nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
A couple of years ago, the church had a kids activity that involved carving Ivory soap into shapes. This generated soap shiffles. When I picked up the kids, one of the organizers lamented that she was going to throw out all this soap. So I volunteered to take the bag.

Years pass. A few weeks ago, it was raining and we were bored, and I said, "I know! We can play with the soap shiffles!"

My idea was to put a little water with them, stir, and make into soap cakes. Well, it turned out to be soap cupcakes! I put a weight on one of them to compact it more, thinking that would make it work better.

Jocelyn decided to try heating hers in the microwave in hopes she could glue it together. This also worked, and she made a couple of balls. One time she left it in the microwave a few extra seconds, and it began expanding wildly. So, we tried more microwave experiments. One tiny chunk of soap turned into a HUGE confection. Which, naturally, weighed hardly anything.

So far we've tried the compacted cupcake and the largest melted ball. Both of them get our hands clean...

Pictures of the results, while we waited for them to dry out. I left them for a few days before trying any. Someone thought the cupcakes warranted an addendum...

Circus, too

Aug. 2nd, 2017 11:08 pm
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
Tonight we went to The Cirque Us, who were performing in Somerville (at the same place Jocelyn performed three days prior!) They are really great. Technically skilled in all the arts, and they are very silly. A lot of "breaking the 4th wall". They totally look like they are having a BLAST while they're doing their tricks in the air or flips on the ground, where many other circuses the artists look like they're concentrating very hard. These guys make it look easy and fun. Anyway, I recommend taking a look at them when they come back next year, or if you happen to be in one of their tour locations (they were stumping for western mass this weekend at the end of the show).
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
There was a rally about climate change in Providence today, outside the convention center, where there was a Governor's meeting going on. It was small, only about 150-200 by my quick estimate. There were some speakers, and some chanting ("No more pipelines! No more fracking! Send the oil barons packing!"); the whole thing lasted about an hour.

Valerie and I went down on the train (seems wrong to drive to a rally about climate change...), and I brought my bicycle! I had printed a set of maps and directions, plus I had my phone. It was hard to get settled onto the route, though, the roads never seem to match the map and directions. So there was a lot of stopping and pushing the "find me" button on the phone. Plus a stop at dunkin' donuts for lunch. All in all it took about 3 hours elapsed (I didn't look exactly when I left the rally). I picked up some speed at the end, when I'd gotten back into familiar territory and there wasn't so much stopping.

26.45 in 2:23 for an average of 11.0, which isn't too bad. Not much in the way of hills except at the very beginning, and even those were mild. And don't forget the 2.2 mile jaunt to the train station at the start!

nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
I was asked to RSVP via meetup to Matt Stone's upcoming party next weekend. When I went there, it popped up a message saying their T&C had changed. Since when LJ did that I didn't read them, I thought maybe I'd read Meetup's. Under "Information we collect" I find this lovely bit:

With your permission, we may collect other information from your device, such as photos from your camera roll, contacts of individuals you wish to find or connect with, or calendar information you want to manage via the Platform.

Photos??? Seriously? They're going to spy on my phone's camera? Well, I better not ever use meetup from my phone then! Probably it's OK from my laptop, there I have a random folder under c:\yduj and it's unlikely they'll find any there.
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
I'm sure I've mentioned my love for capitalism in the past. It's come to bite me again.

I want to see Wonder Woman.

I can't figure out how to buy tickets for a showing TOMORROW on! They utterly changed their interface and I don't see "change date" anymore. WTF? I guess they really don't want anyone to plan ahead. I was whining a few weeks ago that I wanted to find out whether a movie would be in theaters in a couple of weeks and wasn't able to tell. But now not even for tomorrow? I guess I'll have to get up 15 minutes earlier in order to buy tickets. If it's like last time, I have to do the purchase in two steps so I can take one ticket myself and give the others to Valerie and Jocelyn to meet me at the theater. Last time it just gave me one piece of paper and they had to hang out waiting for me instead of comfortably going in and buying popcorn.

Maybe I should go to even fewer movies in the future, because it's so hard to buy tickets. What stupidity. How do regular people get anything done with these insanely flashy web sites where it's so hard to find the button to buy things?
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
For those who are curious (or simply bored), I decided in the end to go Alewife. Reading my book on the T was infinitely more pleasant than sitting in traffic on Alewife Brook. Even $11 more pleasant (parking plus T fare.) I did get a charging spot -- but I hadn't really needed it, since I was only coming from work, where I'd charged up.
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
Does the DW brain trust work like the LJ brain trust used to?

I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to park at Davis Square on a weekday evening around 6:30pm. I see a Herbert St. lot mentioned on the web, but I can't get any review sites to tell me if I'm going to succeed or if I should just park at Alewife and take the T in. I'm sure at 6:30pm there will be parking at Alewife. But that makes it 15 minutes longer to get home afterwards because of having to take the T out, and by then there won't be any traffic. (On the way in, timing is a wash because of traffic.) So, if parking is likely, then I'd rather drive all the way to Davis. But, if I'm going to fail to park, end up driving back to Alewife, and getting to my destination at 7:30 as a result, then, well,I'd rather go to Alewife first. Any ideas?
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
Apparently my company isn't quite doing as well as I had thought. We lost a little money last year and are on track to lose a little money this year. Not a disaster, but enough that they wanted to make "an adjustment". Do more with less! Of course, it's easier to lay off people in the U.S. with our "employment at will" laws, so we get most of the hit. Probably we're more expensive, too, so you get more bang for the buck. Not me -- yet. Probably not me for a while, it is predicted that we'll be back on target to make a little money next year, so we're not spiraling the drain. I'm still moderately happy with the work and deliriously happy that they put up with my part time nonsense. Moving somewhere else I'd have to convince them half time was really a good deal, plus I'd have to learn all manner of new software and processes. I'm going to have my 10-year anniversary this November!
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
Tax year 2015 I owed money to both the state and the feds. In order to keep this from happening in 2016, and to be safe from the penalty thing, I sent estimated payments to both along with my payment in April '16. Time passes, I forget all about it.

Along comes December 31, and I look at my last paycheck, compare to my '15 liability, decide I need to send an estimated payment, and send one on Jan 15. I go to turbotax in March, fill in fields. When I enter estimated payments, do I enter the April '16 payments? No. I only enter the Jan '17 payments. Turns out I've overpaid anyway, so I file and wait for my refund.

Time passes. I get checks! Um, wait, the checks are for the wrong amounts. No! They're not! They included the April '16 payments! Took me a while to figure out what happened.

So, since they KNOW, why do we have to do this? Why can't we just give them the raw data of deductions and additional income and let them sort it out?


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