Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Oops! I forgot that last year we put up signs pointing people upstairs. We only got eleven trick-or-treaters, seven of them could be said not to count, and another two of them could even be said not to because I told them to be sure they came here (and they did last year), though that didn’t work for the other house next door.
I took Sadie and Valerie pretty early, using the first floor as a trial run. It confused them that we were going to that door, and then Sadie was scared enough about going to strange doors, without the lady wearing a monster mask. I’d forgotten she does that. The kids thought we were done and had to be coaxed outside. We went to the house to the left of ours, where two little girls live. Between that and the decorations they had up, I pegged them for a good place. I told the girls there to be sure to come on up as we had tons of candy to give out. They did, eventually. I heard a lot of people go to our downstairs neighbor and not come up, even though she said she’d tell them to. Even her grandson didn’t come up, and we saw him to tell him to on his way in to see her.
Anyway, the first house went well. Then we walked back to the house to the right, where there are kids aged 12 and 5, and they decorated to the hilt. Oddly, they never had an outside light on as far as I could tell. It was light when we went. The 12 year old was handing out candy and not costumed. The 5 year old was dressed as a ninja, looking similar to Sadie, all in black. I told them make sure they came up to the 2nd floor next door, but we never saw them.
That was all I planned to go to with them, and Sadie stopped me from having any second thoughts. As soon as she got the loot there, she beelined without me across their lawn and driveway and our driveway, heading home and leaving me and Valerie to follow. For all that, they did pretty well, not even counting the candy from grandma they got a few days ago and already finished, or the fact that Sadie took the liberty of seeding her bag with three mini Butterfingers from one of our big bowls by the door. So I seeded Valerie with a couple, too.
When we got back, Sadie proceeded to pig out on candy, refusing cheese while I made supper, and only eating half of her half of a burger, and a taste of corn, to claim her plate away from Valerie. Instead of nonstop candy, Valerie was eager for the real food. Then Valerie went to bed and almost right to sleep, while Sadie got a bit hyper and protested.
I can’t wait to see the pictures. They were soooo cute! We didn’t, but I thought it might be funny to get a group picture of all three of them, including Henry in the pumkin outfit, and use a Halloween picture for Christmas cards.
Next year should be interesting. The baby will still be young for going, but Valerie will be more of age for it and Sadie will be all excited. Presuably we’ll expand our range a little.
Jay: Just How Weird Am I?
My first result, and the one I get almost no matter how I tweak my answers, is Zombie. Note who Zombie relates to best. The second result below is the only alternate one I was able to get, changing a couple answers to reasonable alternates.
You Are a Zombie
You’re a pretty apathetic person, and you often feel like you’re sleep walking through life.
You don’t necessarily have a case of the “blues”, but you do have a case of the “blahs.”
It’s hard for you to snap out of your boring every day routine. You’re a bit burned out.
The only thing you crave is the company of others. But you’re not too nice to the people who do hang around you.
Your greatest power: Your lack of a normal conscience
Your greatest weakness: Your lack of most emotions
You play well with: Aliens
You Are an Alien
You’re so strange, people occasionally wonder if you’re from another world.
You don’t try to be different, but you see most things from a very unique, very offbeat perspective.
Brilliant to the point of genius, you definitely have some advanced intelligence going on.
No matter what circles you travel in, you always feel like a stranger. And it’s a feeling you’ve learned to like.
Your greatest power: Your superhuman brain
Your greatest weakness: Your lack of empathy - you just don’t get humans
You play well with: Zombies
Jay just left with the girls to go trick-or-treating.
That makes me, what...98 years old? (Too fast! Too fast!) So when they move out I’ll be 1105 or something?
Sadie’s a superhero and Valerie’s a pig.
There will be pictures.
The cuteness is almost unbearable.
Jay: Regarding Comcast Et Al
My nephew beat me to blogging about the Comcast misbehavior, which turned out to have greater implications than merely crippling BitTorrent. Sitting in my queue of links waiting to become posts I had perhaps the best explanation, Comcast Is Pretending to be You, from Susan Crawford. More recently I added a link regarding the Comcast lawsuits we can expect as a result of this.
See, here’s an example of how my posting goes sometimes. My original link gathering started when the Comcast scandal broke. The above part of this post was written a few days ago. Now, needing something to post this morning, I attempt to complete my thoughts as best I can recall them. Actually, I recall them without issue, since I have been saying the same basic thing since cable TV first came into vogue.
