Quote of the Moment

"It's never wrong to hope, Byx," said my mother. "Unless the truth says otherwise."
- from Endling #1: The Last, by Katherine Applegate

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Obligatory Xmas 2013 Post

Yep, another year, another round of gawdawful tacky ornaments. Glitter animals, this year. Because I found the papier mache animal shapes at a craft store, and decided it would be easier than sculpting from scratch.
That's epoxy on the trappings. And glitter glaze. And metallic paint. (I thought about adding sequins, but didn't want to collapse the universe by setting off a tackiness supernova.) But if you think they're bad now, wait until the lights go off...
(Apologies for the picture quality... I was having some camera issues. And tripod issues. And dear-gods-this-year-sucks-burnt-toast issues.)

Yes, that's glow-in-the-dark glitter. They make such a thing. What can I say? I was inspired by Luminasia...

Aren't you glad I'm not your relative?

Monday, December 23, 2013

At Least The Year's Almost Over...

The other day, my car somehow threw its serpentine belt while turning a corner... which, for the curious, kills power steering and the engine coolant system, among other terrifying dashboard warnings.

I got it back from the shop today. They still don't know why it happened.

Internet research indicates that some (usually much older) cars can do this if the belt gets wet, especially if the shields aren't properly installed - and I did drive though a puddle just before it happened, though I've driven through countless puddles in the past without problems. (This is the Pacific Northwest, after all... puddles are an unavoidable road hazard.) The Taurus forums, on the other hand, seem to think tensioners or worn bearings are more likely culprits. These causes and others were investigated; aside from a slight possibility of rodent involvement, the shop remains clueless.

I used to trust this car. I thought I could count on the thing. Now I don't know if I'll ever be able to drive it in the rain without a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel. And, no, I can't afford anything that would be remotely as reliable.

Part of me is glad that it didn't happen on a freeway or during a freezing snap or in the middle of nowhere. Part of me is glad I have AAA and was carrying a cell phone. Part of me is glad I got my car back fast and with little financial damage.

Another part of me is just sick of this year, where "it could be worse" is as good as it seems to get.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ten Days 'Til Xmas

... and Grandpa's in the hospital again.

Pneumonia, with possible kidney issues. It's been coming on for a little while, hindsight being 20/20. We stopped by to visit him today, and considering how he usually appears in hospital beds (death warmed over), he looked reasonably well, if distinctly disoriented. We're hoping he'll be out in a few days, but full recovery seems to take longer and longer. He might not be up to a big family gathering in just ten days.

2013's already taken my last two cats and our last dog. I'd just as soon not lose my grandfather, too, if it's all the same to the Universe.

SATURDAY UPDATE - For all none who care, Grandpa finally went home. There was some concern about his pacemaker and/or his liver (or kidneys - information's third-hand at best by the time I hear it), but apparently he was doing well enough to be discharged. We still don't think he'll be up to a family gathering, but hopefully we can at least visit him on Xmas Day.