sandy river swimming

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:33 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
This afternoon I went to the Sandy River.

Read more... )

Greetings from Elmsford

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:01 am
littlereview: (little review)
[personal profile] littlereview
After an uneventful morning which I spent with Adam, who decided to work from home, Paul came home early so he and I could pack up and drive to New York. (Adam opted to remain in Maryland so he could continue to celebrate his birthday among friends.) We had moderate traffic, with a brief stop in Delaware for gas and a slightly longer one in New Jersey for dinner, but we enjoyed good weather and we saw many deer and several groundhogs along the side of the road. Here are a few photos from before the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the sky over Elmsford:

17nytr1
Driving North )
helenkacan: (Default)
[personal profile] helenkacan
Yes, I did good today. The day began auspiciously as I managed to sleep in all the way to 8:26. Excellent! I saw there was an e-mail from the admin with her attempt of a letter attached. I ignored it, needing to chill and have brekkie first. Then I attacked the editing job. It was actually quite easy and I just polished it a little. I then sent it back to her. Naturally, she was delighted, yadda yadda.

Okay, my day is going well. Next on the list was feeding the cats which means corralling them first. Yeah. Lovely. Well, I fed the two that were there, but left the back door open. When I returned to the kitchen, I was so surprised to see Grumpy sitting obediently next to the screen door, waiting to be let in. Awwwww, Grumpy. So he got a little food too, eating from Diva's bowl. So, that was taken care of, too.

I'd already listened to the national radio interview our new pastor had this morning. He thoughtfully added the direct link to his FB post. Good thing, as I don't have a radio. He was also interviewed on the national 6:00 p.m. TV broadcast. I DVR'd it, but didn't need to, because he supplied a link. Yay, Jeff. You rock (inside joke)!

Spent the rest of the day being lazy. Well, I think I earned it. Read my Trek book and tried to catch up on FB which is usually a hopeless task. Also exchanging comments with Brian who's at the airport. He still has 2.5 hours (there's a delay) until his plane takes off for Paris. Wheeeee. Anyway, as I'm not on my way to Paris ::sniffs:: I think I'm returning to reading.

A bit wet

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:17 am
vilakins: Vila in cold-weather clothes looking unhappy (weather)
[personal profile] vilakins
One of the many reasons we moved to Oamaru was the weather. It's a lot drier here than wet, humid Auckland.

The latest storm hit the whole country, but especially the east coast of the South Island, this area particularly badly. Oamaru got over three months of rain in 26 hours. The infrastructure couldn't take it, rivers have flooded their banks, State Highway 1 is closed in many places including downhill from us where it crossed the river, and houses in the North End, a flat coastal area, are flooded, and steep Don Street, one we considered, is now a river with water running under houses.

At first I was pleased to live on a hill - and so far we're all right as the rain continues - but we woke up to see a slip on the hill opposite. There aren't houses on the slope (another reason for picking this place - nice view) but I suspect there are on the flat under it.

We have to go to Christchurch next week, so I hope the roads are open by then.
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
          . . . . Even on the ASOIAF forum HBO's announced next project with D&D alternate history in which the southern antebellum slaveocracy successfully seceded has set off a sh*t storm, on the order of "Bad Idea or Worst Idea?" with loads of people weighing in with all the cliched, stereotypical expected responses, which basically say --

Woo! slavery's so haut!

It's just entertainment what's your problem?

How can you condemn something that hasn't even been written yet?

The Civil War wasn't about slavery.

Antebellum slavery couldn't industrialize because it was a feudal system not a capitalist system.

The north didn't care about slavery.

There were very few abolitionists (and evidently, judging by these comments, not a single person of color -- or white woman -- was in favor of abolition or against slavery, and this was wholly a white man's war.

Why not just have let 'em have their part of the country and all would be fine.

Slavery would have just withered away.

Blahblahblahblah.

To be able to combat these idiocies coolly and effectively, one needs to be armed -- and trust me, those thoughtlessly regurgitating these cliches are not.  One must point out particularly what the slavocracy's objectives were (number 1: expansion of slavery) there are a few books one can read to make one competent. One should read them too,  because what most people think they know about antebellum slavery, "the underground railroad," abolition and the roots of the War of Southern Aggression ( A/K/A officially labeled the War of the Rebellion) are at best out-dated (such as slavery was a feudal system), and at worst,  just wrong (the north didn't give a damn about slavery).


