Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday Question #30

#30. Which is more important to you, the opinion of others about who you are and what you do, or your own?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings Week 82

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. GAME BOY:: Nintendo hand held
  2. Biopsy:: a word that can incite nervousness
  3. Attack:: strike
  4. Convention:: gathering
  5. Jewels:: precious, semi precious; something valuable
  6. Genetics:: accident of birth; where we start
  7. Impostor:: fake
  8. Doug:: have known one for 37 or 38 years or so
  9. Arbitrary:: without any real pattern or reason- often frustrating
  10. Oscillate:: move from side to side or position to position; vibrate; crystals oscillate at particular frequencies
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, August 28, 2004


I am not a happy camper. I am completely revamping work that was supposed to be done by someone else- by a group of someone else's. It is relatively easy to create a power point presentation if the work is all done and one only needs to pick out relevant material to put into slides. I have other studying I intended to do this weekend instead of reworking this thing. My first final exam is on Monday.

I need a happy pill, to make the work easier and my grumbling about the entire project and this particular class go away. The class was a waste of time. They should have billed it as a class for those who had never used a computer or office programs or done a research paper in any other class using the library databases and online journal content (let alone done real research, not just spitting out other people's work in a report form!). But this class was billed as a class to teach computer applications for social work. I thought I would learn something new, something about specific databases, about specific programs for case notes, about how to cross reference case notes or something applicable to the work that I don't already know.

Grumbling about this particular class, and about this particular project has been the way I have gotten through the whole thing... that and occasionally correcting the instructor ..(seems I might know a great deal more than he does about the things he decided to instruct about)..

No, wait.. I am responsible for my own moods. It is up to me to change my mood if it isn't helpful. So lets see.. blog a little.. read a little.. find a game or two to play.. or an online toy to fiddle with... Music.. ah, yes, soothing but energizing music..
Repeat to self: It will all be over soon and none of this project will matter in a few days.

Maybe I will do everything else first and worry about this insufficient group project and how to fix it - later.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The odds of hitting a target...

Gosh, what happened to Wednesday? I was here, and even had a tiny bit of a break after I saw a client in the morning. But I forgot about posting. I tried to nap, since Tuesday night I woke up all night long (and Sunday and Monday nights were only a few hours of sleep), but that didn't work. I can't remember what I did with the rest of the afternoon and evening, beyond working on some power point slides. I obviously took a non-structured mental time out if I can't remember. Oh well, it will all be over soon... one major goal completed, and headed for the next ones... and the next ones...

Here's a quote for today's post, courtesy of Belief Net's mailing:
"The odds of hitting a target go up dramatically when you aim at it." ~Mal Pancoast

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Day over, week getting slowly better.. I hope.

I signed my story today in front of a videocamera for my ASL class. It was ok, not very good, but not horrible. I actually had a very good version of the classic Tortoise and the Hare story ready (that was the guideline- needed to be any story loosely based on that story), and I had the English gloss version I devised typed out for my use with very large type, numbered and on only two pages. BUT for some reason, I decided that I would change it at the last minute, in the car on my way (running very late!) for my appointment. Why oh why did I decide to change it or think that I could sign in front of a videocamera without notes to guide me through the sequence???!!!!

You see, my car wouldn't start. This is an old problem that I have been trying to just deal with until the quarter was over and I could be without the car for a few days. It isn't the battery, or the starter exactly- it is something to do with the key and switch or maybe the relay or all three of those. If I am patient and keep trying and turning the key, it will finally hit the right spot and the car starts. You see the similarity? Patient perseverance wins the race.

So I created the new story and practiced while driving on my way in. I could tell all the various events. It worked out to about the right time. It seemed good, even rather clever in places the way I tied it all together. But I was driving so I couldn't write it down.

What happened in front of the camera was predictable. I couldn't remember the entire sequence of events the way I wanted to tell it. I could remember how I had phrased parts, but not others so I went back and forth in time a bit. I said all kinds of things, including some incorrectly. I froze, seemed confused, shaken- exactly as the rushed, fast drive, almost late, nervous in front of the camera events would have made anyone.

But it is ok. It is over. I passed unless I don't show up for the final exam. I can say a bit in ASL, carry on a conversation about a few things, and improvise others to communicate over a fair range of topics. I still don't understand/follow well, unless a regular signer slows down a bit, but that will come with practice too. I want to take more, practice more and I will learn more. In the end, I guess those are the things that are most important.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Poem Generator

I like this: Rob's Amazing Poem Generator. I have another one, or maybe this one? linked in my favorites. It generates a different one each time, so I lost the first one created. It is interesting to see only a few words here and there plucked from the page. I used it with a few other sites with better content. They look much better. ;-)
Little things stand out though.. very telling.

Thanks for the find today goes to whiskey river

I can't come up with a Monday question yet- none of my saved questions seems to fit the mood of today for me. I was up til 4AM working on a paper. I will be working on a story to tell in ASL to be videotaped tomorrow at noon, after class today and tonight. Wish me luck. If you were truly interested in the Monday Question, check back next week.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

LABlogs Friday Night Questions: Los Angeles Insight

Better late than never. I have meant to post from one of these for the past two weeks.
Here are the questions and answers from this past Friday.

1. What city or part of Los Angeles do you live in now?
I live in the Foothills above Glendale and Burbank.
2. If you have lived somewhere else in the area, where was it?
I have lived in two different areas besides this one- San Gabriel and Glendale.
3. Besides where you live now, where else would you want to live in the area?
hmmm... That's a difficult question to answer.. I rather like it here, but maybe Porter Ranch? or Northridge? or???
4. Where would you not want to live?
I wouldn't really like to live in one of the larger flatter or more crowded areas.. come to think of it, also not in the flight path of any of the airports.
5. How often do you venture out of your area?
6. Where do you usually go when you get out?
It depends on the time and day of the week.
7. How far do you work/school from where you live?
Work is headquartered within five miles- but I travel up to 27 plus miles to accomplish what is needed; School is about 26 plus miles away.
8. Money is no object; Beach, the Hills, the City or Leave?
Ah, another tough question. I love the mountains and I love the beach... and I also like San Diego county (plus my sister is there), but leaving LA would be tough. LA has been my home for 26 years- and that figures out to a little more than half my life at this point.

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 81
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Olympics:: no longer as many real amateurs, but rather many professionals that get paid for the duration of this particular competition in other ways
  2. Wicked:: wicked good; wicked bad
  3. Intoxicating:: brain altering, all consuming (most often deleriously happy) sense or feeling
  4. Radical:: divergent; "Have you ever thought that radical ideas threaten institutions then become institutions and in turn reject radical ideas which threaten institutions?", From the Video "Why Man Creates", by Sam Bass
  5. Misinformed:: deficient, substandard, incorrect information imparted
  6. Triplets:: doublets/triplets- opals; three of anything
  7. Coronation:: crowned
  8. Asimov:: Isaac, of course; Three Laws of Robotics
  9. Contemporary:: current
  10. 1:: one and only; the one; in all the world only one
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Consciousness Research

"The Metaprogramming Circuit is activated when the brain becomes aware of itself as engineer of experience. When you think of your mind as mind, then think of the mind that contemplates that mind as mind, then think of the mind that thinks of the mind contemplating mind as mind, you have discovered the path to metaprogramming consciousness. Most methods of 'enlightenment' function by leading the student around and around in circles until he is struck by the realization that he is himself responsible for everything he experiences. "
Mind Portal - Consciousness Research - Omega Point Institute - News (5+ articles on this page)

Friday, August 20, 2004

Friday night events

I attended two events tonight. One was an art and ceramics show at Tierra del Sol. The various works by some of the clients were truly wonderful and amazing. Some were astounding because of the amount of tiny detail that created the whole- in one picture of a bench and table in a garden, the blades of grass and different types of leaves on the plants were all individually drawn. The effect wasn't busy, but instead somehow captured the feeling of a sunny afternoon spent examining closely one's immediate surroundings. Some were amazing for their ability to capture the whole including emotional feeling without the detail- using color and brushstrokes to evoke what was seen and felt.

