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Auuuuuugh, Longwinded Man somehow got around my email filters and sent me a birthday email. UGH, UGH, UGH, WHY????

I mean, I'm going to save it as evidence in case he ever turns into a physical stalker, but ick, I felt dirty just opening it to check that it really was him and not a weird spammer who coincidentally had the same name.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go reset my filters.


ETA: Okay, no, the filters were working as designed; his message went straight to my trash folder. I just was unpleasantly surprised to see it there and in the rush of adrenaline forgot exactly what I'd told Google to do with his messages. And I think... I think I would rather receive and file them than block them altogether, just for the evidence factor, even though knowing he still sends them makes me feel icky. At least this way I know what he's up to.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
1. Arranged to swap shifts with Miss Cactus this coming week, in order to attend a mandatory Not the IRS training day. (It may be paid training. I am not sure.)

2. Changed my clocks for the end of Daylight Saving Time.

more items under the cut )

11. Voted.

Fuck fuck fuckity fucking fuck.

I had been uneasy about this election since before the primaries last year, when I overheard one of my Not the IRS coworkers repeatedly telling people (both coworkers and clients) to "hold your nose and vote for Trump" because she thought he had the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton. As time went on, she shifted away from the 'hold your nose' qualifier and started talking about his supposed business genius and good ideas on health care, presumably because once people commit to a course of action we tend to shift our beliefs to make that course of action seem good/right instead of merely tolerable.

I was really hoping most people weren't buying into that mindset. But apparently, no, that was prophetic.

(As a tax preparer, I will say that the implementation of the tax credits and penalties associated with the ACA is terribly designed and needs fixing. But Obamacare also got me health insurance after I lost my job at the smoke shop, so, you know, fixing is not remotely the same as repealing.)


In more local election news, I still have the same state assembly rep and state senator (Democrat and relatively reasonable Republican, respectively), the same federal Representative (not-so-reasonable Republican), and the same federal Senator (Schumer). The new county DA will be the Democratic nominee rather than the guy who lost the Democratic nomination process and then pitched a fit about ~rigging~ (the prior DA resigned in July, too late to hold a primary, so the nominations were decided by party committees) and ran as an independent.


(My two immediate rental company bosses voted for Clinton, which made Wednesday marginally less awful than it could have been; we were all sick and horrified together. I am not looking forward to the Not the IRS training session on Wednesday, though. Tax prep is not a particularly left-leaning profession, even in a place like Ithaca.)

more items under the cut )

21. Chopped vegetables in preparation for cooking fajitas tomorrow evening. This included some of my own homegrown peppers. I will do a photo post about that sometime later.
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Sometime on Wednesday 11/2/16, between 8:30am and 7:30pm, a squirrel got at my poor beleaguered peppers, and bit off all the flowers and fruit from the nibbled pepper. I thought I'd placed it far enough from the porch railing to discourage casual vandalism, but apparently not.

And then sometime overnight, the miscreant returned and bit off an entire branch from the plant with the sideways pepper. The sideways pepper itself is still attached and did not suffer additional damage, but the other two peppers on the plant are now in tupperware in my fridge, waiting for me to chop them and freeze them for storage.

I hate squirrels SO FUCKING MUCH. >.<

nine peppers on a porch
the remaining seven peppers, Thursday, 3 November 2016

pepper plant with many leaves and branches chewed off . pepper leaves and branches on a wooden porch floor . a tiny, squirrel-mangled bell pepper in a human hand
1) the nibbled pepper, now with all its flowers and fruit chewed off
2) wreckage on the porch floor
3) the poor pepper that had no chance to grow :(

pepper plant with a branch chewed off . a pepper branch with two pepper fruits, lying on wooden boards . a small bell pepper and a tiny bell pepper on a cutting board with a human hand for scale
1) the scar where the sideways pepper lost a branch
2) the branch in question, plus its two miraculously unscathed peppers
3) which I brought indoors and will chop up for storage later today

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
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Late yesterday evening, I started to hear a faint and intermittent humming noise. It sounded mechanical/electrical, sort of like a motor or fan trying to rev up but cutting out after a few seconds, and it was perceptible as much in the back of my teeth as in my actual ears. I could not make out its source.

When I came home from work this evening, the humming noise was still going strong, though just as intermittently as before. I actually got up and walked around my apartment a few times to see if I could pinpoint its source, but no joy.

At this point I should mention that Friday and Saturday have been fairly windy here in Ithaca -- an irregular, gusty sort of wind, accompanied by buckets of rain until partway through Saturday afternoon, after which things slowly began to dry.

Anyway, after being vaguely annoyed by this untraceable humming noise for several hours, it occurred to me that if I did some obligatory grocery shopping (*cough* Halloween candy *cough*) tonight rather than putting it off until I had more items on my list, I could probably wrangle a ten-cent per gallon gas discount via my store loyalty card. So at approximately 10pm, I stepped out the front door of my house with my car keys in hand.

There was a strong gust of wind. The humming noise came back, much louder than before.

This time it was accompanied by a sort of snapping hiss, and a small flare of light, and I looked up and realized that one of the power lines that run along my street had worn through its insulation and was making a valiant attempt to set my neighbors' tulip tree on fire every time the wind pushed it in the right direction.


I called 911, since I don't have the numbers for either the fire department or NYSEG. The 911 dispatcher sent the fire department out, their truck arrived just as the wire scraped the tree and sent up another flare of flame and sparks, and the firefighters kind of sighed and went, "Yeah, that's not good. But don't worry; we've got this."

I did not stick around to watch -- I had that grocery run to make, after all -- but when I came back about 25 minutes later, they had put a patch on the damaged wire, wrapped both it and another too-close-to-the-tree wire in those funny extra insulation sheaths you see sometimes, and were just packing up to leave. Presumably somebody (NYSEG, I'd assume) will have to do a more permanent fix at some point, but at least there is no immediate danger of either a massive tree bursting into flame or a live wire down in the street.

I think I have done my civic duty for the week and would like to ask the universe to not throw anything else at me for a while, please and thank you.
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1. Work, obviously. I may post more detail about that later this week after I have a functional computer again.

2. Went to NJ to pick up Dottie. Had dinner with parents on Sunday night, did two loads of laundry (clothes and linens), and visited Susan Monday morning.

more items under cut )

Also, obviously, I have fed and walked Dottie every morning and evening, which includes successfully getting her to eat her joint medication pills, much though she dislikes them. Yay for determination, I suppose. *wry*
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Quick post to say several things!

1. I retrieved Dottie from NJ and will be taking care of her until next Wednesday, the 28th. Yay dog! She's on a different diet yet again, but at least this one is slightly simpler than some of the previous variations. However, I now have to give her her twice-daily medicine tablet as a separate thing, daubed in peanut butter, since she won't eat them if they're mixed into her breakfast and dinner (and then may not eat the meals either, because ewww, contamination).

2. On my drive back to Ithaca, there was a dead bear on the side of I-380. A BEAR. I have seen roadkill opossums, raccoons, and deer -- to say nothing of innumerable squirrels and birds -- but never a freaking black bear. It may have been a juvenile; it looked a bit scrawny for a full-grown bear.

3. While walking Dottie last night, I spotted a toad hopping between her feet (she missed it completely; her eyesight and hearing have gone fuzzy in her old age) and briefly picked it up to say hello. Then I let it go, of course, because I'm not a monster.

4. My laptop completely died last night. :( Not only is the battery nonfunctional, the power cord is no longer working so I can't even just plug it in and use it as a de facto desktop. I am looking into repair/replacement options, but this is a little tricky because of my work schedule (Tues and Weds 9am-7pm, plus the hours immediately before and after that for dog care) so I may not even be able to take it in to a repair shop until Thursday. *headdesk*

5. Because of the computer woes, I will probably not be online much for the next week. This means I will be even slower about commenting and/or responding to comments than usual, because I only get an hour of free internet at the public library (and that only on non-work days) and it's really hard to type anything long and coherent on my phone. (I am typing this at the rental office, but I'm not supposed to use our internet for personal stuff, so I will be signing out of Dreamwidth as soon as I'm done.)

6. While in NJ, I dropped by Susan's place of work (a pottery) for an hour and a half, and got to shape two pinch-pots as part of a monthly gimmick they're doing for October: a 1000 bowl sale for charity. Susan will pick and apply the glazes, obviously, since I am now back in Ithaca. I may be down in NJ again over the sale weekend (for yet another dogsitting pickup), in which case I might try to buy one of my bowls if they haven't sold yet. :)


Aug. 17th, 2016 09:18 pm
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dark brown water in a bathroom sink

gritty residue coating a bathroom sink

The first photo is what my tap water has looked like since about 1:30pm this afternoon. The second is the residue left behind when it drains.

Apparently a water main broke down by Rt. 13 earlier today. This causes unusually high pressure/volume in other pipes, which knocks loose a bunch of rust and other mineral deposits. The city is working to repair the pipe and will then flush the system via fire hydrants, but until then... ugh.

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
My air conditioner appears to have developed an internal mildew infestation. Eurgh.

I am not entirely sure how to get rid of the mildew. I mean, clean all contaminated surfaces with bleach, obviously, but I don't know if the sections I need to reach even come apart and I'm a little afraid to break the AC while attempting to fix it. The manual is not much help on that front, since it only details how to get at the filter (which is not currently the problem, though it couldn't hurt to dust the thing while I'm at it). I suppose I could try a toothbrush...?

Anyway, Tuesday is not supposed to get very hot and Tuesday night may dip into the 50s, so whatever happens, I can at least give the machinery a good long while to dry out after I get done with whatever the cleaning process ends up being.


[tumblr.com profile] kk-maker suggested using a spray bottle to get bleach to the spots I can't manually reach. This sounds reasonable to me. :)
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Will It Rain?: The driest March to June on record

This fakeout just happened again -- a beautiful north-south line of thunderstorms approached from the west, and right as it hit Ithaca, it thinned and split with the gap precisely over the city. I can see blue sky out my kitchen windows and the scattered raindrop splotches on my back porch are already almost dry.

I mean, a thunderstorm is not the kind of rain we need anyway, but at least it would have been SOMETHING. But nope. No rain for you!

Ithaca is over 6.5 inches of rain short for the year so far, the whole region has passed from 'abnormally dry' into 'moderate drought,' and this is really getting distressing. :(
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mutilated pepper seedling
the poor mutilated seedling

closeup of the damage
closeup of the crime

two pepper seedlings with stakes
its neighbors, now with protective stakes

twelve pepper seedlings in pots on a wooden porch
the pepper fleet, shifted north

When I looked out my kitchen window this morning, I discovered that the squirrels had been at it again. And this time, it's not reparable: they'd snapped the poor leftmost pepper seedling in half, below all of its leaves (and even below the cotyledons). I do not have high hopes for the stem recovering, though I have watered it on the off chance of a miracle.

I staked the other two peppers that have suffered the most depredations. I have also moved the entire flotilla of pots a couple feet to the north, away from the mulberry tree. This means they will get less shade, but hopefully there will also be fewer fallen berries to tempt squirrels past the barrier of repellent spray.

Fucking squirrels.

(I have to say, though, that this particular spray is pretty shitty. Last year I used an Ortho brand product, which is probably full of poisons but smelled kind of sweetish before fading out of human detection and also worked reasonably well until autumn when the need to bulk up for winter overrode the squirrels' general revulsion. This year I'm stuck with Bonide Repels-All, and not only is it failing to repel squirrels, it reeks to high heaven of garlic and rotten eggs, and the stench lingers so strongly that it's stinking up my entire gardening cupboard. Yecch. Unfortunately Lowes and Agway didn't have any Ortho products, and getting to Home Depot is not logistically feasible without a car. *sigh*)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]


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Elizabeth Culmer

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