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Went to Portland's first Techno Contra Dance last night. It was really something. The flier said it was an event that would not be suitable for beginners and that there would be no walk throughs. What it didn't say was that the music would never stop. While I enjoy skipping the walk throughs when the dances are simple and the dancers good, I do like for the music to stop for partner changes. And I do like the music to stop for music changes too. Or at least when they are spinning CDs I like it too, live contra bands do a fine job of that. Anyway, it was way more exhausting than your regular contra dance. The dances were incredibly easy and most of the dancers were good. By it was challenging to see the other dancers, which made it harder for people to help each other and thus the dancers who weren't so good were more annoying. Also, I found the techno lighting and music pretty disorienting. So it ended up being a challenging dance on a number of levels even though we were doing easy contras. I think I prefer for my contras to be challenging in more conventional levels.

As is all too often the case, I didn't sleep very well after. It's really hard to stay hydrated for that much exercise. When we got home we kept ourselves awake to drink a bunch of juice, which helped over normal. But after sleeping really soundly until 2am, I was awake for quite a while. It doesn't help that our apartment keeps overheating. And I had a dream that we were somewhere out of the country (Japan, I think) and accidently wondered into a really expensive restaurant where our dinner for 6 people ended up costing almost $1000. And I didn't even remember it afterward! Fortunately, it turned out to be a dream and I also don't actually have to pay for it!

Josh has today off work, but unfortunately I still have to work. Well, I suppose "have to" is a strong word, but one of my students has homework over the 3-day weekend and a quiz Monday and has questions. The other I really do want the opportunity to do some extra work with outside of his normal homework. He's reasonably smart and in pre-algebra, but has not mastered multiple digit multiplication or fraction addition and subtraction. But it still feels like kind of a lame way to spend Josh's day off.

I'm amusing myself this morning watching my new floor cleaning robot do it's thing. I ended up getting the "Mint" robot rather than a roomba. It sweeps and mops rather than vacuuming. One might accuse it of moving the dirt around, but I'm hoping it only appears that way because it is cleaning under things where my regular vacuum can't reach and that therefore haven't been cleaned since we moved in. And also cleaning under things like the stove that maybe haven't been cleaned since the building was built. I'm hoping that if I run it regularly, once those places are actually clean it will stop getting so overloaded with dustbunnies that it leaves some of them behind elsewhere.

It's supposed to stop raining and get partly sunny later this morning. I'm really excited. I think we've had something like 60 days of straight rain. Or near enough to that.
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Last Wednesday I went with my mom to the Used Gear sale at the Portland REI where they sell off for cheap all the stuff people bring back under their satisfaction guarantee policy. This ranges from shows that were worn outside for 10 minutes before the person decided the fit wasn't very good, to "tent worked great for 20 years, now there are no poles" (seriously, who does that?). Anyway, I spent $50 on an REI Quarter Dome T3 under the theory that it weighs only a smidgen (~3 oz) more than our current backpacking tent, and is about 3x as big inside. We borrowed our friend Scott's spacious 3-person tent (that he and his wife use) when we went on our week-long backpacking trip in the Emigrant Wilderness (I should get around to posting about that one of these days, it was a fantastic trip), and were converted to the idea of a slightly larger tent. Also, we fully expect to be putting 3 people in it soon (well, within a few years, don't get excited). Anyway, this tent is bigger but not really heavier than our old tent for a few reasons: better engineering, better materials, and area scaling non-linearly with volume.

The reason it was so cheap (about 1/6 of the retail price) is because there is a big hole in the floor and some small holes in the rainfly. Those are very serious, but not insurmountable, problems. I have seam sealant, I have appropriate patch fabric, and I have the sewing skills. Trouble is the tent specs say that the floor and rainfly are ripstop nylon. However, they LOOK rather more like silicone impregnated nylon. Figuring out the which it is is important because the kind of sealant you use depends on the kind of fabric, and I'll be needing my sealant to stick to both the existing tent fabric, and the patch.
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Had a fun day out shopping with my mom. We went to a bunch of fabric store looking for fabric for curtains. We both have curtain projects going because the Round recently had all the windows redone (as originally built there were some serious leak problems), and as a result of the remodeling, the curtains that came with all the condos no longer fit. Curtains are expensive. Particularly when you have really big windows. The window in our living room is 8 feet tall by almost 12 feet wide. That's a really big window. I didn't actually buy much as I wanted Josh to look over the choices before I spent at least $50 on a curtain rod and over $100 on the fabric (and that's for relatively cheap fabric at 50% off). Josh and I went back out to JoAnn's this evening for him to look at my favorites. We'll be getting this, probably ordering it online as the store didn't have anywhere near the 16 yards we need in stock.

