A year ago

Today is the one year anniversary of my first day of freedom from The Shoggoth Pit. (my last day was Sept 11th…but I didn’t want to write this yesterday). A lot of things have changed in a year. I found an old offline journal entry with my wishes for my post pit life. A job where I’d have bosses who didn’t try to stress me out for yucks and giggles, where work had challenges, but I also had support in meeting said challenges. And I got that here at Carcosa Corp, in spades. I also got a much nicer paycheck, and I have coworkers who I can count on to be professional, and at the same time, can be silly with. The only negative is that it is contract, so I cannot say that a year from now I’ll still be in the same boat. But it’s given me hope that yes, I deserve a job where credit is given, and I’m worth what I’m paid.

Outside of the work stuff, the last year I’ve done other stuff. I’ve finally made it outside of Texas, and made it back home to NYC for a fun week. I’m going to Portland in a little under a month for my first Lovecraft festival. I’m sleeping better, though I am having more anxiety dreams about parents than I was. I’m social, and my friends are much less worried about me (sorry gang). I did up my meds this year for depression, but that I felt like I could try to do something to help sounds like positive stuff to me. I’ve also quit caffeine, and cut way down on sugar, and have started to lose weight. Eating a little healthier. Reading more, generally most everything is swinging up at least a little.

Still have anxiety and depression issues. I’m still reacting to things like I’m back at the Shoggoth Pit, meetings make me anxious, new projects cause worries, etc. But I’m catching myself when I start that, and it’s lessening. Day by day, bit by bit, I’m getting better.

So that’s the state of the Vulpine, anniversary edition. Hopefully things keep swinging up through the next year, and that this time in 2017 I’m no longer thinking about the past or being bothered by it.

Weekend Computer Foo

And now we talk about computer foo. last night and today has been more geekery than I’ve done in a while. Dagon’s new monitor is much of the shiny. I’ve switched to using multiple virtual desktops, scattering various apps that I can reach with with key combos. Here are the desktops and what they’re used for.

  • Primus: Web browser and terminal windows, with Alpine (mail), CenterIM5 (IM client), one terminal with a screen session linked to every VM and physical box here at Château Innsmouth, and one for text editing (like this entry).
  • Secondus: Five larger terminal windows in a pattern. Good for sysadmin or coding or stuff. Larger = less eye strain.
  • Teritus: VirtualBox and VMs. This is the problem child, as I start working on a desktop VM, and forget about it with flipping back and forth.
  • Quartus: Misc stuff.

    As I said, it’s easy to lose stuff in this setup, but I’m thinking I’ll get used to it over time. The new video card in Dagon can support 2 of the big monitors, and I can double up on those cards, so I could upgrade to a 3 monitor rig in the future. Also, Hydra has DP ports as well, so I could split it, 2 on Dagon, 1 on Hydra. Doubt I’ll do that anytime soon though, both for cost and the fact the Desk of Doom ™ isn’t sturdy or large enough. So, in the future. Maybe after I pay off the trip to Portland.

    Besides getting things updated and rebooted all the systems. Tried to upgrade Dagon to the latest stable kernel, but no dice, I couldn’t make the new monitor play nice, and after 3 or 4 reboots and driver swaps I gave up for now. Hydra and Nyogtha came up fine after general maintenance and reboots, so did the VMs. I then turned my attention to my mini server Shoggoth, which has been offline for a week or so. On advice from my IT guy (yes I have a friend that does most of my hardware foo. I can do it soso, or he can do it right, and he’s worth every cent. If you’re in DFW, and need a geek, let me know) I popped out the drive, tried to see if it would get past the weird lock. It did. So I put the drive back in, and it booted fine. So I updated it, rebooted, came up fine. So, thinking the SSHD drive in Shoggoth might be flaking, I enabled SMARTD to monitor the drive. So we’ll see if it was a fluke or a drive giving up the ghost.

    Now I’m updating the assorted desktop VMs, and fiddling around with other stuff. Been a productive day geekwise. But soon it will be time to wind down and head to bed.

  • From the Starry Wisdom Library: Return of the Old Ones

    Adding a new feature of my blog, ‘From the Starry Wisdom Library’ aka where I talk about my favorite things in the world, books. So get your reading glasses and get into your favorite chair, and lets look at a book.

    Cthulhu rises, the Deep Ones come ashore, the Whatleys finally let the Old Ones back into our world. So what happens next? This has been a question for the Mythos fandom for years, and a number of authors have taken a stab at it. Latest, from Dark Regions Press, is ‘Return of the Old Ones’. 19 stories in 3 sections, pre-apocalypse, as the tentacles hit, and life after the world as we know it ends.

