Entries Tagged 'Conventions' ↓

More Bullet-Points

  • Since I’ve been more than a bit remiss in posting . . .
  • Robin passed the difficult 2/3 of his CDL test two weeks ago. I supplied fundage for couple more hours of driving practice, and this morning he re-took the road driving portion and passed. Yay!
  • MuseCon is dead. I have feelings about this. They’re complicated.
  • There are still brush piles in the backyard, but the still-growing stuff (some of which is grass, most of which is . . . not) has been trimmed to a reasonable level. I think I’m just going to buy a fire ring after all.
  • Still playing both versions of “My Singing Monsters” despite getting repeatedly annoyed at the sequel. Ron suggests the annoyances are what keeps me coming back. He might be right.
  • Done some Otter Necessities stuff. More about that in the usual place.
  • After thrashing herself out of her enclosure and falling to the floor while attacking her food two weeks in a row, I have successfully learned how to feed Aurora the corn snake without so much excitement. She still gets excited and thrashes around, but I open the door enough to admit the rat and tongs, so she doesn’t have space to fall out. This is particularly silly as she doesn’t get live food.
  • Robin took the air conditioners out of the windows a couple weeks ago. There were many, many shield/stink bugs.
  • Robin and I investigated the new (as in moved) Schaumburg Dick Blick store. I had a not-too-large fail, and also got Robin some additional sketching supplies to take with him during training.
  • Ron has started woodcarving, as he needed a truck-friendly hobby for his downtime. Chainmail is too itty-bitty if when rings are dropped.
  • I now have a set of tube watercolor paints, some test bits of basswood, and two dwarf/gnome-ish figures to paint.
  • I left my iPod in a skirt pocket and it went through the wash. RIP iPod. And Apple has discontinued the Nano, now all they have is the phone-size Touch with a bunch of features I don’t want/need.
  • OTOH, I’ve determined that I can use my iPad to play music from my portable hard drive through my portable speaker, which accomplishes what I used my iPod for, without stuffing the memory on my phone or iPad with music. I found Ron’s old iPod and Xap found a cable for it, and then Robin handed me his green iPod Nano, which he doesn’t use any more. So, options, I has them!
  • I downloaded recent-ish purchases from iTunes to the desktop computer, and keep forgetting to update the music on my hard drive, and/or replace some of the music Robin likes on the green iPod with what I like. D’oh!
  • My new-ish co-worker is loud, and I don’t always want to have my door closed, which only does so much good anyway unless I shut it tight.
  • At least I promptly quashed the use of speakerphone in his open cubicle. Speakerphones are only for use in conference rooms or offices with DOORS, which should be SHUT when using speakerphone, dammit.
  • Last Tuesday morning at oh-dark-thirty Gimli insisted that he really needed out. He caught a rabbit. There’s a reason I keep my wellies in the dining room. He was reasonably good about giving it up, both the initial confiscation and after we played tug with it.
  • I got back to bed about 4 am. Then I had to try to settle a wound-up Tommy, who had missed most of the excitement by being on his cable and/or in the house.
  • I kinda slept in. Then I gave up and stayed home.
  • Since Robin was home and mostly-unoccupied last weekend, the weather wasn’t stupid hot, and it was a bonus long weekend for me, we made pasties.
  • Lots and lots of pasties. 90 of them. The freezer is not quite full.
  • This weekend I made something like onion soup with lots of meat and Italian-ish seasoning, put it over French rolls in foil loaf pans, topped with provolone cheese, then froze it, so Ron and Robin have very wet Italian-ish beef sandwiches to take with them on the road. I was restrained and the batch was only a six-count.
  • We also made a usual stupid-big batch of chicken macaroni salad.
  • This morning Ron left with pasties, chicken macaroni salad, and I’m assuming at least one beef sandwich brick, in addition to the usual supply of canned or otherwise shelf-stable food.
  • I think Robin has decided to go to work for Werner. No schedule for training, etc. yet.

MuseCon Report

Looks like I last posted on Tuesday of last week.

I’d been on the MuseCon Board for about two years. If you recall a previous post, we had an un-planned ConCom meeting back on July 1 to deal with some bumps in the road. Over the last couple months I’d come to the decision that it was about time for me to be done, with changes at home and whatnot. More than once Ron convinced me that I should stick out the last bit of my term, until elections in September.

On Wednesday, dealing with things directly or indirectly related to said bumps in the road made it clear that my I’d developed too many differences of opinion to other board members to make my continued tenure useful. So I resigned. And if you see my Facebook posts, completely ran out of fucks.

Anyway, Thursday I finished up MuseCon signage and sent it to be printed, finished up Otter Necessities stuff, getting all the merchandise I planned to take into the Point of Sale (PoS) inventory and tagged (except I couldn’t find my tiny safety pins to tag doll clothes, so the tags were just tucked inside kosode).

Friday morning Robin helped me stuff the dogs into a truck, I dropped them off of the vet’s for boarding, stopped at JoAnn to get a dress form-shaped pincushion to display doll clothes on, forgot little safety pins, stopped at Kinko’s for signage, Then to the hotel. By then I was slightly less devoid of fucks. I got signage either put up or distributed, talked to some people, ordered dinner, and was very happy to see Ron when he finally arrived – he went from Iron Mountain to L’Anse where he swapped trailers, stopped at a drop yard south of Milwaukee to swap trailers, then home, without running out of 11 hours of drive-time in 14 hours of on-duty time.

Saturday Ron and Robin both helped me set up two tables and a triangle of gridwall in the vendor’s room, and I theoretically supervised the room. Since there were 5 vendors in total, it wasn’t a very hard job. Sales weren’t bad, but I’m not used to doing such a small event any more (I think attendance was in the 200-225 neighborhood).

Yesterday we packed up, checked out, Ron and I headed toward home had breakfast, did some grocery shopping, picked up the dogs, were glad to see Robin eventually get home, started dehydrating vegetables, and marinated skirt steak for jerky. Dogs were very happy to see us, and we were very happy to see them.

Today we did even less: Dehydrated the jerky, ran to JoAnn to pick up an American Girl doll clone I’d ordered on-line for store pickup, and Robin and I took stuff back to the storage locker.

I’ve reserved space for Otter at the Fremd HS holiday craft fair at the beginning of December, and will probably also get space at the Palatine HS version the Saturday before Windycon. Fremd is the other HS in Palatine, and both are one-day events. I plan on taking no more than I can cope with myself – purses, satchels, buckled belts, doll clothes, books, and maybe potion bottles.

MuseCon Prep

I last posted the week before last, after being released from the hospital after having my gall bladder evicted. Ron went back on duty Friday morning, but I had Robin so I wasn’t too worried, as I said previously.

Robin took care of me and the dogs. I spent most of that weekend on a binge of cutting out doll kosode, then doing all the machine sewing on them, then starting on the hand-sewing. IIRC I cut out 22, which is 11 coordinating sets. That’s a lot of doll clothes. OTOH, cutting out and sewing primarily involved sitting on by backside on the couch with a table in front of me to work on. And not, it seems, having to think too much, since I never got around to starting on MuseCon signage, which would have required more application of thinky bits.

I also stayed home Monday and Tuesday of last week, and went to work Wednesday through Friday. In hindsight, I should have just stayed home all week.

This immediately-past weekend I mostly did MuseCon prep. Saturday morning Robin and I went to the lockup to fetch home the coolers, bus bins, etc. we loan to Con Suite; gridwall hardware and shelves for the Salon; and and the bin of lace-knitting patters, alpaca yarn, and knitting needles for me to try to sell in the Emporium. After a stop at the grocery store on the way home, we went spelunking in the trailer for leatherworking kits, tools, and hardware to put up for sale. Robin did the work, I poked through Max, the Grinch, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 and decided what Robin was to schlep.

Then I proceeded inside to work on MuseCon signage. While I was sorting through images, Robin brought the pile of stuff that had landed in the kitchen for MuseCon to a slightly less chaotic pile of stuff in front of the back door. And I worked on bringing some more order to the pile later in the day. And around dinner time, a bowl of stir-fry appeared by my side while I was working on signage! Neat!

Yesterday I did more work on signage, plus more attempts at bringing order to the merchandise I’ll have for sale. Since I lost, essentially, two weeks to my gall bladder, getting ready for MuseCon is a rather daunting task. The stringy stuff had been removed from the Point of Sale (PoS) application inventory, and I have a pile of other merchandise – hardware, books I’ve bound, and doll clothes – that need tags and entering into the PoS app. In the past, I figured costs and prices, and typed descriptions or dictated them to Ron, who entered the data into spreadsheets, and then did some kind of voodoo to get it into the PoS app, and some other voodoo to print stickers to put on price tags.

Unfortunately, Ron won’t be home until Friday evening. When I was talking to Ron on the phone, he confirmed my suspicion that trying to talk me through both kinds of voodoo was probably going to be a lot more frustrating and less efficient than just typing the inventory into the PoS app and hand-writing tags, if not entirely unsuccessful.

Fortunately, the stringy bits are already tagged, so the main job there was data-entry. So far I’ve gotten the stringy bits and books entered, books tagged, and have made progress on number-crunching on the hardware. I’ve also been getting things packed up better. And tonight, while looking for the blank tags, I found the conchos and concho display, and extracted them, and the tags, from the dining room.

Fortunately, I realized today that I’m taking Thursday off, in addition to Friday and next Monday. Which gives me some more time to get things done. Or flail. Whatever.

Busy Week

Let’s see, I last posted Wednesday. But I forgot to mention that my truck acted up on the way to work, so I dropped it off at the shop.

Ron had been over to his truck for one reason or another every day since getting home, a pattern which continued all week long. Yes, pretty sure that the week off after orientation & training is for truck setup.

Thursday felt like Friday.

Friday I took off for birthday party (mine belated 50th, and Ron’s). I didn’t get quite as much done as I could have. The shop called, they couldn’t get my truck to act up (it had done it once previously, a week or so before, so not a surprise). Probably a transmission thing, choices were to start poking around in the transmission or to wait and see. We opted for wait and see, so all I paid for was the oil change they’d also done.

Saturday morning we had a MuseCon meeting to iron out some bumps that had come up in the road. Which was held in our back yard, and added to the party preparation fun. Between the meeting and the party several strong people got into the trailer and got out gridwall, which is now packed in Mongo the truck until MuseCon.

Then we had the party, which was a little lower-key than Ron’s 50th last year, but still fun. I didn’t go quite as overboard on food, either. Pen met and held Ying, my big carpet python. Other snakes got to come out and be social. Dogs did not for much of the day, due to allergic humans in the house, but survived without *too* much complaining. And when they did come out Gimli decided that Doug was his new favorite person.

Saturday, thanks to the wonder of Amazon Prime, we got a solar trickle charger and a giant stuffed bear skin that were ordered Saturday; and Ron ran to JoAnn and picked up 10 pounds of stuffing for said bear. The trickle charger is so that my truck can go to the yard and be left without the battery running down while Ron is on the road – we’d been waffling about one, but figured it could wait as we thought my truck would be in the shop until the middle of this week, as they were busy. The bear and stuffing are Ron’s co-pilot. There were many interesting comments while Ron stuffed the bear during the party. Most were of questionable taste. Bear is more orange the light brown than Ron was expecting, so it was named Sweet Potato, as in the famous “I Has a Sweet Potato” blog post on LJ.

Ron was supposed to go back on duty at 9:00 am yesterday. He didn’t have a load assigned Saturday night, or when he got up in the morning. Went to the yard, was ready to go, and still no load. I brought his perishable food and a couple other things I found in Mongo, and still no load. I went off fabric shopping, went home, and about lunchtime Ron came home to lurk around the house. Still no load. Fleet Manager said try again in the evening. Nada. This morning they finally had a load, to be picked up in Madison on Wednesday. So Ron’s home for two more days. Waiting and not knowing when he’d get a load was frustrating for him, so this is an improvement.

This morning we discovered that Tanis the corn snake’s enclosure was infested with whopping big flies. Mr. Shop Vac was called into service to suck most of them up, then we completely changed her substrate. As far as I can see they spontaneously teleported in, and that’s the explanation I’m sticking with, especially since we cleaned snake cages on Friday. Then we did some running around – to the yard to get some stuff Ron had left in the truck that he’d need/want before Wednesday; to Dick Blick to NOT use a coupon that was for Michaels, not Dick Blick, oops; lunch; back to the truck for Ron’s trucker’s atlas tablet; and then home with a brief stop for me to run in at Osco for dairy enzyme pills.

This afternoon, since Mr. Shop Vac was sitting out I cleaned up the dog hair and whatnot from the window sill behind the couch, sucked the dust off the fireplace screen, and blew the dust and whatnot off the downstairs bathroom window screen. A little off on the timing, I should have done those things Friday. Oops.

