Friday, Dec 12th 2014: Tell us about the funniest text you've ever sent or received. (NaBloPoMo)

Honestly, we don't get any funny texts. :( I think the closest thing we've ever gotten to a "funny text" besides really dull spam was that one time little sister sent us the message intended for one of her other friends who shares our legal first name.
Thursday, December 11th 2014: Who is the happiest person you know? What is their secret? (NaBloPoMo)

... That's another good really good question.

Off the top of my head, one of the interns in the Heartbeat Connection class that just ended. For the purposes of this being a public blog I'm going to call her H. She was just... always smiling even if she had a crappy afternoon.

I'm guessing her secret is just... kind of going with the flow and not worrying too much. She was just kind of very... present.
[ profile] aliceklar asked: Christmas in Italy - what are the traditions, how do you celebrate in your family etc. Any special foods or songs?

I'm afraid this post will be disappointing, Alice, as Italians don't have a lot of unique-to-Italy Christmas traditions (except perhaps La Befana, which I talked already about for this meme/ LJ version). And food. But that is a bit problematic (meaning food varies so much from each city and region that I can only talk about the food we have in my town).

Most of the traditions we have will be familiar to non-Italians as well. Also, after seeing how they do Christmas in Norway, I kind of feel our own Christmas traditions are severely lacking. ;)

Read more... )

Italians who are reading this - have I forgotten something? What do you do differently in your corner of the boot?

I have no topic for tomorrow, so if anyone still wants to ask me something, this is your chance.
jazzfish: Malcolm Tucker with a cell phone, in a HOPE-style poster, caption NO YOU F****** CAN'T (Malcolm says No You F'ing Can't)
([personal profile] jazzfish Dec. 20th, 2014 02:54 pm)
Xmas is officially done. The hard part anyway, presents wrapped and shipped as necessary. I have had less enthusiasm for this xmas than for any in living memory. Even as a teenager shoved into a confined space with family for dozens of hours on end, I got kinda excited about finding/making the Right gift for friends. This year... meh. Meh all around.

But it's done. And the tree is up, and I've been listening to a bit of xmas music, and the light will come back soon.

Thursday night I tried halfheartedly to run my LG&S game but had no brain and low energy, and ended by calling it about halfway through. Today it occurs to me that I've probably had a low-grade cold since sometime Thursday. I've got what feels like a ball of snot hanging out in my back nasal passages, and I'm vaguely spacey.

If this stays at 'low-grade cold' level and doesn't blossom into a full-bore sinus infection, that will be the first time that's happened in a long time. I never get really seriously hide-under-blankets-with-soup-and-television-for-three-days sick, but I also never have just plain colds either.

The old apartment had a super-fancy hotel across the street. In spring & summer we made a habit of being appalled by the proms and weddings that got hosted there, and of watching the seagull chicks grow up on the roof.

This apartment has a hotel across the street, but it's much less fancy. It's also got an IHOP-style pointy roof, so I doubt it will have seagull chicks.

What it does have, or has for the past few days anyhow, is a bald eagle who's decided it's a great place to hang out. So that's kinda cool.

NYT commenter "Vin" from Manhattan, a couple of days ago:
Look, I can appreciate that it’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a police state whose police forces routinely murder civilians (and whose top political leaders have engaged in torture of prisoners with impunity), but Cuba did the right thing.
It's also my birthday party.

We're serving pulled pork, vegan soup, assorted chocolates, cheeses & crackers, chips & dips, two cakes (vegan spice and a Nigella Lawson vanilla), assorted beverages, and mini cream puffs.
I was browsing the full list of requests this morning and suddenly had this idea for a treat to somebody. Coming back to the idea this afternoon, it's beginning to feel complete at around 750 words, which made me wonder if I want to attempt to write some more to make it a full-length YT story, or just tidy it up and leave it as is. Which could result in 250 words of padding which doesn't add anything. I'm not sure, so I'm probably going to leave it until tomorrow and then see how I feel about it.

