alexandraerin: (Default)
Well, after having it happen three times in a row, I've discovered a proximate cause for my netbook's newly formed habit of freezing up completely while I'm using it. It happens when my hand jiggles the USB connector on my headphones, a not-uncommon occurrence due to the placement of the USB port on the right side of the computer. I've moved the headphones over to a USB port on the left side of the keyboard.

Don't know what's going on with the computer/that USB port that it gets that finicky. When I say it freezes up, I mean it becomes completely unresponsive... mouse pointer locks in place, computer responds to no input whatsoever short of a forced shutdown (holding the power button in). But hopefully this will improve its usability... I couldn't swear in hindsight that I knocked the USB cord every time it's locked up in the past ten days, but it's not hard to reproduce the behavior.
alexandraerin: (Default)
So, I have not yet fully succeeded in getting my laptop completely clean... even using a combination of Spyware Doctor, Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D, Microsoft Security Essentials, and ComboFix (not all running at once, obviously) has not managed to root out all the ad ware or fix the error that keeps the computer from booting up successfully without using the recessed reset button.

I've mostly been dealing with this through the magical thinking of hoping that if I don't acknowledge it, it won't be true, hence no mention of the additional time and brain cycles I've been spending each day working on it. It isn't the sole reason that any story progress has been slow this week, but it hasn't helped.

So last night I decided to face up to a harsh reality: I need my laptop to work... period, exclamation point, no matter what. So I've installed Unbuntu on a partition, and when I get back to Omaha I may end up getting rid of Windows XP on it entirely.

I did this on my previous laptop computer, but it didn't "take" for a variety of reasons. That laptop wasn't a netbook and it had impressive specs. I could play games and run applications on it better than on the desktop I was using at the time. Learning how to do that in Ubuntu and making everything work was frustrating to me. Even doing work stuff was frustrating because I had to use different tools to do so.

My netbook doesn't really do games. I don't do anything on it but word process, listen to music, and surf the web... and increasingly my word processing and music-listening are done 'midst the clouds. If Chrome works on Unbuntu (and it does), then there is no learning curve for them and no files to be backed up and transferred. I've still in the time since I installed it encountered some frustration at not being able to immediately find where I need to go to do what I want to do, but it was never worse than moderate and I now have things more or less in order. I can get my computer to start up on first try every time and my browser remains unhijacked.

I need my netbook to work first time, every time. When I'm at the dollhouse it's just a convenient little thing that lets me write and surf from odd places around the house, but as soon as I step outside it's my lifeline to the world, my connection to Jack, and my place of business. I need it to be there. I don't believe that Ubuntu serves my needs as well as Windows 7 (what is or will soon be on my two desktop computers) when it comes to other things, but what I need from my laptop is for it to be bulletproof and reliable.
alexandraerin: (Closed forever)
Just the other day I was telling Jack how it would be kind of nice to go spend a week and a half with my parents with only my little netbook... living at the dollhouse makes it hard for me to get up and walk away from the computer, because there are a limited number of directions in which I can walk that will not just take me to another computer. After weeks of a furious work pace in multiple directions, I was looking forward to the chance to relax a little.

So, of course, on day one of my semication, my one computer becomes inoperable.

On the plus side, my famously poor pattern recognition skills have finally pieced together the common factor in every time my netbook gets virus'd: airport wi-fi. To be specific, every time the poor thing gets hammered, it's after (or in this case, while) I use the free wi-fi at Omaha's Eppley Airfield. I never caught on to this before because in all the cases before there was the more obvious common factor that the problem always showed up when I was visiting my parents. This was obviously more correlation than causation, as sometimes I'd be staying at their place in Nebraska and sometimes here in Florida, and there was no sign that anything was wrong on their network. So it just seemed like a run of bad luck.

When my computer restarted in the middle of the airport and I got a phoney warning from "Microsoft Security Essentials" trying to get me to buy Palladium Protection Pro (Microsoft Security Essentials is a real thing, but they don't shill for antivirus programs you've never heard of), it hit me that no matter where I'd visited them, each time my lappy had succumbed had been soon after a trip through the airport, or multiple airports. I'm not saying I got infected in Omaha each time, but it seems likely that an airport was the vector in each case.

I could kick myself for having taken out my lappy in the first place after having told myself (and the internet) that I was going to be relying on my Kindle for time-passing and nerve-calming during the trip part of this trip... but if I had stuck to that, then I probably would have pulled out the lappy next time, and who knows whether or not I would have made the connection between that and any infections that manifested later?

Lesson learned. From now on I'll stick to my Kindle when I'm traveling, and use my phone for those things which must absolutely be checked on/kept up with.

Anyway, I'd planned on rather leisurely beginning (or even finishing) the Little Aidan story tonight and doing some bookkeeping, get confirmations out to the people who paid for AAEs this weekend, but I've spent the past few hours de-verminating my laptop and now I just want to get to bed. The Aidan story will be going up later in the week; I'm going to press on with the next chapter tomorrow. Now that the immediate tension/suspense has been resolved, the construction posts will be returning... a development no one can welcome more than me, as it makes it the writing come both easier and faster.

I did finish reading Habitation of the Blessed during my flight, and under different circumstances I would have already posted a review of it. I would like to share my thoughts about it by and by, but for now I'll just say that it is a wickedly funny book. Humor is not its only or even chief virtue, but it's one that I suspect goes remarked on less often than its other ones, in the same way and for the same reason that the wisdom and beauty which twine themselves through Douglas Adams's novels aren't often remarked on. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would not be as enduringly popular if there weren't a good deal of sense running beneath the surface of its more obvious sense of humor, and the first book of the Dirge For Prester John trilogy wouldn't work as well as it did if there weren't an incisive sense of humor running beneath its insightful sense of everything else.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I've got an update ready to go and no website to put it on... I'm going to make a brief Livejournal post to kill time and see if the problem gets resolved before I have to go to sleep for the day.

So, yesterday, [ profile] s00j's new album Mischief dropped. This isn't the first post I've made squeeing over it, but now that it's actually available for you to listen to and, if the mood should strike, buy.

Hmmmm, this was going to be longer but I'm already getting tired. And no response from the website. Goodnight, internets.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I had to do some emergency OS maintenance on my lappy yesterday... but luckily after all my experiences with the Vista laptop it replaced, I've been more scrupulous about keeping my data (or "stuff", as it's also known) in a separate partition. I haven't been completely perfect in that regard... a lifetime of defaulting to C: is hard to overcome... but it just means I have to find and redownload things rather than losing any work, music, or pictures.
alexandraerin: (Not Racist)
[ profile] karnythia recently linked to a news article about people studying the effects of television on racial biases. There was an old bit on SNL's Weekend Update when I was growing up, where Norm Macdonald would read a headline about a recent medical study and then announce that it and other news could be read in the pages of the medical journal "DUH!".

As others observed on her post, there have been studies about this sort of thing for as long as there has been television... while more attention given to it is not a bad thing, the thought behind this research (as presented in the article, anyway) seems somewhat naive.

To quote:

The psychologists wondered how such biases could persist in a society in which racism is socially unacceptable and indeed publicly denounced.

I would submit that there is and always has been a difference between "this thing is not done in our society" and "this thing is not admitted to in our society". What is socially unacceptable is to be openly and overtly racist, to admit to racism... this is what makes talking about racism so difficult. If a person or group is doing something in a way that seriously disadvantages or negatively impacts minorities, attempts to discuss the very real problem they present frequently break down into protracted discussions of their motivations and their feelings.

Of course, people who shout "I HATE [epithet]S!" from the rooftops seriously suck. Seriously. But their ability to affect people on a day to day basis is severely limited because they are denounced so quickly and people are so quick to distance themselves from such overt racism. Such overt bigots can assault people, can injure and hurt them, but do not usually have the power to oppress all by their lonesome.

(This isn't to say we shouldn't denounce them. If we don't make it clear that such things are intolerable, then they won't stay lonesome and they will get power. "Society" is a shoutocracy: loudest voice frequently wins.)

Oppression is a systemic problem. It comes from institutional racism.

Example: when a company sells only products that are primarily useful for or attractive to white folks or markets them in a way that makes it seem like they're only meant for white folks, it might be described as a pure number-crunching exercise. They might describe their target audience not as white (or hetero, or able-bodied, or cis, or English speaking) but as "mainstream". And many people wouldn't argue with that.

