Tuesday, 4 September 2012 07:56 pm
There was quite a downpour this morning. I was hanging out with my parents at their hotel just as they were on their way back home; I stuck around a bit longer so I wouldn't be caught in the worst of it getting back to the car. It turned out to be a very warm rain, but also a lot of water.

Things I then saw on my way to work:

- ducks swimming on the shoulder of the road
- a toddler joyfully stomping in puddles in a front yard
- a pair of middle-aged women driving a scooter in the bike-lane with raincoats billowing. The one in the front looked like she was soaked to the bone and had an ear-to-ear grin.
Yesterday, I woke up a bit early, determined that Snowpocalypse had not closed our university, got ready for work and spent some time with d., who was leaving for a conference [1], hiked through the snow to the nearest express bus, with a quick detour to pick up a chunk of smoked salmon for my breakfast bagels, just caught the bus, and made it to work in excellent time.

At which point I discovered that the salmon, which I had already noticed smelling awesome, also transferred some of that awesome smell to my gloves and the coat-pocket I had briefly put the salmon bag into.

Which happened to also contain my gym shorts, because on Wednesday I had a physio appointment and she wanted me to wear shorts.

And after work, I bussed downtown to the Art Gallery, which was hosting a Groundhog Day party [2], and in answering email from someone suggesting I pack earplugs for Thursday night's concert, I was pleased to reply that I did have earplugs on me; in fact they were in the pocket containing the smoked salmon, not the pocket with my gym shorts (as I had put the salmon in the other pocket, while I was putting on my gloves).

[1] in Florida, and I'm happy he made it, because it would be awful and ironic to miss a February trip to Florida because of a snowstorm. [3]

[2] Have you ever gone to a Groundhog Day party? Me neither, figured I would check it out. Plus, catered reception, and free visit to the art gallery, which I hadn't visited in a few years.

[3] even a work trip.

(no subject)

Friday, 19 March 2010 10:26 pm
da: (grey)
This morning, I woke from a dream that I had been lying in bed unable to sleep for hours and it was 5am and I was exhausted. Then I woke up at 8am, convinced it had been a dream, with no basis for assuming so, especially since I still felt exhausted. Bleh.

Then at 8:50, my pants vibrated to remind me of something on my calendar. I meant to catch a talk at the University at 9:00. I made it to the talk at 9:03, including paying for parking. Go me. ...Then I reset google calendar to send me reminders 20 minutes ahead instead of 10 minutes. (which would've given me enough time to bike instead of driving!)

I've biked to work three days this week, which is as positive a development as you'd think. The weather is LOVELY. Having my back in good enough shape to bike in is also LOVELY. The back's not in great condition, but it's OK. I need to work on strengthening my core muscles; my body's in much worse shape than I think it should be.

In fact, last night with [livejournal.com profile] elbie_at_trig and [livejournal.com profile] thingo I made a Bold Assertion: a year from now, I'll be in good enough shape to go climbing at the campus bouldering wall. And not feel like I'm messing up my arms, or shoulder, or lower back, or hip, or.. yeah. So, LJ, you're my witness. Next March!

I'm also loving that I have my taxes finished- and the US returns are in the mail. I don't owe anything to the IRS, and I'm owed a nice little refund from CRA, which I hope to have in my account in less than two weeks. My tax preparer came by my office at the University to have me sign the forms. Such service!

All of these good things aside, I've been feeling bleh today. I blame that overactive dream. *shakes fist at dream*
My last 24 hours, in three acts.

Act I

Last night, I wanted a burger for dinner. So I drove to our nearby veggie-burger joint, had a yummy dinner, then discovered the car's battery was flat. Lights on? Nope, it was still sunny when I got there. I opened the hood, the battery's covered in corrosion. Ooookay. So I called Rachel and Robin, Quaker friends who live 3 minutes away, and they drove up and gave me a jump-start. The car started right away. Exeunt both directions, warm fuzzies and happy music.

I took a 30-minute drive around town to recharge the battery, with the windows down, yippee!, got home, parked in front of the house (just in case). Turned off the car, waited a moment, tried to turn on the lights, and it went "click-click-click-click".

Oh. Damn.

