Random (but not really)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Written by Michelle at 8:23 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: History,Holidays,Politics  

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Books of June

Hard to believe, but the year is half over. I’ve read 124 books so far this year, which is the largest half-year total since I started keeping track (in 2003).

I read two new releases this month, both of which I really liked: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs and The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch. Note that the Ben Aaronovitch is a Rivers of London novella, but NOT a Peter Grant story. Which worked out perfectly fine.

I also read several LGBT supernatural fantasies, all of which I really enjoyed. The Big Bad Wolf series by Charlie Adhara was a nice solid supernatural mystery: a man works for a secret law enforcement agency that polices the (secret) were-wolves. The world building was strong, both characters were complex, and the mysteries were good. The Brandywine Investigations series by Angel Martinez was another supernatural mystery, featuring mythological gods living in the modern world. I LOVED this world building. In fact, I’ve adored everything I’ve read by her, including Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists, which was ADORABLE.

Here are June’s books.

Supernatural Fantasy

Storm Cursed (2019) Patricia Briggs (Rating: 8.5/10) (Mercy Thompson)
The October Man (2019) Ben Aaronovitch (Rating: 8.5/10) (Rivers of London World)
Jane Madison
Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft (2006/2015) Mindy Klasky (Rating: 7/10)
Sorcery and the Single Girl (2007-2015) Mindy Klasky (Rating: 6/10)
The Leopard King (2016) Ann Aguirre (Rating: 5.5/10)

Supernatural Fantasy, LGBT

Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists (2017) Angel Martinez (Rating: 8/10)
Big Bad Wolf
The Wolf at the Door (2018) Charlie Adhara (Rating: 8/10)
The Wolf at Bay (2018) Charlie Adhara (Rating: 8/10)
Thrown to the Wolves (2019) Charlie Adhara (Rating: 8/10)
Brandywine Investigations
Open for Business (2016) Angel Martinez (Rating: 7.5/10)
Family Matters (2018) Angel Martinez (Rating: 8.5/10)

Mystery, LGBT

Point Blank: Five Dangerous Ground Novellas (2017) Josh Lanyon (Rating: 7.5/10)
Seance on a Summer’s Night (2018) Josh Lanyon (Rating: 7/10)

Mystery, Historical

A Dangerous Collaboration (2019) Deanna Raybourn (Rating: 7/10)

And now: THE NUMBERS!

This month was all eBooks, all the time. I’ve been listening to podcasts instead of audio books, so that dropped those off the list.

eBook: 14

Genre-wise things were pretty evenly spread. Lots of multi-category books, which is great since I adore supernatural mysteries.

Fantasy: 11
Mystery: 9
Romance: 10
Boinking: 9

Only a single male author this month (Ben Aaronovitch).

Male: 1
Female: 8
Male Pseudonym: 5

And looming at the character breakdowns, since I read a lot of M/M romance, I had lots of male characters. Lots of white males, although at least some of the books had diversity in their supporting characters (the Brandywine Investigations might have counted as secondary minority, what with Anansi and Coyote showing up, but they didn’t play very large parts). And lots of LGBTQ stories, with lots of LGBTQ secondary characters (although the historical mystery was a little shaky in that category)

Male: 6
Female: 7
Ensemble: 1
White: 13
Minority: 1
Minority 2ndary: 2
Straight: 6
LGBTQ: 8
LGBTQ 2ndary: 5

And that’s what I read in June.

Anything you’d recommend this month?

Written by Michelle at 7:06 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cranberry Glades

Orchids were in bloom at Cranberry Glades.

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Also in bloom:

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It was a LOVELY day to be in the Cranberry Wilderness and walk the Cranberry Glades boardwalk.

Written by Michelle at 7:14 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon

I’ve been sickly for about two weeks, getting over some kind of cold/respiratory thingy. So yesterday we wanted to hike somewhere close, and take a hike that wasn’t too strenuous.

Apparently, we have a strange definition of strenuous.

We ended up going to Thomas/Davis because it’s a short-ish drive, and there are tons of places to hike. We were considering the Canaan Wilderness, but I looked through the hiking books on the way down, and decided we should try some more hiking in the Blackwater Canyon (across the gorge from Blackwater Falls State Park).

Location: Blackwater Canyon
Trails: Allegheny and Limerock Trails
Distance: 8.2 miles
Elevation: 2863-3118 feet (590 feet rise)

It seems that for us, 8.2 miles turned out to be taking it easy. We did have a much slower pace than we normally hike (30 min mile vs 20 min mile) and the majority of the hike was on a railroad grade trail, so it was a slower elevation rise. Essentially, we parked, and hikeed out until we decided we were ready to turn around.

The temperatures were perfect for hiking, the weather was lovely, and aside from one dirt biker on the RR grade trail, we didn’t see anyone else while we were out.

So: a good day.

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Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, June 23, 2019

WV Roads

I’ve talked about WV roads before, and I truly don’t think most people really get it.

US Route 50 stretches from the east coast to the west coast. It was constructed in the mid 1920s. So it’s been around for awhile and used to be a major thoroughfare.

West of I79, US 50 in WV is relatively straight, and for the most part a divided highway. East of I79 it is two lanes, 7-11% grades, and hairpin turns. The GPS often loses signal along the more winding stretches and has us either inside the mountain or floating above the gorge. (“Damnit! You’re off-roading again!”)

When I talk about reasons why WV has trouble getting jobs because of lack of infrastructure, US 50 East of I79 immediately comes to mind. No one in the right mind would bring production into an area where you cannot drive large trucks.

So in an effort to try and explain WV roads, here is a small section of US 50, taken over approximately 5 minutes, up to and then down one of my least favorite stretches of US 50. (This is NOT the section with the switch backs.) I named the pictures with the date and time, and all should have GPS coordinates.

Ready? Here we go!

18-55-00. Coming up to the top of the mountain, there are multiple signs warning trucks about the hill. “Trucks must stop 1/4 mile”

18-55-16. “Trucks must stop 1000 FT”

18-55-27. “ALL TRUCKS”

18-55-39. “Trucks. 20 MPH Curve Bottom of Grade.”

Oh yeah, this section of downhill ends in a sharp curve.

18-56-03. Here we go!

18-56-20. “Rough Road”

Because of course the road is subsiding.

18-56-55

18-57-12.

18-57-15. “9%”

18-57-27.

18-58-46. “30 MPH”

18-59-12.

18-59-23. “9%”

18-59-45.

19-00-13. “9%. 1/2 MILE”

19-00-39. “20 MPH”

That’s the final turn and now you’re down in the valley.

Five minutes. 9% grade. And it you mess up you’re smashed into the side of the mountain or plunging into the gorge.

These is a US route, not a county road. THIS is why we can’t get jobs in WV. Not because the people are unwilling to work, but because businesses can’t GET to the areas where jobs are needed.

Written by Michelle at 6:19 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,Politics,West Virginia  

Sunday Flower Pr0n

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Written by Michelle at 12:08 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Flower Pr0n: WV Botanic Garden

Wednesday Jules and I went to the WV Botanic garden for a walk and to take pictures.

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Written by Michelle at 1:33 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  
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