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.

Mid-August Already?

Last week was reasonably quiet. Or maybe not, re-reading? Are schools really re-opening this week and next? I’m not complaining about not having really high temperatures, but I’m having trouble grokking that we’re already halfway through August.

Ron went back on the road Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon/evening I went to the yard twice – on the way home to retrieve food Ron thought he left in the SUV but actually left in the pantry, and with Robin after he got home from gaming to fetch home the SUV, since the Kia was acting up. That was repaired and Robin picked it up today (John & Scott’s was busy last week), so we met at the yard tonight to drop the SUV off and proceeded to get dinner on the way home.

Thursday afternoon I went to the doctor for a UTI. At least the antibiotics kick in quickly.

Saturday I did mostly Otter Necessities stuff (natter over on the Otter blog), with breaks to hunt for an un-eaten mouse, and check snake water bowls while I was hunting. Scatha has taken over hiding un-eaten mice from Tanis, apparently. Earlier in the day Ron had obtained pasties and crossed the Mackinac bridge at about 20 mph (truck speed limit) in very nice weather. That knowledge did not help the mouse hunt. I eventually consoled myself with sorbet, fetched by Robin.

Yesterday I did some Otter stuff, and more general housekeeping. I got groceries, changed water in the aquaria, continued the battle against snake mites in Baljeet’s tub (cautiously optimistic that we’re winning), worked on doll clothes, folded laundry, did dishes, and made skirt steak and dressing for dinner with Robin’s help. And did not vacuum the living room and front entry, which in no way look like the cleaning fairies just came Tuesday. Part of the Otter stuff meant straightening up in the dining room and front entry (including throwing some stuff away), which led to tracking shredded aspen around from the front entry. And there was also a lint explosion from a load of white towels/rags.

Saturday Gimli was very worried, as moving Otter stuff around looked too much like getting ready for MuseCon for his comfort. He was better yesterday, I think because things were getting more put away.

Not-A-Lot Report

Last week was fairly quiet, after the many kabooms on the third and fourth. Gimi was not a happy puppy again on the night of the fourth, but it wasn’t as bad – I didn’t need to turn on the white noise generator and put his Thundershirt on like I did on the night of the third, when most of the fireworks were.

Ron left Wednesday morning, so we’re back in the Ron-not-home routine. Saturday I worked on the MuseCon book, then we went to the regularly-scheduled MuseCon meeting. Sunday I did a bunch of small stuff around the house, and goofed off.

Last night I got chomped on but good by Bruce. Ouchie. I think I startled him reaching in to pull his shed out. See G+ for a fairly goofy picture of him biting one of his rope-vines after that. I tried to take him out tonight to admire his post-shed shiny skin, but he was being stubborn. Kajura seems to have decided to be a social snake – I open the door, and there they are.

Today I think I amazed my co-workers by picking up a “wild” fox snake who’d been found hiding in some boxes stashed under the eaves of our building. He was in blue pre-shed, and chilly, and very, very mellow and well-behaved. I had to take a good look to see if he was somebody’s anery corn snake that had been dumped, he was so good.

After eating dinner and getting snake food for tomorrow out, the dogs and I decamped to the bedroom. Much better. The temperature out isn’t horrible, but the humidity is.

Robin reports we had water in the basement while he was at CDL training, but only based on where the floor in the laundry area is/was damp. At one point this morning Ron stopped for a short nap between Chicago and Milwaukee, and woke up when one of the computers in his truck beeped to let him know his route was being closed – fortunately, behind him. As far as I can tell, all of Lake County IL is flooded. I encountered water on the road in a couple-three spots on the way home, all in the usual places, worst was only a couple inches deep.

Ron’s currently south of Green Bay, after a trip to Iron Mountain. He was originally going to L’anse, but the schedule altered so that he dropped the trailer with the load to go to L’anse in Roehl’s Green Bay yard. Still da UP, though.

Apropos of which, my sister’s offer on a house in Escanaba has been accpted. Yay Kiely!

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.  🙂

Posty-Post-Post

So, last week when I wondered why Ron didn’t get handed off to his new trainer at the Appleton, WI terminal instead of riding down to Gary to do so? He ended up riding with someone going from Gary back up to Appleton to meet his new trainer. Then there were problems with new trainer’s truck, and getting a part, so a trip to da UP didn’t happen, and then a trip to California and then working their way back east and hopefully picking up Ron’s truck in Arizona this week didn’t happen.

Instead, they went to Vermont, by way of Canada. That was trip 3 of the 5 Ron has to do on his own, so he could still finish the last two up this week, since the drop-off in Vermont was first thing this morning. After the delivery in northern Vermont he had to go to southern Vermont (not sure if that’s empty or loaded), about which I made smart-aleck comments on how little time that would take. Because Vermont: not one of the big sprawling states.

And now I have a craving for maple sugar, because I associate Vermont with maple sugar and marble. My grandpa was from Vermont, and marble-topped tables and other bits of marble, along with maple sugar and syrup, would follow my grandparents home from trips to Vermont.

So anyway, the long, grim slog of doom training month-plus continues. Not sure if Ron will be doing a set of trips (11-14 days) once he picks up his truck, or if he gets a break fairly soon after. But, after the training period the new drivers usually whole week off. Which means that he could be home for his birthday on July 1st and maybe through the 4th. OTOH, as a New Guy he could very well get stuck working over the 4th. We’ll see.

Changing gears completely, how traumatic is a snake bite? Well, Nageswari bopped my hand several times when I was spot-cleaning her enclosure and refilling her water yesterday, and I thought they were mouth-closed “go away and quit bothering me” taps. Nope, she did bite and drew blood. Not a lot, but there are some marks. Some of those could be from Tanami, who I think mistook my hand for food. He grabbed on and held for a minute (and his eye-spots made him look slightly puzzled), then let go and was his usual good-natured self. This is not outrageous behavior for Tanami, as Woma pythons have a strong feed response. I probably should work on tap-training (both myself and the snakes) which is where you gently tap the snake with a hook or rolled-up paper, or something not-your-hand before you pick them up, so you don’t startle them, and they know it isn’t feeding time.

Had Bruce out for a while, and he went for an explore on the stairwell handrail. I got lots of pictures, since I could let him play without worrying too much about him escaping, which left me both hands free.

Moresby later spent a while throttling me and exploring my head and shoulders, and helped me take the bucket of snake-garbage out to the wheelie bin. He also helped hold my phone with his tail while I was talking to Ron. And said “pfft” to me a lot – when both he and Bruce get excited and/or holding on tightly to something they say “pfft” (which is definitely not a hiss), and Bruce will occasionally make other little squeaky noises. Its rather silly, and cute. Robin was laughing at me and Moresby for saying pfft at each other.

Friday and Saturday were hot and sticky, yesterday was much nicer. We turned the A/C units to fan-only and opened the bedroom doors to get fresh air in the rooms. I was more comfortable with the fan on (low) than off in the living room, but even with the fan off it was better than Saturday.

Accelerating Rate of Change!

Ron did his CDL testing Monday morning: pre-trip oral exam, skills test of driving in the yard, and road-testing. Passed all three, yay! Tuesday, after the testing results propagated through the Secretary of State system, he went and got his new CDL issued. Yay! On Sunday, Robin gave Pizza Workplace a whole month notice. Yay! That’s double what I’d have given them, but as I said on G+, he’s all responsible and nice that way.

Monday night Ron had filled out an on-line application with Roehl Transportation, Inc. Yesterday a recruiter called, Yay! They talked, e-mail and forms exchanged, and he starts orientation on Memorial Day. Gleep!

Orientation is in Gary, IN, for a week, and Roehl pays for a (shared) motel room and two meals per day. Assuming training goes well, he actually gets hired, and goes out on the road with a trainer for a couple-few weeks. After that, he hopefully gets to stop in at home for a day or three before he goes on to driving on his own. He’ll be doing flatbed work, out for a week and a half or so, and home for three days. This will be a change.Which means we have Things To Get Done, and also get, before he leaves for Gary, such as:

  • CPAP battery – obtained, testing tonight.
  • Work boots – obtained. And he found steel-toed boots that fit, in stock, at the local Red Wing dealer (if anybody was going to manage it, Red Wing was).
  • Parking for cab and trailer when he’s home – investigations started.
  • Bedding, because I don’t think we have any twin sheets left in the house – ordered.
  • Duffel bags, because probably more amenable to fitting into a sleeper cab then suitcase(s), – ordered.
  • Finish the Snake Re-Arranging project.
  • Obtaining necessary other smaller stuff and packing it up – some things ordered, others, like work gloves, need to be obtained in person for fit.

Fortunately, we have on-line shopping and a week and a half to get it all sorted, as opposed to the half-week I’d misunderstood it to be when Ron first told me about the job on the phone yesterday afternoon.

On Saturday we did get Fezzik’s new enclosure mostly assembled, and built a perching/climbing bar for it out of PVC. Its currently sitting in the living room while the silicone sealant cured. We just have to put heat tape on the bottom, a light on the top, and put the top panel on – we were S-M-R-T-Smart and left the top off to make it easier to install the perch and light. On Sunday Ron and Robin took the empty glass enclosures and some other odds and ends that had been cluttering up the other end of the living room over to storage, and brought back the A/C units (and Robin put his in). And the empty glass enclosure we’ll be moving Kajura into got moved up to our room, as well as books off of the shelves above the ball pythons.

So this weekend we’ll finish up Fezzik’s enclosure and get him into it, the short enclosures Moresby and Dizzy are in will go downstairs to the shelves above the BPs, Moresby and Sif will swap enclosures, and Kajura will move into a larger enclosure, with about quadruple the space, where the short enclosures are currently. Kajura has doubled in weight (from 16 to 32 grams) in the two months since coming home with me (and I think is about to shed again, ie: growing like a weed), and is pretty fearless, so I decided they’d be fine going into that enclosure, instead of an intermediate size. And Fezzik’s current enclosure will be Removed From The House, Dammit, before Ron leaves for orientation.

That will still leave a chair or two and some smallish boxes of stuff that are lurking around the back door to be dealt with, but I expect to deal with them myself while we finish Fezzik’s enclosure upgrade, or Memorial Day weekend.

I have an idea for re-locating Nyar’s enclosure once Robin hits the road, but that will require obtaining another enclosure (which will probably be Nyar’s, with Lummy the tortoise moving into Nyar’s current one, and Lummy’s stock tank becoming his outdoor pen), but we have a little time. If that doesn’t work out before Robin goes, Robin has to either re-arrange his room somewhat, or at very least clear me a path (his room isn’t terrible, but Nyar isn’t right next to the door, either). I might need a schleppage assistance moving Nyar’s current enclosure from Robin’s room to the living room, but the rest of that project I can do myself. As long as I can find/get to the cordless drill (which is currently under Lummy’s table).

And I’m going to be going back to cooking (Ron’s been doing most of it since leaving Toshiba), and from cooking for 2-3 to 1-2. Yes, it makes a difference.

I may *sound* like I’m all planned and prepared, but in actuality I feel like I’m running around in circles squawking like a chicken. Sometimes. Invoking Amazon Prime for several items helped.

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.

April Marches On

The post title would have been a lot better in March.

Ron started driving today, in the training yard. Forward and back, forward and back. But butt in the seat!  Robin is planning on going to the Secretary of State office to take his first exam (to get his CDL learner’s permit) tomorrow.

Latest color version of a snake drawing has made a little progress – Friday night I finalized the outlines and inked them.

Stayed home Wednesday, with miserable sinuses. I hate weather and tree sex.

The mouse and Wacom tablet seem to have recovered from the spilled water incident.

The project to turn a set of shelves holding glass snake enclosures into a rack with tubs for the ball pythons was finished up yesterday. Lots of natter about it in a thread I made, with pictures, here:

https://ball-pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?246809-New-DIY-Rack-Mixed-Success

Short version: It didn’t go quite according to plan, but obstacles overcome without any snakes escaping. Two short enclosures that are in the bedroom currently will be moving down to the shelves at some point after Moresby sheds, so by replacing the tall glass enclosures with shorter tubs, we’ve gone from four snakes to six on the shelves.

Kajura is definitely settling. Tried to attack my phone last night, but it was hovering overhead in a possibly threatening way. After the unsuccessful attack, Kajura alternated between ignoring and investigating the phone. Kajura has gained 7 grams since mid-March, which doesn’t sound like much without context, but going from 16 to 23 grams is significant growth.

And, I think that’s about it for news. It was a week.