nwhiker: (Default)
2019-01-17 11:52 pm

Friends only.

This journal is friends only. Please leave a comment and I'll probably friend you.

And yes, for the record, this is much NC-17 rated Snack here. Heh.
nwhiker: (Default)
2019-01-17 11:52 pm

Friends only.

This journal is friends only. Please leave a comment and I'll probably friend you.

And yes, for the record, this is much NC-17 rated Snack here. Heh.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-07-21 08:10 am

Head: officially spinning.

One more of those bulk posts with all sorts of stuff in it, because I am basically the proverbial chicken with my head cut off running all over the place trying to figure something out.

MS degree: plate seeds, wait two weeks, plant seedlings in dirt, wait two weeks, extract DNA from seedlings, test is via PCR. If some show the trait you want, rejoice, mark them... And wait weeks and weeks and weeks for seeds to be ready to harvest. Harvest. Plate seeds, wait...... I'm at this point more or less on track for focusing on writing and wrapping up lab work during fall quarter and defending next winter. Since I started this particular project last July (ie two quarters late), I'm not unhappy with my progress. Just waiting for grass to grow.....

Perry: he went to a regatta last Saturday, did really well, and had a good time. It was a small regatta, with a points trophy that his school won, because they entered 7 races, with four kids, and won 6 of them. Perry raced 4 times, won 3. The race they didn't win was a pair, ie sweeping, and just two boys. That's a difficult configuration and not one they practice, the coach entered them just to see, since it was a low stakes small (free!) regatta.

I almost hesitate to say this out loud, but we threw his name in the Goblet of Fire for an entry to the Head of the Charles in Boston in October. Think New York Marathon for rowing, as to the prestige/size/etc of the event. We'll see. Fingers crossed.

And, in a miracle I'm not sure is real, because I can't believe it: SAT and ACT testing, three, four if he gets Boston regattas this fall.... and not a single conflict. I'm shocked. Shocked.

In a failed attempt to slow Perry down and give him a better workout by adding drag, Perry's coach gave him a rope and a buoy haul behind his boat. Linnea named the buoy Simon. Perry is not pleased, but too bad, Simon it is. Linnea and I threatened to add ears, whiskers, and eyes to Simon and Perry complained that he didn't want a furry as a buoy.

Linnea is doing rowing summer camp with Perry and his crewmates. She's... both doing great and having a hard time. She's so funny, she's got a total girl crush on the coach (not hard, coach is awesome). Anyhow, she's learning, and doing as well as can be expected, but is very hard on herself. Perry is being surprisingly kind, as are all the kids in the program, which is less surprising.

Did I mention that her trip to Scotland and Ireland was a total 100% spectacular success? She had a blast. I can't WAIT to see photos, she won't show us any until she shows us the official slide show she's made.... but we've not had time to plan a full evening with the whole family to do that.

AC is doing great. Did I mention she scored an internship at Fred Hutch? I'm so jealous. The class she's taking (which catches her up in the biology track from the quarter she missed because of the brain abcess).

I'm annoyed because I always buy avocados at Trader Joe's and they always ripen in a day or so, sometimes two. I have had this four pack for 4 days and they could still be used to load canons.

Have to contact the breeder again for an update on the cats that were pregnant. This process has not gone well, to say the least, I'm a bit annoyed. I said from the very start that my only thing was no tuxedos, and no girlies with a dark face. I just can't. Especially black girl cats. I miss my sweet old lady so much, and I just can't.... Anyhow, all the kitties she's offered us have been... tortie girls with dark faces. Nope. Anyhow. Gotta ping her again to see.

Dh, Linnea, and I are headed camping this weekend, out by the ocean. Got a crazy awesome campsite about 3 weeks ago, which is just unheard of, I expect it was a cancellation. Alas, Anne-Chloe has school and work Monday morning, so she can't come, and Perry didn't want to, and since it wasn't a family trip anyhow, we're letting him stay home. Linnea is upset, I'm a bit sad for her. It just figures that the one child who deeply cares about having her family around her etc is the youngest who will get the least of that, ya know?

