Monday, November 16, 2009

Amazing Dreams

Don't blog much these days. It's just too easy to sling a quick update on Twitter/Plurk/Facebook. Sometimes I can't sum info up in the maximum allowed characters, so the ol' blog still serves a purpose! Last night I had the most lucid dream(s) I've ever had. Trying to get "home" from somewhere. Old friend JW and I started at the same time, but I decided to go by lighter-than-air craft a.k.a. balloon. I created one out of thin air: big red bulgy bubble with convenient handle on the bottom. I grasped it like Mary Poppins holding her brolly, and floated into the air.

I could see my friend running down the country road we'd both been following. It was about to merge into a nasty highway, so he veered off onto a track through the woods. By this time he looked like Mowgli from "The Jungle Book": floppy hair and a loincloth. I floated up and in the same direction he had taken. It was like a race: could I drift as fast as he could run? The "rocky mountain with the spiraling road to the top"* loomed up, and I quickly floated to the stone structure at the top and landed just before my friend came puffing around the bend.

"Wouldn't you rather float home with me, instead of running all the way?" I asked him? He was dubious, but I assured him that this was all a dream, and we could do anything we wanted. He didn't trust the lifting power of the balloon, which was only about the size of a VW bug. So I grabbed the handle and threw myself off the precipice. He flinched, but laughed when I simply floated out over the chasm then floated back to the mountaintop.

I began modifying the balloon for a long trip and two passengers. Out of thin air I created a gondola with a complex suspension system to hang it from the balloon. At first the ropes were flimsy cotton twine, but I was able to take them in my hands and "fatten" them into 1/2" three-strand rope. It was very satisfying. I enlarged the balloon itself, and added some stabilizing fins so we wouldn't spin. We climbed in and took off.

After cruising for awhile, the sky began to darken. I saw we were headed for an enormous thunderhead! All I could think of was to drop under it, since I couldn't really steer around it. So down we went. There was a bit more, but not particularly interesting.

* This mountain is one of the bits of geography I routinely dream about. It's roughly equivalent to McKenzie Pass in Oregon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vaccines: deliberate danger

I can't stress enough how important it is to watch this and educate oneself about vaccines in general, and the H1N1 vaccine in particular:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Darshan's Goes Mexican

Finally did a rough little cut of Gordon & Jousting Pard's adventure in Chowchilla over a month ago...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Crazy Dreams

Last night I had a lot of wild dreams. Firefly was going back into production, and I was in the cast: yay! In other news, I was on a covert mission in a weird foreign country or on a different planet. Things went pear-shaped and I was sold into slavery (boo!). One of my partners was played by Adam Baldwin (yay!). It was pretty long, involved, and grim. I wasn't interested in being a sexual plaything for a spoiled potentate, so they roughed me up. A lot. The last segment before I woke up involved being back "home" somewhere in recovery. Not sure how we escaped, but my pard had something to do with it. We were somewhere warm, near a beach, and the last thing I did was stagger out of my bed and into the water where I hovered on the sea floor, picking mussels with a steak knife. Pard came looking for me and was happy to see me out and about. Apparently I'd been catatonic for awhile, so I guess it was a happy ending of sorts.

As powerful dreams often do, this one left a strong emotional impression on me that will last until bedtime tonight, and perhaps a bit into tomorrow. I feel like I survived a major trial and grew in the process, and I also feel extremely well-loved and cared for in the aftermath of the ordeal. I've been pretty happy all day as a result, but also a bit shell-shocked. Yes, my dreams are often very, very real to me. Sometimes I confuse memories of actual events with dreams, and vice-versa. My husband helps me out with a lot of that confusion. So far it hasn't been a big deal, but if I survive into old age, it could get interesting.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Wells Fargo Opens Eagle Aid Account

Folks wishing to help the devastated town of Eagle, Alaska can donate to a special account at Wells Fargo now. It's called "Rebuild Eagle", but as of this moment I have no other information. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whole Artillery

Many of us are familiar with the oft-reviewed passage in Ephesians dealing with "putting on the Whole Armor of God" (Eph. 6:10-18). If there were ever an argument against being passive Christians, this is it. It talks about the "breastplate" of righteousness, the shoes (footwork) of scriptural preparation and study, the "shield" of faith, the "helmet" of salvation, and the "sword" of the Spirit. This list of equipment is worth serious study. Many people stop right there at verse 17, with the personal kit, as it were, but they need to go one more verse:
...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...
Prayer is so important, Paul put it last as the capstone of this TOE. If the preceding items are armor and personal weapons, then prayer is our Heavy Artillery. We have a direct hotline to the Creator of the universe, but how often do we really "call in fire" when things are going "pear-shaped", as a Special Forces friend of mine is fond of saying.

It's bad enough that we decline to talk to God about the little things, problems or sucesses, because we think they're beneath His notice (which is not true. His "eye is on the sparrow", etc.), but it's just negligent to forget to call on Him when things are really rough. I'm often guilty of this, due to an overdeveloped sense of competency, and so I've spent a fair bit of time thanking God for help even if I was too caught up in the world to ask for it in the first place.

Prayer is not a magic formula, a spell to call on some kind of natural force, or a ritual to impart a false sense of harmony with the universe, it's talking to a personal God who made humankind because He wanted sentient beings to love and interact with. Don't deny Him that interaction.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to help Eagle, AK

Alaskan Red Cross:

This from Jackie Helmer (a resident):

"I'm in Eagle and we thank all of you so much for all the donations thats came in and are coming in steadily. The Taylor Highway is open but travel carefully, DOT has been repairing the road daily. As so helping, you can still send any kind of donation you want to but we do have a list of things that are needed. To get that list, you can call Krystie at 547-2310 during the day. There also has been some bank accounts opened to help in the rebuilding of homes that have been completely lost. Denali Bank is 1 and the other is Wells Fargo, the Wells Fargo account number is 5943966530. I believe both accounts are under the name "Rebuild Eagle", also the Eagle Bible Chapel is accepting donations for the members of their church. You can send those donations to the the church and make note it's for the flood victims. I know some folks here are asking for plant starters, seeds, trays, peet pellets. Many families depend on a good crop to harvest in the fall. Everyone in Eagle and Eagle Village are in good spirits and being well taken care of thanks to all of the donations coming in. It will take some time to clear the huge ice chunks in the road blocking us from the village. They don't want to just plow thru it because there are houses and vehicles on them and there might be things the owners and salvage. We just have to be patient. They are putting in a temp. road behind the airport to access the new village. They should shart that on Tuesday. Thank you again for all of your support and God Bless."

Finally, here's today's NewsMiner update. As usual, don't forget to read the comments to get the "between the lines" news.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Veggie Starts Needed in Eagle, AK

This information was gleaned from the "comments" at the bottom of the page of this article, although there is a bit of news in the article itself. The Growing season is short but intensive up there. You have about a week to get things in, starting, oh, in about a week...or you get no fresh anything to eat until next year (unless you're independently wealthy).

Sounds like cod liver oil and vitamin C might be good things to send up, too...

Friday, May 08, 2009

More Eagle, AK news

It's time to think about rebuilding. I'm hoping somebody sets up a donation station in Fairbanks for building supplies. As soon as the roads are open, trucks can roll in. Doesn't make much sense to fly in tons of lumber and hardware in light planes...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Eagle Update

This just in: The response from Fairbanks residents for donations to flood victims in the village of Eagle was so overwhelming that Everts Air Alaska asked that people hold off with more donations until further notice. As of Wednesday afternoon, Everts had received more than 7,000 pounds of donations.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Everts director of operations Ken Leary said. “People have come over and donated all kinds of stuff — bottled water, food, clothes, boots, toiletries, baby formula.”

Everts was not able to fly to Eagle Wednesday to deliver the items because of weather but is hoping to make it into the village today, Leary said.

“Once we can get this stuff moved over there we can find out what else they need and let people know,” Leary said.

The water is finally receding, but mountains of ice have been left behind.

So...hang on to your donations for the moment. It's not over yet. The flood is heading down-river toward Circle and points West, and they may still need supplies in Eagle.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Eagle Alaska Needs Help!

A few years ago I worked as a cook for an archaeological field school on the 40Mile River in far Eastern Alaska. That's literally "near the middle of nowhere" for those unfamiliar with Alaskan geography. We staged out of Eagle, a teensy town on the Yukon River, about 100 miles downstream of Dawson (Yukon Territory, Canada). It's a tight little community of between 100-125 people (depending on who's fed up and leaving/who's trying the homesteading experience). It's also the site of historic Ft. Egbert.

I was there in July and August, and even then the river was a huge, silent grey behemoth, making at least six knots and cold as death. It's a powerful thing. Every Winter this force of nature freezes solid. It's Alaska (and the Yukon), remember? This makes a great "highway" for dog sleds and "snow machines" to get easily to the communities along the river. In the Spring, they wait for "breakup", when the ice (we're talking super thick ice, here, 5' and more) start to pop and crack with sounds like distant and not so distant artillery. At some point the pressure of the water wins over the slowly melting ice, and the grinding, crunching train of ice moves down the river. This process takes days. Please look at a map of the Yukon in case you still have no idea how big it is.

This year, nature, as is her wont, mixed things up a bit. Last week Alaska experienced a bit of a heat wave, and tributary streams thawed, inundating rivers with early runoff. The big, deep-ice Yukon did not, of course, melt instantly. Breakup takes time, and the impatient streams feeding the giant river made things...unstable. On the morning of Monday, May 4th, a huge jumble of monster "icebergs" passed Dawson. When it reached the large bend in the river where Eagle sits, it jammed. I won't go into detail. You can read about it at the Fairbanks news site.

No fatalities, but this community is devastated. They have no power, limited water, and the medical center was one of the buildings that was "Titanic-ed". The old tribal village, just up river, is totally wiped out. The new village is above the flood, but has no power and water at this time. Helicopters are bringing in emergency supplies.

If you're interested in helping, there are several ways you can. If you'd like to make a monetary donation, there's always the Red Cross. There's a phone number on that page that you can call if you want your donation to go to a specific concern.

You can also send "stuff" directly to Eagle. Although the road is closed, and the airport (a little gravel strip) is cut off from town at the moment (I believe), this should change soon, and there are at least nine families that have lost everything. Fleece or wool jackets/shirts, wool trousers, foul-weather gear, knit hats, gloves, socks, and rubber boots are fashion mainstays at this time of year. Don't forget underwear, toiletries (the store was wiped out), pain-killers, emollient hand lotions (ever worked in cold, wet conditions?), soap, towels, etc.. I think the most sensible thing to do is send anything to the Eagle Bible Chapel, Amundson St, Eagle, AK 99738. I attended there during my short stay, and they will know who needs what. Just write "flood relief" on the box somewhere.

This is a small, fiercely independant community. They resent government interference and would much rather help each other or be contacted by "real people" than some agency. Put in a friendly letter, pictures of you and your kids and the dog! A bar of chocolate! It will mean a LOT to them. Winter is long, hard, and dreary up there. Most newcomers don't make it past their first one. Spring was looming, the sun was about to shine...and then this happened. Here's your chance to be a hero!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anzac Day: Remember

It's Anzac Day today, and Radio Riel is presenting a special musical program hosted by my online pal and Aussie, "Edward Pearse". Tune in and remember the brave ones from the Southern Hemisphere who gave their all in World War 1.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How does the Faire fair?

The Washington Renaissance Fantasy Faire will actually go on this year (yay!)...but it will be in far-away Buckley (boo!), so I don't see the Warhorse Guild participating this year. We never make book, anyway, and commuting that far would be more than the pocketbook can allow. That, plus "Lady Devon" is still recovering from her ghastly hospital stay last Fall, and not really in any condition to donn armor, pick up a Zoppe-weight lance, and charge down the tilt.

I had an attack of the sillies and made a little "what if we DID decide to do faire this year?" short, which I present here. Fans of the Richardson version of "Charge of the Light Brigade" will get the obscure "noddles/doodles" reference.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter: a more serious post

Want to know more about Easter (and Passover)?

Pagan origins, Christian symbolism, the Feasts of Israel, and more here.

Happy Easter...!

...and a blessed (belated) Passover!

Yes, that's me, the bunny, in Second Life. Went to a Bunny Hop last night in Steelhead.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fast Murders, Cheap

Click on the image for the rest...

Blog Sloth

As has been pointed out by a reader of one of my other blogs, I haven't been posting a lot lately. At this time of the year, the yard/garden starts to explode and I have to spend every good day outside working on it, or I just throw up my hands by the end of May. We're entering the month where we have to mow the grass twice a week. No lie. Luckily it settles down after a bit. At times like this, I'm glad I discovered the Twitter thing. I can randomly post thoughts, links, and bad phone pics at the drop of a hat, from anywhere, something that suits my "lifestyle" pretty well right now.

CakeWrecks: Easter edition

The Easter wreckiness continues!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Craigslist, the Comedy!

Just found this site via a Twitter post by David Malki. Just blew almost an hour laughing at bad entry after bad entry. I weep for the functional illiterates in this country...but still laugh at some of the weird mental processes that created some of these train wrecks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, a giddy romantic holiday for some, a depressing reminder of lost (or not yet found) love for others, an annoying additional gift-giving day for non-gifty spouses and SOs everywhere. I've always liked this "holiday", even when I was single and sad. My dad always gave us heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates on V-Day, so I guess I was programmed to like it.

What? You're grumpy today (like the irritated bikkie above left)? Why? Did somebody give you one of these heart-bum cakes?

Or maybe one of these, um, it's a, hm. Sorry, having an Eraserhead moment...

My favorite is this little Emo number here. Nicely rendered, but a tad pessimistic, don't you think? Suddenly I have that "nobody loves me, everybody hates me" ditty running through my head. Can't imagine why. Nothing says "Be mine" like whining!

Of course, these lovely confections are courtesy of Cake Wrecks. See more, erm, creative efforts here and here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

V-Day Wrecks!

I love to bake and decorate cakes. They don't always turn out super great, but they always taste good! OK, except for that one Valentine's Day cake a couple of years ago, when I decided to make mint buttercream using some apparently ancient mint flavoring left over from the Hoover administration (hubby's mom never threw anything away, and it was from her kitchen). Can we say "cough medicine cream"? after we scraped off the pretty but awful-tasting frosting, the cake was great.

Anyhoo.... Here are some early offerings from the Cake Wrecks site, which made me laugh out loud today!

Happy Valentenis Day, everybody!

Here's one for the guys (they wish):

Friday, February 06, 2009

Digging Leviathan, #2

Professor Latzarel's vehicle--Jim couldn't think of a better word for it--ground to a halt at the curb just as the two of them drew up to the house. It was an old Land Rover station wagon, a tremendous square thing that appeared from almost every angle to be built entirely of wood--wood covered in a coat of gray dust like the sarcophagus of an Egyptian pharaoh that had sat in the desert for a dozen centuries until, perhaps by osmosis, the wood itself had begun to metamorphose into dust. A day would come, Jim was certain of it, when the machine, wheezing along one of the interlacing highways of the southwest desert, would complete the transmutation and crumble into a quick heap to be blown across the sands by a wind devil spawned by the sudden cessation of motion. (pp. 22-23)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Quote a Day

Starting something new. We'll see how long it lasts. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to read more, and with that in mind I've already completed one novel and two graphic novels. When the writing's good, I'm going to try to jot down, here, a good quote from whatever I'm reading that day.

Today, I've just started (for the third or so time), "The Digging Leviathan", by James Blaylock. I'm on a William Ashbless kick, and since I just read "The Anubis Gates", by Tim Powers, for the first time, this seems a natural sequel.

From the Prologue:

(night, on the Rio Jari in the Amazon Rain forest)

Ashbless scribbled in his notebook and smoked his pipe. He considered titling his sequence of poems Amazon Moon in honor of his old friend Don Blanding. What he wanted more than anything else was a glass of Scotch and a bottle of beer to chase it with. In the corner of his right eye he could see the bottom arc of the moon, enormous in the sky. it seemed to Ashbless that he was sitting in a bowl formed of mangroves, and that the moon was a lid settling down over him...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Earthquake! (in Sensurround)

...and I pretty much slept through it. Not surprising, since it was only a 4.5 and at 0525 this morning. It woke me up eventually. I guess my brain registered that something was happening, but my consciousness deduced "cat knocked something over" or "horses rampaging around". This is sad, since the epicenter was only about three miles north of us! My friend Renee in Vancouver (BC) even felt it! Fooey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New US President Brouhaha

No scholarly analysis here, just an observation. What is the DEAL with the level of HYPE and hyperbole concerning our newest President (in the USA)? You'd think we'd just been invaded by benevolent aliens who were ushering in the dawn of universal enlightenment, longevity, hyper-intelligence, and free chocolate for all.

Obama is just another politician, and kind of a noodle-y one, at that. Since he doesn't seem to have any of his own opinions, folks assign their own to him. I'll be interested to see where this all goes. Six months from now I don't think people are going to be petitioning the Pope for canonization (like they seem to be, now). I honestly don't see how this presidency is going to be any different from those that have gone before. Maybe I'm just pessimistic. We'll see.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nice day for shooting

Gordon is off to pick up a girl and a horse, so I'm fooling with some shots I just took of him, the horses, and Gimli.

I think this one (left) turned out especially nice. I love that uniform on him (1850s US Cav). He's such a Gibson Boy.

Gimly had to help, of course. Such a gorgeous day, today! And to think it started out foggy and chilly. It was actually almost warm in the sun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Attacking the Chaos

I'm really trying to get after the dump my house has become. Today is "cobweb day"! I don't care how festive they are, Halloween is only on October 31st. I also need to muck the henhouse before my chooks die of literal "vapors".

Thursday, January 08, 2009


This is the best thing I've heard so far this year as pertains to goal-setting, resolutions, or whatever you want to call it. Ready to get your life on track? Listen up, Dave Ramsey will set you straight.

Cartoon by Wondermark!, btw. Quite serendipitous.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Saying Goodbye Again

We've been "babysitting" a kitten for a couple of weeks. He couldn't stay with his real "parents", as he's needed medication twice a day and didn't need his brother pouncing on him every few minutes while he tried to rest and mum and dad were at work. He was rescued from a shelter by some kind-hearted woman from whom our friends purchased him and his brother. Both Siamese "mutts", Gleb was a creamy Flame Point while his brother looks like a Lynx Point. Boris is a little bundle of energy, while Gleb seemed listless and underweight.

He had what we thought was a pernicious UTI, but today, after two weeks of love and care and snuggling all night every night, we found out he had FIP...feline infectious peritonitis. There is no cure, and it's universally fatal. Our friends took him to the vet a few hours ago and held him as he drifted to sleep, the last time in this world. We're all a mess right now. Our friends must be in a kind of hell. Boris and Gleb were brought in to their lives to fill the void left by two other of their cats who recently passed on; one from old age, and the other from a congenital heart condition that suddenly presented.

People who don't understand this kind of pain have never lost somebody they truly loved. Many people don't understand that for some of us losing a "pet" is almost equivalent to losing a human child. These creatures are our children. They depend on us, give us love and affection which we (hopefully!) return, and become and integral part of our lives. Losing them, in any way, can be quite debilitating. I believe that beloved creatures like these will be with us again someday. I don't have hard scripture to back this up, but there are hints, especially in the Old Testament. God knows the big picture, and I'll trust him.