Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Big Voice: God or Merman?" written by Steve Schalchlin and his life partner and playwright Jim Brochu opens TODAY off Broadway NYC!

This Award Winning Musical and Jim and Steve's Most Excellent Adventures in NYC can be followed by clicking that link over there.
All I can say is WOW! and WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


November 27, 1942 is the day Electric Lady Land was born.
Talking 'bout Jimi Hendricks.
Here he is in all his accoustic and electric genius.

Jimi playing 12 string accoustic blues.

He's also the Master of wah-wah, fuzz and feedback and unbelievable lead licks.
Are you Experienced?

Happy Birthday to Jimi, and me.
Also my cousins Lavern, Suzan, and Kenneth and my church friends Karen and Kathy.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

First Thanksgiving

The historical event we know today as the "First Thanksgiving" was a harvest festival held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors and allies. It has acquired significance beyond the bare historical facts. Thanksgiving has become a much broader symbol of the entirety of the American experience. Many find this a cause for rejoicing. The dissenting view of Native Americans, who have suffered the theft of their lands and the destruction of their traditional way of life at the hands of the American nation, is equally valid.

To some, the "First Thanksgiving" presents a distorted picture of the history of relations between the European colonists and their descendants and the Native People. The total emphasis is placed on the respect that existed between the Wampanoags led by the sachem Massasoit and the first generation of Pilgrims in Plymouth, while the long history of subsequent violence and discrimination suffered by Native People across America is nowhere represented.

To others, the event shines forth as an example of the respect that was possible once, if only for the brief span of a single generation in a single place, between two different cultures and as a vision of what may again be possible someday among people of goodwill.

History is not a set of "truths" to be memorized, history is an ongoing process of interpretation and learning. The true richness and depth of history come from multiplicity and complexity, from debate and disagreement and dialogue. There is room for more than one history; there is room for many voices.
Being of Native American, European and African heritage, I believe this, and I believe inclusion of all voices would enrich America.

The History Channel has an informative and interesting site on the First Thanksgiving. Check out the food, table manners and traditions.


I always use Thanksgiving Day to remind myself not only to be thankful, but to be gracious.
Gratitude is my favorite word. Learning to practice it and making it a part of you, will change your life.
Here's some of my favorite gratitude and thankfulness reminders.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
~ Cicero ~

"Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts."
~ David O. McKay ~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~ Melody Beattie ~

"Thank God--every morning when you get up--that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you a hundred virtues which the idle never know."
~ Charles Kingsley ~

"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks."
~ Unknown ~

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
~ Marcel Proust ~

This is my personal favorite. We do affect each other's lives and the ripple effect could change society.
"Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life."
~ A. J. Cronin ~

And.... Now
Here's to turkey roasting,
Family toasting,
Count each blessing,
Pass the dressing,
Jokes and laughter,
Napping after,
Wishbone wishes,
Wash the damn dishes
Hugs and kisses and,
What a goofy poem this is,
Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Alexandra has two recent posts up you should check out.

It's tense enough going to the doctor, especially a new doc for the first time. Filling out all the paperwork, trying to remember if you had measles twice and when your last tetanus shot was. But, can you imagine this?

Get Alex's take on What's in a Name regarding Michael Richards and more, including youtube of his tirade.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards Makes Me Sick

Kramer goes berserk! Richards who is only known for playing the eccentric neighbor Cosmo Kramer on the sitcom Seinfeld was performing at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood on Friday night when he was heckled by an audience group that included two black men. Richards' went into a verbal rampage, unleashing a string of racial slurs and profanities.

Patron "That was uncalled for!"
Richards "Well that's what you get for interrupting a white man!

Richards apologized and said it was anger not hatred that was behind his tirade.
Nope, not buying that one for a second.

But, for more than the obvious reasons, he makes me sick. I enjoyed watching Seinfeld. Now there is a taint to it that I don't think I can get over.
You know, like seeing the chef in your favorite restaraunt poking around in his nose or leaving the restroom without washing his hands. UGH! Just ruins it forever.

No matter what, now whenever Richards comes sliiiding in Jerry's door I won't laugh, I'll wince.
Bad timing too, since another Seinfeld DVD installment was set to be released. It is unfortunate for Jerry and Larry David and Julia Louis Dryfus and Jason Alexander and the rest, that the legacy that was Seinfeld the sitcom, will be tarnished because Richards has a screw loose. And assuming they aren't all closet racist, they should all sue him.

