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, April 19th, 2014 03:39 pm
What a delicious Friday morning. I'm working from home, but i don't need to start until normal working hours! The mystery of the exhaustion was resolved (hormonal; i wish i could predict that but my "cycles" are very lopsided and wobbly), and out i went for a walk last night.

Today: no wheat, no sweets.

Also, if work can manage not to be in a panic ... oh look, an 8 am meeting. Sigh.

We have a yard sale tomorrow: the neighborhood all shares in the same day, and i decided to participate by selling this year. Some of my white Pfaltzgraff Heritage dishes from college will be on sale: coffee pot, pitcher, salt and pepper, cream & sugar, and seven cups and saucers. Sentiment isn't good enough, and i prefer my mismatched collections. Mom has returned to me the dishes i bought at thrift stores in Philly for her: those are going, too. Those, in fact, were the tipping point: there was NO WHERE to put those. I purged the vase collection, and that has actually purchased some storage room. The other dishes just bought wiggle room where dishes were tightly packed or precariously stacked. I may take a few breaks today to sort through a little more.

I have memorized the first thirty elements of the periodic table. I think these will be the easiest, as they are all fairly common except 21 Scandium and 23 Vanadium.

--==∞==--

And Saturday comes. I HOPE i forgot to take my antidepressant yesterday. The end of the day i was overwhelmed with impostor syndrome thoughts, triggered by talking to my new boss about my reviews of the team plus having a less than successful time taking photos in the hills.

Dinner in the Hills


There. It doesn't begin to catch the delight of the lupines in the sun, the white butterflies fluttering over them, and the deer (who were curious about what the human was doing laying down in the grasses and so on, but were pretty unconcerned otherwise).

YARD SALE.
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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 06:45 am
Some weeks ago there was an upgrade on my phone that nuked half my applications. The phone had behaved oddly since, not connecting to the 'net, culminating in a refusal to download email. I reset my phone to factory settings on Monday, and have (1) carefully purged a great deal of Samsung and Sprint software and (2) refused some of the "security" features. I do trust Amazon's store, and i don't download many apps anymore. The ones i download, i would like to keep, k thx bye.

I find myself wishing the phone had more magical, ooh, ahh effects. When it comes down to actually configuring it to be that way, i balk. Clutter. Distraction.

My phone is currently practical: weather, email, note pad, calendar.

However "S-Voice" is quite cool (the Samsung voice control interface), and i am depending on the voice control more and more. I love asking it questions as i drive, and yesterday was able to ask the phone to pull up Safety Dance (there, you have the earworm) on Youtube without looking at the device.

--==∞==--

Weariness continues. I'm not entirely sure what is going on but i am not feeling any bounce. The craving for sweets and coffee and boost keeps happening, and so yesterday i had an evening binge on donuts. Sugar to have enough energy to ... well, not much.

I'm sure there's some level of flare going on. The burning sensation on my face has migrated from the left to the right side, but it's very mild. It's not contributing to a headache, although i do seem to have a sinus headache. I wonder about arthritis as one knee -- the one i bashed in late December -- aches and one knuckle aches. I think i bashed that while dealing with the couch in late March. Arthritis or just clumsy?

I could not manage to stay up for the eclipse, and enjoyed it through Christine's sharing.

--==∞==--

The weariness -- it doesn't exactly feel like depression -- will pass. But ugh.
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Monday, April 14th, 2014 06:03 am
So, busy work week but performance appraisals done, check, and install plans done, check. Crash-relaxed all Saturday morning, reviewing some unedited photos and adding a handful of month old observations to iNaturalist. Friends responsibilities followed with an early evening meeting of Nominating committee, and then helping prepare the light lunch, followed by Meeting for Business. I'd been delighting in how short Meeting for Business had been, but yesterday's did run to 3 pm.

And thus the weekend sped by and it's back to work.

I am seriously pondering staying up late for me to watch the eclipse.

Work doesn't look easier this week.
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Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 06:02 pm
One hundred years of solitude,
Hotel at the corner of bitter and sweet,
Finding meaning in the second half of life,
Cold noses at the pearly gates.

The prince of providence -- 
     The whole truth -- 
        The ultimate gift:
            City of ashes.
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Saturday, April 5th, 2014 07:34 am
OMG Streaming cam on bird feeder from Norway where the bird feeder is a miniature cafe: http://www.nrk.no/piipshow/about-the-piip-show-1.11575642

Right now, no birds, snow falling in front of camera.
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Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 06:31 am
Yesterday's workday just felt like a cascade of triage starting during my meeting with the manager of the DBAs, his manager, and one of my counterparts. There's been some extremely bad communication, and the message that my team HAS to adapt to a new version of a database wasn't clear until about a week and a half ago. The plan to switch has been plopped down on one of my install dates. My relationship with the DBA manager is tenuous at best, so i'm doing my best to be compassionate and not pissed off in those meetings.

Meanwhile, skype messages and emails pour in about this issue and that.

The worst thing about being on the west coast is that the flood of email from the beginning of the German workday to the "beginning" of mine means starting work is to start with with a flood demanding attention, and one must go through looking for the urgent vs important vs whatever.

--==∞==--

I should take this moment to acknowledge that i rarely start my day at 6 am anymore. It's glorious. Two days a week at 7:30, but that's not so bad: i need not change my waking schedule significantly. I'm not sure what changed....

--==∞==--

During the day i held my depression as gently as i could. I am wondering whether to come out to my manager. I've read coming out stories from some successful folks about their mental health journeys and how we are fighting the stigma. I'm out as having seasonal affective disorder, mainly because i occasionally use the bright light at my desk, but also i've shared with one of my staff who seems to have the same issue. (Get the light! Try it!)

I would not have ever shared with New Director, but my new manager is a competent and even talented manager. I'm pretty sure now is not the right time, as the thought came mainly as i struggled through yesterday and even now my eyes flood as i think of how work pretty much takes the full capacity of my mental health.

--==∞==--

After work, i did something i haven't done in ages: i picked up a book. (Charles Stross' Glasshouse) I've not let myself get lost in the printed word in ages. (Ages would be since... 20131101. Months, then.)

After being wrenched out of the book coma to go to dinner, came the reminder of how fast i can read compared to listening or watching. I was about half done with the book, if not more. But the book coma - the sense of being completely lost in the world, of living in it - it seemed so powerful.

One reason i picked up the book is because that experience of getting lost in a book has helped reboot my state in the past, and i hope it has now.

As for the book itself, i'm a bit horrified. This is a posthuman universe science fiction story about an experiment to recreate the conditions of contemporary time: compare this to reality tv series of folks trying to live on the prairie with late 1800s technology. However, the conditions remind me just a little too much of the Stanford Prison Experiment -- and clearly the author is aware of that, too. My respect for the story is how the apparently genderfluid characters are shoehorned into the very gendered culture and the described experience of the protagonist who is cast in the experiment as a "wife." It seems realistic and plausible and is in many ways consonant with my experience.

I am left wondering though about the characters in the story who were passionate about the points and score: just like in real life, i don't really get the motivations. Mostly, i don't seem to know folks like that (Quakers? nope. Tech workers at a non profit? nope. My brother? not really, but kinda?) On the other hand, i probably avoid the fiction that would illuminate that for me.
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 06:48 am
I have finally finished listening to John McPhee's The Founding Fish . John McPhee reads it, which is both a pleasant thing and, well, i was listening at x1.5 speed. His ability to rattle of the Latin names of the fish he was writing about was very impressive.

The naturalist narratives and ecological observations about shad were interesting. The obsession with frying shad roe on top of bacon, not so much. The history of shad consumption in the Americas and the development of fishery regulation.... The description of reeling in shad, of having shad insides eaten by eels while hanging from a stringer at his waist, of other fishermen catching shad while he wasn't catching any.... Well, i listened to it all, but i heard the announcement "appendix" just as i walked in the door yesterday evening, so i'm declaring the book over.

I was again pretty blue in the evening, so i watched some youtube to keep from going to bed too terribly early (in retrospect, maybe i should have gone to sleep then). I watched some fishing videos of tarpon and shad to see what was being described. Then, as the boniness of the American shad had been elaborated in some depth (along with the outline of the plot to Caught (1996), which i won't need to see now), i watched Captain Vincent Russo (that accent, it's so familiar, is it Georgia? North Florida?) debone shad. "I wonder what i will dream about," i thought, as i am not so close to meat these days. Indeed, i dreamt about cannibalism, nothing graphic, but the disturbing thread was there.
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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 07:00 am
I do wonder where this blanket of blues has come from. It became palpable as i arrived home yesterday. The skies cleared and i tried to shake the blues off by getting a walk in and looking for rainbows.

All clean after the rain


The clear air, the crisp light, the saturation of colors due to the rain! My eyes were delighted.

As soon as i went back inside a weight fell back on me. To be early, and awaken: blanket is still there. I assume that some amount of it is feeling disappointed with myself with work progress. I want to avoid the queries at this time, but lets see if i can help pull myself out. Today's random choice is from here.

What do I need to do to prepare myself to be attentive to whatever way God chooses to reveal God-self? What are the potential distractions or obstacles that will hinder me from being aware or open to the movement of God?

Merghurrrmmmmm. Ugh.

....

At this point, Christine reads my body language and reaches over to pet my forehead and inquire. For me, that love and compassion is a Divine expression, That-Which-Is moving through time through us, and i tried to let my self soak it in. (Having just read the query, i was attentive: not sure how well i would have been earlier.)

The actual - not potential - distraction is my feeling guilt about not getting a very late commitment to my team completed. I will try to be compassionate with myself about this, and -- this reminds me of a practice i had some years back: framing my direction as "not care less" playing on "not careless" and "couldn't care less" while trying to find the balance. How do you keep a concern -- here, my failure to follow through with reasonably good excuses -- front and center so the pressure to address it stays motivating, yet not so much pressure that you paralyze yourself with guilt and depression? "Not care less" was a phrase i used to try to find the thin path between giving up and guilting up, a ridge that made treading through the muck of depression a little easier.

So, there -- that's my path for today.
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Sunday, March 30th, 2014 07:13 am
Astrophotography has been on my mind since seeing the eclipses on the calendar for this year. We're getting close to Mars, apposition in April. In October, eclipses and a comet will come very close to Mars. I've been discovering T-mount mirror reflex lenses and pondering teleconverters.

On the other hand, a big lousy image may not be any more satisfying than a small precise image.

--==∞==--

After a Saturday morning puttering online, much of the rest of the day i was restless. I had some to-dos on my plate, i had some wishes (Oh, to go to table mountain, oh, the bioblitz). The rain came down and Christine and i sat watching the dim skies on the deck.

I am learning the elements and their atomic number using the flash card program Anki. It's slow going on day 1.5. The first day i hadn't "shuffled" the cards, so the low atomic weights were the ones flashed by the software. I found how to shuffle and yoicks, 91 is Protactinium, 68 is Erbium, and i've never really heard of those elements. I might just begin to learn the highway numbers around here. Is i muttered that "82 is lead" to myself, Christine pointed out that was El Camino's traffic. 92 is uranium, and that's the first highway on my commute home. 25 manganese, 35 bromine: local speed limits. The end goal is to have a collection of numbers that can facilitate memorization of other things, just like the "82 is lead is the traffic on El Caminio" trick.

--==Now Monday Morning==--

The deck garden is vibrant with flowers. The lemon tree is still blooming, and i picked its two ripe fruit. On one side a white geranium lifts bundles of blooms out of the green riot. On the other side of the lemon, the argyranthemum has daisy-like flowers all over the shrub. Taking the yellow centers, the yellow miniature rose has bloomed. The yellow color carries to a gerbera daisy paired with bright red geranium blossoms. Then there are many hues of purple: the purple verbena still blooms a bright cascade. The rosemary seems to be done with its few blossoms, but the lavender still sends up shoots. The thyme is covered with tiny blossoms, and the sage is blooming, too. Some of the scented geraniums are blooming, but not the one that was more exposed than the others, with its very sculpted trunks. A rescued carrot will eventually unfurl its umbel, but currently the feathery bug

Both hydrangeas are green and lush with buds. A cyclamen we bought in December seems to have put forth another round of buds. The potatoes have sent up green shoots, finally. I’ve two planters that are empty and have found my stash of seeds.
I’ve put the rainbow chard where it might get more light and grow a bit more.

The hellebore, primroses, and Christmas cactus all seem to have finished blooming Basils are all dead, viola penny ™ orange died. (Due to aphids?) My native planter's Lupinus albifrons is stunted and shows no growth. Bolander's Phacelia seems the most delighted with its situation, while the pink seems content. A fourth plant in the planter and a fifth in the recycled bird feeder planter seem to be hanging on.

--==∞==--

I should have posted but the query i pulled reminded me of a work duty that needs doing. I didn't get to it over the weekend, but i did get a financial task complete.
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Friday, March 28th, 2014 07:00 am
Posted too early, by accident

[livejournal.com profile] bobby1933 asks, "Is this a list that Friends use? How was it created?" It's not from any established list of queries. Pacific Yearly Meeting's set from the latest Faith and Practice can be read online with the associated "advices." For a sense, here is the ninth set, "Integrity and Personal Conduct"

* How do I strive to maintain the integrity of my inner and outer lives?
* Do I act on my principles even when this entails difficult consequences?
* Am I honest and truthful in all that I say and do, even when a compromise might be easier or more popular?
* Am I reflective about the ways I gain my wealth and income and sensitive to their impacts on others?
* Is my life so filled with the Spirit that I am free from the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, and of excesses of any kind?
* Do we, in our Meeting, hold ourselves accountable to one another as do members of a healthy family?

Often Friends will share the sense of a gathering with a letter to the broader community and the queries that came out in the experience. So drafting queries might be a skill one picks up, depending which committees and service one stumbles into.

My set has evolved. I actually had a query practice before i was aware of Friends' practice. I think the first queries i used were from a tarot deck in 2001-ish. I could possibly do some digital archaeology and find those responses. At some other point, i had read about a (possibly Japanese) process of asking daily questions about one's use of time and satisfaction. They were along the line of "Where was time wasted?" "What was frustrating?" and so on. In retrospect, i suspect the article i read was inspired by the business practice Kaizen. Over time i tuned the questions to be more appropriate to my needs. For a some time, i journaled once a week in response to a set of questions, some just an inventory of yes, no, and some wishy-washy middle ground answer. For another period it was an every-evening inventory. I went back to those lists (that i could easily find) and pilfered some from them.

Are there yams[1] i've eaten in the past day, yams getting cold on the plate?


I think i have broken through the procrastination barrier of the past week. I made progress contacting my list of people we are considering as clerks and future clerks of meeting. (So far the folks with whom i have discussed things are far in the future clerks, if ever.) This weekend i will do the very last minute submittal of flex plan financial requests. At work, there are very very late reviews for my team. Very very late. These are set aside as when i was doing them, the reorg happened, and i didn't feel i knew what to say. Now i do.

I'm not setting aside needed time to walk. That's no so much of a yam -- continual maintenance doesn't have yam like properties -- it's just a habit i need to develop. I do note that in the evening if i am not settled, i do go do laps around the pool. At least i'm learning the centering and calming nature of walking as exercise. I do need to get some good ebooks. McPhee's Founding Fish is NOT riveting. It's fine for commuting, but it isn't a temptation for walking and listening.


[1] http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/1041377.html?thread=1116129#t1116129
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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 06:39 am
One common tradition in Friends Meetings is to read queries to the gathered Meeting for Worship. In Pacific Yearly meeting, Faith and Practice has twelve sets of queries read once a month. In the past at my meeting, they were read on the first Firstday (Sunday) in the month.

Some particular someone got a bee in his bonnet about this being programmed worship. We've dropped the practice despite others in the meeting thinking that the queries should be read.

During Wednesday evening worship, a rare occasion for me, i found myself thinking about queries.

One thought is to lead a return of the practice.

Another thought is to return to my own practice of journaling in response to queries.

Periodically i've gone through practices of responding to questions, not just the Yearly Meeting's queries, but also some others. I'm imagining drawing a random number and responding from a set list.

Here are some ideas
  1. How have i furthered the cause of social justice in the past day (week) and what opportunities have i missed? (I thought about this during worship and the drive home. I don't see many places where i act to support social justice, but i noted by buying from Amazon instead of REI i supported the distribution center business. I think i may find this query good practice.)
  2. How have i practiced compassion in the past day (week) and what opportunities have i missed?
  3. How have i conserved natural resources in the past day (week) and what opportunities have i missed?
  4. In what way did i best steward my time and what opportunities have i missed?
  5. What was the most beautiful moment in the past day (week)?
  6. What has caused frustration in the past day (week) and how may i go forward?
  7. Are there concerns that i may carry for another?
  8. Are there concerns i may ask another to carry for me?
  9. Have i been using those tools that i know make my life better? (Or that i'm experimenting with?)
  10. Are there yams[1] i've eaten in the past day, yams getting cold on the plate?
  11. What abundance have i experienced in the past day (week)?
  12. What joy have i experienced in the past day (week)?
  13. Have i been attending to the transitions (joy/flow/meander) and when may i have missed the opportunity?

Do you have any offerings for me?


[1] http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/1041377.html?thread=1116129#t1116129
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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 06:49 am
I think i found a new time sink that really should be avoided. It's a site named viewbug, and i feel like it is all about pulling mostly ambitious amateur photographers in and farming them. The contests are by folks selling to photographers, and you have to pay to submit to some contests and pay to get lots of features and access most contests. There's tons of "social" interactivity - liking, awarding, favoriting, commenting -- i've transferred a bunch of images from Flickr with the free two weeks of "premium" and am trying not to get sucked in. Does this meet any of my goals? I don't think so.

Sanicula bipinnatifida


I did get a trundle in around Edgewood while Christine and her sister watched a movie. This netted a nice collection of observations for iNaturalist: http://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/judielaine/2014/3/23

I'm hoping that between the post-visit relaxation, a hormonal shift, and giving in to my naturalist self (writing the essay on Forget-me-nots and the Edgewood trip) i can now return to everything about which i have been procrastinating. None of it is particularly onerous, but i think i wanted to do something for my naturalist future so much that holding off from that to do other things was tying me in knots.
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Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 08:00 am
[personal profile] annie_r asks, " What is the bioblitz? did I miss something?" To which i must admit only a mind reader had a chance of knowing what i was talking about. National Geographic sponsors a bioblitz once a year, this year in the Golden Gate Recreation Area. Wonderful chance for that networking, etc.

But i'd rather go to table mountain (Flickr images).

And it seems registration for the bioblitz is closed, so i may have been disappointed had i decided otherwise.

--==∞==--

This morning a 500 mm reflector lens is up for bid at a starting price of $1. I bid so that the sum of the shipping and price would be $100 and beat the other two bidders, driving the price up to $2 something. I do not at all expect to win this lens as they usually go for $500+. However, maybe the "acceptable" condition instead of "good" will chase away the high price bidders. I recently read an article about how many visible issues with lenses have little to no effect on the quality of the images, so i'm happy to keep my fingers crossed.

