Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogging remotely

For a number of reasons, the main one being that my desktop machine is on its last legs, I bought myself a laptop last week. It has a hard drive twice the size of the old machine, a wireless card, a 17-inch monitor (the main selling-point, really. Yes, it's heavier than most others, but I have all sorts of room on the screen! I consider that a fair trade), and this nifty little camera above the screen. I can use it to take pictures of myself, but I can also flip it round and take pictures like the one to the left.

This is the room I'm blogging from at the moment. It's my favorite place in the library. Before the renovation (back in the late nineties), it was the Maps library and was just jammed full of map cases, with a section in the back that had tables similar to these. No lamps, though. Then the football coach donated a huge chunk of money to the renovation project, so they turned this room into an old-timey looking reading room and named it after his family. Those brass and green glass lamps house electrical outlets and laptop ports in their bases. The ports were used much more frequently before they installed wifi in the whole building, but it's still a pretty neat idea.

You can't see it very well (the camera only has 1.3 megapixels to it, and was definitely made to take very close-range pictures), but the trim near the ceiling is a series patterns in plaster-- the largest one has been painted red and gold. Back when this was the Maps room, all of those fantastic little details were all painted the same color as the wall. I was so happy to see this room finally get treated the way it deserves. It's in the oldest part of the building, and one of the few places that hasn't been hacked apart or partitioned off into smaller, pokier rooms.

Well, that's about it for now. I just wanted to try out my camera and my wireless card. I suppose I should pack everything up and go get myself some supper before it gets much later.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I hope this isn't a monthly occurrence

"So," I ask, stretching my arms out and turning from side to side. "Do I look like I got dressed in the dark?"

My officemate barely looks at me before responding, bless her. "No. Why?"

"'Cause I did."

"Power's out again?"

"Most of it."

Yeah, that's right. Most of it. At ten o'clock last night my apartment was plunged into darkness. I could see that the answering machine was still on, though (it's in the back corner of the kitchen) and I could hear the refrigerator running. This led me to assume that a breaker tripped, even though I hadn't heard it go off. After flicking various switches in the breaker box a few times, I realized that wasn't it. I poked my head out the front door and saw some of my neighbors wandering around asking each other whether they were having power problems. Some people were completely out. Some people had a few things that wouldn't work, and some people had situations like mine. I'm guessing the people I didn't see weren't affected at all.

I tried calling the complex's office on my cell phone. I got no answer, not even the answering machine, which lead me to believe the office was affected too. The manager has emergency numbers posted on the office door, so I decided to head on up there and see if I could get hold of someone at one of them. I didn't make it very far, though, before another neighbor told me he'd talked to our manager (who is also fellow tenant, apparently. His cable went out and about two seconds later the phone started ringing off the hook--people from all over the complex calling with problems), who was now on the phone with the electric company to see what was up. So I went home.

My heater uses natural gas but the fan is run on electricity, so I had no heat last night. I grabbed every blanket I could find and huddled up with Delilah (who, by the way, was as happy as a pig in poo and spent the whole night purring loudly in my face. She loves it when weird stuff happens). I attached the alarm clock to the one working outlet so that I could at least get to work on time.

No coffee this morning, and a cold sink-bath by candlelight. Yuck.

Around 7 this morning, some fella in a hardhat went door-to-door to explain the situation to us. One of the lines from the transformer was out, so anything attached to that line was out too. They would be digging up our driveway and parking lot again, hoped to have everything restored by noon today.

Admittedly, electricity looks a lot like magic to me, but I have what I think is a logical question: why would you attach parts of an apartment's wiring to different lines? There doesn't seem to be much reason behind the way it was done. It's not like everyone's lights were out, but the refrigerators were all fine. In some cases it was just the reverse. Is that standard practice, or am I right in suspecting that my complex was put together by the Keystone Kops of the construction industry?

Everything should be fine now. I suppose I'll find out when I go home.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Point of consumer-relations etiquette: Unless you are absolutely certain the customer with whom you are conversing is expecting a child, under no circumstances should you ask her when she's due.

Harrumph. Not going there for coffee again anytime soon.

I've spent the whole day asking people at work if I look pregnant. Consensus is that my sweater is rather baggy, the sort of thing a newly pregnant woman might wear. It's also the sort of thing a plump woman might wear if she were not inclined to dress herself in low-cut jeans and high-cut shirts--the sort that make the wearer look like a tube of Pillsbury's biscuit dough that just exploded.

Ah, well. Better to be called pregnant than fat. I guess. Though you'd think the fact that I was buying coffee would be a hint, wouldn't you? Most pregnant women I've ever come across cut out caffeine right away.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Missed opportunity

Blast, blast, blast.

Sunday evening at about 6pm a gorgeous rainbow appeared. It's the only full arch I have ever seen, and very, very bright. I was on the bus for most of it, headed into town for dance class. When I finally got off the bus and started walking, it turned into a double rainbow -- the second about 10 ft (I guess) outside of the first, mirroring it very faintly. As I stood there on the sidewalk, gaping, a flock of migrating Canadian geese flew (in V-formation) right between the two rainbows. It would have been a perfect shot. The next one I would have taken? All the people holding their camera phones skywards, a la Hayata in Ultraman.

Guess where my camera was. Home. I'd decided my bag was too heavy and had a lot of extraneous junk in it. So I pulled out everything I thought I wouldn't be needing that evening.


At least there are some other people from my neck of the woods on Flick'r. I did a search and found some nice shots. Here's one of the double rainbow, and here's one showing how bright the interior bow was.