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Monday, July 21st, 2014 06:29 am
Did i get things done yesterday? No, not really. But i did do things. I prepped some veggies for meals: if i cut up the cabbage, Christine will make a delicious slaw. And i snipped up the green beans and peppers from the farm box, adding two beans and one tiny pepper from our garden.

I added amaranth leaves to my dinner. I think i'm going to start eating them much more frequently. They're an extremely easy green to grow.

I imagine a plot of mustard and amaranth and sunflowers. I'm sure there are other plants to add there. Indeed the thistle would be another: rich in seeds and greens. A bunch of vigorous colorful edibles, for humans and birds. I wonder if chickens would do well on thistle seeds. (This is filed away in my, "When we have a farm(ette) some day," speculation.)

Cooking is a stress because the microwave in the convection-microwave has become so temperamental it is useless. This is the second time the convection-microwave has died before its time: it was just earlier this year Christine went round and round getting a replacement for one. Care for elephants means she does not have the bandwidth to deal with this. (We use the convection-microwave because the oven is HUGE. Heating up that volume of air just for a small meal for the two of us seems insane.) I've proposed we just buy a tiny microwave. We'll wait a bit though. Other than popcorn, i think we can get by without. (Christine argues against stove top popped popcorn.)

The kitchen needs a purge of things we never use, anyhow.

Cirsium vulgare (Bull thistle)

I also began photographing a bull thistle we snatched from beside the highway. I'd scoped it out some time earlier, and on Saturday i nabbed it. My, the prickles are significant! I'd wanted to do some focus stacking of the seed with its plumes, but gravity pulls down the plumes too fast shot to shot. Thistle down is amazing: i can easily imagine stuffing pillows or quilts with it. I do want to take a series of images of the down expanding: its impressive how it expands. The down is so silky in contrast to the spiked leaves.

Cirsium vulgare (Bull thistle)

This week is all meetings, all day.

I have started walking in the evening, around the pool, listening to the biology lectures. At 36 hours plus, even at double speed, these lectures will keep me busy. However, with the walking, plus a commute every day this week, i'll be steeped in this section on how structure develops in organisms by Saturday.
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Saturday, July 19th, 2014 07:44 am
I inflicted the trailer to Zardoz on Christine last night. She had insisted on showing me a few early scenes of Connery playing MacBeth from about the same era: i thought it was fair play. Then again, you can't unsee things.


I'm not sure where i got this link, but it is a depressing article about data management and why poor schools can't win at standardized testing: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/07/why-poor-schools-can-t-win-at-standardized-testing/374287/

I don't know where to begin. The layers of game going on here are heartbreaking: i hate games. This system is so horribly gamed for profit and not value.


Something entertaining goes here but i've forgotten it.


A very abbreviated rant goes here:
* News article about how Santa Clara County officials are working with "community organizations" to provide relief for unaccompanied refugee children at the US Border is posted to meeting mailing list.
* Several, "Wonderful, we should be involved posts"
* I post the contact info for the official to the mailing list, and a question as to contacts at the San Jose Meeting who could be contacted re whether they were part of "community organizations."
* More posts "What do they need?" follow.

ARGH. Call the bloody number and talk to the guy.
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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 06:57 am
I read in a friend's journal comments a thread about inflammation and depression. This got my attention knowing i consistently have lots of random chronic inflammations, in my lungs, on my skin (my biggest organ), probably my sinuses. There's still inflammation going on in my ankles due to the sprains. I wondered before, when i first started regularly treating the asthma and allergies and other irritations: if these had been addressed when i was a child, would depression have shaped so much of me?

I have wondered if one can get addicted to aleve or other NSAIDs. Now i can see a reason why they could make me feel so much better. And, oh my heavens, prednisone! I feel like i can do ANYTHING when i am on prednisone! I'm just suffused with energy. Coming down off it is the most horrible feeling: Icarus hitting the sea.


An iNaturalist person i follow posted an unidentified flower in the past day, which showed up in my daily mailing. One was clearly an asteraceae, and i was able to get its genus through a little analysis. I'm not highly confident of the genus, having learned how important some features unavailable in the picture are to the ID, and having basic features like size (is it a shrub or a low crawling plant or what?) and leaf shape unavailable, but i have a sense of some confidence and pleasure in zooming in on the ID.

I had a discussion a week ago with the incoming clerk of meeting (i'm to be associate clerk). He said that he found people needing him helped with his depression. I've heard that before, doing things for others, etc. Since then, i've had waves of self recrimination pass over me: "What are you doing about the Palestinians?!" "What are you doing about immigrant issues?" "Why do you only know of these things from twitter?" "Shouldn't you give more money to the New Underground Railroad, regularly?"

Honestly, being needed isn't helpful for me. Perhaps because one chunk of the depression lands with work and being a manager and feeling very needed. Over-needed. What helps is time for curiosity and creativity. Associate clerkship and then, if nominated, clerkship in the following year, is not going to satisfy any creativity and curiosity needs.

(Yesterday's career efforts: found random conservation master's degrees would run me on the order of $30k, looked at BLM jobs.)


Off to work, grabbing an NSAID on the way out.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 07:28 am
Quick journal check in so i can ticky-box my list of things that i should do to keep an even keel. So, there must be some sort of transitive property of intent where the motivation of the ticky box is also the motivation of keeping an even keel.

The first thing that comes to mind is the distribution of the "You Rock" package at work. Many mixed feelings about the receipt of a fluorescent 9x12 envelope which had been trimmed to some length, the then open bottom folded up about two inches, a "You Rock" imprinted sticker band wrapped around the outside of this fold, creating a little pocket.

In the pocket were gift cards and specially printed thank you cards, and four staggered cut cards with the new "core competencies" of speed, execution, accountability, and inclusion printed on them. Inside the envelope were the envelopes for the cards and a FAQ that was on letter sized paper trimmed to fit the abbreviated envelope.

So first, excellent presentation. I can't help but marvel at the bespoke assemblage. Yet -- REALLY? I can think of a number of less bespoke yet equally impressive presentation package plans.

Second, OMG FUMES. I had a headache the rest of the day, despite aleve.

Third, was not my issue, but the issue of a friend, stuck in a very very dead end position. Her anger was -- unmitigated. She wasn't expressing it clearly, but i can: the money for this program comes from somewhere, and it doesn't take long to realize it comes out of the compensation pool. While a $100 raise doesn't sound like much, it's there year after year, and if you are unemployed or on disability, that raise is part of the calculation about what your benefit will be. By putting the compensation into a program that is going to show up as an expense of the company's budget, but not an increase in the year-to-year compensation line, the company saves over the long term.
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Saturday, July 12th, 2014 06:40 am
I read The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel Sussman yesterday, quitting work early.No insomnia was involved: Amazon's 2:47 am delivery was their commitment to have it in my email box between midnight and 3 am.

I enjoyed reading it, and file it in my mind as another model of book i could write.

I felt my photographic skills were reasonably validated, although i recognize she's using significantly more complicated film and formats. It's tempting to consider medium format photography, but i think i can be comfortable living between the extreme of professional kit and consumer tools.

My writing: oh, once upon a time i thought i could write! I now ponder that perhaps if i took time to go past first draft, i could write once again. (Three drafts of an email to staff this week in response to an outburst of unacceptable behavior.)

So, how to keep moving on?


Christine has already been trampled byElephants this morning. I'm feeling steady, leading me to believe that a week ago i was, indeed, under the weather. It's so hard not to project. I know what spiral my thoughts would be in if i were her: but we are not shaped by the same deep chthonic forces. Empathy needs then to be able to project and yet not over project.


I shared with my sister earlier this week that Elephant Wrangling on Christine's part is part of The Solution, the process by which we free ourselves from dependence on my salaried position. Elephant wrangling tools are accessible to us right now, and she's making good use of them. I know i had begun to feel trapped again, pinned against my career, but reminding myself that this work is just as much a part of The Solution as is learning biology has helped me recognize our forward progress.

We are not trapped.

We do have work.


Meeting this week hasn't helped.

I ignited a great deal of consternation that has not been settled, and flared again this week. I will spend time discerning today.
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Friday, July 11th, 2014 06:37 am
I woke this morning to find Christine had given me the Kindle copy of The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel Sussman in the wee hours. I suspect Elephant induced insomnia led to a 2:47 am gift.


My ankle is rather achy today. I want to believe i over-protected it yesterday, but the alternative of over-using it doesn't seem impossible either.


Follow up from this post: $14,000.00 is how much the owner of colornoun.com wants for their domain. (I own color-noun.com.) Insert a derisive snort. To amuse myself, i found a random appraisal site. color-noun.com is worth $54 and change by their measures while colornoun.com is $56.

That seems about right. Also, i still would not pay that much to take over the privilege of paying the registrar fees every year.

I'll note that the appraisal site didn't know how old the domain was. Pft.
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Monday, July 7th, 2014 07:38 am
ARGH, lost a draft.

* mainlined "Witches of East End." Soap opera. Whatever. Meh

* Sister in law working for a NGO that trains North Koreans to understand international business law
* Niece S is 2, cute. Knows how to tantrum.
* Nephew D is doing Houdini escapes from rope and handcuffs. "Don't throw your brother into the pool, i'll do it" says the mom about her hogtied son. Soccer, triathalon, nascent 6 pack abs on the 7 year old, good grief.
* Nephew Z wonderful to talk to about fish and dinosaurs and natural history. He's brillant! And perhaps not as nurtured as i would nurture his interest: a geek among not-geeks. So, i've ordered John McPhee's Founding Fish to give to him when i see him next. He's not a geeky geek: he has a definite talent for social flair and attention (and i cannot help but project that as learned to cover his geekiness).

Elephant issues may have been pressing because I was under the weather: i noted a definite uptick in my energies yesterday. (I had worried so about having the kids over.) With a little more strength, i am able to be present for the Elephant.

In worship yesterday i reflected about the varieties of skill different folks bring to worship. Apparently, having the chairs arranged in one way or another causes significant distress for certain folks. My first reaction is incredulity with an undercurrent of "You're doing it wrong." But with reflection came some compassion. What is it like to first come? I think of a minister who joined a few friends and i for silent prayer ages ago and her restlessness and walking. For some, just the stillness is a challenge. Then, there's being present in the stillness, then learning how to actively listen. And it could be scary: i can appreciate that. I can imagine worship may be a wilderness for some. So, i understand that for some, the framework of no noises, chairs just so, is a signal to center, a framework to hold the center.

But i still come to this conclusion: if you are distressed because you cannot find "your chair" you need to be in that distress for a while and learn about it.

I imagined worship as a landscape: cultivated land on the edge of a wood. I remember walking with some kids at the retreat center through the redwoods and the fear one child had about being in the woods. For me, it's a delight, even though i have stories of being hurt or lost (in the real world), and while i can't think of an experience in worship where i have been hurt or lost, i know one can encounter unpleasant and difficult experiences.

I suspect, as someone who is chronically depressed, i can so easily be lost that i don't associate the experience with worship. If one did first encounter existential despair in the silence of worship - -that could make it a very scary place.

In my reflections, offering my impatience up to be changed by compassion, i then began to ask: if i feel so comfortable with worship, what is my responsibility to the community? How can i comfort others as i comforted that child in the wood? Also, with what am i so comfortable that i need to move out of my comfort to a place i feel uncertain and scared?

Well, the latter is offering vocal ministry. That is a challenge and a stretch for me: when my listening is rich and powerful for me -- what am i to share? The near sermons? The full lessons? How do i not ramble on to the point of distracting? Yet if i share just the queries, will there be enough signal to cut through the noise?

And i did offer vocal ministry yesterday. The noise of my poor speaking skills meant at least one person became certain i had said "competence" where i was trying to say "confidence." Had i offered up the stronger message, the instruction i was feeling so powerfully, would that confusion have existed? On the other hand, the person clarified the message for any others who misheard by understanding that the query was about confidence despite mishearing me.

So, adventures.

Work calls.
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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 06:46 am
On Tuesday i posted to the Common Nature group some photos from Sunday, and here's one of the three.

Helminthotheca echioides

One lesson i've learned is flowers can droop quite quickly, between one focus and the next. That means the focus stacking -- using multiple images to get different parts in focus and then creating a composite with only the focussed parts -- can't use many images or there's blur from the movement.

I'm still working on jigsaw-like edits where i pull best pieces together and edit out the motion before applying the focus stacking.

Here's a different member of the asteraceae family, taken a month before:

Chondrilla juncea

I can see a significant improvement in my technique. I'm happy about the improvement in lighting and focus.


In other news, wow, blue foot. But the swelling is down, and i'm going to give going into the office a go today. Traffic should be sane and i can get a baseline for next week. The office may be EMPTY, of course, but there are things i can do there, like look for some lost paperwork.
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 08:50 am
1. Digital address books are RUINED by all the automerging. Ugh.
2. I just got a papercut opening a tissue box.
3. My mother and brother can't do calendar planning together At All.

I think that's it.

Which does does come down to a million blessings:

N. i am successfully working from home and don't have a conflict between work and taking care of myself.
N+1. family and friends have successfully come through surgery.
N+2. I will get to see siblings eventually, my brother sometime this month.
N+3. The weather will be very pleasant today.
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Sunday, June 29th, 2014 08:19 am
Yesterday was not an exciting day, but by the numbers it was useful. Inboxes and ticklers of all sorts are tidied up.

We are discussing time to be spent, vacation and travel, and my brother's family's travel dynamics are throwing a wrench into various plans. One minor point in this is that my brother's family lives in Singapore. Thus Tampa, Florida in August (a proposed gathering point) doesn't cause them to reel in horror as it does the rest of us. I'm pretty sure my sister has no desire to come west or go south.
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Saturday, June 28th, 2014 01:06 pm
Guided by some post about swimming with a sprain, i "swam" yesterday, so Yay, movement. "Swam" -- gosh, doesn't that word look odd -- because i felt more like i was flailing my arms about as i floated on my back and rowed myself around the pool.

This morning, of course, my shoulder has been having words.


Did i mention the squirrels found my tomatoes? Argh! It had been so promising.... At least we had four cherry-sized prizes to ourselves.

We are sitting on the deck, Christine programming, I going through piles of notes from the past two months. I cannot believe July is just around the corner. Finches whistle and twitter, hummingbirds occasionally visit the feeder. I've had cucumber and cheese for lunch, and we plan fish and slaw for dinner. The sky seems cloudless, an intense blue, and white seagulls gleam as they fly over, wingtips inky black.
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Friday, June 27th, 2014 06:53 am
Well, good heavens, no writint all week.

Part of this was the distracting and just the extra spoons of limping. Part was my sister in law's visit earlier in the week. Part was yesterday's 12 hour day.

There's also not much to write about. Work is work. Some coaching of team members, some people doing things sloppily, some attempt to foster discussion. I did, i should note, get to do what i think i do well yesterday as opposed to filling out painfully precise instructions.
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Friday, June 20th, 2014 07:59 am
So, i last posted Monday. Let's see. Tuesday was strangely calm at work and meeting light. I rattled around a bit just catching up with myself. In the evening i listened to Fuzzy Nation, light science fiction by John Scalzi. (Apparently in this revisiting of a work from the golden age, Scalzi focused on the human and corporate dynamics and less the human and alien dynamics.) Listening, i actually managed to do some cleaning up of the place while waiting to collect Christine at the airport. Hers was a late flight, made later my some sort of jetway snafu.

