Sunday, January 27, 2008

Whatever you do, Penfold... Don't say 'rock'!

Today was a tidying-up-loose-ends kind of day, a time for dispatching overdue projects.

First came the orange cake that I had meant to bake for Jól.  Instead of all-purpose wheat flour I substituted a 50/50 mixture of rice flour and tapioca flour to make the cake gluten-free. (Oh, and a quarter-teaspoon of xanthan gum to make it all stick together, too.)

Then... (cue ominous music) ...I tackled The Fishtank.

Among my housemates are Algernon the Chinese algae eater, two albino corydoras, and five black-skirt tetras all peacefully coexisting in a 20 gallon aquarium. About once a month I give the tank a partial water change, vacuum the gravel on the bottom, and scrub down the inside of the glass. Normally it takes about an hour to do that and get the new filter materials installed, the plants pruned, the new water dechlorinated, and the system switched back on.

Today, when I turned the electricity back on, the power filter just sat there.

I fussed with it. *poke poke*
And fussed with it some more. *click* *prime prime prime*
And yet again. *adjust* *click*

And contemplated praying to the Power Filter Gods, but they had the day off.

So, out came the filter, and I took it back to the kitchen sink for another look.

Then, finally, I saw The Rock. A tiny, tiny pebble stuck deep down in the almost-as-tiny impeller mechanism, preventing the rotor from spinning properly.

*SHAKE* *clunk*
*reinstall* *click* *whirrrrr*

I think this one is covered under my mandate as the Goddess of Random Equipment Malfunctions. (reads fine print on her contract while enjoying a slice of that wonderful orange cake)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tooth or Consequences

Ow. Three hours in the dentist chair today.




I'm a patient of the local university's dental clinic, which gives me access to state-of-the-art work at very reasonable cost. The upside, and downside, is that a great deal of the work must be checked by the student dentist's instructor -- who is frequently a few stations down the floor, checking or assisting other students.  It can take a while to move from Step A to Step B, let alone to K or L or X.

As for my aching jaw, it wasn't so much the dental work (large composite filling at the very back of my mouth) as holding my jaw wide open for prolonged periods of time.

It is an interesting way to spend a Tuesday afternoon, though, especially a bitterly cold January one. I've become an expert at pantomiming "Hand me the suction" and have been known to play with the up/down buttons on the chair when no one's looking. Added words like 'buccal' and 'mesial' to my vocabulary.

But I don't think I'll play clarinet till sometime tomorrow... (sucks back another cup of warm tea)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And the Lakshmi Project continues...

Things are moving along in my life... Not swiftly, but steadily and in the correct direction.

I continue to make progress in the organization of personal space. Desk is not clear yet, but far closer to it and settled into a new, somewhat tidier homeostasis. Approximately 50% of the boxes previously piled up near the window have been emptied... Most of them into a new old bookcase acquired from the parental units. More room for music stand, guitar stand, and the wooden stool that Freyja uses to access Very High Places.

I've already downloaded this year's crop of tax return forms and will be filing my financial statements and tax return substantially before the deadline.

A letter of acceptance for university (with a lovely collection of transfer credits from prior college studies) is being finalized and should be in my hands within a few days. I've also found a way to pick up a couple of missing course prerequisites in a relatively painless manner (Translation: Studying physics and pre-calc math at home at my own pace rather than spending five mornings a week at an Adult Ed center).

Wood necessary for levelling the next 16 square feet of study floor has been cut into appropriately sized pieces.

My new workbench is up and running, along with a better-positioned bench vise and a pegboard. New 20 amp wiring for the router table, chop saw and vacuum will follow in due course.

And clarinet lessons resume tomorrow.

Life continues to be good.