    First though, some disclaimers. One, Brian M. Sammons, the editor of the collection sent me an eARC in exchange for a fair review. Second, I’m not the biggest fan of post-apocalypse fiction, Cthulhu or no Cthulhu. I find the afterward of the end of the world to be kind of depressing, and I read Mythos as escapist fiction. (and yes, I know what kind of nut I sound like saying that).

    But when I read the ToC, I knew I’d enjoy this collection. Favorites like Jeffrey Thomas, Tim Curran, and William Meikle, among many others. Honestly, even the authors that aren’t my ‘favorites’ are still ones I cheerfully will read in any collection. And you get all kinds of stories, from apartments full of cultists, and why conspiracy theorists might lead us to the apocalypse, to zombies from beyond space-time and DARPA vs Deep ones, to finally we go true post Cthulhu Singularity, with colonies hiding underground, or in the swamps, or even a truly bizarre story that is equal bits ‘Star Trek’, trans-humanistic, and bizarro. No matter how you view the Mythos, there will be stories you love, and others you enjoy. I did find this to be a collection I read in sections, as some of the stories were dark in a way that Mythos doesn’t generally hit for me.

    Currently Dark Regions Press is doing an Indiegogo for this as well as two other collections, ‘You, Human’ which is dark scifi, and ‘The Children of Gla’aki’, a tribute to Ramsey Campbell. They will be released in retail format after the Indiegogo is complete, and the backers have gotten their goodies. I’ve backed a number of their crowdfundings in the past, and I’ve always enjoyed what I received. So if you like your Mythos dark, and your human meat-snacks on the run, I’d recommend ‘Return of the Old Ones’.

    Oh, and while I don’t recommend judging a book by it’s cover, but check out the cover…

    RotOO Cover

    Happy Spawning Day.

    Happy spawning day Grandpa Theobald, looking good for a hundred and twenty six.

    Since it’s HPL’s spawning day, I’m spending the day in various versions of his Mythos. Listened to a few of the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre plays, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’, ‘Shadow Over Innsmouth’ and ‘The Dunwich Horror’. Now watching the goofy and gory ‘Bride of the Re-Animator’. Later on will be another HPLHS adaptation, the film version of ‘The Whisperer in Darkness’ and other flicks from the film vault. I do have a ton of them. And will probably dive into some stories to read tonight, a trifecta of eldritch fun and games.

    Thank you HPL, for the stories, the ideas, and being the gateway to some of my favorite things in life. Hope Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth deliver you coffee ice cream and a kitten.

    Eldritch Pilgrimage

    Quick post. I’ve decided to finally do something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

    I’m going to the HP Lovecraft Film Festival. specifically the one in October in Portland, Oregon.

    I’ve been seriously thinking about it for a few weeks, and today I was looking at flights and hotels to put a budget together, and I found a decent flight in the time frame I wanted. So I took the eldritch plunge and booked the flight, and reserved a hotel room in the hotel giving the fest a good rate. Yay me, yay travelings. Oh dear gods, I’m going to be with…PEOPLE!

    Yeah, social anxiety is calling out rather loud. Which i expected. I hope it settles down though. But it will probably be like my trip to New York, where I went from anxious to excited and back again. We’ll see.

    So yeah, traveling to the Northwest. Besides the HPLFF, I’m not doing much else. Going to Powells books before the Fest is about it. Because well, I’m in Portland. I’ll post more details as I find them out, or make them up. *crazy tentacles flails of joy and worry*

    Some minor changes.

    I’ve decided that I’m going to stop cross-posting between Livejournal and this blog for the most part. The CLI post to WordPress hasn’t been working. So I’m going to leave my rambles to LJ, and post stuff about computer projects, Cthulhu, or other things to here. You can find the Daily Rambles in the Eldritch Links to the right. I’m also going to try to post there more than once or twice a week, like I used to. We’ll see how it goes. *waves a tentacle*

    Greek food and crazy movies

    Had a good night’s sleep, full of strange dreams about a city that I dream about on a regular basis. Not sure what it’s based on, but it seems the same every time it shows up. This time I was able to cut through traffic and get back to DFW because I was able to slip through spacetime. (I blame that bit on reading the tech details about Alastair Reynolds’ ‘Revelation Space’ novels). Woke up, and sadly the cool dream didn’t carry over. Had a major league anxiety attack. Took my happy meds, watched a movie, and generally bumped all plans back.

    By the time I was up for going to the movies, I was pretty decent. Met up with my friends, watched the third ‘The Purge’ movie. Given the foo going on lately, I had a feeling this movie wouldn’t be much fun. But it had some good bits, besides the political foo. Lots of violence, lots of one liners from a few characters that were hysterical, and it ended on a vague high note. If you liked the first 2, you’d probably like this one.