I was back up at 6 am on Wednesday for work. Long work day. By the end of the long workday, colored as it was by a number of production issues (none were due to any error on our part, but it certainly was consuming), i knew i would be back to work early again. I worked from home yesterday, starting quite early again, and my last call was at 9 pm.

So... all work, no play.

Today i'm trying to take it easy as we have installs including at midnight.

There were some interesting things that crossed my mental path.... but no, i can't think of anything now.

Looking back at last entry, i see i mentioned my mother might get therapy. I'll call tomorrow as i drive to Jasper Ridge for a landscape photography walk. When i called on Father's day, my father couldn't talk freely - and i think there was some tension i recognize from the last time i talked with them and found i had interrupted a fight.

The Jasper Ridge walk will be lovely, i hope.
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Sunday, June 15th, 2014 06:31 am
Yesterday felt odd, but i can't point at anything and say, "See, ODD." Well, other than Christine being back east, day three of her six day trip.

The painters, we believe, are done, so Friday after work i seriously began moving plants about on the deck. Yesterday, though was the serious cleaning and reorganizing. I am taking the event as a chance to purge clutter and to get things in a bit more order. A wire shelf that may have been out there for almost the whole time we lived here has been cut to fit the baker's rack we use as a plant stand. I'd been using two styrofoam ice chests as plant stands, too (since there's no proper way around here to dispose of them). I'm purging one.

I ended up also consolidating one storage container into two other smaller ones (from three to two), sorting out various obsolete project bits like diodes for the jeep and pulleys to hoist the bikes on the deck in order to freecycle or ebay them. While i was at it, i pulled all the drawers out of the closet storage rack -- where we keep candles, batteries, bike kit, umbrellas, tools, etc -- and went through all that.

I won't claim i've gotten rid of all the junk: particularly, there's a bunch of bike stuff -- reflectors and lights and so on -- that is probably obsolete. I wasn't ready to go to quite that level of purge. I have sorted out for which bike locks i have keys: that seems pretty significant.


Tweet from BirdRescue.org ‏@IntBirdRescue:
"Does Cormorant colony on Columbia R. eat too many baby salmon? Feds say yes, propose killing half the birds :: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2014/06/13/salmon-eating-seabirds/10416987/ …"

My first thoughts was, "Do humans consume too much of the world's resources?"

Our world is out of balance.


Went to meeting. Came home. Short chat with Dad because Mom was sitting right there.

I seem to be carrying my concern for my mother rather heavily.
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Saturday, June 14th, 2014 06:23 am
Wow, Friday the 13th hit like a sledgehammer with a full day of most of the team troubleshooting. While it provided a fairly intense but complete training camp, it wasn't what anyone had planned. And since several of the (as yet apparently unrelated) issues were with our Australia data center, i'll be working Monday afternoon.

Yay. Not.


So i feel very dull. (All work and...) Christine is back east and Facetime has been a successful way to keep in touch so far. I did spend some of the evening madly trying to arrange the deck after the chaos wrought to make room for painters. New places for plants: we'll see how it works out. I'm trying to decide if i want to use the cut off tool for the Dremel or a hacksaw on a wire shelf to replace where a wood shelf disintegrated (not rot, but warping and splitting). This is years and years after the fact, and the chaos has been an opportunity to sweep corners and evaluate garbage and such.

I pruned back some of the wider lemon tree branches, totally cut back one scented geranium (if it doesn't survive, so be it). Somehow, i need to bring myself to abandon some of the plants. It's not really in my nature! But i'm wanting to be more intentional.

So, Meeting stuff, deck - and if i were to get out, i'd want a high tide photo in the baylands, maybe a junket to Edgewood, a book to pick up at the library....

Although, i could probably just tidy all day.

There's part of me that wishes i'd headed off for the extremely low tide (but i'll be doing that next month) or for the burn area in the Sierras. Yet what i think i really need is the sort of rest that comes from putting some things at rights at home.
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Friday, June 13th, 2014 07:42 am
In my dream last night i saw a lupine shrub in bloom, and noted that i needed to get back to it to get some more flowers to study.

Ah, if it were that easy!

Yesterday, while waking at a usual time, we left early so i could have Christine to the airport at 7 am, then myself to work (as the office is fairly close to SFO). I don't think i had slept well, and i left for home early.

I talked to my mother on the way home and while eating a late lunch of sushi on the deck. She asked me about work for a bit, i shared, and was jolted when she advised drinking wine. Would i have noticed before? I'm not sure, but i think of how she has framed my Dad's mother's drinking and the heavier drinking of my grandmother's husband -- this does seem different.

We turned to talk about her and the recent stuff unfolded. family dynamics, yadda yadda, long )


But back to ME.

I felt draggy all day, as i don't think i slept well, and so i surfed the internet. Something, somehow, got it in my mind that i need to celebrate the success of my team in implementing a particular bit (large refactoring, huge project) of work going live on the 21st and 22nd. I ended up shopping on eBay. I did want a thing as a memento - not just food. Something not terribly expensive, something useful. After buying those glow in the dark necklace things once -- which WAS fun -- i reflected the plastic and chemical content and felt guilt. Other projects have had plastic toys: again, not something i could face with the plastic content (unless, perhaps, not mint). In searching "lot 10" just to see what i could get in lots of 10, i hit on brightly colored styli and USB wall chargers. They're on the way. I hope they aren't completely cheap and flawed, but function.

Today i must do a better job with meals, and i hope i have energy in the evening.
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Thursday, June 12th, 2014 10:05 am
Many of you have health concerns for yourself or companions or siblings: i am thinking of you.

For myself, work continues to be stressful as i juggle and drop things. I've a thread of anger about being at my limit.

For my family, there are a number of things going on. Christine has things she's carrying as does my sister. I found out that my mother is drinking, nothing that i've ever wondered about in my entire life. Apparently it's on the order of a bottle of wine herself every night or two.

So a bottle of wine is "5 drinks" and the NIH defines moderate drinking for women as "No more than 3 drinks on any single day AND no more than 7 drinks per week." So if mom is having two bottles of wine but Dad is having a couple drinks with her too, it's moderate behavior. More than i remember them drinking while i was growing up, but reasonable.

I'm getting the impression from my sister it's more than that, and apparently my father is concerned, too.

This news, plus a drive home discussing my mother's constant fear and anger and distress -- memorable from my growing up and no peace yet -- weighs on me too. My mother worries about dementia and Alzheimers, and my sister is aware that our mother is unlikely to express the peace and tranquility our great aunt and Christine's mother show in the face of that condition.

I don't know that there's a way to force healing on someone whose brokenness is fear and anger. My sister, father and i all now seem to recognize (what i realized early on in my healing) that my mother has serious emotional problems. We all haven't talked together, but pairwise, and i know i've listened to and supported my father and sister in their journeys of coming to terms. (My brother is angry at my mother.) I see the three of us in a circle with my mother in our center held in compassion. I don't think any of us have a clue as to how to get her pulled out of her circular thinking and her external blame.

My sister's family is leaving my parents, so that is possibly a trigger event that might help. On the other hand, all three of us must remember to put on our oxygen masks first, even while holding my mother in compassion. My sister (and presumably my father) must first protect themselves against her attacks. From my own experience, i know i can sit and listen and be present with her when she is in attack mode, but the discipline of not getting pulled in and engaged in the anger and pain is significant.

A therapist, we all hope, would be able to take on these discussions and help open her eyes. I know how long it took me to be open enough with my first therapist for her to recognize and diagnose my depression: i'd been taught well to hide it, without even knowing what "it" was, and i wanted to be better. We've all watched my mother squirm around taking any responsibility for her own emotions for decades, and she is incredibly talented in experiencing confirmation bias. Past forays into anything resembling therapy seem to end after just a few visits with the conclusion that it's all my father's fault and she should leave him. What will motivate her to stick through and come to face her demons?

I hear of her drinking and wonder if she can create a big enough problem for herself that she will have to face them. And my heart breaks a little as i think of her carrying all her fear, pain, and anger her whole life and never finding peace.

Had to get to work, worked late, and left home early this morning to get Christine to the airport. Have a quick moment just now to post.
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Monday, June 9th, 2014 06:46 am
Yesterday the discomfort i had kept me home from Meeting for Worship. The blessing was that i was home and could talk to my sister when she called, distressed about the dynamics of living with our parents (our mother, really). She let me know when she & her spouse were planning to talk to our parents about their plans, and i gave her much support and a little advice. The advice was to trust her spouse's judgements about the family dynamics: we are too enmeshed in the dysfunction, too susceptible to my mother's manipulations.

I showed up for Meeting for Business and the room was too hot. I gave the Nominating report, there was some consternation, and sweat dripped down my back and along the backs of my knees. Someone had a concern (that i think was essentially a pointed lecture to me about mispronouncing their name) and i was in tears. I don't know how much was the heat, the discomfort from the morning, knowing my sister was confronting my mother.... I sobbed in the car as i left meeting and stopped at a fast food place for an icy slushy.

I think the heat got to me.

And this is surprise heat: ten degrees warmer than what was predicted. Last night the weather service was predicting today to be "much cooler," but just now, "Today is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as yesterday." I'm not sure why the weather service has failed in these predictions when on Friday the power company knew to call Monday as a power flex day. (We agree to reduce our power load 2-7 pm on called days in exchange for lower rates during the rest of the year.)

No one has identified my DYC for me on Flickr or iNaturalist: i feel indignant. What is it!?! I will email a botanist who lives where i found it at the end of the week: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/725036

All afternoon Christine and i watched When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, because it had become too hot (and we hadn't done the appropriate cool and shut down to keep the place cool). (The outside blinds are down for the painting.) When the sun headed down it was cooler outside, so we sat by the pool and i got the laundry started. Oh, i miss sitting on the deck!
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Sunday, June 8th, 2014 08:06 am
Healthwise, the ear ache seems to be almost gone, huzzah. I have some other complaints this morning, though, but none is a discomfort that affects my mood or thinking. So yay! (But i ponder not going to Meeting this morning.)

I spent much of yesterday failing to identify an asteraceae that i have documented in excruciating detail - except for how the leaves grow away from the blossoms on most of the plant. There are some features that are extremely obvious: glands on stem, leaves and the green cup at the base of the flower (the involucure). The strong aromatic scent. The parts that make up that green cup (phyllaries) have a golden, translucent papery edge to them (scarious). I feel i have really good images to answer almost all diagnostic questions, just missing the way the leaves behave all over the plant and any root questions. Fie! I'm hoping it's a landscaping plant that has just gotten out of control in this one spot.

I have demonstrated to myself that the way i had been taking macro images may have had a deep field of focus, but the image was "soft." I've found out how to adjust the f stop on the camera when i'm using tubes (jam piece of paper into the little mechanical lever), and now, with a more shallow depth of field, i need to use focus stacking to get the depth i want.

Unidentified Asteraceae

No focus stacking here as the image is in the plane of focus.

I had meeting responsibilities as well as a concert in the evening. I was home late for me and stayed up even later to watch Fargo the TV series with Christine.


I've happily sold the liner of Christine's motorcycle jacket on eBay for more than just shipping; my goal next is to try some old tech tools. If they don't go on eBay, i'm certain they'll go locally on Freecycle.


I'm trying not to get myself in a rant over how the painters carelessly moved my plants around on the deck. I'm not sure if we had warning. If we did, perhaps Christine tried to protect me (as i was exhausted and unwell earlier in the week). She said she had let them know she could move things and they told her they could handle it -- and they stacked plants on top of plants on top of plants.