Friday, December 26, 2008


It has been sooooo cold here. The water in the birdbath froze and I actually had to wrap the outside hose bibs. I'm sure many of you think I'm a lunatic for believing 29 degrees Fahrenheit is really cold, while you're suffering at temperatures below zero. However, you must also remember that we regularly see many summer days with the heat cooking us at temperatures hovering around 115 degrees. The saying, "but it's a dry heat" means nothing after 106 degrees. Hot is hot. After so much heat, this freeze comes as rather a shock. I used to say I loved being able to drive to the snow only 40 minutes away during winter. This year, we got 8 inches of snow and our schools had a snow day. It was beautiful! Unless you needed to get anywhere. My city only has one snow plow! It's usually reserved for the highway along mountain passes; not the valley streets! Yes, there is great beauty in the cold, but I'd still rather live in a warm climate (although maybe not quite so hot as 115 degrees).

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yes, I am well aware that I should be in the Christmas spirit. This year, however, I can't seem to rustle up the energy to "celebrate." I don't see the point to all the lunacy of rushing around to put up a tree and decorate, only to rush around taking it all down again in a couple of weeks. I also can't afford to travel to spend the holidays with family. Instead, I've decided to save money by not driving all over the place to buy gifts (or order gifts and have someone else drive all over the place to deliver them). I refuse to add to the recession by spending what I don't have, or paying the loansharks at the credit card companies to borrow their money.

I do plan on using this time to get healthy, relax and develop a store of energy to bring back to work. I've made a couple of donations. I also want to do something creative, enjoy the beauty of nature and my backyard, listen to beautiful music, sing loud enough to raise the rafters, and spend some time with friends. An absence of decorations doesn't mean that I cannot celebrate in my heart and mind, where it counts the most. After all, long before the consumer model of Christmas came to the fore, Christmas was all about love. In the original spirit of Christmas, I wholeheartedly send the warmth of the holiday season and my love to all my family and friends. I truly wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Please Help the People of Burma

Many of those who protested and/or who spoke to foreign journalists during the military junta's crackdown on pro-Democracy protests were convicted in kangaroo courts. They are now either serving life sentences in prisons or mental institutions. Avaaz has found a great, indirect way to put pressure on the illegal Myanmar government in Burma to treat these people fairly: put pressure on Lloyds of London to stop insuring the Military Junta, which has been in power since 1962. Check out this link and help the people of Burma:

Are You Supporting the Ivory Militia? or Are You Killing Two "Birds" with One "Stone?"

African elephants are rapidly being driven towards extinction, brought to this precipice by the love of ivory. The predominant buyers in this ivory market are American and Chinese citizens. These ivory buyers not only fuel the destruction of a highly-intelligent species, but they also directly fund the militia that commit major human rights violations in such countries as Chad and Sudan. These militia illegally kill hundreds of elephants to cut off their ivory tusks. Then the militia use the profits from the sale of this ivory to fund their violence against people. If you buy ivory, you are basically a murderer and/or rapist, only your actions are a few steps removed from the actual violent acts perpetrated by the militia you directly support. So, if you think ivory is beautiful, let it remain on its owner. Instead, go to see it on a photo/video safari, or in a museum, which, in the near future, may also be the only place you'll be able to see an African elephant.

If you'd like to know more about what militias are doing in that area of the world, please remember that Chad shares a common border with the Darfur region of Sudan. Please check out the following links:

Governor Blagojevich, AKA "Crash" Corruption

Talk about hitting a wall without any awareness you're there! Maybe the driver's still stumbling around drunk with power. This car must have an Illinois license plate. Governor Blagojevich, whether or not he's charged and found guilty, is either a narcissist or sociopath...or both. This kind of euphoric corruption reminds me of the words from a song in Mamma Mia. "Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man's world. Money, money, money, always sunny, in a rich man's world." He's most certainly not alone in the crime spree of corruption and influence peddling occurring in this country, nor is he the only person in office who could be the recipient of a similar diagnosis, right on up to our current Commander-in-Chief. We simply continue to see more and more riders, individuals or corporations, on the roller coaster of widespread greed and corruption.

It seems like the United States of America is for sale. It’s not just Senate seats that are pandered, it’s also the undue influence of one individual or group over another. This influence and corruption also benefit corporations and entire industries. Politicians and government employees have consistently given "particular" corporations and businesses breaks on regulations and policies, instead of protecting the American citizen and our environment.

Blagojevich is only the tip of the iceburg. We need wide-ranging reform of elections, political appointments, contracts (including outlawing cost-plus, no-bid contracts), etc. to prevent the type of corruption of which Blagojevich is, allegedly, one prime example. Honestly, I think Lincoln would not be the only one turning over in his grave; so would our Founding Fathers.