Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Palate Cleanser




After too much political musings one must have a palate cleanser. Here is a photo of Sam, Brian and Annie on the loveseat. An after dinner mint to cleanse the palate of all distasteful political hate-mongering. Dogs are good and remind one of what's truly important in life!

Banned from teamsarah.org

I dared speak my mind on the blog that is teamsarah.org and gosh by golly, I am now banned! Banished; forever sent forth into a realm where I am unable to communicate reason to those neo-con crazy fundies that do not share my vision of the world and how I see it. It's really not that we don't agree, it's that they will not allow anyone to express an opinion that doesn't agree with their own. Fine, wallow in your own ignorance and by the way, keep taking out second mortgages on your double wides to help pay Sarah Palin's legal bills. You go, run with that. Perhaps you'll start to donate some money to Scientology too, since Sarah Palin is romancing another religion besides your own. Wow, we'll soon have a minority of far right fundamentalist christian scientologist supporters. Who will you pick on then? Oh, Mormons, that's right, you can always gang up on them.

Actually, I commented to another poster on this website regarding "reproductive freedom". This poster was a male and he presumed to dictate that he and other males of his ilk and the illustrious champion of the rights of the unborn (Sarah Palin, that is) should have the power of "choice" regarding a person's reproductive imperative.
I was nice, I even mentioned that I had read recently that conservative folks were being somewhat more open to listening to other points of view, especially in light of all of the 1st Amendment questioning that is going on lately regarding a person's ability to speak freely.

The teamsarah website is exercising their right to censor me and my opinions, but I must proclaim that their behavior is getting them no points, both with the right or the left.

Go ahead, enjoy your little garden of truth, as you see it. Only speak to likeminded people and only allow posts that do not contradict your beliefs. See where that gets ya.

Oh, I know where that gets ya, it gets ya sequestered in your own little bubble; a bubble that is growing smaller and smaller and smaller, until there is no more oxygen left for any of you to breath in your tiny little bubble of minority conservatism. What will you do when the bubble runs out of air? Will you all suffocate in your hate, or will someone break the bubble and set you free?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Electromagnetic Spectrum as Applied to Politics


Some political issues, both in Alaska and in the country have me up in arms, not knowing what to think or what to do. I've been spending time reading about our local progressive (read left-leaning) blogger, Alaska Muckraker, being outed by one of our local politicians (Mike Doogan). Apparently she (Muckraker) did not want to have her identity known because she feared retribution from those that did not share her views. I must say after another local blogger, Celtic Diva, filed an ethics complaint against our Governor and she shared some of the comments that came to her via email from the far right, I can understand why Muckraker was concerned. The comments to Diva were hateful, off topic, and less than gracious to say the least. It's a sad world when people have to live in fear of speaking their mind.

I have spent a bit of time perusing both left leaning and right leaning blogs and websites and I have to say that sometimes the far left gets my goat as often as the far right does. I spent some time on Team Sarah today just to check out what was going on at the far right. They were up to the same antics that they berate the "godless far lefties" for engaging in. "Pots calling kettles black" on both sides of the fence. Sick of it all around and on both sides.

I don't agree with the tactics of the whale warrior people that sail the high seas and act like pirates towards the whaling boats. I don't agree with whaling but the tactics employed by this group that protests the practice are unsavory, in my opinion. I don't agree with the anti-abortionists that bomb clinics and take photos and jars of dead babies to our Alaska State Fair. I think it's over the top. Both of those groups are on the far blue and red ends of the political spectrum and they feel that the ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS. IT DOES NOT. The whalers keep whaling and women keep having abortions. No amount of anti-whaling pirate behavior or dead babies in jars changes anyone's actions. Change happens through the moderate behavior of the majority of people acting together to make a difference.

That's where the graphic above comes into play, for me at least. This is a graphic representing the electromagnetic spectrum. It represents how we can "visualize energy", both energy we can see (the visual spectrum that our human eyes can perceive) and other forms of energy both to the far left and the far right of what our human eyes can discern. As you will notice, the amount of energy visible to the human eye as "light" is a very small part of the spectrum. There is much that we cannot perceive on both the left and the right of what our eyes can see. We can see these energy streams by using special instruments but we as humans only have perception of one small segment of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Blue is on the left, and red is on the right. Our eyes can only "see" a small bit somewhat to the left of the center of the spectrum, in the Green/Yellow part. This is what we visually know as humans and I've decided that this is what I will politically know as a human. I'm growing weary of both the blue and the red and I think that this country will only succeed if we rest somewhere in the green/yellow area of our political spectrum.

I don't mean to use "green" as in be a greenie. I don't recycle everything and I don't drive a hybrid. I do use fluorescent bulbs because they cut my electric bill by 2/3. I also don't prescribe to the "yellow", as in I'm not afraid to let either the blue side or the red side know when I find their ideas unpalatable; I'm not afraid to stand up to either side. I am always willing to listen to a good argument from both sides and if either end of the spectrum, red or blue, can present a good enough argument, including proof to back it up, then I might just have to agree with them.

Crayon calls this green/yellow color Electric Lime. I think that an Electric Lime country might just be the best option for all of us.


We finally got ASHED!


Ash on the car this morningAsh falling in the yard last night.

Not very much, just a dusting, but still strange. By strange, I mean that something instinctive kicks in when one sees an giant black cloud heading towards your home; first turning the sun the shade of orange usually seen during forest fires, then obscuring the sun completely. Something in the cerebral cortex says "run", or "do something now", when there is nothing to do but wait and see.

I was just out this morning watering the ducks and the strangest thing about the ash is the lingering odor. It's a mix of the mineral smell of the pulverized rock with a whiff of sulfur and ozone thrown in. The smell triggers some deep seated instinctual "fight or flight" response from my cerebral cortex. The morning seems somehow "off" and the gray light of the cloudy day is ominous. A little part of my mind is is telling me that "vigilance is required, so don't let your guard down". Interesting feelings generated by just a little ashfall, but I'm sure that through the ages our brains have given us these "red flags" that trigger this fight or flight response whether it be because severe weather, fires or even volcanic eruptions.

The really cool part of it is that parts of a mountain 120 air miles from us are now in our yard. The power of Mother Nature is never less than spectacular!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something set me off today so I have to talk about it....

I was reading about Scientology today and many christian people were commenting about how "stupid" the Scientology creation story is. For those of you who don't know about Scientology here it is in a nutshell:

They believe that an evil overlord named Xenu shipped a bunch of people from his home planet to Earth when overcrowding there became a problem. We humans are the descendants of these aliens.

It's a creation myth, there are too many to count. They all have merit, only because most were created wayyyyy back in a time where we didn't have a scientific method of explaining where the hell we came from and why we seem to be more "intelligent" than the other creatures that are here with us. ("seem to be" is the operative phrase here; we really haven't been able to quantify the intelligence of most species because we don't really know how to test them on a "human level".)

I've always believed that if people can buy into the bible myth, then they can buy into any creation myth that is presented to them. The same lack of logic, inability to embrace proven scientific standards, and lack of personal curiosity must be employed to accept any myth relating to how we humans came to be, except the one that states that we EVOLVED, over more years than we as the evolved species can even comprehend. Evolution is occurring right now under our very noses and is even speeding up because we are in a cycle of climate change. (Who knows if that is our fault or not, perhaps it is partly due to human influence, but the earth is very dynamic, so I don't think we can take all of the credit)

We are in the 21st century and science is giving us real answers regarding our existence. It's time to put away the fairy tales and accept that we are a happy accident of "evolution" and that perhaps we do not have a universal purpose and that we're lucky to get a chance to have our go around on this big blue marble. The creation myths that we call religion have caused too much blood shed and dissent among the human residents of this planet and it's time for it to stop! We have a purpose here, on this earth, for however long we get to be here and our purpose now should be to embrace harmony and acceptance and work together to cure what ails us as a species and what ails our home planet.

Faith is great, don't get me wrong. I have friends that are very strong people in the face of adversity and they always give ALL of the credit to God. I think they are selling themselves short, but if God helps them to be stronger, so be it. I just wish that everyone wouldn't believe EVERYTHING that they read.

Debating posting this, but what the heck, I'll just hit send. (I'm not going to censor myself just because everyone doesn't agree!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

OOPS, I did it again (and again and again and again!)

The long awaited Mt. Redoubt eruption finally began last night (Sunday) at 10:40pm and continued throughout the night and into early morning, with 4 significant eruptions having been observed. Well, not really observed in the visual sense as there was darkness during the night and then heavy cloud cover during the day, but still, observed by all of the sensitive instruments in place on and around and above the volcano. No webcam photos recently, however, as the webcam on the Northwest slope of the volcano is registering as "inactive" at this point. Hmmm, wonder why?

I was first made aware of this eruptive activity at 11:05pm last night, by my ever alert husband who saw the first news item appear on the internet. We discussed what to do in the event of massive ashfall, but decided to wait and see what the Alaska Volcano Observatory and National Weather Service had to say regarding possible ashfall in our area. We'd had pretty woop-ass winds throughout the day, coming from the east, so I thought that any ash would be blown away from our area. (I know about those winds as I hiked with the dogs in those winds early in the day...) Even knowing that the wind was in our favor, I still couldn't help sitting in bed and looking out into the darkness and wondering what we might wake up to. But alas, we have dodged this bullet, if only by a few miles as people 30 miles west in Willow were reporting ashfall in their town.

The upper level winds have blown the ash cloud to the Northwest of the volcano and towards points 30 miles west of us (Willow) and then beyond towards Cantwell (150 miles Northwest of Wasilla). Sorry for you folks, but happy for me! All in all it seems like the eruption was so violent that most of the ash was carried very high into the atmosphere and won't be making it's way down anytime soon. At last report the winds were shifting to carry the ash over Anchorage, but the majority of the ash was suspended from 40,000 to 60,000 feet and isn't expected to fall over any landmass in the near future.

So, let's all look forward to colorful sunrises and sunsets in Southcentral Alaska for the next few days. The Alaska Volcano Observatory does remind us, however, that the last eruptive phase of Mt. Redoubt lasted for over 4 months, so we probably have not seen the last of it by far.

Time for a volcano party...Flaming Volcano drinks for everyone (you know, the really sweet drinks in the big volcano bowl with the flaming sterno in the middle and the really long straws?)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

We don't need no education


Way to go Sarah Palin! Standing up to those silly Dems and their crazy stimulus package.

Sorry Sarah Palin, but we do need some education, especially here in Alaska.

Sarah says, "we don't need you up here, we're just fine without your stimulus money, especially the $160 million for education. Wow, we might need a lot of things up here, but extra money to educate Alaskans, hell no, we're smarter than, oh wait, we're not smarter than any of the lower 49 states? Even some schools in the most downtrodden areas of Appalachia have better test results and lower dropout rates than Alaska?....sorry my bad, guess I didn't do my research. I'm a populist, ya know, and that means that I'm really just a middle aged cheerleader that doesn't have to know what I'm talking about. I'm just here to get you all riled up and excited about, well, something that seems important at the time......"

Oh, well, just ignore the fact that Alaskan children have some of the lowest scores on standardized tests in the nation and our dropout rate is at 38%.

Also ignore the fact that our governor can't put together a coherent sentence to save her life and her daughter sounded just like the single-mother-high school-dropout that she is when she was premiering her newest child to the nation w/Greta Van Susteren on Fox News. Not to mention the fact that Bristol's "baby daddy" Levi Johnston could hardly be described as "eloquent" in his last interview w/ABC news. There are three shining examples of products of the Alaska school system, and they're part of the Governor's family!!!

I guess Sarah Palin is holding the entire state of Alaska to the same level of achievement as her family.

Well, I give up. What's good enough for the Palin's should be good enough for the rest of us. I hearby give up the good grammer and speelliing and all of the other things that I thot that edumacation were meant to make good for us and will just be hapy to be on the level that the Palins say is a good thing because them say so.

In all seriousness, we might be building a gas pipeline up here within the next decade. If we turn down money to educate our children, where is the labor force going to come from that assists in the creation and implementation of this project? Will we have to resort to importing Texans and Oklahomans again, as we did to build the oil pipeline? We need this money to go towards standard and vo-tech educational facilities and her turning it down in order to strengthen what she perceives as her "national position" does nothing more than injure the state of Alaska.

Sarah needs to make a choice, because she can no longer play both sides of the fence. She needs to choose to be our Governor 100% and make choices that benefit Alaskans, or she needs to step down and focus on her national aspirations.

I hope that our Legislature comes together, both Dems and Reps and decides that we do need at least the education portion of the stimulus, and our state becomes more of a shining example of educational achievement instead of what it is now. We can shine despite our Governor's best efforts to keep us down.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I thought only I called it that!

The Canadian Montreal Gazette had a great article, linked below, about how people with dogs exercise more frequently because we are motivated by "dog guilt". I know that those of you with dogs have felt it many times before and probably label the feeling with your own personal definitions. I happen to call my feeling "dog guilt", as apparently do many others, at least some of our "neighbors to the North" (although a lot of Canada is actually to the South of Alaska, so I don't think the "neighbors to the North" description applies 100% when one resides in the 49th State of the USA. Canada is more like 50% neighbors to the North and 50% neighbors to the South, if one lives in Alaska...)

Anyway, enough of the geography lesson. Suffice it to say that I'd be much more of a couch potato if it weren't for my dogs, and I bless their little hearts for getting me out of the house and onto the trail each time it happens. On the drive to the park I'm always thinking to myself "gee, they might just enjoy a ride in the car and I can just stop at the grocery store and do some shopping and then go home, without hitting the park at all." Then I see the anticipatory look on their little furry faces and sense the excitement that they feel at the prospect of a romp in the park and I always steer my car to one of our usual haunts and give them a run. At the end of the walk I always feel more relaxed, refreshed and, well, you know, all those good feelings that come from exercising. Plus, the dogs are tired and less apt to come home and destroy furniture or sit staring at me like I've let them down by not getting them out.

After a dog walk I can then come home and hit the couch and feel no guilt, that is until I spy the dirty carpet or the dusty furniture or the crates of laundry waiting for my attention, then I feel the guilt that is associated with neglecting housework. Is that called "Martha Guilt"? I think that's what I will call it from now on.

Here's the link to the article that precipitated this rambling:



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Awesome Spring Walk

Here is a video that I put together of photos taken on our walk today. Today's participants were Brian, the 8 month old PitBull and Sam, the 9-year old 3 legged St. Bernard Mastiff. It was a gorgeous day with temps around 35 degrees.

As you can see in the photos Brian idolizes Sam and likes to jump on him and lick his face at every opportunity. Sam is old and grouchy and would just as soon not have Brian along on his hikes!

At any rate, snowmachiners have been on the lakes lately and have left nice packed down trails that are easy to travel on without skis or snowshoes, so it's been easy walking. This is one of our favorites spots to walk in winter and to kayak in summer. Won't be too long now until the lakes thaw and the kayaks can come back out. There are plenty of trails in this park that we hike in the summer and not too many people seem to know about them so we have them to ourselves both in summer and winter. I'm sure that won't last for long but for now we enjoy this area immensely.

Enjoy the video. By the way, the music is from Vivaldi-4 Seasons Suite and is titled "Spring".


video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Katie Couric Won an Award....

Thanks to Sarah Palin being an IDIOT! I love it. A 5th grader with some of the facts would have been able to make Sarah Palin look stupid....it doesn't take much.

But Katie's in-depth interview with Alaska's brain dead governor garnered her a prestigious Conkrite Award.

Katie Couric has interviewed and spoke with many celebrated and intelligent national and world leaders but her "gotcha" interview with Sarah Palin was the one to get her the Conkrite Award? Hitting myself on the head right now for not ever thinking to find Sarah Palin and ask her some simple questions and go on record with an interview....I mean REALLY, anyone reading this blog right now could have asked her some questions that she was not able to answer.

I mean, I do love the fact that she showed that Sarah Palin was not fit to be the Mayor of Wasilla, let alone the Governor of Alaska and need I say the Vice President of the United States...I just wish I'd thought of it first.

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meow!


Haven't had anything interesting to say for a few days...just ran across this photo of Hemingway, our mouse-eating polydactyl cat and thought that it was deserving of a post of it's own. So here is Hemi.

Meow!