athelind: (YAY)
... an hour after my last post, I was in the ER for chest pains.

An overnight stay, lots of bloodwork, and a treadmill exam, and the cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health, at least as far as the ticker is concerned.

So it's all good, more or less; I just wish I'd held off before dropping a fairly hefty chunk of change on closing out that student loan, because now: MEDICAL BILLS.

Yay!


athelind: (Default)

The Bay Area is under a Tsunami Warning after Japan's 8.9 quake.



A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures. (Emphasis mine.)




Japan is reeling. Hawaii is waiting and watching.

Forgive me if I make this All About Me for a moment, but I work in a direct line-of-sight to the Golden Gate and the Pacific Ocean:



It kind of defines "low-lying coastal region near a harbor".

The effects are expected to hit San Francisco at around 8:08 this morning.

Right after I get to work.

Oh, Coyote. I was wondering where you'd snuck off to.



(Local news reports indicate that waves out on the San Francisco coast are likely to only be a foot or two. Previous tsunami advisories and warnings I've experienced have barely produced a ripple in the Bay. You never know, though.)
More updates, 05:10: According to the radio, no evacuations for San Fransisco, Marin, or Sonoma counties. The only evacuations are West of Highway 1, which is already The Ocean in most places. They aren't even MENTIONING the East Bay.
athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
And so, another year ends, and Your Obedient Serpent will be more than happy to be shed of this one. I bid 2010 adieu with two upraised middle fingers and a shout of defiance.

It's time to face forward.

I've mentioned that sometimes, the radio talks to me, that the station I most often tune to has a tendency to play certain songs over and over again, and sometimes, the songs that cycle into that repetitious rotation are ones that directly address my moods and circumstances.

Back in November, as I was preparing to move a lifetime of belongings out of [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, this one played nearly every day.

I was going to post it tomorrow, but it played again, just minutes ago.

This, then, is my New Year: No Resolutions, Just Resolve.

I've got a world and a life and a future in front of me.

And it's mine.






I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams ... )

Happy New Year, one and all!

athelind: (facepalm)
So there I am at work, in what I hope are the last stages of a cold, running on generic DayQuil, GatorAde, and Fisherman's Friend menthol lozenges, blowing my nose whenever the store's empty, and hoping that bottle of hand sanitizer is keeping me from playing Patient Zero.

My sinuses are draining. My throat doesn't hurt, thank goodness, because working at a comic store entails a lot of conversation -- especially a comic store in a mall, where you have a lot of Curious Neophytes who wouldn't wander into your typical Android's Dungeon.

Nevertheless, the cold has affected my voice. It's not quite gravelly, per se, but there's that odd kind of vibration it gets when the vocal cords are ... pray forgive me if this is too vivid ... coated.

Not one but two different customers complimented me for my pleasant voice, and said that I should go into radio, or do voiceovers, or something of the sort.

As I'm suppressing a coughing fit.


athelind: (green hills of earth)
From The Rachel Maddow Show, a few nights back:

Right now, we have a catastrophic uncontrolled petroleum gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and another spill up in Alaskan waters.

Who needs new footage? We can just rerun reports from 1979, when almost exactly the same thing was going on.



To recap (no pun intended):

  • A blowout on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • A rig run by the company that eventually became Transocean.
  • Exactly the same techniques used to stem the flow
  • In exactly the same order
  • With exactly the same results:
    • BUPKIS.

  • After months and months of gushing oil, matters were only alleviated when relief wells were drilled.
  • Why didn't they just go for the relief wells first this time?
  • Have "top hats" and "top kills" ever worked?*


The only difference is that in '79, the well was 200 feet down; now, it's over five thousand.

My father used to have a saying about four wheel drive vehicles: "They won't keep you from getting stuck. They just let you get some place even farther from help when you get stuck."

The oil companies keep talking about how their technology has imnproved—but it's just let them get even farther from any solutions. If When shit hits the fan, they don't actually have any new solutions; they're just trying the same things that didn't work before.

