All of 2018
Static8 Journal Entries

My Apocalypse
fri 9 feb 2018

At the end of January a bunch of crises happened and I am having the worst year ever.

∞ Print head died. AGAIN.
I had just bought a print head, and it only lasted 3 weeks. I've now spent 500$ because I have to be able to print! (This is a large, high-end printer, and yes, it's worth it.)

∞ SO's mom is in the hospital.
Fell and broke her left humerus. Kidney failure. and a diabetes diagnosis. SO took a flight out to Miami to be with her and help organize care.

And in the meantime, our phones went down and communicating with each other on opposite sides of the country, became difficult.

∞ And then my computer crashed.
in a rather permanent way.

∞ And then my backup files disappeared

All my photos, gone. My postcard files. The address files. The files and software I use to coordinate the mail exchanges I host. Emails. My encrypted password file.

All gone. And I honestly don't know how to live my life without all this stuff.

And I'm so overwhelmed, it's difficult to even look at data recovery options. And I've been stymied again and again, as I try to find a decent and real Data Recovery company. I'm beginning to wonder if they are not all just scams, out to get money from desperate people.

A Good Thing: I recently bought myself a tablet, and I splurged on the extra memory. I'm fleshing it out with hardware and software and it is now a decent replacement for my crashed computer.

Just no files.

I go back and forth between hope and hopelessness. not to mention helplessness.

Another Good Thing: My friends have been awesome, caring and understanding. I don't know how I would have reacted without them. Saying Thank You is such a ridiculous under-statement of my gratitude that it makes me cringe. But...

Thank You!

Keeping Sane
sun 11 feb 2018

My regular and ordinary, if obsessive, hobbies are keeping me sane during this time of Extreme Troubles.

On an ordinary weekend day, I go for a walk. I take photos. I turn photos into postcards. and I mail like crazy!

Okay. So right now, I can't print. And I don't have any addresses to send postcards to. All due to the Extreme Troubles I mentioned.

But I keep walking. And I keep taking photos.

And I'm surprised at all the wildlife that's showing up!

There is this one tree, it's about 1/2 way out on the path to the Community Garden. Birds like to sit there, it's kind of a look-out tree because it's right on the edge of the green area, and it's tall and alone, and it's base is mostly surrounded by a Wet Prairie pond.

Sometimes Starlings. Lately, Crows. I noticed a big dark bird in the tree as I came around the corner. But, when I got within camera range... um, that's not a Crow!

In fact, she or he was being mobbed by a Crow!

Raptor! Awesome!

Hawk in a tree being mobbed by a crow

Unfortunately, there is no hope for the photos I took. The day was too cloudy and I was too far away.

Red Shouldered Hawk in a tree

But that's okay. It's always fun to see someone new!

This is a Red Shouldered Hawk, a little bit outside her usual range along the coast in California.

Looking Up!
Sun 25 feb 2018

Yay and Huge Relief! Files are back!

I haven't downloaded all of the years yet, but it looks like almost all of my files have been returned to me. So far, there's just a few weeks of January 2018 that are missing. But getting Hundreds of Thousands of photos returned more than makes up for it!

Next up: Figure out what to do about the printer and the crashed computer.

When I didn't have my files, I felt like my life was on pause and I couldn't do anything. But now, I feel like a real person again!

Keeping Sane: Snail Mail
wed 28 feb 2018

Month of Letters 2018 Participant

This year's LetterMo -- Sending mail every day during the month of February -- was not as fun as usual.

A lot of that, of course, was my personal apocalypse... no files and no printer and I couldn't make my own postcards and send tons like I usually do.

But some of it was the LetterMo website. The personal messaging system was turned off, and that was a major bummer. The badges were down, which in years past were always a fun incentive. The forums were pretty slow, and there were only a couple of blog posts... probably because there was a private facebook page (which I'm not interested in, due to myriad reasons).

Anyway, just kind of a disappointing experience.

