Silly Games we Play

The partner-in-crime have this thing that we do. Calling it a “game” isn’t exactly correct. It’s not something we set out to do. It’s just that sometimes we hear a song and realize it’d be perfect or interesting if someone else covered it.

Today we were driving to work and the song “Big Country” (by the band Big Country) came on the radio. The boy said “Idlewild should cover this.” And now that’s the way I will hear it in my head. He’s also been responsible for turning the Go-Gos song “Vacation” into a Manic Street Preachers. I pointed out that The Killers “Mister Brightside” would be excellent as done by The Cure or Morrissey.

We also like to pair up bands/performers for amazing shows. Like Idlewild and Carbon Leaf. Or The Joy Formidable with Chvrches.

My mom and I like to think of TV shows that would be logical crossovers* (if not for limitations like different networks). For example: NCIS/Bones. Or Bones/Criminal Minds. Or NCIS/Criminal Minds (because let’s face it: Abby and Garcia are totally BFFs and that doesn’t even have the different network problem!). If Constantine is going to be on Arrow, could we maybe see John Constantine on Supernatural? Unlikely, but it’d be funny. Also funny? Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock having to deal with Nathan Fillion’s Castle.


* Let us not mention the upcoming Sleepy Hollow/Bones crossover because no. No. No.

There are no Strings on Me

For years my internet service has been Clear. It’s completely wireless and has ranged from “kill me now” to “this is wonderful”. For a really low price I’ve had home internet and a portable node I could use almost anywhere. It’s been fantastic at work, letting me stream music on my phone without eating up my data plan.

These days are coming to an end. Clear was bought by Sprint a while ago and will be shut down completely in November. A few days ago I put in my order with Comcast/Xfinity for internet service. I’m not thrilled about this, but it’s really my only choice. Baltimore City isn’t FiOS territory, and the age of phone lines make DSL miserable (this is also why we’re not FiOS-ready).

I requested the self-install kit. I figure plugging in a modem is pretty much the same, no matter what kind it is or where it’s from, so why try to figure out a time when someone can be home so someone else can come over and install it. But where it would work best is in the bedroom, where the cable box is. Which would mean either running Ethernet cables all over the house for the desktop computer, or taking the desktop wireless. There’s no room for the computer in the bedroom, and it also makes having an “office” pointless if you’re working where someone else might be sleeping (I sometimes write in the middle of the night).

Considering this house is already a rat’s nest of wires and cables, it made a lot more sense for me to go wireless. I bought a TP-LINK Archer T4U AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter. It arrived today, I set it up in about ten minutes, and it’s running just fine. I haven’t noticed any problem with speed or connectivity. I downloaded some stuff. I played around on Facebook.

The Comcast modem arrives tomorrow. By Friday night I’ll hopefully have things up-and-running. By Monday I should be able to call Clear and officially cancel.

Dog Rules

The dog went to daycare today. He came home exhausted and happy, which is why we take him to daycare in the first place. For some reason when we got home today he decided to let himself upstairs (our fault for leaving the gate open at the bottom of the stairs, but generally he doesn’t go upstairs until he’s invited). He was on the bed for about twenty minutes before he came downstairs. I think he was disappointed that no one came up to turn the fan on for him.

He ate dinner. Then went back upstairs. This time he was up there for probably an hour before he wandered back down.

Finally, I went upstairs. I had to feed Rita-the-Shut-In-Cat and I wanted to use the computer. I said “Come on” as I walked past him.

Cardiff sat down there at the bottom of the steps, patiently waiting for fifteen minutes (I timed it) before he suddenly went “Ooh, right! I can go up the stairs!”

Now he’s standing next to the bed, looking uncertain about whether he can jump up on it.

I don’t understand how he processes rules.

Upgrades

August must be the start of my personal year. I’ve gotten a new FitBit Flex and a glucose meter that’ll synch with my phone and computer so I won’t forget to write down my readings (I never remember) and I’ll actually have them at doctor visits.

I also ordered a new phone. I’m actually sad about this. I love my HTC One (M8). It’s sleek and shiny and light and lovely and it’s perfect for me and exactly what I need/want, but the charging port has gone bad. It’ll only charge at work, and only with careful manipulation of the plug. So I can’t actually use it because I can’t reliably recharge it. I’m getting a Droid MAXX because it was free with a two-year contract with Verizon. I’ve been with Verizon for about five years, so I think I can manage another two (there’s also a small discount through work that helps keep me there). The only negative thing I’ve seen about the phone is the price, so since I managed to avoid that…

Honestly, the biggest selling points for me were the fact that it’s Android and it was free. I’m not picky.

I’m also personally upgrading. The FitBit and the glucose meter weren’t got just because they’re shiny things. I’m aiming for between 35 and 50 lbs off by January. Any weight loss will be acceptable to me, but that range is what I’m trying for.

Previous recent upgrades include:

  • Saffron, the wonder car.
  • Windows 10

I’m really happy with the car. I’m indifferent about Windows 10. It works and the upgrade didn’t erase all my data. That’s enough for me.

Conversations Part 5

My mom:[picks up a plastic gallon of iced tea]. Want to know the limits of how much I can lift? This is pretty much it. Here, hold this.

Me: [takes gallon]

Mom: That is as much as I can lift. Holding it, I can feel it pulling my shoulder muscles. [She starts to walk off. I follow.]

