mellowtigger: (twitch)
I messed up twice today.  It's been happening too often in recent weeks.  The trend is an inability to interrupt intended routines.  It's like a minor part of my old behavior (the auto-pilot) from pre-diagnosis days is reappearing, and I am not thrilled.

I drove this morning to my precinct and voted.  I voted for Obama.  I didn't mean to, and I'm unhappy about it.  I wanted to vote for Jill Stein.  I did not bring a complete cheat sheet with me this time as I had in previous years.  I think that difference led to the mistake.  I noticed the error before I turned in my ballot.  I considered asking for a new one, but the "momentum" of the expected ritual procedure kept me locked in to continue my voting process.  Obama was a choice I could live with, so I didn't pierce through the familiar voting protocol to forge a new experience.  Instead, I drove away annoyed with myself.  I couldn't remember afterwards how I voted on the marriage amendment.  Hopefully I made the intended choice there.

I drove this evening to the Heights theater to watch a movie instead of election results.  I paid my entrance fee (which was significantly higher than usual) and got my popcorn before realizing that they were showing a ballet instead of a movie.  I didn't want to watch a ballet, and I was unhappy about another personal mistake.  They were doing one of those simulcast presentations of a Royal Opera House production of Swan Lake.  There were about 20 people there.  I'm convinced that I was the only customer under the age of 65.

Ballet makes about as much sense to me as American football.  I can see that both efforts require lots of stamina and strength and skill.  But what's the point of watching it?  I'm sure there must be a story in the ballet somewhere.  All of those synchronized, mute, epileptic pantomimes are going on about something, but I can't detect the signal amidst the noise.  All that's missing is an inflated pig bladder, then my befuddlement would be complete.

What the difference between a ballerina and a running back?  I can't tell.  They both run around in tights.  Is that man having sex with that swan?  He was aiming his crossbow at her a minute ago, and now he's dancing close with her.  What's going on?  Shouldn't somebody be chasing a leather ball for no conceivable reason?  I'm sure ballet and football are rewarding challenges to actually DO them well, but I don't understand the point of WATCHING them being done by others.

That was my day.  I hope yours was better.  I keep taking my B12 (and I've added vitamin D too) and hoping for more improvements.
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
The Fair was disappointing today. There are no fried pickles. :( I've had fried pickles there every year that I've attended, but apparently they weren't popular enough to keep them around any more. Instead, I ate cheese curds, jalapenos, alligator meat, and buffalo meat.

On top of that, I almost didn't go because I couldn't find the bus transit station. I drove to the usual mall parking lot where I've gone in previous years, but that lot was under construction. Even part of the mall itself was demolished and gone. I drove around and couldn't find the transit pickup. As I started to drive home again to just enjoy my vacation day at home, I detoured slightly to another plaza center nearby. There was the metro bus waiting for State Fair riders. I got to the fair, but I started out in a frustrated mood.

The day wasn't a total loss, though. I met a kind of rabbit called the Britannia Petite. I had never seen one before. It was so small that it could wiggle between the metal bars of the usual rabbit cages, so they placed it in a smaller cage inside the typical cage. I also enjoyed looking at the Harlequin, Silver Martin, and Himalayan rabbits. Of course, what's not to like about the huge, huggable Flemish Giants? If I wasn't surrounded by carnivores these days, I'd want a rabbit again.

The EcoExperience pavilion had a sample bike rack from metro buses. I got to practice securing a bicycle onto the rack and taking it off again. That was a good skill to learn. I haven't yet taken a metro bus while bicycling, but I feel better knowing how to do it before I'm in a situation with impatient passengers waiting for me to figure it out. :)

I've been offline in recent weeks because I've spent so much time playing in Guild Wars 1. I've been earning bonus rewards for Guild Wars 2, which releases in about 12 more hours. I'll probably be offline a while longer as I spend some play time in that new game. I will play on the +Crystal Desert server, if anyone wants to join in.
mellowtigger: (the more you know)
Trying to go healthy makes me aware of invisible contaminants that lurk everywhere. Is it even possible to live a healthy lifestyle any more?

