Eclipse images

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:43 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
First, an assortment of images showing totality along the path of the eclipse from west to east across the US.

Lots of pictures back here )

Tired covers it

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
In the spirit of solidarity with Charlottesville, I went off to laugh at neo-Nazis with 20,000-40,000 of my closest friends, and get labeled an anti-police agitator by our Very Own President, today.

The general idea, as transmitted in one of the orientation sessions I went to, was to show up, stand tall, and nnnnnot let ourselves get drawn into confrontations by the white supremacists, who would be trying their darndest to make this happen.

So I got decked out in my "I stand by my Muslim neighbors" t-shirt and wandered down to Roxbury Crossing, found fairly organized Socialists a-plenty, and got the best poster off them ever. Picture with a new friend from much later in the march, slight content warning for concentration camp imagery:

One cuts pictures. )

They also had lynching ones, but basically I'm squicked by blood and gore, whereas the concentration camp one might well be triggering to some, but it also had people pausing to look at it, nodding to me soberly, and moving on. (I also got several high-fives for the shirt.)

Anyway, I eventually found the actual Black Lives Matter march leaders, plus Tito Jackson (candidate for mayor) doing his best preachin', and then we got started late. (Because, it is a march and it is required.) Soon enough, I stumbled onto my brother and his wife, or more accurately he stumbled across me while admiring my poster, and had marching partners. (I was going to hook up with Dedham Unitarians, but I couldn't find them.)

Since we started late, and because 20,000 marchers move slowly, we missed the so-called "Free Speech Rally" entirely, since they got shuffled off at 1:30 or so, and I wasn't even to the Common by that point, I think.

I did encounter some AntiFa-plus-BLM activists around 3:30 or so down by Park Street T stop, who had found some of the white supremacists who (for agitation reasons) had stuck around. One of them got pizza thrown at him (which almost hit me as I ducked into the convenience store), and then another one was rather literally surrounded by people *entirely* willing to argue with him until the cows came home, so I figured that was pretty much covered and bailed. As it turns out, there was a little bit of violence after that, but not much at all.

About 25 arrests for minor things, and a white supremacist arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or something similar. There were also some people throwing rocks (and bottles filled with piss, wtf?) at the police, sigh. Overall, the police were incredibly helpful during the march, and then got somewhat violent as the day progressed, but they were only slightly more pissy than I expected. Overall, worth thanking.

Link smatterings: Scale of the so-called "Free Speech Rally", as compared to counter-protestors. Roxbury Crossing area, around when things started, some Globe photos.

My Fibromyalgia Tips

Aug. 19th, 2017 06:47 pm
eeyore_grrl: (Default)
[personal profile] eeyore_grrl
An acquaintance was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was looking for “tips and tricks” for dealing with it. This is the list that I’ve come up with.


1. Remember that the pain is real. THE PAIN IS REAL! Even if there isn't a known cause.

2. I searched far and wide to find a way to track my pain. The best I came up with for me was this app. Now I mostly use it to track when I take my PRN meds, but it is still super helpful. http://fibromapp.com/

3. I have to take it easy. I have to schedule downtime into my life. I can't just run and be interesting all the time anymore.

4. HOT baths help me. Heating pads. Occasionally, ice packs to my back (when the pain is super tight muscles).

5. I have a Massage Envy membership and, usually, get weekly 90 minute massages. I "like" deep tissue, myself. DEEEEP tissue because my upper back tightens into a wall of pain.

6. Be gentle with yourself. You aren't where you want to be with your body, but it is what it is and you have to work with it the best you can.

7. There are a lot of *things* that I get that help. I have several types of back roller that can help me. I have yoga toes thingies (like this https://www.amazon.com/Original-YogaToes-Sapphire-Stretcher-Separator/dp/B002SPV068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503193802&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=yoga+toes&psc=1) that help relax my feet. I am well aware that much of chronic pain relief involves spending money. I am aware that that sucks and is massively unfair and unjust.

8. I try to make my life easier, when I can, with things like a housecleaner for the bathrooms and floors. Or using instacart for grocery delivery most of the time. I’ve had to work towards being ok with eating out/ordering in more often than I cook.

9. I am now using a fanny pack (I found a not ugly one) so that carrying a purse doesn't put my body off-kilter and off balance.

10. I got a permanent handicap placard (takes a form from your doctor to go to the DMV).

11. Let yourself get mad, angry, etc when you do. But also, let it pass. Forgive yourself.

12. Accept help when offered. Ask for help when needed. Be okay within yourself needing help.

13. Yoga *really* helped for awhile. But then I had some mechanical issues (meniscus tear). Now I'm not in a place where I can do it, but hope to get to it again. That's okay, too. Yoga is not the panacea that others seem to think it is.

14. Listen to your body. There was a time my lower back hurt. A lot. Maybe it was perimenopausal cramps or maybe just my bad luck. But I sat on the couch with it for days. Ended up being a UTI that turned into a kidney infection. Oops.

15. Find a friend that you can vent at on days that suck. Another good friend of mine has ended up with a fibro diagnosis and we often just bitch at each other on messenger about the suck that is fibro. Neither of us are trying to cure the other one here; we just want to vent.

16. It’s okay to fire your doctor(s) if they don’t believe you or your pain.

17. Paraffin dip. Nice, warm paraffin dip.

18. Read other’s reports about what works and doesn’t work for them. I have gotten many ideas and things to try from reading about other’s fibro or other chronic pain.

19. Don’t forget about pharmaceuticals. There are a few FDA approved meds (none of which seem to work for me). There are some meds that can help various bits of fibromyalgia. There are pain meds that have varying efficacy and varying dangers. Be aware of all sides and don’t suffer needlessly.

"Warding gestures*

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:48 pm
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (safety)
[personal profile] rosefox
My body: A tiny bit of post-nasal drip leading to slight throat soreness, probably just allerg—

Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING

My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?


I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.

I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.

"Have I told you lately"

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:38 pm
rosefox: Me looking at Kit and both of us grinning. (me and kit)
[personal profile] rosefox
It's my late night at the office. I videocalled home to say goodnight to the baby. They were tired, so after a while they waved bye-bye. I said "Okay, Kit, bye-bye! I love you!" and signed love you.

And they signed love back.

Me: [tears]
X: [tears]
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]

My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:39 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
[Sunday morning] I'm not sure it was rhetoric distressing me on Wednesday: i got myself into a right good funk though. Therapy was good, with gentle coaching through procrastination and the identification of a reward system for me.

I took Friday off, inspired by an errand i needed to run and, with the day cleared, i decided to spend the morning with my nephew & niece. We had breakfast at the classic small town restaurant (blueberry waffle & banana pancake for them, respectively, hashbrowns & eggs for us), a little visit to our home where they hadn't been for a while, and then -- yay, i found my beading tools! -- to their house for playing with beads for a bit. It was lovely, and now that i have all my kit, i should do it again in an organized way. Also, when my sister is there, so we can use her beads, too.

I'd made a bit of a mess trying to find stuff, so i spent some of Saturday in the residual moving task of sorting out jumbled stuff. We have many residual moving tasks lingering. I also fixed some jewelry of Christine's i'd said i'd fix and made the necklace and earrings to go with my Easter dress with the faceted yellow chalcedony and vermeil links and pendants i bought with birthday money from my grandmother. The dress is a 50s influenced, A-line dress in a print of lemons, so this necklace and earrings is a sparkling accent for that.

--== ∞ ==--

The week is flying by. Sunday i stopped by my parents after meeting, where "stopped by" means driving an extra 35 or more minutes. My parents are in the opposite direction of meeting. Later, as i was spraying my yellow squash and other cucurbits with a milk-soap-baking soda mixture, my dad stopped by to take a look at the crack in the slab in our front porch. He agreed with my assessment that the "fix" someone had applied in the past was part of the problem. He also knew a much better way to repair it than someone had told Christine. (That instruction was to essentially replicate the bad repair.) He confirmed it was a cosmetic and not particularly structural issue, and wouldn't stop thinking about the issue until he came up with a cause for the crack.

We also have an issue with the light that is not quite over the island in the kitchen: i think "Mr Handyman," the previous owner, caulked the halogen light bulb into the socket. I am happy for the excuse to replace the otherwise attractive but poorly located pendant lamp with a ceiling fan with lights.

Yesterday, my niece and nephew stayed with us during their parents' workday. They had to entertain themselves mostly, but over lunch we made oobleck, a non-newtonian fluid with interesting shear properties. That is, we mixed one part water with around two parts corn starch and examined how the behavior changed when you stirred it slowly vs quickly and a variety of other messy experiments. My favorite was watching an apparently solid chunk fly out of the container, hit me, bounce off, land on the counter and then slowly melt into a puddle.

Making gravy will never quite be the same.

I tried mowing last night, but somehow our lawnmower has lost the adjustments to the front two wheels and all one can really do is scalp the grass. There are some areas where that is desirable, but it was even scalping the moss, which isn't.

It's miserably humid, by the way. Miraculously the forecast for Monday is "clear", although the detailed prediction for Brevard, NC is 50% cloud cover in the afternoon. I've been trying to pretend like it's no big deal and have not been practicing camera stuff, etc. I guess i ought to be getting out the eclipse glasses and filters now, though.

Shouldn't I be panicking about now?

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:21 pm
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
[personal profile] kshandra
Had the lovely realization yesterday that, if someone were to call us and say "you need to pack up and bug out NOW," we could do it. There are a few more things left to pick up that will make things better, but we could absolutely get by on what's ready now.

I'm probably going to be waiting for the other shoe to drop until we're finally on Gate Road.

Pics

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:49 pm
kayre: (Default)
[personal profile] kayre
DSCN0452

My daughter spotted this very small, very quiet green-backed heron on our walk tonight.

four more )

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:26 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
I've lost my ability to drive for 7 hours straight at a time, which means that drives like the one I had yesterday telescope out to 11 hours, but other than that, I had a pretty good weekend+ in the Adirondacks.

I had had the vague impression that my sister-in-law's place was pretty small and uninteresting, but in fact, they own about 1,000 acres of land plus Sampson Pond itself, and have two small-but-well-sealed cabins right *on* the Pond, about 1 1/2 miles off the main road. It is gorgeous and I fell in love on the instant I got there. The fact the electricity and running water are generator powered means a) it's loud and b) more expensive, but it doesn't have to be /on/ all the time, and the expense isn't my problem, so that part was less annoying than I expected. The family originally bought it because they were timber barons off in Pennsylvania, and then some of the family split off and became more minor timber royalty (baronettes?), with way less land, off in New York instead.

They have a nicely symbiotic relationship with the local hunting association, who do some maintenance in return for ATV-and-fishing access.

There are canoes and rowboats and all manner of Things To Do on-Pond, plus some local touristy nonsense for those who are interested.

The Adirondacks have some high peak areas (over 4,000 feet) and some foothills, and a lot of hilly-but-mostly-lakes-and-rivers areas, which is where the Pond is. Sort of central-northern. I didn't get west of there, but in general, it feels like the White Mountains, only wetter and with more ground scrub than the Whites.

I didn't much care about (lack of) internet, although my SiL's family (on Verizon) got service while my brother and I (on Sprint) didn't, which irritated me only because I would either rather have A Phone Blackout or have everyone have phones and internet, and not this weird mixture.

Her uncle has been in the meaner version of A Course In Miracles for 5 years or so, in that he was at the monastery in Utah, where there are undoubtedly many wonderful things, but one is basically expected to never have negative thoughts ever, and if ones does, one should conquer them immediately, and if one can't, one is looked down upon vocally. (I extrapolate from a few discussions we (me and him and my brother & sister-in-law) had, and since I am not a CIM fan, I put a negative spin on it, but it's a reasonably accurate boiling down of some of what he said.) He's leaving in large part because they're moving to Mexico and he didn't like their place in Mexico last time he went, but he's still in the "they're mostly right about me" phase, and /hopefully/ will progress to "we were no longer good for each other" phase sooner rather than later. Though he's 70, so possibly not, but I hope so. He himself is steeped in psych and religion history and I want to get to know him better.

Best part of the weekend: Two nights spent on the pond (one on the dock, one in boats) with the aforementioned crew, star-watching. Saw a bunch of Perseids. Really quite amazing.

(My S-i-L's parents have a much earlier schedule than we do, so didn't join in. Her dad basically suddenly started waking up at 5 am about 10 years ago and can't seem to stop (I know a lot of older folks who need less sleep, which is different but similar), so her mom sticks with being somewhat closer to his schedule when possible. I enjoy them a lot, in a low key way.)

I was in a total news blackout for most of the weekend, so I figured war would break out or something. Instead, I had a vague awareness of Tiki torchlight parades, but then I re-emerged and we'd had protest clashes, deaths, and the President waffling around and then going full Both Sides Did It White Nationalist, which, while teeth-grindingly infuriating, is certainly better than war, but just proves we're having about 5 news cycles per day.

I will probably write up tourist nonsense from the trip over, maybe.

45 years

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:06 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 16th, 1972, Paula and I knelt before the altar of St. Augustine's Cathedral in downtown Tucson. We swore before God to cherish each other as husband and wife for as long as our beings lasted, not only "until death do us part" but even beyond.

It was not an official service. No priest was present. But we took it very seriously. We walked over to Woolworth's and bought our first wedding rings as soon as we left the church, and even though we got better ones a few months later, those two rings are still in my jewelry box today.

Later, she called her parents to tell them we were getting married. Grady and Thelma were - understandably - dubious. Oh, they congratulated her and talked to me and wished us the best, but then a couple of weeks later they showed up suddenly, packed up her stuff, and took her back to their home in Texas "to give us both a chance to think about it."

The rest of the story is here.

On this 45th anniversary, my thoughts turn to Stan Rogers' song, Forty Five Years. Seems appropriate.

37 years

Aug. 13th, 2017 10:10 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
My daughter Amanda was born on this day in 1980. Paula's labor was long and difficult, but after it all at just a bit after 9 in the morning at Camp Pendleton, she brought forth a girl child who she immediately named Amanda Alafair. She was named after Paula's great-great-grandmother, a legendary woman who brought her daughter and grandchildren to Texas with two Colt .45's strapped to her hips and $40,000 in gold in a strongbox under the wagon seat.

The two are now buried in the same family plot, in the old city cemetery of Jacksonville, Texas.

Nebulae

Aug. 12th, 2017 04:27 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Here are some nebular photographs I've made this month.

Back here. )
rosefox: a green and white highway sign that says THIS LANE FOR ROSE (driving)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are in the woods. Every summer J's mom comes to the U.S. and stays at her house upstate, and we always spend at least one weekend here with her.

Last year it was our first driving trip as a family and we stressed a lot trying to plan it. This year we had three ready-made shared checklist documents for packing (for the car), packing (for the stay), and prepping the house. I said I wanted to leave by 7:30; at 7:20 we were pulling away from the curb. Flawless. Bonus: we didn't have to bring a portable crib or changing table because we'd already brought them on previous trips.

Last year we drove through beautiful summer sunshine, but the trip took five hours because of wretched traffic. This year we left after dinner, so even though we drove through torrential rain (I very nearly pulled off the highway at a few points) and then amazing thick fog (through which we were guided by a ghost car) it only took abut three hours. I like night driving and I like cutting two hours off our travel time but whew, I-87 is pretty terrible in nighttime rain, with no streetlights and very faded lane markers and water sheeting across the road.

Last year Kit was a perfect travel bean. This year they were also a perfect travel bean. During our mid-drive break for sandwiches and stretching, we took them into a gas station convenience store that they examined with the same serious yet optimistic expression they brought to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Then J got them a bag of Goldfish crackers and they were so excited that they hugged it all the way out to the car. Everything is magical when you're a baby.

Last year we got here in the afternoon and Kit was astonished by the trees. TREES. SO MANY. SO TALL. This year we got here at night and a very sleepy Kit was astonished by Glory's collection of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. When they went to bed we had to stop them from pulling every bear within reach into the crib with them (in addition to Toronto and Hug Face, the bears we brought with us).

(One of Glory's bears has similar fur to Toronto's but is a bit bigger and has a snazzy black beret. "Toronto's uncle!" X said. "That must mean Toronto is French-Canadian," I said. The beret bear is now Uncle Georges and I suspect he'll be coming back to the city with us to meet Toronto's recently acquired identical twin [always have a spare of your child's favorite toy/blanket, always always always], whom I tried to name Ottawa but J and X call Toron-two. We are very silly with our bears.)

(Toronto actually has nothing to do with Canada; I call it that because of T.O. for "transitional object". I will never get tired of this joke. Hug Face is because Kit hugs it with their face. It has a fraternal twin named Face Hugs for the same reason. We are very silly with our bears.)

Last year I wrote, "I didn't mean to type so much; I should go do my OT exercises, ice my arms a bit more, and get some sleep. I'm just so glad that at least in our tiny little corner of the world, everything went okay today. I needed that." This year I say: yes, that.

Tomorrow the rain is supposed to ease off in the morning. I hope Kit gets to go out and romp a bit in the grass and be astonished by the trees all over again.

(no subject)

Aug. 9th, 2017 10:55 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Oddly, or maybe not, the rhetoric around North Korea is distressing me.

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