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[sticky post] Terry Lee Mathews, 1974-2013

Terry MathewsThis is a sticky entry (i.e., it will always be shown as the top entry on my latest entries page) about Terry Lee Mathews, known on LiveJournal as mountain_hiker. Terry passed away on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was a 1993 graduate of Widefield High School and a 1999 graduate of University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a bachelor's in Geography. An avid mountaineer and photographer, he is survived by his parents, Louis and Yong Chi (Nancy); a brother, Tom; three nieces and a nephew; his cats, Luna and Menchi; and numerous friends. Terry's ashes will be scattered in the mountains he loved so much.

A celebration of life was held Saturday, July 27th at Garden of the Gods. Mark Hayes Photography covered the memorial event; online galleries are available on Facebook and on his website, where you may purchase prints. He also wrote a blog post about the event.

Terry's ashes were taken to the summit of Crestone Needle in August. Britt Jones made a video from that trip; it's viewable at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk1lGUmrPvs

There is a a memorial page for Terry on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memorial-To-Terry-Lee-Mathews/221868637964121


Terry, elsewhere on the Internet: obituary | 14ers.com profile / memorial thread | Google+ | LinkedIn | State of Euphoria (personal website) | SummitPost
Kevin has decided to be evaluated for PTSD. I am both pleased and relieved he has made this decision. (Like all mental health issues, the afflicted person has to want to do something about the issue.)

In other good news:

- we've found an over-the-counter potassium supplement that agrees with his digestive system. The combination of omeprazole and potassium is working well to keep him on an even enough keel to eat and keep it down, although he's still eating only small amounts at a time after the week-long stomach unpleasantness he had in late November.

- we have figured out an arrangement to make our living room more presentable and consolidate the sewing/crafting things into one room. It involves turning the master bedroom into a studio, but it will be good all around once we're done.

- after a frosting failure, I used melted almond bark coating to hold together 24 graham cracker gingerbread-style houses for Laurel's class party. The kids loved it and I returned home 23 houses and some candy lighter, but heavier by over half a dozen large premixed frosting bags. I promptly gave three bags to one of the feral children after she knocked on our door and asked if she could have them. (I realize in hindsight that I have no idea if her responsible adults were aware of this, but at worst I gave a bunch of kids whose parents I don't know a bunch of sugar on a Friday afternoon.)

- I am reasonably satisfied after over a week of tweaking my model in SketchUp that I have a stable tank model to print and use as gingerbread templates. I'm going to get some pirouette cookies at the dollar store to use for the tank gun.
Earlier tonight, I twittered: Dear get-rich-quick people that keep following me: I have a net worth of $104 (not a typo) and I am okay with that. Now go away.

That doesn't do justice to where I am right now. Financially, we are scraping the bottom and have our fingers crossed that an interview later today turns the months-long tide of underemployment without being overly optimistic.

What money can't touch is everything I do have:
- A healthy, funny and intelligent mini-me who still thinks I'm cool;
- A patient husband who practically worships the ground I walk on, even after two head injuries and the awkward process of getting him a continuity of care to keep tabs on his brain and blood chemistry;
- Amazing friends that know all kinds of things I've only got the barest cognizance of and have surprised me with their kindness when I've needed it most;
- A family that loves me unconditionally and lets me play with the kids even though I gave them strange nicknames;
- A cat that follows me everywhere and tolerates Laurel picking him up and putting him on her doll bed;
- Surprisingly nimble fingers for poking, prodding and stitching things together, which I am lucky enough to do for pleasure;
- An easy time acquiring new skills and memorizing things;
- Living in a place that is in a fairly walkable area and in the catchment for one of the best elementary schools in the state; and
- Good luck that shows up at the strangest times.

So there it is.


Also, I have a lot more canning jars than I thought I did, but as we get into vacuum-packed bags, they're handy for storing the contents of opened bags. All those jars of granulated sugar are another story. (We bought a 25-pound bag a few years ago. In hindsight, a giant bag of flour and a more modest amount of sugar makes more sense with the amount of baking I do.)
After I have burned my thumb (nothing serious, mostly the nerve endings all yelling "WHUT?" at me) because you decided to duck and bob as I was trying to get your freaking breakfast onto the table around you, please do not dawdle getting dressed and make "ehh" whining noises when I tell you what today's weather will be like so you can dress appropriately. I am going to put Solarcaine on my thumb now and if I come out to you still wearing your pajamas and reading instead of getting ready first, I will not be amused.

The Management

P.S. Cat, I do not need you to be up my butt while I am hurrying around. You have 22 hours every day in which to to that. NOT NOW.
After several episodes of going into Laurel's room (comfortably warm but unpleasant after I got sweaty) and wiggling the computer cart several inches in a few pushes, I got the blasted thing pushed down the wall it was on from the corner by the window to to the corner by the patio door. Next I moved the rack of small bins to the corner by the window, then assembled the desk I bought yesterday and fit it neatly between the computer cart and the molding around the closet door. After that I rehung her book-fair posters (printed on cardstock-weight paper so Scotch tape, masking tape, and blu-tack have only kept them up for a few months at a time) with some Command poster strips. Will see how those work out.

I am debating whether to recover the kid-sized card table succeeded by the desk and listing it on Craigslist for a few bucks. (I like the idea of Freecycle, but have had no luck with people actually showing up to pick up items. I've had many successful item pickups with Craigslist, even though I rarely ask more than $10 for an item.)

I have three large shopping bags of children's clothing, so I'll have to call ARC and arrange a pickup. (VVA doesn't provide pickups in Texas and I don't think I have enough to be considered a large donation for Goodwill to schedule a pickup.) If I can get myself sufficiently motivated and Laurel picks up enough of the crap in her room for me to get into the closet easily, I'll look through the boxes of stuff the nerdsprout left behind and donate as much of that as I can.
If you saw my Facebook status earlier today and were mildly confused: Vogon decided to part out and fry turkey at 2200 last night. He fried a few pieces at a time in the cast iron skillet and all went without incident until he got to the final batch. Oil got sloshed out of the pan and smoked, causing all of the hard-wired alarms to go off at 0030. I closed the cat in the bathroom, turned off the heat and we opened the doors to ventilate.

Eventually my eyes started stinging and I grabbed the nearest bottle of artificial tears. While blinking and standing in the open front doorway in my flannel PJs, my earworm played snippets of Dr. Horrible and when Vogon asked what I was chuckling at, I burst out "friggin' 'tard" and started laughing.

(It would have been a lot funnier if he'd actually seen Dr. Horrible.)

MailWasher plug and naming our hobbit-hole.

In the process of installing applications to my new system [1], I picked up MailWasher a few versions newer than when I last used it. Since I was feeling magnanimous, I asked Vogon if he'd like me to sic it on monitoring the catch-all ravenshire.com [2] addresses. 12,000 messages later, I discovered he hadn't set up a forwarding address for Laurel there but had told her she had one. It only flagged one message for her as possible spam.

Things are once again beautiful in the land of e-mail management in our household, which I would like to name. I keep being surprised at how we get mistakenly assigned the others' last names as each of us has a different last name, so it seems both amusing and fitting to name our household something entirely different. I like the German term Gemütlichkeit, but we would need to do quite a bit of decluttering to achieve that state in our home. I describe it to people as our hobbit hole.

1. By new, I mean from parts actually purchased new, not the latest entry in my history of hand-me-downs and scavenged parts. Is this going to be a punch hole on my adult card?

2. Ravenshire is his personal webspace. I don't think he has a generic index page up there, but if you're one of his readers he occasionally links to files he's got up there. If you aren't on his friends list and want to listen to his latest four-hour downtempo mix or see his kindergarten class picture, just ask me.
I nearly inquired into the availability of a lot of 6500 zippers today in a second-chance sale at an online donation-matching service (Excess Access). What saved me from this insanity? Said zippers are in San Francisco and they're local pickup only.

It does not, however, stop me from imagining what I might do with all those zippers.


Decluttering is exhausting, but it sure is nice afterward. It's still galling him a little to give things away instead of going through the cost of listing low-value items on eBay, but the free space is worth it.


I am giving away 3 120" lengths of 12" wide bubble wrap and several 13-gallon bags of packing peanuts if you need that sort of thing. Local pickup preferred; will ship if you pay shipping costs, which will be reasonably cheap given the weight.
We've dried out pretty well from the deluge earlier this week. We got about three and a half inches of rain in my neighborhood, but we're in a high area so we didn't have the excitement of people refusing to evacuate flooded low-lying neighborhoods or people driving around barriers and getting their vehicles stuck in the water.

Otherwise, this post is just a braindump of links.Collapse )
Three cat-related items:

0. This weekend marks one year since the cat climbed into our car's fender. He's settled on the name Bubby, although I call him pretty much anything that pops into my head and he's okay with it. (I still need to make a Bubby userpic.)

1. The dish of cat food we keep outside has developed a regular. This morning Bubby and I were laying on the couch watching the morning news when I heard a cat meow at the front door. They were gone by the time I realized it wasn't Laurel or a stray TV noise, but the dish was empty. We suspect it was the friendly brown tabby we've seen around recently.

2. Now that the Sea Hag is gone, I can tell you the cat pee story! Several weeks after Biko ran off, we were parking after a late-night snack run when I spotted a cat curled up on the roof of her convertible. The cat looked light-colored like Biko, so Vogon walked up to the cat slowly while I stayed with our car. He was a few inches away from being able to touch it when the cat startled awake, urinated, and ran off. It turned out to be the tortoiseshell-colored longhair we think is feral.


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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