Mobbed by Adorable Baby Birdies!

So one of the things I’ll miss the most about living in Bothell is having baby duckies within walking distance. This spring was the best. There were lots and lots of babies, and most of them had absolutely no fear. When they saw a human with food, they were all over that. B and I got completely mobbed several times, and it was completely delightful.

Image shows me squatting down hand-feeding a crowd of brown baby ducks. They're eating right out of my hand.

Moi being mobbed by baby duckies.

The parents would keep an eye on us, but they weren’t really concerned. Apparently everybody who comes through there is fairly kind to the waterfowl. They don’t even mind the noise and chaos of the ballgame crowds. They’ll go right on up and beg from the spectators. [Read more…]

The Beauty of the Storm

I meant to have the next chapter of Escape done, my darlings, but I got busy cleaning and didn’t stop until it was time to meet up with Funny Diva. And once I got groceries, got home, and finished making the bed and packing book orders, my body decided it needed a hot soak before my muscles ganged up and murdered me. Then my computer was being an asshole. So what you’re going to get today are really pretty photos taken from the Burke-Gilman trail while storm clouds built. You are also going to get an awesome video with a bathing seagull, a seaplane, and a kayak.

Right, then. So you can actually walk from the Town Center in Lake Forest Park all the way down past Log Boom Park and over to Pagliacci Pizza, which is just what we did. It’s quite a haul for someone who’s been rather sedentary up until a furious cleaning spree, and it was raining intermittently, but it was worth it. Here’s a glimpse of Lake Washington from between trees as we got to Log Boom Park:

Image shows Lake Washington framed on the sides and bottom by dark trees. It is near sunset, but the sky is still very blue, except for some fluffy white and dark gray storm clouds piling up. The water is a lovely mottle of gray and blue.

Lake Washington and storm clouds.

When we reached the docks, we were extremely fortunate to get there just as a heron was flying past.

Image shows Lake Washington looking south. Storm clouds loom from onshore, reflected in the water. There is a gorgeous streak of blue down the center. A heron is flying to the right.

Heron on the wing over the water.

How fabulous is that, with all those subtle colors? I’m astonished the shot came out. I’d just started turning the camera on, and it wasn’t yet fully booted when I spotted the heron, aimed, and fired. It didn’t even have a real chance to focus. Yet it turned out wonderfully.

Here is a crop of the heron:

Image shows the heron winging low over the water, in the cloud shadow.

Heron on the wing.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing great blue herons.

As we reached the end of the dock, we spotted the rotting piles of the old pier. The colors were lovely.

In the distance, piles of an old pier stand out of the water in parallel lines. They seem to point at the storm clouds rising over the lake. The reflected clouds and the blend of dark and lighter blues in the water make it an almost brooding atmosphere.

As we walked past the industrial buildings, we spotted a cloud raining into the sky, but the rain evaporated before reaching the ground.

Image shows a white storm cloud in the background, and a small, dark-gray raincloud in the foreground. The small cloud has dark streaks of rain coming down from it, but they have faded out long before it could reach the ground.

Raining on high.

And then there was a crow that looked like it was trying to out-fly a roiling, boiling steam eruption, but it was actually just lazily flapping towards where it roosts for the night. There were a great many crows all doing the same.

Image shows a crow flying almost off-image to the left. Above and behind it is a huge thunder head looming towards it.

Fly for your lives!

(Speaking of crows, I spotted one playing lifeguard at Juanita Beach just a couple days ago. So adorbs!)

Image shows a crow perched on top of an empty lifeguard chair, staring off to the left as if looking for distressed swimmers. The lake is in the background, with dark storm clouds piled overhead.

Lifecrow.

Funny Diva and I crossed the road and had ourselves some pizza at Pagliacci before heading back. While we were inside, it poured rain. It had stopped by the time we got out. Our luck was very much in, and it was a delightful time, made even more delightful by this seaplane landing while we were at Log Boom Park. How often do you get a chance to film a seaplane, a kayak, and a bathing seagull all at once?

First time for me. Loved it. And I deliberately made the title sound like the set-up to a silly joke, so you lot can have at in the comments if you think of good jokes to tell. I’m going to go finish Chapter 4 of In the Path of Destruction and pass right out. Oy.

Rogue Nation Movie Review! Custom Scarves! And Pumpkin Hurling!

It’s already been a long day, people, and it ain’t nearly over. I had to get up lots earlier than I’ve been used to, cuz B and I went to see Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. It’s very definitely the kind of movie that seems like a bunch of Hollywood hacks threw a ton of spy movie scripts into an industrial blender and pasted together randomly-selected bits of the results. It also sounds like it was written by stoned teenagers. The beginning is trying very hard to be clever, but ends up being flat slapstick that might have been hilarious if we’d had more time to get drunk first. Tom Cruise seems asleep at the switch for most of the movie. About the only good parts (I’ll save the best for last) are the dude who plays Benji, who has several good moments and also a fascinating accent, and of course Ving Rhames as Luther. It was tough taking Alec Baldwin seriously as a hard-ass CIA director type person, and zomg, some of the cheese that poor man had to deliver with intense serious-face. And I could not think of Jeremy Renner as anything other than Hawkeye. It made it hard to focus on what his character was supposed to be, especially since that character did not become cool until at least halfway through the movie. [Read more…]

Here’s Some of What You’ve Missed if You Don’t Follow Me on Facebook

And, of course, with the way Facebook delivers stuff to your timeline, you may have missed it even if you do follow me on Facebook. Since I’m behind in the 10,001 things I need to do this week, I’m going to just stick some of my posts from Facebook right here. There’s some good readin’!

Let’s get to it! [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Liveblogging In the Path of Destruction!

So the results are in, and you were all like, “Yeah, Dana, do whatever, JUST GET US YOUR MOUNT ST. HELENS BOOK!” I hear you! So what I’m doing is reading Richard Waitt’s In the Path of Destruction because it’s rather necessary to see what he did so I can do something different. I’m really ADD at the moment, so I was sewing and my brain was popping off with, “LOL it sounded like this, you should write that down on Facebook!” And so I kind of started liveblogging it on Facebook anyway. And then I was like, “Hey, don’t Rosetta Stones readers deserve to be able to follow along, too?” So then I put everything I’ve got so far in a post, added some more, and published it for those of you who hate Facebook with a fiery passion, which used to be me before I became addicted to it.

It was really kinda fun…

Anyway, we’re up through Chapter Three, and I will continue doing this throughout the book. Hopefully by the end I’ll have figured out why the book image is ginormous instead of a sensible size like this.

Photo of my copy of Richard Waitt's In the Path of Destruction, which has a black and white photo of Mount St. Helens erupting.

I really sort of hate our new blogging platform over there, but it was necessary.

Anyway. Just to remind you:

Image is a slightly expanded crop of me with Mount St. Helens from May 2007. Caption reads, "Yes, I am indeed writing a Mount St. Helens book!"

For serious, folks, I am.

Even though I am also reviewing this one.

You Get to Shape the Future of this Blog!

Well, parts of it. Plus storm damage! And kitties!

So, last night, I really dug in to Richard Waitt’s new Mount St. Helens book:

Photo of my copy of Richard Waitt's In the Path of Destruction, which has a black and white photo of Mount St. Helens erupting.

This is like magic and I’m loving it so much! A geologist wrote about all the human drama, so my book can focus mostly on the geological drama, and I can point people to this book as a companion if they’re like, “But what about teh hoominz?!” It’s so incredibly nice to know I have a meticulously sourced, thoroughly researched, and well-written book penned by a USGS geologist who worked on Mount St. Helens during the 1980 eruptions. I’m only a few chapters in, and it’s already delish. I’ve learned things about the people involved I never knew before. The seismological drama is intense! And there’s a nice interweaving of the geological and human aspects.

So, here’s where you get to decide the future: [Read more…]

Seahurst with Silver Fox, Plus Cryptopod: Why Did the Green Bug Cross the Road?

It’s been a busy social week for this introvert! On Wednesday, I drove down to pick Silver Fox up from the airport and take her to Seahurst Park on her layover. Since I-5 has basically been a parking lot between my new place and downtown Seattle, I took Highway 99. This meant I had to go through the Viaduct. I always white-knuckle it through there, begging the Cascadia subduction zone not to rip right then, please. Then I took a wrong turn and ended up on I-5 anyway, which was okay because it was below the jam. Then I took a wrong turn out of the cell phone waiting lot at the airport and had to drive around trying to find a way back to the terminal. It was a comedy of errors, but I did at last manage to collect Silver Fox, and we found our way to Seahurst without incident.

It’s a lovely park with lots of beachfront. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: An Ode to Knowing Science Things

Ohai, it’s back to school time, innit? I’ve polished up an ancient essay on how awesome science is and posted it at Rosetta Stones. It hasn’t any naughty words in it, so you teachers can even foist it upon your students who are grumbling about ew, ick, why do we have to science, it steals all the mystery and it is haard. I have also found an outstanding photo of the Milky Way over Mount Rainier for your viewing pleasure.

Image shows Mount Rainier with the Milky Way rising over it in a blue and pink sky. There are streaks from meteorites along with the riot of stars. Little Tahoma peak is also visible..

“Milky way over Mt. Rainier” by Abhinaba Basu (CC BY 2.0)

I also got to see Silver Fox today! She had a long layover, so we skedaddled out of the airport and visited Seahurst Park. I’ll show you some pictures from it tomorrow, once I have edited them. Then I took my elderly kitty outside because she has been bored. She spent nearly the whole time trying to figure out how to get around the table I had blocking the bridge and make a break for it.

Image shows Misha sitting by the bridge over our creek, staring toward the table that is off to the right. She's got a white daisy in front of her.

My flower child contemplates her escape strategy.

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XVI: Wherein Geology is Roundly Abused

My darlings, our trek through these Christianist earth science textbooks has been a long and tiresome one, but our perseverance has at last been rewarded: we have arrived at the units on Geology! Thanks to the Flood myth, God is all over this branch of the earth sciences like long-lost relatives on a lottery winner. Geology is second only to evolutionary biology when it comes to science creationists can’t stand. So this should be good (for sarcastic values of good).

We’ll see if either Science of the Physical Creation or Earth Sciences 4th Edition acknowledge the fact that it was geology that first dealt creationism a mortal blow. I mean, before the early geologists really got to looking at the earth and went, “This overwhelming evidence shows this planet must be very old indeed,” it was possible for a scientist to be a creationist and still be perfectly respectable. But then James Hutton and Charles Lyell kneecapped the young earth theory with a rock hammer. And then, as creationism was thrashing around, hollering “It’s only a flesh wound!” and threatening to bite off their kneecaps, along came Darwin and lopped its head off with the theory of evolution, which itself had been forged in the fires of Lyell’s elegant evidence for an elderly Earth. And ever since, young earth creationists have been hobbling about headless, whilst brashly proclaiming they can still wear a hat.

So let us marvel at their shenanigans by first turning to page 192 of A Beka’s Science of the Physical Creation. [Read more…]

Turns Out Josh Duggar is a Lying, Cheating Sleazebag. Only Conservative Christians are Surprised

I wouldn’t ordinarily be writing a post about a grown man’s adultery with other grown people. If you cheat on your spouse, you’re a scumbag, but you’re your spouse’s problem – unless, of course, you’re one of those moralizing shitlords who try to keep my queer friends from getting married, encourage people to hate on them, tell us we’re damned for enjoying premarital sex on the regular, and try to legislate what we can do with our reproductive systems and our relationships. In that case, damn straight your cheating is public business, because if you can’t practice, you shouldn’t be preaching, much less trying to get laws passed to condemn others for what you’re doing.

And Josh Duggar, the holier-than-thou sleazeball who loved to pretend he was the perfect husband and father, whose actual work was to harm families that didn’t fit his own narrow definition, has not one but two different kinds of sex scandal going on. First we find out he molested his sisters and their babysitter, now he’s forced to confess that he signed up on Ashley Madison so he could cheat on his wife. He had an OK Cupid account, too. And a Facebook account where he followed local strippers. And a Twitter account where he showed himself to be the typical pathetic straight white boy interacting with women. The man was obsessed with illicit sex.

Image is grayscale. On the right is Josh Duggar, showing only his face. He looks like he's about to cry. To the left are the words, "Be sure your sin will find you out. Num. 32:23"

Yeah, in this instance, the Bible was right.

I’m not happy the truth came out like it did. The people who hacked Ashley Madison were so busy being self-righteous assholes that they gave not a single thought to the kind of people whose lives might be put at risk by their leaks. They didn’t think of the people who would be driven to suicide, the people who might face domestic violence, or the people who could get executed for breaking the law in their countries. They didn’t think of the singles who were on there because it seemed like a safe and secure place to meet a same-sex partner. They didn’t think of the sex workers who would be put at risk. didn’t think of the ordinary lives that would be destroyed. The little shitheads just wanted to prove their point. And like little shitheads everywhere, they’re so full of themselves they have no room for anyone else. I hope they get to contemplate their actions from the interior of a jail cell for quite a long time. [Read more…]