Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Complexity's Overrated, Anyway ...pfft...shaw...

It has been said that the genius of Einstein was not in his ability to grasp the complex, but rather to grasp the simplicity where others could only see complexity. About Mozart's music Einstein said, "like all great beauty, his music was pure simplicity."

~ William F. Reynolds

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Fellow Prisoners:

Still as funny today as it was then. And, Cleese rules. Period.

It Just Ain't Like That

Ah yes, glorious, glorious Alice in Chains. *grin*

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Olbermann

Because I Can't Say Them Right Now...

I'll let good ol' Georgie do it.

... "say, those things are... responding!"

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Yeah, ouch.

"I'm the Best!"

I just want to say that The Cider House Rules ... RULES!! Dang! I had almost forgotten how wonderful a movie it is - it had been 10 years since I first saw it (was it in the theatre? I don't recall) so it was enjoyable to revisit and feel the emotions as strongly as I had the first time. I remember that when I saw it those years back, it had inspired me to work in an orphanage (are there even orphanages left in the U.S.? - Just checked: after the mid 20th century, orphanages gave way to foster homes and small institutions like group homes. Hmm...). I still felt that way last night when I watched it again. I of course love Michael Caine and Tobey Maguire both of whom make nearly any movie they're in enjoyable to watch if for nothing else than their individual performances.

Anyway, it was moving, poignant, and inspirational. I would recommend it to anyone who prefers personal interaction and dialogue over action and intense drama. Just my style! My two thumbs up (even though I'm 10 years too late to rate it). :)

** The title of the post is from the film. The children were so desperate and lonely that they took to approaching any adult who came to the orphanage and proclaiming how they were the best to pick. So sad...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Agree AND Disagree With This One...

PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Muslim burqa would not be welcome in France, calling the full-body religious gown a sign of the “debasement” of women.

In the first presidential address to parliament in 136 years, Sarkozy faced critics who fear the burqa issue could stigmatize France’s Muslims and said he supported banning the garment from being worn in public.

“In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy said to extended applause at the Chateau of Versailles, southwest of Paris.

“The burqa is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement _ I want to say it solemnly,” he said. “It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”


I agree with Sarkozy and the Frenchmen who agree with him on the level of feeling uncomfortable with the way they look and I see how it could create suspicion. But on the other hand I don't see how it's right to ban burqas alltogether. The only women they are "debasing", if that's even what is being done, are themselves. If they wish to be "prisoners", then they should be. Why do others need to tell them how to dress? Perhaps in private institutions people can place certain dresscode restrictions on patrons, but really, this isn't right.

Is it Hard To Breathe in Here, or is it Just Me?

WASHINGTON — Millions of people living in nearly 600 neighborhoods across the country are breathing concentrations of toxic air pollutants that put them at a much greater risk of contracting cancer, according to new data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The levels of 80 cancer-causing substances released by automobiles, factories and other sources in these areas exceed a 100 in 1 million cancer risk. That means that if 1 million people breathed air with similar concentrations over their lifetime, about 100 additional people would be expected to develop cancer because of their exposure to the pollution.

The average cancer risk across the country is 36 in 1 million, according to the National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment, which will be released by the EPA on Wednesday.

That’s a decline from the 41.5 in 1 million cancer risk the EPA found when it released the last analysis in 2006. That data covered 1999 emissions.

“If we are in between 10 in 1 million and 100 in 1 million we want to look more deeply at that. If the risk is greater than 100 in 1 million, we don’t like that at all … we want to investigate that risk and do something about it,” said Kelly Rimer, an environmental scientist with the EPA, in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Parts of Los Angeles, Calif., and Madison County, Ill., had the highest cancer risks in the nation _ 1200 in 1 million and 1100 in 1 million, according to the EPA data. They were followed by two neighborhoods in Allegheny County, Pa., and one in Tuscaloosa County, Ala.

People living in parts of Coconino County, Ariz., and Lyon County, Nev., had the lowest cancer risk from air toxics. The counties with the least toxic air are Kalawao County, Hawaii, and Golden Valley County, Mont.

