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vicar July 10 2014, 14:19

No subject

Major oversight in posting lazily:
I also looked at the fact the contractor thinks we can save the upstairs floors and just treat them. That's saving me around 5 grand or more for wood, but it dawned on me those will be teeny tiny thin floors between the tv, kitchen, etc. and the bedrooms. Huh. So I asked how much to put sound insulation up in the ceiling, and he noted less than $1500. I asked opinions, thought about it, and decided it was worthwhile - particularly when Scott noted people have tried to post-op remediate sound penetration (my wording, damn right) for far less. Seems like a no-brainer.

I looked up what I think he referenced, he named the brand name some time ago, lately he just says safesound - Check this stuff out:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Roxul-Safe-n-Sound-3-in-x-15-1-4-in-x-47-in-Soundproofing-Stone-Wool-Insulation-12-pieces-package-RXSS31525/202531875
Sound and fire! Also, simple and green too. Hell yeah. Happy with this add-on too.
vicar July 10 2014, 09:56

House

When all else fails to get me to write, then there is this bullet list of house crap. The house has eaten my life, but the house itself is fine; I've gotten involved in a political group of neighbors who found out they are talking about putting in "the projects" at the end of our block. Suddenly I'm immersed in DC politics, and it's all everyone has said.

But.
I've been there enough times I recognize some of the fellows, and they recognize me.
Cabinets chosen, dark.
Tile floors pending but I gave a range of options (pretty much all predictable, gray patterns to brown/yellow patterns, may upscale to marbleized)
Main floor - I pulled up a lot of tile, but Jordan says he still isn't sure how much damage / there is to be recovered. I wanted to save the floor to have something left from the original house, but honestly I care less than I used to - even about the money.
I upgraded to get all new exterior doors, and 8' closet doors (pending).
Bathrooms settled on.
After seeing many Modelo and Coronas, left a 12-pack of corona in the frig with GRATIS written on it. It's hot in there and a holiday. Also, I got it for my party in case anyone was not into all my high-end exotic beers like I'm not into wine. I brought Corona to a beer party like I brought beer to a wine party?

I stopped by the other day and the lead worker (besides Jordan) (who looks cuter since he shaved that muff off his face) (not that I noticed) and he was running separate wires through the ceiling structure for the fire alarms; or so I thought, now that I look I see them hooking up can lights. He was very clear the wiring for alarms is different than the regular wiring.

Wiring is going in for switches - they all look like they're in good places.
Some lighting going in.
Ducts just about to start - scattered around the home. I fear my bills when the a/c is hooked up, but I also look forward to the guys not cooking in that oven. I saw plans for the a/c, including specs, last night and took cell phone fotos.
Basement floor now has a trench in it for the piping.

I read an article about what to expect from contractors, and frankly the more I read the more I love Jordan's work. I honestly fear that in a few years he may outgrow my type of work, that the only reason I'm getting this work for this price is because I happened to catch him at a slow point or before his business really took off. The quality all appears good, the project is moving, he communicates regularly, and all the things he does on his own - a lot I should note, including design - seems to "nail the dismount."

I'm looking forward to moving in. Well, unless they put in a "the projects" down the street and we have gangs and burglary/robbery from 1/2 block down.
vicar July 6 2014, 13:53

Humility, more

Found out last night that a friend has been engaged in theft, probably for years. If I had been asked, I would have endorsed / recommended him - for employment, as a roommate, or for a security check. I wouldn't have hesitated or questioned my judgment - he was insane, made terrible judgment calls, and had a very alternative lifestyle; but he was one of us. We shared morality and culture. Now I'm sort of ashamed of him and my judgment.

Yet I'm also not. What he did was theft on a large scale, but of small amounts from many people. He was not robbing anyone - the victims never realized the source of the crimes. Also, I'm a thief - at least in my mind. As a child I stole, and even today I can walk past a car with change between the seats and the idea still crosses my mind. It's natural - most animals steal. I don't, but I've always wondered if I hadn't worked so hard for so long to have this much access to money if I would still be a thief today. Said another way, is my morality the product of my age or situation? The answer is likely a mesh of factors.

He's fucked. For his crimes he has ruined his life, and for not-very-much at all. He didn't get rich or experience much of a benefit from his idiocy, but he has no education and regardless of whether he gets time or how much, he's borderline unemployable for life now. He had a good steady job that would have provided for him and his family for life, now he'll be lucky if he could nab work in fast food.

This is what I do for a living, help keep fuckers like this fucked.

No really, the minute I heard I recognized the type of case, the investigation and branch that did it, knew the likely strengths and flaws to the case, was pretty sure of the non-criminal outcome, and knew his narrow chance of one whit of mercy from the process I engage in. I know how to roll the process along, over him, and all the data that supports the outcome best for the taxpayer and organization they support. I routinely counter all his possible pleas and defenses. This is what I do.

But this is no stranger, nobody that I first encountered based on being caught doing something wrong. No, this is someone I swap drinks and hugs with. I have met his family. I know the moral ambiguity of his romantic life and while I question his judgment his motivation is familiar to me. I have seen him pursue art and shock me with the breadth of his success. I know him as a person, who committed an act, but I knew him first.

Not long ago I had a guy...his case wasn't perfect, and he initiated an unusual settlement option in which he kept his job. I used my credibility with a big manager to make it happen. All accounts are he's working out great, and I've engaged with him multiple times as he's had questions; each time he is trying to obey the rules (and does). I help him and am happy, proud, to do so. Another guy was a creep, I fought that one and lost (with minimal stakes), but during some interactions I looked at him and saw my father's familiar flaws. He disgusted me but I found a part of me that pitied him. While I fought him in every way I knew how, and got emotional in the process, I held myself in check to force myself to treat him with respect and dignity.

In each case I did my duty, zealously. However in my line of work it is easy to depersonify depersonalize the idiots (oops) I go up against. Last night, and now today, I get reminders that the people I work against are just people. They've done or are doing bad things, but not horrible things and certainly not unimaginable things. We have to react the way we do, but I have to keep in mind that they deserve my respect. There is nothing in my job that prevents me from doing my best while still treating them with respect. I can still offer then genuine kind words. I have a funny habit of giving "advice," nothing secret, and they never trust it from me, but I do tell the truth and often even provide references.

It can be hard to treat people with respect, but you do get better with practice. It helps that people generally react well to genuine respect even when you disagree. Faking that through actions, I suppose it's possible but I suspect without the true feeling behind it that people would see through the facade.

Sigh - I'm dealing with my own life ambiguities right now.
One side effect of that is realizing how much I've changed from only a few years ago (or what feels like a few years, maybe 20 ;P). My 2nd finance criticized me, rightly so, for seeing the world in black and white. It's not something I recovered from or am sure that I ever will...ah but statements like that show my progress. I don't know the answer, and I know I don't know the answer. Whatever I do or don't, there is no perfect solution and outcome. My friends, giving me advice, mean their best, but each has their own perspective and bias. Every decision has upsides and downsides, and no decision is immune to regret and wondering if I did the right thing. The only thing I think I have is the knowledge to commit to a decision when made (or declared) and stick with it so long as reasonable. But the ambiguity? I've learned to live with it.

Hell right now I think I'm leaning on ambiguity like an old friend.
medusa242 July 6 2014, 11:54

No subject

Here is what my iPod chose for me to listen to on today's walk:

Usherhouse: Monkey Strange
Palais Schaumburg: Telefon
Singapore Sling: Summer Garden
Simple Minds: Shake Off The Ghosts
R.E.M.: Untitled
William Orbit: Barber's Adagio For Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Ride: Here And Now
The Plimsouls: A Million Miles Away
Real Life: Cathedral
The Bolshoi: Auntie Jean
vicar July 5 2014, 21:09

Sweet loving coffee mud

I feel nothing like writing but recall having the urge. I would write about the gym, maturity, lack of maturity, endorphins, mood vs. crazy, and house. I've even had too much coffee.

Perhaps later (leaving screen up in case of mood change)

Day later and here I be. I could at least summarize a few bits.

Had a party last night, went well. I'm still silly in the sense I am always happy when the party ends with a mess less than a college kegger. No, my friends sit around and talk, eat, and drink...though someone usually brings up one of the floor orgy stories from my old parties. What's great about putting out is once it's out there you don't really need to do anything to maintain the reputation.

House kinda: (maybe I should put in house post)

Lots going on with the silly-ass house. I'm trying to decide whether to run with the smaller general bathroom upstairs, which jams the tub-toilet-sink together in minimal space, but keeps the bedrooms a good size. I'm placing radiators, doors (which way do they open, do we make the closet doors 8' tall for extra storage), and closet doors. The proposed electric panel idea seems to eat some of my main-floor closet space.

The floors are an ongoing issue - he thinks he can't save them on the main level. I went to the house today and spent around an hour with my hammer and fucker (no idea what this tool is called, but it can destroy lots of things) and pulled up large sections of floor. Granted, the large parts I did were easy while I didn't make much headway on the very difficult parts...but I think I both seeing how bad it was while also potentially sending a message.

I also, as I've joined the group I'll call "no public housing project next to our neighborhood" alliance, printed and delivered flyers around the community. Bad idea to do that in the heat of the day even if it only was mid 80s.

The watersense employee came by - turns out she was a she, kinda cute, and showed up on a bike. I mean it's an environmental type job so I guess I could have expected that, but I was thrown off (also by cute). Not that it matters or mattered, plus we were ALL sweaty and disgusting. So I don't much for for subsidies, nothing for converting grass into pavers (if you have a slab and destroy it to make room for pavers you get funds), rain barrels totally fit, and a cistern type arrangement may not work for me. Also, I could do a tree for free which I'm not sure is my interest but it's good to know about - they're also very good to inform you of native and under used tree & plant options.

I heart the gym. Mike and I work out too much and too long, but in every area I'm stronger. I was getting not stronger when I worked out longer and had better progress when I was doing less work. Now I'm doing more work but also getting results. That said, I see an orthopedic specialist on Wed.

There I wrote lemme alone
cheetahmaster July 5 2014, 18:48

Militarized police and an apocalypse

SATURDAY FIVE:
* "The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1%."
* "Stop arming the police like a military."
* Another way you can tell the Hobby Lobby decision was messy? The court has to go back and keep re-explaining themselves. Yeesh.
* Ooh. Concept art from the animated version of Cats that never happened.
* Seven realistic apocalypse scenarios. Happy weekend everyone!

medusa242 July 5 2014, 13:02

No subject

Here is what my iPod chose for me to listen to on today's walk:

The Fixx: Saved By Zero
Pet Shop Boys: Euroboy
Placebo: Haemoglobin
Ian McCulloch: Proud To Fall
Modern English: Breaking Away (Demo)
Morrissey: First Of The Gang To Die
The Mission: Heaven On Earth
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry: Walking On Your Hands
The Church: There You Go
Yello: Oh Yeah (Dance Mix)
medusa242 July 4 2014, 13:26

No subject

Here is what my iPod chose for me to listen to on today's walk:

Deacon Blue: Only Tender Love
Echo & The Bunnymen: Crocodiles (Live)
Morrissey: Ouija Board, Ouija Board
Moev: No Flash In The Sky
Pacific!: Disappear
U2: Your Blue Room
U2: Staring At The Sun
Sixnationstate: So Long
Electronic: Disappointed (Single Mix)
cheetahmaster July 2 2014, 19:10

Supreme Court's year and more

SOME NEWS:
* Nineteen writers on this term of the Supreme Court.
* Good overview of the Hobby Lobby ruling if you plan to talk about it online.
* Why the Hobby Lobby ruling is just the start.
* "How corporations became people you can't sue."
* The revolution that wasn't: on the ground with Bundy's supporters.
* What we know and don't know about the ancient Harappan civilization.

vicar July 1 2014, 10:41

No subject

Caught myself wishing I could go back in time, inhabit my old body with this new knowledge, and look at my teen and early 20 years again. Wish I could go out to dance to the new music that makes me nostalgic today - watch some of the people I know dancing, talk to them, and know where they wound up. But I can - there are place to go today, and even in my 20s I recall finding I could "look through people" as they all fit patterns and I could predict the interactions from start to finish. In bed.

I wish the things I was dealing with were complex. Half the difficulty is how simple desires are, how simple disincline and reward are. No wanting to eat too much candy and not being sure if these veggies are that good for you is hardly an intellectual challenge. Me want.

Though curiously me want was a recent lesson. I forgot how much. Even so, even so simple, I am confused.

With age one thing - I'm comfortable not knowing. It sounds silly but "I want" and "I don't know" are fairly recent revelations.

Also, it was years ago - my god like 10 - and I went through part of this. I thought we were special, and I wasn't entirely wrong, but I understand that simple situation much better today. Understanding does help as much as I hoped. Neither does making vague posts on eljay.
vicar July 1 2014, 02:26

No subject

Hello eljay where most of my friends don't go; where I can talk and feel like I'm talking to an audience with less risk of being heard.

I still want to talk but I know better
it doesn't matter because I already know the arguments
and it doesn't matter because discovering the arguments, reasons, and feelings is more important than the conclusions I draw.
I think.

I nearly drank for no reason tonight. I'm much more comfortable chopping off the world and all those people, choosing a feeling from a bottle that I can control. I can drink and just feel, those thoughts freed from the patterns and
freed from what?

