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Stumbling Through Life and (Cyber)Space
The Meanderings of a Curious Mind
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14th-Aug-2016 12:25 am - My Dreadful Journey Home
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On Thursday my friend dropped me off at the airport a bit early at 8:30 am as she had an eye doctor appointment. My Delta flight was due to leave at 10:21 but didn't depart until half an hour later. Once I reached Minneapolis at around 11:45 I found my next flight, originally scheduled for 1:05, wasn't due to take off until 2:30 but actually took off more towards 3. About an hour or so later the pilot announced that, due to some mishap at the LaGuardia airport causing too many planes waiting to land, we couldn't go there and so we flew to Boston!! Once we landed there we were told it might take 2 hours until we took off but a half hour later we were told to start boarding again. We took off around 9 as more problems delayed our take off. I found it takes only about an hour to fly from Boston to NYC but once we landed around 10 we had to wait 2 hours in the plane until we could get to a gate. It was now after midnight (originally I was supposed to have arrived in NYC around 5 pm); I contacted the Super Shuttle (I had already booked a pickup weeks ago) and the rep said there was too much of a traffic problem at LGA so it would take over 90 minutes for a shuttle to pick me up therefore I should find another way home. There was an incredibly long line of people also wanting taxis but I finally got one and arrived home about 1:30 am. By the time I went to bed it was almost 3. I'm not sure if all this chaos was due to the Delta computer malfunction on Monday but, no matter the cause, it was the worst journey home that I have ever taken and I hope it will never happen again.

ETA: I just discovered the word hodophobia - fear of travel. If that trip home had been any worse I think I might have become hodophobic ;)
10th-Aug-2016 10:09 pm - Last Full Day in Fargo
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Today was my last day helping at PAAWS. It really was a special day as one of the vet techs at PAAWS, who is also a wildlife rehab specialist, brought in a sharp-shinned hawk with a broken wing and she let me hold him (or maybe her) while she wrapped the broken wing and again later when she gave the hawk some water subcutaneously. We then placed the hawk in an animal carrier so s/he could go with another volunteer who drove the hawk to meet still another person who then took the hawk onto Minneapolis where the Raptor Center is. Once there s/he will probably have the broken bones in his/her wing pinned so that eventually s/he can be freed and can fly away.

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This evening we went to a couple's open house dinner. They are friends of CM and the Prof and I have known them for several years. They  had recently moved into a new house across the street from their old home because this one had only one floor which is so much better for an elderly couple. It was a delicious dinner and a very nice house. I am now off to pack as I'm returning to NYC tomorrow *sigh*
9th-Aug-2016 09:08 pm - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
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On Sunday we drove to the Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. It was a lovely day for a walk around one of the lakes as we looked if we could see any animals. The Prof saw a frog and a chipmonk and we all saw several birds but the only other animals we all saw were horses ridden by riders who brought them to the park. I guess they are smart and try their best to avoid humans (I don't blame them).

Last night we saw the International Space Station cross the sky. It just looked like a bright star quickly moving overhead but it was interesting seeing it knowing that there are humans in space.

Today the Prof and I went to see "Star Trek Beyond" and we both agreed it was a lousy movie. J. J. Abrams, who directed the first two reboots and produced this one, is a huge fan of "Star Wars" and so he star warred "Star Trek" :( It was truly skiffy (something that only looks like science fiction but isn't - like comic book movies) and, as I've written before, I think Roddenberry is spinning in his orbit as he looks down on what Paramount had done to his creation. The Prof is a physicist and told me how bad the science was (as did Copernicus here). It hasn't made as much money as the previous two though I hear they plan to do a fourth movie where Jim Kirk somehow meets his father. The reboot actors are probably now older than the original cast was in 1966. I'm hoping one day someone will make a movie worthy of being a successor to the original series just like Star Trek was a successor to "Forbidden Planet".

ETA: There were a few lines by Krall the STB villain that reminded us of Trump! Let's hope he's defeated just like the movie character (though I'm not wishing him dead).
4th-Aug-2016 10:39 pm - My First Week in Fargo
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Had a very nice week here in Fargo. In their back yard my friends have a bird feeder and lots of flowers so all sorts of birds come to feed plus some red and gray squirrels and rabbits. The first day I was watching them I thought I saw a small sparrow go up to kiss a larger one but boy was I wrong. The larger cowbirds will sneak their eggs into the nests of other birds so what I was watching was a small chipping sparrow being made to feed its cowbird "baby".

Somebody brought a "feral" cat and her 6 kittens to stay at PAAWS for a few days before they could be taken to Cats Cradle and I got to play with them. The cat was young and very friendly, purring constantly while I petted her (I called her Purrball). The kittens were 4 females and 2 males and only 2 weeks old. It was so wonderful to be able to handle them as I've read so many webpages by feline foster moms and now I finally got to know what it was like...at least for a little while. They were picked up on Monday evening and eventually taken to a foster home connected to CC. I hope they will all find purrfect furever homes *fingers crossed*

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That evening we went to the Democratic Summerfest and had a great time with delicious food and meeting some friends from previous visits. The number of people who came was larger than at previous Summerfests and more diverse as there were more blacks and even some Muslims. May we all continue to grow in numbers so we can defeat the Gross Old Party in November.

Last night was my friends anniversary so I took them out to dinner at a restaurant called Texas Roadhouse where we had some delectable steak dinners. Tonight CM made a dinner called Baked Ratatouille and it was sooo yummy that I made sure I got the recipe so I could make it someday.
29th-Jul-2016 10:18 pm - Fargo
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Well yesterday I flew to Fargo. I got to the La Guardia airport and discovered my Delta Boarding Document, which I'd printed out the day before, stated that I'd passed the TSA precheck so I was able to quickly get through security much to my surprise. I have no idea how that happened but I'm glad it did.

I reached Fargo and the Prof picked me up. We went out to dinner then went home to watch what was happening at the Democratic convention and somewhere in that immense crowd was my friend CM. We listened to Hillary's acceptance speech and now I feel more certain she will win in November though I'm sure tRump and those on his side will do everything they can to defeat her.

Today I walked to the library in Fargo to read the NY Times and on the way back to the house I tripped and fell and now have scratches on my hand and a semi-broken toe nail *sigh* Anyway we later drove to the airport and picked up CM who has been telling us what was going on at the convention. She hasn't slept much in 5 days as she had to get up at 6 to get to the Wells Fargo Center which was about an hour away from her hotel and wasn't able to return until around 1 am. She was interviewed at some point by MSNBC so I'm looking there to see if they made a vid of it. I feel that for many reasons this year will be unforgettable.
25th-Jul-2016 11:03 pm - Thursday
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Well I just thought I'd let everyone know that on Thursday I'm flying to Fargo. My best friend CM will not be picking me up because she was elected to represent ND at the Democratic Convention! She didn't know she'd be doing that when I bought the tickets in May but it doesn't really matter. Her husband the Prof will pick me up and then we'll pick her up the next day. Can't wait to hear what she witnessed at the Convention.
21st-Jun-2016 11:28 pm - Penny Dreadful
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Just finished watching the "Penny Dreadful" finale and it was fairly dreadful. John Logan, the series creator, claims he meant for it to be just 3 seasons long but I seriously doubt that as there were several story lines that were brought to an awkward end. I also disliked that the main female character Vanessa Ives submitted to the idea she was meant to be with Dracula who apparently was the brother of Satan (why add him to the storyline if it was almost over?) and so she allowed herself be taken by him and then let herself be killed by the Wolf of God (who himself killed a lot of innocent people). Grr argh!

The other thing that bothered me was the introduction of Kaetaney, the Apache chief/werewolf. The Apache legends in the show were made up and as annoying as J. K. Rowling's version of Native American culture (see http://io9.gizmodo.com/j-k-rowlings-history-of-magic-in-north-america-was-a-t-1764311530). The show was full of possibilities that never came to pass *sigh*
15th-Jun-2016 02:42 pm - The Martian
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I just finished watching "The Martian" on HBO and it is now definitely my favorite SF movie. It is fairly scientifically accurate (yes I know storms are not that dangerous on Mars but something else could have left Watney stranded there). The movie featured adults behaving like grown ups without any mindless acts of senseless violence and it showed how immense space is and that it will take time to go from place to place - no idiotic "Earth to Vulcan in 3 minutes".
10th-Jun-2016 10:36 pm - Sweden Day 14
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Well I'm back in NYC.

Yesterday was my last day in Sweden. My cousin and I took her doggie for a walk in the woods near their apartment house then later we did a bit of shopping as she was preparing to go to Göteborg today with her husband on the same trainline I took from there as her son would be celebrating his 50th birthday tomorrow. Later that afternoon she drove me to Arlanda, the airport in Stockholm and said good-bye to me there. I didn't realize I missed having a family until I had a family to be missed *sigh*

It took a while to check-in and the security line was that I thought the one in JFK would be like but wasn't. Once inside I bought a few things to eat then waited to board the plane and eventually I did; I was lucky as I had a window seat and a tall gentleman sat on the aisle seat leaving the middle seat empty which gave us a bit more freedom of movement during the flight which I spent mostly drowsing. We actually landed earlier then expected but by the time I made it through customs and picked up my luggage it was pretty late.

 The past two weeks were probably the most amazing ones I've ever spent.
8th-Jun-2016 03:57 pm - Sweden Day 12 & 13
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Yesterday my cousin and I went to a Swedish Archive and discovered my parents had wed on March 28, 1948. They'd only been married 20 years when my mother passed on :(

Afterward we returned to their home and did the laundry. My friend in Fargo will be very pleased to find out that, like her, they like to dry the laundry on outdoor clotheslines.

The funny thing about the places my cousins live in is that during the night the noise heard is not that of traffic but of birds whistling and screeching at each other (it remains fairly light all through the night).

Today I took a train back to Stockholm which took 3 hours. I love the trains and buses in Sweden as the engines are so quiet. Later I went with my Stockholm cousin and her husband and doggie to a cafe to meet the son of another cousin and his young son who was sooo adorable.
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