Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wicked Tinkers and Craig Ferguson

Sometimes ya just gotta blow off steam and have some fun!
Life is just too short!

Looking forward to seeing the Tinkers in October; they are one of the best in tribal music.

Bagpipe = music Yes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Year, minus a day...

(The about photo is not from my wreck, but is a representation of what the other car looked like at 110mph combined impact;...and what, no doubt, my car would have looked like were I in it, and not my truck)

On August 26, 2008, I had a meeting with fate. The day was ordinary enough; I had just finished a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Walking out to the parking lot, I spied our white Ford pick up truck, a F350 4x4 we use as a work truck. You see, my car was in the shop, again. Why couldn’t they just fix that electrical problem so the battery would stay charged? However, instead of grumbling about it, I was actually in a reflective, yet positive mood. It was by luck that we even were able to buy the truck; I had a fond picture in my mind of my husband driving it with his cowboy hat on and a big smile on his face. Yes, I was truly thankful for God’s blessing. Really, to be honest, I felt moved to thank God for that truck.

Little did I know that not 30 minutes later I would cross paths with drunk driver, a man down on his luck, at the bottom rung of desperate and probably suicidal. The sun was setting as I turned the corner to head up the hill. I was maybe a mile from my home. I slowly accelerated as I approached the crest of the hill. Suddenly, up over the top of the hill came a pair of headlights staring right at me in my lane. I moved over to the right, the headlights swerved to my left. I let out a half breath as I thought the driver had corrected to his own lane. I was wrong. He swerved back into my lane, veering straight for me. I veered the truck to the right as far as possible and hit the brakes. The dusky eve made it hard to see, I couldn’t remember if I was near the high berm or near a drop off that went down into the desert. This whole length of time was all of about 3 seconds though it seemed an eternity of slow motion. I hoped that I was far enough over that he might just side swipe me.

A glance over to my slight left told me there would be impact in less than a heartbeat, the head lights were there just in front of me. I remember yelling out, "No!". I heard a load roar, saw the white from the air bag and then all went black. I came aware to the silence of nothing moving, it was all black and grey in the twilight. Somewhere in the distance a horn was blaring. It was my truck’s horn, I realized, going at full blast, but it sounded so far away. I felt all alone; and, I was trapped. I tend to be a bit claustrophobic so this was not good, and there was smoke from the airbag, the engine? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I couldn’t get out of my door. My chest felt like a ton of bricks, with a sharp piercing pain any time I moved. My ankle was folded over onto itself; and the steering wheel was closer to my legs, so it was hard to move. I couldn’t raise the middle seat divider to even crawl out the passenger side. I was trapped. I was alone. It was all I could do not to panic, yet I did to a point as anyone would, even with the training of a first responder. It was all I could do not to give into the spinning dull heaviness in my head. I had to stay awake. I had to call for help. My phone was miraculously still in my pocket, though hands shaking, I was able to dial home knowing my husband was there.

Funny thing the mind, and the emotions. I thought to be the calm cool professional when I called him. After all, my work requires me to stay level headed and rational. Yet as soon as I heard his voice, I lost it and starting crying, my voice raised, yelling into the phone, he sounded so far away. I told him my location. However, what I told him was impossible because the name of the roads which I told him were not even close to each other. I was looking at the nearby hill but gave him the name of a hill road 5 miles away whose name I was more familiar with. Luckily for me, he was able to call the local police station and find out if a wreck had been called in near the route I usually take home.

Meanwhile, I realized that I wasn't alone; I saw some people outside my truck, but no one was coming to help me. Why? Why were they not coming up to my truck to help me? Finally, a woman came and looked in the window. She tried to open the door but it wouldn’t budge. She walked around to the passenger door and tried to open it but it was locked. I was so tired, my head was so heavy. She kept knocking on the window, what did she want? Oh, I need to unlock the door. She crawled into the cab, saw my name badge, and identified herself as a former co-worker, a nurse from the emergency room of my hospital; I told her my name and that I worked NICU and something about calling my husband. She started asking me questions, but I just wanted to go to sleep. She was relentless. She told me I had given my husband the wrong location. I tried to argue; funny, it’s in the blood even then. Finally, I told her, “it’s all right, my husband will find me.”

Soon, everyone and the world showed up. I found out later, no one wanted to approach the truck for fear that they would see a second fatality like the man in the car. I was told that only 1% survive wrecks like mine, with minimal injuries like I sustained. I thank God for that. To think of the events leading up to me Not being in my car that night. Gives me the shivers, really. I think, again, one year what purpose am I still here? A lot of personal growth, a marriage strengthened, I've met friends for life over a praise song on the internet, as well as other friends since. I have an overall better outlook on life; and that, though we have choice, it is not by our power really that things are. Such is faith.

My days aren't perfect and rosy, nor do I always feel chipper and cheery...I still do my share of whining/whingeing.....but there is a much stronger undercurrent of gratitude, strength, humour, wisdom. I am humbled by those who I know and know of, who were not as fortunate in their outcomes; this seems to bring a greater burden, a more weighted outlook to life.
(if you've made it to the end of my rambling, then I thank you....I still think I have more questions than answers, though, to this thing called life...perhaps you have a story to tell as well...then we can put all the pieces together and maybe make some sense out of it all...! :))

reference post

Monday, August 24, 2009

Please, no, not another one...

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says "A
beer please, and one for the road."

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home." "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" Well, "It's Not Unusual."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," says Dolly. "It's true; no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse. "But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt, and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him. (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good).... A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Murder Mystery, part one

Photo courtesy of SBH, as well as the reference post.

The following is a work in progress, written on a whim one day, after reading TB's post on the death of character. Comments and critiques welcome.

Do you think today's society is short on character? Do you think character (and all that character is) has been all but killed off?

Dime Store Detective and the Death of Character

It was a grey morning, a steely grey morning, with clouds hanging over the city like thick cigar smoke lingering over a poker table; and, it smelled just as bad. The body had been there for weeks, in a small closed-in room, upstairs in a two story rundown row house. Nobody reported him missing, no one seemed to care. Yeh, it stunk all right.

It started out as any other day, hitting the snooze button for the third time as the rain poured down outside. The one room flat was colder than cold with the heater on the fritz again. I finally rolled out of bed, climbed into my clothes and trudged down to the corner deli for a coffee and a Danish. Quarter past nine, I arrived at the office. Stella had already been in; she had the day's files all neatly typed up and sitting on the desk. She's good, that Stella, a top level secretary fit for corporate. She's always been A-one in my book. I couldn't do without her. Ten years now, she's been here, and her birthday's on Tuesday. I'd better get her some flowers.

"Ring!" Someone at the door but no one expected; the flowers will have to wait. I glanced up at the clouded glass on the upper part of the door, and wow, what a silhouette! I closed my jaw, and called out that the door was open. "Come on in," and boy did she, with a saunter that could kill. Auburn hair, maybe late twenties, and dressed to the nines; she was a classy dame allright. Her eyes gave me the once over. With a nod of her head and an eyebrow raised, she asked, "You Dirk Tawse, the detective?"

"That's me," I said, and invited her to sit down, "how can I be of assistance?"

Over the next hour she's telling me her life's story. Seemed to me she could be anyone on the street, you know, just trying to make it in today's world. She was caught up in a life of busyness and trying to get ahead. She had been on a quick errand to her grandparent's empty old house. Only it wasn't empty, because he was there. Finding that body shook her up, as life's unexpected turns can do. She wanted to know if I could help her.

"Sure," I said, "sure, lady." "Let's go over to the house and have a look."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Captions anyone?

Busy work weekend, all. Thanks for your comments, and will return the favour shortly. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Luigi Boccherini: Minuetto (classical)

ahem, let us add more decorum rather than dwell on the decadent disposition of the daring darling flapper age.... ;D

Roaring Twenties: Sam Lanin - Yes! We Have No Bananas, 1923


It's finally happened, I've gone off my rocker...was it raising children, was it keeping pace with a dynamic driving force of a husband, was it too many dings on my helmet from haphazard cycling, horseriding and rockclimbing? Or was it spending time with loving grandparents who introduced me to numerous wonderful things from the experiences of their own lives. From bagpipes and drums to the music and dance of the roaring twenties and the swinging forties.

I blame these two gentlemen, James and Angus, for tormenting you with the above song....

Chopin - Nocturne op. 72 No. 1 (remake)

Life and unexpected turns

"Experience is a jewel, and it had need be so, for it is often purchased at an infinite rate."
-William Shakespeare

Life does have these unexpected turns. For good or for bad. Yet, when we consider what could be a bad turn of events, is there not a lesson, perhaps, to be learned from it? And, therefore the bad event, in a way, redeems itself for good?

Simplistic, I know, but the hour is late; yet, these thoughts keep me from sleep. We are troubled when things do not seem to unfold as we thought they would or should, even with every effort on our part. Suddenly, we turn around and that moment in time is gone forever, and we are left stunned and feeling helpless, perhaps hopeless. There are often no words for these times, only the love of our friends to see us through, and revive the failing spirit within us.

Many people, I think, underestimate their value, the merit of their experience, the merit of their very life. We all have some good to give while we are here on this earth, in our strengths; and, even, dare I say, in our weaknesses. We are not alone, though we may feel lonely. We must just think on those golden moments of our life, force ourselves to dwell on them if we must, to keep us going, to keep us breathing....for who knows what the tide will bring in tomorrow.

reference post

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A wave is but many drops of water...

Photograpy credit: Clark Little, Oahu, Hawaii

“Too often we underestimate the power of

A touch,

A smile,

A kind word,

A listening ear,

An honest compliment,

Or the smallest act of caring,

All of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

-Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

easy post, why not?!

You Are Kayaking

You have a competitive spirit, but you don't like to compete alone.

You do well in a partnership, where you can feed off the other person's energy.

If you have the right partner, nothing can stop you. Your energy is infinite!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Pete and his buddies were hanging out......and planning an upcoming fishing trip. Unfortunately, he had to tell them that he couldn't go this time because his wife wouldn't let him. After a lot of teasing and name calling, Pete headed home frustrated. The following week when Pete's buddies arrived at the lake to set up camp, they were shocked to see Pete. He was already sitting at the campground with a cold beer, swag rolled out, fishing rod in hand, and a camp fire glowing.

"How did you talk your missus into letting you go Pete?" "I didn't have to," Pete replied. "Last week when I left our meeting, I went home and slumped down in my chair with a beer to drown my sorrows. Then the ol' lady snuck up behind me and covered my eyes and said, 'Surprise!'."
"When I peeled her hands back she was standing there in a beautiful see through negligee and she said, 'Carry me into the bedroom and tie me to the bed and you can do whatever you want'... SO HERE I AM!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ya gotta love Political cartoons

Mamma's love

Nature at its best. For a wonderful post on man's best friend, visit over at EasyPeasy. :)
these pics came via email with this info:

I have never seen anything like this. This is a newborn offspring of Taskin, Gypsy Stallion
owned by Villa Vanners that was born in Oregon.

These pictures were immediately after his birth on April 6. The mare laid down and
then he trotted around and crawled right up into her lap.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Are you on Belay?

Over at James place there was a fun post with some funny comments. However, one of the commenters made a reference to 'not wanting to know how the story ends, which is why he doesn't want to die', but he 'didn't understand why Christians had a problem with dying'. This caused me to wonder about such a comment, and what I felt and thought about the whole thing. I only partly answered him there, assuming his prompt wasn't rhetorical. But that wasn't enough and I had to continue with this thought; so, rather than drone on there with something that not all might be interested in, I thought rather to put it here. The pic is not of me, but it well could have been me, albeit 20 years ago when I was still quite wet behind the ears and naive to the world! :)

So, my answer to D was this: I think the answer in part, is that the Christian is, human, in the sense of having that strong pull to cherish life, to be alive. Without this drive perhaps mankind would have given up, perished a long time ago.

Then I continued here in thought with this: I liken being a Christian to being on a rock climb. Cliche' maybe; but the climb up the rock is like your life, a combination of your willingness to dare, to plan, to maneuver combined with what the rock/life has to offer, the variety of holds, outcroppings there for you to grab, etc. What we are willing to chance makes for the climb; and, the belay rope (Christ) is there to catch us when we fall. Other religions have different beliefs, as well as those who choose no Creator. I respect that; and, am okay with it, so long as it doesn't impose upon my freedoms. I cringe when the Christian religion (or any religion) starts shoving rules down my throat, to be honest. For Chrisitanity, it's not supposed to be about that (but that doesn't help all those burned on the pyre, does it?)

As for the afterlife, I suppose the rockclimb applies as well. There was one particular climb that was a favourite of our climbing group, but it was a bit 'narly'. There was a point in the climb however many feet up, maybe 100-200 feet, where in order to proceed upwards, you had to side step around this massive projecting boulder. This sideways move involved absolute commitment; if you failed, there would be a pendulum type fall, if you were lead climber. The move was easier to do for the guys who were 6ft, as they easily had the reach to almost where the ledge was, merely a small jump, but for lil ole me (I'm only 5'7), the reach was more of a comittment to a careful lunge....all done blindly mind you...the rock you were on, you had to wrap yourself around it (to get around it), and couldn't see to the other side. You just had to trust that the ledge was indeed there, as you've been told. So, to the Christian, our faith tells us the ledge is there...but we still have to leap at it, blindly.

Is human nature ever completely comfortable with the unknown? History, to me, reveals persons who thirst for the truth, who are inquisitive, who want to understand and want a hands on with things. Maybe that's why having faith, especially in something intangible, can be so difficult a concept to grasp. Yet, the creation really does reveal the Creator, one really only need to pause and soften their heart to look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Strength and Vitality of Jala (water)

Photography by Clark Little, Oahu, Hawaii

Perhaps a post for another day: water, a necessity for all life, representative of emotion...are we barely dipping our toes into the water or are we throwing ourselves full on into it? Perhaps somewhere there is a reflection of your life at the moment...

Meglio Stasera (Pink Panther)

You have to love the rhythm, the flow, the feminine...we are a force of nature, aren't we ladies...a quiet and soothing, nurturing ebb and flow of the tide or a strong wave of emotional passion and energy, heaven help those in our path... :)

Jala, the ebb and flow

Photography by Clark Little, Oahu, Hawaii

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chinese acrobatic troupe: Swan Lake

as graceful as a swan...quite incredible

Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China - Swan Lake 2/2

not your everyday ordinary frogs...

Thoughts on Nature

(Fidalgo Island, Wa.)

Beauty and the Beast

Nature is beautiful, quiet, and serene,
nature is the forest, with its many shades of green.
Nature is the birds, welcoming in the dawn,
nature is a calf, struggling to its feet as soon as it is born.
Nature is a salmon, swimming gainst the stream,
nature is a volcanic geyser, venting off steam.

Nature is a beast, kicking up a storm,
nature is the trees all bent, and broken, looking so forlorn.
Nature is lightning striking the ground,
nature is a forest fire, consuming all around.
Nature is a tornado, with its screaming roar,
nature is a tidal wave, washing every thing ashore.
Nature can be a beauty, and nature can be a beast.

~ Tango ~

(an Eastern Sierra stream)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Time for a Lament: Is America in Crisis?

Song: Niel Gow's Lament for the Death of his 2nd Wife (Scottish)
Credit: YouTube: jerald1610

Thoughts about Health Care

Nurse and hospital workers at Gettysburg
From: Francis T. Miller, The Photographic History of the Civil War, 1911

Well, I thought I was going to end silly week with the second Limerick, but this news came my way today. So, I'll end silly week with, Politics.

The health care issue is a big thing here in the US, rightly so. The US outspends other countries about two to one in administration costs.

Something that definitely needs to be addressed. For the most part, most everyone I talk with agrees that something needs to be done so that the poor guys stuck in the middle are able to have their medical needs adequately met (the rich will always be seen to, the poor have government aid). Most Everyone I talk to Do Not want Socialized medicine! How do our government officials think they can afford it? Or, are they trying to Feel how they think about it as they work things out? (*Emotion based thinking/planning, a post for another day)

The plan in Massachusetts isn't doing well:

"Universal coverage in any form is an increasingly elusive goal. Several states (including California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin) have attempted major efforts to advance toward health coverage for all citizens. All have had to turn back because the costs were prohibitive." (Hawaii also)

Don't get me wrong, I want EVERYONE to have adequate and affordable health care access.
I am in the health care profession. I see the need. I see the waste. I see the ridiculous things that bureaucracy and the liability culture heap upon us.

I'd love to hear what UK and others living with socialized medicine have to say. I know that for the average problem, things are affordable, accessible, and adequately seen to. However, I've also heard of the horrors of waiting forever for things that should be seen to sooner; and, would the person to have enough cash or private insurance, they would be.

My Swiss friend spoke of the health care she received while back at home. I think the US should take a closer look at the Swiss system. While not perfect, there are things that can be learned.
I like the idea of health care not being employer based. This is one thing that can be so limiting to a person with making life choices here in the US.

I do have this nagging question, though. If we really want health care (and retirement benefits) improved, would things be more quickly fixed if we demand that Congress have the same medical and retirement package like the rest of us?

This video clip is a reflection of things to come, I wonder. People are tired of elitist government officials; people are nervous, upset. These politicians are not royalty, they're public officials, so why should we the people have to 'wait to have an audience'?

I know, I know, politicians are busy people too...they have all of our money that they're busy spending, and sending business by way of family members....too bad these Retirees didn't have any money to donate at the time, maybe Ms Feinstein would have had time for them, to hear their grievances, as a public servant should...

(and yes, I know that the reality is that things can't be dropped for any 'drop-in'; however, the way this situation and these people were handled seems to speak volumes).

(*Feelings based motivation can be a good thing, but logic needs to prevail when programs are implemented that involve human behavior and economics: Food for thought and the WIC program, a post for another day)

Limerick ReDo-15" to be sure :)

There once was a rugger from Eire
Who ran like his pants were on fire
To the ruck he did jump
pounded all with a thump
Twas the posts and a try he did aspire.

Off the pitch he was a gallant lad
And only was very occasionally bad
With a few of the lasses
And lifting those glasses
A good time for all they had.

A song he could lead for he was quite charming
Did I say with the lasses he was disarming?
You need watch your knickers 'round him
'cause he's quite astoundin'
But don't get him mad, he's alarming.

Right, James, down to 15" by a few seconds, uninterrupted for the most part. ;D