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 Chicagoist.com

Under the catagory of new things to read, be sure to check out the
http://chicagoist.com/ 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 hauntings...new 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. ...www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/08/AR2006010800727.html -
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 ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroethology - 24k -

http://nelson.beckman.uiuc.edu/courses/neuroethol/model_systems.html 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 ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/webcams/546530.shtml

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 explore...google 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 tarot.com »

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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris And for a book on Iraq and presidential hubris, look no further than Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Hubris-Inside-Story-Scandal-Selling/dp/0307346811 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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July 13, 2007

Quirky Banjo Music

Fun music. Does anyone know where the music backups to these YouTube videos comes from? Wherethehellismatt.com website has some banjo music that is just as light hearted as I have ever heard. Last time I heard stuff this light hearted was on the Andy Griffith Show with Opey. Where are music clips like that? I love listening to them because they make me smile quirky smiles and feel lighter than normal. So much music these days is heavy with words that I love to hear or dance to as I sit listening in my car but not so much music is light smily stuff. We need more smily music.

July 12, 2007

Los Clamitos

I love my slightly lazy eyes. Los Alamos becomes Los Clamitos which sounds like the title of a tawdry romance novel. I really need to get S.E.A. organized but that sounds like too much work for a society for the easily amused person to do. Volunteers?

Out Takes from Really Cool Website

It is tough to know which of the videos on this website are more outstanding on http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/ The main one or the out takes or any of the other stuff which is all really really really good!!! Being a sort of out take type person, that's what I am putting in here.

July 11, 2007

Myth-teries -- a Definition

Myths form the basis for many beliefs. At least that is my personal opinion. From Family Myths I grew up with, to myths about the supremacy of Ohio I learned in high school civics (Go Buckeyes! Beat Michigan!! Remember the Toledo War!!!), to myths about the benign influence of the United States on just about every other nation and the list could go on and on. I have started calling many of these myths Myth-teries because it is a mystery to me whether I actually learned them or took them in plantlike from the society of the 50s and 60s. But I believe we live under myths right now. Political ones, religious ones, jingoistic ones, retirement ones, educational ones ... and that list could go on and on. We even institutionalize myths with the SOLs which force students to learn only government approved topics. SOLs make learning into a test cramming -- learning for learnings' sake is not taught at all. And I believe that is what the government is after. A person who ceases to learn becomes a citizen looking for easy answers. A citizenry of unquestioning people can't begin to refute and then fight back intelligently on issues where the government is just plain wrong, can it? Or be able to fight a government full of people who twist facts. It is criminal to leave a future generation unprepared on the pretext of saying "we need to test them so they can be prepared." If that is not a myth-tery in progress, I don't know what it. Until this nonsense becomes sense ... pax

Things Home Depot Can't Sell

For those of us who are homesick for homes that no longer exist, pictures often fill up the psychic gaps inside. Here is the view from the Toledo, Ohio webcam for NOAA: ftp://ftp.glerl.noaa.gov/realtime/tol2/tol2-1.jpg from NOAA shows Lake Erie. Bliss. I suspect it will change often however just like real life does. I am homesick for many reasons. A displaced person. An adult making my own home. I just never realized how invested I was in the day-to-day solid sameness of a place until years after I moved from the family home and from the town I grew up in. I find I am wistful now for what never was treasured while I had it. Joni Mitchell was so right in her 1975 song called the Big Yellow Taxi but which I always called "They Paved Paradise". http://artists.letssingit.com/joni-mitchell-big-yellow-taxi-tsgr9wh

July 9, 2007

The Polyphemus of Assessments

So...who was Polyphemus and why am I writing about him? Here is a link to who he was. http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/odyssey.html#Polyphemus However, I am writing about him because in bottom line America, land of the SOLs which don't equal education, land of the history books that don't teach history, we now are continually assailed with assessments for one thing and another. Assessments that lead to firings and downsizings. Assessment = test in my personal knowledge base. Firm-speak says that assessment = the knowledge a person has and what additional training they need to become more useful to the organization. In other words, how fungible is your work force? Can one person substitute for another? If we are not fungible enough, HR Polyphemus types will choose who isn't up to snuff and fire them. Thus, the profit of the bottom line is preserved. Sadly, though, no one seems to know who Polyphemus is. And I have to ask myself -- whose knowledge is important here? The fact that Polyphemus chose death for any argonauts he could catch or how best to insert a Table of Contents into a document? As a Humanities major, I know which knowledge I choose. I find this dwindling of cultural knowledge unnerving. If we don't know where we come from, where our myths come from, where our national world view originates, all the Table of Contents in the world will never make us smarter, fiercer, or better than other nations. Until we grow sense from this nonsensical world....

The Origami of Life

Bladerunner!! What a great movie! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner I just re-watched it last weekend. My favorite character is Gaff (Edward James Olmos), the origami folding police inspector who shadows the replicant terminator Deckard (Harrison Ford). Edward James Olmos is chilling with his blue contacts and dark complexion. It is fascinating to watch how the origami predicts action, contributes to the sinister feel of the film and adds tension to the plot. It reminds me a lot of life lived in the moment. Living in the moment. Living in the folds of the origami trying to restrain my yen to unfold reality faster than it unfolds on its own.

Here is part of the Wikipedia review of Gaff:
Gaff, a mysterious character in the film ...
is quickly identified as being very different than Deckard through the ways he dresses and behaves. He makes subtle observations about Deckard, sometimes by making little origami figures and sometimes through dialogue. This can be seen when he folds a paper chicken when Deckard refuses Bryant's request to hunt the "skinjobs", his term for the replicants, with the implied meaning of calling Deckard a chicken or coward.

The last words heard in the film (Director's Cut version) are spoken by him: "It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"


Less Is More (LIM)

I watched a show yesterday that has made me realize my weirdness is just middle of the road. The show focused on the decorating sense of home sellers and buyers. It was predicated on filming home sellers sense of style and then following up with what the home buyers did to change the home to suit their style. In doing so, the show opened my eyes to just how ordinary (whew) I truly am. One seller lived in a beautifully proportioned but tiny home. She and her husband had decorated the house to resemble the hobbit homes in the Lord of the Ring saga. Much as I am a sucker for historic and fantasy recreations, this alternate reality lifestyle is not appealing to me in interior design. She and her husband sold this house it to a new home buyer who forgot to get a home inspection first so she would know what kind of trouble she was getting into. She really should have shelled out the bucks for the home inspection because when she took possession there was nothing in the house she could use. The ceiling dripped dead squirrels and maggots. The floors, the ceilings, the walls, the wiring, the wood stove, the fixtures were not up to code and rotting from termite infestations. Only a hanging lamp in the kitchen could be saved. That's it. Nothing else. The buyer shelled out far more money and needed family loans and will be digging out of debt for a long time. By the end of the program, the buyer had a beautiful house and a bunch of resentments toward the sellers. Ah, the stuff of reality programming. Even while she drips resentments, at least her ceilings no longer leak dead squirrels and maggots. Yaow..... Less is more. Less stuff, less creative view of decorating, Less...Truly...Is...More. And that is such a good lesson for me to see on TV and know how well it applies for me as well. LIM for now

July 6, 2007

After 4th Thoughts

Looking at who fights in wars is interesting. Aristocrats and then upper class certainly had their hands in various early wars of the United States. 1776 and 1812 in particular. Then it falls off dramatically. There are stories of upper class folks in the civil war hiring people to fight in their name ... (remind anyone of Blackwater?). I don't have any memory of my civics class back in the day focusing on the Spanish American War other than Teddy Roosevelt's rousing charge up San Juan Hill so I cannot comment on that one. However, when I think of the current crop of politicians in public office I wonder whether they would be willing to risk themselves the way the soldiers in Iraq do every day for just as little reward. I wonder...when did I get this cynical? Was it after Vietnam? Was it after the year+ in captivity the embassy in Iran had? Was it after Watergate? Was it after Contra? Was it after Clinton's escapades? After 9/11? I just don't know. But I am highly skeptical of how history is written in the U.S. and certainly how it is taught.

July 5, 2007

4th of July Thoughts

Cat thoughts.......
Going through my family myths, I realize this nation is doomed. Not because of Iraq and certainly not because of who is president. The thing that dooms the nation is who settled it. Why did the original settlers come to the U.S? Was it greed? Was it desperation? Were they thrown out of their country of origin? What makes someone leave what they have known all their lives to come into the wilderness? Take my own family as an example. People who got here in the beginning were either aristocrats or were escaping from danger. Some of us came from Scotland where we were kicked out for backing the wrong revolution, some of us came because the land ran out in the home country, and some of us stowed away on ships. None of us came because we thought "Gee, let's conquer the new world." Raise your hands if this sounds at all like a recipe for a dysfunctional nation. People who come to a nation -- under duress, under funded, under protected, under siege -- are not people who always play well with others. More than likely, they run with scissors! Granted, the founding fathers were exceptional. But my contention is that they would be exceptional no matter where they were born. It was our country's luck that they were born when and where and close enough in the time line to actually make a difference. If Washington had been alone in his fight would he have survived? Would Franklin alone have made a difference? Tom Paine? George Mason? James Madison? Hutchinson? Jefferson? No. It took all of the founding fathers and THEN all the others (from the soldiers to the delegates in Philadelphia to the Virginia assembly, to the fake Massachusetts Indians of the infamous Boston Tea Party) to make it happen. All of them. Without all of them, we would never have been able to pull this nation together. We are too fragmented politically and socially in the country to unite behind anyone person and none of the front runners will combine with others to work towards the common good. Did politicians after the Revolution ever combine for the common good? Probably not. Bottom line politics means every candidate for himself. Like I said earlier, we are doomed.

July 1, 2007


Tonight's word is procrastination. I put off doing extra things after I have been running around a lot. Whew. And then yesterday's working with FOHA and rescue runs took a toll as well. So today, I've been "parked" either watching TV or reading my favorite author's new book. I still have things I need to do to finish up from the trip -- but I am putting those chores off to another day ... procrastinating. There is a lot to be said for it. Until I get my energy up for the rest of my life, peace.