greatbear: (aerial me)
It has been just over 2 months since my last entry here. The reasons are what you might expect, I've been busy, we had our vacation, there have been disasters both little and large... in short, life more or less as usual. Jeff was beset by a pretty nasty hernia, and had surgery for it a few weeks ago. Since neither he or I have been able to stoop, most of the yard work at Mayhem Acres has been entirely neglected. Weeds taller than me in the flower beds, I can't even see out of the sunroom windows, vegetable garden nearly completely neglected, the house looks abandoned and I have ended up in tears a few times because of it. No help offered, of course, except for one person, and that had to be postponed due to illness. I'm getting to the point where I don't care anymore. I'm not inviting anyone over to socialize in this mess. And the socializing I'm doing has become minimal. This goes for the virtual world as well, hence my absence here.

Since a fair amount of people I used to interact with here have moved onto Facebook, it's there where I will concentrate what little time I now spend on social media these days. There's little to no interaction here anymore, the effort is greater in creating a post, and I am no longer willing to write deeply personal stuff for general consumption anymore. Minor fluff and occasional messages I am comfortable with; I guess I finally reached social media overload for whatever reason(s). I have no idea if this will ever change, I had high hopes for blogging, and the practice as a whole has been basically dumbed down. What was once small-scale publishing from creative people of engaging stories, often with wonderful layouts and photography has been squashed into the sameness of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr and other similar outlets. Gone is content-rich, replaced by mobile-compatible. The latter is destroying the internet as a whole in my opinion. LJ is one of the remaining holdouts, but almost nobody want to use this platform solely of smartphones, so it too gets neglected. I still try to catch up on reading here every day if possible, though in recent weeks, it has been more like every couple of days. I remember the days when I would be away for a weekend and have to catch up on LJ by reading a hundred entries or more. Now I can be gone for a few days and a single page of friends carries everything, including quite a few entries read those few days ago.

Anyway, unless something big and newsworthy, or a want/need to unload in a deeper, more personal style, I don't really know what to do here anymore. Crossposting is an option, but I'm not keen on Facebook having its tentacles in this space. I still like having a mostly quiet, private space here, but I don't know who sees my entries anymore. I know of a few that I'm pretty certain still comment and interact with me here, though most are on that other site as well. I'm open for suggestions.
greatbear: (forearms)
Jeff came home early Thursday for a doctor's visit, the last few days he's been having mild flu-like symptoms. We made a trip together to the doc and tests seem to indicate it is viral in nature, so it is mostly a rest and wait it out situation. I went with him to see if there was anything I could help with at home, and to get an idea what it was, since chances are good I would get it too. I've been battling a form of exhaustion for a few days too, I can only do so much before I need to take a nap. Problem is, I sleep and nap during the day and by night time my body clock on its graveyard shift time zone keeps me awake. So, when Jeff along with By-Tor and the Snow Dog head to bed, I head into my little lab and fix stuff. This time I tackled my failing Dell 30" display. After a half hour of thermal testing the display lamp driver board I narrowed the trouble to what seemed like bad soldering in a 1 square inch section of the board. There is about three dozen components about the size of sesame seeds in that space, and out came the tiny iron and other tools I have for such work, including the 3.5-90x stereoscopic microscope I got for such things. After more thermal stress testing after the repair with good luck, I threw it back together and am now using it while creating this entry. I hope it holds out, I absolutely love this display, but I relegated it to lab bench PC duties. The irony here is the particular computer and display is connected to the aforementioned microscope. I could've had a nice panoramic view of the board on the display it it weren't the one in pieces under the scope!

Our latest pup, Snickles, aka By-Tor mentioned above, had his first day of doggie school this evening. He had fun, and seemed to react well. He's finally growing out of his puppy-ish stages and has become a very loyal companion for the two of us. He needs to learn some discipline for his (and our) sake, and I think with some "official" training he will be a model pooch. Kodi did well in his schooling about 7 years ago, and I am hoping for the same results with Da Snick.

Jeff is very close to buying a new vehicle. His '00 Chevy S-10 has been decent for these fourteen years, but it's getting long in the tooth at over 185,000 miles, and given the fact that I have two trucks as it is, he's in the market for a wagon/small SUV sort of ride that gets decent mileage, can haul stuff as well as people and will be reliable. So far he's narrowed it down to the new Jeep Cherokee, the Subaru Outback, and the Subie Forester. Friday we are going to kick tires and take test drives. Hopefully this will be with as few hassles as possible. I had a decent time with my last vehicle purchase once the dealer was finally able to get the model I had settled on to the lot.

