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Thoughts to keep from doing what I should do
Sewing is more fun with a buddy
Life has been better lately.  I got through my Job Eval with a 3, which is a normal for most Snivel Servants.  Only went slightly off the deep end when the stupid program didn't seem to want to send it on to my XO and up the chain.  I do feel I should have gotten some brownie points for doing a presentation to all the others in my field as well as the Chaplains on the new Dental program, but what the hey!  My job is relatively safe for the next year.

Bad Juju has been with computers.  The Windows machine that I have used for several years was replaced by Robert with a spiffy new Linus Tower that has 3 giant cooling fans all on the FRONT!  This means I can clean the inlets out without turning the box around to get at the back.  I hate messing with the hardware almost as much as the software.

The Windows machine has sat on the floor being petted and loved (it is a flat surface after all).  The Linux box ran fine until I noticed that the password I thought I knew would allow me to do updates didn't work...   Rats!  Tried every password I've ever used.  Nothing.  Fortunately I had printed out the file that I keep all my passwords in (too many to remember) so I had something.  Robert took the machine back to re-format with Ubutu 9 (?) so it would get up and running.  Unfortunately He got the machine the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I went to Thanksgiving dinner and evidently he though I expected him to have the machine re-formatted by then.  Since he works with computers 5 days a week and re-fueling airplanes and generally taking care of the McMinnville airport on the 6th, I really didn't expect to get the machine back.  The Windows machine was working and I was comfortable.

Disaster Strikes.  Windows machine dies.  Turns out that the original C drive with all the programs on it; all the e-mail addreses, all the saved e-mail from 10 years, etc. died.  Fortunately the data had been being backed up constantly, but things like Outlook files evidently don't back up.  D***m D88M, Drat!

Rather than bother Robert I called Duke Amalric, aka Brian Elliott, who does this kind of thing for a living. I highly recommend him!  He came over, worked on the machine for at least 2 hours and then we pulled an ancient and honorable Think Pad Lap top out and powered it up.  He fixed it so it could use the house Wireless.  I'm back!  Then the house wireless hub dies along with the wireless card for the Think Pad.  Evil is certainly at work.

Went out and bought a new wireless hub thinking that might be the only problem.  Brought it home, visiting computer guru set it up, and PooF!  The wireless works on his machine but now mine.  Wireless card probably went belly up at the same time as the hub.
Curse, Swear, Dirty Words!  Fortunately I also have an Ethernet card for the wireless and that is why I'm online today.  Slowly on line, but at least on-line.

The better living part is because I managed to catch the H1N1 even though I'm supposed to be in the "safe" group at my age.  Four days off work.  I went in on Wednesday to try and clean things up and get my computer.  I called my Doctor for a note.  He very tiredly told me to GO HOME!  He had evidently been working overtime with people who didn't have the sense to stay away from work.  I got my sick slip and stayed home Thursday and Friday.  Since I have my own office I wasn't too worried about my co-workers - also used Lysol spray on everything I could including keyboard and telephone.

Survived.  Then I got a cold.  Three days of cough, sneeze.  No bit deal except that I slept a lot.  Now I have something that feels a bit like pneumonia.  I lost a day.  I could have sworn today should be Saturday.  I don't really remember much.  However, aside from feeling very tired, and with my standard low temperature, I seem to be upright as long as I don't try and stand up.  I have this spiffy scrape bruise on my thigh where I lost my balance and went down with my thigh scraping along the waste basket in my room.  Good thing I have sturdy bed posts or I would have cracked my head.

Got to go Christmas Food Shopping.  Need to put together at least one item for Christmas Present.  Going shopping these days usually means in the house. After all that time in Germany there are lots of things I no longer need but are really spiffy!

Hmmm.... Got to go make a phone call.  Dan and Ellen (Alanna Goodheart) are going to be here for Christmas.  They were due in from Sea-Tac any time now.

May the end of this year bring you joy, may the next year be the best to date!