But doing this is not only a response to our society where certain people and their perceived tastes are "mainstream" and thus more worth catering to, it perpetuates that perception, rebuilds it and makes it stronger all the time.

Take a look at this video:

Now, because some things are going to be raised as objections any time something like this is posted in an open forum:

1. Yes, the lighting conditions are not optimal and probably not in line with the manufacturer's recommendations or set-up instructions. It's certainly possible that with enough jiggering and a bit of poking, the man in the video could get the camera to recognize and track his face.

2. No, the HP engineers did not invent the laws of physics as they apply to optics.

3. No, no one is saying that Hugh L. Packard, president of HP, said "FUCK THE BLACKS. MAKE IT ONLY WORK ON WHITE PEOPLE."

The fact is that a major consumer electronics manufacturer released, shipped, and sold a device that at the very least works best for white people, works under a wider range of conditions for white people, and requires less fiddling around with your room's set-up out of the box for white people. That's charitably assuming it would work in a reasonable fashion for the gentleman doing the demonstration, if he dimmed the backlighting and put a light source in front, as some commenters on the video suggested.

"That's not racist, that's just how lighting and cameras work."... except... can anybody imagine this being considered a viable commercial technology if it worked the other way around? If the technology for using facial tracking on white folk was such that it would require a level of finicky fiddling about with ambient lighting that the old ROB robot that was bundled with the NES in the 1980s did, would a computer manufacturer actually bundle it with a computer webcam package on the cusp of 2010? Or would they be going "It's an interesting concept, but the technology is not really 'there' yet. Let's keep trying to improve it."

Some people will probably look at that and wonder if I'm suggesting that nobody should be able to buy this webcam product unless it works perfectly for everyone. I'm not. I'm suggesting we wouldn't be able to buy it... at least not as a feature with an HP media center computer rather than a quirky toy for techno-hobbyists who don't mind the fiddling around... if it didn't work well for white people. Because it does, it has "mainstream commercial appeal".

This is systemic racism, institutional racism in action. I'm sure some people are going to roll their eyes and say things like "Oh, life is so hard for people who can't get a webcam to follow their movements. It must be nice if that's the only problem they have to complain about." To which I say: yes, I'm sure it would be nice if that were the only thing that someone had to complain about. But this is not some weird random example of something that goes against the common trend. The "mainstreaming" of whiteness is pervasive and so are its effects.

Shows and movies (and books and magazines) centered around white actors/characters are marketed as the default. If a character with a different skin tone is cast white in an adaptation to broaden the appeal, it's a main character... characters who become minority in translation ostensibly for the same reason are almost always background characters or sidekicks (There are exceptions. They are played by Will Smith and Morgan Freeman. And Obama is president. And Sammy Davis, Jr. played at the Copacabana Club. The existence of minority superstars are one of the best examples of the hoary old chestnut about "the exception that proves the rule".) We judge the cleanliness and "professionalism" of people's hair based on the way white folks' hair looks when it's well-cared for. We have a similar rubric for judging the professionalism of people's names.

The number of people who can complain with a straight face on the "racism" of a channel called "Black Entertainment Television" when we spend our lives so immersed in things targeted directly at white folks "mainstream people" demonstrates how pervasive the problem is: it's so deeply rooted in our culture that we don't even see it.
alexandraerin: (Default)
This one works even less than other one does. Light comes on, I can hear some noise (possibly just a fan). Two different monitors plugged into it detect no output signal. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I cannot afford to ship another computer back to them, to say nothing of the difficulty of me getting a forty pound box to the post office.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Whoo... yesterday kind of sucked. Fearful of missing the FedEx truck if it came early in the morning (it seems to show up anywhere between 8 and 8), I skipped any sleep supplements the night before and then spent the day exhausted, brain-fogged, and headachy. And of course it didn't actually come... the package didn't make it to the local FedEx center until 4 or 5 in the morning. I knew that was a possibility. I just got fixated on the fear of missing the package and overcompensated, badly.

Today I feel better. I crashed early last night, slept almost the whole night through, and had an interesting dream where the backdrop involved Disney World being a nation-wide (possibly world-wide) network of theme parks with their own transportation infrastructure and government.

