One Of Those Days…

Song: “Little Arrows” by Leapy Lee

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Horde

We got a decent amount of snow last night. Oddly, I think I slept pretty well – I can only remember waking up three times to worry about things. This morning, though, I felt like I was 419 years old. Slow to move, slow to think, and astonishingly prone to bumping into things or dropping stuff.

Lots of people were out today shovelling or blowing out their driveways today, and for whatever reason, the sounds were really getting to me. Even the normal sounds inside the house, like the cereal settling in the box or the plastic bag rustling a bit were enough to give me a jolt. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t turn it down today for some reason.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about that person I wrote about yesterday. I’m trying to not let it get to me but I really strongly feel like I should be doing something about him – I just don’t know what. When I talked to J about it, she had some good suggestions. She also mentioned that her dad is one of the adherents of the “universe takes care of things” attitude. I usually agree with that but I’ve seen this person (just to be clear, I’m talking about the dirtbag right now) weasel out of so many situations he caused over the years, and the thought of him getting away with some of the other stuff makes me… angry? I’m not sure if that’s the right word. I haven’t really been able to get angry for over three years now.

I should really stop thinking about this stuff. Maybe I will ask Dr C about it when I see her this week.

Between my clumsiness, the fact that I was jumping like a caffeinated rabbit at everything, and the stuff I was stewing over, I spent a lot of the day clenching my jaw, which led to a nasty headache in the afternoon. I used to have headaches every single day at work, and often on the weekends too. I don’t like taking tylenol if I can help it because some of the other stuff I’m taking is tough on the old liver, but after a particular point it doesn’t make sense to deal with it anymore, so I grab one or two to hopefully knock the headache back a bit.

J called while I was getting ready to head out and clear the driveway today. She was just calling from work to say hello and chat for a couple of minutes, which I enjoyed. It was very good to talk to her, and it had the advantage of giving me a reason to procrastinate going out to clear the driveway.

The snowblower started up great and ran like a champ today but I swear, some days it’s like it has a mind of its own and I have to fight with it just to keep it moving in a straight line. When I finished, I was sweaty and hot, so I put everything away and closed the garage door and leaned against the fence with my eyes closed, trying very hard to enjoy the fresh air for a couple of minutes before I went back inside. I still don’t like being out, particularly when I can’t see the front door, but I’m definitely getting more used to being outside in the driveway and stuff like that.

I moved the filament spool holder for the 3D printer today. Instead of being bolted to the control box, it’s now way off to the left. This looks a little more awkward but I think it will actually end up being easier on everything – now that there’s a little bit of slack in the system, the filament won’t jump off the spool when the extruder backs the filament up, and the angle of the filament off the spool won’t be as severe like it is now when the Z arm is either very low or very high. I have also moved the printer back toward the wall a little more and the controller closer to the printer so the cables will have more slack than they do now. Of course, I was having the same clumsy issues this afternoon, so something that should’ve taken, say, 15 minutes took close to an hour, had me broken out in a serious flop sweat, and I was running in circles, trying to figure out where the screws or drillbit or any number of other things had gone or why they wouldn’t fit.

All in all, a frustrating and kind of rough day. Things got so much better after J got home, but we didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch some TV like we usually do. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but we’re currently on The Good Place, which has been pretty great so far. My favourite characters are definitely Janet and Michael. That sounds familiar… I think I did write about this before. Oh well.

Hopefully tomorrow will be an easier day with less noises, less anxiety, less brooding, less head aching, and more enjoyable productivity.

Stay safe.

It Feels Like Thursday

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Friday and Saturday felt like Friday and Saturday, but today feels like Thursday and I have no idea why. We’re supposed to be getting a lot of snow tonight – some has fallen already but it should continue for a while. Looks like I’ll be running the snowblower again tomorrow, I’m glad J and I went to fill up the gas can last week!

I can’t believe it’s 2019. I haven’t written any dates wrong yet but I don’t think I’ll be out of the woods with that until, oh… March.

The weekend went reasonably well. I didn’t sleep too badly – no nightmares for a little while now, and I didn’t even wake up too many times last night.

My appointment on Friday with Dr C went better than I was expecting. It had been a while since my last appointment and I was worried that it was going to be even harder to go and pay attention but fortunately things were about the same as they were before the holidays. Oh, and I gave her the phrenology bust. I think she liked it but she may have just been professional about it. Either way, I told her that she was welcome to bin it or whatever she wanted to do with it – I enjoyed making it so whatever she wanted was fine. Oh, and here’s how it turned out:

Phrenology Bust

[1]

Unfortunately, my hands aren’t quite as steady as they used to be so some of the lines are a little more ragged than I had hoped but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with it.

Oh, and if you’re a particular age and from a particular region, you may remember the “Spirograph” toy from your childhood. We had one and my sister and I used it until we’d lost most of the parts. I found a 41-piece set to print on Thingiverse and started printing today. It’s going to take a couple of runs because I can’t fit all 41 pieces on at once but that’s okay. I was wondering if I should change filament spools before I started it but the printer has a filament-out sensor and (hopefully) wouldn’t just keep going, adding layers of hot air instead of plastic. Well, it finished before the filament ran out, but I don’t think I’m going to start any new projects with what’s left on the spool:

3D Printer Out Of FilamentI’ve really been enjoying making stuff and figuring out how to make stuff.

On a somewhat less fun note, I found out a little while ago that someone I know did some bad stuff a couple of years ago. The rumour is that he’s hiding somewhere (I have no idea where) and laying low. I have been thinking about this pretty constantly since the weekend, wondering if there’s something I can do or if I should just stay out of it. I know staying out of it is probably the smart choice, but one of the themes that keep coming up with me is that I want to be a good person. Good people do good things, right? And wouldn’t a good thing be to figure out where that dirtbag is and report him to the police? Maybe the police already know where he is, or are already looking for him. Maybe they’re not aware of what he did (it happened in another country). But maybe I should just try to rein this stuff in and stop thinking about it – I have neither the resources of Bruce Wayne nor the detective smarts of Batman, and there’s no guarantee that I wouldn’t end up getting myself into trouble. Actually, with my luck, that’s probably exactly what would happen. But this is bothering me.

Argh… now that I’ve written that down, I’m agonizing over whether to erase it or not. Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Y are getting a bit of a workout.

Screw it, I’m leaving it. It’s what’s on my mind, and I write these to talk about what’s on my mind.

J made some truly remarkable steaks for supper this evening. She always makes great steak (she does it in a Dutch oven!) but tonight’s were fantastic. I kept wanting to close my eyes and just savour the textures and flavours. We had them with basmati rice which, at first glance may sound strange, but when the juice from the bottom of the Dutch oven was poured over it… if there had been enough, I would’ve happily eaten myself sick. Delicious.

So now we wait and see how much snow we end up actually getting. At least it’s not supposed to be too cold tomorrow.

Stay safe.

[1] Model downloaded from: https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-dr-caldwell-american-marked-bust-69227

Heard From WG!

Song: “Cover Of The Rolling Stone” by Dr Hook (RIP Ray Sawyer)

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Just a short post this evening as it’s already quite late.

I didn’t sleep too badly last night. I still woke up worrying about things but it didn’t seem as urgent last night so it was easier to get back to sleep.

Today I spent a lot of time working on that phrenology bust. I am happy to report that the two halves fit together pretty much perfectly! A little bit of latex caulking to minimize the seam, a spray of white paint, tracing the lines and numbers with a magic marker, and then a light coat of clear paint. I finished putting the clear paint on at around 7:10PM and I’d been working on it off and on since 9:30AM. I’m pretty pleased with how it looks – I will try to remember to take a picture before I give it to Dr C. Some of my lines and numbers aren’t quite how I wanted them but I’m a little shakier now than I used to be so I can’t really help it.

No printing today, since the room is closed because I used spray paint in it and it stinks, and I need to give the printer a good cleaning before I use it again. I printed up a dustpan last night and I think it will see some use tomorrow. I want to take as good care of the printer as possible. I know I can get spare parts for everything but the less I have to take together and rebuild, the better.

