Woke up this morning and found that we had a distinct lack of hot water. Went down cellar to check on it and found a flood.
Landlord was called , Murphy had fun, and we should have a new water heater in a day or two.
Woke up this morning and found that we had a distinct lack of hot water. Went down cellar to check on it and found a flood.
Landlord was called , Murphy had fun, and we should have a new water heater in a day or two.
What’s the appropriate gift for a 13th? Luck, perhaps? It’s been a big 13 years for my oldest nephew and his wife. Congratulations!
Continued from and explained in Link Dump 1.
Eggless batter for deep fried shrimp (works nicely for chicken, came out just like Chinese chicken fingers but that Henry can eat, moved from this to lighter tempura style)
Efficient markets after the financial crisis
Controversial propositions (some good ones! including Bobby Orr)
The shocking ages of rock stars
Ethiopian Injera recipe and another and another and a detailed post about making it
Nerd, Dork and Geek explained in Venn Diagram
The parable of the satellite dish
What if the jobs are never coming back?
Shy and introverted process the world differently
Quasars don’t show time dilation – what’s up with that?
Fighting allergies by mimicking parasitic worms
Truth in accounting (Madoff vs Social Security)
Massive tax change hidden in healthcare law
11 Music superstars who are technically one hit wonders
Most people carry neanderthal genes (big surprise!)
Creating a more private Facebook alternative
Caring for woulds when medical system has collapsed
I have spents months and months accumulating bookmarks under a “blog this” folder, meaning to post the links and most likely some amount of text on some blog or another. Probably not this one, but for this purpose it’s handy and, hey, content here can’t hurt. Plus I can yet write something about these elsewhere, as opposed to links only. I was going to do a single post, but I suspect I have so many that it ought to be divided.
Presented with minimal description and no extraneous comment, then, here are the first of those accumulated links, oldest to newest.
Women and verbal violence against men
Loophole in registration of paid tax preparers (which is a huge change and one I object to, as a former paid preparer.)
Autism: Life Among the ‘Yakkity Yaks’
The next three are connected to each other and make more sense that way. We love this book.
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree (video reading of book)
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree (Amazon)
Regular painkiller use and hearing loss
Did discovery of cooking make us human?
“I need eight hours to get maybe 20 minutes of work done.” Not a quote from me, but could be…
Roots (excellent, on complex numbers)
Due to genetics compounded by parenting errors and circumstance, all three kids require a mouth full of dentistry under general anesthesia to fix their teeth, relieve pain mainly in Valerie’s case, and set them up to get through to their adult teeth and do better with those. They’ve gotten better about brushing. We’ve all but eliminated drinking things with sugar, and thrown away the sippy cups. Oddly enough, the youngest was the one most comfortable using a regular cup, and most willingly ready for the change.
Valerie has massive cavities in rear molars, and has had a course of antibiotics on suspicion of infection.
She has a long history of flipping moods like a switch, dropping into full blown irrational tantrum mode for no apparent reason. That includes asking for random this or that, then vehemently not wanting the same thing she asked for. I’d wondered if she had sugar crashes and maybe had a food-related issue that way. A snack could help, after all, if she calmed enough to eat it. I’d wondered if it was a psychological thing. It was a matter of time – not much time – before I’d have asked the doctor.
Her back teeth are especially rotted.
She tends to get a strained sounding voice, almost hoarse. Noticed but didn’t give it much thought. Sore throat, maybe. Not a tendency to cough, though, or to spit up.
While she was on antibiotics, helped by her being able to distinguish and communicate more clearly what hurts, it became clear she had a major gas and heartburn problem, probably reflux. Turns out the sudden tantrum thing is a symptom. She’s missing some of the possible symptoms, but once suspected, I could see that it would come on like clockwork a while after meals, varying with what the meal was. She seems to get heartburn from some of the same things I do, so I can predict it more easily, or get it at the same time she does.
I need to find out what to do for her other than mere gas drops, which help but not always as much as I’d like. It can be almost like an off switch, though. She’ll be hysterical, let out a belch, then be fine. The whole thing got more pronounced and obvious on the antibiotics – that is, she had obvious gas, so there was no way to miss it.