The compy is actually on a truck for delivery now. So, yay. At long last the cats will have a new box to play in I'll have a computer that's effective for more than word processing. Not that I don't love my little netbook for that.
alexandraerin: (Biscuitheads)
It's possible my computer will arrive today. It's scheduled for delivery today, the tracking says it's on schedule. It's listed as still being in Lenexa, Kansas, though... generally for something to arrive today, it would have left Lenexa last night. We are having a bit of weather, so I'm not going to be surprised if it's delayed.

I didn't sleep so well last night because I wanted to make sure I was awake. FedEx is known to show up here anywhere between just before nine to fairly late in the evening. We're right near the facility the delivery trucks originate from, so it is possible for them to get here way early. So, I skipped the sleep supplements for one night. Between that and the howling wind/bitter cold leaking in through my window, it wasn't a great night.

Cut for discussion of rape and violation of Death of the Author )
Ugh. That's so not how I wanted to start my day.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, more music via [ profile] popelizbet... click here for a kick-awesome rendition of Silent Night. And by an astounding coincidence, you can buy the CD it's from on the same page. It's Ginger and Bekah, the two ladies who aren't [ profile] s00j from the Eleanor Rigby video I linked to last time.

Second, FedEx tells me that my replacement-replacement computer is on the move. It touched down in the land of the delta blues in the middle of the pouring rain yesterday and it's scheduled for delivery tomorrow. Whee!

Some of my sites are down right now. I'm looking into that. Oh, looks like they're back up. Just needed a server reboot.

I'm going to be spending the first half of the month of January anywhere but Nebraska in the vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland. It's a personal visit, but I'll be there for a couple weeks so there will probably be time to do a little meet-and-greet if any readers in the area want to get together. Lest anybody worry that there'll be a half-month wasteland of no updates, you can thank the person I'm visiting for whipping me into shape these last few days. One of the reasons that I'm spending so much time there is because it's January and I live in Nebraska that he'll be working normally while I'm there, and so will I.

And finally, as a little treat, this page is streaming my own thematic interpretation of Silent Night. Make sure your speakers are on and your volume is turned up.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, there's some musical magic, brought to my attention by [ profile] popelizbet who is kicking ass and taking names at law school*. (*The preceding statement should not be taken as an admission of violence on the part of [ profile] popelizbet)

Check it out:

My computer did not arrive yesterday. The tracking info still hasn't updated from the first time it was generated. This generally means it hasn't actually shipped yet... they've just stuck it in a box and generated the FedEx label for it. Probably there's a backlog, given the time of year... this sort of thing is among the reasons why companies cite things like "7-10 business days" when they're shipping using methods that only take three or four of them. No biggie. I'll send them an inquiry if it hasn't moved Monday.

The other thing about valerian versus melatonin is that it seems to result in more interesting dreams, or fewer details being lost in the fog between states of consciousness. I came up with an awesome idea for an item set in 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons out of my last dream. I won't go into the details here because it's conceivable that I'll get my online games running again once I have a working desktop. I might elaborate on the mechanics behind them in my gaming blog without detailing the specific items, though. I've got a bunch of half-finished posts sitting in the drafts folder over there... things I started and then lost my train of thought on. I'll have to look through and see which ones can be salvaged.

Mmmm... I had more things I wanted to mention in this post, but I've already forgotten them. I think I need to blog more often, as ideas come to me, instead of putting it off when the ideas come to me.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, MU reader/supporter [ profile] lunakitten has requested a signal boost for a friend who's in a bad place due to a life-changing accident and life-threatening insurance dickery. The story's here. There is a Paypal button, but I think at this point his best hope of a resolution may be attention. They're trying to get some support from the media. Passing the YouTube videos around will probably help.

Unless you're really absolutely truly obscenely wealthy, you could be Kevin. No matter how good a job you may have or how much money you have saved up, you could contract an illness or suffer an injury that costs you your job and depletes your money. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to help make sure that society takes care of those who find themselves in that sort of situation. Be selfish this holiday season. When you hear a story like Kevin's... pass it along, loud and often.

