March 15, 2018

Figure Foto Test Too

That's better.

Not thrilled with the shadow on the backdrop, but other than that I'm not complaining.  It probably helps that the figure isn't as colorful as the last one.  Actually, this figure just tickles me... "Hey, we've got a character from Love Live Sunshine!, a show about idols.  She's statuesque, mature in appearance and attitude... let's put her in a sweater and bluejeans.  And a trenchcoat."  Classic, just classic.

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March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking 1942 - 2018

I need to dig out my copy of A Brief History Of Time, I think.  For old times sake.

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March 11, 2018

Figure Foto Test

I can't shake the feeling that there's still something... off... with the colors.  Oh, they're all correct, but... well.  Since the whole thing only took a minute or two, I'm thinking it isn't bad at all.

UPDATE: This picture was taken using my Sony A3000 in Auto mode, using the ambient light at my computer desk at mid-afternoon.  Sunlight, but filtered through a less-than-thick curtain, in other words.  No fill light to speak of... this very literally took me two or three minutes tops to shoot, and that includes moving the figure and unpacking the camera.  The resulting picture was then run through GIMP and Paint.net... each of them can do some things the other can't.... to process brightness/contrast and make some minor adjustments therein.  The upshot of all of this was that the skintone now better matches the figure.

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March 09, 2018

This Week... This Week Will NOT Be A Keeper

I went to sleep Sunday night, all set to meet the coming week head-on and full of ginger.


The week went to hell immediately thereafter. Monday morning, I woke up a just long enough before my alarm clock that I could plod to the bathroom, do what needed to be done, then go back to sleep for... 40 minutes.  Ugh.  Right on the midpoint between getting up to start the day or going back to bed.  Either way, I needed to use the facilities so I levered myself up out of bed... and came very very close to faceplanting into the floor.  Ugh.  Guess I'm still a little asleep, my balance is off.

No it wasn't.  Well, actually, yes, yes it was, but not because I was still a little asleep.  I made it into the bathroom by strength of will only... and the fact that the hallway that leads to it is relatively narrow.  I sat on the throne, trying to figure out what was going on, and shook my head side to side... and very nearly ended up in the sink.  Holy crepe.  Eventually I made it back to my bed, at which point I discovered that, if I kept my head very still, there was very little spinning.  Otherwise?  Massively dizzy.  Fortunately, I have a pillow made of very cheap memory foam that doesn't so much cradle your head as take a casting suitable for a highly detailed representation of your face.  Even when I'm NOT dizzy it's sometimes difficult to turn my head in that thing.  Using that, I was able to not move for about an hour (after adjusting my alarm).  Eventually though I was forced to reach for my phone to turn the alarm off.

Once I managed that incredible feat, I cradled it gently in my hands.  I had a decision to make.  Do I call in sick to work?  Do I just lay there, wait it out, then go into work?  It didn't take overly long to make a decision.  I called in at 830a, and much to my surprise my boss actually answered her phone on a Monday morning when payroll needed to be completed.  I explained what was going on, she pointed out that I sounded congested, somewhere along the way I had the presence of mind to make a joke: "I'm going to have to play it by inner ear.  Get it?  Inner ear?  Ha ha."  She told me to get better and keep in touch.  

So I stayed there, immobile in bed, for the next hour or so.  Or, really, mostly immobile.  It's very hard to stay completely still in my bed, mostly because it's old and a little not comfortable when you're trying to stay in one position for long periods of time.  I generally have to refit my fitted bedsheet every few days because the way I toss and turn during the night pulls it free on one side or the other.  Fortunately there was only one "I've gotta roll over" moment, about 15 minutes after talking to the boss.

After that hour was up, I gingerly attempted to sit up in bed... nothing.  No spins, no nausea, no feeling of falling out of an airliner, nothing.  It was like it had never happened.  Except it had, and it freaked me the heck out.  What if it came back when I was driving?  That wouldn't be very good at all... and forget about processing claims, when it happened I would have had problems not falling out of a chair, let alone do anything that required thought.  I didn't do much that day, though I took two intentional naps and one unintentional (sitting in front of the computer... zzzzz....).  

The rest of the week was better than that, but that was hardly a high bar to clear.  The claims were awful on Tuesday, we ran out of claims on Wednesday, Thursday I discovered that my paycheck had been shorted by about 1/3rd.  I wasn't the only one, there had been a glitch in the system that played hob with the payment rates for some of us.  I wasn't worried about it... I knew I'd get what I was owed sooner or later and I had enough in my account to keep me functional until then... but it's still not a nice feeling.

And today?  Today wasn't bad.  One good day, four not so good.  Nope, not gonna put this one in the ol' scrapbook.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention something.  I mentioned in passing somewhere or another that I think Radio LeMans's back catalog of races is something wonderful for people like me (ooh!  The 24 hours of Silverstone is this weekend!) who need something to listen to.  Well, on Wednesday this week, I began to listen to a new race.  Yep, I had picked a random LeMans race, and had chosen...  the last race to have a driver fatality, 2013.  Ugh.  Still, it was fascinating to listen to.  I had forgotten most of the details, and even that it had happened in 2013.  I'll tell you though, the minute of "silence", really just racing noise, at the finish of the 12th hour was surprisingly emotional.  So, yeah... surprise!

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March 03, 2018

VR... Finally Something GOOD

VR computing hasn't, for the most part, impressed me overmuch.  Nerd³ has played a sizable assortment of such games... I'm not sure if my reaction to the games is because of his comments while playing, or just the games themselves, but either way the VR game experience just doesn't seem... ready... yet.  It can look cool, and the potential is there to be amazing (a truly well-done VR War Thunder anybody?) but on the whole it seems more entertaining to watch than to play.  An exception to this seems to be the better racing games... with a full steering rig it seems bloody amazing.  That's almost certainly because you and I and Bob down the hall know what driving feels like and can interpolate that into the game itself.


And then there's Beat Saber.
Because wielding a light saber isn't enough, you've got to use a pair of them as drumsticks.  OF COURSE!  My first reaction when I saw this teaser was "that's a darn good track".  My second was "let me see someone playing it so I can believe this isn't just some animation.

Request answered.
Now that just looks darn fun.  I'd be crap at it, but it'd be fun anyway.

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February 27, 2018

*Groan*

Yes, I know there's a ton of things I could be writing about.  For example, many of the new Formula 1 cars have been rolled out for realsies, they've all got a new doohicky that we can hate yet will get used to by midseason, and on and on... just like every new season!  There's a bunch of anime that I need to catch back up on... After The Rain, Violet Evergarden, Citrus...  I even have a couple of features that I want to write!


And I just can't.  I'm trying, I really am, but I get out of work, and instead of doing things that need doing, I just come home and sleep.  Or I eat, then I sleep.  Or I get home, fire up the computer, and I just watch thought-provoking yootoob videos for a while, then I sleep.  I know this is disappointing... believe me, I know... yet I'll have to ask you to bear with me while I get over this... this... whatever it is.

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February 21, 2018

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Just in case you ever needed to know how to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, here you go:

...bringing you answers to the important questions: Wonderduck's Pond.

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February 20, 2018

Still Ill

Surprisingly enough, my fever going away does NOT mean that I'm tip-top 100% yet!


I went back to work on Monday, and once I completed the eight hours I came home and went right to sleep.  I am about to do the same right now...  just wanted to let y'all know I'm still alive, still coughing.

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February 16, 2018

Manliness Level: Over 9000

There comes a time for everybody who is honest with themselves where they must admit that they are not, and never will be, the absolute best at something.  There is always someone better.  Case in point: Ranveer Singh.

Not even in my wildest dreams could I hope to match the level of manliness shown in this song, Malhari, from the 2015 movie Bajirao Mastani.  Just watching it made my beard grow four inches.  My mustache, no feeble thing in its own right, began to sob.  And all I could do is think that, yes, this could be shoehorned into West Side Story fairly easily. I mean... damn.  

Now I hope Ph.Duck drops by The Pond soon...

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February 15, 2018

Alien Rammed Ovipositor Down My Throat?

