testing

Apr. 20th, 2017 09:04 am
ritaxis: (Default)
 I got a wee Chromebook some months ago for traveling & I've be'en using it for an auxiliary downstairs. It's kind of clunky in the track pad & a bit clunky in the keyboard. The worst part is that the tracking & button features of the mouse are all in the one awkward rectangle so it's confused and not so responsive.

This moment  I'm experimenting with using it as a tablet. It seems to be better at tableting than at laptopping. I'm fonder of laptops than tablets for writing but  I will use this however it uses best.

On another front I think I am done shopping for the trip &  I am almost done sewing. What's left is a few seams on my carry-on bag for my Bipap machine & medicines, and a shopping bag (very quick) for a present for Andrea. If there is time I'll run up the livingroom curtains before I go. Otherwise they can wait.

What I will have made for the trip: 3 presents, all shopping bags: 3 shirts & a nightshirt:: a messenger bag big enough for this wee computer: the carry-on bag: & I don't know if it counts, but 2 skirts I made last summer, my wallet & pussy hat both crocheted for general use. so while I have been so out of it I haven't been completely useless. Everything is from odds & ends, old stash that was free or cheap to begin with, & they fit me. Even the findings, buttons & zippers are found or stored (for example the rings & clasp on the purse are from leashes & harnesses Zluta chewed up in her puppy months). Oh & not EVERY piece is plaid....

On a larger world front, Sarah Kendzior is pissing me off. She's taking every possible opportunity to push a divisive, anti-left, anti-communist agenda. Now that she is a Queen of the Resistance this behavior is dangerous & counter to effective action. But then she's never been as interested in fighting fascism as she is in glorying in its horrors. She remains only interested in foreign interference and not in homegrown oppression.

ritaxis: (hat)
Seriously I am eating a reasonable amount of food but I feel like nobody lets me near the victuals. What the hell? I'm having to do reality checks on my consumption instead of just following my appetite because it's never satisfied. Maybe I'm missing some important nutrient? "Satiatine!" the vitamin that makes you feel satiated.

I have a new keyboard for my laptop but I can't figure out how to get the thing in. I mean, I understand that all the components of the laptop have to come out but I can't see how that is done--there are a lot and and a lot of screws in there and many odd plastic structures. So I decided I needed a new computer guy because the guy I was using spaces me out all the time and can't be in my presence for more than a few minutes before he tells me what an asshole my son is and how much he disliked my dog (he's in the category of "old friends" but I'm thinking this category might be too broadly defined). I called the one down the street I can walk to and it was a weird conversation in which the guy seemed to be trying to convince me not to bring the laptop and keyboard in. So I guess I'll call the other one a few blocks farther away.

I drafted a new sleeve for that top but I have my doubts I did it right, so I haven't cut  new ones out yet. It's no use saying "use a well-fitting sleeve for a guide" because I don't own any. I have some t shirts that work right, but the woven shirts I own all have oversized sleeves and giant armscyes, whereas here I'm trying to make a just-normal sleeve with a tailored armscye. I believe the reason I own all these giant shirts is that normal shirts in my size are never made so that they actually fit. Usually they are too tight in the bicep and weirdly both too broad and too narrow in the shoulder--to narrow across the back and too broad across the front, even if they are too tight in the bust. That, and for a long time the dropped shoulder "big shirt" was all the rage. I think that the endurance of this style is because it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit.

What else can I complain about? I know! I can't find any more non-Company Kage Baker books! Maybe I'll give up and try the Company books again. What I want more of is stuff like The Bird of the River and the Pismo Beach sort of stories.
ritaxis: (hat)
Apparently six weeks off the bike has changed the way I sit on it. It's very uncomfortable! It's a regular bike, with normal low handles and a medium seat, and on the trainer it's tilted downwards a bit: and my arms hate holding me up and my butt hates sitting like that. So I only spin the pecdals for a few minutes at a time, enough to feel it but not enough to be difficult. Last evening my leg was too swollen/stiff to turn 360 degrees, so I just pistoned back and forth for a while, which is probably why this morning I could go round and round as long as I could stand to sit on the bike (which is not long, yet). That and inordinate amounts of icing. I hope to be actually riding the other bike around town pretty soon. That would be super.

If the trainer was designed differently, I'd be putting the Barcelona bike on it. It's one of those upright bikes, and the seat is wider. But I can't make the Barcelona fit on the trainer, because the rear hub is designed so differently.

Moving my base of operations upstairs means that for excample I have descended and re-ascended my stairs four times today already (an average of once an hour). I am doing most upstairs as close to normal steps as I can, but still coddling myself going down (partly because those stairs are steep and I don't feel completely stable on the downslope yet). Between the tiny bouts of cycling and the upstairs walking, I can see a significant difference already when I do quad sets.

