10/18/2017 Meeker Slough

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:12 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
High tide was at noon, so when I got to So 51st St about 1:30 it was still a bit early in terms of exposed shoreline; two hours later there were more visible shorebirds but the sun angle was crap. That's shorter days for you. Still, not winter yet: )

Walking back to So 51st St I had an experience that reminded me of the butterfly migration a couple weeks ago. Gulls began appearing from the east southeast, evenly spaced over a wide area, uniformly not very high, and soared out over the Bay. I don't think they were landing on the spit opposite, although I admit I was so fascinated I didn't watch to see; they were definitely not landing anywhere short of there and I had the impression they just kept flying. They seemed to materialize out of the haze in front of the hills, and I have no idea where they came from. The reservoirs in Contra Costa? A pond this side of the hills? The Delta? Many of them were small gulls, possibly mews, but as the wave continued I saw the lots of ring-bills as well as Californias and westerns. More than a hundred, I'd guess.

10/18/2017 Inspiration Trail

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
This time of year there's little point to going out before sunrise, so it's easy for me to get up too early and then leave too early because why hang about at home? Anyway, I got to Inspiration Point before the sun topped the hills to the east and things were quiet at first, but it wasn't long before it was shining on the trail and waking up the birds. I had a tough time with raptors, just not fast enough to get definitive looks, but I think I had northern harrier, Cooper's hawk, and possibly a barn owl; I disturbed it twice and STILL had no good look. The bird was fairly light colored even in the shade (too light for a harrier, which has a somewhat owl-like face), utterly silent, and I had the impression of a facial disk. But to imagine the best bit of the morning, take a look at this toyon tree )

and then imagine it populated by five or so western bluebirds joined by the same number of cedar waxwings. I was so happy. Fall east of the ridge: )

I also saw a very healthy-looking coyote.

What I've Been Reading Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:52 am
lost_spook: (reading)
[personal profile] lost_spook
What I've Finished Reading

I finished up The Castle of Otranto and it continued to be delightfully OTT and ridiculous right to the very last line. I laughed a lot. Especially at the last line. The charm of it is, I think (other than gloomy castles and giant suits of armour and what have you), that it's very hard to tell if the whole thing is some kind of joke, or just bits of it. This seems to have been the question for 250 years, and, indeed, the next book I read, The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve is quite openly The Castle of Otranto, the more rational (and therefore possibly not-truly-Gothic) remix.

As Clara Reeve says in the introduction, certain elements of Otranto, "destroy the work of imagination, and, instead of attention, excite laughter." (Walpole apparently responded that hers was, "So probable, that any trial for murder at the Old Bailey would make a more interesting story." Hmm, wait, a novel featuring a real life murder...? Shame he didn't try it, heh.)

It does indeed tail off into a long, plodding fixit of everything, though. It's rather like a tumblr-recommended fixit version of Otranto where everything is relentlessly put right and all the bad people are punished or grovel and apologise to the good people. I liked the beginning with the locked up haunted wing with the murdered body in it very much, though, mixed with a more recognisable setting. Also its hero Edmund has an amusing tendency to weep over people. (The best bit was at the end where he flung his arms round both his mentors legs at once and they had to stop him and then he still had to hug them and weep over them.)

But, given that it's still only about 130 odd pages and has a haunted East wing, it was readable and fascinating to compare to Otranto. I'm glad the collection had them both.

I also read another Daisy Dalrymple (Dead in the Water), which you could probably tell because fic happened. My friend is coming to see me again this week - I have hopes she might be able to lend me some more, because the only others I've found are quite a few books on from that. (Obviously, I'm looking forward to seeing her with or without books, but with books is always better.)


What I'm Reading Now
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, which, as promised by [personal profile] aralias, is very light and enjoyable and just my sort of thing. I seem to be okay with it, too. \o/ (The only downside is the inevitable comparison to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which can do it no favours. It's a shame she didn't set it, say, 20 years later or earlier to mitigate that. Although, of course, I'm only 100 pages in; there are no doubt very good Plot Reasons.)

(I'm still note-taking from A Mad Bad and Dangerous People? and technically sort of reading Desolation Island, but have not progressed far with either since last time.)


What I'm Reading Next
Well, if my friend does bring me some more Daisy, there'll be that. And once I've finished Sorcerer to the Crown, I might try the next Gothic novel in the collection, which is Mistrust by Matthew Gregory Lewis (author of The Monk).

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:49 am
hamimi_fk: Random girl (Default)
[personal profile] hamimi_fk
I had a really fun final game of the night session of Town of Salem (omg, being vet is literally the best role ever) and now I'm going to bed cuz TIRED. xD

Just wanted to say my NaNo story idea/brainstorming thingabob is still open to ideas. So far, I'm looking at a potential NaNo Original fic with femslash, involving skypirates, mystery, and a possible revenge questline. =D More ideas are welcomed! (Setting? Genres? Cryptids or not? xD )

Also - [community profile] holly_poly is open for signups! It's a multimedia exchange for OT3s and moresomes! =D I already signed up and sign ups look a little slow, so come on! (Maybe they're not slow, I just may be really excited about them.)

[community profile] femslashex, btw, has their collection open for extra fics/treats and author reveals haven't happened yet so maybe write a drabble for someone? I wrote one! =D I'm hoping to write more, even after reveals. =B --- I really wanted to participate in the exchange, but I wasn't confident in my writing at the time of signups so I bowed out. Now, however, I wanna WRITE SO MUCH YAY! xD

And I believe [community profile] smallfandombang is still open for signups! I still haven't decided exactly on what I want to write, but I'll think of something.

Ok, sleeeep nowwwww. =3=

Random Fandom Meme

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:35 pm
lost_spook: (OUaT - belle)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Randomly memed from [livejournal.com profile] dimity_blue:

Choose five series fandoms (no peeking before you choose them), list them, and then answer the questions behind the cut.

1. Once Upon a Time
2. Blake's 7
3. Doctor Who
4. Dracula (1968)*
5. Sapphire & Steel

Cut for questions and answers )


* Yes, I did fail to read the instructions when I made the list. *handwaves*

Orville and Star Trek Discovery

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:41 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I'm up to date on The Orville and one episode behind on Star Trek Discovery.

The Orville, from day one, has been pretty clear about what it is as a show, and it's not what we thought it was going to be or what the trailers promised. It's not a space sitcom full of Family Guy style jokes. It's not in the Galaxy Quest vein. It's a pretty straightforward episodic modern take on Star Trek, created with deep respect for Roddenberry's ideals. Its particular lens on the material is a focus on the mundane: What if life in Starfleet was like a typical modern office? Your boss's boss is generally a decent guy but he sometimes says sexist things and he's in the middle of getting over an ugly divorce that sometimes bleeds his personal life into his professional life. Some of your co-workers are so burnt out they couldn't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect them. Your manager is way too inexperienced and seems uncomfortable giving orders. The fart jokes from the trailers, it turns out, weren't pointless sitcom props- they're character beats about how Starfleet means you are living 24/7 among your co-workers, and that means figuring out how to share bathrooms with people who are not like you. It's surprisingly well done.

I've been enjoying it, for the most part, though its basic mundanity sometimes blends awkwardly with its Roddenberry idealism. The Very Special Episode about transgender issues didn't quite fit together for me- the jokiness clashed with the seriousness of the question, making the question sometimes seem more trivial than it is. But I loved some moments from the episode- I loved seeing the human crew initially confronting the question from a position of revulsion- of course we in the Federation don't decide the gender of an infant, we let the infant grow up and make their own choice! It's no more obviously the right position- the Federation still clearly is a culture where cultural programming about gender roles matters. Still, it's so striking in just the right Star Trek way to say "Let's posit a future where a liberal orthodoxy about transgender issues has been completely adopted as a cultural norm... how does that liberal orthodoxy react to people taking a different approach to gender issues?"



Then there's Star Trek Discovery. I have no idea what to say about it yet. I don't understand it as a show. The first two episodes don't feature the ship Discovery that the show is named after, or most of its main characters. They're decent television, and the special effects are spectacular and leave The Orville in the dust, but they don't seem to have much connection to what the show is in its next two episodes.

It seems to be wrestling with what does Starfleet look like at war, except that unlike some past versions of the same, it doesn't entirely seem to be working from the expected premise that Starfleet at war is a fundamentally irresolvable tension. The first two episodes revolve around a mutiny driven by a violation of the apparent principle that Starfleet never shoots first, then the subsequent two episodes seem to revolve around a captain who has been charged by Starfleet to do whatever it takes to win the war. What does this version of Starfleet stand for? I don't know. What does this version of the Klingon empire stand for? Other than speaking endlessly in subtitled Klingon, making ST:D practically a foreign film, I don't know. Thus far, there's been very few scenes in the show not on the Shenzhou, the Discovery, or a Klingon vessel. Almost nothing on alien worlds, very little about alien races besides the Klingons and Vulcans. There is so little of what we expect from Star Trek here.

Amidst this general confusion of purpose, I've enjoyed moments. Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham, the only character on the show who's been at all fleshed out, is intriguing and well-acted, the brilliant loner so convinced of her own competence that she thinks as long as she survives and gives it her best, she can take everyone else along with her. Jason Isaacs has made the most of his limited work so far, giving off an extremely Shatnerian vibe in spite of the very different material he's being given to deliver. Anthony Rapp has been fun as a hardass engineer, and Mary Wiseman has been really effective as a mood lightener as Cadet Tilly.

I'm going to keep watching both shows- it'll be interesting to see where they go.

Dark Matter 3x10

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:14 am
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
I was reasonably okay with the show being cancelled until we started to get into the last few episodes of season three. And now it's killing me. AAAAAUUUUGHHH.

Spoilers are making unwise life choices like usual )
havocthecat: amy pond of doctor who with a magnifying glass (dw amy pond investigates)
[personal profile] havocthecat
I usually ignore the salt measurements except when baking, and just salt to taste, but that's because I've been cooking since I've been old enough to drag a chair to the stove and push vegetables around on a skillet. This is potentially disastrous to people who don't know as much about cooking!

Sometimes your recipes call for a specific type of salt - and there could be an actual reason why. Not if it's trendy salt, usually, but if it's "sea salt," Diamond kosher salt, or Morton's kosher salt, there's a specific reason and you should actually pay attention. Who knew?

I mean, I've been cooking for multiple decades and I had no fucking clue before this morning, so if you didn't know, don't feel bad! Hell, Bon Appetit magazine didn't even know until 2013, and they're goddamn Bon Appetit gourmet magazine.

This is going to make a world of difference in my pickling, that's for sure. No wonder my pickled turnips always turn out too salty.

The Kosher Salt Question

Tagline: Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest.

Ficlet: Fatal Error

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:40 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Title: Fatal Error
Author: [personal profile] lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 693
Characters/Pairings: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Letting the strangers go had clearly been a mistake…

For [personal profile] persiflage_1 in the 500 Prompts Meme: 12. Why didn't we detain them? - Twelve & Clara Oswald (DW)

Here @ AO3 | Also @ the Teaspoon

10/13 - 10/15/2017 Monte Toyon, Aptos

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:47 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I didn't do much birding at Fall dance weekend, in part because I didn't anticipate which classes I would bail on and thus have time to go up into the woods. Saturday morning there were warblers in the just-sunlit redwoods outside the dining hall, but I didn't have my bins. I suspect yellow-rumps, myrtle subspecies, by chip note but there were waaaay up there. That afternoon I walked up to the rhododendron garden with bins, but the sun was gone from the canyon and all I got were chickadees, Steller's jays, and a couple of fox sparrows.

But if going off to find birds didn't work out, the birds of camp sometimes found me. There were a couple wrentits "purring" in the mass of sprouts and other vegetation around the base of a redwood just beside the dining hall, so close to people but not in fact with much traffic. I was awakened Sunday morning by a hermit thrush chupping outside our window, and I saw several others along the edges of the footpaths. I heard a great horned owl once, and acorn woodpeckers many times. But the best thing there is Pacific wren. They're right there in camp, skulking in the many clumps of redwood sprouts, double-chipping wildly at passers by and occasionally popping up to look. Pacific wrens are tiny brown birds that generally keep to the underbrush, and seeing a couple, or one several times, was a great treat. An extremely short list: )

A longer list than I expected. There were deer wandering the edges of camp, in varying sizes, horned and otherwise, and unfamiliar-sounding squirrels in the trees. The first year I birded there I spent ages trying to discover what bird made that weird sound; at least now I know better.

er -- and this

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:20 pm
unovis: (Default)
[personal profile] unovis
The strawberry menstrual cup cozy. With over a hundred projects after this pattern on Ravelry.

Things I found today

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:14 pm
unovis: (Default)
[personal profile] unovis
while trying to find recommendations for/evaluations of local city council candidates --

The Grape Cozy -- in case the link doesn't work for you, this is a knitted "cozy" or cover for an individual grape. For all your grape protection needs.

[warning: link page has video that may be loud] Brevard County Sheriff's "Wheel of Fugitives" -- a regular broadcast by our county Sheriff, imitating a game show to publicize people with outstanding arrest warrants. The current episode of the Wheel is on the office's Facebook page.

I tried asking my mother what she would do if I disappeared; to think about living here without me. She said she needs no help and doesn't need me at all. And then she asked if I still don't like living in Florida. So -- the Mom is pretty divorced from reality. Without me, the others would have to step in and solve her living situation.





The thing in my brain

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:34 pm
aris_tgd: "Tune your ear to the frequency of despair and cross-reference by the latitude and longitude of a heart in agony." (Lyttle Lytton Spider-Man Agony)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
Still haven't finished updating my Yuletide letter, but I did finally finish watching one more episode of Brooklyn 99. Sometimes I really dislike the cringe reflex in my brain that makes watching new episodes of things difficult--it took me something like a week to watch one episode (episode 3 of season 1, I am not exactly moving at a fair clip.)

Went shopping today and finally have new bras, YES. Also I have finished putting away a bunch of socks and tights, woohoo! Eventually I will actually have all my clothes in my dresser instead of in various laundry baskets, but that seems like a distant dream right now. Hahahaa. Also one of these days I'll hopefully have enough closet space and shelving. I have small dreams at the moment, okay?

Dark Matter 3x08 and 3x09

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:41 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I need to catch up on comments (I did forget what a timesink comment-answering on DW can be), but we watched 3x08 and 3x09 tonight! Only 4 more episodes, noooo ...

Spoilers are doing unwise things with experimental technology )
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
So the comments to the previous pimping/recruiting post are getting steadily more spoilery, and even as a spoilerphobe myself, I'm basically THE WORST at not talking about spoilers with people I'm trying to recruit into a thing (I told [personal profile] rachelmanija something about the show in email last night that I really wish I'd kept my mouth shut about), so let's do a post for ALL THE SPOILERS.

... well. Some of the spoilers. The thing is, I haven't seen past 3x07 yet - the Six-focused one. I've slowed way down on my watching speed because the last few episodes of season three are ALL WE'LL EVER HAVE *cries* and I want to make it last. So I would really like to remain unspoiled as possible. Under the cut are the things I particularly want to be unspoiled about (cut because the questions themselves are spoilers for season three):

Spoilers start here )

So yeah, bring out your spoilers. :D

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Remix Goes Wild

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