Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Birds, Squirrels, n Turtles for an ibilover Birthday . . .

Happy belated Birthday to [profile] ibilover!!! Here is your promised spam. A collection of some of the fauna I saw this year around Greenbelt Lake:

A pair of wood ducks in the early spring.

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Tuesday, March 28th, 2017


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

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


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Friday, January 20th, 2017

A small and passing thing . . .

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


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

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

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

To the Professor!

Happy Birthday to Professor Tolkien! Thank you for the worlds you created that we love to dream and play in. In his honor, I bring you some tree spam.

First, a mallorn:
Pics of a beech from November. The Professor would be happy to know this beech is in the woods behind the Catholic church on my way down to the lake.

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Birthday Wishes!

Happy Birthday, [ profile] gabi_fics!!! May your birthday be as fun and full of love as when the bunch of us went around the lake together this spring!



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Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Happy T-Day and Happy Election Audits!

Happy Thanksgiving Day! I hope all who celebrate are having a good one. And to those who don't, OK, you can have a good day too. I'm so grateful to have all my friends here--I'm not sure how you all fit yourselves into my tiny macbook air, but I'm glad you did. <3

Another October pic I took by the lake.

I had a yummy T-Day meal with [personal profile] zlabya and her DH and her BF. I made my signature salad, and she made a yummy chicken, sweet potato casserole, and apple crisp. Excellent company to hang out with.

Auditing the Vote

If you missed the news, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for US President started raising funds yesterday to audit and recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Best comment ever reported as seen on twitter by [ profile] ambree40: lanyard @lanyardigan 8h8 hours ago: Please, God: like Gollum, let Jill Stein have a totally unforeseen and critical purpose. :-D

I contributed yesterday and watching it grow has been so exciting--they're up to $4.3 million and counting. Go here if you want to contribute or just watch the donations flood in.

A decade back I was following the voting integrity push, belonged to Common Cause, and presented a paper to Congresspeople involved in the movement. When I canvassed for John Kerry down in Florida on election weekend, I listened to poll workers who saw voting machines flip their votes from Kerry to Bush.

We've made great strides in creating a paper trail in many districts in this country to check these problems, but paper backup ballots don't do any good if you never audit and take a look at them. It's just a gigantic green flag to hackers, Russian gov't connected or from anywhere, if they know we're not verifying the optical scanners by checking some of the paper ballots. We should be auditing a sampling of ballots in every state before we announce the count, and we should get used to not having instant gratification and wait a week or 3 before announcing a winner, as grueling as it would have felt to do that this year.

So, without getting my hopes too high that they will find something that will overturn the horrid results of this election (but seeing that Trump has a pattern of doing the things he accuses others of and Bannon is involved with data-mining operations, how could we not check this out), the recount here is just a needed thing to ensure the integrity of the vote. As long as we're having elections close enough that one side wins the electors and the other side the popular vote, vote audits should be made an automatic procedure through legislation. We're doing a good thing here, whatever the outcome of the recount.

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Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Happy Birthday, Cali_se!

Happy Birthday, [ profile] cali_se!!! I hope it's the beginning of a year full of magic for you!!!

Greenbelt Lake, late October.

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Monday, November 14th, 2016

November Farewell

I'm really sad about the untimely passing of Gwen Ifill. Her voice was part of the soundtrack for my maturing political awareness. What a hard week to pass on, but probably a hastener for letting go. Safe passage and rest in peace.

Light Beyond the Gate. Yesterday's sunset by the lake before the moonrise.

I watched the President's press conference, and his looking like he was controlling himself from laughing at how unprepared Trump is was kind of heartening, his "just wait--he wont' know what hit him" look. I really hope infighting will render him and his cabinet ineffectual in a way that lessons the harm they will try to enact. Hope is all we have.

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Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Super Moon Birthday!!!

A very happy birthday to my dear exuberant friend [ profile] ekaterin24 aka [personal profile] zlabya!!!! I'm so glad we've gotten to be friends the last year--having you nearby makes my life so much better and fuller. I hope you've had a great birthday. Here is a sparkler tree for you as a birthday candle on an earth cake:

A tulip poplar pretending to be one of Gandalf's fireworks--the one behind the fire station I told you to look up at, but taken a week ago. And here's your birthday moon:

The supermoon rising over Greenbelt Lake a quarter hour after sunset this evening. Not that I can tell if it's any bigger than a regular full moon. If you look really close, you can see a gray dot along the shoreline a half inch from the left side of the pic--that's a great blue heron who just landed.

I also want to wish a happy belated birthday to [ profile] just_ann_now! I hope it was a good one and there's a closer supermoon pic below for you.

Today I went to a brunch and movie in DC with my Jewish Lesbian group--it wound up being just 2 of us. But kibitzing over brunch and seeing a good movie was just what I needed today. We saw Denial with Rachel Weisz. It's about the 1996 trial in the UK between historian Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust denier David Irving who was claiming libel against her. Wonderfully paced and well done.

I listened to interviews with Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore about the election on the radio on the way home, and they were calming. Then I took a walk and snapped the above supermoon pic and the one below the cut. So a much better day than the rest of the post-election week (excepting a lovely walk with [profile] zblaya on Friday and talking with ya'll.)

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Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Triptych for Tree

Happy Birthday, [ profile] lovethosehobbit!!! I hope it's a great one. Bet moving to the leftmost peninsula off the mainland of this country in a blue state never felt like a better idea! You are one smart woman! May it be the best birthday ever to start off a great year for you.

Here are 3 pics from the lake here for you, from a couple of weeks ago, when the world was still young:


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Monday, November 7th, 2016

A Mallorn in Every Shire

We are in need of magic today, so I went down to the lake at the day's last light and found the Lady of the Golden Wood had gifted my shire with a mallorn, and you can see its reflection in her mirror, an image of hope. We need that last light. As the Galadhrim of Lothlorien say, if the Sindarin here is correct, amin naa yassen he`.


That would be translated, of course, as "I'm with her" in the Common tongue.

May all our shires be gifted with golden trees of hope tomorrow. Sleep well, my flist. <3

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Sunday, November 6th, 2016

More October still

Our leaves peaked Friday and are past peak today. So there's as much brown and bare as color now, but there's still a lot of color and green still yet to turn. It's been a beautiful week here. This pic is from 2 weeks ago:


Cats: Tuxie is doing well. I succeeded in doing 2 blood glucose curves on him a couple of weeks back--the first day was really high, but he was just getting over whatever digestive upset he had--whether it was from a lot of bad food or a virus. The next day, his values were very normal and his tests at the vet went well, except for raised pancreatic values, like me and Moo had. I need to start spot checking him, but I wanted his ears to recover from the pin cushion I had made of them. It's been great to see him climbing both cat trees again and he's been a cuddle bun. Moo is still being a painfully slow eater who I have to monitor for a good hour or so in the morning and evening so her food doesn't get devoured by the Tuxie monster--good thing they're cute.

Health: I had a tooth pulled and just got the sutures out yesterday. In 3 weeks I'll have an implant put in. I'm on celebrex for my foot and pinched neck nerve pain. I've had a couple of podiatrist appointments, am sleeping with a night splint on my left foot, which is helping, and getting orthotics made. More appointments to go. The neuropathy in my left arm from the pinched neck nerve is still troublesome, but the celebrex is helping with the pain some. Unless it gets a lot better in the next couple of weeks, I'll probably need to do some traction therapy for it this winter to try to stretch the neck discs some, after I get through with the dentist and podiatrist. I'm just not sure what that's going to require time-wise and whether I'll have enough work leave time for it. The hot flash and anxiety problems are ongoing.

I met up with a science fiction meet-up group for lunch at the Museum of the American Indians cafe in DC. I had my first fry bread, but it wasn't hot, so not that good--will have to get fresher fry bread sometime. I even had breakfast at Denny's that morning for my full Thomas-Builds-the-Fire experience, but driving into DC made me nervous, and my anxiety level was a little high to make the day fun, what with the election and my personal chemistry. There were beautiful beaded clips in the gift shop that made me think of [ profile] deluxvivens. I've been thinking of her quite a bit lately. I really miss her. Walks in the autumn beauty and framing pics of it, snuggling cats, and good novels remain the best medicine for me. And watching SNL election skits online really helps.

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Friday, November 4th, 2016

The Last Light

So here's 2 of the pics I took this evening right before sunset. Which do you like better--the first one with the bit of water and sky or the closer one below? I can't decide.


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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

More Late Afternoon Autumn Light

I have so many comments to answer and posts to catch up on, but I'm trying to post an autumn pic each day for a while first. So here's today's:

Late afternoon golds with a splash of orange on the east end of the lake. I love that carved out old tree bole on the trunk to the left. You've seen pics of it before, and you'll see plenty more.

My apartment building is just surrounded by a riot of colors--the leaves seem to be peaking now. We've had a fair amount of brownout, but I think this is being the prettiest autumn we've had in this area for a few years. Just north and west of us seems to be a lot more brownout, as I observed on my drive to Westminster, but down here near the DC swamp lands in the Chesapeake, Potomac, and Anacostia basin, we're getting good fall colors. My commute along the eastern part of the Beltway has been gorgeous this week as well. Being out in this magnificence is the only thing that keeps the election panic at bay--cats and reading help as well--so I'm getting what walks I can between work and med appointments. I hope you're all hanging int here. *hugs you all*

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The Veil Lifted

The light of Autumn's last half hour before sunset is total magic where it falls on the trees around the lake. I went out a couple of evenings this weekend and caught it--it just takes my breathe away. I think this might be my best pic so far catching that light:

People think the impressionists and the romantic painters were making this stuff up, but all those colors are really there when the veil between the worlds is lifted and the Uttermost West is fleetingly in view before the earth turns to the dark of night.

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Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Myriad, Leaves, Trump Thefts, and Clinton Accomplishments--what's not being told

Senator Hillary Clinton voted to create a law that closed a tax loophole that had allowed robber barons like Trump to steal money from the American people. Pass it on.

The NY Times published a decent article on Trump's taxes today--something the media has spent little enough investigative reporting on while they keep reporting on the faux email scandal, so it's time they did so. Where are the human interest stories of all the people who lost jobs and homes and health because Trump stiffed them and stole their labor by not paying them, the way he stiffed the American people by not paying his fair share of taxes? I call this theft on a massive scale.

But there's an important factoid buried in this article: it begins with Trump's claim that Clinton never did anything to stop people like him from being able to avoid paying these taxes. Guess what? It isn't until the end of the article that he is proved a liar in this allegation--Senator Clinton voted to close just that loophole. She did! Here's from the first and last paragraphs of the article:

Donald J. Trump proudly acknowledges he did not pay a dime in federal income taxes for years on end. He insists he merely exploited tax loopholes legally available to any billionaire — loopholes he says Hillary Clinton failed to close during her years in the United States Senate. “Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I couldn’t use them?” Mr. Trump asked during a campaign rally last month.

In any event, Mr. Trump can no longer benefit from the same maneuver. Just as Congress acted in 1993 to ban stock-for-debt swaps by corporations, it acted in 2004 to ban equity-for-debt swaps by partnerships.
Among the members of Congress who voted to finally close the loophole: Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

I understand the writers delayed presenting Hillary's vote to close the loophole to the end of the article to create a compelling narrative frame and clinch line at the end, which is piss poor journalistic writing! Between the first and last paragraph is an exploration of arcane tax law and many readers may not get to the important fact at the end.

This fact needed to be up front. Trump's repeated claim that Clinton did nothing about this tax law is a complete lie. She voted to close it. While Trump was hoodwinking us and his workers, Clinton was working to make things better for all of us. She did a good job. We need to let her keep doing a good job. Pass it on.

Then take a break and look at these pretty leaves I saw down by the lake here:


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Monday, October 31st, 2016

Happy Halloween!!!

My trick'r'treating involved going to vote today, which was very satisfying to have done early. Here's hoping to get the treat and not the trick next week.

Those of you who have walked around Greenbelt Lake will remember that there is a house whose backyard is along the path where they put out lots of toys and decorations. They go all out for Halloween and have lots of interactive displays that move, light up, and have sound tracks that are triggered when you pass near them.

At dusk, many of the displays light up. The giant cat here has green light up eyes and the figure on the tombstone has red eyes.

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Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Autumn Tiffany Homage

These trees by the lake last week were doing their best impression of Tiffany stained glass windows. I think they did a very good job. BTW, you can click on the pic to embiggen it.

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Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Late afternoon autumn light

I love how the late afternoon light in autumn brings out hints of purple in the tree trunks as it turns the rest of the yellowing world golden. Especially in the woods on this end of the lake.

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Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Here, have some Autumn . . .

Approaching the lake several days ago . . .

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