She still confuses and conflates the two. I am sure she has tooth pain, plenty of it, but it appears that most of her “my mouth hurts” pain and tantrums are on account of gas and acid. I feel for her, because I know just how awful it can be when that hits. I give her a lot of latitude in choice of treatment. She’ll ask for gas drops if that is the problem from her perception. She’ll ask for ibuprofen if it’s the teeth, or if gas drops didn’t work yet and she’s frantic, which is the tough part.
Thus I’ll be glad when she gets the teeth fixed and the immediate aftermath pain of that is done. Then if she hurts the same way, it’s not teeth. Hers are scheduled first, on January 11. Sadie goes on the 14th, and Henry on the 18th. Three back to back trips into Boston in the car I am not sure will pass inspection it’s due to have before the end of December, for which I don’t have the money. Fun.
Worse than the confusion between things causing pain or discomfort, she uses “my mouth hurts” like an attention getting cudgel. That is challenging to distinguish from the real thing. Sometime, anyway. Other times it’s obvious, though not sure I could explain how.
Anyway, how weird is it to get a real post here? Time to get a shower, throw in still more laundry, maybe call the doctor about what to give her for the above, get the kids dressed, go pay my car insurance, get gas, and probably go to my mother’s to get the camera I left there and some pea soup they have for me. Maybe leave kids there and get my hair cut, but don’t think there’ll be time. It’s long overdue, though, and that would save a trip. We’ll see.
This is a test post, following some troubleshooting of broken post and category permalinks. Turned out to be transient, I hope, since i have no idea when the problem started.
As mentioned previously, we were unable to afford to send cards to what had become a list of about 140 people, including some who will see this. I didn’t finish an online card until yesterday, and didn’t yet get through the whole list of those who’d get a traditional one whose e-mail addresses I have. The cool thing is that I can be expansive, including people whose physical mailing addresses I lack. With this blog post, for instance, or Twitter, or a post to a mailing list I run.
Anyway, I have to go work on the turkey, but thought I’d post the link to the card, featuring pictures of the kids and art by me and Sadie. Enjoy!
The downstairs neighbors are morons. They insist on the end spot so they can get out easily when it snows, then leave almost a full car length between them and end of driveway, making it hard for us to park in the next spot in, which we had to go in and out of twice for jobs before they ever budged. At least their newly moved-back-in son helped shovel, though me and the gal upstairs did most of it, including clearing their primo spot they abandon when it snows.
Saturday shift was surreal. Normally it’s been 3 AM to sometime after 7 but before 8, during peak the past week. Knowing trucks wouldn’t make it, they planned 4 AM instead, and when we all got there, nothing had shown. Two were due in maybe an hour, and two more after a further delay, so it looked like it’d be a late shift, but then the others ran so late we had only two trailers. As opposed to eleven the past couple of days. For the first hour we had a safety meeting to occupy the time, in keeping with the place being the most injury plagued facility in the company for no apparent reason. It’s new, but past the breaking in stage, and was designed to be very safe. For me most of the issue has been how the trailers are loaded, but that can’t be unique to the ones routed our way. Sitting down for that killed my momentum most of the way. I get little sleep and only keep going much of the time because I’m going. About a third into the one trailer I co-unloaded, I just crashed, feeling sick, almost like I was going to collapse, weak from all the shoveling effort the night before, and vaguely like I was ravenously hungry. I managed to shake it off enough, and it helped to take off my sweatshirt and work in a T-shirt when it was borderline for that, but I was damn glad when they announced there would be no other trailers. With so many people swarming the work, there was no additional stuff for me to help with, so I was out early.
Ironically, at the meeting they emphasized lack of sleep as perhaps the biggest cause of injuries at that facility. Felt very guilty. The thing is, for the amount of time involved, up to a point it’s possible to overcome and maintain your attention to surroundings and all. Which will make Monday interesting.
Normally there is no Monday morning shift. There has been a short one for a couple weeks, staffed by a few people. Due to the snow, they planned a mandatory Monday shift starting at 1:30 AM. Due to the trucks we didn’t get today, now it’s midnight. Or 12:01, as the manager pedantically put it, to delineate clearly it’s Monday. So that’s going to be massive. Basically a double, 7-8 hours long. Ouch. Immediately following a second significant snow (and ice?) storm and all that implies. Ouch ouch.
