Skip to content

Archive for


love jazz, part one

Hey Internet.   Jazz here.   Remember me?

I’m still here even though she took my picture away!  I’m still here.

You remember me now?

My face used to be all over the place in here.  Remember that handsome picture of me?

She replaced me with a dead butterfly.

Heck if I know why.

Those butterflies were real once, I guess.

My picture is better than a dead butterfly, okay?

It gets me sad.  I can’t explain it.  I’m not really a good explain-er of things.  I’m a dog, after all.  (By the way, this is new to me, so don’t expect me to wax-poetic here, okay?)

So I’m here instead of her – the lover-of-dead-butterflies-better-than-me.

I’m here because she just kicked me off her lap.

She said, “Jazzy, I need my lap to read the paper,” and told me to get down.

I wish I could make decisions around here for once in my life!  I was comfortable, too.

Well, the plain truth is:  I hate it when she sits there crinkling the paper.  She says, “I’m reading the paper, Jazz.”  Oh?  Well, “Ruff-ruff, I don’t care,” I say.  But I do care.

All she’s doing is crinkle crinkle crinkling that paper and it’s LOUD, and it drives me up the wall!

Don’t get me wrong, she is the best human any dog could want.  Lots of other dogs in my neighborhood dig her – and I hate that!  I hate when she’s cool with the other dogs, it really kills me!  It’s like a knife in my heart.

I can’t help my jealousy, I was born that way.  People don’t understand me because my tail won’t stop wagging even when I want it to.

She knows how jealous I am and she gets mad.  Sometimes she even raises her voice at me and I really hate that.  She doesn’t get it – she’s mine – she’s only mine.

She lets any human sit on my couch.  They move my things around. They play with my pillows.

The worst is when some human is so big they can’t feel when they’re sitting right on top of my toy.  I go out of my mind when they do that and they always do.

When they get in my face because I’m acting nutty, it really makes me crazy.  Sweat comes pouring out of my mouth and my tongue hangs on the left of my mouth and it looks stupid and I scratch at the humans legs and at the couch and all they do is yell at me!


They don’t care that it’s MY TOY!

Well, I don’t care that my long nails scratch their pale skin!

I scratch like crazy but then I keep getting yelled at and I really hate that, but it sure doesn’t stop me until she gets involved and all of a sudden I’m where I really want to be – in her arms.

Home is when I’m in her arms.

I’m in one of her arms actually.  I am really balancing on her shoulder.  (I rest my feet on an elastic thing that’s across her body and under her shirt – she calls it an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder thing.)

So, I can balance real good ’cause my legs and chin hang over her shoulder and it’s the best.  I works perfect UNTIL she moves to talk to another human.   I go crazy when she does that with me on her shoulder!

I can’t even stand it when she’s looking at another human!  I hate it. Can’t help it. I hate it. I do.

Jealousy is my only flaw (except for the five times I pooped in her bathroom and once on her bed).   I really had to go, okay?  I told you I have only two flaws! That aint’ too bad for a dog, right?

Why am I getting defensive?

I’m sorry, okay?

That’s not like me.  I’m a pretty happy kid, usually.

If you wanna know the truth, I’m itchy ’cause I didn’t sleep good last night.  It’s her fault.

We went to sleep real late because she had her tablet that glows that she reads from.  She reads in the bed with that thing when all I want to do is sleep.

That’s about the extent of what she does anyway.  She sits on the couch, sits at the computer.  Sits on the couch; sits at the computer. Sits on the couch; sits at the compu….  Well, you get the picture?

Sometimes she takes me out.  Me and her and her mom (my Grammy), we take my bed and other stuff and we go in my car.  I like to be in the back, in my bed where I can see her.  When she stops she looks back at me and says sweet things and it feels so good and makes me and my tail so happy.

We ride in my car to a house where there are three other humans – one who is small and blond.  There are two dogs there and I tolerate them.  There’s a bird and two fish.  And they got some grass, too!  Man, that back-yard is long and wide!  There’s nothing like that yard!   There are a lot of stories to smell in that grass – all kinds of stories to smell.  I’ll tell you some of the stories I’ve smelled there when I get a chance to sneak back to her computer.

You know…. She goes out a lot without me.  I like to go with her.  I used to cry when she left me alone. I’m okay now about it.  I deal with it now, you know?  Now I just sleep and dream until she comes back.

Dreams are awesome, too!   Dreams are cool – when they’re good dreams.

When they’re not good it’s not like dreamin’ at all.  It’s nightmarin’.

Uh-oh, I really gotta go!  She’s coming!!!!   See ya!




a bookish day for me

Here it is almost midnight and I am just now thinking of writing.

I’ve spent most of the day reading one of the loveliest and most heartbreaking novels that I’ve ever read.  I’m taking a little rest right now even though I have only the epilogue left, I had to stop reading because of the tears – I couldn’t continue reading because I couldn’t see, and the darn tears wouldn’t stop.   Tears are dry now. I have a leftover headache, though.

The book is The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, published in 2007.  I don’t know how I missed this one, but I only just learned about it as I was searching for books set in World War II.

It’s been a while since a book has affected me like this.

It takes place during Hitler’s rise to power.  It’s a story of a young girl growing up in the outskirts of soon to be war-torn Munich…

I felt like I was there – the characters are so beautifully drawn by the author I could almost smell the dirty clothes they wore, taste the horrible soup, and feel the pain of the young boy, Rudy, who desperately wanted just one kiss from the protagonist, Leisel.   The characters a full and rich and I will probably never forget them.

The narrator of the story is the character, Death. There’s a running commentary from Death.  It’s particularly chilling when Death talks about the six million souls he had to carry out of life during the war.

I hope you’ll have a chance to pick it up. You won’t be sorry.  Every word is glorious.


weekly photo challenge: Possibility

The WordPress photo challenge this week is possibility and I thought of this photo right away.   It was a rainy day at Fern Forest, in South Florida, and getting rainier.  Because of the rain, there was just no way I’d be able to explore the possibilities beyond that wooden path.  I didn’t want to get my camera wet, but I really wanted to capture the path before I left.

And then I saw it.  A HUGE spider – so huge and hanging on a wild and complicated web inches from me.  Apparently it was a female spider because there’s a baby spider hanging on the web just behind the female.   The baby spider is brown and not easy to see.  Had I not been so unnerved, I may have taken more pictures.    Needless to say, I hate spiders, but glad I got at least one picture before the rain really came down.

Later I was informed it’s a Banana Spider and is harmless. Harmless, huh?  Well…. Don’t spiders have teeth??


a true hollywood story??

I always enjoy reading Hal Boedeker, the Orlando Sentinel “TV Guy.”   I enjoy how he gets so many thoughts and ideas into his stories while keeping them relatively short.

His most recent story on the Casey Anthony saga  is very interesting.  Like Hal, I wonder how the Casey Anthony story could be categorized by the E! network as a “True Hollywood Story.”

Photo credit: Wikepedia

Hollywood?  Does it even make sense?

There is something very tasteless about positioning this tragedy as a Hollywood scandal – assuming “scandal” is the angle they use.   If this the Casey Anthony story is “Hollywood” then King Kong is Swan Lake.

Hal provided quotes from some of Anthony’s former friends, Dorothy Sims, Michelle Bart, Zenaida Gonzalez, and others.

I want to include the quote Hal used from Zenaida because last night I wrote a post that was somewhat critical of the civil lawsuit, mostly because Morgan and Morgan have pushed the publicity envelope in such a dramatic way and it feels like it’s a theatrical event geared more toward advertising than a legitimate case.

But then I read this quote from Zenaida:

 It started going down like, ‘You’re a baby killer, you killed that baby.’ They were going to kidnap my daughters and see how I like [it] and then they started saying that they [were] going to kill them and they [were] going to send them to me in pieces in a box to my house and yeah. … I hate that part.

I didn’t realize the extent of the misery she suffered at the hands of horrible attacks.  I never realized that she was attacked to that extent.  It’s not easy to wrap my brain around people who would get their kicks out of attacking her in that way.   So, I am now of the mind that yes, Zenaida must be compensated.  However, if she did loose her job, I hope she pursues a lawsuit there, too.

Continued thanks to Hal the TV Guy, for his excellent reporting about the madness in this sad saga.


READ Hal Boedeker:


morgan’s golden egg

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange ...

Image via Wikipedia

Last evening I learned about the two new bar complaints against Jose Baez; tonight I’ve learned that the video deposition that the Orlando Morgan and Morgan law firm conducted of the disguised Casey Anthony is going to be released to the public very soon.

The media is clamorous over this video, despite the fact that Casey Anthony’s only response during the deposition was to repeat her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.   That doesn’t sound very interesting, but since this will be the first we’ve seen of her since being released from jail,  there is interest from the public.

Of course, Morgan and Morgan, who are sucking the Zenaida Gonzales case for every last ounce of media attention they can get, will surely use this video to their advantage.  Will their press conference on this issue be “first at five?”

In regards to that civil case, I do have a problem with it.  The problem I have with Zenaida Gonzales possibly profiting from a situation in which she claims her good name was sullied, is really a stretch.   Granted,  she lost her job as a result, hence her income – through no fault of her own.  But, now that her name and face is commonly seen in the media, infers that Zenaida is not really concerned about being over-exposed in the media.  She is now completely recognizable.

She will no longer be able to enjoy the favor of anonymity in the Orlando area.  And, isn’t her anonymity part of her complaint?

As a result of her law suit, and the dogged determination of Morgan and Morgan, her face and her name now ensures her notoriety.

Her claim that she was fired because her employer though she could be “the” kidnapper of Caylee Anthony, always seemed weak to me.   If she was fired from her job as a result of being falsely accused, the agency to heal that issue is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  They would have ensured she regained her job.

You’d think if she was really harmed by her good name being associated with the Anthony case, you’d never know it now.  The visibility that the Morgan and Morgan law firm has provided her ensures she will be always be exclusively aligned with the case.  No more anonymity.

I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something disingenuous about the big and powerful Morgan and Morgan firm (Former Governor Charlie Crist is employed there), going to bat for this small civil case.  No doubt the work they’ve done  up to this point has been very expensive – I’d imagine their rates are not cheap!  The transparency of  what Morgan and Morgan is really after couldn’t be more clear – I guess that’s what bothers me.

The media attention and name recognition for Morgan and Morgan is golden.

Well, they act as if they’ve laid the golden egg, anyway.



will it be belly up to the bar for Jose Baez?

It has come to pass that Jose Baez, Lead Defense Attorney for the acquitted  Casey Anthony, is in the cross-hairs of the Florida Bar.  The Orlando Sentinel reported just today that there are two separate Florida Bar complaints against Mr. Baez.

Two complaints!  We don’t know the seriousness or the purpose of the complaints.  We don’t know who filed them.

What Led Up to the Current Bar Complaints? 

Jose Baez has been the subject of a lot of criticism.  His personal and professional life has been extensively reported on by the media.

Mr. Baez’ past is marked by behaviors that delayed his acceptance into the Florida Bar as a lawyer for a few years.  The Florida Bar took its time before it granting Mr. Baez his license to practice.   It was only in 2006 that he was admitted by the Bar.  He became involved in the Casey Anthony case in July of 2008.  Hardly time for the water to dry behind his ears, though that didn’t stop him.

It didn’t matter to Jose Baez that his experience was minimal at best in criminal cases, and he had NO experience with Capital Murder cases.   And, boy did it show.  He was like the court jester; but no one was laughing with him, they were laughing at him.

To be (somewhat) fair, Mr. Baez did improve as the months and the years wore on.  Oh, but his rogue-dog attitude never left him.

In my opinion, having closely watched his performance, I thought he was completely lacking ethics.  He was, in my opinion, a total sell-out to the truth.  Granted, Defense Attorneys have to be zealous advocates for their clients and ensure the government can prove the charges beyond any reasonable doubt, the goal should be to seek the truth, or am I being naive?

Both sides of the attorney aisle are adversarial by design.  They have tricks under their sleeves, but they usually don’t sell their soul to the devil to win a case.  Right?

Jose Baez in court. Photo credit: Red Huber, the Orlando Sentinel June 21, 2011

Jose Baez put his entire career on the line with this case; but he won it.  He won the case of a lifetime.

Was it a fair win?  I don’t think so, personally, but I accept the verdict because it is final and it is binding.  No one will be able to investigate Casey Anthony’s involvement into Caylee’s murder again.  It’s over and Casey Anthony should be left alone to live out the rest of her life.

If, like OJ Simpson’s foray into crime after his acquittal, she should engage in another criminal act, and get caught, she may see those grimy jail bars again, just like OJ did.  Time will tell if she can be rehabilitated.

Perhaps someday Casey Anthony will have an anonymous and happy life.   It’s debatable – the deck is stacked against her.

Who Filed the Complaints, and What is the Cause?

Of course, I am only guessing about this, but I have an idea of a couple of individuals who may have filed the complaints.

Judge Belvin Perry?

At the end of the trial, Judge Belvin Perry planned on having a hearing with regards to what sanctions to bring against Jose Baez.  However, when the defense won the case, nothing further was publicly addressed about this issue.  It was left on the table.  I thought at the time that it would seem like sour grapes, or prejudicial, to bring the sanctions up so soon after the verdict was announced.

I tend to think that Judge Perry took up the issue with the Bar in the form of a complaint rather than address it publicly in the Orlando Court.

I wrote an article about the violations that plagued the trial; it’s titled, Yet Again, Judge Perry says Legal Violation by Baez.

The fact is, Judge Perry and the State of Florida, particularly Jeff Ashton, had constant run-ins and legal battles regarding Discovery rule violations by Mr. Baez, who pretended he was unaware of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure which details EXACTLY how lawyers are to obey the rules of Discovery.

Was it Jeff Ashton?

Did one of the complaints come from Jeff Ashton?  Mr. Ashton was constantly thrown under the bus by Mr. Baez’ deliberate refusals to turn over evidence or expert reports.  (Perhaps it was  another attorney in the State Attorney’s Office, though I can’t see Linda Drane-Burdick filing a complaint, it’s certainly possible.)

There was a big issue about expert reports that were not filed.  Mr. Ashton wrote a motion that requested the Court hold Jose Baez in contempt.  I wrote an article about this, titled:  Show Cause or Else Be In Contempt.   This motion required Mr. Baez to argue why he should not be held in contempt.   As it turned out, he was not held in contempt, he was sanctioned – I believe the total was approximately $500.00.

Was it Stogskill Court Reporting?

Then there was the Court Reporting Fiasco in which a firm outside the state of Florida was used by the defense.  The issue here was the defense wanted to pay Stogskill Court Reporting Services, (after the work had been done) a rate that was lower than what the firm charges.  The owner of the firm wrote a letter of complaint to Judge Perry, stating he was lied to.  It is possible this firm could have written to the Bar.  The story is titled, More Defense Woes? 

Could it Be Brad Conway?

Maybe Brad Conway filed a complaint?   Was Mr. Baez aware that Laura Buchanan was going to falsify Texas EquuSearch (TES)  documents?  Brad Conway was inadvertently put in the middle of the TES fiasco.  Here’s a story about that issue, titled: Big Trouble for Baez?          

How a Bar Complaint Works 

According to the Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel Reporter, the two Bar complaints are concerning professional conduct during the Casey Anthony trial.   There are different levels a Bar complaint has to wind its way through.  The first level is a staff review.  Apparently, if the complaint ends at the Staff Review, it will go no further.  The other complaint against Mr. Baez stopped at this level.  In this instance, however, both complaints are headed to a grievance committee.  Below is how Anthony Colarossi explains it:

The Florida Bar confirmed Tuesday that two complaints over professional conduct filed against Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez have progressed to a grievance committee.  This means the complaints have not closed without discipline and moved from staff level to the next point in the process.  The volunteer grievance committee is the rough equivalent of a grand jury. The nine-member panel will ultimately help determine whether to bring charges against Baez under Florida Bar rules of conduct.  It is not exactly clear what the two complaints involve, but they do cover Baez’s representation of Casey Anthony, according to Francine Walker with the Bar.

I’m told that Bar complaints take a while to process through the review phase.  It will continue to be a waiting game for Mr. Baez.  Something tells me he’s not worried; he’s beat these complaints once already….

I wonder if his Teflon will hold up?


three cheers for the california dream act!!!

The Dream Act is no longer just a dream in California!!!

California Governor Jerry Brown (D), signed into law The Dream Act,  a bill that will allow students, who live legally in the United States but lack legal documentation, to qualify for Federal and State Financial Aid!

This is a wonderful opportunity for California to invest in its best and brightest students, ensuring they receive equal opportunity to Financial Aid funding for Higher Education.

I work at a University in Florida and I am absolutely thrilled for California, happy that Gov. Jerry Brown stood up to the opposition and did what is right for the people of California – for the FUTURE of California.

Florida had an opportunity to pass the Dream Act a couple of years ago.  It failed.  The Republicans opposed the bill.

Florida was wrong to deny its residents access to higher education.  It is just plain wrong.

The Dream Act is a win-win for the students, the state, and the university the student attends.   Let me explain why.   Here is a scenario about the opportunities of the Dream Act:


Student John Doe was brought to the USA by his parents when he was just an infant.  His parents are poor, uneducated, but able to see the importance of elementary and high school for their children.    Like his parents,  John is not an “official”  American citizen, though he regularly attends public school.  He has always maintained an A Plus GPA.  He is a natural leader and was named Valedictorian of his graduating class.   John is a very talented student in every sense and he dreams of becoming either science teacher, or scientist.  He is passionate about teaching and understands the schools today need good teachers.

All of Johns teachers;  his Principal and Guidance Counselor, encourage him, but for naught.  John would never be able to attend college, and he knows it.  The cost of college is way beyond the reach of his parents.

What will his future be after High School?  Minimum wage?  Fast food?  Retail?  Waiter?

There is no way John can dream of a career as a science teacher, or a scientist.  What will happen to him?  After High School, he will be a number – a poverty statistic.   He’ll be one of the shadow people who live at or below the poverty level.

The fact that talent like John’s will go to waste is a crime; it’s also a crime for the US to NOT have the benefit of John’s intelligence and his future contributions.  John would have made a difference, but antiquated laws kept him handcuffed and in the shadows of poverty.

Thanks to Governor Jerry Brown, it is a new day for John Doe.

Today, John can have the education he deserves.  He has worked hard for it.   Tomorrow, we will be the benefactors of what John will contribute to society.

The Dream Act for Higher Education will have a ripple effect.  One drop in the pond will send waves that reach out-and-out-and-out, like the reach of good Karma.  Just as  good begets good, John will touch the lives of countless students when he becomes a teacher,

This dream has been a long time coming; thank Heaven for visionary leaders like Jerry Brown.

Scott Jaschik, writing for Inside Higher Ed, a popular source for higher education, has this to say in today’s edition

Giving undocumented students access to state student aid is seen as particularly important, by advocates for such students, for a number of reasons. Many have very low-income levels (because they cannot legally hold jobs), and they are ineligible for federal aid. So state aid, combined with access to in-state tuition rates, can make a big difference in their ability to enroll. The bill would cover only those who graduated from a California high school and who affirm that they are taking all possible steps to legalize their immigration status.

So, Alabama, with your Stalinist immigration policies!    ….Take that!  


Related articles


browsing for a browser

I’m having a tough time settling on a browser that I really like.  I’ve been using Firefox for a long time and I like it except when it crashes, and it does – often.

Today, I was talking to “Dork” (he said his name was “Dork” I am not making that up!), he’s was the Hewlett-Packard (HP), Tech Support person who today was helping me figure out why my laptop lags on the Internet – and it’s a new laptop, too!  (Yes, I broke down and bought the little HP DM1, 11 inches, and ultra-portable – light as a feather.)   I love the little lap top, but am a tad disappointed with its performance.

So Dork looked at the laptop specs, and now I know why the performance is not as blazing fast as my desktop.  The new laptop processor speed is only 1.60 GHz, which is “okay” but not top-dog.   I never really looked at the processor speed – dope that I am, I thought RAM and hard-drive were the important things.   Heck, the laptop has 4 Gigs of RAM, and just ordered 8 more Gigs to add to that, which should make it blazing fast, said Dork.   The hard-drive size is 500 Gigs – that’s pretty good, I thought.   The processor is an AMD E-350, which was my only option for the HP Pavilion DM1.  Dork doesn’t like AMD, he said Intel dual core is the way to go.  Oh well, but that wasn’t an option on my little dog.  Plus, this little DM1 has won tons of awards.  HP can’t make them fast enough – I waited a month to receive mine.

To make a long story longer, as I was talking to Dork, he suggested I try a different browser.  He suggested I test how Internet Explorer (IE) versus Firefox responds.  And, sure enough, there was a difference!

IE loaded fast, whereas Firefox was sluggish.   I uninstalled Firefox and went back to IE, but then Dork – who by now is my fast friend – told me I might prefer Google Chrome above IE.  So, I said, “Hmmmm.”  And installed Chrome.

Chrome is okay, but my blog looks different in Chrome.  I don’t like how it looks!  The text is really light – kind of muted.  And, I don’t like that.

What I’m leading up to here is to find what the best browser is.  I don’t really like IE, though it was fast.   And, I forgot to ask Dork what browser he likes best.  I need a Techie person to give me pointers…. though, I will also do a bit of research.  Maybe IE is the best?  I just don’t know…..


desmond tutu takes on child marriage

Yesterday (October 6th) was Desmond Tutu’s birthday.  He just turned 80.  With his birthday comes a new resolve – to begin the hard work on a very serious and heartbreaking issue.  Child Marriage.

Desmond Tutu.  I love this man.   I applaud everything he stands for, what he says, thinks and writes.  I had the good fortune to see him in person, and what a delight that was.  I wrote a blog post about seeing him in person in February, 2010.   Here’s a link to that February 2010 post:   blessings, warnings, and love from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The work they do on the global stage, is inspiring.  And, whether we know it or not, we are all part of the global community.  The Internet has made our world flat, as Thomas Friedman observes in his interesting book, “The World is Flat.  (A good read!)

When I visited the Elders site yesterday, I learned that one of the more recent trips Tutu took was to Ethiopia where he learned how vast the problem of Child Marriage really is.

Desmond Tutu recently wrote:

I have to confess that I was simply not aware of the scale and impact of child marriage. 10 million girls a year, 25,000 girls a day, are married without any say in the matter, to men who are often older than they are. These girls almost always drop out of school to attend to household chores, and when they become young mothers themselves face serious dangers of injury and even death in pregnancy and childbirth. Child marriage robs girls of their childhood, of their basic rights to education, security and health.

I thought I had a pretty good idea of the human rights landscape on this precious earth we share. What I have realised is that these girls are invisible and voiceless, making them some of the most vulnerable, disempowered people on our planet.  (Desmond Tutu, 9/20/2011)

I will be following this issue, and will write more in coming days.  For now?  Well.  I must jump into the weekend, (though it is and will continue to be, an incredibly rainy and windy weekend, it’s not gonna wash out my fun!

Related articles


Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort

The topic for this weeks photo challenge is comfort. There are a few things that bring me a great deal of comfort – that can take away the stress of the day.  Things like sleeping with my down pillow. Or,  lying on the couch with a blanket, my dog and cat, watching a movie.  Eating spaghetti; reading when it’s raining outside; or doing nothing on Sunday.

But, the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of what is comforting to me is my dog, Jazz.  He’s my constant comfort.  Beau, my cat, is dearly comforting, too.  But, there’s something about that unconditional love of a dog… you know what I mean?

When a dog makes you his everything, things seem right with the world.  The love of a dog is beyond the beyond of wonderful.

I have taken hundreds of pictures of Jazz, in all kinds of poses… The photo below is a favorite.    It always makes me laugh.  It’s comforting to laugh…. that’s why I chose this photo.

Hope it gives you a chuckle, too!

Jazz smiles, after a yawn!


occupy wall street – will it have sticking power?

2011 02 26 - Save the American Dream Rally (Ol...

Image by seiuhealthcare775nw via Flickr

There’s a great deal more I would like to learn about this movement called Occupy Wall Street.  

It’s gaining momentum and gaining protestors in other parts of the country, especially at universities.

It is making the uber wealthy of America nervous even if they are loath to admit it.

Poster for Occupy Wall Street - The movement that is gaining momentum

People are talking about it, some are laughing about it, as if it’s just a passing fancy.  Others are taking it seriously.

It’s a movement, and it has a lot of people excited.  Others, nervous.  Very nervous.

Occupy Wall Street, to hit the banks where it hurts, are calling for a Buy Nothing Day in November, usually reserved as Black Friday.  In December, Occupy Wall-street is calling for a Buy Nothing Christmas.  If it works, there could be no better way to kick consumerism in the groin.


Could this movement be the beginning of something important?

The GOP refuses to accept what’s happening.  In my opinion, the wealthy and the GOP simply prefer that people stay complacent somnambulists, as if drugged to never wake up.

The Academics are supporting Occupy Wall Street.  According to Will Oremus, writing for Slate, Princeton Professor Cornel West is applauding the protestors because they are raging against “the greed of Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who squeeze the democratic juices out of this country.”

And, the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, writes Will Oremus, surprised protestors by appearing with them in support of what they are trying to do.   Stiglitz told the protestors:

You are right to be indignant. The fact is the system is not working right. It is not right that we have so many people without jobs when we have so many needs that we have to fulfill. It’s not right that we are throwing people out of their houses when we have so many homeless people.

Our financial markets have an important role to play. They’re supposed to allocate capital, manage risks. But they misallocated capital, and they created risk. We are bearing the cost of their misdeeds. There’s a system where we’ve socialized losses and privatized gains. That’s not capitalism; that’s not a market economy. That’s a distorted economy, and if we continue with that, we won’t succeed in growing, and we won’t succeed in creating a just society.

And then Lawerence Lessig, of Harvard University, joined the protestors and urged them to continue to move forward.   He said:

The arrest of hundreds of tired and unwashed kids, denied the freedom of a bullhorn, and the right to protest on public streets, may well be the first real green-shoots of this, the American spring. And if nurtured right, it could well begin real change.

Will the American people, who have been so complacent for the last half century, rise up and demand change?   People are desperate.  No jobs, no money, no home, no food.  Poverty is everywhere.  And yet, a GOP presidential hopeful is calling it “Class warfare.”  Jonathon Alter, in a recent column in Bloomberg Business Week, writes that Mitt Romney, when asked about the movement, had this to say:  “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.”
Jonathon Alter goes on to write about the movement to say:

With the help of unions and social networking, the movement has at least some chance of re-energizing Democrats in 2012 and pushing back against the phenomenal progress Republicans have made in suppressing voter turnout in several states.

Why? Because the tectonic plates of U.S. politics are shifting in ways we don’t yet fully understand. We don’t know whether Occupy Wall Street is a carnival party — a piece of left-wing street theater that gets old fast — or a nascent political party that revives a long-dormant tradition of class- based politics.

It’s possible that these demonstrations, which have now spread to about 150 cities and campuses, will be hijacked by extremists or dissipated by obnoxiousness; the American left has practice in committing suicide. The whole thing could fade as young people find a better way of hanging out offline.

Will this movement be the magic potion for real change in America?   What do you think?

Reference article:  Academics Help Wall Street Protests Gain Credibility. by Will Oremus.  The Slatest, Oct. 5, 2011
Reference article:  Why Occupy Wall Street Should Scare Republicans: Jonathan Alter by Jonathan Alter, writing for Bloomberg Business Week, Oct. 6, 2011

steve jobs has died. he was 56

Steve Jobs, the creative and visionary force – the heart and soul behind Apple Computers and Apple products – has died.  He was only 56.

Steve Jobs - Graphic / Photo Credit: ABC News

It’s been said that Jobs will be thought of as the Thomas Edison of our generation.

I am sorry for the computer industry and what he may have produced in the future.

Geniuses like Jobs are far and few between.  I am glad we had him for as long as we have.

He was a devoted family man – passionately protective of his private life.

He married in 1991.  His wife Laurene was the love of his life, as were the three children they had together.  He also has a daughter, born earlier, out of wedlock in 1978.

He was given up for adoption at birth. He met his biological sister later in life, when they were adults.  I am not certain if he’d met his biological parents.  I do know his father learned only a few years ago that the baby they gave up was named Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, Inc.

I cannot imagine that shock.  I cannot imagine how a person lives with that.  After so many years, on a day like any other, you find out that your first-born, given up for adoption in 1955, grew up to be not only a genius, but also one of the wealthiest persons on the planet.

Yesterday, the latest iPhone 4S was launched, and it’s a thing of beauty.  Steve Jobs, in one of his rare interviews with George Stephanopoulos, of ABC, said, “We make what we think people will want and like.”

Yes they do.

People do want and like Apple products.  I certainly do.

Steve Jobs recently (August 2011) stepped down as CEO of Apple.  It was a shocking announcement though now we know why.  His poor body was unable to keep up the fight.

I wish the man who could make the perfect iPhone, iPad, iPod, and computer, could have created a human upgrade that would have lasted just long enough – 30 years, maybe – so the world could benefit from his next big things.

This is a very sad day.

Rest in Peace, Steve.


Knight Owl and heart strings

I am very late getting to my daily post tonight.   I don’t know where the time went tonight!   Well…, I did relax on the couch for a while… And, I stopped to have dinner, clean up, walk the dog, talk on the phone, read a few chapters of The Book Thief (currently reading), and I took some time to read the blog and comment….   that’s where the time went!

This is a quick but very important lesson, from Knight Owl and her Niece,  about taking care of our hearts.

Those of you familiar with this blog, and so many others like the wonderful Humble Opinion, Niecy456, Kim’s Blog, Marinade Dave’s, Mainstream Fair, and others (they’re all on my Blogroll below), know that Knight Owl, one of the dearest persons who visited and posted here, and elsewhere, passed away in August from, as we know now, a massive heart attack.

A terrible loss of one so young (she was 61), and vibrant, and dear.  Her passing has saddened so many of us.

Tonight, Knight Owl’s lovely niece visited and explained what happened.

Knight Owl died on August 14th.  On the day of her heart attack, she had done what we all hate to do, clean the bathrooms.  Afterwards, she felt sick – nauseated, and complained that her arm was sore.   Thinking it was the smell of the cleaning supplies making her feel sick, and because she’d been scrubbing with that hand and arm, she thought, not a big deal, she’d been using that arm to scrub.  Perhaps she wondered if she was coming down with a bug, or the flu?  It’s easy to ignore these warning signs – we tell ourselves stories about what it could be, as if we’re M.D.’s!  Right?

Knight Owl’s husband walked her upstairs to lay down and lovingly gave her a wet hand towel to cool her forehead.

She was resting, and all was well.  Only it wasn’t.

Knight Owl missed the warning signs of an impending heart attack.  There are usually some warning signs that tell us things are really not right with our bodies.

I imagine you and I may have done EXACTLY what Knight Owl did after spending time doing such vigorous, smelly, and laborious work.   But, let’s let this be a wake up call – let this be a wake up call for all of us.

Learn the warning signs of trouble; listen to your heart and your inner guide when it says, “Something’s sure not right about how I feel.”

There are resources that we can use to educate ourselves about heart disease.  There is one in particular that I like.  It’s called Heart Sisters and the website is:

The articles are wonderful, the tips will be helpful, too.    The author and owner of the site is Carolyn Thomas, who is a survivor and a lovely person.

I know that Knight Owl will be so pleased if her story educated us about heart disease, and the warning signs of a heart attack.

Sweet dreams, sweet Knight Owl.


good night, sweet knight owl

Social Media has taken over, in one way or another, so many aspects of our daily lives.

Today almost everyone engages in some form of Social Media.  Corporations, students, professors, even university Presidents have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or a blog.  We communicate with friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, and Internet friends, nearly every day – I do, anyway.

I have an iPhone that is connected to my body by an invisible string.  I can blog from my phone, surf the web, Tweet, check out Facebook, text, email, talk, and so many more tasks from the palm of my hand.

And, now the Xoom, which is Motorola’s smart answer to the iPad, makes it even easier to stay connected and on the go, when necessary.   (I am one of those people who would be lost without access to the Internet.)

Blogging has become a way of life for me.  I started this blog a little over two years ago, and it’s been a joy, and a terrific learning experience, especially now that I’ve committed to the WordPress POST A DAY challenge.

Goodnight, sweet Knight Owl. May flights of angels sing you to your rest.

Blogging has introduced me to a wide circle of friends that I “speak” to on a regular basis.  I “see” these friends, though we’ve never met, and we “talk” without sound.

I’ve formed Internet relationships and bonds as a result of blogging.  It’s wonderful on the one hand; on the other hand, it’s rather lonely, and sometimes, sad – especially when people move on, for whatever reason, and you don’t know why.  Generally, Internet friends will keep in touch, but sometimes, they just “poof” and you never hear from them again; and you’re left wondering.

Today, Kim and Sherry told me that a very dear Internet friend of many bloggers here and elsewhere, passed away this past August.   Her WordPress screen name was “Knight Owl”.

We are told she passed away in August of this year.  The last blog post she made here was August 8th, and she sounded so chipper….Was she getting on in age?  Was she young?  There is so much I don’t know.

Knight Owl, like many of us, followed the Casey Anthony case from the beginning to the very bitter end.  She’d post rather frequently, then all of a sudden she stopped posting here.

I have been wondering about her – it was not like her to disappear for months at a time.  Now we know that her sweet soul has taken its next journey to the great beyond.  But, I don’t know why.  Was she sick?  Was it sudden?  Was she in pain?  What happened?  The funny and loving Knight Owl – why did you go?   I want to know…. but I know I will probably never know.  I should be grateful to know this much.

This is why Internet friendships are lonely.

Rest in Peace dearest Knight Owl.


a white morpho butterfly gets another day

At Butterfly World today, I saw a White Morpho butterfly floating in a little brook.

I was looking down into one of the skinny man-made brooks that line pathways in the butterfly gardens at Butterfly World; the brooks meander through trees and flowers, and I saw a large White Morpho butterfly floating, wings spread, not moving.

It looked dead.  I saw a docent/guide in the distance and asked her what happens to the butterflies that die.  She told me they are left in the grass, to decompose as nature intends.

I told her about the White Morpho floating in the brook, and she went to investigate.  A couple of minutes later, I saw the docent/guide had the White Morpho between her thumb and fore-finger, urging it to stand on a leaf.  The poor thing kept falling over.  His wings were wet.

She said, (this sounds corny but this is exactly what she said), “You saved this butterfly’s life!”

Well the poor Morpho looked like it had already gone to the great ever-after.  It kept falling over on its side on the leaf.  She’d stand him up, and plop, he’d fall to the side.

Eventually, he stayed upright, though still very unsteady.

Apparently that leaf wasn’t the ideal place for the big fella, because she placed him on a vine with purple flowers – he had to grab hold of the vine and hang on for dear life.  And he did, and he seemed fine.  (I have a picture of him hanging on to that vine.)   He seemed to be doing okay, but other than his antennae going a mile a minute, he was motionless.

The docent/guide thanked me again for saving the Morpho’s life.  But, she added, “He’s at the end of his cycle and probably only has a day or so left to live.”  Then she added, “You gave him another day.”

And I thought, it’s not everyday you get to save a butterfly, or give them another day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then it was time to visit the birds – and they sure were frisky!  They were very busy as they had nests to build.  (I got a photo of a perfect little finch nest.)

When the birds begin to nest, the staff leaves bunches of little twigs out for them, to assist in their nest-building.  I didn’t see them use the twigs; heck, why use twigs when you have a whole head of human hair to pluck and use.

There were three little finches vying for the hair on my friend, Kay’s head!  First one landed and sat there like a happy statue.  Then a second landed.  Then a third came, but was only allowed to stay for a short minute.  Three is a crowd during mating season, it seems.  The two loving birds stayed atop Kay’s head for at least ten minutes.  She loved it!

I have had them fly in my hair, too, and it feels so good!  Those tiny feet and their little talons feel wonderful as they walk around through your hair, on your scalp.

Their beaks snip, snip, snip away, trying to break off pieces of hair to bring back to the nest.   Oh, it is a wonderful feeling!

It was nice to get the camera out again.  It’s been too long, and I struggled today to get my “touch” back – to focus with precision.   My focus got better as the day wore on, but I need to get out there and practice.

Kay and I spent four hours taking in the loveliness today at Butterfly World.

It was a nice end to my vacation.  Tomorrow reality will wake me up like a slap in the face….

Smile, Andrea!

%d bloggers like this: