Well, today brought a haircut — my hair is now much shorter, thank goodness — and a new bookcase ordered. It’s not really labeled as a bookshelf (it’s actually a O’Sullivan Cliff Top Oak Stepping Cube, which the web site I link to calls a “steeping cube”, whatever that is), but it can be used as one. I’m defining a small reading/lounging area in the living room with my papasan chair as a centerpiece, and was going to use the bookcase both to define that space and allow for some book storage. I may also get a small bookcase for my own room. We’ll see. I know for sure that I’m getting at least two more floor lights — one more for the living room and one for area lighting in my bedroom.

I’d get something more entertainment-related if I thought it’d be worth it, but I’m being cautious to see what my bills look like first. Perhaps next month.


The good news: the wrist pain I’m having is not carpal tunnel. It’s another condition that can also cause wrist pain. I forget the name, and I only remember that it starts with an “a”. Yeah, real helpful. There’s an interesting web page on wrist pain that gives me a couple ideas.

Anyway, obviously, I went to see Dr. Kyle Oh over at Kirkland Spinecare this morning. We got there, filled out paperwork, then he took me back and did some really cool nerve testing. Basically, he uses electrodes and some contacts to run low-voltage electricity through nerves to figure out the response time. If the response time falls within a particular standard deviation (I believe he said something like 2 standard deviations from the norm), it indicates a problem (though not necessarily carpal tunnel). Luckily, I fell within that standard deviation, and he prescribed a wrist support, which we picked up at a nearby pharmacy. Ironically, this wrist wrap is a lot like the ones I’ve already been using to try and help this problem. He also recommended setting up my desk to be more ergonomic and to get some ergonomic computer equipment.

Anyway, after that we went over and saw my friendly audiologist (Evergreen Speech and Hearing). We made some tiny adjustments to my hearing aid programming based on further feedback, but we decided to keep testing the new aids to see whether we could get them to work in a satisfactory manner. They were nice enough to extend the one-month purchase return deadline from September 20 to October 15 to give me more time to test the aids in classroom and work situations. That really made my day, since I was concerned about having to return them before I had a chance to test them in my current primary environment.

We also went shopping.

Went over to Linens ‘n’ Things in Woodinville after we had lunch at Red Robin (mmm, Mocha Smoothie), and I picked up a new torchiere lamp, placemats, and some goop remover that works nicely on that sticker goop you get when you remove the price stickers on some products. I also picked up a hole punch and scissors from Officemax. I also got a mouse pad with a gel wrist rest, which I’ll start using.

Not much else to report other than that. The week slogs on until I go down to the apartment for the year and start really setting stuff up. I called Olympic Heights before my appointment with Dr. Oh and confirmed that I can get a walkthrough of the apartment with management at 10AM on Friday. So at about 8AM on Friday, we’re Oly-bound.

Labor Day Apartment Shopping

We went down to Olympia this morning to take most of the rest of the stuff I needed down. Thus, we had a little fun shopping as well — picked up stuff for the bathroom (namely a shower rod, shower curtain, and a trash can), plus some stuff for my room.

I got my chair, too! I’ve been looking at a papasan chair from Pier 1 Imports all summer — frame plus a loden green chair cushion. I got something I didn’t expect, however — a matching stool frame and cushion that goes perfectly with the chair. I know for a fact that I’ll be using that chair quite a bit. I put it next to the fireplace and a small window thinking that that would be a really nice use of natural light. In addition to that, I also got a nightstand for my bed and a small cabinet for the cable modem stuff (including the wireless router). We’ll see how that goes.

Not really much else to report, since there’s very little else that I actually did today short of running around looking at stuff. More tomorrow after I go through not one but two doctors’ appointments in a row, then do some phone calls to figure out apartment details.

Blog Layout Changes

I’ve updated the look of this blog to make the header stand out a little more. People who have seen this blog before will notice the new bold titles. Below the title on the right side is the posting, trackback and (sometimes) comment information for that entry that used to be at the bottom of the entry. This makes the entries look a little cleaner and gives each entry a bit more of an offset than it used to have.

Other than that technical change, not much else has happened — the new header comes after experimenting with a new template for this blog and deciding that the header worked better with the current layout than with the new layout I was considering.

Targeting Gender Preferences

To quote Mr. William Falk’s article in the New York Times today, “That Wasn’t the Week That Was“:

IN DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE, PART II Representative Edward Schrock, Republican of Virginia, abandoned his bid for re-election, after a Web log claimed he had sought sex with other men through a phone service. Mr. Schrock, who is married, has co-sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and has advocated barring homosexuals from military service. (Mr. Schrock is a retired Navy officer.) The Web log, Blogactive.com, has vowed to reveal the identities of lawmakers who are gay and support anti-homosexual legislation. An aide said Mr. Schrock was not gay, but that he wouldn’t run because the accusations had called into question his ability to represent his constituents.

While I may not agree with what Mr. Schrock supports, this is downright disappointing when people take it upon themselves to upend the private lives of politicians in order to reveal something as inconsequential as whether they’re gay or straight. Albeit that this would reveal a very basic contradiction in Mr. Schrock’s policies, the mere accusation alone is obviously enough to cripple a political career. If those types of accusations call into question anyone’s ability to represent their constituents, what would happen if the same site started indicting other heterosexual politicians? For that matter, what would happen if politicians were found to be bisexual? Is that somehow less repulsive than homosexuality?

As for the issues that Mr. Schrock supports, I have already stated my opposition to a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I have not, however, stated my opposition to banning homosexuals from military service. Liking your own gender in no way affects your ability to follow orders. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy seems to be working just fine, and rules against dating people within your own unit to prevent any potentially disastrous relationships from forming would make a little more sense to me than banning the presence of gays in the military outright. We can support gays in the military without risking possibly dangerous outcomes that sprout from relationships inside a soldier’s own unit.

A Try at Spam Poetry

SatireWire, in its heyday and before it shut down, once ran a spam poetry contest. Inspired by my recent post, I decided to adhere to their rules and create poetry strictly out of spam messages. I came up with the following:

Quoth the raven,
“Keep your motor running dude as you’re into a surprise.
The service was great not to mention what I saved
Like Kings we lose the Conquests gain’d before,
which is now just above actual manufactures cost.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
is immediately shipped by Fed-Ex straight to your door.

Okay, so it’s not great, but it’s an attempt with a very small number of spam e-mails in my Caught Spam section of Evolution. I’ll probably try again sometime with a larger pool of e-mails. I encourage others to try it, post it in their blogs, and send a trackback ping to this post!

Spam Subjects

please open me, I am a cute and fuzzy email

Um.. okay.

Open that one just to see what it’s selling:

From: Randy Pennington
To: ghford@ix.netcom.com
Subject: please open me, I am a cute and fuzzy email
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 08:10:41 +0000  (01:10 PDT)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

prescrippptiooon weiiiighhtt loss online


if you wish to gettt ouuutt of theese addds


Okay, so the cute and fuzzy e-mail wants me to lose weight so I can be cute and fuzzy too.


Hey, wait just a minute there, buckwheat.. whachoo tryin’ ta tell me?


I’ve got an apartment! Yay!

At this point, you can either close your eyes and imagine me doing a little dance or you can keep reading. Preferably both, but more than likely the latter.

We went down to Olympia this morning, dragging a whole carload of cargo with us. When we got there, I found out that I wasn’t expected until tomorrow, so my paperwork wasn’t quite ready to be completed and the apartment hadn’t been completely cleaned yet. Both were fine, since they completed the paperwork as I sat there and I wasn’t moving in permanently anyway. There’s a huge stain in the rug in the apartment itself which they’re trying to clean, and they’ll be nice and not hold me accountable for it. It’s a nice little two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a two-story building. Courtesy of my roommate, I’m taking the master bedroom, which is small but has a nice walk-in closet with some storage space. I’m thankful for that — perhaps I won’t have to have much under-the-bed storage. Anyway, the apartment also has an in-room washer/drier (which I didn’t visually check, but it’s there), a full-service kitchen (fridge and stove/oven provided), a fireplace, a relatively cozy dining area and living room, a nice patio balcony, and a little storage room off the balcony. It’s small, but it’s home until at least May 31, since that’s when my lease runs out.

We went furniture shopping at the nearby Bon-Macy’s Furniture Gallery and got a full-size bed plus frame, and since it was only a showroom, that’ll be delivered on either the 10th or 11th of this month. This is good, since I’m going down permanently on the 10th. Cable internet hookup (via Comcast) is on the 11th between noon and 4, so I’ll be without internet access for a day or so (gasp!) while I wait for that to get hooked up.

With bed ordered, we went over to the College and paid fees and did some background checking into Amanda’s financial aid. Apparently, they’re not validating student IDs for Fall until the 18th, which sucks, since I’m going to be using the bus lines to get on campus before then. I also stopped into the new location of the Writing Center to say “hi” and see how the move was going — as is usual for the summer months, nobody was really there, since we’re always on minimal staffing during the summer. I did get to talk to one of the Assistants to the Director and one of the other tutors I work with, though, which was enjoyable. We went up to the bookstore, got Amanda some of her books, then went out to lunch at Apollo’s Pizza and Pasta on the corner of Division and Harrison on Olympia’s west side. After that, we beat feet home. We’ve done pretty much nothing since.

I am glad that we managed to get some of my larger items down — my chair, my new desk. That was an accomplishment, though not all that easy, since we did have to heft everything up a flight of stairs. At least it got there, I count that as an accomplishment. The next step may be getting a dining room table from up here to down there, complete with chairs. We’ll see.

Not much else to report. It’s been a long day, but it ended well.

I’ve got an apartment! Yay!

Hectic Week

So I’ve spent the day bouncing between a client meeting this morning in Seattle, an audiologist appointment this afternoon, and stops by Target, Red Robin, and Linens ‘n’ Things this evening. On top of it all, we had to put up with thunderstorms both at the house and on the road — I miss thunderstorms, somehow. I’m always humbled by the power they convey.

Oddly, this statement also comes at a point when I’m considering my votes for statewide positions. Since the elections this year are based on a party system, we have to choose a party and vote for people within that party, which has vastly pissed off voters in this state, but has to be used, at least for now. I’m voting within the Democratic party for this election, since they have several incumbents that I support (current Washington Senator Patty Murray) and some runners that have what I see as strong positions.

With Friday fast approaching, I’m beginning to plan out what needs to be taken down first. So far, I’ve decided that furniture and kitchen items should be taken down initially, as well as some larger items such as my printer, hamper, essential class materials (read: books), and probably a few boxes of other things along the way. I’m still excited (that’s good, right… right?), though I can’t say that doing paperwork is my favorite thing in the world. At least it’ll get me the keys so that some of this will be over and done with. For now.