And I’m working on the MuseCon program book. Yes, it’s long, grim slog of doom time. For reasons related to bumps in the road I’ve simplified the page-layout in the programming section a bit, which is making it easier, but smooshing down said bumps will be adding other complexity to make up for it.

I have no special plans for tomorrow, except to cook the rack of ribs I got and forgot to cook on Saturday, and I’m thinking it would be an appropriate time to watch “Independence Day: Resurgence”, probably after watching “Independence Day”. And I expect I’ll be putting Gimli’s Thunder Shirt on tonight. He could have used it last night, but we realized that only after we were in bed, and it was downstairs. Fortunately, although we’ve always had one dog afraid of bangs, they’ve never been of the panic and tear around trying to escape variety of fear. The “worst” problem we had was when I gave Lobo a tranquilizer that kicked in before we went to bed, and Ron had to carry the resulting 65-pound puddle of limp husky up the stairs.  🙂

Settlin In to New Routine

In the last week Ron and his trainer (who’s name promptly fell out of my brain) have moved steel, concrete formwork, and hardwood gym flooring, making deliveries and/or pickups in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and are currently in Georgia. We have a Google Keep list of things to get when Ron gets his own truck. I have a rolling Google Keep list of things I need to do.

Monday Robin put the air-conditioning units in the master bedroom, Yay! Comfortable sleep again! Which means now there’s an item on my to-do list of re-arranging some shelves and things that were moved, and to re-locate Danger Noodle so his tub isn’t sitting right in front of the AC output on my side of the room. I also need to make a new draft stopper, currently using a rolled towel.

Floating to the top of my to-do list is doing the MuseCon program book. The first step of *that* is cleaning the computer desk. This morning the whole desk was a vaguely flat surface with monitor screens rising from the sea of mess. Even the chair was encumbered. Not conductive to doing, well, anything. Since the first content deadline for the book is tomorrow night at midnight, I really need to get the desk cleaned up. Started that task, and actually cleared enough carp to make it possible to use the computer. Along the way I found *eight* pairs of non-prescription reading glasses. Plus there’s two more over by the couch. Now, I know a pair or two lived at Ron’s desk at Toshiba previously, and they’re not all the same power, but ten pairs is fecking ridiculous. And I may have sent Ron a shouty e-mail or two to that effect.

On Sunday I got the snake enclosure re-arranging done – Kajura moved to a bigger enclosure in the bedroom, and the short black enclosures moved to the living room. I still haven’t swapped Moresby and Sif, but at least there’s been some progress. Kajura still seems to be busybody snake, so not all the out-and-about-ness in the small tub was from limited space. Robin helped by rearranging shelves for the black enclosures, and carrying them downstairs and putting them on the shelves.

Buford also seems to be getting a little braver. I’m seeing his snoot at the hide entrance fairly regularly, and Saturday through Monday morning, before there was AC in the room, Buford was actually seen out of his hide, and for a while was soaking in his water dish. I haven’t seen him in his dish since Monday, so I suspect the soaking was to keep cool.

Tuesday I was completely exhausted, so after I let the dogs out and fed them at the normal time, I went back to bed. I think the problem was mainly that the bedroom had been too warm for me to sleep comfortably for several nights – even though windows were open on both sides, there just wasn’t enough air flow for the room to be comfortable until the early hours of the morning. Still a bit tired, but I feel like I’m catching up.

Last night I took Pippin to the vet. Bacterial infection in one ear. I think Gimli cleaning the ear was more of a symptom than a cause, but it certainly didn’t help. Fortunately, the treatment is oral meds, and the goo the vet did put in Pip’s ear won’t hurt Gimli, and apparently smells/tastes icky, so he hasn’t been trying to clean it much, either. Otherwise, the only solution we (me, Robin, and the vet) could come up with was to put both Gimli and Pippin into Cones of Shame. Not something I wanted to deal with.

Robin said he had four days left at Pizza Workplace, but I see he also has an additional one hour on the calendar for Monday evening. I need to ask if that’s dropping off keys and whatnot, actual work-work, or just an oops. I also want to ask if the pair of Ron’s shorts that appeared in one of the dog beds was tossed there by Robin when he was doing the air-conditioners, or if a dog moved it. 🙂

MuseCon Report

Interesting, my last blog post is dated for last Saturday, but it refers to last Friday as “this morning”. 

Anyway, for MuseCon, last Thursday night we stayed at home, and Friday morning we took the dogs to the vet’s, because many good reasons, then went to the hotel. Robin left for the hotel about the same time Ron and I left the house with the dogs, so that he could go help at Dave’s storage locker and do all his Logistics things.