Also, the ravenous hunger has returned. Maybe it left because I was taking it too easy? At this point I am telling the ravenous hunger to stuff it though because I think it is lying. I am eating sufficient food, not restricting calories, but ravenous hunger's position is that I should Eat All the Food All the Time and Especially Right Now, and I call shenanigans on that.

Oh, reading: Last time at the library I got out two books about tree folklore both of which turned out to be boring and stupid when I got them home, Dark Mondays by Kage Baker which is horrorish stories and a couple of novelas, some of which seem to be set in not-quite-Pismo Beach; Archetype by M.D. Waters; and The Solar Queen by Andre Norton. I liked some of the stories in the Baker, though I just skipped most of the lighthouse story and the last two novellas because they didn't interest me. I thoguht the Pismo Beach-ish stories were more interesting than any of the others, though the waxworks one was pretty interesting too.

I don't know whether I liked Archetype but I did finish it in one reading. It belongs in the same family as The Handmaid's Tale and Silver Metal Lover, if you can see those in the same family. Apparently there's another book which continues the story. I'm afraid what starts out as a kind of political noir future with a nicely complex layering of identities might turn into a Mad Scientist story in the second part.

Also, downstairs, I opened an old edition of Voltaire and started reading one of his less well known stories, Zadig. I can't say that it's unjust for it to be lesser-known. It's just sort of smug.

My most recent sewing project--to use my successful little sleeveless top pattern to draft a little top with sleeves--hit a snag: the sleeves I drafted are too small and the adjustments I made to the armscye are too much. I have enough cloth to cut out new sleeves, and I can grade the armscye bigger, but I've lost momentum and I'm letting it be for a couple of days.

Finally, Jacey just retweeted from Mancunicon that the rooms have just about sold out. This worries me because I can't be sure I can go until quite close to the time. So unless there's other hotels close enough and cheap enough, I might miss my opportunity again. Though the UK is small--maybe I can pop over from Loughborough for a single day (this is how I did Baycon this year). I have no idea what transportation is really like though. Every time I'm daydreaming about visiting Frank and Hana and I try to do a search on buses and trains in the UK I get confused and overwhelmed.

So I suppose I have demonstrated that I do in fact think about something other than my knee!
ritaxis: (hat)
My left hand has been gradually becoming more insistant about the fact that it has a nerve entrapment. I want to say carpal tunnel syndrome because I had it before, and indeed had a release done on my right hand 37 years ago, but honestly it could easily be due to the mess in my neck vertebrae. This morning when I was sewing and I had to keep stopping and shaking out my hand and opening up my joints I decided it's gotten bad enough that I must address it this year if I can. So when I was doing my Week 5 checkup with the surgeon's PA, I mentioned it in passing as something I was going to need to deal with and he said "we do those too," which is a relief because I like these people and now I don't have to meet a new doctor. He was pretty sure we could get it done before the end of the year, which will mean that it will be free, because I'll hit my limit for the year on the first surgery.

Of course we need to have tests done to determine where the entrapment is. I'm hoping it's in the wrist because that is a simple, easy surgery with a great record. I know it's not the elbow because ulnar entrapments cause numbness on the little finger side instead of the thumb side. Andrew said neck entrapments cause numbness on the thumb side. I don't know what that surgery is like. Oh, and I haven't considered the shoulder joint: that can be the location of entrapments too. I hope not. Shoulders are complicated.

We didn't schedule the second knee today because the person who does that was out of the office, but when I told Andrew about my right leg buckling he agreed that it should be scheduled as fast as protocols and logistics allow. He thinks September, and maybe November for the other one. Then in January I'll be all fixed.

I also saw the physical therapist today and he had me do the stationary bike and a couple of resistance exercises with machines that have weights on them and also some stretches. At first I thought I couldn't do the bike--thought I had had a setback-but a minute and a half of pistoning back and forth as I warmed up and I was good to go for eight more minutes and my right leg didn't even complain, so I guess I'm closer to riding a real bike than I thought. I was thinking of going to dance class tonight just to say hello but I was too tired at the time. But my friend called from class and I got to touch base with her.

I also got prescriptions and groceries and I also had a bagel and also went to the fabric store where they were having a sale on rayons so I got a bunch of little pieces to make undershirts because I really love these little lightweight undershirts and I have given up on bras completely since the last time I wore one my breast swelled up and ached for days. And I finished my blue and white bandana border dress I made for my stepbrother's wedding. It's a wee bit dorky but I'm structurally a grandma and I get to wear wee-bit dorky clothes.  And then I was exhausted and I couldn't make jam even though I had a huge pot of plums picked from yesterday so I just cut them up and put them in the freezer so they won't rot between now and Sunday when I will have my first chance at doing it.

