The Coldness of The First Floor

I had something for this. I swear I had an idea for a topic earlier but it’s gone now. I’m just tapping keys and putting one word after another until something magic happens, looks like. It’s your lucky day!

It was ridiculously cold in my office today. I had on four layers and a hat and was still very cold. I came very close to firing up a laptop and running it as a handwarmer (actual space heaters are not allowed in the office for safety and fire danger reasons.) I had to go out to my car at lunch and again later in the afternoon and sit in there with the heater going to warm up. Does that sound extreme? Maybe it is extreme. Extremely cold.

Didn’t help that I had to finish off some of the Halloween candy that Val had given me last week. I’m sure the sugar hit caused me to crash harder after it wore off.

Lunch was soup from the Thriftway across the street, which was nice and piping hot. Today was a steak and bean soup; very tasty. But I also had a brick of cornbread; while delicious, it was also another big dump of carbs, and probably didn’t help with keeping my insides warm.

If it’s cold again tomorrow I’m going to find a way to work at a different building; there’s another office I can use in a different building that has giant windows that face north, and is filled with working computers, but is not a server room. It is always very toasty warm in there. It’s wonderful. I am sure I can pull a few outstanding tickets for that location and work on those for the whole day, assuming nothing else important comes up.

I’m cold right now just thinking about it, and now I’m home and have the heat going. I’m even upstairs, which is nearly always warmer than my first floor. Might have to get the space heater going. I have two space heaters that Tracy lent to me last winter when my furnace was broken and it took a couple of weeks for the property management company to repair it. Might have been as long as a month or more… time blurs. Bottom line, I still have those space heaters, and I use them, and then always think “I should give these back to Tracy because she may need them.”

(Tracy if you’re reading this, I still have your space heaters. I should get them back to you soon. Let’s make arrangements.)

I can hear the furnace running but it’s not warming up yet. After I finish my blog post for the day I will go get the space heater, and I will probably also take a shower, and also also turn up the heat a bit. I have to go downstairs to turn up the heat. I never thought that a Nest or computer-controlled thermostat would be useful in an apartment until I moved into a two-floor apartment. Something that saved me from going up and down the stairs would be a nice-to-have.

Do they make remote-controlled thermostats? I don’t need the logic (or privacy invasion) of a Nest, but being able to control it from my phone sounds like a great idea. Oh! I’m talking about home automation. Remote-controlled lights and things. Yeah. Yeah, that would be fun to install.

Thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me. I’m going to jump into a hot shower now. Goodnight.

…They Just Fade Away

I’m growing a beard. I know it’s a bit early for Movember, or No-Shave November, or whatever that beard-growing awareness campaign is called. I’m not doing it for that.

I’m doing it for cosplay. I’m going as Old Luke Skywalker.

In December, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker comes out. It’s the final entry in The Skywalker Saga (though definitely not the end of the cash cow Star Wars movies, for sure.) And for once in my ever-lovin’ geek life, I’m going to attend a premiere party in costume. I’ve cosplayed but never for a movie premiere. It seems very fitting for me to do so for the Skywalkers.

Since Terry has assembled a very good Han Solo outfit, it is also just and right that I go as Luke Skywalker. I was always Luke to Terry’s Han, even when we were kids—unless I was being Lando because Lando was cool in ways not-yet-a-Jedi Luke wasn’t. That was before Return of the Jedi Super-Confident Luke showed up. I’m old enough to have lived in a time when there were only one or two Star Wars movies. There were three-year gaps between each film in that first trilogy.

Terry was always Han, though.

Even back in the day I never cosplayed as Luke. I wasn’t nearly as blond and blue-eyed as he was; I was a round brown-haired brown-eyed nerd. I did make a lightsaber, though; I cut up and modified an aluminum pool cue. Wish I still had it today. I wonder what happened to it? I never cobbled together a karate gi, nor rolled up some Ace bandages on my legs. I didn’t like that look. I did covet Luke’s spiffy yellow coat from the award ceremony, though. That looked great. Also loved his grey jumpsuit from Bespin or the black outfit that was a black version of a combo of his Tattooine and Bespin fatigues.

The Kenner figures always called Luke’s outfits “fatigues”: Dagobah fatigues, Hoth fatigues. I don’t know why. That’s military-speak, right? Like BDUs? I guess the Rebellion was sort of military. Don’t @ me, I’m just spitballing here.

But now, 42 1/2 years later, I’m much older, and I have much less ego, so I have no problem going as Luke. I still can’t quite bring myself to put my balding, pudgy, short body into a body-hugging jumpsuit. I’m more than happy to wear a big comfy robe with a nice hood. That sounds great! I can grow out my beard, spend a little effort to make a mechanical hand. I will need a wig, because Mark Hamil is not bald, at least not in the movies. Even if I had started growing my hair out when the previous episode came out, my hair would not be as long and as thick as Mark Hamil’s hair by December; old age and genetics, man.

