Saturday, December 29, 2007

Roll With the Changes

I knew it had to happen
Felt the tables turnin'
Got me through my darkest hour
I heard the thunder clappin'
Felt the desert burnin'
Until you poured on me
Like a sweet sunshower

"Roll With the Changes" by REO Speedwagon


Usually I do a year-end retrospective and review the major events of the year, but I think I'll skip it this year. Let's just say it's been a real roller coaster year, literally and figuratively. If I tried to go over all the losses and traumas of the year it might sound like I was trying to write a Book of Job Lite (50% less heavy than the original). ;-)

Of course, it all hasn't been bad. And focusing only on the hard times isn't a healthy perspective anyway. If I had to concentrate the lessons of it all into one word, I think that faith is it. I've learned a deeper meaning to faith than the one that its critics like to use (believing blindly or some such thing). Faith is an intellectual decision to be satisfied with knowing something without a physical sign of it. There are many physical things that are fleeting and ultimately unnecessary for us to know what they symbolize. The physical world is sometimes only a symbolic representation of our ideas and feelings, or even our very existence. If those symbols disappear it does not mean that our ideas and feelings never existed or don't continue to exist. This is what I mean by faith. A true knowing without the need for 'evidence'. I don't see this as a weakness or whatever else certain types of people call it. I see it as a strength and maturity and trust.

I know you're an emotional girl
It took a lot for you to not lose your faith in this world
I can't offer you proof
But you're going to face a moment of truth
It's hard when you're always afraid
You just recover when another belief is betrayed
So break my heart if you must
It's a matter of trust

"A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel


Indeed, faith and trust go hand in hand. And without them we can't roll with the changes, which is essential to survival. So fasten your seat belts, make sure your lapbar is securely in the locked position, hang on, and enjoy the ride!

And Happy New Year 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Fluff

Borrowed from Friday Fiver:

1. Tell us something you love: My family of soulmates.

2. Tell us something you know to be true: Life is precious, even when it hurts.

3. Tell us about someone new in your life: The newest person in my life is my 5 month old nephew who reminds me so much of my youngest when he was a tiny baby.

4. Who can you never please? People who disagree with me. ;-)

5. Friday fill-in:
You know I ___.
believe in miracles.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Making My List and Checking It Twice

This year I'm happy to report that unlike last year the Christmas spirit is pretty strong even though I lost two weeks of shopping time. I'm just pacing myself and getting the shopping done a little bit each day. Maybe it's because I'm thankful to even be shopping at all. :-)

So no "ba humbug" this year, but more "God bless us every one!"

Merry Christmas to all, even the atheists. ;-)

Lord Have Mercy

A Tsar Is Born

Time's Man of the Year is Russia's Vladimir Putin. When I first heard it I was a little puzzled, but after reading and thinking more about it I see that it is a fair choice. He certainly has the power that many men wish for, especially the wannabe world dictator, Al Gore. ;-)

Interesting facts from the Time article:

He has never sent an email in his life.

Despite growing up in an officially atheist country, he is a believer and often reads his Bible.

He comes from a very modest, poor background.

He has a black belt in judo.

He is quick to aggitation and has little patience for small talk, jokes, and social niceties. He is generally ruthless and cold.

He complains about how he thinks America treats Russia as "an uninvited guest at a party."

"We want to be a friend of America," he says. "Sometimes we get the impression that America does not need friends" but only "auxiliary subjects to command." Asked if he'd like to correct any American misconceptions about Russia, Putin leans forward and says, "I don't believe these are misconceptions. I think this is a purposeful attempt by some to create an image of Russia based on which one could influence our internal and foreign policies. This is the reason why everybody is made to believe...[Russians] are a little bit savage still or they just climbed down from the trees, you know, and probably need to have...the dirt washed out of their beards and hair."


But at the end of the article the writer explains:

Back at the dacha, with snow falling lightly outside, our dinner and discussion continue. Putin has been irritable throughout, a grudging host. Suddenly, at 10 o'clock, he stands and abruptly ends the evening. "We've finished eating, there's nothing more on the table, so let's call it a day," he declares. Actually, the main course (choice of sturgeon or veal) and dessert ("bird's milk" cake)—lovingly printed in gold ink on the prepared menu cards—haven't yet been served. The Russian President's brusqueness is jarring. Have our questions angered him? Bored him? Does he have another appointment? It's not clear. "Bye bye," says Putin—in English—as he walks briskly out of the room.


Well, I have to say that if one acts like that then it's rather natural to assume that Russians "are a little bit savage still." You see, even we backwards Tennessee hillbillies know better than to end a dinner before the dinner is even served. In fact, we would be very insulted if a guest up and left before the main course was served, and we would expect a guest to be equally insulted if we kicked them out too soon.

Runs In the Family

Britney Spears' 16 year old sister, Jamie Lynn, has announced that she is pregnant. You would think that she might have learned what not to do by watching her big sister's series of screw-ups. And what about their mother? Has she never explained to her daughters what happens when you have unprotected sex? I was about to give their mother the benefit of the doubt with one daughter that didn't turn out so great, but now that both daughters appear to be defective one must place some blame on the mother, genetically and environmentally. Actually, I think that Mrs. Spears probably sold her and her daughters' souls to the Devil in order to gain fame and fortune. But as most of us know, when the Devil makes deals they aren't as good as you think they will be.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dear Quentin Tarantino,

I'm sure you get all kinds of kooky letters from crazy freaks with their 'brilliant' movie ideas. Well, I'm pretty kooky and crazy and maybe a little freaky and I do have a movie idea, but I'm not promising anything brilliant. ;-) Just so you know, I'm a hometown girl from Knoxville, just in case that might help a little. :-) I really love some of your movies that I've seen, especially the Kill Bill movies, Sin City (your influence as guest director is obvious), and Pulp Fiction. I'm sorry to admit that I haven't seen all of them. Maybe someday I'll get caught up on some movie watching.

Anyway, if you sex it up a lot and fictionalize most of it, you could make a really funny and quirky movie based on my life. Just a few of the real elements to start with are my status as a vicious momma who drives a red Corvette convertible (when I'm not driving a bunch of kids around in an 'evil', full size SUV - Ford Expedition). Well, that's kind of a good start, don't you think? ;-) For some of the fantasy elements you could have me involved in torrid affairs with Lubos Motl and the Pope. Okay, just for a disclaimer to make sure no rumors get started I must tell you that in actuality Lubos Motl has only ever shown the utmost impeccable integrity towards me, and of course the Pope doesn't even know me. But let's get back to the fiction. Another plot twist possibility could involve all this global warming garbage and how me and my cohorts form a secret alliance to stop the evil AntiChrist who is leading the world astray, and so on.

Kate Winslet would be the best choice to play me. She's much prettier than I am, but that's how it's supposed to be in movies.



These pictures from Romance and Cigarettes capture some of the vicious momma spirit, I think.

Maybe Jude Law could play Lubos, or even you. I know you like to show up in your movies. And maybe Anthony Hopkins could play the Pope. We could throw in Viggo Mortensen as a mystery man without whose aid we couldn't succeed in our mission. Probably Alec Baldwin would be good as the AntiChrist. I really dislike him anyway. He's a true cad so it might not be too much of a stretch for him to play that part.

So there you go. There are lots of cool music ideas too, but I won't get too carried away. I do think that you would have the vision and humor to create a fun, interesting story with these elements. And maybe you could even ask Michael Crichton to collaborate on some of the scientific aspects of the story. I like his movies too, though they are much different from yours. It might be a very strange but complementary mixture to have you two working together. But maybe you two hate each other and it is a terrible prospect? I have no idea. I'm just throwing around some wild notions.