Act II

This morning at 8, I walked to the tire-place down the street and swapped batteries. I rolled back home (with battery in a cart; I ain't carrying that thing even 4 blocks.) Put it in, tried to turn on the lights, and it still just goes "click-click-click-click." Grr.

I called the car shop we use; they said Mondays are busy, but yeah, I could drop it off. Now, on Tuesdays we're still leaving the hosue at 7:30, and dan's not yet healthy enough for a walk to work, or even really the walk to/from the bus. So this ain't great. Not a disaster, we have funds, but not great. I got a recommendation for a towing company, called them, they said they'd be 30 minutes.

Then, I asked my local programmer-friends on IRC whether the tow would drop the car off without me going with it, a suggestion from my clever boyfriend (who hasn't ever done that, but thought it was sensible.)

Yes, a friend said, you can do that, especially if the tow company has a relationship with the garage. Yay, I said, they recommended them. And it saves me a trip which I know would take at least 90 minutes, since the bus up there is sporadic.

Then Justin chimed into the IRC conversation, and said this problem sounds strange, it still sounds like a dead battery problem to him. He suggested I take some 400-grit sandpaper to the terminals to make sure it's a clean connection. Good idea! That I did, and also noticed that the positive terminal didn't even have a bolt clamping it on. Which I sort-of fixed. And Lo, the car started. I ran in, called the tow company and canceled, and went back on IRC to tell Justin I owed him one.

Then I heard the sound of a tow-truck backing up outside. Oops! Came out, waving, jumped on the running board to find myself face to face with the butchest woman I've seen in ages. Her head was half-shaved, half long-orange hair, she had a lip piercing, and when I said hi, I'm really sorry, I called a few minutes ago to cancel, she laughed and her tongue piercing didn't look at all out of place. She looked tough. I'm glad she was friendly. And it wasn't until she had left that I realized, I totally should've gotten her name, at least.

Right. So, off to work; got some stuff done, then at 2pm, dan asked if I could take him home.

Out to the car, which... started immediately.

Dropped him home, stopped to run an errand, and... it refused to start again.

This time, I had the jumper cables out and the hood up, at the ready for a quick jump from the next available driver. Yes, I've lost any inhibition against asking just anyone... And y'know, people in this town? They'll jump you just as promptly. At least if you're able to get your hood up quick.

Curtain, before the snickering gets too loud.

Act III:

What now? Maybe alternator, maybe starter, maybe dud battery. Motor's running, at least. Off to the auto shop, on the north side of town, to beg them to maybe fit me in this afternoon somehow?

They were busy; 4 cars had to be finished today. But the head guy said OK, I can wait around and see where they are in an hour. So I sat in the car, windows down, and listened to their radio and machinery. In my short sleeve shirt- OMG this weather! If it wasn't the uncertainty about the car, it would be pretty much divine. I even meditated for a while. And I discovered a pair of sunglasses in the glove compartment, which helped.

90 minutes later, I was back on the road. Here's what I learned:
1) the terminals need to be clamped down so they can't shake off.
2) hand-tight is NOWHERE near good enough, even if that's what they were when I took off the old battery. (Gee, maybe that was the root cause? Not the dying ancient battery? Hm.)
3) gruff car guys are still OK folks. I tipped him, because he didn't even bother writing it up, just said how about $20. And he could've said, no guarantee he'll even be able to look at it today, but he didn't.

And that is, I hope, the end of this story.

Ni Pena Ni Miedo

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 08:44 am
In Pinochet's Chile, a poet held and tortured in the dictator's jails named Raúl Zurita imagined "writing poems in the sky, on the faces of cliffs, in the desert."

In 1993, this poem was etched into a mountain-base: Ni Pena Ni Miedo.

No shame nor fear.

It is three kilometers long. If you zoom in on the google map in that link, you can the attention to detail. The desert has been reclaiming the field, just as the thousands of victims of Pinochet were disappeared.

But it is said that every Sunday the children of the nearest village go out with shovels and turn the dirt inside the letters to refresh them. My mind is boggled at the scale of this.

(I originally saw this on Google Sightseeing; there was more info in their links, and more also in the translation translation of his wp page here.)

Happy Inauguration Day, everyone.

The Guds

Friday, 19 December 2008 06:00 pm
- home-made pizza for dinner: pineapple, anchovy, and onion
- coming home at 2 when the University semi-closed
- a much-needed 90-minute nap
- neighbour stopping by with her snowblower, saving me 20 minutes' shoveling (which had been taking more out of me than I realized at the time...)
- instead of seeing [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball's concert tonight, I called and switched my ticket to tomorrow's matinée. My sweetie has good ideas.
- less of a headache than mid-afternoon. Hey, it's a gud. Weak gud, but still a gud.

weekend wrapup

Monday, 27 October 2008 01:55 pm
It was a good weekend.

Not too social, not to solitary.

I did some doing, did some thinking.

Plusses and minuses:

+ getting some human-interface issues thought out.
+ following a long chain of "what-if..." to come up with a good idea for an addition to software I use
+ making steps forward on a few non-work projects, with clear(er) next steps.
    -- ignoring one project for months
+ seeing 12 Angry Men with [livejournal.com profile] chezmax & [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j
    + great show
+ Art Walk- bought stained glass from [livejournal.com profile] quingawaga for the office
+ [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball, just 'cause.
+ good Quaker Meeting. I spent some of the Meeting considering whether I'm still led to keep working on a project. The answer's "yes, but..."
- Public Library is closed until 1pm on Sundays. F, WT?
+ dim sum with [livejournal.com profile] bats22, [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball, [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j & [livejournal.com profile] chezmax. 12 dishes was exactly right. (mmmm turnip-cake.)
+ [livejournal.com profile] bats22 as houseguest
+ afternoon watching [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball & [livejournal.com profile] bats22 in the kitchen
    + apple pie
    + roast veggies and squash soup and excellent company
+ dog walk
    -/+ surprise hail?! Those were big pellets!
- wet hair on cold mornings
- waiting for MEC order to arrive
On my Thanksgiving day off, while dan's still traveling:

Biked from City Cafe to City Cafe again; I took a huge number of photos of leaves turning. Homer Watson Park was quite beautiful, as was the road into Hespler (Fountain St.?) along the waving grain... The weather cooperated well- I was warm in short-sleeves.

12:46p-1:50 (10min stops) odo 736.76

2:22p-4:00 (30min? stops) odo 760.85

So, 54 minutes down, 68 minutes back. 24.09 miles.

I should upload those photos!

Hi Ike

Saturday, 13 September 2008 10:22 am
So I heard we had rain warnings this weekend for 5-10cm/2-3.9" total. The first storm is due today; the second, tomorrow, the remnants of hurricane Ike.

That seems like a lot of weather activity, but Google Maps makes it seem more immediate with their Fall Hurricanes map.

Hello there. )

In 30 minutes I'm supposed to go stand on a bridge in Victoria Park and get photographed. I wonder if the rain will hit before, or after?

Tuesday the Wet

Wednesday, 23 July 2008 03:10 pm
Yesterday's storms hit me coming and going. My day started in Toronto, where I spent the night with [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball; he's there through this afternoon for a conference. I found it a good visit as one-day vacations go. But then was the getting home.

I parked our car at the Yorkdale mall, and by early afternoon, I was already on the road back home, when bam the rains started and became quite heavy quite quickly. As far as I can tell from the weather map and the radio, there was a fairly intense front that moved across the 401 just before I came through. The only really scary part of the drive was when I hit my first patch of the road being resurfaced- there was more than a few cm of water in the trough that was my lane, which made the conditions quite different quite quickly.

So, after 30 minutes of slow wet going, the weather cleared up and shortly I was on dry pavement again. As it was all the way home. I picked up [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog from the kennel, dropped her at home, then biked to work in partial sunshine.

I had one eye on the radar map, but I lost a gamble that I'd leave before the rain hit. And wow did it hit. So I stayed an extra hour, worked some more, chatted with [livejournal.com profile] sulle_stelle and rebooted stuff when the power went off for a second. I didn't see any of the hail or damaging wind, though the wind seemed quite strong at the University. The weather station recorded a record 24mm of rain between 7:30 and 7:45pm. I waited until 8, then made my way back in a light (but quite chilly) shower. My route home was flood-free, fortunately. Not like this, a shot taken for the local paper, of the four lane road just by Rover's kennel:

And now I have a UPS for my computer, and a very wet lawn that I didn't get to mow before today's rains started, and I wonder what the weather will be like for tonight's ride home. And hopefully the basement is still dry.
Themes: digging out. movies. friends.

Friday night, I shovelled. Thankfully, the physio went very well- my neck wasn't bothering me while I was shovelling, though it was bad enough earlier that we ducked out of dinner plans with [livejournal.com profile] dawn_guy & [livejournal.com profile] catbear.
Saturday morning, I shovelled. It was sort of fun, because it was so light and fluffy.
Saturday evening, I shovelled, so that we might get out to the da Capo concert. Which was cancelled almost exactly when I came in from shovelling.
Sunday morning, I shovelled. Getting it over my head to the top of the pile was a bit of a pain.
Sunday afternoon, I shovelled, after the plow came through. Getting the compacted plow-crap onto the pile was more of a pain- this marks the first time I've ever had to do maintenance digging from the top of a snow-pile to make room for the rest. I took a few photos, but they're not as pretty as Saturday night's from in front of a neighbour's house.

Saturday night dan got us a backup plan, within 10 minutes of the concert being cancelled, which turned out to be good fun: we went to see Karen-M-of-no-LJ, a friend of [livejournal.com profile] persephoneplace who dan has gotten to know as well. It was going to be a 5-minute walk, except we walked through the school yard to save a few hundred feet of walking around it, so of course it was a 15 minute walk. :) Fortunately, my wind-pants double nicely as snow-pants.

We watched Volver, which none of us had seen. I loved it. Very much a "strength of sisterhood" movie, with less over-the-top characters than some of Almodóvar's works, and I liked the eventual reversals of back-story that made things even more believable. The theme of blowing winds was quite beautiful- especially with the image of going back and forth from Madrid to the family hometown, through the spinning wind-farms; a bridge between the historic provincial superstitious old people and modern younger city-dwellers who don't seem nearly as grounded, but much more busy.

Friday night, d. and I watched the first episode of Planet Earth, narrated by David Attenborough. It was better than I expected- the other two parts I've seen were on an airplane, and you don't really get the nuanced video in a 6-inch seat-back display. :) I'm looking forward to curling up to see more of them.

And on Sunday [livejournal.com profile] chezmax and I saw Juno, which was charming and funny and perhaps a bit too quirky, but still worth seeing. My only major complaint is the one I've read most frequently about it, that the conversation with her family after she's done a mental 180 on getting an abortion feels like a sitcom decision, which ends up feeling suspiciously moralizing. It didn't sit well with me how the step-mom says, "Aren't you just an Amazon?" and that's it.

On the other hand, every other step in the movie is cavalier, such as the girls finding adoptive parents in the Pennysaver. So perhaps this decision fits; and it fits with the theme of Juno being a strong 16-year-old who made a mistake and is dealing with all of the consequences, including going through with the adoption, as tough as it is. So: yeah, I recommend it. It's very funny; imdb has the longest set of "Memorable Quotes" for this movie than any other I can think of. That's probably because everyone's just so damn quirky.

An enjoyable dinner last night with [livejournal.com profile] chezmax and [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j, with soup that turned out to be stew, orange mint bread, and rubber cherry pie that turned out to be tasty and not at all like rubber.

Finally, to end with some more digging out: Saturday [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball asked me for a bit of joint-financial paperwork from 2000-2001, which I thought I could find, and I couldn't in ten minutes. And he was having heebie-jeebies about how much stuff I keep in my closets, and I had to agree that with a fresh pair of eyes, yes, it is a bit scary.

So I started going through things, including a great big pile of papers from my time at Cornell that I had decided to keep when we moved from Ithaca. Wow. I'm gung-ho about attacking this, because It Is Time. And it will help me on my way toward organizing my stuff according to GTDish guidelines. More to follow. I wish I'd taken a photo before I started.
Dang. I shoveled the driveway twice, so we'd have a chance to get to our Da Capo concert this evening. For which they sent an email a few hours ago saying the show would go on.

