August 18th, 2008


Things that work out, things that don't.

My mother says that first rain after the 15th of August marks the beginning of Fall.

Damn has it been a short Summer. c_c Where have all those days gone!

Well, those were days well spent between things that worked out and things that didn't, that's where! Let me try to sum up for the benefit of my ever attentive (if occasionally bored) readership.

• After giving it a pass last year due to bad weather conditions, my girl and I, along with a group of buddies, went to the Marquenterre Henson Farm for some outdoors horseriding in the Baie de Somme, and I'm in love. I had been reading about the place for years in the national horse-related publications and was eager to find out more about it. I was not disappointed.

See, to many, putting people on horses and walking them around is a business; to these people, it's a passion. They created their own race of horse, the Henson, to be rustic and friendly, and I am seriously in love. (They were all sweethearts. I want one!) They also make their own riding tack, based on western horseriding principles; and they absolutely DON'T bring you your horse all saddled-up, no. They teach you to go get your own horse at the pasture, and then they teach you to handle and saddle him, and then they teach you the very basics of riding western-style. Because I, for one, may possibly not have truly needed the lessons other than as a refresher, doesn't mean I don't find the attention to detail fantastic, and newcomers to horses such as my dear friend kefen were rightfully delighted. Glee! I'd missed horseriding.

So that worked out famously. If you are at all into horses, or would like to be, and ever end up in the area, go check out the Henson Farm!

• My car broke, in an annoying way. See, to those of us for whom cars are just crazy complicated (as compared to horses, anyway), it's all about thingies that pull belts and drive cogs and generally go 'vroom'; the downside to this endearingly simple mental model being that actual cars breaking in real world ways have the most baffling symptoms. In this case, the power-steering started weighing like a ton of bricks on my arms, and the battery warning light remained lit as long as the car was powered on. Uh.

Thankfully, it only took a glimpse under the hood to spot the accessory belt dangling loose and broken, which simplified the diagnosis radically. On a hunch, I got my car to the repair shop as soon as I could, even though they couldn't fit it in their schedule just yet. Because, you know, the battery warning light is rarely good news. Take it from someone who's been left stranded in places so remote that I still can't entirely believe the movie on TV that night in that dim-lit hotel room exists elsewhere out there, you know, in the real, non-remote world. (Long story. It had people giving frogs their eyes to eat. That's all my brain cares to remember, thankfully.)

And so, deprived of the convenience of my car, I had to take half the week off and work from home the rest of the week. At which point I discovered how ridiculously more productive you can be working from home, lacking, you know, constant interruption from all manners of sources. So I got to pull a serious good load of work while not even having to endure that affliction of the modern life called commuting. There's crazy glee in that, and not just because home fridges hold beer in a way office fridges don't. (Worry not: I was good and didn't have any. During office hours anyway, 'cause otherwise, hoo boy.)

On an additional positive note, the power-steering now works crazy well, and I sometimes steer the car with but a finger, for no other reason that I can.

So that worked out fine as well!

• For that matter, I've been on a fixing spree.

Our toilet's mechanism got broken during our housewarming party, some time ago. I am astonished, but no small bit delighted to report that I somehow managed to fix it on my own. Oh, the fumbling involved, my friends. The creative cursing while on my knees, the drama of rusted screws and non-standard toilet cistern, dammit. And the generally bemused discovery, an unaccountable number of hours later, that the old mechanism had been taken out and the new one installed successfully. (I'm still not sure how that came to be, but who am I to complain?)

Likewise, I installed a washing machine outlet on the bathroom sink's outbound plumbing myself, seeing as I was really not proud of how we made it work before. (The machine's waste pipe was duct-taped inside the sink. Curiously, it worked without fail for months.) I'm glad to say I made a much neater job of it I had feared. I might be getting the hang of the whole house owner thing after all. Now if only parenting can work out the same...

And since I was totally in a fixing craze after that, I got hold of the small yet extremely complex bit of electronics that, when it used to work, would let me play movies and musics and other things on my DS console, and I fixed it. With a small piece of paper.

So that, I guess, worked out as well.

• On the other hand, I've not made one bit of art since that last post. Bad me. And as of this morning I've got such an excruciating pain in my neck that I'm actually considering skipping the upcoming EuroFurence if it doesn't relent by then. So that doesn't work out, at all, damn it no, feh. I guess sometimes the universe just edges in and hands you that karmic bill while giving you that look, you know the one -- the one that means "tip not including, and you bastard better not skimp." So I guess I'll just be off to bed to writhe in pain miserably or sumthin'.

There's more I wanted to post about, but hey, this entry braindump is already long enough as it is, ain't it, even if I didn't have some writhing to see to urgently.

And that, my friends, is that.