For example, Eugene Genovese's thesis that slavery was feudal not capitalist, has been dismantled by vast scholarship in the last twenty - thirty years. Enormous amounts of scholarship has gone into the history of antebellum slavery in all its aspects since the Civil Rights Movement, and historians everywhere have been reaping the benefits of this in the last 2 - 3 decades.  The same is true for the war effort itself.


Here is a very short list of books than anyone who wants to speak of the system of antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression should read:


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself;

Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley (Keckley was the US's first African American 

couturier-- right before secession she dressed both Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Davis. She became Mary Todd Lincoln's confidant in the White House. The book is a mixture of authentic memoir and fiction;

Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee--The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged  by William C. Davis;

General Lee's Army: From Victory to Defeat by Joseph Glatthaar;

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matt Karp;

The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry by Ned and Constance Sublette -- which runs down in a chronological, fast-reading narrative the latest scholarship about slavery in North America from the earlier colonial era to Emancipation, including the influence and effects the system within the larger European and hemispheric historical context, but the focus is on the economics of the enslaved bodies themselves -- without which the South had no wealth;

Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement by Fergus M. Bordewich;

Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey -- an interesting contrast to how the Union State Department was seeing the situation with England in particular through the experiences of the US minister's mission to Saint James;

Mary Chesnut's Civil War; the carefully edited after-the-fact diary of a the wife of the South Carolina senator James Chestnut Jr., until secession, after which he served as an aide to Jeff Davis and a brigadier general in charge of South Carolina's reserves (though not seeing action, of course, being such a slavocracy nabob);

The Free State of Jones by by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer -- Mississippians (the state with largest number of millionaires in the country prior to Emancipation) who were neither segregationists nor secessionist, nor were they nabobs -- they suffered and they resisted and fought back.

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams.  He writes of his first hand experiences at the highest levels of England's and France's government during the first years of the war, as private secretary to his father, Francis Adams, as minister to Saint James.

Two things we must never forget about antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression: African Americans played an immense role in abolition and emancipation.  Escaped slaves and free people of color founded newspapers, wrote books, spoke at endless meetings, organized a relief and assistance for those who managed to escape.  They labored endlessly to keep the issues of the Fugitive Slave Act and Dred Scott in the forefront of progressive minds.  Here we see the first nexus of authentic cooperative action -- not just words! -- of black and white, male and female. Never underestimate the power of people with god-given mission for moral improvement (look at how the evangelicals etc. have managed to just about disappear not only abortion, but any woman's reproductive health care from so many places in this nation, even though it is all legal).


And we must never forget that while the north for the most part, as well as the Union, when the time came, though deeply white supremacist, was also deeply antagonistic to slave labor, for it undercut wages across the board for everyone (as keeping the wages of Haitians at a few cents an hour is the benchmark for wages throughout the hemisphere currently)-- as well as threatening having work at all.  With this half of the 19th century receiving boatloads of immigrants every day, the competition for jobs was fierce.


Having slavery forced upon free soil states was not in their interests -- just as the Fugitive Slave Act was antithetical to their interests, economically, politically, and socially.  Anyone could point to your daughter and son, declare her, him a runaway slave and there was no legal recourse -- and you were supposed to help them.


Don't forget by now there was a large percentage of legally enslaved who had white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair, thanks to generations of white men raping African American women for both fun and profit -- every slave child born provided the slave owner with at least another $50 of credit, in a culture that didn't have money per se, only credit, vastly based in the bodies of their slaves.


So skin color was not a final defense by any means -- nor was an accused runaway allowed to have or speak a defense!  People in the north did not like this.  This brought more people into the anti-slavery factions than anything else, and did it so fast the south couldn't believe it was happening.


You have to know all this and much more besides, and know it inside and out, viscerally, before you can write successfully about anything to do with the history of the war, slavery, and what happened. And the more one knows -- seeing from the benefit of hindsight-- the more one knows it couldn't have happened any other way.


What cannot be white washed away in any kind of entertainment is that slavery = rape and every kind of violence perpetrated on people who have no legal right to object or fight back. Which is why so many can't seem to let it go (see above -- slavery's haut! How dare you object to what turns us on?).  They want and revel in with all their being, the joy of feeling dominant, doing whatever they wish (or their fantasy surrogates do to women and others whatever they wish), to deliberately make people suffer both physical abuse and emotional abuse.


We see this particularly in the many stories or program that involves artificial intelligence / androids. There is no fun in hurting and degrading a sentience that doesn't feel abused and degraded, that in really has no free will or feeling. Thus all the plot lines is giving the androids a/is actual humanity or having them develop it -- so they can feel humiliated and degraded. (A rare exception to this is Ex Machina, an adroid who does feel outrage, but is also entirely sociopathic, lacking all the human feelings and values -- just like slave owner.  She gets hers, and is now unleashed upon the world of poor unsuspecting male victims. O noes!)


We say, for the sake of the story, so people can have identification with the characters we have to give them human feelings.  I.e. we need that dominance from built in abuse.  Which is why this will not help and will make things worse.  D&D have a track record, and that track record is out there for all to see and read.


Entertainments have civic, ethical, social, political and historical responsibilities too.  To say "it's only for fun," -- just think about what that fun consists of.


Then there's this, that so many of us find the entire concept sickening on so many levels, delights the ilks that are D&D -- it means they won, which is supremely depressing.

this red tape is made of blood

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:24 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Paperwork headdesking: a simplified transcript.

Warnings for major complications of the 'bureaucracy is literally trying to kill you' sort, systemic transmisia & ableism & classism, capitalism devouring its young.

Read more... )

FUCK FUCK FUCK. *sound effects of smashing things, ripping with vicious claws*

I'm going out. *doorslam*

ETA: I did indeed go out and that was good. I went swimming in a river! And other things have come along that need dealt with, sigh. Thank you for all the support, both those of you who have commented and anyone reading and well-wishing later. I may close comments here shortly because I need to move on mentally; we'll see. <3

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:19 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Happy birthday, [personal profile] coughingbear!

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:43 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Happy Birthday [personal profile] coughingbear

Just One Thing (21 July 2017)

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:26 am
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

Poem for Friday and 21st Birthday

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:49 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
[personal profile] littlereview
Dinner of Herbs )

Thursday was Adam's 21st birthday! He had to work, though he didn't need the car so I got to get done various chores that required going out, but when he and Paul got home, we picked up my parents and went to The Melting Pot for dinner. We all ate way too much -- we had the four-course meal, which in my case included fiesta cheese, the California salad, tofu and veggies, and three kinds of chocolate in two fondue pots -- but it was all awesome and I hope Adam enjoyed it a much I as I did. We stopped at home briefly to give him presents, then he went to College Park to celebrate properly with his friends! A few photos:

17abday4
Birthday Celebrating )

The mediator(?!?) is IN.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:30 pm
helenkacan: (Default)
[personal profile] helenkacan
Because there aren't enough weird things happening in my life, I got an e-makl request from the admin of my meals provider asking me to call her as soon as. Well, I couldn't quite then because my cellphone was recharging. So I decided to try using SuM's phone. Only ONE problem. I'd never used that cordless before and couldn't see the display. Sigh. So I sent a reply saying I couldn't talk for a couple of hours. We kept e-mailing back and forth and I agreed to call her around 8. Well, she was busy (at home) when I called, so I waited until she called me back. We were on the phone for 48 minutes. OMG. It turns out she's having an interpersonal problem and was asking for my take on it. I gave her my advice. Let's see if it helps calm the situation.

The rest of my day was fairly calm. I slept in all the way to 8:16 which delighted me. Though the heat and humidity had broken, we were faced with torrential rains (more flooding of the river near me) and a sudden decrease in temperature. But not enough to convince Grumpy to show up. Sigh. That cat! I also sent an e-mail to my new friend at the blind group, asking if she was going to attend the next two functions ... and whether she'd like to go out for Chinese on the Saturday of the August long weekend. Alas, no reply yet.

Then I spent a really long time washing out my recycling. Yuck. But I got it ALL done. Unfortunately I was a little dozy when watching the usual TV shows tonight. Anyway, I think I'll return to reading "Rogue One" for a while. Tomorrow I plan to borrow a couple more library books. Whee.
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