Cast of Characters:



Karen
Enkidu (AKA Slim)
Beowolf (AKA Wolfie)
Blaze (AKA Blaze)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meet Blaze



Meet Blaze.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Good bye, Spike

Spike died...probably of coccidia; which the vet didn't find until another ferret developed it. . He just got so sick, that he stopped eating, wouldn't take his medicine and just got sicker and sicker.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ferret weigh in


Enkidu: 2lbs 9.5oz; 1.176kg
Wolfie: 2lbs 0.25oz; 1.014kg
Spike: 2lbs 4.25oz;

Spike joined us on January 26, 2011.

(Loki left us on January 2 , 2010)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dear Senators and Representatives... Re: Monsanto and other companies that are monopolizing the world's food supply

Dear Senators and Representatives,

I am quite concerned about companies, such as Monsanto, patenting genes, which is essentially patenting life. Not only is Monsanto patenting its genetically modified crops, but it is also applying for patents on natural seeds and animal genes that make up both our natural heritage and our food supply.

The multinational corporations are preventing farmers from planting their own crops. With current patent law and court precedent, the wind (or a Monsanto agent) could place some GMO seeds into a farmer's field, without the farmer's knowledge, and then sue him or her for having Monsanto's patented product on his or her land. This is unfair to farmers who have never purchased nor desired Monsanto products.

It is essential that these multinational corporations be prevented from controlling the world's food supply!

Please fully endorse and openly support "H.R. 6636 Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act" and work for a moratorium on GMOs and their byproducts!

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Karen


***********************
Monsanto Patent for a Pig

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Doing better

I'm currently visiting my folks and have been pretty close to stable since arriving. It's good to be in an environment with minimal emotional triggers. Although Ty and I had spent a week together here, this place isn't nearly as saturated with memories as my own apartment.

Currently, my thoughts are in two places:

1) I want to go abroad for at least a year; preferably somewhere where I could teach English and learn Arabic. Since I have funding from the university this year, I'll not leave until next.

2) Because of planning to leave in a year, getting into another committed, potentially long-term relationship is not really a good idea.

The various permutations on these thoughts are still rather numerous and will need some more consideration before implementation.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Relationships end.

For those of you who only keep in touch by reading my blog, here’s the update. Ty and I broke up on Monday. It sucks. It was more or less mutual and is probably for the best in the long run, though. I’m alright most of the time, but still have inconsolable crying spells, usually at night.

I’m currently thinking of leaving town for a while. We’ll see.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Demonizing the other

It never ceases to amaze me how people from opposite political ideologies can take the same argument and use it against each other. I posted on Martin Niemöller's poem of injustice on the part of the Nazis and the enlightened self-interest involved in speaking out against injustice. In the comments section, someone just posted this:

That poem is one of the most heart-wrenching writings in the Western world. It makes an irrefutable point about moral clarity.

I just wrote to a woman, an enthusiastic supporter of the current american president, and mentioned this poem. She said, "I don't study war history."

I was stunned! These are the people who put a non-citizen in our White House.


My response:
Actually, Obama is a citizen. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

I think that we all need to speak up, though, when we see injustices taking place, regardless of political orientation.


Talk about being stunned! Usually, I wouldn't consider someone this xenophobic to (need to) take the part of Niemöller against a more liberal individual. I would also hope that the more liberal individual wouldn't disagree with the sentiments expressed in the poem; of course, taken out of context, it's impossible to know with what exactly the woman alluded to was taking issue. As far as not studying history, I suspect that there are many of all ideologies guilty of this.

It's the normal thing, at least in the United States, to accuse the other side of ignorance or malice. I suspect that we probably all have more in common than we are led to believe by those seeking power through the spread of fear.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Michael Moore on converting GM's production capacity to greener products

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Goodbye, GM
by Michael Moore

June 1, 2009

I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.

As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?

It is with sad irony that the company which invented "planned obsolescence" -- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- has now made itself obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly comfortable to drive. Oh -- and that wouldn't start falling apart after two years. GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its executives arrogantly ignored the "inferior" Japanese and German cars, cars which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to "improve" the short-term bottom line of the corporation. Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.

So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company's body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with -- dare I say it -- joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too, are without a job.

But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! I know, I know -- who on earth wants to run a car company? Who among us wants $50 billion of our tax dollars thrown down the rat hole of still trying to save GM? Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM. Saving our precious industrial infrastructure, though, is another matter and must be a top priority. If we allow the shutting down and tearing down of our auto plants, we will sorely wish we still had them when we realize that those factories could have built the alternative energy systems we now desperately need. And when we realize that the best way to transport ourselves is on light rail and bullet trains and cleaner buses, how will we do this if we've allowed our industrial capacity and its skilled workforce to disappear?

Thus, as GM is "reorganized" by the federal government and the bankruptcy court, here is the plan I am asking President Obama to implement for the good of the workers, the GM communities, and the nation as a whole. Twenty years ago when I made "Roger & Me," I tried to warn people about what was ahead for General Motors. Had the power structure and the punditocracy listened, maybe much of this could have been avoided. Based on my track record, I request an honest and sincere consideration of the following suggestions:

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

2. Don't put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars. Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce -- and most of those who have been laid off -- employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

3. Announce that we will have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in the next five years. Japan is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first bullet train this year. Now they have dozens of them. Average speed: 165 mph. Average time a train is late: under 30 seconds. They have had these high speed trains for nearly five decades -- and we don't even have one! The fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A. in 17 hours by train, and that we haven't used it, is criminal. Let's hire the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country. Chicago to Detroit in less than two hours. Miami to DC in under 7 hours. Denver to Dallas in five and a half. This can be done and done now.

4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.

5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries). It will take a few years for people to get used to the new ways to transport ourselves, so if we're going to have automobiles, let's have kinder, gentler ones. We can be building these next month (do not believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories -- that simply isn't true).

7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.

8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.

9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them.

Well, that's a start. Please, please, please don't save GM so that a smaller version of it will simply do nothing more than build Chevys or Cadillacs. This is not a long-term solution. Don't throw bad money into a company whose tailpipe is malfunctioning, causing a strange odor to fill the car.

100 years ago this year, the founders of General Motors convinced the world to give up their horses and saddles and buggy whips to try a new form of transportation. Now it is time for us to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine. It seemed to serve us well for so long. We enjoyed the car hops at the A&W. We made out in the front -- and the back -- seat. We watched movies on large outdoor screens, went to the races at NASCAR tracks across the country, and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time through the window down Hwy. 1. And now it's over. It's a new day and a new century. The President -- and the UAW -- must seize this moment and create a big batch of lemonade from this very sour and sad lemon.

Yesterday, the last surviving person from the Titanic disaster passed away. She escaped certain death that night and went on to live another 97 years.

So can we survive our own Titanic in all the Flint Michigans of this country. 60% of GM is ours. I think we can do a better job.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

Sunday, May 03, 2009

One of my favorite facebook quotes from a colleague

C... will be on the 13th floor of [Our favorite campus building]. All day. There are unanswered questions about Ezekiel's use of Egypt. I'm going to invent them and answer them. That's what a scholar does.



It's funny, because it's true!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Workout

20 minutes Airclimber
3 minutes pacing
10 minutes Airclimber
5 minutes pacing

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

5 children a day accused of being witches in Nigeria - EVERY DAY!

Photo: ©Robin Hammond

And being accused of being a witch means a horrible life, or often death for the poor child.

If the parents aren't willing or able to pay a preacher to chase out the devil, then the child is abandoned, or mutilated, or killed, or a combination of that.

"The deeply held belief by the people of Akwa Ibom State and the Efik speaking communities in Cross River State cuts across all tiers of society. Widely read and travelled academics and local villagers fear such children. This fear stems from the belief that a spiritual spell can be given to a person through food and drink. The soul of the person who eats this spell will then leave the body to be initiated in a gathering of witches and wizards. The initiated person will then have the power to wreak havoc, such as causing diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, cancer. All accidents, drunkenness mental health problems, smoking of marijuana, divorce, infertility, and misfortunes are seen to be the handiwork of witches and wizards. In recent times it is believed that children have become the target for initiation by the elderly witches as they are more susceptible to their spells and are quicker in action."
Children are chopped with machetes, burned with acid and buried alive. All this is done in the name of Christianity! If you are a Christian, please demand that your church take a stand against such practices by other so-called Christians!

Below are links to a documentary on this atrocity "Dispatches: Saving Africa's Witch Children"..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUJSME0TORw
Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7C8Znyf510 Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE8epBkSPfo Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYG-h1avVrc Part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nH8ZJbJ9lY Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXUKF8dHf4A Part 6

To donate funds to care for these abandoned and traumatized children, go here:

http://www.steppingstonesnigeria.org

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Working out some more!

15 minutes Airclimber
1 minute pacing
15 minutes Airclimber
4 minutes pacing

This is my best workout since getting the Airclimber. :)

I'm hoping that my weight-loss will continue. At the beginning of the week, I was down 10lbs from the previous month. A couple of days later, it looked like 5 of those pounds were back - maybe it was just severe dehydration. I haven't been eating the best, so I need to work on that.

But anyway, I just worked out and need to take a shower and go somewhere to work. My internet at home is out at the moment, so I'll have to wait to post this until I get somewhere with a connection.

*update* As you can see, I found an internet connection. Time to work!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Argh! Don't be so damn cryptic.

So, a while ago, this guy from my social circle caught my attention. He's incredibly intelligent, funny, and sensitive; not to mention reasonably good looking. He's not perfect, but of course, nobody is. We met for coffee and talked for a while. At some time around then, I asked a mutual friend to find out what this guy thought of me. The answer: ‘It’s not that he’s not interested in you, but that he needs to work on himself first and isn’t interested in anyone right now.’

Alright fine. A bit more time passed and I called the guy and asked him if there was any sort of possibility for something between us and he said no.

After that, I interacted with him as I do with my other guy friends, but he had become more distant. *shrugs* No big deal; it’s not like he owes me anything. It’s really not that strange for me to have had a little crush on most of my guy friends and then move on to a completely platonic friendship, though there’s usually still hugging and perhaps a little flirting, though I’ve been told before that I’m flirting even when I don’t think I am. Anyway, from my point of view, all is well. The status quo is maintained.

Around Christmas time, I briefly toyed with the idea of trying to start things up with my ex-boyfriend, Reynaldo, again. And then I thought about this guy, and even knowing that he wasn't at all interested in me and I wasn't going to pursue him further, I realized that I couldn't be satisfied with Reynaldo after having met someone like this guy. Actually, I kinda feel sorry for anyone who I might meet in the future who would be interested in me, because this guy is a sort of a measure for what I want. Fortunately, a week or so later, I stopped thinking about relationships and everything went back to the status quo, with me comfortable with being single and OK with waiting for someone else to come along in due course.

So, fast forward to Monday night / Tuesday morning at about 2am. I’m suffering from insomnia and log on to facebook. This guy is online too and we start chatting, which is pretty unusual until now, probably because we’re just not usually online to chat at the same times of day or don’t have anything in particular to say. At some point in the conversation, he says “I think I owe you a story.” And that “people sometimes react … strangely,” to it, for which he apologizes. At this point, I’m completely surprised, because I don’t think that he owes me anything and I can’t imagine that he would have anything that he would need to apologize for. The story ends up being something about his previous love life, which I’m not going to share here. So, at this point, I’m thinking, wow…he’s talking to me about relationships, and he felt that he owed it to me to do so. Then he says a bunch of cryptic stuff about ‘affirming each other’s value as members of the opposite sex’. There’s more cryptic stuff that I didn’t understand the meaning of well enough even to have a clear enough sense of it to paraphrase, and by the time I figured out that I was going to have to analyze the conversation further, we were far enough along that facebook wasn’t keeping a record of the beginning. At some point, still really confused about what he means, I ask what he means. More riddles. So, I ask “So you mean a completely platonic relationship with hugs?” like I have with our mutual friend. He says ‘it’s more grey than that’. So, by the end of the conversation, I’ve taken him to mean that he doesn’t think that a relationship really has a chance, but that he’s willing to find out. And we have tentative plans to go to the zoo.

Cool. Here’s this really great guy showing interest in me, and it’s mutual. I begin thinking of him as a potential partner, rather than as just one of the guys. I realized that if I spent too much time thinking about him before getting to know him better, I was going to start creating an idealized person in my head, who doesn’t really exist, so I read whatever I could find that he’s posted online. I find a lot after some digging and still like what I see.

So, all week, I’ve got that hopeful beginning of a relationship feeling, something that I hadn’t felt since breaking up with Reynaldo 6 years ago. It was great.

The only thing is, this guy is confusing me. On Tuesday night, I go to a social gathering where he is going to be, but he seems kinda distant. And then he doesn’t make any effort to contact me later. So then, I’m thinking, what the hell? He brought this up! Here I am with him stuck on my mind and he doesn’t seem to be moving on this at all. I mean, I wasn’t even going to go to the social gathering on Tuesday, because I have so much school work to do, but I wanted to see him.

Of course, I talked to various friends about it, and they suggested that he was just shy and might feel a bit awkward. “Skittish” is the word that one person used. So, then I’m thinking, OK, he needs some space – I should wait for him to come to me, otherwise, he’ll start thinking that I’m desperate and be scared away.

Then I get the bright idea to suggest on facebook that someone should invite me out, to see if he’ll go for it. He doesn’t, but three other friends ask if I’d like to join them for supper. It’s good to have friends! I saw him online and asked what his evening plans were. He said that he’d be eating with his parents and then didn’t know what he would be doing. I asked if he’d meet me for dessert, and he said maybe, but he couldn’t remember if he had somewhere else he was supposed to be, and that he’d call when he had it figured out. So, I go eat with Yang, who prepared some very delicious Chinese food.

He finally calls, after I get home, to say that he’s just now leaving his parents’ house, but it’s late, so he’s going home. I was a bit disappointed, but needed to finish writing a paper anyway. Still wanting to get a chance to talk with him in private, I asked him if he would give me a ride to another social gathering on Monday (today). At first, he was reluctant, since I generally want to leave places before he does. I said that if I needed to go to bed, I could call a cab or crash on a couch. Then he insisted that he would take me home before letting me do either of those things. So, I said that I'd just drive myself if it was going to be too much trouble, but then he said that he’d give me a ride, and we’d just see if it worked out.

When he logged onto the internet a bit later, we chatted some more. Finally, I say something to show my interest, and he is bothered by it. Again, I’m confused and ask him to tell me whether he is interested or not so that I can react accordingly. He finally speaks plain English: “I'm not interested in you romantically. I would like to hang out with you more often.”

There it is. The entire week of fretting for nothing. All one big misunderstanding. If he’d been so clear on Monday night, none of this would have been an issue. As it was, though, he’d inadvertently gotten my hopes up. And it was so good the feeling that I had, when I thought he might care about me that way. It’s just been so long. So, even though I would have been fine hearing that from him on Monday, hearing it yesterday was hard, because it smashed all those raised expectations to pieces. I couldn’t help but cry. It’s not that I was crying because I’d lost him; you can’t lose what you never actually had. But it was because I let myself be vulnerable. I was a fool going on like a giddy school girl with my friends. I let emotions that are usually tucked away take over. I wasn’t able to concentrate on my school work because I couldn’t get my mind off of him. All of that, and then finding out that it was a misunderstanding. And it would have been perhaps satisfying to have been able to blame him for it, but despite the result, he was actually trying to be open and honest with me; he was just too cryptic for me to understand what he was trying to say, and since I didn’t really understand, I must have read into it what I wanted to hear. I mean, jeez, he framed the conversation by talking about romantic relationships!

Of course, he probably had no idea what was going on in my head, and didn’t realize that he’d led me on, so he couldn’t understand why I’d been coming on to him and then been upset when he said that there was no romance there. I didn’t want to be mad at him, but was still very upset and it hurt so much. So, I logged off and cried inconsolably for about an hour. Then I went to bed and read a book.

For the most part, I’m over it now. I think I’ll be fine just being friends with him, as I would have been if none of this had ever happened. The whole experience has just been very emotionally draining, and now I’m under even more stress, because I have to make up the work that I should have been doing last week, but wasn’t able because of his confusing presence on my mind.