So I've decided to make March special by typing about my mailing fun here! Here's what I'm working with...

postcards and postal stamps

Those are some of the postcards I've been sending out. Yeah, store bought. sighs... but I did buy them to use them!

I am happy to use some of my store-bought notecards as well. I've been signing up for more written notecard exchanges at swap-bot, and I host my own weekly swap as well. It's fun and I have learned how to fill a page with chatting... I couldn't tell you if it's interesting or not. ;)

Arriving from USPS
fri 2 mar 2018

Yesterday my order from arrived...

USPS order, postal stamps and card

This is a fair representation of the stamps I buy every month... About 5 or 6 sheets of Global stamps, usually two rolls of Postcard stamps, a few sheets of Forever stamps (especially new ones, or ones I love), and, if they have new Postal Notecards, I'll get some of those.

I am especially excited about the amazing Bioluminescent Life Stamps. Wow! They are shiny! I love them!

LetterMo March On

LetterMo March On... my goal is to continue to send mail every day, and to send some replies.

I actually did really well about replies in Feb... I sent out four replies to and LetterMo friends. Since my normal is zero replies, actually sending a few is a great improvement! *laughs*

Story of the Printer
fri 9 mar 2018

Well. I think I have a working printer. We shall see how long it lasts.

I've bought 3 print heads here recently. The first one only lasted about three weeks. The second one never even installed correctly (And then I was not refunded for the piece of junk they gave me). And here we are on the third one.


Yeah, at this point, I'm a little short on hope.

But I've started printing things here and there. Trying not to get too excitable. Just a few basic postcards.

April Goals
sat 31 mar 2018

Well, sheesh. I did mean to post more often during the month of March! Unfortunately, I've been dealing with a (very) lingering cold and I've mostly slept thru the last half of March.

Despite this, I have sent mail almost every day during March. I only skipped two days. Problem is, I didn't write ANY LetterMo replies, like I meant to!

For April, I'd like to continue my goal of sending mail most every day. It would be nice to figure out a way to motivate myself to write replies, as well. Not to mention, I need to keep up with my mail log, as well.

But my major goal for April is a different project that I have procrastinated for a very long time.

My book reviews GoodReads. I am currently a year behind.

It's important to me because, with my postcard group there, I am very active on GR. I am a fairly serious reader, and it's a bit embarrassing that I'm not adding the books I've read.

I use my book reviews to remember what I've read, and to find new books when I find an author I like. The book reviews are also a conversation starter with the members of the group I host. And I just feel organized, when I am all caught up with a project! :)

So here's my plan. Slow Drip! Ten minutes, every day!

When I pull out the computer every evening, I will set a timer. There will be ten minutes of focused activity:

Figure out the next book, find my handwritten review. Read it and make corrections.

Add the book at GR and type the review.

I hope to add reviews about every other day? I tend to hem-and-haw about my reviews, so I'm not sure if I can finish typing one in 10 minutes.

That's the plan. We'll see how it goes!

Spring Cleaning
sat 5 may 2018

Well so much for my March goals of posting more often. And so much for my April goals of catching up with my GoodReads book reviews. And so much for sending mail every day. Multiple Failures.

I can't stick with anything, and I'm having trouble doing anything at all.... Depression is acting up, big time.

But, it's a new month, and I'm going to give it another go!

My partner is visiting his mom, and he'll be gone for two weekends, so I've decided to do some Spring Cleaning. The floor of my bedroom is my craft area, and there are several years worth of piles taking over.

It's embarrassing, but, as I mentioned, with depression it's just difficult or impossible to deal with things.

I took all the piles out and vacuumed.

There is no walking space in my partner's room... but my room looks open and inviting. I celebrated by getting my paints out!

star art

This idea has been rattling around in my brain for a couple weeks: Black Paper + Metallic Watercolours! I'm going to cut up the page and send it as postcards!

Yay Art!

Now the hard part, of course, is going thru all those piles and finding a place for everything. About ½ the piles are just books... but I ran out of book shelf space a long time ago. However, once I find and clear a space, the books will be the easiest thing to deal with.

