Category Archives: Life

EMP amusement.

So this afternoon we took the kids to the Experience Music Project in Seattle, which was created by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.  It was rather cool, but it was not a good match for the kids — attention spans are too short for this kind of thing, so we didn’t stay very long.  They had much more fun playing in the International Fountain instead.

But while we were at the EMP, looking around the Music Lab, I noticed a computer in the recording area that had a program that looked familiar.  So I looked closer, and found that it was, in fact, the same open-source Audacity I use to record and edit the Blaincast.  Which was amusing, so I thought I’d share.

There are a lot of countries in the world.

I just did a flashcard set with my good friend, Teach2000.8 which claimed to be the capitals of all the countries in the world.  I had to hand-add Kosovo, and it didn’t have St. Helena, but it was pretty thorough.  It took me about three hours to go through it on a training mode.  At the end, I have a passing familiarity with the names of all of those capitals, but it’s really hard to keep track of N’djamena, Sanaa, Yaounde, Mbabane, and a few of the other ones that I have little idea of how to pronounce.

Although I’m doing pretty good with Kinshasa, Dodoma, and, well, Mbabane is starting to grow on me (kinda focusing on Africa right now — it’s got the most countries of any continent). 

Now I’m doing an Africa-only flashcard set, and then I’m going to try the Sporcle game about African capitals again (I got 21 out of 49 last time).  I think my brain is smoking.  I’ve got a Millionaire going in the background — looking kinda easy right now.  Can’t believe it took a lifeline and a leap of faith to figure out that BYU was rated the most “stone cold sober” college campus nine years running, but it was college week.  Let’s see if she’s going to get that Dido was in the Aenied.  She might get it with a guess (she thinks it might be in the Antigone).  She’s lurching toward it.  She got it.  $50k for that?  That’s what drives me crazy about that show.  She’s from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, which happens to be the campus that Dr. Pamela Gay teaches at (she’s one of the hosts of Astronomycast).  And she just made 100k on an astronomy question with a mostly guess.  And she walks at the 250k question — I would have gotten the last two wrong. 

Back to capitals.

Got the Veeps.

I did the Vice Presidents “game” on Sporcle, getting all the vice presidents correct (not in the same order) for the first time.  It took me just under four minutes (out of 10 allotted).  This one took a while to get.  Now I need to get Presidents and their Vice Presidents by number — I have a flashcard set that does those that I started working on a week or so ago. 

I’m getting one or more additional answers right on each Jeopardy now that I can attribute to the training I’ve been doing.  I still need to get a handle on the arts categories, and I’m finding a fair number of categories about chemistry and physicists that are biting me.  Part of what’s biting me in those categories is guessing at high-valued answers and getting them wrong. 

I get to go to the Teacher Learner Academy Awards thing tonight.  Mostly I’m going because I really like the teacher, and to see what it was that I did to get nominated for this award.  Emily is going with me. 

Two happies in a couple of hours.

The first is that I found a way to get a working iPodderx derivative podcatcher under Hardy.  Google was, ultimately, my friend.  It just took a while for somebody to post the solution to a forum that Google index.  And, because this is Linux, I just renamed the config directory and it magically worked the first try — all my podcasts set up properly. 

Second happy wasn’t quite as tricky — I found the micro-to-full SD adapter on the floor under the desk I thought it would be at.  Okay, so I looked down and there it was.  But finding SD-sized cards isn’t terribly easy.

So now I’ve just loaded my latest podpacket on my phone, and I’ll get to work on it while I’m working.

I also have a happy in that my new boss managed to cover my Thursday shift, so I get to go to the Teacher Learner Academy Awards Thursday night.  I don’t get paid for the day, but it also saves me two nights in the motel room — I’ll only need one night for the week. 

So, happy, happy, and happy.  Not bad for one day.

Temporary outage.

Due to holidays, and the (thus far) impossibility of getting Vista to connect to the internet via a cable connection, I will have limited access to things like email until tomorrow morning sometime (probably 10 or so) when I can get to the library and use the wireless there.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you need to reach me this evening, and you have my phone number, that would be your best bet.

Finished my first shift in the other house today. Not too bad, but definitely different procedures. It does sound likely that I will be able to attend the ceremony to receive my Academy Award, although I haven’t yet set that up. I’m pleased. It also appears that I might get holiday pay for today, in addition to working it. I think that makes it double-time, which would be darn nice. I’m also doing a swing-grave double Wednesday, which will make the paycheck nice, beyond which it’ll help me be more confident when I do the grave on my own next Friday night.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to check this space again tonight before I crash, in case anybody needs to reach me here.

Sleep is good.

But first, another word from our sponsor, Teh Cute:

I slept like four or five hours yesterday afternoon, and then nine hours last night.  I feel better now.

Not sure yet if I’m heading down tonight to the place I’m staying so I don’t have to drive home every night (since I’m doing one shift each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), but I probably will.  I might need to shift a dinner invitation from tomorrow to later in the week.  We’ll see.

I might take a nap now, and maybe try to get the next blaincast recorded before I go down.  Not sure.

Survived my first night.

But first, a word from our sponsor, Teh Cuteness:

This was my first time in the house I hadn’t been in yet, and I found out that three of the six kids are known to me — one I have a brief but intense history with.  The system is considerably different in the details from what I’m used to.  I did okay with the overnight — I made it home with a very short nap at a rest area.  The house manager was very nice — everybody was very nice — and it looks  like this is going to be a pretty good fit.  I do think I’m going to see about switching my day-swing double on Tuesday for a swing-grave double.  That would give me the possibility of a relatively regular sleep pattern — not an option when you work one day shift, three swing shifts, and one grave.  And the house manager at this house did offer me the chance to do another training shift for graveyards before I do my first one — it’s a solo shift, and there are a number of detailed things to take care of, and I’d like al ittle more practice with that before I’m doing it solo.  That will also give me five training shifts, for a full 40 hours on my paycheck for this month, which helps too.

I’ve come up with a tentative plan for the upcoming future:  take some social science classes at the community college (psychology and sociology) to prepare for a masters in counseling or social work program (I can do an online masters in counseling program with five social sciences classes).  The folks I’m now working for will reimburse for tuition.  I’m not sure the details of that program, but I am sure that doing classes and working graves like I did last night work pretty well together — lots of time to study, and studying gives me something to do to help me stay awake.  Not really sure where my “move to Virginia” plan fits with that yet, but it’s not time for that anyhow.  More will unfold as we go along.

I slept a few hours this afternoon, and I’m going to be going to bed kinda early tonight, and then I should be okay for tomorrow.  And then I just need to figure out my plan for the rest of the week.  Hope that unfolds quickly enough.

Monday, part 4.5

I stopped and got a new plastic wall tube on my way back from work, but then I found that the old one not only was falling apart — it wasn’t held together by a normal fitting — it was held together by (I’m not kidding) electrical tape.  The nipple it was connected to is old and corroded and the threads don’t work.  Oh, and (as I was typing this, I figured out that) I need to cut the new wall tube to get it to fit to the p-trap, even though I won’t be able to get a good fit (all at once, the electrical tape makes sense). 

The ultimate solution is going to be replacing two or three little fittings of cast-iron pipe with a combination of stainless and plastic.  But, in addition to the money being too tight to do that right this second, I also have been unable to get the metal fittings to break loose so I could even try to do that. 

Tomorrow I get to take a UA to prove that I’m not drugged (chuckle), and then do my first training shift for the new job — a graveyard, starting tomorrow at midnight.

I wonder how strong my nephew is feeling these days.  Maybe he can break that loose for me and put the new pieces in place — it’s not that complicated (if I can do it, it’s not, and I did it on the drain for the other sink right next to it). 

Monday part 4

The thing about the light at the end of the tunnel is that, when you see it, you’re still in the tunnel. 

This has been a rough week.  Today, I was going to try to get the dishes done.  The sink had dirty water left in it, and it took forever to drain, so I thought I’d take some time to clear the drain so the water would run better.  Running hot water down the drain only worked to a degree, not an acceptable degree, so I pulled out my wrench and took off the trap. 

The problem quickly became apparent — a chop-stick had been put down the drain, and had slowly been gathering crap on it until it was blocking the drain almost completely.  Removing this problem was quick and easy. 

The new problem was that the piece of drain-pipe that goes between the trap and the main drain line fell apart in my hands.  This is going to require more time than I have before I leave for work today (not to mention money I need to put into my gas tank to continue working until I get paid).  And I can’t, thus far, get the part of the pipe that screws into the next piece to move. 

Okay, so it’s not like a house fire, but it means that I can’t use the kitchen sink at all until I get this fixed. 

So I’m going to do a Jeopardy.  The new champion is really, really cute in a quiet, classy, very smart nerd-girl way.  But she’s married.  A very good player — cleared more than $40k on her first show. 

I’ll see what I can do with the drain when I get home.