little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Too Early)
Everything falls apart when I go to the bathroom in the morning. Today when I came back, not only had Willow chewed up the trash, my master monitor had died. I was going to steal the arch-nemesis' monitor long enough to switch control over to the slave, but luck smiled on me. When I unhooked the master, control switched over automatically to the slave. I didn't know that would happen.

The slave monitor sucks a little bit, but it's better than being offline. Or trying to explain to the a-n why I need his monitor, but only for a minute.

Sister and I have been trying to figure out how to get together tomorrow, with her confined to her house and my boys working. She said she'd been told they weren't having dinner because they can't afford the food. Her husband's out of work again and his mother's being a non-contributing leech for the fifth straight year. (At least my soul sucking dickhead nemesis in-law pays rent.)

We don't have time to cook the meal, but I said we could bring pizza and hang out. That's the point of Thanksgiving, right? Hanging out with your family and being thankful for what you have, even if it's Figaro's instead of Butterball? She was good with that. MiL the Hutt was not.

Ensuing conversations in Yahoo chat have escalated the crazy. Now that we're coming over for an hour in the late afternoon, MiL has to climb up on the cross and produce a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. This is not a generous act on her part. This is her slaving over a hot stove all day for people she hates so she'll have something to punish my sister with until Christmas. Which is a whole other, but cruelly similar, drama.

The timing will fail, of course, because that's what she does. Always. We'll get there at five, after Russell's worked eight hours, spent an hour getting home, and driven another hour to Sister's, and the food won't be ready. She'll say it'll be another hour or two, and we'll end up leaving before dinner so Russ can get home and go to bed because he has to work on Friday, too. Hopefully McDonald's will be open.

But whether we get to eat at all is irrelevant compared to what she'll do to Sister if we leave before dinner, since she went to all that trouble for us in the first place. I wish I'd never brought it up at all, but Sister gets so unhappy when we miss holidays. There's just no way to save her.

Everyone blames the boys for working but that can't be helped either. They have to finish welding parts for the machine or the orders won't go out and the deal will fail, just like it did before. And our shop lease expressly forbids welding so it can't be done here. The machine has to be on the production line in two weeks and it's not going to be good for much without all these fiddly bits welded together in straight lines. Who knew the electronic designing and software writing were going to be the easy parts? Okay, that's not true. There were no easy parts.

I wish we could stay home and not bother the MiL from hell at all, but I haven't seen my sister since July. I don't want to wait another month.

At least my dentist appointment got canceled so I don't have to go outside. Their portable front door ramps got stolen. I actually have to find a new dentist now. One with a building I can get into. I love these people. They have an all female staff and the receptionist always remembers me. Now I get to go to whatever schmuck happens to not have stairs.

Everyone downtown has stairs. Even the physical therapists and chiropractors. All the good buildings are Historic and immune from current ADA standards. Historically, cripples stayed home. Some traditions just never die.

Oh good. The sky has gone completely black. I need a better look at that.
little_tristan: (Ranger)
The Back Story: Ranger wears a heavy purple nylon collar with a plastic/metal squeeze clasp. Willow, who is much smaller but way more determined to dominate, likes to grab said collar and try to drag Ray around with it. Sometimes she gets hold of the clasp and unfastens it (presumably by accident, but with a Border Collie you can never be completely sure). The result is someone searching the back yard (they wrestle all day but the collar only comes off outside), recovering it, and putting it back on.

What Happened This Time: Ranger came inside yesterday evening sans collar. Mark searched the yard twice with no success. Just now I was letting the dogs out and the collar was lying at the bottom of the ramp outside the sliding door, on the floor of the shop. Now, since he walked right by there 4 times yesterday, and I checked the shop itself twice, that means it wasn't there last night. One of the dogs must've picked it up in the yard earlier this morning and left it there when they came inside.

The Question: Do dogs think about their collars, and if they do, what do they think? Do they regard these colorful bits of nylon as theirs, something that belongs to, or is a part of, them? I could see that, since the collars smell strongly of the dogs that wear them. But at the same time, they come off. And they can be resisted. Still, dogs favor their own things, so Ranger could have brought it to the door because it's hers.

The other option is that the dogs see the collars as belonging to us. Something that we put on them for reasons of our own and that they respect because they (the collars) aren't particularly annoying. A cat will get annoyed and pull one off as a matter of principle, but I've never seen a dog do that. In this case, whichever dog returned it to the shop could be thought of as returning it to me.