*Michael Richards, Appearing Soon In A Fast Food Drive Through Window Near You!*

Monday, November 20, 2006


Things can get so serious sometimes and you need something like this. Dustin posted this RPS International Tournament and I couldn't believe it. Check out the refs in real ref striped shirts and one of the contestants is competing while holding a 40 in one hand. Gotta love that.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

School of the Americas

Each November thousands of people gather in Columbus GA, on the anniversary of the 1989 slaughter of six El Salvadoran priests, their housekeeper and her 14 year old daughter, and to urge the closing of the School of the Americas (SOA), the USA run and USA taxpayer funded school that trained the El Salvadoran military responsible for their murders.

The School of the Americas was first established as the U.S. Army Caribbean Training Center in Panama in 1946 to help professionalize Latin American and Caribbean militaries. In 1984, under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaties, the school was renamed and forced to move from Panama to Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia where it continues to train Latin American security personnel.

The school is frequently cited as an example of United States' support for regimes in Latin America that have a history of employing death squads and SOA graduates are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America.

Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Suarez of Bolivia.
Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in the assassination of religious leaders and the massacre of civilians.

In 2000, as SOA opponents were poised to win a congressional vote to dismantle the school and conduct an investigation, the Department of Defense came up with a proposal to solve these pesty human rights and public relations problems.

To deflect public criticism and disassociate the school from its dubious reputation, the SOA was "closed" in December of 2000 and "reopened" on January 17, 2001 with a new name, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC).

To rectify the human rights issues the school introduced courses that cover democracy and human rights topics. Clever, huh? However, in reality these classes are only taken by a few students and the minimum of eight hours of ethical instruction mandated by recent law is not high enough to be effective. So, the courses and name change engineered by the Pentagon is simply a "cosmetic" change that would ensure that the SOA could continue. And continue it does.

It is cetainly a victory that in 2004, Venezuela and in 2006, Argentina joined Uraguay in not sending their country's soldiers to train at the School of the Americas.

This weekend once again thousands gather in Georgia, including civil rights activist, torture survivors and survivors of murdered civilians and human rights workers, along with concerned citizens. They will participate in workshops, concerts, meetings, marches, and be possibly arrested for civil disobedience by stepping inside the Ft. Benning military base gate.

This weekend simultaneous demonstrations will take place in our hemisphere, in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and in Davis, California! Thousands of people will be raising their voices, demanding the closure of the SOA/WHISC.

It bothers me that the USA is presently involved and dedicated with our money and U.S. lives in securing freedom and human rights, yet as evidenced by U.S. crisis response to Rwanda, Darfur, and Katrina, these USA gifts are very selective.

It bothers me that we presently have a dedicated priorty to fight terroists
yet, a U.S. Army facility that trains terroist is knowingly allowed to exist.
Hypocrisy reigns.

It bothers me most that this school is run on US taxpayers money and the message it sends is in our name.

Closing the School of the Americas would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world.

This weekend about a dozen members of University Church, including Rev. Donald Coleman, are at the memorial/SOA protest in Georgia working toward a peaceful future in the Americas. I am very proud of them.

Last year the memorial/demonstration drew 19,000 people. This year's gathering at the gates is shaping up to become the biggest demonstration at a U.S. military base since the Vietnam war. Last count was 22,000 strong and 14 arrested, so far.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Xena Warrior Dwarf?

Perhaps you've heard that Pluto has been demoted.

No, I don't mean Mickey's dog or Donald Duck's pet or Goofy's pooch. (Although I have always wondered why a mouse or a duck or another dog would have a dog as a pet).
I mean Pluto, the ninth planet in our solar system has been downgraded to dwarf planet status.
I don't like that particularly. I grew up with Pluto. In my science projects I've made little clay or styrofoam Pluto dangling out there farthest from the sun, and now they want to change these basic facts. Nope don't like it. I don't like the change in the pronounciation of Uranus either but, I wont go there.
But, I love astronomy and know that the more technology enhances observation of the heavens the more things will change.

Back a couple years ago a new planetary sphere was discovered by Professor Michael
Brown of the California Institute of Technology, and this new rock was at that time thought to possibly be our tenth planet or replace Pluto as our ninth planet.

This new sphere was catalogued by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as 2003 UB313, but Mike Brown unofficially named it Xena, after the popular TV Heroine, Xena Warrior Princess.

Is it a planet? Does it have a moon? Mike brown said.
"Having a moon is just inherently cool. And it is something that most self-respecting planets have, so it's good to see that this one does too".

Being the cool guy he is, Mike named (again unofficially) the little moon Gabrielle, after Xena's TV sidekick. There was fierce campaigning to the IAU by astronomy fans, Xena fans, and Mike Brown and his science pals, to officially keep those names.

Xena and Gabrielle facts:

Xena and Gabrielle live beyond Pluto in a band known as the Kupier Belt, a region that is home to asteriods, comets and other space rocks.

Xena is about 2100 miles in diamter.

Xena's orbit is highly eccentric, 45 degrees above the other planets.

Her orbit is also elliptical, zooming in as close as 5.6 billion kilometers and out as far as 14.5 billion kilometers away.
FYI - Earth orbits rather consistantly at 150 million kilometers from the sun.
It takes Xena 560 years to make one orbit around the sun. It takes Pluto 250 years.

Gabrielle is about 250 kilometers in diameter.
Gabrielle cirles close to Xena, completing one trip around, every 14 days.

The discovery of large spheres like Xena have caused the IAU to redefine the definition of planet. Their redefinition determined that only the rocky worlds of the inner solar system and the gas giants of the outer system will hereafter be designated as planets.
Therefore, both Xena and Pluto were both demoted to dwarf planets, leaving our solar system with 8 planets. How odd that sounds.

The Name
Well this August, the IAU officially named celestial body #2003 UB313, Eris.
In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of warfare and strife.
Gabrielle is now officially Dysnomia. She is Eris' daughter and the demon spirit of lawlessness. (No pun intended, Lucy).

So in a world, where you can pay to name a star after cousin Fred, these old fogies (in attitude) chose that violent pair rather than two contemporary fictional ancient Greek heroines.
Well, It's too bad, Xena and Gabrielle were meant to be together. It was fun for a while to see them get this honor.

Check out, Mike Brown's charming non-scientific personal account of all of this, Requiem for Xena, it's worth a read.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturn Storm

No, not the car. C'mon guys.

The planet Saturn has a new storm. In 1994 a Hubble Space telescopic image showed a rare storm near the planet's equator. Now the Cassini Space Craft recently observed a new hurricane like storm on Saturn's south pole.
This storm is particularly interesting because it is the first time a clearly defined eye has been seen in any storm in our solar system other than on Earth. The storm is the white glowing arrow near the ring. The storm is 5000 miles across, which is about 2/3 the diameter of Earth.
Below is the well developed eye, ringed by towering clouds.

Some Saturn facts I had forgotten.
Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun, 2nd largest in the solar system, and 74,130 miles in diameter. Saturn is a fast rotating planet with days 10 hours 39 minutes long and it takes 29 1/2 years to revolve around the sun.
See below, Saturn in proportion to Earth. Amazing!

So if we lived on Saturn we'd have 3hrs 33min each to sleep, work and do other stuff. And we'd be a lot older, or is it younger??

Friday, November 10, 2006

Grey's A

BRAVA! To Alexandra Billings for her wonderful portrayal of a
Transgendered woman who faces some very difficult choices.
If you didn't catch it on Thursday it airs again tonight at 8/7 pm cst. You can also see the 11/9 episode "Where The Boy Are" at anytime.
Alex not only played this role with integrity and authenticity but as she always does, she brings a likability to her character, she makes you care.
Alex, you are awesome and you make us proud!!

Donald Rumsfeld

I know it's not nice to be thumping a guy that just got canned, but this is just funny to me. It's nice to know he has other skills.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Morning After

Ok, I went to bed early about 9:30 pm and got up this morning to find the capital of my country is no longer a one party town. How 'bout that! And that's not all. In brief here's the scoop.

Democrats Take Control of House
Pelosi to Be First Woman Speaker of the House?
Oh I'll bet that makes W's day.

Republicans Struggle to Hold on to Senate
Democrats take 3 of the 6 seats needed with 2 states, Virginia and Montana still counting in close races with Dems slightly ahead in both.
Also 2 independents Joseph Lieberman (CT) and Bernie Sanders (VT) - both said they will align themselves with Democrats.
So if they get the close races, that'll be like 7. Ummm YAYYYY!

In Tennessee, Bob Corker beat Harold Ford Jr. proving that race bating still works. Although with these two candidates IMO it was a lose-lose situation. Yuck, either way.

In Florida, good ole Katherine Harris, (remember her) lost. Harris came to national attention in 2000 when, as Florida secretary of state, she certified Bush as the Florida winner in his nearly deadlocked presidential race with Al Gore.

Cruised in easy, Hillary Clinton and Edward Kennedy, of course.

Still around - Trent Lott of Mississippi. Why?

Women - 8 Senators, 6 (D) and 2 (R)

Democrats Take Majority of Governorships
My choice Illinois (R) Judy Barr Topinka lost to incumbent Rod Blagojevich
Still around - ARNOLD of California. Why?

South Dakota Pro-Lifer's take a big hit.
Abortion opponents hoped to pass a sweeping law banning the procedure and be the first step in a march to overturn Roe v. Wade. But it was not to be. The proposal failed, 55 to 45 percent.

Arizona Rejects Gay Marriage Ban
Arizona broke a strong national trend by refusing to change its constitution to define marriage as a one-man, one-woman institution. The measure also would have forbid civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Also in Arizona
Voters defeated a proposal that would have awarded $1 million to a randomly selected voter in each general election. Sorry Eric.

So now things should be more equitable in Washington DC. So get to work. No back biting and retaliation silliness, please.

We need a new war strategy, pronto. We need thoughtful action on energy, ecology, immigration, election reform, living wage, health care, and full marriage rights for all citizens.

We need to quit the hypocrisy and stop supporting tyrannical regimes when it suits our purpose.
We need to unite as Americans and stop using our differences as weapons. This can begin with Republicans and Democrats.
Oh I forgot to say, Good Morning.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

FLASH! New Link!

It's Dustin. She is beautiful, talented and has a zest for life that I truly admire. I mean this woman is a runner, photographer, author and yep even a candlestick maker. Her blog is a virtual buffet of topics, tips, lessons and fun. Get recipes or photo taking tips, travel to places near and far and learn of things unusual and interesting.

Dustin has lived in many parts of the world but now she and her husband Stephen and son Taylor live in California.

A few years ago Dustin was on a reality show called No Boundaries. That show followed 15 participants who challenged the wilds of the Yukon on a dangerous
trek between Vancouver Island and the Arctic Circle. Believe me this show made Survivor look like a trip to Kiddieland.

Dustin braves the rapids and much, much more. We loved getting snacks and gathering every Sunday for the show. She did not win it all, but she did well making it through several episodes. We were all so proud of her! And we still are. She just got her book published.
Lessons From A Recovering Worker Bee is for professionals who are starting their careers in the corporate environment as well as veterans of the corporate environment.

Dustin is my cousin. Her mom is my cousin Lavern, who shares my November 27 birthdate and was my hero when I was growing up. I would follow her anywhere and often did. So, now this little cousin who I babysat for is the new tie in my linkage.


Whether you believe we were sold a bill of goods or not to justify the war in Iraq, it's our reality now. Whether you believe it was a noble plan or not, it has not come together. I don't usually believe in cut and run. I believe if you make a mess you should clean it up.

I also don't believe that no matter what, you should stay the course, either.
I remember vividly the daily horrors of Viet Nam news. The many funerals of my friends and young relatives just a little older than me. I remember the USA determination to WIN in Viet Nam.
I hear Bill O'Reilly ask, do you want to WIN in Iraq? Yes or No - no in between.

We lost 58,000 Americans in Viet Nam. Sometimes up to 500 a month.
We've lost 2856 Americans so far in Iraq with the monthly high toll just over 100, so far.
I think of those 58,000 Americans and wonder how they and their children might have impacted this nation.

Although the jungles and communist of Viet Nam are different from the deserts and terrorist of Iraq, I get a haunting deja vu feeling listening to the rhetoric and see disturbing strategic similarities. If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. That scares me. I don't know the answers but we need to rethink our definition of WIN.
Please VOTE!

Alex has a very thoughtful journal entry today. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Little Otik

I know Halloween is over but I have got to mention the weirdest movie I have ever seen. My mom called and really wanted me to see this one. She wouldn't tell me anything, just watch it.

Little Otik was released in 2001. It is a Czechoslovakian subtitled film (large titles, very easy to follow) directed by Jan Svankmajer.
I guess you'd call it a surreal fantasy, comedy horror. All of the above. Oh, and there is animation mixed in with the real action.

It's a simple story about a childless couple whose angst to have a baby leads them into the Twilight Zone.
I really don't want to give away any of the story because experiencing it as it moves along is all the fun and horror.

I'll just say the couple adopt a tree stump.

Yep, a cute little bouncing bundle of wood. Sounds silly, I know. But, this couple's frantic desperation, although mostly going in opposite directions from each other, is something to behold. Rounding out the cast of this bizaar story are many other characters that live in their large walk-up apartment building, including a snoopy little neighbor girl and a near-sighted old pedaphile who lusts after her.
I couldn't tear myself from it and didnt know whether to laugh or cry.