Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's In the Fridge

I just think this is cool. I have no idea if it works, but I'm going to try it. Recommended by my favorite radio show (:

Another Reason to Reduce Meat Consumption

I'm really not smug about rarely eating meat, but this announcement FDA urges less antibiotics in meat - Los Angeles Times seems like a no brainer. I heard about this problem about 15 years ago when I first started paying attention to what was/is in our food.

So eating little or no meat is good for our bodies, good for the planet (much greener to eat, well, greens) and avoids more toxins.

It's worth noting that the FDA isn't actually *making* meat producers use less antibiotics, just "urging" them to.

There must be a way

to post to my blog and have it feed to Twitter and FB... hmmmm...

Anyway, this is me technically coasting - interesting side effect of being an IT geek for over 20 years... similar to the "rarely open documentation" syndrome.

But I'm still planning a new website or two, so I will get to swim in html again. It's not hard, just a learning curve. Good to get in there and ski those slopes :)

Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago -

This is a concert I will have to make it to one year. Before it's too late. Friends in STL have been and said it's as great as you can imagine. Music Review - Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago -

Many years I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn play in ATL. Even in my ignorance of guitar greatness I heard what he had to say.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Bailey White - Author

One of my favorite Southern authors - Bailey White

Interesting Piece

Aren't recluses always more interesting? I think this is why I find quiet people intriguing... you just never know what is going on under the hood.
Harper Lee breaks silence - just - for Mockingbird anniversary | Books |

Rising to Greatness

[This is a letter I wrote to a local radio station after they aired a few segments about a gay man coming out to his family and their shock and horror. He was not only disowned, he was also physically attacked. I (blessedly) only caught the synopsis of the story, but it prompted me to write about my family.]

Hi Melissa - I just heard a recap on the Jeremy story this morning. I hope you all will consider doing a segment on families, especially stalwart Southern families who are amazing in their acceptance and support for a gay member.

I have to tell you that I have a very traditional branch in my family tree. They are in south Georgia, generally farmers, truck drivers, housewives, teachers and conservative Christians. Normal folks. Some are well educated but most are not.

My cousin, "Brad" who is a few years younger than I, grew up in this environment and was 20 something before he realized he was gay. Many of us already suspected this was the case anyway and so it was fun to be very laid back about it when he told us. He was the one a bit surprised ("How did you know!?" he asked :)

Anyway we are very close, so I know first hand about the family reaction. While it took some getting used to, and adjustments in their thinking, all of them, his parents, his aunts, grandparents and certainly siblings completely accepted and still accept and support him today.

His father is Sheriff in south Georgia, not a small role as you may know. He worked for over 20 years in various counties before being elected about 10 or 15 years ago. Sheriff/Uncle is very well educated (PhD), tough (a real stereotypical "man's man") and yes, he is very traditional. He had the biggest problem with his son's sexual orientation, and his wife (2nd marriage) didn't want "Brad" around their young son for a while. But over time this has also healed and his dad and stepmom have come to accept him for who he is.

A couple of years ago "Brad" married his partner in MA, where they live, and last year they adopted a young son. They downsized homes and Brad quit his very lucrative career to stay home and raise their son.

I want you to know how incredibly proud I am of Brad, for being such a wonderful person. He is, without exception, one of the most amazing people I know. He is not only smart and funny but also thoughtful and kind and devoted. He isn't perfect, but he is beautiful to the core. Maybe these traits made it a lot easier for the family to love him in his journey.

I've seen lots of prejudice all over, and especially in that part of Georgia. I know for a fact that my cousin's treatment has been much better, for instance, than the general view toward blacks in that community. Heaven forbid we talk about immigrants.*

Still, I am deeply honored to be a part of this family, with all their flaws. We are all human, but we CAN rise to the occasion. It is perhaps the exception to have so much love overcome so much narrow mindedness. But it can be done.

I hope and pray that Jeremy finds peace and love in his heart and in his friends who are indeed better than family. His family can't be replaced, but he can heal.

Please consider a positive segment on families who are NOT like his. And if you think it would help please feel free to pass this note along to Jeremy.

Peace out,

*for the record, I don't intimately know about my family's attitudes toward minorities, and I hate gross generalizations. Therefore I have no judgement about my family's view of blacks, immigrants, etc. partly because I don't specifically know their views. I feel the same way about many of their political views. I suspect I may not share them but I do respect their right to their opinions. I don't want to imply that they are racist or zenophobes. "Brad" married an immigrant and they have completely accepted him too. I converted to Judaism 9 years ago, and they took that in stride. At the same time I can't deny that it is true many folks in rural AND urban areas - all around the country - aren't comfortable with minorities. Just like homophobia, it's a complicated issue.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wistful for a Garden - and Blue

Not to be confused with the great Bluesfest I went to in KY last weekend...Himalayan Blue Poppy and Other Blue Flowers for the Garden -

Why Oil (and gas) Prices aren't Rising

Interesting to get the details : OIL FUTURES: Nymex Crude Down On Economic Slowdown Fears -

Ex Presidents and Congress - biggest baconators of all

I wonder how many people we could put to work, say cleaning the oil spill and fixing schools and paying and improving teaching, fire fighting, police, soldiers, teen driving education... if we stopped paying past presidents, vice presidents and congress (they get paid for life - full salary!) Did we seriously pay Richard Nixon after he resigned?! and lovely, there's a Transition fund $7.7 Million? Moving never cost ME that much.

Another Reason Why Being Present Matters

Al, Tipper Gore split puts focus on late-stage divorces - "When physician Robert Butler first started looking at aging in 1955, he says life expectancy was around 70. Now, he says, a 65-year-old man can expect to live 18 more years and a woman another 20 years.

Butler, 83, is founder of the non-profit International Longevity Center in New York City and is founding director of the National Institute on Aging. He says he's also aware of those in long marriages contemplating divorce — and he says it's usually the women who bring it up.

'They wanted out,' he says. 'They were tired of too much pressure or inadequate emotional support from the husband. He was too preoccupied with other things. He didn't carry his weight. He didn't help around the house. They didn't have the kind of support they wanted to have.'"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I can't say that I agree with all his points, but he makes a lot of good ones. John Shore: Ten Ways Christians Tend to Fail at Being Christian There are a lot of faiths that deserve the same wake up call. As usual I take a more universal view of these things... far too easy to follow a path without studying it.

Not WWJD but WDJD?

Interesting historical view :) Searching for Jesus in the Gospels : The New Yorker

Bob Cesca: Rand Paul Underscores the Tea Party's Connection to Race

Interesting thoughts about Libertarians in this article as well. Amazing how few communities actually do anything about racism... I guess I miss the 60s when at least people would talk about it. Bob Cesca: Rand Paul Underscores the Tea Party's Connection to Race The Country of Marriage: Poems (9780156226974):…

I want this book: The Country of Marriage: Poems


I found this article in the Atlantic Monthly in 2008 - and didn't read it. I was too busy. I downloaded it onto my desktop, in fact, to make sure I didn't lose it ("favorites" are so ephemeral) and still, didn't read it.

I might have skimmed it once.

Nicholas Carr, the author, summed it up (ironically*) in his title : Is Google Making us Stupid? Feeling highly qualified to answer this, I didn't bother. It might have taken me away from something more important. Email. Facebook? Dinner with my kids. Dinner alone. Dinner with House. I could knit with that time. Or read a book.

It's no secret that we have gotten flabby. (What a great word.) Physically we are largely obese, the majority of us. We are targeted as crass infidels perhaps not because we are unholy but just unaware.

Likewise our brains are flabby - or flabbier. I mentioned the other day (to a friend) all the languages our founding fathers learned as a matter of course: Greek, Latin, French, English, often Hebrew. It was standard fare for the educated class.

Now we are lucky to get one language in the course of achieving a higher education.

And yet we are supposed to do something with SO much more information.

There's no doubt that "more", the holy grail of our society (sadly infecting the rest of the world) in some ways gives us much less. The loss the ability to concentrate has taken me 15 years to accomplish. It's a gradual fading.... and who knows, having kids or getting just a wee bit more full in the brain may have everything to do with my sense of being more distractible.

Years ago I said multitasking was a lie. This was a solid observation based on training software and watching users struggle to find icons on the screen. I could always find it faster, standing behind them. THEN I noticed THEY (or whomever) could always find icons faster than ME if I was on an unfamiliar computer. **

Since then they have proven that multitasking is really just very fast switching. No duh.

Today I found this article, where Carr explores the subject more deeply: 'The Shallows': This Is Your Brain Online : NPR
The distractions in our lives have been proliferating for a long time, but never has there been a medium that, like the Net, has been programmed to so widely scatter our attention and to do it so insistently.
It was fun to read and watch myself get distracted, send an email and come back to finish the article. I DID notice how long it was.

And yet I read - a lot. Actual books.

Novels of all kinds, spiritual stuff, history, poetry (not as much as I'd like) and heavy lifting philosophy and relationship tomes. ugh

I love it. And sometimes I hate it.

But my least concern is for those of us who read, or those of us who can read well when needed.

The thing that causes grave concern is our children, and grandchildren - and how they will fare if (as Carr claims) lack of ability to concentrate means less creativity.

What if no one evers exists of the same creative and thoughtful caliber as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Omar Khayyam, Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Virginia Wolfe?

Then what?

*ironic because he had to make the title short and explanatory so readers could comprehend quickly. In our distracted, sound-bite-driven way.

**the mulitasking part of this exercise is : look for an icon, while moving the mouse with your hand. Yeah, don't work well.