Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You to Our Soldiers

Thank you to all of the soldiers out there that helped defend our country and thank you to all of the family that stayed behind and supported our soldiers.

I really do mean that.  I've been thinking about war and soldiers recently, and I realized that I am one of those liberal college educated people who "escaped" the war.  That description I hear more often describing the men who escaped the draft by being rich and going to college during the Vietnam War. This war has been going at it for 10 years now.  That's 10 years of our young leaving and fighting for us.  I remember 7 years ago or so being upset because all of the military ads were aimed at poor young men and farmers.  System of a Down came up with a song at that time too, B.Y.O.B., asking why we always send the poor to war.  But it's not a new thing, it's always been this way for hundreds of years.

I was thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about how much the soldiers do sacrifice and what they are doing, and I can't understand.  I never had agreed with the war from Sept 12 and onward.  How can a person risk so much for such a cause?  I wanted to ask a soldier, and then I realized I don't know any.  Well, I know 2 people who spent time in Iraq, but I am not close to either of them.  One is a cousin and one is the husband of a friend. Let me rephrase some of that, I don't know any soldiers from the war of my generation.

How do I not know any?

When I travel, the airlines always let the soldiers on after the first class people and before us common people who chose not to spend money to board first.  I think that's stupid.  The soldiers should just board first.  Really, who's paying more?  My last flight had 10 soldiers who had been wounded in combat boarding.  Everyone stood up and clapped for them who was waiting to get on the plane.  I also see people stop soldiers and thank them for what they are doing in airports a lot too. I am too shy to do that, but I always give them the right of way onto the escalators and try not to cut them off or get in their way extra hard when going through the airport.

I was also thinking about why being a war hero is used to help get a person elected as president.  How does being ex-military (is that the right term?), help you be a president more?  It's a new question for me.  I'm thinking it has to do with the fact that if they were willing to risk their life for our country when they were young, then imagine how much they will sacrifice now for our country as president.  Again, I don't know how much I agree with that.  I guess it is just a factor, a part, of what makes a person a good president, and it certainly can't hurt.

To reconcile how I can support the troops but not the war:  I trust my government (the over arching and long spanning views of the government), and part of the government is the military arm.  I cannot control that arm, so I trust the government to do so.  And I trust the soldiers , as the fingers of that arm, to do their best, to in the grand scheme of things, keep me safe within the ideals and thoughts of my country.  And that's a pretty grand thing.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Adventure Buying Plants

Today I woke up slowly, rolled over, and read my book until the very end, about 2 hrs.

If I could only start every day like that.

When I was young, right before kindergarten started, (true confession: I never went to preschool) I realized that I would be going to school forever.  I would never again have endless time, day after day, of playing and doing what I wanted.  It was a scary thought, but I contented myself with the knowledge that when I was done with school, I would be old and able to do whatever I want.

And now that I've reached the age of adulthood, I've forgotten how to play.

Maybe I'll start my kids a year late into school.  Give them extra time before life starts.

I'm pretty reflective today, and filled with energy.  Subtle energy that allows me to rest or get up and go if I need to.  I got up and went all right.  My goal today was to purchase a few house plants and some grass seed to make Ackbar a little jungle to play in and eat in front of the fireplace.  I've already got rocks and logs there that he loves, but now it just needs some plants.  First, being the responsible cat owner that I am, I looked up lists of toxic and non-toxic plants for cats.  I found a decent one.  It was too long to write down, so I transferred it from Josh's computer to my laptop, and then searched for the printer cord.  The cord was already in the printer I discovered a while later.  Then I hooked it all up and hit "print".  There was no paper.  I found some paper.  It's pink and left over from my wedding invitations.  I hit print, and it went through all of the proper printing motions, but no ink was coming out.  There is 55% black ink left.  I tried to do a diagnostic of the printer, but the control panel wasn't helping.  I looked in my laptop and on the buttons on the printer for help.  None was to be found.  So I emailed myself the list in the email body and pulled it up on my phone and head to Home Depot.

I bet I could have transferred the list onto paper by hand, by the time I did all of that and left.

At Home Depot it was 100 million degrees in the sun, and 90 million degrees out of the sun.  Sweat was dripping down my back in giant sweaty drips, and my  hair was dirty because I decided not to shower before going out in the heat.  There's nothing that feels grosser than sweating in humidity after not showering for a few days.  The sweat mixes with your hair oil and sticks all your hair together and then I run my fingers through it and it's just gross.  That, people, is why I prefer the desert.  You can get that dirty and hot, but it's so dry all the moisture leaves you and you get covered in dust and dust in your hair.  The dust soaks up the oils and falls off and is replaced by another protective coat of dust.  There is a point, maybe 3 days of hiking, where you realize, you are as dirty as you are going to get, and it becomes the new normal, the new baseline, the new clean, and it's freeing because you can run around and get wet and walk in mud, run through things, it doesn't matter because you are already dirty....any more dirt will eventually dry up and fall off.

Anyways, I was at a chain home and garden store looking for plants that won't hurt my cat and being a gross looking hippie (yes, I dressed the part too), when suddenly and without warning, there was this eclipse of the sun. It got very dark. And there was this strange humming sound, like something from another world. When the light came back, this weird plant was just sitting there. Just stuck in among the zinnias.

I purchased it, named it Audrey II, and now I think it wants BLOOD!

Just kidding.  In reality none of the indoor plants had names on them, so I couldn't compare them to my list because I didn't know what plant it was. I just knew that it liked partial sun, was easy to grow, and needed both spanish and english.  I scanned the little smart phone square for more information, like the plants name, but all it did was bring me to the home depot plant site and explain to me in common terms that plants were good for the air.  I didn't buy any plants.  I never do when I go there for plants. It's always a disappointment. It makes me wish for a small town where the owner knows about plants and the owner is known around town, AND driving around town takes 15 min, not 45min.

I also was forced to flip someone off in traffic when they broke all traffic rules, cut me off, and almost made me get in an accident on the way home. 

"If you wanna be profound, if you really gotta justify, take a breath and look around, a lot of folks deserve to die!"  Audrey II - Little Shop of Horrors

Monday, May 21, 2012

If there's one thing we learned from the History Channel, it's to not repeat the History Chanel

I am currently in Louisiana, BFE, with a stomach ache.  It's hard traveling because I mostly stay in casinos that are located in the middle of the woods and I have to eat out.  I am convinced that all casinos have one kitchen in back that serves out to all of the "different" restaurants inside.  The food is rarely good for people without food issues.  My food issues just seem to never ever end.  Most recently I have crossed raspberries off my list.  My most favorite fruit of all time.  Of all time.  Forever.  As long as I can remember.  When I eat just one, I now will throw up violently within 10 minutes of eating it.

Just ask my truck.  Now instead of just being a Sweet A$$ Mo'Fo' Truck, it's a Sickly Sweet A$$ Mo'Fo' Truck.

They stuck secret sneaky raspberries into all the fruit platters today too.  Luckily I am a master food detective and found them.

Niagara Falls was nice.  Just nice.  The falls themselves were amazing!  I've never seen them from the American side before, but I must say, it's a completely different and more intense experience.  As for the town itself...not so much.  The casino there is one of the nicest casinos I've been too.  Not the food, but the layout is pretty great and it wasn't very smokey and the artwork and carpet design was relaxing. 

Niagara Falls has 30,000 visitors a year and a casino, yet none of the money gets put back into the town.  None.  The houses are all mostly abandoned and falling apart, there are abandoned industrial buildings everywhere (it's too expensive for the town to take them down), and the crime rate is very high.  It is not a pretty place, yet it is soooooo close to something amazingly beautiful.  It's history is a terrible history though.  It had over 100,000 people at one point, in the early 1900's b/c electricity was cheap there (hydropower) and so all of these industrial plants built up providing tons of jobs for people.  Then something happened and the cost of energy went up and the jobs left, along with the money and the people.  The government there has been corrupt as well AND it's the site of Love Canal.  I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure I was interested in Love Canal and learned about it in high school.  But it's my experience that people don't know about it in general.  How can that be?  It's one of the things I'm terrified of happening again and it's why I care about the environment the way I do.  If there aren't rules and regulations in place by our government it will happen again, and it's just not acceptable.  I'm sure it's happening in China right now and other countries with lax toxic waste regulations.

What happened is sometime in the late 1800's this guy named Love wanted to dig a canal around there.  He got it 1/2 mile long and then the money dried up.  People started to use it as a dump.  Then all of the industrial businesses used it to dump their toxic waste.  Waste from the Manhattan Project (nuclear bombs) went into it.  Who knows what went into it.  Think of the Ninja Turtles or any super hero or super bad guy who was changed into a mutant by toxic waste, THAT's what is in this pit.  Exactly what you imagine, 55 gallon barrells filled with third eye creating slime.  Then they buried it and sold it to the city because the city needed land to build a school on.  So they built a school on this stuff.  It caved in at one point and filled with water...which was an awesome place for the kids to play in.  It seeped up into peoples basements and into their yards.

After years of government cover up and denial (think the same thing as Errin Brokovich), I think it was Carter, who signed it a national disaster, creating the first Superfund Sight.  A Superfund Sight is a place that is no longer livable b/c humans buried too much toxic stuff underneath it improperly (I doubt there is a safe method but they argue one exists) and it got into the water system and it's too dangerous to live there.  I didn't like drinking the water there now when I visited.

This is why we can't get rid of the EPA, and whichever candidate that wants to do that is stupid and is playing to stupid people.  Don't be stupid.  Support the EPA. (Environmental Protection Agency)

This world is a scary place and the more I explore it, the more I want to become a hermit in Northern Canada where the water is mostly still clean.  In a few years it won't be so cold either.....of course, then we'll start looking for oil there...and my refuge will be gone.  I can also go back to my old stand-by:  horse nomad in Mongolia.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inspired by A Modest Proposal

These past couple of weeks have been crazy!  And that's why I haven't been posting.  Who has the time when parents are visiting and best friends are filling up your house with inflatable items, and you have to spend a week in Cherokee, NC.  Poor me, I know.  *fake tears*

I  found an article today about how they are grinding up dead babies and putting them into pills in one of the Koreas and then illegally smuggling them into China.  I know nothing about the news source I found it in, so part of me doesn't believe this.  If it is a quack company selling quack dead baby medicine, wouldn't it just be cheaper and easier to use dead mice? or dirt? Did they test it for dead baby?  How do you know it's baby? How do you test dried up and powderized human for age?  I suppose there is a way, if they can put ages on rocks and all.

Personally, I like my babies fresh and piping hot.

There are many ways to cook baby:

Baby pot pie
Baby corn on the cob
Baby carrots
Creamed baby
Baby kabob or Kababy
Roasted baby
Honey glazed baby
Baby a'la cart
Smoked baby
Baby jerky
Boiled baby
Baby soup
Baby bacon
Baby au gratin
Baby supreme
Burrito baby
Baked baby
Baby casserole

What are your favorite baby recipes?

Here is More Information on A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift .