tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
One of the forums I frequent is in the midst of a mudslinging bitchfest on the possibility/impossibility of being both overweight/fat and healthy. I'm not going to bother with generalizations like that. It just got me thinking about my own personal history and my recent apparent weight loss (such as it is).

The lightest I can remember weighing was 193 pounds. I can remember the number because I was so damned proud that I had lost 15 pounds. I was down to a size 14, I remember because I found some awesome robin's egg blue jeans with totally useless zippers in the pockets (useless in the design sense, they served no purpose at all) and they had a 34" waist. I was 5'4" and hadn't yet had to look for "tall" jeans. I was 12.

The smallest size I can remember wearing in my adult life was when I was 21, I was 5'9" and a size 24. I remember because I was having to get new clothing of some sort almost every weekend because of how quickly I was dropping sizes. I went from a size 32 to the 24 in just a semester or so, probably due to walking on average 5 miles a day 5 days a week with one weekend of all day hikes once a month. My bra size went nuts, from a 50B to a 38DD/36DDD and I was buying every bright color and wild print I could get my hands on because I could. No more plain beige, white, or black bras! I discovered that underwires were actually pretty damned awesome if they fit right. It was the first time that my bust became the fit issue with clothing rather than my belly.

I went from an estimated 360 pounds to 325. I know because I actually joined a gym and stood on a scale. I was bench pressing 197 pounds, curling 45, and resorted to the pneumatic leg press machine because it offered 790 pounds of resistance. I started training with the vague idea of making getting into power lifting competitions. I also developed a hatred for bikes and treadmills that had nothing to do with my aerobic abilities and everything to do with my still being very large and tall. Bikes never had a seat adjustment that made pedaling comfortable (and we will not discuss the comfort of the seats) and treadmills are made remarkably narrow for a device encouraged to be used for weight loss. Stairclimbers are of the devil.

Now, as of today, I am 327 pounds (if the scale is to be believed) and I have no clue what my actual size is. Based on the jeans that I have on hand it's probably a 28/30. I'm a lot less muscular than I was, alas. I can, in stretch knits and empire waisted styles with ample fabric below the bust, wear a size 24/26 shirt. I tend toward 2X tees that show that "yes, I do have boobs, thanks, stop calling me sir" rather than going immediately for the loose 3Xs. I find myself fairly comfortable about my size and body with the exception of my belly. The T&A are looking rather nice lately, in my opinion.

Thankfully, I know, if the trend in weight lost continues, the belly will solve itself. I have always lost weight in a certain pattern, under the bust for a while, from the face and neck, and then back to the underbust and belly, then thighs. I don't know after that because I haven't ever managed to get that far. Hopefully the boobs never get on the list because I've always, always been cheated in that department. A woman hauling around as many pounds as I do should have a RACK, goddammit!
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
In this post in [livejournal.com profile] crimsonevening (members only, sorry) [livejournal.com profile] remote_45 asked how we all got into yaoi and why we like it. Whenever this topic comes up I end up thinking "I really should sit down and write out my thoughts on the subject" so here it goes.

Yea gods, I talk a lot! )
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Or rather, autobiographies. More precisely, what the heck should I put in the bio space for my LJ user info page?

Seriously, I'm not inclined to put the "I was raised in a small town in Massachusetts..." sort of thing there. I'm over 30 so my "formative years" are really old news and I don't think they're interesting or even overly relevant for people that what to know about the person I am now.

So I'm going to do a variation on the old "ask me five questions" meme.

Reply to this post with things you'd like to know about me. My political views, my favorite color, anything. If I'm comfortably answering in public I'll do so. Hopefully somethings will be suitable for my bio section.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
It's silly but I finally came up with a possible title to this journal, but I can't remember enough about taxonomy to make it "real enough" (if I ever knew that much about taxonomy).

I first thought I'd do the family, genus, and species for Tephra but that begs the whole question of dragon taxonomy so I decided to work it all out and then decide how much to use. So far I have:

Kingdom: Animalia (though with Teph this is possibly debatable, she doesn't think of herself as a rock though so Mineralia is a bit insulting, not to mention an outdated kingdom)
Phylum: Chordata (also debatable, she doesn't really need any sort of internal structure at all but she looks like vertabrate)
Class: Draconia (seems the place to specify "dragon" since I don't think of them as reptiles or mammals)
Order: Occidenta (western style, two pairs of legs, one pair of wings)
Family: My non-existent Greek and mostly forgotten Latin have failed me, I want something that means "middle wing" since Teph's limbs arranged forelegs/arms, wings, legs
Genus: Lith- something, since Teph is both composed of stone and consumes stone there's a fair amount of play here
Species: Tephridae or something, Tephra is one of a kind after all :)

So, anyone have ideas?
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I'm not feeling that well today, but much better now than twelve hours ago so I'm not complaining.

The broken lamp has a new shade. The style is different and it's smaller but with the bead trim from the old shade added it really looks rather nice. It does need a bit of work still, it wasn't meant for this style of lamp so it has an extra "lip" that I'm trying to figure out how to remove. I have a bottle cutter but the glass is a bit thicker than your average bottle. I'm wondering if I'd be better off with a dremel and some sort of cutting/grinding wheel.

[livejournal.com profile] hafoc, being the sweetie he is, actually bought me another lamp the day after the first took a header. He tried to sneak it in on his lunch hour but I happened to be in the house at the time so the sneaking didn't go so well. :)

On an unrelated note, I think people should go to his journal congratulate him on his first paid publication. :)

What else... I have brackets for the shelf. I have some doubts over whether or not the center bracket will hold though. The shelf is an odd shape, sort of an elongated and slightly lopsided D, and while the ends are 10" the center is 18" (the whole thing is 6' long). The widest portion will be right over my monitor (to save it from the cats jumping on it and sleeping on the vents) and I'm having visions of the cats jumping on the edge over the monitor and their weight flipping the shelf off the brackets, even with the shelf screwed to them. Maybe I'll bolt the shelf to the brackets, at least at the back edge.

I'm addicted to a reality TV show. Yes, I know, it's totally wrong. Read more... )

Wow, that was a long ramble now wasn't it?

Now for a silly "quiz" thing )

[livejournal.com profile] toshirodragon just keeps popping up in these things. :)
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I need to do some marathon soap making to use up the lye (and oils) around this place. Of course the problem is where to store that much soap....

Anyway, while I was pondering that problem, and soapmaking in general, I recalled an accidental discovery I made with my last batch of soap. I had left the pot over night before filling it with water so I left it to soak... for a couple days... before I got around to cleaning it. While leaving the pot for several hours before filling it with water and washing it is standard for me (it lets the oils and lye finish the reaction in the pot making it a "problem" of washing dried soap out of a pot rather than dealing with oil and lye) I was really lazy with this one. When I went to dump it I had a fairly large amount of soap gel floating on the water. Now gel soap without a lot of hassle and weird additives is somewhat of a home soapmaker's holy grail and I had discovered it on accident, but I didn't pursue it since I'm short on space and was still working on using up my prior two experiments with liquid soap.

But I was thinking about it and decided to do an experiment. I took some of the soap shavings I have lying around from trimming bars and dumped them in a gallon of hot tap water and left them for two weeks. Other than the shavings being a few years old and a different recipe entirely it would approximate the conditions... okay, so it doesn't but it is a logical extension to the idea so I went with it. The result was soap gel... just under the water.

The original batch was an all vegetable oil recipe (colored with oxides and mica, scented with a synthetic fragrance) and fresh. The gel was thick and floating on the water.

The experiment was an all animal fat recipe (uncolored, scented with essential oils) and at least a year old. The gel was also thick*, but sunk to the bottom of the container.

I'm wondering which variables decide if it floats or sinks. I'm suspecting it's vegetable versus animal source.

I have a small amount of Grandma Betty's soap gel to enjoy in my shower either way. And a lot of lye and oils still needing to be used up.

*Sort of slimy actually, firm yet squishy, handling it is a bit like handling poached eggs, or tadpoles. I tried hard not to think of things like cow snot while handling it. It's weird how the texture of something out of context can be totally disgusting, coming out of a bottle in the shower is fine, cupped in your hand in a vat of room temperature water is vaguely revolting.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
So I'm reading the reviews for A Good Offense (the sequel to The Best Defense) and I find this:

"...im not getting the whole purple haze thing, it flew right over my head."

For some reason that made me snicker.

Frankly, the reviews [livejournal.com profile] joisbishmyoga gets for these stories often make me depressed. Apparently people are reading and yet not reading these days. It's like they forget things that they read just a few sentences ago. Their comprehension seems spotty at best, and ask them to remember something from a previous chapter? Not going to happen apparently.

Now I know I have a somewhat odd and persistent memory but I can't believe that people can really forget something they read just a few minutes ago. My ability to remember stuff I read years ago (decades in some cases) can't be that bizarre, and remembering something from a month ago should be really simple and common, right?
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I took a cute picture of Shadow (a floofy "black" cat) in the window watching a black squirrel in the tree and the Mavica informed me that the disk was full. Popped out the floppy and turned to my PC.... Oh right, the new PC doesn't have a floppy drive.

Next computer related project: get file sharing to work in the house LAN again.

Mini-ramble on names )

Today I learned about the Grey King and milgwn. I can now blissfully geek out comparing fox legends around the world and wander off into fanfic-y ideas regarding a certain sexy kitsune.

I still like the idea of demon bowls, so I must find a use for them somewhere in art or prose. They remind me of witch orbs, I need to find a use for them too.

My training makes me hate saying "I" so much but my english teachers would faint if they saw how much I write in fragments these days.

I must be really weird. One of my favorite things in the world is "recreational research." The feeling I get when I link up the history, mythology, and language of a culture and somehow link up parallels to another culture or cultures is just.... It's a geekgasm I swear.

I know I had more rambles in mind when I first thought of making an entry a couple hours ago.

[Edit: Oops, forgot one, and I might as well have one visible. From The Eyes of the Assassin, by I have no idea who.]


Icons! There are a lot of them so you get an LJ cut. Lots of pretty, pretty boys... some kissing )

Icon making is addictive. @.@
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Anyone out there have any experience with "oil paint pencils"? I'm probably just going to have to play with them but I figured I'd see if anyone has any tips before I get started.

I think I'll post this in my deviantART journal too, just in case my few watchers have experience.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
DeviantArt just amazes me. I put up the last penciled version of Elidi (as a finished image, I really like my pencil work this time) and in under two minutes someone added it to their favorites.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I have way too much stuff.

I spent the day rearranging my room and assembling a new, smaller, desk for my PC. The monitor takes up a hell of a lot of space and the keyboard shelf is a bit too small to make using the mouse on it really easy but I can use the mouse on the desk surface when doing mouse intensive things so it will work out okay.

The room seems a lot bigger now, which is very cool. Now I just have to sort the detritus and figure out where I'm going to put it all. The Jeep still has stuff in it (the monster color laser for one) and somewhere in there is a box with my speakers. I actually know exactly what box and where but the rest of the box contents require me to clear a shelf or two in one of the bookcases so that might be a while. I'll just use another set of speakers in the mean time.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
[personal profile] hafoc has a lot of odd knowledge floating around in his head. Like the existence of belt sander drag races in the Northern Peninsula. They even have classes, stock and modified. I did a web search on that and discovered something even weirder. Apparently this pastime has gone national. There's even a New England Belt Sander Racing Association.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Dictionary.com Word of the Day for Tuesday August 24, 2004

fungible \FUHN-juh-buhl\, adjective:
  1.  (Law) Freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.
  2. Interchangeable.


Okay.... So how does a word that shares an obvious root with "fungus" get this meaning?

Fungible comes from Medieval Latin fungibilis, from Latin fungi (vice), "to perform (in place of)."

Wait a minute here, "fungus" meant vice? Hmm, [livejournal.com profile] ursulav would probably come up with something about mushrooms on a vice sting, I however can only think that my taste for mushrooms now has an explanation.

(And if I remember my noun declensions correctly, "fungi" is actually the genitive form of the noun. Assuming it's part of the secoond declension anyway and not a masculine or nueter fourth declesion noun. Damn I miss my high school Latin class, wish I had a copy of the text.)
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I'm pondering getting a DeviantArt gallery and would like to hear some opinions on the idea.

I haven't updated my Elfwood gallery since the merger of the Sci-fi and Fantasy galleries went through, largely because I'm uncertain about the (new) guidelines. I've always had to ponder how well any particular drawing fit into the guidelines for Fantasy there (basically if it was pre-Elizabethan it fit) and I've seen some great fantasy art get tossed off because of small details such as the characters having eyeglasses that were "too modern".  While eyeglasses don't have the obvious history of bikinis or berets (items that have been successfully argued for in the past) they did exist prior to the Elizabethan period, at least reading glasses did.  I'm not going to get rid of my Elfwood gallery, but I'm not going to change what I draw to fit there.  I feel safe enough putting my nude furries there (the assorted "put some clothes on them!" comments are amusing, and then there's the whole "are you a lesbian?" thing) and the few pieces that actually have 'fantasy' clothing, and the dragons that hardly get any comments....

And I'm certainly not going to get rid of my own art pages, I like having my own site even if I don't have a commenting system there.

The commenting system is why I have an Elfwood gallery, that and it gets me more exposure. And that's pretty much why I'm considering a DeviantArt site, more exposure and a commenting system.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
River Styx Road.

