dxmachina: (Snow02)
It's been snowing since about 8 am, about 2½ hours now. There's still not a lot of the ground yet. I can still see tufts of grass sticking up out of it in the lawn, so maybe an inch so far. Apparently we're due for some serious accumulation, but to quote the immortal Carl Spackler as he and the bishop made their way through the monsoon, "I don't think the heavy stuff will come down for a while." We'll see.

I've already been out for the mandatory storm purchases. Just the essentials—overpriced milk and sugar-free white chocolate macadamia cookies. Now I'm hunkering down with all the tv I'm behind on.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
The Midway Campaign — Jack Greene

If a book can be awkward, this book about the first six months of the war in the Pacific is awkward. Where did that come from? )



dxmachina: (Books 02)
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. — Groucho Marx

Yes, I am behind my time, but it's only once a year. It won't be repeated.

The whole list... )

---
The last couple of books read... )

---
I have finally gotten back to fiction, thanks to the library notifying me that Jim Butcher's latest Harry Dresden novel was waiting for me to pick it up. Fifty pages in already.
dxmachina: (Writing 03)
SLOCUM, RI - The search for a cordless drill, missing for two months, was called off today when it was found safe, sound, and and still charged, sitting in plain view on a high shelf in a local man's attic. The owner had first reported the drill missing in early November. The man claimed to have searched that area several times without seeing the drill, and suggested that perhaps it had only just returned from going on a spree. He said he had heard rumors that in recent weeks numerous phillips head screws had been found mysteriously loosened around the neighborhood.

Local authorities discount the theory, saying that the fact that the drill was still charged when found is evidence that it was likely not, in fact, screwing around. Some neighbors allege that there have been rumors that the owner may be abusing his tools, and theorize the drill may have been simply hiding to escape. Authorities say that they are looking into the rumors, but that no charges are anticipated.




dxmachina: (Calvin)
Awright, whoever hid my cordless drill, you did a spectacular job. Bravo!

That said, I'd like it back now.

Please?

(I've searched the house from top to bottom. Twice. I'm now worried that it's outside somewhere, but I don't remember needing it out there for a very long time.>



dxmachina: (Bike 03)
Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike — Grant Petersen

Real cyclists don't wear underpants. At least that's what the biking magazines have been telling us for the last thirty years or so. They also wear spandex shirts*, shoes that clip into bindings on the pedals, and bike shorts with padding in the seat rather than getting a more comfortable saddle. They fret over every single ounce of weight added to the bicycle or their person. And they pay through the nose for all of this gear.

* Often covered with logos providing free advertising for megacorporations.

Becoming an unracer... )

---
Meanwhile, back at the bike path, I had a singular year...

New. League. Record. )

---
Volleyball tonight, for the first time since I got sick back before Thanksgiving.
dxmachina: (Chemistry01)
I made twelve kinds of truffles this year, and I decided to update my recipes and notes for easy reference.

Read more... )
dxmachina: (Snow02)
We had our first substantial snowfall of the season* last night, 6-8". Today is bright and sunny, and it's very pretty out. There is substantial wind chill, though, so apart from shoveling, I've been admiring the pretty through my picture windows.

* Actually, large parts of New Jersey and Rhode Island got lots of snow inland during the Boxing Day nor'easter, but nearer to the coast, where I was staying while in Jersey and where I live in Rhody, we just got soaked.

---
Christmas was good for the most part. There wasn't much traffic on the way down, and even going back during rush hour on the 27th wasn't too bad. I got lots of good loot (DVDs, books, money, and a quart of real maple syrup from my brother's farm, among other stuff), and there was terrific food. It even snowed lightly Christmas Eve, so we had a white one without the necessity of shoveling.

---
I stayed with eldest sister. She has been fostering dogs for one of the local shelters. She already had one of her own, and liked one of the foster dogs so much that she adopted him as well. There was also a third that she brought home for the holiday while the shelter was closed. Unfortunately, that one was young and ill-mannered.** I caught her standing atop the dining room table. She also kept picking fights with the other two dogs, so she wound up spending most of her time in her cage.

** Think Stitch right after Lilo adopts him.

It's too bad. She is basically a good dog with people, and with proper training would be a nice pet. She liked me, and I liked her until she switched from chewing on the hems of my jeans to clamping her jaws on the screen of my laptop. Fortunately no harm was done to either computer or beagle mix.
dxmachina: (Christmas)
It's truffle time again at Casa Machina! I've put up 16 dozen or so truffle centers so far, and should finish off the last four batches of centers (about 9 dozen) today. Then it's time to dip.

There was a short snag when I went to look up my truffle recipes. I store them here on Livejournal so that I won't lose them, but LJ was down, and past experience has shown that they could be MIA for days. Now I have the basic mix committed to memory, so I tried to soldier through and make a batch of mocha truffles from memory. Turns out my memory of the details was faulty, as I discovered a couple of hours later when LJ came back. Fortunately, no harm was done. I used incorrect settings whilst melting the chocolate in the microwave, but my habit of checking the progress a lot caught the mistake before I scorched the chocolate. And mixing up tsps of coffee powder with tbsps yielded deep chocolate rather than mocha truffles, which were on the list anyway.

I saved a copy of the recipes to a text file so that I won't have this issue again. The irony here is that normally I am totally against storing info in the cloud, yet I have this huge blind spot when it comes to my recipes, all of which are here in LJ and occasional scraps of hard to find paper.

---
Some observations of the universe... )

---
I baked bread today, or rather, I took a bread recipe and made hard rolls with it, just to see how they'd work out. Just came out of the oven, so we shall see shortly.


dxmachina: (Hangover)
Didn't make it to down to Jersey yesterday for Thanksgiving. My cough was just too bad. That's twice now in three years I've been too sick to make the trip, and it's getting a little frustrating. And despite knowing it was likely I'd have to make my own Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't bother to go out Wednesday night to get a roaster of some sort and associated foods. So dinner was some frozen chicken thighs baked on top of cornbread stuffing. I made the cornbread from scratch, so that's something, but no cranberry sauce, and no sausage in the stuffing. It was fine. Maybe I'll do something better Sunday.

This is the weirdest cold. If I hadn't had a flu shot I'd swear it was the flu*. Not much nasal congestion or sore throat, but I'm still woozy here on the sixth day and it's totally rototilled my lungs. The fever and associated aches have mostly broken at least.

* I keep flashing back on an old Law and Order episode where a bunch of people died because some doctor decided to buy really cheap flu vaccine that turned out to be saline solution. It was one of Jack McCoy's famous "depraved indifference" cases.

---
With nothing better to do, I've been rummaging through the DVD collection and watching movies, something I rarely do anymore. Comedies, mostly. So far, I have watched Hogfather, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, Chicken Run, What's Up Doc?, Lilo & Stitch, and Lilies of the Field, although I dozed off early on during the last. I've also been catching up on The Big Bang Theory, a show I never really got into before.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
It may be my cold-medication-induced haze, but it seems to me that marketing to carpool-lane-cheating perverts can't be a sensible strategy...



If you aren't familiar, Cumberland Farms is a chain of quickie marts here in the northeast.

---
Still sick. This cold is much nastier than the last. I started to feel a little better this morning, but now the hacking is killing me. Still hoping to drive home for dinner, but am not planning to be very social if I do go. The last thing I need to do is infect my folks with this bug. Bother.
dxmachina: (Charlie Brown 2)
For the second time in a month, I am sick. Low fever this time with associated achiness along with congestion. I was freezing for most of the afternoon, then took some dayquil and as the tylenol started reducing the fever started roasting beneath all the layers. A couple hours later I appear to have reached temperature equilibrium, at least for the time being. I had a flu shot a couple months ago, so it's probably not flu, just something obnoxious picked up at the elementary school where we play volleyball. I should probably buy some hand sanitizer for Thursday nights.

---
Looking out my living room window I spotted two separate tufts of down stuck to the outside, the remnants of a real life angry birds attack. Poor bruised birdies. I get bird strikes on my picture windows quite often. I'm not sure if there's anything I can do about that.

---
Things that take me out of stories, item the first:

Note to the writers of Law & Order SVU: Bernardsville New Jersey is pronounced BERnerdsville, not berNARDSville. I rarely watch SVU, but I caught a bit of an interrogation while channel surfing.

---
Things that take me out of stories, item the second:

Not so much a pronunciation issue, but the characters on NCIS (original recipe) would never refer to highway route numbers as "the 95." McGee does this all the time, and yet his entire family appears to live close to DC. The proper shortcut term back east is either Route 95, I-95, or just plain old 95. The only exceptions to this rule are named highways: the Turnpike, the Parkway, the Deegan, etc., and the Beltway if one wants a DC specific example.

---
And then there are historical inaccuracies in non-fiction... )

---
Talked to my folks tonight. They were 13 days without power. The generator was a good idea, at least until they ran out of gas for it. They had to throw out all their perishables. Jane, who lives way out in the sticks, was without power for even longer. Yikes!