Have a nice holiday.

Sincerely,
Rae Ann

PS How could I have been so thoughtless? I should have mentioned my best friend's brother, Walt Foreman, who is a novelist and filmmaker in California. I think he might have some good ideas too.

Mellow Yellow

Electrical banana
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Electrical banana
Is bound to be the very next phase

They call it mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow

Donovan "Mellow Yellow"


Just changed the background to a nice mellow yellow. Yellow has become one of my favorite colors lately. It is associated with the solar plexus chakra. I'm not sure about the other blog colors, but at the moment I'll leave them as they are.

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow,

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow

So then I took my turn
Oh what a thing to have done
And it was all yellow

Your skin oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
You know you know I love you so
You know I love you so

I swam across
I jumped across for you
Oh what a thing to do
Cause you were all yellow

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh what a thing to do
And it was all yellow

Your skin oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
You know for you I'd bleed myself dry
For you I'd bleed myself dry

Its true look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine

Look at the stars look how they shine for you
And all the things that you do

Coldplay "Yellow"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Movie Recommendation

I just watched Madea's Family Reunion, and wow, it was great! It was absolutely loaded with humor, excellent wisdom, and very sweet romance. Very touching and poignant movie, but also laugh-out-loud funny, especially the title character, Madea. She's a great example of a hilarious vicious momma. ;-) If you get a chance to watch it you won't regret it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Bali Summit

I just want to say that I think it's so very apparent what is the real agenda for Gore and his AGW religion when you see how things happen in Bali. If Gore really wanted to appear authentic and honest he would have insisted that this summit was held under big tents outside without using too much electricity for air conditioning and lighting, etc. He should have followed the lead of old-time church tent revivals that most Southerners and Midwesterners have seen at some point in their lives:



I mean really, they're having the summit in Bali. Freaking paradise, right? Why stay all cooped up in a hotel meeting area with artificial lights and air conditioning? They should have put up tents where they could have gotten natural light and fresh tropical air. It would have been better for their health as well as for the environment. But we all know that those are not the true goals of their actions. They don't really care about the state of the world's climate. They only care about their own comfort, image, and power.

So many high falutin types like to abuse religion and blame it for all the ills of the world and so on, but I think they just don't know how to discern a true, good religion from a false, destructive religion. Gore really is a kind of AntiChrist whose message and intent are not for the improvement of the world but only for his own glorification and fame. If one cannot see what a complete and evil fraud he is then I hope that a flash of revelation will come to them to open their eyes and minds to the truth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Psalm 56

Just out of curiosity last night I opened the Bible to a random page and this was what I found:

Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me;
Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
My foes have trampled upon me all day long,
For they are many who fight proudly against me.
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
All day long they distort my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They attack, they lurk,
They watch my steps,
As they have waited to take my life.
Because of wickedness, cast them forth,
In anger put down the peoples, O God!
You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the LORD, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Your vows are binding upon me, O God;
I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.



Coincidence or not, it was very appropriate for the day. I think it's funny-weird and interesting that good people have been persecuted and tormented by the Godless evil people for a very long time. But it's also a little sad that even after all these centuries and technological, educational, "rational" and other advances, there are still mean, rotten pitchforks in the world who just can't resist being hateful to those who actually try to be good and moral, and especially to those who try to instruct others about goodness and morality. Well, it's just too bad. I guess evolution hasn't been any more successful at cleaning up the human population than religion or any other pillars of civilization.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Divine Infusion

The other day I was looking through the TV channels for something interesting since I wasn't really able to do much of anything else. Sometimes I stumble upon a really good sermon on one of the religious channels, and on that day I really got lucky. I missed the beginning of it but probably only about 25% at most, so I got most of the points. It was one of the absolute best sermons I've ever heard. The delivery style was engaging and entertaining while the message was very logically pleasing, timely and relevant to recent events. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Funny how that happens sometimes.

The preacher was Fredrick Brabson, the pastor of the New Covenant Baptist Church here in Knoxville. I was hoping that there was a video online of his sermon, but I couldn't find one. But I did find that he has a website called Relevant Word Ministries that offers tapes of his messages.

Basically, the sermon was about weathering the storms of life. The first point was that God never abandons us during those hard times and that God never promised that life would always be easy and carefree. Every single person on Earth has the voice of God inside them, even sociopaths, that tells them the right things to do. We don't always listen to that voice because it often conflicts with our selfish desires or demands made on us by the world. Some people even completely deny and ignore that voice of God inside them, but it is still there, waiting for acknowledgement. I think that is the simplest way I've ever heard God explained. God is the good in us. God is that knowing what is the best choice. Anyone who doubts that God exists only needs to look within his own soul and heart and see that God is what tells us how to be good people instead of doing whatever animalistic things we might want to do. It is that Free Will thing I've talked about before. That choice we all have, to do right or to do wrong. That comes from God. How can that not make sense? Anyone who says he doesn't have that inner voice or moral compass that lets him know what is right or wrong is the basic definition of evil. Sorry, but that is the truth, and even some who call themselves atheists acknowledge that they know right from wrong although they are confused as to how they know. ;-)

Another point of the sermon was about those things that keep us from listening to God's voice that guides us to the best way of living. Brabson used a ship in a storm analogy, related to a Bible story that I can't recall now. Anyway, one of the ways of helping oneself get through the storms is to lighten your load. That means tossing overboard all those useless things that weigh us down and impede our progress. That baggage can be material possessions, feelings, addictions, toxic relationships, or any other thing. Get rid of it. It has no value. You can live without it and will be better off without the extra worry. Makes sense, right? Good psychological advice often comes from the Bible. There is a lot of wisdom there if you really listen and think about it.

The final point of the sermon was to never forget your blessings that often come in unexpected forms, even as storms. Be thankful for God's voice in your heart that helped you get through those tough times. God does not throw us into anything that he hasn't equipped us to handle. We just have to listen and use ourselves wisely.

Well, I certainly didn't do Brabson's sermon justice with my short summary. I really do wish his sermon was available online, and maybe someday it will be. It made an impression on me that I wanted to share.

But now I'll add a little something of my own. Last night I was doing a little Bible study and ended up reading about the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus as described in Mark 14 and 15. Even Jesus allowed himself to be overcome by sorrow and feeling abandoned by God at the same time as his being let down by his closest friends, his disciples. Not even his foreknowledge of these events lessened the experience.

32 They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Mark 14:32-42


Judas, his biggest betrayer, arrived with the mob to arrest Jesus. Jesus was at his darkest hour and his friends lay sleeping. What kind of friends are those? Then some even deny knowing him just to save their own skins. All those men disappeared when things got bad. They were the ones who abandoned Jesus, not God. Just before he died on the cross, Jesus says, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? which is translated, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" Do you really think he was asking why God had forsaken him or if he was asking why all his disciples had forsaken him? My bet is on the disciples. He truly felt abandoned and forsaken and betrayed by those who had been closest to him. Humans will always fail each other, but God never fails us. Not if we truly listen and follow his guidance.

And unfortunately there are those evil people who are so removed from God and his guidance that they torment and abuse those who are already hurt, just as many tormented Jesus as he was being crucified. Do they have no conscience? If they have one it's so weak and feeble that it can't overcome their animalistic cruelty. What voice do they listen to? Not the one that tells them how to be a good person and do the right things. They listen to their own selfish drives and desires. They think they will impress others with their clever insults or skillful jabs. But what they do is not right. It is wrong. And it does nothing to make the world a better place, which is what God wants. You know who you are. I have no time for you. I'm tossing you overboard with all the other garbage I don't need.




