Re-dying some boots

I have these amazing boots in black and blue, and love them quite a lot, so much that I mail ordered the same boots in red. But the contrasting color to the red was way browner than it looked in pictures. Every time I put these boots on I just felt like, Yuck, this brown is too peachy-ochre, and I want to look at my feet & think “YAY!! I have red boots on! RED!” instead.

OK! I’ve never done this before but I am accustomed to dying things, so here goes! I ordered 4 colors of leather dye and some de-glazer (4 bucks per color, very cheap!). After work today I went out on the porch and tried to strip the brown dye. It didn’t seem like a lot of it came off to be honest.

On to the dyeing! The toes and heel and straps I dyed a wine color and the main uppers of the boot are now red, a somewhat different red than the other original bright red (on the… lower part of the body of the shoe, and the tongue). The triangle part on the back calf is now black.

I forgot to get sealant! After these dry overnight I’ll touch them up, condition them, and maybe the sealant will come by then. Can’t wait to see how they come out.

pair of boots

It was so soothing after staring at Firefox stuff all day on my laptop to do something concrete with my hands. The other day I remarked to Danny how it’s so good for me now that the sun is out & I am gardening a little every day. “Why?” he said, cocking a eye from his cozy blanket nest, covered in different computer parts and cables and perhaps crumbs, analyzing me like I am an alien being, which he does every time I do something like load the dishwasher efficiently or remember to brush my teeth without a technological object telling me how and when. “Why is it good for you? What makes it good?” Perhaps I will now unlock a further level of the secrets of happiness with my homely domesticity! “Uh…. I dunno? I like… dirt?! Dirt is amazing. I like getting my hands in it and seeing what it’s doing. Like being aware of the tides! ” “So like, happy bugs and worms?” “Happy mycelia of good soil fungi! I guess it’s exercise too.” But, really it may have this component of being concrete and physical, it isn’t made of words, and I also feel like I’m caring for and preserving something. Exercising craft, or creating things, and also being nurturing in some way. Well, anyway dying my boots felt like that too. I like physical labor when I am capable of it.

Oh yeah and my hands and half the porch look like a very creative murder just happened, because I’m also a huge slob.

New coffee holder for my powerchair

I had a pretty nice bottle holder for a bike that fastened onto a little bar on my powerchair, with a velcro strap, but it was not firmly fastened enough and would slew sideways. Then while it was sideways I went through a narrow doorway and scraped it right off, breaking the strap and the doohickey that attaches the strap. I’ve had my eye out for a new one for a couple of weeks.

Today I picked up the perfect thing, a bottle cage holder attaching gizmo, called a Minoura BH100 . It is super perfect – you can change the angle, it clamps on firmly and yet has a quick release. That gives some little bolt holes for fastening on a bottle cage. Perfect as this means I don’t have to try to drill holes in the frame of my chair.

I had two choices of cage, and went for the slightly less sturdy option simply because it seems a little more flexible for my metal travel mug.

Which is also perfect by the way . . . I like these 10 oz Chantal travel mugs. Not plastic, very sturdy, easy to clean, can open it with one hand by pushing the button on top and close it again with the same button so it’s ergonomic and also easy to deal with while driving your chair around.

OK, I realize that means I spent 55 bucks on fancy gear but I love always having hot tea or coffee with me. Nice while taking the bus or doing errands. Saves me buying coffee at times but other times if I’m out and buying a drink I can fill up my travel mug. Very handy!

Other stuff dangling off the chair: I have a “baggolini” that fits perfectly on one of the arms, and can be worn facing inside (I have several inches to spare between me and the arms even on the smallest Model CI – I do wish they had an even smaller narrower size.) This is going to be modified soon to have quick release buckles and better adjustability, because I need it to buckle separately with 2 straps over the arm in different places and it would be nice to be able to easily take it with me. This might benefit from expert help from someone better at sewing than me.

Underneath in the basket thing, which still rattles though I keep trying to add foam and tape to muffle the sound, I have a pouch to carry the charging cord and a spare pen and some duct tape. And also a tiny camera pouch velcroed around a slot in the undercarriage with emergency supplies (money, tampons, handkerchief, inhaler, allergy meds).

The back still puzzles me a bit. The protruding horns to hang backpack on are too shallow to fit the backpack plus shopping bags that they’re realistically going to have. So I’m thinking of trying to make them longer with sugru. The other problem in the back is that the slot for velcro for a cane holder interferes with the backpack strap action. If I have my backpack (or shopping bag or bags) hanging on the back, then put my cane through the strap, then need to get the backpack or bags off again, they get all tangled up. Ideally I’d like the cane to slot securely (while folded) just under the seat so I can reach down to grab it instead of reaching behind.

Coding day and a lucky find

I wrote some truly horrible code today which I’m embarrassed will see daylight, but at least it works now. Getting the trains to report the time till arrival accurately posed some weird problems. There is surely a less clunky way to write it. BUT IT WORKS and I never want to think about it again. (Until I do, then will refactor mightly.)

Briefly went out in the sun and cold to do an errand and feed yatima’s cats. On the way home there was some pretty nice free furniture out on the curb. I have been meaning to replace the kids’ desk with a nicer one (which means a bunch of measuring and a time consuming errand and a conumdrum of getting a desk delivered). Their old desk is a very janky thing that is not quite a desk. Maybe it was a side table? It has a shelf underneath that stops you from putting your legs properly under the desk. And I had to repair one side of it with duct tape. But it was free and was on the sidewalk a block away.

And!!!! Now!!!! Another free desk just across the street from our house, a much better one, solid, sturdy, with one small drawer, very desky, just the right size (bigger) and painted a pleasant, not too childish, bright blue. It is in good shape but not so nice that you would need to worry about messing it up. As you may guess I got Danny to carry it with his mighty muscles across the street and then we both shoved it up the stairs. It looks super nice now. As usual, I forgot to take a “before” pic.

My feeling of triumph! The desk is good! I have arranged it beautifully in the room! I hope the kids will be impressed with me but of course mostly I just hope they like it and use it.

Danny has been livestreaming on Code Therapy a bunch today talking with someone named lambda malformation and some other …. probably Lisp nerds…. It’s soothing and he doesn’t seem to mind if I suddenly start cursing my screen or talking to the cat in the middle of his livestream.

My game is getting a little more fun and playable. I’m filling out 24th St. Mission station and its surroundings and I’ve started on 16th. Some of the puzzles are now in place. Next I might add conversations or more complex behavior with the NPCs (currently a tamale lady (not THE tamale lady), a flower seller, a street preacher, and a raccoon.

blue desk in a little room

Happy Discardia!

I did some decluttering today, setting out some clothes and books on the free shelf outside and throwing a bunch of things away. There are also several bags of things to go elsewhere (to friends, to my sister, birthday presents for birthdays coming up, stuff that needs some sort of errand to deal with it) so that those things aren’t on the living room floor.

From underneath the bed I hauled out a box the size of a couple of shoeboxes full of junk that had been cleaned out of drawers probably years ago. More than half of it was trash and the rest is now put away.

Cleaned out under the kitchen sink where it smelled funny and was full of junk. Cleaning supplies are more organized now. Half the paper bags stashed down there are now recycled.

I also ironed my handkerchiefs, which I find oddly satisfying, and laid them neatly into a tiny cherrywood drawer.

Huzzah!

Danny just came in, looked around, and went, “Holy shit! Low level defragmenting, reformatting!” (Very true. That’s exactly what it’s like.)

In game progress, I added a ticket reader and BART ticket. The ticket is a device, which may seem odd, but swiping it turns it on and off to signify if you’ve paid or not. There are “switching on” and “switching off” actions in Inform7, and they’re separate, so they needed some extra logic to handle a new more generic verb (swipe) that flips the state from one to the other, depending, while not giving any weird extra messages about it.

So many good ideas in the last few days – I have a big file of ideas to stuff into the story and its infrastructure.

It’s helping to scope out issues to work on in github, with milestones, so that I can bite off small things to work on when I’m tired or only have half an hour. The complicated stuff has to wait for the weekend.

While reading the Standard Rules defined in Inform7 I came across this amazing line of code:

The darkness witnessed is a truth state that varies.

Kind of spooky, isn’t it?!