I see my shadow fly
Sky
User: userinfoskybound2
Name: skybound
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Back June 2013
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Outside the Wall
The echo of a distant tide
And when at last the work is done
Can't keep my eyes from
Avatar TLA:
Whole Series
 
The Elder Scrolls:
Skyrim
 
Supernatural:
Season 7
 
30 Rock:
Season 6
 
Mass Effect:
Parts 1 and 2
 
Dragon Age:
Parts 1 and 2
 
Open the book
George R. R. Martin:
A Song of Ice and Fire Series
 
Neil Gaiman:
American Gods
 
Various Authors:
X-Men Comics
 
Suzanne Collins:
The Hunger Games Series
 
Gathered together in bands
David Bowie:
A Reality Tour
 
Charlotte Martin:
Stromata
 
David Bowie:
Outside
 
Florence & The Machine:
Ceremonials
 
Arcade Fire:
Funeral
 
David Bowie:
Hunky Dory
 
The Avett Brothers:
I and Love and You
 
Speak to me
The things that I've loved the things that I've lost
The things I've held sacred that I've dropped
I won't lie no more you can bet
I don't want to learn what I'll need to forget
-Audioslave, Doesn't Remind Me
One inch of love
Standing in the aisles
Countdown coming soon!
It's a battle of words
Train yourself to get suspicious every time you see simplicity. Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.

From What is the Monkeysphere by David Wong

Just two ears, just two eyes
TV Tropes Meme - Because why not?
Snagged from isiscaughey (Even though I was too late to be able to guess any of the ones that she posted. Slow Sky is slow. *hangs head*)

TVTropes meme: "Go to Better Than It Sounds and find some shows/books/whatever that you like. List 20, let people guess."

This particular list includes an even mix of movies, books, comics, video games, and TV shows. A little somethin' for everyone. Aaaand go!Read more...Collapse )

Fake crossposted from: http://skybound2.dreamwidth.org/1024310.html

21 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Went and saw Star Trek Into Darkness this Weekend
And was deeply disappointed.

THERE ARE SPOILERS AND LOTS OF NOT VERY NICE THINGS SAID ABOUT THE MOVIE IN HERE - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISKCollapse )


Crossposted at http://skybound2.dreamwidth.org/1024161.html. Please leave your comments over there. (If you can't access that post, please comment here and I will add you to my reading list over there! Complicated enough yet?)

4 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Stuff & Things
It's been a while since I posted, so I thought it was probably time. Life has been busy, as per usual. This weekend marks the last weekend that I will have to deal with Girl Scout cookie sales, which have been going on for the last 6 weeks. SO CLOSE to being done. Ugh. Every year I take this on, and every year by the end of it I feel like I'd rather lay down in front of a train then do it again, and yet, I do. Rinse, repeat. This year was just made more rough because now we have the nephew staying with us several nights a week, and so that is taking up a lot of time and energy that I just don't feel like spending trying to sell COOKIES of all things.

But it's just about over. Thank goodness!!

Moving on, the nephew has been with us for about 6 weeks so far. Not very long, really, but in some ways it has seemed a lot longer. We love having him, WHEN we have him. The biggest issue is the pull-back we are now getting from his mother, and subsequently from him, regarding staying with us. Read more...Collapse )

On a separate note, I can not express how glad I am that Friday is FINALLY here. I spent the last two weeks VERY busy at work, and also, sick. Quite sick. As in, I was down for the count the last two Saturdays in a row. The first Saturday that I was sick, I thought it was just a 24 hour thing, as by Sunday I was improved enough that I was okay to attend our annual "Trip to the Museum" planned with the two 7 yo nieces and the 3 yo nephew (it was his first trip) and we didn't want to cancel. But, that trip wore me down, and that Monday I was sick again. (Luckily, the office was closed that day.) By Tuesday afternoon, it just got worse. I was working from home by that point, as I had too munch to finish and couldn't call out completely. I muscled through the rest of the week, finally going back into the office for a full day on Friday. Which meant I pretty much didn't move from the couch Saturday, or most of Sunday. Then I DID call out from work on Monday. But this past Tuesday I was finally starting to feel human, only for poor Magus to finally get what I had. Which is apparently a 10-day virus. So, yeah, I am looking forward to NOT being sick this weekend. *fingers crossed*

In other, completely unrelated news, SIMON GAGNE IS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS WITH THE FLYERS!!! *SQUEES* That was just about the high-point of my week. And will probably remain so for a good long while.

