gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Drama)
Yeah, I've fallen off doing my daily goals posts. Promise to get back on that horse.

But it has been an interesting weekend. Yesterday I attended my first softball game of the year, watching the younger of the Smash Sisters play for the Firebombs. Thank Willie Mays, the team colors are orange and black. This is the under-8 division, so the rules are a bit wonky. Games are 4 innings. Teams are limited to 3 runs an inning except for the 4th. Four balls to a batter doesn't mean a walk, but rather the batter's coach comes into pitch. Honestly, a lot of these girls just wait for the coach to come in. But it's a lot of fun, and Regan had quite a game! She pitched the 1st inning and got 3 strikeouts while allowing one run. All of the hits came on coach pitches. At the plate, she was 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Which she insists means Really Big Ice Cream. Who am I to argue? She would have had two runs, but for the three-run rule. Fireballs won 9-2. They were the home team, meaning they scored the maximum runs in each inning.

Go Firebombs!

Today, Kiri and I had some errands to run. An order for a propane lantern had arrived at REI (and we got out of there without buying anything else); we picked up some storage things at Bed, Bath, and Beyond as spring cleaning will happen here at Offhand Manor; and got Kiri a new cot and a distribution post for the propane stuff we're bring to Burning Man at Stevens Creek Surplus. Alas, I had picked up a bug, probably at the ball game, and was feeling quite miserable. Immodium tends to give me terrible stomach aches, and this was a monster. Feeling better now. Will try to eat in a bit.

Now I need to write. Class tomorrow.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
The Niece of Last Resort has begun collecting bottle caps. I was wondering if some of my far-flung correspondents could mail an interesting cap or two with a little information about it. Trying to get her interested in geography and maps.

The address is

Douglas Berry
2121 Main Street, #2
Santa Clara, CA

Thanks in advance!
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
It all started when I swung by Jack in the Box on my way home Tuesday night. "Bad for me Tuesday" has become sort of a tradition, where I hit a drive-thru to celebrate the start of my weekend with food that I normally would avoid. [personal profile] kshandra asked for a chocolate shake.

Within hours, she was nauseous and having intestinal issues that made us think that Ensign Wheatbiscuit had jumped ships. Wednesday, I drove her over to urgent care. Yup, some sort of bacterial infection. I didn't get it (although I did have a brief bout of similar symptoms, it is nowhere near what Kiri is experiencing) so where do you think this came from? I'm contacting JitB to register a complaint.

So that killed Wednesday. Taking care of my poor Kiri and watching the Masterchef try-outs pretty much summed up the day.

Today, Kiri is still sick and I needed to run errands. First, to Costco to pick up her prescriptions and Gatorade, then to the bank to get laundry quarters, and finally I desperately needed a haircut. Money is just tight enough that rather than going to the Costco pumps to fill the tank, I used my emergency gas can and got enough to get me through the next week. Then I'll need to refuel both Darby and the can.

Now doing said laundry, and composing a "Yo, morons" letter for Jack.

In other news, I may be a small business owner soon. On the Traveller Mailing List I wrote a post about how people should focus on smaller areas for their campaigns, a single subsector (20-40 systems) so that there is more detail and vitality, along with more plots that feed into an ongoing campaign. The gauntlet was thrown, challenging me to do such a subsector, and the idea of doing it as a Kickstarter was floated. Thus, I'm now trying figure out what I need to do to make Chinstrap Books a reality. Anyone know anything about what I need to do to establish a company that would basically be me and few others? Help!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - dance)
Kiri and I went this morning to see Kylie, the Emergency Back Up Niece, playing her Under 9 Division League Championship.

Sparks: 4
Orange Crush: 3 (in 5 innings)

These girls, aged 6-8, showed a ton of heart and some pretty good skills. Kylie had a 2 RBI double, pitched well, and in the bottom of the 4th had a great throw from left to kill a bases-loaded rally.

They normally play to four innings, so for the extra inning they had a weird rule. Each team started with a runner at second and two outs. The Sparks managed to bring that runner home, then held off a ferocious rally attempt by the Crush to tie the game up. Ended on a strike out!

