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TedTheewen

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It's 3:30 in the morning and I just got done shooting more video. How does espresso chocolate hazelnut ice cream sound?

I just made some and it's chilling in the fridge. I'll put it in the ice cream maker tomorrow and we'll find out together.

Since the passing of Anne Rice I have picked up The Witching Hour for my Kindle and I started reading it. She heavily influenced my writing. Because of her I was able to learn how to write sensuality without having sex. She taught me how to bring sexual energy into a scene without making it obvious.

I hope everybody's doing well. Holidays are a bit rough on me so I usually upload as much content as I can because it keeps me occupied.

I have missed you guys and I'm glad to be back.
 
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Brightdreamer

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Hooray for Teds!

Wednesday morning, ten days to Xmas, and I'm losing ornament work time after work due to driving Mom to a PT appointment. (Am willing to bet good money the sibling won't do it, even though she easily could, because Reasons.) At least the sinuses aren't so bad today.

Will still have to hit a store at some time, either on the way home from there or the way home from work, because I ran out of Mocha Mix this morning.

Mergh...

Anyway, just puttering about a bit before shoes-on time and work departure.
 

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It's 3:30 in the morning and I just got done shooting more video. How does espresso chocolate hazelnut ice cream sound?
OMG that would be the best!

I've recovered from my surgery (minor) but today I'm getting a COVID booster, which I'm sure will put me out of commission for all of tomorrow. So it's going to be a struggle this year to do Christmassy things like cookie baking and even decorating the tree, not to mention cleaning. Plus the tenants of five years are moving out so I've got to show the cottage and investigate the potential tenants, then deal with the cleaning and painting. But hopefully that can wait until after Christmas.
 

Brightdreamer

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Hooray for recovery and boosters! (Getting my booster Monday.)

And it's Wednesday afternoon, in the brief window of down time before trudging back out to drive Mom to her PT appointment. Got a book. Got a book light. Got a Kindle. And if it's too cold I'll have to pretend I have an appointment so I can wait somewhere other than a freezing car, dang it. (The sibling does it all the time, and it's not even that cold when she takes people to appointments.)

Mergh.
 

Brightdreamer

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Back from the appointment. We wound up eating dinner from Jack in the Box (which is a mark of true desperation) while the last of the gridlock died down.

Started a new book while I was waiting. Not bad, but not quite grabbing me; will give it a while before deciding if I'm interested enough to keep going or if I just don't care. (It's not actively turning me away, at least, though it is trying a little too hard one one worldbuilding aspect, using accent marks to over "he" and "she" and "you" and "me" and such to convey different genders and expressions. Feeling a bit less organic and a bit more "Look at me! I'm doing this thing!"...)
 

E.F.B.

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Pretty sure I've mentioned before that I hate driving at night, but I HATE DRIVING AT NIGHT. I'm feeling more confident during the day, but tonight was probably my third time driving after the sun's completely down and my first time doing so in stupid rush hour traffic. But I have to because my parents are basically blind in the dark with the oncoming headlights, so until mom's Bell's Palsy clears and she can get her cataract done, I haveto drive if we're out after sunset.

Anyway, sorry for the driving vent, but that was a stressful experience until we were able to get on the quieter roads. Just needed to get the frustration out of my head and I do actually feel better now.
 

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I have a hard time driving at night because my eyes are aging. But if it is only the glare, try those yellow tinted glasses. They don't help the fact I can't see shit driving at night until I get close to things, but they do work for reducing glare.
 
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Brightdreamer

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Thursday afternoon, looks gray and oddly dim outside.

Work was a thing that existed.

Need to get my brain in gear to write up a book review. If I were ambitious, I'd go out to my workshed and poke at ornaments, but I'm apparently not ambitious because I barely have the oomph to type right now.
 

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I have a hard time driving at night because my eyes are aging. But if it is only the glare, try those yellow tinted glasses. They don't help the fact I can't see shit driving at night until I get close to things, but they do work for reducing glare.
It's not the glare for me, I can see past oncoming headlights fine. It's more an overstimulation thing because I'm not an extremely experienced driver at all yet. At night specifically, it's just a little overwhelming to not be able to see as far ahead because dark and then there's all these lights from other cars that are distracting, and Christmas decorations I can't look at because I'm driving but they still distract my eye, and the potential for deer or other night animals running in front of the car, and I still have trouble switching the headlights brights on and off easily without accidentally turning on the turn signal because someone had the brilliant idea to put those on the same stupid stick. I know it will all get better as I gain experience, it's just frustrating and occasionally anxiety inducing right now.
 