First, companies like Comcast should never have been granted town by town monopolies on their original and primary product. That was one of the most absurd, local tinpot circuses ever. (Pause to go help Sadie with a potty issue and get new coffee, during which I realized I could simply have posted about peanut butter and/or diapers.)
The thing about that is that the government set things up a certain way and bestowed certain advantages, and therefore gets to poke into how they conduct business from there. That shouldn’t be, but neither should any of the other regulation or granting of monopoly status in any line of business.
I haven’t been able to confirm it, looking online, but I’m told that in some local towns, including Halifax, the original cable provider (Campbell?) agreement precluded anyone but them from providing broadband. Now that the company operating under those terms is Comcast, you have a choice of Comcast or dialup. No DSL. No FiOS. Until and unless a pending FCC ruling comes into play and covers whole towns, not just apartments and associations. Again, I have been told this but not confirmed it.
If that is true, it’s especially wrong, and makes Comcast’s tampering with what should be unadulerated connectivity even worse.
I never quite decided what to think of net neutrality. To me, a connection is a connection is a connection, and if it’s impeded or tiered, maybe that’s not “the Internet” anymore. However, given the presence of plenty of competition and alternatives that are easy to switch between, finding and switching to an ISP that doesn’t tier or block, or doesn’t tier or block in a way that bothers you specifically, should be no problem. The revenue stream from charging for better connectiivity for some things might even help strengthen and encourage competition and robust infrastructure in a commoditized world.
Oh wait! I was hallucinating that there was a free and unfettered market in internet connectivity. Silly me.
Since there’s not, one can hardly be blamed for wanting to take government intrusion into the business - with an unusual government genesis, making it at least seem differently meddleworthy - to a new level and demand neutrality and - ahem - no blockage. Assuming such blockage, at least as implemented by Comcast, doesn’t already violate what it means to be “Internet” in an actionable sort of way.
My point, to cut to it since I need to get in the shower and get on the road so I can be back in time for it to be Halloween, is that the ideal arrangement is for there to be no control. We aren’t communists. Let a thousand ISPs bloom. If Comcast screws with you, then there should be nothing to stop you from going to one of the several other cable or DSL or fiber optic or T-1 providers in your area. Just as you should have as much freedom of choice in TV as the market will bear, and not just indirect competition between satellite, cable and, if you’re lucky, FiOS.
That should be the real goal. That should be the default we cry out for in times of craptastic trauma.
However, if we can’t have that, if we’re too deeply under the shadow of government favor and control, then it’s not unreasonable to expect utilitarian purity of the providers to be required and enforced. Since we are closer to this model as it stands, Comcast should never have dreamed of meddling with network packets to “shape” traffic.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Deb: Because I am amused at the result.
Your Superpower Should Be Invisibility
You are stealth, complex, and creative.
You never face problems head on. Instead, you rely on your craftiness to get your way.
A mystery to others, you thrive on being a little misunderstood.
You happily work behind the scenes… because there’s nothing better than a sneak attack!
Why you would be a good superhero: You’re so sly, no one would notice… not even your best friends
Your biggest problem as a superhero: Missing out on all of the glory that visible superheroes get
I promise not to kill any pleasant Irish criminals…
Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Electricity
You’re highly reactive, energetic, and super charged.
If the occasion calls for it, you can go from 0 to 60 in a split second.
But you don’t harness your energy unless you truly need to.
And because of this, people are often surprised by what you are capable of.
Why you would be a good superhero: You have the stamina to fight enemies for days
Your biggest problem as a superhero: As with your normal life, people would continue to underestimate you
Monday, October 29, 2007
Jay: How Aspie Are You?
Via neurotypical John Scalzi comes a new and different online aspie test. In covering aspects not seen in the more typical quiz that floats around blogs periodically, instead of my coming out one side or the other of borderline, I come out well and truly Aspie-looking.
As it says on the graphic below you may want to click on for the original sized version that’s more readable:
Your Aspie score: 161 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 54 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie
Here is that screenshot:
It has some fascinating questions, like how good are you at sneaking up on people or animals. I’ve been told many times I’d make a good burglar.
