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airynd [userpic]

I keep meaning to post.

September 10th, 2009 (06:46 pm)

Honestly, I do.

But Facebook is just so fast and easy... so that's where I've been doing the bulk of stuff that doesn't warrant A Full Description (which is most stuff, most days.)

I've also started... sigh... this isn't easy. See, I've been fully bitten by the Domesticity Bug, and I've... well, the thing is, I started...

Sewing.

At first, I thought I was Quilting, but then I realized one needs to walk before one can run, so I figured learning to sew was a good place to start.

I write about that stuff here:

Confounded by Quilting

I can hear you tittering out there, and rightly so.

If you're on Facebook, find me here: Airynd.

airynd [userpic]

Guilty!

June 11th, 2009 (12:13 am)
Tags: , ,

I have been successfully cajoled into making a reappearance here in LJ-land - oh hi; how have you been?

If anyone is indeed still reading this, and I can't imagine anyone is, pretty huge news today; Mike and I are getting a house! Not a rental house! A real one.

We'd increased intensity on the search for rental homes, with an eye toward buying eventually, after we'd saved up some more money. The milk and honey of the zero-down-payment is long-gone, right?

Last weekend, I saw this:

$1500 / 4br - Country Home on 2 Acres

4 BR 2.5 bath home on 2 acres. Children and pet friendly (undergound invisible dog fence). Home is currently listed for sale but will consider renting to qualified individual(s). Link to sales listing will provide more information and additional pictures.


A bit out of our price range, but the pictures locked me in immediately. It was too late to call anyone, so I waited until morning.

In the morning... the rent had been reduced to $1400. I called.

The owner was friendly and helpful, and I could tell he was a little bit desperate. They wanted to sell, but were moving at the end of June, sold or not, and they needed to get some money incoming. They'd just taken it off the market yesterday.

We set up a viewing for the next day, Sunday, but were in the area Saturday and drove by a few times - wow. It looked good from the road! Nice big lot, but hard to tell what the house itself was like. Still, we were intrigued.
A lot of photos back here...Collapse )

airynd [userpic]

The Times, They Have a-Changed

December 24th, 2008 (04:50 am)

As most of you know, my last half-dozen years have generally sucked out loud. Knowing I brought much of it upon myself didn't really help me get through it any better, but with time, understanding how it all came about has brought a certain ... oh, I don't know, perhaps "maturity," or "wisdom," or at the very least, "a healthy sense of humility."

Being an only child, I have always had a very strong need to spend time alone. When I had slumber parties as a little girl, I could sometimes be found up in my room to get away from the busy-ness of the other girls. Thus, a lot of the time during the past six years was spent by myself, which afforded me perhaps entirely too much time to dwell on my misery.

During my last year in Washington, I discovered The Olympic Club and a wholly terrific group of guys there who taught me how to play snooker. More nights than not, I went down there to have a few beers and spend hour upon hour glued to that enormous table with the many tiny balls. It was great fun and had the added bonus of getting me out of my head for the duration. I focused on my shots, and on Wendy, Mark, Andra, Allison, Gene, Stanley, Terry, Donnie, John and the others in our little group. The jukebox, the company, the atmosphere, the food and the beer were all outstanding.

As I drove the two miles home, up the winding road to the top of my hill, my mind would begin to get itself back on track, and I found myself thinking almost subconsciously, "was there something bad? Is there something awful I'm forgetting?" There usually was, whether it was dreading my impending financial doom, being wracked with grief over Zephyr's brutal death, hating my job at the ranch and then the motorcycle shop, or worrying about any number of the bad things that had happened over the last years. There was a brief sense of panic, wondering what was going to hit me first and plummet me back into depression, and then there it was, whatever the demon of the moment would be.

It wasn't so bad, once it washed over me - it was where I was used to being. It was just that moment of wonderment, "was there something bad," when I felt four years old. That was the perhaps one of the worst parts, the transition from being happy and distracted to realizing there was something awful I had to remember in the next few seconds.

After work today, I had to go to the local enormous grocery store to procure the ingredients for my Christmas mushroom pie and black sticky gingerbread. Gathering the supplies, I was thinking of Mike and I picked up an impulse item for him. Happily going about my business, and very happily thinking about Mike and how lucky I am, I checked out, hopped into my car and began the drive home.

We've been getting a truly glorious amount of snow here, which makes road conditions interesting. It's as if Michigan was wholly unprepared for such an event as a metric honkload of snow. My Forester excels in the snow, though, and I enjoyed clawing through it with ease. It did require some concentration for awhile, though, and as I came into a clear stretch of one of the main roads, I realized I had previously been focused on something pretty intently, and it had slipped my mind.

"Was there something bad?"

I felt the tiniest trace of frightened, desperate tears as the thought came to me, the realization of being about to remember what I'd been thinking about. Years of well-worns paths opened up before me; surely, here comes the hurting.

And then it slowly encompassed me, this warm wave of comfort, remembering I am deeply in love and deeply loved in return. Remembering I'm insanely happy in a healthy relationship. It wasn't something bad - it was something wonderful, and I had to wipe away tears of happiness and relief. Knowing Mike was out there, caring about me, perhaps thinking of me, was a steadying and reassuring force.

I can't imagine a better Christmas gift at a better time.

airynd [userpic]

Brilliance

December 22nd, 2008 (08:29 pm)

Last week, BBC World News had a series of interviews with a Chinese economist that aired as I was on my way home from work. Listening to him speak was the most amazing thing; he spoke with absolute brilliance, confidence and such depth of knowledge. It was incredibly humbling. No hesitations, not even a pause for thought - just absolute, thorough knowledge and understanding of vastly complicated world economic forces, something about which I know nothing at all.

On Saturday, NPR aired the Prairie Home Companion's Christmas Special. I only caught the tail end of it, as Garrison Keeler told one of his patently brilliant and insightful tales. Toward the end, he started singing "Silent Night," and the crowd all softly joined in. I'm not normally a huge fan of Christmas carols, but as everyone began pitching in, tears sprang to my eyes and I got goosebumps all over.

For all of humanity's evils, every now and then, we are pretty amazing.

airynd [userpic]

Strange Thing Happened Today

December 4th, 2008 (03:45 am)
Tags: ,

A lot of folks from work have asked me, "So, where would you like to go after support?"

I haven't really had a good answer for that yet. I am not drawn to monitoring, to the vexation of Benny and a few others, because it demands a very high level of multi-tasking and constant vigilance. Shit goes down, you gotta fix it fast. Security is cool, but I don't have the skills necessary for it, and it would take awhile to cultivate them. Setups isn't something I'm interested in, either. Systems restorations and migrations... possibly, but again - I lack the skills required. Escalations and supervising are actually the two areas I'm most interested in, but both require substantial training.

Escalations is exactly what it sounds like - when other techs can't fix something, or when a high priority customer is having issues, they're the ones that fix it. There are pros and cons, of course. Pro: You don't have to answer the phones nearly as often, therefore you can stay focused on a problem long enough to actually research and solve it. Con: There is no one to whom you can pass a ticket off to if you can't solve it. ;-) I like the idea of remaining in a support position, as it really exposes me to a wide variety of problems and solutions. Plus, there is an element of reward in making people happy. There is also an element of total bullshit when dealing with certain individuals.

Supervising would be both rewarding and discouraging, I'm sure. I've done it before, but my team at Boeing required very little actual Supervising. They were very self-sufficient. Here at LW, I would need to do a lot more hands-on management, which would keep me more interested, I'm sure. I think the people skills I've learned over the last three decades would also come in handy; I am pretty good at adapting my communication style to match someone's needs.

Today, Siena, the shift supervisor came over to my cube with this somewhat official look on his face and asked me if I had a minute. Siena's a big guy, a Viking of a man, and a lot of folks find this intimidating. I find it strangely comforting, and it makes me like him all the more. He's a fantastic manager; he's intelligent, calm, patient and extremely knowledgeable. He is one of those natural leader sorts of people who easily wins respect because he's just generally A Good Guy who's pretty awesome to work for (he also doesn't read this blog, I don't think, so this is not gratuitous ass-kissery.)

Siena gestured me toward the upstairs conference room. I noticed the supervisor for the sys-res team, James, with him, and he had a somber look. I wondered what the heck I'd done, but figured I'd dorked a ticket up and caused sys-res grief. A day or two before, I had snagged a ticket that needed a quick response from him, and wondered, "oh shit; what did I say?" As I walked by James, he shook his head and said, "I sure hope you've got some money set aside somewhere," which pretty much let me know it wasn't a huge deal, but I still figured I was going to get a talking to about something I'd noobed.

As Siena closed the door behind us, I asked, "geez, what'd I do," fully expecting a very patient, big-brotherly "ok, here's what you did wrong, and here's how you don't do it again" talk from him, while James looked on and added his two cents.

"A good job," he said and winked.

They offered me a part-time spot on the sys-res team, which completely and utterly floored me. I am 100% lacking in the necessary skills - I have no hardware expertise, no real script fu... wow. Floored. They're going to be short a man soon, though, and must be pretty desperate to call on me. I expressed my complete surprise and was totally honest with James about being clueless in terms of the knowledge required. He assured me training was no problem. This is mostly going to be a "when we're really screwed, you come help" type of thing.

I'm very flattered they chose me. Did I mention the surprise? I seem to have these people completely fooled into thinking I have a brain, when all I actually do is flounder around and ask a lot of silly questions.

I hound one of the team members, Eugene, a lot for answers to problems, and he completely mocks me in every way possible (but in good spirit, much like Severin) for being such a noob. I assumed he would be appalled by the prospect of me being on his team, but apparently he put in a good word. Another member of sys-res I adore, Kevin, has his Jabber status perpetually set to "Please don't cry; I am restoring your datas." I should probably set mine to, "You should cry now; I am trying to restore your datas." Kevin is who fixed the situation when I accidentally implemented the rm -rf solution.

It will get me off phones on occasion, and teach me some new stuffs. So yeah; unexpected, but cool. :-)

airynd [userpic]

The True Story of How I Met and Fell in Love with Mike Neir

December 2nd, 2008 (06:31 pm)

Giant Installment No. 1
(With special appearances by Heath Ledger, Gordon Freeman, and Urine From the Roof)

For anyone who is not Mike or myself - this will be completely, utterly and in all other ways yawn-tastic. I want to tell this story for myself, and for Mike, and if any of you want to come along for the ride, please do. This is only the first chapter; believe it or not... there is More.

I know, for many people, "love at first sight" is a completely ridiculous notion, and while I can't say what I felt when I first laid eyes on Mike Neir was A Deep and Abiding Love, it was certainly a close relation.

First, let me say this. I got my job pretty much as a complete fluke. I'd tangentially met Yellowmouser/Alex through our mutual friends in the Stilyagi Air Corps, but never in person. I knew some details of his life from his LJ, but not much. After we had both moved to Lansing through a series of coincidences, we struck up an acquaintance, hung out a little and he recommended me for a job at his place of employment. It was his recommendation that landed me the job, because my references page had two errors on it. Two! The hiring manager had a terrible time getting me vetted by my past employers, but she and I both persevered and the job was fine. I started mid-June of 2008.

My first exposure to Mike was an introduction to his website through a trainer at work. "You'll want to bookmark this," Jay said; "dude's a genius." I glanced at the page, was impressed with the author's technical savvy and his ability to form a sentence, bookmarked it, and promptly never looked at it again.

Fast-forward a few weeks to July 19th, when LW rented us a movie theater on a Saturday afternoon for the premiere of the new Batman movie. The staff gathered in front of the cinema, everyone talking and comfortable with each other. I was still new enough to feel awkward and not quite fitting in, except with a few people. I loosely clung to Benny and yellowmouser , while trying to pretend not to feel highly uncomfortable. At one point, I was standing in line alone, while the other staff chatted around me, as I silently wished to shrink into the floor. I do well when people include me, but if they don't... I don't want to force myself upon them, so I retreat. Suffice it to say, I was feeling somewhat timid. yellowmouser came back and walked with me into the theater, and we selected a choice pair of seats. As I passed the occupant of the seat closest to me, I noted "oh hey, cute boy at 10 o'clock" in my peripheral vision, but I was too busy feeling shy to actually look at him. I remember being vaguely aware of a chorus of people talking to him until the previews started, but I never once glanced in his direction. As Heath Ledger worked his creepy Joker magic on-screen, I was tangentially aware of this boy sitting a few seats down occasionally laughing or making a quiet remark about the movie, but I was fairly wrapped up in the story and didn't take notice of specifics. Thus, I spent my first few hours with Mike Neir generally ignoring him. :-)

Fortunately, the Fates are persistent....Collapse )

airynd [userpic]

Just a quick note before zonking out

December 1st, 2008 (05:47 am)

1.) Gas was down to $1.58 earlier this week. Holy. Crap.
2.) Vista for the total lose - I should not get inordinately excited when I tell my laptop to shut down and it actually shuts down instead of simply rebooting.
3.) Mike Neir for the total win, because he is awesome.
4.) Snow accumulation excellent; all-wheel drive gets use - woot.
5.) Eve online has rendered my dogs orphans.
6.) Three day weekends... aahhh. Perhaps worth looking into 4x10s, but I think Bholcomb would a.) require I work a non-Monday-Friday shift, and b.) shoot me. Two-day weekends are fine.
7.) The wireless internet at the laundromat was resolutely down today when Mike and I were doing laundry. He bypassed this issue by hooking us both up to his cell phone. Surprisingly, 3 EVE clients sharing that one connection worked well. Yay, technology!
8.) I made brief contact with one of H's daughters via Facebook, asking her if she could ask H if she wanted anything she's left behind still; family photos, her complete medical history, scrapbooks, kids' belongings. Her daughter said she'd ask her to call me, but she hasn't. I've held onto this stuff for almost 6 months now. Time to haul more to the Good Will, starting with the least sentimental items first. I have enough shit of my own; I don't want to carry hers around with me eternally. I also do not want to be the person who threw out someone's childhood sports trophies.
9.) After about four months, Bell is almost skunk-stench free.
10.) Last week, she found a rotted bird carcass to roll around in and refreshed the unholy stench in a whole new manner.
11.) Thinking back to what I was doing at this time last year is bizarre.
12.) I registered for classes next term - no nursing stuffs involved. I have very mixed feelings about this, because, on the one hand, trauma nursing is hugely attractive and I feel very drawn to it. On the other several years of schooling, very difficult schooling, while trying to maintain a full-time job? Doesn't sound like so much fun. I know I could do it, and that lots of other people do do it... but if I can make a career out of computers again, I think I'm fine with that, too. Perhaps not A Calling, perhaps not Meaningful (at least not currently,) but certainly something marketable and eventually lucrative. Were I to abandon this job in favor of school, that would be a terrifically stupid thing indeed. Instead, online work-related courses to improve mah skillz. Perhaps a combining of the two in the future, as suggested by several folks here.
13.) I have a rant brewing in my head about Twitter and Facebook.
14.) I have a true story brewing in my head about Mike Neir that's been loosely cobbled into the beginning of a rough draft.
15.) There are too many item numbers here; I started out with about 3 in mind.
16.) I am going to stop now and try to sleep.

airynd [userpic]

(no subject)

November 19th, 2008 (04:05 pm)

As I was driving in to work today, I had NPR on as usual. There were a couple of things I wanted to toss up here in a post, and I was bumping them around in my head as I settled into my workstation. Another co-worker who listens to NPR came in and we began talking about the insane number of pirate attacks happening off the coast of Africa currently and how bizarre a thing that is in this day and age.

I mentioned the thing that was really on my mind, though; the potential cloning of a wooly mammoth, now that we have completely sequenced their DNA. While I feel it's extraordinarily cool to be able to clone an animal that's been extinct for thousands of years, the ethical considerations are staggering. Is it fair to bring a species into the world to live only in captivity? Is it ethical to bring a species into a vastly different world from that for which it was adapted?

If Paleoindians were indeed the true cause of the mammoths' extinction, this largely removes one of my primary objections - that the animals died off due to natural causes. Perhaps we can't ever know if it was indeed human-caused or climate-caused, though, and I think we should leave well enough alone; these are potential living, feeling creatures. We could never clone enough of them to create a viable, sustainable population, especially in the wild. One or two animals in captivity ... could they be happy, or would they always be haunted by the feeling something wasn't quite right? Unable to indulge in their natural behaviors in their preferred environment... this is distressing.

I don't like to turn to pop culture to support my opinions, but this is something most people have seen and heard, and it sums up one of the ongoing ethical arguments in the scientific community: "...your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Remember Dr. Ian Malcomb from "Jurassic Park?" If you've seen it, of course you do.

Back to my discussion with my co-worker. I was mid-rant-ramping up, fully prepared to have a good debate with this guy, and he cuts me off and says, completely seriously, "I can't wait to have some mammoth steaks!" I figured he was kidding, because of me being vegetarian. No. Totally serious.

Yes, let us clone an animal back into existence... so you can eat it. By all means - that's an awesome idea.

I waved him away from my desk, shaking my head.

-----

Astonishingly, Severin made an interesting comment; so interesting, I'm bringing it to the front here:

"Your realistic logic has canceled out any amount of coolness I'd feel towards bringing Mammoths to life. All very good points, but there will never be a _right_ answer because it's relative to the person being asked such questions. It sounds like it boils down to, 'Is the risk of giving them an unnatural & improper life worth what we could learn from them?' Again, there's no right answer. Though I don't know what value we could get from mammoths, I'd be more interested in cloning other extinct species to see how they lived. The controlled environment WOULD need to be natural enough to fully study them, so I'm fairly sure they wouldn't be stressed out through their limited existence.


Also, Mammoth steaks was a dumb comment."


I wholeheartedly agree there would be a lot to learn, and this would be very exciting. For me, it all boils down to "is it worth it?" Would we learn something relative and applicable, something which would benefit us or our environment? Quite possibly, and quite possibly not.

It's a similar debate I have with myself over the relative merits and evils of zoos; thankfully, most modern zoos now offer environments and environmental enrichments to make captive life slightly more tolerable than the old concrete and iron bars zoos that were popular even when I was a child. The animals there often engender a love of wild animals in the people who see them, and are therefore acting as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Many of them lead miserable existences, however, and many suffer abuse.

In the case of zoos, despite how much I abhor the conditions some of the animals live in, ultimately, I think the service they perform outweighs the evils they endure. Some of us must personally see and connect with something before we can begin caring about it enough to act on its behalf. If kids grow up with a love of wild animals, perhaps they will be more apt to live their lives to help them survive.

I'm not convinced, nor do I need to be, of course, bringing mammoths back would be "worth it." Maybe, maybe not.

But I'm uneasy with the prospect until I learn more about what their plans for the animals would be.

airynd [userpic]

More Engrish Hi-larity

November 13th, 2008 (10:32 pm)
Tags: , ,

"Weird

Before the hour was terribly high and I Bofragh Volume
Three times

I hope that you are watching it again

Now see him start to rise

Received by me

Tmp folder is constantly rising and rising non-natural
Server Load abnormal rise high
Has any information server you will do Pthmeliha"


Um, ok; I will do Pthmeliha on your server, as soon as you tell me what Bofragh is.

airynd [userpic]

A Note to All That Remains

November 10th, 2008 (03:21 pm)

How to win over the metalhead crowd attending your concert:

1.) Call them a bunch of crazy motherfuckers - check
2.) Reference local sports team - check
3.) Ask them if they are ready to make some fucking noise - check
4.) Call the city Fort Clemens instead of Mount Clemens - oops.

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