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It is way too bloody hot. "OK, Hell has officially frozen over," I told my barrista. "I'm getting an iced coffee." ("I think the problem is actually the other way around," was her reply.)
So while I did actually get myself to go running this morning (ugh!), I am abandoning plans to take the train and walk across Boston for my thing this evening. Air conditioned T, all the way.

Meantime, everybody remind me that TOMORROW I need to actually get my car to the mechanic. And NOT blow the entire morning modding maps of AU 10th-century England.
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I always forget how much the heat saps my sense of motivation.

Ah well. Got sworn in for the Census this morning, and apparently [company] potentially wants me to edit stuff for them, so I'm going to call today a win on the job front, even if I didn't get much of anything else done.
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The weather seems to be playing a multi-level April Fool's joke.
"Oh, you thought it was going to be spring? Haha, have an April Fools blizzard! No wait--psych! Snain. But it's going to snow in earnest tomorrow. Oh, you actually believed that? Ha, no it's raining..
Yes! Got you to go outside in street shoes with an umbrella. Psych! Wintry mix."

Meantime, in an interesting slice of life, North Station in filled with people in either Bruins jerseys or kirugami.
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Naturally, the first weekend in a while that G. sent P. down here without snowpants...was the weekend when we unexpectedly got four inches of snow. (Nashua, admittedly, got zero.) We had a decent weekend anyway, mostly thanks to Ursula Vernon books and to my Aunt, who'd given Peter a late birthday present in the form of a frickin' enormous lego set that he'd wanted.* But we COULD have gone sledding. Ah well.

And late yesterday, they announced that the university would be closed today, in view of the expected Snowpocalypse. In fact, though, it didn't start snowing in earnest until after our morning commute would have happened, and it's forecast to have turned to rain by the time we'd be heading home. (Classic New England horrible winter layer-cake storm.) But I guess driving through slush and driving rain in high winds wouldn't have been terribly safe either.

At the moment, though, it IS snowing in earnest: I should probably go make at least some gesture toward shoveling. That should still leave me enough time and energy to apply for something before lunch...

* The Lighthouse Siege, in case anyone's interested. Which I'd sorta seen before, since Peter's normal modus operandi, given a bunch of lego sets, often involves working out how to reverse-engineer some OTHER lego set. With the actual version, I performed what I feel was my official fatherly duty by working out how to get the electronic bits to work.
(Though seriously, Lego: you print the safety warnings in twenty languages: would it kill you to give written instructions for that bit?)
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The last days of February made it seem as though we'd fast-forwarded to April, with temperatures in the 60s. With the start of March, the weather is shifting abruptly back to February: yesterday was mild, but today it's windy and 40s (a fact that I failed to anticipate, with unfortunate consequences for my wardrobe); the weekend is going to be well below freezing.

%$^&* climate change.

(At least the trees didn't bud out during this false spring. The daffodils will survive; or failing that, we'll survive without them. Another year without apples, on the other hand, would be upsetting.)
In other news, turned down a job at the Census. I hate my current job, but a temporary part-time position is not gonna cut it as a replacement.
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It occurred to me yesterday that most of the things I want for Christmas are things you can't really get me.
Like snow.
And to live in a less screwed-up world.

Sigh. Welp, go on with the one I've got. Christmas presents are (mostly) bought, at least; ditto food shopping; ditto sending out Christmas letters, at least to the people who aren't getting them hand delivered. I'm putting off job applicatin' til Monday.

I should probably do some cleaning, though.
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Knee is actually better - enough - that I went to running club without doing it damage. Yay, recovery!
(Weather was way too muggy, but Oh Well. Didn't get enough rain, though.)

Meantime, I wish that the day they decided to distribute a thousand copies of [University]'s "State of the Arts" magazine--a publication that I suspect no one actually wants to read--had not coincided with a day on which we received 2500 pieces of REGULAR mail. Just getting it all READY for tomorrow was tricky; distributing it all tomorrow is going to be, quite literally, a pain.
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Things I should not be surprised about:

- The website of my cheap, piece-of-$#!7 health insurance is a cheap piece of $#!7.

- Yesterday it was a perfect fall day. Today it is apparently Louisiana.*
- It still hasn't rained yet.

- I did not get ANYTHING done this weekend!

Screwit, I'm gonna go make cookies and claim that as an accomplishment or something.

* OK, not really. Louisiana would be much worse. But also, raining.
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1) Immediately before and after Readercon last summer, my reading focused largely on novels involving people trying not to (a) starve to death and/or (b) fuck their relatives.

This summer, it appears that the new theme is: women who discover, in the aftermath of horribly traumatic sexual experiences, that they weren't interested in guys to begin with anyway.*

Both lists feature ass-kicking heroines in some version of dark-age Britain.

1a) re: A Free Man of Color: That one chapter may have set some kind of record for greatest number of unexpected-but-shouldn't-have-been-unexpected revelations per chapter in any book ever.

