As I mentioned a few days ago, I have signed up to ask people to fill out pledge cards for Yes on 3, to keep the state law that protects transgender people from discrimination. The organizers provided the postcards, a couple of stickers, and a script.

The problem with the script is that there's a space we're supposed to fill with "your own personal story" of why we want people to vote "yes," and I'm not sure what to say. "It's a basic civil rights issue" is a reason, but I think they're looking for something more personal. So I'm probably going to be saying something like "I care about this because I have trans friends, and I want them to be safe" (which is also true, and relevant—though most of those friends don't live in Massachusetts) or "to be able to rent an apartment" or "to have access to medical care."

(I know that some of my trans friends subscribe to my journal: suggestions on something better/else to say would be welcome.)
Specifically, where should I go in person tomorrow morning to buy a new teakettle? (I dropped the one we had and it broke.)

I don't want to run all over the place, so Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, or the red line-accessible parts of Boston would be best.

It needs to be a whistling tea kettle, and doesn't need to be fancy or expensive. The kettle it will be replacing lasted more than three decades, and I paid four dollars for it, which is cheap even allowing for inflation.
This is mostly a request for advice:

We need more dining room chairs, and don't know where to shop around here. "Here" is Arlington, MA, and close is good, but if you know a good place in Boston or rather than Arlington or Cambridge, please mention it. We don't drive, so the options are to go someplace reachable on the T that will delivers, order online (always an option), or possibly get a ride from someone whose vehicle will hold a couple of chairs.

We might be buying one or two chairs, or a set of four to six, or even a dining room set complete with table. (We have two chairs that we like, but two isn't enough.) I'm fine with used furniture if it's in good condition, if you have an extra chair or two you'd like to sell, or if your favorite charity shop has chairs and we can sort out transportation.

([ profile] cattitude is going to take care of looking online.)
I'm thinking it would be nice to organize a group for dim sum, but in order to do that, I need a place to go. Before I resort to Yelp, recommendations would be welcome. We'd be doing this by mass transit, so are looking for something via the 77 bus and/or the red line.

(I might try for next weekend, if some of our friends are in town and not otherwise committed.)
I started my computer up this morning, and the Mac built-in email client told me that my mailbox index had been damaged, please close and restart to rebuild it. It's now estimating another 58 minutes for this process.

The thing is, this is the second time it's done this, and the first was only a couple of months ago. I just hope it rebuilds a little more smoothly this time.

A few weeks ago, in a more general discussion, someone recommended the MailMate app. Has anyone here used that? Or have other suggestions for a mail app for MacOSX?

I want to be able to download messages from my ISP and gmail, while leaving copies on the servers for a little while (so I can keep an eye on things if I'm traveling—the message I downloaded on Tuesday in Seattle might be something I want to see from someone else's machine on Friday) and sort things into different mailboxes and folders, both automatically by matching attributes and by hand. And probably several other things.

Basically, I want Eudora back.

ETA: It seems to have rebuilt smoothly this time, but even smooth recovery takes 90 minutes.
I'm looking for restaurant suggestions for a celebratory dinner for two, probably in either Seattle or Bellevue. We need someplace transit-accessible, and ideally without a lot of stairs.

We like a variety of cuisines, but I can't eat anything that's spicy (in the pepper/capsicum sense: ginger, garlic, black pepper, and horseradish are still good), and [ profile] cattitude can't eat mushrooms.

Duck would be nice.
Can someone recommend a good Cantonese restaurant in the Boston Chinatown?

I have to avoid most spicy food (things spiced with peppers; ginger and garlic are my friends), and Adrian avoids pork and shellfish, so dim sum isn't a good choice. Neither of us is vegetarian, but we are both happy to eat vegetarian food.

I am filling out my first ballot since moving to King County (the voting is done entirely by mail here). I've sorted out choices for Bellevue City Council, and decided to skip the port commissioner and school board elections. That leaves King County Executive, which seems to actually matter. Having looked at their statements and poked around a little, I've eliminated Goodspaceguy [sic] and Alan Lobdell. The incumbent, Dow Constantine, looks plausible; is there anything I should know about him that hasn't turned up during my bit of googling? Also, any opinions on Everett A. Stewart beyond the obvious fact that he's not likely to win? (Googling him is trickier in part because most of the top hits are for an airport.)

