Friday, November 30, 2012


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Yesterday, when I wanted to post pictures from Portland, the post managers changed the way pictures load. They never tell you about changes.  They just arbitrarily let you figure it out for yourself. Jim admitted having difficulty as well. He figured it out and helped me out. The new process created an extra step to load pictures, and your pictures no longer load in sequence, they always move to the top position.  Rather than improving the process they made it more difficult. We figure these guys want to impress the boss, or need to validate their presence as an employee so they suggest “improvements”. Hah! It would improve things if they’d get input from users first.

I have a hoard of bridge pictures. One of my brothers worked retrofitting and building new bridges for many years. He decided to move about the country and take pictures of bridges because many of them are replaced as roads expand and population increases. Now, wherever I go, I take pictures of bridges. This one brings you into Portland from the Southeast if I remember correctly.

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And this picture tells a story. Makes you wonder if the quest was successful.

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Pioneer Square in Portland is loaded with water fountains, water animal sculptures and fun. If you visit, don’t miss Pioneer Square.

It is raining outside. Supposedly we will get flood stage rains of 12 inches. Time to get out the rowboat or I’ll be stranded.  My car is in the Toyota Dealership 60 miles away getting a new battery pack. Supposed to be windy, too. Time to make flight arrangements back to the Motor Home.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I’m driving for the second time since my surgery and decided to have lunch with a friend  9 miles away in Angels Camp. The Prius battery pack, way over warranty, protested by not shifting gears when I went up a steep hill. Stuck!  I waited in a rain drenched spot on the side of the road for one hour. Luckily I had a magazine to read. When the tow truck appeared, they didn’t have the proper equipment to tow a Prius. I had to abandon my vehicle and return home. The tow company has it in their yard and will deliver it this morning to Modesto Toyota. I guess it wasn’t a wasted day.

 I played with pictures all afternoon. I was able to load one picture only this morning because the post editor has changed something fundamental about uploading pictures. And, nothing else will load.  I guess it is like waiting for the tow. It will eventually get fixed.
Anyway, this is a clever sculpture as part of a building in downtown Portland, OR.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


That Bill Gates. You really have to hand it to him. First, he poses a challenge for the best composting toilet in the world. It only uses solar power and no water.  The new toilet has the potential to  clean up a lifelong problem in third world countries struggling with raw sewage from human waste and the diseases it causes.

Now he is concentrating on poop here at home. The idea is to get bio-gas from waste water treatment plants, agricultural farms, fuel refineries and waste landfill sites, gas that is usually burned off on site, and funnel it into a recovery generation center from which it then powers his Data Center. The first one is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Hey, way to go, Bill. The whole project will then be donated to the University of Wyoming to study and perfect for major developments.

It is about time the Sh__t hit the fan. Well, the generator fans, anyway.

I read this morning that the arctic ice caps will be melted by 2016. Guess I better rev up my well and hope Gates takes on the wasteful water practices of American flush toilets. Then, if he can fund an easy way for people to catch and save their rainwater, I’d be on board in a minute.  2016 is not that far away. I’m thinking strongly about water because today, we are supposed to get from 6 to 12 inches of water and have flooding problems. I think I’ll convert my hot tub.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Just a note to say I start serious back therapy and will be blogging only intermittently. Yesterday, my friend, Sharon, came by and we worked on a gallery presentation for her bead work.

Her current project is beadwork boxes for her Bible Study Class for Christmas. A daunting task. She works 8 to 10 hours a day beading.

No two look alike.

The quality of her work is impeccable. She only uses delicate beads, they are very small. Indians beading is done one size up from delicate, called seed. The camera magnifies the beads. The individual bead is very much invisible without the camera.

They really are beautiful. She makes Christmas ornaments, jewelry, tapestries, teapots, cups and saucers and other clever items on consignment.
Of the fifteen she showed me, they are all different. I’m in awe of what I can’t do that involves so much intense passion. Beaders. A population apart.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday. A time to take stock, reflect on the good things in life and…a time to take goofy pictures.

