greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, I did it. As of today, I have blogged six months straight, without missing a single day. Actually, I've not missed making an entry since February 13th, but I didn't make the "I'm not going to miss an entry for six months" declaration until March 1st, so I'm not counting February. Anyway, between March 1st and today (this post included), there's a total of 253 entries. Most days got one entry. Some got two or three. One got four entries. So, having accomplished this task, I ask myself, "Self, want to try for a whole year?" And remember, I have no iPad, no iPhone, Android, Blackberry, what-the-hell-ever mobile geegaw that allows me to post anywhere but home. So, this stands as ample evidence that I really don't have a life. Though, it's true, that three entries (I think it was three), were made from the business center of the Readercon hotel, back in July.

---

Yesterday, well...I worked. But I can't tell you on what I worked. And as the weeks roll by, until THE ANNOUNCEMENT is made, I'm going to have to say...yesterday I worked, and did X words on X, X pages on X, and so forth. It sucks. The other way – you seeing how marvelous the beginning of this undertaking is – would be so much cooler. But this is the way it is.

Anyway, yeah. Work on X. Then an appointment with my shrink. Then a trip to Pawtucket and the storage unit. Then dinner. I read "New Upper Pennsylvanian armored dissorophid records (Temnospondyli, Dissorophoidea) from the U.S. midcontinent and the stratigraphic distributions of dissorophids" and "Tupilakosaur-like vertebrae in Bothriceps australis, an Australian brachyopid stereospondyl" (both in the July JVP Then good RP in Insilico. Then Spooky read more of The Stand to me. And then...Monsieur Insomnia hit with a vengeance, and I sat up reading from The Book of Cthulhu until about 5:15 ayem. I read, um...let's see. Oh, yes. Bruce Sterling's "The Unthinkable" (1991, a peculiar little piece of whimsy, almost a vignette). Then Tim Pratt's "Cinderlands" (2010), which has a wonderfully non-linear narrative. It fumbles once with an achingly silly Lovecraftian pun, but yeah, otherwise, nice. And then Ramsey Campbell's very effective "The Tugging" (1976); Ramsey never ceases to amaze me. Then I managed to fall asleep, listening to This Mortal Coil, as the sun began to rise.

Tomorrow, I finally get to work on Sirenia Digest #69. It should be out by the fifth, on schedule. It's only going to feel late, on my end, because of this insane fucking amount of work lying over me like a heavy coating of bronze going green with verdigris.

And now, before I belatedly get to work on X, more photos from Friday, the day before Hurricane Irene began her sideswipe of Rhode Island (behind the cut).

Oh, and a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] fornikate (my fans have the best LJ names) for teaching me that my spirit animal is actually a honey badger. It's absolutely true, and I should have figured it out years ago. We now have a jealous platypus.

August 26, Part 2 )


Mellivora,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
So, in my entry from July 22nd, in which I describe our visit to Newport and the Cliffwalk, I wrote:

Oh, and we encountered a rather Wrong Thing at the Forty Steps, and this time I have photographic evidence, but I'll save that for a later entry.

And then, what with one thing and another, I forgot about it. But I was looking through a file of images on the iMac's desktop this afternoon and came across the aforementioned photographs. On July 21st, after we'd walked some distance south down the Cliffwalk and then back to the Forty Steps, we happened to notice, lying up high near where the boulders met the underbursh, where the Pennsylvanian-aged bedrock met Holocene-aged soils, was what I first took to be some sort of eel. It was maybe 25 centimeters long, and at its greatest circumference, maybe 4-5 centimeters. As Spooky took a couple of photos, it suddenly occurred to me that it wasn't an eel, at all, or any oother sort of fish, but an animal I'd not seen since college, some twenty years ago, when I was taking herpetology and ecology classes. It was, I am quite certain, a sirenid salamander of the genus Siren. I thought it odd to encounter one near no evident body of freshwater, so near the sea, but figured perhaps a gull or crow had picked it up inland, then dropped in at the Forty Steps. It had begun to putrify, and was giving off quite an awful odor, so we left it and sat some distance away on the boulders as a fog rolled in across the bay.

Back home, I looked more closely at the photos we had, comparing them with various field guides. Though unable to be certain of the species, whether this was the Greater Siren (Siren lacertina) or Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) —— though I lean towards the former —— my initial identification seemed entirely sound. Except. Turns out, sirens (at least of the salamander variety) are not native to Rhode Island. Indeed, if this truly were a specimen of Siren lacertina, we'd come across one far outside the species' known range. According to all the published and online sources I've consulted, this large amphibian can be found no farther northeast than Virginia, which placed our discovery several hundreds miles from any previous recorded occurrence (and the range of the Lesser Siren is even more restricted). We puzzled over it for days, and finally concluded that the most rational explanation was that the specimen was in the collection of some local herpetofile or maybe even a student or professor at nearby Salve Regina College, and that it must have died and been summarily discarded at the cliff face. On the one hand, it seems awfully ad hoc, this explanation, but on the other, well, I know what Mr. Fort would have said. The photos are behind the cut (and if you're squeamish about dead things, consider yourself warned):

A Misplaced Beastie )


Oh, and I should post the link to the current eBay auctions, as I forgot to this morning, and Spooky relisted some stuff today.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I am:
Stanislav Lem
This pessimistic Pole has spent a whole career telling ironic stories of futility and frustration. Yet he is also a master of wordplay so witty that it sparkles even when translated into English.


Which science fiction writer are you?



Of course I got Lem. And I am pleased.

These two bits I snurched off'a [livejournal.com profile] sclerotic_rings:

The Cretaceous of China, which seems to be an endless bounty of palaeontological wonders, has given up the skeleton of a two-headed choristoderan. What the frell's a choristoderan? That's why we have Wikipedia.

Also, herpetologists have confirmed parthenogenic reproduction in Komodo monitors (Varanus komodoensis). That's right, female Komodos can make little baby Komodos without the intervention of males. This is not too terribly surprising, as scientists have already confirmed parthenogenesis in populations of other squamate species (snakes and lizards) and some turtles.

Okay. Bedtime is upon this nixar.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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