blk: (smirk)
I've had this iPhone as my primary phone for a bit over 3 days now, which is about the right amount of time for me to acquire gripes.

OMFG I miss the Pre's Universal Search. Since probably almost nobody here knows what that is, with the Pre I could open up the keyboard (still miss the keyboard) and start typing anything, and it would search all kinds of things to give me options. For example, if I typed "cal" and then paused, it would offer up options to select which would include the Calculator and Calendar apps, my contact Calvin Klein and his phone number so I could call or text, a page from my browsing history where I visited calvinandhobbes.com, an email I got from someone named Caleb, and also an option to search my search engine of choice for the phrase "cal."

With the iPhone, I have to turn on the phone, navigate to the main menu, scroll through to find the app I want to look in, select the app, find the place in the app where I can search, possibly clear out whatever was in that field previously, wait for the virtual keyboard to pop up, type in my keywords, and find the search button. It takes FOREVER and it's WORK and I did not realize how often I used that feature (for basically anytime I wanted to text, call, or google search a thing, which I do a LOT) until I lost it. Or maybe I just haven't figured out how to use this phone properly. If someone can tell me how I'm doing this wrong, please do.

Other major complaints:

1. No external notification to show that I've missed a message. Yes I can turn on a bright annoying light that flashes from the back when I -receive- a message, but if I miss the receiving moment, I have to physically pick up my phone and turn it on to see if I got a message. With the Pre I could just glance at it sitting on my desk and observe if there was a subtle, low-powered, light on the front that would blink every 5 seconds or so and get my attention.

2. No basic, simple, works-well inductive charging. Why is this not a thing?? The touchstone charger was one of the greatest things about the Palm/HP devices. 6 years later and everybody has been trained to plug things in every day. I guess people who never had it don't know what they are missing.

Minor complaints:

1. All the apps work really well, and there's a wide, strong userbase, which means support for advertisements. Phooey. I was completely spoiled having a Pandora app that was too old to stream ads. :)

2. Different messaging systems are all their own app (with the exception of iMessage + SMS being combined). I suppose Pidgin has spoiled me for being able to put all my chat systems in one client, but now I have one app for texts, another app for hangouts, another app for FB messages (if I decided to install it), etc. So I have to remember WHERE i had a conversation with someone in order to go back and review it.

3. Cannot automatically save new contacts directly to Google, where all of my other contacts are already stored. In order to get new contacts there, I'd have to export my contact list and import it to google, a multi-step process that I'm sure is going to create more problems.

4. It's too big. I can use it with one hand, but it's pretty difficult.


On the other hand, the navigation is really nice.
blk: (cmu)
As much as I am dearly loving the warm weather, I am going to be glad when this season of construction is over. Or at least moves further away from me.

This morning on my ride in I detoured around Frew Street, as it was closed for something. These days I park my bike a building away due to construction on the wean patio for the culmination of the Scott Hall project (prepping the mall extension. At noon on my way to yoga I had to backtrack through Doherty Hall to a different exit as the front doors were closed temporarily. I had to change clothes in a nearby bathroom as the University Center locker rooms are closed during construction of the expansion. On the way out driving tonight I drove slowly over a couple freshly milled spots on Beechwood, pre-repaving. Earlier this week on the way to dinner I waited for Jim to navigate around the construction on Forbes Ave (in prep for the upcoming Tepper Quad, which had turned into a full road closure due to a water main break. Then we rode past the east liberty transit center mess which has been in the works for a couple years now. Last weekend I detoured my run around the north entrance to Frick Park, which is closed for the new Environmental Center.

And this is just the few things I've directly encountered in the last few days, and is not counting the several other construction projects within a few miles that I know about but haven't been as affected by. I realize that all of these things are either necessary or are building new awesome things or both, and I believe the results will be awesome. But I will be glad when some of them actual complete.
blk: (ow)
OK, 2015, I've had enough. I give in. Please, just please don't get worse.