Love to all of you who read this!

Current Location: home
Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: Abney Park Little Drummer Boy

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I finally got myself in to see the doctor.  Depression is not a fun thing and Lord knows I've been pounded at work with "how to recognize the symptoms of PTSD".  While I haven't had anyone shooting at me, enough of the symptoms (mild) are similar to make me realize that it's time for some help.  I've done the "professional" thing when I was in college, and I'm not a fan.  What I am a fan of is getting myself going and seeing what's in  front of me instead of playing the victim.  This depression is dragging down my energy levels.  There is quite a bit of back and neck pain that is also disturbing my sleep.  Time  for the good old  "better living through chemistry" from my young adulthood.  Prescription and monitored.

I have an MRI coming up to see why my neck and arms are giving me fits.    The doctor's light exam showed that I was really reacting to pinched nerves in my elbows.  He has a low opinion of my waking up three and four times a night as well.  The lower back pain tells him he wants an MRI of the full spine.

I've been trying so hard to get this computer stuff right.  Work has given everyone Aeleron (?) chairs and the skinny monitors.    I can't take a regular mouse so they bought me a track-ball (everyone else hates it :-)

New prescription of old medication (Welbutrin) seems to have given me more energy today even though I still feel like crying at the drop of a hat.  i understand that it takes longer to cheer one up than to give energy.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: tired tired

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It's been hot and miserable all week here in Portland (105degrees!).  I've thought about sleeping at work where there is air conditioning.

I finally got the back bone necessary to tell my occasional overnighter that I want the downstairs to begin looking less like a storage area and more like a bedroom.  I want the Library (the reason I bought the house in the first place) to be cleaned up.  She is welcome to use a corner as an office, but I want to be able to get to the books again.  The room is full to bursting with "stuff" as well as clothing stacked everywhere.

When I saw her I wasn't feeling particularly happy just in general, not just with her.  Of course as a moral coward I have to get really angry before I will say anything so I wasn't terribly gentle.  I told her that I want the bedroom to look like a bedroom, and the library cleaned up by 15 September. 

I added that I always do better with a deadline.  She answered that deadlines made her crazy and left the house.  It's       been my experiance lately that all I have to say is that X works for me for the other person to poo-poo it and emphatically say that X Doesn't work for THEM.  Bad idea to make any suggestions since they are always greeted with contempt.  I swear that if I said that God reigned in Heaven I'd be taken to task and lectured on how God RULED in Heaven rather.

I'm sick of feeling sad and sick to my stomach angry/afraid.  I like sharing the house with someone.  I hate being treated like a sub-normal whose only real use is to provide a salary that pays the bills.  I hate feeling in a constant state of contempt both at work and at home.

This deadline will lose me friends, but they probably weren't much in the way of friends anyway.

I'm so glad I got to Washington, D.C. and found that there are people that know me that honestly are glad to see me and like me for myself.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: depressed depressed

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Well, looks like a long time since I posted.  Some, such as Dan and Alanna's wedding was joyful.  Enjoyed Chappie and Carole's company more than I can say.  Best thing about Indianapolis, aside from the great people is the Crown Point Cemetery!  Incredible Gothic arches, lovely church.

Just got back from a conference in Norfolk, VA.  Fortunately for me Leah Dailey, wife of my adjutant, told me about finding ways of getting the trip I wanted (Portland to DC to Norfolk and back WITH rental car) by showing that it was more advantageous to the government.  The round trip flight from Portland to Norfolk would have cost $1500!  No rental car was authorized.

I pointed out that the round trip from Portland to Washington, D.C WITH a rental car to get me to Norfolk would cost around $700.  They were delighted in my volunteering to force myself to drive the four hours and save them about $800 on the trip. 

