Category: wrdnrd
chris. | 4 December 2014 | 9:09 am | diary | Only Pings

I am not, for the most part, a superstitious person.  But one thing i do believe in is my own ability to jinx myself.

Case in point: This post.  Which i started writing in early December.  I knew i shouldn’t have tempted the fates!

I know there are, like, 20-some days left in 2014, but i am seriously hoping to just run out the clock on this year.

Winter Quarter, school-wise, was dreadful.  I don’t want to talk about it.  To cheer me up, Andy and i spent the last day of the term squinting at the finances and realizing that we could, after all, finally pay off our student loans in total.  I took out my 1st student loan in January of 1991, so this was incredibly monumental.  I got drunk on the reality of being student-loan-free, and then i got drunk on sake.

I reveled in the idea of spring break by plucking a Le Guin book off our shelves.  I’d been thinking of re-reading the Earthsea cycle again, but wanted to wait on that to really treat myself later in the year when i could lavish time on it1  From amongst Lathe of Heaven and Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, i somehow wound up grabbing the latter.  And it was utterly amazing.

Which was good, because it meant i had something engrossing on-hand to read when, the weekend that spring break was ending, i found myself visiting 2 different ERs 3 times total.

First, we had to take our Eleanor cat in to see why she kept throwing up.  They found a mass in her intestine.  She spent most of the weekend there, but Sunday morning we picked her up to bring her home for a brief reprieve before the Monday-morning surgery to remove as much of the mass as they could.

Sunday afternoon, i got a call from Andy that he’d gotten injured during parkour and would be going to the ER.  Turned out he’d torn his Achilles tendon.  The ER thought he might need surgery.  Ultimately he didn’t, hooray!  But on Sunday i figured i spent all of 6 hours not in an ER somewhere.  Thank goodness for The Dispossessed!!!

All of April was a blur.  Eleanor’s mass turned out to be from a pretty aggressive cancer.  We had to feed her thru’ a tube in her neck.  And Andy was in a boot and on crutches the entire month.  I wound up not taking any class whatsoever.

And at the very end of April, Andy emailed our real estate agent to tell him we’d be taking a break from looking for a house to buy.  Naturally just 3 days later i found the perfect place — in fact, the exact place we’d been dreaming of getting, maybe, some day, if we were extremely lucky.  That was a Friday night.  Saturday our agent took us to see the place.  Sunday Andy (now upgraded to just a cane) and i returned for the open house.  Monday we crunched numbers and told our agent we were going for it.

Thursday evening we signed the papers for mutual agreement.  And 5 minutes later were in a Zipcar taking Eleanor to the vet to have her put to sleep.

Then there was all the house-buying paperwork.  WisCon in there somewhere.  More paperwork.  The bank taking their sweet time about closing.  We moved closing one week.  We juggled around amongst several movers and floor-refinishers.  The bank was still taking their sweet time.  We moved closing another week.  We took a too-brief trip to the Oregon coast to visit Andy’s mother and grandfather.  We drove all the way from the coast back up to Seattle in order to meet the mobile notary who led us through a humongous stack of papers in order to officially buy our new home.

So much for that feeling of being (credit card aside) debt-free after paying off the student loans!

Annnnd then our internet company turned out to be a bag of assholes and we had no internet for the entire month of July.

After that, things pretty much settled.  I feel like i’ve been spending this latter half of the year trying to make up for all the stressed sleep of the first half of the year.

These next 20-some days better be perfectly quiet and lovely.

  1. Note: This has yet to happen.  [sadface] []
the joys of home-ownership : the electrical box
chris. | 28 November 2014 | 4:38 pm | Cobweb Cottage | Only Pings

When I find the joker who did this:

electrical box in this joint we bought

This is the electrical box in our new place.  Apparently, all we have to guide us around the electricity in this joint is “Lites and Plugs”, “Lites and Plugs”, “Lites and Plugs”, “Lites and Plugs”, “Dining Studio”, and “Range”.

WELL.  “Range” is correct at least!  Andy and I have just spent a very amusing half-hour mapping the electrical box correctly.  Granted, this does not explain why 3 switches seem to do the bulk of the work around here while 2 switches only have about 2 outlets each on them.

There was a hairy moment where I thought for sure the added-by-the-previous-owners outlet where their entertainment system had been was going to turn out to be in our neighbor’s electrical system, thus testing my morals on the subject of whether to tell them or not.  But, no, it’s on a switch all its own in our box.

Whatever, it’s an 85-year-old building, things are weird, and electricians think differently from the rest of us1.  But Andy and I are now convinced that about year 2 we’re going to see about  getting an electrician in here to add some more outlets and perhaps make sense of the wiring vis-a-vis the electrical box.

For now, at least I know that when Andy is ready to work on changing the overhead light in the dining room, the power is going to go out in the study and I’m going to have to find a book to read.  Yes, you might say I learned this the hard way.