Me: Was this a ploy to get me to carry your iced tea?

Mom: It was a ploy for me to not carry it.

Me: What’s the difference?

Mom: It’s all about me.

I’m Just Mad About Saffron

Achievement Unlocked: Own a Second Car

Because I’m lazy and haven’t taken pictures yet, here are pictures of the car from the dealer’s website:

car2

car3

She’s a 2009 Chevy Aveo5, standard transmission, and YELLOW. I named her Saffron because the partner-in-crime kept singing “Mellow Yellow”. Also, it’s kind of a Firefly reference (and in my head, I’ve already referred to the car as YoSafBridge more than once). Our other car is Jumper One/Puddlejumper in a Stargate Atlantis tribute. Yeah, I tend to name things after science fiction things. My Kindle is The Hitchhiker’s Guide. My old notebook was TARDIS. My cat Owen is named after Owen Harper of Torchwood. Luke the Cat is Luke Skywalker.

I have never claimed to not be a nerd. Now I’m a nerd with a bright yeller stick-shift Chevy.

Who’s Gonna Drive you Home Tonight?

The partner-in-crime has been working a weird schedule lately: 2pm to 6 or 7pm. This is awkward because my work schedule is 8:30 to 5:00.

On the days he works until 6 I just hang around work, getting ahead on weekly/monthly reports, or tinkering with forms that I use daily. Sometimes I work on documents that explain my batshit forms, should I ever be away from work at a time when reports are needed (I intentionally schedule my time off to avoid this because my forms really are batshit and even with instructions I think I’m the only one who really “gets” them. But that might be vanity).

On the days he works until 7, my mom picks me up. We have dinner. Maybe we shop a little. We hang out. I love my mom. She’s my best friend and she’s awesome and I really enjoy it. I don’t know if she’s exactly thrilled to still be playing taxi service to her kid — she probably though I outgrew that decades ago — but I’m pretty sure she likes me so she doesn’t hate it. And hey, restaurant dinner.

On the days he doesn’t start until 2, he has to get up at 7:30 with me, get dressed, drive me to work, and then go home again. Then he typically goes back to bed for a few hours before starting his regular day. It’s annoying because he’s been staying awake later than me most nights because he’s off-schedule and it’d be much better for everyone if he just slept in.

Anyhow, because of the increasing frequency of the boy’s late-day work schedule and the fact that in the spring he will (hopefully) be going back to college to work on his bachelor’s degree, we decided that it’s time to consider a second car. And by “we” I mean “mom and I” because the boy is not a car person.

Depending on the result of a visit to a dealership on Saturday, I may have a car. I’ve talked to my insurance agent. It’s not TERRIBLE. It’s not fantastic, but it’s tolerable. But it still depends on the total price of the car. I’ve got a hard limit on what I can afford and the dealer wasn’t exactly pleased with it. So we’ll see. If not.. I’ve got a reasonable idea of the insurance cost now, and hopefully a lot of other dealerships that have something within my price range.

Fingers crossed.

a little exit music, if you please

Chillin’ (Cats are Jerks)

Got email from the partner-in-crime. It says:

When I got home from dropping you off, guess who was just chillin on top of the fridge?

I wrote back “Charlotte?” and as I pressed send, my very first thought was “I really hope it wasn’t the dog.”

It wasn’t. It was Charlotte. Because cats are jerks and she’s figured out that’s where the dry cat food is stored.

Overheard in Dundalk, Maryland

The Dundalk Heritage Festival was this weekend. The partner-in-crime was working the community college booth so today I went with him. When we got there, volunteers were putting straw down on the really muddy spots from yesterday’s rain.

One kid, maybe about eight, watched us walk in with our cups from Dunkin’ Donuts. He said to his mom “Can I go get a coffee?”

Mom: Yeah. No.

Kid: Can I go look around?

Mom: Yes, but take your brother and both of you stick with your grandfather. Don’t get separated. And don’t bring back anything breathing!

Kid: What about grandpa?!

That kid’s gonna be OK

May was a Busy Month

Good grief. An entire month gone.

We had riots, hot weather, the end of the semester AND the end of the partner-in-crime’s first phase of college education. He is a college graduate with an AA degree! The actual graduation ceremony is Sunday, but we’re not going. It’s “only” his Associate’s Degree, and it’s going to be hot out. Also, there are volunteer hours to be kept, laundry to be done, and groceries to be got. Sometimes you have to be a grown-up and not go to the party, you know?

The dog goes to the groomer tomorrow and we’re going to try to see Mad Max: Fury Road while he’s getting prettified. I say “try to” but we probably won’t have trouble getting tickets since most of the fuss has died down a little. I can’t remember the last time we actually went to a movie theatre to see a film. Most of my movie-watching has been me, Netflix, and a whole lot of one-and-two-star-rated horror movies.

Ages ago, for my “birthday” my mom got me a super telephoto lens. It requires me to learn to use my camera in Manual mode, and I’m still working on that. The panda-brain has some recall of f-stops and film speeds left over from film classes in the early 90s, but getting those memories out of storage is tricky.

It’s not so much a “mind palace” as it is a “mind basement that flooded once or twice, is poorly lit, and has stuff packed in boxes and trunks and plastic bags, and maybe stacked up like a losing game of Tetris, and possibly has rats living in it, and absolutely spiders, and oh God don’t let that be a centipede!”