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)
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 08:14 am
Not that it matters, but i think Lost Girl's plots and writing went completely down hill after she met The Wanderer for the second time. The dialogue during the finale was awful. I was thinking, since that concludes the episodes available on Netflix, that perhaps they were canceled and their heart wasn't in it -- but no, there's a season five.


My brother's visit on Thursday afternoon went pleasantly, although i lost him in Target too many times. Got exercise doing laps around the store though while he collected Halloween candy, clothes for the kids, costumes, toys, and clothes for himself to take back to Singapore.

Did i mention that we bought new porcelain dishes? In my periodic "three things to make things better" i have been frustrated with the silverware marks on the stoneware. It's clear that scrubbing with something like Bon Ami is the answer, but it is a very annoying answer. I switched to our very nice flatware and that didn't make a difference. I've been pondering how we have plenty of fine porcelain plates (compared to how often we would use them), but they have a metallic rim. I saw a set of porcelain dishes marked down to roughly $10 a place setting (which is incredibly cheap) in a pattern that was agreeable and splurged. It is a whiter white than our fine porcelain pattern but the greys on both match. In general it doesn't look completely mismatched.

Meeting issues on my mind. Meeting a friend at the Sunnyvale Farmer's market before spending some hours in a clerking meeting discussing the state of the meeting.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 02:56 pm
Some (not very Quakerly) queries to help determine whether one is engaged in "meaningful" work. The sequence is broken because i dropped some questions. Questions © Odette Pollar and Parlay International:
Read more... )

All in all, things are going VERY WELL. Hurrah!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 06:37 am
Thanks to Joe Decker via Facebook, I have read a fascinatingly creepy sf short story via my library's subscription to EBSCO.

Start with http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2015/09/finding-hugo-worthy-short-fiction.html to understand what the site is doing.
Then find http://www.rocketstackrank.com/p/magazines.html#LibraryAccess to discover the various ways to access the magazines.
Then off to http://www.rocketstackrank.com/search/label/Ratings to find the stories.

What i find interesting is that the analysis shows Asimov's stories declining in the award finalists, yet, of the eight stories with a five ranking, four are from Asimov's.

Lightspeed seems agreeably accessible (collections of issues sold as eBooks) however.

Not like i spend much time with fiction these days.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, September 28th, 2015 12:50 pm
In light of the -- SQUEEE -- surface water (brine) on Mars paper, i did some reading about the Atacama Desert (thanks ArsTechnica). An excellent overview paper is

Azua-Bustos, Armando, Catalina Urrejola, and Rafael Vicuña. “Life at the Dry Edge: Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert.” FEBS Letters 586, no. 18 (August 2012): 2939–45. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2012.07.025.

Google maps supports visits, with some local photos and Wikipedia has many articles of varying brevity regarding features of the desert.

The most delightful thing i learned is how algae and other bacteria form colonies under quartz rock. (Domes!) The quartz transmits some light, cuts out the UV that zaps many bacteria with in days at the altitude, and provides a surface for fog condensation.

Oh, and the algae that live on spiderwebs in some of the caves in the "twilight zone."

Read more... )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 07:40 am
The week was pretty disjointed. Ill Tuesday and Wednesday, i fought to work through the day Tuesday, and read novels much of Wednesday. Early morning presentation by the executives at the company on Thursday left me dissatisfied after ninety minutes of platitudes and biz speak. Friday, another early meeting.

--== ∞ ==--

Yesterday was the Harvest Festival. I did some sales in the morning at our jewelry table (where the Swarovski rivoli earrings i made several years ago have still not sold). At "full price" from rummage i bought a dated Samsonite bag that will be perfect as a work tote ($1). (Aha, a quick image search turns up one from eBay; tweaked image search for SAMSONITE "SILHOUETTE 4" Pink Tweed".) I also acquired an apparently never opened small cuisinart-like device ($4). I don't know if it can chop herbs as finely as i would like, but i'd been thinking about trying to find something similar.

I returned at the end of the day to help with the jewelry booth, but the woman running it clearly did not want help. So i wandered the rummage during the period of everything that fits in a paper grocery sack for $3. Miracle of miracles the Calphalon 12" pan was left. Regrettably it's from the nonstick line, not the basic commercial grade simply hard-anodized surface. Also in the bag, yarn.

I tried very hard not to fill the bag, but, so it goes.

The evening effort of dissembling the tables, old doors and saw horses made of plywood, has left me stiff this morning. Of course, everything, including a few minutes Friday night going up and down stairs as minimal exercise, leaves me stiff.

--== ∞ ==--

$399,000 Mobile home in Half Moon Bay. There's a parcel number - so maybe the land is included? (It's also a 55+ community, so we'd have to wait... but it's not that far away.)

Now wondering if Pacific coast trailer parks, free of tornados, become tsunami magnets.....
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 07:16 am
"Volunteer Rent Control Program"???

For now, political leaders and landlords have both signaled interest for some kind of volunteer rent-control program as a possible solution. In what he dubbed a "fair rental practices program," Kasperzak explained that landlords could volunteer to adhere to set of standards and rent limits in exchange for promotion and perhaps other incentives from the city. The city could highlight landlords who participate in the program, he said, and perhaps expose those who decline to follow those standards. He hoped to present the idea to the council at the Oct. 6 meeting.

Christine says, after i reread the 'highlight' statement, "The city can barely run its own website."
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 06:43 am
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Everyone-Who-Has-Ever-Had-a-Birthday-Whenever-it-Was
Happy Birthday to you!

An important piece of our culture has been liberated! Huzzah!

Here's hoping for reasonable copyright lifetimes so creators can benefit, and, if their creation becomes part of the culture's myths and rituals, the creation is free for the culture in a reasonable time.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, September 21st, 2015 05:32 am
This was a weekend of intense research into what plants i am likely to find in the Panoche Hills. I am now prepared to write for a collecting permit. I also polished some gold flatware and got a good photo of the full four place setting set of china. I've started the packing of the pieces, trying to make cardboard structures to cushion the china. I have done very little otherwise.

I was silly and thought i'd look at all rare plants in a large region, cutting out the ones that needed too much rain or were adapted to serpentine soils. After much sifting and review of observations, i think i excluded all the plants that weren't near by my place of interest. So.... i could have started with a limit just around my place of interest.

I do look forward to getting down to the hills again. The white hills fascinate me with the rhythmic repetitive curves and the wonderful interplays of light. This weekend was a bit of a heatwave. Today's high for the town near the hills is 101 °F. I think i need to get back into shape before i can manage that. Soon it will cool and we'll drive down after work some evening, stay in a hotel off I-5, and i'll wake at first light to go drive into the hills. I've picked a few exploration spots - areas where the soil types change. It seems like that will maximize the likelihood of finding interesting plants. There are a number of rare plants that are still in "bloom" at this time of year. The blooms are not very showy, but they're doing their part for the ecosystem. Indeed, the amaranth family may look "weedy" but the seeds are surely a food source for critters.

I blew off some responsibilities this weekend, and was terribly sedentary. Must get some movement in if field work is going to be pleasant!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 07:37 pm
I stepped outside to take in the pale glow of twilight, just as a flock of crows flew over my home. They did not cry out, but i could hear the rustle of their beating swift wings.

Fly away daylight, fly away and grow short.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 12:53 pm
Perplexing things

* Weatherunderground has calculated a 2% chance of rain for this evening with 0% cloud cover.
* Is this dress navy blue or black with a blue cast?
* Does anyone ever notice when one wears black sweater and shoes with a really dark blue navy dress?

From the wikipedia page on Navy Blue, 'The Canadian Forces Dress Instructions specify that, " 'navy blue' is a tone of black".'

* Received a confidential email message that included a link to verify my identity. After a couple of clicks the system lets me know that the server that i was connecting to has an untrusted certificate. (This is apparently the Microsoft cloud email solution's active directory rights management software.) I was grabbing screen images of the cert which mostly looked legit when i received a new message from the same sender prefaced with "Resending without restrictions to enable viewing."
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 06:05 am
Yesterday evening Christine and i had a long and involved discussion about cladograms and phylogeny. Cladograms are the visual representation of an analysis of DNA that reveals the relatedness of organisms. I'd bumped into something that she had a strong concern about in a conversation months ago, and yesterday there was a NSF announcement of grants for "GoLife" - the "Genealogy of Life." Christine knew that the cladograms she'd seen in arguments that "birds are dinosaurs" were missing meaningful information; i showed her a cladogram of the asteraceae family. It prints out on an over seven foot wide poster. She's right that generally that much detail gets abstracted away and a diagram that represents the topology of the results is what is presented.

Her point is that while some folks may understand that the diagrams are severely abstracted not everyone does. Also, she has a language point. "Birds are dinosaurs" is not the same as "Class aves is in the clade Ornithurae of the clade Dinosauria." There is a good reason the Latinate endings get shoved on the end when naming groups: the convention has a meaning.

--== ∞ ==--

Instead of just a long conversation for our evening, we then turned on the videos and watched two hours of entertainment. And i didn't pick up my knitting. And i had ice cream. So, yay for an intellectually engaging evening and points off for staying up too late, eating desert, and not exercising.

Another success was going through a stack of papers and purging it. Goodbye Yuletide cards and articles i wanted to follow up on and so on. I want to get to where i am able to have a healthy communication flow and not have things stack up. If i could set aside N minutes each day and get to where i can keep up with incoming and do some amount of back log care, i could imagine a steady state. But i have a hard time imagining that N minute a day discipline.

--== ∞ ==--

California news: wildfire evacuees, check. Jerry Brown & Republicans debating climate change, check. Tsunami warnings ... wait, what?
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, September 14th, 2015 06:15 pm
So, i'm threatening to make curtains if Christine will investigate curtain hardware. We have two pairs of sliding glass doors. I love all the light but Christine isn't so fond. We've had highly annoying vertical blinds that have been disintegrating since we moved in. I wonder if she'd like the windows better if there were decent drapes. It's just straight seams, right?

IKEA has in a fabric botanical print with a purple-gold-green color scheme. It might be very close to some of the carpet squares we have. It is, at least, a similar scheme. I hope to get to IKEA today to get a sample of the fabric and some storage boxes for the china sets.

My morning tea water didn't really boil this morning. The electric kettle became cranky, so i put the tea pot on the stove. (It's a heavy ceramic designed to be used as a kettle as well.) That seemed to take forever. I don't feel well prepared for the day.

--==∞ LATER ∞==--
Template: Filling the Form

1. Work space
* Get through loose papers and stay caught up
* Digital workspace clutter
>> I am clearly taking on too many little administrative tasks. So many, "oh yes, i'll deal with that" moments as i go through email and mail. I need to let things pass by more often.

2. Car/transportation
* Happy with car
* I threaten to get back on the scooters to practice for taking caltrain.

3. Kitchen
* Continue to conquer clutter
* New dishes are a temptation due to all the flatware marks.

4. Living room
(Curtain discussion)

5. Bedroom
* In clearing off the top of my dresser, i noticed more things that could be donated or packed away.
* i'm developing more discipline around cleaning chores -- but room for improvement

6. Wardrobe
* Still pretty pleased
* Have tights to get together for winter
* two more slips?

7. Reading list or entertainment plans
* No video nights are happening more often
* See exercise habits

8. Exercise habits

9. Eating habits

10. Spiritual/intellectual maintenance
* I'm hoping to re-enliven my worship (but i do fear some of the depth is dulled by my antidepressants)
* Plenty of challenge coming up in the community
* I'm in an odd place with my mind with respect to work: i hope the workgroup mental block breaks soon.

Take the list or similar, and quickly dash off three small things in each area that can be done to improve your quality of being. Then set aside. Repeat the process some time later (a quarter? "ten week" period?) and then review the previous one. Tag taw@w & ftf
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 07:11 am
Yesterday the weather was blessedly mild and Christine proposed we drive up to the Concord area to get a sense of what it is like. I found an open house that fit our criteria that we visited -- wow, there were some clear Needs To Be Fixed issues. On the other hand, huge fig tree and two citrus trees in the back yard, and a neighbor had glorious grapes hanging over the fence.

Is fruit on your side of the fence yours or your neighbors? What if the weight of the grapes is pulling down the fence?

Anyhow, i've totally redesigned the house several times. Not like we're going to get it: we've forced ourselves into a period of not being able to commit, so we have time to mull.

On Wednesday i talked to someone in HR about moving east and how my salary would be adjusted. She was surprised to find how in advance of action i was asking.

Martinez is a charming town. I think it feels different because it has strong boundaries between the bay and the hills that surround it. It sprawls to its limits, but doesn't have the peninsula experience of one town seamlessly blending into the next. We spent time on its bayfront marina area, and drove around some of its early 20th century buildings. John Muir's home is on the outskirts of the town as a National Historic Park.

Plusses of moving to that area are that we get a good bit more house and yard than in the closer-in Bay Area, there seems to be an arts community, and it's still California. The commute is a killer and i would be moving away from my community -- almost just as if i was moving to the east coast.

One positive hint from HR was that moving to NC wouldn't be completely out of the question. So that will be something to negotiate with my manager when the time comes.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 06:15 am
Within the last week, mornings were cool enough that I felt the need to start warming up the teapot before making tea in it. Now we have a heat wave and i wish i'd made tea the night before.

I've started watching The Newsroom with Christine, an Aaron Sorkin show. I've decided that Aaron Sorkin's next series should be The School Board: plenty of chance for human relationships and drama, plus plenty of opportunities for sermons on democracy. I like that about Sorkin's work. The Newsroom has two narrative threads about relationships that are approaching tedious. I do like how they've characterized the man the young woman will probably leave for the other guy: he's not bad or obviously abusive. Instead he's just a bit patronizing, certain he's doing important work, and missing chances to affirm her work.

