hradzka: (unfair to batgirl)
Managed to hurt back and leg, and got an eye problem requiring medical attention, which put cramp on ability to pack, which meant I had to cancel moving truck, which meant I am not moving stuff down this time, which meant things get delayed, which means I am deeply annoyed.

OTOH, I have enough bills this month that I don't need any more, thanks. So, I saved money on the truck and on loaders to help me. Yay?
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Folks, a request: I am up at Ma's for a few days (Silver Spring, MD) to load up a moving truck with a bunch of my stuff from her house to drive down to NC. Unfortunately, the folks who we thought we had lined up seem to have hit a snag with their schedule and probably won't be available to help load on Saturday. (I've managed to partially herniate a disc and have been forbidden from lifting more than 10 pounds, which is why I need some help.) Anybody in the area have recs/advice? I would totally throw a "help me load the truck" party, but it's not just going to be lots of boxes of books; there'll be some fairly heavy furniture. I don't know where I could get a couple-three folks on short notice though.

Comment below, or drop me a line at my username at gmail. Thanks in advance.

ETA: Movers found! Thanks.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
OK, it's taken me a while to get pics sorted, but here you go. PICTURES OF THE HOUSE.

hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
I have been running around a little lately, but I have some worthwhile news to share: I am a homeowner.

Details and some mention of financials below cut. )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Ok, I am horrible at meetup scheduling, so I will just be at the hyatt bar around 11 tonight. Maybe lunch Sunday if folks interested? Email my username at gmail.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Although a mostly rational person, I have a few unusual superstitions and convictions. One of these is that we are fated to only meet a very small number of really great dogs in our lives.

In thirty-five years on Earth, I've met a lot of dogs, and only two of them could be characterized as really great. One of them was my mother's dog Boswell, who had to be put to sleep this morning.

In Memoriam. )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
A question: a friend of mine is asexual but would like to see about dating for companionship reasons. What would be a good spot for her to start looking, or asking, about such things as discussions or meet-ups? She'd especially love a good asexual or asexual-friendly dating service. She's straight, and really can't see herself in a relationship with another woman, so she'd be looking for an asexual guy. Some good tips for asexual online discussion/meet-up fora might be helpful, too. (I'm asking because 1) she's shy and 2) my flists contain multitudes.)
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
At some point last week, my GF (who's from Taiwan) mentioned that despite spending a large number of Halloweens in the United States, she had never carved a pumpkin. My response: "TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH!"

(Actually, it was the grocery store, where I picked up a little pie pumpkin as being eminently suitable for fun-size carving.) The pumpkin sat on the kitchen table for a few days, while we went about other important business, like work and the Crash-A-Rama out at the speedway. Today she said, "Are we going to do the pumpkin today?"

Yes, I said. Yes, we are. )
hradzka: (wtf)
My adventures in housing continue. The awesome foreclosure that I didn't get because somebody else made an offer while I was still doing my homework has sold, but I got a consoling phone call from the engineer who'd taken a look at it. Turns out the foundation work it needed was higher than the initial ballpark guess. More in the neighborhood of seventeen thousand dollars. This was a great neighborhood, mind, and the house and setting were really great, so it would have eventually seen a return on the investment, but still, that's a lot of moolah.

The house up next to Ash and Denise has been for sale for a while, so I checked it out. Only reason I'd even consider it is that it's next to them, but it's really just a terrible house. The good part of living next to them is that I know all the sordid details.

MY REALTOR. "Yeah, I know the guy who owns it. He said it's a rental, but there's only a little old lady living there --"
ME. "No, it's been vacant for months. There used to be a family living there, but then one of the guys there went crazy and attacked his mom and the cops came and they wound up shooting him."
ME. "Look, I told you, *my best friends live right next door to this place.*"
MY REALTOR. "Good to know."

The little old lady was still renting month-to-month, but she'd gotten a bit behind. That's the story, anyway. In actuality, as I'd known full well, she'd cleared out, leaving a few odds and ends (a big TV and a hutch) and a garage full of junk. The place was horrid and small and needed a gut and refit. Also, it smelled odd. At least I didn't see any bullet holes in the walls.

Word is that it's going to wind up being a short sale. I AM NOT SURPRISED BY THIS TIDBIT OF NEWS. It's really quite ghastly.

(For the record: the guy the cops shot did not die. I don't know where he moved to, though. Hopefully he's somewhere he can get inpatient mental health treatment, because he very clearly needed it even before he attacked his mom.)
hradzka: (wtf)
So I got sick, but I'm getting better. Turns out when they say "don't drink the water," they should be saying, "don't even LOOK at it." Good news: even if you have giardiasis and are puking out one end and spraying out the other, you can cut your problem in half by taking the maximum safe dose of Immodium, and cut your problem at the other end by being too nauseous to eat! Yay.

Anyway, I'm better now, and my adventures in the housing market are resuming. I've looked at a couple of houses lately, and I've seen one fixer-upper that's a potential buy and one that's a freakin' nightmare. In the nightmare, somebody added on a screened-in porch. The part of the porch that connects to the house does not have a joist. Or any real support at all. Its support consists entirely of its rafters overlapping the previously-existing house roof. Inside what was once a garage, there's a huge pillar system of wood and such designed to keep the roof from buckling. I took a look at it and FREAKED OUT. The realtor was a little surprised, which amazed me.

REALTOR. "Um, is that bad? I'm not a builder."
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Been busy and often antisocial. You know how it gets.

Will try to be back a bit more often.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Travel woes! Stuck in Chicago for a day. Any Chicagoland folks (or those here for Vividcon) care to get lunch or dinner or something? Drop a line in the comments or by email (same username at gmail).

ETA: I am officially not at Vividcon! Meaning, I'm waiting for my luggage to be spit out by maw of airline and am in the Vividcon hotel lobby briefly if anybody there sees this and wants to say hi between panels or something.

ETA again: back at airport collecting luggage and wrangling with airlines! Thanks to the folks I met and those I didn't.

Comments screened.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Today at the grocery store I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that read, "I <3 J2."

I immediately thought, "Oh Jesus Christ RPF is fucking everywhere."

(The odd thing is that I really doubt it was *that* J2, but I have no idea what J2 it could possibly be.)
hradzka: (rex the wonder dog)
Trivia: the GF is afraid of snakes. Like, Maury Povich afraid of snakes. This has given her a sometimes eerie level of snake-related clairvoyance. Tonight's installment:

US. *watching movie* (RETURN TO THE BLUE LAGOON, excellent for talking back to.)
GF. *suspicious* "Are there snakes in this movie?"
ME. "Dunno. Never seen it before--"

Seriously, the sense of timing is a little alarming. Also alarming: the screaming, flailing, and elbowing as she goes into full recoil. I chalk my bruising up to her great reflexes.

(RETURN TO THE BLUE LAGOON, summarized: "Brother and sister get married on their mother's grave, spend honeymoon wrestling in surf.")
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
I finally got to play my new character Olen in combat! My group is running two campaigns, the primary one being currently on hiatus for the GHOSTBUSTERS RPG from West End Games. The second one I'd had to bow out of for work reasons, but a change in my schedule meant that I could rejoin. I decided to ditch my original character, a Warforged swordmage named Morg, for a new race and class. I'd played the man of mystery card for a few sessions, not explaining who or what I was, and FINALLY this week I got to show off. Of course, I rolled dead last on initiative and promptly got stunned the first round, but then the chief bad guy started to run away just as my turn came.

Dwayne, our DM, has been working hard lately to use atmospheric description rather than mechanics in battle and in skill challenges, and it's made the game very effective and encouraged us to do the same. So I said, "Olen reaches out a hand. You know how the flickering firelight from the burning trash barrels in the alley leaves little bits of shadows cast everywhere? Those shadows coalesce, pool together, and suddenly they're in the form of a noose. It grabs the running guy and pulls him back. 'Get over here!' "

ASH. "Nice!"
BRYAN. "You're Scorpion class!"
ME. *rolls* "Hit. I do eleven damage, and he's pulled back two squares so he's next to me."
FELICIA. "Very cool."
ME. "Okay. Move action. I step forward, toward the guy I just pulled, and I fall into his shadow -- "
BRYAN. "Wait, what?"
ME. "And I come up over here, out of this guy's shadow. So I'm right next to this mook, so if he keeps running, too, I get an opportunity attack. Oh! Also, since somebody adjacent to me got reduced to zero hit points this round, that first guy takes an extra [rolls] eight necrotic damage and I gain eight temporary hit points."
BRYAN. "Holy crap! What the heck *are* you?!"
DWAYNE (DM). "Say hello to the Assassin class."

Yep, I'm pretty happy with Olen, the revenant assassin. (Revenants are sort of a combination between a Time Lord regeneration and James O'Barr's THE CROW -- they're resurrected from the dead, but have a different face and personality than the person they died as.) Olen has stealth and acrobatics out the wazoo, and my character concept is, basically, Batman. I'm looking forward to doing an actual dungeon-clearing -- I want to sneak into a room as the point man and create the maximum havoc and death possible before the rest of the party makes their move.

(Dwayne also has us playing Evil characters in this campaign, for a nefarious reason that we all suspect will involve our normal characters eventually fighting them, God help us. My Evil character is fun to roleplay: Adona of Silesia is a paladin of Bahamut. Yes, Bahamut, the Lawful Good Platinum Dragon god. Adona really should have been expelled from the order, but unfortunately every church official she's been pawned off on has dealt with the problem she poses by kicking her upstairs or giving her an assignment far, far away from any authority that could reasonably be blamed for her actions. She really wants to go back to the capital and preach there, and thinks if she throws enough money at the church that could happen -- and she's willing to do horrifying things to make money for the church, which is another reason her superiors are reluctant to expel her, because Adona's contributions are so substantial that no bureaucrat really *wants* to question them. Her love for Bahamut is undying; it is also all-encompassing, all-abiding, all-pervading, all-consuming, and, some suspect, not entirely nonsexual. Adona's praise of Bahamut's might and grace often winds up digressing into a discussion of the power of his astral muscles and the sleekness and beauty of his scales, and then she trails off into silence before making for the privacy of her room to pray, which she does very fervently, occasionally to the point of low moans.

It is very hard to have a normal conversation with Adona, because she will always bring Bahamut into it.)
hradzka: (peej is pissed)
I am not on Facebook. Really, I am not on Facebook. In fact, I am *so* not on Facebook, that if I *were* on Facebook, my fucking status message would read "David Hines is not on Facebook." Google, however, decided that I would be much happier if I were on Facebook, so they made their own version of Facebook and added me to it, to which I say, "Fuck you, Google. Fuck you very, very much, very hard, with a sharp and spiky cactus, FUCK YOU."

There are a lot of things that piss me off about Google Buzz. For example: it is not at all immediately clear how the fucking thing works. I am on it, despite not wanting it, not knowing what it does, and not being able to find out what it does until I am on it, at which point I want nothing more than to sign out of it and have it and I not fucking exist as far as I am concerned. There doesn't appear to be a way to do that. What's more, I suddenly have a bunch of people paying attention to me, some of whom I don't know who they are. This is because Google Buzz is fucking inexplicable and enigmatic about its connections. For example: an asshole, whom I blocked, was following me; I took a moment to block him again. I hadn't exchanged contentious email with him in months, and the only way I knew it was him, to block him, was that he was not using his real name, but an incredibly distinctive pseudonym. Some people following me? I don't know who they are. I can't imagine what people who have multiple email stalkers, rather than occasional asshole correspondents, are going to do. Good fucking luck.

This reaction may seem weird, considering that I'm fannishly active under my own name, but if people come across something that I'm doing and they know who I am, that doesn't bother me. But there is nothing more I hate than people who feel compelled to tell everybody everyfuckingthing they do, and Google Buzz just tried to turn me into one of those. I compartmentalize: if you want to know what weird shit I'm up to in the course of a day, you can follow me on Twitter. If you want to read my fanfic and reviews, you can follow me here (DW or LJ, whichever). I live my professional life offline. Maybe this is weird, but this is what I'm comfortable with. And Google just took my comfort zone and said, "Y'know what? Fuck that."

Well, fuck you right back, Google. When Buzz has an off switch, let me know.

ETA: the solution, first pointed out by [personal profile] jamaillith on LJ and by [personal profile] anatsuno on DW: scroll allll the way down to the bottom of your Gmail inbox. See the teeny tiny blue letters beginning "Gmail view:"? One of the options down there is "turn off buzz." I clicked it. It went away. I only wish there were an option for "turn off buzz with extreme prejudice." Thanks very much, source of knowledge.
hradzka: (roy harper)
I have a lot of friends who shoot IDPA. That's "International Defensive Pistol Association," which is basically LARPing for tactical shooters. Instead of just setting up a target and shooting at it, you get an array of targets set up in such a manner as to present you with a tactical problem. Each such problem is called a stage. In a given stage, you have to engage (read: shoot) each of the targets. This involves complex activity, such as 1) identifying targets 2) distinguishing hostiles from friendlies 3) running from one part of the stage to another and 4) reloading. As you might imagine, it is a hell of a lot of fun, and people who shoot IDPA tend to tell their gunny friends who don't shoot IDPA that they really ought to.

Case in point: my friend Vince, who has been nagging me to try IDPA for ages, and so I finally said YES FINE OKAY.

So this past weekend I did my first IDPA shoot, and discovered not only that it is a lot of fun, but if you twitter about running around shooting multiple threats your friends will tweet back asking you what the hell you are getting up to.

Read more... )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
I am Excited. New machine is a MacBook Pro 13-inch, four gigs of RAM and a 500 Gb hard drive. This means I actually have space for pictures of Charlize Theron the 3d art stuff I keep working on. I should post some of that, shouldn't I? I will at some point.

I seem to get a new computer about every five years. This new acquisition does not seem like as much of a quantum jump as the previous -- yes, it runs a good bit quicker, yes, it's got an amount of hard drive space that would have seemed insane to me a few years ago, yes, it's got some useful bells and whistles, but it's not going from sloooooooooow to "Hi! I'm iTunes! Let me introduce myself to you." We'll see how the rendering procedures go on it.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
A question for y'all: how can one successfully solve the following problem with automation in Photoshop?

The GF has hundreds of sample photos that require resizing and, ideally, labelling (with editable caption box containing some default text and possibly the filename), before being saved to a different directory. We've automated the resizing, but is it possible to add an editable caption box with labels in photoshop? I've found directions for doing it in other programs, but not Photoshop...

ETA: Thanks for all advice!
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
Hey, folks. Sorry for the quiet time; after time at Ma's I had a quick visit to some friends of the family in North Carolina. A great time was had; I didn't want to leave. Some of my adventures are visible on twitter (same username as here). One tip: should you encounter a drainage tunnel you traveled through as a child, be careful going through it as an adult. The height change means that while you went through it with a slight stoop when you were young, you'll be going through in a duckwalk as a grownup, and considering that you do the equivalent of a couple of blocks underground your legs will be wobbly as hell by the end of it.


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014



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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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