Saturday, December 19, 2009

Close To You

Digging out from the Dec 9-10 snowstorm

For my friends not on Facebook, here are some very recent shots of Ginger and Dickens finding innovative ways to stay warm this winter. The innovation was mostly on the part of Ginger--it was up to Dickens to adapt. Your choices are somewhat limited when you only weigh 10 pounds.

Keep in mind that besides Dickens' little bed, which is right behind my chair (and currently holding its intended occupant) there are two extra large padded beds on either side of my chair that can easily accommodate a fully stretched out pit bull of, say, 65 pounds.

And one last note: My house is drafty, for sure, but it is not cold. The desert blood I acquired over the last 15 years keeps me from living in frosty conditions when indoors. (With the notable exception of the iced over windows, of course.)
Best choice, of course, is finding sun. And a headrest. Ginger did have her back feet on Dickens also, but Dickens moved when I turned on the camera, as usual.

Or, find yourself a cozy bed. Cozy, in this case, with the real estate meaning of "tiny."

I have no idea what possessed Ginger to do this. She has never attempted to hijack Dickens' bed before.

The next day, she did it WHILE Dickens was in it. Dickens showed no uncertain affront.

Eventually, however, he was forced to adapt. I guess he figured at least it was warm. I removed the water bowl next to him lest Ginger kick him into it, since he was not wearing a life vest.

One more picture after the jump, with Dickens making the most of his humans for warmth.
(I did eventually convince Ginger to move to one of her own beds. Dickens joined her shortly, curling up behind her with his little head propped on Ginger's whale of a back. No picture: Dickens moved. He can hear my camera from a mile away.)

Ideally, for maximum warmth, sandwich yourself between a big human and a small human, under a very soft blanket. No pit bulls allowed--this time.

Niece Jordan, Dickens and I on Thanksgiving
Read more!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cree Indian Prophecy

Only after the last tree is cut down,
The last of the water poisoned,
The last animal destroyed...
Only then will you realize you cannot eat money
-- Cree Indian prophecy Read more!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finding a way

I have to go back. I don't know how, I don't know when, and I don't know for how long, but I have to go back.

I cannot tolerate domesticity--shallow, commercial, First-World culture--another second. But I will have to if I want to get out--even for a little while.

Most people are depressed because they think there's something more out there. I am depressed--flat-out steamrollered for two years now--because I know there is something more. I have seen it up close but then, as now, I just can't figure out how to be a part of it.

There has to be more than drugging tender racehorses for a living. There is more. People are helping working horses and donkeys--and their impoverished owners--every day all over the Third World. The Brooke, and others, too.

There has to be a way.

Because this, this life, is not the way. Not for me. Read more!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shameless Celebrity Worship

Baby Brad in Thelma and Louise, the start of it all...

I have a friend at work named April, who will remain nameless. She is very helpful, being a trainer, and is my Go To person when no one else knows how to fix something.

But she is smarter than that: She must be paid. Thankfully, I enjoy her bribes as much as she does (or almost as much) and the search for ever better versions of that-which-keeps-April-happy is always a delightful one.

Her payments? Pictures of Brad Pitt.

Today I ran a search (and my methods are top secret, so don't even ask) and found one so breath-taking that my computer actually locked up and shut down for 25 minutes. It simply could not take the hotness. I spent that time searching the Yellow Pages for a sculptor who might cast Brad's likeness in a bust for my home. Time well spent.

Anyway, I have decided to share the picture with you. I placed it AFTER the jump because I needed you to be PREPARED. I tried to prepare you for the kitten video and you all peed yourselves anyway, so let's try this again.

Breathe deeply, find your inner zen, and then, just maybe, you'll be ready for what follows.

All grown up.

Don't forget to wipe your chin before you go back into the living room. You look ridiculous.
Read more!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I DOUBLE-dare you.

I double-dare you to watch this video without smiling, laughing, or reacting in any way whatsoever. I'm even warning you ahead of time. Try it. You can't do it.

As Huffpost writer Alex Leo wrote in introducing the vid, you simpy won't be able to help it.
I tried to warn you. Read more!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey--get a REAL turkey this year!

Okay, personally I can't eat something that looks at me this way. It just seems too easy...

Try it--you might like it! Just call your local co-op.

You can even go to to find a local source of ethically-raised meat.

Read more!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Not About "Eating Animals"

Admittedly one of the worst design covers in recent history--N.D.

"The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly, and the case against the people who run the system is presented so convincingly, that anyone who, after reading Foer's book, continues to consume the industry's products must be without a heart, or impervious to reason, or both." J.M. Coetzee, author of The Lives of Animals

This is not about being a vegetarian or vegan or omnivore, it's about knowing where 99% of our meat, poultry and fish come from and deciding if this is a system we want to continue to support, to the detriment of our own health, the animals' welfare, and the devastating effects on our world, in terms of global warming, pollution and disease creation.

Want to know more? Read the book. And yes, you DO have time. It's not War and Peace, for Christ's sake.
Read more!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why? Someone tell me why?

In this Oct. 13, 2009 photo, Kelly Holmin, age 12, sits on a bull moose after she shot and killed it on Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minn. A Minnesota wildlife official confirms that Kelly Holmin, a 12-year-old girl is the youngest Minnesotan to kill a moose in the modern era. The bull moose had a 58-inch antler spread and weighed 1,100 pounds. (AP Photo/Jeff Holmin)

Who taught a 12 year-old that you should smile after killing one of this continent's most noble species? Why am I the only one who is crying--who feels nauseated? Connecting with nature means NOT killing it. Would anyone describe a serial murderer as someone who liked to connect with people?

Buy your kid a fucking camera, not a gun. Yeah--ask me how I REALLY feel about it.
And people wonder why I don't get along with other people. Because we act like this, that's why.

It's funny, in a way. I just ordered the book Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, which I figured would finally put me over the edge into vegetarianism, at least, and here this picture of a child sitting on a spectacular, non-breathing moose did it for me. I want no part of this.

And here is what they look like alive, just for the record. This picture also makes me cry, for I used to have it framed in my bathroom in an apartment in Phoenix. It was one of my favorite pictures from Idaho. (I don't know the photographer.)
One night in 2001, in yet another drunken rage, my ex-husband--Ray Brown of Odessa, TX, in case anyone's in the area and wants to look him up--punched the picture so hard he shattered the glass and tore the photo, then bled all over the bathroom. It took me days to find and clean all the blood specks up. I'm sure he has no memory of the event.

And I'm sure that memories like these have no impact on how I view the picture of a child smiling over the body of a dead bull moose.

I have nothing more to say.
Read more!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I can't stop. Read more!

Thank goodness my animals don't know about YouTube. Read more!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Deepak Chopra keeps the light burning

Here is an excerpt from an article by Deepak Chopra called "Dear Mr. President: Make This a Real Peace Prize" as seen on HuffPost. The whole article is worth reading. Chopra is not afraid of wishful thinking, somehow is not too jaded to keep pressing for action. The rest of us tire so easily... Maybe that's Chopra's job.

He points out something I was slow to recognize--that this was a strategic chess move on the behalf of all Europeans, and not without great risk.

"An air of pleased embarrassment is emanating from the White House today. It may be seen that this was really the Nobel Speech Prize. The Oslo committee clearly wanted to jog some elbows, particularly European ones. President Obama has made all the right moves on many fronts -- nuclear disarmament, global warming, a reach-out to the Muslim world.

This might alternatively be called the Nobel Relief Prize, as the rest of the world breathes a sigh that the U.S. is no longer a unilateral, belligerent power. Simply to back away from the military overreach of the Bush era is reason to celebrate.

But a shadow hangs over the Nobel, thanks to its record of futility. A glaring example would be all the prizes given for negotiating a peace in the Middle East that never came. Attempts at peace are laudable, and perhaps they are the best we can do much of the time, but Obama should aim higher."

"...It's in his power to make this a real peace prize.

Because he's a sitting president, he's one of the few recipients with global power. And he sits atop a massive -- mega-massive, if you will -- military budget. The two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be object lessons in peace-making. If he has learned anything from these two conflicts, which are futile, impoverishing, and seemingly endless, Obama could lay down the following policies:

--Cutting America's nuclear stockpile immediately by 90%.

--Fighting no wars without a strong array of willing allies.

--Turning any conflict into a peacekeeping mission.

--Initiating a draft for future wars so that a tiny slice of the American population, generally the poorest and least educated, doesn't bear the burden of sacrifice alone.

--Dramatically curtailing future defense budgets.

--Ending America's supremacy in arms dealing."

"... Peace begins with those who have the power to make peace. Obama stands in a unique position in this regard. Even though we've turned the corner from Bush's reckless belligerence, avowing peace isn't the same as action. The bald truth is that much of the world fears America, and our politicians and generals like it that way. But in an age of globalism, it's not feasible to want worldwide cooperation on climate change while holding all the cards in weapons. Fear doesn't fit well with cooperation."

Read the entire post here.

May we find the energy to keep hoping. Read more!

And the winner is...


In case you were wondering:

All Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 89 times to 119 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2008 – 96 times to individuals and 23 times to organizations. Since International Committee of the Red Cross was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1917, 1944 and 1963, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981, that means 96 individuals and 20 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009 - Barack Obama (Most likely to succeed?)
2008 - Martti Ahtisaari
2007 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore
2006 - Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank
2005 - International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei
2004 - Wangari Maathai
2003 - Shirin Ebadi
2002 - Jimmy Carter
2001 - United Nations, Kofi Annan 1/2 to each "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world" [Personal favorite]

2000 - Kim Dae-jung
1999 - Médecins Sans Frontières (LOVED the movie!)
1998 - John Hume, David Trimble
1997 - International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams
1996 - Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, José Ramos-Horta
1995 - Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
1994 - Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin (Strange Bedfellows Award)
1993 - Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk (Ditto)
1992 - Rigoberta Menchú Tum
1991 - Aung San Suu Kyi
1990 - Mikhail Gorbachev
1989 - The 14th Dalai Lama
1988 - United Nations Peacekeeping Forces
1987 - Oscar Arias Sánchez
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1985 - International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
1984 - Desmond Tutu
1983 - Lech Walesa
1982 - Alva Myrdal, Alfonso García Robles
1981 - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1980 - Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
1979 - Mother Teresa
1978 - Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin
(Frenemies win a lot!)
1977 - Amnesty International
1976 - Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan
1975 - Andrei Sakharov
1974 - Seán MacBride, Eisaku Sato
1973 - Henry Kissinger, Le Duc Tho
1972 - The prize money for 1972 was allocated to the Main Fund
1971 - Willy Brandt
1970 - Norman Borlaug
1969 - International Labour Organization
1968 - René Cassin
1967 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1966 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1965 - United Nations Children's Fund
1964 - Martin Luther King Jr.

1963 - International Committee of the Red Cross, League of Red Cross Societies
1962 - Linus Pauling
1961 - Dag Hammarskjöld
1960 - Albert Lutuli
1959 - Philip Noel-Baker
1958 - Georges Pire
1957 - Lester Bowles Pearson
1956 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1955 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1954 - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1953 - George C. Marshall
1952 - Albert Schweitzer
1951 - Léon Jouhaux
1950 - Ralph Bunche
1949 - Lord Boyd Orr
1948 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1947 - Friends Service Council, American Friends Service Committee
1946 - Emily Greene Balch, John R. Mott
1945 - Cordell Hull
1944 - International Committee of the Red Cross
1943 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1942 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1941 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1940 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1939 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1938 - Nansen International Office for Refugees
1937 - Robert Cecil
1936 - Carlos Saavedra Lamas
1935 - Carl von Ossietzky
1934 - Arthur Henderson
1933 - Sir Norman Angell
1932 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1931 - Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler
1930 - Nathan Söderblom
1929 - Frank B. Kellogg
1928 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1927 - Ferdinand Buisson, Ludwig Quidde
1926 - Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann
1925 - Sir Austen Chamberlain, Charles G. Dawes
1924 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1923 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1922 - Fridtjof Nansen
1921 - Hjalmar Branting, Christian Lange
1920 - Léon Bourgeois
1919 - Woodrow Wilson (Guy sounds familiar)
1918 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1917 - International Committee of the Red Cross
1916 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1915 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1914 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1913 - Henri La Fontaine
1912 - Elihu Root
1911 - Tobias Asser, Alfred Fried
1910 - Permanent International Peace Bureau
1909 - Auguste Beernaert, Paul Henri d'Estournelles de Constant
1908 - Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Fredrik Bajer
1907 - Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Louis Renault
1906 - Theodore Roosevelt (Best shot while mounted)
1905 - Bertha von Suttner
1904 - Institute of International Law
1903 - Randal Cremer
1902 - Élie Ducommun, Albert Gobat
1901 - Henry Dunant, Frédéric Passy

Read more!