There's a road named River Styx. In Ashburnham, Massachusetts.

There's a sleepy little bedroom town with a road named River Styx.

In New England.

Who lives there?

Dang it, I just might have to take a look down there, just for the hell of it.

And if it weren't for a rollover accident there about 15 minutes ago I would have continued to be ignorant of its existence.

Maybe I should be less irritated at my brother for leaving his radio (he's a fire captain and the town constable as well as head of the highway department) on when he went out of town for the evening?

NAH! Time to go turn that blasted thing OFF, it's way too loud.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
"... some days, you just want to paint happy gay anteaters in boxer shorts frolicking in the grass."

Back before I had my own Elfwood gallery, back when Elfwood was much smaller ("only" about 300 galleries with about a dozen artists each as I recall), I found Ursula Vernon's work. I drooled. I sulked (my art will probably never get that good). And I blushed like mad when she actually commented in my gallery. (um... still do blush actually, even 4 years later)

Anyway, I was looking through her VCL gallery and came across the happy gay anteaters. :)

How odd life is, somewhere along the line I made friends of Ursula's friends. Thinking about it like that I'm actually sort of amazed just who turns up on both my "oh my god, this person is so cool" list and on the "friends of my friends" list.

And as I'm typing this I'm wondering why I discount my own importance so much. Heck, I've met and chatted with people involved in a half a dozen or more high profile space projects. Some were even friends back when I was part of that circle.

Ugh. From amused to gloomy in the time it took to type this. I'm 30 and I think my life was a hell of a lot better a decade ago. :P
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I don't know when fish, rice, and miso soup became comfort food for me but it has. It's probably a knee-jerk reaction to the beef and potatoes diet my father insists on. I've always been fond of Americanized Chinese food and in recent years friends have gotten me hooked on Japanese food (though my tolerance for sushi has died out, even for unagi) and if I avoid the hot stuff I enjoy Korean as well (no kim chee, thank you).

Anyway, the day is looking better now that I've had my miso, rice, and fish. And I even managed to find some mp3s of The Pillows. Now I just need to get my anime fix in and I'll be bolstered for the usual evening bitchiness around here.

*purr*

May. 13th, 2004 10:44 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I love lilacs. And it just so happens that four of the six bushes on the property are in bloom right now. *purrr* Don't know what's up with the other two, and they were the heaviest bloomers last year too. Of course lots of the neighbors have lilacs here as well, most of them originally got them from my family decades ago.

Anyway, I cut some of the lilacs and have a nice bouquet of them on the shelf near the monitor. It's going to be a pleasantly scented night. :)
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
While poking around the stationary aisle of Walmart I spotted something very interesting, a liquid pencil.

Papermate makes what they call the "Ingenuity Liquid Pencil", a 0.7mm ball point pencil. As far as I can tell it's a gel style 'pen' with graphite for the 'ink'. I'll have to break this thing in a little, just like a new gel pen, but so far it's interesting at least. The line is finer than I expected (I like 0.5mm leads for my mechanical pencils and 'fine' and 'very fine' pens) and the coverage is spotty. I expect both of those traits to work themselves out with use, though I'd prefer the keep the fine line. As far as erasing the liquid pencil goes, it works better the longer the 'ink' has to dry. It's humid today so there is a distinct pressure mark from the rollerball in the paper.

While the packaging says it's an HB 'lead' I find it really hard to smudge. I had to apply a fair amount of deliberate pressure to smear the stuff, and it only worked on the fresh lines. This could be good or bad depending on your typical use for pencils. If you're a smudgy shadow penciler then forget this thing, it's not going to make you happy. If, however, you dread the haze of smudged pencil in your sketchbook this might be just the thing for you.

A note on style: It's a rollerball, it writes like a pen, even if the 'ink' is made of graphite. Sketches look like ballpoint sketches, not pencil sketches.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
For the third time this week mom has done the "you'd have made a good lawyer" line. I'm not sure that's a compliment. Just because I've been pointing out various ways to stick to the letter of a law while utterly mutilating the intent lately doesn't mean I'd be a good lawyer. Does it?

What puzzles me is that I don't toss the idea of being a lawyer out immediately. Probably because back in my earlier teens I actually considered it seriously. I can't see myself as a trial lawyer, which is why I tossed the idea way back then, but I could see myself dealing with copyright and patent law.

And as mom pointed out the last time, it's not too late to consider it. I am only 30 after all. Of course I have to wonder where the heck I'd get the money to go back to school. And if I were going to do that would I really want to pursue law?

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