zeborah: On the shoulders of giants: zebra on a giraffe (science)
Hands like normal again now, yay! Also computer memory upgraded and Dragon Dictate works brilliantly - except it crashes Preview whenever I try to open the reference pdf for my newest passion, attempting to create a php/mysql feedreader. Plus coding isn't suited much to dictation anyway. So I'm currently coding for 8 minutes, away from keyboard for 5 minutes, which... I don't know if it's helping the coding (coding a feedreader always seems so much easier before you actually get started) but it's helping the housework. Anyway, my excitement and time limits combine so I never quite get around to checking friends lists or twitter at the moment but the passion will wear off in due course and I'll be back.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Got up in time to have a proper shower while I still had water (turning it off while soaping up in order to conserve water) and even washed my hair.

On the way to church I stopped at my parents' house to test my Sandbaggers DVDs. When I let myself in I discovered of course the burglar alarm was set. I used to unset that alarm every single day for years but for the life of me, and just like in my old dreams, I couldn't remember the code. I immediately discarded the code for my own alarm, and tried another that my fingers seemed familiar with. In retrospect, it was my credit card PIN. Fortunately my brother was upstairs (asleep) so could rush down and turn off the siren. He was remarkably nice about it, considering.

Anyway, it turns out I unfairly maligned the DVDs. There's nothing wrong with them; further experimentation proves the fault is in my laptop's DVD drive which, when the earthquake induced the laptop to do a flip off the chair it was sitting on and land upside-down on the floor, must have got jolted a bit. Yay, more insurance claimage; guess I'll have to take it into the local Mac store sometime. Sometime when it's operational again. In the meantime I've dug out my old snail of a laptop and set that to chugging through the conversion instead. And in the meantime-meantime I watched episode 3 on my parents' DVD player (having watched 1 and 2 on YouTube in order to decide that yes I was totally buying this) and... wow, that was rather dark. I love this show so much.

Church was... They warned us that last Sunday's service might be emotional, but forgot to warn us that this Sunday (whether because we were back in our own church or that things have had more time to sink in or that we're just more tired) would be worse. There's this beautiful Shirley Murray hymn which is a mashup of Ecclesiastes and Corinthians: "There's a time to be planting, a time to be plucking, a time to be laughing, a time to weep" etc in the verses, and the chorus "But there's never a time to stop believing, there's never a time for hope to die, there's never a time to stop loving, these three things go on."

And, yeah. It elicits tears at the best of times. I'm weeping just writing it up now; I had a hell of a time trying to sing it; I think it was only the third-and-last verse and chorus I finally got my voice under just enough control. And the readings (Lamentations 3:17-26, 31-33; Matthew 11:28-30) were likewise a bit on the nose, and we ended with another Shirley Murray hymn - "Give thanks for hope, that like the wheat, the grain / lying in darkness does its life retain / in resurrection to grow green again" (to Sine Nomine) and I was not the only one in serious tears, by far.
On the way home saw someone attempting to go into a dairy which wasn't yet open for business. He just wanted somewhere, anywhere, that's selling food. I pointed him to the nearest dairy (a bit of a walk) or around the corner for fish'n'chips - I think he decided on the latter. What I need to do is draw up some maps with vital services and post them on lampposts at that intersection. So many people don't have any idea where to get things with so many shops closed or destroyed around here; I only do from spending significant time poring over eq.org.nz maps. And it's going to be a long-term problem because cheap supermarkets are closed and only more expensive dairies are open (unless you drive, and then you have to pay for petrol) and people will have lost jobs and this is a lower socio-economic area to start with. It makes me sad and angry in advance at all the people who won't care about or even see the problem.

I'm increasingly angry at the letter Eastgate put in mailboxes a few days ago to say "McDonalds will be open in 5 days and the supermarket will be open in 4 weeks and the Warehouse will be open in 5 weeks" and blah blah blah, and not a single line to let people know where they could get food now.

Spent the afternoon visiting friends - about an hour and a half to get there, I think, since I have to take the bus right around the suburbs instead of through the city, so all up I spent more time travelling than with them, but it was well worth it to catch up and hold their baby. Then did some shopping at their local supermarket before catching the bus back home. Failed to have energy to cook a proper dinner, but did snack as much as I could manage and read myself to sleep.

---

Working from home this morning. So far I've got the "from home" part down pat, anyway; though I've just "answered" a student's question by IM, for values of "answered" that consist of saying essentially "God only knows." It makes me feel like a bad librarian, but it really is all we can say about pretty much any library service that can't be transacted purely electronically.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
So I've trained Boots that, if I open the piano lid, she plays some notes before I go to pour her supper. We're working on increasing the number of notes and reducing the number of times she tries to eat the keys. Sometimes I can pretend it's tuneful. She's sufficiently used to the routine that around dinner time she'll often sit on the piano stool and look at me expectantly.

Occasionally I'm too lazy to do the piano exercises and just feed her. Oftentimes in such a case she'll eat a few bits of kibble, and then come running to the piano stool and look at me expectantly. Music and dinner go together! So I open the piano and let her play, and then take her back to the bowl to eat.

Tonight I was lazy. So she insisted on playing the piano. So I let her, and took her back to her food; and she ate a few bits and came back to the piano again. So we ran through the routine again, as routinely as I possibly could... and she ate a few bits of kibble and came back to the piano a third time.

I know, it's all my fault.

---

In other news, if you have a Mac and you want a free, simple, free, effective, and free desktop image editing application, go to Skitch. It's in beta and their ridiculously long TOS suggests that they may be planning to move to a pay-for model at some point, but for now (did I mention?) it's free, and while it's not Photoshop, it does have your basic pen, line, oval, rectangle, eraser, eyedropper, fill, text (defaults to lolcat style); plus arrows, screensnaps, and webcam. Click-and-drag objects (including random squiggles) around.

Saves in various formats -- it's just a bit unintuitive in that command-S saves to history and shift-command-S saves in its own format; but at the bottom of the screen you can click and drag the file to the desktop or email or anywhere. This is a general thing, actually: its buttons don't really look like quite what you'd expect and aren't quite where you'd expect them to be; but the program's simple enough that it's very easy to get used to them, and there are unobtrusive (and turn-off-able) hints to help you get the most out of the thing.

I'm in love. ...Possibly influenced by their icon, a big sparkly pink loveheart. But seriously, it's a gorgeous program if you just want to do some basic stuff and don't need the power of Photoshop.

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zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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