About Cats r Flyfishn

Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – I Remember

I remember when all vegetables were organic and purchased from the local farmer.  As a matter of fact, when I was a very young child, I remember a farmer driving his truck around the city where I lived and selling his produce right off the back of his truck.  Before supermarkets, our food came from the corner grocery store and with the exception of the Birdseye frozen vegetables and canned vegetables (yuk), it was fresh from the local farmer.  If it was out of season, it wasn’t on the shelf. The corner grocery store was often owned by a butcher.  Our little neighborhood supported three corner butcher/groceries.  The meat was not factory farmed and tasted good.  Once a week, the milkman would stop by very early in the morning and drop off farm fresh milk and eggs.  My mother would put money in an envelope along with a note for her next order and leave it in the insulated milk box.

Then the supermarket chains appeared and gradually put an end to the corner butcher/grocery stores.  This was when factory farming became all the rage and the farmers turned to using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.  The ranchers discovered that feeding steers grain made them get fatter faster which meant a quicker and higher return on their investment.  Along with the grain came an increase in intestinal salmonella growth in the cattle and the contamination of the meat supply.  Cattle are NOT grain eaters.  They are grass eaters and salmonella does not grow freely in a grass fed bovine.  Besides, grass fed beef is high in Omega 3′s whereas grain fed beef is high in Omega 6′s.  That’s a story for another time.

Now, we pay premium prices for organic food which was once the only food that could by purchased at the local grocery.  Has Monsanto won or are we waiting for summer’s bounty from the local farmers?  I am anxiously awaiting the return of the local farmers’ markets.  Now if only I can find room in my small house for my freezer.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: December 31, 2013 – I Wish You Enough

This will be my last regular, Tuesday, Open Thread post.  I will still be lurking and I may, on occasion, create a post independent of the Open Thread.  It’s been my pleasure to virtually meet you.

Here’s a little something for the new year.

I WISH YOU ENOUGH Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:”I love you and I wish you enough.”The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?””I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,”I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”She then began to cry and walked away.They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

This is our Open Thread.  I wish you enough. Now it’s your turn to Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 – It Takes Strength

This year has been a difficult year for me.  It’s been a year that has been particularly brutal to my physical and mental health.

We sold our home of 16 years in June and until we moved into our new home on December 6, we were nomads.  Living out of a suitcase isn’t all it’s cranked up to be.  It’s been a stressful 6 months which taxed me emotionally.

Throughout the summer, I experienced severe pain in my left knee, muscle spasms in my left leg, numbness in the first toe on my right foot, migraine headaches, and extreme fatigue.  Since I didn’t have insurance at the time, I put off seeing the doctor until September as that is when my Medicare Part B took effect.  To make a long story short, I was able to convince the doctor to test me for Lyme Disease.  I was even able to get her to start me on Doxycycline.  Sure enough, I had Lyme Disease.  It has taken several months to recover from this devastating disease.  Lyme Disease is serious business.

Next up, I get an exam from my “new” doctor in Eugene, Oregon.  Because of my age, he decided to give me an ECG (electrocardiogram).  The results were not what I wanted to hear.  I have a left ventricular block which means that my heart is working overtime.

I told you that to tell you this.  Blood flow blockage is not a good thing.  I decided to consult the expert, Dr. Dean Ornish.  He recommends diet changes and exercise along with meditation and something else.  Dr. Ornish suggests that we practice “forgiveness, altruism, compassion, and service” and that “it takes strength and courage to forgive; those who are afraid to look weak often preach vengeance and violence”.  He mentions that he was inspired by Nelson Mandela and he quotes from Mandela’s book, “Long Walk to Freedom,”

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black.  I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.  A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.  I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me.  The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.  Some say that has now been achieved.  But I know that that is not the case.  The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed.  We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road.  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.  The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

This made me start thinking.  If I truly want to regain my health, then along with diet and exercise, I need to be more positive about life, more forgiving of others, and less angry about things that I cannot change.

We all have the power to create our own view of life.

This is our Open Thread.  Enough about me.  Now it is your turn to Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 – Deception

Who do you believe?  The dog or your lying eyes?

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How do you know when a Republican is lying?  Their lips are moving.

My Internet access will be sketchy for the next two weeks as we will be on the road for a few days and then moving into our next house which will require that we get an Internet connection.  If we become desperate, there’s always a Starbucks close by.

This is our Open Thread.  Now it’s your turn to Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – Yellow Ribbon Support

Last week, we celebrated Veteran’s Day which is a national holiday.  But how much real support does this Congress give to our veterans?

Did you know…

  • 1/3 of the homeless population are veterans?
  • 1 million veterans rely on food stamps?

Yet, Congress is fine with cutting food stamps to our veterans along with the cuts that affect seniors and the 49% of children that rely on this program.  The House bill reduces the SNAP program (food stamps) by $40 billions dollars.  In the Senate, their bill reduces the SNAP program by $5 billions dollars.  Senators Warren and Gildebrand, introduced a bill that would reduce the insurance guarantee for crop failures by 2%.  The money saved by this change would cover the $5 billions dollars therefore no cuts to SNAP would be needed.  Of course, this idea died before any Senators had a chance to vote.

In a nation this wealthy, there is no reason for any American to go without food.  The Republicans in Congress have turned their backs on the most vulnerable Americans and that includes our veterans.

Congressional Republicans, have you no shame?

This is our Open Thread.  What are your thoughts?  Speak Up!

Here’s a link to an article in the New York Times.

Here’s a link to an NPR program regarding SNAP.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – Lay It All Down

Here’s some beautiful lyrics written by Melanie Safka.  Remember her?

Lay down, lay down, lay it all down,
Let your white birds smile up
At the ones who stand and frown
Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile up
At the ones who stand and frown.

We were so close, there was no room.
We bled inside each other’s wounds.
We all had caught the same disease.
We all sang the songs of peace.
Some came to sing, some came to pray,
Some came to keep the dark away.

So raise the candles high
Because if you don’t we could stay black against the night.
Oh, oh, raise them higher again
And if you do we could stay dry against the rain.

Lay down, lay down, lay it all down,
Let your white birds smile up
At the ones who stand and frown
Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile up
At the ones who stand and frown.

This is our Open Thread.  I think we could use some of this about now.  What do you think?  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: October 15, 2013 – I like Tea

I enjoy drinking tea.  It can be black tea, green tea, or herbal tea.  That is how I like my tea.  Oh, I also enjoy a good cup of coffee, too.

There is another TEA (oh, yuck) that is not at all tasty…

tea-party-protest-3-11-2009Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
—Spike Milligan

The TEA Bag Party started out with this identity, T (taxed), E (enough), A (already). They walked around with tea bags attached to their silly hats and initially referred to themselves as “teabaggers”.  Once they discovered the meaning of “teabagger”, they dropped all reference to that term.  Taxes have gone down and yet these people continue to use the term TEA.  Sounds like a meaningless name considering they are so focused on women’s ovaries and vaginas, abortion and dismantling the ACA.  I don’t hear any of them complaining about taxes anymore.  They should change their name.  Any suggestions?

This is our Open Thread.  Go ahead, Speak Up!

Less I forget, some of us like Beer, too.

Happy Birthday to Nonewhere

Today, Nonewhere marks the beginning of another year.  This past year has been filled with changes for him.

It’s also my mother’s birthday.  She would have been 100 years old.

Nonewhere loves pumpkin pie.  He rarely passes up the opportunity to enjoy a piece of pie.  Enjoy your day.

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Watering Hole: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – I am Furloughed

No, not really.  I had this long rant planned but when it came time to write it, well, it just didn’t happen.  So instead, I give you this, a link to the 50 Best Places to Grow Old.  There are all kinds of links to the “best” and the “worst” of places.  All this brought to you by weather.com.  If you need a break from the craziness that is our government, feel free to cruise through those links.

This is all I can offer for this Tuesday.  If you have more, then Speak Up!

Open Thread

Watering Hole: October 1, 2013 – There’s No Stopping It

That’s right.  There is no stopping children’s attraction to ‘Super Heroes’.  This may be part of a child’s developmental integration of what is considered to be “right” and what is considered to be “wrong” behavior.

Let’s face the facts.  The ‘Super Heroes’ are male with the exception of ‘Wonder Woman’.  When my girls were very young, we would watch ‘Wonder Woman’ on TV and we would cheer when ‘Wonder Woman’ would set things right.

Television producers would like to bring back ‘Wonder Woman’ but are having a difficult time finding the right script.  Linda Carter gives her perspective on this and I think she is spot on.

“I think they try to just make her a female version of a male superhero, and that’s not what she is,” Carter said. “She is an Amazon Princess and she’s got really strong sisterhood values … Maybe they need a female writer who gets it. I’ve often tried not to say that, but I think it’s the truth. It’s like, ‘Hellooooo guys, get a female that understands what that’s all about.’ You look at any society that suppresses women, and it’s violent. Look around the world. … There’s a humanity that they’re missing. There’s got to be a sweetness, a kindness, a goodness in the character. The rest takes care of itself.”

Enough said.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: September 24, 2013 – Salmon – UPDATED

Chinook at the fish ladder, Seattle, WA

I took this picture with my cell phone at the fish ladder in Seattle, WA back in the middle of July.  The Coho Chinook (King) salmon had just begun their migration from the ocean to the stream.  This is quite the challenge as these very large fish make their way from the ocean, through Puget Sound, up the fish ladders into Lake Washington and then into the feeder streams.  Some of these fish will spawn and die while others will make their way back to the sea.

It was amazing to see these large fish swimming outside the fish ladder and then taking turns climbing these ladders.  They lined up like cars waiting to pay at a toll booth.

Coho in Stream

That’s all I got.

UPDATE:  Chinook/King spawning.Lx382   Chinook or King Salmon

My apologies for the mix up.  I am going to blame the error on Lyme Disease which can mess with one’s mind  :(

 

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – Rain, again?

Colorado has been pounded with rain, rain, and more rain which is causing massive flooding.  Many residents have lost their homes and cars.  Another major casualty of these floods is the oil and gas industry.

The Denver Post had this to say:

As Front Range floodwaters continued to drain into the swelling South Platte River Saturday, authorities scrambled to evacuate stranded residents from homes and deal with a broken oil and gas industry pipeline.

Fracking water that leaks into the environment causes contamination with cancer causing chemicals which cannot be easily removed.

Oil and gas industry crews have been monitoring wells drilled into the flood plain east of Greeley in Weld County.

One pipeline has broken and is leaking, Weld County Emergency Manager Roy Rudisill. Other industry pipelines are sagging as saturated sediment erodes around the expanding river.

Industry crews “are shutting in the lines, shutting in the wells,” Rudisill said.

In a statement, Gary Wockner, of Clean Water Action, said “Fracking and operating oil and gas facilities in floodplains is extremely risky. Flood waters can topple facilities and spread oil, gas, and cancer-causing fracking chemicals across vast landscapes making contamination and clean-up efforts exponentially worse and more complicated.”

Here are a few pictures from the Boulder area.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 – Don’t Do It

Last week, I felt conflicted as to how the US should respond to the gassing of citizens in Syria by the Assad government.  I have since reached an opinion regarding the use of targeted missile strikes by the United States.  Mr. President, don’t do it.

Assad has already killed many Syrians using conventional weapons and air strikes won’t prevent him from killing more Syrians in the future.  Children are always collateral damage in a war regardless of the weapons of choice.

The use of chemical and biological weapons were outlawed after World War I at the Geneva Convention.  The Chemical Weapons Convention, which further bans chemical weapons and requires the destruction of these weapons, clearly specifies:

  • Prohibition,
  • Declaration Requirements,
  • Destruction Requirements,
  • On-site Activity,
  • Trade,
  • And Penalties for non-compliance.

You can read more at the Arms Control website.

Since it is clear that using chemical or biological weapons is greatly frowned upon, I am left wondering, “Where is the outrage by the rest of the world’s nations?”  Why isn’t Assad being charged as a war criminal by the Hague?  European nations are timid in their response.  Could this silence be because of the war crimes committed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld when no nation spoke up?  Is Putin siding with Assad because he would do the same to Russians that oppose him?  Just asking.

I question why Assad used chemical weapons.  He knows that President Obama claimed their use was the red line and yet Assad used them.  Does he want the US to get involved?  Were these chemical weapons the lure on the line?  There are still too many questions that have not been answered.

Americans are tired of war.  If our government is struggling to handle the current case load of our veterans, it certainly can’t afford to add to that work load.  We are struggling to recover from a huge deficit by using “sequestration”.  Many home bound citizens are missing meals because of cuts to Meals on Wheels and children that could greatly benefit from early education are being denied admission to Head Start.  This is just some of the impact of the budgetary cuts made by Congress but yet, we are suppose to believe that the US can afford to pay for missiles.  A single Tomahawk cruise missile costs approximately $1.5 million and Hellfire rockets cost about $115,000.00 each.  These prices do not include the cost of transportation or the tools need to launch the weapons.

I am hopeful that the House will say “no” to President Obama’s request for military strikes in Syria.

In the meantime, you might want to dust off your yellow ribbons.

This diary at Daily Kos presents an interesting perspective.

This is the Open Thread.  Speak Up!

NB:  This post was created on Saturday, Sept. 7 and does not reflect any updates that may have occurred since then.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 – Almost the End

Summer is quickly coming to an end.  Before the blue skies give way to grey, we decided it was time to get that one last fun summer event in by going to the Oregon coast.  This was my first trip to the Pacific Ocean and of course, I had to spend some time in the 60 degree water which didn’t bother me at all.  We spent a few days at Cape Kiwanda, Oregon.  It’s just one of many beaches where big rocks stand tall in the surf.

There was a sign in the rental unit that stated that we were in a tsunami hazard zone.  That was not comforting.  As we returned home, we drove along the coastal highway, number 101.  We passed through several towns that had the same tsunami warning and some towns indicated that they were a “tsunami prepared community”.  Right.  A warning siren goes off and everyone has 5 minutes to get to higher ground.

Oregon is the opposite twin to Japan and every 300 to 600 years, the coast will experience an earthquake which will create a tsunami.  An Oregon tsunami may be bigger than previously thought.

When a tsunami strikes the Oregon coast – as many have before and will again – the merciless wall of water could loom far higher and rush farther inland than anything coastal communities have planned for.

That unsettling realization comes from new computer simulations of the way the earth and water would behave during a severe offshore quake, based partly on lessons from the deadly tsunami that roiled the Indian Ocean in 2004. The tsunami there, which killed nearly a quarter of a million people, towered close to 100 feet high in places – more than twice what scientists pictured when they first drew tsunami hazard maps for Oregon coast communities.

The undersea rift, or subduction zone, that triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami – among the deadliest natural disasters in history – is almost identical to the one that lies quietly off Oregon. And that raised the question: Could a tsunami like that hit Oregon and the rest of the West Coast?

The answer is yes, according to new projections of how an earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast would send a tsunami ashore at Cannon Beach.

This is our Open Thread.  Take a risk and Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 – The Tomato and the Hemp Plant

Authorities should learn to recognize plants before they begin tearing up peoples’ gardens.  The residents of this small community had their organic gardens destroyed because a neighbor called the police and claimed that marijuana was growing in the gardens.

In June, an anonymous source provided police with information that Eaker was growing marijuana in a garden that is surrounded by bamboo, the warrant states.

On July 30, a Texas Department of Public Safety aircraft conducted aerial surveillance of the Garden of Eden property, according to the warrant. Based on the investigating officer’s experience, and upon review of photographs taken of a garden surrounded by bamboo, the plants inside appeared to be consistent with marijuana, police state in the warrant.

What disturbs me is that people have to fear having their home gardens destroyed because of a false alarm created by a nosy neighbor.

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This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!