"But that trick never works!"


*Yes, that is a request for specific instances, if anyone out there feels like dredging them up. Like Wikipedia, however, I want citations.
athelind: (facepalm)
I came home last night to discover there had been a power outage. My alarm clock was blinking, so I reset it.

For reasons unknown, it is currently an hour and 47 minutes behind.

I'm pretty sure I set it correctly last night; a two-hour difference might be do to not thinking clearly while setting a 12-hour display while using two 24-hour clocks as a reference, but I know I set the minutes correctly. I remember grumbling about having to go most of the way around to get to minute :57.

Oh, my stars and garters. I set the alarm to 9:57 instead of the clock.

In any event, I kept wondering why I was waking up so early this morning. "It's not even 7 yet! Roll over and go back to sleep! You need to be awake and alert tonight!"

I got up at "a reasonable hour", had coffee, and chatted with [livejournal.com profile] thoughtsdriftby, then went back to check email and LJ.

A few minutes ago, I looked at my computer clock, and said, "Wait, WHAT? It's 11:30? I got up at 7:30! I haven't been up for FOUR hours!"

This is going to mess with my brain for the rest of the day.

Especially since I still haven't quite figured out what happened to my clock. If there was another power outage in the night, why wasn't it blinking??

(It's still going to mess with my head.)

HOLY CRAP

Apr. 8th, 2010 01:54 pm
athelind: (green hills of earth)
I have today off, so I decided to go for a walk. My usual walking route, since moving here, has been along Coyote Creek Trail.

It's a nice, warm, sunny day, and we've been getting plenty of rain. The trail was lined with tall stands of tasseled grass on one side, and bright, colorful wildflowers on the other.

Now, Your Obedient Serpent has had allergies all his life. That's four-plus decades, folks.

Usually, though, the cause and effect are subtle, even if the symptoms are anything but. If I get the sniffles or sneezes or random patches of irritated skin, if I get the Sinus Attacks of DOOM, there's usually a delay between exposure and symptom, and there's usually some difficulty trying to pin down the trigger.

Not this time, boy!

As soon as I passed the first patch of grass, I sniffled and coughed.

By the time I realized that this was hitting now now now, I was at a point in the trail loop where turning around would have taken me just as long to get home as plugging on. By this point, I was sniffling, sneezing, coughing, my eyes were watering, and I was even having some trouble breathing.

And as soon as I got out of that chunk of the trail, I instantly cleared up. Oh, I was still a little sniffly, I still had to cough a few times, but the worst of it was gone.

Real allergies don't work like that! Cartoon allergies work like that!

I've had reactions to obvious, visible irritants, like smoke, but to the naked eye, that Allergy Hellstorm was completely invisible. Not even a bit of haze. I've never experience anything like that before—not even yesterday, walking along the exact same part of the trail.

I'd say it was like getting tear gassed, but tear gas doesn't affect me.


athelind: (coyote drives)
The manual mentions that the light might come on if you're low on fuel, as small amounts of air can get into the fuel line and cause a misfire. Sounds like trying to start the engine with a nonfunctioning fuel pump would cause the same effect—though it's odd that it would hit 50 miles later.

Based on the manual and the Very Useful Feedback I've been getting from the Hive Mind, I'm gonna open the gas cap and re-seal it, then go check the tire pressure*, and see where that leaves me. EVERYTHING, including the manual, suggests that a) It's Nothing Urgent Or Critical and b) It May Just Go Away By Itself In A Few Days, esp. if I do those little things.

(If the light were blinking, of if it were the SERVICE light instead of "Service Engine Soon", that would be another matter.)

Consensus: If it's still shining merrily on Monday, then I'll worry.

Thanks to everyone for all the information and advice!


