Friday, December 31, 2004

Almost 2005

Happy New Year !!!

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past. (Irish Toast)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

As the next storm moves in

With a little sunshine illuminating parts of the mountains, you can see more of the San Gabriels and snow on the very top of some not so distant peaks. I had a Libra indecisiveness about leaving the backside of the school in the picture. I am too short to get the City/County fence out of the way.

Which reminds me of how imprisoned I felt when they gated and put up tall wrought iron fencing all round the condo property. Fences have their usefulness, but I like open spaces much better.

I did figure out how to upload a better image quality this time, I think??? Perhaps now I can work on improving the quality of the photographer.

On another note, my family comes home tomorrow- and it is likely to be raining again by then.

Sun was out

I was going to go for a walk and see if there were any pictures worth capturing. The sun was out and it looked like the main part of the day was going to be a pretty break between storms. Alas, the sun is now hiding behind clouds, the color is going out of the day and though there is still bits of some brilliant blue peeking out from behind white and grey clouds, it is growing cold and dark again. I might walk to the mailbox and back, but I think I will skip wandering around the fringes of our neighborhood.

Maybe more later... I have to keep finding ways to procrastinate cleaning or working.

Two for Thursday

Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
-- Arthur Schopenhauer

There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
-- James Thurber

from Quotes of the Day for December 30, 2004

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New find

beFrank: a local news cameraman with some interesting commentary and shots. I might even put his site in the blogroll, most definitely it is going into bloglines. Both the writing and pics are worth a visit.

Thanks for the heads up go to LABlogs.

Tsunami Relief

Tsunami Relief

Still raining

The doppler shows heavy rain just a few miles away in the foothills to the southeast and west, while the sun tried to peek out a few times in between the gentle rain drops here. I have a pond where my deck area used to be, a wet staircase landing from a window frame leak (cumulative prior earthquake damage is my guess), and the mountains are covered with clouds, including those I could still see for a while, yesterday.

There are more storm cells on the way, but Mother Nature's fury last night is nothing compared to the tragedy in all the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.

Soon we will need an ark

We have had just about everything today and tonight--hail, wind, tornados, flash flooding, street flooding and road closures (plus cars stranded in all the usual places and some that aren't), landslides, snow at higher elevations and rain, rain and more rain. The rain totals for this storm are over 4 inches (when I last checked this afternoon) and climbing. This is a really big (and loud) storm without many breaks.

It seems like good weather for staying in and snuggling.... if I had a partner to snuggle with.
;-) At any rate, I don't plan on going anywhere.

One of the questions floating around LA is if the fifty year record of 'no rain on the Rose Parade' will be broken. I wonder what the Vegas odds are?

Ooops, the power is wavering again, so I ought to have my flashlight close at hand. If I am going to post this, I better do it now, just in case.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

During a lull in the storm



The San Gabriels are hidden from view by the clouds, except for the little parts surrounding our tiny valley. I can normally see through the canyon to the higher elevations beyond- nothing but mountains for as far as the eye can see.

I am playing with new toys. I had to decrease size and resolution to upload these. I will have to work on figuring all of this out, to be able to even attempt to share what I see.

"Do not let your fire go out"

I haven't had time, or energy? or something (I need a swift kick) to do more than quick check of a few of the blogs/people in my blogroll. My bloglines notifier says I have 3184 new items to read. Whiskey River is one of those blogs I try to check several times a week, but somehow missed this on Monday. So often I find the right thing at the right moment or the right new tangent to think about when I visit. Monday's entry was no exception. It spoke to me as I am sure it did to many others.

" "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."
- Ayn Rand "

Whiskey River, December 27

Monday, December 27, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 99-A

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. holiday:: hope everyone had and is having a good one
  2. fault:: zone, earthquake style
  3. beep:: indicating message, timer for food finished, camera is ready
  4. bubble:: bath, and/or champagne
  5. needle:: sewing, needlepoint, embroidery; in a haystack
  6. fare:: train, bus, plane; food offered
  7. treat:: a piece of peanut butter fudge in one hand, chocolate fudge with macadamia nuts in the other
  8. express:: say, hopefully with kindness
  9. webcam:: want one, but I also want a jane jetson style videophone camouflage/beauty mask for those times when I might turn on the cam but haven't yet done the neatly dressed, hair and makeup routine
  10. capital:: smashing, first rate; oh yeah and the seat of government which often does things that aren't

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, December 24, 2004

In between making food and pretty packages

I am not Christian in the literal sense, though many if not most of the teachings of Jesus are incorporated into my personal philosophy. My family, even my extended family, is of many spiritual and religious beliefs- with no single one in the majority. But we celebrate on or around December 25th by gathering with family. With family stretched from coast to coast in at least seven different states, we never see everyone in any given year. We make a few donations, exchange a few gifts, gather with family in one location and spend time on the telephone with those far away.

This holiday has meant the three of us together for as long as we have been three, but this year my son and husband will be with part of the family on the East Coast. They are leaving very early on Christmas day and I will stay in California. Selfishly, I am full of conflicting emotions about that, including some remaining sense of disbelief about the way it was all arranged. It is difficult not to ascribe several different layers of less than charitable intent and meaning to the various players in how this came about, but I am trying to simply accept what will not now be changed. A touch of nostalgia has me remembering bits and pieces of the celebrations over the past twenty-one years and attempting to reflect on why it all matters to me- the holiday and the gathering of family.

One of the smaller pieces of this reflection is below.

When my son was young, Santa Claus came in the middle of the night to deliver some of the presents. And though he is older, Santa still brings some of the gifts- with a wink and a smile, of course. As he grew older (but still in elementary school) we had many discussions about the meanings of Christmas and other holidays of this season. I explained to him that various religions have an end of the year tradition of some sort, close to the winter solstice. Each year for many years I would help him discover one or two of either the customs or meanings behind various different celebrations. He doesn't remember many, but he does remember that there are many reasons and ways of celebrating. It is enough I think, that I helped him see a larger world view and inoculate him against the commercialism that surrounds this time of year. More importantly perhaps, is his understanding that tolerance, generosity and kindness are not limited to only one season.

Wishing Peace, Joy
and Happiness to All!


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Much too often

"When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
~Cynthia Ozick

Monday, December 20, 2004

Change and an unrelated? note on two books

This resonates with me a bit:
"Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better." -Sydney J. Harris

I have been reading two books in bits and pieces .. .and strangely or not so strangely (since I chose both books in a psychological/spiritual/understanding sort of quest), they are slightly different sides of the same thing- one is about connecting with the power of intention, and the other is about harnessing the power of coincidence. The overall theme of the books is connecting to soul, to spirit, to the universal, to the collective and individual- connecting to the flow of all and all things falling into place, coming into/being in your life as or in exactly the moment they are meant/needed.

I am not sure I completely understand either Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra as they discuss these things, but they both are talking about similar concepts. It occurred to me that Dyer is western with a slight eastern approach and Chopra is eastern with a western approach.. or something like that. Their early respective indoctrinations of culture/philosophy seem to play a role in their interpretations. Not so surprisingly, meditation plays a large role in the "prescriptions" from both men.

More later as I digest it all. A new word for me, from Deepak Chopra- synchrodestiny.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Positive Reinforcement

"Once in a century a man may be ruined or made insufferable by praise. But surely once in a minute something generous dies for want of it." -John Masefield

I ran across the quote while cleaning out my inbox. Remembering to notice and acknowledge the little good things that people (strangers and those who aren't) do for each other every day can bring some surprising and happy results. We spend much more time noticing what's wrong and complaining loudly about it, and not near enough time noticing and praising what is right. It doesn't hurt or diminish us in any manner to let someone else know that what they do, even when it's their job, is appreciated. That's a little leftover advice from my behavioral psych classes and probably from everyone's mother in the form of the "mind your manners, be polite and kind" admonitions.

And on another note, my pocket is $50 dollars more empty, but I have ten days worth of large doses of antibiotic and two or three weeks worth of inhaled steroid to see me through the holidays. Hopefully both will start making a difference quickly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Lost but not completely

I am battling an illness (actually more like trying desperately to ignore it and collapsing at the end of every day) plus trying to keep up with the clients and hours that I waited so long to be assigned, and trying to do holiday things in between. Fitting in seeing the doctor is next or rather hoping that the doctor has some way to fit me in.

Amusement and things to think about from Quotes of the Day (variety of dates):

Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source. -- Ron Nesen

Some people have so much respect for their superiors they have none left for themselves. -- Peter McArthur

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. -- Aldous Huxley

Back soon, I hope.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's a start (biodegradable plastic with a little extra twist)

Scientists Make Phone That Turns Into a Sunflower (AMSTERDAM, Reuters)
"Scientists said on Monday they have come up with a cell phone cover that will grow into a sunflower when thrown away.

Materials company Pvaxx Research & Development, at the request of U.S.-based mobile phone maker Motorola , has come up with a polymer that looks like any other plastic, but which degrades into soil when discarded.

Researchers at the University of Warwick in Britain then helped to develop a phone cover that contains a sunflower seed, which will feed on the nitrates that are formed when the polyvinylalcohol polymer cover turns to waste.

"It's a totally biodegradable and non-toxic plastic," said Pvaxx spokesman Peter Morris. ... "

I like the direction the thinking is going. If you can't get folks to recycle, then make it all turn into something that doesn't harm the environment. Of course this is just the cover and probably the least harmful of all of it... but it's a start.

Monday, December 06, 2004

One down, one to go

I finished one final exam and have one more to take on Thursday to end the quarter. Tonight's exam was on Medical Aspects. I might have done as well as I did on the midterm, or slightly less well, even though I studied more. My brain froze on some silly things and it froze on some more important things.

Strangely or not so strangely perhaps, while taking the test I could "see" some of the notes I typed out, with only some of the details missing. By accident five weeks ago, I found that I remember more of the obscure details by typing out the notes (after hearing the lecture and taking written notes, plus reading the texts). It hits that combination of learning styles that works best for me. But I probably should have also read them outloud and/or taped them. That part is something I will remember for the master's degree comprehensive exams coming up in a year or so.

Mistakes and all, I am pretty sure I passed with at least a "B".

When I got home, several books I ordered were waiting. One of them is Wayne Dyer's "The Power of Intention". Another is Deepak Chopra's "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire", and another is by Harriet Lerner, "Fear and Other Uninvited Guests". There are a couple more, plus I still have a sci fi novel to read. If I weren't going to be so busy after finals, the next week would be spent entirely on pleasure reading!

I will probably still steal some moments to read in between everything else. I will call it "me" time- something I try not to do without.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Freezing in California

A couple of notes and a quote to post:

I am wrapping up everything in preparation for finals next week. I have to make corrections on one more paper (that has already been graded; an "A", thank you very much) and I will be finished with everything academic, except tests.The campus computer systems, now correctly show my grad student status and also the official date that I completed my B.S. If I get the financial aid problems sorted out, then everything bureaucratic will be mostly finished too.

It's been very chilly at night, especially in the Foothills. I think it was down to 32 degrees on Monday night.

The quote that struck my eye for today: "Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence." -- Henrik Tikkanen
From Quotes of the Day for November 21, 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 96

A little late...
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Limited time only:: sale or marketing come on
  2. Voluptuous:: ample curves
  3. Nutritionist:: expert knowledge of healthy eating
  4. Belt:: tighten
  5. Star crossed:: bad luck
  6. Snakeskin:: patterns
  7. Athlete’s foot:: yucky
  8. Boom:: increase
  9. Freezer:: food
  10. Store hours:: closed on holidays in good years; open on holidays in lean years
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 96

A little late...
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Limited time only:: sale or marketing come on
  2. Voluptuous:: ample curves
  3. Nutritionist:: expert knowledge of healthy eating
  4. Belt:: tighten
  5. Star crossed:: bad luck
  6. Snakeskin:: patterns
  7. Athlete’s foot:: yucky
  8. Boom:: increase
  9. Freezer:: food
  10. Store hours:: closed on holidays in good years; open on holidays in lean years
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving Weekend in the U.S.

"Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise--then you will discover the fullness of your life."
-Brother David Steindl-Rast (from Belief net inspiration mailing)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of laughter and love.

We got back from Fallbrook on Friday night. I confess to needing to reframe things. From a purely selfish mode, I am still wondering (only for a few moments) if the gathering together was worth the recovery time for the severe sleep deficits I incurred. Some new strange twists were added to the traditional aspects. But from a people observational mode, it was interesting to watch the dynamics and I always enjoy visiting with my sister. In some ways we grow more alike as we age. In others, we might as well have been raised on other planets.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Counseling Goals

I especially liked this definition and counseling goals from my practicum class.
"COUNSELING DEFINED: Counseling can be defined as an interaction in which the counselor focuses on client experience, client feeling, client thought and client behavior with the intentional responses to acknowledge, to explore, or to challenge.

COUNSELING GOALS: Counseling has specific goals, the first of which is to facilitate awareness. This is achieved by keeping the focus on the client, acknowledging feelings, experience and behavior. By exploring feelings and behavior and future options, the second counseling goal, healthy decision making, can be maximized. Further exploration and challenging can lead to the third goal of counseling, appropriate action, resulting in more fulfilling personal and social functioning."
From Basic Counseling Responses, 1999, James Hutchinson Haney and Jacqueline Leibsohn (Seattle University), Brooks/Cole Publishing.

Facilitate awareness
Maximize healthy decision making
Leading to appropriate action
Resulting in more fulfilling personal and social functioning

Of course they gloss over and almost avoid the part where I believe the client's values and goals should determine what constitutes appropriate action and fulfilling personal and social functioning. I don't have the answers, only sometimes I see a way to assist someone else in finding their answers or maybe at least help in finding and clarifying their questions. And those two things go a long way towards "maximizing healthy decision making leading to appropriate action" which can result in "more fulfilling personal and social functioning".

Re-reading Berne

I've been re-reading my Berne books (Transactional Analysis, Eric Berne, M.D). In "What do you say after you say hello", I am in the section where he is talking about programming- where we get the scripts, script controls and the counterscripts, etc. According to Berne, we usually get our script patterns from the parent of the same sex and the script controls from the parent of the opposite sex. There are a lot of other things of course, including that you can get scripts and counterscripts from the same parent, and there are more dynamics to this including which parts of which parent are giving us the scripts, controls and counterscripts, but before he goes into more detail he says this:

"The Fortune Cookie Theory of human living says that each child gets to pull two cookies from the family bowl: one square and one jagged. The square one is a slogan, such as "Work hard!" or "Stick with it!" while the jagged one is a scripty joker, such as "Forget your homework," "Act clumsy," or "Drop dead." Between the two, unless he throws them away, his life style and his final destiny are written."

I'm for throwing away those cookies and choosing ones of our own. But I am wondering if we are ever sure we got rid of all the crumbs?

Monday, November 22, 2004

and a Monday comes

"Service is the rent you pay for room on this planet." -Shirley Chisholm

"Memory is a child walking along the seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things." -Pierce Harris

from Belief net mailings

No time for a full post, but these two quotes caught my eye as I was trying to get through some of my email.

Two weeks are left in the quarter and then final exams to finish up. I am slowly drowning in papers to revise, projects to finish up and a sudden increase in actual paid work, along with reading that I am behind on, which must be done very soon. This post is more like a little cry in the dark- I am still here, don't forget me. Or maybe it is a plea for sympathy. ;-)

Sympathy is one of those things that seems smarmy for me to ask for or even hint at, yet usually makes me feel better when received. I wonder if the feelings (mine) associated with asking for sympathy or complaining "too much" have anything to do with a cultural or even familial sort of "suck it up" or "people are starving in_ fill in the blank_' attitude instilled early on?

Memories, even those negative ones, or maybe especially those negative ones, encoded with a child's special twist of interpretation- are powerful.

edited to make it more clear that it is my feelings about complaining and asking for sympathy that I am talking about, not others. I have always found it easier to concentrate on, sympathize with and even empathize with others, rather than to give myself the same consideration.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 94

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Reconnect:: with nature; with a special person; with friends from the past; join again
  2. Gearshiift:: small car, with a four or five speed manual transmission, rack and pinion steering, driving a nicely paved mountain road with S curves and turns... ah, yes... woman and machine as one unit; big smiles. The Camry's nice, but sometimes I miss my Opel. She had slightly better gas mileage too.
  3. Mania:: crazed response
  4. Manhattan:: never been... recovered?
  5. First date:: long ago, parents drove us
  6. District:: of Columbia
  7. Yearbook:: ughhhhhh... my picture was horrible
  8. Breakup:: had a few
  9. Episode:: one of a series of events
  10. Costume:: something some people put on every day along with a persona, as in work costume, play costume, exercise costume, etc.
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Rat in an exercise wheel

Ever have days where everything seemed to require attention at once and everything you fixed would pop up again with a new twist?

I am having a series of those days.

I know that it feels that way in large part, because I am not noticing the things that are going right. But even knowing that it is my perception, doesn't seem to stop those new twists on the old problems coming from all directions. It feels a bit like a rat in an exercise wheel going no place fast.

When things are like this, my first impulse isn't to keep running in circles. My first impulse is to go to sleep and hope that it is all different when I wake up. But the rational part of me knows that none of it will go away that easily, and so I keep plugging away, hoping that the next turn will be one that leads to some progress, instead of spinning around again.


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 93

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Childhood:: not long enough
  2. Ransom:: King's
  3. Melissa:: know a couple
  4. Trust me:: two responses come to mind. The second is that I don't recall anyone who was trustworthy ever saying that to me.
  5. Report:: factual account
  6. Give up:: different than let go.
  7. Nightgown:: hmmm.. nothing PG-13 comes to mind
  8. Smokes:: pipe
  9. Cookies & cream:: ice cream? These two things aren't really linked in my mind; cookies makes me think of peanut butter cookies and milk or chocolate chip cookies and milk; cream only makes me think of baking pies or of whipped cream.
  10. Gameshow:: dislike them all, not quite as much as reality shows but a very close second
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, November 12, 2004


"Now my journey has been long and filled with many experiences. My future in this body form grows shorter. The pace of time moves very quickly, and I want to make the most of it. When I was a child, the milestones I counted were the number of years that I had lived, and the future seemed boundless. Now that the limits draw near, I reckon time by how much is left.

Yes, time is all I have, and yet I do not have it either. I cannot possess this moment because it is mercurial and constantly in motion. It is as Einstein said: "For us believing physicists, this separation between past, present, and future has the value of mere illusion, however tenacious."

It is easy to become a time miser or a time squanderer, but I am warned by the words of Thoreau: "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." I do not wish to be like the man Kierkegaard told of, who was so busy all of his life that he did not know he was alive until he died. I want to "use" my time wisely. That hour of play that my mother gave me as a child seemed endless. Now, the hours go before I know it. The months, years, decades go by. The young can afford to waste time; the old hold on to it. I want only to savor it - to move in its flow both carefully and trustingly."
From Flying Without Wings. Arnold R. Beisser, M.D. (1988) (pg 13, special reprint edition, permission of Doubleday) (ISBN: 0385247702)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bits and trivia

Tuesday, I upgraded from Mozilla Firefox pre-release 1.0 to the official released 1.0 version and along with that added several extensions, including a Google Bar with all the bells and whistles and a "Blog This! button. There are a couple of things that the updated/upgraded one is doing that weren't occuring before, such as a link at the top of a page that is right clicked, goes off the screen with the options, including the 'open in a new tab' or 'open in a new window' choices. I can get around that in various ways, so no big deal. Whatever changes were made between when I downloaded the preview and downloaded the fully released version seem to slow it down just a little bit (but it could be Norton and not Firefox). But, overall, I am still very, very pleased with it.

Compared to MSIE, there is no contest. I would like a little more control over certain security aspects, but if you haven't tried it, you should.

My old version of Norton Internet Security expired in October, so I purchased the newest version of Norton Internet Security with NAV and Antispam. BIG mistake. It broke dozens of programs and/or gives me hassles with dozens of the rest, so it isn't worth it to me. It might be great for large companies or bigger machines than mine or something. I trust Symantec, but this product isn't for me. I am having trouble in setting up various parts of it. It recognizes me as "supervisor", but keeps telling me that I am not authorized to make changes (though it goes ahead and makes the changes at least on the screens that check status) and other error messages. It won't run an automatic nightly scan, and numerous other little glitches that suggest my downloaded copy from Symantec was not a good one. It also uses a huge amount of memory. I wrote to their tech support two days after I installed it. I am still waiting to hear from them. So I am going to download their shredder and ask for my money back. I want just NAV- a copy that works. I have other security software on the machine that can take care of the rest.

Final note of real trivia that has nothing to do with computer programs. I am a West Wing fan and was distressed at the seeming twists in the new season. I couldn't see a brand new person working in the role of the major character they were going to replace.

Tonight's episode made things all right. CJ is a good choice. I realized belatedly that it is in syndication all over the world including Australia and the UK. Since they are viewing or about to view, season 4 I think, I don't suppose I should spoil the things to come by talking about season 6. ;-)

added 05/05/05: If you are looking for more current information on Firefox, you will find a summary and link of every post I have made to date about the various versions of Firefox, any installation problems and my solutions; and within some of those posts are links to specific Firefox support forum threads. Firefox post list

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

sidetracked again

Sidetracked again while searching for something. Somehow both of these suit different themes that are undercurrents, but weren't what I was trying to find. I didn't intend to post more quotes today. But it has been a day filled with those 'start something and wind up doing ten something else's' days.

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers."
~ Erich Fromm in Man for Himself: An inquiry into the psychology of ethics

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
~ Rumi, in The Essential Rumi

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Three for Tuesday

"'Come to the edge,' He said. They said, 'We are afraid.' 'Come to the edge,' He said. They came. He pushed them...and they flew." ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

"Doubt of the reality of love ends by making us doubt everything." ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel

"Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness." ~ Max Ehrmann

Monday, November 08, 2004


I was reaching high on a bookshelf for one of the Transactional Analysis books I own from the seventies? eighties? both? (Eric Berne and his pupils), and spied the Robert Fulghum book, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten; Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things". I haven't re-read it in a long time, so I grabbed that too while I was in the dusty part of the shelf. I don't know what it was doing in that section, lying sideways and still with bookmarks in various passages. But opening it up and re-reading the opening and then the first couple of chapters, I remembered exactly why I liked this man's thoughts.

Most everyone probably knows the kindergarten part, or some of it anyway, though I will be tempted to quote it here in a day or so. But perhaps everyone doesn't remember the part where he is explaining how he would write a personal statement of belief every year, and decided to try to get it down to one page.

The inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station. I managed to fill an old car's tank with super-deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old hoopy couldn't handle it and got the willies - kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill. I understood. My mind and my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content information, and I get the existential willies - keep sputtering out at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too much or not enough. The examined life is no picnic.

I realized then that I already know most of what's necessary to live a meaningful life - that it isn't all that complicated. I know it. And I have known it for a long, long time. Living it - well that's another matter, yes?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 92

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Small Talk:: important social custom
  2. Evidence:: physical and factual; but still based on individual perception
  3. Drifting:: slowly going to someplace or no place
  4. Hostage:: prisoner, of one's mind, of culture, of approval, or of another human
  5. Beauty:: different for different people, mind's eye and all that; yet as a group, we are drawn toward similar patterns of symmetry that we tend to like more than others
  6. Automatic:: without thinking or without deliberately causing something to happen
  7. Asking for it:: usually said angrily, by small minds, thinking/hoping someone doing something that people disapprove of, will be punished
  8. Visene:: eye drops?
  9. No strings attached:: yeah, right
  10. Frizz:: crispy hair ends
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

If you are still in political mode

I am wandering all around between things in my head today. In my head since Tuesday is the Buffalo Springfield/Steven Still's song: "For What It's Worth".

I posted some links, snippets and my comments in between at Corner: Aftermath echoes and stream of consciousness meandering in between. If you are still in political mode you might want to check out some of the things.

