January 28, 2010

Getting a Flashlight

One of my cats is addicted to flashlight flicker games. She stalks the spot of light wherever it goes and tries to catch it -- but never does. This never seems to frustrate her, though. I don't believe it is because she is just a cat. I believe it is because she is wiser than humans and knows that something as ineffable as light (hope, faith, belief) can never be caught. It can just be accepted. That is something we humans haven't caught onto yet. We keep chasing those fireflies of ambition...
Until we stop, may we know peace


We all walk tightropes -- invisible ones. With faith, we can see the glimmering outlines of what holds us up.

Sad though

Looking at pictures of the World Trade Center back in the early 1970s...how little we knew. How beautiful it is that we have this documentary to remind us to seize each day, each moment, each tightrope.

Man on a Wire -- SunDance Channel

Man on Wire (2008)
Directed by James Marsh. With Philippe Petit, Jean Fran?ois Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau. A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, ...
This is a truly haunting and joyful documentary of the tightrope dancer who walked between the Twin Towers. Exquisite. Amazing cinematography. Plot Summary - Soundtrack listing - User comments - Awards
www.imdb.com/title/tt1155592/ - 11 hours ago - Cached - Similar -

January 22, 2010

Oh, the humanity

MPS (myofascial pain syndrome) and fibromyalgia suck.  The exhaustion and low grade pain rises before and during bad weather.  Ask me anything but don't expect me to be able to do it at times like those.  It is like watching a silent movie in my mind when the film breaks.  I look on line but all I find are articles about dementia when I search blankness.   When I search pain, I find cognitive impairment that is a subset of mps and fibro.  No doubt about it, MPS and fibro suck big time.

Soul Light or Why the Supremes Should Not Engage in Politics

It seems that decisions today are made by those heavy with money but light on souls.  How else to interpret the recent Supreme Court decision?  Corporations are not real people.  But, yes, Virginia, money talks.  Supreme Court, Corporations, Congress, Wall Street, Banks, Health Insurance and Credit Card Companies all know that.  So when the Supreme Court makes a decision that overthrows the Constitution and common sense what is the average citizen to do?  I wish I knew.

Until term limits are placed upon Supreme Court justices we will be stuck with bad law and judges who are not neutral.

Rupturing Democracy Using Pilpulism

I am a disaffected Kennedy democrat.  I am not pleased with the direction the democrats have taken in becoming more and more like the republicans.  It is tough to tell the difference between either party.  And as for the politicians?  Really disgraceful. All the senators and congressmen do is debate, filibuster and stall making decisions.  You cannot run a country by placating those who don't agree.  It is a rupture of the public faith.

Life after Corporations Can Make Direct Political Donations

We live in interesting times.  Way too interesting.


I like the idea of having hearings on the Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to directly donate to political campaigns.  This has to be the worst decision ever.  I want to know whether the Court was influenced in its decision.    Follow the Money needs to be done now more than ever.

Tax Political Donations...Now

This ruling is going to radicalize the electorate if no one listens to us.  I liked one person's CSpan idea in taxing donations over $100.00 to cut the national debt.  That is actually a good idea. 


The word of the day is disenfranchised.  A second word of the day is disaffected.  A third word of the day is betrayal.  And the final word of the day is ennui.  I will start the discussion with the final.  Ennui is a generalized feeling of disconnectness resulting death like boredom.  Disenfranchised is the taking away of a citizen's rights.  Disaffected is a turning away from life.  Betrayal (such as the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Citizens Union case) is why voters in this country have given up.  The ruling only makes the individual's loss of power official.  We didn't have it before.  We now no longer have it at all. 

January 21, 2010

What Next

So what is next with the new senator from Massachusetts tipping the balance of the chicken little democrats in the Senate. Clearly not much. The leaders of that forum are backing and filling as fast as they can. What they don't realize it to let the process unfold. Let the debates come. The repubs don't have enough to veto -- only enough to continue in their current work as the party of no. Let them actually step up on the floor to filibuster and the voters will see that the repubs are a toothless party filled with fringe types. And the voters will be able to identify the fringe types and vote them out of office at the next election. Just let the process of debate weed the nopes out of office.

January 20, 2010

This is an opportunity that is ours to lose

Rebuilding Haiti could be a small scale project to show us how to rebuilt our own country.  I think it is important to look carefully at this.   Frankly while I am truly pleased with the way the administration has responded to Haiti it makes me sad that for whatever reason help for main street (and for those of us 55 and older who were displaced by the firms we counted on to retire from) has been slow to arrive.  Sigh.  But perhaps Haiti will re-ignite the way ...

An even cheaper idea for the modest proposal

An even cheaper idea for Haiti would be to fund container architectural designers to use the containers that are sure to pile up in Haiti with all the supplies being sent into the country to help.  If an architect could design the interior to hook it to the electricity, sewage and water then these units could be created cheaply and brought into the country with supplies inside and with local workers in Haiti being taught how to install the final changes in the design to hook them into the system. 

Meanwhile, many manufacturers would be able to open or reopen their plants.  Tax on those organizations could be waived so that jobs could be brought back from overseas and then tax on the profits that investors could be waived as well which would also help the charitable investor market as well.

Modest Proposal

A modest proposal concerning the death toll and infrastructure rebuilding needed in Haiti would be to create a jobs program for all the construction people who are out of work on the mainland.  Why not deputize them and pay for a jobs program to bring them down to Haiti to rebuild roads and other infrastructure like plumbing and water and electricity for the area.  Then hire architects to design buildings like those in Europe that are created in factories and then shipped to the site for hooking up to the water, sewage and electricity systems.  This would do several things.  I believe it would employ a lot of unemployed people.  It would create investment opportunities with good will included.  It would be able to develop further than the European model by creating "doc in a box" rooms that would contain beds, operating rooms, mortuary acjuncts and rooms for giving shots and doing emergency work.  This would go far in the field of medicine by stockpiling rooms like this ready to deploy as needed in disaster situations.

Sure Things

Senator Kennedy's seat in the Senate was the democrats sure thing.  As with all sure things, there axiom is that there are no sure things ever.  The last 'sure thing' was that throwing money at the biggest organizations that caused the financial meltdown.  Wall Street was supposed to settle their finances and free up credit to joe consumer.  So, how did that work for you?  It didn't work for me.  The credit card companies immediately jacked up my interest rate, dropped my credit limit and ruined my credit score.

Nice work for a 'sure thing'

January 18, 2010


Ok.  Doc and I believe that cushioning the palm might help with the pain and swelling.  It could be a ganglion.  (doctor's thought)  Or it could be a trigger point which is one of the main characteristics of myofascial pain syndrome.  (my thought)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point  Trigger points develop wherever there is stress in the body.

Oh, joy.  Given the years of typing, the years of driving long miles, the past two years of writing y hand binstead of using a computer, it is no wonder my hands have been stressed.  So I will learn to cushion my hands and treat them as gently as I can.  And more,  I need to develop new ways of typing so that I can log into websites easier and being as careful as possible when I draft documents to make sure I don't make mistakes.  Thank goodness for the portable hand heaters.  Those are the best thing I have found so far for the pain.

To repeat the title, Arrrggh

In good hands, freedom and myofascial pain

The phrase 'you're in good hands' resonate with me.  I go today to my doctor.  I have been having trouble typing  passwords over the past year.  If I can see, then I can make changes.  But if I can't see them, I am unaware that I erred.  As a typist and as a websurfer, this is a career changer for me.  And it is unexpected.  So I go to the doctor today to ask them why the flesh at the bottom of my ring finger is spasming and why my hands are so very weak.  I will tell them that the reason I am coming is because I felt a lump at the bottom of each ring finger.  When I rubbed the lump, I felt that bone beneath the skin was loose and incredibly painful.

Since I have to drive to get to my job, I had a hunch that might be the problem so I logged onto google.  The most useful link is http://www.rsiclinics.co.uk/ and www.myofascialreleaseclinic.com/rsi.htm.  The clinic is in the United Kingdom and describes exactly what I am experiencing currently.  Sadly the cure scares me.  It involves release massage therapy that concentrates on the trigger point where the pain originates.  That trigger point for my hands is on my back and the referred pain is what is causing the ring finger and middle finger to feel like they are wrapped together.   I have heard how painful the treatment itself is and that keeps me away from treatment.  So my balance today rests upon pain or freedom.  It is something to think about Martin Luther King Day.  Freedom....or....Pain

Until then, peace

Phrases that Caught Me Today

From 'kneehigh to a duck' to a spoonerism I can't remember right now that involved the word 'thursday' it is a good day for cool phrases.  Now if I can only remember them.

January 17, 2010


Seeing that family move yesterday amidst all the foreclosure signs here is unnerving.  I see plenty of people in fancy cars at Walmart these days.  I see even more people in fancy cars going to but at the cut rate food and clothing places.  Spare change lost on the pavement?  Forget it about it.

Making miracles happen

Making miracles happen ... Haiti is just the tip of the iceberg.  Organizations move into Haiti to bring in food but finding the place to store it, how to get it into the country, making the credit card companies not charge a fee so that all the monies donated actually go to the organizations they were supposed to go, getting a place to land the supplies and then the security on the ground are big issues that slow the process down.  But what I want to write about is creating personal miracles for yourself.  That's is just as difficult and logistic as the rescue of Haiti. And less well publicized.  Oh sure, there are plenty of authors who tell you that miracles are there and they are right.  We all are surrounded by them every day we wake up on the right side of the lawn.  But beyond that how do you (or I for that matter) make a miracle of a plain grey day filled with self doubt and fear of the future.

I wish I had that answer.  I would be a published author by now, I would have my dreams.  But perhaps my dreams are not the ones for me.  Perhaps my dreams are the steps I take along the way to get to my dreams.  A thought for my own day.

And certainly it may well be that.  Affirmations haven't worked for me, going to counselors hasn't help me either and certainly being laid off by my firm hasn't helped me do that either.  Most of what I have read is popular pablum.  Some authors say work on writing.  Ok, I have done that.  Some authors say identify the sort of person you are.  Ok, I have done that.  Some authors say to just make lists and then check them off.  Ok, I have done that.  None of it has worked for me.

What has worked is goes against what I have read.  Whenever I really need to do something important, see a doctor, pay a bill, go to the post box near my house, I find my pathway to doing those chores is to unclutter and rearrange the furniture.  In activity that is comforting and mindless, I find that interior space for solving problems my mind creates.

I am working on those issues.  I hope to be able to find an answer on how to do that soon.

Until then, peace

January 16, 2010

Picture of cat

This is a picture of a cat.  It looks a lot like an abandoned cat I just found when some problem neighbors left today.  Hopefully, it didn't belong to them and is just a stray.  I sure hope so.   I am only guessing the cat that was wandering by my backyard was theirs since I'd never seen it before.  So to investigate I knocked on my next door neighbor to see if they knew whether these folks had a pet.  They didn't know.  I will continue to watch for it.  Given our area, the cat could just be a stray.  If so, perhaps Buffy (my freeloader outdoor cat) will take the stray under his paw.

Musings on contact, on Shakespeare, on Haiti, on rescue, on life

Musing on watching Henry V with Sir Laurence Olivier...the charge of the English and French reminds me of that breathe of space between action and contact.  We never know how our actions will affect another until we reach that contact phase.  Truly, as individuals, we dance with one another in the sharing of ideas.  We need feedback to know how we affect others.  Personally, I never really thought I would influence others with my own personal efforts in rescue and yet...  A dog was rescued due to my talking about my efforts.  If we can change one person at a time through this effort then it is a change worth making.  Haiti is just the same way.  There are so many who doubt that change can be made by throwing money at the problem.  I agree with that situation but I have to disagree with the doubters since the caring helps, the people who are on the ground helping, those who have been there with the huge numbers of NGOs help.  Time takes time.  We expect so much in a couple of weeks and if it doesn't change, we throw up our hands and say, 'see?'  But it took Haiti over 100 years to get into this situation.  I don't think it will take 100 years to change the situation but surely it cannot be done in 100 days or less...

January 13, 2010

Thought of the Day

I have an idea that I haven't heard anyone mention throughout this Great Recession.  It is even simple.  Change the tax code to allow those over 55 who were laid off to use their 401K.  Presently, the tax laws treat any withdrawal as taxable income. So those of us who can't find jobs due to the invisible age discrimination that exists would be able to survive.  

January 12, 2010

Spots in Life

I am in love with the word 'spot.'  I have named a dog 'spot,' and now have a cat named 'freckles,' for the very same reason -- a spot on his nose.  And logging into the blog tonight the address reached out and touched me.  There is a spot in that name as well.

So, I have to ask, what is it with recurring things in life?  You know the ones.  Those times when you are thinking of someone and he/she calls you right then.  Those times when you know (just know) that you have seen something before and spoken the same words before.  And, particularly, those time when you stand on the precipice of the present and know (just know) something is about to happen.

Those are the kind of spots in my life.  And it does no good to say, as Lady MacBeth did...'out, out, damn spot.'  The spots don't listen.  The spots are eternal, stubborn and alternately cruel and benevolent.

May the spots be with you....

January 8, 2010

Just say ho

Fashion is hopelessly stuck on styles that existed 200 years ago. Baby doll smocks and faux empire looking fashions for teens were popular in the Empire era. Only then, pregnancy was to be expected and hence the looser waistlines. We were literally (at least over here) building a nation, citizen by citizen.

But the fashion is inappropriate for today.  It sends a mixed message.  Look pregnant but don't be pregnant.  What is a kid to think?

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.


Whether wikipedia is valid or not, I am using it today simply because it is a quick and easy definition of the gifts and curses which in my world are just flip sides of one another.

Muse on Save

Save... It is an option on this webposting account. Either Publish Post or Save Now are the options. Bu the word save makes me muse on philogy and philosophy. The book I am reading, "Wrestling with Democracy," is wonderful. Well written, strong views expressed clearly and very thought provoking.  In 2008,  I listened to a story on C-Span or perhaps it was Democracy Now! about saving survivors of Nargis in Myamar (also known as Burma).  I will never know how bad conditions were in Myamar.  None of us will since news media were never allowed to come into the country to report.  That is not the situation in Haiti today.  We have reports from those literally on or under the ground....text messages, i-reports, videos sent from cell phones.  It is just another example of how we have changed.  For the good.

The pain, the discomfort, the sickness are what they are. We can always cope with the way life moves and changes. The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.-Ajahn Sumedho, “Seeing the Way” From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt. Reprinted by arrangement with Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
This is where I am today. If I focus on the soft tissue pain, the neck pain, the lower back pain, I am pain. If I focus on others, on rescue, on writing, on scheduling, on work, I am. I just am.....

Unemployment figures

Nationwide unemployment is at 10% but that is a statistical average.  Detroit has massive unemployment -- far above 10%.  And huge segments of our populations have 20% to 30% unemployment.  And no help in sight as yet.  The media could be covering this but they are not.  They could be focusing our attention upon starvation in America, but they are not.  We all know people who are homeless.  We all know that but for the grace of grace we could be those people who are homeless.  But the media gets hung up on issues of irrelevancy -- like the mis-spoken words of Harry Reid or what Bill Clinton said to Ted Kennedy.  Quotes that like sell books but don't feed the self esteem or bellies of those who have lost their jobs in this Great Recession.  We all of people who gave up hunting for jobs because there were no jobs to found or they were too old for the jobs that were around.  We know those people.  We do.  And does the mainstream media say a word about it?  No.  And I don't know why that is.  I truly don't.  The skeptic in me says 'oh, sure, the reporters don't know what to say and are afraid that they will be next to be let go since the news media as we know it is changing.  So the reporters are playing it safe.'  But I don't want to believe that.  I want to know that there are more people out there like Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! who are ready and able to talk about the unemployment figures in a meaningful way.

NPR had an interview today with Jesse Jackson where he kept being asked what he thought about the quotes I mentioned above.  And he was great at redirecting the conversation back to the main point.  It is the jobs, stupid.  The jobs

This one is for Dan

The reason I started this blog was to deal with the grief from the unexpected death of my brother-in-law. And the anger. And the fury at the cancer that killed him. Thank god he had health insurance but in his case it wasn't very helpful. The blog helped me remember Dan in my own way which was limited by the distance we lived apart. One of us in Boston, one of us almost inside the beltway in DC. Joined by a passion for my sister and politics and words and cats and justice. Justice says a lot about Dan. He was incensed by the local newspapers being bought up by conglomerates which never reported local news in depth. And never gave full facts. He took us to one of the historic villages in Massachusetts that made clothe in the 1840s. Humbling experience. I'd read about this town but seeing it was a revelation. How can people say we don't need unions or a voice for the workers when they look at places like that village. Here is the link to the town itself,

History of Lowell, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lowell, Massachusetts is considered the Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, as it was the first large-scale factory town in America. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Lowell,_Massachusetts - 71k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
I just wish I'd had more time to get to know him better. To talk with him about the election. To rage at the outrages of the politicians. May your apple grove be filled with blossoms and your fruit be sweet, Dan, where you are now. Amen

Taking the Long View

The current financial crisis (and the hurry-hurry of the world in general) bothers me. Everyone wants to have luck immediately. Everyone wants to be rich as soon as possible. The word "wants" is operative here. We all want stuff. I want my own home and not be bugged about how many cats I can have. I want to be a published writer of serenity tales and humorous drawings and not have to do mundane things like work full time to pay the rent. I want, I want, I want.....

Hah!  However, what I need is completely different. For a long time I have been confused about what is a want and what is a need. But I have figured it out.  My cats and I need food, a roof over our heads, and other things like clothes, catnip and grooming supplies. I need a car to carry around the cats and me on trips to the vet and a car to help get FOHA animals to the vet and do the at home checks prior to adoption.  I need a car to get to my consulting jobs.  I don't need much but I want the world.

May 2010 be the year that my needs truly become my wants....
Until then

The History of Coffee

Here is a book I need to look for. It is the calendar, "History of Coffee." I listened to an interview with the creator. Things I never knew...coffee was funded by Lloyds coffeehouse patrons who also funded the ship masters who bought slaves in Africa and took them to coffee plantations. The creator said a phrase that has additional meaning ... 'taking the bitter with the sweet.' And isn't that a tale of just what life is about.

Catching Fire

Such an evocative phrase...catching fire. It is unpredictable though. Fire, I mean. Trying to start a fire with wet wood, a closed flue, a faulty draught is hard. My father taught me to light fires when I was eight years old. In those prehistoric days, it was common practice to take paper trash outside to the big stone open pit and burn them. We did the same thing with leaves and dead wood.

Starting a fire like that now would require so many permission slips and county allowances that the paper for one fire would be more than I used to burn each week. I wonder where I was when all these rules were passed to 'protect' me. I certainly wasn't paying attention.

I am a late bloomer. I caught fire late in life with the economic turndown. Just in time to appreciate the irony of being 58 and to young to collect from my IRA without severe penalties.  It just sucks that the administration didn't shift the rules to allow those of us who were let go in stealth 'let's get rid of the employees over 55' attitude that business has taken during this Great Recession.  It really does!

It seems a shame that we cannot get rid of the deadwood in Congress who refuse to realize this fact.

Thank God for YouTube

Watch this....
Take two laughs and call your representative in the morning

January 7, 2010

Things I never thought I'd say

I have just finished hearing the state of the state messages from California, New York and Massachusetts.  I can't wait for Virginia to weigh in.  All of these states are basically broke.  They have staggerly large budget deficits.  And in this kind of economic environment, the logical thing would be to cut back where possible.  So why is the government getting ready to pass out more foreign aid?  I don't understand.  I mean in good times I can understand giving money to countries who are less well off.  I truly can understand it.  But given the fact that much of the foreign aid never reaches the people it is meant to reach, it is not cost effective.  The Peace Corp is effective.  Working alongside people and teaching them how to grow better crops, how to survive in environments where water is scarce.  Those are useful endeavors.

So never thought I would say this.  I am against foreign aid.  I am against it until we are economically recovered.

Holding our Breathe

Since 9/11, I believe we all have held our breathe waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or for underwear to blow up.  Truly this is an irony my mom would appreciate.  She always said wear clean underwear since you never know when you may have to be taken to a hospital.  A collective asthma of fear grips us instead of the humor of the situation, though.

Personally, I believe that our security organizations are justifying their existence by coming up with new and expensive ways of checking people in.  New names for old things.  Hand pats are so much better and so much cheaper.  But we opt for new technologies that are expensive and fail us -- thus costing even more when people die.  And the organizations created to protect us?  Hah!  They continue to claim that the vertical stack of each organization is why they could not pass information along in a timely manner.  They haven't changed that whopper since 9/11.

If grassroot groups like animal rescue can set up and create successful animal rescue runs by posting them online and requesting drivers, then surely there can be no excuse for governmental agencies claiming that they cannot do the same thing.  So why don't these groups set up inter-intra-communications?  Because the process of sharing requires something secret keepers cannot do.  They cannot admit weakness.  And they view laterally reaching out as failure.  Put simply reaching out scares the hell out of these groups.  I have to ask, since when have we become so scared of our own fellow Americans who also have sworn oaths to uphold the United States of America?

And this asthma of fear on the governmental level is intolerable.  Surely, with the economic failures of the past year and the failure of the Bush or current administration to address it properly, there are plenty of people who are angry and frustrated.  This is not a good situation.  It certainly creates an environment friendly to those who would recruit suicide bombers.  It won't take long before we find attentat actions and anarchism in the country.  The hell with the foreign terrorism.  The U.S. has a long history of taking action for itself.  The killing of President Garfield?  A disgruntled favor seeker.  The blowing up of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City?  A disgruntled vet protesting the Waco incident.

It seems to me that progress is just renaming of things to sound new.  The writer of Ecclesiastes had it right.  See this link to the full quote as printed in Bartelby's  http://www.bartleby.com/108/21/1.html  This is wisdom literature that we, sadly, lack in this time of 24/7 news bites.  Nothing can be learned in this environment.  But perhaps we can change in 2010.  I pray that is so.

Happy New Year folks and may peace rain down softly upon us.

until then

January 5, 2010

Rescue Thoughts

It is hard to know who rescues
Whom when I care for my three
rescued cats.  Them or me...
Comfort food for the soul.

Gifts of Grace

Rescue Daily

I stop and pat my shy cat
She stops, purrs,  turns
and starts to eat

Comfort Food

January 3, 2010

Wish I May, Wish I Might have Sweet Dreams

Dreams...tricky things.  Currently I am on a medication that intensifies dreams while allowing me to be anxiety free while I am awake.  Still not too sure if it is a good thing to be dream-ambushed by anxieties I have chemically repressed during the day.  I feel much better than before but there is a lot to be said for the way I was before -- twitchy, perhaps -- but not a dream I could remember in the morning.

That is not to say that my sleep was that good before.  Now I sleep much better, even with the dreams and all the cats trying to wake me up in the middle of the night.

So be careful what you wish for and
sweet dreams

Until next time,

Not being too ....

Not being too scattered this year.  Heck, it's only day 3.  It stands to reason I will be scattered one day soon but for now I am, thankfully, focused and looking into new kinds of work.  One of those is narrating audio books.  I need to find out what sort of equipment one needs to do this and record a sample to send places.  It is a cut-throat business -- more so than the regular publishing but with print books and newsprint on the decline, it may be the only avenue.  I always loved listening to Boris Karloff read the "Reluctant Dragon" when I was young.  I began reading for audiences 'way back in high school but got more interested in it when my kids were born.  And I got hooked on reading out loud after I heard the first audio tapes of children's stories back in the 1990s.  Wondrous stuff.  Truly made an impression on my reading style.

My current victims--ahem--listeners, are my cats.  They get pretty cranky some nights and reading really mellows them out.  So I will explore this and find out more.  Stay tuned.  Or as the radio announcer used to say on Laugh In...oh heck, what was it he used to say?  I will report on that later.

Until then

Bird count so far

Fascinating year so far.  The first bird I saw was one low flying goose which is really odd since our area is chock full of crows and mourning doves.  Geese normally fly in squadrons to and from the area lakes.  So this one-fer was unusual.

The second bird was a low flying red tailed hawk.  At least I think it was a hawk.  It is sort of hard to ask them to identify themselves.