I'm happy to see some more old, familiar faces showing back up here in LJ-Land. The more I sit here and take the time for a "real" entry as opposed to a handful of words scooped up and thrown at Facebook, the better I feel about "socializing" online. I see usernames in my friends list of people who have cast off this mortal coil and are no longer with us. Those names seem like pictures hanging on a wall, and their journals acting as memorials as well as places to visit and remember the days gone by. None of the other popular "social media" behemoths have this. Nor do they have the control or accessibility of everyone's posts like LJ does. I think people are feeling this too, and while making entries here is a bit more work, it definitely pays us back in the depth of contact and interaction. Let's keep up the good work.

Well, the display has been performing like new as I've been writing this between other tasks and not flashing and shutting down like it had begun to do several months back. I wasn't about the scrap a thousand dollar display. These things are supposed to come with 3 year warranties, but I bought this from Newegg, and, disappointingly, it showed no warranty from Dell when I started the process. I've since reconsidered a lot of purchases from there, a shame, since I've generally had good luck over these many years. I hope my repair lasts until it somehow becomes obsolete, which I don't see happening for at least another ten years or more.

Cheers, everyone!
greatbear: (my little hercules)
I'm finding that more people from our ten year's past "heyday" of Livejournal are beginning to come back into the fold lately. It does my aging heart good. There were lots of good times. There were also lots of bad, but there was never a lack of community support during the dark moments. I credit the gang here for helping me through the worst times of my life, making it easier to cope and not feel so alone in my suffering and sadness. I can also give lots of thanks to so many who've made me smile, laugh and cry with some of the happiest and more fun times I've ever enjoyed facing a screen. I sincerely hope the momentum continues and we can make this back into that special haven we had.
greatbear: (arethahat)
Okay, trying to change the course of late winter weather here at Mayhem Acres according to Groundhog Rules literally has it colder with accumulating snow in the front yard, and warmer melting snow in the back. The front yard faces south, making the little microclimate anomaly that much more interesting. Hey, I'm trying. lol

Thanks to everyone who brought me happy birthday wishes. It made my day. It does help the aging process be a bit of fun. I did a lot of sleeping yesterday (and this morning) while letting the painkillers deal with the latest injuries, aches and pains. Today is all about having TV sets on showing everything football related. Not to mention a lot of cool commercials. I can take a break from my somewhat anti-commercial stance while the ad industry actually tries to show their really creative sides, rather than the constant race to the bottom.

Many years ago, a German family down the road a bit were good friends with Mom and I. They were delightfully old-school in a lot of the things they did, as far as dinners, companionship and personal touches. One of the things me and Mom delighted in was the homemade cards they would bring (rather than mail) to us on the special days like Christmas and birthdays, often accompanied by incredible baked goods still warm from the oven. We were saddened when they moved away, but Mom had kept in touch. Those cards would still come to her in the mail. I had missed that sort of personal touch as the years alone moved along. That was until a year, and a day ago. Unbeknownst to him, LJ's delightful [ profile] designerotter/Joe has kept that tradition alive, not just for me, but also to those whom are fortunate to have him in their circle of friends. He draws uniquely personal and contextual cards based on the life and interests of his recipients. Not only does this act showcase his incredible talent, more to the point it demonstrates his involving himself in the lives and entries of his LJ friends, something even more meaningful. He makes and posts dozens of whimsical cards each year, and brings smiles and happiness to everyone who sets their eyes on them. Proof positive that even online-only friendships are just as valid as long-term next-door neighbor friendships. Truly an inspiration for me, and, given my difficulty in even making stick figure drawings, a real art form.

How can that not make your day?

Thank you, Joe, and everyone else who sent well wishes. I am humbled.

greatbear: (seasons greetings)
Okay, I'm gonna try to play catch-up on some postings I shoulda been doing all along. No thanks to LJ having a case of the butt when I did try. Anyway, enough of that, let us see if there is to be some success.