Crossposted at http://skybound2.dreamwidth.org/1022234.html. Please leave your comments over there. (If you can't access that post, please comment here and I will add you to my reading list over there! Complicated enough yet?)

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Ahh, teenagers.
So this morning, there is day-old snow still frozen to the ground, the 'actual' air temperature is 12F (-11C), with a wind-chill 'feels like' temperature of 0-1F (-17C), and the nephew wanted to argue with me about wearing his coat, hat, and gloves because: 'I look stupid.' I argued that what would be stupid would be NOT wearing a coat, hat, and gloves in this weather. And also, that I didn't care whether or not he thought he looked stupid, he was wearing the suckers. Especially considering he will be walking home from school with his uncle today. I informed him that his ticket to being allowed to commence said walk home from the school would be actually HAVING all three of these items on his person when he exits the school, or his uncle will send him back in to get them. 

Of course, this means that he promptly 'forgot' his hat in the car when he got out of it to dart into the school this morning. Joke's on him though, because now it is in his uncle's bag, and will be plopped unceremoniously on his head when he starts the walk home this afternoon. 

I say again: Ahh, teenagers. That very particular set of years when looking 'cool' is more important than getting frostbite. (I say this as someone who had to stand outside for an hour last night waiting to pick up a refill on Girl Scout Cookies for my troop. I was wearing a sweater, a coat, a scarf, a hat, and TWO pairs of gloves, and I STILL couldn't feel my fingers enough by the time I was done to hold onto a pen long enough to sign the paperwork. That'll teach me to forget my hand warmers next time...)

 

Crossposted at http://skybound2.dreamwidth.org/1022143.html. Please leave your comments over there. (If you can't access that post, please comment here and I will add you to my reading list over there! Complicated enough yet?)

Link )
That antsy feeling you get
when you are almost done the last day of the 3-day work week which followed a week long vacation? I've got it. As such, my productivity today is kinda on the side of nil. So I'm taking a break to blather on about things here.

Life in the new year is trucking along. The holidays were good, very relaxing. I may just have to plan to take off the week between Christmas and New years more often, it was just that nice. We got to spend plenty of time with both our families, and with a bunch of our friends. Christmas night we had our eldest niece and her two BFFs stay over, and well into evening the next night. Having three teenage girls at the house is a baffling experience for Magus, but it honestly makes me smile with nostalgia. Regardless, it's just an entertaining experience.

The five of us went to see Les Mis, and it was WONDERFUL. Was the singing the absolute best I've ever heard? No. It was not. BUT I DON'T CARE. I've seen the musical on stage several times, and I was OBSESSED with it as a child to the point that I still know every single lyric Read more...Collapse )

In non-movie related news, I got the board game Pandemic for the holidays, and it is LOTS of fun. It is the first co-op board game I've ever played, and I gotta say, I like it. There's something cool about playing WITH your friends/family instead of AGAINST them. I also got a new monitor for my computer. The new monitor is a BEAST, I tell you. A BEAST. I love it. I really really do. And I suspect that I will love it more once I get to park myself in front of it for a good long while and USE it. But that won't be until after my new desk arrives. (In order to make room for the nephew, I had to vacate what was the office, and move into the living room, and my desk wouldn't fit in the much smaller space I now have to use. Instead, we are leaving that desk for the nephew, and I ordered a more space efficient one. In the meantime, my computer is set up on folding TV trays. Well, not the tower. The tower is my baby and has its own little shelf thing that it lives on.) 

I've also been playing Dishonored. A LOT. It's quite enjoyable. Though I am baffled about why the character that you play has to be a set-in-stone generic white guy Read more...Collapse )
There has also been an almost nightly rewatch of episodes of Star Trek: TNG for the last couple of weeks. It is bliss. *happy sigh*

Moving along, our nephew starts school in our town on Monday, so that means that Sunday night will be his first night at our house as a regular. He seems to have moved into a level of acceptance with this, to the point that he is actually GLAD to be done at his old school now, and looking forward to having the fresh start. I REALLY hope that this somewhat positive attitude that he is displaying about coming to our house is going to hold for a little while, as I want so much for this to work out. And that will be much easier if he is willing to work with us. *fingers crossed*

Crossposted at http://skybound2.dreamwidth.org/1021605.html. Please leave your comments over there. (If you can't access that post, please comment here and I will add you to my reading list over there! Complicated enough yet?)

