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.

Bullet-Points, we got Bullet-Points

  • The brush piles did not get ground up this weekend, for boring reasons.
  • I did get cleaning done in the dining room, and Robin worked on the spare bedroom, since we weren’t out dealing with brush.
  • We found floors!
  • I got pictures of Buford the very shy snake with his enclosure door open. He did not approve.
  • Baljeet the snake seems to have resumed eating after the trauma of mites and mite treatment.
  • Caudimordax was pretty good about getting a snake sauna and having stuck shed removed from his head.
  • Tommy earned himself the name “Mousebreath”.
  • Kajura the snake was fed on Thursday, as the mouse they were supposed to get on Tuesday “mysteriously” disappeared.
  • Pumpkin pie spice mix is appropriate any time of year, and yummy, on baked apples.
  • Baked apples would have been even better with Granny Smiths than Honeycrisps, and could have used a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Another round of baked apples, happened, because a bag of small back-yard-tree sweet apples of unknown type appeared at work. Cut in chunks, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, butter, baked, then topped with salted caramel coconut milk ice-not-cream was yummy.
  • Chicken fricassee-like stew made with coconut milk instead of cow milk is pretty good.
  • Not sure the little new potatoes in it are usual, but I put them in anyway, and don’t regret it.
  • Leftover Minimalist Potato Salad is pretty good for breakfast.
  • I need to pick up more eggs, potatoes, and mayo next time I get groceries.
  • Lummy the tortoise doesn’t care if other tortoises think prickly pear cactus is wonderful, he wants his greens, dammit.
  • I prefer the original “My Singing Monsters” to the “Dawn of Fire” sequel.
  • I blame Robin for Singing Monsters infesting my iWhatsit.
  • I need more keys to buy more Dibblers!

Excitement, with Dogs

My sister’s closing got re-scheduled *again*! AAARGH! Current schedule is Thursday, and she has the paperwork and it appears in order; so Robin is driving to Escanaba tomorrow, helping her move Thursday, and coming back Friday. Robin should be starting behind-the-wheel training for his CDL once he gets back (currently out getting his schedule, then coming home to pack).

Friday morning Ron took Tommy to the yard to visit his truck and put groceries away. Tommy enjoyed the trip, especially sharing Ron’s breakfast, despite twice attempting to hang himself.

And then there was Gimli . . . Gimli figured out how to escape from the yard on Friday, and did it multiple times over the course of the weekend. In order to find the escape route, Robin started clearing brush from the south fence line Friday evening while Ron and I piled the cut stuff up. And then Robin and I continued Saturday morning, after Gimli broke his collar and escaped again and I made new collars for both beagles. So the yard is effectively much wider now, except that it isn’t a yard so much as a series of brush piles (even without dog escapes the brush-clearing really needed to be done), which the plan is to run through a chipper.

Meanwhile, we had not actually found the prime escape route, which Sunday night Gimli demonstrated to be the east fence line. All 60 feet of it. Headdesk, headdesk. We’ve formulated a plan for dealing with it.

Ron left Saturday morning, so he missed most of the excitement of me trying to impale my foot on a small stump/spike (only a bruise and lump on my left arch, thanks to good hiking boots), Robin getting lots of minor scrapes and scratches, both of getting minor sunburn, and me clipping a couple Pippin claws too short Sunday night, so now my light blue skirt is liberally blood-spotted. Fortunately, the skirt was already spotty (bleach, I think) and disreputable. And Pippin was very good about us getting the bleeding stopped (time, pressure, and super glue).

Sunday morning about 3 am my body announced that the UTI I had a couple-few weeks ago was back with a vengeance for round 2. Eventually I got back to sleep. The acute care associated with our doctor’s office opened at 9 am Sunday, and I was there very soon after. More or less uncomfortable the rest of the day, improvement started overnight.

I was not up to the MuseCon wrap-up meeting/party Sunday evening.

Baljeet the baby rat snake did not eat last week, dammit. Trying again tonight, will try what I did last time I got him to eat (annoy him into striking).

Meanwhile, Ron’s temporary crown came loose yesterday morning. A Google search determined that real dental professionals say that denture adhesive can be used until you can get to your dentist to get it re-cemented. Then in the afternoon-evening yesterday, Ron ended up sitting an a highway doing a parking lot impression while the mess from a semi having its fuel tank ripped off was cleaned up.