A somewhat related article about Why Secular Liberals Are So Uncharitable.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today In History

December 11

1844 Nitrous oxide was used for the first time in dentistry.

1936 King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of Britain for the woman he loved, Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Stubbed TOEs and Other Pains

This was the post I was working on before my appendix blew. Obviously, even more pains worse than stubbed TOES and dead hard drives were lurking in the near future, little did I know. ;-) (no "seer" is 100% accurate due to the probabilistic nature of our world) These words are no longer really timely or relevant, but what the hell, here they are anyway:


11/07

Let me do the other pains first.

The last couple of weeks have been full of all kinds of annoyances and disasters. The source of the worst and still continuing pains has been the dead hard drive in my old desktop. I did manage to recover my Quickbooks and some percentage of my Paintshop files before it completely died, but because I'm a jack of all trades but master of none it has been somewhat challenging.

Well, what do you expect from a $15,000 employee whose titles and jobs range from bookkeeper to human resources to payroll processing to IT manager? I mean really, according to this website the average Information Technology Manager earns about $100,000 dollars annually. Check the links of the other jobs and you'll see how much I should be making. ;-)

Okay, so, since the Quickbooks on the old computer was the 2002 version I thought I'd go ahead and upgrade to the 2008 version since I had to get a new computer anyway. Well, I really kind of hate Quickbooks and Intuit because they are constantly bringing out new versions and making it difficult to continue using the older versions. It's accounting. How much new stuff can there be every year? Not enough to keep "upgrading" software. Jesus. It's a rip-off. And they want you to subscribe (means pay for) all these other services like online backups, payroll updates, etc. blah, blah, blah. And it's really disturbing that all of your business information that you put into "their" software that you're only paying for the "use of" (license) ends up being inaccessible to you without certain codes and whatnot. Hey fuckers, it's my information in there and you can't steal it from me. I've exceeded my f-bomb quota for the entire year in the last few hours. ;-)

Anyway, I did successfully install the upgrade, but when I was trying to register it ends up that I have to call a number to get a validation code. What? You can't fool me. I know that's just another one of their ploys to get me talking to one of their salesmen who's going to try to sell me a bunch of their shit that I don't need. Is it not enough that they got $200 out of me already?

And get this. In my old Quickbooks I could manually enter paychecks and do all my own payroll processing, but now in this new one they won't even let me do that. I have to pay at least $99 more per year just to be able to track my two employee payroll! This is enough to make me go postal on them. Where is the Intuit headquarters where I can go and tell them in person just how disgusted and outraged I am about their evil business practices? If you read about some crazy woman going postal at the Intuit headquarters it might be me!

Okay, I'll leave that rant and move on to the Stubbed TOE. The big buzz in the science news has been a surfer dude's Theory of Everything. Well, he did make a pretty picture of it, but just because we can create vivid images of things doesn't make them real.





While watching that video I keep thinking intuitively I can see that this "simple" explanation just cannot 'evolve' into the complex universe that we see today. There is no universe in those pretty pictures. It looks to me like the surfer dude has just created a system of explaining how to move those points around in certain patterns. But how that translates into a Theory of Everything just isn't clear at all. He and his advocates call themselves "seers" but as you know, I'm a seer too. ;-) And I ain't seein' anything in this "theory." Well, actually, what keeps coming to my mind is "snowflakes." (If that means anything to anyone then please let me know.)

Other than the scientific aspects of this story, I have to say that this surfer dude seems like a typical slacker who's looking for an easy way to make it. Lubos perfectly summarizes my thoughts too in response to a comment about the recent passing of Sidney Coleman:

LM: Unfortunately, it's not just irony, it's another example of great minds being systematically replaced by cheap crap. What do the media do? For many days, they don't even report about one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the last 50 years - it is much more important to refer a politically correct story about a "poor" imbecile whose main result is a "theory of everything" - a textbook example of a childish proposal that can't work according to a theorem known for several decades. I am irritated by the breathtaking hypocrisy of those proponents of the "right" thinkers. For example, crackpot Lisi is promoted because it is poor. Tell it to most guys in Africa or even Europe - offer them to be poor so that they can surf for whole days on Hawaii. I think that most of them will instantly accept this kind of poverty. But he paints himself as "poor", so he is welcome even though his physical theory and physics knowledge is just a small piece of shit. But the media serve this shit as a yummy dinner. And most of them won't even tell you about Sidney Coleman. The world is just going to hell.


To add to that, if you want to read more of this surfer dude's confused blather about things other than physics you can find it at Bee's.

In addition to that, if you want more details about it all, you can Google it or go to The Reference Frame.

I couldn't resist putting in my 2 cents worth about it. Well, if you ask me, this theory is really only worth about 2 cents anyway. I'm sorry if I've stubbed or stepped on anyone's TOE or toes, but generally, if I'm allowed a little immodesty, my intuition about these things is pretty good. I think the main point of this entire story is that even the scientific world has fallen into the Hollywood fakery mentality that relies only on superficial and artificial prettiness and unlikely plots.

I think the perfect ending to this would be that a little old hillbilly housewife from Tennessee with no formal physics training falsifies the surfer dude's TOE with her own pretty picture:

[unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to post my pretty .gif animation]

Wouldn't that be a perfect, unexpected and unlikely Hollywood plot twist? ;-)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Demerol Daze and Zombie Nurses

Every day brings some improvement in my condition, and later this afternoon I will go to the doctor to have the staples removed from my belly and for a check-up, etc. I was going to post a picture of the three staples in my navel and call it "Temporary Triple Navel Piercing", but it was really much too gruesome to share. ;-) The surgeon did that laproscopic surgery to remove what was left of my appendix and whatever else he did in there (I'll get more details today, I hope), so instead of one large incision there are three small ones. I'm uncertain that there is any advantage to that because the pain has been equal to if not greater than the one large incision I got when having babies and a hysterectomy. Maybe it has to do with the nature of the illness/injury and other factors.

One weird irony is that when my mom was 43 her appendix ruptured, but she ended up in the hospital for a whole month because of it. I think I can thank improved surgical and antibiotic treatments for my much shorter hospital stay. Twenty-one years of medical advancements have made a lot of difference!

I'm sure the nurses hated me because I was very whiny and tearful. But I guess they are used to such things and don't think about it so much. Well, it really does suck to be in constant pain and have the other inconveniences and indignities one suffers when incapacitated in a hospital bed. My IV was in the crook of my right arm so that every time I bent my arm the IV machine beeped and beeped and beeped and beeped. Very annoying for us all, but apparently that was the best vein they could find for it. Both of my hands are bruised from where they played pin the needle to the vein to draw blood for testing white blood counts, etc. I have those 'rolling' veins that means one stick usually won't do the trick. Add to that the 30+ Demerol/Phenergan injections in my hips over the five days and it's enough to really call myself a human pin cushion. On Saturday my first IV finally blew so they had to put a new one in the soft underside of my forearm. Talk about painful! But at least I could move without that incessant beeping.

I had lots of weird dreams during my demerol daze and dozing. One was about a black hole sucking us all up and some others I just can't recall now. But they were weird for sure. At one point I was half awake and a nurse was there I and thought she was a zombie. Her hands were ice cold and smelled like a morgue, or at least what I thought a morgue would smell like. It could have been myself that I was smelling because it had been a few days since I'd had more than a slight sponge bath, but who knows? She also had on what I'd call zombie makeup: dark, exaggerated eyeliner and eye shadow. She was a fine nurse, I'm sure, but in my demerol daze she really did frighten me a little.

