Best Friday Ever.

I'm all alone in the office today, so my boss left me a list of stuff that I should try to get done.
I swear, I'm more productive when I have a list of things to do than when he's making it up as he goes along; I haven't been on Reddit once this morning, but so far I've wiped eleven computers, and of those I took half a dozen and put floppy drives in them; later today I'll put a new image on them, if I can. I also have two computers that I swapped out and a profile to restore, as well as some (technically optional) Active Directory stuff to do, of which I've already got a large chunk done, because I did it while waiting for the computers to wipe.
Damned if I haven't done more today already than I've done all week - though it's hard to get anything done when one has to sit and supervise contractors - so that explains some of it.

So that's been exciting.

I think I like working alone. I get to listen to the radio station I want (which today happens to be Praise 106.5... Yeah - it was the most tolerable option that was not Classic Rock).

Time to go see if there's coffee somewhere. Cos I (really don't) need caffeine right now...
Also, after work: more lifting. Awww yeahhh.
Speaking of which, got a bunch of random tips from an older guy at the gym on Wednesday, most of which (though, granted, given with all the best intentions) I believe to be broscience and will be taken with a heaping hill of salt. Didn't go running yesterday, but I think it's for the best; my legs complained so much after the run on Tuesday that I figure it's better to let them rest a little.

Coffee time.


Post Script: I have discovered that I have the reflexes of a ninja. I just accidentally knocked my lunch off my desk, and caught it before I'd even realised it had fallen. Nothing even spilled. I am officially awesome.
Best Friday ever.


In which I'm bored.

And thus goes the third day in a row of sitting in a boardroom watching contractors set up video-conferencing.
I started Sense and Sensibility yesterday while sitting here, finished it about ten minutes ago - and all the reading I did was in here over the course of, what? 8-9 hours total? Also, one of the guys is a drummer, so we had a conversation about music just now.

Still sore today from my workout on Monday - more sore, in fact, than I was yesterday, but then again it probably didn't help that I decided that a run would be a good idea for days I wasn't at the gym... Which reminds me, I'm due to be back at the gym tonight yet. Ow. Will probably have to deload a little for my squats so I don't die completely... I will probably also go a little later than I did on Monday; too many people taking up space in my weightroom. I had to go kill about ten minutes on the treadmill before I could use the squat rack.
And that reminds me. Why do gymbros never put away their weights when they're done with them??? It's basic kindergarten stuff, to clean up after yourself. But I can never find anything because they never put it away. It's ridiculous and very frustrating.

Anyhow, I knew I'd finish S&S (and I'd finished P&P on Sunday - oh yes! I acquired copies of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility on Saturday by trading in my Terry Goodkind books at a used bookstore for credit! Library is being improved!), so I cleverly brought The Fellowship Of The Ring with me for my next piece of literary immersion, so I'm off to do that.

Toodles all.


In which I obsess about lifting and more lifting. Also the end of the Dying Adventure.

So I would consider today to be reasonably successful, for a Monday.

I overslept by 15 minutes (yay alarm not going off) but luckily, I had already made my lunch, so that was nice. Work was work, as it always is; installed two secondary monitors, watched some contractors putting video-conferencing equipment up in a boardroom, slept at my desk... but the best part was after work: I kicked myself into gear and went to the gym! Yay!

Numbers for the day are:
 -- Squat -- 125lb
 -- Bench -- 75lb
 -- Dead -- 135lb
... which means I'm almost back to my highest weights; April 8th I made 130 on my squats and 140 on deadlifts. Took a two month break and went back June 8th; went today for the first time since then. Not so shabby for taking so much time off.

Plus, some guy was all impressed that I was using the bench at all; as he said (and as I well know), "most women don't benchpress." We swapped off between sets and I felt kind of pathetic cos my weights were peanuts for him - he used it as a warm-up and then threw 45lb plates on either end for his second set! Ah well, maybe one day I'll lift a pair of 45lb plates for my bench...

I plan to go running after work tomorrow and Thursday, and then back to the gym Wednesday and Friday. This will be the week of early bedtimes for Lizzi. But I'm hoping to keep this up for a while, we'll see how it goes. I may eventually decide not to run so much as that - to be honest, I kind of hate running. My darling papa is determined to share with all his children the wonderfulness of running - the man runs 10kms on a near-daily basis, and runs from Abbotsford to Langley every year! I ran with him once, because he asked me to, but I really don't like it. Vice versa, I love weightlifting, and I keep telling him he should try it - I ran with him, so he should come lifting with me. It's only fair, right?
But for now I'm including running because my friend has convinced me to join in a dodgeball tournament for charity in Richmond in July, so I'm going to need to run. Bah. My no likey.