I know this is a longshot, but it can't hurt to ask. I was able to find quite a bit on the 2009 King County Executive election; maybe we'll see more after the primary, but that doesn't help now. (This is an "open primary," meaning they don't list political parties and the top two candidates for each office will be on the November ballot.)
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Jul. 5th, 2013 07:49 pm)
Because it can't hurt to ask:

I'm flying from Seattle to Montreal next week, via Vancouver (YVR). I have about a two-hour connection, and am wondering what my chances are having time to buy lunch on the ground. The Vancouver airport website seems to say that I may have to go through airport security again (having already done it in Seattle), as well as Canadian customs and immigration, which seems a bit odd and potentially time-consuming. It's also not clear, if I check a bag in Seattle, how far I will have to schlep it in Vancouver before giving it back to Air Canada to transport the rest of the way.

I'm not too worried, because it sounds as though Air Canada will be happy to sell me a sandwich and serve me something caffeinated, so I won't starve or get extra-grumpy, but while airport fast food isn't great, it's probably better than what I'd be able to buy on board. (Going through customs and immigration is a constraint on the "just bring lunch from home" approach, though it will do no harm to see if they'll let me bring some pecans or cashews into the country.)
If I'm going to Wiscon, I should get plane tickets soon. They are already looking expensive, but I'm not sure whether that's timing, this year versus last, or flying out of Seattle rather than New York. The thing is, a lot of what I'm finding involves getting up unreasonably early (6:50 out of SEA) meaning getting up I don't know when); is this just an artifact of stupid software that will let me specify "depart between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m." but not "anything that leaves between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m." (in which case I will take a deep breath and run umpteen searches and scribble notes on paper) or is it really showing me what's out there and/or halfway affordable, given that I'm looking at flying a significant distance east and making at least one connection?

Also, if there's anything non-obvious and useful that you know about this route, please tell me.
I just used the building's fitness center for the first time, and I think I need a real gym.

It's a good set-up for a lot of people: a variety of cardio machines, some fairly standard resistance machines, and some dumbbells. cut for your protection )

There's an LA Fitness branch near here, I think; does anyone reading this have experience with that chain? Or other recommendations for a gym in downtown Bellevue?
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Feb. 4th, 2013 05:30 pm)
I'm looking for advice on buying luggage: good (or bad) brands, and any other hints:

Between us, [ profile] cattitude and I have one wheeled bag (just small enough to be a legal carry-on for North American flights), one backpack (ditto, if packed carefully), and some smaller backpacks (one of which I sometimes use for weekend trips, if it's not winter).

Not only would we like to have more than one bag that isn't a backpack, but both the wheeled bag and the backpack are wearing out. I've had the backpack at least since 1995, and it's well made, but I don't know whether the bags Eagle Creek is selling in 2013 are as well-made.
[ profile] cattitude and I recently bought a laser pointer as a cat toy (after talking about doing this for a couple of years). [ profile] julian_tiger thinks it's an excellent toy, and will even chase the light right before it's time for him to be fed. (That close to dinnertime, he tends to ignore offers of other play, such as a dangled piece of string.)

The control on the pointer we have is a single button: hold it down to shine the light. This becomes uncomfortable fairly quickly. So I'm looking for a similar pointer (small, low wattage, and probably red) that has an on/off button, so I can play with the cat without having to exert constant pressure with my thumb. Can anyone recommend a model/supplier? I looked around online for reviews, and found a few sites that would tell me about things like how long the battery lasted and how wide the aperture is (some of these were for higher-powered lasers, which I really don't need) rather than discussing the controls.
I'm using the default MacOS Mail program. Recently, I've been noticing that some of my email is showing up with the correct email address, but address to someone else. A specific someone else, and I have no idea how her name got into my program's configuration. (Yes, I have sent her email from this machine, but I've sent lots of people email.) And I can't find how to change it back; the "how to set up your email" pages I found quickly assume you don't already have it set up, or that you want to add a new account, not that I am Redbird and my outgoing mail identifies me correctly, but the system is displaying a friend's name as the recipient of my mail. (The most recent was from the Madison Concourse Hotel, warning me that if I want to cancel my room for Wiscon I need to do it soon. That one has my correct name in the HTML message, so I know they know who I am, but my friend's name in the header. (I am eliding my friend's name and even handle out of what may be an excess of caution.)

Suggestions would be welcome, either how to fix it or even guesses as to what may have happened here.

ETA: Resolved, the problem was in the address book, where I'd pasted the wrong email address into my friend's entry.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Apr. 26th, 2012 11:10 am)
This is a straightforward one, I hope:

One of my previous employers has moved office since I worked for them. Am I correct that I should change the entry on my resume to give their current address, since the point is to enable someone looking at my resume to reach them?
When I went to sync my iPod a little while ago, I got an error message saying that the computer was no longer authorized for this iPod, and would I like to authorize it. I said yes, and gave it my password, and it put it through and told me that I had now authorized four of the five allowable computers. A few months ago, the same thing, with "three."

Clearly, this is not going to end well. I believe, from checking this last time, that I can tell it I am deauthorizing some of these nonexistent or overlapping machines (I think my dead PC is one of them). But does anyone know how to prevent this, or why it's happening? All the Apple pages I found last time were just "here's the fix/workaround" with no ideas of why it was happening.
There don't seem to be a lot of good trains from Schenectady to New York City on Sundays, though there are reasonable-for-us trains from New York to Schenectady on Saturdays. There aren't many Schenectady-New York trains on Sunday at all, and I can't call the Adirondack "good," in a context where I'm not going to or from Montreal and won't get to look at Lake Champlain.

Opinions and experience on getting to New York via either the Lake Shore Limited or the Maple Leaf trains would be welcome.

(The Amtrak website claims that I could take the Lake Shore Limited from Schenectady to New York via Albany-Rensselaer, but when we asked about trains from Albany to New York, that train didn't come up. I can think of several possible explanations, ranging from "they just won't sell you a ticket from Albany" to "the web page is messed up." (The PDF schedule for that train is confusing.) On closer examination, it appears that the NY-bound train stops in Albany only to discharge passengers, and the one from New York stops only to receive them.)

We've already considered leaving from Albany (which has more trains to New York City), but it's not practical.
I'm trying to figure out what needs to be in one of the high school review/test prep books we're doing. Mostly it's going okay--sometimes frustrating, but I know what they want and can therefore figure out how to cover it. This is an exception.

The Illinois high school science standard says "Understand the reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, and frame of reference properties of waves." All clear except for the last phrase.

My best guess is that they want students to know that the speed of light doesn't change depending on your frame of reference. Can anyone confirm that or show me that I'm on the wrong track here.

Googling isn't much help, it mostly gets me either odd question/discussion forums or sites connected to Illinois school, just quoting the wording of the standard.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( May. 1st, 2011 03:21 pm)
In the last few days, my iPod Touch has started giving the error message "charging is not supported on this device" when I plug it in to my Mac. When I google, what I find is that (a) a lot of other people have been puzzled by this message in the last few years and (b) it's what the device is supposed to say when attached to a FireWire port.

I am not using a FireWire port. I am plugging the iPod Touch either directly into the Mac, or via a USB hub, with the USB charging cable that came with the device. This is how I've been charging it, successfully, for the last couple of months.

The current situation is that the iPod will charge happily when plugged into [personal profile] cattitude's Linux/Windows box. It also syncs to my Mac as it should. And after a couple of days of giving me that message every time I plugged it into my Mac (though sync'ing when I told it to via the iTunes desktop), it now alternates between charging and displaying the exclamation-point-in-yellow-triangle symbol and the error message.

Cattitude has suggested that this may be a result of having, a couple of weeks ago, used the charger that came with his iPad (which plugs into the wall) to charge the iPod and that, if so, letting the battery run down a bit may help. So I am leaving it unplugged for the instant, and will see about running the battery down a bit.

However, I am puzzled. The Apple Website goes no further than "this will happen if you try using FireWire," and nothing else has told me even that much. Thoughts? Similar experiences? Chocolate?
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Nov. 5th, 2010 09:32 pm)
[Poll #1641212]

I'm not asking for gifts, I'm asking for ideas. I can't come up with anything that isn't either trivial (another bar of dark chocolate with cherries, which I can get at the corner store for a few dollars), absurdly over-extravagant, or nonexistent (the tangerine herb tea I was very fond of, which has been discontinued).

The chocolate isn't trivial because it would cost less than five dollars, it's trivial because it's practically a staple in this household.

[I don't think polls cross-post properly, so I'm posting this separately on DW and LJ.]

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redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)

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