I suspect the most likely answer is that they were playing with it, keep away or tug of war or something, and one of them just incidentally carried it as far as the ramp before getting bored. Or dropping it in the excitement of getting back in the house. But I'm curious if anyone else has thought about this at all.
little_tristan: (Emergency! Johnny Gage)
I wasn't feeling very well day before yesterday, sort of dizzy and sick, certain in the knowledge that I was lucky to already be in a wheelchair because if I had to stand up, I would faint. It went on for hours and got sort of scary, but then it went away during dinner. So we were sort of flipping a coin between dehydration and hypoglycemia, and yesterday I decided to experiment with it. (If you're seriously thinking of telling me that's what doctors are for, you must be new.)

As it happens we had all the stuff, so I spent the day drinking lots of water and doing random glucose tests. We got a pretty nice meter for Bruder when he had his little scare last year and I have plenty of unopened strips and stickers, so it wasn't a big deal. And random testing has given me a lot of information about how my blood sugar fluctuates during the day. I think a three or four day run will be very informative. And possibly help keep me from killing the arch-nemesis during the mid-afternoon lag. (A 71 could explain that, and why commit murder when I can just have a cookie?)

So here's the thing. I'm only using three fingers for all the sticks, because they're otherwise useless. The thinking is that since I can't make them type or pick things up anyway, they'll suffer less than the others would in the long run. So now the tips are all purple and blue and a weird sympathy pain is beginning to tingle in the corresponding fingers of my other hand. (My nerves are highly suggestible.) And that's got me thinking that I could totally lose weight if I was diabetic, because if I had to do this every day, after every meal, forever, I would think long and hard about every bite I took, and probably eventually decide it just wasn't worth it.

Although so long as it's a science experiment, it really is fascinating. Go figure.
little_tristan: (Home)
I'm kicking around the idea of hiring a housecleaning service. We let our last housekeeper go when we lost our company and had to start paying her ourselves, but even if we could afford it, she wasn't that great. But these professional services look really sweet, and now that the arch-nemesis has lived in complete filth for almost two years, he might chip in. But here's the deal: even he's willing to pay, and Herr doesn't freak out completely at the idea of people in the house, I still have a small problem. What if they laugh at us? I don't want to be that person the cleaners ridicule on their FaceBook or wherever. ("I've seen some bad houses, but you wouldn't believe what these people had stuck to their baseboard heaters." "They've lived there for 9 years and never put up curtains, or cleaned under their stove." "I've never heard of Riptide, but my God, they have a lot of pictures...")

So here's a poll. What would you do if you couldn't clean your own house and the pet hair was winning?

[Poll #1716163]
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Thinky)
...from countries other than the US have visited here? When you were here, did it seem terribly foreign, or did movies, books, tv, and your prior knowledge of English make it somewhat familiar? I have a friend in Egypt who's never been here and never wants to come, but has already determined which are the best and worst parts of the country and exactly how waiters in West Coast restaurants would address him. People are always saying that our culture is taking over the world. Did you find what you expected when you were here?
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
All weekend, Herr and Bruder have been worrying about going to work today. They were supposed to start working split shifts, with one of them running a morning crew, then an overlap from about noon to three, and the other running an afternoon/evening crew. They badly didn't want to do this for several reasons: a) it's a long commute and with both of them driving themselves, it would double our gas consumption without increasing pay; b) Bruder really shouldn't be driving in the dark, and in Oregon in February, almost everyone goes to and from work in the dark; c) they're so co-dependent (a term they actually agree with) that they only really work effectively together. Dividing them doesn't spread the productivity, it reduces it. So they've been pretty upset about the whole thing.

Turns out, though, that they should have been worried about something else. Yesterday they were given such a huge stack of work that takes two people, that only they can do, to keep both of them there all day. The crew will work two shifts, but the boys will have to be there for both. Why? Because they aren't allowed to have charge of any employees who are actually smart enough to learn to change the heads on the manufacturing machines, and they don't have any say in the production schedules, so they can't plan the best way to, you know, produce.