I'm considering moving to a gluten-free diet. It's become clear that doing so in a gluten-consuming household is very difficult. I tend to use only my own utensils already (it makes cleaning and keeping track of them much easier), but I may need to be very strict about it to avoid gluten contamination. It's hard enough keeping surfaces free of gluten molecules, but what about those molecules that are floating in the air? I'm not sure how to avoid that problem. The local newspaper mentioned it in an article last summer, and a celiac website goes into even more detail on hidden dangers. Does going gluten-free mean that I need to move into my own private apartment? I'd really hate to give up on my backyard gardening here.  :(

I'm also researching new cookware to go along with this move to a healthier lifestyle.  Of course, I have to give up my Teflon items because of PFOA exposure. Although they are "mostly safe" these days, the industry is still moving toward a total ban on production of these items by 2015. I experimented by buying one of the new ceramic surface frying pans. It seems to work even better than the Teflon stuff.

I ordered the Orgreenic brand, but it turns out that all the colored ceramic surfaces may provide a different toxic problem. Apparently the production process differs considerably, and some manufacturers yield products that leak toxic metals like cadmium and lead. How is the average consumer supposed to know the difference? I don't know! I want to order a variety of these Pallas products because of their amazing versatility, but I don't know how to tell if I'm just trading PFOA carcinogens for toxic metals. *frustrated sigh*
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
Hello.  Yes, it's been a long time since my last post.  Two big projects are finished at work (new Exchange server, new Active Directory domain), and two more are almost done (new Finance server, new phone tree).  I haven't done anything outside of work except play the new Star Wars game, The Old Republic.  It's a lot more fun than I expected.

Meanwhile, I'm scheduled for both upper and lower gastrointestinal procedures in two weeks.  I had new symptoms show up in November, and it's taken this long to see a specialist.  He's got me on a broad spectrum anti-infective before the visit because of potential complications.  I've never been on metronidazole before, but it kills just about everything, both bacteria and amoebae (plus other protozoans).  It has the weird side effect of making my mouth taste bad no matter how many times I brush my teeth and use mouthwash.  And I seem to get intensely sleepy a few hours after taking it too.

I'm hoping to take a week off from work soon... and do nothing, glorious nothing.  It'd be a good break from the fast pace of recent months at work.  With any luck, I'll get lots of play time in with Star Wars.

mellowtigger: (dumb)
There's so much happening in this complex world. It's intimidating, to say the least. As I relearned yesterday, it's plainly impossible that I will find enough attention for everything that I want to experience. Instead, I must pick and choose where I focus my thoughts, if I can focus at all.

einstein on a bicycleSo when I'm feeling inadequate, it helps to remember that the world being complex and unpredictable also means that truly anything is possible... even the stuff that's good and fun and rewarding. Never discount the potential for your own contribution to the human story.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
- Albert Einstein

Go try something new. I commuted by bicycle this summer for the first time in my life, at age 43.

Go learn something new. I signed up several weeks ago (when they were still under 100,000 students) for that Artificial Intelligence class offered online for free by Stanford University. Late at night, I've been reading parts of a companion book (optional) that goes with the class. The field has changed a lot since I last took a class on the subject. I'm expecting the sessions to be very exciting. Lots of other people are too. I've already found people online who are intending to organize online discussions using Google+ hangouts. In fact, there's a whole academy organizing around the G+ hangout concept.

Fun times. Ever more complex... and each intersection of ideas offers another opportunity to find something new.

i'm a dork

Sep. 27th, 2011 09:24 pm
mellowtigger: (dumb)
<yoda voice>Scatterbrained, I am. Yeessss.</yoda voice>

I just realized that I missed the Jane Goodall event that I wanted to see. It started 2.5 hours ago. I prepaid my ticket too.

It never turns out well when I try to follow too many ideas in too short a time. Life is much too complicated.

*disappointed sigh*


Sep. 12th, 2011 11:13 am
mellowtigger: (bicycle)
It's hard to do situps when you're giggling.