4 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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A variety of trees

And just because I can, here are a bunch of pictures of downed trees in my town, taken by people who are NOT me, as I have only left the house today to walk the dog and deal with our downed business sign!

[Images under the cut]

tree1
tree2
tree3
tree4
tree5
tree6
tree7


Again, I'm really glad that none of these hit anyone or anyone's homes. We've been so very lucky. 

ETA: An update. Apparently at least one tree:

[(this one)]

tree8


DID manage to damage a home and crush several cars. No one was hurt though. So yeah, still lucky...

2 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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I probably shouldn't have spoken so soon regarding work.
Because I have been working pretty steadily for the whole afternoon. This normally wouldn't be a problem, but I can't really work on the office's terminal server as it is WAY too slow right now. (Power surges and what not messing everything up.) It's hellish. I'm getting a headache just from dealing with it. Ugh. 

ANYWHO, on a completely unrelated note, has anyone here played Dishonored? I've been seeing the commercials (and the full-length commercial that was that one episode of Face-Off) and I am finding myself curious. IS it any good? Is it worth paying full-price, or should I wait until can get my hands on a discounted used copy? Or shouldn't I bother at all?

I'm not a HUGE first person POV lover, though I HAVE played games designed that way in the past and enjoyed them immensely. But the story REALLY needs to draw me in for that to happen. And beyond my knowing that this game IS in first person, I know nothing about the gaming mechanics. Do you get to create your own character, or is it a stock character that you play? How about the NPCs? Is interaction with them more on the level of an RPG or an FPS? Or is it somewhere in the middle? I am hyper-curious and thought I'd ask my lovely flist first before venturing into the abyss that is online forums and review websites. *shudders*

Thoughts, comments, and insights are requested and welcomed! Please?

6 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Welp, no work for me today!
They decided to close the office and NOT require everyone to work from home, which was rather nice of them I think. So far I've spent the day stalking meteorologist websites and NOAA and playing video games. Later, I plan to attempt to write. *fingers crossed*

The wind/rain is really starting to pick up in our area, and the emergency shelters are now officially open. NJ is in a State of Emergency, and my county is in a 'Local Area State of Emergency.' And with the exception of WaWa (our local chain convenience store) all other businesses in town are closed, and public transit is offline. There has also been some power loss in my town, due to down branches/trees. And of course, the areas down by the rivers are flooding. We haven't been effected much yet though. Just one instance of flickering lights.*more finger crossing* 

At this point, my biggest concern is just how the heck we are going to walk our dog tonight. So far, she is taking this all surprisingly well, seeing as how a normal storm freaks her the hell out enough to hide in the bathtub. The lack of thunder right now is probably the only reason she isn't having a panic attack, for which I am ever-so-grateful.

As far as the cat is concerned, life is business as usual. He's currently sleeping on a pile of clothes on top of a pillow on top of our leather chair. He couldn't care less about the state of the weather outside. Which is probably the right attitude. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a SimCity to go build...

Link )
Hurricane Sandy Preparedness
All the porch furniture is inside, all of the trash cans are in the shed, two multipacks of bottled water are in the pantry as are plenty of nonperishable foodstuffs, the dog & cat food has been restocked, storm windows are closed, all electronics are as charged as they are gonna be, all other emergency gear is at the ready (though it always is, camping duffles are awesome like that), and all of the outdoor Halloween decorations have been taken down *sniffle*. 

This might be the most prepared we have ever been for a hurricane. 

Magus's classes have been canceled for the next two days, as have MOST of the schools in our county, and the neighboring ones. A majority of our local shops are also going to be closed (when you drive through the town you can see most of them have taped up their windows, just in case), and there is a better than average chance that my work will be closing down as well for a day or two. (And if not, I will probably just work from home, and save myself the possible hazard of driving into the city.)

Now that all the prep work is done, I think I'm going to stick a roaster chicken in the oven and play some video games. Since if we lose power, those will be two things I WON'T be able to do. (Suddenly, having an electric stove doesn't seem like such a good thing...)

Hope all is well with everyone else, and if you also happen to be in the path of this thing, please stay safe!

6 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Two Car Accidents in Two Days
Yup. That's been my week so far. The first accident happened on Monday evening after work. Magus and I decided to detour from our regular route home to go pick up dinner. I stopped behind a lone line of cars waiting at a red light. The car behind me (a yellow Chevy) also stopped. The car behind them (a silver Lexus) stopped as well. However, the car behind THEM (a black Honda SUV) attempted to change lanes. When they realized that they didn't have enough room to change lanes, they just kept driving forward, not noticing that the whole line of cars in front of them was not moving. So the Honda rammed the Lexus, which rammed the Chevy, which hit me. Luckily, I was far enough back from the person in front of me that I didn't hit anyone. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The damage to my car was visible, but minimal. Especially when you considering that the three other cars all had to be towed away, and I was able to drive mine home. (For those of you keeping track at home, this is the second time this car was rear-ended while at a standstill in traffic, and the fifth time a car of mine was rear-ended, while at a standstill, to such a degree that repairs were needed. We shall not discuss the numbers of times I've been given lovetaps while driving, as those are just a part of life in heavy traffic areas.)

The next day (yesterday) I opted to work from home so that I could more easily get my car to the body shop and pick up my rental. (The car is a lease, so I wanted to make sure it got repaired.) A little before noon, I left the house to drop Magus off at school on the way to the body shop. (I was supposed to be there by 12:30.) When I drop Magus off at school, I just usually pull over to the curb to do so, and this day was no different. It WAS different in that there was already a car parked where I normally would pull up to, so I just stopped behind it, not noticing that the curb was yellow (due to its proximity to the little intersection there on campus). Magus gets out of the car, I check the road next to me, see that it's clear and start to pull out. I get to be ALMOST parallel with the parked car that I was just behind when a pickup truck slams into my driver side door, crumpling it and exploding the window all over me. I was rattled, and covered in exploded glass, but unharmed. (And so very, very thankful that I wear sunglasses when I drive during the day, as getting glass in my eyes would have been BAD.) I had to crawl out through the passenger side of the car, but, eventually once the pickup truck was moved, we were able to determine that my car WAS still drivable. (Not entirely safely on account of the pile of glass in the well by the pedals; but drivable.) And, after calling in the SECOND accident in as many days to my insurance company) I was able to just complete my trip to the body shop.

Now the first accident was clearly not my fault. So, I have no worries there with my insurance company. They will get the money they are owed from the responsible party, and my rates shouldn't be affected. The second accident is a little bit more of a grey area. The pickup truck that hit me TURNED onto the road AFTER I left the curb. He wasn't there when I stared to leave the curb, so I didn't see him, but he should have seen me. BUT I was pulled along a yellow painted curb, which is a no-no. So I am not sure how they are going to handle this one when it comes to fault. Personally, I don't think I am at fault. This feeling is compounded by the witnesses in the area (including Magus) who said they didn't think it was my fault, AND by the fact that when the pickup driver left the scene, he drove like a bat outta hell down the road. Seriously, his acceleration was fast enough that it made me take note of it, despite my still shaken state. Who DOES that after they've been in an accident? Luckily, AGAIN I was not hurt. I was sore later on, and I had a bad headache, but that was probably stress related, as I feel fine so far today. Also interestingly, none of the EIGHT AIRBAGS in my car deployed. I don't know whether that is a good thing, as it might mean that the accident really wasn’t that bad, despite how scary it was at the time, or if it means my airbags are defective. I'm choosing to believe the former, because it seems like my Kia can really take a hit. The crumple zones on that thing WORK.

So, yeah...that's been my week so far. Funny enough, this all happened AFTER having spent Saturday with my Ma helping her pick out/purchase a new car (she got a Toyota Camry). I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something...*

*I think that it is maybe that I should really stop owning cars. *sigh*

10 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Computer Build
It occurs to me that I have neglected to mention here that I recently [late last week] completed building my new computer! *happy dance*

I've been without my own PC since late February (still had my tablet, and my work PC, as well as occasional access to the hubby's laptop, but I think we can all agree that those are NOT THE SAME) and so it feels SO DAMN GOOD to have my own computer again. And it feels even better that I built this one myself from parts I picked out. (With my more knowledgeable older brother's help all along the way, including his metaphorical hand-holding during the actual assembly.) 