Not being completely generous I managed it so I flew into DC on Wednesday the 8th and spent the next 5 days staying with Cian and Cathy (Drachenwald Viscounty and beloved friends), Kiri and Phillip, Richard and Juanice, Eric the Fuzzy Viking, Terafan Greydragon, Daffydd and Morgan...  All the grand old crew of Drachenwald.  Then I skived off the conference exactly when it ended and had Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday to see Beth and Dale Johnson (Jahn and Tuiren, first Prince and Princess) and Coryn Weigle (Mistress Kathea von Linse, Medieval Miscellania).

The conference was incredible for the almost continual string of instruction on huge new programs coming in the next year to eat up all that "free time" we all have.  They dangled GS-11 (we are the equivalent of GS-9 now) in front of us, but we have head that one before.  Almost all of it has to do with volunteer programs (chicken herding in a thunderstorm) and mental health initiatives.  I think we all felt like we were standing in front of a fire-hose. 

The best thing about the trip was the chance to feel like there are people out there who are glad to see me.  People who have respect AND affection. 

Now if work would just stop slipping out of my grasp and let me grab a solid hand-hold.

Current Location: house
Current Mood: depressed depressed
Current Music: none

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     Well, it's been an expensive February so far.  The roofing company came over and fixed not two but three standpipes.  The man who did the work warned me that I didn't have the standard "Alumalock" shingles that I thought I did.  The ones that were put on the house about 50 years ago are a less complex type and don't have much overlap between the courses.  He wasn't sure if it was the ancient caulking around the pipes giving way and allowing water in, or if a couple of the shingles had spread just enough to allow water to run down the roof under the aluminum one and find the pipes a convenient way to make it to the ground.  He asked if I'd had any leak since they had re-caulked and I had to tell him that there hadn't been any heavy rains since then so I didn't know. 
     $936 for the work and he has to tell me to keep my fingers crossed!
     Darn that makes it hard to type!
     Next comes Zippy the Volvo.  Fortunately the clutch problem turned out to just be an adjustment.  The starter problem required a new one.
    Now comes Maleficent the Volvo Sedan.  She is back from the shop but is still waiting for the right instrument cluster transplant to come along.  Rather like an organ transplant.  The one she has is for the same car only a gas variety.  Mal is a diesel.  No glow plug light.  No gas guage.  Needs a new muffler, but she doesn't get that until she passes DEQ and gets tags.  If she can't get tags it isn't worth putting the muffler on. 
     So it goes.
    On the good side, I got a raise at work.  Considering the number of our friends who are in financial trouble, that's a BIG thing!  Also, the roof ONLY cost $936.  I was really worried that they would find dry rot and it would be more like $2,000.
    Wah!  I want to go to London for the Clothing of Henry VIII conference!  I want to go to London to watch the cooking at Hampton Court Palace and take part in Henry's 500th Birthday!  Snivel!  Whine!
    Luck is also needed with new housemate.  I'm hoping that it will mean more evening activity as the days get longer and there is someone who is interested in working outside in the yard.  Maybe even someone who could encourage me to actually paint the downstairs bathroom and the hallway upstairs!
    The push is on to get rid of tchokies.  This house is FULL of things that have become just "stuff".  Things that I enjoyed buying at the time.  I don't see how there can be any dust in the house to hit the floors with all the things that are here to catch it!
    The next push is to get broadband.  We currently have a fairly old 654 DSL line.  I want something on the order of 1.5 or 7 Mbps but I haven't a clue how to get it with the present set up.  QWest keeps trying to sell me a Modem.  I keep telling them I have several computers in the house as well as two phone lines and I don't think I want their modem, but I don't know. 
    This could also mean that I need a new computer since the one I have now is about 6 years old and I'm still running Windows 2000 Pro.  Is that bad?  All I really use it for now is e-mail and surfing.  I'd like to be able to watch selected TV shows (the Dailey show, Alton Brown) but I'm sure that the speed I presently have won't support that.
     Tax time again.  This will be the last year with mortgage interest.  I thought that there would be no 1099 DIV either, but turns out that there is.  Something paid out before the market crashed and I have to pay interest even though everything is worth less.  I hate doing taxes.  Maybe I should just give up and hand it to an accountant but it should be so simple that even I could do it for one more year.
    Next year 1040EZ.  Package up all my money; send it to the IRS;  they send back what they don't want (!!!!)

