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Liz A. Vogel
21 October 2018 @ 07:35 pm
Apparently what I'm getting for my birthday is a horrible head cold.

Bugger.




This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/186659.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: Talking Heads, "Give Me Back My Name"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
18 October 2018 @ 01:01 pm

Paraprosdokian: A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

Courtesy of Make Mine Mystery. I'm not sure if my favorite is "You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive more than once." or "To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target."

;->




This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/186492.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Blondie, "The Hardest Part"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
16 October 2018 @ 02:38 pm
It's that time of year again, when the state sends birthday greetings in the form of a hefty fee and extra paperwork. This year Michigan (and probably other states, but I can only speak for Michigan) is pushing the "Real ID" thing, in which the driver's license that's tied to bank accounts, utilities, and a host of other identity-establishing things has to be verified by a piece of paper that's sat untouched in a drawer for multiple decades. Because yeah, that makes any kind of logical sense.

The Real ID license will be designated by a gold-circled star in the corner. The first, most obvious question this brings to mind is, who flunked history badly enough to think that was a good idea? I went ahead and did it, because the process was painless enough and it'll be one less thing to deal with later, but also because I decided to embrace the irony.

I'm surprised by how uncomfortable I am at the prospect of having my little star ID badge. I don't have any ancestry that would make this personally significant, but first they came for whoever....


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/186319.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: worriedjust because you're paranoid..
Current Music: Hooray for Earth, "No Love"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
28 September 2018 @ 12:30 pm
So we returned home Wednesday evening to find our answering machine blinking, for the first time in seven weeks and two days.

Yes! We have dial tone! Huzzah!

...It is typical of this whole process that the very first message on our newly-restored landline was from the phone company, asking us to confirm a carrier change. Which we had *not* asked for. It turns out that the rude woman mentioned in an earlier post did indeed push through an order to change our phone plan, despite me telling her at least five times not to. Thank goodness they have to confirm such things in a separate phone call, or we'd never have known about it until the next bill arrived.

(And the second message was a hang-up, presumably from a telemarketer. Why did we want this back, again?)

So I called up and talked to a very nice woman, who apologized and immediately canceled the change order. All good, right?

The next day I got a call from my contact at Frontier's president's office, checking to see if our service was restored. Which it was, and yay, but I also mentioned the rude woman and the unauthorized plan change. And it's a good thing I did, because it turns out that when the polite woman canceled the change order, she also canceled the cancellation of the DSL (it was all on the same order). So yes, she'd put our phone service back the way we wanted it, but she'd also kept the DSL I'd originally called to cancel.

Sigh.

My contact said she would sort everything out, and make sure we had (a) the same phone service we've had all along, (b) no DSL, and (c) no appalling early-termination fees for the DSL service we canceled because they weren't providing it. So we should be all sorted now... but I thought that the last time, and the time before that. I'll be very interested to see what our next bill actually shows.

Then I called our long-distance provider (AT&T) to let them know the service their service piggy-backs on was finally restored. The only problem there was that the person I talked to was sure I must be calling for something more complicated, and kept trying to make sure that we had all the credits we were supposed to. And that is why they get to keep our business, even if we maybe could save a few dollars going some other way.

We are slowly re-accustoming ourselves to having things working again, though I still automatically associate "have to call someone" with "have to sit on the cold cement porch with the cell crammed against one ear and my finger in the other ear to block the traffic noise". It's amazing how fast one can adjust to some completely ridiculous situation and start treating it as "normal".


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/185920.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: discontentdisgusted (I tried for amused)
Current Music: Passenger, "Do What You Like"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
27 September 2018 @ 12:57 pm
Picked up the car this morning. It was the crank sensor, which is basically the thing (or one of the things) that tells the car when to inject fuel and such. Yep, once again, everything mechanically was all right, but the stupid sensor that monitors and controls the mechanics was fscked. This is typical for this car.

But, it was a relatively quick fix once my overworked and understaffed mechanic got a chance at it, and not especially expensive as this car goes. And it starts now! Whee!


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/185735.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: goodbetter
Current Music: the emergency U2 tape I keep in the car
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
25 September 2018 @ 05:39 pm
Cable guy came out this morning to hook us up with internet access. First he checked the quality of our video signal (kind of a distraction, but I appreciated his thoroughness), and ended up replacing the squirrel-chewed, so-old-it-crunches cable from the pole out back. Which took a while, in the rain. He gets points for that.

Then he set up the modem. And then it got fun.

My laptop's been finicky about what wifi it'll connect to and what it won't. No idea why, but some places, it insists on a password (that shouldn't be required) in a field that won't let me type anything in it. Yeah. One of my several worries about this new install was that it would prove to be another of these.

And guess what? Yeah. This was slightly different, in that I could type 7 characters (numbers only) before it gave me a checksum error. Yes, this is effing weird. Cable guy had never seen anything like it before. Housemate's tablet connected fine, so it wasn't the new modem, it's my crotchety old computer.

Cable guy was stumped, and said I should call cable's tech support. Cable's tech support, once I finally got them to slow down enough that I could explain the problem, was polite but useless. Finding a local shop that will look at a machine this old instead of just laughing at it... yes, well. But I was definitely at the point of being ready to throw money at the problem just to make it someone else's problem.


I was sitting down to back up the laptop prior to taking it... somewhere (eventually -- I still have no car, after all), when it occurred to me: There are two wifi utilities on my computer, the built-in Windows one and the Intel one. I've been using the Intel one, on the grounds that anything non-Microsoft is a plus, but I figured whatthehell, I'd give the other a try.

Thank goodness I'm a technical writer. I couldn't even remember where to find the thing, but I had typed up notes when I switched it off. So I reverse-engineered the notes. I had to turn back on a service and do a bit of plinking around, but I got it up and running. And (drumroll) select network, click Connect, type in password (which this would let me do), and hey presto!

(I probably could have configured the Intel util to work if I had the specs on the networks it wouldn't talk to -- it has ready access to every possible setting, which is one of the reasons I chose it. But settings are no use if you don't know what to set them to.)

So I have internet now! At home! Where it's convenient!


And then I spent an entire hour on the cell (in the driveway) to get the phone company to cancel our non-working DSL without charging us a fortune. An hour, four departments, and finally a very rude woman who couldn't grasp that I didn't want their extra features. I think I succeeded, though I'll wait for the next bill before I'm sure.


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/185578.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
23 September 2018 @ 07:52 pm
The writing laptop died. The home phone and internet are still out. The "work" laptop only has a keyboard about 4 boots out of 5, the wifi is finicky about what networks it'll talk to, and the rest of the hardware is getting side-eyed more and more often.

And now the car's in the shop.

I was about to drive the housemate to the airport when it decided that starting was for other cars. Luckily her car was available to take instead, so at least she made her flight just fine, but it meant that my little slice of Friday evening, the only part of the weekend I had scheduled to myself, was spent with my head under the hood until I finally gave up and called the tow truck. I'll phone the mechanic in the morning, and find out if it's merely something expensive and inconvenient (inevitable with this car) or truly catastrophic.

Things really do keep breaking faster than I can fix them. The combination of working around all the broken crap until it seems normal and falling behind even when I run flat out is not good for me, methinks.


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/185110.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: frustratedoh, bugger
Current Music: Coldplay, "The Scientist"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
20 September 2018 @ 02:08 pm
One of the things that always happens when I'm nearing the end of a novel is that I start pondering what to write next. It's a great procrastination technique. This time was no exception, though what with computer failures and internet outages, the speculation is a tetch stale by now. But I'm going to post it anyway -- and not just for my own reference. This is not a democracy, and I think I know what I'm going to tackle next, but I'm very curious to see what pings for other people.

So, without further ado, the current list of novel ideas that are developed enough to consider starting on:


The Kitten Case - contemporary mystery. Has characters, first few steps of plot, no idea whodunnit. Kitten! Need to discard opener & start over. Potential sequel/series.

Financial Wizardry - fantasy/mystery. Will Wallace is a financial advisor to wizards, who has to find out who's been fiddling the till before his clients turn him into a toad. Has main character, assorted world-building snippets, blurb-level plot but not much step-by-step. Potential sequel/series.

pseudo-fairytale-princess thingie - fantasy. Backstory is sort-of-Cinderella; what happens after the commoner becomes Princess? Theme song is The Killers' "A Dustland Fairytale". Has characters, general idea of plot, and magic system, but no names. Need to revamp opener. Need to resolve minor world-building snag.

Sacrifices - secondary-world fantasy; "the swordfighting novel". Has opener from writing prompt but need to discard distorted later bits; characters, approximate plot, world-building. Needs clever linguistics trick to make plot work.

(Niall) - secondary-world fantasy; the magic-is-really-science novel. Has characters, premise, something approximating plot, opener and ending; needs clever science tricks.

Low Roads - post-Soviet-Union espionage (a Department novel). Has characters, start of plot but not resolution. Need to learn Russian.

No Gentlemen Here - post-WWII espionage (a Department novel). Has main character & some others, general plot outline. Theme song is Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime". Really about the formation of the Department. About 10,000 books to read for research.

urban fantasy thingie - urban fantasy, obviously, with possession and... other stuff. Has character, buckets of world-building that may or may not apply, scene snippets, but no cohesive whole and nothing even approximating a plot. Has most of a soundtrack.

Lightning Strikes Twice - sequel to ...And the Kitchen Sink; rollicking space-opera adventure, with spies. Has characters, partial random-stuff list, as much idea of plot as the last one. Probably a NaNo project.

litfic/romance - OTT romance with lit professor & diplomat. Has characters and full plot outline. Need to learn Italian.

There's also the adventure-novel thingie, but I need to figure out whether it's historical, contemporary, or futuristic before I can really count it as an option. It's got an Indiana-Jones-type feel, but that doesn't necessarily lock it down.


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/184897.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: still whatever the coffeeshop's playing
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
20 September 2018 @ 12:30 pm
One of the problems with me not writing -- which I haven't been much, lately -- is that my brain takes all the energy and creativity that should be going toward creating fiction and applies it to anxiety dreams. Really vivid, detailed anxiety dreams. Yeah.

This morning's was something about being inundated with junk texts, which kept stealing focus every time I tried to get to something to block them. I don't remember the details, and it being a dream they probably didn't make sense anyway, but I awoke in the kind of incandescent rage that only a recalcitrant electronic device can inspire.

So then I had to spend an hour reading someone else's book to calm down, instead of working on my own. I really need to do something about the writing laptop situation, not to mention the various other situations.


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/184779.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: stressedperhaps just a little stressed
Current Music: whatever the coffeeshop's playing, again
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
18 September 2018 @ 04:58 pm
Turns out leftover Chinese food wrapped in a tortilla works really well! There are some good things about living in an interconnected world.


This entry was originally posted at https://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/184550.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: still whatever the coffeeshop's playing