Do you suppose it's bad luck to kill a scorpion on Christmas Eve? I only ask because my brother-in-law spotted one in the dining room as we were finishing dinner this evening. He was concerned about one of the dogs spotting it. He was barefoot and I was wearing boots so the killing fell to me. I do not like doing that sort of thing but...dogs. And, well, it was a scorpion and I was going to be sleeping about 15 feet from that spot later tonight. So now I'm wondering if it's bad luck or not.
Note to self: check your boots in the morning before pulling them on; it's probably a good idea to check pretty much everything in the morning.
My paternal grandmother is on my mind because today would've been her 100th birthday if she were alive. Alas, she passed away in April, 2011 (follow the link to read what I wrote at the time). I miss her. I wish I could give her a call and tell her about the music I heard yesterday and how cold it is in Austin today. "Eeegh!" she would've said about the cold. Short for "Hijo!" I suppose. She used to say that a lot. I'm smiling a little and crying a little and am going to go listen to some young people play music in a little bit and smile some more.
I changed hosts for my web stuff a couple of weeks ago. My old host tanked big time. I got an email message a couple of months ago saying they were migrating to new servers and I had until the end of November to move my stuff if the auto-migration did not work or it would all just be deleted. I got another message at the beginning of November saying something similar with a link to a page where I could get updates on the success/failure of the migration process. I went to the page and couldn't get anything useful out of it. My stuff wasn't migrating but it wouldn't generate error codes or anything. I called tech support and had to wait for over an hour to talk to someone. The guy dug around and finally said that he'd found the problem: the quota for my account on the new system was set to zero. Ah! Nothing could migrate if I didn't have any available space on the new server!
He went off and came back saying he couldn't fix it but would get someone higher up the chain to fix it and that I'd soon be able to use the migration tools. I tried later that night. Same deal. Nothing was working and no error codes were being generated. I opened a chat session. Another wait of over an hour and finally connected to someone. I explained the situation and they said it could take up to 48 hours for the fix to kick in. I also submitted a ticket on their system asking if they could help me get myPhpAdmin working on the old site so I could export my databases so I could at least make a local copy of my blogs. I never heard a peep regarding my ticket. I didn't try it again for about 5 days. When I did log in, nothing had changed.
I called tech support again. Another wait of over an hour. Finally connected and explained the situation rather thoroughly. The tech went off and came back to report that my site hadn't migrated to the new system and she couldn't help. I told her I knew the site hadn't migrated and explained to her (again) that the problem was that the quota for my account on the new system was set to zero and that I had been waiting for 5 days with no change in status. I also asked her about the myPhpAdmin thing and she said she couldn't help with un-migrated systems and that I should submit a ticket. I told her and had already done that and she couldn't find my ticket. I tried submitting a new ticket with her on the line and she couldn't find it. I couldn't find it either. She offered to submit a ticket on my behalf. As soon as she did that, both tickets showed up on my old control panel. She could only see the new one. I asked her to transfer me to someone who could help with un-migrated accounts and she said there was nobody in the phone chain who could do that. Sigh. I hung up. I eventually got a couple of completely blank messages regarding the tickets (at least I think that's what they were but they were blank and provided no info).
Argh! I gave up on them. I logged into the blogging software on the old system on the 22nd of November and exported all of my content to text files that I could (hopefully) import into a new blog. I found a new host and updated DNS and started working on moving everything over. I used the online tools at the old host to cancel my account. One of the things it made me do was acknowledge the cancellation policy. The link to the cancellation policy went to a 404-Not Found page. Really. I have no idea what their cancellation policy is. I could not find it doing a google search. Bums. I'd used them (and their predecessor) for nearly 20 years. I never had a problem with them until now and have no idea what's going on over there. Oh well. BTW, I got an email message on the 28th or so of November telling me the migration had failed and my account had been shut down. About 8 hours later I got a message saying I had until the middle of January to move my stuff. Two completely different systems seem to be at war over there. It's almost comical.
So, here I am in a new home. I don't much like the design but also don't have the motivation to do much about it. Things seem to be working well enough. I think all of the old content is here. I decided to officially shut down my baseball blog (I hadn't posted there in over two years) and my photography blog (I hadn't posted there in over 6 years!) but am keeping the archives around.
