It. Is. So. Hot!

103 Tuesday. 108 yesterday. 104 today. Lows around 70, which doesn't occur until after 3am. Running the a/c 24/7 which means the air inside is stuffy, albeit cool. I long for the return of normal temps when we open up the house at night and allow that wonderful, cool, clean ocean air inside.
Today the coast breeze kicked in, dropping the temperature into the 90's late this afternoon, which felt good. I never thought the day would arrive when I could find some excitement over a 90 degree reading.

This is the Northwest. Not the Southwest. We that live in the NW choose it for its mild climate. Northwesterner's don't do well in the heat. We melt. We get pissy and moody. We hibernate inside when the temps climb much above 82. We are strong in many ways. Heat is our weakness.

This is ridiculous. There is nothing more to say.

(pic is a representation of what many of us in the nw have been visualizing this past week)


History Channel Uses The "C" Word: Chemtrails

Mr. N was watching "That's Impossible: Weather Wars" last night on the History Channel. I happened to walk by as I heard the narrator say "chemtrail". What the hell? I thought. Did he just say what I thought he said? Sure enough, there on the television screen was a computer graphic and explanation of a chemtrail. It's purpose, according to the narrator? Control the weather.

Of course it was being presented as something currently in development, something likely to be occurring in the future instead of something that has been going on for over a decade (with weather control technology being employed since the 1950's).

Nonetheless I was a bit surprised to hear the "C" word being used. Perhaps it's part of another brainwashing campaign to slowly get us used to chemtrails as being GOOD for us and GOOD for the planet (the 'ole "we're only doing this for YOUR benefit/we're here to HELP you" mantra), much in the way they're slowly indoctrinating the public to accept a jab in the arm of swine flu vaccine. I mean sure, the History Channel will air the conspiracy stuff, but in the end, the viewer is usually left with thinking "oh that will never happen" or "oh that is something that won't happen in my lifetime" or "totally impossible. conspiracy theory stuff".

Oh well, to those who have brushed off my "chemtrail" explanation for the past few years: Believe me now, jack?

For those interested in watching it in its entirety (something I will be doing), it airs again this Saturday, July 25th at 4pm.


Warning: Facebook Can Rot Your Brain

It's true.

I've seen it.

I'm starting to experience it.

After 2 weeks on "the book", I've noticed something happening to my brain. Little cells that once were aware to outer happenings, once concerned about them, once used to creating (hopefully) intelligent and insightful writings to share and inform, are now singing little "la la la la de de la la de da everything is just schwell weeeeeeeeee" songs. After being exposed to games like mafia wars (still don't know what that one's about) and quizzes like "what color should your hair be" and messages from people I haven't seen in over 20 years, some of whom I never really even knew but now suddenly want to know when my birthday is so they can send me a virtual card???

Excuse me whilst I engage in a moment of screaming:


Facebook could have some real value if only people used it to actually create some sort of change by really informing people of the real shit that's going on in our world. Unfortunately, one can't write personal opinion pieces on F/B. You're given enough space to write about 5 sentences. Most people write just one, two or three sentences. Something that was intentional I am sure.

Not that I'm against the occasional escape from reality.

We all need that escape now and then, but given the amount of time I've found myself spending on F/B and the amount of time I've seen others put into it (F/B has this little indicator where you can check and see who is signed on--and believe me there are people on my "friends" list who seem to be signed on all the time), to me it seems like something that the PTB created to keep us focused in a world of virtual illusion whilst the carpets are pulled out from underneath us one by one. Wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn it was created by people who understand the brain and how it works and as such, F/B was created to tap into the addiction/pleasure centers of the brain.

So I find myself facing a dilemma. Do I take F/B for what it is or do I, now that I have a growing audience, use it to reach across the screen like I do on here and gently but assertively say "Wake The Fuck Up"?

Don't know the answer to that one. Brain cells once used to answer that question need to be recharged.

I wonder if there's a mental detox program for users of Facebook...


Harvest Day

While this wasn't my first harvest, it was our first harvest of carrots. This was after they had been cleaned up and the (massive!) tops removed. I gotta admit, I'm pretty proud of myself. This is the first time I've grown carrots and they came out perfectly. I still have several left in the ground. I also threw in some more seeds for a fall harvest. I chose the smaller variety, both for their size (2-3") and for their sweetness. (I also since learned that those little small fingerling carrots you buy in bags at the grocery store are simply regular carrots peeled and sliced down to a small size. True small carrots like the ones I grew are MUCH sweeter. And another lesson for the kiddies: do not buy carrots with the green tops still attached. That only serves to add weight and they also suck up more nutrients from the carrot root.) Our soil has a lot of clay. While I created my own bed for the carrots (top soil, mulch, etc.), I knew that underneath was clay so I didn't want to grow the lengthy variety. Also in the picture is a few leaves of green leaf lettuce and some swiss chard. All was used in a salad for dinner last night. YUM! Something very satisfying in growing your own foods. Friends stopped in last night and took a sampling of the carrots and some cherry tomatoes which are starting to ripen. Thumbs up were given. We also have peas, spinach (which ain't doing so well for some reason), squash, broccoli, beans, strawberries and a variety of herbs growing, most in pots. If we had the space, I'd be growing fruit trees, blueberries, corn and potatoes.


Entertainment Recommendations

Some things I've been engaged in to occupy myself.

Currently I'm reading "The Life of Pi". I first heard of this book several years ago and, at the time, thought it was about the mathematical term, 3.14. In a way, I was correct in that it is the story of Piscine, portrayed as a young boy and adult male, who goes by Pi or 3.14 in order to escape the teasing that comes along when your name, pronounced with that Indian accent, sounds like "pissing". I am enthralled with this book. I am deeply engaged with the main character. I am taken away with the narration and in particular, the discussion of religion. This is a story of faith and adventure. It almost blinds me with its realness. I have to say I haven't been this taken away with an author's writing style since I first read Hemingway.

We watched a very simple yet moving film last night called "Opal Dream". Set in Australia, it tells of the story of a little girl who spends her time playing with her (supposed) "imaginary" playmates, preferring them to her classmates while her dreamer father has moved the family in order to stake a claim in search of Opal's. All moves along quite nicely until the little girl's two friends disappear, where upon the little girl becomes very ill. What follows is a story of sibling connection, and ultimately, faith in the midst of judgment, struggle and controversy.

Tonight we watched a rather bizarre yet compelling short film called "Light and the Sufferer". It's the story of two brothers, one a college dropout, the other a societal dropout. Upon reconnecting, the two decide to score some quick cash and get out of town. Their plans are diverted, in part by their own choosing and in part by a strange other worldly cat-like being, known as a Sufferer, who are said to follow those who are suffering, who don't believe they have any purpose or worth. Check it out.

Facebook. Yeah, I sold my soul and signed up. I don't know why. I'll likely cancel. I really don't have anyone from my past with whom I can see myself reconnecting with. I have a few local friends who are on Facebook, but I see them enough to not really need to communicate with them in that manner. One friend said it was a great way to connect with friends from the past, especially high school.


High school was a prison for me. College, not much different. In fact, since signing up, I feel like I'm back in those days, at one giant party, where I'm on the outside looking in. Seeing many of my old classmates registered on one another's page is like walking into a giant tub of salt, with me being a giant open wound. For whatever reason, I've never been one to have a large circle of friends. I certainly tried during childhood, but for whatever reason(s), instead of friendship from me, the kids instead wanted me as one of their targets for teasing. Either that or I was simply ignored. As a result, I grew into my teen years moody, rebellious against anything that was considered popular or hip. I discovered solitude was where I could truly be myself without hassle, so I became a bit of a loner, that is until I discovered weed and beer in my late teen years. Then I became the life of the party. However, those relationships made during that time were no more significant or meaningful than the ones made when I was sober. I had a tiny circle of friends who I thought were going to be there for the long haul. However, after I opted to divorce my last husband, they split. Since that time, I've become even more selective in who I allow into my life. And sometimes, I wonder just who I really am. Am I really this sensitive, hesitant introvert or did I become that way as a result of my experiences with relationships? Having long ago opted for sobriety in dealing with groups of people and new faces, I still face those social anxieties and prefer the company of animals, meaningful books, movies and music, and like-minded/like-souled introspective, sensitive nerds. So far, I haven't found such people on Facebook. They're probably out there, like myself, waiting for someone to come to them instead of doing the reaching out.

Corvallis: A Sustainable City?

One of the popular buzzwords flying about these days is "sustainability". In other words, let us create a way of living that can last for the long term with minimal impact on the environment and one another. Corvallis is certainly no exception when it comes to using this word. And yet, from my perspective, the term sustainable, when applied to Corvallis, is used more to imply you're part of the "cool" lefty crowd than it is about true sustainability.

Corvallis is one of the most expensive cities in the state in which to live, with low wage paying jobs and grossly inflated housing prices. Today alone, I saw an ad to rent a townhouse in the CoHo Ecovillage, all for a whopping $1250/month (which, according to the individual who wrote the ad, is a bargain considering the home, pardon me, the townhome, is for sale for only $285,000). I also saw an ad to work for the Corvallis Environmental Center, another organization very much into the "sustainability" movement. The wage? $10/hour.

Both of the entities behind these ads promote "sustainability". And yet, it's basic common sense that $1250/month for rent, $285,000 for the cost of a townhome and $10/hour for employment ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE. These folks need to expand their vision and think long and hard about their concept of "sustainability" because, despite all of the hype, they're missing the boat.

Our local Co-Op, another local entity into the "sustainability" movement, when being questioned by folks in the community via their monthly newspaper, The Thymes, often uses the term "providing a living wage" when referring to their employees. Well given the majority of their advertised positions start between minimum wage and $9/hour, they cannot use that term truthfully.

The folks in the sustainability movement need to expand their viewpoint, turn the mirror on themselves and get real. I realize most are well-intentioned, but having good intentions whilst wearing blinders does not produce positive, lasting results. They need to embrace the concept of money. They need to address the affordability factor. For if even just part of the movement is exclusive, then it cannot be considered sustainable.


Japanese Railway Workers Face Smile Monitoring

I don't know what's creepier. Enforced smile scans on the workers or being greeted by person after person with fake smiles.

I wonder if they offer a good dental plan for workers who have less than appealing teeth.

Biggest Landowner On The Planet

Ah, to be a rich royal elitist wench. QE II takes the cake on this one with an ownership of 1/6th of the planet's land mass.


Sunday Ramblings

Well, another 4th of July has come and gone, my desire to celebrate as dismal as the local fireworks display. You see, I keep growing into this thing called "conscious awareness" and as such, I question everything. Is it really ok to light these fireworks? Each year, I hear dogs howling in distress upon having to be exposed to the noise. Last year, I recall seeing this poor traumatized dog running up and down the street frantically. I wasn't able to catch it. Last night, I couldn't even walk outside and breathe without being exposed to the smell of sulfur. And then there's the whole "freedom" mantra. We aren't free. Well ok, unless you believe in the idea of "freedom is a state of mind", but that simply glosses over the darker side of life. While we always have a choice, sometimes that choice can lead to those who disagree with our choice to interfere with our free will and impose something upon us. And then there's the whole americana bravado that goes along with such a celebration.

Look, I could get into the whole celebration of America had a history of honoring and practicing such things as freedom, truth and justice. But we haven't. So instead of pretending, let's use the 4th of July to truly celebrate the birth of America by looking with an honest eye at where freedom, truth and justice are missing in our culture and creating something new whereby such values are not just words but rather, played out through action. And perhaps, we could find some new practices that don't include getting shit-faced (especially on crappy beer) and watching things blow up while hootin' and hollerin' at the top of our lungs late into the evening hours.

I read up more on the upcoming flu swine vaccine, which is set to be released by Baxter this month. Ridiculous, all of the hype and fear, especially since the regular flu killed thousands more than the swine flu did this year. Of course no clinical trials were done, so we're playing russian roulette with another vaccine. The immune system is quite resilient and, for most people, is a much better protector of disease than any vaccine will ever be. I guess vaccines could have their place - if they were to be preserved with natural, safe and organically-based properties. But that isn't the case. And it likely won't be in any foreseeable future.

Ok, where in the hell is the consideration with today's youth? I'm not talking about the behavior we all engaged in during our young years. The partying. The loud music. The rebellion. I'm talking about taking ownership of ones behavior. I'm talking about consideration for others. I remember when I would hang out with friends and party. We would hang out in some abandoned field where no one was around or we would hang out at a friend's house and make sure we turned down the noise after a certain hour. Why? So as not to disturb the neighbors. The idea of consideration for others was drilled into my head, as it was for my friends as well. Don't just think of yourself. Think of others as well.

Many of these young people I am speaking of are the same generation of kids I used to care for 15-20 years ago during my stint in daycare. At the time, I saw a trend appearing that I knew was going to result in a generation of kids not having authentic consideration for anyone except for yours truly. These children had both parents working full-time and as such, were in the care of other adults 8-12 hours a day, 5 days a week. I remember thinking "who in the world do these parents think is really parenting and raising their children?" It isn't just quality of time. Quantity is equally as important.

What I saw were tired parents picking up their children, their children begging mommy and/or daddy for x y or z, mommy and/or daddy too tired to argue, too worn out to even deal with, feeling guilty for believing they couldn't spend more time with their children (with many of these families under the illusion they could have it all NOW) and more times than not, child got his/her desire. I could tell which children had learned how to use this to their advantage and as such, were turning in to demanding little tyrants, totally self-absorbed.

I'm not saying it isn't possible not to raise considerate children when both parents are working full-time, but it does take a fairly unique adult with an extra amount of energy to spare and a willingness to do what it takes to make sure such behavior is not allowed to continue. And just as important is a childcare system where the student to teach ratio gap is a small one. The place I first worked had a 17 to 1 student/teacher radio for the preschool room, which I felt was ridiculous. Also equally important are teachers who are willing to step outside of the politically correct box now and then and stop such demanding behavior at the onset, even if it means employing their own instinctive measures that may be contrary to policy. I recall one episode where the Assistant Director was helping me out in the preschool room. One of the moms arrived to pick up her son, a sweet little boy but certainly a demanding little tyrant when he wanted to be. Well, little boy wasn't ready to leave and told mommy "no", to which mommy sighed and again, repeated her request that he get his jacket. Little boy again said "no", only this time with more anger in his voice. Mommy sighs. If looks could speak, she would have said "I don't have the energy to deal with this!"

What proceeded was a round of mommy quietly repeating her request, her voice sounding more weary with each attempt, which only served to add fuel to little boy's repeated refusal to comply. Well finally, the Assistant Director had had quite enough, so she walked over to little boy, picked him up, and, despite his screaming and kicking, took him out to mommy's car, placed him inside and shut the door. All without saying a word. Mommy looked at me as though she were about ready to cry, and, with her head down, walked over to get little boy's belongings and left.

Assistant Director had returned. "Well done," I said, knowing full well as she did that if the Director had caught her doing such a thing, she would have faced possible termination due to the long list of policies, many of which are unnecessary, of the daycare establishment.

"I couldn't take that scene anymore," she said. "Someone had to do something."

Excellent advice.

It's been very hot and dry here, temperatures in the mid 90's. Today though we are having the start of a much desired cooling trend. Our natural a/c, the Pacific, has pushed in some clouds. Temperatures are expected to hover around 70 degrees for much of next week, which after 90 plug degree heat, is going to feel refreshingly cool. Oh how I long to live someplace where the temps don't get out of the 70's. Such heat didn't seem to stop people from enjoying outdoor activities, such as the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, where I watched people on television listen to spectacular music (the best blues band I have heard to date, the name having since slipped my mind, perhaps even better than Stevie Ray Vaughan himself, was heard 1998 Blues Fest on July 4th)...all the while sitting in lawn chairs in the 90 plus degree heat, surrounded by like-behaved folks, bodies glistening with sweat.

Ugh. Not my idea of fun. When I attended, temps were around 70.

I thought of something today. My desire for and on-going pursual of self-employment. Whilst this is getting a foot out of the system, my other foot is still in it, helping support the very element that needs to be removed: the banking system. Like the ocean, where everything we throw into the street and waterways ends up there, with every dollar we create or spend (or save for that matter), it all ends up at some bank. Self-employment is very much a positive trend. However, how positive is it really when the very system that is causing so much unnecessary struggle and suffering is allowed to continue on its merry way?


Metallicized Particles Show Up On Doplar Radar: Western Oregon 6/30/2009

While watching the weather last night, KEZI Meteorologist Justin Stapleton explained that, what looked to be rain showing up on radar yesterday was actually metallicized particles resulting from some Coast Guard activities off the Oregon Coast.

Mr. Nina and I of course wanted to know more.

What was in these particles? What were they comprised of?

What were these activities being done by the Coast Guard?

And why on earth would such a thing show up on radar as rain?

Considering Mr. Stapleton has a Masters in Geosciences, you would think he would have more knowledge to share. Likely he does and just as likely, his corporate bosses wouldn't allow him to say anymore more than that.