Friday, July 31, 2020

Poem for Friday, Ford vs Ferrari, Turtles

Pea Brush
By Robert Frost

I walked down alone Sunday after church
   To the place where John has been cutting trees
To see for myself about the birch
   He said I could have to bush my peas.

The sun in the new-cut narrow gap
   Was hot enough for the first of May,
And stifling hot with the odor of sap
   From stumps still bleeding their life away.

The frogs that were peeping a thousand shrill
   Wherever the ground was low and wet,
The minute they heard my step went still
   To watch me and see what I came to get.

Birch boughs enough piled everywhere!—
   All fresh and sound from the recent axe.
Time someone came with cart and pair
   And got them off the wild flower’s backs.

They might be good for garden things
   To curl a little finger round,
The same as you seize cat’s-cradle strings,
   And lift themselves up off the ground.

Small good to anything growing wild,
   They were crooking many a trillium
That had budded before the boughs were piled
   And since it was coming up had to come.


I did not have an exciting Thursday, just got some stuff done and pondered my escape plan for when Trump sabotages the election by making it impossible to vote by mail -- at least now I understand why my packages are taking more than two weeks to get here from two states over -- and uses his private police force to stay in office.

We watched most of the Nats game, then after dinner we watched Ford vs Ferrari, which in many ways wasn't my kind of movie -- I'm not into cars and someone always dies in an accident in racing movies -- but I appreciated how much the filmmakers hate the Ford higher-ups; I can't root for Henry Ford's grandson. Some frogs from the C&O Canal:








Thursday, July 30, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Canal Ducklings

Fort Night
By Lisa Olstein

The snake is
a sleeve the deer

puts on, its mouth
a beaded cuff

in the haze men
make of morning

with each release
of their fist-gripped

guns. Is this a dream
of shame? Is this

a dream of potential
unmet, of possibility

undone? School,
no pants. Brush,

no teeth. Podium,
no poems. Open

door, all wall.
Dear Monster,

none of the guests
we disinvited arrive.

In the darkness
no lion comes.


Wednesday was quiet around here, which was lovely. I spent all day working on computer tasks and that was fine. We took a walk in the late afternoon when it was a little less hot and saw bunnies, plus I met up with someone in the neighborhood to do a Kyurem raid so I could finish a quest requiring that I catch a dragon. We got Ethiopian food for dinner from Sheba, a definite highlight!

The Orioles and Nationals both won, so even though I think baseball now is a bad idea, I guess I am paying attention. We watched Agents of SHIELD, which remains good, and I finished my Merlin rewatch, which makes me sad because I really enjoyed it again -- none of the things I nitpicked before bothered me this time. Here is another wood duck family from the canal with smaller babies:








Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Greetings from Blarrrgh

I have had a Day (and it isn't over until I finish running Malwarebytes to figure out why PayPal keeps looping the capcha page and won't let me log in to see whether my account has been compromised, since I got an email receipt for something I never bought at an address I don't use). We had a minor crisis involving out of town relatives that I can't talk about in detail for privacy reasons, and though everyone is fine, it is going to cause complications that were going to be difficult enough even without Covid. Anyway, my day was otherwise uploading photos and taking a walk in the heat, watching Stargirl, and now I'm watching fifth season Merlin which is not exactly relaxing. Look, our neighbor's cherry tomatoes are coming ripe, if they can pick them before the bunnies do:

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Poem for Tuesday and Seabirds

Haiku (stepping)
By Seán Mac Falls

Seabird tracks in sand
End where mine begin, as tides
Make both disappear.


Monday was fairly quiet -- laundry, some little tasks, attempted catch-up on email and social media after a weekend distracted by Pokemon. I thought I would get to watch the start of the Orioles-Marlins game, but as I'm sure anyone who cares already knows, that game never happened. We had CPK for socially distanced dinner at my parents' house and we did watch some of the Nationals-Blue Jays game, but that did not end well for DC and I'm pretty sure the baseball season will be called off for everyone's good.

When we came home, we watched the two episodes of Antiques Roadshow on PBS, then this week's Perry Mason, which is a lot easier to watch now that it's a courtroom and paperwork drama (I'm guessing it's Chinatown, though the issue is probably something other than water rights -- it obviously involves real estate money). I talked to a friend who lives near the ocean yesterday and now I'm really missing the beach, so here are some photos of seagulls from a few weeks ago to make me feel better:





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Monday, July 27, 2020

Greetings from Zoom

It's the end of the second day of Pokemon Go Fest, which was very fun for me -- I did a raid in the morning with local high school students, then talked on Zoom to my college roommate Tracey and her grad school roommate Ceanna, ate lunch, and went for a walk at Locust Grove where I finished beating the Team Rocket bosses and caught Victini. When we came home, Katherine (who was three hours earlier in the event because of the time difference) invited me to a few remote raids, so now I have a perfect Palkia from San Francisco! Plus I Zoomed with friends!

We had Argentine stew for dinner in honor of Eva Peron, then Skyped with Daniel, Adam, Katherine, and my parents, and watched some baseball -- we'd already seen parts of the Orioles victory and the Nationals' loss -- plus the first episode of the latest season of Endeavour, which is pretty grim, though I wasn't sorry to see them dealing with academic sexual harassment and abuse of women scientists. Here are a few pics -- a couple from the park, one from Skyping family earlier, and one from Skyping yesterday with my in-laws and David's family:

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Greetings from the Park

Pokemon Go Fest took place globally from 10-8 on Saturday, so I spent a lot of the day catching Pokemon and doing raids. In the morning, pursuing companions to take on a Groudon, I discovered another neighbor who plays, though he's going to be a freshman in high school so I didn't suggest swapping numbers or anything to coordinate raids. Now I have lots of G and O Unowns and plenty of Durants to trade, and there's an entirely different part of the event on Sunday, so we'll see what spawns in the morning. Paul and I took a walk in Cabin John Park, which has lots of Pokestops and gyms, and saw deer and many squirrels too.

In the evening after the Os had beaten the Red Sox and the Nats had beaten the Yankees, we watched My Spy, which felt like a movie written for Dwayne Johnson but starring Dave Bautista and was overall quite entertaining (flying Bechdel pass, reasonably interesting women or at least no less dimensional than the pretty predictable guys, pretty obnoxious gay stereotypes that an unexpected twist doesn't really redeem, very good child actor who makes up for a lot). Just a few photos of Pokemon, deer, a bunny, and a beautiful beaded mask holder my sister sent me, made by her friend who owns 100PercentBeads:



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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Greetings from the Meowth Balloon

I was just outside looking at Jupiter's moons and Saturn's rings through the telescope (the comet is too low on the horizon, we couldn't get a decent vantage point) so I'll be brief! It was just me and one friend on my high school chat today, everyone else was busy, but we still managed to talk for two hours, and I did a bunch of work around it and went for a walk when it was thundering and overcast so not too hot. We ate leftover fettuccine and watched She Loves Me on PBS with Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti, which was enjoyable and not at all deep, around baseball games that did not go the way I wanted for the most part. Tomorrow I'm going to be busy all day with Pokemon Go Fest! These giant lichen have been popping up in the woods since we've had all the rain, they're very pretty:

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Poem for Friday, Frogs, Baseball

Costumes Exchanging Glances
By Mary Jo Bang

            The rhinestone lights blink off and on.
Pretend stars.
I'm sick of explanations. A life is like Russell said
of electricity, not a thing but the way things behave.
A science of motion toward some flat surface,
some heat, some cold. Some light
can leave some after-image but it doesn't last.
Isn't that what they say? That and that
historical events exchange glances with nothingness.


Thursday morning was hot and humid but not as intolerable as earlier in the week. I did a bunch of chores and a bunch of scanning, including a couple of papers from college I'd typed on my typewriter before I had a computer that I found in a folder with Shakespeare souvenirs, then I went looking for some articles I'd written years ago and instead found a box of cards and letters from Kate Mulgrew fans from my KMAS days, many of which were fantastic and will need to be on the "to be scanned" list. We took a walk in the late afternoon and ate dinner early.

We kept that schedule so we could watch the first baseball game of the season, though the thunderstorm that passed over us lingered in DC and the game ended up being delayed, then ended early. This was okay with me because I got to watch the final episode of Blindspot, which I thought was great until the half-assed ambiguous ending which always just feels like watching showy masturbation by the head writer, which the smug series creator interviews just emphasize. I'm in the mood for frogs and didn't see one on our walk, so here are some from the canal:








Thursday, July 23, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Stormy Wednesday

Old Folks' Jokes
By Ravi Shankar

Porous the punchline
spoken through wads
of lettuce at lunchtime
by the septuagenarian
vegetarian who has never
flashed a peace sign,
nor could distinguish it
from a Vulcan salute.
He’s not the font
of the jokes he paces
in front of the mirror—
even the one liners
are anonymous, traffic
conversation like air
or money. Not to him.
No sooner he hears one
he likes, he owns it.
Spins the extended bits
out with panache,
skips an extra extra
extra beat from the end,
bringing out in the eyes
and bellies of his morning
shuffleboard or pill-
buddies, laughter in rising
cascades that mistaking
each pause as ultimate
begins to agitate the rows
of green jello in the thunder
of many dentures exploding
into pure guffawing.


Quickie, I'm behind on all my online activities because we were without power for several hours. It was a pretty quiet day until the storms arrived; it was dark and thunderous for more than an hour, during which our power stayed on and I got some scanning done, then the sky got brighter and I folded laundry and cleaned up things in the rooms that get enough natural light without electricity. We had candlelit soup and peanut butter crackers for dinner and took a walk in the evening drizzle.

We got the power back in time for Agents of SHIELD, the time loop episode, which was very well done -- first Groundhog Day, then TNG's "Cause and Effect", then touching -- poor Coulson, I hope his arc gets wrapped up in a satisfying way when the show ends. I'm really quite happy with the Daisy-Sousa storyline. Here are some photos from after the rain, the face mask I finally repaired today, our candlelit dinner, and Katherine who is finally back in San Francisco with Adam and Pepper:

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