Status

Nov. 8th, 2012 12:55 pm
dxmachina: (Snow02)
So, after not losing power during Sandy, the measly little nor'easter knocked power out for a couple of hours overnight. I happened to be partially awake and rolling over when it happened (around 1:30), so I saw the clock and night lights go out. Wouldn't have mattered if had been asleep because the UPS and smoke detectors started chirping to let me know what was up. I spent the next 15 minutes or so gathering a battery lantern, then turning off the UPS and disconnecting the first floor detectors to shut them all up*. Then I called the electric company to report the outage, and went back to sleep. I woke up again a couple hours later, and power was already back. So no harm done, and kudos to the electric company for fast work. I even got a nice call from the Grid checking to see if things were working again. The detectors are back where they belong.

* Actually, the detectors didn't shut up since there seems to be no way to stop the chirping until their capacitors run down or something. So I stashed them on the sofa underneath a blanket.

---
We got maybe an inch of snow here, and it's already pretty much gone. However, the wind is still whistling past the side door pretty well.

---
I've been watching Arrow and enjoying it. It's good to see both Harry Dresden and Colonel Mann getting regular screen time again.

---
Still can't find the frelling drill.
dxmachina: (Snow02)
The nor'easter is upon us; it's snowing like crazy out there.

It's actually been pretty windy most of the day, with smatterings of rain here and there, but now it's really coming down. It's 35° out there, so I doubt any will stick.

---
This week's Castle was hi-larious, what with all the Firefly references, Ed Quinn and Armin Shimerman (Stark and Quark!), and cameos by Frakes (who directed) and Shatner. So much fun.

---
Anyone seen my cordless drill? I was looking for it earlier, and I damned if I can find it. It's not in any of the usual locations, i.e., on one of the benches in the workshop downstairs. It's not in the last place I used it, either. It's got to be here someplace, but where? Bother.

---
And 10 minutes later the snow is starting to stick. Temperature is dropping, too. Double bother.

Flats

Nov. 2nd, 2012 12:54 pm
dxmachina: (Warp Speed!)
As it started to get dark Wednesday night, I happened to glance out my front window at the truck and noticed that the right rear tire didn't look quite right. Closer inspection confirmed that it had lost quite a bit of pressure. Usually in these cases it takes time and a soapy sponge to locate the leak, but this time it was obvious. The head of a 2" drywall screw was sticking out of the sidewall at a 45° angle just inside of the tread. As it was getting dark, and since I didn't need to go anywhere, I left it for yesterday.

Punctured... )
---
Speaking of Asbury Park... )
 

Halloween

Nov. 1st, 2012 11:38 pm
dxmachina: (I Got a Rock)
Had a record number of trick or treaters last night, forty-two of them. The cutest was a little guy (who may have been last year's littlest pumpkin), who said "Trick or treat!" and then turned around to leave without getting his treat. Luckily his mom was there to point out his error of technique, so he did eventually get his fun-sized Crunch bar. I'm sure he'll eventually get the hang of it. The best costume was a pre-teen asian girl in (what looked to be) a silk, traditional Japanese pattern gown. Very pretty. There was also a kid who dressed up as a slab of bacon.

---
No volleyball tonight because the schools in South Kingstown (and the rest of South County, for that matter) are still closed due to lack of power in many of them, one of them being Peace Dale Elementary, where we play. I didn't play last week, either, because I had a bad cold. Still coughing a little, but otherwise am fine.
dxmachina: (Rain02)
Now that cable is back on, things are getting back to normal here at Casa Machina. For me, the storm was relatively uneventful. Never lost power, although there were some flickers in the afternoon. Much of the town is reportedly out, although I don't know how current that report is. The gas grill got knocked over yet again, despite my precautions. I'd placed it right next to the house, so that it would be supported when the wind hit. Instead the wind just bounced off the house and blew the damn thing over from behind.

The big Bradford pear out front survived yet anther major storm intact. It has to be the luckiest 23 year-old Bradford pear in existence. My next door neighbor's Bradford lost another good-sized chunk.

The cable went at around 6:30, and did not return until this morning, which is basically the same thing that happened with Irene last year*. Of course, last year I went to work the next day, so I had at least some source of news about what happened. Not so much this year. In these modern times I get all my news through the cable, either over the net or by TV. It was weird yesterday having absolutely no idea what was going on at all, even locally. It was actually pretty nice here for most of yesterday, partly sunny even, so the view from my front window was encouraging. In the old days I could've switched from the cable connection to rabbit ears, but even if I had a set of HD rabbit ears, they wouldn't work with my obsolete TVs. It's a mild version of the technology trap that James Burke described in the first episode of Connections way back in the seventies. I suppose I could've dragged the radio up from the basement, but I don't have much faith in local radio giving me much of any kind of useful news.

* It's strange to me that cable should be more vulnerable than power lines. Losing power I would understand. Power lines are the most vulnerable of the wires on the pole, and they can't be reinforced the way telephone wires are (which is why the phone usually work even when the power is out). Cable is even lower on the pole than the phone, so I doubt the issue is physical breakage of the lines.

Now that I can see the outside world again, it looks like Rhody got hit about as hard as it did with Irene, except for the beaches, which were clobbered. RIDOT flew a helicopter along the coast to assess damage. There are pictures here. The photos run roughly west from Misquamicut Beach in Westerly to east in Newport, although I noticed the section of photos of the area I'm most familiar with, Narragansett, starting here, is arranged in reverse sequence if they were flying west to east. It looks like the surge even broke through the sea wall at one spot. If you happened to see any of the Weather Channel's live reports from Narragansett, they were made at the 4-way intersection in the upper left corner of this one. The brick building there is the 'Gansett post office.

I talked to my folks down in Jersey last night. They live a long way from the beach, but still got clobbered. No power, no heat, but my brother hooked up a generator for them so they have some power. My mom had just gotten home from rehabbing after her surgery. What a nice welcome home. My sisters are also without power, and Jane has no water since her well pump has no juice. She and the kids are camped out at Rie's house, where there is city water, at least. Word is, at least according to the city councilperson neighbor that my dad talked to, that it'll probably be a week or so before the power is back. OTOH, I suppose it could've been worse. A big tree landed on my parents' next-door neighbor's sun porch. There a lot of very old, very tall trees in the neighborhood. Dad had the most at risk trees in his yard taken down a few years ago after one landed on the garage.

---
Now to go out and buy some treats to hand out tonight.

Status

Oct. 13th, 2012 09:50 am
dxmachina: (Dawn)
So, mom is out of the hospital and in a rehab facility to regain some strength. Things seem to be going well. I admit that Neil Armstrong (a man of approximately the same age as my mother, and someone whose medical history had been meticulously tracked for fifty some odd years) dying from complications of similar surgery put me on edge about this, but mom seems to have come through it like a trouper.

---
It has been chilly and mostly rainy for the last couple of weeks. I turned on the furnace last night, in anticipation of a cold night, and, sure enough, it got down below freezing. It's been such an odd year temperature-wise. Temperatures were very moderate through the third week in June, then Mother Nature turned on the steamer. Even when then temperatures were reasonable, it was ridiculously humid. Then come September, the dial got switched back lovely. Now we seem to be getting a normal October, albeit a tad wetter than usual. Climate change is very strange.

---
The weather has made my riding schedule sporadic. Yesterday was nice in the morning, so I mowed the lawn. We got a brief shower around noon, but then the sun came back out, so I was able to get in a ride before too early sunset. The ride was a slow one. I felt pretty good, but I think the lawn workout, coupled with volleyball Thursday night, left my legs a little slower than usual. It was also pretty windy. I seem to be getting used to pounding the muscles take in volleyball. I had an uncomfortable night of sleep as they stiffened up, but once morning rolled around I was fine.

---
Speaking of volleyball, there is this whole time machine effect going on. My friends who play that I have seen over the years all look normal to me. But among the other people playing who were playing eight years ago, people who I don't hang out with and haven't seen or even thought about in all that time, it amazing how much most of them appear to have aged. Very weird, especially some of the guys who are much younger than I am who are now sporting very silver hair.
dxmachina: (Warp Speed!)
Heading to Jersey for the weekend to visit mom and family in general. Mom is doing well and spamming folks with her laptop. Have remembered to load spaghetti squash in the truck for delivery, which is better than the last couple of years when I didn't remember to do it until Easter.

---
It's been rainy lately, so there have been few opportunities to ride. Played volleyball Thursday, and went out for dinner after. That's half the reason I started going again, to get out of the house to socialize. Now that I'm home all the time, I rarely speak to anybody, other than to myself.

---
I watched the entire run of Young Justice over the last few days, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I have a tenuous connection to it in that Greg Weisman, the producer, is the brother of Jon Weisman, the owner of Dodger Thoughts, the baseball blog I most often hung out at. Jon wrote of few of the episodes for the show. Alas, Jon retired Dodger Thoughts a couple of weeks ago, but for 10 years it was the best Dodger blog out there.

Time to hit the road.
dxmachina: (Snoopy Dance)
My dad just called. Mom is out of surgery and in the cardiac ICU. The prognosis is good, but she be in one ICU or the other for a couple three days. Will visit this weekend when things are stable.

Profile

dxmachina: (Default)
dxmachina

February 2016

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 11:04 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios