcing my arrival as predicated on changing everyone's passwords may have spooked some folks. ;-)

I voted last Friday, but the less said about the results of that, the better - as far as I can tell, I only got my pony on two of three state constitutional amendments (one of them a "Fuck you, no") and the unopposed Representative for my district.

[1] I don't advertize my travel schedule until after the fact, for reasons. *shrug*

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
6:28 am - geeking, out.
a scaling-back of identification with things that used to be highly applicable has resulted in a layered reaction to these labels on my part. Having grown up a scrawny, bookish, soccer-playing, slightly-musical, and, when everyone hit the stage where "interest in exploring strange new urges with attractive others" began to be a thing, becoming essentially invisible for a few years[1]... I definitely considered myself nerdy and geeky, though neither the nerdiest or the geekiest.

as mainstream acceptance and enjoyment of many of these things has waxed, it's been a boon - more people to share in conversation about things! (also, for anyone who haven't seen yet, ob. pointer to Chris Kluwe's diatribe on this aspect of things, with a heavy leavening of how "gamer gatekeepers vis a vis gamergate are right to die the fuck off" - https://medium.com/the-cauldron/why-gamergaters-piss-me-the-f-off-a7e4c7f6d8a6)

My own constellation of tastes is far from a 1:1 map on what's popular - superhero/comic book movies generally leave me cold, and the reboots/series continuations of beloved franchises from my younger days are annoying, problematic, lame, or any/all of the above - but some remain somewhat more marginal. all of which is fine; we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to vaguely geeky popular culture consumables.

the only thing i'd go so far as to self-identify as a geek/nerd about these days is frigging weightlifting, which is about as diametrically opposed to polyhedrons and mechanical pencils as one gets, starting from conventional stereotypes.

(nb: my working definitions of the terms boil down to, essentially, "knowing a lot about something isn't fundamentally that geeky or nerdy; being passionate about it is what hits the tipping point (which usually leads to learning and subsequently knowing a lot about the topic)"... i know a shitload about what i do for a living, but am not nearly the computer hardware geek i was ten or fifteen years ago when it was a topic of constant recreational study.)

[1] for those manchildren who continue to inhabit this space and blame women for it, I have empathy but no sympathy.

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
4:12 pm - with my shield, and on it
so, finally, the pump-and-run 5k event happened this past sunday morning (which was its own challenge, as i had a 930 puck drop the night before[1])

there's a training maxim that you never want to be the strongest/fastest/best athlete at your gym - it's no surprise that i often am in the vicinity - so it was an entertaining endeavor to be, due to a clerical fuckup DEAD FUCKING LAST in my age group.... and without the fuckup, i'd have only improved my standing by two or three places (out of about a dozen). i passed approximately nobody, of either gender, over the course of the race, and finished with a good hundred yards of empty air both ahead of and behind me, in 26:15 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imIWmRHhZwc) .... subtracting the :15 seconds per bench press rep (90% bodyweight for guys in their 40's meant I was using 170#)... 18 reps knocked off four and a half minutes, putting me at 21:15. the winner hit the 30 rep cap and his adjusted time was something like 14 minutes. *laughs*

The Late Kittens - Walda the Grey and Dentarthur (both female) are three weeks old, just a scosh under a pound each, and increasingly mobile and wiggly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG4kcbF5JHI

[1] i did manage to draw the penalty that gave us a five-on-three power play, and score what turned out to be the winning goal 30 seconds later - CS even got it on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmkaO06FMqU

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Monday, August 18th, 2014
6:36 am - A wizard arrives precisely when he means to.
We have the Late Kittens - Walder and Dentarthur - and, sadly, one stillborn littermate.

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Saturday, August 16th, 2014
6:45 am - satyrday
Tiny's water appears to have broken overnight (so it's convenient that she prefers to hunker in the bathtub), and thus it seems that kittens are imminent. I am obscurely pleased that my estimation for the delivery posted to FB on Monday was spot on; not that Tiny can read a calendar, but this is looking like the second consecutive litter to arrive on a Saturday - the grubs were a late-afternoon batch.

so, you know, it's about to be just about all kittens, all the time around my parts of the internet again. try to contain yourselves. ;-)

[a block over, where Mayday has taken up residence since getting fixed, there is a litter that matches the catgrubs i have retained - about the same size, one tabby, one black, so that was cool to see]

Unrelatedly, we had a department bowling outing yesterday, and it was enjoyable despite doing something unfortunate to my right hand - middle of the first game, something went POP at the base of my right middle finger as I was delivering the ball, followed by some mild discomfort. Woke up this morning to slight swelling and stiffness, so I'm applying NSAID/aspirin and a cold pack on and off to knock that down. No loss of range of motion, probable compromise in grip for the time being. GODDAMMIT, BODY.

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