Jeff and I filled out paperwork today declaring us as domestic partners to be able to share in medical insurance. Our wonderful credit union witnesses and notarizes things like affidavits for free (membership has its privileges!), and the folks there not only don't bat an eye when presented with stuff in that realm, but are genuinely encouraging. The morning's pleasantries done, Jeff had a new task with his new position in his new job that had him doing a cooking demonstration at a D.C. hospital. When I asked him about it, I tried to have him liken it to various Food Network shows. "Well, was it Kitchen Nightmares? Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Restaurant Impossible (woof @ Robert Irvine)? Iron Chef (Today's secret ingredient is... BEDPANS!)?" Jeff answered with what was to be my next choice, "More like Rachel Ray." Hee, figures. He said he had a good time, people said he put on an amazing show, and he came home smelling of garlic and onions. Someone assisting Jeff got him a chef hat and said, "Here, I got you a 'torque'." This was a demonstration all about cooking and eating healthy. On his way home after 8pm, despite all that cooking, Jeff hadn't eaten anything to speak of. Before getting back to La Casa Mayhem, he stopped to pick us up a little dinner. Of course, after all the healthy cooking and eating schtick, it was McDonald's.

Here at Mayhem Acres, things are a study in contradiction and contrasts. The water heater needed a shot of refrigerant. The no-frost freezer needs to be defrosted. The refrigerator stopped making ice cubes and is instead making puddles. My work is never done.

Verizon just installed a fiber optic connection solely for the landline phone here because the 50+ year-old copper lines in the area are in too bad of shape (I've had ongoing problems with line noise for over 20 years). To this technological triumph I have connected my 1957-vintage, black 500-series Western Electric rotary dial telephone, which is fully functional and has never sounded better. Sadly, there have been a number of growing pains with my newfangled service. Aside from noise, the old copper lines had 99.99% availability.

We had a delightful visitor just before Xmas. [ profile] erstexman was in the midst of his whirlwind, several-state tour and paid us a visit. It's been a while since I've had a known-you-on-Livejournal-for-ages-and-we-finally-meet meetup. Evan is a delight, and though his time where was limited, we are talking about doing something sometime in summer. Here's my best attempt at a social-media ready, arm's-length self-photo of us:

Unfortunately for Evan, he had an unexpected bumper car ride in one of the roundabouts about a mile from the house. Mind you, I love me some roundabouts, when there's no one nearby and I have the Mini Cooper all warmed up. Unfortunately, there are too many people around to make this joyride happen every time, and they are no fun when I haul around 50 feet worth of loaded truck and travel trailer though them. I normally have to pass through 3 or four of them in succession, and there are nine(!) such circles within a less-than-2 square mile area here, with a couple more to come. That HAS to be some sort of record. None of these nine circles of hell existed here 15 years ago. At least they aren't traffic lighted intersections.

Next time, [ profile] erstexman says he's not driving here. I don't blame him. ;-)

Speaking of Mini Coopers, we were mulling what to get Jeff's grand-niece Kylie for xmas. She turns 3 soon, and we wanted to make her holiday special. We found a KidTrax electric Mini at Costco. We knew she'd love it and be the only kid in that old coal town with one (turns out she has a Jeep already, but, up there, everyone has one of those). I personalized it with custom stickers that said "Kylie's Cooper" in a playful font (no, not Comic Sans!). She kept getting inside while I was trying to put it together, when that task was finally done, we headed out in the blustery Pennslovakia cold so she could test drive it in the yard. For not even three yet, she's a pretty good driver. We might be looking at the next Danica Patrick.

Jeff's father had been making noises about getting a big flat screen television ever since he spent a few days with us and fell in love with ours. We got him a wall mount and a set of high-def cables, wrapped them up and gave those to him the same time Kylie got her ride. We didn't say that we got the set too. Though he didn't say it, we could tell he was just as giddy as our little girl once everything was set up. Being that the Newtown tragedy happened only a couple days prior to all this, it was nice to see a bunch of kids smiling and happy and safe. Dad included.

I wish I could say that the holidays were full of goodness and light, but sadly it was not to be. Jeff's mom has been falling deeper into the clutches of Alzheimer's, as such, the inability of the home care nurses to keep up with her needs, her increased incidences of falling and such finally forced Dad to put her in a nursing home. They treat her well there, and we know she's in good hands. The future in all this is uncertain, as it is for anyone similarly involved.

This weekend we are headed up to the homestead once again. Dad is lonely, being in the house by himself, and looks forward to our visits more now than ever. The silver lining in the recent clouds there is Dad is afforded much more time to himself, and can get out and around more. As such, we will hit the huge farm show in Harrisburg. This will get him (and us) out of the house, we can peruse tractors and livestock, see sheep being turned into shawls (well, their wool, to be precise), partake in greasy yet delicious fairgrounds food and be farmers for a day. We will also pay Mom a visit too, and bring her lots of love. We plan on sneaking Dad down here again soon so he can have a change of pace. He manages to fit in well in his own unique way. We take him out of Amish country but we bring him to our local Amish market. Wouldn't you know, he manages to find people down here who know the people up there. Dad is given a tray of whoopee pies along with a note written in Pennsylvania Dutch by his new-found friend to take to his relatives up north. Dad shuttles the Amish around as a sort of taxi service for extra money, so he knows a lot of them. The Amish are interesting folk, and, ironically, I can somewhat relate to them, beards notwithstanding. I go to a local Amish hardware store. A delightful place, there is no electricity, the place is only a few years old yet is lit by natural light from large windows, or gas mantles among the aisles. They have great deals on power tools, cordless stuff, high-tech lighting, solar power equipment and other items you can't find at the local big-box. Go upstairs and there is furniture, games, dinner ware, and clothing. The clothing is mostly what you'll find the Amish wearing, including those familiar hats. Dad keeps telling me he's gonna get me one of those hats, since my beard is starting to rival some up there. I guess he's right about that, the last time I was at that local Amish market down here, someone started asking me questions about the baked goods. An honest mistake, I guess. It made my day. It made Jeff and Dad howl with laughter.

This post is brought to you by hyphens.
greatbear: (glasses)
Okay then. Yeah, it's been a bit over three months since I last visited this space. Life became very busy, and I minimized my online dalliances as I often do when I shift focus into things needing lots of physical and mental effort, as well as applied time. I did try to visit the ol' friends list and comment here and there, but even that took a back seat further down the aisle. After a while I noticed something, quite different from years past.


Where there was once a peripheral exchange of emails, messages, phone calls or other keep-in-touch forms of communication outside the sphere of LJ (and Facebook, for that matter), instead there was practically nothing. Exactly one person asked if everything was okay, etc. after a couple months had gone by. I measured this against my original hesitation (in the halcyon dialup days of internet communication in the early-mid 90s) to use the medium in a personal sense to make friends and how incredibly life-changing that decision had been. Perhaps it was the newness, the novelty of instant communications spared from the constraints of time and distance that drew people together and facilitated the interaction, which so often culminated in people traveling hundred or thousands of miles to finally meet in person those friends they had made online. It was wonderful. It's how I met Jeff, and our relationship is strong a dozen years later. Over time, though, it seemed that the interests in such meetings on a grand scale kinda dissipated, but the online interactions remained pretty strong. Now even this seems to be petering out as well, and I'm mostly at a loss to figure out any particular reason(s) for it. Like that old saying goes, it was fun while it lasted.

I tried for a short time to revisit Facebook for a while. Despite some solid communication with long lost folks there, the prospect of constantly battling with how that service is run and the near perfect record of changes hostile to privacy and control of information along with the sheer bulk of commercial interests oozing in every nook and cranny pushed me back out again. LJ, my last haven, seems to have gotten so balkanized and a bit deserted. Had I started off this post with "Hey, I'm back" or similar, I would have been chided by some as if I was breaking some unwritten rule. There could even have been some unfriendings.

I suppose it all boils down to things more or less coming full circle for me. I started off kept to myself, a loner in life. I discovered a means of communication that worked well with my personality, and I had ended up with a lot of friends, many similar to me as far as how they use online interactions as a preface to making real-life friendships that last. It's not a perfect system, we are all human, of course. I do know for sure that in the near 20 years I have sat at various keyboards and screens making friends with people all over the world I am forever changed for the better. Now as I enter my fogey years, I can feel comfortable with the manageable circle of friends I have made online as well as those predating the "cyber" era. I also need to come to grips that, in some aspects of life, I am pretty much that original loner I started off being all those decades ago. Sometimes I am totally alone in some of life's situations, despite having varying "levels" of friends, and an ever decreasing group of loved ones. I just don't want to end up like some I have seen recently, seemingly abandoned in nursing homes with not much more than a paid staff for company.

I don't intend to pull the plug on this here LJ, at least not anytime soon. Despite all the faults of the service and folks jumping ship, what remains, at least for me, is a nicely sized group of interesting people, I might not say much anymore, but I am watching. Thanks for being there.
greatbear: (jeff and me)
Jeff and I returned today from a much needed break from the daily grind. Our shakedown cruise camping trip to delightfully mountainous Western Maryland and the always wonderful Deep Creek Lake was a success with only a few minor issues. Some forgotten supplies, inadequate propane supplies on board (and practically a circus of trying and failing on multiple counts to find a refill), and a few other little goofs did nothing to spoil our mini vacation. Rather than try to do a whole lot of stuff in the few days we had, we just enjoyed the quiet, had our meals under a canopy of trees and sky, slept in, and unplugged. We are better for it. It's been a couple years since we've been out that way, what with time constraints, health issues and such changing our plans. We go the weekend after Memorial Day, and treat it as an extension of Jeff's bday festivities. In spite of a rainy Friday along with a tornado warning (and the two of us inside a trailer surrounded by several more!) we had an awesome time. We are home safe, rested and ready for the week. Better still, at the end of this month we ramp up the fabulousness factor and head on up to Provincetown for two whole weeks. Those minor mess-ups will be all taken care of.

We still have a lot to do around the house as we catch up on stuff, I have upgrades to the truck to install, the Stratus to tear apart and straighten out, some work on other vehihicles in the stable as well. The veggie garden is starting to produce, and I have to finish installing critter countermeasures so we can have at least some of the bounty to ourselves. It's going to be a busy summer for us, but that is not a bad thing. Among the work we are going to take needed breaks, entertain and be entertained. We are worth it. ;)

I return from the four (ish) days after being off the grid and discover LJ abuzz with activity! Sadly, a lot of it is focused on various observations of "the death of LJ" as well as people stating their intents to stay or go. To those saying they are staying out, good on yas. It's youse guys n gals that keep me here, enriching my life in ways I'm pretty certain you had no idea. Those that are heading out, well, I sure hate seeing you leave. All I ask is that you stay in touch, somehow, cause I'm going to miss you.
greatbear: (Default)

So, my self-imposed one month vacation from LJ had a couple days appended to it. Didja miss me? I didn't think so either. ;)

I had several reasons for the hiatus, ranging from escaping drama to the capricious attitude the Russians have adopted regarding the current LJ users and communities. Add in having my everyday PC being wiped out by a virus and dealing with a return of severe back issues and the sinus infection that won't leave, and you have me not wanting to do anything online much less LJ. Even everyday life has been more or less stuck in neutral. I found more comfort and escape doing things around the house and garage, listening to music and watching cool stuff on PBS. Having some decent weather for this time of year helped a lot as well. I still would peruse my friends list and make comments occasionally, though, so I wasn't completely LJ-free. I'm sure I missed a lot. My new PC is still sitting on the floor unused. I am making do with my crappy lappy. I'm not much in a mood to futz with computers.

Something that I can't seem to escape no matter how hard I try also happened today. It was my birthday. The big one. The half century. 5-0, and not the one in Hawaii with either Jack Lord or pocket-sized Scott Caan. The doorbell rang several times today. A delivery of balloons. Then a delivery of an Edible Arrangement. Then flowers. Then the sender of all these goodies comes home early from work bearing lunch from McDonald's. We ate our little lunch, relaxed, I took a couple nice calls wishing me a happy day, then we went off to Romano's Macaroni Grille for dinner in the evening. All in all it was an awesome day, even with the back pain and sneezing. My Jeff is a thoughtful sweetheart, and he's the best birthday present ever.

I have to thank all those on LJ who posted happy birthday wishes. And a special thanks to my newest LJ friend [ profile] designerotter, who drew a wonderful birthday card for me, featuring Kodi. It made my day. I think Kodi recognized himself!

Will I become a regular LJ user once again? I'm not sure. I had been surfing LJ at the moment my PC caught the virus. The various photography communities have been taken over by Russian users, and it seemed to be one of the photo hosting sites that might have done the nasty deed. The advertising and tracking scripts used here these days are increasing and I don't trust any of it, so I filter them out as well. There just isn't any inspiration for me to post here with all that crap going on, and I don't feel any sensitive information placed here is any safer that on Facebook. So, I might finally kick the crust off my Dreamwidth account and see if I will have any success at grabbing my entries here and importing them over. All my attempts in the past failed, and I don't see the operators of LJ cooperating in any way to make the process work smoothly. If I do anything, it will be a crosspost from DW to here.

