Category Archives: Personal

One Little Piece at a Time

I was worried our youngest might learn some new words, but in the end, things turned our much simpler than I thought they would.

I mentioned before how my headphones and video card all died on the same day. Via the magic of the internet, and a part of a day spent not marking, I managed to find a part that seemed to fit my ancient, in computer/dog years, PC and didn’t cost more than a replacement computer. I also found easy to follow instructions for installing it.

This means, of course, that I was expecting problems.

The part arrived and I warned our youngest not to listen to anything I was about to say, especially if I sounded angry. However, I was able to get things up and running surprisingly quickly and without any swearing.

I was also informed that I’d be getting a replacement set of headphones. Eventually.

This means all technical difficulties are more or less solved (except for a couple other parts that need replacing).

Then there’s the problem of the dead fly in the cheese. More on that in a future post.

When the Time Cometh It Pours

If i could summarize today with one word it would be:


Actually, the real word would involve a lot more profanity but that scream/thunderclap will have to do.

First, my headphones died. Well, actually the left earbud died, which wouldn’t bother me except they were less than three months old. This means the game of “replace them, damn you” email tag with the manufacturer and seller has begun.

Oh, and I also have final exams to mark which means I don’t have much time to play tag.

That would be annoying enough, except the graphics card in my desktop PC also decided it was time to die today. This puts me in that annoying state where I have to decide to upgrade parts or buy an entirely new computer. That leads to the decision of whether to pay up for a domestic computer, after a painful hunt to find an English langauge system, or import a computer from the USA.

I’ll decide tomorrow after I do some parts hunting at nearby electronics stores. I suspect there will be more swearing involved at some point.


Another Year Mercifully Gone By

Well, that was another one I’m glad is now days gone by.

I’ve mentioned before, although I can’t find the post to like to it, that the one year of my life I wouldn’t want to repeat was when I was twenty. I was in a bad mood that alternated between cranky and dazed and then all of a sudden one day I was 21 and the spell seemed to break.

Now I have to add age fifty to the years I don’t want to repeat.

Lots of stuff happened this year that caused lots of extra stress. There were deaths and illnesses and lots of extra crap from work.

There were also pressures from extended family, mostly as a result of illness and injury and that has muddled things up on this side of the island as such things stress out She Who Must Be Obeyed.

As for writing, except for this bit of blather, I’ve been in a bad mood that alternates between dazed and lazy. I’ve asked friends to read things, sent them manuscripts, and then gotten no response at all (I’m zero for three now). That has me feeling down and has Kimberly laughing and saying she told me so. Unfinished projects seem to abound and I’m stuck about what to work on first.

There are a lot of decisions that keep getting put off.

That said, I got through October better off than normal. I haven’t been productive, but I’m finally getting ink inventory out of the house which has picked up my mood some.

Now we’ll see what fifty-one is like.


What Wednesday Wrought

Wednesdays, even the good ones, aren’t very good this year.

Although I have a late start, I open with an average class, then move to a decent class with a few bad students who have perfected the “Who? Me? What? Really? Why?” look in response to any disciplinary actions from me.

I then get to spend the next three hours planning and dreading the arrival of my worst class: a last period JHS 2 class that is made up of a large number of the students from worst JHS 1 class from last year.

Today, though, things got complicated.

First, I have a large number of students from this year’s worst JHS 1 who are supposed to turn in homework assigned over a long series of breaks. Chasing this homework down has required a bit of typing, some stair climbing, and a lot of waiting. The students seem to think that I will eventually give up on this when, in fact, I will merely assign more homework. (Note: All I do is make sure it’s been completed; I don’t actually read it.)

A few students turned in work, but a great many others are about to get a special homework: Spell all the Numbers from 1-100.

Second, I hadn’t seen my worst class for three weeks. This class’s attitude is slowly growing hostile but right now is in the “Not this crap again” phase. When the bell rings I almost literally have to drag some of them to their chairs and others I have to wake up. Eventually, they get into the book work and realize that they didn’t actually bother to get their books from their lockers. Time is wasted as they get their books. (Note: I now count “Damn, teach, I totally forgot my book” time toward the minute they are allowed to get settled before they get extra work and/or extra time after class.)

Today, they had the typical slow start, but more or less did the print I gave them. Then, when it was time to open the books, well, you can guess the rest.

I did surprise them by bringing them up one at a time to answer questions which got many of them to actually work in the book.

Next week they’ll have a long writing assignment. That will probably be funny to watch.

Back in Business More and Less

Ready or not, and I’m talking to myself mostly, today marks the end of my five-ish week hiatus from this bit of blather.

For the most part I did miss writing it, although, oddly not at first.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time off for the first couple weeks. The hiatus also bled into other projects that I suddenly felt compelled to postpone. As Julian Barnes writes in his novel Flaubert’s Parrot: “It’s easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren’t writers, and very little harm comes to them.”

October thus became, in an odd way, the opposite of National Novel Writing Month. It became Not Writing Nothing No Way Month (NoWriNoNoWay).

After a couple weeks, though, I found myself assembling topics (there was a typhoon and flood, for example, that might have made for an interesting topic) but I stuck with the hiatus.

Also, I decided that since I’m paying for the site, I might as well keep using it in some form or another.

The plan from here until the next hiatus is to move to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. with Monday featuring pen and stationery related posts and Friday featuring more personal posts.

Wednesday is officially designated as “Sure, Fine, Yeah, Whatever, That Works as Well as Anything Else” posts.

Tuesday and Thursday will be used for other projects, possibly even my long-neglected other site (which may get a complete scrub and reboot rather than an upgrade) or other long neglected projects. I also will be writing posts for other sites, if they’ll have me.

Weekends will be for rest and/or other projects. (i.e. booze, games, and time wasting to name just a few).

Welcome back those of you who’ve come back. I hope it’s worth your time and attention.

Crumbs, Broken Bits, and Breaks

This is not actually day 1313 as there were a couple days of technical difficulties, but it is post 1313 and this is a good enough post to announce a short hiatus to this bit of blather. I had intended to start this hiatus at the end of September, but this number is too cool to not use.

I started this bit of blather to jump start a daily writing habit, partly inspired by a blog done by a friend of mine who was at least smart enough to stop at day 365.

At first there was a burst of energy and the posts were a lot longer and a lot less coherent and a lot more interesting. Then, over time the posts became shorter and more coherent but a lot less interesting, especially to me.

I’ve tried to remain reasonably funny and entertaining, but recently, all this has begun to feel like work. Even worse, the blog has become an actual blog which is something I’d hoped to avoid. I’ve not yet been reduced to talking about, and taking pictures of my meals (I’m opening the potato chips. I’ve take out a particularly large one. It has perfect shape. It was delicious … there is nothing left but crumbs and broken bits). However, crumbs and broken bits is what this has been feeling like lately.

It’s a lot of work to do for free and I’ve decided to take a short break. My goal is to start back up, in some form or another at the beginning of November. In the interim, I’d like to focus the daily writing habit on other projects.

Those who stuck with me this far, thanks for your eyeballs and your patience. Hope to see you again in a a few weeks with more blather and, I hope, more energy.


Preparing For the Next Culling

Spent part of the day cleaning pens and making a new list of things that I want to get rid of.

The goal is not just to try to sell stuff, but also to toss out a couple pens that have been more trouble than they’re worth. (They were cheap, which means they weren’t worth that much to being with.)

I’m still stuck with a bunch of ink, but hopefully I can start whittling that down now that some of it is not longer available except through me.

There are also a couple projects I have to decide what to do with, but more on that in a future post.

There’s a lot of crap that needs cleaning, and now’s a good time to clean it.

Rethinking the Blather

This is post 1311 of this bit of blather and it has me thinking that after three and a half years of blather, it’s time to to start rethinking things.

Although I like the daily writing habit, lately it’s begun to feel like more of a chore than it should be. Out of laziness I’ve ended up writing about work and  what I’ve done for the day which is exactly what I’d been hoping to avoid when I started this bit of blather.

Because of that, I suspect a short hiatus is in the works, although I’m also considering a different kind of writing project.

I’ll keep putting out some blather until the end of this month, and then I’ll make some decisions about how to proceed.

Back Home Again

As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. The storm passed us and we got the warm, muggy, clear weather that follows a storm.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest made it back with no problems, although they did encounter some rain.

The rain before had messed up her reason for going: rice harvest. Now a group of cousins are being dragged out of retirement to help with harvest and we’ll probably have new rice in a couple weeks.

Our oldest also made it back from school on time, although there was some confusion about whether or not she needed lunch:

Me: When are you coming back today?
Her: ——————
Me: Do you need lunch today?
Her: ——————
(door slams)
Me: (shouting out window) Do you need lunch today?
Her: ——————

It turned out she did need lunch, but she arrived home after I ate so I sent her on a mission to buy a lunch at a convenience store.

Then, I tried to teach her how to answer questions.


One Dreary Day in Autumn

Between typhoons, missiles and rain, it’s been a pretty dreary weekend.

The missiles don’t bother me as much as they probably should, mostly because they don’t trigger migraines. (Yeah, I know, death, destruction, and mayhem, but when you have a migraine that’s pretty much what you wish on the world anyway.)

The typhoon, though, triggered a migraine yesterday and offered rainy, gray, dreary weather today.

This, as you might imagine, inspired me to do very little.

I got some writing done, but mostly I researched a bunch of nonsense based on one or two random notions that got stuck in my head. I also finished watching season five of Angel.

Now the big worry is She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest getting back from Niigata safely. They plan to travel back tomorrow and I’d tell them to wait, but I’m not He Who Must Be Obeyed and any suggestion that they should wait might actually trigger the opposite reaction.

Instead I may tell them to rush home. Either way, I’ll probably spend the day worrying.