Apropos of Pluto

January 17, 2006 at 8:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Did you see the US is launching a new probe, New Horizons, to Pluto? Its going to take 10 years to make the 3 billion mile trip. I read it here. And may I add, that is, if they launch on time, nothing goes wrong, and the something about Jupiter slings it forward, otherwise, it could take an additional five years.

I have to say, I am fascinated by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars, Cassini orbiting Saturn, and even Deep Impact. You can find commentary, photos, and links here and here.

So, without mirth, I say, I find it fascinating and frankly am torn between wanting to know what is out there, and saying, let’s fix what we got first.

I didn’t really mean to turn this into a week about cold things, like, Pluto and the Kuiper Belt and Jeff’s heart, it just turned out that way.

Nate is back home and I got my beads today. I was a bit disappointed with the amount of beads I got, having forgotten in the realm of Kelvin, Fahrenheit, and Celsius, how little 5 grams is. Damn metric system!

I’m in a fairly comedic mood, hence my comedic take on the temperature of Pluto yesterday. I applied for a job writing funny greeting cards and I had the first part of the post saved on a WP document and saw it and took off with it.

I’ve realized I have about four versions of my novella floating around with different portions done on different ones so now I must read and decide which version I like better and merge it with the master copy. At least get all of the parts I marked and have written pasted onto the master.

If you would like to be one of my readers, that means, when it’s done I send you a hard copy and then you mark it up and tell me what sucks and what works and what you love, and then you send it back. As Cybele said, some people are looking for a pat on the back but what I really want is a critique. Used the wrong version of “there?” Tell me. Something doesn’t make sense, tell me. One section sucks totally and should be taken out or revamped, I wanna know. The novella is a fantasy/medieval/erotica piece so there is hot, hot sex. So, e-mail me or let me know in the comments you would like to read it. Also, I can send it via RTF if you prefer to receive it electronically.

That’s all for today. Many moons to ya’ll.

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Beam Me Up Scotty

January 16, 2006 at 11:25 pm (Uncategorized)

I was reading this the other day since I really like astronomy and astrology:

Astronomers: Pluto colder than expected

Using the Submillimeter Array, or SMA, a network of radio telescopes located in Hawaii, astronomers found that Pluto’s average surface temperature was about 43 Kelvin (-382 degrees Fahrenheit) instead of the expected 53 Kelvin (-364 degrees Fahrenheit), which is what the temperature of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, is.

Now, I don’t about ya’ll, but to me, it makes not one damn difference if Pluto is 43 K or 53 K… both mean absolute certain death the moment you step out of your little spacecraft. Let’s face it, Antarctica, at a mere -129 F has nothing on Pluto.

So, we just spent, approximately, counting the cost to rotate the radio telescopes, when no other planets or a rogue meteor were in the way, 20 scientists who look like they haven’t seen the light of day for 30 years, under heavy homeland security, and a pastrami on rye sammich, a million dollars to learn Pluto, at a mean distance of 3.67 BILLION MILES FROM THE SUN, A PLANET THAT TAKES 248 EARTH YEARS TO ORBIT, IS COLD. Damn people, next time, ask me, I’ll tell ya for free. Pluto, hell yeah, that bitch is cold! She’s so cold they should name her Hilary!

Now, in comparison, the Earth, our fair planet, just in case you’re an alien and didn’t realize where you’d stopped off, is one AU from the sun, that means we’re special. An AU is an Astronomical Unit which is the mean distance of the sun to the Earth, which is approximately 93 million miles. Now, IF it can be -129 F on the Earth and we’re close enough to get a sunburn, common sense should tell ya, anything a couple of AU BEYOND the Earth is going to start getting a little frigid. Except for that asshole Jupiter, who has some type of internal heating system, similar to dogs, small children, and Trashman, not to mention, noxious, poisonous gases, like dogs, small children, and, well, Trashman.