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Brightdreamer

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I generally don't use the high beams at all, unless I'm on a completely deserted back road; saves the trouble of remembering to flip them off if someone approaches. (Flip off the lights, not the other driver, that is... unless they really deserve it, though they wouldn't see it at night anyway... ;) )

And it's Thursday night. Watched the early-drop new Expanse episode (and bonus mini-ep). Might go to bed early, because sinuses are trying to sinus on me again.

--

Friday evening, and feeling Xmas breathing down my neck. Will be spending a lot of time in the workshed trying to finish up ornaments (which I really wanted done by now - I started the frellin' things early enough - but they have a way of stretching to fill all available time to Xmas. And the next phase involves extra drying time issues, because I'm using squeezy-tube paint stuff that always takes longer to dry than it should. Gah...). And I already know Monday's going to be effectively lost: I'm getting my booster shot at noonish, and I think Mom has plans to "ride along" and run other errands while I'm out of the house.

On the plus side, pretty sure I'm done with holiday shopping. (Mom even got in touch with her ever-elusive brother, wonder of wonders. He's where most of us are this year: overwhelmed and depressed and feeling stuck.)

Guess I'll trudge off and try to do some spitballing to keep the writing wheels turning, if minutely, then head to bed and maybe reading. Really feeling on the fence about my current read; going to give it another couple nights to convince me it's going to be worth the 600-page commitment versus tossing it in the giveaway bag and starting something else from the TBR pile.

--

And it's Saturday, late afternoon that feels like evening because dark and dismal time of year is dark and dismal. So far, more or less on track (knock on plywood) ornament-wise; adjusting my plans and expectations accordingly. This next part's going to be the iffy one, because the little squeezy-tube paints always take longer to dry than the paintbrushy paints - sometimes a full day. And you do not want to handle squeezy-tube paint before it's fully dry, or Bad Things happen... don't ask how I know that. Anyway, got about all I'm probably going to get done on that today. About time to start dinner. (Steak night again. Might make some beef gravy for something like variety. Whee... livin' wild and free, here...) And if the sibling doesn't rope me into watching too much crud again, maybe I can grab a transcription thing tonight. (Last night she wanted to finish off CSI: Vegas. Improved by the end, though the plot was rather contrived and the show is still weirdly split between old guard and new; they need to beef up the new cast, and they really should've sent Gil and Sarah back to their boat now that their legacy case is done so the new faces can stand on their own and flesh out - on the assumption that the final scene is promising another season. I like the chemistry of the pair who are in the field - I suck at names - and the boss finally came along, but the rest are kinda just there, quirks without actual characters behind them, and there needs to be a bigger ensemble in a CSI show, IMHO...)

And, spoiler alert, did not manage to grab a transcription gig tonight. I think a lot of people are off for extended holidays and jumping on the site to snag their own work, and I'm just too slow on the refresh button. Eh, well... I'm fortunate I don't really need it, it's just extra income. So I've been listening to Xmas music while writing up my writing year in review (naturally not quite finished, but realistically I won't be posting that many more reviews this year; the audiobook I'm on, maybe a couple more, and possibly a hardcopy or Kindle. And I'm about to give up on my current hardcopy read... Ever read a book where one culture is made so flatly Wrong and Backwards, metaphorically spitting on babies and kicking puppies for no reason but to show off how Wrong and Backwards their culture is, just so one character in that culture can seem Good and Enlightened for questioning why they kick puppies? Sort of a shortcut to separate the Good and Bad characters for the reader without having to actually round them out or create cultures with nuance or layers or anything? It's feeling like that... not sure how much longer I'm going to give it to show me something other than those flat characters and flat cultures...)

--

And it's Sunday afternoon, a nicely rain-free day spent mostly going back and forth to the workshed. Got the seal coat on the fronts of the ornaments; need to do the backs, seal them, then do the final color wash and seal that. The suckage level is tolerable with my low standards.

Also got some wrapping done; hit the end of the paper roll and the end of the tape roll at the same time. And I still have a few things left to wrap, dang it... Will have to see if anything is available when I go out tomorrow. (I have more tape, and I do have a roll of paper I can open if I need to, but it's really nice stuff and I'm reluctant to crack it open just yet...)

