I'm white. Or pink. Maybe. Pink-ish? Off-white?

Looks like our ex-mock-cherry-turned-fruit-bearing (at least the past 2 years) has an identity crisis. Most of the flowers are white, 3 branches completely pink, and a whole bunch somewhere in between.

(no) phone

Sep. 13th, 2007 03:35 pm
As some of you may have already noticed, my cellphone hasn't worked for over a month now. At first, I could get called but not call out and the house(cell)phone still worked. That didn't last very long, and the past few weeks I've just had no phone.
Some complete idiot at Sprint screwed up when J was arranging the switch-over of his clinic's (work) account from Sprint to Verizon and moving one phone (temporarily) from the old work account to our personal account, because they were closing their work account. The end result of this major screw-up was that their business account got transferred into our personal account, including the $<4-digit> bill, and the work account has a credit of $<4-digits> and isn't closed. Did I mention that we now have a bill of over $<4-digits>? When we noticed this problem we talked to Sprint, and the agreed-upon plan was that we only pay our actual part of the bills. Sure. Pay your actual bill, we'll fix the problem, and all will be happy. Sounds good.


A month later, they have now shut off my phone (and the housephone), sent us a new 2-year binding contract, still insist we owe them more than $3000, wasted at least 25 hours of J and my time on the phone with a gaggle of Sprint helpdesk/techsupport/idiots and have driven me up the wall. Some of them would insist it would be fixed in a few days, some of them refused to fix anything, and a lot of them didn't have a clue whatsoever. Plus, we wasted 12+ hours on hold. Literally. The average wait before even speaking to a live person was around 2 hours. Plus, the business accounts department can't (won't) help us, because it concerns a personal account, and the personal accounts department can't (won't) help us, because it concerns a business account.
Needless to say, I don't want any (wireless) relations with Sprint anymore. With the rest of my family already on Verizon, I'm switching to there. Yes, I realize nobody is perfect. They will have plenty of issues of their own, and I'll be stuck with a 2-yr contract at first. Their "unlimited nights & weekends" doesn't start till 9pm, which kind of defeats the purpose, but oh well. So far that's all something I can live with.

Does anybody know of complete show-stoppers? A reason why I really really shouldn't switch to Verizon? It's hard to see from the outside what kind of problems you tend to run into, and when you do see them, it's usually too late to get out. I know they have purposefully and obnoxiously disabled chunks of their Bluetooth capabilities, which is one of the things I need to look into. I want to be able to back up the data on my phone (phone#s, etc) but it looks like they've disabled any file-transfer protocols on all but their most expensive phones. Some of it is hackable. I know, but I don't know how easily or consistently or how well that works.
Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Day 2

Sep. 12th, 2007 12:56 pm
One down, about 179 to go (schoolyear is ~180 days long here, right?). When I picked up K yesterday, she was happily running around in the small gym, having playtime inside because it was pouring outside. She was definitely happy to see me, as in running at full speed at me as soon as she saw me. I got a big hug, and then she was off playing and running again. She'd had a good day, at least in the afternoon, since those were the only teachers/afterschool-day-care-people that I could talk to. When I dropped her off this morning, one of her teachers said that Karin had had a mostly good day yesterday, but that there were an awful lot of "no"s. And that she (the teacher, that is) wanted to sit down sometime this or next week and talk about strategies and coordinating the things we do at home and what they do there.
So far so good.

OCD much?

Aug. 16th, 2007 04:30 pm
When explaining to Karin why a BLT is called that, she said "But then the lettuce has to be after the bacon, and then the tomato!", referring to the current layering of her sandwich being bacon-tomato-lettuce. And yes, I explained that it only refers to the things that are in there, not the sequence in which they have to be applied :)

Obsessief, misschien?
Toen ik aan Karin had uitgelegd waarom een BLT (een sandwich met gebakken spek, sla en tomaat) zo heet, zei ze "Maar dan moet de sla na het spek, en dan pas de tomaat!", wijzend op de volgorde in haar huidige sandwich, spek-tomaat-sla. En ja, ik heb uitgelegd dat de letters alleen zeggen wat er in zit, niet de volgorde waarin ze moeten worden toegepast :)
This is almost too scary for words. And to think that people like him actually have a say in what decisions are being made at the highest political level.

