sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)
 1. When a nice old coot offers to give you a few pointers on a day when your neighbors have kept you up ALL NIGHT so that your aim resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler, swallow "Go away, I'm trying to relax!" and say, "Oh, yes, sir, thank you!" (He didn't teach me anything I didn't know, but he pointed out things I was sloppily forgetting.)


Over ten years ago, I vowed to buy myself a horse bow when I reached the middle of five ranks in the SCA. I got just about to that rank and then let my archery lapse for ten years because... bizarrely enough... after 9/11, I went to the range to clear my head, and I just... couldn't. Not that day, not the next week. And so I stopped going.

I picked up archery again this year, and I'm about halfway back to where I was before.

Anyway. I saw someone with a horse bow today, and he caught me staring. I said, "Is that a horse bow? It's beautiful." It was one by this Chinese Bowmaker, same as in the pictures, except black wood wrapped in smooth, supple, burgundy-dyed snakeskin. Suede grip, no arrowrest. I love horse bows because they're short, well-proportioned for someone like me. But I've never gotten to draw one.

After I finished shooting, he came over and asked if I'd like to try his bow. It was 60 pounds, twice my wee little wooden recurve. But I could DO it. It's a very springy, supple wood [ETA: oh, of course, it's bamboo] that bends easily, so it was only a little harder to pull than my recurve, although harder to hold. Amazingly, you could rest an arrow right on your knuckle, and it would fly off the string without the bottom feather cutting or touching your hand as it left. And the sound of the string: deep, low, like a woodwind, very quiet and musical. Also, my aim was better with it, although my arm tired very quickly.

So now, once again, I lust for one. But my rule is that I can only get myself an expensive hobby-lust like that if I still want it after two years. We'll see. If I keep up with archery for a year, I may finally get one. 

3. I had forgotten just how deeply a quill can bury itself in your knuckle when it tears off the arrow during release. Note to self: when the arrow rest is starting to go, REPLACE IT. (I am proud to say I cleaned the blood off my bow and finished practice before coming home to remove the quill. What a mess.) 

(P.S. The photo above was taken with a self-timer.) 


Nov. 5th, 2008 01:58 am
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Yuna Serene)
I know a few friends reading my LJ are feeling anxious about what the future holds. Hugs to you. I know the guy I voted for won't be able to accomplish everything he's hoping to do -- which is both good and bad from your perspective, eh? -- but I hope that in the end the next few years will turn out better for you and for our country.

For folks who are celebrating like I am, here's one more for the road. I'm sure most of you have probably seen it, but ironically I only ran across it this weekend while revising my dissertation outline on the power of language. I played this video several times over the last few days to steady pre-election jitters.

When FiveThirtyEight called it and McCain started his concession speech (which was gracious-- there's the McCain I remembered admiring in 2000, le sigh) I realized I needed to get the heck out of my hermit cave and party somewhere. I scurried over to the Democratic field office set up across from UCI, where there was a delightful mix of folks young and old (mostly students and faculty) of many backgrounds, so we could cheer and cry and hug random people together during Obama's speech.

Final aside: I can't believe I had stopped thinking about what "sepdet" means, and who Sepdet with a capital S is. I think I'll say goodnight to her now and turn in. I guess she's somewhere out there with her little moon-smile and a twinkle in her eye: "told ya so!" She'd be 27 now... gah, where have the years gone!?
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (samhain)
Oh good. And bad, but good.

I stepped outside to check on status of garden (latest acquisition: miniature rose, Kithyra-style, which I haven't tried growing again since my first days in Boston) before running errands, and apparently Samhain slipped past me, even though she'd been asleep on the bed upstairs 30 seconds earlier.

I came home an hour and a half later, stepped out onto the porch, and she got up and told me off at length. But she hadn't strayed. Malcolm would've been in Riverside by that time.

I am now trying to motivate myself to get busy, when I want to sit here listening to the birds, wind in the trees, and especially the wind-chimes which is making dreamy goofy tinkly noises. It is nearly 90, dry, sunny, with a bright, clean blue-sky breeze blowing in all the windows which just SCREAMS "lazy summer afternoon." I no longer have to go to the Inn of the Seventh Ray to get my New Age vibes. (Well, okay, they have a few other things I lack, like excellent cooking.)

And -- ROSES!

Wish me luck. It is a sign of completeness that I am trying to have my own rosebush again. I gave up years ago because losing them made me sad, but it's an odd little quirk of self-identity, having a miniature rosebush with tiny red blooms.

I'm also trying my upside-down hanging pot for growing cherry tomatoes, since I've grown impatient trying to sprout them from seeds.

Speaking of roses, Other Rose, have you seen pictures of genetically-engineered blue roses? Unsurprisingly, Japanese researchers were involved. Hopefully no funding from Ohtori Academy.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)
Only a month late.


LINK: Photo Gallery of the neighborhood lake(s), with ducks, swallows, and other birdies. Also my ugly feet.

Lammas was successful, by the way: tomato/basil linguini with basil, chives and oregano from my garden; shrimp from the local Asian market with Great Swimming Tanks o' Fish. Dish inspired by my favorite lunch at the seafood restaurant by the lake (theirs is better, but I am still happy I cooked something for once).
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)
Well, I have splurged and bought the Looks Like It Was Made In Rivendell Bed which I have been coveting from day one (made from sustainable wood and recycled iron!), and still need to get a Really Good Mattress.

more random house chatter )

Also, I say to the two or three people on my flist who care and/or understand about these things:

MANNY RAMIREZ ;aslfk;A@!5outfieldersWTF!!

Um. Well. Er. We needed a bat.
And Torre's used to handling primadonnas.

I don't think I'm going to be getting any work done tonight.

[ profile] trekqueen, make sure your tickets for tonight's game get used by somebody. The first game of Manny Ramirez on the west coast, with Randy "The Perfect Game" Johnson vs. Clayton "At Nineteen, Could Be the Next Sandy Koufax" Kershaw in a matchup between two teams scrapping for a division title (nevermind it's a bad division this year; it's still a dogfight)... um... it's big, hon. Big.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Undies)
Sorry to be so spammy tonight, but this is WEIRD.

I logged in tonight to catch me some baseball, got the #$@#! blackout message that means my IP address has been reset and it doesn't know where I am, and when I called tech support they said they couldn't help me because I had an IP address that's in India, where apparently people are not allowed to watch American baseball. (which is weird, but I'm sure few of them care.)

SO... no Dodgers/Giants tonight, because California fell into the ocean and wound up in India.

Really surprisingly little damage, considering.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (rockin' bambi)
By the way, SoCal folks, help the geeks at USEC, by going to the "Did You Feel It?" Shakemap and filling out their survey. (Others may be interested to see the map, which shows what people actually felt, as opposed to what the seismographs see.)

It's interesting to see all the numbers start trickling in within a few moments of the event.

Also, thanks to Trekqueen for reminding me to take a screencap of the USGS Los Angeles Area Seismic Map (it's more dramatic within the first hour, when all the markers are still red):

Looks like UCI felt it more, or else that's just one floor up -- lots of books down in the library.

EDIT: Another wee after shock just now. (5:39 PM). Heh. My upstairs office window seems to be just loose enough to pick up every vibration; I couldn't feel that one but it certainly rattled!

I see on the USGS site that the aftershock I felt at 11:51 was a 3.8.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Yuna Dance)

Longest earthquake I've felt since moving here. FUN, especially on the second story! Shakey shakey shakey shakey shakey onnnn and on. Everything rattled and creaked, and I could see things moving, but nothing fell off shelves. My first guess was "that's a biggie," but not right on top of me because it wasn't harsh. It felt like the edges of the jolts were rounded, if that makes any sense. Slightly cushioned. Which usually means farther away, rather than sharp and hard right underneath me. But it wasn't far enough away to be a roller like the 7.2 ten years ago.

Oh, lookie, an aftershock! (11:51)

Fun turning on the TV and hearing "preliminary magnitude 5.9." Which means there's probably been minor damage but it's unlikely to have caused much injury, unless somebody was really in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled terra firma.

EDIT: Downgraded to a 5.4. Better, I suppose, as that means minimal damage. Sounds like a few water main breaks here and there.

Link to Google Map of epicenter; I'm in Irvine to the sw

sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Fail)
You know you've been making too many graphics when you stumble downstairs on less sleep than you'd like, pour a bowl of cereal, haul the wrong spoon out of the drawer, and stand there staring blearily and thinking, "This would make a good icon."

Feel free to gank with credit.


Jul. 23rd, 2008 12:42 am
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)
Good tired.

In the process of getting the dissertation engine up to speed I have found two shareware tools which may be of use to some of my OSX-using friends.

On the Job is a simple timeclock. Name a task, hit the play button, and it records how long until you hit stop. It also nags and asks if you wish to subtract minutes if you've been idle 5 minutes or longer.

Right now my dissertation is too inchoate for me to have a set of goals to achieve each day, and with my self-discipline problems I have a hard time making myself put in a good 5-6 hours at a stretch. Having the little timer there in my dock is working as a psychological Dumbo feather, so far.

The other item is Journler, a blog-writing piece of software that's much more than that; it lets you organize pretty much any type of document on your computer (pictures, mp3s, etc) by letting you set up hyperlinks between them -- like the web, except you can only link to a document or entry. It has a good tagging system and a separate categories system, and the searching/filtering is EXCELLENT. The interface looks like Apple Mail, in that you can build folders and subfolders on the left, have all the titles/headers of each entry in a scrolly bit up at the top, and then bottom main screen is where you type and read entries.

BRAIN: Back up. Back up notes. All hail cheap memory sticks.

In other news, I have hacked my Giant Jasmine Tribble mercilessly, since it dropped all its flowers about the time I moved in (partly due to season, partly due to the Toads not watering it for a month.) I hope it will forgive me, but after much snipping I have unearthed an ironwork trellis and created a cascading jasmine arch -- a bit lopsided, since I resorted to the "comb-over" method to cover the side that it hadn't covered yet -- higher than my head.

I fondly hope the Jasmine Tribble will react like the roses in The Secret Garden. I found so much dead growth, dried leaves, and even a snakeskin (auspicious!) in its matted vines that I've got a second giant tribble of clippings on the patio.

Irvine has a Green Clippings recycling program, yay, and my official bin will be dropped off tomorrow. (I know, I should begin a compost heap, but I'm afraid I'd do it wrong and get stink, bugs, and/or varmints.)

Also, after discovering Miss Betty still considers my patio her catbox, I have sprinkled liberal amounts of a cat-B-gone remedy I got at Lowe's. It is organic -- VERY organic -- consisting of cayenne pepper and several other spices that sting but aren't toxic. I will report on whether this helps. (Samhain still has the patio bricks to roll around on.)
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (ride the wind)
I've got a hand-signed note from my local Toyota dealer saying they have a lot of customers trying to get pre-owned Toyota Priuses, and the dealer who sold it to me will buy mine back from me for about $17,000 (Kelly Blue Book), or let me trade it in for any other 2007 or 2008 Toyota model they've got on the lot.


Precious! You can't have the Precioussss!

In other news, my home is down to the painting stage, and most of my possessions now reside in boxes in the garage.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)
Yep, I'm buying it.

Some weird news about the smoker. The real estate agent for the seller said, "Oh, gosh, that's a guest staying at the house while the seller's on the east coast-- she'll be FURIOUS to find out he's smoking!" and I said, "yeah right."

However, I was over there yesterday for one final appraisal thingie, and you know, I think they weren't lying after all.

The closet I thought was musty has his coat in it. He was there, and he did indeed STINK of smoke. That's not wonderful news, but I checked the walls, and they're not yellowed from nicotene because they're the exact same color under the pictures. I think it's just old paint.

So. I was planning to rip out and replace the carpets anyway. I was going to have the downstairs repainted, and the heat/air conditioning cleaned out completely because they're due anyway. So I will do that. I think that will take care of it, because I don't think the house has been smoked in longterm.

Also, my Dad talked to a smoke expert who does house reconditioning after both fires and heavy smokers, and they said, honest to gosh, one really CAN get it all out. Not cheap, but there are ways, and the steps I outlined above work even for long-term smoked-in houses, so I should be fine. If not, I'll move out for 2 days and have the bally ozone treatment done.

[ profile] trekqueen, maybe you can visit sometime and apply your nose expertise to make sure I've got the last trace out. Not to spend the night, just in case I haven't gotten it 100% clear, but in that event, there's the patio and park, plus we can go out for dinner/movies.

I do actually like the place, which is insane because it's not like the PERFECT PLACE ON EARTH -- the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms are a bit small, and my guests will have to put up with that -- but it feels just right for me. Over and over, every time I go there, the first thing I notice is that it's so peaceful and quiet. Something I desperately need to write my dissertation.

I mean, I still think back to the Minbari Penthouse with all the skylights and gigantic rooms and bedroom view over Newport Harbor, but... that's not me, really, and besides, the price was just STUPID. Whereas this is just a pleasantly adequate little home.

"You're looking to buy a home, not a house," my realtor said the first day. He was right.

So here are some pictures. )
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (samhain)
Housing negotiations proceed apace; I have Yojimbo as my realtor.

I have been doing a ton of webpage design as an anti-stress mechanism.

Also... her majesty is posing for a contest.

sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Greek2meicon)
Ancient Greece Odyssey on Squidoo
Squidoo Lens of the Year - 5th Place Runner Up Award
Not too shabby. Admittedly, out of 400,000+ lenses, there's a lot of junk out there; still, I am pleased.

Also, I'm going pro in this web 2.0 thing.

Mythprint: all the myth that's fit to print

Web Flotsam

Feb. 4th, 2008 11:14 pm
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (rockin' bambi)
I love origami, although I don't do it often enough anymore.

I just ran across a good origami website with a ton of diagrams, including how to fold the classic flog.

Froggie has always been my favorite origami model, because I received one as a gift when I was very small. It's doubly charming when it comes with a dab of Engrish.
sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (erk.)

A large pine tree has fallen across the 73N to 55 connector lane. I called from the ARCO station to report that I'd dodged most of it but the SUV in front of me appeared to have hit it pretty hard. Apparently I'm not the only one. I saw this on the Orange County CHP website when I got home, called back on the non-emergency # to say "the driver at the ARCO station doesn't need assistance," and the dispatcher said, "Thanks for checking in, but that's yet another person who's hit it!"

Fun time in the OC tonight!

-- from the OC current traffic report on the CHP website...

Incident: 0628 Type: Traffic Collision - No Details Location: NB SR73 JSO NB SR55 Zoom Map: 859 7D info as of: 1/16/2008 11:08:08 PM
10:42PM CHP Unit On Scene
11:02PM CHP Unit On Scene

I think I will join the cat, who has hunkered down on the bed with large googly eyes. The wind gusts are between 60-100mph tonight.


sepdet: Samhain worshipping the veggies. Oooommm. (Okay, yes, catnip was involved.) (Default)

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