darkoshi: (Default)
I'll have to try this:

How to stop stumps from growing back, organically! - drill holes in the stump and apply epsom salts, and replenish the salt every week or so.

Another idea - after doing the above, cover the stumps with black plastic / garbage bag and weight it down with bricks, to both block sunlight, and to keep the salts from being washed away by rain.

How To Use Epsom Salt For Stump Removal - this page says to put a little bit of water in the holes with the epsom salt.

How to Mix Epsom Salts to Kill Stumps - this page says to use a one-inch extra long drill bit... Oh, that must be a spade bit.

korean island walk

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 03:35 pm
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This is so cute.

Very good dog crashes every street view shot of this South Korean island

If you explore the map, the island itself is lovely too, beautiful ocean views, fields, a wooded path with interesting things along the way... there's a cool silvery monument in one spot along the path. I haven't found a way to link directly to that location. But (looking at the overview map), it is right near where the path along the east side of the island forks in the middle.

The island is called Jukdo.

(After more wandering along the map-path) This island is like a video game! One page I read said the island has only 3 families; another page said it had 2 inhabitants. And that the island has no running water, that rainwater must be collected, or it must be brought over from the nearby larger island of Ulleung.

But judging by the map-photos, it must be a somewhat popular tourist destination. There is a small building at the southern loop of the path, which appears to have bathrooms. There's a wood fence along the path, with many little rest/overlook areas and picnic tables/benches. There's another building with signs in front, which may be a restaurant. There are signs/markers along the path (in Korean, so I don't know what they say).

Ah, now I feel I must post some screenshots after all.

never see the same

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 09:43 am
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Now when I see dandelions, I think to myself "Aha! That one has pointy leaves, not round, and they are sticking up, not close to the ground. That is a true dandelion." Or "That's not a true dandelion, it's cat's claw... err, no, cat's ear" (almost every time, "cat's claw" comes to mind first, even though I'm not familiar with it... per a search, it looks similar to yellow jessamine).

The yellow flowers themselves look identical to me on both kinds of dandelions, though this one below didn't have a ball of unopened petals in the middle. Its petals were all open.

It's like when as a kid, I learned the difference between white oak which has the round/curve-edged leaves versus black oak which has the pointy-edged leaves, not to mention, blackjack oak.

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I've decided which phone to buy. The Moto G4 Play has pretty good specs (it has 2GB RAM, not 1/2 GB as I originally thought), for a good price.


This is the most chewed-on tree trunk by the pond.

These are Catalpa tree blossoms. The photo is from 2015, but the tree has blossoms this year too. The blossoms are about the size of big popcorn, and don't have much scent. But a clump of honeysuckle is also growing by the tree, the lovely sweet scent of which has fooled me a few times.

I found this growing in the ground in Qiao's yard. At first glance they look like fallen red blossoms, but what is that black tarry gunk on them? It's one of the strangest looking things. Per the internet, they are called starfish fungus. I saw one by the pond at work too, an odd coincidence, as I don't ever remember seeing these before. But then again, maybe I did and simply thought they were fallen blossoms.

While walking along, do you ever have a sudden amusing thought that makes you break out in a big grin?


Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 11:14 pm
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Putting silicone sealer on the mouse wheel to add traction had very good results, even though it didn't go on very smoothly.

Actually, it's an acrylic sealer. I previously had a silicone-based one, but when it ran out, the store no longer had it, so I got the acrylic one, which was listed as non-toxic and low odor.

Today it occurred to me that: 1) The insects are spelled 'beetles', 2) the cars are spelled 'beetles', 3) but the band is spelled 'beatles' 4) because the music has beats. It's a word-play, and it's possibly the first time I recognized it as such. I guess I always just thought they named themselves after the insects or maybe the cars.

The fig tree is growing little fig leafs again! The young leaves that died earlier haven't fallen off yet.

Just as I had driven up to my driveway this evening, I looked left out of the car window and saw a light moving across the sky in a straight line. In a direction from the south towards the southeast, sort of. Just a single white light, small, not blinking. It wasn't moving very fast, nor slow. The light flickered out for a moment, then came back, still moving, then flickered out again and stayed out. I thought it might have been a meteor, but the Lyrid meteor shower isn't supposed to start until the 16th. And my visibility here is poor. So it was probably a plane after all, maybe disappearing behind some clouds.

I like this song & video:

Video title: Space Unicorn - Parry Gripp and Brianne Drouhard
Posted by: ParryGripp
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17o1OlroNSE

And these songs:

Video title: Imagine Dragons - Believer
Posted by: ImagineDragonsVEVO
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtfhZwyrcc

Video title: Wardruna - Wunjo (New Album Runaljod - Ragnarok)
Posted by: Tatiane Akemy Oshiro
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heDBX-HCMDA

week in review

Sunday, March 26th, 2017 11:38 pm
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Driving into the parking lot at work on Monday, I noticed the low tire pressure warning light on. There was a nail in my tire. I got the hole plugged at the service station nearby, but they recommended getting the tire replaced as the hole was close to the edge. So I the next day, I got the tire replaced at the Toyota dealership. The price seemed reasonable; I was surprised by that. The "advisor" who handled my case was cool... very gender variant looking. At first she struck me as a butch lesbian. Then I wondered, why did I assume that? Maybe he was FTM. Or maybe they were non-binary like me. His/her/their business card was stapled to my receipt. They have a gender neutral name! Later I wondered if they staple their card to everyone's receipt, and if they were as tickled by my gender variance as I was by theirs. And I wondered if something they had jokingly said early on could be considered flirting.

The waiting room at the dealership had many noises. Two TV's on, tuned to different channels. Kids shrieking and crying. Music playing. Vending machines humming. I had brought my work laptop to do some work while waiting, which I did, but the noise was distracting and stressful. Next time, it would be good to bring my noise-cancelling headphones.

The little fig tree didn't react well to the snow we got a couple weeks ago. The leaves withered and dried up. The pink magnolia reacted similarly. I hope they recover.

On the way to work, another company has a row of trees by the street. I saw them pruning some of the larger trees one day. It was after the trees had already sprouted leaves. (They surely didn't expect to trees to sprout so early this year.) Now when I drive by, the ones that were pruned are all bare, while the other ones still have their pretty green leaves. I hope the pruned ones recover too.

Yesterday I washed the dogs.
While I had the hose unfurled, I also washed the green algae and dirt off of one side of the garage.

I went to Best Buy to see if they have any quiet/silent wired mice, as the scrollwheel on my mouse at work is messing up, even after me taking it apart and cleaning out the dust. I didn't see any particularly good ones at Best Buy, so I ordered 2 from Amazon that were specifically advertised as being quiet. Two, because the one looks good and practical, but the other one looks awesome and lights up. And maybe the way the scrollwheel is on the latter, I can turn it further in a single swipe. I'm sure I'll need another mouse anyway, sooner or later.

I replaced the clear glass lampshades on the ceiling fan light fixture in Qiao's den with some translucent/milky alabaster glass ones, to reduce the glare. I also bought 2 colored LED light-bulbs (green and pink - Qiao chose the colors) to put in the 2 sockets which face us when watching TV, to further reduce the glare, as even 40W bulb equivalents up there seem pretty bright. The colored bulbs, even though they are only 3W each!, are still brighter than I expected them to be.

I raked some of the yard. I washed clothes. I vacuumed, and washed dishes and dog collars. I cleaned the tub using 4 different cleaners, and it's still not as clean as I'd like (I wish I had written down how I got it so clean last time). The "tub grip" (gah, they've increased the price by 50%!) that I applied to the floor of the tub to keep it from being slippery is very good in that regards, but it traps more dirt than a smooth surface would. Ecover used to make a tub/tile cleaner that worked very good, but it's not sold here any more. I'm not sure if a similar one I found on Amazon has the same ingredients or not, but I may get it anyway to try. Because I want my darn tub to be spotless! Then again, I read something about using dish washing liquid mixed with vinegar, which I may try first.
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The little fig tree leafs are growing (bigger). There are a bunch of little figs growing too. The car is already getting lightly covered in pollen. This evening we had some wind and a small refreshing rainstorm. It was too warm inside, so I opened a few windows to get some of the breeze. Tomorrow it will be cooler, a high of 65. (Last week or somewhen, when the forecast was also for 65, I thought *eek* that will be cool, and then reminded myself that normally 65 in February would be nice and temperate.)

Feb 2017 weather history, Columbia SC
(click to enlarge)
(from https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCAE/2017/2/1/MonthlyCalendar.html)

Now that it is March, maybe I will stop feeling so disconcerted about the weather. In my experience, we could have cold weather and sporadic snow and ice up through the very end of February here. But March has always sounded like Spring.

Photos under cut... )


Monday, July 20th, 2015 10:47 pm
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A big piece of our cedar tree fell down in the storm yesterday. It clipped the corner of the house and damaged the gutter. I should get the roof checked; from down below it looks like only one shingle got chipped.

That wasn't one of the trees I was planning to get cut down.

live scum oh what am i

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 09:01 pm
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Google totally fails to answer the question "what is a live installer?". It is a small install program that downloads the bulk of the actual software to be installed as part of the install process itself (so that the install won't succeed unless you have an internet connection available during the process). Right? For a moment I wasn't certain. Now maybe this answer will come up if someone else searches on it.


The small pond at work is at a low level, due to the heat and not much rain. As I was driving by on my way home, it looked like young green grass growing out of the pond scum on top of the water! Yet I walked by the pond at lunch time and didn't notice anything then. Maybe I wasn't paying attention? Maybe it's some quick-growing fungus? Google fails me there too.


I decided which trees in the yard to get cut down. A few are half-dead. A few are simply making the back yard too shady, dark, dreary, and mosquito-ridden. Yet they do also block some of the view of the neighbors' yards which is a positive thing. And even the half dead ones... I actually like the look of bare gray limbs... on one tree, that is even more aesthetically pleasing to me than the leafy parts. And my wonderful Japanese Cherry Tree with the beautiful blossoms in the spring-time! It's half dead, but also still half alive. Am I making a horrible mistake??? I told Qiao he'd better hurry and call up some people to get quotes for the work, as otherwise I might change my mind. I'd been considering this for a while, but probably would have put it off longer had the neighbor not also mentioned trees needing trimming.


Next post about pronunciations! But Windows wants to reboot first.

blossom flutter

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 12:40 pm
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It's nice watching blossom petals fall and swirl around in the wind. It's like watching snowfall, but with birdsong and pleasant scents in the air, and without the freezing cold.
darkoshi: (Default)
Or rather, it fell and hit the front tip of my car while I was leaving work. At least I thought it did.

It was a dead pine tree trunk, no more than 5 or so inches in diameter, perhaps 10 to 15 feet tall. Whatever branches it had, had fallen off long ago. Part of the bark was gone too. It was a windy evening, dark clouds in the sky.

I was driving. In the edge of my vision, I saw the trunk falling, and slammed on the brakes. It hit the front of my car, breaking into a few pieces. My car drove over the fallen pieces. Amazed / awestruck, I turned to look out my rear window, and sure enough, the fallen tree was there in the street. But there were also 2 cars behind me so I didn't stop until the next parking lot. Then I got out to check for possible damage to my car.

Not a dent nor scratch. No noticeably new ones, anyway. Maybe it was so rotten and lightweight that it didn't do any damage. Or maybe it didn't actually hit my car?

I considered walking back to look at the fallen tree, but decided not to. It would have taken time; I was on my way home.

It had all happened so quickly. My memory of it was so faint, that I wondered if I would still remember any of it by the time I got home. I don't even remember any noise as it hit my car or the ground.

Today at lunchtime, I walked along the road where it had happened, hoping to get a better look at the fallen tree trunk. I expected it to have been moved out of the street by now. But there was no sign of it at all, other than a few pieces of debris that may or may not have been from the tree. All I found was a shallow hole of a tree trunk that had rotted away; maybe that was it.

I almost wonder if it could have been a hallucination. But I have no history of hallucinations.

If I hadn't slammed on the brakes, I wonder if it would have hit my windshield or the top of my car.

buying furniture

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 01:58 am
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Besides the other issues I have with acquiring furniture (such as, Do I really want to own more large, heavy things? Is it too heavy to move on my own? Is it both aesthetically pleasing and functional?)

... I also feel somewhat guilty about it. Back in the past, I'd read articles and see TV shows about illegal logging in places like Brazil and Indonesia, and the destruction of forests and habitats, and how a lot of all that is fueled by the demand for wood in countries like the U.S. I try to avoid reading and watching about that kind of stuff nowadays, because it depresses me, but I'm fairly sure it is still happening.

I have not been able to find any furniture which is certified as being from sustainably managed forests, for sale locally. If I did find any, I doubt it would just so happen to also be furniture of the type I am looking for, and which I find aesthetically pleasing.

So even when I find pretty furniture, and I buy it, and I feel excited and happy to have found and acquired it, I also feel guilty, not knowing where the wood that was used to make the furniture came from, and what bad things I may be indirectly supporting by my purchase.

Heck, even if I knew the wood came from a sustainably logged and ethically managed forest, I might still feel some guilt... I mean, if I saw the actual trees that were going to be cut down to build my furniture, I'd probably feel bad for causing the killing of the trees. It's sort of like why I became vegetarian - I didn't want to kill animals for food, nor did I want to have other people do the killing for me. Except that with furniture, I am still willing to let other people do the killing for me... sort of.

(no subject)

Monday, January 12th, 2009 07:51 pm
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Q sometimes gives me items of clothing to mend - buttons to sew back on, pants legs to shorten, a tear to stitch. I feel ambivalent about this. On the one hand, I like to do him these little favors, and it's not difficult for me to do them. On the other hand, I wonder, why does he expect me to do this? Is it a leftover of our dom-sub times... him giving me a way for me to serve him? Or is it just a gender thing - does he consider it women's work, and if I didn't do it, he still wouldn't do it himself? Is he not capable of doing it? Is it too hard to hold a little needle when you have a man's large hands? (But in other ages, didn't tailors used to be men?) Even if he has no experience, it's not that difficult to learn basic mending, especially if you aren't fastidious about it looking perfect.

He doesn't cook or wash dishes either. He takes me out to eat, instead, on the days that he's providing dinner. His reason or excuse for not cooking is that I'm vegan, and he doesn't cook vegan. Which makes sense, I suppose.

He doesn't make the bed either. Since apparently I'm the only one who cares if the blankets and sheets are in a tangled mess, it always ends up being me who straightens them.


I am working on a technical approach for a project at work. I've been working on it for the past week or two... I was only supposed to be "helping out" on this project, and I've been sending emails with my updates each day to the other team-members. But I'm not getting any feedback. It would help to have other ideas, or to at least have someone say they can't think of a better way. As it is, I wonder if I'm designing a convoluted mess. It's supposed to be something generic that other apps will be able to use too, but the more generic I think of making it, the more confusing and unusable it seems it would be. When things are too flexible, that makes it too complex for other people to understand easily, and then they're less likely to use it.


I was discouraged when I came home today, as my recycling bin on the curb was still full, and the piles of neatly stacked branches I had placed there hadn't been taken either. A big part of one of my trees fell down in the wind - luckily landed it the yard and didn't do any damage - so I will be putting parts of it by the street for the next few weeks. It would be too much for them to pick up in one go. So when I saw that today's piles hadn't even been picked up, that bothered me. The fact that this is the 3rd time in a row my recycling bin hasn't been emptied was even more frustrating.

But at about 7pm, I heard the truck outside... and I got gleeful and started singing, "Yippee Kai-Yay!" I suspect it was only the truck picking up the yard waste, though. I dread going out there and seeing the recycling bin still full. I shan't kick it though. I shan't!

Oh, by the way. Last time I brought the recycling bin back in, I noticed that while it hadn't been emptied, that someone had removed the metal cans. See what happens, city? If you don't pick up my recyclables right away, someone else will come along and pick out the valuable parts and steal away with them!

Update: They picked both the yard waste and recyclables up! FANTASTIC!

(no subject)

Saturday, November 15th, 2008 06:44 pm
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I recently discovered Google's language translation tool. It seems to translate better than BabelFish, at least for the pages I tried.

What would be really useful would be a browser plugin/button, which would let you translate the current page you have open, and have it automatically determine the language so that you don't have to select it from the dropdown. Just one click, and it would open a new window with the page translated.

Nebraska's child abandonment law - somewhat related to one of my recent posts. Now they want to set a lower age limit, because people have been dropping off older kids. But if the parents really don't want the kids, aren't the kids better off without them? Or is the problem that there are really a whole lot of people who'd be glad to be relieved of the work and responsibility of having to raise their children? And that the government doesn't have the resources to handle them all?

There are 3 large trees next to each other, with flaming-red leaves, at work. They are beautiful; striking. Against a blue sky. Against a dark gray sky. Just striking. It always makes me wonder, people going to the northeast to see the colorful autumn trees, when there are colorful trees everywhere. The bright yellow leaves on my tulip-tree have mostly fallen.

I recently watched Brokeback Mountain on DVD, from Netflix. It was a pretty good movie. I asked Q if he wanted to watch it, and he said, "Nah". Why is that? Is it that straight guys aren't supposed to show any interest in things with gay themes, as otherwise they could be suspected of being gay themselves? Or that a straight guy can't conceive of a movie with a gay theme being of any interest to themselves? Admittedly, the movie didn't seem of particular interest to me either, when it came out, which is why I only got around to watching it now. I had a vague curiosity about it; but a couple of cowboys on a mountain finding out they have homosexual feelings... just didn't seem *that* interesting.

(no subject)

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 01:53 am
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I finally finished hemming the edges of my flags. I'm still considering though, whether to sew on some kind of loop, so that I could spin the flags around on a finger... I'm not sure how well that would work.

I'll probably record a video of them in motion sometime, though I haven't studied any special moves yet, and I still tend to get them tangled up.


I got the dead tree removed. Hard to believe.... me doing such a thing, considering my past feelings on that kind of thing. But one of its branches that fell down had termites in it, which scared me.

I got the stump ground too. I thought that would be good, as it would allow me to replant in the same area. But now I'm not so sure. The stump would have taken up a relatively small area, but now there's a big area filled with wood chips. And apparently wood chips take a long time to break down, and are acidic or leach nitrogen from the soil, and things don't grow well in them. I moved some of them to the street; hopefully they will be picked up as yard waste.

(no subject)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 05:32 pm
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It's wonderful how beautiful flowers keep popping up in my yard/garden, all on their own. They must be perennials. First there were some daffodils and then mini-daffodils. Then a couple of big low-lying purplish-blue blooms. Then tall orchid-like yellow ones. Now, pretty orange ones and an interesting pinkish-violet one. Not bunches of them, but a few of each. And that's in addition to the wysteria, Carolina Jessamine (I mistakenly wrote "honeysuckle" originally), 2 Japanese flowering cherry trees, and whatnot, which the season started out with. Last year there was a beautiful shrubby plant in the front yard with orangey flowers... I hope it grows back too.

And there's a tulip tree too.

And one spectacular "weed" which sprouted this spring and is now about a foot taller than I am. It has a single thick purplish stalk, with leaves like dandelion leaves radiating out from the stalk. And what might be the beginnings of flowers or seedpods at the top... but I haven't noticed it bloom yet. I am really curious as to what kind of plant it is. It looked tasty when it was still only a couple of feet tall.

(no subject)

Sunday, November 18th, 2007 03:30 pm
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Why am I so goddamn cold! The thermostat says 68 degrees, and it's been rising all day, from 63, and I didn't feel cold when I got up this morning, but I've been feeling colder and colder ever since! Obviously antihistamines must not make one feel warm since I took one of those pills today; it must be tylenol that helps; but it doesn't seem right to take a pain-reliever like tylenol when one isn't in pain, just freezing. Even my nipples were aching from the cold earlier. I didn't realize the antihistamine was going to make me drowsy, either. I wanted to get things done today, and now it's already late afternoon, and I feel like I haven't gotten anything done yet.

This last week or so here, our deciduous trees here have gone through their color-change. Bright oranges, reds, yellows.

I flipped through the TV channels at Forestfen's for a couple hours yesterday, thinking I'd enjoy the chance to watch all the satellite channels for a change. But the only interesting things on were about the kind of things that depress me.... the history of the Ku Klux Klan, an 80s show on the African Liberation movement, a movie about some British inner-city boy with a mean brother raising a wild bird (ok, that one might not have been totally depressing, but I only saw bits and snatches of it), Iraq.... oh, one thing that wasn't depressing but rather odd/amusing, a Cops show where the cop pulled over a car with 2 good-looking women clad only in bikinis, and the driver was insisting that she didn't have the time to get a ticket and go to traffic court because she was getting a boob job done in 4 days.

Anyway, I didn't find anything good enough to watch, to make me feel that I ought to go ahead and sign up for cable or satellite TV at my house. Yet anyway. I think it would be interesting to sign up for some international stuff, but that would be expensive. And still not uplifting.