Aaaand then the concert was canceled, just about the same time I finished shoveling the second time. And it keeps coming. Since I stopped, we've gotten another few cm; and the radar map shows this weather parked over us for the forseeable future.

It's light and fluffy, and it felt sort of dramatic to be tossing it into a bank almost as high as my head.

Pity it's not a work-day.


Wednesday, 9 January 2008 04:10 pm
In the smorgasbord of weather choices we've had over the last week (15 cm. of snow; pea-soup fog and 14C temperature; heavy rain; more rain; gale-force winds) ...I'll take today's gale-force winds, because today also features a mostly sunny sky. And when it's not blowing, the sun actually feels *warm*. This sun thing? I like it. Today is a good day. :)

(Even though the rain woke me last night at 3am through my earplugs, and I was up until 5 or so really wanting to get back to sleep...)


Thursday, 3 January 2008 09:33 am
Our furnace died some time in the night. It's -18°C outside right now (0°F). [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball has stayed home to intercept the repair people, who should arrive within the half-hour. Fortunate thing, that, since it's around 16°C in the house.

Meanwhile, I have a minor head-cold. But I'm at work, and feeling fairly OK.

You know what?

Sunday, 16 December 2007 08:11 pm
It is a good life.

Even though today's plans were shot to hell by the "storm of a decade" [1], and we didn't go out for the special brunch, nor was I able to procure the egg pants from K & J,  we still had a good time of it.  I'm thankful for a boyfriend who enjoys cooking his own birthday dinner, and who improvises nicely.

Happy Birthday sweetie. And many more.

[1] I don't know whether it will turn out it was; the strength of the storm seems, er, overblown; I think I only shoveled about 30 cm of snow. But who knows what we'll get tonight?


Monday, 5 November 2007 08:42 pm

5 Day Forecast from Environment Canada

Cloudy. Periods of rain beginning early this evening and ending this evening then 60 percent chance of showers late this evening and overnight. A few wet flurries over higher terrain overnight. Wind south 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low plus 1.
Showers except a few wet flurries over higher terrain early in the morning. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 30 in the afternoon. High 9.
Tuesday night
Rain showers changing to flurries near midnight. Local snowfall amount 5 cm. Wind north 50 km/h gusting to 70 becoming light near midnight. Low minus 3.
Cloudy with 70 percent chance of flurries. High plus 3.
Cloudy with 40 percent chance of rain or snow. Low minus 8. High plus 3.
Cloudy with 70 percent chance of rain or snow. Low minus 1. High plus 3.


Friday, 3 August 2007 11:26 pm
I'm so happy that the heat-spell broke; it even did so without raining out our 3rd Elora Festival concert in the Gambrel Barn.

The sky is super-clear and there are a million pretty stars.

I just wish the air-pressure wasn't making my temples throb quite so much.

a storm

Tuesday, 15 May 2007 07:10 pm
I hear other parts of town are just getting a drizzle or heavy rain. Well, we were getting quite the wind and rain just now.

That wasn't even the worst of it; my camera only gets video in 30-second chunks.

Ah well, the backyard tree seems intact; the only damage done seems to be a house plant that got knocked over in the wind. I wonder if there's much more due; we're still getting a fair bit of lightning and thunder. The radar map shows another big red blob down by Windsor aimed directly at us. :)

Hope everyone else is OK. ...Toronto, batten down hatches!

[edit to add: and now the birds are chirping again.]

Manhattan, sunset

Tuesday, 10 April 2007 12:07 pm

Manhattan, sunset II
Originally uploaded by da_.

The tallest building sticking up from the far (East) side of the island is the Trump Tower, partly obscuring the UN tower, which is a block from where we stayed.
It's 20 degrees C again today. I'm glad I biked, and I'm glad I wore shorts- it's a bit too warm, actually.

I was just the recipient of the best flirting-line I think I've heard in a while.

Setting: Tim Hortons, Student Life Centre.
Me: Medium single-single please.
Woman behind counter: Ah, a single-single guy. But are you a single, single-single?
Me: ... That'd be taken, single-single. But thanks.

Heh. I wonder how often Tim's employees try using that line. Not one I've heard before, but I imagine behind the counter, that would be different.

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