In the last 3 days, I have had:
- difficult conversations on multiple fronts regarding the painfulness of exclusion and conflicting social desires.
- a car that just suddenly needs a new power steering pump, after it started making strange loud noises while I had it in for an oil change. When I picked up the car and immediately asked the shop what was up, they said it was probably just air in the lines and I should keep driving it. After a day, it progressed from loud and worrisome to actually not safely driveable. Nobody can figure out any possible cause for it, which means they are disavowing any responsibility, which basically means we don't have much choice but to make a big stink that might not accomplish anything or else throw large amounts of money at it to have a car again.
- a failed attempt at a takeout dinner mob at my favorite sandwich place, thwarted by the restaurant being closed without warning, after everybody had already showed up to my house.
- my body hitting the wall and being smacked down. I honestly don't remember when the last time is that I felt this kind of death-warmed-over awful. Movement is difficult, everything down to my hair is achey and painful, temperature regulation is impossible, and sleep is elusive. It came on suddenly overnight and was probably jumpstarted by two days of not enough sleep. In hindsight, I suspect that being annoyingly cold the last couple of days might have been some preliminary symptoms, which means large numbers of other people I may have managed to infect with this. I'm sorry.

To try to find some slight balance, here are the silver linings:
+ opportunities for me to practice my new years resolution of compassionate listening and thoughtful responses in the midst of emotional unsteadiness.
+ um. we have the money to throw at this problem and not be out of a car. OTOH, does anybody have another local (squirrelfield) mechanic to recommend?
+ dinner mostly salvaged by awesome friends and a tasty noodle place, although there were definitely things lacking.
+ said dinner leftovers providing me with hot broth sustenance for me for today as nothing else sounds appealing. Also, at least the sick waited until after all my planned events to show up, leaving me with a free weekend and nothing to do but recover.

I hope everybody else is having a better time.
blk: (ow)
I have this phone rant that i suspect approximately one person1 reading will actually be sympathetic towards but i don't care, I'm writing anyways.

I have this phone. It's a Palm Pre (actually mostly a Pre 2 now). It is a perfectly decent smartphone, was head of its class at its time, but the line was completely discontinued when this model was less than a year old, so now I have this phone which is more than 3 years deprecated and cloud services are about to be turned off, which will make future recoveries significantly harder.

But it's a very nice phone.

Anyways, it started having some problems recently; first it was minor things like certain web pages didn't work, then google calendar stopped syncing reliably, then there were space errors, and then finally I discovered that I couldn't receive text messages or download my email or update contacts. I tried a few web-recommended fixes, but those failed to work, so I took the nuke-from-orbit option (which is totally a thing I can do with this phone), re-installed everything, and got it mostly back to working again in a few hours, except for two things: Calendar and Facebook. My phone's calendaring had already been unreliable, so I guess this total refusal wasn't surprising, although disappointing, since I liked having an accessible calendar. [Edit: found the a new synergy connector to fix this, so Calendar works again.] Missing phone Facebook also wouldn't have been that bad, except that the reason I wanted to link to Facebook is because one of the strengths of webos is that the Contact manager pulls in all my friends and their contact info from that account, but one of the weaknesses is that if I can't link to my account, I lose all the easily-reachable contact information that it had. Combine that with the flaky updating I had before the wipe and an absent-minded me not thinking to back things up beforehand (because I assumed I could log back in and get it all) means an end result is that I'm missing contact information for an annoyingly large number of people. If you haven't heard from me in a while that might be why. Send me a text and tell me who you are.

But blk, you say, why don't you just get a new phone?

This is a thing that is MUCH harder than it sounds. I haven't found ANYthing that I like. Some of the things the Pre does that I like include:
1) Fitting in my pocket. Sure, it's a bit of an awkward fit in my skinny jeans, but it does actually fit. Every year I'm sure they've reached a limit, and the voices of people clamoring for smaller phones will be heard, and the size fetish will start to reverse itself and start giving us smaller smartphones, and every year I am wrong. When I search for "small smartphone," every single result is 1 or 2 inches bigger than the Pre.
2) Lets me root around it in, install homebrew apps, and poke at its guts all I want. All of it without "hacking" into it or pretending I'm not supposed to. All without fear of bricking. Anybody can submit patches to bugs. Until now, almost every major annoyance or problem I've had with it had been patchable (or fixable with the Grand Nuke, but this is the first time that was required3 in years).
3) Other little things that I've gotten used to, like a good physical keyboard, pretty nicely durable hardware, an inductive charger, a good interface to (most of) my google lifetracking things, and unlimited ad-less pandora.

