Because I’m really tired of paying for a service that I don’t use, I’m in the process of phasing out my Concentric e-mail address (tabrady at concentric dot com). I’ll keep it active for the next few weeks, though I’ll only be checking it about once a week to see if there’s any stragglers that still use it. Pretty much all it’s been used for for a good six months now is collecting spam by the bucketload. As has been the case for about a year now, my primary e-mail address is and will remain duncan at wolfhusky dot org.
On a less serious note…
Courtesy of Daze Reader, we have this charming Japanese festival (be sure to check out the pictures, too!):
Kanamara Festival is held every April 15th at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki Japan, this is about as wild and pagan as it gets…The festival celebrates the vanquishing of a demon that lived in a woman’s vagina and would bite off the penises of her lovers! According to legend, a local craftsman fashioned a steel phallus which broke the demon’s teeth.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m gay.
Also, here’s quite an amazing weblog, posted directly from Baghdad by an Iraqi citizen (in English): Where is Raed?
I’ve also picked up a few new blog habits, not necessarily war-related:
I first came across Todd Morman in the Independent (the Raleigh-Durham alternative weekly) and later the late, unlamented Spectator. His commentary on the Triangle media and media in general is on target, in my opinion. He’s a big ol’ fag, and as much of a lefty as I am. He’s got a great weblog of his own now: Money Media Report.
Techdirt has some good commentary and pointers to technology blurbs. I like this one.
Click away, kids!
I’ve found the Americana channel on Music Choice this week and I’m really liking the wide variety of alt-country and bluegrass they play there. It’s the perfect soundtrack to this Sunday morning – blue skies, temperatures in the upper 60’s.
The week has been a bit crazy. Takaza has had some health problems of late and that’s taken a lot of my attention. Since we won’t hear anything until Monday, this weekend has been an exercise in taking our minds off things. We had a slow start yesterday, which was just fine. Dan slept until 11 and woke up feeling pretty good, which was great. I went out and mowed the lawn for the first time this season – I’ll probably have to mow it a couple more times before we move, unfortunately. Ah well, it’s good exercise at least. Then it was off for a bit of clothes shopping (Kohl’s has some really great prices!) and then the weekly stops by Whole Foods Market and Lowes for groceries. After that went over to Donald and Janelle’s (me_not_you and wildmouse) to join them and Thomas and Sherry for a tasty dinner of burgers and such, along with stories of their trip to Disneyworld, from which they had just arrived home Saturday morning.
Other news of the week: I reactivated my gym membership, made easier by the $50-off-initiation-fee coupon that the receptionist just “happened” to have on hand. This will be a big boost for me, since I’ve been needing to get out of the house and actually exercise lately, and just walking around the neighborhood wasn’t cutting it. As expected, I’ve put on about 11 pounds since I stopped going in October, but the real shock was that my stamina has gone to hell; I damn near killed myself on the treadmill doing only about half the time I was doing in October. That’s going to take some work, but I plan to go five days a week, so with luck I’ll be back up to speed in a few weeks. Actually, with luck I’ll get a job and will have to move by then but we’ll see.
Things have been pretty bleak on the job front. I heard back from the company in Carol Stream, IL with whom I had the phone interview back in February. They found someone with 22 years of direct experience in their technology (compared to my 4 years of peripheral experience), so I was out of luck. I’ve been sending out resumes at a furious rate this week, and intend to keep it up. The one good thing is that I’m seeing more relevant job listings on the Internet sites I use, so that’s promising. I have a possibility with one company in Columbus, OH, but we’ll see if the recruiter gets any nibbles once they see my resume. On the bright side, with the federal and state unemployment extensions in place and with the money we’re saving by moving, we’re good at least through September. The downside is that we won’t be paying down any of our accumulated debt during that time, but at least we won’t be incurring more debt.
So, the plan today (once Dan wakes up) is to do some quick packing in the guest bedrooms, consolidating the boxes there and breaking down the beds. After that it’s off to see Daredevil with Thomas and Sherry, and who knows what after that. Just good to keep busy right now…
In case anyone ever wonders…
Livejournal calls the page of other users’ journals that you read your “Friends” page. To me, that’s something of a misnomer. I regard that as my “Journals of Interest” page. This is a place for people’s journals I find interesting, relevant, or those of close friends. If anyone has ever added me and wondered why I didn’t reciprocate, or wondered why I stopped watching their journal, I want to assure you that it isn’t because I don’t like you or don’t want to be your friend or even that I’m a stuck-up bastard. It merely means that I just don’t find your journal particularly relevant at the moment or within my interests. This may change at a later date – I do actually review the journals of everyone who has me as a friend on a frequent basis. One thing I can assure you is that it is never due to any personal grudge. I can’t think of anyone on Livejournal whose journal I wouldn’t read because I have something against them personally.
Hope that clarifies matters.
Well, it’s official. We sold the house today. With no job offers on the horizon it looks like our best and most economical next move is to move in with John Franklin, who has a larger house than ours (only a third full of his furniture) and he kindly offered the space to us at a price that beats the hell out of any apartment we could rent (plus, he has a basement that’s nice and dry and almost empty. Just the place to store our stuff, yay!)
Closing will be on April 15, so it looks like the weekend of April 12 will be The Big Move. Anyone want to come help?
(I’m not really expecting anyone to come help but if you want to, you’re more than welcome. And I’ll cook for you!)
And so, when last we left our intrepid husky, he was off in the frozen wilds of Chicago (that would be last Wednesday, for those of you playing along at home). On Wednesday I had a great afternoon of socializing with Osiris (Kittylad), Barbarian and Chouette. After a tasty lunch, then some lazing about rustitobuck‘s apartment playing Sly Cooper (yeah, I’m addicted – probably a good thing we don’t own a PS2), we headed out for some impromptu geocaching. We found the cache after a little tromping around in the mud (here’s a pic of the hearty crew) and a good time was had by all. Well, most (And what does Anubis say?). Barbarian and Chouette had to depart soon after, and the rest of us headed over to Portillo’s. Good food, good company, far too little time to socialize. I spent the night sleeping with datahawk (woo!), who so kindly got up at an uncivilized hour of the morning and took me to O’Hare for my flight back to North Carolina.
It was fantastic to see most of our old friends up in Chicago. Thanks ever so much to Rusty for putting me up, and to Linnaeus and Datahawk for just being themselves 🙂 I was really glad that I got to spend more time around Osiris and get to know him better, too (incidentally, I saw The Birdcage yesterday and now everything makes sense!). I really hope that we’ll be seeing more of y’all soon – I’m trying my damnedest, that’s for sure!
So – back to North Carolina, and home to my wonderful wolf. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, and we had a lovely time proving this fact (Whee!).
Friday night, Brophey and Rasslor drove up from Georgia to spend the weekend. We spent Saturday doing some geocaching, but mostly we just hung around the house, geeked, and relaxed. It was quite a lovely weekend.
And so here we are today. After seeing our Georgia friends off a few hours ago, I’m back home doing laundry, tidying up loose ends on my job hunt, and waiting to hear back from our realtor on a possible final offer for the house. If this comes to pass we have numerous options ahead of us, all of which we are exploring (though I don’t see a quick move up to Chicago in the cards – the money just isn’t there right now). I’ll have more to write in the next day or so – I’ll keep y’all up to date!
Such a night last night.
Yesterday I took the train out to justincheetah‘s place at about noon and we went to work on putting together dinner for ten – me, Cheetah, rustitobuck, Colin, Datahawk, Posicat, kittylad, linnaeus, Innerwolf, and Skip Ruddertail (a fellow who I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting before, but was quite nice).
The menu was:
“Brie slag” (brie, butter, and brown sugar melted together into a big ol’ puddle – it sounds appalling but was quiet delicious!)
Homemade white bread
Roasted red pepper soup
Sauteed escarole in garlic and bacon
Roasted orange chicken
The plan was to have dinner on the table between 7 and 8 PM. I’ll just pause here for a moment for the giggles in the peanut gallery to subside.