We watched Titanic over the weekend and the aristocratic fiancé of the female romantic lead was just awful, over the top. Although i suppose the whole movie was over the top. Back to Sorkin, it is nice to see the guy to be left behind in a romanic triangle have "normal" behaviors held up for scrutiny, as opposed to obvious abusiveness.


I spent much of the weekend researching my Grandmámá's amazing life, starting with the lumber mill in Brazil at which she spent her first five years.

A friend of mine met Grandmámá recently and heard her share some of those early Brazil stories. Afterwards my friend noted how amazing was Grandmámá's life -- and how caught up in the imperial extraction machinery of the early 20th century was her life. And it really was. I suppose i can stretch that thread across and connect it to how she supported herself working for Ma Bell as an adult: from that imperialist extraction era to the communication era?


Much of the blues faded away and i have concluded that they were rooted in my endocrine system more than anything else. On Sunday i felt a clear sense that it is time to move forward with some things where i have been in a bit of a holding pattern due to elephants.

I explained the elephant metaphor in July 2014, but elephant care has been very heavy this summer. I'm not quite sure when it got as heavy to carry as it did. In February of this year Christine was still able to cope to a certain extent, but at some point in the spring -- she might point to when her tooth broke as the tipping point -- elephant issues became the overriding concern of the house.

It seems with the fading of summer and the arrival of cooler weather, i have a sense that i could breathe deeply again, no longer hold my breath. This heat wave, i have to remind myself, is not directly related to the issues of elephants, and i can still breathe deeply again.
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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 08:30 pm
I dreamed i was depressed which was ... unnecessary. I've been feeling the blues over the past several days. While it may be associated with grief, i suspect it has more to do with hormonal changes and the hot flashes i've been experiencing. Caffeine does help.

This morning, my director said, "I thought you[r] point was on target, but I think you could have been more effective. Remember the audience doesn't understand the [subject matter] implications. You could have started with some context, rather than dropping a bomb, awkward pause, then some context."

After i admitted it was a "blurt," he concluded "No big deal, but you are THE authority on this stuff / You get it inside and out / no one else does."

I focussed a bit more on his critique than his constructive advice, and got myself in a dither about how i may have ended up in some whirlpool of being judged never appropriate for communicating about our project to others and became overwrought. I reread it now and still wonder at the impression i have made: i sometimes feel like i am judged as the awful subject mater expert dragon.

I'm going to talk to a colleague in HR about it, and at that time also follow up on what financial implications follow if we move to Ohio (or North Carolina).


Re moving - i must say that the native plant society in North Carolina seems FAR more lively than that in Ohio, and the recent Smithsonian Magazine has a claim that the southeast has some of the most critical biodiversity areas in the United States. I raise my eyebrow at that, so heavily coached in the wonders of California, yet i know that North Carolina is the other hot spot for discovering new mosses, and my memories of the many southeastern landscapes leave me certain that there are a large and diverse number of ecological communities in the southeast.


Retraining us and Edward goes on fairly successfully, although communicating "no" to the cats doesn't seem ... possible.

Tomorrow is another early morning meeting...
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, August 31st, 2015 06:17 am
Thursday, Christine wrote:

Our farewell to Mr. Montague was a precious, peaceful, painless, utterly trusting one around 10:30am (PT) this morning. ... His was an attentive, caring, fiercely protective, and noble soul. We are so grateful that we were able to provide him with this final gesture of our love and respect.

We drove up into the mountains to deliver him [to the potter who also does pet cremations], and then down to the sea for a few hours where we could hear the ocean purr and our salty tears fell amidst tide pools of memories; our cries were answered by sea birds on the wing who could miraculously lift our hearts onto the breeze, all of us together -- for a moment -- again.

Thank you all for your expressions of sympathy and condolences. They mean a great deal.

Friday we started talking about Edward. He's pretty much run wild the past handful of months as Christine hasn't had the heart to say "no" or ignore him when he asks to go out. I found a website about cat training (not all of which seemed appropriate for our situation), and we negotiated from there. We've started a practice of carrying him out to a bench in the little yard area near our unit, holding him and chatting with him, before we return in leaving him there. We are going to the same place to collect him. We've talked with the neighbors where he hangs out and asked them not to feed him. So that's been some distraction, especially while he's inside, trying to retrain us to let him out.
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Thursday, August 27th, 2015 06:32 am
We said goodbye to Mr M today. Heading up into the Santa Cruz mountains to take his remains to a pottery that also is a crematorium, the same place that took Greybrother and Greybeard's remains. Not sure how Romeow Marcel Duchomp Montague is going to fit on the little urns. (Mr Montague, probably)