There are two types of motorcyclist in this world. Those who have crashed, and those who are going to crash. And there's very, very few of the second.
My number already came up. Like anyone with their first motorcycle, I misjudged something. Had to go over a trench to get onto the incline up my driveway, then go over two steel railings. Gave it too much throttle, came in at an angle instead of head on, got intimately familiar with a stone and iron fence. Luckily, I came in shoulder first, right onto my jacket, which is a pretty good motorcycle jacket, and as such actually absorbed most of the blow. My helmet absorbed some, too, the bike just got some scratches because I hit first and ended up between the bike and the fence, and all I ended up with was some bruises and a sprained finger.
So, yea. Good motorcycle gear. Pricey, but it just paid for itself by virtue of the fact that I'm enbarassed instead of hospitalized right how.
Also, should have walked that bike. Throttling up a driveway is bad news, crossing those two metal rails is bad news, and that trench is just unsafe. Ideally, I'd have just pulled the bike up with the clutch, but the trench prevents that, so in the future, I need to walk it.
Well, I've had a fun couple of weeks. I failed my driver's test last week, and I passed the motorcycle safety course today. Since I already have my M1 learner's permit, that means I get my M1 license as soon as I get the certificate of completion from the school and give it to the DMV. So I kinda sorta got my driver's license today! I mean, what California is going to issue me says driver's license on it, though it is only a class M1, not a class C, and in no way authorizes me to operate a car, only a motorcycle or scooter.
I can't retake the driver's test until mid-June at the earliest because of how horrifically booked out they are, but suddenly it doesn't matter so much. I earned a motorcycle license, I have access to motorized transportation.
Now I need to find the right bike. I've been riding a crappy ADV (street legal dirt bike basically), and I know I NEED a motorcycle now that I've ridden a motorcycle, but I think I want a cheap, light cruiser to start. Like a Honda Rebel, except I'm kinda big, so maybe something a bit taller. But that kind of bike.
Or I could buy some sort of crotch rocket I can in no way handle, and that doesn't even fit what I want to use a motorcycle for, and then proceed to ride around like a squid. That's also a valid option.
I'm in Seattle now ^.^
I got some stuff done today. I bought my way overpriced gourmet popcorn at Pikes Place, went to Metsker's Maps, ate fish, shopped at two different art stores (one was called Monster and in Ballard, one was a branch of Monster under a different name at Pikes Place), went to a few bookstores, visited the Pioneer Square National Historic Park and toured the little museum.
Tomorrow I'm riding the monorail to MoPOP. Then I have the regular Seattle Underground Tour booked for 6, and the Adults Only booked for 8. If I get done with MoPOP early, the National Nordic Museum is 40 minutes away by transit.
There's a Utilikilt retail outlet a block away from the Underground Tour that closes at 6. I turned in my official paperwork to change my legal gender to nonbinary on Wednesday, and I'm a kilt owner who considers them THE nonbinary garment, so I am totally paying them a visit.
On Sunday, I've booked a factory tour of Boeing. I've been to the Seattle Museum of Flight, but not the factory tour. After the four ends at 2, I'll probably stay at the museum until it closes at 5.
I've done a bunch of those DNA tests that tell you where your ancestors are from, and the final verdict is that literally all of them are from places that are chilly, wet, and grey all the time at best, and straight up freezing at worst. Plus I used to live in the Rocky Mountains and rural Montana. And I grew up in unheated houses.
I was not made for 70+ indoor temperatures.
This is why I keep threatening to move to Seattle after I get my Masters.
Paizo's located in Seattle, so I bet this is a decent enough place to ask. I've been to Seattle a few times at this point. Done a lot of stuff, like the Museum of Flight, checking out Bremerton with the ferry, Mt Rainier, Pikes Place, the Museum of Industry and History, and so forth. Never been to the Museum of Pop Culture, though,
Well, there's both a tattooing exhibit and a Minecraft exhibit at MOPOP right now, and flights from San Jose to Seattle can be had cheap even pretty close to departure, so I'm flying up on the 21st and returning on the 24th. Booked a hostel in Chinatown. I've stayed there before, it's pretty decent for the price.
On the 21st, I get there early in the afternoon, and I'm gonna go Pikes Place. I go to Metsker Maps every time I'm in Seattle (I have a degree in Geography, so this is a Thing), and I want to get some crumpets at the crumpet place and pop into the two gourmet popcorn stores.
On the 22nd, I'm gonna go to MOPOP. Already bought my ticket. I actually haven't ridden the monorail yet, so I'm gonna take a bus or walk from Chinatown to the monorail station and ride that to MOPOP. I may or may not go up in the Space Needle or visit the Science Center (is it for adults?). Haven't decided.
That leaves potentially Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday open to do stuff. And I dunno what to do. Is the National Historic Park at Pioneer Square any good? That's really close to my hostel. Is the Underground Tour worth it? Should I check out the Navy Museum in Bremerton? Is Fisherman's Terminal worth it if I'm going to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco all the time? Is the Seattle Aquarium any good (can anyone compare it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium)?
...hell, it's ranging from the teens to the 30s here, and I refuse to set my thermostat above 65.
I turn it off if she's not around. The house will be whatever temperature it will be. I don't care if the living room is 45 degrees, we live in coastal California, not the Great Lakes, the temperature doesn't get dangerous here, and Americans overcontrol our building climates, anyway (seriously, I've traveled pretty extensively, and nobody else heats and air conditions indoors to the obsessive extent that we Americans do).
Granted, I also strutted around in the Canadian winter at 6AM in a kilt without stockings or anything else to warm my legs, because I had to walk from the hostel to the train station and an 11 yard kilt was not going to fit in my luggage on the airplane. So what do I know?
I don't know to what degree it's the planning department's fault, though. AT&T aren't great about actually cooperating with the planning department or communicating their future plans, and the planning department can't really tell them to go pound sand when they decide it's time for major infrastructure upgrades. PG&E is actively worse.
Also, I have AT&T internet, and my download speeds never hit 1 MB/s, and service interruptions are daily. In the middle of a city in Silicon Valley. I had AT&T Mobile, and I finally ditched them because it's slow, unreliable, and everywhere I frequent seems to be a dead zone. Plus there was the whole Disneyland clustertruck with Rise of the Resistance, where you needed a cell phone right at 8AM to get a boarding group in order to ride at all during the day, and AT&T slowed to a halt like clockwork right at 8AM every morning, and T-Mobile and Verizon customers got all the boarding group slots.
What I'm saying is, as a planning student, I blame AT&T. For all the things.
This, and yet my roommate still insists on having the house's furnace cranked into the 70s at all times.
Oracles must have interesting childhoods in my campaign setting. One skill that is common, though not universal, among divine spellcasters is the ability to read the stars. Something no non-divine spellcaster could do. The stars are echoes left behind by particularly bright burning lives that ended in their prime. All people powerful in body, mind, or spirit, and all died young. A divine spellcaster can read these stars, to an extent. It's like a particularly long and detailed tombstone epitaph. And brighter stars are easier to read, with some being dim, worn out, and difficult. Not to mention language barriers. Practically, reading these stars is a great aid in navigation. There is no rotation to the world, so stars are static within the sky, and if you can identify stars by reading them, they make a perfect navigation landmark.
More spiritually, though, imagine being an Oracle child who suddenly realizes they can read the stars. Most people grow up knowing the stories of the big stars, the bright ones that even non spellcasters can read and navigate by. But you can read all of the local stars. Hundreds of stars. Stories nobody has ever told you. But all short, and tantalizingly sparse in detail. Every night you look up at the sky, and it opens up to you like a book. And then you travel, and all the stars you grew up with are no longer visible, because you entered a different pantheon's realm. So know a whole new set of stories is before you, if you can understand their language.
Good pubs for whiskey? I stopped drinking beer for health reasons.
I wonder if I'm going to get harassed by Italian immigration officials at some point. I am legally allowed a total of 90 days in the European Union in any 180 day period. I though I'd have to work over Spring Break this year, so I booked a 10 day trip to Germany over my birthday in late April (except now I'm spending a third of it in France, because ending up in France is apparently just what I do, now). Then I got Spring Break off, and I can't reschedule the Germany trip, so whatever. So I'll go to Italy over Spring Break. 6 full days of All Ancient Ruins, All The Time between Rome, Paestum, and Naples. But then I got into that super interesting Summer study abroad that starts in Italy but is mostly in Greece, so that's another three weeks.
All told, if travel time counts against visa, I'm looking at about 45 days within 3 months, and I don't have any other trips to Europe in a 180 day period before or after, so I'm within the rules as written. I will, however, only have 3 weeks between each trip. I'm wondering if, by the third time, immigration will be like "What is this?"
Oh, and on the way back from Greece, I'm gonna chill in Scotland for a while. Decompress from study abroad and cool off from the Mediterranean head. See some castles, do various Scottish things, pop down to York for the British National Railroad Museum, which is supposed to even be better than the two amazing ones I went to in Japan. Who knows what Brexit is gonna do with that immigration procedure? I made sure my layover in Heathrow on the way in is, like, 4 hours in case it's all sorts of jacked up.
I'd still have to do my fieldwork, though.
You have that many Euros lying around? I think all I've got at home is a couple dollars worth of small Canadian coins, maybe 6 or 7 bucks in Mexican coins, a similar amount in Japanese coins, and a 1000 Yen note.
Also I have big feet.
If we didn't have dubbing, we wouldn't have all the Disney songs in French. I refuse to live in such a world.
captain yesterday wrote:
Chocolate's too rich. I can stand pieces as an ingredient, or a thin chocolate coating, but eating straight up chocolate? No, I can't. Nor do I like solid chocolate cake, or cookies, or ice cream.
captain yesterday wrote:
Good cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California. And that's that.
captain yesterday wrote:
Are you talking s~!~ about Tillamook? You better stay away from the West Coast, now.
I posit that overweight men should be encouraged to wear kilts instead of pants. As a transwoman, I have the male body shape, and I have quite the gut. So, as many overweight men do, I have some degree of trouble keeping my pants up. That body shape just is not conducive to suspending a garment about the hips, and the only things that really work are wearing a belt so tight it's actually painful, or wearing suspenders, which come with their own set of difficulties.
The kilt, however, which I, as a mostly closeted transwoman of Celtic extraction, naturally own multiple examples of, fixes this. A proper traditional kilt (so, not a Utilikilt) goes around your natural waist, which is just above the navel. For someone my size, that does mean a particularly large garment (52 to 54 inches in my case), but the advantage is that this part of the body actually is conducive to holding up a garment, even on overweight men. You fasten the kilt up there, and, wonder of wonders, it actually stays up there. Without having to be painfully tight.
It just works in the "not showing off parts of your rear anatomy" department. Kilts feel like they fit in a way pants never do. Wear underwear, though. As far as we know, most modern Scots do when they wear a kilt, and if you don't, it'll chafe. "Being proper traditional" that way isn't worth it.
So if I am declaring that my Spring Break shall consist of rolling up to the airport in Rome, splitting my hotel bookings between Rome and Naples, and having 8 full days of "All Ancient Rome, All The Time", what all does that actually entail doing, keeping in mind I'm open to day trips out of Rome and Naples. Clearly, I'm visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum. That's a major reason to spend some time in Naples in the first place. Also clearly going to the Colosseum, and seeking out those ancient Roman water fountains still marked SPQR that are in Rome, and I'm certain Rome has a good archaeology museum. Also take a day trip to Ostia Antica, and another to Hadrian's Villa, maybe break the rules and visit Bracciano and Viterbo even though those are medieval towns rather than ancient. I might hike Mount Vesuvius. Actually, I also want to see Paestrum, even though that's Greek and not Roman.
Okay, fine, I guess this isn't going to be all Ancient Rome, all the time. And what question was I even asking, again? I probably have about 8 days of stuff, here.
Because, while drivers don't follow the rules any more than cyclists, they commit different violations than cyclists do? Like, cyclists habitually run stop signs, but drivers habitually speed, block the box, and block crosswalks. Drivers also are prone to not signal or look before changing lanes, just like cyclists doing stuff without warning.
And, as a cyclist, I can assure you drivers don't give a damn about giving a 3 foot passing distance, and very often don't respect the right to take the lane. Also, while it is fully legal to make a left turn on a bicycle, it's insanely dangerous, because no driver lets you make those lane changes.
How the hell did you schedule a driving test three weeks out? Here in the South Bay, it takes about three months. I have a driving test December 4th, and I scheduled that back in September, for the earliest day available. And if I fail, I fully expect to wait months to take another test. Since I have no family I can practice with, that means at least another several hundred on professional lessons, on top of what I've already spent, just to keep practicing through those three months.
So, I have become one of those photographers. I now own a vest, so I look like either a journalist or like I think I'm on safari or something. Why? Because the sheer amount of kit in my shoulder bag just isn't good for me long term, and I'll have far fewer back problems later on by properly distrubuting the weight. Plus, a vest is easier to grab a second camera out of. And if I have something like the Texas Leica on me, I can hang that from my shoulders instead of my neck.
I still look like a g#$&%!n nerd, now.
Wait. That's not okay. That really complicates your taxes. If it's on your paycheck, the Federal Government is deducting income tax from it. Maybe the state, maybe not, but definately the Feds. Your reimbursements are being taxed, so you aren't actually getting fully reimbursed. Now, these should be tax deductible business expenses, but that means you only get fully reimbursed with your tax refund, and you have to know how to properly claim those business expenses.
This is seriously terrible behavior.
EDIT: Actually, from what I can find, this kind of thing isn't tax deductible anymore. Your employer may not actually be reimbursing what you are spending, and certainly isn't properly documenting reimbursements.
Yea, growing up, there might be a little frozen dew in the morning, but it would quickly melt. You definately couldn't build up frost on your shirt, and we never, ever had enough frost to make even a tiny snowball. Last winter, my roommate left for two weeks, and I shut the thermostat off completely for that whole time. It was cold as hell in the bathroom when I took showers, but I was fine.
I actually don't know Berkeley. Barely go to the East Bay now that I don't live in San Francisco anymore. I just know San Jose really doesn't hit the low 30s often at all. I've lived here over two-thirds of my life, including my entire childhood, and your temps are definitely a good chunk lower than what I've experienced.
I mean, I also live in a warmer part of the region than you. It's usually in the 40s in winter, might dip into high 30s a bit. That's those Bay Area microclimates for you.
So it seems I got super drunk last night and logging onto Ebay and Amazon. Apparently drunk me wanted a Wii, a Gamecube controller, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2 and 3, Super Mario Sunshine, Galaxy, and Galaxy 2, and Legend of Zelda Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.
Which, okay. At least I drunkenly bought stuff I'll enjoy? I never actually got to play Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, or Skyward Sword as a kid, either.
Hey, Nobody's Home, do you still visit Disneyland Anaheim every year? I haven't since I was, like, 6, but I'm going in January. Long story short, I need to go to Mexico for two weeks for school, and all flights into Mexico City from the Bay Area suck because the school wouldn't clear us to buy airfare until there was no chance of good prices whatsoever. Being an intelligent, reasonable person, I booked a round trip from Los Angeles instead.
I'm taking Megabus down there on the January 3rd. Should get to downtown LA by 3PM. Then I can head to my hotel in Hollywood and drop my stuff off. Then see Star Wars at the Chinese Theater, since I won't be able to see it in December, and buy some dumb kitsch, and stuff. Maybe go to Universal Studios Hollywood on the 4th? I dunno. On the 5th I fly to Mexico City, and on the 17th I get back to Los Angeles, and head to a hotel in Anaheim that has a Disney shuttle. Where I really want to stay is the Castle Inn & Suites, but they only have availability on the 19th and 20th. However, they will let me store luggage before check in, so I'm gonna stay in the boring hotel the 17th and 18th, get up super early the 19th and drop my luggage off at the Castle Inn & Suites. I fly home on the 21st (flying down would have been ridiculously expensive, hence Megabus, but flying back is stupid cheap).
All this stupid babble aside, this leaves me with the 18th, 19th, and 20th to spend in Disneyland, keeping in mind I have to get up early on the 19th to handle the luggage part of switching hotels. I haven't been to Disneyland in forever. I don't remember anything. Literally anything. May you share your wisdom with me?
Man, I am such a nerd. Tomorrow is Halloween weekend at the big NorCal Renaissance Faire. I want to do film photography, but both black and white are valid options. No matter. Setting aside medium format cameras and rangefinders, I have plenty of SLRs in various states of preparedness for use. For this task, I'd say the Nikon FE2, Canon AE-1, and Pentax K1000 are all suitable, if my dad has a battery for the AE-1 at work. If not, I can load the FE2 with Portra 160 (high end color film) and the K1000 with 100 TMAX (decent black and white film), and shoot both color and B&W all day without having to change rolls. If my dad does have a battery for the AE-1, I'll take that for B&W instead of the K1000, while still taking the FE2 for color.
But there is also no way in hell I attend such an event without my trusty Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera. That's just not on. And my Samsung Galaxy S9 has a very fine camera. So, really, I am attending this event with 4 good cameras.
Well, for digital, I have a 24-70mm F/4 for my Nikon Z6. That's my only Z mount lens, and my most modern lens. Very good all-round travel lens. Put that on the Z6, and I rarely need to switch lenses. I do have a couple other modern lenses in F mount, like a 70-300 I don't use much, but most of my glass is film glass. I have a glorious 80-200 lens that is my most used telephoto, even for digital, and I have several film SLRs from different brands, with a decent 50 for each of them. I've got wide angles, too. So much glass. I love film primes. I'm looking for 28s and 35s right now. I'm often finding 50 too long.