*My usual service station doesn't have an air hose, so I've been uncharacteristically remiss in keeping tabs on my tire pressure. Yes, this may have contributed to the blowout.
athelind: (coyote drives)
According to my manual (a used car that came with the original manual! Amazing!), the "Service Engine Soon" light is indeed the "Check Engine" light.

Modifications made to the engine, transaxle, exhaust or fuel system of your vehicle, or the replacement of the original tires with other than those of the same Tire Performance criteria (TPC) can affect your vehicle's emission controls and may cause the "Service Engine Soon" light to come on.

Obviously, I just changed a tire -- it's the same kind as the other three, but there are differences in wear patterns, and I don't know if they checked and filled the pressure in the old ones, so there might be enough difference there to freak the chip out.

Rewiring the fuel pump might also count as "modifications to the fuel system".

[livejournal.com profile] halfelf revealed that AutoZone stores will check the OBD II chip for free, so, once I grab a shower, I'll head out to the closest one.

[[Edit: Crap. No, they don't, anymore—at least not in California. Argh.]]

I didn't mention the odd not-quite-metallic smell that I noticed when I got out of the car last night; [livejournal.com profile] thoughtsdriftby confirmed it. If it was coming from my car, then it might still be a bit more complicated than New Tires.

Oy.

athelind: (facepalm)
... when the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on, how badly is one's wallet about to get raped?


athelind: (cute)
When I described last night's adventure to my mother, on the phone, she said, "You had a blowout at 70 miles an hour in the fast lane, and you got over to the shoulder without you or anyone else getting hurt. 'Blowout at 70 miles an hour' usually winds up on the news. You are an awesome driver."

I've got to give some credit to my Saturn station wagon, which is lower-slung and has much better suspension than the Aspire did. Things might not have gone so well if I were still driving the Grape.

That aside, though, I have to say...

...yeah, I am pretty awesome.


athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Do you believe that a higher power controls our fate or that we choose our own destinies?

Oh, come on! This was the Question of the Day on the same day as yet another "random" automotive crisis.

That's a punch line.

It certainly lends credence to the hypothesis that some Higher Power with a broad and slapstick sense of humor has designated me as his personal Chew Toy.

On the other claw: last night's incident could have been much, much worse, especially since, thanks to the late hour, the long drive, and the featureless road, I had been fighting to remain alert during the whole drive.

I tell you what, there's nothing like a blowout at 70 MPH to wake you up.

As my mother said, long ago, in a similar situation: "For all the bad luck we have, we sure have a lot of good luck."

Getting back to the question, though: does he "control my fate"?

Oh, hell no. I think he's just trying to get my attention.


athelind: (coyote drives)
Today, I went up to help my sister in the last stages of her move from Berkeley to Vallejo.

Although I've driven to the house in Berkeley several times before, this time, I made the error I've told myself not to make every time before, got in the wrong lane, and wound up heading toward the Bay Bridge with no way to abort. I had to pay the toll and turn around on Treasure Island.

The move itself went off with no hitch, though I did miss ANOTHER turn in Vallejo, and wound up having to do a bit of maneuvering to find Big Sister's new house.

Unpacking went smoothly, with half a dozen people helping. By the time we finished the traditional Moving Day feast of pizza, it was after 9, and time for me to head hom.

I took 680, which was disconcerting. Unlike 880, which passes through that long strip of dense habitation along the coast of the Bay, 680 passes through...nothingness. Mile after mile of blackness, punctuated only occasionally by a community or two, full of exit signs I didn't recognize.

And then, I ran over something. No idea what. My car veered a little, but I steadied it.

And then, there was a rhythmic noise from the back.

Mental activity over the next minute or so:
"Crap, did I knock something loose when I hit that bump?"
"It's just road noise."
"What if it's not? Maybe we should pull over and see."
"It's late, we're tired, and we have no idea where we are."
"Hey, Mission! We know where that is!"
*signal for a lane change, accelerate to pass van that keeps trying to pace me*
[FWUMP]
"OH CRAP WHAT WAS THAT?"
*smack hazard light, start lane change*
[[THOOMPslamSKREEEEEEEEE]]
"This is very bad."
*absolutecalmfocusedonlyongettingtoshoulder*

...and then, after the car was more-or-less safely on the shoulder, and after checking the wheel (shreds of rubber clinging to the rim), and getting back in on the passenger side, and picking up the cell phone to call [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia to see if our AAA was still active...

...THEN, I lapsed into hysterics, on the phone with Quel. She calmly reminded me that I had a card in my wallet with AAA's number. I called them, and they had a truck out in about 30-45 minutes.

The AAA guy replaced my rim with my emergency donut, and then noticed that the tire had damaged a wiring harness when it blew. So, we checked the lights: Hazards worked, obviously; tail lights worked; brake lights worked; turn signals...didn't.

"Try starting the car."
[[Car turns over but refuses to keep running. Lather, rinse, repeat.]]
"Well, THAT'S interesting."

Current hypothesis: the wiring harness also leads to the fuel pump.

The car is currently in a shop in Milpitas. The tow truck dropped me off at the Denny's on Mission; Quelonzia picked me up and dropped me off at home (thank you, Precious!).

I got home around midnight.


I have now decompressed sufficiently to sleep.

I await phone calls on the morrow.


athelind: (coyote laughs)
The other day, I came home to find a note on the door from the local utility company, warning me that on Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, there would be two scheduled power outages for foir maintenance: one from 9:00-9:30 AM, and another from 2:30-3:00 PM.

On waking up this morning, I started to turn on the computer, and realized that it was 8:30. I decided, instead, to leave it turned off, and just curl up with a book until the first outage had come and gone.

At 2:20, having read the whole day without interruption, I went off to an appointment. When I returned at 4:40, all the clocks were still functioning happily, with nary a blink to be seen.

Neither scheduled outage occured as scheduled.

Needless to say, there was Stuff I Could Have Been Doing Today -- not just on the computer; I needed to get laundry done, as well.

I refuse to acknowledge that this is a subversion of my Lenten refutation of procrastination, however. The book in question is Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a 900-page doorstopper that I've renewed twice, but heretofore had only read about 140 pages. I'm now on p. 422 -- so I did something I've been putting off for more than six weeks, even if it wasn't what I'd planned.


athelind: (Default)
The other day, I came home to find a note on the door from the local utility company, warning me that on Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, there would be two scheduled power outages for foir maintenance: one from 9:00-9:30 AM, and another from 2:30-3:00 PM.

On waking up this morning, I started to turn on the computer, and realized that it was 8:30. I decided, instead, to leave it turned off, and just curl up with a book until the first outage had come and gone.

At 2:20, having read the whole day without interruption, I went off to an appointment. When I returned at 4:40, all the clocks were still functioning happily, with nary a blink to be seen.

Neither scheduled outage occured as scheduled.

Needless to say, there was Stuff I Could Have Been Doing Today -- not just on the computer; I needed to get laundry done, as well.

I refuse to acknowledge that this is a subversion of my Lenten refutation of procrastination, however. The book in question is Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a 900-page doorstopper that I've renewed twice, but heretofore had only read about 140 pages. I'm now on p. 422 -- so I did something I've been putting off for more than six weeks, even if it wasn't what I'd planned.


athelind: (Default)
After sleeping in far too late yesterday, I went to bed earlyish last night, determined to roll out of bed at a decent hour, hop in the shower, and fire up the computer for the usual rounds of email and job boards.

I did indeed wake up around 7-ish, looked at the clock -- and, rather than blurry LED numerals, saw nothing. The power was out.

No Net. No TV. No lights in the bathroom.

I wound up going back to bed until 8:45, then taking a shower by candlelight.

(I do so love bathrooms in candlelight.)

Needless to say, the power came back five minutes after I got out of the shower.

It was only a few minutes ago that I realized that it was the Second of February, and that I had gotten up, seen my shadow, and gone back into my hole.

Looks like six more weeks of winter, from here.


More water-themed dreams last night; how much of them were due to the sound of rain outside, I can't tell. Not the usual crystal-clear water, this time; in this one, the nearby creek actually ran through the backyard. The usual gang of Generic Dream Friends and I were looking it over. The water was higher than usual; I noticed that conditions were exactly right for a flash flood, and suggested that we should get back over the creek and into the house. Of course, everyone blew me off, right up until the big muddy rush of water hit.

For some reason, I was wearing robes of some sort, as was at least one of the others.

athelind: (Default)
After sleeping in far too late yesterday, I went to bed earlyish last night, determined to roll out of bed at a decent hour, hop in the shower, and fire up the computer for the usual rounds of email and job boards.

I did indeed wake up around 7-ish, looked at the clock -- and, rather than blurry LED numerals, saw nothing. The power was out.

No Net. No TV. No lights in the bathroom.

I wound up going back to bed until 8:45, then taking a shower by candlelight.

(I do so love bathrooms in candlelight.)

Needless to say, the power came back five minutes after I got out of the shower.

It was only a few minutes ago that I realized that it was the Second of February, and that I had gotten up, seen my shadow, and gone back into my hole.

Looks like six more weeks of winter, from here.


More water-themed dreams last night; how much of them were due to the sound of rain outside, I can't tell. Not the usual crystal-clear water, this time; in this one, the nearby creek actually ran through the backyard. The usual gang of Generic Dream Friends and I were looking it over. The water was higher than usual; I noticed that conditions were exactly right for a flash flood, and suggested that we should get back over the creek and into the house. Of course, everyone blew me off, right up until the big muddy rush of water hit.

For some reason, I was wearing robes of some sort, as was at least one of the others.

athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)
Last night was gaming night, and, as a result, I caffeinated for the first time in a week and a half. As a result, I didn't get to bed until after 01:30, and when sleep finally came, all manner of vivid and surreal dreams occurred (with recurring water symbolism, for the record).

The dream that left a real impression on me, however, happened between "Well, I guess I'm awake now" 07:15 and "Wait, how did it get to be" 08:30, a time more associated with hypnopompic states than REM sleep.

Like the dream of the Dolphin in the Library, I was watching this one unfold from a third-person vantage. The protagonist in this case was a female lion-like creature, not anthropomorphic in the humanoid sense, but definitely possessing language, culture, and some degree of tool use. She was pregnant, and not entirely "with it"; in retrospect, there was a hint that those caring for her had her drugged. They her kept giving her puzzles to solve, and treating her solutions as oracles for the fate of her unborn offspring.

The most distinctive feature was an entity that looked like a cave painting of something a gaunt coyote, visible only to the dream's protagonist -- and not entirely visible, at that. It seemed more a fleeting shadow of an entity that whispered in the protagonist's ear, giving different interpretations to those oracles, or dismissing them entirely. Despite its sinister appearance and bearing, there was a suggestion that it was actually more benign and well-disposed toward the protagonist than the tangible and superficially-benevolent people caring for her.

It called itself "Nine-Moons-Winter"; the dream's protagonist thought of it as "the Winterthin Thing". Either name was an obvious reference to its gaunt appearance: as gaunt as something that had survived a winter that lasted nine moons.

The Winterthin Thing was more visible than the "real", tangible creatures, as if I were observing the action from the Dreamtime -- which I was, I suppose. There was definitely some Ursula Vernon influence here, visuals of cave paintings twining around and interacting with vaguely-seen but definitely "real" creatures, vivid black charcoals over soft gray pencils; the captions were even in the same font [livejournal.com profile] ursulav uses for Digger.

(Yes, there were captions. The "format" of the dream was somewhere between a comic and a movie. And yes, I can often read very clearly in dreams, contrary to popular lore that says you can't.)

It was a very vivid dream, one that stayed with me on awakening and fairly well demanded that I record it here.