All the other stuff, I don't know. These two weekends might be interesting.

An Experiment
sat 1 sept 2018

I have a little extra brain power, and I think I'm going to dedicate it to blogging.

At the day job, they fired all my friends in the warehouse. And I'm bored, so bored, without fun and interesting people walking by who want to chat with me about random things. So, instead of my brain complaining to me about how bored it is... I'd like to think up topics and writings for this place!

Don't know if it will work, that's why it's an experiment. But I aim to post here, not every day, but 4 or 5 days a week, for the month of September.

Note: Yeah, none of the internal links work here at the website. I've not fixed everything since my devastating computer crash at the beginning of the year.

Update Dec 2020... haha! this page is now fixed!

sun 2 sept 2018

Instead of my walks to and from the community garden, this year I've been going for hikes on the weekends. My favorite place is a city park that has a Rhododendron Garden and a Native Plants Garden.

And across the way, there's a forest trail and part of the Ridge Line trail system. The trails are short, but pretty steep. And if you want to walk all of them, you can go for several miles.

I walked these trails yesterday, and I wasn't having much luck with the wildlife. I'd see a chipmunk! and then I'd see her tail as she scampered away into the underbrush. Several times over... Chipmunk! Tail! Song Sparrow! Flicked his tail! then gone. foo.

Some days are like that. I just kept walking up and down the hills. And then a deer.

Or to be precise, a deer's butt.

He was pretty far off the trail, and I watched his butt for a while, walking back and forth on the path, trying to get a better view. He finally moved and laid down where I could almost see him!

Mule deer buck, laying in the forest

I've seen does at the park and a momma with a child, so it was exciting to see a male for the first time. He had a girlfriend with him, too, that was sweet.

Song Sparrows
mon 3 sept 2018

I have a love for Song Sparrows.

Yep, they are sparrows. Also known as little brown birds! :)

But Song Sparrows are seriously cute, with their stripy face and chest. They stay here, year round. (and can be found, all across the US and up into Canada for at least some of the year!) And their voices are so cheerful and happy. I just love their song!

But more importantly... Song Sparrows seem to be fascinated by me and my camera!

When I happen to find a Song Sparrow close by, I start taking pics and they start showing off for me! They hop around, study me from several angles, flick their tail and stand up straight, and stay and watch me for a while!

At first I just assumed it's because I'm awesome! *laughs*

But maybe they like the beeps my camera makes. I tested this today. There was a Song Sparrow close to the trail who dove into the underbrush when I saw her. She didn't go far, tho. So I turned on my camera, and held down the shutter button to do the auto-focus. *beep*

And the Song Sparrow came out of hiding immediately! ha! I could hear her talking with her friend. Song birds have this *chirp* contact call, which they say constantly to each other. The *chirp* is nothing like the camera focus *beep*... but maybe I'm making the *beep* as a natural response to their contact calls.

Song Sparrow with cob webs

anyway, we like each other.

All the spider webs means it hasn't started raining yet!

sun 9 sept 2018

Yesterday, I didn't feel like driving to any of my usual hiking places. And I wanted to get pics of Goldfinches! So I walked out to our Community Garden.

The Comm Garden is about a mile away, and it is right on the bike path. This path runs next to a creek and has a decent area of green space along parts of it. It's a beautiful walk and I have encountered all kinds of wildlife over the years.

But this year, I'm more likely to drive someplace else to walk. Walking along the path yesterday, I thought about this.

I have walked that path about 1000 times. Yes, literally. A thousand times. I did the math.

I know what kinds of birds or beasts or bugs I might come across, at any time of the year. I know the cracks in the pavement. I know the graffitti with the misspelled word which has been there since last year. (Don't waist my time. sheesh!) I know when and where I might pick some blackberries to munch on. I know the places where the homeless people might hang out. I recognize many of the dog walkers, and know a couple dogs and humans by name.

Knowing these things has been comforting for most of my time here! But lately, I just want to look at something different. :)

Goldfinch eating a sunflower seed on a sunflower head