roadrunnertwice: Hagrid on his motorcycle, from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. (HarryPotter.Hagrid - Two wheels good)
I got a standing desk! I'm standing up as I write this. Hi.

I managed to score a sit-stand one with a hand crank off Craigslist. It's a little bit wobbly, which is annoying, but I'll live, especially since the price was superb.

Of course, it's turning up myriad other problems with this whole area. My monitor is too low now, and the bricks I've had it propped up on are ridiculous, so I'll have to do something about that. (This monitor has a VESA mount, and the gal I bought the desk from gave me a tip about a used office supply store...) And, like... either the desk legs are uneven or my floor isn't level (edit: it's the floor), so I'll have to do something about that too. (Where did my spirit level go? Didn't I own a spirit level?) And since the desk doesn't have a drawer, I should probably get some kind of system to organize the odds and ends that used to end up strewn around in there. I've got two boxes of nonsense clogging up my floor after cleaning off the old desk.

But I finally have a surface that feels good to type on! In my own house! And I can crank it down when I feel like pulling up a chair and playing video games.

In less positive news, I totally lost track of the mosquito I saw in here a few minutes ago.
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (ScottPilgrim.Scott - Reversal!)
My telephone got stolen tonight, and then I got it back. This might be the dumbest thing to happen to me all year.

For reasons involving a working vacation, a wedding, and a bunch of plane trips, I picked up a friend’s stored car at another friend’s house, took it back to my house, and unloaded a bunch of stuff into my living room. And left my iphone on the passenger seat, like some kind of jackass. It was out of my sight for maybe 50 seconds, tops.

Anyway, I get back into the car after unloading, and it’s gone. I bail out, ask the group of random women walking by if they saw someone grab a phone out of the car, and — AMAZINGLY — one of them says “Oh yeah, he walked that way! I think it might be that guy!” And she points at a dude who’s just, like, standing there, a block down the way.

I dash after him. He sees me, and stays standing there, slouching a bit. He’s a tall, weedy-looking white guy, with sort of bulging eyes and that slightly-too-skinny face where you’re like, okay, probably a tweaker.

I have no idea what I’m doing or what’s going to happen here, but I’m imagining some humiliating scenarios. I figure, 60% chance he’s got my phone (wasn’t enough time for someone else to grab it and disappear unseen; has to be SOMEONE within a block and a half of me; could’ve been those gals from earlier, but the timing didn’t seem right), but if he decides to stonewall, like, what the fuck can I do? Sit there and argue with him? There’s pretty much nothing else on the table! I’m not gonna, like, try to kick his ass and search him, because I’m not a vigilante psychopath. (Also, everything else wrong with that idea.) Getting the cops involved would be, like… I just can’t even fathom how that would go, and plus I would really rather not increase police presence in this neighborhood. Also, the fuck am I gonna use to call anybody, because I don’t have a telephone anymore. If he denied everything, he’d probably just get to keep my shit.

But that all turns out to be irrelevant, because he fucking volunteers my phone back to me. He says, “Are you the guy whose phone just got taken?” He pulls it out of his pocket. “I saw that guy that did it. I stopped him. Like, I saw him, it was a guy in a green shirt. He went that way.”

I take the phone back. “Awesome, thanks,” I say. “You’re a helper. I gotta go now.” And then I went back to my friend’s car and went to pick her and her fiancée up at the airport.




Like, that situation is end-to-end bizarre, right? I’m not just tripping?

Anyway, tonight I am thankful for dirtbags who embrace the concept of “easy come, easy go.”
roadrunnertwice: Dialogue: "I have caught many hapless creatures in my own inter-net." (ActivitiesForRainyDays - Inter-Net)
So. Early in that recent series about my ill-advised renovation project, I mentioned that, until I'd recovered from my brain amoebas or whatever, I had wanted to paint the room orange. And when Emm ([livejournal.com profile] emmling/[personal profile] kamonohashi) and Laura ([profile] roler) read that, they were both immediately like "Oh Jesus, it's fishhead.jpg all over again." And it recently occurred to me that there should definitely be more people sharing their horror.

Okay. Google has blessedly forgotten about all this, and I am DEFINITELY not saying how to find it over at the Archive, but listen: I used to have a... PERSONAL WEBSITE. On my ISP's five megs of web space, because I'm sure Geocities and Angelfire were nice, but I wanted a URL with a tilde in it. No I do not remember why that mattered.

