more than half sick of shadows

leave the web, leave the loom


I hate my Samsung blu-ray player
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havocthecat
It will no longer play blu-rays, only DVDs. Probably a software update borked it. I don't know! I didn't even realize that blu-ray discs will only play if the players have the most up-to-date software. I'm not sure I'd have bought a blu-ray player if I'd been aware of that fact. I'm glad most of my blu-ray upgrades have been DVD/blu-ray dual purchases. At least I can still watch most of my films.

But apparently this is not an abnormal thing with Samsung, and some people have had it ongoing for a year or more. SUPER annoying. Not buying their electronics again.

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Things I did this weekend, the not-fun-times edition.
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havocthecat
So I played Mage, and that was fun, and made a Father's Day dinner for Mr. Havoc and my dad, and that was also fun. Plus we took a walk with Dad, which is rare these days, because his health is still on a slow downward crawl. I love when we can do things we used to; we mostly can't.

Sunday we spent a lot of time ripping insulation out of the crawlspace, and that was not fun. But [personal profile] aj had let us know that we had something mildewy and allergenic growing down around where our TV room is, and said something had not been cleared out several years back when we unloaded everything that had been stored in the crawlspace and sent about 95% of it to Goodwill.

So now we have to let the crawlspace sit open and air out for a few weeks, and then we get to reinsulate the walls, which were not done right in the first place (no vapor barrier, no paper on the insulation facing the wall), which is why the insulation got mildewy and hideous for friends allergic to mold. And then we hope that and the giant Damp Rid tubs take care of that.

Also there were something like 15 rusted cans of latex paint (and three cans of deck stain and oil paint), so we had to pry a bunch of rusty old paint cans open so the paint inside dries out, at which point we can dump the cans without environmental guilt. That was fun.

But we got things ACCOMPLISHED. Though it's a lot less than it sounds. I mostly did laundry when the kidlet and Mr. Havoc were doing the insulation tear-out. Bad ankles and crawlspaces do not go well together.

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Italian restaurants
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havocthecat
I am so, so tired of Italian restaurants with mob themes.

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Bitten and Forever Knight crossovers
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havocthecat
So I finally got around to watching it. That's the nice thing about summer hiatus on my other shows, right? I notice it takes place in Toronto. You know what else took place in Toronto? Forever Knight!

If you'd love to see a Forever Knight crossover with Bitten, now might be the time to head over and sign up for FKFicFest! (Or you could sign up on LiveJournal.)

Deadline's tomorrow. Definitely it's a good time to sign up! Crossover options, gen options, and ship options. All of it's fun!

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Uuuuugh, outlining novels. Recs needed.
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havocthecat
Any chance you all could rec me a good book (or website) on outlining/novel structure? I don't want to follow it slavishly, but I'm at the point where I need a reference book to check the structure of the space vampires novel and make sure it at least looks like it works. I'm too close to it and I can't always see the problems without an outside source.

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I hate when you have a realization five years after the fact.
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havocthecat
...and by "when you have a realization" I mean "when I have a realization."

My entire first chapter or two of the space vampires fic has to go. It should really just be a short story, because it's a totally different plot. While what happens there certainly informs the rest of the book, especially the emotional tensions between the characters, it's not necessary - and it'd be better to unfold the whole emotional mess gradually instead of dumping it on everyone in a surprise space pirate attack. (It makes sense if you read it.)

How did I not realize this five years ago when I wrote it for the first time? Oh, wait, I know why. It's full of angst and unrequited feelings and I'm practically addicted to that in fiction.

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Get your Forever Knight fanfic on!
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havocthecat
[community profile] fkficfest/fkficfest is holding its annual ficathon!

You may go and sign up for the exchange here on Dreamwidth or you can go here on LiveJournal. The rules are very long, but they are so because they very clearly go over everything you need to know to play in the ficathon. :)

If you would like to play in the exchange ficathon, please do! We will have an exchange if a total of nine or more players sign up for it. If not, there will be a prompt-based challenge instead. Both are good, but I'm hoping for an exchange simply because that's what works best for me.

Come, give me another chance to write about Natalie and Janette and the women of Forever Knight. Sign up by the June 14th deadline!

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Two color brioche is...actually, it's pretty easy so far
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havocthecat
I'm making the cowl portion of this pattern in black and gray Cascade 220. So far, it's complicated, but not terribly difficult, especially as a first foray into colorwork. I'm considering a nice, fluffy brioche afghan/throw based on flattening out the cowl pattern, adding X number of stitches (haven't decided yet) and going up to a size ten needle, because I am ALL OVER the idea of a soft, cushy, stretchy, extra-thick lap blanket for winter in the Midwest.

I also noticed I have more than a few random skeins of bulky or super bulky yarn lying around the house, plus a bulky yarn shawl that I have never actually liked or worn. I may have to unravel the shawl and get the other yarn, then knit them up into a simple pattern that will let me use all kinds of colors in a riotous, bohemianish afghan or shawl.

Knitting is a lovely hobby to have. There's always something new to learn or different to make.

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Help me declutter my books!
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havocthecat
Which is probably the hardest thing to declutter, barring jewelry. So I have the majority of the Liaden novels (not the last three or four) in some form of print, but I have them all electronically too in DRM-free format. The electronic versions I paid for include the older short stories. (I do love the Baen library and ebook store. No DRM and still legitimately purchased.)

So I've been holding onto these books, despite honestly not having space in my house for all the books that I want.

Does someone local want the hard copies? If so, yay! If not, tell me it's OK to give them away. I have an entire bookcase left to clear so I can rearrange the office, and our books have expanded beyond our capacity for storage space. Again.

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Things are not all terrible. :)
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havocthecat
I found a factory reconditioned pair of electric hedge trimmers for $41 plus $8 shipping, which is a pretty impressive price, and deeply necessary if you've seen the eight foot tall lilac bushes in front of the House of Havoc. I really like lilacs, okay?

Flight Rising is still a lot of fun, though I'm a little disheartened at the cost of the items I need to make the best showing in the arena. Lots of Elemental Might Fragments, Eliminates, and Ambushes, and those are stupid pricey. Probably because they're the best thing. I might try a couple of Int-based builds just for fun. Plus I love giving the kidlet game stuff. We're making plans to breed our cutest dragons together and split the hatchlins.

I have a new desk at work, so I no longer have to be right in view of Perfectionist Paralegal all day. Which is great for her too, because I apparently typed too loud for her. SO SAD.

I have a knitting group at work, and one of them will teach me the crochet stuff she knows, which means that I might be able to make this Moorish Mosaic Afghan, which I would love to do.

I've also decided to teach myself brioche stitch. I have some gray and black Cascade 220 that has always been intended for a blanket, but I haven't been sure what. Brioche stitch seems pretty warm and fluffy and stretchy. I'd like to give two-color brioche a try.

I need another portable project, to do one square at a time. I might try the Illusion Cube Blanket or I might redo my mitered square afghan, only with a bunch of different yarns instead of it being All Noro Kureyon, All The Time. (I love Noro Kureyon. It's rougher, but the colors!)

Either way, there are good things going on too. So thanks for being here for the good and the bad. :)

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