I miss the clubs for that - when I could have something to look forward to, however empty and hollow. Like this talking, dancing felt more useful and social than in my living room. I could focus or be distracted (which is it).

I'm sadly more comfortable not knowing, not caring, not acting, not doing. I think I know the answer and I don't like it. Which is disciplined, which is selfish, who is being hurt and how much or long
and how will I ever know what is good for me? Am I avoiding my own good out of cowardice or just always looking for the next best thing?

I have to hope I've learned something and that I can do something with that whatever I learned. I learned i want.
cheetahmaster June 30 2014, 18:16

No subject

"On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that most private companies are not required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, as mandated by Obamacare. Four years after the high court ruled that corporations have free speech rights in its controversial Citizens United decision, the decision gives broad new privileges to corporations, granting them religious rights for the first time."

djpsyche June 30 2014, 17:30

Where did June go???

Good grief I meant to update so many times.

I guess a summary will be all that you get ;)

Wave Gotik Treffen
The first full weekend of June was WGT, the first one I'd been to in four years. The lineup was a bit lacklustre. But that turned out to be OK, because it was RIDICULOUSLY hot (42 degrees in the direct sun of our apartments' courtyard) so I didn't have an awful lot of energy. I didn't get in to see Apocalyptica; and there was no stand-out band like there has been at past festivals. There was also the faff of having two sets of keys between four people, all of whom had different and constantly changing plans each evening. And I didn't get to see much of Steffi, which was a shame. Did get to know some folks better, and had the strange experience of meeting a northern goth fellow with whom I'd exchanged a series of friendly messages on OKCupid. The highlight of the weekend was the new venue Taubchenthal, which was like a massive gothic beach party with a sandy courtyard, good ventilation (very important!), good views of the stage from all parts of the venue, and deck chairs.
Bands I saw were:
Aeon Sable -- solid goth rock, though their singer looked anything but goth
Apocalyptica -- venue was full, didn't get in :(
Age of Heaven -- solid goth hard rock
The Bellweather Syndicate -- William Faith's new band, disappointingly uninspired
Mephisto Walz -- quite good
White Lies -- really enjoyed this late set, although they really didn't fit in visually either
Inkubus Sukkubus -- seen them loads of times, but this was one of their best performances. Finally met them too.
KatzKab -- quirky singer, enjoyed the versatile music and musicianship
Asmodi Bizarr -- I'd looked forward to them, but they were a bit dull
The Marionettes -- probably my favourite performance despite the lead singer giving poor Eddie, the new guitarist, ridiculous amounts of flak onstage. Not terribly professional.
45 Grave -- I only caught glimpses of them, as I was enjoying the outdoor weather more, but they were good.
Ost+Front -- now this was the first band that made me aware I was actually in Germany and not the UK or US ;) Good German industrial metal, although bald men headbanging just doesn't have the same effect. Proud of me for watching a band at Parkbuhne despite the raging heat.
Beastmilk -- had been touted as awesome; I thought they were good. Could be the heat was getting to me by then, however.
Solitary Experiments -- venue was full, didn't get in :(
Slowdive -- really lovely.
Faderhead -- well, that deserves its own post.

I also spent some time in the Pagan Village, succeeded at practical and impractical shopping, and saw the Giger exhibition. The table and chairs were breathtaking. But after so much heat (and precious little still water -- what's with these Germans not drinking still water!? You'd make a fortune with a bottle water stand at the Agra), I think my favourite part of the holiday was the drive home with Ricardo which included an hour-long stop in Antwerp, a pretty little town that allowed me to add Belgium to my list of countries visited (as opposed to countries merely driven through).

Next year I think I will just pick whatever festival Coppelius are playing, and go there.
vicar June 30 2014, 11:58

No subject

And I was thinking about writing about my workout which was emotionally touching, also it avoids talking about the emotional issues which loom largest in my life right now, but instead I walked into a bombshell in the office. Our best (says me) and most favored counsel is leaving - like now, 2 weeks minimal polite notice.

Eternity...ends. (Horta)Collapse )

What I thought I might write about this morning is how sore I am. GymStuffsCollapse )
medusa242 June 29 2014, 12:18

No subject

Here is what my iPod chose for me to listen to on today's walk:

Pet Shop Boys: To Face The Truth
James Ray: Coo Ca Choo
Squeeze: Striking Matches
David Bowie: Hallo Spaceboy
New Order: All The Way
Depeche Mode: I Feel You (7" Mix)
Cosmicity: Obvious (Pure And Simple Mix)
David Bowie: China Girl (Single Edit)
Pet Shop Boys: Jealousy
Echo & The Bunnymen: Silver

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