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A Geek's Eye

10th July, 2014. 5:48 am. Are There Rules For Spoilers? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

Coming off CONvergence this past weekend, I found this particularly interesting given how much of a spoiler mine-field most fannish conventions are. Very good discussion, indeed!

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25th June, 2014. 10:01 pm. Net Neutrality: Is the Internet a Public Utility? | PBS Idea Channel

"Common Carrier", "Utilities", the Internet, and Net Neutrality: this is what you need to view to understand the current decisions being considered by the FCC.

Current mood: contemplative.

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17th June, 2014. 1:34 pm. Mumble Valley

So, the attic/roofing/cut-a-ventilation-hole contractor still hasn't shown up on day two of this whole thing.

I've been wrestling with them all morning.

I left a message, this morning, and got a call back from Over-Arching Home Improvement Firm around 11am saying that the roof people should be here in an hour or so. I confirmed that and made sure they had my cell phone number since I wanted to use that hour to run out and grab a burrito.

I did, got back in under 20 minutes, and still: no roofer/hole-driller/ventilator.

I stayed parked in the front room and waited.

Then, I came upstairs (about to call them again) when a work emergency came up. I'm working from home so I immediately jumped onto a Skype call but kept my iPhone and the house landline nearby. Writing a code-fix for my employer took about an hour. Still, no call.

I phoned Over-Arching Home Improvement Firm again and left another message detailing how I'd been busy but here all the time and no one had called yet.

Then, about 8 minutes later, I got a call on my iPhone from the roofer/hole-driller/ventilator saying that he was driving down to Mumble-Mumble for mumble-mumble-mumble and should be there in mumble-mumble minutes. I asked him to repeat himself and gradually got that he was going to be in Golden Valley (or something ... it was very mumbley) in about 20 minutes. He did not tell me when he would be here but promised to call me as soon as he got his supplies in Mumble Valley. Then, he implied, he'd be on his way.

That's where we are, now. It's been about 20 minutes since the mumble-call. I'm guessing he's picking up some stuff and will then either tell me "it's going to rain; I can't come, again, today" or "I'm on my way: I'll be there in mumble hours".

I'll let you know what transpires.


Okay, the house is shuddering and shaking as the contractors drill a vent hole in the roof. I'm writing this sentence during the resumed work.

When they'd finally arrived they found that insulation had been packed above the bathroom such that they could not get above the ceiling to complete the ventilation. They argued that it had been done backwards and, now, it would cost extra to actally finish the work. At one point they suggested cutting a three-foot by three-foot hole in the bathroom ceiling, pulling down the insulation, and then doing the work with the vent fan.

Both they and I tried calling the Over-Arching Home Improvement Firm but only got voice mail.

Frustrated, both of us, they eventually started packing up to leave. I sat down to commisserate via email and social media. I was, frankly, very annoyed and started writing this.


Okay, quite a bit of time has passed. Where was I? Ah yes...

I was just reaching the five-minute mark of being frustrated after they left, feeling a nice angry boil coming on, when my iPhone rang.

It was the Over-Arching Home Improvement Firm.

I told the woman on the phone that the attic/roofing/cut-a-ventilation-hole people had left. She assured me that she had just spoken with them and told them to finish the work, tonight. She also reminded them, apparantly, of how most of the work had been done for them. They just had to crawl up there and finish it. She assured me that they'd re-certify the insulation they'd already put in and re-blow some in, should it become necessary after the drilly-people got done crawling around up there.

So, after confirming that the guys were indeed coming back in the house, I closed my door and worked on stuff for my employer. About an hour later, they were done.

Only an hour!

I'm really not sure who to trust anymore with the implied accusations of incompetence.

When the hole-drilly-guy asked if I would vacuum up after them, I just decided "sure". I mean there was insulation everywhere but, at this point, I didn't care. I just wanted it over with. I don't know if they were supposed to clean up or if I was ... it just didn't matter to me.

We tested the vent fan and they packed up.

Then I spent a three-quarters-of-an-hour cleaning between 4 and 4:45.

I'm really pooped. I'm having a bit of an asthmatic problem, but at least it's done. All that's left, now, is to get the wall's switch plate put on over the exposed light/fan switches. Apparently the eletrician will do that.


I don't know when.

But for now, I'm just tired and sweaty and glad its over with.


Current mood: annoyed.

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2nd June, 2014. 5:41 pm. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

Quite a bit has been written on Net Neutrality, especially in the last few weeks. If you still haven't learned about it, you may want to see John Oliver's take on it along with a call to action.

Spread it around and do something.

Sylvan (Dave)

Current mood: annoyed.

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19th May, 2014. 8:02 pm. The Science of Game of Thrones

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10th May, 2014. 10:48 pm. Again

Fourteen years on and I had a horrific nightmare about my father's death. I woke up, crying and gasping for breath, around 2am. Honestly, thinking back on it now (although the details of the dream have thankfully fled) I still find tears coming to my eyes at having to face my father dying again.

All day, today, I tried not to think about it.

I managed to put it out of my mind for brief periods.

Thankfully, today was a gaming day. I was able to immerse myself in playing roles and socialization with fellow geeks. But it was never far from my mind.

As it stands, I didn't give a damn about my diet, today. I ate out for breakfast and had a second burger for dinner.

I know I was off and even alluded to the fact that I got about 3 hours of sleep last night to my friends.

I wish I knew what determined the topics and content of my dreams. I wish I could shut down the nightmares before they happened. As it is, I'm really afraid to go to bed, tonight. I don't want to go there, again. I'm tired, thoroughly exhausted, but I don't want to close my eyes.

I may go out and find an all-night restaurant or something; some place where I can get an ice cream sundae or something simple and nice that will help me just feel normal.

Nightmares aren't real. But the experiences they dredge up can feel that way. And those emotions, once conjured, are extremely hard to brush off ... especially when so personal, so vivid, and so traumatic.

Journal entries about dreams are the lowest form of blogging.

I know this.

I also can't not write about this.


Current mood: sad.

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3rd May, 2014. 5:12 am. Migraine, perhaps, again

I'm going to give the Imitrex a work-out. I woke up with a glimmer of a dawning headache. I took my last pill and drank some caffeine before taking a shower. I want this thing gone by the time Free Comic Book Day starts and for it to stay gone while I'm out at the MN Furs spring picnic.

Dave (Sylvan)

Current mood: pained.

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30th April, 2014. 11:09 pm. Hard-Sell

Going to bed, now.

We just had two home repair contractors leave the house. We had an appointment for 7:30 with them for them to estimate the cost of replacing two exterior doors. They arrived ten minutes early. They left around 10:40.

Nice enough people but the door estimate was, on its own, about $10,000. I think. I'm bleary; can't think. But it was waaaayyyy expensive.

On the other hand, they discovered another problem, with our insulation, and offered to fix that for about $4,000.

We went with that.

But, boy, did I start feeling the hard-sell...

And I had no idea they would be here this friggin' long! I had work for CONvergence to do, tonight!

I thought they were just coming to do an estimate. In the past, when going through Menards or Home Depot or Discount Carpets, the person showed up, inspected the house, and just did the estimate. These guys, as charming as they were, just wouldn't get to the point!

But we needed what they were selling and, so, we bought it in the end.

Now, bed.

Last night, I got 4 hours. Tonight I think I'll get the same.


Oh, and one of the salespeople is coming back tomorrow night because she forgot a form that needs signing. I have to go from work to my doctor's appointment back to home to jointly sign with my co-owner, Mike.


Sylvan (Dave)

Current mood: exhausted.

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30th March, 2014. 6:59 am. Goblin Songs

Okay, this little Pathfinder goblin miniature isn't actually named "Brex" but I chose this one to portray my character in this past weekend's game, "We Be Goblins".


Cute little bugger, isn't he?

We played this game on Saturday, March 29th and I ended up writing two little goblin songs to go with my alchemist character. I realized that, in order to create his "bombs", he'd no doubt learned how to mix reagents together while attempting to create pickles. (Goblins love pickles.) So, in short, he would quickly assemble exploding pickles.

The first song is "the Pickle-Bomb Song":

verse 1
Here's a meal to make you moan,
     Rupture lungs and burst your bone,
Boiled blood and pain they brew,
     Taste the pickles that, first, bite you.

verse 2
Brew the brine from seeds I toast,
     Spicy pickles: more than most.
Try a bite, it's true what's said:
     "The bestest pickles make you dead."

The second song came from the fact that the chief of our goblin tribe wanted us to have a bonfire to burn away our bad luck before going on a mission. Brex, who hates spiders, figured that while others were gathering kindling and wood for the fire, he would gather spiders. He went around the goblin village hunting, stunning, (and often squishing) spiders to, later, toss into the fire.

As he did so, he sang this little bit: "the Spider Bonfire Song":

Spindly legs: crackle-pop,
     Into fire, let them drop,
Around the kindling, spiders tuck,
     With smoke and fire, bring us luck!


I want to play him, again: soon!

Sylvan (Dave)

Current mood: artistic.

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