I would like to have purchased several different sketches and paintings to display on my walls, but they cost more than my budget would allow. However, there were some ceramics that were more affordable and I did buy one little item. I wish I had taken a camera and could have photographed some of the works so that I could share. The whole event was a reminder that creativity and real talent have nothing to do with IQ scores.

The second event was WRAD coffee night at the Starbucks in the Porter Ranch area. I was there because I needed to attend three Deaf Community events for my Intro to ASL class. We arrived there right about sunset and it was a glorious red-violet one, with trails in an unusual pattern just above the mountains. Again I wish I had a camera with me to share the effects.

I expected to feel like an outsider, but I didn't expect to feel quite so intimidated by my lack of adequate ASL skills. I also had forgotten what I learned when I was twenty and dating a man who was deaf- it is much easier with someone to introduce you to one or two people in an established group. I honestly couldn't see any lull big enough (and/or general conversations I could understand enough), for me to walk up to complete strangers and sign- "hello, my name is Stormwind and I am a beginning ASL student. Who and how are you?"

So I observed instead of mingled, tried not to "eavesdrop" too much, especially on anything that seemed intensely personal (can one watch and still eavesdrop?), instead taking in the atmosphere, watching the animated, happy crowd and watching the lightning speed of the signing. I am not sure I could have understood a great deal even if I had been trying to pick out specific conversations. But I will go again, and sooner or later I will gather enough courage to try to sign and try to make some new friends.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

University Acceptance

Well, finally! Though I was accepted into the Master of Science degree program for Counseling (option in Rehabilitation Counseling) through the program (department/division of Charter College of Education), the University finally got around to accepting my application as a graduate degree student, on a provisional basis.

So beginning Fall 2004, I am officially a provisional grad student. I need to pass one pre-requisite course. The way they decide that is interesting, because one cannot take the pre-requisite course until one has been accepted into the grad program and obtains a special permission; and one cannot be fully accepted into the program until one takes and passes the course which can't be taken until the Fall quarter starts. (Catch-22, anyone) :-P

But what it all really means is that I am not eligible for any financial aid grants for all of that quarter and probably the next (because of the slowness of paperwork and the unlikely event of any back grant payments). Sigh.. But at least they show my status correctly now.

I have tomorrow and then next week's classes to attend. Final projects start being due next Monday; then finals begin on the 30th. Lest anyone believe this last little bit is a cakewalk, in addition to the class lectures and very large final projects, I have 3 events to attend, two of which need papers written about, 5 more days of internship and clients to see, some files to review, paperwork to complete- both for the agency and for my faculty advisor regarding the internship, along with paperwork to complete for my directed study so I get a grade for that..

When all of that is done and my exams are taken, my Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services is finished!! ...And I have a three week break until it begins again.

Alzheimer's linked to lowbrow jobs Alzheimer's linked to lowbrow jobs
In this article briefly describing recent published research, a possible correlation is found between high mental demands occuring in a person's job from age thirty onward through their fifies.

They offer three possible explanations:
One is that Alzheimer's might have "an early impact that prevents sufferers from entering mentally demanding professions such as writing, accountancy or law". Another possible explanation might be that "people who stimulate their minds might build up a reserve of nerve cells in the brain. This would allow them to remain clear-headed even as their brains became clogged with the clots of protein that characterize Alzheimer's". The third possible explanation offered is to suggest that "those who exercise their grey matter might simply be better practised at thinking. This would make them more likely to perform well in the mental tests used to diagnose the disease".

The abstract is located at PubMed.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday Question #29

Monday Question #29 :: Do you believe and trust in yourself?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 80
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Server:: part of a network
  2. Charlotte:: North Carolina; Charlotte's Web
  3. Jackson:: Mississippi; Jackson Brown
  4. Resentment:: toxic when hidden away
  5. Controlling:: authority
  6. Intense:: experience; feeling;
  7. November:: month after my birthday
  8. Donkey:: member of the equine family; mascot of a political party
  9. Weave:: create cloth on a loom
  10. Satisfies:: fills a need
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Words Fall Out

Words fall out but meaning dies before they hit the page.
Two, three dozen
More race to take their place.
More, but still not the one's struggling inside.

(2AM) No Soothing Darkness

Alone in the dark exhausted, sleep will not come.
Every noise exaggerated, extended, echoing.
A sudden awareness of muscles tensed, waiting for some unknown to strike.
Wound too tight.

Skin crawls, itches. Pinpricks of hot needles stab everywhere, here- there.
Clock ticks louder and louder.
Words tumble furiously around and through thousands of intersections without stopping for sense; Scattering.

It is hot, cold, hot. Cold.
Hot. Words, sensations, sounds mix into one silent inner scream.
No comfort, No quiet, No oblivion of sleep,
No soothing darkness, this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


"A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other." ~ Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Waking up much more earlier than the alarm

I woke in pain (not sure I have eaten enough in the past few days and my stomach is reminding me that it doesn't take kindly to less than a certain amount of food at regular intervals). I had some vague thought that I would get my email, look at a couple of things and then go back to sleep for a while. One thing led to another and I started wandering blogs that I added to bloglines but don't visit very often.

Synaptic Transmissions: Carpe Diem (or something like that) caught my attention: "We grew closer, and thats what life is all about. Its putting yourself in the position to experience something new, to communicate with someone new, or to even communicate with someone you know already, but at a new level, no matter how random it may seem. Its the only way to properly cultivate your own anti-spotless mind"

Checking out the "anti-spotless mind" entry, I came across this: "Somewhere along the line I realized that a few very special people were able to see me the way I wanted people to see me. Actually, it was then that I realized that there was a specific way that I wanted people to see me."

And a little later: "I guess the point is that while there may be "Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind"--that is, the mind that has not ever been modified by the influence of the love, ideas, and perspectives of others--this "eternal sunshine" is quite simply only the bliss of ignorance. It is other individuals who are the catalysts--they are attractive force that pull individuality and self-awareness from the depths of souls."

I am not sure I fully agree with the rest of the things said in that post, but at 5:30 in the morning, parts of it seems like something to think about later when my brain might find more clarity.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Perseid Meteor Showers

Every year I try to watch the Perseids for a little while if it is possible. The best viewing for me (other than being in Indiana on the lake) has been to go into Angeles Crest Forest far enough to put a mountain peak or two between me and the city. Last year the moon was too bright, so I didn't try to go. This year I may not be up before dawn. about this year's showers:
"According to the best estimates, in 2004 the Earth is predicted to cut through the densest part of the Perseid stream sometime around 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 12. Activity could be high for a few hours on either side of that time.

The late-night hours of Wednesday, Aug. 11, on through the first light of dawn on the morning holds the promise of seeing a very fine Perseid display. The bright light of a Full Moon almost totally wrecked last year’s shower, but this year it will be a lovely crescent, about 3½ days before New phase. Moreover, it will not rise until around 2:30 a.m. local daylight time on the morning of the12th, hovering to the east of brilliant Venus."

20:50 GMT on the 11th, is cited as the possible closest approach to 1862 Swift-Tuttle debris, if one of the astronomer's predictions is true. That would be afternoon here, so I still wouldn't get to see. :-(

If you want to know more, check out the article along with the side bar and links after with viewing tips, locations and how to photograph among other things.