MuseCon was busy. Ops took over hanging all signage, so I sorted signs and left them to it. I was in charge of Stanford/the Workshop Room/Blinkie Room (however you want to think of it). Friday that consisted primarily on making sure that everybody was on the same page for how the room would be set up (blinkies and other soldering things on the south half, everything else on the north half). Most of the Open Builds had moved to the Muse Salon in Marlborough, so Stanford proceeded relatively smoothly, biggest thing was getting hotel engineering to crank up the A/C, because if the room was too warm with <6 people in it for setup on Friday, it was going to be WAY TOO HOT once it got busy.  

I spent more time in the Salon (vs. Stanford) than I probably should have. I left my knitting at home, other than the turkish braid demo stuff, but I brought some doll clothing materials and tools and worked on kosode. Karen and I discussed ideas for the Salon and Stanford for next year, and have some ideas, considering above re: most Open Builds already having moved to the Salon. 

Saturday afternoon we reprised the Letterpress Printing Overview, and Saturday night we reprised Dramatic Readings of Music. This time for dramatic readings the chairs were all in a big circle (I think a leftover from a previous session), which was a good arrangement. Sunday morning we did Braided Snake Wristbands (3-strand mystery braid) for/in the kids programming room.

I took my Inuk and my classical guitar to MuseCon, and Saturday evening before dramatic readings I took them down to the Salon, where Andrea played them through an amplifier with distortion and feedback. Both sounded good, but the classical guitar played that way just sounded so wroooong to me. Andrea fell in love with the Inuk. 

Sunday night we went to the hotel restaurant/steakhouse, had sticker shock at the steak prices, and decided to just get soup, salad, and share a twice-baked potato, which was enormous. Then we went to the Necro-Muse music circle, where I flailed away through most of my classical-ish repertoire (mostly shorter bits out of my method book), Ron tried a couple banjo things, and Cathy McManamon made my Inuk sound very nice indeed. 

We stayed at the hotel Sunday night, and went to breakfast with Ron’s parents on Monday morning. Ron’s sister Alisa had also come to MuseCon, but she left Sunday afternoon. I think they all had a good time.

After breakfast we finished packing, hooked up the trailer, and headed home, where we dropped off the trailer, unloaded the truck, and then went out to pick up the dogs. Gimli was a very very tired puppy, he pretty much spent Monday asleep. Ron and I, and I assume Robin, also took naps. Nobody wanted to cook, so both lunch and dinner were invoked. 

Little Caesar’s called after Ron and the dogs and I had gone to bed, somebody up the food chain had scheduled Robin to open Tuesday morning. And close Wednesday night (at least it wasn’t a clopening). When he’d last checked his schedule, he didn’t have to work until Thursday. He was Not Amused. I can’t say I blame him.

Wednesday morning I had a definitely upset tummy, and stayed home, pretty sure combination of sinus/allergy issues and being tired from MuseCon. At one point Robin came downstairs and told me if I was going to nap I should go up and flop in bed. Grumble grumble grumble acting all adult who does this smart-alek kid think he is anyway? Which I did not do, but I did flop on the couch instead of sitting up. And in the afternoon I tried not to nap again. 

Last night Ron and Robin took blinkie stuff and Mr. Slushie back to D’s. Our stuff is still scattered around the house, and needs to go back to storage. Otter Necessities has an event (Lake Count-I-Con) in two weeks, so a trip to storage will happen some time between now and then to take coolers, etc. back and pick up Otter’s stuff that was stashed for MuseCon.
And that pretty much brings us up to today. Except for snake-natter, which will be its own post. 

Another Bullet-Point Update

I really don’t mean to keep forgetting to blog, but here we go again.  Since the last post, on January 22nd:

