Sleep, perchance not to dream

Some random thoughts. I've been having issues with sleeping, and with dreams. I'm having nights full of broken sleep, waking up multiple times a night. And when I do sleep, I have sad or anxious dreams and getting out of bed is really difficult. My attempts to fix this have either involved spiking up dopamine or serotonin before bed, or more often, going to bed earlier and earlier. I'm starting to think this (early to bed) is the problem. Maybe I'm spending too much time in REM sleep, where I'm mostly awake by 5-6 am, and I'm just idling in dreaming mode, and waking up repeatedly, which make the dreams more memorable. At least that's what my googling about sleep patterns and basic logic comes up with. So, tonight is an experiment. Going to stay up til about 10pm tonight (1-2 hours later than my sleep schedule lately), then take my meds and go to bed to read a little. I'm resetting my alarm for the last possible minute before I need to be up, so I can be at work in time for the morning meeting. Then we see. If I don't get enough sleep, well the next morning is the weekend, and I have no plans for Friday night. So if I'm tired, I can fight through it. And if it helps, make notes, then try again next week. Document all the way. And we see. If it helps, yay. If it doesn't, well, check my theory, check my research, come up with a new idea. That whole scientific method thing. Should do that more in my personal life.

So...I am my own experiment. Which probably isn't the best science, but it's what I've got to work with at the moment. I do have a perfectly good pshrink I can hand the results to after some time. We'll see. Later I may experiment with invocations of Morpheus, Cthulhu, Hypnos, Nut and/or Nyx. Just no self medicating, that will just in tears. Ok, wish me luck.

To the Devil a Daughter…and more rambles

Home from work, dinner eaten, books added to catalog and shelved. Am pretty pooped after the work day. Going to go to shower, bed and book soon.

Listening to 'To the Devil a Daughter', I knew that the movie was very different than the book, but the only thing they both have is the evil priest. The good guy, Verney is made up of 3 characters in the book. And if you're looking for habit wearing hotties, well this stories has nun ;) Pretty sure I can guess why Wheatley was so torqued off at the Hammer production. It's a slow start, lots of English people complaining about France, while in France. But we got to the crazy Satanist monologing about his plan to a hero, and boy is it bonkers. Also there's a call back to the novel 'The Devil Rides Out' which makes my little geek heart happy. Still have hours to go to listen, might switch over to reading the book the old fashioned way, see if the plot runs off like a crazed hare...like the movie does.

Night all.

Random post surgery thoughts

Been healing, bit by bit. I'm really tired of soft foods, my stomach is demanding things I'm pretty sure I shouldn't eat, and I'm still generally worn down. Worked from home on Thursday, which honestly I didn't get much work done during. Called in on Friday, watched the first 8 'Friday the 13th' movies as is traditional. Yesterday and today was more or less the same, with more variety in movies though. Back to the office tomorrow, with a lot of emails to check I think. Plus lots of things to do in general that I meant to do this weekend. My TODO list is giving me more than a little anxiety though, so many things to do, so little time. Oh well, going to do some little things and make something for dinner, then probably spend the evening in a book. Catch everyone later.

Survived Dental Surgery

Had the extractions this morning. Sedation dentistry is my friend, I blinked and I went from getting wired up, to getting ready to leave. Eating a ton of soft food, pudding, jello, and yogurt. Wanting sushi, Italian food and gyros. None of which are a good choice right now. In some discomfort/pain, but not bad. Not feeling too loopy from the sedation either, but avoiding pushing that in any form or fashion. Plan is to work from home tomorrow, and possibly Friday. Now lets hope I heal quickly and without issue.

Vulpine faces a fear

Quick post. Remember back before I went to Providence I went to the dentist and had one tooth extracted, and a failed attempt at the second one. I was giving a referral to an oral surgeon. Well, as I'm wont to do when I'm terrified about something (dentists) I put it off. Well, that tooth is giving me grief again. So I made an appointment with said oral surgeon, went back to the dentist for a double check, and antibiotics and pain meds. Today I went for the consult. Yep, that tooth needs to go, and oh yeah...I have another abscess that I'm probably not feeling because the other one is hurting more. So I'm going back next Wednesday to have both extracted. I brought up my anxiety, and the doctor agreed that sedation is probably better all around. Luckily I have a friend who can take a morning off to drive me around, and a job that's pretty flexible. So I'll be stoned off my ass (under doctor care) next Wednesday, and probably working from home on Thursday, while eating yogurt, pudding, Jello and other soft things. Which I already had on hand because well, I knew it was coming. I was freaked out before, I'm mostly calm now...I see next Tuesday night as being kind of rough though. But hopefully this will correct things for now, and later on I can get the rest of the work I need done. Stupid stupid dental phobia, seriously if I could change one thing I'd probably go back and tell very young me to either suck up the laughing gas or accept the scary as fuck needle, because the future is full of worse things. So yeah, any spare thoughts to buck up my courage would be appreciated. Catch you all later, hopefully with a more pleasant weekend post.

State of the fox: brainmeats and hard drives

Been having a rough time of it lately. Mood drops, anxiety, lack of focus, all mixing to cause a 'perfect storm' of meh. Lots of Mom memories, both from the time she fell, and things went south fast, and when she got pneumonia, which was what ended up killing her. It's hard to not remember all the bad things, all the stress. I need to stop though, I'm just messing up my head. Mom wouldn't want me upset or frazzled over her. *sigh* I don't know what's the fix though. I've tried ignoring it, I've pondering it, I've tried book therapy, I've hung out with friends, I've hermitted. *shrug* Maybe getting it out on a blog post will help? We'll see.

Besides emotional mess time, I've joined the hardware NAS people. I picked up a Synology DS1517 5 bay NAS, which I loaded with 4 8 terabyte drives in a RAID 6. I'm going to use it as my primary multimedia storage location, with it backing up to drives on Dagon and Hydra, along with a 'cloud' backup on Crashplan. I think this will finally cover my paranoia about drive failure. The remaining 5th bay is going to be filled with a 5th 8TB drive, and the array re-striped so I'll have 24 terabytes of storage, that can survive 2 drive failures. (currently I have 16 terabytes with the same 2 drive failure protection). Did I mention some degree of paranoia ? I'm still syncing data over, then I have to rearrange mount points and other stuff.

So that's my random post that I've been trying to make for a good chunk of a week. My brain hasn't liked me trying to write stuff out. Going to finish this up before I decide to delete it again. Hopefully things will swing up soonish, and April will be less mood foo. Ciao.

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'.