Second, a great big and heartfelt thank you. Thanksgiving was last week, of course, but this week I'm feeling particularly grateful. It was last December that I came close to quitting because I didn't think I had another choice. I told my readership how bad shape I was in and they came through with an internet miracle. The year since then has had its ups---including a magical trip to New Orleans, my first very small con appearance, some incredible new friends, and a wonderful guy---and its down, mostly health-related. Through the ups and downs, I've learned a lot about myself in the past year. I've figured out a lot about what it means to dwell inside my head, to live in my own skin. I'm more comfortable with myself now than I've ever been.

Third, an apology. "Learning about myself" is good in the long run, but it's not the same thing as "writing a whole lot", which is what you people pay me for. I've figured out a lot of ways of managing my life, but I haven't always managed to apply them. After watching me drift early this week and seeing the disappointment in comments, Jack had a conversation with me about my lack of focus and he's going to be helping me stay on the ball even when I'm tired and distracted.

My replacement computer is showing an ETA of tomorrow, but FedEx tracking also currently shows the "has received information from the shipper" message that they show before they've actually picked it up, so who knows what's going to happen with it. Those of you who've asked about 3 Seas, it should be back up this weekend if I get the computer.
alexandraerin: (It Came Upon)
Well, I had a very nice holiday with my family. I made a point to spend a little extra time with my parents this year, as they're very close to closing on a winter place in Florida. I was more than a little cough-y by the end of the weekend, but nothing too terrible for this time of the year. Certainly I was in better shape than a week ago. My cough has subsided, leaving me with a case of sniffles and sneezing. Generally I'll take nasal problems over lung ones, especially if they're considerate enough to not drip down the back of my throat and make me cough, but not if I'm to the point of sneezing myself into exhaustion. That seems to be over, thankfully.

On the "good news" front -- is shipping out a replacement computer today. It's taken a while and there's still time for something to go wrong with the replacement, but I've looked at the model they're sending and it appears that they're doing right by me. The replacement model is not only more expensive than the one I ordered, but it approximates or exceeds all the technical specifications. Once I have a desktop computer I'm going to be doing some site work that's been piling up, including giving Fantasy In Miniature a bit of a makeover and folding 3 Seas and Tribe into its site. That's just a little thing that will help with branding, ease of maintenance, etc. I have recreational reasons for wanting a working desktop, too, but that's going to be my first priority.

I'm working on the next Tales of MU and MoarMU chapter. One or both of them should be done during the day tomorrow, I expect. The front half of the week's going to be quiet because I'm coming into it with a bit of an energy deficit but there should be some good stuff to read before it's over.

On the personal front, things are going well. My life is good and getting better.

I've broken out my Christmas icon. I'm not fully happy with it... I think I could do much better on the lettering... but it would take way too much time and effort to try to fix it on my netbook versus what I could do on a desktop with a big monitor and real mouse, so I think I'll wait until the new desktop arrives and then celebrate by breaking it in with a little icon editing.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I have been on pins and needles about how they would handle my defective computer, but today I got an email notifying me that they have received it and that I could track updates on their site. I went and logged in and under the incident report, there's a new entry for today, coded "Defective" and with a concise description of the problem(s): "distorted video // stops at recovery screen". Less than half an hour after they logged the arrival, they have already reproduced the problem. No messing around, no hoops to jump through, no attempts to deflect blame. Hopefully this means I'll either have a refund or a replacement computer soon.

Assuming the rest of this transaction goes smoothly, I'll take their customer service as more indicative of the typical experience than this one bad computer. Not only have I heard good things about from others, but I did receive a total of three pieces of hardware from them, two of which (external hard drive/back up thingy and a long-needed replacement monitor) I'm very happy with.
alexandraerin: (Default)
A major good point - I finally was able to get the defective computer to the post office and mailed back. Hopefully the turn around time on getting it repaired/replaced/refunded won't be terrible.

Bad points - sore throat and coughing came back, a somewhat personal physical ailment has flared up, and I had a persistent headache for most of the last day. Fundraising was about $10 short of the goal for the Two story, which worked out nicely since I don't think I could have written it today. I started it but didn't get very far before walking around (which helps me with the first stage of writing) became not-an-option. I'm doing a little better now. For Monday I'm going to try what I did last week, as detailed in the "clawing my way back", to get the Martha v. Mackenzie story up. I'll skip the perambulation stage if necessary.

I badly need to make a "state of" post for my online D&D games. It's been ages since I've been able to run them... weeks since I thought I was getting a working computer. Hmmm... just realized that my Skype message still reflects my optimism from the time between when the computer was shipped and when it was arrived and I turned it on.

The passage of time catches me off guard, of course. This amuses Jack to no end. The other day, after I made a comment about how long he thought it had been since we started talking seriously, he asked me how long it had been since I got back from Florida. I didn't know, offhand. I thought it was a couple of weeks. But I remembered that it was my mother's birthday when we arrived (because she wore a button for it around the parks), so I looked up when that was: September 5th. Which meant we got back on September 13th.

And as Jack told me, the week after that was when we got together (for a certain value of "together", anyway). September 20th. Not a couple weeks ago. Eight of them.

Nothing in geological time, little more in relationship time, outside of the 7th grade... but surprising to me, as my brain still codes it as brand new. And just to forestall a well-meaning comment: yes, I'm sure it's not unusual for a relationship to feel brand new a couple months in if things are going well. No, I'm not saying it isn't all that new. What I'm saying is that my brain doesn't recognize that this much time has passed. It's not something special about the relationship, either. I still feel like I just got back from Florida, too. Heck, I still catch myself thinking that I just got back from New Orleans sometimes.

All part of the magic of being me.

Anyway, I'm going to go lay down and hope for some sleep. I just wanted to get this post finished up, as parts of it have been sitting on my screen since shortly after the conversation where I ended up counting the days.
alexandraerin: (Default)
When all the muscles up and down your back decide what your life really needs is more painful spasms.

When your newly refurbished fresh out of the box computer from promptly crashes at the end of set-up. Not only will it not finish booting, but ever since the original crash the display is messed up (pixelated and with flickering lines, and with everything displayed in ghostly double images... half your pixels hither, half your pixels thither) so I can't even read the error messages.

My back problem has subsided on its own. The computer is not being that gracious. I wasn't even going to monkey around with it... just get it powered on so I could verify that it's working, because it is a refurb. I've sent a message to customer service... though looks like they won't be in until Monday. I'm expecting that I'll have to return it.

This has just been a super special day so far.
alexandraerin: (Default)
People might wonder at my decision to have not one but two OT stories in between a cliffhanger and its resolution, short as they might be. There's actually a fairly simple explanation for it. When I got ready to post the interlude with Two and Hazel, I had intended to put the fundraiser message on there... but then I noticed that, where I host my fundraiser info, was down.

Yes, I now know that people had reported that on the Zombie Dream post. I actually don't follow my Livejournal notifications, for health reasons.

But I'd already announced that I had a little story that was almost ready to go, so I didn't want to delay it... so I put it up without the fundraiser message and started pulling together another little vignette that's been kicking around in my head. Just as the Two/Hazel interaction contained a small revelation about Hazel's condition and a little background on her culture, this one has some background on the Imperium and a little bit of context for some tangential events in the current plotline.

So why did some of my sites go down for the past few days? This is actually kind of funny: money. I needed to make a payment to my hosting account before I could make my fundraiser pitch. Things are stretched a little tight here right now. The steady trickle that comes from sponsorship has been a huge blessing, but with fewer stories going up, there have of course been fewer spontaneous payments and new sponsors. I'm not complaining about that, it's perfectly natural. But it also came at a time when I'm spending more money on health-related things. As tight as things have gotten, I'm not too worried about next month. I think I've been impressing people a lot more with the quality of the story lately, and the quantity's going to be ticking upwards again. With clear incentives being offered, I expect things will loosen up.

I've got some good progress on the next installment of Tales of MU. If it's not up tomorrow... well, today now... then it should go up on the weekend. My plans for the next week are to keep MU coming, wrap up the hanging plotline in Tribe, and get another story rolling again. Tribe in particular is going to be undergoing some retooling. The difficulty in keeping it coming is not, as some have guessed, hitting the arbitrary 333 word limit every time. It's an easy thing to hit a target number. The problem is more one of vision. I'll explain more in another post. Right now, I really should be getting to bed. I've managed to completely throw off my sleep rhythm in one night.
alexandraerin: (Zinda)
Good news: I am now halfway through Day 4 of feeling awesome physically and mentally. It wasn't until Thursday that I really ironed out the best schedule for my supplements, but for three days in a row after that I felt pretty good from the start of the day until the end of it. A lot of minor physical complaints that I didn't really notice until their absence (poor circulation in my legs being a standout one) have been clearing up.