Nobel Peace Prize to be renamed Nobel Potential Prize

Granted, I am not fully awake yet, but what the fuck are they drinking over there in Oslo--and where can I get some? This is the news I awoke to this morning:

President Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize, Yahoo's lead story.

This is not a popularity award (well, maybe it is) but rather one that should be awarded to, and I quote here Alfred Nobel from his 1985 will, "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

Well, he has had some success with "peace congresses" as Andy Borowitz points out in his reaction to the news this morning:

Nobel Insiders: Beer Summit Sealed it for Obama

Another article makes a number of good points about the news, most notably that "Bill Clinton will be pissed." This from Matthew Cooper at The Atlantic:

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize. What Now?

It also hits upon my first reaction, which was: When does he get his Oscar?

Another article takes a different slant on the award:

"Obama awarded Nobel Peace Price for not being Bush" There are SO MANY blogs erupting this morning I have already lost the source for this one. As soon as I find it, I will post the link. I saw it somewhere on the Huffington Post.

So what now? I am not the only one whose first reaction (okay, second after WTF?) was that he should politely decline it. I can list at least ten articles so far that follow this line, and you can find them easily enough. Apparently, it is not that easy to accomplish this, and I, for one, don't see him doing it. Any politician--and I mean anyone, not just Obama--who has the ego to make it to the highest office does not still retain the humility necessary to make such a bold move. That is my opinion.

After all, has anyone ever turned down an Oscar?

Actually, they have...

Both Marlon Brando and George C. Scott have turned down an Oscar. George did it twice.

Read more!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First stories published today!

Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review
Fall Equinox 2009
Volume 3, Issue 3

Autumn - glorious foliage, a cup of tea by a crackling fire. Photos embrace you. A dappled hacienda in Mexico, drifting clouds in Switzerland. A delicate jellyfish dances through the deep blue. Poems echo with a longing for Prague and shattered fragments of loss.

Stories bring hope in a myriad of guises. One woman resists her 'doll house' prison. Another revels in an interracial love. A woman who had given up on finding a partner tries one more time. A play draws us into the loss of dreams - and the birth of hope - in a quiet nursing home.

Real life proves even more inspiring. The death of a beloved dog provides wings to set the owner free. A tragic car crash fills the victim with a fresh enthusiasm for life. Wide-open doors in Lebanon draw fresh breezes on a wedding day.

Jewelry artist Shahasp Valentine inspires: "Create what you love, love what you do. It's hard work to be sure but there's nothing more satisfying than creating something from nothing and watching it grow and blossom."

Lisa Shea, Owner

I hope you like them!
Read more!

Monday, September 21, 2009

He's Back!

And I can't wait... Read more!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Have I mentioned lately...

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my horse (and my niece)?

Cuz I do.

Seven years together now and still going strong.

Labor Day, 2009. Photos by Mary Ellen Cordes (a.k.a. Mom) and Sarah Murray.
Read more!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cornell covers Lennon

Why do I follow Chris Cornell? Because he does things like sing Imagine on Conan O'Brien on 9/11 and makes you want to cry.

That's all I have the energy for at the moment. Read more!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Investigative Report by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Sorry, I couldn't get approval by the National Ratings Board to show any more... Read more!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Day I Stalked The Circus

Isla and her infamous trainer, Tim Frisco

I have finally organized and posted the pictures from The Day I Stalked The Circus. They can be found here.

On the right side of the page you'll see two sets: "Carson & Barnes Animals" and "Putting Up The Tent." If you click on these you'll see a small write-up and the pictures in the correct order.


Isla and her ass

Not all the animals were bored at the circus...
Read more!

THIS makes me happy!

Dear Nancy Lynn Dietrich,

Thank you for your interest in Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review and the effort spent on your submissions entitled "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Shadow of the Mountain."

We are pleased to announce that your submissions have been accepted for publication in this issue of Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review.

We have received a large number of quality submissions for this issue and the selection process was very challenging. Your entries stood out as high quality creations.

Thank you very much for your submissions and we look forward to publishing your pieces in Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review!


Erika Lyn Smith - Non-Fiction Senior Editor

Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review

Read more!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I'm a slow writer, so it will take me all weekend to put together my account of Thursday at the circus.

In the meantime, enjoy my favorite picture from the collection which, oddly enough, has nothing to do with animals.

I said be patient! Read more!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Circus is Coming to Town

and it could get really interesting.

From Beaver Dam's Daily Citizen:

Columbus police prepared for any circus protest
By Paul Scharf - Staff Reporter

COLUMBUS - Acting police chief Lt. Dennis Weiner said Tuesday that his force will be ready in case representatives of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or any other animal rights groups show up this week to offer an opposing voice when the circus comes to town.

The Columbus Fire Department and the Columbus Fireman's Service Corp are bringing the Carson and Barnes Circus to Fireman's Park on Thursday as a fundraiser for the department, with 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. shows.

"Good Morning America" has also chosen Columbus as a place to catch up with Carson and Barnes as they do taping for a weekend segment on "the traditional American circus" which is scheduled to be shown in October. GMA will be taping Thursday morning as the elephants raise the big top, which will occur some time after 9 a.m. People will also be able to see many circus animals on Thursday morning.

PETA contacted the Columbus Journal late last week via both e-mail and phone. The e-mail contains numerous allegations against Carson and Barnes and its personnel. It also includes "a letter to Columbus Mayor Bob Link and the City Council urging them to enact legislation that would ban the use of bullhooks, electric prods, and other devices commonly used to inflict pain on elephants."

The e-mail seems to indicate that PETA's letter to Link was FAXed to city hall on Aug. 6. Link, however, has been gone on a fishing trip. He missed Tuesday's council committee of the whole meeting, and will not be back until after the circus.City administrator Boyd Kraemer said Tuesday night that the city had not received a FAX from PETA. The issue never came up during the two-and-a-half-hour council meeting

"I have a plan in the event that we need to access additional resources," Weiner said Tuesday regarding the department's response to the circus and any surrounding activities.

Weiner said that he was aware of one sign protesting the circus in a home on Ludington Street.

The Columbus Journal also received a request for information Monday from a representative of another group called In Defense of Animals.For their part, Carson and Barnes has sent out a three-page response to PETA's claims. It states, in part: "Please be assured that Carson & Barnes' owners and managers take any accusation or evidence of cruel treatment of our animals seriously. We do not condone or permit trainers to cause pain to animals, or to encourage other employees to do so."

Read more!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Balbinka the Guinee Peeg. (No, not one of my crew. Boys don't wear bonnets!)
I don't know... she's doesn't look entirely pleased to me. All that work and she doesn't seem to appreciate it...
Read more!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We'll miss you, Sam!

In this Feb. 9, 2009 file photo firefighter David Tree shares his water with an injured koala, later nicked named Sam, at Mirboo North after wildfires swept through the regioN. Sam, made famous when this image was widely publish, is about to undergo a risky surgery for a life-threatening disease, animal shelter officials said Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Parden, File)

According to the Huff Post:

Sam The Koala Dies In Surgery After Surviving Australian Wildfire

ADELAIDE, Australia — Sam the koala, who gained worldwide fame and sympathy when she was rescued during Australia's devastating wildfires this year, was euthanized Thursday after a veterinarian found the cysts that threatened her life were inoperable.

The 4-year-old koala had developed the cysts associated with urogenital chlamydiosis, which affects more than 50 percent of Australia's koala population.

During surgery, the disease was found to be so advanced that it was inoperable and Sam was euthanized, said Peita Elkhorne of TressCox law firm, which represents the shelter where the koala had lived since the February fires.

"It was so severe that there was no possible way to be able to manage her pain," Elkhorne said in a statement. "All of those who have been involved with Sam are devastated with this loss."

The rest of the story is here.
Read more!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And THIS is why I love Andy Borowitz

BREAKING: Clinton Goes to North Korea, Gets Girls

Former president Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea today and will be leaving with two girls, the White House confirmed today.

Mr. Clinton said he was tired from the long trip but added that "it's worth it to get those two ladies."

"I have traveled a long way to get girls before, but this has got to be some kind of record," Mr. Clinton said.

The White House said that based on the success of this trip Mr. Clinton might be dispatched on future girl-finding missions.

Find his articles at The Huffington Post. Read more!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bad Manors Squirrel Diner

The Bad Manors Squirrel Diner is located in Santa Monica, California -- broadcasting live daily during daylight hours. NONE of the photos have been edited - these are all wild squirrels interacting with weird stuff.

9 wild squirrels visit regularly. The busiest time is usually 7 to 9am PST but squirrels come and go all day long. Please sign in and follow the show so you don't miss the best stuff! You can also find "Betty Squirrely" on Facebook.

This is where the video stream lives. Read more!

I LOVE This Article

Why Buying Nothing, Doing Less & Being Lazy Can Help the Planet

By Matt McDermott
Brooklyn, NY, USA Mon Jul 27 13:21:00 EDT 2009

Much of what we do at Planet Green is give you information so you can do something to make your life greener and generally have a positive impact on the planet. But for one quick moment I'd like you to consider that in many instances do less or doing nothing at all can be the greenest option out there. Here's why:

If I can impart only one bit of green wisdom on you, one which should inform every other decision you make, whether you think of it as green or not, it is that the meta-problem of sustainability and green is that humanity's current consumption of natural resource and production of waste far exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet and is fully unsustainable.

Which is a fancy way of saying humans consume too much stuff. We do too much. We do it in ways that don't allow for the natural replenishment of the soil, the water, and ecosystems. And population growth is making it all worse.

That's the crux of climate change, deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, soil degradation, endangered species, overfishing, animal welfare, energy security... pretty much every single issue we tell you about.
You could use those words in bold up above to tell someone why whatever green issue you're talking about is a pressing problem and be essentially correct. It might be a broader answer than you want to give, but you wouldn't be wrong. Consider that next time you want to do anything that potentially consumes natural resources:

Do You Really Need That Thing You Want to Buy?

You're in the store trying to decide between buying gizmo A and gizmo B. Both are equally green in terms of materials, manufacturer take-back program, and all the other things that makes a greener gadget, but in fact the greener decision is probably not buying either one and either making do with what you have or making do without it in the first place. Ask yourself if you've lived this long without it, do you really need it in the future. You may, but you equally may not. Doing nothing ultimately benefited the environment.

Finish the article here. Read more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I suppose if you're going to have a wedding...

This is how you ought to do it!

I'm just bummed I missed the reception party! Read more!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Chris!

First time meeting the boys, October 3, Seattle, WA. Paramount Theatre. Photo by Yoni, tour manager, using a disposable camera from Angela (tallest). And who got me back there? Tosh! (To my left) Which only leaves Cornell's #1 fan, Laurie, who introduced me to Chris' wife Vicky. Permanent memories of a dream come true.

Thank you, Chris, for breathing life into us when we need it the most. Your music is always there for us, and your fans will always be there for you. Hope you had a great day off with the family.

This is Chris Cornell live on the back patio at the X107.5 Xtreme Rock Radio studios in Las Vegas, NV on April 6, 2007. It's called "No Such Thing."

And here is an amazing cover of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." It's Steph's favorite and now one of mine, too. I'll be requesting it next time...

Shaking my hand April 17, 2009 at the Milwaukee concert while telling Sarah and me that he loves us in front of the whole venue. Dude made me cry.

Read more!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Psst: We're gonna need a bigger dog...

[Article courtesy of HuffPost]

Cute Red Panda Cubs Adopted By Dog In China

Two rare red pandas who were abandoned at birth have found a new mother - a small dog, reports The Sun.

The two cubs were born at Taiyuan Zoo in northern China and were abandoned immediately after their birth by their mother, who staff had not suspected was pregnant.

Zoo worker Ha Guojiang told Xinhua news agency that the stand-in mum is good-natured and has happily adopted the cubs.

The red panda species is under special protection in China, and are much smaller than the better known giant pandas, Xinhua reports.

Read more!

Obama Administration Approves Logging In Largest U.S. Rain Forest


Maybe he's just clear-cutting the Tongass National Forest to build a picturesque chapel for same-sex weddings... oh, no, that's not it. Or to re-instate all the hard-working gay service members that have been discharged... oh, that's not it, either.

I think about the only thing Obama's done right so far this term is NOT sleep with any interns. But frankly, I suspect that's because they're so pissed off at all his broken promises.

At this rate I'm about ready to vote for Palin simply for the entertainment value. We can just sit and watch her shoot down all the moose left homeless when the Tongass trees fall...

I know, I'm so hard on him. He's probably building a nice little getaway for Ahmadinejad since he's had such a stressful month... Read more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The quickest way to learn balance on a horse is to act as if there is nothing about him that you can use to steady yourself. But the horse, being a slippery and agile creature, comes these days with no shortage of artificial anchors for his balance-impaired human. With blessed relief the first thing we do upon mounting is jam our boots into the stirrups. Thus we feel grounded, no longer suspended with nothing but air beneath our feet. Imagine, for a moment, riding in an airplane where your feet don’t rest on the floor, but rather dangle freely as you sit strapped in your chair. That illusion of having our “feet on the ground” is essential to fooling ourselves into believing we are not really 30,000 feet above the ground. Same with the horse, on a somewhat smaller scale.

You have a saddle sculpted, be it Western or English, to cradle your body in precisely the center of the horse. Sit here and don’t move! Try a relative’s wedding reception with no seating cards and feel the panic of where to position your ass. If you’re lucky, your saddle is also outfitted with a balance strap or horn directly in front of you. Ah—the sturdy pole at the center of the swaying subway car! And if you need that swinging strap for extra security, there’s a beautiful mane lying right at your fingertips.

But finally, it is the horse’s most delicate feature the novice rider relies upon most to stay one with his mount: his mouth. Just how many contraptions have we invented since the domestication of the horse that involve tempering our weight against the bridge of the horse’s mouth? What countless lips and tongues have borne the untold pounds of careening human flesh behind them? Still we wonder why some horses seem to delight in reuniting us with the earth from which we sprang. I wonder only why they don’t do it more often.

I am guilty of using all these tools in the thirty-odd years I have been riding. And among the hundred or so horses I’ve had occasion to ride in that time, there have been only a handful of truly hearty protesters—two over-worked Arabians on the outskirts of Cairo and one previously abused pony here at home that we know and love as Jack. All had paid their painful dues and none deserved to bear another rider. Though the Arabians continued to work until they could be pushed no further Jack, at least, has finally earned retirement.

Lately, I have taken to leveling the playing field between Julian and me. More from laziness than goodwill in the beginning (or from a need to share his warmth in the winter months), I have left Julian’s saddle in the tack room as I bring him in from the field. At first, I still fought to cram his enormous, powerful and reluctant head into his expensive, multi-layered dressage bridle. This would go over his halter, leaving more rope and rigging on his head than might be found on your standard 19th century frigate. Then I would impress myself (or not, depending upon how many times I slid off attempting to mount as he walked calmly away) by riding without any “props.”

With full head gear

I was slow to realize why he hesitated to work beyond a walk. How was I to practice my balance at this pace? Sure I bounced around a bit at the trot, but I always had… the bridle… to steady myself. No wonder he only wanted to walk. 170 pounds of lurching human can’t feel good even on a draft horse’s mouth.

So off with the bridle and on with the rope halter. The first few times I rode like that the only way I could have felt less secure would have been to butter Julian’s back. Bring out the suede seat breeches! Next best thing to Velcro and no adverse effect on the horse. But over time, I felt us moving together in a way I could never feel under saddle. Finally I could feel—and identify—the placement of each foot beneath me without looking. My hips swayed in rhythm with his back, my calves there to apply pressure as his barrel swung into them. Soon we were trotting, and then cantering. And I was surprised to learn that the less I clung to his mane (Oh! so tempting!) the more in tune I was with centering my body naturally.

Horses, regardless of size, are immensely strong creatures. And no less agile (okay, maybe a little) if they are descended from draft breeds. When Julian and I take our balancing act out of the arena and into the open fields, the stakes increase for this untethered rider. Yes, there’s the helmet, but these rarely prevent dislocated shoulders or broken femurs. But as the dangers increase, so too do the rewards for relying on trust and balance rather than stirrup and bit.

And if one day I can achieve true balance out here with my horse then maybe, just maybe, I can achieve it away from the barn with both feet on the ground. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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