A stack overflow on a shoggoth is nothing to laugh at, even in a small developer environment

(Title is a random quote of myself, because I couldn't come up with a fitting one out of the blue)

Well, I'm coming up on two weeks since I returned from Providence. I miss it still, but a bit of the NRE (New RealEstate Energy) has faded. Still wish I didn't live somewhere that my allergies hate. Oh well. The grass is always greener in the other city.

Real life has been well, life. Work is alright, haven't had anything big to deal with. Things get a little busier after this weekend, but nothing crazy. At home it's about the same, I had plans last weekend to do a bunch of stuff, but I stuck to chilling out at home for the most part. This weekend is socializing on Saturday, and chores and stuff on Sunday.

Read a random book on medieval cities, finished it last night. Was a sort of trip down memory lane, as my first big history nerdism was European history from post Empire to the Hundred years war. The focus was the city of Troyes around 1250, so lots of things I knew, and even more than I'd once known, and have since forgotten. Bit of a change from my usual Greco-Roman or Mesopotamian history that's my usual flavor. In the weird fiction real, I'm reading a collection I picked up at StokerCon, 'Black Pantheons' by Curtis M. Lawson. The stories are pretty good, but the last, and longest is kind of hard to read. Main character has some form of dementia, and lives in a retirement community. Yeah, that doesn't stir up memories for me at all. But still worth reading, especially for the first story and the eldritch version of Pinocchio.

So yeah, that's about it for me. Having a nice quiet Friday night, been watching 70's British horror flicks and futzing around online. Night all, and I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Starry Wisdom Retreat: Part 2

On Thursday I rented a car and drove down to Mystic to visit the aquarium and seaport there. Got to feed a stingray, which was one of the oddest feelings I've ever felt, like a muscular vacuum cleaner was grabbing my hand. Saw belugas, seals, petted a small cat shark. It's not a huge aquarium, but it's definitely high quality. Mystic Seaport was a place me and my folks went to when I was a kid, and it's been on my list to revisit for YEARS. Lots of ships, including a visiting Viking longboat that I went on board without knowing it with still offlimits to visitors (oops). Did go on board a 19th century whaling ship, an 20th century full ship rigged training vessel, and a fishing vessel from the early 20th century. Plus there's a number of historical buildings that were part of the Mystic sea trade. Definitely was good to visit, next time I'll go later in the year so more things will be open. Oh yeah, and while I was in Mystic I stopped by Mystic Pizza for a slice (or 3). Not a fan of the movie, but really...why not.

Random stuff. Visit Providence, and you'll eat well. Italian food, Irish pub food, sushi, so much good sushi. Found a little breakfast place that I ate at repeatedly while I was there. Had pizza a few times, quite a bit of variety in New England, some was like NYC, but thicker, others were like Chicago, but not as 'pie' like. The only less than great meals I had where when I had to do chain food, all the local places were top notch. Another oddity, Providence has really good tap water. Probably saved myself a bunch on bottled water bills. Lots of people with dogs on the streets of Providence, but unlike most of the random dogs I run into in Texas, they were well trained and didn't suddenly lunge at me randomly. Well other than one fluffy still mostly puppy, who just radiated 'I want to be friends'. The bus system was decent, a little confusing, but then again I have less experience with mass transit. I ended up walking a lot for that reason, and the occasional Lyft ride.

So that's the Cliff Notes version of my trip to Providence. I really had a good time, and I'll be back, probably for NecronomiCon 2019. I'm really fond of how the city looked, and how it felt to wander around. Definitely glad I decided to go. Thanks to Grandpa Theobald for inspiring me to go, and to all the nifty people I met while I was there. Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Starry Wisdom Retreat: Part 1

I had an amazing time in Providence. Not everything went according to plan, but my plans were made to be flexible, and with the understand that this would probably not be my only trip there. So while I didn't get to visit all the museums I wanted to, or the zoo, I did get to explore Grandpa Theobald's stomping grounds, see lots of nifty old building, and eat some amazing food.

I'm not going to do a day by day, action by action post...I'd be writing for hours. I'll ping the high notes and interesting bits as I think of them. Start with my hotel. The Dean is a small 'boutique' hotel a few blocks from the Providence Biltmore, where StokerCon was being held. I later found out from a friend that it used to be one of the more notorious strip clubs in Providence, with the rooms being rented by the hour. Was a fun place, staff were friendly and the room was nicely sized and mostly comfy. There's a leather reading chair I wanted to steal somehow. Recommended if you're in town and like smaller hotesl.

