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Today was the best day I've had for a while. I felt a lot better than I had been for a few days, and I feel generally more hopeful.

I got a lot done, including a trip to the grocery store that I actually enjoyed. I don't eat a lot of fruit, but the peaches and plums looked really good so some of them came home with me.

I even made poached eggs on toast, which I had not done for a while. So delicious.

We watched some of the Democratic convention and it was not that exciting, but I liked it more than I expected.

I have physical therapy for my knee tomorrow. I'm kind of dreading telling her I have not done my assignment, but she knew from the get-go I might not. Part of it was feeling so rotten - I didn't feel like rolling around on the floor.

For once, a short week is not feeling extra long. Whee.

It's always amazing to me how good it feels to feel "better" after you've felt sick for a while.

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This was an okay weekend. Friday night we went to the Purple Power Play on Poyntz, where we perused the vendors, saw the KSU marching band, and watched about a jillion purple fireworks. Some of which we ended up wearing, because we were standing downwind and they were falling down on us. Nobody caught on fire.

Saturday night we played D&D Next, with new characters and the new testing module. Last time I was a fighter, this time I was a cleric. We did pretty well. We were there about an hour longer than I wanted to be, but it was fun.

Sunday I did not do a lot. I thought about going to Knitting, but I was kind of feeling under the weather so I stayed home. Also, someone broke one of our planters; they knocked it over. There's not a total loss - I think we can fix the piece that broke, but it was kind of sad. Pres Man has said all along that it's a bad idea to have them out there because it's too tempting for drunk jerks, and I have maintained that it's OUR yard and I should be able to put them out there if I want to. I still feel that way.

Today we went to the zoo and walked around. It was a good visit, but we did not see any of the baby animals that the zoo keeps emailing me about. We did see the new snow leopard though. He was curled up in his little rock shelter. It was too hot for him.

Tonight it thunderstormed, which upset the cat, but made everyone else happy. I'm not sure how much rain we got but the yard sure seemed to like it. I probably lost that much more dirt from the broken planter, though.

My aunt is having brain surgery tomorrow and I only found out tonight. She had surgery for a tumor years ago and I guess it came back. I hope it will be easier for her this time; last time she needed speech therapy and other 'relearning' therapy. That would be so frustrating.

I've had a headache most of the day. I thought it might be related to the lack of caffeine, but I fixed that and the back of my neck still hurts. Maybe I played too much Portal 2 with my head at a bad angle.

Tonight's Grimm was good. I'm kind of sad that it's moving to Fridays, because that usually doesn't help, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to Revolution.

The 1st was my father's birthday. He'd have been 64.

I find that I am bored with the internet lately. Nothing feels new, nothing is funny, nothing is entertaining. Maybe I should get a damned e-reader and read some real books instead of looking for fun reading online.

Also, between friars saying that raped and molested children are "seducers," Akin saying that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate" rape, and Smith saying that a woman who conceives from a rape faces the same issues as a woman who consensually conceives out of wedlock, I'm kind of done with the news. Not to mention Ryan's awfulness, which, outside of women's issues, is pretty amazing. Way to blame President Obama for something that really happened on Bush's watch. Did you think people wouldn't be able to look that shit up? C'mon.

I hope we're not all as stupid as he seems to believe we are.
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Things that happened

We went to The Fiesta this weekend and saw my mom, sister, BIL, nephew, and then my aunt's whole family (cousins, their spouses, their kids, and some long-time family friends).

There were so many kids! It always seems like there are twice as many when you're talking about 4 to 8 year olds. So much energy.

I've not been feeling that well. Hoping I did not catch the sickness that my sister had prior to coming to the party - the week before she had a sore throat and nausea, and it seemed like everyone she worked with had the same thing. I didn't even know those symptoms could go together. Ick.

Work is still busy. But slightly less stressful now. We'll see how it goes.

My house is a disaster and I cannot be arsed to straighten it up. I am also not making any progress on steampunk costumes. I may end up cancelling our con attendance. :(

I've been so bad about blogging lately. More stuff has happened, but I just don't seem to feel like putting it all down here.
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Today we cleaned out the gutters. It did not start out well, because I wanted to use the ladder brace/stabilizer that I'd gotten months ago. We put it together (mainly Pres Man) and then tried it. The danged thing is not right for us. It does not have the depth we need to brace on the house and still get to the gutters. I suspect we're not using it correctly somehow, but we got frustrated and took it off completely. After that things went a lot better.

I have seen some pics online of how people use theirs, but I'm not sure it will work out for us due to the pitch of our roof and the overhang of our eaves. I may just sell it instead of trying to figure it out.

But the gutters are clean and I even picked up some sticks in the back yard (I usually ignore it since it's fenced in so the shame factor does not kick in). AND I cleaned up some newly-uncovered pieces of dog bed stuffing. The people who lived here previously had a large dog and apparently at one point the dog tore his bed to crap. As the weather works on the yard, more and more pieces of acrylic batting come to light.

I did not get it all, but it's better. Progress.

I'm glad the gutters are done. Now we're ready for the rainy season that usually happens in Manhappiness in the Fall.
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Tonight at Knitting I got a lot done! I finished weaving in the ends on the overdue Nemo mittens, so they are ready to receive eyes, mouths, and linings. I also finished weaving in the ends on the alligator bag. When I finish the miles of i-cord that goes with that bag, I'll be able to throw that in the washer to felt it. Then it's just light finishing (and adding eyes) and he'll be done!

Pres Man asked me what my goal for that is. I said "Octopodicon," but he countered with, "You don't want to show it off to your family when we see them [before Octopodicon]?" Well Of COURSE I want to do that! So I need to make sure that happens.

Time just sneaks by me.

I regret to state that I have not produced a single hat this weekend. But I am READY to do that. I'm trying to figure out the most efficient and cost-effective way to bond my fake leather to the felt backing. Should I just iron a big hunk of it together and then cut out pieces, or should I go to the trouble of cutting out each piece from pleather, then each piece from fusing material, THEN cutting each piece from felt? The second way involves more time and cutting, but the first way wastes the fusing stuff. And with fusing a larger surface, there is a greater probability that I will end up with some non-fused parts, and that's not good.

More thinking required.

While searching for all my patterns, I managed to clean out the nursery a bit. It turned out we had lots of empty boxes in there! I am guessing my original plan was to use them to sort Keep, Sell, Trash stuff. But since most of them contained bubble wrap they did not LOOK like empty to-be-used boxes, they looked like boxes of mysterious stuff.

They are no longer in that room and I'm getting rid of them completely.

Another part of the mess in there is the leftover painting stuff - rollers, thingies that snap on to the lip of the paint can to make pouring easier, edgers, poles, pans, pan liners, etc. Stuff that should go to the storage room since the room is painted (except for like, two spots that need fixed up, but that will just require the green paint and a sponge brush).

But before we can put that stuff where it should really live, we need to pull the stuff that is in the storage room out and into bins, so that can go back under the stairs and THEN we'll have more room in the storage room.

And I'm thinking of doing all this at the same time as making several steampunk outfits for each of us, to be ready to wear by October. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

I'm going to need to get some buckles. Maybe Tractor Supply would be a good place to try.

Or maybe Orscheln's.

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The plumber I contacted through their website never did call. We're okay; the leak is still slow enough that the bucket is doing fine, but I'm a little disappointed in the lack of customer service.

Yesterday I felt physically not good most of the day. It was not muscle soreness, it was overall "blah" mixed with some pain in the abdominal region. Today I feel similarly.

I went to my chiropractic appointment last night and he fixed my wonky leg lengths and did some tests to see where my knee was injured. He gave me a couple of exercises to do to strengthed and stretch it.

And later my other knee hurt, as well as my ankle on that side. Awesome.

I'm just very grumpy. I know it's hormonal, but that does not keep me from doing it. My voice is less pleasant than normal, my humor is more biting and sometimes downright mean, and I am less able to concentrate.

Other than struggling with that, things are good. We got some good rain and the lawn looks better. The rain came with some massive wind and Bill dropped a very large branch that we'll have to break up and bag. It fell near the curb and just missed my lovely urns.

I got some pleather for 40% off at Hobby Lobby. It's the kind that looks like it's been tooled and it's really pretty. I was going to just get a little over a yard, but then I noticed the bolt was nearly empty after measuring my cut, so I bought it all. Saved $10.63 on that!

I'm thinking of using it as an accent on a hat and possibly a panel on a bodice to tie the two together. Maybe use it for the front center part of Burda 1880.

We did not work out last night. I was feeling worse and worse and just took myself to bed. I did not sleep all that soundly, so today I am still tired and my eyes feel baggy. :(

At least this wasn't a phone post. Hopefully there are fewer typos.

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Despite not feeling physically that great (why so unhappy, tummix?), I am going to do some organizing tonight. Pres Man came home with lots of new plastic tubs today to house the things that were previously in cardboard boxes under the stairwell. All those boxes are currently in the middle of our storage room because water got under the stairs whenever it was that we had the pin hole in our hot water line in the laundry room.

Anyway, now we have plastic tubs, and I'm going to work on transferring things over to the tubs and getting all that stuff back under the stairs. That'll help the basement a lot.

Pres Man's back is still iffy from Saturday, so we're not going to put the craft area back together just yet (involves shifting large shelves full of stuff). But even without doing that I can straighten up some in there in preparation for sewing stuff.

Piewacket seems to be getting over an illness. I noticed the day before yesterday that he seemed to be a lot less evident. Then yesterday morning he barely wanted his cat grease (usually his favorite thing), and his chin seemed swollen.

I'm not sure exactly what was wrong; our vet was closed today so Pres Man just kept an eye on him and if Pie had gotten a lot worse, we'd have gotten him in at another vet. But he is much better. Maybe he had a loose tooth that got infected.

He's eating and drinking and he's out with the family all the time now, so he's pretty much back to normal. I'm still going to watch him but I think he's through the worst of it. Today he was purring and headbutting my hand, so that's a big improvement.

It rained a teeny bit today, but we would need a full inch to get to where we normally are at this time. Oh well, at least I haven't had to mow the lawn for a while.

We've still got some nice loud cicadas here. I love that. One of them apparently had an unhappy night a couple of evenings ago, though. All of a sudden we heard one right outside the front door, and it was not a "Hey, Baby, I Gotcher Hot Cicada Lovin' Right Here!" song. It was a "HEY OUCH STOPPIT THAT HURTS OWWWWWW!" sound. I know of what I speak, because I once had a cicada follow me indoors and fry himself on my halogen lamp as I cried.

Our porch light is a cool one, so this one did not burn up. We're wondering if he found out that our many spiders and their webs are a little more dangerous than one might think, or if maybe a nocturnal cicada killer got her baby's meal ticket.

It was a sad sound and brought up bad memories, but it didn't last long and tonight the rest of them are out in full force, so yay.

We've been watching a lot of the Olympics. There have been some strange (and wrong) calls. Overall I've enjoyed it.

My mother's myofascial release/occupational therapist volunteered to look at my knee. She wants me to take two pictures standing up, one from the front and one from the hurt side, in bare feet, so that she can see my knee. She thinks she'll have a better chance figuring it out from those pictures than a regular doctor would from x-rays and in-person poking and prodding.

And I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I also think some people have a gift for that sort of thing and I'm not going to count her out. I'm going to take those pictures and send them to her.

I got to speak to my sister today - my gifts for my nephew did not arrive yet! But I'm sure they will get there tomorrow (if not after I talked to her). I got him some flutes that you put water in to get different notes (they are a bath toy) and the Disney Tarzan DVD. I think he'll like both. And it's okay that they weren't there on his party day because apparently he did the same thing he did at Christmas, which was open one gift and obsess about it and not want to open any others. I think Mommy and Daddy opened most of them. LOL So he was not denied the "joy" of a mountain of gifts just because Auntie couldn't get her crap together in time.

I ordered some Halloweeny stuff. Well, costume stuff. I love The Nightmare Factory and they are having a sale right now. I got two Bajoran and two Klingon communicators because they were nearly half off. I got some color hair extension clips too. I plan to use the hair in my steampunkery. Put a little more punk in my steampunk.

I'm really trying to make it a goal to get to that con. I should bite the bullet and pre-register NOW. Maybe if I commit the money it'll make it easier to stick to my goals of getting costumes and accessories made.

I've contacted a plumber through their website (not the one we normally use, because I have a feeling they would say "YOU NEED A NEW WATER HEATER, STAT!") and tomorrow I should get a call from them. Meanwhile a bucket is handily containing the slow and intermittent water escaping from the relief valve.

Time to go do some plastic tub filling and stacking.

Tonight's workout

And I STILL have not remembered to measure myself! You're supposed to do it on a rest day, so really I should have done it yesterday prior to exercising. I guess I'll just try to remember this Saturday. Phooey.

I officially claimed another lost pound, which felt awesome.