2) *If* all goes as planned I will be ringing my first quarter peal on August 7! Sovay (and anybody else who might conceivably be interested), it'll be at Old North from about noon to 12:45 or so: feel free to drop by.

3) It is way too fucking hot.

* ETA: Oh, that and people getting supernatural protection that they hadn't asked for, from gods not their own, which none the less ends up saving their rear ends.
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Darnit, I think *I* have the Lurgi now.

(I suppose it was inevitable, but I'd been hoping my immune system would be proof against it. Nope.)

...Guess I should abandon plans to go running, go home, and put myself to bed. Somebody bug me to post about the weekend...tomorrow, say.

Guess I should also be prepared to call in sick tomorrow. sigh.

Current weather: Snowing hard. Wtf, April?
(OK, yes, I know the answer to that one. It's still kinda shocking.)
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I would like to briefly say: It is too warm for December. Like, there are moths flying around.

(Fucking Blob. Well, probably. Fucking climate change, for certain.)
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I called my Dad today. He is now apparently under the impression that I have been super-productive this week, what with getting everything squared away with the Census (I hope), and getting a job interview for something else on Monday.
I have NOT been productive this week. I'd blame the heat, but it's really my inherent slackassitude. Instead, I have reread three novels,* modded my plans to extend the Green Line extension (which in turn involved mucking about with Bing maps and image manipulation programs for hours), and suchlike. sigh.

Oh well, at least the job search is going ok anyway?

In other news: was thinking of going strawberry picking tomorrow, but it looks like we're actually gonna plan for the weekend after next, when Peter's** here (and one or two people might be more available, too.)

Really looking forward to Readercon. Which is kinda odd, since I tend to feel a bit of a fish out of water: everyone's always talking about books and authors I've never read. But it's three days of going to friends' panels to cheer them on, and getting to feel useful and accomplished by volunteering, and hanging out with cool people.
But I still haven't pre-reg'd, and the deadline is two days away. I've been dithering, and putting off the decision. Because with my luck, if I register that'll be the weekend that the massive data-entry project gets re-rescheduled for, or I'll have mandatory Census training all four days. ugh.

* OK, I hadn't read The Martian before. But then I reread it (with some skimming) like twice more, so still counts.

** Oh crumbs, and I was supposed to mail him those legos! F---. Well, Monday.
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I applied for another of those jobs that want your last seven years' worth of employers. One of the ones where, by the end of the application, you can't remember what the position was, because you were focused on remembering the contact info. for the last dozen employers...
Also finally applied for that research assistant job with Harvard professor/librarian and internet activist Jonathan Zittrain. As I told him frankly in my cover letter, I have no idea whether I'm exactly right for the job or exactly wrong, but it was too intriguing not to apply. (That said, as Sovay knows I procrastinated on this for like two weeks, because I REALLY don't think I'm getting this one.)

Everything else (job- and Boston housing-wise) is hanging fire. As is what the hell-ass kind of precipitation we're getting tomorrow...
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7ish: [stumbles out of bed to use the bathroom; looks out window.]Well, it's definitely a blizzard, but it doesn't look any worse than, say, the South German blizzard of '06.

8ish: Well. Huh. We have power. We have water.
We do NOT have hot water. Looks like our furnace/water-heater-thingie chose the WORST possible moment to crap out.
(That was a really uncomfortable shower.)

8:30ish: I'm just gonna have to find good excuses for leaving the oven on most of the day. (I guess I was planning on baking anyway, though I checked 'cookies' off the list last night, and I'm not going to be eating dinner here this evening...)

10ish: drat, I don't actually have any stew beef. So much for that idea.

11:00: OK, enough procrastinating: time for sledding! Read more... )

12:40: Mitbewohner emerges and learns that we don't have hot water.
12:45: Mitbewohner comes to the obvious conclusion that maybe someone OTHER than us was inept enough to hit the breaker switch for the furnace instead of the basement lightswitch.
12:46: Eat ALL the cookies!
12:50: We have heat again!
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By some minor miracle, I still have a bedroom rather than a swamp.

It's been raining (for those of you not in these parts) for the past 36 hours. Hard. As in, on the way back from game night last night my car was throwing up waves.
While going uphill.
The Cathedral's basement has flooded.* (Well, a bit--the choir room was merely damp in places; some of the Sunday School rooms were a bit less lucky.)

* To be fair, St. Luke's was built in the 1850s, and the undercroft was probably not really meant to be used. This explains some things about its layout...

Confidential to Squigamunk: OK, yes, technically "guano" refers only to the excrement of bats (and seabirds. And seals, for some reason.) But you offered to take up a job for my crazy business idea "selling stuff made from guano.)
And no, I do not own a pig. I was more thinking of this.
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Weather-wise, today was about my ideal: the ground watered from yesterday's rain, clear skies, high winds. Remarkable surf on the beach, where I spent much of the day with Peter. (Well, it's a giant sandbox, and also there are rocks to climb on. He takes after his father that way.)

I also built sandcastles (sometimes to the neglect of helping with his...), while also reflecting on real fortifications. With one of the batteries on House Island staring you in the face, it was hard not to; and i reflected for the fiftieth time that in the nineteenth century they spent a vast deal of effort turning Portland into a real pig's 4r$3 to attack. Just along the shore from us, the site now occupied by SMCC is defended by a half-built, yet still bad4$$ stone battery and (what I hadn't realized before) a rather impressive set of earthworks above. So to attack Portland Harbor, you'd have to run the gammut of that AND House Island (the latter taking ranging shots as you approached and firing into your stern as you ewent by...); and that's AFTER you got past Portland Head, and BEFORE you even think about Fort Allen on the Eastern Prom, or the truly ridonculous Fort Gorges

Peter himself is now conked out in the back seat of my car: fell asleep within minutes of getting in, after two hours of throwing sticks off the rocks (bad plan, as it turned out) and running on the sand. He's going to wake up rather dehydrated and with salt still on his hands, but I haven't the heart to wake him. Besides, he woke up at 6 this morning.
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Sadly, these elements did not all get combined, but it was a fun weekend nonetheless. Read more... )
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Yesterday was not a good day for parking.

This was the case all over New Haven, where Sunday's storm (which delivered the classic shoreline two inches of sleet, before turning to rain and then freezing over) turned onstreet parking into a nightmare of snowplowed ridge-and-furrow, over ice with zero traction.* I helped some poor lady out of the snow a block from our house, then patted myself on the back and reflected on all the great karma I was accumulating.

Apparently it doesn't work like that.
How I dislocated my shoulder—again )
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The Five Seasons of Maine

“Spring begins in March,” I remember writing, back when I was seven or thereabouts. “Some people think it begins in April, but it’s really March.”
I’m not really sure who the “some people” were—any more than I can remember why my first- or second-grade teachers handed us the large booklets of sketching paper on which I recorded my observations on the change of the seasons. It may have been only me, rather than my classmates, who thought that Spring began in April, until revelation from a calendar or a teacher informed me otherwise. But in any case, I had cause to be confused. For I grew up in Maine, and northern Maine does not have a spring. Read more... )
choco_frosh: Image of the Konradigasse (former {Hof-]Schreibergasse) in Konstanz, where I lived in 2005-6 (s'gasse)
- We had my Dad, and then Grace´s old Div School classmate Juliet Hyde come to visit last week. Naturally, the weather was awful. Having an early swim in Lake Constance was right out, and our hike was cancelled on account of snow. (though WHAT´S this about snow in Boston? It´s not like THEY´re in the Alps. Happy happy climate change...) But we hiked up Hohentwil (and got pictures of the Big Daddy Cafe), sent/took both of them to the castle at Meersburg, and discovered a wonderful cheep restaurant. So it was fun.

- Grace got home last Tuesday, after a week in Kiev with the Uni-Chor which apparently featured a disco, the last surviving in situ statue of Lenin, and spaghetti for breakfast.

- As a result of two visitors, Grace getting back from Kiev, and a week of wet weather, we´ve had masses of laundry hung up and refusing to dry.

- I´ve spent the last two days in Frauenfeld, 45 minutes south of Konstanz in Switzerland, working in the Staatsarchiv des Kantons Thurgau-. Since Konstanz shared control over the Thurgau for much of the fifteenth century, it was an obvious place to go. Of course, it would probably have been a good idea if I´d gotten a map of the town before I went...but I figured I could find one in the train station, and for once I was right.
Frauenfeld (which I walked around over my lunch break) is kinda like what I imagíne Montpelier Vermont must be like: a small town with exaggerated governmental importance that gives it delusions of grandeur. So its train station is gigantic, even though the town center is small enough to walk across in fifteen minutes. Anyway. The whole place burned down in the 18th c., so everything dates from then or later, except for the castle, perched on a cliff over the Murg.
It also seems to have a thing about automatic door openers. The one in the government building (yes, singular) where the archive is located wasn´t so surprising, but it´s a bit weird that the Evangelische Kirche has one too...
I walked into the building and located, in quick succession, a sign and the archive. As I was going in, a woman headed out. "Frau Stöckly?" I queried, to see if this was, in fact, the person I´d been exchanging emails with about my visit. It was a guess, but a) how many employees could there be in the Staatarchiv? and b) she had the indefinable air of the person in the office who answers the emails of clueless grad. students. Also, she somehow LOOKED like a Stöckly. And again, I was right.

- The weather was actually nice today, so I had wonderful views of the mountains from the train. Didn´t get a lot of reading done, though.

- Does anyone know what Ben Isecke´s doing these days? I haven´t heard what he´s doing in yonks.


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