Random (but not really)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Last year they started putting up maps at the heads of the various trails, showing you the elevation etc. This year they seem to be replacing the signs at trail heads and intersections, which is how we learned that the Reservoir Ski trail is now the Headwaters Trail. Curious to see if any other signage in the park has been added/changed. (The official park maps still have the old names. Which doesn’t surprise me. If the forest service had to lay off fire fighters, I’d hope they’d lay off web designers first.)

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Roadside, Headwater, Scotts Run Trails
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation: 2297-2017 feet
Temperature: 70-79 F

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

We’re Goin’ to the Zoo Zoo Zoo

I was trying to remember the last time I’d been to a zoo, and figured it must have been before my cousin Liz was born. Which is fine, because I find zoos distressing. Not quite as distressing as they used to be, but as someone who doesn’t eat mammals because of cruelty issues, zoos are complicated.

But Jules’ birthday party was at the zoo, and I wasn’t going to miss that for anything, so I went.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered–the Pittsburgh Zoo has had major renovations since the last time I was there as a kid. In fact, you can actually see some of the old outdoor pens–one of which has been converted to a sort of beer garden, which was amusing.

There were also signs, such as that outside of the polar bears, that seemed to be saying the polar bears had ended up in the zoo because they kept getting into human garbage and other parts of human settlements. I’d much rather an animal be in a zoo than shot because humans have taken over it’s space.

But I still was made very uncomfortable with the primate area. It wasn’t too bad initially–after all, the sloth seemed super happy with his surroundings, and there was a one-armed primate who obviously wouldn’t have survived in the wild. But the large primates? I didn’t see signs insinuating or detailing how they ended up at the zoo, and although their area was large with trees and a stream and plenty of entertainment, it was still disturbing seeing an animal so like us, behind the plexiglass. So I wandered off quickly and looked at other things while everyone else finished with the primates.

I only took one picture of a large mammal, and that was because I was zooming in with my camera to see if there was something wrong with this lion’s eye (there wasn’t) but I ended up liking the picture that came out, so here it is.

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Pittsburgh Zoo has an aquarium, but I found it… unimpressive. Also hot and insanely crowded, which didn’t help.

But there were interesting aquatic creatures, many of which were explicitly rescued (including the sea turtle with the paralyzed rear fins and “bubble butt”. (I didn’t get a picture of him, because that window was insanely crowded.))

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The window of the single tank of jellies was very crowded, so I got almost no decent pictures. But I did enjoy watching them.

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Also:

NO SWIMMING IN THE GRASS!

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I know, those are daylilies and not grass, but it still amused me.

Another plus was that instead of lawns and such, most of the areas between sections were of wild grasses and wild flowers, which I did like very much.

In the end, I won’t be going back to this or any other zoo, but it was not as bad as I was fearing it would be.

Oh! One last picture–this abandoned stairwell was behind a fence.

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Music for the Day

Here’s some happy music I’ll be listening to today.

R.E.M – Exhuming Mccarthy

Mexican Institute of Sound – Yo Digo Baila

Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder


(more…)

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Categories: music,Non-Sequiturs  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On Swimwear and Modesty

I’ve been super confused by the recent news stories about bans in France on a certain kind of swimwear.

France’s highest administrative court is being asked to overturn beach bans imposed by 26 towns on women in full-body swimsuits known as “burkinis”.

Women are being fined for wearing modest swimwear.

Think about that for a few moments.

If you have any passing knowledge of history, you’ll be vaguely aware that less than 100 years ago, women were arrested or fined or removed from the beach for their swimsuits.

Because those suits didn’t cover enough of their skin.

Now we’re being arrested for covering too much of our skin?

Of course not. Not ALL women are being arrested, fined, or shamed for their swimwear!

Here’s a company that seems to be doing a good business selling modest swimwear to WASP women.

HydroChic’s core mission is to provide a stylish line of modest women’s swimsuits that at once combines the desire for chic expression on the beach and the consumer’s wish for modest swimwear coverage.

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal on the business of modest swimwear.

For years, Ms. Bolin, who is in her early 50s, searched for adequate bathing suits. Finally, she ventured out to her favorite Texas water park in a HydroChic outfit: Bermuda-length swim shorts and a three-quarter sleeve top.

Ms. Bolin said she still remembers admiring comments from lifeguards who loved her surfer look: “They thought I was the coolest.” She has never looked back

And that’s how it should be–a woman should be allowed to dress in a manner in which she is comfortable.

But yet women in France are being told that their manner of dress is not acceptable. That they don’t know their own minds and therefore cannot possibly have chosen to dress in such a manner, so therefore, they should not be allowed to dress in such a manner.

It’s 2016; how have we not reached the point where women can wear whatever the hell they want without some government stepping in to tell us they know what is best for us? That what we wear affects people OTHER than ourselves therefore we must toe the government line for how we clothe ourselves?

Why are more women around the world not ENRAGED by this?

Of course, some women are unhappy with these laws. Here’s a lovely image from France, of women who are standing up for their rights of their sisters to dress as they please:

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Note that none of the women are the least bit upset by how the other women around them are dressed. In fact, they seem to be enjoying the company.

Because that’s the point. We should support the rights of others to dress as they please.

Mind you, I don’t particularly want to see half-nekkid people, and the thought of sitting in a chair after someone wearing short-shorts squicks me out a bit but that’s my problem to deal with (which is why all my shorts come down almost to my knees). It doesn’t give me the right to order other people to dress in a manner that makes me happy and comfortable.

To close, here is a picture of my in MY swimsuit (no one mocked me or tried to fine or arrest me for my clothes).

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I don’t dress modestly because of some government or religious edict (in fact, I’m close to agnostic). I dress modestly because that is how I am comfortable dressing.

And that is and should remain MY choice and MY decision.

——

For the curious or interested, my top is a rash guard from Coolibar, which makes UPF 50 clothing and swimwear.

This does not mean I won’t mock creepy men who wear speedos and act like god’s gift to women. Because there’s dressing as you like, and then there’s being an asshole. The latter is always deserving of mockery.

Written by Michelle at 8:42 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs,Politics,Religion & Philosophy  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Something Amusing

If you’re a teenager, I imagine your favorite activity is to sit with your parents on a quiet river bank, drink your glass of lemonade, and ponder the complexities of life. Probably the first question you ask is “How much water is flowing in this river?” You’ve come to the right place for an answer. The U.S. Geological Survey has been measuring streamflow on thousands of rivers and streams for many decades

from the The USGS Water Science School

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Friday, May 27, 2016

Something Happy

Today as we were driving past the VFD, we saw they had all their hoses laid out in their driveway, and a little girl in a sun dress was leaping over the hoses, one at a time, all the way across the lot.

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Something Lovely

Last night at Sirriani’s Cafe (in Canaan Valley) we were seated near an elderly couple. (OK, we were seated near everyone–it’s a small place.)

When the couple went to pay, the waitress told them that a woman at another table had already paid for their meal. Just because.

And when they went to leave, since a pouring rain had started, the other employee got out a big umbrella and walked them to their car.

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day

Thank you, to those who have served, who are currently serving, and to their families.

Cave WWII

Cave WWII

Cave WWII

Ben Klishis WWII

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Thank you.

Written by Michelle at 9:49 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do Not Eat

I got a new pair (set?) of Chums for my sunglasses, and was amused when I read the care directions.

chums

(Yes, the picture does show a head with a fork.)

I showed them to Michael, who was also amused.

Later, when I was taking off my sunglasses and hanging them up…

Michael: How did they taste?
Michelle: ?
Michael: We know you don’t follow directions, so how did they taste?

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Footsteps

I had an odd little experience this morning when I first arrived at work.

First, the building where I work has two long hallways, connected by several crossways. But to make it easier, think of it as an upper case H.

I enter the ground floor of the building at the foot of one leg, halfway down the hallway turn onto the crosspiece, and then when I reach the other leg, take the stairs up to the first floor.

This morning, after turning from the main hallway into the cross way, I suddenly noticed my footsteps were strangely louder–as if I was wearing shoes with hard heels instead of the soft soles I have been wearing. (The sidewalks have been treacherous–one ugly slide and a fall in a single day put me off wearing my Docs until the walks are clear.)

I softened my step, but I could still hear the striking of my heels on the tile.

Then I reached the intersection and saw walking away from me a woman in boots, walking the exact pace I was.

She was not, however, my doppelganger, seeing as she was tall and thin with long, straight, blonde hair.

Written by Michelle at 10:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Monday, January 12, 2015

I HAVE FOILED GOOGLE

Bespin Clown Car

Not only were there no existing images of a Bespin Clown Car, apparently NO ONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET EVER MADE THIS MISTAKE.

What do I win?

Written by Michelle at 9:07 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ark!

We went to Frostburg to have dinner for my Dad’s birthday, and I talked my parents into stopping by The Ark!

Look! Here we are!

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Ta DA!

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We’re in luck! Clear skies!

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It’s large, but it’s not THAT large. Guess that’s why the dinosaurs couldn’t fit.

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I’m guessing this is the ramp for the animals to go down into the hold. Not much headroom for the elephants and giraffes.

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All the cement is crumbling.

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The footers (again, crumbling) were poured for a much larger structure than the existing steel super structure.

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There you go! A closer look at the Ark, a structure that has provided hours of amusement over the years.

There are several more pictures if you click through to Flickr.

Written by Michelle at 8:54 am      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Geek,Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days

I believe I’ve talked before about participating in the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days program at WVU.

I’ve done it every year since at least 2005 (that’s the oldest record in the Excel file I used to keep track), and except 2010, when I broke my ankle, I got way over the minimum every year.

What I find fascinating (because I am a huge geek) are the pattern differences from year to year.

Here is a chart for last year:

walk-100-miles-2013

Here is a chart for this year:

walk-100-miles-2014

I’m thinking that the Saturday change is due to the number of rainy Saturdays we had this year, where we couldn’t get out and go hiking. But I find it just as fascinating that my peak walking day during the week shifted from Wednesday to Friday. Most likely because Wednesday is the day I’m most likely to go out to lunch with friends.

And if you’re curious, the number of miles I walked this year during the program was 477 (longer than the distance from Morgantown to Fayetteville, NC). Only 176 (just a bit longer than the distance from Morgantown to Charles Town, WV) of those counted towards the program, because you can only count 12 miles/week for the program, and that’s pretty much the max you can get.

So, it was fun. Both the walking and the tracking.

(And my team? We walked 1972 miles, which is longer than the trip from Morgantown to Denver, CO (1465).)

Written by Michelle at 6:26 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Geek,Non-Sequiturs  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Things that Suck

I work IT.

That means I dress in jeans and a t-shirt (in my case a long sleeve t-shirt, because I have a propensity to touch things that will give me a rash.

I dress for working on computers in rooms that process soil or other messy things.

In fact, here is how I’m dressed today.

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Comfortably.

Why am I sharing this seemingly inconsequential information with you?

Because of something that happened this morning.

As I stepped out of the room where I had been working, I saw two men standing in the hallway. One most likely a few years older than me, and one probably a few years younger.

They both turned towards me when they heard the door close, and then the older of the two went back to studying the bulletin board.

The younger male stared at me.

As I walked towards him, he continued to stare at me, and as I walked past, he actually turned his body so he could continue to stare at me as I went past him and into the stairwell.

The reason I’m sharing this is, you see, this is the kind of shit that happens all the fucking time when you’re female.

Shit like this is why I don’t feel safe walking places alone.

Shit like this is why I carry my keys in my hand, sharp bits pointing out.

Shit like this is why I hate dressing nicely, because then it’s worse.

Shit like this is why I always wear shoes I can run in.

No, it doesn’t “feel good” that someone thought I was attractive enough to stare at.

It feels creepy.

It feels unsafe.

And it feels incredibly unfair.

Written by Michelle at 11:41 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs,Politics  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Yellow! Yellow! Yellow!

There isn’t much blooming right now except my Stella d’Oro day lilies, but they’re making up for the lack elsewhere.

Buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus) at Tomlinson Run State Park

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Stella d’Oro daylilies

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Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus ‘Variegata’) is one of my favorite herbs. I adore the way it looks and the way it smells.

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Written by Michelle at 6:31 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: House & Garden,Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ah, Preschoolers

“Aunt Michelle! Run in a circle!”
“I can’t! I’ll puke.”
Waitress: “Can I get anything for you?”
“Aunt Michelle is gonna puke!”

Written by Michelle at 6:15 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

No, But I of Course Had to Look It Up Too

battle cattle

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Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Most Popular State Attractions

Here’s something random:

Someone put together the Most Popular US Attractions: State By State and Time put it into a single map, so I decided to see which I’d hit.

Considering that I haven’t visited all 50 states, I’ve hit quite a few of them.

State State Visit Attraction Attraction Visit
Alaska AK Y Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Y
Alabama AL
Arkansas AR D
Arizona AZ Y
California CA Y Disneyland Y
Colorado CO Y
Connecticut CT Y
Washington DC DC Y National Mall & Memorial Parks Y
Delaware DE
Florida FL Y Walt Disney World Y
Georgia GA Y
Hawaii HI Y Waikiki Beach Y
Iowa IA
Idaho ID
Illinois IL Y
Indiana IN D
Kansas KS D
Kentucky KY Y
Louisiana LA
Massachusetts MA Y Faneuil Hall Marketplace Y
Maryland MD Y Assateague Island National Seashore Y
Maine ME
Michigan MI Y Henry Ford Museum Y
Minnesota MN
Missouri MO D
Mississippi MS
Montana MT Y
North Carolina NC Y
North Dakota ND
Nebraska NE
New Hampshire NH
New Jersey NJ Y
New Mexico NM
Nevada NV
New York NY Y
Ohio OH Y Cedar Point Y
Oklahoma OK
Oregon OR
Pennsylvania PA Y Independence National Historic Park Y
Rhode Island RI
South Carolina SC D
South Dakota SD Y Mount Rushmore Y
Tennessee TN D Great Smoky Mountains National Park Y
Texas TX Y San Antonio River Walk Y
Utah UT
Virginia VA Y
Vermont VT
Washington WA Y Pike Place Market Y
Wisconsin WI Y
West Virginia WV Y New River Gorge National River Y
Wyoming WY Y

How about you?

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Oops… I’m Still Here. On Earth. And Doing Well, Thanks!

I haven’t actually fallen off the earth, I’ve just been spending my evenings reading, rather than on my computer, so, I haven’t been posting at all.

Sorry about that.

I’ve also been busy with my new job, but in a good–dare I say, delightful?–way. It’s been lovely to enjoy going to work, to feel appreciated at my job, and to come home and not have to spend my evening wondering how I’ll find the strength to go back the next day.

As I said, it’s been lovely.

Another cause for joy is that my depression has been well-controlled, my anxiety has hardly bothered me, and even my OCD has been quieter than usual. (Of the three, my OCD never goes completely away, but when I’m anxious and/or depressed, it gets really bad. But right now, I’m beginning to remember what it feels like to be an almost normal person. It’s a strange feeling, and I’m not taking it for granted, but it’s been a tremendous relief.

I’ve also been baking, for the pleasure of it, rather than as stress relief, which is also fun, but less good for my waistline. But life is short, and I’ll take pleasure and enjoyment where I find them, and be glad that I also take enjoyment in walking and hiking and other exercise type things.

However, it’s caused posting to be light, because instead of coming home and compulsively getting on the computer, searching for escape from my day, I’m instead spending the evenings, curled up on the sofa with His Furriness, reading, because it makes me happy to do so.

But now that spring is attempting to make an appearance, I’ll probably be posting more frequently, most likely pictures, but perhaps other things.

Written by Michelle at 9:19 pm      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No. No No No.

This is not how math and statistics work:

About 92 percent of all malware attacks are delivered by zip files.

“Whatever it is, it can wait,” Meyers said, “because you have a 92 percent chance of losing access to all of your data. Those are not good odds.”

no no no

Written by Michelle at 1:47 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  
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