One thing I don't ever want to lose in all of this is the friends I have made here. There've been a few clinkers, but so many of y'all rock my world. You are the gifts that keep giving all year long. :)

By the way, I didn't see my shadow when I scurried out from the Burrow of Mayhem. Y'all should have an early spring. You're welcome. =D
greatbear: (Default)
*brushes off shrapnel and debris from the controls after the failed KGB attacks*

Now witness the power of this fully operational LJ!

Yeah, well, I was laying low while shit got real during the DDoS hell that beset LJ for a while. Of course, it would have to take place during the time I actually wanted to make a post or two. Unfortunately this episode of unauthorized mayhem has caused an increase in the rate of defections to other venues for some of my favorite LJers. I myself have a Dreamwidth account I acquired at the time of Livejournal's sale to SUP (aka The Russians). I have it to fall back on, since I can't get it to be the dog 'n' pony show I have here. So I will remain stubbornly here if just to turn off the lights once everyone is gone.

More doctor visits and tests upcoming for me. Tomorrow I have a nerve conduction study, and more bloodwork done. My overall condition is improving, but way too slow, and I still have aggravating issues like insomnia, limping and stumbling and the feeling of someone taking .22 long rifle shots at my legs and feet at random times. Yet, I don't know if it's the recent warm weather, but I've felt better about myself and an actual recovery. To that note, after my doc visit today I stopped by Performance Bicycle and picked this up:

It's a Mongoose Teocali Comp all-terrain bike. It was on sale/clearance since it is a 2010 model, and it has everything I wanted. I decided on a fully suspended bike to help save my back from any more shock and compression than necessary. I took various models for a parking lot ride and fell in love with this one. The folks at Haverty's Furniture were probably wondering what the middle-aged dude was up to riding up onto their sidewalk and jumping off the curb. The disc brakes are a delight, and no longer do I have to worry about scaring people with brakes that sound like I am strangling geese. Despite the problems I have been beset with with my spine and whatnot, I can ride a bike like nothing is wrong. The riding position and pedaling action keep my rickety parts in an optimum position and I can actually enjoy a physical activity with no pain.

Jeff has been, of course, putting in lots of extra time at work and coming home tired. I worry about this a lot, but at least it is not nearly as bad as his last few venues. Sadly, he has been filling in for general manager who has been taking care of his mother, she learned today she has only two years left to live, after finding out a little while ago she has leukemia. To top it off, their beloved dog has been stricken with kidney failure. I can sympathize here, since during the time my Mom was fighting her cancer, we lost Patches, our wonderful Dalmatian. It's watching the world crumble around me with nothing to stop or change it. I met his boss' Mom last year, she is a delight. That family is going through a lot this year, and I hope they work things out and find their peace.

I always say that despite how bad I think I might have it, there will always, always be someone worse off. Gotta do the whole counting blessings thing, and make sure that life here at home for all of us is the best I can provide. I just hope that I am a good provider. I still have my doubts at times.
greatbear: (Default)
A quick update and some words. First off, and most importantly, Jeff and I went to his doc this afternoon for the results of the biopsy performed on his thyroid a a couple weeks ago. The growths are benign. This was a huge parting of dark clouds for us. Still needing to be addressed is the cause of and the symptoms (tiredness and lethargy primarily) from these growths. This will take place in the near future. Thankfully there is no push for surgery and treatments the worst of the news would have brought upon him. So, I can't yell "YAY!" loud enough or from too high of a mountaintop as an expression of relief and joy.

Now I can get on with my own health issues. These have gotten me quite bummed, but I will work it out.

And here's the part when I stand humbled, with hat in hand. In my post from a while back I lamented my dissatisfaction and disappointment in regards to "social media" and its varied and uncertain value to me at times. Well, in the posts since, I was (once again) reminded of the value of the phenomenon. While I still feel that it often exacerbates the disconnect I feel between friends because of the inevitable distances involved, there is no denying the connections offered. There are real people, with true concerns and even love at the other end of the posts, comments and messages. Yeah, I get frustrated that people I know I'd have an awesome time being around are hundreds or thousands (or even just a few) of miles away. So, I will try harder to measure the real folks with real words coming from the glow of my screen against the occasional disappointment I feel because they are not in the same room. I will also endeavor to rectify the latter as much as possible with more travel, trips and invitations. I might have been rather quiet here as far as followup replies to comments and such, but rest assured your words have a definite effect. And I loves yas all for it.

So, it's with a bit of extra sunshine that the plans we've been making for travel and fun despite what has been unfolding for the past few months. We've got tix to see Elton John this weekend, Cirque du Soleil's Totem in a couple months, four trips to Hillside and an extended trip to PTown. And we'll do more I'm sure. And I hope to make real more of the virtual connections I have.

I humbly thank each and every one who have left words of concern and encouragement. You've done more for me than you know. And, well, more than *I* know at times.

greatbear: (Default)
Some big changes coming here at La Casa Mayhem starting this coming week. Jeff has a new new job, at a new place, with his old boss (which he likes a lot) at a spanking new huge facility with state-of-the-art everything and the chance to build his staff from scratch in his own way. It's a chef's woodie-inducing dream, though it will be a bit hectic and sometimes frustrating at the start, I'm sure. There's more money in it for him and no manager-on-duty nonsense every several weeks, plus no weekends. So, a major w00t for him. I just hope the stress of getting the place up to speed does not impact his cardiac recovery.

Did some tuning up of my f-list, removing mostly people who obviously disapproved of my friending them in the first place, and a couple others. Nature abhors a vacuum, Mayhem abhors douchery.

Angry Birds for Android was a nice addicting distraction while it lasted. I'm through all the levels and want more. Any suggestions? The Scruff app is, well, interesting.

The weather bureaus are making noises towards there being another SNOMG Event early next week. I hope I don't have to be moving snow in the middle of the night again. I just got the deck cleared off yesterday, the front walk is still unusable due to low and fallen branches. Using the small electric snowblower to clear the deck, it picked up a small bungee cord hidden in the snow and it got wrapped around the shaft. It was too tangled to unthread, so I got a retractable knife to cut it out in pieces. Despite my being careful, I slipped and cut my one finger down to the bone. I left a trail of blood in my path from the snow thrower to the bathroom, where I performed first aid. The cut was so clean that continuous pressure for a half hour plus a tightly applied bandage not only stopped the bleeding, but the cut is imperceptible and looks almost healed up. It does not even hurt. Go me, I guess I can still heal kinda fast despite my old age. Now, for that spinal cord thing...

The house is playing host to one of the other stray cats. Kodi made sure the poor thing spent most of the day huddled beneath a covered end table. Once Kodi hit the hay with Jeff, this one (alternately named Tigger or Tommy) popped out and enjoyed some petting time and exploring. While in the bathroom where the litter box is also kept, T/T wandered in, found his way through the anti-Kodi barricade to the litter box, and had a go. It's as if he's been doing it all this time. Either Pinky is coaching him (Pinky is the reason why we have a half dozen "visitors" these days) or cats have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to taking a shit.

To paraphrase Sheriff Brody in Jaws, we're gonna need a bigger litter box.


Feb. 10th, 2009 01:56 am
greatbear: (planetary flist trim)
Okay, it's reached the point of no return.

My LJ friends list has become way too large to comfortably deal with. Now, rather than take the path of some and move some of you off of my 'default view' (also known as 'stealth defriending', where an LJer effectively removes another user from their preferred friends list yet does not actually remove them as a friend) I will give the power to you. I will not create a filter list to remove any of you from my daily reading. I mean, what's the point of keeping people that don't interest you? I do have couple filter lists that remove graphic-intensive communities for low-bandwidth viewing, as well as one to prevent adult content from showing up when perusing LJ in a public setting, but that's it. Why bother to hold on to anyone when I will essentially never read their entries?

So, with that, I will make life easier for the both of us. If you truly have no interest in reading my stuffs, click here. Follow the link to remove my entries from your friends list. I will not take it personally. If you decide to do this, I will then reciprocate by taking you off my list. I am doing this in order to maintain some measure of mutual interest among my readership, and with so many there (well over 300 mostly active posters) it's way too much for me to keep up with. If I am away from LJ for any period of time, it takes me an hour or more to catch up. Should I be gone for a couple days, there's no way to go back without skimming and missing the good stuff entirely.