Now lets move on to Lovecraft. I visited 3 of the places he lived, though only one house is still around (and moved from it's location when he lived there). I also visited the house he used as the setting for the story 'The Shunned House', the Fleur de Lys building which is mentioned in 'The Call of Cthulhu', and where the Church of the Starry Wisdom was in 'The Haunter of the Dark' (though the church was torn down and made into a park.) I also wandered around Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, on College Hill. Lots of climbing that hill. I visited the John Hay Library, but I didn't request to view the Lovecraft collection, I felt funny about it. I also didn't go see his grave marker at Swan Point cemetery. I found walking in his footsteps more interesting that visiting a grave.

Now lets talk books. Oh lord, is Providence a city for me. 3 used/indie bookstores in downtown (including the amazing Lovecraft Arts and Sciences), and 2 more a bit east around where HPL's birthplace was. I spent a lot on books, oh so many books. I ended up shipping a decent sized box of books home...then I went to StokerCon for more. Cthulhu books, history books, esoterica, stuff on Providence, things that just looked cool. At StokerCon I bought a few books based on author's elevator pitches, or from authors I've been talking to online. So many books...my bookshelves are groaning in pain.

StokerCon itself was fairly low key. It's mostly a 'con for writers to network and talk ideas and techniques. But there were some panels that were less focused, like panels on pulp and weird fiction, or Stoker's writing habits, or Hammer & Universal movies. I also listened to long time favorite authors Ramsey Campbell and Caitlin Kiernan do readings. Every one was really friendly, even the bigger names in the business, and had one author correct me when I said I was 'just a reader'. Also, the above mentioned Lovecraft Arts and Sciences hosted a poetry reading by a number of weird poets, including Donald Sidney-Fryer, who blew me away with how he read. Definitely worth braving the Nor'easterner that hit Friday. The whole con was fun, relaxed and well organized. Definitely recommend. The next one will be in Grand Rapids, MI. See details at stokercon2019.org.

Stay tuned for part 2, where I discuss stingrays, food and friggin' in the riggin'.

Off to Providence

Well I'm heading to Providence in the AM. (my trip plans got rearranged a bit due to an attack of real life). I'm anxious about the trip, dealing with airports and getting from Boston to Providence in one sane piece. My flight leaves at 7 tomorrow, so I'm going to head to bed in a little while so I can be awake at 0 dark 30 to deal with all the crazy of travel. I won't be blogging from my travels, but I'll take notes for posted when I get back. Catch you all when I get back from Lovecraft Country.

Random microblog posts from the weekend

Saturday 21:45
'Black Panther' was simply amazing. The heroes are heroic (with the female leads stealing the show), the antagonists aren't just bad, for the most part you can see how their views conflict with T'challa, so better than most bad guys in comic movies. Lots of good fight scenes, lots of great one liners and character interaction. Plus, the depiction of Wakanda is just amazing. One foot in traditional cultures, one foot in the future and just plain nifty. My one complaint, I wanted more of a tour of Wakanda vs superfights. But I can hope for special features on the bluray.
5 out of 5 Vibranium Claws.

Sunday 16:29
Going to the store today took my last bits of ability to cope with humanity. The urge to scream 'Move your ass' at the people ahead of me in check out was almost uncontrollable. Possibly in Koine Greek because life should be interesting like that. (note to self, learn to say 'move your ass' in Koine Greek before going to the airport next week). At home now, doing laundry. Cthulhu bless my gillslits, I'm tired.

Sunday 16:55
Well last night's dreams were weird. From historical churches with ancient cults and exorcism schools (convenient placement there), to fighting against a zombie horde invading random suburbia with one of those magic movie katanas that is more lightsaber than steel in it's ability to remove limbs. I'll take zombies apocalypse and horrors from beyond space time over my usual anxiety dreams.

Sunday 17:19
Last night after 'Black Panther' we stopped by the nearby Half Price Books. I didn't get anything, nothing I couldn't live without, and I have plenty of book shopping plans for the trip to Providence. But I did find, in the rare/nostalgia section, volumes one and two of "The Encyclopaedia of Russian Crime Tattoos." Not something you find in bookstores every day. Almost got them for the oddness factor, I think they were $30 each. (If anyone is interested in them, I can send you the info of the store, I'm sure they'd be willing to ship for a reasonable fee, or I could pick them up and you could pay me back. I'm sure one of my author or game designer friends could make good use of them)

Sunday: 19:32
Self quote of the day.

"Must try to stop reading the Latin aloud, just frickin' Google it!"

Sick fox is recovering

Not been doing good healthwise. Thought I had a bad sinus infection, but I woke up yesterday in major pain centered around a tooth. So yay, dentist. I'm very phobic about dentists. They ended up extracting the tooth, which was a royal pain in the jaw because I'm a mutant, and I have extra roots that extend deep into the jaw. So it took forever to extract, I had to repeatedly remind myself that clenching up every muscle wasn't going to help things. Still I came out of it in more pain in my joints and neck than in my jaw. My hands were shaking and I felt light headed most of last night, and I barely slept. Took today off as comp time (working on President's day, a Carcosa Corp holiday). I'm mostly spending today eating soft food and watching 80's horror movies. I'm hoping I'm back to normal enough to spend some time with friends tomorrow.

Providence trip is a week from tomorrow. I'm kind of a basket case about it at the moment, the trip, the state of me, etc. To be honest, I've thought about canceling it...will decide later on. 'Try to avoid major decisions when depressed, in pain, or stressed'. So we'll see. *sigh*

On the bright side I've read a lot of good books in the last week. I highly recommend 'Widow's Point' by Richard and Billy Chizmar, a classic ghost story that grabs you and doesn't let go. If you like military sci-fiesque, 'The Void' by Greig Beck won't let you down. Super-soldiers vs space monsters. If you rather have movies, 'The Ritual', an adaptation of Adam Nevill's novel will convince you to never go hiking again. Or if you want horror comedy gore, see 'Victor Crowley', the 4th 'Hatchet' movie. So that's my random one line reviews.

That's about it. Hoping I can make til bedtime tonight, and get some real sleep. I'll also like it when my body stops being in full flake mode. Have a good night boys and ghouls.

Been a while

Haven't had the ...whatever powers blogposts in a while. Part of it is the less than great headspace I've been in. Work is somewhat stressful, with us being short an admin, and the different groups I am matrix managed by are pulling in various ways. Brainmeats are pretty annoying too, with all my usual issues showing themselves, usually when I could really use a break.

Took a long weekend from work, off Friday through Monday, back on Tuesday. Probably one of my better decisions. I've caught up on sleep, caught up on laundry and chores and managed to rearrange bookshelves to make room for... more books. *chuckle* I expect to come back from my trip to Providence with a bunch of books, so I'm trying to make room for them. I've also spent yesterday and today updating the VM horde. New versions of Fedora, OpenSuSE and LinuxMint, so I've been busy. It's also therapeutic, I find patching to relax me.

Speaking of Providence, I leave in less than 3 weeks. Half a week of wandering Providence and nearby environs, and the StokerCon fun and games. My plans are kind of nebulous, I really should sit down and get my list of stuff down on paper (virtual). Museums and history sites, bookstores, and of course all things Lovecraft, plus whatever insanity I get up to at StokerCon. Should be a lot of fun, and I'm finally getting to go visit Grandpa Theobald's stomping grounds.

I'm about to call it a day, turn off the movies and spend the rest of the night in a book. Or several. Books that is. Hopefully tonight is restful and full of good reading, and tomorrow I get a final day of time off before back to the crazy. Wish me luck.

Liber Cultes de Vulpes

Well my idea about transferring my Facebook posts to my blog didn't work for the last couple of days. Too busy to transcribe. So, instead I thought I'd talk about something near and dear to my heart. Books.

Half Price Books is a chain of used book stores, quite a few in Texas and other scattered across the US. The flagship store is in Dallas, north of SMU. I like going there because they have a lot of book turnover. The downside is, occasionally my book expenditures are a little...crazy. Today was such a day, also, things got weird.