The actual build for the PC is as follows:
  • Asus P8Z77-V LE PLUS Motherboar
  • Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) CPU (Bought with gift cards)
  • EVGA nVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti FPB 1024 MB GDDR5 Graphics Card (GIFT)
  • G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR3 2133
  • Zalman Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler (GIFT)
  • Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W 80-PLUS BRONZE Certified (GIFT)
  • Samsung 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Samsung EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (On Order)
  • Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Three Fans
  • Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal DVD Burner
  • Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Internal 12x Blu-Ray Burner (Delayed)
  • Kinivo BTD-300 Bluetooth 3.0 USB adapter
  • Dell E198 WFP Monitor (GIFT, hand-me-down)
  • Logitech Wireless Wave Combo Mk550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
The HDD should arrive this week, and not a moment too soon as I am ALREADY running out of storage space! I am wilffle-waffling on the Blu-Ray burner, as my plan had been to wait it out until Christmas and ask for it as a gift, because I don't NEED it right now, but it is on sale at the moment, so I might just pick it up. I'm debating. Along those lines, I am planning on buying a 24-inch WS LED monitor for my build at some point down the line, but the free WS monitor I was giving is doing JUST FINE right now, so I am going to hold off on that until the price hits a low point.

At the moment, I am running the thing on 8 GB of RAM and the SSD, and it is LIGHTNING fast. My motherboard is expandable ty0 32 GB, but for now, I am more than happy with 8. At some point, I WOULD like to double up both my SSD and HDD so that I can RAID them, but that time it is not now. 

I opted to add bluetooth to the build via a USB dongle mostly to save myself PCI ports, but also because it was a cheaper (and still well rated) solution. It makes syncing to my phone/tablet super easy, and Magus and I are planning to get a set of bluetooth speakers at some point that all the devices can share. 

Despite the fact that my tower has SIX fans inside of it (three case fans, one CPU fan, on power supply fan, and on graphics card fan), the thing is VERY quiet. (I suspect that will change once I shove an HDD in it, but that's okay.) It's running nice and cool though, so all those fans are being put to good use. The case has spaces for two more fans, but with my build I can only fit one more. Hopefully, that won't be necessary, but it is nice to know that the option is there. 

The only sucky thing at the moment is that my brother hasn't had a chance to come over to help me install the ethernet cord in the office where my desk is located, and since I opted NOT to get a wifi card for the computer (I may have to rectify that), I am currently set up in my living room. My monitor is on a TV tray, and I am using my video card box as a table for my mouse. It is a slightly awkward setup, but doable for the short-term.

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Random Medical Stuff

I recently had my annual physical for work and, like every year, my results came back abnormal on account of my Beta Thalassemia Minor. The trait or condition or whatever you want to call it, for those who aren’t aware, is an inherited genetic abnormality of the red blood cells, specifically of the hemoglobin protein chain. In my case, the Beta chain. That means that my Beta hemoglobin chains are missing/reduced, which results in shruken red blood cells, and therefore the decreased oxygen carrying capacity of my blood.

Since I only have one copy of the trait, this means that the condition is not fatal, or even really something that needs to be treated. Instead, it presents as a mild to moderate form of anemia. I have known this since I was a kid. As a result, my hemoglobin counts are always low. Too low to donate blood. But I am not iron deficient. (At least, not usually, I do occasionally swing that way, but that might be more due to my diet lacking red meat more than anything else. I’m probably not doing myself any favors there, but hey! I have low cholesterol!) And the trait is supposed to confer some resistance to malaria, so I tried to consider it a mostly good thing, even if it’s not really that good of a thing.

Despite knowing that the trait presents as anemia, and even my knowing that that anemia would occasionally show up in my life (I mean THE WHOLE REASON WHY they ever diagnosed me as a child was because I was hella symptomatic for anemia: heavily fatigued, cold, pale, etc. All of which prompted my mother to have the doctors run tests until they figured out what was wrong.) I never thought that any of the other ailments that I occasionally (or more than occasionally) suffer from could be from it as well.  I mean, the doctors that I spoke with, and the medical texts I’d checked all said that it was ‘asymptomatic except for mild to moderate anemia,’ so why would I think any different?

For some reason, this time the day I got the results, I felt prompted to go look some stuff up, and I came across a forum for people with all the various forms of Thalassemia. Reading through those forums was a bit of an eye-opener, because there were all of these people that have the SAME issues that I have. Bouts of fatigue/lethargy (which yes you CAN have even while being an insomniac – it’s not fun), dizziness/lightheadedness, reduced/low/poor immune systems, feeling cold, etc. I was amazed, BECAUSE THOSE ALL DESCRIBE ME.

