Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Peace Rally Photos - Sept. 24th - Washington DC

Bunch of damn hippies...

Code Pink representin'...

Awesome number of signs...

Go Granma!

More hippies...

Just in case those damn hippies get outta line...

More of the crowd...

Capitalist it!

Speaks for itself...

So does this one...

Today, good people did not stand by...

Too funny!

Cool bus, 60's style!

Brought me to tears...


What's a peace rally without naked hippies?

More of those damn peaceniks...

More of the dumbass...

Tell it like it is!

My kind of gal!

More peaceniks...

Still more!

Awesome crowd.

Check out the guard in the background. They all carried those big sticks, just in case...

Hippies and the White House.

The stage where speakers spoke.

More of the crowd.

Fellow Peace Activist Thomas takin' a break, protestin's hard work!

Yours truly.

This one is me and my granny. Happy Birthday Granny!

Be sure and click on any photo you like, it's worth it. This was an incredible event and I'm so glad I went. There are more pics but this is all I could upload at the moment. I have class in 20 minutes! Peace yall! ,

Friday, September 23, 2005


This weekend there is SO much to do.
Homework out the gazoo, family stuff, neighborhood watch, blah blah.

However, this is the main event:

United for Peace & Justice – Peace March & Rally

Hope to see all you Patriots there! ,

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Jalapeño Rojo Bloggin'

(click for larger image)

Taking a break from natural disasters, political disasters, and general Armageddon to bring you a pair of perfectly ripe jalapeños rojo from The Pepper Farm.

That’s right, it ain’t just the name of the blog.

Two days ago I purchased a Canon Powershot A410 and have gleefully put that little dood to use daily. The motivation for buying the camera was multiple, but the urgency was precipitated by two things: 1) a neighborhood association meeting and 2) the ripening of these two jalapeños that I have hovered over like a mother since they started to turn.

Item 1: pictures of various illegalities in the ‘hood such as drug dealing and prostitution. Working all day and going to school at night, I have little patience for the crack heads and crack whores that park on the side street around the corner from Le Casa del Jalapeño Rojo. There is a park there and like all parks they seem to draw the less desirable deviants in our society. I’ve taken to grabbing the flashlight and advancing upon the cars after I get home from school. Dangerous? Probably, but so far all of them have driven off without any altercations, except one vehicle's occupants did roll down the window and yell indecipherable epitaphs at me. One crack whore actually flirted with my neighbor as he approached her car, right after she took a big drag off the pipe. Ah, urban living.

Item 2: Look close at the pic and you’ll see a bug, a spider, the varmint protection fence (aka chicken wire) and some green Thai peppers in the back ground. The spider is that little white speck on the right side of the closer jalapeño and the bug is cradled in a leaf nearby. There are also a bunch of jalapeños verde in this picture, free Tequila to anyone that comes up with the correct amount. Three jalapeño and seven Thai plants are all that remain of the garden. I wish I had this camera from the beginning, as it was quite a bit of work to get this garden put in. The people that owned this house prior to my owning it, spread gravel in the backyard and used it as a driveway. Tilling the ground and removing the gravel was rather time consuming, not to mention the soil was less than desirable for a vegetable garden.

We haven’t had a rain shower since late June, and that was a long long time ago friends. I’ve only cut the grass about 5 times all summer and that’s the only good thing I can say about it. Even with Hurricane Katrina breaking up west of us, and Hurricane Rita to the southwest, nary a drop is to be had ‘round these parts.

I took the day off from work today because I skipped Literature class to attend the neighborhood meeting last night. So, all day today I have been catching up on papers and after statistics class tonight, there is more Literature to read and write about. Writing a paper on Cortez for history class as well. Perhaps I shall use some of these papers as blog material, as the current state of world affairs and the state of affairs here in America is rather crappy and depressing, and there is no need in bitching and whining and flogging that horse to dust. Either Bush will be impeached or we ride out the next three years and keep our fingers crossed that he and his gang cannot screw up anything more royally than they already have.

Oh yeah, there’s the Peace March on Washington Saturday, my granny is having her 87th birthday on Sunday, and my drug addicted brother wants to go fishing early early Sunday morning. Pretty determined to tackle all three and bake a cake too!

Pretty much resigned to not sleeping until Monday night, and that’s in jeopardy if I don’t get these papers done. Did I mention that I have a take home statistics test too?

Even if I had time and money to date, what woman in her right mind would want to be a part of this circus?Is there a woman in her right mind to begin with? (ooh, bet I get it for that!) ,

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Funny from Daryl Cagle

Thanks Thomas!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Effects of Hurricane Katrina

Generally speaking, it appears that most people are a little flat mentally, whether consciously or subconciously, and rightfully so.
It's been a tough last 5 years both for our country and the world.

Hurricane Katrina has blown the lid of more than just New Orleans. This hurricane has really exposed a myriad of problems that are deep rooted in our society. Problems that have been ignored, not understood fully, or swept under the rug.

Lots of blame to go around for sure, and plenty of finger pointing is occurring.

Bush is bearing a large part of that blame, as was the now resigned ex-head of FEMA nicknamed "Brownie" by our fearless leader, and other officials such as the Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin.
Some people are blaming the citizens themselves, mostly for not leaving. I myself am guilty of that, wondering why the hell these people didn't leave.
There are a mulititude of reasons for that, and some reasons are unacceptable to those that do not understand what it's like to be dirt poor, truly dirt poor, have nothing but the walls around you, and no way to go anywhere but by foot.
We can go into that analysis much later, as now I just don't feel up to it.

USA Today has a good article that covers some of the attitudes regarding this hurricane and it's effects. Go here.

Here's a snip:

"But Rae Clifton, 52, a Web designer in Atlanta who is black and was among those surveyed, is certain that race and class did count. "If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, somebody would have tried to get there faster," she says. "But because it was poor people ... caught
in a situation, it was, 'OK ... we'll get there after a while.' "

Craig Betts, 54, a white man from Amityville, N.Y., disagrees. "Fifty years ago it would have been something else, but things are better now" when it comes to equal treatment regardless of race, he says. He attributes the problems to the
unpredictable nature of the storm."

There is more statistical data in that article, as well as other viewpoints and opinions. Lots of food for thought really. Quite frankly, I have to agree with Clifton, and only partially agree with Betts.

Wikipedia has a piece on Hurricane Katrina as well. Go here.
This article provides a timeline of the events and is chock full of links to other sources and the like. There is a vertical cross-section of New Orleans, showing elevations of the city and levees. It's rather interesting if you have time to check it all out.

As far as the Federal goverment's response is concerned; it was far too slow. There is no valid reason for New Orleans citizens to be trapped on their rooftops for 4 days. None. There are arguments about "they should've left when they had the chance" and such, but here's the rub: they didn't leave and they were trapped.
Regardless of the how and why they were trapped on their roofs, it should not have taken so long to rescue these people. There really is no excuse for it, and it has to be fixed.
The local, state, and federal branches have to be prepared for worst case scenario, and that applies to any location within the United States. People make mistakes, lots of them, and people will need to be rescued because of it.

My analysis of Bush being blamed for the Federal response is varied.
Bush has lost all crediblity with the American people save for his ardent supporters and apologists. Personally, I cringe when he opens his mouth, and don't put any faith in anything he has to say about anything at all.
I believe he is a product of our society, and is a symbol of the failure and lost focus of goverment at the federal level, among other things. He is a symbol of our society, and the great divides that exist.
He dodged the draft by being well connected, yet he is willling to send off American soldiers to die in battle, a battle over what exactly nobody really knows. Sure, we have lots of reasons given, but none so far seem to hold the slightest bit of water.

Bush and his family have no clue what it's like to be lower middle class or poor, none.
Barbara Bush's remarks underscore that with a big fat Sharpie style line:

"What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

Parse that any way you want, it speaks volumes.

Bush pointing out that Senator Trent Lott lost one of his houses rings not only hollow to the average American but is rather insulting as well. A Republican President visited a Republican Senator during a national tragedy, lamented the loss of his vacation beach front house, and used this as an example of what exactly I'm still not sure of. Not to mention Sentor Lott has a less than stellar history of racial awareness as a public official.

Gee, can't imagine how that played out to the poor black populace of New Orleans, or anywhere else for that matter. Chances are, a lot of those people didn't even get a chance to see that display, due to their current circumstances.

Sentor Barack Obama made this statement: "...people just don't understand that most of those people that were trapped in New Orleans couldn't just hop in the SUV, fill it up with gas, and get out of town."
Those may not be his exact words, but that's more or less what he said, and the larger point is there and that is about the divide that exists in our nation between having the means to live and having to just survive.

An individual or family in any location anywhere in the world cannot even begin to live a normal life if every day they are trying to figure out how to get that next piece of bread. That's a fact that cannot be debated. That individual or individuals cannot contribute anything to society if every day is about survival. True survival.
Of course, many want to blame the poor for being poor, for being illiterate, and resorting to crime when they have nowhere else to go.
And the beat goes on.

Bush, his actions in general, his actions with Senator Lott, and Barbara Bush's statements all underscore how clueless the ruling elite are when it comes to the botton 80% of the American population, of which YOU are part of if you are American and are reading this blog.

I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning and have become increasingly anti-war ever since. When the tsunami occurred, it really made me wonder just what the hell we were doing in Iraq. Now, Hurricane Katrina has really pushed me over the edge.
Why are we in Iraq?
Really, can anyone honestly answer that question?
Every reason given for that war has changed since day one. Why are we there?

Some want to eradicate our goverment completely, or relegate it to a few simple tasks and leave the rest up to whomever.
I think that is ignoring the reality of constant societal changes. Goverment needs some serious fixing, but not eradication.

The silver lining of Hurricane Katrina is the display of those people willing to work themselves to exhaustion trying to save people and do the right thing. To perform those duties without bias. People opening their homes and communities for the greater good.
The effects of Hurricane Katrina, both good and bad, will be felt for a long time to come. The same applies for the current debacle in Iraq, and those effects will most likely last a lot longer. The weaknesses that Hurricane Katrina exposed can effectively be managed, but I'm not so sure about Iraq.
They are two different scenarios with entirely different consequences.
The process by which we got to Iraq can be managed much more effectively in the future, regardless of the person or persons that inhabit the political power structure, but the damage done by this unjust war is far reaching and severely complex. I think we can expect terrorist attacks on American soil for many years to come just stemming from our misled foray into Iraq alone, much less the other reasons parts of the world despise American ideology.

American ideology. That means so many different things to each individual in our populace. That in itself is an American pillar.

My brain is about to explode, that's all for now. ,

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Horror-scope for today....

"Your ambivalence is understandable -- don't fret if they call you wishy-washy."

Well, that's a relief. ,

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


This has been a tough week in so many ways.

Really at a loss for words over the things I have seen and read on the tube and the internets.
I have cried, shouted, cried and shouted.

Seeing these things unfold in New Orleans really makes me wonder just what the fuck is wrong with our country.

This disaster sure makes so many things seem so insignificant, so damn insignificant, like pissing around in Iraq...just what the hell are we doing there?

We have no leadership, and have not had leadership for some time.

This past week, I'm ashamed to call myself an American. Won't be feeling much better about it when the search and rescue teams start pulling bodies out of those submerged houses.

Don't really have anything else to say. ,

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Progress and Deterioration

Well, sure got some mileage out of deep thought dishwashing.

Some things popped out in the comments that led to, what else, deep thoughts!

First off, not washing anybody elses dishes, have a hard enough time finding motivation to do mine. Thanks anyway OWL. :)

I have a dishwasher, but don’t use it for washing dishes. It’s a storage bin for all of my tupperware, baking dishes, cookie and cake pans, stuff like that. I just don’t generate that much in the dirty dish department, plus I try to employ 'clean as you go' tactics when slinging stuff around the kitchen. Anal rententive clean freaks may disagree with that, um…say…like my sister, but I counter that with a good chef makes a little mess. It is artistry after all.

A comment that I found interesting:
“I'd swap the term "progressing" to "deteriorating". Change is not necessarily for the better, which is the stance of most conservatives.”

Whew. This one has a few implications.
The one thing that jumps out first is that progress is seen as deterioration. A positive is viewed as a negative.
I really have no way of knowing if this is the view of most conservatives, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that it is.

Change is not always necessarily for the better, that’s true. However, I would argue that the majority of change is for the better.

“While some changes have been for the betterment of mankind, I'd say that most have not benefitted mankind…”

Ok, right there we have a disagreement. That statement does support a view that change is considered a negative, or has a detrimental effect on society.

Well, I watched some of these changes and technological advances help keep newborns alive while the world is falling all apart around them, in the last hospital in New Orleans to remain open.
The only danger is if the hospital loses electricity, in which case they have a backup plan but it is precariously iffy. Let’s just hope they don’t run out of juice.
Electricity: a major discovery and has brought about massive change in all societies. Progress or deterioration? Discuss. (hint: I’m posting and you’re reading and responding…ooh, computers are a techo advance…the internets are a techno advance…)

I’ve been to New Orleans a few times, great place. Nawlin’s has totally influenced my taste in music and certainly my taste in food and methods of preparing meals.
Now, to get there I flew in an airplane.
Airplane: An engineering achievement credited to the Wright Brothers. They were bicycle mechanics by trade, which being a cyclist and mechanic myself, tickles me pink. The airplane has allowed people to visit places far away from where they live, places that they would most likely not go otherwise. Europe is in my sights for next summer or the one after, and the idea of pedaling a bike to the Atlantic and rowing a boat across the pond to get there is rather appealing, but I would just as soon get on the airplane and utilize my time in London aggravating Dane transplants as opposed to spend all my time just getting there.

Flight: Progress or deterioration? Discuss. (hints: think of medivac, think of search and rescue operations, traveling)

The bicycle, yet another timeless invention. I have (currently) five of them. Two mountain bike racers, a cross racer, a road racer, and a track racer. Spent several years racing and a year as a bike messenger and during that time I learned about ‘life on a bike’. I used a bicycle to go everywhere and do everything. To the grocery and back, to the post office and back, to the local drinking establishment and, well, not sure what happened after that.

Bicycle: Progress or deterioration? (hint: gas prices, health)

Last night I had statistics class. In the classroom we use lights to see what we are doing, and a TI-83 calculator to perform statisical calculations. The calculations can all be done by hand however, the calculator does have the ability to crunch numbers fairly quickly, thus shortening the time needed to analyze data. This particular calculator can creat various types of charts and graphs as well.
My major is Sociology, and I intend to use my training for research and teaching. Being able to lessen the amount of time, money and labour involved in studies of populations and behaviours is appealing in that the sooner we can analyze and understand data pertaining to collective behaviours, the sooner we can offer solutions to large scale problems encountered in various societies.

Light bulbs: Progress or deterioration? Discuss. (hint: fumbling around in the middle of the night trying to find the loo…where’s that goddam light switch?)
Calculators: Good or bad? Progress or deterioration? Discuss. (hint: the term ‘calculations’)

I have an SUV. Yep, I do. A 1995 plain jane jeep cherokee. I like to refer to it as the tractor. Best case mpg: 21. I use it sparingly. While I can ride my mountain bike damn near anywhere and hike the rest, I surely love my jeep when heading to the beach or camping in the mountains. On the rare occasion that it snows here, I can still get around. I've used it to ferry medical personnel to the hospital and we have a program here called Meals On Wheels. Basically you ferry food to elderly people that can’t get out in the snow. Actually anytime of the year, but I only volunteer during the snow days.
It hardly snows here, so nobody can handle it in any sense. Two inches of snow paralyzes my hometown which totally contrasts with Toronto, where kids scurry off to school in snow so freaking deep it is truly up to there knees.
Anyhow, the automobile is another of those invention and techno advance of man. It eats fuel and oil. Some, like mine, are not very efficient for simple travel. Some, like hybrids and smaller eco cars, are very efficient and environment friendly.
Automobile: Progress or deterioration? (hint: compare to bicycle)

How do you talk to your friends? Email has become quite the vehicle for communication, as well as the blogosphere.
When at home, I use the telephone. I do not have a cell phone. Nope. Putting that off as long as I can. Fighting that techno with all my might!
Plus, I'm just plain poor and can't see spending that kind of dough on a phone. There's a phone on my desk at the office, and a couple at home. Don't really need another one. Don't own a watch either.
Telephone: Progress or deterioration? (hint: call me up baby!)

Another statement that jumped out at me was this one:
“I also take issue with the just because we live longer we're better off.”

Uh, the only answer I can give to this is don’t try suicide, nobody gives a damn.

No wait, actually the real response is what is the alternative or the implied solution? Shorter life span? Death?
What fun is that?
If you are a religious person and believe in the afterlife, and/or think the afterlife will be all peaches and cream, well, off yourself and don’t take anybody with you. Send a postcard when you get there.
Regarding this particular religious tie-in, words from Peter Tosh: “Everyone wants to go up to heaven, but none of dem want to die.”

And finally, we have this:

“Why don't we use these "advances in society" to make our lives easier, so we don't have to work so hard, so that we can help out in our communities, and spend time with our families? The answer is......this doesn't benefit our government, our economy, or business owners.”

I would rewrite this question thus:
“Why don't more people use these "advances in society" to make our lives easier, so we don't have to work so hard, so that we can help out in our communities, and spend time with our families? The answer is......some people are selfish louts, greedy and heartless, OR, they're just plain too lazy and comfortable in their own world to sacrifice any of the advances made by mankind, in order to further mankind

These attributes (greed, selfishness) thrive in a capitalist society, more so than in an oppressive society. Take Iraq during Saddam’s reign. One dictator, one gang in charge. Look at America during any time peroid. Gangs of all stripes flourish, make money and acquire power. Power that is abused on all levels. Gangs defined as anywhere from street level drug dealers to Enron. Same ideals, just a different method.

That's the difference between and open and free society, and one that is completely controlled. One society allows all life to flourish and grow, the other type wants to control it, keep it the same all the time, not allow it to flourish and grow unless the gang leader decides to, and only then under his/her definitions.
Which one is unnatural and which one is doomed to extinction?

Who are the “government, our economy, or business owners.” ?
To quote Pogo Possum: "We have seen the enemy and they are us".

These gangs do not define us as a nation or a people. They sure as hell don’t define me, nor will I let them define me or my homeland.
Precisely why I want to march on Washington in complete silence to honor those poor souls that have given their lives for our country under the false pretenses that our current gang leader Bush sold to the public, for his own ideology.
September 24th I’m joining in on this one. Come along if you have the courage to stand up to the system.

Let me wrap up this long-winded pontification with a suggestion of charity to the Red Cross for those in New Orleans who have lost everything and cling only to hope. Show those people in any way you can that life is worth living no matter what, you might just find a little light in yourself that you didn’t know was there. ,