stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
... I bothered to re-activate my phone? Since I did so, two messages have been left, both of them the "Final Warning from the IRS" scam. (Also, numerous calls-w/o-message from Unavailable and from a couple of solicitors - both of those organizations I have given money to but do not wish to talk to.)

Oh, well. When Fall Semester rolls around, it will be useful again.
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
The story begins with a grooming appointment.

Gracie had already had her trip to the groomer, and it was Buster's turn. I picked up the phone and punched in the groomer's number. There was a dial tone, the familiar sequence of tones, and... nothing. I tried again. I got the number of another groomer; no good.

It occurred to me that I didn't remember receiving any phone calls for several days. (I get lots of phone calls. "CALL FROM UNAVAILABLE". Hey, buddy, if you're unavailable so am I.). I e-mailed my brother and asked him to call me, and to e-mail me if he couldn't get through. Sure enough....

I handled the grooming appointment by walking to the nearest groomer - a bit more expensive than my usual, but much closer - and making the appointment in person. (Buster looks much better; they even managed a semblance of a puppy-cut.) I also made a vet appointment (Gracie had picked up an ear infection) by giving the data to my brother and having him call the vet.

I don't really use the phone all that much, and I am still a champion-class procrastinator, so my efforts to resolve the situation were desultory. I fiddled with the phone; no dice. I downloaded the manual for the phone, but found nothing useful. I bought another phone and plugged it in to another jack; no luck. I made a mental note to, somehow, contact AT&T.

"I should call the plumber about the phone isn't working"
"I need to make another vet appointment the phone isn't working"

This morning, I finally figured out how to contact AT&T, initiating an online chat. After about half an hour, most of it consumed by the usual trivia, I was told that I had the wrong agent, and she would transfer me to someone who could help. We went through the trivia again, and I was eventually told that this was the wrong office, and I should call ###-###-####. I pointed out that this was impossible, and was given a URL instead.

I copy-pasted the URL to the address bar. I spent a few minutes ticking boxes and filling in forms, and was told that they could not process my ticket.

I returned to the page I'd been at before, clicked on a different button, and began another chat. After another round of trivia, the agent suggested that I reset the modem. (My phone was not, and never had been, connected to the modem, but wotthehell....) This, of course, broke the connection. I waited a few minutes for computer, router, and modem to make nice, and restarted the chat. New agent. More trivia. "Is the phone connected to the wall jack, or to the modem?" The wall jack. "Plug it into the modem." This I did, and voilà, I had a working phone again. I thanked the agent, gave him top marks on the Customer Satisfaction form, and disconnected. (I made another couple of tests to make sure all was well, and it was.)

I went over to my other phone, which was connected to a wall jack; its screen now says "Check phone line". I'm assuming that AT&T has cut off all of my wall jacks except for the one dedicated to the modem. Not sure I'm happy about that, but also not sure I care enough to kick up a fuss.

Gotta call the plumber tomorrow.
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
I need to buy some new bedsheets.

According to various websites, the narrowest of the standard mattress sizes is 39", for the Twin and Twin XL.

My mattress is 36" wide. I also have two beds in the guest room, neither of which is as much as 39" wide.

I guess I'll have to go without a fitted sheet, instead going with two of the - would you call them topsheets? - sheets that go on top of the fitted sheet.

How recent is the current standardization? I bought my bed and its mattresses twenty-five or thirty years ago....
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Every so often I forget how much I hate the hiccups.

I always get reminded.

stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
After posting grades last Monday, I spent the rest of the week loafing. (Well, I had to reply to a few students asking why they got the grades they got....) No cooking - just frozen dinners, sandwiches, and cereal. No trips to campus - I did connect to my office computer a couple of times, mainly to look up the grade spreadsheets. It was too rainy, most of the week, to walk the dogs.

However, loaf time is over. I may not be teaching this summer, but I do have a lot of things to do. I have to get a new passport; as of midyear, TSA won't be accepting Illinois state IDs. I have to put the finishing touches on Taxonomy I and submit it, and begin writing TII and outlining TIII (and maybe TIV). There's lots of housework that needs doing. I'm recording my library on the latest version of my library DB (and there's been a story or two I should tell, in that connection). I'm contemplating revamping my finances database yet again. I should also prep for my fall classes; two of them are courses I haven't taught in a while.

