ranuel: (Death of Rats)
This week has ended up having a sort of theme. I read Storm Front, the first Dresden Files book and followed it up with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Both are urban fantasy and are about as different as can be and still be in the same sub-genre. And yet...

More review plus how Death is a theme in real life this week )
ranuel: (Default)
This week has ended up having a sort of theme. I read Storm Front, the first Dresden Files book and followed it up with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Both are urban fantasy and are about as different as can be and still be in the same sub-genre. And yet...

More review plus how Death is a theme in real life this week )
ranuel: (Default)
I feel bad about not posting anything on this when I posted the Japan info. I have relatives in Alabama, thankfully in the south of the state, so I have closer ties to what is happening there than I do to something on the other side of the planet. Yeah, it's been really hectic at work for the last several weeks and I've got unread email that's a week old but it doesn't take much to post some links.

So here they are )
ranuel: (Cleo & Asp)
Still no internet at home. I've pretty much given up on MSN being helpful. I'm going to try deleting MSN.EXE and associated crap off the computer and reinstalling it but first I want to move my saved emails from my MSN account to Gmail just in case.

Even if it works after over a week of no service at home I've realized that dialup at home is a luxury item now. I can continue to download stuff to read at home using the guest Wifi access at work after I clock out for the day and I can plan to visit the library a couple of times a month. Used to be my only option if I wanted to stay in touch with my friends who were scattered all over the world was the dialup but with Wifi proliferating everywhere that's not the case now. Money is tight so I need to cut stuff anyway.

It's going to be a pain at times but I think it will be workable and maybe next year when things should be better I can add it back.


Feb. 12th, 2008 01:19 pm
ranuel: (Default)

I've either got mild food poisoning or a stomach bug. I took some phenergan when the Imodium wasn't working so I slept most of the day. Now that I'm up I want something more substantial than chicken bullion with some instant potato flakes stirred in but I'm not stupid enough to try most of what I have on hand.

I just bought everything I need for stroganoff last night too! Darn it.

ranuel: (Bad move)
Remember the laptop I ordered last week? Well, I got an email that day saying that there was a short hold on the order while my credit card info was verified and I should be hearing from them within 48 hours and I didn't need to do anything or contact anybody in the meantime.

ranuel: (Default)
Still having to sit very still to let my laptop charge but it's still going. NOW it's the propane system that has failed.

I use two of the bigger RV tanks and at this time of the year when usage is highest I can get two weeks out of each one. I just switched over to the second tank last weekend but I got up Thursday and when I tried to light the stove to make breakfast nothing happened. The space heater was going so I hadn't noticed that the furnace had turned off too but I fiddled with the thermostat to make it come on and got cold air, then I switched the fridge from electric to gas and got the flashing no gas available light.

So, thinking it's odd that I've gone through a tank that fast, and wondering if it's leaky, I go out with a flashlight to switch tanks and find that the tank IS about half full, just like I expected. Well, maybe something is wrong with it.

I hooked up the little BBQ size tank I keep on hand as a back up but the little tank didn't do anything either, everything is hooked up correctly, and I'm was running late so I had to leave it.

After asking around I know I either have something wrong with the regulator or a clog in the line. If I'm lucky it's just that the screen on the regulator is clogged because anything else will require a repair man. I wasn't able to check it because I get home after dark and I got up this morning to 40F temps and a steady rain so I'm not sure when I'll go out to deal with it.

It was 50 in my living room this morning since I don't trust the cats enough to leave the space heater on overnight. I'm going to have to cook breakfast on a little sterno stove. At least I have a warm comforter and a heating pad.

This is when you really need a man around the house to send out into the freezing rain with a strong cup of coffee to deal with stuff like this.

ETA: I haz gas! *snerk*

All I did was blow in the regulator reconnect everything and voila!
ranuel: (Default)
The power jack for my laptop, my only computer at home, has been the victim of high spirited felines and if the power cord isn't pressed in by my knee it won't make good enough contact to work. It also gets pretty hot. I dealt with it all weekend and its getting worse faster than expected so something needs to be done.

I've been planning on getting a new one later this year -- WAY later this year -- so I decided that instead of putting it into the shop and being cut off from everyone for a week that I'd go ahead and order a new one and hope I can keep this one going for a week before it dies.

It means that I'm getting a basic laptop without a lot of bells and whistles instead of the Macbook I've been eyeing but I was surprised to find that a 2008 basic Acer laptop at $700 has three times the hard drive size, 4 times the RAM, and half again as fast a processor as my $1800 2006 (mayb 05)HP has so that's okay.

Anyway, if I can't keep the old one going it may die without notice so if I disappear over the weekend I should be back on a limited basis on Monday when I can check some sites from work.


Dec. 22nd, 2007 08:46 am
ranuel: (Mini Me)
As many of you know my Aunt died very early on Tuesday.

I've had a mild cold for the last two weeks, just enough to not feel like doing much of anything but not bad enough to take off work. As weak as Aunt Sallie was I didn't want her to catch it so I didn't go see her at all for a week but Jean said she was getting really bad so on Monday I got a mask from the nurses supply closet at work and decided that I could wear it if talking made me start to cough and I would just be very careful to wash my hands before I went in and not to touch things. 

When I got to the new nursing home --- but wait, let me backtrack here.

When she was ready to be discharged from the hospital a week ago Wednesday the nursing home that she had been in refused to take her back because we had complained about her care. The complaints were that the staff who changed the beds consistently left the nurse call out of her reach and failed to replace the pillows under her legs that the doctor had ordered due to the continued edema.

The PT was so inept at transferring her from the bed to a chair and back that she'd knocked the skin off both of Aunt Sallies elbows and the one transfer I observed broke just about every safety rule in the book. I've worked at a rehab hospital for eight years so even though I'm not trained to do transfers I do know how they should be done just from watching the staff and if one of our people had done things the way this girl did they would have been written up for it.

Aunt Sallie had also developed a bed sore, not too bad but something to watch, and they were not following the correct protocol for that either. When my cousin meet with the treatment team and the management the treatment team lied through their teeth and nothing changed.

So, instead of correcting the problems with their staff they took the first opportunity to get rid of us and she ended up in a more clinical looking nursing home but one that provided a much better level of care and had employees who actually smiled and residents who were actually socializing with one enough instead of staring at the walls.

When I got there Monday they had just taken Aunt Sallie to the ER because of respiratory distress so I headed over there. My cousin and her daughter were there with her and I spent a couple of hours with them and sitting with Aunt Sallie while the ER people figured out what to do. When they took her for x-rays around eight my cousin told me to go on home and they'd update me.

The next morning there was a knock on my door and it was her telling me Aunt Sallie was gone.

The visitation was Thursday and we buried her yesterday morning.

I'm dealing better with this then I would have five or six years ago. I've gotten way too much practice since then in coping with loss. I'm really going to miss her. She moved into a small mobile home on our property when I was about six and lived there until after I graduated from high school. I was in and out of her house several times a day. We would do craft projects together like making table top Christmas trees out of old Reader's Digests. She taught me to play Gin Rummy. I played the piano badly for her wedding to her second husband. We were part of the family team that took care of Granny the last few years of her life. She was a big part of my life.

I did see a couple of distant cousins at the visitation who I knew well in our teens but I haven't seen since and it's a big shock when you see someone for the first time in over twenty years and they aren't teenagers anymore. Some of them are having a worse week than we are since one of my aunt's first cousins died last week and her funeral was Tuesday. I didn't know her very well since she lived an eight hour drive away but there are people who were close to both and have had to deal with two family funerals the week before Christmas.

I'm going to put up a memorial to Aunt Sallie like I did for Mary in a bit but I wanted to get this done first. I was hoping to find a digital picture I could include but I don't have any and I don't have a scanner handy.

There are some of you reading this who are going to be getting Christmas presents and cards in January because I did not finish my shopping in time. I'm not feeling guilty about that since I know you understand, just wanted to let you know.


Dec. 7th, 2007 04:38 pm
ranuel: (Reporter Kermit)
I'm dreadfully behind on reading my flist and I haven't really had time to post anything because my aunt is back in the hospital. This time with a severe UTI and fluid buildup in various places. I've been trying to stop and see her for a little while most days that I don't have errands to run so I've been getting home about an hour 'til bedtime every day this week. 

I plan to get a couple of book reviews knocked out and do some catch up tomorrow. 

ranuel: (Default)
Three weeks? I haven't updated in three weeks?

Time sure flies when you're having bunches of no fun. I guess I need to do a general catch up what's going on sort of thing.

The cold I had the last time I posted mostly went away but I was still tired and dragging and not feeling up to much and then just in time for the holiday weekend it came back. This weekend though I finally feel like doing stuff and I'm starting to excavate from three weeks of just doing enough around the house to keep me fed and clothed and to keep the cats from rebelling.

My aunt passed out and fell in the bathroom and was on the floor for an hour before anybody found her. When they took her to the hospital they didn't find anything but a lot of bruising so they sent her home. A week later she still couldn't stand up and was in more pain so back to the hospital where they found that they missed her fractured leg entirely.

She got transported to the trauma unit at the large teaching hospital owned by my employer where they did surgery to put in a steel rod to hold things together since her osteoporoses is so bad they didn't think it would heal otherwise. She can't put any weight at all on that leg until at least two weeks post surgery when they will evaluate her again.

Because of not being able to get up she is spending that time at a skilled nursing facility where she will get physical therapy. She's pretty frail but if she can make it without catching a bad cold or something before they have a chance to build her up a bit then she should be okay for now but facing facts she's 78, and not a spry healthy 78, so this may be the beginning of the long slide to the end.

I've been trying to get over to see her at least two or three times a week. I've had a nasty couple of weeks at work too so several times when I got home I went straight to bed without even turning on the computer.

Anyway, I'll try not to go so long without posting again.

Thanks to Feni for poking me and reminding me that I was MIA.
ranuel: (Reporter Kermit)
I have tickets to opening night of a play in which several friends are to appear. Getting to the theater a little early I decide to go backstage and wish them well. Never mind that this is the height of inconsiderate behavior if you haven't been invited as it will distract them from their preparations, I'm sure they won't be angry. In fact the very first person I see happily shouts "There you are!" and drags me toward the dressing room.

Where I discover that I have an important part in the show and I'm due to go on with the rest of the cast in less than half an hour. I've forgotten that I auditioned and even though I never came to rehearsals and don't have a costume they are still expecting me to go on. I find a script book and try to learn enough to fake it only to find that it's become very difficult to read and the words won't quite resolve on the page.

Most people have very limited reading ability in dreams.

It's a common dream for those who are in theater. It's not going to happen any more than the one about suddenly remembering you have an important mid-term in an hour but you've never bothered to go to the class and you don't know where it is will.



Home Safety is a class given every Thursday at 4pm to patients who are due to be discharged. There are three sections that were once taught by three people but our clinical educator got a dream job offer and left us so her section on planning for evacuation has been covered by the nurse who does the medications part. I set up the AV equipment and take it down again.

I have to do take down during the evacuation part because that section doesn't need slides and we give the class in the patient dining room.  As soon as the last speaker is done they start putting out the dinner trays and I'm in the way. Baring the class being canceled or me being out sick I've heard it weekly for about a year now.

So, Wednesday at 4 I'm meandering through the halls pulling my mail boxes (I have three) and making deliveries to other people when the head rehab tech grabs me and tells me they need me in the patient dining room right away. Why? Something to do with the safety class.

I find that my boss has the AV stuff mostly set up with a few errors and I take charge and get it set up properly. Turns out that the class has been moved up a day to free up resources for the employee training  that is scheduled the next day and nobody remembered to tell me.

After I get it set up and the first presenter starts only 15 minutes late I go back to my office only to have my boss come in a few minutes later needing a hard copy of the middle part because it turns out that the presenter for that called in sick and somebody is going to have to wing it.

"What about the emergency evacuation part at the end?" I ask.

My boss looks at me slightly panicked. "What emergency evacuation part?"

"About how to get registered for a special needs shelter and what to expect and what you need to bring."

"Where is that?"

A feeling of doom drifts by. "In my head, I guess. I have no idea where D keeps it."

She instructs me to type out as much of it as I can remember and she'll give it. I manage to remember it all and get it to her before section two concludes only to have her squint at the 12 point font as she realizes she doesn't have her glasses. "Here, you do it."

And with only a couple of minutes to center myself I am on in front of about 15 people.

Once upon a time I drove the director I worked with in college nuts because I could take the stage in his shows with total confidence but I had complete meltdowns in his pubic speaking class. Being somebody else living in a fictional world with a transparent fourth wall is a snap. Being myself and attempting to communicate with strangers staring at me was one of the scariest things I've ever voluntarily done.

This week, I had this incredible adrenalin high and it was the most fun I've had in a long time. I added personal anecdotes off the cuff. I made eye contact. I projected so the people towards to back could hear me. I only looked at my piece of paper once towards the end.

I rocked.
ranuel: (Muppet News Flash)


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

At last count there were STILL 13 active accidents in the area including the big ones in this story. It took me from 8:15 to 10:00 to drive a distance that normally takes me 20 minutes and that was with the detour.  I was grateful to make it with no real problems. The weather was cool, I had a book on tape, and I had enough overtime from earlier in the week to cover being late without using vacation hours. 

There are people out there tonight who could use some light/prayer/whatever though.

ranuel: (Reporter Kermit)
The fire is officially over as of June 6th. The final total was 600,000 acres of South Georgia and North Florida burned. Of course this didn't make the headlines so I only found out today when I heard the really good news that the rescued bears are well and were released today.

The only thing I could find online was this teaser from one of the TV News programs.


The slide show has some good shots though.

In a bit of irony I got woke up by my smoke alarm this weekend when my neighbors decided to ignore the burn ban and burn leaves. Apparently the wind was just right and enough was sucked in by the AC, which is less then 3 feet from the smoke detector, to set it off for a minute.

When the smoke was so bad outside I had to wear a face mask it never set off the alarm. Cooking a hamburger without the exhaust fan running will, the neighbors being idiots will, but smoke so thick it looked like fog didn't.

It's Over?

Jun. 1st, 2007 06:18 am
ranuel: (Wank Survivor)
Live Journal says it will restore the fan fic communities:


In a few weeks this will be old news to most people and it will be back to business as usual. Until the next time. Maybe that won't be here at LJ but there will be a next time and we need to remember that.

I am proud of how quickly fandom rallied together and how many voices of reason there were. If nothing else we may finally know how strong our presence is here via the [profile] fandom_counts project. If you haven't already,  and you have a blog that deals with fandom even if only occasionally, go join so they can add you to the count.
ranuel: (Wank Survivor)
The Inquirer (No not that one) points out "[I]f you want a community that burns books, does not like science fiction, suppresses talk about sexuality, or anything that departs from a norm defined by a US pressure group, then Live Journal is the place for you."


Firefox News has an article about the backlash


and a nice column by Leva Cygnet exploring the implications.


Slashdot has posted a short blurb.


And this just in


Live Journal's CEO posted a public apology over night and promises an individual review of the suspended accounts and a restoration of those that were hit by mistake.

There are already 47 PAGES of responses at 6:58am and he posted at 12:47am.

As one blogger put it they realized "Oh no! We've pissed off our CUSTOMERS!"

Still, the whole thing was not the First Amendment's best day and I expect to see fall out for some time to come, especially if other sites get targeted by the Warriors.
ranuel: (Default)
As of yesterday evening the fire was 90% contained! We got a nice long shower Thursday night that helped raise the humidity levels even though it wasn't anywhere near enough rain to make a difference to our drought. Despite wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Jacksonville that toppled trees the wind here near the fire stayed in the 10 - 15 MPH range so we didn't see any more big jumps. Since then there has been almost no wind to speak of.

They have the fire completely surrounded by fire breaks but apparently they don't count it as contained until the fire actually reaches a fire break and fails to jump it. Since the calm weather is expected to hold for the next several days and the fire planes have been at it pretty steady all weekend it doesn't look likely to make a break for it.

The smoke was worse than ever yesterday but then a fire always gets a lot smokier before it dies out so that wasn't a bad sign.

I'll post about this one more time when the crisis is officially over but unless things go bad I'll be back to movie reviews, interesting links, and grumbling about writers who don't do their research.

Government types are saying that Bugaboo was the biggest fire in Florida history. 


ranuel: (Default)

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