April 30, 2008

Thank God for YouTube


Why is it a good day?

Why? Because I found some old Abbott & Costello gags today. Who's on First?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPrm6luPmME and then learned about a classic I'd never heard before called the Susquehanna Hat Company. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSp0sMHVEpQ

It is a good day

I could write about how the US will invade Iran before the 2008 elections. But with luck many others will wake up before then. There is no sense in this nonsense we call the United States anymore. None. But the good news is that it is a lovely spring day outside. Robins are nesting. Cats are catty. And through the miracle of immune supplements, I am finally feeling human -- instead of the scum on top of ponds. It is a good day

April 25, 2008


Sometimes I am the fly, sometimes I am the swatter.

Then again, more from the CBC

Ah, that's right. CBC=Crazy Bitches Club. My score today is 45%. So stress level? Issues? Get your bitch on here.

Clear light

Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest.Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home.-Tibetan Book of the Dead//From "Teachings of the Buddha," edited by Jack Kornfield, 1993. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.

There are echoes of Emerson in this...'simplify, simply.' But unmaking a life...especially these days when everything is interwoven...is a daunting task for me. Releasing an old pattern of behavior that, chamelion-like, lurks in plain view but remains unseen requires special vision. And remaining Still enough to catch the littlest movement so I can realize what it is I am doing. But really very rewarding once I have deciphered the movement and connected it to the behavior. On that score, realizing that my not eating had more to do with not having time to cook and not wanting to stand one second more, finally made me realize that local groceries have just the place for people like me....deli stands which actually serve what I consider food. Pot roast, chicken, potatoes, even waldorf salad. That just goes to show that when the blinders are on my nose, even the (gasp) obvious answers escape me.

namaste for now

April 23, 2008


"It is easy to keep things at a distance. It is harder to be aloof of them."-Bunan
From "The Pocket Zen Reader," edited by Thomas Cleary, 1999. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, http://www.shambhala.com/.

Today's quote reminds me of the ancient Jewish list of what parents are obligated to teach their children. It is a long list. One of the most important things on that list is swimming. Now considering the list was written when the Jews lived in the desert, it may seem strange that swimming was so important. I believe it was a practice of how to teach faith when events start to crowd and drown the spirit. Swimming is all about trusting the water to hold you up. Life is all about trusting the almighty to hold you up even though the Red Sea threatens to crash around you as you walk through tremendous tribution and fear. Aloof-ness is a tough quality to learn and impossible to achieve without trust and faith.

That being said, May all beings know peace today.

April 21, 2008

Thought for the Day

Arguing with a fool proves there are two.
- Doris M. Smith

This is a handy reminder for those who live and work near D.C. Around here it is impossible to avoid the folks who have strong opinions and incessantly share them with you. The trick is to seem to agree with them without agreeing one way or the other. If you tell them that they are nuts, you are doomed to a 2 hour conversation about why they are right and you are wrong. A fate akin to the Prometheus legend where the hero gets his liver torn out every single day because he brought fire to folks who didn't live on Mt. Olympus. Go figure and then make peace with the fact that you don't have to prove yourself to these people.

April 18, 2008

Must be Channelling My Inner ...

Today's score on the bitch quiz was significantly higher than last time.

I am 32% Asshole/Bitch.
http://www.fuali.com/test.aspx?id=dd4c0ca6-a554-4cbe-b0e7-bc17462a412e"> src="http://www.fuali.com/testimage.aspx?img=f8828b94-f1d9-424a-b2d8-9b47d093da27.gif" alt="Part Time Asshole/Bitch." border="0" style="margin-top:5px">
I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me.

I must have been channelling my inner hippie last time.

April 17, 2008

Be Water -- Bruce Lee Quotes


Above is a link to quotes from Bruce Lee. They help me get through the week when it is tough to let go of anger. He is a balancing point and shames me to write better.

Life in the Pale at Passover

Passover brings out the best and the worst in people. If you need a pound of chopped chicken livers, you immediately are in competition with everyone else who needs a pound of chopped chicken livers. And if you think life got ugly for that chicken, it gets uglier for the hapless fellow who promises to bring chicken livers but fails to deliver because he was beat to the head of the line. I put my reservation in early but stay tuned. I'll keep you posted on how getting said chicken liver works out. (Chicken liver update--Whoo Hooo. I got the goods for the second seder. Look out, heartburn, here I come!!!)

April 16, 2008

Daily thought from the Buddhist Beliefnet email I get...very timely in this sad anniversary of Virginia Tech.....

Take heed that when effort is too strenuous it leads to strain and when too slack to laziness. So make a firm determination that you will adopt the middle way, not allowing yourself to struggle or to slacken, but recognizing that faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom are the fruits of a calm and equable way.-Theragatha

From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2001. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.

April 15, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours (Pre-Passover Thoughts)


When it rains it pours wisdom. The link above says a mouthful. It is about death practices (if you've been reading my blog regularly you know I have this thing about death). In particular, the death practices of the Buddhists in Japan. This is a link to a story in the Zen Sect tradition.

Like I said, when you read it, you'll know why I posted to it.


Suicide Seeds


Welcome to Earth Day, folks...from the land of the terminator genetic seeds that overwhelm farmers' crops everywhere. Puts new meaning in the line, "I'll be back."

April 14, 2008

Passover Reading Material

As we head into the Passover period, this link, http://www.ahealedplanet.net/war.htm#sweden is extraordinarily interesting. It is an essay on pogroms and the holocaust. The author obviously has several axes to grind but all-in-all, it is an extremely well written and informative piece of work. And with the season of survival upon us, a valuable read.

Technology....and the plus side of eMail filters.

I used to dread checking my email address. All the junk mail in the world seemed to hit it. I am too soft hearted to filter emails from folks or businesses I'd contacted before. No more, though. I have become a thoroughly modern email user -- junking all unsolicited emails as they arrive. The wonder of it is that now my email box is easier to go through and the emails in there are more or less relevant to what I am planning to do. Technology can be my friend, instead of my fiend.

Reasons to Rescue (aka volunteer)

An even better reason for why I volunteer for rescue.



I am looking for a sign that I can operate from the steering wheel to tell tailgaters they are dangerously close to hitting me. I suspect all the ones that spring to my mind are probably too crude. But perhaps just a large red neon sign asking "Why?" might slow down the super-charged motorists on the highway around here. Perhaps not. But it would certainly ease my anger at not being able to do anything when the steamrollers (disguised as BMWs and Cargo Vans) start sitting on my bumper. (Sign update: I have hand printed a sign saying "drive safe." It is a complete rip-off of a hand printed sign I saw last week saying the same thing that was on a car from Michigan. Being an Ohioan at heart, I growl when I see most Michigan-der cars because of the grudge between the states dating back to the Toledo War. But when I see a good idea I don't care where it is from ... I use it too. Besides, us Ohio/Michigan types have to stick together here on the east-coast. And the driver had dog rescue stickers on the car as well as peace now bumper stickers. So a kindred soul.)

April 13, 2008

Watery Thoughts who how to live

In that marvelous movie about two guys escaping from Chicago mobsters, they went to Florida and played in a girls' band. "Some Like It Hot" is one of the classics. I think about it now as I think about the watery waiting to engulf the Gulf. One of the songs, "By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea..." The thought I have is for NASA to have a submarine city in addition to the space station. If we are going to be engulfed, we need to have another avenue of living.....

Post Glacial Rebound Cheasapeake Bay Region

Variations in Sea Level
Tide gauges around the Chesapeake Bay indicate that the relative sea level in the ... The sinking of the land from postglacial rebound is still going on, ...www.ngs.noaa.gov/GRD/GPS/Projects/CB/SEALEVEL/sealevel.html - 12k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

This is something I have seen around Lake Erie. We are told up here by Huron, Ohio, that the bottom of the Lake tilts. I used to think the folks who told me that were the same who believed in Big Foot. Now, I know better. Here is a far better explanation about this issue. And because I now live in Virginia, it becomes far more important. The heck with the tuvalus islanders or the other folks escaping the wrath of the sea. What are we going to do with the folks from Ocean City or New York or Baltimore? Fairfax County is big but can't begin to absorb these in-country refugees. And Homeland Security will likely be the ones who will declare the county as a place for everyone to move into to weather the storm. We are all going to have to learn to live together -- not a pleasant thought with resources here from the road systems to the housing as stretched as they are now. Warming heats up.... Let's try to figure out before hand how to cool down the tempers of the 21st century. Peace now!

Glacier Meltdown


This is a link to an article about melting glaciers in the United States mountain ranges. It notes the significant loss of ice in the 1980s. For those who remember Mt. St. Helens' explosion, my puzzle is whether global warming is caused by us or by the increased geothermal activity. When I looked at the pictures on the History Channel this morning, I saw additional trees growing where ice was before. And this is a bad thing? What is the bad thing is the massive affect the warming will have on the weather and the landmasses. Those folks who wanted a room with a view of the sea will need to move inland. Those folks who were born on islands will have an especially tough time of it because those nations that have land will not be willing to bring the people escaping from climate change on board. If we as Americans are as angry about illegal aliens from Mexico, how on earth will we be magnanimous enough to open our borders for the folks from the smaller Pacific Islands that are sinking even now. From Tuvalu to Bangladese leaving because of climate change, this mass migration will cause a terrible disruption between the HAVES and HAVE NOTS. All of us need to be thinking about how to bring these people into our lands...now....before it becomes too late.

The Word of the Day for Me

The Word of the Day for Me is Lagniappe...added extra--a bakers' dozen. That added goodwill gift of a merchant to a customer. It is a word that connotes hospitality without the burden of responsibility of ownership. As I often say in regard to puppies for sale, 'if you don't make the customer pay enough for a puppy, they won't respect it or treat it well.' It is just a fact of life. We don't value what we don't work for. That extra child in a family. That extra piece of candy you eat because it is offered to you. Although, candy sticks around longer than the extra dog who drains the family or the child the parents had unexpectedly. That classic children's' story, Hansel & Gretel, reflects the trend in the Little Ice Age where the extra children were put into the forest (exposed) to die so the family could live on the straitened resources of the era. And it is no surprise that there was a gingerbread house and witch in the forest either given the human need to find a culprit for the disastrous weather. These days we have illegal immigrants to blame things on or global warming on the cars or whatever else we think of. Back then, they blamed witches for their troubles. The History Channels (both History and History International) have been critical on showing how Ice Ages have affected history in playing the 'blame game'. From the United States drinking of hard liquor and beer to the witch trials to the weather's defeat of the vikings in Greenland. Here is the link on that....[PDF]
1 THE HISTORY CHANNEL® PRESENTS: Little Ice Age: Big Chill An ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLIn this program, The History Channel® will decipher fact. from fiction and reveal all there is to know about the Little Ice Age. Little Ice Age: Big Chill ...a614.g.akamai.net/7/614/2201/v001/aetn.download.akamai.com/2201/thc/classroom/guides/ice_age_study_guide.pdf - Similar pages - Note this

So, I hear you ask, how does lagniappe have anything to do with this? Because good weather is a gift we don't ask for but take for granted. Never take anyone or anything for granted is the message I am writing about today. We are all unique, distinctive and...well, human. Never forget, never take for granted, always see life -- with every blink of the eye -- as a gift. You don't need to hate your parents for being jerks for having you and treating you as an afterthought or a lagniappe. You need to just see them as the way you got here to life. So know that as you breathe, blink, be.....you are the gift you give yourself.

April 11, 2008

Making Peace with Aging

Making peace with my inner crone this week/year. I have heard that we all have three parts of life. At least that was the Sphinx's puzzle. What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening? Why we all do, of course. All of us. It is the letting go of the noon phase which I have lately found so difficult to do. But mid-to-late 50's, making peace with the three is imperative for my serenity. Cutting back, cutting down, finding serenity in the lessening of vigor, is easier to say than to do sometimes. In my case, health has made me face this sooner than I expected to. And, truly, that's a good thing.
I am 44% Geek.
http://www.fuali.com/test.aspx?id=2c7d8bff-7f9d-4e46-a4e5-dfd101d894cc"> src="http://www.fuali.com/testimage.aspx?img=08177bbc-6ff8-46bb-b111-2797ae150b3c.gif" alt="Geek? Yes, but at least I got social skills." border="0" style="margin-top:5px">
You probably work in computers, or a history deptartment at a college. You never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But you have friends, and this is a good thing.

Simply Marvelous Test

I am not an asshole or a bitch, more like an asshole and bitch target. I have no backbone, and fold at even a slightly insincere look. I need to stop crying, I am such a wuss.

Those are my results. Conjure with them at your peril!! I may be a cupcake but I am a stubborn cupcake. And I have friends who score higher!!!

April 3, 2008

What are the Odds?

I just found this website today. http://www.co-cure.org/ And along with a hefty article on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols by Bruce M. Carruthers, et al. http://www.cfids-cab.org/MESA/ccpccd.pdf. I must say that I am much encouraged. Validation at last. The article was published just around the time I was struggling getting a doctor to pay attention to this "Rodney Dangerfield" of pain syndromes. Myofascial Pain Syndrome sufferers don't get no respect. Even my own doctor (whom I adore) downgraded (or upgraded) me to Fibromyalgia. Medical professional just get discouraged by chronic pain patients. But this article gives me hope that I am not crazy -- even as I sit here pretty effectively blocking out the small meows of ouchs that I have no matter what I do. Meanwhile, I sit here and read. http://www.cfids.org/about-cfids/default.asp

Welcome to the Next Chapter

Life is all about beginnings and endings. Welcome to the next chapter. I am not sure whether it is a long chapter or not....but it is going to be interesting.


Why I rescue and belong to groups who are against hate crimes and who pulls cats who are sentenced to be put to sleep because they are ... well ... cats? I do it because that's who I am. A rescue person.

Peace Now

The link above is to the american version of the Israeli movement founded many years ago when Israel first started flexing its muscle in the 1980s. I was over in Israel on a belated honeymoon in 1983 and heard the ads then pressuring the government for peace. The settlements are a huge mistake. The problem for me as a Jew is that it is unclear whether the Israelis were to blame originally or whether the United States had hidden agendas and strings attached to their support of the Israelis. Israel under Golda Meir was a much better country. Getting it back to that will not be possible with this generation of Israelis who feel entitled because ... they have been told so many false things so many times that they believe them to be true. 1. Israel is such a small nation it cannot absorb the palestinians who will swamp the country because they reproduce more than the israelis do, 2. Israel needs to have a defensive posture because everyone hates them, 3. Israel is right no matter what, 4. it is OK for Israelis to shoot rockets in response to Palestian provocation, 5. it is OK for Israel to starve populations who cannot escape. These are all hogwash arguments. It is not ok to starve populations. Jews who do this are no better than Dachau guards. It is not ok to rocket trapped populations. Warsaw ghettos were wrong and so is this policy. Yes, it is right that Israel is a tiny nation but it does not give them the right to be so racists. Yes, 1948 was an awful year that gave birth to a nation with a troubled pysche. That nation needs to deal with their pysche and deal with it constructively by bringing in the palestinians. But it is way too late for that now. Yes, giving land is a bad deal. Yes, giving up water rights is a worse deal. There will be no good answers after the intifada. But we can hope for the best by looking for mutual solutions. We can't give up.

April 1, 2008


I love acronyms. Wonderful shorthand. The most important for me currently is the rescue acronym alerting shelters not to adopt to a person. They are called "DNA" lists. Here is a website for those who are interested.


Free Burma--Canadian News Article Below

Go to Google News
Related News
Burma draft constitution bars Suu KyiGuardian - 21 hours ago
Burma constitution leaked amid 'No' vote pushTimes Online - Mar 31, 2008
Proposed Myanmar charter bars Suu Kyi from officeReuters - Mar 31, 2008
Full coverage »

Myanmar's draft constitution bars democracy leader and cements military role...

And the hits keep on coming, folks. As a totalitarian government run by a military junta...Myanmar (or to those of us oldsters - Burma) is getting lost in the diplomatic shuffle. Bush doesn't seem to want to get involved. And the rest of the world is caught up in the Tibet situation. Tibet is really bad. But then again, so is Burma. If we stand as a democracy, and after our actions in Iraq and elsewhere, I am beginning to doubt it, then we need to stand up for both of these embattled countries.

I have links above for those who care.

Peace please

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Adopting an attitude of universal responsibility is essentially a personal matter. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.-
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Imagine All the People"

Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A, www.wisdompubs.org.