December 20, 2007

You are missed

Losing Battles and Taking the Long View
Cat rescue is a tough business. Losing the little critters to sickness is a loss that is hard to handle. Recently, our shelter lost 2 cats who were valiant in their fight to stay with us. Solomon (the wise) and Elliott (the sweet). They died the same week a benefactor of the shelter did. Sometimes death visits us like that. It takes sweet souls to remind us that we need to be sweeter to each other to make up for our losses. Farewell sighs for all of you who have loved and lost. Never forget that those you lose today are always nearby and will be there to greet you in the sweet by and by.

Vampire Kitties

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Cat Surfing

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Tell Me About It

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How Do Cats Keep Their Teeth So White?

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Cats Who Walk the Walk

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Present Cats

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Stand Up for Yourself Cats

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Beware of Sleeping Cats as Well

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November 13, 2007

Pretty tricky -- these Occidentals

Where are people after disasters? Where are they before disasters? If you know a train wreck is coming, do you....
(a) Wait for the train to hit -- cleaning up is cheaper than avoiding it...(b) Divert the train and apologize to passengers for the inconvenience -- and lose $$ when passengers don't come back...(c) Fix the problem
In Minnesota, it is pretty clear they knew something was going to happen. They opted for inspecting ... why? Who knows? I am sure it will be looked into.
My question is why do we inspect and inspect and inspect when you see a problem starting? Do inspections make things safer? Not at all if results are suppressed. Do they delay getting a problem fixed? You betcha. After all, the deal about delay is that if you stall long enough perhaps the people who need a problem fixed will go away and you won't need to fix it at all.
Pretty tricky these occidentals....

Speaking of the Falklands

I never liked Elvis but I l love Rock & Roll the more educated I get about the lyrics.
Here is a For Instance: Vintage Rock & Roll the Kinks.
Living On A Thin Line
Written by: Dave Davies
Published by: Dabe Music, 1984
Chord file
All the stories have been told Of kings and days of old, But there's no England now. All the wars that were won and lost Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore. All the lies we were told, All the lies of the people running round, They're castles have burned. Now I see change, But inside we're the same as we ever were. Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line, Living this way, each day is a dream. What am I, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Now another century nearly gone, What are we gonna leave for the young? What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do, It's a crime, but does it matter? Does it matter much, does it matter much to you? Does it ever really matter? Yes, it really, really matters. Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Now another leader says Break their hearts and break some heads. Is there nothing we can say or do? Blame the future on the past, Always lost in blood and guts. And when they're gone, it's me and you. Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line, Tell me now, what are we supposed to do? Living on a thin line.
This song can be found on the following releases:
stereo mix, recorded Aug-Sep 1984 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
Kinks Links
If this isn't a slam at the U.K. adventurism in the Falklands, then I don't know what is. Here is the wikipedia entry on that war. Fought in 1982. Song recorded 1984. Do the math.
I wonder what songs will come out of the U.S./Middle East adventure? And when will they get here? So stay tuned. There are several so far that are likely candidates...GreenDay, etc. But none I've heard so far like this one -- so wistful, so angry, so sad.

Change but Staying the Same Inside

More on Living on the Thin Line
Now I see change, But inside we're the same as we ever were.
Kinks, 1984, Living on the Thin Line
I think listening to the song often, those words actually make more sense as Outside I see change, But inside we're the same as we ever were
And that's certainly is clearer the longer I am awake. Fashions change but people don't. Not really. Not without a lot of sustained effort and then the change is merely a veneer easily scratched off in adversity.

Grammar and the Kinks

Grammar Lessons
Blame the future on the past
More from the Kinks Living on the Thin LineSo true and so easy to do. I'm just not willing to live that way anymore. Present Tense not passive voice


Fall Cleaning
Fall cleaning unearths loads of cool stuff. For instance, this link about a cat named Annie reminds me of an old folktale about a pickle jar and how a thief was caught because he wouldn't let go of the pickle. Here is what I just googled on pickle jar thieves.
The Monkey and the Pickle Jar by A. Ullrich
There once was a monkey who lived in the forest who always bragged about how smart he was. One day the monkey found a pickle jar with a handful of pickles left inside. The monkey was extremely fond of pickles. The monkey put his hand in the jar and grabbed all the pickles. When he lifted his hand, it wouldn't come out. He wasn't sure what to do, so he started yelling, "Help, help, my hand is stuck!" Then suddenly a little rabbit came by and looked over the situation. After carefully reviewing the jar and monkey's hand, the rabbit said, "Poor, poor monkey. Trapped by your own greed and stupidity. Let go of the pickles and you'll be free." And he was.
Moral: Don't ever brag about yourself because some day you might need someone's help.

Balancing Points and Bones

Balancing Points

Currently researching CSA...Community Supported Agriculture. Here is a wikipedia link inking it in more fully. I'd have to tell you that China recalls and an obsession about where do bones go has driven me this summer into eating macaroni and cheese. While I surely won't starve or become malnutritioned eating that with all the vitamin supplements I take, I'd like something fresh and scrunchy and local to go along with it. Hence, CSAs which will support local farmers and keep developers out of the garden. Hah, at least that's what I would like to believe. The fact is that in Northern Virginia there is no developable land left. So it is a moot point whether supporting the farmers will help prevent development. But I just never outgrew fairy tales. Sigh. In fact, subscriptions to get produce locally are completely sold out for 2007. Dah! It is September!!!!

Feather Dusters of the Soul

When cleaning House

Feather dusters just aren't strong enough to fluff away sadness. It seems that the more I clean house, the more I organize the place I am living in, the more lonely I become. Never mind the cats, never mind the cell phone which connects me to the outer world. My bet is that the less I have to "busy" myself with, the more I notice that there is less in my life to distract me from ... well, me. And that brings me smack face to face with that elusive character I have tried to avoid all my and who/what/how I am doing/being/committing my time and $$ towards. I rescue to rescue myself. But this endless facing of self is overwhelming at the moment. I don't know if it is the pressure to conform from work, the pressure to conform from my landlord or just the pressure generally. But I am exhausted and truly need to clean house on both levels -- physical and mental.

3rd Quarter

It must be the Phase of the Moon

I dunno. Call it the third quarter, call it the aftermath of Gen. P's paper on Iraq, call it whatever you want. But this year, September came early, stayed on too long and felt like a month of Hurricane Katrina force changes blowing across my desk and TV. Gone are the mind numbing days of re-runs in July and August. Now every single news item either touts a new disease I could have...or a disease my kids could catch or a food additive that will kill my cats. Come On, people! Get a clue. We saw it when the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed that not only is the infrastructure of roads is the help ethic in this nation. When my daughter comments that the troubles in this country are caused by the aging americans (hello) like me over 50 and that we should we ruthlessly weeded out to avoid the overload on Social Security, I start to feel like a crumbling infrastructure s well. Perhaps that is the trouble...perhaps we are all aging and not seeing the issues around us as well as we could. Perhaps we are starting to crumble into the river...and we just won't know until the entire structure comes down completely. I just dunno. My mood of pessimism must be a September thing. I sure hope so.

