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.

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.

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 else...me. 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.