September 09, 2006

quick notes

In case anyone wants it, I believe I have a notify feature working on the new site - the subscribe box is on the lower right there.

Also, the LiveJournal feed from this site, new site, has been redirected to mirror the new site. (LJ was incredibly fast in making that change when I requested it.)

From here on out, unless something goes dreadfully wrong, all new updates will be over there.

Posted by dichroic at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2006


Since I really am moving, it seems an appropriate time to move here, too. It's not so much that I got tired of this site, as that the site got tired - it takes forever to update or rebuild, presumably because of the nearly 2200 entries. (When you write just about every day for over 5 years, it mounts up.) This site will stay up and previous archives will remain here, but for all new content,

set your bookmarks to my new site.

Hope to see you all over there.

A quick remark about the Notify list: I tried installing a Notify plugin, but it didn't work. I'll look for others, but in the meantime, you know what? I update just about every day, except weekends. If you check me daily, you'll generally see something new.

Posted by dichroic at 07:16 PM | Comments (1)

more move logistics

So far I've had three nibbles from potential car-buyers. One was from a local guy who wanted to buy it for his teenage daughter. When we met so they could see it, I think he decided she wasn't enthusiastic about it, though some of that could have been because she was groggy (it was the crack of 9AM). I'm just as glad; the whole "Daddy will buy me whatever car I want" thing squicks me out a bit, but mostly it's because I really don't think it's a great first car. It's a very lightweight, extremely responsive convertible. It doesn't have a huge engine, but there's so little car to move that it's got a lot of pick-up. On the other hand, he wouldn't have to worry about her driving lots of friends around, I guess.

The other two sound like adults who want the car for themselves, so that's good. One is a woman several states away, who couldn't find one an MR-2 closer. At last report she was researching shipping options; I haven't heard from her in a couple of days, so either she's still researching or she decided it was too expensive. The other is a man in another part of this state who just called last night; he's supposed to call back to let me know when we can meet.

I have no idea how to handle tax, title, and license, I suppose I should probably call the DMV. But hopefully one of these will come through and buy the car.

In other news I have an actual contract, printed on real paper, sitting on my table back home. I just need to check with Rudder that his side is solid enough for me to go ahead and sign it. And then we'll be committed. (Er, to the contract.) The other paperwork complication is getting hold of my birth certificate and our marriage license. Oregon was quite efficient in sending Rudder's, but Pennsylvania appears to be much more disorganized. I was able to order the birth certificate online but the receipt points out that it can take up to ten days to get it sent to me. Because apparently printing and sending a record is way too difficult and it takes nine days to nerve yourself to do it. It kind of makes me glad I moved away.

Posted by dichroic at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2006

minor gripes, mostly

I am not coming down with a cold, I am not coming down with a cold, I am NOT coming down with a cold DAMMIT. My theory is it's allergies. It's suddenly gotten much more humid (it's a relative thing) so that's a possibility.Also, possibly because of the humidity, it's freeeezing at work. It's making me question the utility of that lace shawl I've begun: harder to knit and not warm enough for the office. Hmmm. In contrast. the alpaca-silk Clapotis I finished over the weekend is nicely snuggly.

Oh well, maybe I can wear the lace shawl if I ever go out for the evening. Or it can be a present sometime. (Not, however, for my great-aunt who is turning 90 later this month. This is a woman who worked in a high-fashion store into her 80s for the employee discount - I'm afraid she'd think a lace shawl was too old-ladyish for her.)

No further calls on the car today, though one person seems to be seriously interested. She's asked a lot of questions, anyhow. I do hope this isn't the sort of thing where you get a bunch of calls immediately and then nothing. I'm just anxious to get things started and moving.