While just about everything came out the way it should, a few minor setbacks (including the kitchen sink getting clogged and needing to be disassembled) pushed dinner time later and later. I believe food was finally on the table by 10, and the kitchen was, well, a disaster to put it politely (as my mom would say “It looked like someone spit at it and missed, and sh*t at it and hit”). After some relaxing after dinner and some quickie plumbing repairs, cleanup was finally wrapped up at around 2 AM. I regret to say I was of little assistance, since I crashed on the sofa for a bit after being plied by Cheetah with some outstanding rums and cognac. After dropping Osiris off, it was a little before 3 AM when we got back to Rusty’s place and I fell into bed. Waking up at 8:15 this morning was just painful.
You’d better believe I’d do it again, though! Cheetah and I work very well in the kitchen together, cooperatively and not getting in each other’s way. It helps that his kitchen has all the toys I’m used to in a kitchen, plus quite a few more. We probably overreached a bit on complexity of the recipes, but that’s part of the fun (yes, as we were planning the menu the phrase “I could make that, but it’s too easy” was actually uttered). Next time I’d throw in some dishes that could be prepared ahead of time to reduce the stress somewhat, though.
So – today, my last day in Chicago before flying out at an unspeakable hour tomorrow morning, I’m having lunch with Barbarian, Chouette, and Ed, then dinner with a small group. It’s definitely going to have to be an early night, particularly considering how little sleep I got last night. If you’re in Chicago and I didn’t get a chance to see you, my apologies! There’s only so much that can be done in a short period of time. With any luck we’ll be able to hang out with all of our friends when we move back up here (as soon as I can find a job up here, that is!)
Well, he’s in Chicago, that’s where he is!
Yes, this part of my “weekend plans” I’d been so cryptic about last week. With the assistance and collusion of Priceline, Linnaeus, and Rustitobuck, I have sneaked off to Chicago for a week to visit friends here and escape the cabin fever which had been setting in down in North Carolina. The reason for the secrecy was to surprise Datahawk, something which was accomplished quite well and enjoyably 🙂
I spent the weekend at Congenial in Racine, WI, a nice, quiet relaxacon, hanging out with the good fen there, as well as Data, Rusty, Linnaeus, Kodian, Osiris (kittylad), Crim, and Wyldekitten. It was great to be able to hang out in a relaxed setting.
So now I’m hanging around Chicago until Thursday morning, staying with Rusty. Plans are rather few so far, although I’ll be over at justincheetah‘s place tomorrow; we’ll be working together to put together a tasty meal, yay! I still need to set up some plans to see Chouette and hopefully Barbarian and Ed as well, and I’ll probably give Osiris a call at some point to see what’s shaking (since he lives all of a mile or so from here). As for today: shopping in Oak Park at Penzeys and Fannie May, with dinner tonight to be determined. But first, a late breakfast at the cool little diner a short walk from here and a leisurely reading of the Chicago Tribune. More anon!
Ginger-flavored shot put.
Smells good, though.
Carbon Leaf was great. Great Big Sea was fantastic! Very smoky, crowded venue reminded me of why live music can be fun, but also a big pain.
Plans for the weekend are in place – should be lots of fun.
A bit jumbled today, it seems…
No real updates of late because things have been a bit dull. Did some geocaching over the weekend (Whee! 13 caches so far!) and hung out with Thomas and Sherry, which was cool. Spent Monday and Tuesday futzing around the house and making bread. Mmmm, fresh bread…
I sent an email yesterday afternoon to the company in Chicago that I interviewed with two weeks ago, a kind of gentle prodding and “So am I in or out?” sort of thing. Every time the new mail alert dings on my computer I’m rushing to check it to see if it’s their reply. Gah!
Theoretically, I’m supposed to be picking up steviemaxwell at the airport this afternoon. I have no idea what happens after that, except I have to be home in time to make a somewhat early dinner (mmm, London broil…) I assume someone will provide me with guidance somewhere along the way.
Tonight Takaza and I heading out to see Carbon Leaf and Great Big Sea in concert here in Raleigh. We’re looking forward to that – we love both bands, and getting to see both live is a real hoot. The downside is that I have an early, early appointment tomorrow morning so I’m going to be hating life because it looks like the show won’t wrap up until midnight or 1 AM. Ah well.
Making plans for the weekend – got a few things on tap that should be a real hoot. More on those anon.