The funniest part was when I got to the rocking question I was, in fact, rocking forward and back in my concentration on the test. It’s not something I do constantly, but I catch myself at it sometimes. It struck me funny that one of them was then.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It’d be perfect for torture if you could package the pinprick itch sensations crawling all over (mainly) my torso and arms following a shower. You can’t fight it, because as soon as you scratch a spot or three it crops up in another spot or three, in varying intensities. It’s even worse than the times when I can’t sleep because of the crawling sensation of the blankets - or even clothing - touching me. Especially on my legs,in that case. Indeed, this seems to have been made worse by application of a shirt, rather than better as I had hoped.
It’s nothing new, but I have never had such a severe bout of it.
Jay: Young Fan
Henry sat in his swing, watching the latter part of the game last night, cooing happily at the TV.
This following his earlier stretch on the couch beside me, seemingly fascinated by it.
I have no idea what I, of all people, will do with a sports fan or athlete kid.
I woke up cleanly, at a reasonable time, to sun bright enough to mimic laterness. I’d been having a strange dream, featuring Mike Fernez as a vet, and a neurotic dog he and another guy dismissed as being fine. Last I knew, Mike was an electrician.
Before the dog part, though, I was in a two story house on a barren lot, looking like the beginnings of a slash and burn housing development. Mike’s sister, who seemed to be one and the same as my sister, offered to do a couple loads of laundry for me. She had started one and disappeared. To my surprise, Mike cam e along, annoyed that the washer was occupied. I checked the status of my first load, told him it wouldn’t be long, and pointed out how to use the machine.
That morphed into being on the second floor, something to do with a bedroom, and there being a ledge outside from which you could climb in the window. I did something on the ledge, and while I was getting down some other way, I pointed out I’d left the window open and Mike thought it was a good idea, as he’d have no problem getting in that way. I briefly wondered to myself if it was a good idea, since others could get in that way, but then I decided it was too high up and too unlikely in that area.
Then I was in a cellar waiting room, apparently in the same building, with a dog. The dog apparently had been Mary Coffee’s and then taken in by my father, or vice-versa, and I am not sure why I’d been charged with taking it to the vet. The dog was absolutely nuts, and was also a mottled mutt, medium in size and brown with a splotched back of many shades. A little like a darker Rufferto with a less pointy nose, with attributes that could be described as collie-like and cocker spaniel-like, but not confined to that.
The vets dismissed the idea that anything was wrong or could be done about the dog, but apparently were willing to check again if I transcribed the notes I had that were in a tiny spiral notebook. So I laid on the floor of the waiting area on my belly, writing a single line of text across one dollar bill, then continuing onto another. I think this was interrupted by my father and stepmother arriving to talk about the dog and being surprised nothing was really wrong. Somewhere in there the dream ended or segued. It must have been logical, because it didn’t feel wrong to wake up.
Trouble is, within two minutes of getting up, it felt like I should have gone on sleeping, and I am in that waking state that’s so close to a sleep state that closing my eyes can launch another dream and something like writing flows exceptionally as long as the state remains. It’s the “works best first thing in the morning” state. Which I can feel breaking up as I type.
I have to go do errands that require a lot of time and energy, so waking up early and thoroughly is far better than being zombie-like. It’s also an excellent day to have plent of leftovers. There’s exceptional chili from Friday night. From last night it’s chicken in gravy with dumplings, which is a TBA post itself, stuffing and lima beans. Just one serving of the beans, of which Valerie devoured two servings and for all I know some of Sadie’s as well.
Okay, off I go. Maybe one more quick post before I do.
Jay: Ah, Those Milestones
I mentioned that Valerie learned to get out of the crib herself two days ago. Yesterday morning she proved it not to be a fluke, grinning along after Sadie looking for parental company. The first day of that also coincided with her returning to seriousness in the potty department, which slipped again yesterday. Apparently she gets bored, or it’s just too powerful an urge to turn things into science experimental play. Or mere play. She may have started first, but Sadie essentially trained in a day and was done, while Valerie in that department is being a mere 20 months old. Valerie has also been suffering tooth pain from molars coming in. This is easy to forget or overlook, as she doesn’t respond to it in a recognizable way. Took us a while to catch one, but at least now she knows to ask for Tylenol when it’s bad enough.
She also learned to open doors. Sadie was more responsible at the point when she learned that skill. Ouch.
It was no doubt inevitable that last night would happen sooner or later, and it was sooner, because this is Valerie.
