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Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 05:52 am
Monday Morning:

I'm disappointed that i may have done a bad thing to my baby apple trees in my selection of the fungicide i sprayed to fight the cedar-apple and quince-apple rusts that are bright orange on the cedar trees at the moment. Ho hum.

Last week was a blur of intense work days followed by busy evenings. Saturday was all yard. Yesterday was a mix of Meeting and a visit with my parents and then mowing.

I took Carrie over to my parents and as i was leaving, she looked longingly at the pasture. I let her run -- and she was so delighted and did not want to leave. Christine's had this issue leaving the dog park. I got in the car, started the car, turned the car. She kept her eye on me but continued to frolic. Finally i went inside to get a treat of some sort. When i came out she was at the fence where she could see the door. She went back to her frolic but FINALLY came when i offered the cheese. In good news, she seems to respect the fence as a boundary!

At home i mowed. I ran down the battery on the electric mower, but had finished the fescue grass by the time that happened.


Garden notes )

The high humidity is mixing with the pine pollen to make -- polog? Plog? Nastiness. We should have thundershowers tonight, which may help a little.

Tuesday Morning:

Boy, did we have a DOOZY of a thunder storm. First power loss of the summer season, from 5 pm to 6. We lost power with the winds that blew in first, and my, was the pollen billowing around, being blown off the deck and billowing out of the pines. Then came the rain: it was lovely to sit with Christine on the front porch.

My Amazon order of these light up lids for regular mouth jars arrived and i assembled a few while sitting on the porch. I'm delighted with them, and i look forward to the arrival of the hooks for hanging them in the yard. We've a variety of old LED yard lights on plastic stakes in various states of disrepair. I feel this solution will allow for easier repair of broken components and minimize the plastic impact. I'm going to see about liberating a few more jelly jars from my mother's collection. She has sent me home with boxes of jars in the past, but i mainly took the large mouth jars.

We had a half inch of rain in the hour, creating standing water in places and a stream, almost, on the east side of the house. Christine had made progress on ditching around the back porch, a step we need to complete before i install the rain cistern. Once we have the porch downspouts draining to the east of the house, the pooling behind the house will be mostly resolved, i hope. There may be just a little more ditching to do to divert the run off from up hill.

I do hope that the seeds i scattered on Saturday had found some purchase in the soil before this event.
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Friday, January 25th, 2019 07:26 am
From my sister, at 7:30 am yesterday. Ashe and Leo are their young lab-Aussie cross dogs.

Oh my... crazy night. Ashe got her jaw stuck in Leo’s collar and strangled him. I went to urgent care for an accidental dog bite (from detangling them) and Leo was at NCSU vet ER until 12:30am. Good news: he is all fine! But the two of them think the other was being mean and they are wary of each other :(

It was terrible

And the two of them all timid around each other breaks my heart :(

[My niece] came with to the urgent care. I just wanted antibiotics on hand and to get it cleaned proper.



I talked to my sister later in the day, got details on strangling that make police procedurals look sanitized, and offered to bring her clan pizza for dinner. Which we did, although she was away at a work dinner. Conversation with her family is always lovely. And her spouse mentioned how horrible it was despite watching many police procedurals.

The dogs were friends again when we saw them. It turns out it was sequential medical visits, first to urgent care while T-- & W-- stayed home to monitor Leo's behavior and wait for the emergency vet to call back. Then the emergency vet was a little panicked and sent my sister off to the ER, where the ER vets were much more sanguine about the situation.

Meanwhile, email from my brother, 1 pm ish: "Sisters - pls warn dad that our flight is being rescheduled. I will send details once they reroute." There weren't any details that i saw last night, so i don't know what has happened there. He had a flight leaving JFK for Raleigh just about 5 pm. I recommend to everyone who flies https://flightaware.com/miserymap/ A time lapse of radar weather data across CONUS is superimposed with graphs for each airport or city indicating the amount of flights and the fraction delayed and cancelled.

