Archive of posts with category 'Misc'
I bought these sweatpants in October from LLBean. Usually I like their clothes, but $50 for a pair of sweatpants that didn’t last four months is ridiculous. It’s not like I’m a mechanic working in these. I’ve been using them to sit in front of a computer all day. I hope I get a refund. Otherwise, I’ll have to find a new place for clothes.Oct 28, 2018 Living Life
I just realized that this website has been down. I’m not sure how long that’s been true. Probably since I had to reboot after the last round of updates I installed. Is it a big deal to me? Nope.Dec 4, 2016 Random Thoughts
It’s an early Sunday morning and I’m relaxing with a cup of coffee when I thought I’d post some random thoughts I’ve been having.Aug 11, 2016 Been A While
My summer has been pretty crazy with a big work conference that is finally over. My life is now my own again. Yay! I’ve been very behind in doing my monthly checking, but that’s ok. The good news is that I don’t have to go back to work for over a week. So I’m trying to do a bunch of projects around the house.Mar 26, 2016 Reading Again
Work was fast becoming overwhelming of late, so I have taken to quitting email when I leave work and not checking it again until I get back to the office to keep my sanity. And I’ve been trying to close my laptop up more and stay offline. For a short time, I feared I was addicted to the internet, but I’m pretty sure I’m not. I just like to read and I was reading a lot of stuff online. These days, I’ve started up my weekly (or every other weekly) visit to my local library. I’ve read a number of books and it makes me happy. Now that I’ve fully accepted that I should wear reading glasses, I’m happy again reading books.Mar 6, 2016 The Big Short
I had been wanting to see “The Big Short” for a while. Today, I found that it was still at a theater downtown, so I biked over to see it. Like most people, I pretty much knew the story. I’ve read a bunch of Michael Lewis books, though I can’t remember if I actually read “The Big Short” or just lived through it. Anyway, I thought it would be good and it was. How I judge if a movie is good or not is based on how much I’m thinking about the movie after it’s over. And, let me tell you, all I’ve been thinking about is this movie and I’m completely depressed.Feb 29, 2016 February Check-In
I’m going to say that February was the worst month that I’ve had in a very long time. The main thing that happened is one of my favorite people in the entire world passed away. Short of something happening to my Mom, nothing could hurt as much. Along with my parents, for my entire life, my Aunt Lu was around. I will think of her on every Fourth of July (her favorite holiday) and Christmas Eve because we always went to her house. I often said she was hilariously funny, often unintentionally so. I loved going to visit her to hear about family members I never knew and what her life was like growing up. Since we knew she was sick, my siblings and I all made sure to visit her as often as we could during the month. She always loved to see us and I felt lucky to be there. If I could make people feel a quarter as good around me, as I felt around her, I’d be pretty happy. One of the last things she gave me was the dollhouse that someone made for her when she was a little girl. It has needed some work for a while and she gave it to me to fix it up. But only if I have fun doing it. If it’s not fun, I shouldn’t do it. I hope that I can get it into decent enough shape that I can donate it someplace where kids can play with it. I know she’d be happy if kids were playing with it.Feb 27, 2016 10 years ago
February 25, 2016 was the 10th anniversary of my blog. Technically, it’s the 10th anniversary of my using wordpress on the blog. I believe I registered coldandheartless in 2000, when my nephew was born, though I’m not entirely sure. But since I have pictures from when he was born posted, I’m pretty sure. And I have some pictures in directories named 2003. Yay for me in naming the directories correctly. So I know I had the website before 2006. But moving to wordpress looks to have happened in 2006. So let’s celebrate that.Jan 3, 2016 So far, so good
We’re three days into the new year and it’s so far, so good. Tomorrow, I have to go back to work. I’m a little bummed that I can’t wear sweatpants all day anymore, but that’s ok. It’ll be good to get back in the swing of things. I’ve taken short bike rides every day so far and am up to 11 miles. So only 2242 to go to hit my goal. 🙂 I’ve cooked some good meals (homemade pizza, eggs with pepper, onion and avocado) and some ok ones (roasted vegetables with noodles). I’ve also used up my blackened bananas by making banana muffins, which turned out pretty good. I went with Paul today to his bar and helped him clean up some wood. So while I didn’t technically do a workout, I worked there for a couple of hours and got my heart rate up. My car has only been out of the garage one day. And since the weather looks pretty good, I’m hoping that the bike will get me to work for most of this week.Oct 29, 2015 Could I Live without My Car?
A couple of days ago, I hit 2000 miles of biking for the year. It wasn’t a goal to do this at the start of the year, but I’m rather pleased with myself. I actually thought it was a bit of an accomplishment until I read a blog post somewhere about a woman with MS who rode like 6000 miles for the year. I have a long way to go to reach that. But this got me thinking, do I really need to own my own car?Oct 24, 2015 I Love Fall
Autumn is my favorite time of year. My birthday is in October. The weather is usually nicely cool. The leaves on the trees turn giving beautiful colors to both the city and rural landscapes. I also usually start cooking again in earnest as the weather cools. In summer, when it’s hot, I don’t like to use my stove or oven. This limits meals to uncooked food, like salads. As I get older, I am getting better at eating salads regularly. But I have to admit, a salad is, in general, not a meal I’m going to love.Jul 30, 2015 My Ting Test
Last month, I switched cellphone providers from T-Mobile to Ting. In looking at past reports, I had been paying T-Mobile around $63 per month (including taxes). This didn’t seem bad to me, but I thought I could do better. A couple of days ago, I got my first bill from Ting. The total is $39.81 (including taxes). I’m happy with this. The image below shows the breakdown of all the fees.Mar 23, 2015 Back Issues
About a week and a half ago, I pulled a muscle in my back. I don’t know exactly what I did, but I do remember that I was putting on a sock. I don’t remember doing anything odd, but I do remember the sharp pain. I thought it might be something bad, but I proceeded through the day as usual. I had this same injury (though much worse) about 15 years ago, if not more. At that point, it hurt so badly that I had a hard time standing up. Now, I’m pretty much ok if I keep my back bent a little, but it hurts quite a bit when trying to straighten it. This leads to the odd situation where riding my bike feels really good, but going for a walk can be painful.Mar 1, 2015 A Splendid Torch
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.Feb 10, 2015 The Secret Life of Machines
I’m very grateful to someone for posting all the episodes of The Secret Life of Machines online. I LOVED this show when it was first on. A while back I actually looked to buy a dvd of the shows and couldn’t find it. This makes me so happy!Nov 28, 2014 Why Do I write
I have never considered myself a blogger or writer. Yes you are reading this post on a blog right now, but I still wouldn’t label myself a blogger. (I tend not to like labeling myself or others, but that’s a post for another day.) For the most part, I post here for myself. Usually, it’s because I spent some time looking up how to do something or just thinking about some topic and I want to organize my thoughts. When I was in school, I remember a teacher telling me to write things to down to help me remember them. I might never look at the paper again, but the act of writing it down would help me remember. Posting to this blog is a lot like that. Every so often, I will come back here to look up how I did something. But it’s pretty rare.Mar 13, 2014 Injury
I don’t know what I did to my thumb, but yesterday when I woke up, it was very sore. And as of today, it was definitely swollen. The picture below sort of shows my issue. Though, after a day of advil and keeping it cool with snow from outside, it has gotten a little better. At least it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it hurt this morning. I can move it a bit more and I think it’s a little less swollen. It’ll be interesting to see how it reacts to all the drilling through brick that I’ll be doing tomorrow.Dec 26, 2013 Getting Ready for the Wrap Up
For the past couple of years, I’ve done a sort of year-in-review post with my thoughts about what went well over the past year and what I’d like to do in the upcoming year. I don’t really refer back to this list at any point during the year, but perhaps I should. In general, I like to see things that I think would be helpful/fun to know/learn/do in the coming year. And if I see things that I’ve had on my list for more than one year, I’d like to think that I make a bit more of an effort to do them. Anyway, as the end of the year is coming up and this is how I sort of like to spend my January 1st, I’ve been starting to think about the year in general. By and large, I’m pretty happy and think I had a pretty good year. I may have gotten a bit lazy toward the end, but overall, I’m not complaining. I’ll go into more details next week.Sep 25, 2013 My Robot
My niece and nephew were both talking about building a robot and it made me realize that I wanted to build a robot as well. After looking around, I had intended to buy the new Arduino robot, but it wasn’t in stock. Instead I found a hexapod robot called Hexy, which looked even more fun. So I ordered it and it arrived today.Jan 12, 2013 Context
There are a number of blogs that I read, almost daily. I know a lot of people do this and many do it by subscribing to the RSS feed of a given blog. I am not one of those people. Why? I like to see the information in its original context. RSS readers strip everything off the webpage except the text of the post. So just by glance, I can’t tell which website the post came from. I don’t like this at all. I prefer to read the text on the original site that the author created. Why? It helps me to remember where I read the information. A typical example, just the other day, I was thinking that there was a book I was interested in reading because I had read about it on some website. It was a somewhat technical book, so it could have been reviewed on any number of sites that I visit. However, I couldn’t remember the title and I didn’t think it was an actual review of the book. I was something written by the person who wrote the book. I remembered liking the post, but all I could remember was that I had read about it in December and it was to be published in January. Now that it was January, I wanted to remember it to see if I wanted to buy it. After picturing the article, I remembered that it was on the NY Times website. I like that my brain still had the connection of where I read the article. I supposed if I read it in an RSS feed (which I don’t even know if the NY Times provides), I could have looked there somehow. But I think it’s good for my brain to still be making connections like this. It’s probably more inefficient to read blogs this way, but it’s my preferred way. And I’m also not a fan of making everything more efficient. Inefficiency is good. But that’s a post for another day.Dec 31, 2012 2012 in Review
Being the last day of 2012, I thought I’d take a minute and check out how I did with the goals I set for last year.Jun 5, 2012 Transit of Venus
We had perfect weather to see the transit of Venus today. I took my telescope and solar filter down to Mark’s house and had some fun with Jack and Abby. They both have now seen the transit and know that they won’t see it again, unless they live to 117 and 113 respectively.Mar 17, 2012 Interesting Evening
I spent the evening poking around The National Archives. I found some neat images that I downloaded. I did a search for Theodore Roosevelt, because I’m currently reading a biography of him and I’ve been fascinated with him since I visited his birthplace a few years ago. And I searched for Thomas Edison because he’s always been one of my favorite people.Jan 1, 2012 2012 (and beyond) Goals
Happy New Year!Dec 29, 2011 Plans for 2012
I’ve found that a little bit of planning helps me get much more accomplished than just trying to do things willy-nilly. I look back with great satisfaction at my decision to learn Ruby on Rails about three years ago. It took quite a bit of time and I’m not a guru yet, but I can and have created some websites that have been helpful. Since I had a personal day that I needed to use before the end of the year, I’ve taken it today and will use that to lay out my plans. And because I think that making the plans public will help me stick to them, I’ll post them as soon as they’re done.Dec 13, 2011 My Turn
When I was a kid, I played in lots of sports. My parents were big believers in organized sports as a way to keep kids out of trouble. Since I tended to find them fun, I, for the most part, happily went along with it. Looking back, I had no idea how much time people freely gave in order for me to have all these opportunities. I didn’t appreciate the gift that these teachers and coaches gave me of their time and knowledge. Now, however, I do realize how very generous they were. And, since I’m now an adult, I think that it’s my turn. I’ve made monetary donations in the past to various organizations. But now, it’s time for me to give more back. I’ve been very lucky to have so many opportunities and I think that I now have something that I can offer people. So I need to decide what to do.Sep 14, 2010 My First Solar Image (from Google Cache)
Originally posted March 3, 2010.Mar 22, 2008 My Favorite Things
I bought myself an easter lily yesterday. They are, unquestionably, my favorite flower. I like lillies in general, but the white, easter lily just smells so nice and looks so pretty that I love it. Now my house has that nice smell as well. And since I spent today doing some cleaning, my house is rather neat as well. Altogether, a pleasant place to be.Mar 21, 2008 Approaching 40…
We’re just over six months until my fortieth birthday. I thought I was going to be a bit depressed about it, but I don’t think I will be. However, I do think that I’m going to be making some changes in my life. It probably happened a couple of years ago, but I’m now fairly sure that I’m in the second half of my life. The first half was good, but I want the second half to be much better.Dec 31, 2007 The XO Laptop
I just received my new XO laptop that I bought last month. It’s definitely for kids. I have pretty small hands and the keyboard on the laptop is small even for me. I’m pretty impressed with it though. It’s running a version of Fedora, Fedora core 7 I think. But it has a terminal to use and lots of other stuff. I think for kids in developing countries, where cost is the main factor, that these things will work pretty well. Though, it’s funny that it doesn’t come with any sort of documentation. The kid just has to play around with it. I like doing that, but I don’t know how many others do.Nov 22, 2007 Nap Time
It’s been a great Thanksgiving so far.Â I got up this morning and ran in the Turkey Trot in Lincoln Park.Â My goal was to finish in under and hour and though I walked the last 100 yards or so (because I was sure I was going to throw up), my official time was 59:50.Â (My ipod showed 59:40, so I may have to recalibrate it.)Â Then we went to the Museum of Science and Industry to look at the Xmas trees and I thoroughly enjoyed a special exhibit they had on maps.Â Back to my Mom’s to eat and now, my brother’s family has left to go to his inlaws.Â It’s now 5pm and most of us are taking naps.Â I love this holiday.Nov 21, 2007 Happy Thanksgiving!
Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. I’ve decided to list some of the things that I am most thankful for this year.Nov 16, 2007 New Toy
Yesterday I bought two laptops through the “Give One Get One” program of “One Laptop Per Child”. One of the inexpensive laptops will be sent to me and the other goes to a needy child. Here’s the link:Oct 28, 2007 Possibly Another iPhone Crack
Janet’s friend Becca is working with a Dutch doctor at the World Boxing Championships going on in Chicago right now. He was asking her about getting an unlocked phone that he could use in the Netherlands. I started laughing at dinner when she mentioned it and told her that I didn’t know about other unlocked phones, but that I could unlock an iPhone, if he wanted that. Becca didn’t think she did, so I asked John and he said that anyplace will sell and unlocked phone, it just costs a bit more. Though today Becca sent me a text message saying that the doctor would like an iPhone after all. I figured. They’re pretty cool. Anyway, if I crack an iPhone for him, he’s going to get me really good (maybe ringside) seats. So this might be fun. He’s supposed to buy it tomorrow, so maybe I’ll see the boxing later this week.Oct 28, 2007 Not a Productive Weekend
Friday night I went to a play at Victory Gardens, called “A Park in Our House”, I think. It was ok. About a family in Cuba in the 60s, I’d guess. I enjoyed it and Janet’s friend Becca and I were saying that we liked this one better than the last one we saw. And it’s true in that this one was easier to follow. Funny thing is, I think about the first one “The Defiant Muse”, more. Though I’m pretty sure that this is because I’m still trying to understand it completely. It was about a writer whose main character seemed to come to life for her. So, it jumped back and forth between real-life and life with her character. It was pretty interesting how they did it, but since there were only so many actors, I wasn’t really sure if it was real-life or a scene from her book. Oh well, either way, it’s great to see live theater.Oct 19, 2007 David Sedaris at GSU
I just returned from a David Sedaris reading at Governor’s State University. It was great. He was funny as always. I was a little worried because three of my cousins and their husbands came to the show along with my sister Julie. Julie is familiar with David Sedaris’ books, but I don’t think any of the others were. I was nervous that maybe they wouldn’t enjoy it, but I think everyone had a great time.Oct 17, 2007 iPhone to the Netherlands
John’s friend Mark is going back to the Netherlands today. But since his sim chip worked in John’s iPhone last night, he decided to buy himself one before leaving. So, I met him at John’s apartment and we cracked his phone and got it working. One note is that you should have internet access easily available to do this. Whenever iTunes starts, it wants to access the iTunes Store and you won’t get the annoying error messages if you’re hooked to the internet. Also, since we had no access, I had to use my laptop to “Create Network” to make a wireless network so that I could ssh to the iPhone. To do this, I also had to manually set the ip address, netmask and gateway on the iPhone. It all worked, but would have been quicker if we just had a wireless network to use.Oct 17, 2007 iPhone and EDGE
John’s iPhone works fine on the T-mobile EDGE network. Just use these settings:Oct 15, 2007 Breaking New Toys
My brother John got his second iPhone last week. He returned the first one because he got lousy reception from AT&T in his house. Now that he’s living in a new apartment, he tried it again. And, of course, he still has crappy reception with AT&T. So, he asked me if I’d help him to unlock his phone so that he could use it with T-mobile. Sounded like fun, so I was in. (One drawback was that I wasn’t working on my bathroom while doing this.)Oct 7, 2007 Crazy Marathon Day!
Today was the Chicago Marathon. My sister Julie and I made signs for the people we knew running and went downtown to watch it. It was a bit hot, but as spectators, we stayed in the shade most of the time. We spent the a couple of hours at the halfway point (13.1 miles) where we saw our cousin Greg and Julie’s coworker Cheryl. Then, we biked down to Archer and met up with our brother Paul to watch some more. We saw Greg and Cheryl again and Paul’s boss Roberta. We were heading up to catch up with our cousin who was watching her daughter when we heard that the race had been cancelled. One guy died and a bunch of people ended up getting sick from the heat. I felt bad for the people who did all that training and didn’t get a chance to finish, but it was probably better to stop than to get hurt from the heat.Oct 5, 2007 Happy Birthday to Me!
Today is my birthday, and the annual Mary tradition is to not work, so I’m keeping that one today. I had great plans to go and do something fantastic, but those plans all fell through. So, I’m going to do my usual thing and go downtown to hang out. I also want to go to this new store:Aug 14, 2007 Next.
The more I think about it, the happier I am that I did the half-marathon. I definitely want to train to do another one, but this time to do it for time. I’m pretty sure that I could do it in less than 3 hours, so I’d like to try for that.Jul 8, 2007 Catching Up
As soon as I get some time, I’ll post the pictures from Bloomington. I didn’t take too many because the battery on my camera died on the first day and I forgot to bring my charger. But I’ll have Jack’s and Em’s pictures to put up as well.Dec 11, 2006 Insanity!
So much has happened, I don’t know where to begin.Oct 7, 2006 Awesome Gift
Since my birthday was this week, I decided to get myself a gift. I had planned on buying myself the Lego Mindstorms robot kit because it looked pretty cool and a lot of fun. But, now that I am so much older and wiser, I decided on a more practical gift. You know, something that I need. I was a bit depressed about this, but decided it was the grown-up thing to do.