Thursday, August 27, 2009


As a youngster, I recall the lush gardens in our backyard. Mom and Dad tended them diligently. Perhaps, I took their beautiful existence for granted. The gardens that is. And maybe, my parents, too, at the time.

As I am much older, with my own children to nuture, and a potential garden to grow, the purpose of the garden has somehow changed.

Back then, there were moments my brother and I simply did not understand the time the grown-ups spent tilling the dirt, planting the seeds... Of course, the results were lovely. The yard was transformed from a flat and empty void, to an oasis. A refuge for wildlife, a harbor for us from the world outside, a meeting place.

I did not understand why they spent so much time working to create this special space.

Now, it seems my own life is becoming a bit more complicated. The children are growing. They've each their own needs. Their own issues.

When the weight of our world becomes too pressing, confusing, I find myself looking to the green of the trees. My fingers picking at the weeds and sifting through the dirt. The heaviness lifts a touch. The chaos begins to fade.

Perhaps, this is how our own oasis will begin.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Turn off background music HERE, then come back up.

It couldn't be helped.

This Porgy and Bess tune won't leave me today...

Thanks to cashmerequeen for sharing this vid.

diagnosed: human

Once again, there is quibbling over what to do with health care in the U.S. Most recently, discussion concerning U.S. health care and illegal aliens.

There are many people in our land of plenty who are without plenty of things. Then, there are those who seem to have it all.

Perhaps, for those who do have it all, it is difficult to understand not having. Even more difficult for them to believe, there are actually people who toil very hard, yet never gain much. Harder still to trust, there are actually illegals who pay taxes. I've seen it myself. Where does that money go?

Of course, it is somewhat baffling why so much anger is directed only at illegals, with regard to taxes and health care. Maybe the anger should be directed at those who hire them. Those who pay them a mere pittance for their labor. The ones smiling at all the cash they've saved themselves by hiring workers on the cheap.

But never mind how it is we are in this position.

In all the rhetoric, something is fading... Humanity.

Yes, I know I'll be called a bleeding-heart liberal. No matter. I'll make no apologies for a desire that my fellow human beings be treated with at least a modicum of dignity. If that's a liberal thought, so be it. I once thought it was a "Christian" thought. Somehow, I've been kicked out of that club.

Whilst attempting to learn more on the health care debate, I stumbled across this comment by "brian" on CNN's Cafferty File:

brian (Nova Scotia) August 18th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

I am very confused. The United States is likely the most Christian nation on the planet. No other country has given so much to so many others in times of need. It is inconceivable to me that such a generous people such as our American Cousins could consider turning away 6 million ‘Illegals’ and their children. To say nothing about the 47 million of your own citizens who are unable to get affordable health care. I have every confidence you will sort this out , I only hope it can be done so while perserving the values America believes it stand for.

I am very confused, too, "brian".

And I haven't even mentioned how some Americans view other Americans who do not have health insurance. Health insurance is a commodity here. He who can buy the most wins. The prize? In some cases, life.

I don't profess to have all the answers. The situation seems too complex for most of us to grasp. Still, people are not just things to be tossed out like so much refuse. For all the talk of valuing life... Why not value it?

Ah. But how much will that cost?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Michael Moore is at it again...

Turn off background music HERE, then come back up.

This looks interesting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

James Cameron's Avatar Teaser

The long awaited Avatar is nearing its release.

At last, a teaser trailer to whet our appetites for some cool looking sci-fi. But what about the story?

Admittedly, I don't know much about Avatar. In any case, the movie images look interesting. And they ought to, since this film took over a decade to make. Well, from its inception to completion. The actual work on the picture took 4 years, I understand.

Me thinks I'll be along for the ride come this December.

Friday, August 14, 2009

District 9--August 14, 2009

Turn off background music HERE, then come back up.

Image info HERE.

D-9 has been released.

I've plans to see this picture. Its less than slick presentation I find intriguing.

I'm hoping to see something original in this film. Something to pique the imagination like Star Wars (my absolute favorite) did long ago.

Ahh... Gritty sci-fi. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

starry night

The Perseids, my favorite night-sky event since I can remember, have eluded me the past few years.

I'm bummed.

Me thinks it is time to join a sky-watching group. Those who meet at night, in remote areas, surrounded by rich darkness to see what us suburbanites can't. Stars. Comets. Meteors. The beautiful night.

The stars, I sorely miss. Those few we can see, I cherish.

As for the Perseids . . .

I recall childhood summer camp-outs in the backyard. Eyes to the August sky. My parents, my brother and me.

As years went on, it would be my brother and I. Watching for the fireball. We'd always see at least one. The one so bright, burning from horizon to horizon. Sizzling in its flight, trailing a tail of smoke.

That ... I miss.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The big topic amongst us Americans lately is health care. Once again we are a people divided, it seems. And I can't help but wonder why such intense anger is coming out of conservatives. Anger and outright fibs. Again. Okay, maybe it's mostly the extreme far right spewing nonsense. Maybe. Here are the top 5 fibs about health care reform listed on

Our government is working on a plan to fix what's been wrong with health care for many years. That some get it, yet many don't. More and more are going without it for their families. It is a choice of buying groceries or paying for an expensive health plan.

Often times, those without health insurance are simply priced out. It's unaffordable. Or if one can pay for it, it's too expensive to actually use. High deductibles and whatnot. If you don't have insurance, you may be paying out of pocket. The cost of treatment is climbing.

Most people know something is wrong with the system. Even those staunchly against the current plan our government is forming.

Sometimes it takes an extreme event to make one understand the problem. People get angry when they are very ill, hospitalized, and the insurance money is running out. Particularly when their insurance company decides not to pay for treatments that might save a person's life.

Insurance companies don't like to lose money.
I'm not happy, Bob. Not happy.
Gilbert Huph-The Incredibles

Apparently, our current system makes being in the health insurance business highly profitable. They get to decide what treatments they'll pay for. And it doesn't matter if one rarely goes to the doctor. Either way, they keep your premiums. If interested to know more, a vid about the subject HERE. Also, check out

I dunno. Seems to me if you are paying for a service, you ought to receive it. Were it anyone else conducting business this way, there would be lawsuits involved, I'm sure.

So we all can agree, there is a problem. Right? Now the the big question is, will the new reform make the U.S. a socialist country? I came across a discussion, yes, an actual "discussion" in which people don't always agree, about the topic of a socialist U.S. Believe it or not, I found it in the forums of The link HERE.

I'm still forming my opinion on this issue. But if we are already paying for the health of other people through high insurance premiums or paying out of pocket for high priced treatments, why such opposition to the reforms being proposed? I don't get it.

Photo: Dorothea Lange

So, here I sit, with my small children demanding much of my attention. It is difficult to focus. I imagine it must be the same for so many parents. Often, I think many people don't examine what is actually being done by our government. What they believe about the state of the country may hinge on a headline in the paper. Even still, enough people paid attention to be done with Bush-style politics.

As far as the "government health care reform=socialism" equation goes, I'm looking at other "free" countries for examples. Like, Canada or England. I wonder, what do Americans think of their health care system? Are Canada and England socialist countries?

To me, it would be nice knowing I could expect to receive health care. That my taxes have already insured me. And the majority of my paycheck did not go to an overpriced health plan I can use only at the discretion of the insurance company. The idea much of my insurance premium lines the pockets of the company's execs is a bit disconcerting. Should we really be treating health care as a commodity?

I suppose if one doesn't mind paying a fortune for health care, more power to them. Having health insurance is the new status symbol!

Turn off background music HERE, then come back up.

More on this:
An article written in 2007 by Ezra Klein shows how some countries with the best health care do it. This article can be found here: Health of Nations--Ezra Klein

It is interesting to note, the health care system of the U.S. ranks 37th, between Costa Rica and Slovenia, when compared to 191 other countries. France is ranked as the best. One can see the World Health Organization's assessment here: The chart showing the rankings starts on page 18.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Lately, I've gotten interested in making flash objects for a website. Flash being all the rage it seems. While I haven't become very good at creating much, playing with the software has been fun.

At the moment, I'm giving KoolMoves7 a try.

I thought I might make a flash header for this blog. Yep, it can be done. I came across this fantastic blog with the proper template codes:
Much appreciation to the owner of FunonMarsLikes

So after tweeking the code a bit, I was able to apply this simple header...

...and test it here:

Now I know KoolMoves7 has much more to offer than that boring ol' header. I'm just getting warmed up.