Providence, here I come!

Well, it's official. I'll be going to Providence for StokerCon this year. Actually decided to spend an entire week up there, (stoker runs from Thurs-Sunday) so I can have a few days to wander Grandpa Theobald's stomping grounds. Not staying at the 'con hotel, but I'm just a couple of blocks away at The Dean, which is where I planned to stay last time. Yay for vacation plans!

I'm also thinking I may consolidate, edit and post my more common Facebook ramblings into a daily post. Then hopefully I can turn my weekly post into something more interesting, if to no one It's easier for me to do daily rambles there. We'll see.

First Post of the Year

Well it's the new year. First week of the new year has been kind of nuts. New Years Day was friend time and book hunting. Have had a lot of trouble getting up in the mornings to go to work. But each day was a little easier. Work itself has been a kind of mixed bag, spent most of Friday troubleshooting a Linux issue with one of the other groups at Carcosa Corp. Lots of 'why do you do $x, and $y and...huh that's odd'. Think I figured out the issue for the client, but waiting on their testing which isn't quick.

WEekend has pretty much just been movies, books and sleep. Got the chores done too, well most of them. Need to put together stuff for the work week, have to deal with my car's registration, and I should probably pack up the work laptop...because given how fuzzy I am on Monday mornings, I probably would show up sans laptop. Work week will be busy, first patches of the new year...and boy do I have some big things to deal with. (see computer news in the last week for details). No plans for next weekend as of yet, probably will need some more hermit time post patching/general work week. But I also want to see people, possibly people with cats. I miss cats.

Forgot I'd planned on work foo tonight. Got reminded a while ago when one of the tester's pinged me about it. The brain needs an upgrade, or I need a keeper. I'm going to go ahead and finish this post, since I've been working on it since Saturday.

Last Post of the Year

Don't really have an end of year post, nor a post about the plans for the future. I don't have the cope to go through all the things of the last year, and I don't want to put plans down on virtual paper for the future, if 2017 taught me anything, is no plan survives contact with the Cosmic Void.

As for this New Years Eve, my original plans for movie, dinner, and a party/show in Fort Worth. But given that Ithaqua had a flying visit in, and the roads are being closed due to the lousy weather, the plans were changed to hiding at home. Given how I deal with social anxiety, this is probably for the best. Plus I rather ring in the new year with horror movies, snacks and reading.

So here's to the end of 2017, and to the beginning of 2018. May Cthulhu rise from his depths, may Yog-Sothoth open the gates, and may Scarlett Johansson finally get a Black Widow movie. Iä! Iä! and all that jazz!

Twas the day before Cthulhumas

And all through the Château Innsmouth, the shoggoths were stirring, mostly because Vulpine is having a day. No, I'm not turning this into a prose poem. Just feel like talking about the holidays.

They used to be a big thing for me, as a kid/teen. So many memories of putting up the tree with Mom and Dad, laughing at silly stuff and stories, just good stuff. As a teen ager, I started renting REALLY bad movies for Xmas eve as the folks went to bed, starting with 'Rabid Grannies'. It wasn't a Norman Rockwell holiday, but it fit us just fine.

Then Dad died, and the first Christmas after that really kind of made me wish to never here another jingle bell again. The family tradition boiled down to taking Mom out for Xmas eve, or her cooking something. Telling stories, and giving each other presents. Very little 'holiday' in it. Then I met Amythest, a true Christmas Pixie. When we were together, I tried to de-scrooge at least on the outside. Things got easier after we split up, but became friends again. We had our own traditions, including both of us going to visit my Mom, which Mom always liked.

I tried turning the holiday on it's head a little, created my version of Cthulhumas. Cthulhumas Ctharols from the HPLHS, weird cards, reading 'The Festival', finding horror movies either about the holidays, or more enjoyable for me, movies that have weird relations to the holidays. 'Haunting of Hell House' or 'The Amityville Horror', 0 festiveness, 100% happening around the holidays. I'd help Amythest and Nymaz put up a tree, and do outside decorations (something I swore as a kid I'd never do). New traditions, friends, and that sad core in me got smaller...

Then Mom died. And since then the Cthulhumas game isn't as fun, in fact I haven't listened to Cthulhumas Carols this year at all. I've narrowed down my 'holiday' to a few hours with Amythest and Nymaz when they get back in town. And honestly, I'm just hoping I don't have a complete crash tonight. Plans for tomorrow is full on hermiting, probably in a book or 3. Then it's back to work when I have a moderately sized pile of stuff to knock out. So...wish me luck on surviving tonight and tomorrow. And maybe finding a smidge of that old Cthulhumas spirit.

How do I cope? Books.

Another long week. Jury duty last Monday. Would have been a hell of a case, in a bad way. Luckily for my sanity, the defendant agreed to a plea bargain and we all go to home. The rest of the week has been work foo, I'm really learning to loathe Sybase. Still do like my job, mostly because of the people I work with. Had the company holiday party on Thursday, was fun until my social anxiety went to 11. Yesterday (Friday) was pretty lousy as well. Stressors from work, friend issues, a whole bunch of wishing this year was done. That's kind of a theme lately.

Today, I woke up and decided that I needed a self spoiling day. Went and got gas, and went on a tour of Half Price Bookstores in the area. Kind of over did it, but I got some really cool books for the library. Mythos stuff, some esoterica and a book about the Beast of Gévaudan;, which was the inspiration for the movie 'Brotherhood of the Wolf'. Also a few movies. While driving around I went by King Tut's again for comfort lamb. Also drove up for critter care while some friends are on vacation. One kitty hid from me, the other saw the sucker sign and came up for pets. Came home, finished up season two of 'The Exorcist' and watched a couple of flicks. Then, as I was starting to ponder book screams. Fecking databases. Hoping we cleared it up right now...that seems to be a no. *sigh* Ok, going to wrap up this post because I'm out of tentacles. Ciao.

The Shape of Water

Went to see 'The Shape of Water' today with Nymaz. Been looking forward to seeing this since it was announced. It was an amazing film. Like his 'Crimson Peak', which was a mystery that happened to have ghosts in it, this was a love story that happened to have a fish person in it. The only monsters in it were people. The two most emotive characters don't speak verbally, there's sign language, but as much of the dialog was in body posture, head tilts, stuff like that. There's even a couple of musical numbers, one of which was probably my favorite scene in the movie. The bad guy isn't a cartoon villain, there's a logic to his actions and he's obviously a product of his career. Everything meshes and it plays out near perfect. Well, bad things happen to a cat, which I could have passed on. But it is understandable in context. And yes, there is fishperson sex. And weird straight people sex, and lonely person sex. Might not be to your tastes, but I don't think it's that big a deal. Also, keep your eyes out for little easter eggs and references. Oh yeah, I wouldn't call it Lovecraftian, definitely weird though. Long story short, if you like del Toro, and want a movie with a very positive message about like and love and being 'human', go see it. 5 out of 5 flared gill slits.

Weekend of Electronic Entropy

This has been the weekend of electronics being a pain in the ass. Come home Thursday night, and my media PC is acting wonky. Can't reach the media drive via NFS. Verified the drive is readable, and NFS is running on Dagon. So I assume something got stuck, NFS is annoying that way, and reboot. Come up with a failed OS drive. Well, damn. Ok, I'd planned to swap it out with Shoggoth, my local network server that doesn't do much. Ok, so I spend my Friday off getting things moved around and hooked up. To find out sound doesn't work. Googling got me either 'use a USB sound card' or 'Sound works fine'. So I go and order a USB sound card that supports Linux with 1 day delivery. Which gets delayed Saturday, media PC. I've watched a bunch of movies on my multi-region bluray player (which I had a frustrating time getting to change region til I remembered the remote control pattern).

I also planned to listen to audiobooks. My normal way to listen is on The Shining Trapezohedron (my phone), using a bluetooth speaker. So of course, what starts having issues ? Yep, the speaker is in flake mode. I verified it wasn't the phone using my bluetooth headset. *grumbles* Again, I have a work around (Audible's website), but it's bloody annoying. I like the bluetooth speaker, because I can wander around the apartment with it while doing chores. Feh.

Also, besides Amazon shipping fail, the post office has delayed two other packages due in Saturday. *sigh* But at least they managed to deliver a book of books from a Kickstarter I funded. Yay new book smell.

Otherwise, it's been a pretty lousy weekend. Not dreaming well, stressed and anxious. The holiday foo is getting to me pretty darn hard. Just have to get through the next 4 weeks. Hoping to have a better 2018. I can dream, after all.

Vulpine, what is best in life ?

Yes, two posts in one week. Don't panic, everything is under control. It's been a pretty shitty week, and today followed the trend. But rather than vent about today, I want to talk about various good things I didn't think to post last time.

  • I managed to pay off my car a couple of months early. Yay new year and new budget.
  • I've gone almost 2 weeks without sugar in Château Innsmouth. No soda, no candy, no cookies. I'm a horrible snacker, so why keep temptation in the house? I've had a couple of sugar drinks while out and about, but it's hard to say no to cherry limeades.
  • I received a metric oodle of ebooks from a Kickstarter I backed, the dead tree editions will be here soon. So much Mythos.
  • Paul Naschy Fest is chugging along, on film 8 of 10. I'm really enjoying these, high quality transfers, cheesy horror, and lots of fun
  • 2 new Dark Adventure Radio episodes in hand. 'Rats in the Walls' and 'Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar'.
  • Also have an audiobook edition of my favorite S.M. Stirling novel, 'The Peshawar Lancers'.
  • I've joined the 21st century, and did my first online grocery order. Worked out perfectly, but some of the items from Amazon are so/so in quality. Not sure I'll keep using it or not though. Also going to try ordering groceries for curb pickup, see how that works.
  • It's the weekend, 2 days away from the databases from heck

    So that's 8 good things. Nice change from complaining about my mood. With that I'm going to call this a post. Night all.
  • The Thanks Giveth, The Thanks Taketh Away

    Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. But I can't say the last week and a half has made me terribly grateful. Carcosa Corp had a reduction in force. My manager and his manager are gone, and much worse, one of my best friends (and coworker) also got cut. There's also a major reorg in the works. But not much in the way of details, other than I still have a spot on the org chart for next year. To say I'm unhappy is a major understatement. People got decent severance packages from what I heard, and I don't see any of the people I know being out of work long. But I've got a case of survivor's guilt, plus not knowing what I'll be really doing in 2 months, plus trying to keep up with everything going on, and I'm a bundle of nerves. Spent most of this week dealing with Sybase database issues that I really don't know, though I'm learning a bunch on the fly. Working on Black Friday, where I'll be doing a crash course in database migration.

    On top of that, I've been feeling lousy, not so much allergies as I think my BP meds are starting to have less affect on me. I'm going to the doctor next week for a med check/blood work. So I'll ask about things. My BP cuff says I'm about the same as always, but for all I know I'm using it wrong. Pshrink visit showed my bp as higher than usual. Speaking of physical foo, I sat wrong on my chair, and it slid out from under me and I hit the floor. No damage. other than it ratcheted my anxiety up (and gave my elbow a good whack). Depression is way up there too, I really need to stop looking at the news.

    So, that's all the bad...or at least all the bad I can stomach writing about right now. So what's good? Well I invested in some blurays, 2 collections of Paul Naschy flicks (king of Spanish horror films). Most of which I've never seen, so I'm currently having a binge of his flicks. Definitely better than watching Sybase databases. Also lots of good books out, including a few signed books *waves at Pete Rawlik and Sam Gafford*. My friends, as always, are awesome, and I've gotten a lot of critter time recently. And I'm at least having less anxiety dreams. Oh yeah, and in joining the 21st century, I had my first grocery delivery. Not sure if I'll do this on a regular basis, there's a lack of some of my staples. But compared to going to the store 2 days before turkey day, it was amazing.

    Long weekend plans? Tomorrow is sleeping in, then afternoon meal with Amythest and clan, staying as long as my cope lasts. Friday is another day at the office, with the above mentioned database migrations. Friday night will probably be more Naschy flicks. Saturday is the annual Soup and Movie fest, also at Amythest's place. Sunday will be chores and recovery and trying to find the tentacles to deal with the upcoming work week. Since I'm working on Black Friday, I'm off work the next Friday. Probably will be mostly a down weekend, vegging and such.

    So that's the state of the fox. Feeling a little better getting some stuff down on virtual paper. Going to watch some more Eurohorror then head to bed. Night everyone.

    Sleep? What the hell is that?

    Rough week. I haven't slept a solid, or even semi-solid night since the weekend. Patching prod Tuesday generated 2 overnight calls, and a similar issue got me called on Wednesday/Thursday night. Last night I didn't get called, however I woke up anyway at 3am. Tried to go back to sleep and failed. Got up around 5am, futzed around, then got a little more sleep. Then I got up, got ready for work, got to work...found out I'd left my badge at home. Without my badge it's kind of difficult to get around Carcosa Corp, so after I drove home to get it, I said screw it and worked from home.

    Last night was rough. Finishing up the non-customer facing production servers. And I had more problems with the last 4 servers than the almost 100 other servers. I ended up arguing with Nagios because the new version added weird example templates, creating phantom hosts that obviously were offline. Our cacti install just broke utterly, new version will not work with the old database. And since I didn't want to spend half the night fixing mysql issues, I rolled back to the snapshot I made before patching. (I had a bad feeling, and oh I am so glad I listened to it). *shakes head*

    I'm really exhausted right now. I took a nap after I logged out of work, well mostly I just lay there and listening to the white noise generator (beach sounds). Got up again, listening to The Black Stone right now, but I'll be going back to bed soon. This weekend is a social get together tomorrow, and Sunday is probably going to see 'Murder on the Orient Express'. Plus the chores and stuff. Oh, in book news, I picked up something special. Many years ago, my uterine sibling was given a copy of 'The Collected works of Edgar Allan Poe' by a teacher. It was this epic gothic looking book, printed in the mid 20's. It really does look like something you'd read aloud from to summon 'something'. I 'borrowed' it for years, was how I got into Poe, right before I discovered Lovecraft. I eventually gave it back but I always remembered how cool it was. A few weeks ago, I decided to go hunting. All I remembered was the cover, and the approximate time it was published. After a few google searches I had the publisher, and looking on Amazon I found a copy for $20. Needless to say, I bought it. It came in today. And it's in amazing shape for a 90 year old book. Spine is pretty tight, no loose pages, a little browning, but all in all it's just about perfect. So it's sitting with some other treasured books of mine on my desk, next to my epic fancy editions of HPL, and other weirdness.

    So that's this week in Vulpineland. Now, I'm going to fiddle around with some things, and probably make it an early night. Ciao.