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[personal profile] pameladean

This is very long and detailed, so I’m going to try to put in a cut tag.

All right, I can't get that to work, not if it was ever so. I'm sorry.

 

On Tuesday Raphael and I went to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. The forecast was for a sunny, almost windless day with a high of 87. The air quality was moderate. I complained about this the day before and Raphael asked if I'd prefer not to go. But Sherburne is actually a good place to go on a less than perfect day, because there's a seven-mile wildlife drive with stopping points for viewing whoever happens to be around; also a tiny oak savanna (1/10-mile loop) trail and a prairie trail with an oak grove in the middle with a bench (1/2-mile loop). And it's September; hiking season will be over at some point.

We got a late start but arrived with about five hours of daylight ahead of us. Sherburne is near Sand Dunes National Forest, and its soil is also sandy. It's a lightly rolling landscape full of marshes, pools, and prairie, broken by lines and clumps of trees. You drive through a short stretch of mature restored prairie to reach the actual wildlife drive. It was awash in blooming goldenrod and blue and white asters and rich brown grasses.

 

We stopped at the Oak Savanna Trail and had a sandwich, read the list of plants presently blooming (six kinds of goldenrod, four kinds of white aster, two kinds of blue aster, rough blazing star, and boneset) and then walked out on the tiny boardwalk. We examined what looked like an abandoned bald eagle's nest through one of the spotting scopes provided, and then started looking at spreadwings (yet another kind of damselfly) in the tall grass that the boardwalk runs through.

 

Here is an image of a spreadwing that one might see in Minnesota, though I don’t know if that’s what we did see.

 

http://museum.unl.edu/research/entomology/Odonata/lere.html

 

A flicker of motion in the distance caught my attention, and I looked up to see three sandhill cranes landing across the prairie near the road we'd come on. "A family," said Raphael, looking through the binoculars. "See the juvenile?" I did see the juvenile, which did not have all its red in yet but was almost as large as its parents. The cranes started walking through the grass, not unlike herons stalking through shallow water; occasionally they would bend their long necks down and poke around in the grass roots, and occasionally one of them would make a sharp dart and come up with food and swallow it.

It was hard to decide whether the cranes were more awesome through binoculars or just as tall shapes against the pale road and prairie, bending and straightening, wandering apart and together again. If you didn't look through binoculars you could also see meadowhawks darting around, the spreadwings rising to catch tiny insects and settling again to eat them, the unexpected wind shaking the oak leaves and the grass and the asters. From time to time a darner moved across the larger prairie, veering after prey or just powering along.

At last a truck came fairly fast along the road, raising a cloud of dust, and the cranes paused, considered, opened their huge wings and rose up, gawky but graceful, and flew away low over the grasses. We went back to looking at smaller wildlife

I was trying to spot a spreadwing through the binoculars when I saw what looked like an animated tangle of brown grass. I said to Raphael, “There’s some kind of mantis there!” and when Raphael expressed astonishment, I added, “It’s very stick-y,” which allowed Raphael to come up with the actual name: It was a stick insect. It took a few moments for me to describe its location and for Raphael to see it, and then I had trouble finding it again through the binoculars, but it was busy clambering around against the wind, so we did both get a good look at it. It was only the second stick insect I’d seen in Minnesota. The other was at Wild River State Park. That one was much larger and was rummaging around in a pile of leaves at the edge of the parking lot. This one was fascinating because its camouflage was so great, and yet it did have to move around, so you could differentiate it from the grass if you worked at it.

We’d arrived in the deep of the afternoon when smaller birds are quiet. We heard a few goldfinches murmuring, and a phoebe carrying on, and a chickadee. We left the boardwalk, admiring the asters waving in the non-foreseen but welcome breeze, and walked around the oak savanna loop. The little oak saplings tangled among the other shrubbery were already starting to turn red. White asters poked their flowerheads through leaves belonging to other plants, to startling effect. Autumn meadowhawks floated and hovered and darted, snatching up gnats from the clouds around them. We had seen a monarch butterfly in the asters while we were eating our lunch, and also a dark-phase swallowtail wandering over the grass; now we saw a painted lady butterfly.

We made an attempt to leave, but a darner landed on a drooping dead branch of an oak tree right in front of the car. The sun was behind it and we couldn’t get a good look without tramping heedlessly into the prairie, so we didn’t, but its silhouette was lovely against the brilliant sky.

 

We drove on, past tall browning and reddening grasses, clumps of goldenrod, clouds of asters. Darners flew up from the sides of the road and zoomed away. We found at the turning that the refuge had reversed the direction of the wildlife drive since we were there last, which was momentarily confusing; but we found our way, and stopped at the Prairie Trail. I pointed out some thoroughly spent plants of spotted horsemint. We’d seen it in bloom, if you can call it that, at William O’Brien. It’s a very weird-looking plant. Here’s a photo:

 

https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/spotted-horsemint

 

This observation continued my inability to accurately provide the names of things; I’d just called it horsemint and Raphael reminded me that that particular weird plant was spotted horsemint. There are other horsemints, but they don’t look so strange. As we stood looking over the rise and fall of the little prairie, with folds of alder and sumac, and lines and whorls of different grasses and goldenrod, all truly starred with the blue and white asters, I said that I loved how big the sky was at Sherburne. Raphael noted that it was a slate-blue just now; we assumed that was the haze of the wildfire smoke all the way from the west coast, a somber reminder of far too many things.

 

We took the grassy path, startling small grasshoppers out of our way and stirring up meadowhawks from the tall plants and shrubs. We saw a monarch; we saw a painted lady. Passing through a little grove of young alders, on almost every tip of the dead trees intermingled with the living there was a meadowhawk perched. They swept upwards, snatched a gnat or fly, landed to eat again. Raphael showed me how to identify a female autumn meadowhawk: they have a definite bulge just below the thorax, which was easy to see against the sky. Darners zipped past from time to time. If it was a green darner we could usually tell even from just a glance. The others were mosaic darners, but harder to identify in passing.

 

I think it was as we approached the oak grove that we started seriously trying to identify the grasses. We’d known big bluestem, aka turkey-tail, for years. After seeing it labelled repeatedly here and there, I could pick out the charming clumps of little bluestem, just knee-high, with their pale fluffy flowers lined up and catching the light. We’d looked at an informational sign at the trailhead, but its drawings of Indian grass and switch grass didn’t look right. Raphael pulled up the photo of the sign about grasses at the visitor center at Wild River, which had struck both of us at the time as much more informative than other attempts to depict native grasses; and we could suddenly identify Indian grass after all. It has a long, narrow rich brown seed head with varying degrees of spikiness; some are quite streamlined and others are tufty and look as if they need combing. And we felt more confident about the switch grass with its airy spreading seed heads.

 

Raphael pointed out a beetle on the path, maybe a Virginia leatherwing, and then realized it was a moth. A little research when we reached the oak grove and sat down showed that it was a netted moth, and the entry even mentioned that it looked quite a bit like a leatherwing.

 

The bench we were sitting on was made from boards of recycled plastic. At some point Raphael had ha enough sitting and went ahead a little way just to see what was there. I’d noticed when I sat down that there were verses from the Bible printed on the back of the bench in some kind of marker. On the left was the passage from Matthew that begins, “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy-laden,” and on the right the passage from John that begins, “For God so loved the world.” These might have been written in different hands. But the passage in the middle was definitely in a different hand, and began, “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine.” The ending of the passage was a bit smeared and I couldn’t read all of it, but at the bottom the name “hunter s. thompson” was clear enough. I followed Raphael and relayed the beginning of the passage. “Hunter s. thompson!” said Raphael, going back to the bench with me. “It’s from <i>Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas</i>.” Raphael looked this up too, and showed me the unsmeared passage on the cellphone.

 

Giggling a bit, we went on our way. We were now well around the loop and into the straight stretch back to the car. From the other side I’d pointed out a lovely layering of grasses, goldenrod, a narrow cleft of willow scrub, and a candy-red line of sumac. Now we came to the sumac from the other side. On the path in front of us was a butterfly. “What is that?” said Raphael. “It’s a Red Admiral,” I said confidently, but it wasn’t. It was another Painted Lady. Raphael consolingly told me that they were both Vanessa, very closely related, but the Red Admiral is very common in Minnesota and I was chagrined that I’d misidentified something else as that.