For reasons I do not want to get into, it was VERY important to me that this website's background be a childishly-drawn skeletonized fish against a baby aspirin orange backdrop. This was the very soul incarnate of my internet presence. THE FISH SYMBOLIZED AUTHENTICITY, PEOPLE. The fish abides. Abided. Serenely. Until I eventually decamped for LiveJournal.

The motherfucker looked like this

and it was glorious.



And so now you know what that was about.




In other news, we had a thunderstorm in Portland tonight, and it was pretty badass. Reminded me of Minneapolis, and made me half think I should scurry down to the Acadia for a pint and some warmth and a good view down Franklin of the retreating clouds and lightning.

'Course, the Acadia moved down to Hiawatha or something, after I left. Who even knows what's the place in Stevens Square these days. But still.
roadrunnertwice: Rodney the Second Grade T-Ball Jockey displays helpful infographics. (BF.Rodney - Ass increases w/ T-ball^2)

Part two of three, continued from here.

Sidenote: Musical Beds

Obviously I wasn't sleeping in the room for the rest of this. Since I got the short end of the house, the other two shuffled things around to accomodate me; sometimes I was sleeping on the futon, and other times Schwern would give up his bed. This is mostly irrelevant until the fire alarm starts going off.

King in my World of Sawdust

Untitled Untitled

You guys. Don't ever sand anything. It is a trap. )

roadrunnertwice: Tess from The Battle of Dovecote Crest, bringing the sass. Text: "Things are progressing smoothly, Captain!" (Dovecote - Progressing smoothly!)

Rider-Waite tarot card of the fool, with man traipsing off cliff.

So, shit may have gotten a little out of hand with this bedroom situation. Shit may have also gotten out of hand with the post about said bedroom situation. (Part one of three!)

The last time I talked about this here was in January, and just... wow. That is a post by a very different Nick, his face unlined by suffering. I kind of want to give him a hug; poor bastard has no fucking idea what he's in for.

Here is how it happened.


The "Before" Photo

So yeah. Meet my room.

The carpet and the paint

Untitled

This is how it looked when I moved in. Let us count the HELL NO. )

roadrunnertwice: Yoshimori from Kekkaishi, with his beverage of choice. (Kekkaishi.Yoshimori - Coffee milk)

This WEEK, man. You GUYS. You all know I ain't no workaholic, but this weekend looks like a bender. A workahol bender. Yeah.

Crunch time and word quota aside, I did manage to get to the TMBG/Coulton show, which was totally awesome. I haven't seen TMBG since... must have been like 2004 or so. (They were on tour for The Spine at the time.) Not feeling up to a proper concert review, but man, they put on a good show. Some tracks from The Else, some tracks from the new record, some older stuff, and yeah. (CONTROVERSIAL OPINION TIME: Best TMBG album is John Henry, and second best is The Else, with Flood a distant third.)

Things:

  • I am so glad I switched to Dvorak back in 2008. You've probably heard this from me before, but in summary: the speed boost ended up being basically nonexistant, but the endurance boost has been incredible. I'm not confident that I'd be able to do both dayjob-banzai typing and NaNo banzai typing without it. And the timing of the switch was definitely a good call, since I was doing manual labor and could totally get away with typing like a sloth with a nerve disorder for three weeks.
  • Oh right, that chair. It's this one:

    IMG_0304

    This chair was in my room when I moved in, which means it's probably Curtis Poe's fault. It's fugly as hell and weirdly short and stubby and also I guess it comes with its own corner?? I originally didn't know what to do with it and it was piled high with laundry more often than not, but then I warmed up to it. It's cushy and lets me put my feet on the ground without any shenanigans, but more than that, it's just a squishy chair of my very own, which is something that'd been missing from my life for a long time before now. (Protip: If you're in your early 20s and moving into your own place for the first time, tell that futon to go to hell and get yourself an actual couch and/or easychair.)

    I've got what I'd call a pretty thorough computer setup over at my desk, but for some reason I don't write very well there. Everything is much easier when I'm in my little chair over by the east window. Desks are for editing, apparently, and when I'm writing I'd much rather be close to the ground and tucked into a corner with a wall at my back.

  • God I love this Bugseed track.

  • Protip: The correct time to turn on Freedom is BEFORE you sit down. Like, if you get home and have to pee? Turn on Freedom and set it for 3 hours, then pee.

