kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, May 28th, 2017 10:01 am
Today, I re-shared on Facebook something I also shared three years ago - an image of someone giving a cup of coffee to a homeless person, with the statement, "The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one." I added, as I shared it, "This. And if you can find one, be one anyway. The world is full of nice people, and that's something we want to keep going, please."

Yesterday, I needed to go get potting mix. Which meant I was at Home Depot on Memorial Day weekend, which is really not when I would prefer to go there. The parking lot was a zoo. I saw someone start backing up then look THEN stop...just before he would have collided with the woman who had been walking behind his car before he put it in reverse. He DID stop and wait until she wasn't behind him. She was about to return her cart to the corral; I was returning mine and offered to walk hers over, after that incident. She thanked me...and was partway across the same space when she had to backpedal hastily to avoid being hit by the flaming idiot who came into the aisle (it was about the fourth space in) and headed for the space at a decent clip, slowing only a little when they realized SOMEONE WAS WALKING THERE.

When I left the parking lot, I had trouble getting out because of the lines of cars, and someone cut me off when they could visibly see I'd been waiting longer.

All this is to say that I was grumpy, agitated, and very nervous about people in general as I left. And I made a conscious, deliberate decision to let people in. It's too easy when we're grumpy to just go auto-pilot through our day and not delay it any further. After all, I'd already been delayed and worried and bothered! It felt good to be kind instead.

This is not I'm a saint. I'm pretty cruddy at this, actually. But I still do it. Because that's the kind of world I want to live in. Because it feels good.

I'm not saying that being nice or kind or standing up is always easy. Nor that it's always safe; in some circumstances there may be objective risks that outweigh being nice in your circumstance.

Side note about a good-samaritan case where two of them died, recently in the news )

...but often it _is_ simpler than that. What if you let someone turn out of a driveway during heavy traffic? Let someone with only a couple items go ahead of you in a grocery store? It's a small thing. Maybe all it does is brighten their day. Maybe it actually makes their life much easier than you realize. But if "all" it does is brighten their day, and _they_ go on to interact with the world more kindly....

Well. Many big things are built of lots and lots of small things. Not all. But many.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 10:01 pm

kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 01:49 pm
I mean, that veto on the security council, maybe kinda nice not to throw away. The World Health Organization, sort of a good thing. Giving the finger to cooperation (which is how it will be interpreted no matter how it's meant), maybe unwise. And so on.

IMO, this needs to die in committee. Badly.

This is not a news site; this is the Congressional web site summary. This bill would lead us (require us) to exit the United Nations.

Their web site is currently 503'ing a lot. I don't know if they're having server issues, or just getting slammed because of this. I got lucky and the original page opened on the first try, but I've had to refresh a few times as I moved between the tabs to view different things.

Summary as currently listed on the page:
American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017

This bill repeals the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws.

The bill requires: (1) the President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

The bill prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the U.N., (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (4) U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and (5) diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.

From the actual text: "Except as otherwise provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date that is two years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

So, in the hopefully-unlikely event that they pass this, they're just arguing even more strongly for a turnover of every seat that voted for it in 2018....
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 03:20 pm
First, I supported Bernie. Absent Bernie, I supported Clinton. I find Trump's win as worrisome at best, scary at worst. That said, he _is_ now President-elect, and I have to live in this reality and not another one.

That's my bias. This is not, however, going to be about that, but about what I hope we will all - regardless of how we voted - act _now_. If you'd like to skip over the rest of this post, here's a cut tag, but I hope you'll keep reading )

* This is actually my one sticking point. If you supported Trump to upend Washington DC, or because you liked other parts of what he said, or because you hated Clinton - I don't agree with you but I'm not going to argue it. At this point history will sort that out. But if you supported Trump or wanted to support Trump because you think people of another race, or of another religion, or of another gender, are less-than and should be treated as such?

If that's the case, please unfriend me. I'm not unfriending anyone over politics. I will unfriend over bigotry if it's there.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 07:49 pm
The wildfire situation in Oregon and Washington is terrible. I've known this, I've watched it, I've been horrified by it.

But I'm also fairly insulated, in the very damp Willamette Valley, where we rarely get lightning strikes, in a suburban area, and basically, no fires here. Mine is a sadness and horror for the people in the middle of it, but largely unaffected.

Until today. Now we have a freaking east wind and, while I'd rather have the smoke than the fire, we have it. The entire atmosphere outside is semi-permanently set to "downwind of the campfire" - the air quality index cleared 200 sometime around 1 pm (clearing 200 puts it in the "very unhealthy" range, exceeded only by "hazardous" if it clears 300 - at 200+ it's not safe for kids or a number of other categories, at 300+ it's not safe for ANYONE) - and as of 8 pm hasn't been under 200 that I've seen yet. It _did_ recently shift downward from a high of 213 (that I saw), to its current 205.

