other things

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 02:47 am
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Still tweaking other things on my new cell phone too.

I found out that one can remove the pages from these old family photo albums (and put them back together again). Which means that scanning the albums shouldn't be that difficult after all (as long as each page fits on the flatbed - one of the albums does just barely. The other one would require using my mom's larger scanner). Which means that's another thing I want to get done.

Firefox addons; learn how to update them to use these new WebExtensions APIs.
Which also shows me that my JavaScript knowledge is woefully out of date. It's changed a lot in 20 years.

I've just installed 2 and a half years worth of Windows updates on one of Qiao's old Windows 7 desktop computers, which we haven't used in that long. Because it has iTunes on it, and I don't want to install iTunes on my laptop. But there are a couple of items I want to get, which are only available to download from iTunes. And of course, that meant I needed to install Windows updates too, right? I dunno. It seemed the thing to do even though it took all day. Makes me think I might even be able to get updates working again on my old laptop too, if I wanted to.
Simplifying updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 - a rollup for all updates through April 2016, with only one prerequisite that must be installed first.

Researching family tree stuff. Old census records. Found out my great-great-grandmother had at least 10 children, and possibly 5 more that didn't survive.
Need to determine what kind of open-source program I should use for doing a family tree, so that the data can be exported/imported in a widely compatible format.

Want to replace all the screws for the door lock strike-plates and hinges with 3-inch long screws. And replace some of the strike-plates with ones that take 4 screws instead of 2.

I finally took down the rest of the xmas decorations and put the boxes away. My mom helped me take down the xmas tree a few weeks ago. She and Qiao are as bad as me - once I made my mind up to take them down, they both said "I think you should just leave them up", making me debate it internally all over again.

faster fluff

Monday, May 15th, 2017 11:24 pm
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Today I learned that cutting down yellow dandelions right before they go all seed-heady doesn't stop it from happening. Instead, it makes it happen even faster. In retrospect, it makes sense.

I actually had wanted to gather the cut stalks yesterday and trash them after using the string trimmer to cut them down, but didn't have time. Today after coming home from work, I was surprised to see a bunch of white fluffy spheres at ground level. But at least they hadn't blown away yet, so I was still able to gather most of them up into a plastic bag.

Earlier yesterday, I had driven by a yard which was full of dandelion seed heads. When I saw that a few of mine were getting seed heads too, is when I decided that I'd better cut mine down before I had seeds all over my yard.

I like having a smallish patch of dandelions, but I don't really want a yard full of them. So I try to compromise by letting some of them grow in that one place where they've always grown, part of the year, and weeding them from the rest of the yard.

There's more to this story, about how the dandelions are like my christmas tree, but I need to go to bed.
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So I just realized it is the last day. Or was the last day. It is the last hours.


I am so sick of seeing online ads saying things like "Should Trump send Hillary to Jail?"
As if we don't have a judicial system; as if a president can simply send people to jail on his say-so. Is that what people want? A goddamn dictatorship?

Is someone trying to psychologically condition the rest of us into subconsciously thinking that she belongs in jail?


I got my heater repaired. I decided to only get the broken part replaced. Even if furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, and mine is nearly 20, that doesn't mean that it can't still keep working for many more. If the average is 18 or so, then surely there are some that make it to 30 years or more


Portable oil-filled electric radiators:

If they smell of burning dust, even after you've cleaned off all the visible dust, you may need to remove the front and/or rear panels too, to get the dust out from those sections. Obviously, you need to be careful when doing that as there are wires and electrical connections behind the front panel.

When not using them, a perfect-sized cover to keep the dust off is a pillow-case!


Christmas Eve (yes, I'm that behind on writing about things. and doing things):

It was sort of rushed again. We started it earlier in the evening than in the past, as my nephew wanted to leave by a certain time. I went in my car to pick up one of my foster sisters, and my niece. The drive took longer than I anticipated, and by the time we got back to the house, everyone else had already started and finished eating! But at least the get-together was over by a reasonable time, before midnight rather than after.

I still haven't gotten around to ordering my mom the Christmas presents I meant to get her. But partially in my defense, she didn't choose which ones she wanted till after Christmas either.


Lower thigh muscles: I've been having nerve issues again, but more general soreness rather than nerve spasms like before. Sitting down for too long makes them achy.
It may all come down to not getting enough sleep, body not being able to recuperate.


I flushed the water heater last weekend. It's really not hard to do, at least the way I do it, just attaching a hose and not turning off anything. Carrying the hose from the front of the house to the back, and back again is the hardest part.


We're having 7:30am educational sessions for work 2 or 3 times a week, and it's killing me, so early. It's mostly stuff I already know, but I don't want to miss anything anyway..