I added situps to my regimen when my weight loss plateaued while commuting by bicycle this summer. It worked. I've lost a few more pounds already. I weigh 171# (78 kg) this morning, the lowest I've been in a decade, I think.

When I do situps on the weight bench, the kitten likes to stand nearby and swat at my long hair as it goes flinging up and down. Sometimes she misses and swats my face instead. Sometimes she jumps onto the bench and away again to dodge my back and head before I land for another situp.

It's hard to do situps when you're giggling.


Aug. 28th, 2011 08:22 pm
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
Yes, I've been AWOL lately.  I've been avoiding all news sources, since most of what I learn about the world these days just upsets me.  I've buried my attention into Google+ games to isolate myself.  I finally have a post-worthy event, though.

What is blooming or fruiting in Minnesota these days?  My allergies are really bad right now.  My sinuses are starting to clog up from all the crud they're producing.  I've been sneezing and blowing my nose all weekend.  I brush up against grass and my skin itches for an hour or two.

I've tried taking a few antihistamines that barely take the edge off of the misery.  I've even started running the air filter in my bedroom, and I haven't used that little machine in nearly a decade.

My temperature has risen slightly, but so far I've managed to escape any bad sinus infection from all the blockage.
mellowtigger: (crazy)
I got exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

I spent Saturday on diversions.  I played computer games.  I harvested some lime-basil from the garden to make a non-alcoholic margarita.  I avoided news websites.  I went downtown for the bar night of the Minneapolis Movie Bears, which I had not attended in many months.
  • At the bar, some poor guy came up to me and offered to sell me some shoes for $5.  I declined.
  • In the bus on the way home, I sat near a guy around my age with a face smeared in blood from a busted temple, cheek, and lip.
The bloody guy was talking to someone else, so I wrote it off as "non-urgent".  A concerned couple of parents offered him some sanitation wipes they had for their young child, but he declined.  He rode a long way on the bus, nearly to the end of the line.  We happened to get off at the same stop.  After we were both on the sidewalk, I finally asked him, "So, do you need any help getting to wherever you're going?"  I didn't understand much of what he said, but I did hear, "See, what happened was, somebody killed my mother."  He declined the assistance.  He seemed to know where he was headed.  So I walked the rest of the way to the house where I rent a room.

I learned earlier this year (overhearing conversation where I was eating a meal at a fast food restaurant) that you make money off of stolen credit cards by visiting gas stations and selling people gasoline at half price.  You take their cash, and you use the stolen card to pay for the gas at the pump.

I'm learning much too much about how to survive a broken economy.  You can't convince me that America isn't circling the drain.  Actual misery keeps showing up ever closer to my "front door".  I blame Republicans for intentionally bringing us here, and I blame Democrats for being too chickenshit to ever face grim and messy reality.

I'm still hoping for my vacation from this sad future racing toward us.
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
Thomas Avenus gardenA year ago or so, I talked to two banks about home loans and they both told me on the phone that they didn't work with loans "under $100,000".  I've had more success this year on that point, but I've now been turned down twice because I don't have enough debt.  It's bad to live by the goals of simplification and self-sufficiency when applying for a big loan.  You have to be in debt (and paying religiously) in order to qualify for more debt.  I was told again this morning that my credit score is good, but there's just not enough involvement/history for anyone to offer a loan.

It's really a shame too.  That $35K house really would've been a nice small place for me to retire someday.  The mortgage (even with taxes and insurance) would have been cheaper than my current rent.  It needed a few repairs, but none of them sounded expensive.  Oh, and just 3 or so houses south of it, there was this nifty little urban garden that I could have used too.  All that, and only 1 mile from work.

I am disappointed that it's not going to happen.  :(

Meanwhile I was told that I should try to build more "alternative lines of credit".  Paying car insurance each month would count.  So would paying a store credit card.  The pet store is always on my case to get a card when I buy cat litter.  I may have to take them up on their offer.  That would get me the last line of credit that I need.  I could someday quality for a house loan because I buy cat litter on a pet store credit card.  That's how messed up the American financial system is.  *facepalm*
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
Today, on the way to work, some new "very bad sounds" [tm] were coming from beneath my truck.  After work, I drove it to the mechanic shop to have them look at the problem.  Quite unexpectedly, the bottom of the truck decided to rust out all at once.  Apparently this last, long winter with salted roads was very bad on it.  The numerous repairs are in the $2000-2500 range, and that's not counting the $2000 suspension work that I already knew about since the day that I bought the truck.  I figure the truck itself is only worth about $2000 today anyway, so I'm thinking about leaving it at a junk yard.  I need to decide by morning if I want the repairs.

I'd be happy to spend that amount of money on a new bicycle that could be used to haul stuff around during warm weather.  Good timing, I suppose, since I was already looking for such a vehicle just two weeks ago.  I guess I already have my bicycle options ready to ponder and choose.  I wonder if my "new job title" requires any travel between remote sites?  If not, then being bound to the single site would make bicycle life a whole lot more convenient.  I suppose a few months without having to pay gasoline prices (nearing $100/month) and car insurance would free up some extra money to spend on a 4-wheeled solution for winter months.

The big problem with bicycling in Minnesota is the winter weather.  I just don't see any 2-wheeled solution (gasoline, electric, or pedal) being viable during the long, snowbound winter months here.  If the cities devoted as much attention to bike trails as to streets, it would be a different story.  Usually, though, streets get plowed and the bike lanes become the dumping ground for all of that extra snow.  Streets get crowded as 2 lanes dwindle down to 1 lane because of snow.  Sharing the narrow road space with slow bicycles never crosses the mind of the 4-wheeled drivers.  Not good.

It's the future already.  There aren't any hover cars around, and I can live with that deficiency, but why can't I at least have something sleek and energy efficient and cheap?  I would even settle for a Twike, but one of those costs $16,000 for reasons I can't fathom.  The Kurrent is more in my price range, but I still don't understand why even that vehicle costs $10,000.  Metal and rubber have gotten rather expensive over the years, it seems.  What happened to the cheap electric car that GM promised? Is China holding us by the palladium bits already?
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
I can't remember if I have blogged about it yet, but I'm without health insurance again.  The MN Care system requires reapplying each year, filling out the same large packet of questions about me and other people in the house.  I didn't know, and I didn't have photocopies of the paperwork from last year.  The re-application got buried and forgotten during the last few stressful months, so I got dropped from the system back in January.

Now, something is wrong with my mouth area.  It started last night (correction: it started Saturday but started hurting late Sunday.  my days are messed up, sorry.), but it's worse tonight.  The inside of my cheeks are swollen and very tender, but I can't see any obvious wound.  The left side is much worse than the right.  There is tension pain along both jawlines from hinge to mid-jaw, mostly on the left, plus sometimes a tooth or two.  I feel like I have a slight fever, but the thermometer says I have normal temperature.

If it's any worse tomorrow morning, I'll try to find a cheap doctor clinic to visit.

I had plans for this weekend to do stuff (both the Quaker plant sale and the Living Green expo) that I usually miss because of the mandatory attendance at the work fundraiser.  Because our fundraiser was early for 2011, I'll get to do both events this year.

Yuck, I hope I'm not getting sick.

Walk day

Apr. 30th, 2011 06:21 am
mellowtigger: (flameproof)
Today is Walk day.  It's important for raising a noticeable chunk of our operating budget.  It's important because it gives people a chance to see our main shelter and the many other things that we do besides animal adoptions.  It's important because it gets the local community involved in animal welfare.

I'm unthrilled.  I've enjoyed the event in years past, but not this year.  Many thousands of people (and thousands of animals) show up and mill about.  I don't want to be there.  At least this year there aren't many small critters at our site to freak out at all the noise and activity.  It's a high stress day when you're at the low end of the food chain.

I disapprove of the all-staff requirement year after year.  I don't want to be there today.

Time to get my shower, take an aspirin, and head to work.
mellowtigger: (T'Reese)
At 4:30am, T'Reese peed on the bed again.  It happens about 3 times each week now.  I spray the enzyme solution on it, but it just can't keep up with all of the cat pee.  There's no point in dumping the mattress yet, since any new mattress would succumb to the same fate.  I'll call today to make an appointment this weekend for my cat to see the veterinarian.  I want to make sure it's not an infection that's causing her problem.