There is a big pot of arroz con queso cooking away, for this week's dinners. I want to start using my new stock pot, and to try out some more Indian and Middle Eastern recipes. The dogs need grooming (this week!) and visits to the vet, preparatory to their badly-needed dental work.

I've drawn up a (still incomplete) To Do List. I've done that before. The trick now will be carrying it out.


May. 9th, 2017 02:42 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Almost every time I go to Shop'n'Save, I take either a shoulder bag (for small purchases) or a big grocery bag box (for large ones). The cashiers there, as with most grocery stores nowadays, bag your purchases as they're rung up. I prefer that they not do this, since I carry the groceries home in bag or box. By now, most of the cashiers know this, and simply place my purchases on top of the bag carrel so that I can gather them up myself.

Today, though, the aisle I chose was manned by a rookie - a young man with that gangly just-out-of-school look - and I prepared to inform him of my preferences. Business was slow, and the cashier at the next aisle was lurking near his shoulder, her own aisle being empty. As he scanned the first of my items, I heard her murmur something to him. All I caught of it was "He...", but, unprompted by me, the young man placed the item on the carrel, and likewise with the remaining groceries. He announced the price, I handed him a twenty, and he gave me my change. Another murmur: "He'll want his receipt."

When he handed me the receipt, I thanked him. Then I looked over his shoulder and added, "And thank you, also." She grinned and nodded, and I took my leave.
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
Unfortunately, so are rhinoviruses. I won't be going in today. (I do still have to make a grocery run - the fridge is kind of empty.)

Fortunately, only one class (plus one appointment with a student, whom I have notified) is affected. I need to be better tomorrow - my stat class has a test on Friday, and tomorrow is a review session.

:coff coff:
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
I've been wondering whether the snuffling I've been doing lately was an allergic reaction, triggered by the local pseudo-spring, or something else.

This morning, the question has been answered. I've sent a note to the secretary cancelling my classes for today.

:mutter, groan, snort:
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
This morning, as I was getting ready to leave for work, I was in the bathroom and noticed, out of the corner of my eye, something large and black outside the window. I looked over and saw...

TURKEYS! Five of the biggest turkeys I've ever seen, stalking across my yard and my neighbor's. After a few moments, they hurried across the (untrafficked) street and disappeared from my view.

I've seen the occasional turkey in the undeveloped land scattered across the university. Wottinell were they doing here?
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
With my desktop computer offline, my access to the 'net is confined to my laptop. This is OK, for most purposes, but typing in general and posting to LJ/DW in particular is significantly less convenient. At some point in the next couple of months, I'll be getting a new desktop, but until then my posts are likely to be short and sporadic. (Which is a shame, because I've got some medium-long things I'd like to say....)

Wise Words

Dec. 27th, 2016 01:06 pm
stoutfellow: (Winter)
“Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

- Vin Scully

:trying to smile:
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
"... the author, the work, and who the pronouns were."

I think I can make a guess as to what it means, but it set me on my heels for a few minutes.


Dec. 1st, 2016 09:57 am
stoutfellow: (Three)
There is or was a bird in the house - a sparrow of some kind, with a slightly upturned beak (I think).

I have been trying to chivvy it out of the house. This involves putting the dogs out and closing the door through which they could return, and then opening the front door wide (in high-30s F weather...).

The door is currently closed; the dogs are inside and calm. This may mean that the bird did indeed slip out while I was looking for it elsewhere. But it may not; we have reached this state of affairs three times now.

Stupid bird.


Nov. 20th, 2016 07:59 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
1. A couple of weeks ago, my thermostat started misbehaving. I had it replaced last Thursday - just in time; we've been having subfreezing temperatures overnight the last few days, and NWS says that will continue for at least the next few.

2. For Thanksgiving dinner this year, I'm making a chicken curry. Haven't made curry in a long time.... I'm also going to try my hand at cheesecake, using a simple recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. ([profile] coalboy, I'll try some of the recipes you sent me later, but for my first try I want as few complexities as possible.) I'm considering home-made bread (haven't made that in a long time either) as well, and I'll definitely go with salad-in-a-bag. (I've been using that to garnish my meat-and-cheese sandwiches lately, too.)

