Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Post 11

My social phobia has been getting much worse recently. It is to the point where I don't want to leave the house if I know I will have to interact with people. Even interacting with people I know and like puts me into a state of anger and panic that makes life a trial. The underlying cause is my fear of people and the pain that they cause; no matter how much they care for me or I care for them.

I am at a lost on what to do about this. Cognitive therapy doesn't feel like it will work because my reactions are on such a subconscious level. There isn't anything wrong with my thinking; something happened that made me angry or sad and it is okay for me to feel that way. The problem is that feeling this way is isolating me from the people I care about and the rest of life.

I want to be able to interact with people but not sure how to get to that goal.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Post 10

Enjoying my new nook even though the interface takes some getting used to. I am interested in seeing how it changes my reading habits. Someone mentioned that he has been reading more of the classics because they are free and easily available. The free samples will probably have a bigger effect.

I should be finished with the newest Lego Star Wars game in a couple of days, I hope. The biggest problem I had was one of my own making. To finish certain quests a particular character needs to be used and normally I would spend time wandering around trying to find this character but this morning I figured out that if I went to one of the control centers I could switch to what ever character I needed. The game is still a lot of fun and I will be sad when I am finished.

My mom is in the hospital again. She is having breathing problems and a general health failure.

Made chicken smothered in tapenade last night and it was very tasty but I should use less salt next time. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Post 9

Successfully fixed a toilet this weekend. The overflow tube had broken and needed replaced. The seat also needed replaced after I managed to break it. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being hardest, I rank it as about a 3 on the difficulty scale. It would be higher if a person couldn't lift the toilet tank.

Started playing Lego Star Wars III. Unlike the other two games, this game is based on the animated television series instead of the movies. The story is less linear than any of the other Lego games. Each section of the story line is represented by a planet where episodes of the TV show took place. I haven't gotten very far yet but it I like it so far. Still to many games and not enough time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Post 8

I made it back from my annual retreat with my friends. Everything went well except for the earthquake in Japan which put a mild damper on things and the absence of Alex which put a bigger damper on things. I won more games than normal and had a very good time.

Tried to fix my toilet this weekend and failed. The overflow tub is what is leaking not the flush mechanism.  I get to tear the whole thing apart again. I am over whelmed with joy. At least I get to put the tank on straight this time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Idol, The Cave Singers and All Songs Considered - Music Post 1

I have been sucked into watching American Idol yet again and last night was the first night of the men singing in the main contest. Twelve guys sang and the top 5 vote getters go through. Luckily only 5 of them were any good. Another good thing was that only one was really bad and that was caused more by song choice than any thing else. Everyone else was just a big pile of meh.

My favorite was Casey Abrams doing I Put a Spell on You. Does not have the vocal ability of most of the other contestants but seems to know what his strengths are and plays within them. And he looks like someone I would be friends with.

Only other person I will talk about is James Durbin. You Got Another Think Coming was his song choice.  Before this performance he has been relying on the ability to hit a very high finishing note. His performance still had some of that but he was very much in control. And it was great to hear Priest on American Idol.

KCRW's Song of the day is Swim Club by The Cave Singers. It's mid-tempo county/folk sounding acoustic song.  This only sound seems to be the new thing which is okay by me. Listened to it twice and it was very nice. It didn't feel overly precious which this style of music seems to drift into more often and not.

All songs considered recently talked about the music of the 90s. Most everything they talked about was good but everything they played was very mid-tempo and unoffensive. The songs they picked were good but it really bothers me that there seems to be a bias against anything with a harder edge.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog Post 7

It's harder to do this regularly than you would think.

Discovered that not only are we feeding a couple outside cats but a raccoon as well. I don't know who was more surprised when I came outside. The cat food comes in after dark unless I am watching one of the cats eat because I don't want to encourage the bad behavior by the raccoon or make him an easy traget for someone that wants to do him harm.

Michelle and I have started cooking our new slow cooker. The first thing we discovered is that while tasty the slow cooker recipes from America's Test Kitchen are not quick to set up. Both the soup and stew we made had prep times of over an hour. We're going to keep working on it.

Managed to blow away a good portion of my digitalized music last week. I don't think I lost anything I purchased but it's still annoying.

Get to head up to Seattle in less that a week. yah.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog Post 6

Walked for 3.4 miles at lunch today and I am hoping to do a couple of more after work.

Finished up a class on pattern making for soft home furnishings at Sew L.A. last night. I almost finished a dust cover for my rice cooker. We were supposed to make covers for our sewing machines but Michelle was doing that and I don't have a stand mixer. I made some mistakes in my pattern; one piece was longer than the other.  And I it took me three tries to sew a curve and I have problems remembering to put the presser foot down. Time to start practicing.

Took Meeko to the vet this morning which she hates. We have to keep giving her ear drops and she is putting on weight which are both good things. The worst part is that we have to keep giving her lysine and she she won't eat it mixed into wet food. I'll have to try it in peanut butter because I hate pinning her down and shoving it into her mouth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Post 5

I have been reading the fascinating book Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages. The goal of the book is to teach you how to make quality cured meats at home in a safe manner, which is pretty obvious from the title. The best part of the book isn't the recipes but all the food science inside. Teaching why things are done a certain way and how to adjust existing recipes and come up with your own.  The only thing that makes me sad is that because I live in Southern California there are certain things that I won't be able to do, like cold smoking meat because it never stays below 70F for along enough time. And I just can't imagine hauling 25 plus pounds of meat to Seattle in the winter time to smoke it there.

My mother in the hospital again and I don't know why. There was some ugliness between us a while back and right now every time I talk to her it puts me in a very bad space and she doesn't understand this. She doesn't even understand how stressful interacting with her is for me. All that happens is that she gets her feelings hurt and I feel bad for making her feel bad. Ugh.

There are only two things that would have made Cee Lo Green's grammy performance better. The first is if his backing band would have been Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem instead of a generic muppet band and if she would have left the lyrics alone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Post 4

Found out that a friend's wife is having her kidney removed this week. There was a benign tumor on it that was discovered after a traffic accident. The tumor started hemorrhaging after the accident and the docs sand it has to come out. She has good surgeon and is at a good hospital. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything turns out okay.

Michelle has been working on getting a new roof  or our current roof repaired. Our current roof have been flying off in high winds. This seems to have been caused by the use of staples instead of nails and that for some reason the singles never bonded together. This could have been caused by a thin plastic strip not being removed from the shingles or the roof was installed when the weather was too cold. I lean toward former.

I am also having to keep an eye on one of the toilets because it might be leaking around the base. I found water around it the other day. After the initial cleanup nothing no more water has appeared. It does look like someone put silicone caulk around the base and that worries me. I hate doing plumbing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Post 3

The sewing class last night was good. Spent the evening making a pattern for a dust cover for my rice cooker. Not the most exciting object to make a dust cover for but they wouldn't let me bring my couch to class. It was fascinating to see how the pattern comes together but I really want to move the pattern to a computer and print it out on a plotter. It's too bad a plotter of the size I need is about $2000. Makes me wonder if I can just print it out on normal paper and tape it together.

Starting to think about making bacon for the annual gathering of the gamers. It is going to take a couple of weeks of lead time before I can even smoke the pig belly. I have to get a couple of things before I can even get started.  I have been working hard on cutting down  my electric bill but damn do I want another fridge so that I can hang meat and rise bread in it. Saw a set up today for a temperature and humidity controlled fridge. Something to think about.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Post 2

Tried out nordic walking for the first time today. It's cross country skiing with out the skis. You hold a pole in each hand and swing them up until the tip hips the ground. I am doing a bad job of describing it but it burns about 40% more calories than plain walking and doesn't take any more noticeable effort than walking. the key word is noticeable. I walked for about 1.7 miles with the poles and my arms are going to be sore tomorrow. I am using some poles that I made out of broomsticks and cane tips right now but If things keep going as they are I will probably switch to real poles eventually.

Going to a pattern making for soft home furnishings tonight at Sew-LA with Michelle. The goal of the class is to make a cover for your sewing machine but since Michelle is planning on doing that I might make a slip cover for a dinning room chair or the rice cooker. It does make me think that I should make pads to go between the non-stick pots and pans.

Starting to plan out dry cure bacon. The last time was a wet cure and Bevan and I ended up over smoking it. It's tasty but only good for flavoring.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You have to start someplace.

I have been listing to the All Songs Considered podcast this morning, probably the most eclectic of the music podcasts I follow. So far I this morning have listened to a show of nothing but electronic music and a couple of surf/punk concerts; last week it was a bollywood dance band. In the past they have played concerts by Weird Al Yankovic, Richard Thompson, Los Lobos and tons of other artists I have never heard of. I haven't liked everything I have heard but my ears have been opened to so many more things that there is no way that I can listen to all the new things that I like.

New things are generally good. It doesn't matter if the things are food, music, friends, movies or experiences. I am not saying go out and shoot herion or get whipped in public if these things are bad for you. But if someone asks you if you want to eat a chicken foot or you should listen to this new band, giving it a try can't hurt you much and something good might come out of it.