You are viewing ebonypearl

Ebony's Pearls
20 most recent entries

Date:2020-04-25 16:57
Subject:Disclaimer
Security:Public

This journal is filled with adult content. I regularly discuss things of interest to adults: responsibility, politics, religion, survival skills, cookery, science, filk, hobbies, government, current events, literature, history, human rights, jobs, finances, weight, disabilities, gardening, and more.

IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY MY WRITING, DON'T READ ME. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.





Date:2014-01-30 07:33
Subject:Temps
Security:Public

I couldn't afford it if my heating bill got as high as $70 (or my cooling bill, for that matter). There are rooms in my house that only get used during the milder times of the year, when temps are between 60ºF and 85ºF. Blankets hang in front of doors, carpet covers the inner side of the 2 exterior doors, windows are covered in winter-proofing film outside and in, draft dodgers block the undersides of every door and window, and my heating consists of an electric blanket and the occasional use of a single space heater. The average winter temp inside my house is 45ºF.

In summer, the winter-proofing film comes off, and my house become breeze-central, with fans in the windows to either bring cooler air inside or blow the hot air outside. The blankets stay up because I do have one window unit, but it's small and can barely manage to cool one room down to 80ºF in the hotter times of summer. Once the temps hit 90ºF and above, the rest of the house is pretty uninhabitable. The average temp inside my house in the summer is 95ºF.

I understand that people who've never dealt with the urgency to keep utility bills as low as possible year round may be freaking out about the need to do so suddenly because of a freak weather pattern and huge spikes in fuel costs. I feel for the woman in the article who routinely spends more on fuel than I spend on my mortgage and utilities combined, but if I could afford her fuel costs, I could have heat and cooling installed in my house and let the utility bill rise as high as $100.

As it is, we huddle in one room most of the year.

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-01-15 15:44
Subject:GF Cookbook Status Update
Security:Public

Well, we got the Planning Book done and are sorting recipes to find ones which will work. Still waiting for my friend to compile a list of the dishes she and her family eat.

Step One:Read more...Collapse )

post a comment



Date:2014-01-02 11:34
Subject:A GF Once-a-Month Cookbook
Security:Public

A friend posted on FB that she loved the idea of cheap once-a-month cooking but all the cookbooks she looked at for it contained gluten and wheat. She and her daughters have Celiac's and the girls also have a severe wheat allergy - so severe they can't go to school. It's like the worst level of peanut allergy for them.

So, she and I did some research looking for GF once a month cookbooks. We found a few sites on line that offered up GF dairy free recipes, but not all of them were truly wheat-free. We investigated the Paleo cookbooks and while some claimed to be once a week or once a month, they really weren't.

So we decided to create such a cook book for her family.

I already practice a sort of once a month cooking style in that I pre-plan my meals once a month, do all the shopping at once, and then spend a day prepping all the lunches I will eat that month and the meals the dogs will eat that month. I cook all of their food since I don't trust dog food manufacturers.

We can't use my kitchen to test the recipes and all (mine is rather wheat-heavy), but we can use hers. I made her a binder like mine, with places for planning the meals, then using that to plan the shopping and the prep. What I don't know - yet - are the meals her family eats and how we can modify them to be frozen and re-heated, and how to plan out crock pot meals. Unlike mine, though, hers has a critique section that she and her daughters and husband can write down what they think about the meals - texture, taste, re-heatability, appearance, boring-levels, and so on. We can then take those critiques and use them to improve the meals.

I hope we'll come up with a couple of months of different, cheap and tasty meals her family can have.

And this makes me so glad that I don't have to worry about the ingredients in my foods for any reason except orneriness, politics, and general health rather than life-or-death reasons.

4 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-12-28 13:41
Subject:Trait Lists
Security:Public

Trait lists are kind of fun to read, but there's always a large number that are not quite right. I don't know why, but people then decide that maybe they are the flawed one and they try to adapt themselves to make the traits fit them, to cherry pick the words to make them fit better.

It's human to want to belong.

Last time, I wrote about how these lists of character traits are used to manipulate people into buying whatever the author is selling - usually books, seminars, retreats, classes, workshops, clothing lines, accessories, and so on. At least, the successful ones do. Sometimes, they become popular enough to hit mainstream - like the Indigo Children did, and there were a lot of people who made money off the Indigo Children.

Lists like those make me sad, and sometimes angry, if I think the list is written to scam people.

And too many are written to make money off of gullible, lonely people.