Littlefield Fountain, 200 West 21st Street
Public Intoxication / Assault: UT Police Officers were summoned to a report of an assault in progress. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, a UT student, who pointed out his assailant—another UT student, who was under the age of 21. The investigation revealed, the suspect got into an argument with his girlfriend, yet a third UT student, over a text message he had received from another female subject. The suspect and his girlfriend ended their relationship over the text. The now ex-girlfriend asked the victim, who was an unsuspecting pedestrian at the time, to walk her home. The suspect then knocked the victim down and punched him several times. The assailant was also deemed to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage to the point he was a danger to himself and chivalrous pedestrians everywhere. Occurred on 11/01/15 at 1:58 AM.
Got out to my car this morning and opened the back so I could load my backpack and was promptly affronted by a rather sickly-sweet smell. I couldn't imagine what could be in the car and started to talk myself into the idea that I was imagining the smell. But, no. It was there. I did a quick scan of the trunk area and there was nothing. I then opened the rear passenger door and could see a bit of reflection off a plastic bag on the floorboard under the sun shade that rides in the back seat. I crouched down toward it and realized that it was, in fact, the offending culprit. I could not remember eating out and stowing any left-overs in the car, though.
Then, realization dawned. Almost two weeks ago I bought some broccoli to put in my soup. When I unpacked my groceries, though, there had been no broccoli so I decided I'd either forgotten to get the broccoli or it had never made it into my bag at the checkout counter. I did not go check the car. And, it's been sitting in the car for at least 10 days without me noticing it. Which means it's been much colder of late in Austin than we're used to. No way a head of broccoli would normally last more than a day or two without going stinky this time of year.
So, I gingerly removed the bag from the floorboard, dropped it into another bag, and put the whole thing in the freezer where it can stop stinking and wait for garbage pick-up day. Which will be Saturday. Ick. I also liberally sprayed some Fabreeze on the floorboard of my car and on the sun shield.
And, the smell wasn't too bad on the way to work. I suspect it'll be all gone by this evening. I did leave the window cracked a bit.
I hope I've learned to check the car for missing veggies when I get home and find veggies missing from the grocery bag. I suppose that only time will tell.
Last night, at the end of the game, it was 59 °F. Or so the scoreboard was reporting to us. It felt a lot colder than that to me. I was wearing a fleece cap and a warm down jacket. How could it seem so much colder? We'd been sitting out in the humidity for a couple of hours watching the game so it had just kind of seeped into our bones. I guess.
I had to take a computer to another building a while ago. Looking at the weather bug on my computer, I see that it is, once again, 59 °F outside. I did not have a jacket or cap with me. I am wearing a cotton sweater today but that's it. And, I did not feel at all cold.
Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, 2200 Robert Dedman
Theft: A non-UT subject attempted to enter the stadium with a guitar case containing a Luna Gypsy guitar. A bag check representative told the subject he could not bring the guitar into the stadium and offered to keep the guitar during the game. The bag check representative provided the owner with a number he could call at the end of the game to claim his guitar. After the game, the owner could not get anyone to answer his phone calls but did receive a text stating, "Sorry bro, I don't know where your guitar is." Loss value: $350.00. Occurred on 11/27/14 between 8:00 PM and 10:15 PM.
Chemical and Petroleum Engineeirng Building, 200 East Dean Keeton
Assault - A disturbance was reported inside a 2nd floor classroom. Officers located the subjects involved and learned a private company was presenting an informational session about their company for students. One UT student arrived, gathered a complimentary sandwich that was provided for by the company and sat through approximately 30 minutes of the presentation before leaving the classroom. One of the company representatives met the student in the hallway to debate the ethics of taking a sandwich and not staying for the entire presentation. The student then discarded the sandwich in the trash. The company representative retrieved the sandwich and launched it at the student's back. The student and another UT student later approached the company representative to file a complaint. The other UT student was reported to have lightly pushed the company representative prior to all parties separating. None of the involved parties wished to file charges. Reported on 09/22/14 at 7:50 PM.
My peeps! (This happened in my building.) Once again, proof that there's no such thing as a free lunch. The cost of that free sandwich, I'm sorry to break it to you, is sitting through a boring presentation.
I went to the release party for BettySoo's new CD (When We're Gone) last night. It was a great success. I'm sitting down tonight to listen all the way through the CD for the first time. I started to "live-tweet" this but decided there just weren't enough characters. And, it'd just get lost in the vacuum that is Twitter. So, a new post here. A real post. I haven't done anything "real" here in a very long time.
Anyway, to the task at hand. Track-by-track...
Listen - Starts off with some beautiful cello work by Brian Standefer. I've seen him play with BettySoo and Jenny Reynolds several times over the last few months; he's an awfully talented fella. Love the vocals. I like the haunting whispering going on. Who's singing background? BettySoo. Huh. She had Charlie Faye, Noelle Hampton, and Jaimee Harris doing this work at the show last night. And, they were great. Looking through the liner notes, I see she's doing the background vocals on pretty much the whole CD. Interesting. Love it. Powerful lyrics. Love the abrupt ending.
100 Different Ways of Being Alone - More lovely background vocals by BettySoo. Heartbreaking lyrics. More cello. I love the sound of a cello. The up-tempo rhythm and cheerul ooh-ooh-oohs belie what's really going on in this song. "Called everyone you know but nobody's home." The lyrics of this song will kill you.
Last Night - Beautiful vocals. Pedal steel by Lloyd Maines? Gorgeous.
Summertime - Sounds beautiful. I have no idea what's going on in the lyrics, though. "Crumpled on the floor a crimson mess"? That sounds very ominous. Is it the dress or the girl that's crumpled? No idea. The slow 60's beach guitar licks are cool.
The Things She Left Town With - Wow. Another heartbreaker. I'm starting to wonder if I can make it through this CD in one sitting. Pretty, pretty guitar by Will Sexton is a perfect compliment to the downward-spiraling lyrics.
Josephine - Is there a second "she" in his life or is "she" really him? More ambiguous and haunting lyrics. More lovely cello.
Hold Tight - A crumbling relationship; the narrator needs to get far, far away. Rather than hold tight. It all sounds quite beautiful, though.
Love is Real - This one's starting to try and bring us out of the chasm the previous few songs have thrown us down. Maybe. Can you hear the heart beat?
When We're Gone - The title doesn't give me much hope. More beautiful vocals, though. And, in the end, I think it just might be a little bit hopeful. I love me some accordion. Very much.
Nothing Heals a Broken Heart - No hope in the title of this one. Oh, no. At the first lyric, I remember hearing this one for the first time a few months ago at a house concert. It brought me to tears that afternoon. It's gonna do the same thing tonight. So much sadness. Such a beautiful song, though. More gorgeous cello.
Wheels - Oh. Nice. Hopefulness. At last. Sort of. I think. Heh. "Wave yesterday goodbye."
Lullaby - An actual, bonafide lullaby. More beautiful vocals. A given, of course, if BettySoo is the singer. Said vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitar and cello. And, some soft woodwinds rounding things out. Lovely.
All music and lyrics (every heartbreaking one of them) by BettySoo. And, of course, she did all the artwork and layout of the CD. She's a very talented young lady on so many fronts. Wow.
This really is an amazing CD. Go buy it. Listen to it. But, maybe not if you're down. And, maybe not all at once. And, certainly not with a bottle of wine (or a six back of beer) at hand. It's a gorgeous thing, though.
And, from BettySoo's home page, an intro to the CD that maybe I should've heeded before I plunged into this little project:
Marriages start, marriages crumble, daughters run away, innocence is lost, husbands punch their wives in the face, and those lost causes we've resigned to the wind get sober and start over. Children are born - but some don't make it past five.
During the five years since her last album of original material, BettySoo zigzagged her way across the North American and European continents more than a few times. Mostly, she toured. Every other minute, she was flying to visit best friends in rehab, driving for days with friends whose family lives were crumbling, visiting mental hospitals, going to houses and cleaning kitchens and bathrooms when friends had no will left to do it themselves.
Yeah. That tells you exactly where this CD is coming from. And, now that I'm done, I'm really glad I didn't live-tweet this. I could not have finished.
Reckless Driving - Racing: Two vehicles were observed stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, both vehicles accelerated to a high rate of speed. One of the vehicles slowed when they reached approximately 40 MPH. The other continued to accelerate to a speed nearing 70 MPH. The non-UT driver of the "winning" vehicle admitted to have been trying to out accelerate the driver of the other vehicle. That subject took his victory lap in the back of a squad car. Occurred on 03/27/14 at 2:17 AM.