Cross-Country Connections: Fresh

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Fresh.

From me in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota:

A pile of grated white cheese on a white plate with gray, blue and green trim. A black cheese grater sits behind the plate and various kitchen bric-a-brac are in the background: a dish towel, a skillet handle a ginger root, a small green plant.

Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

A LEGO dinosaur appears to be mounting a LEGO snail. You know...in the sexy times way.

Not now LegoDino! We’re in public!

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

A brown soup with onions, carrots, beans and  meat.

Tex Mex Beef Soup with fresh peppers and other yummy ingredients.

Atheism: It’s Not All About Atheism

This morning I was up early to do the live radio show, Atheists Talk. My guest was Keith Lowell Jensen, a stand-up comedian who incorporates atheism into much of his work. We spent a portion of the first section (about seven minutes) discussing his religious upbringing, when he started including atheism into his material, and the purpose of doing so. Then we moved on to talk other things like his new album, Atheist Christmas, Keith’s work with Stand Up! Records, his comedic style and influences, etc.

This did not sit well with Roger from Saint Louis Park.

[Read more…]

Cross-Country Connections: Photobomb

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Photobomb.

This past week Mom and I shared CCC because we were together in Maryland for the holidays.

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

The photographer's reflection off the aquarium tank's glass dominates the photo.  Medium-sized fish are visible, but  only as ghostly shadows in the background.

I photobombed myself in this attempt to photograph the Australian exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in 2013.

From Mom and me in Baltimore, Maryland:

My husband, me and my mom pose in a row outside of a restaurant, identified by a sign as "the point." The young men are making faces behind us.

We asked a passerby to take a group shot of us on Thames Street in Baltimore, and her friends decided to get in on the fun. This is the third time that she attempted to take a nice group shot of the three of us.

Mayor de Blasio call for a temporary halt to protests

So the protests have stopped being fun for Mayor de Blasio, and he would like all of the protesters to please stop protesting this week until the city has time to mourn and say goodbye to two NYPD officers who were murdered last Saturday.

From NBC’s WHDH.com:

I think it’s important that, regardless of people’s viewpoints, that everyone step back,” de Blasio said in a speech Monday at the Police Athletic League. “I think it’s a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in all due time.

This call for peace between protesters and police – implying that there is a war, rather than one group of people making use of their constitutionally protected rights to rally and protest the inequity apparent to all – puts all of the burden on protesters to stand down, to put their rights on hold, so the city can mourn these two cops. In return, cops will stop making inflammatory statements about protesters (and if he’s lucky, about Mayor de Blasio).

Like much having to do with protester-police interactions, this hardly seems equitable.

This isn’t Mayor de Blasio’s peace/truce/good-will-to-all-men to offer up. He – and by extension, the police – aren’t the wronged party in these protests.

And to make note: one vigilante cop killer is not the same thing as decades of institutionalized police brutality. One black man murdering two policemen does not mean that racism no longer exists.

No one should be murdered. Murdering people is bad. But by calling for the halt to protests so the city has time to mourn Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, while asking the family and friends of Eric Garner and all of those who have lost family to police brutality to put aside their grievances for the moment, that doesn’t feel right.

Cross-Country Connections: Cloud

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Cloud.

From me in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota:

Clouds covering the sun are shaded, while clouds further back are illuminated by the sun. In the foreground a highway with cars and green grass shoulder.

A bright bouquet of clouds near Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

pale beige beach - empty with a few sets of footprints - disappears into a boiling, roiling sky full of white and gray stormclouds. A sliver of ocean can be seen on the left border of the image.

ruh-roh. An ominous scene at Assateague Island National Seashore in 2013.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

A sunny blue sky with a few cotton ball clouds smattered throughout the sky. Below, we are looking down the length of a bridge  over a large expanse of water.

The Clouds off the 17 Mile Bridge Tunnel of Chesapeake Bay.

Cross-Country Connections: Cold

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Cold.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

A snowy highway bordered on each side by snow-covered, leaveless trees.

I’m not used to snow before Thanksgiving and evidently neither are most Virginians. Even though this was as bad as it got there were dozens of cancellations at Colonial Williamsburg’s restaurants for Thanksgiving day.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Take from the top of snow-covered stairs that end at a city street. Two people are crossing the street and a car waits for the light to change. The sky is the dark of pre-dawn and several bright street lights are visible in the background.

Much to everyone’s surprise it was in the mid-50s in Minneapolis this past weekend. In the past however, it has been much colder at this time of year. This photo is from approximately one year ago. I was at the bus stop waiting at the bus stop and I distinctly remember that it was real cold.

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

The shot encompasses the awesome height of the trees, as a man and dog are visible in the foreground at the bottom of the picture. The trees are mostly conifers and everything is covered in a thin layer of snow.

Cold…. An oldy but a goody from Washington State. Hiking in Rockport State Park outside of Concrete, WA in 2011.

TMCIF!

(Thank Man-made Calendars It’s Friday)

I have plans for this weekend. Tomorrow is jam-packed: Clinic escorting at 7am, then over to The Source for their Holiday Jubilee (i.e., huge boardgame and comic sale), then over to this local annual women’s craft fair that I’ve been going to for years.

I am leaning towards attending the Million March Minnesota at 1pm at Government Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. The organizers appear to be on the up and up about wanting to organize against racist state-sanctioned violence; they’ve been responsive on their Facebook event page and I received a timely reply to a letter that I sent to their email. They state that they are “Artists and Allies with Black Leadership who are committed to channeling and connecting people and organizations who are doing the work of social justice.” They ask people to leave the “All Lives Matter” signage at home as they prefer to keep the focus on black lives, so that’s a good start. But this is Minnesota, y’all. I’m apprehensive that it’s going to be a sea of white faces, which is not what needs to be happening right now. If anyone knows more about the rally – and importantly, if you’ve heard any concerns – I’d love to have your input. You can comment below or shoot me an email at bio_dork@hotmail.com

I’m also planning on doing some organizing and planning for the FTB Conscience this weekend. The 3rd FTBCon is scheduled for the end of January 2015, so start getting excited!

I leave you with this incredible Cthulu wreath from BoredPanda. Check out the website for more detailed photos. I love this line from the site: “I may have lost a little of my mind in the process, but it seems a worthwhile trade for dabbling in eldritch crafts.”

A green and red holiday-themed wreath that uses tentacles and octopi for decorations.

Neat Use of a Drone

This is a prototype – a drone/defibrillator (the inventor is expecting we could see a marketable product it in About Five Years…so there’s that), but it’s a fairly cool idea. I don’t have any problem with the technology of flying defibrillators, but the logistics of having enough ambulance drones…having them where they’d be most useful or needed…would they be managed and maintained by hospitals or private companies…? It seems like a rollout strategy would be more daunting than the product itself.

I guess it’ll do until we figure out how to make a portkey.

The Great Ocean Road

Australia blogging – my first weekend in Victoria.

On the Sunday after our trip to Healesville, my coworker and I decided to head out to the Great Ocean Road, a scenic, winding coastal road that runs along the southern edge of Victoria. We drove southwest from Melbourne for about an hour an a half and then caught our first glimpse of the ocean in the city of Anglesea.

A scenic overlook - brush, brushes, a road and further off a small ocean inlet and beach.

Anglesea was only a brief stop, so after we took a few photos from this overlook, we continued our journey west and the coastal driving really began: very narrow two lane roads butting up against rocky walls with little to no shoulder to speak of. There were a ton of pull offs for scenic overlooks and many places had stairs down to the beach. My coworker and I went down at one of the stops and played in the surf. [Read more…]

Cross-Country Connections: Pin

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Pin.

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

A collection of pins: Wood sweater pin, butterfly pin, a sheep pin, buttons with a squirrel, text that says "I heart History", "i won't just sit here and say nothing", and  "I am a feminist"

I guess you can see my personality in my pin collection: a little weird, a little loud, a little dainty, a little nerdy.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 

Gaudy arts-and-crafts Christmas tree: Green poofs, miniature red bells, a cloth gold star and "Merry Christmas" in plastic text overlayed on the tree

Found this in my holiday decorations. Oh yeah, you know it lights up.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

Green glittery tree, with a circus feeling to it: A woman's face in the tree and arms hanging down the side.

One of my favorite holiday pins.