But tomorrow is the wedding and my hands are purple because while I bought gloves I forgot to wear them. So I have to soak and scrub them a lot beforehand.
ritaxis: (hat)
I can't buy my tickets until my new new visa card comes (I am not sure but it is possible that I ran into a phishing site when trying to get "verified by visa" happening. No harm is done: I was suspicious early on, mopved my money out of the account until I could talk to the credit union, and discontinued the possibly-compromised card). So I'm getting ready in another way. I have stashes of lovely plaid and solid cottons so I am making new clothes (I haven't bought new ones in forever because I'm wearing out hand-me-downs from my stepmother). Today I spent a couple of hours modifying a jumper pattern. I fall between two sizes, so I had to draft the compromise anyway, so while I was at it I made some changes. There was no reason for the center seam in the skirt, so I fixed that (and yes, I do know how to tell if the center seam serves a sensible purpose). I also dropped the waist to a natural waist length (it was at that odd slightly-high length that all the dresses seemed to come in ten to twenty years ago), added more ease in the bust and hip, and raised the hem from what was supposed to be above-ankle length (actually floor-dragging for me) to below-knee length.

I used to like long skirts, but now I prefer below-knee length. I think it's because I'm too old to be a Hobbit.

The cloth is a nice midweight light green twill with white warp (like very lightweight denim, actually). The green is as light as leaf green, but it's bluer than that. The closest Pantone match I found was 360, but it's more saturated than my cloth.

So now I'm going to play sims for a bit, and then I'm going to sew my jumper up. Next is a campshirt of (what else) monotone green plaid, After that, we'll see. If I have time for it, a skirt, another shirt, a nightgown, and a camisole or two (the old fashioned kind that has a whole shirt front instead of spaghetti straps). I have the cloth for it.

At this point it no longer matters if it costs a bit more to make my own clothes. I absolutely cannot find the clothes I like anywhere. What I like is simple pants, shorts and skirts, with a decent amount of ease, in simple colors, plaids and stripes, and the occasional leaf print (and rarely, some kind of Ms. Frizzle print). What I do not like is the jumbly fancy-grunge print with random ugly-shiny embellishments on weird cloth that is pretty much all I can find in town, and I don't like necklines that go low or wovens that are cut close to the body. But this is all there is in my size range, in my price range, and in my geographical range. So fooey on it, Im making my own.

forays

Dec. 6th, 2005 11:19 pm
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We went to the woods along Empire Grade just across from upper campus but while we found some pretty things, and lots of fresh, shiny black bambi poop and dead bambi by the road, we found nothing to bring home.

I have been way too sedentary lately, for several reasons. I've been discouraged: I've been under the weather: I've been trying to be productive writing. The under the weather thing is the reflux/asthma/other stuff revolving door, which makes it hard to breathe for coughing and weird throat, and makes me just want to sit very very still.

So I've been trying to break through the cycle of that and I may have done so. Anyway, the result of all this sedentariness is that crashing through the underbrush was very tiring on those muscles that lift the legs when you step over branches and things. So I exercised them a little when I got back.

Also I submitted five stories today, including two I never got the rejections for, but dog, I am tired of waiting and feeling stymied. So I sent the GPS highway robbery story to "Amazing Journeys," and the bitter Gulf War piece to "From the Trenches," an anthology being put together by Carnifex Press, and the last people in the world/quilt block story to "Dark Energy." I sent the social worker story to "Futurismic," and I sent the self-aware minefield story to "The Intergalactic Medicine Show." And I added some words to the rain story, which still has no resolution.

Aynathie, I've started reading, but I'm really behind. I'll send you comments Wednesday (my time) and Thursday.

On other fronts: I am such a busy little bee: I have also nearly finished making myself a linen shirt for the holidays. A long time ago I bought these three pieces of linen, a warm rosy-golden brown one, a sagey-minty one, and a white one with a complicated woven-in pattern, to make an outfit of. I figured that with me making so little money this year, if I wanted holiday clothes I better make them out of what I have.

The pissy part is that the pattern I have is marked with the same size I buy clothes in at the store, but I had to add four inches to the shirt to get it to fit anything like the ready-made clothes with the same size number. I don't care whose fault it is, but I want them to stop doing this. Is it so hard to have an industry-wide standard which applies to all secotrs of the industry? Isn't it in the pattern companies' interests to present patterns which work for the regular customer without having to be redrawn?

I don't know if the cloth is pure linen or linen/cotton/rayon. Whatever it is, it wrinkles like crazy and feels delightful on my skin.

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