Sylv

Moving Shop

Well, I'm in the process, finally, of moving off of LJ and onto elsewhere. I decided to just make a Wordpress Blog on Pagefillers and put it there. Tonight, I did the bulk of the work by using LJ to Wordpress to backup my LJ and then convert the XML file into one that Wordpress could use. (Sadly, the on board LJ importer tool didn't work for me — kept saying that my LJ password was wrong. Turns out it's an issue with the LJ API and not really anything the Wordpress folks can fix.)

Now I've got the finicky bits of adding images, LJ icons, moods & music to my posts & comments. That'll probably take me awhile since I have to hit each entry. But I'll get there in the end, I suspect. 

My blog will eventually have newer posts added, and I intend to eventually put some of my old journal entries in as well, just for grins. But I suspect the new posts won't be all that often since I prefer to use Twitter & Instagram for socializing online. 

Haven't decided if I'll keep the old journal here once it's all backed up on Pagefillers — maybe just the gay-friendly posts? Heh.

Age

Happy New Year!

Considering that my last LJ post was in the summer, I think I'm going to have to admit that how I "journal" my life has changed. It used to be paper. Then it was LiveJournal. Now I do "microjournaling" via Twitter and Instagram (username pagefillers). And even there I'm not as thorough as I once was. But they're quick, and that often fits my lifestyle more.

I know a number of "old time" LJers who are jumping ship due to the Russians or somesuch. Haven't decided if I will or not. But I do want to get a good backup of this journal and soon - my last backup was a few years back. And then maybe I'll decide what to do.

My own website (pagefillers.com) is still very barebones since it was hacked at some point. Perhaps I'll get my old LJ stuff onto there. At least my trip stories would be good there. Perhaps 2017 will be my year to get that sorted out. :-)

I'm currently sitting in my library with Linus on my lap and Lucy sitting on the back of the comfy chair. We've got soft Christmas music playing in the background and, when I'm not writing this, I'm working on my eBooks' meta data (like you do). I had a wonderful birthday today (46 years - sheesh!) Although Amy was back in MSP, the folks and I had a nice time. I cooked pork & kraut & mashed taters and then they came around for lunch. They brought cake & presents!

Since I'm 6, er 46, the gifts were toys & games. ;-) Amy, OTOH, got me an IKEA gift card - to help me get a display case to, um, hold my LEGO... OK, so I *am* 6!

Amy was here for Christmas - she arrived Christmas Eve and left on the 30th. We had a great time and, as per usual, we won at Christmas. And according to WW, I only gained 4.8lbs. Heh.

In 2016, I hit my lowest weight (in December) at WW which is over 40lb lost since I started the program, and probably closer to 50lb lost since I started trying. Yeah, it's taking years, but I'm working on lifestyle changes, not looking for quick fixes. I'm wondering if, in 2017, I finally get under 180lb. We'll see!

I managed to reach my book-reading goal for 2016 (read 75 books - I got 76 read - whee!) and I'm going to see if I can read 80 in 2017. You can keep tabs on me through goodreads.

OK, enough rambling from me. Linus has changed his position so that now when I type, I'm having to move him with me. He's too zonked to care, but I think I should let him rest without being wiggled around.

I hope that 2017 is a good year for you all. I know there's a lot of uncertainty right now and it has the potential to be truly horrible, but I hope that this isn't the case. Love to you all!
Summer

Summer!

I know, I know, summer's more than halfway over and I've not posted a thing since February 29. Trina from the future's gonna be ticked off at Trina from the past for neglecting her LJ. Well, Trina from the future, deal with it! ;-)

Further to my last post, I did wind up getting the Samsung Galaxy S7 phone (gold colored). I had intended to buy it from AT&T despite the fact that they were selling it for more than all of the other phone companies. But they wouldn't sell it to someone without a contract. I use a Pay-As-You-Go card and stuff $100 on it once a year. I don't have any contracts. So I wound up buying it from Amazon. Got an international version (better innards, apparently) in the process. Love it. :-)

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So August will start on Monday, whether we're ready for it or not. I get one more trip before school starts whereupon I shall invade my sister for a long weekend. Here's hoping there's no emergency surgeries or downed servers or big ass storms. I'd like to get there & back again with little fuss. I intend to start working on getting my lessons ready starting this Monday (since I have decided to take July completely off, heh.) With our current bouts out hellishly hot days, I have all this time during the day when I don't want to be outside (I do my walks in the morning), so working on lesson plans etc will be a good use of my time.

My final thing for this post will be to post the video that I made earlier today. I wanted to see how well my new PC can handle video editing. (Even *that* wasn't straightforward! The video playback was so choppy. It took some research, but I found out that it was an AUDIO problem... Once I had the right settings in Premiere Pro, it worked a charm.) The video clips are from my various walks at the Metro Parks plus from Memorial Day weekend (with Elsa & Judi at the Lake) and some Lucy & Linus, of course.

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Pepe

Leap Day!

I couldn't pass up the chance to post on February 29. So here I am typing on my newish Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet. (I bought it earlier in the month 'cuz my old Nexus was running out of space. Love the new one!)

Things are going well for me ATM. (Asynchronous transfer mode? Automated teller machine? At the moment? Prolly that last one...) I've been below 200lb most of 2016 (compared to 1 day in 2015 & none days in the previous X years). The new way WeightWatchers determines their points is probably much of the reason for my weight loss.

I am the co-director of the high school play this year. A former student of mine is the other co. She's been in the play more recently than I, so I defer to her most of the time. It's fun, but I'm not used to working this late any more! Heh heh.

Got my taxes done & I did well - only getting a little back. (Don't wanna owe, but don't want them holding my money interest free either! I could get a whole penny in interest!) Decided the refund will help with my next big tech purchase - a new phone. Eying the Samsung Galaxy S7. (The S III was a great phone. Actually is still doing well 4 years on. But the shiny compels me to upgrade!)

The kitties be good. Linus is at the foot of the bed wondering why I'm not under the covers & I think he has a point! So good night all & I hope March is god to you!
Books - Edward Gorey

2015 - a BS Reading Year!

And by BS I don't mean bulls*** but instead Bernice Summerfield.

So the past week or so I've been updating my Goodreads book database with the dates of books I'd read since June of 2001. Why? Um, because I can, I guess. I've been keeping a paper record (which I then transpose to a spreadsheet) of the date I finished reading books since June of 2001. The original idea was to NOT buy any new books till I'd read 10 books I already owned. I'm pretty sure I was in a deficit before June was over. Heh.

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Both cats are now with me (Lucy's been here the whole time I've been typing this, but Linus has now decided he should be sleeping on my arms while I type this). So I suppose I should finish up and get a bit of reading done. I suspect my goal of 75 books read in 2016 will be another success - I certainly have enough new books to get me started!
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Age

Buh Bye, 2015!

Welp, here it is, 2016 already! I'm now 45 years old (doesn't feel any different from 44. Or 43. Or any of those other post-40 years.) Was thinking of posting an end of 2015 entry, then saw gordon_r_d's meme on 2015. So I've decided to use it as my guide. Here goes!

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Xmas

Merry Christmas 2015!

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas this year (or fabulous Friday, or both!) It's been great for me this year (as it is every year - whee!) Amy arrived safely at the airport today. Her luggage, not so much. Eep!

Still, the Shorts are not put out by such things. We made lunch (hamloaf, roasted taters, sauteed Brussel sprouts, and beer bread), which we then ate and enjoyed immensely. Then we rested up, then had dessert (cookies, pumpkin roll, cheesecake cupcakes) and coffee (for those who drink coffee). Mom and I took a short walk. Then we decided to unwrap presents till we got down to where Amy's gifts to us were needed. (They are in her luggage, which is supposedly on its way here.)

Once again, we won at Christmas. We've gotten really good at it. :-) Adult coloring books were a popular item. Everyone got some sort of books or other. I got mom a "new" phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) to work with and dad a drone+camera to play with. I got Amy the Star Wars trilogy & some sketch books/pencils/pencil case/etc. They gave me all sorts of good stuff (games to play, books to read, a new toaster) and I've still not seen the "encyclopedia set" that Amy has apparently gotten for me. :-) (She claims her bag weighs as if it contains the Encyclopedia Britannica, but with the bag not here yet, we can only assume she's telling the truth.)

The weather is... hella warm for this time of year. We have been fortunate NOT to be inundated with tornadoes like some areas of the country. (Those poor folks!) Though two days ago I was sitting in my basement waiting for the all clear on a tornado warning. Warmest December on record apparently. Bleh.

I've been doing all sorts of things since I last posted in June. The trip to Britain, as you probably saw, was a blast. School has been good. I might actually be caught up on grading for once (thanks to taking much of this last Monday getting caught up). We have Amy till next Friday (whee!) and all of the family gatherings are already over or aren't scheduled till January. So it's just the 4 of us to have a great week together and I'm looking forward to it.

So Happy Holidays to everyone out there! If I don't post again till 2016, HAPPY NEW YEAR! (And even if I do post before then, I still hope you have a happy new year. Heh.)

Oh! Update - Amy just got a call from the luggage deliverer - she should be here in half an hour. Christmas unwrapping can continue! (Once Amy wraps the gifts up, of course).
Summer

Great Britain Expedition, 2015, part eleven

I am typing this in the coach while we head from Alnwick (pronounced ann-ick) toward York with a stop at Hadrian's Wall.

So, yesterday we got an extra half-hour of sleep again. And then we had Alan, a local expert, guide us around Edinburgh. First in the coach, and then around the castle. It was a chilly day, but lots of sun throughout the day. Once he was done with the tour we had the rest of the day to ourselves.

Heh heh, since I last wrote, I've had lunch in Heddon on the Wall, stood on Hadrian's Wall, and gotten wet while taking photos of the Angel of the North. Anyhoo, back to yesterday.

So, mom, Amy, and I started out by going to the Scotch Whisky Experience. Amy bought us tickets and we managed to get on the next tour. We took a "barrel ride" to see how scotch is made. Then our guide told us how to tell scotches apart by region. Then we each got a dram to try. Mom picked a Lowlands scotch, Amy a peaty Islay, and I got a Speyside scotch. I liked mine best and Amy's was so smokey it tended to overwhelm all other tastes. We ended the tour by viewing the largest scotch collection in the world. It was damned impressive.

