kengr: (Default)
About 11 Fay texted me to let me know she was ready to head out for our monthly Winco run.

I met her a few minutes later and we walked over to Albertson's so she could get something to eat. Only it turned out that her food stamp account was empty. I bought the stuff for her and used my card just to see if *mine* was ok. It was.

So we went back to my apartment to sit in the air conditioning while she tried to straighten things out.

I had her check online first thing. Still zero balance. So I suggested that she call the aging and Disability office which are the folks that handle our food stamp certification.

They said they'd resubmit the info and to check again in an hour. So we watched an episode of Buffy, and one of Soap.

When she checked again the money was there.

Meanwhile, I'd been checking where we could buy the new Hop passes for the bus. Turned out that we can recharge them at the 7-11 on the corner. But to buy them we had to go elsewhere. Found a Safeway a few stops past the Winco.

So we just rode the bus past Winco and hit the Safeway. Took a few minutes to get the cards and put some money on them.

Turns out that it's $3 to buy the cards, and then a seperate operation to put the initial cash on them.

Still wasn't that bad. I fronted Fay the money for the card and an initial $10 on it.

What Fay and I had been doing was buying monthly passes ($28 because we qualify as disabled). We didn't always use $28 worth of rides, but iot was better than dealing with tickets.

The way the HOP card works is that you "tap" it on a terminal by the bus driver, and it validates your fare.

The first time you use it on a day, you get charged a regular fare (in our case an "Honored Citizen" fare). Next next time you get on a bus that day, the system check. If you are still within the 2.5 hours a regular fare is good for, it lets the driver know you are ok to board.

If you are past the expiration time of the first fare, it charges you again and upgrades you to a day pass. This saves you money if you take more than two trips that day.

It also keeps track of how much you've paid the current month. And once it hits the cost of a monthly pass, you ride for free for the rest of the month, just as if you'd bought a monthly pass.

For me, since I don't always ride the bus that much during a month, I can just put on enough for a monthly pass, and if I don't use that much, I'll still have the leftover and be able to just "top up" the card to the cost of a pass when my pension comes in at the end of the month.

This month, I'll top it up when my SS comes in in a few days.

You can also register the card online so that if it gets lost or stolen, you don't lose the money on it.

It says you can top it up online, but I haven't checked that out yet.


Jul. 31st, 2017 03:04 pm
kengr: (Default)
Today is tolerable. For the rest of the week, I refer yiu here:
kengr: (Default)
... actually not.

I turned on the air conditioner this morning as the forecast was for it to hit at least 85 today (I've decided that's my threshold for switching from fans to air conditioner).

I'd known I was going to have it on for a few days, but the 7-day forecast on tonights news says it won't drop to 85 anytime in the next week.

Worse, Wednesday is predicted to have a high on 100 (38C) and Thursday 106 (41C) or *higher*. Might even set a new record (old record is 107 (42C))

I don't expect the air conditioner to be able to deal with all of that but if it can keep the areas of the apartment I use in the low 80s, that'll be fine.
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline picked up me and [personal profile] fayanora Wednesday afternoon. My favorite winged cat-person had wanted to meet Fay and Fay was willing. since Fay had Wednesday free, that was when we did it.

It was decided to go visit Powell's again.

We browsed odd items, then browsed the books and things. We wound up talking for *hours* in the coffee shop.

Topics ranged all over the place, some ancient SA stories, various books. Silly t-shirts and more.

a good time was had buy all. Since I had some books at home that [personal profile] alatefeline wanted to read (well, re-read for the first part of the series) when they took us home, I got them to come up. They were not appalled by the apartment. :-)

I had something to eat after they left and took a nap. Got up a few hours ago and had "dinner (and the required meds).

Since I'd been digging thru the freezer a few days ago (to see what I could use up to free space) I'd pulled a roast that I'd noticed had the plastic torn. Probably a bit freezer burned. It's currently in the crockpot on low with a bunch of carrots and potatoes and various bits.