Monday Question #28

#28. What was the most beautiful sight that crossed your path today?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blogging, the Media and a Wandering Head

My head just isn't sticking with things that are too far removed from my immediate daily concerns. I haven't the energy. There are dozens of posts in the half-finished stage, languishing in a file. All of them started with clarity and purpose, but stopping in the middle without a major ah-ha and no final point. I could blame it on burnout, on summer, on taking classes just because I needed a few more credits to graduate (even if I like two of them). I could blame it on the hoops one has to jump to get the University to change my classification (to grad level for fall), or financial aid woes (more classification problems- I couldn't take a pre-req until I was accepted -which I was- but until I pass the pre-req my status is conditional, which bottom lined means limited funds available). I could blame it on no time and a home that is really bothering me in its disarray. But for whatever reason, my old stuff is much more thoughtful than anything I have posted here in some time. Today is no different, unfortunately.

This caught my eye, about blogging and the media, but I don't know where I would head with it. I agree with several things including a quote from a different major blogger that rang true with large bells. The things that I will snip and quote here aren't the half of what was said. So please do go read AnilDash.

First the quote from phil ringnalda dot com within the AnilDash post: "But what really gores my ox is the awareness that, since every news article I read about something I actually know is completely, utterly, absolutely, factually, wrong, I have to assume that all the ones I read about things I don't know are just as wrong. Maybe they get eight out of ten facts in the article right. How do I know which eight, or more importantly, which two?"

THIS is one of my major pet peeves. I should not have to read five or more supposed trusted news sources to get an approximation of the true picture. There are far too many times I have seen an event or read a document in full only to find it reported entirely out of context and always with an agenda. I understand we all see things through our own subjective lenses, but an attempt can be made to be as unbiased as possible. If I want to read editorials, I will look for editorials. But everything seems to be a disguised editorial these days.

There is much more meat in AnilDash on Media Discontent,, which is where I saw the Ringalda quote along with this snippet that someday I want to say something more about: "To be fair, I generally think this is more the fault of the editors who assign stories than the writers who are assigned to them, except when it's freelancers pitching the pieces. When I was asked the other day "are there other tragedies than Dooce's firing or Michael Hanscom's Microsoft adventures?" I had sent the following reply:

One thing I would suggest is considering a, well, more uplifting angle. There have been an awful lot of "blogs can cost you your job!" or "make money fast with blogs!" stories, and very few that cover the positive reasons people have weblogs.

For a lot of your audience, this is their first impression of what weblogs can be, and frankly, if they were all about dire consequences, there wouldn't be millions of people publishing weblogs every day.
Most of the people in my social circle have met their spouses/significant others, gotten apartments, gotten jobs, made friends, or (in my case) all of the above because of their weblogs. All that *plus* they get to participate in a new medium instead of just passively consuming media.

In addition to media bias and how weblogs might sometimes be a help to sorting out truth, the social context of weblogs is part of what interests me. I know a lot of people who met first online- in a variety of social and business activities. We are adding to the ways we relate to one another with online sharing and communication. I am thinking beyond the blog now with all the various online and electronic ways we connect. But it would at best be a half thought out post, so I leave the notes here for a "someday".

Unconscious Mutterings Week 79

Week 79
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Sting:: singer/songwriter, Police; the movie with Paul Newman; allergic to one from a bee
  2. BMW:: the little Z4 looks very nice more here and here
  3. Jeremy:: Irons
  4. Audacious:: beyond bold
  5. Drag Queen:: RuPaul
  6. Title:: earned or honorary
  7. Stamp:: ink and; postage
  8. Bad:: undesired
  9. Snow White:: more fairy tales and happily ever after
  10. Delegate:: representative
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Elements Quiz (amusing things to do when procrastinating)

"Are You Air, Earth, Water or Fire? "

Depending on how I answer two of the questions (and correct answers depend on my mood at any given time)- I am either at the high range of Water or the low range of Air.