First part reminded me of the opening scene of a horror movie. I walked in, by a display of journals and notebooks, and the word 'Satan' caught my eye. Odd for a journal... so I looked. It's a 50's hardback about diabolism and assorted related stuff, mostly translated from a French medical journal about religious Psychology, if I'm reading right. Lots of S.J. (Jesuits) as article authors. It should have been in the rare/nostalgia section, but I guess someone was being silly. So yeah, I grabbed it. As I was wandering around the store, I kept thinking. "Jeez, I've seen this horror movie where the lead finds a random book on Satan in the first act, and then all hell breaks loose.' Which had me giggling. I may leave the book in a box of salt though...just in case.

I found a number of other odd books. A hardback collection from the 40's of weird fiction edited by August Derleth, 'The Night Side'. Not Arkham House, the publisher is Reinhart, which I haven't heard of before. Nice book, some authors I don't know, but it's got Lovecraft and Machen and Dunsany. Bloch and Wandrei and Kuttner as well. Also for a reasonable price, or so I told myself *wink* This was also in rare/nostalgia.

In the horror section I found a couple of S.T. Joshi edited criticism, a nice trade paperback of Chambers 'The King in Yellow', and two paperback story collections. One 'Cults of Horror' is a 90's DAW collection, with a reprint of Karl Wagner's 'The Sticks', and one of those classic covers. The other is 'Tales of the Occult' from the 70's, with more Machen, MR James, Blackwood and some other authors. Always good to find old friends in books. Last was 'The Green Man' by Kingsley Amis. The back blurb mixed words like 'horror' 'satire' 'post-Lovecraft' 'slapstick' and other weirdness. So I grabbed it, odd to find that mix of words anywhere. So yeah, a lot of good things in the horror section for me.

I also picked up a Eurohorror flick, 'Beyond the Darkness' which seemed weird and up my alley. It's playing now, pretty standard Italian horror bizarre...with the plus of a soundtrack by Goblin, same band that did the music for 'Suspiria'. I saw a couple of other movies I wanted, but not for the price they were asking. Then after some more wandering in the rare book area (No I don't need an 18th century book with a Latin title that sounds like it's out of Lovecraft's library...it was a medical text I think), I headed over to the religious/metaphysical/occult section...

The occult side of things seemed to be the usual Wicca and related stuff, with a fairly nice selection of 'the history of witchcraft', but nothing that leaped out at me. Same with the Druid side of things...but under the actual 'Occult' shelf, there was something that had me written all over it. A Princeton University press work on Greek and Roman Necromancy. Author is Daniel Ogden. Hits a number of my buttons, ancient history? Check. Scholary work? Check. Esoterica? Check, double check and mate. Plus I got a good deal on it, about half what it seems Amazon wants for it *grin* I think that just leaped to the head of the to read pile. They also had a big section on 'esoterica' (read Templars, Masons and Jesus conspiracies) and 'Gnosticism' (Dead Sea Scrolls, more Jesus conspiracies, and similar), but nothing else leaped at me, at least that I wasn't sure I already owned. Will have to do some organizing and list making before a return visit.

So yeah, my book hunt was fruitful as heck. Necromancy, random book on Satan waiting for me as I walked in, and lots of my favorite kind of fiction. Now if I suddenly go silent, make sure to not read aloud any of the books on my desk, and 'have ye words for laying ready at readie and stoppe not to be sure when there be any Doubte of Whom you have.' *grin*

Yog-Sothoth Neblod Zin

01/10/18 – daily stuff

More bad dreams, was living back in NY, with Mom. Dad was dead, and in the middle of the night some 'Christian Psychics' were there to tell us what Dad wanted us to do. They knew odd facts about Dad, so Mom was believing them even though I pointed out that's not hard info to find. They did something, and suddenly I was shooting all three of them, repeatedly as if they were monsters in a horror movie. While Mom sat there shocked, I dragged the bodies down to the basement and dissolved them in acid (that we just happened to keep around). Then I woke up. W! T! F!!! Dear subconscious, stop with the dead relative dreams, please ?

Also woke up with aching joints, and a meh mood. Today I need to clean some stuff up, and start the Jan patching. Also need to go to get my weekly allergy shot. Wild times.

Starting the Jan patch schedule for Carcosa Corp. So of course, I'm listening to an audiobook of 'The King in Yellow'. Lets see if I can unmask these servers...

Does the previous comment make me a 'Repairer of Replications' ?

Five dollars in The Imperial Dynasty of America currency if you get the joke. ;)

And patching done, at least the development shoggoths. Tune in tomorrow, when I do it again.