Plant City

personal

I love plants. I have always had tons of houseplants, whether my own or in my family’s home. I’ve wanted a real house with a real yard for ages now, so I could have a garden.

Unfortunately, not going to happen any time soon. But I’ve been watching the show Gardener’s World, and it kind of rubbed my nose in how silly I’m being. My thought was that gardens happen in yards, and I can’t have one because I don’t have a yard. But watching the show pointed out that gardens can be indoors also. And the people on the show make me feel rather embarrassed by my assumption that I can’t have a garden. These people don’t say “I can’t” to anything. Rather, they say “I have an apartment the size of a shoebox. How can I make a garden?”

So… I’m trying to make my houseplants into a cool garden. They’re a big, disorganized mess, shoved into a small space by the window, trying to survive on whatever random care I happen to remember to give them. Not really a good situation.

My very first attempt at doing something was to run out to Wal-mart, evil though it is, and pick up a cheap hanging rack. I’ve seen several “living walls” on the show now. It’s pretty obvious that the ones on the show have been well cared for and are well-established. But, everyone’s got to start somewhere. So I stuck some pothos in a cardboard box (yes, that’s right, I kind of forgot that the hanging rack didn’t have any kind of base,” and strung up some yarn for the vines to hang on to.

I took this pic about a week after moving the babies onto the rack. They already look happier.

Then November happened. Which, of course, means I wound up working every day until Thanksgiving, because of holiday rush and van breakdowns. 😦 I made it, though, because I knew there were four days off coming up. Two of those days got devoted to cleaning and rearranging the living room, because guess what, someone gave me a big monster of a plant, and that required me getting off my lazy ass and actually doing something about the plant situation, instead of just thinking about it and envying others their cool indoor gardens.

This is the honking big plant-monster in its old home.

Yes, it is in fact bursting out of its pot. The cats approved of the new arrival, which required a whole lot of swearing to get into my little apartment.

So I got busy, which turned my “Thanksgiving break” into some serious butt-busting cleaning and rearranging effort. Moved the couch, the stuff on the wall, and pretty much everything. Put up shelves. Cussed the fact that my new computer chair was scheduled to arrive the day I went back to work. Cussed some more because I finally got some days off and all I did was work

Yes, I connected my computer to the tv I got for Christmas last year. Now Tamriel is pretty nearly life-sized! And that big light-tree is full of full-spectrum grow bulbs to keep the plants happy. Who knows? Maybe in a few months, all the babies will be huge, and happy, and look like a real indoor garden! I can hope, anyway…

Update:

Big rubber tree wasn’t working where I stuffed it, so I tried again. This feels better, think it’ll work now.

Rockies Then and Now

personal

Four years ago, while my brain was still in shock from the shocking US election results, I took a picture of the Rocky Mountains with the intention of taking another one from pretty much the same spot after four years of official climate change denial. What did I expect to see? A return of the brown cloud. Back in the eighties, Denver had an ugly greenish-brown haze of pollution hanging over it. Pretty nasty. One of the first things I noticed when I came back to the state in 2005 for a visit was that it was gone, and the air was really nice. Living here now I know from long experience that it comes and goes with the weather, but that’s still a vast improvement over the constant stinkiness of before. Now it’s mostly from high ozone days, not emissions from dirty industries.
Anyway, what I didn’t expect was three years of what they call “exceptional drought,” an insanely rapid expansion of new subdivisions in the area once contaminated by Rocky Flats, and some absolutely epic wildfires. I wound up taking several pictures from good old Highway 128, most of them downright shocking. I’ll grant you no individual human is responsible for drought and wildfires. But policies, people! Policies. The ones that say “extract every bit of resource from every source imaginable at as fast a pace as possible with no regard for the future” and other stupid crap like that. I can definitely blame that sort of policy for accelerating the pace of climate change.
So here you go, a series of Rocky Mountain photos taken from the same general area of Colorado. And yes, I swear, the mountains are really there. Take my word for it. They’re too dang big to pick up and move, they don’t have feet, so they are actually still there.

November 2016
August 2020. Smoke from the fires in California and Oregon.
September 2020. Those aren’t water vapor clouds.
October 2020. Smoke, plus clouds that turned into a proper snowstorm and pretty much smothered the biggest fires. Whew!
After election, November 2020. Leftover haze from fires, a bit of extra pollution (although nowhere near what I expected), and definitely ready for people to start taking climate change more seriously.

There, I did it.

personal

The nagging of my conscience couldn’t do it, but a bit of extra public embarrassment worked. I wrote today!

Only 250-ish words, true, but that’s a couple hundred more words than I wrote yesterday.

Also, I’ve set myself a goal for my day off:

Saturday, I intend to finish formatting The Apex Mage. I will also complete the update on my website, and get the new version off my damn hard drive. It’s not doing anyone any good there, and the time is rapidly approaching when I need that sucker fully current and functional.

Oh, and by the way, because everything is online this year, I actually get to participate in Mile High Con! Yay for virtual author tables!

Randomness

personal, Random

I’ve been taking more writing classes again, and have come to the conclusion that I’m lazy. I keep whining to myself that I never get anything finished, yet I keep blowing off the daily writing thing. So I will now publicly embarrass myself by admitting it out loud: I play ESO when I should be writing!

There. I said it. Now to break the bad habit and start writing daily again.

Next bit of randomness: a smoky sunrise today. Never mind the dumpster, it insisted on being in the shot.

And the other bit of randomness: my camper got stolen. 😿 All that’s left is the wood I had the tongue resting on.

Hall of the Lunar Champion

ESO Housing

The Hall of the Lunar Champion is a big home in Elsweyr. You get it from completing the main questline for the zone. Or at least, you get part of it from the main quest. The big hall, to be exact. There are three portals, each of which is opened by a tablet, and each is obtained from quests or dungeons. The portals lead to a great big porch, an impressive courtyard, and a shed. That’s what I call it, anyway.

I have heard a ton of people complain about this house. They hate it! They complain about the size, and how stupid the portals are, and how boring it is, and… I don’t get it. Let other people hate the place. I love it! I’ll confess, the shed was a disappointment at first, but it makes a damn fine crafting area. And decorating the hall was my first real foray into housing. I’d bought Twin Arches in Bangkorai already furnished, thinking that would be plenty house for me. But the great big free house in Elsweyr showed me how truly wrong I was. It became my primary residence, and is the only large place I’ve actually finished.

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Like a doofus that couldn’t predict the future, I didn’t take many empty pics of the house. Why should I? I had no idea I’d become addicted to housing! I did get a couple empty shots of the Halls of Colossus, though, so you can see how bland it started before I went bonkers and turned it into an out-of-control garden and living space. There are also a couple of the Moongrave Fane space before it got filled up.

Oh, and by the way: I’m still a colossal weirdo. Despite being addicted to housing, I still and always run my game naked. Vanilla. Bare of add-ons. So no, I can’t do any of the truly spectacular things that people with add-ons do.

Confessions of an ESO Housing Addict

ESO Housing

I haven’t had much chance to play around with my houses lately. Been too busy doing everything else under the sun. (Like work. And more work. And a whole crapload more work. No, I don’t get to stay home, I’m considered essential. Damn it.) But… just about as soon as a new one came available, I lost all self-control and bought it. So much for my “no new houses until finishing the ones I’ve got” plan. Also, so much for my “only buy new house if Princely Dawnlight Palace or Colossal Aldmeri Grotto come back” plan. Both got shot straight into the crapper, because I instantly fell in love with the new Thieves’ Oasis. Not to mention they were having a sale on crowns, so I could invest half my grocery money and get a good deal.

What? You think food is better than a new in-game house? Nope. No way.

Anyway, all blathering aside, what I discovered yesterday was that I kind of screwed up my intentions for this blog. I planned to have a nice, orderly series of pictures, showing each house as it progressed from empty to homelike. But I kind of forgot to organize the screenshots. Not to mention, I haven’t done any work on any houses since… January? I think? Until this weekend, at which point I noticed the mass of disorganized pics and chaotic piles of crap all over the unfinished houses.

When the hell did I get all those plants, anyway?

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Big pile o’ chaos… and plants

So. Starting afresh. I’ll plop some images down here, try to remember where they came from, and swear to organize myself better in the future. Quit laughing, you! I mean it!

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Lights waiting to go into Lucky Cat Landing

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Flaming dragon at Potentate’s Retreat

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The balcony at Grand Psijic Villa, turning into a mage’s lair

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Library at Grand Linchal Manor

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And of course, kitties in the Sugar Bowl Suite!

Cat Counselor

personal

Lately I’ve been feeling a little grumpy. Well, maybe a lot grumpy. Working an awful lot, not enough money, the usual. I abandoned my NaNoWriMo project because it kept trying to reflect reality.

So this morning I was saying goodbye to my cats. Tasha blinked at me and gave me the cat look that says, “Whatever.” Goon, on the other hand, purred and gave me a wide-eyed happy look.

Right as I was thinking how nice it is to have a sweet, loving kitty, he pounced.

Whap!

Solid smack, both sides of my head. (No claws.) Totally cracked me up.

I’m not sure what that means, but it seems like a comment on life in general. Maybe I should learn from my kitten and give stress a double-handed smack upside the head.