wombat_socho: Washington (Washington)
Except not really; I didn't sleep well last night or for very long, and as a result I just flat ran out of energy and crashed late in the morning after the caffeine from the morning dose of Atomic Joe and Morning Thunder wore off. Wound up sleeping until 1630, so just barely got the rent check in on time. Needless to say, there was no trip to NoVa for the first Inetrmediate Accounting II test. *shrug* It'll give me something to look forward to come Monday.

Haha, wrong again. Thought Agatha H. and the Airship City was a compilation of the webcomics by Phil & Kaja Foglio, but instead it's something I've never seen before: a NOVELIZATION of the first three volumes of the Girl Genius webcomic. Now, maybe it's just because it's been about ten years since I started following the webcomic and my memeory ain't what it used to be, but I'd swear there's stuff in the novelization that wasn't in the comics. Or maybe I just didn't notice it. Or maybe I was stunned at the lack of pictures. Guesses for grabs, man. Anyway, it was very good, and it is Highly Recommended.

Tomorrow I'll be driving out to RS & Kimbie's new place and helping them paint. The exercise will do me good, and will kill off a few obs besides.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Yesterday was pretty much eaten by snakes; couldn't get to sleep Wednesday night, and couldn't get back to sleep after doing Live At Five, so I was barely functional for most of the day
and crashed around 4-5 PM. Slept for about ten hours, got up and did my linkagery, and since then I've been moderately productive. Still not going out to PRSFS; it may be on the Metro and there may be parking, but as I write this I am feeling fatigued and not all that sociable.

I found this while doing a random walk through the internets. Maybe it'll work better for you; changing my perceptions of objective reality is just too much work at the moment, thanks.
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
This was sparked by [livejournal.com profile] morenasangre' s post here, which probably says all the stuff I'm going to say a lot better...
cut for emo blathering )
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I was surprised and pleased to find this (and its sequel, A Clash of Kings) on a book rack in the recreation center part of Patrick Henry Elementary, where I've been working as a special ed para these last couple of weeks.
Would you like to know more? )
Meanwhile, back in real life, the second half of June is going to be interesting since the unemployment insurance has stopped while I'm on this para assignment and the pay from the Alexandria Public Schools is delayed by two weeks. This means I'm not getting any income until the end of the month, at which time I'll get paid for the first nine days of the assignment. Whether I'll actually have my unemployment restarted by then is a good question. We'll see what happens.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
...a couple of things of interest from around the Intertubes.

Jersey Shore Gone Wilde. (GVDL)

Vietnam: Historians At War. Truth will out, no matter how diligently liars try to hide it. (Maggie's Farm)

The results of the Auditing final were posted; got an 89 and a C for the class. Better than a poke in the eye, etc.

Hung out with Mark T. yesterday; he insisted on showing me the first three episodes of the HBO series A Game Of Thrones, based on the George R. R. Martin series of the same name. Man, I haven't seen a show with so many characters I wanted to see die in a fire in ages. Awful, awful people. Dire wolf puppies v. cute though, especially when they grow up to be v. protective critters. All the Byzantine political maneuvering reminds me of the more unpleasant parts of Drake & Stirling's Raj Whitehall novels; Westeros in general gives off a strong vibe of 13th century England with a heavy injection of the Eastern Roman Empire where it needed it the least, but that's the way it is. I may have to read the books, once they're all out.

Took some time this afternoon to head down to the VEC office and see what happened with my unemployment, and it's a good thing I did. Will go back tomorrow to resubmit my job apps for the last two weeks and hopefully will get paid Thursday. We'll see how it goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Probably one of the worst things about being unemployed, as I may have mentioned before, is that you've lost the externally-imposed structure that gives some order to your life, and if you're not very disciplined,* losing that structure can really mess you up. To cite just one example of this, since you don't have to get up early in the morning to be at work by 0800/0900, there's nothing to keep you from staying up late at night doing nothing in particular or hanging out online with e-migos from the Mountain states or the West Coast. And then you sleep in until 1100/1200, and stay up later the next night...and the next thing you know, your sleep cycle is exactly backward from everyone else's. That makes it hard to deal with the rest of the world, which is still running pretty much on a 9-5 schedule.

In my particular case, screwing with the sleep cycle throws me off my proper dietary habits because I get tired and stupid and eat stuff I shouldn't in large quantities. Then the BG goes up and the weight goes up, and Bad Things happen. That's been the story of this weekend, starting on Friday with a trip to Costco while I was in Fatigue State 4, a late-night strategic op with Goonfleet (we all died, op success) and a Saturday spent mostly in a semi-catatonic state playing Farmville In Space. So the weight is up 15 pounds from its low point back at the beginning of April; fortunately nothing else is out of whack. Except for my head, and I'm working on that.

