Harvey

Aug. 27th, 2017 11:59 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Three comments concerning the flooding in Texas:

1) If you're donating, remember this. A donated blanket is a blanket. Donated food is food. Donated money is blankets, or food, or whatever else is needed. Verb. sap.

2) There will be reports of horrible savagery among those stranded by the storm. There always are. They will be wrong. They always are.

3) After Katrina, Mexico sent a convoy of army trucks with food and other supplies, and a navy ship with search vessels. This is the country the current occupant of the White House denounces as a criminal hellhole and a source of great evil for this country. I hope they will be as generous as before, despite this.
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
I put out a call for estimates on the fence this morning, and have spoken to one contractor. His estimate, based purely on my possibly-flawed description, is something over a Kbuck, but I can handle it. I've decided not to let the mowers into the back yard until the fence is fixed; the gate is in the damaged section, and opening or closing it is likely to increase the strain. That shim won't last very long....

We had a bad thunderstorm, with much wind, the last night of the heat warning, and I suspect that wind was the final blow to an already weakened system. This morning I noticed my trash bin (about 4'x1'x1') had fallen over; there was only one bagful of garbage in it. The recycling bin, of the same size and right next to it, was still upright. It was also about half full. (I seem to generate recyclables more quickly than I do garbage.)
stoutfellow: (Three)
When I got up this morning, it was raining, as expected. I checked Dark Sky, and it forecast "Heavy Rain" for the next several hours. To make my appointment, I would have to leave at 7:30, and at 7:30 it was, indeed, raining heavily. I called the groomer to cancel, leaving a message on their answering machine.

By 8:00, it had stopped raining, and Dark Sky now says we'll have a couple of hours of "Light Rain" starting at 9:00, followed by three hours without rain.

:grmph:

(In fairness, Buster and I would have gotten very wet on the trip over, but by the time the groomer picked up the message, my claim that "this weather is just impossible" must have seemed laughable.)
stoutfellow: (Three)
Yesterday, I took Gracie to the groomer. It was a nice sunny day - a bit on the hot side, but not too bad. She seems much happier now; her fur had gotten long enough to interfere with her vision, and she'd been rather skittish as a result.

Tomorrow morning, it's Buster's turn. The forecast is for rain. (Not "light rain", not "heavy rain", just "rain".) I don't have a stroller that Buster would fit in, and it's a bit less than a mile walk. I am going to arrive at the groomer with a very shaggy, very wet dog.... I think I've figured out how to get there with a large dry towel, but it won't be enough. I hope they'll be good-humored about it.

Shut-In

Apr. 29th, 2017 10:20 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
It is raining. It is expected to rain, often heavily and frequently with thunder, for the entire weekend. There's been a flash flood advisory in place since late yesterday, to expire Monday morning. (I got home yesterday right on the leading edge of the storm pattern; it was wet enough to make an umbrella necessary, but not wet enough to render one useless.)

I am out of cereal. I have two slices of bread left in the refrigerator. There is exactly one dinner in the freezer. There are also a few incomplete packs of frozen vegetables there. Sandwich fixings there are, but almost nothing to put them on.

However, I do have eggs. A few days back, one of my colleagues came to work with a paper bag, filled with cartons of fresh eggs, one of which he gave to me. I've eaten two of them already, but even if I can't get to Shop'n'Save this weekend, I still have five meals worth of eggs. I may get sick of eggs, but I won't go hungry. (Neither will the dogs; I grabbed a very much needed sack of dog food on the way home yesterday.)

Yes, I'm aware of the existence of take-out, but if I'm unwilling to brave this weather, how can I ask some minimum-wage schlub to brave it for me?

Saturday

Apr. 22nd, 2017 12:39 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
The talk went reasonably well; in fact, it was a bit short (only 50 minutes). I don't think I could have added more details without adding too many more, so that's all right. Attendance was smallish - four or five faculty, eight to ten students - but that's what you get when you schedule something on a Friday afternoon. (Of course, any other time, most people would have other obligations....)

Today is Earth Day, but it looks more like Air-and-Water Day here. I was hoping to do some grocery shopping today, but between the chill and the threat of rain, I'm putting it off till tomorrow, which is supposed to be sunny and 15-20 degrees F warmer. Good thought for today's marchers, especially those in weather like this!

The rabbits who visit my back yard are increasingly bold. A couple of evenings ago, I let the dogs out for a romp. As I stood on the porch to watch, I could plainly see a large rabbit off in the northwest corner of the yard, but the wind was out of the east and the dogs couldn't smell it. I watched as Buster quartered the eastern half of the yard and then slowly moved west to the fence, where he turned north. He was just about due west of the rabbit when he picked up the scent. The rabbit, judging from its ears, had been tracking his progress, and as soon as he raised his head it shot for the north fence, escaping several seconds before Buster could get there.

