left_turns: (Default)
[personal profile] left_turns posting in [community profile] common_nature
I went up to Chicago a couple months ago and keep forgetting to post this. I spent a day at the zoo and conservatory in Lincoln Park near the lake shore. I nearly didn't bother with the children's zoo, but I ended up over there looking for something else. The trails through it are set up like a woodland trail--sort of narrow and winding through a lot of birch plantings, and covered in bird poo. Near one stand of trees, the zoo had posted a few signs saying basically "yes, we know the paths are messy and please also don't bother the herons above you; those aren't ours."

Apparently black-crowned night herons are on the Illinois state endangered list, but there's been a flock of them nesting in the zoo and somewhere else further south in the park for the last few summers.

+5 )

I wonder how it got there..

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:04 am
manuleanders: (Default)
[personal profile] manuleanders posting in [community profile] common_nature
tree in abandoned building

Probably via bird poop? Or wind.

Shards of Time

Aug. 18th, 2017 09:39 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
It's been a strange and disruptive past few days, and one which I am at peace with a certain resilience to stich things together and still have the opportunity for other actions. Initially the most serious problem was the discovery early Tuesday morning that Spartan had crashed. I quickly diagnosed it as a networking issue; the home, project, and scratch directories had all been lost and along with it, every running job screamed and died. As others came on board and I fielded users, we eventually narrowed it down to what appears to be a bug in a Cisco switch that was sending duplicate packets. Congratulations are due to Nhat, NinjaDan, Linh, and Mark M., for their efforts here. Making good of the opportunity we restarted all the nodes with a kernel upgrade as well, which were intending to do anyway, and brought nearly all the partitions online. Overall the detection, investigation, and recovery took the better part of two days, and I cannot help but be impressed by how calm and smoothly the operations ran under such apparent disaster. Arguably the degree of panic in situations like this is an indication of experienced versus inexperienced sysadmins.

The following day went to the hospital to visit Rick and also to see the social worker and doctor to discuss his situation. I signed myself up to pay for his transitional care until VCAT approves my application to receive power of financial attorney in addition to medical attorney. Six months ago he was giving presentations on the admixture of modern humans with archiac hominids, and the peculiar differences between reptilian and mammalian brains. Now, due to rapid onset dementia, he doesn't know what suburb he'd lived in for the past thirty years, the fact he has a brother, or where he was born, and his vocabulary has been reduced to probably less than a dozen words. He'll be spending his days staring out the window or at the television in his room, and that's all there is to it. I'll visit his flat and see if there's any music for him, based on prior studies. It's terrible witnessing such a clever and diverse mind disappear so quickly.

There have been other activities in the past few days. I have preparing heavily for the Isocracy AGM on Wednesday evening which will be addressed by Kos Samaras, assistant state-secretary of the Victorian ALP, speaking on The Reawakening of the Working Class. My own latest written contribution to Isocracy in the past few days has been a piece of the advantages of proportional representation. On Wednesday night we caught up with old university science fiction friend and now Greens activist, Tom S. and friend to see the director's cut of Dark City, the noir SF film which still well holds over the years. Finally, to finish things off last night went to a meeting of Free Software Melbourne at Electron Workshop; whilst it was supposed to be a games night we were distracted by the presence of Margaret Gordon, a documentary maker who wanted to know more about this Linux thing.

The lurgy recedes

Aug. 18th, 2017 06:10 pm
rattfan: (pic#11660308)
[personal profile] rattfan
I'm still feeling wonky, with a chest full of gunk, but have begun to suspect I might live.  Not good to get sick, but at least I made it back before I began to feel really bad.  In Changi Airport I was aware of *really* wanting some icecream - couldn't find, but got some iced coffee - but still thought/hoped it was travel fatigue.

About international travel these days:

I was glad to find that the dire warnings about extra travel time were not exactly accurate, well, not if you were travelling around midnight, which is the first time that's actually been an advantage.  Customs is more automated than when last I travelled in 2013 and provided one did not screw up - there are a surprising number of ways you can present your passport to a scanner - it was very quick.  

I set off alarms on my outward journey going through the scanning doorway, and had to go back, remove my belt and then hold my pants up with one hand while I waited for my belt to rejoin me.  Also new;  while lining up for the luggage scan, a drug dog with its handler ran along the line, sniffing at speed.  It didn't find anyone interesting.  [Reminder to self; don't pat the drug dog.]  They also had somebody checking passports - basically that you actually had one, and a boarding pass - before you even got into the room with the scanning equipment.

The admonition over the loudspeaker to report "peculiar behaviour" was constant;  I must have heard it 20 or 30 times, but I'm still here, so I must've been normal enough.  The first flight, Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, was absolutely chockers and while the staff aboard did their best, it was just too crammed for comfort.  They don't seem to do the hot towels thing anymore, which I used to appreciate.  I spent the trip hating on my seatmate, because he was able to go to sleep.

The Finnair flight from Hong Kong had more room and I'd booked a seat with more leg room which I appreciated, but note to the wise;  may not be worth it next time because you are in direct line of sight to the loo so get bright light flashed in your eyes whenever someone opens the door.  Which was constantly, on outward and return flights.  I was barely conscious at landing, and appreciated a monosyllabic taxi driver on the way to the hotel.


Aug. 17th, 2017 05:48 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Can maintain disdainful detachment even as another, unfamiliar, cat thoughtfully grooms Fig's hind paw.

And we're home and dry.

Aug. 18th, 2017 03:20 am
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
You know, after the 13 hour flight from Helsinki to Changi,  a brief 45 minute outside a plane in Changi, and then the 4 and a half hours flight from Changi to Perth and the drive home from the international airport, (thanks Ros!) it feels *really* good to have a hot shower!

G'day Changi.

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:24 pm
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
Nice thunderstorm. Dunno if it'll affect the flight.

101 Update

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:07 am
zhelana: (hockey - joy)
[personal profile] zhelana
Progress This week:

Prepare and teach a class on Judaism in period - I'm reading a book on the Khazars although this is not the class I planned. This may wind up being a second class and I'll still do the one I planned though.

Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - Well I had some difficulty figuring out how to do it on AO3 so I'm putting it on ff.net.

30 entries to monthly diary day - yep posted this month.

30 new kiva loans - did that on the 15th, I made a loan to Zamiyya Natalia for education expenses in the Dominican Republic.

Read 3 books on the Kyivan Rus - there may not be 3 English language books on the Kyivan Rus. I'm searching. Though I'm currently reading a book on the Khazars which mentions them, and I'm counting.

Listen to 90 podcasts - I listened to one about whether we've historically had a right to privacy in this country. Spoiler alert: that's a no.

Read the entire bible - I've started 1 Kings

Back to boring

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:48 am
rattfan: Quote from Seanan McGuire's Incryptid series (Incryptid quote Seanan McGuire)
[personal profile] rattfan
 And I mean really boring.  Now enjoying the worst of the cold, so nothing's happening until I get over it.  Congrats to those people who avoided me at the con;  you dodged a bullet.   Unfortunately there do seem to have been a lot of bullets; somebody on the Worldcon group on Facebook began a list.

Gene, PRK, Lawrie;  how's your health?!

read recently

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:49 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Three very good new to me books:

N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky.

Corinne Duyvis, On The Edge Of Gone.

Corinne Duyvis, Otherbound.

Cut for length, hints of squashing brainweasels, and a quote with minor spoilers. Read more... )

Banded demoiselle

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:39 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] common_nature
Banded demoiselle
Banded demoiselle perched on the roof of the woodshed. The toddler was delighted.

We get these damselflies as well as dragonflies flitting through our canal-side garden every year, but they don’t often stop and say hello.

con crud

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:01 pm
rattfan: (Default)
[personal profile] rattfan
I thought these achy feelings, sniffle and scratchy throat were due to ignoring my diet and travel fatigue, but I think I actually have a cold.  I've certainly had enough sleep and didn't feel bad at all after waking up on my first morning in Helsinki.

There's a growing list of those who have suffered "con crud" and I think I must add myself.  Oh well, got a few days to get over it.  Today's activities were much more mundane than on the trip:  just went to get some groceries as there was nothing here to eat that wasn't a Vitaweat or a cup of English Breakfast tea.   Also am doing laundry.  There are more t-shirts than there were before.


leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)

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