dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
2013-06-22 10:43 pm
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Saturday

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)
2013-05-13 02:22 am
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Revel in the World Around Us

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)
2013-04-03 12:14 am
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Serious Question

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)
2013-03-24 10:33 pm
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On a Quality Diet.

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)
2013-03-10 03:56 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
2012-10-10 11:42 pm

Oh, the Weekend!

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)
2012-09-18 10:04 pm
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Chrome and Facebook

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)
2012-09-17 01:21 am
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Someone on FB Hit a Button in Me

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.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
2012-08-09 09:52 pm
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Hiking!

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)
2012-07-30 09:06 pm
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The Potomac Trail Is Still Closed

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)
2012-07-26 01:20 pm

On Social Change, Chick-Fil-A and Don Cathy

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)
2012-07-12 01:43 am
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Zucchini Soup

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)
2012-07-04 01:17 am
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HIKE POSTPONED

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)
2012-04-23 05:49 pm

Help with Widoze 7 Networing, please

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)
2012-04-14 07:49 pm
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dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
2012-04-14 12:56 am
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On Walking in the United States

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)
2012-04-06 05:28 pm

Fairfax County Considers Better Silver Line Names

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)
2012-03-30 06:40 pm

Most Interesting

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)
2012-02-17 02:34 am
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On Death and Dying

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.