On Summer )

We spent Sunday in the area around South Mountain in spectacular early fall weather. Our first stop was the Boonesborough Days festival in Boonsboro, where we saw rescued raptors, historic cars, Civil War artifacts, a forge, a University of Maryland agriculture school information booth, a portable gristmill, amateur astronomers, a horse and buggy, lots of locally made food, and crafts including glassworks, furniture, pottery, doll clothing, ironworks, candles, ceramics, jewelry, chain maille, paintings, photo art, seasonal decorations, and more. After the festival, we went to South Mountain Creamery, where we got to pet calves and visit chickens and cows before getting cheese and ice cream in the store. We missed all of the Ravens' shutout victory over the Bengals and the Nationals clinching their division for the postseason, but both ended so well that we didn't mind.

Fair and Farm )

We ate a late dinner while watching the first episode of The Orville, which I liked rather better than most of its reviewers, though I may have been in a forgiving mood because I'm so mad at CBS about Discovery. So I enjoyed the wannabe Data with the similar voice, the wannabe Jem'Hadar villains, all the women -- I always love Penny Johnson Jerald, I'm very glad to see Adrianne Palicki on something other than Agents of SHIELD though they need to write her character better -- it is no worse than "Broken Bow" and I liked it better than "Encounter at Farpoint" the first time I watched TNG, so I will certainly watch again next week. It's no "Emissary" or "Caretaker"...but, when I was rolling my eyes, it was because of McFarlane's brand of humor included to lure his usual fans, not because of serious sci-fi stupidity. Afterward we watched this season's final, sad Endeavour, on which I must admit my favorite moment was Roger Allam's Thursday saying, "I am the law!"
We have had a long, lovely day with friends after dropping off Adam at the airport to fly to Seattle, where he is hanging out with Daniel after eating Thai food. Paul and I went to Baltimore, where we met up with Denise and walked past Camden Yards to the Inner Harbor. We had lunch at Noodles and Co. and went to the National Aquarium -- we saw terrapins while the Terrapins were beating Towson.

In the late afternoon we walked back to Denise's house to hang out for a bit before going to meet Cheryl and other friends who were in town for the Potterverse convention. We ate at Gertrude's restaurant in the Baltimore Museum of Art, where we had great food and a great time catching up (plus excellent desserts). Here are a few pics, more soon!

Charm City )
Coldness in Love )

Because I had two coupons and $8 in surprise points, I tried to go shopping at Sears today, which was an epic failure in every way, nearly entirely their fault...okay, it's my fault that I didn't double check the web site this morning to see if a specific item from last night was still in stock, but it's their fault that their computer couldn't figure out whether it could be shipped to the store from another, their fault that their computer wouldn't acknowledge either my coupons or my surprise points, and very much their fault that the signs still all over the store declaring that the shoes were on sale didn't mention that the sale ended 9/4. I ended up ordering from Amazon while I was still in the store and saved money in the process! Also, since I was in the mall anyway, I successfully gathered people for a Raikou raid at the Sprint store and every single one of us caught the Raikou.

My day was otherwise very nice. I had bagels and coffee with Alice, who was in Bethesda for an appointment, and dinner in College Park with my parents and Adam, who is home overnight so we can take him to the airport early Saturday, when he will fly to Seattle for an interview for a summer internship. We ate at Ten Ren Tea, whose name is deceptive because although they do have a really big selection of excellent bubble tea, they also have a decent sized Asian fusion menu including excellent Szechuan and General Tso's tofu (and those of you who eat tofu know how many Chinese restaurants make it with such horrible texture, it doesn't matter how good the sauce is). We watched the end of the Nationals game while Adam discussed interview questions, now we're watching Colbert, whom I skipped last night because I can't stomach one more second of Bernie Sanders. From around the water at Brookside Gardens:

Brookside Pond )
Fungus on Fallen Alder at Lookout Creek )

My Thursday was too uneventful to bother to report -- the biggest excitement was discovering the fudge, Tuscan spices, and fresh bread at the Thursday farmer's market at Cabin John. It wasn't a bad day for me -- there were bunnies and pumpkin pie and the start of the football season with the fear put in Tom Brady by the Chiefs, though there were also multiple hurricanes and wildfires and continuing political idiocy. Here are a couple of Brookside butterflies, and I'll try to be more interesting and less rushed tomorrow!

With Wings )
Sharks' Teeth )

We had rain all day Wednesday, which was by far the nicest weather nearly anyone I know in the U.S. was experiencing -- older son and Oregon in-laws are under a cloud of smoke and ash, L.A. relatives are under a different cloud of smoke and some have had their AC turned off in rolling blackouts, and I don't have to tell anyone what friends in Texas and Florida are dealing with. But hey, nuclear war with North Korea will make global warming seem like a minor problem!

Anyway, my day was fairly uneventful: some work, some laundry, a Raikou raid, a phone call with one of Maddy's coworkers, froyo at the mall with my mother. One of the BBC channels is showing Inspector Morse on Wednesdays now, so after seeing only a couple of episodes here and there, though we've seen all of both Inspector Lewis and Endeavour, it's nice to see the earlier show! Here are some photos from the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach:

California Creatures )
Ovid Elegy II:18 )

I was indoors doing laundry and work during the part of Tuesday that was a really nice day, then I went out in the afternoon when it was starting to cloud up (the highlight of which was catching a wild Snorlax at Cabin John Park) and got home shortly before two hours of pouring rain, thunder, lightning, and wind.

We had veggie turkey cutlets for dinner and watched the last two episodes of Will, which just gets crackier as it goes; I kept watching for Jamie Campbell Bower's Marlowe, who seems to have wandered into A Knight's Tale from Velvet Goldmine. Some more photos from Morro Bay, California last month:

Morro Bay )
Constellation )

Our Labor Day plan had been the Maryland Renaissance Festival, but as with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on Sunday, Cheryl couldn't go, nor could most of the friends we usually meet there. So we postponed that visit as well and instead went to Brookside Gardens, which still has lots of flowers, particularly roses outside and begonias in the conservatory, as well as many geese, herons, turtles, frogs, butterflies, grasshoppers, and songbirds:

Just Before Autumn )

We had some shopping to do -- kitty litter, Pier One's end of summer sale, plus Roots Market since we were up that way so vegan pepper steaks, yay -- then we came home for veggie burgers and tater tots. We were surprised to discover that the season finale of Will was on, so we spent the evening around the Nationals victory and Orioles defeat catching up on the show though we won't get to the finale till we finish the episode before it. Hope everyone celebrating had a nice Labor Day!
Hotel Couplets )

We had planned to go on Sunday to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire with Cheryl, but she had a death in the family, so we postponed that and instead went to the National Building Museum's Hive exhibit since this is the last weekend for it. Hive was built by the Studio Gang out of nearly 3000 recyclable paper tubes, silver on the outside and hot pink on the inside, which interlock like Crystal Climbers to make beehive-looking structures with wind chimes and percussion instruments, plus there are build-your-own cardboard pieces and round benches to sit and stand on:

Hive )

We also went to see the museum's Wright on the Walls (color your own Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece), the paper models, and Timber City, an exhibit on the wonders of modern sustainable forestry and wooden building construction sponsored in part by -- who else -- several lumber companies. Then we drove to College Park, picked up Adam, and took him to dinner at Rasoi where we had fabulous Indian food before we gave him the new luggage we got him to take to his Microsoft internship interview in Seattle next weekend. We came home, watched Endeavour, then sat through the end of the unfortunate Red Sox game.
A Stone Is Nobody's )

After a relatively quiet morning organizing Google Music genres, I spent most of my afternoon at Lebanese Taverna and Baskin Robbins with Karen, Heather, Angela, Lena, and Teresa, enjoying food and catching up since we hadn't all been in the same room in months. It was a truly lovely day marred only because another good friend had lost a family member, and although it wasn't a surprise since the family member had been quite ill, I was sad for my friend and it changed the rest of our weekend plans. I had a bit of shopping that had to be done late in the day, but otherwise it was a quiet evening save for when I discovered that there were two Raikou raids in Cabin John Park, so just after dinner (leftovers) I went to meet some GroupMe friends. The Team Mystic group won both raids and I caught the Raikou both times!

Then Paul and I watched Drone, which is a better movie than its reviews suggest. Sean Bean's character's white suburban Christian male life is built on illusion -- he thinks he has a good son who likes video games and a wife who loves him, though the camera angles and mirrors suggest otherwise. In fact he hardly knows his son, has lost his father, his wife has a lover, and his first-person shooter dream job is killing civilians in Pakistan. The confrontation over the drones isn't what's central, which seems to have frustrated reviewers who wanted a movie about the ethics of drone warfare like Eye in the Sky. I preferred the latter because the focus is so much more on the global cost, while the focus of this one is on the American, but both movies are about how dehumanizing drone strikes are for the people who perform them as well as for the people at whom they're aimed, and in that regard, this one works.

Lunches )
The Cat And The Moon )

I heard that their might be Raikou raids on Friday morning, so I got up early to go to one before I had to start doing work. At the mall, my Pokemon Go app refused even to open correctly and I had to delete and reinstall it, missing the raid completely, but then I went to the park near my parents' house with a group of eight people and caught Raikou on the first throw! Alice and Avery came over in the late morning and we went to another raid near Potomac Village and we won the gym battle, though none of us caught the Raikou.

Alice, Avery and I had lunch at Vie de France in Potomac Village and stopped in Rite Aid, then came back to my house and watched most of Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias, which I know I saw back in the day but did not remember at all. After they went home, I worked on some things and repurposed a bracelet that was too big for me. Paul came home early because of the holiday, we went to my parents' for dinner, and we've spent most of the evening watching the Navy and Wisconsin games. The Mission at San Luis Obispo:

Church and Museum )
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