Really, I swear I'm not just a die-hard Pre lover clinging against hope (although I admit I am rather attached to it). I've actually been looking to switch for -years- now. And I know there would be good things I would get out of it. I'd have to get a bigger phone, but I'd get more screen space. I'd lose some of my beloved abilities and apps, but would gain a bunch of others. Inductive chargers do exist in other forms. People swear an on-screen keyboard is fine once you're used to it. I would finally be able to join the ranks of the Real Smartphones2. I just really wish I could find something that I -want- rather than something that will serve as a poor substitute because it's available. And I'm stubborn. And on top of that I probably not ready to leave Sprint yet, because we have a reasonably stable monthly payment that is supporting 5 smartphones with unlimited data (and free tethering for me), which means my phone choice is even more limited. Android theoretically appeals to me a little more, but I'm currently thinking that if I had to choose I'd probably lean towards one of the older iPhones.

My current plan is to keep what I have until it explodes again, because I don't really want to make a decision as big as choosing a new phone. Don't worry about talking some sense into me; I know it's irrational and will probably have me in a crisis sometime soon. I'll deal.

Just text me your name and number. I promise I'll keep a backup this time.

1 that one person being Xuth, because he has also has a Pre and shares my grumps.
2 I've had some version of this conversation SO many times and it makes me go into ragey fits:
Them: ... and if you have a smartphone, you can access us via this great app!
Me: well, I have a smartphone, but it's an older one, so your app probably isn't available for my OS.
Them: Sure we do! What's your phone, Android or iPhone?
Me: Neither, actually.
Them: Oh, well, you need a smartphone to do this.
Me: Yes, I have a smartphone, it's just not one of those.
Them: What are you talking about?

3 Edit: annnnnnnd I JUST found the solution to this entire problem on the forums that is a fairly simple database extent expansion. So the nuke wasn't actually required in this case, either (but I didn't know until too late).
blk: (running)
The first big sign I had that something was wrong came Tuesday morning, when I got out of bed and stepped down and there was significant pain in my right foot. Some gentle poking revealed tender spots on top, but also places that were fine, and with a little care and practice, I was walking almost without noticing it. I mentioned it to my regular doctor (who I was seeing for something unrelated), and she poked it, said "stay off it for a couple weeks" and nothing else. I could wear my bike shoes with the stiff soles to walk better, so I went on in to work. More poking and internet research suggested a metatarsal stress fracture. I guessed third. I had my usual running planned (the first since Saturday), but by afternoon I decided that was not a good idea.

Overnight I woke up a few times from pain, and Wednesday it was worse. Again it felt better with the stiff bike shoes on, so I just wore those all day and tried to minimize walking, but it still hurt a lot in the wrong positions. I fixed up a foot pillow to sleep with, which helped.

The worsening alarmed me a lot, so Thursday morning I called a recommended podiatrist, stayed home from work, and did nothing but sit almost all day. By mid afternoon, it was feeling significantly improved, and by morning down to slight pain if I stepped wrong, which I've had before. I went to see the podiatrist anyways, and got X-rays.

The doctor came in after looking at my X-rays, took one look at my foot, pressed -there- and I went OW and he went "yep." Diagnosis: 4th metatarsal fracture (I was one off). A small one, I think, as I couldn't recognize it on the X-ray even after he pointed it out.

Things of note:
- On timing: He said that fractures like this generally take longer than a week to show up on X-ray. So while I had been assuming this was something that happened at the race last Saturday, it seems likely it was something earlier (like track speedwork the previous Tuesday maybe), and JASR just aggravated it, being the second hard run within a week. Then possibly biking further aggravated it, given that I biked Mon/Tue/Wed, and it got worse Tue/Wed.

