Where To Say It?
Posted in General
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:44 pm)

I dearly want to say something to everyone I follow on social media, but they'll all think I am targeting them specifically when I'm not. Not really. Here it is:

I don't follow you because I'm interested in your political views. Nobody that thinks differently from you is going to have an epiphany and change their mind because you reposted something that fits in with your politics. You're seeking validation (or justification) of your views, and you'll get it from your friends that believe the same way you do—but you're not changing anything, you're just shouting into a void listening for echoes to make yourself feel better. Get over your anger, pick yourself up from your "I can't believe everyone doesn't think the same way I do" tantrum, and go out and make changes for good in your community. Volunteer your time and talents to help others, make a difference in someone's life.

And another thing that really bothered me: this whole "punch a nazi" thing. Violence is never the right answer. People have a right to believe what they want to believe (and they will), accept it. Don't encourage or cheer for violence. I'm ashamed of people that are so welcoming of most different-thinking people (LGBT etc) in their community yet still harbor hate and violence toward others. So here's my opinion on the subject: you're wrong. I'm not condoning "nazi" beliefs, I'm quite strongly against them, but they are entitled to their beliefs.

And clickbait. Boy do I dislike clickbait.

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Block of Wood by Carbon Leaf
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Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:52 am)

I've been a fan of Carbon Leaf for a long time. The lyrics to Block of Wood on the re-release album Love Loss Hope Repeat Reneaux are so much more than the original song, yet I can't find them on the Internet anywhere. So this is my attempt to decipher them. I'm missing two places and will try to fill them in as I can.

Block of Wood
Carbon Leaf

Grab your heart we need to leave
There's no time to cry or grieve
for the fallen family tree

Rise above the flooding plain
Crouch low to duck the flame
Generations against the grain
Up in smoke, down the drain

Narrow pass and gaining speed
A judgment lapse is all we need
to make the treachery complete

Fire from the mountainside
Floods below not far behind
...for a swim
Best to let the water in

If the fire if the flood
burns the tree and thins the blood
if your tears don't wanna dry
I can help you cry
through the night
through the night and day
I can't take the pain away
But I can help you cry

Returning .. close to home
learning all there is to know
about reaping what you sow

SOS in dot and dash
morse code to fire and ash
what we have will have to do
to work the ground and start anew

Cut the branch from this tree
carve a place for you and me
a wooden seat that we can string
from a branch where we can swing

Just take this block of wood
carve it down and sand it good
when finished it will be
a souvenir of the family tree

If the fire if the flood
burns the tree and thins the blood
if your tears don't wanna dry
I can help you cry
through the night
through the night and day
I can't take the pain away
But I can help you cry
through the night
through the night and day
I can't take the pain away
But I can try but
God help me please
Come save the family tree
My friends have broke them off
when falling off the wall

In the ash I found an ember
something warm to help remember
the block of wood that used to be
a strong tall family tree
a strong tall family tree
blowing in the breeze

Cry through the night
through the night and day

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Worldcon 2015 – Sasquan
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Morning watch, 7 bells (7:51 am)

Today I'm taking some time off work to volunteer at Worldcon 2015 in Spokane (I'm on the Tech Division Staff). I expect it to be a long, busy day. Especially since I didn't get any sleep last night.

Busy day today, especially since some work issues are happening at the same time I'm volunteering here. Juggling responsibilities, sigh.

Another long day, my 10 hour parking permit was expired when I left. Lots of unloading of large trucks, sorting items, and miles of walking. But we also had times where we could sit and rest, too. By the afternoon there were a lot more people around the convention center. Much of the stage, lighting, and sound is done, or nearly so.

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Bad Refrigerator?
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:23 am)

When I moved in to my house I bought a $500 refrigerator. After about eight years, I had to get a new one. That new one cost about four times the old one, but it's really nice and I haven't ever regretted spending so much money on a fridge.

However, two nights ago I noticed the freezer wasn't as cold as it should be. As I investigated it more, I found a thick layer of frost and ice in the back. That frost formed when the freezer wasn't shut all the way (I've found the doors open twice, in the morning so they'd been open all night).

Last night I unplugged the refrigerator and pulled it out from its home. I opened the freezer. Lorien and I emptied it, moving some things to the freezer in the garage and others to the trash bin (ew). I chipped most of the ice away but it went down into some vents in the back of the freezer. So Lorien ran out and picked up some dry ice which we put in the refrigerator part and left closed while we let the freezer sit open overnight.

This morning there was a huge puddle of water on the floor, so I can only assume it's completely thawed out. I plugged it back in and cleaned the vents. There was an incredibly well-held-together strip of hair and cat fur that I literally peeled from the vent cover. It was pretty gross, and I probably should check it more often.

However, I'm hopeful that there are no problems with the unit, and that a defrosting and cleaning is all it needed. After it was plugged in for an hour the freezer seemed pretty cold to me. I placed a cup of water in it to see if it would freeze over as a test. I'll know this evening, but I sure hope that's all that was wrong with it.

13 Apr 2015 Update It looks like the aggressive defrosting was the ticket—the freezer seems to be working great now.

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Time To Get Serious
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:06 pm)

I guess it's finally time to get serious about taming this thing…
Beardbrand care products

Beardbrand is semi-local to me (Spokane, WA), so it's good to support the local guy.