I finished The Obelisk Gate a few days ago, and am eager to read the third-volume finale. I'm close to the end of Death's End, and may comment on the trilogy when I'm done. I'm also reading de Mandeville's Travels and Polybius's History, both of which should take me a while. (I started reading Sumner's Folkways, but found his cultural arrogance offputting and put it back in the pile.) As for dead-tree books, my current project is a re/read of the Ring of Fire books. I'm currently on 1635: The Papal Stakes, after which I'll have to order a couple of the 1635 volumes that I don't yet have. (I have most of the 1636 volumes, but somehow missed these two.)

Blah. Dreary, lethargic day. I'm looking forward to semester's end, two weeks from now.

Slog

Jul. 29th, 2016 07:26 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Well, I'm just about done with the rewrite of the section on second-order classes. I had to admit to myself that one chunk of material really wasn't interesting, and prune it back to a small handful of nice results. I also have one more general result which I need to make explicit, and then I'm done with that section. I've drafted about half of the section on third-order classes, but I may have to rewrite it too, and figure out what to put in the other half. Then write the intro, assemble the bibliography, and insert the citations.... I've got three people who've expressed interest in reading the paper once I've finished it, and I know which journal I'm going to send it to first.

I'll have to hurry. I'm planning on resuming going onto campus regularly starting next week, to prep for fall. There are some changes in my routine I want to make, and I'll need the lead time.

The weather continues to be beastly hot, although not quite as bad as last week. I'm making my shopping trips as early or late as I can, to avoid the midday sun. It doesn't seem to be bothering the dogs; they come to me and demand to be let out half a dozen times a day. Then they come charging in all excited and bouncy. (Not now, pups, please!)
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
If love is like a heat wave, as Martha and the Vandellas sang, you can count me out.

We will be under a heat advisory from noon today until 7 PM Friday. I went to SnS to pick up potables ahead of the clampdown, and came home drenched with sweat anyway. (The advisory is still an hour and a half away!) I wasn't planning on buying ice cream on this trip, but came home with a pint of B&J Empowermint, which I am about to consume.

I see that Cleveland's weather this week is due to be more equable. I'm not sure whether that's good news or bad.

Tropicana

Jun. 16th, 2016 09:27 pm
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
You want to know what the weather's like?

It's 9:30 PM, and I'm eating ice cream.

That's what the weather's like. Even after the heat advisory was lifted.

Progress

Jun. 15th, 2016 03:04 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
We've been under a heat advisory since yesterday morning; it's currently scheduled to expire tomorrow evening, which I hope is true - there've been extensions before. (Friday is Gracie's grooming appointment.) I haven't left the house in the last two days except to grab the mail and make one early-morning grocery run.

I'm slogging my way through the final section of Taxonomy I. SWP 6.0 is once again acting up. (I think the current problem is one I figured out how to deal with earlier, but if so I've forgotten how.) Once that's done, I'll put together the bibliography and insert the references, and then write the introduction. A couple of people have expressed an interest in looking at the alpha version, so I'll send them PDFs and get started on Taxonomy II.

I'm also slogging through my final Skyrim game; I'm up to character level 223 and need to reach level 252. Then the real fun begins....

Gah. Even inside this air-conditioned house, I'm feeling the enervation.

Defurral

Jun. 10th, 2016 06:02 pm
stoutfellow: (Three)
Today, at long last, I took Buster to the groomer. (Usually I get it taken care of in late April/early May; I don't know what the hold-up has been this year, but a lot of stuff is behind schedule.) As hot as it's been, I made the appointment early - 8AM, when the groomer opens for the day. Even so, it was in the 70s F when we set out. I underestimated the time it would take to get there - Buster wasn't as eager to sniff everything as usual - and we arrived some twenty minutes ahead of time. Buster kept wandering into places with loose sticks and leaves, and I had to keep pulling them off. At one point, he hopped through a narrow fence, and it took some fancy-work to get him untangled....

About two hours later, they called to let me know the job was done. The temperature was already climbing towards 90F. Even without his winter pelt, Buster was ready to flop down a couple of blocks from home.

He always looks so tiny after the groomer's done with him.
stoutfellow: (Three)
Much of today was given over to pouring rain, with a smattering of heavy thunder. After the light show moved on, Gracie decided she needed to go out in the back yard.

I opened the door to the back porch; I could see and hear the rain just sheeting down immediately outside the outer door. I looked at Gracie and said, "I'll open it, but you're not going to like it." I did so; she took half a step out and immediately backed away. I closed the door. She went up and scratched at it again. I opened it, and got a repeat performance. I closed the door. She scratched. One more time... It occurred to me then that perhaps I could shield her with an umbrella, long enough for her to do whatever she needed to do. I fetched the umbrella, pushed the door open, stuck the umbrella out so it covered the doorstep - and took a spray of rebounding rain right in the face.