Oh, and I had a superglue incident today. I was using a tube of glue from my local dollar store, and it was a little reluctant to flow (I was gluing the two halves of the phrenology bust together). I squeezed it a little harder and it burped out blobs of superglue all over – on the printer, on the computer… everywhere. I thought I’d found and cleaned them all up but I didn’t realize that when I was holding the pieces together while they set, I put my forearm down in a glob of fresh superglue. I discovered what was going on when I had counted to two minutes and tried to move my arm. I didn’t have any phones or smartphones within reach but fortunately I had a scraper on the bench. I very, very carefully worked the scraper through until I was free. The redness is almost gone!

WG called this evening! I haven’t heard from him in almost a year! It was great to chat with him – I’ve been trying to get ahold of him for a little while now but he is very busy and doesn’t own a mobile phone (that’s not a typo) so it can be tricky sometimes. We are going to get together sometime soon, but not for a bit because work tends to get crazy right after the holidays. It was great to talk with him about stuff like records and cars and all kinds of things. I miss him a lot.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr C. It’s my first one in a couple of weeks so it may be a little more difficult than usual. Fingers crossed it goes well.

Stay safe.

Accomplished Quite A Bit Today

Song: “Holiday Road” by Lyndsey Buckingham

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

I got to bed later than I hoped last night, but aside from an average number of times my worrying brain woke me up, I slept pretty well. I was having trouble getting back to sleep after J left for work, and I almost got out of bed but pulled the blankets over my head (one of the advantages of having a CPAP machine!), flipped over, and gave it one last shot. The next thing I knew, it was about an hour later.

My worry and mindfulness exercises went pretty well today, too. I’ve been doing them upstairs a lot more lately, which I think is a little more healthy than retreating to the dim stillness of the basement every morning. I know Dr C is concerned that I’m going to become reliant on the worrying and mindfulness time, so I don’t do it every day anymore. It’s weird, but I can feel it on the days I don’t do it or when it doesn’t go well. Do I need it to function? No… but it makes the day better when I do the exercises.

I sent out my texts today and had a couple of conversations. My friend DA picked up a brand new, custom-built Jeep today from the dealership and he’s ecstatic about it. I don’t think he’s ever bought a brand new car or truck in his entire life. I sent him a text the other day warning him about “new car smell” in case he got into the car and didn’t recognize the smell. He found that pretty amusing. Now that he’s got it home, he’s got to figure out what to do about the first dent or scratch – wait for them to happen or just toss a couple of pebbles at it and get it over with?

I did some more cleaning in the kitchen today. It amazes me how quickly J and I manage to use all of the plates, cutlery, and pans. We both tidy up but the odd thing here and there that doesn’t fit in the dishwasher and gets left for the next load multiplies and brings friends over to visit. It’s crazy. Sometimes I think we should just use chunks of bread to eat food off of paper plates. Hmm… maybe we should eat out of bread bowls. That’d solve a couple of things at the same time!

I called my parents today. Spoke with Mom first and we talked for a good 15 minutes about all kinds of stuff. All three of my uncles are doing fairly well and are in good spirits. My uncle who had cancer is having a great time hanging out with family over the holidays, my uncle with the diabetes related amputation is expecting to be getting a prosthetic leg soon, and my uncle with the ALS is getting progressively weaker but is still in a great mood. Mom was in a good mood, too, and I enjoyed our chat.

Then she passed the phone over to Dad. We talked about the normal stuff for a couple of minutes and he told me that he’s been reading a book about how the universe started and the work being done to understand it. We spent the next 60-70 minutes talking about physics and the various minds behind the hypotheses or theories. It was pretty neat – every once in a while, Dad reads something that really interests him and he likes to talk about it and I am happy to oblige, particularly when it’s something I am quite interested in, like physics or microbiology or tons of other topics. I had a great time chatting with him – we kind of geeked out about stuff over the phone and it was neat.

