kengr: (Default)
2017-07-20 02:40 pm

Well, that was anti-climactic

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)
2017-07-20 01:30 pm
Entry tags:

An appropriate t-shirt for many of us

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)
2017-07-19 09:42 pm
Entry tags:

Google is silly

I plugged "anagram" into google and it asked "Do you mean 'nag a ram'?"
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-19 03:54 am
Entry tags:

What a day

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)
2017-07-18 02:36 am
Entry tags:

Stuff, I has it

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)
2017-07-16 02:50 am
Entry tags:

The Price of cool

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...
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-15 06:51 pm
Entry tags:

Fun comics

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)
2017-07-13 10:44 pm
Entry tags:

Fire Starter addendum

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)
2017-07-13 11:35 am
Entry tags:

Fire starter

[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)
2017-07-13 10:31 am
Entry tags:

I hate my body...

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)
2017-07-12 06:08 pm
Entry tags:

File under lessons learned

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)
2017-07-07 02:18 pm
Entry tags:

Gender neutral ID update

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.
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/06/27/federal-court-allows-intersex-person-to-reopen-lawsuit-over-gender-neutral-passport/
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-07 06:00 am
Entry tags:

"new" computer

Saturday someone posted a Dell Dimension 5100 on Freecycle. Since I have an old Dell Dimension I use for a "bench" system, I figured it'd be useful for parts if nothing else. So I replied.

Got an answer back Sunday, but too late to do anything about it (also, as I later discovered, bus service at the place where it was is not good on Sundays). They gave me their address and said they'd have it sitting on the porch, and come by whenever.

I'd already told them I wouldn't be able to come out monday. Tuesday was the 4th, and thius the buses were on the Sunday schedule.

so It was Wednesday when I picked it up. That was a fun trip. The TriMet trip planner offered me an option that'd take 71 minutes but involved *3* transfers. There was also one that only involved one transfer, but that would take 91 minutes.

I went for the 3 transfer one. Was a bit tight on a couple connections but I made it. I took the one transfer route home.

Read more... )
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-06 06:21 pm

Coolness aproaches

Finally got my air conditioner deliered today. It arrived in town early on the 4th, but since UPS didn't have to deliver it until the 6th, they didn't.

Showed up about a quarter after 1 pm . And the driver was nice enough to haul it upstairs for me.

Got it unpacked easily enough, and moved into position. But to be able to attach the hose that carries the hot air out the window, I had to move the bed. Not fun at all. That futon is *heavy*.

Even with it moved, the AC is at an angle. I'll have to rearrange stuff more drastically eventually.

Per instructions, I had to let it sit upright for 2 hours before turning it on. So it was after 3:30 when I pulled the box fan out of the window and stuck the adapter for the hose in. Much wrestling ensued to get things positioned usably.

But I got it all done and turned on. Temp has been dropping slowly ever since. The AC has gone from indicating 84 to 80. And the temp here at the computer has dropped several degrees as well.

I think it's time for a nap under the AC outlet... :-)
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-04 01:18 pm
Entry tags:

Poetry Fishbowl

Poetry Fishbowl on the theme of "gender, orientation, and identity" Go leave prompts, get poems!
kengr: (gender discrimination)
2017-07-04 09:02 am
Entry tags:

Oregon for the win!

Ok, as some folks know, someone here in Oregon sued for the right to list their gender on their ID as "other". and they won.

Back in May or June it was announced that Oregon DMV was going to change the process and forms to allow anyone to do that.

I grabbed a copy of the "Change your Gender Designation" form back in June, but it hadn't been updated. eventually I'm going to upload it to my website as historical document.

Old Oregon DMV form for change of gender designation

It's got two parts. The first is filled out by the person requesting the change. It has the usual "I'm not doing this to commit fraud, blah,blah" stuff.

The second part had to be filled out by a shrink, social worker or the like and they had to attest that in *their* opinion, the change was necessary.

Fairly normal for such stuff.

Here's the new page:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/driverid/chg_gender_designation.aspx

Yep, it links to the same application you fill out to renew or replace your drivers license or state ID. Only change from the old form for *that* is changing the option in the "sex" box from M & F to M, F, and X.

No more gate keeping, just fill out the same form everyone else does and pay your money.

Since I've never been fond of my middle name (don't ask), I'm thinking of changing it to Brooke, the name I use when I'm presenting en femme. That way I can get some debit cards as Brooke [last name] as well as ones in my current name.

I'd looked into doing it using a DBA (doing business as), but you have to refile that every so often. Getting one with my middle name shouldn't require anything but a bit of talking.

I'll probably wait until I do that to change the gender marker on my ID.

This is going to be lots of fun though. Everyone in Oregon is going to have to change their databases to add that X. Ditto for lots of businesses and agencies outside Oregon. Which will provide some much needed shaking up.

Why do I say they'll have to? Because while *I* wouldn't spend the money on suing them if they don't, other people *will*.

Also, I can't wait for the "head explodes" incidents as folks with a X marker present their *legal* IDs to various inflexible folks in Oregon and nearby states, to say nothing of states far away.

First few Federal applications for things are gonna be fun too.

Do note that several other countries allow an "other" marker already, up to and including their passports. so it's not like it wasn't going to become a problem anyway.
kengr: (Default)
2017-07-01 04:38 pm
Entry tags:

birthday lunch and other stuff.

Today was [personal profile] fayanora's birthday. I'd been planning to drag her to the Chang's Mongolian Grill near the Winco we shop at for a long time. This seemed like a good opportunity.

I'd been going to buy her lunch, but when she'd been checking the hours online, she discovered that you can get a free meal on your birthday. So I wound up just paying for her drink and an all day bus ticket for her. Going get her something else when my SS comes in.

She'd never been to one before but she loved it. The best part is that you get to pick your own ingredients, so she was able to avoid stuff she has problems with, and try stuff she wasn't sure about. That last is because it's an all you can eat, so you add a bit of something you aren't sure of on a second or third trip.

We'd decided to postpone the big Winco trip until we get our SS money on Monday. But since we were only a block away, we did pick up a few things. I spotted a bunch of cell phone stuff in a bin marked down to $6.95 each.

I grabbed a bluetooth speaker. At that price, it wasn't a big loss if if wasn't very good. actually turns out to be not too bad (especially for the price. It's a BT-S10. I figured out how to pair it with my phone but had to go online to get more info about it because there was *no* documentation with it.

I knew it'd play stuff via bluetooth, and after looking it and the included cable over, I figured out you could also plug it into the stereo jack on a phone/tablet/whatever. but there didn't seem to be a volume copntrol, and there was something labeled a TF port.

Found docs online. Turns out the volume is controlled be the same weird switch that does play/pause and track change.

Big news is that it turns out that the "TF port" is a microSD slot and it'll play files from the card. Have to mess around with that some, but it could be useful.
kengr: (Pinky)
2017-06-28 04:32 am
Entry tags:

More silliness

This was a throwaway idea for a Whateley fanfic. Probably not possible even in that universe, but too silly not to go with. I decided to post it after [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith made a particular comment on someone's story.

Sandy was waiting for the last of the new batch of freshmen to show up so zie could take them on the tour. There was a zweet-boing noise from behind zir. Zie turned just in time for the human-sized roadrunner to startle zir with a loud "Meep! Meep!"

Zie was still boggling when the bird held up a sign with one wing. [Hi! I'm Velox.]

The sign flipped around and read [Is this the orientation tour for Twain?] Then it vanished.

"Uh, yeah. What's with the signs?"

[I can't talk anymore. Just make that sound.] flip [But I can manifest these signs] flip [Neat, huh?]

Sandy just shook zir head. Even for Whateley, Velox was a bit odd.

The last few freshmen showed up, and zie started the tour. After showing them the required places and things it came time for the usual "what's your power and how did you get it" talk.

Velox demonstrated his speed. The cloud of dust he raised was weird because it'd rained just that morning.

[Besides being fast, I'm either a reality warper...] flip [... or a probability warper.] flip [Weird stuff happens around me.]

[Don't EVER bring anything made by Acme near me!] flip [no way to tell what'll happen.] flip [but it won't be good for you.]

"What's with your code name?"

He held up a sign with a picture of a bird captioned [Lesser Roadrunner (Geococcyx velox)]

***
"So how'd you wind up like this?"

Apparently Velox got asked this a lot. He dug a paper from somewhere and handed it to the questioner. [Read it out loud, please.]

"Some friends had scored some weed, cheap. And we were having a party at my house since my folks were out of town. We were pretty stoned and I'd queued up all the Warner Brothers cartons on the player. We'd been watching Roadrunner cartoons for a couple hours when we all started feeling weird."

"I managed to call 911 before I passed out."

"Seems the guy who grew the weed had picked up some chemicals cheap. Fertilizer, pesticide, I forget what. They were cheap because they were some devisor stuff that didn't always work right."

"My friends just got sick. I turned into this."