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: apathetic apathetic

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I just had conversations with two very old friends, or at least they told me their plans for their (grown) children.  I'm left shaking my head at why these two otherwise intelligent women can't seem to evaluate between what they want the kid to have, and what the kid needs to have.

One has worked hard in the last 20 years to save enough money for her son to go to college.  She managed to save enough for him to go to a fairly prestigious private college (not Ivy League, but you'd recognize it even though it doesn't have a football team).  Not too surprisingly he dropped out.  Sent him to another good out of state school.  Still didn't take it seriously and didn't finish.  Now he is down to getting an Associates and may work on a Bachelor's in Communications.  Now I'm not terribly impressed with Communications as anything buy a "check the box" degree to get an office job instead of raking in the loot as a plumber.  I know this because My degrees are Business Management and Communications.

She bemoaned the fact that he didn't seem to appreciate how hard she had to work to put his college money in the bank.  I pointed out that of course he didn't.  He hadn't worked for anything in his life yet.  As far as he knew the money simply grew in the bank vault like a mushroom.

Then I suggested that she let him work for and pay his own college.  That she take what is left and invest it in she and her husband's retirement so that Junior wouldn't have to worry about supporting them in their old age.  After all, his earning years were still ahead of him.  Her husband has had one heart attack and they are getting ready to finish up their earning years and look forward to retirement.  Not a really cushy retirement from what I could gather.

No.  Her parents had given them all a College education and she didn't want her boy to start out in debt.  The problem is that he' s already showing that what he doesn't pay for he doesn't value.  As another of the same ilk I can understand.  It wasn't until I had to pay for my own college classes that I buckled down and studied.  Only took me 30 years to finish that degree :-)

Second conversation was with mom who has it firmly in her mind that her children are going to have everything she didn't while growing up.  This included the very expensive Private College for the boy.  Fortunately for her the young man had the good morals to try hard and when he realized that he was only costing his mother a lot of money and couldn't hack the course load he needed at this time in his life he withdrew and joined the Air Force.  He has since forced his mother to allow him to take over the payments on the loans she took out in her name to pay for the year.

Now she has decided that her daughter must have a Disney World wedding with all the trimmings.  She has always been a Disney fan.  She spends money going to Disney World and Disney Land the  way I spend it on books and fabric :-).  Problem is that a move and new job for her and a live in  boy friend for the daughter have left them almost in Church mouse status.

I suggested that possibly a wedding with the reception held later (possibly years later) in Disney World might be better.  Use the money for this fancy wedding to set the kids up for married life with money for an apartment or car.  No!  Must have a day that will cost not less than $7,000.

I have a deep suspicion that thinking like this is what has gotten us into this money mess we are in.  When I start feeling moral high ground though I look at the fabric in the attic and restrain myself.

Personal opinion is that I have a great deal to be thankful for.  When it comes to kids, I'm willing to help those that will help themselves!

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: bemused

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The roofing company came over yesterday.  It was slated to rain hard all afternoon, and all we got was an occasional mist under clouds.  They got up on the roof and checked the stand-pipe for the bathtub/shower.  When the Aluminilock roof had been put on in the 50's they hadn't bothered to put flashing around the pipes for both the shower and the toilet.  They had just caulked.  Sure enough the caulk was antique and leaking.  In fact they said that the cedar roof undneath was wet.  Drat!  Now maybe dry rot.

At any rate they re-caulked and did a temporary repair to get me through this week of heavy rains.  I've already told them I want them to come back and do a permanent job.  They didn't seem to feel that I'd need a tear off.  Possibly they would have to replace some roofing.  We will have to see.  We will also have to see what the insurance is going to say about this.