Should make good eating for a day or three.
Read more... )
kengr: (gender discrimination)
I've got an idea for a meta-fiction set in T-America.

I don't think I'm up to writing the actual booklets for the badges, but a history and overview sounds about right.

Not sure what the *actual* names would be, but I expect that many would refer to them as "Girl 101" and "Boy 101".

Girl 101 started out as a couple of seperate ideas. First, a lot of T-girls needed/wanted to pick up "normal" girl mannerisms, behaviors and experiences.

Second, some dedicated tomboys realized as they got older that some of the girly stuff they'd rejected might come in handy on occasion.

The folks puttering around with both ideas eventually got connected and realized that it'd make sense to combine them into a single badge.

The Boy 101 badge probably had a somewhat different history, or it may have gotten sparked by the Girl 101 project.

Both badges have had complaints that they reinforce gender stereotypes. The usual answers are that some people want to follow the stereotypes and that isn't wrong, or that knowing the stereotype and *consciously* learning about it makes you better able to pick and chose which bits you want and which bits to reject.

Some folks have deliberately exaggerated various behaviors. Sometime to make a point, sometimes as parody. But for most, it's a matter of knowing what the expected behaviors *are* lets you chose whether or not to follow expectations or deliberately (as opposed to accidentally) break them.

Some aspects of Girl 101 have been likened to old-style finishing schools. Deportment, grace, etiquette, fashion, etc.

Some aspects of Boy 101 have been likened to boot camp, though that's a much bigger stretch.

But both deal with "proper" behavior *and* improper/informal behavior. After all, the goal is to be able to "fit in" (if they choose to) in all sorts of activities.

It was discovered early on that having the Scouts interact with younger children of their chosen gender was a useful tool. The younger kids tend to be more accepting and while they'd point out differences from the "expected" behavior, they weren't malicious about it.

It also gave experience with games and other activities the the Scouts had missed out on when they were growing up.

(I'm gonna stop here for now and await comments)
kengr: (Default)
The several times delayed apartment inspection is finally done.

This is always a stressful time for me because of my PTSD and Anxiety disorder. Partially it's the distinct feeling of being judged. And partly its the fact that they *could* start eviction proceedings if they don't like what they find.

Never mind that that is actually unlikely, and that I'd have at least one chance (if not more) to correct things. The fact that it is *possible* is enough to be triggery.

That's a fact that our previous manager didn't understand. she actually told me there was no reason to be stressed. Sorry, but that's like telling someone with depression to "cheer up". Or someone with a food allergy to justy get over it.

But the current manager and the maintenance guy came in (and she actually *asked* "May I come in?") they checked some stuff and made notes. But she was pleasant. The only thing close top a negative comment was that I had a lot of stuff. But it wasn't said in a judgmental way, and she noted that I had paths, so it was ok.

She even apologized that I had to move the stuff in front of the closet that has the water heater (it's in a dead end in the hall, so I store stuff like Christmas and Halloween things in it, and store some other stuff in front of the door).

Least stressful inspection *ever*.

I'm still gonna veg out for a while because the anticipation took a lot out of me.

And, of course, we still likely have the inspection by HUD this fall. That's a "random" apartment thing. I'm gonna try writing up something to give to the manager explaining how and why inspections are stressful. And one suggestion in it, will be that for the random inspections, it'd really help some of us if they could let us know that we *aren't* going to be inspected as soon as possible. Otherwise we are stressed out until the time limit runs out.
kengr: (Default)
I was looking at Instant Attitudes because I wanted to point it out to a few people. And I came across this shirt...

I don't want to adult today

I don't want to Adult today.
I don't even want to Human.
Today I want to Cat.
kengr: (Default)
I plugged "anagram" into google and it asked "Do you mean 'nag a ram'?"