I am bouncing between personal angst, political concerns and 'Saturday chores to do'. Life moves on, no matter how much we might like it to stand still once in a while. I think its time for a quick mountain trip. Maybe Tuesday after errands or more likely Friday, if I don't have a paper to write (nagging little details that I can't find in my calendar and must look up). But I need the air and the change of scenery, along with the absence of city noise. I need to breathe some clarity and calm.

Live the truth of who you are

I was cleaning up my files and got sidetracked into trying to sort my quotation file when I found this:

"Admit to being frightened, and your courage will grow. Admit to not knowing, and you will learn. Admit your weaknesses, and you'll become stronger. Admit your mistakes, and you'll begin to move past them.

Admit you don't know what to say, and you'll have said just the right thing. Admit that you're confused, and you'll begin to understand. Admit that you're hurting, and you'll begin to heal. Admit that you care, and the things that truly matter will grow stronger.

Being honest with yourself, with others, with life, can often be difficult and intimidating. Yet honesty is always the most reliable, the most direct route to truly attain whatever you seek.

Any attempt to deceive will ultimately end up wasting your precious time. Live the truth of who you are, and it will bring out the best you can be."
~Ralph Marston

Friday, November 05, 2004

The power of humor

I wandered over to California Bloggin' v3.0 and found this: Out of the mouth of Babes
Thanks Anne, I really needed the smile.

Being honest with self

I started writing this last night, but it became too painful to finish. The sunlight and further thought made more things clear.

Removed post; sorry, too personal.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

There is work to do

Penny said: "One thing is certain, our future is in jeopardy"
and I started to write a comment, but it just kept growing larger. I decided it was a post, not a comment. I am not normally a pessimist, but I am definitely not a happy citizen right now and it is difficult to see any light in the tunnel.

On all fronts, our future seems in jeopardy. In my 32 years of voting, I have never been this fearful about the power of a limited few to alter so many aspects of life. I see soon to be appointed Supreme Court Justices who will interpret the Constitution in a fundamentalist manner, willing to overturn past rulings, the Bill of Rights and our freedoms encoded in that document imperiled by the likes of Ashcroft and others, War and our relationship with the rest of the world continuing in a downward spiral, the economy in upheaval and the widening gap between the rich and poor along with the continued loss of skilled jobs, the environment being raped for a few years of oil or the sake of a few dollars of profit, the civil rights of all people imperiled, to name only a few. This administration wants to send us in the direction of those dark futuristic novels and backwards from the progress we might have made in the past thirty years. Worse, now they feel they have a mandate to do bigger things, and more damage, even though they only barely won the popular vote.

I am dismayed (a mild word for what I feel) and cannot find peace and hope within, to trust it will all work out for the good. I fear a long fight within the country to attempt to halt the reverse direction Bush seems determined to travel. And I have no illusions about our ability to stop any of it.

I feel as if I ought to offer sympathy and hope to those who feel like me. At this moment, it is difficult to find anything except the strength to commiserate. But we must all come out of the dark feelings of despair and look towards what we can and must do in order to impede and slow the enactment of the visions of the administration and the ultra conservative Republicans. Our future and our children's future depend on it.

Get involved, stay informed, educate everyone you come in contact with and keep the hysteria to a minimum. Only cold hard facts convince people, and even then it is an uphill battle. People want to believe they are on the side of right. It will take an effort to convince any of the folks who voted for Bush that they were wrong. We have a Federal election in two years that could put more Democrats in Congress.

Work towards that new goal. I know it is mind numbing to think about, and the vision of the next four years is staggeringly dismal. But we have to drag ourselves up and work on now. It does no good to wallow in defeat.

We have work to do. No one said citizenship was easy.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Fearful for our future

I am deeply, deeply, upset and worried by this election and the direction the results seem to be heading. In the entire 32 years I have been voting, I have never felt this strongly and been this upset by the results of any election- until now.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 91
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Right now:: a slight melancholy mood trying to break down the door.. holding it back or hopefully letting it go, by acknowledging that it is there
  2. Halloween:: kids in cute costumes asking for candy (have some stashed and ready); adults in costumes at parties; large North Hollywood street bash
  3. Provider:: health care
  4. Rescue me:: nah.... I don't need rescuing, but now and then I wish that nights weren't quite so lonely.
  5. Confidence:: have some most of the time, but it fails me in odd moments
  6. Fungus:: mushrooms
  7. Candy corn:: once a year appearance, pretty much corn syrup sugar and food coloring
  8. Reunion:: never attend the high school ones
  9. Winner:: Someone will, could be you.
  10. Tradition:: have some that are important to me- chosen, not automatically adopted.
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Friday's early start and nice ending

Friday's early start was to attend a class required tour of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey. We spent over an hour hearing about and absorbing some of the amazing ways they assist people in finding the right technology for living, in their Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART), and then got the overview tour of some of the rest of the facility.

The technology aspect and potential fascinates me, both high-tech and low-tech solutions. Some things are applicable to a wide variety of uses including the obstacles that can develop from aging. I would love to explore more of this in a formal way, but I might settle for just reading more and thinking about things in a new way. The whole visit was eye opening and my mind was spinning off a thousand tangents.

On an entirely different note, as of late Friday afternoon I am officially employed part-time (exactly as I wished, except it is still temporary instead of permanent), working for the non-profit at which I have been interning. That first internship begun almost a year ago was synchronicity. I had intended to intern with Goodwill Industries for that first quarter (my role would have been peripheral in Voc Rehab Assessment), but in a long series of misses, could not seem to connect with the person I needed to see. I couldn't wait any longer, so going over a list I created from a search of possible intern sites, I saw one that was close to home. It involved working with adults with developmental and other disabilities- something I hadn't any previous experience with at all. I called them; they took me (free help is usually welcome).

As it turned out, I found a niche I was very comfortable with and that used a number of my talents and interests with room to grow. No two days are ever the same, which also suits me. For now, this is exactly where I want to be.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Is there some unwritten rule?

Why is it that the earlier I need to be up, out the door and on the road, the more things I find that must be done before sleeping, and the later I seem to need to stay up?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Thoughts for a Thursday- Six by Buscaglia

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

"Love is life. . . . And if you miss love, you miss life."

"Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God."

"We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be."

"We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death."

“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”

all quotes by: Leo Buscaglia (1924 -1998), American author & lecturer on love & relationships, former professor at Univ. of So.Calif.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

End of a strange day...

Today has been a strange day. And this will be a wandering, meandering post meant more for me to look back later to see what might have been happening- nothing particularly clever or thoughtful.

First, to Red Sox fans everywhere- Congratulations! The long curse is broken. The two Sox fans (one born in MA) in this house were still unwilling to trust it was going to happen until the very end. It seems to me this is an event something like hell freezing over.

While I was wandering around on the web I found Live Cams for Los Angeles Downtown, Burbank, Long Beach and LAX. Once upon a time I found a site with links to city type webcams from all over. I can't remember where it was and I am too lazy to do a Google search.

Today's weather in SoCal has been pretty strange- much more like January than October- but strange even if it was January. In the space of a few hours we had rain, hail, snow, wind, waterspouts, mudslides, flooding, and bright sun. Added to that was a 3.? earthquake (just a little shaker) near San Bernadino. The air is still unstable, so we are not necessarily done with it yet. The Mountain High ski resorts in Wrightwood opened for the season, as of noon today!! This is the earliest ever in their 60 year history- by a few weeks. The San Bernadino resorts won't be far behind. (oh and there are more cams with a little wandering around the Wrightwood site).

It was raining heavy, the worst downpour of the day (complete with lightning and loud thunder), when it was time for me to leave for the practicum class this afternoon. The Foothill freeway was closed completely for a while. I called the professor for the class and now am trying to figure out how to take public transportation on rain days for future events (the last time I sought information, the time required was purported to be four hours minimum and the cost was prohibitive).

Finding the information isn't easy.. MTA doesn't seem to recognize my location as one they serve (wrong, there are two MTA lines up here, and one of them surely runs to Union station or the local rail stop?!!). It looks like it will be one of those "you can't get there from here" type things. I was hoping to take a bus to the rail connection, rail to downtown Union Station, then bus to campus. I thought maybe that might be quicker. [sigh]. Public transportation in LA leaves a great deal to be desired.

Midterm exam on Thursday evening, but the rain is supposed to move completely out of the area by then. After that, I get to spend the weekend trying to get a little ahead of the work that will be due in the next five weeks. I will need the wiggle room and breathing space.

Last note: What's up with the television series, West Wing??!!! They seem to have killed off Leo after a disagreement with the President!! Awwww.. shoot. I liked that character. Somehow I can't picture Jimmy Smits taking over the Chief of Staff position.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rough week ahead

Midterms start this week and I won't be home for more than a quick run in and out the door before heading to class to take the test on Monday. Tuesday is a slight breather. Wednesday is no test, but I must do a double taping of mock counseling sessions, because I wasn't there last week. I still have several written assignments to upload (that aren't finished!). Thursday is the last midterm. Wish me luck and moments I can steal to review terms multiple times, and finish the written assignments.

It doesn't sound like much, but some of the material isn't easy to remember; medical aspects= condition specifics, rehabilitation potential.. and a term/numeric rating system for various things like age, activity restrictions, etc. The other test is on the history of vocational rehabilitation including laws and their overview, remembering dates and specifics. [Sigh].. I will be glad when some of this sort of thing is over. I need to know these things, but my area of specialization isn't likely to be strictly voc rehab (though that is where the pay might be better, but I am not in it for the "riches". Ha!)- so some of the material is useful, some is less so.

There is more rain in the forecast this week. I hope it holds off or else only rains in the daytime. I will have no choice about driving in it.

And now having posted my Unconscious Mutterings for the week and this, I am off to sleep at an almost reasonable hour for a change.... with medically prescribed sleeping assistance... still later than I had planned.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 90

I say and you think?
  1. Blackout:: unable to see; unconsciousness; dark; loss of electric power
  2. Platinum:: precious metal; catalytic converter material
  3. Leather and lace:: Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
  4. Court:: and Spark- Joni Mitchell
  5. Mind your own business:: rude reply
  6. Gambling:: Las Vegas; Indian Casinos
  7. Lily:: Day; Tiger; White
  8. Evasive:: non answer
  9. Turn-on:: ;-) I could list a few, but what would be the fun of that?
  10. Suspect:: negative intuition
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, October 21, 2004

"Nothing at All Has Unchanging Self"

When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self.
~~"Actualizing the Fundamental Point" by Zen Master Dogen
from Beliefnet Buddhist Wisdom (newsletter)


(Symptoms of too little time)

Overflowing email,
past due reading,
Only the color coded- urgent & friends
garners attention.
All else is left to languish in files,
for stolen moments
like this.

One thing done and who knows how many to go...

Yippie! The five page double-spaced paper (plus two pages of references; five pages was supposed to be the maximum; I could have written much more) on Assistive Computer Technology (focused on one aspect of the current research) is finally revised, finished, completed, never to be looked at again!

Well, that's not entirely true; perhaps I will look at it again, because it could be a better review and might be useful for compiling for publication. I didn't do a complete search of the literature, but enough to know that someone needs to sort out and compile the findings of the most recent studies of my focus.

[sigh of relief] Now I can turn my attention to studying for midterms and uploading two assignments for my practicum class; after I attend class tonight, of course.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Two for thought

"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations." ~ David Friedman

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

From Quotes of the Day for October 20, 2004

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Cool Toy


Hayes Solos Raffle's -- master's thesis

.. clever, clever. I want some.

Day Three

rain... rain.. rain... lots and lots of rain.. flash flood warnings for the burn areas.. fog... and maybe even snow at higher elevations. A little thunder rumbles now and then when a heavier cell moves through. A very messy night.
Being very spoiled and missing the sunshine, I hope Wednesday is the last of it for this week.

Tonight would be a good time for a fire in the fireplace, soft music playing, a beverage of choice, listening to the rain coming down and ...and... .. oh, ok.. instead, I guess a good book might be some sort of substitute..


edit at 11:55PM: The gusty wind they were talking about on the news just made it to the Foothills, or else just I didn't hear it earlier. Wonderful, perfect weather for that fireplace scenerio.

Farscape and the Peacekeeper Wars

I missed Part 1 of the mini-series, both Sunday and tonight on the Sci Fi channel. Is anyone out there a fan who watched it and can tell me how John Crichton and Aeryn managed to avoid that missle headed for the rowboat? Or maybe they didn't pick up where the series left off? And how much did the wormhole weapon destroy before Crichton stopped it? I haven't made up my mind yet on the ending- hokey or making a wishful statement?

It find it strange to seeming kill off a show's main characters and then bring them back for another round. But I guess it works. Belief suspension is required to begin with. The Sci Fi channel apparently likes that script line, since they had a variation of that for Rodenberry's Andromeda.

Not that these things are the most important things on my mind, but Farscape was a nice diversion. I like science fiction, even the much worse written things. And I surely needed a break from reality.

Monday, October 18, 2004

About driving in the rain

Perhaps I should explain a little. One of my pet peeves is people who hang on to their driver's license long after they should have turned it in. They are a danger to themselves and everyone else. I have vowed never to be one of those people. When that day comes for me, I have a problem living here in Los Angeles, and especially in the Foothills. Public transportation isn't that efficient and it takes triple and often more the amount of time to get to somewhere, but I will still voluntarily give up driving (San Diego and San Francisco look much friendlier from that vantage point).

I am not that old, but my vision has deteriorated in odd ways. I won't describe them all, but they don't seem to be just the normal pattern of aging. One of the things that happens due to the combination of oddities in my vision at night, is that I react to the suggestion of movement in the periphery. Under normal conditions I can tune some of that out- the rational mind overriding the primative brain.

With my newest glasses some of my night problems have decreased and I feel comfortable when driving familiar routes- not complacent, but comfortable. If I am in an unfamiliar area, then it is a little anxiety producing and I only drive if it is necessary. If it rains and I try to drive at night, it is a nightmare and I am probably dangerous- so I avoid that almost entirely. My reaction times are still quick, only in the rain I find myself reacting to both real and not real situations and not entirely able to override that fight or flight system.

I looked at the projections for the storm tonight, and it had changed from likely to NOT be raining at 9PM, to likely would be raining at 9PM. I stayed home from class. I dislike missing class, but know I shouldn't be out there and it was the responsible thing to do.

Other people who like new blog toys

Hit Maps Users shows the sites, count and the small version of the maps, though not when the information started being collected. I don't care much about count, but it is nice to see where everyone is physically located.

I still think the World as a Blog and Blogroll visualized are great projects, but apparently not that many people in my blogroll have geo tags listed in their blog templates.

It Never Rains in California (they lie)

Rain in LA
accidents quadruple
freeways crawl

The gray skies open
streets flood
maniac people drive


Well, how about that? We actually have some rain- real rain. That's always a pretty big deal here. One day last week I woke to a gray morning that suddenly produced rain coming down in huge, fast falling drops.... for twenty seconds, followed by forty seconds of misty drizzle. That was the extent of the wetness in my part of the Foothills that day. This time, it has been raining off and on since Sunday and is expected to continue through Wednesday as more storms roll through.

As near as I can tell, it will be likely be raining when I leave and hopefully not raining when I drive home. Wednesday, I may not have that kind of luck. I dislike driving in the rain. But, I really hate driving in the rain in the dark. I don't see as well in the dark these days (bad enough to only drive in familiar places and will probably voluntarily stop driving after dark completely in the next four years if it gets worse) and in the rain, my body is hit with a continuous surge of adrenaline as my fight or flight responses engage. Short translation- No matter how I might try to control it, I am literally scared driving under those conditions. When I arrive home and shut off the engine, my body starts shaking and an overwhelming, complete exhaustion sets in.

Of course, here in Los Angeles traffic accidents can quadruple with a little rain, even on a Sunday; streets and freeways flood in all kinds of low lying places along with some unexpected ones; the long periods of dryness allow the oil to build up on the streets, so it is indeed slick for the first day or so during a gentle rain. Expecting the unexpected is the only way to drive during those times. But we seem to have a prevalence of two kinds of drivers- those that drive too fast as if there is no rain at all, and those that drive as if it was sleet and snow falling. Both of those kinds of folks add to the perilous nature of our freeways during rain.