I am a cynical and mistrustful sort of person and I don't feel the need to classify myself or to belong to one single group. I enjoy belonging to a variety of special interest groups because I have special interests. They do not define all of me, just parts of me. Only I know all the many parts of me, as they change and evolve and are sometimes discarded or more deeply embraced. I am a puzzle, composed of many pieces that interlock, and I think we all are puzzles. Some are thousand piece puzzles and some are dozen piece puzzles. Some people grow, and their puzzles get bigger, and sometimes they interlock with other people's puzzles.

And the more I think about this, the more I think perhaps that is what a trait list I would create would be about - how diverse we all are, and how it's OK to embrace all the different parts of ourselves, and it's OK to section them off or bring them together as needed. We are all boxed puzzles and are works in progress: adding new pieces, discarding pieces that no longer fit in, meshing with a few people in one place and a few others in other places, and sometimes, those places link up, and sometimes they don't. None of this is bad, it's just the way we are. New knowledge and exposure to new people and new ideas allows us to generate new puzzle pieces from within. And sometimes, those new people and new knowledge and exposure to new experiences help define the shape of the puzzle piece and where it belongs - that Aha! Moment.

So, now to figure out how to write a list of these traits so they can be used by others without it being turned into some scammy thing.

post a comment



Date:2013-12-25 02:01
Subject:Manipulation
Security:Public

Remember when the list of traits for Indigo Children and Rainbow Children and Millennials and other such New Agey children were passed around?

Well, there's a new list for "Awakening Souls" and it mimics much of these lists in tone if not in words. Like those other lists, it attempts to make the reader feel special and part of a select group of people who are different and better than the rest of mankind.

I've always had a fascination for these lists and their explanations of the traits they list as being so special. I enjoy analyzing them and have been contemplating creating a counter list. First, I have to determine what what the list's purpose would be. Empowering people would be a good start. These lists do anything but that.

Let's go through the most recent one, shall we?Read more...Collapse )

7 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-08-16 13:16
Subject:Things I Learned in the News
Security:Public

The lesson I learned from this news story is that people still respect the white lab coat.

I should wear mine more often. And I'm making one for Itzl.

Kibble is not good for dogs, no matter what your vet says - he's probably getting kickbacks from the pet food industry. I make Itzl, Xoco's and Nigel's food. They eat what I eat, only without the seasonings I use.

I got a Soda Stream and now the soda industry is in trouble. I hadn't realized I drank that much soda. Not that I've ever had a diet soda - those things are nasty and have always been nasty. Real sugar, real calories are the best way to go. SO maybe lots of other people had the same idea. Hellllloooooo, Soda Stream.

Not only are animals going extinct, new ones are being discovered, and long lost ones are being rediscovered.

Whenever an established venue gets too crowded with downer oldsters, a new social networking site will pop up. They have fewer rules and less pressure to be conformative.

The EPA is finally trying to protect bees. Now, if only we could get HOAs and zoning code regulations to allow homeowners to keep bees in their backyards...

Conspiracy theorists will suspect another conspiracy - is that really what Area 51 was about? Or are they hiding something in plain sight now?

People of any size can do yoga - it's slow and bendy and you can move at your own pace. Ignore all those skinny people in yoga magazines. I already knew this, but t never hurts to have a reminder.

Effective ant removal treatments include powdered cinnamon or cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, powdered chalk (the kind used to mark the grounds for sporting events, although regular chalk, ground up, also works), borax mixed with sugar or a protein powder and enough water to make a paste, baking soda mixed with powdered sugar, and the artificial sweetener Equal.

post a comment



Date:2013-08-15 15:48
Subject:Top Ten Earning Authors
Security:Public

J. K. Rowling isn't in the Top Ten. Stephen King barely made the Top Ten, in 10th place.

Nope, the top selling author is E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey. I've never read her book. I'm not sure I want to.

James Patterson is right behind her, but while her fame is fleeting (only one book), James Patterson is a classic - he out-earns other authors because he writes so many books. One fifth of all hardbacks sold in the US are written by him. He's written at least 70 books spanning the genres from children's and young adult to murder mysteries and thrillers and speculative fiction.

The author of The Hunger Games is pretty hot right now. Suzanne Collins wrote an entire other series called the Underland Chronicles. The Underland Chronicles was written for a younger audience than the Hunger Games, and are delightful books that deserve much more recognition than they are getting.

In 4th place is Bill O'Reilly. It's kind of odd to see a political commenter as a best selling author, but there it is. He doesn't have an author's page to link to so I'll link to his publisher's page.

Danielle Steel is another long haul high earning author like James Patterson - her prolific output is what earns and keeps her in the Top Ten of authors. She's written nearly 100 books. Her upcoming book is one I am anticipating: Pure Joy. It's about her long haired Chihuahua, Minnie Mouse. It's also about some of her other dogs, too; a personal memoir through her pets.

And that's the top five earning authors.

The others in the Top Ten are:

Jeff Kinney - young adult SF (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)
Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum detective series
Nora Roberts - Romance
Dan Brown - Suspense thriller
Stephen King - Horror

Note that 5 of the Top Ten earning authors are prolific authors. They keep their names out there, write lots of books (decent ones, that remain well edited). The other 5 have a hook, a marketing scheme, a movie tie-in and their earnings aren't just their royalty checks.

The lesson, boys and girls, is that to earn lost of money in writing, you must not just be good, you must be prolific or have an excellent marketable product that translates into movies, T-shirts, posters, mugs, figurines, playsets, games, and other collectible things.

Being a great author isn't enough. You gotta be good and prolific or good and have a marketable hook. You have to be good and.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2013-08-09 12:22
Subject:"Outing" the Disabled
Security:Public

It's not enough that we who are differently abled have to struggle to fit into society, now there are those who want to post our names and addresses to "shame" us.

This "Artemis of the wild" seems to be upset that disabled people also vote, as if being disabled makes us less, or other, or incapable of participating in our government.

And s/he wants to publicize our names, to point us out, to paint that scarlett letter on us so others can do what? Vilify us? Make our lives even more difficult?

The poster of these notes wants strangers to determine if the people who are disabled really are disabled - people who probably have no medical training, no ability to determine degree of disability. The poster, who refuses to out him/herself, hides behind anonymity but has no problem shoving others under the proverbial bus.

My primary disability is an invisible one - hearing impairment sever enough to put my life at risk in many situations. I didn't admit how bad it was until I'd been hit a couple of times by SUV drivers who relied overly much on the back up beeps I can't hear. Looking at me, I look perfectly normal, if a bit aloof and snotty.

My secondary disabilities are also rather invisible unless you look closely. Before I got Itzl as my hearing assistance dog, I was hit by an SUV driver (see above paragraph) and both knees were severely injured. I now have difficulty walking up and down stairs or long distances or standing for a long time. I don't need a walker or crutches because on level ground, I do fine. 2 1/2 years ago, I slipped and fell at work, banging a fist sized bump on my head and breaking my wrist so badly that I've permanently. after surgery, lost 70% of the use of it. Because that was worker's comp, they offered me SSDI, but my employer and I figured out ways to keep me employed, so I turned down the SSDI. They said any time I wished, I could apply for it and they would support it.

So, yeah, I don't receive SSDI because I have a job.

Invisible as my disabilities are, as legitimate as they are, as life threatening as they can be (I might not be able to move fast enough to get out of the way of those backing SUVs in parking lots even if Itzl alerts immediately, thanks to the knees), some jerk like "Artemis of the wild" thinks s/he can put it to a vote of the people to decide if I really am disabled or not. S/he thinks s/he can post the names of disabled people who might not look disabled to the average Jane or Joe on the street and have them decide if we're disabled or not?

If they're receiving disability payments, they've been through a lot of work to prove it - and they don't get to just comfortably sit back and claim it for life, they have to periodically prove they are still disabled.

I have a friend who has no hands and no legs. He's on SSDI, and he has to prove he still has no hands or legs on a regular basis to continue to receive his SSDI.

It's not the piece of cake people like "Artemis of the wild" thinks it is.

How dare s/he try to determine whether we are disabled or not to public, popular opinion? To shame us into not exercising our right to vote? In trying to remove our right to vote from us - because that's what the note seems to hint at?

What s/he is doing is inciting people to violence against us because we are less abled.

That is so very wrong.

Oregon was one of the places I was considering retiring to. I may have to rethink that.

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-08-08 20:01
Subject:Stupidest Thing Ever?
Security:Public

The running of the bulls should remain a Pamplona tradition, and those hankering to participate need to save their pennies and go to Pamplona.

To appropriate it for profit motives is just - wrong on so many levels.

Beyond being wrong, it is stupid. We already know how risky it is in Pamplona, where they've been doing it for centuries and there is a valid reason for doing it, even if that reason isn't as strong as it once was. Small groups of bulls were run through a select section of the town's streets to move the bulls from holding pens to the arena for bullfighting.

It is not a religious event, having its roots in practicality, but it is a heritage event and to appropriate only a portion of it for profit without the rest of it is unsatisfactory and wrong. In America, we have no valid reason to "run the bulls", at least not the way they are setting this up.

Now, if they were doing this as a part of a rodeo, where the bulls were run a short distance between corrals and arena, where they would then be used to demonstrate the skills of the cowboys, I probably wouldn't be as against this because it would at least serve a purpose other than just making the bulls run for entertainment.

I'd still think it was stupid, but I would at least be able to agree it served a purpose. A stupid purpose, but still, a purpose, just as the bull runs in Spain serve the purpose of moving the bulls from holding corrals to the arena to demonstrate the skills of the bullfighters.

But to pointlessly run the bulls just for the sake of money is stupid and wrong and counter to the whole spirit of bull running.

The greed of some Americans never fails to astonish me.

post a comment



Date:2013-08-05 08:57
Subject:So Much For That Hope
Security:Public

George Zimmerman is armed, dangerous, and driving through other states.

Apparently, he's still allowed to have a carry permit.

He was stopped over the weekend in Texas for speeding ad warned he needed to not "play with your firearm" and then told to close the glovebox, where the gun was.

So he's still being an idiot asshole about guns, all "Ooooh, I have a gun and can shoot you dead, then scream "Stand your ground!" because you'll be dead and can't tell the truth - that I was an aggressive asshole and shot you just because you pissed me off".

I wonder who he will kill next - perhaps someone like me who changes parking spots because he parked too close to my car? I can just see him running across a parking lot to my new space, like that jerk yesterday, to yell and scream at me for moving, then blowing me away because I won't look at him.

Yep, gonna have to get some bulletproof clothing to wear in case I encounter a Zimmerman and his paranoid attitude and macho "man-gun". And not take any of my dogs except Itzl anywhere because no doubt a Zimmerman would shoot them, too.

Do they make bulletproof vests for little dogs? Do they sell kevlar by the yard? I could make protective gear for him in case we meet up with a Zimmerman.

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-08-04 13:50
Subject:Lightning Safety
Security:Public

This article about lightning is a very good start on why we need to be wary of lightning strikes.

Personal anecdote-wise, I have a friend whose father has been struck 3 times by lightning. All three times, he was using the bathroom and struck inside his own home. Bathrooms are generally placed on the outside of a home, with windows, and there's all that lovely conductive plumbing in there if the home is older. My house (until I paid to have it all replaced) had cast iron, copper, and steel plumbing. Now, it's all PVC stuff that isn't conductive. Same with my friend's father's house - they finally figured out it was the metal plumbing that was attracting the lightning and had it all replaced, too.

Obviously, my friend's father survived the strikes, but he lost fingers, his hearing, and lots of skin to 3rd degree burns.

And he was INSIDE when he was struck.

The NOAA has a page about lightning safety. I'm not sure why a building with electricity and plumbing is safer than a substantial building without those utilities. Given my friend's father's experience, though, I'm glad to see NOAA say to stay away from plumbing during a lightning storm.

Read more...Collapse )

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-01-04 16:26
Subject:A Rebuttal to Katie Kieffer's "12 Liberal Pledges for the New Year"
Security:Public

Katie Kieffer wrote an article about resolutions or, as she called them "pledges" for liberals.

She is spot on in claiming her list is "comical", so in the same spirit, I'd like to rebut her list with one for the so-called "conservatives".

1.) Resolve to spend time with gays. I have Republican friends and family members who would rather shoot themselves than be in the same city as a gay person. Gays really, really scare them. But gays aren't infectious. Their laughter may be, but their homosexuality isn't. It's been medically proven that you can't catch teh gay from homosexuals.

Banning homosexuality will not stop people from being born homosexual. Doing so makes us more vulnerable to hatred, unkindness, cruelty, and throws us back into a Dark Age of Unenlightenment. We need homosexuals for their humanizing effect on the rest of us, for their hard work, humor, taxes, and contributions to science, art, and literature.

By spending time around homosexuals and people of various gender presentations, I think Republicans will realize that a penis isn't an uncontrollable single use tool, and a lack of a penis isn't a life sentence to drudgery, and possession of a penis or a vagina isn't going to automatically turn anyone into teh gay.

I think Republicans will realize that homosexuals are worthy human beings, deserving of the same care and consideration as they expect for themselves.

MaikeH mentioned that you should "realize how many gay people you already know and that they have never tried to recruit you."

Harsh lesson, I know, but it gets easier.

2.) Resolve to stop watching Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin. Their hyperbolic fear-mongering negative attitude is ruining your day and you do not even realize it. At a minimum, admit that their shows are rooted in ratings, money, fear, and hyperbole and not facts, or real news.

3.) Resolve to eat a real salad. Just one. If you prefer, choose a salad from a regular grocery store and make it up yourself. Use at least 3 different types of greens, add chopped vegetables, some crunchy nuts, and maybe a scatter of fruit in it. I guarantee it won’t kill you; it will leave your tastebuds dancing in joy and give you a renewed sense of accomplishment. Your body will thank you for the greens, and your spirits will soar. There's more to life than bread and meat - a whole wonderful world of colorful, tasty food. Why limit yourself to eating brown, when you can also eat a rainbow of delicious fruits and vegetables?

4.) (I'm sorry, I'm laughing at #4 too hard to write a decent rebuttal to it - the liberals were the first to question the safety of the TSA scanners...)

5.) (And #5 just has me wiping laugh-tears from my eyes - almost every liberal I know owns land and they're farming it, growing a rainbow of tasty, tasty fruits and vegetables, dairy goats, chickens, and meat rabbits when Republican laws don't forbid them from doing so - what are those Republicans doing with their land - stockpiling inedible guns and bullets on it? What a waste of land.)

6.) Resolve to treat a Republican to a trip to Europe. Be sure to take them touring by train and bus, and stay at a couple of Youth Hostels. They’ll realize public transportation can be cost-effective, allow them to make new friends as they converse and do work while someone else worries about traffic, and they'll get to work or home or shopping free from stress. When they return home, they'll wonder why they have those faked out Hummers and gas-guzzling SUVs and Ford F750 mega-monster trucks in their drives - all that expense in brakes, oil changes, gasoline...what a savings in time, mental health, safety, car repairs, and space - think of the awesome play room they could build in that former garage.

7.) (For Republican ladies) Resolve to change your own lightbulbs, unclog your own toilet, change the lock on your door, or some other small act of home repair. Doing this small act of repair is actually empowering—not demeaning—because it shows that you appreciate a job well done, and that you aren't helpless and can indeed do things for yourself. It's the first step in becoming a woman and learning to think for yourself, and that's not a bad thing at all. While you're at it, at the next election, vote the way you want to, not the way your father, husband, or son tells you to vote.

8.) (For Republican guys) Resolve to take control of your penis. If you allow your penis to go where it's not wanted, then you, not your penis, not the person you violated with your penis, are responsible and must accept the consequences. No victim blaming, no trying to claim that because one woman lied all women are liars. And while you're at it - pay the child support. Until then, you're just a guy, not a man.

9.) (I'm laughing too hard at this one, too - the Republicans have enacted some of the stupidest laws - are they really advocating that we break them instead of working to change them? Really? That's, that's - I can't I'm melting onto the floor with laughter....)

10.) Resolve to save endangered adults. Encourage your friends to respect life - all life. Stop with the mandatory motherhood acts, and realize those cute little fetuses grow up into gun-wielding maniacs because you won't feed them, educate them, or provide them with adequate health care as they grew up. We have to make sure the living are well cared for before we bring even more people onto the planet. Humans are far from being an endangered species, and we need to consider how to care for the already-born in this over-populated world. Advocate for birth control, family planning, and realistic sex education in schools.

11.) (OMG - this is just TOO FUNNY - I can't come up with anything to equal this at all. I could make a stab at the earlier funny resolutions, but this one, OMG, OMG - I can't stop laughing. I'm going to go get a cup of tea - not the kind made with tea bags filled with the dust and leavings on the floor when real tea is cleaned and dried, but real tea, made from whole tea leaves.)

petesmom came up with a good one for #11: "Resolve to remember the mess in Afghanistan when NeoCons start agitating for a war with Iran. Do you really think the people of Iran won't be united by an attack on their country? Have you forgotten how the 9/11 attack on our country united Americans? Try to remember that citizens of other countries are just as proud, and love their countries just as much, as we do. It will help you to make better decisions about foreign policy."

That'll do.

12.) Resolve to read. May we suggest The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing edited by Richard Dawkins as a start? It really is a light foray into reality, not too much to start with. You might be surprised to realize just how fulfilling it is to know what reality is like. It's wonderful, full of exciting new vistas, and such opportunities!

Feel free to add more, or offer new suggestions. This is just too fun - I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.

3 comments | post a comment



Date:2013-01-04 13:58
Subject:A Rebuttal to Katie Kieffer's "12 Liberal Pledges for the New Year"
Security:Public

Katie Kieffer wrote an article about resolutions or, as she called them "pledges" for liberals.

