gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
It's about 1800 on Saturday, and already it's been a long weekend. Coming off a long week, I am pretty smoked. But we're getting shit done around here. Which is good, activity keeps my brain and body working. Anything I do to force my brain to keep making connections, and anything that works the decaying nerves in my legs a little harder equals a longer and better life for me.

Spring-like weather has arrived here in the Santa Clara Valley, and that means that sleeping in was possible due to it not being under 40 degrees in the apartment. All of you who live in places where frozen water falls from the skies can roll your eye all you like, I no longer handle cold well. So it was a good morning to snuggle with my Kiri and the mountain of teddy bears.

Firs thing on my agenda was the bi-weekly D&D game. We play on Roll20.com, and use Skype for communication. It's a fun group, with my friend Allen Shock running things. We're on to a new campaign after the Total Party Kill we experienced in Ravenloft a few weeks back. I'm playing a half-elf barbarian named Digenis Akirtas. The name comes from an epic tale written in the 8th century about a hero born of a Byzantine father and an Arab mother. The name literally means "Two Blood Border Lord", and I figured it was a good for a man born of two races. We're starting at 7th level. This time we remembered to bring some clerics along! Fought and killed a Frost Giant, squeezed through some gates, and found treasure. We start exploring this abandoned Dwarfhold in two weeks. Really happy to be gaming again after such a long break.

After that, a nap. Kirsten had gone out for a blood draw, and wanted to lie down for a bit. I joined her. Because bed. I sleep a lot more than I did before the stroke. It's kind of disturbing because it is one of the more subtle changes I've noticed. It's all related to my mental endurance, I'm sure.

But we rose, because we had to go work on the Free Trailer Beowulf! It was still parked inside Kirsten's warehouse. We had a couple of goals for the day: Remove the back pieces of the platform that made up the bed area, inspect for more mold, install two leveling bubbles (little carpenter's levels screwed into the frame of the trailer, so you can adjust for a level interior when you're camping), and mark out where a really nice window we were gifted was going to go.

Well, we found mold. It was pretty dead, due to our leaving a dehumidifier in the trailer for the past few weeks, but it was there. The awesome man who runs the door and window shop next door to Kiri's work told us the best way to get rid of it. Which meant yet another trip to Home Depot. Luckily, it's not far. We found what we needed, along with one of their job buckets. Back to the warehouse.

I mixed the TSP (Trisodium phosphate) in our new bucket, put on some thick rubber gloves, and went to work with a shop towel. Dear gods, you could almost hear the mold shrieking "I'm melting! What a world!" as I swiped.Where has this stuff been all my life? Hopefully, this is the last we'll see of the mold, as Chris, the door guys, has offered to stain and seal the raw wood parts of the interior. And install the window. He's kind of awesome. Even if he is an A's fan.

After some drama with a stuck drill bit, we got the levels installed in a "close enough for rock and roll and Burning Man" way. RVs need to be leveled for pumps and drains to work properly. We just don't want the inside to look like a villains lair in the 1966 Batman TV show. Most;y level works. This was also the day we tested out two of our leveling jacks. We have four, one for each corner, and their rated for far greater loads than we could possibly get into that small space. They are a good thing.

Tomorrow, we're going to do some exterior work. We have red reflective tape that's going down both sides for that "Little Black Book" Traveller feel. We'll also look for signs of more mold, and clean up a little. Nice thing is, we don't have to tow it back to storage tomorrow, it can wait until Monday, as Tony needs to double check the electrical hook ups again.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
What a day! I knew earlier this week it was going to be a busy one, but I'm really surprised at how much we accomplished. Especially considering how fried I was over the whole Facebook meltdown. And having a biopsy. It's been a stressful week.

But we had things to do, so rather than hitting the snooze button several times, we were up and out the door soon after 0700. Our first goal was the storage yard where we keep the Free Trailer Beowulf. For the locals, We live in Santa Clara and the yard is in South San Jose near the 101/85 interchange. So a bit of a drive. After a stop for breakfast at Jack in the Box, we proved to ourselves that we are getting moderately decent at hooking the trailer up to the truck.

Moderately.

Anyway, Kirsten had drive down, so I took the next leg of driving. Back up 101 to her office in Santa Clara. Normally, this freeway is a parking lot at that time of the morning, but I guess a ton of people were taking advantage of the sudden spring weather to head to Tahoe for some skiing. Very little traffic along the way.

Although there was a little odd movement at first, we quickly concluded it was the road surface causing it, and not the trailer fishtailing. It was steady as a rock back there. I'm happy to have spent so many years driving 34' flatbeds . . . my lane-changing instincts are conditioned to expect the need for a wide opening in the lane I'm moving into and I have the habit of signalling long before I move. This pays off. Hell, I signal in parking lots when I'm the only car there. Good habits, people!

Anyway, the main goal of the day was getting the wiring looked at. Remember, the Beowulf was somebody's shop project, and it shows. It's why we got it cheap. The main concern was the wiring from the truck connector to the tail lights looked sloppy, and the 110 volt power cable that ran inside to two power strips was both hanging loose and had a connection held together by electrical tape. Tony, one of Kiri's coworkers and a fellow trailer enthusiast, has been more than happy to take part in the project. In fact, everyone at Earthbaby seems to be pitching in.

Once we had Tony set up, I headed out to do my "job." There's some weird program that if you are disabled and can get a company to pay you $5 a month to do something, it makes keeping you benefits easier. Don't ask me. But my job is collecting recycling from the break room and taking it to the recycling place. I keep the proceeds. Did that and headed back.

When I got back to the warehouse, work was proceeding apace. It was decided that a run to the nearby Home Depot was needed for a few thing, so Tony and I jumped in the truck and headed over there. To say I got my walk in is an understatement. Find what we need, pay, and head back to the office. Where I need to sit. I was frankly becoming burned out at this point, as it was a tough week for me.

But there was more to do, and this is about the time awesome happened. Next to Earthbaby is a custom door and window place. I've met the owner, a really nice guy, and of course Kirsten knows him pretty well. We had been talking about staining the inside of the trailer. He takes one look, and tells us exactly how he's going to do it. For free. Then he looks at our sad little Plexiglas window and says "I got something." Goes back into his warehouse, and comes back out with an actual window and frame, with frosted privacy glass and just leans it up on the trailer. It means cutting into the trailer wall to make a hole big enough, but damn!

Sometimes even a cynic like me has to admit there are good people out there.

I wasn't just an observer and chauffeur. I helped! One of the first jobs done was adding a new metal support bar to the trailer's tongue. Kirsten had sprayed it was black Rustoleum but wasn't sure if he had gotten a good covering. Being skinny, I shimmied under the body to spray the parts that had been missed.

Even though I wanted to stay to the end of the day, I was beginning to show obvious signs of burning out. Kirsten took lunch so we could go back to Home Depot for an exchange, stopped at Subway for lunch, and then dropped me back here at home. Tonight, I sleep the sleep of the accomplished! Tomorrow, Digenis the Barbarian raids the Sword Coast! (D&D game.)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
And I'm sick again. This is not abnormal, for me, a healthy week is the unusual occurrence to be commented on. Odds are, one of the adorable plague rats at the YMCA was carrying some form of Mongolian Death Yuck and the evil plague spirits, seeing a happy, undefended harbor, jumped me while I was sitting for a few minutes before heading home.

It's a little known fact that the Black Death was spread to Europe by a school field trip. True! Take my word on that, I own lots of history books!

So anyway, here I sit with a scratchy throat, sorer than my recent workout should account for, and in a general mood that should make you all happy that I don't have launch codes. Although in the marathon game of Civilization VI I played today, I did reach the point where I had missile-launching submarines and was using them to support my invasion of Egypt for her crime of sending wave after wave of religious units to my shores. If only we could deal with door-to-door religious nuts in the same way: submarine launched guided missiles. It's be hard on the driveway, and I'm sure cleaning up the mess would be a bitch, but I'm pretty sure the local Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses would quickly get the clue.

I do have to admit that I was past-due for a big sick this year. Usually, by this time in the cold and flu season, I've landed in the ER at least once if not endured a lovely night or two of observation and infusions. Traditionally, my ER visit happens close to if not on Christmas Eve. This is part of my rational atheism at work, really. I'm testing the theory that Santa Claus can find you no matter where you are in the world. If this is true, the fat boy and his flying elk should be leaving stuff in the hospital. So far, nothing. I am forced to concede that I may not pass muster for getting gifts from the elf with a thing for breaking and entering.

It seems like I'm always sick. It's either something like my allergies acting up, and opportunistic swarm of viral life forms, or some body part deciding to ignore its duties in favor of freelancing; I'm in a constant state of medical limbo. By that I mean, how low can I go? Seriously, my first oncologist, Dr. Waltuch, asked at one point in all seriousness if he could have a few words with the medical officer when the flying saucers came to take me home. My Hodgkin's was so unusual that bits of my spleen were sent winging around the world for research. My spleen has seen more of the world than I have, although I doubt you get good cabin service in a medical sample case.

A couple of years ago, I even managed to be trendy with my illnesses! I had H1N1 when it was cool! The actual Swine Flu when it was still making headlines. Which is where I ran into the big wall labeled "people are stupid." Once I had the verified diagnosis, I called work to tell they needed to warn *everyone* that they had been exposed. At which point my alleged boss, a man who made three times what I did, whined about this being a HIPAA violation. Even though I was on the phone TELLING him to warn people. I had to fax in a consent letter!

Sheesh. Remember, I was the one dying of hamthrax at that point. Figuring out how to use our fax machine (we owned one, which now lives at Kirsten's office) was far down on my list of things to do, somewhere below "dying" and "no, really, dying now would be great."

Thing is, I really can't be sick right now. For a guy on permanent disability I have a full calendar coming up. Saturday, Kiri and I are going out to pick up some stuff for the Free Trailer Beowulf; Sunday, we're meeting our moms to see "Kedi", a documentary about the cats of Istanbul; Monday I have some writing class and a biopsy on my back. To quote the former Governor of Minnesota, "I ain't got time to bleed."

Not joking. Go find "Predator" on Netflix or something and realize you are watching the future Governors of California and Minnesota fight a guy in a big rubber suit.

Ah, well. Sick again. I have books, hot chocolate, and plenty of burritos. I'll live.

Though I'm pretty sure I won't enjoy it.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Work continues on the Free Trailer Beowulf. I'm going to straight up admit that Kirsten has been doing most of the grunt work, and she's been stunning.

One thing we learned early is that we suck at backing the trailer into parking spots. To fix that, she bought a hitch dolly. A simple ball hitch attached to a wheeled dolly. Our trailer is light enough to be easily pushed by hand, and using this puts the pivot point right at the hitch point rather than 10' forward at the truck's front wheels. We used it today to correctly position the trailer in its storage yard slot. Along with that, we got a wheel dock to hold the front jack leg in place.

My contribution today was spraying the mold Kiri found with plenty of vinegar and pulling down the contact paper that was serving as wallpaper to see if the fungi had spread. We'll probably end up staining that wood and sealing it with a spray coating. Glow in the dark stars and moons will happen. During the process I found that the previous owner had left a small camp mirror behind. One less thing for us to buy!

Next step is to hook up the trailer and take it back over to Kiri's office. The Manly Men there saw some deficiencies in the front of the A-frame, and there is welding equipment and a stock of steel at the warehouse. The wiring is also a bit of a kludge, and needs to be cleaned up a little. While that's happening, I'll be inside carefully scrubbing the dead mold off the wood and sealing the affected areas.

After we took care of things at the storage yard, we decided to go check out the new Bass Pro Shop in New Almaden. Dear Gods, that place is huge, and so much fun to wander through! A giant aquarium stocked with really big fish, huge selections in every department, and even a well-stocked firearms section. We did buy handles for our 30oz thermal mugs. Prices there were iffy, but we can compare with REI for the best deals now that we know what's there.

The plan had been to hit the grocery store after all of this, but by that point we were both tired and my legs were spiking at seven on the pain scale. I'm planning on doing the Y tomorrow (I expect it to be empty) and I'll hit to store on the way back home.
gridlore: (Burning_Man)
Almost all our Burning Man gear is storied in the warehouse at Kirsten's office. Today, we went over to sort it out and build an actual packing list.

This comes from being a solider and a truck driver. I want to know what is in what box, and know what we need to get before we leave. The plan is to have the Playa-only stuff on a pallet and wrapped in industrial plastic wrap. This will increase security if we decide to spend a night in Reno on the way up, and help secure the load. The stuff we'll need access to on the way or immediately on site (the tent box, the 7-day Igloo cooler, and our water and gasoline containers) will be easier to access.