No.  Not big enough for that.  I did just launch something about three inches long and about twice as wide as a pencil out of my mouth.  It took close to 15 minutes of coughing to get it out of my lungs, and I was surprised to see it was roughly the color of vanilla pudding.  I mean, I like vanilla pudding and all, but at no time have I given commands to my body saying "generate vanilla pudding".


Right, sorry, sorry.  Ah.  Now I want vanilla pudding.  I could even justify it by saying it'll sooth my sore throat.  Sadly, I've already had groceries delivered today... I was nearly out of food and, more importantly, liquids.  And cough drops.  And, much to my chagrin, honey.  $100 later, I am no longer out of food, liquids, cough drops and honey.  Only now, some eight hours after the delivery arrived, I realize I need some other things.  And I'm definitely still sick enough to not want to do very much.  Well, let's look at Amazon, shall we?

Pfeh.  The only pudding they carry is the need-to-make packs (too much work) and that pudding cup that doesn't need to be refrigerated (terrifying).  Well, while I'm here, I'll just pre-order those manga volumes that come out on Tuesday.  And that, dear friends, is about all I'm good for now.  I'm pretty sure the fever has flared up again, and I just want to go back to sleep.  Which I may just do.

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February 14, 2018

Instructions Unclear, Lung Ejected At Escape Velocity

So while at work on Tuesday I swallowed a piece of crumbly coffee cake before I was quite ready to do so, and it made me cough.  Eh, it happens.  There was still a tickle in my throat a few minutes later, and a swig of Mountain Dew failed to make it go away.  Oh well, whatever.  Coff coff coff, no big deal.  I was still coughing when I left work, but nothing too bad.  Well, there's a cough burning its way through the office, I was like one of five or six people with one.


Once I got home I had something to eat, finished the Kizumonowhatsit post, then took a four-hour nap.  Keep that in mind later.  When I woke up, I hacked and hacked and coughed and groaned.  Whoopsie, I may have a problem here.  Oh, and a headache.  Once I went back to bed, I discovered something rather unfortunate... I couldn't sleep.  There wasn't a single position that allowed me to lie in place without coughing.  Somewhere around six in the morning one was found, finally... and then I was kinda cold. 

Which, considering Pond Central's furnace was kicking out enough heat to power a Colorado-class battleship, was a problem.  Oh, and I was wrapped in two down comforters.  By all rights, I should have been drenched with sweat.  Instead, I was getting cold shivers down my back.  I sorta shook and quivered for an hour or so until my alarm went off, at which point I realized the only real sleep I had gotten... was during that nap earlier.  Oh boy.  The shower was nice and warm, and the massage feature beat the hell out of my scalp, just what Momzerduck's little boy needed.  Or, at least it got me out to the car.  I was breathing a little heavy though, and my pulse was higher than normal.  Well that's weird.

Got to work, was out of breath again by the time I made it to my desk (to be fair, it's roughly six miles from the parking lot to my desk).  Got the computer booting up and began hacking and whooping again.  Oh jeez... this'll be a fun day.  Slammed down a gatorade (blue, the only type we have in the vending machine) and some tylenol and got crackin'.

Within two hours, I had an obvious fever, the coughs were just wracking my throat to no end, and my head was doing the whole "piledriver" thing.  And still I soldiered on.  I took an early lunch break which I stretched to 45 minutes.... hey, 15 minutes extra sleep... and went back to my desk, like a good little worker.

There at my desk, I was feeling cold again so I pulled on the fleece jacket I brought in for just that reason.  Shivers from my feet to my scalp.  This ain't good.  I draped my heavy winter jacket over my shoulders, cloak-style.  Nothing.  You could have set me on fire and I wouldn't have stopped shivering.

After 5h 20m, I gave up.  I knocked on the door to the acting boss' office (note: boss is currently in hospital for pneumonia) and said I had to go to the doctor.  Her reply was "took you long enough.  Let me know what they say."  So away I went to the medical clinic near Pond Central.  The Nurse Practitioner that saw me was cute as a button and looked like she was about 12.  I suspect she was older than that.  Anyway, after a few tests ("let me stick this cotton swab up your nose"), she gave me the news.

