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Archive for the ‘frustration’ Category

16 September

Fuck Student Loans, Fuck Them Hard

I’m hardly up 10 minutes (getting ready to make breakfast) when I get a call from Student Loans. Since I couldn’t verify that it was actually them and the guy was asking me for information that I shouldn’t give out to people I’m not totally sure of, I told him that and he said it was ok and to call them back. So that’s what I do. Turns out they rejected my interest relief application. The only thing that changed is that Bran is no longer employed, thus the total household income is reduced (Boy doesn’t count because he’s an adult now). I was totally confused and a bit frustrated. It turns out the problem was that I didn’t send in proof of income. I ask, how can I do that if I’ve only received one cheque for work in September? She replies that I dated the form in August and that’s why they wanted proof of income. Get this, I had to date the form for September 1. We dated the form August 31. For that one day the bureaucracy ground to a halt on my application. Yeah. So I changed the date and will refax it tonight.

This did nothing to improve my week. It’s been hell on wheels for most of the week. Next week at work isn’t going to be much easier because, not only do I have weekly reports to try and get done on Monday (with 25 people that won’t happen) but month end has to be started for the house but there are case plans that need to be done and my own month end and quarterly reports need to be organized. I’m coming in next Sunday (not the one coming up but the next one) to do my own stuff so that the two available days left the following week will be completing house month end and the last of the case plans because we’re away the last 3 days of the month. Not that I’m doing month end for the house alone. I’m the helper. However I also have all the regular work of my shift to complete.

All I can say is “Thank Goddess for coffee!” because that’s what’s saving the world from my grumpiness.

24 July

In Point Form

Since it’s been a while since my late post I thought I’d use bullets to update you on my life as it is right now (and has been for the past couple of weeks):