The ex-partner gets the orders and they go through at least three members of the office staff, none of whom actually understand or care about what they're writing down. And they don't get into trouble when they screw it up, the boys do. The numbers get transposed, letter codes get mixed up, truncated, or left off altogether, and when one of the boys catches a mistake (which is hard to do when they don't know what it's supposed to be), they get into trouble for contacting the ex-partner for clarification. They're not supposed to go directly to her, they're supposed to go to the office staff, who, when presented with two sheets of paper that are supposed to say the same thing and yet don't, aren't even capable of understanding why that's a problem. ("Oh, I wrote down 22 DPT here when she said 22 T. So?" "So, DPT and T are two radically different kinds of trays. The customer wanted DPT and we just made nine pallets of T." "So?") These are the conversations they have at least twice a month. The waste of time, soil, and paper that costs $800 a roll is tremendous.

Yesterday the boss, who is also an owner, showed up on the factory floor and lectured them about "not catching these red flags". For some reason, they're expected to know instinctively when they've been given a wrong order, and further, what it should be. But still without checking with anyone. The bosses have been ranting and harassing about stupid shit like this ever since the boys got there, and they've finally started getting angry and yelling back. It's very interesting. They probably won't quit, and I'm pretty sure they're too important to be fired, and that alone might be why the small, petty, partial-owner boss is being such a wanker. He put up money to buy in, but he doesn't seem to serve a purpose. I'm coming to think that he doesn't like people who have actual skills.
little_tristan: (Geek On)
Herr's been teaching himself to play with wires lately, buying bits of circuits and figuring out how to run motors from scratch. This is what he created over the weekend. (And yes, that main board is the pullout keyboard tray off my desk.:)
Pics after the cut )
little_tristan: (Writer Snail)
Just deleted 8,000 words. Now I need some new ones to take their place. Editing is fun. Here's some music that keeps my mind on it:



The Timory in the book is named for the same woman, but it's a pure coincidence that the male lead is Johnny, since I created the characters before I heard the song. Life is funny, no?
little_tristan: (Sam iz Confuzzled)
The fact that DVDs from tv series can't be purchased individually. I've been watching Supernatural all the way through in preparation for tomorrow's premier, and I just got screwed. I have no idea what happened, but the fourth disc of season one is suddenly so damaged it's unplayable. It won't even read on the computer, which is pretty extreme. It skips and sticks during Nightmare, and I can't watch The Benders (one of my favorites) or Shadows at all. So what am I supposed to do here, buy the entire season again? It's $20 for six discs (on Amazon), so why I can't I pay $3.50 for one? You'd think, given how easy illegal copying is, they'd be interested in giving us more options to avoid it.
little_tristan: (Simon's Cat)
From [livejournal.com profile] amine_eyes :)

You comment, and I'll tell you:

1. Something I'll learn about you by looking at your LJ page for 13 seconds.
2. Which color you remind me of.
3. My first memory of you.
4. What random character I associate with you.
5. Ask you something random.
6. My favorite thing about you.
7. What fandom I associate with you.
8. What's the last song I've listened to.
9. Challenge you to post this on your journal (only if you want to).
little_tristan: (Fatboy Come and Get It)
The other day Bruder picked up a Pansy Division CD that was lying on my desk, saw that there was a naked man on the back with an actual exposed wang, and freaked out all over. But it wasn't until I got another PD CD in the mail today, with another exposed wang, that the ponderousness occurred to me. There are naked women everywhere. I grew up essentially in a gas station, so nudie calendars, magnets (and I'm talking fabric magnets with way too much detail), and silhouette mud flaps were as common as Exxon tigers and Union 76 antenna balls. There are also naked women on a disproportionate number of album covers by male artists, and don't even get me started on the videos. Anyway, I don't need to convince you that the media is full of female nudity. If you're reading this, you live in this world so you already know it.

So why is it such a big deal when there's a naked guy pictured somewhere? I never see women covering their eyes, making puking noises, or running away screaming when they happen to glimpse a naked chick. Yet pretty much every straight man I've ever personally known does precisely that when threatened with even the thought of another guy's thingy.