In other news, I did parkrun this morning, which was pretty hard work as the sections on grass were pretty soft and muddy, and running in a Santa hat gives you a very sweaty head. I'm suspecting one of the reasons it felt so hard is because it feels like I'm coming down with a cold (which is really one big DO NOT WANT just a couple of days I'm due to fly). I also cleaned my oven, which for some reason is one of the things that make me feel I'm ready to Christmas although I'm not going to be using my oven to cook anything over the Christmas period.
sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine Dec. 20th, 2014 10:25 am)
Hi, I'm [personal profile] sine_nomine and I'm an asthmatic.

Which I tend to ignore, forget (as in I go to doctors' offices and forget to put down that I'm asthmatic on their forms unless it's one of their multitudinous tick boxes), and most assuredly don't treat. Well, until I have to. Like now.
Danger. Health stuff ahead. )

And speaking of filking... why yes, I've come up with substantial text for a filk on a certain hymn... but I will spare those of you playing along at home (okay, here's a snippet: "If ever I loved thee my asthma 'tis now!").
Wednesday, December 10th 2014: Do you think you maintain a good balance of making yourself happy while making other people happy? (NaBloPoMo)

I think it still needs work. We tend to be better at making other people happy more often. But we're getting to the point where we can also be pretty selfish with our own happiness. It's a work in progress. There's definitely more balance than there used to be.
I'd love it if insurance companies had to make it clear how much of the money they took in as premiums was paid out again to policyholders.

Because I don't object to pooling risk, but I do object to large rake-offs.

(The Affordable Care Act said that health insurance companies have to spend 80% of their income on medical care. I don't want to go so far as to regulate it. But if you make it public then people can at least take it into account when making their decisions.)

Via discussion here.
I stayed up a bit late Wednesday night because duty called. (Duty in the form of Yuletide. Love to Hippos.)

Thursday morning. )

The walk back was refreshing. I wore the Festive Hat, fully lit up. That always gets noticed. I put it away, though, as next was the Dreaded Team Meeting. I told Purple that depending on how it went, I might or might not spend some of the subsequent time sobbing under someone's desk with vodka.

The bad news from Wednesday was that my occasionally frustrating but always well-meaning grandmanager the Randomizer, who has been in and out of the hospital over the past year-ish, will be stepping down entirely, due to illness. Read more... ) So while I'm concerned for him on a personal level because he's ill and stepping down because of illness is never a happy thing, I have every confidence business-wise.

So I came out of the team meeting more hopeful than I had been going in, which was not the outcome I was expecting. No vodka-desking for me!

I had the package tracking notification that the latest package in Syne's BPAL decant circle had arrived, so I set off to the mail room with a small bag of the good candy. It is always recommended to bring bribes of an edible nature to the fine folks of shipping & receiving, because they crave that mineral appreciate it. It was at this point that I learned that the notification is slightly inaccurate for our setup, as the arrive notice is when it hits our post office, and then our team goes over there in the morning and picks up the mail, and it didn't hit the post office endpoint until noonish. So it would arrive Friday. I delivered the candy anyway, admired their bubble wrap snowman, and walked back.

Read more... )

Friday was another day. I woke up midway through my sleep cycle and discovered confirmation that the vendor was in the database. However, the mobile app didn't let me edit jack shit. I went back to sleep. When I woke up, I looked for a necklace, since the star necklace wasn't going to be a viable choice. The raven one looked good.

At work, the vendor was listed, so I spent a few minutes making sure the submission was set up and sent off for approval. Then I went to lunch, a few minutes after Purple's lunch call. Purple had not found time before work to get the tire seen to, but it's a very slow leak. No telling how long the nail has been in there.

I saw the table with Purple's usual crew. I saw the cluster of tables with a whole bunch of my team, including the rare sight of the Randomizer. I went with my team. Later, having finished my burrito and refilled my lemonade, I joined Purple's table. They understood.

