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e_moon60

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80 Acres: May 5, 2016 [May. 5th, 2016|09:21 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Most but not all the surface water has dried up, soils that were seeping and running with water last week are dry enough to walk on in regular shoes.

Gaillardia-Qanne"s-lace-05-05-2016
Main grass: Queen Anne's Lace, gaillardia, scattered bluebonnets
stiff-stem prairie flax, coreopsis, goldthread, Venus's looking glass,
skullcap, green antelope horns, others
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When Police Misbehave [Apr. 28th, 2016|10:56 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |concerned]

An Austin Police Department officer, who lives in a nearby town, got into an argument with an older female neighbor--he was off duty, out of uniform, not in his jurisdiction, you will note.  He came into her yard to confront her.   She told him to get out of her yard.  He didn't.  From the images of both shown on  TV last night, he is markedly bigger than she is--heavier and taller.   She said if he didn't get out of her yard she would spray him with a garden hose.   He continued to stay in her yard and argue with her.  She sprayed him with the garden hose.  He then physically attacked her, picking her up and throwing her onto the ground (I think it was the driveway, but am not certain) causing injuries for which she needed medical treatment.

An internal investigation by the Austin PD did not find he had done anything wrong, but the chief fired him.  Now the police officers' association is mad at the chief, claiming that the officer did nothing wrong, didn't break any laws, and shouldn't have been fired.  They claim he acted "in self defense."  (Against being sprayed with a garden hose...while trespassing.  Yeah, that really calls for a physical slam-down.  NOT.)
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Socks and Sandals [Apr. 26th, 2016|05:35 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

I finished the royal blue socks last night, too late to take a picture.  Here they are in late afternoon sunlight and shadow:

Royal-blue-socks-1 Royal-blue-socks-4-26-16
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80 Acres: Earth Day 2016, Part 1 [Apr. 24th, 2016|10:19 pm]
e_moon60
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Lg-main-grass-4-22-2016
Earth Day 2016

It had rained in the day before, and dawned cool, with a northeast breeze--a perfect day to go checking the water quality on the east half of the place.  Not as much rain as the previous weekend, so with some difficulty I was able to make it from place to place in ordinary walking shoes.  In the distance, the line of woods along the seasonal creek; to the left the "dry woods" growing on a hump of rock.  Out of sight to the left, the line of trees along an old ditch dug by a former farmer, intended to carry runoff from the highway to the south property line .   A beautiful day, with signs of recovery from the drought...and signs of much management still needed.
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80 Acres: After More Rain, Water Quality Checks [Apr. 19th, 2016|12:00 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

The sooner you get into the field after a large rain event the better, especially here.   This involves rubber boots (mine leaked today...I bought women's boots last time.  Just sayin'.)   What you want to see is how the water's moving on the land, if any checkdams or gabions have been damaged, where erosion is active (you hope for nowhere, but there's usually some if there's been hard heavy rain),  how the creek is doing, etc.  Coming down the near meadow, this is what I saw:

Near-meadow-aft-4-18-16
Water is flowing right to left. 
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Supreme Court Screws Writers, Photographers, Artists [Apr. 18th, 2016|10:42 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |angry]

Some years back, Google and a group of university libraries colluded to infringe writers' copyrights under the guise of making orphan works available to the public by digitizing books out of copyright.  Just as the Gutenberg Project had been doing, only--being Google--they wanted to digitize everything in a bunch of libraries and eventually monetize their big private bunch of stuff.  As they went at it--they and the libraries--they paid no attention to whether the works in question were in copyright or out of it, in print or out of it, already available to the public in bookstores, or not.   They just digitized everything, without contacting authors or publishers or bothering their heads about copyright violation.  Because, Google insisted, they were Serving Humanity and writers and artists and photographers were on the menu.  We don't count.

It was a crime.  But they just got away with it forever, because they're a big rich company with very deep pockets, and the writers, artists, and photographers whose rights they infringed are individuals who don't have deep pockets even if they belong to writers' organizations like SFWA.   Although the first suit against Google succeeded, with a judgment in favor of the facts: that Google did indeed infring copyright and was wrong to do so--they won an appeal, and the Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of that appeal.

I am angry and disgusted.
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Knitting = Thinking. Sometimes [Apr. 18th, 2016|12:20 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

When I started knitting socks, using worsted-weight yarn, I used size 5 US needles.  I knew my mother had used size 4s to make the socks she made me, but I found it easier to see what I was doing with size 5s.   I created the pattern for those socks on my feet (trying the socks on repeatedly, and correcting from pair to pair until, with #4, I had something that suited me.   I'm a fairly tight knitter, so I was getting 6 1/2 stitches/inch and 8 rows/inch consistently, a dense enough fabric for the socks to last a reasonable time in the heavy use I give socks.   Variations in one yarn or another weren't enough to affect the socks' fit.  But I knew that dropping down to size 4 US needles would make a denser fabric tht should last even longer.  The problem was...gauge.  Taking the time to figure out my size 4 gauge in the round meant a slowdown in sock production and not until this spring did I feel I had enough backlog of socks to afford the time.

Blue-socks-#4-needles
Ribbing w/ #5 US needles, rest with #4 US

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Autonomous Vehicles [Apr. 13th, 2016|12:04 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |cautious]

Since I'm in and out of Austin a couple of times a week, and Austin is one of the cities where Google's been testing its driverless cars, I've seen some.  And since I'm over 70, and in my family (both sides) eyesight fails with age,  I had been thinking of a driverless car as the ideal assistant for someone who lives a long way from public transportation but can't drive...for any of a number of reasons.  Yet nothing I've read about driverless cars has dealt with the interface between the operator and the vehicle: how to specify a destination, how to specify a route to a destination if the operator has a preferred route (that may not be the shortest or most obvious.)

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Breathe In, Spring Is Here [Apr. 12th, 2016|11:49 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Lg-bluebonnets-4-11-2016-2436
Warm day (high 80sF) and breezy--the fragrance rolls over you in waves
Bluebonnets have a lush, rich perfume that makes me want to breathe in forever.
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Who'd a Thunk It? [Apr. 9th, 2016|06:53 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |contemplative]

In the past couple of weeks, I've discovered a whole passel of new relatives--through my mother's father's  line.   I always felt that I was way off at the far end of any family tree, pretty much a twig:  my grandfather had only three grandchildren, and only one (my cousin Jim) had children.   I'm my mother's only child.   And we lived away off in deep South Texas while the cousins she'd known when she was a girl lived hundreds of miles away to the north and east, children of her father's sisters Grace and Ruth, and I didn't get to meet any of them until I was almost in college.  My two first cousins lived in North Carolina and we saw them very rarely.

Now, however, I'm in touch with some second cousins, grandchildren of my mother's father's brothers.   And..one of them (so far...) is a fellow writer.   If you're a reader of historical romances, you might have read hers:  Martha Hix.   Here's a list of her books including two nonfiction ones, a history of the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio and a book about Pace Picante Sauce (which has been one of our favorites for years.)   See also http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Hix/e/B000AQ2Y12

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