People I Think Are Quite Keen: Richard and Jennifer Crawford

(What is this? An Introduction)

So, it’s Thursday. Who’s going to get the first nod as a person I happen to think is quite keen? Well, it’s actually two, partly to make up for the fact that I’ve just decided to start this, thus I missed last Thursday, and partly, they’re married, so it’s fitting to honor them together.

So, the first entry in the people I think are quite keen goes to my good friends Richard and Jennifer Crawford.

I’ll start with Richard. I’ve known him since 2006, and have been herding cats, err, Wrimos with him in the Sacramento area since 2007. He’s the best damn co-ML anybody could ask for. He’s also a really good writer with a wonderfully wicked sense of humor. (Don’t believe me? Just go peer at his bibliography page. Anybody that writes zombie stories about Santa’s elves is my kind of person.)

Ah, but that’s not all Richard does. He’s also an excellent code monkey, keeping systems running. Always good, and it means he’s inclined to a technical bent as well. This comes in handy at times, such as the wonderfulness of the Virtual Plotbox, a virtual rendition of the black container I carry to Sacramento NaNoWriMo get-togethers. This means he’s a geek.

Lastly, he’s my GM. I’ve never actually played at a table with people and real dice before, but now I’m getting the chance. So very awesome. Add to that the randomness he posts to his twitter feed, and it’s really a shame not a lot of people know about Richard, because he’s just that awesome.

Ah, but somebody as cool as Richard needs somebody just as cool to be married to him, and that’s where Jennifer comes in. Jennifer is quite amazing. She’s a bit of a tech geek too, but more to the point, she’s a singer, a hell of a baker (she made Richard Dalek cupcakes for his birthday once and a Cthulhu cake another time, and does a wonderfully tasty kitty litter cake), and an artiste with the knitting needles. Totally an amazing woman.

With all this, she still manages to keep Richard and I on task when it comes to keeping the region organized and she’s decided to join us in writing every November. She’ll never share, but I consider it awesome she just comes and writes.

She loves cats. (Richard does too, but Jen does especially.) Between the two of them, they’re host to six furballs — Rosemary, Azrael, Nutmeg, Rupert, Ingrid, and Sherman — and manages to find the time and attention for all of them as well as happily posting their pictures to the internet, which is required. Cat people are generally good people in my book.

Plus they are both big-time geeks. Don’t believe me? Go look at their posts on the Dalek invasion at their house: Infested! (Richard) and The Doom That Awaits You All (Jennifer). Such geeks. Such wonderful, wonderful geeks.

My kind of people, and I’m glad I know both of them.

Want more of either/both of them?
Richard can be found at his blog and @underpope, his twitter.
Jennifer hangs out on her blog and @jenipurr, her twitter.

People of Berkeley - Up a Tree

People I Think Are Quite Keen: An Introduction

So I’ve been poking around Ryan Macklin‘s blog. He’s a wonderful creative guy whom I worked with on the (now no longer available) Finis project (and I kick myself that I didn’t get a PDF copy while they were still around!), and he came up with a little series called “People I Admire”.

So…like a good creative does, I’m stealing the idea and filing off the serial numbers to come up with my own little series called “People I Think Are Quite Keen”. This is a collection of folks who are my friends or whom I otherwise think are really cool for various reasons. I’m going to try to do this every Thursday in my quest to put words on this here blog in 2014. There’s 52 weeks in a year, and I should be able to wrap it up on January 1, 2015.

A bit later today, you’ll find the first (two) people I plan to honor with this little exercise (one for last Thursday, and one for now), but for now, just consider this a bit of a note and an explanation.

(Photo credit: John Morgan, “People of Berkeley – Up a Tree“. CC BY 2.0)

He can’t fool me…

So I was reading XKCD’s What If again, this time on the subject of T-Rex calories. Halfway through the article, one of the illustrations caught my fancy, and I jotted off a quick email to my friend Cal, who moved from Brooklyn to Minnesota in the last year:

To: Cal
From: me
Subject: The real reason you moved to MN…

Can’t fool me…

Never leave Cal any room, because he responded with this gem:

To: me
From: Cal
Subject: RE: The real reason you moved to MN…

Stupid hipsters:

Okay, it made me laugh.

And Cal adds this video as the source of his gif fu, which just had me cracking up — but you’re probably going to need to understand a bit of code to really find it funny.

Derp to the derp

So…I ran a script on my WordPress blog to take advantage of a feature (featured image).

It seems to have decided to edit everything in my LJ blog and put it back at the top of the friends list. This was not my intention.

The photos going missing is a consequence of running the script. They’re still safe at my blog!

(For all one of you who still read my LJ — hi [info]lirazel!)

Night of Writing Dangerously Fundraiser

Fundraising Link

Every year, I do National Novel Writing Month. It’s become a bit of a tradition, to the point my mother just sighs and says, “You’re doing that November thing again, aren’t you?”

And as part of the fun, I raise money to attend the Night of Writing Dangerously. I’ve got enough money to go this year, so that’s cool. But thanks to the wonderful generosity of my co-workers, I have managed to get in the top five. I’d like to reclaim the #1 spot, but that’s $185 dollars away, and I’ve only got two days left, so I doubt it will happen. But second place, at this moment, is an easily achieved $20 away.

Also, the organization as a whole is about a thousand dollars off its donation goal. Every little bit helps! If you can help, please do so. If you can’t, pass the word on! Even a ten spot helps.

Your donation goes to help kids write! Please help.

