Yes, thanks to the charming and talented Mason "Daigotsu Usharo" Crawford, I now can flaunt my fangirl heart on my sleeve. Err, LJ. Thank you, Mason!
(I might get around to posting some actual content later, but for now I just wanted to cheer myself up with some squee.)
However, now that night is falling my topsy-turvy brain appears to be turning back on. In the interest of helping this process along I'm going to rev up my fingers by writing something light and frivolous. Specifically, an icon meme! yhlee has chosen five of my icons that she is curious about, and I'm going to write about them.
The lucky icons are:
Are we all ready? ( Go! )
My weekend was pretty much given over to L5R stuff, which meant that it was both exciting and dull. And that I have a sink full of dirty dishes. I did get a phone call from my dad on Saturday, and that was good. I'd been thinking of him a lot this past week because of the recent news that one of the more commonly used diabetes drugs causes an increased rate of heart problems. I don't know if my dad uses that drug, which meant that my first impulse when I read about it was to rush to a phone and check on him. I talked myself out the idea, because my dad stays very up on managing his diabetes and was almost certainly aware of the issue and was taking whatever actions were appropriate. (Unlike my mom, my dad does not need to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance before he'll admit that he has a health problem.)
Dad was in good spirits; he had a number of jobs on deck and the rain has backed off enough that he can actually do them. He does concrete and general contracting jobs of all sizes, everything from people's driveways to shopping centers. Sometimes when I'm visiting him we'll get in his truck and he'll take me to see whatever he's working on now. I always enjoy that because my Dad loves his work and it's fun (and informative) to listen to him talk. His favorite jobs are the tricky ones, the ones where it's not just a straight-forward pour. They might not be immensely profitable jobs, but for him fixing someone's driveway so that it no longer funnels water into their basement is about the best thing ever.
He asked about how work was going with me, and the answer was "slow". We are in the summer doldrums now, plus the city has a street construction project going on on the street the borders our strip mall to the south. That street is close off (actually, at the moment it is non-existent) and they've re-routed the traffic of the street that runs to the west of us. Oh, the joy.
I'm a little worried about how I'm going to find enough work to get my minions all of their hours. I hate to send them home early--they have bills to pay--but at the same time I can't be wasting the co-op's money. My solution for this week, I think, will be to take myself off of production work and spend some time re-writing our safety policies. I wrote them a few years ago when we were upgrading ourselves to be OSHA-compliant, and though they probably meet the legal requirements they have one great flaw: apparently, no one but I can understand them. This isn't a huge problem right now because I'm willing to do the training of new staff (Short version: Don't drink bleach water. Wear gloves when cleaning up blood spills.), but it's never good to have a major policy that only one person understands. After that...well, I'll think of something.
Nevertheless he's come through for me, and now I have Fuji in all her spiky-haired glory. Now I have to rush over the the Jade Hand forum and change my avatar there.
I elected to get a paid account because I thought it would help encourage me to use the account and because I generally try to pay for resources I use. Also, more userpics, and userpics are pretty. This morning I considered upping my userpic limit but decided that the upgrade wasn't worth the cost. It seems odd to even think of adding more when I haven't used up all the slots I have now, but I've had to let a number of nice ones go by because I didn't think I had room for them. On the other hand, a few months ago it occurred to me I could just save them to my own computer and rotate as needed. Some days I don't know what I use for brains.
One of the interesting things about hunting through the various communities looking for icons is that I've become more aware of my own design sense. (Or, what passes as my design sense. I've never shown much skill in visual arts.) The first thing I realized was that I had absolutely no use for those itty-bitty lines of text that are completely unreadable due to having letters the same size as a screen pixel. Why, icon makers? Why? If your icon needs a line there, put in a line! Unreadable words are the worst kind of cutesy. I'll confess I do have some icons that use them, but that's because the rest of the icon was good enough to overcome my annoyance.
I've also noticed I like simple icons. In fact, a number of my icons were put put forth as bases. I like them the way they are. In a 100X100 square there's no need for multiple layers, textures, or images. I'm also not big on animated icons, though I have seen a number that have amused me. My one and only animated icon was irresistible due to the fact I grew up watching those old L'Oreal commercials. Do they still use that slogan, I wonder?
As it is, I have five more slots to fill before I have to start dropping icons. The first to go will probably be Partners--it's a nice icon, but it carries the same associations as Phantom Hand, and Phantom Hand uses art done by my friend Brent. In fact, it's from his manga version of a fanfic story we co-wrote, which makes it doubly better. I found out last week that Brent has icon fu, so I'm going to ask him to make me a few more. Also, when I get the Big Project that is currently devouring my life finished I'm going to treat myself to an icon-hunting expedition. Yes, I am easily amused.
Since I wasn't in shape to do much else useful, I decided that now was the time to get myself a real browser. I'd been using the IE4.something that my computer came with (when I bought it second-hand), and had been wanting to upgrade to something nicer for a while.
I am now the proud owner of a shiney-new copy of Firefox. Go me! I'd been using Firefox at work for a couple of months and really liked it. It didn't take nearly as long to download as I had feared (I'm on dial-up), and it installed itself with almost no effort on my part. I'm using it now. :-)
I decided to celebrate by trying out the LJ Userpic factory, which is the closest I'll ever get to making icons. It was a little frustrating because LJ doesn't actually provide directions for how to move the square or change its size--I resorted to doing random things until I got something kinda like I wanted. So yes, it is a little off but it will do. Now I'm going to go fix myself some lunch.
The song, btw, is "Round Here" and I thought the lyric in question ("In between the moon and you/angels get a better view/of the crumbling difference between wrong and right...") went splendidly with the base. Many, many thanks to yoritomo_reiko for putting the lettering on for me!
I've grabbed 4 or 5 Bleach icons so far, and though I'm tempted to get more I've declared a stop. (Unless I find a cool one with "Retreat and you will age. Be afraid and you will die! on it.) My other passions need icon love, too, though where I'm going to find a crochet icon is something of a mystery.