I did a bit more candy-distribution. Having finished my bit of the terrifying procurement thing, I tracked down some software for Brutus Cochin (as that is a vaguely known thing and also vastly less expensive). The shipping & receiving guy came by with the mail cart, which included the latest decant circle. I had some more festive cheer for him. He hugged me.

Bash ensued. It took me longer to get there this time, and it was harder finding a table. I did score one, though! Purple joined me. "It's not like your hat is visible over the wall or anything," he teased. He claimed the sort-of-occupied-looking chair after I reassured him that the reason it looked sort of occupied was because I was scaring off chair-vultures. Radius and R joined us. R was late on account of a meeting, and then had to run off to wrap up before dashing off somewhere else. Radius had a bug to be stomped. Mr. Zune was off with family. lb was off with family. phone was home minding a sleeping possibly-teenager (we're a little uncertain as to the actual age of his kid). Later, Lennon Glasses Guy came by, and that was nice. Eventually we told tales of social engineering and various exploits and bugs we have known. Lennon Glasses Guy hadn't realized that I'd worked at the domain shop in the past, which was where two of my tales came from.

Midway through it all, I got an email that made me start swearing.

"Hi Azure, The user needs to be added to CC in order to make the ticket visible to them. Please refer the attached screenshot and confirm if we are good to close this ticket. Thanks, Helpdesk Guy."

Very fortunately, I am in a position where my input is respected as a bellwether of parts of my greater organization as regards this piece of fucking software. My response was brusque and to the point.

"Not acceptable. Tickets need to be visible to users not on the CC list."

Upon getting back to my desk, I added lb's Overlady, as she is the current torchbearer for our division's good fight. We've got her back, and the pitchforks. I feel like this one is important enough to hammer spikes in to any reasonably slowly moving surface and cling to them while yelling.

There has been a squeaking sound all up in our corner for days now. One of the facilities dudes has been investigating. Unfortunately his hearing doesn't go that high anymore. Most of my department can hear it. He located some vent louvers which were oscillating when they shouldn't ought to be, and a substantial leak from a pipe on the other end of the roof. The ventilation guys have been summoned.

Chatted with Rocky some. The time to be a dick about your nerf weaponry is not when you've just scratched someone's cornea. (This was a lead engineer in a place he used to work.) It was a rough work neighborhood. Rocky carried in a large nerf gun in a duffel bag, then introduced the engineer most likely to cause trouble to the business end of it...

Purple came by to head out. He chatted with Rocky and encouraged me to tell how Tay and I used to troll the roosters by crowing out of turn at them.

I'm not sure if Purple would describe himself as "a gamer", but via a link I sent him, he wandered into Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, and reported back that he was impressed and generally in agreement with a lot of things, even though not 100% in agreement (and 100% agreement is rare for him). Read more... )

Bash was dinner enough for Purple, so he generally declined the concept and headed home. I picked up some groceries.
andrewducker: (The Question is not "Is She Gay?")
([personal profile] andrewducker Dec. 20th, 2014 11:54 am)
Looks like Virgin has finally upgraded our internet speed.

At the same time, one of the Powerline extenders I was using (to connect the study to the living room) was being intermittently dodgy. So I grabbed a new pair of AV500 (to replace the old AV200 ones), and did a before/after test with

With the AV200 ones I was getting around 50Mb/s. With the AV500 ones:

That'll do. For this week :->

(I really should plug a laptop directly into the router and see what speed _that_ gets. With our walls, and laptops that don't support 5GHz they max out around 32Mb/s over wireless.)
yvi: picture of Faith's face (Buffy - Faith)
([personal profile] yvi Dec. 20th, 2014 12:01 pm)
By now, I have pretty much been sick (with various stuff) for three out of the last seven weeks. I also haven't really seen the sun since... Sometime in mid-November? I pretty much only left the house for working and out of these seven weeks even that wasn't the case for 9 days of sick leave. This is getting me down big time and while watching Netflix can be nice (currently binging "Call the Midwife" and "30 Rock") I am getting what in German we call Lagerkoller. Cabin fever.

Gah. I need to go for a walk later. First step : shower and get dressed.