zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Working with a mild fever isn't conducive to concentration. Or indeed reliably staying awake. Granted I was attempting to read a chemistry textbook in an attempt to look less-than-stupid when students ask me for enthalpy charts, and... let's just say, what would really be useful would be a book that explains thermodynamics without formulae because I've forgotten large chunks of my high school maths and didn't understand it very well back then either, and also I keep having to flip back to remind myself what U and q and w mean. I just... when it's prose I can follow; when it's formulae, even once I've decoded it, it has no meaning for me.

Random things:
  • Dried strawberries. So awesome.
  • So half the grills around my house's foundations (intended to facilitate airflow while keeping out fauna) are all rusted away, and Dad replaced a bunch with new ones, but we never got around to the rest, so I've just got bricks sitting in them. But recently I've been hearing something under the house and it's kind of obvious because there's plastic down there trying to keep the moisture from rising. Turns out some cat has pushed the bricks inside so it could get in.

    So I arranged the bricks such that they couldn't be pushed in, but a couple of nights later I hear the cat again. Turns out it's levered the bricks out this time. So now I've added a larger heavier brick leaning against the lot, and we'll see how strong the creature is.
  • Boots says, "tgggggggggfmn".
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Fortunately I didn't have to use it on the toilet! I had a heat-light thing in a recessed unit in my bathroom ceiling and whenever I tried to change the bulb it'd just turn and turn in my hand and never come out. Then Dad came over and tried and it did the same thing, and he said that the professionals have a suction thing that they push on and just turn that, and I said "I have a suction thing!" And I brought out the toilet plunger, and he pushed it on and turned it and lo, the lightbulb came down!

--

Then I came around to my parents' house for a sister's birthday and my Mum was talking about having a lot of bad poems and some good ones and trying to work out how to get more good ones. So I said "Write more bad ones." ...I keep meaning to do this with my own writing.

--

And then I came and talked with my sisters and I learned of knowyourmeme.com which I'm hoping is not quite as addictive as TV Tropes.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I currently have a cat sprawled all over me, though at least she's stopped trying to poke at the flies landing on my laptop. In any case it makes me notice again that there are scattered hairs on her that are significantly longer than the rest of her fur, and thence to wonder if those are related to the hairs on humans, and thence to wonder how on earth she fits all this fur on her skin because this is one seriously furry cat.

--Ah, she's just leapt off me to fall instantly asleep on her armchair, I suppose I should go do some dishes and make a cake or something.

Oh but first I was meaning to write about something I was thinking about during a hymn at church today. We had two really interminable hymns and, gorgeous as they were, about halfway through the second one I was getting ideas for a story where a character finds themself singing a song and they're trapped until it's over, but the verses keep on going and going and just when it seems like it must end at this verse, suddenly there's another one.

But also I was thinking about the chorus of the second song (I had about six or seven opportunities to think about it after all), which was:
Lift high the cross, the love of God proclaim
Till all the world adore his glorious name. --Shirley Murray
And I am so not an evangelist for so many reasons, one of which is that I'm pretty sure anyone I'm ever likely to meet has probably already heard about God/Christ's name, and if they don't already adore it then me telling them about it yet again is just going to make them even more sick of it.

So I started thinking that what we actually need to do these days might be (to heinously misparse the word) to in-vangelise: to remind other Christians that our religion's meant to be about God's love and that when Jesus talked about hell he never once mentioned abortion or homosexuality or anything like that (when he talked about things like that he mostly said "Keep your sticky beak out and worry about your own conscience"), but rather the sin of not giving practical help to people who need practical help.

And (to parse the word properly) "You're going to hell unless you do what I say" isn't actually good news. It's more like blackmail. So when we let that be the message that gets spread we're kind of failing. If we want to spread good news we've first got to create it, by proclaiming love and living love and spreading love. We need every mention of "God" or "Jesus" or "Christian" to be associated with something good happening, something making people happy. Because when we associate those words with door-knocking and hellfire that's just a really great way to make God's name dreaded; but if we associate them with hugs and puppies then whether or not people actually convert -- it doesn't follow, after all, and honestly I don't think God cares, cf the Good Samaritan -- they'll at least like hearing his name.

--

Boots just looked out the window and noticed that it's 5pm, therefore time for her to be fed.

--

In other random news:
* I ate a peach from my peach tree (the others all went mouldy on the tree, I need to do something about that);
* I ate a blueberry from my blueberry bush (I think the birds got the other one, note the singular, it's a very small bush);
* the neighbour seems to be halfway through chopping down plum trees though he hasn't yet attacked the main one;
* the other neighbour, who pops over every now and then to retrieve errant tennis balls, is going to nail our fence back together temporarily and also talk with his landlord about going halves with me to arrange a more permanent solution;
* filling a green bin with garden waste once a week actually makes a measurable difference to how tidy said garden is;
* otoh doing so during the sunniest part of the day leaves one in danger of sunburn (albeit mild and easily treated with aloe vera gel);
* the company who was going to give me fake double-glazing has now decided that they don't want to be responsible for actually guaranteeing it so have refunded my money, so I guess the next thing on my to-do list is to get a new roof.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

Flower concoctions - Week 3
Originally uploaded by Zeborah
I've discovered I like a) having a vase of flowers on my kitchen table and b) renewing the flowers from time to time so the water doesn't go brown and slimy. This is best achieved by throwing the old flowers out when I get my empty green bin each Wednesday, and then (having generally filled the green bin with prunings and weeds within an hour or two that same evening, and given myself new blisters with my secateurs) using some of the leftover prunings to fill the vase.

The flora which I have aplenty this week is plums.

Anyway so I'm going to try and take a photo a week this year, and the fledgeling set is on Flickr. I may or may not continue posting them to LJ depending on how boring they are and how bored I get.

(Also, I confess to fiddling the colour balance in this one using GIMP. That's because my camera was at work and my webcam gave my beige cupboards a dishonestly red hue.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Wikimedia Commons has a category for Damnatio ad bestias. It's probably disproportionate how much this amuses me.

If you don't read Dinosaur Comics you totally should and this is why. Seriously, I think it may even be awesomer than xkcd. Also, if you subscribe by RSS you get the title which for some reason seems not to show up on the individual pages. (Today's was "it has a certain jee nee says quey" but usually they're 5-10 times longer.) tl;dr - Awesome fun times!

My house is amazingly tidy! I'm getting rid of some stuff by Freecycle and I'm planning to acquire some actual insulation by taking advantage of a government subsidy, as soon as I find out why this place has quoted me for 92 square metres when someone else (who however feels less inclined to violate health and safety regulations to squeeze into my narrow subfloor) measured 104 and I get 102 +/-2. (Well, probably +/- more than that for various reasons, but definitely not +/-10% which seems on the high side as margins of error go.)

Did I mention how tidy my house is? I keep going into rooms and squeeing at how tidy they are. My clothes are put away! My mandarins(1) are repotted and possibly regaining some of their green! My dining table has a clean tablecloth and a vase filled from a rosebush I pruned! My stovetop reflects light! My cat wants scritches!

Oh, no, that one was always like that.

But still. Imagine how tidy my house could get if I didn't have to go back to work on Monday!

(1) I was eating a seedless(2) mandarin and, after I'd finished being annoyed that it wasn't as seedless as advertised, I wondered what would happen if I planted the seeds. It turned out that they grew into tiny mandarin plants! I've no idea if I'll ever get actual mandarins off them or if there's secret sabotagey genes waiting dormant to thwart my dreams of homegrown citrus, but they seem more likely to be fructiferous if the leaves are green than if they're yellow.

(2) I may be lying about this part. Honestly I can't actually remember if these particular seeds came from a seeded seedless mandarin, but I have been disappointed by seeded seedless mandarins in the past. Also by hard to peel easy-peel mandarins.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
So I'm leaving early for church to have time to pick up my violin from my parents' place and get there early since I'll be the only violin in orchestra this week. <click> goes the lock on my door and about twenty metres down the road I think, "Wait, did I remember to put my keys, bus card, and wallet back in this bag after I went shopping on Friday night?"

No, I didn't. But never fear, I keep a spare key in a specific but obscure corner of the garden for just this sort of situation!

Except it wasn't there. It wasn't even under the rather heavy caking of dirt and moss that's built up where it's meant to be. Maybe it got washed away in the heavy rain we had(!), or disturbed when the lawnmower guy last came, but I can't find it in the weeds nearby either. Maybe one of my family borrowed it and forgot about it. Maybe some stranger spent hours poking around my overgrown garden and found it, but nothing's missing from the house....

Fortunately my father keeps a spare spare key for me, and I had left *really* early for church. So I walked briskly half an hour to my parents' place. Luckily a couple from church spotted me and drove me the last little bit, saving me five minutes and helping me catch my breath. Mum let me in (normally I'd let myself in) and I grabbed the violin and got to church just in time for the service.

After which I borrowed Dad's spare key and $20 to do my weekly grocery shopping on the way home, as is my routine. I walked about ten minutes until a bus slows down beside me: "D'you want a ride to Raeward Fresh?" It's the bus I always catch so of course he knows where I'm going, and even when I say I don't have my bus card with me he says to hop in. (The bus company doesn't happen to lose any money by this, because if one travels to and from work Monday-Friday as I do, the weekend is free.)

So he drops me off right outside the shop (instead of at the bus-stop), and there I see a colleague from another department at work. Nectarines are on special so I get some for me and she gets some for her cockatoo, then we go our separate ways through the shop but end up getting to the checkout at the same time. (I've kept a running guesstimate of a tally and tell my favourite checkout girl, "If this isn't less than $20 then I'll have to leave the apples" -- it comes to $19.80.) And my colleague offers me a lift the rest of the way home which, weighed down with groceries, I gratefully accept.

To do tomorrow: get a new spare key made. And figure out somewhere else to put it, though I really liked the last place. :-(
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
The reason for this Contact is that my Energy company is getting new terms and conditions (boring pdf, don't go here, but in case you do I've removed the IP tracker part of the url).

I like to read terms and conditions even when I know that they could say "You agree to chop off your left arm and roast it for us with apple sauce. If we don't like your cooking skills you agree to try again with your left leg," and I'd reluctantly concede that I wasn't going to get a better deal elsewhere.

Today I created a summary as I went to stop myself clawing my eyes out.
I said I like to read terms and conditions, not that I enjoy it. )
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Done:
Washed hair;
Aired damp rooms while the day was less grey than usual;
Did laundry;
Ate food;
Dug up about four weeds and mulched with clippings from the pile of rotting lavender;
Made a shopping list;
Counted and measured spaces that need grills around the foundations;
Sent three items out to various slushpiles;
Edited another item until falling asleep.

To do: stop procrastinating on Chalice and send queries out to agents already. (Also, quite a lot of other things, including work out why "calendar" but "lavender".)

While I'm working on that, does anyone want to betaread a short story for me? 4700 words, horror-lite. (Like, you know how celery has so few calories that you burn more than you gain while digesting it? Lite like that.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I can cope with sniffles, though I may need to put aloe tissues on my shopping list again.

In other breaking news, my electricity bill is half that of last month: last month was an estimated meter reading and this month an actual reading. Of course my heating and cooking is mostly by gas...
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Randomly looked at the gas canisters on my way back from church and discovered the indicator was green. What's more, both canisters weigh the same heavy amount. And moreover, the fire works! Good on that RockGas.

In other news, I'm assuming the reason Boots suddenly stopped demanding food last night is because she either caught something or broke into someone's kitchen. (She was known to do this before I arrived but it's winter now so presumably doors and windows are more secure.) She was back to normal this morning.

On the minus side, I sat down to watch Star Trek and it was a Q episode. "The night is young, and the sheets are satin!" is a nice line, but... <goes to check what TV I might have stored on my hard drive for emergencies>
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Last night the nice warm flames in my gas fire stopped. It was nearly bedtime anyway so I resolved to wait until today to switch the tanks over and phone the gas company.

This evening I got home, flicked the switch from one tank to another, and phoned the company to order a new tank. Turned the gas fire on and it flamed happily for about, oh, 1 minute.

On closer inspection it appears that both tanks are empty.

(I swear I've never switched the tanks over without phoning for a new bottle.)

Also it's a long weekend and I don't know if they deliver on Saturdays.

At least I do have a portable electric heater; and, for that matter, a night-store heater that I don't usually use because it cunningly releases all its heat during the day when I'm not *here*, but that will work for the weekend. So I won't freeze. But... gah!

(Now, if I phone the gas company's automated ordering system and tell it I want 1 gas tank, will it give me that in addition to or instead of the 1 gas tank I've already ordered? I may have to go to bed early tonight so I can get up in the morning instead of sleeping in, and phone a real person if they chance to have such a thing of a Saturday morning.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
About a year ago my mother promised I could have her old piano (it's a semi-tone flat and has some sticky keys so she bought a new one years ago) if I paid for it to be moved; and I finally got around to organising that.

I'm now trying to teach Boots how to play...

Cute picture behind the cut )

Also

Aug. 9th, 2007 09:31 pm
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I just remembered green_knight asked about photos of Boots. The below are from back when
a) I hadn't got into the fixed habit of shutting her out when I dine; and
b) I hadn't realised that the photo program attached to my webcam inexplicably creates mirror images and needs a 'flip images' box checked.

Read more... )
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
...that I never had any intention of my LiveJournal being all about the Bible. I thought I'd bore people with tales of my adorable cat Boots instead (who currently has a shaved patch on her throat for vaccinations, one on her foreleg for anaesthetic, and a large one on her belly for a spaying operation that it turned out she'd already had before I adopted her as a stray);

or of my new house (to which the possessive "my" is perhaps not as applicable as I'd originally thought, seeing as how, two and a half months later, it turns out the title hasn't been transferred to me yet; no, I'm not panicking, yet, quite);

or of my job (which was even cooler than usual today: a colleague showed me this web-based collaborative whiteboard and I convinced our boss to let us put it up on the smartboard where all our users could play with it; I also attempted a literature review on academic librarians setting up temporary reference desks in cafes, residence halls, outside lecture theatres etc; and picked some titles not-quite-at-random which the library could buy for the subject I'm responsible for if it turns out we can afford them);

or of my writing (which is going slowly, but it's going, which is better than for most of the last six months).

I may in fact at some stage get around to some of these.

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