... did something just introduce itself?

athelind: (Default)
Last night was gaming night, and, as a result, I caffeinated for the first time in a week and a half. As a result, I didn't get to bed until after 01:30, and when sleep finally came, all manner of vivid and surreal dreams occurred (with recurring water symbolism, for the record).

The dream that left a real impression on me, however, happened between "Well, I guess I'm awake now" 07:15 and "Wait, how did it get to be" 08:30, a time more associated with hypnopompic states than REM sleep.

Like the dream of the Dolphin in the Library, I was watching this one unfold from a third-person vantage. The protagonist in this case was a female lion-like creature, not anthropomorphic in the humanoid sense, but definitely possessing language, culture, and some degree of tool use. She was pregnant, and not entirely "with it"; in retrospect, there was a hint that those caring for her had her drugged. They her kept giving her puzzles to solve, and treating her solutions as oracles for the fate of her unborn offspring.

The most distinctive feature was an entity that looked like a cave painting of something a gaunt coyote, visible only to the dream's protagonist -- and not entirely visible, at that. It seemed more a fleeting shadow of an entity that whispered in the protagonist's ear, giving different interpretations to those oracles, or dismissing them entirely. Despite its sinister appearance and bearing, there was a suggestion that it was actually more benign and well-disposed toward the protagonist than the tangible and superficially-benevolent people caring for her.

It called itself "Nine-Moons-Winter"; the dream's protagonist thought of it as "the Winterthin Thing". Either name was an obvious reference to its gaunt appearance: as gaunt as something that had survived a winter that lasted nine moons.

The Winterthin Thing was more visible than the "real", tangible creatures, as if I were observing the action from the Dreamtime -- which I was, I suppose. There was definitely some Ursula Vernon influence here, visuals of cave paintings twining around and interacting with vaguely-seen but definitely "real" creatures, vivid black charcoals over soft gray pencils; the captions were even in the same font [livejournal.com profile] ursulav uses for Digger.

(Yes, there were captions. The "format" of the dream was somewhere between a comic and a movie. And yes, I can often read very clearly in dreams, contrary to popular lore that says you can't.)

It was a very vivid dream, one that stayed with me on awakening and fairly well demanded that I record it here.

... did something just introduce itself?

athelind: (Default)
Two days before the con, I have the sniffles, and it's clear that this isn't just an allergy attack.

Bed rest. Fluids. OTC medicine. I should be okay by the weekend.


athelind: (Default)
Two days before the con, I have the sniffles, and it's clear that this isn't just an allergy attack.

Bed rest. Fluids. OTC medicine. I should be okay by the weekend.


athelind: (big ideas)

You know, I used to think that it was awful that life was so unfair.
Then, I thought:


Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair,
and all the terrible things that happen to us come
because we actually deserve them?"


So, now, I take great comfort in the hostility and unfairness of the universe.



-- "Marcus Cole",
in J. Michael Straczynski's
Babylon 5

athelind: (Default)

You know, I used to think that it was awful that life was so unfair.
Then, I thought:


Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair,
and all the terrible things that happen to us come
because we actually deserve them?"


So, now, I take great comfort in the hostility and unfairness of the universe.



-- "Marcus Cole",
in J. Michael Straczynski's
Babylon 5

athelind: (coyote laughs)

Yet Another Power Failure Knocks Out The Large Hadron Collider!



This makes me a little nervous; I'd joked earlier that the last few LHC glitches coincided with the escalating assaults on my late, lamented Grape.

I have a NEW car now, dagnabbit!


athelind: (Default)

Yet Another Power Failure Knocks Out The Large Hadron Collider!



This makes me a little nervous; I'd joked earlier that the last few LHC glitches coincided with the escalating assaults on my late, lamented Grape.

I have a NEW car now, dagnabbit!


November 2016

S M T W T F S
  12345
6 78 9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Tags

Page generated Apr. 26th, 2017 05:57 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios