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Saturday, September 24th, 2011
10:49 am - What I did this summer
I spent the entire summer learning the UDK and Blender 3D, and making my very own video game.

I'm immensely proud of everything I learned and accomplished. This was the most challenging, rewarding, and fun summer I've had in a very long time.

If you're interested, check out the game's website:

http://grandinvasion.com/

So what will I do for an encore? Make a new game. :) Just in the planning stages now.

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Monday, October 4th, 2010
11:40 am - Toilet-trained kitten!
Yep, she's really there, and has been for about a month now. Clever kitten!

I'm loving the "flush twice a day" model of cat-waste removal so much more than the scooping one. :)

I would post a pic or two, but she pretty much takes care of business privately; I rarely see her do it anymore.

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Monday, August 30th, 2010
1:33 pm - Adventures in toilet training
Kittens, not children.

Cut for potential grossness, although really, I'm pretty discreetCollapse )

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Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
5:11 pm - I think I'm on my way
For the past, oh, several years, I've had some energy issues, which were complicated and aggravated by various ongoing medical crises in and around me. The fatigue got pretty bad recently, so I made some specific changes, based on some incremental past successes, including:

- Eating bigger and proteinier breakfasts
- Not eating chocolate
- Eating blueberries every day

And wouldn't you know it? I felt much, much better. Had sustained energy throughout the day for the first time in, well, I don't know how long, because fatigue affects memory.

I had a sneaking, sinking suspicion that the chocolate was the biggest issue, because I'm quite sensitive to caffeine. I went 5 days without it, and then had a chunk today. Now my brain is foggy and my muscles feel vague and weak.

Believe it or not, this is good news. Delightful as chocolate is, it's just a kind of food, and one in which I've indulged plentifully over the years. Knowledge is power. Avoiding chocolate can be tricky, but if I know it exhausts me, I can choose when to take that hit.

I'll keep playing with the other items on the list, but I'm guessing chocolate is the biggest culprit.

This means that I can expect lots of good, sustained-energy days now. I can't tell you how immeasurable a relief that is.

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Sunday, September 27th, 2009
11:08 am - The wholphin
For those who have wondered where I got my LJ icon:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7508288/

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Sunday, June 7th, 2009
8:02 am - New story
I've just finished the second draft of my first new short story in years. And I can't tell about this one. I love the concept, but I'm too close to it to evaluate the execution. To be honest, I'm not even sure there's a fantasy element, though I hope so.

Regardless, I'm quite pleased.

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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
1:18 pm - Another video
Apparently I'm now a YouTube pimp.

If you like the song "Stand By Me," you'll likely like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM

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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
11:44 am - Inspirational
How truly cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut68Set-w0o

(Um -- does anyone know how I can post this with the YouTube page embedded? I know others have done it.)

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Sunday, March 1st, 2009
9:21 am - What to think?
Apparently, all agencies that provide temp staff to Microsoft are passing along part or all of a brand-new 10% cut in the rates Microsoft is paying those agencies. Agency temps working at Microsoft (not agency representatives, recruiters, or management) are taking enforced pay cuts.

(Yes, this is probably legal. Essentially they're terminating existing contracts and creating new ones. But it stinks.)

There is, of course, much hue and cry. To me, it comes down to a fundamental question: Is Microsoft upper management taking advantage of dire economic times in the country to cut pay unnecessarily, secure in the assumption that people are too scared to leave and jobs are too scarce to find? If the answer is yes, then a protest is in order. See this website for more information about temps debating unionizing:

http://www.msratecuts.org/site/

If, however, the answer is no -- if, despite its riches, Microsoft really does need to cut these costs, just as many other companies have had to, then fighting these cuts could have the result of hurting Microsoft and the agencies, possibly even driving some under.

I don't blame the agencies for passing along some of the cuts; despite their taking 30-40% of bill rates, I do believe profit margins are already slim.

I honestly don't know what to think. I don't know if the fact that Microsoft (and agency) upper management aren't taking voluntary pay cuts means that times really aren't that dire.

Thoughts? (No flaming, please; I know this is inflammatory stuff, but flaming won't solve anything.)

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Sunday, December 21st, 2008
2:20 pm - Winter in Seattle
I can't remember the last time we had 10 inches of snow, with more still falling. (Yes, I measured with a ruler. It's what I do.)

I know I could be annoyed at the inconvenience of being snowed in, but the Buffalo girl in me just loves the snow. This is just like a respectable winter.

When I am old, I hope snowfall still affects me the same way. I never want to lose my childhood wonder at the way winter transforms the world.

ETA: It's up to more than 12 inches. The top of my ruler disappears below the surface of the snow.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
10:01 am - Yay!
O EMLA Cream, where have you been all my life?