Former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay told a gathering of College Republicans that a link exists between legal abortion and illegal immigration in America.

"I contend [abortion] affects you in immigration. If we had those 40 million children that were killed over the last 30 years, we wouldn't need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today."

link here
(copied from [livejournal.com profile] nekowoman, since she and Matt were the ones doing the work...)

This one goes in the house journal. :)

I think this just about says it all...

The 10 Levels of Friendship

1. Pick up groceries
2. Help with laundry
3. Bring me soup - I'm sick
4. Exchange car/house keys
5. Raid friend's liquor cabinet with relatives when friend is away
6. Pick up my sick kid from school
7. Help me clean up after raccoon(s) invaded my house
8. There is a dead rat in my walls - help me find it
9. There is a dead rat in my walls - find it while I go out of town...
10. Help me hide a body (in the wall...)

by [livejournal.com profile] mducar and [livejournal.com profile] nekowoman
Status: Home. Kitchen both better and worse than expected. 2nd dishwasher load done.
Feelings: Sick. Tired. Extremely thankful for friends. Stressed. Overwhelmed.
Last weekend: Awesome. pictures here
To do: Way too much. Run all dishes through dishwasher to get dust off. Take a nap. Handwash everything, including spice jars and oil bottles. Take more meds.




May. 27th, 2007 12:26 am
Saturday morning, 07:02. Sitting with Karin outside on the doorsteps of King House so we don't wake up the people still sleeping on the couches in the living room. Just finished reading her Are you my mother? and Fox in Sox. No more reading by me for a bit, since my throat hurts (and my head, and I'm febrile from whatever cold I have)
Aside from the occasional jogger or dog-walker there is nobody out on the streets. Hell, I wouldn't even be up if not for Karin. We hear a very nice quiet. Some birdsong from all the trees around, and a bit of a breeze that makes the already relatively warm temperatures nicely tolerable. Not thinking about all the insanities of our lives and the dead rat in the kitchen wall with my parents visiting in 4 days and such.

Hearing her happily browsing through her book, reading "pink piglets, pink piglets, pink piglets": Priceless.
There were no dead animals in or near the house, which is both good and bad. I guess this is one of th few times I did wish for dead critters, so we wouldn't have to hunt. At least the cats weren't injured either, which I had been worried about.
We looked around, but saw no signs of any mice or rats, but the cats were obviously still in hunting-mode. Or at least Weasley. So it was time to dismantle the couch and get whatever was now living in it out. We had been planning to throw it out anyway, since it was now down to the bare wood in places. We armed ourselves with sturdy gardening gloves, a long-poled (!) shovel, and a big metal flashlight. You never know!

After removing everything from on and around the couch, opening the front door with a clear pathway (hint, hint!) we then stared taking the pillows off the couch. Veeery carefully, because we still didn't know what was in there. Finally a face poked out - it looked like either an adult mouse or a baby rat. Hard to tell from just a face.
We tilted the couch forward, so the bottom was facing the nice open door. But the damn thing made a run for it, and scurried under or behind the barrister bookshelf by the kitchen door. Of course, now we can't get it - there's a big empty space underneath. Will have to rely on the cats getting it.

The couch was declared a total loss. The creature(s) had obviously tried to make a nest in there. Plus, I'd completely had it with the damn thing. out, Out, OUT! Since we didn't have to worry about keeping it intact, we just basically dragged it out of the house, into the driveway. Done. Good riddance. Did I mention yet I wanted it out anyway? :)
We opened it up (it had a fold-out bed in it) to see if creature #2 was still in there, but no luck. Hopefully it had skittered into the street or garden as we hauled the couch out. Then again, maybe it's still hiding inside somewhere. No way to find out. Then again, I'm a hell of a lot less worried, now that I saw the first mouse. Pretty sure it was a mouse. hard to judge by just the face and the butt, since that's all I saw of it, in 2 glimpses. Oh well.

Now that the worst of the disaster was done, we cleaned up the rat's nest (!) that was where the couch had been. Nerf-darts, coasters, hair-ties, pencils, domino-piece, pieces of Karin's doctor set, half a bar of chocolate. Vacuumed, and looks 200% better now. Maybe tomorrow we'll feel up to hauling the old couch from the basement, to see what state that one is in. I strongly suspect not much better, after 4 1/2 years buried there. If it's dead (or mouse-infested) it goes the same route as the first one.


May. 21st, 2007 04:12 pm
Note: time of conversation is 10 minutes after J is supposed to have left for the airport for a conference. Sound familiar much?

johngnassi (10:19): Oh shit... it ran from under the couch into the kitchen. Cats going nuts.
johngnassi (10:19): I didn't get a good look at it because there were too many CATS in the way.
johngnassi (10:22): Couldn't see it or hear it over all the scrabbling, except dark fur.
johngnassi (10:23): Weasley guarding under back stairs...
johngnassi (10:23): Tijgetje still guarding the couch... (sigh)
johngnassi (10:31): Shit, something brown under couch too!
johngnassi (10:31): and lots of junk... you will have to take the whole thing apart - I don't have time.

... to be continued ...


Apr. 5th, 2007 08:57 am
The unthinkable just happened - Karin fell down the stairs! After years (oh my g-d, can't believe I'm actually saying that!) of telling her not to carry so much while going down the stairs, she tumbled down them, while carrying too much. I'm partially amused, partially relieved and only slightly concerned. Thankfully she didn't hurt herself badly and was done crying within 30 seconds - mostly from the scare, I think. The stairs are covered with carpet, which probably helped soften the bumps. Relieved, because she's finally getting some empirical feedback. You know, from mother nature, not from an adult. And amused, because she's the second person in less than 24 hours to fall down the stairs in our house. Unfortunately for [livejournal.com profile] nekowoman she fell down the much more painful back stairs (bare wood, steep, curved).
Just when I think I can make ends meet, someone moves the ends. This time, not in a financial sense but in getting life in some semblance of control. Piles of boxes - almost gone. Stacks of papers to deal with and go through are still here and there. Well, and there are a few boxes full of them, but somehow that bothers me less. Out of sight and such. All the upstairs floors are done, all rooms completely functional, and almost done. We're still having computer issues with getting everything to talk nicely to eachother and share printers and filesystems and such. Getting closer, but not quite there. It always takes longer. In this case, much longer. In the category good news, Terry made it to 36 weeks pregnant - yay! One more week, and she can go to the birthing center rather than the hospital.
And to add more craziness to the mix, a friend just got a job in Cambridge, a few blocks away from me. She heard the 22nd that she got the job, starting the 28th. Slight complication - she lives in Virginia. So she's flying in Tue evening and staying with us for a while, until she can find her own place. Have to clear out some boxes to put down the futon.

Do we ever have a week without insanity?
After 4-5 consecutive hours of playing catch-up with our finances, I realize I'm hungry. No surprise, seems like dinner passed me by unnoticed. I apparently didn't hear the hollers from downstairs. Too focused on getting this crap from way back in 2004 till now cleaned up. See, I forgot that creditcard statements not only need to be paid when they come in, but at some point they need to get reconciled too. Yeah. Missed that last part. Or rather, not missed but forgotten. I knew it had to be done, but somehow it fell by the wayside. Somewhere in 2004. Or 2003, in one accounts case. Yes, more than one CC account. Maybe it's time to close some of those outlyers like a sears card or a lane bryant card, if only to simplify life.

At least the nice desk setup we now have, gives me workspace, and nice itunes music to work by. So I can fit (finally) my huge bowl of salad-and-tomato (yum!) and glass of wine. The first for sustenance, the second, well, because I need it. Surprisingly (or maybe not, for those who have seen this dark side of me) I actually like this nitpicky stuff. Making sure that everything is accounted for. Well, mostly everything. That $23 spent at Mobil in 2004 that was on the statement but not in Quicken, well, now, that probably did really happen.
I feel a little better prepared for our annual tax-crunch. The majority of our accounts are happily up-to-date till at least the end of 2006. Another sip of wine, and I'm ready for a few more months of checking and clicking.
babble, babble, <lots of generic babble>
and I will listen *very* well and
after school I will do all my homework and then
I will marry Alex
and James
and live happily ever after!
Been busy lately - both at work and at home. So much to do, so little time. There are many projects in progress, which is both a good and a bad thing. It's great they're happening, but so frustrating to have so many balls in the air at the same time, yet not enough time/resources to finish them.

We did finish the floors. And most of the room-swapping. Just this weekend we finished putting the desk together in our room, and moving 2 of the 3 computers onto it. And next to it. And under it. But functional! We even managed to do a final backup of the &%^)^!%!! broken win2000 machine, and format the sucker, and install a crisp and clean win2000 on it. If we can't get that going, or if it breaks, the machine is toast. But so far so good.
Alex' loft bed is still in progress - we have to lower it because of our very low ceilings. So a lot of measuring and glueing and drilling and such needs to happen. Some of which has. We're getting there. But that means that our room is a mess with his mattress in there and basically blocking progress there. At least Karin's room is almost done, with the computer moved out of there. Anyone need a small, rolling hutch? Or 2 relatively new and good monitors (CRTs)? We'll put them up on freecycle.

After some of those projects are done, we can continue on our room, get an actual bedframe for us, and a new futon. Once the piles of boxes in that corner are gone. Where did all those boxes come from??!! It's like they breed when I turn my back.
Anyway. A rough life update. More later.

Oh, and a tally update:
Weasley +1 mouse, dead. Don't know where in the world he found a live mouse in this arctic freeze!


Jan. 17th, 2007 03:10 pm
It actually was so cold* today, I had to put on gloves. That doesn't happen often. I mean, really have to put them on, not just that it would be nice to wear them to ward of the chill of around freezing. (yes, I'm weird that way)

* -11°C to be precise, or 12F

At Arisia

Jan. 13th, 2007 11:38 am
Went to Arisia for the first time yesterday (and will again today and tomorrow). Really cool - lots of awesome people in costume, fun things to see and do and listen to, talk about, and dance to. Of course, within 5 minutes of getting there, I run into one of my colleagues ([livejournal.com profile] ckd). To my surprise. Well, not really a surprise had I thought about it. I mean, computer geeks and the Sci-fi/fantasy worlds do have some overlap here and there (yes, that was dripping with sarcasm). D'uh.
Anyway, it was fun. Karin got her face painted, and we spent a few hours at the drum circle; I learned how to play the drum (somewhat better than just whacking it, like I had) and enjoy the music and dance and company. Karin had a blast to no end, dancing and drumming and playing around. She was up and dancing till almost midnight. Time for going home and bed - J stayed for Rocky Horror, of course, it being Friday and midnight.
Now, more coffee, a shower, and then back.


Jan. 10th, 2007 03:44 pm
-4 ° C this morning (24.8 F for those of you still in the Imperial system). But dry and sunny, so decided to ride my bike into work. We bundled up really really well*, especially Karin, since she doesn't pedal yet to stay warm.
After 5 minutes of riding, I heard "my nose is cold!", so I pulled over, and repositioned her balaclava over her nose again. So far, so good. After this, it was relatively quiet, probably because she was still tired, and because it is harder to talk and sing (like she usually does) while all bundles up. Surprisingly, whenever I asked if she was ok, she would report no problems.
Until about 7 minutes before we got to daycare. My first thought was that she would protest the bitter cold. But no. The biggest problem during this whole trip? Her head was itchy!
Yay for Norther European anti-freeze in our blood :)

*Karin looked like a little polar bear:
underpants, tights, socks, snowboots, long-sleeved shirt, warm dress, snowpants (the britches-kind, covering part of her belly too), 2-layer winterjacket, balaclava, helmet, jacket hood over helmet, thick gloves, plus (since that was what tends to get coldest) *my* fleece gloves over hers.


Dec. 13th, 2006 02:21 am
It Always Takes Longer.
But - first coat is now really really in progress. As we speak. I. write. whatever. Time for bed.
Down to the last bit. I sanded all the edges with 40, 60 and 100 grit, and now John is sanding the last corners under and around the radiiator bits by hand (for the past hour or so). Already wiped down the walls, so by Toutatis! that first coat (sealer) will be on before one. Or else.



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