OK. I have to shut up and get to bed.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-30 06:12 pm
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The detail. OMG, the detail!

I found this absolutely incredible. Hopefully the embed will work...





nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-29 09:10 pm
Entry tags:

Today, Perry....

Today Perry
  1. biked from our house to a nearby city to catch a bus: about 8 miles
  2. took the bus across the lake
  3. biked from Montlake to Fremont, about 3 miles
  4. rowed with his team for 2.5 hours
  5. biked back to Montake to catch the bus back
  6. bus across lake
  7. bus stop to the other rowing club, an easy downhill mile or so....
  8. .... and then rowed for two hours there
  9. .

It's all been land workouts until now, but today was the reward you all get to get into boats day!

During the rowing with the other club, he was in a single. They did a lot of work, and at the end, raced a 2k. Perry beat everyone. All the girls from their girl's team, who had a 2 minute handicap. The other 5 boys in singles. THE QUAD.

So yeah. That's pretty cool.

But here is the real part I'm proud of. The coach told him that if he wanted to row with them, he would no doubt be in their first varisty eight. That's a pretty major deal, since I think they won regionals and went to nationals.

I think Perry will stick with his small team... I get why, but I think we need to come up with a speech for the coaches at the recruiting meeting we're going to next week about why he'd stay with such a small program. The answer, btw, is that he gets to row, but he also gets to demonstrate leadership, he's responsible for many things in a way he would not otherwise be.

Anyhow.

nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-28 10:13 am
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Rough start to Linnea's trip. For us.

OMG. Rough start to Linnea's trip.

It all started a few weeks ago when I wanted to add international access to her phone. So I went -hauled my actual fat ass- to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Where I was told that "all you have to do it". They took my phone number, which led me to believe that they checked my plan. I mean, right?

Linnea was supposed to have wi-fi at the hotels she's staying at. NSM, of course. They have free wi-fi but are limited to 30 minutes a day, sigh. But I figured that didn't matter because I was going to add the other plan, which is their $10/day for any day you use it plan. They told me we could add it any time and we figured we'd add it yesterday, ie for the first full day of her trip, because most of what she would be the first partial day was the hotel. Which was supposed to have wi-fi.

So I go to add the plan. And I can't. Because yeah, it's not compatible with our plan. WHY did the guy at the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store not freaking NOTICE this? And WHY, in addition, does cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V's website, when I showed the plan to dh, not mention that it's only available if you have "some plans", but "not others". Completely blindsided by this.

So back down to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Note that our plan is provided via dh's employer, a large employer in the area, and the store is local, so should freaking know to check this. Sure enough, that is the problem. So I add the crappier expensive international plan that IS available to her. Note that this is for LINNEA'S PHONE. I checked and confirmed the number with the gal at least 3 times. Yes, LINNEA's PHONE.

This morning? Dh gets a text saying his international plan has been activated. WTF? Check online. Sure enough, the plan was added to dh's phone, not Linnea's as requested.

Ugh.

So I call cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V, and this time got a person on the phone to change the plan over to Linnea's phone. I've checked online. It seems to be there.

Now she can contact us. And maybe we can troubleshoot together why her ATM card didn't work. She's used it for purchases, but she says the cash withdrawal part didn't. I expect she panicked when the questions weren't the same as the ones she was expecting, or who knows? She can deal without cash, or if it's ok with the group leader, I should be able to paypal him $50 and have him give her cash, or some such. Anyhow.

Phew. I think she'll be ok. When I talked to her yesterday (one a friend's phone, THEY were able to get the $10/day plan!) she said it was wonderful, she was having a great time, they're weird because they drive on the wrong side of the road (*) and she got to see King George IV IN PERSON IN A STATUE. Heh.

(*) She was told this many times, but being Linnea, she only got it when she actually saw it!

I'm SO excited for her!

ETA in RED because I am so freaking PISSED.

VERIZON ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? There were settings on the phone that needed to be fucking CHANGED before she can use the international plan, and of the THREE people I talked to, none of them bothered to tell me that?
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-26 09:40 pm
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My kiddos.

Very proud of all three of my kids, for different reasons.

From youngest to oldest:

♥ Linnea is on her way for a week in Europe, namely Scotland and Ireland. She did all her packing by herself, and didn't freak out at the last minute. I hope she has a wonderful trip.

♥ I signed Perry up for 3/4 of a session at one of the local boathouses (NOT the one he usually rows with) for land workouts. It's been incredibly hard, if there is something I find fault with his current coach, it's that the kids aren't, imo, in as peak shape as they should be. Perry has been running, lifting, and erging at an intensity he'd never done before. He's doing ok. Last week, they erged a half marathon, 21km. That's about 90 minutes on the erg.

♥ AC. She got herself a internship -granted, unpaid- at Fred Hutch, one of the top cancer research institutions in the world.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-23 03:20 pm
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Well, no duh...

At this point, liberals are acting like idiots, going on and on about how many people the Senate bill is likely to kill, who is going to lose health insurance and probably die, how much more dangerous it will be a woman giving, how having a disability shouldn't be death sentence etc.

But here is the thing that they are eliding.

Those deaths? ARE A FEATURE OF THE BILL NOT A BUG.

Survival of the... fittest, the richest, the strongest, the male-ist.

The rest of us? Eh. Who cares?

The whole plan of attach of pointing out how many people will be hurt by the bill is wasted time and effort. The Republicans don't care. The rest of us have no power.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-23 03:05 pm
Entry tags:

How? Just HOW?

Linnea just walked in from her last day of middle school/junior high. High school next year.

How did my baby get so big?

David and I walked her 3/4 of the way to the bus stop this morning, but we stopped before we got to the point where any of the other kids could see us. Don't want to ruin her cool factor, you know.

Sweet Linnea.

And Monday, she's headed for 10 days in Scotland and Ireland. Without ME.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-22 09:49 pm
Entry tags:

AC singing.

She's never had any real music instruction, though she participated in chamber choir for a year in high school. I think she sounds pretty good.

Sorry about the blank black screen! Took the video with my phone and Perry suggested the blank black screen to make it smaller, so easier to upload and share.

nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-21 09:39 am
Entry tags:

Snap. Out. Of. It, Self.

I have spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to adopt two kittens from a shelter in the DFW -yes, Texas, and yes, I am in Washington state- who won't "hold" cats.

They are SO CUTE. OMG, so cute. I want them. Desperately.

But I cannot figure out how. They won't adopt to someone who doesn't show up, and I don't think I know anyone in the DFW area who would be willing to adopt them for me, and ship them on Alaska Airlines' petconnect. Heck, I'm even looking for someone I'd PAY to go adopt them for me etc.

Two of my adorable children are on board with this lovely idea. The third child and her father are orcs, orces I tell you.

OMG. WANT THOSE KITTENS.

Also, shelter in Texas. WTF do you put pets on petfinder and on your shelter page is you'll only adopt out of the PetSmart in Allen Texas, first come first serve? Seems like a recipe for heartache and wasted trips.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-17 06:31 pm
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Oh the ecstasy!

We bought Linnea a new flute today. We were sick of paying for the low end rental, it's pretty clear she's going to stick with flute, and it was time.

The new instrument sounds SO much better. It's got open holes, currently plugged, so she'll have to learn to play with those, and it is probably a better instrument than she needed, but she'll grow into it from a musical standpoint, I think.

Once she realized that this was going to be her flute, not just a rental? She lit up with joy, and has been smiling and bouncing off the walls and using words like happy and amazing and excited. She's so appreciative when she gets things she really wants, I love getting her stuff.

Ooof, though. Expensive.

But, considering how happy she is, WEP.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-17 03:41 pm
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Bit of luck...

I just got a campsite, apparently on a bluff overlooking the ocean, for Linnea's bday weekend. I think it's the last freaking campsite available within 50 miles.

Last year, I snagged the last campsite at Mt Rainier.

I have to start planning a bit earlier, I think.

With a bit of luck, we'll be camping for Linnea's bday. I don't know if Perry and AC will come with us, AC may have school, so it just might be Linnea and us. We'll see. I'm very much looking forward to it.

I'd have loved to go for my birthday, but Linnea is leaving for Scotland and Ireland on my bday, so I expect next weekend to be a bit hectic, so didn't make plans. Plus dh and AC may be driving the backroads of Oregon chasing the SP4449. I'd have loved to go with them, damn it. Last time we did it was so much fun... Linnea potty trained in the back of the Pilot, we saw some spectacular scenery, and really had a wonderful time.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-16 09:40 pm
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Book review: Hillbilly Elegy

Ugh.

One sentence summary: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance is basically one long -very long- poorly written, humblebrag.

Just no.

Ugh.

I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, who is, at least, a good reader if a mediocre writer.

Other one sentence summary: Hillbillies are soooper speshul poor people, whose poverty is different from other poverty.

Seriously, though, the generalizations of "hillbilly"/Appalachian culture made me cringe. The hillbilly code of honor made me sick, a glorification of violence (think honor killings, and you're pretty close).

The book is a memoir, nothing more. These is nothing but triviality in the overall picture of the culture, this is not a socio-cultural study with a memoir interwoven, but, as I said above, a long humblebrag of a memoir. The almost breathless "I don't understand how I, a hillbilly from-- could ever have graduated from Yale Law School, but I'm really an outsider, so I'm really better than all those kids who had it easy, even if they are my friends."

And the stereotypical liberal college student who speaks out against the military and the Iraq War in the same class as our patriotic ex-Marine was just fucking yuck. Abu Ghraib happened, and your rosy picture of all the sensitivity the military displayed in Iraq, in the light of that level of torture and abuse? Not convincing.

It was annoying and repetitive. The author's insistence of calling himself, as a twenty-something, a "kid" grated.

It's almost as if... one of my repeated whines is authors writing about romance, adding in a were-creature, and calling it "fantasy". Nope. In the same way, this book is, mostly about a dysfunctional family (J.D. did NOT have the benefit of a decent family life), but he seems to have used a sprinkling of hillbilly speech, and culture to try to turn his story of growing up with a horrible parents into a larger story. And it doesn't work.

I was also bothered by the cultural generalizations. I don't know much about Appalachian culture, and maybe he is spot on, but some of the glorification of of bad behaviour really bothered me. It also bugged me that he clearly blames the problem of the white working class on pretty much everything BUT the white working class. And truly, while they are certainly NOT 100% of blame, he himself recounts stories of their actions that put the blame squarely there.

Just ugh. At least it was a library audiobook and not something I bought.

ETA. A comment from goodreads does a good job of summing it up:

So, take out the "social analysis" and you're left with 200 pages of memoirs from a 31 year-old (lol) ex-marine cishet white male conservative with a Yale law degree. If that's your thing, then you might enjoy the memoirs. It just doesn't jive with what I had in mind to read this year (or ever).


ETA. Also, how many times does he point out, over the course of the book, this his high school had not produced any Ivy League bound students (before him, of course)? Four? More? Nasty little self-centered conservative "I've got mine, I'm better than my people and the advantaged coastal elites" kinda guy.

The more I think about the book, the angrier and more disgusted it makes me. And it really bugs me that the smarmy little shit is making a mint off of it.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-13 07:50 pm
Entry tags:

Jeff Sessions today....

Jeff Sessions testimony in shorter format:



I mean, really? He lied, stonewalled, and pretended not to remember. If his memory is that bad, he needs Alzheimer's care, not an AG position.

Comey is scum, who cheated to get Trump elected, but he is not a liar. Sessions, OTOH, is.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-13 06:41 pm

And still she persisted...

I bought an iRobot Roomba a few weeks back. This was a second try with Roombas, the one I had many years ago was.... ok, but a pain in the butt, didn't really clean all that well, got stuck routinely etc. But I figured that hey, a decade later, and from Costco with their excellent return policy, gotta try again.

So we did.

AC set it up last Saturday, I hadn't had time, and set it roaming the house.

The cat ignored the Roomba. Linnea, however, finds it totally freaking and hates.

We knew we'd have to name it, and tossed around a few ideas. In totally sexist fashion, I was planning on a male name.

I was cooking. And the Roomba came and tried to get around my feet. And failed. And tried again. And failed again. And wandered off a few feet and then... came back, with a vengeance (or so it seemed to me), resolute and intent on getting to the area behind my feet.

And so named herself. Elizabeth. Because she persisted.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-13 11:27 am
Entry tags:

Ultimately, the South was right.

Ultimately, the South did have the right idea.

Of course, goes without saying etc, for the wrong reasons, since theirs were based on abhorrent beliefs about slavery and the humanity of, umm, humans.

But where they were right was in what they decided to do.

When it became apparent to them that The Other Side no longer shared (*) their basic beliefs, that the other side no longer held the same tenets as to what the fundamentals of society and civilization should be, they opted for out. They decided to leave a county that no longer held to their ideals (repeating: their ideals were despicable.) (*)If the rest of the country ever agreed with those ideals or just went along to form the United States is something I'm sure those of you who once took US history know, but that I don't. The point holds that the North was no longer willing to stand by and allow the abomination of slavery to continue.

We're at the same crossroads as the South. Half the county, maybe even more, no longer holds the same fundamental beliefs. The other side is so blinded by hate of the non-deserving other that they will vote to deny said other health care, access to food, education (looking at you, Betsy DeVos), the fundamental right to their own bodily autonomy, and freedom from oppression and fear .

By "We" right now, I mean blue states. Yes, there are pockets of resistance in a sea of red (Austin, Ann Arbor, Madison...), but at this point, red states have decided collectively that they loooove hate too much and want to be free to hate pridefully more than they want to see their follow citizens fed, healthy, educated, and able to fully participate in society.

We no longer even share a common belief in fucking science. There isn't much to be gained in discussions with people who think scientists are lying, don't know what they're talking about, and really, to use a favourite Asimov quote of mine, we've gotten to this point: Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'

So maybe it is time to start talking about parting ways. The West Coast, the Northeast, Minnesota and Illinois, maybe as one country, maybe as several, but it's time to start thinking of whether we are better together or apart.

At this point, I would vote in favour of "apart". I don't see the point is trying to persuade states who voted for, and continue to support and approve of Trump and the obstructionist Republicans that our ideas are better and grounded in reality. That they help people, even the people who vote against them.

The states that voted against an agenda that would help everyone are, in general, the taker states, the ones that take more from the same federal government that they are trying to weaken. The blue states give more in taxes than we take back, and in return, we get to be governed by a bunch of incompetent hateful mouth breathers that the "takers" voted it. This is a ridiculous situation, and one that should not continue.

It's time to go, West Coast people. Let Iowa and Mississippi and Wisconsin and Michigan and Louisiana and Florida and the rest of them wallow in their hatred. Take our marbles and see what we can do when we're not being dragged down by states who oppose progress and deny reality.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-09 08:29 pm
Entry tags:

Miscommunication. :)

So.

We adapted a lemon bar recipe to be made with some lime juice. We'll see. I haven't had much luck with cooking with limes, they go from perfect to too bitter even for me in a very small amount.

Perry was doing the actual cooking. One of the recipes we cobbled together said to add a few drops of green food colouring, and I nixed that. But then he called me to tell me that without any, it looked really really gross.

So I told him to go ahead and add ONE -ONE!!!!!- drop of food colouring.

This was the result:

Green lime bar filling


OMG. One drop! I said ONE DROP.

He insisted he only added "a tiny amount".

One drop, I said.

And then.... we figured it out. He used gel food colouring not the standard liquid stuff. It never occurred to me that he'd go straight for the gels, though to be honest, it should have: I don't really ever use the liquid stuff, just the gels. I mean, if I am using food colouring at all... I am using FOOD COLOURING.

This is what the final product looks like:

VERY green lime bars


Hopefully they taste better than they look.

We shall see.

ETA 15 June 2017

Eh. They were mediocre. Much too sweet and without anything that said lime.

I forgot to take a photo of an actual bar, but here is what the edges looked like:

Lime bar
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-09 08:26 am

Another catchall post.

Life being what it is, I'm all about catchall posts that just get me writing. I like writing.

-- Annoyed: Linnea is supposed to be back for a mandatory! band camp a week before school starts. The reason? The band serves at the pleasure of the GD fucking football team and being in band = being in marching band. I'm not a fan of marching band, I detest football and don't really want my kid to associate in any way with that brain-killing brutality that claims to be a sport. She's upset, because mandatory. I'm pissed because how the fuck do they put something mandatory the week before school starts and not tell you at registation? (*) But here's the worse part: we're supposed to be on vacation that week. Our plans (only vaguely set from a reservation standpoint, but well set from an internal planning on what we scheduled when for the rest of the summer) start with a trip to Bend on Aug 21 for the eclipse, and then move southward from there. Because of the eclipse whose timing or location I cannot change, :-), we are rather stuck going on vacation from the 21st to the 31st. (*) We only found out because the high school band booster club came to the Middle School for the last concert, and handed out information on the "music camp".

-- Again, I despise marching band. And football.

-- 30 people for a bbq on Sunday. I think I'm planning too much food. Alas, suspecting that we're going to be eating leftovers for the rest of the summer will not stop me from making too much food.

-- Tomorrow will be the 12 anniversary of my dad's death. I don't want to talk about it.

-- James Comey is a fuck up and I hope he rots in hell. He fucking did everything he could to get Trump elected, and pretends to be all high-minded about that, and then acts OMG shocked that Trump is a pos scumbucket. That said, despite him being an unethical hack, I don't think he's a liar. He wins the credibility contest. The hearings were interesting yesterday. Of course nothing will come of it because no matter what Trump did/does the Republicans don't care, they've got all the power. It's all just an academic exercise. That said, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that we have no legal or constitutional recourse for a crooked election.

-- Britain. Yowsa on May and her electoral fuck up. I wish we had a parliamentary system.

-- This tweet is just too cute. Alas, I can't figure out how to properly embed tweets on dreamwidth, so I'm just posting a photo.



Kitty pawpads as teddy bears



-- Posting this now, may add to it later.
nwhiker: (Default)
2017-06-05 09:24 pm
Entry tags:

Book reivew: The Martian Chronicles

Wow.

I first read this book as a teenager... in French. The cover was of a Martian landscape and a rocket, and as such, along with the title and the designation as SF, cemented it AS SF in my brain.

On re-read... NSM. This time I got more of short stories, with various thoughts and ideas, and the SF was just the hook, a common theme, but not the purpose.

Must mull more on that. That said, it wasn't as wonderful as I remembered it, and at times the stereotypes grated. The final "ouch" was that it was better to be alone than with a fat woman. Yes, she was an idiot, but his perception of her was very clearly fixed when she failed to live up to his physical expectations. The story, imo, crystalises the concept of "I'd not date a fat woman if she were the last woman on Earth!", though in this case Mars. Anyhow.

Glad I re-read. I'm more and more leaning towards NOT revisiting any more of the books I read so many years ago.