Details about painless needles behind the cut.Collapse )

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Monday, October 13th, 2008
4:07 pm - Hello from sunny Casa Grande, AZ
We're about halfway through a massive Arizona road trip. So far:

Landed in Phoenix.

Drove to Cameron, from which we saw the Grand Canyon (big hole), the dinosaur footprints at Moenkopi (fabulous, plus entertaining because of our drunk Navajo guide), and the Wupatki ruins.

Drove to Holbrook, from which we saw the Petrified Forest (spectacular, bought some souvenirs) and the Painted Desert. If you go, go to Jim Gray's enormous rock shop in Holbrook. It's like the Petrified Forest all over again, but you can buy pretty much anything if you have the $$.

Drove to Sedona, from which we saw some big red rocks that are supposed to be energy vortexes (felt nothing; apparently I am insufficiently tuned in).

Drove to Maricopa, and along the way saw Montezuma Castle (yowza!).

Drove to Casa Grande, from which we saw the Casa Grande Ruins (impressive, plus we got to walk around in them, which was great).

Wildlife seen: hawks, huge ravens, mule deer, roadrunner, alpine squirrel, lizards, coyote (deceased).

Most amusing trip factoid: We're mostly staying at golf resorts, those being the places in our budget and nicer than the chain motels. Might be even better if either of us actually golfed. Plus, per an idea lifted from miz_hatbox, we've been staying at places with interesting beds (Sleep Number in Sedona, Tempur-pedic in Tucson) to try them out, and those always turn out to be golf resorts.

Tomorrow, we drive to Tucson, and from there back to Phoenix to while away the last few days at a resort. Flying back Sunday, with many many pictures.

So far, we've driven close to 1500 miles. All told, the trip will probably come in at around 2000.

Much fun so far. We've seen many, many things, and are both enjoying ourselves.

More later. Hope y'all are having fun too.

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
10:18 am - AAA question
For those of you who have AAA -- what do you get from them that you don't get from your auto insurance?

We're looking at an out-of-state road trip in a rental car, and we're trying to figure out if signing up with AAA makes sense. Our insurance offers 24-hr roadside assistance, and we can get travel guides and maps anywhere.

Is Triple-A worth it?

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Friday, June 20th, 2008
8:52 pm - Fluffy little beasties
One of the cool things about taking in foster animals for the Humane Society is that sometimes you get a batch of the cutest, fluffiest, newest little kittens you ever did see.

We have four for the next week or two: ginger, white, gray, and Siamese-looking. They're 8 weeks old and absolutely adorable.

I feel so lucky that I get to have rent-a-kittens for the low, low price of giving them medication if they need it (so far, they don't). I even get to give them back when I'm done playing with them.

Let the kitten rodeo begin.

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
10:49 pm - I'm bored.
Will someone on my friends list please post something diverting? All I have to talk about right now are complaints, and even I'm getting tired of them.

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Saturday, April 19th, 2008
10:43 am - Repelling aggressive dogs?
Anyone know how to repel aggressive dogs? We have a foster dog and had a run-in last night with a large, loose, unfriendly dog. Got away without further incident, but I want to be able to protect myself and any pooch with me.

I've read about ultrasonic dog repellants, citrus sprays, pepper/mace sprays, and even umbrellas. Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks.

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Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
9:45 am - Best April Fool's Day jokes
I particularly like the left-handed burger.

http://www.canada.com/topics/technology/story.html?id=2ea6c039-4786-42bc-9b38-3bd89c8125e1

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
11:08 am - Blowsome month
In the past month, we lost both our cats -- one to surprise cancer, one to old age and renal failure.

I love animals. But I hate that they come with expiration dates. I'm not sure I can sign up for this kind of crap again.

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Saturday, February 16th, 2008
11:07 am - Funny
John Cleese has decided to revoke America's independence.

Can you blame him?

current mood: amused

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Sunday, January 6th, 2008
2:00 pm - On writing
As I crack open my unfinished novel and falteringly rewrite it, I'm realizing that I have mixed feelings about writing.

I always loved being a writer, and when I was young, the escapism of the writing act sufficed. As I grew older, though, I realized I was restless for accolades and accomplishment. I started submitting to professional mags when I was a teenager.

Writing is no longer the pure delight it was. Some of it is still a wonderful high, but more of it is drudgery.

If I'm to write again, I need to see more results. I need more publications, possibly novel sales, good reviews, a growing fan base. None of those things are guaranteed, which makes the venture risky.

So, for my fellow former-writer-friends out there -- would you have stopped if you'd gotten more worldly success? Do you think you just outgrew it? Do you still miss it? What would it take for you to start again?

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