What to Do?

Jul. 28th, 2017 10:32 am
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
I fell asleep with the lights on again. This time it was semi-planned. I do that when I feel too tired to snuggle the cats. I should have just shut down, but Harlee would give me an earful.

I got up early and did the phone call as a job reference. Personally, I think that my colleague is applying to jobs that are out of her league, but of course, I didn't say that. I wish her luck.

I'm trying to convince myself to go to the Lincoln museum that we have on campus for the blog. (I don't have the gas money to go out of town.) The thing is that the people who work there will probably want to talk about Dorothy leaving, and I don't feel like talking about it. I could look for the old Postville courthouse, where Lincoln went on his circuit. Oh, and the Mill on Route 66. It's open 1-4. That'll work. It's also open tomorrow.

Oh, and I figured out what to do about the FitBit. Once the money is in my PayPal account, I'll contact the seller to pay him directly.

Well, Heck

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:19 pm
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
The FitBit that I bought on eBay early this month didn't arrive. I used eBay's messaging system, which asked what the problem was and I told them that I hadn't received the item, and asked for the tracking number for the package. No response. I told eBay today that I still hadn't received the package, and got no response from the seller, and they e-mailed me back saying that they were issuing a refund.

So I got my mail, and lo and behold, the FitBit was delivered. Apparently it went USPS first class mail rather than UPS Ground, which is what the seller said.

Now eBay has closed the problem, and I have no way of updating it. Not sure what to do.

I've been feeling kind of blah today: slightly tired, slightly headachy, and slightly depressed. Maybe I should go to sleep early. I'm taking the last of my three-day weekends this weekend. Oh, and I also need to get up early to provide a reference for a former colleague.

Two news QoTD? Remarkable!

Jul. 27th, 2017 03:41 pm
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"the cow's bold postmodernism clashes with the area's traditional suburban aesthetic"


News QoTD...

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:14 am
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[personal profile] pheloniusfriar
"Where Abraham Lincoln had his famous team of rivals in his administration, this is something different. The Trump White House seems more akin to the final scene in Reservoir Dogs, where everyone is yelling and pointing a gun at someone else".


I do like me a bit of sassy journalism ;).

Skwentna River Exploration

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:51 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
 One lovely, sunny day we made a trip upriver about 5 miles to the junction of the Skwentna and the Yentna rivers. Cut for pictures ) The Skwentna comes from the Aleutian Range and the Yentna comes from Denali.   It was a lovely warm day. Denali, tallest mountain in the USA at 20,310 feet, was peeking over the trees to the northeast.

Arriving at the junction we parked our boat on the edge of a big sandbar and had lunch.



Of course at the sandbar we were a good five and a half miles closer to the telephone tower, improving reception to barely marginal to pretty good.

M and Donald had both seen tracks ranging from tiny birds to giant moose. After lunch Donald Tazlina and I strolled up the sandbar which seemed firmly attached to the western bank.

Here are a few of the tracks we found:


Coyote or small wolf.


Tazlina posing with cotton grass


Mr Bear

Mr Bear got around.  He certainly came down to the river and checked on the fish run.  Here are his footprints in the water.

Mr Eagle

After our stroll around the sand bank M and I tried our hand at fishing.  Zero luck despite the fact that we SAW at least 10 fish.  On our way downstream we passed "our" fishwheel, a community fishwheel, one of four I know of on the Yentna.  See my post of two years ago about my fishwheel experience.  http://ranunculus.dreamwidth.org/466071.html

Shelter from the Storm

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:31 pm
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Woke up from my nap into a big storm with quite a light show. I need to go to the store, but am trying to wait the storm out. The thunder and lightning have died down, but the radar shows that we're still in the middle of the rain. I hope that it makes it less humid.

I'm impressed by Harlee's ability to sleep through the storm, my coming in to grab her food dish, etc. I thought that I was a heavy sleeper, but she might have me beat.

Time to go feed the hordes....