  • I have obtained a backpack for future short trips.  The next expected one is the floodplain managers’ conference in March, which will be two nights, in Bloomington, to which I am taking Amtrak again.
  • MuseCon grid build on the 24th was not going to happen, so I stayed home and worked on things for Military History Fest. Also did not attend the follow-up on the 8th.
  • Military History Fest was the 30th through the 1st, at Pheasant Run. Yes, the weekend of the big snowstorm. In 20/20 hindsight we should have packed up Saturday night, and taken the trailer, etc. home then. But we didn’t, see the Otter Blog if you want more natter about that.
  • Biffed a curb Sunday morning of that weekend with the Kia on the way to Pheasant Run, couple days later noticed a shimmy in the steering wheel and slight pull to the left.
  • Spent the 7th baking for the Capricon Cafe. IIRC it was 3 ginormous (4x) batches of bacon-cheddar scones, and 2 ginormous batches of Heath Bar scones.
  • For future reference, that’s the basic King Arthur Flour scone recipe, using sour cream for the dairy, and 1/2 of a big GFS bag of Heath Bar chips – 5-6 cups. Bake the at the same temp as the bacon-cheddar scones, for 25 minutes (5 less than bacon-cheddar). Total: 5-6 dozen scones
  • Heath Bar scones are really really good.
  • Robin made a triple batch of banana bread (5 loaves).
  • That took 5 pounds of margarine, a stupid-size tub of sour cream, and about 4 dozen eggs, about half of a 25-pound bag of pastry flour, a big bag of bacon pieces, most of a bag of shredded cheese,  and a big hand of bananas.
  • On Sunday we moved Elrond’s crate to the living room, since he’d stopped coming upstairs, and was getting more and more fussy if he couldn’t sit on the couch.
  • He only had to be shown where his crate was once, and remembered.
  • He still prefers the couch, but now has somewhere to go when he can’t have it.
  • Wednesday I dropped the Kia off at John & Scott’s (see above).
  • One rim bent, front tires worn to wear bars, one rear tire suffering belt slippage, so since they can’t match the other rear tire, that’s 4 new tires and a new rim. I’d probably have had them replace the 4th tire anyway.
  • Also need to replace (front) ball joint, and yes, need an alignment job.
  • And the oil change I requested.
  • They won’t get the rim until Monday, which is OK, since I have Monday off.
  • Ouch. I was pretty much expecting to need new front tires, but was hoping for just those, alignment, and an oil change. I expect the bill to be $850-ish.
  • Because of a scheduling issue on the part of the hotel, I helped set up the Cafe Thursday, since I had the day off.
  • Because of time off issues as a result of the ‘flu in December, I’m not taking any time off for Cap.
  • Last time we boarded Elrond, the dropping-off process was stressful, so not taking time off means the dogs can stay at home with me.
  • The scones, both flavors, seem to have survived freezing and subsequent thawing fine.
  • I had to work yesterday.
  • Today and tomorrow I’m working on the program book for the floodplain managers’ conference.
  • Last night I got an e-mail that I’m taking to mean that the conference chair had gone into labor. This was not unexpected, and AFAIK not an emergency. Hopefully labor is done and baby and mother are happy and healthy.
  • Will be taking a break tomorrow to pick up Ron, since I took the truck after helping with Cafe setup, and Robin will be going with Dave to help unload all the A/V equipment into Dave’s locker, which Ron would rather skip.
  • On the way home Thursday I stopped at Fresh Fields, at the corner of Dundee and Milwaukee.
  • I was expecting a Whole Paycheck-style store.
  • Nope, more like Eurofresh on steroids.
  • Escaped with just pork for stir-fry, polish sausage, and thin-sliced short ribs.
  • Made rice pilaf with the pork (because there were no reasonably-sized packages of chicken thighs) Thursday night.
  • Had the polish sausage last night, and some of the leftovers diced up in an omelet this morning (2 really big sausages – about 4 average-sized sausage equivalent).
  • Short ribs are marinating, to be something like Korean-style. Which I’ve never had, thus “something like”.
  • This morning Duckon announced on Facebook that there will be no Duckon this year, but working on 2016.
  • I have my doubts they will pull off a convention in 2016, but I wish them luck. Really. I’m sad/sorry that Duck has been having problems.
  • The dogs have taken control of the couch, and are sound asleep. Unless/until I move toward the kitchen, of course.
  • And now, I think it’s time to get back to the program book.


Downtime Week Natter

Wednesday was Part One of our anniversary (we had separate legal and ceremonial bits), so Ron took me out to dinner at Siri Thai. Pot stickers, cucumber salad, and the house fried chicken, which is strips of boneless/skinless white meat with a tempura-like batter. Very yummy.
 After dinner we went home and read. It was nice to be a vegetable for a change.
 Last night I took the MuseCon grid Excel spreadsheet and made it into a handout for the WisCon party tonight. As I mentioned about this time last year, the plan was that Someone(s) Else would be in charge of the MuseCon party at WisCon, as ACen and WisCon back-to-back exceed my capacity for socialization.
 It was a good plan, and it was proceeding along smoothly, until the person who’d volunteered to be in charge of the party had a work-related monkeywrench happen. A good one, fortunately, but it took that person out of the picture. Someone else stepped up, but there were still insufficient bodies volunteering.
 The result is/was that Ron and Xap headed up about lunchtime to get day badges and help with the party. Bleah. I’m trying not to be cranky about it, but not entirely succeeding, since that means Ron probably won’t be home until late morning or mid-day tomorrow.
 Yesterday I started attacking the pile of clean laundry that’s been accumulating for a week or so. I’d gotten it down to a manageable size this morning, we’ll see if Robin made it bigger over the course of the day. I know he was baking this morning for the party, so he may not have done laundry today.
 Getting fed up with the mess in the living room, which is better now that Max has moved out to the trailer, but is still suffering from the pre-ACen chaos. Had Robin make a start yesterday, I’ll probably attack it more this weekend, especially since the Cleaning Fairies come Tuesday morning.
 Still waiting to hear about the result of my “Titanic” audition. I used a contact form on the theatre group’s website this morning to ask what kind time frame I should expect, with the excuse that I forgot to ask at the audition. First rehearsal/read-through is Tuesday evening, so presumably they need to let people know Real Soon Now.
 The network fascists at work have locked down internet access fairly tight, which is in keeping with the internet use policies, but that seems to include almost completely disabling anything but IE. The stated reasoning for the lockdown is to prevent malware infections, so by that logic they should be killing off IE and encouraging use of Opera or Firefox, not the bass-ackwards way they’ve implemented. Which is about par for the course for CMS. Grumble.
 – Posted using software from hardware

Moving Closer to Sewing

Ron didn’t get the hems pinned on my long vest over the weekend, but that’s because we got busy doing other things.

I spent most of Saturday working on the latest program book (for the floodplain managers’ conference next week), and bits of Sunday morning and evening, so I could send it off to the printer Monday morning.  Yay! I have my life back!

Placing a PeaPod order on Friday, I was tempted strangely by a frozen “Cajun” Turtucken with sausage, which was on sale. We had it for dinner Saturday. It was more like a turkey roll with an inner layer of duck, and some bits of softer brown stuff that I think was either sausage or stuffing, with green herby bits. It was rather dry. It was greatly improved by making curry out of it on Sunday, chopped up and mixed with browned onions, coconut milk, a chicken bahai (spelling approximate) seasoning packet, a slosh of key lime juice, and chunks of oriental sweet potato, all cooked in the crock pot. The oriental sweet potato (as well as the seasoning mix) was from Eurofresh. It had a darker, more reddish skin, and white flesh. It also seemed to be less sweet than the standard sweet potato/yam. It wouldn’t look right in a sweet potato dish on Thanksgiving, but I’ll probably buy them again for things like curry. The one I got was really big – one was plenty for a batch of curry that mostly-filled the 4-quart stock pot. That may just be a function of time of year, IIRC the available yams were also big.

Other not-sewing things done Sunday included getting new hiking boots for Robin, since his old pair had developed a hole, and hitting a couple places looking for a new case/cover for Ron’s iPad (he ended up with an Otter Defender).

Getting closer to sewing, on Sunday afternoon Ron went with me to JoAnn, to look for fabric to coordinate with my long-vest brocade to make a sash, to wear if I don’t want to wear a corset (externally), and possibly trim for the neck opening and cuffs of the shirt. We couldn’t find any brocades/fancy-schmancy fabrics that coordinated with the dark burgundy, but I did find a pretty teal sari-ish fabric with a gold brocade pattern and selvedge borders. I got a couple yards of that, which is more I need for a sash, but I wanted to have enough selvedges for shirt trim. I also got 5 yards of solid teal kona cotton, to make a skirt or pants or something with, and for the back side of the sash.

Found sash directions on a Civil War-era forum I’ve been lurking on for a while, which confirmed how I’d pretty much planned to make it – sew the fabric over a stiff lining, close with hooks and eyes, and use a fake knot or sew the tails to hang one from the back side and the other to flip over the top edge.. I suspect I may have read the directions previously. Not sure if I’m going to go in search of buckram to stiffen it, or hit the stash for cotton duck. I’m thinking I may get some embroidery floss

The sari-ish fabric was on sale, I’m wondering if I should have gotten another yard or so to make a vest for Ron. Or maybe that would be too much matchy-matchy, not sure.

