Category Archives: Whatever


Perhaps we should learn from a people who have been there, and done that…

Americans Never Give Up Your Guns

(click above to read one Russian’s thoughts on gun control)

And when you hear people say things like “No one needs an AK-47 to hunt”, you should be thinking, “well, duh”.

The right to bear arms is about the right to protect yourself, your property, and your family against a tyrannical government.  When the states added the second amendment to the constitution, they were not thinking about hunting.  They had just fought a bloody revoluitonary war to be free from a government that exercised unrestrained power over them…THAT is what drove them to want that protection embodied in the constitution of this country.

What is tyranny?


noun, plural tyr·an·nies.
1.  arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
2.  the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
3.  a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
4.  oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
5.  undue severity or harshness.
Tyrannical leaders lull their people slowly to sleep while grabbing power they were not intended to have.  We are used to the balance of powers actually keeping that from happening.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that tyranny can’t happen here, just like it has happened in so many countries before.  Striking down the 2nd amendment should not even be a consideration.


Cease and Desist

Listen, I know who you are and what you are doing.  Kindly cease and desist.  Get a grip on yourself and grow up.  Get help.  


My e-mail account was recently hacked.

Got that mess cleaned up, I think.

Didn’t remember that I have my blog set up so that I can post via e-mail…so my blog was e-mailed the offending e-mail as a post.

Sorry to anyone who thought it was legit and clicked on the link.

Thanks Wonderlandhwy for the heads up!

I AM NOT LISA WOODEN!!!! (A Minor Lou Rant)

Oh my mercy, but I am tired of hearing her name.

Lisa Wooden is apparently a deadbeat.  She owes somebody some money.  And the sharks are circling ME trying to get it from her.

Shortly after moving to Colorado, I began to receive phone calls from various collection agencies looking for her.  AND for three other people as well:  Richard Wooden (presumably Lisa’s spouse), a Ralph Martinez, and one other guy, apparently not related.  I was rather used to these calls as when I lived in California there was a woman with my same first and last name who lived in my town who was also a deadbeat.  Her bill collectors would actually call me at work, which is illegal, but they tried it anyway.  Her nonsense actually got into my credit history.  I got that mess cleaned up when I bought my house, and I unlisted my phone number.  That seemed to solve my California problem.  When I moved to Colorado, I didn’t bother listing my number in the first place.  I guess the number I was assigned used to belong to these various people.

After informing each of these agencies over and over and over again that I was not, have never been, and never planned to be Lisa Wooden (et al), they would take my number out of their databases.  But eventually these accounts would be sold to other agencies, who would do their own research, and again attach my number to their files.  This happens every six to twelve months.  I’ve even posted on this before.  I get so many of these calls, (and calls from various solicitors and whatevs) that about a year ago, I simply stopped answering my home phone.  I don’t even bother to look and see who is calling anymore when the phone rings.  I check my messages about once every two or four weeks.  Since I hadn’t checked my messages in the past week, I went and did so right now.  Five debt collection messages, some for Lisa, some for Ralph.  Usually the messages are recorded, but most of this batch, were actual live debt collectors.  The messages usually say something along these lines….”This call is for Lisa Wooden.  If you are not Lisa Wooden, do not listen to this message.  Please hang up and call to have your number removed from the call list.  If you continue to listen to this message, you are acknowledging that you are Lisa Wooden…” yadayadayada.  (I guess if I listen, they can come and kill me or something.)

ExCUSE me, but you called ME!  And left a message on MY voice mail.  I think that means I can listen to it if I want.  If you don’t know that you’ve reached who you are trying to reach, then don’t leave personal and private information!  And if you do leave it anyway, don’t tell ME not to listen!  Gutsy, really.

Anyhow, yesterday one of these agencies called my CELL PHONE.  Now I’m peeved.  I think I’ve been pretty tolerant of these constant harassments over the years, but now….they’ve gone too far.  I’m not sure exactly how I am going to solve this problem, but every problem has a solution, and I will find it.

Have any of YOU had this problem?  Have you solved it?  Short of changing my phone numbers, how do I make this stop once and for all????

I’m Not a Heroin Addict (But I Need My Methadone!) ~ A Special Lou Rant

Recently, Dan Akerson, the CEO of General Motors, came up with the brilliant idea to “slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”

Seriously, Dan, what PLANET are you from?????

He APPARENTLY believes that doing this will magically lead to people buying more fuel efficient/electric cars.

Quick lesson for ya, DAN….

The people who are already having a hard time (or impossible time) stretching their budgets to absorb the current price of gasoline are NOT going to be able to go out and buy an expensive fuel efficient or electric car simply because the cost of gas goes up even more.

The people who CAN afford to buy a new fuel efficient or electric car probably already have done so and/OR THEY DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE COST OF GASOLINE ANYWAY!  What does it matter if gas goes up a buck a gallon?  They can still pay the bills.

Doing something like this would only hurt those who are already hurting and you’re just, well, stupid, if you think this would actually be a positive move for Americans.  I don’t generally call people stupid, but this qualifies you, DAN, for the title.

Just sayin’.

P.S.  Where I live, electricity doesn’t just come from a nice clean outlet in my house, it comes from COAL, a carbon based energy source.  What’s the difference between burning coal or burning gas?  It’s a shell game, people.  It’s aaaaalll an illusion that some are selling, some are buying, and most are having crammed down their throats.

P.P.S.  The batteries in electric cars are lithium.  Where does lithium come from?  Well, there’s a single mine producing it in the United States, but the lithium extracted there is a small proprietary amount.  The U.S. reserves are small, and in decline.  Most lithium is found in Chile, Bolivia, China, and AFGHANISTAN (these Afghanistan deposits were fairly recently discovered and have not yet started to be mined).  Sooooo, we are being told to give up our addiction to foreign oil.  For what?  We’re gonna trade it for an addiction to foreign lithium (only the part about the foreign lithium is a secret).  It’s like the addict who gets off heroin by taking methadone, but then never gets off the methadone.  Now, since Bush was accused of invading Iraq for its oil, then I am going to feel free to accuse Obama of invading Afghanistan for its lithium, since access to a source for it fits nicely into his energy policy.  This may or may not be true.  But it’s certainly something to think about.  We are on the brink of jumping from the energy frying pan into the fire, and we’re doing it for no good reason at all.  Even if we find a massive new source of lithium in our country, any attempts to mine it would probably be blocked by the EPA, unions, the ACLU, and a thousand environmental groups of one ilk or another.  Come on, you know it’s true.  We’ll be importing all the lithium we use, and we’ll be importing it from some unsavory sources.

Why on EARTH are we not exploiting the rich petroleum reserves we have in our own country instead of playing these games??????  In theory it would be really nice if we could derive all of our energy needs from the sun, and the wind, and the waves.  But that is far in the future.  In the meantime, before America ends up on the trash heap of history, we should use what God and the earth placed under our feet.  At least we have oil here…what we DON’T have is a viable lithium reserve.



Dakar, Senegal

Day One, Hours 0-3

Dakar, Senegal (much like Addis Ababa in Ethiopia) sees a LOT of transit passenger traffic.  These airports are like airplane travel hubs for the entire continent of Africa.  I’ve flown to Senegal on a number of trips before, but this trip was the first time I would actually get off of the plane!  I was excited!  We would fly from JFK to Dakar where we would embark on our adventure.

We arrived just as the sun was rising.  We went through customs easily, retrieved our backpacks (intact and unmolested), and changed our Euros (we changed our USDs into Euros before leaving CO) into CFAs without having to pay a fee (which was nice!).

CFA is the currency for Senegal.  It is also the currency for much of French speaking West Africa:  Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger and Togo.  This group of nations is called UEMOA (Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine,  or “West African Economic and Monetary Union”).  CFA stands for Communauté financière d’Afrique (“Financial Community of Africa”).  One thousand CFA is roughly equivalent to two American bucks.  The 1000 note was the one we used the most.  A CFA is called a franc, and the CFA is pegged to the Euro.

After making a rookie traveler’s mistake getting our taxi (I’ll probably post on the different rookie mistakes we made later), we were off in search of the Ambassade du Mali to apply for the visas we would need to enter Mali.  It is very important to set a price for your taxi ride before setting off IN the taxi.  This helps to avoid uncomfortable and potentially dangerous arguments about the fare when you reach your destination.  This can be a challenge in that we really had no idea what the going rate was for taxis from place to place.  However, we settled on an amount and headed to the Malian embassy.  When we arrived, we learned that we’d need to wait about 45 minutes for the embassy to open.  We told our taxi driver that we’d be needing to wait and that he could go on and that we’d get another taxi to take us to our hotel.  No, he said he’d wait.  We were very firm in explaining that we would NOT be paying him to wait that we’d only be paying the fare from the airport to the embassy and from the embassy to the hotel.  He agreed.  So we sat around and waited, the three of us, attempting to communicate in limited french (mine) and limited english (the taxi driver).  Our taxi driver was named Aliel, but he went by Ali.  Once the embassy opened, we filled out applications and dropped off our passports, passport pictures, and the fee for the visa.  We could return at 3:00 the next day to retrieve our passports.  I hated walking away from my passport like that, but that’s what you do!

Next stop was the Hotel Saint-Louis Sun.  We’d decided on that from its review and good vital statistics provided by the Lonely Planet.  Our competent driver knew exactly where it was and took us directly there.  But then he wanted nearly twice the money we’d agreed on for the fare.  Thank God (seriously) for Abner, who didn’t back down in dealing with taxi drivers everywhere, who handed him the money AFTER getting our bags out of the trunk and informed him that he wasn’t get any more money than we’d agreed upon.  Ali knew he was wrong.  We attracted some attention with the heated debate, but none of the locals sided with him.  He let us walk away with our bags without too much of a fight after a minute or so.

Our primary source of information while on this trip would be the West Africa version of the Lonely Planet.  These books are packed with information on destinations and are very user friendly.  Potential places to stay, things to do, local adventures to engage in had been highlighted so that we easily locate entries that had caught our attention.  The latest edition was two years old, but we figured it would still be pretty accurate.  And it basically was, but the prices on things listed turned out to be less than the actual costs we encountered.

Like at our first hotel.  Despite still being the cheapest habitable location in town, it was about twice what the book had indicated we could anticipate spending.  However, it was clean, and it seemed mostly safe, it had a restaurant, and the rooms even had air conditioning.  PLUS for a small extra fee we could use the Wi-Fi (only in french, this is pronounced Wee-Fee, which sometimes made us laugh, but always made us smile to say!).

Since we were already there, and because, although it was more expensive than we thought, it wasn’t exactly expensive in the grand scheme of things, we decided to enjoy the place!  And to leave one day earlier than planned.

I was crazy with delight at being in West Africa…and it had only been a few hours!


It’s your right.

It’s your responsibility.

That is all.

To Those Who Serve(d) So Gallantly

On this weekend where we take time to remember and celebrate those who have fought for freedom’s cause, here is a gift from a class of 3rd graders:

Nothing I can say could be put better than this.

Testing Posting by E-mail

This could be pretty cool if it works!!!!

July 8th

At five minutes and six seconds after 4 am on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be

04:05:06 07/08/09

How cool is that?

Ophemisms…”Words. Just Words.”

Since we are all about changing what we call things in my country, I decided to create a new word to use instead of “euphemism” which can be used when Obamessiah and his faithful rename something in their attempts to strip the word of its original power, or to change its meaning entirely.

I have ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS been juuuust a little bit irritated by the renaming of things.  Like when “we” decided “we” should call blacks “African-Americans”.  The only real African-Americans are americans who used to live in Africa but now live in America, not anyone with dark skin who may or may not be of African decent.  I mean, I am of European decent, but I don’t want to be called a “European-American” for heaven’s sake.  I’m okay with being “white”.  In fact, one of my friends/co-workers called me out when I refered to a patient as being “black”.  “We prefer the term ‘African-American'”.  I explained to her my reasoning behind using black instead, and she understood, but wished I would use African-American instead of black in the future, for her at least.  So I did.  Hence the birth of the African-American jelly bean.  I substituted “African-American” for black wherever I could.  She got the humor in it but also really got my point…just because it’s black doesn’t mean it’s from Africa…and let me off the hook.

Other euphemisms I don’t like?  “The Korean conflict” instead of “the Korean war”.  “Physically challenged” or “other-abled” instead of “handicapped” or “disabled”.  The changes I dislike the most are those changed for political reasons or to be politically correct. 

Which brings me back around to the new Ophemisms, which I find particularly odious.

“Man caused disaster” instead of “terrorism”, “Overseas Contingency Operation” instead of “Global War on Terror”, “detainees” instead of “enemy combatants”.  Newspeak, just like George Orwell wrote about.

Apparently there is a Winston Smith sitting at a desk somewhere in Washington DC who receives scraps of paper with items on them that need rewriting in order to make them fit in with Big Brother’s agenda for his society and to change the perceptions of the people (my favorite changes were the rewriting of chocolate rations and the creation of Comrade Ogilvy out of thin air).  So this DC Winston wannabe rewrites what the administration needs whitewashed, hands them to the administration which trots them out, thus changing history in a way, or at least attempting to change the meaning of history and words by changing the words themselves.  “Detainee” means nothing.  “Enemy combatant” says something.  “Man caused disaster”?  This befuddles me entirely.  Since this crowd is also the global warming crowd, and global warming is also (to them) a man caused disaster, does this not put all of humanity on the same scale as far as guilt in disasters is concerned?  Does that not put the average world citizen who goes about his/her daily life just living and creating greenhouse gases in the process into the same category as those who seek to kill and destroy just for death and destruction’s sake?  Are they saying that we are all just terrorists in our own way?  Or are they saying terrorism is just another “disaster”.  And we are tired of disasters because the words disaster and crisis have been used to describe pretty much anything remotely bad and have thus lost their power as descriptive words altogether.

Words mean something.  Words have historical value.  In WWII millions were terrorized, tortured, and died in death pogroms and death camps across Europe.  Would these people also just be “detainees” in todayspeak?  We call that “the holocaust”.  Holocaust is a word that is ripe with emotion and depth.  It MEANS something.  It stirs up our pathos, our horror, our disgust, and our shame.  The holocaust wasn’t the “European Detainee Contingency”, or the “Continental Pajama Party”.  It was the holocaust.

Calling the war on terror the “Overseas Contingency Plan” intimates that we don’t have to deal with terrorism on our soil.  It’s not overseas when it happens here.  Terrorists are HERE.  Or they are coming here.  They don’t stay overseas.  I guess calling it the “Overseas Contingency Plan” is doubleplusgood to some, but for me?  It’s doubleplusungood.

If you haven’t read George Orwell’s “1984” or “Animal Farm”, it’s time you did so.  Both are powerful and deliberate editorials on government and what it can do when it has too much power.  Both contain elements of rewriting words and changing their meanings and intents and how doing this plays into ongoing perpetration of ideology and the watering down of truths.

It’s time we start to take a really hard look at the changes going on around us and stop taking things at face value.  Like Obama said, words are important.  They aren’t “just words”.  When running for president, Obama gave a speech where he talked about the importance of words.  Because he DOES place importance on words, we need delve deep into the words he is using…especially into his new words.  He is changing terminology for specific reasons, and my question is WHY?  What is his intent in doing so?  Trust me, there’s a specific agenda in it.

It’s time to really listen to the words being spoken.  And especially to the reinvented words.  And it’s time to start asking “to what end are these changes being made?”.

Afterall.  Words aren’t just words.

“Spider” – A Short Movie

I saw this posted on one of the ER doctor blogs I regularly read.  It’s freaky.  Watch it if you dare.  And remember, it’s not real, it’s a movie!!!!!

One More Cent…

All the things I could be, and perhaps SHOULD be blogging about, and I am doing the gasoline thing AGAIN!  🙂

I heard on the news tonight that the cheapest gas can be bought in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for $1.37.  The gas at my favorite gas station was $1.40 today.  One more cent and it’ll be under $1.40.  And I won’t have to drive up to Cheyenne to get it!  I still have a quarter of tank left from the last fill-up which cost me $1.64/gallon. 

Just how low will it go?  Seems like only months ago I was wondering just how high it would get. 


One of the aspects of one of my jobs is to give sedation (either oral or intravenous) to clients who need MRIs but who suffer from claustrophobia (fear of being in enclosed spaces) and need the bravery that the meds can give them.  Some folks break into a sweat just looking at the “tube” and imagining being in it.  Others are fine until they are slid inside.  Some are so freaked out once they get inside that they Houdini themselves out before we can get to them to help them out!  Despite reassurances that they can’t help the irrational fight or flight response that has been elicited, they often they voice embarassment at their inability to control the fear that wells up inside of them.

Before their exam, I usually ask them if they know why they have claustrophobia.  Oddly, it is the rare woman who knows the reason.  Much more often men can pinpoint the genesis of their fear of being in the MRI “tube” to a particular event.  (Of note, people will sometimes not know that they have claustrophobia until they try to have an MRI and fail!)

Here are some of the stories I have heard from male patients.

One was nearly suffocated by his brother when he was a child.  They were playing with pillows and the brother held one over his face for a little too long.

A few were “tunnel rats” in Viet Nam.  One had been trapped in a fox hole by exploded debris in WWII.

One was buried by sand in a cave-in at dig at work.  He had the quickness of mind to pull his hardhat over his face thus creating a small air pocket which helped to keep him alive until he was dug out from under the ten feet of debris over him.

Most recently I had a gentlemen who was very hesitant to share his story.  With some gentle encouragement, I asked him if he wouldn’t share with me what happened.  He was held prisoner of war for 17 days in a Viet Cong prison camp.  For seven of those days he was sealed in a 50 gallon drum and the drum was beat on from the outside by his captors.  All this had come flooding back to him in a palpable way when he had an MRI done on his neck.  You see, MRI tubes are about the circumference of a 50 gallon drum, and the machine makes banging sounds when scans are being taken.  Despite this, when he found out that the MRI he was going to be having done this time would require him to enter the tube feet first and that his head would be near the opening of the machine, he said “oh, I can do this without any help from medicine”, and he did.  Later his wife told me that although they’d been married shortly after his return from the war, he only recently shared the story of his seven days in the drum.

There is one elderly woman’s story that has stuck with me as well.  She was a Jew who had fled Nazi Germany to England and was buried for many days in the pitch dark under the house in which she was living when it was bombed and collapsed.  She survived but was never again able to be enclosed in a small space of any type. 

Imagine trying to put any of these horrifying things behind you when they spring out at you whenever the walls are too close.

These are stories I will never forget.  And even though I’m not in the ER anymore taking part in life saving activities, these are the patients that bring me satisfaction.

New Format on WordPress

So I logged on to my blog to work on a post that’s been germinating in my brain and I found that my “dashboard” and links all have a new format and presentation. I think I need to take a tour and figure things out. Then I’ll come back and write on what I think about the atheist placard placed in the holiday display area of the Washington State Capitol building.

I can’t see just now how to preview this before posting it, or where I can assign a category to it. Hmmmm…

New Format on WordPress

So I logged on to my blog to work on a post that’s been germinating in my brain and I found that my “dashboard” and links all have a new format and presentation. I think I need to take a tour and figure things out. Then I’ll come back and write on what I think about the atheist placard placed in the holiday display area of the Washington State Capitol building.

I can’t see just now how to preview this before posting it, or where I can assign a category to it. Hmmmm…

Fortunately my default category of “Whatever” will work just fine for now!  🙂

Ruby Red Beauty!

Today I went and picked up my bright and shiny new red Dell Latitude laptop from DHL!  I managed to call early enough today to have them hold the package instead of attempting to redeliver!  So, after work I zipped over and picked up my new beauty!

I should have been in bed hours ago as I have to be at work early in the AM.  However, I couldn’t help myself but to start to start personalizing my laptop and making it my own!  I have successfully downloaded Feedreader (but haven’t set up any of my feeds yet), I have downloaded Skype, got Adobe Acrobat up and running, got my Google sidebar up, and started loading my favorite websites into My Favorites.  Oddly, I am unable to locate the CD with the Wizard that gets my new wireless router to work, so I am tethered to the internet and sitting on my couch instead of doing this from a reclining position on my bed!  BUT beggers can’t be choosers, can they???  🙂

Tomorrow is Friday.  It’s a Photo Friday, but I won’t be posting anything as I am simply not prepared to do so!  So, when I get home from work, I will begin to transfer all my files from my external hard drive onto my laptop so that I have access to all my pics ETC and can start to get back to taking care of all the things that have been piling up and need doing!

I love this computer.  The keyboard is backlit.  It’s a thing of ruby red beauty!  🙂

Good night, and I’ll see you all again soon!  Good stuff to come, I promise!!!

Photo Friday – “Bridges, Arches”

Okay, so my dad is visiting from California and although he is currently staying at my sisters’ home for the remainder of his trip, he has kindly left his laptop at my house!  So I thought I’d take the opportunity to play Photo Friday!  Woo Hoo!  Now, if I had my druthers (love that word, druthers!) I’d put a picture up that I took about 12 years ago on a medical mission to Cuba, partly because it’s a cool bridge, but if truth be out in full, mostly because I think it’s so awesome that I got to go to Cuba in the first place to be able to take the picture!  🙂  But THAT picture is curently a 35mm print and I have no idea where it is.

But I don’t have my druthers.  Cuba pics will have to wait.

So I rifled through my online photo albums to see what I had that I could use instead.  I decided on an arch, of sorts.  This is arch is called Orecchio di Dionisio, or Ear of Dionysius.  It is in Syracuse, Sicily, Italy.  An old limestone quarry, the accoustics inside are amazing!  You can whisper at one end and your whispers can be heard throughout the cavern!  Read more about this most cool place HERE.

Ear of Dionysius Two by you.

Ear of Dionysius by you.

Players:  add your link to Mister Linky so that we can all see what fabulousness you’ve created this week!  I don’t know if I’ll have computer access to be able to visit your work…sorry… 🙂  The new computer isn’t slated for shipping until October 27th, or so.

Non-Players:  click on the Mister Linky link to access the links to the players’ blogs!  Let ’em know what you think of their pics this week!

Coming on future Photo Fridays:

24th October: Eiain’s choice – Paws for thought

31st October: Author’s choice – Halloween!

7th November: Tina’s choice – Action Shots

14th November: Author’s choice – Windows (unusual or favourite windows, in your own home, or other homes, or churches, buildings etc – you may even include the view through a window. This can be a selection of photos or just one favourite pic)

Photo Friday – “Hats”

My writer’s block coupled with computer AND internet connectivity problems has done nothing to help me get onto blogging.  I am hoping to be able to finish this one simple post without my computer taking its last breath, again!  Yikes…  Today I must order my new computer.  I can’t stand this much longer!  🙂

This week’s topic is actually one that I should have been able to put something fantastic together for.  See, I love hats.  I have some very interesting and fascinating ones.  Ihave a Mao hat I bought in China, a newsboy hat I bought in Ireland, a crazy orange and purple felt hat I bought in Finland, to name a few of my faves.  I tried to take pictures of them with the intention of putting together a collage, but I only ended up liking one of the pictures. 

I also love cowboys, and horses, and jeans, and cowboy hats.  I actually own a beautiful camel colored Stetson that I have never actually worn.  It seems like a crime to wear it, so it stays in its original box, all nice and clean and pretty…

Stetson Fits by you.

Don’t forget to check out the “hats” of the other participants!

Tall Chick Tales


Idea Jump!

Ivey’s Story Weblog

Just for fun!

A picture’s worth a 1000 words!

A Curious State of Affairs


Photo Friday Advance Diary:

5th September: Author’s choice – Stained Glass Windows (or doors or panels – from cathedrals, churches or any other type of building)

29th August: Mrs Nascar’s choice – Old cars (any interesting old cars from rusty scrapheap cars with a bird’s nest under the bonnet, to fabulous vintage or racing cars) 

12th September: Author’s choice – Step Inside (Pics of inside your own home: they can be of favourite corners, or things, or windows, or unusual features or just unusual angles of somehing in your own home)

Coming Soon!

I am no longer in absentia!  I am HOME!!!  One day soon, I’ll be back to posting here.  I have soooo much to write about and I just don’t know where to begin.  Once my brain cools off I’ll put fingers to keys and get down to it!

Looking forward to getting caught up on the blogging everyone else has been doing for the past two months!

See you soon…

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