3. The new library database project is proceeding well; I have discovered the wonders of bound forms! For some reason I had an antipathy to them in my earlier projects, but they seemed necessary for a couple of the forms I needed for this one, and I've realized just how much they simplify things.

4. I still haven't finished the Taxonomy paper. There's not much I need to do, but I haven't had the oomph. Must get it done before the onrushing end of the semester!
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
From a piece of junk in my spam filter:

"I am delighted to inform you that your name was mentioned in the testament of my late client who died without a will."


Sep. 25th, 2016 06:25 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
A few minutes ago, the phone rang while I was on the computer. I clambered out of the chair and hurried to answer. (I'm more anxious to pick up, now that I'm not sure I can get the phone to call out.) I was limping on my right foot (the one with the blister) and holding my left arm (the one with the reappearing childhood injury) at an odd angle. I think I looked like someone cosplaying as Igor.

The Caller ID read "Tea Party". Wotthehell?
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
When I was a teenager - let's see, it must have been 11th grade, because it had an impact on my brief career as a wrestler - some of my classmates and I were horsing around, tossing a balled-up lunch-sack to each other. Someone threw it near, but not to, me. I dove for it, and landed on my left elbow. I shattered the tip of the bone and smashed the bursa. This was rather painful, and I wound up wearing a padded sleeve (and taking analgesics) for a few weeks, until the bursa re-inflated.

The thing about an injury like that is that it doesn't exactly heal; if you're lucky, it stops hurting, but the damage is permanent. Then, you start to get old, and the injury says, "Hi, there! Remember me?"

It's not that bad - just a persistent dull ache, with an occasional spike when I unbend the elbow after it's been bent for a while (e.g., when I've been on the computer for a while) or when I put stress on it (e.g., when I pour myself a drink of something). Apparently, I pour things with my left hand, by habit; I'm working on training myself out of that.

Sigh. There are worse physical problems - I've experienced a couple of them - but this one is more intrusive than those. I use my left arm a hell of a lot more than I realized....


Aug. 7th, 2016 07:28 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Yesterday, I decided to go with beef & barley soup for this week's dinners. I've made it a couple of times, and like it, and I had most of the ingredients already in the pantry or fridge.

Today, I failed to check just how long it had to sit in the slow cooker. I didn't get it started until 10:30, 11 AM. It is now almost 7:30 PM, and it won't be ready for another hour, hour and a half.

To top things off, I'm low on staples and can't muster up much in the way of munchables. I'm out of soda, and have just enough milk for tomorrow morning's coffee.

Fall Semester is fast approaching - two weeks from tomorrow - and I'll have to get my body back in synch with the rest of the world.

Le sigh.
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)

I didn't sleep well last night - no idea why - and when I did drop off, I dreamed that my Skyrim character had a bounty of 800,000 septims in Haafingar, and every city guard in Solitude was chasing him. He was trying to find a cliff to jump over while becoming ethereal, in hopes of escaping. (There are no cliffs anywhere near Solitude - certainly not within the city limits.)

I've been dragging all day, nodding off in the middle of

Where was I? Oh, yes. Nodding off in the middle of everything I try to do.

I've spotted several points in the writeup of the first Taxonomy paper where it could be improved - unenlightening calculations replaced by a visual argument, an unnecessary subsection cut (with a couple of items shifted elsewhere), a series of closely related propositions brought together and simplified - but I don't have the oomph to actually do the rewrite. (I have inserted editorial bold italic comments to remind myself where and how to rewrite.)

All this, and it's too hot! (Yes, I have air conditioning, but the internal environment isn't completely independent of the external.)


(Why does spellcheck object to "oomph"? Why does spellcheck object to "spellcheck"?)


Jun. 17th, 2016 08:32 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
It's somewhat dispiriting, to receive an e-mail from a professional organization to which you've belonged for most of the last thirty years, in which they misspell your name.

I mean, honestly: look at the frackin' To: field, willya?


stoutfellow: Joker (Default)

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