I admire those who seek knowledge. I admire astronauts and scientists for their dedication to getting us off of this planet should, you know, that big rogue meteor strike one day, and Ben Affleck is too busy making babies with Jennifer Garner, and Bruce Willis is lost in Idaho somewhere and can’t save us by drilling a hole in that big rogue meteor and putting an atom bomb in it and blowing it up and the pieces miraculously missing Earth and not disrupting the atmosphere and all that. But let’s face it, we ain’t goin’ to Pluto, hell, we’ll be lucky if we make it halfway off the mountain.

And I figure I could find a better use for those big radio telescopes than measuring the temperature on Pluto. Hell, if they’re that sophisticated they could at least find one old fucker in a turban named Osama bin Laden. Right?

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From The . . .

January 15, 2006 at 12:04 pm (Uncategorized)

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me and Drunk Dialing Files:

Nate did much better in school last week, aside from lying about an assignment on Friday. This lying sent Jeff into a tailspin and he’s thinking over whether he still wants to be Nate’s dad. He feels as though he’s put so much time and effort into Nate that he should be seeing a better reward. Welcome to life. I’m not proud of Nate nor do I uphold the fact that he lied. However, I guess Jeff also doesn’t see the progress that Nate has made nor does he understand that childhood and learning is a process not a destination.

“Rewards” with Nate are hard to come by. He’s a “one step forward, two steps back,” kinda kid. I don’t know what will happen on Wednesday when Nate goes back to school. I’m not sure what Jeff is going to do or not do. I told him I didn’t think him dropping out of Nate’s life and “giving up” on him is the thing to do. Then again, what do I know? I’ve gone through this with Nate since he was born. Certainly is tough to come into it after so many years and not be able to see the progress that Nate has made.

Jeff talked about everything he’s done for Nate – going to the school, meetings, etc., etc., and how Nate is disrespecting and not grateful for the things that he has done. Welcome to parenthood. Should Nate be grateful? I believe he should be. But Jeff should also realize, this is all a part of being a parent, and the gratefulness normally comes later. He expected Nate to make this miraculous turn around, immediately, and when it didn’t happen, he’s pissed he put so much time and effort into it and is not reaping a “reward.” So, there ya go.

In happier news, my long lost friend Joe, drunk-dialed me last night. My caller ID says it was 2:20 when he rang me up. I know it was about 4:30 when we got off the phone. I know I gave him the URL to my blog, but I’m not all entirely sure he was lucid enough to write it down properly. He said he was a little unsure about calling me since he wasn’t sure who would answer the phone or who I would be in bed with. Awwwww … ha!

Also since we haven’t spoken in five years, was worried I would be pissed that I hadn’t heard from him sooner. Phooey! I was thrilled to hear from him. It also meant that I didn’t have to hear the accusatory sound of his mother’s voice when I called to ask for HIS number, which I’ve contemplated doing numerous times. Hahahahaha! We got a big laugh out of that.

We also decided that we would start dating and not contact one another again until May so as not to screw up in the first five months of the relationship. Hahahahhahhaha!!! That’s a joke, okay? I guess you just have to know us.

Joe is one of the best poets I’ve ever read. He has a style all his own and while it makes you laugh, it makes you laugh either out loud or you laugh until you get the real just of it and then you’re uncomfortable with his no-holds-barred view on people, society, and pretentiousness, especially when you see yourself in it. Truly, he can write me under the table. I’m not sure he can drink me under the table but he certainly can write me under one.

Joe, if you read this, thanks for calling. I missed you.

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Hodgly Podgly

January 13, 2006 at 2:04 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m uninspired today. I am bowing to my audience in an attempt not to bore the hell out of you today. I doubt I’ll succeed.

I’m sending Chrysalis in to the magazine of choice after just a few more tweaks. I may also enter it into the WV Writers competition. The same with Sermonus Interruptus. Do you remember that one? The one about me interrupting the sermon at my grandparent’s church? Problem is, the rules say I can’t submit anything that has been published on website that has more than a 1,000 viewers annually. Does that count if I re-write it? I suppose I should try and take out some of the cuss words, but I thought of entering it in the comic section.

If you haven’t read it, I’m sorry. I took it down because back then I didn’t have the readership I do now. Not that I believe in any way that 1,000 people read that piece of fine literature, nor did 1,000 people read Chrysalis, nor do 1,000 individual people read this blog. Puh-leeze. Not even over a year.

I haven’t heard from AZ in like, forever. Forever being the week before Christmas. Why haven’t I called him? Cuz I’m a wuss. I’m afraid I pissed him off and I don’t want to deal with it. Its better to ignore the fact we were speaking more than once a week and then suddenly, oh well, we’re not talking. *Shrug* It’ll come back around.

Applied for another job today. Whoo. Hoo.

No kittens, just one bulging, bulbous cat.

Nate enjoyed his first ‘real’ karate lesson yesterday. He actually called Jeff this morning to tell him what a great day and week he was having instead of the normal, “I’m in so much trouble.” Nice of the bitc… I mean, ummmm, teacher to let him do that.

Why do people in extremely large, long vehicles park in the corner spot in the parking garage? Do they not realize that any vehicle coming around the blind corner has to then swing wide into the oncoming lane? What the fuck! I hate that. I hate it and I hate them. Who the fuck, even in WV, needs a truck the size of Sherman fucking tank? And why are they so fucking rude as to literally put everyone else in danger as they back their monstrosity into a parking space leaving a foot of space between their precious fucking bumper and the wall, which makes their over-large, sorry your dick is small, super king cab, stick three feet out further than any other vehicle?

I don’t care if they do it in the middle but why on the end? Why where everyone, ANYONE, who comes into the garage is put in the position of being met head-on by another stupid fucking person in an SUV that will never see any off-road action? Total and utter bullshit. It should hurt to be stupid.

I’m done bitching. Happy now?

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Waxing and Questioning

January 12, 2006 at 10:47 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been re-writing my blog missive “Chrysalis” for submission. I expanded it and waxed poetic a bit more.

I trust the Goddess to guide me toward the right path. I find when I try to control everything it ends up going to shit eventually. While I don’t expect the Goddess to provide for my every whim and desire, I expect if I’m helping myself then I’ll receive some divine direction. Yet, sometimes, you just have to give it over and find some peace instead of banging your head against the wall.

The Goddess directed me yesterday to Bobby Bead. Bobby Bead sells Aiko beads. I know this doesn’t mean much to most of you, but to me, its like . . . bead orgasm. Aikos are the newest in bead technology, made specifically by the highly precise Japanese for bead weaving. Even Delicas, the obscenely expensive beads I use now, are said not to have the fine quality of the Aikos. They claim the Aikos are sooo precise, you have 100% bead retention, meaning, you don’t have to toss any Aikos because a bead is a bit lopsided, shorter, or taller than the other beads.

The colors I ordered were: Sapphire transparent, dark ruby transparent, and light amethyst transparent for a new amulet bag I’m making in this pattern. I also purchased dark hyacinth transparent (which is a color similar to tangerine), dark garnet transparent, and hyacinth transparent, which will also be used with the dark ruby transparent and some blues I have to make another Russian sunflower. Although they say the Aikos and Delicas are not interchangeable, that’s okay since you can use two different size beads with the Russian leaves.

Last night, Nate and I slogged through 166 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to complete it. That little man is sharp, lemme tell ya. I quiz him as we go along and then quiz him again with details, big and little. Such as:

1. Who tells Harry he’s a wizard?
2. What does Dumbledore use to put out the street lights?
3. Who is the only person who can control Peeves?
4. Name the Gryffindor Ghost.
5. How do the first years get to Hogwarts from the train station?
6. What does Hagrid buy Harry for his birthday?
7. Which student does Harry meet in Diagon Alley?
8. What’s the name of the pub that leads to Diagon Alley?
9. Who helps Harry get to Platform 9 3/4?
10. What is the name of Neville’s toad?
11. What does Neville’s grandmother send him?
12. What type of broom does Harry have?
13. How many players on a Quidditch team?
14. Name the teachers for the following subjects: Transfiguration, History of Magic, Charms, Herbology, Potions, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.
15. What type of dragon does Hagrid have?
16. What is its name?
17. What is the name of the Gryffindor Quidditch team captain?
18. Name the three centaurs Harry meets in the Forbidden Forest.
19. What is the first challenge to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone?
20. The second?
21. The third?
22. The fourth?
23. The fifth?
24. The sixth?
25. The seventh?
26. How do you read the inscription around the Mirror of Erised?
27. What happens if you drink unicorn blood?
28. What did Hagrid feed his dragon after it was born?
29. Where does Harry discover the information they were looking for about Nicolas Flamel?
30. Who gave Harry the invisibility cloak?
31. What does Hagrid use as a wand?
32. What flavor of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean did Dumbledore eat while visiting Harry in the hospital wing?
33. Where or from who does Harry purchase his school books?
34. His robes?
35. His wand?
36. What book does Hermione loan him before his first Quidditch match?
37. What is the name of the Hogwart’s Librarian?
38. Who teaches them to fly on broomsticks?
39. Who commentates the Quidditch matches?
40. Name the positions on a Quidditch team.

Now, ya’ll have fun with that!

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Waxing and Questioning

January 12, 2006 at 10:47 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been re-writing my blog missive “Chrysalis” for submission. I expanded it and waxed poetic a bit more.

I trust the Goddess to guide me toward the right path. I find when I try to control everything it ends up going to shit eventually. While I don’t expect the Goddess to provide for my every whim and desire, I expect if I’m helping myself then I’ll receive some divine direction. Yet, sometimes, you just have to give it over and find some peace instead of banging your head against the wall.

The Goddess directed me yesterday to Bobby Bead. Bobby Bead sells Aiko beads. I know this doesn’t mean much to most of you, but to me, its like . . . bead orgasm. Aikos are the newest in bead technology, made specifically by the highly precise Japanese for bead weaving. Even Delicas, the obscenely expensive beads I use now, are said not to have the fine quality of the Aikos. They claim the Aikos are sooo precise, you have 100% bead retention, meaning, you don’t have to toss any Aikos because a bead is a bit lopsided, shorter, or taller than the other beads.

The colors I ordered were: Sapphire transparent, dark ruby transparent, and light amethyst transparent for a new amulet bag I’m making in this pattern. I also purchased dark hyacinth transparent (which is a color similar to tangerine), dark garnet transparent, and hyacinth transparent, which will also be used with the dark ruby transparent and some blues I have to make another Russian sunflower. Although they say the Aikos and Delicas are not interchangeable, that’s okay since you can use two different size beads with the Russian leaves.

Last night, Nate and I slogged through 166 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to complete it. That little man is sharp, lemme tell ya. I quiz him as we go along and then quiz him again with details, big and little. Such as:

1. Who tells Harry he’s a wizard?
2. What does Dumbledore use to put out the street lights?
3. Who is the only person who can control Peeves?
4. Name the Gryffindor Ghost.
5. How do the first years get to Hogwarts from the train station?
6. What does Hagrid buy Harry for his birthday?
7. Which student does Harry meet in Diagon Alley?
8. What’s the name of the pub that leads to Diagon Alley?
9. Who helps Harry get to Platform 9 3/4?
10. What is the name of Neville’s toad?
11. What does Neville’s grandmother send him?
12. What type of broom does Harry have?
13. How many players on a Quidditch team?
14. Name the teachers for the following subjects: Transfiguration, History of Magic, Charms, Herbology, Potions, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.
15. What type of dragon does Hagrid have?
16. What is its name?
17. What is the name of the Gryffindor Quidditch team captain?
18. Name the three centaurs Harry meets in the Forbidden Forest.
19. What is the first challenge to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone?
20. The second?
21. The third?
22. The fourth?
23. The fifth?
24. The sixth?
25. The seventh?
26. How do you read the inscription around the Mirror of Erised?
27. What happens if you drink unicorn blood?
28. What did Hagrid feed his dragon after it was born?
29. Where does Harry discover the information they were looking for about Nicolas Flamel?
30. Who gave Harry the invisibility cloak?
31. What does Hagrid use as a wand?
32. What flavor of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean did Dumbledore eat while visiting Harry in the hospital wing?
33. Where or from who does Harry purchase his school books?
34. His robes?
35. His wand?
36. What book does Hermione loan him before his first Quidditch match?
37. What is the name of the Hogwart’s Librarian?
38. Who teaches them to fly on broomsticks?
39. Who commentates the Quidditch matches?
40. Name the positions on a Quidditch team.

Now, ya’ll have fun with that!

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Gi’s and Hawks

January 11, 2006 at 10:50 am (Uncategorized)

The Nate Dawg started karate yesterday. He is very enthusiastic and the gentleman who owns the dojo he’s going to has worked with kids like Nate for almost 40 years. I’ve been acquainted with Master Jarrett since I was in Junior High. His son made the National Karate Team and represented the US in the Pan American Games. Nate looks so cute in his gi. And, like I said, he’s VERY ENTHUSIASTIC!

I’m sure you can just imagine.

No kittens yet. Yeah.

Oddly enough, as Nate and I were going to his first class yesterday, we had a similar experience to Jack, except the red-tail hawk we saw was not injured. The hawk was sitting on the curb in front of my neighbor’s house. I saw another one a few weeks ago close to Jeff’s house. It has flown across the road and landed under a tree. Jeff said he has seen four of them circling the area. The train tracks are actually a good location to catch mice so perhaps that’s why they’ve taken to the neighborhood.

Nate was thrilled to see a bird of prey up close and personal in the wild (if you consider a small city street “the wild.”) It flew to the top of the electrical pole and regarded us with a sour look, that is, if hawks can look sour.

Still looking for another job. Send some good vibrations my way!

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Confessions of Nanner

January 10, 2006 at 9:45 am (Uncategorized)

I hate waking up early. Hate it. But, I hate getting up late, because then I feel as though I’ve wasted the day. In this regard, I can’t win.

I love morning time. I hate getting out of bed, but I love mornings. The world is quiet, the cats are purring, and there’s something special about watching the sun rise over the mountains, and smelling fresh air, especially in Spring or Fall.

I can be anal retentive, especially about my beading, my writing, and my space. Not that my space has to be neat or clean, but that it’s mine, mine, mine, all mine, don’t touch. As for my beading, remember that pretty Russian sunflower. I took it apart last night after putting a center on it and everything. That’s right, cut it apart. Because Nanner is so fastidious (anal), I could take it apart and not compromise the integrity of the leaves, except for the one that was pissing me off.

I like symmetry and balance. There was one leaf that curled too far to one side. It wouldn’t let me straighten it out because the beads were too tight. As much as you guys saw a pretty brooch, I saw that one fucking leaf. I would never be satisfied if I didn’t fix it. I feel so much better now that I took it apart and started re-doing the leaf. I’m also glad I did this because I also didn’t like how the back looked. Back schmack, right? Wrong.

My host mother does uber awesome cross stitch. What do you think the back of her pieces look like? Well, a lot better than mine ever did. Backs matter. There were just too many strings, and the wire from the center was poking through, it just looked, messy. Everything in my life is messy, except my beading. Not gonna start now. This time, I will sew everything together, get the center put on and then put a back on it to cover everything up. That’s a better idea. I’m full of ‘em, just ask me.

I’m going to be a grandmeow again. That bitch Lola, remember Lola? The black cat I gave away that came home? Well, she clawed all of the covering away from around the air conditioner and squeezed out of the opening. Now she’s too preggo to squeeze anything but a couple of kittens out. *Sigh*

Adding insult to injury, Ireland got out this morning and promptly made off with the neighbor’s tom cat who looked like he had just won the lottery. Its sad when your cats get laid more often than you do. These two are the last to get fixed so I’m hopeful to put the money back while they’re both gestating and suckling to have them fixed. And we were doing so good with keeping them in the house. I’m so disappointed. No, I couldn’t chase her, I was in a towel. How did she get out? I was holding the door open so Preggo Lola could lumber into the house. It’s a conspiracy.

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A Pictoral

January 8, 2006 at 11:09 am (Uncategorized)


Watch band close-up. You can see I hadn’t cut the strings off.


Watch band.


My new russian leaves. A half finished russian sunflower. Had to change from 12 petals to 8.


A lapel pin of shamrocks. I stuck one four leaf shamrock in there.


Nate doing his Statue of Liberty impersonation.


Yours truly.

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Tallmansville . . . What Happened?

January 5, 2006 at 9:40 pm (Uncategorized)

There are many unanswered questions about what actually happened in Tallmansville; why there was an explosion, why it took the rescue teams so long, why many things happened. Allow me to shed some light on the subject.

The coal mine in Tallmansville appeared to be a slope mine, meaning, it sloped downward instead of running horizontally against the hillside. A shaft mine, like the one featured in “October Sky,” means you have to use an elevator to access it. Regardless of whether the mine runs horizontal or slopes, you’re still underground, period.

The miners were at least 260 feet underground, that we do know. We know they were found about two miles from the mine entrance, literally at the face of the mine. The “face” being the end of where work is progressing. Seems simple, right? You walk or take a cart to the face of the mine and work. Should be easy to find them, right? No. Not really.

The work at Tallmansville was being done in a “room and pillar” method. Coal is extracted and “pillars” are left to support the mine roof. I know, you’re thinking of Parthenon pillars, tall, slender, graceful things. No. “Mine pillars” can be, I’m guessing at best with the information I have, anywhere from 50 to 300 feet across in a “room” anywhere from 500 to 3000 feet squared. (I, of course, have no confirmed dimensions). From my best recollection, there were maybe five to seven “rooms” in the Tallmansville mine. This will lead to a better understanding of the large area the rescuers had to cover. After all, they did not know if they had made it to the face of the mine. They could have been anywhere on the other side of where the other miners escaped from.

As for the explosion, I have a decent theory for that. See, next door to the Tallmansville main mine, was a sealed mine. What happens in the “room and pillar” method is that when they reach the end of the property line or whatever, they do what is called “retreat mining.” They mine as much as they can of the pillars until the roof falls and then the mine is sealed. Regardless, deadly gases are still released into that sealed area. There is no ventilation like in an operating mine. The next operative is ground water. Mines are continuously pumped for that reason. It was the failure of a breached mine on the other side which caused the Quecreek problem.

The folks who monitor thunderstorms and such stated that there were three lightning strikes within five miles of the mine that morning. One of those strikes was anywhere from four to 10 times stronger than average about 1 and a half miles from the mine. How could that happen? Groundwater. Muddy, dirty water will carry a stronger current than fresh water. Mud is sometimes calf deep in the mines, as evidenced by the fact the robot got stuck. All it took to explode the poisonous, flammable gas in the sealed portion of the mine was one spark. Its possible and the best theory I think anyone has at this point. Plus, the mine had been closed for the holidays. Its my understanding the fire boss went into the operating portion of the mine first and tested it and cleared it. (He was the first one killed by the blast from the sealed portion.)

The miners, I believe, although unconfirmed, died of carbon monoxide poisoning (as evidenced in part by their notes to loved ones that they were “just going to sleep” and didn’t suffer.) How did Randall survive? Perhaps because he was younger and less affected by the CO2 for a period of time. Perhaps it was lung capacity, as he didn’t have the length of time in the mines, and lung damage, that the others possibly did. (Black lung leads to an inefficient exchange of CO and O in the lungs). Perhaps when the levels of CO2 rose to dangerous levels he was the only one with oxygen still in his mask. Perhaps the Higher Power simply smiled upon him.

I know this. Randall McCloy is one tough guy or he had an angel on his shoulder, or both. We’re praying for you and your family and the families of your co-workers. Blessed be.

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