lavendertook: (Moon over Shire)
2017-08-21 11:23 pm

Graced with a Successful Quest

Though the skies were partly cloudy, my friend D and I were graced with a clear view of the total eclipse today, as we sat on the shores of Lake Marion in Summerton, South Carolina a few yards from the centerline of the path of totality. It was such a quick 2 1/2 minutes of total eclipse! We were so fortunate and my heart goes out to people who were hoping, and especially those who traveled far whose views were totally obscured by clouds.

We saw it. We both missed the first diamond ring because we didn't know you should take off the glasses while you still see a tiny sliver of orange, but we saw the ending diamond ring right before we put our glasses back on. I saw red-pink Baily's beads around parts of the moon's circumference during most of totality--at least I think I did--I didn't know you could see them the whole time. We got to see the wispy corona--I know they vary per eclipse--I think

I didn't register the temp dropping as the moon covered more of the sun, just that I wasn't sweltering anymore and I was feeling really comfortable, so it probably dropped 20 degrees from the 90's to the 70's. Afterwards, when D mentioned it, I was "oh yeah, the temp did drop!"

What was very wonderful is that just before totality, the cicadas in the beautiful Spanish Moss adorned pines and oaks behind us started singing.--so we got the critter special effects as well.

The clouds were pretty sunset on the horizon. We didn't see a lot of stars come out. The brightest one was way off to the right at 3 o'clock--west--I wonder if it was Jupiter or Venus? There was a dim star very close to the eclipse at 11 o'clock--was that mercury?

Another cool thing is before the totality, I remembered to run up and look at the sand under a tree on the edge of the beach and saw tons of tiny crescent suns reflected through the leaves--got pics of those I will post when I can upload them. Thank you [personal profile] spiralsheep for turning me on to that--an awesome special effect. I might have seen some of the pre-eclipse gravity bands on a light gray metal sheets on the pier, but I'm not sure.

As the eclipse receded, the sky looked very dark southeast of us over the lake--I wondered if we were seeing the shadow falling on the clouds out toward Charleston and the shoreline--where it was reported to be cloudy--I don't know if anyone got to see it there--haven't had time to look at reports.

We were so lucky because there were clouds that at times totally obscured the sun as it was receding. D thinks she saw reflections of the moon's face (the man in the moon) on the sun's surface as the moon was receding.

It wasn't a life changing experience, maybe because I'm so wowed by so many of nature's details that many people don't take time to notice--(Eee to see palm trees out in the wild and Spanish moss again!), but it makes me feel very lucky and grateful because it would have been so easy for the view to have eluded us behind chance clouds that were so near. And it has been such a fun adventure to have.

And I have a wonderful new petsitter who spent the night with my cats, and Tuxie slept against her, so finally knowing I can leave my cats in security is kind of a life changing thing for me I haven't had for many years.

I will post more about this brief but wonderful adventure with pics in another post. I hope those of you who could catch the eclipse enjoyed. The viewing glasses we have now make watching even the partial eclipse so much cooler than when I was a kid. And yay for the wonderful NASA feeds--it was so cool to watch Oregon get their totality on screen just as ours was beginning outside while we were finishing lunch in The LakeHouse. What a great day! We were so lucky! Goodnight, my friends! <3<3<3
lavendertook: hobbiton party field with rainbow (shire rainbow)
2017-08-05 08:48 pm

Birthdays, Eclipses, and Updates

It's been so long since I've given a good update and I've missed so many birthdays. I keep hoping to post belated birthday pic spams, but I'm just going to give a shout out now before it's next year:

Happy Belated Birthdays to my dear friends [personal profile] hanarobi, [livejournal.com profile] addie71, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine, [livejournal.com profile] julchen11, and any of my flisties I missed the last few months!

The US Coast to Coast Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st! So has everyone in the US gotten their eclipse glasses? I got certified American Paper Optics glasses on eBay and they came in the mail this week. Is anyone in the Path of Totality? Is anyone making plans to travel to it? I've seen partial eclipses before and wasn't impressed, but only learned the last few months that you only get the good special effects if you are in the Path of Totality and even 99.999% won't compare. The closest vantage is 8 hours south from where I live and I've been making tentative plans to drive down. But it all depends on the weather, kitty health, and the shape my achy foot is in. Anyone else planning on traveling to see it?

Much to report but I'll suffice with telling you about my friend D's 65th birthday bash last Saturday in the yard of her farmhouse out west of Baltimore. She hired our favorite local band ilyAMY to play a 3 hour set, and they were wonderful as always and enjoyed the Shire-like setting. I've been meaning to see them for years, but only first saw them last November, when I really needed them, for national reasons you can guess, and it really helped. Anyway, there were tons of cake and food, and more wine and beer, and to top off the hobbitiness, she had some grand fireworks, and people sent off burning lanterns into the sky. It was beautiful. Thank goodness we had a deluge for a couple of days that only ended a couple of hours before the party to keep all foliage moist and keep the celebration from burning the whole damned countryside down, because they would have sent them off anyway if it was dry--yoy! The party was in the middle of my Tuxie-medicating time, so I missed the first couple of hours, unfortunately, but I still had a really fun time. I enjoyed helping break things down and cleaning up and got to chat with some of the band and D's friends at the end. Most fun I've had in a long time. It was glorious.

Also glorious were the peach melba bonbon's that just came in the mail from the most generous and talented chef [personal profile] minoanmiss. <3 OMG, they were yummy and it's astonishing how quickly they disappeared! Those sweets made up for a really frustrating week of customer service annoyances, scam artist encounters, foot aches, and such draws on my time and energy, and together with the spring-like weather today in my beautiful town and purring kitties, life is good.

And thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions on getting a new cellphone a while back. I got an iPhone 7 Plus I am happy with. if you'd like to call or text me, please send me a PM or email and I'll give you the number.

Lots more to tell, but time for bed. Goodnight!
lavendertook: (cupcake flowers)
2017-08-05 08:43 pm

A Febobe Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday, Febobe!!! I hope it is full of love and your favorite yummies!!!!

Here is a passion flower to celebrate your day, blooming by the lake here last month:



*many hugs*
lavendertook: (tea with cat and books)
2017-07-07 10:27 pm

Kedi

[personal profile] zlabya and I just saw the documentary film KEDI at my town theater. It is THE WISEST FILM EVER MADE!!!1!!



KEDI follows the lives of several stray cats of Istanbul and the thoroughly enlightened humans they associate with. My flistmates who live with furry nonhuman beings, especially the cat-owned, you MUST see this film, if you haven't already! The paid utube site in the link above lets you use the service for a month free, also check the list on that page and see if it's coming to a theater near you--the international page lists when it will be at some US film festivals as well.

Besides the joy of seeing the stories of humans who have reached enlightenment and the cats who guided them there, the cinematography is beautiful and the soundtrack is terrific.

Which leads me to a nitpick--I saw Wonder Woman a couple of weeks ago and really loved it, except why were there no cats on Themyscira? That made the whole film less believable to me. Discuss.

Hi! <3 I'm trying to find my way back to posting . . . .
lavendertook: (listening to conch)
2017-05-29 08:06 pm

Buying an iPhone

Do any of you, dear flist, have advice on buying an iPhone? I am planning on getting one this week.

Currently, I have a flip phone from a Verizon family plan that it is time to retire and move myself into the 21st century with an iPhone. For my own account, I already have an internet wireless and Fios connection and a landline phone bundle with Verizon. I plan to add the iPhone to my current plan, or switch to a new bundle with Verizon if it will be cheaper.

Would it be cheaper to buy the iPhone itself from the Verizon store, or get it at Best Buy or an Apple store and then take it to the Verizon store to set up the account? Any advice on which iPhone?

I'm going for an iPhone instead of a Smartphone because I like apple computers and have a MacBook, but if you think that's a mistake, now is your chance to tell me, if you'd like.

Any advice on what I should look for in the Verizon plan?

I don't think Comcast is an option for my apartment building, but I'd rather not go with them anyway.

Tank yew!
lavendertook: (lavender candle)
2017-05-22 09:22 pm

Sending thoughts to Manchester

My best to anyone effected by the explosion in Manchester. I'm thinking of [livejournal.com profile] gabi_fics and hoping everyone she knows is safe. Love to all my UK friends. Much strength to all survivors. <3
lavendertook: bingo walking away (leaving)
2017-05-09 10:05 pm
Entry tags:

Counted

The intersection where I got hit by a car is listed on the map in this article on pedestrian hits in DC in the WaPo today. One of the smaller dots, but there. 2nd and G Streets NW. Not quite the way I'd want to be in the newspaper, but at least it's not a counting among obituaries, so there's that. It's dangerous stepping out your front door, Frodo.

Hi! I took off work today due to feeling run down. My knee and the whole leg and foot have been hurty lately, so the accident is still reminding me it happened. Lots has been going on here, good and bad, and I keep wishing I'd post more here. I will keep trying.
lavendertook: Carrie Fisher with Gary flipping the bird to Jabba (Carrie Jabba)
2017-05-09 07:28 pm

What jackals do

I hate that I can't cheer Comey's firing, because I can't help wondering what Comey might have found in the Russian probe, and how a new FBI director picked by Trump might spin what they have more in Trump's favor. Yes, I think Comey screwed our election and helped turn the tide against HRC, but that doesn't mean Trump owned him. More fuckery.

And yesterday was so bright with Macron's win and Yates fierce unflagging testimony that was a joy to watch. So the timing of firing Comey may be a strategy that each loss for Trump, as yesterday was, must be followed by a quick power play to keep the opposition demoralized and off balance. Constant whiplash for the engaged resistance.

So angry. Not giving up--I would so love to see Yates run for office and keep fighting for the resistance.
lavendertook: (Default)
2017-04-06 02:04 pm

Do we know LJ's stand on Putin vs Russian resistance?

Although I prefer DreamWidth because they operate with integrity, I will continue to crosspost to LJ since I still have friends on LJ who won't come here, and for other reasons personal and political I will elaborate below.

I don't understand all the legalize of the TOS change on LJ, but as I understand it, I don't think it compromises my USian privacy anymore than it did before. It's no worse and probably better than Facebook. And even Dreamwidth can't protect me from a skilled and determined hacker gunning for me, so when I post privately, I do it with the understanding that what I post under lock can at some time be revealed against my will, and write accordingly.

I don't like being treated rudely as LJ staff just did with the stupid sign-and-then-we'll-unlock-your-LJ trick, but that's nothing new with LJ--they just find new and creative ways to be rude all the time out of disregard for us English language users/assumed Westerners because we are a minuscule constituency of users for them compared to their Russian base, and I suspect they resent our influence and I can't blame them for that. Facebook does like crap without the Western hegemonic provocation issues. I'm not going to hold Russians accountable for being rude to English language users as English language users without knowing more about this bunch than I do right now and what relationship they have to the regime that helped install a big orange tool in the White House.

As far as solidarity with Russian resistors go, as far as I know, LJ staff may be doing all they can to keep the service alive for them under Putin's regime. All the new rules seem to apply to Russian LJ's that have over 3000 members. Maybe they have been forced to do that by Putin's regime to negate large sites for resistance. However, my understanding is that the TOS changes made clear these rules do not apply to LJ's with fewer members, and that gives resistors ways to still disseminate info and connect, especially with smaller linked local sites. Until I find evidence that they are a tool of Putin, I'm going to assume they are allowing what room for resistance they can. And as long as that is a possibility, then I want to support them. The Russian resistance may still be able to use LJ as an avenue for connection--the more dispersed avenues the better. So support for LJ from outside the Russian regime might be a minuscule help to them.

If LJ/SUP turns out to be a tool of Putin's regime, the help we as outsiders are giving them is pretty minuscule as well, so I don't see reason to abandon ship over this latest wave. I just can't presume to know what effect LJ has for Russians, their member states, and their unhappily occupied territories in functioning under the new TOS and what use it will be to them.

I welcome opposing arguments from anyone who knows more about LJ's situation and politics than I do and can teach me. Yes, I am deliberately having this discussion in public; What'SUP, if LJ staffers happen to notice me here. :-P
lavendertook: (kitten and rose bouquet)
2017-03-28 10:46 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday to the talented and kind [livejournal.com profile] shirebound!!!!


May it be filled with pretty sweet scented flowers . . .


DSCN9005

Read more... )
lavendertook: (black lives matter)
2017-02-16 08:02 pm

Racist- and Antisemite-in-Chief

I'm not going to mince words here: when Trump told a black woman reporter to go make a meeting between him and the CBC, he was saying "Girl, go get my coffee; you're my secretary and I own you." And that's in the capacity where "girl" stands in as demeaning of both blackness and sex. And "Are they friends of yours?" is "Don't all you people know each other?" with the emphasis on "YOU PEOPLE" as in "not MY people"--"you extraneous OTHERS!"

He's not stupid and he knows how racist he sounded because he knows he doesn't have the black vote anyway. And to play a racist in a power position is to be racist--there is no divide between role and self here. This is what racism looks like. And this is how a white racist models how to enact racism against a black woman for all his constituency. He's saying "keep those black people in their place" though black isn't the term he'd use. He's set to make us miss the days of aversive racism.

And in the form of bigotry that is antisemitism, the "sit down" which is "shut up because you Jews talk too much" and calling Turx "a liar" because "those Jews are sneaky"--Turx had a yarmulke on and so was visibly Jewish before he spoke.

Besides trying to entertain his alt-right neo-nazi base, and encourage them to keep on with the terror, he's realized he is not going to get anyone but the most right-winged of the Jewish community and doesn't care if he alienates the rest of us and is also encouraging violence against us by refusing to address the uptick in violence against Jewish community centers and synagogues while verbally abusing a Jewish reporter. You're insulting me, he says to the man he called a liar before he even spoke--the "YOU are, but what am I?" pre-emptive comeback that plays so well to his constituency.

Transcript of Trump Press conference

So yes, Trump is a practicing racist and antisemite. And he's called open season on Blacks and Jews now, as he has already on Muslims and Latina/os. Together we stand or not at all.

I just needed to get that out there. His "YOU are but what am I?" comeback strategy is so tiresome.

On with the all important investigations of his Russian ties and his taxes.

Let this not be the distraction he intended, so he can be put in the Time Out Room sooner than later.
lavendertook: (sleepy reader)
2017-02-15 08:05 pm

Buggie!

I was supposed to go into HQ today, but I came down with a bug last night, so fed the cats in the morning, called my supervisor, and slept until early afternoon. Then I teleworked for a few hours with my organic space heater Tuxie scrunched next to me on the couch, and Moo not far away. I've been getting sick a lot the last several weeks with weakness, aches, and runny nose, but this one comes with a low fever and chills, just to be extra-special. Being able to telework and kitties make it better, though. I cancelled my breast MRI appt for tomorrow and rescheduled it for next week--good plan since my fever has been inching up a little all day. I plan to sleep a little later tomorrow and then telework, depending on what the fever decides to do.

Everyday the news is filled with new horrors. The road to impeaching Buttercup is opening up, but what will come behind him isn't any better--it's whether you want your horrors chaotically broadcasted, or slower, quieter horrors.

There have been ICE raids in Highlandtown, Baltimore--the agents wear jackets saying police, which is so misleading--and there was a big protest on Sunday, but I wasn't up to going,and probably won't be up for the ones coming up. But as my friend P says, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so there will, unfortunately, be plenty more opportunities to help, and every week is a good week to call one's legislators (unless you live in DC and don't get any representation, so you are pretty screwed). My state is kind of awesome. Go Attorney General Frosh! Go Maryland!

Sorry I haven't been posting much--I want to post more pics, but most of what I have to say lately isn't uplifting. Except for my fluffy cats! Go cats!
lavendertook: (annamaria cheers)
2017-02-04 10:09 pm

Go Sweden!!!

This pic is of Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin of Sweden signing a climate bill, and yes, she IS trolling Trump, bless her! <3

1024

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/sweden-criticises-us-climate-stance-as-it-reveals-ambitious-carbon-emissions-law
lavendertook: (black kitty name)
2017-02-04 09:16 pm

Happy Birthday, Cali!

Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] ancalime8301!!!!

I don't know if you got out to Annapolis often, but here's a pic I took at the docks when I was down there for the Women's march the other week:

DSCN8712

I know you're having to do a lot of traveling this year so I'm wishing you smooth sailing in getting through it all to some relaxing times, dear friend, and that you take some of that time when you need it. Maia and Hana will show you how because cats are experts in that. (-: *hugs*
lavendertook: (islam)
2017-01-29 10:31 pm

BWI Protest Against Muslim Refugee and Immigrant Ban

Back from the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) protest, and very tired and late for bed, but very glad I went and made my own sign this time. This was another high-spirited and peaceful protest of about 2000 people, with a nice split level effect, and shrubberies, too. I will post many more pics, along with the Annapolis rally from last week another day, hopefully; that's if Trump would just slow down wth the horridness a little so I'm not going to five more protests by next weekend . . .

DSCN8906

And thank you to [personal profile] lbilover for the lovely icon.
lavendertook: (islam)
2017-01-29 01:55 pm

Airport Protests to support Immigrants and Refugees

Here's a list of airport protests around the US, UK and Canada to combat the Muslim ban and support Immigrants and refugees:

http://getgroundgame.com/airportprotests.html

I'm going to try to go to the one at BWI this evening.
lavendertook: (Default)
2017-01-24 10:29 pm

More Women's March Annapolis Pics

Here are more pics from Saturday's Women's March in Annapolis.

Adults and kids in purple and pussy hats and doggies heading down to the gathering spot at the city docks:

DSCN8577

Read more... )
lavendertook: (Default)
2017-01-21 10:51 pm

Women's March Annapolis

I went to the Women's March in Annapolis, MD today. Annapolis is the state capital situated on the Chesapeake Bay. There were also marches in Maryland today in Baltimore, Frederick, and Ocean City. They only announced the Annapolis March last week, so it was impressive that we had 1,600 people attending our wee march.

DSCN8694

People gathered at the City Dock at 11am. At about 11:15 we started marching across Market Square by the docks and then up West St to the State Building where we had a short rally. I couldn't hear or see the speakers. It all ended before 1 pm. Along the way I heard someone along the side complaining about us and then her companion next to her say, "Now you know if things were reversed, you'd be marching . . ." (-:

DSCN8602

Read more... )
lavendertook: (cardinal grrl)
2017-01-20 10:52 pm

A small and passing thing . . .

Just to let us know that the Shadow is a passing thing, this bright cardinal was kind enough to let me get within a couple of feet as I kept snapping shots of him today down by the lake on my walk break:

DSCN8561

Obviously, he wanted all of you to see him and remember . . . there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.


I had the good fortune to have the wonderful company and awesome conversation of [personal profile] ithiliana and [livejournal.com profile] aprilkat during dinner tonight. I was supposed to go with them tomorrow to the Women's March on DC, but it's a little too big for me, and I'm anxious about the press of crowds, Metro hi jinx, and, you know, bathroom access, and just being wrecked, so I've opted to go to the smaller local march in Annapolis tomorrow. And seeing the bay there will be the opposite of stress. I didn't get out to the bay once last year, so tomorrow I can combine civic activism and self-care in one trip. \o/
lavendertook: Carrie Fisher with Gary flipping the bird to Jabba (Carrie Jabba)
2017-01-10 10:31 pm

Tossing our mortarboards into the air

OK, that helped. It did.

Professor-In-Chief Obama just gave us his best commencement speech and is sending us graduates out into the cruel, cruel world.

Where was Sasha though?

Sooooo it's looking more likely than ever that Trump might be impeached sooner than later. Four years of putting up with Pence . . . will that be more bearable . . . maybe--I dunno. All the health in the world to RBG, please.

May it be 2 years of an obstructionist minority Democratic Congress followed in 2018 with an effective Democratic majority. Thursdays I can make my phone calls . . .

I need some new SNL skits.