  1. My father was trained as an electrician, and god knows his thinking is not like normal humans’. []
when I lived in Ur [+photo]
chris. | 3 August 2014 | 9:20 pm | Glitch, wrdnrd | Only Pings

hand-drawn diagram for planning my Glitch home street

One thing i’m trying to get better about is taking pictures of silly mementos instead of holding onto random pieces of paper.

Case in point, this image.  It’s a crappy hand-drawn diagram i made, but i’ve held onto it because when i played Glitch and the final housing system was released, i spent days thinking about and planning my front yard before i implemented anything.  My diagram paid off because the yard turned out exactly the way i wanted it.

You can see more of my snaps from Glitch at the game’s archive site.

parkour shadow [+photo]
chris. | 2 August 2014 | 3:05 pm | errant pedant | 4 Comments

Last Sunday, i finally bought a bike helmet to replace the one i had to throw away when we were moving.  (It turns out that bike helmets have a life span, even if you never have an accident!)  I persuaded Andy to accompany me on a trek to the UW campus — pretty easily persuaded, when i asked him if he wanted to try doing some very light1 parkour in Red Square.  So i biked over and he jogged a bit and we met in Red Square where he practiced some balances.  The evening sunlight against Suzzallo Library was gorgeous, and i lucked into this shot of Andy’s parkour shadow.

Andy's shadow against Suzzallo Library

  1. He’s still recovering from his torn Achilles. []
Where the hell you been, Wrdnrd??
chris. | 1 August 2014 | 7:41 pm | diary | Only Pings


Andy and i managed to successfully move, more or less, as planned at the beginning of July.  The packers packed up all our crap on the 3rd.  On the 5th, the movers moved all our crap out of Rivendell into the new place.

Since then?  NO INTERNET.  We suspected we’d have to wait a few days, maybe a week, until our ISP got things transferred over.  Since we needed to still stop by the old place to pick up things we hadn’t wanted the movers to deal with, we just did interneting there.  No big — i mean, that 1st week we were mostly focusing on unpacking and settling into the new place anyway.

Then there was week 2.  Where it became apparent that our ISP was going to be super slow about switching the internet.  And also the phone company wasn’t being speedy about transferring our landline, which we need for our DSL1.

Then there was week 3.  Where we began to suspect that our ISP was incompetent.

And then, in week 4, we finally fired our old ISP and just went with the phone company for DSL.  The phone company managed to tell us exactly when our modem would arrive, when service would get switched on, et cetera.  So!  Good job, CenturyLink!  And a hearty FUCK YOU to MegaPath.  God, i miss Speakeasy.  So sorry they got bought out by a bunch of incompetents.

It didn’t help that it had become apparent by the time we were moving that the wireless on my laptop had died.  And here i thought the Concourse’s wifi during WisCon just sucked2!!  But, no, the wifi on my laptop also did not work during our end-of-June trip to Portland.  By the Sunday of moving weekend, it was obvious both (a) our new place wasn’t going to have internet for a week or so, and (b) if i wanted internet at all i’d need a wifi-enabled device so i could pick up wifi signals in the neighborhood (e.g., coffee shops).  SO.  Thank god for steady paychecks, because i just walked into University Bookstore and bought myself a tablet.

Yeah.  Everything i’ve done during the entire month of July internet-wise was done on a tiny little tablet.  I hate working on tiny screens like that.  Makes me feel claustrophobic.

We have internet at the new place as of last night.  THANK GOD

Anyway.  Otherwise the new place is pretty great.  Gonna call it Cobweb Cottage, i think.  Yeah, sorry, friends who are arachnophobic.

  1. We refuse to have cable in the house, so don’t even mention it. []
  2. Andy assures me that it did also kinda suck. []
what remains on the desk [+photo] #IntoTheWest
chris. | 2 July 2014 | 6:48 pm | wrdnrd | Only Pings

So.  We’re moving.  Really, officially, finally after 2 months of banking hell12.  There are so many posts i want to blog right now, but all my mental energy is going toward not losing my mind while we clean and pack up the apartment.

For now, here’s a picture of what’s left on my desk (a zone that’s usually a chaos of papers and overdue library books):

objects left on my desk prior to moving

What’s significant enough in my life right now that i want to pack it myself so it doesn’t get lost in a sea of boxes over the next few weeks?  Friends of Dennis stuff, my WordPress book (because i need to work on the FoD website), and my books for syntax class.  Also the flowchart of how we’re dealing with our possessions (e.g., pack vs. get rid of), advice from a friend on picking a new broadband service, my clipboard with my To Do list, and a graphical representation of my current mood.

Since we’re moving a little west of where we are now, i’ve been hashtagging my Twitter gripes as #IntoTheWest.  Fun for everyone!

  1. FUCK banks, man. []
  2. Do NOT even come at me about credit unions, unless you WANT me to rant at you for 30 minutes solid. []