EDIT: Of course, I totally did not heed that last one tonight. *headdesk* Still made quota, though. (Sort of—I ended up doing like 1400 words of out-loud thinking, plot-detangling, motivation-decoding, outlining for two additional chapters I apparently need to shoehorn in there, and for good measure some details about the contents of a document that Zoe's going to get network-cockblocked before having a chance to read. Won't count toward the eventual total, but it kept my momentum up.)

roadrunnertwice: Highway sign indicating nearby spam and grey water disposal area. (BadGods - Spam tank)

This weekend pretty much consisted of buying shit and upgrading All The Things. But! Amy helped keep it from being a total shut-in fest by going out to the Roadside and a movie with me. (MOVIE REVIEW: Bridesmaids was pretty decent, although it did bear down a little hard on the ol' humiliation squick. Full-body cringe, woo.)

Buying shit

Yeah, so rainjacket quest 2011 was a bit of a pain in my ass. To shorten a long story: it's just that I've been in this multi-year process of changing the way I look at/wear/think about/shop for clothing, and one of the big changes is that I've stopped settling for shit that doesn't actually fit. Which does not make shopping easier,* especially if it turns out that your actual size is in the XS range rather than the M (?!?!) I apparently thought I was ten years ago.

Anyway, I did finally decide on a rainjacket. (REI had one that I liked the fit of and was light enough to carry around in my bag all the time, though I had to order it online because the shop only had it in a color I loathed.) But while I was searching the Columbia outlet down in Sellwood, I hit unexpected paydirt in the boys' section: a nice Hard Wear fleece and a legit cold+snow coat (in this burnt-orange shade that I'm all about) for a total of like $65. Yeah!!!!!!!!

The kids' area turns out to be a real crapshoot, by the way, because most of the clothes there are just a completely wrong shape. I guess boys don't have shoulders, or something? Totally worth a quick hunt, though, just in case.

Cut for gadget rambling )

And now it's Tuesday or something, what is this "weekend" talk

Yeah, I still had this file open and I guess it seemed a shame to waste it.


* Although it seems to have given me a great deal more endurance for it, perversely. Which I guess makes sense, since the payoff when I do finally win is a lot more enduring.

roadrunnertwice: Highway sign indicating nearby spam and grey water disposal area. (BadGods - Spam tank)
Whoa hey, looks like Apple just released a new EVERYTHING. I'm kind of just waiting on all of it, though, which mostly comes down to making sure I don't miss a crypto window on upgrading my hacked iPhone -- that shit gets silly fast, by the way, remind me to tell you about it someday -- and trying to decide on a spreadsheet to replace the direly agèd copy of Excel that came with my old iBook.

Spreadsheet dorks: Numbers or the new Excel? I actually quite liked Excel '07 for Windows, and thought Numbers '09 felt kind of flimsy by comparison, but I'm still on the fence a bit, because it's $150 vs. a combined $30 for both Mac and iOS. Plus, I don't reeeeeally need that awesome bolt-on regex substitution function anymore, since it was mostly a workaround for being stranded on computers without proper text editors or language runtimes.
roadrunnertwice: Silhouette of a person carrying a bike up a hill (Bikeluggin')
Sing calloo and callay for overhaul season, and for grease under my nails again! My bike was getting a little wobbly and uncertain-feeling after the winter, and yesterday was a nice cloudy Saturday that I didn't mind blowing on some DIY, so I hied me to A Better Cycle and overhauled both hubs and my headset. (My bike is more than twenty years old, and I'm pretty sure most of the parts are about the same age; those three bearing assemblies have built up some pitting, and they slowly wear out their BBs and get looser over the course of a half-year or so. I mean, like all such do, but I really do think they need a re-up more often than a fresher kit would.)

Anyway, vive la difference -- Brigadelle feels *much* faster and more responsive, like it was a bear that just shook off the last haze of hibernation.

I love doing that work. Honestly, it would make way more sense to have the shop handle it, since they can work a lot faster and I'm not broke like I was when I learned it. But it makes me happy. I like the smell of worn-out grease and that orange pumice soap; I like keeping my own eye on those cups and cones as they deteriorate. (One more season, I keep saying, but they keep holding up just fine.) I like listening to music and singing while I polish away the old grease. I like the satisfaction of getting the cones locked down juuuust right, freely spinning but with no play. I like the way beer tastes after an afternoon of virtuous tinkering.

