Is There A NaNoReMo?

I think I want a Nation­al Nov­el Read­ing Month. I could do a nov­el a day (as long as I chose the right nov­els, of course). I’m behind on writ­ing reviews, but I’m wal­low­ing unabashed­ly in the num­ber of good reads avail­able to me right now. I’ve tweaked the Now Read­ing wid­get to show up to ten cur­rent books instead of just five.

I total­ly flubbed NaNoW­riMo. No, I don’t wan­na talk word count. Ugh. I have, how­ev­er, man­aged to keep up with NaBloPo­Mo. so far, and there’s only one day to go! Data­base prob­lems have giv­en me some trou­ble with get­ting the posts to the pub­lic at some points, but I’ve writ­ten an entry every sin­gle day, and I think all of them are even show­ing up now. (The auto­post­ed Tweets for the day don’t count, of course.)

TodayOn Thurs­day, Katie and I drove all over the place, as she had an orth­don­tic appoint­ment and I fool­ish­ly chose to com­bine that with oth­er errands. Dri­ving = can’t take usu­al pain meds. I came home and col­lapsed with a fever. Now it’s the nor­mal time to sleep, and I’m in too much pain to go lay down. (Actu­al­ly, I was so fog­gy that I for­got to hit the “Pub­lish” but­ton last night!)

But, thanks to a freecy­cler, we now own a Korg 88-key elec­tric piano. The catch: It’s tak­en apart. Com­plete­ly. I’ve nev­er seen the innards of such a thing before!

Why did the pre­vi­ous own­ers take it apart, then give it away? Their tod­dler spilled paint on the keys. The donor couldn’t remem­ber if it was fab­ric paint or acrylic paint, but it isn’t water-sol­u­ble, in any case. For­tu­nate­ly, the paint did not get into the elec­tron­ics! Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it did stick a few keys togeth­er. So the man of the house took it apart, intend­ing to clean it up—then stuck it in the garage, where it has lan­guished for two years. In a clean­ing fit this week, he decid­ed to toss it out and just get a new one. Hap­pi­ly for me, his wife per­suad­ed him to give her a week to offer it on freecy­cle instead, and now it’s ours!

I’m encour­aged by the fact that every­thing worked before it was tak­en apart (oth­er than the stuck keys). I’m excit­ed about hav­ing a piano. Now I have to fig­ure out what to use to gen­tly clean said keys, then fig­ure out how to reassem­ble the whole thing. I con­sid­ered just tak­ing it to the near­est autho­rized repair cen­ter, but I want to see if we can do it first, as their quot­ed labor rate of $70/hour would add up very quick­ly. This is a $1,000 instru­ment, so it’s worth putting some mon­ey into mak­ing it work. Hav­ing the mon­ey, as usu­al, is the prob­lem.

It came with its nice stand, which is inte­gral to the piano, as it has the ped­als on it. I’ll still need a bench, but I’ll deal with that after I have it work­ing.

A repair man­u­al would be very use­ful. The instru­ment man­u­al can be down­loaded from the Korg web site, but since these things aren’t con­sid­ered user ser­vice­able, it doesn’t show how to take the piano apart and put it back togeth­er. If I can get it cleaned up, though, I can prob­a­bly ask Dad­dy for assem­bly help. My Dad­dy can fix any­thing.1 He’s much bet­ter with things than with peo­ple.

I’m total­ly open to sug­ges­tions for gen­tle sol­vents.2 I’m fig­ur­ing non-ace­tone nail pol­ish remover might do it, but will it dam­age the keys?

Of course, if any of you fine folks hap­pen to have expe­ri­ence with tak­ing elec­tric pianos apart and reassem­bling them, by all means, please speak up! (Hey, a girl can hope, can’t she?)


1 Yes, I am 41 years old, and he’ll always be Dad­dy, and I’ll always believe in his mirac­u­lous fix-it-abil­i­ty

2 Yes, that’s some­thing of an oxy­moron.

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Calling a WordPress Guru

I’m still hav­ing trou­ble with the MySQL data­base for this blog. It’s set up just like every oth­er site we have, but I keep hav­ing odd time­outs and MySQL errors with this instal­la­tion. I wasn’t even able to add books to Now Read­ing for most of the day!

I read about some­one else who seemed to be hav­ing a sim­i­lar prob­lem, and tried his fix—a cus­tom copy of wp-db.php. That didn’t help, so I revert­ed to the stan­dard file.

Right now, I’ve got almost every plug-in and wid­get dis­abled, and the posts I wrote on Tues­day and Wednes­day are final­ly vis­i­ble. I guess I’ll have to go through the plug-ins, enabling them one by one again, to see if one of them is the prob­lem. (I haven’t had any error mes­sages indi­cat­ing a plug-in prob­lem, but…)

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Mac vs PC: The Truth!