A reflector lens has mirrors, so it can be dramatically lighter than many other similar telephotos and it doesn't have the chromatic aberrations. Apparently contrast is not as good. The main complaint seems to be the donut bokeh, where the out of focus points of light become rings instead of circular disks. This thread has an example of donut bokeh behind a sparrow -- my goodness what a beak on that sparrow!
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Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 11:57 am
A most joyful first day of spring, or second, or third, or -- happy first week of spring!

--==∞==--

I am procrastinating, sitting on the deck with Christine. A near by weather station says 62°; the sky is a crisp clean blue. Christine's sister has decamped to more sunny locations as i don't think many folks like this level of chill. (With that, i decide i probably ought to wear slippers.)

Earlier today, when it was quite still, crows seemed to be harrying a pair of ravens. I think i should much prefer a pair of ravens to the gang of crows. A short while ago, a flock of goldfinches wheeled against the sky: lovely.

The CSA box today had no oranges. Not sure if that's a sign of the seasons shifting or not. The huge leek i'm passing to my comrade in veggies, and i'm keeping the spring onions. I chopped up most of the leaves to add to my mess of greens. Everything else could easily be split: salad greens, carrots, turnips, broccoli, asparagus. Turnips and carrot tops also went into the mess of greens along with the two week old bok choi from the crisper. I had bought radishes for a salad for Meeting tomorrow: the larger ones went in with the greens, just like with the turnips. This time i was good about de-stemming the carrot tops. The little sticks are not a pleasing texture.

--==∞==--

Still procrastinating. After a lovely walk downtown for lunch, and a stop at the used book store. We got several books, although none spoke to me completely. I did see a Dover reprint of the 1915 The Artistic Anatomy of Trees, which i thought would delight Christine and be a lovely browse for myself.

I've been feeling this block off and on all week. I think i should post some plant photos, perhaps write up an essay in Medium.

Hrm.

--==∞==--

I've decided not to participate in the bioblitz next weekend. I'm a curmudgeon: i shall admit this about myself. I want to go to Table Mountain (3.5 hours away), instead.
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Friday, March 21st, 2014 06:58 pm
I worked at 80% yesterday and today. It has been weird, but i think it's also good. During meetings today i sorted out my junk drawers and pen drawers and so on. I've a box of stuff that will be free during the yard sale a month from now.

Speaking of stuff, would anyone be interested in a Livescribe pen? I've decided that i really won't use it since i have the digital tablet. It's very cool to play with, but i've only used it once or twice for the part that made it seem interesting, which was recording my voice as i drew a diagram in order to send the explanation to others. I think i like having multiple colors more than my recorded voice.

We've cleaned house for Christine's sister's arrival, and i am watching the flight on Flight Aware. It's so cool -- you can download the geo-coordinates and altitude of the flight minute by minute (roughly). Thus, when i take the photo out my window now, i can find the answer to, "WHAT IS THAT??"

We had some furniture drama as the casters i bought ($30) ripped large holes through the bottom of the hassock. I think we won't need the full planned surface area for Christine's sister, though, so a solution (plywood, i guess) can wait.
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Thursday, March 20th, 2014 06:18 am
Hi! I did not fall off a mountain, although driving through Saratoga traffic came to a halt. When i looked in my rear view mirror i saw the shocked face of the driver of a big pickup as she slammed on the brakes. Almost a week later and the moment is still at the top of my memory.

Monday we revisited the couch of cheap lumber. Christine had talked to a handyman to fix it just so we'd have a place for her sister. The handyman looked at it and also wrote it off. He too thought it looked like lumber used in pallets. Good thing he didn't fix it, as when i ripped off more of the cover in indignation, i found another major beam splitting. I've found the website where i bought it: "All of their products are constructed from plantation-grown imported hardwood to ensure sustainable use of timber." Ha ha. This is softwood, not hardwood. I wrote the manufacturer on Tuesday, the vendor today, and will move to posting a complaint on the seller's website.

We had a day at Ikea and bought a smaller and much more inexpensive couch. We picked up a new hassock cover, and i have a hassock in the office that i stack things on and in. I forgot to buy the shelving to replace the hassock, so i was back at Ikea after work yesterday. I discovered a taller version of the same shelving already assembled in the "as is" department. Cool! I spent all my free time yesterday getting all my clutter on the shelves, and then, as we watched some mysteries, sorted through papers and ruthlessly disposed of as much as i could. Despite the high barrier the new shelving makes at the edge of my desk (i've built my own cube!), the consolidation it makes of a number of storage options actually makes my work area feel more open.

Anyhow, dealing with the couch and couch replacement fall-out has basically been this week. More to come, with getting the old couch out for pick up and assembling the new couch.
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Friday, March 14th, 2014 06:52 am
Off for a retreat this afternoon, one for which i feel decidedly unprepared. So it goes.

Next weekend Christine's sister is in town. I have just disappointed her by explaining that Tioga Road, which crosses through the high country of Yosemite, is closed for the winter. (Also, we are required to have chains in the car.) It's just dawn as i try to look at the park condition webcams and the larger views aren't opening. The text reports roughly quarter the average snowpack: such a sad drought!

I'm corresponding with a Bureau of Land Management botanist about flower displays a couple hours south of here. I hope to visit Panoche Hills and explore some weekend soon.
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Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 06:41 am
I've been fantasizing about having a lawn. My fantasy assumes i come into responsibility for a regular old grass lawn. I imagine cutting a spiral in it, and planting out native low growing plants and slowly evolving a non-grass sward. If you've 11 minutes, you can watch a non-grass lawn grow over several years at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwgPrDDwBG4&feature=youtu.be

Bee on Thyme I'm enjoying -- and profiting, i think -- from the photographic coaching available through the eBooks at http://craftandvision.com/collections/landscapes . I got hooked by acquiring some of the free books (Craft & Vision 1 & 2, Ten, and Ten More at http://craftandvision.com/collections/basics ) which - of course - puts you on their mailing list.

The landscape i posted yesterday was from Monte Bello open space preserve, looking down the San Andreas fault, with Loma Prieta in the distance. (See the not-so remarkably similar first photo from http://geologycafe.com/3Dbayarea/html/MonteBello.htm )

I find myself becoming much more aware of wide angle vs narrow, of the hyperfocal distance of my lenses, of white balance, and dynamic range. This photo of the native bee was shot as close as i could get, and required cropping out most of the photo. Just adding the extension tubes allows me to get so much more close. I'm feeling the beginning of knowing what image i want to take and knowing how to take it.

--==∞==--

Still not adjusted to daylight savings time. I can't get myself to believe its time to go to work or go to bed.

One last photo: not technically good, but one i want to take again with a tripod some time. The night light on the bradford pear (or whatever) is rather interesting, i think.

Night in Los Altos
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, March 10th, 2014 07:04 am
Yesterday i wore all my hats at Meeting, clerking meeting for worship and giving reports both for finance and nominating. This week i prepare for the retreat.

After all was done at Meeting, including a few parking lot conversations, i picked up Christine and we went walking at Los Trancos. Driving up i saw golden poppies, yellow broom (I don't know if the deerweed or the invasive Cytisus species), Indian warrior indian paintbrush, wild cucumber, and some sort of white flowering shrub (a buckbrush, probably). When we got to our destination, though, no blooms. Perhaps just a little too high altitude? We crossed the road to another park and there i found a few blossoms: Ribes speciosum (fuchsiaflower gooseberry), blue eyed grass and a checkerbloom.

Views from Monte Bello


I again find myself wishing for graduated neutral density filters, and pondering how hand holding them really works.