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Monday, October 15th, 2012

Subject:Small Losses
Time:10:50 am.
Another cat, Tom, a Maine Coon, is dying.  He's severely anemic, due to cancer in the abdominal cavity, and about the only thing we can do is make him as comfortable as possible and love him.  Not long to go.
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Subject:More bad news
Time:3:25 pm.
Another friend, another cancer.  Dammit.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Time:10:46 am.
A friend has just had shockingly bad news -- she's been told that she has stage IV Cervical Cancer and that it has metastasized significantly.
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Subject:Raar. bad week.
Time:10:12 am.
Mood: discontent.
1.    Had some  more financial bad news (another surprise).

2.    Had to visit ER because my ring finger swelled while I was sleeping yesterday AM, so couldn't take ring off all day.

Went to ER when it (a) hadn't deflated after 14 hrs (b) started hurting a lot and looking more and more bruised.  Long story short, they got the ring off after several attempts.  It's made of tungsten carbide... they didn't have anything tough enough to cut it and attempts produced significant heat.

My finger is badly beaten up from time w/ring and various failed and successful attempts to remove it.  But finger still attached, so I have no complaints with them. 

But (a) another goddamned bill (b) dammit it HURTS, feels like a mild sprain plus lost a bunch of skin and there are several blisters as additional souvenirs.

Grump grump grump whine grump.

That is all.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Subject:Family
Time:11:22 am.
We buried our oldest dog last night.  She's been in the family for more than half of our marriage, more than half of both the kids' lives.  She'd gone to advanced senility -- lost a lot of her ability to cope with reality, and it wasn't helped by frequent grand-mal seizures and problems with falling.  I was the right decision-- but we miss her a lot.
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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Subject:Job Lead
Time:11:57 am.
Okay, I'm jazzed.  Those of you who know me know that I'm working as an hourly-paid consultant, at a government data center in NYC.  No chance of raises or bonuses, but a nice high billing rate.

I have a lead on a job in Jersey City, which would use my current skillset, at close to my current billing rate, and would in six months (probably) convert to a salaried position, and would require (require!) me to learn new, leading-edge database skills.

Please, Br'er Fox, don't throw me in that briar patch!!
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Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Subject:Random dreams
Time:1:04 pm.

I had a dream last night, that I remembered when I woke up. Something about trying to find an empty locker in the gym for my stuff, and walking through a _really_ well designed party pool, with shallow areas and seats just below the waterline and a swimming area... and at some point Taylor Swift walked up and hugged me, and as she was turning away said "You should be using Sevarin" to me. Which isn't a real drug but apparently was something acne-related in the dreamspace.
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Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Subject:Life and Changes
Time:12:55 pm.
So... another friend got laid off yesterday.  And, the same day, a different friend finally posted about a wonderful new relationship after a bitter break-up.  Yet another friend is contemplating single-parent-hood with a load of obstacles in the way.

The son of a colleague has applied for a job where I work.  Colleague and I are both contractors.  The son is probably not going to be hired, because of nepotism favoring another candidate.  This is city government, civil service.  You thought that wasn't supposed to happen here, right?  Ha.

Today, a collective decision was made that my son should leave his current (charter) high school (before he gets kicked out for academic reasons) and attend the local school, which (thanks in large part to No-Child-Left-Behind) has a better program for high-functioning autistics (Aspies) and can probably make it more likely that he succeeds academicall.  Curses on the elementary school which did such a lousy job of preparing him for high-school expectations.
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Monday, December 6th, 2010

Subject:O.O
Time:10:26 am.
Mood:Appalled.
I have a friend who works helldesk.  (We don't know what she did in a previous life to deserve this, but it must have been really bad.)

One of her coworkers, a five-year veteran, just asked her what "RTFM" stands for.   Really.

How in _Hell_ do you work Helldesk for five years without knowing that???
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Subject:Yams made two ways
Time:1:58 pm.
Mood: creative.
5 lbs yams
1/2 lb bacon
1 sticks butter (1/4 lb)
3 med yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup - 1 cup brown sugar, to taste
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lb shredded cheddar cheese
2 pints sour cream

Peel and Bake Yams, and mash. Divide results in two portions.  While Yams are cooking, prepare rest of recipe.

Cook 1/2 lb of bacon until moderately crumbly. Retain grease.

Slice/dice 3 onions; sauté onions and 4 cloves garlic in grease.  Pour off about 3/4 of grease.

Melt 1 stick butter, add brown sugar and cinnamon.  Stir until all ingredients well blended together.  Add to one portion of yams, stirring to mix.

Crumble/chop bacon.  Blend bacon, onions, garlic, 1/4 of bacon grease into other portion of yams.

Serve portions separately, with shredded cheddar and sour cream available to flavor by individuals' tastes (also because I have people in my family who are lactose-intolerant)


--my recipe, which you may use but may not republish without permission.
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Friday, November 12th, 2010

Subject:Writer's Block: Cover me
Time:11:24 am.
Which songs have been covered better by artists who didn't originally sing them?

"Downtown Train", "covered" better by its author (Tom Waits) than by its first performer (Rod Stewart)
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Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Subject:Burritos without Taco Bell
Time:8:39 pm.
Mood: satisfied.
A friend, strega42 , has recipes -- or rather how-to-cook-for-poor-people tutorials on her site.  I took advantage of her Bean Dip advice to make burritos, which were delicious and inexpensive.  I cooked up some bacon to crumble into the refritos and used the grease to cook a couple of sweet onions and a red bell pepper.  I'm full and happy, and knocking back a shot of scotch as I sit here at the keyboard for the evening.  Tomorrow, I debone the chicken legs for another of her tutorials.

In a semi-related note, does anyone have advice for how I might go about tasting some mild peppers without burning my tongue off?  I'm not  a total "spice wimp" but I'm pretty close -- I blame my Scandinavian ancestors.  What are the names of some mildly hot peppers that I could find at the grocery store and might enjoy?  (Nominating habaneros or jalapenos will disqualify you from further participation. Shut up.)

--Phil
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Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Subject:Computers in the Home
Time:1:28 pm.
Counting Kindles, PC's, MP3 players, and cell phones... Our household now has twelve computers under the roof.   This is,,, kind of bemusing, considering that _none_ of them is the kind I make my living with (I'm a mainframe geek).

Counting PC's and DVDplayers, we have six lasers.

Except for the flying cars, I think Buck Rogers has arrived.
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Friday, August 27th, 2010

Subject:Good news
Time:3:47 pm.
Got a line on a possible job change.  To a job that has paid vacation and sick leave and other benefits, unlike hourly-paid consulting.
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Friday, June 11th, 2010

Time:9:54 pm.
Mood: angry.
Hat tip to issendai  for this posting, which amalgamates a bunch of things I've observed about abusive relationships and companies over the years:
issendai.livejournal.com/572510.html
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Subject:In honor of my friends and acquaintances actively serving:
Time:12:17 pm.
Mood:Respectful.
To all of you... Thank you for what you are doing -- making growing up safer for my children.

Jennifer soldiergrrrl  and John, Katie pistolthewombat , Kenny... all the rest of you.  Thank you.

--Phil
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Friday, May 28th, 2010

Subject:What the heck is Tumblr?
Time:12:41 pm.
Mood: puzzled.
Supposedly Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/) is a hot new blog site. Does the Intarwebs need YABS (Yet Another Blog Site)? Does anyone use it? Is it _worth_ going to, and does it do anything we all need to do, better than the competition?
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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Subject:New Webpage Energy
Time:3:16 pm.
Mood: bouncy.
Having a day of SQUEE! ness and SHINY! while I move my old links from my IE page at work to a website full of customizable widgets (www.protopage.com).  I s'pose I could have done this with earlier widgeting pages from Google or Yahoo, but frankly they didn't catch my imagination.  So far it's mostly basic stuff -- links that pop open in new windows instead of the current one (Yes, I'm talking about you, delicious.com), clock, simple appointment calendar without a lot of features, clock, weather, to-do list, stickynotes. 

That's what I need for an organizer.  Except that I'd like a better appointment calendar, but I have a Franklin-Covey planner for that.  (I know, I know... dead tree format.  But it fits in my backpack and weighs less than my laptop by a good bit.)

Now, I need to find a Web-based expense tracker, widgeted or not.  Anybody know one?  Sidial?
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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Subject:From Slashdot: Chinese student publishes academic exercise to help make U.S. Power Grid safer
Time:9:52 pm.
...U.S. Strategist Overreacts...
hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/03/21/1242221/Chinese-Researcher-Says-US-Power-Grid-Is-Vulnerable-Strategist-Overreacts

I point this out because a number of different sources have produced headlines such as "Chinese publish details of attack to take down U.S. Power Grid", which I hope produced some embarrassment on the parts of newsrooms responsible.

The author of the piece was a Chinese Computer Science student, and analysts responsible for U.S. Cybersecurity say there's no way the published method would have worked.

But you can bet that's not the impression that remained in most people's minds.
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Monday, February 15th, 2010

Subject:We are not being well served by our officials (and other things that are not news)
Time:11:04 pm.
New York Times article today on the capture of a top Taliban leader, here (might require registration at NY Times).  Money quote:

"Several American government officials gave details about the raid on the condition that they not be named, because the operation was classified."

Am I misreading this?  Or are American government officials talking to the Times about classified materials which they're not supposed to be talking about, and the only thing the Times is saying is that they won't _name_ the officials?  Or have I somehow missed the part where this is an officially sanctioned briefing?

I know -- it's been going on for decades, if not centuries.  But I'm attempting to refresh my sense of outrage.
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