ratcreature: Heh. RatCreature is amused. (heh.)
[personal profile] dine alerted me to the existence of this IKEA product, so I got a "VÅRKÄNSLA" a while ago, and now assembled it in preparation for the Easter holidays. It is actually the total extent of my decoration.

So it comes in a flatpack:

In typical IKEA fashion one of the pieces was a bit scuffed (the head area of the main piece), because there's always something... but it was complete, non-broken, and the instructions where clear:

And this is the finished chocolate bunny:

I can't speak as to its taste yet, that will have to wait until Easter Sunday at least.
ratcreature: RatCreature bounces like Tigger. (bounce)
Unfortunately I didn't get to see any sun today, even though theoretically there still might have been almost seven and a half hours of sunlight. If it hadn't been overcast, gloomy and raining all day, that is.

But from now on things slowly are looking up again in this hemisphere. :D And I did treat myself to some tasty apple-caramel-spice cake from my favorite bakery.
ratcreature: RatCreature bounces like Tigger. (bounce)
Of course it will be months still until there's a decent amount of daylight again, but it's getting better now. (in this hemisphere at least)

Though some clear skies would be much appreciated too. I mean, the theoretical 7 hours and 28 minutes daylight possible here today are meager, but not that awful if you actually got to see the sun. It's the perpetual overcast gloom that always drags me down in winter. Forecast for today says there's almost no chance to see the sun at all.


Nov. 7th, 2016 15:22
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
I should not have read while walking. I stumbled over some uneven pavement and fell down. I didn't hurt myself too badly, mostly my hands, one wrist and both my knees are scaped up, but my ebook reader was destroyed. :((( Also my trousers, but I mostly feel the loss of my ereader.

I mean, I feel lucky that I didn't break my right wrist -- I awkwardly landed on that since that hand was holding the ereader and scraped its outside, but I guess the device absorbed quite a bit of force (it actually bent and partly shattered). Or damaged my new glasses which were far more expensive than my ereader.

But still. I really liked that ereader, and it wasn't that old either.

ETA: a picture of the casualty. )


Aug. 20th, 2016 18:38
ratcreature: Eeew! (eeew)
I unwittingly caused a life and death drama in my fridge's vegetable drawer: I just found a giant, dead caterpillar (well about four centimeters long) in the bowl of plums I had also stored in the drawer. It definitely wasn't in the plums when I put them there, considering that I transfered them to said bowl from a bag and it was too big to have been inside any of the plums without doing obvious damage (and not the type of critter you commonly find in plums either). I think it must have come hidden in the cauliflower I also stored in the drawer (though that wasn't sitting directly next to the plums), somehow tried to desperately escape the cold or something, and then expired in my plums.

Well, I guess it's good to know that despite not being organic or anything, my cauliflower was wildlife supporting. I kind of feel bad for it, trying to escape and then slowly dying of cold. It was still unpleasant when I found that thing as I just wanted to grab some plums to snack on, though.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
I really hope summer will get a bit drier as it goes on. However, I'd be happy if it stayed on the cool side, because anything above 25°C makes me miserable. Though actually according to a weather press notice I just read, it turns out the average June temperature has been almost two degrees above the long term average here, but I guess it didn't feel like it because it's been much wetter than usual (135l per sqm instead of 70l per sqm).

Anyway, I feel like indulging the time honored tradition of weather griping, so have a poll:

Poll #17550 summer weather griping
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27

In which ways does your summer's weather suck thus far?

View Answers

it's too hot
10 (37.0%)

it's too cold
6 (22.2%)

it's too dry
7 (25.9%)

it's too rainy
10 (37.0%)

summer is failing in some other way
2 (7.4%)

summer weather here has been great actually
2 (7.4%)

it's not summer where I am
1 (3.7%)

ratcreature: RatCreature as Linus: Dear Great Pumpkin,... (linus)
We got lucky with the weather and so far it's clear after all (the forecasts were unsure about fog). And I can conveniently see it directly from my bedroom window that's in the right direction. It's very pretty with the red cast to it. And considering that I am constantly waking up due to my stupid cold, the cough and the clogged nose anyway, the sleep disruption to watch isn't even much worse than it would have been otherwise.
ratcreature: Eeew! (eeew)
Why do rotting potatoes smell so much worse than any other rotting fruit or vegetable?! And how can it get so bad so quickly? I swear a few days ago there was no sign of a potato liquifying in my storage box. Ew, ew, ew.


Mar. 8th, 2014 22:30
ratcreature: Eeew! (eeew)
I just took down a poster and in the sticky tape on the back of the thing were three larvae or maggots or something developing as I peeled the tape areas off. Upon taking it down fully I also found a huge dead moth squeezed behind it (the poster wasn't entirely snug to the wall throughout, so it's not as if you saw a moth bulge on the visible side). So maybe the other critters were the moth's offspring. Alternatively two different vermin populations are interested in the backside of posters as habitat.

I find this actually somewhat grosser than finding insects colonizing my foodstuff as opportunity. You anticipate your food to be attractive and watch out for that, but tape being attractive seems entirely random. I guess anything is edible to someone.
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
I've been doing HabitRPG for a bit now, and this approach has been working for motivation in some respects, for example I managed to do my dishes every evening instead of letting them pile up for days since I started, and my kitchen has been much more functional. I mean, I have no idea why the reward of getting stuff to hatch virtual zombie dragons works better as motivation than just not having to shift around piles of accumulated dirty dishes whenever I want to prepare food, but it does.

On the other hand, for more irregular cleaning tasks and my to-do list the success has been middling. In the past three weeks I did some cleaning, but I'm not sure whether it has been more than usual.

For accomplishing a regular bedtime before 1 a.m. as a habit it has not worked so far. So results are mixed, but my kitchen sink has been bio-hazard free for three weeks now, so that is something.
ratcreature: RatCreature is scared: Meeep! (meeep!)
I wanted to take a quick shower before bed, because it was actually quite hot today and I feel sticky, but unfortunately my shower was already occupied by two spiders of different types. One of the kind that had young a while back in my toilet (most of whom seem to have shed their skin and then died or vanished, at least one day I found some husks in the net) and which seemed to retreat from another spider, which is about the same largish (for here) size, but sturdier with thicker legs and actually looks kind of scary, because it has fairly large mouthparts and is striped and stuff. I took a photo to share, and hope the spider will have used the time it takes to post this to move from the floor of my shower, because otherwise I will have to bother to catch it and throw it out somewhere to not drown the thing.

a spider )

Also, is anyone else having a problem with LJ's Scrapbook? The upload link is just not working for me right now, even though I still have space and have javascript enabled and everything. I had to upload the spider photo to my own webspace.

ETA: I had to catch and evict it to the outside after all. It didn't seem to be able to climb smooth surfaces to get out of the shower tub, at least when I caught it, it kept sliding down the side when it tried to flee. So it was quite unsuited to life in a bathroom anyway.
ratcreature: RatCreature is shocked. (o.O!)
For quite some time there has been a big spider living in my bathroom (not tropical spider big, but really big for these parts). Since there are no dangerous ones here, I have nothing against spiders (as long as they don't drop onto me) so I left it in peace. And just now I looked at its web (it's visible from my toilet, so I can't help but notice the developments), and I think it must have reproduced, because there are now something like two dozen tiny things in the web, which has a different shape than usual too, like with a ball structure in the middle rather than just a few strands (it never made a really nice regular web, just some threads). And while I can't get quite close enough without a ladder to be a hundred percent certain, I'm fairly sure the tiny things look like lots of little spiders. So now there is a developing nest of them or something. I don't think I've ever actually seen (or rather noticed) baby spiders outside of nature documentaries before.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
Seriously, neither of the two supermarkets nearest to me had any plain white sugar when I tried to buy some this week. Last year before they raised the sugar price there were signs in the supermarkets that they wouldn't sell more than five kilo to a customer, because some people were apparently hoarding sugar, either in anticipation of a price increase or to resell it in neighboring countries where sugar prices were already higher, but at least it was still available. And of course now it's been selling at the higher price of 85¢/kg for some time. When it's available, that is, which apparently it is not right now as far as my nearest supermarkets are concerned. I ought to have hoarded some too. (Or I guess I could walk around to other supermarkets further away, looking for a place that has sugar, but I'm lazy.) >:(

It's a good thing I didn't throw out the sugar that got a little wet and clumped in its package when I accidentally spilled water on it some weeks ago, but rather dried it out, so at least I still have some clumpy sugar, even if I almost used up the rest.
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
I am using energy saving light bulbs for lamps I leave on for a long time, and just now the bulb in my bedroom started flickering. Which was fine, it had lasted some years, much longer than a regular incandescent bulb, just as advertised. Unfortunately it also started to emit an absolutely disgusting chemical smell (like solvents or melting plastic or something like that), that became noticeable as I got close to change it. I know of course that they are toxic if they break, but this one was still whole and no plastic parts had visibly melted either, and certainly they don't normally to smell like that. (I also use one of these in a desktop lamp for getting bright, more blue-spectrum daylight so that I can avoid color distortion, and my nose tends to be quite near that, closer than it came to this one while changing.)

Either way, I changed it, and ventilated the room, but this really makes me wonder what level of chemicals this thing released during its normal function, because clearly something was released at a higher level in its malfunction phase, like maybe the plastic part with the electronics got hotter than usual and thus more of something evaporated or something. Seriously, it was extremely unpleasant.

I had heard critics of these bulbs claim all sorts of negative things, including harmful chemical emissions, but had always assumed them to be somewhat overblown (I mean, I'm not unconcerned about environmental toxins, but for the most part try not to be too alarmist). But yeah, that smell was not environmentally friendly, that's for sure.
ratcreature: happy RatCreature (happy)
1. My Gmail works again, because it finally occurred to me to try to restart my router. The DNS lookup must have become borked last night for just the Gmail address, and restarting reset it or something. Anyway, working email!

2. My new oven came this morning, which is great, because after four weeks without one I've been really missing it. The process of getting my replacement took a bit, but the new one is better than the old (more heating modes, trays on slide rails, also a timer, and the new stove top has fields that can be regulated large or small to fit pots better) and most importantly it works. Now I just hope it'll be durable too.

On a side note, I had forgotten what the etiquette about tipping delivery/installation people is here, because it's been so long since the last time I had to deal with this. In the end I decided to tip them with five euro each, because they were on time, nice, had to walk up to the fifth floor (sixth as Americans count) on fairly steep, winding stairs, and then had to spend extra time to adjust the hole in the counter top for the stove with a saw a little bit. So it was good service, and I figured better an unexpected tip than being a jerk.

3. My kitchen is really tidy and clean right now, because said oven delivery provided me with sufficient motivation to do all the dishes, to clean all the counters, to clear the kitchen table of all the crap that was piling up on it, and to wash the floor. I already did some when I had to clean for the heating meter guy last week, but not as thoroughly. And having to do all that sucked, but now my whole place looks mostly okay, and I think this is the neatest my kitchen in particular has been in months, so I feel quite accomplished. It wouldn't pass the hypercritical in-laws test (not that I have any, but the archetype I mean), but in comparison to the before state it's great.
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
I've been watching some episodes of that Hoarders reality tv show after I came across clips from it somewhere that piqued my curiosity, and I'm really baffled. Not so much by the mindsets that lead to keeping all kinds of stuff including junk, and letting your living space deteriorate, as that I don't understand how many of them could have had the money and time to acquire all these things in the first place.

Because of this I keep finding the cases with people who really just have junk (like things they collected from dumpsters or even empty boxes or plastic bottles or such) far more comprehensible than the people with piles and piles of clothes, stuffed animals, or other things they paid for. Even if you buy second hand on some flea market, with those massive volumes that has to add up significantly, doesn't it?

I'm fairly sure that the main reason my own place doesn't look worse is that I have neither money nor inclination for the process to acquire things to begin with. I like having things well enough, but shopping is awful, and comparing prices or looking for bargains or searching for things is worse. (You see, I'm not fond of flea markets or such.) I don't even like looking for comics all that much. Actually one of the reasons why I hang onto semi-broken things myself is to avoid buying new ones, and not just because of the money. Like for example I have this immersion blender, and parts of the plastic have broken off, so it is rather less usable, because the part that properly keeps the distance between the blades and the bottom is not working as intended anymore. However you can still blend things with it of you take care. I use this tool fairly often, so I'm annoyed quite a often too, and immersion blenders aren't *that* expensive, and yet. It's been broken for many months now. Or how I've been living with some bare light bulbs for over 15 years to avoid having to buy ceiling lamps or lampshades or the like, when just having the bulb is adequate for having light.

I also have some truly broken things for which I had to get replacements yet still haven't thrown away the old ones, but that is mostly old electronics, like my broken digital camera, because I am too lazy to bring them to the recycling collection place for specialized waste, but feel bad about putting them in the trash against the rules.

IMO the only shopping that is remotely tolerable is restocking things that I know where to buy at an acceptable price, so that no choices or comparisons or other tedious (or even anxiety inducing) efforts need to be made. So I'm baffled that all these people get a kick out of acquiring things, when it takes so much effort, time and financial resources, whereas I understand the inertia, vague or aborted ideas and sentimental attachments that lead to keeping stuff that is already there quite well. I suppose my own hoarding tendencies are kept in check sufficiently on the acquisition side so problems on the disposal side just can't escalate too badly.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
My oven suddenly decided to stop working. At least the stove still functions, but the oven won't heat at all. Right when I was ready to bake myself something for breakfast too, and of course I didn't check whether my oven still worked before starting to prepare the food, so that's a loss too.

You mostly worked for almost 15 years, oven, why not hold out some time longer? Okay, the convection function stopped working a while ago, but still.

Appliances just shouldn't quit on you like that. :(
ratcreature: RatCreature is shocked. (o.O!)
Not a single goal? Here I had counted on you to put a damper the football craziness (and its related inconveniences for the non-football fans) here, and instead you let yourselves be beaten this badly, and now it's worse than ever. Just -- WTF, Argentina? You seemed so certain you'd win, too.

I guess, I ought to be less Scrooge-like and be happy that other people are having fun, but do they have to honk this much?


Apr. 20th, 2010 21:43
ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)
When I got home I found that my phone works again, and, even more importantly, my DSL does too. (The extent of my internet addiction -- not pretty. >.< ) They managed to fix it without a technician needing access to my place, and it only took three calls to sort this out (and only one from me to them, and I wasn't stuck on hold forever either), so among the annoying incidences of my phone and/or internet suddenly crapping out on me this was one of the better ones.


Apr. 20th, 2010 13:06
ratcreature: RatCreature is so screwed... (screwed)
This morning I found that my phone line and my DSL were dead. So that means that currently I don't have internet at home. I don't have a mobile phone either, and had a dentist appointment I had to get to earlier, so I only now managed to call the phone company from elsewhere to check the line, but they couldn't tell anything right away.

I hope this will be fixed quickly, but who knows. So in case my internet-less state drags on, I thought it best to put up a note when I have a chance to explain why I might not respond. Though I really hope they'll manage to fix it by tonight.
ratcreature: Procrastination is a Lifestyle. RatCreature in a hammock doing nothing. (procrastination)
...but at least I've become less stalled on the [livejournal.com profile] trekreversebang. I finally have a decent visual idea -- unfortunately also somewhat complicated and I'll likely need to draw it at least on A3, but I like it, so I'll give it a try -- and I think it has good potential to inspire a story. I mean, I just got this image in my mind and no idea what its story could be, but the details would be the author's problem after all. And I think it suggests a narrative and makes you curious. I drew a couple of tiny first thumbnails while I was on the bus, and at least I have a starting point now. Good thing too, with the deadline for the first versions for the authors to pick from looming ever closer. *meep*

Speaking of buses, apparently part of my city's public transport network is on strike. I'm somewhat confused because only some of the buses are not running. From what I gather it is because the part of the combined city network on strike is the one operated by a bus company that technically is a network in one of the neighboring states. But they don't just run lines in the suburbs there, but some of their lines go all through the city. (I guess they connect with their core area somehow, I have no idea.) And it is not that I don't understand their strike (they earn significantly less a month than the bus drivers of all the other networks servicing the city and want the same pay), but normally you never notice which line is operated by which network. At least the bus I use most is unaffected.


Dec. 29th, 2009 20:40
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
I don't really care much one way or the other about Epiphany caroling for charity. I mean this being a Protestant region it is not done as much, so usually I don't see any, but for some reason the Catholic church kicked of their charity campaign from my city this year. So they got a fair bit of attention. And they certainly manage to collect a lot of money for children's charity projects. But I really wish they would cut out the blackface in the Three Magi costuming.
ratcreature: RatCreature bounces like Tigger. (bounce)
I'm so glad that the days will now be getting longer again (in this hemisphere at least). Seven and a half hours of paltry, weak sunlight at best (usually much less with it being overcast) is just not enough.
ratcreature: RatCreature as zombie. (zombie)
To read all the news about that swine flu panic, while you can hear through the walls how your downstairs neighbor is having a constant, horrible sounding cough, makes the news' atmosphere of impending plague and doom so much more real, even if you are nowhere near any current swine flu cases. I guess a fitting soundtrack always adds to the mood.
ratcreature: RatCreature is dejected: sigh (sigh)
I've had to bring my rat Krümel to the vet today. He has some sort of very wet sounding sneezing, and for a few days now weird episodes during which he makes sounds as if to spit something out, or maybe it's like the rat version of coughing (though I don't think rats really cough) or choking, it's hard to describe and not quite like any of the sounds of respiratory trouble I've heard before. When I tried to tell the vet he looked at me dubiously, so I'm not sure useful my description was, but it doesn't sound good, though the scary episodes only happen once or twice every day as far as I can tell, so of course the vet didn't witness one of those. (Why don't pets ever demonstrate their symptoms in a vet office?)

Anyway, he listened to Krümel's lungs, and told me that those sound clear, which is at least something, so it's likely an upper respiratory thing. I got some oral antibiotic to give him, and hope that it'll work against the infection. Krümel is still eating okay, and he's lively, so he can't feel too bad, but with a year and nine months he's not young anymore, and I worry.

Also, on our way back Krümel was admired by a horde of children who were on some sort of class trip. Thankfully he's not really scared by loud noises as long as he knows they are outside of wherever he is (in this case his safe transport box), so he didn't really mind all the staring and the shouting that much as thirty or so elementary school age children were crowding around me while I was waiting for the train, all asking questions about rats as pets. He didn't even hide beneath his towel. Anyway, I tried to impress on them that rats need large cages, need to be kept in groups, and that they may need considerable vet care (as I was on my way back from there that came up, and it's not like I don't still remember the expensive eye operation he needed last winter), and so on, and thus to do my bit for the promotion of responsible pet ownership.

Unrelated to my rats, I've been getting the impression that I still get friended in periods when I barely post, but more readers unsubscribe when I'm updating more regularly. I guess it makes sense in that readers notice more easily that interests have diverged or that my LJ is boring or whatever when I actually post, whereas it doesn't matter whether or not they have subscribed while I'm quiet, but still. This kind of pattern is not encouraging... *frets neurotically*
ratcreature: RatCreature begs: Please? (please?)
At least I'm fairly sure that I didn't just imagine its existence. It was drawings of HP magical creatures, but done in a style of an old bestiary, i.e. the art was faking to be excerpts from an old book about magical creatures from the HP universe. The art looked like old vintage prints and there might have been bits of text too, though I'm not sure about that. At first I suspected it might have been one of [livejournal.com profile] gnatkip's pieces, but I haven't found it there, so that doesn't seem to be the case.

Does anyone know which fanart I'm taking about? For all I know there could be several with this premise, as it seems a really obvious thing to do, and in that case I'd like to see any variations on this theme too, but mainly I want to look at the cool fake-bestiary again that I seem to remember... And if I somehow hallucinated this and it doesn't exist, why on earth not?? Really there should exist HP bestiaries with vintage pictures.

This is what happens if you don't tag compulsively, you never find things again. I really should start again to tag all art I look at, just like I do with fic.

Also, and this is a totally random topic shift, I got a tiny tomato plant yesterday. Not that I have a garden or anything, but I thought that maybe I could attempt to grow one in a largish flower pot in my kitchen, which is really sunny and there is a good spot for it near the window where it isn't in the way. I suspect that even with the large pot I choose to put it in it probably won't grow as well or as large as it would in a garden, but I thought it'd be nice to see something grow, and I'm not really a flower person. I mean, if it does lead to some fresh tomatoes that would be great, but it wouldn't be a big loss of an investment if it turned out that tomatoes really need an actual garden with real beds, after all it was only 60 cents for the plant, plus the 80 cent for the bamboo stick I also got with the optimistic anticipation that it might grow successfully and I'd have to bind it to something, like all the tomato plants I've seen in gardens are. I guess I'll see how it goes soon enough.
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
Unfortunately my new icon is rather appropriate...

First, I woke up at an ungodly hour (around seven) sicker than yesterday, with a headache and chills in addition to the cough and sore throat, that also hurt more and my voice was hoarser too, and a number of irritating other stuff like that my nose started bleeding with the slightest provocation (like, say, *blowing it*) and for some reason my tonsils actually *itched* despite being not even all that swollen. Anyway, general ickiness abounded.

Now after I took some paracetamol and drank some tea, and then went back to sleep for a while, all that improved slightly, and I actually thought the day had taken a turn for the better. I stayed mostly in bed, watched the new Criminal Minds, read some fanfic, cuddled with my rats, doodled to make new icons, and it seemed things were looking up.

However it turned out that the mainboard of my desktop computer gave up the ghost completely. My desktop is quite old for a computer (I think with this mainboard it's been working since 2001? and some other parts were older) and it had problems for a while, like sometimes it wouldn't boot or it booted only to show the BIOS screen to explain the hardware problem (something about the processor voltage being below the acceptable range IIRC), or randomly rebooted, so this wasn't entirely unexpected, but it still sucks. Especially since for some reason that I never managed to figure out, my USB scanner won't work with my laptop.

Since the desktop finally died while I was about to scan some doodles I had drawn to turn into new icons, I only managed to scan and transfer the "woe!" one, but not the Rodney!RatCreature I've drawn to complement my SGA set. Anyway, because right now the laptop is my only working computer (*hearts working laptop*) I can't scan stuff anymore. Hence: Woe!

You can look at the pencil drawing behind the cut... )

BTW, does anyone know what happened to [livejournal.com profile] smittywing? I've noticed that the LJ has been deleted?
ratcreature: RatCreature feels sick. (sick)
So the mildly sore throat I had for the last two days? That was apparently my immune system fighting a loosing battle against something, since as of this morning I have a nasty, somewhat painful cough that doesn't do much to dislodge the gunk in my lungs, my noose is completely clogged and producing disgusting amounts of snot, my throat still hurts, and generally I feel like crap. Frell.
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
Why, oh why is there an extremely untalented guy with a guitar "singing" out in the street somewhere near my building at one in the morning?! He can't play the guitar either, judging by the same not-even-quite-a-chord sound he produces to accompany this wailing. Argh.


Dec. 27th, 2006 01:09
ratcreature: headdesk (headdesk)
The sound coming from my heater is driving me insane. Not because it is loud or clanking or gurgling or anything, but because it is a very quiet sound, just on the edge of my hearing. It took me forever to even figure out that what I hear comes from the heater or is transmitted through the pipes or whatever. At first I thought it must be all in my head or something because I couldn't figure out where that noise was coming from. It's a very odd mechanical kind of sound, like a quiet droning from a an old belt in a motor or something like that (without the motor sound, just the friction from the belt rotation), and actually I still have no idea why the central heating might produce this noise that doesn't really sound like anything to do with the water in the pipes. And I don't know why it is bothering me this much when it is lower than both the rather quiet fan in my laptop as well as the muted car sounds from outside, either. Argh.

I'm just about ready to consider turning on some quiet music to maybe block it out, even though I dislike having background music on when I'm trying to concentrate on something else (right now I'm coloring some Animal Man fanart). *headdesk* *headdesk*

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