Wow; it's like spring out there this morning. I mean, birds everywhere making noise, not just winter birds; warm enough to run without a full-on cold-induced asthma attack; just feels like spring. For years I've celebrated quietly Imbolc or Candlemas, which most of us know as Groundhog Day, and is the midway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. But even though the day reminds me that the sun is on its return path, I still have considered right up until March pretty much the Dead of Winter. Then, in Soil Basics class at the beginning of this month our prof talked about how little signs of life will begin to show, even in February, if a person is paying attention: skunks come out, prairie dogs, animals we normally don't associate with winter. And now that I'm paying attention, it's not just the warmer weather we're getting, but life is returning. Nice!
Just had to say that pretty little bit before getting into the hard stuff.
Once my FFL Tammy and I, while undergrads, were dressed as Renuzit Doozits for Halloween. We were having a really good time, so good that we were late for late night at Lambda Chi, and when we showed up the brothers were shooing people out the door. Since we weren't allowed in the door, T and I decided to climb in the windows. I don't remember who bagged us as we were crawling in, but he told us that even we couldn't stay. Tammy looked at me and said in her high-pitched little voice with the Texas twang, "I think it's time to leave."
From that night on, whenever we were out and got a little too buzzed or it got late and we were tired or bored, we would seek each other out and say, "I think it's time to leave."
I don't know about being buzzed or bored, but I suspect there are plenty of people in Iraq, American soldiers, who are tired. Tired of the whole shebang. And after yesterday, I would like to say adamantly, that I THINK IT'S TIME TO LEAVE. I mean, just haul ass out. Sorry, peeps; I know we started this mess to some degree- or at least our friends in the Bush Administration- but why do we have to stick around and let "known rogue police" officers kill our men and women? What? Do those guys in Mosul think they're in LA or Detroit or something?
It sounds pretty creepy, like those deadbeat dads who walk away from their share of the responsibility for a child (even in Indiana) and leave the whole deal to the mom and then the law gets involved and tries to bleed at least some money out of the bastards once they're found, but no, this is different.
Nobody is trying to squeeze moola from me, but to get rid of me because I don't make them money. That's what the FFM informed me a little while ago when he called from work to harrass me about calling him, when I wasn't the one who called. I don't know why he doesn't believe me.
But, anyway, this is what he learned: that people such as myself, who are being told that our credit card interest rates are going to increase, are being told this because we have good credit ratings and therefore do not make the banks any money. Crap, people, if I had an AmEx card, according to the FFM, I'd be offered 300 bucks to cease and desist! This is a ludicrous prospect to me! I mean, OK, I don't need the banks and their credit cards any more than they need me, so I am happy to sever all our ties; however, here is the part that does not make sense whatsoever: the fact that the people they hold onto, who will pay abhorrently high interest rates and never pay their debt down and will be enslaved to these bastards forever... these people do make money for the banks, but what do the banks do with that money? Squander it, waste it, drive their big organizations into the ground.
Here is what I don't understand: Why the government would give any more time or attention or MONEY or breaks to these giant jackasses instead of providing incentives to little banks and credit unions (like the one I've belonged to since moving to Laramie and that has always treated me right and has been accountable to me and all the other shareholders.)
I believe it is a grave mistake to say that banks or other large institutions that command so much money and power are too big to fail. They have failed. Screw them like they have screwed the people. I mean, seriously, we the people have already been screwed, right? So what does that matter?
Is there an economist in the house who can help me out with this?
Chicago (IL) - A Google Ocean image of an underwater section of the Atlantic ocean at 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W is drawing wide attention as a possible location of the lost city of Atlantis. The location is about 700 miles off the coasts of Morocco and Portugal and fits in very nicely with the whereabouts of Atlantis, as described by Plato.
The sharp outlines and uniform wall-like structures seen in the image are believed by many to be completely unnatural and the result of manmade activity and his structures. What can be seen clearly are several nearly straight lines, near perfect rectangles and what may be roads extending out toward dry land. The structure is currently under several thousand feet of water and was only recently made available thanks to the Ocean extension of Google Earth.
The aeronautical engineer who originally discovered the site has identified a "perfect rectangle" in the shot, noting also that the grid lines look like an aerial map with roads extending out.According to the article, "Plato described [Atlantis] as an island 'larger than Libya and Asia put together' in front of the Pillars of Hercules -- the Straits of Gibraltar. He said Atlantis was a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty destroyed by earthquakes and floods 9,000 years earlier."
Some other interesting finds with Google Earth have included a previously unidentified forest where researchers found several new species of butterflies, snakes and plants. In addition, Google's Street View cars have captured some unexpected images -- like this recent deer collision, as well as what could possible be a new trend -- flashing the Google Street View car as it drives by. Aerial images taken from high orbiting Google Earth satellites have also captured some lower resolution images of nude sunbathers -- and these folks were in their own fenced in back yards.
EU Politics Today NEWS ALERT Weekend Edition: European Leaders Agree to Clean Up Financial Markets» follow the topic get complete coverage EU backs blanket financial regulation, IMF funding» follow the topic get complete coverage EU backs blanket financial regulation» follow the topic get complete coverage Top EU nations to double funding for IMF» follow the topic get complete coverage Czech dep fin min says to propose EU deficit cuts» follow the topic get complete coverage EU, ECB say bank nationalisations may harm EU mkt» follow the topic get complete coverage European Leaders Back New Market Regulations» follow the topic get complete coverage German officials say EU backs financial regulation» follow the topic get complete coverage German officials: EU nations to double funding for IMF to combat finanical crisis» follow the topic get complete coverage Germany: Top EU nations to double funding for IMF» follow the topic get complete coverage German officials say European leaders back doubling funding for the International Monetary Fund» follow the topic get complete coverage EU leaders seek finance oversight» follow the topic get complete coverage Germany: EU backs blanket financial regulation» follow the topic get complete coverage FACTBOX-Chair's summary from European leaders mtg in Berlin» follow the topic get complete coverage EU leaders back oversight, tax haven sanctions» follow the topic get complete coverage EU leaders forge plan for market reform (Urgent)» follow the topic get complete coverage EU leaders call for rapid launch of market reforms (3rd Lead)» follow the topic get complete coverage EU leaders call for rapid launch of market reforms - 3rd Update» follow the topic get complete coverage German government says European leaders back wide financial market regulation» follow the topic get complete coverage
1 c Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided CHI-CHI's Salsa or Taco Sauce
Heat oven to 400'F. In bowl, beat together SPAM, eggs, and milk. Melt butter in large skillet; add egg mixture. Cook, stirring, to desired doneness. Fill each tortilla with SPAM mixture and half of cheeses. Roll burrito; place seam side down on 12x8″ baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of burritos. Bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa.
Posted on Vimeo (credit Skip Elsheimer), the caption under this one cracks me up: "Using kids' own arguments (both pros and cons), film presents overwhelming evidence that vandalism is dumb. Shows that graffiti-type vandalism costs over $20,000,000 a year."
Oooooooooh, $20 million a year... That's nowhere close to the amount we've been bilked for war spending and to pay off the big bank losers so they won't go all the way under. Let the people talk.
p.s. Enjoy the sweet sweet sounds of the 70s- and those clothes!
I woke up feeling sick to my gutsack this morning, and it hasn't gone away. Then I punished myself by reading news articles about how the twenty biggest banks who were awarded- and I contend that is the proper word in this instance- bailout funds have not increased lending- which I already knew. So I thought I'd look up a little history of the Fed on its own and on government sites, since I tend a little toward conspiracy theory when it comes to the subject and would like to be fair...
And I just keep feeling sicker and sicker. So, I won't talk about it any more. I'll have a heart attack or a stroke if I don't quit it.
Here is something more uplifting for today:
Restoration program hires forestry workers
CTV Calgary Updated: Mon Feb. 16 2009 18:35:38 Forestry work is a big part of the economy in southeastern B.C. and a slumping lumber market is hitting the area hard. Demand for wood products has stalled and mills in the area have shut down operations. Now, a new government program in the east Kootenay's is bringing together laid off mill workers and a grassland restoration society in a way that is benefiting both. Through the Rocky Mountain Trench Society's Job Opportunities Program, a dozen mill workers have been hired to clear the overgrowth of trees to open up grazing areas for wildlife. The crew is based out of Cranbrook and will be involved in several east Kootenay restoration projects. The grassland restoration work doesn't pay as well as the mill work but it is significantly better money than the laid off workers would get on employment insurance benefits. For more information on the Rocky Mountain Trench Society click on the link.
I have a really good credit rating. I know! It's true! I got a report about a month ago. Well, a couple weeks later, I received my monthly statement on a credit card I have had for years, have always paid on time, have never gone over my limit, and all that. And suddenly the interest rate is abhorrently high. I mean, really this amounts to usury and if I were Christ himself, I would be in the money temples of the big banks of this country throwing mahogany tables around and yelling.
Anyway, I called the bank and asked the man I spoke with on the phone if he didn't feel awkward having to deal with excellent customers such as myself who had been totally screwed because people in the upper echelon's of the company for which he works made stupid- wholly cognizantly- mistakes. After a little chat, in which I assured the guy I had not received a letter stating the new interest rate would be coming my way and was in fact blindsided, we had an agreement that I will not use the card again once this year's expires. (I will not use the card again EVER, but that is beside the point), in exchange for the interest rate being reduced to the original number for the duration of the account.
Then, this morning, I got two new cards in the mail with new numbers and a note stating that my account may have been accessed illegally. Huh? So, I called the bank and talked with a woman who explained that Visa and Mastercard had informed them that several accounts, including my own, had been "compromised." Now nothing, "went wrong on the account," but to be safe, the bank issued new cards with new numbers. After a little chat with her, I was sufficiently certain that the terms of agreement I had established previously on the phone will not also be "compromised," but what the hey, right?
I know it's my own fault for having a credit card, but people, do you ever feel like I do right now, at the mercy of a bunch of screwups with absolutely no foresight, and far less smarts?
I woke up thinking about poetry this morning. Then I fell back to sleep for a little bit and had the freakiest dream about having to give a Spanish food presentation in a Geography class and having an office as a grad student that was also a room I shared with another Lisa, but on top of Mary Lyon Hall where I lived with Tammy and Joanne as a sophomore, and this room anyway, had showers in it but was very rustic, with a wood stove and a huge stack of wood and candles on these old schoolhouse desks. And the TV was black and white. And I spilled the food I was making, three times, OK? On three different sets of clothes, so I went to the prof and told him my presentation would be half-assed and he thanked me for the warning, but in the meantime all these friends of mine had been getting together, while I was trying to get the key to my room and take a shower and find something clean to wear, and had made this huge presentation in which each of them would take a small part, and all I had to do was hold a Spanish flag and a plate of nachos and act all like Vanna White. And I can assure you that I never saw a single nacho the whole time I spent in Spain in "real life."
So, whattup with telling that crazy story- and worse, leaving out the walk around this chilly lake on a bunch of rocks and watching all sorts of gigantic cold water fish swim around while these Monty-Python-like clowns in a wooden canoe glided along arguing over whether the one or the other two had ever seen certain species of fish- none of which I'd ever heard of- being from Australia and Sweden, respectively, and therefore coming from two entirely different types of waterscape. Well, that's Geography for you all right- on some alternate Earth.
But the underlying big deal, of course, was the sweetness with which my friends were there to take over and hook me up when I was less than prepared. And they came from all sorts of times in my life: Tammy, Joanne, Jackie, Uncy, Mike Mills, Grant... I imagine I'm leaving someone out, but hey, it was a dream.
So, back to poetry. When I woke up the first time, I had some imaginary poet's name stuck in my head. It's gone now. I looked up fish poems online and didn't like any of them; what's wrong with people disrespecting the fish? And all the fish end up dead in the poems. The fish in my dream would have kicked serious ass, whether it was a person with a pole and a hook or a cat that had for some bizarre reason decided to come out to the shore.
I looked up dog poems, since the FFM and I were walking with Mike's yellow dog in another dream last night, and she showed up again with me at the lake. The top billing in my search: "Poems in Praise of Dogs." Clearly, peeps, there is a discriminatory air to our treatment of various animals. No wonder we treat each other of different colors and creeds with venom. Skip dogs. They get enough praise.
Cats. Exactly as suspected: All the cat poems are cutesy. Have people not met Dinglehoofer the Shelter Cat? Or a mountain lion on a jogging trail? Sharp teeth, claws, cunning... Come on...
So, now that it's almost sunrise and the sky is all salmon-colored, like a FISH, how about clouds? Amazing: there is this thing called the Cloud Appreciation Society! I want to be in that club. And there you have it: the picture for today, "Cloud of the Month," taken over Amsterdam, The Netherlands. What type of clouds are these beauties? Go to the website to check your skills:
Virtual meetings to ground 2 million airline seats By Natasha Lomas,Special to ZDNet AsiaMonday, February 09, 2009 06:45 AM Airlines could be hit hard as workers ditch face-to-face meetings in favor of cheaper virtual link-ups. The worldwide economic downturn will boost videoconferencing tech, according to analyst house Gartner that predicts virtual meetings will replace more than two million airline seats per year by 2012. Telepresence systems--such as Cisco's TelePresence and HP's Halo--use high definition video, stereo audio and purpose built videoconference suites to help make participants feel as if they are meeting in the same room as each other. The analyst reckons telepresence tech will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry US$3.5 billion per year--but giving tech kit makers a boost. Online worlds such as Second Life could also see increased usage as companies seek alternatives to air travel. Gartner fellow Steve Prentice said every organization needs to reconsider whether face-to-face meetings are essential. "Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older videoconferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies," he said in a statement. Natasha Lomas of Silicon.com reported from London. http://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/11f5c1dc2a695b9c
Wow; aside from the fact I woke up from an intensely long, but far more interesting and instructive than moving boxes for hours (and definitely as cool as running through a line of zombies at Burning Man while wearing longjohns), dream in which I plucked a perfect drop apple from the brick steps of a little courtyard autumn night garden on my way through, loving Boston and taking a sweet bite- and peeps, remember I still have braces- so now I am running behind because this one required lying in bed and recounting for a half hour...
Last night I learned something about a new friend that just gets me going: why he is disenfranchised, forever at this point unable to vote in an election in this country. I've thought about this subject often and really got fired up to do something about it finally. But what? You tell me. Here's the situation: In the man's own words:
"I pulled a string of auto thefts and burglaries in the 80's (my late teens) which resulted in a lifetime of exclusion from the political process, though it's been more than 20 years since then and I've lived right since. It's difficult when you're politically passionate.Thanks for asking!"
"Dude, you know what? That just pisses me off. It's like the students I used to work with, mostly homeless, or transient, so they did what they had to do, and one of them ended up getting a criminal record for selling pot. Never could get student loans when she decided she would like to go to college and find a career. Thanks to... one of the Bushes, I think? I can't recall, but that is a load of horseshite. A person makes a mistake and has to pay forever? WTF!?
"I am so sorry. There has to be a way to push this one so people can vote. I have thought of that often, of people coming out of the prison system with a record and wanting to go out and be part of their community again and actually do it without crime, and we automatically shove people aside and say, 'You're not good enough.' You got me all fired up now! I am so sorry. That sucks for you.
"And p.s. I am glad I own a Saturn; though you probably would have stolen... I don't know how old you are, but I am guessing, either my sweet red Duster with the black hardtop and leaking sunroof that I bought for 200 bucks, or my favorite car ever owned, the super sweet little red Golf GT. heheh!"
After dealing with my dream, I got up thinking about how actually someone did steal that Golf, from right by one of the satellite cop shops in Lowell, while Dave, Tomas, Uncy and I were enjoying a friend's band at a club nearby. The car showed up a few days later on the river bank a couple miles away, closer to where we lived on another side of the city. There were empty 40 bottles in there and it was pretty trashed, had been taken for a little joy ride and left for dead... felt like a violation, to be sure... Who were those ass-jacks? And maybe they deserved a little jail time. Or at least if I'd ever caught them myself, I would have made them share their beer, right? Kidding. It was a disrespectful and crappy thing to do, to steal our car for a little fun.
But people make mistakes. Yeah! It's true! Like this girl with whom I worked at the shelter in Burlington. She'd got caught selling pot and got a record. Then, when she'd made a serious choice to enroll in community college and start working toward a degree, she learned that she would never be able to receive financial aid because of her record at 17, even though now she was 19.
And my friend is smart, politically passionate, as he says here, socially aware, a responsible adult student at the university here, with a long-term GF and two little daughters. But HE CAN'T VOTE.
It is high time for that rule to change. It has been for a long time. I mean, crap, look at all the guys who've made it big in the financial sector while regular people make less and less, proportionally, and are losing their jobs on top of that, and these guys not only vote, they have key posts in the government. Again, WTF!?
So, this governor of Texas in the article I posted last evening, thanks to the FFM, who is the one who had both the moving boxes and the zombie longjohn dreams, BTW- imagine what it's like here when we wake up at 3AM and start comparing stories... Anyway, this governor, back in the early 90s, said: “You don't have a clue what is going on and neither do the American people because if they did, there would be a revolution in this country.” - Former Texas Gov. John Connally to Gerald Celente, 1992
That's what it's all about. It's time to revolt and take back this country. Let smart people who actually have served some time and made some mistakes for which they were held accountable be part of the decision-making process when it comes to electing and serving. Yeah, I said serving. It's called a civic duty, and it's time for those who are privileged enough to be placed in legislative, executive and judicial positions to do their jobs.
Gerard Celente, Editor and Publisher, The Trends Journal says, "REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATIONS ARE DOING.... Life goes on. Let's remember that during the 1929 Depression, it was the hottest, happiest music that anybody had ever known. It was swing time! People got dressed up and they had a good time and we can do that again. So, don't let the government control your life.”
I think the FFM was trying to make me mad when he sent this one:
Earthfiles: With the September 15, 2008 “Economic 9/11,” Are We Facing Depression Like 1929?
Celente: “This is a classic Titanic situation in the sense that what we saw with the Fannie and Freddie bailouts and the Bear Stearns bailouts and now the AIG request for more than forty billion more dollars from the federal government – it’s just like the Titanic where the rich and affluent were given the lifeboats and the rest of the people went under from steerage. The rich and powerful are too big to fail; the rest of us are too small to save.”