I really hope that there are some Rey cosplayers at this party I’m going to. It’d be fun tossing away their lightsabers like the grumpy ex-Jedi I’ve become. Heh heh heh.

Best part is, I convinced Terry to go as the age-appropriate Old Han Solo. Mostly because it gives Terry and excuse to buy another really great jacket. Han’s got Luke beat for jackets.

Something Something Unity

I spent most of the weekend fighting off some kind of illness. I don’t know exactly what I had, but it made me tired, dizzy, and short of breath. Not a head cold, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly gone, just in time for me to return to work Monday morning, yay.

I don’t have a topic for tonight, so I will just talk about things as they come to mind.

NaNoWriMo approaches quickly! By the end of the week, actually. Just a reminder for any and all of my readers, I won’t likely be posting as much on the blog during the month of November; gotta use all my writing brain for NaNoWriMo. I will post here, but it will likely be quick links and updates on my writing progress, as well as any cute stories or pithy comments I can think of. Basically, I’ll post here the things I tended to post on Facebook.

Because, oh, yeah, I’m leaving Facebook forever as of the end of the month, too. That’s a thing that’s happening. Facebook is apparently dead-set on collecting money and eyeballs from right-wing extremists, to the detriment of democracy and United States government. And in response, I’m leaving and I encourage anyone else who can, to leave as well. There are other communities in which you can find your friends and family, I promise you. For a small instance, I offer you this one.

I watched a Vlogbrother video today, from Hank, and he repeated something that I had heard him say before but haven’t really internalized. He said that we now live in corporate spaces. What does that mean? To me, it means that while we may connect, and have fun, and have interesting discussions in them, we are subject to corporate rules—not government rules, not ethical rules, but the rules of the corporations that run the space. We don’t have voting rights. We don’t even have human rights that digital people may have.

Extending that analogy, then, the only impact we can have on corporate spaces are leveraging the things that corporations care about, and Facebook cares about only one thing. Well, it cares about money, because it’s owned by a billionaire, and billionaires are dragons who sit atop a mountain of pilfered wealth, but Facebook also cares about reach and engagement. OK, OK, that’s three things, bear with me here, I’m improvising this.

Bottom line, if we want to change Facebook, it’s unlikely our government (or any government) will ever have the will or power to regulate social media. In the meantime, we can bend it by denying it our attention or engagement. I know many of you can’t leave, because of communities or people you have to stay in contact with and can only do so through Facebook. I am potentially losing track of important people to me, but I am committing to finding other methods to do that. Because leaving Facebook is a moral imperative for me.

Monopolies always seem unbeatable, until they are finally beaten. Just like bullies, or tyrants. But we have to do it together. In some kind of… united… state. I think you see what I’m saying. Right?

The Philosophy of The Outer Worlds

The sign and logo of the town of Edgewater, an "employement commnity": a man with the Moon as his head wearing a top hat and tuxedo, and the logo for the company Spacer's Choice.
Welcome to Edgewater, weary employee. Rest awhile, but if you rest too long, we’re taking it out of your pay. (Game spoilers at linked page.)

I crashed into bed about 23 minutes after I posted yesterday’s post, and there I remained, feverish and hazy, in and out (but mostly out) of consciousness. I was better but not 100% and the morning was mostly a blur of sitting on the couch watching videos. After Noon, I was tired again so I napped. Woke up hungry, as I knew I would be, so went out to get some food.

When I came home, I dived into playing The Outer Worlds, Obsidian’s new action RPG.

I’m only an hour or two into it but I already love it. Wandering around on a colony world with the design aesthetic of Firefly (with a tiny bit of Fallout mixed in), the game itself is gorgeous and rich in those small details that really bring a place to life. The brand names, the way NPCs speak and dress, and the background philosophies are all working together to paint a particular picture.

Some small spoilers for early game lore ahead. I’ll hide them below the cut.

Continue reading

By The Skin Of My Teeth

Many boxes and bottles of various cold, cough, and flu remedies.
I wish I had all this right now. Damn you, stock photography!

No post tonight. I did write at least 500 words, but they are super rambly and incoherent, because I’m coming down with a cold, and I just want to drop into bed and sleep it off.

But I did show up and pound out some words. 527 words, in fact.

Thanks for checking in. I appreciate you, dear reader. I’m glad you’re here. Here, let me give you something to ponder:

You’ve probably heard the phrase “by the skin of their teeth” but did you ever wonder what that meant? Isn’t the skin of our teeth our gums? What do gums have to do with escaping from something?

And as an experiment, I’m going to open comments tonight. Comments will close after 2 days. You have to include a name and an email address, but you don’t have to register.

If you’re a reader, drop a note below and say hello! I’d love to wake up from my NyQuil-induced coma to read what you’ve got to say.