In other frustrations, I'm trying again to get our marriage license. We were married in Montgomery County, just outside Philadelphia, but for some reason the first time I called to ask about getting a license I was told to mail a request to Philadelphia City Hall. Last Friday, I got a letter back saying they hadn't found our license. So I called Montgomery county and this time they'll all, "oh, yes, send us the request - here, want us to make sure it's on file here first?" It was, so now I have a little more assurance, but it's still annoying to have to send not one but two actual letters, on paper, with SASE and all that. I don't understand why it's such a hassle. Birth certificates, in contrast, are handled by the state rather than the county, and you can order an official copy online. Then again, we've recieved Rudder's from Oregon but not mine from PA, and we ordered them the same day, so I won't laud that system just yet. Then when I do get them I get to mail them right back to the capitols of the respective states for an apostille stamp, which is a legalization saying, "Yes, these official documents are really our official documents and we'll stand behind them. I can only conclude these systems were designed for people who never actually left the state in which they were born or married, which is ironic given that almost the only time you'd need an apostille is in the case of moving to another country.

Also, I really would like a nap now.

Posted by dichroic at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2006

daily challenges

Just overheard: "In typical boy fashion, he thought his fingers were much bigger than they actually are." Hee.

I am finally not sore, at least not much. On Sunday walking was painful. Saturday involved two hours of weeding, 25 km erging, and a massage. I don't think the erging was the problem, amusingly enough. After the weeding, I was fairly exhausted, but I wanted to get the long erg piece in before the scheduled massage. I told him I'd lie to not be sore the next day (well, that didn't work!) and he did do a lot of stretching of my hip joints. So I'm not sure if the problem was the weeding or the sstretching, but I'm inclined to blame the weeding.

I think normal people consider weeding the garden to be routine and erging over 15 miles to be outlandish. Apparently I'm a little backward.

The next challenge is what ti do about tomorrow. I've done such pitiful distances on the erg since I was sore yesterday and allergy-ish today that I really need to get some distance in. However, I'd need to be up by 4 to do the distance and shower before a 6AM telecon. That would be fine, but tonight is knitting, and since it's almost the only socializing I do lately I don't want to miss it. it doesn't start until 7, so one possibility is to erg after work today. I could erg this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon and then go to the gym Thursday morning, if I want to be relly virtuous. (Yeah, I wouldn't bet on it either.)

You know what annoys me? Well, OK, that. And yes, that too. And that other thing. But what I'm thinking about at this moment is those people who say things like, "You should just make exercise a part of your daily routine. You wouldn't skip brushing your teeth, would you?" Well, no, but brushing my teeth doesn't take an hour and leave me tired and sweaty. I do work out a lot, and it's true that works better if you do it as a matter of routine without thinking about it too much. But to get the amount of exercise I need to reach my goals, I need to spend a nontrivial amount of time on it, and sometimes I do have to make real sacrifices. It's not just a matter of spending less time planted on the couch, it's a matter of having to get to bed early, to get less sleep in the mornings than I'd like, to eat food that won't upset my workout instead of what I want to eat (this is nontrivial if I'm going out on the actual water, where there are no restroom breaks), and sometimes to give up things I'd like to do. I think the "exercise is like toothbrushing" people are either just doing the minimum to maintain health or are trying to persuade themselves.

Maybe that's the way to figure how much I want to go out tonight - if I want to go badly enough, I will bite the bullet and erg first.

Posted by dichroic at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2006

new FO

Look what I did! This pattern is still the most fun to knit, whihc is part of why it goes so fast (for comparison, I'm about 2' into the Trellis and Vine piece - it's just not nearly as much fun).

Up next: this is mostly her fault. We'll see how well it goes when it starts being hundreds of stitches across!

Posted by dichroic at 05:20 PM | Comments (1)

September 03, 2006


Eating alone doesn't produce moments of magic nearly as often as eating in good company. But when dinner includes candlelight, a glass of wine, homemade chicken soup with matzo balls, and a first reading of Elizabeth Bear's Blood and Iron the magic is there in plenty. (Though it would be even better if I had a brownie around to deal with the dishes.)

Also, my dining room has a tile floor, and it's open to the living room, which has likewise tile on the floor, a cathedral ceiling and no soft furnishings (just bookshelves and my library table). So when I sing along to the music in the book my uneven and untrained voice resonates like the Merlin's own.

Posted by dichroic at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

the complexities of selling

I've gone and taken the first true step toward our move - today I put my little car up for sale on Autotrader. I'm a little nervous about this because I haven't quite figured out the logistics. Obviously it's a better idea to meet a potential buyer somewhere public rather than at my house, especially with Rudder away. I've been told that cashier's checks are often faked so it's better to go to the bank with the buyer and get a check right there. But then what? There are no banks within walking distance of my house, and not much taxi service in my area. And no Rudder to help ferry cars. Do we go to the bank together and then both drive back to my house? (See "not meeting at my house", above.) Do I ask the buyer for a ride home? (But again, same issue.) Do I ask for a ride or to drive separately to the drugstore near my house, that I can walk home from? It's a safe area, but still, walking around with the check for the car in my pocket doesn't seem too brilliant.

This just all seems so complicated. On the other hand my asking price is midrange for the similar cars posted, about Blue Book value, and it's $4K above what the dealer would give me, so I gues it's worth it.

Posted by dichroic at 01:44 PM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2006

attempted upgrade

I tried today to upgrade this site to MT 3.32. Total failure - I updated the config file, moved all the files over, and ... nothing. When I tried to open my installation it couldn't find anything and I got a message saying the site was down and I should talk to the webmaster, which is less than helpful when I AM the webmaster. On the other hand at least I'm in good company. (Actually because of that entry I did have a sneaking suspiscion this was going to be tricky. Scalzi seems pretty tech-savvy.)

I wanted to upgrade because updating this site takes forever these days and I get error messages more often than not, even though the update generally does work. Presumably the problem has to do with rebuilding a site with 2100-some entries on it. I was hoping the new rev of the software would deal better with blogs on the verbose side, but I may never find out. One option is to just deal with things as they are, though it is a bit annoying. Another is to switch over to Wordpress; we use it on the Outlaws website and updateds are imediate but then again the archives are way smaller. My hosting company makes installing WP extremely easy but I have a feeling that connecting it to said 2100+ entries would not be trivial. A third option would be to start a brand new WP site, just with a llink back to my archives here, and there's some appeal to doing that as I make major changes in my life. (A fourth is either paying for MT support or paying them to actually do the installation but I doubt I'll do that.) I don't know, but don't be surprised if there are changes here one of these days.

Posted by dichroic at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

stupidity is not ok

One of my biggest pet peeves is adults modeling stupidity in front of kids. I don't mean making mistakes; I think it's good for kids to see that not everyone is infallible. I don't mean showing differences in tastes, either; I found it enormously liberating when my excellent high school teacher told us she hated Milton's Paradise Lost. I mean when people say an entire field of endeavor is just too hard, without even trying to crack it.

I generally watch the morning news while getting dressed for work. The channel I watch focuses a lot on local news. Yesterday they had a piece about a student-run math tutoring program at a local high school. The kids being interviewed had an equation written out on a white board to be reduced - something like 14a^2b / 42ab^3. (I'm using the ^ for powers, so a^2 is a squared). So OK, divide by 7, divide by a and b, realize the numeric part comes to 2/6 and divide by 2 to reduce farther. How hard is that? I had it solved in my head in about thirty seconds, and despite working in engineering, I very rarely do any math harder than balancing a checkbook.

The news anchors were all "Oh, that's too hard, I wouldn't have any idea how to solve that." Grr. People like that explain how the "Math is hard" Barbie made it to market. I wouldn't have a problem if they were talking about solving a differential equation, which is probably not required in J-school, but an adult ought to know 7th-grade algebra, or at least refrain from suggesting that it's perfectly peachy not to know it.

The only redeeming facotr is that I suspect not too many kids watch the morning news and the ones being interviewed already do now how to reduce a simple equation.

I think I was right about the feline issues. Yesterday I was home all evening, having been out the previous two evenings, and the cat was not only much more relaxed, he didn't start miauling until about two minutes before the alarm.

Posted by dichroic at 11:05 AM | Comments (2)