Fundraising Link

Eet begins…

First day of NaNoWriMo 2013:

Words written (as of this blog post): 2268
Stuffed toys having to be gently taken away from pug: 2
Number of alerts about dangerous levels of blood in caffeine system: 0
Friends seen: Too many to count.

Remember

How will they remember me?

(Patricia van Casteren / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So, as a lot of you know, I’m a diehard Cal football fan. (It’s awful. Don’t ask.) And so, like any Cal fan, I want to know more about my team that I support, and I fell in with the crew at California Golden Blogs. One of the features of CGB that really lets the zaniness show is what’s called the Daily Bear Dump (yes, Cal fans can be both clever and immature), and it’s sorta the daily links/random commentary post.

I hang out in there sometimes, although I’m gone an awful lot more than I’m present, and there’s a core of regulars. One of my favorites went by the moniker CalBandGreat, who seemed to have a warm sense of humor and was always friendly. He was also known for his great tailgates, which, sadly I had never made it to.

I never will now. He passed away last Thursday.

I just got looking at his LinkedIn account, and I see that he’s a fellow member of what I refer to in my sig on the site as the Lost Tribe of Mooch — that is the Cal fans who started school in 1996, the one single year Steve Mariucci was our coach. This makes it hit even harder, and I don’t know how to talk about it.

One of the thoughts swirling in my head about the whole thing, one of them is simply “how will I be remembered?” Let me say very clearly at this moment that I am not suicidal. I do not want to die. I am merely thinking about what would happen if I were to die, due to natural causes or being hit by a bus or struck by falling space debris or whatever.

And it haunts me deeply that I do not think I will be missed. Now some of this could be depression speaking. It’s not exactly a rational response to it all. All this struggle, all this fighting, and nothing to show for it. It does not help that I’m reticent by nature and prone to disappearing.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. Just — a good guy is dead, and now I’ll never get the chance to meet him. Yet, he has his small piece of immortality — the gang at CGB remember him.

How will they remember me?

How will any of the communities I am in remember me?

Science. It’s amazing.

From Expanding Earth, the latest from xkcd‘s What If? section:

After the initial jolt, one of the first effects you’d notice would be that your GPS would stop working. The satellites would stay in roughly the same orbits, but the delicate timing that the GPS system is based on would be completely ruined within hours. GPS timing is incredibly precise; of all the problems in engineering, it’s one of the only ones in which engineers have been forced to include both special and general relativity in their calculations. (emphasis added)

And I use it to find tupperware in the woods.

Science. It’s pretty amazing, and damn near magic.

adventures in microsoft tech support

So, I have a problem. I have two live accounts, one under my usual email and one under my old hotmail address. I wanted to merge them, or barring that, kill the one under my usual email address so I can reassociate the old account with my new address.

So I contact Microsoft support.

Here is our conversation:

Pedz: Welcome to Microsoft Customer Service Chat. Please give me a moment while I review your question. Would that be alright?
me: sure
Pedz: Hi Katrina.
me: Howdy.
Pedz: You can delete the other account but it will be on that account’s process since it’s not a Microsoft product.
me: Hmmm.
me: Well, I’ve tried closing the [usual email] one, once I disconnected the new computer from it.
me: But it won’t let me.
me: SOmething about making sure I’ve stopped all billing transactions. But I don’t have any.
Pedz: Please contact the email client, retstak.org.
me: Uh. That’s my personal domain.
Pedz: I see.
Pedz: We can only provide links if it’s a Microsoft product.
me: yes.
me: but that’s the email address I have a live account under.
me: I have two live accounts. One under the retstak.org domain, and one at the hotmail one.
Pedz: I understand but that’s not a Microsoft account.
Pedz: You only associated a Live account under that email, right?
me: Okay. So who do I talk to about Live accounts?
me: yeah.
Pedz: You can still access your Live account separately, right?
me: yes.
me: that is, my login for the live account is that email address, but it gets me into a microsoft live area.
Pedz: Try this link.
Pedz: That’s the direct link to close an account.
me: Okay.
Pedz: I hope the above information would be beneficial to you in resolving this issue. Did I fully address your question?
me: I think so.
me: :)
Pedz: Thank you for using Microsoft Customer Service Chat. Please feel free to come back again. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

I really love technical support…

wpid-2012-12-19_22-16-20_929.jpg

My newest acquisition

This piece of wood is the edge of a bleacher seat from California Memorial Stadium, home of my beloved California Golden Bears. In the process of renovating and modernizing the facility, which was originally built in 1923 on top of a major earthquake fault, they tore out the wooden bleachers.  I’ve not had a chance to get back to Memorial since the renovation and retrofit, but I’m told it was done well. 

Turns out, though, that those wooden bleachers date back to the original opening of the stadium.  Wow!

The Wooden Duck, a company in Berkeley that specializes in making furniture out of reclaimed wood, managed to get its hands on the old bleachers and, from there, offer pieces for sale. They’ve done some gorgeous work, which you should check out.

My thanks in particular to TwistNHook, the proprietor and head honcho of the zany crew over at the California Golden Blogs, the best Cal sports blog on the entire Internet, including the North Korean parts. ;) He procured the bleacher piece for me, and I owe him.

I eventually plan to get a nice photograph or lithograph of Cal Memorial and frame this block with that. It will go nicely with my 1959 Rose Bowl pennant/program/ticket and my copy of the Daily Californian dated Monday, November 22, 1982 in my tiny museum of Cal memorabilia. :)

But that is my cool thing.

like the stillness in the wind before the hurricane begins

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