On a completely different note, an update on the Dying Adventure: the black dye didn't do what I wanted it to do - not quite, anyhow. I may have to order better black online. RIT DYE, Y U SUCK SO BAD?
The green linen came out a dark khaki/army green, and the mauve silk came out an interesting purple-grey. Neither of which is terribly bad, but wasn't what I wanted. Although, I expected the silk wouldn't behave itself anyhow, because of being a different type of fibre, so that wasn't too disappointing.
The blue, on the other hand, I am quite happy with still, and it will make a fantastic dress.

So that's it.


Adventures in Dying

No, that's not dying as in death.
That's dying as in colouring fabric with dye.

Last week I decided that some linen needed to be blue to make a new medieval short-sleeved overgown to go with my current green one - or to be worn separately if it's warm out. However, no blue linen existed in my house, though I had a fair quantity of white. It was decided (by me) that dye was cheaper than more fabric, as well as more efficient since I already had enough fabric, just not the right colour.
So I bought the blue, and while I was at it, I bought some black dye too. Not predictable at all, right? (laughs at self)
I also went to VV Boutique and picked up a 2-3 gallon pot for use exclusively for such things - I didn't want to ruin my good pots!

Friday night I did the blue. Somehow the Dye Gods were with me and it came out pretty much exactly the colour I wanted, which is rather unexpected for a first time dying. Though I did get a couple blotchy spots, which is unfortunate but can be worked around.

This afternoon I did the black stuff. I still had a fair length of the lime-green linen left over from the afore-mentioned green medieval dress, and I had at least a good 4-5 metres of a mauve silk that (if I recall correctly) was a lucky acquisition from a thrift store, both of which seemed like they'd be better in black. They're currently hanging to dry so I can see exactly what colours they came out before I run them properly through the wash; I'm still afraid that the lime-green will come out dark brown and the silk will be a dark purple - there's not much risk of it, but I'm still terrified that it'll be one of those unexpected results.

Honestly, though, dying fabric is a daunting undertaking for a perfectionist. Depending on the fibre type and the method used and the length of time in the dyebath and the concentration of the dyebath and the size and permeability of the length of fabric - well, let's just say the results are not always exactly what you want them to be. This is stressful for me as a perfectionist, because I want to know that it will come out this way if I do these things, and there just really is no way to do that.

So that's adventures in dying. Now to wait for the two black (I hope) pieces to dry.

Toodles all.


Another Monday post. Sorry.

Well, here is Monday.

I keep falling asleep over my desk. Not good. Probably didn't get enough sleep over the weekend.

However, I feel rather accomplished: Friday night after work I cleaned my entire kitchen and bathroom, and then Saturday morning I cleaned my living room. Bedroom's next, if I'm still awake when I get home. I may need a nap first. But either way, it's nice to walk through a clean house. Here's hoping I can keep it that way.

Saturday I went hiking with a new friend. We sat in the sunshine for several hours, and I got thoroughly burnt on my arms and shoulders; I'm red as a lobster. It's been uncomfortable to sleep on, I tell you. The hike was glorious, though, and the view was amazing, and I went up in my awesome Vibram FiveFinger toe shoes, which was fun. First time I've hiked in them. I did slide a little bit down a hill at one point, and got a wee scrape on my hand, but otherwise they were good.

People have been drilling holes in the walls of my office at work - apparently cable needs to be put in place, so we have contractors coming in and getting concrete and drywall dust all over. At least they know to put plastic over top first; and they also vacuum up after themselves, which is nice I have to say, though the concrete drilling is very very noisy.

Side comment: I have also started re-reading Pride and Prejudice for my own edification and amusement - the improvement of the mind by extensive reading, you know.

And now I'm counting down the last half-hour before I get to go home and have a proper nap: thirty, twenty-nine, twenty-eight, twenty-muffin, twenty-orange, monkey, shoe, umbrella, fork, here we go 'round the mulberry bush...

Toodles all, I'm going to sleep now...


In which I do stuff, I receive stuff, and I break stuff. Well, Dad broke it first.

Well this should be interesting. I'm running the show at work at my secondary site this afternoon after setting up a projector for a slideshow. Then next week I'm doing the same at the primary site on Monday and Wednesday both. Oy vey. I don't know if I'm up to being the boss all by myself yet. But gotta do what gotta do, neh?

Oh, and my co-workers know me rather well already.
I got to work this morning and there was a book on my desk, which I got told was for me. It's a True Blood cookbook. Apparently I appear to be one of those people who appreciates vampires. Hah. My one co-worker gets books like that from HBO for being a good customer. I dunno. All I know is that I'm taking this thing home with great pleasure.
Ironically, I don't even watch the show. I've seen bits of episodes, and read bits of the books it's based on, but I haven't really gotten into it the same way I got into Doctor Who for example.
I just love that my co-workers know me that well. I even tone my clothing down for work on purpose - but I guess once a goth, always a goth...

Something else that happened the other day: I used to have a cute little blue-plastic-cased typewriter. It wasn't working properly, so on Wednesday I opened it up and fixed it. But then I found another problem with it, and while I was poring over it, my dad turned up at my house; he was waiting for someone and my house was close so he dropped in. I showed him the problem, and he said, oh, here, let me look. And accidentally broke it altogether. Whoops. So yesterday I pulled it to bits with a screwdriver, because I was in a mood and needed something to destroy, and since it was already broken, it didn't matter so much. So that worked out, and now I have typewriter keys and letter hammers and all those good things. Plus I felt better after.

So that's it. Toodles.


Computers are frustrating, and I have stuff in my house.

Once again, I took a two day break from The Blog. My excuse is that life has been slow and work has been busy, both of which conspire to give me little material and little time, respectively, for blogging.

I do have two computers that I was supposed to reimage that have not been cooperating. I even wiped them both completely before reimaging, and still nothing worked. So they're currently sitting in the Corner of Shame with labels slapped on them that reads remorselessly in Large Black Letters DIESE MITARBEITEN NICHT* because they pissed me off. However, I think I might have something else up my sleeve to try on them, I'm attempting it right now, but it'll be about half an hour before I know whether it works or not.

*(and if my grammar is dreadful, I'm not surprised; Ich spreche nur ein klitzeklein bisschen Deutsch, and most of it from Google Translate. Please don't hate me.)

 In other news, my beloved mother painted a beautiful pair of side tables and a matching coffee table for me, so I had to rearrange my living room for them - the side tables were to go on either side of my couch, but I had fabric and miscellany tucked around it that I had to move first, so my living room is in a bit of a state of disarray. It's mostly things that I couldn't find a place for when I first moved in, so now I'm going through them, and I already have half a box of trash as a result, which feels rather good. The coffee table is still in my mother's hands, I believe it needed a touch-up, but that's fine considering the state of my living room. There's no way it would fit at present. The unfortunate thing is that I'll need coasters now, because of the finish. I'll probably end up making some geeky ones (especially now that I have my sewing machine back....!).

Anyways, I must go and tend to the recalcitrant computer soon, it's almost at the stage where it would break if it's going to...



Stuff that surprisingly worked out well, and some factoids I found out.

Well, good morning.
It's Monday.

I had a somewhat interesting weekend.

After the events of Thursday (in which the wrong size inner tube was purchased and Math was used to explain why this is a Very Bad Thing), I did get back to Canadian Tire on Friday to exchange it for the right size. Saturday morning I put it on the bike (and adjusted the back brake callipers while I was at it, because those were all messed up) and rode off to the gym for the first time in a couple months.
Where, despite a couple-month break, I got within 10lbs of my highest weights on squats and deadlifts, and didn't go down in weight at all on bench press. So that felt good - well, up until Sunday morning, at which point the soreness started.... Still sore now, by the way, two days later. Whoops.
Anyways, I came out of the gym to find:
The same damn tire was flat again.
At this point I decided I would bite the bullet and attempt a patch. I'm terrified of patching inner tubes, because there's rubber cement involved and all kinds of weird things. But I wasn't going to buy a whole new inner tube a second time in two days. Not happening. So I stopped in at Canadian Tire again, while walking my bike home from the gym with rubber legs (so much fun). Got home and patched it. I know, it's a little anticlimactic. I also went over my tire to see if there was anything poking into the inner tube - and there was a tiny piece of wire stuck in the tire such that it wasn't visible from the outside (believe me, I checked), so I pulled that out with some pliers. It hasn't given me any trouble so far, and I got to ride to work this morning, finally!

Saturday was also my best friend's birthday, so I picked up a birthday present and went home to have a cup of tea before my ride showed up - and then realised 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave that I hadn't got a card for her. So I made a five minute card, but in the process of searching for materials for it, found something in a box that made my life so much easier.
And here I just need to introduce a rabbit trail that I promise makes sense: I own a Bernina 708 sewing machine. I call it a tank. It looks a little something like this:

And in the process of moving to my new little basement suite, I had lost the presser foot, which made me sad. On Saturday after the gym, Canadian Tire was not the only place I went; there was a quilting store on the way as well, and I stopped to inquire about the possibility of ordering a new foot. Well. Apparently presser feet for old machines like mine run about $50-$60 because it's a special order. So, at home, while looking for materials for a card, I found my presser foot - I had packed it in a smaller box of miscellany and had just never opened it since the move.
I almost did a happy dance.
So I'll be sewing stuff this summer. YAY.

In other news, why (or perhaps how) do Germans have a word for everything? I found out this weekend that they have a word for that feeling you get when you watch a movie/tv show, and you end up cringing on the characters' behalf. This is a feeling that my dad and I share; when anything particularly cringeworthy is on tv or whatever (particularly Mr. Bean and similar humour), we frequently find ourselves having to leave the room/fastforward/hide under blankets/plug our ears... anything to stop the cringe. But as I was saying, there is actually a German term for this. Fremdscham. In its constituent parts it basically means Other Shame; feeling shame on another's behalf, in other words.
German also has a word for the pain that some women feel when they ovulate: Mittelschmerz: Middle Pain. Seriously, they have a word for everything.

Anyways, happy Monday, everyone.


It's been a while?

And by a while, I mean two days. Two whole days without a blog from me. Oh dear, however did you survive? (says the girl who didn't blog for an entire eight-month stretch; yes, I'm laughing at myself.)

My excuse is, the last two days were legitimately busy at work. I was running around dealing with printers and monitors and PS2-type keyboards that may or may not have had a sticky key that was causing the computer to reboot constantly and it doesn't matter anyway because I just stuck a USB keyboard on the desk, plugged it in, and it magically worked. Who knows. I wiped a handful of computers, imaged a handful of computers, and would have ghosted a new colour photocopier but the firmware was newer than the one it was replacing, so I had to put settings in by hand.
I won't judge you if you only understand some of that. I won't even judge you if you don't understand any of that. I am just so nice and non-judgey.

Wednesday I got paid, at last, and I even got to keep some of it for myself. It was nice to finally buy groceries without limiting myself to $20 for a week's worth. Those who know of my paleolithic eating habits will know how bothered I was at having to eat KD and Mr Noodles simply because they're cheap. I bought a bag of breakfasty stuff to try, because why not, and laughed at it - it's ground flaxseed, nothing else, labelled PowerFlax in big red letters, and touted as being sponsors of the BC Lions. Damned Manly Breakfast, I call it, and texture-wise it's like cream of wheat and egg whites had a baby; but it's not bad. For groceries, I still eventually have to pick up some beef and bacon.
I am also tempted, for meat, to go rabbit hunting with my dad, he with his WristRocket and me with Gwenny.
Whoa. Hold up. I haven't mentioned Gwenny on my blog, have I? She got shared on Instagram and Facebook, but she happened during the eight-month Dark Night Of The Blog. The story is, I was researching stuff for fun and profit, and I happened to be researching bows. Like, the kind you shoot. And I researched, and researched, as I do, and I said to myself after the fourth hour, "I can do this."

So I did. I bought a long-enough piece of hickory to even lop off a 12" piece and glue it on the middle for a handle riser; I shaped, sanded, and tillered it, all in my living room; and I bought a couple small spools of B50 Dacron and made a white/black bowstring. All in all, took around 2-3 days. She pulls around 35lbs, which is not bad for a first bow, and I regularly take it into the backyard and kill a particular stump sitting there. I may yet back her with linen or silk cos that will keep her from exploding if she breaks, but for now I'm content.
Anyways, I might take her out and shoot rabbits one Saturday morning. For Science. Yep.

Last night was fun too, but in a less fun way than groceries. My bike's back tire has been flat for the last week and a half or so, but Poor Me has had no money to get a new inner tube, so I've just been hoofing it everywhere. So last night I hoofed it to Canadian Tire to get said new tube, and didn't think beforehand about checking the size I needed. Bought a size too big. But of course, because tires and whatnot are all measured in diameter, not circumference, one inch's size difference in the diameter means it's actually 3.1415926 inches longer around. The end result being, the inner tube was too long to fit inside the tire. So I now have to exchange it for the correct size. I was mad though; it buggered up my plans for the evening, which were, namely, to buy myself a beer and go hang out at my parents' house because bicycle.

And this morning I had an odd dream: I had black corkscrew-curly hair that I had to brush flat before it would behave itself, and the tenants upstairs were digging holes in the walls of, and otherwise dismantling, my bathroom - they said there was a fly behind the wall and they had to get it out because it was bothering them. Then I had my youngest sister over and we went for a walk and passed some people I knew, but they didn't recognise me, and I blame the sunglasses I was wearing. Anyways.

So that brings me, with a terrible and fully unrelated segue, to my final thoughts of the day: I was interested, when I was looking at my blog stats (because I don't know about you, but I am intrigued by the blog visits/views/viewer statistics), to see that my feministic rant from last week is actually among the top five viewed posts on my blog, out of every post I've ever written here. The other four are my comments on pretty boys, on things I smelled one day, on the TV shows I like (though Doctor Who ought to now be at the top of that list), and (oh, the memories) on being a fitting room attendant. I don't know why I find that fascinating, but I do. Partly because people prefer to read particular things over other things, perhaps. At any rate, I'm glad you people appreciated my rant as much as you seem to have. I know one friend said I was her hero as a result of that post, which I am really not sure I deserve, but I'm definitely rather flattered by.

That's it. Toodles!


Thoughts on the OUYA.

This weekend I catsat for a friend. This friend was generous enough to let me bring my OUYA over and use her tv to try it out - because she does have a nice big tv. As a result, I got several hours to mess around and figure out how it worked and all, and these are my initial thoughts.

Pairing the controller: fairly easy, though not particularly intuitive, because the button you use isn't obviously a button. It usually reconnects without problem at successive bootups.

Attaching to wifi: not too bad. But the UI for switching from the keyboard to wifi popup is less intuitive than pairing the controller was. Also, it got confused after I logged in as myself, and decided it was no longer attached to the wifi, and wouldn't scan properly. Fortunately, it's Android. All I had to do was turn wifi off and back on again in the settings, and voila. Wifi restored.

The UI in general takes some getting used to, and there's a funny little touchpad in the controller itself, between the left analog stick and the four buttons which, when you put your finger on it, shows up as a mouse on the screen. The GUI is not the greatest - not a fan of the colour scheme, mostly - but the labels and menus are not too hard to understand, though some of the game categories aren't clearly indicative of what they mean. I do wish there was an option in the games menu for "Newest games".

Indeed, most of any beef I have with the OUYA is with the games themselves. Not even with the quality (which, I have to admit, isn't the most amazing ever, but it's definitely tolerable) but with the button mapping and the fact that it's near impossible to properly exit a handful of them.
The button mapping is the biggest problem - in most cases they make sense, but one or two games use the buttons completely differently than any other game, or even the OUYA menu itself. In an OUYA context, usually the A button means "go back". In a few of the games I tried, it does no such thing. If you want to go back you have to press some other button. It's frustrating, but that's just one example.
As far as exiting games, sometimes the only thing you can do is press the center button (the same semi-hidden one I mentioned, for pairing controllers) - similarly to the Home button on an Android phone. As far as I'm aware, that is just like minimising the game, and it's still in the background. I could be wrong. But if that is the case, that's really impractical and simply takes up memory.
I did have a fun time messing around with Final Fantasy III - first time I've played FF of any kind. Yes, I was a sheltered child. But now I have joined the ranks of gamers everywhere. Or something like that, I think.
I also found a puzzle game vaguely reminiscent of Portal, called Polarity; I'm quite looking forward to playing that one through, it looks promising.
Overall game quality was not quite up to playstation/xbox standards, particularly in the graphics department, but I don't find that particularly offputting. I rather found it endearing more than anything. Although some of the games available were in a highly unfinished state, which I found frustrating. The other frustrating thing is the low number of currently available games, but I'm sure more will come.

In summary, I feel like the OUYA is for adult gamers what the Wii is for kids; a fun toy. I don't mean that in a condescending way, what I mean is that it doesn't look like it'll have big shiny expensive games, but it doesn't need those either. It has its share of darker games already, but it still feels much more light-hearted and relaxed. If that even makes sense. It doesn't have any delusions of grandeur - it's got a swingset and hopscotch to play with, and it's happy there.
Also, as someone who hasn't really played video games til now, it was fairly easy to get the hang of, which says they did something right.
And I enjoyed it, too.

So that's my initial impression. I can't wait til I have a proper screen to attach it to, so I can play through Polarity properly.