Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wave Hello

Who's this guy waving to???
Why is the hand signal for turning left a parallel left arm pointing left, but to turn right it is still the left arm, bent at the elbow hand upward at a 45 degree angle to the ground?

If we signal left with the left arm, couldn't we just signal right with the right arm?

(Actually, I just figured out the answer typing this. Does anyone else know the answer?)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Awoke to happy finches chirping as they munched the safflower seeds I had put out for them. There is even an oriole nesting nearby.

I'm have been discussing debt loan options these days with friends. I can manage payments but interest rates mean that I'll never be debt free. Bankruptcy option is an option, but unattractive to me at this time. I spoke with two debt management companies. They can save me $13,000 in interest fees. They close all credit accounts and it does negatively affect credit history.

I figure that I could do the same plan as they would by using a flat interest rate and pay people rather than companies. Some churches do it (not mine, yet). Basically, they loan the money expecting to make 3-10 percent of the loan and the individual pays them on a monthly plan. If there is a default of payment, the individual transfers the loan back into his or her credit cards so that the lender is not at risk. (The credit line is still open because the individual has paid off the outstanding credit and still has an open and good credit history.)

My brother directed me to www.prosper.com where folks are doing this through that site. I've just printed out pages and pages of material about their process to take home and read. Will let you know what I learn.

Seems like a good idea, paying my debt back through others earning some interest on a personal level rather than the big companies making ludicrous money at my expense.

Check out the site for yourself and feel free to give me some feedback.

Meanwhile, you can still become my friend at www.GoodReads.com. I'm having fun logging my reading habits there. If you need me to re-invite you, drop me a note.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sugar High

Following my previous post, I noticed this week that it is not only human nature to fight. I have a hummingbird feeder hanging in my yard. One hummingbird has decided that it is her own private restaurant.

She sits perched on a branch just above and to the side of the feeder and dive-bombs any other hummingbird who approaces.

Survival instinct? Maybe. But there is plenty for all to feed and no need to hoard or fight over the resources.

Kind of like humans?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Guns Don't Kill People...

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the 2nd Ammendment. James Madison wrote,
    "Let a regular army be formed...still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the People on their side, would be albe to repel the danger"
220 years before our current dictatorship of a federal government. Perhaps the danger he envisioned wasn't the federal government itself, but the idea has been considered.

Now that this posting has the words, "kill" "gun" and "federal government" in it, no doubt I'm being monitored. Don't think so? Check out the PBS Frontline special on how Big Brother operates today in America. And if/when I do get called in and questioned, remember that you will never know because it is illegal for those investigated to ever say that they have been. Persons must simply answer that they can't answer.

Read Kafka's The Trial.

It is the news from Illinois that got me writing about this. Seems that a 10-month old baby got his permit to carry a gun.

"What?!" you say. That's right. It's illegal for minors to buy a gun. But since grandpa gave Bubba his gun, all was legal. Why a Firearm Owner's Identification Card is necessary at all if a 10-month can get one is beyond me.

Forget Columbine and Virginia Tech. Now we can watch the pre-schools.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Invasion!

I captured and released 14 moths from inside my home last night. Two more moths were dead on the floor. Eight more were flying around in my screened in porch.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

87108

I watched "Hotel Rwanda" last night with friends. Afterwards, we discussed the tragedy of Rwanda and, currently, the genocide in Darfur. We spoke of complicity, of peaceful solutions vs. killing, of the role of the bystander.

One thing that stood out in the movie for me was a scene of all white persons being escorted out by the United Nations. Even a dog was allowed to evacuate with its white owner. All blacks were left behind to endure the conflict.

I can speak out about such atrocities. That is important. However, in a larger picture of things, my impact will be relatively small. Sometimes that makes focusing overseas more attractive: I can feel remorse and politically correct emotions without having to be implicated too much.

What about nearer to home? In Albuquerque, we put our "undesireables" mostly within one zip code, 87108, known by locals as "the war zone." We do so by placing all of the sub-standard housing there, giving little choice to someone poor as to where else they might go. Like Rwanda, we--the elite, middle- to upper-class whites--go on about our business and let "them" deal with their differences, turning our heads away when yet another killing is reported. In fact, we tend to think murder and drugs as fairly normal for people "like them."

"Let them resolve it," we say with our actions. Like Rwanda, it's their business; if they want to kill each other, that is their choice. I don't have to live there and all of my friends are in safer places. That is my only responsibility.

Or is it? By not addressing this injustice in my backyard, how can I effect change globally? What is my role to be in changing the conditions of "the war zone" so that they can live in peace? What is my role to be in changing the conditions of Darfur so that people can survive and live in peaceful conditions?

No answers today. Maybe not tomorrow, either. But in remembering my love for my mother this Mother's Day, I recognize that mothers exist everywhere. In Rwanda. In Darfur. In zip code area 87108.

I want a world in which all mothers are treated as I want mine to be treated.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is It Just Me?

Or do those faces on the classmates.com web advertisements look creepily like someone you went to school with, too?

I think they morph a hundred faces so that we all see someone we kind of recognize.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here They Come


Wondering what is happening in the Episcopal Church? Better yet, want some insight into the minds of the next generation?

You definitely want to read this!

Monday, May 07, 2007

On Hold

I have my cell phone tuck up to my ear with my shoulder as I type this. I'm waiting on hold for a "credit counselor." I hope to learn that they can negotiate with credit lenders for lower interest rates.

In reviewing bankruptcy and debt management plans, I realized that I can be debt free in 4 years if I have no interest rates! At current rates, it is unlikely that I will be free until something like 2051.

Just a minute...that's the phone.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

More Greece

Be sure to check below these posts for some more recent fun posts!

But...in the meantime...here's some from last October's trip to Greece.




At Last




Though it was months ago.... Finally uploaded some pics from my trip to Greece. The other culprits are Sharon and Matthias.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

You can see what I'm reading and have read by clicking on the reading box in the column to the right of this (below the "God Hates Shrimp" thingy.) The dates are a little off in the box, but the link takes you to my listing of books.

Unrelated to books is the fact that I just realized that I am linked from The Rhetorical Letter Writer.

Friday, May 04, 2007

San Antonio Hot Springs

I slept in a cabin in the Jemez mountains on Wednesday night. Two elk were grazing lazily in the meadow when I arrived. Yesterday I hiked 5 miles into the wilderness to a fantastic hot springs.

"We're like the spring lineup for this year's swimwear," exclaimed one bather. We were four in number: a father and his college-aged son, a guy from Canada and me. The comment referred to one of us being naked, one in a thong, one in short cut swim trunks and the fourth in surfer shorts that hung to the knees. I'll let you guess which one I was.

I was spending time on a day-long, self-directed retreat. Part of my negotiated self-care at work is to take the first Thursday of each month off for this. This is a bit of what I learned:

I desire to be grounded in this moment. This moment. This moment. This....

I am not that evolved, developed or whatever else it takes to achieve this moment. For now, here is my back door:
  1. Be outdoors more.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Pray.
  4. Always invite friends; always accept invitations. Enjoy solitude regardless.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I passed a billboard today promoting home hospice. It commended me to "Keep Seniors at Home". I believe that this message was selected after the "Don't Let Seniors Loose on the Streets" angle was scrapped.

Sola, the only chicken remaining after the massacre, was pecking around in the yard last night. I wonder if mother hens tell their chicks to wash their beaks before eating.

Meanwhile, thought provoking discussion and reflection continue at the
VA Tech posting. Check it out and give us your input.