From the stars we came and to the stars we shall return. Bon voyage, Stephen Hawking.
(Don’t believe this guy. It’s early Tuesday morning.)
Here we are again. Early Saturday morning, I'm snacking and relaxing after work, and I'm making myself take a moment to share what's going on. First order of business: Boris and Natasha, my glitter spiders, have been hard at work.
Aren't they just sweethearts? Definitely need to search Amazon for glitter flies.
I'm also working on the north wall of that same gym (previously I painted the south wall). I don't want to post any photos until it's finished, which will be next week. But the principal left me a great note today:
It's always great to know that one's work is appreciated.
In other news, I spent a couple hours trying to set up email subscriptions for Two Monkeys Wednesday night. I kept going in circles so I set it aside. I may get on that this weekend, but probably don't expect it soon. I couple of people have asked for this since I post sporadically and they prefer not to miss anything. They aren't frequent Facebook users, and frankly the site isn't great at consistently telling people what their friends are up to. So thanks to those good and dear friends, as well as everyone who reads this. I appreciate knowing that people are interested in what I have to say.
A couple other things come to mind: my latest obsessions. The first is a new (to me) game: Stellaris. It came out in 2016 so I'm surprisingly on the ball with this one. Usually I don't learn about games until they've been out for a decade. The short version is that you guide your civilization in exploring the galaxy and interacting with other species. I've only just started, so I can't really give you the long version, but the link up there should tell you more.
The other one is Purity Ring. Not the object, which I find distasteful, but the band. Pandora introduced me to them and I kind of can't stop listening. They have some really trippy videos too. I don't understand them, but they sure look cool.
Update: I ended up crashing this weekend. I must have been pushing myself too hard, because I only had a few sparks of motivation and they were easily stamped out. The weather was lovely so I opened my window and patio door to enjoy the spring air and that's about it. So that's why you're getting this now rather than Saturday. So I hope you enjoy my blog a bit later than I'd intended to post it. Enjoy your week!
Or possibly take over the world. I for one welcome our new feline overlords.
So like I mentioned previously, I finished out my week working for the Fire & Safety shop. And by "work" I mean I clicked a few buttons, waited for an upload to complete (or not) and clicked a few more buttons.
Then did the same for the next school, And the next. And the next.
Tonight I forgot my earbuds. Oh, did I mention that the main shop area gets bloody cold as night wears on? And that the office where the server is located has its own heater? And that the safety of your schools is in the capable hands of a 28.8 kbps dial-up modem?
Okay, that bit about the modem's speed was an exaggeration, and the one about the safety of the entire district was an outright lie. But the sound, oh my pretties, the sound is all too real. But if you're old enough to remember the halcyon days of AOL and Netscape Navigator, when things were good and only getting better (oh, sweet innocence, how I miss thee...), then you remember that the noise stopped after 30 seconds or so. Not true with the district modem. It goes on f o r e v e r.
Literally the entire duration of the call. So obnoxious.
"But Dan," I hear you asking, "Didn't the title of this post mention a cat?"
I'm getting there. Jeez.
"And why not just leave the thing, wait 40 minutes, and come back to do the next one?"
Holy cats, would you let me just tell the freaking story? Do I interrupt you when you're speaking? Even when you've told me the story thrice already? (Oh yeah, I'm bringing it back. And "fortnight." That word is dead useful.)
Where was I? Oh, yeah. I couldn't just leave entirely, because some were as short as 20 minutes, and others were as long as 50, and I wanted to get the job wrapped up quickly because 1. Urgent and 2. BORING. So. Before it got too cold to hang out in the warehouse area, I started a call and headed back home to grab my earbuds. They're noise-cancelling, so perfect for blocking out both the modem and pesky coworkers. And I live about 10 minutes from work, so I wasn't concerned about losing time on my project.
Now, normally Azunyan is very pleased to see me come home. Whether it's been 30 minutes or 10 hours, she immediately barrels over and scolds me until I give her chin scritches. But today was different. Today was weird. I opened the door and scanned for her, because she adores tripping me. Why do cats do this? I don't know, but anyone who has ever been owned by a cat will verify this behavior. No sign of her, so I grabbed my earbuds from the table (in plain view where they would be impossible to forget) and as I was stuffing them in my pocket, I saw her.
She was standing next to a cardboard box and glaring at me.
Like, if you ever lived with a roommate, and you accidentally walked in on them with their significant other, and you just hadn't noticed the sock on the doorknob or whatever, so you were definitely the trespasser, and they glare at you like, "The hell, man?!"
Yeah. it was that look. It was not at all "Yay! Daddy's home!" and 100% "DUDE. I have the place for this 8-hour block, five days a week, and you're interrupting it. WALK AWAY."
So yeah. I did. And when I got home at my usual time it was all sunshine and unicorns again. So if the cats rise up and enslave us all (more so), my baby girl was definitely in on it. And like a good daddy, I'm behind her 300%
So, here’s the other big thing going on. It’s taken two weeks, 6-7 hours a day, to get us here. First thing was to get the basic idea sketched out from what the principal and his assistant gave me. (I love the crayon, btw.) Then I got graph paper and drew it out more precisely. Then I broke out my level and meter stick and drew a guideline six feet high, because that’s about where the principal wanted the lowest point. Once I had that line I could transfer coordinates from the graph to the wall and tape a curve connecting them. All of that took me three days.
And when I came in Thursday, I got to redo everything because the blue tape didn't stick.
Frog Tape. It cannot be beat. It gives fantastic lines and it stays on the wall. Sorry 3M, but I just cannot use your Edge Lock tape any longer. Frog Tape 4 life, yo.
Click the arrow to scroll
Click the arrow to scroll
So yeah, Thursday was spent picking up all the blue tape and redoing everything, and also having a cuppa tea, some biscuits, and a nice sit-down because the YMCA basketball kids were in there for an hour. I needed it that day, too. But Friday -- Friday I got paint on the wall! Well, okay, primer. But it still felt like I was getting somewhere.
Ironically though I kind of didn't, because the yellow needed 3 coats anyway. Hey, at least I've learned for the other side. So the first picture below is Friday the 16th, and then we start to see some real progress in the next week.
The principal changed his mind several times on the details. If you go back to picture #1 you can see some of the rewrites. Initially he told me that he wanted between eight and fifteen inches of variation in the yellow (which I painted first because there is no way it's covering the blue). I actually went beyond those bounds, varying between six and eighteen inches to give it (I thought) a better look. I wasn't worried about him complaining because he gave me a lot of creative license. Turns out I didn't go far enough, because twice he asked me to widen the yellow in the widest parts. Which of course I did; it's his wall, he should get what he wants.
The downside is that my carefully planned blue wave did not come out the way I wanted. If you go back to the first gallery, you can see the sort of sine wave I tried to get in pic #2. I wanted it to start small and increase over time and that's how I roughly mapped it out. No I didn't use a calculator (though I did seriously consider it) and no I'm not certain that "sine" is the correct function. All of that is a couple decades in my past. The point is that I made that curve real pretty and then based the yellow off of it. And "the boss" wanted wider yellow, and ain't no way I'm getting a taller ladder and redoing the top of it, so I brought it down and taped off the blue much lower and I'm still not happy with that curve but I'm not going to try doing it over, I'm not obsessed.
I'm not obsessed.
I'm not obsessed.
Oh also before I did the blue I painted the base brown, which I did so that I could tape over that and get a real crisp line between the base and the wall. It worked amazingly well, and you can see it in the final image of gallery 2.
So yeah, I started the blue Friday the 23rd and finished it Monday the 26th. And then Tuesday the Fire & Safety Shop grabbed me to do some urgent stuff for them so I didn't even get to see the staff's reaction. (And I'm certainly not saying that Tatyana should give Bill a hard time about it when she reads this. I would never suggest that she, oh I don't know, put toner in his coffee, or plead with Baba Yaga to give him boils or something.)
Tatyana works in the front office and the whole place would fall apart without her. She and her husband are from Ukraine and I tell her about the fun Slavic stories I hear on the Myths and Legends podcast, and she teaches me a few words in Russian and pesters me to write a book. I work with some awesome people. Happy Thursday, all.
In early February we had unseasonably warm weather. I'm certain that this is a completely normal part of Earth's climate cycle and that it has nothing to do with man's ever-increasing use of fossil fuels, nor the methane generated by our farming and food consumption, nor is there any possible solution to this thing that isn't really a problem
I'd say I was turning off my sarcasm now but I don't think I have that mode. Maybe in the next firmware update?
Anyway, winter returned in full force toward the month's end.
In full force.
The second picture was taken literally 30 seconds after the first. That's how much snow was on my work van Thursday afternoon. And we got more snow over the weekend. We went from high temperatures in the 50s down to the 30s in a week. So many people were excited about getting their houses painted and flowers planted. Silly, silly people.
It's not just them, it's the stores too. We're already seeing BBQ grills, awnings, outdoor furniture...
Also there's this weird phenomenon where the grocery and craft stores jumped straight from V-Day to Easter. I mean, I get that St. Patrick's day doesn't emphasize the mating and breeding aspects of the other two holidays, but the expected drunken revelry has got to lead to some of that behavior. Regardless, I'm excited to see what kind of display my glitter spiders will put on.
Other than that it's been more of the same. I picked up some nice shirts to go with my vest. I haven't tried them on yet, but that will be coming shortly. Also a pair of pants that I think will go well. Plus, my parents have my maternal grandfather's pipe collection, and they're sending me a couple which I think will be smashing additions to the look. Now I just need a nice set of shoes and spats to round it all out.
On a separate note, I think Amazon Prime has been a bad influence on me. I've ordered a bunch of stuff that I've wanted for a while but haven't found for a price I'm willing to pay. New struts for my tailgate, a wine rack for my Torani syrups, and a new TV. For a while now mine has been flaking on me and it's getting worse. Sometimes when I turn it on no picture appears, so I have to turn it back off, wait 30 seconds, and turn it back on. And a couple of times I've had to do it twice (or even thrice). (That word's for you, Tatyana. :p ) The new one should have better sound and picture and only weighs around 16 lbs. Also also, the 2005 series of Doctor Who is on Prime, and it's really cutting into my Netflix time.
I'm also spending a frustrating amount of time trying to get this site to look the way I want, to no effect. So I'm taking a break for a couple of days. Hopefully it will be super easy next go around.
And finally, this is a thing:
Yep, I've created a personal logo/brand. I have no idea what I need to do to register it or whatever to legally make it mine, but there's little chance of anyone try to steal it out from under me before I sort it out.
So that's it for this update. Be good to each other, folks. Oh and also I'm making links for my finishing quotes so if you don't recognize it, you don't have to go to all the time and hassle of a Google search. Muchas smooches.