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New Pink Floyd
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Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:02 pm)

Today a new Pink Floyd album was released. I wasn't sure about how they could follow up Division Bell, which in my heart I believe to be a musically perfect experience (in the genre anyway). But my fears were unfounded, the new album is nothing short of beautiful. Mostly instrumental, there is so much feeling behind the music. It's also great to put on repeat in the background at work, which is where it will be playing for some time I imagine.

Oh yeah, I saw the surgeon again today. I'm not allowed out of my brace completely. I can take it off when I'm safe and in no danger of using my arm to catch myself or reflexively grab something. I can start to actively use my left biceps again, but only to lift my arm—nothing more. It will be another month before I can discard the brace permanently.

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Follow-up with the Surgeon
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Afternoon watch, 5 bells (2:55 pm)

I saw my surgeon again today for my almost-seven-week follow-up. There was good news and bad news. The good being that I'm healing well, and that my arm has full extension and contraction. The bad news is that I have to wear the brace for another month. It was tough hearing that today as I was hoping to be out of this brace. Knowing I have another month of attempting to sleep with this monstrosity (on the couch, since that's the only place that supports my arm) is a bit depressing. I shouldn't be surprised, since that's about how long I spent in the boot for my achilles tendon.

I can, however, take my arm out from time to time if I'm not doing anything that could potentially call for it to be used. Sitting on the couch, for instance, or typing at the computer. So at least I have that going for me. I'm still only supposed to move it passively, and never actively. This is when re-injury is most likely to happen.

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Of Pain and Recuperation
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First dog watch, 1 bell (4:37 pm)

Yesterday I had my last hydrocodone, the doctor wanted to switch me over to tramadol. Fortunately most of my pain is gone and it's only been nine days since my surgery. That is a big difference from my last surgery, at this point I was just getting off oxycodone and switching to hydros, which I stayed on for well over a month.

My worst pain right now is in my wrist, which I think is from the way my hand was locked in the palm-up position for eight days. It really hurts to move my thumb or even slightly rotate my hand. The rest of my fingers feel good. Except for the swelling. My entire arm is pretty swollen, down through my wrist, hand, and fingers.

Yesterday the doctor took my cast off and removed the suture that was still in my arm. If I'll even have a scar, it's going to be quite small—nothing like the Frankenscar on my ankle. I got a custom-fitted arm brace that locks my elbow at 90° but am able to move my wrist (with pain) and fingers more normally now. Physical therapy starts next Wednesday, where we will work on range of motion only.

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PT Progress
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:56 am)

So the physical therapy has been torture, but I'm feeling a difference. I've been four times now, and while I dread the bill (since I haven't met my deductible yet this year) I really feel like I've made progress. The swelling isn't much better, but I'm regaining some range-of-motion in my ankle and foot. I have some very specific exercises to work on for both strength and flexibility. I go back again next Monday which gives me some time to do more work on my own and see how I progress. Overall though, it's good. Working on the scar tissue itself is by far the most painful part of my visit (heck, it's the only painful part!) but I've been told it's important to get those nerves used to being worked on again. I hope I only need a few more visits, but either way the important thing is that I'm improving.

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Taking Stock
Posted in General
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:56 pm)

making pho

It's what's pho dinner!

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Sage Advice from an SF Writer
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 2 bells (9:15 am)

Last night I was reading This Mortal Mountain, the third in a six volume set of books containing the writings of Roger Zelazny when I ran across this quote in one of his essays, toward the back of the book.

If I were in the process of counseling a would-be sf writer, I would say to him, "you need a sense of humor and a sense of place. You need a sense of history and a sense of time. You need a sense of science and a sense of the human condition. You need a sense of the fear, shame and mocking laughter, which for want of a better word I'll call the guilt involved in being a man. But most of all, you need a sense of humor." And assuming that the guy knows how to put words together at all, I think he'll probably make it on the scene, along with the rest of us priests of the absurd, time-keepers of the never-to-be-calendared occasion.

Part of me has always wanted to write, and another part says I have no stories to tell. Mostly I think that's just an excuse. But Zelazny's words spoke to me more than sparse ink covering paper usually does. Perhaps I will find a story to tell…

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Parhelion
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 7 bells (11:56 am)

Parhelion

I caught a picture of this parhelion yesterday evening.

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Back to Normal
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:58 am)

Lorien seems to be right back to normal—it's 11am and she's still asleep.

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Almost There…
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:14 pm)

I just talked to Lorien on her cell phone and she is in Denver. Her flight doesn't leave until 9-something tonight though, arriving in Spokane at 11:30pm. She's been gone exactly one month, which ended up being less than I expected. That being said, I'm glad she's almost home. And I know one cat that will be overjoyed as well.

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On the Way Home
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:50 am)

Lorien has started her journey home. Yesterday afternoon (for her) she hopped on the bus to Pekanbaru where the airport is. She'll spend a night in Singapore again (she said the airport there is really nice), then fly to Narita->Denver->Spokane, arriving at 11:30pm Thursday.

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