From Lau­rie McGuin­ness, part of a hilar­i­ous series.

Thanks for the point­er, Pre­cious!

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Tweets for 11-28-2007

  • 13:59 @susan­reynolds By exam­ple, by giv­ing advice if they ask, and by advo­cat­ing for them as much as they’ll let me. #
  • 14:00 @susan­reynolds One thing I say is, “Would you let some­one treat your child this way? Do you want her to learn from you that it’s ok to a … #
  • 14:00 @susan­reynolds “Do you want her to learn from your exam­ple that it’s ok to accept that kind of treat­ment?” #
  • 14:02 @lau­rak To your ques­tion 17 hrs ago — some math geeks don’t play chess. Real­ly. #
  • 14:05 @sashib Sev­er­al Word­Press plu­g­ins that work. #
  • 14:08 @mini­to­toro Mouse is gift from office cat? #
  • 14:17 @lance If you have anoth­er, I want to attend. #
  • 14:26 @susan­reynolds We home­schooled @chatombre for 5 yrs, start­ing again now #
  • 14:27 @precioustweets I love that! And good morn­ing 🙂 #
  • 15:24 @susan­reynolds Why not self-host­ed Word­Press? Is even bet­ter 🙂 #
  • 15:25 @bucketjen Yay for good date! #
  • 15:36 @abite­of­san­i­ty I’ll be think­ing of you #
  • 16:24 Hav­ing too much trou­ble with MySQL. Why do I have time­outs repeat­ed­ly on just one of our blogs? #

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The Three Love Systems From Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

From today’s Delancey Place newslet­ter:

In the ter­rain of the human heart, sci­en­tists tell us, at least three inde­pen­dent but inter­re­lat­ed brain sys­tems are at play, all mov­ing us in their own way. To untan­gle love’s mys­ter­ies, neu­ro­science dis­tin­guish­es between neur­al net­works for attach­ment, for care­giv­ing, and for sex. Each is fueled by a dif­fer­ing set of brain chem­i­cals and hor­mones, and each runs through a dis­parate neu­ronal cir­cuit. Each adds its own chem­i­cal spice to the many vari­eties of love.

Social Intelligence by Daniel GolemanAttach­ment deter­mines who we turn to for suc­cor; these are the peo­ple we miss the most when they are absent. Care­giv­ing gives us the urge to nur­ture the peo­ple for whom we feel most con­cern. When we are attached, we cling; when we are care­giv­ing we pro­vide. And sex is, well, sex. …

The forces of affec­tion that bind us to each oth­er pre­ced­ed the rise of the ratio­nal brain. Love’s rea­sons have always been sub­cor­ti­cal, though love’s
exe­cu­tion may require care­ful plot­ting. … The three major sys­tems for loving—attachment, care­giv­ing, and sexuality—all fol­low their own com­plex rules. At a giv­en moment any one of these three can be ascendant—say, as a cou­ple feels a warm togeth­er­ness, or when they cud­dle their own baby, or while they make love. When all three of these love sys­tems are oper­at­ing, they feed romance at its rich­est: a relaxed, affec­tion­ate, and sen­su­al con­nec­tion where rap­port blos­soms. …

Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Jaak Pansepp…finds a neur­al corol­lary between the dynam­ics of opi­ate addic­tion and the depen­dence on the peo­ple for whom we feel our strongest attach­ments. All pos­i­tive inter­ac­tions with peo­ple, he pro­pos­es, owe [at least] part of their plea­sure to the opi­oid sys­tem, the very cir­cuit­ry that links with hero­in and oth­er addic­tive sub­stances. … Even ani­mals, he finds, pre­fer to spend time with those in whose pres­ence they have secret­ed oxy­tocin and nat­ur­al opi­oids, which induce a relaxed serenity—suggesting that these brain chem­i­cals cement our fam­i­ly ties and friend­ships as well as our love rela­tion­ships.

Daniel Gole­man, Social Intel­li­gence: The New Sci­ence of Human Rela­tion­ships, Ban­tam, © 2006 by Daniel Gole­man, pp. 18

Def­i­nite­ly a book that I intend to read! I found Emo­tion­al Intel­li­gence quite good, but had some­how missed this new­er book.

I strong­ly rec­om­mend the newslet­ter, which brings inter­est­ing excerpts from an incred­i­ble vari­ety of books to your mail­box every day.

What do you think? Is it all about the opi­ates? Do you have, or have you had, a romance in which all three sys­tems were go?

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Tweets for 11-27-2007

  • 16:21 @pis­ta­chio I’ve used a cou­ple of things that inter­act with Face­book. You real­ly couldn’t miss the approval process, or do it acci­den­tal­ly. #
  • 16:25 @thoughtout Got the pack­age! I didn’t real­ize that the PED is actu­al­ly met­al — much stur­dier than I thought! Very nice. #
  • 17:04 @pis­ta­chio That’s noth­ing like the two things I used. I agree, it’s not obvi­ous enough, and should be optIN, not optOUT. #
  • 17:05 @pis­ta­chio I looked all over Face­book yes­ter­day to find a way to say “don’t ever do that!” and final­ly emailed FB sup­port #
  • 17:05 @pis­ta­chio And, as MoveOn says, there isn’t a set­ting for that. #
  • 19:30 @hob­bina­tor Repro­duc­tion? Fer­til­i­ty? #
  • 19:33 @pis­ta­chio I meant that Face­book says (admits) that there isn’t a set­ting for that. #

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Tweets for 11-26-2007

  • 22:35 Just got pic­ture of a baby from a rel­a­tive. Try­ing to find SOMETHING good to say about the poor lit­tle thing oth­er than “Bless her heart.” #
  • 23:19 @ aship­kows­ki Wel­come! *hugs* #
  • 12:44 @jti­moth­yk­ing Male or female? Approx. age? #
  • 12:48 @jti­moth­yk­ing — Ok — aging, wor­ry­ing about whether he’s “over the hill,” if he can stay com­pet­i­tive with younger peo­ple. #
  • 12:49 @jti­moth­yk­ing If he isn’t mar­ried, may be wor­ry­ing about that. I’ve known sev­er­al guys who freaked out at that age and were ready to mar­ry #
  • 12:49 ANY female #
  • 13:00 Up again. Me this time. Going to try to get start­ed on this week’s assign­ments now instead of pro­cras­ti­nat­ing #
  • 13:00 Dis­tract­ed by ongo­ing time­outs and oth­er MySQL errors on my main blog, though. Grump. #

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Instant Christmas: Trio of ‘elves’ transform Ritz-Carlton Buckhead overnight | ajc.com

From the AJC (link gone): Instant Christ­mas: Trio of ‘elves’ trans­form Ritz-Carl­ton Buck­head overnight
I noticed this sto­ry because it remind­ed me of our dear friend Son­ji (Mique_Mique on LJ), who we haven’t seen in far too long! As a flo­ral design­er, this is her “crazy time” each year, so I know it’ll be some time yet before we do get to see her. We miss you, sug­ar!

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More Fun Reading from Carrie Vaughn

I real­ly need­ed anoth­er fic­tion author to fol­low, right? But I’ve seen this series of books about a were­wolf named Kit­ty, and I final­ly got a chance to read them. I fin­ished the first, Kit­ty and the Mid­night Hour, today and jumped right into Kit­ty Goes to Wash­ing­ton. I have Kit­ty Takes a Hol­i­day all lined up and ready to go, but I’m already wish­ing that I had the next vol­ume, Kit­ty and the Sil­ver Bul­let. And that, my dears, is a sign of a fine author spin­ning a very good yarn, con­sid­er­ing all the oth­er books wait­ing and ready on my shelf.

The library has the books labeled as hor­ror, but I’d put them in the para­nor­mal romance/dark fan­ta­sy cat­e­go­ry. Hap­pi­ly, the “romance” part isn’t the most sig­nif­i­cant one, and doesn’t get in the way of good plot. There was a moment today when I won­dered if “>Vaughn and Kim Har­ri­son had shared a brain to a small extent, but they’ve dealt with a super­fi­cial­ly sim­i­lar issue in very dif­fer­ent ways.

If it weren’t for the fact that I just final­ly got done with my school assign­ments for the week, and must get up when Sam does in the morn­ing, I’d prob­a­bly be sit­ting up read­ing!

Now I real­ly need to find a source for these short sto­ries, though. Any of you have the rel­e­vant mag­a­zine issues?

  • Kit­ty Los­es Her Faith” Weird Tales, #333, Fall 2003
  • Kit­ty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned” Weird Tales #338, Jan-Feb 2006
  • Look­ing After Fam­i­ly” Realms of Fan­ta­sy, Feb­ru­ary 2007
  • Kitty’s Zom­bie New Year” Weird Tales #345

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Tweets for 11-25-2007

  • 11:59 Tried Spaz. It froze with­in 5 min­utes. Grrr. Back to Tweetr. #
  • 11:59 Already tired of this neck-induced headache. #

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