We put her in bed, already slightly late. She climbed out. Rinse. Repeat. Multiply by ten. Add in a -duh - dose of Tylenol. Add in Sadie going to bed too, so she’d go. Add in Sadie offering to let Valerie sleep with her and Dee Dee. Add in finally letting Valerie stay up a good extra hour and playing with her intensively and diverting her when she asked for what she’d normally want for breakfast.
Finally we tried again. Out she came. Was there too much light from the computer monitor being on in there? Nope. Out she came. By this time I had emptied the crib of the inevitable mass quantities of animals and dolls they put in it during the day, thinking it was too crowded. In the end, I wondered if the number or arrangement of the blankets was too much. I put her in and I hung two of the three over the side of the crib toward one end. As I left, she was grabbing one to wrap herself in, apparently happier that way.
So. Apparently getting out of the crib is the new fussing until we help her rearrange things or otherwise identify and fix a problem. At least, it is if she’s not asleep yet. Perhaps if she wakes on top of her covers, or unable to find her drink, she’ll still fuss.
And apparently we don’t need to get a second crib as planned. Perhaps a mattress for Henry for the existing crib, while Valerie keeps hers, be it in the existing toddler bed that’s a pain and Sadie disliked, in a new one, or on the floor. We also offered her an air mattress like Sadie uses. She wanders around a bed at least as much as Sadie, so that may be ideal.
We’ll see what happens tonight when it’s time for Valerie to go to bed. It could just be a bad night. I hope. The whole “you will go to bed” thing gets old fast.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Jay: Ketchup Blogging
Er… I mean catch up blogging.
I keep having stuff I urgently want to blog about, even getting posts partly written, then stuff happens or I feel guilty and I don’t, which then just leaves me frustrated that some of my best stuff, at least “best” as previewed from the alien world inside my head, never happens.
I’m going to try to push through some of it in the near future, today or otherwise, between work on the resume and such. Not like it’s that time-consuming in the scheme of things, anyway. My Comcast post shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Ditto my coworking post. I’ve not written about Heroes in something like three weeks. It shouldn’t take that long to write a not-yet-delayed post about The Next Great American Band, especially since I can’t remember precisely my comments on most of them made as we watched. Then there’s actual food blogging at the other place! I made baked macaroni and cheese from a defective recipe and have a bit to say about that, like it’s a damn good thing I lacked enough milk to double that part of the recipe, since the amounts given were correct for 16 ounces of macaroni, but the recipe said 8 ounces.
Jay: Red Ken
Turns out well known and liked, long time blogger Andrew Ian Dodge has a bit of colon cancer. The good news is there’s no sign elsewhere. Here’s hoping for a complete and uneventful elimination of and recovery from the scourge.
Jay: The Book
I don’t remember, but I might have mentioned finding my copy of the Ellis book when going through old computer-related stuff at the office. I’d been wondering where in the world it went. Here’s a closeup of the center of the cover, the family crest (or coat of arms, if that’s the preferred term) depicted inside up close, and the same thing in context.
As you can see in the third picture, the genealogical aspect is specific to the common ancestor who came from England to Canada and went big into building ships. You can also see the information doesn’t go past the early fifties. Still, it’s a great basis.
William Ellis, from whom the book flows, was my fourth great grandfather. If you’re also a descendent and stumble upon this, he and Hannah Penrose were my 4th greats, James Ellis and Marion McArthur were my 3rd greats, Harry Ellis and Clarinda (or Clara, on some pages of the book) Gorrill were my great-great grandparents, Richard Ellis and Florence Bryant were my great grandparents, and Marshall Ellis and Madeline Washburn were my grandparents.
The book approaches 400 pages and covers anyone who had been born through then, so my father and his siblings are all in it. Now imagine trying to expand upon it. From that four, in the sixth generation of that line only, fourteen that we know of were born to the seventh generation. Reducing down to me and my siblings only, where admittedly most of the reproduction happened, the eighth generation stands at fifteen. Five if you consider my older brother only. Five and counting in the ninth generation through him, and three if you count just the oldest, with a tenth generation still a ways down the road. Encompass all of each generation and it explodes. Let alone all the research and contacting people that would be required, easier though technology might make it. No wonder the updated version some of the relatives were itching to do has never happened.
Jay: Happy Birthday
Bejus Donnie of Cadillac Tight.