Thursday, February 23, 2017

For friends as good as these!

There must be a heaven
for the animal friends we love.
They are not human,
yet they bring out
our own humanity...
sometimes in ways 
that other people cannot.
They do not worry
about fame or fortune...
instead, they bring our hearts
nearer to the joy of simple things.
Each day they teach us
little lessons in trust
and steadfast affection.
Whatever heaven may be,
there's surely a place in it
for friends as good as these 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2844 signatures on this - & the # is still growing ....

Our pledge

We, the undersigned, are employees of tech organizations and companies based in the United States. We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies. We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable.
We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out. We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans andBosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes.
Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.
We commit to the following actions:
  • We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.
  • We will advocate within our organizations:
    • to minimize the collection and retention of data that would facilitate ethnic or religious targeting.
    • to scale back existing datasets with unnecessary racial, ethnic, and national origin data.
    • to responsibly destroy high-risk datasets and backups.
    • to implement security and privacy best practices, in particular, for end-to-end encryption to be the default wherever possible.
    • to demand appropriate legal process should the government request that we turn over user data collected by our organization, even in small amounts.
  • If we discover misuse of data that we consider illegal or unethical in our organizations:
    • We will work with our colleagues and leaders to correct it.
    • If we cannot stop these practices, we will exercise our rights and responsibilities to speak out publicly and engage in responsible whistleblowing without endangering users.
    • If we have the authority to do so, we will use all available legal defenses to stop these practices.
    • If we do not have such authority, and our organizations force us to engage in such misuse, we will resign from our positions rather than comply.
  • We will raise awareness and ask critical questions about the responsible and fair use of data and algorithms beyond our organization and our industry.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Quotes that resonate w/ me!

"We are all wounded.  But wounds are necessary for God's healing light to enter into our beings.  Without wounds and failures and frustrations and defeats, there will be no opening for his brilliance to trickle in & invade our lives."  Bo Sanchez

"Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge or reason."  Pope Francis

"I may not be able to live in perfect serenity.  But I can ask:  What will I, what will ou, make of the gift of this hour, this day?"  Deborah Landau

"Happiness is knowing there is a God ... and being on speaking terms with him."  Nancy Nichols

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."  Mitch Albom, quoting professor Morrie

"Its not about finding someone who completes you; its about finding someone who gives you the opportunity to complete yourself."  Rabbi Sharon Brous

"People wonder why I'm always smiling: its because I don't allow the negatives to keep me down ... because I'm just so blessed.  I know I got my gift from God, and every day when I go to practice, I'm just giving him the  glory by trying to make it the best I can."  Sanya Richards-Ross, one of the world's fastest women

"The flower doesn't dream of the bee.  It blossoms, and the bee comes."  Mark Nepo

"The struggle is real, but so is God."  Iman

"A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles."  Roma Downey

"God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it."  Susan Griffioen

"What I do today is very important because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it."  Lynn Ramthun

"You do not write your life with words ... you write it with actions."  Patrick Ness

Sunday, February 12, 2017

5, 6, 7 ... and then there's what I REALLY want to talk about ...

As someone who's disabled, there really are no more weekends, just one day at a time, so I don't truly have so-called "weekend goals" (5)

I think I'm going to skip the least favorite words, in hindsight (6)

Goals for my blog?!  (7)  Sort of scratching my head at this one, as I'm no Fashion Mumblr or what was once Young House Love (don't even get me started on THAT ONE ....)

But then there's what I'd really rather blog about, anyway :)

In The Upper Room daily devotional for Sunday, Feb. 12th, is a devotional written by Patrick Castleberry, of Mississippi, who writes about "I have a habit of living in the past.  I find myself wondering how my life would have turned out had I done things differently."  Insightful devotional, that goes on try to teach us "God does not want any of us to live in the past ... We can enjoy the present as we experience God's love."

BUT I LOVE THE PAST!!! - whether its my own, my parents, or things that are in the vintage line, including clothes, movies, books & magazines, etc, etc, etc ....

The past fuels story ideas and influences what I watch and read, but - more than that --

It brings me to a much better location!  

Oh, sure, sure - there's all this talk about "be here NOW" and "stay in the moment" and all that's well and good, and I agree with that, even participate in that!  BUT  

Why would you want to be very present in the moment if you're undergoing a medical procedure?!  Or you're sitting in a courtroom, and not as a support person, either?!

What if you've just had it up to your neck with seeing disrespectful young men in pants that glorify prison rape and women half-naked and both sexes talking out of sewers?!!

What if your own life sucks, in plain English, and you want to transport yourself even just for a few minutes, hours, time it takes to put pen to paper ...???!   What if you have a darned good inkling what dating again at 53 years old would look like ... and would rather see far better dates?!  Or with families ... with homes .... go on, you can add your own here ______________

I soooo love the past!!!  

Watchman Episode 29: Why Syria Matters to You

Friday, February 10, 2017

3 of the #30 day challenge: I am looking 4ward to ....................

The biochemical wake-up that will surely arrive with new meds - I see my doc mid-week :)  My house, and my person, will be cleaner!  I will start to wrestle with (kinda like Delilah with a paper towel roll, yeahhh ... ) the two big C's I New Year's Resolved myself to tackle, that in the very end can find me in a far less expensive and in fact in one way more expansive! residence.  Hell's bells, Marita, the laundry may even be FULLY tackled ;)

2 (of the #30for30) Things You Are Good At!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

St. Jane Frances de Chantal - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

#30Lists Challenges

The idea is to write 30 lists, for 30 days.  And you are supposed to utilize #30Lists to share it with the greater community.  Here's my thing:  This may take me more than a month (I may skip days, in other words, simply because I'm not feeling well, lack of Internet access, et al) AND - I'm more of an essayist, ergo, this may just read like 30 Essays, for 30 Days :)  That said, let's get started, shall we!:

1.  A few things about yourself .....

I am a religious person.  I've been most of my life, BUT living in the South has taken away any slight shame for being so open about saying "I'll pray for you", for example ... plus maturity///ok, age! has made me realize I don't have to pick just one category to be religious in -- I identify as a Catholic, as well as evangelical, as well as with A Course in Miracles & other places not in the mainstream, like Unity, as just one example  - I think you get the picture!  (Hmm ... saying so may make my more Protestant friends slightly hesitate when I'll say "I'll pray for you" - afraid I'm going to slap the beads on ya, huh ;)  Well, then again!, I do belong to an international prayer group of close to - if not more - 2k members, on 6 continents! - and that's not the only one, either!)  Because my religion is perhaps best defined as "what's in my heart", I tend to confuse people - I Marched both on 1.21 AND for Life, virtually - and that did confuse alot of persons! - but I am very grateful for the ONE friend who did ask nicely about that!

NO, I don't like the way my small apartment looks behind its front door!  If I had my druthers, and the energy and the money, I would have stacked Totes neatly behind furniture, and extra shelving constructed above interior doors, closets, and both windows.  And I would have far less stuff as it is, having been able to find an ebay and we sell it store, where I can get close to the actual value, and not have to deal with hauling it OR struggling to make change (remind me to tell you about the three different paydays for Yolanda, story, sometime ....).  Taking my druthers all the way out, I would have someone help me with this stuff, including going through the laundry to figure out what's dead and what's not, AND THEN help me bring my parents furniture downstairs :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love her heart!

Elizabeth Warren #shepersists

I went on my Twitter feed just now, and so I was able to catch-up on the whole Elizabeth Warren debacle going on #nevertheless,shepersists!

What alot of people are saying is, naturally, about silencing women who speak-up ... and, also naturally, each and every time I read about some woman going through this, I, too, think of my own experiences - but there is one that especially comes to mind --

I was a resident of such a large city, that it literally encompassed THREE COUNTIES.  A tour by feet would NOT be recommended here!  In fact, in the years I lived there - even when it was years - I was still finding spaces I didn't even know existed! ....

As unfortunately happens to me far too often, a dental problem punched through my usual pain levels and into the stratosphere ... I went to one of those walk-in, emergency dentists - I had seen there huge sign on my way rolling past to other areas, and so when the need arose - well, I thought this would be perfect, you see ....