Off to work at the coworking place this afternoon and see mom this evening. I keep telling myself that this is prying me out of my hermit crab home, and the region won't seem so distant and unfamiliar once i'm done. First Chapel Hill grew much closer. Now Raleigh, which i hardly knew as i was growing up, despite school and college there, may become a little more familiar as opposed to unconnected vignettes glanced out back seat car windows when i looked up from a book.
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Friday, November 2nd, 2018 04:45 am
Carrie woke us up around 3:30 barking. We tried the "Good dog, yup, nothing's on the deck, go back to sleep." We tried letting her out. We tried going back to sleep. I couldn't. So i got up around 4:30. Around 4:40 Carrie started barking again at the front window, so i turned on the front porch light and, seeing nothing, turned it off. Then i noticed a light -- bobbing like a hand held flash light -- up at the road. Probably someone coming up the opposite road to the mail boxes, but i let Carrie out again so she could engage in as much indignant barking as she'd like.

I spent the time -- now far past when i should have been preparing for the day -- researching a road trip to historic sites in an unfamiliar part of the county: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UB8ugy8nI4nzFdNybpcmKPsmIEKr1eUV&usp=sharing I'd been thinking of trying graphic designs that evoke the county for a long time -- possibly photos but to make good surface design there'd need to be a good deal of manipulation, i think. I imagine selling them in the co-op gallery downtown, and this morning i imagine little road trip guides. Little trips like this....
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Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 08:49 am
Where we are is about 15 min south of Chapel Hill, just south of the Haw River and north of Pittsboro. We're about 35 ft of elevation above the nearby creek, well out of the flood plain. We're not far from the top of the ridge, either, so there will be some water sheeting through the yard -- i remember observing the water flows with Matthew two years ago -- it's not overly abundant, and it will drain away.

We are as some risk from falling trees: we've trees 75 ft tall to a 100 ft tall (as measured by a drone) that aren't that far from the house, surrounding the house. I don't think they're likely to fall, but there's always a surprise. I'm sure we will be cleaning up fallen branches, and might need to cut up a fallen tree or two.

Power outage is the biggest issue, thanks to falling trees. We've gas and an untested generator, but we've gone for a day without power here and there without kicking ourselves over not learning how to use it. I've got the manual downloaded if we decide to finally test it out.

The most problematic issue is that the well pump is electric -- so we don't have water without power. We have frozen containers of water, gallons of purchased water, bottles and pitchers of water, and we'll fill buckets for toilet flushing.

Camping stove and food supplies are ready. Car and truck are gassed up. Cash is at hand. We've plenty of family members around in the area: it's unlikely all of us will have unlivable conditions. We can always go bunk with someone else in the worst case.

So much of the risks are not unique to this storm: the rain and wind and tree fall are always there for thunderstorms.

--== ∞ ==--

Apparently getting gas for the truck while running errands in town was a little inconvenient as gas stations run out of gas fairly frequently. Christine said it was odd that they were all out of the higher grades of gas: maybe the refills are focusing on just regular?

After work we went to Lowes to get plastic sheeting (just in case a tree hits one of the family's houses, heaven forbid) and a few more things, like downspout extensions, were added to the list. Ice chests were all gone: we'll go get one from my parents' house. (My sister has taken their generator.)
We took Carrie, as they welcome well behaved pets and Carrie was (mostly). She did see a pile of loose sand in the construction isles that she used as a rest stop -- we just swept it into the near by trash can. She did seem delighted with the novelty of the experience.
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Saturday, July 28th, 2018 06:00 pm
We've had plenty of rain this week, with that link going to a view of the spreadsheet where i am tracking my readings. I looked at my measurements and compared to average rain fall by month for the county: if i recall, this month and May have had average amounts of rain, and the other months were quite dry. This has inspired me to review my plan for rain collection. I discovered IBC totes: 275 and 330 gal containers used to ship liquids. Craiglist for the area lists them, not as cheaply as in other areas, but the project will end up being less expensive than what i was originally planning with much more capacity. And potentially more aesthetic, unless i simply paint them black.

At some point (Monday?) we bought me a new chair for my personal desk. It had had a $25 Craig's List chair that was adequate. We took Carrie to the dog park, and then continued into Staples, where i picked out a chair on sale. Turns out it was no longer at that sale price, but the manager honored the tag even though there was tiny print delineating the dates for the sale.

I had back pain off and on.

I had therapy, which was a short session because i just didn't have that much to say. The conclusion was i am doing well off the SSRI (as of Jul 21st). The week before had had roller coaster qualities between family visit, new fence work, losing internet access, and Grecie's death. Also, a long stretch of grey skies, which probably triggered my SAD. One thing i had observed is that i was buying more stuff. Not junk, but things like a chair so i will enjoy working at my photography desk and a new sewing machine so i would actually sew. The grief and the recovery from the drama of the previous week makes judging the drug's absence hard. For example, the lack of journaling and some other behaviors don't please me, but at the end of the week, when i got some bright light, i seemed to be getting back to myself.

The week had enough of its own drama: the crew working on the fence install Thursday and Friday triggered some trust issues and one of them smoked. Ugh. I've only found one cigarette butt so far, and they aren't done so i recognize they might have some clean up planned.... Still, ugh.

On the other hand, the area is enclosed and Carrie can run wild! And dig. She's going to become brick red. Insert worries about the fescue getting established in September, here. Carrie chased Edward in her exuberance and Edward ran -- this was not good and took the blush of the delight.

If you leave a watermelon in a dark closet for a month it isn't that delicious when you get around to eating it. Good compost, though.

I removed many of the trombonicino squash leaves today and sprayed with copper in hopes of staving off the worst of the powdery mildew. It's incredibly humid, which encourages the mildew growth. I trust new leaves will be put forth. I don't know if the fruit growth will stop or what, but the ground has a chance of drying out without the canopy of leaves, as well.

Dad and Mom dropped off Roma tomatoes and okra before they drove to Florida for my step-grandmother's funeral. I've used the dehydrator to put up some of both (two trays each before drying). Food tastes really good when its just out of the dehydrator.

In one of the recent showers, a stunted corn stalk fell over, so i picked its small ear and -- oh my, it has beautiful color! https://photos.app.goo.gl/UGax9tc47sRX2UR29 I need to look for the photo of the seed i planted. I can't believe all the ears will be as consistently garnet hued as this one, but it's pretty impressive if they are.

It turns out that the meteorological definition of "shower" has more accumulated precipitation per hour than "rain", but a shower will be of much more limited duration. The next ten days call for "scattered thunderstorms."
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Friday, July 13th, 2018 01:21 pm
In preparation for my brother's family's visit--Typhoon N, let's say--i have ordered fluorescent paint and black light flashlights, purchased Joy and corn syrup. I'm hoping fluorescent bubbles this will be fun for the kids. At the worst, it will be fun for me. [The flashlights arrived. I missed the battery requirements, which are manageable but a missed point in my cost calculations. The flashlights are also a little flaky.]

The same order included a toroidal magnet on a telescoping handle with LED lights through the magnet. This illuminated magnet-on-a-stick is essentially the suggested solution to my dropped screw (along with taking the hopper off to try a different opening to the chipper-shredder housing). Christine "I do not want to be a farmer" went and cut down more autumn olive yesterday so i have a growing pile of chippables awaiting me. She doesn't want to be a farmer (or landscaper or forester) right up until the moment she sees something that displeases her, and then she wants to fix it. Right Then.

In the evening we saw a doe grazing on the buckwheat with fireflies flashing around her. I realize that my view of garden and yard from my work desk is a pleasure denied her: one of the irritating things about this house is a paucity of windows. She was sad when she reflected that we would be preventing the deer from grazing in the same area in the future; i was watching the efficiency of the deer's dining and was thinking how quickly my chestnut seedlings would disappear in her maw. We haven't cleared the area off the back porch yet. Currently "the thicket" is between the mossy glade and the the orchard area. I noted that i plan to make that a very deer friendly area. As friendly as we can with Carrie inside the orchard. Admittedly Carrie is a remarkable canine and seems delighted to spend her nights on the hassock including watching TV with us, her days on the bed, and then between 5 and 8 pm she wants to run around. I hope the orchard area will bring her more stimulation.

I bought a sewing machine. My current one was given to me for babysitting my sister when she was ... one? So the machine is just under forty years old. I may regret buying a new one. If this new lighter machine is not particularly outstanding compared to the old one, i may just return it. I'm currently feeling guilty for not choosing to tune up the old one. But if i don't use the old one because of noise and clumsiness, there's no point either way. Anyhow. Consumer culture, me.

This morning is yet again cool -- but not as dry. Indeed, "68°F, Feels like 78°" (20°C, Feels like 26°)* I opened the windows for a bit, but could sense the dampness. Ugh.


* Every time i reload the weather page the "Feels like" calculation bounces up and down, as if the system can't get a read on just how humid it is. I think it might be some function of the actual humidity being higher than the predicted humidity.... How odd. I want my own weather station.
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Friday, June 15th, 2018 09:25 am
The stupid mouth discomfort is frustrating. I might still have low-for-me iron, as the blood test came back with a value that falls between the value when i had the diagnosis of low and the value measured some time after that when i was "better."

Therapy on Wednesday was interesting: my therapist says she notices me being much more vulnerable in the last few sessions as i taper off the SSRI. I know i am going slowly and it's helping me acclimate to having much more reactive emotions. Still not noticing highs, more affected by frustration and sadness. But maybe, maybe, i will want connection with people more?

I did have an insight about work and how i am no longer really "on a team." I think i miss that. Being remote doesn't help.

...

In yard news, OH EM GEEEE! The cleared orchard area is amazing. The rapid removal of stumps that had become little sign-posts, reminders of clearing one thicket or another, the weather at the time, anxiety-causing hangups of trees in other trees.... I could still see limit of where the goats worked, where i had cast down fescue seed the first winter. All of those markers are gone: it's just a rich red clay swathe, with a little island around the triple-trunked massive tulip poplar and a dogwood.

I remember when that tree seemed far back in the woods -- i thought it was three trees. I remember the revelation of the base of the tree, fighting through honeysuckle and autumn olive.

There are swale and berms just uphill from the house. The berms are made up of buried sweetgum trunks from the two massive trees we had the father and son team cut down. It's all very rough because the guys just do everything with their equipment, as if they were wearing transformer suits to haul and dig and pull. Watching them encased in their equipment as they pulled the poison ivy out of the tree, i think back to all the honeysuckle i've thrown my full weight against and failed to budge.

Between now and my trip to Ohio, i want to broadcast buckwheat seed and rake out the berms.

The other thing they did for us was dig the rain garden, a basin with down-slope berms for runoff from the downspouts that are in a poor place for rain barrels. One of the most surprising parts of planning this garden is finding recommendations for plants for rain gardens that other sites say want dry soil. I assume this has to do with the feast or famine (flood or drought) quality of a sand filled clay basin. I'm also curious about definitions of shady, as i see blue eyed grass listed as for a shady rain garden. Given where i found blue eyed grasses this year, i wouldn't call it shady, at all.

Yesterday, driving home from getting my blood drawn, i stopped at a garden supply place and arranged to have 54 cubic feet of sand and 54 cubic feet of ground pine delivered and poured into the hole they dug. After work, i tried to mix the sand and "compost" as best as i could and smooth it out. I worry there's too little "compost" but i followed the extension agency instructions. I've buried the giant litter pan we used for the cross country trip to act as a reservoir for the two plants i have ready: a pitcher plant and a cranberry. I've not purchased the rest of the plants for the area, which i want to be themed in blue.

In pet news, Carrie has discovered there is room enough in the bed for her to crawl in next to me. Unfortunately, she also startles and jumps away every time i stir. This then wakes me. And then she jumps back in the bed. I suspect this means she'll sleep in my spot while i am in Ohio and it's going to be entertaining when i get back.
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Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 11:30 am
Yesterday i drank most of my water with a dash of slightly sweetened oregano vinegar. (I haven't added enough sugar to really think of it as a shrub). It's a bit like adding lemon juice in the level of tartness. The oregano comes through lightly. I didn't add so much sugar to the vinegar because i think it might be good in a sauce or dressing.

Last night we bought insulated grocery bags and packed our cold things in those and ate out after our grocery shopping. We went to a beer and burger place that has several vegetarian burger types (one quinoa, one black bean) as well as fish and crab burgers. We both had decadent cheese dishes. We've started eating at the bar there, and so i order a beer. I ordered "Sweetwater Tropical Lover," a Berliner Weisse style beer (says the menu).

I enjoyed the tangy taste but there was something familiar.... and then i realized that the vinegar flavoring in my water all day was what resonated.

When we got home, i took Carrie on a short walk down the grave road opposite our home. At the end, Carrie was greeted by dogs T-- and C--- with the usual raucous barking. Sa-- stopped mowing and came over to let me know that their neighbor is "freaked out" by the barking, and could we not bring Carrie all the way down the road. I will certainly comply, as it is their road, but i am a little taken aback. Does this mean we can contact all our neighbors with guns and let them know that shooting distresses us? I actually looked up the noise ordinance once, i think i concluded it was unlikely Carrie's barking would break the ordinance.
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Friday, February 16th, 2018 07:25 am
In 2017 I used the optometrist on the road towards Chapel Hill in the commercial area just outside the giant planned subdivision. Slowly irritations mounted about the place, in general not feeling like a patient but a commodity. Getting off their text messages and emails has been a headache, as the automated optimization of business seems to be something they do well. Feh.

So i finally made an appointment with the optometrist in Pittsboro. The assistant seemed to be giving the receptionist a bit of a "Do you northerners say this?" quiz (Something like "this ol' mule still gots some life in 'er") and she proceeded to call me "sweet lady" as in "So sit down right here sweet lady."

It's a new permutation on "honey" and "sugar" and i've never understood the need, but i've got the social skills of a physicist, so what do i know.

There was NOT a battery of machines to sit down at and be processed through. Not the dread machine with the peripheral vision stripes, no dots, no puffs of air. Everything was delightfully analogue. Which means dilating my pupils and the time sink that is.

I've mixed feelings about that.

On one hand, the optometrist we were last seeing in California had the laser widget that developed the three dimensional map of the back of my eye. He could show me the optic nerve anomaly. I appreciated that. On the other hand, i felt the local doctor's direct observation was just as careful and thorough. So, technically, i think the examination is a satisfactory standard of care. The difference is the time - waiting for the dilation, waiting for it to wear off. Because it's only a handful of minutes away, i don't mind. The alternative would be the time it takes to get to Chapel Hill. I think i'll keep going to these folks, but I let Christine -- who goes up to Chapel Hill far more often than i --know that she might choose someone else.

I spent some of my time with dilated pupils walking Carrie. It was right at sunset and bats flitted down the road. I stood at the bridge over the creek, looking at the black branches silhouetted against the molten orange sky reflected in the water, and found two bats swirling above the water at bridge height.

I let Carrie run off leash from the back of the yard in the twilight. We're developing a balance of trust: even if she won't come when called, she does stay within hearing as she crashes through the woods. She comes by me enough that i can pretend i am permitting her to run by telling her to "go, go" (as if i could really stop her) and i can give her a treat to reinforce her checking in. Eventually, i can grab her harness on a treat stop and put the leash back on her. She seems to understand that going down the driveway to the road is not approved.

It was so mild yesterday: she spent the whole day on the deck. Maybe i should spend the day on the porch.

(I've felt so out of it since Saturday. Am i always out of it? )
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Thursday, January 11th, 2018 06:24 am
Last night, after Christine & i watched our episode of Longmire, i put on dog sledding videos for Carrie. We probably flipped through various youtube videos for about thirty minutes before i had enough. Carrie was still engaged though.

I'm still not sure how guilty i feel about entertaining our dog with a screen.

I let her run off leash around our property for the first time in ages ... Sunday, i think. Deer hunting season is over; i don't think the folks who own the parcel for hunting are likely to be out there for open season on coyotes or skunks or other small mammals. We were at the back of the lot, Carrie running madly in the neighbor's woods, i was picking up deadfall along the property line. This was eased by how clearly the bit of surveyor's tape stood out against the snow. Carrie was pretty much ignoring me when i called, but since she was back in the woods i wasn't getting upset or worried.

I've noticed some of her puppy behaviors are slackening -- most financially important is that shoe chewing is down -- so i do hope for a little settling. I do hope the orchard will give her enough room to run, although i expect we will have a long mud season as we wait for plants to establish.
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Monday, October 30th, 2017 01:50 pm
Gorgeous day with very little wind. (Did i mention that i didn't go to the lake because of wind?) While i was talking to a colleague a hawk swooped by the window and briefly perched in the tulip poplar.

When i went out to pick greens for lunch, i added wild garlic greens, chickweed, and bitter cress to the pile. That wasn't hard at all, since i was already bent over to pick greens. Maybe i'll forage more. I do so like having fresh greens at lunch.

I also have been drinking my hibiscus, today with mint. That was a lovely tonic. The fresh hibiscus today -- a bowl of hibiscus pods wait for me to cut the seeds out and lay them out on the dehydration racks -- made a much more red drink than the dried hibiscus i had last week. Was it the presence of dried mint, absence of ginger, or will the red remain if i dry quickly in the dehydrator?

I wonder if i should use the dehydrator on mint, too.

Work has an edge to it today, but eating from the yard is a pleasure.

Yesterday we had a bit of a downer as we looked for a place to stay with Carrie at the beach. Rental places look reasonable and then there's linen fees, cleaning fees, pet fees, etc.

Another dog event of note, on Saturday's off-leash headache exercise, Carrie found two three limb bones still connected at the joint. It was disgusting, she rolled on it, gnawed on it.... Oh i hope it didn't make her sick. I just realized she threw up first thing this morning. Hrm.
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Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 09:16 am
Monday headache enough to stop work and take a nap. minor complaints )

Carrie's chewing over the weekend included my nice leather wallet from Levenger and my neice's Garmin Vivio (a fitbit type thing).

Also discovered the cats had been relieving themselves in an Ikea bag that contained my photography vest, some unwashed hiking socks, and other miscellaneous hiking and photography bits from August that i had not unpacked. So far the enzyme cleaners seem to be making a good difference.

My pets are going to teach me to Put Stuff Up. Sigh.

Weather is spectacular today! Dew point is in the mid 50s and the sky is an incredible blue ("California blue" is how i think of it since moving from the SF Bay Area). I am a little bummed that we went from humid to crisp without much mild in between. Tonight is dinner with my sister in law before she heads to Asia for a few weeks, so i won't be able to use this lovliness to work in the yard tonight. This Saturday, though, will be a bonfire day.

My sister is back from Germany today. O Travel -- i don't envy them at all.

I bravely told a correspondent from the local county mailing list that i'd be happy to meet up with him for coffee. Social. Eep. But probably good for me. We were corresponding about county politics and history.

As a side note, for an insignificant southern county, there are a handful of nonfiction books about the area. The naturalist book has a strong thread of economic/entrepreneurial content, that i _assume_ complements the slow money thread. Neither is technically about the county, but i believe both have a strong sense of the place. I wonder if there are other books, and whether this is unusual.

Estill, Lyle. Industrial Evolution: Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future. New York: New Society Publishers, 2011. http://www.deslibris.ca/ID/436551.

Hewitt, Carol Peppe. Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2013.

Kaufman, Wallace. Coming Out Of The Woods: The Solitary Life Of A Maverick Naturalist. First Printing edition. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2000.


(To be clear, i'm not talking about the infinite number of local histories and genealogical references that i'm sure most counties have produced.)
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Monday, October 16th, 2017 08:41 am
I listened to American Icons: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest as i drove home from Charlotte yesterday evening. I was unfamiliar with the novel & movie: i'm glad to have picked up a bit of American culture by listening. The interview with the actress who played Nurse Ratched was interesting. I felt certain i recognized her voice, especially as she spoke of her interpretation of the character, a woman with power, doing what she believes is the right thing (and apparently doing something horrible). It turns out she's the actress who played Kai Winn / Vedek Winn on Deep Space Nine.

An interesting reprise, i should think, then.

--== ∞ ==--

Carrie watching the Crufts 125th Dog Agility Championship


Last night, after deciding that a second episode of Dirk Gently (2010) (of the Holistic Detective Agency) would bring no joy, i decided i'd put on something Carrie would like. So, here's Carrie watching the Crufts 125th Dog Agility Championship from youtube. She was riveted while the dogs were on the course. She'd lay down her head after the competitor left the field, but when the next one took the course, she was back at full attention. Watching the dogs weave through the slalom poles was amazing. Carrie definitely has a deep streak of border collie in her.

With respect to Dirk Gently i feel like it's "Sherlock was a big hit, let's try to do something else." I am wrong about this, apparently, as it came out the same year as Sherlock began. Something about the visual language of the deductive process seems so similar. Now that i think about it, there's a little bit of overlap, too, with the portrayal of the second detective in Death in Paradise. Perhaps there's a limit to how many British produced mysteries one can consume.

--== ∞ ==--

This week i trusted in the worship process and i trusted that it isn't my job to make sure an hour is filled. Having a half hour for waiting worship is just fine: that's just me. I gave the message yesterday, and was well supported after. The most flattering and sweet thing was someone telling me they were surprised i'd only been attending for a year and a few months. It's lovely to know i've fit in so well.

I do need to write a letter to transfer my membership.
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Sunday, July 9th, 2017 07:09 am
This news story is just shy of being a Gary Larson "Far Side." One wonders about a child getting in and finding both of the items that were in the vehicle, but i'll assume that the owner lived alone in the woods.

Spoiler )

--== ∞ ==--

In more uncomfortable thinking, tensions about "cultural appropriation" on a mailing list continue into a second week. There's some generational tension, i think, and today's post had hand-wringing over "Why must we be so painfully correct all the time?" There was an attempted distinction between micro-aggression and cultural appropriation: this makes me bang my head because the precipitating issue can easily be interpreted as a micro-aggression as well.

I think the original purpose was what i'll call a subversive ministry of gender expression to tradition bound American men when transgender folks were deep in closets. Having a S-- Day to celebrate a skirt-like item of clothing that was gender neutral made for a way to encourage men to wear skirts for a day without the "feminizing" label "skirt" or the defensive masculinity of a kilt. Theoretically, it's gender inclusive, but it certainly misses the obverse of constrained gender expression for women. Indeed one person, female identified at birth, gently noted this issue.

I don't think they were heard.

I think attitudes have changed enough in liberal Quakerism, that addressing gender expression with a "S--- Day" isn't nearly as powerful as it may have been originally. I wonder, even, if younger folks completely miss the subtlety of the choice as they ask, "Why not just have a skirt day?" which would be an honest and plain spoken goal, but far more challenging to masculinity.

Then, there's the fact that this is not a formally organized event, as far as i can tell, but one person's celebratory mission. That the person who brings it forward is more boomer generation than millennial does not escape my notice. That they may not be aware of the male privilege inherent in the framing despite challenging the policing of male privilege is intriguing.

All of this plays out in the larger context of some tempest over white privilege and white supremacy in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, where i also perceive a generational divide between "I marched at Selma, how dare you!" and "Black Lives Matter", get woke folks.

I don't think S--- Day is any more culturally appropriative than wearing pajamas and is less so than a Kilt Day. I do think there's much more going on though, and the energy of the kerfluffle on list certainly strikes me as pulling strength from some warm ocean of discontent. I wonder if the current group can survive it's calling to be radically inclusive when it comes to nostalgic folks who feel they've done their work.

--== ∞ ==--

Friday night we were out late celebrating Christine's sister's birthday. Carrie woke me at 6:30 barking at the young buck just beyond the deck. I skipped tea, worked outside in the steam for a while, and then dozed for the rest of the morning. Not a highly productive day, and i couldn't bring myself to go back outside at 5 pm, it was so steamy. By the time we could bestir ourselves, the evening thunderstorm hit.

This morning she woke us barking at 5:30, and it was too dim for me to see any critter. I was more rested this morning, and made tea, and have spent the time on the back porch. It's 99% humidity, with the dew point only a fraction of a degree below the temperature, but it's cool enough that, being still, i'm not soaking.

I finished the potato harvest in that outside time yesterday, and planted the whole row with a variety of seeds. On the ends of the rows, where the plants may sprawl beyond the defined borders i planted the mini-melons and yellow squash. The current yellow squash are in abundance, but i don't know if they'll survive to frost. In between i planted marigolds, peanuts, and some very old bean seed. I picked a ear of the popcorn. The pollination of the kernels wasn't as thorough as i'd wish, and -- while it may have been at milk stage -- it wasn't nearly as tasty as sweet corn. This might keep it from falling prey to critters. Time will tell.
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Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 12:29 pm

It is a bit ironic, perhaps, that it's more likely for Donald Trump to be removed from office that it is for him to be removed from Twitter.



I made an excellent potato bake casserole last night, all things considered. (TVP is not the most delightful of vegetable protein sources, but whatever.)

Overnight, Carrie ate one of my flip flops. If i could walk around barefooted i would, but between Achilles tendonitis and plantar fascitis.... pfft.

Spending a bit of time thinking about posting photo galleries (and blogs) to Amazon S3. I have discovered an Evernote blogging platform, Postach.io. Here's my naturalist notebook transformed through their interface. Essentially, you create an account on their site, give their system access to a notebook, tag notes with "published", and boom!, it's been posted to your postach.io blog.

I've found another flow that can depend on evernote notebooks as well, both more flexible and more technically demanding. I'm not sure i have an argument for blogging (beyond here) any time soon.
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Thursday, June 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
Watching Louisa & Slugger care for their three nestlings, i think it's impressive that Cardinals have such an easy time managing diaper changing. They feed the nestling and then carry of a little white sack of waste.

I wish i could be sure they were getting all the bugs from my garden.

Particularly the scarily large spider. (Although he's probably doing me some favors. *shudder*)

--== ∞ ==--

In Carrie news, this morning she did some lunging at Luigi accompanied by a bark. Water bottle time. Now Christine's sure Carrie will never return to the front room.
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Thursday, June 15th, 2017 07:05 am
Tuesday evening i harvested some very nice potatoes. Wet purple potato skins seem almost iridescent with a sheen that seems to change in the light. I stopped harvesting because a huge wolf spider seemed unwilling to move along. I'll pitchfork that hay out of the way tonight.

I saw a different doe yesterday, who moved through the yard rather quickly. I need to tweak the game camera because i think a movement like that deer's that would trigger the camera, but the delay would just capture an empty yard.

Yesterday evening as we watched some show, Carrie bounded of the hassock, baying alarm, "Foes at the door! Foes at the door!" Just beyond the deck was a young buck, maybe a year old. He clearly heard the ruckus, but wasn't alarmed, just alert. Carrie continued to growl and bark and warn. A bit territorial, not hunting. It was sweet to be able to observe the young deer, although i wonder how wise it is for it to be inured to barking. (Admittedly, we have double pane windows and good sound proofing here so i'm not sure how loud Carrie seemed to the deer.)

This morning i went out in the dawn. Flitting overhead were two bats: oh, more please!
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 02:26 pm
In the BC era -- before Carrie -- Christine would come into the front room to drink her coffee, and Luigi would follow. Luigi would sit on my lap, and Christine and i would chat a little as i worked. Then there was Carrie, whose safe space was the front room where i work. Luigi dared not come in. He looked in once or twice, but Carrie would get excited, and that was that.

Luigi has always had a very loud and whiny me-yowl (more than a simple meow), and in this BC era Luigi has found just the most irritating and attention getting pitch and volume. He also has more complaining vocalization, a grumbly and short mow-mow-mow-mow. Carrie is the target of the grumbles and the attention getting vocalization might be targeted at Carrie as well, or perhaps us. "There's a DOG! There's a DOG! Why is there a DOG?!"

Yesterday, Christine took Carrie to the dog park, and Luigi promptly came in, marked everything, and sat in my lap for a while. There was grumbling, and a hiss or two at the empty bed. This morning, Christine joined me for coffee and Luigi followed her to the doorway. Loud complaining at the dog. Carrie moved a bit towards Luigi but Luigi held his ground. Eventually Luigi settled down into the feline roosting position and just kept complaining. Carrie kept looking at us quizzically. Once, Carrie barked, and we told her to hush. As Luigi also became quiet, though, Christine wondered at whether this was actually an exchange we should encourage.

And then Luigi got up and sauntered over to me! Lap time, with the dog in the room! This counts as lovely progress.
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Friday, May 12th, 2017 09:45 am
Christine came in to ask Carrie where her sock went. It was buried in Carrie's living room dog bed.

Earlier Carrie brought a rawhide bone in out from the rain and buried it in her blankets. I love how she takes her snout and pats it down when she's done.
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