Thursday, May 31, 2012

I've Moved!

Well my primary writing spot has moved. 

It has been over two months since I started migrating all my posts from my old blogs, including this one, to Reason Creek, where I'm up a creek but with a paddle and the sanity flows smoothly by...  if you miss my writing, pop on over! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bleeping Good News

This past year has been harrowing, I have not made any bones about that, but the ball is in my court and I am officially back on a winning track.  Give me a "Woot!  Woot!"

The low down is that the Doc this a.m said that my recent and long overdue lab tests came back with good results.  I am back to pre-diabetic levels in all the ways that matter.  No more need for Metformin tablets.  I have been eating well and eating no processed sugar  and that is enough for me to keep losing weight and to steadily regain my health!  The Doc concurs that the corrective nasal septum that allowed me to breath normally again and sleep normally again has probably had a huge role to play in being able to lose weight.  Seems that if you don't sleep hormonal regulation gets totally whacked out and your body reads that as a signal to put on weight.  It took years for my body to deteriorate to the level it had, and it will take a while to repair itself. 

Anyway, I am very happy with myself for exercising self-control and doing the things that are allowing my body to heal itself.  I'm proud of myself.  My goal is now to get out of the pre-diabetic niche within a year or so.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?

And it is okay to pat yourself on the back when you achieve something.  Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.  Our own voices, our inner voices are the most important ones to listen to.  We know ourselves better than anyone else, and as long as you are honest with yourself, you can be your own best friend and motivator. 

So perhaps I should celebrate.... oh wait, I already did. 

I stopped by Ross Dress for less on the way back from the appointment this morning and bought two summery dresses. Both are sleeveless and perfect for the Tucson temps that quickly are coming this way.   I write this in the late afternoon and the temp is 78 degrees F.  And even though I still shop in the fat lady section, I was able to find a $9.99 dress and a $12.99 dress that were cotton and look good on me, and will look cute with stuff I own.  I cannot stand synthetic fibers and there is nothing as unsightly clingy clothing that does not fit your body type.  Maybe I will get down to smaller sizes eventually and have access to more attractive styles at the deep discount places I shop, but that if that happens, great, if not, great.  As long as I feel good, what else really matters? 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not Quite Success, But NOT Failure

Trying. I've been trying... It has been trying. And I am tired, but happy.

Lots and lots of life events in the last few months  Important visit from the East Coast family branch was of major importance. My daughter graduated from college and I helped her move across country.  I also visited family and the area in which I grew up for the first time since my mother's death. Now my hubby and I are negotiating the new rules for the empty nest. So in keeping with my usual modus operandi of trying to do too many things at a time, I decided to participate in the February Nablopomo challenge on BlogHer.  I wrote some good pieces but didn't make the whole month challenge. My hosting company troubles ate up my "buffer" posts I'd stored up.  Then taxes and converting our personal finance tracking software to a different platform did in the blog challenge.  But our taxes are filed, and that is a good thing.

I write a lot, but I write in so many different places, I don't think I can showcase my writing to its best advantage because it is so dispersed.

I tried having all my blogs be scraped and posted to my business site, but with Google penalizing multiply posted content, I don't think that is such a good idea. This added to the dormant state of some of my blogs that makes me question whether it is worth my time to post new posts when I have new ideas to those that do not have an active, current readership. Plus the posting of personal blog posts on my business site just did not seem like a good idea, and I ended up censoring content I really wanted to share.

So I'm back in the search for how to blog my multiple passions, showcase all my writing, and still maintain some professional polish for my business.

I'll keep you posted on what I figure out.  How do you balance and present your different voices?

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Have a Say and I Participated

I posted a short personal video as part of ProChoice America's I HAVE A SAY campaign to send videos about what birth control means to individual women to anti-choice legislators. 

You can participate too.   Just make a video on your computer. Upload it to You Tube and include the words,  "I have a say" as well as your name (I just used my first name) and city (or state) in the title.  Then go to the Coalition to Protect Women's Health and fill out the form to include the video as part of  "Share Your Story: I Have A Say." 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shove This Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Wand Up Your...

I don't want to be angry.  I don't want to be preoccupied with politics.  I don't want to feel like I have to write something.  I enjoy writing.  There is sheer unadulterated joy in putting words on a page or a blank screen.

I don't want to have to write articles about anything other than the wonder that is whatever new discovery I am involved with at the moment.  So instead of actually writing the articles that are peppering my thoughts with sneeze-worthy brain spasms about disturbances in the force, inequality, freedom of religion, various state's sponsored rape of American women, and what the hell happened to the America I loved? I'm just going to write the titles of these less than pleasurable articles I feel I should write and then go on to some real writing that I want to do.

Titles of articles I OUGHT to write:
Shove This Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Wand Up Your Ass Mr. Against Big Government Intrusion

What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." don't you understand?

