Aug. 5th, 2017 09:27 am
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Lightning strikes river:


Worksafe; I just wish resolution was higher.


Aug. 5th, 2017 08:30 am
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

Unfortunately awake, due to cat bringing live cicada into kitchen.
Went into kitchen, confirmed presence of both cat and cicada. Bug was *not* happy. 
Opened kitchen window and screen, intending to throw cicada out and go back to bed. 
Cicada - through brains, luck or combination - preempted me, escaped cat and flew out. (Wow, are those things fast.)

Tried going back to bed; too awake. Also too sleepy to do much useful. At least safely.

So, I'm awake early on a Saturday morning (after getting to bed late due to computer problem) with little chance of more sleep. Looks like no gaming tonight for me. :-(

My life is an unsold sitcom. 


Is It Safe?

Aug. 4th, 2017 10:55 pm
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
How to tell if your eclipse-viewing glasses are safe:

stickmaker: (Default)
I had a scare this morning. I got up at 6:30 to take my thyroid medicine, and noticed that the bathroom trash had been knocked over and partially emptied. 
Shortly after I first got my current two cats I caught the calico in the bathroom playing with some dental floss I had tossed the day before. I was careless and part of it was left draped over the rim. Cats can die very painfully from swallowing things like floss and thread. Fortunately, she hadn't gotten that far. Since then I have been very careful that when I finish with floss it goes well into the trash can, and there have been no problems. Until today.
I quickly searched through the trash, looking for the floss. I couldn't find it. Then I heard a sound from the kitchen which could have been sneezing... or gagging. I hurried there and found both cats apparently fine. Back in the bathroom, another check discovered the floss. I relaxed hugely. 
I dumped the bathroom trash in the main trash can, fed the cats (they were both hungry) opened the cat flap and went back to bed. (Yes, I got my medicine down somewhere in there.) This morning both cats are still fine. 
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
The download only *just now* finished! Win10 has restarted, and is installing the updates. I just hope I don't have to leave things running all night for *that*! 
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
I pride myself on being able to make repairs. Often very unconventional repairs. 
I was checking one of my Aladdin mantle lamps (strongly recommended, BTW) and noticed that the ring which holds the chimney in place wasn't staying attached to the base. Looking closer I noticed a partial split in that ring. 
I don't have replacement parts for that except to replace the entire burner assembly. I don't think anyone sells just that part; it's not supposed to come off. The split wasn't complete, so if I could get the ring to stay on the burner the chimney would lock in place normally. How to do that, though? I don't have any welding equipment, and soldiering wouldn't work because the parts get hot. 
Then I remembered something. I had some epoxy for high temperature repairs on cars, such as patching exhaust pipes. (I also had some high temperature vulcanizing stuff but decided on the epoxy as it had more body.)
The epoxy comes as a concentric roll, with epoxy and catalyst one inside the other. You cut off what you need and knead it together. It's pretty thick, but I mixed it good and rolled it as thin as I could. I then pressed this around the outside of the burner assembly. Then I pressed the loose ring on. This actually shaved off most of the epoxy, leaving just a thin layer between the burner and the ring. Which is exactly what I wanted. I made sure the ring was fully seated, rubbed the outside clean and now will wait a while before trying the chimney. I believe the epoxy/catalyst mix needs heat to fully activate, so I'll probably burn the lamp for a while. Or maybe not. It has enough tack to hold firm even uncured. 
There's lots of stuff at auto shops which can be used for non-auto repairs. I like aluminum and stainless steel repair tapes. I also like a fiberglass tape which is impregnated with heat-activated epoxy. This is normally for muffler repair, but if you have something hot which is leaking... These are also good places to find high-temp Loctite and generics. 
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Win10 is downloading an enormous update. So enormous that after running most of yesterday it was literally just over 50% when I went to bed last night. Unfortunately, it was only at 56% when I woke the computer this morning!
Who designs a large download to pause when the screensaver comes on?!
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
I am feeling vastly better this morning. 

I got to bed at 11 last night (I meant to go to bed earlier, but zoned out in front of the TV and didn't realize how tired I was until I got up to do something). I finally got out of bed at 9:30 this morning. With a couple of delays and some minor interruptions (How do some people *still* have fireworks?!)  that was about ten hours of sleep, the last four in one solid block. (The rain helped with that.)