--

Sunday evening, and was about to watch something (transcription being another washout) when Mom decides that Right Then is when bills needed to be paid and rants needed to be ranted. (She flusters when trying to write checks, and Dad can't do that anymore, so I'm the one who has to write them out for her to sign. Part of why I know 2022 is going to be even worse than 2021...) So that killed that. Maybe tomorrow night, as a reward for getting my booster shot... wouldn't hold my breath on that, though. She has a sixth sense for sabotaging any effort to do something on my own. I get it, she's frustrated and stressed and not dealing at all well with various Things. But I'm stressed, too, dang it, and her dumping her stresses on me 24/7 isn't exactly making the stresses go away...

Sigh...
 
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TedTheewen

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In my neck of the woods, we have a lot of deer, and they cause a great deal of damage, so we have to drive with our brights on.

I uploaded a video last night. Now to move on to the next flavor. Next is going to be either Mexican Hot Cocoa or Cranberry Marshmallow. Or Cranberry-Orange-Cardamom. I'm still not sure yet.

I hope everybody is doing well.
 

Friendly Frog

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I had a driving lesson yesterday that extended past dark in these dark days and, boy, do I get how stressfull driving in the dark is and we don't even have deer here very often. (Should have learned it twenty years ago when everybody was doing it, yes, yes, sadly the only way to stop myself beating myself up with that particular stick is learning to do so now...) We spent almost half an hour figuring out where the right lights were because it's my grandad's car.
 
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E.F.B.

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Honestly, it seems like it should be a standard safety procedure for all car models to have their features in the same, easily accessible locations. With all the concern about distracted driving, isn't it just as distracting to have to figure out where everything is every time you get in a new car, and then overcome the old habits of where to look for things while you're driving? Of course, I don't build cars and the people who do don't ask my opinion on the matter, so it'll probably never happen.

Well, it's been an interesting weekend. Friday night we forgot to put the water up near bedtime and da beagle apparently had a big, long, "tank up: drink of water way too late at night that I completely didn't see him doing to stop him. Therefore, I woke up at 4:30 am to go to the bathroom, returned to my room, and in that short time he'd unleashed a huge pee all over my bed. Thankfully, my quilt and blanket took the worst of it and I couldn't find evidence that any actually soaked into mattress. But at 4:30 a.m. I still had to strip everything off the bed, put layers of towels down where I thought pee was on the mattress, and then had to sleep on the opposite side of the bed with only a throw blanket to cover me. Fun times.

Yesterday was better since we were sure to put the water up at the right time on Saturday night and I was therefore able to catch up on that lost sleep. Decided to do a deep clean of my room after church since there was probably pee residue on the carpet from da beagle stepping in his pee. We've also finally got the Christmas tree up and decorating it. By evening I was pretty tired, but we had a cold front go through, which made da lab mix have a hyperactivity explosion and she insisted on an intense tug of war session (complete with grr, grr, grr! with every tug) and then she still wasn't tired so had to take the toy outside in the dark and cold so I could chase her for it as she careened full speed from one end of the yard to the other. I think she was tired after that... Maybe.

Today, mom's got more PT. The physical therapist reassessed her on Friday and said she's gone from 16% improvement with her Bell's Palsy to 50%, which is really great! Still progress to be made though, so she'll continue to get PT 2x a week for a while longer and then reassess again.
 

Brightdreamer

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Monday morning, booster shot day, and there is snow on the ground. Slushy snow, but nonetheless snow.

Who authorized this? The weather did not say anything about this. They were threatening some mixed precipitation later in the week, but not today. So who authorized slushy snow the day I have to go and get my danged booster shot and don't have the option to stay home, huh? Who?

(It's about 40F out there, so likely no ice or anything, and the roads I'm going on are well driven and will probably be clear, but still... makes me worried about the family gathering and associated driving on Saturday. And work this week. And next week, which they're already predicting to be very cold... gah.)
 

MaeZe

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Monday morning, booster shot day, and there is snow on the ground. Slushy snow, but nonetheless snow.
We're getting wet snow here but none on the ground. It won't last.


On a worse note my dog had another seizure. Even though I make sure her food is in really small bites she managed to choke on some. Now I'm worried about feeding her if I'm not there watching. And that's a bigger bummer because she eats in the kitchen and the time she eats the most is late at night when I'm in the other room on the couch.