Tonight we did leg raises, leg curls, leg extensions, and calf raises. Usually we alternate doing either the front of the leg or the back of the leg, but Pres Man is still sore from moving stuff on Saturday, so we did it this way to save his back from some of the stuff we normally do. Between my knee and his back we're quite a pair.

I took my leg extension down to almost the minimum. It was just enough to feel resistance, like if you were using one of those stretchy bands. It did not hurt at all. I did leg curls with the same amount of weight I used last time and that went fine. I about died during the abdominal leg raises, which just shows we skipped those for too long an interval. And the calf raises were okay.

I did the recumbent bike before and after and had no pain. I did feel pain going up the stairs, but it was minor. I was wearing my knee brace tonight.

I tried my foam roller tonight! As expected, it was unpleasant. But in a way that makes me feel hopeful, because if it hurts, that is supposed to indicate that YES, your IT band is tight, and the roller should really help.

I'm going to ice my knees for 20 minutes and go to bed.
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I have been reading with interest the Readercon kerfluffle. And by "kerfluffle" I mean horrible mishandling of a case of sexual harrassment. They had a stated "zero tolerance" policy that was (if I understand correctly) supposed to result in a permanent ban from the convention. This rule had been created (and enforced in 2008 or after that year's con) to protect con-goers, and was designed for prevention in addition to punishment.

And then someone behaved very badly, to the same person, on multiple occasions. The perpetrator was warned several times and at one point explicitly told NOT to touch the victim. He was reported and brought before the board, where he was banned for life.

Except he was not - he was banned for two years. Because he "is a frequent blogger for and has previously chaired a Worldcon." He is big in fandom, and serves on boards, and knows people.

Readercon says that's not why. And the fact that they spelled out "Hey, that's not why!" just makes it seem more likely that's part of it. Or maybe they're just really bad at handling things like this - one of their friends admitting to acting out and numerous witnesses to the fact, when they have seen no evidence of it in person.

So "zero tolerance" for someone the board likes means "Two years suspension, especially if he says he's super-sorry. He's learned his lesson so missing the next two years is more than enough punishment."

They did say they'd be reviewing his conduct in the years he missed to make sure he had changed his ways. Which means he could still end up with a longer or permanent ban, depending on how he handles himself at other cons and if he is reported for harassing anyone there.

Aside from not following their own rules, which makes them untrustworthy for congoers now (though potential harrassers may view this as a win, so maybe not everyone is upset), their "logic" in making a special case for this man seems to be a case of a serial harasser charming the wool over the board's eyes. He has done this sort of thing before, and I'm going to say it's likely he's done it more than the two times I know about, and he was either not reported by his victims or he was reported and nothing came of it.

So the end result of the con's decision was to let someone who had harassed at their convention, someone with a history of harassment, basically get away with it. Because he said he was sorry. And because they knew him.

Giving a harasser a lighter punishment because he's got power is so, SO wrong. You're basically saying that anyone who is important enough can get away with whatever they want. It may be "the way of the world," but don't con-goers deserve better? I think they do.

I don't think the con should have had a zero tolerance policy if they were not serious about enforcing it. I think they should have given this man a ban in accordance with their own rules. I think that if they really wanted to let him back in, they could have deliberated and rewritten that policy and maybe given him (and other transgressors) an appeal procedure.

I'm seeing more and more women speak up about their experiences at conventions; how they are receiving unwanted touching, how they feel they are often cornered by unwanted conversational partners, how they feel they have to move in a herd to keep each other safe.

And while I'm only now hearing about it, it's mainly because women are beginning to stand up and speak loudly about how wrong it is. It's not like con harassment is new. As others have noted, Isaac Asimov was famous for a "pinch on some resilient portion of a female anatomy...A young woman, Melanie Donovan...received the official Asimov seal of friendship -- a strategic pinch."

This is someone looking back fondly at someone else grabbing women. He's fondly nostalgic, for Pete's sake. Ah, the good old days, when we could just reach out and grab a handful of woman and not get any guff!

That's not okay. As someone who is planning to go to her first convention this Fall (and it'll be a small one, so I'm pretty sure none of this will be an issue for any of my fellow con-goers), it's fascinating and horrifying to learn just how common this sort of thing is. I'll probably be safe, due to my age, attractiveness level, and attending with Pres Man, but you can bet I'll be looking out for my fellow ladies and if I see anyone looking trapped or uncomfortable I will be sweeping in to offer them an "out."
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