Monday, September 29, 2014

Earth.nullschool.net - absolutely super!


LOOKIT THIS COOL MAP!


A must see for any meteorology fans out there! (Plus it's really pretty when it gets running.)

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-62.05,43.14,352

And then after the smart, cool stuff, I'll leave you with this document that was sent to me a while back.

It kills me dead every single time I look at it!  Warning - I'm a weirdo!

An excerpt from the scholarly publication The Journal of Everything  entitled Chicken:


The full version goes on for three pages replete with flow charts, pie graphs,
other graphs and a page of cited references.

All. The. Word. Chicken!!

I love this!



This is for my mom and dad.

So, this is a draft that I never published from November of 2012. This was a turning point in my depression. It had started to shift because I had decided to stop fighting and I decided that I was just gonna forge ahead. I didn't realize at the time, that things were going to get worse before they got better, but I at least had decided that I wasn't gonna off myself or do something stupid. I also stopped drinking for about a year to clear the cobwebs from my sad brain.  All were essential elements in my recovery from such monumental sadness.

Anyway, this is interesting to read now that I'm on the other side of the depression...it's like reading words from an entirely different person!

Here it is:




Hi.

I know I don't post often and it's basically because I have absolutely nothing nice to say right now. Except that I've got some really good friends and relatives that worry and care about me even though I don't even seem to care too much about myself sometimes. I'm very thankful to have these people in my life who actually seem to give a sh*t if I'm eating or sleeping or even remotely functioning.

I'll tell you what. I can only hope and pray that things will get better.

Just when I think,

"Well, THIS! This is the worst things could possibly get, right? This is the final bad piece of news or nasty thing that's going to happen, and then it's GOT to get better, right? RIGHT? PLEEEAAAASE let this be the last crap thing that has to happen for a long while, okay? I would really like to have a sense of peace again. Even just for a little bit."


Well, just when I've gotten over piece of crap #1, #2 and #3, here comes #4 through #8 to follow right behind.


I said to my mom the other day, I just don't DO drama. It's not me. I don't like it and I won't have it.

Well, even though I may protest the drama, it keeps on knocking. 

It's an unstoppable chain of ridiculousness. There are times when it just gets to the point that I have to just shake my head at it. I don't even cry when then next crap thing happens. I just try try try to solve the issue as best I can and move forward. Sometimes I cry - don't get me wrong - but the daily sobfest at least is over for now.

So, that's why I don't write. I am tired of listening to my own sad story and the next horrible thing that has happened. I won't go into details because the most recent subject matter doesn't even deserve the words on this screen.


Yeah! What SHE said!

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” 
 Thomas à Kempis
So, my best friend in the world, Karen, is a writer. An excellent writer. Puts me to shame and I think I'm pretty darn good at expressing myself. 

Karen does it with such finesse and humor. Like Erma Bombeck, that one...


She has her own very successful blog, Bye Bye, Pie and she also writes for an online magazine called Purple Clover. Here's her most recent article that talks about the introvert/extrovert conundrum.


I recently read a wonderful book called "Quiet" written by Susan Cain. It talks about the introvert/extrovert thing and also about a category that most people don't know about called "ambivert" - which is how I identify myself. Most people would say that I'm an extrovert. And I partially am. But when I took the test in the book to see what my deeper self is? Sixteen out of twenty questions indicate that I'm a tried and true introvert. I just have mad extrovert skillz that I employ when I'm feeling the need to connect with others. It certainly doesn't mean that I'm dumb or have only that one set of skills! 


I'm a big-picture thinker and very creative. I love art and music and reading. I REQUIRE my alone time each day. Right now, for instance, I'm writing, the dogs are snoring, and I have NPR going in the background. I've not said a word since my husband left for work - except to talk to the dogs and mutter to myself!


Which brings me to my rant du jour.


I was at a restaurant that I frequent here in Alaska. I've dropped major coinage in that joint and I have made several friends just by sitting there at the bar or having coffee in the morning or having a lunch there with my husband, friends and colleagues.


Well, we had a big dramatic thing happen here at the house (which I wrote about when it happened) and it really, really shook me up. After the drama of the morning had passed and everything had settled down, I went to that restaurant for a bite to eat and to have a glass of wine with my friend who also had experienced the same drama.


I, of course, know the staff at this restaurant VERY well - many of them have had lunch or dinner here at my house, some have come over to play music and some even attended my wedding!


ANNNYway, after the drama-filled day, as I was waiting to get my food at the restaurant, the lady that runs the restaurant (who I happen to like very much) basically told me that I needed to stop telling her staff what had happened to me that morning...


? ? ?


Excuse me? 


She was trying to do the very thing that my ex-husband used to do which is edit me. And nothing raises my ire more than someone shushing me or telling me what I can or cannot say. 


What the WHAT? 


OOOO, I was mad. REALLY mad. And frankly, I was very hurt. It doesn't feel very good to be treated like I'm a three year old and talking out of turn. 


So, here's the thing that relates to my friend's article in Purple Clover today. I understand I am very gregarious and that most people really kinda like me and are drawn to my outgoingness. I am happy that people seem to genuinely like me because there are a lot of people here in Alaska that I've met that are really smart, cool and interesting peeps.


But don't BLAME me for that. Don't tell me that I cannot speak to people that are my friends. 


Just because you're maybe more introverted or don't like to hear about my dramatic morning doesn't mean you have the right to tell ME what I can or cannot say.


Damnit. It really gets me all ired up when someone does crap like that. I hate hate hate seeing other people editing (trying to control) other people. Like my friend who had us over for a dinner party one evening and her husband proceeded to tell her how much wine she was "allowed" to have. This gem of a guy also made her "weigh in" to make sure she was not getting fat.


Can you fucking imagine? I'd have taken that scale and cracked it over his thick, stupid skull! What an asshole.


So, that's my rant. Just leave the adults to their own devices  - unless of course, they're hurting themselves or someone else. 


Yes. This is what I'm wearing today.


Yes. I'm wearing mascara.


Yes. That's what I want to eat on my baked potato.


Yes. I did not exercise today because I was too busy cleaning the house, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of the dogs, grocery shopping, gardening, dusting and varnishing the wood on our boat. Oh, and I balanced the bank account, paid bills and also did some work for my clients.


Yes. I would rather be struggling by myself and working three jobs than have ANYONE tell me what I can or cannot do. Those are MY decisions to make because I'm a fucking adult and even my PARENTS were never as controlling as you are.


Ugh. I guess I have identified a hot button issue for me!  : )


I do feel better now. 


Here's a simple quiz you can take to see for yourself if your beloved is not treating you with utter respect and love: Take the Quiz.


Thanks!

“There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function. They are like toys on wheels of manipulation and control. If you remove one of the wheels, they'll never be able to feel secure, be whole.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How Wolves Change Rivers

This is the story of what happened when Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Incredibly wonderful.

Four and a half minutes you will never regret:



Stuff I've Recently Learned - the Alaska Edition`

First and foremost? I've learned that earthquakes officially suck. They SUCK suck. Those are some scary-ass mo'fos you people on the West Coast have. WTF?

Yeah. So we had a 6.24 magnitude earthquake here in Alaska yesterday. Its epicenter was 100 miles away and very deep in the Earth's mantle, but still. WTF? That shit is NOT fun. Scared the daylights and the nightlights out of me. I was a mess all day and all night.

Also. I've learned that there are spores that live in the glacial ice. It's not "pure" and it's not necessarily "safe" to eat. Giardia lives in them thar spores and it makes you REALLY sick. I be living proof.

Also, too? The Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean? They are significantly different. One is evil and the other is way more forgiving. I almost died in Prince William Sound about a month after I arrived. Big weather system + ice cold rain + improper gear + lack of food + dangerously low blood sugar + a four mile kayak paddle to safety = An EXTREMELY pissed off and upset person (that would be me).

Oh, it was a scene, man. I won't go into vast detail about the horridness of that kayak trip, but suffice it to say, I will NEVER EVER EVER go on the ocean in a goddamn kayak unless it's 80 degrees, sunny and we are never more than a mile from shore. FOR PETE's SAKE. Oh, it was terrible.

Then I've learned a ton about the geography of Alaska and the vastness of it. That the mountains you see are only a hint of what lies beyond those front ranges...I took these pictures of the Alaska Range (I think) as I was flying home a few weeks ago:
That "river" of ice you see is actually a GIANT glacier! Incredible.



Oooooo! There's a giant Stellers Jay on my back deck right now. (That's not one of the things I've learned - it's just a fact!) I'll try to get a picture of him. They're really pretty birds:
And they're big! Almost the size of a magpie - much bigger than the Blue Jays we had in Michigan and Massachusetts.

Oh, another thing I've learned. Verizon is a terrible phone service in Alaska. When I recently (on Monday) ran the 8.0 update for my iPhone? Well, turns out that it de-activated my phone. And in order to re-activate it, I'd have to go to any of the other 49 states in the United States. Sorry, no can do in Alaska. WTF? It has been days and days of me talking to technical people on my friend's phone and on my husband's phone to try to get my NEW AT&T service activated.

Nope. Nada. Now gonna try a new SIM card. Hopefully THAT will work. Weird to not have phone or text for almost a week! I never in a million years thought I'd say "Thank God for Facebook" - but that's what I've been saying. Especially since yesterday morning when we had that pretty earthquake...

Also, my poor Dad and his wife - their beloved bird, Rusty, died yesterday after a bunch of complications in the last few weeks. Death sucks. Whether is a person, your cat, your dog, your bird. Loss just stinks. THAT I learned quite some time ago. Loss is loss - doesn't matter what it looks like.

The last thing I'll regale you with today is the whole deal about domestic violence. I never really realized that it had touched my life in such a significant way - but it had. Again, no details necessary. After what happened to my 19 year-old  friend, it kind of hit me hard the different forms that domestic violence can take. Whether it's sort of subversive comments, nasty sarcasm, name-calling, belittling, or outright rage and hitting - it's all really bad shit and has no place in a loving, supportive relationship. 

There are more things I've recently learned about - like what it means to be an "ambivert" and that introverted people generally get a bad rap. And I've learned a lot about theoretical physics lately via books and lectures by Michio Kaku (I've got weird hobbies). 

I've also learned that the most important person in your life is YOU. If you don't treat yourself well and with respect, how ya gonna expect anyone else to do it?

Lastly - and this is something I've known for a loooong while - Jon Stewart Rocks! Here's a recent clip that I found via The Huffington Post.

Later, peeps!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monarchs in St. Louis!

Butterflies!

Some of the pretties in my back yard when I lived in Salem, MA.




Butterfly paper that has Forget-me-Not seeds inside!
These were given out at my Grandma and Grandpa's memorial service.
I thought it was just right.

Below is a wonderful little video I just found about Monarch Butterflies! I'm so happy to hear they are still around. In the last several years in Massachusetts we saw a steady decline of Monarchs - last summer we only saw three...Ten years ago, in my back yard which was replete with plantings to attract bees, butterflies and birds (the three Bs apparently!), I'd see hundreds of Monarchs over the summer and especially in fall as they were migrating South. In the pictures above, all the critters were attracted to my gigantic butterfly bushes! They were actually trees - one of them grew to over 20 feet tall and was about 15 feet wide at the top. So beautiful...

CLICK HERE for the wonderful story about Monarchs in St. Louis!

Ciao for now.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

OOOOOOO!

Can I please have one?

Please?


Via Jeff Corwin's Facebook feed! SOOOO cute!