Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Window and Freeway

This week’s FMF writing prompt is: INFLUENCE

Not gonna lie. The prompt doesn’t speak or spark, for me, but the point of the exercise is to build discipline around the practice of writing, to some extent. So. Here I am. Rock me like a hurricane.

Influence. I influence others. I am influenced. The environment I’m in on a daily basis has an influence on my life.

Ah.

There it is.

Living in Eugene, I can’t get away from the noise. I’m sitting my office in my apartment, and I can hear the road noise right through the wall. I’m in a residential area, and quite a ways from the freeway, and I can hear it at all hours. There’s no quiet.

I work in an office building where, for the first time in my entire career, I have access to a window. I work in the quiet, not having to listen to music someone else picked. I work with people who are competent and professional on the phones and when interacting with adopters and sponsors, and who are silly and fun when interacting with each other.

Reader, that environment has changed my life.

I went from abuse at home and abuse at work, to a peaceful home and a healing workplace. I won’t spell it out, but will just say that I’m learning to have peace in my heart, and to feel safe for the first time in a very long time.

Life is better.

The first FMF writing prompt for 2019 is: BETTER

Life is better.

It’s full of struggling to balance two jobs with taking care of elderly pets and trying to squeeze some time to live into that life. It’s getting up at 5:00 and going to bed at 10:00 even when I really really try to go to sleep earlier. It’s that threatening text from the ex that makes me panic and wrecks me for days. It’s struggling to find the calm inside me, even though the path is overgrown and someone changed all the signs and I’m not sure it’s even still in the same place I remember it being.

Life is better.

It’s better than living on eggshells wondering what I’m going to do/say/think/breathe wrong today, and what consequences it will have. It’s better then being locked up in anxiety all day, for days, waiting for the proverbial hammer to fall. It’s better than not knowing if I can count on help if I really really need it. At least now I know.

Life is full of sweet moments with pets and friends and new friends. It’s strung with finding out that I can still feel joy and interest and curiosity and actually am still capable of feeling contentment and safety. In this life there are fumbled ukuleles and long walks with friends and loving texts from friends, and a friend who, every time they go to Winco, plays the claw machine to win me a rubber duck. Life is full of Soon, and Look Here, and Have You Tried This, and Remember Doing This and Yes. Yes. Yes.

Life is better.

Oh, the places you’ll go.

It’s time for another thrilling adventure with Thursday 13, on a very silly subject.

I will say that now two of my coworkers are hitting me up with odd place names they run across, now. I see my devious plans are beginning to come together.

13 of the best place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Squirrel Rd
2. Sassafrass Tea Rd
3. Red Gate Ln
4. White Fern Rd
5. Bear Wallow Rd
6. Wigeon Way
7. Cattail Cir
8. Red Top Rd
9. Tangled Oaks Dr
10. Whippoorwill Cir
11. Tuttle Ter
12. Plant City, FL
13. Giggleswick Ln

Photo courtesy of Katie Drazdauskaite

Attack of the Needle Organizers

This last weekend I got my hands on some felt a friend was rehoming, and well, I went a little bonkers making needle books. It was fun, pretty quick, and I didn’t need to dig out my sewing machine. 1

I wasn’t expecting it to lift my spirits like it did. I’ve missed making things.

Is it just me, or are reds and oranges just needlessly difficult to get to look right in photos? So, of course, I just had to use a lot of red materials. ARGH. These are in my Etsy Shop if you have any interest.

So here’s to another small part of my life I’m starting to reclaim, post-divorce. I’m tempted to look up a pattern for a felt voodoo doll, but I’ll resist. 2

This must be the place

I love language, and I love place names. So of course, I’m sharing that love while participating in Thursday 13.

I got a little off track because my apartment manager lost my lease, then decided I had to sign a new lease, move out, or be moved out, and I had four days to do it. So that was awesome. And of course they raised my rent because they raise it every time anyone renews. ARGH.And I’ve been clashing with the DMV since July over my car title, which has not been my favorite hobby.

So here’s some good stuff to detract from the stressful stuff.

13 of the best place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Whistling Duck Way
2. Widdicomb Ave
3. Witch Hollow
4. Mother Well Ct
5. Rosebud, AR
6. Stone Forge Pike
7. West Plum St
8. Fox Pointe Cir
9. Frogtown Loop
10. Dawson Bottom Rd
11. Paris, KY
12. Teaneck, NJ
13. Haiku Rd

If you know of any place names that tickle your fancy, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll share them with my post next week.

The last time I posted a place list, Neta shared that in a town not far from her, there’s an intersection where, if you turn left, you are on College Way, and if you turn right, it’s called Husband Road. How much do I love that? SO MUCH.

Digital clean slate

I’m making room for new dreams.

Today I went through my Amazon account, and completely wiped it clean. No wishlists. No subscribe‘n’save. Nothing in the cart. Nada.

I emptied my IKEA wish list. Clean as a whistle.

Absolutely everything is gone that I have ever thought about bringing into my old life. Everything is gone that I dreamed of putting in a future house. Everything is gone that I had put in a list to get my (ex)husband for holidays. It’s completely bare.

It was hard to let go of those future plans. Much harder than I had thought it would be. But now I have a fresh start. Now I get to choose what I dream of. I get to pick my future, fresh from the yet-to-be-imagined garden of dreams.

Then I went to my Pinterest account, and deleted every last board. All of them. Every. Last. One. That was painful, too. I aaaalmost didn’t do it. I deleted my “someday” house board. I deleted my “someday” garden board. I deleted the hairstyles and skin care and DIY boards. I deleted my holiday ideas board, and my tattoo coverup board. I deleted my “want to visit someday” boards. I deleted my “nice things to do for my now-ex” boards.

I emptied my Netflix “to watch” list. Yes, all of it.

In the interests of having more reciprocity in my life, I unfollowed everyone on Twitter who doesn’t follow me back. Ditto Instagram.

It’s like a hunger, now. I’m wondering what else I can erase from my obsolete digital woulda shoulda coulda somedays.

My life has changed, and my course needs to change, too. I don’t want to feel regret every time I look at Pinterest, and see all the dreams and opportunities lost. Clean cup. Move down.

Photo courtesy of Danielle MacInnes

Thursday 13: Wait, did I miss a turn? Where am I?

A quick, quick Thursday 13.

13 of the best place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Devil’s Bridge Rd
2. Grassy Lick Rd
3. Sugar Camp Dr
4. Sharkey Rd
5. Zodiac Loop
6. Shane Ln
7. Summer Lady Ln
8. Crow Canyon Dr
9. Skytrail Ranch Rd
10. Marsh Rabbit Way
11. Clever, MO
12. Star of the Desert Dr
13. Chilhowie, VA

One of the best things I’ve seen on an envelope this week is “Diamond Township” in place of “Coal Township,” with Coal Township, PA, being the real name of the place. Come on. That’s putting a great spin on things.

Brief post today, as it’s been a wacky week of delegations at work. North Korean delegation, Mongolian delegation, and then yesterday, a group of foster mothers who have been with the place I work for about 30 years. One had helped 66 children find homes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Thursday 13: That’s pure Bull St, man.

I’m really enjoying the challenge of Thursday 13. It’s kind of fun. I find myself actively watching for weird place names, now.

13 of the wildest place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Greyhawk Rd
2. Avenue Rd
3. Bull St
4. Normal, IL
5. Zigzag Rd
6. Pumpkin Town Rd
7. Hamlet Dr
8. Eureka, IL
9. Short Dr
10. Angular St
11. Devil’s Jump Rd
12. Gas City, IL
13. Stomping Ground, KY

These were shared via comments on my previous Thursday 13 post:

  • Judy, who has no fear of the dark, shared a place (not a town, not a hamlet, just a place) called Snagerty. It really sounds like the beginning of a great ghost story.
  • Country Dew shared Wild Cat Holler, which sounds suspiciously like something that I’d find near my home town. The big question is, are you gonna go see the lights in Wild Cat Holler?

Hm. I’m kind of wondering if someone could use these weekly place names to make a random story? Note to self for next week.

NaNoCertMo: Navigating the System

I finished the first section, which is meant to take seven days, in five days. This will eventually catch me up in the class, so that I finish on time at the end of November.

One down. Five sections to go. Twenty-five days left.

I don’t think it’s a surprise that I did this by the skin of my teeth. I learned something useful apart from the course, too. I almost let myself be derailed from finishing. Something is happening at work that I find upsetting, and I almost let that take over my brain and distract me from concentrating on the course. So I need to:
1. Pay attention to when that happens, and figure out how to let it go. No excuses. No letting other people derail me.
2. Tonight, after I’m done, I need to sit down and think my way through why said Work Thing is upsetting me. Because my reaction is all out of proportion. SO out of proportion.

It just dawned on me that this first section is “Navigating the System.” That strikes me as funny, as I’m learning how to learn, and learning how to navigate my new life while I’m at it. Speaking of Navigating the System, I wrote a thank you note to my prior therapist, this morning. We’ve not been able to get schedules to match up to do an exit session, and so a note of thanks will have to do, since I can’t do it in person.

Here’s what I finished between November 1st and 5th (today).

Week 1: Navigating the System – Finished November 5th
32 videos, 10 readings, 3 discussion prompts, 2 quizzes, 3 assignments
1. Video: Course IntroductionNov 1
2. Reading: Navigating Coursera
3. Reading: Program Surveys
4. Reading: Discussion Forums
5. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
6. Discussion Prompt: Meet and Greet
7. Video: Lesson Overview and Practice Tips
8. Reading: Windows CLI and Unix Bash
9. Video: List Directories in a GUI
10. Reading: Size vs Size of Disk in Windows
11. Video: Windows: List Directories in CLINov 2
12. Video: Linux: List Directories
13. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the GUI
14. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the CLI
15. Video: Linux: Changing Directories in Bash
16. Video: Windows: Make Directories in the GUI and CLI
17. Video: Linux: Make Directories in Bash
18. Video: Windows: Command History
19. Video: Linux: Command History
20. Video: Windows: Copying Files and Directories
21. Video: Linux: Copying Files and DirectoriesNov 3
22. Video: Windows: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
23. Video: Linux: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
24. Video: Windows: Removing Files and Directories
25. Video: Linux: Removing Files and Directories
26. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite OS
27. Video: Cindy Why OS is Important
28. Practice Quiz: Basic Commands
29. Video: Windows: Display File Contents
30. Video: Linux: Display File Contents
31. Video: Windows: Modifying Text Files
32. Reading: Notepad++Nov 4
33. Video: Linux: Modifying Text Files
34. Reading: GNU Documentation for text editors
35. Video: Windows Powershell commands and aliases
36. Video: Windows: Searching within Files
37. Video: Windows: Searching within Directories
38. Video: Linux: Searching within Files
39. Video: Windows: Input, Output, and the Pipeline
40. Video: Linux: Input, Output and Pipeline
41. Video: Windows and Linux Advanced Navigation
42. Reading: Windows PowerShellNov 5
43. Video: Ben First Tech Job
44. Discussion Prompt: What did you learn about OS?
45. Quiz: File and Text Manipulation
46. Video: Instructions for Accessing Linux Qwiklabs
47. Reading: Instructions for Accessing Windows Qwiklabs
Graded: Accessing Qwiklabs
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Linux

NaNoCertMo 2018

Well, October was beautifully writealicious, and now it’s time to buckle down and also to sack up.

I’ve been having an on-again off-again relationship with getting myself up on my financial feet. I started a class, then divorce happened. Pain happened. Loss of insurance happened. Everything happened except me finishing the damn certificate. I got through two of the classes required: Technical Support Fundamentals, and Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking. There are three classes to go: Operating Systems, System Administration, and IT Security. I want to be done with the certificate by the end of January.

So I’m using November to finish one of the classes. It’s supposed to take six weeks. That six weeks can bite me. Ima do it in four. I literally cannot afford to keep dawdling on a career change.

While everyone else goes batty for NaNoWriMo, I’m going bats to the wall1 with NaNoCertMo2.3456

Now that the Write 31 Days challenge is over, I’ll only be posting once a week or so.

Here is my basic outline for what I’ll need to do, when.

Operating Systems: Becoming a Power User

Week 1: Navigating the System – Finished: November 5
32 videos, 10 readings, 3 discussion prompts, 2 quizzes, 3 assignments

1. Video: Course IntroductionNov 1
2. Reading: Navigating Coursera
3. Reading: Program Surveys
4. Reading: Discussion Forums
5. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
6. Discussion Prompt: Meet and Greet
7. Video: Lesson Overview and Practice Tips
8. Reading: Windows CLI and Unix Bash
9. Video: List Directories in a GUI
10. Reading: Size vs Size of Disk in Windows
11. Video: Windows: List Directories in CLINov 2
12. Video: Linux: List Directories
13. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the GUI
14. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the CLI
15. Video: Linux: Changing Directories in Bash
16. Video: Windows: Make Directories in the GUI and CLI
17. Video: Linux: Make Directories in Bash
18. Video: Windows: Command History
19. Video: Linux: Command History
20. Video: Windows: Copying Files and Directories
21. Video: Linux: Copying Files and DirectoriesNov 3
22. Video: Windows: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
23. Video: Linux: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
24. Video: Windows: Removing Files and Directories
25. Video: Linux: Removing Files and Directories
26. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite OS
27. Video: Cindy Why OS is Important
28. Practice Quiz: Basic Commands
29. Video: Windows: Display File Contents
30. Video: Linux: Display File Contents
31. Video: Windows: Modifying Text Files
32. Reading: Notepad++Nov 4
33. Video: Linux: Modifying Text Files
34. Reading: GNU Documentation for text editors
35. Video: Windows Powershell commands and aliases
36. Video: Windows: Searching within Files
37. Video: Windows: Searching within Directories
38. Video: Linux: Searching within Files
39. Video: Windows: Input, Output, and the Pipeline
40. Video: Linux: Input, Output and Pipeline
41. Video: Windows and Linux Advanced Navigation
42. Reading: Windows PowerShellNov 5
43. Video: Ben First Tech Job
44. Discussion Prompt: What did you learn about OS?
45. Quiz: File and Text Manipulation
46. Video: Instructions for Accessing Linux Qwiklabs
47. Reading: Instructions for Accessing Windows Qwiklabs
Graded: Accessing Qwiklabs
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Linux

Week 2: Users and Permissions – Finished: November 10
15 videos, 3 readings, 1 quiz, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Users, Administrators, and Groups, Oh My!
2. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information – Nov 6
3. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information using CLI
4. Video: Linux: Users, Superuser and Beyond
5. Video: Windows: Passwords
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Passwords
7. Video: Linux: Passwords
8. Video: Windows: Adding and Removing Users
9. Video: Linux: Adding and Removing Users
10. Video: Ben Life as a CIO
11. Video: Windows: File Permissions
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows ACL
13. Video: Linux: File Permissions – Nov 8
14. Video: Windows: Modifying Permissions
15. Video: Linux: Modifying Permissions
16. Video: Windows: Special Permissions
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Special Permissions in Windows
18. Video: Linux: SetUID, SetGID, Sticky Bit – Nov 9
19. Discussion Prompt: Your File & Folder Permissions
20. Practice Quiz: Permissions
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Linux

Week 3: Package and Software Management – Finished: November 24
15 videos, 13 readings, 4 quizzes, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Module Introduction – Nov 11
2. Video: Windows: Software Packages
3. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Software Packages – Nov 16
4. Video: Linux: Software Packages – Nov 17
5. Video: Windows: Archives
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for 7-Zip and PowerShell Zips
7. Video: Linux: Archives
8. Reading: Supplemental Reading for the Linux Tar Command
9. Video: Windows: Package Dependencies
10. Reading: Supplemental reading for Windows Package Dependencies
11. Video: Linux: Package Dependencies
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Package Dependencies
13. Practice Quiz: Software Distribution
14. Video: Windows: Package Manager – Nov 19
15. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Package Managers
16. Video: Linux: Package Manager Apt
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux PPAs
18. Reading: Supplemental Reading on GIMP
19. Practice Quiz: Package Managers
20. Video: Windows: Underneath the Hood
21. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Installers and Process Monitors
22. Video: Linux: Underneath the Hood
23. Practice Quiz: What’s happening in the background?
24. Video: Windows: Devices and Drivers – Nov 24
25. Reading: Supplemental Reading Windows Devices and Drivers
26. Video: Linux: Devices and Drivers
27. Reading: Supplemental reading for Linux Devices and Drivers
28. Video: Window: Operating System Updates
29. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Update
30. Video: Linux: Operating System Updates
31. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Update
32. Discussion Prompt: What would you do?
33. Practice Quiz: Device Software Management
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Windows
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Linux

Week 4: Filesystems | Proposed Dates: November 16-20 | Finished:
16 videos, 9 readings, 1 quiz, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Module Introduction
2. Video: Review of Filesystems
3. Reading: Supplemental Reading for FAT32 File System
4. Video: Disk Anatomy
5. Video: Windows: Disk Partitioning and Formatting a Filesystem
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Disk Partitioning and Formatting in Windows
7. Video: Windows: Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem
8. Video: Linux: Disk Partitioning and Formatting a Filesystem
9. Video: Linux: Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem
10. Reading: Supplemental reading Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem in Linux
11. Video: Windows: Swap
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Paging
13. Video: Linux: Swap
14. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Swap
15. Video: Windows: Files
16. Reading: Supplemental Reading on NTFS File System
17. Video: Linux: Files –
18. Video: Windows: Disk Usage
19. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Disk Usage
20. Video: Linux: Disk Usage
21. Reading: Supplemental reading for Linux Disk Usage
22. Video: Windows: Filesystem Repair
23. Video: Linux: Filesystem Repair
24. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Filesystem Repair
25. Video: Ben Passion
26. Discussion Prompt: Disk Partitioning
27. Practice Quiz: Filesystem Types
Graded: Partition and Format a Disk Drive in Windows
Graded: Partition and Format a Disk Drive in Linux

Week 5: Process Management | Proposed Dates: November 21-25 | Finished:
12 videos, 7 readings, 3 quizzes, 2 assignments

1. Video: Module Introduction
2. Video: Programs vs Processes Revisited
3. Video: Windows: Process Creation and Termination
4. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Process Creation and Termination in Windows
5. Video: Linux: Process Creation and Termination
6. Video: Jess Passions
7. Practice Quiz: Life of a Process
8. Video: Windows: Reading Process Information
9. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Reading Process Information in Windows
10. Video: Linux: Reading Process Information
11. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Reading Process Information in Linux
12. Video: Linux: Signals
13. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Signal
14. Video: Windows: Managing Processes
15. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Managing Processes in Windows
16. Video: Linux: Managing Processes
17. Practice Quiz: Managing Processes
18. Video: Windows: Resource Monitoring
19. Reading: Supplemental Reading Resource Monitoring in Windows
20. Video: Linux: Resource Monitoring
21. Reading: Supplemental reading for Resource Monitoring in Linux
22. Discussion Prompt: Your CPU
23. Practice Quiz: Process Utilization
Graded: Maintaining Efficient Process Utilization on Your Computer in Windows
Graded: Maintaining Efficient Process Utilization on Your Computer in Linux

Week 6: Operating Systems in Practice | Proposed Dates: November 26-30. | Finished: | The hard deadline is 12/2.
16 videos, 5 readings, 2 quizzes, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Introduction
2. Video: Remote Connection and SSH
3. Video: Remote Connections on Windows
4. Discussion Prompt: Performing remotely as an IT Support Specialist
5. Reading: Supplemental reading for Remote Connections in Windows
6. Video: Remote Connection File Transfer
7. Video: Remote Connection File Transfer on Windows
8. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Remote Connection File Transfer in Windows
9. Discussion Prompt: Remote Desktop
10. Practice Quiz: Remote Access
11. Video: Virtual Machines
12. Reading: Supplemental reading for Virtual Machines
13. Discussion Prompt: VMs
14. Video: System Monitoring
15. Video: The Windows Event Viewer
16. Video: Linux Logs
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Logs
18. Video: Working with Logs
19. Practice Quiz: Logging
20. Video: Imaging Software
21. Video: Operating Systems Deployment Methods
22. Reading: Supplemental Reading for OS Deployment Methods
23. Video: Interview Role Play: Operating Systems
24. Discussion Prompt: Your Learning Journey
25. Video: Course Wrap Up
26. Video: Heather Early Career Advice
27. Video: Congratulations!
Graded: Use Logs to Help You Track Down an Issue in Windows
Graded: Use Logs to Help You Track Down an Issue in Linux

I recognize that it’s 50/50 whether I’ll make it or not, but if I keep going easy on myself, I’ll never finish. I’ll always be scraping by and money-stressed. I’m tired of constantly worrying about whether this will be the month everything tips over. I need a livable wage.

Let’s do this.

Associated Posts:

November 2: Repeats and revelations.
November 5: Navigating the System.
November 11: Users and Permissions and Dopamine.
November 24: Package and Software Management.

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