Monday, August 28th, 2017

Eclipse Trek - The Journey Down and Where We Stayed

My Eclipse Trek was a short 3 day there and back again kind of trip that I started hopefully planning through google wanderings 2 months ago and really came together the end of July when Debra agreed to come with me and introduced me to her petsitter D at her party. I read an article on the upcoming eclipse, probably from the Washington Post 2 months ago and learned the term the "Path of Totality", that the eclipses I saw as a kid were only partial, and that all kinds of cool special effects I missed could be seen only if you are in the Path of Totality. So my desire to see this astronomical wonder only started then.

The closest route to the Path of Totality was straight down I-95 to South Carolina. I knew motels in the Path of Totality would have been sold out long already, so I looked at availability in Florence, SC, which also had the advantage of being on the cross roads to the closest point of totality straight down I-95 to Santee, SC, east to Charleston, SC, or west to Columbia, SC. I'd aim for Santee, but tried to do research for good viewing spots around Columbia and Charleston if clearer skies were predicted that morning in either of the latter places rather than Santee. Florence had plenty of vacancies in July, but started filling up fast in August.

I made a reservation 2 weeks before at the Thunderbird Inn , a basic economical 2 star hotel, much like most of the places my family stayed at during our family vacations. It had definitely seen better days, but was plenty comfortable, and yet seemed to put a lot of its budget into landscaping, which was a big attraction for me, because seeing palm trees out the window in the morning would be my solace if clouds spoiled the view we were traveling to see. I could take palm trees and Spanish moss as my consolation prize, as it's been more than a decade since I've seen them. Stretching my back swimming in a pool looking up at palm trees would help make the long drive more doable.



Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/250491.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Graced with a Successful Quest

Though the skies were partly cloudy, my friend D and I were graced with a clear view of the total eclipse today, as we sat on the shores of Lake Marion in Summerton, South Carolina a few yards from the centerline of the path of totality. It was such a quick 2 1/2 minutes of total eclipse! We were so fortunate and my heart goes out to people who were hoping, and especially those who traveled far whose views were totally obscured by clouds.

We saw it. We both missed the first diamond ring because we didn't know you should take off the glasses while you still see a tiny sliver of orange, but we saw the ending diamond ring right before we put our glasses back on. I saw red-pink Baily's beads around parts of the moon's circumference during most of totality--at least I think I did--I didn't know you could see them the whole time. We got to see the wispy corona--I know they vary per eclipse--I think

I didn't register the temp dropping as the moon covered more of the sun, just that I wasn't sweltering anymore and I was feeling really comfortable, so it probably dropped 20 degrees from the 90's to the 70's. Afterwards, when D mentioned it, I was "oh yeah, the temp did drop!"

What was very wonderful is that just before totality, the cicadas in the beautiful Spanish Moss adorned pines and oaks behind us started singing.--so we got the critter special effects as well.

The clouds were pretty sunset on the horizon. We didn't see a lot of stars come out. The brightest one was way off to the right at 3 o'clock--west--I wonder if it was Jupiter or Venus? There was a dim star very close to the eclipse at 11 o'clock--was that mercury?

Another cool thing is before the totality, I remembered to run up and look at the sand under a tree on the edge of the beach and saw tons of tiny crescent suns reflected through the leaves--got pics of those I will post when I can upload them. Thank you [personal profile] spiralsheep for turning me on to that--an awesome special effect. I might have seen some of the pre-eclipse gravity bands on a light gray metal sheets on the pier, but I'm not sure.

As the eclipse receded, the sky looked very dark southeast of us over the lake--I wondered if we were seeing the shadow falling on the clouds out toward Charleston and the shoreline--where it was reported to be cloudy--I don't know if anyone got to see it there--haven't had time to look at reports.

We were so lucky because there were clouds that at times totally obscured the sun as it was receding. D thinks she saw reflections of the moon's face (the man in the moon) on the sun's surface as the moon was receding.

It wasn't a life changing experience, maybe because I'm so wowed by so many of nature's details that many people don't take time to notice--(Eee to see palm trees out in the wild and Spanish moss again!), but it makes me feel very lucky and grateful because it would have been so easy for the view to have eluded us behind chance clouds that were so near. And it has been such a fun adventure to have.

And I have a wonderful new petsitter who spent the night with my cats, and Tuxie slept against her, so finally knowing I can leave my cats in security is kind of a life changing thing for me I haven't had for many years.

I will post more about this brief but wonderful adventure with pics in another post. I hope those of you who could catch the eclipse enjoyed. The viewing glasses we have now make watching even the partial eclipse so much cooler than when I was a kid. And yay for the wonderful NASA feeds--it was so cool to watch Oregon get their totality on screen just as ours was beginning outside while we were finishing lunch in The LakeHouse. What a great day! We were so lucky! Goodnight, my friends! <3<3<3

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/250233.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

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

DSCN5568
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 [livejournal.com 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.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/216488.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Happy Birthday i_o_r_h_a_e_l!!!

Happy belated birthday, dear [livejournal.com profile] i_o_r_h_a_e_l!!! Here is a big local Arizona kitty in an enclosure in the Tucson Desert Museum, a pretty mountain lion, who wishes you a happy birthday and hopes you bring some good kitty treats for a mathom. (-:



*hugs*

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/192388.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Tucson and Back to Reality Again

I had a great trip for a couple of days visiting my awesome and lovely best friend[personal profile] mererid. She picked me up in Phoenix and drove me down to Tucson to stay with her and her excellent partner R and their exuberant and well-coddled quaker parrot, Baby. Sunday we drove into the Tucson Mountains southwest of town to the Tucson Desert Museum.



There we saw nicely landscaped local flora, and fauna in enclosures, but I especially enjoyed seeing the fauna not in enclosures, and I'll show you lots more pics in another post. My hobbit dolls had fun there, too. We also drove around some of the neighborhoods of Tucson and its signature murals.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/192048.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Laramie Moot: Vedauwoo 1 and Update

Back in July, on our first full day, Saturday in Laramie, our gracious host [personal profile] hanarobi took some of us in the afternoon to a place east of Laramie called Vedauwoo, pronounced Vay'-de-voo, or rhymes with "Made a zoo." It was a picture perfect day, so it was easy to make lots of post-able pics.


This pic is actually from the end of the visit through the car window, just to give you the long vista.


And here we are--big impressive rocks surrounded by beautiful aspen and fur trees, and other flora.


We took a path part of the way around the cliffs.


Mallorns Aspens--oh how I love them!

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/179702.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Laramie Moot: From Denver to Laramie and Update

Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:


Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .


. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . . )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/179408.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Laramie Moot: From Denver to Laramie and Update

Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:


Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .


. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . . )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/179408.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Laramie Moot: From Denver to Laramie and Update

Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:


Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .


. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . .> <a target= )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/179408.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Laramie Moot: From Denver to Wyoming Border 2 and Update

Here's some more pics from the scenic tour [personal profile] hanarobi wonderfully took [personal profile] shirebound, [livejournal.com profile] mirabile_dictu, and me on to Laramie. All of these pics are still on the Colorado side of the border. Eath and sky are large here.





Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/179132.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Laramie Moot: From Denver to Wyoming Border and Update

So my trip and moot report! You already got the airplane flight--it was a great flight out. I'm going to try to fly a Southwest 737 any time I have the chance--it was so roomy compared to the SW 727 I rode going back--makes a big difference. This will be one of several pic posts I'll be posting of the trip and moot.

I arrived in Denver without a hitch and had a short while to wait before [personal profile] shirebound's flight got in and it was so wonderful to see and get to hug her as soon as she stepped into the terminal. We found [livejournal.com profile] mirabile_dictu and [personal profile] hanarobi picked us up and took us the scenic route up through Colorado to Laramie, for which I'm extra grateful with the drive being 5+ hours for her round trip. It was a really gorgeous ride.

The pics in this post are all from a moving car window, so not the best quality.


The Rockies just north of Denver!


The Rockies from around the Longmont area.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/178240.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Maryland and DC Area Peeps FotR EE Moot

Happy Froday!

OK now, Maryland Area Hobbit Posse,

I wanna make sure I get my ticket for the

FotR EE on Tuesday, June 14th at 7 pm

by this Monday. I think L. is going to join me. The ticket prices seem to have been standardized at all the theaters at $12.50 per show including the Fandango charge. Who is with me? It's showing in a number of theaters in the area. My suggestion is the Snowden Square Theater in Columbia, MD because Columbia is central for DC and Baltimore peeps, and that theater is lots easier to park at and get close to the theater than the one at Columbia Mall that is also showing the EE's. If you have a preference for another theater in the area please say so now.

Who else also wants to get their tickets for

TTT EE Tuesday 21st at 7 pm
RotK EE Tuesday 28th at 7 pm

Let's see if we can get that all settled in this thread.

Also it's mountain laurel blooming time:

Mountain Laurel at Greenbelt Lake, early bloomer 5-2011


This is an early blooming one last week here at Greenbelt Lake. More are blooming this year around the lake than I've seen before. But the really spectacular place to see mountain laurels bloom is down at Calvert Cliffs State Park in southern MD, which is just covered in them. They should be just about peaking now, and I'm planning to drive down there sometime this coming week between tomorrow and Memorial Day. Is anyone interested in coming with me (and sharing in gas expenses if you can), and we could decide on which day would be good? Cali and I went on this weekend last year and it was gorgeous, and it should be even prettier this year. What say you?

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/101903.html with comments
(Leave a comment)

Monday, April 4th, 2011

A Birthday and return home

A very happy belated birthday to my dear [livejournal.com profile] honeyandvinegar!!! I hope it was a fun and wonderful one!

I got back from my trip last night around 1:30 am. I had a wonderful and renewing time in Chapel Hill and Greensboro catching up with dear old friends and seeing what's changed, and what's the same. Spring is still beautiful in North Carolina, and my hobbit dolls agreed. There will be pictures. There are always pictures pending. (-:

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/100503.html with comment count unavailablecomments
(Leave a comment)