I did NOT have a good experience.  About the only GOOD thing I can say is I walked out of there with antibiotics to treat the infection, BUT I certainly knew! that I needed to see 'a real dentist' to address this ... and .... not knowing one and this being such a HUGE area, I asked a friend if she could make a recommendation???

Oh, I sure can!  He's actually been rated the #1 in this city, and for more than one year, too!  (Research confirmed all of that.)  Sigh ... well, I knew this would mean $$$ to get help, but I had that, thank God, so I called and made an appointment ...

I went in, and - at first - everything was fine:  lovely office; professional, friendly staff; even patients who had just had a small part of there body removed, seemed happy and were shaking his hand!  Gee, this guy must be somethin' else!

I went into the treatment room with the dentist and an assistant, and of course we had to talk before as well as during (don't you love when they do that?!) and then after -- and the after is when the problem happened:  He asked me a question - Jean, you've obviously had a tooth removed back here - but why in heavens name did that dentist leave half of it in your gums?!

Well, there was a whole story about that, actually - one that in hindsight was kind of funny, actually (especially if you stand for dark humor) ... so ... I proceeded to tell him and his assistant, when --

He shushed me and told me I was being one of those too loud women

The perfect dentist, rated #1 in this three-county city, had just become at least a jerk, if not a slight misogynist ... and ... I was done.  In more ways than one!  I not only had all the dental work required at that time (nooo thank you I'm not AT ALL considering making a major life plan with YOU to come in here and spend time getting the work done I should have done), I had all I could tolerate of HIM, too.  

Mr #1 dentist, yeahhh ... I can hardly even imagine what #2 was like ;-  (Oh, wait, do you think he's in politics?!!!)

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's not pleasurable, & in some cases, it's too much so: Life W/O Antidepressants

Antidepressants and I work together for roughly a year; then, they quit on me, and something anew has to be prescribed .... This time, however, the ticking down of the clock on this particular medication was - for the first couple of months - to be so incremental, so slow, that it was hardly even realized -- but then, by the turn of the New Year -- and definitely what conveys this even more so is looking in bewilderment at the January calendar, and wondering where it all went?! because I just about got a load of laundry done and THAT WAS IT!

Not to worry:  I see my primary care in two weeks, and we'll begin the dance around the ballroom of life, on something new -- That said, let me give you a glimpse of what my life is without them, besides truncated --

I'm so, so, SO sad .... I'm in my dirty little apartment too much of the time, now because I'm crying my eyes out over anything and everything.  I have to monitor what content I take in, knowing that certain things are as verboten as wearing black or white to someone's wedding -- but, too, there is always content, always sudden news and happenings and events, that come crashing through my emotional front door with all the finesse of how the dumpster guy comes calling to empty our rustbucket wasteholder in the corner of the parking lot --

And oh brother! do I irritate easily! I have to watch out for what Joyce Meyer has preached about, 'A Spirit of Offense', which can happen when friends that swear you're like family, have events you're not invited to but get to hear all about on social media - the rational side of my brain tells me there was most likely a drinking part to it, but the raw, nerves exposed, side, makes me feel like that haunting line in the Janis Ian song 'At Seventeen' I always overidentified with.  

I also get much more claustrophobic - which may sound like it wouldn't be an issue (as well as very much craving sunlight and electric lights, in addition to the ocean - at least for the latter, there are videos! ) as I DON'T live alone:  I have two cats that I do love very much, who just love to come calling and plop on parts of my desk.  I love that!  I love them!  But sometimes its just all too much!!!  Bless there kitty hearts, they gave me space without so much as me having to whine and ask (repeatedly) and pick them up (repeatedly ...) yesterday, with Big Mama nesting in my coat, and Delilah on the back of this chair.  

Ahhh, soon this shall be but a mist-memory - and gratefully so!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Man Turns His Long Island Home Into Shelter For 300 Cats

Man Turns His Long Island Home Into Shelter For 300 Cats: Chris Arsenault, known to some as the cat man of Long Island, began rescuing cats to ease his own pain after his son, Eric, died in a motorcycle crash.