Debating what I want to cover my butt for this outfit. So far the choices are baggy/blousy pants, as in the ones in the Folkwear Sarouelles pattern, a split skirt, probably this one from Laughing Moon Mercantile, or the Folkwear Walking Skirt, which I think is more Edwardian than Victorian, but whatever. I’m not sure the walking skirt is going to work on my figure, I suspect it may not have enough space over the hips.

Currently a split skirt is the front-runner. The Folkwear version has the front panel permanently attached to one leg, and one review implies that it’s awkward to wear/walk in. There’s a version from Truly Victorian, based on a 1901 tailoring guide, which I like the look of but thought I wouldn’t have enough fabric for, but I see now that I was looking at the longer version. I like the back pleats and side openings, which I think would work better if I need to take it in for shrinking-me. Hmm, decisions, decisions. Neither the Laughing Moon or Truly Victorian goes big enough for my hip size (unless I’ve lost more there than I realize), so maybe I will go with the Truly Victorian one.

The Folkwear Vintage Vests and Victorian Shirt patterns arrived yesterday. Shirt fabric is out for delivery today, but it doesn’t appear that the vest fabric has shipped yet.


Catching Up

So, as I mentioned on Monday, I got whatever Ron had. Instead of going to my lungs, it went to my sinuses, although the antibiotics or something kept it from getting too bad. Went to work Tuesday, Ron took me to get a fill in the lap-band Wednesday morning, then I had him take me home and I went to bed, where I slept for over an hour, On my back. I rarely sleep on my back. Made it to work Thursday and Friday, although I question how much good I was there.

Started feeling better yesterday/today, although I’m still tired.

Made successful chili-type substance yesterday, despite being out of chili seasoning.  So I remember, it was beef (chunks), somewhere in the neighborhood of a pound (whacked off a bigger piece, didn’t weigh it), an onion, cook the beef and onion, add a can of green chile enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, a can of beans, some middle eastern-ish 7-spice powder from Pita Inn, chili powder, and cayenne. After a while I added a box of shoepeg white corn in butter sauce, and later yet a couple handfuls of crunched-up tortilla chips to thicken it up (a trick learned from AB).  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 quarts. Cooked in the crock pot.

Still waiting for vendor registration for Teslacon to go up, but since tickets became available again (I think they’re being released in batches), I went ahead and got 4 – me, Ron, Xap, and Robin. I also made a hotel reservation. Spaces in the main hotel did not appear with more tickets, and none of the hotels have great parking options (ie: pull-through 2-space long space) for the trailer, so we went with the closest option.

So, we’ll be needing steampunk or something related (dieselpunk, gaslamp fantasy, whatever).

My long brocade vest is still waiting to have the hem marked. Maybe this afternoon, since I seem to be at a holding point at the program book for the floodplain managers’ conference (probably more to come about that on the Otter Necessities blog).

I have a bunch of OD fabric samples, come Friday I’ll probably order a bunch of fabric for Dragon Corps gymnasterkas.

On Friday I’ll probably order a couple more Folkwear patterns: #202 Victorian Shirt, and #222 Vintage Vests.  With a shirt and a vest (thinking the shawl-collared (round collar) option and his top hat or bowler, and either kilt or pants Ron should be good. I might even be brave enough to make a vest with an obvious diagonal. The nice thing is that a vest fronts only uses in the neighborhood of a yard of fabric, so you can get pretty fancy without breaking the bank. Cheaper than, say, a floor-length brocade vest-ish thing, for instance.

Victorian pants were higher than modern – to a man’s real waistline, not the hips. Not sure if I’ll bother with those, since modern pants can probably pass for Teslacon, and kilts from UT Kilts are relatively cheap.

I figured a couple military-ish tunics would be fine for Robin with his kilts, but when I asked about the vests, he liked them. I don’t think Ron and Robin would be able to share, since that style vest is more fitted than the modern cargo vests they both like, but I won’t complain if they can.

Read Ben Aaronovitch’s “Midnight Riot” on Friday. UK title was “Rivers of London”, and have started the next novel, “Moon Over Soho”. They’re about an apprentice wizard/modern UK constable in London. They’re good fun. Mystery/police procedurals, but with a sense of humor. At least in spots. People with their faces falling off isn’t fun.