Yentna/Skwentna River

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:11 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus

Donald, M and I flew out to Julie and Andy’s cabin on July 15th, returning on July 24th. Cut for length and pictures Enter your cut contents here.

The round trip bush plane trip for all three of us, plus dog, plus supplies for an eight day stay, was less than a thousand dollars.
Our plane was an ancient but very well kept DeHavalland Beaver, a renown plane in bush circles.
We took off from Lake Hood airport, the busiest seaplane airport in the world averaging 190 flights a day, and landed on the Yentna river, very close to our final destination. Here we are saying goodby to the pilot.


Andy picked us up in the boat and ferried us across the river to Driftwood.

Driftwood used to be a “lodge” catering mostly to fishermen during the salmon season. In addition to the main cabin it has a number of outbuildings: three bedroom structures, bathhouse/sauna, shop, fishing equipment shed, wood shed and now the “new Lodge”.   Here are two pictures, of the new lodge, one taken two years ago and one on this trip.

The new lodge is up on those tall stilts because the area regularly floods one to three feet in the winter. So the first four or five feet is to keep the lodge out of the floodplain, the rest of the room is for a bottom floor for utilities and shop/storage for lawn mowers, golf carts and snow machines!

One of my projects during our stay was to build a work table and some shop shelving to use during the next phase of building and to help clean up the tools and supplies that were scattered around the inside of the building.


Andy wanted to make part of the upstairs his “shop” until the building is complete. Below are before and after photos of upstairs.

While I was out at the new lodge I took some pictures, taking advantage of the height. The first one is of the three sleeping rooms, the second is looking back at the old main cabin and outbuildings.

Donald spent a lot of time gathering dead wood out of the surrounding woods. This helps keep things cleared out and theoretically reduces fire danger. In the end he had a huge pile to burn.

Later I'll post about our upriver adventure!

No Charge

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:10 pm
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
Made it to my meeting on time, in fact, early. The meeting went well, and we adjourned an hour early.

I had decided that because I was paying for gas to get to Champaign-Urbana, I wanted to do something for the blog before I left. I decided to go to the University of Illinois Arboretum.

I found the place okay, but was a little dismayed to find that the parking lot had meters. I managed to dig out a few quarters. Then I started walking around taking pictures. I couldn't figure out how two portions of the loop path connected, so I wound up walking through the grass to connect two sections.

I wound up in a very pretty place near a pond and near the Japan house. I was taking pictures feverishly, when the battery on my camera gave out. I had charged it the night before to avoid this happening, but apparently, it didn't charge. Then I took out my cell phone, framed a shot, and it died as well. I had been charging it on my car charger, but apparently, that didn't work either. Disgusted, I finished the walk and left.

I'm still going to write this place up for the blog, but I want to go back sometime and take more pictures.

Time for a nap.

You Win Some; You Lose Some

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:42 pm
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
Well, I'm still flaking out. I had a phone call scheduled to be a reference for a former colleague, and I completely forgot about it. They're going to call me on Friday morning, and that is engraved on my memory. Sheesh. I thought that I was handling all the stuff that was going on, but maybe not.

Speaking of which, the background check on the new Library Director is still not done (I thought that they just had to run a report or something? I wonder why it's taking so long?), but they're still hoping that he'll start on August 7th.

Apparently I have the rep at the Business Office that they should call me if they can't reach my boss. HR called me about a student worker's schedule. I figured out how to answer the question. Go me :)

I ordered more books.

I need to get up very early for a meeting in Champaign-Urbana tomorrow (about one hour and 20 minutes away), so I need to get cracking on getting organized and going to sleep.

Up Early

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:30 am
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I was lying down when I fed Zara last night because my stomach was upset. I fell asleep, of course, and woke up around 5:30 AM. I got up, turned off lights, and changed into my sleeping apparel. Then I couldn't fall back asleep. I got up and ate breakfast. Couldn't fall asleep. So I guess that I'm up. Just as well because I have a meeting in Champaign-Urbana tomorrow morning.

