rcking: (Default)
2017-04-09 02:52 pm

Another Refugee

Hi All,
It appears that LiveJournal is as good as dead with the new Russian TOS, so I finally opened an account here. My old LJ permanent account will now be mostly read-only.

*Waves hi to all my friends who moved here before me*
rcking: (fox1)
2016-08-16 08:44 pm

Auction and changes.

On September 15 we will be holding an auction on my parents farm in Eastern Indiana. We have been processing through the household posessions and farm equipment over the last several months in preparation. It really is over two households worth of stuff. Plus the farm equipment: 3 tractors, a planter, a half dozen cultivators, and a strange mix of homemade implements that my father made over the years. Plus my father's shop - drill presses, a band saw, two welders, a large air compressor, and uncountable tools and parts.

Shortly after his 89'th birthday in late July my father began to loose the ability to stand and help with moving himself. My wife is unable to lift him bodily from the bed into the wheelchair and from there onto the toilet. So we made arrangements and moved him from our house to a family run care facility back near his home town. It was a sad thing to do, but after two years of caring for him here, we are exhausted and we cannot safely continue as we have been.

For the next 4 weekends I will be driving down to the family farm to do final sorting and preparation for the auction. It's a 5 hour drive and we're getting really sick of it. At least after the auction is over we should finally be able to get some rest.
rcking: (Samantha1)
2016-06-10 05:39 am

Another update

Several changes in the last few months. In February I stepped down as President of Midwest Furry Fandom. I am still on the board, but I just don't have the time to perform the duties of President, so Perro stepped up to take the position. This is the first time since the 90's that I do not have a lead position in MFF or its predecessor, the Duckon furry track. It feels strange and a bit sad, but it does not make sense to cling to a title if you cannot do the work. MFF has been guided by good people other than me for many years now anyway.

My wife and I went to Las Vegas in March. That was an interesting getaway. My first time there. We visited Hoover dam and went to several shows.

In April I did sneak away to Whinney City Pony Con. My first pony con. Very interesting and the vibe reminded me a bit of furry cons of long ago.

The load of caring for my father has plateaued, but it has to be calculated into everything. Work continues on processing the contents of the two farms into a state that will be ready for an auction, maybe in late summer.

I am planning to attend Anthrocon this summer.

Also, Anne Bramble has kindly included me in her latest costuming project, so I have a few creative outlets to help keep me sane.
rcking: (fox1)
2015-09-01 09:42 pm

Quarterly update

Still alive here.  Anthrocon was a lot of fun, especially taking photos of Princess Luna and rooming with Jovina.  I have to skip MFM this year - I can't spare the time or money.  Preparation for MFF is ramping up.

My job has shifted in two ways.  On the plus side, the possibility of me being laid off has decreased somewhat.  On the minus side, my lab partner is out for 6 weeks to recover from major surgery, resulting in my workload almost going double in that interval.  The only way I am keeping myself healthy is to force myself to get a solid 7 hours of sleep a night.  Without that I would crack.

Cleaning out the family farmhouse is taking longer than planned.  I still haven't sorted out all the tools and things.  Plus, there is a stress and emotion cost associated with that sort of work.
rcking: (Samantha1)
2015-06-01 08:03 am

(no subject)

Wow, It's been about 6 months since my last update.  I've been swamped.
MFF was extra challenging this year with the chlorine incident.  Convention running has become distinctly not fun lately.
Most of my fun/creative furry activities are at a minimum.  I did make it to Texas Furry Fiesta (thanks to a benefactor) and I had a good time there.  I do plan to go to Anthrocon and, of course, MFF.

My high school band had a reunion and it was quite fun.  Lots of good memories.

We have settled into a routine taking care of my father - he is out of immediate danger, but caring for him is not unlike childcare.  We need to have someone with him at all times.  He has some dementia, but on good days he is almost like his old self.
Down on my father's farm, we've been working on getting it all ready for an auction.  Dad sold off most of his farm equipment years ago, but we still have three tractors that need to find new owners and some shop tools.
(yes [livejournal.com profile] cal_foxx, I know you want the old Minnie Mo  :)

Work has been tough - staff has been reduced so much the workload is huge.  My company is being bought out by another company and it appears they just want us for our customer base, so in the next year I may be out of a job.  I've worked there for over 28 years, so this could be a big shift.

If you're wondering where I am most socially active on the net, I'd say on Facebook as Samantha Kemple.  But even there I'm not posting very much.  Too much real life is getting in the way.
rcking: (fox1)
2014-12-03 07:40 am

Life Update for me

Hi everyone,
Some may have noticed that I have disappeared from a number of my normal channels.

About 5 weeks ago, my father had to move in with us. At 87, he was just too old and fragile to take another winter alone in the old family farmhouse. The initial move-in went well and we began to fall into a routine that seemed to be working.

About 2 weeks ago, my father fell down our stairs and had to go to the hospital. Nothing broke, but he took a nasty knock on the head and had some major bruising. It turns out that he also had a number of lurking problems (kidney stone, infection, pneumonia) which had not been immediately visible. We have been going to the hospital twice a day since then.

Yesterday he was released to rehab, so he is on track to come back home. But patient care and elder care has meant that I am stretched really thin on my preparations for MFF and general social connectivity. So please forgive me if I have been unresponsive - ping me again if I have failed to respond. The next two days are a whirlwind of activity as I prep for MFF and get the FVS all pulled together.
rcking: (Samantha1)
2014-08-13 08:18 pm

Eurofurence Bound

Yay! I'm coming to EuroFurence! If anyone wants to meet up, send me a message. And you might just see a skunk-gal exploring Berlin!
rcking: (fox1)
2014-02-17 05:34 am

Rough Winter

So far, this has been the most cold and snowy winter in about 20 years. The forecast calls for one last dump of 3-6 inches of snow today, then finally, several days in a row that will get above freezing. I really hope some of this snow gets a chance to melt off - even though I have shoveled the snow off my garage roof more than once, the frame of the side door to my garage is so warped that I can barely open it.

Just as a year or two ago, the weather vocabulary word was "Derecho", this year the word/phrase is "Polar Vortex". (yes, I know it's really a detachment from the polar vortex, but any way you slice it, when the temp gets more than 40 degrees below normal, it hurts). But hey, you can tell you've adapted to the cold when a temperature in the 20's sounds warm!
rcking: (blah)
2013-10-03 07:13 pm

Almost the last straw -- an LJ bug is driving me away

For the last several months, I have been more frequently hitting a bad LJ bug.
When I see an interesting post, I go to read the comments.
The comments page comes up, but the comments are invisible.
The page says:


But nothing but empty space between those lines.

If I choose "View Page Source" I can see the 3 comments hidden deeply in some HTML. But that is not worth the effort.

Anyone know a work around?

EDIT: Never mind -- Frysco shot right in and told me the cause. I now browse with all posts displayed in my theme. It's too bad LJ allows this theme bug, but at least I can read responses again.
rcking: (fox1)
2013-08-21 09:15 pm

Summer is flying by

Wow! I didn't mean to leave this journal empty for 4 months. I went to Anthrocon and had a great time, but overdid it a bit and wound up with con crud for the next several weeks. Work has put me on a temporary assignment which has been very demanding of my time as well. I haven't really posted much to any social media. But I still read my friends list here.
rcking: (Default)
2013-04-16 01:46 pm


OK, color me intrigued -

Netflix has hired Joe Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5) and the Wachowskis (creators of The Matrix and other mind-bendy SF) to create a new original SF series called "Sense8"

Story here: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/27/netflix-wachowskis-sense8/

This makes my SF fandom sense tingle. And that hasn't happened for a good while now...
rcking: (telescope1)
2013-03-16 01:36 pm

The Kohoutek Scale of Cometary Disappointment

(While searching for an extremely hard to spot comet, it is easy to let one's mind wander)

The Kohoutek Scale of Cometary Disappointment

(a scale for rating comets which never become visible to the naked eye and completely disappoint the novice viewer)

K1 - Comet mentioned only in astronomy oriented publications. Described at some point as "visible to the naked eye"
Effects: a few amateur comet hunters are mildly disappointed. No significant damage.

K2 - Comet mentioned by several astronomy popularizing blogs, described in moderate terms to manage expectations.
Effects: a modest number of novice comet hunters are disappointed. Some loss of enthusiasm.

K3 - Comet mentioned in some branches of the popular press, complete with sky maps for novice observers.
Effects: a larger number of novice comet hunters are disappointed. Some decide that web surfing is more fun and may not bother next time.

K4 - Comet mentioned in all relevant branches of the popular press weeks in advance with maps and expert interviews.
Usually described as "expected to put on quite a show".
Effects: a large turnout of novice comet hunters and a modest percentage of the general public is disappointed. Children irritated that their parents dragged them out for nothing. Adults feel a bit like a sucker for believing this was going to be worth seeing.

K5 - Comet widely promoted in the popular press for many months in advance of the appearance. Terms used like "Comet of the Century", "visible in daylight", etc. Used and overused as a marketing tool.
Effects: a significant percentage of the general public disappointed. Some children decide that science really isn't as fun as they thought. Adults refine their cynicism and downgrade their opinion of astronomy. Comet Kohoutek is the reference for this as a solid K5.

If a comet actually becomes visible to the naked eye by the average viewer, it is disqualified from the Kohoutek scale.
In that case, see the Halley scale of cometary mediocrity.
rcking: (telescope1)
2013-03-15 08:00 am

Comet spotted!

Last Wednesday night, [livejournal.com profile] thegeorgiabelle and I went out just after sunset to try to spot the comet PAN STARRS. We knew exactly where it was supposed to be, but the spot was so close to the horizon that the remains of the sunset (the band of venus) illuminated that part of the sky until just minutes before it disappeared into the tree line. We saw it just in time. It was barely visible to the naked eye, but showed nicely in binoculars. [livejournal.com profile] thegeorgiabelle captured some photos which came out well with a 6 second exposure.
rcking: (Default)
2013-01-21 09:38 am

Put Air in your tires -- It's COLD weather.

Here in the US midwest, we're looking at the coldest days we've seen this winter.
Cold weather makes air contract and tire pressure go so low you might just have a flat.

So, make sure your tire pressure is up! Changing a tire in sub-zero weather is no fun...
rcking: (serious)
2012-10-08 11:34 am

PandaGuy remembered

It was a pleasure to know you PandaGuy -- We will miss you. #panda_guy
rcking: (Default)
2012-08-01 01:52 pm

Happy 85 years!

Last Friday, my wife and I went to Winchester Indiana to visit my father and help celebrate his 85'th birthday. We took him out for a nice dinner and just spent a pleasant weekend with him.

His well had gone dry at the height of the drought, but it is now almost recovered.
We drove down to Spartanburg, Indiana to visit the artesian well there. I hadn't been there since I was a child, but it was good to see it was still there and still flowing despite the drought.

My father's magic lilies were in bloom, so I took some pictures to help remember exactly where they are planted.
rcking: (Default)
2012-07-02 09:43 am

Travels and Power outage

The adventure continues - every weekend we've been doing something and this one was no exception.

Friday night we headed up to Petoskey Michigan for my wife's family reunion, then we headed back Saturday evening. Sunday morning we were just starting to recover at home and we get hit with a storm that takes out our power. Power is still off. Thankfully our generator once again keeps our freezer in good shape, but the lack of Air Conditioning and Internet is rather harsh. I'm ready for a catch-up weekend.
rcking: (grin)
2012-06-04 10:26 am

My Little Pony FiM panel at Duckon a success!

The panel blurb was: "Join us as we examine how strong characterization and storytelling have enabled a TV show for little girls to become an internet sensation and a fully fledged fandom." Big thanks to Treads Lightly for his AV support and valuable contributions.

Panel outline sealed for the protection of those with pony allergies )

We were not quite standing room only, but we held our audience for 2 hours.

I hope I didn't over "Twilight Sparkle" the whole thing. ;)
rcking: (telescope1)
2012-05-17 02:00 pm

Pioneer Anomaly Solved?

I missed this one from the Planetary Society:

Pioneer Anomaly Solved

So Pioneers 10 and 11 were just slowing down due to the asymmetric way they released heat. Not as exciting as new physics, but good to know.
rcking: (Swiss Army Knife)
2012-05-14 02:35 pm

More home improvement

My wife has been asking for track lights in front of the pantry area for about a year and I finally finished installing them. She likes LOTS of light. So, with the right CFL floods, she now has the equivalent of 350 watts of light for just 100 watts of power. Of course I have to pass out the Willy Wonka protective goggles before we switch it on, but hey, she's got her light.