Today it's finally been cold enough that I've thought about lighting the pilot in the furnace and adjusting the thermostat. I'll probably leave it for another week or so. I think my general pattern is to turn it on during the week before Thanksgiving (so that the cat doesn't freeze if we get a real cold snap while I'm off at Darkovercon).
Yesterday was the Principality of the Mists Bardic competition, which is always a treat for the various senses. Auditors outnumbered competitors 2:1 in the competition for the next principality bard (although, as klwilliams
noted, "auditor" is an inapt name for a performer, despite the clear motivation for the use of the word for "participant not for official credit"). It's nice having the option of auditing (I'm even thinking of putting together an auditor-set next year) since it fills out the amount of available performance nicely and gives people a chance to "practice" for the competition. But it is a bit odd to have 4 auditors and only 2 actual competitors.
The dinner at the event was delicious and nicely paced, although I'm still quite curious to know more details about the dishes that were served. The menu was advertised as Russian and, although it isn't an area I've done any specific research in, my impression is that our knowledge of period Russian cooking is sketchy and largely extrapolative. I've gotten spoiled by having my SCA feast menus come with footnotes and references!
My body has finally gotten used to the new morning schedule (although the end of daylight savings time helped immensely) and I'm no longer quite as groggy going out the door. Or quite as tempted to stay up evenings at my old schedule. It's a different experience at the new gym -- lots more people, of course, and while I'm on the elliptical I get a birds-eye view of folks on the climbing walls. To the extent that I can see anything with my glasses off. It drives me too crazy to have my glasses bouncing around on my nose on the machine, which is unfortunate because otherwise it would be a great time to get some reading in. Instead I keep searching for new and interesting podcasts. I could wish that there were a better business model for "renting" audio books in a portable form. As a general practice, I'm not interested in buying audio books that I'm only going to listen to once. I've done a little research on the topic, and you can find web sites that will "rent" you a listen, but only while directly streaming it from the site. So I'd have to have an audio device with a wifi connection. Maybe someone will come up with the equivalent of iTunes movie rentals, although I'm aware that there are some significant logistical issues with that model.
I'm still ruminating on political topics. I'd love to have some in-depth philosophical discussions about racial issues around Obama's presidency but I haven't yet found a "safe" forum where I, as a white person, wouldn't feel like a bull in a china shop talking about it. And I'm trying to "move on" with regard to Prop 8 but I have to say I'm getting sick and tired of hearing apologists wring their hands over how the No on 8 side wasn't sufficiently energetic in begging people to please please give us our rights. No minority ever got equal rights by waiting for the majority to hand them over. Our best bet has always been to convince the courts to rule as justice demands and let the bigots catch up in their own time. But enough.