Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's black and blue and sore all over?

Me. Okay, the bruising hasn't properly set in yet, but there are the scrapes, the swelling, and general did-anyone-get-the-plate-on-the-bus-that-hit-me aches. No, no bus. I fell walking into work. I'd just left the grass, which was damp and had walked onto the blacktop when the damn surgical boot, which is hard plastic much like dress shoes on the bottom, skidded right under me and there I was, flat on my back with my broken right foot pleasantly cushioned but my left foot directly under my upper thigh, something I didn't think was possible, even when I have done yoga. My knee's the worst. At least I didn't hit my head. (I think. Like I said, I was stunned, and that lasted until about 3 in the afternoon.)

So the first part of my Monday, after the nice security guard who saw me helped me up and chased down my frozen fish meal, some change, and my cell phone (all of which went flying)--although so did a Fresca that rolled clear down the hill to the end of the parking lot, which I didn't chase after because I was still stunned, was spent filling out an incident report and filing it. Earlier in the morning I'd checked my finances and discovered I was going to overdraft by 19 cents, so I deposited a quarter (hey, I didn't have much on me) in the bank. Then this. On top of yesterday's fiasco (oh, yeah, I didn't tell you--two characters in the game are practically dead, a beloved NPC (non-player character) and one of mine who was on her very first mission. None of us thought to bring oxygen masques with us when repelling down a 400 ft deep oil derrick shaft. The NPC, who was in charge, continued despite our attempts to get her to come back up, and then fell. Mine climbed down the rest of the way to get her, but I didn't think fast enough and passed out myself. Both were revived, but they're in the hospital, both on a ventilator, and I don't think there's much hope.

So, the week's started out crappy. But it should get better from here. Tomorrow is my favourite Scorpio's birthday. I'll have to give him a belated gift...I was going to try to get him a subscription to a sports magazine he loves, but the price range was between $80 and $120 a year, depending on what payment plan you do and where you go to get it...way out of my league. I like A but gee, I have medical journals in the library that are less than that. So, it will have to be something else. And of course Wednesday is Halloween. I have to work at the store though so I don't know about wearing a costume to the library. If I paint my face, for example, I'd have to get all the makeup off and change. Plus I'm out of ideas for this year and strapped for money. Fortunately I get paid on Wednesday (most likely) and have food at home and gas in the car. Maybe I'll just wear black.

Well, that's all for now. No, wait, today's fortune cookie is: A good beginning is half done. I wonder if that counts for the opposite. Okay, that's it. Good night.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oh, good grief

It's bad when FEMA has to resort to fake news conferences to make itself look good.

FEMA blasted for 'news' conference

Someone's going to get grief over that one. It's just another thing that makes the Bush Administration look like a bunch Keystone Cops running around in all directions. I notice they have nothing like a retraction or apology on their website, at least when I looked at it tonight.

I have food in the house

having just spent an hour in Kroger hunting and a bit of gathering. I have salad makings, potatoes, canned veggies, fresh fruit, canned fruit, tortillas, bread, macaroni and cheese, tuna, chili, Fresca, and lots of dairy products (cheese, milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, sour cream), plus orange juice with calcium (I've been craving dairy since I broke my foot, and of course I need the calcium to help it heal). I also got some popcorn where you pour the butter over it after you microwave it (shades of the Olden Days--it's Orville Redenbacher, which was cheaper than Pop Secret), a couple of frozen meals I can take to work (Boca lasagna and a fish/broccoli/rice meal). Oh, and ice cream, but that falls under dairy, right? :) All told it was $85, which is more than I've spent at the store in a long, long time, but my cabinets were pretty much empty (I had some cereal, half a jar of peanut butter, and a couple of bean and rice mixes, plus some spinach.) Now I should be good for at least a couple of weeks. Right now I'm making a baked potato in the microwave. I've been wanting one since I made one for a friend a few days ago.

Speaking of my friend, he gave me a bag of fortune cookie, hence the new feature, 'Today's Fortune Cookie'. Today's is 'There is a true and sincere friendship between you both'. That's definitely true. (I actually had Ko Po tofu earlier from China Café, but that fortune cookie had a joke about a one-legged dog, so I consider that one a wash).

Man, that potato is good!

Well, I'm going to check the news and then putter around here a little before I go to bed. Good night.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A snippet of my day

Today's radioplay (yay, they're back!): Colonel Warburton's Madness
Today's fortune cookie: There is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
Today's dinner: Voodoo Red Beans from Gumbo Ya Ya (yay, something other than peanut butter!)

Okay, so I'm getting used to my desk. I'm still working on the ergonomics. I have a keyboard tray and mouse pad that hang underneath the desk so I'm further from the screen than I used to be. My computer is in the corner of the desk, so my phone is on the left a ways. Remember it's 6' x 6' so there's a lot of space. I did manage to incorporate the orchids, African violets, and Christmas cactus on the desk. The amaryllis and aloe vera remain in the window. The primroses and cyclamen got chucked after months of limping along. My little zen garden is next to the computer. I have a picture of Hekate and the Orphic hymn to her on my tack board. I did go ahead and put my files that I don't deal with constantly in plastic bins under the desk for now so I can take them out a little at a time. Between the plastic bins, the drawer units, the trash can, and my foot rest, all the space underneath is taken. But I was able to move the copier and public computers down by about 8 inches so I have more room and don't feel claustrophobic. Plus I have the windows behind and left of me. Today was mostly spent going through the e-mail of the last three four days, doing some interlibrary loans, and answering questions about the national award for which I am the jury chair. Next week I take my easel to storage (felt board on one side, magnetic chalkboard on the other), have a bulletin board put up and another taken to storage, and get a Ray Harm print hung (one fit over my desk, the other needs to move between the windows). There are three total in the library--a bald eagle, an indigo bunting (the one over my desk) and I can't remember the name of the other, the one to be hung--it's a brown bird with a butterfly. I also need to send some journals I'm weeding to other libraries and dispose of the ones no one wanted. Then the big project happens--taking off journals so that the shelving units can be moved over. Gack.

This is hilarious

D sent me this via e-mail and I tracked it down on YouTube so I could share it with you. If you've ever been 'owned' by a cat (oh, come on, you know we were genetically engineered for our thumbs so we could open the food cans), you will appreciate this.

'Cat Man Do' by English animator Simon Tofield of Tandem Films.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's 9:10 and I'm ready for work except for putting my shoes on. I've been having a hard time getting up before about 9:25 (bad when you have to be at work at 10), so I've been very rushed in the mornings. Today I can really wake up a little slowly whilst my brain comes online. I did the set-my-clock-ahead-at-a-random-time trick to fool myself (normally after I figure out the time difference, I start calculating it when I'm half asleep, but it works for awhile when I first start). So even though it's gloomy outside, I'm awake. I'm hoping that falling back from Daylight Savings Time will help, too. I think we do that this weekend. [Correction, that's next week, due to changes in the system.]

I checked and my direct deposit has gone through. It's like magical elves (or if this were Harry Potter, goblins) come and fill my coffers at night. I love direct deposit. I really should do it with the gas station, too. After all, it'll soon be 2 years since I started there. According to my boss, I have a following of regulars. Several people did ask me why I was off, too. It's nice to be appreciated. I think the gas station job does four things for me: 1) keeps me afloat financially by filling in the gaps of my other job, 2) forces me to deal in pleasantries with a constantly-changing stream of people who are very different in demeanor, 3) keeps me on my toes and active, and 4) fulfills my need to help people (a reason I'm a librarian, too).

Well, I'm going to get my shoes on and go into work, getting some money along the way. Hope you have a good day. And for those of you in southern California...I've heard a lot of people here say that even though we've been in a drought and need the rain, we wish you were getting some of it instead. They're thinking about you--and so am I. A co-worker (well, briefly a co-worker, he lasted a week if that) said he wasn't sorry for all these rich people losing their homes, especially since they built in a fire zone. But it's not just rich people--and one thing about fire, it's a great equaliser, without regard for social status or wealth. And it's just as devastating to lose your home regardless of who you are, what you do, or how much you have. And it's hard to find a place in the suburbs of Los Angeles that isn't in a fire zone. At least when I lived there, I was in the desert. But I was also 80-90 miles from LA. That's a bit much for a commute. Anyway, I hope they get some relief soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My brain has been taken by Yahtzee

I have a little computer program, you see, and I just keep rolling the dice. But now I'm going to stop and blog, and then go to bed. (When we did play games as a family when I was young, it was usually Yahtzee or Kismet, both dice games...I'm pretty good--the computer loses more than I do).

Anyway, autumn weather has definitely come to us. According to my Firefox add-on it's 50 degrees but the wind is at 16 mph, so it's pretty brisk outside. It's also wet and leaves are coming down everywhere; my car is decorated with them.

I went to Dr Rooney, the podiatrist, today. I have to stay in the boot for another four weeks, but the good news is it is healing. The fractures are in the 4th and 5th metatarsals; I've heard bad things about the 5th not healing but she said that's usually the case when the bone is actually broken to the point of not being united. Mine is more of a crack near the joint, so it should heal fine. Yay. I do not want surgery. It does feel somewhat better. So, it's more of the Franken-boot for now.

The time of no money is ending as I get paid tomorrow at the hospital (actually it should go through sometime tonight) and I should get paid at the gas station for the first time in awhile, too.

The new cubicles were more tolerable once everything was together. I spent the whole day putting stuff on and in my desk. My computer may be losing its power supply soon--it keeps going to an amber light and it's sleeping although on, but not waking up when I touch the mouse or keyboard. I've got a desk that goes 6 feet in two directions, which I think will be adequate, 3 file folder drawers, two others, and two overhead bins. I got all but the files taken care of today. Tomorrow I have to do that and move some other stuff out so that the nursing students won't be crowded. I also have to move a copier and two computer carrels about 6 inches so I won't be crowded. From there it's working on moving one or possibly two journal shelving units that are about 3' x 12' each. Not looking forward to that.

I haven't listened to the radioplays lately because of all the commotion. When they were building the cubicles, there didn't seem to be a point, since there was banging and power screwdriving involved. Today I don't think I sat in my chair long enough. Also, I'm getting a new (used) chair that's bigger and more comfortable, one of the old ones from one of the other departments that was replaced by those that came with the cubicles.

Well, I guess that's enough of an update for now. Good night. Oh, and in honour of impending Halloween, here's a Very Twisted Great Pumpkin...I'm assuming it's from Robot Chicken, I think I've seen it on there, but it wasn't identified as such.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A mixed day

On the good side:

  1. Heroes!--enough said.
  2. The nice folks at the Kentucky Revenue Department set up a payment plan with me rather than coming and taking what little stuff I own (okay, I have lots of stuff, but nothing valuable, really--my car is in my mom's name and my computer is a build-your-own-without-a-brand style, and of course there are lots of books, not great for resale). But they could have garnished my wages or just seized money from my bank account and had me out on the street when I couldn't pay my rent. So I'm happy that it worked out. I received the certified letter of notice the day I was off after Cerys' death and it became clear that I wasn't going to make the deadline since I hadn't been working due to my foot. Apparently the Commonwealth prefers less extreme tactics first. Yay for calling to straighten things up. Yay, responsibility!
  3. I found out a co-worker is alive and well. She disappeared Thursday and her family and friends didn't know where she was, and it wasn't like her to not call in to work. I don't know the details (and don't really need to, although of course I'm curious.) But she disappeared on her mother's birthday and her mom had died a few months ago--I was a little worried that she was more depressed than we'd realised and had done something to harm herself. I fretted about her all weekend. Funny how people touch you in little ways. My favourite moment with her was the child-like wonder she had at making a fluff ball move forward by walking near it. (Don't get me wrong, she takes things seriously, and she's not totally out in left field...but she's quirky and comes off as pretty innocent, and I was afraid someone might have harmed her.)
  4. I talked to D. Her surgery went fine and she's back at work. She's got some really serious implications to deal with, though, and I hope she continues to do okay.

On the bad side, they're building the cubicles in the library today and so far I don't like the fact that they're:
  1. A particularly yucky shade of beige-taupe (hey, not my fault, I didn't get a vote). Maybe they'll grow on me. Nah.
  2. Sticking out further than I, my boss, and my boss' boss thought they would, so now I'm looking at moving one or two journal shelving units (each about 3 x 12 feet and full of loose journals) over to allow for clearance. Right now there's about 24". There needs to be at least 36".
  3. Wrapped around my area to a degree that I'm going to have to move the copier and computer a few inches to get inside my cubicle.
  4. Tall (except for mine), leading you to see a wall with a door directly opposite when you come in. My desk is behind said journals shelves and although there is a short divider, I don't think I'll be that visible, certainly not as much as I was in the past.
  5. Probably going to be put up into tomorrow, since by the time I left at 2:30 they'd gotten the walls (yes, there's a wall, even with a door) and overhead bins in.

Also, I can't see the clock (it's just as well my 10th anniversary gift for service is a clock) and I'm not sure I'll be able to see the door. Argh. Maybe it will get better. I miss my nice oak desks, but this might work. Still, I'm being somewhat resistant to change, but then although I wasn't the last to know this was going on, I was down pretty far, and I still resent that. Oh, well, maybe I'll be able to appreciate 'Dilbert' even more. But today wasn't fun, especially as I was crowded at one of the computer carrels with stuff around me, including my desk's computer monitor, which wound up in a chair inexplicably.

Oh, well. I don't try to understand it anymore. I just stand up when I think I need to and try to let the rest pass like water under the bridge...yeah, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell you, too. :)

PS October 23rd is Brenda's 50th Birthday! Woo-whee! (It's scary that I'm just 10 years away from that number.) I need to find something special to bring for her at next game.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I really like this Canadian artist's movies

Ever feel like you're in a rut:? Here's another animated film from Graham Annable (http://www.grickle.com):

Even better is this Christmas wish. Isolation in the cold north can lead to...madness.

I hope Heroes won't be disrupted

but it seems to me the writers of Hollywood do deserve royalties on podcasts and 'webisodes'. Here's hoping they won't have to strike to get it, or at least that it won't last too long.

What a Writers' Strike Means for Us

This puts a whole new light on the story of Dumbledore and Grindelwald

Rowling Reveals Harry Potter Secrets

When asked if Dumbledore had ever found love, JK Rowling said she always thought of him as gay, and that he had fallen in love with Grindelwald, the Dark Wizard he later had to defeat, explaining how Dumbledore could have been blind to signs of what Grindelwald would become.

Of course the religious right will have a field day with this (but they hate Harry Potter anyway, so who cares?) I, for one, am delighted. Go, JK Rowling!


Because music is your friend...especially when surrounded by mutant man-eating zombies. This gives a whole new dimension to the pied piper story. Oh, and be sure to continue watching after the credits roll.

An interesting essay

The Ethics of Erasing a Bad Memory

and I'm not sure how I feel about the ethics of the situation. Were the needs of the patient better served by pushing a medication to erase the last few horrible moments as a faulty intercom spewed out certain death? If she knew what they had done, would she have been upset? Would she feel violated in some way?

Like I said, I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's one reason I'm not an ethicist (that and I have too much fuzzy thinking). But I think I'd rather just hear and take in the news, no matter how shocking or brutal, and go from there, rather than someone mucking with my brain chemistry to ease the horror.

Apparently it wasn't just an isolated idea

Time magazine's Laura Blue offers a look into past remarks by James Watson, the Nobel Laureate and geneticist. Apparently he's made some remarks that were pretty out there throughout his life. The racist remarks for which he is currently being grilled over the coals for were made to a British newspaper; they caused such a furor that after several of his engagements were cancelled by those who had invited him to speak in promotion of his book Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science he cancelled the rest and returned home, where he's been suspended from administrative duties at his lab.

The Mortification of James Watson


ABC News: Space Station Gets 1st Female Commander

And they were flying to the Air Force Base where I grew up

VOA News - Pentagon: Nuclear Warheads Domestic Flight was 'Serious Error'

which is a little scary. I mean, I knew my father wore a radiation badge while loading bombs, but I guess I didn't really understand nuclear weapons back then. So Barksdale is where you send nukes to be destroyed. No wonder I, a child of the Cold War, never worried about surviving a nuclear attack--I knew we were up there in terms of targeting. It's one of the centres of the Strategic Air Command and the base of operations for the 8th Air Force, if I remember. It also has a honking big missile set up like an obelisk right as you go onto the base. Ah, the good old days. Did I mention the lakes filled with water moccasins and alligators (okay, one alligator, named Old George, I think) and the pine woods full of copperheads? It's amazing I lived through my childhood.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, even intellectuals can be quite stupid in what they say and believe

Nobel winner in 'racist' claim row

James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his part in discovering the double helix of DNA, has caused a furor by saying that blacks were not as intelligent as whites. The museum where he was due to give a lecture has cancelled it. I agree with David Lammy, Britain's Skills Minister, who said
It is a shame that a man with a record of scientific distinction should see his work overshadowed by his own irrational prejudices.

Even if somehow studies show a difference in intelligence amongst races, I don't see how their results can be trusted, because as far as I know, it's nigh on impossible to design an unbiased intelligence test that doesn't favour some groups over others (and it doesn't just have to be a racial bias--it can be between metropolitan and rural people, for example, or regional differences). Perhaps you could by relying on pure math problems, but even then, once you add a verbal component, you can get a bias.

Anyway, it was a stupid thing to say. Dr Watson did apologise, saying that he really does not believe that and that scientific evidence does not support a racial bias in intelligence. He did not, however, claim he was misquoted, only that he did not understand how he could have said the things he was quoted as saying.

Lots of people say things that they shouldn't in the media. I guess if I were Dr Watson I'd be doing some soul searching on my beliefs--even the ones I might not have been conscious of.

Now this is a Cthulhoid video

Plants with eyes! Undulating plants! No doubt they're animated by the gelid mass derived from Shub-Niggurath!

Alien Plants

More than likely natural, but still interesting

Alien Speech Found in Saturn's Rings

How to Survive an Alien Attack

Courtesy of the folks at www.howitshouldhaveended.com:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So I'm cruising down Man O'War and I hear a sound

that for all the world sounds like a tyre gone flat. This is bad, because I have to be at work in an hour, and although I could walk, it's pretty long with a broken foot. But it would be in the front from the sound, and my front-wheel drive doesn't seem to be affected. I'm really close to home, so I turn into my neighbourhood and onto my street, then into the apartment complex. I get out and examine the tyre. A large wad of packing tape is attached. Packing tape! At least it was nothing serious.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I am stunned

I have just gotten off the phone after trying to make payment arrangements with a couple of companies to get an extension until the next time I get paid, on the 25th.

Vonage couldn't change the date temporarily, but there's a 53-day grace period where it would periodically try to get the payment from my card. Unfortunately, since I pay through my checking debit card, this would bounce my account several times, putting me further and further into the negative. So the customer rep got with my supervisor, and came back with this: since I've been such a good customer (no problems at all), they were willing to credit my account for the month so the payment wouldn't be triggered. No repayment necessary, just a gift from Vonage. Wow, right?

Then I called RealArcade. After a rough start over trying to spell my name and e-mail address to a non-native speaker (the call centre was in India), I explained that I was happy with the service but had to cancel due to financial issues. He was perfectly willing to cancel my account, but offered to credit a month so that I wouldn't have to pay this month and could take it back up in November, still getting my game credit for the month. Wow, again!

Maybe this dealing with things directly has its merit. Anyway, thank you Vonage and RealArcade. You really made my day. I'd recommend them to anyone else. What are the chances of two big companies wanting to keep me as a customer enough to do this?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Here's a gem

Got $8,333 plus the ability to compete with the other 798 people and institutions in the world vying for the soon-to-be-published court documents of the trials against the Knights Templar in the 14th century?

Knights Templar win heresy reprieve after 700 years

So detailed as to include stains on parchment, the documents are to be published in a leather case with a large book including reproductions of original parchments in Latin, scholarly commentary, and replicas of the wax seals used by 14th-century inquisitors. Only 799 numbered copies are available.

The Knights Templar have many legends that grew up around them, particularly after the French king persecuted them to cancel his debts to the order. Since some went into hiding, many people think that the order continued in secret with esoteric knowledge. Many people had never heard of the order until Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code came out.

These documents do not shed light on the occult activities of the Knights, but there is one that was miscatalogued (bad librarian!) until 2001 that showed that the Pope absolved the Knights of heresy, the charge for which many were burnt by the king's men. He acknowledged there were those among the order who had sinned, but did not endorse the heresy charge. The Knights Templar were eventually disbanded officially by the Church, however.

Anyway, the mediaeval historian in me goes, wow, this is so cool! And I could read it so long as I had time and a good dictionary. I wonder if UK could even hope to acquire this? Somehow I doubt it. They'll go to universities with very strong mediaeval programmes, I'm sure. Still...wouldn't it be great to see?

Reason #152 for being careful about personal details online

Family beaten as YouTube party descends into chaos

After details of a 16th birthday were posted on YouTube, more than 100 teenagers who had not been invited demanded entry, stole whisky and champagne, broke windows and fought amongst themselves. The son at the house was airlifted for medical care for spinal injuries and discharged the next day. His father's nose was broken and he was beaten when he tried to send them home. Six teens have been arrested.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

As I was giving blood Friday

they had an episode of The View on, with Doris Haddock, 97 years old and the subject of a documentary airing this week on HBO called 'Run Granny Run'. She ran for Senate in her native New Hampshire at the age of 94. Known as 'Granny D', she's feisty and what we need in Washington. The View interview was wonderful, but here's the blurb for the documentary. I unfortunately don't have cable, so I can't watch it. She and I seem to have similar liberal Democratic politics, although I prefer Kucinich (her second choice) over Gravel in the 2008 Presidential election. PS I love her accent.

Okay, I'm really going to bed now. Good night.

A quiet song before sleeping

and I must sleep, as I need to be up in less than three hours.

Listening to: Evanescence, 'Hello'

Playground school bell rings again,
Rain clouds come to play again,
Has no one told you she's not breathing?
Hello, I am your mind giving you someone to talk to,

If I smile and don't believe,
Soon I know I'll wake from this dream,
Don't try to fix me, I'm not broken,
Hello, I'm the lie, living for you so you can hide,
I don´t cry...

Suddenly I know I'm not sleeping,
Hello, I'm still here,
All that's left of yesterday.

It's a fan video made from a compilation of the band's music videos, and it's well done, matching the ethereal quality of Amy Lee's voice.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What an interesting set of special effects

I'm not that fond of the music (I could do without the rap part), but the video itself has some strange, surreal effects well worth seeing. It's 'You are Never Alone' by So Called:

I'm feeling much better today

Listening to: 'Calling You' by Blue October, '1973' by James Blunt
Today's Radioplay: 'The Book of Tobit'

Maybe I had to get things down in a journal entry. Maybe it's the Lamictal. But for whatever reason, I'm feeling better. Sorry for the emotional diarrhea, so to speak, but things were at a head. I haven't felt that way for a very long time; I only hope it will be awhile before I feel that way again.

I've included Blue October's song here before. But here's James Blunt's new song, '1973'. The video is interesting, as he walks through an abandoned street, with sad storefronts, but when shown from inside, the view is of the street as it was in the 70s, with warmer colours and lighting. The song has that bittersweet sense of nostalgia that people get as they age, which isn't bad for a singer who was born in 1974. :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

I should add

That just because I'm having suicidal thoughts doesn't mean that I think I'm in any danger of carrying them out. It's not the kind of ruminations that you get with standard depression. It has to do with my moods, which swing rapidly when I'm under stress. But even then, my mind talks me down. I tend to get these emotional storms that last about 20 minutes or so, and if I can ride them out, I'll be okay. If I felt I couldn't do that, then I'd check in somewhere in a heartbeat--especially now that I don't have to worry about who would take care of Cerys. But at this point I'd be running away from things and it would only make it worse. So I'll stick things out and hopefully they'll improve.

Self-anihilation is something I do with relative ease

When I was married, I moulded my entire personality to what I thought was expected of me. I did that with my parents, with my schools, and finally in my marriage. It was only after that was over that I slowly recovered the buried personality that was me.

And yet, I'm still an incredibly passive person who doesn't feel that she deserves anything good in life. I'm not sure I'll ever escape that mindset, although I've made it my life's work to do so.

What I do know is that for months now--a year or two, even--I've been doing great emotionally. Now with the stresses of bills and Cerys' death and the continued strain my psychology places on my everyday interactions, I feel like my life is unravelling rather quickly. I realise it will get better. But in the meantime I'm having thoughts of just giving up and obliterating everything about me. I'm crying uncontrollably often. In other words, I'm slipping back into depression, and it scares me. I don't want to go down that road again. If it continues much longer I'll see about having my meds adjusted. The last couple of days have been particularly bad, and I didn't have my Lamictal. I have that now and can get back on track. But it scares me how thin a barrier there is between doing fine emotionally and suicidal thoughts can be. And the fact that the days are shortening isn't helping particularly.

The best course of action is, of course, action--action to meet my problems head-on to dispel the anxiety I'm having. That's so hard for me, though. But it's something I'm going to have to do, or I'll spiral right down. At least I did start back at the store tonight--although I was slow, we got everything done for truck night, so that was an accomplishment, mostly due to my direction. So maybe I'm not a total screwup. I'm just having a month where I feel like everything I do is for naught. I can't seem to get things right the first time, except at work, where I'm still doing fine. But I always did better in that arena than my personal life would indicate. I don't want a return to having depression drain the colour not only out of life, but endanger my livelihood as well, as it did before.

Oh, well. Here's to feeling better tomorrow. One good thing about being bipolar/borderline--emotions are like Kentucky weather, just wait a little while and it'll be completely different.

I am addicted

Which is why two hours of sleep time just trickled away as I recited piano tunes, spoke to talking plants, juggled weights, and tried to assemble a signpost in the dark.

What I'm talking about it the Dream Chronicles, a puzzle game with an interesting story, too. You play Faye, who has awoken from the sleep spell cast upon her town by the Fairy Queen of Sleep, who has spirited away her husband to have a child of her own. Along the way you collect dream jewels to increase power, but the focus is mostly on solving the various puzzles to get from place to place. First you must find the various pieces, then arrange them according to logic, or do some task such as arranging books (that was easy for me), playing back tunes heard on the piano (hard for me), or figuring out which toy, vegetable, or book combination will open a gate. The graphics and music are very nice. You can play online at the link above. I got my version free through Real Arcade's GamePass (well, since it's $10 a month, I actually got it for that, but it's still half-price). I think that will be the last game I get through GamePass; I need to buckle down on all expenses, and I've been able to rebuild my collection except for Inspector Parker, which is no longer offered through Real Arcade.

PS I love the organic nature of the architecture in this game. I would love to have these houses and gardens. Okay, enough. I've managed to win past the piano and am now scrabbling in the dark. Better to leave that to another day. Time for bed. Good night.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Okay, that's fixed

The cable modem had to be reset. On to blogging...

What is it with all the nooses popping up in the news? Are people really thinking this is a joke? That it's funny? Is it a bunch of copycats because other stories have been in the news? What? Here's what's going on, as detailed in one of the latest stories:

Hangman's Noose Targets Columbia Professor

  • A noose is found on the door of a female black professor at the premier education graduate study programme in the country, at Teachers College at Columbia University.

  • There's the highly publicised story of the Jena 6, sparked off by the hanging of nooses in a tree at a high school in Jena, La. (For the record I thought the white students involved with the nooses should have been expelled, not had in-school suspensions, and the black students involved in the beating of a white student should have been charged in juvenile court with assault and battery, or whatever is the equivalent in the Napoleonic system of law in Louisiana). The beating was obviously the most serious offence, though--I'm not sure I agree wholly with the marchers who protested, who seemed to be downplaying the seriousness of the assault on someone whom as far as I could tell from news reports, wasn't connected to the noose incident. Also, I think whenever Al Sharpton gets involved in a case, it becomes more about publicity than the issues. But that's just my opinion.

  • A noose was found in September hanging outside a black cultural studies centre on the University of Maryland campus.

  • Teachers at an elementary school run by Grambling State University decided to explain the Jena 6 story by using nooses on children and re-enacting hangings. Bad idea, although the lesson will probably remain with those kids their entire lives. It's up there with the case in sociology we always studied where they explained Nazism to elementary kids by sanctioning and treating children differently based on eye colour over the course of several days. Psychological manipulation of students isn't really encouraged these days, especially among the very young.

  • At a high school at Gallaudet University seven students (including one who was black) assaulted a black student and scrawled "KKK" and swastikas all over his body with a marker.

  • At the Coast Guard Academy two small nooses were found inside the sea bag of a black cadet aboard a tall ship.

  • A construction worker at a Home Depot building site in Illinois found a noose made of foam packing material. Later a racial slur was found spray painted on the site.

Also, not noose-connected per se, but signs of racial tensions:

  • An editor and editorial cartoonist at the Kentucky Kernel at the University of Kentucky apologised after a cartoon linking fraternities and sororities with a slave auction was protested.

  • At a Pennsylvania High School three minority students, one Latino, one black, and one biracial were verbally attacked with racial slurs and wadded up paper was thrown at them outside the school right before classes began. Rumours were rampant that the white students would be bringing guns and staring a riot at the school.

In the multiracial, global sort of world we live in, I'd like to think we'd learnt a thing or two from the past. I'd like to think this is just stupidity in action, or the product of minds who don't get the significance of what they're doing. The most blatant racism I ever encountered (and I grew up primarily in the Deep South) was in a small town in Kansas that didn't have any minorities in it until an Asian family set up a restaurant. A teacher who'd been through the race riots in her native Detroit tried to put a stop to a lot of the jokes and attitudes she heard about blacks. But part of the problem was ignorance because they had never interacted with anyone different from themselves. (Okay, I did also encounter it in California, where I was beaten up and threatened by Latina and black girls, but that might be because I was an insufferable know-it-all with a Louisiana accent rather than my skin colour. But I tell you what--I lost the Southern accent. One incident also comes from something I unwittingly said in admiration that I now recognise was mistaken for a racial slur. In my innocence I complimented a black girl for her athletic ability (see, budding bisexual) and I was in my horsey-girly phase at the time and the only athlete I could think of was a jockey. It never occurred to me that those little plaster men they have in the front yards through much of Kentucky--almost all of which I'd seen were white--were called lawn jockeys and were primarily black. I lived in terror of that girl for weeks and I didn't understand fully what she'd thought I'd said until I was in my 30s and heard someone make the reference.)

Back to my point...nooses, uncool, folks. Use them and expect to be prosecuted or expelled. They're not just an unpleasant symbol, they can be construed as a death threat. I won't say every one is meant to convey that. We don't know all the circumstances to these cases. The professor, for example, is involved in a lawsuit with another party. Was it related to that? A disgruntled student? Someone wanting to stir up controversy--white or black? Who knows?

What is good to see is that there are plenty of people out there who protested these cases, making sure their voices of tolerance were heard. But it also shows that racist ideas still fester, although they may not be so overt to lead to lynchings--the ideas are still there. I only hope they will not explode to violence after all that simmering, especially as we become a society with more 'minorities' than the supposed majority. If you listen to whites, they feel marginalised and as if their culture is being pushed aside for everyone else's. In some ways that's true, in others it isn't. But something's going to give.

And compromise isn't always the way to take it, even though we may want to walk a moderate path. Look at the tensions between Turkey and the US over the Armenian issue. There are those who say there should be no resolution on the Armenian genocide--and make no mistake, by the definitions created the 20th century in the wake of the Nazis and other forms of 'racial cleansings', it was, indeed, genocide--because it will affect Middle Eastern peace. The Armenian question is also a sticking point with Turkey and the European Union.

The thing is, though, while we shouldn't necessarily be blamed with what our forebears did, we need to recognise that it happened. The Germans were complicitous with the attempted extermination of the Jews. Serbs tried to eradicate Croats. The Khmer Rouge killed many Cambodians. And Europeans both decimated the American Indian population and bought and sold (and in some cases, killed) people whose ancestors were brought here as slaves from Africa. The US put Japanese-Americans into internment camps, saying they'd collaborate with the enemy. Likewise, the Turks displaced and massacred the Armenians, saying they were aiding the Russians during WWI. History has known this for years. The West was aware of it at the time it was happening--like so many other genocides. But the Turkish government continues the denial.

Racial matters are never (no pun intended) merely black or white. They're messy and complicated. But if we work together, maybe we can make things a little better for our children, and their children.

How strange

I can get to Blogger, but not YouTube, Google, Gmail, or my home page at Insight. I could understand if I couldn't get through to the first four only, since they're all owned by Google. But no, that doesn't seem to be it. I think Insight's having some issues, or at least my cable modem is. Connexion was spotty last night, although my phone was working fine (I have Vonage running off a router that plugs into the cable modem).


I also can't view my blog on Blog*Spot. Maybe it's time to do a little tinkering, exiting out and restarting.

Today's Radioplay: 'The Camberwell Poisoners'

I saw a hawk today, flying overhead

I decided to take it as a good omen, for the Time of No Money is ending (I got paid tonight), to be followed by the Time of Tight Money. Today I borrowed some money from a co-worker so I could get home and then pick a friend up from work later. Since I was on mile 36 after the gas light came on, I think I was close to winding up stranded on the side of the road (and I don't have minutes on my cell phone for calling AAA). Thanks to Michelle, that wasn't the case, and when I went to the grocery store after midnight I got the money I needed to pay her back tomorrow. I also paid my friend back for the $5 he contributed the other day. It was a difficult time (I have almost nothing left in the cupboards in the way of food), but hopefully since I'm starting back to work at the gas station tomorrow it will get better. So, yay--tomorrow will be the time for a proper grocery run, more minutes for my phone, and more gas.

I have been seeing crows about a lot, too--usually in groups of two or three, which are also good omens. (Seeing only one crow, raven, or magpie [the article lists versions of the counting rhyme] is usually considered bad in folklore, which pays attention to the numbers, hence the song 'A Murder of One' by the band Counting Crows). Of course, in the movies and folklore they also get a bad rap for being evil, when they're really quite intelligent and engaging. We don't have magpies here in Kentucky, of course, and I don't think we have ravens, but we do have crows. I was listening to them the other day and now only do they 'caw', but there's a comforting gurgling sound they make, too. We did have ravens out in California and they were HUGE. You'd see them a mile away on dry lake beds in the Mojave. They looked like they'd go up to your knees. [They're about 22-27 inches high as opposed to road runners, which we also had, were smaller, maybe 20 inches high--certainly smaller than you'd expect from watching the cartoon. Of course, coyotes aren't really that big, either, and don't stand on their hind legs. :)]

As you know

I am enjoying my radioplays of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Only fifty are in the collection, when there have been about 150 found. I think I'm on number 13. Today's was 'The Strange Case of the Murder in Wax'. Yesterday's was 'Mr Edwards'. It's certainly whetted my appetite for more. So even though I have a lot more to go, it will eventually end, and I was looking for more of the same. Enter The Sherlock Holmes Public Library, which is a treasure trove of the text stories (all but those in The Case­book of Sherlock Holmes, which is still under American copyright), but also for all sorts of audio files, including most of the radioplays, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, even one on 'Batman and Sherlock Holmes'. If you're interested in Sherlockiana, check it out. There's also news and curiosities, such as Sherlockian scenes in Legos.

If you haven't been to a doctor, a hospital, or pharmacy in quite awhile

then maybe you don't know about HIPAA. The rest of us get all those privacy procedures statements at least once and sometimes everytime we go. But those of us who work in those environments--even those of us who are non-clinical--gets lots of training on what HIPAA means for violations. I give you the Department of Health and Human Services' summary of HIPAA (a PDF):

Civil Money Penalties. HHS may impose civil money penalties on a covered entity of $100 per failure to comply with a Privacy Rule requirement.88 That penalty may not exceed $25,000 per year for multiple violations of the identical Privacy Rule requirement in a calendar year. HHS may not impose a civil money penalty under specific circumstances, such as when a violation is due to reasonable cause and did not involve willful neglect and the covered entity corrected the violation within 30 days of when it knew or should have known of the violation.

Criminal Penalties. A person who knowingly obtains or discloses individually identifiable health information in violation of HIPAA faces a fine of $50,000 and up to one-year imprisonment. The criminal penalties increase to $100,000 and up to five years imprisonment if the wrongful conduct involves false pretenses, and to $250,000 and up to ten years imprisonment if the wrongful conduct involves the intent to sell, transfer, or use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm. Criminal sanctions will be enforced by the Department of Justice.

So when I hear stories of Britney Spears' experiences in rehab, etc., I have to wonder where those leaks are coming from (supposed friends, or health workers hoping to make a quick buck?) Fast foward to George Clooney's recent brush with death in a motorcycle accident. The hospital where he was treated, Palisades Medical Centre, in response to leaks to the press regarding his condition, has suspended 27 of its workers for a month without pay and has admitted that as many as 40 staffers accessed his records for no reason related to his care. People are debating as to whether that was harsh; even Mr Clooney said he'd rather it be resolved without suspensions. But the hospital was put in a very bad situation by its employees, all of whom presumably had the training to know that what they were doing was both wrong and illegal. I don't know if the law requires the object of the privacy violation, the injured party if you will--no pun intended, to make a complaint to start the process of sanctions, or if it can be done if it becomes known that violations happened. (Certainly you can start the process through a complaint if your health information privacy has been violated; information for doing so is on that website). Theoretically anyway the hospital is facing a few thousand dollars in penalties if they don't correct the problem. This is how they are doing so, and they are right to. And in these days of electronic medical records, it's easier to track who had access and who abused it.

Curiosity is one thing, and I think it's natural that some might have taken a peek where they ought not have. But whoever leaked the information to the press should certainly be penalised--and that's easier to find out these days, too, even with reporters protecting their sources. If anyone is found to have wilfully imparted the information for money, the penalties to the individual become very, very bad. In other words, doing so is stupid, one of those things people do because they don't think they'll get caught at it. I don't know if any of those workers leaked the information for money--it might just have been hearsay through a grapevine as people told friends and family, for example. But HIPAA isn't anything to take chances with, and most medical professionals also have rules of ethics that should cover this without the need of sanctions. So I can't really feel sorry for those suspended unless they turn out not to have done it--and I'm afraid that they'll have to go to court to prove they didn't deserve it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

NPR let me down this morning

On my way to work, they were reading the news over the radio about the scientists who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Two American citizens (one originally from Italy) and a Briton won. So far, good. Then they gave their institutional affiliations. The announcer proceeded to say that Martin J. Evans, the Briton, was from the University of Cardiff 'in England'.

Tsk. Tsk. Cardiff is in Wales. Contrary to some opinions, Wales and England are different countries, under one United Kingdom. Wales is like Scotland in that regard. No one ever seems to think Scotland is England. What gives with Wales?

Hopefully they corrected the story or at least it was just a momentary slip. The story on the website is correct, thankfully.

Oh, well, these things happen, especially on radio, which may or may not be recorded ahead of time. But considering that NPR is considered rather highbrow, it's something you expect them to get right. :)

A quiz before sleeping

From Llewellyn Publishing, the Magical Personality Quiz

Results: (The Q Score supposedly measures how balanced you are in the various elements, with the smallest being the most balanced. Mine comes out as 'mild differences', almost to 'moderate'.)

Your Q Score is: 17
The Q score ideally should be as small as possible, indicating maximum agreement among elements. However, even a tiny Q score may not mean optimal functioning, since all four elements may in fact be relatively undeveloped.

Your Primary Mythical Creature
Water Types
The main strength of the Water types is feeling. The second element indicates the most probable focus for this emotional expression.

Water with Air

Astrologically associated with Pisces and the Twelfth House

Mermaid types are warm and caring in a passive, receptive way. They are given to daydreaming and to contemplation, a combination that can make them seem curiously absent and fey. They are among the most unworldly of all the types. Despite this they have a strong ability for clear, rational thinking that can be startling. They seem to have a deep, intuitive understanding of the oneness of the universe. They have a desire to help the world at large and are acutely aware of and sensitive to suffering. This is partly because they do not recognize the customary boundaries between people, other living things, time, space, this world and the Otherworld. They are frequently psychic. They can be brilliantly original and highly creative. They are usually regarded by others as benign eccentrics or as plain weird.

Your Shadow Creature
Fire Types
All the Fire types have problems relating to anger and aggression. The weakest element indicates the main focus of these problems.

Fire and Earth

This shadow is prone to a sense of stagnation due to lack of motivation and laziness. Nothing durable is ever produced. Practical activities may never be embarked upon. There is an underlying sense of futility and hopelessness. Disillusionment results from their lack of confidence that they can change anything for the better, and in any case they do not have the will. At the same time there is an underlying grandiosity and even megalomania reflected in their dreams and aspirations. They need to feel special. Instead, they may simply overindulge or neglect themselves physically. The biggest obstacle of weak Earth is to overcome self-centeredness and greed; the biggest obstacle of weak Fire is to overcome anger and aggression.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The veggie bacon

works even better in the microwave. I may not be able to cook on an electric stove but I do pretty well with a microwave--it comes from years of not having a stove or oven due to a landlord's incompetence and penchant for bringing me gas stoves that leaked or caught on fire. So glad I don't live there any more, especially as it was worse than I realised. When I read HP Lovecraft's Rats in the Walls I thought I heard skittering of squirrels on the roof. Little did I know there really were rats in the walls until I got the place condemned.

WARNING: SPOILER for Beyond the Mountains of Madness follows:


Anyway, speaking of Lovecraft, the game is proceeding nicely. The Antarctic expedition's ship captain has been murdered. We're not even out of port yet and we're working our butts off. Meanwhile, I got to introduce a new character briefly--she pretty much got off a plane, took a train ride to Arkham, and then was picked up at the train station and taken back to Boston and was put on another plane, because there's a mission. Plus my character who's supposed to be gestating and is under a death sentence by half-daemons has to go to a funeral at her family's in Canada and I expect the whole clan to be decimated by the creatures.

Yes, and we call this fun and keep coming back for more. :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Today I received a letter from Dr Vice, the veterinarian

It was very comforting. It reiterated that Cerys appeared to have had a stroke and was unresponsive and unable to eat and that therefore I did the right thing in putting her down. I really like Dr Vice, and that little follow-up detail helps, too. If I ever have another pet (which I'm sure I will, I just don't plan to have one anytime soon), I'll definitely take it to Gainesway Small Animal Clinic, even though it isn't that close to me--it's worth it for the people.

Today's radioplay: 'The Living Doll'

Important tip

When cooking vegetarian bacon, read the package and keep the temperature at LOW to MEDIUM LOW. Otherwise you have a blackened mess in a very short time. I have never gotten used to an electric cooktop. Give me gas to cook on any day. (On the other hand, I'm a little sensitive to gas when it's in the house, so it's sort of up in the air as to which is best for me. Learning to cook on electric would be a step up.

My second try was much better, and a breakfast of veggie bacon, eggs, and Margaret (Amish friendship) bread ensued.

On my wish list

The Bugaloos Complete Series

A blast from the past

Battle of the Planets/G-Force


Friday, October 05, 2007

These are great, via YKWIA

This Australian comedian's video is for all those of you who have been woken up on a Saturday morning by Mormons...

Door to Door Atheists Bother Mormons

but even better, John Safran interviews an official from the KKK in a compound, asking if he could join--and he's Jewish. I must say, the man has balls. I must also say the Grand Dragon took things fairly well.

He also takes on Scientology (YKWIA this is a different one than we watched)

Actually he seems pretty equal-opportunity in the various religious skits, so no one should feel left out.

Today's Radioplay: 'The Man with a Twisted Lip'

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Baby goats!

I know, it's random, but they're so cute...YKWIA will enjoy this. :)

I missed the news story

that showed the possible unearthing of the two missing Romanov children this summer.

I first heard of Anna Anderson also on 'In Search Of...' The DNA evidence is very much against her claim to be Anastasia, the daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. These two bodies, a boy and a girl, if they prove to be Romanovs, will lay any remaining doubt aside. I do think Anna Anderson herself did believe herself to be Anastasia, and not Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker.

Like cryptozoology?

I have been since the days of 'In Search Of...' and before. :)

Check out Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods..."

Ever heard of the blue people of Kentucky?

Today's radioplay: 'The Tell Tale Pigeon Feather'

You probably have; it's fairly common in high school biology nowadays, although when I was in school it was still considered one of those 'oddities' you found in books on the unexplained. Check it out. There's:

Blue People of Kentucky


The Blue People of Troublesome Creek (this has a painting, I think from the Science article that is listed in the first link).

And this is cool beyond words

YKWIA showed me this, too. This blows Macs out of the water...it's a true virtual lightbox and more. I give you surface computing from Microsoft.

For more information go to Popular Mechanics' article on surface computing.

This is neat

An interactive LED light-up coffee table

Simple, yet fun, and built because they can.

Yesterday's Radioplay: 'The Guileless Gypsy'
Today's Radioplay: 'The Uneasy Easy Chair'

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Years ago a friend of mine

stepped down on my foot accidentally. Yes, the one that is broken now. It's possible it fractured then; I never went to see about it because I didn't have any insurance at the time. We think that the bones were weak and then between my weight and standing at the cash register, they broke again.

So it's kind of funny that when I've been thinking of him (and not in the kindest of ways), Bill sent me the Irish version of a song I've only heard in English, but love: 'I am Stretched on Your Grave'. He's apparently doing well and his wife and he are moving to Massachusetts soon as part of an effort to eventually head to Maine or Nova Scotia. I wish them well. In the meantime, here are the words, primarily for my benefit, although I'll have to go back and review how the devil they're pronounced and what them mean. He posted them on a blog entry for his blog, Ríocht na nGael. (It's all gibberish if you don't read Irish, by the way, although I found an excellent translator online at Irish Dictionary Online). Irish has so many mutations it's hard to program online dictionaries that can recognise the various changes. But I'm glad I found it because the only thing I really recognised in his post were the words 'agus' ('and') and Eilís (my name). I am beyond rusty. I'll follow the Irish with an English version of the song.

Cé Sin ar mo Thuama?

Cé sin ar mo thuama
nó an buachaill den tír tú?

Dá mbeadh barr do dhá lámh agam
ní scarfainn leat choíche.

A áilleáin agus a ansacht,
ní ham duitse luí liom–
tá boladh fuar na cré orm
dath na gréine is na gaoithe.

Tá an clog ar mo chroí istigh,
atá líonta le gra duit,
lionndubh taobh thíos duit,
chomh ciardhubh le hairne.

Má bhaineann aon ní duit
is go gcloífeadh an bás tú,
beadsa im shí gaoithe
romhat thíos ar na bánta.

Nuair is dóigh le mo mhuintir
go mbímse ar mo leaba,
ar do thuama a bhím sínte
ó oíche go maidin,
ag cur síos mo chrutain
is ag crua-ghol go daingean,
trí mo chailín ciúin stuama
do luadh liom ‘na leanbh.

An cuimhin leat an oíche úd
a bhíos-sa agus tusa
ag bun na chrainn droighnigh
is an oíche ag cur cuisne?
Céad moladh le hÍosa
nach ndearnamar na milleadh
is go bhfuil mo choróin mhaighdeanais
na crann soilse os mo choinne

Tá na sagairt is na bráithe
gach lá liom i bhfearg
de chionn a bheith i ngrá leat,
a Mháire, is tú marbh.
Dheanfainn foscadh ar an ngaoith duit
is díon duit ón bhfearrthainn,
agus cumha géar mo chroí-se
tú a bheith thíos is an talamh.

Tabhair do mhallacht dod mháithrín
is áirighse t’athair,
is a maireann ded ghaolta
go léireach ‘na seasamh,
nár lig dom tú a phósadh
is tú beo agam id bheatha
is ná hiarrainn mar spré leat
ach mo léintín a ghealadh.

'I am Stretched on Your Grave' (as I learnt it)

I am stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure they'd not sever
My apple tree, my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather

When my family think
That I'm safe in my bed
From night until morning
I am stretched at your head
Calling out to the air
With tears hot and wild
As I grieve for the girl
That I loved as a child

Do you remember the night we were lost
In the shade of the blackthorn
And the chill of the frost
And thanks be to Jesus
We did all that was right
And your maidenhead still
Is your pillar of light

Oh, the priests and the friars
Approach me in dread
Because I love still love you
My life and you're dead
I still would be your shelter
Through rain and through storm
And with you in your cold grave
I cannot sleep warm

So I am stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure they'd notsever
My apple tree, my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather

Here's a version different from what I've posted before, Paul Knight of "Four for Naught" performing at the Into the Bean coffee shop in Mesa, Arizona on 8/15/2007, playing a bodhrán (Irish drum).

Today's radioplay: 'The Murder at the Casbah'

Puts my troubles in perspective

You won't be able to read this link freely past the 4th or 5th of October because the Herald-Leader, our local paper, charges for such archived articles, but this story caught my eye. So, I will 'sum up'. Remember the doctor who back in 1999 was stationed at Antarctica and discovered she had breast cancer? I had wondered what happened to her. She'd performed a biopsy on herself with just ice to dull the pain and they made a drop of materials for the slides so she could be sure of the diagnosis and and chemotherapy drugs to treat her. After her return she had a lumpectomy (the cancer had miraculously not spread to the lymph nodes, apparently) and then later a mastectomy due to an infection. She wrote a book (Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole) about her experiences and that was the last I'd heard of her .

Jerri Nielsen was in the area recently giving a talk to raise awareness about breast cancer and she's had further difficulties since then. In 2006 she found out she had bone and liver cancer. A tumour coming out of her skull pushed into her eye socket. She was in Turkey and she went blind. She is now fighting the aggressive form of cancer with chemotherapy, but still tours and practices medicine.

She's an amazing woman. Remember October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Be sure to do regular self-examinations, get clincial exams as recommended, and have a mammogramme done especially if you're over forty.