Granted, those on my flist who have put me off of their default view will not see this post, so it's not a perfect solution either.

This is not meant as any sort of flounce post, incitement of drama or anything of the sort. I'm just looking to make the best of this thing which has gotten a bit too awkward and time consuming. I'd rather do this than pull the plug on the entire deal, which has crossed my mind more than a few times of late. There are also more than a few instances where my comments go unanswered in threads full of other dialog in other folks' entries. I really would rather not intrude into places I dont fit.

I really do appreciate the help.
greatbear: (fuzzy)
After getting a couple notices through LJ regarding recent 'defriendings', mostly people that I had no idea they had friended me in the first place, I delved into my list and found quite a bit of turnover and additions. Who knew that there would be this much interest in my mostly random blatherings? To all of you just tuning in, welcome! For some reason, I did not get notice of y'all's arrival in most cases.

Jeff and I went to the Maryland State Fair today. This is our chance to wander around, eating food of questionable and downright negative health benefits (deep-fried Oreos!), people-watch, animal-watch, take pictures, eat more bad food (mmmm, cheese fries), see the competitions, pick up free swag, make fun of certain booths (Jews for Jesus, the Republican Party) and eat too much. It's rather pleasant to walk around the 4H building and see all of the crafts, food, art, clothing and whatnot that people make and grow. There are still lots of creative and self-sufficient people in the state in this day-and-age of having everything commercially available. I can relate to this, and it gives me a bit of hope that not everyone mindlessly consumes and their only output is carbon dioxide.

Two things have become very apparent at these fairs. One is that most of the arcades have something Family Guy-related as prizes. Various sized stuffed Stewies and Brians, etc. Another is the preponderance of ass. Big ass. And not of the mule or donkey style. People with incredibly large behinds. While I might not have that much room to talk, and a good portion of my bear-identified readership might cast a scowl in my direction, we have nothing on these derrieres. I like big butts, I cannot lie, but these giant rearends are too much even for me. The previous two observances fit together, though, as shown by this video:

Ever since first seeing that episode, this tune haunts me in certain situations.

I am WAY behind in my photo posting since the beginning of summer. PC troubles don't help matters either, but I have finally equipped the backup PCs with enough software to get the job done. Expect to see my Flickr account start to fill up soon.

Tomorrow is a holiday for me, so yay. Unfortunately, Jeff has to work, but we have a Labor Day gethering to attend, and Jeff will be making some food to bring along. Hooray for last summer get-togethers.
greatbear: (fuzzy)
It seems that today, we are all Minnesotans. I hope everyone on my friends list. their friends and families are okay. Reading some posts already it appears that some of you travel across that bridge often. My thoughts are with you.


Sep. 2nd, 2006 04:42 pm
greatbear: (fuzzy)
My everyday PC suffered a nasty crash, ironically during my not-nearly-as-regular-as-should-be be backup marathon. This took out not only the main drive, but also corrupted the data on my near-line backup drive. While most of the data exists in other places, I lost some fairly recent stuff. Sadder still is the fact that the main drive was a RAID 0 array and with one drive dying it renders the entire array kaput, and there's no way to simply drop the affected drive into a USB enclosure and pick it apart for the useable data.

Either no more RAID 0 arrays for me, or a much more comprehensive backup plan goes into place.

I also discovered that one folder was constantly being omitted during the backups, and this contained about 75 gigs of bittorrent-aquired goodness. Oh well.

To top this off, while repairing the toilets here and refitting them with new hardware, I find that the water flow-stopping gadget I bought to guard against broken pipes came apart and began leaking. I think these events are somehow related.

I wonder if this post will drive away even more of my 'subscribers'.
greatbear: (forearms)
Among the myriad things happening in the garage today was some much needed attention spent on the truck; oil change, fixing a headlight full of water, etc. I noticed the mileage was 188878 and I thought about an earlier post from [ profile] bigsabu on how he likes seeing patterns of numbers and how it sates the OCD in him. I had the camera out with me already (I was doing a photoshoot for a review of Mini Cooper oil filters - dont ask) and decided to take it with me during my post-maintenance test drive which I extended just a bit. It wont be long till I reach all zeroes for the third time.

No 'million mile' odometer here

This is for you, you big Sabu.


greatbear: (Default)

December 2016



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