We also went to a nice second hand store in Tigard, the Union Gospel Mission. I picked up a 15 inch electric wok for $6. We've been talking about getting a wok for ages, as we've been cooking lots of stir fry and Thai food lately. Not sure where I'm going to store it, but used it to cook dinner tonight and it worked wonderfully. My Pad Thai didn't come out that well, but not through any fault of the wok. It was a joy to push food around in.

My mom got a bunch of stuff there too, including a really impressive table that expands all the way up to seating 12 people or down to seating 2 people, and is sturdy enough for her to use her sewing machine on... I think it will be perfect for her 1 bedroom condo. They currently do have a table there, but it's pretty funky. (It would have been a nice table for our condo too, but I have a bit of a table-buying addiction. Josh and I own no less than 3 dining room tables, plus a card table, coffee table, end tables, etc.) She also got a pasta maker, which I look forward to helping her experiment with.

Roomba

Nov. 20th, 2010 10:33 am
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I know at least a couple people on my friends page have the Roomba. Are you pleased with it? I'm thinking about getting one (or it's cousin, the Scooba).
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You are going to be so proud of me. I have a new laptop and it runs Linux. In fact, it *only* runs Linux. I'm on the other side of the world with no Windows boot option. Amazingly, I don't really need any help with it, as Ubuntu is mostly just working out of the box, and for everything else there is Google. It seems Linux has come a long way since I last tried to seriously use it my Freshman year of college.

However, I'd love some recommendations about what software I should load up while I have a good free Internet connection. Between OpenOffice, Mozilla, Picasa, and Skype, I think I have the essentials covered, but it would be nice to be able to do a few more things. Specifically I'd love recommendations on applications for the following:

Sync my iPod Touch, ideally with new Audible books (I thought iTunes was supposed to work through Wine, but no dice so far)
Read Kindle Books
Sync a nice Calendar/Outlook-clone to my Google Calendar
Sync software to make backing up photos onto hard drive and alternate SD card more convenient
LJ client
Blogger Client
Any other useful programs I should have but haven't thought of yet

Also, is there a way to trouble shoot programs that don't *just work* on Wine?

---

Now, I just have to take a minute to tell about my new computer. This computer shall be known as Lotus, since we got it in Asia, and sticking with the floral theme. It's a Sony P-Series "Lifestyle" PC, which is super small, but more powerful than a typical netbook. It's got a super-wide aspect ratio, clearly designed around the smallest possible usable keyboard for touch typing, with no extra space on the base for a mousepad. It's nub mouse only, which is a little bit of a bummer. The resolution is 1600x800. It weighs about 1.5 lbs. The rest of the specs are a bit lacking by modern standards. I didn't buy it before our trip for a combination of reasons: price, mixed reviews, not knowing how much I would want a PC with us. The reviews mostly said that the keyboard is marginally sized, and that it works pretty well so long as you don't ask it to do too much. Running Vista counts as "too much", which lead to many bad reviews since that's the operating system it ships with. Supposedly 7 and XP are both okay. So when this one, running only Linux and without it's original Vista disks came up on eBay, it seemed like a great opportunity to pick it up cheaper, and with a more appropriate OS to the hardware. And to become a Linux user. Maybe I'll even be a convert by the time we get home...

China!

Sep. 17th, 2009 11:52 pm
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Josh got me china for my birthday! Pretty china that we found at a second hand store this evening. It's 10 place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, dessert plate, soup bowl, fruit bowl, cup, and sauser), plus a few serving dishes. Seems to be in excellent shape, aside from one of the small plates has a little chip.



The pattern is Georgian Eggshell G3391 from Homer Laughlin. It seems I can also buy a few more kinds of serving dishes off ebay, and interestingly the Georgian Eggshell seems to apply only to the shape/design of the actual china, where as the G3391 refers to the painting... there seem to have been lots of different patterns painted on the Georgian Eggshell dishes. While I don't see this anywhere on the dishes themselves, this pattern seems to be referred to as Cashmere a bunch on ebay.

Wish list: 15 inch platter, 12 inch platter, 8 inch platter, round serving bowl, square luncheon plates, sugar lid, gravy boat, whatever else can be found...
sillygoosegirl: (Fairy - Forget-me-not)
I am now the proud owner of a Nokia 770. Her name is Forget-me-not, and she is a 3-year-old internet tablet divice, new to me today. 8 oz, 5.5 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches, 800 x 480 pixels. Not as nifty as the N810 model I was looking at, but I will be trying to hack the OS tomorrow to make it think it is. Then perhaps I will be able to make Skype, Google Maps, and Marketplace work. In the mean time, it was only 20% the cost of a new model, so hopefully a good way to find out if I can really make a little divice like this work for me... even if I eventually want the one with something like a real keyboard. Wow this is slow, but I am still pretty impressed that they managed to put (almost) the whole internet in such a little package!

Shopping

Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:24 am
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I want to buy some sort of small PC/iPhone/blackberry/some such. I'm going to say what I want it to do, and you guys are going to let me know if you are aware of such a product currently on the market.

1. I don't want to pay for a data plan. If it is also a phone and I can get basic service only, that's cool, but not necessary since I already have a phone. I want to get on the interweb using wi-fi.
2. I want a decent amount of storage, probably a real hard drive, since I want it to hold the master copy of my My Documents directory.
3. Appications required: web browser, PDF reader, Word (or equivalent), and Excel (or equivalent)
4. Plug and play drive capability, preferably without an actual cord (think like a flippy USB connection)
5. Relatively high resolution screen, and decent capability for human input.
6. Ability to play music would be nice.
7. Built in radio, GPS, and compass would also be nice.

Do they make such a thing yet?
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Today was Verona's community wide garage sale weekend. We went out and purchased a lot of stuff we don't need for dirt cheap. It was fun though.

Vice clamp - $7.50
2 corner clamps - $5.00
4 shirts - $7.00
2 pairs cross country skis, poles, and 1 pair boots (fit me) - $2.75
2 pair nice chop sticks - $1.00
Halogen lamp - $10.00
Old Singer sewing machine - $5.00
Cassette walkman exactly like the one I have (had??) and couldn't find when I wanted it last month - $1.00
2 Wine cozy things - $2.00
Goose down onezie - $2.00 (No, we have nothing to announce... except that Josh officially has a hope chest now. Well, officially has a metaphorical hope chest, there is no actual chest involved.)
2 cookies - $0.50
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I love Craigs List.  Last night Josh listed our old dining room chairs (I did mention the new dining room table and chairs we got from Josh's aunt and uncle, right?) on Craigs List.  This morning a nice lady came by and paid us to haul them away.  She was super excited too... says she's been looking for 2 months for a set of chairs to match her grandmother's old table she was recently given, and she thinks ours are just perfect and she plans to refinish them and replace the fabric.  Well, I'm glad she's so happy.  And I'm glad they'll be given new life.  And I'm especially glad that they are out of our living room! 

We decided to keep the old table.  Stored with the legs off, it takes up about as much space as a card table.  The chairs,  not so much.  If we ever have cause to use both tables at once, we'll probably need to buy some folding chairs to go with, but those will store much better. 

ETA: I guess we should have asked for more for the chairs.  I mean, we would have gladly given them away and they really weren't even worth the $40 to us, but now that Josh has gotten on his computer this morning to take down the listing, he's gotten emails from 3 more people interested in them...  Now if only someone was interested in my old desk. 

Success!

Oct. 21st, 2008 08:00 pm
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I brought my sewing machine to the repair place right after work today (they close at 6pm), and was told by the front desk woman that they have a big backlog and are scheduling people for repairs the first week of December.  I asked how much a repair of a bobbin winder would run me and described the problem.  She went in the back and got the repair guy and I told him what the problem was and how I used to be able to tap it and it went, but now nothing seems to work.  He took the little plastic cappy thing off and squirted some oil in and now it works good as new.  Yay!  He didn't charge me for it, but I'll be sure to bring my business there when I have real maintinance to be done.  Which might be soon... I've had the thing 3 years and haven't brought it in for a tune up yet... think I'm supposed to do that annually...  maybe the next time I'm scheduled 2 months in advance for a business trip I'll arrange to have it serviced while I am gone. 

Then I went to the St. Vincent de Paul Josh and I visited on Sunday (which was about 3 blocks away) and purchased the cute plum dress that I tried on on Sunday but didn't buy... only to discover once we got home that Josh was really disappointed I didn't get it.  And now I will take a moment to mention how wacked out women's clothing sizes are.  In the last 4 days I have purchased two very attractive dresses that fit me very well.  The first was a size 6 and the second was a size 10.  Granted they were both lace-up-the-back dresses, so that means a little extra give in the sizing, but still.  WTF? 

And finally I stopped by REI which was also on the way home and returned the duplicate sleeping bag (I ordered one for delivery to the store, and then it went on back order temporarily, but they still had ones in stock so I just bought one... then my order showed up before I had a chance to cancel it).  Also, said sleeping bag has gone on an even better sale, and since I bought less than 30 days ago, I get the newest best sale price and got the difference credited back to me.  Incidently, though we haven't been out in them yet, our new kilo flash down sleeping bags seem really nice.  And are now 35% off in case anyone was thinking of buying such a thing.  (Anyone interested in a men's long of such a bag should contact me before making such a purchase and I might be able to hook you up with an even better deal.) 
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I've done a significant amount of work on the desk the last 3 days (like, multiple hours each day), including a lot of use of the power sander. To update, when I started this evening, all the "outside" sides/front/back are done to 180 grit, and the inside "sides" were done to 80 grit. My goal for tonight was to do the inside "sides" to 180 grit tonight... which is probably only around 1 hours worth of work (not many corners/edges/curves, no more paint). However, I found after only a few minutes that I can hardly hold the power sander stable right now with my right hand because my muscles hurt (or really, not because they hurt... the pain isn't so bad... mostly they just don't respond to commands with any level of precision right now). My left hand has the same problem... only without any pain at all and for an entirely different reason.

Sigh. I'm so excited about getting this project done... and I have a hard enough time finding daylight hours to work on it... it's disappointing when I have the time to go out there and find I am unable to work on it. Oh well. I spent a good long time out there admiring it instead. Our entire evening is double booked tomorrow, so I should have a day to recover before I'm giving up any more time that I might have spent on it.

On the somewhat related subject of office furniture, we need more filing cabinets. Our funky little two drawer cabinet we bought in Evanston is getting rather full. I'd like to get something quad high, and at least double wide... possibly in a lateral configuration, and hopefully reasonably attractive looking (like wood or laminate). However, we might instead buy one or two of these or these (if they stack safely, which might be wishful thinking). As Josh is quick to point out, we really don't need that much filing space at this time... but I am confident we will eventually and have some desire for matching filing cabinets.

On the non-related subject of labtops, Becca's old Inspiron 1450 and another even older laptop arrived in the mail today. We'll be building a combination laptop out of Becca's old 1450 and my old 1450, which I am way more excited about than I have any right to be. Thanks Becca! That's exactly what I wanted for my birthday... and a month early too!
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We had a busy weekend. I don't really recall what we did on Friday. Probably we tried to relax a little. Saturday we got up early (for the weekend), and drove down to Mandy and Ed's place. We arrived in time for lunch and enjoyed visiting with Mandy and Ed. Eventually the Hyde Park folks got out of bed and made their way out to Oak Park too, and we got to see them. Then we went to Newt's 30 birthday party and had a great time there too. Talked some, played some bridge, and got attacked by children who wanted to have tickle fights with me and other such things as needing me to play jumping games with them and do the hokie pokie. Afterward we had another nice visit with Mandy and Ed in the evening, and then in the morning over Mandy's yummy french toast. It was very nice to see everyone, and I'm really glad that my work trip half of this weekend's trip got cancelled and I didn't have to cut everything short by leaving at 8pm to go to my hotel to go to sleep so I could get up ungodly early.

Then we drove home... by way of Prime Outlets for a lid, and ended up taking forever while Josh tried on lots of pants and dress shoes. We eventually found a promising pair of potential dance shoes and bought them... a major accomplishment... the last time he found a pair of potential dance shoes that seemed likely enough to try to buy, we were also shopping for wedding shoes for him. Yes, our wedding. No, he didn't end up liking them as dance shoes. Then we continued on home, but stopped at Goodwill, where we took forever while I tried on pants. I found some good dress pants that I've been feeling a lack of for go-lives, and we also somehow brought home a nice pair of dry clean only dress pants for Josh... one of us put them in the cart for him to try on, and whichever of us that was forgot to do anything about them getting tried on. Didn't realize the mistake until the tag was off... but they do at least fit him very well... which is good, because they fit me like crap. However, the awesome purchase of the day was this beautiful painting of a sunset over a stream flowing out of a lake next to a little cottage surrounded by snow covered evergreen trees. Very pretty.

Then when we finally got home, there was a UHaul outside Chris and Mandy's townhouse. Mandy was over at their new house, and Chris was loading the UHaul. We helped load it and with some packing, then went over to the new house with him and helped upload. (Small loads because the new house is 1/2 mile away.) We got a tour of their lovely new house, then went back with Chris for another load while Mandy went to the grocery store and made some dinner. Chris and Mandy, who have been at this since Friday, were pretty beat and decided that since everything that wont fit in the car was moved, they were done moving for a little while. There's still a lot of stuff at their old place, but they have the old place until the end of June... so plenty of time for those remaining trips. We had a nice visit with them over dinner and ice cream. I think we would have become better friends with them during the past 5 months had they not been so busy with getting married and buying a house and all that. We are a little disappointed they ended up buying a house this summer... they'd been planning to wait until next summer because Mandy had a condo in Milwaukee that wasn't selling, but then they discovered they could get a bridge loan, and then they finally sold Mandy's condo anyway. Anyhow, like I said, they are only moving a half mile... so not far or anything. Hopefully they like us well enough already that the difference between next door and 1/2 mile wont matter.

Then we finally actually come home, and turned around and went directly to the grocery store, which was closed because it was 8:30. Then we came home again and did laundry, a little (not nearly enough) clean up, showered, and wrote this Livejournal entry. Now I will go to bed because it is late and tomorrow there is work. So much for getting out to Indiana Jones tonight, or working on my desk project anymore... maybe tomorrow. It's good to be busy though.

Genius!

Apr. 5th, 2008 12:08 pm
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They have re-designed the REI Quarter Dome tent, and it is absolution genius! My biggest complaint with the Quarter Dome we have (the model from 3 years ago), is that there just isn't nearly enough head room. More height would be nice, but what I really wished it had was more side-to-side room. Check out the picture, what they have done with the poles is fracking brilliant! Why didn't anyone think of that before? Why didn't I think of that before?

I guess I should have let Josh recycle the REI catalog without opening it. I want a new tent now.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Josh succeeded in finding an alternate bed. It was more expensive, but since the guy was kind enough to help us bring it home in his truck, it actually ended up being cheaper overall. The man we bought it from was celebrating his 75th birthday today, and apparently him and his wife are still trying to get used to apartment living--a while back they sold their house and then went traveling for 7 years, and are recently back. Kick ass! When can we be a sweet old couple who sells their house and goes on vacation for 7 years?

Anyway, they bought the bed recently at a store closing sale, but when they got it home they discovered that the ceiling in their guest room wasn't tall enough for it, so they were reselling it. Maybe I'll post a picture someday if we ever clean up the bedroom. Hahaha.

Bed

Mar. 18th, 2008 04:53 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Okay, forget those other beds I've posted, this is the one I want.

Unfortunately it is an hour away in Beloit. And I don't know how we are going to get it back here. Have I mentioned lately that I wish our car had a hatch back? I would gladly--GLADLY--trade both rear doors for 1 hatch back. Oh well.

There's a guy on Craigs List who move furniture for people in his truck, but for something this far, he'd probably charge around $100. That's probably okay, I'm probably willing to spend that... but would it be better to spend the money on a roof rack for next time? And would we even be able to get it home in one trip with a roof rack?
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Went to Goodwill today. Bought 4 suits. Three of them don't really fit, but I think I can alter without too much trouble. The 4th fits pretty well, but is stylistically a bit strange... I'm not sure if there is anything to be done about it, but it was $10 and I can wear it if I don't get the others ready in time for my first go-live (first weekend in April). Also bought myself a pair of jeans, a shirt that looks pretty good with all the suits, a pair of shoes that looks decent with the suit I expect to turn out the best after alterations, a picture frame for the cut family photo my sister send me at Christmas, and Josh bought a bunch of button up shirts, another wicking shirt that he says fits him like "shrink wrap" (I haven't seen it yet), and several CDs. We spent almost $100. I was impressed, it's hard to spend that much at Goodwill.

But anyway, about the title of this post. One of the CDs Josh bought was some "old school Madonna," some of which we listened to in the car. He was very impressed at how few of the songs I had heard before, even among the ones I had heard of. I mean, I had a pretty good clue what "Like a Virgin" would be like from the Weird Al parody, but I think today was my very first time hearing it. Likewise, while I've heard plenty of references to "Material Girl", I'm not sure I'd ever actually heard it either... though perhaps I'm just getting it confused with "Barbie Girl", which is pretty much the same thing for all practical purposes.

Maybe, if I'm not too lazy, I will even post some pictures of the suits, along with the gobs and gobs of other pictures I've been meaning to post... like the pictures of our Christmas "tree", and our Wisconsin Winter, and so forth.

Speaking of suits... I was going to try to make one also. Don't know if I still want to do that now that I have 4 from the Goodwill, but the pattern I have in mind, for my reference and so you guys can tell me it looks nice is: McCalls 5397, and if I am feeling really ambitious, perhaps also with a long sleeved top so I can wear it in the winter using Vogue 8333.

Tomorrow there is a hiking meetup at the Arboretum. I am excited. For some reason I've been really chearful since the end of the working day on Friday. It's nice. I like me when I am chearful. Should do it more often.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
This looks really cool. Except at $60 for a swatch set, it positively reeks of scam.

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