electricpaladin: (Aleph Hack)

It's everyone's favorite time again - the least exciting part of the year. Testing!

I'm going to be sitting around the classroom, hopefully watching silent children silently complete their test. Any amusing links and emails you can send me would be appreciated.

Normally, I love this job. Proctoring standardized tests... not so much.

electricpaladin: (Aleph Hack)

Is there such a thing as Perceived Frequency Creep?

By that I mean does the frequency with which something happen seem to increase with repetition, even though the frequency does not actually increase?

I ask because I have a really crappy phone - smart enough to actually crash periodically, just like a crappy computer, but not smart enough to actually do anything smart - and it seems like those crashes are coming with increasing frequency. It hasn't reached the point that the crashes are exactly common - we're not at the "once a week or so" level - but it does seem that they happen more often. It seems that the first few times my phone crashed, I had to strain to remember the last time it had happened, whereas now, while I can't recall the exact date, it seems much more recent.

This sounds exactly like the kind of bullshit our brains produce to keep us looking out for the newer, better, and tastier... but then again, my phone is really crappy.

Ouch

Feb. 24th, 2012 10:06 am
electricpaladin: (Assault Sergeant)

I have achieved my second Tiny Plastic Spacemen related injury! Yay?

I'm in the process of stripping down some used models I got for free, and last night I managed to give my left hand a major cramp. First world problems, I know: "man, it's so terrible. I was doing some art on some plastic toys that I got for free and I gave myself a cramp." But, actually, it really hurts! I'm sure it will be fine by the end of the day. To be honest, I'm taking it as a badge of honor. You can tell you're serious about your fun when sometimes it hurts.

Of course, this still isn't as gory as the time I buried my exacto knife in my left index finger. It looks like it will heal clean, but you can still - just barely - see the seam where the cut was.

The models were a serious windfall though. That was probably more than 200$ worth of used Space Marines - practically a small army! - and it was all free, and now it's all mine. Of course, they had a truly horrible color scheme: base-coated black and smeared all over with bronze paint. Really gaudy and really poorly done. The marines are well put-together, but the tanks seem to have been assembled with rubber cement and are falling apart as I strip them. Of course, that's a problem that's not a problem; the more to pieces they fall, the easier it will be to strip the paint off, and when all is said and done I can easily reassemble them.

Oddly enough it's the Space Marines that are the biggest treasure, even though it was the tanks that first delighted me. There are some seriously old, seriously cool, and seriously out of print metal marines in there, including this awesome guy with huge skulls on his shoulder pads. I may not be the world's best painter, but I am going to be able to do some seriously cool stuff with these guys, once I've got them stripped and base-coated.

Anyway, the whole thing includes about twenty Space Marines, some of them Assault Marines, some of them Tactical Marines, and some of them with various special weapons, two tank chassis, and four (four? These guys are always fielded in groups of five or more) Terminators.

I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

electricpaladin: (Default)

"Death Spiral" is not the name of a goth metal band, but it should be.

Actually, I was introduced to the term "Death Spiral" by RPGs. In an RPG context, a Death Spiral is a rule that causes a character (or other entity) to become less effective as it approaches death. For characters, this has the effect of heightening tension and increasing drama. As the character becomes increasingly injured, he or she must struggle on despite the pain and handicap of wounds. Death Spirals - although for this to work they usually have to be accompanied by a mechanic for ignoring them at some cost - can often produce some awesome "from hell's heart I stab at thee" moments.

Of course, there are problems with Death Spirals. For one thing, the "circle round and beat the crap out of an increasingly crippled opponent" scene isn't much cooler than it sounds. A few games have done interesting things with inverted or otherwise altered Death Spirals that make opponents different or just plain nastier as they get more hurt, which is counter-intuitive, but usually a lot more fun, in that it produces rising action over the course of a battle, rather than falling action.

In the last few minutes, I've also learned that Death Spiral can also refer to some economics conditions, too.

But I digress. I'm here to talk about the Death Spiral in terms of sleep.

The Stress-Work-Sleep Death Spiral goes like this:

First, I am stressed. This is a general condition of my life. Then, I have work to do (also a general condition of my life). Because I am stressed, I am often doing the work at odd hours of the night. As it gets later, I get more tired, which reduces my efficiency and increases my stress. Which reduces my efficiency. Which causes it to become later. Which increases my weariness. Which reduces my efficiency.