I don't have pneumonia, and I don't have the flu.  What I do have is officially listed as "unspecified respiratory infection."  More informally, she said there's a flu-like virus going around the area.  If my virus goes the way of the others she's seen, tomorrow should be the end of the worst of it (which I'm currently in now), and it'll ramp down from there.  I'm not allowed to return to work until I've been 24 hours without a fever though. 

Until then?  Fluids, tylenol, rest, and honey.  Gonna be a long couple of days.

UPDATE: It's 2am Thursday.  I laid down for a couple of hours... very little coughing, but very little sleep.  I sat up in bed and... discovered that my cough has changed.  Before, it was a sharp barking sound occasionally accompanied from strange gargling sound like I was throwing up as I coughed.  I wasn't, by the way.  NOW, though... now my cough is a moist walrus sound.  There is phlegm involved.  This is for the best, I know, but... ugh.  Fever is still there, but it's responding well to tylenol... in that the headache that comes with it is reduced.  How the f*ck can something as small as a stinkin' virus cause so many damn problems???

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February 10, 2018

Well, That Works Too

I got up this morning, kicked around Pond Central for a bit, then headed out into the Great Parking Lot Of Snow.  All was white... except for that gray slushiness you get after a few cars drive around, y'know?  Anyway, trudged to my car and examined the situation.


We had received the blessing of about seven or eight inches of snow, which turned out to be the light, fluffy type of snow that is easy to remove... just a sweep of the snow brush and voila!  Except, well, there was so much that a swipe only took the top half.  Still easy, just took a bit longer.  That wasn't the big issue, however.  The problem was the ridge of snow left behind the last time a snowplow came through.  Taller than the Duckmobile's rear bumper it was.  Sighing to myself, I got to work... and by work, I mean I started to trudge through the stack of snow trying to kick it into the parking lot and lower it enough that I could get out.  I may still be out there if it wasn't for a miracle.  A member of maintenance came walking down the hill from the building north of Pond Central... pushing a snowblower.  I immediately began waving my hands over my head and jumping up and down (and by jumping, I mean "carefully raising myself up on my toes by a couple of inches" so I didn't fall down).  He looked over at me, and I pointed at the offending pile of snow behind my car, then folded my hands in front of me in supplication... "Please please please come clear this for me please..."

And he did.  Two minutes later, my car was freed from its snowy cocoon.  And then came the time I had been dreading for two days: starting my car.  As you may remember, the Duckmobile was having a conniption on Wednesday night, revving its engine without any input from yours truly's right foot.  Thursday I took a taxi into work, and Friday was Snow Day.  So this was to be the first time I'd tried it since then.  I'd looked online and found so many different reasons for an engine to surge on its own that I had no way of even possibly narrowing it down... everything from a loose gas cap to a total rebuild of the starter, and no, I don't know how that would cause surging either.  I crossed my fingers, put key to ignition, and started the car.

And it didn't act in any way out of the ordinary.  Oh, the revs did increase on their own, but it was the normal way... when she starts up, she idles low, but it slowly speeds up to about 1000rpm more or less and then stays there.  Which is exactly what happened now.  Not believing my good luck, I immediately drove to the mechanic.  Though busy, they brought her right in and spent a good two hours working on her.  Meanwhile, I watched four very good episodes of M.A.S.H., a show I haven't watched in years.  But all good things must come to an end, and the guy came in with the bad news.

They couldn't find anything.  Oh, they could guess at what might have happened, but that would be all it was, guessing, because there was no evidence that anything untoward had occurred.  Thus, the official diagnosis is "could not repeat reported problem."  UNofficially, the answer was "it's an old car, stuff like that can happen."  If it occurs again, I'm to drive it right to the mechanic immediately, and do NOT turn the engine off.  But they don't think I'll have to worry about that.  Which means they don't know me at all, because I worry about EVERYTHING.  So the car is okay, they didn't charge me at all, and until the next time it snows, all is right with the world.

Oh hey, lookit that.  It's snowing.  Again.  Huh.  Go figure.

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February 07, 2018

Aw, No! Dammit, Stop That Right Now.

It snowed Tuesday night.  Duckford got about four inches, after we got about four inches Saturday evening to sometime Sunday.  And that was after three different days where we got measurable snow the previous week.  "Wow, Wonderduck," I hear you say which is quite the accomplishment considering the state of my left ear, "it's snowing in Northern Illinois during the winter.  How passing strange!"  Yeah, yeah, I know.  But that's not entirely why I'm writing now.


See, Duckford has this nasty habit of not plowing the streets near Pond Central until very late in the process.  It's almost like they don't understand the correct priorities and plow busy roads first.  So the roads this morning were a little bit on the "oh god oh god we're all gonna die" side.  No worries, driving in snow is just like driving in dry, only more carefully.  Today, I judged that the Duckmobile could handle about 10mph below the usual speed before it turned into a pile of debris on the side of the road.  However, the ginormous pick'em'up truck that came racing up behind me disagreed with my assessment and rode my rear bumper for a good mile or so.  Fed up, as soon as I reached someplace where I could move over to let him past, I did so... and as the truck accelerated by me, the passenger threw a water bottle at me.

Yeah, like that... except nothing like that at all.  Anyway, the mathematics for hitting one moving object from another moving object with another moving object was well beyond the passenger's capabilities, but the tone of the day was set.  Work, as they say... was.  It started, it ended, in between was work.  And the horrible discovery that there is a winter storm watch/warning out for Duckford beginning Thursday at 6pm and going for 24 hours.  We're expecting maybe a foot of snow.  Whee.  I drove home as I usually do, parked the car, reached for the keys, and...

...the engine began to surge, like I was sitting there revving the engine at a stop light looking for a race.  Startled, I turned it off.  After letting it sit for about a minute, I tried again... started right up, and immediately began surging.  A little bit of experimentation revealed that it would surge in Park, Reverse, and Neutral, but not Drive.  A bit of interwebbing suggests that this is a relatively minor problem... or it isn't.  It might be as simple as removing my gas cap then putting it back on.  It might be as difficult as having the fuel pump replaced.  And any number of things in-between.  All I really need to do is take it to the place that did my brakes back in December, and... oh wait.  I have work. AND WE'RE GETTING 10" OF SNOW.  I closed my eyes, leaned back in my computer chair, and...

...I really don't want to adult anymore.

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February 06, 2018

NASAmanga Daioh

Y'all remember Moonbase Alpha?   The co-op game that NASA put together to simulate spaceman life on the Moon?  For a while there, there was a hot meme involving the game's text-to-speech program repeatedly saying, and later singing, "John Madden."  It's that last bit that concerns us today, for some of the singing that was arranged was actually fairly good... I mean, as good as you could expect a Stephen Hawking soundalike to sound.  I've played around with text-to-speech in one game or another, and making it sound like... well, speech... isn't all that easy, so even those simple bits impress me.


And then there's this:

...to which my reaction was:


But wait!  THERE'S MORE!

more...

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February 01, 2018

Columbia Falls

It was a Saturday morning.  I remember that very clearly.  I slept in until 10am, dragged myself into Pond Central's kitchen, grabbed a can of caffeine, and made my way to the computer desk.  Connected to AoL via dialup.  And there, on the front page, was news that made this Shuttle geek's blood run cold.  Columbia had broken up upon re-entry, taking the crew of seven souls with her.  I remember calling Momzerduck and telling her what had happened and her being... not so very interested, which annoyed me.  CNN was on all day, and I couldn't believe it had happened again.  Unsurprisingly, information as to what exactly had happened was sketchy, but there was video a-plenty.  Enough, in fact, that a fan of space flight and talented video editor gathered it all together and put together the best "video timeline" of the event I've seen... ever.

I remember downloading this from... kazaa, maybe?... and wondering why the networks never did something like it.  To this day, it astonishes me... both the video itself and that it was never duplicated.

Fifteen years.  Go read Brickmuppet's tribute... he does a much better job than I ever could.

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January 30, 2018

That Day. Just... Ugh.

Here's how you know you're in for a bad day. You wake up, and for whatever reason the water in your toilet is black and smells like sewer.  A flush solved that problem... I assume something somewhere backfilled... and I moved to take my morning shower.  And about halfway through, the head unit of the handheld shower fell off.  Completely detached from the hose... or, more correctly, the hose detached from the shower head, as the threaded end was still in place.  The hose just... broke.