“Air toxic risks are local. They are a function of the sources nearest to you,” said Dave Guinnup, who leads the groups that perform the risk assessments for toxic air pollutants at EPA. “If you are out in the Rocky Mountains, you are going to be closer to 2 in a million. If you are in an industrial area with a lot of traffic, you are going to be closer to 1100 in 1 million.”

The analysis predicts the concentrations of 124 different hazardous air pollutants, which are known to cause cancer, respiratory problems and other health effects by coupling estimates of emissions from a variety of sources with models that attempt to simulate how the pollution will disperse in the air. Only 80 of the chemicals evaluated are known to cause cancer, EPA officials said.

The information is used by federal, state and local agencies to identify areas in need of more monitoring and attention.

Well, This is a Deep Subject... *snicker, snicker*

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Archaeologists have discovered a water well in Cyprus that was built as long as 10,500 years ago, and the skeleton of a young woman at the bottom of it, an official said Wednesday.

Pavlos Flourentzos, the nation’s top antiquities official, said the 16-foot (5-meter) deep cylindrical shaft was found last month at a construction site in Kissonerga, a village near the Mediterranean island nation’s southwestern coast.

After the well dried up it apparently was used to dispose trash, and the items found in it included the poorly preserved skeleton of the young woman, animal bone fragments, worked flints, stone beads and pendants from the island’s early Neolithic period, Flourentzos said.

The skeleton could be as old as the well itself, but archaeologists don’t know how the girl died or when and why the skeleton was left there, he said. Radiocarbon dating found the well is between 9,000 to 10,500 years old, he said.

That was around the time migrating humans started to build permanent settlements on the island. Before then, temporary settlements were inhabited by sea-borne migrants using Cyprus as a way station to other destinations.

Thomas Davis, director of the Nicosia-based Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, said the well _ which he called “among the earliest in the world” _ offers proof of the “high level of sophistication” of the island’s early Neolithic farmers.

“The fact that they were using wells and that they tapped into the island’s water table shows heightened appreciation for the environment here,” said Davis, who was not involved in the discovery. “This was a major investment.”

Cypriot archaeologists studied the well in collaboration with Edinburgh University. The university has excavated in the area over the last three decades, unearthing several settlements dating from the Chalcolithic Period (3800-2500 B.C.).

Are We Really All That Evolved?

I don't think so...

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A judge has given a 90-day jail sentence to an Ohio firefighter accused of killing his dogs to avoid boarding them while he went on vacation.

Forty-three-year-old David Santuomo of Columbus pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool _ a homemade silencer he used on the end of a rifle.

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Heather Robinson says Santuomo shot his two mixed-breed dogs Sloopy and Skeeter on Dec. 3 after tying them to a pipe in his basement. She says he dumped the remains in a trash bin behind his firehouse.

Prosecutors have said he bragged about the killings to colleagues.

Defense attorney Sam Shamansky calls the crime an isolated event “totally out of character” for his client.

Now and Zen

Last but not least for today, is the alarm clock I have wanted to get for a good ten years now: the Now and Zen alarm clock. This is the most awesome and "me" clock I have yet to come across, aside from Grandfather clocks, of course. Its ring is actually the the strike of a small internal gong, tuned to the note of E which is meant to be a less relaxing tone and thus will wake you up. It gongs something like once every couple minutes, and then sooner as time goes on if it's not turned off. It's on the list!

For My Lounging Habit...

Suits from MyBabyJo.com

I could use me one of these beauts (uh, talking about the suits, of course ;) ).

Sew What?

Brother sewing machine, LX3125

This little cutie is my next "big purchase" (sometime soon, maybe).

Singer sewing machine, circa 1890

Now, what I really want is one of these. *sigh*

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009), RIP

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009), The King of Pop, was pronounced dead today, June the 25th, year 2009.

I don't quite know if I have the words to adequately express my feelings right now. I heard just moments after the pronouncement as I was sitting on my porch with my husband. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and went to look at news sites to see if indeed he had passed away. I was shocked to see that he had. I guess I would sum it up by saying simply that I am heartbroken. I feel profound sadness and love for his three fatherless children, I pray and hope that they are put into loving and protective hands and that they are comforted. For the rest of his family, the ones who truly loved him and don't just want to capitalize off of him even now, for his friends, of which I am sure he had many, and for his fans the world over such as myself.

I have been a Michael Jackson fan for what feels like my entire life. The year I was born was not but a few months after Thriller came out so from the earliest I can remember I knew and loved his songs. I remember wanting to marry him and being so in love with him. But weren't we all? Even news reporters themselves couldn't help but feel overcome and jubilant around him. I think Michael Jackson was magical, profoundly sad and hurt, immensely talented, and endlessly caring. I don't give a moment of credence to any of the horrible allegations he's been plagued with over the last decade of his life. He was a good man and by all accounts a fabulous father.

I am still shocked. I watched today as his body was transported from hospital to the Coroner's office - it was both surreal and numbing. Too bizarre, too sad to be real, to real to not be. I don't want to believe it, I feel like he was robbed of life for the last 50 years and had hoped that he could spend the rest of his days in as much peace as possible. I wanted to maybe, hoping against all hope, go to one of his only 50 last concerts (all of which were immediately sold out, however - big surprise!), and basically I just feel so sad for him. But at the same time I am also very grateful - for his influence of course in music and entertainment (he was the very best), and to his countless years and contributions to charities all over the world. He was and is truly one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable, always alive in our hearts and minds.

I will always love you, Michael Joseph Jackson. You are one of the few who will be immortalized, as you should be.You made an indelible mark on my heart and will always hold a place in it, as I know is true for your millions and millions of fans worldwide. May you finally know peace. God bless you, Michael.

My all-time favorite Michael Jackson song, Dirty Diana. We love you, Michael.

Ooo Ooo Ooo!!!


Yowzah! How could I possibly resist these beauts? Oh how I love them... *sigh*

Did You Ever See Clothes and Call Them "Yummy"? I Did!

Twenty minute Simple Skirt Tutorial AND GIVEAWAY!!!!

AND one of these! :D

Now THIS is an Apron!!

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Now I'm a girl who could use me one of these beauts!! Hoo Boy and Hot Dang! Not just the oven would be hot in my kitchen! ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Papa, Daddy, Pops, Daddy-o

So of course, it's Father's Day. But! It is also the Summer Solstice. How cool! Two holidays in one!

But most importantly, a tribute to my father.

My Father

My father loved me, I knew it then and I know it now. But you may not have gleaned that by looking at his life and his own involvement in mine.

However, what I have learned as I've gotten older and considered my father's love, is that none of that really matters. Firstly, it is all in the past and thus is irrelevant. Secondly, what I choose to remember and focus on is what really counts. I choose to sift out the negative memories and feelings and focus on the good times and things I loved about my childhood and father. Though my time with him was far too short, I was able to spend time with him nonetheless and I am so grateful for that. One of my favorite things to do with my dad was dream about the life we were going to create for ourselves. He would describe my future room in detail and all the things he wanted to give to me, because the fact is, we were poor. I always was as a child, so when I went to live with him after the death of my mother, life was no different in terms of money and lifestyle. But despite this fact, I distinctly remember telling my father that we were rich. Because we had each other, and I truly believed that. I was just so happy to be with my dad that I didn't care that we lived in a house with eight other people, that we didn't have a car or new things or any money. My father would do what he could to make sure that I had a treat now and then, one of our favorites was ice cream. I fully blame my father for my addiction to ice cream that still holds on strong to my little soul today. We used to walk to our local market in Seattle to get a cup of the most delicious vanilla bean ice cream and I still remember how good it tasted. It came from a machine, which usually denotes nasty stuff that I would rather pass by. But this stuff was excellent, true vanilla bean with bits of the bean in the cream - what could be better? Anyway, we would pour a cup, walk around the store to eat it, fill it up again and pay for one serving. Fun.

