The Journal of effika.
Back to Inspecting... 05-17-16 19:39
You guys know how I have all those posts about how draining working as a health inspector is?

I decided to go back to it, but as the manager of the program instead of an underling.

See, I liked emergency preparedness, but the job had changed significantly from when I first had it. I had a lot less autonomy in where I took the program, and the focus was shifting from building relationships to doing paperwork for grants. (A grant which recently had a significant cut, and since that grant pays my salary, I was worried.)

The former manager of the health inspectors was transferring to another office to join her fiance, and very strongly suggested I apply. So did her six employees.

It's different at the top (well, middle, overall). It's really great being able to decide something and have it stick, and help figure out tricky things for my employees. My inspection load is much, much less than it was before, too. (Plus it turns out that my first go-around had me doing the work of two inspectors-- enough to burn anybody out.)

The attitude of the top brass has changed, too. There's a lot less focus on black & white regulation and more on actual food safety and common sense. People are willing to talk about different interpretations of the code, and how we can change it or change procedures so it's more consistent state-wide.

I was getting lonely by myself. There were days when I wouldn't talk to anybody, even by email. I think that wasn't good for me. It's felt really good to have a team again.
11-28-14 20:43
Being around families in general reinforce my desire to not reproduce.

Add to that sort of embarrassing chaos? Nope, I'm good. Adding more fuel to the fire seems like a terrible idea.
Vitamins Are Good 10-02-14 19:42
I let my iron get so low that I had real honest-to-goodness symptoms of a vitamin deficiency!

Folks: if you are bleeding a lot (even if it's just a little each day) and don't enjoy red meat, see about a supplement. You don't want to end up with bone-deep fatigue, brain fog, insomnia (WHICH IS THE WORST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO SLEEP ALL THE TIME BUT CAN'T FALL/STAY ASLEEP), mouth ulcers, getting dizzy when your hear rate goes up, weird bruises, and blood that "shouldn't be that color."

Fun times, fun times.
You Guys are Creative... 08-18-11 16:19
So I picked up this sweet little pen:

No-Name 1930's Celluloid(?)

No-Name 1930's Celluloid(?)

I kind of wonder if they didn't just throw in whatever was left at the end of the day.

Anyway, I need your help.

What color of ink should I put into this pen? At the Goulet Pens Swab Shop, you can browse inks by color, by brand, and even compare swatches side-by-side.

For the curious, more info on the fountain pen itself:

It is from the 1930s, and probably celluloid. No brand markings. Nib is a semi-flexible fine to medium, gold plated, marked "SPECIAL ALLOY MADE IN USA."
Shorties 08-05-11 20:58
At the contemporary dance show tonight there was a dancer about my size (although her thighs were curvy with muscle, whereas mine are curvy with gelatto). She appeared so tiny and fragile next to everybody else, despite everyone around her being thin, too.

I rarely get to see somebody my own height when I am not at eye level to them-- up close we all look about the same. I saw her after the show, and the appearance of frailty was gone. Perhaps it was the stage that made it so, but I wonder-- from far away do all of us shorter people look close to being blown away by a stiff breeze?

(PS, we're talking 5 feet, about a size 2, here.)
An old friend (although we never talk these days) posted a Facebook status regarding an anniversary with his wife.

I still have details from the conversations around when they met, and the months following—she's cute, she's convenient but he's not sure he's ready for "just convenient", she apologizes as a response to any imperfect situation regardless of fault or involvement, she wants 3 kids by 30 and he is certain he wants none, did Jay ever make demands on who I hung out with (overtly or not) and did I ever do the same to Jay, he's not sure he can handle her former eating disorder, he's having issues with her family and so is she, he doesn't like how she treats his sister, he wants to take her away from this state but she claims she'll never leave it...

It is awkward to remember these conversations—he stopped hanging out with me because she was jealous.

I know these things, and she'll never know that I know them. It is extremely unsettling.
House Fixes 02-27-11 20:14
Having lived here about a year, here are the things I will attempt to do to make my house better, if I can convince myself that it's worth it:

  • New cooktop.

  • Built-in chest of drawers to replace the not-so-useful middle section of the master bedroom closet

  • Cabinets in the master bath painted white. (But not any other cabinets. The rest of the cabinets are gorgeous wood and I'll just wait around until they're in style again.)

  • Actual landscaping. We waited a year to really do anything, in the hopes that nifty things might pop up, but all that's here is some monkey grass, some lilies that just don't get enough sun, and a few razed holly bushes that are trying to regenerate themselves.

  • New back deck with an outdoor fireplace.

  • An appropriately-sized dining table.

  • Knock down the wall (or create a giant archway) separating the living room from the parlor. (This was something I wanted to do from day one, but now I'm on the fence. I want a larger living room with more light, but I have found myself enjoying the sectioned-off parlor more and more lately.)

  • Replace the roof, when necessary (we're just waiting for hail to take it).

  • Fix the drainage issues in the lawn.

  • Any carpet to be replaced it is getting replaced with hardwood. (As the carpet is about 4 years old now, we have plenty of time to save up for the eventual replacement.)

I really want to get a new cooktop (one of our burners doesn't work, and the knobs are not very well labeled or placed and there's no indication which burner is on. I have ruined multiple plastic items because of this.) but Jay doesn't cook enough to see it as a necessity. He does use the closet in the master bedroom every day, though, and is thoroughly on board for it.

I think I am just going to have to replace the cooktop one day by myself, using just my money, and see how long it takes for him to notice that he's boiling water on a different appliance.
Married! 12-31-10 18:31
Jay and I were married today!


At some point, links to pictures. :-)
2010 is a Busy Year 11-30-10 16:44
Hello folks,

Here is how 2010 is shaping up:

  • Bought a house.

  • Got engaged.

  • Scored a job with a 42% pay increase in the same building I already work in (on Monday I am officially on the emergency management side of things instead of the consumer protection side).

  • At the very end of it all I'll be married.

It has certainly been a stressful year, but these were all changes that needed to happen.
Oops. 09-13-10 16:52
Wedding stuff: Photographer #1, a friend's dad, takes forever to get back to us about availability. We asked a month ago and heard today that he was available. While waiting, we talked to Photographer #2. She is cheaper, does photography more my style, and is also a friend. She has no pro stuff like light kits, but does pretty awesome things with what she's got and signs over all the printing rights to you and gives you high-quality images on a DVD to do with as you please after she edits 100 or so of them for you, plus puts up low-res ones for you to post on-line. Since #1 had taken so long to get back to us, we decided to go to with her.

Photographer #1 just assumed I would book with him, since I spent so much time at his house growing up. His son let me know he had reserved the date today...

Now I have to talk to #1 and see if he'll either give me a deal that's too awesome to refuse (#2 would understand-- saving a lot of money is a big deal-- even if she'd be disappointed) or politely tell him that we'd like to give an up-and-coming photographer more work. (He also knows #2, vaguely, since we all went to the same schools as his son). We'd love for him and his wife to come to the wedding, but I'm worried that shooting this wedding is something that he'd been looking forward to. They called me their "extra kid" a lot in high school. :-/

Non-wedding stuff:

The master bath's overflow/tub stopper assembly never really worked since we bought the place, but didnt care since we weren't bath-types anyway. This morning the tub suddenly takes hours to drain. I'm pretty sure the tub stopper (and linkage arms) are somewhere in the drain, now. I removed the overflow/lever assembly and found nothing left behind the lever. :-( I've tried fishing for it, but can't hook it with anything I've tried so far. I might see if somebody has a wet/dry vac we can borrow (although I think it won't pull it up-- the assembly's brass).

The trap assembly is in a very tough to reach place, requiring the partial demolition of a very nice tile wall and probably removal of the nice toilet from the hallway bathroom.

I do not have the tools to demo the tile effectively, and will probably have to call a plumber, one that will be able to get the tiles out nicely. That'll the be first question-- "Any references for tile removal and replacement to get to a drain?" because I want these tiles to also go back in nicely. If I didn't care how they went back I'd take a sledge to the wall.
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