Log in

Jeff Youngstrom
11 August 2011 @ 01:00 pm
Well, apparently 60,000 people cast ballots to narrow down the 237 finalists to 100.

I decided to cast only one vote per author and ended up with five of my choices on the final list: Gaiman's Sandman at 29, Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness at 45, Stephenson's Diamond Age at 75, McKinley's Sunshine at 92, and Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep at 93. My other five didn't make the cut: Brust's Vlad Taltos books, Crowley's Little, Big, Delany's Dhalgren, Kress's Beggars in Spain, and Kushner's Swordspoint and sequels.

It's interesting seeing who appeared multiple times. Bradbury, Gaiman and Stephenson each had four placements. Old masters Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and Niven (2 with Pournelle) each had three. King, Le Guin, Orwell, Pournelle (with Niven), Pratchett, Sanderson, Tolkein, Verne, Vonnegut, and Wells each placed two. Of course since NPR grouped series, this statistic favors authors with stand alone books more than series. I'm too lazy to look up how many books are in all the series that placed. Also their groupings were somewhat arbitrary as some series books appeared individually (e.g., McCaffrey's Dragonflight) and when do you stop counting the series that won't die like the posthumous Dune books?

Five books from the 19th century, the earliest Wollstonecraft Shelley's 1818 Frankenstein. Three from the 1930s, two from the 1940s, eleven from the 1950s, 14 from the 1960s, 17 from the 1970s, 14 from the 1980s, 18 from the 1990s, 15 from the 2000s and the most recent Sanderson's The Way of Kings from 2010.

the obligatory memeificationCollapse )
Jeff Youngstrom
05 July 2011 @ 05:47 pm
Instructions: Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of. Come up with improvements to flavour your versions.

a whole lot of good writersCollapse )
Jeff Youngstrom
15 June 2011 @ 06:38 pm
I got asked about positive events in my life recently, so here are a few:

  • Took a vacation road trip to the SW US with my sweetie that was 95% fun. I'll probably talk about the other 5% some time so we'll just wait on that. Pictures are starting to trickle out over at this flickr set. I'll post again when it's all there.
  • Saw Book-It!'s fine stage adaptation of Sense and Sensibility last weekend.
  • Shows coming up for which we already have tickets:

  • Read some good books (Ben Aaronovitch's Midnight Riot and Moon Over Soho, urban fantasy set in London with the main character a wizard in training for the London police department. Great fun.)

That's not so bad for the moment...
Jeff Youngstrom
11 March 2011 @ 03:46 pm
As agrumer said: "I’m an American, so I’m gonna do the Census Meme for years ending in 0 instead of 1":

1970: Turn 4. Living in Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley, though it wouldn't be called that until the following year). There was an orchard a couple of blocks away. Attending preschool, I think. Impressed by a classmate who would grab the tropical fish out of the tank and hold them in her hand before returning them to the water. Might have gotten my first bike this year, maybe the next.

1980: Living in Sonora, CA (Sierra Nevada foothills) on a couple of acres of trees and grass. Make the transition from elementary school to high school. In marching band (trumpet). First dates. First real girlfriends. D&D with friends. Riding the school bus. Walking as much as a couple of miles to friends' houses. Otherwise, carted about in car by parents and sometimes school friends (had a surprising number of Senior friends as a Freshman).

1990: Newlywed. Back in Sunnyvale in a one-bedroom apartment just off 101. Making lots of money, but not as much as we're spending on books and music (transitioning from records to CDs). Regulars at every book store in the south bay. Usenet junkie. Driving a huge burnt-oil-cloud-spewing Chevy station wagon, but mostly cycling the couple of miles to work.

2000: In Issaquah, WA (just outside Seattle) Buy Flying House (or was that 2001? If so, we were still living in Swamp Castle and most of the rest of this is off by a year too). Deeply involved in Friends of the Issaquah Library. Reviewing and tracking all the books I read in a page on my website. Might have been this year that we got the tomecat.com domain. Hit by a guy in a pickup running a red light while riding my bike across the street in a crosswalk. Off the bike for six very long weeks. I think we still had our Taurus then.

2010: Still living in Flying House. Still married. Starting new job after 17 years in previous one, learning lots. Depressed, largely inactive outside of work. Digital life mainly in the cloud rather than on my own site. First year with smart phones. Riding Xtracycle. Car-free.
Jeff Youngstrom
07 March 2011 @ 06:10 pm
Haven't done one of these in a while...

A - Age: 44

B - Bed size: Queen. Actually, with my current level of RLS, we're in separate queens so somebody can be sleeping at any given time

C - Chore you hate: Bathroom cleaning. Hair has outlived its evolutionary usefulness

D - Don’t eat: Cilantro

E - Essential start-your-day item: A good reason to get up

F - Favorite board game: UpWords

G - Gold or Silver: Silver

H - Height: 6' 2"

I - Instruments you play: Hand drums

J - Job title: Software Support Engineer

K - Kid(s): Just the cat

L - Love or lust: Yes, please

M - Mom’s name: Kathy

N - Nicknames: jeffy. From my email address, so not capitalized, though I've gotten better at not twitching when people do

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Not so far

P - Pants or pantyhose: Pantyhose are gross

Q - Favorite Movie Quote: Most frequently used is "He's not quite dead." It useful in a surprising number of situations. The one on my icon is used more frequently but it's from TV

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: Slightly younger sister

T - Time you wake up: 11am. Doesn't really matter much when I went to bed

U - Underwear: Briefs in pretty colors

V - Vegetable favorite: Sweet potatoes, lately

W - Ways you run late: See T

X - X-rays you’ve had: Dental, spine, right foot and ankle, chest

Y - Yummy food you make: Pancakes

Z - Zoo favourite: Lemurs
Jeff Youngstrom
09 January 2011 @ 12:27 am
Following the exceptionally fine outcome of the stroke that elisem had recently, my flist is alive with links to this very fine post from Making Light on the signs of stroke.

Go read that and learn its lessons well. Seriously.

And don't think you're too young. My sister-in-law had a stroke at the ripe old age of 24.

Know the signs and act without thinking.
Jeff Youngstrom
03 January 2011 @ 06:55 pm
Just for reference, here's the old depression test results showing mildly depressedCollapse ) Which would be good except...

At the point of my last post I was taking 150mg Effexor XR, 150mg Wellbutrin, and 5mg Abilify. My doc thought it most likely that the Abilify was causing the extreme sleeping I was experiencing and the positive effects of that drug were subtle at best so we decided I'd go off of that. I quit it somewhere around the 22nd of November. About a week later I saw the new shrink who suggested a higher dose of Wellbutrin. That night I had restless legs (Wikipedia link) worse than I've ever had them before. Bad enough that it kept me up most of the night. This is before starting the new dose of Wellbutrin. Next night, same thing. Couple of days later I started the new dose of Wellbutrin.

The restless legs have persisted every night since. I suspect it's a withdrawal symptom from going off the Abilify and the shrink wouldn't discount the possibility. He prescribed a sleeping pill that helped a couple of times, but not really since.

I've figured out a system for getting some sleep. If I walk for 10 minutes and do some yoga stretches then my legs calm down enough I can get to sleep for an hour or so. The weird thing is that the restlessness is time sensitive. It seems to let up sometime between 5 and 8am and then I can get to sleep until I have to get up. Kinda sucks for getting to work at a reasonable hour. Fortunately my boss has been understanding so far and my job isn't too time sensitive.

I've been seeing B's acupuncturist without any appreciable effect on the legs. We're still trying stuff. I need to get back to my regular doc and see if he has any suggestions.

As far as the depression goes, going off the Abilify really helped bring me back from the scary flatness that B was worried about, and the bumped Wellbutrin is working to bring up my general mood to an okay level. So I can't sleep but I feel pretty good about it. As opposed to my last entry when I couldn't stop sleeping and felt kinda crappy. I guess this is an improvement. ;-)
Jeff Youngstrom
03 November 2010 @ 01:10 pm
boring depression testCollapse ) indicates moderate depression which may be partly a reaction to the dismal election results. I keep telling myself that most of this has very little impact on my or anyone's day-to-day life, but it doesn't help much.

Went to a new therapist who couldn't find anything in our initial meeting to grab onto for further treatment so suggested I see a psychiatrist to get my meds set correctly. First choice shrink has three-month waiting list so trying second choice. Meanwhile, sleeping too much isn't quite enough and feeling overwhelmed at work again. Need a day off, I think. Or a year.
Jeff Youngstrom
04 October 2010 @ 03:51 pm
depression testCollapse )

That's four points less depressed than my last test way back in June.

B contests this result, saying I'm flatter and even less interested in life than ever. She's probably more reliable than my self-reporting on the test. Work life is fairly productive (for me). Home life is in stasis.

Question is what's next. Am tempted to ditch all the drugs for a while just to checkpoint. Kinda want to try a different therapist too.
Jeff Youngstrom
25 July 2010 @ 07:31 pm
I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Wizard (4th Level)
boring detailsCollapse )