I loved my father then and still feel the same today. If I could be guaranteed that there indeed is a heaven and that we will be reunited with loved ones, I would become a devout believer if for nothing else than once again be with my father and look into his eyes. He was the one parent who tried, who loved me. He ultimately sacrificed his own life for the sake of mine; how much more loving could a father be?

Happy Father's Day to all the good and devoted fathers today, including my husband - one of the best fathers I have ever known. His girls are so very lucky to have his love, time, patience, and example of what a good man is. I love you both, eternally and abundantly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Hello. It's been nearly a week since I last posted and I'm afraid this isn't going to be much of a post either. But I have some good things in store, so stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The perfect way to end our lovely Sunday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Club Penguin

Yet another movie that has changed my life in a small way, The March of the Penguins. Again, what amazing creatures. This movie has seriously made me rethink my notions on the value of family and children. It is so easy to become hardened and disillusioned about family and children when one looks to humans for example. But here, with these magnificent Emperor Penguins, one can marvel at the love and devotion they give to one another and to their children. It truly made me feel that life is a miracle and that we are privileged to partake in a centuries old tradition of bringing forth new life. Now if only we could love and care for one another in the ways these loving penguins do, we just may find ourselves a happier and more whole people.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Polly Wanna Cracker?

The film, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, just changed my life in a small way forever.

I never much took a liking to birds, finding them to be loud and rather messy. But I certainly always had a compassion for caged birds and years ago vowed to never own one.

How can I possibly do justice in words to the wonderfully beautiful and full lives birds lead? How could I ever look at them the same way when it is so clear that they are indeed very sentient and loving and intelligent?

I have been inspired to renew some of my current and former commitments to animal rights and liberation. More on that as it develops.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

This is a cake. Yes, you read that right. A CAKE!
I have to link to this absolutely stunning site for the amazing couple who make jaw-dropping cakes. Feast your eyes on the beauty that is their cakes. If only I had the money and a reason to order one, I would!

Friday, June 5, 2009

This Is What Lack of Education Looks Like, Folks

Take a close look. If anyone you know has these symptoms, immediately rush them to university and enroll them in Critical Thinking 101 and Life Science 101. It's a jungle out there.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is Glenn Beck Really A Monster?

No. Is he a saint? Well, he is a Saint, but not a Saint.

You know what? I'm no conservative (shocking, I know) - not by a long shot. But I really don't like it when people intentionally give misleading information to others and present it as fact.

This happened today on a blog in my blogroll (you'll find it if interested). The blog author gave the post a nasty title about Glenn Beck and proceeded to copy and paste text from another web page - not run by Beck, nor a site about the book - about some passages from Glenn Beck's 2003 book, The Real America. This particular passage went into a somewhat disturbing bit of detail about a supposed fantasy relationship Beck had with his sister as a young man. Fine. Weird. But that's all the author of the blog posted. From this blog author's link to the web page they took this information from, there was a further excerpt from Beck explaining that he used this story, whether it is true or false was not stated and really doesn't matter in this case, to further explain a larger point he was making - a parable of sorts.

What I think of this story, or Beck's politics in general, have nothing to do with this to me. I am defending him in this instance because this poster was misleading their readers by only posting part of the truth and presenting it as the whole truth. That's just not thinking critically, which is what intelligent and thoughtful people do. When you have a captive audience, you are bound by Socratic eithics, in my eyes, to present the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Especially when using someone else's words. Period.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hidy Ho

Ever since I began journaling, which was, oh, a bout 9 or 10 years ago, I have always wanted to immortalize what I consider to be important days. The first day of each month is that to me. So with today being the first day of June and all, I wanted to at the very least post on this date. There are some things that I could whine and gripe about, there are somethings that I could wax hopeful about, but, well, I am too whiny to bother... hopefully.

Instead I shall link to what I've been reading today. Tomorrow I'll post something more substantial.

CJane's new blog! (awesome!)
Otep talks about gay marriage.
GM files for Bankruptcy (duh?!)
Dick Cheney has a dirty little secret (what's new??)
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