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

Catching Up

Oops, haven’t posted for longer than I realized.

A silly little lab mouse:

Lab Mouse front.jpeg Lab Mouse side.jpeg

Since then I’ve finished a sock yarn Manta Ray, a Boo Bat, a Chickie, a baby sea turtle, and started a larger Rabbitty rabbit. Rabbitty is kind of on hold, as I’ve been working on leather things.  See recent Otter Necessities blog entries for more natter about that.

Last week I visited a cardiologist, who amazingly enough did not say I needed any further testing, and did say not to panic when they do an EKG on my on the day of the surgery, because odds are high the hospital staff will take care of the panic part, and send him the results to review, and then he will probably sign off on the results and surgery will proceed as planned.

This week I had a pulmonary function test, an upper abdominal ultrasound, and last night I had a sleep study. Hopefully that is the last hoop to jump through, and they can (expletive) schedule the (expletive) surgery (expletive) soon now.  Except the paperwork from the sleep center says it takes about 10 days for the results, boo hiss.  Surgery probably won’t happen this month, but hopefully early October.

I e-mailed the parental units to let them know I was going to have bariatric surgery about the time I last posted. One mother-figure reacted unexpectedly well. The other mother-figure? She means well but . . . expresses it in a difficult manner.

In more fun news, I made the mistake of getting Ron a planimeter to measure areas for doing stained glass. Do not ask me how a planimeter works, as far as I can tell they’re magic. We now have several in the house. Ron’s also been looking at slide rules again.

In looking at/for slide rules on eBay, he found a couple people selling CDs of old texts about slide rules. The sellers listed titles, authors, and dates, so I took it as a challenge and exercised my Google-Fu to find them on-line for free (out of copyright). A couple were challenging. One had the author’s name mis-spelled, in a way that wasn’t entirely obvious. The other was a little hard to find, and then I discovered the PDF available from Google is corrupted, although the on-line reading version is ok. I finally tracked it down to the digital holdings of the Bodleian library of the University of Oxford, and am feeling smug about it.

Other recent Google-Fu successes include a possibly-discontinued set of large hole punches, not-green scrubbies for prepping stained glass for patina (although those weren’t that hard to find), and buckles for reproduction of Civil War-era cartridge pouches. I’ll probably natter a little more about the buckles next time I post on the Otter blog.

I went from the sleep study to work this morning, so I expect that Pippin is going to tell me exactly what he thinks of me for not being at home last night. I’m pretty certain that Disapproving Dog disapproved of it.

Tomorrow night at midnight is the main deadline for Windycon program book content, and the deadline for final tweaks is two weeks from Sunday night. . My plan is to try to get a good chunk of the book together this weekend, because see above about surgery scheduling.

The first “normal” visit from the cleaning service was last week. Yes, this was a good idea.

I’m Back!

ACen and, to a lesser extent, WisCon, did indeed eat my brain. ACen coverage is/was over on The Otter Necessities blog.

The house is a disaster. Cleaning for the last month+ has been minimal.

The house welcomed us back this morning by wanting a plumber. We’ve had the drain line for the downstairs bathroom sink power-rodded a couple times over the years, and last time I put my foot down and said the next time the line was going to be replaced, dammit. Well, this morning the sink contained a puddle of grey ick. Ron’s got a release to get out today, so I’ve got the plumber scheduled to come do an estimate. Sometime between 11 and 3.

WisCon was ok. I spent Friday tired and whiny, felt better on Saturday, but still didn’t do much, except for the MuseCon party Saturday night, which of course kept us up late. Which meant I was back to tired and whiny Sunday. Yesterday morning we got up, packed up, ate breakfast, and headed out, and were home in time for lunch. Ron and Robin went to a party Monday evening, I stayed home and was anti-social.

I’m not sure about going to WisCon next year. ACen and WisCon will be back-to-back weekends again, which is just too much. Also, I’m not sure how much I like WisCon. This year there was no programming that really appealed to me (or Ron, IIRC). That’s nobody’s fault. But it’s also just too damn serious. And not friendly to men, at least very big masculine men. Like Ron. Who is never, ever, ever going to pass for anything other than a drag queen. If a guy is at a convention that is very clearly feminist, shouldn’t he be worthy of a certain level of trust that he’s not a sexist jerk? Apparently not.

Ok, got that out of my system.

Had a couple MuseCon-related WTF moments at WisCon. I was on one panel, about gender and crafts and hackerspaces and makerspaces blah blah blah. One of the other panelists made a comment that MuseCon doesn’t have anything about “process”.  Did . . . not . . . compute. A whole huge whack of MuseCon is about the physical processes. As best I can figure, she was thinking more of the kind of philosophical meta-discussion type thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about it more.

The other WTF comment was at the party, a guy said something that it would be great, if we’d just have something about feminism. I was on door duty, and just made an agree-ish pleasant noise about it as he continued on past. But again, WTF? I’m not sure how feminism is really part of creativity. I can see a panel like the one I was on (but better, it kinda drifted off in a different direction, as panels are wont to do), but . . .

OK, circling back to my panel, all the panelists were women. I would have liked it to have included a man who does a traditionally “female” craft, but I don’t know if they had any men volunteer. And we didn’t really discuss hackerspaces/makerspaces/groups much. But panels wandering away from the written descriptions is not exactly a surprise.

WisCon Report

Rolling back the clock somewhat to last week, on Monday I updated the MuseCon schedule flyers, and on Tuesday I was going to make a banner for the door of the party room, then realized I’d already made one for this year. Yay me. Wednesday I got a haircut and Robin baked for a party at school. Thursday night Ron and I baked for the party at WisCon – brownies and bar cookies, two half-sheet pans of each – and did some packing.

Friday we finished packing, and when Xap arrived we set out for Madison. There was a fair amount of traffic, and plenty of idiots, but the trip was uneventful. We were going to stop at the local Apple store to get an extended warranty for the new iPad, but we decided we didn’t want to delay the trip for an hour to wait for the store to open. There’s an Apple store in Madison, so we drove all the way to Madison to go to an Apple store, which we did after getting some lunch.

We learned last year that we have to take the roof racks off the truck to fit in the hotel parking garage, so the only “thunk” noises in the parking garage this year were from the radio antenna. Even though official check-in time wasn’t until 3:00, we were able to check in about 1-ish. We’d signed up for the “3 nights for the price of two if you’re willing to sleep on the party/ConSuite floor”, and I suspect WisCon had all the rooms on the floor for Thursday night, also.

Last year our room was at one end of the hall. This year we were directly across from ConSuite.  Somebody told Xap that room was awful because of that, being on the “social” side of the hallway* and from the popcorn and hot dog odors from ConSuite. We didn’t find it all that bad. It was a little noisier than the room we had last year (which was right by a stairwell), and although sometimes we smelled food when going in or out of the room, we never noticed it when we were in the room.

At about 1 am Saturday some [expletive] called, claiming that they needed us to change rooms for some poorly-articulated reason (Ron took the call, not me). Not being fools, we called the front desk to confirm this was nonsense, but I had trouble getting back to sleep afterwards. I wonder if said [expletives] called any other rooms, and how many. Ron talked to a man, but the front desk said they’d transferred a call to our room from a woman, so at least two [expletives] were involved.  Hopefully they got what they deserve for it.

Saturday morning Ron and Xap braved the gloomy/rainy weather for a trip around the capital square farmer’s market. I did an hour or two as cashier at the Tiptree bake sale, and we went to programming. Ron and Xap went for pasties while I was working the bake sale, but they were out of traditional beef, so I ended up with something like a chicken pot pie with added mozzarella. It was good, but not a pasty. Dave arrived Saturday, and Saturday night we all went around the block for Indian food.

Saturday night’s parties were more fun. The Tor Books party was a serious publisher party. The Mad Norwegian Press “Chicks Dig Comics” release party across the hall from Tor was a lot more fun – they were a lot more relaxed, and were doing super-heroine-themed shots (The She-Hulk, the Jean Grey, the Wonder Woman, and the Leetha) served from customized neon green (plastic) test tubes. And they were generous with said shots.  We also spent a bit of time in the Mead Hall party.

Sunday we did some programming, and the MuseCon party was Sunday night. We had a much bigger room than last year or the year before, and that was just fine – we had quite a lot of people. I think it was a success. Dave brought his popcorn popper handcart, Dale brought Mr. Slushy, the things to do dry-ice ice cream and baked goods, and we brought  nachos and baked goods. The dry-ice ice cream was a popular attention-getter, as was the blinkie build station Dale set up. Popcorn seemed to go well, and nachos weren’t a flop.

