Monday, October 30

Big kitty. Comments painting with a big brush. Martial Law?


I guess he's just resting before he goes out and prowls the neighborhood. LOL. He's not actually as fat as he looks, honest, he's mostly fluffy :-) Does he remind you of any famous cats you can think of?

I was reading some articles and comments on last night, or was it this morning? Anyway, the argument was about whether "the Jews" (Israel) were the bad guys, or if "the Muslims" (Palestine/Hummas) were. As I was reading the comments, I couldn't help but wonder if the commenters really believed that each country's "leaders" really represent ALL "the people" of that country. If they do, I think they're badly mistaken. I'm sure a lot of people in the the united States believe that G.W. Bush represents "the Christians". I just don't believe it wise to paint 'the people' of any country with such a large brush by saying any particular leader's religion actually represents all the people of the entire country. In other words, I think it's wrong to judge any religion just because the leader of whatever country is committing war and/or war crimes.

Speaking of G.W. Bush, I just found out about this...

blockquote text A bill was signed last week that authorizes martial law.

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Commutates Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

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Sunday, October 29

Not-installed updates. Clock set-back. Blog images. Birthday girl!


I have tried everything to get these updates to install, including restarting the computer without starting Zone Alarm, SpywareGuard, Spybot S&D Resident, blah, blah, blah, and I STILL get this stupid error message. If you have any idea how I can install the above updates, PLEASE let me know. Also, I've restarted in safe mode, but when I do that, the little shield () on the toolbar doesn't show up and I don't know how to initiate the updates without it.

Did you remember to set your clocks BACK an hour before bed last night so you could get an extra hour of sleep this morning? Or did you do like I did and wait until AFTER you got up this morning, leaving those who didn't have to get up to get that extra hour while you end up being up an hour before them?

Hopefully you'll be able to see the images in this post without me having to 'correct' it after I send it using Zoundry. You should see one at the top, and then another small one close to the bottom of the first paragraph. *crossing fingers* I've got a free account with Ripway ( for those of you who get this in email without HTML :-). I'm getting 30Mb of space to put my pictures in - that should take me a while to fill. The reason I chose them is because with the use of Zoundry I'm able to have my pictures in my blog get automatically sent there, plus they'll still be visible on my blog pages on Blogger and LiveJournal. For Xanga I still have to upload them to my Xanga account and then insert them into that blog entry. Clicking on any of those blog-links will take you to a page that says the same thing as this one, just so you know. I used to post my more controversial (in my mind) entries *just* to LJ, but that was when I had my Blogger account set to send the entries to a list where I wasn't comfortable sending them. Now I just have it set-up to send it to my list, where I feel comfortable posting whatever the f*ck I want. *grin*

Well, it's just about time to wake my wife up. She said to get her up at 9 and she would make breakfast. THEN we can dig in to the birthday cake she made last night for our daughter who turned 14 (fourteen) today! *HUGE GRIN* She SO grown-up. *PROUD SMILE*

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Friday, October 27

Bowling. Creativity. Bravenet site

Good afternoon, everyone. We went bowling today, and had a blast! Neither Rain or I had been bowling in over 20 years. In fact I can't remember the last time. The kids had never been. We all had a good time. I managed to score about 90 points, even got 2 strikes in a row once. *smile* Not sure what Rain's score was, but I believe it was between 70 & 80. As for the kids' scores, they were in the low 30's to low 40's - I can't honestly remember. The important thing was that we just had fun. It was automatic scoring, so we didn't have to remember how the heck to keep score. *smile* Definitely want to do that again next month! :-)

It was raining when the ladies got up at 7, and it's still raining. In fact, my daughter told me it was raining before they got up, and she would know since she's in the upstairs bedroom and the rain hitting the roof is LOUD. Neither the cats or the chickens are real happy, but the ducks and us are. *grin*

As for getting the kids to do something besides TV or video games, we've decided we *must* just do something and ask them to participate. I used to build model cars when I was a young teen, so the next time we go shopping we're going to pick up a model. Hopefully, and I don't see any reason for him not to, my son, who is 11, will help me put it together. Rain is going to get something, or has something (can't remember) that she can do *with* our 14 year old daughter. We're feeling that the kids aren't being creative enough, so we're going to do more *with* them to hopefully encourage spontaneous creativity in the future w/o our input. But for now I guess it's needed. Wish us luck! :-)

I've now got a new web host. Bravenet. Haven't done much with my site there yet. I primarily wanted somewhere to put pictures so I could hot-link to them for my blog. *smile* But of course I'll think of other things to put on there eventually. Speaking of blog pictures, I'm thinking that instead of putting pictures at that site AND on my blog, that I'll just put a button on my blog that links to a page on my site that has links to the different blogs entries with pictures in them. What do you think? I just don't think people shouldn't have to look through every page of my blog to find pictures, assuming people would just want to see the pictures without all the drivel that goes with them. Thoughts?

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Wednesday, October 25

Website no more. Bedroom lights. Help by visitors.

Well everybody, hi. You may notice that there's not a picture today. Nor are they very many throughout my blogs anymore, because we let the membership of (ex-host of expire. It was actually by accident, but instead of getting a hold of them to send us a bill to renew, we're just accepting that my web site is gone. The reason it expired is because the credit card they had on file for us is no longer accepting charges in our name because we haven't paid that particular card's bill for a few months now due to lack of funds. Besides, the primary reason I got a permanent domain last year was because I was hoping to make some money through my begging site. Well, it had been up for a little over a year I believe, and we didn't even get one donation :-( One person was going to donate, and actually sent us some money via her credit card, but because our settings for paypal didn't accept it, she cancelled because she *really* couldn't afford that donation anymore. Which is fine, I definitely understood that! It was nice having the option of creating any name for an email address, but not being able to make up to 500 different ones is no big deal. Eventually I'm sure all the spammers will find our new addies, and then we'll start missing the spam protection we had through Ipowerweb. Until then though, we shouldn't get much. And I am going to miss having 1000 MB of space to host my pictures. So, I've got to find a photo-hosting site that's friendly to bloggers, especially the off-line blog-program users. If you know of a good one with lots of space, let me know, please. Thanks in advance.

In about an hour a family we met at our local homeschool group, will be coming by. The husband is going to help me figure out why our bedroom closet lights won't come on. One of their 2 kids will play a video game with our DS. Don't know what the other 2 kids will do, probably watch, or perhaps play too. Who knows. I imagine that the mother will visit with Rain. Actually, not sure what our DD will do. Probably stay around Rain, but then again she may watch the boys play a video game. It's just really hard to say who will hang-out with who. *sigh* You should know I'm just rambling for the sake of rambling at this point. LOL. That being said, I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled life. :-)

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Tuesday, October 24

Cat-covered, Dirty picture

Here I am surrounded by cats!

As you can see, I definitely was NOT planning on getting up anytime soon. LOL. But hey, I was warm. *smile*

Our lagoon is clean, baby!

This is what we spent a couple of hours doing this afternoon. Our bath tub/shower drain was draining extremely slow as always, so we decided it would be a good thing to do. There was an island if crap (litterally) in the middle, but as you can see, it's not anymore. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean the tub will drain any faster now that water isn't sitting right up against the end of that pipe, but it can't hurt.

Well, I just found out that we are *completely* out of cat food. So unless we want to be the food, we need to go shopping. We were going to wait until tomorrow, but that was before we knew the amount of cat food on hand.

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Sunday, October 22

Latest Qumana, Lights & plug-ins that don't work

Good evening, folks. I was going to just wait for the download of the latest version of Qumana 3.0.0 to finish so I could see what the improvements are, but since I want to watch a show (Cold Case) that starts at 8 pm (it's almost 7), I figured I might as well get my writing done. Shweh! Was that a LONG sentence, or what? Sure, you're thinking that I have over an hour before the show starts, so why not wait. One word - DIAL-UP. It's a 9.3 MB download, and at 48 Kbps, it's going to take almost till 8 to finish. However, it *just* finished (7 pm), so I guess I can try it after all. *smile* What I'm most interested in is whether or not when I upload my entry to my LiveJournal that the title in Qumana is transferred to the 'subject' on LJ. I'm hoping yes, but if not I'll just do what I've been doing and use Zoundry for LJ, no biggie. I'm also curious to see if they've made it so I can add words for the ones they say are misspelled. I see you still can't do it my right-clicking on the misspelled word, but you can still do it after clicking on the ABC with the checkmark in the upper left-hand corner, above the title. The next question that'll need answered, with the next entry, is whether or not the 'corrections' stay, or if it thinks the same words are misspelled again.

You know what's frustrating? Trying to figure out why the lights in your bedroom closet won't work, and neither will the plug-ins in the closet either. Nor will the one on the other side of the wall from the plug-in in the closet, in the living room. I spent the better part of an hour trying to see the wires under the floor in the attic to see if I could tell if a mouse chewed on a wire. No such luck though :-( The previous owner made it next to impossible to get TO the wires. *sigh* But, from what I could see, I don't see that they've been chewed on. Now I'm thinking that maybe the breaker went out, cause a couple of years ago when my daughter flipped the light switch in the closet, the lights flashed, and then didn't work anymore. Yes, we changed bulbs, that's not the problem. I checked the switches themselves. Not sure if they're bad or not, but I don't *think* they are. When I use a basic 2-wire/with light tester, the light comes on when I touch the positive and negative poles, but only when the switch is OFF. I just don't know enough about electricity to know what that means. *sigh* I know what I plug another tester into the plug-ins, that tester says there's 'correct', but the light on the left is dimmer and the plug doesn't actually power anything that's plugged into it :-(

My show is coming on, so that's all I'm going to write.

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Saturday, October 21

Finished Mandala, fall leaf colors

Finished coloring page, by Rambleman

There it is... I finally finished my coloring page. Did it last night while there was something on the television I wasn't interested in seeing. Actually, it was late yesterday afternoon, and it was a Poke' Mon movie that my son was watching. Anyway, there it is, love it or hate it, doesn't really matter. *said in my bed Eeyore voice*

Not much going on. It mostly cloudy, and drizzly. But all the leaves are just beautiful. We just got back from town. The drive was *very* scenic with all of the leaves on the trees changing colors. Wish I would've taken my camera, but of course I didn't because I almost never do. *sigh*

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Thursday, October 19

Stumps trimmed, Book about the CIA torture program

Not a bad day, not bad at all, and I didn't even take a nap after getting out of bed at 7 a.m. Instead, I just kept myself busy pretty much all day. I got a stump that had grown several tree-starts over the last couple of summers which made it look like a bush in the summertime, rid of said tree-starts. There was a Spruce tree up front that I had cut down this summer with a hand saw, but because of all the weeds at the time, I couldn't get the very bottom branches taken off (not to mention I was too tired to do it). I was able to get the bottom branches off of it and the aforementioned stump out back today because we got a new chain for the chainsaw last week. *smile*

This morning on the news I saw the guy that wrote the book about Extraordinary Renditions that the U.S government does called “Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program”. According to what he talked about, it's definitely an expose of the whole program. He even names one of the main companies that is being used for these renditions called Aero Contractors. It’s a company based in North Carolina. The planes they used are also referred to as "torture taxis".One point he brought up was "So it’s quite chilling really when the President stands up and says these jails are empty, because it makes you wonder, what have they done with everyone else? Where have they put them, you know? There are hundreds of people that were captured in Afghanistan, for example, that were not sent to Guantanamo. They were sent elsewhere, either held within Afghanistan or sent to other countries. And when they say the jails are empty, it’s quite frightening, because you think, well, where have they put all these people? And it’s still quite a mystery". I wonder that too!

I was very happy to read the Italy has arrest warrants out for U.S. CIA agents involved in the kidnapping and renditioning of Abu Omar. Excellent! And Germany is also going to, probably, be issuing arrest warrants for those involved in kidnapping a German citizen named Khaled El-Masri. I hope they catch everyone involved with the "extraordinary renditions", from the owners of the plane companies all the way to high-ranking U.S. Government officials and prosecute them "to the full extent of the law". Personally I think they'd learn more if they could be tortured the way the people they rendered were, but I am STRONGLY against ANY torture for ANY reason, no matter what definition they use to justify it.

Okay, tonight's Survivor night! Woo-Hoo. Tah tah for now :-)

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Tuesday, October 17

Our homeschool meeting

Click pic to see big viewClick to see the enlarged version

These are what *I* did in our meeting with our home education group in Buffalo, Missouri today. Neither of the kids (11 & 14) want to make an owl, so I did. They did however, both color the owl like mine, in fact my DD (14) even did the math problems. *smile* Although I didn't check her answers, I'd bet she got them all correct. *grin* If you want to see a bigger version of whichever, just click on the picture and you'll see them. The width will be 600 pixels, not sure what the length will be without looking it up, which I'm not inclined to do at the moment. Most of the other kids who were younger than my oldest, all made owls with construction paper, glue, and plastic eyes. It was fun. Other than that, we all talked, and listened to all the kids play and laugh. Tomorrow the group is scheduled for a play day at the park. I'm told that a game called "Marco Polo" is planned, and after that we'll just do our own things. Speaking of our own things, after the last one we attended, two weeks ago where our frisbee finally bit the big one, I looked at Wal-Mart only to find that frisbee selling season is over with. *whah* I just remembered something, I saw that we have another somewhere around here. It's not as durable as the one that broke, but I'll bet it'll still fly. *smile*

After the meeting we went grocery shopping for this weeks supplies. While we were out and about, we filled the gas tank of "The Dragon" van. After shopping, we came home and just hung out.

Hope y'all had a good day!

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Monday, October 16

14-year old & secret service. Effexor XR/medication issues.

Well gosh, I guess we should be a bit more careful in what we post on our blogs in these days of a police state / dictatorship :-( In fact, if I disappear... *sigh*

US schoolgirl investigated for Bush 'threat'

October 14, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA -- A 14-year-old US schoolgirl was quizzed by Secret Service agents after posting anti-George W. Bush comments on popular Internet chat room MySpace, a US newspaper reported Friday.

Julia Wilson, described as a freckle-nosed adolescent who wears braces and has a love heart on her school backpack, was yanked out of a biology class at her school in Sacramento, California to answer agents' questions.

The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that she posted a cartoon photo collage of a knife stabbing President George W. Bush's hand beneath the words "Kill Bush" on MySpace, which is hugely popular amongst teens.

It was one of several images the teenager had used to decorate an anti-Bush page on the website - and prompted a visit to McClatchy High School by agents from the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Full story

Other than that, I don't have much to say. Today is very overcast, rainy, and right around 50*F. I have decided, at least for now, that I'm going to go back on Lexapro. When I go to my appointment with my neurologist in Feb., I'll talk to him about a different one, maybe. I've been thinking that maybe a lot of my depression is strongly related to my fatigue because of the MS. Seems that after I've had at least 8 hours of straight-through sleep, then I'm not NEARLY as depressed, because obviously I'm not as tired and have a little more energy. When I have more energy, I do pretty well. What I really need beside the antidepressants, is something 'like' the Provigil samples that I had been taking once in a while up until last week. I ran out of them on the sixth, I think. When I told my "family physician" that I was taking those but had ran out, I got absolutely *no* response and of course no new prescription. In fact, when I told him that I'd like to try something besides the Effexor because of the possibility of loss of memory , he heard *nothing* about the memory loss and said he thought I should see a psychiatrist because "we've tried everything" (5 different meds since 1997, and he personally has tried *one*) . Huh? Do you know how many different antidepressants are out there these days? *sigh* I know, I covered all this the other day, but I've been thinking more about it. *grr* Anyway, I *won't* be going back to that "doctor". If I go back to that office at all, I'll see the nurse practitioner. Plus I've noticed that I get crankier if I take caffeine for energy, so the no-doz is out. I guess I'll have to use sugarized foods and drinks until I can get a prescription. So much of low-carbing :-(

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Saturday, October 14

H. Potter movie, news, mandala coloring page

Ah crap, I don't know why I'm posting anything. I don't have much to say. Haven't done anything mind-blowing except rake about 5 wagon loads of leaves up and dump them on next years garden.

I did get to see the end of a Harry Potter movie, that was pretty good. I think it was the 2nd one, the one with the Basilisk that tried to kill Harry unsuccessfully, of course.

Of course I watched a bit of news this morning. It was mostly because I couldn't find anything else on. Anyway, in one segment, they were talking to people who were protesting in 2004 (I think) and were put in "Free speech zones" so the candidates didn't have to see people who didn't like them. Of course the people who were holding signs in support of the candidate (Bush - ew!) were right on the street where he could see them and their signs. The show talked to another protester about when she was carrying a sign with a friend at a different place. They saw some police, so they decided they wouldn't cause any trouble. Unfortunately, they made that decision too late and the police (a bunch of them) came up behind the crowd and opened fire on them with shotguns loaded with wood pellets (I think) and that lady (among many others) got hit in the calf muscle and ended-up losing quite a bit of muscle because of it, in surgery. I don't know, just seems that in an allegedly "free" country (for now, probably not much longer though), things like that shouldn't happen.

Anyway, other than that, I worked on coloring a picture that Rain downloaded from ColoringCastle, called Mandalas. It's not done, of course, but here's what I've done so far...

Todd's unfinished coloring page

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Friday, October 13

Attack dogs used in U.S. prisons

Summary of report by Human Rights Watch

"Obviously a dog is more of a deterrent [than a Taser gun].  You get more damage from a dog bite.  I think it's right up there with impact weapons . . ."
—Mike Knolls, Special Operations Unit, Utah Department of Corrections, October 26, 2005

One of the iconic pictures from Abu Ghraib shows an unmuzzled German Shepherd straining at his leash a few inches in front of a detainee, who is crouched in terror. Two Army Sergeants have been convicted in courts-martial of using their dogs to harass, threaten, and assault detainees. Yet five U.S. state prison systems—those of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, South Dakota, and Utah—continue to authorize the use of large unmuzzled dogs to terrify and even attack prisoners to secure their compliance with orders to permit themselves to be handcuffed and removed from their cells. While the prisoner tries to fend off the dog, officers move in to take hold of him, apply restraints and then remove him from his cell. 

The use of dogs to threaten and attack prisoners to facilitate cell extractions has been a well-kept secret, even in the world of corrections. Human Rights Watch has spoken with more than two dozen current and former correctional officials who had no idea dogs were authorized, much less ever used, for this purpose. Many were, as one said, "flabbergasted."

In three of the five states that authorize use of dogs in cell extraction, the policies appear to be used rarely if at all. In Connecticut (20 cases in 2005) and Iowa (63 cases between March 2005 and March 2006), use of dogs for this purpose is far more common.

Human Rights Watch knows of no other country in the world that authorizes the use of dogs to attack prisoners who will not voluntarily leave their cells. Dogs are often used in prisons in the United States and elsewhere to patrol perimeters and to search for contraband, a use that does not raise human rights concerns.

When Human Rights Watch began this research in 2005, two additional states, Massachusetts and Arizona, also permitted the use of dogs in cell extractions. In 2006, however, corrections departments in those states instituted new policies prohibiting such use of dogs. We welcome these decisions and urge the corrections departments of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, South Dakota and Utah to follow suit. If they do not do so, the respective state legislatures should enact legislation prohibiting the practice. The American Correctional Association, which publishes standards for professional corrections management, should include a prohibition on the use of dogs for cell extractions in its use of force standards.

October 2006

You can also discuss this article at my Gather site, but you need to be a member of to comment.

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Thursday, October 12

Cleaning the coop, premade breakfast, dead in Iraq

Howdy! And how are YOU this fine day? Who? Me? Oh, I'm doing pretty good. I've managed somehow to get quite a bit done today. What have I got done? I'm glad you asked, thank you. I managed to get two loads of laundry done. I also helped a beautiful woman clean most of the chicken shit out of the chicken coop and put said shit in the garden to compost over the winter so that we'll have great soil to plant stuff in. *smile* And of course we put new hay in the coop. A lot on the floor for the ducks, so that they'll have a bit of softness to sleep on, plus stay a bit warmer. You know tonight, in some parts of Missouri it's supposed to get down to the freezing mark (32*F). We also put some hay in the nesting boxes for the chickens. They were weren't real happy while we were keeping them out while we cleaned it, but they're very happy now that it's clean and replenished. *smile* And lastly, we got the trash cans out of the bathroom (2), kitchen (1), beside the computer desk (1), and out of my daughter's room (1) taken outside, dumped in the burn-barrel and burned.

Before all that work started, I was awoken this morning by someone telling me that muffins we ready, as well as some hot tea. That got me out of bed fairly quickly, although I was still a bit slow because I was *so* comfortable. Then I watched a bit of TV while I ate and drank my tea. After that, I watched the news, where I found that there was a report released that said that somewhere between 400,000 and 900,000 (655,000) people have died in Iraq since the occupation army invaded. Of course the commander in chief of said invading army claims the numbers are wrong and the way they were obtained was by using flawed methodology. Unfortunately for that man, his goverment spends millions of dollars a year to train people to use that exact same methodology. In fact, it's the same methodology that's been being perfected since they started trying to get the number of people killed in war times.

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Wednesday, October 11

Doctor visit: cholesterol, antidepressant, and fatigue

Went to my appointment with my doctor this morning to review my blood-test results and discuss the antidepressant he prescribed. All the tests were fine, except he says my cholesterol is a little high. However, it wasn't until we were sitting in the van getting ready to go when Rain noticed that we didn't have the numbers of the results. She went back in and came out with them. Just eyeballing the cholesterol numbers, she doesn't think they're all that bad. A lot of doctors take the *total* from the good and bad, but don't tell you what the numbers for each is. Plus the numbers the doctors want to see change, depending on when the pharmaceutical companies feel they want more money from prescriptions of the 'Static' drugs. So we need to look-up the numbers and see where they're supposed to be and when the ratio of total to good is okay. In fact I could just do that now, huh? :-) Well, what I found is that my numbers aren't all that bad (LDL=152, HDL=46, Total=201, Ratio=4.7), so I'm going to stick with the way of eating I'm doing, except I would like to lower the amount of carbs. But they're SO tasty. LOL.

We talked about the Effexor. I told him I don't really feel any different from when I was taking the Lexapro. So he told me he would recommend a psychiatrist then "because we've tried a few drugs and you're not getting any better" (Prozac-1999, Wellbutrin 1999 with *horrible* side-effects, Celexa then Lexapro because I couldn't afford Celexa w/o insurance, so was on samples of Lexapro for over a year, and now Effexor as of a month ago). I said, "Okay, as long as you think Medicare will pay for one". I also told that I guess not as depressed and definitely not having the nightmares (I was on Lexapro in the end), so maybe it's just more fatigue. I told him had been taking samples of Provigil for fatigue, but ran out. So he said he'd leave me on the Effexor (and skip the psychiatrist), even though I told him I was concerned about the possible side-effect of memory loss because of it. Apparently he didn't hear that part, because he said nothing. Plus he didn't prescribe anything for the fatigue. I don't know what to do. Should I go back on the Lexapro, or continue with the Effexor? Definitely don't want memory loss, but don't want nightmares either. *sigh* Rain thinks I should just go back to the Lexapro and then talk to my neurologist about changing antidepressants and getting something for the fatigue, when I see him in February '07.

Didn't get out of the doctor until almost noon, so we missed the playdate with the other homeschoolers, so we stopped, got fries at Mickeys and came home.

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Monday, October 9

Dr appointment, breakfast, shopping, gather, Columbus day, video game, North Korea, anniversary

Got up at 7:45 this morning so we could be at the doctor for my 8:30 appointment. No worries, doctor just wanted me to give some blood so that they could test for various things, like liver function, prostate cancer, anemia, etc, etc.

After that we went to McDonalds for breakfast. And then we buzzed along for 45 minutes until we got the Wal-Mart Supercenter and did a little bit of shopping for essentials, mainly :-)

Came home. Rain took a nap, kids played the video game that they bought today, and I got on the Internet. Being Columbus Day, and having saw a show with a segment about it last week, I wanted to get the interview and post it in my blog and on my Gather page. It's the first article I've posted there, so it'll be interesting to see if I get any comments. *smile*

Then I read a bit of news. I saw the N. Korea went ahead and tested a nuclear weapon. No, that in and of itself doesn't bother me a bit, although I don't like the idea of *anyone* having nuclear weapons. But, since it's about the only way to protect yourself from the U.S. Government, I'm not surprised they (N. Korea) went ahead with the test, and I understand their reasoning. It'll be interesting to see what happens next as far as geopolitical pissing contests go. *snicker*

Today is Rain and my 14th wedding anniversary. Well, we did eat breakfast out, and have gotten to eat chocolate (M&Ms). Plus she's making T-Bone steaks tonight, so it has been a good day! *smile*

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Columbus Day

Interview with Glenn Morris about Columbus Day

GLENN MORRIS: "Columbus Day began -- most people don't know -- as a state holiday in Colorado in 1907. But what's more important for people to understand is the ideology behind Columbus Day and why there is a Columbus Day in the United States or in Colorado. And there's been a lot of discussion lately about Hugo Chavez at the United Nations, when he raised up Noam Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival.

And if we could begin a little bit by just reducing the terms “hegemony” and “ideology” to their simplest forms: if an ideology is a set of ideas that allows a nation or a people to describe reality in terms that are comfortable for them, but more importantly, that describes the world as it should be, and hegemony is driven by a national ideology that is so comprehensive that it becomes almost invisible, like water to fish or air to human beings, and in a sense then, we can understand Columbus Day as a hegemonic tool, the way that Chomsky uses the term, because it makes no historical sense to have a national holiday to Columbus in a country that he never visited, in a state that he never knew existed.

And so, we have to ask the very simple question: why does the holiday even exist? And it exists in part to advance a national ideology of celebrating invasion, conquest and colonialism. And the proponents of the Columbus Day holiday in Colorado and Columbus parades, and so on, make no bones about the fact that they're celebrating the colonization of the Americas and, in fact, have told us on several occasions, “Look, we're going to have this celebration. We're going to have these parades to Columbus. And let's get one thing straight,” they say to us. “This is not your country anymore. This is our country now. And you'd better get with the program.” So, for us, the celebration of Columbus, who was an African slave trader prior to coming to the Americas, then began the colonization of the Americas --

Well, Columbus sailed for the Portuguese on the Gold Coast of Africa, brought back gold and slaves to the Portuguese slave market in Portugal. That's why when he arrived in the Caribbean, it became so easy for him to resort to his old practices and began to enslave Indian people to bring to the slave market in Seville. And so, we believe that Columbus as a national icon is a mistake and sends certainly the wrong message to schoolchildren about what is heroic about the history of this hemisphere. Certainly, the heroism of Columbus does not warrant a national holiday. In fact, he wasn't a hero. He was a slave-trading Indian killer. And so, that's why, in the birthplace of Columbus Day here in Denver, it's such a big issue. Next year will be the centennial of the holiday. And we intend to make that a major focal point nationally." - GLENN MORRIS

Doctrine of Discovery

The point about protesting Columbus Day and the holiday is not so much about Columbus, the man, or about parades -- we all like parades -- or holidays. The point is really about the legacy of Columbus. And from the American Indian Movement of Colorado's perspective, and for many indigenous peoples’ perspectives, what's important is the way in which the United States continues to celebrate this legacy of colonialism and imperialism. And that's embodied in federal Indian law. The Doctrine of Discovery was institutionalized in 1823 in the Supreme Court case of Johnson v. McIntosh, where John Marshall uses -- fabricates the Doctrine of Discovery to justify the diminishment of Indian title to the Americas.

Essentially, what Marshall says in Johnson v. McIntosh is that by virtue of the arrival of Christian civilization, the right of native peoples to their traditional homelands and territories is diminished, because of the blessings that Christian civilization have brought to the western hemisphere. And that opinion is the foundation for federal Indian law in the United States that continues to be enforced day after day after day ’til 2006.

We have a case in Nevada right now with the Western Shoshones, in which the title to their land was considered to be extinguished under this Doctrine of Discovery -- not in 1823, not in 1890 -- in the 1980s, and it continues to the present, to the point where the United Nations, the Committee on the Elimination of the Racial Discrimination and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, have said that through this Doctrine of Discovery, the application of the Doctrine of Discovery, the United States has been involved in gross violations of fundamental human rights.

Now, the United States, of course, continues to ignore those decisions, but in addition to that, this Doctrine of Discovery and the principles of federal Indian law have been exported from the United States to be applied in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in other English common law countries, like India and Kenya and South Africa. And so, this is not merely a discussion about a parade or about a holiday to a long-dead historical figure. This is about a legacy that continues to drive imperialism today.

And we see that embodied in the Bush administration. I don't know if you've read Robert Kaplan's book, Imperial Grunts, but Kaplan, who is a favorite of the Bush administration, and reportedly Bush read the book, Imperial Grunts. And in the book, Kaplan admits that today the United States continues to fight the Indian wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Philippines, in Colombia, where they continue to call any territory that is not under the control of the U.S. military “Indian country.” That is, it needs to be subdued, it needs to be civilized. This war, this clash of civilizations, so-called clash of civilizations that's going on in the world today, it's not new. That was a war that was being fought in this area right here where we're sitting for many generations, in order to bring the heathen territories into the civilized Christian fold. So that's really what we're talking about, is beginning to address the ideology that drove the Indian wars, and the line can be traced continuously from October 12, 1492, to the present.

So, what we're saying from the American Indian Movement of Colorado, from the Transform Columbus Day Alliance, is that we can create a different future. And that's what we intend to do in the streets of Denver, is to begin a movement that says: this country needs to re-examine its history; it needs to report that history differently to its children; it needs to impart certain values and moral traditions to succeeding generations, that it's not okay to go to someone else's country and steal it and kill them and engage in genocide.

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Saturday, October 7

Dealing with branches of trees

Don't really know what I'm going to write about. Rain asked me just a few minutes ago if I was writing in my blog, so I'm taking that to mean she'd like me to. For some strange reason, she likes them, or at least tells me she does. *smile* So who am I to disappoint her? She IS the boss after all. When she asked me though, I wasn't, I was trying to create a shortcut on my desktop that would open Internet Explorer on a blank page. But instead I kept creating shortcuts that opened Firefox. *sigh* If you know right off the top of your head, please tell me.

Yesterday we got the fallen branch of the apple tree, taken completely off of the tree. I started by cutting as many of the smaller branches as I could reach, with the chainsaw with it's brand new chain. Once no more were within my reach, I got the ladder and then cut some more. As I cut the branches off, it was the kids job to take them down to the wood shed so I could turn them into kindling. As it turned out though, we just threw those onto the brush pile and turned the main branch into about 10 logs. That tree isn't healthy. We know this because the inside of the branch was SOFT, like termites had been chewing on it for a while, and it has woodpecker holes all over the place. Rain had to through a hissy fit at the kids though, because they would take a branch to the woodshed about 50 yards away and then come back, sit down and say they were tired. We had a LOT more than just the couple of branches they had taken to the shed. Finally, Rain just wigged-out and said loudly, "Fine, we'll just DO IT ALL! We're tired too, but it's GOT to be done. If this was a real 'working farm', you'd be working a hell of a lot harder! This is ridiculous!" She was pissed, and that did the trick. *smile* She and I took a wagon load of branches down to the shed and then came in for a break and some water. When we looked out the window, the kids were making trips back and forth to the shed with branches. *snicker* I'm tellin' ya, a well timed hissy fit works wonders some times. *smile* See, we had been working non-stop cutting the branches off and putting them in easy-pull spots for the kids to pull them, for about 30 minutes. The kids would take a branch to the shed and then come back and rest for 5-10 minutes, and then we have to ask them to take more down. We were getting tired too, and frustrated that we couldn't get them to work as hard as us, or at least try harder. *sigh* I feel a little bad today though, because my son (11) has got the sniffles and a small cough. He's even *willingly* drank a couple cups of Echinacea tea, and so has my daughter as a precaution (she hasn't drank ANY tea in *years*). After Rain and I were done with our break, we went out, cleaned up the twigs, small branches, and logs by the apple tree and took them down to the shed. While we were there, we cut the two large branches that had fallen off the trees by the pool some weeks ago, into small logs. We were tired, it was 5 o'clock and time to feed the chickens, so we called it a day. Today I went out and trimmed the tiny twigs off of the logs with pruning shears, stacked the logs in the shed, and threw the tree debris onto the brush pile. It took me about 45 minutes, and the whole time I had my Drigger kitty supervising me, continually trying to get me to pet her. She did settle down though, and then kept laying under the wagon I was throwing stuff into. *grin* What is it with cats having to lay under everything? Every time we get ready to leave, we have to shoe the cats out from under the van before we pull-out.

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Friday, October 6

Broken branch, bedroom switching, chicken feed and hay

Just not much going on. Still need to cut the broken branch on the apple tree, most likely today. Would've done it yesterday, but we were busy changing bedrooms. We moved into the master bedroom after about two years (guestimate). Moved the son into the room we were in, and moved the daughter into the upstairs room. That all took pretty much all afternoon. By the time we got most of that done (still need to move the odds and ends), it was time for Survivor to come on, then CSI.

Today's plans are to drive into town and pickup a prescription and then perhaps go to the feed store and see if they have some chopped corn for the chickens. Speaking of chickens, we still need to clean out their coop and put fresh hay in their nesting boxes and on the floor. Yes, we picked up a bale of hay the last time we were at the feed store. Won't be getting it there again if we can help it though, it was $4 for 1 bale.

That's pretty much it! :-)

Thursday, October 5

October 5 - Day of Mass Resistance

October 5 - Day of Mass Resistance

On October 5, people everywhere will walk out of school, take off work, and come to the downtowns & townsquares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to join us - making a powerful statement: "NO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!"

Springfield, MO

Park Central Square

Since I came here looking for an event in Springfield and found none, I'm taking it upon myself to add one. Meet up at noon or before in the middle of Park Central Square. Posters, banners, and your voice.

I could be the only one standing out there and that's fine by me, but I know that there are more of us in Springfield that are FED UP with the current situation and the danger those in charge have placed us in with their constant incompetency.

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Wednesday, October 4

Broken tree limb, chicken feeders, visit with friends, park day with homeschool group, parent update

On Monday, the 2nd day of October, the wind was pretty gusty. We were standing outside visiting with Ameryeth, when Rain was looking towards the front she noticed that the apple tree looked funny. That's when we went to take a closer look, and here's what we saw

Broken apple tree limb

After looking quite a bit closer, it looks as though the wind caught it just right and caused a twist of the branch while falling

Twisted apple tree branch

As you can guess, we're going to need to cut that branch off, drag it to the wood shed and turn it into firewood/logs. Probably do that tomorrow.

Rain was reading on one of her homesteading lists that a good way to feed your chickens, especially if you've got some kind of liquid to give them, like spoiled milk or something, is to cut tires in half and lay them on the ground. That makes chicken feeders that won't move around, and are low enough even for the littler chicks to eat out of. We thought that was a great idea, so we've now got a tire made into two feeders. Seems to work pretty well.

Homemade chicken feeders

The reason we decided to try it is because the last time we bought chicken feed, the feed store didn't have any chopped corn. They only had whole corn, or ground corn, so we got ground corn. That the white powdery stuff you see in the tires. Guess the chickens and ducks don't like it this way, but they're going to have to eat it for a few days until we can get back to the feed store and get them their chopped corn. Maybe if we make it more paste-like they'll actually eat it. Whattaya think?

As I said at the beginning, we had visitors on Monday. One of our best friends brought her four kids from 2 hours away. The kids played on the trampoline most of the day. When it got really hot, they begged us to let them swim in the pool. We didn't let them because the pool has been shutdown for a few weeks, which means the water isn't as clean as it used to be, because we haven't run it through the filter cause we lowered the water temperature to prevent freezing of the hoses come this Winter (if we have a Winter that is). Eventually we talked them into turning the sprinkler on once it was under the trampoline, and that cooled them off, and they had fun getting absolutely soaked. *smile* As always, the kids had a blast playing together, and us adults had a great time talking with each other and watching the kids. Not to mention we had chips, cola, and pizza for when we got the munchies. Delicious! :-)

Today, Wednesday, we went to the park and the kids played with other homeschoolers who are in our HS group. They were the same kids they played with last week. Hopefully, eventually there'll be even more kids for them to play with. It would be great if my daughter was able to meet another homeschooler close to her age (14).

On a bit sadder note, my father left a message on my answering machine telling me that mom is home for the nursing home after nine weeks. Since our visitors were still here, I didn't call him back right away. When I did though, I got to talk to mom for a few minutes. I found out that she has quit smoking completely, which is great. However, since they had to put the feeding tube in, she hasn't eaten anything via her mouth. Will eat *only* what's put in the tube. I asked her why she wasn't eating anything and she said, "Don't want to" and "nothing tastes good, so why bother?" Needless to say, that kind of worries me. I know she was already close to 100 pounds a few weeks ago. Can't imagine she's gained any weight since, so is probably *really* thin. She has NO energy, probably because she's not eating anything, and has only drank a little Ginger ale :-( Hopefully dad can get her to start eating, because the feeding tube is only supposed to be used as a supplement, not as a way of eating all the time. She can put weight on her hip, although she still needs a walker. Plus she and dad are both on oxygen now. But if she continues to not eat, I can't imagine she'll be around very much longer. Sad but true. She's lived a hard, hard life, and I believe she has just given up and is now just going through the motions.

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Sunday, October 1

Commenting on beta.blogger. Walking w/the dog. NFL Football. Anacondas movie.

Was trying to comment on Whimsperation's latest post, but for some reason I keep getting a time-out error saying the is taking too long to respond. I was able to comment on Lovelife's post, so I don't know what the problem is.

Other than that, haven't done much today. Took Sugar (our dog) on a half-mile round-trip walk this afternoon. Rain and the kids continued on to the cemetery, which is another 3 quarters of a mile from where Sugar and I turned around. Rain says that she sleeps better at night if she takes a walk during the day, that's why she decided to take one today, even though Sunday is usually her day off from walks.

I watched most of the football game between The KC Chiefs & The San Francisco 49'ers. I stopped watching it when KC was ahead 27-0 in the 3rd quarter. I'm glad for the Chiefs, but the game itself was boring to me, as I don't enjoy blowouts, even if the team I want to win is the leader, ya know?

Instead of watching another game when Rain and the kids got back from their walk, my son wanted to watch the Anaconda (the 1st one) movie, but we think it's still out in the craft room, so we watch Anacondas - Search for the blood orchid. Halfway through it I came to the computer to catch-up on email and blogs, so I didn't get to see the end. Oh well, we have it on DVD, so I can see it whenever, if I get the urge. *smile*

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