fajrdrako: (Default)
I've been struggling with a cold all week, which, on the negative side, means I can't work, and on the positive side means I get to loll about reading, playing games and watching television.

So I logged into World of Warcraft for the first time since... since I don't know when, and discovered things have changed. I had to re-arm my characters, and recover my pets. (I like to play hunters.)

I watched three episodes of Death in Paradise. Classic puzzle-mysteries, good characters.

I read Trinity by Matt Wagner, and I certainly enjoyed it, though I like Batman to be a little less pathologically grim, and there was something just a little stiff about it. Still: beautifully written.

I slept a lot.

I read The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch, and found myself wondering why it was called that. But of course, it's all about the Tyburn.

Monday...

Feb. 8th, 2016 09:28 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)
Thinking a lot about writing, but haven't had a chance to sit down and post something. Still: it's great to be in the mood for it.

Wondering what to write first. What fandom. Hmm.

Busy day

Feb. 5th, 2016 09:21 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)
Ah what a lovely day: worked at two locations and then sat watching Flashpoint with [personal profile] commodorified and [personal profile] fairestcat. I love that show. Add a few comics to the mix. Delightful.

Also, it was a beautiful, classic winter's day. Cold enough to skate, not cold enough to suffer. Sunny. Clear. Thing about the weather is: it just never stops changing.
fajrdrako: TARDIS in winter ([Christmas] - 02)


I wanted to point out [personal profile] commodorified's wonderful Litany For A Season of Night and Storm.

How can it be a whole month since I have posted here?

The solstice has come. The season has turned. We escaped an ice storm by sheer blind luck and that isn't sleet in the air, it's Christmas.

Under the influence of my friends, I spent an hour or two last night watching cat videos on YouTube on my television - after spending a good part of the morning watching Michael Wood's show about Alfred the Great and petting [personal profile] maaseru's lovely white cat, whom I call the Little Princess. But her name is really Minou.
fajrdrako: (Default)


Every five years we have to get a new Ontario Health Card. Don't they call themselves OHIP any more? How many years am I out of date?

My old card expired on my birthday. A couple of weeks before that I went to their office to renew my card, got my picture taken - just a little older and more frazzled than the previous card. They took my old card, and gave me a piece of paper which they told me to keep in my wallet until my actual card arrives in the mail.

So today I went to the bank and got my temporary travel health insurance for my trip to the States next week. Just as I was leaving the bank, the teller reminded me to make sure I had my Ontario Health Card with me. I explained that I didn't have a card at the moment, but that they'd given me a piece of paper to tide me over. "Just be sure to take it with you," said the teller.

Very helpful reminder. So I looked in my wallet and... no slip of paper. It's been a few weeks. Had I absent-mindedly taken it out? Had it fallen out? Where was it?

I've been rooting around the papers on my desk with no luck. Starting - almost starting - to worry. Then I realized I hadn't looked at today's mail yet. There were a few things... including a letter from the Ontario government. Yup, my health card has arrived. I'll be covered to travel. Or at home, too, but it's the idea of being sick or in an accident while out of the country that worries me.

Not that I intend to have any mishaps. I think I feel that if I'm insured, nothing will happen. If I'm not insured, fate will come and bite me.

fajrdrako: (Default)


There's an odd bit of my walk by the river where I have go go under the Hurdman transitway bridge, then up stairs to get to the path beside the Ottawa U football field that leads to the Hurdman foot bridge.

On Monday, it was just fine.

Yesterday under the bridge there was a suitcase on the path. Slightly zipped open, full of clothes and what looked like a laptop case. This was anomalous enough to have me wondering how it could have got there. If someone had thrown themselves into the river, it seems unlikely they would pack. A murder? No sign of violence. A stolen suitcase then, riffled through for anything valuable, and then just left there.

The more I thought about it, the more sinister it seemed. As if bad things happen under that bridge. So I hesitated this morning: but it would take me ten minutes out of my way to avoid it, and there seemed to be no immediate danger, so I went that way and the suitcase looked untouched since yesterday. I fought the impulse to search it a little myself. Perhaps I should have called the police, and reported it? Perhaps I will.