I, being a doofus, forgot to take pictures. So here are some from Wednesday's game:
gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
Pardon my extended absence, but my computer hard drive was dying and a friend has been repairing it. I expect to be online full time again soon.

I come today to speak of Giftmas. It was a good thing. Spent the morning at my sister's place. All the nieces, my mom, Kirsten and I, we all enjoyed a fun morning. Good breakfast as well. I'm at work now, doing a few hours of prep for tomorrow. Mainly confirming trips and making sure the drivers get their work.

As for presents, I am happy with my haul. I got a bear you can microwave or freeze for warm/cold bear, socks, and the Ars Magica book for the Byzantine Empire. Kirsten and I also managed to buy each other the same item: slippers. I got her these neat thermal booties at REI (good for home and Playa) and she got me Giants slippers.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Thoughtful)
In our continuing quest to jump start Niece Prime's adult life, we went to talk to an Air Force recruiter yesterday. It actually was Lenore's idea, and I did my best to detail both the benefits and drawbacks of military service.

The funny thing was that when we got to the recruiting station, the doors were locked, and there was a contact number taped to the door. So we went next door to the Army station to ask if/when the Zoomies showed up. The answer wasn't encouraging, but the Sergeant on duty was kind enough to start working with Nori on the basics. Sadly, there is an issue that is probably going to be a block for her enlisting. Still I'm awesomely proud of her for even considering the armed forces as an option.

I'm not going to mention the block, as it's nobody business.

It was kind of funny, in the course of our travels I got called Lenore's dad twice. At the recruiting station and at the grocery store. And to be honest, when I heard what the barracks are like these days (two-man rooms with private bathrooms, kitchenettes, carpeting!) I was about ready to re-up myself!

But I was so looking forward to the call where we told Craig that after two months exposure to me, Lenore had enlisted. We may be middle-aged, but he's still my big brother, and it is still my solemn duty to torment him.

The Norster is moving into her own place next week, and we're really trying to emphasize that she needs to keep looking for better opportunities and get dedicated to making money. We've done what we can, and will continue to help her in any way we can, but we really want our living room back.

At some point yesterday I got exposed to a stomach bug. Barely slept last night, feeling miserable today. Called in dead. Probably crawling back into bed. I'm willing it was when I went over to my new health-care provider's offices for a coumadin level. One nice improvement at Palo Alto Medical Foundation over Kaiser, I have a dedicated NP handling my INF work, so I'll be seeing the same person each time I dfo a level and getting face time to discuss changes in diet and life-style that could affect my levels.

Not watching the Olympics. Just not overly into them this year. The Giants currently suck like things that suck a lot, but are still clinging to a half-game lead in the NL West.
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
Incredibly good day spent here:

My home away from home

Odds are we're only making one game this season, and I'm glad it was this one for many reasons. It was against the hated Dodgers. It was a chance to sweep the hated Dodgers. It was a chance to tie the Dodgers for the lead in the National League West. Timmy was pitching. Garlic Fries. The day was beautiful (and Kiri and I have the sunburns to prove it), the beer was cold, the garlic fries were god-like, and the Giants beat L.A. 3-0. Not only did we sweep Los Angeles, but for the first time in the 123 year history of this rivalry, the Giants completely shut out the Dodgers over a three-game series. The Blue Menace never crossed home plate.

We were a party of three this time, as my mom came up with us to enjoy the day.

Gamer babes.

This was also a first for me; as I managed to score a complete game for the first time. The other times I've tried I either get distracted and lose my place or run into a play that I have no idea how to record. But not this time! I think I'll make a habit of this, keeping score is kind of fun.

Great day. GO GIANTS!!!
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Done today:

  • Took out a ton of garbage.

  • Bagged laundry for an Oasis run/donation (last night and tonight).

  • Cleaned our front porch area.

  • Wrote an outline.

  • Did three loads of laundry (last one in dryer currently).

To be done tomorrow

  • Take laundry in to Oasis and to the charity drop off.

  • Go by Orchard to get shelving units for Kiri

  • Go to library so Lenore can get a library card.

  • Clean and re-stack our storage boxes.

  • Drink beer.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
... Carmen Sandiego Doug Berry?

  • Now that I've got that song stuck in your head, I can tell you that I've been fighting the worst cold/allergy attack/bronchial yuck I've had in a long time.

  • So bad that I've been using the codeine-laced cough syrup I got a while back.

  • Which is now gone. I haz a sad over this.

  • But things finally appear to be improving, slightly.

  • Other than that, been working.

  • I did get a comped membership to Baycon.

  • Unfortunately, with my work schedule and general ill-health, I was only able to make a few hours on Friday and Saturday.

  • Still good to get out and see people.

  • Niece Prime is making me feel like a slacker.

  • She puts her resume up on Craiglsit, and is getting hits immediately.

  • Already interviewed for one gig, and is out right now confirming a writing gig for a furniture shop.

  • Paid by piece, but still, getting paid to write!

  • Which only reminds me that I'm really not doing what I need to do to write.

  • So from now on, one hour - minimum! - of writing daily.

  • Even if it is complete and utter crap, get it down on paper/screen.

  • In addition I'm going to start carrying my note pad in my backpack.

  • Should I eventually sell something, I'm buying a corduroy jacket with leather patches on the arms.

  • To wear to my first Worldcon as a Hugo Nominee.

  • Also will need a bubble pipe.

  • Note to self: Make sure jacket will go well with either the Campbell Best New Writer tiara or the SIX TIME HUGO LOSER t-shirt.

  • Giants are doing.. okay. Over .500. but a lot of questions still to be answered.

  • I am out of beer. How did this happen?

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

  • [profile] madelineusher has moved in with us for lessons in being Poor But Fabulous.

  • She's sleeping on our futon, so I'm certain she will be looking for a more permanent situation soon.

  • Pretty awesome kid. Now we get to corrupt her completely!

  • My work status has changed. I'm now working days Monday, Tuesday and Friday, opening on weekends.

  • This will help me maintain a better sleep schedule.

  • Applied to be a dispatcher with the city of Santa Clara.

  • Always looking for something better, y'know?

  • Life goes on.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Keep Calm)
We never thought it would happen, but yes, the pitter-patter of little feet will be heard at Offhand Manor.

OK, the pitter-patter of 21 year old feet.

Our beloved Niece Prime, Lenore, is going to be living with us for a time while trying to jump start her adult life. We'll be giving her lessons in being poor but happy, and hoping to reach out to our established links to help her find a job and more permanent housing. We'll be making the rounds for her coming out.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
But aside from a decimal point placement error on the amount of mashed potatoes required, my sister hit it out of the park in her first-ever go at Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was perfect, the Trader Joe's stuffing was fantastic, and the dinner rolls were made from scratch. I ate an amazing three helpings. Which, given my recent health, should count as a miracle of some kind.

Better than the food was seeing the entire Berry clan in one place. My big brother, his lady, my Mom (enjoying her first work-free Thanksgiving in fifty years) and of course all three nieces. Lenore (Niece Prime) is now old enough to drink, a realization that makes me want a drink. Emergency Back-Up Niece Kylie and the Niece of Last Resort Regan did what any self-respecting 6 and 4 year olds would do when surrounded by relatives - they went nuts.

In between hypersonic shrieks made by small children good conversation was had. Sadly, I'm still not feeling overly well, so we bowed out shortly after desert (which I didn't even try to eat, I would have died.) The Stoopid 49ers ruined a perfect holiday by losing to the Ravens, 16-6. Ah well, we're still 9-2 and hold a 4.5 game lead in the NFC West with five games to go. GO NINERS!

Earlier in the day another Thanksgiving tradition was observed. We went to church courtesy of KFOG. Of course, now I'm imagining OWS marching to One Police Plaza, singing a chorus of Alice's Restaurant and marching away.

They might think it's a movement...
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Thanksgiving wine has been acquired.

Little Penguin Pinot Grigio and Fetzer Valley Oaks White Zinfadel.

With [ profile] isomeme bringing a Riesling, we should be set for the insane number of people that might be at my sister's place.

BevMo is a dangerous place for a wineaux.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
aka my Mom and my Aunts Ann and Molly. [ profile] kshandra, [ profile] murphymom, my cousin Pam and her daughter Lily were also there. Quite the mob. The sisters get together once a year, sometimes going on vacation or just visiting one another. Since Kiri and I were up in Reno for most of their visit this was our one chance to get together. The original plan was to eat at Olive Garden, but they don't take reservations, and we were told that it would be a 70 minute wait for a table. Pam called around, and The Cheesecake Factory right across the street could hold a space for us if we got right over. We did.

Very good food, and oh, by Halford's Shiny Head, the portions! Great conversations, very good wine. Of course, there were pictures taken. This is me and Pam.

Family reunion.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Accomplished everything I set out to do, and more.

  • Extension paperwork filed with the medical secretaries

  • Picked up my thyroid medication, Levothyroxine 25MCG.

  • Nearly had a heart attack at the cost.

  • Went to the DMV and picked up my temporary disabled parking placard. DMV was hellish as usual, but I had a cute baby to watch.

Then came the real fun of the day. Helping my mom with her computer. At first I was just going over to show her how to use Flickr. But then two things quickly became apparent. Nothing on this machine had been updated in years, and my mom was agreeing to any installation option given to her. IE had about 5 toolbars, and when I opened the ancient version of Firefox, there were at least eight. So a'program-deleting we went! Cleared about 2gig of crap from the hard drive. Then downloaded a clean, current version of Firefox and set it up for her needs.

Had one final errand. For decades I've had a dollar bill that was printed when war fears with the Japanese were growing. The Treasury printed a raftload of money with HAWAII printed on the back. The idea was that if the islands were successfully invaded, the US could simply declare all such bills to be worthless. There's no family history attached to it, so I called a coin store to see if I could bring it in. The best part was that on Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen I got a parking space right in front of the place I was going. (Highly recommended, they were great people.) The appraiser looked over the bill and offered five dollars. Since that's more than the face value, I easily accepted. Sure, in the back of my mind, I was hoping for a "1935 Series A? My God, there are only five known to exist!" but knew that wasn't likely. Still looking out for a wandering 1933 Gold Double Eagle, though.

Finally, I came home and made two new icons. One for Madden football, and the one I've needed for a while, seen on this post.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • I need to go to Kaiser and drop off paperwork with the Medical Secretaries, pick up a form from my doctor, and then pick up new medication.

  • Because my thyroid is evidently running ultra-marathons while chugging pure caffeine.

  • Then off to the DMV to apply for a disabled tag.

  • Trust me, these days I need it.

  • After that, I'm off to [ profile] baka49er's place to give her a quick course in using Flickr.

  • Assuming I survive that, I have an old dollar bill from World War II I want to sell. It's stamped "HAWAII" on the back and was one of the bills issued only in the colony. The idea was that if the Japanese invaded, the entire run of currency could be declared worthless.

  • Depending on condition and which series it is, it's worth $10-$50.

  • That works for me!

  • Just need to find a coin shop along my route of march.

  • Also need to find a new card holder for my wallet.

  • My Niners are now 3-1.

  • I made several trades (next year's draft is going to be bad) but picked up a much better right tackle, left outside linebacker, and a new #1 wide receiver.

  • Also discovered that the practice sessions really help. Especially those "key plays" identified by the coaching staff.

  • Now playing the game with a pen and note pad next to me.

  • Finally found the bloody GPS. It was inside a folder from when I had home healthcare.

  • It will be useful on the drive up to Reno.

  • Which is next Tuesday. Yikes!

  • [ profile] kshandra is picking up our suitcases from [ profile] murphymom. I'm going to start setting aside what I want to take up later this week.

  • Need to start wearing teeth again, I suppose.

  • Go Giants!

gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
I now own a PS2 and four games. Madden NFL 11, MLB The Show 07, Medal of Honor: European Assault, and Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb. Thank you, [ profile] murphymom!

I also finally have Darby back! I am street legal again, and able to haul my own sorry butt around.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
We survived a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Kylie and Regan (and their friends) had a great time and the grown ups enjoyed watching the kids. Kiri and I played some Skee-Ball. As usual, she whipped me good. What was shocking was how trashy the place was. They had a specific area set off for the multiple birthday parties going on. This was right in front of the stage with the really bad animatronic band. There were three TVs that were supposed to be part of the show. The main one, an eighties-era big box big screen, was showing everything in black and white with multiple picture issues. The other two had blown color levels. The sound system was junk. When the rat finally showed up, the kid in the suit barely qualified as phoning it in. The little kids didn't notice, but the adults did. I had a chance to chat with one of the employees, and then seem to be enthusiastic about what they do. But if your entire business model is attracting kid's parties (seriously, who goes to Chuck E Cheese for the food?) then it seems that a little money spent on fixing things would be in order.

