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Transitioning into liminal space

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Piper Injury [Mar. 16th, 2017|06:45 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |worriedworried]

I've been encouraging Piper to be more active. She lets me put a hand under her tummy and help her do a sort of carry/jump down the two stairs in our condo lobby.

She's been feeling better lately; much more active. Today she jumped down those two stairs. When she landed, she collapsed on the floor, peed all over herself, and started panic biting me before trying to hide underneath me as I squatted, terrified, next to her.

She's at the emergency vet now with a dislocated hip. They're going to sedate her and try to put it back in, but if that doesn't work, she'll need surgery. We'll have an update in a couple hours.

Danae and I are both freaking out more than a little over her. On top of that, I was going to leave for Minneapolis with Posi today. Whether that happens is dependent on Piper.
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Transgender issues in Kenosha [Mar. 11th, 2017|09:36 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |angryangry]

My family in Kenosha had a long term housemate who was living with them due to problems with his family. He's the kid who was killed by a motorist while biking home from his job at the ren faire. His father is in a position to make educational policy in Kenosha and is in favor of not allowing a transgender student to use restrooms assigned to his gender.

This kind of bigoted bullshit and my inability to react to it in a productive way is the sort of thing that led me to leave Facebook for a while. But at this point, I'm not trying to be productive. I'm keeping in touch with people I care about.

Using the block button is so satisfying sometimes. Much respect to my mother for trying to be reasonable. I just can't do it sometimes.
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(no subject) [Mar. 11th, 2017|08:56 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |awakeawake]

When I was biking to school every day, I got out and rode regardless of the weather. I took a perverse pleasure in days when the weather was negative double digits before windchill because it meant I could prove how hardcore I was about bike commuting.

Now, walking around the block with the dog while the temperature hovers around freezing is more than I really want to deal with. True, that's partly because I'm not really dressing appropriately. That's because getting the gear together is more than I want to deal with some mornings. I'm feeling a lot better lately, but I still have some distance to go.

I was feeling pretty emotionally unstable yesterday. I'd had trouble sleeping; I kept starting awake just before falling asleep, feeling panicky and breathing heavily. I slept on the couch with Piper to avoid keeping Danae awake. Most of that morning, I felt physical effects of anxiety and fear; it sat in my chest, squeezing. I don't know why. I was feeling better by the afternoon, but I still had exaggerated emotional reactions to things. Printed instructions from the vet on keeping Piper from licking her sutures made me think about so many dogs who are confused about their situation. Licking themselves because they don't understand, getting very sick, feeling miserable; I felt like crying a few times while thinking about it.

Piper and I did go to the vet yesterday to get her sutures looked at. She has a minor skin infection, and now has a course of antibiotics to kick it out. The stitches should come out in a week, and in the meantime we have an e-collar for her to keep her from licking. Nathan decided that she looks like a queen in her big blue fabric collar and that perhaps she's gained a rank. I smiled. Later, I tried not to think about the implication that her mother and/or father had died.
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Words, Technology, and Factorio [Mar. 10th, 2017|12:38 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |curiouscurious]

I learned recently that the English "chauffeur" comes from a French word meaning one who heats. References to obsolete technology in daily life (in this case, referring to when the driver would need to get a head of steam on the car's boiler before it could be driven) make me happy. Incidentally, now I understand why a chafing dish is called a chafing dish, and can guess at a connecting etymology between that and to have chafed skin. Language is cool.

Speaking of obsolete tech, I have a problem. I have bought another vintage hi-fi receiver. It was $30 at the thrift store, and while I was looking at it, the clerk announced that there was a half-price sale on electronics, but it was ending and people should get in line now to qualify. I'd been trying to find info about it via Google and had a general idea that it was a nice piece of gear, but few specifics. So, time running out, I grabbed it and got in line.

It turned out to be a great find. Not only an unusual piece of hardware, but a piece of local history. It's a Sherwood receiver; the company began here in Chicago and one source says they produced the first ever fully solid-state receiver. Mine is a 1974 S8900a, with support for an external quadraphonic adapter (for a system called Dynaquad), and is likely one of the last Sherwood units made in the United States. It can put out 60 watts per channel with 8ohm speakers, so is notably more powerful than my later 20 watt Marantz. It was top of the line in its day; I've seen a cost of about $400 in '74! I keep thinking that someone must have really loved this unit once. It's the only receiver I've ever seen with a sliding pot to set phono line sensitivity too. I powered it up and it all seems to work. The tuning dial lights up in a beautiful rich blue and even without an external antenna, the bouncing signal strength meter told me it was picking things up as I rolled through the frequencies while squatting on the floor of the store. After getting it home, I found that sound gets all the way to the speaker terminals, though one channel seems come in and out. Maybe I can try to fix it up.

And on the topic of fixing things...I feel more and more like I want to get Posi to help me learn to do component level electronics repair and tuning. Oddly enough, it comes from thinking metaphorically about all the Factorio I've been playing. Building a factory in Factorio, I was thinking a while back, feels like building a multi-stage rolling ball sculpture. I can watch things go in, get transformed, follow a path, over and over. I've enjoyed things like rolling ball sculptures, watching liquids flow through a system, or, later, imagining the flows of electrons and information through computer networks I built, ever since I was a kid. Factorio appeals for the same underlying reasons, and it's enthralling. What else, I asked myself recently, would have that feeling?

It's a lot like how electrons flow through an appliance, isn't it? They enter the system, are shaped and transformed by various components of that system (I know, in AC they don't actually 'flow' as such), and eventually exit again. Modifying those circuits modifies the flow. It's a logical, intriguing system. Posi has an oscilloscope, a soldering station, and a lot of electronics experience. I think when I visit him this Sunday I'll bring the service manual for the Sherwood with and ask him how doable the procedures therein seem and whether he'd help me learn to do them.
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(no subject) [Mar. 4th, 2017|10:14 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |angryangry]

For fuck's sake. We could have had Hillary Clinton as President. Instead, the government has turned into a flaming pile of horse shit with the commander-in-chief shoveling more offal hourly onto the fire.
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How is a Dog like a Car? [Mar. 2nd, 2017|02:04 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |optimisticoptimistic]

Not having Piper here is a bit like when I started driving a car with an automatic transmission regularly again. Now, instead of repeating the mantra "This car has no clutch," while operating the gas and brake, I'm continually reminding myself that not seeing Piper around the common space doesn't mean I need to go see what she's doing.

She's done in surgery! She had a mobile tooth and an unerupted one that were removed as well. Sounds like all went well, and I should be bringing her home today!
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Piper's Surgery [Mar. 1st, 2017|10:09 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |hopefulhopeful]

Piper is *finally* going to bet spayed tomorrow. I'm so glad she's no longer either too underweight and sick for the procedure, having a heat cycle, or going through a false pregnancy anymore! Tomorrow, the vet said, one way or another, we're finally going forward with surgery.

This means, of course, that the obstacles that have kept her from being adoptable are no longer an issue. I'm facing the fact that the time when she will leave us draws ever closer.

This parting, unlike many of the others I've had with animals through my life, doesn't mean that she is at the end of her life. She'll be with another person or people who chose to be her guardians despite the difficulties that come with a diabetic, low-vision dog. People who care about her, take care of her, and love her.

I keep thinking not about the big things, but about the little things we know about her. All her habits and needs we know so well and have become so good at understanding. How to tell when she's hungry, or wants to play. How she's been sleeping on top of a pile of Danae's clothes sometimes this week because Danae's away. How happy she is to see either of us walk in the door.

I'll miss her a lot, but I'll be just as happy to know that she's with her forever-people. I'd like to foster more dogs; have many animals in my life to take care, to help get well, and help find their people. I'll be more happy than sad I think. The hard part is imagining how Piper will feel. Thinking of her feeling scared and confused and abandoned is the part that's really hard for me.

I'm reassured by the fact that I know I know how deeply the shelter staff care deeply about the animals in their charge. If they don't think it's a good match, they won't let the adoption go forward. If and when Piper finds a new home, the chance of it being a great one for her is as high as can be hoped. Maybe if it's nearby, I could even visit a few times and ease the transition.

I'll be dropping her off at 8:00 AM central. I wish our silly dog an easy surgery and a speedy recovery.
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(no subject) [Feb. 28th, 2017|10:00 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |frustratedfrustrated]

"Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." -Donald Trump

In fact, almost everyone knew that. The President is just thoroughly incompetent.

"“I mean, this is the president of the United States. We have been debating health care in this country for 30 years, and he says, ‘Gee, who knew how complicated it was?’” Sanders said. “He’s maybe the only person in this country who doesn’t know how complicated it is to provide health care for the American people.” -Bernie Sanders, who would have made a damned fine President.
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Music organizing [Feb. 27th, 2017|10:53 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |curiouscurious]

I'm working on organizing my music. I'm deciding what physical media I want to keep accessible (albums that I can see myself sitting through from front to back from time to time) vs albums I may only like a track or two from that I probably only need as data. (I'm a stick-in-the-mud, but it still pains me to say in "digital" form. CDs are digital.) I'm starting with ripping all my CDs to my hard drive as FLAC. They take up more space than I realized they would, so I'm considering high bitrate MP3s instead. Honestly, with the speaker system I'm using, it probably doesn't matter that much, though I do intend, someday, to have a decent hi-fi setup, at which point I'd love to conduct some blind tests.

Anyway. I can't figure out why my Tori Amos "Tales of a Librarian" CD won't rip. Everything else has worked fine so far. Maybe there's some kind of copy protection on it? It plays in both my stand alone CD player and in the PC optical drive I'm using.
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(no subject) [Feb. 26th, 2017|08:07 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |amusedamused]

Poor Piper. She's at loose ends with "mama" in Portland at a conference. There's no one sitting on the couch to curl up and snuggle with!
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