Saturday

I had a lovely swim. Mostly I had the pool to myself. And no need to hurry. It was nice.

Then on to Trader Joe's and then to Safeway. I had a list for each place and remembered to check the list. Gold star for me!

Then I stopped for a lox and bagel and came home and made coffee to go with. And that's where we find me now. Actually, I'm on the second cup of coffee and now just killing time. I need to get off my ass and put the groceries away.

Today I'm tracking the number of tissues I use in a day and the number of times I use the toilet. Old people and bodily functions - a natural pairing. While I was swimming, I counted how many times I got my mouth out of the water to breathe in a 30 second span. 30. I'm making homework inroads.

I noticed a lot of changes today on the way to the pool and back. Odd quirks of things. A car that has been parked across from me without ever being moved for several years - it does not even have license plates - today has a cable hanging from it's hood. Someone is charging up its battery. Wonder where it's going??

The restaurant on the corner that closed a couple of years ago, today has a fence around it. Originally they had grand plans for redoing the building but then nothing... until today. Action!!

Then coming home, I pass a corner that has forever - like years - been a giant pile of dirt with a big sign on it saying FREE FILL DIRT. Today was leveled and the sign was gone. Ch Ch Ch Ch anges...

The transportation folks are now saying they are shooting for Wednesday to open up the new interchange. This is going to be huge for my trips home from the pool. There's a Sounder (soccer) game in the stadium across the street on Wednesday night and they want it open for that. Me, too! Today was the first day I'd used the new entrance/freeway in the daylight. Most interesting.

There are still mounds of snow in places. Some of it disgustingly blackened. All if it looking pretty pitiful. One of my greatest memories of snow was the snow in Minnesota which never got ugly. Fresh snow hid whatever ugly might have been. Right up til June. I remember walking on dry pavement, in the sunshine, in shorts with between 4 inches of beautiful white snow on either side of the walk in June. I could not get over it.

But, here it is chilly and rainy and the snow piles are black and ugly down here and white and muddy in the hills.

It is also now noon and really I'm still on my ass drinking coffee. This will not do. I have tiny shit to glue which I cannot do until the groceries are all put away.

5 tissues so far and 5 visits to the toilet.

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Perfectly lovely day

The first Mariner game of 2019 is only 6 days away. That's very cool.

The local newspaper ran the most terrific piece. They collected a bunch of random acts of kindness stemming from all our snow. At first I thought, cute idea and some reporter got an easy assignment. But, then, as I read it, I really found myself grateful for the effort.
It's just a really nice collection of random vignettes

The two women from the data collection project came over for a short but fun visit. I have 'homework' to do and then, in a couple of weeks, we'll meet for the next phase.

They are from the University of Washington's School of Art + Art History + Design. I had to sign a document of permission and understanding and it had a nice explanation of the Purpose of the project:



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In what ways do people engage with data in their homes and how can we find ways to make this data more accessible, engaging and meaningful.

The home is an emerging site of computing where data is produced and aggregated daily, supported by the rapidly growing consumer electronics' landscape. ... While promises of everyday productivity and increased security, data is rarely accessible to home dwellers and data historical logs are seldom looked at. This is problematic because it prevents transparency and refrains home dwellers from engaging with the full potential of their home devices. This research project is about foregounding this IoT domestic data and understanding in what ways it could be made relevant and accessible to home dwellers.

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My homework is to come up with examples of how I currently collect data - like my list of when I set up and take down my air conditioner every year. Also data I've tried and failed to collect - like my lists of when the last time I changed batteries in stuff.

And then another piece of homework is to capture how often I do stuff. Like how many times I exhale in 30 seconds. How many times I check email in a day. How many times I do x in a week, in a year, in 20 years. (Those last two will, obviously, need to be extrapolations/guesses/predictions.)

It's fascinating to me. I barely grasp the concept of what they are trying to accomplish but I can do the tasks and they seem really interested in what I tell them, so hey, FUN!

I spent a lot of the rest of the day gluing small stuff. I'm getting better and better at this tiny stuff and I think that's what makes it funner and funner. Also I'm set up and organized to do dry by gluing. So that helps.

Here's today's work: the bed and a little gardening bench (I had to blow it up big or you couldn't see that adorable teeny tiny spade I made there on the shelf.)

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A wonderful surprise!

February 15 is county tax day. It's the day they send out the bills for real estate taxes. So it's also the first day you can see the amounts online.

I logged on this morning and holymoleyrocknrolly. My total bill is about $3,000 less than expected. So YEAH!!! I had been stockpiling the cash so I paid it fast before they changed their minds. ha. I still have what is likely to be about $2000 to pay in a special tax to cover improvements to the Seattle waterfront which is near my house. Even so, I came out way ahead. Color me happy.

This morning I have two people coming from the University of Washington. They are doing studies about data collection and use and I am one of their subjects. They were supposed to come a week ago and didn't because of weather. Two postponements also got moved because of weather. So finally, they are coming this morning. I like them both - they are young and energetic and interesting and interested. I don't know what's on the agenda today but I'm sure it's going to be cool.

I got my next tiny project all organized last night. I did an inventory and sorted out all the bits and even got the first piece glued. It's going to be a good little room.

I should get dressed and get myself organized before the researchers get here.

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Genius at work

I am feeling so smart. Someone needs to smack me back to reality here.

I had some ideas floating in my head on how to make that new coat work better on my fat body. I had a couple of plans. All involved needed fabric so when 10 am hit, I put the coat on and walked up the street o the fabric shop.

On the way, the solution popped right into my head. So simple. So perfect.

I bought 1/4th yard of black boiled wool. [This fabric shop has a small inventory and very little of the fun, colorful knits I love. However, this morning they had 4 - FOUR - different black boiled wools. I love the northwest but I hate its color scheme.]

Back at home I cut the coat up the back and BAM! a trapeze coat that fits perfectly. Turned out to be the easiest fix in the world. I am beside myself with joy over the whole thing.

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Back to normal

Mike and Karen swim a couple of times a week with me. They are both really really nice. This morning Karen said that they had gotten there on Tuesday and it was a ghost town. "I swam in your lane I told myself I was swimming for Susan." cracked me up. She's a 1st grade teacher. They go back to school today but no outside play. She allowed as how that combo was already killing her just thinking about all that pent up 6 year old energy.

The roads were clear and dry and pretty traffic-free. They finally announced yesterday that the interchange I've been waiting for them to open will open next week. No exact day yet. That should make a nice, big difference in my route home.

Amazon's turned their 24 hour delivery back on. Not quite same day but getting closer which means their own delivery system is likely going back to work.

I think I have a solid plan for making my new coat fit better. I need about a quarter yard of fabric to do it. A black fleece might do it but I'd rather a boiled wool. I think I'll wander up to the fabric shop today to see what they have on hand. I need black which is way easier to find than my normal color preferences.

My next tiny project arrives today. I am ready.

When I bought my blinds, I went for the more expensive ones that offered thermal protection. My thought at the time was keeping the heat out in the summer. In the winter, I enjoy the view outside. The leaves are gone so not blocking what I can see. And the sun isn't around much to glare me into having the blinds down. But last night it was cold and I remembered the thermal thing. I am very surprised at how much of a difference just having them down makes in warming up this room. Wild.

I found episode one of this new season of British Sewing Bee on Reddit last night. Excellent. I sure hope the uploader keeps it up.

The fabric store won't be open for another hour. I think I'll make some bears.

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This'nThat

I inadvertently punctured my pinky finger just at the top of the nail bed with a yarn needle (meaning not sharp enough to pierce but plenty fine enough to bruise severely). It is a paper cut situation. The bruise is right in the spot I need to leverage for cutting out more bears. It's really pissing me off.

I need a heavy coat. I made a coat earlier this year that was plenty heavy but it turned out to be not practical at all because of the shape. Plus it looked really weird. Goodwill got it. Sorry, Goodwill. So I thought I'd make another but I could not find the fabric I wanted. In looking for the fabric I fell over a ready made coat that looked perfect. on Amazon with free return. So I ordered it and it's almost perfect. Really. Except. it's too small. it was the last one. it only came in one size. it really is otherwise perfect. I spent forever looking for one that was bigger and I liked even half as much. Then looked for fabric again. Finally I decided to keep the fucking coat. I can button it but it's a stretch. I looked at the construction and I think maybe I can fix it to fit better. Regardless, I'm keeping it.

UPS promised they would deliver my next tiny house kit today. Lying liars. I hope it comes tomorrow.

I got the final bit I needed to do my taxes today so I did them. Well, not true. I did the software thing to send to the CPA so he can do them. I'm finally in a 'same as last year' situation. I have almost nothing to deduct any more. My income does not vary any more. I'm just 'hit that button again, Sam' and spit out how much I owe this year. Hopefully, not so much. My goal is to get my estimated payments to equal the taxes I owe. And since last year, he knew how the 'new tax savings' were going to cost me more this year, we set the number correctly. I hope. (And, thankyoujesus for my CPA.)

Friday I find out the exact number of for the property tax bill.

Love spending money on these things... At least this will be my last gynormous bill until next December.

I think I'm going to have Trader Joe's Orange Chicken for dinner. It's my new favorite and since I know I can get to TJ's this weekend, it's safe to eat the last one (from the freezer). So I'm going to!

Just like riding a bicycle except not sweaty

There is a shocking (to me) amount of snow hanging around. But, from my garage to the gym's garage and back, there was no slippery. There was also a surprising number of regulars missing from the wait-outside-for-the-gym-to-open crew. Schools are closed again today so that probably accounts for some of the missing.

But it was soooooo good to get back into the pool. So good. I had it completely to myself for the first 55 minutes. It was almost getting lonely.

The roads are still not completely open from the highway shut down before all the snow BUT I figured the way home wouldn't be real crowded today because of the school closure and the still some snow. So I swam a mile and took my time in the shower and I was right. No traffic at all coming home.

All in all, a perfectly lovely outing.

Normally, around here, Amazon offers same day shipping on a whole lotta goods. In fact, during the holidays, nearly all of their prime items were available for same day if you ordered in the morning. But, during the snow... and still today... nothing is offered same day. Also now, it is very rare to get delivery from any of the agnostic carriers. All their stuff is delivered by their own carriers. Except during snow. Their carriers were put to rest. I have several things on order. Some are arriving via USPS and some via UPS. None via Amazon's own system. Also, none since last Friday. Not surprising that they can turn their whole operation on a dime when needed, but kind of surprising that they do it.

I'm out of lunch food. And running short on eggs. So there may be a grocery outlet run today but also maybe not.

I might just go back to the cured meat deli and get another one of those sandwiches. I'll bet it won't be crowded today but I also suspect that today might be the last 'free' day.

Otherwise, no big pans. More bears for sure. But, no telling what else.


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Tomorrow! Surf's up tomorrow

I am going to swim at my normal time tomorrow. Or at least try. It's been raining and above freezing all day. The roads near the gym look wet, not icy and the traffic looks perfectly normal. So tomorrow is the day. I'll be glad to get back.

I made more bears today... The bears are to clear out my excess fabric bits and my over abundance of stuffing. This chairful (about 35 bears) represents about 10% of the fabric and 5% of the stuffing. Bears will be in production for a long while, I believe.

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And I made Zoey a new color. Her store-bought one was too tight so I reverse engineered it and made a new one that fits better.

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I'm getting pretty deep into DCI Banks (Amazon Prime). I need to get back to it and make sure everyone is ok.

Denial

Getting up each morning to swim, turns out to have way more benefit than simple exercise. It gives me a structure to my days and almost a feeling of being involved in my world.

I'm really not liking life without it. I last swam last Friday. Today is only Tuesday. I miss the swim and the movement but more, even than that, I think, I miss the routine.

I'm still enjoying the snow but I'm ready to admit that I'll be happy to get my old rut back. But, it ain't going to be today and probably not tomorrow.

The house cleaner is supposed to come tomorrow. I sent her a note telling her not to come - that I would pay her but I didn't want her to risk life and limb and the house wasn't that dirty anyway. I haven't heard back but I hope she takes me up on it.

Meanwhile I do have bears to make. But, first, breakfast.