Archive for the ‘Not Writing Related’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Here is a picture of a tulip to enjoy. May everyone have a lovely Thursday, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.

A pink tulip amid green leaves. It's very pretty and delicate. The tulip slightly open.

Pink Tulip

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Potatoes Just Changed My Life

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

I came across this video and thought the recipe sounded delicious and looked pretty easy. We didn’t have chicken stock so I bought some at the store today and then I made Potatoes Fondant. My life just changed. My god.

They were indeed easy to make, and they are delicious. I want to go make them again. D E L I C I O U S. They are a fairly old method of cooking potatoes and it’s apparently historical enough that it also counts as research. I threw in some rosemary because we were a little low on thyme.

I’ll never be the same.

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It’s Been a Tough Couple of Weeks

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

One Week Ago

Yeah, it’s been a tough couple of week. Below is a picture I took a week ago (October 15, 2017) from the top half of our driveway. You can see the massive, massive, wide and high, smoke from the Northern California Wild Fires some 15-20 miles away.

Picture of Sonoma Mountain with a massive billowing expanse of smoke.

October 15, 2017

One Week Later

I took this picture today (October 22, 2017) from about the same spot. You’d have to squint or zoom in on the picture to see the faint wisps of smoke.

Same view as previous photo only without the massive amount of smoke. If you squint you can still see some.

October 22, 2017

Fortunately, we did not have to evacuate. My friends and family did not lose homes. But I know many people who did. I am so grateful for First Responders. CalFire expects to have the fires fully contained this week.

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Who Gets to Talk

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

So, the other day, Richard Spencer, whose goal is to one day have a Whites only State, had his Twitter account reinstated and verified by Twitter. Let’s be blunt, since I get to talk here in this space; Spencer is a White Supremacist. His views are hateful and vile. In the US, with certain narrow exceptions, the government cannot interfere with his right to say vile things.

Twitter has always said they value free speech. Even speech that others don’t like. Twitter is not the government, however. It’s their platform, and they get to set the rules of engagement. Twitter recently shut down ISIS related accounts. I’ve not heard they’ve been reinstated and verified.

What Twitter has done is say that this white male voice counts more than all the voices that have been and will be silenced or driven off the platform. They’d rather let this man speak than all the others Spencer and people like him target.

This isn’t an isolated experience.

Woman after woman after woman after woman, especially women of color, have been and are currently silenced because Twitter allows accounts that spew hatred to continue spewing hatred. They do this without giving the targets of that hated any tool to stay safe on Twitter or in their real lives.

Right now, there are a bunch of righteous white men at Twitter going, yeah, he’s vile, but he gets to speak! Free speech!

They say that because they’re part of the problem. They can’t hear women and people of color. They never have. They don’t hire these voices (because MERITOCRACY!!). And if somehow they do, they don’t listen to them.

Twitter gave Spencer back his voice back because the white men of Twitter, quite literally, cannot hear all the voices their policies and inaction have silenced. They think they’ve make a difficult decision to allow a man to voice his hatred. At twitter, one white man still counts more than a person of color or a woman.

If that weren’t true, there’d be effective tools for the targets of hate speech to keep their voices and their safety.

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Penguin

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

So, I saw the penguin video,* which depicts penguins fighting for the right to perpetuate the species.

I am totally cool with the nature thing of penguins. The narration, however, is NOT a nature thing. The narration is exactly the kind of bullshit that reinforces the message that male humans have a right to female humans and that violence is A-OK in enforcing that right.

Because lookit. Penguins are not people. They do not live by the norms of human culture. The female penguin wasn’t anybody’s wife. Male Penguin No 1 was not her husband. In fact, that male penguin had exactly ZERO right to the female penguin. ZERO.

Allow me to provide a different script:

Here is a female penguin with a Hot Stuff male penguin she believes is way more likely to be right for raising the kids successfully than the loser she used to be with. OH NO!!! Here comes that loser asshole male penguin No 1 who was such a major mistake. Now hot stuff and asshole are fighting! Wow. That is a lot of blood, but when a female penguin finds a better mate, an asshole’s gonna be an asshole and someone’s gonna lose.

I submit that this is an equally valid narration to what National Geographic supplied.

Thank you.

*Google Penguin Video, but be warned it’s bloody with bonus human misogyny

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The Wired Ear

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

For people worried about losing their soon to be delivered Apple wireless earbuds, I HAVE SOLVED THIS PROBLEM in what I think is a truly elegant manner.

Drawing of an ear (pretend it's artful) with an earbud attached to the peirced ear via a chain.

Storage!

 

Here’s the “In” position:

Drawing of an ear (pretend it's artful) with an earbud in the ear but still attached to the peirced ear via a chain.

Useful!

Pretty much genius, am I right?

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Happy 4th of July

Monday, July 4th, 2016

redwhiteBlue

Happy 4th! Photos by Yours Truly

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A Slightly Funny Story

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

So, at the day job, we’ve just moved into new office space. I 99.98% love it. All the lights are LED and set to a really lovely, relaxing white. The walls are beautiful colors and there are areas where you could, conceivably, sit and pretend you’re at someone’s home about to have tea and cookies. There are tables with runners and vases and there’s lots of artwork most of which I like. Total win!

Except.

Almost everything is slightly off center. Most of the pictures are crooked to some degree or not hung in a way that doesn’t make me think, hold on here…. something is off. There’s a large space with a beautiful table in the center, and a couch and mirror in the center of the wall at one end. The table is placed off center to the mirror, and literally, everyone who walked by the first few times would stop and cock their heads … because it wasn’t quite right. Plus, the table has a fabric runner down the middle, very pretty, and a large vase in the center. Except the runner was not aligned to the exact center of the table. And the vase was not aligned in the center of the runner. There are, in fact, two other tables with runners and vases, also not aligned. And at the end of the one corridor that ends in a wall, they hung a tapestry, so so pretty! And it was crooked.

I discovered that my colleague also noticed the off-centeredness of everything and it was also driving him crazy. We had several conversations about the pictures that weren’t hung so it wasn’t just…. off. Anyway, I straightened all the vases and runners because it was driving me batty. My colleague helped me align one of them. Because he too was so bothered by it. He straightened some of the artwork. I couldn’t safely reach the tapestry so it continued to be just so slightly off center.

Then the painters had to put another coat of paint on the walls and all the artwork came down. Everything went back up, still mostly crooked. The tapestry, however, was now noticeably crooked. I said “Hey, colleague, look at that!” And we both were deeply unsettled.

And then!

One day I saw that the tapestry had been straightened. Yay!!! When I returned to my desk, I said to my colleague, “Good news! They straightened the tapestry!”

And he says, “Oh, I did that. It was driving me crazy.”

And that is why I like where I work.

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Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 24th, 2015
Persimmons

Natural Ornaments

Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones.

Holiday Persimmons, Photo by Yours Truly.

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Why Carolyn is Never the Navigator

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Today I had to drive to San Francisco to pick up my son who is home for Winter Break. He’s at a college an hour or so south of San Francisco aka through some the worst traffic in the country. Anyway, our agreement is that he gets himself to San Francisco and I’ll pick him up there. This time he didn’t take the bus. He took a different bus and a train. So I had to pick him up at a different spot than usual. He was coming with a friend who we were drop off on our way home, which is only relevant because there were witnesses.

Have I mentioned before that I am directionally deprived? Even with a GPS?

Anyway, I departed right from work and headed to San Francisco and as soon as I was in the city remembering how much I hate all the other people driving in traffic I came to a big old sign that said the street I was supposed to turn on (left or right or some direction or other) was CLOSED. So I detoured and then the stupid GPS started telling me to turn right on streets where you can’t turn right so after some horror and frustration I decided I was close enough (I wasn’t, actually) and I would park in the nearest parking garage and walk there to get them.

So I did this, and somehow I ended up in a part of the PARKING garage where they don’t actually let you park. And this guy is all snotty with me about me trying to turn around and then he says “you have to go up”  So… right. I can’t find any arrows pointing up so I decided fine, I will leave the parking garage and try to find the train station only you can’t get out without paying and I wasn’t allowed to park anywhere and anyway someone ended up voiding my ticket and I was back where I was twenty effing minutes before still with no idea how to find the damn train station.

That’s right. I got lost in a parking garage.

So three times on my way to hell, the GPS is telling me I have arrived at my destination. (Nuh-uh!!) And my son is texting me that they are standing right across from a big Safeway and right then I see a Safeway!

Only it’s not clear how to get there and I took a wrong turn onto … actually the street I was looking for anyway. And there was a Starbucks with PARKING! (It’s a fucking miracle that there is free parking in downtown San Francisco — kind of South of Marketish I don’t really know for sure) so I parked at the Starbucks and told my son to find me.

::::hand waving:::::

There was some confusion, mostly my fault — imagine that– about directions and they walked the wrong way and NOBODY including me was dressed for San Francisco. It was cold. Because it happens the Safeway I saw was not the Safeway they were seeing. Then someone on twitter (you know who you are) said I needed a 12 digit grid cord and then they could find me. And what the hell Army thing is that? Because this person is in the Army. Meanwhile I paid $2.45 for a mint tea I didn’t want so I wouldn’t feel guilty about using the Starbuck’s bathroom.

So anyway an hour later they find me and we got the hell out of San Francisco.

And this is why I am NEVER the navigator.  The upside is that by the time we were leaving traffic wasn’t hardly bad at all.

 

 

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