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December 3rd, 2011


04:08 pm - One Red Cent
You occasionally hear, in relation to some legal outcome, that the person in question “didn’t see one red cent” of the settlement money… usually because the lawyers got it all, but I digress.

Back around 2004 or 2006, give or take a few years, somebody filed a class-action lawsuit against eBay Motors over their rather costly final value fees. EBay lost the case, and back in January of this year, I got a notice in the mail that I might potentially see some amount of refund out of it, as I had sold an owner’s manual on eBay during the relevant time period. I mentally filed the whole business under “Will believe it when I see it,” and got on with my life.

Fast forward to December 2011. A few days ago, I got a letter in the mail. Against all expectation, it was a cheque! It was printed on a fancy red background and everything. It was in the amount of… drum roll, please… $0.01.

Yes, you read that correctly. There was a legal settlement and I actually did see One Red Cent from it.

My Dad reckons I should frame it.
Current Mood: Bemused

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June 24th, 2011


07:36 am - The anticipation is nerve-wracking!
Only one day to go until my first retro’puting group meeting as a host. We now have a proper mailing list for it, so hopefully people will find it easier to discuss now. Vintage computing enthusiasts of all stripes have said they’re coming in from all over the northwest, even as far away as Portland, Oregon! It promises to be a lot of fun.
Current Mood: excitedexcited

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June 4th, 2011


08:37 pm - It’s finally happening!
I am pleased to announce... the Seattle Retro-Computing Society's
inaugural meeting, on Saturday, June 25th, 2011!

Do you do any of the following with old computers near Seattle?

+ Use them
+ Collect them
+ Play games on them
+ Write programs for them
+ Develop new hardware for them
+ Help other people do any of the above

If your answer was "yes," as I expect it will be if you're reading this
near Seattle, then the SRCS is for you! We exist so you can show off
your awesome stuff, bounce ideas off of fellow enthusiasts, and be
inspired by one another's achievements, plans and aspirations.

No idea is too big or too small, and we're not picky about what flavor
of vintage machine you prefer! Come on down and tell us about it!

The meeting is graciously hosted by the Living Computer Museum, a
relatively new organization which is building a computer museum in
Seattle's SODO neighborhood. There will be refreshments, presentations
on various vintage topics of interest, and enough table space & power to
set up anything you may want to show off!

For further details, please see our page at http://srcs.nfshost.com/.
Hope to see you there!
Current Location: near Seattle
Current Mood: jubilantjubilant
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12:01 pm - My tweets
  • Fri, 21:48: Who put that $%#@ bright thing in the sky? Made a lousy job of it, it’s sagging into the ocean. Also, I feel naked without my cloud cover.

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May 22nd, 2011


09:20 pm - Boy, do I feel silly
Over the past 3 weeks or so, I've been vaguely aware that something wasn’t quite right with the medication that lets me think. I had the oddest impression that I was under-medicated.

Today I mentioned this impression to my wife, who promptly determined that, yes, I had in fact been taking three capsules a day when I should have been taking five… Seems that a while ago, we arranged to get me pills of only half the dosage so I could slightly reduce my daily intake, and I had then promptly forgotten this fact when it was time to refill my daily pill containers. Lather, rinse, repeat, for the following three or four weeks… Argh.

Still, better to find out late than never, I suppose.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: Chagrined

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August 14th, 2010


09:42 am - The Tale of the Rat
We keep two cats, Marbles (the Great White Hunter — he’s so stealthy with his clumsiness and his brilliant white fur you can see from a quarter mile away in near total darkness!) and Tonya (named for Tonya Harding, and appropriately grumpy). Up until a couple of weeks ago, they used to spend several hours a day in the greenbelt next to our building — well, Marbles did, Tonya was too fat and arthritic to go further than the front steps.

About six weeks ago, Marbles (having, apparently, observed that we never go out and catch anything for dinner) very considerately brought home a live and marvellously intact rat for my wife and I to kill. We appreciated the thought, but having a live rodent frantically racing around the crannies of our apartment was less wonderful than Marbles probably hoped we would find it. After much drama, the (literally) pint-sized rodent finally fled up the chimney, and as far as we could tell it had left for good.

It hadn’t, we discovered much later. Three large, malodorous concentrations of… um… ratly waste products and a large number of little sachets of poison later, we think we may possibly have persuaded it to leave out the front door, late last night. If not, we are at least succeeding in starving the little smegger; it definitely lookked thinner the last time my wife caught a glimpse of it.

Naturally, our landlord was not at all pleased with this state of affairs, but fortunately they let us stay in the place, providing we keep Marbles on a leash when he goes out. So, every day or two, there I can be found in the greenbelt, waiting patiently for the cat to move a few feet along and sniff some more, at the other end of a leash. He takes great delight in making us wait long periods for him to finish sniffing, in a grassy area right above the nearest smelly dumpster. We think he doesn't even notice; in fact, we’re pretty sure he was a dog in a previous life, as he just adores really disgusting smells and objects.