I should have taken the hint.  I didn't.  I went to work.  And literally as I was walking in, the system died.  About 45 minutes later, it started to function again... fitfully, in jerks and spasms... but I wish it had stayed down, because it was serving us nothing but crap.  All day.  Nothing but crap claims, for eight stinkin' hours, crap claim upon crap claim.  I'm going to take a nap.  Then I'm going to install a new handheld shower.  Then, and only then, might have I have some dinner. Maybe.

I don't want to adult anymore.

UPDATE: The nap was four hours long.  It took 10 minutes total to remove the old shower head and put the new one on... mainly because the only pair of locking pliers I own these days could be used as a keychain.  Seriously... when it's locked down, I cannot get my thumb into the space in the "mouth."  When I purchased it from Amazon for another task, I thought locking jaw pliers, 4" meant the maximum space in the jaws, not the overall length.  Oh well, no matter... I has a shower again.  1235am... time for dinner!

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January 28, 2018

That Was A Weekend

I managed to watch or listen to about 16 hours of the 24 Hours of Daytona.  Around 4am on Sunday, I really began to feel for the mechanics.  


And I got a LOT more sleep than most of them did, in much more comfortable situation.  That they could still function after just catching short naps here and there is amazing.  I had five hours of sleep (4am - 9am), and I still felt zombie-like.  Even after a four hour nap this evening, I'm still out of it.  I mean, more than normal that is.  I even lost a botmatch in World of Warships for the first time in months.

I don't know what sort of free icecream I'm going to drum up this week, but there should be some... I don't have overtime at work.  Sit tight!

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January 23, 2018

Tokyo Snow

Seems that there central part of Japan has received a surprising amount of snow since Monday morning... indeed, it's the heaviest snowfall there since 2014.  Something like 15inches is expected to be on the ground in some places in the Kanto region by the time its all over.  Schools and businesses were letting out early due to a "heavy snow warning", the Rainbow Bridge across part of Tokyo Bay was shut down with cars stuck on it due to the snow... reminds me of when Lake Shore Drive in Chicago was shut down for the same reason.  Tokyo itself was supposed to get four inches by Tuesday morning.  Instead, news reports are saying there was half again that amount by 7pm and it wasn't letting up.  It's so bad that Universities were postponing their Entrance Exams, and anybody that's watched more anime than DBZ knows how big those are.  


When I heard about the snows earlier, I actually thought to myself "I hope Rambalac goes for a walk."  I needn't have worried.
Some things are universal.  Most people who own snowboards can't stay up on 'em.  Snowmen must be made.  Snowballs must be thrown.  Other than the language, slight differences in architecture and zoning, and kick-arse playground equipment, this little scene in Chiba could just as easily have been from Duckford.  A trite observation, of course, but still true.  Kinda nice to see, actually.

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January 17, 2018

Wonderduck Is An Idiot. In Other News, Fire Hot, Durian Smells Bad. Film At 10.

Duckford got it's first truly significant snowfall of the winter Monday!  Oh, there was an inch or so earlier, sure.  A light, fluffy snow began falling last night, and had not stopped at all when I headed out to the Duckmobile.  Much to my pleasant surprise, at some time in the recent past one of my neighbors desnowed my car... instead of the three or four inches of snow the SUVs on either side of me had, I had maybe a quarter-inch, and most of that fell off when I shut the driver's door.  The drive to work was a little unpleasant as it was clear the snowplows hadn't gotten to the tertiary roads yet but all in all not so bad.


Work went about as I expected, poorly, with an added side of "I feel a little under the weather and it's getting worse."  I mean, I've felt like I've been fighting something off for a couple of weeks now, I hope my immune system didn't just throw up its flippers and say "screw it, time to go to the bar."  That would be bad... I need my immune system.  Anyway.  Every time I got up from my desk, I would take a gander (nyuk nyuk, a duck taking a gander, see what I did there?) outside, and the snow which the weather nabobs had said would stop in the morning... never did.  All day long we had light fluffy snow.  By my back-of-the-burrito calculations, by the time I left work it may very well have been coming down for 24 hours straight... and if not, it was darn close to it.

