nekosensei: (Default)
The brakes on my bike are squealing again. Earlier in the season, I took my bike to a bicycle repair shop, and they did a tune up of the brakes. The problem disappeared for awhile, but started resurfacing again the last time I went out on my bike several days ago and got even worse during today's ride. I did notice that the brakes started squealing while I was on the bike path. Do you suppose that it's dust and gravel that's pissing them off? Other than the noise, they appear to be working fine.

Any thoughts? What should I do?

Also, for the record, I haven't taken my bike out very much this summer until just recently. I've probably gone out on it five times maybe.
nekosensei: (Default)
To the driver who shouted, "Ride the bike, you dumb bitch," at me from his car window,

I have problems with one of my hamstrings, and sometimes it hurts when I ride. Yes, I do stretches before I start riding, but it doesn't always do the trick. Getting off the bike and walking, on the other hand, helps a great deal. It stretches things out quite nicely. Once I'm feeling better, I get on my bike and ride some more.

I may be a bitch, but one thing I am not is a dumb bitch.

No love,
[livejournal.com profile] nekosensei

P.S. Too bad you didn't say that to my face. Then, I would have had the pleasure of showing you what a real bitch is.

---

Oh...and guess what I heard on my way back home. Bag pipes. Seriously. Bagpipes.
nekosensei: (Default)
* Yesterday afternoon, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I went to see the play, "The Sins of Sor Juana," at the Goodman Theater. My in-laws really liked the play and told me that I was going to enjoy it, but neither [livejournal.com profile] doomsey nor I were very impressed. I think part of the problem is that I'm familiar with her history and her writings and I didn't feel as if the play really did her any justice.

* After the play, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I went down to 79th Street to get dinner at Yassa, a Sengalese restaurant. I ordered what I always get when I go there: Maffe. Yes...it is that good that I only order that and nothing else when I go there. *drools at the thought of eating her leftovers Wednesday night*

* My crappy neck muscles have been triggering more headaches / migraines. I had another one last night and wasn't able to go out on my walk.

* This evening I went for my usual walk and saw what I thought were three squirrels climbing a tree. The thing is, they were a little bit too big to be squirrels. I turned on my little flashlight-- great for avoiding skunks and getting hit by cars in general-- and saw three young raccoons blinking down at me. So cute! Too bad I didn't have a decent camera.

* Speaking of walks, I'm down between 15 and 20 pounds thanks to all the exercise I've been getting. Whee!

Reposting this here because Twitpic is being flaky:

Cosette likes to sit with her paws crossed, just like a little lady...

Cut for image )

Link:
Here's an article on how the Cajuns living near the Gulf have been affected by the oil spill. Very sad. (Link via [livejournal.com profile] rm)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

nekosensei: (Default)
The four mile, one-and-a-half hour, walks that I take seem looong. Sometimes I think that putting a couple of shots of rum in my water bottle would liven things up a bit....
nekosensei: (Default)
Lately, I've been taking my three to four mile walk at night because it's too frigging hot out during the day. The only problem with that plan? Skunks. For some reason, this neighborhood has a lot of skunks. And this evening I damn near got skunked. This is the third frigging time! Of course, it didn't helped that this thing came out at me from the shadow of a tree...and I was being blinded by the lights of an oncoming car at the time so I didn't see him until I was damn near on top of him.

So anyhow, I see a black shadow come out from by the tree and pass within inches of my right leg and cross the sidewalk behind me. Um...why did it come towards me? You'd think that it'd either hear me or see me coming and hide. As soon as it passes me, I let out a startled gasp. I turn around (and I'm still moving because there's no way in hell I'm gonna stop!) and I see it standing on the sidewalk behind me all puffed up. And I could have sworn that it hissed at me too. The little shit.

Well, if I show up to work one day smelling of skunk, everybody'll know why...

[Edited to add: I think I'm going to have to be more careful on that stretch of road. It doesn't have any street lights].
nekosensei: (Default)
I have to say that it's great not having anything planned this weekend. No weddings, no birthday parties, nowhere we have to be. Why am I saying this? Because in June we had three weddings in a row, with a ton of other parties and events sandwiched in between them. I'm very much looking forward spending the day being lazy. I think either I'm going to spend it on my computer and/or curled up with a book. I might also try to con [livejournal.com profile] doomsey into watching the next episode of "Torchwood: Children of Earth." We *finally* got around to watching the first episode last night. Whoa...creepy!

Other miscellaneous things:

* I hopped on the scale yesterday and saw that I lost another couple of pounds. Those three to four mile walks have really be paying off. And I feel so much better.

* Oh yeah...I went for another four mile walk last night. It's been hot during the day so I've been doing them after dark. It's so much more pleasant. Well, except for that one time there was a skunk behind a bush and it almost, well, skunked me. Thank God I had the flashlight and saw him in time to start backpedalling.

* Author, Owl Goingback, has been denied a Facebook page for a long time now. The powers that be over at Facebook seem to think that Owl Goingback is not a real name. Well, the guy's Native American and that is his real name. If you're on Facebook, I encourage you to join the community.
nekosensei: (Default)
I've also posted this question to Twitter.

On my daily walk, I keep passing a very beautiful tree whose leaves are green on top and silver on the bottom. The leaves are also slightly curvy, giving the tree an almost scalloped look. Today, I grabbed one of the leaves and took a picture of it when I got home. I've been admiring this tree for months, but still have no idea what kind of tree it is. Any tree huggers out there who have any idea what this is?

Here are the pictures:
Picture 1
Picture 2

Maybe I should have whipped out my iPhone and taken a picture of the tree itself, huh?
nekosensei: (Default)
* Yay! Finals are over! I have a little bit of grading to do, but it shouldn't be too bad.

* This afternoon, I took advantage of the break in the rain to walk to the library-- about a three-and-a-half mile trip in all-- to drop off some books and check out Mists of Avalon and The Gravedigger's Daughter. I also got Precursor (a book in C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series) for [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and a book of folk shawls. The latter book has many good patterns, but I'm particularly enamored of the Irish shawl. Must buy yarn and make!

* After catching two neighborhood children attempting to climb the big maple tree in my front yard, I poked my head up and told them told them to get down from there before they fell down and got hurt. I'm not turning into one of those old fogies telling kids to keep off their lawn, am I?

* Google is awesome! Did you guys know that you could play Pac-Man on their webpage today? Yeah...I might have spent a little too much time playing around with that today. (makes an innocent-looking face)

Yay! Links!

* These are pictures of an abandoned medieval stone city in rural Spain. *drool* Now I want to go visit it. I've been meaning to drag [livejournal.com profile] doomsey to central and southern Spain for years now.... (Link courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] ginmar)

* This next one is for the Doctor Who fans and knitting geeks on my friends list. Knit Picks has a sock yarn that goes by the name "Time Traveler." Go read the description! Now I'm half tempted to get both the "Time Traveler" and the "Abracadabra" yarns. (Swiped from a Doctor Who knitting community)
nekosensei: (Default)
I've been a bad [livejournal.com profile] nekosensei and haven't posted in almost a week. Sorry! My bad!

So...what have I been doing this past week? On Sunday, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I went to art in the park. We didn't buy anything this time around, but we did pick up some cards from a few artists we liked. Maybe we'll buy from them later this year. I really like this artist, and this one...and also this one.

Sunday evening, [livejournal.com profile] judygs, [livejournal.com profile] forestdruid, and his fiancee came over to watch the latest Doctor Who episode. [livejournal.com profile] forestdruid came to my house bearing various tomato, eggplant, and pepper seedlings, which I planted in my vegetable garden on Monday afternoon. I also did a bunch of weeding that day.

Tuesday and Wednesday were busy with work work and school work. Thursday I bought poblano pepper and acorn squash seedlings. I also got some cilantro and basil plants. Mmmm....cilantro...me loves the smell of cilantro. Future plans for my yard are adding more wood chips to the flower beds, planting a Japanese maple (which I've been meaning to do for years), and buying a hammock. Of course, I'm half tempted to hold off on the wood chips this year because they're going to replace the water mains on our street and they're probably going to have to rip up part of our front yard. I guess I'm going to have to see what the city is planning to do before I start working on that.

I've also gotten back into my old habit of walking three miles a day. And the past three days I've walked about three-and-a-half miles. I used to do a lot of walking in 2008, but stopped at the end of the year and eventually fell out of the habit. Seriously, you people need to yell at me if I stop going for my walks because they're so helpful: I have a lot more energy and I don't get the munchies quite as much when I'm exercising.

I've been reading LJ sporadically, so if I missed something, sorry! If there's anything you think I should know, please send me a comment.

Amusing Links:

Quantum Honeybees: How could bees of little brain come up with anything as complex as a dance language? The answer could lie not in biology but in six-dimensional math and the bizarre world of quantum mechanics. (Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] doomsey)

Lord Jesus Christ suffers minor injuries in downtown Northampton crosswalk mishap -- Uy...what were this guy's parents thinking? If I were him, I'd change my name STAT! (Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] bottledgoose)
nekosensei: (Default)
* Cute Overload posted the standing cat video about a week ago. Yesterday, somebody came up with this.

* [livejournal.com profile] doomsey found out that the condensor on his car has a leak. It's going to cost $1,000 to replace. (sigh)

* Took the bike in to have some repair work done. The brakes have been squealing for a long time. The tires also need to be filled again.

* And my computer crashed right in the middle of a YouTube video. It didn't even give me the kernel panic warning that said I needed to reboot. No, it stopped and the mouse wouldn't respond. [livejournal.com profile] doomsey thinks that either something got corrupted in the last update because of the bad memory or that flash was being buggy. I re-installed everything on my computer and re-installed Flash.

* I have a headache. And I have work to do. (sigh)

* Ich habe ein Kopfschmerz. :P (Translation: I have a headache)

*United's Crappy Treatment of a Disabled Woman. Wow...epic fail. They're trying to boost the signal so please read it and pass it on.
nekosensei: (Default)
* I had a good time at a friend's baby shower this afternoon, as I got to sit and chat with many of my friends. Towards the end of the day, I ended up sitting at a table with a bunch of other friends who have health problems. Someone pointed out that most of the people sitting at that table were defective in one way or the other. The one older lady at the table remarked that she felt so young compared to some of us....

* At the baby shower, we got playing cards as party favors. Instead of diamonds, clubs, hearts and spades, the suite had rubber duckies, baby carriages, pacifiers, and rocking horses. I made an ESP joke and asked one of my friends what card I was holding up: it was the three of pacifiers, and obviously my friend got it wrong. Then, she asked, "but is the three of pacifiers a pacifist?" *snicker*

Yeah...I guess you just had to be there.

* The weather was gorgeous so I went for a three mile walk after I got home from the baby shower. [livejournal.com profile] doomsey didn't come with this time because he had walked to the library--a four mile hike both ways-- while I was at the shower. When I got back, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey made dinner and then we watched a four hour Japanese film called "Love Exposure." It was one weird ass film, and I'm not sure whether I liked it or not. The plot seemed kind of disorganized and four hours of that was a bit too much for me. On the other hand, the movie was humorous at times and often poked fun at itself. Also, the outlandishness of many scenes reminded [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I of "Kill Bill."
nekosensei: (Default)
* (dies laughing) Nice product placement!

* Loved today's xkcd.

* Just heard an ice cream truck go by. Forget about spring, we've gone straight to summer.

* And the three mile walk we were going to take tonight was cut short by a surprise thunderstorm. And boo on [livejournal.com profile] doomsey for not wanting to turn around when I said that we should. No...he wanted to walk all the way to the place where our street dead-ends and then back going back. Well, choosing to do so ended up with us getting stuck in a downpour. Way to go, dooms. Also, while I don't mind lightening so much when I'm sitting inside, I'm terrified of it when I'm out in the open ever since a classmate of mine died after being struck by lightening.

* Oh...on our way home, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey told me, "well, it wasn't supposed to rain today." Yeah...that was so helpful.
nekosensei: (Default)
The server holding my email is down, so I probably won't be able to read any of my emails until tomorrow morning at the earliest. What a pain in the ass! Let's hope that the computer it's on just needs re-started and that it doesn't need any other work. Otherwise, I will be email-less for a couple of days.

This morning I studied for German class. Then, in the afternoon [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyscribble and [livejournal.com profile] samcallahan showed up so that [livejournal.com profile] doomsey could help [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyscribble with her computer. It turned out that the poor computer died a horrible death. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey was able to pull off all the data that she needed. [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyscribble and [livejournal.com profile] samcallahan also brought their dog, Re-run, who is a Beagle Coon Hound mix. He's an adorable dog. Anyhow, they put him on a tie-down in the backyard so he wouldn't traumatize my cats too much. Don't worry! He wasn't neglected for too long. [livejournal.com profile] samcallahan and I sat outside with him for a while while [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyscribble worked on the computer.

I also got some time today to do some reading, go for a walk with [livejournal.com profile] doomsey, and knit. I am four rows from being finished with the hat I'm making for [livejournal.com profile] doomsey! Aside from the computer server blowing up, it was a pleasant day.
nekosensei: (Default)
* Okay...now this is...weird. It would be cool if there were some merit to it though. (Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] laurainlimbo

* School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home. Now that's just downright creepy...

* Overall, I think not drinking caffeine is a good thing, but there are some days where I really really miss it. My wagon has been dragging yesterday and today. I could really use a little extra something to kick my ass in gear. Too bad I can't handle stimulants anymore...

* Amanda Palmer has been getting some flak about her new Evelyn Evelyn album; some fans are complaining that it's offensive to disabled people. As for me, I think I'm going to reserve judgment until I hear the album. From what little I've read, Evelyn Evelyn is an album made by a fictitious pair of conjoined twins. Okay...so...her subject matter revolves around disabled twins with a difficult live. What's so offensive about that? What's more important is how she deals with the subject matter in her album. If she's pokes fun at them in her music, then yeah, that's going to be a problem. On the other hand, if she's going to use the album to make a statement about disability and what not, then I don't see what the big deal is. My opinion is that people need to calm the fuck down until the album comes out on March 30th.

* Second day in a row that I took a three mile walk. The temperatures went into the lower 40s, so it was definitely a nice afternoon for a walk. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get in some time to take another walk tomorrow. Also, this spring I intend to take my bike to a bike repair shop to see if I can get a tune up. It's been sitting unused in my garage for several years now. I think it would be nice if I could get out and start biking again.

* Looks like, if things go well, I'm going to do a LARP that meets once a week. It should be a lot of fun.

BAM!

Aug. 11th, 2009 10:41 pm
nekosensei: (Default)
As I may have mentioned earlier, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I went to Seattle on Thursday and came back yesterday afternoon. On Friday, a bunch of us went to Mount Rainier and hiked all the way to Comet Falls. Our friend, Kumar, found the hike in a book of hikes for kids. He saw that it was a 1.8 mile hike and thought it was doable for us and his family. Um...no. First, it was 1.8 miles uphill. Second, the ground was wet, and it was quite treacherous going downhill. I'm pretty damn lucky that I didn't end up skidding off the trail, down the mountain, and into the rapids below. Can you say certain death? If I had known ahead of time that we were going to do this hike, I would have procured a pair of hiking boots.

