Genealogy is what you make of it.

I had a random Lovecraftian thought explaining my quirkiness. From Dad's side of the family I get a smidge of Innsmouth blood, we do come from Massachusetts and spent most of of the 19th century in nautical pursuits. But from Mom's side there seems to be a link to the ghoul cults of old, probably related to the tunnels underneath Green Wood Cemetery, or maybe that bunch in Red Hook. The two strains conflict with each other, explaining the screwy brainmeats as well as my love of the ocean, yet my lousy swimming skins. Or my claustrophobia mixed with a curiosity about tunnels, caves and other subterranean oddness.

So what does that make me? Well a mix of Deep One and cannibalistic cultists, wouldn't that make me a Sea-Ghul ?

Yes, this is a shaggy dogfish pun ;)

Here comes the weekend

Been a couple of days since my sad post. The Fourth wasn't much better, I'm not the most patriotic person in the world, and I honestly felt very alone, but I didn't want to deal with the traditional crazies that come out to play. Plus it was bloody hot, and my apartment parking gets bad on the 4th, since the fireworks and festival in town are a few blocks away. So I stayed home, read a bit, watched a bunch of movies, and generally felt blah. Slept better than I had before, even with the fireworks, and got up for today's WFH day.

The plan was to take advantage of the quiet day and people taking long weekends and work on project stuff. That didn't happen, lots of virtual walk ups asking for help. I did manage to get a few things done, but nothing like I planned. Oh well. At least the day/work week is done. This weekend is Spider-Man flick, and I'm not sure what else. A few chores. Try to avoid bookstore runs, since next week is Half Price Books coupon a day thingie. So better to save on my book addiction and splurge next week (I also get paid next Friday).

So yeah, it's the weekend, thank Cthulhu. And I have no idea where to go with this post, so I'll wrap it up. Have a good night folks.

The Internet is broken, and I’m not doing so good myself

Ok, most of the internet isn't broken today, just mostly Facebook here at Château Innsmouth. But it sounded like a good subject. Because, I'm honestly not doing so hot. Strap in, this will probably be long.

First, a friend of mine had a major heart attack the other night, he's in critical care as they try to get him stable enough for surgery. We met online, fellow weird bookhounds, and I got to meet him in person last year in Providence. So I'm more than a little worried about him. If you could spare prayers/good thoughts/whatever for a friend of mine, I would appreciate it.

Second, the apartment complex Château Innsmouth is currently in is going through crazy levels of change. Last Friday I left home for lunch, and by the time I got back there were new signs up with a new complex name. Later on that afternoon I got a note in my door about how we've been bought, and stuff will change, but we'll like it. So far we've been giving a new website that fails to load correctly, an email about how to setup autopay, where autopay doesn't work, so yesterday I walked over with my checkbook. I had to wait in line to pay, because there were issues with everyone's rent, seems those not on autopay/email notification got screwed up rent amounts. But when they pulled me up on their system, it was the correct amount, so they got a check. Was also told about all the 'Great changes' coming to the apartments. Please Cthulhu, let them ignore me til my lease is up. Everything is pointed to them trying to turn this into 'luxury' or 'premium' apartments, when this is just a middle of the road place to live. Glad I already planned to move.

Third, My anxiety is really bloody high. Tomorrow is a day off, but it's also a stressful day (fireworks while pretty, are loud...and I live less than a mile from where my town launches them). I think I'm hooking up my white noise generator to an amp, or I'll be up later than planned. I'm working Friday, but from home. I've got a lot of stuff to do, I should have worked the full shift today, but when they said 'down tools at 2pm' I didn't argue. So Friday I'm hoping I'll be mostly left alone and able to focus on my projects. We'll see.

On the plus side, I have over 36 hours of down time, I have food, I have books, I have movies. And I have no where I physically have to be til Saturday afternoon (assuming nothing requires me to go to the office or datacenter). I'm going to see the new Spider-Man flick with friends, which I'm vaguely dreading, i finally got around to watching the first one, and I had to fast forward...a lot. I don't do embarrassment well, and a 15 year old superhero who wants to prove himself is going to be full of embarrassment. Hopefully a couple of years will settle things a bit. But I really prefer my superheroes to be at least old enough to drink. But on the other tentacle, the actor really gets the attitude of Spider-man in the action scenes. And I really want to see the credits scenes. I'm really hoping for a clue as to the next set of MCU flicks.

And in the time it's taken me to write this, it looks like the internet has been fixed. I'm dragging tired. I may make it an early night tonight. Well early for not having to get up tomorrow for work. Time to finish this post though. Ciao.

Sunday’s Cultist is Full of Frustration

Ugg, not a good day. Got texted by my credit card company, my primary card was used to rent $50 of Redbox stuff. Did I want to dispute the charge? I said something rude in a barbarous tongue and sent back yes. Then tried to get back to sleep. Got up. ate some breakfast, decided to wait on calling them back and got out of the house for a book raid. Got a couple of random books, mostly was an excuse to get out of Château Innsmouth, and to enjoy the fact it's not sunny out. Came home, called the fraud department, dealt with a nice, if terrifyingly perky rep. Card is cancelled, new one will be here in 3-5 business days. Went ahead and moved all the upcoming autopays to a different card. *sigh* Hope this is the end of a stressful week, not the foreshadowing of a worse one.

Merry Shortest Night of the Year (Northern Hemisphere edition)

It's finally going to start to get darker again. Thank Cthulhu. Sadly, it won't get any cooler for 3 months. Darn it. Been a mixed week. Some good stuff at work, some soso stuff. After a lot of thinking, and a discussion with my fellow admin, I decided that I'll be in the office 3 out of 5 days most weeks, vs the single day. I'm pretty non-social as it is, and not leaving the house on that regular a basis would probably be a bit much. Of course I regret it every night coming home, between the heat and the traffic it runs me over.

On a happier note, I have a plan for a 2020 trip. Thinking about visiting LA for a long weekend. The HP Lovecraft Historical Society (which I'm a card carrying member of) is based in LA, and I'd like to see the HQ building and see the gang in their native habitat. Plus there are a few bookstores I'm told I need to visit, some Jack Parsons related places to visit (JPL tops the list, I know Dad would have wanted to go as well). I'm also thinking of staying a night onboard The Queen Mary not to be a wannabe ghost hunter, but for the history (ok, a little for the ghosts). Plus there's plenty of historical foo out there. I'm not going to do the big tourist things, no Empire of the Mouse or Hollywood blvd or such for me, even if I want a lightsaber on occasion *wink*. No real plans for when the trip will happen. I was thinking after the new year at some point, but with moving around that time we'll see, with PTO and fundage. But should be fun.

So, that's about it for right now. I'll catch you all later.

Late night rambles.

Staying up later than I usually manage. I'm tired, but I'm jittery. So I'm futzing around, realized there was a work server that alerted last night due to low space during a backup, then recovered...but I didn't want to get texted in the night, so I threw a bunch of space at it. (New backup routine, and I haven't quite figured out how much space it will need, darn needy databases). I'm also upgrading a home VM to the latest Ubuntu server available, because I am a nerd.

To be honest, I don't want to go to sleep. Last night's anxiety dreams were very unpleasant, even though I don't remember details. So I'm avoiding sleep. Eventually I'll crash, but not for a while. I have plans for tomorrow (finally going to see the new Godzilla flick), but there's no time frame...so hopefully I can just sleep in once I crash. We'll see.

But for now, more comfort soup, some silly TV, and geekery. Then book and bed and hopefully dreams of tentacles and Caroline Munro ;)

Carcosa Corp 2.0

Been at the new office a week. And I am of mixed opinions. It's a nice building, nice office space. My cube is fairly big, and while it doesn't have full height walls, it's still fairly private. Sadly, voices carry, so I hear the neighbors (a bunch of devs I don't know) more than I'd like. It's also overly warm IMHO, I guess the powers that be that control the thermostat are lizard people. My fellow IT folks are nearby, fellow admin is across the row, and the desktop guy is one row over and further back. I'm at the front of my row, so people walk by me all day, which is distracting as I see movement, and look up. Guess I need to slouch a bit more so I don't see them. There's a bunch of restaurants near by, and a good Half Price Books. I also got to meet one of the execs I've dealt with a lot the last few months, got some chitchat in. The people I know are on the other side of the big office area I'm in, but between walkups and IM clients we're still in constant contact. Which is mostly good. We'll see how it works over time.

Brought my craptop over, and my triple monitor setup on a dock. Network is a little slower, especially if I'm doing things on the datacenter network, a few more hops than there was when I was a few floors overhead. Today I setup a test 'developer machine' in my cube. Our devops guy wanted a system he could test from in the new office, vs his own box back in the datacenter. Dell Optiplex, running Fedora (was 28, but I upgraded to 30 today). In theory it's going to just sit in my cube if anyone needs to see what's up with the developer network, in practice if I end up working in the office a good deal, I'll move it so it's the primary box and just not 'tell anyone'. (32 gigs of RAM and not Windows would make up for a lot of the commute.) We'll see. I did manage to name it 'hyades', our test dev boxes are named after constellations, and well, a star cluster is just a constellation mushed together. The devops guy is a Lovecraft fan (one of my converts), and I think he got the joke. At some point this weekend I'll log in from home, and push some scripts and files over to it. (Via VPN, no we're not insane). Not much in the way of decorations in the new cube, since I'm probably going to work remote more often than not, it's probably for the best.

Now, the big problem of the moment. The commute sucks. Morning isn't so bad, if I leave at 8:30, I'll be there at 9:00, assuming traffic doesn't snarl. But coming home is pretty crappy from 4pm til after 6pm. And it's the drive home that I really appreciated the 10 minute commute. But in 6 months or so, in theory we'll be done with the datacenter. And I'll be ready to move, so the pseudo-plan is to move north, assuming working from home 4 days out of 5 works for me. Which it should, unless I end up feeling too hermited. I really don't know, as is often I can see both sides. Next week I'll be about half and half, and we'll see what works from there.

So, it's more or less alright. Some things are better, some things are not. I'm just going to keep on going, adjust things and see how it goes. On that note though, it's time for this fox to head to book and bed. Night all.

Health and Office Foo

Well yesterday (Thursday), I went back to the hematologist. The issue is I have an enlarged liver, which is enlarging my gallbladder, which reduces platelets in the blood. The basic fix is lose weight, liver gets more to normal, things are ok. My current platelet count is right at the low end of normal. Doc wants me back in 3 months to see how things go. So I'm going to try getting more firm on the diet, like I did after being diagnosed with diabetes, and trying to figure out more exercise. But since it's summer in the hell of Texas, it's hard to make myself exercise. So we'll see what happens.

Also, today was my last day in the local Carcosa Corp office. Finished my packing, did some other stuff. Went up to the new office, found my new cube (it's been changed a couple of times). Didn't stay, all I had was my laptop and I didn't want to argue with trying to find the work wifi. So I came home, hit traffic (at 2pm), worked from home for a bit, then kind of checked out. I have to do some work Sunday night before people go in the office Monday, and I have to be in the office way too early to help with people coming in. Hopefully going to get some rest this weekend. In fact, going to finish this post and head to bookville.

Liber est vitae!

Or for those who don't speak dead languages, the book is the life. Aka, the new Vulpine family motto, something I threw out while arguing with myself. I do that some time. But that's not the subject of this post. I thought I'd skip talking about life in general, and talk something specific I love... namely books.

So yeah, if you've known me longer than about 48 hours, you know I love reading, and I love books in general. I always have a book (or 5) I'm reading, my wind down before bed is almost always reading for a period of time. And when I need a pick me up, I'll go book shopping, either online or at a brick and mortar bookstore. Most of my reading right now is done on my Kindle Voyage e-reader, technology allows me to carry a multi-thousand book library in my back pocket. But I also still enjoy the tactile feel of paper books, and the enjoyment of owning and organizing them, along with reading them. (there's also audiobooks, but that's for another post). So how do I decide the format when I buy a book? Well, what is it ? If I don't collect the genre/series/author, I usually get it on ebook. Mostly due to the simple fact of space, I only have so much shelf space. So I tend to only buy dead tree books of my favorite genres/authors. So, scifi/fantasy, mysteries, general fiction, most horror, most history, I'll probably only get in ebook. Cheaper usually, easier to carry, etc. But, if the genre is in my wheelhouse, then I tend to get dead tree (and usually an ebook as well).

So, the wheelhouse. a term I steal from the Reading Glasses Podcast (I recommend the podcast if you're any kind of book fan) is specific types of books that are my favorite interests. I'll read just about anything if it catches my interest, and if I'm stuck somewhere, I'll read stuff that has no interest because...reading. But there are specific things that I specifically gravitate towards. The list is (ATM):

  • Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos/Weird/Cosmic fiction.
  • Gothic and occult horror, especially set in Victorian/Edwardian times.
  • Ancient history (Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian topping the list) (both as non-fiction and fiction)
  • Occult/Esoterica/"alternative beliefs"
  • Nautical history
  • Authors I know or at least 'know' online
  • and a fundamental axiom: the Templars have something to do with everything.

    I have tons of these books, I have bookshelves dedicated to these (almost 9 six-foot tall bookcases full of #1). I haunt Amazon keyword searches, I pre-order from a ton of specialty publishers (and make friends with them), and when I go to a used bookstore I have a specific routine as I check the various locations of my 'wheelhouse' books. Even if it's not great, I'll get books as a completist.

    Now how do I get my books ? Well that depends. Do I want a specific title? Do I want it now? Then I hit Amazon, followed up by Ebay and other search sites, and order the specific book. If it's a small press, I'll order from them (support your small business pals). That's about 50% of my book acquisitions. The other half? Used book stores. I love the random hunt, the idea that just around the shelf is a book that will light up my life. Or that I'll find something I never knew I needed, and get to get my mitts on it. I do this pretty much only with used bookstores in the 'local area'. (I've driven multiple hours across the wastelands of Texas to visit used bookstores) And when I travel out of state, there needs to be a visit to a local used or independent bookstore, or it's a dull trip. Keep in mind when I go to used book stores I'm rarely looking for a specific book, I'm looking for authors, titles that flag something of my interests, etc. Otherwise you're looking for a needle in a variably ordered haystack.

    So, now that I got the books in my tentacles, how do I read ? Number one way is in bed, propped up on pillows. Usually on my Kindle, just because it's light and easy to move around without losing my place or bending pages by accident. But lately I've been reading physical books more often, I setup a cheap desk I picked up online with a bookstand, a lamp and a chair. (and a bunch of knickknacks that I decorate everything with). It's a different vibe to reading, especially when the apartment lights are turned low, and I have some music playing in the background. (creepy music for creepy stuff so far). Gives me that feeling of a throwback to read in a Victorian/Edwardian library ala Arthur Machen or M.R. James.

    So that's me rambling on at length about my favorite subject, books. First time in a while I've gone to this length on something besides brainmeats. Maybe I'll do it more often.

  • State of the Fox: redux

    Follow up on my last post, most about the health foo. I went to the hematologist for my first visit. Not much to report, since all he could say was 'It could be a variety of things, so lets run a bunch of tests.' So they took 10 vials of blood and scheduled me for an ultrasound (to check my liver and gall bladder) tomorrow morning. Then I have a follow up on Damien Thorne's spawning day (June 6th). Hopefully by then we'll have a clue.

    My index finger and it's RSI is improving. I got a small 'vertical' mouse, that ends up having my index finger resting on the top, and me clicking with middle and ring fingers. I've only worn the brace at work, and occasionally when lifting things. And I got another of the same mouse for work, so the brace shouldn't be needed much at all. At least that's what I hope.

    Stressors are still stressing, work is still frustrating. I took today off on a whim pretty much because of stress. Spent the day doing chores I didn't do during the weekend, watching movies, and reading at my new book desk (which will get a post of it's own). I'm working tonight, our usual release. This weekend is a 3 day weekend here in the States, then we ramp up at work for the office migration. *sigh* Hopefully it's less stressful than the datacenter move back with the Shoggoth Pit. Ok, calling it a post.