I am happy to report more success with the printer – both pieces of the phrenology bust adhered wonderfully to the print bed and printed perfectly flat. Tomorrow morning I will trim them and clean them up, then glue them together and spray on a thin coat pf paint. Hopefully a fan will help it dry faster so I can do all of the painting, dry it, and then spray on a clear coat. With luck (and more than a few stretched nerves) I will have it ready to give to Dr C at my appointment on Friday.

I also printed up a little dustpan for the printer. I’ve been using a sheet of paper as a dustpan but I’ve had several oopsies with it and wanted something better.

I also sewed the last of the handles on the last of the bags today. I took a look at them after I finished and I’m pretty sure they’ll be serviceable. They look like they’ll hold more stuff than I anticipated. I hope they’re helpful!

Homemade bag

New bag – with handles and everything!

Next on my list is to use up that towel material that J’s aunt brought over. I’ll need to look at it again but I think I can get a towel and a couple of facecloths out of each piece.

This evening, J and I turned on Netflix again and watched the first two episodes of The Good Place. Looks pretty decent so far – I really like Michael and Janet.

Tomorrow I plan to give the printer and the area around it a good cleaning, get that phrenology bust done, work some more on the kitchen, get some more towels made, listen to some records, throw in some laundry, print up a bunch more stuff, and go for a drive in the truck. There’s no way I’ll be able to do even half that stuff, but I find it’s good to have a list.

Stay safe.

Trying Out Netflix

Song: “The Happening” by The Supremes

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Yesterday and today have been decent days. There’s been time to do stuff around the house, time for hobbies, time to talk to people, and time to relax. J had yesterday off so she had a four-day weekend, which was really great. Things are so much better when she’s around – it’s difficult to explain but the world is brighter and has more colour when we talk or clean the kitchen or just sit around and do our own things.

I’ve been slowly getting better with the 3D printer. J’s aunt came over the other day and liked the cat bowl thing I made (or at least she said she did), and I gave her a couple of hooks for her kitchen, too. It’s taken a while (and I’m probably going to regret thinking this) but after a great deal of research (most of which contradicted itself) and trial and error, I can now start a print and, if the first layer looks good, I can leave it alone and come back when it’s done. I’ve been playing with a few different CAD programs and have been having some luck with the simpler ones. Boy, has CAD software ever changed in 25 years…

Now that I’m a little more familiar with the printer and the two plastics I’m going to stick with (PLA and PETG), I am thinking of a ton of things I can try to do with the printer. This is both good and bad. Good because I find it very interesting and enjoy working with that stuff. Bad because 3D printing is not what you’d call “fast”. So instead of juggling ideas around on various pieces of paper, my Boogie Board, and in my head, I made a spreadsheet, which currently has… 59 items on it. Fortunately, working on this stuff isn’t high priority so I can just have fun with it.

It’s become a lot colder here over the last little while, and, in addition to worrying, there have been a lot of weird sounds that have woken me up or kept me awake during the night. Some of the sounds are easy to identify, while I can’t figure out what or where the sounds are from. I suspect some of them are the neighbour, but when it’s 4:17AM and something is making a thump or two or three at 4:17AM, I have no idea what it could be.

My sister gave us a Netflix gift card for Christmas (I don’t know if she reads this, but if she does, thank you!!!) and J set it up. I’m on the fence when it comes to Netflix. I like the idea in principle, but I’d much rather have the physical DVDs or Blu-ray discs. I don’t like how I can’t count on the shows I like being available when I want to watch them again in a year or two or five. If you’re shaking your head right now and are wondering how many times I could possibly want to watch a show, ask J how many times we (or I) have gone through House, Scrubs, Community, Castle, Elementary, The Incredibles,the firstPirates of the Caribbean, Firefly, Knight Rider, The Transformers (G1!!), Futurama, the Marvel movies, etc, etc, etc.

I’m also conflicted in that I don’t like the idea of a single company having a monopoly on streaming videos, but I also don’t like that if I want to watch Show A I need a Netflix account, but Show B is on Amazon, and Show C is on Disney. On the other hand, there’s an awful lot of stuff available on Netflix that I likely wouldn’t try if I had to buy the DVD box set.

[Just added two more ideas to the print list, it’s at 61 now]

There’s been a lot of mention lately about the movie Bird Box. J is not usually a horror/suspense movie kind of person but we decided to give it a try last night. I was a little wary of it – from what I thought, it was basically A Quiet Place (which I haven’t seen yet), but with eyes instead of ears. There were a few scenes that bothered me, and I didn’t like the implications about people with mental illness. I also think some of the visuals and themes could be triggering under certain circumstances, which is very important to consider if you’re thinking of watching the movie. There were also a few things that stuck out like a sore thumb to me and almost took me out of the movie. They’re kind of spoiler-y, though, so I’ll list them after the end of this post so you don’t have to read them if you don’t want to.

We also watched Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. It was… alright. Pretty formulaic and predictable, looked and sounded like it had a smaller budget, and – I can’t believe I’m saying this – there were too many fight scenes. Plus, they went out of their way to make Sam as unlikable as possible. Oh, and Ms Smulders, you definitely made the right choice because Tom Cruise is old enough to be YOUR DAD.

So that is the summary of our Netflix exploration so far. Not too bad, I suppose.

Otherwise, the rest of the week is pretty quiet. J heads back to work tomorrow and I have a Dr C appointment on Friday, but that’s pretty much it. Oh – speaking of Dr C, I have another phrenology bust printing now… hopefully this time the pieces won’t warp so it goes together perfectly!

Stay safe.

 

Spoilers ahead – be warned!

 

Spoilers! Don’t look if you don’t want to know!

 

Last warning – spoilers!

 

**SPOILERS**

  • So… it’s gonna be the mentally ill / crazy people, eh? Why not a different crowd for once? What about the MBAs, the people who like candy corn, people who keep snakes as pets, or the people with gonorrhea this time? Or maybe the MBAs with snakes and gonorrhea who like candy corn? I bet the people in the center of THAT Venn diagram would be pretty interesting…
  • The lady in the hospital and Lydia… holy #&%@ that was seriously %@$(&@^
  • How can they possibly still have power and water?
  • Five years on and they are still able to gas up their cars?
  • Five years on and they’re driving like crazy people (ehurgh) and the cars are ok? So they’re psychotic but when not doing horrible things to people, they dabble in routine engine and tire maintenance?
  • So, uh… how much food can a school hold? And what happens in winter?
  • JESUS OLYMPIA WTF SERIOUSLY???

All The Best In 2019!

J, Lloyd, Fat Fish, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy, and Buddy the shrimps, and I wish you a Happy New Year and we hope that 2019 is a great year for you and everyone you care about!

To the people who stuck by me and helped me so much over the past year (I hope you know who you are) – I can’t think of a way to properly express the magnitude of my gratitude, so I hope a “thank you” will do. You have done more for me than you can imagine and I am forever grateful!

Take care, everyone, and try to make a point of visiting or calling or Skype-ing or Facetime-ing someone you care about. Keeping in touch with people can be difficult at times but it’s so incredibly rewarding in the long run!

Stay safe.

It’s Been A While…

Song: “Holiday Road” by Lyndsey Buckingham

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Horde

Hello!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately – even though it’s the holidays, I think I’ve been a little more busy than usual, and by the time I realize that I should sit down and write something, it’s already way past my bedtime.

J and I had a quiet but good Christmas. We stayed at home, hung out, and ate way too much ham and slow-cooked scalloped potatoes (hoo boy were they ever good). We missed hanging out with everyone but we had a good time. J had to work this past week but now has a four-day weekend, which is great!

Since my last daily post on the 21st, I think I’ve only had nightmares one night. I’m still waking up quite a bit but it hasn’t been too bad and for the most part I don’t feel like a zombie during the day. I do have to be careful about getting too comfortable on the couch, though, because I can nod off a bit if I’m not careful.

I have been having a lot of trouble chasing ghosts, though, and yesterday was pretty bad. The weather dropped 15 degrees and we got some wind, so the house was making all kinds of sounds, which was… difficult. I’m still not used to the sounds that vehicles make while they drive by (I know that sounds silly but consider how well snow muffles sound and the noise it makes while rubber tires squeak through it), and there have been big trucks parked outside, idling loudly for long periods of time.

J and I are very fortunate to have pretty good neighbours, but for whatever reason, one of them has a car that, when pulling into their driveway, sounds like it’s dragging old steel barrels filled with angry furbys and pot lids. It never sounds quite the same and always catches me by surprise, and I can neither identify the sound nor figure out where it’s coming from. I scramble around the house, making sure everything is okay whilst trying to not be one of “those people” who stand and stare out a window for hours like a cat.

A little while ago I added Ghosts to my daily summary. I originally though I’d go with a scale that went from none to terrible, but decided a few days ago to do something different. If you played computer games back in the 90s, you may recognize the following scale:

  • None
  • Few
  • Several
  • Pack
  • Lots
  • Horde
  • Throng
  • Swarm
  • Zounds
  • Legion

It’s a little arbitrary but I think it works pretty well to give an idea of what’s going on.

I haven’t been back out driving the truck since the 19th but I’ve been outside for extended times clearing snow from the driveway. I reinstalled the heated seat liner a few days ago but haven’t given it a try yet this year. It’s really nice to have on those nasty cold days.

I’ve been running the 3D printer pretty much full time during the day (and sometimes during the night). Both J and I have found tons of designs on the Internet and the more things I think about, the more possibilities open up for things to try to make. I’ve been playing with a few different software design tools and have been slowly getting to the point where I can design something that may actually be useful. Right now, the printer is attempting to cough out a nice hardy vent cover for the furnace vent at the front door. We keep buying new ones and they keep getting cracked. In addition to making one being cheaper than buying one (by more than half), it should last a lot longer, and it was interesting and fun to design.

I’ve made some useful things from designs I’ve found:

Fold-up Knife

A fold-up, locking utility knife that works quite well. [1]

Homemade Spirograph!

I couldn’t believe I found a 41-piece hypotrochoid set! I had a Spirograph when I was a kit, it was great! I think I’m going to make one of these for my nephews. [2]

I also discovered that you can make lithophanes with a printer:

Guinea pig lithophane

Here’s the first litho attempt – one of our guinea pigs, lit from the front…

 

Guinea pig lithophane

…and lit from behind.

When I held it up to the light, it BLEW MY MIND. I think I’m going to make some of these for my nephews.

I also made a little bowl holder for J’s aunt’s new cat. It doesn’t look like much, but I fought with it for two days before I finally got it to where I was happy with it:

Cat bowl

She should be coming by today to pick it up. I hope it works and that she (and her cat) like it!

I’ve also been doing more sewing. I made another three bags out of the leftover curtain material (which I think may have worked better than the denim), and I made my first clothing repair! One of my new sweaters had a flaw or a run in the fleece and I decided to try and fix it. Here’s the flaw:

Bunnyhug fabric flawAnd here’s the fix:

Bunnyhug Flaw FixedI think it turned out pretty well. I’m no longer worried that it’s going to pull apart, that’s for sure!

I’m planning on getting back into the towels over the next couple of days. I have a walking foot to install on the machine that should make it a lot easier to move over all the little cotton loops that keep wanting to get snagged on the regular sewing foot.

J and I finished watching the sixth season of Elementary a few days ago. It was miles better than the last season or two and we both really enjoyed it. I heard there is a seventh season coming and then that’ll be it. I’m a little bummed out that it’s been cancelled but seven years is a pretty good run and the shows are definitely rewatchable. We have since switched to Corner Gas, a cute little Canadian show that first ran a little over a decade ago.

So… that’s about where everything is at. I know I’ve forgotten a lot of things – with the way time is working for me these days, everything blends together and I can’t keep track of stuff unless I write it down.

One last thing… I can already tell that the days are getting longer, and it’s wonderful!

Stay safe.

[1] Model downloaded from: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1298487

[2] Model downloaded from: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:252162

Merry Christmas 2018 Everyone!

J and I (and Lloyd and Buddy the Shrimp) want to wish everyone everywhere a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays.

May 2019 be your best year yet, and may you discover and enjoy many positive and interesting things about yourself!

For quite a few reasons, this time of year can be difficult. If you’re feeling unwell or are having bad thoughts, please tell someone. You are loved, you are wanted, and there are people who really want you to feel better. Please talk to someone, go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call you local emergency services or a crisis centre. There are some phone numbers and websites on the Resources page that may help.

Stay safe.

Feeling Kind Of Rough Today

Song: “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” by The Andrews Sisters

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

I was too tired to post last night – sorry about that.

Yesterday was a decent day, though. My homework didn’t go as well as it did the previous day – I was hoping to get out and driving again but it didn’t work out, which left me very disappointed. It’s a very strange and upsetting feeling to know that deep down I have the knowledge and/or skills required to do something, but for whatever reason, I just can’t do it. I have the desire to do it… I just can’t make it happen.

I spent a lot of time working with the 3D printer and PETG filament. I ran a couple of test prints that didn’t work well at all – very blobby, hairy, stringy… just awful. I did some reading and found a lot of conflicting advice so I wasn’t sure what to do. Then, I found out that the printer controller lets me tweak settings while the print is underway. I changed all kinds of stuff a bit at a time until things cleared up. I made a few things that look pretty good with the new settings:

3D Printer Post-It Note Holders

Two Post-It Note holders for J [1]

3D Printed Bowl

A neat bowl that I accidentally broke while removing it from the print bed [2]

To finish off the day, J and I watched some more Elementary and had snacks (I had fruitcake with icing on it). Speaking of which, I just heard yesterday that they’ve cancelled it so seven seasons will be all they make. It’s too bad – J and I have both been really enjoying the sixth season so far. It’s been much more engaging than seasons four and five I think.

I slept reasonably well last night but woke up six or seven times because I was worrying about something (mainly whether the front door was locked and if the garage door was closed). Having those pictures saves on my phone saves me a lot of getting up and wandering around the house in the middle of the night.

I felt awful this morning when I woke up, though. My guts hurt and my head felt like it was full of rusty old steel wool. I wasn’t in the mood to eat anything but I had some yogurt and then went over to the couch to feel sorry for myself. I sent out my texts more slowly than normal but still got them sent, then did some research into how to install the walking foot on my sewing machine. It looks both simple and needlessly complicated all at the same time. My mother-in-law says that it will make a huge difference when I go to make more towels. I’m looking forward to trying it!

Just after noon, I called the taxi company and ordered one for 15 minutes before my Dr C appointment. Unfortunately, I was feeling worse and was starting to wonder if I’d caught a stomach flu so 15 minutes later I called again and cancelled the taxi, then called and emailed Dr C to let her know I wasn’t going to make it today. I heard back from her not too long later. She was very pleasant about the whole thing and didn’t charge me a fee even though I gave her less than two hours’ notice. I was hoping to be able to wish her a safe and happy holidays in person but better to be safe and do it over the phone than barf all over her office. My next appointment is scheduled for early January, so that’s still close enough to the new year to wish someone a “happy new year” without seeming weird.

I spent a lot of time sipping flavoured water and arguing with FreeCAD. I can see that there are lots of features but everything is done so much differently than what I’m used to, I think it’s going to take a while before I can design anything practical with it. That’s too bad, because I have several projects around the house that I need to design parts for and I’d really like to get them done sooner rather than later. But – as always – I need to stick with baby steps.

Tomorrow is Friday. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. I’d like to set up a print and do some sewing while stuff is whirring away in the basement. I’m at a point now, though, where there are so many things I want to do with the printer that I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

No Elementary this evening, but we’ll have lots of time to watch some episodes over the weekend. I’m also feeling a lot better now than I did this afternoon.

Stay safe.

[1] Model downloaded from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:131697

[2] Model downloaded from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2230232

Well… I Did It

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 1

Ghosts: Lots

I need to keep this really short because it’s 1:35AM and I can’t keep both of my eyes open at the same time.

I slept better last night but still woke up a lot, just not from nightmares. Taking those pictures when I do my rounds before I go to bed helps a lot but sometimes I find myself still needing to get out of bed and prowl the house.

I spent a bunch of time today designing a tilting stand for one of my Raspberry Pi boards. I’m still a long way from being able to call myself a FreeCAD novice, but I managed to fudge together a reasonable facsimile of what I was trying to do. Three hours later, it was done printing. Twenty seconds after that, I had this:

Broken Printed StandSo yeah, that didn’t work out too well. I will go back to the drawing board and design something sturdier – something that doesn’t (in hindsight) rely on the weakest possible orientation for the part that’s going to hold stuff up.

I went out to do my homework today and I heard that colder weather is coming so I brought out my heated seat cover and installed it before sitting in the truck for close to 40 minutes. I started to get irritated at myself, feeling once again like I was letting everyone down. I took a few deep breaths, turned the music up even louder, threw the transmission in reverse, and very, very slowly backed down the driveway and out into the street. When I looked back at the garage I could see a puddle of coolant on the floor – I need to fix that or get it fixed soon.

Anyway, so I took a slow drive around the block. Sorry for the poor quality but the phone was in its stand, sitting on the dashboard and stuck to that black pad at the bottom of the picture.

Driving around the blockAnd when I approached home I decided to do it again. Unfortunately, the second time around didn’t go as well and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t quite get back inside before I got hit with a panic attack. God, I hate those things. What possible evolutionary advantage could being able to experience panic attacks give? I get the “fight or flight or freeze” thing, but a panic attack keeps me from being able to do any of those three actions. I hate them. HATE them.

So that wrung me out pretty good – I’m always tired and worn out after a panic attack. Again – not a useful thing at all.

The good thing is I drove around the block twice today. The bad thing is that it ended poorly. I hope that doesn’t dissuade me from trying again sometime soon.

Another bad thing is that I’m having a lot of trouble chasing garage door ghosts today.

On the upside, my new spools of filament arrived today. Lots of PLA, some ABS, some glow-in-the-dark PLA, and some really pretty transparent sea green PETG. I unpacked it and loaded it up:

Sea Green Transparent PETGI just love that colour! Anyway, I set up the print bed and put on the tape like I always use, changed the temperature settings to what was listed on the spool, loaded up a model (I’m trying to make J another post-it note holder), sliced the model, and hit print.

It did not go well. I was hoping that the PETG would behave but it was not to be, and I ended up with a bunch of this stuff:

PETG not adhering to print bedOver an hour later, I thought I’d hit upon the right combination of settings and told the machine to print again. I ended up with this:

Somewhat warped post-it note holder in PETG sea green

[1]

Better, but one corner lifted away from the bed while it was still printing so the note holder is a little wobbly. J is happy with it, though, so she now has a fancy green post-it note holder to go along with the white PLA one I printed last week.

J was nice enough to stop at the fabric store on her way home from work and pick me up some supplies. Some grey webbing for handles for those bags (man that stuff is cheap!), some bobbles, and a pencil to mark dark fabrics. Thank you for going out sweetie, I really appreciate it!!!

J and I watched another Elementary this evening. This season is really very good. The stories are engaging and the cast is quite good (with one notable exception). I’m glad that it’s better this season, but to be honest, watching the show is secondary. I really enjoy the TV time that J and I take because we sit downstairs, she leans against me, and we watch the show all nice and cozy. We could be watching some ridiculous movie (which we have done on several occasions) and it would still be nice and cozy.

After that, I went back to the printer and tried to figure out ways to make the PETG adhere to the print bed. I ran a glue stick over the green tape I put down on the printer and fiddled around with the temperature. I can now get it to reliably stick to the print surface, but the quality and PETG adhesion to itself is still pretty rough. It’s either too cold and the runs don’t stick to itself, or it’s too hot and there are weird hairy things all over the place. I will get it figured out soon though!

And that takes me to here. I spent far too much time today messing around with the printer. And now I really must go to bed. I know I’m really tired when I keep seeing things moving out of the corner of my eye.

Stay safe.

[1] Model downloaded from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:131697