And so on.

This is probably the worst thing about reality. Time, man, it totally blows. I would totally arrange things differently if it were up to me.

I think that recognizing the Stress-Work-Sleep Death Spiral (SWS Death Spiral, or SWSDS, for short) has helped me to avoid it, or at least mitigate it. The problem with totally preventing the SWS Death Spiral is that it acts upon the part of my brain that, well, acts. I may see it coming, but that doesn't mean I can do anything about it because it's the parts of me that manages time, makes decision, and works creatively that are slowed down, skewed sideways, and otherwise fucked up. However, there is something powerful about sitting in front of my computer at 12:45 AM and saying "damn, I know what this is - this is the Death Spiral" that helps. It opens the door to radical solutions, like "fuck it - I'm going to go to bed and set the alarm for 5:30 so I have time to do this before school" (a personal favorite). On a smaller scale, it sometimes helps spur me on to make more intelligent decisions about how to manage my time and reach the inevitable conclusion of the SWS Death Spiral - finishing my work and going, the fuck, to sleep.

And for the record, I know where the spacebar is. There's some kink of the Dreamwidth interface that they're still working out that occasionally erases my spaces. It's a space erasure. Very exciting.

electricpaladin: (Default)

Today we begin one of my favorite units of the year: the HIV Mini-Unit.

I enjoy teaching this unit for several reasons. Firstly, I'm really proud of a lot of the activities I've cooked up for it, including the T-Pain Suicide analysis activity (culturally appropriate pedagogy for the win!). Other activities that come with the curriculum, like the "Drinking Party" or the "Mix and Match Fluids and Orfices" activity, are fun just as written. It's also fun to get to teach something that I know will definitely be relevant to my students' lives, practically no matter what choices they make. Everyone should know how to do science - it adds a lot to your life to understand the world around you, and the problem-solving skills it provides are invaluable - but let's face it, a lot of people don't remember an iota of middle school science and they do fine. HIV-avoidance, however, is a matter of life and death.

And, let's face it, I'm a bit of a sadist about this work. I enjoy cracking open my kids' brains and challenging their adorable little assumptions  and preconceptions for its own sake. It's fun. The HIV Mini-Unit gives me lots of opportunities to do that.

"Do we have to do this unit?" C asks me, in a typical whiny twelve-year-old voice.

"Yes," I reply, curtly. I don't like to spend a lot of time answering questions my students already know the answers to, things like 'do we have to do this?' and 'can I go to the bathroom?'
 

I thought the matter was safely resolved, until I walked by during the Pair Share to discover that C was sobbing. A moment of conversation revealed that C's aunt had died of AIDS last month.

I had been trying to explain to my kids that HIV is a growing problem in Oakland. Case in gut-wrenching, tragic, mother-fucking point.

Anyway, I shuffled C off to the counselor's office. It turned out later that all of the counselors are out sick today (wtf?), but when I saw her again she was feeling better; I guess a break from class did her good. C's mother - I called home to giver her my condolences and a head's up about C's feelings - is adamant that C participate in the unit, and I can see why. She's also a little puzzled about C's feelings, since the deceased was her father's sister and not someone she knew very well, but you never can tell with kids. Sometimes things effect them in weird ways.

Anyway, I don't think I actually did anything wrong, but I feel weird nonetheless. It's not every day I dive feet first into someone's personal family tragedy, and while I've had kids who have lost family members to HIV in three years I haven't previously had the bad luck to begin the HIV Mini Unit a mere month after an AIDS death.

That's it from the trenches today - unless someone else starts crying in my six. Wish me luck.


electricpaladin: (Default)
Another interesting thing about Dreamwidth: as they are less well-known, they are not blocked by my school's firewalls. Booyah.

Anyway, here is my first post via Dreamwidth, and my first personal blogging post in some time. I feel under a lot of pressure to make this post "good" and "seminal," to define with grace and brilliance what this blog is going to be about.

That's why instead I'm going to post this RPGnet motivational poster I made about five years ago.

The Others

Sometimes, you just need to move on.

I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with a blog. Post about writing, gaming, and random geeky things on the internet? I do that already on the Burning Zeppelin Experience. Post about miniatures, wargaming, modding, and painting? I think I'm the only person in my immediate internet circle to be into that sort of thing. Post about how freaking slow and unreliable Audible downloads are? Tempting, but probably not a great idea.