Or in other words, hi, I'm having a mini-pity-party because this bites. The boys, instead of being run around a local park as they needed, got extra screen time from me - I got Despicable Me from the library and gave them some popcorn and let them watch, and they've been playing video games. (They were out at a water park for a birthday party from 10:30-12:30, before the air got quite so bad...the index was only at 95 or so around 11 am.) has the smoke news and a little map showing the fires. In theory, we get to live with this through tomorrow and then the wind may shift and come from the west Monday, if we're lucky.

Bleh. Still, so grateful that we DO in fact have smoke without fire, here. I wish the fires were not destroying so much elsewhere, but I'm grateful that only their annoying byproducts are in our lives.

I'm also grateful for a tightly-closed house with good filters and HVAC. Because it's nasty out there.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Monday, August 4th, 2014 08:06 pm
No, seriously...I don't need to know about kids who died in hot cars in other states. It doesn't help my life in any way, and there is nothing I can do to help with that problem. I certainly need to know about the risks and not to leave my kids in hot cars, but a) I know that and b) the sad stories don't really help.

I don't need to know about a great number of things the news tells me about. I need to know about things that affect my life or that I might be able to help with. (For example, when they were looking for a local woman who had done something fairly horrible - I will skip the details, because you don't need to know them! - having everyone aware just in case they saw her was important. Now that they've captured her, having us know not to keep an eye out, also useful. But do I really care about further coverage of what she did and the court process? NO I DON'T. Unless someone sets up a fund for a particular person...that I would want to know about.)

I also don't need to know about the feel-good humanitarian stories, but I don't mind those because they give something, if only the light pleasure of knowing there's still good in the world. Individual horror stories that can't be changed or addressed, and don't personally affect me other than by existing on the news, however, neither give me anything, nor permit me to give anything.

I wish there were not quite so MANY of them in the local headlines right now. I am tired of being tired. (SIX out of 10 leading stories at the moment. And you could make a case for one more, but I think it's more irrelevant than directly bad...but it wouldn't be IN the news if the woman at the center of the non-news hadn't been at the center of another story in prior years....)

kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 10:49 am
If you're not aware of the blackout, either it's no longer Wednesday the 18th, or else you haven't opened many sites today.

A little research shows that both my senators have already come out in opposition to the bills (I knew one had, you don't get much more opposed than publicly promising to filibuster if it comes to the floor!). Because of this, I contacted them via their Twitter accounts to thank them for that opposition. (I would not count on Twitter mentions to come to their attention OR carry enough information if I were trying to persuade them to oppose, but to say 'thank you for opposing this' I think they work well enough.)

My representative's position is unknown, as far as I have been able to find (using the various information sites for these bills, and a quick scan of his own site). I went to his web site contact and I sent him an email. I may call to reinforce it, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time/energy for that. I'm wary of phones when there might be a screaming baby.

I am proud of my analogy in the email, however. I was going to compare it to swatting a fly with a Cadillac but that implies piracy is no more harmful than a fly...besides, how destructive is swatting a fly with a Cadillac anyway? It's overkill, but not necessarily detrimental to what's around it. It didn't make the point I wanted it to make, in the way that I wanted to make it, at all.

...I rather liked the modified analogy I came up with. :P

Text of the letter, cut because it's on the long side )
kyrielle: (imagine)
Friday, August 27th, 2010 05:11 pm
Just a description of a pretty messy traffic backup. Which I largely managed to avoid being in. )

(Yes, the icon on this one is a bit sarcastic. I don't suppose there was much else to do but watch your blood pressure go up if you were in the mess, though.)
kyrielle: (what? - owl)
Sunday, March 1st, 2009 01:38 pm
I advocate the right of a woman to breast-feed her baby almost anywhere and anywhen she needs to and is comfortable doing so.

That sentence didn't used to contain the word almost. Yes, I'm shy, and I would be uncomfortable breast-feeding on a bench in the mall, but anyone who is comfortable with it should be able to, IMO. If the baby is hungry, the baby is hungry. (Me, I'd use a bottle if in the mall - or perhaps retire to my car if I needed to breast-feed - or something.) The always has appeared because no, I don't think it's reasonable to breast-feed while in a moving vehicle, especially while driving it.

1) Distracted driver.
2) Not-properly-secured baby.
3) Baby in target zone for steering column and/or air bag in an accident.

Seriously, pull over and park and you can feed in your stopped car all you want. But not. While. Driving. Not while riding, either - that would get rid of 1 and part or all of 3 (depending on where the mommy was sitting, when a passenger, the air bag might still be a risk), but the baby is still not properly secured. Your arms are not going to be sufficient to hang on in an accident. And your baby deserves better than to be risked that way.

I'm so glad that nothing bad did happen to that baby.
kyrielle: Cartoon: Garfield, looking at something off to the left, body language lacking energy, thinking "Uh..." (uhhh (garfield))
Thursday, February 26th, 2009 09:11 pm
Question: Where do you put old grenades?

Answer: Down.

Some days, I love the news. Glad no one wound up with a Darwin award from that one, though.
kyrielle: (delusions)
Thursday, February 26th, 2009 07:04 pm
A post about vaccines and autism (and the "study" that led to some people concluding vaccines caused autism, and ... yes). Please, please, get kids vaccinated.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, February 1st, 2009 10:50 am
If you've been following this, they've recalled a bunch more products, again. This time, among other things, peanuts (not peanut paste / peanut butter) from the plant were added, which brought in a lot more. I know some of my friends love Clif bars - more on the list. You can use to search for products you use that may have peanut ingredients (including subtle ones - some dog biscuits have been affected).
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Thursday, January 29th, 2009 06:48 pm
Okay, the news around here these days? Kinda scary. We had a guy who shot a bunch of people outside a youth nightclub, then himself (and apparently he didn't know the victims, it was random). And now Washington had a guy who apparently tried to make his live-in girlfriend into a ritual sacrifice. WTF?
kyrielle: (spirit of flight)
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 09:43 am

Welcome to office, Mr. President. We elected you with hope. Please do your best to live up to our hopes, to clean up what needs it and to leave well enough alone when that is needed. You can't do this without us - from Congress on down - also trying and I hope we remember that. I hope you do also; you will need to work for consensus and compromise.

I have a little baby, not yet two weeks old, on my lap. He's a bundle of innocent potential and what he's thinking I don't know yet. I know it's my responsibility to nurture him and help him learn to deal with and find a place in the world tho. There are a lot of little ones not unlike him in our country. Please do your best by them, as far as your contributions to shaping the world they'll grow up in.

Posted via

kyrielle: Two pennies, partially stacked (my two cents)
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 10:29 am
Please, can we stop having the end-of-the-world predictions? The gossip rag got the numbers wrong, and their SF employees are not their only employees - there are also a bunch in Russia. I suppose you can't call it off-shoring since SUP is based there, but they do appear to have tipped the balance in that direction.

In any case, while I feel very bad for everyone who lost their jobs in these layoffs, I don't think it means that LJ is going away. If you're worried about that, try one of the backup options (export your journal is an option from LJ itself; LJ archive; LJ Book). Sorry, I don't have links handy. Check out if you want to, it should link to some of them - the news post has nothing to do with this, it was just the most recent and people are freaking out on it.

Links, for anyone who's curious or who hasn't yet heard the rumor that the sky is falling: (links to the gossip article about the falling sky)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 07:33 am
Yeah, sort of expected that. The optimistic forecast fell over. It's still below freezing and not much improvement here where we are, and not supposed to get above freezing today. Isolated snow flurries. Tomorrow, snow, freezing rain, or rain (depending on what the temperature does). Christmas, it should start warming up and melting off.

By the weekend it still looks like it should be better. Hopefully it will.

It is getting better in the area in general, just not better enough for our surface streets and such. But it looks like they've reopened I-84 in the Gorge. It's been shut down for days for snow/ice conditions including high drifts, about a 40-mile stretch, but they have it open now. That's promising news (and at the very least probably improved life for all the people stuck at the last exit before the closure in each direction). The highways in general are getting better, though. We'll see. Maybe, maybe it will be good enough to get out today, or tomorrow sometime. I'm not betting on it, however.

ETA: I do have photos from the past week+, I just have to process and upload some. But that won't be until tonight at the earliest. They're really quite pretty, some of them.

ETA: It is probably a good sign of how grim things are that the public transportation in Wilsonville is completely closed down today. TriMet is keeping their main lines open only, but without our local transport we can't get to Trimet anyway. (And they may be about to reopen to the light rail to the airport - they're testing now.)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 07:11 am
Except, of course, I hope that eventually it DOES. It's beautiful. I love it. But I would very much like to be able to get out of the house, if only so I can go to an appointment. Not today's: at this rate, I don't think that's happening. But I should be going in weekly and I'm going to be three weeks out by my next chance at it, at this rate. Argh.

We are not supposed to get above freezing today any more. We should have increasing snow until 10 am (and it is snowing now). There may be sporadic snow this afternoon, but they think (tentatively) it will ease off staring around noon. Apparently it was busy overnight as well, so there should be a good layer of snow by now. Today we're looking at 1-3" in our area. Salem's got the freezing rain, at least. (Sorry, Salem. But I'd rather not have any more of it.) Chains are required on all highways in/around Portland (again), except that 4WD with traction tires may carry chains instead of having them on.

Wednesday we MAY get the snow level above 500 feet. I'm sorry we won't have snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, which we may, but probably won't. But I'd like to get the snow level go up anyway, because I'd like to be able to get out of the house. We aren't short anything we can't live without, but it would be nice to stock up on some stuff, and maybe even see my doctor (although I'm betting their scheduling book is currently as messy as the roads.)

Why this is news....

I've noticed some of my friends here on LJ are starting to chuckle at our news coverage's focus on this (the news station I use is running a storm blog, and most of the headlines are weather-related right now, for example). But please understand, this is a massive storm for this area, and it's actually worthy of the coverage. Yes, I know, this wouldn't be that big a deal in places that regularly get snow. We aren't those areas. This weather is dangerous here, and it's brought the area nearly to a halt, for good reason. We don't usually get snow; as a consequence, our fleet of snow plows, sanding equipment, and de-icing equipment is fairly small. It simply doesn't make sense to maintain a larger one.

Our "normal" snow when it appears is 1/2" to 2" at the valley floor, more above. It usually falls over the course of one or two days, then melts off to slush, possibly refreezes, and melts off again. Rarely does it last more than 3-5 days in any form other than patches on grass/dirt in the shade. The freeways, highways, and major surface streets get plowed and sanded once the worst is over. Other surface streets get done as time allows - which means they usually don't. I've never seen a snow plow in our neighborhood, and I do not expect I likely ever will. Those streets get cleared, if at all, by cars driving down them and pushing snow/slush aside or wearing down the ice.

Now, that's a normal snowstorm. This is not a normal snowstorm. It's been ongoing for over a week. We've seen more snow at the valley floor (and everywhere else) in one day than we normally do in the whole storm. We had two days that either had rain or melted existing snow, not consecutive days, and then let it re-freeze, so there was ice under that in places. We had freezing rain, so there's ice over that in some places. When Scott went to get the mail, apparently there was ice-snow-ice-snow-ice. Ugly. We are well outside the conditions we're prepared to handle. We have high winds in some areas, so the sand is not necessarily usable since it can blow off. (That's not my guess: that's official word from ODOT that they are plowing, but not sanding, in areas with high winds.) They're having to watch supplies and only use them where they're both critical and likely to work. And since the storm is ongoing, they get to redo and re-redo the key roads. They don't even have the freeways down to bare pavement or gravel, they just have it down to somewhat dealable packed snow.

And remember, I said "at the valley floor." The higher the elevations, the uglier the amount of snow, ice, and other problems. Not to mention that steep streets are not exactly helpful or useful in this kind of weather either, even if they were only as badly-coated as the nice flat one in front of my house. When I talk in my post about the West Hills, we're talking about 1000 feet or so above sea level. Downtown Portland is basically at sea level (20 feet above is the official measure, I think), and IT has enough trouble. Here in Wilsonville we're about 175 feet above sea level.

So far, I've barely touched on the high winds. That's a mistake, though. We're a very forested area. We have snow and ice on the trees, and then we have high winds. Which means we have trees down. They've hit people's houses, cars, power lines.... We have about 50,000 customers (last report I heard) without power between the two power companies the news was reporting on, and it could be days before they're fully restored. (About half are in the Salem area, where the weather is supposed to ease up later today. I wish them luck; they might get power back, depending on where the problems are.)

It's hard to get where you need to go, unless you're prepared for this sort of weather. For the same reason that our fleet of snowplows is limited, many residents aren't prepared for this weather. Oh, many of the ones who live at higher elevations are - they get snow more often, even when the rest of us have rain. But people who live on the valley floor may not have traction devices, and many people don't know how to drive in these conditions (with or without chains, although in the current conditions, you DON'T drive without chains). Going somewhere is risking your life even if you know exactly what you're doing, because the guy behind you may not. They had to advise people coming back from skiing trips to the mountain not to pass the semis (some unchained) that were using those roads as an alternate route, because they didn't have safe passing distance in the slick conditions, and this didn't occur to them - on such a common basis that ODOT made a plea over radio and TV, including asking people to call their friends who might be coming back and ask them to be careful.

This is not to say you can't drive in it. You can, if you know what you're doing, and there's no idiots around you. But that's talking about the freeways, too; don't forget the surface streets and driveways and parking lots, many of which are just flatly not cleared at all. And, in the windy areas, you're dealing with blowing snow and low visibility. It's cold enough you're dealing with windshields freezing up, apparently (enough for the radio traffic report to comment on it every time it runs).

I realize that many areas that get more snow would cope with a storm of this level much better, because it's expected, and they're prepared for it. But we're not, and this weather is dangerous (and unusual, and if you're safe and sound and can treat it as such, exciting) here. It is a major news story. (We've only seen one death reported due to this weather so far, but I doubt that's going to be the final count.)

Katu, one of our local news stations, is running rotating ODOT cameras of the freeways. They're interesting, and scary if I think about trying to drive in that. You can see that traffic is actually moving pretty well, for the conditions; everyone should be chained up (except, as noted, the 4WD with traction tires), which helps. But it takes only one idiot or one bit of bad luck to adjust all of that "flowing smoothly" look.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, December 21st, 2008 08:02 am
Not that I have much choice, but even if I did, staying holed up.

Lots of snow (for here, anyway) - several inches. And then over it, sleet/freezing rain so it's slick-coated. Entirely possible the earlier precipitation from Friday had frozen under it also, but it's hard to know. In any case, not what I want to go out in.

There are roads outright closed (not just 84 in the Gorge which sometimes closes, but some of the steeper or otherwise-problematic surface streets), there are chain requirements, and it is in general ugly out...if you have to go out. From in here, if I'm being literal, it's kinda pretty, but....

There's a road in the West Hills that's closed due to 8 feet of snow drifts. I wonder what the geography is there, because I don't think even the West Hills have gotten more than a couple feet of snow.

So far, no power outages. However, the freezing rain may continue into this morning (it's not right now), and enough ice will take out power lines, so they are a very real possibility. Hopefully we won't have one, tho.

The Oregon Department of Transportation traffic cameras are interesting. My favorite one so far is easily I-5 at Miles, where the camera itself has iced up. I'm not sure what the road conditions are, but the lens condition is thoroughly blocked. :) Hmmm. I-5 at Brier Place is similar; 99W at Bertha appears to have been the victim of either a bad setting or high winds (parts of the area have had those too) and is now showing a shot of some trees.

As usual, Portland Metro and the Gorge appear to have gotten some of the worst of it. (The Gorge is good for those lovely east winds, and right on into Portland.)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 08:29 pm
1) Ow ow ow ow. Too much standing this evening working with Scott on some cleaning chores (and HE did most of the work, I just stood around a lot giving directions). Uncomfy. Not hurt, just uncomfy. Life goes on.

2) Ray is being a pestiferous little fuzzball today. In other words, he's a kitten. :P

3) Apple cinnamon muffins (from a box, I is lazy) are baking. Yum. (Only fruit-type apples. The cat-type Apple is not a baking candidate and is in any case being a sweetheart).

4) We definitely went from snow to snow/rain/sleet/rain mix. If it freezes tonight as planned, those streets are gonna be ugly. In theory, I have a large delivery arriving tomorrow, but we'll see. It won't hurt it to wait another day or two if they don't want to try it.

5) Yesterday's childbirth class (last in the series) was cancelled and will be rescheduled when weather permits. Heh.

6) All our Christmas cards went out in the mail today. Yay! In the mail this evening we got a Christmas card from one family who, it turns out, have moved to another state. Oops. Hope the forwarding is still in effect (apparently they moved this summer).

7) I am so very, very sick of the HD radio commercials. They are stupid, pretentious, overdone, and annoying, and while I realize it's intended as humor they treat the listeners like morons. I hate them, badly enough that I have found myself wishing for every involved company to go out of business, just so no one would be paying to run the stupid things any more. Then I feel guilty because the products are just fine and lots of hapless employees would be hurt if somehow my wish could come true. I just want the commercials to go away and the people responsible for creating, authorizing, and paying for them to be punished. Ugh.

8) News roundup. Not happy stuff, skip if you'd rather:

Thanks (I think?) to [ profile] geordie for a link to this article about the use of solitary confinement rooms for disabled students in US schools. I am appalled that this is done, especially in such a fashion (no parental involvement/notification, insufficient understanding of the tool, insufficient monitoring and training, etc.). I'm not sure whether it could ever be valid but the situations described in this article strike me as abusive and criminal.

Thanks to [ profile] mandydax for a link to an article (not sure if it's the same one) about this boy whose parents named him Adolf Hitler Campbell (and then made a big splash news story about it when they couldn't get his name written on a cake). The history of requests in earlier years mentioned is interesting, too, as are the names of their other two children.