9/212017 Nimitz Way

Sep. 21st, 2017 02:45 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I walked out to the Mezue trailhead and back, seven hours, eight-and-a-half or nine miles. Almost like the old days except that carrying bins in my fannypack turned pouch limits the number of layers I can remove and stash. Today it worked well. The weather was perfect, no fog, little wind, yet cool enough that I wasn't miserable in two layers on return. The white-crowned sparrows are back! I saw a couple of juveniles and heard some iffy songs in the open area just north of Conlon, but only on the way back. On the way out I was dawdling to allow a coyote to put some distance between us (this was just after I'd dawdled to allow a cow with calf to do the same - there were a lot of mammals up there today) and noticed an unmistakable, non-native bird: a European goldfinch, presumably an escapee. So I had three kinds of goldfinch today, lesser, American, and one apparently healthy European. For migrants I had one Pacific-slope flycatcher in an sheltered oak at about 3 mi and one black-throated gray warbler in an oak at the top of Laurel Canyon Road. Oh, and my reward for getting all the way out to the trail head was a Say's phoebe at the junction and a large family of coyotes in the near distance. The list may be less fun than the incidentals: )

One other mammal, my first skunk! Way out in the dry grass north of 3 mi, a striped skunk trundled up the slope from the west, crossed the road, and trundled on east through the fence and disappeared. If only I'd had the presence of mind to take video.

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:01 pm
sage: xkcd: crop of standing male stick figure facing a seated cat and exclaiming, "You're a kitty!" (kitty)
[personal profile] sage
books T. Kingfisher )

yarning

Mom's cat LOVED her kickbunny! I have about a million pics to sort and then find a few to edit into the pattern post, and then the kickbunny pattern will go live. *pleased*

dirt plants log )

There is other stuff, but it will wait.

9/20/2017 Diablo Foothills State Park

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:02 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Went out with U, DW, and one other for the first time since early July, starting at 8:30 am. It was overcast with no wind so I went out in a t-shirt, a canvas shirt, and my trusty neckwarmer and was fine. No goddamned warblers nor any migrants save a Pacific-slope flycatcher or possibly two, and here it's the goddamned equinox. Very frustrating. A nice list of residents: )

Experiments in carrying bins )

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:45 pm
mabiana: (Wolle)
[personal profile] mabiana
I finished yet another shawl (I wear one daily in spring and autumn, so there is reason to my mass production ;-) ):

TuchOzean

I used the lace pattern from the Holden Shawlette pattern.
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
The "Wildcat Peak Trail is closed" signs disappeared a while ago so this morning I went up to see if the trail had really been fixed or just bashed down by foot traffic. But first I was surprised on Upper Packrat Trail by a bicycle coming up behind me. The guy claimed to have come from a trail "up there" and to have seen no signs; I know of no trail "up there" and the ranger I reported it to much later didn't seem to believe the claim, either. I wish I could say I made him turn back, but I think he would have pushed me off the trail had I refused to step aside. So that was a nice start.

Wildcat Peak Trail has indeed been fixed, wider and flatter than before. I guess it was done by a couple of guys with shovels as I cannot imagine how to get any other equipment to the site short of a helicopter. Maybe that's what they did. Anyway, once up that far (the slide site is a lot closer to the top than I recalled, but then I was too freaked to remember clearly) I of course did not turn around (my plan were it not sufficiently fixed) and after briefly contemplating going down Conlon I settled for the connector down to Laurel Canyon Trail and out.

There have been first of season reports for a number of winter species, but I neither heard nor saw any. Wildcat Peak Trail has no hard bits but it's boring and today was no exception. Just the usuals: )

So not an exciting morning, and it produced some un-encouraging empirical data. Stupid back. )

I forgot to say that the weather was perfect, clearing quickly but cool. I went out in two t-shirts and a light flannel, with my neckwarmer to start, and was quite comfortable.

Yum.

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:48 am
kass: apples and honey (apples)
[personal profile] kass
It's one of my favorite flavors of the year, and it's one I only taste at this season: coffee-infused honeycake batter, licked off of the scraping spoon after I put the pans in the oven.
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I got out about sunrise, went to three places, and was home about 11:30, so have three short lists. Point Emery: )

I didn't stay long before heading up the frontage road to what used to be called Berkeley Meadow. I walked east up the Virginia street extension, through the park, out the west gate, and along the fence back to the car. McLaughlin Eastshore State Park: )

There were great reports from Richmond Shoreline yesterday monrning but today it was the least productive. Meeker Slough: )

A day of mysteries.

My timing was terrible in that I was at Richmond Shoreline right around high tide and didn't want to hang around for an hour or more while the tide receded. There was also intense clean-up activity, which is wonderful if only briefly noticeable, given the unimaginable amount of crap that washes continually onto those shores and marshes, so too many people, however good their reason for being there.

time to break out this icon

Sep. 16th, 2017 08:36 pm
trobadora: (Discworld: Hogfather)
[personal profile] trobadora
I don't know where the year went, but suddenly we're here, gearing up for all the Christmas exchanges.

Yuletide just closed nominations over at [community profile] yuletide_admin. (I'll be requesting my perennials again - my once-a-year chance! There's nothing else I want as much, or at least not with as little a chance of getting written elsewhere.)

[community profile] holmestice - which this week announced dates for this year's winter round - is my chance for two other tiny fandoms, plus of course the ones that don't qualify for Yuletide. (I'm planning to add A Study in Emerald and Exit Sherlock Holmes to my ACD and Sherlock requests this time. Exit Sherlock Holmes is a new discovery for me; I stumbled across it earlier this year. Anyone else read it?)

And last but hopefully not least, [community profile] public_call just announced this year's schedule and rules. My nominations this year promise to be Missy-heavy, in addition to the usual things. :D

Oh, and even [community profile] holly_poly, which has a January deadline, has already posted a tentative schedule! And here, too, there will definitely be more Missy nominations for me in addition to my Twelve/Missy/Jack OT3.

(Btw, speaking of Missy, over at [community profile] missy_fest we've revealed the first of the Missy This Fic remixes, and the rest will be revealed every other day. It's a tiny fest with only four participants total! But it was totally worth it, and there's some amazing Missy fic to read. ♥)

Gratitudes

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:52 am
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
[personal profile] kass
1. Tasty leftovers for lunch: baked rice (lemon, cinnamon, curry leaves), topped with spicy kale (ginger, soy, and a hot red pepper from the CSA) with a dollop of chicken schmaltz just to make the whole thing richer and more flavorful.

2. Rereading the introduction to The Bitch is Back this morning and being both comforted and inspired by the existence of many smart, thoughtful, passionate women determined to wrest the most out of midlife.

3. The fact that my son, who is going on eight, still wanted nail polish this weekend and still watches Shimmer & Shine.

4. Beautiful warm late-summer day, which means I'm still wearing sleeveless shirts and sandals, both of which make me happy.

5. I'm going to give myself a pedicure this afternoon. \o/!

How are y'all?

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Sep. 13th, 2017 05:15 pm
sage: a white stag on a black background, captioned "Yuletide" (yuletide)
[personal profile] sage
books Benjamin January #1-2 )

dirt plants log )

healthcrap
every damn thing is flaring right now. I have pain in my hands and wrists that I've never had before, to the point that I'm wearing my PT elbow braces to type in. I finally located my elbow night brace & now have only to de-lint it. Possibly if I start sleeping in both carpal braces & at least one elbow brace, I can fix this.

Yuletide!
Yuletide noms close in 2 1/2 days, and I don't know what to nom. I don't know what -- if anything -- I'm qualified to write for this year. Except, at the same time, I feel like I've got a story in me. God knows I've read enough this year to be able to offer a ton of book fandoms. *ponders* Oh! I should make sure that Early Modern London Theatre RPF has Annie Shakespeare in it so I can request Will/Kit/Annie hijinks. And I should probably make sure the right muppets are nommed. Hmm, what else?
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I drove up through the fog to higher overcast, but the weather rose as well. It looked like this )

There were breaks in the clouds over Contra Costa and thunder to the SSE while I was in the parking lot, but it got worse as I headed north: not much rain but wind so strong I turned back at the first gap in the ridge lest I be blown over. Twenty minutes later I was able to continue and despite not much energy I walked out to 2 mile and back. Lack of birds doesn't help, but it was all made worthwhile just north of the first cattle gate. I was looking for a thrasher calling in a little hollow to the west; I never found it but I did find a wonderful mixed flock: bushtits, several blue-gray gnatcatchers, a Hutton's vireo, two orange-crowned warblers, and a chickadee. This is what we're always hoping for. I wasn't going to bother with a list til that happened: )

Some colorful and varied vegetation at about one and a half mile. )

It was 11 am and I didn't want to go home yet so I spent an hour at the EBRP Botanic Garden. It was still overcast but not cold, or even windy down in the gorge, and I had quite a few birds not encountered up on the ridge. Best was sitting on a bench and listening to purple finches singing and calling just over my head: Another short list: )

My view from the aforesaid bench )

Other taxa: From the Botanic Garden's primary bridge over Wildcat Creek I watched an enormous crayfish slowly but steadily working its way upstream. I've never noticed one there before and saw no other in other parts of the stream. I know they're in Jewel so presumably they're in Anza, but that's still quite a ways downstream. Impressive.

Gratitudes

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:03 pm
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
[personal profile] kass
1. Kitten. With his little kitten face, and his giant kitten paws, and his blissed-out kitten squinty-eyes while lounging on my desk in a sunbeam and licking my fingers.

2. Thanks to [personal profile] heresluck posting her recipe for Keralan pepper chicken last week I was inspired to get curry leaves (one can buy them on Amazon! which is useful to know if one lives in a small town as I do), and then I was inspired to ask her what else she cooks with them, and now I am making lemon, cinnamon, and curry leaf basmati rice.

3. It is warm this afternoon. Warm and beautiful and sunny and the crickets and cicadas are singing their song.

4. I have a big work deadline coming up and I am reaching a state of calm about it. As in: the really important things will get done. The things that don't get done...? Must not be that important. ::grin:: We'll see if I can sustain this attitude through the next couple of weeks (not likely, but one lives in hope.)

5. Tonight [personal profile] kouredios will come over and we will have dinner and watch some Gilmore Girls again. It's nice to be getting back to that routine.

How are y'all?

GIVEAWAY!

Sep. 11th, 2017 03:38 pm
mrkinch: albatross soaring (Default)
[personal profile] mrkinch
So I wore the flanged ear plugs on the way to work once and discovered they are useless to me. Returning them is too much trouble (I've given up amazon AGAIN so returning stuff is a pain) and will ship them at once to anyone who wants to try them. Comment and then we can take it to email or whatever for the details. Please take them off my hands!

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 03:19 pm
mirabile: (San Francisco)
[personal profile] mirabile
Hello, hello! I hope you are all well and that hurricanes will stop hurricaning for a while. We have friends on the east coast of Florida who went to Orlando to escape Irma, but my goodness, the flooding there! We haven't heard from them since Friday so my fingers are crossed.

We are fine. Webster actually went swimming with me two mornings this week! He hasn't felt well enough to do that in months. I've been cleaning house like mad because my sister and her wife arrive Thursday night. Yay! I'm so looking forward to their visit, and of course Mother is over the moon. That's one thing she remembers, that my sister is coming out.

In case you missed all the headers and announcements, it's the OTW's tenth anniversary. Ten years! And I'm very proud to say I was there at the start. I love the OTW despite its well known faults, and I adore the AO3. Bless every volunteer and all their hard work. Anyway, Tumblr user Gins posted an essay I enjoyed: A few notes on the past ten years, and so on: I don't think it's a coincidence that there is, broadly speaking, a strong correlation between the people who would like me to write my experience of queerness and womanhood differently and the people who dismiss the artistic import and value of fannish art, and art about fandom. Fandom is one of those rare artistic communities that was built, in large part, by and for women and queer people; this is not to say there aren't people who are neither in fandom, but to instead say that womanhood and queerness have architectural significance to fandom as an artistic space. Excellent essay covering a number of subjects important to me.

Okay, lots of links to share with you:
'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats: When teaching, I had the bad luck to run into a fair bit of plagiarism from my students. To this day, I wonder if I somehow didn't make clear what plagiarism was and why they shouldn't plagiarize. I've also caught some plagiarisms in fandom. It is very very unpleasant.

An essay by Cecilia Tan, Let Me Tell You, about the old saw "show, don't tell," which I have to tell you drives me wild. Literary fiction, I fear, is beyond help because of its overreliance on shared knowledge for its power. The only way to meet the literary "standard" of a "universal" story while writing about any marginalized individual -- whether by culture or subculture, whether of color, queer, or even just a woman -- is to make the story accessible to the educated white upper middle-class point of view.

Over at Think Progress I read about this incredible Twitter account, World War II, one tweet at a time. The Twitter account just started repeating after six years of tweeting, so this isn't exactly news, but you can start here and go forward. Honestly, I had no idea about most of the things that happened in September 1939. I dislike Twitter, even though I've had an account since the business started, so I keep the WW2 Tweets account up on a separate page and refresh periodically. Some days he posts many times, others just a bit. Also: my god, but the Poles were astoundingly brave! Get this: At Wizna village, 720 Polish soldiers in small forts have held back 42,000 Germans & 300 tanks for 3 days, stopping Guderian's panzer corps.

Really beautiful images and clear explanations of Cassini's jaw-dropping discoveries of Saturn's moons. (On Friday, the Cassini space probe will burn up in Saturn's atmosphere, and even though it's for SCIENCE, that still makes me sad.)

I just learned about this Kickstarter project so I didn't contribute any money, but it sounds like a hoot: Barry & Joe -- the animated series. These are the adventures of Barack Obama and Joe Biden bromancing the multiverse as they try and save us from ourselves.

Time for a little yoga, I think, and then what shall I do about dinner? Quesadillas and a salad maybe?

9/10/2017 Inspiration Trail

Sep. 10th, 2017 09:44 am
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Took what is becoming my usual Sunday morning walk down Inspiration Trail, this time almost to the not-a-junction with Nimitz Way (blocked by cows). I was only out two hours because by 9 am it was quite warm. Surprise of the day was hearing both acorn woodpecker and white-breasted nuthatch up on the ridge. Not much migration so far: )

On the way out there was a coyote that kept peeking back around the corner at me to see if I was still coming, which I was, though very slowly. I glimpsed it on the way back, too.

Gratitudes

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:55 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. The tapestry of sound at twilight: crickets, cicadas, the occasional distant whistle of a train.

2. Mister Adorable Kittenface. Even if he's being a little bit bitey today and attempting to gnaw on me with his teeny tiny little teeth.

3. A glass of rosé, because rosé.

4. I finished Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books and they are quite charming.

5. Today I wrote a work thing that really, really needed to be written. It's only a draft, so with any luck I'll manage to improve it, but worst-case instance, now it exists. Go me.

How are y'all this evening?

The Leftovers

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:46 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Who among us has seen the HBO show The Leftovers? My friend, M, got me hooked - or rather, she wouldn't stop talking about the show, and introduced me to the achingly lovely score, and then earlier in the week I figured hey, why not watch the pilot and see how it is? And now it's ten episodes later and I am hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, the premise is that, without warning, 2% of the world's population disappears one October 14th. The show picks up the story three years later as everyone's still grappling with their loss. (The premise might sound sort of like the rapture, but it's not - it's never handled as that in the show, and ultimately you get the suggestion of other reasons why people disappeared.) The main protagonist is Kevin Garvey, the chief of police in a small, upstate NY town. He appears not to have lost anyone in the event, but he loses everyone just the same. His wife is in a cult-like group in town. His son is with a charismatic religious figure in the southwest. His daughter is deeply fucked up and remote. His dad is committed to a psychiatric hospital.

And then there's Matt, a local preacher, who lost one version of his wife, Mary. And Nora, who lost her husband and two children in the event. There's Patti, who's in charge of the cult, and Meg, who wants to join, and the town's mayor, Lucy, who is trying to chart a path through increasingly turbulent waters.

It's a slow burn of a show - I wasn't bowled over by it, but rather won over by it. Every episode the writers would drop a nugget of information about a character and I'd realize that meant X or Y, and then have to keep watching to see how that impacted everyone else, and before you knew it, it was episode ten and every, damn, thing in the show tied together. It was gorgeous.

Fair warning - in the first couple of episodes, as well as episode seven or eight, a dog (or dogs) are shot. If that's a deal-breaker, this wouldn't be the show for you. There's also some pretty graphic violence.

If you've seen it, talk to me about it!
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
U and I left the East Bay at 7 am for Fort Mason via the San Rafael and GG bridges, which was not nearly as painful as I feared. We spent time in the community garden, walked around the General's mansion, and sat on a bench overlooking the batteries before moving on to The Presidio and El Polin Springs. The birding was much less interesting both places than on previous visits. A few yellow warblers at Fort Mason and that was it for warblers. One just never knows. Surprise of the day was a single call of a blue-gray gnatcatcher near the General's residence at Fort Mason. We looked at each other in shock; there was no question what we'd heard, but we could not find it. U has become a trained watcher with the Hawk Hill crew and said they had a flock of sixty gnatcatchers come through recently. Without that information I might have thought we were both delusional. Fort Mason: )

We shared El Polin Springs with several classes of small children at various decibel levels and three twenty-something white guys who were obviously tripping. Took me a while to twig, but no one giggles that much without chemical aid. We went up the stairs because I thought I heard a tanager, but nothing so interesting appeared. Best bird there was the selasphorous sp we saw at the north edge of the tiny parking lot, exactly where others had been in May 2014, though not in September 2015. Birds, man, I dunno. El Polin Springs: )

It's always good to get out, but these are not the lists we were hoping for.

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