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sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

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(no subject) [Oct. 23rd, 2016|10:38 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I made bread tonight. The yeast I use has slowly been dying, so I've been working harder and harder to get it to pull its weight. Today I bought new yeast, and unthinkingly did some of the stuff I do to encourage it to do better. As a result, I have bread dough everywhere. Totally overflowed the container and got into everything. I hope the result is good. It reminded me strongly that when bread says it needs more flour, GIVE IT MORE FLOUR, even if I've already given it 20% more than I usually do. This stuff was soup with the same amount of flour that would have made one of the previous runs no longer capable of being smoothly kneaded.
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(no subject) [Oct. 21st, 2016|06:28 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I spent about 20 minutes under general anaesthesia this afternoon, so am now a bit groggy. Doc looked at my esophagus and said that the aspirin a day I've been taking for two years is eating a hole in my throat, and I need to quit doing that. He took some biopsies to check for a disease in which eosinophils crowd into the area, causing inflammation, but he thinks that's very unlikely. He also cut through a couple areas of scar tissue, to allow the throat muscles to move more naturally. I came home and slept very, very soundly for about three hours.
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(no subject) [Oct. 21st, 2016|09:03 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I saw a blimp on my way to work yesterday morning.
It's been many years since I last saw one around here. Too long a voyage, I guess. I was reading the other day that in WWI, a Zeppelin landed on a Norwegian ship and marines from the Zeppelin seized the ship, which appears to be the only authentic case of sky piracy ever.
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(no subject) [Oct. 18th, 2016|10:33 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
One of our proposed state constitutional amendments outlaws slavery, specifically, involuntary servitude as punishment for conviction of a crime. This means community service.
I'm curious what other people think of this.
I think I'm against the amendment. Here's why: my fellow americans are sure invested in punishment and revenge. I'm pretty sure that people who are convicted of crimes are now going to get stuck in prison rather than sentenced to community service.
If you accept my premise: which is worse, from a civil rights and civil liberties standpoint, being imprisoned or being sentenced to involuntary servitude? Which is worse from a pragmatic long-term-effects view?
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(no subject) [Oct. 15th, 2016|08:25 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We Spitfired our way to the korean grocery store and then went to Harmon's. I think this might be manintheboat's favorite day ever, except for when the monkey jumped on her head.
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(no subject) [Oct. 13th, 2016|03:03 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Urrrrgh. Lily woke me up at 2AM insisting there were mice upstairs. We went through the closets so she'd be convinced they weren't there, and then I removed the dishwasher and oven/stove. She's right. There's mouse poop everywhere.
They chewed through a plastic electrical box behind the dishwasher. I dunno how they got to it, since there is 3/4" plywood and aluminum sheeting that enclose that bay. Likely they've chewed through the 4" of pine plate the supply lines come through, and worked on the aluminum until they could get through. (Rats can chew through lead pretty quickly. Maybe mice can scrape through aluminum.) So, an hour later the kitchen is largely disassembled and I'm trying to figure out how to proceed. All four peanut butter snap traps are still in place. The two containers of poison are still there and largely untouched. The one remaining glue trap is still there.
I think I'm going to buy fifty glue traps and cover the entire area that Lily can't reach in blocks of solid glue traps so it isn't possible to walk under the counters.
And call an exterminator.
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(no subject) [Oct. 12th, 2016|08:10 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I stayed home today and slept for, I dunno, 18 hours?
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(no subject) [Oct. 11th, 2016|08:57 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I caught a cold roughly halfway through the Japan trip, which meant I had one fevery day that's pretty vague in my memory and spent much of the rest of the trip trying to be polite. (no nose-blowing where anyone can hear.) But I'm totally on the mend. Even on the way back I was down to just coughing a little. However, I'm still feeling a bit off, and that's exacerbated by fairly serious insomnia problems. I fall asleep immmediately, but I wake up at 5 AM and then stare at the wall for three hours, and this has been going on for two months. When I'm riding my bike a lot, for whatever reason I can function pretty well on reduced sleep, so that hasn't been too much of a problem. But today at work I was yawning every five seconds and fell asleep at my desk. I figured the lunchtime ride would make me wake up, even though I was feeling rather lousy. We went out for 40km or so, and I did okay for the first half, but by the second half, which involves a lot of hill-climbs, my legs felt empty, and my joints all hurt, and I was increasingly feeling dizzy, so I dropped off on the second to last climb and rode the rest of the way at 30km/h rather than the 38km/h the rest of the group had been maintaining.
When I got off my bike, my legs wouldn't support me. I ended up sitting down for about ten minutes, and then very slowly walking to my office, with my hand on the wall so I could stand upright. I noticed that if I turned my head or moved my eyes the whole room spun. That's not a normal reaction to a hard ride. In a few minutes I was feeling so dizzy I was seriously considering whether I was safe to drive, so I bailed from work early and drove very slowly home on back roads. Collapsed into bed in some state between conscious and sleeping, and stayed there for three hours. I suspect I managed to pick up another virus, and man it is messing with me.
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(no subject) [Oct. 10th, 2016|08:40 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
About six months ago I moved into an unused office because mine, that I'd been in for 9 years, was considered the coldest office in the building. (I shared an air conditioner with the server room.) The new room was among the hottest in the building because it gets full sun for most of the afternoon. It's glorious.
Except that the guy in the next office has an outdoor voice or a shouting-from-mountaintops voice and spends a lot of time on the phone. He also appears to have taken classes in how to make disgusting bodily noises, specializing in eating noises.
I spent a lot of time with my office door closed.
Well, while I was gone in Japan, he moved to another slightly larger office down the hall, five doors away.
Now he is merely loud when talking on the phone, rather than so loud that I can't hold a conversation with someone in my office with the door closed.
This is a tremendous improvement in my quality of life, it turns out.
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(no subject) [Oct. 9th, 2016|07:05 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We have issues with mice, especially in the early fall when they're trying to find a place to overwinter. I don't know how they get into the house, and have largely given up trying for total eradication in the basement. I try to prevent any upstairs, which plan was primarily driven by the kitchen refurb when I redid the water entry/waste lines to the sink/dishwasher using 3/4" plywood and sheets of aluminum cut to exactly the same diameter as the pipes that provide water/drain.
There's nothing to eat downstairs. (Everything in the downstairs pantry is either in glass or sealed containers.) To survive, they have to get upstairs. As there is no longer access through the walls, they were having to climb up the carpeted stairs every time they wanted food, and since Lily has access to the stairs, she was wiping them out.
Apparently one clever one found an alternate route, up through a wall and into a dead space beneath the fireplace, under the hearthstone. There were penny-sized cracks and holes in the mortar, and I saw a mouse run out of the kitchen, jump up onto the fireplace, and then squirm down through one of those holes. Soooo I got some quickcrete and mixed it up and filled in the holes, after jamming insulation down into the holes to provide a backing.
Man, quickcrete sets fast. At the house temp, I'd say I may have had two minutes of working time. but I managed to get the joint re-mortared (and boy was I glad I taped both sides first so I didn't have to try to get spilled quickcrete off the hearth or the adjacent bricks during that two minutes of working time.)
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