What a day

Jul. 19th, 2017 03:54 am
kengr: (Default)
Made a run out to ENU (late) this morning. Got the stuff I wanted ( a couple PCI gigabit ethernet cords and a DVI to HDMI cable. Also picked up a few cables from the bix boxes of "free" stuff (power cord, VGA cable, HDMI cable)

But it was a quarter mile from the bus stop to ENU and (of course) another quarter mile back. And I'd not grabbed a water bottle before leaving because I didn't want to wait for the next bus. Silly me.

So I was moderately wiped out by the time I got home. Took a while to recover (probably longer than I should have) and took a shower and changed clothes.

That meant I was running late for my meetup with [personal profile] alatefeline. On top of that the second bus was running way late. So I got to Powell's ten minutes after that already late time I'd have gotten there.

Went in and grabbed a book I wanted to buy (actually there were a *lot* I wanted to buy, but my budget's kinda tight for the rest of the month)

Then I went looking for [personal profile] alatefeline. We'd agreed to meet up in the coffee shop, and I knew from the texts we'd been exchanging that they were already there. They'd told me they be wearing a blue hat. Finally spotted them. (You can tell that we are both somewhat misgendered because they said it was blue, but I'df have described it as sky blue though it was actually a bit paler. :-)

The coffee shop is often a maze because of how close the tables are and the way chairs are often left out. It was worse than usual, but I only had to go about three times as far as the "direct" route would have been.

We had a nice chat. Gaming, SCA, SF&fantasy, and various other things. after quite some time, we got up and I went to show them where the pocket "survival" thingie I'd gotten there was. Of course, they'd rearranged things. And they didn't have it. But there were several other neat things.

We could have hung out longer, but my legs were starting to tell me I'd been a bad girl. So I regretfully, bid them farewell and went to buy my book. I knew I had some credit on my Powells card from selling some books a year or so back.

Turned out I had a lot more than I thought. After buying my book, I still had $11 left. I could have bought the entire trilogy instead of just the first book. Oh well, I need to make another Powells run one of these days anyway.

Caught the 20 with no problems. Just missed the 71. So I had to sit out in the hot sun for another 15 minutes.

Finally got home and made myself a sandwich so I could take my meds. Tried to do some stuff on the computer but gave up. Wound up taking a 4 hr nap.

After that I felt better (though my thighs are still mad at me for some reason). I dug out the stuff from ENU and started messing with things.

Cards are installed and working fine. The cable seems to work, but the cable box won't send at a resolution the computer monitors I tried would accept. I'll try it with the Bluray player after the inspection is over.

Have to discuss getting together another time with [personal profile] alatefeline.. It was fun.
kengr: (Default)
Somebody on Freecycle posted a couple of items the other day. I asked and got both.

Turned out they lived less than a mile away, and on the bus route that goes past here. When I headed out last evening I had to wait about 7 min for the bus. Got off about a block and a half from their place. I scooted in, got the two bag s of stuff and loaded in in my folding cart.

As I got to the street I could see the bus coming about six blocks away. I didn't make it to the stop but the driver had seen my alternate waving and running and pulled over to let me get on.

So that was about as short as a run could be.

What did I get? A grocery bag full of blank CD-Rs *in cases*. That'll come handy come Christmas.

I also got another grocery bag full of old software they'd cleaned of their shelves. Various old games a lot of home office stuff, and lots and lots of driver disks. Got several copies of some things. Like 7th Guest.

I'll paw thru them some more and eventually pass on the stuff I have no use for.

Gotta pay special attention with the driver disks. A lot of ones for vid cards have games to install to demo that graphics quality. So I'll be doing a lot of digging for those.

And tomorrow I need to head out to the computer parts place I've been using for years. They're going out of business, and I want to get a few things while they are in stock. A couple of PCI gigabit ethernet cards for a couple of boxes that don't have it built in, and an HDMI to DVI cable, so I can use one of the monitors with a DVI connector as a backup if the TV dies.

May also be meeting someone at Powell's later in the day. Haven't heard back from them yet.
kengr: (Default)
Just got around top doing some calculations about the power my new air conditioner uses.

It's 1280 watt. That's 1.28 kW. So running it for an hour uses 1.28 kW/hr. And it looks like I'm paying more than $0.10 per kW/hr. Which means that it'd gonna cost me more than $3/day. Ouch.

Immediately turned it off and opened the window and turned on the fan in the bedroom window.

I'll save it for the really hoi days...

Fun comics

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:51 pm
kengr: (Default)
I read a lot of webcomics. And I've slowly been working my way thru a backlog of comics folks have recommended to me.

I recently caught up on one, and was quickly able to catch up on several others. In order

Spinnerette A different take on "getting spider powers. Very silly at times

Grrl Power Words fail. But I pointed Fay at it last night and she was reading and giggling for the rest of the time she was here.

Magical Girl Neil an interesting subversion of the Magical Girl trope

And I'm currently working my way thru Magical Transvestite Cherry So far a rather *different* subversion of the Magical Girl trope

Check my feeds for most of the comics I'm following. I also follow a bunch that don't have RSS feeds, but I'll get to those some other day
kengr: (Default)
I can't believe I forgot this!

Lasers: several places sell "laser pointers" powerful enough to ignite tinder.

Not that *practical* for most purposes, but way cool.
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly's post a week or so back about science experiments for kids combined with some stuff from an older post of [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's about emerrgency preparedness kits to remind me of my collection of stuff for starting fires As well as a few things I don't currently have, but have used in the past.

Okay, first thing you need is a source of heat. Without that you aren't getting anywhere.

Next you need some sort of tinder for the heat to ignite. If you are carrying it, rather than improvising with what you can find, you need it in a waterproof container.

Ok, sources of heat (more or less in order from primitive to modern):

Carrying coals or a flame with you: Doable, but tricky. The container needs to be well insulated, and there are other concerns.

friction: the classic rubbing two sticks together, firebows, etc. Doable, but takes a bit of skill and is *hard* work.

Compression: The fire piston. Doable, but hard to find/make.

Flint and steel (or flint and pyrite). Doable, but requires practice to avoid damaging yourself.

There are a lot of ways to do this. You can grab a properly shaped (sort of a wedge shape) piece of flint and try to strike sparks from a piece of iron pyrite.

Or you can hit a historical re-enactor group that does the traders/trappers type stuff and pick up a flint and a fire steel (piece of iron shape like the letter C) You hold the fire steel sort ofg like a pair of brass knuckles and strike the flint downward, at an angle to produce sparks. Watch out for your fingers!

You can take a chunk of a broken grindstone and a "worn out" file and make sparks by strike the stone against the file.

Or, you can buy a neat item available from a number of sources. It's a metal rod with a handle. The rod is made of the same weird alloy they use for lighter flints. They usually include a piece of steel suitable for striking agianst it to create sparks. You strike at an angle like you were trying to shave off bits of the rtod. *Huge* showers of sparks. and the piece of steel is usually attached to the handle by a thing.

lenses and mirrors: a large enough magnifying glass (at least 4" in my experience) will concentrate enough sunlight on a large enough area to ignite a piece of dry wood. And a "shaving mirror (or other concave mirror can do it as well. Both require a sunny day.

Radio Shack used to sell a "solar cigarette lighter" which was a small concave mirror with a set of folding "prongs" that'd hold the tip of the cigarette at the focal point. Worked for other things as well.

A bit large, but quite suitable. Modern LCD TVs and monitors have a fresnel lens as part of the screen. Take apart (carefully) a dead monitor, and you can often salvage the lens. Be warned. These will concentrate *dangerous* amounts of sunlight. As in you can melt *metal* with the larger ones.

matches and lighters: matches need to be kept in a waterproof container. Lighters, may need to have the same.

Electricity: you can get sparks from a battery to start a fire. Probably takes at least a 9V. Not that practical in most cases. Though it works well if yoiur tinder is steel wool. Might work with magnesium shavings.

Ok, now for tinder. And remember, *all* varieties of tinder need to be kept dry, and an airtight container isn't out of line.

"punk" wood is an old standby. This is basically partially rotted (dry rot) wood.

Char cloth is another. This is squares of cotton or linen cloth (*not* wool or synthetics!) that have been heated (preferably in a container that restricts airflow) until they are "charred". Not black but beyond "golden brown. Either get it at a reenactor event or *carefully* experiment with making your own.

Steel wool. The kind *without* added detergents and crap. You want the fine grade. Tear off a *small* piece and put the rest back in the airtight container. This stuff ignites *very* readily. And since it burns white hot you *really* don't want to be holding it. Or having it sitting on anything you don't want to burn!

Magnesium. A lot of those high-tech flint rods have a second rod mounted in the handle. a magnesium rod. You can shave off tiny bits of magnesium with the same bit of steel you use for striking the sparks. And once this catches, it'll ignite even *wet* wood.

Some gun shows and the like will sell you containers of powdered magnesium to save you the trouble of shaving off bits. A warning hear, this *will* absorb water over time and turn into a sold chunk. And in the case of the one I bought split the plastic container in the process.

And, even moreso than with steel wool, you don't ignite this stuff when it's sitting on anything you *don't* want to burn.

I've seen folks do the friction method, never got anywhere with it myself. I've seen a demo of a fire piston in a chemistry class.

I've tried a fire steel and flint. Takes practice to strike sparks and *not* gash your fingers. Never tried the flint and pyrite trick, but I've read about it.

I own several of the high tech flints, a couple with the magnesium rods. I own several magnifying glasses that I *have* started fires with.

I've actually done the file and broken grindstone bit at a boy scout event. the tinder was steel wool, and we were burning dry pine needles. It was a race to see who could boil water first.

I hgave the solar cigarette lighter, as well as several magnifying glasses that I've lit fires with.

And I have strike anywhere matches in a pocket sized match safe, as well as a few butane lighters.
kengr: (Default)
Had another bad insulin episode last night. Shortly after the insulin-N shot I started sweating a lot. It was warm in the apartment, and I'd been doing some exercise (cleaning for today's inspection) but this was excessive.

Grabbing the glucometer, and yep, 49. Blargh. Grabbing some juice, then some chocolate. 10 minutes later it was back in the normal range, but I was still feeling like crap. Had some other food and check it a few more times being going to bed.

Fortunately, they appear to be putting off the inspection til this afternoon (which explains the "coffee and donuts 10:00-11:30) thing they put up the other day.

I've just had some breakfast, and I'm gonna finish up the lasrt bits of rearranging things to look less cluttered.

I suspect it was the stress (inspections are *always* stressful) that did it this time.
kengr: (Default)
Do not plug the vacuum cleaner into an outlet in the living room if the air conditioner is also plugged into an outlet in the living room.
kengr: (Default)
Pakistan has issued its first passport with an X gender marker. Washington, DC has followed Oregon in allowing an X gender marker on IDs and reportedly, both California and New York state are in the process of allowing it.

I'm fairly sure I'd heard of at least one other country allowing an X marker on passports.

DC should be interesting, as if there's any sort of legal challenges it goes straight from the local court system to the US Supreme Cort (that's how a couple of 2nd Amendment issues that the FEDS had been studiously avoiding for three quarters of a century wound up before the Supreme Court).

And with California and New York, that's a big chunk of population and *votes* that will be behind this.

There's also a case in Colorado involving an intersex person who is trying to get a US passport that doesn't have an M or F on it.

The State Department's replies to letters from doctors certifying that the plaintiff is intersexed are ludicruous. They are saying:
“The Department is unaware of generally accepted medical standards for diagnosing and evaluating a transition to any sex other than male or female,” reads a US State Department refusal letter dated 1 May 2017. “Thus, the Department does not accept a medical certification that specifies transition to a sex other than male or female as evidence for the issuance of a passport.”

Yep, they think the person is *transitioning" to a non-binary gender. Sorry guys, this person was *born* non-binary.

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