The lack of cash flow means that I probably won't be going up to Balticon again this year, whether or not they're doing a memorial to Richard. Yes, bin Laden may be dead, but gas is still around $4/gallon and I still don't have a job. Thanks for nothing, President CarterObama.

Got an 89 on my last Government & Nonprofit Accounting test, which means I passed the course; results for Auditing will probably show up today or Monday. I'll going in for my last Management test then, will be turning in some essays and a project as well, and that'll be it for the semester. Summer semester starts next week, IIRC, but I only have one class and it's online. We'll see how that goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I haven't been posting much because I haven't really had much to say. I've been working in the tax mines, studying, going to class, and getting other stuff done. Sometimes I get out to do other stuff.

I spent yesterday evening after Saturday's shift in the tax mines hanging out with Mark Taylor and two of the three Hammer brothers playing History of the World, an Axis and Allies-type game with a lot of plastic pieces, cards, and a pretty laffo map of the world. It was okay fun; not my kind of game, really, but fun enough to kill an evening with while pursuing the main objective: ensuring that Ted did not win. ;)

The game, Chinese delivery dinner, and a post-game run to Sheetz for gas, coffee and breakfast-like object kept me up until damn near 3 AM. I guess it's a good thing P couldn't get in touch with [livejournal.com profile] cipherpunk regarding breakfast and shooting, otherwise I'd be more tired than I already am.

Despite the attempts of last night's beef & broccoli to kill me -no, I didn't have the rice, but my post-meal BG still shot up to 116- I woke up this morning with a 72 reading and a loss of 1.4 pounds. I expect to lose the remaining 1.4 pounds by March 1 at the latest, and continue the long march to 300. All this weight loss is doing me good on the clothing front as well; I was quite gratified to see that the 3XL Dickies shirts I bought the other night at Walmart fit me comfortably. Soon, I reckon, I'll be able to buy pants there as well. And that will be a Good Thing.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, it took me long enough, but thanks to this semester's student loan proceeds, I paid off the Toaster. Now to make the calls to Progressive to get the insurance trimmed back to something much less expensive, since I don't need to carry comprehensive insurance on it any more.

Those of you in the DC area may be interested to know that P will be taking a transfer to a new Amazon data center in Eastern Oregon/Washington in a couple of weeks, somewhere near Hanford where the radioactive taters grow and glow. This seems to be something encoded in the Trainor genes, I suspect, this urge to come home to the ancestral stomping grounds and then head off into some distant land unexplored by previous generations. As is traditional, a farewell party will be held; also in keeping with tradition, I'm looking at the Brickskeller or the Denny's in Laurel, which have been the sites of previous memorable departures for faraway lands. I am, of course, open to other suggestions. Party may happen on the 11th, 12th, or 13th, depending on whether P winds up working right up until the day of departure or actually gets a couple days off that weekend, but I'm leaning strongly toward the 12th if at all possible.

UPDATE: Party is on for 6 PM March 1112 at the Brickskeller. Notices posted on e2 and Facebook. Be there and/or be square.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
So today I spent most of the unemployment check and non-sleep time on the Brave Little Toaster; took it to Jiffy Lube and got the oil changed along with the front wipers and air filter, and they threw in the fluid topoffs, window washing, and floor vacuuming as they usually do. Since I'm not a complete bastard, I stopped at the dumpster and emptied out the sizable collection of bottles, cans and miscellaneous trash in the back seat and cargo bay. Holy crap. That took about 45 minutes and filled five kitchen-sized trash bags along with four smaller grocery bags. This ought to do wonders for the gas mileage and make more appropriate room for groceries.

Speaking of which, most of the remainder of my cash was spent on a Costco membership, which may or may not have been wise; I would like to be a little more organized about my food buying/cooking/eating, and buying meat/cheese/dairy product/nuts in bulk at Costco strikes me as one way to do this. We'll see how that works out. I was tempted to go with Sam's Club, but unfortunately those are in the boonies relative to where I live (Woodbridge and Sterling) whereas there are Costco locations much closer. (Pentagon City?!?!) Maybe they'll also have Utz pork rinds, now that Harris Teeter has become erratic about carrying them again.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I haven't really been spending a lot of time here, really, what with working three days in the tax mines, two night classes, and doing a sub assignment tomorrow on Jackson-Lee Day. Which is good because, you know, bad for the head to hang around the apartment all day on the internets, which is inevitably what I do unless I'm eating or sleeping or tending to personal/apartment maintenance. So I haven't been posting much here or on E2. Lots of Cityville posts at FB, though. #^_^#

Managed to get a handle on the eating situation; carbs are back down where they should be, blood sugar numbers ditto, and the weight is heading down as well. Weighed in this morning at 357.4, which means I'm back below my start weight for December. It's progress, and progress is good. Pretty confident that I'll hit my goal of 350 by the end of February, if not before. I have a freezer full of meat and a few veggies, though I might run out of bacon. We'll see how it goes.

Business at the tax mines is pretty slow. We're expecting things to pick up Saturday, which will be the first day we can e-file, and I'll be spending the day in the office playing loan officer, maybe even doing some taxes, or more likely manning the front desk. Things will start picking up toward the end of the month as more people get their W-2s and come in looking for their refunds. Be interesting to see how many of them don't qualify for the new Emerald Loan which replaces last year's Refund Anticipation Loans, and how many of those slope off to Jackson-Hewitt. Me, I'm not too concerned. I have about half a dozen returns I'll be doing for friends and family, and I'll probably pick up enough simple/easy returns from the senior tax pros to keep busy.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Got my offer letter from H&R Block today in the e-mail. It's not too clear on what I'm going to be doing at Foxchase next year, perhaps because I haven't passed the final exam in tax class yet, but it is clear that I'm getting a $0.30/hr raise over last year's hourly wage, and that is Good. No doubt the precise nature and timing of my duties will be determined by el Rey when the office formally opens in January, to say nothing of exactly what I'll be paid as a rookie Tax Associate. Apparently there's some talk about the rookies being on a straight hourly wage until they prove themselves, at which point they go on a lower wage plus commission, but I can wait to find out. Either way, it's all experience, and this is Good as well.

Mailman brought drugs from the VA and the new Sheetz Discover card, which I promptly activated although I probably won't be getting out to the ass-end of Fairfax/Loudoun County or Frederick where the Sheetzes are until...well, who knows. I want to be spending less time on the road and more time trying to wrap up all these classes I'm still way behind in, but we'll see what happens. Today, for example, I needed to get together with [livejournal.com profile] digex to settle some bidness, but P invited me to lunch at Malibu in Falls Church and wound up driving me out to Laurel. One thing led to another, pix were taken, music was sampled (but not mixed) and pretty soon it was time for P to go crash. I wound up taking MARC from Laurel to Union Station and Metro to the Pentagon (change at Gallery Place), from which I rode the express bus back to Foxchase, arriving around 1900. Not much studying got done. :(

So...time to get the nightly linkagery done and toddle off to bed, for tomorrow is the tax class and Intermediate Accounting.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Shortest Intermediate Accounting class ever; Prof. Peterson had stuck an extra day in, so after a brief review of the test (on which I got an 80, BOOYA) he released us for the long Thanksgiving weekend. I am celebrating with spicy pork rinds. :)

Also, maxed the case review in today's tax class, going 16 for 16 on the questions - and you have to properly do ALL of the segments of the return to get all 16 correct. I am beginning to fall in love with the TPS software.

Going to renew my Foxchase lease tomorrow for 15 months, which should take me through March 2012 at $995/month plus utilities. I'll probably wind up moving into a new house/condo during tax season, but we'll see; I should have a full-time gig nailed down by then.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Decided to call the Arlington district office instead of trying to find the place, and got an answer about the amount of class I've missed that took some weight off my mind. I need 72 to satisfy the attendance requirements, and between illness & the VA I'm only down to 76, so I'm okay there. All I have to do now is pass the final, which I'm pretty sure I can handle.

Spent the rest of the day digging out my e-mail inboxes, studying, printing coupons, studying, cleaning out the apartment, studying, and working my way down from the horrible 136 BG I woke up with. I still don't understand where that came from, but by the time dinner rolled around I was back down to double digits and stayed there afterward, so that's good. Have to remember that I can't just stuff myself full of food, even if it's all fats & proteins. Ketosis is great, but it doesn't just make mass vanish.

Downloaded emacs tonight, going to port it to Cowzilla before heading over to [livejournal.com profile] smitty1e's to work on the blog. Between that and a visit to Mark Taylor's to burn meat and hang out, that's pretty much going to take care of Saturday.

