Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bread & Circuses...

Of the dozen (or more) ways to describe what's been happening in the USA lately -- or at least the dozen ways not using scatological language, we can say the following:

1.  From Juvenal (Roman poet, somewhere around the late 1st and 2nd century AD), noted for his poems known as the Satires:  "Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt."

2.  From Noam Chomsky, theoretical linguist, cognitive scientist and philosopher: "As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome."

3.  Attributed to Mark Twain (but disproved a couple of times - I'm going with it anyway...): "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and annoys the pig."

4.  Smoke and Mirrors: an idiom for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. 

5.  From Carl Sagan, American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and science communicator: "Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan that comes along." 

And finally, 

6. From Neil DeGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, science communicator and television host (NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS): "You can't have people making decisions about the future of the world who are scientifically illiterate. That's a recipe for disaster. And I don't mean just whether a politician is scientifically literate, but people who vote politicians into office."

So here's the thing, kids... This circus of an administration is killing us. We have a purported Tweeter-in-Chief who is easily distracted. Much like a 2-year-old who was given a sippy cup full of Mountain Dew for breakfast. He tweets "policies" only to distract us from stuff like, oh, I dunno - the upcoming investigations on Russia's involvement in our elections. His taxes. His family's conflicts of interest. The gutting of so many necessary programs. The appointment of lobbyists and large contributors to departments such as Education and Interior, so that they can rip those venerable organizations to shreds. 

He can't let go of Hillary Clinton. Dude - much to my chagrin and the anger and angst of millions of us, you won. Get over it. Move on. Try "presidenting" at least once before you're impeached. (Are You listening, God??)

He's humiliating AG Sessions, and much though I don't like Sessions, I'll give him credit for not quitting. Sessions is holding his own while there's a kid in the White House having a tantrum. You know - the guy in the Oval Office. 

He's threatening the senator from Alaska because she voted against HIS wishes and FOR what her constituents need. Amazing, that... I can't see her being bullied, and I can't see the folks in Alaska dumping her because she's giving them what they need. But I've been shocked before. 

And much to my surprise, Mr. Lindsey Graham appears to be growing a spine! It's about time. He's finally putting the brakes on the Nectarine Nemesis. And pardon me, but I can't figure out McCain. Is he voting to open debate on the ACA so he can champion keeping it? Or is he NOT being a maverick, and will he cave to his party, since they seem to have no qualms about kicking over 25 million people off health care, because you know - it's "Christian" to do so. 

"The Base" -- you can't even have a discussion with them. We're so polarized that it's impossible to reason with anyone. I'm starting to believe that he truly COULD shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. These people will vote against everything they need, and justify this incredibly inept moron's behavior by screaming about President Obama. People... Your guy got in, somehow (Thanks, Vlad...). Now - when the government takes your Medicare, let me know how that works for you. When the government strips you of any kind of insurance and pension, let me know how that works for you. When the jobs that were promised don't appear, let me know how that works for you. When the teen pregnancy rate rises, when your spouse dies of a preventable disease, and when polio comes back because you don't believe in science -- let me know how that works for you. 

I don't know how much longer we'll sit for this - or stand for it. I'm not sure how to go about pushing for getting him out of there before we end up in a war or a depression. But then, we get Pope Pence... He'll make the most conservative Catholic look like a hippie. 

I fear for our children and grandchildren. 


So - that last inch before the toe decrease? It's about a million miles long. Seriously, it's like time has stopped. This was last night. Today, I finally - FINALLY - got to the toe decrease. And then I had to go hunt for the directions for a 5-needle toe. All the books I had handy were for a 4-needle, and I wasn't about to chance it. 

I went to my friend R's house to interpret a top-down pattern for her. I should've brought my ball-winder and swift, but we're getting together tomorrow so that I can wind her balls for her. 

I'm kind of itching to finish this sock and get back to the sweater. 

But. Must. Finish. A. Pair. 

I've got too many "singletons" out there now. And if I want to wear 'em, I've gotta knit BOTH of them. I have more socks to knit and I'm wondering if I'm going through a "bored with bland" period. I mean, this yarn is lovely. It's going to be a beautiful pair of socks. But I find myself wanting just a smidge more for a challenge. 

Not sure I'm ready for a cabled sock, but maybe some uncomplicated lace on the cuff? I could do that. Or I've been eyeballing "shorties" that I can wear with tennis shoes. That would be nice. I can do those in "Frankensock" - where I use up scraps. Got lots of extra yarn from the socks I've already completed. 

It's a thought. Just have to push on and get moving. 

The Girls...

I mean the dogs. We've begun using CBD oil for Quinn and Raisa. We're trying to see if it curbs Raisa's aggressiveness and calms Quinn's nerves. Nothing much so far. 

Except that Raisa has determined that, against all logic, she loves Rose essential Oil. Of course. At $100/bottle. And a bottle is 5 ml. Of course she loves it. 

I had a "distance" session with a healer - using Healing Touch for Animals, with Quinn, and it was interesting. I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pretty certain this "Reiki for animals" would be good for her in-person, but the person I spoke to wanted to do a distance session because of timing and scheduling. We do live a couple hours from each other. 

Quinn was kind of "meh" about it, except for, part-way through the session, she perked up, looked around and seemed to sense that someone was close by (besides me). Nobody was there. The person doing the session was far away. 

Tippi with blue crown
Quinn had a relaxing day that day and the healer told me she could use some Frankincense oil. Which, it turns out, she loves. Sacred Frankincense, of course, the more rare one. 

I did use regular Frankincense on her when we thought we were having a thunderstorm. Normally, Quinn's kind of "resigned" when I use lavender on her. She did enjoy the Frank... She bowed her head and seemed happier for me to use that. 

Quinn with red crown
It's a process. Whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, I have to try different things. I don't want her drugged, but she needs some relief from her overwhelming anxiety. 

If this works, I'm happy. If it doesn't work, I haven't wasted anyone's time. The person doing the healing needs a "case" to work on. I have a "case" for this kind of thing. 

I got a couple of new crowns for the girls. Raisa does without - she eats hats. Quinn would walk around the house with it on and doesn't mind. 

Tippi technically doesn't like them, but she tolerates them for therapy visits. This one - I had to whistle to get their attention and take a picture when they looked like they weren't ready to die from humiliation. 

I think they're adorable. Don't you?


It rained. And it's been raining. These past 2 days are the only rain-free ones we've had in about 10 days. The park near my office looked like a mess. We had a relatively mild winter, and we need the water. 

Just not all at once. I had to drive through a neighborhood because traffic lights were out and I'm thinking that just about every house in the blocks I drove by had some sort of damage: a tree limb, a shattered tree, destroyed lawn furniture... It was rough. 

Lucky for us, our idiot neighbor's dead tree is still (miraculously) standing. Though I don't know how much more it can take. 

As I taught through a downpour, this is what greeted us after class... 

We all stopped and took pictures because it was a beauty - end-to-end with the most intense colors at either side. 

Mother Nature sometimes throws you a gift while she's wrecking your yard. It was a beauty and I'm glad we caught it. 

Stencil Art...

Kid #2 is really into stencils. This is what he gave me recently. You think the kid knows me or something?? 

I mean yes -- thoughts and prayers are meaningful. I'm a spiritual person. But -- sitting on your hands and praying won't cut it now. 

We actively have to resist the crap that's piling up on us. If not for us, then for our kids. Those of us with adult children see them having a much harder time than we did. Kid #1 is going to struggle his whole life to save anything. Kid #2 - we used to think that nurses and teachers "had it made" what with guaranteed jobs and pensions. 

Well, neither nurses nor teachers have it made. Hospitals are cutting nursing staffs and schools are impacted by Washington and the various states' budget woes. 

Maybe both kids should've gone into technology, but then again: those jobs also come and go. I really can't think of a profession out there with any sort of security. 

Oh. Wait. 

Professional politician. 

No thanks - I raised them to be independent thinkers. The current herd doesn't always use their brains. See: Lost Election of 2016 for the Dems (who thought they had a "sure thing" and didn't count on the vast impact of crazy), and "How to vote Party all the way" for the Cons... Where you've sold your soul to the highest  bidder, and you really don't care. 

Random Picture...

So at work, we'd been using a chemical air freshener. Ick. I bought this one - it's a very small one, but I'm trying it out. So far, it's working nicely even if it doesn't cover the entire space. 

Technically, this Orb Diffuser can fit in your cup holder, and if your car is new enough to have a USB port, it'll freshen the car as you travel. I have a diffuser in the kitchen, the bedroom and the main living area. I have one in the studio. I use them daily. If this works, I'll bring a larger one into the office. 

My going "chemical free" (or as much as I can, given life in general) has really changed the way I clean and the way I take care of myself. It's made me feel better, not only for the environment, but physically. My skin looks healthier and I seem to sleep better. 

It's important to take care of yourself and your family. I can help. Young Living Essential Oils are a part of my routine, from cleaning to supplements. And you know what? It's just nice to have a fresh-smelling house! 

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