Auto Mechanics 101

The car is currently at our mechanics shop. It's been running rough and sluggish, stalling now and then. Last week it decided to do this on a day Mr. Nina was in the throes of this virus, leaving him stranded, the car in need of a tow.

At first they weren't sure what was wrong with the poor thing. It started up fine for them and showed no issues of sluggish handling or stalling, which caused me to think car's are like children. They act up for mom and dad but behave perfectly for others.

But I digress.

So while the "experts" were busy trying to determine what mechanical defect was causing the symptoms, I went on a several hour journey into basic auto mechanics, namely the ignition system. I learned what a distributor is, what it does (sends the spark to the right spark plug). I learned about the rotor, the cap and the coils inside the cap. I learned about spark plug wires. I learned about when to replace these things (something, aside from the plugs, I've never had done). After a few hours I had it narrowed down to two potential causes: The PGM (that stands for programmed--I think it makes me look cool to abbreviate it though like the professionals) Fuel Injector Relay (also called the Main Relay) or something in the distributor.

Awhile later, the shop called. They had it narrowed down to two potential causes. And what would those be?

Either the Main Relay or the Distributor.

Well, there ya go.

I said I concurred.

They leaned towards it being the Main Relay only given when hooked up to some do-hookey (technical term--ignore the need to understand what it is), it showed that there was no crank.

Well, I wasn't satisfied. Something told me that wasn't the only issue, especially since I had already replaced the Main Relay 10 years ago and at the time, the symptoms the car was giving me at the time was not the same symptoms we had been experiencing lately, certainly not in the number of them. So, I asked if they planned on checking the distributor as well.

No, they hadn't planned on doing that, which I found odd.

So I said "do it". They did.

And they called back 10 minutes later and said the coils inside were bad.

I also told "You were right. You're the woman!"

I asked if they were hiring.

He laughed.

I said I wasn't joking. I nailed the problem before they did.

Sounding embarassed, he stuttered "uh, well yeah, you did, didn't you?"

So we hung up.

Something though told me to keep researching. Oh god. No. No more research, my brain screamed. Well, I ignored the screaming and went back to work and found something interesting while re-reading some of my original material: When changing the plugs (which we were also having done), it's also important to change the wires, for defective/old wires can lead to the car running sluggish and (in)conveniently stalling on occasion.

A ha! I thought. That sounds precisely what our car has been doing! They also need to change not only the plugs but the wires, too. I ran to the phone to make the call but realized it was after 5pm and the shop was closed. So it got me thinking. Why wouldn't they suggest it could be the wires as well? I described the symptoms with such detail that was sure to impress any mechanic. I had the sounds the engine made down to precision from the chug chug to the poof poof.

And yet here these dudes were going after the most labor-intensive, expensive fix as their first choice?

Can anyone say G R E E D?

Well anyway, the car's getting fixed nonetheless. It needs the new distributor and relay. Mr. Nina and I will replace the wires as I also learned how to do that during my research. Same some bucks. Last night we aired our grievances to one another about these folks and decided not to return. I added, in exasperation, "It would be wonderful to connect with someone we know who knows how to work on cars."

Sometimes such moments product quick results, for just this afternoon, whilst some friends were visiting, we were informed, after sharing our story, that the male in the group had extensive experience in working on cars.

"Next time you need a car repair, give me a call," he said.

A very nice offer.

And one that I am sure to take him up on, even if I do decide to do my own research along the way.

Chinese Investors Buying Up Foreclosed Properties

Wealthy Chinese Taking Advantage Of Slumping Economy

What's going on? A bit of capitalist backscratching? American companies use the poor of China to make products on the cheap while Chinese Investors take advantage of destitute Americans?

BEIJING (AP) - While China's ultra-rich have been buying property in the U.S. for years, the buying tours are new, made attractive by still-rising Chinese income levels and American real estate prices that have been falling for two and a half years. More than 100 Chinese buyers have joined such tours since late 2008, according to Chen Hang, the China-born vice president of real estate at Fortune Group. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, company shows foreclosed commercial property to Chinese buyers.

Squatting: History Set To Repeat Itself?

I found this article in the archives of the New York Times. Dated April 6, 1889, it shares the story of some Iowa squatters who, in defending what they defined as their land, fired upon U.S. Marshalls. Makes me wonder if we will be seeing more of the same as more homes are foreclosed upon and people, fed up with the (utterly dysfunctional and archaic) particular belief system that dictates who gets to own land and who doesn't, will rise up and affirm: NO MORE.

That aside, it's an interesting read. Gotta love the journalistic style of the time.


Strange Contrail In Corvallis Skies

This was originally published in the G.T. on January 31st. It's something I've been meaning to post but you know the saying. The road to something something is paved with good intentions or something like that..... Anyway, my thanks to Mr. Nina for finding the article and forwarding it to me.

On Thursday, January 29th, 2009, a circular loop de loop formation contrail was seen over the NW skies of Corvallis. The theories ranged from a military plane, to a UFO, to a jet plane to the wicked witch of the east. According to the article, someone who works at a local business saw what looked to be a jet plane in the sky at the time. And according to a website, a jet flight out of Boeing Field in Seattle showed the flight being in the area at the time before returning back North. However, looking at the photo, it seems highly unlikely that a jet plane could pull off such a maneuver. I don't know if the wings could tolerate that kind of stress.

But what do I know. I'm not an engineer. Check out the piece FMI. And if it strikes you, post your own theory. I don't really have one, although I do like the idea about it being the wicked witch of the east. Might be a good idea to find out what Sarah Palin was up to that day.

STFU Of The Day Award

Oprah, Miss Queen of "I just so often don't get it" aired a program on the growing number of tent cities in America. While I am grateful she reported on this unnecessary situation, it was what she said at the end that made me think "stfu". She said let the showing of these families be a reminder for us to reach out and help those in similar situations.

The woman has numerous homes. Does she open up any of them when not in use to the homeless?


Therefore, she receives the "STFU" of the day award.


On Being Sickie-Pooh

I'm borrowing the phrase "sickie-pooh" from my dad, a term he used during my childhood when one of us in the household wasn't feeling well. It was I who was sick, uh, "sickie-pooh" late last week and into this week, today being the first day I felt human enough to venture out. It was sort of like coming out of a cave, seeing the light of day for the first time after a winter's hibernation.

