My Novels

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Yippeee!! The AWFUL Christmas day is over for another year. And I can breathe a sigh of relief.

I took my candles out of the windows, took the wreath off the door today; nothing more depressing than seeing xmas decorations AFTER it's over. [As an aside, one of my pet peeves is those people who leave up xmas lights all year on the outside of their houses, so TACKY!] At any rate, I survived it all once again, and without gaining weight, or trying to kill myself. I do admit I had wee mixed drink or two, just to mellow me out and take some of the depression away -- which it did. I don't drink much, but an occasional drink does seem to help me relax.

Ah, so now we come to the New Year...and all those useless resolutions (usually about losing weight). Since I've already lost weight in the past six months (staying at 93 lbs now), that can't be a goal. But I CAN make a resolution NOT to gain any of the weight back, plus maybe get down to 90 lbs. I really don't think I should go any lower, because then I WOULD be anorexic. As for other resolutions: I will say only that I hope I can do more creative writing this coming year. Since I've made that my resolution the past two years, and not kept it...I won't say it's a resolution, just something I wish I could do.

I actually look forward to New Year's Day. DH and I used to spend every New Year's Eve with my sister and brother-in-law but stopped some years ago, because they now live 50 miles to the north, and there's usually so many drunks on the road after midnight it's become unsafe to make the drive. But I like New Year's Day: it represents a new beginning, a way to start over, a time to look to the future. Christmas is more about looking back, bad memories, etc for me. But New Year''s a fresh start every year.

I've been busy with several projects, so haven't been updating as regularly at this journal. Hope to be more regular this next year, so that's ONE resolution. And I think it's the only one I'll make.

Now we'll see if I keep it! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Ho, ho, ho!

Or should I say, 'Bah Humbug?'

In my case, it's always 'Bah Humbug!' I loathe the Christmas season, and this hatred only seems to grow stronger as I age. Initially, my depression was always triggered by the false sense of family togetherness, and my own horribly miserable childhood Christmases. My father always lay drunk the whole time, and mother made us all 'pretend' that nothing was wrong. We even had to attend paternal family gatherings, where my father was noticably absent, and act as if everything was just fine. There is nothing so warped as growing up with an alcoholic in the family. Indeed, the most apt phrase I've ever heard is: "It's like having an elephant sitting in the living room, but everyone pretends they don't see it."

As I've gotten older though, I also have realized there's a lot of hypocrisy in this supposedly loving, giving season: Why remember the homeless ONLY at Christmas? Why remember abused, neglected kids ONLY at Christmas? Why be charitable ONLY at Christmas? Why act as if your family is a happy one, when everyone knows otherwise? There may be some fanatical religious types who find some sort of brainwashed religious 'meaning' in Christmas, but more often than not, I simply see all the hyprocisy and commercialism. And I won't even get started on the commercialism aspect!

DH and I decided not to get the large-screen TV after all. Doing some research, I realized the projection TV we were thinking of buying didn't have digital capabilities. Within a couple of years, it would have been rendered useless when digital signals begin to be broadcast (between 2004-2008), so we opted for a few other items. Bought an over-the-stove microwave; a new entertainment center; a smaller dinette set; and a DVD player (which I'm not much impressed with, since we had to get and use an adapter for our TV and DVD movies only show in the middle of the screen!).

DH was off last week, and we did a lot of work/rearranging of stuff in the house. I finally got rid of my floor-to-ceiling bookcase, and cleaned out a bunch of useless, unnecessary books; I took four boxes of books to the library, donated those. Most of it was fiction, and some out-of-date writer and/or research books; I do all research on the net now, and those books were not necessary. I still have quite a collection of books, and bought a smaller bookcase for those. Some I couldn't part with -- personally autographed books; old, valuable books; a few select, important writing books; and some fiction that I regard as THE best and that has guided my own creative writing. At any rate, I now have my study in the spare bedroom, and managed to get the computer desk, file cabinet and bookcase in here, along with the double bed and chesterdrawers. It looks much better, and now the formal living room is back to being just that: a living room. I put most of our antiques in there: an ancient peddle-type sewing machine and trunk my grandmother gave me; a huge wardrobe; the dresser bottom, which makes a nice desk; a couple of rockers and a recliner; and the huge steamer trunk my sisters gave me years ago. The living room is uncluttered, and looks spacious, if we decide to list the house with a real estate agent, it is much improved.

We also cleaned out our large walk-in closet, and painted it, put down new floor tile. That was a huge chore, but it looks much nicer now. At least we had a productive week.

Yesterday I rented ten movies from a local supermarket that rents movies two for a dollar. I got these for two nights though, and they aren't due back till after Christmas. I saw "From Hell" last night, and while Johnny Dep's performance was lackluster (to say the least) it was a good atmospheric movie, and an interesting theory about 'Jack the Ripper.' We'll watch all the movies tonight and tomorrow.

I rode my bike this morning, even though it was raining earlier. But the rain stopped, so I had no excuse not to go. I'm staying at 93 lbs, even though I ate a nice sweet treat last night. I hope I won't do too much damage to my diet tomorrow, but I AM intending on eating whatever I want...for once! That should give me something to be a little cheerful about on such an otherwise depressing day. DH will go to his mom's house alone; I never go...since I have NO relationship with that bunch of redneck deer-hunters. But he feels obligated to put in an appearance, although that's just about the only time he sees them. However, he'll be home by noon or so, and we can watch the movies.

I stayed up till 2 AM watching that movie last night, but still woke early. And I've had a mild head-cold, but it seems to be a bit better now. Of course, I'm not going to my family gathering either; went to the one on Thanksgiving, and that's enough.

Like I said: "Christmas? Bah Humbug!!!"

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Today is my birthday: I'm 51. Wow, I never thought I'd live this long. I'm sure many young people feel the same; that they will never make it to 30, much less the big 5-0...but here I am. It happens. Or as the saying goes: "Aging is better than the alternative."

I'm in a slightly better mood these days. Had a great Thanksgiving Day with my family, sisters/brothers-in-law, nephews, mother and step-dad. They were all complimentary about the weight I've lost: I now weigh only 95 lbs. I haven't been this skinny since I was in my late teens, and anorexic (which I may be again now)! I do eat, but I'm very selective in my choice of food, prefer healthy stuff like fresh veggies/fruits and very little meat, lean beef only or chicken/turkey/fish. And I bike about 2 miles every day. I feel healthy, and my blood pressure is now back to normal -- without medication! So I am now just on maintaince, but try to not go much over 1,000 calories per day.

DH gave me $ I will buy whatever strikes my fancy soon. I recently bought several pairs of new smaller (by two sizes) jeans, and don't need clothes right now. I'll dream up something though, I'm sure.

DH and I are getting a big-screen HDTV for Christmas, and that is something to look forward to! We must do a good bit of rearranging of furniture and rooms though, but he has a couple weeks off before Christmas, and that will give us time to do all that is necessary. We looked at the HDTV big-screens the other day, and were very impressed; the projection big-screens used to be very unclear. Anyway, we have lots of interior work to do before getting the TV, but at least it IS something to look forward to, and hopefully it will make my Christmas not so depressing (as it has been for years now).

Also, the country house/land we were thinking about buying didn't work out. The place turned out to have TWO different mortgages on it, and is in 'legal limbo' and not even available for sale now. Oh well. We may keep looking, but it's cold now and we're not inspired to move until maybe next spring.

That's pretty much it for now.

Friday, November 15, 2002

"War, depression, fear, hatred, foreign adventures, and just downright stupidity in high places are all hallmarks of the so-called conservatives, who are conservative about nothing but their own power bases."

"I have nothing personal against humans. But as a group, they stink...I say, kill them all...."
--- John Colicos, War of the Worlds ---

These quotes seem to echo my dismal mood these days. It's not just politics, or disgust with the human race (although that is a large part of it), but I seem to feel as if NOTHING is worth the effort.

The novel I was writing stalled, and all I can think is, "Why bother?"

There is an old adage that says: "What will it matter a million years what I do now?" That seems to sum up my bad attitude these days. I simply want to disappear, and fear sometimes I'm too suicidal to live.

Of course, I continue to cope...but don't know how long I can endure.

I had to have one of my cats put to sleep the other day. She, Blondie, had leukemia, and since another of my cats had that, I fear that the remaining ones will catch it. There's not much I can do, considering all the cats I have were strays and short of having them tested, and then keeping the positive ones separated (impossible), I am simply counting down their remaining time. When and if all my cats are gone, I don't think I can live. As silly as it seems, these wonderful creatures have been the ONE reason I've lived this long: 50 years old.

Soon I may not have that reason to survive any longer.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I'm trying to focus on writing a novel in November, (for the NanoWrimo website) but it's difficult to manufacture drama when so much of it is happening LIVE. I'm referring, of course, to the Beltway sniper who has continuously killed random people in that area for nearly a month now. We do have our own psychos here in the USA, and I believe this is one of them. I don't think there's a Muslim terrorist link; rather, this is a lone guy who is taunting the police and FBI profilers. I can't help but follow the latest news developments, because though repulsive, it is somewhat fascinating. Or at least if you are a writer, you would find it interesting, in that we are always keenly observant of human behavior, deviant or otherwise.

Today I had an idea that the sniper might be either accompanied by a woman who drives the vehicle after shootings, allowing the male sniper to hide in the trunk or something. OR perhaps the sniper actually dresses as a woman, and passes the roadblocks easily, since the cops are looking for a male in a white van. I don't think the sniper is in a white vehicle at all. At any rate, the fear factor is at work big-time there in that whole region. I do think the sniper will be caught, unless he/she/they stop abruptly and go elsewhere.

As for myself, I'm still dieting and keeping a more regular journal on that HERE. I went to the library today, got some good novels (I think!). I also go on my daily bike ride, which is still a good workout. I've seen so many supernatural movies lately that they are all starting to seem the same. However, I consider this background research for my novel.

Also, I have noticed that many movies starting around 1999 up to the present seem to have 'twist endings' where the protagonist is either dreaming or living in a virtual reality world (Vanilla Sky, The Matrix) or mentally ill (A Beautiful Mind)....and it isn't revealed until near the end of the movie. I wonder if this theme doesn't reflect how our virtual worlds on the net, and computer games, etc. have begun to influence us as to what is actually REAL compared to our imaginary worlds? This is a trend that might be parallel to a societal problem... Just some random thoughts on that idea.

Got to go. More one of these days when I have time for this blog!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Oh. My. God!

I'm sitting here using my laptop, and watching the Oprah Show. Apparently a bunch of women were offended by an earlier episode in which an author wrote about the downside of being a mother. Well, these perfect moms are sounding off at the other women who were honest enough to state facts. Talk about denial, yep...that's what the so-called perfect moms are into. I mean, there is no way that being a mom is always a grand, ideal experience. This one woman said that if women believed all the downside of motherhood, none would have children. So what? The world is overpopulated anyway, and what would be the harm in some women NOT breeding?

I'm here to say that I chose NOT to have children, and I do not have ANY regrets. So take that, you nutcase-in-denial moms!

Happy to report today that I'm making progess on gathering material/background/research for the novel I'll be writing in November as part of the NanoWriMo website challenge. I went to the library today, got some books on supernatural folktales of the South for reading and perhaps to inspire some twists in my plot. I also got a good book on creativity, "Marrying Your Muse" by Jan Phillips. Hope it keeps me centered, and renews my dedication to the fiction craft.

We're having great weather, in the 70s during the day and 50s at night. Nice for biking, but I didn't go on the ride this morning due to the park being unavailable. There's some workmen replacing the light posts, and I've had to ride on the hilly streets for a week, which has caused my knees/legs to I skipped today. Maybe I'll go tomorrow, and can ride in the park.

My two black kittens, now six months old, are at the vet being neutered. I called earlier, and the assistant said they did fine, and I could come get them tomorrow. I miss the little critters, though it's easier on me with them gone...taking care of NINE cats is a job. But I love each and every one, and would miss them terribly now.

There's weird news lately: a sniper on the loose around Washington D.C. Has killed 8 people so far, and who knows where or when he/she will strike again. I've always thought I'd like to write a serial killer novel, and had never even imagined a serial sniper, such as this one rampaging now. Perhaps it will give me some ideas. I hope they catch him soon though.

More later from the mad, mad world of the USA!

Saturday, September 28, 2002

I am starting to feel the creativity come back; I've really MISSED my constant companion, the daydreaming, the plotting inside my head, dropping everything to jot notes...ah yes, the LONG dry spell is at last ending.

I have decided to participate in an online writing site challenge: National Novel Writing Month This is a website that encourages people to write an entire novel in the month of November each year. Sign-up is next Tuesday, and I will toss my hat into the ring. There's no grand prizes for actually accomplishing this feat, but if you do finish a manuscript, it is sent in via email. Once it is determined you completed the 200 page, 50,000 word quota, then your name is listed as one of the novelists who finished the project. It seems to be great inspiration, and I think that having a set time/deadline will force me to do the actual work.

It's been almost two years since I've written a novel, though I've written several short stories since then, just none recently. I had burned out, felt as if I'd said all I had to say. Or something like that anyway. Plus, I seem to have lost the drive to write, and the REASON for writing, becoming so disillusioned with humanity in general it all seemed a colossal waste of time. BUT what I do know is that I am HAPPIER when I am creating, living in the fictional worlds that preoccupy my mind/time. Otherwise, to coin a popular term: "Reality Bites!"

Rented two movies last night: "A Beautiful Mind,"...superb, spectacular, splendid...all the adjectives can't do it justice. To SEE and FEEL the world of the psychotic, now that IS an accomplishment. I once had a brief psychotic episode, mostly due to lack of sleep for over a week, and terrible stress. I will never forget how REAL the delusions were, the sense that people (outside my mind) were really there, talking to me, whispering, cajoling. And I heard lovely, unearthly music, saw a vase of fresh flowers rise and dance in the air...oh, it was BEAUTIFUL. But unreal. Fortunately, I returned to reality quickly...but have always realized the allure of that beautiful place where you escape reality. So I found the movie a triumph in truly depicting the world of a psychotic.

I also watched A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Lord, what was Spielberg thinking? Such a great permise, but totally ridiculous ending. Stupid, sentimental crap at the end. Spare me.

Tonight I have several other movies to watch, but mostly looking forward to seeing "The Others."

Ah, the world spins madly, humans dance deliriously and life revolves slowly toward its inevitable ending somewhere out there in distant time...

Saturday, September 21, 2002

I am happy to report that the next-door house problem is almost solved. The city building inspector sent someone out to inspect it, and the owner has been steadily working on it ever since then. By now, it looks MUCH improved. Additionally, an older man (late 60s/70) moved in as a renter, and is a very quiet neighbor. No kids running, screaming over there -- so that is indeed good. I don't want to move now, and will probably be satisfied staying here.

The gremlins have been at work here; several break-downs of various things. First our hot water heater started leaking, and we had to replace that, as well as a small section of the closet floor where it sits. Then my car almost quit on me, and turned out to need new spark plugs...and an air compressor. We got the spark plugs changed, but are holding off on the air compressor; it would cost over $500.00 and we're thinking of looking for a new car. The one I drive is a small Ford Escort, several years old, and I'd been thinking of getting a newer model soon. So we'll probably go look for a car tomorrow.

The answering machine stopped working, and I bought a new cordless phone with built-in answering system. And I finally, finally decided on a new laptop...bought a new Fujitsu A-1010 Lifebook, which is great. However, the adapter didn't work right, so I had to call support; they replaced it with a new one via overnight delivery, and now it's working fine. I had been looking at laptops for months, just wanted one to use when I feel like getting away from my desk. I'm very satisfied with the Lifebook, and think I'll get long years of use with it.

I cleaned/scrubbed the cat's sunporch today, and went on my bike ride. I'm on a severe diet, which I'm detailing in another blog called, CR Diet. I've lost six pounds so far, and weigh in at 109 now. My goal is to get below 100, and stay there. Quite a ways off yet. I also seem to have a back tooth bothering me, and hope I don't have to get a root canal; it is a crowned tooth, so that is a distinct possibility. Will go to the dentist next week, see what is wrong.

That's about it for today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

What to write?

Well, I could just SCREAM with frustration. We finally got rid of the problem house on one side of us, and now there's a problem on the OTHER side! Darn it. The owner who rents out the house doesn't take care of the house; it hasn't been painted in 20 years, and looks it. The carport roof is falling in, and no telling how bad the electrical/plumbing is getting to be inside. I contacted our city building inspector, and he said he was starting an investigation into the property, that it sounded as if building codes AND ordinances were being violated. Right now the owner (an older guy) is out there pecking around with a hammer, trying to prop up that falling roof over the carport...but it is going to take more than a little tapping and propping up to fix that place!

Why oh why do we always seem to get into these kinds of situations? When we lived out in the rural area, a slovenly couple moved in next-door, and was one of the reasons we sold our house and moved to the city. When we first moved here, this whole neighborhood was excellent; it is, in fact, the better part of the city, near the historic district. I thought the city building inspectors would enforce any violations of building and/or ordinance violations...and maybe they will, now that I've notified them. If not, I really don't know if I can stand to live here anymore.

We looked at some property and a house recently out in the country. It's about eight miles from the city, ten acres and a fairly large bankruptcy. The house needs some extensive work, but it's very isolated -- at the end of a dead-end road. It would be very private, and I think we would like that. We're waiting for a realtor to get back to us about the price; if it's affordable, and nothing is done to that wreck next-door, then we may just buy it. Then we could either sell our house in the city, or rent it out. I don't really want to move, but I am sick and tired of putting up with the 'neighbor' situation, and the aggravation. It's a shame that one or two rotten eggs can ruin a neighborhood!

My kittens/cats are thriving, but I do take very good care of them. I also took a contract with Orkin, for a year, to help eliminate outside ants, etc. which were becoming a problem on the cats porch. But I'm enjoying the kittens, and in October, all will have to be taken to the vet for neutering/spaying.

Enough for today. Gripe session over!

Thursday, August 01, 2002

I've selected a new template, and like this better. I actually preferred the first one I had, and spent a lot of time on details; but then Blogger wouldn't post new entries to that, so I chose a simple black-and-white layout. However, I DO prefer this current template. I'm not going to add personal links until I know this one won't disappear or fail to post.

What's new? I'm sitting in my study, cats/kittens running wildly through the house. They love being inside at night, but I DO keep them out on the sunporch all day (and back out there after 11:00 at night). The kittens are three months old now, really growing; I named them: Blackie, Buddy and CutiePie. Not very original, but I've found that a name somehow has to fit the kitten...and you can't just pick a name at random and put it on the kitten/cat. So I waited till their personalities became more developed. However, I probably should have named CutiePie (the only female kitten) Ms. Piggy...for she eats like a pig! She will chase the other two males, as well as the Mama (Pretty) away when I put out can food! The boys are more laidback, and very sweet; I'll have them neutered at 6 months, which isn't that long!

Otherwise I'm not writing much. I did buy a new Palm IIIc, replacing my old Palm III. I like the color screen, as well as the 8 MG of space; my 2 MG was not enough! I got a bargain price, since Palm is discontinuing this line. I have a modem, and GoType, which also work with the Palm IIIc.

Hot, hot, sweltering HOT here in Dixie, as well as most of the nation. Summer seems endless this year...

Life goes on...and I'll try to write more regularly here, I hope.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Long, long time since my last entry. What is my excuse?

Kittens, kittens, kittens! I have kept all three, and now with 9 cats, I have lots of work to do on their large sunporch! I seem to stay in a run all the time, but I AM enjoying the kittens too. Plus, I was afraid that any person who did take one of the black kittens might not treat them well. People are sometimes strange about black cats.

Otherwise, there was a divorce nextdoor; the girl left, and the guy is still there. But that's okay, since the girl took the baybee with her, and it's quiet as a mouse over there now. The boy makes no noise, and probably sits at his computer when not at work.

I have been a bit depressed also. I found out that the once love-of-my-life died last July 10th. I had always hoped to hear from him again, but now I know I never will. I guess I didn't realize how much I DID still have that tiny hope, till I learned of his death. I keep hearing the song so popular by that young guy on the radio, and this line stands out: "A breath away is not far from where you are." And that describes how I feel about my lost love. Only my death now could reunite us -- IF I believed in human souls and the afterlife (which I don't).

Next month I will have been riding my bike every day for a WHOLE YEAR. Whoopee! Unfortunately, since getting off my blood pressure medication, my BP has risen somewhat. I'm hoping that is only a rebound effect, and it'll soon be normal. I'm not overweight, and I do I hope I will not have to go back on the BP medication.

Ho hum, so it goes. The whole world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket: stock market tanked, terrorism warnings, war, misery...what's next?

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Happy, happy day -- I think. Ominous sounds next door, cars with trunks open, a pickup truck at the back door...leads me to hope that our trashy next door couple (who recently spawned) are moving. I DO hope so, anyway. We just had a light thunderstorm, and they had to stop...but are starting at it again. If they are moving, all I can say is: "Good riddance to bad rubbish." And I'm sure they'll be returning to the rural county area, where the girl is from -- redneck ways and all. Back to where they belong, not in the city.

I spent a lot of time yesterday with the kittens...they are growing so fast, and are so CUTE, ADORABLE. I hope to get some more good photos soon, and update the page with those pictures. In the meantime, I'm enjoying them...although it IS a lot of work. (And as a side note, the reason I ended up with kittens is that the trash next door let cats breed under their house, and never tried to take care of the problem). I know it's going to be difficult to give any of the kittens up, but I probably will have to eventually.

I read an article at SPACE.COM recently which really was interesting, about how rare intelligent? life might be in the cosmos. Here's an excerpt:

It took 4.5 billion years for Earth to generate and evolve a life form that could think, reason, and finally fly off the planet. That's a long time, even by cosmic measures. Perhaps too long.

At a time when the only known sentient species has earnestly and optimistically begun to search for life on other planets, several scientists within that species have found a host of reasons to guard the optimism. Throughout the galaxy, hazards to planet formation and sustained evolution are so serious and varied that life may be exceedingly rare. Intelligent life, presumably, would be the rarest of all.

We may, it turns out, be very lucky to be here. However, we may also turn out to be very alone.

Did it ever occur to anyone that we humans MIGHT be a blight on the cosmos, NOT a good development? That we are, in some sense, like the ANTS that multiply and try to infiltrate everything, or a CANCER that runs rampant and does damage to the whole organism? The older I get, the more I have this particular view of humans. NOT all, of course, but the MAJORITY...destructive, and if we ever get out there in the cosmos, who's to say we won't wreak even more damage? Would INTELLIGENT aliens/life even let us do that? I think NOT.

Enough for today, I have to go take care of the kitties.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Kittens are growing, growing, growing! Saturday I cleaned their sleeping quarters (scrubbed with scalding water, lots of work) and then last night they wanted OUT of the basket permanently! So, now they are able to come out from their curtained area and walk around on their little unsteady legs...follow momcat and try to eat. The greyish kitten (tentatively named Pistol, he's such a handful) walked right up to momcat's feed dish, where she was eating some can food, and abruptly dived in! He ate a good bit, and the others ate at least a taste of food. I also made them a shallow litterpan with shredded newspaper (cause they might try to eat clay litter) and hope they'll take a hint to use it soon. This morning they are all sleeping well, so maybe they are more content not being confined in the basket.

The black kitten, (Blackie), is having trouble with one of his eyes. It was encrusted a couple days ago, so I put some antibiotic I had here for such a problem from the vet, and it cleared up. I stopped putting it in the eye, and then yesterday morning the eye was stuck together again. So I put some in yesterday morning and last night, and this morning, and will continue twice a day till it seems to all be gone. If it doesn't go away in a few days, I'll take him to the vet. None of the other kittens have an eye problem, and Blackie's is only in one eye. I don't think it's anything serious, but will not risk damage to the eye if it doesn't clear up soon.

Memorial Day...not much going on here. DH and I will cook out on the grill late this afternoon, probably after a ride in the country. I have some pix to post of the scenic areas here in the well as more kitten photos when I have time.

Here's an interesting article that makes me glad I didn't have kids to add to the overpopulated earth!

U.N. group: Fourth of world's mammal species may vanish

A quarter of the world's mammal species -- from tigers to rhinos -- could face extinction within 30 years, and millions of people could suffer severe water shortages unless firm political action is taken to protect the environment, the United Nations said Wednesday.In a state-of-the-world report, the U.N. Environment Program said the Earth faces more rapid, dramatic and devastating environmental change over the next three decades.

"The increasing pace of change and degree of interaction between regions and issues has made it more difficult than ever to look into the future with confidence," the organization said in Global Environment Outlook-3. Information on the report is available at the group's Web site,

At a London news conference, U.N. Environment Program executive director Klaus Toepfer said human development "across more and more areas of the planet is not sustainable. Unless we alter our course, we will be left with very little."

Released in advance of the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development --to be held Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa -- the report is based on contributions from more than 1,000 scientists collaborating with the Nairobi, Kenya-based U.N. agency.

It assesses environmental changes over the past 30 years and looks ahead to the next three decades -- a period the United Nations says will be critical in determining the future of the planet.

The report says the world's biodiversity is under threat, with 1,130 of the more than 4,000 mammal species and 1,183 of the 10,000 birds regarded as globally threatened -- meaning they could become extinct but are not necessarily under immediate threat.

Among the most threatened are the black rhinoceros of Africa, the Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard of Asia, according to the U.N.'s World Conservation Monitoring Center.

Much of the threat is man-made, with loss of habitat from industry, mining and farming, and the introduction of nonnative species among the chief dangers. Fifteen percent of the world's land has been degraded by human activity such as overgrazing, the report says, while half the world's rivers are seriously depleted or polluted.

The report warns that roads, mining and other infrastructure developments could affect over 70 percent of the world's surface in the next 30 years. In addition, almost one-third of the world's fish stocks are depleted, overexploited or recovering as a result of overfishing. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

Till next time...

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

I now have some kitten photos online, if anyone would like to see those. Here's the URL:

Kitten Photos

We are still having beautiful weather, very mild, sunny...but getting warmer day by day. I wasn't able to ride in the park this morning, since a church daycare had a swarm of kids there. I cycled on the streets, but didn't ride as far as usual. My back is weak from doing so much lifting yesterday, rearranging a bunch of stuff outdoors in the backyard and on the cats' porch.

I recently read a very good novel, "Hit Man" by Lawrence Block. Try it, you'll like it!

I also watched a part of the series, "Evolution" on PBS last night about extinction. It was fascinating, and very thought-provoking. Made you wonder if humans aren't creating our own extinction!

Not much else to report. As usual the news is full of dire terrorism warnings --> Cried Chicken Little, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" In my opinion, the next terrorist act will occur exactly like the last one did -- without any authority having a clue as how to prevent it. All the money, etc. spent on security for something as random as terrorism just MIGHT be a waste of funds.

Anyone who is NOT religious might want to read this excellent essay on:

The Meaning of Life

However, I rather take exception to the author's idea that 'raising good kids' is the main aim of life. Frankly, there's too many humans on the planet NOW, so NOT having kids is more of a contribution than having them, in my opinion. I do agree with the rest of the essay though.

Till next time...

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I bought a new digital camera, and should have some photos of the kittens online soon. The kittens are almost three weeks old, and are thriving, so no problem with them now.

Beautiful weather in Dixie -- 40s at night, 60s in the daytime, nearly unheard of this time of year here. I'm enjoying my bike rides in the morning at the park, hoping I get to continue once school is out and kids flock there.

I'm very busy these days...but disappointed in the online writing courses. I just think my problem with writing is that I no longer have any motivation for it, no inspiration. Seems a waste of time. Oh well.

More when I get the photos online, and can add a link.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Well, some bad news: I found one of the kittens dead Sunday morning. It was the runt, and from the start, it seemed lethargic and not very aggressive about feeding. However, it was alive late Saturday night. I don't know what happened, but suspect it might have not been as healthy as the others, or that it had a defect I couldn't see. I've read that sometimes mama cats will ignore/neglect a sickly kitten, so the other stronger ones will have a better chance at survival. I didn't notice that happening, but if that was the case, and I'd known it, I'd have taken the weak one out and handfed it. As it was, I got upset and then worried that perhaps the mama didn't have enough milk, so I went out and bought some of the supplemental milk for kittens. However, when I offered it with a special small bottle and nipple, the kittens didn't want it, so I assume they are getting enough. One of my friends told me to feel of their bellies, see if they felt full...and they all do, so I think they will be fine. At least I hope so.

I went on the bike ride this morning, and even though I wore shorts, I still got hot. It's in the 80s here today, supposed to be even warmer tomorrow but with a cool front and storms on the way.

I have been so busy caring for the cats/kittens that I haven't been able to stay online for over thirty minutes at a time. I like to keep an eye on the kittens, since that one died Saturday night, make sure the mama is feeding them. She does seem to be feeding enough, but I have spoiled her silly by giving her can food and treats, like canned tuna, so that she now doesn't want to eat dry food. I bought some very high quality dry food for mother cats who are nursing, but now she doesn't want to eat that. It's strange how quickly you can spoil a stray cat that was used to eating only dry, low-quality food!

The other cats are keeping their distance, but occasionally have peeked at the kittens when the mama would let them. They are all going through another adjustment, and it's been sort of crazy around here. Last night, Pretty, the mama cat, came inside for the first time and seems able to leave the kittens for a little longer period. I'm hoping the kittens open their eyes by this next weekend. I'm eager for them to get bigger, because at this point they are just too helpless and fragile (much like a human infant) and I don't like the dependence factor. I guess I don't have much of a 'maternal' instinct when it comes to helpless infants of any kind! Now when the kittens get about four weeks old, they will then start being adorable, and I really enjoy them. But as for human infants, well, it takes at least 20 years before I'm interested in them!

The online writing courses began Monday, and I already have two of the assignments finished and posted. I was expecting a bit more, I suppose, in the way of interaction between instructor/classmates, but since it's all done via an online bulletin board, maybe I was just too eager. Anyway, I still have one assignment to do, and will get that done soon.

Not much else to report...

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Well, it finally happened -- Pretty had her kittens this morning. When I went out early to change the cat litter, I saw she was starting labor. I fixed her special place, and she liked it...and proceeded to deliver the first kitten. And every time I thought she was through, she'd have another one! Eventually by 11:00, she had four kittens, and darn if they don't all look nearly like her! Two of them may be solid black, but at least two seem to have the same white markings as Pretty. I guess this means they all had the same daddy cat, since you get a better variety of colorings from several males mating with the female.

I was glad it all went well though, and no problems. The other cats knew something was going on, and would occasinally peep behind the curtain I had fixed to shield Pretty and the kittens. But they didn't bother her at all, and Pretty was purring, very sweet and let me pet her off and on while in labor. I've found that female cats, once they trust their owner, nearly always like you to come around and see what's happening, and pet them.

Years ago a stray female had kittens in my garage. Anyhow, the morning she had her kittens, I had gone out on the backporch and she came running out of the garage, meowing, as if asking me to follow her. When I got in the garage, I could hear a kitten mewling, and sure enough, she'd had the first one. I settled her down in the box I had fixed, and she started purring, happy to have me pet her. But I couldn't believe she had SEVEN kittens, although one was born dead (it may have not had room in there to live!)

And I AM going to be busier than usual, taking care of the kittens till I can give them away. I sure hope I don't get emotionally attached to any of them, but if I do, I MIGHT keep one. The others will have to go though. I had good results last time by placing a designed ad on my vet's bulletin board, so I may do that again before running an ad in the newspaper. I always make my ads distinctive, say something about having a loving companion, etc...which makes it stand out, and attracts a better kind of person who really wants a companion cat. I also won't give a kitten to anyone with small children in the home, as often they mistreat kittens. But good PR never hurts!

Otherwise, the same old routine here. We got a new Wal-mart supercenter, and you'd think it was the greatest thing ever to hit town. Not so sure about that. I have been twice, but am not crazy about the HUGE space to cover for shopping.

That's it for now.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Just had to post this joke I found on the internet:

President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell are sitting in a bar. A guy walks in and asks the bartender, "Isn't that Bush, Rumsfeld and Powell sitting over there?" Bartender says, "Yep, that's them." So the guy walks over and says, "Wow, this is a real honor. What are you guys doing in here?" Bush says, "We're planning a nuclear war." And the guy says, "Really? What's going to happen?" Rumsfeld says, "Well, we're going to kill 25 million Iraqis and a bicycle repairman." The guy exclaims, "A bicycle repairman? Why kill a bicycle repairman?" Bush turns to Powell, punches him on the shoulder and says, "See, smart guy! I told you no one would worry about the 25 million Iraqis!"

Unfortunately, this would be funny if it weren't so TRUE.

Nothing much to report here, I'm still waiting to start my writing courses at the Virtual University on May 5th. Hoping those will help me get back into writing regularly.

Pretty still hasn't had her kittens, and I scrubbed the sunporch today (where the cats stay) so it'd be clean in case she has them soon. Overcast and humid here today, another typical Southern day in Spring.

Till later...

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

We spent a very, very busy week working around our house/yard. DH built new fencing on one side of the house, and replaced some worn places on the other side. We also put stucco on our cement-block foundation, and a huge aluminum pillar on the small front porch, which turned out great. Somehow it made the house look more modern, and the pillar was a nice touch. Still have to do the foundation at the back of the house, but we'll do that as time permits.

I took in one of the stray cats I've been feeding, a female black-and-white tuxedo cat. And I think she may be pregnant. It was a bit of adjustment for the other cats and her, but now they've more or less accepted each other. If the female, "Pretty," is pregnant, I'll just try to find the kittens good homes like I did the mother/three kittens I rescued last summer. Lots of work, but fun to have kittens around. And having them from birth means I can tame them, and make each one a great pet for potential owners.

Last Tuesday we drove over near the stateline, quite a trip...DH bought some saddles wholesale, and then resales them for a profit. It was a good outing.

Unfortunately the weather turned unseasonably warm last week, and we hit 90 before the weekend. NOT pleasant. It has cooled down by now, back in the 70s, and I've been riding the bike each morning regularly.

We decided not to buy the land, and are just going to continue saving and see if we can't find something better in the future. Or just stay here. I don't know if I could move, since we've lived here over 20 years -- and that's a long time! I took the 'for sale' sign out of the yard, since we were getting too many calls and were not sure we wanted to sell.

I paid the $15.00 tuition today for the Virtual University courses to start on May 5th. Several course on writing, one about memoir writing, one on breaking writer's block, and one as writing as a healing process. Should help me get back in the writing mood!

Here's an excellent article about not having children:

Childless and Ms. understood


Saturday, April 20, 2002 – Page A19

The other night I got together with a couple of girlfriends (okay, so they're a little long in the tooth) to enjoy the unseasonably balmy weather and a glass of wine or three. They both have neat jobs and nice husbands, just like me. So I told them I needed to conduct a focus group.

"Are you miserable?" I asked. "Does your grief come in layers of bitterness and regret because you missed out on Mother Nature's gift?"

They looked at me blankly.

"Maybe you need more of this lovely Chardonnay to get in touch with your feelings," I said.

But it was no good. They kept arguing about the Middle East and swapping recipes for creamy no-fat chicken sauce. Finally, I had to confront them outright.

"It says here," I said, "that there is an epidemic of misery among successful women because we never got around to having babies. It's the hidden social tragedy of our time. So confess, already."

The person who diagnosed this epidemic is an American economist named Sylvia Ann Hewlett, who has a bestselling book called Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children.

Maybe you saw the cover story about it in Time. That would be the cover featuring a sad-looking woman with a baby blanket and a Palm Pilot where the baby's supposed to be. Or maybe you caught the item on 60 Minutes,where a bunch of women with Harvard MBAs groused about how they can't get dates. As soon as they mention the H-word, the guys vamoose.

"Nowadays," writes Ms. Hewlett, "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child. For men, the reverse is true. The more successful the man, the more likely he is to be married with children."

According to her, 33 per cent of women who are "high achievers" are still childless at age 40. Among the "ultra-achievers" the figure is 49 per cent. "Childlessness," she mourns, "haunts the executive suite."

I contemplated our three nice-guy husbands, who had gathered in the kitchen, the way men do, to yak away about wine and gardening. Poor saps. They got a raw deal when they got stuck with us.

In case anybody cares, Ms. Hewlett's statistics are just a little bit dubious. It turns out that she confined her survey to large corporations of more than 5,000 people. Most of the high-achieving women I know, both mothers and non, don't work at places like that. They're lawyers, doctors, consultants, fundraisers and TV producers. Some of them took one look at life in the executive suite, decided it was hell on Earth, and bailed.

But never mind. The premise of the book feeds several robust myths.

The first myth is that women never get an even break. Either we have kids young and stay on the Mommy Track forever, or leave it till too late and endure the heartbreak of infertility. Men don't have to choose. They can have it all: the little wife, the kids, the big career. Better yet, there's always someone else to do the housework. (Okay. This part is definitely true.)

The second myth is that women who put work ahead of family are misguided careerists who will wind up feeling cruelly duped.

People who don't like capitalism like this one. So do social conservatives, who think that our best and brightest are weakening the gene pool by refusing to reproduce. This fear goes back at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt, father of six, who warned: "If Americans of the old stock lead lives of celibate selfishness . . . disaster awaits the nation."

Other people have found other whipping boys. If only we had better workplace legislation like the Swedes do, then women wouldn't have to quit their jobs when they have kids. And society wouldn't have to squander all that precious brainpower on menial activities such as child-rearing.

"What an incredible loss of social capital," mourned one highly placed female academic, who discovered that women with PhDs are more inclined than men are to slow down their careers when they have kids.

Which raises a couple of interesting questions. Do these people think that only stupid women should stay home with the kids? Or do they think that only stupid women would want to?

Oh well. One thing I've learned is that whatever phase of life I'm in, someone's going to diss it. I have a favourite headline from the 1980s, back when I was single. "Singles Lead Lives of Quiet Despair that Sometimes Lead to Morgue," it said.

Somehow, I escaped the morgue. But reliable statistics said that women over 35 were more likely to be struck by lightning than to find a husband.

This, too, was interpreted as the penalty for selfish careerism, or else as further proof of life's raw deal for women (take your pick). It turned out not to be true, and eventually even I got married.

But that won't stop people from chewing over the fresh insult to our sex exposed by Ms. Hewlett. Even Maureen Dowd is doing it. She blames men, too, because they won't date up. They don't want us, they want a little wife. Smart career women are too much challenge to their ego.

But she forgot the women's part in it. All those female Harvard MBAs want to marry male Harvard MBAs, and PhDs want to marry other PhDs. And that's their problem. Smart career women won't date down.

If they really wanted what the guys have, they'd go to different bars, where they could meet a nice carpenter or kindergarten teacher or artistic type. You know, a nurturing guy, maybe a few years younger, who's happy to stay home with the kids while the high-achieving one tends the big career. A guy who says things like, "I'm happy my wife works, because the more money she makes, the less I have to." But will they do it? Hah.

So what about my focus group? Well, that brings me to the third myth. In spite of what the experts say, being childless is not necessarily devastating. At times, it's even rather pleasant. It turns out that all three of us tried for babies once, and we were disappointed when it didn't work. But we recovered with unseemly haste.

Maybe we're just shallow. Or maybe we know that anyone, man or woman, who claims to have it all in life is probably lying.


Till next time...

Friday, April 12, 2002

What a weird week this past one has been. Last Sunday DH and I spotted some land, 4 acres, about 7 miles from the city and called the real estate agent about it. Well, it was very reasonably priced, but then DH made an offer for 5,000 less than the asking price and to our amazement, the owner accepted it! Then we were suddenly struck with the fact we just might have to buy it. I mean, we didn't think the owner would drop that much from the asking price.

At any rate, we then started trying to decide whether we wanted a house built there. Since it's just land, no house, we have to do something if we want to live out there. We also looked into modular houses, but even though much less expensive, don't like those too well. Right now, we're undecided, but have 30 days before the closing of the sale. IF we do buy it.

In the meantime, DH has next week off and we're going to some work around this house. Build more fence. Some painting inside the house, etc. We took the for sale sign down though, as we were getting too many calls and if we buy the property, we won't have to sell our house and may just rent it out instead when/if we move.

And that's pretty much all that's happening here for now.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Just logged in, and see that Blogger is 'temporarily not publishing.' Blah! IF I want to upgrade to the Pro, then it'll work better. No thanks.

I haven't done much this week, other than go on the early morning bike rides and clean house. I'm still sorting and cleaning out stuff around here, the closets, cabinets, etc.

I'm considering taking three writing courses at the Virtual University online, starting in May. Perhaps those will kickstart my writing again, since I am unable to stick with any project very long these days.

The week of April 15-21, DH will be off, and we plan to build more fencing on the side of our house by the carport. We have a six-foot tall cedar fence all the way around our large backyard, and along one this will be adding to the one side of the house without fencing. I LIKE my privacy! Although the noises sometimes are annoying, and I don't even want to begin complaining about the small child issue that is going to come up in the next few years. Yuck. I dislike screaming kids. Good reason for me not having any! But we MAY not even be here then, as we're still trying to sell our house and move somewhere with more space/property.

I have a couple of articles to post, and think these are very interesting. Here they are:



April 3, 2002 -- OPRAH Winfrey fired back at the White House yesterday - saying she felt "extremely used" by the Bush administration for implying that she was too busy to tour Afghanistan schools on behalf of President Bush.
Winfrey called her pal, "The View" co-host Star Jones, before yesterday's show and told Jones the story "was just not true."

"Oprah called this morning . . . and she wanted to talk a little bit about what the real story was," Jones told viewers at the start of yesterday's show on ABC.

"She told me that she was approached several weeks back [by the White House] and was told that the plans were ultra-sensitive.

"She was really, really quiet and the White House said check your schedule and she did but she had some fund-raisers that she had committed to and anybody knows when you do these things . . . people sell tickets expecting you to be there," Jones said.

"So she couldn't get out of doing [the fund-raiser] and she didn't want to because she had made the commitment."

Word first leaked last week that Winfrey declined to make the trip to Afghanistan. In a prepared statement from her office at Chicago-based Harpo Productions, Winfrey said she had too many other things to do. Some took her refusal as a blatant snub of the president.

"The White House knew she wasn't going to be able to go, but [Bush adviser] Karen Hughes told her they were going anyway," Jones said.

"So Oprah says for the last couple of weeks she thought, 'Oh, they had gone [to Afghanistan]'.

"She said, 'So imagine my surprise, I wake up and read in the newspaper that I'm being cavalier, I'm too busy.'

"She said it didn't happen that way and it really wasn't fair," Jones said of Winfrey. "We all know what kinds of philanthropic things that Oprah does across the country and across the world so that wasn't fair.

"She did say, 'Star, I felt extremely used by the Bush administration.'

"So I just wanted to set the record straight that Ms. Winfrey did not just cavalierly throw this away."

Yesterday's phone call and subsequent on-air lovefest wasn't the first time a celebrity in the news has used the ladies of "The View" to get her point across.

Rosie O'Donnell did it in February when she placed a pre-show phone call to Barbara Walters to say it was OK for Barbara to refer to Rosie as a lesbian in the air - the first time O'Donnell's sexual orientation had been publicly acknowledged.

Like I said before, "You go girlfriend!"

Here's the other article:

Information & Press Library
By Charley Reese
The Orlando Sentinel

Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
Answer: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections?
A: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
A: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
A: Israel.

Q: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
A: Israel.

Q: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
A: Israel.

Q: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
A: Israel.

Q: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship in international waters, killing 33 and wounding 177 American sailors?
A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?
A: Israel.

Q: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
A: Israel.

Q: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
A: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
A: Israel.

Q: What country is the United States threatening to bomb because "U.N. Security Council resolutions must be obeyed?"
A: Iraq

THE BEST facts/information I've read about the whole Middle East situation!

Till Later, I EXIT...

Friday, March 29, 2002

I haven't been online much this week, since I've been doing some extensive cleaning in the house, as well as sorting and discarding stuff in my study. I had collected an assortment of travel books, catalogs, etc, for writing/research that are now so far out of date they are useless. Plus, I use the internet now for up-to-date research. I spent all day yesterday and another hour or so earlier today getting that mess cleared out. DH will burn some of it, and take the rest to the recycle place in town. Lots of the old papers, and material I cleaned out of my file cabinet needs to be burned; but old books/catalogs can be recycled. I have more space in here now, and it looks much cleaner and tidy.

Also, I still have various tasks to do around the house, getting it ready in case someone wants to see the inside, any of the potential buyers. We had another call yesterday morning, but I was gone on the bike, so she left a message. DH will call her later.

I had a very strange experience this morning on my bike ride. Yesterday I didn't ride in the park, because they were having an Easter-egg hunt, with a bunch of screaming kids. So I just rode on the streets. But today there was no one around, and I started riding in the park. Well, this little girl (looked to be around 10 or 11), came up to the area where a dead-end street borders the backside of the park. As I went by, she yelled, "I need you to come to my house for a minute."

I was already past her, but when I came around there again, I asked her what was wrong. She just said the same thing, "I need you to come to my house a few minutes." On the next round, I asked if she had a problem and she repeated the same thing again. It was as if she'd been told to approach me, and was very persistent. However, IF there had been a serious problem, I think any child would have been upset and willing to SAY exactly what the trouble was. Since she wouldn't say what was wrong when I came by the next time (she was outside the chain-link fence, couldn't get into the park from that spot) I told her if she had an emergency, or a serious problem, to call 911. Then I went out of the park on the other side, and finished my ride on the streets.

There was something very creepy about that. My instincts told me that the child was sent to fetch me -- and not for any kind of real problem. I don't know what someone would have wanted with me, but anyone in the section of houses on that dead-end street could easily see that I ride in the park every morning. I just had a feeling that I SHOULD NOT go with her. So many times you hear of a woman's instinct telling her something is 'wrong' with a certain situation, but going along anyhow and then getting into trouble. Perhaps whoever told the child to fetch me had something bad in mind...or maybe I'm just paranoid or have too much of a dark imagination.

When I got home, DH called and I told him about it and he said I did the right thing, shouldn't have gone along with the kid. He said he would drive over by there, and see if she was still outside (I described her) and find out if there was some kind of trouble. Also, he said I needed to start riding somewhere else for awhile, change my pattern of biking.

Years ago, I did something that really seemed stupid later on, and has made me very cautious about strangers. I was on the way home from the grocery store and my car quit on me. I was only about ten blocks from home, but I had a load of groceries and was afraid the milk, etc would spoil. So this car pulled up, and there was an older man in it; he asked what was wrong, and I told him. He got out, and said, "Why don't I just help you get the groceries out and I'll drop you off at your house."

I'd told him I lived nearby, so I quickly accepted. We put all the groceries in his car and then got in...and just as I closed my door, and he started the car, it hit me that this was EXACTLY how women get abducted and raped! My face must have gone pale, because he started making friendly chit-chat, asked me who I was married to, said he used to live in the city, and who I was before I married. Well, when I told him and he said he knew some of them, and turned out, he knew one of my uncles. At any rate, he took me directly home and even helped me unload the groceries. BUT, that really shook me up, because it was a DUMB thing to do! And I when I called DH to help me with the car, he pitched a fit and said I should NEVER, EVER do such a thing again!!!! Of course, by then I realized that.

In a way, it's awful that times have changed so much you have to be this cautious...but it's a fact that women are often abducted and raped in just such situations. Long ago, when I was a teen or in my early 20s, I never gave a second thought to some guy stopping to help if my car broke down -- and it did happen several times. But these days, you just can't trust a stranger -- not even in my small southern town.

At any rate, I hope the little girl wasn't REALLY having a problem. Or if so, that she called 911. But I don't regret what I did -- better safe than sorry.

Here's an excerpt from an article I found interesting:

Winfrey declines Bush invite to Afghan trip

U.S. hoped to show its help for women

By Jeff Zeleny
Tribune national correspondent
Published March 29, 2002

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Seeking to put a softer spin on the public's perceptions of the war on terrorism, the Bush administration quietly asked Oprah Winfrey to join an official U.S. delegation to tour Afghanistan's schools, celebrating young girls' return to the classroom following the fall of the Taliban regime.

But Winfrey begged off, saying she didn't have the time.

"Given her responsibility to the show, she isn't adding anything to her calendar," said a representative of Winfrey's Chicago-based production company. "She was invited, but she respectfully declined."

So the White House, lacking its preferred guest, postponed a trip that also was to feature some of the administration's top women, including Bush adviser Karen Hughes and possibly National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Aides said it was unclear whether another celebrity who shares Winfrey's credibility and popularity could be substituted.

Bush's political advisers are concerned that some key voting groups, while supportive of the war on terrorism, may be growing weary of the constant talk of killing and brutality. The Oprah strategy was devised to dampen the images of global violence.


Way to go Oprah! Or in the venacular, "You go girlfriend!" Let Bush rustle up his voters himself, but the very fact he thought of this idea shows he MAY be a bit concerned about his ratings and the 'war on terrorism' and the women's vote. I wouldn't vote for him, that's a fact.

Back to work now.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Looking at this journal, I see I haven't written in it since last Thursday. There have been ups and downs since then, but I just wasn't in the mood to write about any of it. We've had two people call about our house for sale; we put a small sign in the yard, and have done NO advertising. So I guess those calls do indicate we can sell it if we want to. But it sure is hard to think of moving from a place you've lived for 20+ years!

We also looked at the small white house again, and I still like it. But we just haven't decided to make an offer on it yet. We are still actively looking, and found one possibility about ten blocks from here in a nicer neighorhood. It is full brick, three bedrooms, with a huge enclosed carport with screened breezeway that would be perfect for the cats. And the price is about the same we're asking for this house. I guess we'll keep looking though...

I've been on my bike ride every morning this week, and the weather has been either very cold or extremely warm for this time of year. Today there was an Easter-Egg hunt going on in the park, so I rode on the streets instead. I prefer the park, but don't mind the street if necessary.

I spent most of today cleaning out my old file cabinets. I decided it was time I got rid of a lot of old work (already on computer) and just a collection of stuff (research notes, etc) that I will never need again. I also tossed a bunch of stationary paper and postal writing material, like envelopes. I used to write a lot of postal letters (to inmates and other friends) but no longer do that since I have access to email. So I got rid of a great deal of stuff, and made it neater in my study.

Here's an interesting article excerpt from the New York Times about how the world wide web is not as much fun as it once was. I DO agree!

As the Web Matures, Fun Is Hard to Find

Just 11 years after it was born and about 6 years after it became popular, the Web has lost its luster. Many who once raved about surfing from address to address on the Web now lump site-seeing with other online chores, like checking the In box.

What attracted many people to the Web in the mid-1990's were the bizarre and idiosyncratic sites that began as private obsessions and swiftly grew into popular attractions. . .

How did the Web arrive at this juncture? Some people say that the rush to make money, in which profits mattered more than passion, was a significant driver.

The Web's commercialism dismays many longtime surfers. "Everywhere you go someone is jumping on you to buy something," said John Walkenbach, an author in San Diego, who has written books about software. "It's like walking down the streets of Tijuana."


Enough for tonight. Maybe I'll try to update more frequently.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Another Thursday night, my only night online. And I'm feeling a bit lonesome, rare for me, since I've become a loner. Still, I also have been feeling nostalgic...for times past, happy and sad, upsetting or not. Mostly I recall lost loves, lost opportunities...or even just the moments that I know are gone forever.

What is one person anyway, that all the memories and living can be wiped out with death. For I do believe we perish at death, there is NOTHING but flesh and blood and then oblivion. What point is there in struggling for success, for rewards or anything at all...when we are simply, in the verse of a popular song, "Dust in the wind..."

Ah, well, so it goes...and goes...and goes...until it is all gone.

Humans...a speck of energy in the senseless, vacant void of the cosmos. A little noise and then...NOTHING.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

I'm in a better mood today, though still not feeling great. It's difficult to remain depressed during spring, and we certainly are having an early spring here. The world is coming alive, brilliant green and yellow colors painting the yards, the what sometimes looks unsightly during grim, drab winter months is camouflaged by the budding birth of renewel.

Had a wonderful bike ride this morning, droplets of the misty morning making it damp and cool. We've been having a bit of fog early, and it makes for a nice ride in the park. More of a misty dampness than deep fog, which usually burns off by noon when the sun comes out.

I actually am reading a novel, and believe I'll make it through this one {Lovers & Liars, by Sally Beauman). I loved her novel, "Destiny" and thought I'd give this one a try. Lately I just can't seem to get involved in a novel, and put it down after the first chapter or so. But this one seems to be holding my interest, and it would be good for me if I could immerse myself in a fictional world again.

And now for a link/excerpt to an article about a near-miss of an asteroid that wasn't even discovered until it had whizzed by earth!

Whew! Stealth asteroid nearly blindsides Earth

By Richard Stenger

(CNN) -- A sizable asteroid zipped near our planet this month without anyone noticing because it traveled through an astronomical blind spot, scientists said.

The space boulder passed Earth within 288,000 miles (461,000 kilometers) -- or 1.2 times the distance to the moon -- on March 8, but since it came from the direction of the sun, scientists did not observe it until four days later.

The object, slightly larger than one that flattened a vast expanse of Siberia in 1908, was one of the 10 closest known asteroids to approach Earth, astronomers said.

"Asteroid 2002 EM7 took us by surprise. It is yet another reminder of the general impact hazard we face," said Benny Peiser, a European scientist who monitors the threat of Earth-asteroid collisions.

If it pierced the atmosphere, the approximately 70-meter-long rock could have disintegrated and unleashed the energy equivalent of a 4-megaton nuclear bomb, researchers said.

"If it were over a populated area, like Atlanta, it would have basically flattened it," said Gareth Williams, associate director of the International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The rock is considerably smaller than dozens of potential planet killers 1-kilometer in size or larger that lurk in the inner solar system.


Oddly enough, there was another asteroid that also missed earth just a couple months ago...about the same distance, I think. Could this be a new pattern? If so, bend over and kiss your a___ goodbye because sooner or later, one is going to hit us!

Monday, March 18, 2002

Spent most of Sunday looking at houses/property within the city and in the county/rural areas. Nothing spectacular stood out, but we did find a few potentially interesting places. We're still searching, but I doubt we'll ever move; living here for 20 years, it would be very difficult to leave/move!

We're still having beautiful spring weather, but almost TOO warm. I've had to run the air conditioning already, so you can imagine how soon we're going to have summer! I went on my long bike ride this morning, despite the fact I didn't sleep well last night. I drank some coke with the evening meal -- big mistake, as the caffeine kept me awake! I cannot tolerate caffeine that late in the day anymore.

Not much else to report, except I'm still depressed. Don't know why...just a phase, I hope.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

It is warm, warm, warm here today, very springlike with rolling purple clouds and occasional showers. The trees are budding, the flowering shrubs are blooming and it looks like an early spring is in store for Dixie. I love it all, except for the pollen that aggravates my allergies. Already my skin feels itchy, and my eyes burn, water...but I suppose I shouldn't complain.

I haven't been able to tame any of the kittens, although I did sit outside on the porch one night and enticed one to come to the food dish. It was within reach, but I knew if I made a move, it would scamper away. I haven't seen the gray-and-white one again, just the calico and white kitten since they turn up each night about dark to eat from my food dish on the porch. I'd like to take in one of them, since I DO have a vacancy now -- I have five cats, but room for six. However, these kittens are now about 12 weeks old, and with every day that passes without human contact become more feral. And it's is hard to tame a feral kitten; plus, they seem to be fat and healthy and doing well wherever they are staying. Oh well, all I can do is make sure they have plentiful food/water.

I've been going on my bike ride each day, and now have over 200 miles on my bike since I put the speedometer on it. Great! The warmer it gets though, the harder it will be to ride in the morning and I'll have to switch to late afternoons. And the park baseball diamond has been readied for the spring season, so I don't know how much longer I can ride in the park. If I have to though, I can always ride on the streets.

The 12th was my wedding anniversary -- 31 years! Amazing really, considering NO ONE thought DH and I would stay together at all! There's not much to say about it, we didn't celebrate except to eat out.

We decided against the house/acre we looked at last weekend. We had a friend who does carpentry/remodeling to look at the place, and he said it had some serious structural damage which would cost a great deal more than we wanted to put into the place. But we'll keep looking, might run across a place we'd like to have.

I am feeling somewhat depressed. I think the main reason for this is that I haven't been able to read much fiction. I DID finish the sci-fi story I was writing, but still not reading fiction. I believe that fiction was always my drug of choice -- either reading or writing it. In general, I don't like REAL LIFE, no matter how good it is. I have known this since I was in my 20s, and depressed the whole time until I started writing fiction. The escapism is like a drug to me, even though it is a positive drug, not negative. Nevertheless, it has always been my way of dealing with reality -- which I always find less than satisfactory. And this would be true no matter HOW GREAT my life was/ I really suffer when not in a fictional world. The net is also escapism, but not as powerful as fiction. Still, it helps somewhat. I went to the library earlier, got some novels and hope to get back to reading. I found the latest Anne Rice, and she's one of my favorite authors so perhaps I'll find it mesmerizing.

I've always known that I have an addictive personality, in that if not writing/reading, I could seriously be tempted by liquor and/or drugs. I have no idea WHY I'm this way, or why there's so many like myself... However, I think that the majority of people like myself are unaware they hate reality, and don't have a clue why they do drugs or need escapism in some form. In some ways, religions serve the same purpose, but you'd never get the devout to admit this. Just the same, life as a biological human is shitty, there's so much to HATE, so much that is flawed and disgusting -- not just in the natural world, but in human behavior -- that it's a wonder there's not more suicides.

And speaking of suicide, I feel that someday I will kill myself. It's sort of been a lifelong love-affair -- a necessary vision of final escape, oblivion. Not now, of course, but someday when I can no longer tolerate life as it is. I don't think this is in any way an insane idea; rather, it is a rational response to flawed human existence.

Enough for today.

Monday, March 11, 2002

Yesterday DH and I went on our regular Sunday drive, but this time we had quite a few houses/property to look at. We're thinking of renting out our house in the city, and trying to find something affordable within a ten-mile radius of our town.

So the good news is: we found a house and one acre within a couple miles of the city.

The bad news is: it needs a little bit of work.

However, the main attraction to this place is the location -- it is entirely private! There's a house within sight, but at least a quarter mile away beyond a field. And on the other side of the house, just thick woods and no house for at least a mile or more. Although it is only an acre, the house is situated for privacy. The house is smallish, but has a full basement, which is good. The outside is white vinyl, with a good roof, cement front porch and large back deck. Inside, there's only two small bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, den/living area, a very tiny living-room and/or entryroom and one bathroom. There's not alot of cabinets, and no dishwasher, which would have to be put in (I can't live without a dishwasher!). The windows are older, with storm windows on the outside; those would all need replacing too. Good hardwood floors in all but the kitchen/bath/hall, which would need some tile put down. And outside, some minor drainage problems that could be taken care of with a bit of work/landscaping and tractor. All in all, not too bad -- very promising.

I called the real estate agent, and she said the house/property was a foreclosure -- asking $40,900.00 But she said that she could pass along any offer we wished to make. We're thinking of offering $35,000.00 and maybe negotiating. Even at the asking price though, we could afford to buy this with cash! And the agent said that closing costs on cash deals would be less than $500.00.

We went back and looked at the place again today, and still liked it. We could also keep our house here in town, and rent it out for quite a nice little sum per month. The only thing would deplete our savings somewhat, but we'd still have enough cash if we had any kind of emergency. Of course, this wouldn't entail touching any retirement funds either. So we're undecided, just mulling it over.

I've been sort of depressed for the past few days. For one thing, I'm SO tired of the neighbors on either side of us. One has gotten a barking brat of a dog, and the others just had a baby. Neither of them take care of their property, and this has made me lose interest in further improvements on our house, just wanting to get away from here. But this house would be great rental property.

I don't know what we'll's just sort of a dilemma for me right now.

As for the 'kitten situation' ...well, they are still living next-door underneath the house. The lady (and her brother) who owns the house came by the other day, and we talked. I told her about the kittens under the house, and she said her brother would tell his son and wife, who are living in that house. In the meantime, the kittens (and assorted other cats) eat from the big pan of dry food I keep out on the backporch at all times. The kittens look healthy, and are getting fat...seem to be about 10 weeks old. However, all these cats/kittens are feral, and cannot be touched; they run at the slightest sound, so there's not much I can do for them except keep out plentiful food/water.

And so it goes....

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

I haven't made an entry in a few days, just not had much to report.

Lately DH and I have been thinking of either selling our house and buying another one in town or in the country; or possibly renting this house in town and buying another house somewhere in the country. So I've been browsing real estate ads for our area, and finding a few places we might like to look at this coming weekend.

It's been beautiful weather here, and perfect for biking. I went on the bike ride yesterday and today, early, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Also, we're on our soup/salad diet this week, and I hope I'll drop a few pounds. But won't weigh till the end of the week.

I'm still shopping online for a laptop computer, but can't make up my mind what I want. The Gateway laptop for $899.00 is VERY tempting, but I don't know if I'll buy it or not at this point.

This morning as I was about to leave on my bike ride, I saw three new kittens on my backporch. I always leave out a pan of dry feed for neighborhood cats, and in the past few months, there's been quite a variety of cats eating here. Of course, I don't know which ones belong to people in the neighborhood, with the exception of one next-door, and one behind our am not sure which cats are strays or belong to people. At any rate, the male (un-neutered) cat next-door seems to be the source of the problem; the owners put out dry food (and did LONG before I began putting out some) and many cats have been attracted to their house. Since the owners don't cover their narrow cement-block openings underneath their house, apparently cats have been staying under there during the cold weather (their heating system is under there, and it stays warm). So now one of the females has given birth to kittens -- three that I saw, perhaps more.

This really presents a bad problem, in that the young couple next door just had a preemie baby, and have been staying at the hospital a lot. Therefore, they are probably not aware of the cat situation going on underneath their house. I guess I'll have to tell them, and see if they can sort out the problem -- some of the cats there DO probably belong to people on this street. But people don't neuter/spay these cats, and then don't want to take responsibility for the many kittens.


More dilemmas for me, and I sure hate getting involved in this. But knowing me, and how I love cats, I will probably be smack in the center of what develops. It's depressing really, and I haven't a clue how to proceed.

Enough for today.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Busy, busy, run, run, run today!

I had several errands in town, and got an early start. I first went to the used paperback bookstore, and browsed for some sci-fi novels, a list of authors suggested by some of the scientific sites I've visited. I found three authors/novels, and will try to read/study these for style, form, content of sci-fi, since I'm new to writing in this genre. The only gripe I have with most sci-fi is that it seems too farfetched, set so far into the future that it doesn't interest me. What I'm trying to write is something set in present day America, but weaving in our current science and technology with future hopes/dreams. Plus, the alien slant in my story is about an advanced species; yet, I try to keep it down-to-earth and reasonably believable.

Then I went by the library, had to drop off some books, and ended up getting a few more for research purposes. I am looking into past peculiar and/or unsolved mysteries of the paranormal and/or UFO related stuff. I can use these in my ongoing sci-fi story as the aliens can explain and solve these kinds of mysteries. I brought home a load of books!

I had to stop off and buy some special cat food at a discount store, then on to the grocery store to pick up a few groceries. Next week I'm putting DH and I on a diet of soup and salad. One night soup, the next salad. It'll be interesting to see if we lose weight! Therefore, I didn't have to buy as many groceries as usual.

When I got home, I headed out for the bike ride. Unfortunately, there were workers in the park so I had to ride on the street; but I still got in my usual mileage and a good workout. Much warmer today, but still brisk wind when riding.'s a couple of news article links/exerpts:

Why U.S. Arrival in Georgia Has Moscow Hopping Mad

The routing of Caspian Sea oil has been the central focus of geopolitical maneuvering in the region over the past decade. Russia has spent much of that period trying unsuccessfully to pressure Georgia's president, former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, to toe Moscow's line. Moscow helped facilitate the breakaway of Abkhazia from Georgia, in order to weaken the government in Tbilisi. Georgians insist that Russia has also been behind some of the numerous coup- and assassination attempts against Shevardnadze. Certainly Moscow has made no secret of its anxiety over the Georgians' cozy relationship with the U.S. — or of its unhappiness at having to give up longstanding military bases in the former Soviet republic.

A substantial U.S. deployment over Moscow's objections would end the illusion that Russian cooperation against the Taliban would lead to Western endorsement of Moscow's often brutal military campaign in Chechnya. The U.S. military has made clear it has no intention of cooperating with Russian forces against Chechen fighters in the Pankisi. The objective of any mission, officials say, would be to help the Georgian government regain control of an area that had become a haven of criminality and a sanctuary for a small number of al-Qaida operatives.

* * *
As ever, it appears that the U.S. need for oil and the oil-men are possibly involved in this situation. There's always been speculation that oil is behind the whole Afghanistan problem...but I don't know. Just seems very suspicious.

Nixon 'smoking gun' tape released

In other tapes, Nixon talks to aides about planting leftist literature in the apartment of Wallace shooter Arthur Bremer in an effort to link him with anti-war protesters.

* * *
Makes you wonder what the Republicans are up to now, doesn't it?

That's all for today!

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Not much to report today. It was cold this morning, but I still went on my bike ride, good to get out in the fresh air.

I finished another segment on my sci-fi story tonight, and it's going great. I enjoy writing again, yippee!

I just have to end with this great quote by the wife of the murdered journalist, Pearl. This shows what an insightful, intelligent woman she is, and I'm completely in agreement with her quote. But it is still more remarkable coming from her, after what she has suffered. She restores my belief that there is still at least ONE amazing lady left in the world!

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism."
---Mariane Pearl on the murder of her husband

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Woke up to an inch of snow this morning in Dixie! And it wasn't even predicted in the weather forecast.

When I looked out the window shortly before going to sleep around midnight last night, the moon was so bright I could see everything in the yard. So I was surprised to find an inch of fluffy white pristine snow this morning! We're having frigid temps today, and it's only around 25, but most of the snow did melt when the sun came out. The streets were not bad; city schools were open, but county schools were closed. For me, this meant no bike ride today; I just couldn't brave that 25 degree weather and the north wind!

I wrote another segment for my sci-fi story yesterday, and continue to do extensive research, weaving facts into my fiction. That is taking most of my time these days, and I stay busy, occupied.

Here's an interesting, somewhat alarming article:

U.S. to Weigh Computer Chip Implant

``The problem is that you always have to think about what the device will be used for tomorrow,'' said Lee Tien, a senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group.

``It's what we call function creep. At first a device is used for applications we all agree are good but then it slowly is used for more than it was intended,'' he said.

* * *
Yeah, I heard that! Imagine having a computer chip in your body so you could be constantly tracked...and by the government, no less. I think NOT, so I'll opt out.

That's it for today. Brrr, trying to stay warm!!!

Monday, February 25, 2002

DH and I had a pleasant drive in the country yesterday afternoon. We were gone over three hours, and it was great to get out of this house and city, to enjoy the rural scenery. When we got back, I decided I needed some exercise, and went on a long bike ride; I had to ride in the street though, since the park was full of kids playing because of the beautiful weather -- around 70 degrees, sunny. But we're supposed to be in for some rain tomorrow, possibly mixed with wet snow, and a cold front will then hit Dixie.

Today I went on the bike ride early, and even then got hot. It's around 70 today also, and I didn't even need a jacket today. Then I went to Wal-Mart, and found a great bargain. In their electronic clearance section, I found a small device that sends/receives email. It is called PostBox email, and is just a little smaller than a laptop. It was marked down from $100.00 to only $30.00, so I got it...although it would only be useful if I didn't have my computer for some reason. You have to have an account with Outbound, but it's less than $10.00 a month. I won't signup or use the appliance though, unless I need it. It uses batteries or an A/C adaptor. I continue to collect electronic stuff -- even if I don't need it!

Haven't worked on my sci-fi story, except for doing more research. I've been researching Eta Carina, a star that might go super-nova soon...and hope to use that in my story eventually. I did write out a detailed plot though, which will help me stay on course as I write the story.

It's late now, got to get busy with the evening meal.

I'll close with this wise quote: "Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 23, 2002

I have a bad case of the blahs today. I also don't feel well, physically. I think this last head cold has zapped my energy the past week or so, but maybe I'll get over it soon.

I did force myself to go on my bike ride this morning, although it was a brisk 35 degrees. I can always tell when I'm not up to par physically; the ride seems difficult and draining, instead of invigorating. Yesterday I didn't go, because it was cold, blustery wind, overcast and I simply couldn't make myself get out of the house. I'll be glad when Spring arrives, but we're in for more colder temps this coming week, according to the weather forecast.

I'm still writing the sci-fi story, and reading/researching for material to include as background. I wrote a long segment yesterday, and posted it. I also designed a website exclusively for the story, and posted it thus far. I like the creativity of designing a website, even at the free servers, and spent quite some time working on that. I still haven't decided what to do about my webzine, whether I'll eventually continue updating or just let it stay as is. The readership continues, and new visitors arrive I wouldn't think of taking it offline.

Not much else to report. Did some housework, got everything sparkling clean for now.

I'm looking forward to our long drive in the countryside tomorrow, get out of this house for awhile.

I'll close with this anonymous quote: "Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up."

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Tonight I learned of The Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl's, death via the news. At first, I couldn't believe that any terrorist group would be so stupid as to kill a journalist. I mean, they could have used Daniel to get out their message; they could have tried to show him their side of the situation. Instead, they apparently brutalized, tortured and then killed him. And for once, I was totally outraged! For some time after hearing that his death had been video-taped, I felt so angry that I thought: "Kill them, just kill them all!" I don't think I was quite as angry as this even after 9/11...although maybe I was in shock, and later just sad for the awful loss of lives.

I have worked as a journalist, so perhaps that is why Pearl's death affects me so deeply. But again, I just cannot comprehend the savagery and brutality of killing someone who was seeking the truth...even willing to 'listen' to their complaints, do whatever it took (risking his own life) to find out what was actually going on over there. I can't understand those people, except that they are fanatically brainwashed by extremist religion, and have no intellectual capacity to reason and realize when they could use alternative peaceful methods to verbalize their cause.

Yet underneath all this, I still am afraid that with the advent of 9/11, we have seen a new battle between the 'haves and have-nots' inequality in the world of poverty and ultra-wealth reflected in the poorest countries like Afghanistan/Pakistan and us, the Americans and other such countries. Perhaps those people don't even understand or realize that they are FURIOUS at the countries that ignore their poverty...and have no other way of striking back, or releasing their rage. And this is what is so scary -- they will not stop, and no one is really safe, because their rage targets anyone they perceive is from a wealthier country and it doesn't matter WHO that individual is, or even if they could potentially be an ally in getting out their message.

I don't really know if that is what the deeper problem is -- but I do know that I am angry and sad about Daniel Pearl. He was just trying to be a good journalist and find out the truth. It's always been a dangerous position in wars, but never as seemingly difficult as now in the middle east where your source betrays you, and sets you up to be killed.

Sad, disgusting...a terrible tragedy and sickening example of humanity's lowest low.

Here's an article link/excerpt:

Journal Says That Kidnapped Reporter Is Dead -- Pearl's Murder Was Videotaped

The videotape delivered to the U.S. consulate in Karachi left no doubt that Pearl was indeed killed, according to the source. The videotape showed Pearl speaking with someone, almost as if he were conducting an interview, when suddenly an unseen assailant grabbed him and slit his throat, the source said. The videotape included no date, no audio and no faces other than Pearl's, the source said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

I haven't added links to articles lately, but will do that in this entry. I thought I wouldn't get to go on the bike ride due to storms early this morning, but by 9:30 it had cleared up and I went. The trail was a little damp, but otherwise okay for riding.

Here's the links to some interesting articles:

FBI claims environmental group doubles as terror group


U.S. military strikes could be coming, Pentagon official says

Wolfowitz said he was worried that Americans were beginning to act as if the threat from terrorism is over.


The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark

A shocking thesis is that the Gospel of Mark is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek "Bible" of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense "updates" and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero, Jesus (whose name, of course, means "Savior").

Shocking? Nah, but a very interesting (and probably correct) idea!

That's all for today folks!