Poetry: Robert Frost

The Arm­ful
For every par­cel I stoop down to seize
I lose some oth­er off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slip­ping, bot­tles, buns,
Extremes too hard to com­pre­hend at once.
Yet noth­ing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best.
To keep their build­ing bal­anced at my breast.
I crouch down to pre­vent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the mid­dle of them all.
I had to drop the arm­ful in the road
And try to stack them in a bet­ter load.

By Robert Frost

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Solved! One Mystery of Geek Dating Problems

XKCD Strip 306 Orphaned Projects - His date works for Red Hat, who hired a coach for her, too. He advised her to 'Rent lots of movies like Hitch. Guys love those.'

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Wake Up Cat

Ded­i­cat­ed to The Girl

Kioshi is not allowed in the room when I’m try­ing to sleep, because he either keeps me awake, or lets me get just into sleep, then goes on a tear knock­ing things off every sur­face in the room.

But the girl—let’s just say he might real­ly want that base­ball bat!

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Halloween Cat!




Cat Lit Up

Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by apple­stick­er

What’s your favorite Hal­loween mem­o­ry? (I’m refer­ring specif­i­cal­ly to Hal­loween, the sec­u­lar cel­e­bra­tion, not Samhain.)

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The EM Curse

I’m view­ing this entry on my ginor­mous 22″ mon­i­tor. My hero acquired it via freecy­cle, tot­ed it from the pre­vi­ous owner’s house to our car and into our house again. It has some insane­ly love­ly res­o­lu­tion and so on, and is so big that I can have the text size set to HUGE and still get lots of stuff on a screen (not that Win­dows does that text-size-chang­ing ele­gant­ly, but that’s anoth­er top­ic).

My video and sound cards are absolute­ly awe­some com­pared to what I was using in the lap­top! I can even go on Sec­ond Life with­out spend­ing all of my time wait­ing for every­thing to resolve!

This is thanks to Sam, who acquired and set up this com­put­er for me. Thank you, sweet­ie!

He was actu­al­ly doing this already, part­ly because he want­ed me to join him on SL more fre­quent­ly, but then it became a real neces­si­ty, because we’ve expe­ri­enced some sort of odd electro­mechan­i­cal curse recent­ly.

Those of you who read Sam’s jour­nal know that he lost all the infor­ma­tion on both hard dri­ves in his machine recent­ly. That meant all the back­up infor­ma­tion was gone. We didn’t ever find an expla­na­tion, but I think it was the hard dri­ve con­troller. In any case, we had to upgrade to SATA because that was more eco­nom­i­cal­ly fea­si­ble than try­ing to find EIDE dri­ves, and he hasn’t had more prob­lems since then.

What I can do from home/school/medical what­ev­ers has been fur­ther lim­it­ed now by the loss of my lap­top. It just died a few months ago. It had been going in lit­tle pieces—the PCMCIA slot didn’t want to work for NICs, then the SD card read­er became unre­li­able, then the eth­er­net port lost the lit­tle tab that keeps the cord plugged in, and final­ly the place where the pow­er cord plugs in to the case got weird and the cord just wouldn’t stay con­nect­ed well. I think all the pow­er prob­lems screwed with the oth­er parts at the end (yes, ter­ri­bly tech­ni­cal lan­guage there). The hard dri­ve was read­able, hap­pi­ly.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I’d just moved all my data else­where because I was about to rebuild the soft­ware on the lap­top, and the SAMBA server’s data dri­ve fell down and went boom. It’s sor­ta read­able in an exter­nal hard dri­ve enclo­sure if mount­ed with Ext2Fsd on a Win­dows machine. Of course, we can’t find the pow­er sup­ply for the exter­nal hard dri­ve enclo­sure, although it was right there with the enclo­sure just a few weeks ago. ::Sigh

When we try to put the dri­ve in the rebuilt Lin­ux machine, the machine (which is run­ning a very dif­fer­ent dis­tri­b­u­tion now) keeps want­i­ng to imme­di­ate­ly do some­thing to the boot sec­tions of the dri­ve, and I’m afraid that’ll make it total­ly unread­able. Yes, I said, “do some­thing” because Sam tried that part, not me. I’d rather not give details than be wrong.

I don’t know what the serv­er used to run. I used Red Hat. When Sam took it over, he tried sev­er­al dif­fer­ent things and I can’t recall what he set­tled on (to end users, it hard­ly mat­ters, which is how it should be). The rebuilt machine runs Ubun­tu.

Yes, we do use UPSs. No, there was no mal­ware involved. All phys­i­cal fail­ures. (Most of) the equip­ment was old. So we’re down a few machines and a lot of dri­ves.

Oh! The microwave! It went out dra­mat­i­cal­ly, with a big sound and flames and all! I’m glad I missed it. Hear­ing about it was all too excit­ing.

Then the toast­er decid­ed that it may or may not pop up its con­tents, and it might or might not have toast­ed them in the mean­time. It’s a Schrödinger’s toast­er, appar­ent­ly.

Oh, then there were the cell phones. Mine, then Katie’s. Just stopped work­ing one day. Okay, dif­fer­ent days, but you get the pic­ture. Both have been replaced now, but she and I were shar­ing one there for a bit, which Was Not Fun.

