Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

quote from Monsters Inc

If you let me go, I'll give you a ride in my new car!

I'm sorry Mike, I'm not allowed to fraternize with victims of Randall's evil plot.

Drat! I hate when we're not allowed to fraternize with victims of the evil plot.

Have you ever been the victim of an evil plot? Ever masterminded an evil plot? Closed your closet door so the monsters wouldn't come in? I have! Hee hee. Or is it bwa ha ha ;)

Monday, February 25, 2008


This afternoon a couple of buddies and me went for our regular walk. One of them owns lots of farmland, and a dirt road connects her land with the adjacent farm where the next busy road is. Upshot: we walk in almost complete silence and in a farming traffic-free zone with birds and blooming daffodils and greenery.

In February! It was a lovely sojourn with a pair of nice friends. The warm weather may not hold but today it was a really nice time to be outside.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Aw, ain't that pretty?

Pretty to look at, perhaps deadly to breathe. Chemtrails are geometric patterns of jet trails over populated areas that are purported to carry metals, toxins, and other material that are being secretly sprayed by the government in ongoing weather modification programs.

Gee, aren't they just contrails? Normal exhaust that temporarily vaporizes in narrow atmospheric conditions and dissipate quickly? Nope. The specific upper atmospheric conditions required for hot jet exhaust to form "Persistent Contrails" is well documented within scientific literature and can be summarized as high elevation temperatures below - 40 C and relative humidity that exceeds 60 %. These are NOT contrails, which vaporize quickly. These trails remain in the sky for long periods, dissipating by expanding slowly into cirrus-looking clouds, gradually merging inot each other and as a result, and obscure the sunlight.

Chemtrails were included in the original version of HR 2977, the "Space Preservation Bill" in the definitions section. Chemtrails are (were, before the bill was revised) defined as an exotic weapon.

I had no idea about chemtrails, until I stumbled upon a website about them and was looking at the photos. "huh," I'd thought. Then I suddenly remembered the photos I had taken of the 'pretty sky' and the 'nice lines' I then stored on my computer. I reviewed them on my computer. At the time I had thought it was unusual that they were so linear and well-formed. It hit me: they're chemtrails. After that, I started looking up. One day, driving by a part of town where there were large fields with unrestricted sky views, I saw a grid being made by two planes. A tic-tac-toe pattern, the two planes swept back and forth, one line, then another. I was driving and didn't get but one shot and that was too blurry. I'll keep trying. And I'll keep studying.

KSLA reported barium in the drift-down.
newscasters in LA reported on chemtrails.
Germany has admitted doing it:

Think the government wouldn't do that to us? CNN reported "Chem, bio tests used US troops."

Or: in 1999: Public Law of the US Code PUBLIC LAW 95-79 [P.L. 95-79] TITLE 50, CHAPTER 32, SECTION 1520 "CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROGRAM" "The use of human subjects will be allowed for the testing of chemical and biological agents by the U.S. Department of Defense, accounting to Congressional committees with respect to the experiments and studies." "The Secretary of Defense [may] conduct tests and experiments involving the use of chemical and biological [warfare] agents on civilian populations [within the United States]." -SOURCE- Public Law 95-79, Title VIII, Sec. 808, July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 334. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 91, page 334, you will find Public Law 95-79. Public Law 97-375, title II, Sec. 203(a)(1), Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1882. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 96, page 1882, you will find Public Law 97-375.

which in 2004 was repealed to state in section 1520a that they can't do that to unsuspecting civilians anymore. Mostly. Only in certain circumstances. Really.

So that was my big "eureka" moment. The sky above me with pretty grids of hanging trails are really chemicals. Those conspiracy guys on the web...were right. My advice: start looking up.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

the obligatory post

Blog365 requires a blog post a day. I'm not sure about this game anymore...sometimes I like to let a post percolate for more than a day. Sometimes, infrequently (like today) I don't have much to say.

So here is an obligatory opinion. I don't see the Obama attraction. I'm sick of Hillary already. McCain creeps me out. The pundits are driving me crazy. How long until martial law is declared the election?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Are we that shallow?

"Perhaps the nation will see some baby "Baracks" arriving over the next few months no matter who wins the presidential election. Sen. Barack Obama's name brand recognition has much currency these days as Americans mull over the appeal of the Illinois Democrat's name for their own precious offspring. Barack has been crowned Name of the Year by Laura Wattenberg, creator of Baby Name Wizard, a popular online trend-tracking tool for parents-to-be at, offering instant advice in the crucial baby-name derby."

Oh, ick. Are we that shallow?

On the upside, I notice the cavemen are being televised again on the Geico ad rotation. I am thrilled. The one about the caveman and the therapist still makes me laugh. Someone has taken the time to compile all the Geico Cavemen commercials into one two-minute vid. Yay!

Oops, I guess I answered my own question...didn't I? ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Now THAT'S funny!

George Bush worst President in recorded history. A new poll just out asking Americans how they think Pres. Bush is handling his job, records just 19% think he is going OK. This is a percentage lower than Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal, worse than Jimmy Carter just after the Iran hostage taking, and way worse than Clinton during the impeachment movement.

Granted, the poll contacted only 1,100 people and extrapolated the rest...but you get the idea.

Two years ago, Rolling Stone said Bush was in contention for worst president ever. The Washington Post did the same. But those are liberal print media outlets. Aren't there any neutral outlets we can balance this sad perspective against? Gary North on Lew explained "Why Bush Will Become the Textbooks' Worst President." These last three are from 2006, before the crash or the dollar and the collapse of the housing industry. Before the fractional reserve banking system ran out of fractional reserves. Before the worst of it.

What has he said or done lately to make us think he is either the best ever or the worst ever? Read some things he has said. You be The Decider:

On Criticism: “There ought to be limits to freedom. We’re aware of this [web] site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that’s all he is.” George Jr., discussing a web site that parodies him.

Bi-Partisanship: “I’m a uniter not a divider. That means when it comes time to sew up your chest cavity, we use stitches as opposed to opening it up.” Bush, on David Letterman (who had just had open heart surgery), March 2, 2000. (the audience booed)

Education: “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” George W Bush, Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

Domestic Policy: “I don’t feel like I’ve got all that much too important to say on the kind of big national issues.” George W Bush, 20/20 ABC, 15th September 2000

Natural Resources: “Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.” George W Bush, Austin, Texas, Dec. 20, 2000

But wait! Those are all from 8 years ago, when Bush was a shoehorn. Um, greenhorn. How about lately?

“I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. April 18, 2006

"There is no doubt in my mind when history was written, the final page will say: Victory was achieved by the United States of America for the good of the world." --George W. Bush, addressing U.S. troops at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, Jan. 12, 2008

CHRIS WALLACE (FOX): Mr. President, what are the chances that we're either in a recession or headed for one?
PRESIDENT: I think the experts will tell you we're not in a recession, and they will tell you that there's a lot of uncertainty. And therefore, the question is what do you do about it. (White House, Feb. 10, 2008)

“I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them then I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and I like them after president.” –George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006

Yes, George. We're all waiting for after president.

More quotes here. And here. So many GW dumb quotes websites, so little time. And Google "worst president" and see what you get.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Roaming with buffalo

I know, I know, I posted about the local buffalo before. But this is a better photo, and truth be told, I get a huge kick out of driving home on a (what woulda been a horrible) a winter's day (up north) and seeing exotic animals grazing on green grass in a gorgeous field.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shoot that satellite down, mate

CNN reports this morning: "A formal notice warning ships and planes to stay clear of a large area of the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii, indicates the U.S. Navy likely will make its first attempt to shoot down a faulty spy satellite Wednesday night."

In the 'unlikely event' the satellite hits land, which may or may not be filled with hydrazine, or plutonium, or may just be a cover for a thinly veiled space arms tactical test, FEMA will be ready. They report that six intergovernmental agencies are ready to help, described in a memo posted on the first responder site.

So initially we are told that the satellite is harmless. And it will come down in March. Then we are told a "small amount" of gas is on board. Then we are told the gas is hydrazine and 'could be harmful' if inhaled. Then three Navy ships are dispatched, an Aegis cruiser and two destroyers, and the shoot down is bumped to Thursday. Then we are told, nope, it'll be Wednesday, and by the way FEMA is working with six other agencies in what they term a HAZMAT event complete with "Establishing victim support centers."

Feel safe?

By the way, let us not forget May 9 2007:

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive

The directive states the in the case of a National Catastrophic Emergency, the President, along with the head of Homeland Security, can take over the government and do whatever they please in order to provide "continuance".

Excerpt from the White House website:

(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions

What I find particularly interesting is the phrase, "regardless of location." Of course, "any incident" is not too comforting either. So anything that happens, anywhere, and the President can 'continue.' Read the actual paper for yourself, it's not hard and it's not too long.

Continue on with your day fellow bloggers! Continue on.
Space Object FEMA papers:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Heeeere's Rodney!

the funniest comedian ever, Rodney Dangerfield. I love browsing YouTube for old clips.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My first photo

This is the photo that started it all. Picture it: a small New England fishing village on the shores of Narragansett Bay. 1600s and 1700s homes lining the main street, leading to a wharf where the boats come in and out. 1973, 1974, people still said hello to you as you walked the street. That was because they knew you.

A budding photographer, snapping this and that. I caught the cat resting on the steps of a two hundred year home, ivy dangling and the weathered clapboards behind it. When I got it developed, the developer said, "This is good. It could be in a contest."

I don't know about that, but I kept it and many years later I found it again. The photo helps me remember the nice day, striding the streets of my town, camera slung over my shoulder, looking for beauty. I've been taking pictures ever since. Hard to believe that was over thirty years ago.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

content is as content does

I woke up this morning with a wicked cold. My throat is swelled closed, my stuffed sinuses are giving me a booming headache, I'm achy, and I'm tired. I just got rid of the last one. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I was loaded for bear and ready to tell anyone who asked.

Then I read my morning devotional.

"I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content."—Philippians 4:11

Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: "These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. "Ill weeds grow apace." Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, ... Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature ... Paul says, 'I have learned . . . to be content;' as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content," he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave—a poor prisoner shut up in Nero's dungeon at Rome. ... Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content."

I am always grateful for the wonderful blessings I have. The weather, the nice apartment, the material things that sustain me, my relationship with Jesus, good friends, and a home church. That is extreme wealth in most of the world. Shame on me for forgetting that and for being ready to launch my momentary discontent onto the world.

I don't feel good, it is true. But that's a small thing. I continue to be a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Doom: what's your apocalypse tolerance?

A comedy show, taking a madcap look at what we are facing these days

...McKeag isn't just kidding when he tells us the end of the world is nigh, our days are numbered and that we'd better get ready. But he's also gone a step further by asking how bad things have to get before we individually decide we've got no choice but to pack up and leave. Think stuff like SARS, the Kelowna forest fires, Iraq and Iran, solar flares and their connection to hurricanes and tsunamis, looming pandemics, drug-resistant bugs, terrorism, climate change, impending economic collapse, water shortages,... you name it -- and you begin to get the picture, McKeag says."

Bees dying, bats dropping, oceans gasping, ice melting, jellyfish exploding, food shortaging, hospitals filling, satellites falling, dollar devaluing, people shooting, seeds banking, earth drying...I could go on here. But I think it's obvious...things are bad.

chart caption: "But for systemic intervention and manipulations by the Federal Reserve, it appears we might be contemplating a collapsed U.S. banking system and a looming deflationary great depression that could have dwarfed the bad times of the 1930s." Pardon me, but isn't it a good idea for the Federal Reserve to actually have some cash...on reserve? Living on borrowed money means the economy is living on borrowed time. What's the FDIC response? Post new rules on
"Processing Deposit Accounts in a Bank Failure." Have you stuffed your mattress yet?

And what's with food lately? Hmmm, glad they thought ahead and created the Svalbard Seed Bank, so at least some folks will have food. Later. When there isn't any.

Food prices spiraling upward
Bulgaria faces massive grain shortage
Food shortage in Venezuela
Nepal: Household Food Stocks Down to Half in 38 Districts
Food inflation surges by 18 percent in January
China scrambles to ensure food supplies after snow
Vietnam: Severe cold affects rice crops, cattle in the north
Food is an issue worldwide
And in Haiti...they are eating mud

So what's a happy-go-lucky Georgia gal to do? First, accept Jesus as payment for our sins, the only hope for this life and for eternity. Then, being a pragmatic doomsayer, use the rapidly devaluing dollar to buy real items. Commodities Now! Things that will be useful in the short term and in the mid-term. Things I would likely buy anyway, but would be more expensive later because the dollar will not be worth much: a kerosene lamp or two (with extra wicks,) a new two burner propane Coleman InstaStart stove, thanks to ebay, food in cans, bulk grains, and dried food thanks to the Dollar Store, a sturdy used mountain bike needing no repairs, a pump, and a lock thanks to the local thrift shop, draw water, get the first aid kit ready.

Christians will be saved from the day of wrath but goodness, things are already pretty bad and likely to get worse, and we haven't been raptured yet. Remember how fast society crumbled after Katrina? How cold 46,000 folks got in Grand Junction last night? Or the 80,000 total in Maine? The end times are happening now. So here we go:

Repent! The end is near.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A life well lived...

...A man well loved

Someone I knew died. I didn't know him well, but I admired him. Dr. Sam Ristich, locally known as Sam the Mushroom Man, died peacefully in his chair in North Yarmouth Maine this week.

Sam was in love with mushrooms. Boy, he sure could get equally excited when leading a woodland walk spotting a slime mold on a rotting log or a grand majestic tier of polyporus squamosis on a tree. Once, back when I worked in an office, I watched a mushroom grow on the tree on front of my window. It grew, and it grew, and it grew. Finally it was so humungous, my friend called someone who knew Dr. Sam. He came right over. He got so excited about the mushroom I thought he'd jump out of his skin. So then we all got excited too. He was infectious in a good way.

A few years later I became his tenant. I'd see him outside in the winter, shoveling, putting out orange skins for the birds, sprinkling bird seed. The light in his study at night would spill out to the driveway, making yellow patches on the snow. He'd be bent over a microscope examining, learning. At 90 years old his enthusiasm for anything and everything never dimmed. He was entranced by snow, birds, nature, life...he loved it and exhibited it in his actions and through his heart. He was an inspiration.

New England, the US and even the world knew him as Dr. Sam Ristich, foremost authority in the mycological arena of science. The natural world, even. Serving in the US Air Corps in Bermuda Sam discovered a cahow in Bermuda in 1945. This is a bird that thought to have been extinct since 1650. That's Sam! Goes out for a walk and discovers something that turns the scientific world on its head. The Smithsonian holds in its collections the specimen discovered in 1945 by Samuel Ristich on Coopers Island, Bermuda. There's a documentary about it now, called "Rare Bird," just released.

I just knew him as Sam the mushroom man, and sometime landlord. When I moved from his apartment he gave me this mushroom stamp. The message on the back reads in part: "Dear Elizabeth, I hope you find prolonged happiness."

Dear Sam: I hope you do too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Two collages and how they came to be

Below are a couple of collages I've done recently. I'm pretty much not too good at collage, I know that and it is OK. Here are some really good ones. I read "how to collage" tutorials, and it seems that most people have an idea beforehand on what their collage will be. They decide on a theme, or even draw out. I don't do it that way. Maybe that's why my collages aren't as good, but they have a lot of meaning for me. They are more like an expression of an emotion that words can't convey.

What I do is flip through magazines, or newspapers, or my scrap pile of papers. When an image catches my eye, I look at it for a second. If an idea pops up into my mind I cut it out. At that point I'm not sure where it's going, so I continue flipping through. The one below got started when I was flipping through magazines and my eye was drawn to the moon. As I was cutting it out, the lyric to Credence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" came to mind. OK, that's a theme.

I thought the lake of burning coals seemed like it would go with a bad moon rising. And when I saw the man covering the woman's eyes, I thought about how Satan covers our eyes, deceiver that he is. And his 'tentacles' came to being when I saw a National Geographic shot from the air of windswept sculpted sand dunes.

So...Artist statement of this collage: "Satan deceives us by covering our eyes, which does not allow us to see the Truth, which is Jesus. Satan's tentacles grab on, keeping us more firmly in his grip. While Satan has his hold on us, we delight in the sins of the world while at the same time dwelling in turbulent waters. And if we choose to remain in that state, the lake of burning fire awaits. This is the age of a Bad Moon Rising, and many are deceived."

This one: my friend gave me a Christmas present of the amaryllis in a box. After I planted it, I looked at the box, scanning it for art possibilities. (This is the life of a scrounger, everything can be something else). I liked the fifties aspect of the design and I cut out the flower and the title. I took a leap from there, keeping with the light hearted theme and the colors. I continued with the vegetation idea, making it be the frame. I used the black and white heather at the top right to contrast with the color of an amaryllis. Colorful butterflies flit from flower to flower. And the Yuban and Darjeeling are beverages that I drink to wake me up, sort of seeing the world colorlessly until I have the caffeine! Acrylic paint (both flat and metallic), and gesso provide the background.

Bad Moon Rising
Credence Clearwater

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin.
I see bad times today.

Don’t go around tonight,
Well, it’s bound to take your life,
There’s a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The view from here

My laptop, a Word doc in progress, formica topped 1950s table, and playing cat. It's my view every day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Good to Be King

by Tom Petty...1994.

Scene: Grad school...I was tutoring two 3rd grade boys in my summer literacy intensive. One was endlessly antsy; the other was defiant and angry. Hence their difficulty in learning to read in a regular classrom during the year. It was them and me in a small, airless, non-air conditioned room on the third floor of Bailey Hall.

I tried everything. They hated to be there, it was sweet summer in Maine, after all. They threw the "baby" books across the room. They refused to try a second grade chapter book. Finally, in desperation, I copied the lyrics to Tom Petty's song onto an easel chart, since "rock lyrics" from a "rocker" was cool. I dragged the CD player into the tutoring room and plugged in, hoping for the best.

Finally, thank the Lord, they learned to read the lyrics and then we moved to books. Sometimes a song is more than a song. It is the key to the kingdom known as literacy.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

04039 vs.30629. No contest!

I write often about how nice it is in Northeast Georgia. Not for nothing, but it's mostly the weather. People are nice, the living is a bit less expensive...but the weather sure does make the difference.

I spent 17 years in Rhode Island, a nice state but still New England, which means snow and ice and sleet and dark winters. But I was a kid and I didn't know anything then. I went to college in Bangor-Orono Maine, 300 miles further into tundra-land. Talk about dark! Talk about cold! Talk about snow! Amazingly, I stayed in Maine for the next 30 years. I don't know why. Seemed like the thing to do at the time.

If you count the frost time when you can't plant anything in the ground, Maine winter lasts 9 months. The average temp is below freezing five months a year. In November, less than half the possible daylight hours are cloudy. (48%)

Contrast that with Comer GA and, well, I am happy to report that there are NO months when the average temp is below freezing. None, Nada, Zip. And the highest average temp occurs in July, 89 degrees. Not bad!!! (Thirty-year data ending in 2000).

Now, forget data, let's have a visual compare and contrast:

I snapped this blooming dandelion yesterday. Notice the greenery poking through the blow-down, too.

Contrast that with a snap from the Gray Maine webcam today. My office used to be a few feet from here and my apartment two miles from here. Dark and nasty weather, huh?

Below: winter bird, sitting on a branch near my second floor deck. Blue skies, happy bird.

Here we have a snap of a winter bird in Maine during the same February week. (Photo from robotbunny on website)

Below we have a buried car. My husband at the time and I returned home from a week in FL and this is what greeted us, my Saturn station wagon was completely buried. Not happy.

A Saturn wagon...not buried. Which would you prefer, if you had a choice? Thank God, I did have a choice and I've never been happier to dwell where the livin' is easy and the climate is gentle.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen...

"...We have peace for our time." Middle aged Abby balked and spit and hid and whined when two rambunctious kittens entered her (our) life. After three months of spitting standoffs and gradual appeasement, I am pleased to echo Neville Chamberlain, and optimistically state, "We have peace for our time."

Of course, Neville said that on September 30, 1938. Six months later, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, severely vexing Chamberlain... and 6 months after that, September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, triggering the second world war.

But for now, Abby is appeased. Heck, I'll take a year of peace. Sounds purrfect.

My home internet's still down

I've been writing about how lovely our county is, how rural, pretty, and farm-oriented. Below, the scene next door to where my friend lives. It's what I see when I pull up to her house.

I took a trip into Athens yesterday on a search for quinoa . Quinoa ia a healthy protein alternative to meat and fish. There is a huge protein bang for the buck in this South American Super Grain. Anyway, the health food store is just a few doors from from the Five Points Fire Station. Pretty, isn't it? Even the city around here is nice.

The red bulldog, of course, is the UGA football mascot

Thursday, February 07, 2008

hold my place

a shell blog entry. According to the rules of Blog365, I have to post one entry each day for a year. The internet is down at home so this is a shell entry posted for compliance, if not interest's, sake. Be back soon with the real deal.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This is an hour from my day. Starting with a bird, ending with a bird

Midday in Comer yesterday I headed to the Dollar Store for cat food and milk. Trying to find milk that costs less than $6. I am not kidding. It was that much at Wal-Mart.

On the way: A buzzard having lunch. Animals abound here. Thus, roadkill is ubiquitous. So are buzzards having a free lunch.

Parking: Where's that truck been? On a red dirt road.

Inside the store. This is not my photo. This photo is not of the Dollar Store. But it is representative. Lots of empty shelves. For the third day in a row... still waiting for cat food.

Back home, my normally peaceful abode was pierced as the landlord encouraged her two doggies (in increasing decibels) to pee here. "On the grass. Gilley. Here. Gil-leyyyy! HERE, ON THE GRASS! COMMMME HERE!!!!!!!!!! GRACE CUT IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!" Gilley still peed on the gravel. She only came to investigate after she did her business, wagging tail the whole time.

All is peaceful again. Even the birdies came back to my feeder. Here is a cunning l'il one with a sunflower seed in his mouth. Tweet!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Plastic sea of the North Pacific Gyre

As I glance around the beautiful rolling, rural Northeast Georgia hills, I read that a huge garbage swamp has been discovered in the Pacific ocean. Swirling between the west coast and Japan, and twice the size of Texas, the dump includes toxins, decaying skeletons and tons and tons of plastic. How low can we go? Photo: I snapped this leaving Miami at sunrise, headed to the Bahamas. The ocean is so precious to me...

I voted early! On Friday, I walked in to the small room where four electronic voting booths were set up no lines-no waiting, (after presenting my photo ID and then receiving a card to slide into the electronic both) and cast my ballot for President. There was one local issue, regarding special county taxes for special projects. Four years later, this is still funny . Do you ever get the creepy feeling that it's all a big sham?

I watched The Closer's pilot episode last night. What a great show, one of my favorites. The first season was excellent. The second season was good. Sadly, in my opinion, he third season was only so-so. It was good to go back and revisit Brenda's roots in her first appearance.

It's a nice day here today, supposed to be 70 degrees. I think I'll take my camera to the park and see what's what. And tonight, wait for election returns.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fences I have known

A walk down my driveway at dusk one fine winter day. I live on a horse farm. There are a lot of fences to keep animals in, keep animals out. We have horses and next door there are goats, and pasture after that, cows. There is a black cat who makes his way along all the fences at dusk every day. This day, I had parked my SUV at the horse gate and the cat used my vehicle as part of his happy trail, leaping atop the roof as he crossed the expanse from one fence to another.

Metal roof next door.

Cat on a metal roof.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Christianity in these end times

I always wondered about people who were so sure Jesus was the only way to heaven. I used to think those people were arrogant, misguided wack-jobs who had nothing better to do than read their bibles and go to church.

Now I'm one of them. In the past, when I've observed the process from afar of gradual conversion of an individual, I used to think that they had been indoctrinated, sucked in, absorbed.

Now I understand.

When a person accepts Christ, in the manner outlined in Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" then what you are doing is agreeing that God in His supernatural, unknowable sovereignty raised His son from the dead. The word 'Lord' means you understand that you are a subject under that sovereignty and will follow His teachings and Law. The Holy Spirit then comes upon you.

The gulf then widens between the believer and the unbeliever, because the Holy Spirit is knowable to the person in whom He dwells, and unknowable to the person in whom He does not dwell. As the new Christian disciple grows in Christ, the Holy Spirit leads them more strongly and more lovingly, and the new believer naturally drifts farther from the paths trod by the unbeliever. The gap widens. Eventually, those left behind will look upon the new Christian as one who has been sucked in, they not being able to see, know, or understand the power of our Lord who now dwells within the follower.

But, O! it is so simple. And in its simplicity, it is so devastating. First, the love bestowed on us by God through His son Jesus Christ is deep and abiding. That the very creator of the worlds would care so much about us, who are ridiculous humans fumbling around the world, is amazing. It is also devastating because the more fervently the Holy Spirit dwells within a person (which in my opinion depends upon how fervently the believer seeks it, asks for it, and obeys it) the more one wants to bring all this amazingness to others.

Who do not always appreciate the message.

So there you have it, the life of a Christian.

Friday, February 01, 2008

a rat is still a rat

Everyone went ga-ga for the newest animated Disney movie, Ratatouille so I put it in my Netflix queue and waited for Mr. Friendly Postman to deliver it to my box. It's the story of a rat who has an extraordinarily developed sense of smel and taste, and longs to be a chef. He finds himself in Paris at a famous three star restaurant, and like Cyrano De Bergerac, helps a human young cook by hiding in the chef hat and delivering cooking instructions. Everyone goes ga-ga over Remy the Rat's recipes, and the day is won.

What was I thinking?!

After twenty minutes, I realized that I was grossed out. I mean...a rat in a kitchen? This is not cute.

Here is what James Berardinelli the movie critic said:

"Flushed Away had no difficulty using rats as main characters, largely because they looked much like human beings with a lot of hair. Ratatouille provides us with rodents that, while not lifelike, are close enough that it could give some phobic viewers a moment's pause. Since this is Disney, the film emphasizes the creatures' "cute" aspects - a round pink nose and wide, innocent eyes - but there's no mistaking what they are. Ultimately, it's a lot easier to think about cuddling up next to a penguin than a rat. This is one instance in which the realism of CGI may not be an asset."

Indeed. A very real-looking rat in a kitchen, among food, and pots, and, and...[shudder]. Let's just say this was an ill considered movie choice.