If it's behavioral, though, I don't know how much I can do about it.  I might have to get a small cage and lock her up in it at night.  I wish I could buy a shock collar to put on the kitten and have it go off anytime she's within 1 meter of T'Reese.  That would probably help ease T'Reese's problem more than anything else I can do.

I wasn't able to go back to sleep.  *sigh*  +1 stress. 
mellowtigger: (coprolite)
I thought that T'Reese was peeing in my bed because the fluffy sheets were a lot more comfortable than that new crystal litter that I've started using.  I like the crystals because they don't track nearly as bad as regular litter.

Tonight is the first time, though, that the bed got wet while I was using it.  It's wet in the spot where she usually sleeps near my legs, so I don't think it was the kitten.  I hope T'Reese isn't losing bladder control.  She's about 13 years old, though, so I guess it wouldn't surprise me too much if she is.

Tonight's sleep was cut short so I could get up and put the sheet and blanket in the washer.  Again.  The 25-year-old blanket was already threadbare, but the recent spate of cat pee washings are taking the last threads out of it.  I'll probably need a new blanket before the next winter season arrives.
mellowtigger: (dumb)
I just paid my taxes electronically.  I didn't understand most of it and just clicked through the defaults on everything.  (No, I didn't pay alimony in 2010.  No, I didn't pay to have my livestock tested for something-or-other-disease.  No, I didn't participate in any complicated government fund where I pay money ahead of time and withdraw within limits for yadda, yadda, yadda.)

In addition to what's taken out of my paycheck throughout the year, I paid another $156 to the U.S. government, another $75 to the Minnesota state government, and $20 to TurboTax for filing all of my forms electronically to keep me from having to figure out addresses and stamps at a post office open at inconvenient times.

As long as it keeps bureaucrats away from me for another year, I suppose it's money well spent.

I half-remember a Republican who campaigned several years ago on the promise to make tax calculation forms fit on a postcard.  I wish.
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
37.7C (99.9F)

And it's still rising. I can already tell that the weekend is wasted. *sigh*
mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
It's colder than usual this morning at -26C (-15F), and last night was cold in bed.  Thankfully, there's hardly any wind.

My sinuses burn slightly today, so I may be coming down with [ profile] foeclan's (one of my two landlords) illness.

I don't charge $150/hour for my services in programming the phone system like the vendor does.  If I spend 1 week doing this stuff, I've earned my pay for the next 2 months.


Jan. 25th, 2011 08:57 am
mellowtigger: (wild things)
I killed a squirrel today.

A blur of motion to the side pulled my attention to the left.  I barely had time to recognize that it was a squirrel before the very faint "thump" sound reached my ears.  I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the body sprawled on the road.

Pointless death offends me.  I'd feel differently if I wanted it for meat or fur.  Instead, it'll freeze on the road for a month and then slowly rot as the weather begins to warm in a few weeks.

My day sucks already.
mellowtigger: (brain)
My eyesight has changed a lot in the last year.  I went today to get an eye exam, a new prescription, and new lenses.  I dropped almost $1000 at Lenscrafters today to get everything done.  Granted, about 1/3 of that was more along the lines of "want" rather than "need", but it will come in handly later.

My far-vision is awful.  With my right eye, I can't even see that giant letter "E" on those vision charts.  My left eye is almost that bad now too.  My near-vision has always been excellent for 40 years, but during the last year it has deteriorated quickly.  The optometrist told me that it required a "significant change" from my previous prescription (which was none).  I'm now officially bifocal.  *sigh*

The extra money I've been earning while working fulltime these last several weeks has certainly come in handy.  This cost is not nearly the setback it would have seemed a few months ago.  That's why I splurged and bought a pair of prescription sunglasses too.  It'll be a lot safer to wear them while I'm riding my trail bicycle.  I will no longer risk scratches to my "work" eyeglasses while being rambunctious outdoors.  That'll be a good precaution, I think.


mellowtigger: (Default)

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