(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:02 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
My maternal 5th-great-grandmother Helenah Snider (née Daugherty) was born 18 Sep 1778 in Chesterfield, Burlington County, New Jersey to Irish immigrant William Daugherty Sr. and Mary Daugherty (née Wright), married farmer Jacob Snider Sr. 9 Apr 1797 in Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey, had 12 children with him, moved with her family to Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York by 1799 and to Jackson Township, Hardin County, Ohio in 1832 (Jackson Township became part of Wyandot County in 1845), widowed in 1858, died 13 Dec 1866 in Jackson Township, Wyandot County, Ohio at the age of 88, and buried at York Street Cemetery in Marseilles Township, Wyandot County, Ohio. Religion: Protestant.



My maternal 3rd-great-grandfather James Payne Woodruff was born 18 Sep 1800 in Bridgehampton, Suffolk County, New York to sailor James Woodruff and Jerusha Woodruff (née Payne), orphaned in 1804, apprenticed to a hatter, married my 3rd-great-grandmother Mary Crawford circa 1832, had 3 children with her, moved to Peno Township, Pike County, Missouri with his family circa 1835, widowered in 1843, married Martha Ann Little circa 1844, had 6 children with her, moved with his family to Monroe County, Iowa circa 1847 and to Buchanan Township, Sullivan County, Missouri in the 1860s, died in 1877 in Buchanan Township at the age of 77, and buried at Hawkeye Cemetery in Penn Township, Sullivan County, Missouri. He was a hatter, merchant, and farmer. Religion: Protestant.

My maternal great-granduncle William Sanders was born 18 Sep 1860 in Mono, Simcoe County (now Dufferin County), Canada West (now Ontario), British North America (now Canada) to English-born carpenter/farmer Thomas Sanders Jr. and Canadian-born Ann Sanders (née Patterson), emigrated to the US (Huntsville Township, Polk County, Minnesota) with his family in 1875, moved to Augusta, Lewis and Clark County, Montana with his family circa 1896, never married or had children, died of long-term alcoholism and opiate abuse 30 Mar 1926 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington at the age of 65, and buried at Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima. He was a rancher. Religion: Presbyterian.



My maternal great-granduncle English Guy Crawford was born 18 Sep 1871 in Cunningham Township, Chariton County, Missouri to physician Elihu Millikan Crawford and Adalade Crawford (née Woodruff), moved to Jackson Township, Sullivan County, Missouri with his family between 1874-77, married Winifred Linn Yardley 15 Apr 1896 in Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri, had 13 children with her, died of stomach cancer 8 Mar 1946 in Pollock, Sullivan County, Missouri at the age of 74, and buried at Mt. Zion Baptist Cemetery in Jackson Township, Sullivan County, Missouri. He was a farmer. Religion: Baptist.



My maternal granduncle Phillip Herbert "Herb" Sanders was born 18 Sep 1911 in North Yakima, Yakima County, Washington to Canadian-born police officer Robert Neil Sanders and US-born Gladys Annette "Nette" Sanders (née Gatchell), was a private first class in the US Army during World War II, married Juanita Laura Palmer 12 Dec 1944 in South Carolina before shipping off to Europe, had no children with her, after the war he worked at Washington State's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, retired to Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina (where his wife was from) in the early 1970s, widowered in 1985, died 7 Feb 2002 in Sanford at the age of 90, and buried at Carbonton United Methodist Church Cemetery in Carbonton, Chatham County, North Carolina. Religion: Methodist.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:38 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
The sister creature and I set off adventuring yesterday, in the rain. What a nice thought. Made a few stops had dinner and came home.

Ttoday, I have to get outside and clean some of my gutters, I had kept putting that off all summer long, and now I need to do it.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:08 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
My maternal 4th-great-grandfather Isaac Newton Grindstaff was born 17 Sep 1796 in Burke County, North Carolina to US Revolutionary War veteran Jacob Grindstaff and Susannah Grindstaff (née Newton), was a private in the US Army during the War of 1812, married my 4th-great-grandmother Jane Baker 3 Feb 1818 in Garrard County, Kentucky, had 5 children with her, widowered in 1826, moved to Boone County, Missouri with his family by 1832, married Eleanor "Nellie" Creason 25 Mar 1832 in Boone County, had 1 son with her, moved with his family to Linn County, Missouri by 1840 and Sullivan County, Missouri by 1850, died 7 Jul 1871 in Penn Township, Sullivan County, Missouri at the age of 74, and buried at Hamilton Cemetery in Jackson Township, Sullivan County, Missouri. He was a farmer.

His paternal grandfather Johann Michael Crantzdorf (my 6th-great-grandfather) was born in the village of Rimschweiler in the Duchy of Pfalz-Zweibrucken (now part of the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz) in 1728, and emigrated to the Pennsylvania Colony with his family in 1738, where their surname was anglicized as Grindstaff.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:54 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

[Rewatched/Blu-ray] "In space, all warriors are cold warriors." The final Star Trek film to feature the entire original cast sends them out in fitting fashion, with a moving, entertaining, and intelligent production.

After the critical failure of "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" and the success of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on television, the future of the film franchise was in doubt, at least as far as the original cast. The idea of a prequel set at Starfleet Academy was put forward again, and went as far as having a script written, but was ultimately rejected. Actor Walter Koenig suggested a story where the Klingons and Romulans unite to make war on the Federation, but it too was rejected (truthfully, Koenig's idea would have been a far too dark way to send the original cast off, with most of the crew dying by the end). Paramount Pictures put Leonard Nimoy in charge as executive producer, and he and Nicholas Meyer (co-writer/director of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and co-writer of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home") conceived a new story, in the vein of classic episodes of the 1960s television series where contemporary issues were explored through futuristic metaphors.

Meyer and co-writer Denny Martin Flinn (a dancer and choreographer before becoming a writer and stage director) turned the idea into a screenplay, collaborating by email, which in 1990 must have seemed quite futuristic. In the 1960s tv series, the Klingons were used as stand-ins for the USSR, and this film returned to that premise with a Chernobyl-like disaster propelling a proposed peace treaty to end the Cold War between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. It explores some serious themes like deep-seated prejudice among Starfleet personnel against Klingons, which angered creator Gene Roddenberry, who felt it went against his utopian concept. I can see his point, but I think Meyer and Flinn made the right call, and sent the original cast out with a story with substance. Certainly the idea of people learning to set aside their prejudices in an attempt to usher in a better future is compatible with the spirit of Roddenberry's vision.

As with the previous film, budgetary concerns caused some story elements to be dropped. Meyer planned to open the film showing each crew member and what they were doing in retirement, but that was deemed too expensive, and the idea was dropped. A non-budget related change was with the character Lt. Valeris. Meyer intended the character to be Lt. Saavik, who hadn't been seen on screen since "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", but enough objections were raised (over Saavik becoming a villain and potentially being played by three different actresses in four appearances) that Meyer and Flinn created Valeris instead. As Meyer had intended as far back as "Star Trek II", Sulu was promoted to captain of the USS Excelsior (my third favorite ship after the refit Enterprise and the television Enterprise).

For the first time since "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", Meyer returned to the director's chair. If there's a Holy Trinity of Star Trek feature film directors, Meyer is in it along with Leonard Nimoy and Jonathan Frakes. Meyer balances humor, drama, and action to provide an emotional last hurrah for the crew. Like his earlier film, it's frequently an edge of the seat thriller, and the performances he gets from the cast are quite good and integral to the film's success. Meyer again demonstrates a knack for keeping William Shatner's flamboyance in check as Captain Kirk.

Mayer's crew includes cinematographer Hiro Narita (who'd worked on "Return of the Jedi" as an additional cinematographer) and production designer Herman Zimmerman (who'd worked on the previous film and "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), whose quality work maintains the best standards of the franchise. Zimmerman contributes updated bridge designs for the Enterprise, the Excelsior, and the Klingon Bird of Prey, and moves the Starfleet bridges closer to that of the Enterprise D of "The Next Generation". Cliff Eidelman provides a solid and appropriate score, albeit the least memorable of the original cast films. Industrial Light & Magic returned to provide the visual effects after not being involved with the previous entry, and their quality work shows.

The original cast--Shatner as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock (the film provides rare examples of Spock acting out of the emotion of anger, which Nimoy plays well), DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, George Takei as now Captain Sulu, James Doohan as Scotty, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, and Walter Koenig as Checkov--are all in good form here, sensing that it would be their final turn to boldly go as a group. Christopher Plummer has a very memorable turn as General Chang, a Shakespeare-quoting Klingon who opposes peace and will stop at nothing to prevent it.

The good cast includes Kim Cattrall as Valeris (Cattrall reportedly did an unauthorized photo shoot on the bridge after hours where she wore nothing except her prosthetic Vulcan ears, perhaps the most colorful anecdote from the production of a Star Trek film; the negatives were destroyed on Nimoy's orders), David Warner as Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (essentially Gorbachev in the Klingons as Soviets metaphor), Rosanna DeSoto as Gorkon's daughter and successor, Brock Peters returns as Admiral Cartwright (Peters found his anti-Klingon racist dialog to be so distasteful that he couldn't say it in a single take), model Iman as the striking shapeshifter Martia, John Schuck reprises his "Star Trek IV" role as the Klingon ambassador, Kurtwood Smith as the Federation president, Grace Lee Whitney as Commander Janice Rand (Kirk's yeoman during the first season of the tv series, now Sulu's communications officer aboard the Excelsior), Christian Slater as an Excelsior crewman, Michael Dorn as Colonel Worf (ancestor of his character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), and future "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" star René Auberjonois as Colonel West (though all of his dialog was cut in the theatrical release).

The final scene is an emotional one, as the Enterprise flies toward a bright sun, and Kirk records his final log entry: "This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man - where no one - has gone before." Cue Alexander Courage's fanfare, and the original cast's signatures animated over a star field. A simple but greatly effective way to close the book on the original cast. Very moving, too.

"Star Trek: The Original Series" is an iconic part of American pop culture, and as the final film to feature the entire original cast, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" lives up to that legacy.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:30 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

[Rewatched/Blu-ray] "What does God need with a starship?" The weakest of the original cast Star Trek films has its flaws, but by no means is it a waste of time, and in fact it's entertaining and has some interesting ideas to work with. A failure in some respects, yes, but not an empty one.

In order to lure William Shatner back to the iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk for the previous film, Paramount Pictures agreed to let him direct this film. While it's popular to blame Shatner for its flaws, I've always felt that the studio itself bears a great deal of responsibility, and any director would have faced challenges because of certain studio decisions. Shatner actually makes a lot out of what he was given to work with.

Shatner conceived the story as a commentary on televangelism, harkening back to how the 1960s television series often tackled topical issues in a science fiction guise. As silly as the film can sometimes be, it's undeniable that there are actual ideas in it. Shatner wanted to hire novelist Eric Van Lustbader to write the screenplay, but the studio reused to meet Von Lustbader's fee of $1 million, which even in the late 1980s wasn't an outrageous sum for a screenwriter, but the studio clearly saw the film as something to make cheaply to maximize profits. Shatner's second choice was Nicholas Meyer, co-writer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", but he was busy with another project. Finally, a writer was found in David Loughery, who had one credit to his name (the B-movie "Dreamscape") and was very affordable.

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" was popular with audiences in large part because of its humor, so of course the studio thought even more humor in this film would lead to the same result (and reportedly wanted even more comedy than Shatner was comfortable with). While the earlier film found a way to balance the humor with the other elements, in this film the comedic elements tend toward over the top and pushing into camp territory (examples: Uhura's fan dance, and Scotty knocking himself out in a bit of risible slapstick). It's the cinematic equivalent of the weakest episodes of the television series, such as "Spock's Brain". Also, there are some head scratchers like how the Enterprise gets to the center of the galaxy so quickly, and the revelation that Spock has a half-brother who's both fully Vulcan and greatly emotional. Creator Gene Roddenberry considered elements of the film to be apocryphal, and it's easy to understand why.

With that said, the positives of the screenplay are a return to exploring the humanistic concerns so prevalent in the television series, some good character moments for the trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and an understanding of what makes the franchise tick at its core. It might not be a great example of the franchise, but it is definitely Star Trek.

As a first-time film director, Shatner is competent, albeit not on the same level as Leonard Nimoy. It's a well-visualized film, scenes are well-staged, and the cast seems to respond to his direction. Cast members later praised the atmosphere Shatner maintained on set. Despite the notable flaws of the script, Shatner made some excellent decisions in realizing it on screen by hiring cinematographer Andrew Laszlo and composer Jerry Goldsmith, the latter returning to the franchise for the first time since 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". Goldsmith's theme for that film, re-used here and for "Star Trek: The Next Generation", is easily the best piece of music ever composed for the franchise, on a par with the iconic genre themes of John Williams, and it improves things just by being heard.

Unlike the previous three films, Industrial Light & Magic was unavailable to provide the visual effects, so Paramount awarded the contract to the less experienced Associates and Ferren instead. The studio also slashed the effects budget below what was necessary to realize Shatner's vision and also expected them to be completed in half the normal time. Some of the scenes with effects were disappointing enough for Shatner to want to reshoot them, but the studio refused to pay for reshoots. The effects overall are competent but generally underwhelming even by 1989 standards. The effects scenes toward the end, the ones Shatner wanted to reshoot, are indeed weak.

Production designer Herman Zimmerman came over from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to design the sets, some of which were redresses of "Next Generation" sets (like ship corridors). Despite taking place very soon after the events of the previous film, the Enterprise bridge has been completely redesigned (some sources indicate the previous set had been damaged in storage). The design seen at the end of "Star Trek IV" was more elegant, but the new bridge is a technological leap forward, complete with touch screen interfaces, providing a link to "Next Generation" aesthetics.

Shatner as Kirk, Nimoy as Spock, and DeForest Kelley as McCoy knew their characters like the back of their hands, and it shows. The chemistry between them also shows, to the benefit of the film. George Takei as Sulu, Walter Koenig as Chekov, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, and James Doohan as Scotty also inhabit their characters well, if sometimes played too broadly and despite given some occasionally ridiculous scenes. Laurence Luckinbill plays Spock's half-brother Sybok, a role originally intended for Sean Connery, and actually brings a lot to the role.

The cast also includes David Warner as the Federation ambassador, Charles Cooper as the Klingon ambassador, George Murdock as the entity claiming to be God, Todd Bryant as Klingon Captain Klaa, Spice Williams-Crosby as Klingon Lieuteniant Vixis, and producer Harve Bennett as the Starfleet admiral who gives Kirk his orders. For the most part, the performances are adequate for the material. The glaring exception is Cynthia Gouw as the Romulan ambassador, whose performance can be described as amateur at best.

"Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" isn't as bad as its reputation, and is a serviceably entertaining entry in the franchise. For all of its flaws, it feels like Star Trek to me in ways that the 2009 and on rebooted franchise simply never does. One wonders what it would have been with a better writer and a larger budget.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 01:53 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Got a tad bit more done outside yesterday, I have no more bags of dirt and poo left, but I do have buckets of dirt to put in the flowerbed. Potted up all the new pots and triaged the unplanted things. Cleaned up a bit as the rains should return today, which will be nice, except I would have liked to have those few days between hotter than I can stand and rain..

Debating what to do today, I have to pay a couple of bills since they are due and I dont have time to mail them, and I need to drop off my tuesday ballot. We only had one measure on it, and I didnt see the little explaination insert until I sat down to clear space on the table.

FAKE: Fanfic: Sneaky Dee

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:12 pm
badly_knitted: (Dee & Ryo)
[personal profile] badly_knitted posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks




Title: Sneaky Dee
Fandom: FAKE
Author: [personal profile] badly_knitted 
Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 543
Spoilers: Nada
Summary: After an enjoyable evening with his lover, Ryo should be heading home, but there’s a snag…
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge # 203: Pair. Also for my genprompt_bingo square ‘Something Is Concealed’.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.


Sneaky Dee... )

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 05:13 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

[Rewatched/Blu-ray] "Admiral, there be whales here!" It remains one of the best Star Trek films, and it's certainly the most purely entertaining as it resurrects the social messages of the 1960s television series to provide a save the whales theme.

William Shatner initially balked at returning to his iconic role of James T. Kirk, so director Leonard Nimoy and producer Harve Bennett toyed with the idea of a prequel set at Starfleet Academy. After Paramount Pictures met Shatner's demands for a pay raise and the opportunity to direct a future film, Nimoy and Bennett came up with a new story based around time travel. Initially, the story was to involve a 20th century scientist to be played by Eddie Murphy, but after Murphy decided to do a different film instead, the character was changed to a woman.

Four different screenwriters worked on the project, but what made it to the screen is the work of Bennett and Nicholas Meyer (previously the co-writer and director of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"). Bennett and Meyer capture the best elements of the franchise, such as humanism and optimism, and puts them forward with a more comedic tone that recalls the classic 1967 episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", while each character gets at least one moment to shine.

It also marks the end of an informal trilogy that began with "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and continued in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", a trilogy that saw the death of Spock and the destruction of the Enterprise, so a lighter touch helps end the trio of films on a happy note. Spock was resurrected in the previous film, but it's here where, by the end of the film, he's fully restored to his old self and we get a brand new Enterprise, too (and no fan can say their heart doesn't soar at the end of this film when that new Enterprise comes into view for the first time--I remember leaping out of my seat the first time I saw the film).

In his second effort as a director, Nimoy shows more confidence and more visual flair, even while having major screen time as an actor. He juggles his dual roles quite well. The most striking part of the film is his surreal visualization of time travel, quite unlike anything seen before. It's also one of the best looking Trek films in general, and cinematographer Don Peterman was nominated for an Oscar for his work. Another Oscar nomination went to veteran composer Leonard Rosenman (whose Hollywood career began with films like "East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause" in the 1950s) for his rousing, nautical-themed score. The main title theme, which incorporates Alexander Courage's fanfare, is one of the best in the entire Trek franchise. The production uses mostly contemporary shooting locations, but production designer Jack T. Collis creates a wonderful bridge for the new Enterprise (sadly not kept for the next film, despite being set only a few months later in the fictional timeline).

While the acting is more broadly played, the off-screen friendship of Shatner and Nimoy shines through in their scenes together as Kirk and Spock. They also generate a lot of laughs. It's not Shatner's best performance in terms of dramatic impact (like "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"), but he has the right touch for the lighter material here, while Nimoy brings deadpan humor to his performance as Spock, and DeForest Kelley gets some hilarious moments as Dr. McCoy as well (he's especially funny during the hospital sequence).

Kelley has fewer scenes with Shatner and Nimoy than usual, but he gets to share some wonderful scenes with James Doohan's Scotty. The rest of the regular cast--George Takei's Sulu, Walter Koenig's Chekov, and Nichelle Nichols' Uhura--all have their moments, and it's easily the most involved Chekov was in any of the films. The newcomer here is the charming Catherine Hicks as Dr. Gillian Taylor, who's not only believable, she has good chemistry with Shatner, and they work well together throughout the film.

The cast also includes Mark Lenard as Spock's father Ambassador Sarek, Jane Wyatt in her second appearance as Spock's mother Amanda, Robin Curtis in the final appearance of Saavik (who was supposed to be pregnant with Spock's child, but that idea didn't survive into the final version), Robert Ellenstein as the Federation president, John Schuck as the Klingon ambassador, Brock Peters as Admiral Cartwright, Majel Barrett as Commander Christine Chapel (whose role was reportedly much larger, but mostly ended up on the cutting room floor), Grace Lee Whitney as Commander Janice Rand, Madge Sinclair as the captain of the USS Saratoga, Vijay Amritraj as the captain of another Starfleet vessel, musician Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's as a Starfleet communications officer, and associate producer Kirk Thatcher as the punk on the bus.

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" is the best example of Star Trek as mass-audience crowd pleaser without losing its way and forgetting who it is as its creative warp core.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:35 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I spent my time yesterday outside in the yard (once I got some adulting done inside) and managed to work on the fiddly bits of the new fence, edging the foam away from the new posts and lining up the border bricks underneath. Then I hauled five buckets of dirt over to the flower bed and dumped them. Since I got outside so late, when I was going to haul more dirt, the birdies had come out for their evening feed, so I instead potted up four of the new pots with flowers and mixed up more dirt n poo and filled up buckets for todays efforts outside. With the rains coming back tomorrow, I need to get more done. I am debating if I should mow the lawn or not, it depends on how I feel once I get outside I guess. I also refilled bird feeders too.

Finally got the results of my A1C blood test, I was at a 7.0 and its come down to a 6.6 which is fabulous progress on just the stuff my Naturopath is giving me. I cant take western drugs for this since they contain stuff I am allergic to, so I will continue to make efforts to getting it even lower.

Torchwood: Fanfic: Pairs

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:46 pm
badly_knitted: (Confused Ianto)
[personal profile] badly_knitted posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks




Title: Pairs
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: [personal profile] badly_knitted
Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Rating: G
Word Count: 805
Spoilers: Nada.
Summary: Jack asked Ianto a question that Ianto has no answer to.
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge # 203: Pairs.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.



Pairs... )

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 07:25 pm
darkphoenixrisn: (Default)
[personal profile] darkphoenixrisn
My maternal 7th-great-granduncle Laurence Holstein Sr. was born 15 Sep 1677 in Passyunk, Upland County, New York Colony (Upland County became Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Colony in 1681) to my 8th-great-grandfather Matthias Claesson (born in the Duchy of Holstein--now the German state of Schleswig-Holstein--and Holstein became the surname of his descendants) and his 1st wife Helena (née Cock) [I descend from Matthias and his 2nd wife, a Finn named Catharina Mansdotter], married Gertrude Mattson circa 1702 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Colony, had 9 children with her, moved to Pilesgrove, Salem County, New Jersey Colony circa 1711, widowered in 1728, and died in Jan 1750 in Pilesgrove at the age of 72. Religion: Moravian Church (Protestant).

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 02:13 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Made my stops enroute to the Btown Powells. Finally there is more Halloween out, but Rite Aid is slow, Target is there, Freddys is there...and of course,all the flavors of the season, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, carmel apple...

My timing was good, I found the new Laini Taylor book was out, and Laini Taylor was attending the event! So I got my copy signed, and she said I was the first copy she had autographed! weee.... then I got another copy for my friend M who is a huge Laini fan while I was at it.

Cat Winters did a good reading and talk, this is her sisters book as she describes it.

I have plenty to do today here in the house...

adventures with family

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:45 am
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
[personal profile] derien
I need to order my thoughts on this story, as I hope to write my brother (Hawk) a letter, today, to put in a box with some high school yearbooks of his which I found.

It began with a cousin of my mother's sending me a facebook message saying that as he had relocated his family to a new home, he was now hoping to clean out his old house and sell it, and my mother had left some things in his barn. Some time went by before I found a day when I could get down there to his old place, it being an hour's drive away. Of course, when I had time he was not available, but he said I could go on down there and I would find my mother's things clearly marked, in the barn loft on the left. I did not relish the idea of going into the barn of an old abandoned house by myself, so I contacted my cousin, Di, on the same side of the family, and asked her if she was up for an adventure.

A typical New England farmhouse in all but color - J.N. painted it a kind of pale orange with slightly more fluorescent trim - the place is tall and weathered with the barn attached at the back corner. As we climbed out of the car, taking the whole scene in, we noted that not only was one of the pair of large rolling barn doors standing open, but the house door was also standing open. Clearly some of the piles of stuff around the driveway were complete garbage, and had been there a while, but some gave the impression someone had recently been bringing things out, but had just left, possibly in a hurry. The gas grill just to the side of the driveway had grass growing up around it, but the fishing rod leaning against it had not yet been knocked down by wind. A small set of shelves on the covered steps had items stacked upon it - perhaps a baby bassinet with other fabric-covered items stacked inside it - which had not begun to mildew, as any cloth left out doors tends to do in a few days in our climate.

"Should we go in?" I asked Di.

"I didn't bring a gun," Di responded.

I wondered if I should loudly say that I was armed, but that would have been a lie, so I did not.

"We have no idea who's in there," she continued. "Sure."

We both sent texts to J.N. to let him know we were going in to his house to investigate why the door was open.

Inside was a bit of a shambles. It was surprising enough to me that there was some minimal, if badly worn, furniture, but then there were clothes and shoes lying around, lights and ceiling fan on, stereo powered up, half-empty fifth of whisky on a counter, beer and a bong on the coffee table, and a rifle leaning in the corner. (Yes, I could easily have stolen a gun last weekend. And probably should have, because anyone who leaves something like that lying around should really have it taken away from them.) Di took pics and sent them to J.N. and we continued on to the barn, wondering all the while when these people would show up - stoned? drunk? - and shoot us as trespassers. (The electricity being on gave their habitation a certain legitimacy, and we realized we'd entered under a false assumption, and really should not have.)

The barn was much the same sort of shambles only on a bigger scale - lots of furniture, lumber, mildewed books, at least two old exercise machines, several quite new looking bicycles that seemed in decent shape at quick glance, but were tossed in on top of everything else. Piles of small wooden boxes. There were several levels of lofts, and we picked our way to the back and found a set of stairs, but the things on the left in that loft were not marked in any way as my Mom's, and try as we might we could not find a way to get to the loft immediately to the left of the front door. At one point we went through a door, hoping there was another set of stairs, and found more lights on in a sort of back workshop area with a stand-up freezer, which Di teased me was where they stashed the bodies.

Finally I moved a ladder over and we climbed up to investigate a pile of things that looked somewhat orderly. They also were not marked, but some were my mother's. Others clearly had J.N.'s mother's maiden name on them, which is the same as the road the house is on. (Old New England families...) That was the only sure indicator that they were not my mom's, as his family name is the same as the maiden name of the grandmother Di and I have in common. (I'm honestly not entirely sure how J.N. is related to me and my cousin Di, because as far as I know our grandmother did not have any brothers, so I think one has to go a generation further back to find the connection. He may be a descendant of my great great grandfather.)

At any rate, it was old books and papers, two stuffed filing cabinets, the occasional broken chair. I was completely overwhelmed, and Di, who did not even want to climb the ladder in the first place, was amazingly supportive and understanding, directed my thoughts, helped me pack stuff into a random tote bag we found there, carried chairs down the ladder for me - I was impressed - and packed the car. We basically grabbed a very few quite random things and got the hell out of there.

Which is how I got three yearbooks which belong to my brother. Also, two dark lanterns, the two (broken) chairs that match each other, and some beads.

And then I went to her house to wash my hands and meet her goats.

Later we heard from J.N. and he says the people living in the house are his wife's sister (I think?) and her new husband.

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erynn

September 2013

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