Next we wandered down the Royal Mile, popping into shops and looking for lunch. I spotted a kebab, fish, and chips shop (the Clam Shell) and convinced the girls to get donner kebabs. We also got 2 orders of chips with salt & vinegar. The chips orders were HUGE! And the kebabs were as well. And very tasty, too. I was pleased since I'd been talking them up since before our trip. (To me, pork pies and kebabs are Britain.)

After a few more shops, we left the Royal Mile and wound up at the park. Although the wind was brisk, the sun was out and we spent some time just sitting & enjoying the first day of summer.

Next we popped into Jenner's department store since it is the Harrod's of Edinburgh. It's bigger than expected from the outside. But we returned to Old Town to continue our "Edinburgh Death March" that Amy was in charge of. In fact, she had forgotten she was supposed to be guiding our Death March and to make up for it, she added some stair climbing to the mix.

As it neared the time for meeting up with the coach, we popped into the woolen mill by the castle and got to see the giant looms they use. We got there after the workers were gone, but the shops were still open. Amy found a nice tweed bag that she got for 10% off due to a small stain on it.

We ended our time in Old Town at the Hub. I had a hot chocolate while the girls had coffee. The coach arrived and we were returned to the hotel.

After a short rest, the three of us put on our bathing suits and went to the spa in the hotel. First we sat in the hot tub & chatted with a local who is a member of the club in the hotel. She reminded me a little of Patricia Hayes in appearance. Next was time spent in the sauna, followed by a rest surrounded by small eucalyptus trees. Very relaxing!

For supper that night, we went to the hotel bar. I ordered a scotch-based drink which the waitress rightly topped off with lots of ice. We split baked Camembert & toast as starter. I then had a sandwich of mature cheddar with apple chutney. And I refrained from ordering dessert. I figured tonight's fairwell dinner will finish with a dessert.

Our evening finished with me working on homework after the girls got to bed. There's more to do, but it's not due till Wednesday.
Spring!

Great Britain Expedition, 2015, part ten

I'm once again writing this while the coach is on the road. We've just left St Andrews where Alf, our substitute driver (Carl has 2 days off) drove us onto the golf course to get a closer look.

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We're back in the hotel thinking that maybe we shouldn't ever eat again. But we know that tomorrow we shall be hungry and there are many things to try in Edinburgh. :-)
Summer

Great Britain Expedition, 2015, part nine

So that I can have more time to do course work this evening, I've decided to start typing up today's activities. We're still on the coach returning from Skye, but now we're closer to the resort than before.

This morning I decided to have porridge for breakfast. I added cream & honey to it and it was delightful. I supplemented it with bacon, fruit, tea, and toast with marmalade.

We left at 8am as usual, though it was lovely not needing our bags out for once. The theme for today was scenery (whereas yesterday was probably history). We stopped for pictures along the way, but our priority was the Isle of Skye.

One stop was at Loch Ness. I bought a gift and a mini Nessie thing while mom got me a hot chocolate & coffees for her & Amy. We took photos and were back on the coach in time.

We took the bridge across to the Isle of Skye and continued on to the Clan Donald center for more scenery and lunch. The lunch line was big at the start so we took a walk in the gardens. For all three of us, this was the highlight of the day. Beautiful, peaceful, moss, birdsong, wild onion scent - bliss. Our only regret is not having more time to enjoy it. When we returned for lunch, I ordered a mature cheddar toasty which I had with crisps, elderflower soda, and a brownie. Yummy!

Our group stayed 10 minutes more than the other two tour groups there (whom we'd been racing since the Nessie stop) and still got to the ferry on time. Well played, James! Well played.

Since then we've been on the road with a quick stop to view the Bonnie Prince Charlie memorial and the viaduct from the Harry Potter movies. Amy and I took the path up to the viewing area for photos.

The nicest thing about today is that the rain only really happens when we're in the coach. Amy tempted fate today at breakfast by mentioning our great weather for this trip, but figured we were more than half way through, so it didn't matter if the weather changes for the worst.

Tonight we're having supper at the resort again. I've ordered the goat cheese starter, the chicken entrée, and the mango mousse for dessert. Should be tasty!

[Time passes and I'm now in bed for the night.] Once we got to the hotel, mom and I did another Tescos run. She needed a shower poof (hers went asplody the other morning) and I wanted more sugar. So I bought 2 packages of jelly babies, another box of Tunnick's tea cakes, and a package of dark chocolate digestive biscuits. I will likely go into sugar overload if customs lets me take this all out! :-)

As I suspected, dinner was great. Before we went into the dining area, mom bought us drinks with money that dad had given her. I once again had a gin & tonic. The meal was superb, as usual. And the conversation was fun - we've managed to eat with different people each day which makes for interesting conversations. After dinner, we reitred to our room whereupon we packed for the next day and Amy posted more Facebook pictures. And now I'm going to try and get a lesson done before I sleep.