Pretty much decided that I'm going to be a no-show for Detour again in 2011. Considering that I am managing to get by only because of substantial help from friends, it would be rude and boorish to sky off to Minnesota and blow about a grand (between airfare and hotels) when I could and should be spending the money on more important things closer to home - like, say, rent and utilities. I know that's going to be a disappointment to my friends in Minnesota, but the situation is what it is. By 2012, things should be different, and I should be making decent $$$ again so I can afford to pull my own weight and spend excess money on going to conventions again. For now, though, conventions are entertainment for the bourgeoisie, and I don't even qualify for the proletariat at the moment. So it goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Made some Filboid Studge last night before I went to bed and had a piece for breakfast with coffee. Of course, since I'd slept for about ten hours to help rid myself of this cold/flu/plague/whatever, it was more like lunch, but either way it was pretty good.

Wasted most of the afternoon playing Organ Trail, an updated version of the old edutainment software classic Oregon Trail except with a station wagon and zombies. I am now confident in my ability to guide a small party of friends from DC to Portland without being eaten by the zombie hordes.

Spent the rest of the afternoon going to CVS and Harris-Teeter for the same stuff I could have gotten at Walmart for probably less money, but as it turned out I got some pretty good deals on drugs & tissues at CVS; saved about 50% off everything once sales discounts and various coupons were added. Wound u pblowing all that money and another $10 besides at H-T, which had exactly two steak knives for sale: an insanely expensive knife, and one whose expense was merely annoying. I added a small jar of Truvia, which is handy for cooking and other low-carb nonsense, a couple of pork butt steaks, and some cheap spices, and managed to escape only $20 lighter.

Tonight, Game 4 of the World Series, more studying, and not so much time-wasting silliness on the computer.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Finally finished the Granite Ridge project and turned it in today; p. confident I got it right. I'll find out for sure next Tuesday.
Quarterly visit with Dr. B went well, except for my blood pressure being up. I guess that's not too surprising, considering the load I'm carrying. She's happy with the BG readings over the past two months, the vast majority of which of which are under 120, and said not to worry too much about the weight. BG control is the main thing, and if the weight comes off, that's bonus.

Visited [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye in the hospital, where he languishes while the docs try to figure out why his BP is as ridiculously low as it is, considering the amount of water he's retaining. He's in quarantine while they work on that question, so I had to don a mask, gloves & gown in order to visit. Turns out the anthology Melody loaned him is the same one I was reading back in February while immured in the VAMC, so we had a lot to talk about.

Left about 1800 since I was getting a tad hungry; dropped off some books and chatted with the Dunhams until their pizza arrived, and then headed home. I thought about stopping and getting food on the way home, since I hadn't had anything since lunch ~1400, but I was really tired and headachy and decided to just go on home. Imagine my surprise when my evening BG was 107! I checked it a couple more times with different meters, but the numbers were all in the same ballpark. I dunno WTF.

After 38 years, I've decided it's time to forgive the Rangers, There's nobody left on that team or its ownership who was with the team in 1972, and laying down a grudge is a good thing, right? I'm hoping they can whip the Giants for their first ever championship. It's been a long time with a lot of bad years and bad decisions since they left, and this year, they seem to have overcome their history and become crushing. Here's hoping.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Slept for about twelve hours last night after getting home from dropping Keith off after the PRSFS picnic. Picnic itself was nice; I ate some stuff I probably shouldn't have, but not too much, and I spent some time sprawled out in a chair just staring up into the trees in the hosts' back yard, which was badly needed chill/decompression time. Also got to talk SF with folks, which is an infrequent offline pleasure these days.

Added GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD to my feed list after a lot of thrashing around in the LJ FAQ. This should provide some additional amusement for my fellow Right-Wing Death Beasts. :)

Today is going to be devoted to continuing recovery from Friday & Saturday's sleep-deprived adventures. I don't think I'll be getting out today (except for Mass), but then I can't think of anything that I really need to get out for. Still a little tired after the frenetic excesses of the weekend, which further reduces my interest in doing anything that doesn't involve sitting or laying down.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
The weather was pretty decent for a couple of weeks, but it's gone back to being hot & humid for a few days. Makes it hard to motivate myself to pack up the laptop and go out to one of the local libraries or to the Alexandria campus to help maintain the illusion that my full-time student gig is like work. Speaking of the student thing, I'm making definite progress at digging myself out of the hole I got into by being a depressed slack-ass in July and August. I am very nearly done with the Principles of Accounting course that I should have finished; I have the computer project, homework, and the final exam to get done and am confident that I can knock them out this weekend. As for Law, I have three chapters to skim over, posts on Blackboard to make, and I think some other trivial scribbling to do before gearing up for another paper. Then I can turn my attention to Statistics, Government & Non-Profit Accounting, and similar wild delights.