In the UK, and probably elsewhere, I might have worried that it might be a bomb. That never occurred to me till afterwards. A friend of mine had a bomb scare recently just outside her house in the country - yeah, it can happen.

Earlier in the walk, I encountered a runner who was concerned about a bicycle left unlocked and unattended by the path, with no owner in sight. She thought it had probably been stolen and then abandoned, and planned to call the cops to report it.

High crime on the Rideau River. This also makes me reflect that in a few weeks - I'm not sure how many - it will be too dark to walk alongside the river morning or evening, regardless of the weather. I must enjoy it while it lasts.

fajrdrako: (Doctor and Rose)


Every day when I walk to (or from) work, I see someone remarkable... I think I will designate a 'person of the day'.

Monday, it was six people - soldiers doing early-morning manoeuvres, I imagine. I said "Good morning," to them and one replied in kind. They looked a little strained. How far had they been hiking? I took considerable satisfaction in the fact that my back pack was almost as big as theirs.

Tuesday, it was the little boy on the bicycle. He was maybe three years old - four, tops. His bicycle was so little it barely reached my knee. His father was cycling slowly behind him, so the kid set the pace. He was manfully pedalling, slow but steady, not wobbling at all. Go, kid!

Today my Person of the Day was on a skateboard, just whizzing onto the Hurdman foot bridge as I was getting off. A youngish man. He had long blond hair. He wore a black hat, black jacket, black narrow-leg jeans, and black shoes, with neon orange shoelaces and a Hawaiian shirt (glimpsed under the jacket) in bright green, orange, and black. He could have been a Halloween poster, or a comic book character.

Yesterday as I walked home - only a few blocks from my place - someone spoke to me, beyond the customary "hello" one might use with strangers. He asked if the Torchwood patch on my back pack was a reference to Doctor Who. I admitted that it was. I said I was actually an alien in disguise. He replied that my Meat Suit was very good. We chatted about the show a bit - he said he's only watched from the Chrisopher Eccleston shows to the first Matt Smith series, but it's clear he's hooked.

Ahh, fandom. I love the way fans pop up here, there, and everywhere.

fajrdrako: (Default)


What with one thing and another, I got very little exercise in August and September, leaving me feeling unfit and flabby.

So yesterday I went to the gym, and then walked to work.

I used to walk to work all the time when I worked in Sandy Hill, about 45 minutes from home. I'm now about twice the distance. But I love to walk, and the bus isn't much faster...

Google directions said I could get there in 1 hour 10 minutes, and back in one hour and twelve minutes. I'm still trying to figure out what is different.

Now, when I walked yesterday, I didn't go from home, so that added a bit to the walk. I got some advice from a friend at the gym as to what direction to go, and then partly disregarded it - the advice not to use the Bank Street bridge was good, as that would have added enough time to make me late for work. So I walked along the Rideau River path, on the west side, till I got to Hurdman Bridge, where I crossed and then went along the path on the east side until I got to North River Avenue, cutting eastward at McArther. It took me an hour and twenty minutes - just enough time to change my clothes and get a quick coffee.

It was so very beautiful.



Alongside the Rideau River, on the northwest side. )

Today I went again to the gym, but was going for a checkup with my doctor, so I took a bus to work. (I had to wait a long time; I'm not convinced it was much faster than walking.) So I decided, in a "do as you mean to go on" sort of spirit, to walk home after work. It was a lovely day for walking, slightly warmer than I like, with the sun in my eyes most of the way home. Note to self: bring sunglasses to work.

It was still beautiful. And while Google said it should take me one hour and twelve minutes, it actually took me one hour and fifteen, which I think is pretty darn good, considering that I walked right along the Rideau River path instead of taking North River Avenue, which is straighter and more direct.

Now I'm trying to pretend my legs aren't tired.

It's supposed to be foggy tomorrow. Wonder how much difference that will make. I suppose it depends just how foggy it is.

fajrdrako: (Birthday)


I've only been working here a week. Love the place, but I still worry about getting things right; remembering the right things.

Yesterday at lunchtime I treated myself to another picnic by the river, enjoying the sunshine, watching the squirrels and gulls, and eating cheesecake decorated with cream and a strawberry just because I had a good excuse. Making the lunch break festive.

I wasn't back in the office long before I was called upstairs, where the Director has his office. "Come up for a meeting," said his assistant. So I grabbed my pen and notebook, running up, wondering how or why there could be a meeting I didn't know about - and I admit, somewhat paranoically, wondering if I'd done something wrong. More likely they just needed me to take notes.

They were all sitting around a table with a beautiful birthday cake on it. One candle, lit. It was gorgeous! "Make a wish!" they said, so I did, and blew it out. My wish was to keep this job.

Now I'm having a leftover piece for breakfast before work. The cake is from the Swiss Pastry Shop; they make wonderful cakes. A white cake with strawberry cream, and strawberries on top. And no calories on birthdays, either. (This includes the leftovers on the day after, as a buffer zone.)

fajrdrako: ([Bird and berries])
After an amazing weekend of seeing friends, I came in to work this morning, and the tree beside the building seemed to be full of singing birds. It's a small tree. The large tree, in the back, had no birdsong at all.

Mind you, I know from my own budgies how two birds can sound like a flock.

fajrdrako: ([Doctor Who] - 01)


I decided to walk to work this morning. A beautiful sunny day, not too hot, just about perfect. According to Google Maps, I could do it in 67 minutes. I gave myself 80 minutes: I think those Google routes are all timed by men with legs longer than mine. Or just by people who are younger and more fit than I am. (Could that be?)

I enjoyed it very much indeed, especially when I got to the Eastern Parkway and could see nothing but trees, grass and wildflowers, and apartment buildings way beyond the trees. Lovely.

But I'm not very familiar with the Eastern Parkway, and found myself wondering how I could be walking along it for so long when it was only supposed to be a few minutes of the route. There'd been a fork in the path offering me two options: Tremblay Road to the left, Hog's Back to the right. I'd probably already missed my real turning by the time I got there. I had notes, taken from Google Maps, but I'd taken off my jacket and tucked it in my bag because I was hot, and the notes were in my jacket pocket. The instructions for the "Eastern Parkway" section of the route had been rather vague.

So after an idyllic wander through the mid-city countryside, I found myself suddenly at Hurdman Station. That was an unexpected shock.

If you're going to be lost in the woods, you might as well be lost in the woods at a major bus route junction. I got on one of the buses, and got to work on time. But I was puzzled. Where did I miss my turn?

If I have any energy left at 5 p.m., I'm going to try doing it in reverse. That should do it. Google Maps tells me that will take 68 minutes. I wonder where the extra minute sneaks in?

fajrdrako: (Default)


As I came home from the bus stop tonight, I passed a little boy about one, and his father, squatting on the sidewalk and drumming on the bottom of their recycle bin. It was beautiful! The kid'll be a rock star one day.

fajrdrako: ([Doctor Who] - Jack/Rose)


Last night I watched the Doctor Who episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances", because it happened to be on the SPACE channel when I was having supper with Pim. She's kind to me; she knows it's my favourite Doctor Who story. It's a while since I've seen it, and I loved it again. I didn't even argue with her when she said the story made no sense. I think it makes more sense than most Steven Moffat plots. Things often make no sense to her, that make good sense to me.

And, well, it's the Captain Jack episode, as far as I'm concerned. Captain Jack at his best.

This morning on the bus as I was on the way to work, a mother got on with a child who looked just like the little boy in "The Doctor Dances". The spitting image. Even the same age, and the same hair - and in the episode, his hair was rucked up by the gas mask; I don't know what this little boy's excuse was. He was equally cute.

The illusion that he was a child from the London Blitz was diminished as soon he started to talk. In French. Playing with Matchbox cars on the bus windowsill with his mother.



Speaking of Captain Jack Harkness... did you all see this wonderful story? Aww, made me sniffly just to read it. Then he made me laugh when he dances with Misha Collins, the most mischeivous angel who ever flew:



The article it accompanies, by Stubby the Rocket, is fun; it's called John Barrowman Kisses Everyone. Because he does.


fajrdrako: ([Doctor Who] - Jack/Rose)


I didn't really go away. Nor did I forget you, honest. It's just that I'd been hunting for work for so long without result, so frustrated by the interviews that came to nothing and the applications that were never answered, so exhausted trying to get free lance work, and facing the terror of seeing my savings disappearing on living expenses - well. I fell into a slough of despond (or a Dark Wood?) and couldn't bring myself to write. Or do much of anything. Except breathe. I kept on breathing.

But then I got a job, and one I like - like it very much indeed, and it's not one of those jobs that make me feel as if I'm selling out to corporate establishment. This makes me a very happy worker indeed.

Happy but busy.

I celebrated my job with three things:

(1) A bus pass. Haven't had one in years. It's a Presto Pass now, and I love it with a passion. But my sense of freedom - I could go anywhere in the city! anywhere! and twice! - abated a little when I encountered schedules that were pure fictions, overcrowded buses (especially on the day school started), inescapable traffic jams due to construction, and various bouts of carsickness when I tried to read. I experimented with various ways to go to work, at one point even going a far as Billing's Bridge, Hurdman Station, and St. Laurent to avoid the construction on Rideau. It would have worked better if I hadn't got lost at St. Laurent, going to the wrong bus stop and so missing the bus. After all my cunning planning.

One of these days I'll try walking. According to Google, it will take me about 67 minutes.

(2) I bought a shirt. It isn't that I haven't bought any clothes in the past few years, it's that anything I have bought has been utterly practical - things to wear to job interviews or for clients. This was a shirt I saw in a street fair in Gananoque (when I was visiting [livejournal.com profile] josannpq). It's frivolous, it's, fun, it's colourful, it's comfy and I can just wear it whenever and however I like.

(3) I bought two books from Amazon, Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry, and Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch.

And to be truly honest, I went and got a massage from Bronwyn at the Ottawa Professional Therapy Clinic on Catherine, chosen mostly for its convenient location. That has a lucky happenstance: Bronwyn turned out to be terrific. When I can afford to go back, I will. And the sooner the better.

fajrdrako: (Default)
It was, mostly, a boring, trivial and annoying day.

But the evening was lovely. Lynne and Lisa were at my place; when they I walked with Lynne down Third Avenue and up bank, and it was a lovely, cool evening, not quite dark yet even though it was around ten o'clock.

Seems to me I should think of something cool to do to mark the solstice. But what?
fajrdrako: (Default)


For weeks now, I've been saying I'll believe it's spring when I see a daffodil. And I wanted daffodils.

And for weeks now it's been cold, sometimes bitterly so, with rain and wind and snow and generally unseasonable chilliness. On Tuesday there was a dog dish one of the local shops had put out on the sidewalk for the refreshment of passing pooches. It was frozen solid still in the early afternoon.

Today started out chilly and grey, but the predicted rain didn't come and by mid-afternoon it was sunny and getting warm. I went for a walk with Beulah. On our way back to her car, I commented on how the garden on the corner of the street was usually really nice in May.

And then I saw it. A bit of yellow. "Daffodils!" I squeaked. And took a photo.



So now it's really spring, and I am happy.

fajrdrako: (Default)


I did my laundry today, no big deal. And just now I was struggling to get my duvet into its cover, and I thought: I bet there's good advice online as to how to do it better. It always takes me ages; it's frustrating and difficult, and makes my damaged arm hurt. So, I thought, there must be gems of advice out there from the likes of those who taught me how to fold fitted sheets.

So I looked. Found the following:

1. How to put on duvet cover fast. Is it true that Americans call duvets "comforters"? I thought a comforter was something different, more like a quilt... Hmm. I see that Wikipedia says "Duvets are a form of comforter". Who knew?

Anyway, this gentleman does pretty much what I try to do, and he makes it look easy. Shaking doesn't work for me. My duvet doesn't shake; it flops and lumps and sags. I think I'm just not strong enough, or my arms aren't large enough, to shake it out.

2. How to put on a duvet cover doesn't feature a long-armed man, but it does feature a normal-sized woman whose arms both work, and a tiny duvet. She makes "The Flip" look easy. Hah! This is the method that doesn't work with my arms, my queen-size bed, and my ample comforter.

3. Many more examples of the same thing - yup, people putting only duvet covers just the same way I do, only being successful in doing it. Tips & Tricks: Putting on a Duvet Cover.

4. Some sites (like this one) talk about the duvet cover having little strings inside to tie to loops in the duvet itself. What a great idea. My cover and my duvet both lack strings and loops. I could sew them in. Might be worth it. The using clips and turning it inside out method doesn't work well for me, either, because I really can't reach the corners - which is necessary for the 'give it a good shake' thing. Some sites suggest that I stand on the bed while doing this - I can't see how that will held. The problem isn't that I can't reach upwards. The problem is that I can't stretch my arms wide. I don't often feel handicapped - yeah, my left arm is a little wonky but there are only a few things it can't do, and this is one of them.

5. Yahoo!AnswersAbout.com laundry looks like a sensible approach, but again, wants that shaking-it-out business to finish it off.

6. Most of these instructions seem to think that the duvet cover is entirely open on one end. Mine is not. The opening is about half the width of the duvet. This is a good thing: it keeps the duvet from slipping out when I'm sleeping. But it makes the stuffing job a little trickiet.

7. All things G&G advises getting 'indispensible' clips to help with the job. I like that idea. This looks as if it might work.

8. This vid shows Becky doing it with ties and clips. Yeah. That looks good.

9. Having bored myself watching several dozen videos on YouTube (and elsewhere) on the subject, my favourite is this one: How to put a duvet cover on with minimum effort by rolling it like a burrito. I don't know if it will work, but at least it's different, and it looks like something I could do.

10. Even though I said it took me 'ages' to get my duvet cover onto my duvet, I smiled at the site where someone said the 'simple method' saved them hours. No, it doesn't take me hours. Five to ten minutes of annoying fiddling, perhaps. My problem is the inefficiency of my method, rather than the time it takes.

Amazing what you can find on YouTube. And how much of it there is.

fajrdrako: ([Kate])
Heh. From Newsarama:

    In tangentially related X-Men movie news, The Hollywood Reporter has word that Ian McKellen is set to officiate at Patrick Stewart's wedding to jazz singer Sunny Ozell. McKellen discussed the upcoming nuptials on a recent appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show.

Everything I hear about the coming X-Men movie makes me want to see it less. But Wolverine... I'm still hoping it will be good.

fajrdrako: Kenzie from "Lost Girl" (Kenzie)


Conversation I overheard on the bus this morning between 2 well-dressed young men, friends encountering each other on the bus just before one of them got off:

    Guy 1: I got fired this morning.
    Guy 2: Oh? Why?
    Guy 1: I called a customer an asshole.
    Guy 2: That'll do it.
    Guy 1: I don't think they liked me anyway.


And this is what I'm competing with in the job market? Sheesh!

Saturday..

Mar. 9th, 2013 11:10 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

  • Went to the gym. Felt good about it. Brought another bag of food for the food bank drive which is on this month. Got measured and weighed; I've lost a pound, which is nice, because I thought I'd probably have gained weight in February, due to dietary misbehaviour.

  • Went to Gananoque to see [livejournal.com profile] josannpq with many, many boxes of books. Beautiful sunny day - how long has it been since we had sun? We had a nice Chinese lunch at Boston Chinese and sat around talking about books.

  • Went to a birthday party for Peter at Sukhotai. It was great to see Janet and Ronn there, whom I haven't seen for ages. Much talk, much laughter.

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