Hurray for overhaul season, and hurray for life.
roadrunnertwice: Yoshimori from Kekkaishi, with his beverage of choice. (Kekkaishi.Yoshimori - Coffee milk)
All right! One week after I started ratcheting it down, I'm off caffeine entirely. Something I'm already noticing is that it's easier to get up in the morning. So that's interesting. Also, my (always present) appetite for fruit has increased dramatically. Of course, both of those could just as easily be from the sun finally coming out yesterday. Shrug! I guess I don't really  have any idea what's up, but it's fun watching it anyway. One thing I'm missing already is the bike fuel aspect: going over the Broadway Bridge, you can definitely tell the difference between a day where you had coffee and a day you didn't. 
roadrunnertwice: Ryoga from Ranma 1/2. Image text: "*Now* where the hell am I?" (Ranma.Ryoga - Ryoga is lost)
Ugg, has that last post seriously been sitting there for half a month?

Okay, so stuff's been happening. Other stuff's been not happening. Whatever.

  • Went to Oly and visited with [livejournal.com profile] roler! Surprise bonus visit with Elizabeth! Her beau seems like a good dude. She looks happy. (Actually, she's probably reading this. Hey, Z!)
  • Speaking of old friends, my childhood pal Gregory went and married a girl under the St. John's Bridge. They walked down the aisle to Beirut's "Scenic World," and it was adorable. He, too, looks great these days.
  • I still need to re-attach my bike rack, get that netting tied on, and probably start early shopping for some rims and hubs, since these wheels don't have a whole lot of seasons left on them, and I'd rather have some buffer time to build their replacements than have to do it emergency style.
  • Dep't of burying the lede: I'm also in the market for an affordable ticket to Turkey for January. Planning a rendezvous with [livejournal.com profile] katealaurel.
  • Captured By Porches brewery has a stall at the Hollywood Farmers Market, and they'll fill a quart mason jar for $5. That's pretty awesome.
  • Don't use an extra-wide mouth mason jar for that. The lids don't have enough stiffness at that size to maintain the seal when subjected to internal pressure. Use the type with the smaller mouth or suffer a backpack full of undrinkable beer slops.
  • I've been using the trunk builds of Firefox, because it is that time of the year again, and they did something recently to the redirect API that broke Adblock Plus, so I've been browsing like the other half recently. And oh my fucking god, people. These interstitial ads on LJ. I cannot even believe how trashy those things make the place feel. LJ used to be my living room, and now it's like a bunch of tweakers are crashing on the couch and selling off the stereo equipment.
  • Dudes, the westbound MAX will ALWAYS be at 120% bike capacity by the time it hits Goose Hollow. Natural law. And yet there's always a big old crowd hoping against hope that they're gonna find space on the thing.

Boatlights

Jul. 31st, 2010 10:37 pm
roadrunnertwice: Silhouette of a person carrying a bike up a hill (Bikeluggin')
Check it!

CIMG1946

BAM.

So anyway, when I bought this bike back in 2007, the handlebar "tape" was actually just a pair of sliced-up innertubes: Oh hell, he's on about trivial bike shit again. )

Twofer

Jul. 25th, 2010 10:21 am
roadrunnertwice: A roadrunner *actually running on a road.* (Roadrunner - Going faster miles an hour)
So over the course of the last couple months, I've been trying to track down the source of some annoying GI issues. (Spoiler for TMI: Mild discomfort, constipation, and, worst of the bunch, indescribably heinous farts.) And I've come to an unfortunate conclusion, which is that I might have to cut onions most of the way out of my diet. WTF! Onions are practically their own food group!

Anyway, does anyone else have any experience with this? It's not an allergy, per se; it's more like my gut flora just lost their ability to handle the things or something. Why would that randomly happen at age 28?

In conclusion, goddammit.




Also, I've finally busted my two pairs of iPod earbuds! One now plays at 1/3 volume in the right ear, and the other is torn-up lookin' and rattles a bit when any low notes blow by. Now I need to figure out what to replace them with. Preferably something a bit better than iPod earbuds.

So yeah. I listen to music on my bicycle, so I need something compatible with a helmet, and I'll also be using them to run, so they need to be light and able to stay in pace when jounced. Schwern has these things, I think, and I'm not sure how I feel about them; I keep thinking I can find something I'll like better.

Any suggestions? I'm not allergic to buds, and I'm not averse to trying weirder stuff as well.

Ding

Feb. 22nd, 2010 11:58 pm
roadrunnertwice: A roadrunner *actually running on a road.* (Roadrunner - Going faster miles an hour)
Hooray, I found another 9 GB cache of junk to wreck destruction on! Believe it or not, there was a folder up in there called "iTunes Exile," whose purpose was just too packratty and anal to even get into explaining here.

(You've probably already guessed, but this scrubbing mission didn't start because I needed the space; it's more that the kipple just offended me. I mean, really: I'm to spend that much disk and backup on a wad of data toward which I feel... nothing? (Aside from some weaksauce vestigial anxiety?) Balls to that. Spring Cleaning, Dracula!)



ALSO! Holy shit guys, I have finally recreated the Rustica miche. It was my favorite bread in the world, and now I have it back, in all its sour-ass funky glory.

brown boule

See?

brown boule

See that?!

So, I pulled it off once, at least; as usual, I reckon the tough part'll be repeating it. Still!

Anyway, I can't really call it "miche," because that's a shape rather than a recipe, and these are basic boule shapes. (Most efficient use of flowerpot space, plus I kind of prefer that taller shape anyway for sandwich purposes.) For now, I guess it's just the brown boule.
roadrunnertwice: Yoshimori from Kekkaishi, with his beverage of choice. (Kekkaishi.Yoshimori - Coffee milk)
Wow, I just fed iTunes about 4 GB of music that'd sat in a "yo do something with this" folder for more than a year. It is like a python that just ate a hog.

I've kind of been doing spring cleaning, or something. Last week I trashed 24 GB of podcasts I had no intention of ever listening to again, and that was pretty awesome. Now I'm kind of wondering what else I could destroy, but as usual, that's probably the wrong question.
roadrunnertwice: Sigourney Weaver with a trucker 'stache. (Sigourney Weaver with a trucker 'stache)
Things keep happening, but they aren't really interesting. Hi, journal!



I joined a gym, again—haven't had a gym since MPLS. This one's a for-profit thingmabob, but it's also $20/mo cheaper than the YWCA was. Complexity! —Actually it's not complex at all, Bally's is cheaper because I'm not paying for useful programs for city kids and first-generation immigrants. On the other hand, it IS literally next door to work, which was the impetus here: While I was home for Christmas, Kathleen mentioned that her dad ate lunch at his desk and then hit the hospital gym during his lunch break, and I was like "Oh wait, I could actually do that."

And I can! I'd been having a real problem getting any exercise done, because I'd get home from work and be all "I work all day and now I have to go running in the RAIN?" or "it's winter, I'm sleepy," or "aaugh BLARG." But if it's the middle of the day and I don't have anywhere to go on accounta having to be back at work in an hour anyhow, motivating myself to jump around a bit turns out to be surprisingly easy.

(Today was the free personal trainer appointment, which was in fact somewhat useful, likely because I have a better idea of what I want than I did last time I got a free personal trainer appointment. The weird Mario Kart controller machine claimed I had 18% body fat, though, which I don't think I buy at all. Maybe I'm fluffier than I look?)



Made an expedition to Melissa's new yarn shop, which she started after Abundant folded. Have almost finished (thanks to some decreases help from David) with the hat-in-progress that I hadn't touched since that whole August/September period. There was a waffle party at the apartment, and it's getting closer and closer to springtime, and I bought some clothes, and otherwise things are mostly static. Guess I'd better see what I can do about that.
roadrunnertwice: Yehuda biking in the rain. (YehudaMoon.Yehuda - Rain)

HERE IS THE UPDATE.

  • I went with my parents and brother to see Ian Anderson last night! And it was amazing. I can't really name Jethro Tull as my favorite band or anything, but they've kind of always been there as a constant presence in my life, and it was truly wonderful to finally see someone I... well, basically grew up with.
  • I went alone to go see The Mountain Goats on Wednesday night (again, I'm trying to get back into my old live music groove). Totally bitchin' show, and my first time to the Wonder Ballroom. (Which is in walking distance of my apartment, as it turns out!) I also ended up running into Steve and Sara after the show, which was lovely.
  • Work is work. It's taking up a lot of my energy, and I've been thinking various thoughts about how to wall it off a little better.
  • I upgraded my OS, finally. (After hearing a couple of horror stories, I decided to wait until 10.6.2 dropped before braving it. Worked like a charm.) My favorite Snow Leopard feature so far:

    keyboard layout switcher panel

    'Nuff said. It's basically the same damn thing, but I do like what they did with Exposé and a couple other things.

  • When I'm not working or sleeping or eating or writing or learning Cocoa or reading the internet, I've been playing Final Fantasy XII. Yes, I am behind the times. I'm not very far in it, but I'm liking it a LOT. Also, I realize the battle system was meant as a way to integrate developments from the Massively Multiplayer side of the RPG family tree into the divergent JRPG branch, but honestly, what the experience of it reminds me most of is Secret of Mana. And hurray for that.
  • You guys are reading Homestuck, right? You had better be reading Homestuck.

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roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
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