madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The pile of dirty litter grows deeper, you bet.

The list for the kitten room gave 13 cats. There were also six kittens, who are listed separately. (As I've mentioned before, "kitten room" is a designation, not a description.

Large picture file )

Current events

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:30 pm
filkerdave: (oh good god)
[personal profile] filkerdave
We used to agree that Nazis were the bad guys.

Choosing issues for convenience

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:04 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
On August 8, Donald Trump said: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." The news media have been making excuses for him, saying he really didn't mean it.

On August 12, Trump uttered vague generalities after Heather Heyer was killed in what was apparently a terrorist attack.

Both are contemptible, but the first was off the scale. Let's be plain about this: The president of the United States threatened a nuclear first strike as retaliation for threats. He has the power to carry out the threat personally. Yet from everything I've seen, the second met with far greater outrage. It was outrage of convenience. The Democrats have long lost any plausibility as the party of peace. Obama cemented Bush's wars into a permanent routine that shows no sign of ending. Taking a stand against blowing up the world doesn't fit into a useful narrative.

On the other hand, Charlottesville gave the Democrats a chance to build alliances, to show that whatever their differences with others, 99% of us can unite against people who wear KKK hoods and make Nazi salutes. This would have been a dreadful tactical mistake, of course. Instead, we saw this tweet, which proclaims, "Next time someone tells you not to treat Trump supporters as if they are Nazis, show them this." (The picture shows a guy with a swastika armband and a "Make America Great Again" cap.

Violence against Nazis is OK. Trump supporters are the same as Nazis. Therefore ... the logic is irrefutable. Go forth and beat up anyone you disagree with!

I saw that because a filker retweeted it. I realize that retweets aren't always endorsements, so I'll refrain from giving a name, but when no further context is offered, it certainly looks like an endorsement.

Some people either actually think there are millions of Nazi supporters in the US. They say everyone who voted for Trump (including significant numbers of black voters) is a racist. Are you surprised now when the true, hardcore racists feel encouraged? Progressives keep telling them they've got lots of support. Surprise! They believe it, and they're acting boldly!

They provide a convenient narrative of "It's either them or us." If all you're thinking of is getting your candidates elected, that may be useful. But it pushes people toward, if not supporting the "them" side, seeing no point in speaking out against the "them." Why bother if you're going to be smeared anyway?

What about the Republicans who've capitulated to Trump in just about everything? Aren't they at least as much to blame? Yes, but I don't think any of them will read this. There's no purpose in my addressing them here. It's the people who measure Trump's actions by how much political fuel they can get out of them whom I'm addressing.

Do you care about building opposition to an administration that a large majority of Americans hold in contempt, or do you find it more satisfying to take advantage of it to get your own party into power? You still have the choice.

Catching up with the future

Aug. 13th, 2017 11:48 pm
lemmozine: (Default)
[personal profile] lemmozine
I'm not going to talk about politics here, other than events and actions that concern me personally. I do a lot of ranting about politics over on Facebook, and all I have to say is, the last couple of days have been personally draining to me.

Partly because my health insurance after 9/1/17 is uncertain (I'm on a program that renews manually every 6 months, my circumstances are changing, and I may or may not qualify again), I've been doing all the medical stuff that needs doing with a deadline of the end of August. I've also (shhhhh!) been ordering my 90 day prescriptions at the 2 month line on the dot faithfully, and I'm a bit ahead, which will tide me over at least until 1/1/18, when I may be on a different insurance.

I don't want to go into TMI personal med stuff, but I had 2 appointments last week (including the one where one needs to bring along a driver), I have 2 more this week (both follow up visits, first with specialist, second with PCP), and the following week 2 more (dermatologist and chiropractor.)

On the 17th, my birthday, I will be signing the closing papers for the reverse mortgage. I've been planning and reading about this for 7 years, since I took early retirement, and I'm sick of hearing uninformed people saying, "Don't do it!" My other choice is to sell the house and use up all the money on rent, then die in poverty, or sell the house and move to a more affordable area (Waco seems cheap, or Flint, Michigan, where houses go for practically nothing.) - I don't want to do those things. So, reverse mortgage it is. It funds on the 22nd, which means I can pay a few overdue bills, get things like glasses and shoes that I've been putting off, and stuff like that. I only get a percentage the first year, and most of the cash isn't available until year 2. I do have some plans for that cash, but the focus is to hang on to the bulk of it for income and/or emergencies. Out of the bit I get in - 8 days now - they're holding out a large sum for some painting work that needs to be done. Thus far, I've had one bid, and didn't much like the bidder or the bid. If I can get the painting done for what I think is a reasonable amount, I'll save about 2-3,000.

Monthly, I will have more spending cash due to not paying a mortgage any longer, and that extra cash will go toward improving my enjoyment of life. Little things. Like flying into cons on Thursday instead of Friday so I can get over jet lag and enjoy Fridays more. I plan to stay in the hotel for MileHiCon this year instead of going Saturday only as I have the past few times. It will be nice to have a place to put stuff, so I'm not walking around carrying things all day. Perhaps I'll have money for t-shirts and books and CDs, and going out to eat more than once during a con. I'm sure I'll go to more concerts, see movies in theaters, and so on. There are also home repairs to do, some now, and some in the future.

I have other plans. It's been really difficult to relax the past 7 years sweating out the paychecks, and one of the changes will be a bit more time, I hope, to devote to things that I consider more productive, like songwriting, getting back to that novel I started in 1972, reading books (!), and playing music outside the house more often.

I love house concerts, and there are two I'm planning to go to on my calendar for September. A lot of great music coming up. Tom Paxton will be here - I thought I'd read he was cutting way down on touring, and didn't expect to see him again, so that will be a treat.
akawil: Powerpuff Wil (Default)
[personal profile] akawil
My father died Thursday evening. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last November; this was apparently actually on the long side for survival for a cancer of this type.

I was down there visiting him just last weekend, for which I'm very grateful. He was fully lucid and happy to see me (though extremely weak).

He was a good man, and a good dad, and I'll miss him very much.

I may have more to say after I've processed more.

(And I'm glad now I tried to sell my Worldcon membership, or I wouldn't have posted to this journal since my grandfather died eight years ago. I need to post more, or indeed at all.)

(no subject)

Aug. 13th, 2017 06:38 pm
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
On Patreon this week, a new Callenwood song. You get to meet the villain of the piece, The Mayor Of Callen.

PLUS, last weeks song finally gets posted. There was a quick voice memo version for folks to listen to, now hear it with guitar too!

Blues From A Castle, in which a Prince tells us what he really wants!

https://www.patreon.com/Cheshiremoon

MUSIC !!!

Aug. 12th, 2017 07:40 pm
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
So, we've collected a ton of new things to share with you so far this year! A new album in two different versions. They can be purchased through our website, cheshiremoon.net as well as all of our older CDs. You can listen to everything we have out right now and buy MP3s at our bandcamp page, cheshiremoon.bandcamp.com!

We have released demos of 31 new songs so far this year on our Patreon page. Some of them will be on our upcoming CD Callenwood. Some will show up in other projects. Some will only be found on our Patreon page.

For $1 you get a song a week. For $2 you get a song a week, and a CD of the best of those songs recorded in our favorite studio at the end of the year, plus you get to vote on which songs get re-recorded.

With the backers we have now, we can pay for the studio time to record, with just a few more we can pay to press the CDs.

Keeping the music flowing, thanks to the love and support of you guys! Thank you!!

p,s, If you have purchased our music on Bandcamp, please make comments on those songs.

Funeral

Aug. 12th, 2017 04:47 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
This morning I went with Paul and Virginia to Helva's funeral in Arlington, Mass. Spencer was also there. It was a Christian service, more so than Helva would have liked, but I think she understood that the family had to have that kind of service. The first of the hymns was one I was comfortable singing along with. I just kept respectful silence during the other hymns and responsive readings.

Her youngest sister delivered a eulogy that let me learn a lot about her that I hadn't known before. (However, if I'm ever dying and in great pain and say "Jesus!" that doesn't mean I've converted to Christianity.) The most moving moment was the recording of Helva singing "God lives on Terra."

While I don't like going to church funerals, I'm glad I did.

Tales of the ER, also life

Aug. 12th, 2017 05:43 am
blueraccoon: (khan sleep)
[personal profile] blueraccoon
After a week of migraine, Morgan and I wound up in the ER Friday evening. deets below )

In other life news, I have a phone screen on Monday for a job I think I'm mostly qualified for. Wish me luck; I need it.

In other other life news, my MIL is visiting for a week. Both Morgan and I are happy to see her, although by the time she goes home I think we'll both be ready for that.

In other awesome news, Buddy's three year adoptaversary was Monday! We can't believe we've had him three years; on the one hand it feels like we've had him forever but on the other I can't believe it's been three years already. Monday he and I went out to get all the treats, and then Thursday Morgan, MIL, and I took Buddy to the dog park.

He is the best dog ever and you will never convince me otherwise.

A Different Kind of Practice

Aug. 11th, 2017 09:54 pm
catsittingstill: (Default)
[personal profile] catsittingstill
So a couple of days ago I was walking around campus catching Pokémon in the dark again. I don't walk around after dark all that much these days (just how my schedule works out; I'm one of the lucky few who has never been afraid of walking around at night) but when I do, Pokémon are usually involved in some way.
And I was down in the cafeteria / student activity center / campus security office corner where there are 4 Pokestops pretty close together when I heard what sounded like a scream. I stopped and looked up from my phone. Nothing. There were several Pokémon handy so I sidled in that direction while catching Pokémon. Presently I heard another shriek and what sounded like a slap.
Now I was concerned. It's hard for me to tell, from any distance, the difference between people shrieking because they are playing around and people who are actually in trouble. But this sounded like it might be trouble. So I walked in that direction.
There's a few small 2 story apartment buildings in the area and a little white house and a few other buildings, and I walked quietly down the cross street, listening. I heard another shriek from the house and saw a silhouette of someone near the blinds, whose shadow moved across the window and away as they moved quickly into the room.
I had time to think a lot of things. It might be a domestic violence incident. It might be students just playing around. Knocking on the door would be embarrassing. But what if someone was being beaten in there and I walked away and left them to it? Maybe I should call the police. But police bring guns, and guns can go wrong very quickly; if they're people of color, or speak a foreign language, that might not be safe for them, and what if I called the police on some kids who were just playing around and they ended up shooting someone?
It takes longer to lay it out here than it did to flip through it mentally, but I decided the only ethical course was to knock on the door myself. As an older white woman I have a bit more social license to be a meddler than I did when I was younger, so I'm unlikely to be physically attacked, and I'm not going to shoot anyone because I have no gun, so that just seemed safest all around. And if it looked like someone in there needed the police I could always call once I knew that.
I walked up to the door nerving myself up. The door had a window in it, also with blinds. I knocked on the door, beside the window.
A half-naked young white man (I could only see his chest; that is all I can speak to) lifted the blinds to see who was knocking, got an instant appalled look, and darted away, leaving the blinds swinging. A young white woman (clothed) seized the swinging blind and lifted it to look. I smiled at her in an embarrassed way and lifted both hands palm up in a "well, what could I do?" shrug, that had a bit of "explain this to me please" in it, I think, because she opened the door just enough to slip out and stand in front of it, screening what sounded like some hasty rummaging inside.
I said "I'm sorry, I thought I heard a scream. Is everyone alright in there?" I could hear voices inside, but couldn't make out the words, though the tone sounded more surprised and embarrassed than anything else.
The young woman said "Oh it's fine; a moth got in and my friend is scared to death of bugs" or something like that. She looked a bit embarrassed, but not frightened or angry. At this point the young man, now in a tee shirt, came back into my line of view, looking embarrassed but not like he was coming down from some angry fit.
I said "Okay, that's fine, as long as nobody is getting hurt." Several assurances everything was fine, and no sound of someone crying or being restrained, no sign of blood or bruises on the visible two so I apologized and walked away.
I guess part of watching is going to be being more of a meddlesome busybody with her nose in everyone's business but I can't think of any other way to help keep people safe in Trumpland. People don't generally die of embarrassment and I suppose I won't either.
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