Kickass Speech Given to UN by a girl my age when she was 12.

Sep 29, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Dang. I remember feeling the same way. Amazing that she stood up and said it.

And I really remembered while watching it the looming feear of adulthood my generation grew up with. It's amazing what fear-mongers can make us believe. I remember really honestly thinking that there was a chance I might not make it to adulthood, what with the cold war, the environmental doomsday reports and the random nature of casual wars we entered.

We still enter wars casually. And we still don't feed enough of the world's poor. But thankfully the environment is something we're all more aware of and that is MUCH tougher and more resilient than we thought it was. It's still not cool to pollute, but at least I'm no longer afraid my children won't be able to grow up in this world.

BTW, if you want to feed the poor, this program is statistically the most effective one in the world.

Buy someone a livestock animal and they start where we were a few thousand years ago - at the basic starting point of becoming self-sufficient. You turn them into a farmer. It works on the world's most inescapably poor people - the rural, village-bound poor. As for city poor - read "Banker to the Poor" and "Give War a Chance" (neither book properly is represented by the title) and hopefully gain a better insight from two completely different but engaging viewpoints on poverty and the various solutions employed.

I saw this video at Grahame's site, so thanks Grahame.

The Genographic Project

at 5:40 AM
FASCINATING Genetic trace history.

Lovely seeing the truth laid out here in scientific black and white - we're all family.

I would have given my right eye as a kid to get to grow up to do this kind of research. I wanted to be a paleontologist or etymologist. It still fascinates me.

I wonder how the language history, laid out over the genetic history, could inform us even further - perhaps tell us the history of inter-relationships and trade, although trading DNA probably covers that pretty well. If you were willing to marry your daughter off to your neighbor, I guess you liked him.

Anyhow, I like this kind of thing, so here you go.

Advice about Computers

Sep 27, 2008 at 2:28 PM
1. Ignore Kim Komando. I've never downloaded a software from her that wasn't later discovered to be a slight risk to my system somehow or cause something to crash or freak out.

2. Use "Karen's Tools" instead - zero problems, no spyware, no crashes. All good so far in my lengthy history of using her products. If Karen were at war with Kim Komando, I would be secretly funneling supplies to Karen through the resistance network.

3. Backup religiously. (Seriously, with incantations and burning incense and sacrificial chicken and everything else - whatever will make SURE it goes off smoothly.) Backup every hard drive all the way. Karen has a good tool for this that's free - as compared with others that are not (upwards of $600.00 and slower). It's called Karen's Replicator.

4. If you have a program on your machine that you don't know what it does, but your anti-virus or anti-spyware programs don't make a fuss, don't delete it, just leave it alone. It might be something important.

5. Make sure you have more than twice as much RAM as you ever think you'll need. (Because in three years it won't be enough to run even the OS and browser at the same time, at the rate things are going.)

6. Make sure every part of your system is robust - because your system is only as strong as it's weakest component. (So, unless you want to waste the moolah you spent on the best components, upgrade the worst first.)

7. Always have a UPS and use it. Even with a laptop, and even while traveling. (My travel-UPS is so small it qualifies as adorable and makes people say "Awwwww".)

8. Make sure you save copies of important information on external drives or storage media (flashdrives, gigasticks, DVDs, CDs, whatever).

9. Regularly buy canned air and be obsessive about dusting the inside of your machine. Be a regular Martha Stewart about the inside of the box, and it'll last you years longer.

10. Don't ever leave an important machine in direct sunlight. Just like vampires, your computer will self-destruct if sunlight hits it. It's just way slower and less dramatic looking.

11. Don't let your computer get too warm. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Like canned food, canned information also needs to be kept from spoiling.

12. That UPS? Put your monitors and other detritus on it, too. Hard to do an emergency shut-down when you can't see what your doing.

13. Have a clean office desk. Being messy near a computer makes it crash. They vindictively look forward to causing you the most damage by crashing when your paper system is too far behind to keep up with the workload.

14. Don't use the telephone at the same time unless you want the computer to slow way down in protest. (Computers are jealous of telephones.)

15. Don't put magnets on a computer - ever. And never go back to a computer repair shop that gives you a magnetic business card: obviously they're trying to create business by making your machine wipe.

16. Don't leave a coffee cup within 10 feet of a keyboard, they are drawn to one another in truly depraved ways.

Energy from Algae

Sep 26, 2008 at 3:57 PM
Algae is no longer a miracle only according to health food nuts. It can solve all the energy crisis problems in the world, according to this scientist guy - who is actually doing it:


Sep 25, 2008 at 9:16 PM
Annie Lennox, performing at PEACE ONE DAY a few days ago.

Absolutely one of my favorites songs of all time.

Always makes me cry when I sing it (doing dishes).

Wish I had a Video Camera right now

at 3:06 AM
Just got another giggly spider monkey attack from my kids, plus a home-made rock video reenactment with spatulas. OMG my kids are wonderful.

Florida Again

at 1:55 AM
Travelling to Washington state for aunt's b-day on the 4th, Portland on the 5th, flying to Tampa on the 6th. From there who knows. Still coordinating.

Dead Bugs

at 12:51 AM
You know something. I just remembered something that I can be really smug about, even when the rest of you are all making more money/in happy relationships/traveling the world more than me/successfully world famous/building your portfolio, etc...


The only ones I ever saw were climbing out, already in their death throes, from the cardboard boxes I moved here with.

Something about this place kills them.

Oh yeah, no poisonous snakes either.

So there.

Thanks to Kat for reminding me.

House full of Spider Monkeys

Sep 24, 2008 at 9:14 PM
The girls and I have been quoting this shirt and running at each other acting it out.

Running toward me, arms and legs posed like a striking spider-monkey-ninja with a fit of giggles:


Of course the "attack" is actually a serious hug - all four limbs in use. Like a football scrim of giggling kids and a happy mommy.

relationship manifesto of the day

Sep 22, 2008 at 9:13 PM
Some things I've learned about relationships:

1. There are no such things as second chances. Life doesn't work that way. Do it right or don't play. Period.

2. Let the people I love know it every day. Otherwise rule 1 applies.

3. Stop looking for another me, and just find people who interest me on their own merits. I will never find myself in another person. I am unusual. Very.

4. My concept of honor is continuing to be trustworthy, reliable and kind even when it is uncomfortable to do so. Don't assume everyone else thinks that way, too. It bites me in the ass when I do. Again, 3 applies here.

5. Choose men slowly and well. Self explanatory.

6. If I get hurt, it is my failing only. I need to choose better.

7. Love is a shame to waste and foolhardy to withhold entirely.

8. Very few people know what "alone" really means. I do. No dwelling on it. It's self-defeating. Go out and get things done anyway. I've got goals I can't wait for someone else to help me get done. But since it's hard to play all of my games alone, I plan to avoid it in the future if I get a chance.

9. Life echoes itself, and no one leaves nothing behind them. If I find reminders hanging around years, months, days after events, I need to be ready for them.

10. Hold onto the children that love me no matter what. It is not their fault that the adults in their lives don't love one another any more. I cannot unmiss a childhood, no matter how hard I cry about it. So stay in communication for as long as I can, no matter what.

11. Never cry over old photos of people who've forgotten I was ever in a photo with them. It would be more productive to smack myself in the head with a mallet, and result in a smaller headache.

12. Never write self-defeating blog posts where I whine. No one cares. They never get comments or link love. Shut up and find HOPE instead of griping.

13. Try to live a life where someone is close enough to hug when I need one. It might sound like a hallmark card, but hugs really matter.


Sep 20, 2008 at 11:38 PM
Results of the latest poll:

How Important is blogging to you? I mean, if you couldnt' do it anymore somehow how big a deal would it be?

Worse than losing my firstborn to roving, raving lunatic gypsies. 2 (40%)

I'm not sure I'd survive the withdrawal sysmptoms. 2 (40%)

I cannot imagine existence without blogging at least as often as I want to and sometimes even when I don't. 2 (40%)

While the new HADRON super collider is sucking my house into the brand new black hole next month, my last thought is going to be how I'm going to blog about it. 5 (100%)

The second I quit, I'd start thinking about how I could turn it into a learning experience, and how that would be good to share with my friends, and then I'd be thinking how the best way to tell them would be to post a new blog about it. 2 (40%)

(If you want another option, get off my blog!) 0 (0%)

I'm glad to know that Kat "borrowed" this from me. She's always welcome to rob me. Anytime. LINK LOVE definitely fixes it. :)

Hunters Can't Read

Sep 17, 2008 at 11:40 PM
The girls took it upon themselves to count the number of "No Trespassing" or "No Hunting" signs posted between our house and the start of the gravel (5 miles) and discovered that there are:


Conclusion: As stated in the title.

Fake Moon Landing

Sep 15, 2008 at 8:18 PM
The girls and I were studying the moon a bit and we wanted you to know about NASA and the fake moon landing photos.

Before you comment, please visit the link.

Nice Day Out

Sep 14, 2008 at 10:35 PM
I wish I had a camera so I could show you my day.

It was perfect.

The girls and I located the wicker lunchbasket. It's a woven basket that bells outward, with a think, leather-strop wrapped handle. I love it. Locally made and sold at the co-op I recently found three towns away.

We sliced up some cheese, packed up some strawberries into a ziploc, grabbed up a few of the apples we picked yesterday from out of the orchard, and we climbed in the car, with bathing suits on.

The sun was bright but not overpowering, and the breeze was light and without the biter cold that will be arriving soon enough.

We drove two bridges down the road, to the 2 mile bridge. We turned right, drove through a gate into a sheep pasture, and then drove down the pasture in the general direction of the lay of the land - downward.

The ground rolled gently downward and we reached a gate. I pulled my car over beside a tree with a huge nest of some kind snuggled in against the trunk (wasps? swallows?) and under which were 15 or twenty sheep in amongst the trunks of the alders and maples there.

I opened the gate and walked down from that point to the river with the girls, two towels, a blanket and our picnic lunch.

Aurora had brought Little Women for reading in the car - I had said we were going to the river but not where, she probably thought we were driving the full 25 miles to another swimming hole we went to last year.

Miranda brought Harry Potter V and I brought my favorite sunglasses.

I sat down on the pebbled beach, and took a look around. The beach I was on was a man-made extension of the actual beach - which was dust behind me, and would certainly be a sticky silty goo under foot at this time of year. So I was glad for the pebbles. The beach stuck out into the river some. We were positioned at a bend in the river, and the whole effect of the bend and the pebble beach was such that I was surrounded by water on three sides.

The girls enjoyed very much the playing the water. It was such a calm river with such a glassy top that they spent twnety minutes trying to guess which way the current was moving. The leaves on the surface were all floating to the east, with our mild wind coming in from the west. But the water under their feet seemed to pull a little toward the west. I told them I'd go with the pull on their feet.

And then they swam across to a spit of land on the other shore. They were very proud of their accomplishment.

When they came back from that, they lay beside me on the blanket and we all read for a while. Then we spotted all the animals we could see there. Lots of trees. Plus there were dozens of hawks. And what I think may have been an eagle. It was very large for a hawk.

Then we started pointing out features of the landscape. I noted two large stones sticking up from the river across from a ledge and said that they were very close to the spit where the girls had swum to.

Miranda said she should have done it while she was over there.

They both wandered into the shallow water nearest me and began to play. The sun was warm and there were no noises but my girls, giggling in the water, and the standard sounds of nature. Distant cows, hawks. Very nice.

I soaked up some sun and watched my daughters giggle and swim races, and then they set off for the large grey rocks sticking up from the river. Miranda and Aurora both climbed up each rock in turn, and Miranda turned to me from the second one, clinging to it, and declared herself Queen of the Rock.

(I discovered I'd lain down on my sunglasses and crushed one of the bits that go over your ears. Oh well, now they become a prop for the girls plays like so many other evocative but useless articles of apparel I once owned.)

Shortly after the girls returned from conquering distant shores and climbing distant mountains, we all sat on the bit of shore and feasted on cheese and apples, and had a sumptuous dessert of strawberries.

The girls climbed back in the water, and started having me throw sticks to swim for. Then they played that the shore was ages away and they said "I'm swimming valiantly!!" and play-acted that it was a nearly impossible journey.

Then they lazed in the water singing "Hey Nonny Nonny" which they then climbed out to teach me to sing. I had trouble remembering the entire thing. They taught me the words and we all sang it together.

At this point, the shadows had overtaken the river and my children were truly tired.

We returned home triumphant and happy, wrapped in towels.

Poll Results

Sep 12, 2008 at 3:47 AM
Hey there babies and junglemen, it's time to fill out the new poll in the sidebar, because...

Here are the last poll results!

I don't even care anymore why I wanted to know these answers. But now I know you all sleep - which is good. Keep it up, I highly recommend it.

In all fairness, it is only right that I pass on equally useless information to those who responded: I sleep on my side. Unless I'm uncomfortable, or cold. Then I sleep on my stomach with my head under my pillow.

My Email Sonnet went Wrong

Sep 11, 2008 at 8:51 PM

I tried to write a sonnet about email and my views on it. It didn't work out, because I'm too lazy to make everything rhyme in a pattern JUST SO. But it's still a good poem. I don't care if you like it. It serves as my cathartic. Especially after a week like this week.


By Desi and Rori and Mandy

Email downloading takes just way too long
The system seizes up with ten meg attachments
That turn out to be from family: Kitty reenactments.
Bland email arrives with Priority at STRONG (!)

Too much arrives and you find you've been spammed
Selling you watches and pills and a job in Cyrillic
Phishing emails arrive and I DON'T find idyllic
Explaining to clients that they have been scammed.

I can't tell the tone or the mood of the writer
So I mustn't respond the way it probably deserves.
My answers get missed because text shows up lighter.
I write something brilliant... and then the server fails to serve.

It takes an hour that I can't bill the client
To answer a question he already gets
About how come the email we find reliant
Won't work when he can't access the internet.

I get repeats of emails only three hours old
From panicky people who want me to fix up
Something not broken that they were already told
Is working but emails got missed in the mix up.

Exclamation points from here to the next page
Will not make your position seem any harder
And really will not make you appear very smarter
(But it does make me want to fly into a rage).

And now I've spent ages writing pithy one liners
About email, that make me feel better by far.
But while I was writing these witty rejoinders
My in basket has stacked up from here to a star.

(My kids and I wrote this together. They think it's BRILLIANT. I feel much better.)

New Song I'm singing all the time (really)

Sep 9, 2008 at 8:23 PM

 To sing this properly, you must be atonal and wild sounding.

Think John and Yoko.

The word peas must always be sung in a squeak at the top of your range.

By Desi

I Want my Wasabe Peas!

Give me Wasabe Peas!

They make my nose feel hot.

So cigarettes I want not.

Wasabe Peas!

How can I crave smokes

When my nose is on fire?


I want my Wasabe Peas!

Now give me Wasabe Peas!

They look all green and simple,

But they pack a real mean punch.


So if you can go find them,

You'll be my flipping hero!


Cause I want my Wasabe Peas!

I must have Wasabe Peas!

Wasabe PEEEAS!

Stymied Again

at 4:38 AM

Help Ivy

at 4:33 AM
I'm linking to Kat's post which was taken from somewhere else.

Go here and help.

Government should NEVER be in charge of health care. These are the kind of bureaucratic decisions that governments make when we place them in charge, but that individuals and doctors would NEVER make ...

And that people will hopefully never stop standing up to do something about.

~ Fire your government: Vote Libertarian ~

I'm not a cat lover.

Sep 3, 2008 at 6:17 PM
Here is a lovely little graph of cat-lover intelligence

Thanks to and the striking wit of the author. You have got to wander this for a while and discover the comic genius. Not much drawing talent, but it was fascinating to spend some time looking at life through the lens of a math-genius' sense of humour.

Anyway, with the above graph on display, I will have no more argument from anyone who has ever uttered the phrase: "Whoz a good widdle keedy?"
As far as XKCD goes, I laughed my ass off at the map of online communities.
I find his mathematics spot on as regards the likelihood of trists on TV.
Basically the math works out so that you can pretty much extrapolate that every possible acceptable match that the morals of that show allow will be made, so long as the show runs long enough.
I would add that it appears that he hasn't accounted for the additional wildcard -- His math doesn't account for a member of a generally heterosexual show turning out to be gay, despite previous conceptions (as in the unfortunate final years of unfunny that happened on "Roseanne" or "Ellen").
So in that sense his math is flawed and I'd like to see how it works out with the variable accounted for.
On the about page, he mentioned the Pleaides (seven sisters) as his favorite astronomical phenomenon. My favorite celestial body is the God's Eye.

For all I know, it's IN the Pleaides, I really don't know much about the God's Eye except that it makes me want to enter a staring contest. I've never lost a staring contest yet, but I have a feeling this one could beat me.
It's not as majestic as the 7 sisters of the Pleaides, but definitely harder to stop looking at.

The seven sisters were among my favorite beings from Greek mythology -- which I was ridiculously into as a kid. (You all know I was weird already.) I also likes the muses and the fates -- you can tell I liked the myths with a gaggle of girls in them.

My very favorite myth was of the Golden Fleece.

I recently found out that golden fleece were a true thing. Greeks must have had travelers into Northern Russia, and must have traded with them, because placing a fleece at the bottom of a river is a known (backwater boonies) method of both collecting gold dust from the rivers and also improving the quality of the sheepskin in rural areas in Northern Russia and Siberia.

Apparently the lanolin captures and the tiny hairs store the gold dust and the entire sheepskin becomes a beautiful golden wonder over the course of a few months in a river down-stream from an unmined gold deposit.

Of course, unmined gold deposits are becoming rarer, so I imagine that's not such a prevalent practice anymore.

I want a golden fleece. Or at least a nebula called "Golden Fleece". Maybe there is something in the heavens named that now, what with the better telescopes we've profited from over the last hundred years.

The girls and I are making a pie right now (wild blackberries again), I have to go get it from the oven.

I quit smoking again yesterday. It seems to have stuck pretty well. Instead of munching on chocolates this time I'm muching on Wasabe Peas (awesome snack mix).

And there is today's TOTALLY RANDOM post ....