She is spot on in claiming her list is "comical", so in the same spirit, I'd like to rebut her list with one for the so-called "conservatives".

1.) Resolve to spend time with gays. I have Republican friends and family members who would rather shoot themselves than be in the same city as a gay person. Gays really, really scare them. But gays aren't infectious. Their laughter may be, but their homosexuality isn't. It's been medically proven that you can't catch teh gay from homosexuals.

Banning homosexuality will not stop people from being born homosexual. Doing so makes us more vulnerable to hatred, unkindness, cruelty, and throws us back into a Dark Age of Unenlightenment. We need homosexuals for their humanizing effect on the rest of us, for their hard work, humor, taxes, and contributions to science, art, and literature.

By spending time around homosexuals and people of various gender presentations, I think Republicans will realize that a penis isn't an uncontrollable single use tool, and a lack of a penis isn't a life sentence to drudgery, and possession of a penis or a vagina isn't going to automatically turn anyone into teh gay.

I think Republicans will realize that homosexuals are worthy human beings, deserving of the same care and consideration as they expect for themselves.

MaikeH mentioned that you should "realize how many gay people you already know and that they have never tried to recruit you."

Harsh lesson, I know, but it gets easier.

2.) Resolve to stop watching Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin. Their hyperbolic fear-mongering negative attitude is ruining your day and you do not even realize it. At a minimum, admit that their shows are rooted in ratings, money, fear, and hyperbole and not facts, or real news.

3.) Resolve to eat a real salad. Just one. If you prefer, choose a salad from a regular grocery store and make it up yourself. Use at least 3 different types of greens, add chopped vegetables, some crunchy nuts, and maybe a scatter of fruit in it. I guarantee it won’t kill you; it will leave your tastebuds dancing in joy and give you a renewed sense of accomplishment. Your body will thank you for the greens, and your spirits will soar. There's more to life than bread and meat - a whole wonderful world of colorful, tasty food. Why limit yourself to eating brown, when you can also eat a rainbow of delicious fruits and vegetables?

4.) (I'm sorry, I'm laughing at #4 too hard to write a decent rebuttal to it - the liberals were the first to question the safety of the TSA scanners...)

5.) (And #5 just has me wiping laugh-tears from my eyes - almost every liberal I know owns land and they're farming it, growing a rainbow of tasty, tasty fruits and vegetables, dairy goats, chickens, and meat rabbits when Republican laws don't forbid them from doing so - what are those Republicans doing with their land - stockpiling inedible guns and bullets on it? What a waste of land.)

6.) Resolve to treat a Republican to a trip to Europe. Be sure to take them touring by train and bus, and stay at a couple of Youth Hostels. They’ll realize public transportation can be cost-effective, allow them to make new friends as they converse and do work while someone else worries about traffic, and they'll get to work or home or shopping free from stress. When they return home, they'll wonder why they have those faked out Hummers and gas-guzzling SUVs and Ford F750 mega-monster trucks in their drives - all that expense in brakes, oil changes, gasoline...what a savings in time, mental health, safety, car repairs, and space - think of the awesome play room they could build in that former garage.

7.) (For Republican ladies) Resolve to change your own lightbulbs, unclog your own toilet, change the lock on your door, or some other small act of home repair. Doing this small act of repair is actually empowering—not demeaning—because it shows that you appreciate a job well done, and that you aren't helpless and can indeed do things for yourself. It's the first step in becoming a woman and learning to think for yourself, and that's not a bad thing at all. While you're at it, at the next election, vote the way you want to, not the way your father, husband, or son tells you to vote.

8.) (For Republican guys) Resolve to take control of your penis. If you allow your penis to go where it's not wanted, then you, not your penis, not the person you violated with your penis, are responsible and must accept the consequences. No victim blaming, no trying to claim that because one woman lied all women are liars. And while you're at it - pay the child support. Until then, you're just a guy, not a man.

9.) (I'm laughing too hard at this one, too - the Republicans have enacted some of the stupidest laws - are they really advocating that we break them instead of working to change them? Really? That's, that's - I can't I'm melting onto the floor with laughter....)

10.) Resolve to save endangered adults. Encourage your friends to respect life - all life. Stop with the mandatory motherhood acts, and realize those cute little fetuses grow up into gun-wielding maniacs because you won't feed them, educate them, or provide them with adequate health care as they grew up. We have to make sure the living are well cared for before we bring even more people onto the planet. Humans are far from being an endangered species, and we need to consider how to care for the already-born in this over-populated world. Advocate for birth control, family planning, and realistic sex education in schools.

11.) (OMG - this is just TOO FUNNY - I can't come up with anything to equal this at all. I could make a stab at the earlier funny resolutions, but this one, OMG, OMG - I can't stop laughing. I'm going to go get a cup of tea - not the kind made with tea bags filled with the dust and leavings on the floor when real tea is cleaned and dried, but real tea, made from whole tea leaves.)

petesmom came up with a good one for #11: "Resolve to remember the mess in Afghanistan when NeoCons start agitating for a war with Iran. Do you really think the people of Iran won't be united by an attack on their country? Have you forgotten how the 9/11 attack on our country united Americans? Try to remember that citizens of other countries are just as proud, and love their countries just as much, as we do. It will help you to make better decisions about foreign policy."

That'll do.

12.) Resolve to read. May we suggest The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing edited by Richard Dawkins as a start? It really is a light foray into reality, not too much to start with. You might be surprised to realize just how fulfilling it is to know what reality is like. It's wonderful, full of exciting new vistas, and such opportunities!

Feel free to add more, or offer new suggestions. This is just too fun - I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2012-11-28 12:02
Subject:I Am Not Authorized
Security:Public

Apparently, I am not authorized to view the contents of some comments I receive.

I find that - peculiar.

4 comments | post a comment



Date:2012-11-21 16:33
Subject:A Crime Can Always Be Found
Security:Public

That's a quote from Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella "Traps" which I highly recommend reading.

It's a lot like Kafka's "The Trial", except in "Traps", it starts out as a game where these retired lawyers convince a stranded man to play a game with them whereby they try to find him guilty of a crime - murder, in this instance. You may not have read "Traps" but you've probably read "The Trial" which is far grimmer and more possible.

The quote also follows the same reasoning as Cardinal Richelieu's "give me six lines written by an honorable man and I will find something in them with which to hang him."

And today, this sentiment is expressed as "If you've got nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear" regarding the increasing amount of surveillance under which we are living.

Read more...Collapse )

5 comments | post a comment



Date:2012-06-05 11:26
Subject:Undictionaried
Security:Public

I am a veriloquist. I love words. I love the expression of words, the etymology, the use of them. I love pulling long forgotten words up and using them. I speak archaically, but with a southern-ish accent.

I also like making up words when there is no equivalent, of taking words from other languages and adapting for my tongue. I like playing with words.

Obviously, I am not the only one.

Erin McKean had an article in the NYT about undictionaried words. She won my heart by quoting The Princess Bride and linking to a You Tube of the quote.

And then she talked about dictionaries and words and wordsmithing and lexicography and coining words and phrases and I found myself cheering her on. I even did a standing ovation at one point.

Yes, I know. It surprised Xoco but Itzl thought it was quite dull and old hat and he merely yawned. Xoco gave me this incredulous look and "humphed" at me before walking over to the farthermost monkeybed and sitting in it to stare at me accusingly. She doesn't always approve of the things I do.

My children had difficulty in school because they had extensive and whimsical vocabularies composed of the words they learned from me, from the books I read them, from participating in rendezvous, renaissance fairs, SCA events, science fiction conventions, RPGs, comic books, and other such things. I always had to bring in dictionaries and treatises on word usage to them so they wouldn't misgrade their papers, and I had to have long discussions with them about how a word was a real word from its inception. Dictionaries don't always have the latest words in them, and they sometimes drop perfectly good words that aren't in common usage anymore. A word didn't have to be in the dictionary in order for it to be a real word. I did, however, caution my children to try to use words they could document in order to keep from frustrating their teachers.

I like saving obsolete words and my children have picked up the habit from me. Now that my children are out of school, I don't have to educate teachers about language evolution anymore, but we still engage in discussions of word usage and meanings, and send new words to one another when we encounter them.

Without undictionaried words, there would be no evolution of the language. We wouldn't have words like "chortle" or "agasp" or "bionics" or "polyamory" or "agritourism" or "affluenza" or "captcha" or "staycation" or "earworm" or "netizen" or "hoodie" or any of a number of awesome new words if we didn't portmanteau words and make up words needed to fill in gaps.

Playing with the language keeps it vital and relevant. Slanguage becomes language becomes obsolete to make way for newer words and sometimes, the obsolete words are restored (like "corrrade" which means to gather together from various sources - an article copy and pasted together from many sources, for example, would be corraded).

And this doesn't even encompass the seeping of words from other languages into ours. Yaoi, manga, tartle, ilunga, duende, kokusaijin, lagom, cibosity, kindergarten, abseil, karabiner, flak, kitsch, zeitgeist, karaoke, otaku, bento, panko, ramen, kawaii, sensei, aloha, kahuna, hula, luau, taboo, wiki, chutney, curry, jungle, pundit, thug, shawl, verandah, loot, guru, calico, hickory, hominy, avocado, anorak, guano, jerky, kayak, mukluks, hammock, bayou, flannel, penguin, bagel, golem, klutz, maven, nosh, caddy, cozy, golf, glamour, galore, pet, shindig, spunk, trousers, and so many, many more.

So, play with your words. Don't hesitate to create a word where there needs to be one. Don't be afraid to use archaic or obsolete words, it might be time for a come-back.

5 comments | post a comment



Date:2011-12-14 08:12
Subject:"Store Bought" Spoils the Potluck Spirit
Security:Public

"Store Bought" Spoils the Potluck Spirit by Jennifer Steinhauer

The title of this article would lead you to believe it's about potlucks, right?

Wrong.

It's mostly about bake sales, which are a whole other animal entirely.

I agree that bringing store bought goods to a bake sale is kind of wrong. After all, the point is to make money for the school.church/whatever as cheaply as possible and homebaked goods are always cheaper than store bought ones. Plus, a higher price tag can be placed on the home baked goods, but who's going to pay $1.00 for 2 Oreos when you can spend $3 and get more than a dozen of them?

But the article clearly uses "pot luck" in the title and not "bake sale". How much of the article is devoted to the potluck?

In a 1346 word article, 158 words were devoted to potlucks, and 47 more words shared potluck and nake sale. The other 1145 words were entirely a rant about bake sales. Don't you think the title should have been " Store Bought Spoils the Bake Sale Spirit"? It's rather misleading to drag potluck into the fray.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2011-10-09 09:47
Subject:I Been Stoleded!
Security:Public

Xoco is a brain damaged little dog. She has no short term memory at all and her long term memory is spotty at times. Out of sight, out of mind is a complete truism for her.

If I move her water dish or her food, she's lost. If she comes across a toy out of place, it's a brand new toy. Sometimes, if she falls asleep in my lap and wakes up there, she can't remember who I am until her scent memory kicks in. Her scent memory is infallible.

So is her sound memory - she can remember how she's supposed to react to any sound, what the sound is and where it generally comes from. Except people sounds - voices. Every voice is different and she is afraid of most voices. Even mine, at times. This is why she's a stay-at-home hearing dog.

But sometimes, I take her with me when I travel in spite of this handicap of hers. Usually, it's when I visit friends and family.

A couple of weeks ago, it was my sister's birthday. She lives out of state. So when I went to visit her, I took Xoco as well as Itzl. My sister has a little dachsie named Pepper and we dog-sit Pepper when my sister and her husband go on vacation, so Xoco knows Pepper and likes her.

Pepper's Visit 012

Itzl, of course, has considered Pepper part of his harem for years. Pepper is 6 years old, and Itzl helped train her as a wee puppy.

I've taken Xoco to my sister's before.

Apparently not often enough for the visits to lodge in Xoco's long term memory.

During the day, Xoco was fine. She played with Itzl and Pepper and napped on my lap and generally had a good time.

But come night....

Every hour, Xoco would bolt wide awake, eyes popping out of her little head as if she were screaming "Halp! Halp! I've been stoleded!"

Then she'd turn those huge frightened eyes on me and they'd get bigger. "OMG! YOU'VE BEEN STOLEDED, TOO!" her eyes would shout.

Then Itzl would grumble awake and kick or nudge her. She'd look at him, all big eyed and terrified and all the fear would drain from her. She'd collapse beside him and snuggle up, sighing, as if to say, "You saveded me!"

Itzl and Xoco during the Rapture

Rinse and repeat all night long.

When we left, Itzl herded Xoco into the car seat for dogs and she spent the entire trip as close to him as possible and cutting her eyes up to him as if to say, "My hero!"

Without Itzl, she'd probably still be in a panic.

Silly Xoco, thinking she'd been stolen when all we did was go for a visit.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2011-10-09 09:20
Subject:I Melted
Security:Public

My computer suffered catastrophic heat stroke and I have been using other people's computers to access on line until I could get a replacement computer.

That's done.

I should be back more regularly, assuming I have ever been regular, that is!

post a comment


browse
my journal