Any insight into this topic, or are they all just a bunch of weirdos?
little_tristan: (Geek On)
I'm disappointed to have scored so low on the Geek Test. I think I deserved extra points for knowing all the lyrics to Mandelbrot Set, and for having received a personal email from Jonathan Coulton on the subject, but that wasn't on there. I did get a point for pet names, though. (Ranger's middle name is Ion.)
little_tristan: (cutter john)
Last night the internet was down for a good five hours. It was painful. The cable guy came out this morning and determined by scanning from his truck that we're all fucked up and our shit's all retarded. (Forgive me the Idiocracy reference, but it totally fits.) For those who haven't seen the movie and/or still understand English, that means nothing in the house was operating at capacity. He ran a new line from the street to the house and then came in to look at the interior retardation situation. After nearly an hour, he came back with the answer that we're running too many things off the central line. We have five TV cables and four internet connections, and apparently that's stressing the signal. While the cable guy admits that we're entitled to connect as much time suck as we want throughout the house, he isn't quite sure how to make that possible without frequent internet crashes, and possibly degrading the cable signal to the point where I can't watch Supernatural. (It's always the single digit channels that suffer.)

As a temporary measure, he disconnected one of the cable splitters so we no longer have TV in my bedroom or the guest room upstairs that no one uses. We figure that giving up the ten minutes of Two and a Half Men before bed is worth it to be constantly online. And the cable guy is going to talk to some people and get back to us with new ideas. We may end up buying a signal amp so we can have banality in EVERY ROOM. Because damn it, it's our right.
little_tristan: (Murray's Bad Day)
It was sunny for a while, but honestly, I can't remember most of the day. I think I talked to my cousin on the phone, but I'm not sure when.

Word on FaceBook is that another of my friends is dying. She's been in a medically induced coma for weeks, but whatever the doctors were hoping to achieve by it, it's apparently not working. If her family decides against life support, she won't last long at all.

My sister lost her new kitten last weekend, but I missed the news because I was off having fun and now I feel bad about that. Not that I could have done anything, but still. The poor little thing was crushed in a tragic recliner moving accident, and I can't even imagine how bad she must feel, having it happen right in her living room like that.

Probably time to lay off the wine and drink some water. And maybe go to bed. It's way, way past my bedtime.
little_tristan: (2 Horses)
Ripped from [livejournal.com profile] hardboiledbaby
25 Random things about me:

1. I only wear black, because it's easier.

2. I buy books that I haven't read because it makes me feel safe. Borrowed books inspire anxiety.

3. I haven't been able to walk in over ten years.

4. I like the way my fingers look when I type (although I wish they were thinner).

5. One of my hobbies is picking an actor and trying to track down everything they've ever done in movies or TV. (Hence all the recent Anton Yelchin posts.)

6. Everyone thinks we put up with the arch-nemesis for his money, but I'd give it all up if he'd just go away.

7. All of my real friends are online. The only people I actually hang out with offline are relatives.

8. I've sabotaged all of my attempts at therapy by denying the things I most needed to talk about.

9. I collect Hello Kitty purses.

10. And magnets.
Cut for more stuff... )
little_tristan: (cutter john)
From [livejournal.com profile] romankate:

If I were a month...
I'd be August.

If I were a day...
I'd be Friday. Get up early, stay up late.

If I were a time of day...
I'd be six a.m., when it's still early, but I've gotten something done.

If I were a season...
I'd be summer, hot and dry and prickly.

If I were a direction...
I'd be a concentric circle.

If I were a drink...
I'd be water, plain and cold.

If I were a musical instrument...
I'd be a drum set, loudly beaten.

If I were a fruit...
I'd be a lemon, naturally sour but capable of sweetness with a little help.

If I were a food...
I'd be mixed nuts.

If I were a celebrity...
I'd want to be me, but famous.

If I were a color ...
I'd be black, hiding in the shadows.

If I were a book...
I'd be The Bedlam Boys, because I already am.

If I were a song...
I'd be obscure and get very little radio play.

If I were a movie...
it would be in black and white.

If I were a flower...
I'd be a black and purple pansy.

If I were a facial expression...
I'd be all wide and fearful eyes, the rest covered up with hands.
little_tristan: (squee)
My one true [livejournal.com profile] catyah (T-37 days and counting) saved me from accidentally posting an unbeta'd story to 2 comms, so thank goodness someone is looking out for me. One of those comms is [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest, which is doing a prompt fest for, well, LGBT stories. It's my first time ever participating in something like that, and my first time even trying to pimp my fandom (Riptide, in case you're new), which I love too much to risk having rejected. But the response has been good. People outside the fandom have actually read it, in spite of having no idea who these people are. That alone would make for a happy day.
But wait--it gets better. )

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