Drama Queen Advice

Recovering from Trauma

I write to recover from emotional ups and downs. I laugh to open my heart enough to write about what is troubling me. I watch re-runs of funny shows. I watch re-runs of classic movies. I read lists of what artists should do for inspiration. And then ... I realize I am not writing as much, I am laughing more, I am watching re-runs less, and I am finding inspiration inside of me. Go figure. But with more than 30,000 service men and women injured returning from Iraq? How on earth can we help them laugh, open their hearts again, and live? Peace now.

Miss Perceptions

Perceptions Don't Define Us, Only We Do

Bad guys consistently redefine how the rest of us are wrong in our perceptions of the world so they can appear powerful, in charge, total commanders. It has always been that way. On a macro level, the imact of the dictator gets diluted if he is just one fellow. On a micro scale, such an individual has destinies in his care. Case in point, the teacher who points to a student and accusing them falsely of cheating. I get incensed when I am accused of cheating. And when it is my kid being accused by someone who is trying to prove his existence matters by making others look like cheaters, Hell Hath No Fury....

Crazy Cats

Cat Licks

Cat Lick ought to be the name of a town in West Texas or Southern Ohio or somewhere rural. My long haired cats love to groom themselves -- intensively. One of these days, I expect the cat grooming will get too intense and the cat will lick itself out of existence. Lick, lick, lick...tick, tock, tick, gone.....


Aren't the kittens above this paragraph cute? Kittens clustered so close put out a lot of thermal energy though. I am all for rescuing animals. I am all for stopping the killing in Darfur. I am all for a lot of things but one of them may or may not be accepting blame as a citizen of an industrialized national for the brunt of global warming. No, nope, nada. Yes, there are a lot of emissions from the U.S. Yes, there are a lot of other issues associated with being big. But it seems to me that the biggest source of global warming and what has sped it up as swiftly is not the put-put-put of the automobile in the U.S. and our dependence on oil. Rather, it is the mechanization of war with the addition of weapons of mass destruction. Who knows the impact environmentally of the oil fields we blew up in Gulf War One? I don't but I bet it was huge. Who knows the environmental impact of WWII? Of the Korean Conflict? Of the Texas Oil fields that were allowed to burn off into the atmosphere? So before I take credit with my measly car, I would like others to take a bow as well for the holes in the Ozone and the glaciers melting. Because after all, these things all add up like the kittens in the picture above.


Drumbeats towards War

I got an email from a friend about remembering the holocaust and excoriating the Iranian President about his Holocaust denial and rabid hatred of Israel. And I am concerned that this is the first drumbeat of a march in a new direction for the American War Machine. It started with Iraq with inuendo and flat out lies. It is starting with Iran in a similar fashion. First it was reports of al-qaida operatives coming from Iran, then it was the Iranian diplomats discovered in Iraq doing something that we didn't like, now it is pulling the indignation card and trying to incite the various Jewish organizations and lobbies. And they might just succeed with the wanna-be Jews for Jesus and the wanna-be kaballah groupies and the wanna-be pseudo Jewish understanding Christians (those who celebrate Passover and think they "know" what it is to be Jewish) who are offended on our behalf but who don't "get" the full picture. It is indecent for this country and certainly for the media to use another person's suffering to incite a riot. It is indecent for emails like this to be circulated among friends who are well-meaning. It is wrong to go to war because we don't like someone's beliefs. We might as well be back in the middle ages fighting in the Crusades. It was wrong then to go to war. Read Barbara Tuchman or any historian of the period. It is wrong now. In fact, it is worse now because in the global society we have with the internet and easy access from country to country we are less informed, less tolerant, less trusting, just less.....

2nd Chances

Second Chances only Happen if you never give Up

Second chances happen to everyone. Last night they happened to the Robinson Rams Freshman Football Team and the results were spectacular. A freshman had just made a terrific run up to the goalposts only for a penalty to be called on the play. Without missing a beat, he re-ran the same play the minute the teams regrouped and this time made the goal. Amazing. And in just that way, we all are given second chances. Albeit, not as flashy and certainly not as noticeable but each and every day there is an opportunity to score even though a penalty is called against us. Waking up each day is the first second chance, then what you make of the rest of the day is up to you. It is in you to do whatever you choose. Choose wisely and run your day like the football freshman last night. Score big for yourself in the game of life and don't let the refs get you down.

Elections 2007

Petty Potentates - Election Day 2007
Today we get to elect representatives. Note the word, Representatives. Not dictators, not privileged people, not royalty. Representatives. Well, I guess we intend to do that. R for Representatives. R for Royalty. In the U.S. it is pretty much the same thing. And that's a problem. Politicians (a.k.a. representatives) forget the people who elect them. Politicians would rather vote themselves pay raises, health care benefits and other perks instead of worrying about the folks who voted them into office. Politicians would rather have business outsource than have the economy adjust downward towards stability. The cats and I say, "Stop outsourcing." But that will never happen. It is just too easy to save money on paper instead of saving souls here in the U.S. Let's outsource Congress instead. Surely, the country would be better run. After all, these politicians are the clowns who got loans from foreign countries so our national debt wouldn't look so bad. Talk about your bloodless coups. Sheesh. Peace please!

Fine Arts -- Drool Style

The Art of Drooling
Ok, ok, I admit it. I am an art geek. I drool for Chinese scrolls, Japanese swords, zen paintings, Rousseau Fauv-ist prints, and water lilies from the impressionist period. I drool for folk art, 19th century New York school transcendental art, James Whistler, and art in general. A good line draws me in every single time. I didn't realize how big of a geek I was until today when a friend described the re-do of the Chicago Art Institute. And I started to leak from the corners of my mouth. Mind you, I am not a Newf or a cat with a drool problem. An art geek with a drool problem? Sounds fine by me. Much better than other things I could be drooling over.

To Fall in Peace

Fall Thoughts
"In the midst of life we are in death." Book of Common Prayer, The Burial of the Dead, First Anthem. ("Oxford Dictionary of Quotations," Fifth Edition, edited by Elizabeth Knowles,Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2001). It is the end of the week. Nearly the end of a year which saw the final endings for many friends. To bring a child into life these days means a resolute facing of the fact that children die. Some sooner than later. And then adults die. And certainly animals we surround ourselves with as surrogate family die. Ah, well. It is a sigh and goodbye if we are lucky enough to have the time to do that. And even though this blog entry sounds sad, I am not sad. It just is what it is and that is enough. Peace.

The Belly -- A Lead Up To Thanksgiving Parable

Ever Notice?
There is a wonderfully funny movie 10 Things I Hate About You. The dad in the movie is a crazy obstetrician who is obsessed with his girls not having s.e.x. So obsessed that everytime they talk with him about boys, he has them wear what he calls "the belly." Now the belly is an add on device that really makes a persons' profile look pregnant. I mention this because lately I am seeing lots of people -- men as well as women -- look as if they are wearing the "belly." It is bad enough for us moms. But when the guys do it too? Pathetic!