    Headed home, picked up packages, (Yay finally got my copy of ‘Swords v Cthulhu’). Headed back out a little later to have dinner with some other friends, celebrating a spawning day. Went to a Greek/Mediterranean place, very tasty. We ate foods, chitchatted, caught up. Definitely will go back there. Took care of some other stuff, and came home. Fired up ‘Prometheus’ because I needed some fluff. Scientists making horrible decisions always makes me feel better.

    So yeah, in a better place than 24 hours ago. Plan for tonight is probably to watch movies and veg. Later I’ll dig into my new, shiny book. Tomorrow I have more errands to run, laundry to do, and will probably just be chill. Then another week of work, with a series of things I need to focus on. Nothing bad, just adjusting priorities. No real plans for the week besides work. So for that, I’m going to call this a post.

    Independence Day

    Not feeling all that independent today. Stayed up late last night reading a fancy dead tree Mythos novel I got recently. Slept oddly, dreams that made me very confused when I woke up. Didn’t really get out of bed til around noon. Did get messages from the Musketeers, they’re safely in Scotland.

    I really don’t want to leave Château Innsmouth today. So I’m just going to hang out at home. Finishing up the great rip fest of the dvds I got. I’m feeling anxious and out of sorts. I may go read, or put on a movie, I don’t know. What ever I do, I’ll try to be chill. Tentacles and chill, how to spend a day off. Ok, that’s enough rambling.

    Sunday sans title

    Well Sunday was pretty decent. I got up around the usual time, bummed around Château Innsmouth for a while. Headed out to hang out with friends, with a side trip to the flagship Half Price Books in Dallas. Oh lord, I went nuts, a ton of DVDs and blurays, and a number of books for the Mythos collection. I really need to get a couple of new bookcases. before my collection explodes. My credit card may be crying.

    Went up to hang out with P and J Watched the 2nd and 3rd Poltergeist flicks, which I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Not great, but not bad. I remember them being much worse. Then, because we’ve inflicted a ton of bad movies on the P he picked ‘Mumford’ which was a very odd and quirky flick about a therapist in a town in major need of therapy. So not my kind of flick, but it had some funny moments, and it ended on a good note. By then I was tired and kind of icky feeling. So I took off. Was glad to hang out with my pals.

    Also heard from my globe trotting musketeers. It seems Logan International is of the suck, and people in Boston are weird. They’re on their way to Iceland for another stop, then off to Scotland, Mild envy. But honestly, if I was with them I’d probably be driven to jump ship and hightail it to the British Museum for a week. And I’d miss all the other fun.

    Drove home, put in one of my new purchases…and found out I’d already seen it (and wasn’t terribly impressed by it). Giving it another try, since I did spend money on it. Also ripping the other purchases for my future watching. Probably going to stay up late tonight, I’m kind of jittery. I’ve also decided to give myself a mulligan on tomorrow. I need to make a store run for missing things, and return the Redbox I got yesterday (and forgot to return today). Besides that, it could be books, it could be movies, I may even go out to the movies or out to somewhere nice for dinner. I don’t know, I’m just going to take it as it comes.

    So that’s about it for Sunday’s braindump. Going to make a snack, and keep on keeping on. Take care.

    Three Day Weekend

    It’s the weekend again, yay! It’s a three day weekend, double yay! Friday night was taking the Musketeers out to dinner before they leave town for a long European vacation. *envy* Oh well, one of these lifetimes I’ll make it over the Pond. Woke up this morning, ran some errands, came home. Got my new multi-region Blu Ray player, set it up, and am now watching the new bluray edition of ‘The Lurking Fear’. Besides movies, I’m doing my usual geekery. The plan is to basically relax til sundown, then do the laundry. Mostly though, just want to take it easy today.

    Was a good week, pshrink visit on Wednesday to adjust my meds again. I was doing better, but I thought there was still room for improvement. Work is decent, home life is quiet. Really no big change other than the pshrink visit.

    Tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with some friends, possibly with a visit to the big Half Price Books in Dallas. Monday I’m going to hermit here at Château Innsmouth and dive into my pile of books to read. Good way to celebrate independence i think. Then it’s back to work, with some after hours time to make up for the day off.

    So that’s this week in fox land. The next few weeks will be a little tricky, as the above mentioned best friends will be out of town. Luckily I have a good support network, stuff to keep me busy. I’ll be ok. I’m tough that way. *wink* Ok, that’s enough rambling. I’ll write more later on.