  • Remember how proud I was that I put together the Ikea dresser and chiffonier? Maybe I forgot to post about it, but I did do that and I was proud of my l337 skillz with the screw driver and whatchamacallit key thing. I got a sore wrist from doing that. The reward of feeling good about putting together the furniture was superseded by the growing discomfort in my right wrist. Gradually I was unable to do much because any twisting of my wrist brought sharp pangs in my wrist. So off I went to the doctor. I was worried that I suddenly developed arthritis in that joint. The good thing is that it wasn’t arthritis. The bad thing is that I’d created tendinitis in my wrist. I was told that I should up my intake of ibuprofen (which would also necessitate a new and stronger anti-acid medication) and/or get a wrist splint. The splint thing is to keep the wrist from twisting, thus allowing the tendons to rest and ergo the swelling to reduce. I chose the splint alone. It will take my wrist longer to heal, but I won’t have to take stronger medications. It’s a semi-win-win situation.
  • Work is a bit screwy at the moment. We’re still waiting on the security clearance for the staff who is going to take the full time night position. This means that we have some issues with filling her spot until she’s able to be trained and get working. We also lost one of the part-time staff. She got her degree and has started working at a job she’s enjoying very much. So we’ve been down for her time as well. Today is my weekend. While I grant that I had all day yesterday after I finished my overnight shift training a new staff, I had to recover from a week of overnights to shift my sleep pattern so that I can work 2 evening shifts and then move my body to day shifts for the remainder of the week. Yeah.
  • The house is still for sale. There have been three or four tours through, once last Tuesday while I slept the day away. Bran asked them to be quiet since I was on overnight shift and would be sleeping. I didn’t hear them at all and didn’t wake until about 5 pm. Yay!
  • I still like my Ute and like driving it.
  • The weather was hot for a while. It was not only hot, but it was wickedly humid. Stepping outside of the house, work or my Ute was like stepping into a bowl of hot soup. I drank so much water and yet was hardly going to the bathroom because I was sweating it all away. Work was hard. The upper floors aren’t air conditioned so doing room and building checks were torture. Happily for staff we get to spend at least part of our day in air conditioned comfort. Many of our residents work in construction so they didn’t get a break except when they were on main floor./li>
  • We got one of those portable air conditioners and it’s installed in the living room. It truly has been a saving grace for us. We have three desk top computers in the living room and the conditioner has kept the space livable. Too bad the cool air doesn’t reach the bedrooms (even with fans encouraging it on its way). We’re now getting more livable temperatures. We do expect Monday to be hot again, but nothing like it had been and it’s only for one day. I can survive that.
  • My fancy light-up keyboard, the one I was so happy to have, was incompatible with my computer. That made me sad. It stopped the computer from completing the start-up routine. I don’t know how it did it though. We took the computer in and they confirmed that everything was working right. Bran brought it home and started plugging in things to see what was holding up production. It turned out to be my favourite peripheral. Damn. I’m using Bran’s cordless keyboard now. It’s smaller than my light-up keyboard and I can remove it from the drawer without worrying about cords, but it’s not the same.
  • Today I did a manual update of my WordPress. It drives me crazy that I can’t get an automatic update to work. It wouldn’t be so bad if it would work just once, or if it would stop telling me the update failed and I should attempt it again. I mean, it’s updated. That should disappear. I guess next time (by my calculations that should be sometime later this week) they come out with another update, if I don’t try to do the automatic update, maybe that message will disappear.
  • Along with the update I upped my security with a plugin called Secure WordPress and will hopefully reduce the spam making it into my spam filter with SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam that will work along with Askimet. I doubt I get enough traffic to attract anyone who could hack into my blog, but hey, it can’t hurt, right?
  • We haven’t gone to see the last Harry Potter movie. I haven’t seen part 1 of it yet so we can’t until I do. Well, it’s also possible that I won’t see it in the theatre considering my rather profound dislike of crowds and people in general. I might just wait until it comes out on video and then watch the entire series. I am rather sad that the story is ending and has ended in the books. They were fun reads and the movies were fun to watch. It’s a good thing I like repeats or else it would be more tragic.
  • We haven’t managed to get our spit together to get out of town for a picnic and photo session yet. We had wanted to do so a week or two back (on a Sunday) but the weather was less than cooperative and insisted on raining. While all of our DSLRs are water resistant, they are not water proof. We are also limited in the number of lenses that are water resistant as well. This means no rainy day photos outside. I tried to get pics of the kitty, but she wouldn’t be still enough to get any decent shots. She’s rather camera shy with me.
  • I went out and was social on Wednesday. That was the day we went out for “drinks” (mine was ginger ale since I had to work later that night) to say farewell to the staff I spoke about earlier who got a job she enjoys. We all sat around and munched on snackies, drank our drinks and talked shop in a way we can’t at work. It was quite a bit of fun. I gave her (the staff who was leaving) a ride home afterwards. When I got home (round about 10) Bran was beginning to get worried since I don’t usually stay away from home that long.
  • Bran got a surprise in the mail this month. It came on a day when he was feeling grumpy and out of sorts. Some time before the lock-out of Canada Post workers I’d ordered the latest Dominic Deegan book. Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire is one of Bran’s favourite on-line comics. We have the other books the artist/writer/creator, Mookie, has published. When I saw the new book was out I ordered it for Bran and didn’t tell him. So when it came I just handed him the envelope and told him it was his. It cheered him up a lot. That made me happy.
  • I want Dairy Queen. Specifically I want a Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard with cheese cake. Failing that a small or medium cone will suffice.
  • If it weren’t for the fact that I’d end up with a sore back I would be hiding away from the world today. There are a lot of things I could be doing, but I have no wish to leave the house, let alone bed. But since I would get a sore back/hips/ribs if I laid in bed as long as I’d like I’ll make do and embed myself into my spot on the couch.
  • I have two sore knuckles. They are somewhat bruised from the splint. They ram into the splint when I try to do things the splint is designed to prevent the motion of doing…like working with a mouse. I tried using Bran’s tablet. It worked like a track pad on a laptop but was larger. It worked fairly well, too. The problem I had with it was that my finger tips would dry out and the tablet wouldn’t be able to “feel” what I was doing. I felt like I was slowly polishing my finger prints off. So now when I have to do a large amount of mouse work (like playing minesweeper) or when I have to type a lot, I take the splint off. I still can’t mouse for long periods of time, but it’s getting better.
  • I finally have my Rosetta Stone French lessons. I might have mentioned them before, I can’t remember and a quick scan of my previous entries doesn’t reveal anything of note. I decided some time ago to increase my ability in Canada’s other official language. Since buying all the lessons from Rosetta Stone is as cheap as taking a single semester class of basic French at university, I decided on the one I can do at my leisure. I should probably go to one of those teacher stores and pick up books and such to teach myself the grammar and such. Oh, and a becherel would probably be useful too. I’m sure I spelt it wrong, but a becherel is a book containing conjugations of various verbs. I can’t use the discs at work but I could do the work in written French. Being semi- or fully- bilingual would mean that getting a job with the feds would be much easier. So far I’ve learned things like: he drinks, she drinks, they drink, she reads, he reads, they read, he wears pants, she wears a skirt, he buys a hat and she buys a dress. Thrilling, yes? My biggest challenge still appears to be the “eu” sound. Dad spent a significant amount of time trying to help me get the sound of those two letters correct when I was in high school. I think, if I recall correctly, I managed to get it right enough times he was satisfied. I could be wrong. It’s equally possible that he simply ceded defeat in the face of my anglophone accent.
  • Boy hasn’t shaved for a while. I can tell because he’s got sideburns with a tacky and sparse beard. I still grow a better moustache than he does despite it his protestations to the contrary.

