Final Blists hill pics

Jun. 24th, 2017 12:41 pm
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 Back to sunny after a glitch yesterday.

We've been down to the POW (People of Wellington) festival this morning- a fun multicultural do in the churchyard and market square. We partook of Bryony's vegan pasties which are SO good!

Any road up- 't pics!



Further pics behind the cut: )

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm
halley: (Default)
[personal profile] halley posting in [community profile] lj_refugees

I hope it's alright for me to post this here.
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 Huzzah! Photobucket have finally deigned to get their $%^&! act together after being down for several hours.

So, the walk I promised you yesterday!

This is the headstock of the mine cage I posted yesterday- if that cable ever snapped, you had a lot of dead and badly injured miners on your hands:



More pics! )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why a so-called "pro-life" world has a lot of dead women in it. It isn't really pro-life unless it includes food and shelter and clothes for everyone, health care for everyone, and income for everyone. That's pro-life. RetroRepublicans are only pro-birth; they don't give a damn what happens once that baby is here.

In Missouri, if you use birth control, had an abortion or are pregnant (covering all bases, you notice), you can lose a job, be fired, be not hired. I assume they are not counting condoms as birth control, or they'd have to fire a lot of men, and that just wouldn't do, would it? ::sarcasm filter on full blast:: More on this ignorant stupidity here.



***

Police are literally dragging people away from Sen. McConnell's office as protests break out over the Republican anti-health bill. I refuse to call it a health bill; it is against health.

The Trump occupation will allow nursing homes to strip residents of their legal rights. I want this one to go all the way to the Supreme Court so it can be slapped down so hard it echoes. And Trump has removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies. Can we have *him* tell the grizzlies that? Up close and personal?

Oh, and His Trumpetness's minions say diabetics "don't deserve" health insurance.

***

The Supreme Court unanimously made it harder for the government to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Why aren't bisexuals more welcomed at Pride?

A hospice for elderly dogs who have been abandoned by owners who can't/won't deal with the medical costs that come with age, or whose people have died and have nobody to take them.

Unexpected encounters, part 2

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:32 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The new campsite was a dozen or more miles away, next to a creek, and the only sign of bear was aged dry bear scat that was old and dry enough that it didn't smell. Scotty headed for the outhouse -- and backed out. I took a look in -- I've seen pincushions less full of needles. It seems that a porcupine had climbed in through the outhouse's tiny window (chewed a bit larger for the trip, from the teeth marks) in order to gnaw on and lick salt from the toilet seat (yes, sweat contains salt.) Scotty took a pair of plyers from the car and spent half an hour pulling the most obnoxious of the porcupine quills so the place was usable. (I kept a handful of them for years; I think they vanished in a move.)

We put up the tent, hiked a bit more, cooked dinner, put the rest of the food in the car (the creek was too nearby, and we'd used up the things that needed to be chilled. It was a dark night, clouded over, so we went to sleep fairly early.

And in the middle of the night I woke up.

I had the sense that someone was watching me.

It wasn't Scotty. He was asleep, like a rock.

I could barely hear something walking around outside the tent, circling, looking in at the flap (which was zipped to keep out mosquitos but had a gap where it tied,) and circling again. And again. A faint sense of someone breathing. Not as big as the bear, but with more intention and curiosity. It must have circled half a dozen times before it left.

I fell asleep again.

In the morning, it was plain that we'd had a visitor -- a wolf whose paw prints, with the clearly marked claws, were longer than my hand (and I have long fingers). He'd left us an indication that this was *his* territory -- a small mountain of wolf droppings at least a foot high, right in front of the Mustang's fender. We didn't see him again, and I didn't sense him, but I wished I'd had a bit of plaster of paris to make a cast of one of those tracks, and find some proportion chart to learn just how big he was.

We didn't have any more encounters, and stayed there the rest of the time -- but I had my ears and eyes open in case that wolf was keeping an eye on us still.

Farmer's Market Dinner!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:36 am
dorchadas: (Kirby Spaceship Happy)
[personal profile] dorchadas
It's farmer's market season, and we live pretty close to a large farmer's market. [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd had the idea to start going there every Wednesday and make dinner using fresh ingredients from the market, since right now she's working the summer school shift and so gets done with work just after noon, and yesterday was the first dinner she made. And it was delicious.

Food pictures )

Everything tasted amazing, and it wasn't particularly expensive either! Less expensive than going out to dinner, which only makes sense since we had to cook and clean it up. This was a trial run to see if we wanted to make it a Wednesday tradition, and it came off splendidly. And tasty.  photo Emot-happycat.gif

Madeley and Blists Hill

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:15 pm
cmcmck: (Morandi)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 We took a bus over to Madeley yesterday. It's about six miles or so from us.

We were going to Blists Hill which is a former heavy industrial site- coal and lead mining, clay extraction and iron and steel founding and brickmaking. Classic Midlands industrial complex.

It also has the remains of railways and the Shopshire Union Canal plus an inclined plane to get canal traffic down to the River Severn.

In more recent times, it's been turned into a living history museum with buildings slated for demolition being moved in to create a late Victorian town. The date placed on the town as seen is 1900.

As we walked through Madeley to get to Blists Hill we passed the King's Barn. This is now converted to dwellings but is one of the places King Charles II hid out after the disastrous Battle of Worcester (on his way to Boscobel -you may remember I posted from there a while back)

It's a very fine example of a Tudor barn indeed!



More pics )

unexpected encounters, part 1

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:18 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was grad school, and I had a short break coming up. Scotty, the guy I was dating, and I decided to go camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. He was from Alaska; I had gone camping for several years with Girl Scouts. We had the equipment, and we headed off to a campsite in the mountains; you didn't have to reserve one, you could just show up and if it wasn't being used, you could have it.

It was raining the first night we were there, so we slept in the Mustang; Ford should know that Mustangs are designed as road cars, not as hotel rooms. Not the best way to sleep, so I wasn't that awake the next day. I made a fire, we had breakfast, and after we hiked for a bit to find the nearest stream and look around, Scotty went to see if there were any other campsites open, such as ones with a lean-to -- those usually need reservations, but you could get lucky.

I stayed at the campsite, which had an outhouse, a fire pit, and not much more. We'd sunk the food in the creek to keep it cool and also reduce the food smell for any animals around, so I wasn't that worried. It was quiet. I went into the outhouse to do what you do in an outhouse.

And, not long after I'd turned the wooden latch on the door, I heard footsteps outside, heavy footsteps, and the kind of deep-in-the-throat growling that comes from something very large. I thought at first that it might be a puma; they're not common in those mountains any more, but they come through sometimes -- but they're shy. This was a big animal, sniffing and sniffing and muttering to itself. And then it pushed on the outside of the outhouse and made a scraping noise, and I nearly stopped breathing. Then it got quiet. I stayed in the outhouse, barely moving at all, until Scotty's Mustang turned off the road and around the corner into the grassy parking area.

And then I got out, several shades whiter than usual. And told him what had happened.

"Bear," he said. And we both looked up at the scratch marks on the outhouse, about eight feet up. "Marking his territory.

We'd seen a much-rolled-upon area in the tall grass about a mile away that he'd said was probably where a bear had slept -- but neither of us had expected it to visit. It was probably looking for food, which we had not had nearby. We decided to move to a different campsite ....
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Chris Christie's opioid commission and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Re the article on psychologists who were involved in torture, the movie Doctors of the Dark Side is about this, and is supposed to be good.

Where are the nurses trained in dealing with sexual assault, to take the evidence for a rape kit?

The Supreme Court on free speech and gerrymandering.

The NY State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News over claims of sexual harassment and retalliation.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has stopped payments from its casino earnings to state and local governments, based on their interpretation of a contract; the state says the payments should continue, based on further paperwork.

New York State raises the age for marriage to 18, eliminating child marriage. Which confuses me a bit, since I knew a couple who ran off to Virginia to get married because they could do it there but not in NY. She was 18 and he was 17 then; according to this article they might not have needed to cross two or three states to do it.

It will take a village to save the Colorado River.

Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have become the stars of the Russia inquiry, and rightfully so for their incisive questions. And we are told that, despite the possibility of blackmail, former National Security Advisor Flynn had access to the most sensitive intelligence.

The race to solar power in Africa.

A new industry in China: mistress dispellers.

Nora Ephron on making "Julie and Julia", and much more. An older article but a good one.

My body doesn't belong to you.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The wildcats you've never seen.

Color-linked feline personalities, and more.

And dogs that are trained to find human remains, even just bones, are to be used to find Amelia Earhart. Thing is, they may be looking in the wrong place. In Adela Rogers St.Johns' memoir "The Honeycomb", she writes about getting to know Amelia when she was flying in the US, and, after WWII, long after her plane disappeared, speaking with Marines who told her that they had taken the body of a white woman that had been identified as Amelia from the island where they had found her, and under strict orders to keep it quiet, flew her back to Hawaii and buried her in the military cemetery called the Punchbowl, without a marker. So I don't know. Either Adela was lied to -- and she had a superb bullshit meter -- or someone else was buried secretly by night in the Punchbowl. It's not a large place; I'm not sure how it could have been done without being noticed by someone.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Even the Republicans want more details about the health care bill.>/a> And yes, it is frightening that the health care of millions of us depend on a handful of Senators. In addition, some Senators want to change the rules to avoid reconciliation (of the bill) and proceed more quickly. I would call it a deadly scam in the making if it didn't mean life or death for so many of us. But if Mitch McConnell is going to play dirty, Democrats are willing to match him and raise the stakes.

Meanwhile, RetroRepublican VP Mike Pence explains that the Disney movie 'Mulan' is a ploy to get women in the military. He apparently missed the part where a) it's historical, b) she went in instead of her elderly and ill father, c) it's a movie for kids, it's not Top Gun (which could have racked up a lot of enlistments if they'd had recruiters in the theatre hallways when it opened.) Or maybe he's a bit of a nutcase.

298 million US voters' personal information leaked in a security lapse. Read this one.

Trump is taking action against LGBTQ Americans.

Should Amazon become The Place To Buy Everything? And does it want to be more like Apple?

The Green Revolution will happen -- without Trump. But it would work better and faster if pale environmental groups included more diversity.

New Orleans and the Gulf brace for flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy, who is speeding up. Unrelated to Cindy but still FEMA-related, FEMA is preparing for a solar superstorm that would (not could, would) take down the grid in huge sections of the country. We don't know when this one would happen. At least the Trumpets aren't trying to get rid of this... so far.

No, Han Solo isn't a comedian; he's a cynical, sarcastic, selfish jerk (most of the time). And that's why the directors of his movie have been fired, and are being replaced in mid-shoot.

Laura Dern would like actors to get over themselves, please. She should know; she grew up in the business with her father, Bruce Dern, and mother, Diane Ladd.



What the Watergate Committee taught me. The difficulties that cause problems are political alliances, cynicism and fatigue -- sound familiar? Read this.

Where did 'We the People' go?

A lawsuit filed on behalf of former prisoners reveals details about psychologist-approved torture techniques from the psychologists who approved them -- and who now may be held responsible for their use.

Journalist's notebook: Into the battle of Mosul armed with a camera.

The king of Saudi Arabia has replaced his heir with his son. I have no idea how this will affect things, but it will.

The Supreme Court announces broad protections for Internet surfing rights, including for sex offenders.

New York's governor would like to treat hemp like any other crop. This is somewhere between ironic and hilarious to anyone who went to college in the early 1970s--the Doonesbury cartoon about Zonker being jailed for one weed seed is scarily accurate to the times. Yes, I am delighted that hemp is back, and I look forward to being able to buy comfortable hempcloth shirts here instead of going to Canada for them.

The US is relocating a town because of climate change. And this is unlikely to be the last one.

Cats domesticated themselves. And tabby coloring is relatively recent.

Last Orkney pics for 2017. Scapa Flow

Jun. 20th, 2017 08:10 pm
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 On our last day in Kirkwall, we took a walk out to Scapa Flow.

As far as British naval history goes, this is a famous place. It was once the home of the Royal Navy's main battle fleet and the battleship HMS Royal Oak still lies at the bottom, torpedoed by a U boat with the lost of most hands.

Naval divers still go down twice a year to replace her battle ensign.

It's a quiet and unwarlike place now. A beautiful place.

There was a Dutch three master, the Thalassa, tied up alongside.


last Orkney pics! )

Kirkwall

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:24 am
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 We headed back to the main island (unoriginally named Mainland) to spend the last few days of our holiday in the capital, Kirkwall, to get used to the idea of city life again!

We decided to take a walk up Wideford Hill, the highest point at this end of Mainland.


More pics: )
dorchadas: (Blue Rose)
[personal profile] dorchadas
Last weekend [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I took a vacation, sort of! We went out to Portland for [twitter.com profile] faylynne and [twitter.com profile] ntcomplete's wedding, and unlike the last time we were there in 2015, the weather cooperated. For Portland, anyway. It was cool and cloudy--just the way I liked it--and being next to the Willamette meant that sometimes there were passing boaters, though at least they cut the motor when they noticed that there was a ceremony happening. But everything else was lovely. I especially liked the sling that the maid of honor, [twitter.com profile] faylynne's eldest sister, had rigged up to allow her new baby to participate in the ceremony.


I also loved how most of the wedding party entered to the main hobbit theme from The Fellowship of the Ring, while the bride and groom entered to an instrumental cover of the Legend of Zelda fairy fountain theme.Link smilie photo lhappy.gif

The ceremony was extremely short and to the point. After a brief opening, the couple gave their vows--almost inaudible to us sitting in the back, but from what I could tell a variation on the traditional ones--and then exchanged rings, soldiering through [twitter.com profile] ntcomplete dropping them when the best man handed them to him and [twitter.com profile] faylynne initially trying to put the ring on his right hand. Then they kissed, the ceremony was over, and the guests all went back to the hall for drinks and snacks before the reception. I drank red wine and gin, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd drank white wine and cider, and our friend [facebook.com profile] aaron.hosek does not drink, but we were all united in our love for the snacks. Caprese skewers and grilled cheese shooters, with a tiny bit of grilled-cheese sandwich stuck in the top of an ounce or so of tomato-basil soup in a shotglass. It was delicious and I'm amazed that I haven't seen it anywhere else.

Inside, we took our seat at the labeled tables, each themed after a specific fantasy setting. The three of us were seated at the Tortall table, which immediately made [facebook.com profile] aaron.hosek text his girlfriend. She was unable to attend due to a family emergency, but despite not really being geeky at all, she's read the Song of the Lioness books and would have instantly recognized the table title.

Then was a buffet dinner and dancing. I was initially a bit worried that no dinner preference had been specified, but [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd correctly pointed out that it was almost certainly a buffet. And it was, with nothing that we can't eat. The salmon and asparagus were especially tasty.  photo wheeeeee_emote_by_seiorai.gif

We did not dance, at least for my part because none of the songs being played are the kind I like to dance to, but the dance floor wasn't particularly well attended. There were a lot of people chatting and eating, and then speeches and cake.


I don't like most cakes, but they did look wonderful. And they were made by the maid of honor. I heard a couple people asking [twitter.com profile] faylynne if her sister was a chef, and her reply was that she took a pastry class one summer.

As we left, we got a bit of a chance to chat with both of them. [twitter.com profile] ntcomplete tried to sell [facebook.com profile] aaron.hosek on attending PAX and mostly succeeded and both of them told us about their honeymoon in Japan and how they wanted us all to go back in 2020 when the new Ghibli Theme Park will be opened. I mentioned that was also when the Nintendo Theme Park would be open and that's in Ōsaka, far away from the Tokyo crowds. [facebook.com profile] aaron.hosek suggested making the Japan trip a biannual thing and you know, that sounds like a great idea.  photo Emot-chocobo.gif

[twitter.com profile] faylynne also mentioned that she had been practicing Japanese on DuoLingo and how shocked she was when the writing suddenly changed and she realized she had to learn another syllabary. All I could do was nod, half sagely, half sympathetically. I've been there.

She wants to get to conversational Japanese in time for 2020. I wish her good luck. She will need it.  photo japan001.gif

Other things I did in Portland!:
  • Stayed with my sister, who kindly put us up in her apartment's spare room!
  • Went to House of Ramen, which featured build-your-own ramen so [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I could have porkless ramen. We got a small size bowl, also known as "the size ramen is served in Japan." My sister and her boyfriend split a regular.
  • Went to the farmer's market and bought a bunch of cheese and smoked salmon. They also had delicious macaroon cookies but we were too full to eat them.
  • Bought some Edo Jidai-era lacquerware at the going-out-of-business sale at Shogun's Gallery.
  • Went to Moonstruck chocolate, which I obliquely wrote about here.
It was a lovely way to spend a weekend.

I still hear Coyote out there

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:06 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Reviving a lost language of Canada through film. I am looking forward to this movie -- I thought Atanarjuat (which I have probably just misspelled -- The Far Runner is the translation) was stunning.

National Geographic on the effects of melting in Antarctica.

Another far-right theocrat for the Trump Team.

The Atlantic on how ill-suited traditional the ideas of traditional masculinity are for the life we have now.

TED's playlist of how to deal with everyday life.

Is Mike Pence walking a tightrope? Or is this invisible man one of the ones causing it to exist in the first place?

How the Cosby mistrial happened, and what could be next.

A sociology of the smartphone.

New York City was hilly, varied farmland, with a lot of small farms and communities, at its start -- and here are photos of how it looked before it was leveled.

Photographer Harry Pollard's photos of First Nations people from Alberta, Canada.

Paul Krugman on the inadequacy of understanding of what Trumpcare will do to devastate health in the US -- the silence of the hacks. And here is the impact of Trumpcare, by state, with the people to contact to yell about it.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods may usher in the end of the line for many cashiers.

Why many House members aren't rushing to declare themselves candidates for the Senate. Money, money, money.

The incredible shrinking Islamic state -- no matter the noise made by its believers, it's getting smaller.

Podcast: the budget disconnect within the Trump administration.

And it's 3:30 and I just heard the coyote howling again. But it's getting dark and we have storms just west and south that will be moving in. I still have heard only one -- and as I understand it, coyotes howl when they're looking for other coyotes. Maybe it's significant (maybe not) that none of the neighborhood dogs are barking.

Local walkies

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:52 pm
cmcmck: Vettriano (Vettriano)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 On Sunday we wandered up to Sunnycroft as the Daimler was out of wraps for its annual once a year. The old lady who owned the house left everything to the national trust- literally everything- the house is exactly as it was on the day she died even down to the contents of the drawers, shelves and cupboards. The Daimler was her car (chauffeur driven of course. It's a 1955 Daimler Regency Mk II).

A corner:



More pics )
dorchadas: (Darker than Black)
[personal profile] dorchadas
This weekend [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I are in Portland for a wedding! I'm sure I'll be writing all about that tomorrow when I have more time to write, but at the moment we're sitting in my sister's apartment, where she kindly offered to put us up for the weekend, and eating chocolate. We walked downtown yesterday to one of Portland's farmers' markets, and after buying smoked salmon and a load of spiced cheese curds, my sister said that she and her boyfriend were going to go to Moonstruck Chocolate for dessert, so we tagged along. [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd jokingly said that we should do a Darker than Black about the truffles we are, but then I noticed they had chocolate bars.
Read more... )

Carding Mill Valley

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:12 am
cmcmck: (lizzie)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 This is an arm of the Long Mynd range of hills and is classic glacial scenery.

It's what is known here officially as 'an area of outstanding natural beauty' which means it gets government protection and in this case, it is in the hand of the English National Trust.

I'm not about to argue about the 'outstanding natural beauty' bit! It is truly stunning

There were kids out doing a geography field trip so I hope you don't mind the odd shot with nice looking young people in it.

I got to talking to the teachers too- always a danger for a former teacher! :o)

It made for quite  a demanding walk, but that's no bother.

Bridge! Well, you know.........



here be hills: )
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