Thursday, March 21, 2019

Brain Energy

So I have like 27 draft posts here right now, and I haven't really had the brain energy to touch this place much of at all.  I've been... busy.

On the work front, being a librarian at a SUNY, we're in the midst of an ILS migration that's going to wrap up and go live this summer.  I am simultaneously more than ready for it to be done with, already, and occasionally terrified that I'm forgetting some integral thing we need to get done before we're live.  Maybe that normal for migrations?  Anyway, this has been the biggest brainsuck for the past eight or ten months.

On the school front - yeah, I'm in school again.  I probably (maybe?) mentioned I'm doing a certificate program right now for archives.  After the class this spring, I've got three more to be done with it.  I'm really enjoying the public history classes I've been taking as part of this, and it's been showing me that a) I miss history and b) I've been doing way more public history than I realized as part of what I do in the library.  The last paper I wrote was on the history of my piano (turns out it was built in Muskegon), and that has gotten me playing more, as well, so yay school.

On the reading front, I'm aiming for 52+ books again this year, with the additional caveat of not so many graphic novel/comic issues.  Not that I don't think they're reading, just that they're kind of cheating on the goal when the goal is to be reading more pages, not more titles.  The book unit is just convenient for articulating the goal.  I have been dabbling with audiobooks this spring (I had a coupon, and Hoopla is a thing), and made the mistake of starting a trilogy that the third book isn't out until 2020.  (City of Brass is the first one.  I really enjoyed the narrator in the audio.)

On the writing front... Okay, so like, I never really stop getting new ideas.  Characters, scenes, premises.  I just don't get them out on paper like I did twenty years ago.  So I've got completion/revision goals for this year, and the additional goal of getting stuff down out of my head.  Currently I'm working on finishing #208, my NaNo from 2013.  It's what I was planning to work on when I sat down in my recliner tonight and ended up updating my website and posting this.

On the gardening front, well, it's March.  The gardening front has been pretty quiet since tear-down last fall and planting out the onions.  But the garden & flower show is this weekend!  I will probably get whatever candy Uncle Sam's is selling; buy some bean, pea, and flower seeds; and enter to win a cubic yard of dirt.  (I've considered buying one but don't want to have to schlep it back to the garden from the curb.)  I need to prune the apple trees and the grape vine Sunday if the weather cooperates.  Then I'll probably do nothing on the garden front till the end of April, and hopefully the ground will be thawed and I can turn it over and plant out seedlings the second weekend of May.

On the other crafting fronts... knitting and sewing are mostly on hold this semester.  I'm doing a cupcake project.  I've got a list of cupcakes I wanted to try baking, and have six left on the list:
  • Pineapple w/coconut frosting
  • Carrot w/cream cheese frosting
  • Devil's food w/chocolate frosting
  • Lime w/lime frosting
  • Churro w/cream cheese frosting (first recipe idea from Reddit)
  • Lemon w/lemon frosting.

Oh, and my WoW guild is 2/9 bosses into the heroic difficulty of the current raid tier (which is so much better than the first tier this expansion).

Anyway, I've been busy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Bert's Bots

New pet battles!  Yay!

Some of the new pet battles in Battle for Azeroth have been... odd.  Pets that are not of the family you would expect for their name/model, multiple pet battles where you just have to survive because they self-destruct after ten or so rounds, and the like.

Bert's Bots is a mechanical fight in Gnomeregan.  Bert is outside the instance, but underground, so if you're Horde, you'll probably want to take the transporter from Grom'gol, rather than do something like use the Last Relic of Argus, because it pretty reliably lands me on Eastern Kingdoms, think, "Oh, that's close enough to fly," and then fly through the gnome guards and end up flagged and at 20% at the pet battle.

The first pet will swap two of your pets back and forth, the second kind of spams fire puddles on the floor that are dots that persist through pet swaps, and the third just kind of spams a basic mechanical attack.

I tried it with Hatespark the Tiny (2,1,1), Fel Flame (1,1,1), and Water Waveling (2,2,1).  Hatespark the Tiny is from the Molten Core anniversary raid thing, so if you didn't get one and don't want to shell out the exorbitant prices for him (I paid something like 25k for him just after the event ended, but the US median price on Undermine Journal right now is about 250k), any pet with Deep Burn and another ability that takes advantage of Burning is probably fine.  Looking into Water Waveling's abilities, Geyser is rarer than I realized, but Water Waveling is just tamed in Zul'drak, and the other pets average 3k-15k on the auction house.  (Water Waveling is my go-to elemental for pet battles that have mechanicals in them.)

Basically I started off with Flamethrower and then just used Conflagrate, Deep Burn, and Burn as Hatespark and the Fel Flame got swapped around, re-upping Burning as needed.  Eventually the bots got through both fire elementals, and the Water Waveling was able to finish off the last one - I used Geyser first since I definitely needed the damage and stun to finish it off.

Pets for Bert's Bots

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Garden round up

So since we went on vacation almost immediately after I planted out the garden, I ordered a flat of plants to supplement it in case things had died while we were gone for ten days. Stuff, mostly, had not.  The extra plants meant that I had a few things that I hadn't originally planned to grow, and more of some things.
  • Peas - pretty good, 3 harvests
  • Carrots - first time getting a usable amount, froze about four cups
  • Onions - got about 3 pounds; I'm going to try planting them out this fall and see how that goes
  • Zucchini - good early harvest; plants got mildewy when it got super rainy and died off
  • Cherry tomatoes - I keep cutting back the number of plants and we were still overwhelmed with them
  • Roma tomatoes - produced a usable amount of tomatoes
  • Jalapenos - two of my plants got pulled up/eaten, so I got less than I wanted but enough to use in stir fries, etc.
  • Pattypan squash - totally wasn't worth it this year; we got 1 squash
  • Green peppers - these weren't originally planned, but I got 8 or 10 usable peppers out of it
  • Tomatillo - the plant got huge with a ton of flowers but never matured; I maybe should have kept it in the pot to bring inside and see if they'd fruit later
  • Green beans - canned 6 pints; they were... a bit of a fiasco (see pictures)
  • Eggplant - originally unplanned; got two small eggplants
  • Cucumbers - never really did anything; we got maybe 2
  • Cauliflower - 3 plants survived; we've eaten 2 crowns so far
  • Broccoli - only one plant really did anything; these were originally unplanned
  • Red cabbage - they were looking so good early in the summer and then just stayed really small
  • Green cabbage - got huge; a few got some kind of rot, but we've eaten 2 of the other so far
  • Yellow squash - originally unplanned; these produced a ton of crookneck squash


The tomato/zucchini/peppers side of the garden

I used the wrong (shorter) fence for the peas


The brassica side of the garden

First zucchini

The marigolds on the deck did pretty well this year

I planted coreopsis on the deck too

The shell:pea ratio is always kind of sad

The cabbages were much more visible before the squash and beans got huge

Zucchini

Another view of the peas

So I thought I had bought bush beans... no

The yellow squash did super well even in a shadier area

So many tomatoes

Tomato soup

First batch of salsa

Many squashes

I didn't plant the morning glories, but they're climbing a lot this year

The strawberries on the deck finally started making less weird shapes

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Garden, 2018

So apparently I haven't taken pictures of the garden since I put the plants in; I'll have to do that sometime this week.

Turning over the garden this year involved digging up a lot of grass and ground ivy - probably half of the contents of the composter is just that.


I'm set up for cucumbers on the side with the composter, and the other side has the fence for peas and the tomato wires.  Since these pictures, I've planted out green and red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, yellow squash, eggplant, green beans, and cucumbers on the left, and peas, tomatoes, jalapenos, green peppers, zucchini, pattypan squash, onions, and carrots on the right.  I've got some kind of volunteer cucumber on the right this year, too.


When we came back from vacation, I found this:


I might actually get grapes for the first time this year.  I just have to manage not to kill the vine while I continue my attempts to keep the oriental bittersweet along the back fence at bay.

I'll probably have zucchini next week.