Insurance for the Furnace was a no-go.  The fault wasn't due to any misinstallation, and only the furnace itself was harmed.  Therefore no coverage.  NOTE:  Check your homeowners policies for that they do cover.

The roof may be a different story since the flashing should have been installed in the first place and the damage to the caulk happened because of the run-off.  I'm not counting on it though.

While I was waiting for them I decided to clean my house gutters.  I hadn't done that this fall and was pretty sure I'd regret that.  I did.  They were full of fish-bowl bottom debris - ICK!  I was very glad I had installed little expanded mettal mushroom type things where the gutter met the downspout.  They block out debris and let the water continue to flow... up to a point.

The worst places to work on are the front.  The Rhody is determined to claw me to ribbons as I shove the ladder up between it and the house so I can get to those.  Then there is the trek across the front lawn with an 18 foot metal ladder so I can get at the ones under the tree.  I was fortunate again that I had installed laticework covers over the top of those so that most of the leaves just brushed off.  Still there was plenty of thoroughly decayed guck for me to scrape out with a slotted spoon (gives you reach!) and my hands (they wash).

I had a chimney place come out too.  the Bad news is that the chimney needs to be taken off all the way down to the roof-line and completely re-built.  The Good News is that it can be left alone almost indefinitely since it's not a hazard.  $3,000.  I think it will  wait.

I wish I could find some kind of fencing to put up along the roofline above the gutters.  The big problem is that our occasional ice storm tends to let big sheets of ice slide down and rest on the gutters before falling off and attempting to decapatate anyone or anything standing below.  Bet the internet can help.

Then there are going to be plastic covers put over the basement windows.  They aren't leaking... yet.

Sigh!  Good thing the job doesn't look like it's going to join the general rush to downsizing!

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: surprised surprised

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I just remembered that I have Home Owner's Insurance.  I used it for the last time that the snow tore the gutters off the house when it melted.  I hadn't thought about contacting them when the furnace went on the fritz.  I have a $500 deductible, but that was paid the first furnace disaster.  I wonder if I can get the money for the second back.

Of course since the roof problem started on New Years day that will mean an entirely new deductible, but if it is going to be expensive it might well be important to get that in to them as well.  Particularly since I'm going to have a Fireplace/chimbney company come out to see if I need repairs to the chimney (I know I do, but whether it is actually repairs, or pre-emptive strike before I need a hole in the roof repaired because it has fallen down I don't know.

I also bought some of the water blocking paint for the basement wall near the washer/drier.  Unfortunately you are supposed to have to clean off all the old paint and then put on a layer of this.  I will have to wait until the weather dries out, use a wire brush and some vinegar water before attempting to apply this stuff.  On the other hand my brother the Engineer who works on some of the bridges on the Oregon Coast tells me about a goop that can be injected into a crack that will fill the crack with something that will basically "glue" it together.  Might be a good idea for the crack that I can see at the line where the basement and soil surface meet.  Mt. Angel Quake possibly.

I'm also going to invest in window well covers for my basement windows. This will be an extra layer of protection to secure the windows from leaking.  One set also has a vent to allow any trapped moisture to get out.

Then there is re-painting the house, new sod so I have a useable back yard (wish I could kill the neighbor's English Walnut tree...  Must think on this since the tree reaches over the back fense and annoys my Italian Prune tree!  Anyone want an Italian prune tree seedling?  Got two that are really going strong and the fruit is luscious!)

Then there is the new front porch addition when I winn the lottery.  I'm not asking for that since I think that my ex used up all the lottery luck around me.  I have no complaints though!

Anyone else subscribe to the Sothby's Auction catalogues?  I highly recommend it!  They had 5 Old Master Paintings for sale that probably aren't in any books since they are in private hands and not big collections.  Great Costume Detail.  They also have statuary sales that allow you to see the piece 360 degrees.  No more "Lady!  Turn Around!"  The subscription is free.  Not always facinating, but free it free.