So, I guess that leaves posting about my life. Hopefully I can elevate the format above "how was your quesadilla?" blogging, but I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, you're at least tangentially interested in what's going on with me, in a broader format than Facebook allows.

Which reminds me - if I want my friends to read this and be updated about my life, I should link to Facebook from it.

Anyway, the fact is that I miss the heyday of Livejournal. I miss reading my Friends page and seeing what my friends are up to, creatively presented in their own words, impregnated with their own personalities, intermixed with a liberal sprinkling of people I don't know personally but think are neat. Maybe there's nothing I could do to bring those days back, but I can post this, I can post about Dreamwidth on Facebook, and I can hope.

So, here goes nothing. This blog will be about me, for those who care to read it.

Also, is it just me or does Michele Bachman look less like she's dropping out of the race and more like she's promising to bite all those who oppose her?




There is definitely something bitey about that woman. I know that her dropping out of the race doesn't mean that she will stop spouting horrible hate-filled rhetoric, but at least it means that I won't have to hear about it - or look at her horrible bitey weasily face - nearly as frequently.

But enough about politics. What's been up with me?

The last - God, how long has it been? - the last period has had some ups and downs. Ups include my teaching career, which continues to be lots of fun. Abby is well, as well, and I'm still quite happy to be married to her. I've recently gotten into wargaming - I'm sure you've all noticed, after all the pictures I've posted - and while it's a hobby that's possibly even sillier than the rest of the ones I've already got, It's also a lot of fun. I really enjoy the artistry that goes into assembling, modifying, and painting my Tiny Plastic Spacemen, Tiny Plastic Lizardmen, Tiny Plastic Giant Robots, and Tiny Plastic Giant Monsters (TPSMs, TPLMs, TPGRs, and TPGMs, for short). Apparently, I'm even quite good at it, and getting better.

However much fun it is, though, minis wargaming doesn't replace roleplaying. Real roleplaying, the kind I did in college, the kind where you tell deeply meaningful stories. I'm done feeling ashamed - I've been done for a while now - this is one of the major ways I express myself. It's also really hard to do when you're a grownup. I've posted about it before, and I'll probably post about it again. It's kind of up right now in my life, and it's been a major source of frustration.

There are some lights at the end of various tunnels. I've got a Dresden Files game going on - while it isn't quite a game of truth and beauty yet, it's certainly fun and I think it has the potential to become such. I've started developing more local friends (Friends! Dear friends!), which is good, because while I've got some awesome friendships already, I'm also pretty isolated and lonely.

In other news... well, I think that about covers it. If you read my blog you already know about my Summer from Hell, my mother basically disowning me, and my brother's continued douchebaggery. You probably also know that in addition to being wonderful and fun, teaching is probably the hardest thing I've ever done, and it continues to leave me exhausted.

So that's where I am: work is fun and work his hard, my creative life is full of new things I enjoy and all but empty of old things I love, I have more friends, and that front is continuing to improve, and my marriage is great, but unsurprisingly strained by all the things that are difficult in the rest of my life.

Watch this space for more blogging. Let's see if we can't keep in touch.
electricpaladin: (Default)
So.

I may or may not have Tuberculosis.

My skin test says that I've been exposed. I just got my chest x-rayed, but I'm unlikely to know before Monday or Tuesday what the result is.

Now, normally I wouldn't care. I'm a hyperchondriacal nut, but I know TB isn't that bad in a world where I can take a round of antibiotics and probably be clean as a whistle. An antiseptic whistle. It would just mean not drinking booze for half a year, which I can deal with.

No, I'm stressed because of my teaching fellowship, because the teaching fellowship that I have fought for, agonized over, and spent more than $300 in testing fees and car gas and bus fares, is going to boot my ass to the curb if there's TB in my lungs.

Wish me luck.
electricpaladin: (Default)
I'm having trouble with my iPod and I'm hoping someone (anyone?) on my friends list can help me. Here's what it's doing:

Whenever I update it, everything looks completely kosher until I eject it. Then, it refused to acknowledge that it has any audio files on it at all, except that the hard drive is full of all the music that should be on there! It just refuses to play it. When I plug the iPod back into my computer, it claims that the hard drive is full of "other" data, all the happy blue of my audio is gone, replaced by something the iPod won't recognize. It's as though my iPod is forgetting that it's full of music and insisting that it's full of other crap.

Any solutions?

RAGE RAGE!

Mar. 17th, 2009 09:18 am
electricpaladin: (Default)
Screw roid rage, road rage, and geek rage. Today, I have a healthy helping of plain old rage rage. Rage rage rage rage rage.

Rage Number One: Pope Benedict Says Condoms Not the Answer.

Ok, listen up pope asshole. I get that abstinence is the best policy when it comes to not catching STIs. Everyone with a half a brain knows that. But, you see, we have to live in the real world (what's that the Catholic Church aspires to? To be in the world but not of it?), and in the real world, people are going to fuck. What matters more to you? That the people who are going to fuck do so without catching a terrible disease and dying - or worse, spreading it to an innocent bystander like a husband or a wife or a prostitute first - or that you continue to spread the most base, most pitiful, most sex-negative version of your gospel?

Oh, I see. Well, thanks for clearing that up for me.

The best and saddest part of the article is where Benedict laughs at the idea of being isolated by his policies because he has plenty of aides and friends around who agree with him. Aren't popes supposed to be wise and not fall for that sort of shit?

Rage Number Two: A.I.G.

I can't even get started on this right now.

. . .

Fortunately, "Keeping a leopard in a residential area is simply not allowed in Germany." Heh.

electricpaladin: (Default)
Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I am contacting you regarding the entry level necromancer position at Sangorg Cryptomatics Incorporated advertised on Craigslist. After a thorough review of your ad and website, I believe I can make a significant contribution to Sangorg Cryptomatics Incorporated and am enthusiastic about the opportunity to join your necromancy team. I bring several important qualifications for the position:

A firm grasp of the necromancy basics: My arcane skills are broad-based and reliable. I am skilled in many applications of the Art, including curses and sympathetic magic, posthuman communication/animation, and contact/negotiation with nonhuman entities.

Excellent written and oral communication skills: As a published writer, popular teacher and successful retail customer service representative, I have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of environments.

Strong team player: I have repeatedly shown my ability to collaborate successfully in a variety of work environments with a broad range of co-workers and managers.

I am eager for the chance to prove myself at a prestigious firm such as Sangorg Cryptomatics Incorporated. I am confident that I can be a powerful addition to your necromancy team. I have attached my resume for your review and look forward to meeting with you at your earliest convenience. I will follow up with a call to your human resources department by Friday, March 13th.

Best Regards,
Mark Simmons

* * *

Also posted to Burning Zeppelin Experience.

I don't know... would you hire me?
electricpaladin: (The One Electronic)
Now that I'm slightly more awake, I can post my thoughts and impressions of yesterday.

I'm glad Barack Obama is our new president. He is a man of honor, integrity, and intelligence. His policies make sense. More personally, the facts of his ethnicity and economic background fill me with American pride for the first time in a long time. I got teary watching President Elect Obama's acceptance speech in the enormous election party at the Weston St. Francis in San Francisco.

I am also deeply saddened by what looks increasingly like California's decision to ban gay marriage. This is the first time that Americans have passed a law actively restricting someone's rights. We have never backslid in this way, we have only held stubbornly to the foolish ideas of yesterday or progressed more slowly than we should.

I'm frustrated with how much the latter stains the former, but I'm sure President Elect Obama will continue to impress me as time passes. And, we can't forget that he mentioned Americans, "gay and straight" in his acceptance speech. Nothing like that has ever happened before.

As I wrote last night, I spent yesterday harassing speaking to voters outside the polls in Fremont, CA. My legs and brain have mostly recovered.

My biggest impression of the "Yes" voters was that they were frighteningly childish. Every now and then I dealt with one who was polite, if usually cool. Many of the rest were... how shall I put it? Excessively brisk? Intense bordering on violent? No one ever threatened to hit me (except for an octogenarian, who actually shook her cane at me and told me what a bad person I was), but some of them walked past me as though every footstep was a punch in the face. What bothers me, however, is the substantial minority who did something that reminded me of a child or adolescent.

Some of them shouted some variant of "you shouldn't be here!" and the worst of them repeated it over and over again, like a mantra, drowning out my loud and obnoxious (/sarcasm) cries of "thank you for voting anyway and have a nice day." As though saying it over and over again made it true. Many of them went on to harass the poor poll inspector (who I had already won over with kind words, bagels, and cream cheese).

The scene that repeated itself was actually kind of funny. I'd already agreed to be much further away from the polls than I had to be, which endlessly mollified the kindly but fearsomely ignorant poll inspector. Every time a suitably angry person passed through, in half an hour out would come the poll inspector. She'd ask me to go further away, and I'd explain - very calmly - that I was already much further away than I had to be and I wasn't going to move. She'd ask me again, practically begging. I'd make acquiescent noises without agreeing to anything. She'd leave.

I'd go back to doing exactly what I had been doing.

Some people threatened to call the cops. I think they were called, because while I was on break a police van drove by, sat a little ways off, watching us, and then left. Apparently cool heads prevailed at the police station and they realized that we were perfectly polite and within our rights and the complainants were insane.

It was their childishness that bothered me. They weren't polite. They didn't even ignore me. They certainly didn't organize a counter-protest, which would have been fully within their rights. They made threats they wouldn't carry through on. They shouted about laws they didn't understand, seizing on the details the same way a petulant adolescent argues with his parents.

Is that the face of the opposition? Overgrown children who can't give up on their foolish hate and fear?

I want to shake them. I want to say "for God's sake, we only get eighty-odd years on earth, and you're ruining this person's fun. Look at him, he just wants to be with someone he loves. You're ruining his fun. What's wrong with you?"

I wish it were that simple.

I also wish I wasn't so ambivalent about yesterday's election. I want to be only happy about President Elect Obama's victory, not also sad about the victory of Proposition 8. I want to look at the future and see a place I want to live, not a place I'm unsure of.

I want to look at America and see someplace I'm proud of.
electricpaladin: (Default)
So... steampunk maverick gun is a bust. Somehow, I lost the trigger. My best guess is that it got stuck to the newspaper and tossed in the trash during one of the earlier paintings.

I'm not tossing the whole project out, yet, but it looks like it's back to the drawing board. My Halloween will survive - I still have my goggles - but it's still really disappointing.

And it was looking so good, too. I'll post pictures.

EDIT: but if I decide not to be whiny, my thrift-shopping for costumes pieces did land me a totally wicked coat.
electricpaladin: (Default)
I used to be able to look at a beautiful sunset without thinking that some day, I'll see a beautiful sunset, and it will be my last beautiful sunset.

I'm writing that to get it out of my system. I'm writing that so that in a year, when whatever it is I've got going on is dealt with, I can read it and laugh. But I'm also writing it because it's going on. And it sucks.

A little background. I was an anxious kid. I had a period of real bad anxiety when I was in third, fourth grade. I was terrified of dying. Not the pain or decrepitude of age - of being dead. Of being not. It used to keep me up at night and drive me to distraction during the day. Eventually, it went away. I met this orthodox rabbi, and I thought to myself "I'd like faith like that." And I asked God for faith like that, and eventually the fear went away.

It wasn't that I had a clear image of the afterlife or anything. It was that I had a firm conviction that I am more than flesh, there is something in me that is eternal, and besides, dwelling on death is dumb. That conviction carried me through 16 years.

Then, about a month ago, it went away.

I don't know what happened? Well, I do know - I lost my job, went into debt, and started seeing my money problems poison everything else around me. And suddenly, I was afraid of being dead again.

Since then, it's come and gone. Sometimes it's more or less ok: a little twinge of fear that passes, and nothing at all when I'm working hard or having fun. Sometimes it's bad: weeping, clutching, terrified panic attack bad. These days it's better more often than it's worse, but it hasn't been really gone since it started. I have three main approaches. Three main approaches that work, anyway. I'm leaving out dose up on food or internet, since they don't really achieve much.

Approach 1: The Abby Approach

This approach focuses on something Abby helps me remember: this isn't real. This is my brain playing tricks on me.

You see, when I say I was an anxious kid, that's a little facetious. Actually, I am an anxious guy. Until recently, that anxiety has gotten in the way of everything. I won't go into it know, but if you know me, you know how many things I've screwed up thanks to a neverending cycle of fear -> inaction -> failure -> fear.

A lot of things have gotten better recently. The job search I recently ended (more on that later)? Definitely the best, tightest, most disciplined job search I've ever suffered. The job I'm doing now? Not something the old Mark could have handled. That freelance contract I just completed my first draft for? Not something I could have handled, either. Ok, maybe that last one I could have handled. I did have four months.

Anyway, I've always been anxious, so it's not surprising that now I'm having anxiety attacks. The Abby Approach is: reduce the feeling to its physical components, remember that emotional sensations are really just physical sensations, don't dwell on the ideas behind the fear, they're just your brain playing tricks on you. All this is nothing more than a trick of brain chemistry. And it will pass. And when I have a little more money, I'll see a counselor. And a psychiatrist.

One of the nice things about this idea, which has occurred to me several times, in several ways, is that maybe I've finally beaten my anxiety on every other front, and this - raw, guts-to-water fear of death - is its last holdout. You know, now that my anxiety can't induce raw, relationships-to-crap fear or rejection or raw, prospects-to-water fear of failure it's retreated to something I can't actually do something about.

For now. I'll get you, fucker.

Approach 2: The Landmark Approach

This one comes from a personal growth class Abby and I took. One of the distinctions they teach is "peace doesn't come from having no problems (that's death), it comes from the perception that something is wrong. Therefore, giving up the idea that something is wrong will give you peace."

Sometimes, it works. I focus on the reality of my life. Nothing is wrong. It's not like I'm dying at the moment, or anything. Life is pretty good right now. I have nothing to fear.

Approach 3

And the last, trying to recapture some of what I used to have. An inner certainty that I am more than flesh, that something in me will last forever, that dwelling on death is a stupid thing to do.

I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

. . .

Also, I have a job!

I'm working for Birdcage Press. We make educational books and card games for kids, on topics like art, dinosaurs, art, animals, and art. But, mostly art. Anyway, what am I doing for this company? I'm their internet marketing expert.

But Mark, I hear you say, what the fuck do you know about internet marketing?

Not a hell of a lot.

Birdcage Press is in need of someone who can work cheap and grow with the job, and nobody works cheaper and has more growing to do than someone who doesn't, technically, know anything about the job.

It's a little anxiety-making, but my coworkers are supportive (to the point of my boss buying a bunch of books for me to read on the topic of the job they hired me for) and the environment is funky. I mean, while the way I put it above seems dire, consider it this way: I'm being paid to be smart, young, have cool ideas, and learn fast. All of which I have, am, and do. What's not to like?
electricpaladin: (The One Electronic)
This everyone needs to know about.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-schmeltzer/palins-wasilla-to-rape-vi_b_125047.html.

For the lazy, Palin's administration in Wasilla refused to pay for rape kits. That is, the rather expensive ($300 to $1200) examination that is needed to help establish whether or not a person has been raped and extract genetic evidence (semen, blood, bits of skin) that could close the case. You know who had to pay for them, then?

The victims.

I know Palin never actually did this herself, but her personal decision was resulted in women who had just been raped being told "so, we're sorry that you've just been the victim of a brutal and potentially mind- and life-destroying crime... but if you want to catch the guy who did this to you we're going to need you to cough up $300 dollars."

Or better yet, "so, we're sorry about your underage daughter, but..."

Before the Bush administration, I didn't really understand what it meant to be angry enough to spit nails, but now I do. There's a tension in my jaw, a tight sort of fullness that feels ready to come flying out. I just know if I had poison sacks, they'd be pumping out vitriol right now. In fact, this entire experience makes the idea of poison sacks very attractive.

But this? This makes me feel like spitting fire.

This is enormously amoral. I try very hard not to call political decisions evil, even when I'm tempted, because politics is such a vast and multifaceted world, and my perspective is so small. But this... I can't resist the temptation. This is evil, if nothing else is. I'm not sure even Bush has done anything so petty and callous. To consciously create a system where the organization that is supposed to be helping people instead adds insult to injury? That's just... I don't have the words for how bad it is. Terrible? Shameful? Reprehensible? Wicked?

I'm going to stick with evil.
electricpaladin: (Default)
Abby and I have been trying to sell our spare bed.

As most of you probably know, we recently moved from Mountain View to San Francisco. We left behind a two-bedroom apartment with an infrequently-used second bedroom to a smaller one-bedroom apartment. One of the things we've been trying to get rid of is a bed. We were hoping to sell it for $475 (still a fraction of its original price), but we've been whittled down by lack of interest to a more modest $300.

One of the things that keeps happening is people respond to the ad telling me they are out of town and cannot deliver the check or pick up the bed in person, but they will instead send the check by mail and then hire movers to come and get the bed. Every time, it sounds rather fishy, but I've gone along, telling the people that that's all well and good, but I need the bed gone rather soon, so possibly they shouldn't mail the check after all. Then, they vanish. My scam-sense began tingling.

Now, finally, someone has attempted Stage 2 of the scam on me, I know how it works.

Stage 2 is an email telling us that the bank made a mistake, and the cashier's check we will receive in the mail will be for $3000 dollars instead of $300. After taking of an extra $100, for our trouble, would we be so kind as to immediately wire the extra $2400 dollars back? Then he'll hire the movers to come get the bed.

Yeah, right.

See, as I understand it, money transfers via wire are quite fast, but checks take a while to clear. The check for $3000? I'll bet my hat it's a bad check. The $100 I get 'as recompense for all this running around' is a little extra bait on the hook. So, when the dust settles, I'd be out $2400. Of course, the movers will never materialize to pick up the bed.

I let our mysterious internet fellow know that I'm not going to deposit a check for $3000 dollars and wire him the extra $2400. If he cancels the check and sends a new one for the right amount, it will probably still get here in time for me to deposit it and him to send movers to get the bed. How much do you want to bet I'll never hear from him again.

So... anyone know someone who wants to buy a bed?
electricpaladin: (Hobbes)
I'm grumpy.

Today was a great day. Abby and I drove up to the city together to load a bunch of boxes into the new apartment. Then, Abby went on to do some playback theater while I stayed behind to assemble some furniture for the new apartment. Then I explored the new neighborhood a little, bought myself lunch in a little hamburger place (not to great, but cheap and convenient). Finally, I headed home.

And then, somewhere on the caltrain, my wallet fell out of my messenger bag.

Anyway... the first part of the day was nonetheless quite nice. I've canceled all my credit cards, but I'll need a new driver's license, a new picture of Abby, a new Costco card, a new Safeway card... it'll be a big pain.

And I need a new wallet.

I had better get to doing the dishes soon, as I promised, but I'm grumpy and I want to do something fun, first. So I'm going to post a character. But not the Call of Cthulhu character, because that will involve scanning something, which is a pain in the ass. And no Changeling: the Dreaming, because I'm too, well, grumpy. So I'll skip to Changeling: the Lost. I'm feeling aggravated enough that I can enjoy making some poor World of Darkness mortal's life a living hell for a few subjective hundred years and then dumping him back home forever changed with an impostor living his life. Yes. That will make me feel much better.

Be right back.
electricpaladin: (Default)
I almost thought it would never happen, but my assignment at VMware is finally over. I mostly thought it would never end because the assignment they gave me would never end. It didn't. They ran out of money.

So now I'm temporarily pseudo-employed again. Such is life.

It's a shame. The biggest things I'll miss are the nice bike ride there and the kitchen full of infinite amounts of sparkling water and dried fruit and these cunning little instant soup things. I was also reasonably fond of my coworkers, and it would have been nice to say goodbye, but I'm used to not having that.

I won't, however, miss the mind-numbing boredom of searching for names on Linkedin, finding the profiles, copying them to the database, and reformatting them by hand.

I've got a lot of work to do to get ready for the moving. So much work. However, I'm also available for hang-outage, phone calls, and other sundry entertainment for the next few days (I hope).
electricpaladin: (Default)
The Problem: I want to watch an episode or two of Buffy while I finish my Aberrant character and maybe start my Trinity character, but there's an overgrown cockstrocity of a carpet cleaning thing making a huge noise across the parking lot so I can barely hear anything in my own apartment.

The Solution: Watch my one of my favorite episodes ever - Hush!
electricpaladin: (Default)
Insomnia again. No good reason for it.

*Shrug* I'm much more chill about it this time. I'm giving myself permission not to sleep, if that's going to be my fate. I can always call in sick tomorrow.
electricpaladin: (Firefly)
It is a sad, sad day.

I am at work but I have run out of podcasts.

Alas, I dare subscribe to more, lest I not be able to keep up with them when I stop temping and get a real job.

Alas.

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electricpaladin: (Default)
electricpaladin

June 2012

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