- On cause: Obvious contributing factors we talked about included: 0. A specific injury (unlikely as I don't remember any), 1. Ramping up my running too quickly (likely), 2. Shoes that are too old / too minimalist (maybe), or 3. Having poor bone density (maybe). He said if I get any more, anywhere, I should get a bone density screening. Hrm. I'm fairly certain I've already had at least one in the past.

- On fixes: 1. Increasing my mileage more slowly. I thought I told myself last year: no more springtime goals. Argh. 2. New shoes. This is tough because although minimal runners do seem to be at higher risk for stress fractures, I'm positive that minimal shoes have helped my form a lot, and I love the light weight. Maybe I should look for something in the middle. 3. More calcium / Vitamin D supplements. It occurs to me that since I found out I was mildly lactose intolerant, I've cut down a lot on my dairy, which makes my stomach much happier, but might have other unintended effects, like getting less calcium?

- On activity: He prescribed a boot for walking for 2 weeks, then a slow return to activities assuming new X-rays look clean. So mostly running and biking and (maybe) climbing is out, and I'll try to stay away from long or arduous walks. Of course. Only the primary activities of my life.

On the bright side, as much as this comes at a bad time (is there ever a good time?), I'm doing OK with it. I don't have much on the calendar for the next two weeks that I can't get to by walking slowly or taking the bus. Carnival is next weekend, but most of my planned activities involve walking, standing, or sitting, all of which I can do. I will have to skip the Random Distance Run, sadly. [livejournal.com profile] xuth and I have a vacation to go hiking in MD planned for the days right after I (hopefully) get the boot off. I think that can still happen, as long as I'm careful. Doctor thinks the upcoming Half should still be doable, assuming I don't aggravate anything. Not sure if my goal time is achievable, but I guess just running will still be good. And I can still swim/yoga/lift while I'm waiting.

Guess it's time to dig out my somewhat-neglected ToDo list of Things I can do that don't need feet. Plus, bonus time to catch up on some reading. Silver linings and all.
blk: (citd)
Pittsburgh has been doing a lot of that winter thing lately - very cold, snowy, and too much dark.

I haven't been riding my bike as much because I don't like riding when it's very cold or when the road has frozen stuff on it. I haven't been running as much because I very much don't like running when it's very cold, when it's dark, or when the sidewalk has frozen stuff on it. I haven't been sleeping as well, although I sleep longer, because temperature regulation when I'm sharing a bed is hard, because the bedroom is cold, and the mornings are late and gray. I haven't been doing as much exercising during the day, because when I sleep later, I get to work later, and if I try to put in a reasonable work day and come home early enough to fix dinner for people, there's no time leftover. I haven't been doing as much in the evening because it feels like night comes so quickly, and I don't want to go outside, and I'm tired and run out of energy. I haven't been seeing as many people as I'd like to because the idea of going out in the evenings feels like work. I haven't actually made plans for things I've said I wanted to do, like finding races in other cities I want to visit, or making time to visit family. My knees are significantly unhappier, probably because I'm not riding my bike. Maintaining a good weight is more challenging because I'm not burning as many calories. Stress levels are higher because I feel like I'm not accomplishing much, the projects are piling up, the house doesn't stay clean, and I don't have the energy to do more.

This week I'm forcing myself to cook, to start a workout program, to run, to hide under blankets and read for a while, and to get to a party this weekend. Maybe next week it'll be time to go back to the sunrise alarm clock to get up earlier and (assuming we will get a break from the Very Cold) get back on the bike. And hopefully some cleaning.

Is it spring yet?
blk: (icicles)
I must state as a point of pride that I feel I've successfully learned how to dress comfortably for Pittsburgh cold weather. Pride because I grew up as a native Floridian, where temps in the 50s (F) were considered ungodly cold, and I didn't own a "winter jacket" until I got to college. Also, my skin is thin and uninsulated with occasional poor circulation, so learning how to layer (with the right kinds of layers) was a learning experience.

On a generic cold winter day here (freezing and under), I'm typically dressed in a couple layers on bottom (long socks, shorts/tights/silk, jeans) and more layers on top (undershirt, long-sleeved base layer, sweater/sweatshirt). Then to go outside for walking around, I'll put on a heavy jacket, hat, gloves, and a gaiter/balaclava for extra cold. Hands generally go into my pockets for portions of my outside time. The earlier days this week when I walked to/from the bus stops, across campus, and between stops as I ran some errands in 5-10°F weather, I was perfectly comfortable the entire time I was outside. Hurray!