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Current Location: home
Current Music: Don't do music much

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Got home from Robert and Helena's house warming party at thought I'd check e-mail.  An old friend noticed my sadness that I have lost the Laurel Scroll that my aprentice made for me before leaving Drachenwald.  One of those "Put in a Saft Place" things.  He is a Laurel in C&I and offered to make me one.  I decided to go down stairs to check my calligraphy books for the name of the hand I love. 

I got to the bottom of the stairs and heard the dread "Drip" and sound of water tap tapping.  I turned on the light in the bedroom area (no piping near the book room!) and saw water dripping onto the carpet.  Not a lot of water had dripped yet, so I must have come down just as the lake on the upper side of the roof tile started leaking through.

Ahhhh!   Scream! 

Fortunately James, Elaine's intended, was here and we started prying out roofing fiberboard after putting a handy empty cat litter bucket under the leak. 

Large lake on the upper side of the ceiling tile.  I was aftaid that there was a leak in the plumbing.  After turning off the house water and noting that the leak didn't stop pattering down, we started to try and make a drain hole for the lake that had formed there and pry off enough of the roof tiles that were showing seepage so we could see what was going on.  All the floorboards under the tub area were wet.

Finally we thought of the stand pipe that goes from the bathroom to the roof to exhaust those "nasty" gases.  Went up into the attic crawl space and sure enough water from the heavy rain was pouring down the outside of that pipe.  DRAT!  Nothing to be done.  Can't reach the underside to caulk.

Again, this is what empty kitty litter containers are for.  Reminds me of home when I was a child before my father managed to put a new roof on our house (times were getting better, but roofs have always been expensive).  Drip, Drip, Drip.

I have a roofer coming over on Tuesday to look at the Aluminum shingle roof and give me an estimate of repair.  I called my homeowners insurance to tell them that the leak and possibly new gutters would be coming in as a claim (cross fingers it's just a caulking/flashing problem since I have a $500 deductible.)

Since I was about it I also made an appointment with a chimney specialist to come out and give me an estimate to put a hat on my chimney as well as do some work on it.  That's going to have to be done step by step since it sounds like the entire job I want is going to be in the $1,000 area.

First, own the house.  Then start nibbling away at the to do list!
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   The Death of David of Moffett caught me by surprise and horror.  After lifting my jaw off the floor that such a young man should pass away so unexpectedly my first thought was "What about that incredible coronet".  Second thought was the incredible embroidery he did.  What will happen to it?
   Fortunately David had things in hand and had an SCA family that will treasure the works of art he had made and accumulated.  Still it made me think.  I have some lovely things that are SCA specific, and even pretty ME specific.  I can will them, but to whom?  The Viscountal Coronet is verspecifically Drachenwald.  The Pel/Laurel Medallion with the Coronet is unusual.
    Then there is all the 'Stuff" that I've accumulated over the years.  That I can actually start to get rid of.
    Still, there are so many actual works of art out there in the form of A&S Display work, Masters works, and just plain incredible items like Peerage and other scrolls.  What's going to happen to them?  The SCA has a decent number of much older members who are going to be going to the Final Frontier Event in the next few years.  There will be museum quality work sitting around and if not carefully planned for it will end up in the trash or tossed into a drawer and lost.
   The SCA needs a Museum.  It would help if we could find a nice J. Paul Getty to fund one.  I've seen SCA items that could stand beside anything that was or has been done ever before.
   No one in my personal family will care about what I have.  Must think on this.

New Year's Resolution.  Get rid of as many SCA tchochkies as I can.  I have Many goblets, wooden plates, etc.  Kinder-egg toys galore!,  China cabinets full of pretty things that I've gotten in my travels.  Enough dust catchers that I'm amazed there is any dust anywhere else!

Current Location: home
Current Mood: lonely lonely

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