A pomegranate almost the size of Owen’s head. It has dried, cracked and shrunk some since it was picked from their backyard tree.

It is November and crisp enough outside for sweaters. These guys never want to wear long pants or shoes unless they are visiting the snow. They are all legs.

My daughter is mentoring a Brazilian PHD student. Stuffed Turkey isn’t new to him, but Thanksgiving is. Each person at the table shares what we have to be thankful for on  this day.   I may rant about politics, but this is the greatest country on earth and I’m thankful for that.

Everyone gives a hand with the dinner.

After dinner the desserts: apple crisp, pear tart, pumpkin pie, and walnut pie. Son-in-law is the artistic pie baker. Equally fit for pilgrims and kings.

Then a walk in the park. And, if you walk with three biologists, you have to inspect what an owl ate for Thanksgiving. Little bones, feathers and a small skull are evidence in the owl pellet.

Marciel came here almost four months ago with no English. In Brazil, he had only played cards a couple of times. He did not know how to shuffle. No trump games or bidding. He learned three new card games, trump, bidding, betting. A new dice game. He then bested Doug seven games in a row too much howling on Doug’s part. We relished Doug’s loss and shouts of anguish at being bested.

The two grandma’s look like they’ve been sucking too long on a wine bottle. Goofy pictures are part of the deal, doncha know. We think we are a normal family, whatever normal is.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


My friend Anne Williams who is 87 years, told me about her two aunts who decided to raise their own turkey for Thanksgiving. The well fed turkey got good and fat. On the day before, they were sorry, but committed. So, one held the bird, the other bashed it in the head with a hammer. They set to plucking it and the turkey suddenly tried to scramble away from them. Oh, what a revolting development!

They ended up eating chicken and let the turkey live. It was cold outside, even in California. So, they knitted it a sweater. Then the feathers began to grow through the sweater and presented a new problem. It was pretty laughable. They eventually had to cut the sweater off in pieces, only the turkey didn’t want to go near them. They had a tough time catching  that educated bird.

I’m thankful my bird comes shrink wrapped from the store, among other things too numerous to mention.

My cup runneth over!  Share!  Be happy. Be thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I didn’t mean to rant again but I’m remembering something from the early 1960′s. As a young married, I attended a City of Fremont public meeting about a planning issue. I no longer remember what my publicly stated objection was, but within weeks, my neighbors were getting visits and calls about me, what kind of person I was, my habits and etc. I was under investigation by the FBI. Those were the J. Edgar Hoover days.
Also, before I got married, I worked for Alameda County. I showed up for work with a bumper sticker supporting Don Dillion for mayor. He wasn’t a mafia member. He was a local businessman who owned a citrus orchard. This was a local city election, but the county told me I had to remove my bumper sticker. I was furious but I needed the job and did it.

And, when I did marry, I had to quit my job because employees were not allowed to fraternize (let alone date) each other. Marriage? Out of the question.

Now, the Patreaus/Broadwell investigation has led to intrusive examination of private emails.  Democrat Patrick Leahy needs a healthy dose of censure from activists for his new and even stricter revision of the House of Representatives SNOOP law.  It is tiring that regular ciitizens like thee and me have to be government watchdogs. Not only guard dogs of the intrusive and corrupting influence of money, but the perceived and over rated dangers of email correspondence.

Most egregious, Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, OSHA, Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission? Why should they be  allowed to subpoena my private information, with no judge to approve their need to know? They don’t even have to notify us that they are looking or have looked for as long as a year after the event. Unacceptable.

It isn’t law yet, but be aware if you have concerns. The entire document is available at this link if you wish to read it for yourself. That is, the discovery content from the online news organization from C/Net:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Here’s a way to ensure waste isn’t, well, wasted.

Four African girls just showed off a urine-powered generator at Maker Faire Africa, in Lagos. Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola and Faleke Oluwatoyin, 14, and Bello Eniola, 15, built the device, which uses an electrolytic cell to separate hydrogen out of urine, Maker Faire’s website explained.
The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder. The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas. This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.
A liter of urine generates six hours of electricity.
While the system does have one-way valves for safety,  the device is admittedly explosive.

