The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

October 15, 2010

Law and Order SVU

SVU this week gave a small nod to water issues in Boliva.

Water is life and for some the search is neverending.

In Oregon we are getting to vote on many things, one of which is Measure 76 which will amend Oregon's Constitution by continuing lottery funding for parks, beaches, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection beyond 2014. Measure 76 does not decrease funding from lottery funds to other areas, only maintaining the current 15%, which for 2011 is approx. $87 million dollars.
In Oregon you don't hear about a lack of water too often, but you do hear about watersheds being lost to development. I am particularly concerned about drinking water as I get my water from a well. 40 years ago when my family first moved out east of Salem we were surrounded by your typical farmland: wheat, grassseed, orchards, corn and berries. Today, Kuenzi Turf has cut down the black walnut orchard that sat for over 50 years down the road to make room for turf. Kuenzi Turf laid down vast sheets of plastic to fumigate the land to ready it for the turf. Kuenzi Turf uses vast amounts of water, pesticides, and fertilizers on much of the area surrounding my home. Kuenzi Turf has expanded to ornamentals for your landscaping needs. Turf, ornamentals none of which anyone needs to live, but which uses lots of chemicals to make your home look pretty.
While my concerns do not come close to the needs of families dealing with drought and lack of clean water it should be a warning to all that there are things in this world far more important than getting your house on the cover of Sunset or Home Beautiful.

October 10, 2010

National Coming Out Day

As a straight ally to some of my students, I am constantly horrified by the cruel things people say and do in regards to LGBT students. When adminstrators feel comfortable making jokes about their LGBT students thats when we all have to worry about bullying in our schools. When the teachers fear for their jobs if they say something, that's worse.
If my former students need me they know they can come to me for help in dealing with whatever they have going on. I just don't understand people like the Mormon Elder or Paladino who could just say nothing instead of spreading their hatred.
It hurts my heart and soul when I hear about young people killing themselves for any reason. I know the despair, I understand the depths of the abyss that you can't see your way out of, I survived it and while sometimes I may wish I hadn't there is so much that I wouldn't have accomplished had I been successful. What I did learn was that my parents were probably among the worst to have in such a situation. I got no counseling and all was swept under the rug.
Please don't let the abyss consume you, call your local hotline or the Trevor Project for help. There are people out there who know how to help through the despair.

October 6, 2010

Michael Pollan on NBC Nightly News

Michael Pollan on NBC Nightly News

Gathering and Hunting

Still reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. No, it's not all that long, I am just not reading as much as I should be. Went to EZ Orchards and bought apples and peaches. Made a fairly yummy peach pie, I think I am finally getting down the "cooking" part of the pie, haven't been cooking it long enough. Primarily because I didn't read all the directions. Sent Kelsey off to hunt for hamburger for the spagetti sauce. I went to Freddies to get some other things, see the picture below, also picked up some reusable produce bags. Amy is right, the bags are attached to plastic!
My other fruit and veggie gathering place is Aspinwall's on 22. Unfortunately, it is no longer on my way home from work so I don't get out that way too often. They do have a restaurant with excellent burgers and yummy fruit milk shakes.
On another subject, water, here in the Willamette Valley we don't hurt for lack of water or access to it. I sit here near the window looking east and I see sprinklers spewing water onto turf. One of Oregon's biggest exports. I would hate to calculate the carbon footprint for a 1 foot by 1 foot section of turf. There is nothing "green" about turf. It is high maintaince and full of pesticides and herbicides. Every other year or so they pull a huge white plastic tarp over about 20 acres and fume the soil to get rid of the rodents and insects. They put up little signs with a skull and crossbones to warn you. I worry about contamination to my well and the wells of my neighbors. While I don't worry access to water I do worry about what is in it.

Peach pie

The first expedition returns...

October 3, 2010

Reading, hunting, gathering

I've changed some titles, not that I'm not still thinking like teacher, but I have decided to expand my view of who I am. To say that I am just "teacher" is to discount myself. Not so much because I'm currently not teaching, just dropped an application for a position in Pendleton/Hermiston, but because I need to be more than just "teacher."
Still reading Ominvore's Dilemma. As I drink my pop, that has corn syrup in it and eat some corn-fed beef stew, I am living Pollan's first section "The Plant Corn's Conquest." Having viewed King Korn and Food Inc. before even starting this book, I already have a fairly good idea of Pollan's point in this section: corn is in freaking everything including my granddaughter Alexis' diapers! According to Pollan there are over forty five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn (p. 19). It is a scary thought to think that corn is in so much. Well, I guess not so scary as well... I don't really know. Just a good thing I'm not allergic to it I guess.
My next task is to take some pictures of where I forage and hunt. We'll see if the owners of those places allow me to photograph their stores.

September 24, 2010

The Ominvore's Dilema

The subtitle "A Natural History of Four Meals" sort of lets the cat of the bag, so to speak. "Our National Eating Disorder" is the title of the introduction. I would have to agree with Pollan. Americans are so ready to let others tell what is good to eat and good for us. I wondered why one year we are told we can eat as much meat as we want, as long as we don't eat bread or pasta, then the next year pasta is good and meat is bad. It is unfortunate that President Clinton recently stated the reason he has been keeping his weight off is because he doesn't eat meat or dairy. Really? It had nothing to with the super duper size hamburgers and shakes you were known to love?
It is nice to know that green tea will help me get rid of my belly fat. I will have to buy a truckload. I have been losing some, not a lot, of weight by just eating moderately and not going crazy. The next step is, of course, to restart my biking regime. Oregon and biking is a big thing, but I think all the bikers I see are truly dedicated. I really don't want to bike in the rain.
But back to Pollan's book, still reading the introduction but I am going to enjoy the book if the intro is any indication of what is to come. I went to Pollan's website, that looks like it hasn't been updated in a bit, but I found some good stuff I went to the web address in the book and it was wrong, no www in it. One cool thing, under the Animal Rights tab he mentions Temple Grandin! Yep! The brilliant autistic animal scientist and author. I am adding his site to my watched list because of this and the fact that there is some good stuff on there.
Watch the videos Food, Inc and King Corn, both available on Netflix if you have it. They are good companions to the book. Oh and The Botany of Desire is also a video and available on Netflix. And in case you like buy them Amazon has all three.

September 22, 2010

Can you love and care about animals and still eat them?

Well, yes I can. Long ago when I was in college and researching for a speech I discovered a cause, Animal Rights. I researched and purchased books by the big names in the movement. I am going to refocus my reading back to those books, the old ones purchased 20 years ago and newer ones like The Omnivore's Dilema. Ok, the The Omnivore's Dilema really isn't about animal rights, but about what we put in our big fat stomachs. I will start with Pollan's book and read his other book The Botany of Desire.
But first I want to put a bug in your ears, what would happen if PETA and HSUS get their wish and we all become vegans? What will happen to slaughter houses, oh this reminds me I will have to either purchase Temple Grandin's books or audiobooks, but I digress. Along with slaughter houses will be meat packing plants, feed lots, hog farms, sheep and cattle ranches, etc, etc. The jobs associate with those industries will go away and all of the people employed will be unemployed. It is ignorant to think that growing more crops will give those people jobs. And what about the animals? They will go the way of the dodo just as PETA and HSUS want it. Once they have gotten rid of the meat animals they will go after your pets. Actually zoos will probably be next on the hit list. Horse slaughter has been eliminated in the US, but horses are still transported to Canada and Mexico. There is legislation to stop the transport of horses for slaughter. I do not at all have an issue with not slaughtering horses. Sorry, but to me it is like putting one of my dogs on the roaster. But, wait, don't forget horses are basically pets to many of us. But PETA and HSUS have huge issues with horse shows, rodeos... well actually rodeos will be gone because there won't be any calves, bulls or steers. I am ambivalent about rodeos currently. Oh and horse racing and pacing. So... all of the things I like to do will be eliminated.
So the first book Omnivore's Dilema by Michael Pollan. I have it on audiobook so I can be lazy if I want ;-)

September 21, 2010

It has been awhile...

I have not finished Angus... and I have put it up on the shelf. I still recommend it and I think I will snag it from time to time for a good laugh. Not sure about the next book, but I'm a bit in dumper again and clinging to the hope that my settlement check for this month will cover my bills, feed me and the pets, put gas in my car, and actually I think that's it. I'd much rather have a job so that all of the settlement check could go to paying off the dang bills, but I think I am not going to find anything.

September 17, 2010

I have been lazy

I do believe it has been a couple of days since I last signed on. No excuses just tired of life. I found the Pink Hands video after seeing a piece on the news and then I asked my daughter and she helped me with the name.
Please watch it is wonderful.

Pink Glove Dance

September 14, 2010

All parents of pre teen girls should read this novel.

Yes, I said it and I'm not even a quarter of the way through it. Louse Rennison has channeled a teenage girl or she has remembered what it was like to be a teenage girl. Either way, so far, I am really liking this novel. She has the venacular down, well as good as I can tell not being from England.

I took some time and wandered through the glossary, I came upon the word "stroppy" just as a woman on Judge Mathais was demonstrating the state on TV. I remember being a bit stroppy at least twice a year when my students attempted to send me to the loony bin!

Why should parents of pre teen girls read this when the novel is about a teenager? That would because you will all get an extraordinary laugh from it and it will help cope when those cute little Tweens turn into monsters. Trust me.

September 13, 2010

The choice is made

I love watching BBC shows, not the comedies so much, but I think that is why I am pulled to this novel. Angus... is a diary written by British teenager. There is a glossary in the back in case you need, which I did just on the intro page, "nuddypants" is a person with no pants on! Yep, nude! I do believe Georgia will grow on me. Especially with comments like, "I don't see why I can't have a lock on my bedroom door. Every time I suggest anything around this place, people start shaking their heads and tutting. It's like living in a house full of chickens dressed in frocks and trousers."
Georgia is going to be fun to get to know, and like I said earlier in the day sometimes I feel like a teenager so ....

Two choices...

Both of these books interest me, obviously I was intrigued by them when I added them to my first donorschoose grant. But now I see that there is a series of "confessions of Georgia Nicolson" novels and I may get addicted. I hate getting addicted to a book series, because I get all OCD and I have need to read them all. Luckily this is the first in the series.
Given no input from my plethora of readers I will have to choose on my own. Stay tuned.


Well I'm done in one two hour marathon, I have completed the rules of survival! No real spoiler alert as I hate those things and I won't tell end of the novel here.

Matthew, Callie, Emmy, Murdoch, Ben, and Aunt Bobbie are the kind of family you would want. Maybe not all they've done, but how family rallies around in a time of need. Nikki reminds me of other characters in other books before I knew what bipolar was or had had any experience dealing with it personally.

Something I realized as I was reading is that sometimes, like recently, I feel as if I am still a teenager in need of an adult to take care of me. The post earlier about being self centered was a slight dump on myself. My parents were always there to help me, but with a firm knowledge that there was some kind of payback coming in the future. When that unmentioned payback never came there was always the total lack of support in whatever I was doing. It didn't matter if it was horses, sheep, college, or my marriage there was no real support and always an underlying sort of sabotage. The kind of sabotage that would have me running home to them.

My mother was a master at it and my father just followed along because he loved her so much. My mother was more likely a borderline personality I think. Manipulative in her push pull of her family and friends. Not manic then depressed like a bipolar person.

This is the kind of novel students can get a grip on because of the children against parent theme. It is nice because it isn't filled with all the angst that can sometimes run rampant through a young adult novel. Readers can identify with the characters even if they have never experienced the hyper manic bipolar. We all manipulate in some way and we all have at one time or another tried to keep the family waters smooth. A good read, a good reading circle book for the high school classroom.

Now on to a new novel...

the rules of survival

I am nearly at the halfway point in the novel. The dawning realization by Matt and Callie that their is more to what their mother does is slowly coming to light. The youngest, Emmy, prayed before bed that Murdoch would return to them. This of course enrages Nikki and mobilizes Matt and Callie to protect their little sister. Folded the book closed at the point where Matt and Callie have been kicked out of the house to go to church. Emmy having to stay home with Nikki and the man she brought home with her, because Emmy has been bad and doesn't deserve to go to church.

Today, when I thought of the title of the novel, I realized we all in some way create rules for ourselves and sometimes our families that help us survive the truly rough spots. I don't think I would have realized this if I wasn't going through this particular rough patch right now. Without a job and, for the time being, no money it is difficult for me to see beyond. With the settlement from the school district I will have money and health insurance for six months. But that is little comfort when I don't have a job. I'm drinking more water, obviously because it is free so that is making me a bit more healthy and I'm losing weight because I am trying to make what I have in the house right now last until the first settlement check shows up next week. I hate being self centered and thinking about myself all of the time. I had finally clawed my way out of that rut years ago. A side effect of being an only child I think, but once you have to think of others you can claw out. Once my children came into my life I was able to see that what I wanted wasn't as important as what they needed. I guess that's why I feel so hurt that Kelsey has just severed our relationship. I know that she is the sole of her family and that my life is second to them. But, they have lived in my house rent and expense free, other than their food since last August. Only once did I have to rely on them to pay the monthly bills. Now, when I need her help again I am made to feel guilty for asking for help with things like the electricity bill for July and August and to buy dogfood when their two dogs are here with me. I do not and will never feel guilty for asking for help with the phone bill since I am paying for Matt to have a phone!
I hear that voicing these kinds of frustrations is cathartic, but I don't feel like any weight is lifted off of my shoulders. I am more depressed than when I first started writing this.
Going to go sit on the porch and read some more. Maybe the next book will Angus... and full frontal snogging.. Makes me smile just trying to remember the entire title.

September 12, 2010

Credit reports and finding or not finding a job.

I would apologize to you all if there were actual people out there reading what I am writing. But I'm thinking that if you are you aren't letting me know.

I have been lax in my reading the past three days. In an emotional slump from which I will eventually emerge, I hope. I am down about not finding a job, feeling as if I have no marketable skills and that my credit report is so bad that for some reason that makes not a good choice. Which is interesting because my financial woes are not an issue when it comes to work. It's one of those catch 22s that I can't get out of. I can't mend my finances without a job and I cant' seem to find a job with a bad credit score. Interesting.

On to the novel, I am really liking how the main character, Matthew, is evolving within his retelling of his family's story. A mother that is bipolar is a difficult thing to live with. She puts her youngest child in harm's way deliberately because her children and new boyfriend are boring. The incident pushes the boyfriend away. To Matthew and his sister Callie Murdoch was going to be their savior and he was for a time. Even their little sister Emmy, who at three had yet to string a sentence together, begins talking to Murdoch.

Writing about the novel has made me want to go back and read some more. Nice trick. The book link from Amazon is for a book that my reading read for September. No I didn't read it, remember I have no money for luxuries like books. Anyway, it sounds like this would be a good grown up read and it is a true memoir if you don't like to read young adult fiction like I do.

September 8, 2010

Reading slowly but loving it.

I haven't gotten too far, not sure why, but I am loving this novel. I don't have any brothers or sisters and I am finding the sibling dynamic very enlightening. Not that I didn't know that siblings can be self sacrificing for one another, it's just that reading it now when I'm not feeling a whole lot of family support it hits home.
I knew long ago that my children wouldn't or couldn't be self sacrificing to help me. It isn't how the parent child relationship works.
Anyway, the prose is easy to read and the plot grows more enticing even though I still have that darn spoiler floating around in my head. Matthew, Callie, and Emmy have a hard time dealing with the explosive anger of their mother. Got the first real feeling of that this morning as I was reading. You will too, no spoilers from me.

September 7, 2010

Poetry SLAM SAFE for StudentsPoetry SLAM SAFE for Students

Just a test, though I love Slam poetry... See the video below with Taylor Mali.

the rules of survival

So far, this is a really good novel about family survival. As the oldest, Matthew, has spent his growing up years protecting his sisters from their mother. The novel is a letter/diary written by Matthew for his youngest sister Emmy. It opens with a letter to Emmy from Matthew telling her that if she is reading the letter then he has decided she is old enough to know what happened.

Amazon has an author page for Nancy Werlin, something I didn't know about until I went searching for a picture of the novel. The edition that I have and that is offered on Amazon also has a discussion guide at the end of the novel. I  haven't read it as I want to read the entire novel first. I did come across a spoiler at the end, don't read it like I did because now that spoiler is stuck in my mind as I read it.

September 6, 2010

Taylor Mali on what teachers make

A new book

A book perhaps just as gloomy as Nip the Buds, but maybe it is something cultural I can't get past. This one has the US as the setting. The back cover says, "For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival." Gloomy but hopeful I hope.

On page 42!

I am sorry to say that I just can't wade through this book at this time. Perhaps it's is my personal junk getting in the way of a good read. This is the second time I have gotten this far and no further. Back on the shelf and on to another from my classroom shelf, well I no longer have a classroom, but one of the books I had on the shelf when I had a classroom.

September 5, 2010

It's not looking promising...

I am only on page 36 and already I've read "faggot" more than once and references to male prostitution. I'll keep on trudging. In the introduction the editors mention Lord of the Flies and I'm thinking a good companion. But, we'll see. I like the prose, though I haven't read much, if any, translated works I am seeing that perhaps the prose could get in the way of a good read for some students.

Next read..

A book that has the word, "penises," on the very first page. There is a huge introduction that students will find odious to say the least. Well at least many of my former students. I am not certain, though I am barely into the book that this is a book I would share with an entire class. I will have to finish the book to see if, with parental permission, I would recommend to any student.

What am I reading?

The Boy Who Dared: A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. A very easy read, especially for middle school students. The story is told in the first person omniscient from the point of view of Helmut Hubener. The story follows Helmut from his 14th year to his 16th when he is executed for treason for listening to the banned BBC News and posting leaflets throughout Hamburg, Germany in 1942.
What struck me about the story is Helmut's determination to get the truth out and the cost he paid for doing that. The novel illustrates how bystanders can and do cause genocide to happen by doing nothing. It also shows how fear can lead people to betray loved ones and colleagues for fear of being arrested, tortured, and executed yourself.
Every time I teach about the Holocaust I wonder what I would have done. Would I let my friends and family be taken away to save myself. Or would I, as some did, try to stop the Germans at the cost of a beating, imprisonment, or death? I can't answer that question with certainty. I know what I feel I would do and I would rescue as many as I could. The risk would have been great, but rescue is much less likely to cause my family to be hurt.
The novel is designed for young adults to read and is not graphic in its detail. There is a section at the end of the book with pictures and a short biography of Helmut's friends Karl and Rudi. There is also a discussion guide on Scholastic that I have not yet to explore

All I can think about is that I have no money...

and that hurts me to my soul. I have no control over what certain people say about me that I must put into each application. I hope that these people say neutral things about me, that they don't let their personal issues with me fog up my ability to get a teaching job.
This is the longest time I have not been teaching since 1994. This is the first time in my life that I think I could lose everything because of my inability to better manage my savings over the summer. I haven't ever been this disabled by a lack of money. I know that my father is probably trying to pound his way out of his grave to berate me for my lack of foresight.
Summer is always hard for me. But the past 8 or so summers I have been teaching summer school and I have used that money to at pay up bills so that I am not in the spot I am in now.
I am a burden to my family and I would so rather have them be a burden to me. My daughter is the only one working right now and Burgerville has cut her hours because there were family issues this last week and she took time off. So, they cut her hours. Her husband is being the stay at home dad, but should really be working. I could watch the girls, I mean I am getting no interviews so why not help them out that way.
I am hoping that Tuesday will be a good day and I will be having to arrange interview times rather than automatically saying I can be there whenever.

July 28, 2010

Biking week two

So, still the same distance, but faster. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. I still ache, but I am guessing that may take awhile before I can bike a distance and not ache. Monday I followed to horny squirrels for a bit before they tumbled into some blackberry bushes. Today, I came around a corner and a deer was standing on the path. We stared at each other for awhile and then she trotted off as I followed. She did the cool hopping thing as we both sped up and then detoured into a clump of bushes. That's what I like about biking at Minto Brown. It is so beautiful and so near town and there is wildlife around each corner. About halfway through my current path there is a bald eagle nest with the proud parents and one fledgling. I wonder about the wisdom of having the next platform on top of an electric pole, though it and the others always have nestlings. I have noticed the duck population is smaller than when I used to walk with Rasta and Mocha. Guess they aren't as reslient as the geese on State Street.

July 26, 2010

Geese, geese, and more geese

Read a post from Humane Watch talking about HSUS supporting the killing of geese. I'm sort of on the fence with this issue. Eons ago I seem to remember that there was fear that Canadian geese would go the way of the Dodo. So, fast forward to Salem, OR 2010 the Canadian geese have interbred with domestic geese and the progeny do not migrate, they stay along Mill Creek all year long. They have adapted to the environment so well that if a car tries to hurry them along by creeping up on them as the "migrate" across State Street, they stop and honk and honk. I've sat behind creepers and it can go on for 2 or 3 minutes. The reason the stick around? People feed them bread. Which also feeds the rats and pigeons. And the geese poop everywhere! Anyway, shooting them as HSUS and New York City want to do could sort of be ok if they took the meat and fed people with it. It would be interesting to see if there is a way to give them birth control. You wouldn't want to eliminate the species, but reduce the number as humanely as possible.

July 25, 2010

Family Time

Spent the afternoon with half of my family yesterday. Playing in their pool and getting my typical sunburn which gone this morning.
I'm thinking tomorrow I'll be able to go to the park again. The whole womanly time thing is finally slowing down.
As I was lounging in Brandon's pool with only Raven as company I realized how noisey it is at Brandon's house. Since my pool is toast I am floating in his now from time to time and it isn't at all quiet up there. It is relaxing, just not as quiet. I love floating. I really miss going to the North Fork. I wish I had the foresight that Margaret and her brother did and purchase a space at Taylor Park and keep it until I could move into dad's spot! Stupid of me not to think of that! Oh well, stuck with chlorinated pools now.
Done with dogsitting, sorta miss that crazy Raven though. She is always so happy and loving.

July 23, 2010

Anita Renfro again!

More Angry People

Ok, I was one of the angry ones, but man I wish I didn't have to drive in town at all. People walking and on bikes seem to think that drivers can four directions at the same time. Course some drivers think the same thing. When I was walking downtown I always looked both ways even on the one ways. Good thing too, because after I was back in the FJ driving down Summer street where it changes from one way to two and a PT Cruiser pulls up on my left side, in the wrong lane.  Heh!
People, smart looking people, cross against the lights because no cars are coming at the moment. People on bikes turn without using hand signals. Shoot I was in the park the other day and this lady was using hand signals the whole, even when she wasn't having to worry about cars running her over.
Which brings up merging... I hate merging and I really hate it when people don't read signs telling their lane will be closed and then when they see it for themselves get all annoyed when people don't let them in. Truly annoying.
That was cathartic... but I'm still mad at Kelsey... never mind...

Day two

I decided to go the other way on Wednesday. Again, I thought I might die before I got back to my FJ, but I obviously didn't.
Thursday and today, Friday, I did not go out. Women who tell you they love when their periods stop are so right. Have'nt had one since January and it returned yesterday with a vengeance! Truly, annoying. Today I walked from Marion street to um... well past Front street to deliver some papers for my daughter. Salem and Marion County need to plan their road construction better. Heh! I totally understand they have to get the work done now and the whole stimulus thing. Hopefully, the crews working in Salem are better painters than the crews who repaved and repainted the lines on Hwy 22 between Salem and Willamina, because those guys had to be smoking some gonja while they were working. Speaking of the illegal weed, saw two young men sharing some green herb on the corner of Trade and um maybe Liberty. Out in the open! They have bigger balls than I do! Well ... they have freaking balls so.... And, no, I didn't call it in.
Hopefully, tomorrow I will be out riding my bike in the morning and floating in Brandon's pool in the afternoon.

July 20, 2010

Bike riding day one

I rode only about 2.25 miles today. Maybe a total of 40 minutes on my bike. I remember when I could bike nearly all the trails at Minto Brown in a day! It's gonna take some time, but I can do it again. Yes I can! Minto Brown is so nice and the people there very friendly, of course the friendly ones all said hi when I was struggling to breath so I looked like a total poop head.
The best thing is that I feel good and nothing hurts!

Angry people

The great thing about the Internet is that you can get all this information and it's also the worst thing. With information comes opinion and with the Internet comes some anonymity. You can eviscerate someone and they don't know who you are.
Issues like animal rights, global climate change, the environment get people hyped up. They get me hyped up, but I don't do a good job of eviscerating back. I would prefer a healthy debate to name calling, band wagon, all the terms I learned in Speech class for bad argument. Saying I'm like Sarah Palin because I eat meat and don't have an issue with that, is not good argument. It lumps me in a group that I don't belong for no other reason to titillate other readers and make me angry.
We need to construct our words so that they will be listened to and, if we want it that way, to change people's opinions.

July 18, 2010


We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. ...One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding...Wayne Pacelle - Former National Director of Fund for Animals.

I don’t use the word "pet." I think it’s speciesist language. I prefer "companion animal." For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship – enjoyment at a distance -- Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's President, quoted in The Harper's Forum Book, Jack Hitt, ed., 1989, p.223.
So, while the quote from Newkirk is a bit old, it still gives me a chill as I sit here with four dogs and at present 2 cats. Oh and Oliver the cockatiel. Pacelle is now involved with the Humane Society of the United States. You should know that dollars you to his organization does not trickle to let's say The Humane Society of the Willamette in Salem, OR.
The HSUS is actively pursuing ways to curb animal farming, even at the smaller sustainable levels, so be careful when the ask for money if you think all they do is for the good of all animals.

Watching Tour of Duty

So, I put Tour of Duty on my Netflix que when I was teaching Global Issues and US History. Finally getting a chance to watch the old episodes. Having a lot of time on my hands and realizing some underlying philosophies in this show. Should have known even back when it was on TV, but I had other priorities back then.
I remember not liking the officers at all. While I can now look at them with a different mindset, I see that maybe they were created to illustrate the total stupidness of the War in Vietnam. I think of how what we are doing now is similar to Vietnam. I doubt I am the first, maybe even Korea. The U.S. always sticking its nose places it probably doesn't belong not for the good of indigenous people, but for the show of might.
There is even an objector that I totally don't remember! He makes the foil to the gunho attitude of the grunts and NCOs. Gunho, of course, is good when you are fighting. Not so much when you come home.

July 17, 2010

Wrinkled Ladies

What will the next global war be over?

In my opinion the next global war will be over water. Access to it will begin to be controlled. Countries will begin to attempt to control where and when water flows. Look at many third world countries. Go to and see how important access to water is.

I guess I will have to reread some Joyce

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

June 9, 2010

On the last day of my vacation I am feeling better about myself and about life. Whatever track I choose I know I will be good at what I do. I want to teach, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the politicking again. If you think teachers don't have be political then you don't work for a school district.
Sports are the top priority even though many schools make no academic standards other than D's for their athletes. Academics take the side road. Coaches are outraged because the number coaching positions may be cut! Cry me a freaking river and VOLUNTEER your time!
Going through some of my curriculum and wondering why my old school didn't take me up on the Government and Senior Project ideas. Guess, like they said, I'm not a regular teacher so I haven't a clue as to how to teach them how to be good citizens.
I know I'm a good teacher, may not be too good at lesson plans and curriculum maps, since I haven't done them for forever and got no help from the administration in classes to take or feedback from them on how to improve. Perhaps they are the ones who aren't good at teaching.

June 8, 2010

Laid off and not loving it at all

I'm wondering what happened? What did I do wrong? Well, I'm not actually wondering that so much because I was warned that if I didn't resign my program would be cut. And guess what? It was cut! Wanted to fight it, but after one meeting with the power that be and I realized administration not only doesn't care about me, but they really don't care about my students. Athletes rule! No room for the students of fringe.

March 31, 2010

What is it that makes us care?

Ok, I have to admit that I am feeling totally sorry for myself this week. I am at the bottom and I really can't see the top of the well. I have to stop feeling sorry for myself, kick myself in the ass, and get myself back to doing what I do well---teach.
This is the first week of the next to last four and a half week block of classes. I have nine students in the largest block and they can see my lack of enthusiasm. They aren't stupid and they can tell I'm peddling without a chain.
I want to cry all of the time, but I have obligations that make it impossible for me to do so. I love my family I love my work, and I love my dogs and cats. I just can't seem to get myself out of this funk.

February 7, 2010

Life is a series of jumps..

I am peddling as fast as I can and I can't seem to catch up. I was inspired last night, I watched Temple Grandin last night on HBO. Amazing woman with an amazing mother! I have little contact with the one Autistic student I do know at Willamina and I'm thinking William may be smarter than all of us if we can just tap that one spark!
Sadly, Willamina seems to stop gap most of its special needs students. To their credit they don't send them to me, but still... We meet the goals in the IEP, but don't seek to go further. Money is always an issue.

I was also inspired by the Project Citizen workshop I attended all day yesterday, yes on a Saturday. I'm thinking my students can do this! Yes they can and I don't we'll need Bob the Builder's help.

January 9, 2010

Cats and other stuff

Well, I've been bad I haven't been back for a couple of days. Tank is back! The big puffy boy. The first week back from break has been good, actually went by quickly. Next week is finals on two days plus an observation by the principal. Stressful, but I should do ok this time.
All cats accounted for, so I can relax for a couple of days. I think someone is peeing on the couch... gotta love cats...

January 5, 2010

Day Two

Well I guess I should get this one of my chest now! Lola pooped under the computer today. Found it when I sat down after coming home from work! She is really getting on my nerves. The cat really doesn't get the whole going outside to pee and poop. But she is a pretty little cat, nice calico and a lover. Currently sleeping on top of one of my cupboards.
Haven't seen Tank in three days. Usually the fuzzy guy can be seen out in the field, but it's been raining. I think he has another family somewhere or barn or something. I worry about him.
Everyone else I've seen and or heard. Man they can be noisy.

January 4, 2010

New month and it's Cats!!!

I am not the creepy old lady next door who has a zillion cats! I only have 11. Five years at this time I had 20 with two pregnant females. Now everyone is spayed or neutered and the only reason the chaos of cats increased in number is because of my beautiful daughter. She gets cats before checking it out with her landlord. Since, the 20 plus cats came along and then went to Salem Friends of Felines, leaving me with 8, my daughter has dropped three more on me. Ellie, who was one of the initial 20 so she probably doesn't actually count, Reese, and Lola. Lola has yet to figure out the cat door and uses the space under this computer to poop or pee when the need arises and she hasn't been thrown outside.
The two lovelies picture here are Reese, the yellow, and Marshall, the Flame point. The boys are lovers and sometimes fighters. Next post, perhaps Killa and Cloe... two of my daughters cats. Almost forgot, I had one cat, Bear. Then my daughter said she would get kicked out of her apartment so I took in Cloe, who was supposed to be spayed. She wasn't and Rio, the black one, and Cosmo were born. Then she dropped off Killa, supposed to be male. She wasn't... she had Marshall, Ellie, and crum I forgot the other one's name. Anyway, I kept Marshall and Kelsey too Ellie and Brandon, my son, took the one whose name I have forgotten. Then Cosmo had Mathers and three others. The black one had one huge fuzzy kitten we named Tank. The black one didn't like Tank so Cosmo who had a batch of her own, took him on. After dealing with other family stuff I contacted the wonderful folks at Salem Friends of Felines and they took the others!
So 11 cats...