 

We came to a little stretch of boardwalk over a marshy area. On a shrub was a shimmery amber-tinged odonate. I pointed it out to Raphael. It turned out to be another autumn meadowhawk, though it looked as if it ought to be an Eastern Amberwing, or at least a Band-Winged Meadowhawk. It had perched on a bit of red-stemmed dogwood, just to be extra-cooperative. We went on through the cattails and willow, past a minute patch of open water and up onto the grassy path again. Raphael pointed out that where the path climbed back out of the tiny marsh there was a nice view over the rest of the open water and the winding marsh with more willow, and cattails, and a shrub we should have known but didn’t. (I briefly misidentified it as more red-stemmed dogwood, because it was my day to misidentify everything; but it had deep purple stems and leaves just starting to turn reddish.)

 

On our right for the end of our walk was the brilliant sumac and the cleft of alder saplings, all their leaves fluttering and twinkling in the wind and sunlight; on the left a long slope of prairie grasses interrupted by goldenrod and asters. More darners sailed by. The sky had lost its smoky cast and was a fine late-summer deep blue. We came back to the car and Raphael began to drive away, but I exclaimed at the sight of a big clump of stiff goldenrod covered with pollinators. We didn’t get out, but looked our fill from the car. Big bumblebees, a stenuchid wasp, beetles, ambush bugs.

 

There’s one more trail you can actually walk along, near the end of the wildlife drive, but there was a sign at the beginning saying that it was flooded. Before that we drove past long stretches of marsh, open water, and rolling prairie, all patched with clumps of trees. From time to time there would be a wider spot in the road, sometimes a formal space big enough for three or four cars, with a bench or two, or a platform over a low spot with spotting scopes and some informational signs about the wildlife; others just a metal platform with railings, where you could stand and look over the water. We tentatively identified the spot where we’d once common moorhens, which are not so common that we weren’t deeply excited. We’ve also seen muskrats and various ducks in these locations, and once there was a gigantic cloud of mosaic darners all brown and yellow – I seem to recall that some of them were lance-tipped darners, but I may be wrong. This time we heard water birds making a ruckus, but couldn’t see them. Darners came by in about the density that they had been all the while. Over one platform we saw what turned out to be a northern harrier; these guys have an amazing acrobatic flight, and they’re reddish on the underside and bluish on the back. I excitedly called this one a kestrel, which would be smaller and have the colors reversed: bluish on the underside and red on the back. We also very clearly saw a nighthawk with its white wing bars, though the sun was still up.

 

We also saw some cedar waxwings fly-catching from a tree with a dead top, and heard a yellow warbler.

 

At last we came to a stretch of water, islands, and snags so large that it had two separate viewing-spots. From the first we saw several groups of large white birds. I thought the first were swans, but they were white pelicans. There were also some swans, however. We came finally around a curve of the gravel road to an observation station in a little oak grove, overlooking the far side of this large sheet of water. This is where most of the dead trees are, and here, to our delight, we saw as we’ve seen before several times a very large number of cormorants. The sun was setting by then, off to our right. The sky was pink and the water reflected it. Many cormorants were roosting already, but some were still coming out of the water; they would land on a branch, sometimes settling and sometimes glancing off several different trees before finding one that suited them, or one in which the other cormorants accepted them. It was hard to be sure. Then they would spread their wings out to dry, looking as if they were practicing to be bats for Halloween.

 

We found the swans and pelicans we’d seen from the other viewing station, though it was getting pretty dark by then. Cormorants still flew up into the trees and spread their wings. Through binoculars you could see the ones that had folded their wings now preening their breast feathers. Some of them had pale necks and brown fronts rather than being entirely black. I mentioned this to Raphael, who looked it up in Sibley and confirmed that those were juvenile cormorants.

 

It was getting quite dark by then and the mosquitoes were starting to think about biting us in earnest. We drove past two more pools; beside one two groups of people we’d seen pass earlier, a third car I didn’t recognize from before, and a man using a wheelchair were standing and gesticulating. We pulled up and got out. The water and trees were lovely in the twilight, but we didn’t see any wildlife. The solitary man went away in his wheelchair, the unfamiliar car left, and we followed, watching the varied texture of the grass and flowers fade away into the dark.

 

Pamela

Books: Caliban, Alley, Equilateral

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:47 pm
woodwardiocom: (Default)
[personal profile] woodwardiocom

Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

Second in the Expanse series, this volume revolves around the crisis on Ganymede, and the associated blue-eyed beastie. Entertaining adventure SF, recommended.

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

A tale of Galileo, if Galileo was a sentient dinosaur living on the moon of a tidally locked gas giant. Interesting world- and myth-building, recommended.

Winter Witch by Elaine Cunningham

Set in the world of the Pathfinder roleplaying game, this is a light fantasy about a Viking woman, an urban mage, and the icy witch who brings them together. Mildly recommended.

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

Loosely similar to the movie, murderer and rapist Hell Tanner is given a chance at a clean slate if he'll ferry a plague cure across a ravaged America. It's clearly supposed to be some sort of redemption tale, but Zelazny missed the memo that some crimes don't get redemption. I honestly prefer the movie.

Venus Equilateral by George O. Smith

Fixup novel of a series of stories published in the 1940s in Astounding, revolving around a communications relay station and the scientific geniuses therein. The science is advanced and accurate for its era, but has not dated terribly well. (The problems they encounter in communicating with, and locating, spaceships were solved in much simpler ways within the author's lifetime.) By the end, the science has advanced so far that it's almost shifted genres from hard SF to morality play. Mildly recommended.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:56 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where the hell the mysterious rustling noises were coming from.

One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.

No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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Stressy day

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:48 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: Spouse -- with his mom -- has been waiting for their turn at the ultrasound machine, in the ER, since... 3:30pm or so? Well, with a stint at Urgent Care, but UC sent them up to the ER for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. It is now 10:50pm. He is still not home. Nor have I heard from him since before I and kid went to seek food.

2: The garage is not usable as an ingress to the house just now, as there is scaffolding there, because we had water damage and our contractor needs to see how bad it is. We also have carpenter ants in one corner. The composite board is at least not disintegrating, but I am now of the opinion that composite board should NEVER be on ANY load-bearing floor. Or wall.

Also, roofs should have a rubber membrane that goes up over a foot at any house-join, so that when ICE DAMS happen, they do not overflow the plastic at the joins, come in the back, and RUIN EVERYTHING.

*sigh*

Further, the ENTIRE CEILING of the garage is not up to fire-code. It's only 1 layer of... whatever that stuff is called. Not drywall? The other thing. I can't remember. But it should be 2 layers, not 1. But noooooo, the people who put it together didn't put in both layers. FURTHER, they doubled-up on the plastic sheeting that's supposed to be on only one side of insulated walls (to keep moisture from being trapped in the middle layer and turning the insulation into Mold Surface Central), and didn't secure the wood slats of the ceiling grid (that holds up the insulation) to all the two-by-fours correctly. Especially at the edges. AND they didn't use long enough screws in the ceiling such that he was being surprised that we hadn't had a chunk of ceiling start coming down.

Having a friend who is a total stickler for code come and SUPERVISE house-building seems like a worthwhile investment at this moment.

3: If you are a lunch restaurant and are closed to customers 10 minutes before your closing time, I am going to tell Apple Maps that your closing time listing is wrong, unless you have a note on the door that the kitchen had to close up early or something. YES, I think people should get to go home promptly! However, I also think that presenting "closing time" to staff as "time we should go home by" is going to make for cranky customers. (We're not the only ones who were hoping to get in under the wire.) Staff should be paid for hanging around till the No More Customers Allowed In closing time! I believe Management is not setting correct Staff expectations. (Or, possibly, not paying them enough for those expectations.)

I am more sympathetic to an evening restaurant closing a little early if they have no customers in the building. I mean, they don't expect last-minute people and it's dark.

It is frustrating to hit BOTH of those in one day, though. -_-

Havva Quote
E____ says, “...The Widowmaker/Sombra ship is Spiderbyte and I will hear nothing to the contrary.
https://twitter.com/velsmells/status/898341081690943488


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Bees

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:54 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
I was working away when the next door neighbor called, and said there were a zillion bees swarming around my pine tree on the patio. By the time I finished what I was typing, and went down to look out the kitchen window, I only saw four or five bees, and thought nothing of it.

Then, a few minutes ago, I took the dog out for a walk, and the neighbor came out, and said, look at the trunk of your pine. Whoa!

Here's from the side. click and embiggen, to see how far around the trunk they go.


Bees

And this below is from the sidewalk. Look in the upper portion of the trunk--that is a zillion bees tightly packed together.

Bees 2

That looks so . . . weird.

If they're still there in a couple of days, I'll have to find beekeepers to move them. My son's biological family on the female side has a deadly bee allergy running through them--his bio uncle has to carry an epipen everywhere, and my patio is about the size of two bedsheets put together. In fact, when I dry my laundry outside, I can only get one set of bedding out there at a time.

EDITED TO ADD: Between one check and the next ten minutes later, they suddenly vanished. I would have loved to see them swarm! But they are gone, and I hope they find a good, safe home.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:45 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we start, a quick note because I've had a handful of issues with this lately -- if you want to bring a cause to my attention the best way to go about it is to fill out the Radio Free Monday form (also linked from the sidebar of my tumblr page). It's not just that I might not see a post tagged to me or that it saves me a ton of time, but also that it makes sure I get the information I need to describe the situation, link the appropriate pages, and name and gender people correctly.

The form doesn't ask many questions, doesn't pull any metadata (literally it doesn't even record the date you entered the information), and is as anonymous as you want it to be -- there are options for complete or partial anonymity for the person submitting the item.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] prismatic-bell linked to a fundraiser for Congregation Beth Yeshurun and their attached day school, which were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, which hit two Jewish neighborhoods in Houston especially hard. The families are currently attending Temple Brith Israel, and the children from the day school have had to scatter among several schools temporarily. You can read more about the damage here, reblog here, give directly to the rebuilding fund, or purchase toys and learning materials or replacement books for the school directly through Amazon.

[tumblr.com profile] reesa-chan is preparing for surgery and gathering supplies to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, but they're coming up short on a few things and surgery is looming. They have a Amazon Wishlist available here and have their paypal giving page here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] poplitealqueen, who is trying to help her mother get some experimental medical treatment which might allow her mobility without the use of a wheelchair. You can read more and reblog here (including links at the top to Patreon and Ko-fi) or give directly to their Ko-Fi here.

[tumblr.com profile] quinfirefrorefiddle linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] niines9s, who is trying to escape an abusive home and needs funding for housing after graduation. They are offering commissions and also taking donations; you can read more, reblog, and find paypal information at their post.

Anon linked to news about a Christian group, Faithfully LGBT, who are fundraising to aid transgender people with gender-confirming surgeries as a way of atoning for religious discrimination against transgender people. You can read and reblog the story here or give directly to the Tithe Campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to a post called Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis, which is about what to do if you're in college and dealing with mental illness.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Monday's story!

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:41 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Oy)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170918

Pirates! Blackmailers! Smugglers, brigands, and cutthroats! The pillars of the community!
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Liralen, I have the email! I need to send you data! I have not had brains for a few days.

I read The Brightest Fell by McGuire today. Fae families can be really, really screwed up. *pats some of them very carefully* (There's a Babylon Candle in it, though, and apparently that theme is MY CATNIP because I like many bits of the book and I like those bits ALL OUT OF PROPORTION.)

Havva Quote
“That’s thirty for me!” Rek’Vada roared over the sound of tearing metal.
“We’re not keeping score!” Carter shouted back, firing his phaser at the towering, spider-like creature in front of him.
“You’re only saying that,” [t]he Klingon warrior tore another Tholian in half, “because I’m winning!”
“Thirty-two!” Carter yelled back.
http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/10618394-%22brothers-in-blood%22


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

I need to get to bed.

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:17 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
It's already 2 am. My day was not very exciting.

Conuly found this cool game. http://flashbynight.com/drench/

Havva Quote
---------------------Quoted by w•••••••---------------------
Dammit, when it's an abstract concept, you use "less". Less time, less money, less trouble. When it's something you can count, like Nazis, the word is _Fuhrer_.

Er, that is, "fewer". I meant to say "_fewer_ Nazis".
------------------------------------------------------------


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Tea and Talk

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:26 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Though I deeply appreciate net connections (which constitute the majority of my social life, such as it is) it is good to have actual conversations with human beings in the same space time continuum.

Today, [personal profile] calimac is in Southern California, and so had a chance to come by for tea and scones. (Well, I had tea, and [personal profile] calimac had water.) We blabbed non-stop about reading, Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, classical music, the evolution of TV, the differences in short story and novel writing, and how to conduct an interview/ run a panel ([personal profile] calimac suggested this interview with Robin Williams and Stephen Fry), and the Mythopoeic Society, and then reminisced about stuff the younger generation has no concept of, except in movies: things you never think of, such as leaded gas, and the total lack of recycling of the sixties, party lines, how horribly expensive it was to make long-distance calls (especially in the days when families had a single phone), etc.

We didn't just blab about old people stuff. We also talked about how awesome YouTube is, especially for musical discoveries. I have so many saved links, tabs, and tags that I can't find what i'm looking for half the time, but I did manage to find this one, and am always looking for more, of course.

Ah, that was fun--then, of course, back to work.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Wow, you guys, the me of 2014 was such a good bro, he bought an extra three years of premium-level warranty coverage on his laptop.

I wasn’t even looking for whether I was still covered by warranty, I just assumed I wasn’t, but I went to Dell’s website to get the model number of my laptop so I could look up how to open it up properly and fix the terrible groaning noise my fan is making. And Dell was like hey, here’s your model number, also your warranty is good through June of 2018. 

I’m still gonna try to open it up and fix the fan myself, but if I can’t, I can send it in and get the fan fixed AND get a repair on the housing that’s starting to crack. 

Good job, 2014 Sam. You had no idea the crazy shit that was ahead of you but by god you knew you’d need three years of warranty. You and me, buddy, we’re fucking killing it in the adulting department lately. 

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4am bedtime again, oh well

Sep. 16th, 2017 01:35 am
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
We'll see what I manage tonight.

Healthcare thing is driving my kid into issues (the very upsetting kind that means interactions with anything but Special Interest Topics is shattering, which is, clearly, not helpful), so please call your Senators and express a wish for something that is not going to make it harder for my family to get healthcare. (I am quite into fixing the crappy parts of the current situation, but block grants is not the way to go...)

(I do rather like my bandaid of a Federal, 100% tax deductible "MedicalGoFundMe/Patreon" thing where people could help each other more easily, but it's a bandaid. ...on the other hand, it's a bandaid that could be applied to politicians. Want healthcare, O Politician? Better make sure that your constituents like you. They're the ones paying. Directly. FOIA applies to donor identities, of course. *evil grin*)

(I know, I know, it's probably not actually workable. But ah, a gal can dream.)

I have acquired the latest Seanan McGuire book -- she broke into Hardcover with the Tobeyverse! That's a cool one to see. I hope that it enables her to have fewer worries about caring for her cats and mom and family. (Now I just need to have enough brain to READ it. *sigh*)

We, meanwhile, have discovered there are weird stains on the garage ceiling, probably from when the ice dams came up over the waterproofing under the siding where garage meets house, and now we have a bunch of stuff in the garage so C____ can climb up and tear a hole there to see how bad the internal damage is. What's rotten in the state of attic? *siiiiiigh* He did not set up the scaffolding because it will be blocking the stairs into the house, and he wouldn't be able to get much done before vanishing for the weekend. And it's raining today. So. Monday.

Oh! http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/09/global-pricing.html -- any prices I should be addressing? O:>

Havva Quote
C_______ says, “Arright. Let's see if I can get through the first ep of Black Sails before game.”
C_______ says, “... For some reason I did not expect this show to be this bright and colourful.”
C_______ says, “Not sure why.”
f___ [to C_______]: Oh yes. It /remembers/ that it's in a tropical zone with very bright sunlight.
f___ [to C_______]: So you get all the grubby pirates and the grubby buildings they hang out in, but also the GREEN and BLUE and YELLOW and glossy sea and, well, so forth. It's one of the things that keeps it from being all Shades Of Brown.
f___ [to C_______]: (...though it did mean I mistook 'We shoot all these flashbacks through a different filter' scenes for 'We shoot all these scenes through a different filter because the quality of light is different in London', aheh.)
C_______ [to f___]: It's so *pretty*!
f___ [to C_______]: Yes! ...and you can actually tell the various grubby white dude pirates apart with their distinct hairstyles and ways of speaking!
C_______ [to f___]: I'm mostly telling by facial hair and/or scarring, so far!
f___ [to C_______]: Oh, yeah, the scars help too.
F~~~~~~~ [to C_______ and f___]: what's this you're talking aboout, arr?
C_______ [to F~~~~~~~]: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375692
f___ [to F~~~~~~~]: Black Sails! It is a good show.
--Spread the word!


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Me: R’s in town this weekend so we may meet up.

Mum: Send me a picture of you and R when you’re hanging out!

Me: Not sure when it’ll be yet but I’ll do my best. It’s a little uncertain right now.

Mum: If it were certain, I’d be worried it wasn’t really R.

She knows us both so well. 

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sartorias: Lady Pirate (Lady Pirate)
[personal profile] sartorias
Fans of Swordspoint--or anyone who loves LGBTQ-friendly swashbuckling action and romance--the terrific first season of Tremontaine is available for $2.99

Season three will go live October 11.

FLUP

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:01 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
I went down and walked, and made my watch happy. Then I had only 1K more steps to make my fitbit happy, so I did that. And I finished a STO fanfic. I need to do a cover for it, though.

I got to bed around... 3:30? Ish? Yay? Didn't sleep as well as I'd have liked, though. Woke up after a bit and took my thyroid pill -- must check and see if they got the prescription filled, tomorrow -- and then had a while getting back to sleep. Blah.

Need to get paying fic done next. But at least I don't have that mood-piece griping at me.

Havva Quote
f___ says, “You know those 'look, a student at Hogwarts does everything through /cool mechanical stuff/ instead of /magic/!!!' things that float across Tumblr periodically?”
C_______ does.
f___ says, “Lost In Oz is pretty much Dorothy doing that, except without the subterfuge or other people being baffled by it.”
f___ says, “She's just completely non-magical /and/ great with mechanical stuff.”
C_______... ooh.
f___ says, “(Also, magical items appear to be usable by anyone; it's the 'cast spells' stuff that seems to be dependent on being magical oneself. She's... like a Soldier rather than a celestial, kinda?)”
f___ says, “I worry that the aspect of the monkeys being mind-controlled is not dealt with in sufficient ethical nuance! Well, yet.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Trick or Treat Exchange

Sep. 14th, 2017 05:10 pm
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
For those who don't know, Trick or Treat is a fun, low-pressure fic and art fest - the minimum is only 300 words! Treating is encouraged. Signups are open now. You can see the tagset of available fandoms here.

Treats (and tricks) in unrequested but known-to-be-favorite fandoms/characters of mine are always welcome!

My god, this is long. Sorry!

My fandoms are The Darkangel, The Dark Tower (book), The Girl With the Silver Eyes, Hamilton, Ladyhawke, The Magnificent Seven (2016), Marvel 616 (aka X-Men comics), Saiyuki, The Stand, and The Windsingers.

Prompts below cut. Read more... )

Yuletide noms!

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:24 pm
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)

Well, solved the doorbell problem...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:04 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Disconnected the wires.

As I said in comments: Well. It happened. And then again. And then I creeeeeeept up on the front door, and peered out the window, and... nothing. But I heard the gnawing sound in the wall, faintly. THEN AGAIN RIGHT NEAR MY EAR! I yanked open the door! NOTHING THERE!

We disconnected the wires from the chime 'cause a flying squirrel was chewing up the wires. *sigh*
[...]
When rodent go MUNCH, doorbell go BR-RING BR-RING BR~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ghk.


At least we have a nice door-knocker instead. And now a postit note saying that a mouse ate the wires, because while I am almost certain it's one of the dadgum flying squirrels, "mouse" was easier to fit on the post-it note.

Bed at 4:40 or so. Slight improvement. I should try to get me and kid to bed sooner tonight because I have to drive tomorrow and... guh.

Havva Quote
f___ says, “...West's mother just showed a picture of three women, and explains the woman in the middle is Glinda; "she always insisted on being in the middle in pictures, because she wanted to remind us that she brought the two of us together." Gosh, I really hope that is as gay as it sounds.”
[...]
f___ says, “Aw, drat, the second 'your mom' was to Dorothy, regarding her mother as the third in the picture, so. Probably West does not have two moms. BUT I CAN HOPE.”
--on Lost In Oz


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
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