I recently saw a cartoon of a guy pissing directly into a gas tank. Funny, but we may not be that far away. The concept of using urine for hydrogen isn’t a new idea.

Gerardine Botte, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio University  has developed a technology to generate hydrogen fuel from urine.
Botte says urine contains two compounds that could be a source of hydrogen: ammonia and urea. Place an electrode in wastewater, apply a gentle current, and voila: hydrogen gas that can be used to power a fuel cell. Ammonia and urea hold their hydrogen atoms less tightly than water does, so less energy is required to split them off.

Botte’s technology has the greatest potential for power generation in settings where large numbers of people gather – airports and sports stadiums, for example. An office building with 200 to 300 workers could generate 2 kilowatts of power, every drop in the bucket helps. Botte’s approach could  address pollution associated with animal feedlots. The urine produced by 1,000 cows could generate 40 to 50 kilowatts of power, and rid the soil of all that noxious ammonia.

There is also A group of scientists in the UK, working on a fuel cell powered directly by urine. I hope they get it all together and perfected soon. I’d like to think that pee has power and cache. Waste Not Want Not is still part of my childhood vocabulary and an environmentally sound idea for today.

Monday, November 19, 2012


When I blogged the other day about Blue States and Red States, and secession from the Union, I took it all as a joke. Not until my friend Claudine told me the petition papers were signed by the Governor of Texas, and the signers were over 25,000 needed to get on a ballot, did I realize it was a serious endeavor. I am ever astounded by the lunatic fringe we have in this country. But, even worse, how does this lunatic fringe get elected? Is it Faux Radio as many progressives suggest?

How do you you figure Agenda 21?

Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Hold Briefing On Top Secret Obama Mind Control Plot.
President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as “Delphi” to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That’s according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.
Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: “How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to ‘save the earth.’”

This article came from Mother Jones. But, I checked and it is all over the internet from many sources.  Comparing Obama to Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. At the Mother Jones site is a video of their meeting.

And from Sadinamerica- his blog:

It is my intention to give you clips from documents, many from the United Nations that prove there is a plan to depopulate this planet.
I will also provide quotes from various people and organizations that further show this agenda is afoot. I pray the guidance of the Lord God Almighty will be with me in this pursuit to warn others of this dark plot against humanity.
Everything written in this paper is easily verifiable. It may take some time and effort, but I took great pains to make this paper as accurate as I possibly could.
The depopulation agenda is based on nature worship, or Gaia worship.
In Genesis, God clearly told Adam and Eve, and then Noah and his family to go forth and multiply to fill the earth. Nowhere in the Bible does God rescind that clearly spoken commandment.
Therefore man is attempting to supercede the command of the Lord God in heaven: The Creator! I ask you, who knows more about the state of the earth, the created, or the Creator?

Good Grief, I’m a progressive. I don’t like everything Obama has done and will do. But, the above is only scary to think people believe such stuff. I actually find realistically scary the fact that the Patreaus/Broadwell investigation allows the government too much access to the internet and our private lives. 

“The expansive data that is available electronically now means that when you’re looking for one thing, the chances of finding a whole host of other things is exponentially greater,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-­Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee and a former federal prosecutor.
Law enforcement officers conducting a legal search have always been able to pursue evidence of other crimes sitting in “plain view.” Investigators with a warrant to search a house for drugs can seize evidence of another crime, such as bombmaking. But the warrant does not allow them to barge into the house next door.
But what are the comparable boundaries online? Does a warrant to search an e-mail account expose the communications of anyone who exchanged messages with the target?

I can see problems headed our way. How easy it is to accuse the innocent as has happened too many times in the most recent past. Shades of the snooping J.Edgar Hoover and the Communist black lists of McCarthyism.  (Shudder.)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Relaxing is hard for me. I tend to be on the go as much as I can. (Jim made me promise I won’t be up on the roof for at least a week.) We both laughed.
I started a book at the hospital, Tracy Chevelier’s The Virgin Blue, which I finished yesterday. It wasn’t as good as her first book, Girl With A Pearl Earring.  But, anytime I can learn about the superstitions of the 14th through 17th Centuries, primitive Swiss houses without chimney and hearth, the religious war between the Catholics and Huguenots, the hardscrabble life from field to mouth…it makes clear how fortunate we are. We or ancestors to thank for bringing us to this point of survival.  I look around my modern house and revel in my good fortune.

Despite my plant purge this summer, I still have a healthy jungle to please the eye.

I know I would miss them if they were all gone.

They take away the starkness of the brick.

I kept one Christmas cactus and it bloomed early, while I was in the hospital.

A cheerful greeter.

Friday, November 16, 2012


The brain is not up to poetry, but this is still an ode to surgery. What a fascinating experience. Smooth operation from point A to Point E, above, just before my ride was coming to take me home. I needed no pain pills and didn’t have a whisper of uneasiness.
The nurses were dedicated and competent and smiled the whole time. I was very impressed at how hard they work; they multitask; they fill emergency demands with a smile; nothing seems to ruffle them.  I had a required four hours, plus a happenstance two more hours in the recovery room to watch the ballet of patients in, nurses attention, patients out; to get acquainted, to laugh and joke and meet the many players and watch various patients thread through their paces. Wake up. Sit up. Talk, cough, wiggle your toes and fingers.  A neck surgery, thyroidectomy, appendectomy, and ectopic pregnancy rupture, and so on. And, the drug ATM, a marvelous machine where drugs are dispensed by the scan of your wristband, thus assuring that the patient gets the correct drugs, no harried nurses error. Such a deal.
Throughout the hospital, The hand sanitizing stations are used by office workers, janitors, visitors and nurses alike. Dispensers are everywhere you look, and used repeatedly without the horrible dryness typical of the old harsh anti-bacterial scrubs. Gleaming, clean comfortable. I’m grateful for the marvelous care I got at St Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton.

On the way to surgery, my truck cab filled with smoke. I’d forgotten to release the emergency brake. I’ve owned that truck since 1994. Go figure. I arrived at my brother’s smelling like a roasted marshmallow. I stopped for gas and at the laundromat near the station was a couple waiting for their clothes to finish.  I couldn’t resist asking:  “Do you always bring your chicken with you to the laundromat?”  The guy obviously didn’t want his picture taken. She told me the chicken belonged to the nursery next door, which I figured. They feed it bread crumbs whenever they do their washing.
I slept deeply, woke up late. I’ve read a book and expect to be quiet and catch up on my reading for a week. Thanks to all of you for your good wishes and good cheer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have to turn myself over to the talents of a surgeon and will be absent from this blog for awhile. So, thought I’d leave you with a laugh.

CIGARETTE: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other!
MARRIAGE: It’s an agreement wherein a man loses his bachelor’s degree & a woman gains her master’s
LECTURE: An art of transmitting Information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of students without passing through the minds of either
CONFERENCE: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present
COMPROMISE: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece
TEARS: The hydraulic force by which masculine will power is defeated by feminine water-power!
CONFERENCE ROOM: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on
ECSTASY: A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before
CLASSIC: A book which people praise, but never read SMILE: A curve that can set a lot of things straight!
OFFICE: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life YAWN: The only time when some married men ever get to open their mouth
EXPERIENCE: The name men give to their Mistakes DIPLOMAT: A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip
OPTIMIST: A person who while falling fromEIFFEL TOWER says in midway “SEE I AM NOT INJURED YET!”
MISER: A person who lives poor so that he can die RICH! FATHER: A banker provided by nature
BOSS: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early
POLITICIAN: One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence Later
DOCTOR: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you by his bills!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Last night, I watched the PBS program honoring American Veterans. It was a good program, the vets who spoke, Ritter, Whittacre,  and a young woman who searched endlessly for a father she never met, all brought home the sacrifice and service our military members provide. They remind us  how much we owe these valiant men and women of the military for our safety and security.

And, while I can’t put my finger on what it was, I felt something was missing. It vexes me. There was something flat about the program. I will probably never know what engendered that feeling. Today, I wanted to say something about veterans I’ve personally known, that added to the impact and importance of veterans.
 One of my uncles came home with “Shell Shock” from Korean War, and it destroyed his life. They now call that PTS and it is treatable. My husband, his brothers and my current companion, all vets. A brother, a brother-in-law, a sister, several uncles, two nieces from our current war, all vets. I have many choices.
 As a journalist, in the 1980′s, I wrote about a WW I Nurse who served during the war only to die of the horrible flu epidemic of that time. Her family contacted me and I know how proud they were of her generations later.

Maybe it is because I am anti-war that I have a difficult time coming to grips with this subject. I know I’m fumbling here, but I decided to see how many wars brought women into service and I was stunned at what I learned.

THE CIVIL WAR Thousands of women joined volunteer brigades as nurses during the Civil war. Some even dressed as men and served as spies and took up arms.

WORLD WAR I   Army nurses numbered 21,480 served in military hospitals overseas. The army recruited 233 multi-lingual switchboard operators and 50 stenographers that served overseas.  And thousands of women were drafted into the Civilian Work Force, here and abroad.  The first regular women enlisted service of 13,000 women trained as Navy and Marines were given equal pay of $28.75 a month. One woman, Frances Gullick was awarded a citation for valor and courage under fire in France. The enlistees were quickly demobilized after the war.

WORLD WAR II  Instigated by women, in 1942 a Women’s Auxiliary Corps was formed. They did complete military training, four weeks of basic, physical, uniform and all. 150,000 of them served as radio operators, dispatchers, delivery drivers, first aid workers, all within the boundaries of the United States. All volunteer, they served without pay.

Also in WWII, the WASPS, a group of  women pilots was formed, trained and dispatched for military service. They could only fly in the U.S. boundaries. They flew new planes to airfields, flew personnel all over the country, carried cargo. They flew over 60 million miles so male pilots could be put into battle.

KOREAN WAR. 22,000 women served in Korea, 7,000 of them as battlefield nurses. The rest rigged parachutes, served as pharmacists, radio operators, drivers and other stateside applications.
And, of course today, we have many more women in the military today. I read one figure of 2.5 million women served in the military. That figure was from 1980 and may have included all the WACS, WAFS, and so on from earlier wars. In any case, for everyone’s service the words we hear and see so often today are:  ALL GAVE SOME. SOME GAVE ALL.

Whatever our personal beliefs about war, WE SALUTE YOU AND THANK YOU.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I guess a day is never really lost if  you learn a lot, and I did. On my way to pre-register at the hospital, my 2001 Prius’s check engine light went on.  I managed to round-up alternative transportation to the hospital. When I returned, I had it towed to the Toyota Dealership in Modesto.

The next day, at Toyota, the head mechanic turned me loose with no charge after resetting the engine light computer. “We can’t find a thing wrong with this engine and we checked everything.” I took off and 30 minutes down the road, the check engine light went on again. I returned to Toyota. They were really terrific and fast-tracked me through since I came from so far away. This time he concluded that my main battery pack is beginning to fail and will need replacement sometime soon. The battery was guaranteed for eight years and 100,000 miles. I’ve far exceeded that. But, since it is still running…hmmm! Should I wait until it just quits?

Jim, in the meantime, did research on-line about battery life and the great engines Toyota is famous for. He sent me reams of information and we came to the conclusion that $2200 to replace the pack with a battery recycle credit, gives me another run at 150,000 miles. Much cheaper than a new car. Plus, the new battery technology is better than the old. Yes, I learned a lot about a car I love. Especially since I get 44.5 per gallon in winter, 47.5 in the summer, and 52.7 when I’m out of the mountains. That mileage has never diminished in the 11 years I’ve owned my Prius.

It was after 2:00 and I stopped for lunch and a brew in Oakdale.

And near home, I caught this beautiful rainbow. I guess that is a good omen! I think my Prius is a champ and will get a new battery pack.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


These months of confinement have been painful and frustrating, in big part because I’m separated from Jim. I watch him visiting places I would have seen with him, all the arts in Santa Fe and Taos. Now, the West Texas territory of Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and other greats we listen to all the time in the Motor Home.We have never before been apart this long since we met.

This week I’ve been able to walk beyond my mailbox with minimal pain and get out in the fresh air and see some fall color.

Just looking at the leaves in the sun brings me joy.

This picture was not taken on my walk, but outside the eye doctors office. Maybe not as spectacular as the Eastern fall, but still a lovely color.

I don’t know the name of this fall bloomer, but it grows on a neighbors driveway.
I’m able to resume, (cautiously), my yoga that I’ve been addicted to for 12 years, another Hooray! And, best of all, I have a surgery date of Nov. 14th.

After much stressful delay, I’m finally beginning to see around the corner. I’ll be out of community, but the change was necessary. I must travel to St. Josephs in Stockton, over an hour distance from my home.  But, After Thanksgiving, I’ll be able to concentrate on accident related issues.  And, now that the election is over, I can quit ranting. Hah! says my son.

One compensation for being home so long, is catching up with old friends and trying new restaurants that opened since the last time I was home. My quilting friend, Kendra and I tried the new Magnolias restaurant in Murphys and were both impressed with the quality of the food. It is strictly lunch, but delish.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I’m re-posting Gas 2.0. his blog entry for today. The no reply window does not allow me to ask in advance. So credit is not mine.  I’ve spread the word about this awesome blog before. As a hybrid vehicle owner, I love supporting the industry that will help us curb carbon emissions.

Sales Of Alt-Fuel/Hybrid Vehicles Soar In U.S
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:00 PM PST

Is 2012 the year that alternative fuel vehicles finally come into their own? It’s starting to look like that after a particularly strong October saw alt-fuel and hybrid car sales set a sales record for the third consecutive month. All told, more than 46,000 alt-fuel vehicles were sold in the U.S. in October, putting sales on track to break 500,000 alt-fuel sales for the year.

Leading the sales charge was Toyota, accounting for more than half of October alt-fuel sales with over 24,000 units sold. 16,774 of those sales came from the Prius family of hybrids, including nearly 1,900 Prius Plug-In models.

Those are good sales no doubt, but the Chevy Volt still leads the plug-in hybrid market, selling 2,961 Volts in October. The Nissan Leaf also performed admirably thanks to a new $199 month lease deal that helped move 1,579 Leaf EVs off of lots. Even Ford had good news to celebrate, including 118 sales of the Ford Focus Electric.

As already noted, the Ford C-Max Hybrid started off strong with over 3,000 units sold in its first full month on the market. Diesel vehicles also had cause to celebrate, with Volkswagen seeing a 43% increase in diesel sales over October of 2011, selling 8,235 units.
All tallied together, alt-fuel vehicle sales in the U.S. have already reached 446,000 units. With another couple of months like October, sales should break the 500,000 mark for the first time ever in the U.S. It looks like the tide might finally be turning against gasoline.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


“The time has come,” the pundits said,
“To talk of other things
Of moving forward, work together
No privileged class of kings
And while the mood is boiling hot
And politics has wings
Kaloo Kalay lets rest  today
The freedom bell still rings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The days of campaigning with a parade, red, white and blue bunting and a megaphone on the corner are gone.

I’ve worked the polls off and on most of my life. The very first house my husband and I bought, became the neighborhood polling place for the 10 years  we owned it.  The judge from that polling place always brought her “election cake” made with persimmons. It was her family tradition we enjoyed. What I remember most about those days, was friendly neighbors, most of whom I registered while pulling my first child along in a wagon from house to house.

Since being on the road with Jim,  one thing I miss is the great food we brought to the polling place in Murphys.  A veritable feast of a potluck is the tradition here. And, I miss meeting and greeting old friends I may only see once a year at the polling place.

They say the only constant is change and for many people exercising their right to vote can be complicated. Election Protection is a nonpartisan coalition of 150 organizations dedicated to making sure everyone can exercise their right to vote. If you have a problem at the polls on Election Day, or if you just need to find your polling place or have a question, you can call 1-866-687-8683, or download their smart phone app at the links below:
It is time for a bit of levity. There is a siite filled with political humor, lampooning both Obama and Romney; Showing funny political signs and cartoons. It’s  a riot. Check it out.

There are probably a dozen of these political humor sites. I only looked at one. My sign would read, I’M GLAD THIS ELECTION IS OVER.
Cheers to all.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I am sooooo tired of the campaign, the calls, the negative ads, and all that rush, rush stuff. This song from the 1960′s is a message song that was remade for today:

Check it out.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The Bible never teaches that women should have a choice about sex.  The Bible makes a clear distinction between forcible stranger rape and other forms of nonconsensual sex, condemning the former while  sanctioning the latter  in many, many circumstances. The fact that conservative Christians – or politicians who are pandering to a Conservative Christian base–keep fumbling with these distinctions is no accident. According to the commands of Yahweh, a man can give his daughters in marriage, keep concubines, have sex with his wife’s servants, or claim a desirable war captive as his own sexual property after a series of rituals to purify her. In no case, including in the New Testament, is the woman’s consent required for sexual contact.

Male female relationships in the Bible are determined by a property ethic.  The punishments for rape have to do not with compassion or trauma to the woman herself but with honor, tribal purity, and a sense that a used woman is damaged goods. A woman herself may be  killed for voluntarily giving up her purity. A rapist can be forced, essentially,  to buy her . In the Ten Commandments, the prohibition against coveting a neighbor’s wife is part of a broader prohibition against coveting property that belongs to another man: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17NIV).
Romney quote:  “The war that’s coming to kill all the Jews —–our church believes that.”
Angrily and somewhat haltingly, Romney explains the LDS Church’s end-times theology, and how parts of its apocalyptic Second Coming theology aligns with evangelical teachings. While all of the video is worth viewing , the part in question begins at the 1:30 mark, in which Romney says:
Christ appears – it’s throughout the Bible – Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that’s coming in to kill all the Jews. Our church believes that. That’s where the coming and glory of Christ occurs. We also believe that over the 1000 years that follows, the millennium, he will reign from two places, that the law will come forward from one place (from Missouri), and the other will be in Jerusalem.

One big difference between capitalist democracy (as in contemporary Germany and France) and capitalist dictatorship is the willingness of the business classes to play by the rules of democratic elections, to allow a free, fair and transparent contest, to acknowledge the rights of unions, and to respect the universal franchise. Businessmen in such a society share a civic ethic that sees these goods as necessary for a well ordered society, and therefore as ultimately good for business. They may also be afraid of the social disruptions (as in France) that would attend any attempt to whittle away workers’ rights. Attempts to limit the franchise, to ban unions, and to manipulate the electorate with bald-faced lies are all signs of a barracuda business class that secretly seeks its class interests above all others in society, and which is not afraid of workers and middle classes because the latter are apolitical, apathetic and disorganized.
Since the New York Times shamelessly allowed Romney operatives to write their op eds, I shamelessly copied all of the information above from an alternative on-line “newspaper” called Alternet. The link is below:

Saturday, November 3, 2012


The Citizens United ruling has given control of our elections to giant corporations and the super-rich.
Super PACs and other outside groups are spending spectacular sums. Karl Rove’s Crossroads over $300 million. The Koch Brothers gave $400 million. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $100 million. The Chamber has determined to put friendly judges in place with their money over the last 10 years.

Led by casino magnate and billionaire-25-times-over Sheldon Adelson, the top 100 individual contributors account for almost three-quarters of all the money raised by Super PACs. An even smaller group  of super rich tycoons is powering the outside groups that do not disclose their donors.

Wall Street and the financial sector is pouring far more money into the 2012 elections than any other industry; the industry has spent almost twice as much on the presidential race as any other. This, to rescind the rather mild Dodd-Franklin regulations on their industry. They want to change the rules to give them a permanent advantage forever over the middle class worker and investor.

The candidate with the most money doesn’t always win, but the spending negatively affects election outcomes. In 2010,  outside groups backed the winning candidate in 60 of the 75 congressional races in which power changed hands. But the impact is even worse.  The hidden money speakers define the tone of the campaigns, often establish the terms of debate, and affect the entire national race in other ways. It forces grass-roots, small local candidates to spend more money. They have to court the ultra wealthy and spend less time with regular people. Then, they end up accountable to donors before their constituents.  We KNOW this is true.

And, no matter who wins, the big money spenders obtain massively enhanced power to take helpful and popular measures off the table and put candidates friendly to them in office. Chevron has spent $1.2 million on a local political committee to back three city council candidates in Richmond, California, where the company operates a large oil refinery plagued by safety violations. That is the kind of “democracy” we get from rogue money.

If we care about our country, we simply can’t let this go on. Dark Money flowing into the elections is unhealthy and unbalanced. I don’t believe Republicans want to see a money war for our countries ideas and ideals anymore than Democrats. Most Republicans are not super rich. But, right now, Republican wealth is crippling all of us. Obama may not be the best president we have ever had, but he certainly has a more balanced approach to leading us than Romney. Don’t let the money influence your vote. Help save this country from a disgracefully contentious political atmosphere. Help our congress by electing people with vision and solid plans. Don’t fall for attack ads fueled by who knows who?

We need to accomplish some big things.  We need public financing of our public elections. And we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and restore democracy to the people. And, it won’t happen with Romney as president. He has made that very clear.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I had a brain scan yesterday.  A result of the May 27th accident has left me with continual headaches and some balance problems.  So, while slogging along with medical problems It seems I have nothing better to concentrate on than the election. And, glad to know my brain is still there.  So wrap your brain around this: A Romney/Ryan presidency might look something like this:

Mitt Romney’s running mate, called the Cayman Islands “the place where you hide your money,” arguing that the United States needs to slash tax rates below those of other countries in order to make this country “the haven for capital formation.” But in a previously unnoticed exchange in an interview with American Business Magazine in August 2011, Ryan went even further on the same topic, saying “let’s make this country a tax shelter for other countries instead of having other countries be a tax shelter for America.”

A very corporate vision for America. Kind of leaves a huge percentage of us out in the cold.

And from the Weis investment newsletter, one writer, Mike Larsen, practically chortles over the wonderful investment opportunities to be made out of  his (and his cohorts)  predicted next depression.

An historic, world-changing event
is about to permanently alter your life!
This monumental event will plunge vast numbers of families into the nightmare of poverty, homelessness and hunger. In the worst case scenario, you will see soaring crime, the confiscation of property, the suspension of civil rights, and even martial law enforcement by the U.S. military …
But while the vast majority of Americans will suffer, a select handful will use this crisis to build substantial wealth. If you act on the easy-to-follow recommendations I’ll give you in this presentation, you could be one of them.

Oh, boy. I can’t wait to get rich on the backs of the suffering middle class. A world in turmoil is just another investment opportunity for the 1%.

And, the California Proposition 30 is looking like it won’t make it. It should, though. I had a hard time understanding it until I heard the League of Women’s voters presentation on the complexity of it. Safety officers? Mixed with education? Billions here and billions there. But, do we want to stay at the bottom of the education ladder?  The taxes are  on those making 250,000 as singles, or 500,000 dollars a couple and will last seven years.  We will have a slightly increased sales tax for four years. And, we’ll begin paying down our bond debt which will help with California’s enormous deficit. I couldn’t find the video I watched on the subject. The written explanation isn’t as thorough, but, you can check it out online at: