Unexpected encounters, part 3

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:55 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was the first day at St. Bonaventure University, to which I was transferring after two years above the Adirondacks at Potsdam State. One of the girls down the hall, who had been there for a couple of years, was showing me around the campus and filling me in on which professors to take for which classes, and which to avoid because they weren't as good, and which to avoid because they hit on the students -- all good things to know.

After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.

Then I looked up.

There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.

I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.

The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.

The girl with me never saw a thing.

I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.

I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Ifixit.com, the free repair manual.

The world's first waterpark for people with disabilies.

Facebook now provides resources for journalists' safety.

Trump has shut off the televised feed -- and all cameras present -- at press conferences (thus ensuring the only video record of what was said is in his hands), and journalists condemn this -- but they're not boycotting the conferences.

The Washington Post is using an AI to moderate comments to the paper.

Johnny Depp opened his mouth at the Glastonbury Festival and dropped a big one: When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? As if that weren't enough to catch the morning edition, his financial woes -- what is this, spending $2 million a month? -- may sink the Pirates franchise. I look at his spending habits and all I can think is, this is a guy who was a kid who was really poor at some point, and it has never left him.

Famous women have been denying the mores of fashion (and conservatives) and wearing menswear for years. Here are some photos.

Trump is being sued for intentionally destroying presidential records. And also, he's played upon the grief of people whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants (whether in a car accident or otherwise) to get their support.

Canada is tired of dealing with Trump, so now it's doing business with individual states and cities.

Trump also has dropped a grant for a nonprofit that helps people leave violent right-wing groups. It's like he and his crew want us to be harassed by neoNazis, isn't it?

Sen. Warren blasts the blood-money cuts in the Republican anti-health bill.

Unfortunately for us all, the Senate can't slow the progress of the GOP bill once it's written, so they're doing all they can now. And here's the Economic Policy Institute on what we have to lose.

And five Republicans refuse to support the bill -- one because it's too harsh, four because it's too liberal. I have some concerns about the mental health of those four. And McConnell may think he will win by losing if it goes down at a vote. Why? Then it's over for this year and they can go on to amending the tax code to reward the wealthy and steal from the rest of us. What a thoroughgoing scoundrel!

I don't want to say this, but there are strong rumors that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy may want to retire at the end of this term. That means either we go back to an 8-person court or we get another retroRepublian, for the next 30 years. But, in the meantime, the Court has agreed to hear a bill on gerrymandering that will affect Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maryland (and probably others as well.)

Bill Cosby, who will face another trial in the aftermath of his mistrial,
plans to give speeches on how not to be arrested for sexual assault. No printable comment on this is possible.

More on Yellowstone grizzlies losing endangered-species listing. Thing is, they don't always stay in Yellowstone, and they can be hunted if they stray outside.

Here is a graphic from NARAL that you are free to share where you will.

good? bad? who knows?

Jun. 24th, 2017 04:24 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It's been a day and it hasn't stopped.

There are two farmers markets locally that we go to; the SU goes to the one by the railroad tracks with the good meats, and I sometimes go to the one downtown (locally, not DC), which has good veggies and fruit. I got ready to go to that one today. I got less than a mile away when my stomach said, loudly, "I don't feel well. I may give you back what you've eaten if you keep going."

What could I do? I took the next cross-street, which is a fairly direct route home, and came home and took something to settle the stomach, which continued to grumble.

I had put down my glasses for some reason; when I picked them up, one side piece fell off, behind the hinge. We went to Kaiser; no, they couldn't fix it, but they recommended a shop some distance away that was going to close in about 90 minutes. It took half an hour to get there, but we did. The cost isn't bad -- $65 is a lot better than ordering new glasses and going without for two weeks because the old ones hurt to wear -- and I can pick them up Monday.

The guy who does the repair also does lenses, replacement and new prescriptions, and I may take my very old Bausch & Lomb sunglasses there to get polarized lenses for them, or maybe even the distance half of my prescription so I can use them in situations where I'm at an angle to the sun that puts light on the *back* of the glass (which means I see the glass surface or dust or smears and not through the glass).

So, I can't drive till Monday after we pick the repaired glasses up, since I need them to drive (legally). I was going to get tickets for a local play - I know one of the actors - but the computer glitched on me and blew the sale, and I'm too frustrated, so it will be next weekend.

(I am very glad that I did not agree to be in the Second Life fundraising event today -- which took place about the same time we were driving along the six-lane looking for the address for the glasses repair place.)
(Oh, yeah, I got locked out of my credit union account on Thursday -- their new 'security system' sent my passcode slower than their time limit for entering the passcode, so I had to repeat the process, and then it said that was the wrong passcode... I got in this morning, no problem.)

And I discovered one of the two soprano coyotes -- it's the collie that belongs to what must be new people in the house behind us (none of the people look familiar and the others had a beagle.) It was listening for the *real* coyote in the park and singing replies. The baritone coyote is still out there being a coyote somewhere, I suspect.

But the contractor who bid on the masonry work we need looks very good and we said yes. And the garlic and onions I planted seem to be doing fairly well; I need to trim back lemon balm from shading the garlic, but that's all.

So the world is slightly fuzzy around the edges, but it's not that bad.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why a so-called "pro-life" world has a lot of dead women in it. It isn't really pro-life unless it includes food and shelter and clothes for everyone, health care for everyone, and income for everyone. That's pro-life. RetroRepublicans are only pro-birth; they don't give a damn what happens once that baby is here.

In Missouri, if you use birth control, had an abortion or are pregnant (covering all bases, you notice), you can lose a job, be fired, be not hired. I assume they are not counting condoms as birth control, or they'd have to fire a lot of men, and that just wouldn't do, would it? ::sarcasm filter on full blast:: More on this ignorant stupidity here.



***

Police are literally dragging people away from Sen. McConnell's office as protests break out over the Republican anti-health bill. I refuse to call it a health bill; it is against health.

The Trump occupation will allow nursing homes to strip residents of their legal rights. I want this one to go all the way to the Supreme Court so it can be slapped down so hard it echoes. And Trump has removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies. Can we have *him* tell the grizzlies that? Up close and personal?

Oh, and His Trumpetness's minions say diabetics "don't deserve" health insurance.

***

The Supreme Court unanimously made it harder for the government to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Why aren't bisexuals more welcomed at Pride?

A hospice for elderly dogs who have been abandoned by owners who can't/won't deal with the medical costs that come with age, or whose people have died and have nobody to take them.

Unexpected encounters, part 2

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:32 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The new campsite was a dozen or more miles away, next to a creek, and the only sign of bear was aged dry bear scat that was old and dry enough that it didn't smell. Scotty headed for the outhouse -- and backed out. I took a look in -- I've seen pincushions less full of needles. It seems that a porcupine had climbed in through the outhouse's tiny window (chewed a bit larger for the trip, from the teeth marks) in order to gnaw on and lick salt from the toilet seat (yes, sweat contains salt.) Scotty took a pair of plyers from the car and spent half an hour pulling the most obnoxious of the porcupine quills so the place was usable. (I kept a handful of them for years; I think they vanished in a move.)

We put up the tent, hiked a bit more, cooked dinner, put the rest of the food in the car (the creek was too nearby, and we'd used up the things that needed to be chilled. It was a dark night, clouded over, so we went to sleep fairly early.

And in the middle of the night I woke up.

I had the sense that someone was watching me.

It wasn't Scotty. He was asleep, like a rock.

I could barely hear something walking around outside the tent, circling, looking in at the flap (which was zipped to keep out mosquitos but had a gap where it tied,) and circling again. And again. A faint sense of someone breathing. Not as big as the bear, but with more intention and curiosity. It must have circled half a dozen times before it left.

I fell asleep again.

In the morning, it was plain that we'd had a visitor -- a wolf whose paw prints, with the clearly marked claws, were longer than my hand (and I have long fingers). He'd left us an indication that this was *his* territory -- a small mountain of wolf droppings at least a foot high, right in front of the Mustang's fender. We didn't see him again, and I didn't sense him, but I wished I'd had a bit of plaster of paris to make a cast of one of those tracks, and find some proportion chart to learn just how big he was.

We didn't have any more encounters, and stayed there the rest of the time -- but I had my ears and eyes open in case that wolf was keeping an eye on us still.

unexpected encounters, part 1

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:18 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was grad school, and I had a short break coming up. Scotty, the guy I was dating, and I decided to go camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. He was from Alaska; I had gone camping for several years with Girl Scouts. We had the equipment, and we headed off to a campsite in the mountains; you didn't have to reserve one, you could just show up and if it wasn't being used, you could have it.

It was raining the first night we were there, so we slept in the Mustang; Ford should know that Mustangs are designed as road cars, not as hotel rooms. Not the best way to sleep, so I wasn't that awake the next day. I made a fire, we had breakfast, and after we hiked for a bit to find the nearest stream and look around, Scotty went to see if there were any other campsites open, such as ones with a lean-to -- those usually need reservations, but you could get lucky.

I stayed at the campsite, which had an outhouse, a fire pit, and not much more. We'd sunk the food in the creek to keep it cool and also reduce the food smell for any animals around, so I wasn't that worried. It was quiet. I went into the outhouse to do what you do in an outhouse.

And, not long after I'd turned the wooden latch on the door, I heard footsteps outside, heavy footsteps, and the kind of deep-in-the-throat growling that comes from something very large. I thought at first that it might be a puma; they're not common in those mountains any more, but they come through sometimes -- but they're shy. This was a big animal, sniffing and sniffing and muttering to itself. And then it pushed on the outside of the outhouse and made a scraping noise, and I nearly stopped breathing. Then it got quiet. I stayed in the outhouse, barely moving at all, until Scotty's Mustang turned off the road and around the corner into the grassy parking area.

And then I got out, several shades whiter than usual. And told him what had happened.

"Bear," he said. And we both looked up at the scratch marks on the outhouse, about eight feet up. "Marking his territory.

We'd seen a much-rolled-upon area in the tall grass about a mile away that he'd said was probably where a bear had slept -- but neither of us had expected it to visit. It was probably looking for food, which we had not had nearby. We decided to move to a different campsite ....
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Chris Christie's opioid commission and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Re the article on psychologists who were involved in torture, the movie Doctors of the Dark Side is about this, and is supposed to be good.

Where are the nurses trained in dealing with sexual assault, to take the evidence for a rape kit?

The Supreme Court on free speech and gerrymandering.

The NY State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News over claims of sexual harassment and retalliation.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has stopped payments from its casino earnings to state and local governments, based on their interpretation of a contract; the state says the payments should continue, based on further paperwork.

New York State raises the age for marriage to 18, eliminating child marriage. Which confuses me a bit, since I knew a couple who ran off to Virginia to get married because they could do it there but not in NY. She was 18 and he was 17 then; according to this article they might not have needed to cross two or three states to do it.

It will take a village to save the Colorado River.

Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have become the stars of the Russia inquiry, and rightfully so for their incisive questions. And we are told that, despite the possibility of blackmail, former National Security Advisor Flynn had access to the most sensitive intelligence.

The race to solar power in Africa.

A new industry in China: mistress dispellers.

Nora Ephron on making "Julie and Julia", and much more. An older article but a good one.

My body doesn't belong to you.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The wildcats you've never seen.

Color-linked feline personalities, and more.

And dogs that are trained to find human remains, even just bones, are to be used to find Amelia Earhart. Thing is, they may be looking in the wrong place. In Adela Rogers St.Johns' memoir "The Honeycomb", she writes about getting to know Amelia when she was flying in the US, and, after WWII, long after her plane disappeared, speaking with Marines who told her that they had taken the body of a white woman that had been identified as Amelia from the island where they had found her, and under strict orders to keep it quiet, flew her back to Hawaii and buried her in the military cemetery called the Punchbowl, without a marker. So I don't know. Either Adela was lied to -- and she had a superb bullshit meter -- or someone else was buried secretly by night in the Punchbowl. It's not a large place; I'm not sure how it could have been done without being noticed by someone.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Even the Republicans want more details about the health care bill.>/a> And yes, it is frightening that the health care of millions of us depend on a handful of Senators. In addition, some Senators want to change the rules to avoid reconciliation (of the bill) and proceed more quickly. I would call it a deadly scam in the making if it didn't mean life or death for so many of us. But if Mitch McConnell is going to play dirty, Democrats are willing to match him and raise the stakes.

Meanwhile, RetroRepublican VP Mike Pence explains that the Disney movie 'Mulan' is a ploy to get women in the military. He apparently missed the part where a) it's historical, b) she went in instead of her elderly and ill father, c) it's a movie for kids, it's not Top Gun (which could have racked up a lot of enlistments if they'd had recruiters in the theatre hallways when it opened.) Or maybe he's a bit of a nutcase.

298 million US voters' personal information leaked in a security lapse. Read this one.

Trump is taking action against LGBTQ Americans.

Should Amazon become The Place To Buy Everything? And does it want to be more like Apple?

The Green Revolution will happen -- without Trump. But it would work better and faster if pale environmental groups included more diversity.

New Orleans and the Gulf brace for flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy, who is speeding up. Unrelated to Cindy but still FEMA-related, FEMA is preparing for a solar superstorm that would (not could, would) take down the grid in huge sections of the country. We don't know when this one would happen. At least the Trumpets aren't trying to get rid of this... so far.

No, Han Solo isn't a comedian; he's a cynical, sarcastic, selfish jerk (most of the time). And that's why the directors of his movie have been fired, and are being replaced in mid-shoot.

Laura Dern would like actors to get over themselves, please. She should know; she grew up in the business with her father, Bruce Dern, and mother, Diane Ladd.



What the Watergate Committee taught me. The difficulties that cause problems are political alliances, cynicism and fatigue -- sound familiar? Read this.

Where did 'We the People' go?

A lawsuit filed on behalf of former prisoners reveals details about psychologist-approved torture techniques from the psychologists who approved them -- and who now may be held responsible for their use.

Journalist's notebook: Into the battle of Mosul armed with a camera.

The king of Saudi Arabia has replaced his heir with his son. I have no idea how this will affect things, but it will.

The Supreme Court announces broad protections for Internet surfing rights, including for sex offenders.

New York's governor would like to treat hemp like any other crop. This is somewhere between ironic and hilarious to anyone who went to college in the early 1970s--the Doonesbury cartoon about Zonker being jailed for one weed seed is scarily accurate to the times. Yes, I am delighted that hemp is back, and I look forward to being able to buy comfortable hempcloth shirts here instead of going to Canada for them.

The US is relocating a town because of climate change. And this is unlikely to be the last one.

Cats domesticated themselves. And tabby coloring is relatively recent.

I still hear Coyote out there

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:06 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Reviving a lost language of Canada through film. I am looking forward to this movie -- I thought Atanarjuat (which I have probably just misspelled -- The Far Runner is the translation) was stunning.

National Geographic on the effects of melting in Antarctica.

Another far-right theocrat for the Trump Team.

The Atlantic on how ill-suited traditional the ideas of traditional masculinity are for the life we have now.

TED's playlist of how to deal with everyday life.

Is Mike Pence walking a tightrope? Or is this invisible man one of the ones causing it to exist in the first place?

How the Cosby mistrial happened, and what could be next.

A sociology of the smartphone.

New York City was hilly, varied farmland, with a lot of small farms and communities, at its start -- and here are photos of how it looked before it was leveled.

Photographer Harry Pollard's photos of First Nations people from Alberta, Canada.

Paul Krugman on the inadequacy of understanding of what Trumpcare will do to devastate health in the US -- the silence of the hacks. And here is the impact of Trumpcare, by state, with the people to contact to yell about it.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods may usher in the end of the line for many cashiers.

Why many House members aren't rushing to declare themselves candidates for the Senate. Money, money, money.

The incredible shrinking Islamic state -- no matter the noise made by its believers, it's getting smaller.

Podcast: the budget disconnect within the Trump administration.

And it's 3:30 and I just heard the coyote howling again. But it's getting dark and we have storms just west and south that will be moving in. I still have heard only one -- and as I understand it, coyotes howl when they're looking for other coyotes. Maybe it's significant (maybe not) that none of the neighborhood dogs are barking.

R.I.P. Stephen Furst

Jun. 18th, 2017 12:19 am
stardreamer: Lit candle (remembrance)
[personal profile] stardreamer
Stephen Furst, better known to most of us as Vir Cotto on Babylon 5, has died at age 63. According to his son, the cause was complications from diabetes.

Furst was one of the guests at the infamous Space City Con in Galveston a few years ago. I was able to chat with him for a few minutes, and to tell him that Vir was my favorite B5 character.

"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this. [gives a mockingly cheerful finger waggle] Can you and your associates arrange this for me, Mr. Morden?"

Fly with the sparks, Vir. You will be missed.

Profile

omimouse: Digital painting of a mouse wielding a spear (Default)
Naomi

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6 789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios