I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.


How to contact me:

     laura @ cybermenology.com
     Cybermenology Handmade

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I don't have the energy for drama anymore.

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 12:02:18 PM

Erm, so..I'm bored. Happy Monday?

Gquit Novus Tempus last night... got fed up with the DKP and raiding bullshit. Dan's hoping to move to another server, Mountain Time maybe, to get better raid times. I'm not so sure... I raid because the people I was doing it with were friends, not necessarily for the game itself, where he raids because he likes to see new content. And I'm not sure that I have the energy to go through all the "getting to know new people again" routine... I'm doing enough of that in real life as it is. But maybe. I may just level my mage to 70, transfer False off onto a private account and sell off what's left... a thousand bucks or so never hurt anyone.

My goals this weekend got half accomplished. I wanted to reinstall (a working copy of) Slackware on my PC, install Ubuntu on my work laptop for real (instead of inside VMware, which is the current setup), make some sort of baked good, and cook real food. Slackware 11 isos were being a bitch on bittorrent, so that never got done, and as Ubuntu was next on the list, that didn't get done either. I've come to the tentative conclusion that the problem may have been with my bittorrent client on MacOSX rather than the with the torrents... which kind of peeves me. If I'd realized that sooner, I could have gotten so much more done. And since now I've got the isos on my little blue bittorrent box, I need to get at that computer's shared drive from my laptop (i.e.\
the computer with the working cdburner, my main server being offline still), and Samba is being its typical little bitchy self.

Sadly, I'm seeing how shiny Ubuntu is working on my work laptop, and am so darned tempted to just say fuck Slack, I'll throw Ubuntu on it because I know it'll work. And that really depresses me.... My pride in maintaining multiple hard-to-use computers has been so much a part of my own definition of my personality, I'm not sure whether I'll know myself quite the same way if I capitulate and eliminate some or take the easy road... I know this probably sounds odd, but in its own way this is a bit of a life crisis, and I'm not really sure what to do. I *like* Slack, damnit, but even with slapt-get it's just not as easy. And it depresses me that "easy" is now a positive factor in choosing what I do.

Oh - the part of my weekend that did get done? How quickly I ramble. Lindsay (Shadakul) came over on Saturday night to hang out and watch Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and I really felt like real food so I roasted a chicken (lemon- and onion-stuffed) with carrots and potatoes. Darned tasty, and I'm pretty proud of myself. I let the bird come to something approximating room temp before putting it in the oven, rubbed the skin well with butter, sprinkled it with a mixture of salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sage, got the timing right, finally figured out where to put the thermometer such that it registers 180 when it's supposed to register 180, and in general just kind of kicked ass. *nod* Pretty darn proud of myself! And my experiment with cookies went well, too. Dan asked for M&M cookies, and I decided to test the theory that putting Vanilla Pudding mix (dry) into the batter will keep the cookies soft and delectable. I used this recipe with about 9oz of semisweet mini M&Ms, and they are absolutely delicious. The pudding mix trick is one for the books!

Work's going well. Had a project of my very own last week, which $deity willing will make it through UAT and all the rest of it without too much of a hitch.

I'm looking at the menu for the cafe here at the office complex (yes, there's a cafe[teria], and it has a pretty decent menu). On Friday "Brussles Sprouts with Almond Butter" are on the list of sides, and darned if that doesn't sound intruiging... I'm not sure about the fact that they're paired with knockwurst, sauerkraut and spatzle, but hey, they're trying.

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I'm just neurotic

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 12:02:13 PM

Week 2 at work - going well. Not much to do yet, but I'm hanging out and screwing around with various linux installations (go free VMware!)

In other news, it's freezing in this damn office! >:o

Dan and I sketched out a design for the most awesome kitchen spice cabinet I have ever seen in my life last night. We caught a glimpse of something similar on some home-renovation commercial, Lowe's or somebody, and Dan said "What, you like that? I can do better than that, here, where's a sketchpad?" *grin* And he could!

We've been vaguely talking about houses, in that way you do when you get the free real estate magazines from outside grocery stores and such. When our lease is up here, if we can, we'll probably move - and there's no reason I can think of now why we shouldn't be able to. We'll take the year as it comes, and see where we are when it's up.

I'll tell you what I am looking forward to, though - having a kitten and a puppy, having a real garden, having lots of kitchen space, and generally getting settled in for a little while at least.

Hey, my pepper plants finally have blossoms and peppers on them! They're late bloomers or something, and the climate change was probably a severe shock to their systems - I know it was to mine, hell. I've been sick 2 weeks out of 4 since I got here >_>

I'm still kind of at this weird loss about cooking... I don't know why, whether I'm putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect right off the bat, or maybe I'm just in a slump, but I don't feel like anything I make is really "right" lately. It's very odd... a little bit worrying, to be honest. I'm second-guessing everything, making things which are more complicated than I would probably normally have made, and thinking about whatever I'm going to make all damn day. If I wasn't obsessing about it all day, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to write it here, if that makes any kind of sense.

I just ... ok, bear with me here. I gravitate pretty heavily toward carbs - pasta and breads. So for me, I'm ecstatic with penne ala vodka with crusty buttered bread for dinner. But then I think about that, and then I realize it has no meat in it, and how can anyone who isn't me be happy with just pasta for dinner? Whenever we've had dinner at Dan's parents' place, they seem to do a main protein, and -acres- of side dishes, a couple of veggies and applesauce and salad. Even though I realize that they don't exactly put major thought into whether or not everything is perfectly coordinated - it's more like, "hey, we have broccoli, let's put that out!" - I still stress over whether or not I can do the same thing.

Really, I'm just neurotic. But it's distracting me.

But hey, now I have stuff to do for work, and the cable guy's coming to fix our shitty connection between 5 and 7 tonight, so I have to leave early.

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This is frighteningly familiar

Posted at 15 Aug 2007 10:48:26 AM

Guess what I'm doing now?


Code Reviews for HS's 787. *snerk* This spreadsheet looks very familiar, somehow... the problem so far is, the project lead is kind of terrible at working with remote people. This is the 2nd day, and so far I've been told to read some documents about some software we're not using, and that's supposed to tell me what to do.

Posted in: work

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

Posted at 12 Feb 2007 12:01:42 PM

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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An itemized list

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:53:07 AM

Because *I* think it's funny, my last two days (inclusive) have gone thusly:

9:00: Get up, only to discover that Outlook has the IQ of a retarded eggplant, and that my meeting is not infact for another half-hour. Go back to bed.
9:30: Get told that I really don't need to be on this conference call anyway. Go back to bed.
10:00: Realize that if I do not get up soon and do errands, I will not be here when the pager arrives, then it will get taken back to the FedEx place and then I will be in trouble.
11:00: Get dressed. Tell people that I will be afk for a couple of hours, since the post office and the mall two business days before Christmas are guaranteed to be quite the collective party.
11:15: Am out of the post office. Rock on.
1:00pm: Am finally out of the mall, and am feeling slightly homicidal.
2:00pm: Pager arrives, and the fun begins.
Sometime that afternoon: Begin discussing pager hand-off with previous pager holder, and am informed that some significant processing issues have cropped up which will require equally significant catching-up later. Mmmm... can already see how this will play out.
That afternoon and evening: Play WoW and check email. (This is normal.)
8:00pm: Am informed that an additional 16 hours or so will be needed to fix the aforementioned issues, and to check back tomorrow afternoon. Simultaneously wince and giggle with slightly-hysterical delight, since the train wreck this will be is already becoming clear. Go back to playing WoW and checking email.

2am: Have been alerted of issue requiring an immediate solution.
2:10am: Am rapidly discovering that the documented solution is in fact so much crap, and wake up the oncall DBA to fixplskthx.
3:30am: Problem is still not solved. Give up in disgust, and let the poor DBA go get his well-deserved rest. Also, attempt to get some well-deserved rest myself.
3:30 am - 8:00am: Attempt to sleep, yet get woken up every half-hour or so by emails. (This is normal, albeit depressingly so.)
8:00 - 10:00: Do normal work-related stuff.
10:00: Realize that I have exactly one hour to get out of the house. Take world's fastest slowest shower, since I am still resisting wakefulness with all my bodily power, pack and hope that I'm not forgetting anything, write emails to the wonderful people covering pager for me today while I am driving and at the TSO concert, and come to the conclusion that it is 11:00 and I am still not out of the house.
11:00: Load car. Realize that I have neither watered the plants, cleaned my apartment nor done last night's dishes. Verbally apologize to the apartment at large, and pull the door shut behind me.
11:05: Realize that rented movies are due back on Saturday. Swear, and then retrieve them.
11:15: Realize that today is clearly the day they gave free drivers' licenses to anyone who cared to apply, regardless of IQ, reflexes or aptitude. Swear some more, and arrive finally at Starbucks.
11:20: Am calmed down slightly by caffeine, and on the way to the video place.
11:45: Arrive impossibly late to said video place. Yikes.
12:00: Am finally on the highway. Jeez.
2:30pm: Arrive in Coxsackie to pick up Dan, and immediately turn around and hightail it up to the Pepsi Arena.
4:00: Thoroughly enjoy the TSO concert. YAY omgsquee happy :D
8:00: Am on the way home. Arrive, greet family, scrounge up something for dinner, am told that "I look tired." Hmm.
10:00: Yay, internets. Check email and discover to my joy that nothing serious has broken which I need to deal with. Also discover the new ETA of that solution has been pushed back yet again, and that I will need to somehow invent at least 48 mythical hours in order to catch it up again.
10:55: Finish this and realize that it is not nearly as funny as I think it is, but am sleep-deprived enough to post it anyway.

Notes: Yes, the TSO concert was wonderful, and I loved every minute of it :D Dan and I have gone every year for the past 3, and really I hope that we can keep up the tradition. We went to the afternoon show because I was a dumbass this year and didn't actually get tickets until last week, but honestly the 4pm was probably the better choice this year (as opposed to the 8pm) given the availability times of people to cover for me.

Not sure what's going on tomorrow (Dad?) or when I'll head back to Binghamton. It may be either Saturday or Sunday, depending on that server and my personal schedule... I tend to get really tired and that makes me not want to deal with people during these weeks (not that any of you have noticed though, right? ;) ), so honestly the sooner I'm back in isolation the better it will be for all concerned.

Oh, and - all the well-meaning people who keep inviting me to Christmas dinner because I will be all by my lonesome on Monday? Really, I'm ducking out of our own family's dinner because I am guaranteed to be in a heinous mood, probably unshowered for a couple of days and in general quite antisocial. I might bite. I will certainly growl. Also, not particularly fond of having to be polite and full of appropriate levels of holiday cheer with lots of people I don't know. I appreciate the thought, I really do - but I'm avoiding the whole fiasco for some very good reasons. It'll be ok, really :)

Still addicted to this new Three Days Grace album. This is some good stuff, people!

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So tired. So very, very tired.

Posted at 20 Nov 2006 10:48:27 AM

I am tired beyond all imagining this morning. Literally - I'm nigh-falling asleep at my desk. *zzzZZZZzzZZZzzzzzzz....*

Also, my back hurts and so does my shoulder - I think I slept oddly on it again. And I have shitloads to do before wednesday this week, including but not limited to doing laundry, packing for thanksgiving weekend, making another batch of pumpkin butter, packing up baskets o' canned stuff, hooking the PS2 up to my LCD monitor, playing a measurable amount of Final Fantasy, getting to the bank, cooking (or otherwise assembling) two side dishes and a pie, sleeping, and pulling Blizzard's collective head out of its ass (still not unbanned. No real updates, either. *murders someone*). Also, about 20 hours of work. Theoretically on the list is going bowling tonight and fitting in Casino Royale* at least once more. Those last two might not be happening, and I admit that despite badly needing the practice, my shoulder's current condition may factor into my wimping out of bowling tonight.

Did I mention I need sleep?

Also, Wegman's is a constant madhouse lately, so even shopping takes a non-negligible amount of time.

I'm at work. I don't care about this report bug that I'm supposed to be diagnosing. In fact, it's beyond "don't care" - I actively don't give a fuck. *headdesk* And I have a meeting in 15 minutes (did I mention that Outlook is "working" again? Thankfully, it is). At least I got in on time today, so I can leave at 5.

* Daniel Craig officially = love. Oh my yes. He's an amazing James Bond.

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One of these moments

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:52:17 AM

Ummm...One of my college friends apparently has a kid now.

Though the little sprocket is kinda cute....I'm slightly creeped out right now.

I am _too young_ for my friends to be having kids! *ack*

Also...body still adjusting to pager schedule. Woah. Slept from 4 to 8ish (things were quiet! yay!), dozed a bit when possible since then, am now permanently awake. Very hazy and am typing badly. Because this may also be due to lack of contacts, I'm going to go take care of that. (The icon is meant to be ironic.....)

And last but not least - CONGRATS, CARDINALS!!!!!
It's kind of cool, the series is on the week that I'm stuck home in front of the TV. Suffice to say, I'll be tuning in :) (Dan? Want to flip a virtual coin to choose sides for our annual the-yankees-aren't-playing World Series bet? ;-))

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Of cabbages and kings

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:51:37 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 11:51:16 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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Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:50:50 AM

I'm back from Virginia and from Catskill, and it's really nice to be in my own surroundings again (not that Catskill isn't, but ...there's something to be said for one's own computer and bed.)

I'm at work, and Outlook is being its usual piece-of-unresponsive-shit. This laptop's already been rebooted 3 times today, too: 2 normally, once because it BSoD'd - anyone who tells you that XP does't bluescreen is full of shit.
I'm halfway between being chronically pissed off and chronically lazy, just to spite everyone. I've gotten 2 calls within 15 minutes of each other, both ostensibly just "asking where I was in terms of the issues I'm working on", but both really to pester me about a certain issue requiring a code fix, and why isn't said code fix done omg!

Quite frankly, it isn't done because once I found out what the problem is, it went to the bottom of my list of things to do. If they want me to do the actual code fix, they'd better resign themselves to not getting answers about the other issues for the next few days (never happen).

My TTD list, so that you all understand, is ordered thusly:

Stage 1: Old things which have no explanation yet.
Stage 2: New things which have no explanation yet.
Stage 3: Things which have an explanation, but need work.
Stage 4: Analysis of existing conditions, etc. Non-immediate work.
Stage 5: Stuff that I forgot about, or which is so old I figure pretty much everyone else has.

The issue in question is there, in Stage 3. The calls today have been regarding its sudden elevation to Stage 0 (not pictured). This is otherwise known as Stage OMG!!!!!!!!!11, and is possibly my least favorite, ever.

So, yeah. While juggling several IM conversations, our memory hog of a CM tool and my total lack of email, this day has taken a turn for the confusing =/

I'll obviously need to get at least the code, and possibly some of the testing, done before I leave today. I'm running a series of massively long SQL queries to determine just how bad the regression testing for this will be, and I just got some results which suggest that it will be bad indeed.


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Things I Make!

Laura Helton Designs @ Ravelry

Patterns for Knitting