In the past couple years, I've also gotten better at dressing for biking. For the commute into work (colder, more downhill), bottoms stay the same, top gets wicking layer, long sleeved shirt, sweater and my spiffy blinding shell jacket for a windbreaker. Longer/uphill home commute usually loses the shirt or sweater. Shoe covers keep my feet warm (even over sandals!), balaclava covers my head/ears/face, and gloves.... help but not enough.

The cold fingers are a problem enough that I'm writing this entire LJ post to whine about it, because I had a great commute in this morning in 10°F weather except for my fingers, which made me totally miserable.

This year I acquired these Novara Stratos gloves which are absolutely fantastic down to about 30°F and a great improvement over last year's cold fingers. They are excellent windbreakers and go over my wrists. But much colder than that and my fingers still slowly start to freeze, and in lower temps my fingers get really super painfully frozen within a matter of 5-10 minutes. On the bright side, my commute is only about 15-20 minutes, and I'm pretty sure 10 minutes of Very Cold fingers isn't actually going to damage them. On the other hand, it means that at best, I arrive with my fingers half numb, or at worst, I'm spending the last half+ of my commute gritting my teeth against pain, holding my hands between my legs periodically, and generally hating everything and everybody within a 50 mile radius. (I don't deal well with cold; have you noticed?)

I've been working on this problem for a while. I've tried various kinds of liners, and they make things worse, not better. Mittens would probably help a lot, except that I do not feel safe braking while not having a good grip on my handlebars and mittens prevent that. Handwarmers keep my hands warm but not my fingertips. Warming up my core with more layers or vigorous exercise makes me sweaty and overheated, while my fingers still freeze. My good Kombi ski gloves don't work any better than my current pair. Do cheap portable electric solutions exist? I feel like I'm pretty much down to two options:

  1. Find better gloves. I'm dubious of this as I tried some Swix lobster gloves last year and they weren't any better than what I had. I've heard really good things about the Izumi ones and maybe those are better. Or maybe some really super duper awesome winter gloves exist that I don't know about.
  2. Get (or make) a set of pogies. I just became aware that this was a thing a few days ago and it seems like something that might be a good thing, as it's the closest thing to imitating pockets that normally do a fine job of warming me.

I'm still kind of dubious of both, given the sheer number of things that other people claim to work don't work for me, but I really don't want to stop cycling just because it's 5°F out, so it's probably worth throwing money at things to try out. It's jsut really frustrating, that I have Every Other part of my body temperature-controlled properly, except for these stupid digits... If anybody else has suggestions that they think I haven't thought of yet, you're welcome to mention them, but for goodness' sake, PLEASE read the full post and comments before doing so and note what I have already tried (and rejected).
blk: (elfcycle)
As a followup to the car saga from, ugh, almost two weeks ago now, we did finally succeed in trading money for a working car, and everything is home safe again.

not that it was a simple thing )

To add injury to insult, all of this was on top of some head cold that smacked me down last Sunday. So between the car uncertainty and just plain not feeling well, I got pretty much nothing done this week, including several of my usual fun things. And there's nothing like lack of productivity and activity to make me feel even more bleh. By today the cold has mostly resolved into the really gross part of trying to clear out my chest, which is definitely an improvement, although it's still tiring.

To add inconvenience on top of all that, my big crockpot suddenly decided to die while in the middle of cooking applesauce today. A loud POP and the distinct smell of magic smoke in the kitchen. Hopefully it won't flavor the applesauce too much.

Early tomorrow morning I'm scheduled to run in the Great Race, and I don't feel even remotely ready for it. Hoping a good night's sleep will help.
blk: (smirk)
Less than 48 hours ago, aside from the usual minor things of life, all was right with my local world, my car (the 2006 Subaru Outback we acquired last year), and our bank account, and [livejournal.com profile] xuth was driving home from Boston after having picked up his carload of stuff from the burning man shipping truck post-playa.

From that introduction, you can probably guess where this is going. Pre-emptive cringing might be advised.

About 200 miles east of Pittsburgh on Sunday night, Xuth saw the CIL come on, noticed the car was overheating, and pulled over. After a short evening and most of a morning full of Google searches and subsequent phone calls to Subaru customer service, to various garages, to State Farm, to Subaru roadside assistance, to tow companies, to bus companies, and to a motel, the final verdict (after two inspections) was cracked head gaskets (common, I'm told), leaking radiator, and enough engine damage to recommend a complete replacement.

We talked about options (there aren't many), but decided that full repair is a better choice than not repairing or half-repairing, since I really like this car and want to keep it in the best possible running condition, and giving up on this one would still end up with us without a car, requiring even more money that we don't have spent on a new (used) one.

Xuth did all the legwork, crashed the night, and caught a series of buses indirectly home yesterday, while the car is sitting in a Subaru shop in Northumberland, PA awaiting repair. Sometime next week we'll figure out a way to get back out there to pick it (and his carload of stuff) up to bring home.

To summarize things from my thoughts in a series of punctuation bits:

----- This happened, with apparently minimal warning signs. Can I add more minuses?
+ It turns out you can call Subaru customer service (at 1-800-SUBARU3, during daytime hours) and say, "This happened, what do we dooooooo?" (in perhaps slightly more adult phrasing) and they were very nice and responsive and helpful and didn't make me feel like an idiot. I even got some suggestions for things to try that turned out not to be applicable but were still useful information (like, Sprint offers emergency roadside assistance as a plan add-on).
+ The Subaru shop we ended up with (purely by virtue of location) has impressed me so far with their response, communication, and pricing. Reviews I've seen are positive, and so far I feel pretty confident we are getting a good value for our money. Only time will tell for sure.
+ State Farm (our insurance) was also nice and helpful and made me feel like a valued customer. It's not clear how much of this we'll be able to get covered (almost certainly very little of the overall cost), but I don't feel that's their fault for not doing their job or trying to help.
+ After a lot of logistics and time, it does mostly resolve down to a problem we can throw money at, and we HAVE the money to do so. It sucks a LOT, and it takes away most of our buffer for the rest of the year or so, but we are both job-having adults without much debt, so we're not in dire straits.
+ We are a household that can survive without a car for a week without much difficulty. The boys have buses to school and other places; the neighborhood is walkable; Xuth and I bike; and we have awesome nearby friends who can help us out if a need comes up.
+ Xuth is home safe now; I was usefully at keyboard and phone when I needed to be; we had good communication through every step thanks to technology; everybody stayed calm and got things done.
blk: (natalie)
A query:
I want something that will cover my nose, mouth, and ears, is loose enough to not compress my nose, but close fitting enough that it will stay in place when I turn my head and walk around. Is a balaclava my only option for this? Got any suggestions? No beards.

A complaint:
Dear all you property owners on S Negley Ave. It's not MY fault your street has a ~15% grade, which I realize doesn't make you want to walk up it. Is it really too much to ask for you to shovel and salt your sidewalks for all the people who DO walk up and down your way? We have -maybe- 2 measly inches of snow, and today was partly sunny for at least half of it. (Really, this is to almost half the houses I passed today, but Negley seemed worse)

A grump:
I hate this stage of winter. I'm tired of dressing up in many layers and covering every inch of my skin to go outside. I'm tired of navigating all the icy spots on the sidewalks. I'm tired of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning because mornings are cold and dimly lit. I'm tired of not wanting to do anything, not wanting to go anywhere, not wanting to see anybody. I'm -really- tired of telling people what to do. I'm tired of worrying about money. I'm tired of being in pain (cricked neck still isn't better). I'm tired of being tired. I want to burrow under my blankets and not come up until spring.

On the upside, I have a cat snuggling in my lap and homemade dark chocolate ice cream to eat.
blk: (tree)
It's been an up and down sort of week.

Steady improvement on my knee )

There's been a lot of summer )

I am around a lot of people )

The boys all started school )

I'm still looking for a job )

On the bright side of things...

Health-wise, my knee IS getting better, slowly but surely. I have almost all ROM back, just need more strength and time for the deep bruising to heal. Just need to be patient and keep working (argh). I've gotten in some good book-reading, too! Weather-wise, the nights this week have been mostly getting down low enough for me to sleep, and the rain today helped immensely. Heck, just a couple hours ago, the outside temperature dropped about 20 degrees from the lovely storm coming through! I'm really looking forward to this weekend's cool forecasted weather.

People-wise, I have a whole lot of relaxing planned for this weekend, and will enjoy the parties as much as I can (and leave when I want to, without feeling bad), and then come Tuesday, we get an empty, quiet house. And I have a lovely partner who is just fine with me telling him I need space, and a fantastic co-parent who is willing to take on all three boys for an extra evening for me. School-wise, the boys all seem to have survived their first week just fine, were happy to see their friends, and I hope school will be overall a good experience for all of us this year. And job-wise, I've had friends giving me helpful leads on recruiters and companies; I'm finding plenty of postings to apply to, and I'm not in any sort of desperate situation.

So overall, I declare that things are good for me. How are you?
blk: (elfcycle)
I love my house for being in a nice neighborhood (if along a slightly busy street), being convenient to a variety of places I might frequent (grocery (TJ's, WF, GE), library, drugstore, pretty much all of Murray Ave), and being relatively close to my work.

It's pretty much just up the length of Beeler and a bit on Forbes. Takes me about 15 minutes to walk, on average. When I don't need the car to transport small children around, I prefer not to drive in.

This morning rose bright, clear, and sunny, not to mention with temps in the double digits. "Nice!" I say to myself. "Not nearly as bad as the beginning of the week. I'm nicely layered, got a reasonably high-necked shirt on, and it's not too windy, so I don't think I need my big scarf/turtle/facemask/extra socks/long underwear today."

I start off.

Less than one third of the way into my trip, my lips are losing feeling, and my cheeks are starting to hurt. "Dumbass," I say to myself. "What the hell were you thinking? I suppose I could turn around now and go get my turtle, but then I'd be late, and anyways, the rest of the trip shouldn't be too bad. After all, the rest of me is perfectly warm."

About two thirds of the way into my trip, I hit the breeze that comes up out of nowhere along that stretch. My toes are losing feeling, my nose and mouth are frozen, the ends of my earlobes are in extreme pain, and my fingertips (in gloves, in my pockets), are starting to hurt from cold. "Dumbass," I say to myself, with somewhat more vigor. "What the hell were you thinking? Hrm, maybe I could catch a nice warm bus for the rest of the—" **WOOOOOSH** A 67F zooms past me. I sigh.

Finally, I get to my warmth-recovery-roomoffice, refill my mug of magical internal heatinghot tea, turn on my backup heat-producing device (space heater), wish my large, exothermic, personal snuggle heaterdear SO weren't 600 miles away, thaw out my toes, ears, fingers, and face, and settle in, dreaming of hot beaches.

Well, at least I got some sun.

Is it spring yet?
blk: (paw)
So, back in the late fall last year, $MERCHANT emailed me advertising a sale they were having for previous customers. I took a look around, decided to go ahead and get a few shinies, and clicked off an order. They emailed back when it was shipped (not insured), with a tracking number.

Unfortunately, I was out of town the weekend it arrived at my house, and I didn't think about checking up on it at the time.

problems ensued )
blk: (sunset2)
I've really been incredibly lucky with most of my airline experiences. I've flown throughout my life, mostly on USAirways (since PIT was a hub for a long time and TPA is also pretty busy), and generally have had no problems. I'd never had a flight cancelled on me until a couple months ago (which was replaced immediately); I'd never been delayed long enough to cause a problem; I'd never had baggage lost (at least for more than a few hours); and I'd very frequently get flights that arrived early. Sure, I've had my gripes with USAirways, but never really any reason to hate them.

Until now.

a little timeline, in which is contained a little rant )
blk: (bruise)
blk: 0, Ick: 1

This is shaping up to be even better than last New Years.

Hope everybody else's is better.

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