You walk out. Hey, the world's still here, you think, shielding your eyes from that old friend the sunshine. Everything seems more vibrant. And louder.

In truth, the only reason I ventured out today was due to the fact that Mr. Nina is now sick with the same virus. He's just entering the forest. I, on the other hand, am coming out of the woods, although I'm still carrying the bags of fatigue and that ragged cough with me (the cough that causes people to look at you with a sense concern--for themselves).

When I'm sick, I take things for granted. Things like being able to sleep through the night, being able to breathe with my mouth closed. My appetite. Until yesterday, I didn't have one, so I had to force myself to eat. My diet consisted mostly of water, tea and soup. Last night though, my stomach said NEED MORE so I added ham, biscuits and a root beer float (not together, mind you). And even at that, the tummy still said "NEED MORE".

It was a joy to eat.

I used to hear men and women experience illness differently. I didn't believe this until I married this husband of mine. When I'm sick, I pretty much just want to be left alone. I ride out the storm until I am well again, doing my best to avoid the pharmaceuticals (other than the vap-o-rub). Mr. Nina on the other hand has a little issue with acceptance. He won't admit the virus has won until he's well into the feeling-like-crap stage. Until that time he'll push himself, insist on doing everything himself, butt in when I'm making him something to insist 'he can do it he's not sick'.

And then once the virus has announced "I'm here to stay white man", he goes into the whine mode.

Endless phrases like "honey I don't feeeeeeeeeel well" and "I haaaaaate being sick" are heard. And worse even it is when it is a virus I too have had, for then I am asked endless questions like "honey when you had this did your eyes water" and "honey when you had this did your ears hurt".

On and on and on.

I was tapped out on patience today so I replied to those questions with "I already answered that 50 times yesterday. The same answer applies again today."

I know, takes longer to say such things instead of a simple "yes".

Throughout it all though, there has been one hero in the household, one being who has withstood the coughing and sneezing, the moaning and complaining with a quiet patience not seen in people. This sweet little being has agreed to put aside some of her needs so that the two of us can heal.

That sweet little being, that hero, would be our dog.


Quote Of The Century

"The flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy."

Barrack Obama

Here we are again, facing a situation similar to that of the Depression and every other controlled economic downturn in history. We have resources not being utilized. We have men and women willing to participate and work. And yet, once again, we have the Bankers holding money and credit and as such, the resources, hostage.

To say credit is the lifeblood of our economy is to say the blood is seriously diseased. Always has been, always will be.

Oh yes, a growing number of people are angry. And yet the anger is blinding them to the above. For instead of pausing to think "hmm, maybe there is another way", they are putting their faith into our new messiah and this massive debt he's just dumped on us and future generations. In short, thinking outside of the box hasn't happened.


I mean, come on. Shouldn't WE THE PEOPLE be the lifeblood of the economy? Shouldn't it be WE THE PEOPLE utilizing resources responsibly and thoughtfully that is the lifeblood?

Instead, it's money and credit that is the lifeblood, even though those are merely tools to the real holders of the blood bags: the banks.

I found it humorous that the prez thought he would get away with saying this stimulus package wasn't about the banks when, in reality, it is. For everything that you and I buy or borrow through credit or money ends up going back to the banks in some way. Give Fred a tax break so he can spend more money on food at the local grocery store so the local store owner can put that cash in the bank bag at the end of the day. Give Sally some credit so she can finance that car and pay the bank a shitload of interest. Free up some more of that credit so Jack and Sue can buy that pretty little house in the subarbs and pay rent and ridiculous amounts of interest to the bank for 30 years in hopes that someday before they die, that land and home will be theirs.

Can't you see that in the end, the banks win? They never suffer. No matter what the economic condition is. Oh sure, lots of the banks employees, the "little people" (those who do the real work for the least pay), lose their jobs. But the big wigs, even if their bank gets seized or eaten alive by an even bigger bank, oh see, they always come out on top just fine. No bumps, no bruises.

I'm really reaching for the stars here, but it is my wish that we use this stimulus money to build something new for you and me. That we utilize those brains of ours to devise a plan or plans to create a society where it is YOU AND ME who is the lifeblood, who is at the heart of the economy, the soul of prosperity.

Money and credit, money and credit. Blah blah blah. Been there, done that. Works for the few. Makes life an unnecessary stressful hassle for the rest. Time for something new.



I'm currently at battle with some upper resp. virus, this being day number two. I'm trying to drown it out with massive amounts of raw garlic. I don't know yet what is winning: the garlic or the virus. Perhaps they're calling a truce. All I know is the experience is giving me those moments where I find myself staring at nothing in particular, my mind suddenly in a world of its own, lending itself to a hallucination or two. I'd like to share a few of them.

While reading "The Fisher King", I suddenly became one of the Knights of the Round Table, on a quest for the mythical holy grail. I could feel the armor, cold, heavy. It's lonely under all of that metal.

Last night at 2:18 a.m., I woke up suddenly, thinking I heard a noise. For some reason, I thought we had a cat inside the house. I threw back the covers and stumbled out into the living room (to go look for a cat that somehow miraculously broke into the house only disturbing me but not our ever-watchful dog) but was sidetracked by my bladder saying "empty me now" which I did only to finish and wonder "what did I get out of bed for to begin with again??"

It was a wonderfully warm sunny day outside. I sat outside in my black yoga pants, sweatshirt, drinking hot tea, wrapped inside a blanket. I was still cold. (I know that wasn't a hallucination. I'm just trying to garner sympathy.)

A friend came over this evening. We all got into a metaphysical discussion. As I listened to him share his perspective on buddhist thought, my brain suddenly announced "too much information" and my imagination took over whereby I saw myself out in a field of lavendar, dancing under the moon. Seriously.

It took me 35 minutes to write the above. I've had to stop several times to remember my train of thought. Don't ask what I thought during these pauses as I don't remember. As such, I am going to bed now.


Quote Of The Day

"America was built on the backs of people like you."
Michelle Obama

This wasn't just a metaphoric statement. It was also a literal statement. It serves only to continue our mindset that we must work hard and be enslaved so that others may succeed into wealth while we, the "people like you" are given enough to survive on with no promises that this won't be taken away from you by some banker or employer.


