Sep. 29th, 2011 06:53 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Asteroid conspiracy theorists may be even worse than solar activity conspiracy theorists.

Five+ hours in the slow cooker was probably too long for a mix of red lentils and dried vegetables previously boiled for ten minutes, plus a coarsely chopped^H^H^H cut up onion. Tasty enough (if rather the reverse of appetizing in appearance) but pretty close to mush in texture.

The indicator light on my coffee maker seems to have died. Fortunately the coffee-making function hasn't.

The derelict car dealership just up the road is going to be a car dealership again. I don't know whether the extensive gutter-cleaning exercise holding up traffic along their frontage for the last couple of days is at all connected. And that can't be the only reason why buses that are supposed to be running at ten-minute intervals between here and the far side of the city have been turning up in pairs more often than not for the last fortnight.

I was just starting to work on re-convincing my system that 65 F is a perfectly comfortable indoor temperature, and we get a heatwave.


Mar. 15th, 2011 10:57 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Yesterday was sunny-intervals-and-showers, fairly typical Spring weather. Today, it's foggy, with visibility of about a couple of hundred yards. Very odd for March.

New Scientist feels it necessary to quote someone as saying, re the ongoing Japanese power-station crisis, "there is no chance of a 'China syndrome' scenario, with the fuel burning its way right through to the earth's core with potential to blow up the planet." I would certainly hope not!

Speaking of which, I wonder if one of the lessons taken from this will be to build reactors a bit farther apart in future.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
It is, as we say in Yorkshire, siling down. Rain batters on the windows and the roof, splashes into the puddles on the path; thunder mutters and cracks.

This is not exactly standard fall weather in these parts, but after September I'll take any kind of fall weather I can get.
ellarien: cactus (desert)
100F. 8% humidity. This makes it possible, if not exactly pleasant, to walk the mile to the thrift store and the mile back, but I was very glad of the cup of cold water they gave me there.
ellarien: cactus (desert)
High in the low 90s today, and for the last few hours the humidity has been dropping like a stone. According to the campus instruments the dew point right this minute is in the twenties, which is lower than it has been for a month. Goodbye monsoon? I doubt we're entirely done with hot sticky weather yet, but this evening I was able to carry several loads out to the dumpster (down a flight of steps and eighty steps each way -- I've counted) with minimal discomfort.


Aug. 24th, 2010 09:40 pm
ellarien: cactus (desert)
I could almost believe, as I came home tonight in dark and drizzling rain and relative coolness, that summer is ending. Except not; today's high was 104.5 on campus, before an afternoon storm dropped us in to the 80s. (The webcam was registering 69 at one point, but that must have been just a splash of cold water on a local sensor; the 'official' campus temperature at the same time was about 85.) It rained -- with interludes of hail -- most of the afternoon, and at some points the intersection outside the office was ankle-deep in water, but the power stayed on. It's still trying to rain out there now, come to that. I think we're getting into the late phase of the monsoon season, when the storms are mostly Pacific hurricane remnants. It should start cooling down properly in an another month or so.
ellarien: cactus (desert)
Nearly an inch of rain on Friday, altogether -- and three quarters of an inch the day before, on the UA campus and probably here too. That's not a bad downpayment on a monsoon season -- a couple-three more like that would about make up our allowance for the year. Temperatures have been almost bearable in the high 80s or so, but very, very humid.
ellarien: cactus (desert)
I've been back a week, and I've already had more than enough of 100-degree weather and thirty per cent humidity. It wouldn't be so bad if it would actually rain, but though the skies cloud over from time to time, and I think I even heard a brief mutter of thunder this afternoon, the rain-gauge stays obstinately empty.
ellarien: cactus (desert)
So we turned 90 yesterday, for the first time this year. The campus saguaros are thickly crowned with buds and have been opening a flower or two; the air is still sweet and heavy with pollen, but that shouldn't last too much longer. I hope. The air conditioning at work hasn't quite caught up yet; it was 83F in the office this afternoon.

Sunday, on the other hand, was all wind and blowing dust, about the worst I've ever seen it on I10 in the afternoon, and a multi-vehicle accident that closed the southbound side and dumped three lanes of freeway traffic onto a badly-maintained, single-lane frontage road with predictable and interminable results. Someone died, and presumably several others had a much worse afternoon than we did, but taking four hours to get home from Glendale is not fun.

The Sun is being unexpected, as usual. Flavor of the month seems to be middling flares from little active regions that barely even qualify as sunspots; today's flare-productive region managed a C-class before it even got a number, followed by two more Cs and a (just-barely) M. It's also ridiculously far north -- 41 degrees -- but it's going to be gone over the limb in another day or two. (Unfortunately, that positioning is going to make it difficult to do much with its subsurface flows.) Granted, I didn't really start getting up close and personal with sunspots until after the last solar maximum, so most of my intuition is attuned to big declining-phase regions, but colleagues with much more experience seem to concur that this is all a bit odd.

I have my copy of C.J. Cherryh's latest, Deceiver, and started reading it on the bus home. I didn't realize until after it shipped that Amazon is playing games again, this time by deep-discounting the hardcovers of their latest adversary, Penguin, so it was quite a bit less than I expected. Fortunately, Ms. Cherryh has a donation button on her website ...

Finals are looming, and the students around campus seem to have their studies -- or at least their grades -- on their minds more than usual. I seem to have grown out of picking up the free-floating exam anxiety, though.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I can't be sure, but I think this may be the first time since I've been here that I've felt the need to put on the heating on a May morning. And the wind has been stirring up the dust and pollen something rotten ...

We're definitely moving into the later stages of spring; the saguaros have sprouted buds and the oleanders are bowing down with white and magenta blossom. Spring seems to have gone by awfully fast this year -- maybe because it started so late.
ellarien: two laptops (computers2)
I witnessed a small computer weirdness today, not on my own computer; Firefox was refusing to bookmark anything on Blogspot. Or maybe anything; it wasn't demonstrated in my presence that it could bookmark non-Blogspot things either. I suspect a reboot might have fixed it; the latest FF update might have been one of the ones that really goes better with a reboot, but I've been pushing my work laptop pretty hard lately and it might have been coincidental that soon after the update it just decided it couldn't cut and paste from a PDF open in Firefox to an Emacs buffer.

And today it was in the 80s again -- warm enough for sightings of short-shorts on campus, though I think myself that's a little premature. To my mind, in these parts, the cut-off point for winter-weight long pants is somewhere around a high of 75F, and I don't go for full-bore summer attire (which in my case is lightweight but long dresses) until the highs hit 90 or so, which comes soon enough as a rule. (Part of this is that we get big ranges, often thirty or even forty degrees in the course of a day. It makes dressing for the weather challenging, sometimes.)
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Yes, rain is always welcome. But highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 30s, in the middle of March? Seriously?

Still, the usual flowers are starting to appear, a bit more timidly than usual. My archives suggest that there are usually citrus and orchid-tree flowers round about now, and a few early cactus blooms. Not this year, though the cassia bushes are full of flowers and the mallows aren't doing too badly. The campus isn't as generously adorned with pansies as it used to be, thanks to budget woes.


Mar. 2nd, 2010 09:47 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
It's raining in California again. The pattern of the last few months suggests that it should therefore be raining here tomorrow, but the forecast disagrees. Maybe the pattern is shifting, or maybe the forecast is just wrong. Well, tomorrow will tell.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
We've had about a third of an inch of rain today, and none of it came through my bedroom ceiling. I just hope my end-on neighbor can say the same.

On closer inspection, that necklace turns out to include a moss-agate bead that wasn't supposed to be there. Call it an oasis in the desert.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Today was cold and rainy again -- yet another second-hand California storm. I think the leak in my bedroom has shifted along again, fortunately not by more than the length of the receptacle I had under it; I don't know whether that is just gravity or the result of another intervention by the roofing company. If it moves another couple of feet that way it won't be my problem any more.

Mount Wilson is getting hammered, with roads getting washed out in the aftermath of the fire.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Nearly half an inch so far this morning. About a quart in the receptacle under the drip in my bedroom between 6 and 9am. Two dreams in which leaks were bursting out all over the ceiling and I was running around trying to catch the water.

No Shuttle launch this morning, so no SDO launch on Tuesday. Two M-class flares yesterday; it's past time we got that thing up there and working!


Jan. 23rd, 2010 10:53 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
We've been having some Weather the last few days; the California storms come through here too, somewhat attenuated but bringing much-needed rain. So far, we seem to be getting a pattern of windy, mostly dry days and wet nights; Thursday night it rained nearly an inch. Yesterday I was out and about in the sunshine, but by early evening everything was gray and there was a distinct edge on the wind.

There's snow on our mountains this morning, and Mount Wilson -- now that the webcam isn't fogged-in -- looks like a Christmas card under clear blue skies. We had another quarter-inch of rain in the night, and some of it came through my bedroom ceiling, in the spot where it usually does -- where the ceiling meets the outside wall, so that it's hard to put a bucket under it. Cue hasty picking-up of the bedroom, and an imminent appeal to Management.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Summer? Or at least spring. The high temperature was in the low 70s today, with blue sky and sunshine. It's probably a fashion faux pas to wear a skirt with pink roses, and a pale green top with leaves embroidered around the neckline, in the first week of January, but this is not New York. This is Tucson, where the fruit trees will be in blossom in a few weeks, and by Memorial Day all but the hardiest cactus flowers will be over and I'll have been at least intermittently in summer dresses for a month.


Nov. 5th, 2009 09:39 pm
ellarien: red beads (beading)
We've had three days in a row of high temperatures around 90F, which is officially too hot for November even in these parts. There's a lot of tree pollen around, apparently, which probably helps to explain the way I've been feeling lately.

I have lots of ideas for jewelry, but the bracelet I'm working on at the moment isn't quite working out yet. It's about an inch too long, so that when fastened it can slip off over my hand with a little wriggling, and though I could fix that easily enough I'm not completely convinced the concept is a success. It's three strands with silver-plated spacer bars, with the middle section being little green Swarovski crystals and the rest being fine silver-plated chain. The problem -- apart from the length -- is that the crystal section is too stiff, with the stringing wire threaded double most of the way (after a mighty struggle to get the loops pulled snug at the second end), and the chain sections are too floppy and prone to twist. I think bracelets are harder than necklaces because the length is more critical, and also they have to bend more, particularly around my rather skinny wrists.

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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