I know she isn't long for this world but I'd hate it even worse if she were to die choking on food. 😭
 

Brightdreamer

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And that took far too long. The shot itself wasn't that much trouble, but it was in a weird part of a city we don't go to a lot, and people drove like idiots, and we wound up shopping a store there that was weird in that way stores in strange towns are weird even if they're a familiar chain, and people drove like idiots, and coming back we had to stop to pick up something for a relative for Xmas, and people drove like idiots, and did I mention how many people drove like idiots? Because lots of people drove like idiots today.

And the rear defroster thingy on my car seems to be struggling for unknown reasons. May check the fuses or something... or it could just be too cold and wet and the poor thing can't keep up. (I've always had moisture/condensation issues in this car...)

And even though we just got home, it's almost time to get dinner started.

I've decided that I will not do ornament work today. It's better to just put in extra work tomorrow than to botch something by rush-cramming.
 
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MaeZe

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Local traffic gets horrendous here around Christmas. A lot of people are off work and all of them, working or not, are out shopping. The east-west streets sometimes get clogged a couple of lights worth of waiting and someone always blocks the intersection because they don't want to wait one more light cycle. Or worse, people turning right block the lanes continually so if you are turning left it's never open for you to go unless you block the intersection.
 

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Gah, intersection blockers are the worst... I was over in a weird part of Renton we don't usually venture into. It's weird how somewhere relatively close to home can feel so utterly alien. (Though downtown Renton's just plain screwy anyway.) Everywhere we went, white cars were cutting us off.

And I looked up "rear defroster not working" and it looks like something I might be able to deal with myself, so I'll probably try to make the time to poke at that. My gut says it might be the fuse, because it seemed to die relatively quickly and I haven't been poking around at the leads or anything in the rear window (and if it's the fuse I can deal with that because I've changed fuses in cars before).

Oh, the thrills of older cars...

Watched a couple eps of FOX's reboot of Fantasy Island on Hulu. Not terrible, just sort of a time-killer, and a decent take on the concept; it's not particularly deep, and definitely not the sort of show to get really invested in, so it pairs well with the distraction of the "limited ads" of my cheapskate Hulu plan. I'm putting off anything that requires actual attention (the last season of Lost in Space, for starters) until after Xmas, so it's a stand-in.

Guess I'll mosey off for the night.
 

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If the holiday stuff is a problem, just look on the bright side--in about 4 days, there will be Valentine's Day candy put out on the shelves.

Right now I'm going through calls for submission in search for something I can dive into and knock the rust off. I'm rusty from not having written for so long. And I'm tired of being rusty. I want to get back to the awesomeness that used to be me.

Tonight, before bed, I'm going to whip up a quick ice cream experiment. Mexican Hot Cocoa Ice Cream. How does that sound?
 

MaeZe

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Now my little buddy won't eat when I'm in the kitchen. She thinks I have something better than what is in her bowl. I tried sitting in the dining room but she could still see me. Now I'm in the living room hoping checking on her a few times will be enough.

Update: all is well, she's done eating and didn't choke.

'Night everyone.
 
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Friendly Frog

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We have some frost this morning. Seems appropriate for the shortest day of the year, I suppose.

Honestly, it seems like it should be a standard safety procedure for all car models to have their features in the same, easily accessible locations. With all the concern about distracted driving, isn't it just as distracting to have to figure out where everything is every time you get in a new car, and then overcome the old habits of where to look for things while you're driving? Of course, I don't build cars and the people who do don't ask my opinion on the matter, so it'll probably never happen.
I think there is some broad lines that all car manufacturers follow. But yeah, figuring out where everything is is while driving is not good. We pulled over to try all the light stands because I sure wasn't going to do so while trying to learn how to drive! But it took us a while to figure out since we found out the things the light did when we moved the handle up and down or when we turned the handle, I didn't caught on that the handle also moved forward and backward.

Good thing dad's more experienced with cars or we'd still be looking. That's the downside of getting a second hand car without a manual, I suppose.
 

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Sometimes you can find car manuals online, too. (Pretty sure they'll all be online in the near future anyway, because to heck with anyone not wired up 24/7.)

Tuesday morning, foggy, and need to get the lead out on ornaments. Today's "finish up the backs", or "pick which ones go to which relative already to put their names/initials on already". Do that, seal 'em up, and if I'm lucky I might be able to get to the final wash coat tonight.

