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Journal: A thingie! A fiendish thingie!

Journal by Astreja

Last summer, at a garage sale, I picked up a "Soldering Iron Practice Kit" for $1.00.

I hauled out my soldering iron yesterday afternoon and put it together. (Yes, I did RTFM before starting.) Found a 9 volt battery, plugged it in...

And it worked.

First time in my life an electronics project has *ever* worked on the first try.

And it's... Well, let's just say it's cute and more than a little bit scary. The two red LEDs take turns blinking on and off, and the speaker emits a noise like a European police siren ("EEE ooo EEE ooo...").

I'm thinking of adding Velcro straps, attaching it to a cat, and sending said cat into my daughter's room to wake her up in the morning.

Most fun I ever had for a buck!

A.K. Odinsdottir
2005-03-24

User Journal

Journal: Chomp!

Journal by Astreja

Ow. There are tiny little holes on my face this morning.

The perpetrator is Smooch, one of my horde of cats. He awakened me at 6:55 a.m. this morning by repeatedly biting my chin. I awoke to see a small grey and white feline staring me in the face.

"You up?"
*chomp* *poke*
"Up yet?"
*gnaw* *kiss* *tread tread tread*
"How about now? No?"
*bite*

Damn, it's a good thing I like cats. Pass the disinfectant and bandages, please.

A.K. Odinsdottir
2005-03-16

User Journal

Journal: Night of the Living Clarinet

Journal by Astreja

It's official: I am now the proud owner of one (1) student clarinet. It made puppy eyes at me and followed me home from the music store.

(blows into 2' long licorice-coloured thing, which emits squeaky noise vaguely reminiscent of the opening of Rhapsody in Blue)

I see a correlation between music and computers: It's hard to learn that first program, a bit easier the second time, easier still with each new attempt. Same with instruments. I ripped my fingers to shreds when I first picked up the guitar. Took me forever to learn how to improvise on the piano. Clarinet is the tenth instrument I've attempted, and it's the easiest learning curve yet. Decent sound on the first day.

This got me thinking about paradigms. I've heard that we can't really wrap our minds around something we've never seen before... It takes multiple exposures before we even start to understand.

And -that- got me thinking about innovation, invention, and future philosophies. What's the best way to cultivate our minds to eliminate that lag time between seeing and Seeing?

A.K. Odinsdottir
2005-02-12

User Journal

Journal: Alas, poor Dilbert... 2

Journal by Astreja

I'm in mourning. My "Technology: No Place for Wimps" coffee cup just committed suicide on the office floor. Fortunately I hadn't made it as far as the coffee room, so the mess was minimal.

Ironically, five minutes before the tragedy, I had successfully carried the cup *and* the backup job *and* a ten-pound UPS upstairs with me.

When I lost Dilbert I had just finished tutoring a user in basic Excel and was standing in a clear space in the office. Then, for no apparent reason (besides Monday morning), my hand spontaneously opened up and let go... I watched the cup fall in slow motion, like in a bad movie: "Noooooo!"

(dries eyes) Oh, well. I have a very nice penguin cup at home...

A.K. Odinsdottir
2005-02-07

User Journal

Journal: Dare to Compare

Journal by Astreja

I woke up this morning to find a warm cat balanced on my hip. Outside there was lovely hoarfrost in the trees, and my windshield was coated with ice.

For breakfast, ate a nice piece of leftover stollen as I was e-mailing a mead recipe to one of my co-workers. For lunch, popped open a can of orange soda and ate a sandwich at my desk.

Payday tomorrow. Giving $50 to tsunami relief.

Three-day weekend coming up. But till then I'm stuck in the basement, running backup jobs and installing Windows 98 again.

It's snowing outside. Everyone else has gone home early. And I'm out of chocolate. Send help!

A.K. Odinsdottir
2004-12-30

User Journal

Journal: La Geeka Loca

Journal by Astreja

This morning I emerged from my basement office to go two out of three falls with a wayward Brother HL-8e laser printer.

There I was in the elevator, thumbing through a fifteen-year-old technical manual in search of PCL escape sequences... ...And singing a Ricky Martin song.

Yup, I'm livin' la vida loca, all right. Think I'll liven things up by cleaning another box of keyboards...

A.K. Odinsdottir
2004-07-16

User Journal

Journal: Cat Gazebo from Hell (A recipe)

Journal by Astreja

- Take eight slightly insane housebound cats and two female geeks.

- Pick up 26 stud-length 2x4's (two trips in '89 Cavalier and numerous disbelieving looks from lumber yard personnel).

- Add 75 linear feet of heavy-duty screening; seven pounds of nails; and pot of strong black coffee.

- Swear when it starts to rain.
- Swear at mosquitoes.
- Hit thumb with framing hammer. Swear if desired.
- Go for ice cream.

- Remember that you promised co-workers cookies for summer solstice. Start baking at 8:30 on Sunday night. Collapse in kitchen chair at quarter to midnight; doze off in bathtub; stagger to bed.

- Deliver cookies to co-workers and offer pagan holiday greetings. Try not to think about gazebos.

- Repeat until gazebo is standing and cats forgive you.

A.K. Odinsdottir
2004-06-22

User Journal

Journal: Rammstein and prairie dogs...

Journal by Astreja

Ah, Saturday afternoon shopping. Six more pre-owned CDs and a new stuffed toy for my collection. It's a ground squirrel. Saw him two weeks ago at the bookstore but a three-headed dragon won my heart that day. Promised I'd come back for him, and I did.

Good heavens... I'm making promises to stuffed toys in stores? I really have to get out more.

Or was 'getting out' how I got into this mess in the first place?

(cranks up German heavy metal CD; sits up and sniffs air; whistles along to "Ich Will," all the while keeping an eye out for large mallets overhead)

A.K. Odinsdottir
2004-04-24

User Journal

Journal: Throwing my lot in with the penguins

Journal by Astreja

Well, last night I did it... Edited my home page and deleted my whole CV. Don't wanna be an MCSE no more. Don't wanna be a CNE, either. And I don't need an A+ to do hardware.

Sick unto death of the Certification Polka. If I never set foot in a testing centre again, it'll be too soon.

And to think that I used to *teach* this stuff. IT burnout, next three exits (Keep right, please).

A.K. Odinsdottir
2004-03-23

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

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