choco_frosh: (Default)
On Saturday, as I was packing the car to leave Ossipee, I got a call from the organizer of my Geek Club.
"Hey. Burson. Where are you?"
"Umm, New Hampshire... $#!7, was I supposed to be somewhere??
"...You went to New Hampshire all by yourself???"

I'll leave out the next couple minutes of conversation. Eventually, I got it across to him that I'd been in NH for a week at my aunt's cabin; he reminded ME that I'd signed up for a hiking trip, back when it was still a theoretical possibility without a set date or, indeed, a set hike. It had now, of course, been set as Today, at Arathusa Falls.

I weighed a possibly-sprained knee and a carful of perishable leftovers and laundry, again missing yet ANOTHER meetup (and presumably doing some cool stuff).
"...Ah, what the heck. When are we meeting?"

And so, when I got on the road, it was in a very different direction than expected. One that would ultimately take me over Bear Notch Road, because (a) I'd been by it a million times but never been over it before, and (b) when the traffic on Conway is backed up all the way to the Kanc., you avoid the HECK out of that town.

Once we finally all got there, I had the unusual experience of being the slow one that everyone has to wait for while hiking. But my knee failed to turn sideways and kill me, and eventually we got to the falls.
One of these years, I will go to Arethusa Falls when there's actually a decent amount of water going over it. I mean, it's impressive even after a couple of weeks of drought, but...
I made better time on the way down - the hike seemed to have loosened up my knee, rather than making it worse - and so I got to participate in the conversations about [resident Brony]'s epic trip to Ireland, and his unexpectedly drug-addled past.

[North] Conway traffic also accounted for why we wound up stopping at a barbecue place on the way back, rather than getting Thai food as planned. (Self-destructive impulses presumably account for why I joined 'em all in this, rather than the much cheaper and more sensible option of just heading back to Portland and eating some of my leftovers. Ditto for why I opted in when we all ordered the 'epic piles of meat that provide a week's RDA of protein all at once".) But hey, delicious food. Also awesome conversations: the bits I remember mostly involved ragging on ex- or absent members of the groups, and a pleasant arguement about the ontological basis of morality, because that's just how we roll.

Aand thanks again to insane traffic (and somebody's suggestion), I wound up taking another road over a mountain to get home, except this one was one-lane and insane. I got lost in Fryeburg; but on the other hand, there's some insanely pretty countryside over that way.

The week since then...has mostly involved a less-painful-than-it-could-have been staff meeting (ok), the Development Office unloading all their alcohol onto us afterward (epic), and finding out that Book Company has laid me off (sucky). Back to the ole-job application process, I guess.
choco_frosh: Made with the old "Mad Men yourself" image generator (mad men)
Some explanations:

One of the things I've been doing too much of lately is rereading Cherryh's Chanur novels. From which "Gods-be black things..." is a quote: at one point The Pride of Chanur gets infested with vermin (this is a Bad Thing in a spaceship). And "Gods-be" or "gods be feathered" is apparently a reference to some old Hani religious controversy, but that's not very important to the plot. Either here or there.

This all explains why this was the first thing to leap into my head when, awakened a night or two ago by rustling noises (as of a rodent attempting to steal some dried egg noodles), I leapt from bed and turned on the light, in time to see a small black shadow scurrying up the wall and behind my fridge.
Yup. It seems we have mice.

It's not a mystery, really. It is difficult to completely mouse-proof a house, and in any case my landlord has a bad habit of leaving the basement windows open. While I keep food in my room, and not in terribly secure places (for identical reasons: It is difficult to find space either in the cabinets of a shared kitchen or in your bedroom to keep a 25 lb. sack of flour.)
What is a mystery though, is

1) How the $#@%^*^&^ are they getting onto my shelves? I have found what appears to be mouse poop in my dishware, on my shelves--which are metal and glass--a meter or more off the ground. Are they leaping from the chimney to the fridge? climbing up the struts at the back? Or using some sort of mouse-sized Spiderman gear/abilities to climb up sheetrock without even scratching the paint??

2) What the $#@%^*^&^ do they want up there? I mean, I totally understand mice going after your food. That's just a given. But day by day, my cereal boxes remain unknawed, my apples uneaten; there are no holes in the flour sacks. From all appearances, the mouse is climbing up my shelves SOLELY to poop on my stuff and thus f<<< with my head.

ANyway. I have pointed this out to my landlord; he has promised to get traps. Hopefully we can catch this little bastard and give him the third degree on these questions.
choco_frosh: (Default)
Right, I owe you a writeup about yesterday. First though:

Grr why didn't I realize earlier that my brother's play was closing tonight? #@$^&%^*(&.

So to back up several steps: over the winter a joined a Meetup group dedicated to miscellaneous geekery. This includes (obviously) things like RPGs and board game nights and Diablo III LAN parties, but it also does various other things of varying degrees of geekitude. Somewhere in the middle came yesterday's event: "Wear suits for no reason and go to a museum and eat gelato." It was initially proposed...oo, two months ago or so, originally scheduled for Kalamazoo weekend, ultimately rescheduled for this past Saturday. And then all the people who'd originally planned it had to bail. So it very nearly failed to happen...
...but by the time I found THAT out, I'd already gotten all Mordecai'd up and driven to Portland, and the same was true of several other members, so after we told our Fearless Leader that it was happening with or without him (and then after we waited twenty minutes while he found such minor details as his shoes and actually got his rear end down there, we did that thing.

Portland Historical Society Museum: kinda missable, if you skip the tour of the Longfellow house. [Touring it with annoying 21-yr-old who resembles Mikle Sullivan without the sense of restraint or the smarts: unforgettable.] We did at least get a group photo:

Then we meandered on down to a place called The Bucket of Blood Gelato Fiasco.

They have more flavors of gelato than any gelateria or ice cream place I've ever been to. We fortunately talked our Fearless Leader out of ordering the place's eponymous ...thing, (which is of the traditional "umphteenscoops&lotsoftoppings&you'regoingtonreedliketenpeopletoeatitunlessyou'reontheCompetitiveEatingcircuit" type) Instead we shelled out for individual bowls, which was STILL a lot o' gelato. Most of us got some combination of flavours that included "Resurgam," a gimmick flavor that commemorates the city's motto and the fire that in turn inspired it. That it is a gimmick is sad, as salty caramel gelato with chocolate and STUFF=to die for.

And then we wandered about for a bit, and I annoyed my companions by sneaking off to scan my transcripts at Kinko's (long story...). And then we were joined by some fellow members and wound up playing Power Grid in the quasi-food court of the Market House until they kicked us out.
So in conclusion, three of the day's activities I/we have definitely got to do again (viz., wear suits for no reason, patronize Gelato Fiasco, and play Power Grid.) But the museum--eh--and I think that it would be better NOT to combine these activities.
choco_frosh: (Default)
Two things I didn't do:

- Get down to central Mass. for a reading of King Lear chez [personal profile] teenybuffalo. Which is a pity (I studied King Lear for A-Level, and I've done some thinking about it since as well); but physically impossible to drive there after Church, and like I said, I don't like missing Palm Sunday even when I'm NOT in the choir!

- Make it to Tea in Boston and thus see Sonya, and bounce the idea of a pig oil company off her. This is particularly sad since I haven't seen ANY of the Boston crowd since...last year?; and also because it so nearly worked out. I was merely defeated by lack of available crash space; or rather, by the fact that I contacted the people with potential crash space at the eleventh hour, and thus they didn't get the requisite emails until the next day.

Instead, I:
- Went down to the park with some of the gamer group and fed squirrels. Mostly an excuse to just hang out, although I did contribute to one guy getting five of the little buggers circling him.

- Actually went running.

- Then rejoined some of the gamers for what is apparently a weekly pinball tournament at Coast City Comics. The latter is sort of half comic book store, half enormous shrine to geek kitsch: the owner has displayed an ultra-rare He-Man and the largest GI Joe accessory ever manufactured, along with things like weird mannequins and skulls with plastic swords through them. And pinball machines.
They do the tournament in teams of two, with the worst player (as determined by past scores at this, or - as in my case - by being a n00b) being paired with the best, second worst with second best, and so on. For every given machine (there are six), you each play it twice individually, but you also play it twice as a team, with one player on each flapper. I got reasonably good at just passing Dave* the ball, but then the Dr. Who-themed machine kicked our rears.**
- Thing 3.5 involved going out to the pub afterward, hearing about Coast City's upcoming con,*** and explaining to the guy from behind the counter that he really needed to read Digger and Skin Horse.

...I should really go be productive now.
ETA: On that note, does anyone know of any good essays (articles, etc.) on leadership or communications? For the last module of this textbook I'd like to assign one of those bagbiting "Write about an occasion when you exercised your leadership (or management, or communication) skills" essays that every other employer wants you to send them these days. It'd be, I think, a more useful assignment than a research thingie on Big Data.

* Store employee, and my partner in this tournament. I have not yet asked him if he is a member of the Dave Conspiracy, but as the shop--shockingly--does not stock Narbonic, I expect the answer is no.

** But then, it apparently does that to everyone.
I think we wound up playing the machines roughly in chronological order: the Whovian one had a rather pointless video feature, but it sat next to what looked to be the oldest machine, which was Six Million Dollar Man themed. I asked the owner, while we were waiting for our turn at the Monster Mash game, whether it had required repairs when he got it. The answer was no, and so they didn't ever get the opportunity to make the obvious joke.

*** Which reminds me: I need to get in touch with [profile] tsiarxof to see if he might want to be a GoH.


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