week in review

Sunday, March 26th, 2017 11:38 pm
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Driving into the parking lot at work on Monday, I noticed the low tire pressure warning light on. There was a nail in my tire. I got the hole plugged at the service station nearby, but they recommended getting the tire replaced as the hole was close to the edge. So I the next day, I got the tire replaced at the Toyota dealership. The price seemed reasonable; I was surprised by that. The "advisor" who handled my case was cool... very gender variant looking. At first she struck me as a butch lesbian. Then I wondered, why did I assume that? Maybe he was FTM. Or maybe they were non-binary like me. His/her/their business card was stapled to my receipt. They have a gender neutral name! Later I wondered if they staple their card to everyone's receipt, and if they were as tickled by my gender variance as I was by theirs. And I wondered if something they had jokingly said early on could be considered flirting.

The waiting room at the dealership had many noises. Two TV's on, tuned to different channels. Kids shrieking and crying. Music playing. Vending machines humming. I had brought my work laptop to do some work while waiting, which I did, but the noise was distracting and stressful. Next time, it would be good to bring my noise-cancelling headphones.

The little fig tree didn't react well to the snow we got a couple weeks ago. The leaves withered and dried up. The pink magnolia reacted similarly. I hope they recover.

On the way to work, another company has a row of trees by the street. I saw them pruning some of the larger trees one day. It was after the trees had already sprouted leaves. (They surely didn't expect to trees to sprout so early this year.) Now when I drive by, the ones that were pruned are all bare, while the other ones still have their pretty green leaves. I hope the pruned ones recover too.

Yesterday I washed the dogs.
While I had the hose unfurled, I also washed the green algae and dirt off of one side of the garage.

I went to Best Buy to see if they have any quiet/silent wired mice, as the scrollwheel on my mouse at work is messing up, even after me taking it apart and cleaning out the dust. I didn't see any particularly good ones at Best Buy, so I ordered 2 from Amazon that were specifically advertised as being quiet. Two, because the one looks good and practical, but the other one looks awesome and lights up. And maybe the way the scrollwheel is on the latter, I can turn it further in a single swipe. I'm sure I'll need another mouse anyway, sooner or later.

I replaced the clear glass lampshades on the ceiling fan light fixture in Qiao's den with some translucent/milky alabaster glass ones, to reduce the glare. I also bought 2 colored LED light-bulbs (green and pink - Qiao chose the colors) to put in the 2 sockets which face us when watching TV, to further reduce the glare, as even 40W bulb equivalents up there seem pretty bright. The colored bulbs, even though they are only 3W each!, are still brighter than I expected them to be.

I raked some of the yard. I washed clothes. I vacuumed, and washed dishes and dog collars. I cleaned the tub using 4 different cleaners, and it's still not as clean as I'd like (I wish I had written down how I got it so clean last time). The "tub grip" (gah, they've increased the price by 50%!) that I applied to the floor of the tub to keep it from being slippery is very good in that regards, but it traps more dirt than a smooth surface would. Ecover used to make a tub/tile cleaner that worked very good, but it's not sold here any more. I'm not sure if a similar one I found on Amazon has the same ingredients or not, but I may get it anyway to try. Because I want my darn tub to be spotless! Then again, I read something about using dish washing liquid mixed with vinegar, which I may try first.

Shima Uta

Monday, March 13th, 2017 01:08 am
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It did snow. I saw it. I went outside. I went back to bed. I slept until 2:45pm, not even counting the time change.

I'm still getting over my cold, though starting to feel better. On Friday afternoon, I took a pseudoephedrine tablet, from an old package I still had. The expiration date on the package was 2010. It actually did clear my nose up for a little while. I went to bed fairly early (for a Friday) - 1:30am, as I felt so sleepy. But I wasn't able to fall asleep until 3 hours later. Now I'm afraid to take any of those tablets again, in case that is what kept me awake so long. But the other medicine I have, with phenylephrine, didn't seem to help my congestion much if at all.

Came across this video today. The song is Shima Uta. So emotionally expressive. So fluffy hair. Something mesmerizing to me.

Video title: The BOOM - 島唄 ( Live )
Posted by: SilentFace007 さんのチャンネル
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_-OZfn1Zhk

The music reminded me of this album, also Okinawan style: Peppermint Teahouse. It is possibly the most upbeat album of music I have.

Then came across this video.

Video title: 13ºOkinawa festival 2015 -Mirukumunari- Kudaka Majushu
Posted by: 8shinji7898
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARW2oHVM5Rk

(Starting at 3:26, a cute black dog joins the performance.)

I wondered why there would be an Okinawan Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, of all places. Did all those many performers travel from Okinawa to Brazil for the festival? Then I read about Okinawan emigration and the many people of Japanese ancestry who live in Brazil.

The song on that last video is "Mirukumunari" by Hidekatsu.
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Here! In March!!!! And I was just taking more photos of the pretty blossoms outside! We're not likely to get much of it here, if any, but still.

weather forecast, 80% chance of snow!

According to Columbia, SC snowfall records, the latest in the Spring it ever snowed here was April 3, in 1915.

According to Florence, SC snowfall records (Florence is fairly close to Columbia), 14% of their measurable snowfall events have been during the month of March. (I didn't find a similar page for Columbia.)

Here is a page that lists the historic dates with the heaviest snowfall in Columbia.
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Cute videos of baby goats!


Our first daffodil bloomed on Feb 1. The stem got bent, so today I cut the flower and put it in a glass vase on the table. From a distance, it smells like sawdust, but up close it has a very floral scent.


As of 12:36am we had bits of ice falling from the sky. It has stopped, but the forecast says it might snow overnight. If so, it will likely be melted by the time I get up. We already had a bit of snowfall on the morning Jan 23 too. If I hadn't been awakened by an early phone-call, I wouldn't have seen it.


VeganEgg - another new vegan egg substitute. This one can even be used to make scrambled eggs. Its ingredients include nutritional yeast and black salt for the eggy flavor, the same as Vegg does... I wonder if they got the idea from Vegg. Vegg has a scrambled-egg product now too, which I hadn't known about. Vegg Scramble uses a different main ingredient than VeganEgg does though (soy protein isolate vs algal flour & algal protein), so I wonder how they compare.

It's getting hard to keep up with all the new vegan products available!

snowy day

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 06:15 pm
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Saw some people sledding down the road this afternoon. They had 2 real sleds; the old wood & curved metal variety.

I actually shoveled snow today! I shoveled the steps to the garage this morning, and again this evening to get off the additional layer of compacted snow/ice that had accumulated since then. I also cleared off part of the front steps hoping that it would make Serena more inclined to go out to "potty". I'm still not sure if she's done her business at all today.

Took the dogs for a short walk. I thought that Serena wouldn't even be willing to go as far as the gate, but she was a trooper and walked the whole way with Zorro and me. Zorro was in a playful mood after seeing the people on the sleds. She would have been running and jumping if she hadn't been on the leash.

A few hours later and the snowy stuff has started to ice over.

I'm been watching out my window as a big ole pickup truck keeps going forwards and back, trying to make it up the hill after turning the corner. It's not succeeding. I wonder why the person in the truck wants to drive that way so badly.

Now I've finished writing this whole post, and that pickup truck is still at it. It's not stuck in place; it just keeps reversing backwards around the corner, and then trying to turn and drive up that hill again (instead of turning left).

Boy. It's gone now. Maybe it finally made it.

whee haw

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 11:41 am
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Only one dog could be persuaded. The other one wouldn't venture outside even for PIZZA !

OMG look at those big flakes!

Tomorrow is supposed to be freezing rain and probably bunches of ice.

anyway. back to work.

after I let some of those gigantic flakes fall on my face.

snowy persuasion

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 11:15 am
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It's snowing again!!!

But my dogs can't be persuaded to go out and play in it. Sigh.

Ooh. Maybe for a pizza treat, they'd be willing to endure some snow flakes falling on their heads.


Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 12:08 pm
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2 or more inches of snow are forecast here thru tomorrow, along with "wintry mix" and sleet.

So I am working from home. Must admit, I was getting dubious this morning as my thermometers were showing temps higher than predicted, and it was still dry out. But it's noon and it has started to sleet, right on schedule!


Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 10:09 pm
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Just yesterday, an Indian colleague here on a work visa asked about the best place to go, in order to see snow. An American coworker said that we don't usually get snow here, and suggested Asheville, NC.

I sure hope Manish looked out his window tonight.


Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 09:56 pm
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It's not even half-way through November, and it's SNOWING outside!!!

It's a sleety snow and probably won't stick, BUT SNOW!!!
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Water on a glass coaster. The symbol on the coaster means "ocean".

More Pretty Photos.... )

(no subject)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011 01:00 am
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snow that cracks, crunches, and shines


Monday, January 10th, 2011 08:32 am
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We're having our 2nd snowfall of the season. We don't usually get that. It's several inches deep, still falling, and not predicted to get over 33 degrees today. Tomorrow it will be slightly warmer and might melt.

The snow was forecast to start around 4am. I got woken up by a thunderclap at 5:30am, looked outside, and everything was already covered in a dusting of white. There were a few more loud echoing thunder strikes. That was eerie, the combination of snow and thunder.. not sure if I ever experienced that in Massachusetts or Germany.

jingle bells

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 12:40 am
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13 days into my 16-day vacation, and I still haven't read a single page of the book I'm "reading". Perhaps it doesn't interest me much after all.

Instead, I've been shopping, cleaning, cooking, putting together gifts, decorating, sewing, visiting with people, as well as the other usual things. I don't feel like I've done anything particularly fun so far. (What would be fun to do?)

Basic vegan cream cheese pie recipe, from old PETA magazine clippings I had:
2 8-oz containers of vegan cream cheese
1 cup sugar
juice of a whole lemon (or 4 Tbsp, depending on the recipe)
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cornstarch (one recipe includes this, another doesn't)
Blend together ingredients until smooth. Pour into a graham pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Taking the dogs to (hopefully) get micro-chipped tomorrow. Serena has an appointment to get neutered in 2 weeks. On Friday I'm going to a funeral for one of Qiao's family friends.

It snowed, and I didn't even get excited about it this time. I mean, I was a little bit excited before it snowed, but then I realized that it would be easier all around if it didn't, and then it snowed, but I was busy shopping online and sewing, and didn't really care.


I got nice xmas presents.

My dad and his wife almost visited me... they are driving cross-country to California, and forecasts of bad weather up north made them consider a southerly route which would have let them stop by my place. But then the blizzard started threatening the whole east coast, so they reconsidered and took a different route after all.

I bought a pair of fleece-lined jeans, and then decided that they would be much more comfortable with a shorter crotch. So I took off the waistband, cut off an inch or two all around, took in the sides a bit, and then sewed the waistband back on. I'm still sewing the belt loops back on.

Oh joy joy joy to the world. Hope you're having a good one.
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Here is a video of Zorro and her buddy:


This was earlier this year when we had a (rare for South Carolina) large snowstorm:


Free background music from http://www.danosongs.com.
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A flock of birds having a grand time, the morning after the big snowstorm we had here last month.

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It's mostly melted now, but that was the heaviest snowfall here in more than 30 years, according to the State newspaper.

Someone created a Facebook group: It snowed in S.C. on February 12, 2010 and I ran around in it. It has over 23,000 members.

I'm tempted to finally create a Facebook account so that I can at least view the public pages.

(no subject)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 11:44 am
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Ah, isn't this just wonderful.

I'm working from home due to my cold.

Big snowflakes are falling outside. I see them through the window. They're not sticking to the roads, so work wasn't cancelled. Even if it had been, I'd feel I'd need to keep working anyway, since we have a tight deadline. Plus, I'm enjoying the thing I'm working on right now - finally getting to do some nitty-gritty real coding again, after the last month of determining the approach and writing the specs.

I'm partially listening to the inauguration on TV, while working. I had totally forgotten about the inauguration, due to the **SNOW!!!**, until Q mentioned it a while ago.

There's even occasional sunshine coming through the snow.

(no subject)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 09:42 pm
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(no subject)

Thursday, February 1st, 2007 09:23 pm
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I feel like... I don't know what turns me on, anymore. And how can I know what kind of relationship I want, if I don't even know what turns me on?
The things that were exciting/arousing for me on the past, maybe they'd just turn me off, now. Or maybe they would still work in a good way. But I don't know. Maybe nothing would work in a good way for me, anymore.


I got a voicemail on my cell. It was phone-spam. In Spanish.

I've been email-chatting a bit with someone. He seems interesting so far. Hmmm, but he didn't answer my question about whether or not he smokes. Hmmm.


It snowed a bit this morning, in between the rain.

I like climbing stairs. In the mornings at work, sometimes I walk up to the 4th floor and then back down on the other side to the 2nd, where my cube is. It helps to warm me up when it is cold outside; gets my circulation going. There's a board up on the 4th floor on which someone writes a different inspiring quote each day...

The optimistic person says, "I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way!"

I'm a pessimist, and think, "I don't know where I'm going, and what difference does it make, anyway."