Katie has an inter­est­ing new art project, the Dis­cor­dian PDA. She’s going to get advice from her (won­der­ful) art teacher as to what kind of paint would work well on a Palm. That’s a good way to use one that won’t keep it’s time or date reli­ably any more. Or charge. It’s pret­ty much a paper­weight, so it might as well be love­ly to look at it. Not ter­ri­bly use­ful for keep­ing cal­en­dars, con­tacts, and so on, and our phones don’t sync with the rest of the world so well (ah, to have Tre­os!), so we’re down a PDA.

My car­pet steam­er still just won’t coop­er­ate (I think the ex screwed it up when she was “fix­ing it” with­out hav­ing ever seen one before), so I’m almost ready to toss it. I can hope to acquire one via freecy­cle, or wait ‘til they go on sale, but repair of such things is sel­dom worth­while unless the shop can imme­di­ate­ly say, “Oh, that’s the (com­mon thing) and it’ll be (amount). I can have it done in two hours.”

I know there was some­thing else, or sev­er­al of them, that died dur­ing this time, too. A/V relat­ed, I think.

Any­body wan­na come remove a curse?

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Rumbles from the Recliner

Not from the grave, oh no, not yet!

It’s been too long to do a real “this is all that has hap­pened in my life.” Writ­ing it would exhaust me, and read­ing it would like­ly bore you. If you want to know about some­thing in par­tic­u­lar, please ask.

I’ll be post­ing a few things short­ly that I had “ready to go” and just didn’t post, for what­ev­er rea­son.

The girl is enjoy­ing life as a teen, or as much as any teen can. I wouldn’t want to go through those ups and downs again! She’s always my most pre­cious, beau­ti­ful God­dess gift baby, even if she will be 17 this week. That’s our “big thing” right now.

She con­tin­ues to amaze me with her cre­ativ­i­ty. She’s the head pho­tog­ra­ph­er (or what­ev­er they call it there) for the year­book, which has had her run­ning around to all man­ner of events for which there must be pho­tos! Now! Yes­ter­day! Couldn’t they hold Home­com­ing in July? Come ON peo­ple! And she loves it. She com­plete­ly filled her 1GB com­pact flash card with live pho­tos from Fri­day night’s foot­ball game, then had to switch to her small­er, old­er card and be very judi­cious in her shots to fin­ish the game. She obvi­ous­ly needs a much big­ger card!

Yes, she uses her own equip­ment. Her cam­era is head and shoul­ders above the qual­i­ty of those the year­book staff owns, even the few dig­i­tals. That makes sense, con­sid­er­ing the expense of them, the time it takes to real­ly learn to use a dig­i­tal SLR prop­er­ly, etc. Most of what they have are point-and-shoot 35mm film cam­eras, which aren’t such big a deal if a stu­dent los­es or dam­ages them.

Sam is still work­ing at the same place, help­ing peo­ple with com­put­ers and net­work­ing and phones and so on—even A/V equip­ment at times. If you can plug it in, his depart­ment is the one every­body calls first for help. I’m sur­prised jan­i­tors don’t show up with vac­u­um clean­er com­plaints some­times (and I don’t know that it hasn’t hap­pened at some time at the past).

The help­ing peo­ple part is, of course, the most impor­tant thing. He loves it, he does it well, and he finds wells of patience that must come from Some­where Else.

I’m reg­is­ter­ing for fall class­es (DeVry is on an odd sched­ule, but you may have noticed that). We’re look­ing for a place to move to, but not find­ing what we can afford where we want to live. I sup­pose that’s an eter­nal lament, isn’t it?

I’m still a gimp, and now have a (man­u­al) wheel­chair of my own. I real­ly need a ramp for the front entrance of the house, but I’ve delayed try­ing to have one put in here since we want to move.

We’re still in lim­bo with Social Secu­ri­ty. In Geor­gia, the wait to have your case heard by an admin­is­tra­tive law judge is (accord­ing to the SSA office near me) about 36 months, aver­age. That’s the lev­el I’m at now.

It’s damned frus­trat­ing not to be work­ing, not to be able to work. I don’t want to be on dis­abil­i­ty or need it! I want to find a job I can do for a decent wage!

But I’ve had yet more icky health stuff, so… Sam and Katie are more of a bless­ing than I can say, cer­tain­ly far more than I deserve.

I real­ly want music. I mean, to make it. Noth­ing else seems to be able to replace hav­ing a piano (not a lit­tle key­board) in my home. That’s when I sing the most, as I accom­pa­ny myself. (I don’t play all that well, so I don’t play in front of any­one else.) I was think­ing of tak­ing a new vocal class Elise Witt is offer­ing, but it con­flicts with a fam­i­ly com­mit­ment.

I’m re-read­ing Madeleine L’Engle’s Cross­wicks Jour­nals and poet­ry as I mourn her pass­ing. Yes, there will be a sep­a­rate post about that, but for now, I’ll leave you with a tiny quote from her:

I learn my lessons slow­ly, sel­dom once for all. Con­tin­u­al­ly they have to be learned and re-learned, not with solem­ni­ty, but with awe and laugh­ter and joy.

Namaste,
Cyn

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Free Burma!

Free Burma - Image by Luciana Nechita from the Free Burma Flickr pool