We do need the rain; we are behind in rainfall total and the fire danger has been very high. It is supposed to be a mild El Nino (experimental map here) (news article here) year, so that means we can expect a bit more to come. I can't telecommute to see clients, but I sure wish I could telecommute to my classes.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 89
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Dimension:: scope, picture, size; The dimensions of the problems Shrub has caused will not be known for years.
  2. Roger:: Daltrey; Rabbit; Miller; Major Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeanie; MR. Rogers; Roy Rogers
  3. CSI:: A favorite television show; smart slightly geeky men turn me on ;-) and I've liked Marg Helgenberger since her China Beach days
  4. Passenger:: along for the ride; taken to a place I don't wanna be
  5. Thankful:: for friends and family; Oh and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians
  6. Has-been:: I hope that's the description applied to Shrub in a few weeks and come January, he fades back to Texas
  7. Bambino:: 's curse.. A Red Sox fan lives in this home (not me)
  8. Wrinkles:: oh yeah, I have some. Why is it that some folks think that wrinkles add character to men's faces but for women it's just considered old?
  9. Cable TV:: the only way to get reception in the Foothills.. hundreds of channels but not much on; I'm waiting for the everything/anything ever on screen on demand channels. I have some serious indi-film catching up to do.
  10. Voicemail:: on my cell; took it off my land line- no one would get the messages except me. If someone wants to reach me when I am not home, either they have my cell number, or they can email, or maybe I don't need to talk to them. As to businesses, I don't call to get stuck listening to a hundred options, none of them fitting my particular concerns; give me a quick way to reach a live person or you better be the only one in town offering your service.
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

More gems of the day

This post at Hoarded Ordinaries made me smile. There are gems scattered throughout. Snipping out two, but you ought to read them in context: "Whatever you do, sweetheart, don't slap your expectations on my body." and "Like Walt Whitman, the Universe is large and contains multitudes. Both the Universe and my apartment are filled with the Unexpected."

From Dating God:
"Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust." " Stop being who you were, and change into who you are. "

I plan to update this post later or add another post to the day because there were other good reads, but I am late for a gathering that I must attend (an hour late already- what's "fashionable" these days???).

I am probably dragging my feet because I ought to be writing a paper and I ought to be doing chores around the house and I ought to be doing a hundred different things.. but I would rather be reading, thinking, drifting... plus it is a gray day here and my bones hurt. Part social/ mostly work/networking type gatherings are not a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e in my list of things I like to do. There will be quite a few people attending that I enjoy talking with, but it just isn't my kind of gig.

Yes, that says a part of it...

From Barbara De Angelis, through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, to the two pieces that Don wrote, perhaps especially the haiku, every one of the 4 Saturday posts at Conscious-Living Poetry held some wisp of how I have been feeling.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Early morning dark hours, after a week not over yet...

Restless, and
Tired beyond reason and sleep
Needing full connection and finding empty
In the silence, my thoughts are loud
A thousand tangents racing off in slow motion
To no comfort
If I drew them, they would fill a page
Lines to everywhere, but back

~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

Every place a task
Every moment scheduled, outlined for a script
With a role to play
Every interaction a withdrawal
Of unneeded parts, cast away.
The unspoken demands met
Because I chose to take the path of least effort.

I hate that.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Look with your heart perhaps?

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." ~Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

tweaking things

Haloscan trackback has been added to this blog.

well sort of.. there are some things that have to be fixed..

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Anger and Rudeness Issues: Two to Think About

"Here's a truth I know: Every time I am rude or thoughtless, every time I am careless with someone's feelings, every time I call someone a name during a fight, every time I act in a way I know to be harmful as a way to feel relief from what I'm feeling (because that's the only reason we lash out at others -- to make ourselves feel better) I know I'm destroying my credibility as a loving human being."

It sounds like a truth to me, too.

Found via The Obvious?: I know, I know...
credited as Feith Stuart via How To Save The World: Temper, Temper (Dave Pollard)

Dave Pollard's article is worth reading in full. I use a variation of the five year question to stop myself from hasty, heated reactions- Will it matter the same in an hour, a day, a month, a year? It works when I stop myself long enough to ask. If I do, I am more reasoned and rational in my response when it does matter, and shrug off the rest. Even if it is only my little corner of the world, for that moment I haven't added to the distress- my own or others.

And that puts me in mind of an article that was referenced by Liz, at I speak of Dreams, that I meant to post about but then got sidetracked:

snip: "Throughout recorded history, every generation has probably bemoaned the decline of manners and civility. But what we see today is different. We have become a nation of cranks and scolds, of people who leap at every opportunity to wag a finger, or flip one. Just below the surface of our pretty-normal selves burbles the soul of an old lady with a shotgun across her lap."

snip: " We are behaving, frankly, the way people do who are under siege. They become angry and territorial because ... "

....(more of the article here- but the bottom line is below)

"Kindness, it appears, also opens the release valve. Might be a remedy worth exploring."

Three for Tuesday

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons." ~Ruth Ann Schabacker

"Give me a fruitful error anytime, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections." ~Vilfredo Pareto

"The whole of humanity is…one human family. This planet is our only home." ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

From Beliefnet newsletters

Tierra del Sol Foundation 2004 Harvest Festival Benefit

Saturday October 16th is the 2004 Harvest Festival Benefit at Tierra del Sol Foundation at the Sunland campus (9919 Sunland Blvd, Sunland) from 10AM to 4PM.

A pumpkin patch, barbecue lunch, live music, bake sale, prize drawings, craft sales and a Kids Zone with an entertainment stage, petting zoo, games, jumping box, and face painting are some of the activities and events planned. Proceeds from the event help to support Tierra's training, employment and support services programs, serving adults with developmental and multiple disabilities.

Nestled close to the Foothills with a beautiful, large wooded campus-- From the 5 Freeway, exit Sunland Blvd and go east. Turn left into the Tierra driveway. From the 210 Freeway, exit Sunland Blvd. and go west towards Shadow Hills. For more information call 818-352-1419 ext 240.

Plan to bring the kids, pick out a pumpkin and have a little fun. You'll be helping some amazing people in the process.

About Tierra's programs and mission: Tierra Del Sol Foundation

Address: 9919 Sunland Blvd. Sunland, Ca. 91040
Phone: (818) 352-1419

Monday, October 11, 2004

New toys and Ramblings of a Morning

It is a chilly morning here in LA and I love it. I still have the deck door open (but wearing a sweatshirt and yoga pants instead of a T and bike shorts; oh and still barefoot because it will have to get really cold before I find feet coverings necessary inside), but finally the temps are starting to come down to my perfect weather range. I have been up a couple of hours, which makes the day seem better too... of course that is all a factor of actually getting some sleep last night. I should really make sure that even if I am tired, I take the time to clear out my head before trying to sleep. You'd think I would remember by now.

On Sunday, I added a couple of new toys to the blog. I have been seeing both of them at various blogs, so being immersed in finding ways not to study, I added them to the sidebar. I may change the order around a bit. I really want to redo the entire blog, but am not sure that I can find the time to learn some new tricks and fuss with everything.

The first new toy on the right below links, is HitMap showing the locations for visitors to this blog. I thought it was pretty cool. If you click the map you can get a larger size. I think the last place I saw it before I decided to check it out was at McGee's Musings.

The other is a Chatango button and I saw that at gassho before succumbing. I will be shocked if anyone actually wants to chat, and might actually be shy about that (I like my visual and auditory cues to garner full meaning), but it is also useful to send a message without an immediate conversation even if I am not online (but then so is email). I am not sure it will stay here, but perhaps. I have all the usual chat programs and still seldom use them.

Off to finish the studying I should have done yesterday. I have some research to do as well as reading of course, plus finish a little assignment identifying counselor responses and plugging them into categories.

We lose an advocate

I don't follow celebrities, don't care about the latest gossip, don't follow the award shows much except in passing, and don't read any of the celeb mags or pages in the news. It just doesn't interest me how they live their lives. Christopher Reeve is one of the few that I did pay some attention to, even tuning in for a few television news mag interviews, following his progress and his advocacy for those with spinal cord injuries. He was an inspiration to many in rehabilitation settings and to those working in the field. It's sad to hear that he is dead today at age 52, of heart failure - a victim of a series of complications arising from his spinal cord injury. He will be missed.

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center: Home

Sunday, October 10, 2004

a micro-rant and half thought out mini-reply

THIS post at Wirearchy, first annoyed me and then just made me very sad and furthered my frustration. There is a "sorry" from Jon, in his comments, but I am always surprised when someone equates the beliefs of an entire population with the actions of that country's leaders.

The rest of what I had to say is at Corner.

Transitions and Evolutions

Trying to catch up on folks in my Frequent Read list, I read this post from Keri Smith at Wish Jar Journal: "principles rather than formulas...confessions of an autodidact"

She starts out with "I am one of those people who is constantly looking for answers of some kind. It is just my nature."

Of course that caught my attention. Yes, me too. I continue to work on allowing some questions just to be questions, to know that even if I come up with an answer to some, they won't necessarily have the same answer tomorrow.

She discusses her "early on" involvement with self help books. I remember that phase of life, not that I have outgrown it, but I don't look for the same sorts of books these days. I don't recall ever thinking that I would find anyone's else's set of answers to be the full picture for me, but I was searching for clues. That might be due to the influences of my grandmother- definitely an existentialist leaning, march to your own drummer sort of woman. (That's likely the place where I learned not to simply accept anyone else's answers as truth... The contradiction: Don't accept anyone else's truths automatically, but somehow absorb that "that" truth is a truth? ;-) )

Note this line- a very important piece to all puzzles:

"Life does not always go according to some formula, but is rather a compilation of transitions and evolutions. Formula falls apart in the wake of intense change, adaptation is key."

Later she says:
... "The best books in my opinion are the ones that cause me to ask the interesting questions of myself, not necessarily provide answers. (Just as the best teachers I had in school.) Some of the great works of literature (fiction) may act as the best form of self-help, causing us to ask questions of ourselves, forcing us to look at what we believe in, what scares us, what fill us up."


Unconscious Mutterings Week 88

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Spacious:: outdoors; breathing room
  2. Crash:: Summer 2003 son's totaled motorcycle
  3. Autobiography:: oh... where to begin, whose to list... gosh, I can think of so many...
  4. Sparkly:: catch the light things; diamond jewelry in any flash of light; my collection of crystal prisms catching the sun; glittery ornaments hanging on a tree.
  5. Wild Thing:: "you make my heart sing"; three, maybe four chords: A, D, E, .... G? my guitar needs work, so I can't play it to be sure.. the phrase sure does take me back a ways..
  6. Haagen-Das:: I like vanilla drenched with really good melted chocolate on top
  7. Sci-fi:: another one of those things that brings a torrent of thought.. I like all kinds of Sci-Fi movies and books.. Heinlein, Asimov, Adams... so many...
  8. Voice:: presence; tonal quality that adds to meaning and understanding
  9. Boy Scouts:: some good qualities to the organization
  10. Grief:: part of life and living; a process, not a single reaction; it is necessary to express and work through grief and its stages; suppressed it can do enormous damage.
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Can't sleep

Thoughts about the world
war, people dying
bombings, abductions
beheadings that continue
mixed with to do lists
my surroundings.
Is there a safe place?
Schedules, where to be/do
flu vaccine
the price of oil
future notes
Is there a best path?
Black cat not mine, crying on the fence
wanting attention
doublespeaking politicians
Can someone make a difference?
Is there enough soap to clean the floors?
the world?
My world
jumbled up in my head.

Can't sleep.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Girls Like Me

I have enjoyed Mary Chapin Carpenter's songs and lyrics for a long time. Some of the music melodies of her albums as her career moved along, began to sound a lot like her previous albums (and this one appears no different), but her lyrics often have something that catch a tiny little piece of parts of me or something I recognize from the past.

The newest album is Between Here And Gone

Lyrics for Album: Between Here And Gone
Lyrics for Song: Girls Like Me

Girls like me aren’t hard to find
We grow like roses on the vine
We wear our hearts on our sleeves
You probably know a girl like me.

We live alone and in our heads
We eat standing up or in our beds
Guilt and fear merge easily
In the quiet souls of girls like me

And loneliness is like a cold,
Common and no cure we’re told
We take to bed per chance to dream
In the blue light of the TV screen.

Girls like me like summer light
And cold beer on a summer night
And boys who aren’t afraid of what they see
Inside the eyes of girls like me

And hopefulness is like a drug
It makes a girl believe in love
And if somehow you love us back
You think there’s something wrong with that

Girls like me aren’t hard to trust
Your deepest secret’s safe with us
And when it’s time to set you free
You can always count on girls like me

It’s good to know a girl like me
You used to love a girl like me

Listen to samples of "Between Here and Gone" by scrolling down the page at Amazon

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Fact check dot ORG, Mr. VP

Ahhhh.... Turns out that the VP misspoke about a website mentioned in conjunction with a response about Halliburton and about the contents of that website.
First the dot com he mentioned, is anti-Bush, but the actual site he meant, the Annenberg Political Fact Check site, isn't exactly Pro-Bush, but rather pro- facts.

Neutral? Maybe. The bit of perusing I did, clearly suggests they are making a concerted attempt. Good for them.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Long Repressed Emotions Stored in the Body?

I read Candice Pert's (Ph.D. former NIH researcher, now Georgetown University research professor) book, Molecules of Emotion, over a year ago and was fascinated with the connections she found and the ones she hypothesized concerning emotions being stored in the body. I received a free magazine in the mail (who knows from what list I am on) recently, called "Experience Life" from the Lifetime Fitness company, which has a number of fitness, nutrition and healthy life articles. Among them was an article on how powerful long buried emotions can be released through exercise and also how some people in the field of mental health are focused on figuring out those connections. The Pert book was mentioned, as were a number of other people in the health and psychology fields.

In the distant past, I might have dismissed the speculations of some of those who might be working exclusively with this sort of thing, feeling they were on the radical fringe, but I am not so quick to dismiss anything like this these days, and especially so after reading the Pert book. I am convinced of the mind/body connection (stress, unhappiness etc. in the present) with illness and the immune system (including how thought affects recovery too!). It isn't so far a leap to consider that we might be storing long repressed emotions in the body as well as the subconscious. (Where is the subconscious? Lots of people speak as if it is entirely in the mind, but is it?... tangents for thought...)

Beyond the Pert book, a look at some articles and research can be found in the following links:

Norepinephrine Important In Retrieving Memories from Science Daily (2004)

Exercise Fuels the Brain's Stress Buffers from the APA (American Psychological Association)

'Good' Chemical, Neurons In Brain Elevated Among Exercise Addicts also from Science Daily (2003)

The magazine article: Laugh, Cry, Lift: Probing the Mysteries of the Fitness Floodgates

Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candice Pert, PhD (1999)

A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain by John Ratey, MD (2002)

Somato Emotional Release: Deciphering the Language of Life by John Upledger, DO, OMM (2002)

The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life by Joseph LeDoux, PhD (1998)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

After the VP Debate

Most of the thoughts are posted on Corner. But this little bit belongs here.

My twenty year old son registered to vote in the month before he turned 18- to be effective on his 18th birthday. He chose instead of a party and without any prodding on our part, to register as a "decline to state". In this home we have taught and valued independent thought, critical thinking and learning how to choose. I am rewarded by a son who is thoughtful and rational even when he does not always agree with my positions on various things and life issues. He thinks and decides for himself instead of blindly following or mouthing only other people's opinions.

After the debate, we (father, mother, son) were briefly discussing things like political party positions, how to sift the real from the promises, taxes etc and my son said: "If I were a multi-millionaire and sitting around my pool taking it easy every day, it is my obligation as a human being to help out those who are having more trouble. I would do that anyway, so paying a little more taxes shouldn't be that big a deal."

It brought to mind my watching him as a toddler putting pennies in all those "help me" coin boxes next to cash registers in various stores and having to explain why we couldn't afford to "adopt all" those starving kids on the television ads.

Oh yeah, proud Mom here.

Tuesday notes

Some days I barely have a chance to read the news, let alone visit my favorite blogs. Some days I only get a chance (by choice) to read a few blogs. Some days I post several times with things to say or places I wanted to note, and some days there are no words I want to share with the world.

Today I was quickly viewing pages from some of my favorite folks and stumbled across a few by Liz at I Speak of Dreams which referenced Bloggers born in various years (go check- she has before 1930, 1930's &1940's) and also referenced The Ageless Project (check that out and those sites too; for example there are 3 bloggers born in the twenties, 7 born in the thirties, 59 born in the forties, 179 born in the fifties! This looks like it might be a good project to support).

Clicking on a few links (I think from "I speak of Dreams", though I confuse easily sometimes) I found this site:
My Mom's Blog. Millie (born in 1925) tells and writes great stories.

Monday, October 04, 2004

New Toy

This is a very quick sketch (the 5th only ever) created using the Aiptek HyperPen 6000U

I really, really, really wanted a tablet/pen like this with over a thousand levels of pressure sensitivity, but settled for this one with 512 levels (at about a quarter of the price). Now to get used to using it.

Edit/Update.. well, gosh. I should have looked at the Aiptek site first. I could have purchased the thing directly from them, for much less than I paid for it!!!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

On October 3

Wikipedia October 3; Events, births, deaths, etc.

Things on this day per the BBC

From the AnyDay site; famous births, deaths, events

and not listed: My birthday!!

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 87
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Courage:: doing something despite being afraid
  2. Stamina:: endurance
  3. Leader:: not Bush
  4. Idea:: thought
  5. Rockstar:: the music is where my focus goes, I don't care about their lifestyle or personalities other than how it affects the music
  6. Dew:: on the grass in the mornings; not usually a feature of So Cal except in some places in the mountains
  7. Guards:: National - extended tours; no longer weekend warriors
  8. Lenny:: Kravitz
  9. Alliance:: coalition, individuals joined together in a common cause
  10. Cigarettes:: nicotine addiction
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, October 01, 2004

Must Read please

Go Read Hold Your Fire. It's political, but well written and from an entirely different angle. He begins: "I had waited a long time for a perfect opportunity to photograph Los Angeles at night."

All of these things remind me of the quote from Pastor Neimoeller: "First they came for the Jews, but I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and no one was left to speak out for me."

Thanks to Brain Crayons for the link.

Little Bits- On Daily Life's Outer Edges

SpaceShipOne will make its next attempt on Monday, October 4. Unfortunately I can't go to Mojave that day. :-(

Mt. St. Helens is having some hiccups. volcano-cam here, Cascades Volcano Observatory pages here. The geologists must be having a great time. I sort of wish I was there, geology is one of my interests. USGS home pages here.. This would be a cool time to be teaching Intro to Geology.. Seismology, Vulcanology... way cool, with all the real life examples happening all around.

The debate -( written transcript )- last night was a win for Kerry, and Shrub fans might consider that their guy should have done a better job since he knew the questions before hand. More comments later at Corner of Babble.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Three for thought

"A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye." ~Samuel Grafton

"Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture." ~Russell Baker

There's an alternative. There's always a third way, and it's not a combination of the other two ways. It's a different way." ~David Carradine

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Ockham's Razor and surfing sychronism

Ah.... I was trying to remember the name "Ockham's Razor" in the last day or so, and didn't bother trying to google terms. It was one of those tangents of thought that I simply let go.

"Ocham's Razor essentially states that all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually correct."
I ran across this in a post entitled: (Freedom of Flight)

snip: "I was sitting on the bus, after our last session, mulling over what was said (as I always do) and some things began to click."

snip: "One could easily jump to a conclusion that all of these factors compiled have caused my repeated history of self-sabotage and the lack of drive I confront in so many areas in my life."

snip: "It is really quite simple and clear. I am affording myself the ability and opportunity to escape unscathed. The problem here is that I am very convincing. I can usually convince most people to believe whatever I want them to believe. The most common victim of this skill is myself."

It brings to mind one of my favorite Feynman quotes: "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." ~ Richard Feynman

*Ocham's Razor? Occam's Razor? Ockham's Razor?

The past is the past is the past...

"The most obvious thing about which you can do nothing now is your past behavior. Everything that you ever did is simply over, and while you can almost always learn from it, and sometimes change effects that are continuing into the present, you cannot undo what you have done. Therefore, any time you find yourself quarrelling about how you should or shouldn't have done something, instead of discussing how you can grow from your past errors or what can be done now, you are a victim in a no escape pitfall." (Dr. Wayne Dyer. 1978. Pulling Your Own Strings. Chpt 3)

Birthday countdown

Victoria's Secret sent me a birthday card and a ten dollar off card to use. Not bad. Of course, they don't have anything that costs ten dollars so it's an incentive to get me to spend money.

I haven't seen my annual AARP invite. I suspect that will be coming shortly.

I did see the SSA statement.. dismal.

But at least my birthday is on a Sunday and someone else will take care of the laundry, so I can go out and play somewhere.. Maybe I will start early, beat the crowds at the mall (I tend to dislike huge malls; I wish for little shops on the street, where people recognize regular customers and parking isn't an exercise in patience) and then go into Angeles Forest.. daypack with a little food and water, a sketchbook, or maybe with a camera I have been itching to purchase and some new boots.

4 days and a wakeup.

Congratulations to SpaceShipOne

Well gosh, I missed this. I could have gotten myself to Mojave for this one. I guess I better watch the news announcements more closely so I can make plans for the next one. It will be interesting to see what the problems with the roll at the apex were about. flight transcript There is a video file at too.

Scaled Composites Home of SpaceShipOne

X Prize Information on Scheduled Flights and Teams

Diversions: Steven Wright

I needed a few diversions and wandering around found some Steven Wright jokes and one liners. I have yet to fail to be amused by at least a few lines of his anytime I have seen him perform. I have also never yet failed to groan at more than quite a few of them.

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before."

"I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering."

"If you can't hear me, it's because I'm in parentheses."

"Four years ago... No, it was yesterday."
Today I... No, that wasn't me.
Sometimes I... No, I don't."

"I have a decaffeinated coffee table. You'd never know it to look at it."

When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes.'

"I didn't know it then, but looking back, in hindsight, I realize that when I was younger I could see into the future. Now I'm getting all my premonitions as flashbacks!"

"Today I met with a subliminal advertising executive for just a second."

"I was in the grocery store. I saw a sign that said "pet supplies." So I did. Then I went outside and saw a sign that said "compact cars"..."

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?"

Steven Wright Jokes (MIT- AI lab)
Steven Wright Jokes (Michael Toy)
Steven Wright (UM edu)

note to self: posted with w.bloggar
further note: time out wasn't a time out, all attempts were posted.

Monday, September 27, 2004


"Everything will change. The only question, is it growing or decaying?" ~Anonymous

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." ~Alan Watts


The landscape soon will not even reflect that the two pieces of ground were once close; it will only be a memory scattered in the broken rocks.


I am really, really liking the Mozilla Firefox browser. I am still customizing toolbars, and tweaking various settings and I do want to read a bit more about any potential security issues. I miss the Blogger "blog this" button, and wonder if Blogger/Google will develop a toolbar that will work with Firefox, but even without it, I am truly impressed. Pages load much faster; I like the option of tabs or new windows- it suits the way I wander the web with multiple things open from multiple sites; it seems to run in a more streamlined fashion but that could be an illusion. I have only been using it for a couple of days.

I had been reading everyone's glowing reviews so I downloaded Firefox after the third time a bunch of junk downloaded [from different suspect sites] and installed itself as new toolbars in MSIE, without asking. MSIE allowed that, yet I was having trouble viewing sites that I trusted and did want to see (and some that were in my trusted zone) without getting a darn security warning every twenty seconds.

added 05/05/05: If you are looking for more current information on Firefox, you will find a  summary and link of every post I have made to date about the various versions of Firefox, any installation problems and my solutions; and within some of those posts are links to specific Firefox support forum threads. Firefox post list