When *that* was done, and Ron was therefore in violation of his allowable drive time and trying to get to somewhere to park, he discovered that Kentucky has some badly-designed off-ramps, and he got hung up on a guard rail. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence, and other similar ramps have been modified, but not this one. Headdesk, headdesk. After a chunk of guardrail was removed with a cutting torch, he was pulled back onto the road by a wrecker and sent on his way only needing two new tires, some tie-down straps, and a bungee or two. The officers at the scene were very nice about it all, and even invoked pizza.

But I was a stressed, Tommy was baying at various things out the window behind the couch/right next to my ear, Gimli really doesn’t grok this out-on-a-cable thing, and I was up too late plus not sleeping the best the last couple nights (see above, re: UTI), and still off this morning, and took a mental health day.

So I was home when Ron called and said he’d probably be sleeping at home tonight, as he’s got a bright and early appointment with the dentist tomorrow morning, as he has now, it seems, *swallowed* the temporary crown.

Robin just got home to retrieve a piece of paperwork the CDL school doesn’t have, which is needed before he can drive their trucks. Yes, he’s taking his binder of all relevant paperwork back with him.

In better news, the bruising and swelling on my foot is going down. Most of the above chaos is chaos, but not crises. And most of all, we don’t live in SE Texas.

Hot & Sticky Monday

Yesterday was Robin’s last day slaving in the pizza mines! Yay! The one-hour block scheduled for today was an error. IIRC he’s going to start going to CDL training on Wednesday; Mondays they have limited or no classes, and Tuesday evenings he goes to gaming, so his plan is to make Mondays and Tuesdays his weekends. Works for me.

Robin and I went to see Wonder Woman last week. It was really, really good. We both enjoyed it. In my head-canon Princess Buttercup grew up to be General Antiope (same actress).

I finished cleaning the computer desk Friday night. There’s still a small pile of papers on the scanner that should go live elsewhere, and a significant pile of junk on the floor between the desk and the ball pythons, but the desk itself is less cluttered than its been for a while. Note to self: make labels or a list of what I put in which drawers, so Ron can find things.

Saturday morning I got the MuseCon program book as far as I can for the moment. After lunch and Robin leaving for work I went up to the air-conditioning to take a nap, since the dogs got me up annoyingly early, and I stayed up way too late Friday night. Saturday night I didn’t stay up as late, and the dogs didn’t get me up quite as early. But I still fell asleep on the couch mid-morning yesterday, with a nice breeze from the window and another from the fan. In the afternoon I retreated to the AC again and changed water in the fish tanks.

When that was done I still didn’t want to go downstairs, so I re-arranged some small storage furniture in the bedroom, which has been needing to be done since Robin put the air conditioners in last week. I “stole” some shelves from Ron and grafted them together with mine. When I was done, the combined shelves still held everything they did before moving, plus Danger Noodle’s tub, through the magic of putting photography equipment into a photo bag that was mostly empty. Now we can get to the dressers and Danger Noodle isn’t in front of the air conditioner or un-shaded window, or partially blocking access to my dresser (which he’s been doing for last week).

Ron and his trainer (named Gary) made stops in Iowa, bounced around Wisconsin over the weekend, and are now back in Gary Indiana, where Ron will be handed off to a different trainer, as it’s time for Gary to have some home-time. Ron’s has to do, IIRC, five trips “on his own” (ie: trainer only observing), and I think at this point he has one down – they didn’t count two or three really short ones today separately. Not sure why they couldn’t hand Ron off to somebody at the Wisconsin Roehl terminal they were to-ing and fro-ing from, presumably it has something to do with Ron doing his training in Gary.

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. 🙂

A Week in Bullet-Points

I feel like doing some bullet-points today!

CDL training:

  • Ron’s been driving on the road, and “real” driving, out on “real” roads, not just circles around the industrial park.
  • Saturday’s instructor thinks he needs just a few more hours and he’ll be able to pass the test.
  • Which is good, because he tests a week from today.

