elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, September 15th, 2014 05:53 am
Timestamp 5:53 am

Ha, the Sustainability MOOC i'm taking may have crashed someone's webserver. The case study for this week is down. I read it last night: it describes transitions between types of property rights as tied to evolution of agriculture. It was interesting in light of some thoughts i had when reading about the ... Cambodian? rubber plantations.

--==∞==-- Time passes. --==∞==--

3:59 pm Wow, that day sped by...

4:50 pm and keeps on doing so.

Query: Are there concerns i may ask another to carry for me?

Christine is carrying many of our household concerns. I don't think there's anything more to ask her to carry.

My dad is carrying the concern about my mother. I'm letting that go for a while.

Not sure there are any work concerns that i don't already try to delegate. Just today i asked the architect to lead in one important area - hoping he will. I'm letting my boss carry the worries about the coming reorg and the new CTO's leadership. (Not impressed that the CTO hasn't met with the release management group.)

I'm trying to let go of concerns about Meeting. My role now should be taking on other's concerns (and helping the clerk lead the community in addressing them), not generating my own.

I know others are carrying my health as a concern. I probably need to take more responsibility for that, myself.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, September 14th, 2014 07:47 am
I felt at the beginning of last week that i needed a reboot, and from Friday evening to late last night i rebooted, reading straight through the last three books in Nathan Lowell's Trader’s Tales from The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. I read the first three back when i was exercising regularly and tearing up my Achillies tendon: my enjoyment of the stories was motivational.

I may go back to reading and walking. Listening and walking is well and good, but listening takes so long.

May i note these would be great stories for children of an impressionable age in order to inculcate the value of keeping things tidy and clean. The number of times the character puts the dishes into the dishwasher is remarkable:

He took his empties and slotted them in the cleaner before heading back to his watch. ...The chief followed me, slotting her dishes into the cleaner. I got up and slotted the dirties out of habit before pulling a fresh mug of coffee from the urn. I slotted my cup into the cleaner. I slotted my dirty dishes in the cleaner... I downed the tail of my coffee and slotted the dirty cup...


Cleaning ships figures prominently in the plots of two of the three books.

As i spent the day reclining in bed lost in the author's world -- oh, right all the working out, too -- there was a little voice aware of ALL THE HOUSEWORK that i was not doing.

Nonetheless, i feel rebooted from the week and the previous months. Beyond seeing everything in my home as a chance for Ishmael Wang to demonstrate leadership and pride by doing a massive scrubbing, i feel clear.

Now to start my day, picking up all the plates i was juggling in an intentional and balanced way.

Biggest concern is probably getting an doctor's appointment soon: the coughing isn't easing. Oh, how i would love another course of prednisone: the itchies attacked me last night. I won't get the course, i expect, but i can wish.

In reading notes, i also finished After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan by Ted Rall, which i found engaging and useful, but certainly has a political bias. I'm also back to reading the poems in Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose" by Naomi Shiha Nye.
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Thursday, September 11th, 2014 06:52 am
This article about land activists in Cambodia fighting over traditionally held land that is being transferred to corporate plantations reminds me that not only is there injustice but a huge risk in monoculture plantations.

Our global supply of rubber is at risk. We just need one person who has walked around in the South American tropical forests which are where rubber trees are native to then decide to traipse around in the tropical Asian areas of the rubber plantations. Say, a birder. And this birder's shoes and jacket are spores of the co-evolved diseases that keep rubber tree plantations from succeeding in South America. And since the rubber plantations in tropical Asia are dense monocultures, a disease can spread like an epidemic....

Lots of rubber used in the transportation industry. Might reduce CO2 emissions. Although there must be some carbon sunk into those rubber tree plantations.

(Pondering the ecoterrorist approach to the land grabs in Cambodia.)
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 11:23 am
Ten Things that Make Me Happy:

1. Watching Edward sleep on the bed with a feline expression of bliss.
2. Doing small garden caring tasks: watering, inspecting leaves, pruning, hunting for ripe fruits.
3. Reading a variety of web comics
4. My morning hummm with Christine where we literally become in tune with each other.
5. Wandering in the woods.
6. Wandering on the beach.
7. Wandering in the wetlands.
8. Talking with my sister.
9. Checking out the birds around where i work.
10. Attending many (but not all) Friends committee meetings.
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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 04:29 pm
I read "CLASP-mediated cortical microtubule organization guides PIN polarization axis" and recognize i have a long way to go in the botany comprehension space.

http://aobblog.com/2014/09/dodgy-pictures-dog-phytology/
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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 05:58 am
For the bird lovers out there, this NSF article about swallow research in the Americas may be inspiring. Here is the map that shows where the nine species of the genus live.

--==∞==--

Thanks everyone for the support during the long summer cold. I'm still not at 100%, and my sister is urging a follow up. I've been keeping a log of sorts, and i'll probably email that to the doctor sooner or later.

I know i was down for the past few days: i can't tell, but maybe the emotional tide has turned this morning. I'm feeling much more ease in getting some emails done.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, September 8th, 2014 06:32 am
Also, in "is technology REALLY making my life easier?" i managed to nuke all my calendars in an attempt to synchronize, and also overwrote the contact list that i have been cleaning up with one full of antique and vestigial entries.

OOF.
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Monday, September 8th, 2014 06:00 am
Apparently, my brother has asked my mom to go see a mental health professional and she might go to prove to us all she doesn't need help.

So there's that.

--==∞==--

In another digital community i'm in, there's discussion about the formation of Death Cafes:

Our objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'.

A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.


I'm not sure i feel a taboo around talking about death. I certainly feel a taboo around talking about suicide in the sense that i suspect a listener will be more on alert for "cries for help" than actually listening. It's the choice of continued existence or not, though, that has driven my awareness of death.
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Saturday, September 6th, 2014 06:54 am
We went to see Hundred-foot Journey last night, and we were delighted. Helen Mirren pulled us in, but the whole cast and story and landscape delighted.

I was disappointed that the south Indian vegetarian restaurant we initially chose was closed, but the Tandori Oven chain near the movie theater was perfectly satisfying. (Eating before the movie is recommended!)

--==∞==--

While i am not at 100% yet, i am definitely improving. Yay. One small household "condition of enoughness" was achieved yesterday, overcoming a little bit of the lack of motivation i've been feeling at the end of the work day.
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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 12:35 pm
Greycie Loo woke me early this morning. It was not outrageously early, and as i let my mind drift, i landed on creative and useful things to do with the time. Before i started, though, i sent my siblings a rave email about Anki and recommended that it would be good for their kids. My brother was awake in Seoul, realized i was awake and called. We chatted for a long while about the situation with my parents. Both my sister and i have talked with my Dad and we're willing to hold off on significant interventions until after my dad tries his plans.

I wasn't planning on waking to heaviness.

--==∞==--

I did have a pleasant time before he called working on new flash cards. When i first got Anki, i realized i could make botanical cards not just for myself but to share with others. Since starting, i've found much better ways to phrase questions and use the flexibility of the system: my original botanical cards are not well structured. I started making new botanical cards and started making my own diagrams, too. I'm fairly happy with how they were working out.

--==∞==--

This morning i set aside an hour to work on my Yam. This yam is barely out of the oven, not a cold congealed thing, but if i can avoid procrastinating that would be great. Having a fresh hour to work on it was very good. I will keep trying -- but i see early meetings getting on my calendar again.

Maybe it was summer break with the Europeans on vacation.
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Monday, September 1st, 2014 06:27 am
Christine had a bit of elephant herding to do yesterday, and i realized that she was carrying her stuff plus the sense that she also had to make sure i got my meals. I do get distracted, and often she will fix my lunch to make sure i eat. This is something i can address, unlike most (if not all) the elephants. It is so lovely to have her taking care of me, but, i reminded her, i CAN take care of me: she isn't required to. I know some of the ways she fixes meals for me falls under rituals of love, like my making sure she has a warm cup of tea in just the right mug to wake up to. As soon as it becomes a chore and not a gift, though, i told her, stop!

Meanwhile, on planet Stupid Cough: "Let that be a lesson to you [me], Mucinex! Your reign of terror [coughing] is over!" the regent cries, as Mucinex is tossed into the dungeon [under the sink].

I can feel the difference this morning. Admittedly, my sinuses were happier while i was taking the Mucinex, but the sense of lung irritation is far reduced while my sinuses feel familiar. If i hadn't found the Mucinex in a tablet form, i wouldn't have taken it. I hate cough syrups.

I won't try to get two weeks worth of work and chores done today. I promise. I hope to make way for an easy transition back, though.
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Sunday, August 31st, 2014 11:23 am
So when do i consider myself well? I am still having a productive cough, although it's more often phlegmatic clearing of the throat. Is this well? Do i stop mollycoddling myself yet?

[Insert exasperation.]

Moving on to a query instead of dwelling on that, i type, "jot -r 1 1 27" at the command line, and have 6 as a result. On to my list of queries for journaling and....

Dear random number generator,

Your choice of query for me, "What has caused frustration in the past day (week) and how may i go forward?" is disturbingly close to my own query for me. My superstitions are reinforced by your selection.

Cheers,

me


Well, YES, how may i go forward? Or, you know, When?

You don't need to read this about chronic rhinitis and my thinking by wrtiting. )

There. Hope. A plan forward.
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Saturday, August 30th, 2014 06:53 am
Image from page 365 of "Hill's album of biography and art : containing portraits and pen-sketches of many persons who have been and are prominent as religionists, military heroes, inventors, financiers, scientists, explorers, writers, physicians, actors,Waking with a sore throat. CURSES.

Delighted to hear of this Internet Archive project, one which excerpts images from digitized books & posts them to Flickr with surrounding text. I've used the scanned books at Google for clip art for a while now: it's nice to have some assistance in finding the images.

The Mission Blue project wants to set aside 20% of the oceans as preserves. E.O. Wilson apparently thinks that's thinking small. He is proposing 50%, Half Earth, be set aside. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-world-really-set-aside-half-planet-wildlife-180952379/?no-ist

I love the idea of working wild landscapes, of corridors of parks from that article.

And i would love to roam through longleaf pine woodlands. I've driven through them and admired them from the car window.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, August 29th, 2014 03:55 pm
Just listened to Hari S. on the PBS New Hour ask, "What was the most important thing you learned in your first job?" as part of the Labor Day weekend observation.

Put the bread and eggs on the top of the bag.

You?
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, August 29th, 2014 06:31 am
Whine )

I *am* getting better. I just resent this week.

One silver lining: being sick has allowed my ankles to continue to rest from the sprains earlier this summer.

--==∞==--

Last night we watched Netflix documentary Mission Blue: both wonderful and heartbreaking. http://mission-blue.org/ Sylvia Earle's life is amazing to ponder: a marine botanist and one of the first to use scuba gear, one of the first aquanauts, pioneer for women scientists, and witness to what may be the beginning of one of the great extinctions.

50% of coral reefs gone?

My recent reading has led me to spend time thinking about how the oceans probably have incredible evolutionary information. While plants may be the extremely long lived creatures of the land, underneath the waves animals live for a very long time:


There’s a 2,742-year-old Gerardia coral, and nearby, the 4,265-year-old Leiopathes, a
black coral related to sea anemones, both discovered in exceedingly deep waters off
the Hawaiian archipelago using a submersible vehicle—approximately 1,200 feet
down. Older still, in Arctic waters off the Norwegian shelf lives the 6,000-year-old
Lophelia pertusa coral, around 330 feet down.

The oldest animal on the planet could be the 15,000-year-old Anoxycalyx joubini
volcano sponge off the McMurdo shelf in Antarctica. I’m not sure of their exact depth,
but no one has visited the oldest among them face-to-face, in fact, as they were
found using a SCINI ROV—that’s “Submersible Capable of under Ice Navigation
and Imaging Remotely Operated Vehicle.”

Sussman, Rachel; Zimmer, Carl; Obrist, Hans Ulrich (2014-06-03). The Oldest Living Things in the World (Page 265). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.


I tell myself that shallow coral reefs are unlikely to harbor ancient individuals, what with sea level changes and so on, but the species could have been ancient: ecological niches effectively and efficiently filled since the niche was discovered now empty?

And the fish stocks plummeting?

What heartbreak. What blindness. Sylvia Earle's eyes are wide open, and this documentary helps us all see.
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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 06:46 am
Media Wednesday slipped by, but i wanted to note that...

... i am playing iOS game "Swords and Sworcery" as i rest. I enjoyed it at the beginning, but the coordination to fight off the trigon's lightning bolt attack is annoying me. The training mode is civilized. So far I'm not feeling stressed but as soon as that happens, i'll start ignoring the game again. I think i got the game in some "free this week" offer in the IOS store. I'm not much of a game player, but we'll see if this pulls me in.

... i read Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan on Overdrive on Saturday. I did not take the time to pay attention to the science fiction unification of gravity and quantum mechanics with my critical mind, but let the the device move forward. I found the layers of world (and universe) building and narrative nicely interwoven. Having been thinking about biochemistry since starting the Great Courses Biology: The Science of Life by Stephen Nowicki, i appreciated the effort to evolve a novel form of life. I just have an itchy feeling the writer got to a point and some one said "Wrap it up" and a chunk of discovery, explication, and resolution was skipped to, well, wrap it up.

On the other hand, sick reader.

... i'm reading http://openstaxcollege.org/books Biology text. It's a little rough (terms used before introduction), but it's providing me a foil for the MOOC and the Great Courses. I'm also poking around in E O Wilson's high-school level free iBook text. All these feed into the ANKI flash cards. (Note - there's a whole EO Wilson-developed high school Biology course in iTunes University.)

... i finished Coursera's Learning How to Learn. It reinforced some things i had picked up over the past decade: oh, if i had learned these things BEFORE grad school! The newest point was that exercise is also useful for learning.

... i started Coursera's Preparation for Introductory Biology: DNA to Organisms. I decided i am not interested in participating in the peer engagement part. Since my goal is understanding plants at the ecological level, i try to keep my focus on the keys details for that. One of the TA's helped me find a text that explained relative densities of ions in solution in plant cells to contrast with the human bias presented in the lecture.

I suppose many people taking biology are en route to the medical profession. Hrmph.

--==∞==--

In exciting genealogy news, i've been contacted by relatives on my Swedish great-grandfather's side from Sweden. His history, prior to getting married, is not well documented and there is little in our family records. My earliest documentation had been a census record after the first children were born: no idea when he was married, immigrated, etc.

I spent some time on google earth translating his mother's and father's moving about from the email narrative to a map. It was a little while before i realized that the movement from HOUSE TO HOUSE was being passed on, all within no more than 5 miles square. From that history, to crossing the Atlantic, moving around the eastern seaboard, to Wyoming, to Florida -- what a change!

--==∞==--

Things on my mind:

* Coughing when i sit up and talk for a while. Saw the doctor yesterday and was told keep resting.

* Family dynamics are in a holding pattern. I'm still looking for resources and have no idea how fast this needs to move -- but right now we're letting my Dad call the shots.

* Haven't heard from HR about the resources for my staff member.

* Christine's therapist was even less impressed with the psychiatrist's behavior because the three word "diagnosis" was first just sent to the therapist and then sent to Christine with therapist cc'd. Therapist has disabused Christine of the notion that it is a reasonable "diagnosis." The previous night's (American) murder mystery tossed the same diagnosis around for the suspect.
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Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 01:55 pm
SATURDAY


Prednisone seems to be leading the side-effect race, particularly with wakefulness. Awake late, awake early. I dozed through the mid morning, and i am somewhat out of it now. I decided to eschew caffeine, which may be part of this splitting headache.

We watched Gravity Friday night, which had me pondering whether the debris cloud issue was real (very plausible, it seemed) and whether we could effectively lock ourselves in our planet with our debris. Today i find the description of the Kessler syndrome. The original article presenting the issue describes a belt, so i presume we are far more likely to just make particularly useful and inexpensive orbits unsafe than totally deny ourselves access to space (barring that intention). It also seems that the cascade of collisions would not occur over the timescale of the movie.

The lake, it turns out, is Lake Powell, rendered unrecognizable with greenery from computer graphics.

SUNDAY


Last night's ride woke us up, and i could hear buildings shaking. I tweeted promptly, remembering the first medium sized quake i experienced in the bay area. This time, even with the very massive Edward, there was no way to mistake that shaking for a cat jumping on the bed. My goal was to get back to sleep as soon as possible, so after filling out "Did you feel it," i did my sleep ritual and managed to even sleep in.

I am looking for any notes of the 2007 5.4 Earthquake. I remember it vividly. I seem to have no notes in LJ, none in my elainegrey twitter account, and i can't go back that far in my elaine grey twitter account. Ah! The date is in UTC: here's my LJ entry.

--==∞==--

I've received several emails from my distressed staff member. He's concerned about how he can't remember what he said, and is clearly obsessing over the event. He's been dealing with something he has identified as a health problem for several months. I am impressed at how it seems no doctor has said, "do you think you might be depressed?" to his presenting symptoms of low energy and lack of motivation. On the other hand, i think he would dismiss that all together: he seems to be very dismissive of emotions. With his concern over his mental gaps of the conversations on Thursday he's now reporting he's going to see a psychiatrist.

--==∞==--

I continue to rest. But i'm having tea this morning since i got plenty of sleep overnight.
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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 07:13 am
Yesterday was triggery. There were some excellent aspects: i successfully isolated an hour to get some things done first thing, and i got a call-back from a psychiatrist who sounds tolerable. However, engaging with the health insurance company and their obsolete list of providers (3 of 5 no longer taking patients, the remaining 2 with month long waits) did not cheer me.

Again, thank you to the three professionals who have the "no longer taking new patients" message on their voice mail!

There were kerfluffles and poor communication channels. One kerfluffle had me thinking back to my mental state a year ago: job loathing, huge crisis, weeks of round the clock crisis response work. I do see from a journal review that i was trying to keep a good frame of mind: i noted something good from my previous incompetent "new director."

I believe i have deeply offended the HR professionals by blowing off participation in last fiscal year's "Management Incentive Program" and then saying the reason was because i found it annoying. My new boss raised his eyebrows, and went with a whatever, (but may have forwarded my response verbatim). In retrospect perhaps just an abject apology would have been more politic. Apparently, one must participate in the incentive program.

While i had apparent success in the mental health professional lottery, Christine had a failure. Possibly triggery bad behavior from a therapist )

One thing about the elephants: one of the concurrent issues was Christine going off paxil after over a decade of use. As time has passed, my conclusions are that it has a really nasty withdrawal. Now that the withdrawal distress is subsiding, she seems to be coping with the elephants pretty well. During the withdrawal distress i was really worried about her, and so was urging care of a psychiatrist. Now, i think much of the worrisome reactivity was withdrawal.

There are still elephants tromping about, and i still need to let her lean on me when she gets tired, but she's got capacity again to let me lean on her.