For the most part, those things aren’t life-altering, but some of them are problematic. The low immune system for instance, my family and everyone I work with/see on a regular basis have always questioned why/how I can be sick so often, all throughout the year. Especially considering that I live a mostly healthy lifestyle, and I have never been able to give an adequate answer. It's frustrating. The fatigue is another one that has caused problems in the past. Even when I had a boatload of bloodwork and a sleep study done a few years ago, I only thought SOME of my symptoms were from the Thal, I didn’t think ALL of them could be. And now it turns out that there have been clinical studies that show that, yup! That’s probably the cause of it all. (Not the insomnia or sleep paralysis, that’s thanks to my Pop, the Thal is thanks to my Ma.) That combined with the forums of people that have the same issues, with no other obvious common denominator, seems to be at least moderately conclusive.

It’s kind of a weird feeling, having this sudden diagnosis for a lot of my issues. And it makes me want to know MORE. Though the indicators are that there hasn’t been a lot of focused research on symptoms of the trait, so it might be hard for me to find more studies; doesn’t mean I’m not gonna look.

In the meantime, it seems like a good start to helping level myself out might be to start taking folic acid supplements. It might not help, but it won’t hurt. 


7 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Amazon Music Shenanigans
In what world does Amazon Cloud Player think that they can continue to compete with Google Music Play by (starting at the end of the month) only allowing users to store 250 songs NOT purchased through Amazon mp3 free of charge, when Google lets users store up to 20,000?! I guess that they are hoping that their interface is that much better? Well newsflash, it's not.

I admit that I prefer purchasing my music through Amazon mp3, as their download system works better than Google's IMO. But at the moment I have ~6000 songs stored on each cloud drive, and only ~700 of them were purchased through Amazon. So guess what system I WON'T be using to store/listen to the majority of my music in the near future? 

I guess it doesn't really matter to Amazon where I store my music that I DIDN'T buy through them if I'm not paying for a premium service (never mind that I ALREADY pay for Prime - since that doesn't seem to have any effect on their music cloud*), but if I can't use their system to store the majority of my stuff, then their own advantage over Google (easier to download from their cloud) isn't all that much of an advantage anymore. So I am LESS likely to continue to use them to purchase my music in the future. Instead there is a better than average chance that I will do my purchasing through Google from here on out. (Well, except for when the music I want is cheaper to buy through Amazon than Google. Because I am a slave to my wallet, damn it.)

In a way this is kind of a good thing, as it'll be good to just consolidate my music collection to ONE cloud location, and overall, I prefer Google's player to Amazon's anyway, so there's no real loss there. I'm just confused as to WHY Amazon thinks that people will chose to PAY to store their music through them if they can store it for free at Google? It makes no sense to me...

*I'm also still bitter that I pay for Prime and yet CAN'T access their book library because I don't own a Kindle device. I'd be more than happy to PURCHASE a Kindle App for my damn tablet, rather than using a free one, if it meant that I could access their library. But nope. You need to own their hardware. Again they can do what they want, but I think they are missing out on a golden opportunity here, because I can't be the ONLY person who has no intention of purchasing a Kindle, but who would pay a premium fee for the Kindle App if it meant we'd have access to that damn library. *sigh*

ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE: For all those who asked for drabbles, I promise that I AM working on them, so don't think that I forgot or didn't get your request because I didn't respond. I did, I swear. They are just taking a while, as I suspected that they might.

6 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Presents! Presents for everyone!!

Every year, I offer up drabbles, fics, icons, graphics, and wallpapers to everyone on my flist as sort of a mass HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! present (since I never remember to wish anyone a happy birthday at any other time). Typically, that offer gets posted by roundabouts April (if not earlier).

*looks at calender*

I'm running a bit behind this year. *hangs head*

Also, I regret that I won't be able to offer up anything EXCEPT for drabbles and fics this go around, because my computer is still broken and so I am working (mostly) off of my tablet. Which makes doing any sort of graphics work very, very, VERY hard. But, if you are interested in having a drabble or a fic written for you (and you've had a birthday, like EVER) now is the time to ask! 

(I still need to complete a WIP fic that has been owed to thessilian for AGES now, I know. I AM SO SORRY. I SWEAR I AM TRYING. IT'S BEEN KICKING MY ASS. I'm actually hoping to finish it out during this little gift-giving exercise of mine, but if you want something else in the mean time, YOU WILL GET PRIORITY, I PROMISE.)