We have four 3.6 cubic foot boxes that are now labeled "Bedroom", "Kitchen", "Consumables", and "Miscellaneous". We'll be taking a roll of pallet wrap with us, so when we pack for home we can put everything in the correct box, put it back on the pallet, and wrap it for home.

Organization is fun.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Yesterday I had my first dental appointment in a few years. Yes, people with no teeth are supposed to still see a dentist. This was to address my denture issues.

I got dentures back in 2008, and due to the massive amount of bone loss from my chemo, the lower plates never had nothing to grab onto. As a result, eating almost anything with my teeth in was impossible. I wore the teeth mainly for show, and for comfort when I was still driving for a living.

But after my stroke, and going nearly month without them between hospitals and rehab, I just stopped wearing my dentures. There was no need. I can manage most foods by carefully cutting and using my tongue to mash them up before swallowing. Also, i let my facial hair grow over my lip, which hides the lack of teeth most of the time. I've not worn my dentures in nearly three years. (I do keep them clean, just in case.

But in the last several months, I've been told by multiple doctors that I really need to chew properly to get all the nutritional value from my food. I also discovered that there is in fact a dental version of MediCal, called Denti-Cal which covers many things, including dentures. But not implants as a rule.

Which brings us back to yesterday's appointment. We went back to the same dentist who had done my extractions. They remembered us, which was nice. Got really cool X-rays (there's a machine that circles your head like a scanner; no more film shoved in your mouth!) a quick exam, and a discussion.

Turns out that getting what I need is going to cost close to what the Istanbul trip cost. But there is hope! I'm going to call my doctor to see about getting a consult with a dietician. See if we can't get my medical team to sign off on my getting teeth as a medical necessity to cover at least some of the cost. Also, there are payment plans. We looked at the brochure briefly and [personal profile] kshandra said we'd be making car payments on my teeth. I have an appointment to see an oral surgeon in a few weeks to get his take.

One way or another, we'll make this work.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
I'm typing this on my new computer. Which I needed because I got Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home Edition for a Winter Gift.

That's when we learned that my old computer was no longer seeing the CD/DVD drive. Thinking the problem was with the drive, we bought a new DVD drive. Same problem. A friend of Kirsten's who was helping us diagnosed the problem as being the motherboard. Which, being ancient would be hard and expensive to replace.

Kiri found a great deal on a HP Pavilion on Woot. We also got an awesome external drive. This first plan was just to copy the contents of my C drive to the new computer. That didn't work, as there was "hardware incompatibility."

Next plan was to identify the things I absolutely had to move and just download replacements of the others things. I was able to slash and burn through my accumulated years of odd gaming bits and pictures to reduce things to a manageable size. Very few actual programs needed transfer. Over the last week Kiri has done the work of making the moves and setting things up. She also spent a few hours cleaning up my iTunes library.

Right now I'm downloading a bunch of games off Steam and double checking to see if there's anything I forgot. Luckily, transferring both my Firefox and iTunes data was easy.

All for a new program which is going to help me write. I'll start playing with that next week.
gridlore: One of the penguins from "Madagascar," captioned "It's all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy." (Penguin - Conspiracy)
[personal profile] kshandra, our Christmas meal delayed a day due my being a bit ill, decided to go out for Chinese. She returns holding a bag.

Kiri: "Well, that didn't go as planned. Neither steam table place was open."

Me: "On Christmas? Do they have no respect for hallowed Jewish traditions? Where'd you go?"

Kiri: "I'm not surprised that Mr. Chau's was closed, since it's a chain, but I expected the good place to be open. Ended up at Yoshinoya."

Me: "Japanese, right?"  Kiri nods "So this is a Reform thing?"

curtain
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Over the last few years a tradition has grown that after the horrors of Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday; a day when you are supposed to patronize locally-owned small businesses and give them some of your holiday money. I love shopping locally, and heartily endorse this idea.

As most of you know, [personal profile] kshandra was in a car accident a few weeks ago. Nobody hurt, but the damage to Barnum, her PT Cruiser was so extensive that the insurance company wrote it off as a total loss. We got a substantial check (more than either of us had expected) and Kiri began searching for a new car. She found a great one at D&B Auto Brokers in Redwood City. This is a one man operation, and not at all polished. But there are some great deals to be found there. After a test drive, we paid cash for a 2005 PT Cruiser with only a few thousand more miles on it than the old car. We're picking it up Tuesday. To follow in tradition, the replacement for Barnum is named Bailey.

By the way, if you are shopping for a used car, do yourself a favor and spend the $55 for CarFax's unlimited account. Unlimited reports based on the license plate number, six VIN lookups, and good for 60 days.

After that, we headed to one of our favorite place, BookBuyers in Mountain View. We still had a bit of credit from our last sale here, and we wanted to support a business that has been struggling. Well, we supported all right. Walked out with a pile of books including one by my favorite historian. John Julius Norwich's The Middle Sea, a overview of Mediterranean history from reed boats to steam ships.

Food was required. Chili's is not a small business, but they make damn good food.

Finally, we supported our Friendly Local Game Store, Game Kastle. After much hemming and hawing, and on the recommendation of friends, I bought Feng Shui 2. Really enjoying it, and I realized that this would make an excellent system for gaming Tim Power's Last Call/Expiration Date/Earthquake Weather triptych. Hell, throw in Declare for good measure.

So, what did y'all do to support local businesses?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Wobble)
(crossposted from, and by, [personal profile] kshandra)

I'll start with today's news: [personal profile] gridlore is due to be released around 3pm today. (Which is probably 6pm in hospitalese, but we're used to it by now.) Nothing official yet as to what might be wrong, but he saw a specialist yesterday who had some theories, and we'll say more about that when we get confirmation.

Yesterday, however, was fucking difficult for both of us.

I arrived at lunchtime to discover that Doug was on isolation protocol - mask, gloves, and gown - while they checked him for C. diff. Adding insult to injury, the isolation gowns didn't fit me; the nurse cleared me to go in without one, but it was just one more dig I didn't need.

I got back to the office after a couple of hours with Doug and was immediately greeted with two phonecalls one of my co-irkers had mishandled, a round of Geek Answer Syndrome as both of my co-irkers tried to brainstorm what had happened to Doug that I finally had to shut down before I ran out of the building screaming, and a call to a prospective customer (attempting to do damage control on one of the earlier fuckups) who promptly began trying to railroad me into doing things that weren't physically possible. I wound up staying two hours late just so I had time to myself in the building and could actually get some work done. (I'm still under 40hrs for the week, thanks to Thursday's ER trip, so I didn't mind much.)

I was already burnt out when I got back to the hospital in the evening, and Doug wasn't much better, so I didn't stay long. I knew I wasn't going to sleep when I got home, though, so I found a How It's Made marathon on TV (I was hoping for Bourdain, but it was still nicely soothing) and did a little work on the crowdfunding campaign. (We broke 20% last night/this morning!) Finally crawled into bed around 11:30, but didn't fall asleep right away, which was just as well, because it meant I was awake when my phone pinged:

cut for emetophobes )

Before I left last night, I let Doug know that I was planning to spend the morning at home; the Rock & Roll Marathon has half the streets between home and the hospital closed until 1pm, and I had errands that needed doing. And truth be told, I needed a break - I'm pretty sure I've been in Crisis Mode since his last hospital stay last month, and neither of us can afford for me to crash in the middle of all of this. So I've got more How It's Made on the TV (this time courtesy of YouTube and the Roku player I got for my birthday) and laundry in the dryer (which appears to have actually stayed fixed this time, thank g_d, because I'd be in jail for killing our landlord if it hadn't worked today), and I'll head over once I have a clean change of clothes for him.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
gridlore: (Burning_Man)
Conversation at Offhand Manor last night while watching old Law&Order episodes:

Me: "OK, step one, win the lottery."

Kiri: "And then?"

Me: "We build a big teddy bear on the Playa, and inside there are hammocks with bears in them so people can climb in and have a cuddle."

Kiri: "That's awesome!"

Me: "Then we set it on fire."

Kiri: "At the end of the week, right?"

Me: ". . . I suppose that would work as well."
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Next year [personal profile] kshandra and I will be marking our 25th wedding anniversary. Despite my recent meltdown over my birthday (and I apologize to anyone I offended with that), we want to do something special, life a cruise.

The problem is we're still poor. But Kiri deserves a real vacation. She has been so awesome for so long, she has earned a big ship and a fruity drink with an umbrella in it. I actually told her the other day that I don't care that we were looking at Alaskan cruises, she was getting a goddamn fruity drink with a goddamn umbrella in it!

My question is this: what would your reaction be to me starting a GoFundMe for this trip? I hate begging, I hate admitting that I can't do it, but to really have a great trip, we'll need help. Would you be offended? Think we're asking too much? Spread the word?

I'm still in a weird place emotionally. But Kirsten and I will celebrate a quarter century of marriage with something more that dinner at La Fondue. Kirsten and I will go someplace awesome (I hear Alaska is just filled with nature from reliable sources) and I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

Other options we've discussed are a trip to Washington D.C. (she's never been) and possibly a Mexican Riviera cruise. The fantasy trip, which would take around $50,000 to do right, which is probably out of reach.

So, friends, Romans, countrymen. Your opinions on doing a GoFundMe for a vacation for our 25th?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
And it's still Saturday! )

After the show, we traveled to Oakland where a friend of Kiri's had offered us a place to sleep for the night, so we wouldn't have to drive all the way home and have her have to come back to SF the next day. This nice lady had very friendly dogs. I was pleased.

Welcome to the ORG. Be one with the ORG )

So far, a great weekend, and now I'm resting.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Finally got the stitches out of my back this morning. [personal profile] kshandra and I have ended up with the same dermatologist, who we both love. Due to the insurance fuckery, I had to tell them to submit today's visit and the surgery to remove the tumor from my back directly to Medicare. That's what Medicare told me to do.

After the obligatory visit to Starbucks so Kiri could get her arcane tea drink, we headed home. Kiri had taken the day so we could sort out what happened to my insurance. I'd make the calls, but my aphasia gets really bad when I'm stressed.

We still don't know what happened; but we found out that my I'm still enrolled in California Connect, and Anthem/Blue Cross is doing the re-enrollment process. So that appears to be resolved. We hope.

What we really need to do soon is sit down with some legal person and hash out a durable power of attorney so Kiri can manage my affairs, my medical directives (and there's a really tough conversation - when do I want to give up and die?), and my will. It's not like I have a large estate to be divided amongst my heirs, but I do want my wishes made clear.

But for now, I have my insurance resolved, my stitches are out, my Baycon schedule is settled, and tomorrow I pick up my mom from SFO and then get to enjoy Earthbaby's company event at the San Jose Giants' game.

I can't complain. Much.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)

Obscure Who references for the win.

Today is the 24th anniversary of my marriage to the ever-awesome [personal profile] kshandra. I am so lucky to have found her.

In other news, Kirsten and I have started pricing wheelchairs. The simple fact is that walking over long distances and extended periods is becoming increasingly difficult and painful for me. I can handle a shopping trip, but I'm actually dreading getting around at Baycon. I still walk a lot, I just want the fall back so I'm not spending all my spoons on dealing with the problems with my legs when I should be enjoying an event.

This is not something that Medicare will pay for as I've not gotten a doctor's order for it. But I feel that it will be good in the long run, as the cost of renting a chair every time I need one would soon outstrip the cost of just owning one.

I'm not looking for a mobility scooter for a couple of reasons. Cost is the first one. Second is I still have occasional balance issues that make me a little leery of  sitting on something that has me perched on a seat. This is why I use the recumbent bike at the YMCA. Finally, I want to stay as in shape as possible. Running a person-powered chair helps with that.

Ideally I'd like to find a good, sturdy, lightweight folding model. Orange frame would be nice, but not vital. Looks like we can get a decent one for under $200. We're going to the Palo Alto Farmer's Market next weekend, we may do a little window shopping for chairs on that trip.

Speaking of Baycon, it would be nice to have my schedule.

Now, everyone go tell Kiri that she's awesome.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Fail White)
Today was a total fail. I headed over to the YMCA after seeing nothing about yesterday's power outage on their page. But the place was still closed. Rather upset, I headed home. [personal profile] kshandra had told me I could get $20 worth of gas. I stopped at the local ARCO and got exactly that much.

Now I was using my small "travel" wallet. It holds a lot less, but it's good for the Y because it will fit easily in the small lockers on the main floor. In my wallet was my driver's license, debit card, YMCA card, and my three medical cards.

Somewhere between swiping my card at the pump and getting home I lost my wallet. This triggered a meltdown of brain function.

Kiri came home and took me to the bank and the DMV to take care of the two most pressing issues.

To be done tomorrow:

  • Contact insurance provider for replacement card.

  • Ditto Medicare/MediCal.

  • Call YMCA about missing card.

gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Morning chat with [personal profile] kshandra

me: Check. Wasn't planning on buying anything. Other than my Ferrari Testosterone, but I can get that Saturday.
 
Kirsten: Where are you planning to park it?
 
me: I'm going to paint flames on the hood, and hire Guy Fieri to drive it.
 
Kirsten: /snort
 
me: Just so I can say "Fieri, fetch the fiery Ferrari!"
 
Kirsten: You're weird, sir.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Among the things we wanted to get now that I've decided to return to Burning Man was our own camp stove and some better camp kitchen. Checking online, we found a great one on closeout, and bought it, electing to pick it up at one of the local stores.

Along with a side trip to get Darby washed and picking up some stuff from [personal profile] kshandra's office, the trip should have been easy. It's Saturday! what could go wrong?

Dear Ghods.

From her office, Kiri's plan was to take 87 to 280 to Lawrence Expressway. But traffic was horrid! Each exit was backed up onto the freeway. We elected to skip Lawrence (a crappy interchange at the best of times) and go on to Wolfe Road... which was still jammed! We eventual worked out way clear and made it down to REI, but seriously, what the actual fuck? KCBS told us there had been an accident, but it was long cleared.

REI is my favorite toy store. We mostly planned and compared, but picked up a carabiner cup for me, a thing of lip balm with a carabiner lid for Kiri, and a small radio with weather alert channels (also on clearance.) We also looked at camp stoves, making a tentative choice; played with toys (some of the visibility stuff is going with me next year); and examined the camp food selection. This requires some explanation. Kirsten gets a commissary pass, as she work long hours for the DMV. In years past, this hasn't been a problem. But with me going, we need to feed the penguin.

We had a lot of success with vacuum sealing things like spaghetti and taco meat. But I like my breakfasts. Luckily, Mountain House makes several very yummy breakfast options. So picking up several of those over the next few months is a good idea.

We also looked at cot pads. Being able to use my sleeping bag a a blanket would really help with the random muscle twitches my peripheral neuropathy gives me. Finally, I was getting done (as a side note, if you ever see me at an event looking lost and saying "Okay" over and over... make me sit down and get me something to drink. That is the warning sign that I am shutting down hard.) so we picked up our camp kitchen...

... remember the camp kitchen? We were there to pick up the camp kitchen...

... which is light as a feather. As always, the REI staff were incredible. One more stop for weekly shopping, and we are done.

Literally,and in every sense of the word.

If anybody wants to get me an awesome WinterGift™ a good-sized REI Gift Card would work.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Keep Calm)
[personal profile] kshandra and I were going somewhere. I was riding a 1947 Harley-Davidson FL and she was riding a custom-built trike.

I had no idea where we were going, but we were in Stockton, and Kiri was insisting that we needed to go north and take I-90. What was weird was that she was practically pleading with me to take that route.

That's all I remember of the dream, but those were some damn fine rides we had!
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Pending medical approval, I'm planning on going to Burning Man this year. This was a chat Kiri and I had the other day on the subject:

Douglas Berry: Check. Oh, I have a plan.

Kirsten Berry: Does it involve hats?
Douglas Berry: Not unless you want to get me this:http://www.after5catalog.com/images/products/172-06601P3.jpg
Kirsten Berry: No. Not even for the desert.
Douglas Berry: What if I wore it ironically as a commentary on American consumerism?
Kirsten Berry: Don't think it'd fly, sorry. Now, a beerdolier like John Jensen has...
Douglas Berry: STOP JUDGING MY ART!!!
Kirsten Berry: Dude, we're building fucking BLEACHERS for the DMV this year specifically to heckle.
Douglas Berry: /me gets big anime eyes at the thought.
I have found my true calling.

Kirsten Berry: With scorecards that say things like pi, or sqrt -1.
Douglas Berry: Please tell me there will be a gong, and I get the Jamie Farr seat.
Kirsten Berry: OOH! We can totally get a gong.

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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