Friday, 15 February 2008

Touched by His noodly appendage

Warning: some people may not share this sense of humor.

It is not my intention to offend anyone with a deeply felt connection to All that Is, by whatever name they worship.

However, I do have a bone to pick with those who try to subvert secular institutions, like influencing the science curriculum in a public school.

My son alerted me to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I went to the website and emerged limp from laughter. I must have been touched by His Noodly Appendage.
From now on, when asked to fill out religion, I just might proudly call myself a Pastafarian.
(Actually, my true denomination is Taoist Pagan)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Fat Cows, Skinny Cows, thoughts on economic cycles.

I am no economist.

But one does not need expertise in order to observe that good times and bad times have spelled each other off all through history. This is a world of contrasts and cycles. The tide can’t always be in. The Moon is not always full.

When a Pharaoh dreams of fat cows and skinny cows the answer is clear.

Cycles will occur, good years will be followed by bad ones. Build a little nest egg during the good times, OK? It’s not rocket science!

The economy appears to be slowing down. So it goes. Only cancer cells grow forever, or rather till the host dies, but that is another topic.

Now here is what always gets my goat when politicians talk about the economy. It is a stupid, dishonest game and they all play it.
It goes more or less like this:

Bad Economy, party in power:
“The Economic cycle is against us right now, but that is not our fault.”
Bad Economy, party in opposition:
“The Economy is doing poorly, and it is the fault of sitting government.”

Good Economy, party in power:
“Look at how well we have managed the Economy! Vote for us again!”
Good Economy, party in opposition:
“Sure, the Economy is good right now, but they are just being lucky!”

In other words, power to manage the economy is either claimed or denied depending on where the advantage lies. Could we get some honesty please?

The reality appears to be that cycles will happen, no matter what governments do.
But societies can choose ways to take the edge off.

To get back to the biblical example: Fourteen years of fat cows is not an option. But Pharaoh still has choices. He can choose to use the good years to build himself a bigger palace or he can fill the granaries so the people won’t starve during the lean years.

Oops, is that interference with the sacred cow of the free market?

Friday, 8 February 2008

A feline foto shoot

My best buddy Bev, hereafter referred to as BBB, is an active member of the local animal protection group. After a rather adventurous life that is not my story to tell ( I am learning discretion in my old age) she now lives with animals as beloved companions.

Two cats who were thought to be impossible to adopt have become happily ensconsed at Casa Beverley. Their story is told on the website in the section "Happy Endings". But it needed pictures. Enter the new digital toy.

I spent a few hours happily shooting, uploading and deleting at BBB's magical dome home. What a joy to just click away without worrying about the cost of developing!
The first picture of fat Teddy turned out to be the best one, except it would have been nice if he had looked into the camera.
Teddy was supposed to dead by now, or at least suffering from some incurable misery. On lots of love, a raw diet and Pascalite he is doing fine. His new companion Sophie is even enticing him to move now and then.
 Capturing elusive, temperamental Sophie was harder.
A grey cat does not show up against a grey rug!
This shelf above the desk might be a nice spot....
Would it work if Mom held up a white background to show me off? Almost, but not quite. Bushytailed but not bright-eyed.
One more try. YES! We were pretty pleased with this one.

When the group of animal angels first got Sophie nobody could get near her. She was so impossibly agressive that they put her on kitty Prozac. Don't get me started on the topic of SRRIs. I promise a good rant another time. But look what unconditional love can do!
Here is Sophie with her Human. The whole story can be found at

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Thoughts on Super Tuesday

We have been glued to CNN. This beats sports. No matter who ends up leading the various parties, we can declare one clear winner for sure: Democracy! !

It ain't perfect, but by golly it beats all other systems, and it is great to see the people engaged and active.

Perhaps it is my WWII start in life, with memories of a murderous occupation still fresh in the collective memory during my childhood. But it drives me crazy to see people squander the precious right to vote and participate. I feel so frustrated and angry when people stay home on election days and then whinge about their evil government, with comments like "It doesn't matter who you elect, they're all a bunch of crooks".
Even if that were true, the crooks do less damage if you rotate their position at the trough now and then.

I had predicted an Obama sweep, based on the position of the Moon in Aquarius. There is more to it than that, but never mind for now.
If Hilary gave a speech we missed it, I had a Reflexology client. But we caught Obama. I must say, the man has a spark. I am torn between rooting for Hilary in sisterly solidarity and admiration, and wanting to fan the flames of this extraordinary movement. Fortunately it doesn't matter one bit what I want since this is not my country anyway. For which I am grateful. This is strictly spectator sport.

Worse case scenario for a small l liberal like me:
The Republicans settle quite quickly on a McCain/Huckabee ticket, while the Democrats continue to tear themselves to pieces with this contest, historic as it may be.
The Dems elect Hilary, Mc Cain beats her, the USA stays in Iraq forever and ever and corporations rule the world..

I am not at all sure there is enough substance behind the charisma. Like, "where's the beef?" But Obama just might be able to end the extreme partisan nonsense and bring the USA back to its idealistic roots.

Meanwhile, while going through electronic clutter, I came upon this piece of correspondence between me and my sometimes friend Bobbette.
She is an e-zine publisher and advertiser. We met in a business context. Bobbette and I disagree violently on all matters political, but enjoy the contact regardless. We never did much with the proposed forum, but the idea was nice. This was written in 2004.

My dear friend and opponent,
I had been planning to approach you with the idea for a political forum!

I am concerned about America too. For very different reasons.

By the way, since the USA has taken it upon itself to police the world, what happens there affects the world. Those of us from elsewhere can't vote but we can participate in the debate.

Now, here is what scares me more than anything:

The lack of places where people of opposing views can exchange views on political matters, without immediately descending into knee-jerk defensiveness.

I long for a place where people of opposing views can exchange ideas like you and I can do, without losing friendship and respect.

I long for a place where people of opposing views can truly listen to each other, and even search for common ground.

Political debate focuses too much on what divides us. How about focusing on what unites us instead? Most people want pretty much the same things out of life.

*A safe place to call home.
*A chance to provide for our family..
*A way to stretch ourselves and learn and contribute our particular talent.
*A way to connect with the sacred, in whatever form we perceive it.

We may have very different ideas of how to go about getting those things. This makes us forget how much we have in common.

Above all, I hope to find a place where people can truly THINK, so they make a choice that is informed.

Whatever choice the American people makes in November 2004, I hope it will be inspired by LOVE, instead of FEAR.

Dear Bobbette, let's create a debating forum that sets a standard!

With respect

Your Dutch/Canadian pinko liberal friend