7:30am isn't even that early, right? Especially when I can dial in from home. But it's still killing me.


thirsty tired too late heater yay snoring dogs xmas tree lights went out again need to try replacing fuse again.
where's my dessert? what's my dessert. maybe that'll do it.
good night, ch'all.

oh, subject. ummm.

hey, did I ever post ... I don't think I did... where did I ...


Video title: Boney M. - Felicidad America (Obama - Obama) ft. Sherita O., Yulee B.
Posted by: BoneyMVEVO
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKSRdpi15qc


Video title: Baby's Gang - Challenger
Posted by: zyxdance
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN1cekvzY98

I found both those videos on the same day. Both chipper, hopeful, poignant, and sad in terms of later events.

3am eternal

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 03:35 am
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Christmas tree is up.

Note to self: The tinsel goes on last, not first. First lights, garlands, ornaments, then the tinsel.

Putting up the tree and decorations is like an art project, but the same one again, year after year. With only minor differences, like using gold garland as opposed to silver.
But it's ok, sort of, because doing it the same way continues a tradition. The Christmas Tradition. And if I've decided that the tree looks much better with tinsel, of course I'm going to use the tinsel again each next year, even if it takes a lot of extra time.

You know, a glittery pink garland might look nice next time.


I'm hungry.

xmas cutes

Monday, December 28th, 2015 11:06 pm
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This year, I found these 2 cuties to add to our collection of sci-fi ornaments:

My mom gave me this bag. Isn't it great?

darkoshi: (Default)
Alrighty. The Christmas tree is up. The angels are out. The elephants are dusted. The spider's web is decorated.

Boxes still have to be put away.

Photos of various sorts will eventually follow, probably.

be deep be deep

Monday, December 14th, 2015 01:23 am
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Hmm. Bought a box of holiday cards to send out to relatives. Was planning to write a newsletter along with them like I did last year. Looked through my DW entries to get ideas of things to write. Not much there that I feel like using. Culture Club, trip, flood, house. Hmm. Maybe I'm just too tired right now.

Due to technicalities which I learned about on Thursday in regards to our new time entry system, I have to work tomorrow (or rather today) even though Friday was supposed to be my last day. But then I'll be off.

off off, off and away. away away. to the looney bin.

Reading through the year's DW entries reminds me of things I wanted to do but never finished. Or never started. Just like things around the house. Unfinishedness.

I've got a medium-sized flat rate box with a few gifts in it to send to my brother and his new girlfriend. The small sized box was way too small. But the medium one is way too big. There's so much empty space that it's been sitting here all week. A simple job turned into a difficult one. What should I use, to fill the empty spaces? Should I send more gifts? Should I pack it with air bubbles? Too hard, too hard. Then I thought that I should get the cards out first. But that's not easy either.

Well I did marginally clean off the table. Some of the bills and mail.

I washed the dogs today, as Serena's legs appeared to be caked in mud, and it was a nice warm day for it. But the mud didn't come off. It's this strange sticky stuff. Her fur is coming off in small clumps. But there's new fur underneath. She's got a vet appointment tomorrow, for follow-up on her thyroid issue. More on that in another post.

Glitter Tree

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 03:15 pm
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I suppose it is time to put my glitter tree (aka "xmas tree") back in storage until next winter. Before packing it away, I want to enjoy the pretty lights and glitter one last time... aah.

One nice thing about having a glitter tree up this time of the year, is that with the windows open, and a gentle warm breeze coming in, the hanging tinsel and other shiny stuff moves and turns slightly(*), extra sparkly and more alive.

(* - what is a good word for that? I can't think of one. flutters? flitters? vibrates?)

Ah, maybe I should keep it out after all, even though it feels partially anachronistic.

Chinese snack food

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 12:56 am
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A family friend likes gifting me items from an Asian market. Some of them, I'm hesitant to try (due to not trusting that the ingredient list is accurate, and worrying that dangerous chemicals were used in the processing), some of them don't taste good when I do, and some end up being quite tasty. But they are always intriguing. Look at the amusing names on these 2 items:

"Bean curd" is another name for tofu. The ingredient list for the one in the photo includes "Soybean (non-genetically modified)", but with the "non" part blacked out.

A lot of Chinese snacks seem to be seasoned with a combination of salt and sugar. It doesn't sound as bad as it tastes... must be something one acquires a taste for.

A different snack item includes "Dried mencar" in the ingredient list. Do any of you know what that could be? A misspelling, perhaps?

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013 01:38 pm
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(for those of you for whom, like me, the phrase invokes pleasant notions of glitter, sparkle, joy, and goodwill)

and for those of you for whom it doesn't,

May your days be merry!


Saturday, December 21st, 2013 03:00 am
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I think this little Christmas tree ornament/figurine is cute. I don't remember where it came from, but it's one of the oldest ornaments I have, from my childhood. The reindeer in the background is newer.

Last year, I ordered a Christmas tree bag, to be able to store my tree without having to take it apart and take the light strands off it. That made putting it up this year considerably easier. I also had help putting the ornaments on it.

But afterwards, something didn't feel quite right. The tree seemed sort of bare compared to how I remembered it from last year. The garland I used this year wasn't really long enough - maybe that is why. Or maybe it was because I didn't have to put as much effort into it as in the past?

Tonight I put some tinsel on the tree, and now it seems more right. I haven't used the tinsel in many years.

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Caught was my eye, by a curious ornament on a tree. Printed on it, "Four Colly Birds". A nearby ornament of the same make expressed "...Pipers Piping".

Mightily confused was I, by the "colly" birds. Surely "calling" birds, it's supposed to be... birds a-calling, like birds a-singing and a-tweeting, isn't it so? Or could all these years the lyrics I have misheard, of the days of twelve? Quickly to a web search, I tapped.

The great web of knowledge issued forth an answer. "Calling birds" an Americanization, it is. The "colly birds" to blackbirds originally did refer. Four black birds. Four black birds to be eaten! Three french hens, to be eaten! Seven swans, likely to be eaten! Five rings! FIVE GOLDEN RINGS! AAAHHH THE SACRILEGE!!! THE RINGS AREN'T EVEN RINGS! Ring-necked pheasants, to be EATEN!!!!

The holiday song innocuous no more!

And the partridge in the pear tree? Surely now one would expect the partridge and the pears all to be eaten in the great slaughterous carnage too, wouldn't we not? But nay! Christ and Athena, they are proclaimed to be!

Ah! Blessed relief! The great web of knowledge has issued forth an alternate answer. The five rings, still rings they be! Ah, mercy me! Perhaps the birds alive may be?


Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 02:03 am
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I put up the tree two nights ago. Timelapse camera. Didn't think of using the camera until I had already set up the tree and hung the lights. Putting the lights on takes the longest.

I wore nitrile gloves, hoping they would keep the skin on my hands from getting irritated and dry. They don't seem to have helped much, if any, though. Yesterday and today, my hands have been ouch-y dry, like fine sandpaper.

CD to MP3

Friday, December 30th, 2011 10:59 pm
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For Christmas, Qiao got me an 8GB MP3 player with a microSDHC slot and a 16GB card. Now, I've embarked on the task of converting/ripping my collection of 300-odd CDs into MP3 files. My old MP3 player was only 2GB, so till now I never bothered ripping more than a few of my favorite CDs.

First I had to decide what quality and bit speed settings to use. Based on several tests*, using various speakers and volume levels and different songs, I can't tell any difference between the quality in tracks at 128 kbps vs 320 kbps. I decided to use 256 kbps.

I am using EAC (Exact Audio Copy) with the LAME MP3 encoder to do the rips. It has a fairly simple interface (once it's been configured, anyway) for retrieving the freedb song/album info and album artwork.

When I think about it, it would be nice to be able to play songs based on certain criteria. I'd like to be able to rate each music track, for example from 0 to 10. And then I'd like to be able to choose to only play songs with a rating of 10 (in a random order). Or to play songs with ratings in a certain range such as from 5 to 10. Or to play all songs from 1 to 10 randomly, but weighted so that the ones with higher ratings are more likely to be played than the ones with lower ratings. And I'd rate a song as zero if I never wanted the song to play unless I manually selected it. Unrated songs could get a default rating of 5.

I still have to finish reading the MP3 player's manual, but I doubt it has that kind of functionality. But maybe some computer-based audio players do? It would be nice if you could store your ratings in some standard format, so that they could be used no matter what player you were using.

* foobar2000 along with the ABX Comparator component lets you switch back and forth between 2 tracks in order to compare them. This video explains how to do it.
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Candles for Diwali, in October.

December. The glittering of old ornaments went well:

Except for the 3 which fell out of my hand and shattered on the floor, before the glittering began.

Cooking of potatoes:

I wasn't able to recreate the silky texture of the dish from last year, but it still turned out well. I peeled a few of the potatoes, and simply cut the rest in half, unpeeled. The broth and onion flavor soaked into the peeled potatoes much better than the non-peeled ones. Perhaps in the future it would be better to use large potatoes (as they are easier to peel) and to cut them into small chunks.