The good thing is that makes up for what would have been a three day week. I can look forward to no work on Christmas, unlike Thanksgiving, and no work the next day, same as Thanksgiving. There will be the huge day, the two last ditch days, two days off, one day on, then the normal two days off. Which only feels like one day, due to when the shifts fall and the sleep catch up factor. Then the peak season ends a week later, during which it presumably tapers off dramatically.
I could do without all this snow.
Deb got a trial by fire, having to drive in it. Which at least is much improved by weight in the back of the truck. We do need to get the Buick back into reliable service, as it should be a good snow commute car. It needs a battery badly. I don’t want to spend $70 I can’t afford on a battery until after I know it will pass inspection without any serious issues. That is, if it needs a couple tires to pass, as expected, a battery will be worthwhile. If it’s going to be beyond fixing any time soon to pass inspection, which I have no reason to expect but this is my life, no sense buying a battery.
Sadie just came along and if I had more, or was leading to any further point, I can’t remember. Plus it is time to work on the kitchen and think about supper and, speaking of exhaustion, have more coffee. I am so glad this is a full night of sleep tonight, in theory. Last night I got about 2.5 hours. Since coming home this morning I’ve gotten maybe an hour equivalent of micronapping or simply resting. Tomorrow night, before the megashift, I don’t expect any. The best I could possibly expect would be 2 hours. Mmmm… coffee.
The job I have totally not blogged about as intended is planning to keep me beyond seasonal. I am “reliable and a hard worker.”
I’d been wanting to post about how cool it is, in terms of logistics, handling and managing physical stuff, being no-nonsense and well run, and reminding me of a computer program written in physical form rather than in software. It is, after all, a sorting and routing routine. Then there’s the physical fitness aspect, and the fact I’m so capable to handling it, offset by the downsides of how easy it is to be injured and how grueling it is. In the “here’s an entire day or two of exertion to do in 3 – 5 hours” sort of way.
More significantly, I’d been mentally composing a post about my psychology and aspects of my employment history it resonates with, and it being a mental as well as physical reset. I’m not the fastest at unloading trailers and slinging 1000 – 2000 or so packages a shift, but I’m up there, without losing quality in the process. My boss at my last job like this would probably not have been satisfied I was fast enough!
Anyway, in a cosmic sense it’s not enough, but in an ohshitwhatarewedoinginjanuary sense it’s fantastic news. If it’s less intense and we finally get used to it and manage bedtimes and such better and get the cars fully reliable and do some strategic child offloading, many things could be possible. It can hardly help but be a better year, but still, why not shoot for a good one.
Speaking of Valerie’s hair, we trimmed it for the first time the other day. No pics yet, but it came out fantastic. And speaking of pics, I still need to create an online card from. well, less to work with than I’d like. On the plus side, it’s not limited to the size that will look good and fit on a printed version. And speaking of limited funds, I need to get a job that doesn’t result in a new bruise – mystery or otherwise – or other injury each day, and that doesn’t pack a full day or two of physical effort into 4 hours.
I have a list of about 140 or so people to send our now traditional Christmas cards to this year, including the addition of a lot of people who generously helped us out, by way of thanks.
We ordinarily get picture cards printed, featuring the kids, which is a challenge. I mean, three of them, together, looking at the camera, perhaps smiling at the same time? It’s not pretty. I don’t really have one I’m happy with yet, though one is close, except for being too dark without adjusting it.
Well, that’s almost $60 in postage and almost $50 in printed cards. I expect that to be enough to cover stuff needed for the Buick. Or it covers the preliminary look see at the truck, which will then tell us what we have to raise to get the check engine light off and the poor thing sounding better.
This will be the year without a picture card, or not many of them. and without a snailmailed card, or not many of them. There are some pretty decent cards we have left from years past, of the traditional variety. But then, it’s getting late even to send them. I keep forgetting Christmas is here already. Ten days? That’s nothing.
Look for no card in the mail, most of you who might normally get one, and instead I will attempt to post the card/picture we would have used in a special location I will disclose to those on the card list I can e-mail or give the info in a traditional card. Stay tuned, if that’s you.