Remind me again why we love our kitties?
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: Fed up with rats
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November 24th, 2009


09:00 am - I can actually THINK on this stuff!
Last Friday, my doctor switched me to a different medication, and I can actually think clearly on it without a pile of nasty side effects! I am so happy I could just spontaneously burst into song!

…Don’t worry, I’m not going to subject you to my singing. :¬)

The stuff I had been on, depending which one we’re talking about, either let me think vividly but did nothing about the obsessiveness, or let me function but with very little mental activity; and, life being what it is, I was getting some very serious side effects from the ones that otherwise let me function, such that I ruined my promotion prospects at work. Gah. Hopefully I can regain the confidence of my managers on the new stuff; of course, it’s early days yet, but I haven’t noticed any side effects so far, and I’ve been getting a lot less obsessively stuck on bad fanfiction and other such things.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: *fingers crossed*
Current Music: “My Ex’s Lawyer is the Antichrist”

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October 2nd, 2009


10:41 pm - The Über-Carrot
We bought this from the fruit stand down the street today. This is what we politely call a Really F**king Big carrot, though there were even bigger specimens available. Believe it or not, the sign on the stall claimed this is the same variety we get “baby carrots” from.


Current Location: Home
Current Mood: Proud

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September 24th, 2009


02:40 pm - Say it Together, Now… “I (Still) Aten’t Dead”
Gosh, I can't believe I have let this sit idle for so long. Where does the time go?

I'm now (thanks to a generous donation from parents) on what I had been thinking of as “the good meds,” namely olanzapine, with the mixed-blessing results that I’m now thinking a lot more vibrantly, but am less functional. I came up with the following metaphor for it: If a healthy mind has thoughts like a school of tropical fish — colourful, multitudinous, nimble and coordinated — and my mind on the old stuff (perphenazine) was like a few birds flying in formation — graceful, but few in number and not especially vivid, or good at tight manœuvres — then my mind on the olanzapine is like a room full of butterflies — colourful and active, but worse than herding cats to get anything useful done.

I can’t go back solely on the perphenazine because for some reason it now gives me a rather serious side effect (my eyes roll up into my head and I become physically incapable of looking below “straight ahead”). I had a couple of days, when switching between the two, where I was both functional and lucid, so we’re trying to combine the two at reduced doses, with the blessings of my psychiatrist. Oh well, we’ll get it sorted out sooner or later.

We actually found me a job I can do without wigging out with panic attacks by the third week! *bounce* For the past, I dunno, maybe 4-6 months? I have been an “auditor” (the least effectual level of inventory taker) with a major multinational inventory company. We swoop in to a different store every day, and no two do it the same way, so there is always lots of variety to keep me engaged. They have bent over backwards to accommodate my occasional bouts of flakiness, too, and are very nice people to work for. The regular paycheque is a nice perk as well, even if I do have a shameful tendency to blow about a quarter of each one on computer stuff. My wife, as previously indicated in these pages, is a remarkably patient woman. :¬)

Hobby-wise, I’ve been on a tear the last little while with my pipe-dream project to design my own computer from the registers up. So far I’ve settled on a few unique features I want it to have, but narrowing the gap between what I want to do and what I am actually likely to achieve will take some effort. Heh. What the heck, it passes the time (yeah, like I needed another sinkhole for that!).

Hope all my friends here are well,

gsteemso
Current Location: United States, Washington, Kenmore
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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February 4th, 2008


08:06 pm - I'm Moving… into a Sears Appliance?
Well, well, I have been busy!

My permission-to-work card finally showed up — we found it in the mailbox on χmas day, which was a nice present. Once I acquired my SSN a few weeks later, I was finally able to earn money! I’ve only made about $100 so far — much of which, I’m embarrassed to admit, went on old Commodore hardware and software — but I was also able to buy bus tickets and medication, which eases the ol’ household budget substantially.

Speaking of households, the axe finally fell on the one I’m sitting in as I type this — we were ordered to be out by Feb. 29th so’s they could renovate the old dump. After much scrambling we managed to find a place that we can afford on our limited means, and we got possession today. As a result, we will be ABEND (Absent By Enforced Net Deprivation) ’til Friday or thereabouts, when it will be switched on in the new place. Feh. The new place is a bit smaller, but we don't mind because it includes a microwave and a washer-dryer. That’ll save a lot of frustration with laundry quarters etc.

Our new town is called Kenmore… Yup, just like the Sears appliances. Go figure.
Current Location: The old place that isn’t yet the new place
Current Mood: eager
Current Music: My wife’s cooking shows on TV

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