I believe that’s it. I sit and wonder what else there is to say, and frankly, there’s nothing.

25 June

Automated Updates

Does anyone have any luck having the automated updates from WordPress actually work? I’ve never had any success with it. Every update I’ve done I had to manually do. If no one has any success with the Automation, why do they bother having it at all?

9 May


I’ve moved my photo blog to Blogger because Tumblr was having too many issues with their servers being overloaded. While they might be a good site, they weren’t good enough in my initial start up for me to trust them. The link has been changed.

23 April

It’s a Special Day

I got one of those neato keen Luxeed Programmable Colour Keyboards keyboards that light up with coloured LED lights. I can customize the colour of each key to one of 7 colours. There is red, yellow, green cyan, blue, magenta, and white. I can save up to 4 different patterns. The one I’m using right now has no white in it. The only red are the delete and backspace keys. This helps me find them when they’re needed. I can also make it so that the keyboard is plain, but when I hit a key they key will light up. While that’s a novelty, I don’t use that. The action of the keyboard is nice, too.

The keyboard comes with a thin silicone (I think it’s silicone) template that you lay over the keyboard and mark up a pattern you want. I’m not marking mine up. I’m leaving it as something that will protect my keyboard from crumbs. It clings nicely to the keyboard. It’s thin enough that I can feel the markers for the home keys and it doesn’t interfere with typing. It also comes with a microfibre cloth.

I’ve added a small (10) port USB hub to my list of high tech devices I now own. It’s going to be eventually attached to the back of my computer table. I don’t really need ten ports, but it was inexpensive, had a low profile and would be easily accessible for anything I might need to plug into it.

Last weekend I did something I’ve never done before. I took Boy out for supper without Bran. We went to Nagoya Restaurant and had sushi. It was quite nice. Poor Bran wasn’t feeling up to par. I was craving something fierce because of not feeling well for two days prior (I get wicked strong craving when my stomach is upset, go figure). This meant that the first free non-sick day I had to settle the most significant craving…for sushi. This is an all-you-can-eat place. I know that it’s not recommended you eat at such a place but they have a high turnover of product (which increases the chance of it being fresh) and it’s great value for the money. The only bad thing is they don’t use real crab. But that’s minor. We had some great food. They would have gotten more money from me as I was going to order a few maki rolls ala carte, but our server disappeared. Maybe it’s their way of making sure they don’t get eaten out of business. So instead I took Boy to get some ice cream from Dairy Queen and then went and washed the car. We worried Bran because neither of us answered our phones (I didn’t have the bluetooth thing in my ear so I didn’t hear it ring. Boy’s was still on silent from work on Friday. All was happily resolved when we showed up at home.

I’m finding I very much enjoy having a car. I like driving and love having my music playing. I wish we lived a bit farther from work so that I’d have more time to listen to it. As it is I sometimes leave a little early so that I can go through the Tim’s drive through for coffee (especially on the day shifts) so I can extend the drive with a bit of legitimacy.

I worked yesterday. I know that for my American friends that won’t be much of a thing, but Good Friday is a statutory holiday in Canada so that means I not only get paid for the day, I get paid for working as well. Three cheers for money! Hip! Hip! Ka-ching!

Life here is ok. You can tell it’s spring now. The city has swept up the winter’s supply of gravel, sand and dust from many of the major streets so it’s not quite so dusty. That’s a relief to my allergic body. The spring irises and tulips have begun poking themselves up above ground and will soon be blooming. I’m quite looking forward to the first rainfall. We’ve had some rain, but mostly it sprinkled snow. The rain will clean off the lawns and such. Right now, despite the city going around with their cleaners, the city is still a dusty brown.

Nothing new on the house hunting front. I’ll let you know when we actually start hunting. For now it’s on hold.

I’ve begun some practice beading on some canvas. I had to stop though. I’ll be cutting a new piece of canvas and starting the pattern over again. The one I was using is stretched out. I want to have a technique nailed down before I start working on the deer hide. The last thing I want to do is need to take things apart. I’m also waiting on some beads I ordered on-line. Sixty hanks of beads, each a different colour, are expected at my house sometime in the next few weeks. I can wait though. I have month end reports all this week so I won’t have any work time to play.

I went to the dollar store yesterday and got some stuff…hair elastics, because the ones I have are nearly all worn out, some car wipes for both Bran and I, and a few other things. I also got a tool belt and tool holder thing for work. No, I’m not starting manual labour. It’s going to be very handy for carrying around the portable phone and my keys and not have them in my pockets. A long time complaint I’ve had is that when I have the cordless phone in my pocket I can’t bend over and pick anything up. It gets pressed on and buttons get pushed. In the tool belt that doesn’t happen (tested it yesterday at work). I can also put the keys in it. That way I can sit down and not have a wad of keys poking into the tender skin of my groin. We have one already at work but it doesn’t fit me. This one does. I also got a new eye glass container that zips shut. The one I was using came with my bi-focals. The hinge broke ages ago. The new case will keep my glasses safe and will probably hold up better. It’s actually for sunglasses (it’s really domed) but it fits my glasses fine and will protect them until I replace them sometime in the future.

I’ve been looking around for containers to put the new beads in. I found something that will work at Dollarama but until I know how much space 4000 size 11/0 beads take I’m not going to buy containers. I suspect they’ll take up the same amount as the 1 lb of size 15/0 beads. If they do I have the perfect containers. They’ll only be $1 each.

I found a new hair product I really like. Well, two actually. They’re both made by Marc Anthony in the Strictly Curls line. One is a cream called “Curl Envy” that you put on when your hair is still wet/damp. It makes some nice ringlets for me. Of course, it doesn’t stop the matting at the base of my neck where my shirt meets my hairline, but I don’t think anything short of shaving my hair off would work on that. The other is Oil of Morocco. This stuff you put in your hair at night and/or in the morning. It’s supposed to help repair and strengthen hair. It has a flowery/sweet smell to it. I don’t think it does to my hair what it’s supposed to (at least not what the pictures say will happen) but it does appear to help smooth my hair and make brushing easier. If you have curly hair give them a try. I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart so I imagine that most other drug store chains would carry it. The containers and labels are sunshine/canary yellow.

The reason why today is special isn’t just because of my zoomy new keyboard (though that definitely adds to the specialness). No, today is special because I voted in our federal election at the advance polls. Not only did I vote but so did Bran. And to make the day even more extra special, Boy voted for the very first time! Yes, my son exercised his right of franchise and cast his ballot to the candidate of his choice. I’m so proud. I would’ve take pictures if that was allowed, but it’s not. Well, it’s not permitted past the election pollsters.

Another special thing is that I uninstalled Firefox and deleted the profile that it was attached to. I then installed the newest version of Firefox (it looks a whole lot like Chrome). I got the addons that I wanted and needed for security and tried a new theme because Scribblies Brite isn’t yet compatible with this version. I’ve since dumped the new theme and am sticking with the default for now.

I don’t know if I told the saga of my problems with Firefox so here it goes. A few weeks ago (I’m not sure how many) I was having some problems with Firefox. It wouldn’t bookmark certain pages and then the bookmarks sidebar was different from the bookmarks (by several months of bookmark changes). I tried downloading my foxmarks but that didn’t change anything. This was particularly frustrating since I tend to use the sidebar for bookmarks a lot. I like having the list continually open, especially when I’m doing something like reading comics or blogs because I have many folders filled with bookmarks that I open into tabs. If Firefox isn’t adding or deleting bookmarks as I need it to then things are troubling.

So I reluctantly stopped using Firefox and started using Chrome. I chose Chrome because it was the alternative that sucked the least. The problem with Chrome is that it’s a very basic browser. Some might like that but I prefer a few bells and whistles that Firefox has. For instance, I really like Flashblock. This feature prevents Flash from playing automatically. Flash is a real pain in the ass if it’s for an advertisement. I had to have my system sounds off most of the time to prevent it from bothering Boy and Bran. Another thing was that I really like having the function that opens closed tabs. When I read blogs and comics I open several tabs at once. I also set it so I could close the tab quickly when I finish reading it. If my keyboard closed the tab I couldn’t just press a button to have it reopen the tab. I’d have to go to bookmarks, figure out which of the folders that page was in and then open it in a new tab. That’s only two of the things about Firefox I missed.

Today I finally got my spit together and downloaded the most current version of Firefox. Then I deleted the profile and uninstalled the older version of Firefox. Then I installed the new version and went hunting for the addons I wanted. I don’t install a great many, just the ones that increase my security and the functionality of the browser. I’ll keep looking for a theme that I like (until Scribblies Brite is made compatible).

Last week I ordered some rockin’ t-shirts: hedgehogs, chinchillin’, irrelephant, outside the box, thesaurus and epic. Two are mine for sure, Boy and Bran will get at least one each and the fifth I haven’t decided on yet. Maybe we’ll make it a family shirt. Maybe we won’t. We’ll see.

That’s about it from here.

22 February

Driving Me Crazy

First off, Firefox is acting stupid. I like to have a sidebar with my bookmarks in it. It’s handier than always going up to the bookmarks menu. For some stupid reason the bookmarks menu in the sidebar is different than the one in the menu up top and in my organize bookmarks function and I can’t get the damned thing to change. I’ve tried closing the sidebar and I’ve tried restarting Firefox. Neither has worked.

The next thing was a stupid mistake I made while working on Bran’s stole. It was a stupid and careless mistake that I shouldn’t have made. I was in the midst of sewing the beads to the canvas when I discovered an error I’d made in sewing the two together. I was taking the beads off with a seam ripper when I missed the thread I was trying to remove and slipped it into the beadwork itself. I ripped the thread holding the beads together. So I had to remove beads back a distance on each side of the booboo. Now I have to rebead the ribbon, join the blue again to the red and sew it all to the canvas again. It’s a frustration. It’s relatively easy to fix, but still, I’d rather have not made the mistake in the first place.

Today was spent doing weekly reports. The entire shift was devoted to that task. I had to write up 23 reports. Sure some were shorter than others, but there were several that involved a whole lot of writing because they either talked to staff a lot or else they created drama and that had to be documented. I didn’t finished until 4:30. Happily the woman who usually works nights is happy to take on the weekly reports. Chances are she won’t get through all of them and the day staff will have to finish them up (we’re expecting to get up to close to 30 residents in the next few months) but having a goodly portion of them done will make Mondays a whole lot less painful.

Tomorrow I have to be at work at 8:30 am. Then my co-worker and I will be picked up by a cab and we’ll be trundled out to the airport where we’ll fly to Edmonton. Needless to say Sudafed will not only be in my bag, it’ll be in my body. My ears aren’t totally cleared up and I’d like to minimize the pain and ancillary effects on my hearing. Then it’s off to Edmonton Institute for Women (EIFW) to talk to the women who are incarcerated there to promote our half-way house. The next day we have a full time at Grand Cache. Then it’s shop ’til I drop, or until it’s time to leave for the airport to fly to Calgary then fly home. My poor ears, how they will plug, hopefully only temporarily.

On Friday I work a short 4 hour shift (walking to and from work) and it’s the weekend. I’ll be putting together some monthly reports for my co-worker. Happily the overnight staff will be working on weekly reports on Sunday (her Monday). This means that my evening shift will be a whole lot less in terms of having to do other than my own monthly reports. Hopefully it’ll mean that I don’t have to do more than a quick check to make sure she got the right stuff on the reports and didn’t miss anything important. Since this is the last trip out of town for a while, it’ll also mean that there will be more time for those nasty monthly reports.

That’s been my time of late.

12 February

The Roller Coaster Ride Called Work

In the past two weeks I have been confirmed to go to Bowden and Drumheller institutions, then told I wasn’t going, then confirmed again. It’s official. I’m not going this year. It has nothing to do with money this time. In the past week we’ve had two staff quit without notice. I’m still going to Edmonton the week after next though.

I expected the one. She’s training with Corrections to become a Corrections Officer. That’s very intensive training. Splitting her attention would be, at best, difficult. Luckily we had new staff hired to work other shifts. However, last night another staff quit without notice. This means that we’re short staffed again. We filled her shift right away, but we’re still down one full time person. So I’ll be working evenings until we get someone trained to work opposite shifts to me. That’ll be at least two weeks. While I prefer evenings and it gives me more contact with the residents (though I’m not sure some of them like that) I’d like to think that there was some degree of regard for me and other coworkers. Apparently I was wrong. This doesn’t just screw the bosses, it screws me and other staff. The past two weeks have had me change from days to evenings to days again to get shifts covered. That’s hard on a 50 year old body.

My cold. Oh, my cold. Yeah, it’s hanging on. Most particularly my ears are still plugged. My hearing is better than it was, but I’m still missing a significant portion of my hearing. Since it’s now 2 weeks since the initial plugging up (landing in Saskatoon) it’s time I see a doctor to make sure there’s no infection and see if I can get some more potent decongestants to unplug my Eustachian tubes. I still sniffle and such, but that’s just the tag ends.

The weather here is stupid. We’ve gone from the deep freeze to near melting, back to the deep freeze and now back to hovering around 0C (32F). I can live with the cold. In fact, I prefer the cold. I dislike dealing with such large fluctuations. It doesn’t help me get rid of illnesses.

Bran’s been working. Did I tell you he got a job? He did. It’s a great relief to me to know that we have another fairly reliable source of income. Anyway his shift has been 1pm – 9 pm. This means that I’ve been walking either to or from work. The walk to work when it’s frigid cold is nice. When it’s warmer I end up all hot and sweaty from the walk. It always takes me a lot of time to cool down from that.

I have cable back. When we decided to disconnect Bran did a seasonal disconnect. That’s one of the advantages of living in the Great White North…snowbirds. You see there is a large segment of the population who go south for the winter. They don’t want to be paying re-connection fees every time they return home, so the phone company (that’s who provides our cable, phone and internet) offers a seasonal disconnection for those who travel in winter. So now I have A&E back. It needed some help (Bran had to call SaskTel to get instructions to have the box try and connect to the right whatchamacallit at SaskTel). I have murder and mayhem back. Right now I’m watching Man Hunters. I’ll be recording a whole lot of First 48s.

I finished the major beading of Bran’s stole. I have a few beads to replace as they broke when I was joining the ribbons together. I also have to weave in the tag ends of threads. Then I have to get about 4 metres of canvas and other things to put the beads on.. After that I’ll be making moccasins for Bran. I have plans for the top beading. It’s going to take an impressive amount of leather to make moccasins for his skis. One of the residents at work is going to teach me how to make them. I have to make a few changes because the seams have to be on the outside because I don’t want there to be ridges inside to cause rub sores. That’s a minor change though.

Bran got me a portable DVD player today. It’s a nice little beastie. It has a car lighter adapter that means I can watch movies while travelling. The picture quality is a bit lower than I expected but that’s ok. It’s not for all the time, just for work and travelling. I already tested it out and it works well.

Dad’s estate still hasn’t been settled. The lawyers sent out statements (two of them) that were incorrect. They also sent out releases. Apparently we’re waiting on the releases from my nieces for the final distribution. I don’t know what’s taking so long though. Even mail from California (where one niece lives) doesn’t take a month. I’m waiting on that to go house and car hunting.

Speaking of finances only on the not-so-good front, I got my notice from Canada Student Loans this week. They’re setting me up for a payment of nearly $900 a month for nearly 10 years. Oy! I’ll be contacting them to reduce that amount. Sure I know that means that I’ll be paying it off longer therefore paying more, but I don’t earn enough to allow me to pay that amount per month, even with Bran working.

Work is going to get crazy, stupid busy. Right now we have 20 residents. That’s a good number for a single staff to manage. Things are busy but not out of hand. Weekly reports can be done in a single shift. There’s a nice variety of people with differing challenges that makes a shift pass fairly quickly. However, in the next month or so we’re expecting up to 12 more (I don’t know if this includes the women we expect). I’ve never worked there when it’s been this busy. We’re going to be getting most of those (if they’re given day parole) because the other half-way house has only 1 bed available right now. I pity the cook. She’s going to have to cook for that many people. Hopefully not many have allergies.

I can’t think of much else to write about. It pretty much covers the gamut of events in the past week or so.

17 September

He’s Home

Bran is once again in the clutches of his family. We’re all very relieved that nothing was wrong (or wronger) and that he’s back on his proverbial feet. He can even start driving tomorrow, though I’m not sure he should as he needs to be somewhat careful with his right hand as they inserted the tubing for the angiogram through the wrist artery on that hand. Technically he could.

I got my bead order from Fire Mountain Gems today. I ordered and received: chalk turquoise, lapis lazuli, blood stone, red feldspar, citrine, clear quartz, chrysoprase, amethyst, carnelian, troumaline (cats eye – it’s very nice), and rainbow moonstone. Except for the moonstone, the stones are all birth stones. I’m hoping that they’ll sell well as people like to have their birth stones for jewelry. For some reason I was charged duty fees on this shipment. It’s the first time I was charged for jewelry supplies coming in through Canada Post. I can’t figure out why. Nothing I got from China was charged duty. I wonder if it’s just arbitrary as to who and what they’re going to charge duty and import fees.

I received an email from Tracy at Rings & Things apologizing for not responding to the email and that they can’t find it. She (maybe he) said that my order was shipped to me that day but they hadn’t received my return package as yet. Hopefully they’ll get it soon. I just wrote on it to return to sender. Sadly, it puts me enough behind that the sale in October I was hoping to have stuff for might be missed, or have reduced variety because I don’t have the wire to create stuff with in time. I should have some stuff for the November sale though.

I’ve been denied life insurance through my group plan at work because of my depression and that I’m too fat for my height. No request for a physical that might prove I’m healthy despite that, just that their stuff says that’s a no-go so I have to get private life insurance. That’s going to have to wait until I get the inheritance because I can’t afford it right now.
I’m tired. It’s been a very long day.

5 September

Out With the Old

In with the older.

My netbook is giving me all kinds of grief by not working properly. For some reason it’s dropping the connection to the network modem thing. It was driving me batty. It’s just one of a string of issues it’s had since nigh on the beginning (but after the time we could do a quick exchange at the store).

First it was the connector to other video wasn’t working. In fact, it never did work. I figured that was no big deal. I mean, how often was I going to be connecting my computer up to the television, right? Next to go was the ability of the touchpad to be off. I turned it off. The software recognized that I’d done that. However the touchpad itself remained active. Then the backspace button lifted and wouldn’t stay down.

The last was the ethernet connection dying. Bran thought it might be the d-link thing that’s going but Boy was connected. There’s absolutely no reason for it to die. Well, technically it was on hiatus. If I’d started the computer again, it probably would’ve worked as it should have. Sadly, it probably would be temporary.

So I hauled out my noisy old laptop. The first thing I did was figure out what needed to be pushed to get it to try and find the wireless signals. With that accomplished it was a a simple matter of logging in…or so I thought. That didn’t work. It was seeing the signals, it just couldn’t connect. So I thought, hey, we have wire. I’ll just hard wire it into the network and I’ll be going right away. That worked for about 1/2 hour and then the wire connection stopped working. WTF!? I was hard wired into the network. It should’ve been working. But it wasn’t.

Alas, during this whole fiasco Bran was out at Tonight It’s Poetry at Lydia’s. This meant that I had no easy and quick fix to my issues. It had to wait until he got home. Luckily for me, not long after I wound up the wire (and tried really hard not to scream – successfully) Bran phoned for the ride home. I asked him if he’d changed the key for the wireless since I’d changed from the laptop to the netbook. He wasn’t sure, but it was possible. Turns out he did. Big time. So now with the correct key to the wireless my laptop is happily chugging along. I’ve updated my bookmarks on Firefox, gotten the new version, downloaded and installed Twhirl for tweeting, gotten the newest version of Thunderbird going and settled in to some amazing amazement.

I’ve tweeted it, but it remains true. I can’t believe how large the screen of the laptop is. On pages I have to scroll down with the netbook I can just straight up read on the laptop. Sure the laptop is heavier, but it’s also got much more viewing capabilities. The storage is somewhat small too. I suppose I could get a larger hard drive. That could mean replacing the fan that’s making all the noise. That would also mean that the money spent on the laptop could be spent on a new system. Hmm…something to think about in the future. I’m not worried right now. I’m not going to be adding music or much in the way of documentation. It has a D drive that has 30 gigs free. I didn’t know that until just now. I’m not sure what I can stick in it. I’m thinking of dumping the music off this thing. It’s all on the external storage backup unit. It’s not like I need it on this computer. I don’t listen to music on it.

Anyway, that’s my adventures into geeking. It’s nowhere near what Mush or Brad do when it comes to geeking, but I did figure out it was a problem with the key, and not give up. I’m glad of that.

27 August

Heart of Hearts Pt. 6

There’s been both nothing to write and so much change in the past while since my last posting. After being moved to the cardiac ward above ground, Bran has improved dramatically. His spirits lifted with the ability to go for a walk. He now has a little bag that holds a monitor which transmits his heart information over air waves. He goes for short walks, generally 2-3 troops around the ward. This has helped his blood sugar control, his blood pressure, not to mention his morale.

He hasn’t had the second stent put in yet. They planned it for today and had him fasting in the morning, but something (probably an emergency procedure) pushed him off the schedule. We’re hoping for tomorrow. He was feeling somewhat low tonight so I texted him offering him a sugar free cake with a file baked in it. At any rate, hopefully tomorrow will be the magic stent insertion. That would mean if all went well, he’d be coming home on Saturday.

They’re still trying to poison Bran. Night before last, for supper, they gave him (a diabetic) sweet and sour chicken on white rice. Yeah. The nurse hunted down a meal that Bran could eat without sending him into a diabetic coma. He got cream of wheat again as well. What is wrong with these people?! They’re supposed to know what the fuck they’re doing and yet they make such frequent mistakes I have to wonder who’s running the show. A friend of ours is in another hospital in town. She has a severe wheat allergy. She got cream of wheat too. I guess it’s their way of cleaning out patients. Kill them.

I have a bit of a full day tomorrow. I have to pick up a package from the post depot. Then I have to get a script filled and request the pharmacist fill one of Bran’s. Then it’s off to the university to have the department head sign my withdrawal letter. Then off to visit Bran…unless he’s downstairs having the stent put in. If he is then I might just go home, leaving Boy there, and get more sleep.

I’ve not mentioned Boy much in all this. He’s been exceptional. Not that it’s unusual for him to be so, but even more than the usual exceptional-ness. He’s gone to visit his Dad on his own, is cooking for himself because I’m not home to do so, and is generally helping out a whole lot which reduces my stress levels considerably. He’s been the joy of joys of my life. He’s also helped me hold myself together. It distresses him to see me distressed and he does his level best to ease things for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better son.

Today I went to training at the CSC training centre. It was presented by two police officers (one from Saskatoon, one from RCMP in Regina) and one CSC analyst. It was all about organized crime and street gangs in Saskatchewan. It was an extremely interesting presentation by three very intelligent and savvy men. Saskatchewan has it’s share of the well known gangs like Hell’s Angels, but vastly outnumbering them in membership is the Aboriginal gangs like Native Syndicate, Indian Posse, former Crips now Cash Boyz, and Terror Squad. Some of the gang members, some rather high ranking members, have come through the centre for urinalysis or as part of their reporting requirements. We’ve never had trouble with them, but the potential issues are rather scary. We never house known and active gang members at the house…thank goodness, but we don’t have control over who comes on for extra reporting requirements.

Anyway, after that it was my regular shift. Thank goodness everyone was in a good mood. One guy is going to find out the hard way next time I’m on evenings that doing his laundry in the evening means getting it done before 11, not ignoring it and then “remembering” that it needs to be dried for the next day. It’s all about responsibility. He’s always trying to get away with short cuts and special exemptions. Tonight I was just too tired to care. I won’t be so forgiving next time.

In a few weeks I’ll be going to a “Creating Choices” thing at Wanaskewin. This one will be focusing on women prisoners somehow. If you google Creating Choices you’ll encounter a document created by CSC (Correctional Services of Canada) in response to the scathing Arbour Commission Report (that you can also google) about “certain incidents” at Prison for Women at Kingston Penitentiary (aka P4W). Of course, being a large bureaucracy they’re very adept at making it look like they’re making progress in terms of positive change without actually doing anything. Canada went from having a central prison for women to having 5 prisons for women as well as healing lodges (low security prisons for Aboriginal female prisoners that should be focusing on Aboriginal traditions and healing). The healing lodges are all on reserves.

Anyway, I hope it’s as interesting as today’s stuff was.

I’ve decided, after talking it over with Bran, and much thought and consideration (redundancy can be fun too), to withdraw from the graduate studies program. After Dad died it became somewhat pointless and now with Bran becoming sick it’s just one more pressure on me to try and deal with.

I was going to take a year off to consider my options, but the requirements to get that year off are far too intrusive on my privacy to even consider. As someone who’s been on welfare and had that department’s nose in my life, I have no wish to have another bureaucrat decide things for me. So I’m going to print up the withdrawal letter tonight, get the department head to sign it and turn it into the grad studies people and be done with it. Maybe I’ll regret it and try again at a later date, but somehow I doubt I’ll want to.

Now I’m home after 16 hours of work. I’m trying to wind down but it’s not working very well. I guess I’m over stimulated or something. I’d love to have a cup of coffee right now but that would screw with my sleep and it’s stupid enough right now.