Baked goods mostly didn’t go, except Xap’s dark chocolate pomegranate cookies. We theorize people were desserted-out after the dessert reception/Tiptree Awards/GoH speeches before the parties. Now we know if we end up with a Sunday party again (Saturday was our first choice, but that didn’t work out).

We started closing the party 1-ish, and went to bed shortly after 2.  Zzzz. Yesterday morning we did a last lap through the Dealer’s Room, Xap got some books signed, and we headed out. In the slow traffic leading to 90 we decided taking 12 home might be a better idea, and it seemed to be – it was an uneventful trip home, not even a detour around a small-town parade like we made last year.

And that’s about that for WisCon. I’ll do another post about our other adventures yesterday.

*The ConSuite and a set of parlor rooms that are used for programming and parties are on the 6th floor of the hotel, and the hallways are the width you normally get in a typical sleeping-room floor at a hotel, not the wide ones found around ballrooms, etc. WisCon splits the hallway in half (blue tape down the center, under clear carpet-protection film), and one side is designated the “traffic” side, please keep it open for travel. The other side is the “social” side, please use that side for stopping to chat. It works pretty well, and is another idea we’ll cheerfully steal…er…adapt for MuseCon if the need arises.

Home from WisCon

As predicted, we packed up and headed home this morning. Robin wasn’t interested in going out to lunch with us (timing issue), so we stopped at the Red Robin at Stearns & 90, then ran over to Sur la Table, a kitchen store, kitty-corner.

Home now, and Robin has finished unloading the truck. Ron’s working on getting some further schedule information up on the MuseCon website/store. Robin is watching “Steamboy”, and once I finish this I’ll probably go back to work on Ron’s latest kilt hose. Halfway and some up the calf increases on one, finished the calf increases on the other.

Yes, these are the pair I cast on Friday morning. I got a lot done yesterday, as well as on the way up and back, and at various other times Friday and Saturday.

I have a project in mind to be done by MuseCon. I was going to order some more of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu for it, but I decided to order Marine Silk (sport weight) instead. The description for the Marine Silk is:

“I’m so excited about this yarn with it’s luxurious blend of fibers. Cultivated silk, extrafine merino, and sea cell blended exact percentages to give us a soft, drapey yarn with an exquisite sheen. Sea cell being a plant based fiber does not take the dye which gives the sheen a luminous quality. We are offering this yarn in 4 different weights: lace, fingering sport and a light worsted.”

“All Measurements are approximate.
Content: 51% Silk / 29% Merino / 20% Sea Cell®Rayon
Weight: 3.5oz / 100g
Length: 324yds / 296m
Gauge: 23-26 stitches per 4 inches (10cm) on size 3-5 (3.25 mm – 3.75 mm) needles”

– Posted using software from hardware

Some More WisCon

Saturday midday Ron, Xap, and I went to a panel about WisCon’s registration/programming software, which is open source. It quickly turned technical, and Xap and I kind of got lost. Ron will be downloading a copy of their database to see if he can get it running on our own server (no other convention is using it yet). It has WisCon-specific stuff hard-coded in that we would have to edit out, but that still may be just modifying the wheel, as opposed to re-creating it.

The panel was interrupted by the arrival of pizzas. Yay pizza! Mac and cheese pizza sounds very very strange, but isn’t too bad.

After the database panel we went to The Travelling Fates concert – S.J. Tucker, two other women I’ve promptly forgotten, plus added Betsey Tinney on cello for a bunch of songs, and a couple with added Amy McNally on violin. Yay for stringy music!

Mr. S. arrived shortly before we got the room for the party. Once we’d all had dinner (pizza and Indian), we started setting up. Starting Blog and Kool-Aid slushing was the priority. After that it was fairly easy, we had 3 hours to rearrange furniture a bit, put up a few signs, and put out food. Stupid Amounts ™ of food.

On-line registration for classes went live just before the party started. Need to blog about that here, there, and everywhere. Probably once we get home.

We’ve already gotten a couple registrations that are directly attributable to the party, and we’re expecting more. Lots of interest. I kept trying to get the brochure with the schedule into peoples’ hands, and the fact that we already have the schedule mostly in shape at this point impressed them (even if it was presented as preliminary).

We’re getting too old for this late-night party stuff. I turned into a pumpkin at some point, but managed to stay conscious enough to natter with a couple people.

I think we closed up about 12:30-1:00? And sent a bunch of leftover Stupid Amounts of food to the “Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland” party. In 20/20 hindsight cookies (or bars) would probably have been better than cake.

Ron woke up with a spinny (no, not spiny, you overly-helpful computer!) head yesterday morning. By evening it was getting better, but it ended up being a quiet day just hanging out in our room, as I wasn’t interested in going to panels by myself. Not sure if it was con-crud, tired, or some of both. He’s feeling significantly better this morning.

Probably packing up and heading out this morning, I don’t see anything on the schedule for today that’s really sending me.

– Posted using software from hardware

Saturday AM at WisCon

Yes, this is a fairly ungodly hour to be awake, but about 7:00 my brain said “awake now” and that was that.

In the quest for lunch yesterday we found little place around the corner with *PASTIES*. Good ones! Cheap ones! Big ones! Two steak, potato, and onion pasties and two cans of soda for $10 (technically $9, but I threw a dollar in the tip jar). Besides ground beef and steak pasties, they also have vegetarian and several strange (in a pasty purist way) combinations. I suspect we’ll be eating there again, and a batch may follow us home.

Dinner last night as at an Indian restaurant on the other side of the block from the hotel. We’d had lunch buffet there last year with A, so we knew it was good. The Madison-area printed guide in the hotel room said they had a dinner buffet, too, but that turned out to be about two years out of date. We certainly didn’t suffer, though. Lamb biryani, Rogan Josh, Lamb Tikka Masala, garlic naan, and naan stuffed with lamb were all very yummy. Yes, we were all very unrepentant lamb-nivores last night. I could have made a meal just out of plain naan and raita (yoghurt cucumber mint sauce) alone.

A takeout menu followed us back to the hotel, with the idea that somebody is going to be going to fetch dinner tonight while we’re setting up for the MuseCon party (we get the room at 5:30 pm).

Didn’t make it to any Programming yesterday. There were a couple interesting-looking bits, but we just didn’t make it that far. A, D, and Ron surveyed last night’s parties briefly, then returned here to MuseCon HQ. Unless tonight’s parties have much better food it sounds like we’re going to rock the parties tonight on that front.

Speaking of which, we’re right next to a party room (pretty much unavoidable given the floor layout), and there was a party in it last night. And the head of our bed is against the adjoining wall. Had we been thinking we’d have grabbed our sleep-noise machine (an actual Sharper Image product, which can not only play white noise but umpty-zillion other soothing noises). The AC unit cut a lot of the party noise, though. And we didn’t even try to go to bed until 11-ish.

Part of the up-late-ness was working on MuseCon Publications stuff. I got the latest grid into InDesign and starting to apply some formatting (a small job), and started formatting (but not proofreading) the Programming descriptions (a longer job). I also compiled ingredient lists for blog (cut & paste) and the goodies A and I made. The grid, descriptions, ingredients, and a couple other things were saved off as PDFs.

Then I made a very crippled account on my laptop. It has full internet access, but can only run Opera (because I’m having issues with Firefox related to an update issue that I think is related to hotel WiFi bandwidth) and Preview, Apple’s native PDF viewer. Then I dropped the PDFs I’d made onto that account. So now for the party we have a machine that people can use to do on-line registration, and look at some MuseCon information.

Haven’t looked at a lot of the programming for today, but we’re definitely making it to one – about WisCon’s open source scheduling database software. You see, about a week ago I was discussing with Ron and Xap that we needed to contact WisCon to find out how they do their scheduling, and the possibility of sharing. Because party hosts get rolled into their system as programming participants, I’ve seen the system from the public side, and it seems like it could be very useful for MuseCon. Why re-invent the wheel?

Ron and I have been told we really really need to go to the Travelling Fates concert, so that’s on the list, too. After that we’ll think about bringing Mr. Slushy up to our room and start the slushing process. If we don’t start it up until we get the room we won’t have slushed slushies for the party, and what fun is that?

Ron’s kilt hose are up to the heel turn.

– Posted using software from hardware

WisCon Arrival

We are here, “here” being the Madison Concourse hotel, which is the main WisCon hotel. Last year we were around the Capitol Square, about a block or so away, at the satellite hotel. Looking at the time, Robin should be home with the dogs by now, having only had a half-day of school.

Happily, even though check-in time isn’t until 3:00 pm, our room was ready, so we were able to check in. That meant we were able to bring almost everything up from the truck without fighting crowds, which was nice. I say almost everything because we left one work table that we may or may not use for Mr. Slushy in the truck. It’s compact, light, and easy enough to fetch if we need it Saturday evening.

Relaxing at the moment, will probably go in search of lunch and get our badges, etc. in a little while.

I was originally planning on making three cakes, but that was before I made the 4 loaves of bacon-cheddar bread. So I only made two cakes last night, which means one bass/patch through the oven. Both cakes are kind of a yellow/almond cake, with honey-almond glaze. Yum yum.

Of the two pound cakes Robin took for his class cookouts yesterday, only a half-dozen small pieces made it home.

Started Ron’s Woobu socks on the way here. About 5 inches done between the two.

– Posted using software from hardware

Idiot Insect Resolution and Food-ish Fun

After blogging about them Saturday evening, I went out to check on the idiot insects hanging out on the outside of the east hive.  Too many to be the over-wintered survivors.  They were still there Sunday morning.  By midmorning-midday Sunday, when Robin went out to check to see if it was safe to weed-whack, they had disappeared.  Hopefully they finally moved into the hive, and didn’t abscond with the queen.  Sometimes a package will do that, so it is a possibility.  Maybe on Friday we’ll take a look inside to see if there is new brood, or next week.  Brood=healthy laying queen.

I seem to have been stung or bitten by something on the back of the neck.  The obvious choices are that I was stung by one of the girls when I went out with Ron to see what was up on the east hive (although we didn’t get close), or that I have been the victim of alien abduction.  If the latter, I hope that I have been taken over by a Goa’uld with an atypical ego that will avoid the usual Evil Overlord mistakes.  If the former, I’m somewhat confused, as a bee sting is a memorable sensation.  It doesn’t feel like getting chomped by a mosquito or flea or other similar ouchy experiences.  But Ron tells me it looks like a bee sting, so there we are.  Either a bee sting or alien abduction.  Aliens would be more amusing.

Yesterday we procured some cedar and Ron and Robin made boxes to go around our hive-top feeders, since all our supers are full of drawn-out foundation.  Ron likes the new cut-any-angle-any-way saw, although he only made mundane square cuts.   The lumber is decking, so it has rounded edges, but that’s ok.  It’s also wider than necessary to keep the hive top off of the top of the feeder, but using cedar means fewer rot concerns.

This weekend started the baking binge this week is turning into.

Saturday afternoon Robin decided some of the rhubarb was ready, and cut it, cleaned it, and sliced it in the food processor.  Yesterday he made pie crust, which I rolled out, and we had rhubarb-craisin pie for dessert.

Yesterday I also made some bacon-cheddar bread so that we’d have some non-sweet snacks for the party at WisCon.  Lots and lots of cheddar-bacon bread.  IIRC 2 pounds of bacon, 1 pound of cheddar, and dough appropriate for 3-3.5 cups of water (no, I do not measure much when making bread).  I ended up using four standard-ish loaf pans: two 9×5-ish and two 8×4-ish; plus another smaller one to leave home with Robin.  Once cooled they were double-wrapped in plastic then bagged and put in the freezer.

Wednesday night Robin is making pound cake (old-fashioned: 1 lb each of flour, egg, milk, and sugar) for the end-of-year parties in his CAD/Applied Tech classes on Thursday.  I originally questioned getting 4 cans of frosting (2 each vanilla and chocolate), but I was reminded that both classes are mainly teenaged boys.

Thursday night I take over again, and will be making more cakes.  Probably three: the honey-almond cake with the ridiculous amounts of honey-brown sugar glaze, a honey-spice cake (dairy-free, as the recipe calls for oil, although butter-flavored crisco seemed to work fine), and either another one of the first two, or maybe something chocolate.  I couldn’t find plain cocoa-coated almonds for the honey-almond cake, but Robin found cinnamon-cocoa almonds.  I think those will do quite nicely.

When I hit the aisle to get disposable cake pans, I found a stack of nicer lightweight aluminum pans, that don’t have the fluting on the side that the cheaper ones do.  They look nicer, and seem sturdier, and I decided that the higher price (about $5 each) was worth it, so I cleaned them out – I probably got more than Robin and I will use, but they’ll keep for the next party or whatever.   They look decent enough to re-use if they make it home, but are inexpensive enough to not feel compelled to keep.

The medication for the bees should be delivered today, so tonight I’ll probably be making sugar syrup.  The plan is to try to make no more than I can get into the feeders, so we don’t have to store it.   Among the many miraculous things attributed to apple cider vinegar is the claim that it makes syrup more attractive to bees.  I can see where the scent would be more interesting than plain simple syrup, so I think I’ll slosh a little in.  With so many things blooming, I do have concerns they’re going to ignore the syrup, so I’m willing to try adding a little incentive.

The kilt hose I finally got to start the cuffs on late last week are almost done.  I think I’ll probably be able to finish them tonight.  Since the Sock Candy kilt hose will require more trying-on to check fit, this week we need to wind up the Woobu, and I’ll work on that pair of kilt hose at WisCon.   Or maybe I’ll start a pair out of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted I got in my very-final-ever order from Woodland Woolworks.   I’ve got two shades of navy, and off-white.  Out of that I should be able to get two pairs of one shade of blue, and one pair from the other, with off-white cuffs.

That Was the Weekend that Was

Friday night was quiet.  Saturday afternoon was a MuseCon meeting, and karate in the morning.  Since Robin hasn’t been able to make either Monday or Wednesday night sessions most weeks, his instructor said he can do a double session on Saturdays, consisting of the back-to-back teen and adult classes.  The MuseCon meeting was a little long, then the after-meeting meetings went on for a while longer.  Fortunately, I’d planned ahead and put dinner in the crock pot.

Sunday morning Ron and I went to the  zoo.  I took the Nikon DSLR we got from Ron Sr., and only a whatever to whatever zoom lens.  The Nikon writes to the card faster than our older Canon DSLR.  Some controls are different, the only thing I miss is the second shutter button the battery grip for the Canon has, which is located for holding the camera in portrait mode.

I’d forgotten or not heard that the zoo had retired the Mexican Grey Wolves they had to a facility somewhere down south, and got 8 new ones in the fall. There’s 5 females and 3 males, all siblings.  The males were in the back non-display area to prevent breeding.  I wonder if they’re hoping to do a swap with another zoo, or if they’ll have to keep the boys and girls separated in breeding season.  This group is 2, so they’re still full of energy.  A docent said the squirrels, who had clearly gotten complacent with the old boys, have been getting a workout, and they caught one a couple weeks ago.  We’ve only gone through our pictures once, quickly, but it looks like we got some good ones.

On the way home we were discussing where to eat, and decided to rescue Robin from his homework to get lunch.  He’d already finished it by the time we picked him up, but he didn’t complain about Panera for lunch.  And since we were right by Barnes & Noble, we had to go in, right?  Of course right.  5 more Dover books followed us home (insert sheepish look here).

As we were heading out we were discussing where/how to store the discs, as that put us over the number of CD/DVDs that would fit in the case we had been storing them in.  And where to store the images electronically.  I made what I thought was a smart-aleck suggestion to go over to the Apple store and pick up one of the wireless hard drives, and as soon as I said it we both realized it wasn’t a bad idea.  I suggested the wirless drive, as Ron’s desktop and USB hub(s) are about out of slots.  Sticker shock set in when we looked at the price of the Time Capsule drives, so we got a 2TB conventional external drive (not one of the little “portable” ones).   So, now all the Dover images are neatly sorted onto one drive, with the exception of the ones we’ve been modifying.  We still need to re-name to a rational scheme, sort, and move those onto the new drive.

We all had Monday off for MLK Day, so it was a 3-day weekend.  I had meant to make the belts and start the notebook cover I’d been neglecting Saturday and Sunday.  I spent most of the morning doing various MuseCon tasks instead. Including setting up a MuseCon party at WisCon, and reserving our hotel room. Not only did I get into the main WisCon hotel (no schlepping, yay!), I got 3 nights for the price of 2.  The tradeoff is that our room is on the 6th floor, which is the location of the Con Suite, and other suites that are used as smaller Programming spaces during the day and party spaces in the evenings.   Ron can sleep through anything, and I’ll just put appropriate music on an MP3 player-player or my laptop all night.

I made a pork roast for lunch, thinking we’d have a big meal then, and something lunch-ish for dinner, and Robin would go to karate.   He didn’t, since finals are this week, so he’d be able to go today.  Which means we don’t get to VS until late, but Ron and I didn’t think of that.

I won’t be to VS for a couple-few month anyway, as GRA 102, Graphic Arts Desktop Publishing starts tonight, and Wednesday night was the only available night class.

I did get the belts made on Monday, and shipped out yesterday.  Still need to work on the notebook cover.