While I am whaling away at the studies, I'm not getting much else done around here. Cataloging all my books in LibraryThing has stalled for now, since I am using my Copious Free Time (sic) to keep up with stuff in EVE, where I am more or less the head of EW training. Getting a couple of my Badgers blown up this week due to inattentiveness/stupidity hasn't helped. It's funny, I finally bought a copy of Bioshock a few months back (June?) but haven't played it hardly at all. I've also been avoiding the flash games on Facebook, as those are enormous time sinks. Thanks to consolidating my e-mail with Thunderbird, I have been doing more surveys, and this is helping the cash flow a wee bit.

The H&R Block tax class continues to go well. I'm very very glad I took the Principles of Federal Taxation courses over the summer; the grounding those provided into why the law works the way it does, and the familiarization with parts of the 1040 I hadn't worked with before have been immensely helpful in the Block class. Also, I love the tax prep software. Not as glitzy and shiny as TurboTax, but it gets the job done as long as you are moderately methodical and careful to punch in the right information. Booya.
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
I find out about music in strange ways. Sometimes I find cool new music because other people are playing it on their iPods. For a while I was finding neat stuff on Pandora, but I got tired of my station being confused about whether it was supposed to be playing heavy metal or electronica. Then there's the ongoing project of reconstructing the humongous record collection I had between 1976 and 1983, one MP3 download at a time. (You never know what's going to crawl out of your memory.)

The most recent addition to the collection is Chicane's Behind the Sun, which I discovered completely by accident while reading James Lileks' Bleat. The vocals sounded eerily familiar, and after a little research on the intertubes it turned out the singer was Justine Suissa, who also did the vocals for Oceanlab's Sirens Of The Sea Remixed, which contains the devastating "Satellite" - a track I first heard on one of Aaron Static's Power Hours. So you might say I was compelled to buy the CD by a unique combination of Goonfleet and Minnesota humor, though it was Suissa's voice that put the hook in.

But enough blubbering about what may be the finest female vocalist since Megumi Hayashibara, for what my opinion is worth. Behind the Sun is a wonderful combination of danceable electronica, which you'll definitely like if that's the kind of music you like. Which I do.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, I was supposed to do a bunch of stuff yesterday but got distracted by various things, and spent the evening entering ISBN numbers into LibraryThing, which was recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] danae, among others, back in Minnesota. It may pay off for me, since I am finding a number of duplicate books and stuff I acquired from God knows where that I just don't want around any more. So far I've dealt with the contents of one and a half of my Ikea 6' bookshelves, which is 264 books, and I'm hoping to get over 300 before I hit the rack tonight after the cost accounting class.
Along with the cataloging, I'm also trying to sort the books out so that I at least have all the books by David Drake, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, etc. together in the same place.

The H&R Block classes are easy for now, but I'm going to have to buckle down and get busy with those as well or I'm going to be in trouble real quick, much like my online classes. I have time blocked out for all these things and need to start sticking to the schedule.

After idling between 366 and 368 pounds for about a week, my metabolism got back into gear and dumped four pounds in the last couple of days. Doing my best to keep the carbs down, the fat & protein up.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Big news of the day is that the Toaster passed its emission control test today, which means that not only could I renew the tags, but I don't need to replace the exhaust system. W00t! Almost as important, Financial Aid at NVCC finally approved my file for processing, which means I ought to get my tuition bills paid sometime in September and get the rest of the money in October, if this summer was any guide. Maybe it'll be faster because this is fall semester and they have all hands on deck. We'll see how that goes.

That took up enough of the day after I did lunch with P at Malibu (nothing better for the low-carb diet than massive quantities of MEAT ON SWORDS) that I barely had time to get pork rinds before accounting class; Small Business Accounting so far is pretty much the same as Computerized Accounting from last semester except that this instructor doesn't go step by freaking step through the PowerPoint slides. In fact, he doesn't use PowerPoint, and let us out at 1800 after starting at 1630. I like this guy. :)

Finally, one of the local hospitals sent me a mailer which is mostly about women's health issues and contains an invitation to a "Ladies for Life" event which will include the opportunity to have a breast cancer assessment/screening and schedule a mammogram. Yeeeaaaah. I think I can find something better to do the weekend before my birthday, thanks. :cripes: In other, less hilarious medical news, my blood sugar continues in the good range because I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping carbs out of my piehole. Update on the fat, or lack thereof, on Wednesday when it'll be September.

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wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
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