I’ve been thinking that the only way I am going to post anything is if I post short snippets of news, commentary or announcement, without it being elaborated or in omnibus form as might be my wont. This is one of them. It’s an announcement.
On Christmas we are staying home. We are not going anywhere for dinner or presents. The kids take forever opening stuff and being avid about it all day anyway, but Deb works the days before and after, crappy hours, at the crescendo of the season. Just no. I have two days off then, unlike Thanksgiving when I had to work the morning of but had the next off, but again with the crescendo of the season.
We will not be entertaining visitors that day.
I might be persuaded to bring [lengthy pause here – this is why posts don’t get written, beyond the after effects of the threatening situation several months ago] [I have no idea what I was saying…] [ah, think I’ve got it…] the kids to one “Christmas” outside the house. [And here I pause again, thanks Valerie…] Once.
Last year there were four Christmases. No. We’re at one and counting. The special family dinner in a function room is not going to be an excuse for five of them. Don’t drop by. Don’t “forget” presents when we’re there so there’s an excuse to visit on a subsequent day. And for goodness sake don’t barge in on Deb’s next day off after Christmas and completely relax what little unwinding might be possible in among the vast amount of stuff to do that you will be completely devastating. Just like any other Monday you might waltz in and make yourself at home for a couple hours, only more so.
Short? Well, it was supposed to be.
I really must find time. Need to do a Henry update, though that can be summed up mainly by noting he seems to have grown significantly out of some of the more peripheral sensitivity, like to azo dyes and salicylates. At the same time, sometimes he breaks out mysteriously and in sufficient isolation that there could be a problem with, say, a specific spice, like nutmeg or such. Related to that, I should really do some food blogging.
Then there is the work thing. While some may sneer at a part time grunt job that supplements our income without totally rescuing us, while keeping us from having child care issues and leaving the potential for me to make additional on the side or build toward future returns, it’s helping, even as it’s disruptive and taking getting used to schedule-wise. The brutal grunt work? Not a problem. Even less so than I’d expected, and apparently they’re happy with me. The sleep deficit is a bit much though. Due to circumstances, I only just got boots today. That ought to save my sneakers from further trauma and help my feet.
Anyway, gotta go. Punctuated by my other computer having shut itself off. Again. This time without the browser running. It acts like it could be hardware, or as likely could be a software thing that seems to happen under the right circumstances, centered on what and how many web pages are open in Firefox.
If there’s one thing I can do with vigor it’s bleed.
There was one final truck, half full. I went on that with another guy, to blow through it and be done. Turned out it had completely trashed rollers. Not even sucky ones.
We ended up with a swarm of as many as five of us on it, initially brigading past the rollers while someone did a quick repair. It was a rush.
After a while, I notice blood starting to flow between my right pinkie and ring fingers, starting to get on my palm. Looking, there’s fresh blood centered on the middle of the back of my hand, flowing that way to where I finally noticed it. I tend to get cuts and scraps and bruises without ever noticing, and this job is rife with them. Surprisingly common working on computer hardware, too – metal parts and all. My guess is I scraped it on the metal ribbing in the truck.
I washed it off and put on a bandage. It’s a small nick just before the first knuckle at the base of my middle finger. Waaay too small for so much blood, but that’s me. I bleed like crazy. Well, same thing with sweating. I sweat so profusely under exertion, people worry about me.
[Much later, because I have kids and stuff…]
Was I even planning to say anything else?
When I got back to the truck, it was almost empty. I helped with a few more boxes and then left for the day, forgetting to ask about paychecks (despite checking in with the manager), which I thought were in for us to get on Friday mornings, but perhaps it’s actually Saturday. By the time I got to the parking lot, the bandage was blood-soaked. From that tiny little nick! Took all day for it to crust over enough not to want to ooze some blood.
Anyway, there’s the post I tried to write for filler earlier today, longer than expected. Hopefully I can avoid too many injuries. Last night was the “pace yourself and don’t fill the conveyer too much for the people further down to sort” management message. The night before was the “go fast, here’s the impossible spec you all should manage and there’s a prize for the first person to do so but it’s realistic, really” management message. Previously it had been the “be careful not to damage anything or send up anything already damaged, take the extra time to be careful and to put aside QA stuff” management message. At least, on balance, they do seem more interested in safety, mindful efficiency and quality than in raw speed at any price.
