I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.


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Whirlwind update

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:53:56 AM

I really shouldn't even be doing this right now, both because I really ought to be getting to bed, and because I seriously fell and hurt my arm last night, and it is still swollen and bruised and really seriously f*cking hurts to type right now (both because I cannot rest it on the edge of the desk, and because I don't have a heck of a lot of flexibility in my fingers...who knew muscles and tendons were all in the same place? >_<).

However. I have been uncommunicative.

For the most part, I am doing alright... work's being... ugh. I figured. *sigh* Not even going there. Suffice it to say that I was right, this is -not- the place that I want to be at all, but at the moment it's my choice so I'm trying to at least do what little there is, well. And right now that means reading documentation. As Neo would say, Documentation. Lots of documentation.

So, in my spare time I am playing WoW (yay, Bron's at 65! I am so uber.) and tinkering with my shiny still-new laptop. Ubuntu works where Debian did not, so I'm running Edgy 2.6.17 with Xfce modified beyond all recognition (who, me? no...). That is almost the sole reason for this post, because I now have a screenshot and it is the sexiest desktop ever!


The strip across the top is courtesy of Conky, the invisible except-when-something's-open and completely self-sizing taskbar along the bottom edge there is courtesy of PyPanel, and the window manager theme is Decadence [Dark] from Xfce-Look.org.

And oh my, I love it dearly. With the sleek black of the laptop and the silver keys, it is delicious. Laptop!gasm. Seriously.

I'm putting in some extra hours at odd times this week (couple hours on St Pat's Day before heading out for surprisingly good Irish stew at the Whole in the Wall, couple hours probably tomorrow) so that I can get out of work early enough to catch my plane to St Louis on Friday without having to take vacation hours. I can't wait... I really can't. I'll be there Friday evening through Monday afternoon-ish (plane back is at 5pm, should be back in Syracuse around 10ish). When you're in a relationship where only get to see each other once every month or so, I am learning that the excitement that you feel at finally getting to see the other person is almost palpable. I would say that I am right now jumping up and down with happiness, except that my arm really does hurt too much for that. I would probably end up instinctively curling up protectively around it on my bed. Sigh.

Ahh, what else. Need to do laundry. Par for the course...

Dinner last night was by my standards a great success, meaning that everyone seemed to quite like the meal and there were no leftovers :) Lemon zest/kosher salt/cracked black pepper/hot chili olive oil encrusted pork loin, rosemary and basil potatoes (with probably a halfdozen other spices too, naturally... from memory and in no particular order as regards quantity: oregano, salt, pepper, savory, lavender, thyme, ground red pepper flakes and garlic-infused olive oil), and fresh-baked soda bread, plus salad, wine and anything else that turned up. *Nod* I was proud of it, and I judge my cooking fairly critically, so overall I am quite happy :)

Saw a kind of nearly cat-sized rat on The Amazing Race last night (I don't watch it myself, but it was on after dinner) that has been trained to smell land mines. They were just adorable... it seems like the universe is conspiring to make me want a couple of cute little ratties. As yet my haphazard schedule takes one look at my desire for a pet, cadged or otherwise, and says "Ahahahahahah!", but I swear I will have some form of furry friend eventually >_>

I really miss having a cat around.

Anyhow, this is quite long enough and I am needing to catch up on my sleep, so if I left anything out just poke me and I'll add it in later.

Oh. One more. Go read Get Medieval. Seriously funny stuff there. :)

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I don't think I'm supposed to be bored yet...

Posted at 12 Feb 2007 11:01:42 AM

Recap of the last couple of weeks, since I've been conspicuously silent --

Dan's visit last week was great. Really, really good. We mostly just knocked around the apartment, did the Breaking Benjamin concert at Magic City (whee!), watched some movies, played some chess, avoided playing WoW, and slept late. Once things settle down here, I'll probably take another trip out there for a little while... And I am not going to devolve further into mushy girltalk, so you'll just have to be content with that. :)

During last week (while I was off from work, yes) I got a series of calls from my manager asking whether I'd be interested in a different position, within my own company this time, doing embedded C/C++-type stuff. I said sure, why not, and figured he'd send my resume down and they'd tell me that I had nowhere near enough experience but thanks anyway.

Well. Turns out, they like me (the fact that I don't have any kind of real-world C experience still holds true, and makes me quite nervous in fact). To the point where last Friday, Feb 9th, was my last day at my old contract. Yesterday the other two new members of the team (both older guys from Lockheed) and I drove on down here to Virginia to start a rollicking week filled with handshaking and meetings. Pretty sure that my old company still hasn't quite realized that I'm gone... I didn't really bother to tell them, since Friday would have been my last day on the PSD team anyhow - theoretically that's when I was transferring back to the dev team. The problem would have been that there kind of wasn't a whole hell of a lot of work ready for the dev team, so my solid year of sitting on my ass doing quite literally nothing would just have continued, from what I can tell.

I wish I could be sorry for leaving, but honestly... aside from the people who are Ensco people themselves, there's noone left there that I actually like. They've fired almost everyone competent and certainly everyone good-humored and geekily cynical, and replaced them all with management bots. *shrug* It's good that I'm out of it. Too much longer and either they would have fired me or I would have quit.

The only downside is that I have to give my laptop back tomorrow - my Ensco manager's picking it up here at the VA office and will run it back for me - so tonight's my last chance to get all my remaining crap off of it. My MacBook isn't here yet - should be arriving on Monday - so I'm just throwing everything randomly on my main computer and figuring that I'll sort it out eventually. This is probably a lie, but it's well-intentioned.

Yesterday was a travel day, and we got to our hotel around 6pm. Did a quick supply run at the local Giant, and then I went back to crash in my room while the guys went to find something to eat. Given that they picked this hotel, I am thinking that they're the type to eat out while on business trips. I prefer my hotels to have a fridge and a kitchen >_>

Today has been mostly meetings. A meeting, to be precise. Just a truly long one. The project could be neat, I think, it's just still so far from them saying "Here's what we need, this is what we need it to do and this is the box that it'll be running on" that I'm mostly useless and am just sort of hazily listening in and interjecting comments whenever something strikes me that way. I'm not silent, I'm just sleep-deprived. Did I mention that we got to the office at 8am?

Oh - the one shining spot in all of this? My new iPod works fabulously. I loaded it from my old laptop, and I don't really swap songs all that much, so that'll work until I get gtkpod actually working (it doesn't want to compile, for some reason). It's purty :D

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Of cabbages and kings

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:51:37 AM

Holy tap-dancing gods of the underworld, I am tired. I really don't even feel like moving from this chair, although my lower back and knees are being ridiculously painful (probably as a result of *being* cramped in this chair for quite literally a week. Silly body parts, always wanting movement..).

The exhaustion is always worse the day *after* pager duty, for whatever reason (Chris says it's because I'm no longer running on adrenaline, and he's probably right. I'm certainly not running on either sleep or food, at the least.) While I'm doing it, I've got a huge responsibility charge going, am fueled by mountain dew and willpower, and generally enjoying the heck out of it all (stress junkie, what?)
The evening after I hand things over to whoever comes after me I'm still feeling pretty good, and can generally start appreciating the finer things in life (which last night were a good book and some sparkling grape juice in one of my pretty wine glasses). I finally fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 10 to my alarm (it was set because I had a noon lunch date with Chris and some people from work). I then made the fatal mistake of turning over and musing on how comfy my pillows, comforter, etc were... and woke up again to Chris' phone call, wondering where the heck I was.

One thing about pager duty - it teaches you to be instantly awake, no matter when it is or how much you would really rather not be awake at that particular time (calls at 4, 5, 6am etc happen because something broke, in which case you had better be - and sound confident, alert and capable of fixing whatever-it-is). It's a talent that's actually pretty useful, surprisingly.

I decimated my shiny new black nail polish job again this afternoon (I don't know why I bother really, I never can get more than a good 24 hours with itl looking perfect). At least black is a color with a time-honored tradition of being chipped ;-)

Also, I really want this (in Red). Also this :) Am firmly tamping down the urge to buy them, however, both because I've got a few vanity pounds that I'd like to kick, and because I need to get off my ass and look for a new car first. And spending a couple of hundred on shiny new toys is just a bad idea right now. It figures.

Oh - I'm working on getting my ftpserver working again. I'm pretty sure that it does, in fact, because I just checked my logfiles, and this appeared:

What is your command, my mistress?
[501:laura@cleopatra ~]$ grep vsftpd /var/log/secure
grep: /var/log/secure: Permission denied
[502:laura@cleopatra ~]$ sudamnit
Aug 25 09:14:40 cleopatra vsftpd[25290]: connect from (
[503:laura@cleopatra ~]$

So yeah, seems to be working. Cool :-)

Edit: Mental note to fix my icon-uploading routine for this site. The move broke it and I haven't gotten around to fixing it yet, but I have some new ones that I really want to use here...

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Lake George/Shadow spec/Christmas present ideas

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:51:16 AM

Hooray for posting!

I found a couple new things around here that broke with the move to my new host, which'll need fixing. All backend stuff, nothing that shows up to all you people out there :) Also, I'm working on implementing some cut functionality similar to Livejournal's . It's a little trickier than I originally planned, but that's more a problem with my code than with anything else.

Had a great weekend in Lake George last weekend; we got to do all the things that Chris calls "stuff to prevent Laura from going into Lake George withdrawl" - meaning a nice long boat ride, going to see the Hyde Collection (they had the Mona Lisa sketch out, which I love!), and walking down Canada street for the heck of it. Also, we played air hockey and skeeball in the arcade, and gave all the tickets to a little girl who was looking depressed, so that was fun ^_^

I've got pager duty coming up again starting tomorrow (shit! Just realized that I didn't ask anyone to fedex me up the pager, so I'm going to get it late. Shitshitshitshitshit. I hate having to wake up every half hour to check on things manually...) Oh well. It's my own dumb fault =/
This will afford me some nice shiny opportunities to get some raiding in, except of course I'm queued yet again for MC tomorrow and Friday. Le sigh...I'm trying to level Bronwyn as fast as I can, except everyone who knows me realizes that this is roughly the speed of molasses... halved. I actually gave in and respec'ced this afternoon to be about half-holy, half-shadow. The late 40s - early 50s are all grinding anyway, and it's amazing how fast one can kill things when one has the choice of more than two spells! Vampiric Embrace + SW:P + Force Lightening is just murder on everything...it was incredibly cool :D I could really start liking this girl even more now that she can, ya know, kill things. Found a pretty cool pally in Tanaris to murder things with, and I think I gained almost a quarter of a level.

...yep. Shadow wins. *sigh* :P

Still havn't put my new (old) soundcard in. Really need to do that before I start raiding again (have I mentioned that a silent Molten Core sucks?), but I'm so bad about rebooting this computer that I just haven't gotten around to it. Hopefully I'll get to it tonight or tomorrow. Someone come online and /kick me if I don't remember.

I figured out what I want to do for everyone for Christmas presents! It'll be time-consuming (and I'm not going to say it here because it'll spoil it) but I think it'll be fun. And certainly a bit more personalized than some other things I could come up with. :)

Anyhow, really need to go jump in the shower now, so that we can go shopping and figure out what to do for dinner. I only have about half of an idea, and unfortunately it's all the vegetable half.

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Back and better than ever

Posted at 30 May 2006 01:01:39 AM

Simple update - I think that everything should be working around here now. There were some kinks in the PHP during the switch from 4.3.2 to 4.4.2, but from the brief test that I just did, everything should be working.

We spent the holiday weekend in New York, which was pretty darned awesome. Met up with Jared, Gary & Co (finally got to meet theanimefanboy!), Laura and the Werners, in addition to getting through all the shopping that we each needed...busy weekend! We discovered an *amazing* old-school bar and a german pub with Jared, and a diner-esque place which made a yummy 3pm breakfast ^_^

Got to swing by Kalustyan's too, which was sooo much fun! The next free Saturday I get, I'll be making real biryani...it should be quite the experience, but I'm confident :-) The story will probably go up on Cooking if it turns out well...or possibly if it doesn't, as well. Live and learn. That store is right in the middle of a fantastic Indian neighborhood - lots of places to explore next time we're down (it was beastly hot this weekend, so the notion of anything except a cold strawberry ice cream milkshake was pretty repulsive, no matter how good the smells coming out of those restaurants were).

It's good to be home; the most I ask from this week is that work not be too heinous.

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Happy belated St Pat's day, among other things

Posted at 12 May 2008 10:43:01 AM

Well, I think I should probably update this, seeing as how it's been awhile :-)

What's going on... Work's been really busy this week, I've been in the office 'til 9:30 and 7:30 these past couple of days, due to a MAJORCRISISOMG that seems to have started for our friends across the pond, so much involved research has been necessary. I start pager duty tomorrow, which should be erm....interesting. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Also, I've a phone conf. at 5am tomorrow morning (that crisis...), for which I need to be in the office and which means getting up at least by 4 ...that being the case, I'll certainly not be going out tonight. I may not even go to sleep, seeing as my usual bedtime is 1 or 2, and I really feel worse on 2 hours' sleep than I do on none at all. It will be a very, very long day, I can tell you that much! I'm planning on occupying my evening/night doing some work with my recipe book, installing DSL2.2 on my printserver, configuring its wireless connection (*crosses fingers*), possibly ordering some new parts for my main computer, cleaning my apartment and very probably playing a good deal of early-morning WoW :)

Oh yuk, I just realized that Starbucks isn't open at 4am. Craaaaaaaaaaapola, this will be an interesting phone conf.

We've joined up with a new WoW guild, Knights of the Watch. HoP didn't really fall apart so much as it did just sort of wander...the high-levels really wanted to raid on something approaching a regular schedule (as opposed to "never", which is about what we could pull off w/o resorting to half-PuG's). So we're mostly all in KotW now, with a few exceptions of people who had friends elsewhere. I like them, they're fun, and definitely helpful....there's 15-20 people on at 9pm, 10 or more of 'em 60s, and 270 members total.

Hmm, what else is going on? Billy Joel concert in Syracuse with Dan and Chris this Saturday!

I've learned some truly awesome bash tricks lately, if anyone cares. There's a couple of fantastic pages at Deadman.org (here and here) that are really helpful, and I'm learning a lot. I like commandline gibberish, it makes me happy ^_^

Been dl'ing everything that I see at OC Remix, lately...as my CD drive on my laptop doesn't work, this is my way of getting fresh mp3s, as I'm frequently entirely too lazy to actually reload my iPod. I should add that to my list of things to do tonight, as well... OCremix has a podcast that I'm interested in, and now P-A does too...I can't keep them actually on my iPod of course, but I'll certainly take a listen. Although with the wait for the P-A one over 200minutes now, if anyone wants it let me know and I'll give you a temp login for my ftpserver. Clearly I need to sort out my router so that it'll let my bittorrent client through, because if this is any kind of a regular thing...ouch.

Chris and I were down in the city for St. Patrick's day - we had dinner at his aunt's, and spent Saturday knocking around Manhattan with his whole gang from school....they're a lot of fun, and I liked 'em! It's been awhile since I've been part of a group of friends (even peripherally) and it's a good feeling :-)

That's it for now, largely because I actually have things to do. Remind me to kick myself into gear and crank out something for this week's ffawards...

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Catching up

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:50:02 AM

Soooooooo tired. Ya. Not like I didn't sleep last night - got to bed around 2, which is par for the course. Did my first SM run with Bronwyn, though, which was nice (and got a seriously nice BoE drop or two, as well as a couple of BoPs. Mount shouldn't be a problem with this char!) Our party leader had to bail halfway through (not because of problems, he was one of the best people I've ever grouped with - my opinion of Ruby keeps getting better and better) and we'd already gotten rid of a damn ninja (stole a not half-bad 2h staff from me, the bastard, as well as some halfway decent cloth BoP shoulders from the Archmage. At least nothing _truly_ good dropped, or I'd have been truly pissed. He's a hunter, too...wth is he going to do with BoP cloth and 2h staves? O.o Rolling once, I can chalk up to stupidity...twice, not so much [esp. as the "This will soulbind..are you sure?" dialog comes up for things like that now]...f*cking bastard ninja), so Chris came by and ran the rest of us through Herod and the Cath. Definitely a good run!

This weekend was great - Chris and I went up to Schenectady to see Phantom of the Opera! at Proctor's :D Had lunch with Dad beforehand, which was also wonderful, and went to the planetarium for a while. And then basically hung out at the hotel as it was entirely too frigid to really wander around much. We stopped at the pharmacy and visited with Mom and Gene for awhile before coming back to Bing, which was really nice as well :) [I got to have a french toast bagel at the bagel store there! It really tasted like french toast!! Yes, I am obsessed with that bagel :P]

There's a couple of perfectly wonderful Firefly stories which I'm completely absorbed in lately (KL comes first, then Treasure). This guy is an amazingly talented writer, and I'm enjoying these so much. It's good for my Firefly obsession :) Go read them!

And ugh, the code I have to review just arrived, so yeah. Back to work.

(Oh yeah, training last week - went well, I enjoyed myself down there as always, still don't want the job. Nothing new.)

(One last thing - I won first place! The original image is here, if you're curious about how much work went into that. It was quite a bit!