I closed the door, told Gracie to forget it, and went to the bathroom to dry off.
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Good news: The Padres broke their scoreless-innings streak at 30 last night, erupting for a 13-6 win over the Rockies in Colorado. (Of course they broke the streak in Denver. If they hadn't, there'd be no hope whatever for them.)

Also good news: The writing of my taxonomy paper is proceeding, if slowly; basically, I'm progressing one proposition at a time, having to hammer out the clumsiness of each proof before continuing. I've pretty much finished the discussion of first-order classes of triangles, with a general proposition about all orders as lagniappe.

Not-so-good news: The formatting methods of SWP v.6 continue to elude me. Most irritatingly, cut-and-paste has unpredictable effects inside math mode, and the Undo command is even worse there. If I make a wrong move (and I don't know what the wrong moves are) the entire passage may disappear irrevocably, at which point the only option is to quit without saving. (I'm being careful to save regularly, after last week's scare.) There's something weird going on when I try to mix propositions, proofs, and numbered lists - the indentation gets funky, and I don't know how to fix it. (Wrong moves abound in this area.)

Also not-so-good news: We keep sliding back into subfreezing temperatures. Right now it's just above freezing, and I need to get groceries. It's supposed to reach the mid-40s F by about 2:00, so I'll hold off till then.

The current song is rather apropos.
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
On Tuesday, the high temperature here was 80F.

On Wednesday, I got my hair cut and shaved my beard.

Next Sunday morning, the forecast includes a possibility of snow.

:sigh:
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
This weekend, we had a couple of days with highs up around 70F.

Today, the university is closed due to a winter storm. (Heavy snow, 3-5" accumulation.)

A logically unrelated but pragmatically significant point: we're out of dog food.

Soft White

Feb. 14th, 2016 01:02 pm
stoutfellow: (Three)
It's been snowing, lightly but steadily, for I don't know how many hours; NWS says it'll keep up until about 6 PM (at which point it'll switch over to sleet/freezing rain). Little tiny flakes, not like the fat ones we had in our last significant snowfall, but enough of them to turn the streets and sidewalks solid white. The grassy areas are fighting a holding action, trying to keep a little green in view, but they're losing ground (pun intended) steadily.

Buster and Gracie are loving it. I'm staying inside.
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
Gracie and Buster just demanded to be let out. I had to step out into the back porch, which is neither heated nor insulated. Man, it is Three Stooges weather out there: you step out and immediately duck back in, going "Woo woo woo woo woo!"
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
... it's here. The first significant snowfall of the season is coming down now. It's been varying quite a bit; within the last half hour I've seen fat flakes drifting down lazily (if heavily) and fine snow coming down at a sharp angle. Right now, it's coming off my roof in what looks like sleet; when I opened the porch door for Gracie to go out just now, she took two steps, turned around, and hurried back in. They're forecasting 2-4 inches before things taper down tonight.

I was going to go grocery shopping today, but that's not happening. Tomorrow should be clear, if cold (forecast high 20F), and I'll make the run then. I've got enough staples to last.

:rubs hands briskly:
stoutfellow: (Three)
Despite the hazards of Black Friday shopping, I was planning to go out for a bit today; I wanted to get some more freezer containers and a new coffee grinder at the Chef Shoppe, and I'm out of dog food. But it's raining, and will be raining hard for most of the day. Two bags of stuff - Chef Shoppe and Shop'n'Save - plus an umbrella requires more hands than I have, and the last time I tried to improvise in that situation left me wet and with a wrenched back.

It's supposed to still rain tomorrow, but not so heavily. I think I have enough dog food substitutes available to tide B&G over that long. (Gracie has gone outside a couple of times, but only briefly; Buster is reluctant even to do that, though I'm sure he'll go out when it becomes necessary.)

Break

Nov. 21st, 2015 10:39 am
stoutfellow: (Winter)
Today is (effectively) the first day of Thanksgiving break. (Technically, it doesn't begin until Monday.) Saturday is normally my big grocery day, when I buy the fixings for the next week's meals; but not today. There's a strong and cold west wind blowing, and the rain is steady if not very hard. NWS says it'll be that way until late afternoon, when it will start snowing. No accumulation is predicted, and tomorrow is supposed to be - not clear, but un-precip'd.

It's a day for lounging around the house, wearing long johns and fuzzy slippers. Gracie was just demanding to be let outside, but she spent less than a minute before shaking vigorously and asking for readmission.

I'm thinking I'll make Brunswick stew for Thanksgiving week this year. I haven't settled on the side dishes yet; a nice salad, I suppose, and maybe a store-bought cheesecake. Or maybe I'll try my hand at another kind of pie - I'm not in the mood for apple pie, but maybe pumpkin, or even pecan....

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