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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: US
Current location: retired to MidWest
Member since: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:15 PM
Number of posts: 6,151

About Me

Still an ardent Irish-American Catholic damnYankee Yellow Dog Democrat socialist after all these years. (cue Simon music) Army brat and wife for many years, now have been on the loose far longer than I was married. After my two red chows died, I took in a mini-beagle cross that I named Molly Maguire, thinking she might need a good Irish name like my original real one. Later she got a baby sister, a smooth-coat JRT I named Brigid after the greatest of the ancient Celtic goddesses. My great-grandfather and his son fought for Michael Collins and barely made it out of Ireland one step ahead of John Bull. They slipped over to Wales for new identities and then forward to the States for a fresh start. That makes me second generation of illegal but certainly justified immigrants. There are precious few people to whose defense I fly immediately, but the list includes Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama even when I disagree with him - it happens! - and living Irish patriots Gerry Adams and Martin \\\'Mind Your Kneecaps\\\' McGuiness. I pray earnestly for a united and free Ireland rescued from all official British occupation, with every square inch of alleged \\\'ancestral lands\\\' now held immorally and illegally by the invaders returned to the rightful owners. Irish-only rule for Ireland. No foreign masters anymore! I find it passing strange when Brits chide ME about \'interfering\' in Irish politics!

Journal Archives

I'm sure you're aware of the debate that swirls around the nature of

near death experiences. One surgeon - you know they don't tend to be crackpot fundies - said that once before he operated on a man who had little chance of surviving, he hid some small object on top of the ceiling bar light, where nobody standing on the floor or lying on a gurney could see it. Sure enough, the patient died and remained so for several minutes real time until revived. Later the patient described floating out of his body and hovering above, where he could also see what the doctor had hidden. To me that's the most convincing proof of the spirit/soul surviving outside the body.

I've never had a problem with atheism myself. It's the crackpot fundies who bother me. Although I consider myself fully RC, at the same time I have an unusually strong dose of animist and universalist too. Main thing is that I try to avoid making God in my own image, and I feel no imperative whatever to shove my theology down anyone else's throat.

This might sound off topic at first, but it really isn't: lately I've been re-reading the collected letters of CS Lewis, who was a pretty deep thinker. It's fascinating to trace his personal development over the years, as shown by the heavy correspondence people of that era maintained. Anyway, somewhere into his mid to late 20's he'd decided that Buddhism was a fair approximation of his newly found Christianity and that the West should basically leave them be. That's interesting to me partly because many liberal educated Christians believe the gap in the written record between Jesus' childhood and his 30's may well reflect time spent in Asia absorbing Buddhism.

Last departure story here is about a dear friend living in a nursing home where I worked. One night when I was off duty her daughter called to tell me that Joy had passed, and with it came a remarkable story. Joy had all her marbles; she was just too frail to live alone and the daughter had to work. But they talked on the phone every night.

That particular night they were chatting happily away when all of a sudden Joy asked her daughter, "Who are all these people?" Knowing her mother had a private room and visitors were discouraged at that late hour, the daughter asked "What do you mean, Mom?" Joy exclaimed, "The room is FULL of the most beautiful people!" And then she dropped the phone because she was gone. That happened at least 30 years ago and still gives me a happy tingle when I think about it.

What grieves me now and then is that I can't volunteer with area hospice where I retired in an extremely remote area of the Bible Belt. People here are xenophobic as geese. It took almost 6 years before I could even approach a table at a carry-in w/o clearing the bench. Well, I was on tv a few months after moving here, rebutting the station manager's obtuse editorial, and I write letters to area newspapers as well, so most people consider me a socialist/pinko/commie damnYankee heretic invader. Things eventually got a little better, at least so most people would sit with me in the cafeteria and at church, but basically every other door is still slammed shut and locked to me. I've made about 3 real friends, and the rest who speak to me now are no more than congenial acquaintances if that. It's partly fear of association. After some of my better letters to the editor of our local paper, which enjoys an extremely wide regional circulation, I've received letters of congratulation - unsigned!

So I eventually caved on the notion of doing hospice volunteer work because it would absolutely devastate me if a family refused my services at such a time. I've got a pretty thick skin but know my limits, and that would be an all too likely result which would really break my heart. Only recently have I managed to convince people to eat what I bring to carry-ins; I'll be ready for hospice myself before they'll be ready to let me volunteer in that capacity.

Yep, got a link but no $ yet - so there's plenty of time to plot.

Actually we do have a good bit of wind here, being 850' above sea level. No tornadoes, thank goodness, but straight-line winds up to 85 mph. That's one reason I went for a metal roof.

You seem to be pretty much up on solar, which I try to be but know I'm not - just aware that prices are falling and power increasing. Also that the chance to rent rather than own is growing apace. But I don't like the idea of renting anything if I can get out of it. That said, I've looked at Pear Energy. What do you think? I had high hopes for Bloom Boxes and they do seem to be working well for gigantic applications but no immediate hopes for affordable home sizes yet.

Please keep me posted on interesting developments, won't you?

I do want to go solar; unfortunately $ slows me to a snail's pace.

That and my extreme aversion to debt. Off grid system prices continue to fall, however, and that may well be what saves me. At my age I couldn't care less about luxuries, but I almost lust after the new German silent wind turbine that looks remarkably like a snail. They're expected to go to market at $5-6K early in '15. If I can get one somehow, I'll paint eyes and put a couple of antenna on it just for fun. Shipping and installation would probably add another $500, though.

Thanks for the timely warning and reminder, truly.

I have no doubt they'll try, but they won't get away with it dealing with me. I read the print ad slowly twice with a magnifier, and no such thing was declared up front, so I've got 'em where I want 'em. That may be the purpose behind the quadruple charges already on the card. It just won't do them any good, and I've got the time as a retiree to tweet and yelp them to kingdom come. The way to do it safely is to stick to just the facts, no editorializing. When I've been threatened with legal action in the past, I just post a copy of that too, and it shuts them up.

Not in this godforsaken little spot on the road.

I swear, these people will be kissing Pig Boy's arse even after he's dead and buried. If you explained furrin werds like 'espresso' to them, they'd think it was a communist plot. I've yet to encounter anyone who's even heard of Harry Bridges. They'd recognize Juan Valdez, maybe, but that's about it. Three people SO FAR have asked me, "Who's Bob Dylan?"

Sorry, I forgot to add

that few around here have probably even heard of an espresso machine, so there's not ever going to be one available second hand, certainly not in my price range. I pass if a regular electric percolator has more than $5-6 on it. Most people in the area do know what the traffic will and won't bear, too. It's always an amusing shock when I find something priced otherwise. One time I found a pretty, empty popcorn can marked insanely high, and I snickered to my friend that I could find one full of popcorn at the store for a lot less.

Unfortunately I snickered a little too loudly, and the seller must have the ears of a fox. I'll leave the ensuing merriment to your imagination.

No. I like to electrocute my food.

Despite the sterling exceptions listed above,

my experience has been that Aristus' complaint holds water.

Unfortunately some form of classical music is often invoked to indicate insanity, not just evil - although we may well consider that a form of insanity.

One of my own favorite movies simply did w/o any background music at all - the incomparable 'A Panic In Needle Park'. In this case music would've been an ill-fated attempt to gild the lily. That movie's so perfect I could watch it forever.

Talk about loss leader ads!

On Monday I called a company because of their ad for a 'free' string of cultured pearls if I only paid $19.95 shipping and handling. (Must be awfully heavy pearls or terribly well-paid employees.) Now if you happen to live in an urban area or luck into an online deal, $19.95 cultured pearl strands are not that remarkable. So I figured fair price, why not?

Of course when I got customer 'service' on the phone, I found out the true purpose of their loss leader: to twist my arm into joining a buyers club at 'only' $99 a year. It came off like dealing with that infamous Comcast character. Every time I said 'NO!' to something, she'd come back with 'Why?' After a little too much of that I literally told her to shut the hell up, take my card info, and send me the damn jewelry. Didn't phase her at all. She just launched into another spiel. After 10 minutes I started threatening to sic the FTC on her if she didn't take me to the finish line. It was so surreal that I wasn't really suffering, just wanted to see what it would take to make her finish and shut up.

Eventually of course I did push her to completion, at which time she flat out beat me to slamming down the phone. Sore loser!

Since I never received an email confirmation, I called up my credit card company this morning to see if they'd even really done that much or whether they'd cancelled my order out of pure spite. Actually, they had hit my card - FOUR TIMES!

So later on today I'll call to see whether the package has yet shipped. Only after that happens will I let them know I know about the quadruple charges, which the credit card company has already said they'll reverse. If I don't like that cheap strand of cultured pearls when it does arrive, the 'jewelry' company won't even get their $19.95 out of me and I won't pay to return defective merchandise either. They'll say it's their policy not to send out free return shipping labels, and I'll say it's not MY policy to pay the freight for crooks. You can guess who the credit card company will side with. If the rotten jewelry company so much as looks sideways at my credit score, I'll thrash them with the full weight of the law. As football teaches us, the best defense is a good offense. At 68 I probably have more experience brawling than my younger opponents.

If I like the junk they send, though, I will pay for it ONCE.

Moral being, always keep a close watch on your credit. Even companies technically following the law will sometimes try to pull rotten stunts. Plus, remember to enjoy the battle.

I'm insanely jealous of people who got to meet Shirley Chisolm in real life.

I was a youngster during her heyday but thought she was just the coolest lady on the planet.
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