drewbear: (Default)

Finally got the LJ app for iPhone to work. Maybe I'll start posting here more, now.

drewbear: (Default)
Hmm. I come by LJ about once a week to read people's journals, but I didn't realize that I hadn't actually posted anything since last Thanksgiving. So here's a brief update on my life since then:

In January my paid-off car suffered critical engine failure, wherein the cheapest fix would've cost more than I paid for the car in the first place. Needless to say, I decided to get a new car instead. I'm currently driving a Honda Fit and enjoying it a lot. I actually prefer it to the old Buick, and for a car that looks so small from the outside, it's surprisingly roomy. The only downside is that now I have car payments again. :-/

Work has temporarily re-authorized overtime for pay again, although they're only authorizing it on a month-to-month basis. Current expectations are that they won't offer it for July and goodness knows how long after that. So there goes an income stream for me.

On the plus side, Matt's part-time job with the for-profit college evolved into a full-time, salaried job with same. His benefits kick in on September 1. He's also finishing up his dissertation, and should be ready to defend it and graduate with his PhD by the end of the year. :-)

I'm still active in the East Coast Pirate Crew, although not as much as I would like due to taking weekend overtime at the job. Last weekend we participated at Con Temporal, a local steampunk convention in its first year. It was fun and we've been invited back for next year. Turns out that a couple of the guests of honor and I have friends in common, and I had a nice long conversation with Lee Martindale, the toastmistress.

I'm still active over at the SCP Foundation (a collaborative horror fiction community) and have been writing quite a bit over there. I'm apparently starting to be considered a valuable member of the community over there, in the "give his opinion great weight as he knows what he's talking about" kind of way, which I find simultaneously flattering and baffling.

That's really about it. My life isn't all that interesting. :P
drewbear: (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope that everything you're thankful for continues through the next year!
drewbear: (Default)
A reminder: Matt & I will be sending out holiday cards again this year. If you want one, comment here with your address or email it to me. All comments will be screened, so you don't have to worry about other people seeing your address.
drewbear: (Default)
So I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night. Anyone want to guess why? Because my CPAP machine died utterly? DINGDINGDINGDING YOU'RE RIGHT!

*sigh* That's another couple of hundred dollars to spend that I don't have. Shit.

The online retailer I use has their call center open on Saturdays, so as soon as they open I'm calling in to see about ordering a new one, as well as delivery times. What with the holiday, I might have to pay for upgraded shipping, unless I don't mind getting my package sometime next weekend. (Hint: I do mind)
drewbear: (Nice Day)
I find these kinds of things fascinating. That there are people so certain that doomsday (of whatever flavor) is coming soon that they will spend an enormous amount of money to build/buy these things. Don't get me wrong; I love zombie & apocalypse stories, but I also recognize that in any end-of-civilization scenario, I'm dead within 3 months tops.

Hardened Structures
drewbear: (Default)
So Matt's been laid out with a cold/flu of some kind since Friday night. Unpleasant, especially since we don't have insurance for him. But we're muddling through.

And then last night happens. I woke up at 3AM and spent the next hour-ish praying to Ralph the Porcelain God. And when I got up this morning, I spent 1:45 providing new offerings from both ends. I've been... experiencing his grace off and on all day and after a 3 hour nap, I think I'm finally to the point where I can keep down some clear fluids. Which is, of course, when the fever kicks in. So I'd say it's a safe bet that I'll be heading to the doctor rather than work tomorrow. Perhaps I can convince them to give me an extra antibiotic prescription I can give to Matt.

On the plus side, I actually have sick leave to cover this, so I'm not losing money, and since this is a holiday week, I wouldn't have been able to earn overtime anyway. I just hope we're both better by next weekend; there are plans afoot.

Menswear

Sep. 3rd, 2011 06:17 pm
drewbear: (Default)
I need to get some pants and the only place around here is Casual Male, which is rather expensive. However, today I saw someone refer to King's Direct, an online store for big/large men's clothing. Does anyone have any information about them?
drewbear: (Default)
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No. So much of modern life, culture and business happens online nowadays, and this can only be expected to increase as time passes. Giving up any direct or remote access to the internet would make it incredibly difficult to interact with modern society, especially as time passes and more and more is online-only (or mainly online).
drewbear: (Default)
Although Irene hit the eastern part of NC bad, it barely made a mention here where we are. Yesterday we had some light-to-medium rain and some moderate winds, but that was it. We're not even supposed to have much of any cloud cover today, much less any rain.

So. Earthquake? Underwhelming. Hurricane? Underwhelming. I think the worst natural disaster I've been on the periphery of lately was when there were some horrific wildfires in eastern NC; there was so much smoke that it drifted all the way over to Raleigh and further and the smoke was giving me some respiratory issues.
drewbear: (Default)
ooooor it was an earthquake. Either way, I can check something off my theoretical bucket list.

Nothing damaged here; I was at work and it shook the monitors a bit, and Matt was at home asleep. Apparently it woke him up and he was about to reflexively swat at my side of the bed, thinking it was me trying to wake him up. :-P
drewbear: (Default)
Matt & I went to a viewing of a townhouse last night, the first viewing we've gone to. We both actually like it a lot; it's got about 50% more square footage, good size rooms, a finished basement, a good layout and the price is about $10k less then my personal limit. The only problem is that the HOA dues are just under $250/month and they're a decent chance that that'll put the monthly cost over my affordability threshold. Also, apparently the property has been on the market only about a week, so the sellers aren't desperate to give concessions to sell it. ALSO also, I need to have $1000 minimum on hand for closing and it'll take me a few more months to save that up, assuming no injuries, accidents or emergencies happen in the meantime.

Gyah!

Homeowner?

Feb. 5th, 2011 05:16 pm
drewbear: (Default)
So I've been thinking more and more lately about buying a home. This is certainly the market for it and mortgage rates are at a low. I've signed up with a couple of "search for a house for sale" sites and I just got back from a meeting with a mortgage lender. I was pre-approved for the amount that's my personal cap, so the next step is finding a house.

I'm really quite nervous about this.

The lender gave me a couple of options, one of which looks rather nicer than the others and would cover the deposit for the loan up to $8000. Even so, I'm going to be required to put $1000 into the purchase, via inspections or pre-paying hazard insurance or something, in order to qualify. It's weird, because I think that $1000 would be the most money I've ever held in my hands at once, even as a check. Even when I got my car, the payment went straight from the credit union to the dealership. I should be able to save up the money before I would actually close on the house, barring injury, accident or emergency. Still it's weird

On the plus side, the lender worked it out for me and, including property taxes and house insurance, a loan for $120,000 (my limit) would still work out to lower monthly mortgage payment than I'm paying right now in rent.

Funeral

Jan. 8th, 2011 09:57 am
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
My grandmother died Wednesday morning. I flew into Texas yesterday afternoon and my sister & brother-in-law drove me out to the viewing at the funeral home last night. It was terrible hard, but the last chance to see her; the funeral today is closed-casket graveside. I'm alternating between distracted, numb and weepy.

I last saw my grandmother over 5 years ago, on my way out from Texas to North Carolina. And given her mental degradation, I don't even know if she remembered me at the end. I feel so guilty about being a bad grandson.

It didn't look like her.
drewbear: (Default)
Last call for holiday cards! If you want one, replay to this post or send me an email. Also, let me know which holiday (if any) you celebrate. All comments are screened.

I'm addressing cards this week and all cards should be out by the end of the week. So hurry up! :-)
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
I have the nasty chronic cough every year in the autumn and winter, but it seems to have started earlier and been worse this year. Combined with some other respiratory stuff that's been going on, my doctor sent me to a ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist to get checked out. Just got back from that appointment and it turns out that I have a growth on my vocal cords. He says it's probably just a benign cyst, but there is the possibility that it's cancerous, especially considering that cancer runs in my dad's side of the family. So now I have to schedule a day off work to get out-patient surgery on my throat. I doubt that I'll be able to get it done before the end of the year (preferable because then I won't have to pay the deductible again), and even if I could, I don't know if I'd be able to take off work, what with everyone taking off for the holidays.

What a joyful body I have. :-(
drewbear: (Default)
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. Time to collect addresses for the holiday card list!

If you'd like a card from Matt & me, either leave your address in comments (they're screened) or email it to me. Also let me know if you'd like our address in return. I *hope* to have them all out by the second week of December, but we'll see :)

Happy Holidays!
drewbear: (skycolor)
A few months ago, one of my friends linked to a music video by this artist, Janelle Monae. I was (and still am) greatly impressed by the vision presented in her videos, especially considering that Ms. Monae apparently has a significant amount of control over what the videos look like and how well they conform to the concept of her albums

Cut for bandwidth )


ETA I had a lengthy post here with analysis of each video, but LJ ate everything after the "Many Moons" embedded video and I can't remember exactly what I wrote. Suffice it to say that I'm impressed by the many and subtle influences and references in the music and videos. Rather than try to recreate, I'll just present the videos for your edification. Please feel free to let me know what you think about them
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
Today is exactly 3 months since my gallbladder surgery. The scars are well-healed, but still ugly. I have some intermittent pains/soreness under the big one, but I don't think that's anything to worry about, yet. My stamina is still really low; I get winded going up a flight of stairs. I'm going to try walking more to see if I can build that up, but we'll see.

The biggest problem is stress. Completely aside from the physical recuperation, finances got royally fucked while I was out of work. I only had enough leave-time built up to cover 2 weeks of the 6 I was out, and my friends at work were only able to donate enough to cover an additional 1.5 weeks. So while I got a full paycheck for July, I only had about 1/3 the paycheck for August. Every bill but rent got pushed back. And now I'm playing catchup on them, plus having to start payments on the medical bills.

Speaking of which, even after insurance, the amount due to me was about $3000 all told. It could've been worse; if I'm reading the insurance statements correctly, the total amount charged by the various and sundry places came to about $30,000. So I'm grateful that I don't have to pay that full amount.

I just... want things to go more smoothly, you know?

Upgrade

Aug. 3rd, 2010 09:45 am
drewbear: (With a twist...)
Workers are here at the townhouse today, replacing/repainting the kitchen cabinets and replacing the major appliances. Tomorrow they're going to resurface/replace the countertops in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom. Sometime next week they're going to resurface or replace the vinyl in the kitchen/dining area, main entryway and upstairs bathroom.

It's annoying to have to remove everything from the kitchen while the upgrade is going on, but at least things'll look nicer when it's done.

Also, I have Syfy on right now and they're playing some god-awful shark movie starring one of the Baldwin brothers (I can never remember which is which... I think this one is Stephen?). It's so cheesy, I could use it as fondue. :-D

EDIT: Apparently it's sea monster movie day on SyFy. The next movie is called "Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep" and the opening sequence is just as bad as the name implies. :P

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