Where Is Your Community's Public Square Where You May Peaceably Assemble At Any Time Of The Day Or Night?
Christian Sharia Law:  Women Must Marry Their Rapists  (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
Keep Your 3000 Year Old North African Patriarchal Tribal Segmentary Lineage Laws Away From My 21st Century Daughters and Grand Daughters
What Ever Happened To Love And Compassion As The Heart Of Our Civilization? 
Recent Female Kansas Lawmaker Believes Women Should Not Vote!  (Kay O'Connor - retired 2005.
These are just some of the thoughts roiling around in my head.   Here is to hoping that giving them a home on this page will tame them. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Logos, which one?

For this Wordless Wednesday, tah dah!  Images!  But of course I am never really wordless, now am I?  

Just ran across this image that I had forgotten that I created.  I've posted it here before, I am sure. 
I had forgotten all about this image I created last fall for a Done Nesting "logo" sometime last fall.  I like the focus on all the activities once again open to me without needing to check with someone.

There are several of these logos now.  Which one do you like?  The one above?

Or this one:

that includes the previous one with more info such as the URL.

Or maybe this one, where the URL is missing.  I do have versions with the URL too:


Or something simpler?  Such as:

 A bit more retro, no?  For some reason this one reminds me of "Leave it to Beaver."

Really.  I would like to have your input. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinterest, Literacy and Marketing

Are we shifting to a post lexical society?  The success of Pinterest may be a bit more evidence in support of one of my societal suspicions - that we are changing the ways we get information in what may become a limiting rather than enabling constraint for individuals and society at large.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words can convey far more detailed information than can an image. 

But that said, I like all the pretty pictures.  No really, it is about visual aesthetics.  But it is also about marketing.  I have had a Pinterest account for months but done nothing with it until a couple weeks ago.  So now when I am trying to figure out the new linking and presentation of information tool the marketers have found it bigtime.

using pinterest to market products
Pinterest Infographic, an Infographic by Linchpin SEO

 I'm just starting to get my boards together and my descriptions thus far are not very meaty but you can check 'em out if you want at:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some Days Are, Well, Rather Sucky

Not that I'm complaining.  I still have a wonderful life.  Wonderful family.  Wonderful friends.  And a former hosting company that sucks big time.  Today did not go as planned. 

Did you ever wake up and find your self-hosted sites all disappeared along with the hosting company you have used for years?

Let me tell you, it sucks.  Big time! 

But, for me, recovery comes easier than it once did.  When things go wrong you realize what you have learned since the last time you were tested.  Yes, even finding out you will have to reload all your sites from not really up to date back-ups onto a new hosting company's servers after you find that company, set up accounts, and initiate name server transfers. 

At one time all this would have left me in a dark, absolutely no fun, pillows over my head in a dark room, funk for several days, at least, while I tried to figure out what all the steps to starting over with a new hosting company would be.  Then actually doing the steps would have taken another couple of days, or weeks.  So a few hours of work and a beer and a Cobb salad later, things are as under control as they could possibly be, and I'm just waiting for the DNS migration to happen. 

So really things are good even though the day was, well, challenging to sucky.  I now have even more shareable information about what every person who has a self-hosted website needs to know. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Erma Bombeck Warned Us

We are all Erma Bombeck now.  I was perusing the Pinterest pins and surfed over to a site containing Erma Bombeck quotes when I realized that at least half of the bloggers I read are following in the ink stained trail of Erma's wit and wisdom.    But then I've always thought Erma was far more political and downright cagey than she was ever given credit for being. 

Some of the best quotes of hers from the page on women's history on
  • When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.
  • It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. 
  • Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed.
But I think my favorite one is this one:
  • We've got a generation now who were born with semiequality. They don't know how it was before, so they think, this isn't too bad. We're working. We have our attaché cases and our three-piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don't realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle.
What, oh what, wisdom would Erma have for us in these days when men with severe and degenerative cases of '50s-ism? (def: mental illness in which an illogical and irrational desire to return to a non-existent time period during which June Cleaver and Donna Reed existed and roamed the Earth).   Pssst.  Wake up!  I think right now is the "worse" she was talking about! 

So what are you going to do for International Women's Day this year?  I think we should all do something.  Ideas?  Oh, International Women's Day is March 8th. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whine, Gripe, Moan, Second Guess

I feel like an idiot.  I host a website for a friend and she came over yesterday so we could choose a new template for a the site.  Nothing would work properly.  Grrrr.  Templates that had loaded just fine a couple of days ago were flaking out, not loading, missing sections.

I looked like a total incompetent.  I felt like every piece of technology I touched was flaking out.  So I'm taking the weekend off.  No website work. 

Mixing work and friendship never works well.  I don't host sites for other people with any regularity.  But helping a friend out is an okay thing to do.  But mainly I just host my own sites and I have started setting up domains to sell with topic specific templates and some example content pre-installed. 

I will eventually sell ebooks and graphics and get out of hosting.  I do not like to do less than a really good job.  How do so many people go through life without guilt when I feel guilty about stuff that I is not even my fault?

I guess this is all just sniveling about whether I'm tough enough to be in business for myself.  I'm two weeks in to my renewed effort at building a business and writing my books so a few minutes of self-doubt probably isn't all that bad. 

Must think positive and reread some of my recent posts. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do Overs and Social Media

Continuing on from yesterday's post on do overs I thought I would talk about the continuity of of social media.  Social media may seem of the moment, but like any digital information on the web, it can go on forever.   With the advent of internet archives such as you can visit earlier versions of the web.  Do overs are not possible while the original continues on.  What we write, say, do online continues on, potentially for as long as any classic has lasted--centuries and longer.

So no, there are no do overs, but every online writer can minimize their own likelihood of wishing for  for do overs by carefully determining for what what each social media is best used my you.

For example, Facebook, for me is a personal experience.  It has my peace friends, my high school friends and is my game playing outlet. 

Linked in is for expanding my existing networks in areas of business in which I am involved. 

Twitter is for my info gathering and dissemination skills at their best.  I really do not use it for personal communication.

Texting is just for family.

I have a business blog and this one that is a catch all and one with even less structure where I put my political posts. 

Google+ I haven't figured out entirely, but it seems to be perfect for personable, professional us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do Overs, Kapra, and Kurosawa

I'm trying to figure out the theme for today's post, Do Over is the GBE2 topic this week and I will work that in somehow, but I also want to post on the general topic of social media and how and why I the various forms of it that I do.  In keeping with the NaBloPoMo monthly theme of Relative, I will throw in some thoughts on that topic, too. And I will probably work in a topic I've wanted to bitch about for quite some time.  And I will do all of this while cleaning house and doing laundry.  Am I amazing, or what?

There are no do overs in life.  Sometimes we are offered the chance of doing something again, but it is never and can never be the same thing.  The context, time, our attitudes, and the experience we bring to it, whatever it may be, will have changed everything.  At the same time I sometimes wish there were such things as do overs, or at least I wish so until I realize that everything, truly everything, would change.

My favorite movie is Kapra's It's A Wonderful Life; that is closely followed by Kurosawa's Rashomon.   Both were made well before I was born. Life's "truths" have been around for ages it seems.   These movies are nothing alike on the surface, but they are both very much alike when it comes to being an movies that intimately examine perspective and "truth."  Maybe in a game of marbles there can be do overs, but nothing else in life allows it, and I wouldn't want there to be.  However that is not to say I do not have regrets.  I never, ever will say that I have no regrets.  The two people I have heard say that phrase specifically to me in private conversation are both dead.  One died of cancer he probably could have prevented, the other died without a doubt by his own hand.  Death will always be associated with, "No regrets."  It is what people say before they die, at least it is for me. 

There are things I wish that both I and others had not done or had done differently.  But I will never know what else in my life outside of that tiny, narrow window of regret might come undone.  Good things that I cherish might not have come to be on another timeline in an alternate universe.  In my lifetime thus far I have managed to do and produce good things, a few at least, that make a difference in the world.  What more could I ask for?  Nothing.

I know I will never understand what other people truly think and feel, I know I will never know truth, I know that my perspective will always differ from every other individual who has ever lived.  But this does not make me feel lonely, or wish for do overs, or a different universe.  Every day I marvel that we can communicate at all given all the differences that exist in the world.  I continue to look for what we share and not how we differ.   It is all relative.  We are all the centers of our own perceptual worlds.  The fun is in expanding from that center and in finding similarity.  Sure, I've made mistakes.  No I wouldn't want a do over.

Part Two - Tomorrow:  Do Overs and Social Media.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Odds and Ends

... But mainly odds here.

I'm ready to move far, far away from Arizona idiocy. So p.o.ed that I didn't even celebrate the b-day,  AZ's100th, yesterday.

Happy birthday to the Hubby, my one and only. My one and only what I'm not sure! Ba-dum-pum.

Hell is freezing over -- there was snow in Tucson on the the AZ Centennial!

Since when do people get to impose their religious views on government? I am a devout anti-war UU. I do not want my tax money to support war, violence, the death penalty... and how is that any different than what the conservatives are bitching about? Why are they being taken seriously when these progressive, and deeply held religiously-based values are not?

Bought my Hubby's birthday present(s) at J C Penney! And I asked the clerk to be sure to let the management know why I was supporting their store, and he will.

Now to go hang with the Hubby-pooh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I don't eat as much chocolate as I used to because of a health condition.  But I can still enjoy even sugary, decadent chocolate delicacies... visually.  And this leads me to wonder if there isn't another reason for liking the things we do when it comes to chocolate.

Maybe it is the packaging, the unwrapping, the ritual of peeling away the shiny exterior?
Or the ritual of eating the delight in a certain way?
Or perhaps it is the memory of a certain occasion and a certain type of delivery?

Or perhaps the visual appeal really is a main part of the enjoyment of the chocolate?

Or a time of life?
Or the place you get to eat it?
Or a related sensation, hot sweet sipping anyone?

Or is it related to something you allow yourself only when you have it?  Can you say a moment of quiet?

Or maybe it is people you share it with?

Or a concept behind it?
Or maybe it is love that is baked into homemade treats?

In any case, I hope you are having a wonderful, delicious

Note:  All the images except the Happy Valentines Day! graphic are from, the graphic creation is my own. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Screaming Meemie of a Headache

Such a total piece of crap!  I am feeling totally worthless today. 

I have a less than hellacious but still totally sucky migraine.  It has been a long time since I had one of these.  A long time, for me, in the matter of migraines is well over a month.  I used to have them for at least once a week and that meant that at least three days out of every week were gone.  This one is coming on after a cold so I'm not sure it even counts as a "real" migraine, though the symptoms that for me mean migraine are all there, it just isn't to the degree where everything sounds like an incoming  screaming meemies and the dimmest of lights might as well be a spotlight shined directly in my eyes. 

When I say migraine I refer to the set of symptoms I associate with the intolerable headache. 
  • impacts the left side of my head only
  • light sensitivity
  • pain in left eye/sinus in the upper inner corner inside my eye socket
  • left side of occipital bun muscles are tight and in spasm
  • feeling like a knife or line of fire extends between the back of my head and my eye
  • soreness on top of the left side of my head
I try not to take medication for the migraine because of known interaction between sSRI/SNRI based drugs and triptan-based migraine drugs but occasionally when there is pain I do things I know are not recommended.  I know this because I found the warning on the interaction myself and I will talk to my clinic doc whenever I go in again.  I am looking for other treatments as I am finding that I am the one who lets the physicians know what is going on with me and what they should do about it.   I will never forget the guy (physician) who told me there was nothing wrong with my nose but reluctantly referred me to the ENT guy who found and treated my severely deviated septum. 

I will get rid of these things (headaches) completely!

Sunday, February 12, 2012



there is a notion that time exists
only within the folds of the brain
this material slice of reality perceived
dimensions sequence
times weave
me slipped through to be born
again listening too deeply to a dream
cutting through these bread slices of universe
bumping perspective
amoeboid grinding
roethke waking
stories captured by the cosmos
the surface tension of potential
glistens shifting shape on viewing

everything interacts

he is still here
they watch
she will be born
always is
and never was
a postulate
thinking makes it so
or so i like to believe

when the winds whisper at night
a friend's, a mother's
ghosts of thought
caressing the eaves to speak
my memories
reinforce the beliefs of the Cathars
and my fathers
still pierce the fabric of time
that disappears with sleep
and merging of all that ever was
and ever shall be

© nfhill, all rights reserved

Saturday, February 11, 2012

J. C. Penney Shop-In Feb. 12 Supports DeGeneres & JCP & Degeneres

Yesterday I went over to NaBloPoMo over on BlogHer to make sure I was referencing the proper URL for it in order to explain WeBloPo that will be a feature of the new We Are Done Nesting! site that will be a companion site to this one.  Before I had even gotten the url copied I was off on a quest to create a new graphic for the J. C. Penney Shop-In
Shop at JCPenney on Sunday to thank them for keeping Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson.
that I found out about through BlogHer's syndication of Motherhood In NYC.

Please please feel free to copy and use this graphic in support of the Shop In.  I created it and am giving any supporter of the Shop In permission to use it.  

I'm going to shop at J.C. Penney on Sunday and I will email them and let them know that I shopped because of their support.  Going to be a busy weekend, and if this hadn't been one helluva week that would be all I'm doing, but I also have to go to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  And on top of that I also want to go to a couple Meet-ups this weekend.  I don't know when I'm going to have a chance to recover from this darn cold.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What I've Been Doing! Such a Hussy!

Okay so I sort of promised in yesterday's post that I would be talking about the stuff I worked on this week.  But that was before I came down with a rip tooting hullabalooting cold last evening and before my nose fell off this morning.  It's hyperbole, folks.  But this will be shorter than I had anticipated due to difficulty typing because of constant drip-drip-drip from my nose.  Ack. Gack. Kerchoo!

Anyway... I own the URL and I have been trying to figure out what to do with it.  I think I have come to a decision and I've started working on the site.  I've hinted previously that I really want to have a blogging, networking, blog-carnaval-ish site for folks who are through with the broody phase of their lives and are done nesting but really are not all that keen on the term "empty nest."
I really like the image I came up with for Done Nesting and I think I will use it for the site. Note that I've added little scrapbook photo holder tabs on the image.  I think it is cute with them, don't you agree? 

We can hope there is nothing missing from most people's lives who demographically fit the category of empty nester; the natural progression of raising a family requires the shift in roles as time passes. 

Anyway, the website template that I want to use, called elist, allows people list their sites and the site can be a compilation of Done Nester sites as well as listings of blog posts in a WeBloPo Challenge (ala NaBloPoMo and GBE 2)  that stands for  Weekly Blog Posting Challenge that is sort of like a  Blog Carnival in which bloggers agree to post on a certain topic at a certain time and have their collective posts listed together somewhere online. 

This idea grew out of my participation in the BlogHer site and events which clued me in to phenomenon of mommy bloggers who naturally cluster together for defensive ;-) or strategic purposes.  There just doesn't seem to be a perfect fit with a group of more mature (Why oh why do I always think of manure when I write the word mature?) writers or artists or hussies that I have found.
We were sooo Classy! 

Aside:  I have only felt at HOME in one online community, the one and only ORIGINAL Brazen Hussies, and that was one in which I was known as The Word Wench. ( It was a great group of folks who loved the glamour of old Hollywood and witty, suggestive (in the way of old Hollywood) repartee.  This was way back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The site is still there and kept up by a loyal editor but the community has sort of fallen by the way side which is natural don't you know, darlin', for folks who just can't keep on the straight and narrow.  I was best known back then for my cadre of pool boys and for being able to logically and necessarily referring to John Waters in every single Word Wench post, dish, or article that I wrote.  Oh my goodness, I did it again!

Anyhoo, something I said all the time in that former wenchy life, I will be setting up the site and trying to figure out the blog posting permissions for WeBloPo (and yes, this newly invented word is why I thought of the good old days with the Brazen Hussies) for those who list their sites.  So check it out if you want and give me feed back and sign up or list yourself and help me figure out how it all works.    It won't launch for a few weeks yet and our mistakes can always be disappeared.

I did other stuff this week too involving finances, boomer domains, talking to my precious b-daughter (as contrasted with my s-daughter) as she goes for interviews and deals with the sub-arctic temps of her newly adopted home.

Hasta whenever.... I may just post pics these next couple of days if I don't feel any better this weekend than I do now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Personal Changes In The Empty Nest

My post 10 Things Lists – Should Content Be Organized This Way? over at my business website should more than count for today's post towards meeting my NaBloPoMo requirement, but I'm not sure it does, so here goes.

I usually find the blogging challenge to be a great way to motivate myself to write something early in the day to get me going toward work.  But writing multiple blog entries can be difficult.  Ideally I would like to have so many articles back-logged that this does not become a problem, but today it might. I'm not in the best of moods, today.

I don't usually write about personal, ongoing challenges - other than depression - but I'm changing that today as I think if this blog is to be of any real use to anyone other than for purposes serving prurient interest by family and friends (Hi all!) then I should be honest.

Dear,  dear Hubby has not really clued in to this fact, although I have told him in many different ways, that I am working in my office all day, every weekday, and some other days too, from now on,
commencing this past Monday, the first week I am home after my husband's return from Sabbatical and after my b-daughter's move across country.  I've tried to gently and consistently let him know that if he comes home and the house isn't clean, which it never is - this is ME talking after all, that it just means I've had a productive work day.

But very morning so far this week he has let me know there are pressing tasks that must have my attention today.  They were pressing, no doubt about it, but I still bristle when he acts like a supervisor and checks in to see that I have enough work, from him, to keep me busy all day. 
Yes, some of this is because I am "at home."  But he did this in a slightly different fashion when I worked full-time and was on-call 24/7, had a small child, led a Girl Scout Troop, and was part of a Girls Soccer support group,
There are many, many times and ways he could have conveyed the same information without alienating me.  And there are probably still some ways I could learn and practice to not let these behaviors bother me. 
But the truth is, until large chunks of money start coming in from my work that are at least as great as what he makes, he won't take me seriously.  That has always been a problem.  I will not ever see any different behavior from him.  Remember, this is the guy who told me before we married that his career would always come first, but that does not make it any easier to live with now than it did almost 23 years ago.  My take then was, "Well, at least he has a career!"   
Aside: My ex routinely lost good jobs and the last time he did it was so he could stay home and make sure I didn't leave him.  Needless to say, that did not work.  By comparison Hubby was a gem.  And in many ways he is.  He is a world class scientist who has done novel work in neuro-pharaceuticals that will make life better for countless generations to come. 
And no this does not come straight out of The Donna Reed Show, or maybe it does?  Was Donna Reed married to a Dr.?  If so, then it does apply.   Physicians, veterinarians, scientists and other "powerful" professional careers with hefty "respect" and sometimes hefty salaries often have blinders that seem to distance them from "regular" life. 
 Aside: But salary generalization isn't the case for research scientists who are usually at universities and receive only a fraction of what industry would pay them but who are committed to original, boundary pushing, ground-breaking, research. 
Some of my friends think I'm crazy to put up with this rather old-fashioned behavior, but to me marriage is a life-long partnership unless there truly are irreconcilable differences.  I don't think our problems are irreconcilable.  I am not even convinced that the behaviors with which I have problems are from old fashioned gender expectations but rather from the hierarchical culture that exists in the scientific academy.  But something close to this situation is something with which many "empty nesters" have to deal in one fashion or another.  Behaviors that might have been passed off as "just the way it is" become reframed with the new context that develops when the care-taking functions that had been centered on the child or children cease to be daily considerations which significantly shifts the behavior of those folks who were care-takers. 

So, in short, my first week of work on my "new" career, has thus far encountered a few rough spots, but I have been successful overall.  I will talk about some of those successes tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Noam Chomsky Lecture - 1st Annual SBS Lecture

The lecture I mentioned yesterday was a resounding success!  It was so successful in fact that the Fire Marshall's dictated room capacity was reached with probably close to a 700 people waiting to get in. And this for a linguistics lecture!  Hubby and I think that the overflow crowd is a sign that the rather, shall we say, progressive ideology of Noam appeals to a larger audience than might have been true a few years ago when so many people were silenced by the strident call for conformity broadcast incessantly by media's redistribution of the Bushite's decrees.

The short story of yesterday is that we didn't get in but I did see Chomsky at close distance.   I was standing by the men's room when he was escorted too it.  Only managed to get a pic of the back of his head.

So here I am again.  In line - this time for the political lecture on education that is to start at 7 p.m. In Centennial Hall.  And today rumor in line is that there are overflow viewing spaces available for "attending" this lecture entitled,  "Education: For Whom and For What."
I got in!

Here are my rather sketchy notes from the lecture, if you are interested.

Noam Chomsky Lecture:  "Education: For Whom and For What."

Standing Ovation
Occupy Tucson thanks him using human microphone.
Higher Ed. Not unconnected to early Ed.

For whom
Walter Lipman :  responsible man, intelligent minority, manufacturers consent.
Committee on public information. Used to alter public opinion to one in favor or war.
Engineering of consent.

Emerson says  educate them to keep them from our throats -- capitalize on fear.

Madison -  public must be marginalized.  Power in the hands of the wealth of the nation.  (benign nobility)

Aristotle eliminate inequality.

Hume -

Education has to be enlisted in this view.

Jonathan Rose ...the reading of the British proletariat.

Factory Girls. (Link is a download.)  Read it.  Documents taking away high culture from factory Girls.

1930s 123 infinity
High culture. Proletarian dyad acts.

2 approaches:
Pouring water into vessel.       Leaky vessel.
Following a string.

Policy implications.

Science editor --  rote vs. enjoyable.   Joy of discovery.
Details that obscure.
Trivialize and complicate science.
Breakage fee $17.   No child left behind.
What will you cover versus what will you discover?

Seed shell stone.  K3 which is the seed?

After WWII. -   50% of world's wealth. Elite education was a gentleman's club prior to ww2.  Turn farmers into factory laborers.  Factory girls.  Read it.  Wage labor is different from child slavery only in that it is temporary.

Gain wealth forgetting all but self.

800th Anniv. Of Magna Carta
Charter of liberty and charter of commons.
Preservation of commons from predatory royalty.

Move toward new spirit of the age - gain wealth forgetting all but self.
1970s labor strikes- strike for dignity -  lordsburg.

study before ww11 European.
-ugly incidents upon old school european thoughts
-us rejected sound economics of and adopted piracy
After WWII funding for science tech through Pentagon through fear.

Socialize costs / privatize profit. And waste resources. Increase in students.  1957. Sputnik.  Exploited the fear of falling behind.

Israeli magician. Set theory.  Space between brackets- null set.

End of 1960s.  MIT.  Role of tech in society.  Day to discuss this.  Civilizing the county.  Dangerous.  Lewis Powell.  Trilateral commission Report: The Crisis of International Cooperation (download) provided insight into the assault on Democracy.

Powell to chamber of w commerce.  Read it.  Take over of country by ....

Alternative to free enterprise. -- subsidy of tobacco.  Subsidize and conceal.  Talked about business being targeted for elimination. Education supported by business he said and being marginalized.  Reaction by opposition (the trilateral commission)  public is supposed to be passive etc.  Placing too much pressure on state.  Institutions for the indoctrination of the young.  Must preserve national interest rather than special interests.  Business was thought to be a national interest not special interests.

University Education:
Mexico - free.
US - private only...we are moving forward.
Debt trap.  Is indoctrination.
Not because of economics.

Britain barred govt intrusion into academia.

Turing.  Prime Minister Cameron will not apologize for death.

Corporate versus government funding.
Short term versus long term funding.
Also more secrecy.  Corporate funders nonrenewable contracts.  Focus on profit and turning everything into a commodity.

Costs to public are rarely counted. (Remember the commons.)

Caring about each other violates the"new spirit of age."
Care about disabled widow across town.

New spirit of the age and destruction of the commons is hateful. Destruction of Mexican American Studies and removal of it's literature and classics right here in occupied Mexico.

Freedom and justice.

Standing ovation.  Again.

Had to leave.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You Cannot Be Upset If You Roll With The Punches

GBE 2 theme for the week is "upset.". NaBloPoMo theme for the month is "relative." I am playing with this juxtaposition because I really, really, really believe that attitude is just a matter of perspective.   I mean how can you be upset if up is relative? The view from free fall can be liberating.

Take it with a grain of salt?  (Image by Andrew Duhan,
Upset requires an up and a down.  For someone like myself, a confirmed, card-carrying relativist (I have degrees in Anthropology, I think that diplomas more than count as cards) up and down is way too much like black and white.  Up or down?  Compared to what? 

To be upset is to be turned over, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, turning most things refreshes them, but... to be disoriented from the positioning, well,  that can be just plain old upsetting.  Seriously, if you expect "up" and you get "down," you may become disappointed.  But if you expect a spatial orientation "of some sort," either up or down will fill the bill.  I am not saying you should lower your standards, or expect nothing; I am saying that evaluating the position you are in from the viewpoint that comes with the position gives you many more options than prejudging a viewpoint from which you may have never taken a gander. 

Most of the people I've met in life would much rather be happy than sad, and jubilant rather than angry.  Being upset is not an emotion.  Apple carts can end up in a mess from all sorts of feelings or emotions. 
The state of being upset comes from, in the apple cart case, rigidity.  If the cart had had more flexibility it might have been able to shift and spring back and not have tipped over. 

Upset is out of balance.  Extreme emotions are out of balance.  Fear does not need to lead to hatred.  Anger does not need to become rage.  Sadness does not have to lead to a black funk.  Happiness does not need to lead to mania.  The rigid polar nature (as in north/south, up/down, in/out) of up requires a down.  If I have to be one thing, whatever it may be, and I do not achieve that state, I may become unbalanced because of the "have to" and not because of anything actually related to the state. 

I routinely remind myself of these distinctions  because I once operated most of my life from an "upset" perspective.  Truth be told, I would not have recognized either up or down if everything in the world had righted itself before my very eyes.  I knew I had been knocked over and could not find the proper  place to be nor the view from that place because I thought I was supposed to be a version of myself that had never been knocked over.  I was more concerned with being upset, knocked over, or not in the right position or place than in taking in all that was around me from exactly where I was.  At this same time I thought expressions such as, "No matter where you go, there you are" were absolutely inane.  Now I love the playful nature of this near Buddhist perspective. 

I now try to live life in balance even though the world is koyanaskatsi and me with it much of the time.  No once can be balanced when he or she cannot move.  To be balanced, you must know how to move.  If you are rigid you are more easily knocked over by minor shifts, more easily upset.  It is all relative you know. 

Note:  Tomorrow's post will be less philosophical... maybe.  I'm off to hear a lecture by Noam Chomsky right now. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moving Zilla to Minneapolis - Trip Synopsis

Trip Preparation

First we had to work on her warm weather attire.  These woolen necessities were purchased for her in the L.L. Bean flagship store in Maine during Hubby's Fall 2011 Road Trip.
And to get her acquainted with the basics of living far away from parents in her own home.  Here she reads her new copy of The Joy of Cooking. 


Day 1

Then we finally hit the road on January 17th and drove East on Interstate Highway 10.  We knew we wouldn't get very far, but heck, we knew we would get in a few hours of driving.  And we did. 
Benson, AZ
Texas Canyon, AZ

The yawning began.  It is gonna be a long trip!

New Mexico!

North Hidalgo, NM

We took the New Mexico Highway 26 shortcut between Deming, NM and Hatch, NM. I love visiting Las Cruces and Mesilla Park, but making good time was more important than visiting some dear friends in Las Cruces and visiting one of my favorite independent book stores in the world in the Old Mesilla Square.   This shortcut takes off at least an hour from the trip. 

I would post pics of the motel we stayed at in Truth or Consequences, NM, but we didn't take any.  The folks were really nice, but the Motel 6 was sort of grody.  We were glad we brought a big ol' can of disinfectant spray along.

Day 2

We got breakfast before hitting the road.  Zilla likes her OJ and was hell bent on drinking lots of it before this winter's poor, bitter crop hits the shelves. 
The most important meal of the day in Truth or Consequences, NM
And it is back on the road again.  

Not all that far past Truth or Consequences, NM

Apparently traveling along El Camino Real  according American Society of Civil Engineers plaque dedicated in 1993 celebrating the 1598 founding of the highway.

We drove to from Albuquerque, NM Liberal, KS via Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 54.  I 've taken lots of routes trying to get from New Mexico to various places in the northern Midwest:  I've taken the Raton Pass and gone up I-25 to I-70 and I-25 to all sorts of CO State Highways through Dodge City and other small towns and on up to I-70,  I've taken I-40 to I-35 and I-40 to I-44, and now I've take US 54 from just outside Tucumcari, NM to Wichita, KS. 

Taking the Raton Pass was most scenic and I met the most unusual people on that trip.  And this trip Jan 2012 trip where I took the U.S. 54 "shortcut" was not fun.  Too many big rigs on this small two lane highway which we drove at night, so I don't have pics.  But the next day going was slow again.  (see Day 3.) And getting onto I-35 is a feat in Wichita.  For presbyopic eyes like mine and I35 and a135 can look alot alike.  I wouldn't take this route again.  Interstate 40 is boring.  The I-35 Toll Road isn't bad at all. 

Day 3

We had breakfast at a local place that had the weirdest omelet in the world.  What did I expect?  It was called The Pancake House.  And I would have looked elsewhere until I found something had I noticed the Haliburton advertising on the high tech ad board in the place.  The overheard conversation of the day, from the booth behind us, came from this breakfast place, "I did really good at math until 7th grade or so..." 

Day 3 at Breakfast in the Pancake House in Liberal, KS.  Wearing same clothes as Day 2.  Who is to know?
Back on U.S. Highway Route 54 after breakfast we found the driving less dangerous but slower than we would have liked.  In this pic below we are waiting for a lead car to drive us through a stretch of road that did not seem to have any construction or obstacle between the two flagman staffed stop points. 
Waiting for a Guide Car

The only vehicles I saw pulled off the road between the two points were the ones in the following pics -- and the VW is Zilla's.  Doesn't look like anything was going on to me but highway crews giving themselves something to do.  
Guide Car (see orange flag on top of it) finally arrives.
Following Guide Car
Now why did they close this section?

I only have this one pic from further on in the drive that day from Northern Kansas as it was sort of ho hum driving for me and I was thinking about other stuff. 

Because I took the northern  non-toll road route and Zilla took I-35 she got to the stopping point and found the hotel for the night in Clive, IA.

Day 4

We ended up spend the entire next day in the hotel in beautiful downtown (actually suburban) Clive, IA - just outside of Des Moines - because a small winter storm decided to hit early on Day 4 in Northern Iowa between Des Moines and Minneapolis.  There was not that much snow accumulation but there was wind, blowing snow and low visibility according to folks working in the area who front desk staff at the Best Western were nice enough to call for me.  It was a nice room that looked just like this. I recommend it, although I thought the price was a bit high for a Best Western but then I didn't book it.  I'd have gotten a better rate.   

Best Western Plus Inn and Suites, Clive, IA  --  Image by VFM Leonardo Inc.

Zilla had never driven in snow before and we decided to just stay in and work on her Graduate School applications.  She wrote.  I got a severe case of push button finger (just like George Jetson) from repeatedly going through automated menus of inordinate complexity and length to order GRE scores be sent to her schools.  I kept getting booted from the automated phone system after almost completing all the entries for the list of schools.  Frustrating.  

Day 5
Of a 3 Day Trip

 Yippee!  We are finally headed toward Minneapolis.  You could tell we were nearing our destination because the scenery finally looked like the black and white winter imagery we were expecting.

We eventually arrived in Ritchfield which I guess is in Southern Minneapolis and unpacked the vehicles.  

I had to have a Juicy Lucy from the 5 8 Club so.... we trotted our buns over to 5800 Cedar Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55417-2648to get a burger on a bun.   I am not a beef lover.  I occasionally will opt for a burger.  This was first on my list of things to do in Minneapolis during this visit, even coming in above a visit to the Walker Art Center.  The first bite was exquisite.  The onion rings were fine but nothing to write home about, they were hot and crispy but were pre-packaged I think.  The burger was all home made.  Two patties with American cheese in between.  Yum.  And a cold brewski.  Well worth doing if you are in Minneapolis.  There are a couple other locations too. 

 Char Char had to wait in the car while the peoples ate burgers.  Poor baby.  Even when wearing her winter jacket, she s not impressed with the cold and snow. 
It doesn't get this cold in Bordeaux.

But the trip was worth it.  The young couple, Zilla and Tree Boy, with Mr. Hendrix and Char-Char in their new home. 
Young Love.
I will write about the rest of my trip - the solo part, after Minneapolis, another time.  This was just the first leg of my journey.