The rules are simple, if you read this post, and you acknowledge an annual celebration of the earth's rotation around the sun in conjunction with the date of your birth, and you would like a drabble/fic written for you, then COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW.

I like being brave, and breaking out of my comfort zones as much as I can when I do things like this, so even if I've never written for the fandom before, as long as I have some understanding of the source material I am willing to give it a go! (Though, if I am not involved in the fandom, I can't promise how good the results will be. But I do promise to try.) If I don't think I can write for a particular fandom, I will let you know and you can request something else. The only things that are completely off-limits for me are character-bashing (won't read it, won't write it, sorry), incest, RPF, and any fandom wherein the author has said no to fanfic (I assume that goes without saying, but you never know).

Also, I make no promises about how long I will take to get this completed, as it'll depend on how many requests I get and whether or not the muse has me hog-tied in the back room for her sadistic pleasure. In the past she has been kind to me when I do this, so here's hoping! *fingers crossed*

That's it! Comment away! (And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALL!)


7 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Between the tablets and vacation, last July and this July are just sort of mirrors of each other
Now onto real life! (Sort of.) This July, just like last July, Magus and I went and visited his brother + family in Georgia (in fact we went for the EXACT SAME DAYS as last year). It was extremely relaxing, which is all I needed from a vacation at this point in time, but it was also wonderful to spend time with our nieces and nephew.

It was also nice to get at least a LITTLE downtime for writing. (Though a huge chunk of that I ended up scraping when I got home, as it wasn't working for me. *shrug*) I have several original pieces in the works now (mostly just bare bones, but at least one of the stories really got fleshed out), and I made some decent headway on a couple of my fanfic projects. So, yay!writing!

The biggest difference between the trip last year and this year was that last year it was HOT. So hot that we spent every day at the pool. This year it was SWELTERING, so much so that we didn't go to the pool AT ALL. (Though there was an ill-advised trip to a flea market one day, wherein we basically just skirted from shadow to shadow and drank lots of water trying not to die in the 110+ degree heat. YES, it was THAT hot.)

While we were down there, we missed the MASSIVE windstorm that came through the mid-west and into the mid-Atlantic (though we did get some reverb from it, and lost power for a few hours a thunderstorm one night). My dog and cat also were depressed enough while we were gone that they both lost a little bit of weight from not eating enough. (They are taking care of that now by eating as much as we'll let them.)

So vacation was nice, but it would have been more so if we could have had our pets with us. Maybe next time we go somewhere, we will at least try and bring the dog with us. (Neither one of our pets like riding in a car, but the dog can tolerate it well enough, the cat loses control of his gastrointestinal system every time so we keep his road trips to a minimum.)

At some point (probably not today) I will pop on here and discuss the ME3 Extended Cut DLC, and the bird that nested in our porch this summer, but for now, I'm going to try and get some work done!

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My unexpected acquisition of a new tablet:
Yesterday morning, I was walking to the kitchen for breakfast, tablet in hand so that I could read the news, when the damnable thing slipped out of it's case (it was a cheap case), hit the floor, and the screen got a crack down the middle. It was still usable, but as my laptop has been broken since February, and the tablet is my only computing device at home (aside from the hubby's laptop, which I try not to use too often as he needs it for work and school) I didn't want to take any chances. Luckily, I still had FOUR WHOLE DAYS left on my accidental damage and handling warranty from Best Buy for my Thrive. So, I took the sucker in to see if it could get fixed.

Sadly, they couldn't repair it/exchange it for the same make and model, as Thrive's aren't being made anymore, and none of the Best Buy's in the mid-Atlantic region had any (or so the clerks at my store told me), so, instead, I got to pick out a brand new tablet in the same price range and take that home with me.

I am now the owner of an Asus Transformer TF300T tablet. And aside from the fact that it won't let me play Mass Effect: Infiltrator on it (the game is not yet optimized for ICS apparently?) it is a pretty nice machine. It has a MUCH better screen than the Thrive, and the Tegra 3 quad-core processor makes running apps and the web browser a smoother experience. (Hell, I was able to use it to go on tumblr last night without wanting to stick a spork in my eye at how long each post took to load, so bonus!)

The biggest downside is that, unlike the Thrive which had full size HDMI, full size USB, mini-USB, and full size SD card slots, the Asus only has a mini-HDMI and a mini-SD card slot. BUT, it does have an optional keyboard dock (which I didn't get yesterday, as I wanted to exchange to not cost me anything as I wasn't prepared for an expense at that point, but I WILL be getting in the future) which has a full size USB port and SD card slot (and will also extend battery life).

Another possible future bonus is that if I can reliably use the tablet for writing via that nifty keyboard anywhere I go, and it turns out that my laptop is well and truly dead, I might opt to get a desktop as a replacement, which would be good for all sorts of reasons. (Cost savings and ease of upgrades being the two topmost ones.)

In the end, this may turn out to have been a very fortuitous trip to the kitchen.

Non tech-related, real-life post forthcoming, honest!

2 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Fic - Tend The Roots That She May Grow

Title: Tend The Roots That She May Grow
Author: skybound2
Rating: K
Characters: Korra (Brief mentions of Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo)
Word Count: ~775
Summary: "It happens like this: Korra is broken."
Spoilers: Implicit for the finale.
Author's Note: While Legend of Korra as a whole may have been unsatisfactory to me (with the season finale even more so) apparently it was good for my muse, as she absolutely REFUSED to let me write anything else today untilI gave life to this little ficlet. It's a bit esoteric, entirely introspective, and definitely AU on the ending.[Spoiler (click to open)](Assume that nothing post-Katara's appearance in the finale happened.) Now that this exists I thought I would share it with all of you. (Because stories are always better when they're shared, yes?) Written as a flash-fic tonight on my tablet, so this is rough. My apologies for any errors. Also posted on FFN and Ao3


Tend The Roots That She May GrowCollapse )


3 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Turns out I have an Ao3 invite available.
Anybody want it? Figure I'd offer it up here first to folks I know, before sending it out to the great wide open that is tumblr. First to ask, shall receive :-)

Taken!!

4 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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The new version of Scrapbook that LJ has implemented? IT SUCKS.
I don't even have THAT many photos (just under 1,500, according to the notification email I received) and it still feels impossible to navigate the damn thing. I can't fathom how folks with upwards of 10,000+ are going to handle it.

No more sub-folders? NO MORE TAGS?! How the HELL am I supposed to find all of the animated gifs that I have saved in this mess?!? (You see, because I had them all organized in SUB-FOLDERS into their appropriate fandom and then TAGGED with 'animated gif' so that I could locate them easily as a group when I wanted.) If you were going to make changes to the damn scrapbook, why wouldn't you add the ability to select MULTIPLE tags at a time, not get rid of them completely?!

WHY DO YOU INSIST ON MAKING EVERYTHING LESS USER FRIENDLY, LJ? WHY?

Argh!!

ETA: Okay I see now in THIS POST that apparently they are going to bring back tagging at some unspecified point in the future. But honestly? I'll believe that when I see it. And also, WHY would you roll out an INCOMPLETE UPDATE? If you had already decided to listen to LJ user concerns (*sock* *gasp*) and keeping the tagging function, why ot just WAIT until you had it working before updating the freaking scrapbook. 

YOU MAKE NO SENSE LJ. NONE.

Also, BRING THE DAMN COMMENT HEADERS FOR THE BASIC LJ LAYOUT BACK. GETTING RID OF THEM WAS STUPID.

4 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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Took public transit to work today
I do that occasionally when Magus needs the car for something. But while it's kind of a nice change of pace - I get to relax and just listen to music on the way into work (i can't read because I get motion sickness) and people watch, and then I get to walk through the city on the way from the train stop to the trolley pick up (and of course I stop and get a chai while I'm out there) - it takes freaking FOREVER. 

Seriously, it took me two hours to get to work via public transit today, which is just ridiculous as I only live ~12-13 miles from my office. But, considering I live in a different state OVER A BRIDGE, there's not a lot of options for me to get to work. Either I drive, and it takes an hour (yay!traffic) or I take public transit, and it takes two. I can't bike, sadly, because the routes that are most accessible for me to get to my office are not bike friendly for large swaths of them (and also, there is no shower here at my work - which would make things highly uncomfortable during the work day). 

At least today is a lovely day so far, with beautiful weather, which made the trip into the office quite nice. And it should make the evening commute home fairly enjoyable as well. 

Even if it does take me until 8 pm to get there...

7 Lost Souls swimming in a Fish Bowl
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