Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth

Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

Just a little something to pass the time in the darkest parts of the night before I do some of the work I’m required to do. While not used to working with a Mousepad; while it’s touchy it does what’s required of it when I need to change things in the program.

Don’t ask me about the name. Like most of my pieces, it just came to mind as I was looking at the primary color of the piece.

Coming up for Air

Entry 06/22/2015 12:11:24 AM – Mentat 929

I know, I know — no art…  Less of that lately (I’ll get to that in a minute), and a rather banal come all-over-the-place journal entry.  Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve written and some of the things I’m writing about seem to be “…the story already in progress…”  But then again since I’ve pulled my diary offline and written privately, those are the breaks.

So now that I’m entering into Monday morning and looking at the calendar, I’m reminded of my out-cry on my way in to work this evening that Emancipation Day is 3 days away and I haven’t thought of anything I want to be free of for the prior year.  Well other than perhaps the fact that I’ve had to wash quite a few freakishly odd queerfolk out of my life the last month alone:  Michael in Apple Valley who was coming off not only a few fries short of a Happy Meal™ but also somewhere between abrasive and abusive (verbally, definitely verbally).  While it was charming for a while, I got tired of hearing things like, “are you that gullible?” and “You have monumental baggage” routinely enough that it was a friendship that didn’t build up the person, but tore ’em down in order to make oneself feel better about it. Not that he was feeling any better really — he was damned busy whinging about not having a boyfriend and then doing nothing to modify the way modern queerfolk go about the whole dating thing.

The other man (I’ve had to watch out of my hair) was from Mississippi (I think his name was Richard, but I can’t be assed to remember it really) who seemed jovial though vapid in his e-mails who I suspected was a bit of a freak (of nature) only to have him turn out to be a real freak of nature with his sense of humor comments that didn’t feel the least bit jovial or jocular.  More like desperate, cloying and the sort of creepy that leaves you feeling like you need a shower afterward.  What I mean is that quite out of the blue from the usual conversation he starts asking for nudie pictures and making assertions of marrying him.  Uh, no thanks I don’t like marriage jokes when the conversations have been light (and vapid) and didn’t lead down anywhere that would have called for such intensity.  And let’s face it — anyone asking for nudes of is asking for trouble from the likes of me.

Although the true irony of that whole conversation had to do with the fact that the only reason why he started chatting me up had to do with the fact that I went checking out his profile while wearing the flag-mod hat and checking to see if the profile was another one of the cavalcade of fake users that routinely come onto OKC.  The only reason I was chatting with him is that his profile seemed to only point to wanting chat — and who am I to deny a good chat to anyone that wants it?

Then there was this kid (AKA under 30) that was trying to chat me up for god-only-knows what reason.  Seemed to be the sort of kid that lived off the attention until I noticed that his location changed from Fall River, MA to Bum-Fuck PA which sent up the usual warning bells of a fake user.  Tried to pull me over to KIK which is an automatic block as I can’t stand that bloody program (seems to be geared more towards those sort of vapid and attention whore sort of teens and 20-somethings that have nothing else better to do with their time).  Seriously, no thank you — I’ve had more than enough people of this caliber in my life, I don’t want any more of them.  Hell and what’s left of them in my life I don’t want them in there anymore…

About the only one that I’ve been entertained with has been the guy from New York City, but even then it’s more one-sided than I like.  Eh, I’ll give that a bit more time and see how that plays out.

In other news, one of the gifts I worked on buying for my birthday was a FitBit.  Part of the reason was I wanted to shed carrying around two phones (iPhone from AT&T that the contract has been cancelled and the Droid that I’m currently carrying).  The other part of the reason was I wanted to have something that integrated better with a fitness and health conscious program for tracking calories in and out.  While I don’t like the whole cloud integration for the program (it’s currently held on the FitBit.com website) I’m really liking the investment I made with the Fitbit HR.  While I haven’t used the actual caller-ID integration between it and the phone (apparently I need to load up the program for it as phone is not supported for direct integration) everything else about it seems pretty accurate…  Well other than perhaps sleeping.  It’s marking my restlessness as times that I’m awake and the thing about that is I’m not really awake.  My eyes didn’t open and I didn’t register anything consciously.  I think it’s just because the movements that I do through the night are enough to raise my pulse into the consciousness zone and that’s enough for it to mark me as awake.  Still though, it’s better than the Sleep Time app which seems to monitor not only my movements, but Moe’s as well.  And my cat has a nasty habit of getting up a whole lot more than I do.  While I might not be getting the full 5 day charge (I’m noticing it’s about 4 days according to YMMV) it’s not as though I need to wear the thing down to nothing as I’m close enough to both the charger and the dongle that I can sync and charge the thing up with little effort.

Oh yeah, the other thing I like about this unit is the fact that it works with a vibration for the alarm.  I saw Matt Inman over at The Oatmeal raving about the Taptic Engine in the Apple Watch and gave it a go with the silent alarm on the FitBit HR.  When I have slept long enough to catch the alarm, it actually wakes me up…  Though I suspect that the reason why I’ve been up a majority of the time before the alarm is because I fear I’m going to sleep through it.  I haven’t, but that doesn’t stop me from activating the Wonder Twin Power™ of self-consciousness.

I missed Providence Pride this year.  I’m not in the least bit surprised about that given 1. I was working that day and 2. I thought it was the last weekend of the month of June and not the third weekend when it was celebrated.  No big loss there in any case.  Though it did give the bus lines a bit of a problem given that Route 1 that I usually take the day I have to work over-time had to temporarily re-route away from Dorrance Street.  Although it was funny given that when it was heading down Washington Street I thought I had accidentally gotten on the Northbound bus instead of the Southbound.  But after that scare from the re-route, I was happily heading down to work for a couple of hours overtime to cover while the fuck-up second shift person can have his added time off for Father’s Day.  No names mentioned (publicly of course), but if you ask me, I’ll more than happily tell anyone privately.

Waking up today was like waking up in the Crotch of the Bible Belt:  I felt like I needed SCUBA gear in order to breathe properly.  And without the necessary exhaust vent it’s not as though I can run the portable AC unit for the time being.  At least the good news is that sometime this week the vents covers that I had ordered from Haier (that didn’t come with the package I purchased) should be in by the end of the week.   So hopefully, I’ll be able to run the A/C during the hottest parts of the summer.  And it’s looking like the humidity isn’t going to be going away any time soon.  Not sure what that’s all about, but it’s enough to annoy me.

Work…  I have positively no words for that circus.  Between the politics and the personal conflicts going on between the Manager and the Supervisor it’s a royal Charlie-Foxtrot.  All I’m doing for the moment is riding it through and hoping that it’ll clear itself out one way or another.  While it’s nice to being Nightbreed again and management is only seen sparingly the changes that seem to be going on boggles both the conscious mind and the imagination.  And that’s all I’m going to say on that subject in a public setting.

And with that — I think I’ve covered everything for the time being.  I’ll close it here for now and hopefully sometime this week, I’ll don the hat of the Mad Scientist™ and try to make another wallpaper.  Until the next time.

Mechanistic Organic

Mechanistic Organic

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

Approaching this the same way my grandmother’s taught me how to cook — it was a little of this, a little of that and a touch of spices — to create this meal for the eyes. By far, the closest I’ve ever gotten to being symmetrical.

Sanctifying Defilement

05/29/2015 Comments off

Sanctifying Defilement

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

Just a little try on the new laptop. And taking a little time before walking the Monster Child for the morning walk.

Alternate Reality

05/15/2015 Comments off

Alternate Reality

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

All I could think about while I was making this and listening to Hawaii Five-O was of Zarniwoop and the Alternate Universe in his office. This was the result.

I’m Thinking… Purple

05/07/2015 Comments off

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

I know, I know… It’s a rough work. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and worked on a fractal… I just had some time to work on the program and decided to give it a go before I rushed off to make lunch and clean the house.

It’s Been (and Going to be) Some Time Before I Get into a Pattern

04/27/2015 Comments off

Entry 04/26/2015 12:25:00 AM – Mentat 914

It’s amazing how a full time job with positively nothing in the way of telecommuting and a 3 mile walk in (and back on the weekends) to/from work can make you lose track of time. Can make you lazy when it comes to making the demented artwork to be posted on a week-to-week basis. Can make you not really want to do anything creative (or constructive) in your off-time and instead indulge in the often mindless things people do in your off-time. But here I am, almost six weeks later; completely transformed from Daywalker to Nightbreed and just now looking into writing a public journal entry about the goings on since the last time I had come up for air (metaphorically speaking)…

The job is both calming and infuriatingly frustrating given that it feels like a well-established help/service desk going through the throes of growing pains and streamlining (or in this case re-streamlining). If often reminds me of what John Sheridan said in Babylon 5 when he became president of the Interstellar Alliance:

“Who knew the presidency was fifty percent panic and fifty percent paperwork.”

The panic comes when one of the few interfaces from the older systems decide it’s time to take a break from the work they’ve been doing for the week (or month) and take a break from communicating its information to the new system (in this case to Epic Hyperspace). Sure it goes well enough — we do all the normal troubleshooting and contact all the appropriate sources — and while there are times when it feels like a collective head (and ass) scratching — eventually the problem is intercepted, taken care of and brushed aside as the synchronization between old and new systems are restored.

The paperwork comes from the endless and sometimes overwhelming need to ensuring everything is recorded in the form of tickets in the ticketing system, going hither and yon and ensuring that other people have the associated orders to complete the work necessary to making sure this system, that WOW cart, printer, scanner, workstation, telephone, well practically every piece of technology (and even software) is fixed/repaired/handled/numbered/filed/stamped/approved/denied and on and on.

Basically it’s what one would expect working as a Help Desk Analyst (fancier words for Technical Support) and it’s something I definitely had agreed upon when I took up this contract. Do I like it? Sure… One, it’s good to being back to the graveyard shift. Two, it’s fun to exercise my never-ending need for service and expanding my knowledge of computer systems (both hardware and especially software). And three, it’s the sort of mental exercise of assisting in the streamlining of a department with all the knowledge and experience I had learned from previous environments.

Of course, returning to being Nightbreed I get enjoy being the Night-Owl I used to be moving at speeds different and more relaxed than following a more Diurnal cycle. I have also experienced the usual health benefits of a lower heart rate (BPM) going from mid to high 70s during the day, to 60 mid 60s in the evening. Blood pressure (when I’ve used the free monitors at the pharmacies) while being a bit elevated as they usually are, are now significantly lower than when I was a Daywalker. While sleeping’s a bit difficult given my apartment is sunnier than the basement I lived in when I was in Woonsocket, I’m finding that I can sleep through most of the sunny periods in the afternoon with the occasional wake up for the usual trips to the bathroom.

Working in the Healthcare Industry is like old hat with the same benefits and pitfalls that I recall from my time working at Care New England. Doctors are well, doctors; expecting instantaneous results for any issues that they might be experiencing with the software in question. Lack of results means instantaneous frustration. Nurses (and Floor Secretaries) are the bulk of the calls being within the range of savvy enough to getting the job done to acolytes that need that special hand-hold to get them through the issue that they’re experiencing… And then there’s my personal favorites: the CNAs. You know, the Luddites that somehow have gotten into the 21st century and never saw a computer before they came to work within the hospital they’re employed with. Oh yeah, you know the type too… Need a password change? Most people get through that in 5 minutes with a little handholding. CNAs? It’s guaranteed to take them more than 30 minutes and even then, you can’t be sure they had been able to do it correctly.

One of my best calls involved a CNA who had — using my favorite phrase — went off the rails trying to perform the simple operation of changing their password. She didn’t know what programs she had open, what screens she was supposed to be filling information on. Thirty minutes into the call spoke in tongues, put the phone down and went off to do something else. It took the nursing supervisor to come to the phone and me explaining to that supervisor what needed to be done to getting the password reset. The nursing supervisor said she would handle it, “once the CNA came back to the floor…” And that was that. There was a facepalm involved, there was an eyeroll (enough to fall unconscious from the whiplash as I rolled them hard and fast), and of course there was a “thank you for the call”…

The team I’m currently on is significantly better than the team I had been assigned to work at Cox when I worked the graveyard shift. Most of them are like me; over 35 and mature enough to being able to joke around without being obnoxious about it. Are able to do their work without being completely distracted by whatever else they were doing to keep themselves busy (and awake) during the shift. The one that’s under 30 is definitely easy going enough to follow the lead of the lot of us and does what’s necessary without noise or friction. We’re also significantly distanced from the management for the team to allow us the necessary breathing room to perform the job that’s required of us long before we actually need to call the technicians that are assigned for off-time paging.

I am also enjoying the fact that I don’t get Saturday and Sunday off for my weekend; instead getting Wednesday and Thursday night for it. The good (read: great) side of this is that it saves me from the routine 9 to 5’er out partying for the weekend. So I don’t have to deal with the idiots, rednecks and bloated self-entitled fuckwits that think it’s just them and nothing of the world around them exists beyond the end of their nose. Also it means that I get to experience less than usual amounts of people out and about while I do the necessary things like laundry, shopping and what have you during my weekend.

The homefront… Ha! My cat is king of the roost with me out of the house more than in. He’s eating like a king and basically entertaining himself however he sees fit, including completely turning over any of the throw rugs so that he can get the toy mouse he might have accidentally gotten stuck underneath. During the hour when I’m getting ready for work, having my breakfast and prepping my lunch for the night, he usually sits under the bed, watching me hustle back and forth until I’m through, then he’ll venture out for some loving and/or attention. Closer to my weekend last week, I saw that he seemed transfixed to sit on the throw next to the sink and staring at the fridge. He also did a bit of investigating between the garbage and recycling bins. Pulling up the recycle bin, I saw the quick movements of something brown and him shooting like lightning at the thing. So one of the few handfuls of mice that have snuck into the house (and seem to only inhabit underneath the sink) had been successful enough to get out from underneath the cabinet only to get caught under the fridge. A couple of days later it had successfully gotten back under the sink (as my cat often sleeps with me in the afternoon) only to have met its fate with one of the two mousetraps under the sink as it needed a little something to munch on for it’s foray under the fridge. I can tell that there are no further mice in the house as the cat’s happily spending more of its time on the bed and not on the throw by the sink, though he’s also been mildly curious about the bedroom closet… I haven’t found any evidence, but that doesn’t stop him from looking anyway.

My downstairs neighbor has been her usual quiet as well, though I think her son’s been watching the apartment and she’s off to somewhere south (like Florida) for a holiday. He comes and goes occasionally — usually to go outside to smoke instead of in the house — but other than that, he’s just as quiet as his mother. Neither of them have made any noise about the change of shifts for me, not that I make all that noise to begin with even with the change of hours.

Finally my weekly art submissions… *sighs* I know that I should be doing them more and I promise to do them at some point. The thing is that while I can do them on Sundays as I traditionally did with the coming three weeks while they’re trying to get another second shift person on, I’m going to be spending more time (OT) for the next three (or so) weeks. This means I’ll need to get to bed early enough to only have to head out to work for a few extra hours on Sunday Night/Monday morning. We’ll see after this whether I’ll have the energy to work something out.

And with that, that’s it for the update. Now I’m off to finish the rest of the shift and perhaps try to get out of here as quickly as possible so that I can wind down quickly and pass out for the routine 8 hours of sleep for the day. Until the next time.

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