Trying to decide if I need new tires or not. One more thing I'll have to consider when I'm poking at the car fuse box while waiting for ornament decorations to dry.

And Mom's worried about finances again, but the statements she gave me don't have enough information on them for me to determine what's going where and why, let alone what can be done about it. (She's also trying to get the sibling a booster shot appointment, because of course the sibling can't do it herself without melting down and shutting down. I know she has mental Issues - even if nobody will diagnose them, she clearly has them - and it's like expecting someone to run a marathon with a broken leg to expect her to function sometimes, but be danged if it's not tooth-grinding at times...)

Gonna be a mentally cluttered, busywork day, in other words.

Oh, and next week looks like a several-day hard freeze. If it stays cold, that will be bad but not as terrible as a warming-cooling; the latter is what produces the ice that is the bane of my driving existence.

Yeah, 2021's going out as nasty as it came in, and then some...

--

Noon, and ornament progress has been made.

Efforts to wrench a fuse out to see if it was blown was not made. I have never seen a cruddier fuse box than the one inside the Ford Taurus. Nor were there the usual spare fuses I'm used to seeing. And the little pinchy fuse remover would not, for all my efforts, remove the fuse in question to even see if it was blown to begin with. So I may have to hit YouTube and/or an auto store.

I did, however, determine that I'm past due for new tires; not totally bald, but pretty low. And the earliest I can get an appointment is next Tuesday, in the jaws of the deep freeze (unless the weather report is really, really, really wrong... though if it's going to get cold, it danged well better stay cold so we don't get the freeze/thaw ice issues...). Went for the not-cheapest/not-priciest option (which weirdly had a better traction rating, A, than the priciest, which had a B rating.) It's an older car with 100k-plus miles on it; realistically, there's only so much money worth pouring into the thing...

After the tires are dealt with I'll probably have to get it in for the door latch issue, and maybe the defroster issue if I can't get that dealt with on my own.

TL;DR: cars suck and I'm sick of them.

--

Tuesday evening, and as of now the final seal coat is dry. Tomorrow, I put the hangers on, and my ornaments are done, done, stick a fork in them and light them on fire, they are done!

And I got confirmation of my tire appointment on Tuesday, so that's done. (After I've dealt with that, it needs to go in for door lock issues, but I can get around that for now. Tires are slightly more urgent.)

Still hoping the weather people are wrong about the deep freeze coming after Xmas. Also hoping they're wrong about snow on Xmas, because I have to drive in it. (Sibling has already decided it's a conspiracy against her if we decide it's too dangerous to go. Because apparently risking our 92-year-old father with bad balance and swollen feet falling and breaking a hip on the way to or from the car is worth her while because there will be food... as is risking the car sliding backwards down our hill on the way home.)

And sibling is playing martyr about having to play the walk-in wait game for a COVID booster. Because it's personal that there are too many people (again) wanting not enough shots (again), and she hemmed and hawed and whined and withheld info for so long nothing is available by appointment for months, so it's walk-in or a long, long wait.... gah.

I think I'll trudge off, get stuff ready for work tomorrow, and find something mindless to do with the rest of my evening.
 
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MaeZe

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We have some frost this morning. Seems appropriate for the shortest day of the year, I suppose.


I think there is some broad lines that all car manufacturers follow. But yeah, figuring out where everything is is while driving is not good. We pulled over to try all the light stands because I sure wasn't going to do so while trying to learn how to drive! But it took us a while to figure out since we found out the things the light did when we moved the handle up and down or when we turned the handle, I didn't caught on that the handle also moved forward and backward.

Good thing dad's more experienced with cars or we'd still be looking. That's the downside of getting a second hand car without a manual, I suppose.
New cars are a nightmare these days. I've driven loaner cars when mine was in the shop. So many things, so many distractions, and there was no way to tell if your car was locked because it locks or unlocks when the key fob is close to the car. And it shut off at every traffic light: something about getting a better milage rating. That was hard to get used to. What if it doesn't start when the light turns green?

In my opinion, all that crap on new cars is just stuff that will breakdown eventually. Though I do love the rear view camera, now that is something I want.

And newer cars are subject to those catalytic converter thefts in our area. It takes them less than a couple minutes to cut one off your exhaust. It's awful.
 

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