Saturday

Jun. 22nd, 2013 10:43 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Well, a nice day at the Ballpark, and smoothies, with [personal profile] joehz. Brought over some cat stuff and vacuum and some car stuff. And a clock.

Came home and saw a house with Sonal and Shawn, with whom i live.

A long day with not enough sleep -- ordered food from Dominos. The Dominos Mediterranean Veggie sandwich is FAR superior to Wegmans' veggie sub, and the bread is as good as Wegmans.

Just after Dominos got here, and i'd eaten my sandwich, I heard the cats being noisy upstairs, and not in a good way. As i stood up to interrupt, Feldspar ran downstairs puffed. Went upstairs and found Lightning looking alright and pleased at having chased off the interloper. Sonal and Shawn got home to blood everywhere -- kitchen floor, wall, carpet near kitchen, and a bloody tail on Lightning, none of which was visible nor feelable when i went to check on her. No blood on Feldspar's claws nor mouth, but she obviously got in a good graze there. Come Hell or high water, Feldsy's claws are getting a major clipping. SIgh. Discovered that a Feldspar scratchpad i'd brought from Joe and Janet's was the source of dispute. Brought it downstairs and put it in my room. My goodness are female cats territorial and possessive in a way i'd not grokked before tonight. Wow!
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I spent part of this evening in a dark place where i could see stars in all their glory, but not the moon. I reveled in the awesomeness that is the night sky; the awesomeness that makes us feel small, that makes us feel isolated, that makes us feel alone, if yet enthralled by the wonder that surrounds us.

Peace to you, my friend.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
What's your favorite XKCD between number 1 and 999?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I read How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died and found it very, very interesting, and thought you might also. It is a bit long.


I found this paragraph telling:

The fall in nutritional standards between 1880 and 1900 was so marked that the generations were visibly and progressively shrinking. In 1883 the infantry were forced to lower the minimum height for recruits from 5ft 6 inches to 5ft 3 inches. This was because most new recruits were now coming from an urban background instead of the traditional rural background (the 1881 census showed that over three-quarters of the population now lived in towns and cities). Factors such as a lack of sunlight in urban slums (which led to rickets due to Vitamin D deficiency) had already reduced the height of young male volunteers. Lack of sunlight, however, could not have been the sole critical factor in the next height reduction, a mere 18 years later. By this time, clean air legislation had markedly improved urban sunlight levels; but unfortunately, the supposed ‘improvements’ in dietary intake resulting from imported foods had had time to take effect on the 16–18 year old cohort. It might be expected that the infantry would be able to raise the minimum height requirement back to 5ft. 6 inches. Instead, they were forced to reduce it still further, to a mere 5ft. British officers, who were from the middle and upper classes and not yet exposed to more than the occasional treats of canned produce, were far better fed in terms of their intake of fresh foods and were now on average a full head taller than their malnourished and sickly men.
dcseain: (Tree/Clouds)
Go forth and read.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
This past weekend was wonderful. Went off to my annual Columbus Day/Thanksgiving Day weekend (Depending on your country) to the Sooper Seekrit October Gathering. A glorious weekend of friends, spirituality, community, fun, support, adventure and more. Arrived early, helped with sign-in. Presided at the newcomers' breakfast, for new attendees and their sponsors. Played lots of board games with the youngin's and Cards Against Humanity with the Adults. A canoe trip to rescue a totem who fell from the Wiggly Bridge. A glorious evening with friends in the sauna. Lovely time around the fire -- tending, singing, dancing, meditating. Lovely food, as always. Some nice Tennessee whiskey. A good session on Aging and Dying -- caring for oneself while caring for one's elders.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I currently have 3 versions of Chrome installed on Mac OS X 10.7.4:
Version 21.0.1180.89 -- the current stable version per Google
Version 23.0.1255.0 dev -- current beta release
Version 23.0.1270.0 canary -- the bleeding edge not-guaranteed-to-be-stable versin per Google

I cannot see Facebook statuses in Stable or Dev.
I CAN see facebook statuses in Canary. WTF
I'm signed into all three instances with the same Google profile.
And i'm using Canary now; it's much faster than the other two versions.
dcseain: (The City of Washington in the District o)
As a native of the DC area whose father was Secret Service, and having many friends in Federal Government jobs ranging from a horticulturalist for the General Services Administration, National Capital Region, through people working for the Supreme Court, to people providing technical support for United States Customs and Border Protection, all of whom have homes, most have families, and all contribute to our local economy -- and by extension the national economy -- with what they earn doing what they do for the government. Well-functioning local economies are terribly important to the health of the whole. Many government workers do find ways to do things better in their organizations and save taxpayer money.

Most government workers i know are keenly aware of the need to give taxpayers a good return on the money they pay to allow them to earn a living -- much to the contrary of how DC is portrayed, we do not live in a complete vacuum unaware of our connection to the rest of the nation -- unlike what we see from Congress, most of the Congressional support staff, the Executive Branch workers, the Judicial Branch workers, and all their support people want to help the government do things well, do things right, and make things as better as they can for Americans on the whole.

Are there some useless and/or redundant positions in the Federal Government; of course there are. There are in most large organizations, try as they may to eliminate some or most of them.

Hiking!

Aug. 9th, 2012 09:52 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Upcoming: Either Crystal City or Alexandria to Mount Vernon -- gentle terrain along the Potomac. This one is an urban/suburban, as upposed to wilderness, walk.

Past:
On the 4th, My friend Katie, my nephew JT and i did 12 or so miles on the Occoquan Bull Run Trail from Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA to Bull Run Marina in Clifton, VA.

We met at the parking lot on Old Yates Ford Rd, across from Kinchloe Rd, and near the Bull Run Marina, drove to Bull Run Park, and set out from the upstream Mile 0. A lovely and scenic walk along Bull Run. Mile 4ish we came across an artillery embankment from some combination of the Battle of Centreville, or First or Second Bull Run/Manassas. That was rather cool. Not that it takes tons to come across Civil War stuff around here, but i'd never seen an artillery embankment from that war before.

Me walked on, crossing under Ordway Rd and then VA 28, from which we could see Yorkshire Antiques and the other businesses along 28 in Prince William County, which is on the South side of Bull Run -- we were walking the North side in Fairfax County. We walked under then along for a bit the rail line that runs through Burke, Clifton, Manassas, Gainesville, etc.

Near Mile 7 we came across an ... old mill? maybe. We sat for a bit and enjoyed the scenery. At about the mile 7.5 point, we reached Hemlock Overlook, where an uphill walk up the Bull Run Trail got us to picnic tables and bathrooms. We scrubbed our hands and lower arms, and ate. We decided we were done there to. Katie and i had hit the emotional reset we get from hiking, but it was yet 5 miles to the car. So, on we went.

We we learned: Bull Run Regional Park to Hemlock Overlook is a great hike. Hemlock Overlook to Bull Run Marina is a lovely hike. Together, they're just a bit much for each of us at this pont.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The July hike along the Potomac is further postponed. Might you be able to joing my nephew and me for a gently 10 miles along Bull Run and the Occoquan this coming Saturday the 4, from Bull Run Park to Occoquan Regional Park?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I posted a thing over on Facebook -- it's public, but you may need an account.

In the threads on that post of a letter from a Philadelphia City Countilmember censuring Don Cathy, a friend of many years said Ok. My turn. Please let it be known that I am in NO WAY homophobic or other such nonsense, but I DO believe that a private company should be allowed to conduct business however it sees fit. This grandstanding is getting ridiculous, IMHO. Again. key word here: Private. Meaning they can do what they please and believe what they please and pass those beliefs onto their employees. If there was a national food chain that professed the opposite of CFA's beliefs, I would not have an issue with it. I don't quite understand the whole outrage thing. Maybe it is just me.

I replied in a series of comments:
Don Cathy, and CFA, have come to represent the old ways in the negative, rather like the Dixiecrats and Massive Resistance during the dying throes of Jim Crow and a bit past the death of Jim Crow (at least til the current round of voter ID laws have revived ol' Jim).

As to the outrage. I've been utterly dumbfounded by the complete acceptance of my European friends and the TOTAL non issue my partner preference is. The outrage stems from needing to fight against people like Cathy and CFA funding hate organizations (according to SPLC -- the Southern Poverty Law Center). The outrage comes from knowing that people like Cathy, NOM, some churches (LDS and Roman Catholic, among others), and organizations/funds/POCs they support looking to recriminalize people like myself, to prevent us from having equal rights, from being able to openly live as we are, just as anyone else.



Frank Kammeny once came and yelled at a bunch of 20-something queer folk, telling us we didn't know what it was like for his generation -- the secrecy, the shame. But, we of GenX DO know. We're old enough to remember how it was, to have watched it changing, but not trusting it, only in the last decade to fully embrace the now that is not the then of our youth. We will NOT tolerate people like Don Cathy working to put things back as they were.

All that said, that was not aimed at you personally, [Redacted], i know you well enough to know that _you_, among others whom i know, are not part of that problem. But, that is where the outrage rises from.

‎(That got me a bit more worked up than i'd realized.)

Big social change is always hard, and in the US, it always seems to flow down the more difficult path, alas.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Dinner tonight: my great-great-grandmother's zucchini soup recipe. So simple, so Summer, so tasty! Good hot or cold, though my sister notes that the butter tends to resolidify after chilling, so you may want to warm it slightly to soften that if you care to.

4 medium zucchinis

1. Peel, split, seed, and grate
2. Boil in salted water until transparent
3. Add 2 Cups milk or so if needs thinning. Heat on low
4. Make roux with butter, flour, salt, pepper, onion, garlic until flour is browned, add while hot into soup and raise heat to boil.
5. Add 1/2-1 container sour cream to taste and boil about 15 minutes.

Vegan notes: The original recipe called for margarine, not butter, and the sour cream can be omitted. Soy and/or almond milk or coconut milk instead of dairy would be good. More oil-based roux will thicken instead of the sour cream and still yield a tasty result. I put scoops of a bulgur salad my sister made in a couple of bowls i had -- yum!

Meat notes: ham or chicken could be good in this i think.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
As most of you know, VERY severe storms hit the Washington, DC region on Friday, 29 June 2012.

from the National Park Service:

Park Closures after Recent Severe Weather and Electricity/Water Outages

Turkey Run Park, Potomac Heritage Trail, Ft. Marcy, and Great Falls Park are closed on July 3, 2012 until further notice. Please use caution when using park trails or driving throughout the GWMP. We appreciate your patience as we repair the damage.


Due to this, the hike i was going to lead along the Potomac Heritage Trail on Saturday the 7th is postponed until the 1st or 2nd Saturday in August.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Crowdsourcing: Activated security on friends' router: WPA2-Personal with AES. (TPIK and TPIK/AES same result).

Two iPhones and a MacBook Pro all connect without problem. A Windows 7 desktop with wireless finds the router, but keeps insisting that "the key or passphrase is incorrect"

I confirmed the password through Keychain on the Mac. Any help on getting the Windows box to connect?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Slate did a nice, if lengthy, four-part series on walking that i found completely worth reading, and hope you will find worth reading too.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
See page 91 of this pdf for full details.

New Recommended Names:

McLean
Tysons Corner
Greensboro Park
Spring Hill
Wiehle–Reston East
Reston Town Center
Herndon
Innovation

I'm not thrilled with Wiehle-Reston East, as Hunter Mill Rd is Reston East, but whatever.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
An interesting post over in [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles, with very thoughtful commentary. I thought it worth a signal boost.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
http://dcseain.livejournal.com/tag/death%20%26%20dying are the now 20 entries thus far tagged with Death & Dying.

This past fall, i led a small seminar that evolved into a discussion of memorial rituals for the deceased.

First, I'm old enough to have attended funerals of family, friends, friends' siblings, family, and the odd work obligation attendance. I'm old enough to have unintentionally missed the funeral of friend of mine. I'm sorry to have missed it, but this it was, and thus it shall be, and i'm okay with that. I carry him in the light, and believe he knows that and meant no disrespect.

Second, I want to say that i believe strongly that funerals are for the living. They're about the dead, but they are for the living. We carry on though they have stopped. Mourning is appropriate and necessary -- i'm a huge fan of the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva. You get a whole week to reassemble yourself enough to keep going without the pressure of seeing yourself or needing to do much other than what you want/need. I wish this practice were more prevalent in our culture. At any rate, someone passing ought not cause one to forget that one is still here, and need must carry on.

Third, i want to say that "about the dead" means that the ritual of funeral is about remembering the departed -- deceased if you'd rather, yet still for those of us yet living. The same type of memorial does not suit every deceased person/living person combination who may be present and/or who had a relationship with the departed.

If one attends a funeral out of other than necessity, one does it in support of the living and their/your memories of the deceased. The living need your support. The dead should be acknowledged in a way appropriate to your relationship to them, and in a way that lets the deceased know that they will be remembered and may/should move to the beyond, then focus again on the living and carry on.

Fourth, some examples:

One friend, who shall remain nameless, had a fraught -- at best -- relationship with one set of her grandparents. After the grandmother died, friend was the one tasked with disposing of their ashes, which she unceremoniously and with anger dumped in location i shall not even bother to specify, far from where the grandparents wanted their remains, in an element that i'm sure likely displeased them, but that carried their remains and spirits such that remained far away from her, her mother, and all of us. That was right and fitting. There was no love lost, and no love went into the funeral such as it was.

My father had an Air Force funeral and was interred, 21 guns and all. Fifteen-year-old me sat their hearing the guns wondering what the students at the nearby high school thought each time they heard that. Funerals are funny that way -- you never know how your brain wil react to anything. Roll with it -- it's all good. Cry, laugh, cry from laughing, dance, sing, wail, do whatever feels right to you. Mourn as you will.

Eventually, likely sooner rather than later if she has her way, my mother shall be interred next to him. Mom's parents were cremated and will be dumped in a beloved body of water that is significant to all of us, that they may swim with the fishes (their words not mine, though apropos).

I want to be cremated, and wish my ashes sprinkled in the Fairfax Cemetery -- the one by the courthouse in Fairfax, VA. My sister and her husband plan to be cremated; i should talk to them about what they want done with the ashes, deferring to my nephews as appropriate at the time.

Another nameless friend's father died some years ago. A Quaker (Friends) memorial service was held for him, as was fitting for him and his family and friends. A part of his family no longer talks to the family here because he was cremated and that is WRONG from their religious point of view, but c'est la vie. He was well-remembered, each got to have their say, it was solemn and respectful and among the most pleasant and lovely of all memorial services i have ever attended.



Fifth, last, and possible most important, it hurts when someone dies. Often hurts a lot. With time, the hurt gets less poignant, less stinging, less frequent, but it never goes away. It returns when you least expect it, blindsiding you, and there is but to embrace the memory/emotion, riding the wave and carrying on best you can til it passes. That may mean you need to take a break -- get some tea or coffe, go for a walk, find a quiet place and cry for a while, what ever. But take a break and own the emotion when it comes.

2012 makes 26 years since my father died. Writing a comment on Facebook left me all verklempt for a few, then i was laughing because my spellchecker knows not verklempt. I should bother to teach it. Heh.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.



“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is one of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011 in the 84th Academy Awards ®.



Film Awards Won by “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

To date, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” film has drummed up fans all over the world taking home the following awards:

· Cinequest Film Fest: Best Animated Short

· Palm Springs International ShortFest: Audience Favorite Award

· SIGGRAPH: Best in Show



To enjoy “Morris Lessmore” and other Moonbot Apps please visit the following links:

www.tinyurl.com/lessmoreipad

www.tinyurl.com/numberlys

www.tinyurl.com/bullseyeapp

dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Came across this article about Mitt Romney contributing to the LDS over on Google+, resulting in this thread, names redacted for privacy:

DM - I don't care about his religion.... Anybody that votes for Beyond #RINO #Romney deserves to get stuck with #Obamacare
#Gingrich = #Romney = #obama = "water boys" aka trusted, preferred lackey candidates of the #corrupt #incumbent #rulingclass #elite
11:12 PM (edited) +1

dcseain - He's required to tithe as a member of the church, and he's free to contribute to any denomination/faith as he sees fit.
11:14 PM - Edit

js - I don't believe that a tax deduction should be allowed for donations to a church.
11:18 PM

SL - Or donations to religious cults.. ;_)
11:19 PM

dcseain - Churches are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3), and so donations to them are tax deductible, as are contributions to any other non-profit entity.
11:20 PM - Edit

js - +dcseain I know they are, but when the government allows a tax deduction they are in essence sponsoring religion.
11:22 PM

dcseain - They are not promoting one over another, nor discriminating against one over another, therefore, not sponsoring a state religion, which is the prohibition enshrined in the Constitution.
11:23 PM - Edit

DM - Does anyone know how the Founding Fathers handled the taxation of churches and church contributions?
11:25 PM

js - +dcseain If you are an atheist like me you do not have the ability to use this deduction. It promotes religion even though it doesn't promote a specific religion.
11:25 PM

dcseain - Ethical Societies, which are atheist churches under the law, are tax exempt. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations -- also tax exempt -- are home to lots of atheists, at least that was my experience in my years affiliated with the UUs. I know more than a few atheists who attend unprogrammed Friends [Quaker] Meetings too.

Not every atheist wants to belong to an organized, tax-exempt group. It as also true that not every theist chooses to affiliate with a religious group of their particular flavor.

Here in Virginia, where i live, not only are churches not taxable, but their property may not be taken by condemnation proceedings, as the constitution here says that is the state illegally interfering with church.

That all said, +js, i very much do not have the issue that you do regarding the tax status of religious organizations.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
So, today, i went down to see the nephews -- aged 12 and 5, for the purpose of exploring in the woods between the neighborhood i grew up in and the local HS which my friends and sister attended, but i did not. Back in 1987 or 88, they built a fence around the school, which is located two blocks from Potomac Mills, but left a few pedestrian pass-throughs on the neighborhood side of the school, located a short distance away through some woods and to cross whichever branch of Neabsco Creek that runs from main run from between Birchdale and Ashdale, Birchdale and the HS, and somewhere upstream from there. Anyway...

We got to the school, i parked in the back of the lot, and found that the pedestrian pass-through, which in my day were used by large numbers of students (there are ~800-1000 students per class there) from Birchdale and part of Forestdale to walk to school instead of riding the bus. Of the four pedestrian cut-throughs in the fence, two had bars welded across them, one had a locked gate, and we found an open gate by wandering the grounds a bit. So, we were into the woods, if on the other side of the school from where we wanted to be.

Dry, slippery leaves, and we wended our un-pathed way toward the locked gate, from there further down the hill toward the run, across the run, and downstream a bit until i saw the familiar path from the back of Birchdale down to the creek. We went a bit more downstream from me to show elder nephew that the old wall he was seeing was a shed in someone's yard.

We went back upstream on the Birchdale side to the bath, then up the hill. We found a fence that trees had fallen on, went through, decided to go back out of that fence for fear of going forward and finding it converged with the other fence, and went up the hill, to discover still solid, if rusted, and missing some wood bits compared to 25 years ago
this along the disused path, as i had told him it existed. A bit worse for a quarter century of wear, but still solid. He now knows what a combine harvester is, and for what it is used, as well as how it attaches to a tractor.

Setting out, the younger one did not want to go with us, but we insisted and prevailed, despite reasonable-for-his-age delaying tactics. :) We had a nice two hours romping in the woods on a gloriously warm January day. Much fun was had. It was interesting to me to see the school from the tennis courts, which i knew existed, but had never seen. Entrances on the schools and libraries here are numbered from 1 to n, where 1 marks the main entrance, then the rest are numbered clockwise around the building. Gar-Field HS has at least 32, and i'm guessing 33, entrances, as i theorize the smoking bus tunnel entrance is number 33, but i did not walk through the tunnel to see.

RIP Badger

Dec. 26th, 2011 04:24 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I learned just now that [livejournal.com profile] badgerthorazine, aka Alice E Washburn, died today. I will miss her. I knew her through the Northeastern US Sci-Fi convention circuit. We first met at ... either an I-CON or an Arisia i believe. I'm glad that she did not have to suffer terribly long at the end as things go in our culture. Peace to you, my dear.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
An interesting, detailed and well-cited article about terraforming Mars over at io9.com that is well worth the read.

Recipes

Dec. 19th, 2011 04:18 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I cook. I share recipes. Often i share them over in the community Eating_Without_, as i did with today's recipe for stewed brussels sprouts à la hongroise.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rolanni wrote a very good post about book selling -- bookstore vs Amazon, that i think you should read.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Details here, in the LJ Support community.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Had some in the fridge this AM. So i:

Minced an onion, a couple carrots, and some celery.
Put them in a pan and sauteed until onion was almost translucent, then lowered the heat and sweated the mirepoix to umamiful perfection, then added one can of good tuna, well drained, and a healthy amount of dried chervil, stirring to combine, then stirring now and again until the tuna was darkened some. Oh, added a chopped green onion with the tuna and chervil, reserving some of the chopped green part.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large bowl, and added the stuff in the pan, stirring well to combine thoroughly. Put a fresh pan on the stove, heated it on med-high, added oil, and fried the potato-bound patties to crispy perfection, placing them on a plate and topping with the reserved green parts of green onion and some sriricha.

A wondrous breakfast that would have been just as wonderful without the tuna.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Mostly at TJHSST Alumni Day. Got to meet [livejournal.com profile] sovietkitsch in person, which was lovely. Also got to hang some with [livejournal.com profile] happypete and [livejournal.com profile] owenthomas, and a whole bunch of others of my fellow geeks. :) Much enjoyment was had.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
On Facebook, there is a very fascinating thread about TJHSST. It is a discussion among mostly alumni, some former faculty members, and one current guidance counselor. It's an open group, so if you have a Facebook account, you can read it. I strongly recommend it if you have an interest in public education in general, or TJHSST/STEM* Schools specifically.


*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Candlepower

Nov. 9th, 2011 01:41 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I had forgotten how beautiful guttering and/or dying candles can be.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Following up this post about the Potomac Heritage Trail from the American Legion Bridge to Roosevelt Island, My friend K and my nephew J and i are going to go it again!

So, 8 or 15 July 2012 for another 10-mile hike along the Potomac Heritage Trail from the American Legion Bridge to Roosevelt Island. Meeting up and starting early, with a snack at the 1/3 point and a picnic at the 2/3 point. Actual times TBA. Who might be in? I know me and K and J and my friend LM and likely 2 of her kids are in, as well as my friend B.

I recommend that all hikers be 10ish or older due to rough terrain in spots.
Hike is open to all. Coordinating cars will be necessary, as we need vehicles at end to take us back to cars at start, and enough space to shuttle everyone both directions.

Leisurely pace as needed by those present. 1st break will be at Turkey Run Park, 2nd one, the picnic, will be a bit downstream from Chain Bridge. Several of the attendees are vegetarian, so expect to mostly pack in your own stuff, share as appropriate, and pack out what we bring :)
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] seawasp made a an observational post on the current political situation in the US. I recommend it. (I also particularly liked this comment.)
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
This true tale of flying while brown should never have happened. How can we have fallen so far in a decade.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
metaphrastic \met-uh-FRAST-ik\, adjective:

Having the quality of a literary work that has been translated or changed from one form to another, as prose into verse.

Earthquake

Aug. 23rd, 2011 02:47 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
A 5.9 The star on the map is the epicenter. Click the link and tell them about what you experienced in the quake.

That was by far the strongest quake i've experienced here by far. We had a 3.6 last July, that barely woke me and i thought was a very large truck. This one, the walls were moving, and a few things fell down/out of cupboards.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
ALS killed my father, his sister, their mother, their maternal uncle, and their maternal grandmother. This is rather exciting news.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Went for a hike along the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT), specifically the 10-mile segment along the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP)in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, Virgina, and the District of Columbia. I went with my friend Katherine and my nephew Jaden. [livejournal.com profile] tomhundleyrn was going to come, but he got in really late at night/early in the morning, and i could not rouse him any of the three times i tried. It turned out to be a good thing that he was not with us, about which more as we go along.

So, of the The Potomac Heritage Trail, we hiked the 10-mile portion from the Western trail head at the end of Live Oak Dr in Mclean, VA to the Eastern end at the parking lot for Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. We waded in the Potomac, in Maryland at one point along the way. This bit of trail is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. For reference, Chain Bridge is the approximate mid-point for our hike.

I picked up Jaden, hit Trader Joes for some drink and food, then met Katherine at her home in Arlington. From there, we drove in separate cars to Roosevelt Island, where i left mine, and we both got in her car, and we all went to Live Oak Dr and the trail head, which was clearly marked and easy to find. We got out of the car, applied insecticide and sunscreen, read the sign, which indicated 10 miles to Roosevelt Island, and Jaden led the way down the steep, long, winding, wooden staircase to the river. The time at start is about 1300 Eastern Daylight Time. (GMT-4)

The greenery was lush, as it is wont to be here in late August. The trail had light blue-to-slightly-greenish blazes, due to a lights blue having been painted over yellow. We walked along, through the pretty greenery, along the river for a ways. As we were going, i explained that there were toilets available at Turkey Run and probably Fort Marcy, and at the end, and we planned to stop at Turkey Run to eat.

This got long, so... Turkey Run and paw-paws )

Turkey Run to Fort Marcy )

On to VA 123 and Chain Bridge )

We walk on, past several bridges, each time telling Jaden, no that's not Chain Bridge, that's just a Parkway bridge. Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac. We finally reach the parking area next to Chain Bridge, and i point up, announcing "Look up. THAT's Chain Bridge, and give a brief history of bridges on this site. Sign there said we have 4.7 miles to go. Four point seven miles that start with a big hill, and a series of such hills yet again, but breathtaking views of Chain Bridge and the Palisades along the way. The trail eventually put us on concrete under a Parkway bridge. I think this was where Spout Run Parway hits the GWMP. Surprisingly steep under the bridge. Katherine and i took it in 3 segments, with short pauses along the way. We got up there, and it was levelish for a while before more steep downs and ups. Time now is about 1800 EDT (GMT-4).

This bit of the hike was accompanied by nice views of Sibley Memorial Hospital and the building at the Dalecarlia Reservoir in DC.

The home stretch ) In that last bit, we'd past a sign saying "Roosevelt Island 1.7 miles". As we went along, Jaden kept stating that we had to've gone that far. We kept countering that a mile is farther than he imagines, and this is harder than walking down a road. Heh.

We took Katherine back to her car, stopped at a 7-Eleven in Annandale and got more to drink, got carryout from Canton Cafe in Springfield, and ate it at Jaden's house a bit down 95 from there. Had thought of crashing at my sister's, but wanted my bed and some ibuprofen. :)

So, a long, long arduous hike. I'd like to do it again next July, knowing what we're getting into this time.

I also propose the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail for Saturday 10 September. I've done the the part from B to C on the map, which takes about 1.5 hours. I propose starting at A or B and going to D or E. Any takers? It's a MUCH easier trail than the PHT is. By far.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
A beautifully-written piece on pseudonyms.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] deathpixie at Signal Boost: Return of the DDoS
For those wanting to know more about the recent DDoS attacks, yes, it looks like it was the Russian government trying to shut down the dissidents again.

As I said last time, while it's frustrating not to have access, LJ is a lot more than a social network platform. From the article:

"LiveJournal isn’t just a social network. It’s also a platform for organizing civic action. Dozens of network projects and groups mobilize people to solve specific problems — from defending the rights of political prisoners to saving endangered historic architecture in Moscow."

So while I know many are considering the move over to Dreamwidth and other such sites, supporting LJ is a way we can help support those who use it for more than a writing/roleplaying/social venue.


Also, as a FYI, LJ is giving paid users effected by the outage two weeks of paid time as compensation.


dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Why Have Hackers Hit Russia's Most Popular Blogging Service?
If the hacker attacks that hit Russia's top blogging service, LiveJournal, this week are anything to go by, the unwritten rules of cyber warfare no longer apply. Instead of the focused assaults hackers often used to force down the websites of their ideological enemies, these attacks look more like online carpet bombing. Their victim is not one voice but the entire cacophonous world of the Russian blogosphere. And the motive, as close as experts have been able to figure, is to erode the virtual infrastructure of free speech itself.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention. We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that’s how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.
—Ola, a Norwegian on the Something Awful Forums
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
First off, I'm doing what G-d Said about responsibility for one's actions.

Next, 6 Groups of People That Can Get Married When Gay Couples Can't, commenting on which, the danger of genetic abnormalities from the marriage of (well, the reproduction by) first cousins is no greater than the danger of a 40 year old woman having kids, so that ban is not rationally based either.

Following, the Winimem Wintu fight for their existence and remaining lands against a proposed raising of the Shasta Dam.

And, in closing, time-lapse night sky and ocean in Australia:

Ocean Sky from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.



ETA: Oh, and C.S. Lewis on Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End, hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] nancylebov.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fritterfae wrote a lovely piece on gender non-conformity and sexual orientation. I think you should go read it.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fritterfae posted some thoughtful Copyright Musings that i think yall will find of interest. Peace!

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