Clues Your Cat Has an Eating Disorder

My cat and I have been to the vet so often with his eating issues they need to dedicate a revolving door. So ...Here are some clues if you have a finicky eater:

Here are a few my cat (who has issues) and I have put together:
Is your cat skinny and still eats like a hog?
Does your cat toss his cookies after each meal?
Does your cat constantly want different food?
Does your cat refuse to eat all together?
These are the serious questions my cat posed for me and my vet last week. And yes, he is anorexic.
Only I think he also is metrosexual. Here is what he does that makes me think this:
He always is posing.
He has a large freckle on his nose, probably from his girl friend's indelible eyeliner makeup.
He rearranges rugs I put down.
He is meticulous in grooming and constantly wipes his paws on the walls/floor after he uses the facilities and after he eats too.
And he is always checking other cats out to make sure he is the best looking one around!!
I mean, Sheesh!


Welcome to All Embracing Casablanca-Land
America, land of the slurb and the traffic jam. Home of the schools that have students who need support for 47 different languages here in the DC metro area. America is also the land of last resort for those driven out of their home nations either through war, economic hardship, famine or what have you. America, land of the world warriors. We bring war to Southeast Asia and acquire Vietnamese/Laotian/Cambodian refugees. We bring war to Europe and acquire East European refugees. We bring war to Iraq and refuse the refugees admittance. Makes me scratch my head on that one. America is the place of last resort for people who no longer exist in the "wild" outside of our borders. I refer specifically to parts of the world destroyed by good old American technology. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South/North Korea all have sent many refugees into our country. Some landed here in Northern Virginia and for a few years there were no cats seen roaming outside. They were collecting freezer burn as the newest immigrants discovered a new food source like the ones they had left back home. The immigration resettlement officer had to deal with that one. But new people are not always the cause of bad things. It is sort of like seeing a snow leopard in repose. You sort of know the leopard isn't safe but golly gee, isn't he beautiful. I bring this up because of the Dalai Lama recent visit here to Washington, D.C. The Tibet he represents exists only in memory due to the cruel repression of the Chinese government. We are becoming Casablanca, MiB-Land. Folks exist here even though they no longer thrive outside our borders. As we ready to eat the thousands of slaughtered turkeys, let us remember that the turkeys who run this country are not immigrant friendly, not foreigner friendly, but are the only thing between the repressive governments like China (with whom we trade now) and us. Sigh. Happy Day. Peace Now Please

October 12, 2007

I propose

I propose a new marathon ... the Oy Vey, 2 K for those of us who feel we are running and running and running and staying in the same place.

Bogus Campaign Issues

Up here in Virginia, we have all sorts of political go-getters who wanna be on the Hill in D.C. They come up with issues that really are non-starters and work the ads until they have a group of people convinced that the sky actually is falling. One of these issues is illegal immigration. Their reasoning goes like this as far as I can tell: "people need to pay into the system before they can get benefits." But surely that logic goes for all of us. If we don't pay into the system -- and you cannot tell me that we all pay the same percentage, then do we deserve the $$ we get out of the system? Ummm, well, that varies depending on the political party that is complaining about illegal immigration. There certainly is a huge demographic shift up here in Virginia. Manassas, for instance, is saturated with Hispanics. Billboards are in Spanish, ditto restaurants, ditto banks.

That's cause for alarm here in the Virginia Piedmont. Heck, many of the residents just outside the beltway are only a veneer away from the Civil War. Route 50 West turns into the Stonewall Jackson Highway. No mention of Route 50 at all. So savvy politicos play on the fears of these folks and sadly they are finding a large audience. Personally, I feel we should allow the illegal immigrants work towards their place here in the country.

Even more personally, I don't believe we have an illegal immigrant problem. We have a problem accepting people who are hard workers. Sure, the huge influx of refugees (economic or otherwise) has brought with it the criminal element. But that criminal element is already here in the U.S. We just call it poor white trash or mafia or whatever else seems to fit the day. And for those ethnics like WASPs who don't believe they have a criminal element, we have folks like Lorena Bobbitt or the bigger fish we call the managers of Enron. My point is that bad people come in all ethnics, all shades, all income levels. To exclude one group because of paper work makes me cringe.

My family came over here back in the 1720s or earlier (that is not bragging folks that is just fact). Paperwork? Legal? Heck, we didn't even have our legal surname of MacGregor. We had to skedaddle out of Scotland because there was a death sentence on anyone with that name. We became criminals in Scotland for backing the wrong side in the Rob Roy MacGregor/Bonnie Prince Charlie uprising. "Children of the Mist" MacGregors were cattle thieves according to the Duke of Montrose. Go figure. So who is to say who is a criminal today? You? Me? Let's just see and meanwhile let's not be too hasty to condemn those who don't speak the same way we do. It is morally and ethically wrong. People in glass houses should not cast stones. But if you believe the politicians? I feel sorry for you.

October 10, 2007

Lucy the Lazy Star...New Story Inspired by Britney Spears

Once upon time there was a very lazy star named Lucy. She just didn't want to be bothered with anything. Moon Rise, Star Rise. Lucy poohed, poohed them both. She figured she was above being ordered around. After all, she was the subject of the Beatles song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." So for years, Lucy rose when she wanted to and set when she felt good and ready. This went on for years and years until Lucy had a little baby star named Ethelbert or Bert for short. Now Bert was a very rambunctious boy star. In other words, Bert was a Brat. He was always running her ragged. Whine, whine, whine. So of course Lucy did what any mom would do. She got him whatever he whined about just to shut him up. Her only mistake was not getting two of the same things. And this is where my story begins. One night Bert was in a particularly busy mood. He had just discovered rollerblading. Boy, did he love rollerblading. He hounded Lucy for skates and she got him some. He hounded her for running around time and she let him roam around the skies with no supervision. But when he bumped into the Milky Way and hit the Cow that Jumped Over the Moon, Mother Nature decided to tie the little star to his mom and took away his Rollerblades so he would be under control. Fat lot of good that did. The very next night, Bert whined to his mom. He wanted his skates back, bad. He started to pull on her star rays and fuss about her being a bad mom. He pulled Lucy right down to the apple orchard in Antrim, New Hampshire because she didn't have any Rollerblades to distract him with. Once Lucy got low enough, Old Man Tree's apple beard caught her and her kid and held them both tight. Well, this was a mess. Lucy's star light woke up Old Man Tree and her stray star rays tickled his nose so that he started to sneeze. And when Old Man Tree sneezed, he woke up the apple tree bees who started buzzing so much they woke up little Hazel the apple tree girl whose main job was to keep the bees busy making apple tree honey so Belinda Badger could sell it at the Orchard Fair at Halloween. Once Hazel saw what was going on, she pounded on Belinda's door and woke up Belinda. Being a badger, Belinda was always grumpy after getting up, but, boy, she was glad Hazel was such a good bee watcher because otherwise her apple honey would not be made by her bees. Belinda hustled over to Nicolas Weatherby's office where he was star gazing and told him they needed to figure out a way to get the mom star back in the sky. He called the Starshine Catapult School where shooting stars get shot into space and arranged for a special transport to the School for the very next launch. And so, the shooting star the folks in Appleton saw that night was Lucy the Lazy star and her kid. Which only goes to show that no matter how big or lazy a star you are, no matter how many diamonds you have, UNLESS you have that extra toy for your kids, they will pull you right down. So always plan ahead.

September 6, 2007

What Kind of Pet Test

You Would Be a Pet Bird

You're intelligent and witty, yet surprisingly low maintenance.
You charm people easily, and they usually love you a lot more than you love them.
You resent anyone who tries to own or control you. You refuse to be fenced in.

Why you would make a great pet: You're very smart and entertaining

Why you would make a bad pet: You're not interested in being anyone's pet!

What you would love about being a bird: Flying, obviously

What you would hate about being a bird: Being caged

September 4, 2007

Updating the Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce, where are you? The Devil's Dictionary needs updating. Here is a website devoted to Bierce-isms....
New entry in proposed update:
Strident Gum -- What do disgruntled employees chew?

To order a copy for yourselves....

Oaths in Felix's View

Fealty used to be pledged by holding your hands between those of your leige lord. Society for Creative Anachronism's (which is not wikipedia-standard) has many entries about this.... Here is a link to one member's opinion which I happen to find directly on point and very informative. Many professions and the best of relationships used to have unstated fealty agreements. Law firms, military, government -- even the President of the United States, have to take oaths. Confidentiality oaths, oaths to uphold and protect, and others too numerous to mention. All these oaths formalize the chain of command duties expected from below to above and from above to below. At least that's how they are supposed to work. But just like traffic lights that scofflaws drive through, oathes these days are honored more in the abstract than in reality. And that is such a shame. No wonder we are all on antidepressants. Felix up there feels, and I agree with him, that there really is no one looking out for our welfare but ourselves. Talk about pressure. Hah! This year, however, I made a resolution to hold hands with the universe instead of with men/firms/women/groups. A universe comprised of animals, animal rescue people, metaphysical healers, and Buddhists. And I find that holding hands with these folks and with the animals gives me more peace than I have ever known before in far more challenging situations. And I find that when I know more peace, I am willing to risk more of myself...from rescue runs going more than 100 miles to moving on in my personal and professional life. I am opening up to having faith in the universe. And that is such a good thing to have. Until more peace comes,

August 28, 2007

Pass the Ice Floes

America today is like the polar bears swimming in the ocean looking for ever shrinking ice floes. We think we are the biggest bear in the world but we don’t have the infrastructure to support us anymore. Bridges collapse, mine owners refuse to dig out the remains of miners who die, New Orleans is a village of broken houses and shattered dreams, animals are gassed or used in dog/cock/animal fights and killed when they don’t perform, the Michael Vicks of the land just think they can apologize and that gets them off the hook for murdering animals, and humans are shut out of work because they possess obsolete skills the labor force doesn’t need anymore. And through it all, the government is busy pointing fingers at Iran saying we need to fight them next. And telling us that we are winning in Iraq. Please.... The government is busy covering up the way they have broken the laws and the constitution in this country. It is only a matter of time before the citizens of this country realize that they are like that poor polar bear swimming for its life in a dangerous sea. Will it find a place to land? Not likely.

Take a Thing...

Take a thing my mom would say when one of us kids would sniffle. Pain pills and the medical profession. As an owner of a chronic pain syndrome, (pat the nice pain, honey, and don’t worry, it only hisses when it wants attention). Personally, I have been very lucky not to get hooked on pain medication. American's love quick fixes. But quick fixes never last. Fast, faster, fastest only works in stock car races. It is not the way to run a country's health care. And as a chronic pain sufferer, I can tell you from experience that doctors would rather Take insurance companies as a for instance on a subject I have written often about. Chronic Pain. Insurance companies don't want to s. Insurance companies don’t like to pay for extended medical treatments that actually help pain sufferers learn how to live with chronic pain. I believe the insurance providers would rather have the doctors shovel pills at us instead of starting with the basics of good nutrition, good sleep habits, good mental health. Those fixes take time. It is easier to give out pills and have the patient go away. My current theory is that as an individual I am addicted to pain itself. And pills will not break that habit. I don’t know how to behave when I don’t hurt. So I am grateful that what I have seems resistant to regular over the counter and high powered drugs my doctors tried to use on me 4 years ago. Making friends with pain instead of using it as a way of validating myself is new. And I would never have learned it embittered by drugs failing to work driving me to use more and more. Now that, honeys, is addiction.

Quo Vadis?

Questions? As I get older, I ask myself things I never thought about before. For instance, bones….how many bones are discarded every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, every second? I am betting that those bones would bury us. Kruschev threatened to bury us as he pounded his shoe on the table at the United Nations. Empty threat. All he needed to do was wait. We'd kill ourselves by second hand smoke, toxic landfills, birth defects from thalidomide, above ground nuclear testing. Hah! But I digress. One way bones are disposed of is by cremation. Another is for them to be processed for use as by-products in dog food, in cat food, in cow chow. Did you know mad cow disease is caused by cows eating cow remains? So what do we humans get in our chow? It is a disgusting question that has had me eating macaroni and cheese for the whole summer and trying desperately to stay away from normal (hah) sources of protein. I am going to do some googling to find out more information. Meanwhile, can you pass me the nuts?

August 22, 2007

Shelf Life and Zen

This morning it hit me. Being a parent has a short shelf life. Being parentally involved is forever. After a certain age, kids surely don't need to be told who to talk to, how to act, what to do, how to get good grades. Those hands' on tasks pretty much are over when the kid turns 7. And they are over and done with by the time a kid becomes a teenager of 15 to 20. Currently, I am onto the next phase of life...caring but not taking over. Adopting/rescuing cats instead of wiping noses and bandaging knees. Now I am being relied upon in some things but not in others. Being a stone in the river of life for them to swim over to for anchorage as needed. At least, that's my view at the moment. The main thing is to work on my own view of the situation and learn to hold close with an open hand. Zen koans help .... Until zen, peace


Rescue works like that. I get all excited when I sign up to help out. I am doing a run with a Mastiff (can we say BIG) on Saturday and then going to my FOHA cats on Sunday. Yippee.

August 21, 2007

Phrases that Should be Banned

Of all the bureaucratic goobledygook, this phrase tops the list.

While attendance is optional, we encourage you to attend.

What exactly does it mean? Red marks will be drawn around necks of those who do not come to the meeting? Or is it just a feeble reminder that RSVPs are dead?

Mikado Wisdom (G&S) and Ginger Joe

I rescued the cat above because neighborhood kids were throwing things at him. Ginger Joe is a real lap cat all of which goes to show that malicious treatment doesn't necessarily make a sweet animal mean. But abusive behavior makes me furious no matter who it is directed towards. Michael Vick? The kids in the neighborhood? All one and the same to me. Mini-Vicks just waiting to grow up to run dog fights. Hurting animals deadens the ethics of small kids to just about everything else. Clearly it did in Vicks' case. So no, I am no fan of bullies. I don't understand what it is about smaller animals or people that tempts bigger people or corporations to bully. As a a small woman in America, I wrestle with bullying, whether institutional or societal, all the time. From the pompous people who cut in front of me at Starbucks to the institutionally ingrained bullying of size-ism, age-ism and whatever else-ism that exists in America today. Life just got much bigger when I started to rescue because then I knew I could make a difference. Make a change. I feel like the Lord High Executioner in Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado...I have a little list of cut down to size.....


Knights in White Satin ... the Moody Blues' classic says it best in the little aside that doesn't get air time these days.....
Cold hearted orb that rules the night Removes the colours from our sight Red is grey and yellow white But we decide which is right .... And which is an illusion
copied from

I write about illusion today. Illusion permeates everything ... job safety, health concerns, national concerns. Illusion runs the political debates nowadays. Rupert Murdock's takeover of the Wall Street Journal and DowJones is disturbing. Who knows what illusions will be foisted on us by Murdocks' minions in the future. Only the informed citizen can discern "which is right and which is an illusion."

Enough for now, peace please.

Testing Never Fixes Structural Problems

The photo above is of the Benedict Chapel. It was built more than 100 years ago. Here is a link to St. Paul's Episcopal Church that is connected to the Benedict Chapel.

Has the chapel ever been tested for structural soundness? I doubt it. After all, this is a private chapel attached to an Episcopalian Church established in 1818. And the church vestry would need to be the one who initiated the request to test for structural soundness. There are no church building engineers until the churchs are sold as new age condos.
But this story about the church illuminates lots of questions for me. When is testing useful? When is testing used by statisticians to stall? Do tests ever fix the problems they test for? Who should do the testing? The local homeowner, the jurisdiction whose population use a defective bridge, the state, the government? Whose ox is going to be gored? Do you fix the problem and pay the price? Or, as is too often today, stall by testing and retesting until the problem goes away or becomes overtaken by events as in Minnesota?
The Minneapolis bridge disaster had plenty of people wringing their hands on the state of the bridge. Plenty of testing. I am really sure they wanted the bridge to be well, to work. Good wishes, good testing and good intentions on a scale of the bridge collapse really don't work. Fixing the problem works.

My bigger question is this: Do we ever willingly do the tough stuff of protecting and caring for others before they die? On a personal the issue of the abandoned cat. I had people coming up to me wringing their hands..."I have cats already," they'd say. "I just don't know what to do," they'd say. "My husband would kill me if I did anything to help." they'd say. Why don't you take care of him? they'd say. So I did because they weren't going to put themselves out of pocket for $300+ in vet bills or in doing a good deed. They say, they say, they say...makes me sick.
Fixing the problems the Bridge had certainly would have been more than $300 in vet bills but it would have saved the victims' lives. And that surely is priceless.

August 20, 2007

The Three B's: Boccaccio, Beruit, Bourdain

I am not a fan of Anthony Bourdain. You know, the chef extraordinaire so full of smug arrogance it is hard to believe he has room in his lungs for breathe. He is currently travelling around the world for the Travel Channel making shows about eatteries in various countries. However, my view of him is changing given his most recent show, Anthony Bourdain in Beirut. This was an amazing show cataloging his stay in a country sliding sidewise into the horrific chaos of a war zone. This show, though, marks a watershed for me in my view of him. I am surprised at his candour and his fury at how slipshod the American rescue attempt was for those stuck in Beruit during the latest war between Israel and Lebanon. No doubt, because of my background in Humanities, he reminded me a lot of Boccaccio's Decameron. For those wishing a refreshing dip into the classics is Fordham University's link. For those just needing a gloss, the Decameron is a story about rich Florentines who fled to their country estates to escape the black death. The parallel for me, was when Bourdain and his filming crew helpers wind up stuck at an extremely beautiful hotel where they cannot flee until their local "fixer" sets things up for them to move to the shore. And that is dependent on the U.S. Marines/Navy finally getting around to picking up refugees at the harbor. Bourdain finds this dicotomy of being safe poolside at a resort hotel while watching other peoples' lives being destroyed upsetting enough to comment on it. It was chilling. No matter what side of the war you supported or believe was justified, this documentary deserves as much play as possible in the U.S. It shows better than words how fragile life is, how easy it is to lose, how reality and comfort can vanish in the space of a breathe, of a sentence, in a heartbeat. Is there safety in the world? Real safety? Not possible. I believe that safety is the illusion of the uninformed. Life is a precarious business made much more so by the expectation that a good life, a comfortable life, will never go away. Maintaining a mindful attitude toward possessions, toward waking the next morning, really is essential for me to maintain my balance in a seriously skewed world which feels the need to attack, counter-attack, endlessly. Jean Dixon, the psychic phenomena of the 60s, said the end of the world would start in the 1990s in the Middle East. Watching Bourdain's show cements that view in my mind. By all means try to find a copy of it to watch. Soon. Until then, peace.

August 16, 2007

Computer Sayings

I have just discovered the truth in a zen saying I know...that this blog stems from actually. Reflect Repent Reboot. Recently got a new gizmo. It makes a spectacular paper weight. Nevermind it is supposed to connect to the internet. It doesn't need to be useful. Just gorgeous. Who knew I'd get such a diva gadget? Sheesh. Until then, peace...

Noted with Joy Just found this website. A remarkable read. Truly

Sharm El Sheikh Swimming with Sharks

Sometimes, I swim out of my depth. I did it while swimming many years ago at Sharm El Sheikh. In 1983 I went on a tour there and was told to go swimming because the view into the chasm off shore is amazing. It was incredibly deep and clear water. It also had a couple of sharks in it that none of us realized were there until I was about 50 feet from shore. Not being a strong swimmer, I suspect I was just lucky the sharks had other things to do so they didn't bother me. But those tour guides on the shore were sure bothered and calling to get me to swim back to shore. I didn't realize until they pointed out the shark profiles just how lucky I was.

Now I swim out of my depth regularly as I write. Only when I sit down to re-read what I have written do I realize I have hit on a universal truth for me. And hopefully a universal truth for others as well. Ah, those invisible sharks of the soul swimming just out of sight. Certainly, I can't always see them. The sharks, I mean.

Anyway--here is the link to where I was swimming with my sharkey buddies.... and here is a link to photos someone took of area sights ...

August 15, 2007

Felix on Toy Recalls

I am so glad I am not a parent of a small child now. Don't get me wrong. This toy recall though is just the living end. I don't recall so many massive recalls on toys when my kids were small and unreasonable in their view that their toy was their toy and not to be taken away. One modest solution, ahem, is for the Build-a-Bear company to advertise making bears from their stores because the consumer creates them on site. Toy car companies might have more of a problem but I may just not have enough imagination on that industry. I don't think it is a perfect solution but it might be cheaper and better for the environment for the toys to be assembled in this country. But considering that we would reduce fuel used carting the cargo across the world, no greenhouse gas added to the atmosphere, fewer polar bears swimming and drowning because their habitat is destroyed, I'd say it was a pretty good idea. If any of those arguments work for you in reasoning with your kids, then blessings and check out a book being published by the folks who make the Kit-Kat Clock shown above. They also publish a book for stuff to do with kids. The best I could do was to try writing my own childrens' stories which worked because I had my kids' suggest the stories they wanted to hear. I say and Felix agrees with me...start small with corncob dolls. Then Build-A-Bear alternatives look attractive. Start small with teaching the kids that homemade entertainment survives electrical outages and are portable skills. And let me know how that works for you. I am betting in this consumer driven land it won't work very well but I'll keep a light in the window for you.... And check this kit-kat website out for more fun.
Until nonsense makes sense, peace.

Sometimes life finds us in strange places.

Politics of Safety Recalls

It is getting so every day some new import is being recalled. Felix says, recall the folks who were supposed to be keeping us safe. FDA, NSA, CIA, Consumer Product Safety, name the organization. We gotta a lot of 'em. The current flap is about kids' toys having lead paint and magnets small enough to swallow. I ask myself, I ask did those of us over 50 live through the dark ages of consumer protection... From mercury filled thermometers to lead paint to no seat belts to no head rests in cars. Surely this flap is good for the health of somebody but I suspect it is better for the health of some doctor's bank account. Sigh.

August 13, 2007

Socializing Cats Doesn't Happen in an Instant

My newest cat, Tigger, is learning how to be a cat. He'd lost touch with that skill. Animals are born knowing how to play. If they are lucky, they have siblings to play with. If no siblings, perhaps mom cats to play with them. It is sad to find animals who are too scared to play. Socializing animals is an integral part of rehoming and rescue. It may be a reason why some animals get returned to shelters and to the pound. No one took the time to connect with them when they were younger, no one takes the time to gently work with them until they are comforted by humans instead of scared of them. And the bottom line in all of those is "time." It is as if we grudge the time it takes to connect with an animal or a kid or a person on the street. It is just too much time to spend to comfort anyone but our selfish selves. When did we as a society lose that ability to comfort others? All too often these days, it is the convenience of life we relish instead of the process of opening a bag of flour and actually creating cookies or bread or gravy. We have instant food instead of the ritual of creating sustenance. Nor does TV help or teach people socialize. We have instant game analysis, instant news, instant entertainment. But life gets gone in an instant as well. Cats teach socialization skills because we instinctively react socially with them. Cats teach the fleeing of instants. So cherish the instants you have. Remember not everyone gets the time they need to feel safe. Keep it in mind. Until peace happens, bring peace to others around you. Namaste.

Locked Cars, Socks and Faith

As I wash my clothes, I come to the realization that "Whoosh, where are my socks?" is just a manifestation of not having faith that my socks are where I put them. After all, the last time I saw my socks was when I put them into the drier. At no point did anyone else take them out of the drier and keep them from me. You have no idea how many times I have found socks in unexpected places -- folded in sets of bed sheets, jumbled in with shirts, thrown into closets on top shelves. Faith is just as elusive as socks some days. Tonight, I locked myself out of my car. I was in a huge hurry when I went to get gas. Instead of clutching my keys close or clipping them to my belt or even leaving the car door unlocked, I threw the keys on the seat next to me, grabbed my money and closed the car. I only realized what I'd done after a few gallons of gas glugged into the tank. You know the feeling. That sinking pit of the stomach feeling when something is totally not right. Taking time to do things right has always been a challenge in my life. Taking time to find faith is equally not easy some days. It is that spin dry cycle of life that messes my faith up the same way it messes with my socks. Frankly I had no faith that the locksmith would get to my car when the insurance company told me. No faith whatsoever. But, in fact, he showed up early. Go figure....So thank goodness for the locksmiths who not only know how to unlock my car but how to restore my faith in timely execution of requests to an car insurance company whose trouble operator was located in Atlanta, Georgia. Now all I need to find is a locksmith to unlock my heart. I suspect that will be an inside job and may take whatever time it takes. But until nonsense like life makes sense...peace.

August 10, 2007


SLURP.....The curious sound of schedules being sucked dry. Parents have no life these days. None. Work to pay the bills, run home to take care of kitties and kiddies and find time to take care of me. Of free time, I have approximately .... none. The projected schedule for this coming year is one of shock and awe to my daytimer. Work full time, get home around 7 pm, sooner if I have to go to a meeting at the local high school, which means work through lunch so I can leave early enough to get to after school meetings or games which start at the suburban hour of 6 pm. Good for suburbanite footballer wifely moms, but bad for the rest of us.

Finding Home

Tigger eyes...under the table where my Big Guy cat is resting. I have been editing and editing and editing a powerpoint slide show about my newest cat, Tigger. He is a great cat. He is an awesome cat. I think 4 cats is just the right amount. Each cat has its own buddy. He is such a great cat. And in creating a home for him, I am finding a way for myself in this world that doesn't care for strays. And hopefully making peace.

August 7, 2007


Mascara is scarey on unexpected folks. Like Green Day singers and now my cat Ginger/Tigger. Very striking. Eyes lined like a rock star. Almost makes me want to find a cat agent for him as the next Morris. Hah.... Talk about backyard champion dreaming.

August 5, 2007

Courage and Being First in Something

Courage. Good to have on the battlefield and in life. Recently, as I hauled yet another yowling cat to the vet, I received a sweet accolade from her about being good hearted. And then it hit me. I told her I wasn't good hearted, I just didn't have enough courage to face myself if I didn't do the right thing by this cat who was being tormented by the neighborhood boys. I just couldn't face myself and lie ... And, I think, that is courage of another sort. Interior courage of standing up for what I believe is the right thing to do, standing up against the societal pressure to fit in and let someone else take up the burden of doing the right thing. There is a fellow who called in to Car Talk yesterday making plans to be the first in something. He plans to hike across Death Valley Desert in the daytime. All of it 193 miles or so. He claimed there were no firsts left in the world. He wants so much to be first he is willing to risk his life and his fellow hikers as well. All I want is to be truly myself and that is a first for me. To do without making waves what is good for an individual cat or animal. Just to do. It is an interior first worthy of my aim. I hope the fellow's Death Valley trek works out ok. My only advice? Don't use online maps.

Until then, peace

Bermuda Triangles and Migraines

I have a thumping good migraine today. A mixture of bad weather, no car air conditioning, not much gas and letting myself believe in online maps. Online maps are like gifts from leprechauns. Never real. Yesterday was no different. I believed I had enough gas to visit a friend's house. I believed the 100 degree weather would be no problem. I believed I knew where I was going. I believed it would take 1/2 hour because I would be taking the back roads. Instead, it took 2+ hours, much sweat, much swearing, much more than I had to give to the project. I got lost and I got a migraine. My only advice is never get lost in a rich neighborhood. No one there cares. Actually, I take that back. Small rich towns like this only want to see the backside of strangers driving around in their town. So the owner of a small cafe who had a vintage Texaco sign in front of his shop was very gracious in telling us exactly how far away a real gas station was. My long term advice for myself is never take back roads unless I have a native of the area in my car. To do otherwise is to risk the doom of the back road Bermuda Triangle Phenomena ("BTP") that exists around here. We lose so many unwary travelers to BTP. And those we don't lose, get migraines. Until the thumping stops, peace

July 29, 2007

Honesty is in the Action

What is honesty? Is it words? Words to spout at the beginning of a marriage? Words when you are sworn into government service? Or oaths as they are fulfilled in the military with the actions of body and blood? I'd like to think that those oaths are honest because they are backed up with actions. Personally, I think it is easy to lie with words. Tougher to lie with actions. In many ways I rescue animals because their actions are who they are. They can't lie. They speak through their barks, snarls, pantings, smiles, dreaming of catching mice as they sleep at my feet. Just as animals cannot lie through their actions, people who mobilize to protect others come pretty darn close to being that kind of bone pure honesty. That's why I rescue. There is a ginger cat in my townhouse community -- abandoned and declawed. Declawed cats can't survive as ferals. They just can't. I have been working with this cat for about a month. When I started working with him, he'd look at me from under my car and the run away. Slowly I got him to come closer. Now he is coming up to the front porch to get in out of the rain and eat kibble I put out for him each day along with the fresh water I make sure he gets. I an taking it slow so he re-learns trust. I watch over him. Just yesterday I saw two little boys. One of them was trying to hurt the cat by throwing something at it. As I called the cat over to me, the boys both came over to complain and justify the way they were treating the cat. "He clawed me," said the boy who'd been throwing something at the cat. My first question was "With what?" "His front claws," said the kid. "With no claws?" I asked. Then he tried shifting his story but his companion piped up in defense of the cat. Lying starts so young. Sigh. Living nobly starts so young too. I told the first kid the cat belonged to me and not to throw things at it again. Will that help? I don't think so. Did it give the other kid a reason not to be around kids who hurt animals? I sure hope so. Meanwhile, I'll keep rescuing because the honesty is in the action.

July 26, 2007

Memento Mori and the British Museum

Memento Mori...

The British Museum has a wonderful page on death practices. In this day of digital mourning websites, finding a literal digital (original meaning was "fingers" folks) way of remembering those who went before us is priceless and very precious.

Very Cool

Under the catagory of new things to read, be sure to check out the online ezine. It is a very easy to navigate and thoughtful website about Chicago and all things Chicago-an. Very cool.

July 25, 2007

As Cats Progress into Trust

I love working with fearful animals bringing them back into calmer behaviors. Feral cats are very shy. They just don't follow those ordinary lapcat type behaviors. Living under beds, hiding under couchs, running when they are surprised. I have two feral cats...well, semi feral. True ferals really don't like being inside. These two cats are teaching me things about human nature as well as about cats I never knew. As I type this my big guy (the singing cat above) is nestled next to me. Makes me break out in smiles. It took forever to get him to do this. And frankly it isn't me doing it. It is him. Life with ferals is a lot about checking my expectations at the door and not predicting or trying to manifest anything. Just being peaceful and the cats become peaceful. It would really be nice if it would work with people.

3D and Serenity

Seeing in 3D. Binocular vision is not a reliable determiner of the ability to see in perspective -- in 3D. As I find serenity, it is as if my eyes can see better. And now I see layer upon layer of foreground to background. My vision is not flat as it was before. I am just my normal nearsighted self but I can see so much better without fear. I don't know whether there are any studies about eyesight and fear. But there should be. Namaste

Inspiration to Serenity

Inspiration...comes from mental fields lying fallow sometimes. I would angst about writers' block if I didn't realize that I need that mental break. Breathing in, breathing out, there is a space in between where no air moves up or down. Are you alive? Are you dead? Or, are you in a state in the middle? I believe in the middle ground, the middle way, a reasoned reality. From that comes serenity.


Residual phrase from ghosthunters that I find very useful. Looped energy waves repeating themselves endlessly. Unsettling but not dangerous except to those who don't know what they are. In my personal experience, residual hauntings don't always stay in one place. I have had memories of hauntings follow me around for years. Trying to make sense of them doesn't help. Trying to medicate them doesn't help. Trying to ignore them really doesn't help. Once I decided to take a huge step and consulted a reputable healer, I started on the road to recovery. Now, yes, I have memories that remain of those experiences I had as a kid. But they co-exist instead of control. And I am more at peace than I have ever been just being quiet in a quiet room. Namaste

Mercury -- not just a Planet

Mercury is a poison that I grew up with. It was in thermometers and I am sure other items. For as many dangers as we were exposed to it is amazing the kids of the 50s survived to reproduce. But I digress. One of the cool facts about mercury is that droplets move together easily to form bigger drops. I used to break those old thermometers (actually bite through them) when I was tiny so that the mercury would come out and my mom would explain how the mercury was poisonous but cool because of the attractive quality of the substance. Ummm, this is a circuitous way to get to my topic tonight. I think the way the mercury gathers is the way that big business is gathering together these days. Merger after merger after merger is hitting law firms, cell phone companies, electric grids. And that aggregation of power is just as poisonous and attractive as mercury ever was. Why is bigger better? I just don't understand. I am a fan of small unique one off systems which support rather than control prices and are inimical to the populace. My hometown had its own electric plant back in the 1950s. It worked just fine. No brown outs. No outages. Just steady power. Reasonable ... low tech. Nothing special. And that nothing special is what I look for today. No spin, no rationalizations, no "if you just understood the circumstances," language like Alberto Gonzales uses in Congress. The mercury/poison is out of the box, out of the thermometers and has covered the U.S. today. We have moved beyond the original concept of representative government into a badly administered and not so benevolent executive privilege era. It goes against my grain to call the U.S. what I fear it is but that surely is why I have become so disillusioned with Congress and its' newest crop of politicians who have lost the guts to pull the country back together. So tonight when I heard the news casters talk about Pakistan's need to nurture its' democracy, I had to think to myself...."why help them with their nascent democracy when we have surely lost the representative government over here." Mercury rising...

Drooling and Jewelery...

Is drooling an obvious manifestation of lust? Or overheated conditions in cats and dogs? Or somewhere in between feline/canine and human connections? If it is lust then I am guilty. I just turned up a marvelous auction website for antique jewelery and am grateful the auction is months over. Here is a link to their auction brochure.

What would Jane Austin Say About Abramoff?

Jane Austin was before her time. Or let's just agree that Jane Austin accurately reflected public and private faces of her day. Oh, boy, she would have a field day with what is scandalous in the U.S. but never made public. From the secretary at a downtown law firm who moonlit as a call girl and set up her madams' agencies' tricks using the law firms' email server to the less daring Congressional bribery scandals. The reality checks around here bounce sky high but there is seemingly no penalty for bad behavior. Look Jack Abramoff got caught but what about the Congressmen/women he bribed? Sauce for the goose is generally sauce for the gander but not in D.C. Here is an article about this old situation that is rapidly being forgotten.

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum - Change Is Coming: The Question Is Just How ...
In their conspiracy to bribe lawmakers, Abramoff and Scanlon acknowledged that campaign contributions were one of the emoluments that they provided. -
Similar pages - Note this

From Neuroethology to the Womens' Movement.

Damn. I love the web. I find wonderful organizations and areas of study I never knew existed. Like this one today....neuoethology. It concerns the study of animals: Neuroethology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Neuroethology is a branch of neuroscience that emphasizes the study of neural mechanisms of natural behavior. This is in contrast to other approaches to - 24k - My generation started the practice of giving dolls to boys and guns to girls on the theory that aggressive behavior which allows men to dominate in the work place and salary situations is caused by nurture. I agree, it is stupid. But it was all the buzz in womens' magazines in the mid-1960s. The womens' movement was so spectacularly wrong on so many things. I speak as a woman of that time as well. The women with $$ and rich husband's told the rest of us that we too could do everything they did. Well, no, ahhh, that wasn't true. But those of us grunts in the job trenches in the 1970-80-90s sure didn't twig to the truth until pictures and the history of Gloria Steineim started surfacing. One of the ancillary outcomes of the womens' movement is the no-fault divorce so useful to those who married and don't have kids. But one of the no-fault movements bigger issues is that it opened the way for divorcing couples write in non-support clauses or decide to have joint custody where each parent is liable for the basic support of the kids. Sounds reasonable but in practice one parent pays more. It just is what happens. And generally it is the one who for all sorts of reasons will not ask for reimbursement from the one who is not paying as much. So, no, there is no parity in this.

Jam Cams

Sightseeing without Borders. Otherwise known as traffic cams here in the US and bless 'em, Jam Cams, on BBC webcam page. I just love the "cut right through the nonsense" approach Brits take to their language. Jamming ...

July 24, 2007

The Ouchs of High Heels and Being Seen

Foot doctors tell women that high heels hurt their feet. I gotta agree. Mostly though the tireder my feet the weaker my knees. Today was no exception. The taller I stand the more often I fall. Weak feet...weak knees. However high heels really can't be beat when a smaller woman has to stand tall. There is no way a woman 5 foot nothing can make an impact without heels. Red clothes just look aggressive. So until nonsense makes sense,

July 23, 2007

Web Radio

I first found web radio out of desperation. No, I wasn't trying to drown out co-workers. I was trying to find out information the morning of September 11, 2001. That day the news, cell phones and just generally emotion circuits were so overloaded that I webbed over to BBC and started listening to the news they were getting out. And consistently it was more accurate than the national news we had here which was not surprising given the trauma. Since then, I have searched far and wide for interesting websites that have music. Here is one of them. Enjoy!!!

Get The Mix for your profile Click Here.

July 22, 2007

Lasagne and the Human Genome Project

Geriatric genetics...not sure I am fond of the concept. The human genome project may have started something ugly or beautiful. I can't decide. I find the information a little disturbing. On a par with trying to (operative trying not succeeding) log into my bank account using the numbers the bank sent me but only getting error messages with the happy advice to call the bank. Why would I call when I want to log in but there you go...modern life is a lasagna of layers of things to do. Not as simple as it sounds. But I digress. Apparently what has excited the genome wonks is the fact that the geneticists can now accurate say (not predict) how long someone (specifically say me) can live if I follow whatever health protocols are called for in my condition. This leaves aside the practical idea of free will. And the other phrase that sticks in my head -- "man proposes, god disposes." Congratulations genome wonks!!! Truly!!! It is amazing progress. But the world is like my bank account on line.....lots of layers and not all of them will work to improve their own individual lives....even if they were able to financially, insurance-wise, doctor wise, mental and emotional wise. The Buddhist koan of "holding with an open hand," and it's western counterpart of "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink" come to mind. Until nonsense becomes sense, may all beings know peace.

July 20, 2007

Google Earth, Clearly A Better View

Good grief, I just found a new gizmo to earth. Again, I know I am way behind the times but I am just fascinated by this technology. I can zoom anywhere and stay right here. Metaphysically it makes my head hurt. Physically and fiscally, though, it is a marvelous conservation of resources. Now if only I could go to work just zooming there by the google earth program and either step through the screen into the office or some other ingenious way..... That would certainly be a huge savings of time for me. Worth a few bucks as well.
Until then, peach (if you are from Georgia) or peace

Free the Crabs

It's a highly creative day for you Crabs, but you must work with others as equals instead of trying to control or protect them. Your coworkers are sensitive to your current conflict between rebellion and security, so don't get defensive. Instead, just be truthful. If you share your discontent, your brilliance will be received more openly.
Friday, July 20, 2007 more from »

July 19, 2007

Meet Me and Hubris

Me and Hubris. Honestly, I have trouble some days understanding that I am the bug on the windowshield of life and not the nut behind the wheel. Just now, I caught myself writing to Congress to make a modest proposal on how to bring our troops home. It would never happen and I am sure the representative has been deluged by similar proposals already. So I tore up the letter. What makes me do these things? Hubris. Good old fashioned hubris. Look it up here. And for a book on Iraq and presidential hubris, look no further than One of these days, I'll pen the lyrics to me and hubris as sung to that classic: Love and Marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. But until then, peace.

July 17, 2007

The Mouse in the Water

Scottish photographers are amazing. Here is a photo of a mouse getting a drink of water from the BBC Scotland site. Makes me think of an old Beatrix Potter illustration although I am probably getting confused and remembering Peter Rabbit hiding from mean Farmer MacGregor under a watering can. Poetry in stories is wasted on kids. We grown ups need to allow ourselves the magic more often.

Faith and nonsense

Ah, the go bag returns. It is worse than Lord Voldemort. At least Voldemort is fictional. The go-bag is just as much an illusion as Voldemort is. Having a go-bag is as ludicrous as hiding from a nuclear attack in the school halls in the 50s. The U.S. news outlets (useless pieces of junk that they are) yesterday and today began warning us to the possibility of a new attack. I think the attack is already here and it is in the executive building next to the white house ... and in the white house itself. Go-Bag. Hah!! The Senate dems are filibustering to force an up or down vote on when to pull troops out. And now this bogus (or maybe not) attack is brayed about by the asses in power. I fail to find continuous alerts at all comforting. What would comfort me is having my own state's national guard home. What would comfort me is having the Senate and House de-fund the white house and cut george's food and drink budget. What would comfort me is having a president of true peace instead of one who is trying for a mid-east peace title by brokering (hah!) a deal between the adversaries of Israel. What would comfort me is having faith in the U.S. again. And I don't see that happening for another 50 years or so. I will be long gone by the time we restore our national image. Pax,

Cat Songs

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