I also discovered this weekend that I'm better at high altitude hikes than my husband. You'd think with all of my lung issues, that it would be the reverse. Of course, it didn't hurt that I was guzzling water like there was no tomorrow.

Anyhow...I thought I would share this video that I took of Comet Falls. Pretty, huh?
nekosensei: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I are out for our walk. There is a dead skunk in the road and [livejournal.com profile] doomsey is about to step in it.

Me: Watch out for the--
([livejournal.com profile] doomsey manages to side-step the road kill patty just in the knick of time)
[livejournal.com profile] doomsey: Was that a skunk?
Me: Yes.
[livejournal.com profile] doomsey: Somebody must have regretted that.
Me: You would have regretted it too if you had stepped in it.
[livejournal.com profile] doomsey: True
(pause)
[livejournal.com profile] doomsey: So...are you going to blog that?
Me: Probably.
nekosensei: (Default)
Aside from yesterday's freak out, the past two weekends have been fun.

Let's see. Last Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey, his family, and I went to see Ain't Misbehaving-- a musical revue of Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller's music-- at the Goodman Theater. It was an amazing show.

Sunday was my niece's birthday party. [livejournal.com profile] emygination, the kids, and I ended up swimming in the pool even though it was a tad bit cool outside. That's the day I also discovered the usefulness of Nerf guns.

On Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I took the train into the city. We hung around the Art Institute during the afternoon and in the evening, we met up with various friends at our usual meeting place in Grant Park to see the fireworks. After the fireworks, we walked to Greek Islands for dinner, where I got burned by a hot plate of saganaki and threw my fork. By the time [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I got home at one-thirty to two o'clock in the morning, I was wiped. We had probably walked six or seven miles that day.

Friday was the Fourth of July party at [livejournal.com profile] voidness' house. During the day, C. and I went to see if it was too late for me to do Lombard Idol at the Taste of Lombard fest. It turns out that you had to audition back in June. I promised C. that I would definitely look into doing it next year. That evening, we saw more fireworks, followed by another private fireworks display *cough cough* in a friend's backyard. By the way, there's a firework out there called "The Big Mother" which I hear was only purchased for twenty dollars. It turned out to be quite impressive. I got to cross the state line and get my hot little hands on it next year.

Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] judygs, [livejournal.com profile] bmtstandard, and [livejournal.com profile] emygination went to Ren Faire. I would have liked to have gone, but I was too beat from events on Thursday and Friday. I also had work that I needed to get done.

Yesterday, I met up with my parents, my sister, and my niece, E. I'm surprised by how big E. is getting. She's walking much more confidently now and she's saying a lot of words. She's very vocal for her age and she loves books. I have a feeling that she's going to be one smart cookie when she gets older.
nekosensei: (Default)
PAC. I has it.

In other words, it's a heart palpitation of some sort. More specifically, an extra or premature heartbeat. I had walked three-and-a-half miles and had caffeine in the morning so it showed up during my exam/blood draw. The doctor wasn't worried about it. She told me it's completely benign.
nekosensei: (Default)
Yesterday was pretty busy. In the morning, I waited for the heating and air conditioning guy to come out to clean the air conditioner and try to figure out what was wrong with the furnace. This winter, the furnace had a tendency to click (it stopped and started) numerous times before turning on and staying on for good. We had the home warranty people out to look at it earlier, and they cleaned the flame sensor and, when that didn't work, they replaced it. However, that never seemed to fix the problem. The warranty people have a reputation for being incompetent so we had the guy we usually hire to clean the furnace look at it while he was out. It turns out that it was just a broken connector, a very inexpensive part. He put on a new one, tested the furnace a bunch of times, and it worked after that. I'm still amazed that the warranty people never caught that.

I wonder if [livejournal.com profile] doomsey and I are going to renew our home warranty again next year. Since we've had it, it just seems like a waste of time and money. The people they send out are usually very incompetent and they never do fix the problem. The plumber the sent us to fix a broken pump about a year and a half ago was a real piece of work. The motor was on the fritz, so he ordered a new motor to replace it. Since he couldn't find a quarter horse power motor to replace it, he got a half horse power one. It turned out that the new motor was too big for the container. The really stupid thing was that he never tested anything before he left to make sure that it worked. In fact, when I was there, he got a phone call from his office saying that he had to go back to a house that he had been at earlier that day because the tub he had "fixed" wasn't working. I should have taken that as the warning sign it was, but I didn't. After he left, I did a load of laundry only to find that the floor was wet. The pump was not working. It turns out that the motor was a bit too big and that it was hitting the top of its container, so it never turned on. The guy told me that he was going to try to find the correct sized motor for it, but he never got back to me. When I tried calling him, he never answered my phone calls. Finally, I got in touch with his supervisor. It turned out that he hadn't shown up to work for a week and they were "worried about him." I kind of suspected that he went on a bender or something. In fact, they never did find the correct part. I kept calling the plumber, but they never got back to me or they told me that they were still looking for it. [livejournal.com profile] doomsey ended up fixing the pump himself. Thankfully, the plumbers never cashed the check that we sent them.

Let's see. What else did I do yesterday? I went for a three and a half mile walk and then I did some weeding in the garden. By the way, listening to music and audio books while walking and doing outside work makes the time go faster. It's really pleasant actually. I'm really enjoying the Neil Gaiman book I'm listening to now. And an added bonus...I stepped on the scale this morning and noticed that I had lost a little bit more weight.

The squirrel people are at my house again this morning. They removed the trap from my roof and they're spraying Sporacin in the attic to disinfect it. I tried telling [livejournal.com profile] doomsey this earlier, but I think he was too busy to notice or respond (he's incredibly busy at work this week because of some big deadlines), but there were two squirrels in the trap. Unfortunately, one didn't make it. The squirrel guy thinks it was the second squirrel that was trapped. It ended up dying because the first one ate all of the food. He warned me before I looked at it because he said that it sometimes makes some customers upset. I wasn't really. Such is life. They couldn't come out any sooner and we weren't comfortable going up there by ourselves.
nekosensei: (Default)
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I probably did this as a kid with my cabbage patch dolls when I was a kid, but I don't remember their names anymore. It was so long ago.

I don't really befriend and name inanimate objects per se, but I do have a couple of things that I am very partial to. They are:

1) My laptop because I'm on it all the time and would feel lost without it. (Actually, I take that back. It does have a name. I've always thought of my laptop as being named Pearl after my husband's grandmother. It's white like a pearl and my husband bought it for me not long after his grandmother died. It seemed like the right thing to name it at the time. She was a sweet, intelligent lady and she was more of a grandmother to me because I was never really close to my own. My maternal grandmother went crazy after taking valium for years. Because she was violent, we were never allowed to see her. I don't know what was up with my paternal grandmother, but she was mean to my sister and I. I think it was because she didn't like girls. She was nice to my brother, though, and spoiled him every chance she got). My husband nicknamed the laptop I had before this one "Brick" because it was heavy, ran slowly, and had a tendency to overheat.

2) My little red Prius. I'm really happy to be getting 45 to 50 miles per gallon now that gas is almost four dollars a gallon.

3) My ipod. I do a lot of walking, which is very good for me and is something I need to do right now. I don't think I would be able to motivate myself to go out there and walk every day if I didn't have something to entertain me while I was doing it. Yesterday, I checked out two audio books from the library, and I'm going to try to load them onto my ipod and listen to them while I walk. I'm really happy about this because I haven't been reading as much as I used to because of some issues with my neck. This seems to be an adequate solution. I can't spend that much time reading, but I can listen. So...expect more "Books I have read/listened to so far this year" posts in the future.

4) My house. It's cozy and I like the neighborhood. I'm also closer to both family and friends here. And I now have a garden!

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