My dad likes the Illinois Road Trips blog.

Back in "civilization"

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:56 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
 M, Donald and I spent 8 days out in a remote Alaska cabin called Driftwood.  It was great.  Quiet and peaceful until the last couple of days when more people arrived.  Pictures coming later.

I'm looking out the window in Anchorage Alaska tonight and mourning the fact that it is ONLY 11 pm and the light is fading.  5 minutes earlier every day here.   I love long days, and always mourn and whine untll the light sees fit to return again.

I Blew It

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:16 pm
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I was supposed to come in early because the front desk worker was participating in an orientation for new students, and I completely forgot. It was on my calendar too; I just spaced it out. I saw an e-mail this morning reminding me about that, but I had already gotten up too late. I broke speed records throwing myself together. My boss and the front desk worker were nice about it. Heck of a start to the day though. It's nice to get home early though.

We're starting to get new books coming in. That's cool.

I am ravenous.

Night Owl

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:00 pm
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I took a nap waiting for the acetaminophen to kick in, and overslept. It took a while for me to get on a roll. Now I'm on a roll, but it's getting late. Good thing that I don't need to be at work early tomorrow. Laundry is in the wash and Harlee's litter box is soaking.

I probably should eat something soon, but I'm not hungry.

I stepped on Mimi's paw earlier when she was running under my feet. She seems to be okay, but I notice that she's staying well away from my feet now.

Having a "Lie In"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:59 pm
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I didn't set my alarm today because I'm staying home. I slept until 1 PM, which is later than I normally get up. Mimi was not happy with me. She was HUNGRY! And I should feed her RIGHT NOW! I've fed them all now, and they've settled down.

Speaking of cats and food, they've decided that if I leave and come back, that means that I'm going to feed them. I normally feed them when I get home from work. Last night, I got home from my travels around 7 PM, which is way earlier then I normally feed them. Mimi and Zara were circling around like a couple of sharks. Cats!

I think that I'm going to work on a blog post. Later, I need to clean and do laundry. Oh yeah, set up food in the crockpot. And clean out the refrigerator because stuff is falling out.

My stupid knee hurts.

Mom Report

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:20 pm
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She's been putting heat on her knee, which has been hurting, and it's helped. She's been catching up on her sleep.

She's decided that she will go on the trip to Scotland with her friend next month.

Success on Route 66

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:26 pm
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
I made it to the Pontiac Route 66 museum. It's kind of eclectic and has stuff loosely related to Route 66, but I got some good pictures. I also got a chance to listen to the "Get your kicks/on Route 66" song. The museum had parking and restrooms, which are always useful. Downtown Pontiac is pretty, with lots of old buildings.

Then I went looking for the Route 66 path in Towanda. This time, I found it, and found that there was a place to park at the gas station for Route 66 travelers. I didn't last very long though. The path goes one mile in one direction from where you park and 2.5 miles in the other direction. I started down the shorter route. My left leg started falling asleep part-way though. (Yes, I know, I should have it looked at, but I don't have a $1000 co-pay for an MRI. Chinzy insurance.) The high points were a couple of series of Burma-Shave signs, which I will post later.

Serendipity: I stopped at a rest area, and they had maps of various sites along Route 66, so I took pictures of the signs. I gather Route 66 is big business around here.

I was listening to an interesting audiobook while I was driving: Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good. I'm only on the second chapter, but it seems sound and helpful. I've also ordered a copy of it for the library because it seemed like something that we should have. Whether the students will read it is another question.

Not a Morning Person

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:39 pm
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[personal profile] days_unfolding
I decided not to go to Springfield today. It was raining when I got up, plus I had problems winding down last night, and I was really tired. So I fed the girls and myself, and went back to sleep.

I got up a little while ago. Had lunch, and I'm about to throw myself together to go to the Route 66 museum in Pontiac.

The rain took the edge off of the heat though. It's a sad commentary when a temperature of "only" 87 degrees F feels a lot cooler.

I'm cursing the Chicago Public Library. I sent them a check because I accidentally spilled a drink on a book. I've forgotten about it. Three months later, they finally deposited the check, so I have less money than I thought.
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[personal profile] drplacebo
It's Forgotten Masterpiece Friday!

Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974) was a part-time musician for his entire life, and yet was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century with nine symphonies and five operas to his name among other works. He got his start in music later than most: he did not study music or play an instrument at all until he started cello lessons at 15. But he was a prodigy in some sense, in that he won a seat in the cello section of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic just six years after he first picked up the instrument, while he was an engineering student. By that time, he had already begun to teach himself to compose. Immediately upon completing his degree in electrical engineering in 1911 he was awarded a fellowship to study composition at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, on the basis of his Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra and an incomplete draft of his first symphony. In 1912, the same year that he had the first public performance of his music -- his first symphony, with Atterberg himself conducting -- he accepted a position at the Swedish Patent Office. He continued to work as a patent examiner until he was 81, while continuing to compose and occasionally conduct in his spare time. He wasn't only a prolific composer; he also co-founded the Society of Swedish Composers and served as its president for more than 20 years, and was a music critic for a Stockholm newspaper for most of his life.

Atterberg's big break as a composer came in 1928, when the Columbia Gramophone Company sponsored an international symphony competition commemorating the centenary of Franz Schubert's death, and calling for symphonic works inspired by Schubert. Atterberg entered his Sixth Symphony, and surprisingly the Swedish patent examiner took the first prize over a number of much more prominent composers, suddenly making him an internationally-known composer. This also meant new-found attention for his prior music, much of which received its first performances outside Sweden in the years that followed.

His success as a composer was short-lived, however. During the Second World War, living in officially neutral Sweden, he maintained ties with Nazi-controlled musical organizations in order to secure continued performances of his music in Germany. After the war, rivals accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer. Although these accusations were never substantiated, Atterberg also did not have the same kind of fame as Richard Strauss, who had faced similar accusations. He lost the presidency of the Society of Swedish Composers, and his music was rarely performed until his reputation began to recover in the 1960s.
Read more... )

Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:32 pm
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I did take a nap. Woke up to hear someone knocking at the door, but the time that I got up, the person was gone. Decided it was too damn hot to throw myself together for a walk (95 F with a "heat index" of 111). Spent some time working on Instagram and Twitter. Procrastinated taking my shower so that I could do laundry. (I take a shower and put on light makeup before I trudge out to the laundry room. Vanity, vanity.) Finally got myself together and took the laundry to the laundry room. Both decent washers were taken. I'm feeling crankier about it than I have any right to feel.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the heat tomorrow. I'm signed up for a financial seminar in Springfield tomorrow. Afterward, I was going to go to a nature preserve in the area, but the peak of the heat will be at that time. I want to update the blog, but I don't want to make myself sick.

Speaking of updating the blog, I need to write a blog post. I also should make myself something to eat, but am not feeling very hungry. Heat, blah. The A/C has been going almost non-stop. I'm afraid to find out what my energy bill will be next month.

Oh, and my FitBit hasn't arrived. I messaged the seller about it.

Falling Into a Book

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:52 pm
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I fell into a book last night. The Tales of the City books were a series of novels that were originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, about the adventures of a group of singles in San Francisco in the 1980s. It was one of the first "mainstream" novels to include gay characters. The author wrote three novels 20 years later to update the characters. I picked up one of the later novels last night and was going to re-read it "for a little while," and wound up finishing it. But sometimes you need to do something frivolous. I need to buy the third of the later novels.

I woke up with a start this morning, thinking that I better get moving, or I was going to be late for work, when I realized that I was off today. The girls and I are now fed, and the girls got their snuggles.

I think that I might take a short nap. However, I feel like I have some energy. I suffer from seasonal depression during the winter on top of my normal depression, but conversely, in the summer, I have extra energy (although I have to watch out that it doesn't tip over into mania).
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