There are some other events that are just too graphic and gross to share. But I will say that my psyche is still somewhat bruised by that whole experience. However, I am extremely thankful for modern medicine that has saved my life again. If I were a cat, I'd have used up about half of my nine lives now. I'm also very thankful for my husband who apparently still loves me even though he's seen me at my absolute worst. I've been a lot of trouble for him over the years, but he doesn't seem fazed by it. Yet. I really hope not to ever put him through such things again.

So that's just a little summary of my last week. I hope everyone else's has been much less eventful and stressful. And let's all say a prayer of thanks for the modern technologies that we sometimes take for granted. The only worry now is how in the world are we going to pay for it? ;-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stronger

"That that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger"

Kanye West

Dear Friends,

Last week my appendix ruptured and I've been very ill. For now I will spare you the plentiful gory details, mainly because I'm just not up to writing that much. ;-) I am slowly recovering and hope to be back to blogging soon. When I first posted this video it wasn't really for any particular reason except that I felt bad for Kanye West losing his mother suddenly. But now it's for me too. ;-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

A Happy Thanksgiving to all. Let us take this day to appreciate our blessings.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fluff

TMI Tuesday

It's been a while:

1. Have you ever met a fellow blogger in person?
No.


2. Did you ever play an innocent game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"? How old where you?
Yes, probably about 9 or 10.


3. When did you get your first not so innocent kiss?
14


4. Have you ever awoke with someone whose name you did not remember?
Yes, but it was just an old lady and we never touched.


5. Have you ever let someone else wash you while you were perfectly capable of doing it yourself?
of course

Bonus (as in optional): What makes a great first date for you?
Heh, haven't had a first date in so long I wouldn't know. But anyway, it would probably be a nice dinner and conversation and maybe even sex. I'm getting too old to waste too much time. ;-)


Let me go off on tangent about that last question. A lot of people say that sex on a first date is a bad idea. Well, maybe it is for most people most of the time, but it can also be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. ;-) The way I've always seen it is that if two people want to be together then why should they worry too much about some artificially created rules of society? And if a guy won't respect a girl because she desired him and had sex with him, then he's not relationship material in the first place. It's stupid to punish someone for liking you enough to have sex. Though I do think that too many people have sex just because they think it's the thing to do instead of doing it out of true attraction and affection. Sure, we must be discriminating in choosing with whom we share bodily fluids, but we must also avoid being too uptight about expressing our physical feelings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pathetic Apathy

It's especially pathetic to realize that I have essentially made no progress in the past year. Just looking over my posts from one year ago it's apparent that I'm still struggling with the same internal problems and concerns.

But now I can add that the big 4-0 is fast approaching. Throughout my thirties I've been promising myself that turning forty would not be some traumatic event. But the closer it gets the more yucky it looks. What's up with that? Is it knowing that my life is at least half over? Is it the realization that youth and beauty are gone and forgotten? I don't really care about wrinkles and gray hair, but goddamn, it's hard to maintain a sensible attitude when all of society is against you. Everywhere you look are images of young, and artificially young, women whose only concerns are how they look and how other people look. It's disgusting.

Well, let's not get into some big rant about that shit. Maybe I should turn my disgust to China. My dad has already announced that for Christmas he will not be buying the kids anything made in China. That's fine by me. Stupid plastic shit. Looking around my house I wonder how much of the Chinese made crap is full of lead paint or some other poison that we don't know about. Stupid communists don't know or care about doing the right thing. What's the matter with them?

I was thinking of doing a sermonette on Crises of Faith, but I can't even muster up enough of whatever to do that. What's the opposite of faith? Distrust? Disappointment? Doubt? Disbelief? No, it's really apathy and indifference and emptiness.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dancing Indian Condoms




I think they should be running this Safe Sex video on MTV. ;-)

(update: thought of better title)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Homemaking 101

Some of my favorite modern homemaking products:

Glad Press'n Seal Wrap



This stuff is just awesome. It's so much better than old fashioned "saran wrap" and Glad says that there are 1000s of uses for it. Well, I don't have time to explore all those, but I can imagine that you can use it for almost anything. I certainly like it and have invented some new uses for myself, such as wrapping wet paint rollers to keep them from drying out while I take a break from painting. Anyway, this is a kind of big step in the evolution of materials for homemakers. ;-)


Swiffer Dusters



These really do work. They pick up all the dust, and it clings to the duster so that it doesn't fall off so that it has to be dusted again immediately. ;-) In other words, they don't just move the dust around and if you just want to do a quick dusting without using furniture spray/wax and a cloth they work great. I've dusted with them just about everywhere, but one caution would be to avoid any delicate items with parts that might get caught on the fibers and fall. My friend broke a favorite collectible when using one a little carelessly.

The Swiffer wet mops are okay, but my floorspace is pretty big and it's inefficient to use them here. I'm usually not a big fan of disposable cleaning products because they seem wasteful and unnecessary, like the disposable toilet brushes. Sure, cleaning toilets is a yucky job, but if the cleaner you use is supposed to kill 99.9% of the germs in the toilet wouldn't it also kill 99.9% of the germs on the brush? It's just a waste of money and resources to use the disposable ones, but who am I to judge people if they want to waste their money on such things? Anyway, the Swiffer dusters might be a modern indulgence, but in my household they are efficient ones. ;-)


Scrubbing Bubbles



I love, love, love Scrubbing Bubbles. And you don't have to keep them confined to the bathroom. They work anywhere. I've even cleaned the inside of the car with them. Yeah, sure, they are chemicals in a spray can, but if they work great that's what really matters. They have been around for a really long time, and I recall the old commercials for them when I was a kid. "We do the work so you don't have tooooooo...." is what they said as they slid down the drain. Cute. In all my years of testing new cleaning products, I've found nothing that is better than Scrubbing Bubbles.


The next installment in the Homemaking series will discuss my favorite floor cleaning machines. I have a particular penchant for these kinds of things.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Zero


Just a clip art and not something I made.


On the sidebar I just noticed that Technorati says I'm a zero. Funny. I guess that's what happens to neglected blogs. Well, lately most of my expressive energy has been spent on "artwork." Maybe I should call that "art therapy" instead, since "artwork" sounds too pretentious to me. The one I've worked on most is really just an exercise to use up my obsessive/compulsive energy and it's not really something that most people would like or appreciate. Maybe I'll post pictures if I ever finish it, but probably not because I don't think a photograph would translate it well. And it's hard to share such things anyway. Maybe I would be embarrassed for people to know that I've spent so much time on something so inconsequential, or trivial.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Matters of Size




This totally cracked me up! The actor's name is "Peter" and many of the food items he describes involve sausages and olive oil. ;-)

As for my opinion on penis size, well, it really depends on the man the penis is attached to. And that is my politically correct answer. ;-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Leaks




Yesterday we learned that due to some government idiot's leaking of information to the media we have lost a valuable internet source of intelligence about terrorist plans and activities. What is wrong with people? Don't they have any integrity anymore? I think whoever was responsible for this leak should be charged with treason. We don't know how many planned attacks might have been prevented because of the information from that source. And now it's gone, so if an attack happens the leaker/traitor should be executed. Yes, that's harsh, but it's really inexcusable for someone working for the people to do something so irresponsible and stupid and dangerous. If they made such a big to-do about the Valerie Plame thing then this should be an even bigger to-do.


Addendum:

"There’s no more ignominious fate for these once-powerful titans than irrelevance." Pat Sajak, in The Media and Fred Thompson


I like Pat. He's smart. And in his article about the media and Thompson he pretty well skewers the big media outlets for their crooked attempts to remain relevant in these changing times. A "dwindling handful of sclerotic media outlets" is what he calls them. Sclerotic means something like "old, stiff, and immovable" or the opposite of supple. I like that word, supple. Anyway, I think it does relate to the story above about the leaks to the media. I hope that these kinds of stunts, like releasing a secret video when told not to, will backfire in securing media relevance if enough people will realize how absolutely irresponsibly the media behaves. Enough already. Maybe these media types who air secret videos should be charged with treason too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Flashback

Damn you, tayster, for reminding me of my teenage lust for Billy Idol. ;-)




I've probably mentioned it before, but when I was a teenager I would have given Billy Idol my virginity without any hesitation. This video was about as close to porn as we could get back then, before the days of easy internet porn. And we had to wait until it just happened to play on TV. No such thing as video-on-demand or other such luxuries. We just had to use our imaginations. And boy, did mine work overtime with Billy Idol. And maybe, just maybe, his red and black painted face in this video was imprinted in my mind and would explain my fascination with Darth Maul when The Phantom Menace came out. Yes, it's true. I'm not immune to falling for the "bad boys." ;-)

By the way, I would include Billy Idol's album "Rebel Yell" as one of my all-time favorites.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Robert Unger Eulogy

Robert Unger, one of my former (and likely favorite) skating instructors died last Sunday, Sept. 30. He had been ill for some time, and it has been a couple of years, at least, since I've seen him. He always remembered me which was nice. I wonder if it made him feel old to see people like me who he had known since their childhoods. He never seemed old to me.

Sometimes it was hard to tell if he was angry because of his heavy German accent. It wasn't hard to understand his words, but the intonation always sounded a little upset. Well, I think he enjoyed that all of us little girls were intimidated by his speech because I would often "catch him" turn and laugh when everyone else was too afraid to look at him. But his true annoyance would become more apparent in how red his face became. Sometimes it was as red as a beet. Those were the times I was sorry that I looked. ;-)

Mr. Unger was so smart, and that is why he was my favorite skating teacher. He was the one who taught me about the "physics" of skating, the how and why it works better to do it 'this way' instead of the wrong way. Somehow knowing that made it easier for my body to cooperate with my mind. Other kids, though, didn't care about that stuff. They just wanted to know how to do the tricks. They didn't usually care about how to do them right or better, as long as they could do them. They were often the better skaters though.

And Mr. Unger still encouraged us all regardless of how we learned. That is the heart of why he began the "recreational" skating competitions. He knew that many kids enjoyed skating so much although they might not be the most dedicated or talented ones around. He believed they should have the opportunity to celebrate their love of skating in friendly competitions. But believe me, even in "friendly and recreational" competitions it could still get pretty serious and nerve-racking.

I have many memories of Mr. Unger and my skating youth and later of my few years of adult skating and competing before becoming a mother. Not that mothers can't skate. I did the year after my first, and the Robert Unger School always had several adult students. But I was getting too old and too busy to be able to skate the way I wanted to skate. Sometimes we have to leave childhood things behind.

I hope that in his last thoughts Mr. Unger had the peace of knowing that he had helped improve the lives of so many through his teaching us discipline and achievement as well as the ability to move on the ice.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot about his hat. I must try to find a photo of him and that famous hat. He managed and owned the Ice Chalet in addition to being the head instructor of the skating school in his name.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Brian Greene and Religion

via Lubos Motl, excerpts of Brian Greene's interview in Whole Life Times:


Does your work with string theory make you more or less religious?

I think it partly depends on your exact definition of religious. If it means the traditional notion of going to services and some organized religion, then the answer is no. If it means, does it fill me with a sense of awe and wonder about the universe, does it fill me with a sense of how remarkable it is that the pieces of the universe fit together with such logical cohesion, does it fill me with this unshakable sense that there is an underlying order and harmony behind the universe, then to all of those I would say absolutely, yes. For some people, that is religion.


I could not have said it better. When I speak of religion and the Freedom of Religion as it is promised in our First Amendment, this is what I mean. It is the Freedom of Thought, the choice to believe in whatever reasons you want to explain the "underlying order and harmony behind the universe."

I realize that many bad things have been done in the name of religion, but the same is true of any idea. I can't think of a single idea that is exempt from being abused and misused. Does that mean that all ideas should be discounted? Of course not. So why do so many people think that eliminating religion and religious thinking will accomplish anything?

The answer is, and it's so simple, respect for others' rights. Sure, you can think that you are right and everyone else is wrong. But when it comes to actions, we do not have unlimited freedom to trample all over everyone else's beliefs. You can tell people they are wrong, but you can't enforce or impose your own beliefs on them. You just have to agree to disagree. If everyone could do that there would be more peace.

What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?

The most fun one is that God created the universe. But would one consider that a conspiracy? Certainly it arises from a lot of individuals collectively believing in something, which to me is wonderful because it’s a wonderful point of departure for so many ways of thinking about things. I love the fact that you’ve got individuals such as myself trying to figure out the universe using math and equations. You’ve got other people trying to figure out the origins of the universe from philosophical concerns, others that are approaching it from a theological direction. My brother is a Hare Krishna, and for years every time we’ve had a breakthrough in physics I tell him about it and he says, “Oh, yes, we know of that. It’s in Vedic text number 16,” or something like that. To me it’s always difficult to make sense of the resonances between what you find in sacred texts and what we find in science, because often times it’s a similarity of language or a similarity of perspective — but they’re really not exactly the same by any stretch of the imagination. But I do find it compelling that human thought, trying to answer the same question how the universe began, brushes up against similar concepts [as science] now and then.


That's a funny way of putting it, as a "conspiracy theory."

I've thought a lot about how the religious and philosophical ideas about ourselves, our origins and universe began and evolved with our increasing knowledge. In many ways it probably seems like modern people are much smarter than ancient people. But I wonder if that's really true. There seems to be a difference between amount of knowledge and ability to reason. Humans have had this reasoning ability for a very long time. In the past I'm certain that some people had intuited basic Truths about our existence but were limited by their language and knowledge in how they explained it. That would explain how many sacred texts contain some of the 'same' information as recent scientific discoveries. They are just put into different terms and symbols. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The development of symbolic and religious thinking is one of the characteristics that separated us from the "apes". One of the "pillars of civilization."

I have never intended to sound like I put religion above science or "rationality." If anyone has thought that, then they simply haven't been paying attention or trying to understand me. I'm sorry if my communication isn't always clear and if that is the reason for any confusion. Anyway, if we use Greene's definition of religion, "unshakable sense that there is an underlying order and harmony behind the universe," you will realize that without it we never would have bothered to invent science at all. Science is the process of discovering that underlying order. Religion is the celebration of it.


Incidentally, a friend of mine has experienced a real and genuine miracle last week. I would like to explain it explicitly, but due to privacy concerns she really doesn't want me to talk about it. But allow me to say this much. What happened absolutely cannot be explained away unless you want to say that the best and most unexpected solution out of 10^500 jumped out and said, "Here I am!" ;-) Really and truly, and you just have to trust my judgment about it, the one thing that no one even imagined could happen did happen. The series of events leading up to it were so convoluted and uncertain that it seemed completely impossible. But as they say, in God all things are possible. Miracles really do happen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Where the Streets Have No Name

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future

Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band


It's never been a big secret that I am somewhat certifiably insane. I'm not ashamed in the same way that anyone with any other chronic condition should not be ashamed. Is Stephen Hawking ashamed of his condition? I don't know. I doubt it because he, like me, probably realizes that shame is a total waste of valuable mental energy. Some people might not like that comparison of Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) with mental illness, but in reality both are chronic conditions that affect the nerves and brain. And even with treatment, those with mental illness are never really "cured" just like they still have no cure for ALS. I find it a bit concerning that some illnesses gain a celebrity importance while others that are more prevalent and just as dangerous are left in the shadows, or where the streets have no name.