I have said more than once that if I can just get enough sleep I can recover from anything. More likely, once I'm finally in recovery mode I'm better able to sleep well. 

I just wish I had done this a couple of days earlier, so I could have made gaming last night. 
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Argh. I missed Saturday night gaming two weeks ago because I was exhausted after having a cat put down the day before. (As much from the relief of his suffering being over as from grief, I admit.) So, I really wanted to go last Saturday. I therefore went even though I hadn't slept well the night before. 

That was a mistake. I didn't participate much and actually dozed through part of it, which was no reflection on our novice game master but on my poor judgement. 

Then I had trouble staying awake to drive home. Which could have been Very Bad. 

I haven't slept well this week. Nothing serious; just off and on being a bit less than alert during the day. Mostly due to restless sleeping from multiple causes. One of them being a cat who has somehow picked up the habit of occasionally meowing loudly at random times of the day and night.

I had all those last night. Plus a leg cramp waking me at 7:20 (on a Saturday) then not being able to do more than doze afterwards. I finally gave up and got up early (at least for me on a Saturday morning) about an hour later. 

If I can't get a good nap - maybe after lunch - I won't be going to Lexington today. 

I hate missing again. However, as demonstrated last week, this could be a matter of safety. 

Addendum:  Looking back, I was a bit under the weather all week. I was even coughing up phlegm most mornings. I just thought it was allergies. Maybe it is allergies; with the weather we're having there's lots of dust in the air. 
Oh, well; I'm resting today and slowly feeling physically better, if not more alert. 
stickmaker: (Default)

A bit of the background history from the setting of my Masks stories:

October 29, 1955 In a landmark court case, a jury accepts a criminal mastermind's defense that he didn't intend his deathtrap to actually kill a costumed hero, but only delay him while the mastermind committed other crimes. It just happened that in this case the hero had a bad case of the flu and died due to being unable to escape in time. The jurors - and many others interviewed on the matter - say they had no problem believing this is the actual purpose of deathtraps, given how often they fail. The mastermind was subsequently found guilty of accidental manslaughter instead of murder. 

The first two Masks stories can be found at:


stickmaker: (Default)

Beautiful Mars panorama, brought to you by Opportunity:

stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
We need art showing a tardigrade and Keith Richards toasting the Earth as it's swallowed by the Sun, billions of years from now. :-)
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
Like so many of us, Congress is having problems with their medical bill.  
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Here is a high-resolution image from the Juno probe of Jupiter's Great Red Spot:



Jul. 13th, 2017 08:19 am
stickmaker: (Runner is hot)
Most Summer mornings I air the house out from right after I get up until it's too hot. This morning the thermometer was already showing 78F.

Welcome to the future. A hot time in the old globe tonight.  
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
The second Masks story - in which Template helps establish a school for superhuman teens - is now available from Doppler Press via Amazon:


Corrected link. 

Cat Tears

Jul. 8th, 2017 10:28 am
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I just teared up going through Calendar and deleting the notifications for Michael's medications. 
(A reminder, this was my 12 year old cat who had to be put down yesterday.)
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I lost my 12 year old cat Michael today. Had to have him put down. He was so weak he was gone before the vet left the room to fetch his stethoscope. 
That's two different and unrelated cats in three years to die from a rare (and different for each) cancer. My usual vet said he'd never before seen a case of what Michael had.
The specialist I went to in Lexington gave Michael one to six months a bit over a month ago, and said sooner was more likely than later. 
Michael started going downhill Wednesday evening, then rallied Thursday morning. He was well enough that I gave him his scheduled dose of chemotherapy drug. Within hours he was going downhill again. Before this he'd tolerated the drug very well, but either it was too much by then or the anemia had just progressed too far. 
I had him for over 11 years. 
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
I'm getting ready to host the LexFA meeting at my place this Sunday. We'll meet here then go downtown for an economic suicide mission. 

That will be relatively painless compared to what I've been through the past three days. I've scraped my right calf, stubbed toes, broken a lamp shade, jammed fingers and generally had a persistent klutz attack the whole time. I still need to mop the kitchen and clean the bathroom. 

Pray for me...
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Had my 12 year old cat Michael to the vet this afternoon, for his one-month checkup since starting chemotherapy. Everything was fine with Michael except that he's severely anemic and losing weight. Both attributable to the cancer. 

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