Saturday, June 27, 2020

I Gotta Wear A Mask? OMG What Next?? PANTS???

My FB joke comparing masks to pants seems to have hit a nerve, or at least the funny bone!
I think I've figured out why 4freeCLE's numbers are booming (over 8000 hits on Saturday - 4 times my previous highs, which tended to be CLE reporting deadlines). I had hoped that sharing the link  to the Low Bono community via an email last week and the roundtable call Friday lead to it being shared, or something. However, Adsense clicks have not increased at all, so I doubt the new readers are humans. My next guess is that for some reason the site is being spidered and there are thousands of posts so until the spidering is done, I'll have inflated numbers. Too bad it's not real people but that's the internet!
This evening I had another DND session but suffered grave technical issues: my earbuds which were perfectly functional two minutes before the session started (I could hear household noises somewhere!) just quit. I don't know whether it's the VTT or DNDbeyond or my laptop (which I suspect...) or the earbuds themselves but after 45 minutes (!) of trying, including a callin tech support from one of the expedition, we ended up serving audio via discord on the phone (which I'd never done before, that was an adventure!)
The game itself was pretty good. Our party is not super well organized but we have fun and there were some creative responses to challenges. I'm already looking forward to the next roung in two weeks - but first, taking my machine over to the DM's for tech support as he generously proposed!
(I have had issues with this thing before, it may be time to get a new one).
I can hardly believe I didn't take a single photo today. This has not happened since when?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Fried Day

Nature Reclaiming Garage, or
Garage Framing Nature?

Bee Flower

It's Called "Dog Vomit Fungus"

I Need To Organize My
Collection Of Little Free Libraries

Patriot Chicken With Mask

West Seattle SETI
Aroung 11 I joined in the Low Bono Section Roundtable, and learned a bunch of things! I shared one virtual tip from TM (eyes on camera, please, because otherwise we look distracted) 4freeCLE, which was popular. We discussed issues with virtual trial practice. One attorney just punted and got a continuance, which the judge was fine with. One had done both a phone hearing and a zoom hearing, and clearly preferred the zoom hearings for the nonverbal stuff. Neither is preferred to live trials though.
THEN someone from Thurston Cty (I think...) chimed in about their Zoom rules, which she disfavors. Mandating that all witnesses get copies of all evidence is a big problem since much of that is private and of no interest to some witnesses, e.g. a witness present merely to authenticate a document about a car and no need to see medical reports. The attorney asked the judge to scrap this and it was ok.
There is a big potential problem with virtual witness coaching; in DV cases who knows what's going on with the witness as she talks?
Maybe the biggest concern is that when a virtual trial is "open" the witnesses can be seen and recorded by anyone on the planet. The court apparently requires viewers to promise not to record which is completely ineffectual. If someone in a foreign country makes a recording, what is the court going to do?
 Toward evening I took another walk, either to do a little shopping or to get more steps in. I had a long chat with Mary O'Brien, who told me Ginny came by her house often to monitor the bird feeder and got stuck under the house. Mary's in her late 70's and seriously quaranting, but when her daughter visiting, she could see Ginny mewing. Mary saw her at the basement opening which was heavily screened and couldn't be opened, but fortunately she asked Maureen Seeley who got a tool to open things up.

Stunning White Poppies

Smiley Face Poppy

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mary Lynn Wiebe

Decades ago my brother Joe of blessed memory picked me up at SeaTac with a woman who didn't speak much. I assumed that they were an item and boy howdy was I wrong; she was our cousin Mary Lynn from Canada. I've never been much in contact with that side of the family since I fled by biofamily in 1973, but I was vaguely aware that mom's sibs had kids and they tended to be nice. Certainly the few times we interacted they were pleasant or funny and someone you'd spend more time with if we were around more.
This week there has been a flurry of Facebook messages about Mary Lynn needing a partial liver transplant. I guess the way it works they take only a lobe from the liver of a living donor, who grows it back relatively quickly. The problem is finding a living donor, and of course there are expenses. She has a gofundme at which I recommend.
I chipped in an amount and was both surprised and delight to get a security alert from my credit union, an email saying to call a number. After all, it was an amount going to someplace in another country that I'd never interacted with before. When I phoned, I assured the robot voice that this was ok but I was surprised to note that the dollar amount was less than expected: apparently GoFundMe used the local currency (Canadian dollar) instead of my currency (American dollar). I was somewhat less generous than I intended. Lesson learned.
I am interested in learning about how to get tested for liver compatibility but I am concerned that my b.p. would invalidate me as a donor.
On my walk I saw more flamingoes

I took a pea in my garden.
It was marvelous!
Take A Pea In Your Garden Today!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Walk The Toastmasters Walk

There is so much to see on my morning walk ...

Artichoke flowers are amazing!

Usually Hannah can name the flower

This Might Be Yarrow, chard and nasturtiums
Little Free Library And Doggy Bag Dispenser: Practical!

George Floyd Art (after FEEST shop)

I'm following up John's Toastmasters Award applications. Naturally things are slow due to COVID shutdowns and the approaching end of the TM year which ends the Legacy programs. They must be way back up. I tried calling and the message said they're reply by email (which makes sense). I emailed and don't expect an answer. I am concerned about whether the Pathways Guide role qualifies as District Officer and whether the date ranges suffice. Mostly I feel concern that I had not kept a closer rein on the completeness of the application so that any deficiences could be addressed in a timely way. I was not sufficiently focussed on fulfilling the role and - while John has primary responsibility - I should have learned how to manage the office for member success. This may be an issue this year as I manage three or more offices.
4freeCLE recorded 1989 hits today. This is great! but why?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Nasturtium Tuesday

Hannagh and Julie's Nasturiums
Are My Picture Of The Day
Today I deliberately overprepared for the SPEAKOUT meeting tonight, on the grounds that me whole purpose in taking leadership roles at Toastmasters was to learn to prepare and execute. I had a short inspirational speech ready for accepting the role, which turned out to be unused as there was no call for remarks. I did manage to squeeze in at the end, "For The Good Of The Order", thanks to him for doing such a good job in a difficult year, which all joined in (and showed the value of FTGOTO especially if the meeting Chair wants to avoid something, even if so innocuous as praise.)
I had also asked a few of the senior members with whom I feel comfortable whether it was customary for SPEAKOUT to give the outgoing Chair something. I want to respect cultural practices. One said they didn't, another said sometimes they did and she'd take care of it - which she did. It's a club where everyone knows what to do.
I am learning to give better feedback (which Toastmasters calls evaluations). One of the hardest thing a speechwriter does is to remove a speech element which is beloved, probably excellent and may have been the seed of the speech - but no longer serves the speech as it has grown. It is painful. It is necessary. It was the heart of my comments on a speech that started off with a pun about senses and census, but developed as a temporal travelogue. I also observed in an icebreaker speech using hats for a structure that one especially funny hat came at the end and quite rightly got a laugh, but left us with itself as the most powerful image. Even though the speaker resumed his mainstream hat, the joke hat overpowered the memory of the early hats of character. This was a visual issue I had not previously considered. I suggested putting the joke hat in the middle where it would be less dominating.
I did FEEST shopping at 10 - I like morning shops better because it leaves the whole day open to catch up on things, while moving slowly because of a general feeling of moving slowly or being easily distracted is a problem. I don't know whether it's the pandemic or feeling lonely or the warmth of summer.
Cherries over an alley

Gatewood B And B Is Magnificent

Another Little Free Library

Another PI Box Little Free Library!

I Think It's Art

Monday, June 22, 2020

We Walk A Lot

Monday's walk was with just Hannah, as Julie had a dental appointment. As we went along, she got reports on Julie's progress on the bus via text (I presume) which mattered because none of us had been downtown in a while, due to the pandemic but also the West Seattle bridge being down.
There is a lot on one route that has a nice view and no house. I can hardly imagine what it would sell for.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Cat Joy Sunday!

I was resigned to having to take hopeless steps to find Ginny. Maybe she had just gone to someone's house and they let her in and are keeping her. I have not heard of a coyote in this area for years (there was supposed to have been one maybe 5 years ago that was taking cats, but no longer).
I researched the Seattle Animal Shelter and determined I could check with them on Monday. Meanwhile, maybe if I leafletted every house within 5 blocks, in addition to posting on telephone poles or bus stops, someone would see something.
I printed a couple of designs of 4-up leaflets (figuring a note left in the door could be just a quarter sheet) and one for a pole poster, and opened the front door to walk to Staples. There was Ginny!
She came inside, hugged briefly, and took a little food and then ignored it. I even put down tuna! (Imp came along and was grateful.
I went to email the neighbors and saw a new message from Mary O'Brien, saying that they'd heard my cat was missing, checked their crawl space, saw a cat, and opened a hatch. I thanked them and everybody else and we're having a happy ending.
I went to Target in search of a cat collar. She's going to have to start wearing a tag. Unfortunately they're out of cat collars so I'll have to try something else.
On the plus side, I was fascinated by reflections in the old Borders store. In the sunlight it looked populated by ghosts but the ghosts all resemble me!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Cat Worry Saturday

Ginny the cat did not show up for breakfast.
Sometimes she stays out all night, usually because I turn in at 9. I set an alarm and checked at 11 pm, and then later in the middle of the night: no Ginny. This was unusual, especially because it was soggy, but what can you do?
I had Toastmasters District training in the morning (and so missed Zumba). Ginny did show, so I emailed a couple of neighbors and walked around the block (no little body in the street thank goodness!) and checked the West Seattle Blog Pet Found (nothing). I dread telling Kiara and am sad for Ginny is such a loving and friendly cat.

Friday, June 19, 2020

A Friday Of Pondering

A couple of days ago, I got a NTEU email saying that all IRS offices (including Seattle) will be opening by July 13th. Employees especially vulnerable can claim health & safety leave. What I hear now is that 65 is the usual cutoff age now, which is different from what I'd heard at the beginning of the pandemic. I am planning to retire soon but I feel the right thing to do is to go in for my 2 or 3 weeks and to just be careful. I'm still thinking it over but this seems like the mostly likely decision - I can't just drag this out even if the rules would allow it.
My morning walk started around Thistle and 35th and ended up at the Barton P-Patch, which is a really fine community space. Afterwards I went shopping for FEEST.
Beautiful Neighborhood Dogwood
I had a package to mail at USPS, and ordinarily would have driven but I'm trying to add to my healthy lifestyle so I walked. I needed the extra steps anyway to get to 10,000. In the evening, Google Fit told me I had only 9939 steps so I took a walk around the block to make it an even 10,000. This was very pleasant but by the time I got to the corner I was above 10,200.
I'm not sure the app is entirely reliable.
Uber Peas

Flying Pig On A Porch

Little Free Food Pantry

Spooky Trees
Remember You Love
The other day I added a row of string to the top of my pea trellis. The peas exceeded it within 2 days. Wow!
I am trying to be positive on social media because it is to easy to descend into meaningless quarreling with angry trolls and deniers, but the technology is compelling. I have to accept that this is a thing. At least every day I take a photo of beauty or fun, that's something.