Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Finish Friday- Cruising Along

The viewpoint at Abraham Lake west of Rocky. It's one of my favourite scenes.

If you nice people will excuse me I'll be gone for a bit.
Mr. Goat and I are away until Feb. 02 on a cruise from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Valparaiso, Chile, with a stop in the Falkland Islands. We go through the Straits of Magellen and around Cape Horn. I get to wander around Tierra del Fuego.

It's a combination celebration of our 10th anniversary back in September, my 50th birthday in November, and my successful recovery from that nasty bit of business with heart failure last year.

We leave tomorrow. I will leave a nightlight on for anyone who'd like to stop by the blog while we're out.
Please talk amongst yourselves.
I'll see about a fresh post around the end of the first week in February.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Virgin Territory

This young woman has found way to put herself through college by auctioning off her virginity.
Good for her. As of midday yesterday the bidding was up to $5 million. That’ll cover her Family Therapist degree with enough left over to by a small island.
I haven’t quite sorted out what I think. She said she got the idea after her sister hooked for a few weeks to pay for her higher education. It happened in Nevada, and the auction is based in Nevada, therefore it’s legal.
Moral? I’ve decided it’s not for me to judge.
She’s offering a legal product for which there is a market. In a free country with a free market economy she is entitled to do any blessed legal thing she pleases.
She only has to do it once. She’ll be set for life and she’ll get that all–important fame and notoriety to follow her to the end of her days.
What more could she ask?
That he be disease-free for one thing. And that a proper contract be signed taking care of future issues like earnings from the ensuing notoriety.
The buyer is entitled to proof the commodity is as advertised.
He (I am presuming she will sell to a male, but who knows?)
gets to go where no man has gone before. And he gets something unique for his money because once virginity’s gone, it is gone.

Or is it?

Revirginization is popular. A woman can, and for reasons I simply do not fathom, does get her hymen replaced.
Years ago there was process in the Catholic Church that through some kind of classes and spiritual cleansing a person could be a virgin again. I vaguely remember this from Journalism school nearly 30 years ago as a classmate did a story on it.
The idea of revirginization has been around while and now there’s a physical component, too.
All that said, you cannot take away a person’s experiences and muscle memories.
You can have your operations and anything else you want, and you can even sell your renewed virginity at auction later on if you like. As long as it’s legal you have that right.
But please do not tell me that replacing a hymen makes you a virgin. It doesn’t.
So sell it and then get it back. Sell it again. Have it replaced. If you found something you’re good at, then why not?
But you can’t go back. No matter what process you go through and how many times you get your hymen rebuilt you’ll never really, to paraphrase Archie Bunker, make “that tricky U-turn” back to virginity.
I hope the young woman who’s auctioning off her virginity realizes this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Dry I Am

Whenever I think about the rain and the snow and think there's been too much, I think of this sight. It's Little Fish Lake Provincial Park just east of Drumheller, Ab.
It's a lovely spot on the open prairie. It's surrounded by farmland and you're just as likely to hear a coyote howl as a steer low, and often they sing together in glorious praise to the westering sun.
But as you can see there's not much left of the lake. That's the boat launch in the foreground, I suppose there was a time when the water came right to it. I wish it still did.
So now when I shovel snow or go check the basement to see if water has seeped in I think of this lake and I hope it is getting the benefit of the storm.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lonely Dreams

Please click me.

I often wonder when I see abandoned buildings what happened to the owners.
Was it tragedy? Or did they light out in the middle of the night never to be heard from again?
Did times get hard and they simply walked away?
Or was it so good that they built a bigger, better house for themselves down the road?
I see tracks in the snow leading into it and wonder if it is on a used trail or someone simply ventured in to have look. I know I'm usually tempted to poke around in old buildings. I often wonder what feeling I'll get.
Old buildings have such tales to tell, but too often they only tell the wind and the rain because the people no longer care or believe they've no time to listen.
And what about you? Do you wonder when you see the houses and farms left to the elements. Or are you too busy?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Snow Eater

The weather has changed. This makes me happy.

Much as I love normal winter weather-- and its unspoken promise of yielding normal summer weather--I love a good Chinook as much as anyone.

We had one on the weekend. It warmed enough on Saturday for me to go out for walkies and stayed warm enough on Sunday to do it again.

The ferocious wind kicked in later on yesterday afternoon and knocked chunks of snow off the roof and surrounding trees. At one point it sounded like the house itself was crumbling down. It was just the snow-eater, but for all its sound and fury it didn't eat much.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - Warm and Sunny Edition

Click, enlarge, enjoy.

It's been cold and grey and snowy lately. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It's perfectly normal.
But after a while it gets to a person. We need sun and warm and green and we need to be reminded that it'll be along soon enough.
The above picture is intended as just such a reminder.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Few Thoughts

Some random thoughts that I decided not to spin out to posts.

Israel and Hamas, stop fighting and go to your rooms. You’re both wrong.

Vladimir Putin, please get your hand out of Dmitry Medvedev’s butt. It’s unseemly and you’re not fooling anyone.

George W. Bush, we know you did the best you could. That makes your presidency all the sadder.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Importance of Disillusionment

Every so often something occurs to me that requires a bit of thought. On good days, thought is followed by an Aha! moment and I get whatever it is that the Universe was trying to tell me.
On other days I simply ignore it and hope something comes along later.

Yesterday I’d just clicked over to this site when something struck me. I scratched out a note for myself: The importance of dis-illusionment.
Either I was telling me this or a guide whispered it.
Now, I had to give this some thought. No one wants to be disillusioned. It brings up all manner of negativity and makes a person feel lousy. However, it can be important for getting on with life.
I realized though that this had nothing to do with what the message meant.
It’s a call to let go of our illusions and step into a new phase of reality.
The latest messages in the spiritual vein talk about stronger connections between humanity and the spirit side with an attendant increase in the vibratory frequency of many of us. Those who get move on up to a faster, higher vibe experience spirituality in a different, direct and personal way. That is, no more need for divination tools like Ouija boards and Tarot cards. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great. But they suggest and therefore perpetuate distance even as they are used as a bridge.
Of course dis-illusionment is important. We need to get past the current constructs of our daily lives and get on with seeing things how they really are.
The world we knew is changing and doing it awfully darned fast. The economy is on its way to Hell and it won’t stop until it gets there. A litre of gas is 69.9 cents in my town right now, almost half of what it was six months ago.
The collapse was rapid and necessary. We are restructuring. We are letting go of some of the illusory constructs of the world and we’re going to get shiny new ones to replace it.
Systems change all the time. Empires collapse. Others rise to take their places. Objects of worship change. We change.
We’re doing it now and in order to get through it and come out the other side better, stronger and happier we have to get dis-illusioned.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An Intellectual Sledgehammer

Sometimes a screw-up works out for the best.
I have an Olympus 850 SW digital camera. It is fine. The software is annoying and miserable. If you are listening, Gods of Olympus cameras, make it easier for boomer- aged mortals to use it. We have money. We buy stuff. If we like your stuff we’ll buy it.
I loaded the software so I could register it online and I regretted it from that moment forward. All my other digital cameras gave me the choice of using the program that came with Windows. It’s easy. Olympus gave the photo some miserable long string of a name that I couldn’t sort out how to change, and it also gave me no choice but to go into the Olympus program when I transferred pictures.
That was blessedly annoying. I cursed the Gods of Olympus cameras every time.
Sunday night I tried to make the name string something useful and hit the wrong thing. Whatever got deleted was important to transferring photos.
I couldn’t find the software to put it back on. I couldn’t find it in the recycle bin. I couldn’t even find the restore function on my computer to get it back that way.
Worse, I put the card back in the camera and it came up “no pictures.”
Annoyed? Oh, I’d have to rip and chew my way out of the pit of righteous anger to be merely annoyed.
Only half the Olympus software got clicked away to oblivion. I admit that was my fault.
The path was clear. I had to remove the rest of the software from the computer. I did. It was very satisfying.
I reformatted the card in the camera and it works fine. This is a good thing.
Now I can use the camera, which I really like, without being forced to worship at the foot of Olympus software.
I screwed up by accidentally deleting something the program needed. But I made it all better by taking an intellectual sledgehammer to the rest of it.
Like I said, satisfying.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Wild Memories

Coyote and buffalo. Please click to enlarge.

Our Christmas drive yielded many great sights including coyotes. We see them from time to time. It's a treat, though not really a rare one.
We sometime hear their mournful howls in the night here in town. I've grown to enjoy their singing as it reminds me the wilderness is just a short walk outside my door.
Back when I was growing up we had forest all around us and it was filled with all the critters one would expect. We heard and occasionally saw coyotes, timberwolves, moose, deer, lynx, and bear. The sad longing song of the coyote filled many a night and punctuated cold clear winter days. It scared me then.
Today it simply reminds me of a former wild abundance.
I'm grateful to have been surrounded by the creatures of the wood, and today I am grateful when I see them again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - Silhouette

Of all the Bald Eagle pictures I've taken this silhouette is my favorite.
It transcends time and seems otherworldly to me.
I hope you enjoy it.