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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

22 September 2016 @ 03:01 pm
LJ was terribly glitchy for me last night and kept "eating" my comments so I was forced to start saving them to my clipboаrd before trying to post them, so I finally gave the whole thing up. Meanwile, some other people complained on Facebook that they had no access to LJ at all.

I only managed to open my own journal at the third attempt today, so let's see if I manage to get this test entry through. 
19 September 2016 @ 03:30 am
So, this is the monster of my own design I was in such a hurry to finish for my sister's birthday. She asked me to make this toy for her baby “to just look at” before he has learned to reach and actively grab his toys, but my mother and I both think it’s more for my sister herself. :) So it isn't really really baby-safe; I would advise the knitters who want to make a safer version to embroider the eyes and nose and skip the pom pom on top.

And now that I've finally written the pattern and having it test-knitted on Ravelry (still recruiting testers in my group, in case anybody here is interested), I can finally start publishing the photos on the social networks.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Victor's Monster (yes, Victor is the baby's name).

All finished-object photos were taken at my sister's place because I made the monster's hair there (I took with me a bag of different yarns for her to pick from):

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Yes, I'm this "spatially challenged". :)
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A monster in the makingCollapse )

So here he is on my sister's sofa:
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I love it how the monster matches the rest of the baby's things:
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Current Mood: accomplished
16 September 2016 @ 02:43 am

4 September was an unusually lucky day for my exercises in frustration attempts to photograph the house martins in my area. Yes, I was extremely lucky to come near this building at exactly the right time when they were flying to their nests and back feeding their young (ouch, still in the nests in early September!). I did get two photos with a blur-of-motion bird flying away in some corner, but these two are the most successful I've ever got with my current poor little camera.

House martin butt lol:

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A whole two birds in one photo (that's a different window). I can only hope they are visible enough:

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The last photo uncropped for perspective:

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I don't know how the young of that particular building are doing, but I've been watching other groups of clumsy youngsters still learning to fly for a second day now. They were kinda-sorta circling around in the new park yesterday evening, frantically flapping their wings to stay airborne (I don't know if that was really necessary or they were just in a panic) and having much trouble steering. To my surprise, they kept flying in semi-darkness, after the afults had gone to sleep, and then descended low enough to make their white bellies visible from below when it was getting very dark and had even more trouble manuvering among the trees. I was even more surprised that they were much more confident and their flight skills had improved considerably this evening, but of course they were still far frombeing skillful enough fliers to make it to Africa. Last year's last generation were given tree weeks flying practice before ythey were suddenly gone one day along with the adults (Ithink it was 19 or 20 September), but they started a little earlier. So I wonder if the adults are going to fly south a little later to give these youngsters a chance to learn to fly properly first. I havent observed any follow-the-leader practice yet, so they may stay a little later this year indeed.

And by the way, talikng of house martins' young, l found this helpful site tonight. :)

05 September 2016 @ 02:35 am
So, I wanted to explore the tiling of this fountain in a park in my home town to see what was behind (or under) the effect that changeling72 described as "It looks a bit like a broken mosaic" in a comment to this entry of mine.

This is what the "broken mosaic" effect looked in daylight (the ripples were this time provided by the fountain jets instead of the wind). Photos from 19 August:

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Ehat the fountain itself looked like:
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And alas, this is what the tiling really looks like - you can see it clearly in the dry area of... ouch, I don't know what to call the side structure in English.

The not so pretty truthCollapse )
01 September 2016 @ 07:26 pm
The geranium (well, actually Pelargonium) on our balcony, 27 August.

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The growing fruit on a young quince tree in my part of town, which reminded me of the approaching autumn as early as 22 August:

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The weather itself got kinda autumnal on the very next day (if I remember correctly), and we were "treated" to more than a week of wind that felt too cold for August while the sun was still rather hot, so I was still grateful for each cloudy hour. It somehow felt so autumnal even in the hottest days that I had to look at the green trees and the unperturbed swifts in the sky to remind to myself that it was still summer (I guess the shorter days and the sunlight coming from a different angle now didn't help either). On the plus side, that weather helped me to adjust to cooler weather, so now I no longer shivered in my summer clothes when it was 21C (69.8F)on the balcony one cloudy day.

Then it rained a lot yesterday, which didn't help much with the late-afternoon heat because ugh, the heat is even more difficult to bear when the air humidity is suddenly much higher. But now that the wind has gone down to a light breeze, we are finally back to... I don't know, maybe the best part of late summer, or just a period of slow transition into autumn this year, for a change.
24 August 2016 @ 03:21 am
.. and don't forget that unperturbed cat at about 3:24. LOL

Bellieve it or not, the original of this song is Bulgarian "pop-folk" (if my research is correct) and is sometimes referred to as the oldest chalga song, although I won't be surprised if the music was taken from some Gupsy/Romani folk song (or just instrumental piece). What we have in the clip is a Turkish cover, with just a bit of the Bulgarian maybe-original at the end (the Bulgarian lyrics sound ridiculous to me, by the way, and I can only hope the Turkish version is better because I don't understand a word of it).

The music does suit these Turkish dancers though; I love it how joyful and positive they look, seriously. :)

Current Mood: amusedamused
19 August 2016 @ 01:24 am
(paging puddleshark)

This is what I saw surprisingly on the evening of 4 August in front of the apartment building where I live. (Ouch, I’m afraid that corner isn’t the best-looking part of the building :P)
The hedgehog “froze” in that position each time I managed to get near him and that is why all you can see in my photos is spines. :)

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There was a woman with two children (her grandchildren?) passing by, and the children wanted to touch the hedgehog and had to be warned about his spines. LOL Then he ran around the building and I didn’t see any more of him that evening.

And then I started hearing that slightly frightening noise at night in the garden below (I live on the first floor), and I thought it may be that hedgehog, but I wasn't sure it was until I actually saw him. He usually walks in such a shady place that there is no way to see him in the dark, but I spotted him from the balcony one early morning after a sleepless night in the worst part of our previous heat wave. He ran and hid under the nearest car, where a tiny neighbourhood kitten growled at him (which I found hysterically funny), then they both ran back into the garden just in time for the car owner to depart without hurting them. I sometimes still have to remind myself not to feel scared when I hear him at night. :)

I heard him again last night and then even saw his silhouette as he ran through a half-lit area, and a little later saw him more properly again in a spot where some light from a street lamp was falling. The noise he made while stomping on the dried fallen leaves (a consequence of that same heat wave, I guess) was amazing; it’s incredible how such a small animal can raise so much noise. I don’t know what he was eating there, but in the end I had to close the window to stop hearing even from my bed the rustling of his footsteps combined with the rustling of the wind in the leaves. It’s good that it rained heavily tonight, so I got a break from him. :)

P.S. I live in a very urban environment, but at the very end of town, so there are just fields or small hills around on three sides of our quarter, which explains why we get a bit of wildlife now and then.
17 August 2016 @ 03:09 am
Just photos from one evening (4 August) when I take refuge from the heat in the nearest park to my part of town, which we still call "the new park" because it was created last year. There was a very welcome cool breeze and no mosquitoes or other biting insects because the Municipality had sprayed against them and the effect still lasted. *sigh*

This is how that breeze was interacting with the water in the fountain:

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Current Mood: pensivepensive
14 August 2016 @ 01:58 am

We are finally got a cool day yesterday, after a downpour in the first half of the day that was much more than the little bit of rain we expected, but I didn't complain. It was a little too bad for my mother's big laundry day though. :)

So, this is what I saw during my evening walk, while the ground was still wet from that rain, so there was no need to water the plants in the park that time.

Roses and raindrops in the park:
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That electronic next-bus-or-whatever sign at another bus/trolleybus stop on my way back home showing a much more bearable temperature than the day before (Note for the Americans: 21C is 69.8F):

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Today was another cool day, mostly cloudy. It felt cold on the balcony tonight, at that same 21C in the sheltered place where the thermometer is, and a somewhat cold wind blowing. My body still desperately needed to be in a cool place, but not that cool. LOL On the other hand, I'm glad that the ground (asphalt, sidewalk plates, whatever) and the buildings are now cooling down; that will give us some break before the heat starts accumulating again during the next heat wave. Tomorrow is expected to be the last (decreasingly) cool day - mostly sunny, the weather site says, but a high of 26 to 27C (around 78.8 to 80.6F) is still much better than 37C (98.6F), so I'm determined to enjoy the cooler weather while I still can. :)