But the 'za was tolerable, it was great to see the extended family, and the kids had fun. So a success. Probably the last of the big family birthday parties as well. This was more for Regan, the Niece of Last Resort who is turning 4. Kylie, the Emergency Back-Up Niece, who is now 6, is having a party with a small group of friends tomorrow. They are both entering the stage where friends are more important than family on a day to day basis. Good for them. It was fun to watch both of the girls riding this virtual roller coaster. Front camera footage from a variety of famous coasters coupled with hydraulic jacks that tilt and shake the car appropriately. It was all we could do to pry Reagan out of there. She's a bit upset that she isn't big enough to ride the Demon at Great America. Couple of thrill-seekers there!

Coming back we stopped by the +5 Gamestore of Awesome. Where I found something that was both really cool and quite affordable. The Kingdoms of Legend World Guide and World Map Poster. Created for the Pathfinder RPG, this is close to my heart. It's set in an alternate early 15th century where magic works and the religious situation is.. complicated. Very nice.

Full day. A good day.

Happy birthday to Kylie and Regan!!!!!!!!!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • Just heard that the Emergency Back-Up Niece has begun taking Taekwondo lessons!

  • Evidently she loves it, even the formality and rules, and has already broken a board with a kick!

  • She especially likes the shouting.

  • Everyone is hoping she's sticks with it, not only because the lessons are costly, because of all the positives that come out of the training and discipline.

  • Me? I'm thinking the 2024 Summer Olympics

  • The only martial art I ever studied was Aikido. Took a course of beginner's classes while at Fort Benning.

  • Aikido is about the only martial art you can do in full infantry gear. It was very popular with infatrymen.

  • Our combatives training and Aikido shared some characteristics.

  • Both focused on using your opponent's energy against him to get him on the ground for a strike.

  • I was transferred before I could take advantage of it, but there was an advanced class where the students wore full battle-rattle.

  • Health-wise, I'm doing a bit better.

  • Controlling all the lung issues, doing my best to build up endurance and strength.

  • Downloaded Blender.

  • I've got all this bloody free time, and I spend all day in front of the computer anyway.

  • Might as well to learn to do this.

  • Who knows, if I develop half-way decent skills, I might start self-publishing stuff for games.

  • But that's a long way off.

  • BEAT L.A.!!!!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • Wow. Things are getting really busy for my poor broken butt.

  • This weekend is the annual birthday taco feast at [ profile] baka49er's place. Ann and I both have places to be on our actual birthday, so we're doing it a week early.

  • Yay tacos and time with the nieces of awesome!

  • Next week I have a pulmonary function test. Dr. Butcher and I thought it would be a good idea to get a new baseline since the last test was done before we knew there were blood clots in my lungs.

  • Not very social, but it gets me out of the house.

  • Then comes WesterCon 64. We're po'folks for this event, so feel free to buy me a beer.

  • Without so much as time to draw a breath, we're going to see Tales of the City at the ACT. Kiri won the tickets from KFOG

  • So, after all that we get to rest right? Ha.

  • We have a fannish event on Saturday the 9th.

  • Then the Mayhem Festival on Sunday. \m/

  • I won the tickets to that one.

  • Luckily after that we get two stress free weeks to prepare for an event that promises to be louder than Mayhem Fest..

  • The Niece of Last Resort's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese!

  • She's turning 4! Her big sister is turning 6!

  • How did this happen????

  • After that, we're cool until mid-August when we go to Reno for Worldcon.

  • There is very good news on the medical/financial front.

  • My application for Social Security was approved. So money is a bit less of a problem.

  • Not cured, but not quite at the "selling organs" state anymore.

  • The Giants are 41-34, half a game out of first in the NL West, and tonight face the Cleveland Indians.


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

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