And not “it’s better to burn out than fade away.”
Trouble is, the crazy schedule has created a mess and has thus far eluded my need to rule it. That has to change, and assuming I survive the part time job and adapt the rest of the way soon, which is mainly a matter of sleep and my old injury from Renovator’s Supply flaring only temporarily (since it does reduce the problem to build the arm muscle, and if there’s one thing I’m doing it’s moving muscle), it should.
One victim has been my time and energy to post, even though I have more I want to as a side-effect. Annoying.
I want to talk about the week working in Marion and how that impacted Halliday, Renovator’s Supply and how that impacted this job (and everything in between), how and why this is a reset, and so forth.
I’ve been getting up at 2 AM or so, following between 2 and perhaps as much as 5 hours sleep. When I get home, if I am not too wired, I might get an hour or so real sleep. Most days so far I am a zombie, and walk around varying degrees of sore. Sometimes I have gotten more sleep, or more meaningful napping, but usually any sleep I get during the day is a few minutes at a time, sometimes not even intentionally.
The work so far mostly consists of unloading packages off trailers, sometimes helping to route oddball items. I ruled the first few days, apparently managing almost full speed. Or as close as people get, because nobody actually manages the spec. I’ve slipped this week. Spec would mean 50 minutes for an entire trailer, with actual normal being closer to 90. I’ve gone 120 or so at least once. The first day after the weekend I could barely move and took most of the shift to loosen up. I’ve had trouble staying hydrated enough. My weight has fluctuated in a 15 lb range the past 10 days. I’ve already built a lot of muscle, which would explain any non-water weight gain.
Kids are screaming and stuff, and I need to check the stove and work on food prep and stuff some more. No birthdays tomorrow either, but perhaps I can post a picture or few. There are a bunch.
So I had my first orientation/training session last night. This is the wee hours, seasonal job in a distribution center, sorting and loading packages onto delivery trucks. Had to be there at 1:00. Skipped Chuck and Heroes in an effort to get some sleep. Got maybe 2 hours. Valerie helped.
Watching videos, standing in on the pre-shift meeting, and paperwork kept me there until a bit after 4:00. Came home. Tried to get more sleep. Valerie helped. Ultimately ended up sleeping until after 11:00. Valerie slept almost as late as I did, having missed the chance to go on errands with Deb and the other two kids.
Tonight I have to be there at 3:20 AM, slightly early for photo ID picture to be taken. It’s another night of orientation, so I’m not officially on the dock until the next night.
At which point I am supposed to have solid leather shoes, as opposed to my usual sneakers, however shoe-like they may appear in spiffy black. Doh! These things cost money, ya know.
I find myself saying “what ever happened to my steel toed boots?” From 1991. “Would they still fit? Were they wearable? Bet they’re either buried good or got tossed long since.” Then I find myself saying “what about the boots I got for Christmas several years ago? Were they basically standard boots that worked for snow by being more or less waterproof? Or were they obviously designed mainly for snow? Bet those are around and if they fit at all could last me a night or two…”
Always something. Looks like they are reasonable at Wal-Mart. I still only have $30, which was going toward the $29 for car inspection this week (getting a rejection for possibly needing two 14″ tires gives time for cash flow to allow tires to happen). I have $135 in transit from a workorder I did last week, which might appear in my account tomorrow. Or as late as Friday.
Anyway, so far so good, but getting sleep will be interesting.
Amazingly, my combo boots are in a logical place, in the closet near the door, where I can find them in winter. The good thing is that they are designed to be easy to wear all day if you have to put them on to deal with snow, and they are steel-toed. The bad thing is that the lower part is rubberized, more flexible than a sneaker in places, and they look obviously intended for weather, and have a felt liner that can’t be removed without making the boot dysfunctional. If I had to I could sneak by a shift or two on them and they”d be better than sneakers, but not ideal, and probably too warm for this time of year,
So yeah. Gotta buy boots. Darn.
Sorry for the absence of any posting this morning. I’m off to do a scrap of work today, leaving kids with family on the way. Then shopping with them after.
I’ve spent much of the night not asleep, and ended up perusing some old material here and there. I wondered whether I would get different results on some of the quiz thingies. Here are some of them. In the first case, how the results are presented changed, no more secondary element included.
Your Dominant Thinking Style: Visioning
You are very insightful and tend to make decisions based on your insights.
You focus on how things should be – even if you haven’t worked out the details.
An idealist, thinking of the future helps you guide your path.
You Are a Hunter Soul
You are driven and ambitious – totally self motivated to succeed
Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts … and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.
An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul
The text of that result:
“You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you.”
Entirely unrelated to quizzes, this post strikes me as a demarcation where things really went to hell with the old client. That month was an insane volume of work – afraid to do the invoice levels – in no small part because one file version in Windows was off, and vendor support was less than stellar. It was the beginning of the “must upgrade for real” sequence, flowing right into a second large month in which a lesser server died and required I move files and shares still living on it. A Pentium 200, that was, in 2006. Having already run up over $18,000 in time for March and April, I was skittish about spending too much time in too short a period to set up the new servers I finally got them to order later that year.
I’d forgotten it was May 2006 when I did my AS/400 magic. I thought that was before the Juris mess. But I digress.
Maybe I’ll get sleepy eventually.
In an effort to orient myself this feeling crappy, slept poorly, sick kid kind of already awfully late, rainy, possible impending hurricane morning, a list of stuff I need to do, even a few of which happening in one day would feel crazy productive, with limited explanation since it’s mainly for my benefit. And not necessarily including all the obvious “get a job” related stuff.
Write an e-mail about a business proposition.
Test a few additional elements of my niece’s computer.
Put said computer aside to get kitchen table back.
Put temp power supply from that back in computer it was borrowed from.
Move said computer off of kitchen table.
Swap sound card in Sadie’s replacement computer. (Ah, but the drivers…)
Try adding RAM to Sadie’s replacement computer. (Shame it doesn’t even see it…)
Deploy Sadie’s replacement computer.
Put away the carcasses of Sadie’s and Valerie’s dead/dying computers.
Write list of over the hill spices needing replacement.
Toss dead spices.
Clean shelves & walls of empty cabinet.
Clear counter of stuff waiting to go back into said cabinet.
Empty and clean two other cabinets.
Check and purge remaining stuff in those as needed.
Pack at-risk foods in zipper bags.
Put stuff back in the other cleaned cabinets (finishing the important set).
Dishes. Always dishes.
Freeze chicken bought last night.
Chip at the bookcase shelf project (clearing some upper shelves, storing some books & stuff, so things we are selling or need safe can have room out of reach and be more organized).
Followup yet more on my domain transfer.
Followup on my Arisia membership transfer and question of converting babysitting memberships to adult to sell more easily.
Then there’s the site work, posting, job hunting related profile updates, and so forth. All of which always depends on what the kids are doing or who is sleeping and where. Before I do anything, it’s getting toward time for a meal for them. Or a solid snack, anyway. Before they get cranky. Except Valerie, for whom it’s too late, though I think the ibuprofen has kicked in now.
Where does the day go?
No birthdays today.
Been turning the house upside-down looking for two lost cups. The kids are efficient that way.
Been cleaning cabinets and purging what’s expired and making sure we have no more bugs, after finding them in a couple things recently. Luckily some of the expired spices or spice mixes are things I don’t need or want to replace. It’s hard not to divert into things like “hey, the top of the range hood is gross, I’ll clean it… oops, cleaning it thoroughly removes the paint.”
I have bits of stuff like that to finish or stabilize, but this is also a day off for day and a “try getting work” and activities associated with same day for me, more than normal, with the kids being gone a while during the day.
Heroes was interesting last night. Not certain I love where they went with it, sort of like the fixation with time travel and consequences of same on Enterprise, but cooler.
Need to dismount the air conditioner today. I hadn’t done it yet, and it proved handy for the fan when it was warm again, but if it weren’t there I could simply have opened the window.
Trying and failing to remember other laundry list stuff I might mention here. Oh well. Back to the cup hunt! Which is related to filling the dishwasher the last few percent and running it.