"Water: You're sensitive and fluid, responding to feelings more than anything else. Dreams, visions, love, and the mysterious attract you. You may be prone to depression, so try to balance your emotions with rationality. Read more about your element."

"Air: You're smart, witty, and process-oriented--but may be a little abstract and spacy at times. You're drawn to ideas and love to learn. Just make sure to leave room for feelings and sensations. Read more about your element."

hmmmm.. Yep, they both seem to fit as a fair description of me depending on the moment. How do they come up with such things?

More quizzes- spiritual type, soul surveys, trivia challenges

Friday, August 06, 2004

A few things that nourish my soul

A few things that nourish my soul:

Strong gusty winds to stand in, especially Santa Ana's
Waking up early feeling rested, watching the dawn
Love notes
A free day ahead of me
An Adventure pass, a packed lunch and mountains
Unexpected waterfalls from freshwater springs
A Midwest Autumn on the lake where I spent my childhood and teen years
Taking a rowboat out on glass like water in the dawn light
Hardwood forests in springtime

Sharing all those things with someone who understands their meaning to me

w/u, ohoms

Thursday, August 05, 2004

gapingvoid: i'd like my crayons back, please

gapingvoid: i'd like my crayons back, please:
"Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, "I’d like my crayons back, please.""

Go read the rest, it's worth it.

Found via Brain Crayons. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


I need only think of you and a smile touches every fiber of me, fills every corner and spills out. Your presence in my heart and soul brings joy in a steady stream. The ripple effect is visible, as others smile to see me this way.

The Essential Alan Watts

Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."

From Alan Watts : Library & Gallery : The Essential Alan Watts (Page 2)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

New Ending

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." Carl Bard


Monday, August 02, 2004

New Freedom Initiative

Dual posted to Tangents and Corner

When I read the Wirearchy post,Wirearchy :: Better Living - In Search of Happiness From Plato To Prozac, I was alarmed. I followed the link to the Initiative to read and at first couldn't find the reference. Then burried in Chapter 4 is a short bit about screening everyone early for mental disorders. I followed that to the Mental Health Commission's report which I am downloading now to read in full. I can't stand the thought of another four years with this bunch. I can't remember feeling so strongly negative about anyone in office since Nixon!

(Later edit to add to the above): On the surface, there are a number of things in the New Freedom Initiative that are about enforcement and possible funding for existing laws and programs under the American's with Disabilities Act- things we SHOULD be doing! But as always, the group in charge has added things in tiny little sections that should sound major alarm bells. (end edit)

While you are at Wirearchy, it is worth reloading to read all the recent posts, including the August 1st post-repost, pointing to Older and Growing. Oh, heck, go back and read the archives too.

Monday Question #27

#27. What did today give you and what did you give to today?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Visualization of Word Frequencies

WORDCOUNT / Tracking the Way We Use Language - Main

WORDCOUNT / Tracking the Way We Use Language / About: "WordCount (TM) is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is."

Rather interesting, and clever.. I played with it a little. I entered several different words to see their rankings and look at the words closest to them.. and then entered numbers to see what appeared in various segments. The last word is apparently conquistador (86,800). Spot checking numbers looking at the first hundred, sends my mind into several tangents about the things most on our minds. Go check it out.

Thanks for the find go to Minding the Planet

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 78
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Testicles:: cojones; brass ones
  2. Ribald:: off color, vulgar humor
  3. Auction:: sold to the highest bidder
  4. Inch:: unit of measure about the size of my index finger to the first knuckle
  5. Tony:: Awards
  6. Phony:: know some
  7. Stool:: counter, bar, footstool
  8. Coyote:: Wiley
  9. Cinderella:: fairy tales and happy endings, fairy godmothers... and finding one's prince...
  10. Battery:: car, portable electronics; storage unit for Direct Current

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings