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E.G.

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(no subject) [Nov. 29th, 2016|07:17 am]
E.G.
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For some reason, it feels warmer outside today, even though the thermostat reads a bit warmer in the house. I suppose it's something to do with slight humidity levels. I'm on the deck, listening to the wind in the trees. We are promised a rain storm today, very welcome. I've a big pile of brush we cleared on Saturday that needs to be disposed of, which is by burning it here, out in the woods. I'm learning NOT to burn to ash but to stop at a char stage, and then use the charcoal/biochar in the garden. The ash is a fine amendment for our acid soil, but i can get lime for that.

My compost is in the red zone this morning, which is finally up in the pathogen and seed killing temperature. Huzzah. 

I need to make a new place for composting: the current location is too visible. I fantasize about creating a woven (wattle) screen around the area. It's not like i'm wanting for materials. The autumn olive branches are very flexible, and it would be nice to put them to use.

--== ∞ ==--

List of things i'm procrastinating over:
communication with extended family and friends
getting my to-do list back into order after a month of ignoring it
getting engaged with Meeting
photography

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(no subject) [Nov. 27th, 2016|08:06 am]
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It has been a very relaxing holiday, although i have been in an odd emotional state in the evenings. I will refer to it as "cranky" for lack of a precise description.

List of what went on, tinted with my crankiness.Collapse )

My mind is on trying to sort out what my moodiness is about, but stepping back from that mystery, it's been a lovely holiday. I want to share photos of happy things, like the compost thermometer, time on the lake, and pumpkin ricotta, but i am all backed up with process. Time with family has been warm and loving, not overwhelming.

Speaking of pumpkin ricotta: one large tub of ricotta + one 16 oz can of pumpkin (roughly 2:1 in volume), drained for at least 12 hours, mixed with powdered sugar and spices to taste is THE BEST THING EVER. Spread on toast. Put in fancy puff pastry cups. Eat out of the bowl. Pipe on to pumpkin bread.

I have finally identified one of the ferns growing around the house: ebony spleenwort. It's low growing and not very dramatic, but i do like it. There are other larger ferns, and i worry a little that clearing out the autumn olive might clear out the shade needed for those other ferns.

Potluck at meeting today: i'm wrestling with hermit-y feelings in conflict with a sense that community is Good For You,® and therefore i should go.

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Good News [Nov. 24th, 2016|07:36 am]
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A weapon against gerrymandering has been found! Courts may use the 'efficiency gap" to measure just how biased a redistricting plan is. Hallelujah!

The very problematic Duke Power is actually experimenting with some solar energy solutions,
demonstrating both environmental sensitivity and cost effectiveness can work together.

And, from Harvard Divinity School, Casting out fear.

Finally, i pulled out the instruction manual for the oven, learned that the oven can actually be divided in two, and realized the divider had been incorrectly placed in the warming drawer (making the warming drawer far too shallow to be useful). (So glad i found the divider, because i suspect a replacement part would have been a bit pricy.) I pried the divider out successfully: now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL stove! And a warming drawer! No figuring out how to juggle broiling tomatoes AND cooking the casserole!

This is also posted at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/629474.html .
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Family gatherings [Nov. 23rd, 2016|10:31 am]
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Family gatherings were the most concerning thing about moving back home. We did NOT miss being at big bustling day-long gatherings. Nor did we miss the massive meals. Indeed, we don't like making big food productions on the holidays. I like having the time off to make some special things, but we don't eat them all at the same meal. Feasts make sense in the times of want, and also in the times of poor storage options. That's no longer the life Christine and I live.

We also don't eat most animals: we have some fish and shell fish we chose to eat with environmental awareness. Sitting with omnivores' platters of meat on the table is not appealing, particularly for Christine.

It seems we are negotiating this holiday with aplomb. We'll have 'brunch' for Christine's sister & husband here, and then desert over with my extended family at my parents'. It will have the quiet and space we're accustomed to on holidays. I'm very happy it's working out to be low drama and low stress. (Except for Christine immediately assuming any food i mention is intended for brunch.)

I might try baking cannoli this weekend. I don't think i can stand to fry up cannoli, but there are a number of recipes for baked pastry that might be a pleasant adventure. A filling of pumpkin and ricotta seems like a wonderful treat.

I hope for those of you observe to able to enjoy the coming American holiday as you wish.

--== ∞ ==--

I didn't go protest last night, i didn't even leave to accompany Christine to the concert where she volunteers. I was pretty sleepy well before she got home.

Today i have a list of calls to make to advocate for the Water Protectors in North Dakota. I'm also trying to round up tasks and to-dos, clean out in boxes, etc.

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#StopTheCarolinaCoup #SoreLoserPat [Nov. 22nd, 2016|11:50 am]
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I have just become nauseous reading North Carolina news about the governor's race and the potential for shenanigans.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article115729818.html
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/north-carolina-governor-alleges-voter-fraud-in-bid-to-hang-on-231728
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/north-carolina-governor-mccrory-election

I'm not sure if i will join the protests tonight.

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LIFO as a bootstrap [Nov. 22nd, 2016|08:44 am]
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LIFO, Last in-first out, is in my impression an "anti-pattern" for personal effectiveness. Get to the requests that came in first, respond to the oldest emails, etc.

I'm not 100% certain of that. I have grown to appreciate that opportunities are constantly making themselves available, and i periodically strike off old to-dos ("punt"), file old emails (email and comment bankruptcy), and in general focus on the present. So, that's what i tried to do this morning to get myself going instead of the "read the whole internet" strategy that i have been employing lately.

I must say, Usenet kept me fixated MUCH LONGER than the internet does today. I suppose the surfeit of choice makes me more picky. Facebook is excluded from my "read the internet," so that removes all sorts of trivia. I do have an extensive list of web comics, but they are optimized -- i have reading lists for each day of the week, and i simply open all the tabs in my bookmarks to have a cascade of amusing reading to do. I've added various local news sources that don't have RSS feeds.

--== ∞ ==--

Oh oh oh my soil tests are in!!

Fairly acid, pH 5.5. Potassium is good, but it seems like there's very little phosphorus. The report is given as an index, and the lawn area reports very very high phosphorus. I don't know if the index is so different because of the difference in planned planting (a grass that doesn't like being over fertilized vs a vegetable garden) or if the previous owners fertilized the fenced in lawn area to death. The area near the lawn, that has been the target of much of our clearing, i specified would be for apples. It took seems to have an extremely low phosphorous rating.

I want to find out if tobacco cropping leaves phosphorus depleted soils. That might hint at the land's history.

ETA Hrm, this 1927 report http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/tobacco_bulletins/tb_7.pdf says tobacco is not a heavy phosphorus feeder.

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(no subject) [Nov. 21st, 2016|11:25 am]
E.G.
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So, here it is, Monday morning, and i'm dithering. Email triggered some work and i was productive on personal things (putting things up) while listening to some folks describe a new tool for doing certain software development practices.

The weekend was rather productive, though. I borrowed my dad's tiller, made some initial passes over the 15' by 30' garden area, and then created the beds. The long dimension runs north to south. The west side of the garden faces the house. So there's a border that goes around the north to the west and from the south to the west. The border opens in the center of the west side to have isles on both sides of a narrow center bed. What's left are two 10' by 10' beds, and those are divided into three. That was the size recommended for a "three sisters" planting.

Here's a sketch of the lay out and what i intend to grow. I made a mistake in the labeling: the basil, squash, and peanuts are for after the *potatoes* are harvested, not the pumpkins.

In the three sisters square, corn, beans, squash....Collapse )

Yesterday i skipped Meeting to stay home with Christine who had been feeling fragile. Many times the fact that i'm a morning person and she's an evening person work in our favor, but it's not conducive to togetherness at ends of the day. By staying home, she could wake up on her own schedule and not feel rushed by me having to get out to meeting for business. I need to remember to set the Saturday mornings aside before early Sunday meetings.

In the afternoon more gardening.Collapse )

I did a little research this morning: dehydrated potatoes sounds like a great way to preserve any surplus potatoes. In some time, i'd like to be able to grow most of the potatoes we eat. I don't have anything like a root cellar to keep them in, though. I chose later to mature varieties that were "good keepers" hoping to extend the period when we can eat them fresh. Nonetheless, it's theoretically possible that i could have 50 lbs of potatoes come in over two months. I don't think i'm going to get 1 to 10 returns, but even 25 lbs of potatoes is a bit much for the two of us over a short time. Dehydrating would be great way to preserve them. I'm not excited about other ways of preserving food. Freezing is expensive and risky (due to power loss). Canning seems miserable.

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(no subject) [Nov. 18th, 2016|06:07 am]
E.G.
Yay, i have my laptop back: logic board replacement needed. Then I needed to restore from backup, which i had gotten just before the last failure to reboot.

Skimming the wildfire incident reports in North Carolina is a bit too much like California. Currently there are five incidents, each involving thousands of acres, including onw that is 13 thousand acres. Four of the incidents have hundreds of folks assigned to the incident. I don't know if som of those folks handle multiple incidents at the same time (firefighters couldn't but someone managing logistics could be assigned to multiple). We're to the east of the drought, but it looms as a reminder to do something about collecting rain water.

I'm running SETI@home again. I have mixed feelings about the energy usage, but a nostalgic wish to be involved -- i was running the project in 1999 apparently. There's also http://www.climateprediction.net/ running on the same platform. If you happen to be running on either & on a "team", let me know. I'm on the Sluggy Freelance team and i haven't read that comic for YEARS.

Hoping for a good work day, in particular that the product manager is in a less aggravated state.

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Morning mutterings [Nov. 18th, 2016|06:03 am]
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Yay, i have my laptop back: logic board replacement needed. Then I needed to restore from backup, which i had gotten just before the last failure to reboot.

Skimming the wildfire incident reports in North Carolina is a bit too much like California. Currently there are five incidents, each involving thousands of acres, including onw that is 13 thousand acres. Four of the incidents have hundreds of folks assigned to the incident. I don't know if som of those folks handle multiple incidents at the same time (firefighters couldn't but someone managing logistics could be assigned to multiple). We're to the east of the drought, but it looms as a reminder to do something about collecting rain water.

I'm running SETI@home again. I have mixed feelings about the energy usage, but a nostalgic wish to be involved -- i was running the project in 1999 apparently. There's also http://www.climateprediction.net/ running on the same platform. If you happen to be running on either & on a "team", let me know. I'm on the Sluggy Freelance team and i haven't read that comic for YEARS.

Hoping for a good work day, in particular that the product manager is in a less aggravated state.

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(no subject) [Nov. 16th, 2016|06:39 am]
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My rhythms are all out. My laptop is gone to be fixed, so my morning laptop rhythm is all gone. Multiple instances of distressing news has distracted me and affected Christine. We have VERY different reaction patterns to traumas. Right now Christine is angry that college kids are being treated compassionately for an election trauma when she was rarely treated with any compassion. Since i was instilled with a culture of tough survivor behavior (Think black knight, "It's just a flesh wound.") i've had to learn self care, and so i can still get a great deal of vertigo in judging myself: am i being a lazy, work avoidant lump? Or is this reasonable self care? I'm still feeling guilty for taking time off work on Friday.

Christine's had to put up some shields, and her shields can be a little counterintuitive. That anger at others getting concessions is part of the shielding, and i accidentally knocked out that shield last night by creating a logical feedback loop in her thinking and self awareness.

My shields are different and what i most want to do is go bury myself in completing a gantt chart plan of next year's gardening and a resource map of available planting areas. I'm trying to decide what i think of various companion planting advice: do i believe the wikipedia assertion that marigolds should be separated from legumes? By how much?

Hmm https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/110135/Fagan_O'Halloran_Przybylski_Rentschler_2014.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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(no subject) [Nov. 15th, 2016|06:20 am]
E.G.
I am very thankful Christine is OK. She was in a collision with a large buck yesterday just after 2pm, just moments different would have led to far more damage to her than the little cut. The driver's side of the car, from the headlight, including the hood, to the full driver's door is crumpled.

The buck died quickly. A consolation is that the carcass was picked up to feed the big cats at http://carolinatigerrescue.org/ .

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(no subject) [Nov. 14th, 2016|12:00 pm]
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The Saturday galavanting was refreshing. We started at the local co-op for breakfast, during which i got them both to make plans to buy seed potato with me. On to an antique store that was having a holiday festival with bluegrass music and some extraneous vendors. I was impressed how long my sister could have spent looking at the farm antiques: she's all captivated by the idea of taking a wooden chicken crate and making it into a coffee table. We wound through the country side, dotted with dairies and obsolete chicken barns, country houses, and garlanded with golden autumn foliage. It was a beautiful day. Lunch was at an honest country restaurant, and i decided to ignore the odds that there was bits of meat in the black-eyed peas or greens. We wrapped up with a stop at the molasses festival, and by molasses, they mean sorghum syrup.

I will not plant sorghum to make my own syrup. I will not plant sorghum to make my own syrup.

(Searches on how to efficiently reduce juice to syrup. Also http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/agr/agr123/agr123.htm)

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(no subject) [Nov. 12th, 2016|05:13 am]
E.G.
Anyone know a good history of anti-intellectualism?

ETA:A world history that takes into account something more thanthe last 500 years. Although I can't helpbut think the scientific method & dmocracy have a important part in defining the state.



Wondering whether the rejection began with evolution.

Note that it seems that heretical knowledge is something different to me -but that is why I would like a history.

Can't delete the following inthis Interface for some reason.


→IGNORE→




is somsomething ifferent

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(no subject) [Nov. 11th, 2016|09:18 pm]
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I finally felt I could cry today, so I decided to take time off from work. We all spent sometime in the morning light and tears began to finally come.

By taking time off, i could take my laptop that was no longer stopping to the Apple store. It's near where my sister works, so i was able to eat lunch with her at her office. My sister shared that my father had shared with her the story of the Red Strings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Strings) and we discussed wearing red strings -- and i thought i would tie red string to my mailbox.

When i drove up to the shopping center i was a bit surprised. I was certain i knew where the store was -- because i was remembering where it was in a very similar mall at Stanford. I did make it to the appointment, a little late, and had to wait and wait to check in. I knew my anxiety about being late and missing a chance to be helped was unreasonable, and i practiced breathing and trying to be calm while i waited to be checked in. No one cared i that i was late, and eventually my machine was checked and diagnosed as needing to be shipped off for repair.

I ran some errands in town, getting bone meal (phosphorous) and muriate of potash (potassium) for the potatoes. I'm not really sure how different processes to extract a mined mineral may or may not be organic: apparently certified organic farmers have to make sure their muriate of potash is certified organic. I am hoping that once i start getting my garden going that i will be able to just use compost to return the nutrients to the soil -- but right now i'm starting with red clay and my compost isn't ripe.

At home i discovered that instead of red strings, it's safety pins that will be worn to communicate solidarity. I might still do something with some sort of red cord.

Tomorrow i will galavant around the county from antique stores to craft fairs to a molasses festival with my mother and sister.

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Pink horse [Nov. 10th, 2016|09:15 pm]
E.G.
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(no subject) [Nov. 10th, 2016|08:03 am]
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My distant Swedish cousin wrote a few days before the election, sharing photos of her son and noting the All Soul's Day observation. I replied this morning

Thank you! [your son] has grown, and what a beautiful blue sky in the background. Is your weather behaving oddly? We have had an uncommon stretch of mild weather, and no rain since the hurricane hit. When it hit - oh my, there was much rain and the nearby creek was flooding the bridge to our neighbors' homes. We live on a gentle slope and a sheet of water was draining from the woods around our house across the entire yard.

We are still unpacking. Sometime this winter i will take the time to pull together the before and after photos of a great deal of our outside work. We have been clearing an area that had become very overgrown with non native plants, vines that warped trees. We started by having goats visit and eat much of the underbrush. We've since been clearing -- pulling up vines and cutting down trees.

I've planted onions that grow over the winter, and i am planning my garden for next year.

Our family here in the states spans the political spectrum. I'm not really sure how [the Florida family] voted. I know [my aunt's] husband often expresses right wing views to my father.

My immediate family-- Christine, my parents, my siblings and their spouses -- all voted for the Democratic Party candidate Clinton. My parents are concerned about the environment and climate change, concerned about justice for their Muslim grandchildren and for LGBTQ rights for myself and Christine. Yesterday I called my brother, my parents and reached out to my sister: we are all dismayed and grieving at the turn of events. [My brother] reported having to calm his sons who were very worried they could never come back to the US. My spouse, who is transgendered, is worried that she and I may need to escape the US if the radical right wing gets their way. One of my African American colleagues has shared that she and her family are all getting passports. There's a great deal of fear due to the extreme rhetoric of the past months.

I am leaning on my faith, consoled that we are close to our family and we can be together if the extremes of history repeat. I hope we have learned from history, and believe that more people are awake to justice for all.

I hope our country's chaos doesn't cause distressing ripple effects for you all. Do i recall correctly that you work for Ikea? I imagine seeing such a large market vote in protectionist government causes practical concerns.

May Love triumph, and with love to you and the extended family in Sweden,

[me]


I'm not quite sure how to articulate i really mean by leaning on my faith. It's a more existential faith i'm leaning on -- not a faith that somehow i will be protected. No, i am very aware of my privilege. Because i'm white, able bodied, educated, cisgendered, and don't present in a way that shouts Queer i have some insulation: it's hard for me to know if i am having faith in my privilege as protection.

Tonight Christine's sister's film has a short that is being screened at a festival event in Wilmington -- her sister received a grant from the festival last year. Color correction and audio balancing takes time. The film's depiction of coming together despite difference seems all the more meaningful today.

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(no subject) [Nov. 9th, 2016|07:01 am]
E.G.
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For my friends in the US --

* As i told my Muslim sister in law, i will continue to support religious liberties, looking for where i can be effective in education and advocacy. (If you are in the San Fran Bay area, supporting the building of the Islamic Center in San Martin against the NIMBY crowd is a concrete action.)

* I will continue to mind my carbon footprint and encourage others to mind theirs. I will work to educate on the realities of global warming.

* I will work to ensure EVERYONE is included in our society. I'm not sure how to do that but listen. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. How can i help people understand that raising up people doesn't mean pushing down others?

* I will listen to the people who supported Trump and try to learn. Where are the bridges?

After the cut are my thoughts this morning for my record.

Read more...Collapse )

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(no subject) [Nov. 8th, 2016|10:41 pm]
E.G.
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(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2016|06:32 am]
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I so very much appreciated the extra hour of sleep. Christine is in distress about the election and woke upset in the middle of the night.

Last week was completely unfocussed. I begin to think i am moving into menopause and assume that hormonal disruptions are going to take some time to balance out. I wonder, too, if i am getting restless from working at home. The library would be close enough to make for an interesting test.

I did a good deal of raking Saturday afternoon: i think that counts as good exercise. Yesterday I dug in the rows for the last onions, piling the "turf" on the hugelkultur bed. That didn't feel as draining as going and lopping at ground level the sweetgum saplings stumps that had been growing up at the entrance to our drive way. They apparently responded to the glyphosate with an immediate expiration of the whole colony, not just the ones i topped off and sprayed. Why can't the autumn olive do that?

The daylight savings time change makes me a little grumpy as it will be dark at quitting time during the work week. Fie.

Meanwhile, i have been very distracted by gardening planning. I have my three sisters garden seeds picked out: a multicolored popcorn (which can be roasted before it completely dries), scarlet runners, and cheese pumpkins. Scarlet runners are pre-Colombian, tan cheese pumpkins are a very old variety, and the popcorn comes from Cherokee seed sources. I'm tempted to replace winter squash in the planting pattern with peanuts.

The potato and bush bean plot come next in planning: i will be able to grow a variety of potato types which i find exciting. I'm picking out a range of types spread over the ripening season. The season is sort of short, so maybe summer squash to replace the potatoes? Some advice indicates squash *attracts* late potato blight; i am suspicious that it was correlation and not causation. I'll gamble and grow squash in with the potatoes.

My perennial onions are up! I'm piling raked leaves on as mulch. We haven't had a freeze yet, although last night was close. Highly unusual weather, everyone says. New normal, i worry.

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(no subject) [Nov. 4th, 2016|07:07 am]
E.G.
There's a site i've seen used by the press and other organizations to upload documents such as court documents. It's not scribd, but now that i have that in my head i can't seem to recall the name of the site.

Any ideas what i'm talking about?

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(no subject) [Nov. 1st, 2016|08:40 am]
E.G.
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Observing the wheel of the year has not been very active on my part. Last night i didn't feel like bestirring myself from the house, and did not drive up to see the pumpkins on the Old Bynum Bridge. Instead we watched the new Ghostbusters. I found it amusing but a little weak: i have a suspicion that there was interesting narrative left on the cutting room floor in order to keep special effects. The multitude of hat-tips to the original were delightful.

I've ordered two books about the area, one about trying to drive a small economy from the person who started the biodiesel plant and another about someone who apparently was "back to the land" in the 70s. I feel a little guilty ordering books as i have not read the book i bought at the beginning of the month: The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature. Instead i do things like read the 1937 soil report for the county -- which was interesting in its snapshot of the county's way of being. (I ought to find the county soil reports for where my Dad grew up.)

I'm hoping i haven't killed the mother plant of candystripe moss phlox. I recently moved it from its container planting (since i hadn't decided where it should go) to a spot where we had filled in one of the many annoying holes with (clean) kitty litter clay. I then put the phlox on top. I think the issue is one of watering -- the weather has been very dry since the hurricane. My one consolation is actually 13: the number of rooted plants I have from the mother plant.

In depressing work news, the competent security guy has left the company (well, last day is tomorrow), which means we're left with the tedious fellow who has failed to impress me with any sort of context or systems awareness. Christine helped me characterize the remaining fellow: he's a bureaucrat.

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(no subject) [Oct. 31st, 2016|08:59 am]
E.G.
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I read the Weather Underground blog entry this weekend about how warm this October has been and reflect on my observations: lilac budding, four flowers blooming on an azalea, a violet. Looking at the trees that are almost bare (elms, tulip poplar) i assume they are driven by day length. The others must be thinking to photosynthesize while the process is still good.

On my drive to Meeting on Sunday, i passed critters that have been hit by cars. It seems there are more now than in the summer, although it may be i became very sensitized a few months ago when i hit a squirrel. I now drive with as much concern for little darting critters as i can.

I also passed a pretentious neighborhood entry way (likely filled with McMansions) where the cherry trees were in full bloom. Poor trees. I am appreciating not having to heat and having this extended period of idyllic weather, but we haven't had rain since Hurricane Matthew and really, cold is not a bad thing. I saw even more violets blooming as i worked in the septic field Sunday afternoon. I suppose i should find a candied violet recipe.

As a log of the weekend:

* Friday night raked the glade, dinner out with Christine's sister at The Mod.

* Saturday morning, appreciated being together given the rest of the schedule. Christine cooked part of a lovely breakfast while i created rather disappointing corn flour+rice flour biscuits. Christine had an afternoon gig; i burned brush (and got rather exhausted). I do wonder about the exhaustion and pounding heart i experience when doing a good deal of bending over. I would think that bending over would be easier on the heart? In the late afternoon i finished watching Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell . I'd gotten a bit creeped out by Thistledown's stalking of Arabella; i'm glad i returned to finish the series. Christine was home in time for a light dinner: we listened to the world series as i faded to sleep.

* Sunday morning i was to be at the meeting house at 9:30 for a lecture about the local Revolutionary war battle. It turned out to also involve a great deal of historical context, which was very interesting. Also, the battle was between neighbors, essentially -- not many British soldiers brought over for the war itself, but men born in the colony. I reflected on the neighbor vs neighbor quality of the revolutionary war, the civil war, and the local & current political rhetoric. I'm not sure what insight i gleaned from the reflection. Meeting for Worship had little waiting worship, and the person who visited to speak to us was from Durham Monthly Meeting -- someone who has a passion for addressing the injustices in our legal system. Afterwards we all went to the site of the Battle of L's Mill and had a lovely walk to the existing markers, listening to a recap of the morning's lesson.

I do want to know where the road from Hillsborough to L's Mill traversed. (And i keep getting distracted to see if i can find hints online: i've found groups who work on this sort of thing.)

Christine was in a bit of a dither when i got home as she prepared for an afternoon gig. I headed out and walked around the familiar areas of our lot, then decided i's work out on the septic field area "tidying." I now have a large pile of stuff to burn and have added to the chipper piles. I spent late afternoon on the screened porch reading until dark. I managed to bestir myself and get the front light on just as Christine returned.

We had some disappointments trying to use Sling TV to watch the World Series. Apparently, we need to get an attic antenna if we want to receive channels over the air beyond a very unpredictable PBS. Instead we watched a Kenneth Branagh episode of Wallander.

I didn't sleep well, and so this morning has not been very focused.

Hoping the week turns out well.

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(no subject) [Oct. 27th, 2016|03:08 pm]
E.G.
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My mind wandering. A comic references Wuthering Heights. I read Wikipedia for a plot outline. Musicians have songs inspired by Wuthering Heights. I'm not sure why this surprises me. I linger on my surprise, realize i assume an inspiration of immediate passions and pains like my high school poetry, realize looking up from personal angst doesn't mean silencing, ponder what makes for my daily inspirations and wonder how forced a poem about connecting to teleconferences would sound. I think about my poetry professor in college, the horror of his metaphors of contemporary technology and how they grated on my sensibilities. ("Disk drive of the universe" floats in with a shudder.) Surely, new technology has made its way into poetry without being forced. How long did poets restrict themselves to candles after other forms of light? Surely street lights were met with a prompt poetic response? The painters certainly reveled in the new atmosphere. How would i search for an answer: "critical response poets artificial lights"?

I find http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/Clark.artificial.light.html -- a lovely poem.

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(no subject) [Oct. 27th, 2016|06:43 am]
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Gloom was going to continue with my laptop failing to start. That has been resolved, though, so all's good.

Gotta love the new search engine techniques. I simply searched on "macbook won't start" and Google pulled up a little snippet that had, apparently, just the trick.
I miss yanking the battery out as a solution.



Gloom lifts with the lovely emails thanking Christine for standing up against the propagandistic video. Yesterday evening i shared with her the BBS goings-on. We both don't want fear to drive our decisions, and i made clear that my distress that persons would immediately call for a boycott over a post to a mailing list was not distress that she posted. And then we had a good laugh about what boycotting a blog would require.

Regarding the German shepherd question from yesterday, i think my real dog question has to do with how soon do dogs identify a family as their pack? Christine and i have been talking about D-O-Gs (when in front of the C-A-Ts): we've often talked about how when we left apartment living we would get one, or two.

So when i misspell shepherd as shepard, spell check suggests Shepard. When i misspell shepherd as shephard i get no suggestions at all. I hate schwas. I remember learning about schwas in elementary school and spelling and just being completely baffled. I don't think the a vs e schawa issue i have is related to the pen-pin merger of my native region in the southeast US.


On Monday, we were discussing how a dog would affect the cats -- and Christine remains concerned about how the cats have adapted after the move. I have cat-dog concerns too, but mainly because i would want a dog that would be large enough to be threat to the cats. I find most small dogs... unfair to dog-dom? I grew up with medium sized dogs and have a bias towards shepherds. We always had dogs and cats and never had issues -- but a neighbor's dog killed my brother's cat and i am well aware of the potential.

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(no subject) [Oct. 23rd, 2016|06:04 am]
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I think Donald Trump and his treatment of women made it unpleasantly into my dreams last night. Waking, trying to think of something BETTER, came to mind Patrick Stewart. I went looking for his talk about Violence against Women and found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqFaiVNuy1k

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(no subject) [Oct. 22nd, 2016|07:47 am]
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This morning i stepped out into crisp air. CRISP! I think i was traumatized by the miserable summer. Everyone says it was specially bad, not normal, but i am not going to get my hopes up. However, crisp! Hurrah.

The tulip poplars are dappled yellow and brown, dropping leaves like mad. The leaves are loud as they come down through branches, causing me to constantly look for the critter crashing through the woods. I'm raking a little bit up just because the tree seems to be planning to loose all its leaves this week.

I don't think it's going to be a pretty autumn at all. The elms seem to have just given up on having leaves. Only the dogwoods seem to be doing any color. Still, many trees are still green, so maybe the color will come soon -- Last year the first frost was Oct 19th; average date is Oct 30th.

The crisp air at 6 am silenced most of the insects, and, as it is Saturday, vehicular noise was absent as well. There was some yipping critter in the distance: dog or fox or coyote? And i heard a rooster for the first time. It was still night, no noticeable hint of dawn. The quarter-cycle moon was still incredibly bright: i look forward to having trails through the woods to walk in the moonlight. The stars - wow, even with the moonlight there seemed more than i would see in the light pollution of the bay area.

Today i'll burn more brush: we need to line the chipper up soon. This evening we will go into Raleigh for a concert by the Raleigh symphony. We'll see how spoiled i have become by the Philadelphia and San Francisco performances: i don't think my ear is trained enough yet to notice. Tomorrow is a wildflower walk: Christine needs the new camera for an interview, so i'll be testing to see if the old one actually works after its wacky behavior in Death Valley.

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(no subject) [Oct. 21st, 2016|06:35 am]
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I found myself very distracted by the election yesterday. Christine has convinced me to watch the Newshour for a couple nights in a row: i think i need to stop that. There's some difference between video and reading that isn't just content that makes the impact a bit more distressing than it needs to be.

There was a report on rural mountain North Carolina poverty and the distrust voters have towards both parties making anything better. The interviewees were wonderfully articulate (even though i wanted to shake them at times). The stark contrast between their command of the English language and Donald Trump's statements is just one of the many depressing notes from my distraction. Another was listening to Hillary Clinton's response to a law-and-order question: i felt in my bones the lost moment for her to speak of a just society as she listed (quite reasonable) programs. If i can sense a rhetorically missed moment, it must have been a big miss. Of course, this is the distraction to which i refer -- i accept that rhetoric is more than soundbites and it does have meaning. It does set tone.

The place i need to be digging is my county politics and trying to discern whether i will vote for the Democrats or for the "nice young man" running as an independent. Our county seems as split as the country, with the western part rural and the eastern part getting developed.

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Long catch up [Oct. 18th, 2016|09:57 am]
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Wow, the journaling is really falling by the wayside, and i suspect i'll rant to read back on what this first year is like. Ah well.

Last week flew by with the distraction of a foggy mind and some sort of sinus unhappiness. Midweek my dad let me know our rescheduled trip to the mountains would need to be rescheduled again due to a doctors appointment he had forgotten. I think i was disappointed, but i decided to keep the day off as i was feeling run down.

One lunch Christine and i went to walk outside in the front woods we've cleared back from the future driveway. A dog came trotting up the driveway, and we walked him home.Collapse )

Friday furnitureCollapse )

I woke at 3:30 am on Saturday, thinking about the yard. Happy thoughts: where to plant what, what to tackle next. But i couldn't manage to quiet the thoughts to go back to sleep, so i got up and did some tidying and unpacking, and some reading. The moonlight is wonderful.

Eventually Christine woke, and we had a pleasant breakfast before i prepared for a day of yard work and she prepared for a friend/client meeting. I worked on the path around the porch and deck, transplanting violets, Heuchera americana (Alumroot), and some other attractive ground-covering plant. I am guessing the alumroot is wild, but given the proximity to the house, it might have been an intentional planting.

mystery plantCollapse )

They were transplanted to a "shady" garden outside our bedroom window. I hope it will be shady next summer, but i have cut back a number of saplings and cleared out the honeysuckle and Japanese knotweed. I've only left a small redbud in the area i consider the flowerbed, and a dogwood does reach over the area a bit. It may be much more sunny though, than it has been. There are three moss covered rocks that act as focal points as well as the huge stump from a tulip poplar tree. (The rest of the tree still needs to be removed -- the previous owners cut down trees and left the logs and branches in the woods.) I planted the 15 yellow daffodil bulbs in this area too, did what i could to encourage moss growth, and hope that it becomes a verdant little area.

After all day outside, i cleaned up and dressed up. Christine and i were guests of a "table captain" at the Equality NC Gala. Conversation was impossible, but that was a plus for me as i was feeling shy. The program was very good - lots of NC House Bill 2 politics and politicians. Lovely to see such a large community of LGBTQ supporting NC politicians! The past mayor of Houston spoke and it was fairly inspiring. The program ran long though, so that was exhausting. I drank a bit more than i usually do, mainly as an analgesic. Oh, did i ache from the yard work. People watching was fun, although pretty sedate.

Sunday i couldn't bring myself to go to Meeting. We had a fairly quiet day, the highlight of which was going to the nearby mill town of Bynum to a native plant seed swap. I had nothing to swap, but the organizer was happy to send me home with seeds, and i was thrilled to get seeds of plants i've wanted for a while. (Pawpaw! Waxmyrtle! Buttonbush!) I'm trying to figure out how i am going to start the seeds. seed startingCollapse )

Yesterday i managed to finally get soil samples together. I have to get them to the state soon: In November there's a charge.

There was shooting in the large woodlot next door yesterday. I worry it's going to be hard on Christine hearing hunting going on: deer and turkey season start in a month. She's sensitive to sounds like that, sounds she has no control over. Being well isolated has reduced her stress compared to living in a dense suburban situation in California: i hate to think how she's going to be affected by the shooting.

Looks like lovely weather through the week.

[1] AKA Neighborhood public road. I think it means that the state doesn't maintain it. http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_136/Article_4.pdf

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(no subject) [Oct. 10th, 2016|02:26 pm]
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Hurricane Matthew: my, what a great deal of water! By midafternoon, the ground was saturated. Water was washing out of the woods into the yard as a sheet. I did what i could to reduce erosion and slow the flow down: lots of tiny little dams of leaf litter and sticks. We had many little power blinks and, finally, as it got dark, an outage. It was at a good moment in dinner preparation, not too far in that we couldn't easily switch to soup made over the camping stove.

The most annoying part of the outage was figuring out how to get the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to STOP BEEPING without going mad. The purpose of the UPS is to keep the router (and wifi access point) up and running (so i can work through the power blinks and outages during summer thunderstorms). We were able to download the manual for the UPS and the application to control the UPS. Once the beeping stopped, we shut off the router. It seemed a strangely circular use case.

From dinner, we played scrabble and finished the game after power came back.

The next morning was delightfully fresh and clear. I ventured down the private road across from our driveway to look at the nearby creek. It's clear the waters had flooded the bridge and inundated the little flood plane. I decided i would honor the county's request to stay off the road and not attend Meeting.

With the fabulous weather i worked outside, building up calluses. GardeningCollapse )
--== ∞ ==--

Re the debate, i recommend this poem.

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(no subject) [Oct. 7th, 2016|06:43 am]
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TL; DR: yes, big bad hurricane. No, not likely to locally do more than cause a power outage of unknown duration, cause flooding in low areas (not a problem for us), bring a tree crashing into the house or vehicle (but we'd have a place to stay during repairs). Nothing like needing to be prepared for the Hayward fault to rip. So why am i so preoccupied with preparedness??!! OY.

--== ∞ ==--Collapse )
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