Bad news: While my mental clarity and focus are both great, I'm badly "out of shape" when it comes to the act of writing. I'm writing well, but the faucet effect I'm used to (open it up and the words just flow) isn't there yet. It's more dribs and drabs. The TOMU chapter I've been working on is approaching 3,000 words and an actual ending and will certainly be up this afternoon... after that, I think I need to do some microfiction or other drills like I used to do. The secret to writing is writing, and the best way to keep writing is to keep writing.

Worse news: My desktop computer died on me. Thing just won't turn on... it may be the power supply, but possibly the motherboard. The fan turns on about about half the time but the hard disk isn't spinning. Don't worry, the impact of this should be minimal. I've learned from previous computer failures. I bought a decently sized USB flash drive about a month ago and moved pivotal files off of it. I will need to replace it by and by so I have a backup and because some tasks are just better done on it, but my netbook is what I do all my writing from. My long-term purchase plans also include buying an external hard drive. These things will be important, but they are not immediately crucial.

A small health note to myself: I need to stop minimizing my peanut allergy. I had the first reaction that came from just being near peanut butter without actually physically contacting it the other day. If I'm serious about my health, I can't mess around with that stuff.

There's no denying that the weather has turned here. It's supposed to be in the low thirties tonight. It's about sixty degrees out now. This morning, I was just telling someone very dear to me who hails from a slightly warmer climate that I was glad I wouldn't have to run the AC at all today. He said it sounded too cold for him and I laughed... now I'm wrapped up in blankets and using my lappy's charger to keep warm.

And finally, more music that makes me feel good. This is a recent discovery, courtesy of my technical, spiritual, and menu adviser, [ profile] popelizbet:

alexandraerin: (Default)
Not much to report. I just wanted to get a blog post up to give me a timestamp for the start of the week.

I didn't sleep too well last night... I have to remember to get more melatonin tonight. I think there's some tilapia on sale at the local grocery store right now, so I've got a reason to out shopping anyway.

Last night was the first night of my second online D&D group. It had an even rougher start than the Wednesday night group did. Two of the members were having problems getting Skype to work on their Linux-based computers... both ended up borrowing laptops in order to join in fully. One of them was my roommate, which left me without quick access to a lot of my game notes. I could have had her join in the following week, but my philosophy was that it was better to have everybody present for a really rough first session than have to keep shaking out kinks in subsequent weeks as more people join.

Anyway, between scrambling to get her online and then sorting out various issues at the beginning of the session, I was feeling very frustrated and until about half an hour in I was inches away from giving up and just asking everybody to come back in a week and try it again.

Then I kind of found my stride, and I was glad that I didn't. By one hour into the session, I think I was kind of on my stride, and by two hours in, it seemed like everybody else was, and at the end of the night it sounded like everybody had had a good time.

It's a good lesson in the importance of not letting minor frustrations get in the way of things we enjoy. Dungeons & Dragons is a social outlet for me that lets me exercise my native creativity and keep the writer juices flowing... I think it's a good thing for me to stick with.

Anyway, I'm about 25% of the way through a Tales of MU chapter, which I'm going to get back to now. I just wanted to throw out a blog post while it was on my mind.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I've started using Chrome (as in, Google's browser) lately, due to some issues with Firefox... but I'm having some problems with some of the sites I like to use, and unfortunately, some of those sites are my own. Specifically, it doesn't seem to want to display a lot of checkboxes and radio buttons. I don't know if it's because they've got some scripting language attached to them that Chrome doesn't do, or what. It's annoying, though, because I can't sign into a lot of things that require an agreement-click and I also can't do much with my Wordpress stuff.

Anybody out there encountered this? Anybody have a solution? I'm trying to get a feel for whether this would be easier to fix than my Firefox issues.


alexandraerin: (Default)

August 2017



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