Drawing:

  • Saturday night I started coloring the large version of “Shai-Hulud and the Fremice”. I’d had some reservation about a change I’d made to once of the mice’s legs, in ink, but decided to carry on.
  • And discovered that the reviews that said to use the back side of the Bienfang marker paper (relative to how it is bound in the pad) were correct.
  • So I abandoned that drawing, and will try again, soonish.
    Instead, I did “Smaug has a Flower”, pretty much a copy of a photo we took a couple years ago, with a baby Smaug peeking around a plastic aquarium plant.
  • I modified it so the flower is more like an impressionistic peony.
    Got carried away with the green around things, but not horribly.
  • I need to go back and add some darker shading on a couple of Smaug’s light spots. Which may not true to the photo, but as-is they look wrong.
  • Ordered three books (by one author) for myself, two on imaginary creature design and science, and the third a gallery of the author’s imaginary creatures.
  • A couple weeks ago we were at Dick Blick, and Ron found a good sized (11 x 17-ish, or it may be the A-series paper sizing analoge) LED-driven light box on sale. I said get it and call it my birthday present.
  • It is nice – Ron didn’t see a point in making me wait to use it, so I traced the Fremice using it. IIRC maybe half an inch thick, and adjustable brightness.

Weekend Natter:

  • Friday night I was pretty much a slug.
  • Saturday we were pretty much slugs, until it was time for Ron to go drive, when I worked on drawing, as nattered about above.
  • I did get my hair cut on Saturday.
  • Yesterday we were less slugly.
  • Robin had to go to open at Pizza Workplace (after closing Saturday night, boo hiss), and Ron felt like getting out of the house.
  • We waffled between Brookfield Zoo and the Field Museum, with extra “do-anything-at-all?” waffling because my back was stiff.
  • I was leaning toward the Field Museum, which led to “drive or train?” waffling.
  • I checked the Metra schedule. Train was leaving Palatine in 13 minutes. Fortunately, the dogs were already in their crates and we had our shoes on. To the Mongo-truck! (Trains only run every 2 hours on Sundays).
  • Yes, we made it, with a few minutes to spare.
  • Free parking on the weekends, lots of open spaces in the garage, and the Ventra app for ticketing helped make it easier.
  • Brunch at Ogilve station, then a taxi to the museum.
  • Since I couldn’t find my Field Museum membership card, which I never remembered getting anyway, we approached the member service desk humbly, craving their assistance.
  • Which was very pleasantly rendered. Cards should be (re-) sent.
  • We saw the “Tattoo”, “Specimens”, “Cyrus Tang Hall of China”, and some other bits of regular exhibitions on the way in and out of the named ones.
  • Those all happened to be on the west side of the museum, which is where I spent my visit last time. Next time I need to go through some of the stuff on the east side. Just because.
  • Ron took some pictures, mostly playing with his new wide-angle lens and the automatic HDRI mode on his camera.
  • Decided it was time to go, stopped at one of the shop for a couple books that called to me and weren’t available as e-books, and was also called to by another book that was available as an e-book, which I got that way, then out to a taxi.
  • I’d been pointedly not checking the Metra schedule at all until we got into the station and checked the board at the foot of the escalators.
  • Next train on the Northwest line was leaving in 5 minutes. Made it, but without time to get something to drink.
  • Got home, found and consumed beverages, and were slugly for a while.
  • Then I made dinner, loaded the dishwasher, and we were slugly for the rest of the evening.

Critters:

  • Beagles are snuggly creatures.
  • Pippin contends he’s not snuggly, he’s just forced into contact with us because we don’t give him enough space on the couch or bed.
  • Lummy has apparently decided he does not like radiccio this week.
  • Snake enclosure rearranging (moving a couple from the bedroom to the living room, who’s in which, and upgrading Kajura) following on from moving BPs to tubs has not proceeded. See above re: “slugly”.
  • The largish enclosure that’s been on order for a couple months arrived last week. Still un-assembled, re: slugly, again. I think Fezzik will be moved to it.
  • Nor have vacated glass enclosures been removed to storage. Yeah, slugly.
  • Got some indented kraft paper to try as a substrate for Buford, who has a certain special scent all his own, and which is probably best dealt with by more frequent complete substrate changes.
  • Large sheets of paper should be faster/simpler to change than shredded aspen, which is best removed with a shop-vac, and fresh stuff always always escapes and gets spread around the room while being put in enclosures.

Aaand, I think that’s about it.

Catching Up, Again

Since its been almost a month since I last posted, let’s revisit some of the topics from last time.

Ron’s still fighting insomnia. Visited our family physician yesterday to discuss options. We’ll see how those work out.

The Tree of Damocles (an American Elm) is scheduled for removal the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, along with another little elm and a branch coming over from the back neighbors’ yard. We could take care of the little elm and the branch ourselves, but the minor cost increase is definitely worth letting the professionals take them out/down, and dispose of the remains. Emphasis on the disposal part.

Banjo and guitar lessons still going well.  And Ron got me a wonderful new guitar-like thing, an “Inuk” by Godin Guitars, which is based on an Oud (middle-eastern-ish). It has 11 strings – the highest-pitched 10 are tuned in pairs, same tuning as a guitar. The lowest string is a single. All sets of strings are wound, usually the three highest guitar strings (on metal-strung guitars) are smooth. And the strings fan out as they go (each pair stays parallel). It does have frets (Godin also makes an oud, which does not have frets). It has its own unique sound. And I need to fret it differently than my regular guitars. Short audio/video clip of somebody that knows what they’re doing with it here.

No progress on Bollywood films.

Got a vest made for Robin (the black and silver), which came out well. Got another made for Ron, without the collar of damnation, which came out ok. I thought I could fix the wrinkling on the neckline by adjusting the shoulder seam, but more investigation while Ron was wearing it makes me think the real fix involves alterations to the body.

14 - 1

 14 - 2

 Got a new outfit made for myself. Dark brown skirt, made like hakama, dark red shirt, and a gold brocade jacket, cut along the lines of a kosode, with burgundy trim. The jacket went together as planned, although the very fussy details I committed made it take a while. The shirt, from a Simplicity pattern, turned out well, once I added gussets down the side and underarm. The pattern is set up for different bust sizes, and fits pretty well. I’ll be modifying my gussets (so they play nicely together) and making another couple. I also plan on re-drafting the sleeves, which are fine if you never want to get your elbows away from your sides, but make the shirt ride up funny otherwise.

Teslacon was interesting. I don’t know how to just attend a convention. There were some (IMO) issues – a schedule that was in micro-print, didn’t include the dealer’s room or entertainers, and which left off the hotel map (that was in the PDF version on-line), and opening the dealer’s room an hour early on Sunday without telling the dealers.

Ron got two corset/vests at Teslacon. He looks very very snazzy in them. Also a couple ascot ties. I got a cowl (hood) that matches my new outfit fairly well, a couple big scarves/shawls, a pile of books, and a cuttlefish.

14 - 1

 Robin got a hat and mask from Blonde Swan. I will post a picture of Ron in one of his corsets and me in my new outfit once I get it from Ron. I also got extremely drunk on Friday night. Ron assures me I was not an annoying drunk. I remember the general gist of everything I said, which was pretty much lacking any brain-mouth filter.  I do remember torquey-torquey-turkey (I was wearing one of Ron’s torques), and that my drinky was smiling at me.  Which it totally was (pumpkin martini).

14 - 1

Took a vacation/recovery day yesterday, have today off for Veteran’s Day.

And now the cleaning fairies are here, so I’m going to get out of their way…

 

Last weekend and last week and today

Friday night of last weekend we went to REI so I could get a new sunblock shirt, since my previous one has been AWOL for a year or two, and a new hat. Because a sunblock shirt and hat are a lot less annnoying than sunscreen goop.

Saturday morning Ron and I went and got manicures (first ever). Due to a mis-communication, now I have short nails on both hands, not just the left.

After the manicure we hit the farmer’s market, where I was beguiled by lemon cucumbers when intending just to get a summer squash to have with dinner. And then I needed some sweet onions to put into yogurt with the cukes. And we stopped at Eurofresh for yoghurt.

I also ended up (refrigerator) pickling some, in not-sweet brine with Vindaloo and lots of garlic, because it looked like too much for salad. Silly me, I question if I can make too much yogurt/cucumber/onion salad. One of the (plastic) jars of pickle also has baby carrots, because there was space.

Sunday morning Ron and I went to the Bristol Ren Faire, with Xap, Pat, Cathy, and Becky. The fair is big, and will be even bigger next year. Found a very nice lightly-used surcoat at Felix’s that fit Ron, but resisted. Had a surprisingly decent pasty, with a proper not-flaky crust. Saw Dirk Perfect and Guido Crescendo, The Swordsmen. Hot and sticky. Cheese fritters are decadent. Got funned out before the rest of the group.

So, Ron and I left about mid-afternoon, and proceeded to the Illinois Beach Resort, which is in the Illinois Beach State Park, which I’d visited the previous Tuesday while inspecting some watersheds that drain to wetlands in the park.

Sat on a bench on the beach in the evening and snarked wedding party (awful colors – hot pink and bright blue, bridezilla-ish behavior, doofusy photo setups). Discovered that I’m a wimp, in terms of walking on the beach/rocks.

Monday morning we sat on the beach for a bit longer, but rain looked iminent, so didn’t stay past mid-morning.

After we got home and schlepped things in, I kept Ron company while he sorted glass to re-figure-out what he’d gotten for a couple stained glass projects, and put labels on the pieces.

In the afternoon I got a pounding sinus headache, so I took some Alleve and a hot bath, and Ron went out Ingressing. Then I made a garlic/mustard/kofta kabob seasoning rub for the boneless leg of lamb. After that I went back upstairs and sewed the front extensions, sleeves, and side-seams on two of the kosode I cut out Friday, and trimmed the necklines.

Worked on doll clothing over the course of the week. No new pictures here, but a couple and more natter to come on the Otter Blog, which has been neglected of late.

Left work a little early yesterday, on account of the storm, and wanting to get Robin to work dry. I left at 3:30, and didn’t get home until 4:40 – normally a 30-45 minute trip. There was a semi on its side on southbound 59 over 90, I think the wind blew it over. Both 59 and Bartlett Roads were closed north of Higgins. Chaos, disorder, panic, cats and dogs living in sin, yadda yadda yadda. But we got Robin to work on time.

This morning started out with a trip to the ER for Ron, at 3-ish, for what we thought was a kidney stone – trip was to get pain meds. But nothing showed up on the CT scan, ER doctor suspects its Ron’s back. But pain meds achieved.

Meanwhile, Robin, who had been stuck at work until 1 AM, over-slept and missed half of his farmer’s market job with Modelmaker. And he was back at work at 5-ish today. Oops.

After Ron and I got home and got showers, we set out to get the prescription for said pain meds filled. CVS at Smith & NW Hwy was closed, no power, so we hit the Walgreens at Palatine & NW Hwy, where we succeeded.

After that I got a haircut, where I learned that we wouldn’t be grocery shopping at Eurofresh, as they were closed. And when I commented that I guess we’d be going to Jewel, another customer said it had no power and was closed, too. Mariano’s was open, but I wasn’t interested in learning a new store.

After that we tried a different nail salon, where we got no-chip manicures, and although the ladies also didn’t speak the best English, they understood the trimming instructions. They also seemed rather distressed at me wanting clear polish, and I let them talk me into a very light pink – light enough that it looks fairly natural, if rather shiny.

Another couple stops, back home, flopped around, I took a short nap, then out to Toreo for dinner, since we never did get groceries. The power was back on in the Eurofresh strip mall, but they weren’t open (not surprisingly). I really hope they had a backup power source to keep the meat cases, etc. running.

To bed soon, since I set the timer on my nap to limit it to a half-hour, and so I’m still tired.

Mostly Weekend Natter

Quick note on the previous post: it was actually written on Friday, although not posted until Saturday morning.
 
 Titanic Natter
 
 That clarified, Friday’s dance rehearsal went reasonably well. I’m one of a grou in a line (or two) behind the people actually dancing, doing some very simple steps. The choreographer has not, IMO really grokked the whole edge-of issues relating to the platform(s) we’ll be on, but they’ll get resolved some way/how.
 
 Ordered my shoes and Ron’s kilt Saturday morning, both were delivered yester, yay! We need to make a longer sporran hanger, butthat’s well within our capabilities. We also . . . bought a sporran. Yes, I know, but it has decent fur (although only rabbit), and a proper metal cantle, which I have not obtained any of or designed for yet. And it was on sale, <$30. So worth it on the time vs. Price curve.
 
 Saturday
 
 Spent Saturday morning and early afternoon working on the MuseCon program book. Then a MuseCon meeting at 2:00. After the meeting we hit Guitar Center to see if they had any thumb picks that would fit Ron better or allow more adjustment than the one he has. Nope, same brand as what he got from Sam Ash. A clawhammer (banjo technique) video did follow him home, though. On-line shopping is probably the next step in the thumb pick quest.
 
 Sunday I intended to spend the day on the MuseCom book. The dogs changed those plans.
 
 Canine Chaos
 
 While I was in the shower Sunday morning there was a noise you don’t want to hear if you own huskies: the scream/squeal. Elrond had gotten mad at Pippin. Robin is adult/alpha enough they broke it up when he yelled and intervened.
 
 Pippin seemed fine, just pawing at the right side of his muzzle – I actually suspect bee sting rather than a result of anything Elrond did.
 
 Not sure what the cause of the altercation was. Robin had already picked up Elrond’s uneaten breakfast. He ate very little dinner Friday night, and his abdomen seemed tight to Ron, but not sore. His previous UTI symptoms have been not eating, soreness, and grumpy, so Ron and I took him to the vet.
 
 Urine test didn’t show anything, but if we caught a UTI early enough it wouldn’t. Briefly discussed X-rays to see what’s up with the possible tumor on his spleen seen last year, but since at 14 we wouldn’t put him through surgery anyway, we decided to try a course of antibiotics for the possible UTI.
 
 Got home, and Robin said Pippin had a very sore ear. Right ear was grungy, left ear was very messy, with blood, and definitely painful. I figured it was an ear infection (Eowyn got them most spring/early summers, so I know what they look like), so off Pippin and I went, back to the vet’s. Ron had a migraine, and Pip has no trouble getting in the car, so Ron stayed home.
 
 Not ear infection, just normal/grubby ears. And a hole in the left ear. Just about the size to be from one of Elrond’s canines (we’d mentioned the squabble when we had Elrond in), which was bleeding/draining. No stitches, just a cleaning (and since we were there, the annual blood draw for his epilepsy meds), home with antibiotics, drops, and anti-inflammatoryies/painkillers. And the observation that he can be a drama queen.
 
 Huskies, in my experience, are either incredibly stoic, or drama queens. And the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Actually, the husky scream/squeal mentioned above is only bad when coupled with other problem noises. Other times it’s just a sign of drama.
 
 Ear is much less painful now, I can look and Ron applied drops last night with only an annoyed reaction.
 
 Eventually I did get some work done on the program book.
 
 Learning Guitar
 
 Flailed away at my guitar on both Saturday and Sunday evenings. Working on playing single notes to start with, hopefully as I do more my left ring finger will gain some more flexibility and chords will be less intimidating/difficult.
 
 Picked up an ebook about classical guitar, which explained that The Rules of classical guitar are only nylon/gut strings and other XYZ instrument characteristics, only this way of sitting, holding, hand positions, blah blah blah fishcakes. Yeah yeah, whatever. And I’m going to do it on my improper steel-stringed guitar anyway. (Although I do understand some of The Rules have Reasons, some are purely arbitrary, if not downright snobby). As long as I like how it sounds, I don’t care if it gives the purists conniption fits.
 
 That said, the book in question assumes a little more ability to find particular notes than where I’m at yet, so still working from another very-beginner book. But at least as of last night I could produce not-un recognizable versions of “Jingle Bells” and the basic/simplified melody of “Ode to Joy” – of which I un-simplified a couple bits, because I grok sixteenth notes, thanks.
 
 My mandolele called out to me Saturday night after I decided I’d passed the point of useful practicing on my guitar. So I spent some time with it, playing stuff I already know for ukulele. All chords, which is another reason to not start guitar with chords, I don’t need to get the two sets of chords confused.
 
 Today (Tuesday)
 
 Taking a day off. I just finished dishes, now editing this entry, which was mostly written yesterday. Robin is cleaning up the living room, prepatory to the Cleaning Fairies’ visit later this morning. When he gets on a roll, he does a good job.
 
 And Robin’s working on emptying the big freezer so it can be defrosted. Yesterday he plugged in the smaller one in the basement, and transferred some things to it. Other things were taken out to eat this week. And he’s declared that we’ll be eating sides/vegetables from the freezer.
 
 Now to work on the MuseCon book.
 
 – Posted using software from hardware

Yesterday: Not Quite As Planned

Robin and I had yesterday off (President’s Day), so Ron declared us in charge of getting the first pass of bins to the storage locker. Robin has clearly inherited Ron’s tetris genes, he got more into the truck than Ron or I expected: 10 14-gallon bins, 7 or 8 10-gallon bins, and our 5-gallon beverage cooler. That’s all the new bins we’d bought and filled (mostly from the spare bedroom), and the smaller ones that have been living in our bedroom. Still to go over are the air conditioners, coolers, and backpack(s) (backpacking type, with rigid frames). Not sure how much after that we’ll have room for, but that will be space gained in several places.

As noted over on the Otter Necessities blog, my plan for most of yesterday was working on a program book, but that fell through due to lack of content, and instead of cleaning the dining room/working on leather instead, I went spelunking in the dining room, found a project, and sewed instead.

I pulled out the long middle-eastern-ish vest, in a brocaded satin, that I cut out a couple-few years ago. Kind of a sleeveless take on the entari from Folkwear’s “Turkish Dancer” pattern. The satin is a pale gold, with a slightly darker pale gold leafy-flowery patterning, and more leafy-flowery patterning in burgundy. The lining for it is dark burgundy calico with a leafy-feathery pattern in black.  Silly, me, I thought it would go together quickly.

It may have, if I hadn’t lined it, or if the lining pieces had been the same size as the fashion fabric. But the calico was slightly narrower than the brocade, so the skirts of the lining aren’t quite as wide as the outer skirts, which made for some interesting little tricks in construction, so that I could do the necessary separate hemming of the sides of all the pieces parts. And there was a lot of hemming, as I cut it over-long, so its currently dragging on the floor, and the side seams stop at about waist level.

I also made my very own bias tape for the first and second times – I made it out of the lining fabric, to be arm hole facing, and made it too narrow the first time. After all the machine-sewing was done, last night I was hand sewing down the arm hole facings and tacking the fashion and lining fabrics together along the front edge, down to about the same level as the side seams. Got that all done, the only thing left to do is actually hem to length. I’d have had time last night, but Ron is not-sick-dammit, and didn’t want to get down on the floor to pin it up for me, and I didn’t feel like talking Robin through the process.

My original plan for the outfit that the vest is part of, which is a steampunk outfit, is that I’d wear the vest over either bloomers or a skirt, Gibson Girl blouse, and corset worn over the blouse and bottoms. I still haven’t gotten around to the blouse, and have been feeling a little intimidated by it (more fitted than I’ve ever done before), so when I went to the fabric store for pale gold thread, I got some pale gold fabric to make one of the “Shirts of Russia and the Ukraine” as an alternate. I think I’m going to make the center-opening version of the shirt. I may also see if I can find some coordinating mostly-burgundy brocade, so I can make a sash to wear instead of the corset, if I’m so inclined.

Did I mention that the dieselpunk outfit may have become a group thing? I may be making OD off-center opening shirts for Ron, Xap, and Robin also. Robin’s OD kilt is a good color, and Ron wants/needs new kilts, so all he’ll need is one in OD to match Robin. Robin also asked for a gray shirt, as his officer’s-style cap is gray, so we got some gray fabric while we were at the fabric store.  In a slightly surprising turn of events, Robin had decided to go to the fabric store with me. His intent was fleece to make terrain markers for miniature wargaming (which he got), but he didn’t argue about getting the gray fabric while we were there.

So, if we’re going to do a group outfit kind of thing, we need some kind of emblem. A couple-few years ago we made a Civil-War era cartridge pouch, and Ron commented that it would be cool to get a stamp to put some kind of emblem on it, like the US and CS emblems used on the originals. He came up with “Dragon Corps” and we made a stab at a couple designs that ended up looking more DC-Comics than we wanted.

At Capricon, I made a stab at a Dragon Corps emblem, with a Russian feel. Instead of the double-headed eagle, I went with a double-headed dragon. Not shown are the early attempts, that included feet and tail(s). Several iterations later, I got to one I was happy enough to photocopy and try coloring:

photo.JPG

Dragon Corps, Eastern Division (of the Rodina, or Motherland)

No, not a great picture – taken with my phone camera, and Copic markers bleed more on copier paper than paper made for them. Which I could have tried putting in the photocopier, but forgot about while standing at the copier, oops.  Anyway, I think the general color scheme is good. I didn’t resist putting some shading in, although that wouldn’t be in an embroidered version. And my hand-drawn lettering sucks like a giant sucky thing of suckiness. My cunning plan is to find a font I like, and use the power of Illustrator to make the intertwined DC.  The next step is doing that, and getting Ron to do a tracing of the original drawing in Illustrator, so we have the image digitally (with and without color).

I think the horns need to go back farther, and maybe up a little, on the heads, now that I look at the colored version. Not sure why I didn’t see that before. At least this time neither of the heads are smirking.