Ukiah

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:40 am
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[personal profile] ranunculus

Saturday night Donald and I drove up to Ukiah. In the morning we checked the fence line in part of the Iris Barn Pastures. Carrie thought she had a problem out there. We found several minor things, but nothing that should have killed a battery. I suspect that the battery had been abused just enough to be at the end of its life anyway.

Moving on we checked the drip and spray lines at the Howell Creek restoration project. We started with the ones that were chewed up, apparently by a coyote, during August. I had just fixed them. They had all survived intact for the 5 days since I’d seen them last. We left one set of sprinklers going for a couple of hours just to give the little willows a boost.

The winter shelter for the horses was next. Our project was to finish cutting the 1 inch plywood to length and get some primer on it.

Apparently nothing ever gets done on the Ranch without painful preliminary steps. First thing in the morning I had loaded the generator into the car, hurting my back in the process. Yes, I know, I should have waited for help… Once loaded several of us tried to figure out how to siphon off the stale gas in its tank. All the ethanol that is put in gas these days may make it burn cleaner, but it also makes it go bad within about 3 months. The gas in that tank was at least a year old. Unfortunately for us, the tank on the generator was designed to be hard to steal gas from. Eventually I got a siphon going and Donald held the generator at an angle until it had drained. We refilled it with “tool gas” which is wildly expensive but has a shelf life of 2+ years. Once at the shelter, getting the generator going was a comedy of errors since there was very poor labeling on the machine (I kept trying to start it in the “off” position using the choke lever that had no info at all), even worse;  the valve on the fuel hose works the opposite of the valves I’m familiar with. This lead me to attempt to start the machine in the off position with no fuel!!

Thinking about doing this project before I left San Francisco, I realized that I no longer owned any saw-horses, the last ones had disintegrated into compost some time before. At the hardware store I found some very nice metal ones that fold up and have a carry handle. Ideal. We set the two bright yellow saw-horses up, marked the first sheet of plywood and I began running my old skill-saw through it. It immediately became obvious that the old skill-saw was un-usable. Way back when Matt was working for us he had mentioned that the saw didn’t work properly and that he thought the shaft was bent. I went to town. An hour later my brand new De Walt skill saw was making short work of the plywood.

Dave, the deer hunter, happened to be on the place taking down their hunt camp for the season. I called him and he very obligingly came down and helped shuffle plywood around, giving my sore back a rest. We got everything cut, and Donald got quite a lot of paint on the plywood given that he kept being interrupted to help move things.

Once the plywood was cut I tightened the bolts that hold the rafter to the walls with a tiny ratchet wrench that was terribly annoying. I like my tools to work, not half work!  Here is the worksite. Note the black plastic on the right hand side.  There a lovely little frogs sheltering in its damp folds!

At the end of the day we walked past the new tents that are sheltering the various bits of equipment that no longer fit in the barn. The tents are getting quite badly blown around. Next trip I need to fix that problem. I know what I want to do, put big 4x6 runners under each side of the tent and fasten everything securely down to those.

Got back to SF about 10pm.

 

Pursuant to the last entry

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:20 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hope Not Hate have an excellent blog post explaining who they are and why they're going international.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.


From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:

The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?

In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.

Their undercover reporter [twitter.com profile] patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:

https://twitter.com/patrik_h/status/910245564780081152

Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis

”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”

The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK

Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.

Misc

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:20 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
Worked a show at the Masonic Auditorium yesterday.  Singer named Kalid.  Very minimal load in after which I came home and slept solidly for an hour and a half.  Went back to run followspot on an utterly forgettable show.  No work now till Monday.
Planning a trip to Ukiah on Sunday with Donald. 
  • I want to check the drip irrigation and see if the coyotes chewed it up again. 
  • Carrie needs help finding a fault in the fence at the Iris Barn.
  • We plan to spend a bunch of time painting the plywood for the Shelter.  I want it done soon!!!
Got the garden watered today.  Tomorrow I should water again, it was really dry.
Called the Ranch insurance agent and reminded her that I need a breakdown of the insurance cost.  
Now I need to write an e-mail to the Union office about a couple of things. 





Ukiah

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:29 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
A flying trip to Ukiah on Tuesday Sept 19th was very satisfying.
  • The planning department gave me an extension to my permit for the shelter at the Red Barn.  It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year since we began trying to get that thing together.
  • Johnny came and helped me get the last 6 sheets of roofing onto the shelter. 
  • I purchased more paint primer (now there is 10 gallons) and 5 gallons of the tan top coat. 
  • I fixed a lot of problems on the Howell Creek drip irrigation.  Sadly a whole lot of plants had died of lack of water.  It looks like Mr Coyote got in and chewed up the drip lines so he could get a drink.  Even with the dead plants there were plenty of plants that survived, thank goodness.  Most of the damage was on the lower end, the upper end was relatively unscathed. 
  • I pulled the tarp back over the top of one of the storage tents.  The knots holding it had been tied by my helper and were clearly sub-standard.  Shouldn't be a problem now.  The tarp is to help reduce sun damage to the tent itself. 
  • Dave the Deer Hunter came by as we were finishing up the roofing and we agreed to have dinner together up at his camp.  It was very pleasant, if sad, since Dave's dad died recently. 
Altogether the day was beautiful and I got everything on my infamous "list" for the day done. 


(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:48 am
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[personal profile] silveraspen
Went with [profile] wickedtrue​ and [personal profile] vivien to watch the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural game, which happened to be against the Colorado Avalanche.

Looks like the Golden Knights are going to have a solid team. And it also looks like the Avalanche still have a lot of work to do if they ever want to get back to the glory days of 1995-2001.

[Crossposted to Tumblr.]

Hands across the ocean

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:00 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

As you will have noticed, I love HnH. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat). I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line, holy fuck) will be a formidable addition to the US scene.

Also they will allow you to give them money to help sue Nigel Farage, and honestly I would love them for that alone. PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Medieval porpoise 'grave' on Channel island puzzles archaeologists

I love everything about this story:

Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.

MAYBE THE PORPOISE WAS A MONK, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.

... and now I eagerly await the medieval monk were-porpoise shifter romance.

For a different kind of wonderful:

The Fader: This Artist Is Filling London With Murals Of Extraordinary Black Women

The art is gorgeous, but what I really love is that he's portraying his female friends, people who aren't famous but are ordinary/extraordinary people - a youth worker, a psychotherapist, and so on. And I love the shots of the murals with the real women posed next to them.

Graham-Cassidy

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:45 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via [tumblr.com profile] vassraptor and [tumblr.com profile] realsocialskills:

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network: ACA repeal is back – and so are we

Explanation, script and guide to contacting your representatives.

Two Days Off!

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:03 am
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[personal profile] ranunculus
It is a foggy, but not too cold morning here in SF.
Forgot to get my name on the work list on Friday.  It is easy to forget when I'm in the middle of some long work day!  Anyway that allowed me to have Sunday and Monday off.  Tue is TBD. 
Got catfood, dogfood, tea and milk yesterday.  Staples for our household!
Had a lovely dinner with Amrit who is here visiting for a while.  Amrit was our tenant for a couple of years.  He is now working all over the world for Google.  It just so happened that he's in town for a couple of weeks, so he's staying with us - sort of.  Being Amrit he's off here and there much of the time. 
Off to help M clean his apartment (not hard).  He has strict instructions NOT to vacuum until his neck heals. 
silveraspen: inara crying (firefly: some days aren't worth it)
[personal profile] silveraspen
Many of you know this already through other channels, but since I haven't said it here yet --

My father passed away due to complications from heart failure on August 25, 2017. I am very fortunate that I was able to be there with him when the time came, as was my mother; he didn't leave this world alone.

Since my mother was in ICU at the same time (in the same hospital, at least) and is still recovering, plus a few other things, we will be holding a memorial service for him sometime in November. That's what he wanted, anyway, rather than a big funeral shindig, so.

By then I will have better words to share here in his memory. For now -- I loved him very much, and he loved me. Even when we disagreed on things, that was always a constant. I am grateful to have had him in my life for as long as I did, and I will miss him always.



(Before you ask - no, I'm not okay, not really, but I'm getting through it one moment at a time. All of you have been a great help.)
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
is now OH JESUS FUCK BUTTERCUP'S GOING TO SAY SOMETHING ISN'T HE.

Today:

Trump claimed on Twitter that the terrorist attack involved “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard”, despite no such information having been released publicly by police. He also blamed it on “loser terrorists”, promoted his travel ban and advocated a “proactive and nasty” policy against Islamic State.

Note: since no information's been released publicly about whether the police even have suspects, let alone ones known to Scotland Yard, Buttercup is either a) violating the conventions on intelligence sharing (again), or b) completely making shit up.

Also note: almost all our terrorists recently have been home-grown, so a travel ban would do exactly fuck-all.

Also pre-emptively and doubtless ineffectively: DON'T EVEN THINK OF COMING AT OUR MAYOR YOU FUCKER.

i'm swamped

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:21 pm
sporky_rat: Princess Bride - text truncated. Text: I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan....I'm swamped. (swamped)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I'm teaching a Heraldry 101 class tomorrow at Kingdom A&S and I have exactly one thing typed for a hand out - my list of sources. Everything else is going to be a quick run down, showing off SENA and the Admin Handbook, and then questions! I like answering questions. I will make sure my phone is ready to go and maybe even my notebook computer since it's sometimes easier to see something on that screen that a phone screen.

I am a terrible lecturer. AND Adalyde put me up against Morin's Poison Garden class. HOW COULD SHE. I've offered a prize to whoever shows up to my class with Morin's handout.

I loaned out Seasons 2 and 3 of Game of Thrones to Jenna. She devoured Season 1, so I need to eventually pick up the physical copies of Seasons 4-7.

Dystopia Rising has been awesome lately, I've decided to create a Rover Sawbones (basically a combat medic) and I'm pretty sure I will not use a weapon the first couple of games. Mostly because I need the build for other stuff. Like Rescue and Scrounge and other stuff like that.

I forgot that there was a youngish James Woods in John Carpenter's Vampires. I like this movie a lot, no joke. Then again, I like James Woods. But the effects are really neat. Daniel Baldwin makes me groan a lot, though. I'm not a huge fan of him.

I have an awful lot of stuff to get ready for the month of October. It is full of stuff to do - first weekend in October is actually empty, then there's Coronation, Four Horsemen, Diamond Wars and GAHSS, DR:AR (debuting my Rover on my birthday weekend) and then my cousin Caitlin's wedding. Wow. Busy.

Lightning

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:51 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
Walked out of work last night into a thunderstorm with frequent flashes of lightning and pouring rain!!  The rain is a bit unusual for this time of year, and the lightning was by far the most intense storm I've seen in San Francisco.

(no subject)

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:29 pm
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[personal profile] ranunculus
In total it took 7 electricians more than 20 hours to load in this show.  Should have been done in 8.  Sigh. 
This morning the client was desperate for me to "get the lights focused"  So I went around in my boom lift and focused all the lights, generally on imaginary stages that might or might not move.  Another crew went around in a scissors lift (way, way easier to work out of for this kind of thing). The second crew added pipes to the trusses so the cables from the truss drop down next to the wall instead of in the seating area.  Sadly they were behind me.  The weight of the pipe rolled every single truss so all the lights were completely out of focus.  So I went BACK around with my awkward boom lift and refocused every single light.   I will just mention that the pipes should have gone on the truss while it was still down at floor level, at the same time we hung the lights. 
Eventually, at the end of the second day, the stages were placed.  At that point the client decided she hated our floor uplights and changed where they went.  Her placement left half of the 6' long striplight hanging off the edge of the stage.  The carpenters built little "legs' that we screwed the striplight feet (called trunions) to.  I thought it was a nifty solution.

Today was day three of this show.  Not much has changed, the stage manager is desperately dealing with poor equipment and problems while I'm sitting quietly making lights go on and off.  Wish I could refocus a couple of my lights....  
I swear that good, well organized shows exist.  I've seen lovely light plots, and worked for well prepared bosses.  Just not recently!
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