A World Without Money. Can You Imagine?

For well over a decade, I've had these visions of a society where everybody has their basic needs met and provided for: food, shelter, clothing, education, health care, water. Such needs being provided for while income/money not being a factor. I've seen homes built into the hills and mountains. Homes that are in symbiosis with nature.

Lately, I've been thinking about the possibility of such a society without the need for money or credit. That's right. No banks. No wall street. Imagine that? Refreshing. But likely causing you to pause. Possibly even cringing or dismissing the idea as nonsense, even foolish. Perhaps even unamerican. That's understandable. We've all been conditioned to believe we NEED money. We NEED the banks. Competition is good. People have to PROVE their worth. Gotta EARN our keep. Survival of the fittest.

As we look around our society, what's causing this crisis?

Money. Credit. And the lack of it being distributed.

We still have the means to produce the goods and services, and yet jobs are still disappearing.

People are losing their homes to banks, but the homes are still there, waiting for someone to occupy them all the while homelessness increases.

And yet, it is those controlling the money and the credit that is STOPPING the job creation, the production of goods and services and the homes from being foreclosed upon.

In short, the resources are there. The will is there. The man/woman power is there.

It's the money and credit distribution that's, er, being sequestered, if you will.

There is a movement afoot that I stumbled upon. The Venus Project. A movement that looks to create a resource-based society instead of a monetary-based society. I cannot possibly begin to cover it all in this one post. I still have questions of my own. But I do know this: The monetary system creates lack and scarcity. It creates an ongoing fear that resides within us all. On a planet that has the means to provide us with unlimited resources if we choose to utilize them responsibly, there is NO REASON why we must continue on with this old archaic means of living.

No reason.

Of course, as mentioned previously, all of this is threatening to the current system supporters and creators. It's threatening to those who have benefited by the system, either through honest or dishonest means. It's threatening to every person who places a higher value on money than on people. And it is indeed time for us to wake up to this, for we have all supported this system in one way or another. We have all, knowingly or unknowingly, continued to place more importance and value on money than we have on basic human worth and value.

Hopefully when we become fully aware of this, we can begin to be open to the idea of something new.

This idea isn't perfect. Those behind it attest to that. But, as I heard the founder of the Venus Project say, "we have to start somewhere".

Indeed, we do.

We have to ask the tough question.

What's most important? Truly important in our hearts.

The well-being of people or money. ?

For we simply cannot have a money-based system AND put the importance of human value as number one. We can't. Sooner or later, money interferes and begins to take precedence. I've seen it in my own life. Certainly I see it every time I turn on the television and am in direct contact with the outside world.

A money-based society, as I said, creates lack and scarcity. It says there's only so much to go around. It says you are worth this and I am worth that. And tragically, this has created a system where we are always focused more on how to make money, will it be enough, how will I pay my bills, will I lose my job, what if I lose my job, do I have enough this week to provide for my family. Even for those who are ultra wealthy, they're still focused on their money. Is it working for them. What if they lose it. Is it in a safe place. Is it invested wisely.

Money is the center of our universe, people. And it doesn't have to be that way. There is always room for something new. Imagine working less. Imagine having more time to do the things you truly WANT to do. Imagine more time with those you love. Imagine not ever once again having to worry about money. Can you do that? I'd say there's likely a "yes" somewhere within you.

I invite you to contemplate what I have written and check out a couple of websites. The Zeitgeist Movement. The Venus Project. Give them a visit. Take your time as your read through the material. While I am not saying to run out and join these folks, it is certainly worth your time to talk about with these concepts with others. Start your own world. Create your own reality, your own system, with other like-minded folks.

As open as I am to such a new way of living, the information I read challenged some of my own beliefs. But it did something else as well. It gave me reason to embrace the notion of something new.

And clearly what we have created and been supporting is certainly not working.

I am so so so ready for something new. Are you? If so, let's begin talking! I believe, to the depths of who I am, that there is no greater, no more important topic for us to be talking about.



Some recent conversations I've either been engaged in or overheard.

*Three children talking about what they want to be when they "grow up". One said he wanted to be a firefighter. Another, a mommy. The last one, a painter. I commented those were great choices. The painter-to-be looked at me, then asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I laughed and said I was still waiting for that moment to happen. They didn't get it. I figure someday, they will.

*While at the store, two clerks were discussing hookah's. One had one, the other did not. The one who did not was talking about using the apple-flavor tobacco they have. The other talked about the health issue of tobacco. I spoke up and said, "you could bypass that by smoking the whacky tobaccy". The one who had the hookah spurted out a laugh. The one who did not gave me an odd look. I looked down and mumbled "it was a joke."

*Overheard in line at another store, this one with those crazy tabloid papers, were two elderly women talking about jesus christ and the demise of our culture while they read said tabloid trash. It was one of those moments where you think "ok where's the camera?"

*This wasn't a human conversation, but I did see two dogs facing each other, their tails wagging wildly. I can only think it was love at first sight.

*Aunt to niece. "I said no!" Niece replies "But i WAAAAAAAAAAANT it!" Aunt says "I said no!" Niece continues her case "But I reallllllllllllly have to have it!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" Silence followed by the sound of a door slamming and something along the lines of "blah blah blah not fair!". I don't think the niece won her case.

*"Everyone I know is either out of work or looking for a job." Said last week by a visiting girlfriend.

*We will be ok. Together. Says the voice in my heart.


NAIS: Big Brother Comin' To Your Home And Dinnertable

Heard of this little Orwellian agenda? I hadn't until tonight. The NAIS, or National Animal Identification System, is a movement being proposed by the Feds that would require every citizen, whether you own a factory farm, small family farm OR have a simple chicken on your property or any other livestock, to tag every single animal and send the information to the Gov't, which would put the animal in a national database. Oh yeah, and you get to pay for it.

Being sold to the public as a means of safety and protection from disease for the consumer, it's just another step towards a world whereby all that we do, including owning a horse or llama to what animals we choose to have on our land to feed ourselves, is monitored. Here's what the USDA website has to say: To protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry and the economic well-being of those industries, we must be able to quickly and effectively trace an animal disease to its source.

Talk about propaganda and public pandering. These are the same people who have refused to allow testing of cows for mad cow disease. These are the same people who have allowed the use of hormones and antibiotics in our meat and dairy supply. These are the same people who have allowed cows to eat cows. They want to protect you and me? Please. Tell us another line of shit. Make it more colorful so as not to blind us all.

If this plan isn't ridiculous (not to mention invasive) enough, whenever the animal is moved away from the home property, say to travel to a fair or take a simple trip to the vet, that movement must be documented and reported.

This would affect every one of us. Here's what this System would lead to: (taken from NoNais.Org):

Consumers will face higher meat prices under NAIS because the cost of producing meat will go up with the addition of fees to the government to support the NAIS program. The cost of other foods, like vegetables, will likely also go up as well since the manure from meat animals is used to fertilize the soil to grow better crops. Most importantly, NAIS will result in many small farms going out of business. The consolidation of the meat industry into fewer, big, agri-biz producers means they will have more control of the market and be able to charge higher prices for the same product.

Pet owners will be forced to register their family horse, pet sheep, llamas and other ‘livestock’ that aren’t part of the food chain. This will cost them money and be a hassle with paperwork and premise ID fees each year. Furthermore, every time you want to take your pet to the vet, on a trail ride or even just cross the road you’ll have to submit paperwork with the government and probably pay a fee. Every time. In time, they plan to do the same for pet dogs and cats. See PAWS legislation and the Vermont Pet Merchant bill that requires you to register as a pet dealer if you cat has kittens or your dog has puppies.

Children who are in 4-H or Future Farmers of America will have to register their parents house as a farm and get a Premise ID as well as paying the annual fees and doing paper work every time an animal is bought, sold, shown or moved. This will also stifle county fairs which are already on fragile footing. Figure you’ll not be seeing livestock at fairs of the future - there will just be the midway and amusement rides that are poorly inspected, but no animals.

Homesteaders, people who grow some of their own food, will have to register with the government as a farm and obtain a Premise ID. They’ll also have to pay the annual fees associated with that and fill out the paperwork on all of their livestock. Every time you have chicks, goats, piglets or other animals born you’ll need to register it with the government. Every time an animal dies you’ll have to register it with the government. Got a predator problem? Expect to fill out a lot of paperwork. Have an animal escape the fence and cross the road or go onto a neighbor’s property? Fill out more forms and the neighbor may have to fill out forms, too. Animals come on to your property uninvited? More forms. And no, there are no exceptions. Every livestock animal must be registered, tagged and tracked from birth to death.

Small Farmers who sell direct to their customers will be devastated. Small farmers already work at higher costs than the big factory farms. Under NAIS they’ll have to identify each and every animal at a high cost because they can’t use the group identification techniques of the big Agri-Biz corporations. The big guys do all-in/all-out animal management. Each mass group of animals are of one gene stock and the same age. The factory farms need only apply for one ID to cover the entire group of thousands of animals. Small, traditional-style farmers have many, genetically diverse animals of different ages on their farms. Each individual animal will be required to have an ID. The result is that the cost of farming will go up greatly for small farmers. This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin of small farming.

FMI, including how to get involved to stop this from becoming a reality, check out the NoNais website.

So far, this movement is voluntary, although given a report I heard tonight on the Matrix News Network by Judith McGreary, attorney and member of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, the USDA has been putting pressure on folks at the state level to begin compliance with the system. For example, farmers who have been affected by drought have been told they must comply with the tagging system if they wish to receive federal funds.

Update: As a commenter pointed out, this is not a movement. It is a mandate. Check out her comment--she also has a book out on the market about this topic. I also wanted to post another website dedicate to stopping it. I reference it above, but failed to provide the link to the website. Freedom Farm Alliance. On the site, they have a pdf file that includes a link to sending your message or your story (if you own livestock) to the USDA. You have until MARCH 16th, 2009 to do this. There's also a link to contact your state rep. to share your concerns.


Paranormal Experiences

After following tales of the paranormal on My Favorite Monster's and today, linking to Above The Norm, I've decided to write in more detail about what I've experienced over the years. I don't know why I don't focus on this topic in more detail on this blog given I'm a HUGE paranormal/metaphysic buff. I watch a variety of paranormal programs on cable TV. I love sharing stories with friends about moments of synchronicity and intuitive impressions and knowings. Plus, as some of my readers know, Mr. Nina and I have seen numerous UFO's in the skies since we hooked up over 10 years ago.

My first paranormal encounter happened when I was around 9 or 10. I was in the 4th grade and having a challenging time in school (a not-so-unusual experience for me). Without going into detail, my teacher frightened me. He was impatient and had a propensity to yell loudly, which perhaps some children could benefit from, but not yours truly. I was the type where all I needed was a raised eyebrow and I got back in line. Anyway as a result I was having a lot of anxiety and tummy aches. One night, sometime in the middle of the night, I awoke to find what looked to be my mom standing at the end of my bed, only it wasn't my mom. This woman floated and had a glow all around her. I remember she looked at me with so much love. Everything about her was alive and lit up with an energy I had never seen in any human. I sat up in bed, fascinated and silenced (silence being an unusual thing for me, certainly when I was in awe). I remember pinching myself to make sure I was awake.

Ouch! I was!

I watched this beautiful being as she moved to the side of my bed where she looked down at me and smiled with a love I had never seen. I smiled back. I felt so warm and loved, safe and so protected.

She then looked out the window, putting her hand on the curtain as if to pull them back in order to check outside, only her hand went through the curtain.

I remember thinking that was SO cool.

She looked down at me one last time, then walked away towards the end of my bed and disappeared.

The moment was gone and I was back in reality. Looking back, it seems as though I was in some sort of a trance, for once I was back in reality I called to my mom. She responded back and I asked why she had been in my room. She said she hadn't been in there, so I told her what happened (her room was next to mine so this conversation took place w/both of us in our own beds). She said it was a dream. I was adamant that it wasn't.

I was silenced. Another not-so-unusual event of my childhood.

To this day, thinking about this brings tears to my eyes. Some days I call out for this being. I haven't seen her again. I sure wish she would pay me a visit if she's still around me. Life can feel very lonely for me at times.

Actually, as my mind is working on this topic, I remember this wasn't my first experience with the paranormal. When I was 5 or 6, I was lying in bed. It was a summer evening, so it was still light out. I was fully of envy for the older children who got to stay up later and as such, were outside playing. I looked up at my window and saw a man appear with a hat and trench coat. He smiled at me and winked. Instead of feeling comforted, I was terrified, so I screamed at the top of my lungs. Well, that brought my parents into my room in a flash, looking terrified.

"There was a man looking in my window!" I screamed.

My dad immediately ran outside where he looked all around. He came back inside and insisted all he saw were children. He even asked the kids and no one had seen any strange man in our front yard. I insisted what I saw was real. Like a lot of children's "tales", it was dismissed as an active imagination.

I don't know who that man was, but he certainly did creep me out. My grandpa died when I was around this age and he used to wear a hat and long coats over his jacket. I don't know if this event happened before or after he died though. If it happened after-the-fact, it may have been him, for he also used to wink at me.

Whatever it was, it still makes me feel a bit uncomfortable to this day, likely due to the childhood story of the boogey man.

One last one then I'll close up for now. My next encounter with the other world came many years later. Well, an encounter with someone I knew in this life that is. I was living in another part of the country, married and miserable. Terribly homesick as well. I had been contemplating suicide, although I never would have gone through with it. In short, I was just having a hard time finding anything worth living for.

So one afternoon, I was walking my dog I had at the time. Something told me to look down and there was a penny. "Pick up the penny," I heard a voice say in my mind, rather adamantly.

I shrugged it off. Pick up a penny. Whatever.

The next day, again on a walk, I was once again guided to look down. There was another penny. And again, the same voice.

Hmm, I thought. This time I picked up the penny.

For the next week or so, I started seeing pennies all over the grounds of my apartment complex. I'd feel the urge to look down and sure enough, there would be a penny, with that voice saying "pick up the penny!"

As I sat thinking about this strange experience one day, I recalled a memory I had of my grandpa (not the one I refer to earlier). He had died when I was 17. I was pretty close to him and his death had been really painful for me, despite it taking almost 7 years for me to actually grieve his death. I was experiencing emotional deadness at the time of his death, you could say.

Anyway, the memory was of grampy and I walking to the store to get candy. Suddenly he stopped and said "a penny!" I looked down and said something like "uh huh". Grampy wouldn't go anywhere. "Pick up that penny!" he insisted, an excited grin on his face. So I picked it up.

Within days of this memory I just happened to be watching a tv show that had on two psychics who were also mediums. One of them was talking about how our loved ones, after they have crossed over, will often visit us. Sometimes they come in dreams. Sometimes they'll leave things lying around, guiding us to look at it or pick up an object. When asked for an example, one woman said "quite often they will use pennies."

Well! I was floored upon hearing that statement. That confirmed it for me. Grampy had returned. He had seen how discouraged I had been and was trying to let me know I was not alone.

I don't know how long I cried, but cry I did for some time.

Shortly after I met Mr. Nina, he began to see pennies as well. And if that isn't cool in and of itself, when he proposed to me, we found a pile of pennies in the parking lot of the mountaintop park in which he proposed.

To this day, I still find pennies, only now it's evolved into me often knowing ahead of time when I will see one.

And I still say "thank you grampy".


Another soc (stream of consciousness) piece.......

folks who refer to god as the father. who wants a parent-child relationship with the creator? don't we spend the first 20 years of our life striving to pull away from the child role?

along those lines, folks who look to the bible as some divinely inspired piece of literature. who is to say it is no more inspired than any other book?

religions sucks. church is boring and is nothing more than a control mechanism. love, however, is cool.

conspiracy theorist debunkers who claim all crop circles have been "proven" to be done by humans using rope and wooden planks. i debunk THAT theory by saying i have read and seen plenty of studies that show many of these crops cannot be done by rope and wood. period.

along those lines, most conspiracy theorist debunkers have an agenda: to debunk anything they find to be out of their limited vision of reality, which means relying on biased studies and junk science.

along those lines one more time, we know very little about how our world, let alone our universe, operates. science is little more than theoretical speculation, meaning there's always room to expand upon original findings.

i have granted myself an honorary phd degree in human behavior.

despite the growing trend of states to declare sovereignty, none have yet actually passed the legislation. oklahoma's quite close, having (overwhelmingly) passed the house last year only to stall in the senate. it is to be reintroduced this year. success will take the will of the people pushing their state officials.

is there a god? no proof of that. i tend to think one of two things: 1) some other species created us in a lab, implanting into our minds thoughts that make us think there's a god in the skies. for those who believe in reincarnation, thoughts implanted into our minds of other memories that we think are ours. 2) we've always been and the concept of "god" is nothing more than the sum of all of our energies. personally, i lean towards #2, although i do believe we should not dismiss the idea of #1.


Undeclared War and the Destruction of the Constitution

This just isn't about Bush. It's about Clinton, Reagan, Kennedy, Johnson. Oooh, these folks have been very very bad for a very very long time.

"Unless the country is being invaded, if the congress does not declare war against another country, the president is constitutionally barred from waging it, no matter how much he desires to do so."

So says that pesky little document called the Constitution.

Get A Traffic Ticket. Pay A Fine. Pay It Again. And Again. And Again.

Double jeopardy, anybody?

"Over past few years, some states have adopted what's loosely (and euphemistically) called Driver Responsibility laws, sometimes sold to the public as "bad driver" taxes since they kick in after drivers lose a certain number of points on their licenses. Using these laws, states can come back to you later and legally bill you for amounts that far exceed, usually by multiples, whatever you agreed to pay in court. It doesn't matter if you live in another state. And if you don't pay, that state can make it a crime for you to drive within its borders again. If you do, the case will no longer be civil--it will be criminal."

I'll take "How To Repeatedly Screw The Driver" for $3,000, Alex!

Go To Food Bank. Eat A Bite of Moldy Food. Spit It Out. Pray You Don't Get Sick.

Really, need I say anything more than this?

I opened up a can of soup (which showed an expire date of 2010), took a bite and about threw up. Molded chicken.

My conspiratorial, distrustful mind observed: if they wish to reduce the population at the bottom, what better way than to poke holes in the canned food items.


Who the hell knows.

If this had been my first experience with crappy and/or otherwise inedible food, I would let it go. But it isn't. I've already addressed this with the head of Linn Benton Food Bank. My concerns have shown no evidence of being addressed. Time to write a letter to the head of CSC. And no more visits to these "get crap for free" food banks. I'll grow my own damn food.

Advice For Octuplet's Mother

Get your fucking tubes tied already you narcissistic bitch.

I tried staying away from this story, but something kept nagging me inside. This isn't about her. This is about those children who are going to be raised in neglect. What I see in this woman is someone who is so deeply pained and empty within and rather than deal with her issues, is looking to babies to fix that pain and fulfill those empty needs. That isn't love. That's selfishness of the deepest kind.

She has a baby. Soon it becomes it's own individual, asserting it's own needs. It begins to talk and assert its own independence. As such, mom's feelings of pain and loneliness kick back in and so she has another baby, only to continue the cycle.

I'm angry because there are some of us who would love to have a child but simply cannot afford to do so. I'm angry because there are some of us who have worked on our issues and put off having a child as a result because we did not wish to project our shit onto an innocent baby/child. I'm angry because there are people like her who take advantage of the system (while lying about her/his use of said system). I'm angry because there are sick twisted individuals always looking to make a buck who would be willing to pay this bitch a lot of money to turn her twisted story into a book or movie.

While I'm certainly not a supporter of forced sterilization, when I see people like this I think "go for it docs".


Messing Around With Song Lyrics

Obviously, given my post below, sometimes I play with song lyrics. At times I try and come up with funny ones. The other day I was singing "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer", the Kenny Rogers tune. However, the following came into my head as I began to sing the chorus.

"Don't fall in love with a weiner,
it'll leave you for a bun every time."


I love that song by Billy Joel. I listened to it today. I've been feeling overwhelmed with that sense of pressure. Hard not to. Sort of like that story of the Phoenix rising from the ashes of lies and illusion, ready to scream to the world "here i am like me or not but you will see me and respect me".

Today as I listened, I decided to create a few of my own lyrics to the song. While B.J. is an outstanding pianist and songwriter, his lyrics didn't quite hit home for me. These did.

"You have to learn to trust the Man,
We're something you'll never understand,

Sucking it up
was never good enough.
You know that truth
that speaks
to you when you're alone.
Calling you forth
to see
the light behind the truth of

You have to tow our line my child,
Outsiders will only tell you lies,

Ask not
want not
and you'll be satisfied.
Ignore the beast
that resides
on your television screen.
It's just the way
that your life
has always been so

One more push
the merry-go-round.
Worker's milling
up and down.
Candy-coated words
from teachers at school.
Am I a fool.
What's there to do.

I'll tell ya folks.


Relia Card Visa and Customer Service: A Little Story

The following is a true story. Names have not been changed because there are no innocent people in this story that need protecting.

When filing for unemployment in Oregon, one is required (yes, required) to take part in a debit card program whereby your unemployment check is automatically credited to said debit account. This little debit card is called the "Relia Card". The bank the card is connected with U.S. Bank.

One does have the choice of opting out of the Relia Card program, but only after your information has been sent to U.S. Bank and the account and card set up, all awaiting your move to activate it. Many folks, myself included, are not able to opt out of the program prior to the first check being deposited, which is due to a time issue on the part of the employment department. That means you now have the frustrating responsibility of having to remember a new PIN number and draining the account.

Well, that proved to be too much of a hassle for yours truly, so I tried closing out the account when it had a $2.77 balance. I called up U.S. Bank, Relia Card division, and tried to get that done. No can do, I was told. Gotta get the account to a zero balance.

"Fine," I said. "Send me a check for the remaining balance then close it out."

"We don't do that," I was told.

"You're a bank," I said.

"Yes we are."

"Whenever I've had bank accounts in the past, remaining balances are given over as cash or check," I said.

"We don't operate that way. Not with the Relia Card program that is," I was told.

"Sounds very controlling and Big Brother-like," I said before hanging up the phone.

So I set out to get the card to a zero balance. But you know how that goes--right to the bottom of the priority list where it becomes a nagging little annoyance that you don't remember to deal with until after you've left the damn store.

That being said, it turns out zeroing out the account didn't require any action on my part. U.S. Bank decided to charge me that amount for inactivity last month. What the hell? I thought.

So I rang them up again, this time for two things. One to cancel the account now that the balance was zero and second to demand they return that money to me given I had never seen a damn thing in writing that spoke of fees.

I spoke with Melinda.

"Hello Melinda, I wish to cancel my account."

"We cannot do that. You need to contact your unemployment office. Only they can do that," she said.

"That is not what I was told by your organization a few months ago Melinda. I was told once I zero the account out, I could close it up," I said.

"You were not given the correct information," she said. I love it when CSR's say things like that.
She continued. "We cannot do that ma'am. Contact your employment office. If they tell you to contact us, ask to speak to a Supervisor."

"What about this theft you committed by taking money from my account based on inactivity," I asked.

"That is part of our policy. If after a certain time there has been no activity on the card we have the option of issuing a fine," said drone worker.

"I never saw that policy nor did I consent to it," I said.

"It's in the account information we sent you when you signed up for the card," she said.

"I never signed up for that damn card, Melinda. U.S. Bank along with the Employment Department signed me up without my consent. And again, I don't recall reading anything about fees," I said. Now I was pissed. (Note: I decided to go through the information U.S. Bank sent me. Perhaps there was something about fees I missed. Nope. Not a thing. I even had Mr. N go over the information as well.)

I figured I could probably argue with her some more, ask to speak to her Supervisor and perhaps get that money back. But that would put me back at square one. I figured I was halfway home.

So I hung up and contacted the employment office. I spoke with Mark.

"Hello Mark," I said. "I'm calling to close my Relia Card Account."

"Hmm. You need to call U.S. Bank to do that," he said.

(You laughing yet?)

"Well, U.S. Bank said they aren't authorized to do that. That authorization comes from your end. I was told if you tried to pass me back to them I was to ask to speak to your Supervisor," I said, thinking the System couldn't possibly get any stupider.

"Can you hold a moment?" I was asked.


Clock ticks as I wait in silence. Not even music was played to entertain me.

Did I mention I had been on the phone for 23 minutes at this point trying to cancel this damn did-not-want-nor-ask-for-in-the-first-place card?

Mark gets back on the phone. He's never heard of this happening before.

"I spoke with my Supervisor. She said we can't cancel the account. She says just to let it expire out. When does your card expire?"


"You're kidding me," I said.

"No," he said.

"The card doesn't expire until the end of the year," I said.

"Oooh, well that is a ways away isn't it," he said, sounding sympathetic.

"You know, I never wanted this stupid card to begin with." What was I looking for? I don't know. Sympathy. Money. And end to the Big Brother and Banking marriage.

"Well, it isn't like anything will happen. On our end, we show the card as dead, inactive," he said, thinking that's how I wish to see the entire Banking industry.

"So can you guarantee me that U.S. Bank won't use my personal information for their gain? They already stole almost three bucks from my account for inactivity," I said.

"That seems unfair," he said.

"More like criminal. But hey, I guess it's rather naive of me to expect anything less of a Bank, right?" I said sarcastically.

Mark laughed an uncomfortable laugh.

"So what you're telling me is that U.S. Bank gets to keep my account open, against my wishes, they won't cancel it because they claim they don't have the authority to do so and you claim the same, and I'm just supposed to wait until the card expires," I said.

"Yep, it looks that way," he said.

"Mark, please don't take this as directed towards you because it's not. But your System you work for really sucks."

I then thanked him and ended the call.

So a little moral for folks about to apply for Unemployment Insurance: STAY AWAY FROM THE RELIA CARD AND U.S. BANK. While you will be given a card, hopefully you'll be one of the lucky ones whose request for direct deposit into your checking/savings account arrives and is processed in a timely manner so that your first check arrives securely in your own already-created and long-used account and as such, you can cut up that damn Relia Card and not have to activate it.

This is nothing more than a way for the Banking Cartel to make money. And think about it. How many folks are there like myself who opted out of the program and requested direct deposit into our checking account. How many of us had to experience the employment department being slow on the uptake which lead to us having had one or two checks deposited into the Relia Card. How many of us had tiny lingering amounts in those accounts for months on end.

And how many of us had those amounts stolen for "account inactivity".



Sometimes The Only Thing There Is To Do Is....DANCE!

In a world of uncertainty with the sounds of Rome collapsing slowly but surely, with poverty and greed all around, well, all of that can weigh heavy on one's heart and mind and as such, sometimes the only thing to do (when wine or hard alcohol isn't around) is DANCE.

I've been dancing since I could walk. If there's a beat to be heard and a rhythm felt, there's a dance move within me to be experienced. I don't care if I'm good or not, although being a musician I can keep a beat and being both of my parents danced extensively (and quite well) during my childhood, I'd have to say I do have a dance gene. Dancing is one of my favorite forms of exercise because it's so much fun. Whether the music is hard rock or classical, I will find some means of moving this body of mine.

When I was a young girl, I was tense when I danced. I was much too afraid to let myself go on the dance floor or in front of other people. Today? I have no shame. While I may be a bit hesitant at first, once I get into my zone and out of my head of thinking "I wonder who is watching me/how do I look", I let loose. Arms twirl and swirl, hips shake and girate while the rest of my body follows suit.

I never did understand those videotapes of women teaching specific dance moves for exercise. For free, you can turn on the radio and move to your OWN groove, move in your OWN way. Let your OWN body guide you. Listen to your intuition, that feminine energy (which is in ALL of us).

For women this is especially freeing. It puts us in tune with our sexuality, our inner feminine mystique. It's very primal and tribal. I truly believe it is one way to reconnect us to Source. It helps us release our inhibitations and all of the heaviness put on us by society that says we must be prim and proper and ladylike and all that other shit. A note to advice for the (straight) guys: If your lady is feeling inhibited in the bedroom, or any other room for that matter, turn on the music and dance with her. Encourage her to let go. Trust me--the results will be well worth your effort. It works better than any pill or magical concoction around. And not only is it great exercise, it's a lot of fun. Mr. Nina dances with me now and then. It always ends up in either two ways: the two of us swaying together slowly and softly to the music or me laughing hysterically over Mr. N's wild groovy moves. Just be safe--warm up before diving into any serious hip movements, especially if you're over 40.

In the past 30 minutes, I've taken some breaks from this computer to move and groove and let myself be a silly wild girlie girl woman. All through dancing. Here's some of the songs I've danced to, all provided to me for free on the radio:

I Feel For You (Chaka Khan)
Run Around (Blues Traveler's)
Old Time Rock and Roll (Bob Seger)
Baby Come Back (Little River Band--one of my favs from the 70's)
Respect (if I have to tell you who sings this shame on you lol)


How To Land That Job!

Time to toss aside the politically correct psycho dribble career "experts" tell us we must say when answering those interview questions posed to us by potential employers. Time for some fun!! Here are some answers that, while not likely to land you that next job, will leave the potential employer and staff talking about you for a very very very long time...

Question #1:
Why did you leave your last employer?

Your response:
Well technically I didn't leave of my own volition. I was asked to leave the premises-immediately.

Question #2:
What do you think to be your best talent?

Your response:
I can put both ankles behind the back of my head. Wanna see?

Question #3:
Why should I hire you?

Your response:
Because I'm armed. (Point to your holster carrying your loaded 9mm.)

Question #4:
What can you offer us that no other applicant can?

Your response:
A long history of state-mandated psychiatric evaluations.

Question #5:
What's your worst trait?

Your response:
...shrug... (You don't have any. Remember that at all times.)

Question #6:
We will be conducting a background check, which includes a drug screen. Are you willing to undergo such testing?

Your response:
Um, well, yeah, but can that drug screen thingie wait a week or so?

Question #7:
Would you be willing to take a cut in pay?

Your response:
...laugh hysterically...

Question #8:
For insurance purposes, would you be adding any dependents?

Your response:
Excuse me, but I am way too young to be wearing those adult diapers.

Question #9:
What was your biggest accomplishment with your last employer?

Your response:
Well, I'd have to say it was a pretty big deal that I didn't smack the fucking shit out of my boss.

Question #10:
If I were to contact your previous employer, what would they have to say about you?

Your response:
How the hell should I know. I'm not psychic. Oh. Wait a minute. This isn't a job for one of those psychic hotlines is it? Cause, well, you know, I was told not to call those numbers anymore.

Question #11:
Ok, well thank you for your time. We'll be in touch soon.

Your response:
Ok, but can you make sure you don't call before noon? I don't really get out of bed until then.

Here are some other pointers for guaranteeing you leave an impression unlike no one else:

*pick your nose.
*burp. then giggle.
*for one question, interrupt after every word.
*when invited into the office for the interview, skip while humming a little tune.
*when leaving and offering up the traditional good-bye/thank-you handshake, place your hand firmly in the potential employer's hand, smile big and say "you're the man!" (or woman)

Washington State Declares Sovereignty

"The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be limited in its powers relative to those of the various states; and WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and WHEREAS, Many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct.
2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now being considered by the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully resolve:
(1) That the State of Washington hereby claims sovereignty under HJM 4009 p.2 the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and (2) That this serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the United States established it and to cease and desist, effective immediately, any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers."

Click here for a link to read the bill in its entirety.

Bravo, sayeth I. Bravo.


Breaking News: UFO Just Witnessed In Skies of Corvallis!

At 7:20pm, PST, Mr. Nina was outside having an evening smoke and like he does on such occasions, he watches the night sky. He was looking at a particular star formation in the NE quadrant of the sky when suddenly the outer star of the 3-star formation caught his eye. It was as bright as Venus and he noticed it was moving at a very fast pace. However, it then slowed way down, dimmed and made a 90 degree turn, hovered for a brief amount of time before suddenly winking out. The lapse of time was approximately 1 minute.

Fascinating, isn't it? I unfortunately missed this one as I was back here firing away at the keyboard with a fervor over yet another one of my rants against The System.

Anyone else see this? Certainly it was not a satellite as they do not behave in that manner. An airplane? At that elevation (which he estimates to be at least 100,000 ft.)? Hardly. I know of no commercial airplane that pulls off 90 degree turns, nor do I know of any plane that can enter and leave the atmosphere or appear and disappear at will.

I'm in the process of writing down all of these sightings we've had which go back 13 years. I feel kinda special in that the average person has not seen a UFO and those who have, most see only 1 or 2. We've seen many more than that.

Swindling America: The Banking "Bailout". A Little Analogy.

You don't need to be a parent to appreciate this analogy.

Parents of little Johnny notice Johnny has gotten into the habit of sticking his hand in the family's piggy bank, taking the families money, and rather than spending it on the family as it is designed to do, spends it on himself. Does mummy and daddy stand in the other room, away from little Johnny and say things like "I am very disturbed by this behavior" or "Maybe we need more oversight into the hand dipping."

Of course not.

If mummy and daddy are responsible parents they take the piggy bank away and make Johnny pay back the money he stole. And they certainly don't give him another piggy bank or more money to put into the piggy bank.

Congress' attempt to convince you and I of their disgust towards how the banks have handled their little taxpayer bonus, er, "bailout", should be prodding each of us awake.

Fully awake.

While the MSM gushes over Obama's supposed show of anger he expressed towards the irresponsibility's of the banks a couple of weeks ago, folks like myself (who saw no anger--just a figurehead with a pretty smile doing a poor acting job of behaving as though he were angry) seethe inside, knowing these puppets are bought and paid for BY the very banks which with they're supposedly so angered. Look in the eyes of people who see the bailout for the scam-of-the-century that it was and is. That is anger. Not this ridiculous crap we're seeing. I heard one woman from the Senate Finance Committee on Rachel Maddow tonight who called the bankers idiots. Oooh, such tough talk. Yep, that's going to impress me.

Please. The bankers are brilliant (although put them out into the real world and they would probably start to resemble an idiot). They knew what they would do with that money all along. They pulled off the greatest financial swindle in U.S. history and our fearless government leaders have continued to give them the green flag while pandering in front of media camera's to the American people in an attempt to sell us of their anger.

They haven't sold this American. And if you're aware and awake, they haven't sold you either.

This country belongs to the people, not the bankers. This land belongs to you and me, not the bankers. Time for the piggy bank to be returned to its rightful owners.

You And Me.


Strega and 7 Stones: Good Riddance

Not that I like to see employees lose their jobs, especially in economic times such as these. However, to see two what I deem "elitist/over-priced" businesses go under, well all I can say is "Good Riddance".

I looked into the prices of these two places. Both were outrageously costly. Both seemingly catered to the higher-end consumer. I wonder if such business owners ever stop to think about the other citizens who are every bit as worthy as visiting their establishment but are unable to due to economic reasons. Of course this piece of the puzzle could easily be rendered with the infusion of the Sliding Scale Fee For Goods And Services. The fact that this has yet to be instituted across the board boggles my mind. If we are to insist on a sliding scale income range, we need to insist on a Sliding Scale Fee For Services. Period.

I also had a real issue with the construction of these Big City gargantuan buildings being erected in the first place, obstructing views of our beautiful river not to mention removing green areas as well as grassy sections that gave the homeless a place to sleep/rest (which wouldn't be necessary if there weren't so many ridiculous codes, restrictions, laws blah blah blah and waste going on such as EMPTY homes and buildings and property that sit month after month but could otherwise be used as shelter, soup kitchens, garden space for food, etc. etc. for those in need).

I used to wonder what their slogans could be:

"Come dine with us in our exclusive dining room where you will be served delicious food at a high cost while enjoying breathtaking views. But hey, at least you can feel better as you watch the homeless people mill around below, thanking your stars you aren't in THEIR shoes."

"Come enjoy a healthful, insanely expensive massage and spa treatment with all sorts of equally ridiculously expensive foo foo natural treatments in an inviting, relaxing atmosphere. We will even provide you dark sunglasses as you leave so you don't have to make eye contact with any of those pesky homeless and drug addicts wondering the streets below. And hey, when you return home, you'll feel great and look great--for about 12 hours."

Or perhaps the sign should read:

We cater to the wealthier clientele. Homeless and low income folks not allowed.

In fact, that's a great sign to put on many business establishments, for this is really the underlying consciousness that is being created out there in the chaos we call The System.