Still, I didn't think there'd be any problem getting home.  Duckford would have had their plows out all day, main roads and busy secondaries would surely be clean!  It was with such thoughts in my head that I left work and promptly ignored the main roads and busy secondaries and took my normal way home.  You know, all rural roads and more hills than a list of British F1 Champions.  Why would you do that, you may ask.  In reply, I say to you, "look at the title of this post."  I should have turned around after I made the first turn onto the route home... and nearly went into a ditch.  Nope!   On a road I normally do 50-55mph on, I was doing 30 or less, depending on the wind, because when the wind blew, visibility sort of went away.  Still, while unpleasant, none of this was beyond the norm for a Duckford winter.  And then came the weirdness.

The turn I needed to make to get on the road to Pond Central isn't all that well illuminated.  There's an overhead light at the entry to the power substation that you'd go into if you turned left at the intersection... I need to turn right.  Still, it's bright enough that there usually isn't a problem.  Monday night though, a car was coming from the right, and another from dead ahead.  When combined with the blowing snow, I had a moment where it looked for all the world like a 3'-0" tall snowdrift had crossed the road.  To call this "disconcerting" would be an understatement.  I immediately began slowing down, praying for my lights to pick out the impediment before I hit it... but it never came.  It was all light and shadow... I've never seen that before, and it was spooky as all hell.  It did give me better insight into how the Flight 901 disaster occurred, I'll tell you that.  The rest of the drive home was spent on the ragged edge of adhesion, on a road that had only been driven on, not plowed.  Pulling into Pond Central's parking lot was one of the most relaxing events I've experienced.  I was home!

A few hours later, I was alternately burning up and chilled to the bone.  The whatever-it-was I've been struggling with finally overwhelmed my immune system and ignited a fever in my brain.  I had the heat turned up nearly as far as it could go in Pond Central, was covered with two comforters and a couple of blankets, a pair of sweatpants, a long-sleeved jersey AND a sweater, and socks... I never wear socks in bed... and I was still cold.  Until I was ridiculously hot and opened the window.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Sometime during the night/early morning, like maybe 4am or so, I fell asleep.  When my alarm went off at 730a, I dragged my carcass out of bed, washed down a bottle of tylenol with some sprite, took a shower, got dressed... and then called into to work sick and went back to bed.  I probably shouldn't have gone in today either, as I still have the headache pounding away in my skull, but... well, look at the title of this post.  Go me.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:59 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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January 10, 2018

Add Maybe Another Thing To The List

We know that The Duckmobile is getting long in the tooth... she's legally able to drink, for heaven's sake.  We know that in a perfect world, we'd have a better computer chair here at Pond Central Battlestation.  And I've noticed that there's an odd thing going on with the computer monitor where in videos, all blacks are... um... I don't know how to describe what they are.  Solarized, maybe?  Black patches all look like they're backlit somehow, have an odd sort of glow to them that I don't see anywhere else.


But I didn't expect to be putting "a new computer" on the list anytime soon.  Oh, to be sure, my current one, Nori, is four-plus years old, but it's not like software has outrun it or anything like that.  It has been coughing up the occasional error every now and again... not too often, but not "never" like it maybe should be.  But tonight, as I awoke from my nap, I pressed the power button, everything spooled up, I got the HP "I'm working on it!" screen like I always do, and then it just... turned itself off.

As the monitor said "no signal, going to sleep" and went to sleep, I sat here in the dark and actually said out loud "well, that's not supposed to happen."  The Mutsu figure I have here by my keyboard said nothing, but I know she agreed with me.  I pressed the power button again, and this time the startup went perfectly fine, though slower than normal.  That's actually common... when it turns off without shutting down (for example, a power outage), the next reboot takes longer.  But, and this is the important part of the story, that wasn't supposed to happen in the first place.

I'll admit to being concerned about my girl.  But I also admit to needing a computer I can trust to work, too... I mean, it is my main form of entertainment, and how I do most of my shopping to boot.  Losing it would be very grumpy-making.  So, I suppose, onto the big list of new things goes "computer."  Preferably one with an actual graphics card, this time.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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