Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don’t be concerned – everything will be ok

  I’m taking a blog break for a week.

I’m going to recharge the batteries that tickle my brain with ideas.

I’m doubling my walks and I’m going to read a book (fiction).

Shirley has taken the week off and we’re going to explore the nooks and crannies of this beautiful area we live in.

Just because.

Hopefully my meandering will motivate my muse and sharpen my views. Don’t let that stop you from exploring the archives listed on the left of this page.

Feel free to leave comments about things you like or dislike, or things you’d like to see. I’ll make answering you my duty.

Peace be with you. May the wind be behind you - and the truth always before you!


Op-Ed: Numbers, not shouting, overwhelm health care debate

 Here’s an interesting read about the health care debate. Dingell (I should say his researchers and staff) has made some good points regarding a public option in this Op-Ed piece today.

I do believe our current health care system is in shambles and something has to be done about it. The research in this article is accurate (I did take the time to check quoted stats).

I’m not suggesting you read this Op-Ed piece because a Democrat wrote it. If a Republican would have brought up the same stats and logic I would have run it. I’m not interested in promoting either party. I am interested in trying to get out as much accurate information on this subject as possible.

What do you think about this Op-Ed piece? For or against?  

By Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)

“We have the best medical professionals in the world, but fewer and fewer Americans can afford to pay for the care they can provide. The trends indicate that problem will get much worse.

About 17 percent of our $14 trillion dollar economy is dedicated to health care. We pay more for health care than we do for food. Too much of what we spend on our care does nothing to improve our health. We pay for our highly bureaucratic and unwieldy health care system not just with dollars, but with the lives and well-being of millions of Americans. The Affordable Health Care for America Act will reform our health insurance industry so companies prioritize policyholders’ health instead of investors’ profits.

The insurance industry has done everything possible to make you think otherwise. This summer’s massive disinformation campaign –
exposed by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone magazine last month – has distracted millions of honest, engaged citizens during this debate. During two town halls in my District this summer, I witnessed first hand how fear hijacked a much-needed serious conversation.

But the facts scream louder than even the angriest protester – and the data tells us the current system could literally destroy our way of life.

Consider these statistics:
   The top ten health insurance companies made $8.2755 billion last year and they stand to make more when medical costs go up.  
•    The average annual premium for employer-sponsored health insurance is $13,375 for family coverage.
•    Approximately 45,000 people die each year because they lack health insurance.” 

Go to to read the rest of this Op-Ed piece.

AP Photo of Rep. John Dingell (Mich.) 

Unused Tenn. bestiality law put to test in new cases

“Two years ago, the Tennessee legislature put into statute what most people assumed should go without saying — it is illegal to have sex with an animal in this state.

But prosecutors across Middle Tennessee have cause to be glad that someone spelled that felony out. No less than three bestiality cases have come up in separate counties in recent months.

Three people stand accused of engaging in sex acts with farm animals in Maury County. In Humphreys County, a youth football coach was already under investigation for child rape when police reportedly found images of bestiality on his cell phone.” Read the rest at USA Today


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brazil's Pirahã Tribe: Living without Numbers or Time

The Pirahã people have no history, no descriptive words and no subordinate clauses.

That makes their language one of the strangest in the world -- and also one of the most hotly debated by linguists.

 Go to Spiegel Online International to read the whole story.

Technorati Tags: ,

Teabagger Express predicts ‘Judgement Day’ will send all Democrats to hell

If you’re not a “real American” as defined by Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck, then you’re going to hell buckaroo!

The crazy get crazier, as we watch the religious right continue to dress up and interrupt town hall meetings.

What do they really want? You can go to their  "Tea Party" website and read all about their Tea Party Express II:Countdown To Judgment Day."

Snippet from AlterNet:

What will happen on their predicted "Judgment Day"?
If you buy the biblical spin of the Religious Right folks -- that make up the bulk of the Tea Party movement -- the implication is clear: Jesus will soon return, send all Democrats, gays, blacks, progressives, liberals, college-educated unbelievers, etc., to Hell, while saving what Sarah Palin calls "us" "Real Americans" -- in other words unreconstructed frightened and resentful white lower middle class Americans.”

Read the rest here.


Baseball’s dirty little secret

Just think; while you’re enjoying your first cup of coffee this morning your also learning about a little known fact about baseballs.

What a way to start a day!

Harvesting baseball's 'magic mud'

“Nobody knows this is where I get the magic mud," Bintliff says.

Out of nine brothers and sisters, Bintliff was the one picked to carry on the family business -- Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud.

  • Jim Bintliff has provided Major League's "magic mud" for 44 years
  • Rubbing baseballs with mud became common after batter was killed with pitch

Read the whole article at CNN

Technorati Tags: ,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When they come packing to make a point

Via Cartoon by Horsey

Darwin dreamed of being an astronaut someday…

(via WhereDidYouBuyThat)

Technorati Tags:

It’s that time of year – Go Lakers!

From the LA Times today…

Lakers want to ring in new season carefully

Snippet of story:

The Lakers begin the season tonight against the Clippers, but not before they receive their championship rings from last season's successful playoff run.”

Read the whole story here. 

Image above via Bright Star Images

‘Peephole’ season USA on the way

 I’m so glad that it doesn’t snow here in Humboldt County! I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and I know how miserable scraping ice off your windows is.

I haven’t been back there since 1972, and don’t intend to ever go back. Look at the guy in the photo. Imagine doing that every day?


Police watching for ‘peephole drivers as winter nears

ABOVE PHOTO CAPTION: David Michael scrapes ice from his car during a Jan. 27 winter storm in Nicholasville, Ky. In some states, police can cite drivers for obstructed vision.

Photo By Charles Bertram, AP

Technorati Tags: ,

Monday, October 26, 2009

9 Brain Habits You Didn’t Realize You Had…

From MindCafe today…

“The brain is certainly the most amazing part of human body. It becomes more interesting when it does not work the way you expect it should. Psychology frequently establishes our intuitions about how human mind works, but it reveals a number of surprises as well…

Although some psychology students will have heard one or two of these before, here’s a list of brain habits you probably didn’t realize you had:

1) The maximum capacity of your short-term memory is seven.

Humans have basically three forms of memory: Sensory, Long-term and Short-term. Long-term memory is just like hard-drive space. Similarly, Short-term memory functions like a very small RAM. This Short-term memory is capable to hold only about five to nine (seven is an average) items at a time.

Retrieving information longer than this will need you to either pack it together into seven units or store it in Long-term memory. Have you observed that the most phone numbers have only seven digits?

Click here to see the remaining eight.


More Americans believe in haunted houses than global warming : A scary Halloween tale.

In the United States, more people believe that houses can be haunted by the dead than believe that the living can cause climate change.

Is this simply a scary Halloween tale or our frightening future?

Read this article by: Dave R. at Care2


Vietnam vets finally honored for bloody rescue mission

This article brought back some memories for me. I was part of the engineer group (31st Eng.Battalion) that was rebuilding the old French road that led into Cambodia (mentioned in this article).

Less than a month later my squad was attached to the combined American and South Vietnamese forces that took this road to invade  Cambodia in search of the NVA high command.

While working on the road I met several members of the 11th Armored Cavalry. Now, I can’t help wondering if they are dead or alive. Was one of those men honored someone I talked with back in 1970? I guess I’ll never know.

After 39 years, Alpha Troop is awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its heroism during 'The Anonymous Battle' in 1970.

(Above photo) President Obama, at a ceremony honoring Alpha Troop, says the treatment of Vietnam veterans has been a "national disgrace." (Tim Sloan / AFP-Getty Images / October 20, 2009)

Read the whole story at The LA Times 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Surviving a deadly hike on a trail with no name

By Dave Stancliff

For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/25/2009 01:27:19 AM PDT

August 2009 -- Nancy Maltez fell 1,000 feet to her death while hiking in Zion National Park. The California woman was with her husband and three children. They were hiking the Angels Landing Trail, one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the U.S. National Parks.

It wasn't a trail for the weak of heart. Or the inexperienced. It slithered along a narrow rock slice with dizzying thousand-foot drops on both sides. There were chains embedded in the rock to give hikers extra hand-holds.

This was a trail for experienced hikers and climbers. Maltez was neither. Should she and her family have gone on this trail? I don't think so. When I read about this terrible accident it took me back to another time.

November 1965 -- I was 15 years old. I held on to the chaparral for dear life. Only minutes before I had been at the top of the trail with my two friends, John and Chuck, brothers who wanted an adventure. We all had empty canteens and were thirsty. Strong winds made it hard to hear each other.

Read the rest here.


Technorati Tags:

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...