Sunday, February 27, 2005


How do you spell velcro? Well, Lucky and Misty for starters. Mom's been at my sister's al week and I've been working all week sooooooo. all weekend I've had two cats either in, on, around, just coming or just going where my lap is concerned. I've even attempted to type while one sits on my shoulder and the other "politely" flexes her claws in my hip pocket to tell me that "gee, that one-eyed monster may be interesting but it won't keep your lap warm."

Lucky likes to "hunt." When I got home Friday there were washcloths scattered all over the place. How somebody can meow as loud as she can while holding something in her mouth is a mystery.

Spring is here, for now. We've got a few daffodis and the Andromeda is blooming. I wonder if this spring is going to be like one yera in High School. When we were supposed to be inside playing basketball the ended up outside doing volley tennis because it was too nice to be inside. In April when we were supposed to be doing softball, we were inside doing basketball becaise the field had become a mud patch.

Oh, well. all birds have been singing their little hearts out. We've had a lot of finches this spring and I think I even saw a pine siskin the other day.

Haven't been entering on the computer as much. Just workin', catching up on my knittin' (I discovered three bags of left over yarns from various projects), reading, trying to make sense of the political nonsense that's been going on.

Ouch, mom gets home tomorrow, yippee. I just got "flexed" again. Somebody wants their dinner. Have a good night. :-)

Monday, February 21, 2005


Over the years I realized that the scariest story I’ve every watched on TV or the movies was an old Star Trek episode. The Enterprise is transporting a diplomatic party to an area where the Federation would like to open diplomatic relations and hopefully establish a base. An attempt had been made a generation before. The last message from the original party stated that the planet in question was at war with a colony world. When the Enterprise arrives they find the war is still going on. In fact, the war has been going on for nearly five hundred years.

The capital city is attacked while the landing party is on the ground. Funny thing is-no booms, no tremors, no radiation. Turns out, the whole war is being handled by computers. Since you can’t have a war without casualties, the citizens in the affected areas have a day to report to suicide stations. The planetary leaders state they finally realized their society was hopelessly warlike anyway so they figured they might as well make the process as “civilized” as possible. Since the story is no fun without threatening the ship and her crew, the Enterprise is declared a casualty and the crew ordered down. Of course the captain takes extreme exception to the idea and throws a large monkey wrench in the works. He and Spock blow up the war computer. In answer to the council leaders’ accusations that the Federation is just as warlike as his people so get off your high horse all ready. Kirk answer that yes, maybe they are, but they finally realized that while humans may be killers with generations of wars in their history, we “don’t have to kill anybody, today.” That’s the first step, “We don’t have to kill anybody-TODAY.” The story ends there. You never find out how the war ends, just on the note that maybe, just maybe both sides will be so terrified of the idea of fighting a war with real weapons that they might actually try to make peace.

This little summary was prompted by stories in both papers about the attempts to develop robot soldiers. The idea is to field automated troops that don’t get scared, don’t worry about getting killed, don’t care if their buddies get killed, don’t get hot tired, don’t get hungry, don’t get thirsty, and aren’t entitled to pensions twenty or thirty years down the road. I find this very, very scary.

You see, I think war is supposed to be terrible. It’s supposed to be horrifying. The idea of fighting one is supposed to scare the living daylights out of you. That’s so we don’t fight them unless we absolutely have to. I believe that aren’t face with the realization of the human costs of a war, it will remove a very important obstacle to starting one. Personally I think we should go back to swords and clubs. When you’re trying to take another’s life you should have to look that person in the eye.

There is a wonderful scene at the end of the D-Day episode in Band of Brothers. It’s nighttime and Easy Company has an hour or so to grab some grub and catch their breath before they have to move out again. The new company commander, a lieutenant Winters (the old one is missing presumed dead, along with everybody else on his plane)  is looking at the flames in the sky with that “thousand yard stare’ and promising himself that if he gets out of this alive he’s going to find a nice quiet little cornor and never fight again. He did and he did.  

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I took the test in the latest entry on "Random Thoughts of a Progressive Mind." One question stuck with. It basically was-Equal rights are ok but we should stick with our own kind. Which got to me thinking. Just what "kind" are we talking about here?

Americans? Caucasians? Computer nuts? Overweight Scotch-Irish, English females with a touch of German, Welsh and maybe some Cherokiee Indian mixed in who works in an office, likes computers, cameras, cats and nice fuzzy wool yarn. Methodists? First born children? Whatever. If that's what I'm going to stick with, it's going to get awfully lonely around here.

Not surprisingly I found myself on the lower left hand of the graph with the rest of the left wing Libertarians. Ironically most of us can't seem to describe ourselves or anyone else without the common labels. Left wing, right wing, liberal, conservative, whatever. And too often the labels are not meant kindly.

What's behind this rambling little entry? I have the feeling that we're too eager to mistake the label for the person and assume that once we've LABELED the person we KNOW the person. This is not only foolish, it's dangerous.

Saturday, February 5, 2005


In the days after the election many of the more conservative evangelicals were lamenting (I honestly want to use another word) that main stream society doesn’t take them “seriously.” Paste this web address in your browser and see why I personally can’t take them seriously.  I got web address from Maureen Dowd’s Thursday column in the Eugene Register Guard. I was going to include the link to the NY Times but you have to pay $2.95 to get the whole column.

Sorry the link doesn't seem to carry through from my rough draft in Word.

Sorry folks you can’t have it both ways. I can’t believe in a God who appears to have nothing better to do than leave false fossil evidence to test my faith. Frankly I can’t accept an adversary (that’s what Satan means by the way) who seems to have the same problem. It reduces both to the level of practical jokers and not very good ones at that.

Please, dinosaurs coexisting with humans. A universe that's only a few thousand years old. Hate to rain on your parade folks but it wan't until the second generation stars blew their gaskets that there were enough heavy elements to create planets, plants, animats and (drum roll) us.

I think Darwin did a pretty good job when you consider that he was working from visual observations only. When Darwin went public with the Origin of Species in 1859 it was still six years (1865) before Gregor Mendel presented his paper on the work he'd done with peas. I find it truly ironic that founder of genetics was an Augustinian monk who taught a high school natural science class. He did his work in the monastaries' experimental garden in his spare time and it took nearly thirty years for his original work to become fairly well known.

Personally I find the world a wonderful, fascinating puzzle. How do the pieces fit together? Science answers how. Faith answers why.

I was originally plannning to be a lot crankier, but it doesn't do any good. It raises my blood pressure-not good and only increases the other sides' feelings of persecution. Frankly if that do do gets any deeper the whole country will probably implode.