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Tilting At Windmills [Jan. 1st, 2020|12:00 am]
[The river is |mischievous quixotic]

I'm going to start unlocking my journal now.

Argiope Aurantia
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Self Evident [Jul. 4th, 2014|08:42 am]
[Tags|]
[The river is |pleasedpleased]

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]

New Hampshire
JOSIAH BARTLETT,
WM. WHIPPLE,
MATTHEW THORNTON.

Massachusetts Bay
SAML. ADAMS,
JOHN ADAMS,
ROBT. TREAT PAINE,
ELBRIDGE GERRY

Rhode Island
STEP. HOPKINS,
WILLIAM ELLERY.

Connecticut
ROGER SHERMAN,
SAM'EL HUNTINGTON,
WM. WILLIAMS,
OLIVER WOLCOTT.

New York
WM. FLOYD,
PHIL. LIVINGSTON,
FRANS. LEWIS,
LEWIS MORRIS.

New Jersey
RICHD. STOCKTON,
JNO. WITHERSPOON,
FRAS. HOPKINSON,
JOHN HART,
ABRA. CLARK.

Pennsylvania
ROBT. MORRIS
BENJAMIN RUSH,
BENJA. FRANKLIN,
JOHN MORTON,
GEO. CLYMER,
JAS. SMITH,
GEO. TAYLOR,
JAMES WILSON,
GEO. ROSS.

Delaware
CAESAR RODNEY,
GEO. READ,
THO. M'KEAN.

Maryland
SAMUEL CHASE,
WM. PACA,
THOS. STONE,
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

Virginia
GEORGE WYTHE,
RICHARD HENRY LEE,
TH. JEFFERSON,
BENJA. HARRISON,
THS. NELSON, JR.,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,
CARTER BRAXTON.

North Carolina
WM. HOOPER,
JOSEPH HEWES,
JOHN PENN.

South Carolina
EDWARD RUTLEDGE,
THOS. HAYWARD, JUNR.,
THOMAS LYNCH, JUNR.,
ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

Georgia
BUTTON GWINNETT,
LYMAN HALL,
GEO. WALTON.
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Hey Beatnik! [Jul. 3rd, 2014|08:43 pm]
[Tags|]

Stephen Gaskin died today. He did a lot of things, including founding The Farm, a commune in Tennessee. And he wrote a book called Hey Beatnik!.

The book covers a lot of different things. For one thing it talks about how the folks at the farm had to learn from the farmers with farms around The Farm in order to learn successful farming techniques as opposed to idealistic organic hippie fantasy farming techniques. A lot of that involved working through the intersection of idealism and reality. I was about fourteen when I read this, so that was an important concept for me to learn and he explained it well. There are other ideas and explanations in the book that influenced me.

I never saw Stephen Gaskin and I know very little about him as a person. But I really appreciate that he wrote Hey Beatnik. As an example, here's a passage from the book that taught me that personal change is a process that requires that you be patient with yourself. Learning this has made my life easier, because I have a hard time changing, and it's easy for me to get frustrated with myself.

"Don't think you have an ungovernable temper or something. lf you've blown it at somebody, then you remember, "Oh, I wasn't going to do that no more." And then maybe you're blowing it at somebody and say, "Oh, I wsn't going to do that no more, and here I am doing it." But there'll come a time when you'll remember you weren't going to do that before you start. And you remember before the adrenalin rush comes. And if you can remember before the adrenalin rush comes, then you can just back off and don't do it."

Hey Beatnik! is somewhat dated, but it's still a good read. You can download a pdf from a link at http://publiccollectors.tumblr.com/post/1070930431/heybeatnikthefarmbook.

Hey Beatnik book cover

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Beauty [Apr. 15th, 2014|09:06 am]
[Tags|, ]

This beautiful beetle drowned in one of my water buckets.

Over on Facebook, urbpan told me that it's some kind of a ground beetle, so I searched online and I think it's a Fiery Searcher, aka Calosoma scrutator. See href="http://bugguide.net/node/view/397201.

IMG_20140414_125027_496_2

IMG_20140414_125316_892
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Thanks G [Apr. 12th, 2014|06:49 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Autozone has a webpage with instructions on how to access the wiper motor on my 1988 truck. The wipers stopped working last week, and I figured that the system couldn't be that complex. Plus I could hear the wiper motor running, so I figured it might be just a broken connector of some sort. So today, armed with Autozone's instructions, I removed the "cowl" ( a narrow strip of metal between the windshield and the hood that I didn't even know could be removed) took some other stuff off and found the problem -- the arm that connected the wipers to the motor had popped off. So I put it back on, tested the system and then put it back together. G was helping, and when I got done and turned on the wipers, the passenger-side wiper kept screwing up. G kept talking about the loose weather-stripping around the windshield, but I wasn't interested in the aesthetics of the truck. So I kept cursing the wiper and trying to seat it so it would work, and G got louder and louder about the weather stripping until he finally got through to me that the loose weather stripping was hanging down to where it kept knocking the passenger-side wiper blade out of position. I couldn't see it when I was in the truck running the wipers. I'm so glad that he was there helping -- it could have taken me days to figure out the problem. Hooray for Autozone for having comprehensible information on how to repair ancient trucks! Hooray for the Internet for bringing that information to me! Hooray for my dad for teaching me how things work! And hooray for G for figuring out what the root-cause of the problem was!
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A Man Who Changed the World [Apr. 12th, 2014|09:15 am]
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The fact that Rod Kennedy is dying makes me incredibly sad. You may not know who he is, but I would bet that you know someone who has benefited from the world that he created.

Rod Kennedy is the founder of the Kerrville Folk Festival, a yearly 18-day festival that's held out in the Texas Hill Country. But it's not just a festival, it's a community, or actually a huge extended family. And Rod is the conservative old-school-Republican ex-marine that put it all together and let it grow into one of the most amazing festivals ever. I find the "Welcome Home" sign at the ranch to be kind of hoaky, but I also know that it's true. Every time I got out there, I _am_ going home to my Kerr-friends and my Kerr-family. And I wouldn't have any of it if it wasn't for Rod.

The community he created extends out into every corner of the world and creates ripples of good that run past all of us every day. I hope that he realizes how much good he has put out into the world. Thank you Rod.

Nippy at Mixmaster
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Down By the River [Mar. 28th, 2014|06:17 pm]
[Tags|, ]

The river is a short walk from the house. Not far, but far enough that I can't see it and I often go a month or more without walking down there. In a way that's good, because it keeps me from taking it for granted. Each time I go down there, I'm always wonderfully surprised by how lovely it is.

IMG_20140320_194552_456
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My Pagan Roots Are Showing [Mar. 18th, 2014|07:31 pm]
My Pagan Roots Are Showing
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This Is What Frustrates Me [Mar. 18th, 2014|05:19 pm]
[Tags|]

If all of the people who did not believe that Jesus Christ was born the son of God and was sent here by God to save mankind, if all nonbelievers were removed from the US (or the whole Earth), nothing would change. The people who were left would still be fighting with each other about whose interpretation of the Bible is right, about how God wants people to behave, and about who God loves. There would still be people trying to pass laws to create a safer space for their specific doctrine. There would still be wars fought about religion and people would still be killed because of what they believe.

The same is true for a lot of other religions as well, because it's not the specific religion that's the problem, it's the mindset.
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Faith [Jan. 2nd, 2014|12:02 pm]
When I was a kid my mom would tell me stories from many religions and mythologies, including the one about the three kings, and I fell in love with their story. I'd always imagine them on cold nights looking up at the stars and trusting the brightest star to lead them to their destination. I could see them feeding their camels (that were sometimes horses) at the end of the day and sleeping rolled up in blankets and/or furs in big silken tents that would flap in the wind. Every day they would walk (or ride) carrying their gifts through cold winds that blew sand in their faces. I had less interest in the baby Jesus than I did for these travelers who left their warm cozy homes to carry their precious gifts to a baby they had never met. I never saw Jesus as special, -- to me he was just a baby whose mom didn't have the sense or the money to get a room. But the kings were special because they went through so much just to bring a baby some gifts. Every year, from Christmas to Three Kings Day, I imagine what it must be like for them as they made their way across the desert to deliver their gifts. At this point they are a little more than half way there. But I'm not sure that they knew that.

I am not religious in the traditional sense, but I do admire them and the faith that it took for them to make their journey.
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My Speech to the Texas Legislature's State Affairs Committee Hearing on HB2 [Jul. 4th, 2013|02:22 pm]


I start to speak at about 1:26. Here's what I said:

Hi, my name is Carol Cdozo. I am against the bill and I represent myself. I would like to thank you for holding these hearings. I have friends on both sides of this issue and I appreciate this exchange of ideas and that all of the people here tonight are passionate about the future of Texas.

My family has been in the United States for many generations. They settled in New York City back before the American Revolution, back when the Dutch still called it New Amsterdam. They fought in the American Revolution and have been involved in American government for many generations. One of my cousins, Emma Lazarus, wrote The New Colossus, the poem that is on the Statue of Liberty. Another cousin, Benjamin Cdozo served as a justice on the United States Supreme Court. My family has always believed in freedom, including freedom of speech freedom of choice and freedom of religion. My family's history is one of the many threads in the history of the United States, they have fought for and worked for this country since the start. My ancestors were Jewish when they first arrived, and we are not, and have never been, Christians.

The supporters of this bill have presented the bill as if it presents the only possible option in terms of how to regulate women's health clinics here in Texas. But there are other solutions the would be less detrimental to Texas women and the women's health system, but they would probably require more funding. Even so, I would think that people who consider themselves pro-life would support having women's health clinics in places where there are no other health care options for low-income women.

Regardless of what has been said, the outcome of this bill will be to remove many low-income women's access to safe and legal abortions. In the process it will also remove their access to prenatal care as well as screening for endometriosis, fibroid tumors and also breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. All of this to somehow “protect women's health.”

Make no mistake, this bill is not about protecting women's health, it's about religion. It's a way for a subset of Christians to try and force other people to live according to a set of rules based on system of beliefs that the other people don't adhere to.

But America is not a theocracy. Anti-Choice Christians have the right to make their choice based on their belief-system and that is fine, but it is not right for them to try and force other people to comply with their rules by creating laws that are based on their specific interpretation of the Christianity, or any other, religion. Religious law, be it Sharia law or any other religion-based law, has no place in American law.

Thank you very much.
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What Makes America Great [Jul. 4th, 2013|09:13 am]
[Tags|]
[The river is |patriotic]
[The frogs are singing |The Stars and Stripes Forever (playing in my head)]

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]

New Hampshire
JOSIAH BARTLETT,
WM. WHIPPLE,
MATTHEW THORNTON.

Massachusetts Bay
SAML. ADAMS,
JOHN ADAMS,
ROBT. TREAT PAINE,
ELBRIDGE GERRY

Rhode Island
STEP. HOPKINS,
WILLIAM ELLERY.

Connecticut
ROGER SHERMAN,
SAM'EL HUNTINGTON,
WM. WILLIAMS,
OLIVER WOLCOTT.

New York
WM. FLOYD,
PHIL. LIVINGSTON,
FRANS. LEWIS,
LEWIS MORRIS.

New Jersey
RICHD. STOCKTON,
JNO. WITHERSPOON,
FRAS. HOPKINSON,
JOHN HART,
ABRA. CLARK.

Pennsylvania
ROBT. MORRIS
BENJAMIN RUSH,
BENJA. FRANKLIN,
JOHN MORTON,
GEO. CLYMER,
JAS. SMITH,
GEO. TAYLOR,
JAMES WILSON,
GEO. ROSS.

Delaware
CAESAR RODNEY,
GEO. READ,
THO. M'KEAN.

Maryland
SAMUEL CHASE,
WM. PACA,
THOS. STONE,
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

Virginia
GEORGE WYTHE,
RICHARD HENRY LEE,
TH. JEFFERSON,
BENJA. HARRISON,
THS. NELSON, JR.,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,
CARTER BRAXTON.

North Carolina
WM. HOOPER,
JOSEPH HEWES,
JOHN PENN.

South Carolina
EDWARD RUTLEDGE,
THOS. HAYWARD, JUNR.,
THOMAS LYNCH, JUNR.,
ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

Georgia
BUTTON GWINNETT,
LYMAN HALL,
GEO. WALTON.

Hooray for the right to protest our government!

IMG_20130701_193749_083
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Happy Thanksgiving! [Nov. 22nd, 2012|09:29 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[The river is |thankfulthankful]

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,

Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind's delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For The Beauty of The Earth
by Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1864
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A Memory [Sep. 6th, 2012|08:04 am]
[Tags|]

There's a community on LJ called little_details. It's a place where writers can go and ask questions about background details for stories they are writing. Today one of the questions was about ways to have pine scent in a house. I posted the info below and it made me smile, so I thought I'd post it here:

When I was a kid (back in the 1960's) we would go to these little souvenir stores in New Hampshire that specialized in pine stuff. My favorite thing they sold were small pillows, maybe three or four inches on a side, that were full of pine needles. They smelled wonderfully piney. I'm pretty sure you could get them up to at least a foot square. Here are links to some sites that sells them - http://www.balsamfircreations.com/ and http://www.maine-lynewhampshire.com/pc-390-75-new-hampshire-balsam-pillow.aspx.

The other thing they sold was pine incense and a cool little log cabin incense burner. The "cabin" lifted off of its base, and the incense, which came in a fat, log-like stick about an inch and a half long, was lit and placed on the base. When the cabin was placed over the burning incense "log," wonderful pine-smelling smoke would come out of the tiny cabin's chimney. Here's a link to a place that sells them - http://www.madmoose.com/incense.html, and here's a picture of one:

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The Perseids [Aug. 10th, 2012|05:26 pm]
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This is the best article I could find about the Perseid meteor shower. It should start around 11 pm. It will run tomorrow night, Sunday night and Monday night, but they think that Sunday will be the best. Apparently there will be shooting stars all across the sky, so you won't have to look toward Perseus to see them. But if your curious, Perseus, which is the radiant point for the shower will be in the Northeast.

And, in honor of the Perseids, here's my favorite meteor-shower song:

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Life In The Future [Aug. 6th, 2012|08:49 am]
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Curiosity Sticks the Landing! [Aug. 6th, 2012|01:26 am]
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First Image from Curiosity

Curosity's First Images
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Fearmongers [Aug. 5th, 2012|10:33 am]
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Dear Republicans -- the Democrats don't have any problem with people of all faiths praying in public or in private. This is not an issue. You may celebrate your faith and your holidays as you see fit. The people claiming that your right to pray is in jeopardy are playing you folks for fools. The people who started that rumor are using fear to try and goad you into voting the way they want. Please remove your blinders and look around. Many Democrats are practicing Christians. And, as is true of most Republicans, most Democrats have no designs on your right to worship as you see fit. So please don't give into fear mongers whose only goal is to use false rumors to keep Americans divided and afraid of each other.

And, on a lighter note, here's a picture of a fly pretending to be a bee:

2012-07-24 - Bee or Bee Mimic - 18-11-58_132_2
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Happy Birthday to US! [Jul. 4th, 2012|07:30 am]
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IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]

New Hampshire
JOSIAH BARTLETT,
WM. WHIPPLE,
MATTHEW THORNTON.

Massachusetts Bay
SAML. ADAMS,
JOHN ADAMS,
ROBT. TREAT PAINE,
ELBRIDGE GERRY

Rhode Island
STEP. HOPKINS,
WILLIAM ELLERY.

Connecticut
ROGER SHERMAN,
SAM'EL HUNTINGTON,
WM. WILLIAMS,
OLIVER WOLCOTT.

New York
WM. FLOYD,
PHIL. LIVINGSTON,
FRANS. LEWIS,
LEWIS MORRIS.

New Jersey
RICHD. STOCKTON,
JNO. WITHERSPOON,
FRAS. HOPKINSON,
JOHN HART,
ABRA. CLARK.

Pennsylvania
ROBT. MORRIS
BENJAMIN RUSH,
BENJA. FRANKLIN,
JOHN MORTON,
GEO. CLYMER,
JAS. SMITH,
GEO. TAYLOR,
JAMES WILSON,
GEO. ROSS.

Delaware
CAESAR RODNEY,
GEO. READ,
THO. M'KEAN.

Maryland
SAMUEL CHASE,
WM. PACA,
THOS. STONE,
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

Virginia
GEORGE WYTHE,
RICHARD HENRY LEE,
TH. JEFFERSON,
BENJA. HARRISON,
THS. NELSON, JR.,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,
CARTER BRAXTON.

North Carolina
WM. HOOPER,
JOSEPH HEWES,
JOHN PENN.

South Carolina
EDWARD RUTLEDGE,
THOS. HAYWARD, JUNR.,
THOMAS LYNCH, JUNR.,
ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

Georgia
BUTTON GWINNETT,
LYMAN HALL,
GEO. WALTON.


And The Rocket's Red Glare

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Slightly Rough Start to My 57th... [Jun. 24th, 2012|05:47 pm]
My birthday started out with me spilling my coffee into my laptop's keyboard. I instantly put a paper towel on it, flipped it over and removed the battery. The Apple Store genus took it apart and said there was no evidence of coffee and that it will probably be OK if I let it dry for a few days.

Then my nice son bought me a mocha latte at Starbucks, which brightened my day considerably. After that we found a store with the most amazing kaleidoscopes. I really love kaleidoscopes and these were particularly fantastic, so I had a wonderful time. Now we are home relaxing in the insane heat. Happy birthday to me!

I should also give some credit to my sister, who cheered me up after I woke her up at some ungodly hour crying about coffee in my keyboard. My sister is the greatest!
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