I could continue my rant about the history of mistreatment of mental illnesses and the continuing social disinterest and stigmas, but I'm not really up to giving a good enough rant at the moment. I've got some mental "house cleaning" to do.

It's been painfully apparent to me from my earliest social memories that I've not been like the "typical" females. Maybe it was an early sign of my later problems. I don't believe that it is a social conditioning problem. It must surely be some inherent, genetic trait. My sister is very much a "typical" female. We were raised in the same conditions so it doesn't follow that upbringing had anything to do with it. Incidentally, although we love each other very much, we do acknowledge that we are completely different and not always compatible. This has got to be because of my inability to "understand" typical female behaviors and thinking. Maybe it's a type of autism? ;-) After all, nowadays they say 1 in 166 kids are autistic, so why wouldn't that apply to adults too? (I don't "believe" in most of the new "epidemics" because the numbers of certain conditions aren't actually increasing. The rate of recognition and diagnosis is increasing.)

Well, anyway, there is one particular type of female that I've never been able to tolerate. That is the catty woman. (More modernly known as the female 'bully') My own definition of a catty woman is a woman who insults and picks on other women in ways that mostly only other women recognize. As you can read in some of the articles linked above, female bullies are often charming and clever so that they disguise their true natures, especially to males because they are so easily fooled by women. ;-) Well, I would consider it a somewhat "typical" female trait to consciously try to make oneself look better than she really is (especially to males). I think it is fair to say that one reason men aren't as perceptive of many female tactics is because their corpus callosum (not to be confused with Corpus Spongiosum or Cavernosum) are smaller which limits their ability to process social interactions.





Hey, maybe my corpus callosum is too small and that's why I have trouble with some women? I guess they don't make a magic pill for that since I don't ever get any spam emails offering some wonder drug or herbal supplement to "increase your corpus callosum by three inches!" If you ask me, that might be more beneficial to the world than a pill meant to increase the "corpus spongiosum (or cavernosum)" by three inches. ;-)

Where was I? It's hard to find your way when the streets have no name. (lol, yeah, that was pretty lame)

No really, what was I going to say? Was I finished about the catty women? I'm not sure, but I'll move along anyway. I am capable of engaging in catty behavior in response to someone being catty to me. Sometimes that is enough to stop them, but when it's not I'll just fight like a man. Life is too short to waste time verbally sparring with some catty bitch when really all it takes to shut her up is to "manhandle" her. Anyone of any gender who's ever been bullied knows that the only effective way of stopping a bully is to beat the crap out of them. That way you've taken all their power away. It might not be pretty, but if it works it's okay. And really, any bully who's dumb enough to pick another fight with someone who's beat them really needs to be beat again. ;-)

I'm aware that some people find this attitude distasteful and uncouth and offensive. Fine. Whatever works for you. But I'm betting that my approach is more effective. Oh, I just thought of something. You could compare female bully behavior to those who demand "political correctness" and other such totalitarian things. The "consensus" on global warming uses the same tactics as female bullies to try to discredit anyone who questions them. Maybe that will make it more understandable to men if I give examples like that. I would say, what's the difference in people doing that to each other's groups and individuals doing it to each other? It's all the same with the same end results. So it's despicable behavior regardless of how many people are involved.

Oh, yeah, and to some men, when a woman fights back like a man, they will mistakenly think that she is the bully and not the other one. They are the easily fooled and charmed guys with a really tiny corpus callosum. ;-) (As far as I know there is no correlation between callosum size and spongiosum/cavernosum size.)

You know, I really need to stop bringing up the spongiosum/cavernosum because it keeps making me lose my thoughts. ;-)

By the way, I'm fairly certain that perimenopause has begun and it feels exactly like being a teenager again. It's just like adolescence except in the other direction. Anyone who remembers a difficult adolescence should empathize.

I'm pretty sure I had more to say, but I'm getting hungry. Since my appetite has been bad lately I should eat. (was trying to think of some funny joke about sponge cake but ???)


Addendum: Very strange. Today must be "crazy movie day" on the cable movie channels. First I saw "Mad Love" (1995) with Drew Barrymore and then "Proof" (2005) with Gwyneth Paltrow. I hadn't seen either of them before and enjoyed both. "Proof" was especially interesting and it "hit home" in some non-trivial ways. One thing was that the sisters' relationship reflected much of what I wrote above about "typical" women and not "typical" ones. (Paltrow's sister character was the "typical" one.) But of course, no mathematical proofs are involved in my own personal issues, though if I had to pick something to try to prove it would be that God does exist. ;-)

Peyton Manning's Public Service




This video is especially funny to me since in this area Peyton Manning sits at the right hand of God, right next to Jesus. ;-) Seriously, he is a good guy and does deserve a lot of admiration. It's nice to see that he has a sense of humor too.

via Tayster's World

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ocean Pipes for Global Warming

Man, some people are even more whacked out and kooky than I am. This dude who's called a "Gaia guru" is suggesting putting "vertical pipes 100 to 200 metres long and 10 metres wide be placed in the sea, so that wave motion pumps up water and fertilises algae on the surface." Supposedly that will cause an algae bloom that will "push down carbon dioxide levels and also produce dimethyl sulphide, helping to seed sunlight-reflecting clouds." Wow. Some people just have way too much time on their hands for thinking up such ridiculous things. Yeah, I have to wonder if they've even considered that it might harm lots of other organisms in the process. And how are they going to make sure that the bloom is a beneficial one and not a harmful one? If this guy really is a guru of the Gaia theory he seems like an abusive type. I mean, if I was Gaia I don't think I'd like a bunch of giant pipes messing up my normal flows just because some man thinks it's a good idea. This guy doesn't love and respect Gaia. He wants to control her. That's not love. And that's not protection either. Of course, all of us dieites (I'm speaking for Mother Nature), especially female ones, appreciate being protected, cherished, honored, and otherwise worshipped ;-), but we don't want any "gurus" who want us to behave the way they think we should. I hope Gaia gives that man a taste of his own medicine and rams some pipes up his a$$. Amen, go in Peace, and have a nice day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Most Visited Posts

Sorry for no new meaningful posts recently. Life is pretty hectic right now and my energy is getting spent elsewhere. But I've been noting from my statcounter what posts are most visited, generally from search engines. I don't have them ranked in any particular order.

Protected vs Unprotected Speech (April 2006) A timeless subject.

Even More Equal (Feb. 2007) mostly from image searches for "pig"

It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature (July 2006) People looking for the old commercial.

Sex Sells: Olive Oil (August 2007) Man, I had no idea so many people would be searching some combination of "olive oil" and "sex".

Birthday Verses (November 2006) Although I don't have exact numbers this one seems to be the most visited of all.

Inspiring Lyrics (August 2006) A very popular song.

Whisker Biscuits and Stuff (Nov. 2005) Must be a lot of bow-hunters around.

Very Cute Car (June 2007) GM should send me some money.

Tree of Life (June 2006) Mostly searches about lemon songs and bugs on lemon trees.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Free Speech and Thanking Jesus

I've just learned of the controversial "thank you" speech that Kathy Griffin made at the Emmys.



Then I watched a gooberly video made by a boy who says he "hates conservative white men" and defends Griffin's "free speech" to say "Suck it Jesus" on TV and further explains that he doesn't see what the big deal is and blah, blah, blah. He's complaining about the "censorship" of her remarks and encourages people to sign some kind of petition and lots of other liberalish gibberish. He basically is complaining about the "free speech" rights of those who found her comments offensive and expressed their offense. (God forbid anyone should ever say anything offensive to a liberal or atheist!) He's complaining that her "militant atheist religion" is being criticized. Well, welcome to the club of persecution, dude.

You know, I fully realize that Kathy Griffin is a comedian and she tries to be funny and many times humor is found in the offensive. Okay, fine. But on national network TV there are standards of decency and things that aren't allowed to be said. I'm pretty sure that "Goddamn" isn't allowed, so "Suck it Jesus" is about the same thing or maybe even a little worse. Sure, people can say that it's silly to censor language on TV, but when protecting the rights of everyone we sometimes must place some limits on our own freedom. When will people realize this very basic fact?

I'm no "holy roller" or whatever, though I do have a "personal relationship" with what I can call God. If that is enough to offend a liberal or atheist then they are extremely immature and stupid. Similar to that boy in the video, I don't see what's so offensive to atheists when someone expresses thanks to God or Jesus. Why should they even care? See, that argument can be flipped around on the liberals too.

It's so unfortunate that these "militant atheists" cannot accept that freedom goes both ways. They have the choice to believe or not, just like everyone else has that choice. By belittling and berating those who choose differently from them, they are revealing just how narrow-minded and illogical they really are.

I really don't have a problem with atheists or liberals as long as they don't go around expecting special treatment or privileges. I can respect their rights and choice of beliefs, or lack thereof, as long as they can respect mine. But I've noticed that generally (not always, but too often), atheists (and liberals) don't, can't, and/or won't respect the choices of others. And true and unfortunate enough, the same can be said about most people and that is why it's sometimes necessary to limit freedoms to prevent chaos. (I think that might be some kind of natural law or something.) ;-)

Anyway, thanks to God and Jesus and Allah and Whatever for the opportunity to say these things. ;-)



And no, I haven't given up all pork. Only unhealthy pork from substandard and contaminated pigstys. ;-)

Alive and Kicking

Friday, September 14, 2007

Toolshed Blues

To Whom It May Concern,

Every so often in life we come to a crossroads and have to choose which direction to go. Sometimes people make deals with the Devil at crossroads. I don't know the Devil, and I might not know him if I saw him. Nobody's offering me any deals anyway. I'm all on my own here.

For some time now this old hoe's been feeling pretty rusty and useless. Maybe it's time to close up the old toolshed.

Maybe Vicious Momma has run her course. The scenery is starting to get a little boring and uninspired.

As a parting gift, or consolation prize, here's a nice blues video:



Led Zeppelin performing Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby"

God, that's so good it hurts deep down inside...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Trash to Treasure: Or Let There Be Light 2

I sometimes have delusions of Godliness. ;-)

In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, "Let there be light" -- and light appeared. God was pleased with what he saw.

Genesis 1: 1-4 (Today's English Version)


Indulge me and allow me to say that so far science has not yet falsified the above passage. The "earth" was really and truly formless and desolate until the light came. That raging ocean engulfed in total darkness was the primordial stuff from which the universe "banged" ;-) and maybe it was even what we now call a black hole. No scientist has yet identified what stimulus, or "power of God", made the light first appear or caused that raging ocean of darkness to change and produce light (and matter).

Well, anyway, I've been turning trash into "shabby chic" lamps again. Because she knew I have a thing for old lamps and junk, friend brought me some lamp parts that some old lady was going to throw away. I made three lights from those parts plus a lamp base I already had.

I've had this cherub lamp base since I was in college. It used to be a regular lamp with a shade, but the kids destroyed the shade a while back. So I put the glass hurricane globe on it. Instead of wiring it there is a tea light candle that fits perfectly in the thing that holds the globe. It would be very easy to go back and wire it for a bulb later if I ever decide to do that.







Here is also a picture of it with the candle lit, but the picture isn't too good because of its soft glow.







Then I made two candlestick style lights from the other lamp parts. I gave one to my friend who brought me the parts, and here is the other one. They were almost exactly alike, except the one I gave her had a marble base and a bigger candle part. Both had the amber beaded bulb covers that make a nice design when turned on. These are fully wired and electrified, and not true candles. ;-) The pictures above are of the same lamp, one turned off and one turned on.


To see my other light creations:
Trash to Treasure: Or Let There Be Light 1 (2005)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Boomsday Highlights 1



Part of the 22 minute fireworks show, Boomsday, in downtown Knoxville on Sept. 2, 2007, watched from a boat on the Tennessee River.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Singular Thoughts

Here are some thoughts that I can't or won't elaborate (at the moment):

Sometimes I consider that my cyclical haunting (hormonal shifts) might be manifested in some other dimension or universe as a poltergeist, or maybe even a demon.


I am a jealous god.


I cannot coexist with toxic people and that is why I'm reclusive.


It is natural and expected that we, as products of our Universe, would have a large percentage of ourselves that is "dark" (unknown and unidentifiable).


For any theory (of physics or anything else) to be true it must be consistent with my existence, and that is the Rae Annthropic Principle. ;-)


I think the correct answer is 4. Three is nice, but the Trinity is powerless without the observer to see any movement, and if there is no movement it doesn't really matter anyway.


In school, I always faked being good at math.

Led For Your Head



Bonzo's Montreux.

John Bonham, the drummer of Led Zeppelin, who died at the age of 32 due to alcoholism (suffocated on his own vomit after drinking excessively all day), was arguably the greatest rock drummer ever. It's so sad that such a talent didn't respect himself enough to take better care himself. I don't know much about drumming and percussion, but it does amaze me listening to this song that someone could hold so many different rhythms in his head at the same time. And could reproduce them on the drums. At the same time.

Well, my eleven year old made percussion in the school band. Thirty-six kids tried out for drums, but only eight were selected. He's very musically talented and could have played any instrument he wanted, but like many young boys he really digs the drums. ;-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Communist Capitalism and Other Ignorances

China

Mattel is having to recall even more made in China toys, announced yesterday. (sorry no link, but I'm not the only person who knows how to google) Again, this recall mostly involves lead paint. You see, this is what happens when communists try capitalism. They suck!! And of course, China is trying to blame Mattel, other American companies, and the American consumers for causing them to use lead paint. Hello? Is China run by a bunch of two year olds? Listen, if you're doing business and your customer wants you to do something that you can't afford, you don't agree to it and give them toxic or defective products, etc. The way capitalism works is that you negotiate with your customers to protect your own profit while still being trustworthy and honorable. Capitalism won't work in the absence of trust between customer and supplier. Capitalism isn't like communism where everyone is told what to do and there is no argument. ;-)

And don't for one second even consider that China has a case against America and its consumers because they are smart enough to know that Mattel is a huge account to win. And don't even think that China wasn't telling Mattel all kinds of bullshit to win that account. China was making all kinds of promises they knew they couldn't and wouldn't keep just to get Mattel's business. Mattel isn't the bad guy here. Not that Mattel doesn't have some responsibility either, but the bulk of the blame must go to China and its unethical, communist business practices. If China really wants to be a big player in the world economy they are going to have to learn to play by the rules.

Lotteries

I just read a comment implying that Americans are statistically challenged and part of the evidence for that was the example of lotteries. On the surface that might look like an okay statement, but it's not. It reveals an ignorance of some aspects of lottery play. One is that the chances of winning some amount of money on scratch-offs is pretty high actually. People win small amounts (single digits up to thousands of dollars) very frequently, and I know some people who make a pretty decent bonus from their lotto play. Are they just lucky? I don't think so. I think that some of them have a natural talent with probabilities and statistics and managing risk. But just because they aren't employed as statisticians or aren't high falutin academics doesn't mean that they are dumb.

A second point of contention is that this person called lotteries "taxes for the numerically disabled" which is insulting as well as wrong. They are NOT taxes because they are voluntarily played games of chance. I don't get to flip a coin to decide whether or not I have to pay my income taxes or property taxes or sales taxes or any other taxes. Lotteries are NOT taxes. And to call people "numerically disabled" is purely prejudiced hatred of lower income and less educated people. I hate to burst any overblown bubbles (well, I don't really hate it), but just because someone is of a "lower" social class does not mean that they are poor or uneducated or stupid. Some people really just want simple, honest lives without all the affectations and pretense of a "higher class" life. I really hate snobbery and pretense in whatever forms they take.

Well, that's all the rant for now, but I might return to add more as this shitty day continues. I'm not feeling well and the world should be happy that I'm not a super-human because today I might turn my powers against anyone who annoys, disappoints, or otherwise pisses me off. Thank you. :-)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sex Sells: Olive Oil


Click image for enlargement.

This is an honest-to-God real ad that appeared on page 204 of the August 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I only scanned it and did not alter it at all.

"Discover the secret ingredient Italian chefs don't want you to dip into," it says.

Extra Virgin olive oil with "rich taste" is apparently this "secret." (The best secrets are the ones you share with someone you love.)

Well, of course, we are supposed to think, "Oh, yes, bread dipped in a nice extra virgin olive oil does taste good." But surely the art director in charge of creating this ad realized that their bread looks like a huge penis. Are we also to conclude that penises dipped in extra virgin olive oil taste good too? ;-)

Maybe there's something going on that I'm unaware. Do men use extra virgin olive oil as a lubricant when stroking their breadsticks? Maybe they should? Olive oil is supposed to be good for your skin, as well as your heart and tastebuds. All natural and healthy, smooth and delicious. How can you go wrong?

(I wonder if Bertolli sales are going to experience a sudden increase now.) ;-)


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For those who don't cook much or know much about olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is the premium grade because it's from the first pressing of the olives and retains the best flavor.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Little Birdie Told Me


It seems that my presence in the pig sty has been greatly missed to the point that they are imagining a whole spectrum of me. Well, if the pig wasn't such a filthy pig he would easily free his sad readers of their delusions. Sorry little piggies, but it really hasn't been me gracing the pig sty. And I'm sure the big pig CIP knows the truth.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho, Green Giant!

We have had our first casuality in heroes attempting to meet the challenge proposed in my previous post. The Jolly Green Giant has tried and failed.



I really didn't mean to emasculate him, but maybe because of his advanced age his fruits were probably about to fall off anyway. I guess the heat was too much for him.

Well, in memory of the Green Giant's (he's not so Jolly anymore) younger and more intact and virile days, here is a commercial from 1970:




Actually, maybe the feminists will say that I'm a hero for making the Jolly Green Giant pay for all those cans of niblets. ;-)

Besides, It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Please accept my apologies. I'm afraid that the recent heat wave of record-breaking proportions (by one or two degrees in reality) is entirely my fault. No, it's not because I drive an SUV approximately 32 miles a day. ;-) The real reason is because I am absolutely burning up inside and all that heat has to go somewhere or it might literally cook my insides. This is probably some pre-menopausal red giant phase which will eventually end in collapse into a smaller, cooler white dwarf phase. So just bear with me as we all suffer through it. It won't last forever. I'm not sure if there is any way of "stopping" it or reducing its intensity. Perhaps we should set a challenge, in the tradition of fairy tale heroes, to find a solution to redirect or absorb this heat? Please feel free to offer suggestions, except to kill me because that wouldn't work anyway since that would cause me to blow up into a supernova and destroy everything. ;-)

Thanks for your understanding. And really, I am terribly sorry for all this discomfort and am wishing for some real relief soon.

Sincerely,

Rae Ann aka Vicious Momma

Friday, August 24, 2007

Matters of Faith

Some of the buzz today has been about revelations of Mother Teresa's spiritual struggles. It seems that everyone is so surprised about it. But really, wouldn't it be even more surprising, and possibly disturbing, to learn that she never had doubts and struggles with her faith? She was human after all.

In some scientific circles it's even being considered that she was some sort of closet atheist. I guess that reaction is understandable when so many of those people consider calling something "religion" is the ultimate insult because it implies blindly accepting things despite any contradictory evidence. Perhaps Mother Teresa can minister to them even after her death by showing them that even the most faithful of religious people don't always blindly accept things without question. Wouldn't you imagine that scientists would recognize that already if they are so smart and logical? But I guess even they can confuse faith and certainty.*

My point here is not to bash atheists or scientists though. My point is to say that the lesson in Mother Teresa's struggles is that we all are human with the same emotional, intellectual, and spiritual conflicts regardless of how we label them. And her example clearly illustrates what our relationships with God are supposed to look like. If we never question things we never learn and grow. God knows that and that is why we have our minds and souls anyway. God wants us to evolve, not just physically but also spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and socially.

I think that it's entirely possible that Mother Teresa suffered some depressive stages in her life. She was a woman, and we women do go through stages in our lives that can affect us in every possible way. At the time of her publicized "crises of faith" she was past her reproductive years, and I must wonder if she had some sadness about not living the fullest possible life as a woman. Yes, I know that her relationship with God was utmost and her service to humanity was her "calling." But she was also fully human and could not exactly escape all the human needs.

This is where I think the Catholic Church has gone way off track in their teachings. I just don't believe in celibacy. It's not normal, and it's not necessary to be celibate in order to have a deep, meaningful relationship with God. I think God wants us to fully experience our humanity and the bodies and minds that we have. God does not think that sex is dirty or sinful. Why in the world would God 'create' sex and require it for our own reproduction (creation of new life) if it was a bad thing?

Of course, this is only some twisted kind of psychological 'thought experiment', but I wonder, how would Mother Teresa's views, thoughts, feelings, faith, and so on have changed if she had ever experienced the total physical union of love with a man? And by extension, how would those things have changed if she had born children from such a union? Surely she would have recognized the divinity incarnate in deep human love and reproduction. And the darkness that seemed to torment her might have been lightened by her appreciation of the power of the human body to celebrate God and Creation in that way.

Certainly, all the suffering and poverty that she saw in the world would challenge even the strongest faith. It can be hard not to ask why God allows such things in the world. But perhaps that's like asking why we must crap. It's just the world working according to the "Natural laws" prescribed by God. Why would God want to go around breaking the Laws of Nature? That wouldn't teach us anything but confusion. If you had created a Universe would you go around messing it up with random changes? Well, I wouldn't. I'd want to watch how it grew and evolved without my interference.

But that's not to say that God has abandoned us and the Universe. God is always here/there for us. Although we are "separate" from God in some sense, He has provided us with ways of being closer to Him. I'm sure that Mother Teresa knew these things intellectually. And it's perfectly acceptable that doubts about this truth entered her mind.

It would have been fascinating to meet and talk with her.


* On further thought, I'm afraid that paragraph sounds a little too crotchety. I certainly didn't intend for it to come across that way. Apologies about that.