Dept. of JFC

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 06:34 pm
kaffyr: (Clara didn't ask for this)
Frozen Pipe Fun

Woke up this morning and went into the kitchen to put some coffee on, and discovered that the hot water pipe leading to the kitchen sink faucet wasn't working and was either simply frozen, or frozen and burst. This took place despite me having turned the faucet on to dribble the night before, in hopes of avoiding just such a scenario. 

We couldn't identify the frozen pipe; it wasn't any of the ones easily accessible under the sink, which means it's probably in the wall, which is hard by the outdoors (and that's probably why it froze.) We've had an electric heater on almost non-stop under the sink, to no avail, and we can't use a hair dryer because we can't access the affected pipe. The other faucets in the house aren't affected, so it has to be fairly localized, but still ... no luck in finding it.

We're hoping that the heater, which is now pointed directly at the back wall, keeps the pipe from bursting, even if it doesn't thaw the ice inside. But it looks increasingly likely that we'll have to call a plumber. Since tomorrow is going to be almost as cold as today, when our area got no warmer than -11F, I'm guessing that plumbers really can't do their best work tomorrow. Plus, since there are probably people all over the city with similar situations, once plumbers do come out, there will be a hell of a long wait time. My guess is that we won't be able to get a plumber out until at least late Friday. 

And by that time, the pipe may well burst, if it hasn't already. Bob did some checking, and the estimates for fixing something like that hover around $15,000, he said. 

Which we don't actually have easily at hand.

Augh.

Dept. of Cold

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 09:14 pm
kaffyr: (Bridge in winter ukiyo-e)
Sweet Lord, It's Cold

Right now, Weather Underground's nearest amateur weather-watcher puts our temperature at -5F, but with no wind. The NOAA forecast out at O'Hare, says it's -6F out there, with -26F windchill. Being by the lake obviously has some positives for us. Still, I suspect the wind will pick up, and our windchill will drop. 

I love living in Chicago, but the cold, while I acknowledge it as an important formative pillar of the overall personality of my city and its environs, is sub-optimal. Certainly sub tonight. 

Our furnace has been running more or less steadily since about 3 p.m. I donated to an on-the-ground group that provides blankets and food for at least one of the tent cities Chicago's homeless have created. I realized I have some hats and scarves that we no longer use, so I'm going to call around tomorrow and see if there's a place we can drop them off. 

If the cold hasn't deflated our little orange car's tires, which is a real possibility.

And of course, speaking of orange, the Orange Splotch is making massively unfunny jokes about how we could certainly use some of that there global warming now, hyuk-hyuk, and his base undoubtedly is lapping it up. 

Learn the difference between weather and climate, you massive piece of unusable nightsoil. 
kaffyr: A happy smiling superintelligent Corgi (Ein is happy)
Updates Are Us

I can't believe how long it's been since I actually posted something, or responded to other folks. Here's my "n things makes a list" post. 

1. Vincent is settling in, and Opie, while continuing to growl, seems to be getting used to him. I was saddened when I saw Vincent awaken to the fact that "this other little ginger guy actually doesn't like me! Why?" but I'm hoping that they'll eventually get comfortable with each other. We got a new cat litter pan, or more accurately, a "litter loo" that is essentially a mini-shed for holding the real litter pan. It's taller than our old Booda-box, which allows Vincent to get in, turn around, etc., without getting his fur into the litter or his own leavings (and that is still a big problem; I can hardly wait for his Feb. 2 grooming date, during which he'll have the fur around his butt trimmed. Cleaning a very big cat's behind is an exercise for two people, and it's tough to do well even with two.) The litter loo has the added benefit of being a small table, providing another horizontal surface in a kitchen that needs them. 

2. Last Saturday, I attended a Pioneer Press reunion-cum-goodbye-for-the-buyouts-and-earlier-laid-offs party. It was one of the most surprisingly positive, and positively intense, gatherings I've recently been to. Somewhere between 30 and 50 people attended, nearly all of them Pioneer alumni of various types. I saw people I hadn't seen in decades; I saw three of my old editors, including one who I'd served under in the late 1980s; she told me that seeing me and my colleagues was the only reason she'd braved the weather that night (it was pretty bad.) I didn't even mind seeing my last editor; he might have been what tipped me over into taking the buyout, but I realized that I could interact with him pretty darned pleasantly when we weren't forced to interact on a professional basis. There were loads of hugs, freely and enthusiastically given and received. One of my buyout colleagues said, .as we headed home, that it was very much like a high school reunion; you realize that even the people you hated or feared as a high school student have turned into people you are happy to see. 

3. A couple of nights ago, I was feeling kind of down - can't even remember why - and my beloved husband put on the first episode of "The War Games," the final adventure for the Second Doctor. We binged the entire adventure over two nights, and it was rollicking good fun. The pacing was remarkably decent, and I was surprised at how much action there was, since I think the received wisdom is that it was the Third Doctor who was action-oriented, and not the Second. The acting varied from "a bit better than decent" to "OMG this is horrible, and it's viewable only as scenery-chewing OTT fun!" The fellow playing the War Chief was marginally better than the guy playing the security chief, and the War Lord was actually pretty good. It was my first encounter with Jamie and Zoe; both actors did well, especially Frazier Hines. Of course, it doesn't do to inspect the plot too closely, lest one break out into snickers and, eventually, guffaws. But I'm so glad I saw it. 

4. We in Chicago are bracing for the coldest week thus far this 2018-2019 winter season. By Wednesday, the high temp. for the day will be -10F, and the wind will put daytime wind-chills close to -25. The night time temps and windchills for Tuesday and Wednesday are even more dire. I therefore went out today and got all the necessary things we'll need; Japanese fish cake, bean sprouts, seitan, fried tofu, Japanese and Korean baked goods, mochi, curry and mapo tofu mix ... WHAT??!?

5. Also? Roger Stone was arrested and indicted. The world got a little brighter ....
kaffyr: Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki scrubs the floor in animation (Kiki scrubs)
 A Good Monday, and a Busy Tuesday

Yesterday I kept meaning to sit down and post, because I had exciting news to tell you (well, for various pedestrian powers of exciting.) Remember my tale of pedal woe regarding winter boots, and the supposed loss of the one that didn't need to be fixed, just after I got the other boot fixed? Well, I found the other boot, hiding in a dusty corner of our rear stairwell. You have no idea the amount of rejoicing this engendered. Or perhaps you do, if you know my ability to be chuffed with the slightest positive happening. 

snow and more snow )

kitchen stuff )

In more fannish news, we watched more Korra last night.


We're in the middle of the third season; both BB and I are wondering at the lack of closure from the end of Season 2 ... strike that. Argh: just discovered that we didn't watch the last episode of Season 2 because we somehow didn't acquire it. That explains a lot. How embarrassing. 

We're also well into Durarara, and I can say with certitude that I have never disliked a character more, never solemnly yet feverishly wish for a character's downfall, more than I do Izaya. (I do occasionally remain amazed at my ability to become emotionally connected to 2D characters, but only occasionally. It's me, and that's that.)

And now it's back to the kitchen, although I'm going to move my laptop to the dining room so that I can post throughout the day. And I hope to trawl through my friends' list to find out what y'all have been doing. 
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Snowmageddon? Or Snowpocalypse? Hmmm ....

Not compared to the mugging Mother Nature performed on the East Coast just a few days ago, but Chicago and the rest of Illinois are making a valiant come-from-behind effort. We've got 13" 16" on the ground, with more than five hours to go before the blizzard warning is lifted, and we just hit white-out conditions in sections of Cook County. Chicago's apparently the center of this weather system. And also the epicenter. Yay, us!

I'm enjoying the second true day of vacation (my first days of vacation, Friday and Saturday morning, were spent trying to get one last story into my boss on the new NewsGate editorial platform we're using. I shouldn't do that, but I have a new editor - again - and I felt bad not getting as much in to him as possible for while I was gone. So, yeah, real vacation didn't start until Saturday afternoon, although I did escape from the house on Friday.)

Ruminations on cooking )

2D fun )

Dept. of Weather

Friday, 1 August 2014 01:48 pm
kaffyr: (Lead laughing)
 Hail, and How!

Yup. August 1 and out of relatively calm day, the clouds gathered, the skies opened, (like, "can't see half way up the street" opened,) the wind kicked up, and we got hail. 

Hail.

It's going to be interesting going out tonight to see "Guardians of the Galaxy," methinks. 

ETA: And thunder. Forgot the thunder. And it's all still going on. 
kaffyr: (Steel blanket)
Mad Social Butterflies, That's Us.
(Or why little cars and big snowdrifts don't go well together)

Under the cut, under the cut, under the cut ... )

Dept. of Slow Success

Thursday, 2 January 2014 11:28 pm
kaffyr: Close-up of manual typewriter (Typewriter)
Five, Count'em, Five!

I'm up to a massive five fics written for [community profile] fandom_stocking . Yay! I really mean that, too. Especially given today, which was cold, snowy, and full of professional frustration.

(Hey, you try going out and freezing your damned fingers getting pictures and videos in 15 degree weather - did you know how difficult it is to do either with gloves on? I do, and my Reynaud's Syndrome reminded me, painfully - putting said videos together, getting them uploaded as fast as ever you can. And have no one bother to put them online. I'm not blaming my immediate boss, because he's awesome, but there are a lot of other people I can blame, and oh, my, I am.)

So, I'm tired, still recovering from the cold and driving a small car on largely unploughed streets, and wondering exactly when I'll be able to take our gently dying Christmas tree out to its final resting place in the nearest municipal mulch pile.

But I got two more fics done, and another one half started, and an idea for another in the back of my head. For someone who specializes in near glacial pace, this is ... not sucky.



kaffyr: Weeping angel peers through "clock" (Time's no Angel)
What Once Was Wrong, the Inevitable Will Crown Right

When I was a little girl, I used to read comic strips in my daily newspaper. One of them was a would-be Buck Rogers strip called, if I remember correctly, Brick Bradford (which information I had to retrieve from Wikipedia. It certainly ran a long time.)

One of the adventures in that otherwise forgettable strip has stayed with me ever since. The hero sets down on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, with beings he at first thinks are unintelligent beasts. He and his colleagues eventually come to realize that this is a planet that was once like Earth, but which has become so polluted that it now has a completely different ecosystem, to which all those of the planets beings who survived have adapted. To them, Brick's obligatory scientist colleague narrates, Earth's atmosphere would be deadly.

The story fascinated me for two reasons: a) the idea that something we would consider absolutely wrong - an environment, say - would be absolutely natural to other beings, indeed necessary and non-toxic. I considered it compelling both environmentally (although I didn't think of it in those terms back in 1966 or 1967, which may have been when I read it) and philosophically; b) the idea that our world could end, that we would end, but that it might be OK, because something equally important or intelligent or what-have-you, might grow to take our place in a vastly changed world.

All of which leads me to this: Thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff  for alerting me to this article. For all that I've just said, I'd much rather we managed, somehow against all logic, to stick around. I guess I'm not quite mature or enlightened enough to take the approach of the writer. And he's right, not me.



kaffyr: Keep Calm & dive behind the sofa (Dive behind the sofa)
Wind

We spent the first half of Sunday checking the National Weather and Weather Underground sites, weirded out by having a tornado watch for downtown Chicago. That just doesn't happen.

And then all of a sudden, it was a tornado warning and it got very, very dark outside, and they halted the Bears game and evacuated people from Soldier Field, and I watched on Twitter as the tornado tore into Pekin, Illinois, then flattened next-door Washington, Illinois, and realized that I was frightened about a tornado for the first time after decades of living at the back door of Tornado Alley, and sent out a mass email to my condo association members, reminding them that the storage basement was a safe place and to stay away from windows, and thought about how fast I could get the cats into the carriers we had close by, and realized there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that I could do to outrun wind if chance chose to have it bear down on me ....

In the end, we were extremely safe, although some torrential rain and hail fell for a short time, and the wind shoved it sideways into one of our basements, just enough to ruin some boxes of Andy's. But people are dead in downstate Illinois, and the tornadoes bounced across the Midwest and the south, and even New York City - New York City, for chrissake - had a tornado watch.

How are the rest of my friends in the Midwest?

Good thing that global warming is just a liberal hoax, she said bitterly, days after donating to help the Philippines,and considering weather-related disasters both acute and chronic across the globe. ljgeoff, you're right, you know. I just don't have the courage to plan the way you do.

I'm going to send a few dollars the Red Cross's way to help wherever they need it. I hope you all can do the same.

Dept. of Weather

Thursday, 18 July 2013 04:06 pm
kaffyr: (Mel's on Fire)
 Hot. Hot, hot, hot.

And yet, my mood is not irritable. Very much.

Astounding.

As they say here in Chicago, how's by you?

kaffyr: Natasha Romanov, badass (Natasha turns)
 Snow Time Like the Present

... to avoid actually doing some work, by posting about things that I like to do, or watch, or think about. Given that unpleasant things have just happened at work, and that potentially unpleasant things might be happened chez condo association, which I need to tackle and really don't want to, this is the only logical reaction, yes?

In which I'm kind of bendy.
That's under here. )

Second ... You Guise!!! Steam Powered Giraffe!!!

Steam powered lolwhut? ) AAAAAand I can't get the coding right to make this look good. Or get it to crosspost to LJ  right.  Sorry, folks. Not my day.

Also, the "snow" bit in the headline is because Chicago's getting dumped on, and I'm watching it pile up outside my office window. It's going to be fun heading to negotiations tomorrow morning. Still, there's something cofortable about being inside and watching the snow fall. Until, of course, one starts feeling guilty, and starts wondering about the people who can't get out of the cold. Gah.

Dept. of Heat

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:48 pm
kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
Aaugh. Summer.

Summer, and heat, and not noticing the heat all that much, even in your un-airconditioned car during the long, long drive home ... until you get back into the cool.

And then you realize that the effort of not noticing the heat, not being uncomfortable in the heat, not being too uncomfortable in the heat, has drained you as surely as you thought the heat might.

Not noticing discomfort is as tiring as giving in to the discomfort. It's just not as uncomfortable.

Tomorrow I get to ride the El from the north side of Chicago to Oak Park for an evening meeting. It is almost 11 p.m. and it's still more than 83F (28C) degrees out. Tomorrow it's forecast to hit 102F (39C). There's an air quality alert as well. And yet, I have to go to the meeting.

It is not yet the end of June.

I think I'm going to go and take a shower and collapse in bed.

kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Kat enraged)
Things I learned Today


  1.  I hate - hate - the Chicago Way of Parking. Furniture-Fu sucks canine nether parts. In the netherworld. The street is public property, you selfish imbeciles! I took two days to dig my car out, and when I left the parking spot, I left it for any of my fellow citizens who could navigate into it. I did not place packing crates, ironing boards, lawn furniture or dining room chairs in the spot, awaiting my return. Because it's public goddamn property. And did I mention I think little of your parentage or your ability with the spoken word? Or upright posture? Asshats.
  2. My bad driving habits - yelling obscenities loud enough inside a car almost hard enough to break blood vessels in my eyeballs (windows rolled up, I'm not that mad) at other drivers - while undoubtedly good for my mental health, is not good for my passengers. Especially when they are my far-more-chi-centered Best Beloved.
  3. My bad driving habits - so bad that my sainted mother, who, in her prime would take corners like Mario Andretti, would look askance at me - bleed into my parking habits.
  4. It's a good thing my Best Beloved eventually dumped me off at the back door, holding onto his frayed temper with admirable constraint, and telling me he'd find a parking spot.

Thank you, and good night.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Kat enraged)
Things I learned Today


  1.  I hate - hate - the Chicago Way of Parking. Furniture-Fu sucks canine nether parts. In the netherworld. The street is public property, you selfish imbeciles! I took two days to dig my car out, and when I left the parking spot, I left it for any of my fellow citizens who could navigate into it. I did not place packing crates, ironing boards, lawn furniture or dining room chairs in the spot, awaiting my return. Because it's public goddamn property. And did I mention I think little of your parentage or your ability with the spoken word? Or upright posture? Asshats.
  2. My bad driving habits - yelling obscenities loud enough inside a car almost hard enough to break blood vessels in my eyeballs (windows rolled up, I'm not that mad) at other drivers - while undoubtedly good for my mental health, is not good for my passengers. Especially when they are my far-more-chi-centered Best Beloved.
  3. My bad driving habits - so bad that my sainted mother, who, in her prime would take corners like Mario Andretti, would look askance at me - bleed into my parking habits.
  4. It's a good thing my Best Beloved eventually dumped me off at the back door, holding onto his frayed temper with admirable constraint, and telling me he'd find a parking spot.

Thank you, and good night.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (It's a Disaster)
Thundersnow. It's a Real Word.
Here in Chicago, where 78,000 customers are without power, (46,000 in the city proper) we are half-way through the biggest blizzard since 1999. It may surpass the Great One of 1967. The wind gusts are 45 mph here in the city, 58 mph elsewhere. And we are having massive lightning strikes. So far 6.8 to 13 inches in the Chicagoland (yes, that's a word, too, at least in Chicago)  and the snow should continue until about 1 p.m. tomorrow.

What's that? Yes, lightning strikes and thunder; apparently one more sign that the snowfall is expected to be heavy. and the official term is thundersnow.

Oh, yeah, forgot the storm-surge they're worried about for Lake Michigan. Lake Shore Drive is shut down.

I got home - today was, of course, a deadline day - at 4:30. I got into the car at 2:50. I drove 13 miles. The last 2 miles took 40 minutes, I think.

I'll be working tomorrow, but from my house. I'm shooting for a Thursday dig-out, which is when I really need to get over to [livejournal.com profile] carnyjack 's to make sure his cats are fed. I went down there last night and loaded up twice the number of water and dry food bowls, then added a two baking tins worth of water and dry food, and made sure their litter could last a couple of days.

I love Chicago. Really, I do, but hell in a handcart, this is the worst I've ever seen in a long time.

I've been taking pictures from the back door. They really don't show the extent of the storm. If I get some better ones before this whole thing blows over, I may post them.

Thundersnow. Bloody hell.

kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (It's a Disaster)
Thundersnow. It's a Real Word.
Here in Chicago, where 78,000 customers are without power, (46,000 in the city proper) we are half-way through the biggest blizzard since 1999. It may surpass the Great One of 1967. The wind gusts are 45 mph here in the city, 58 mph elsewhere. And we are having massive lightning strikes. So far 6.8 to 13 inches in the Chicagoland (yes, that's a word, too, at least in Chicago)  and the snow should continue until about 1 p.m. tomorrow.

What's that? Yes, lightning strikes and thunder; apparently one more sign that the snowfall is expected to be heavy. and the official term is thundersnow.

Oh, yeah, forgot the storm-surge they're worried about for Lake Michigan. Lake Shore Drive is shut down.

I got home - today was, of course, a deadline day - at 4:30. I got into the car at 2:50. I drove 13 miles. The last 2 miles took 40 minutes, I think.

I'll be working tomorrow, but from my house. I'm shooting for a Thursday dig-out, which is when I really need to get over to [livejournal.com profile] carnyjack 's to make sure his cats are fed. I went down there last night and loaded up twice the number of water and dry food bowls, then added a two baking tins worth of water and dry food, and made sure their litter could last a couple of days.

I love Chicago. Really, I do, but hell in a handcart, this is the worst I've ever seen in a long time.

I've been taking pictures from the back door. They really don't show the extent of the storm. If I get some better ones before this whole thing blows over, I may post them.

Thundersnow. Bloody hell.

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kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
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