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Out on the Limb

Once Upon a Time

Monday, September 27, 2010

half butterfly is better

Once upon a time, a casual coffee-house acquaintance visited my blog collection and said to me later,
"I don't get it. I don't understand what's with all those blogs... how do they connect?"

Ummm. My answer is, "However you wish them to connect!"

If you are looking for cookie-cutter, go to a mall, or what passes for a street fair these days (aka, outdoor mall).

I believe in non-homogenous diversity, just as Nature teaches.

I see how things are "supposed to be done" according to Marketing skills.
And I resist. So there.
posted by Deb, 4:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

Those Negative Waves

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year, folks!

A woof of sanity in a world gone insane. :)
posted by Deb, 11:32 AM | link | 0 comments |


Friday, October 09, 2009

It took awhile, but it finally occurred to my avatar, Sanddragon, that there is no harm in walking around barefoot in Second Life. Look how my toes are holding onto each other for emotional support because they aren't used to being free! :D

preparing to set sail
posted by Deb, 11:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

My iGoogle Turtle

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I suspected it would come to this. I'm completely enamored with my new iGoggle page. A friend mentioned how addicted he is to personalizing his iGoogle page. I said, "What?... Really? I never had much of an interest in personalizing a page of news, weather, etc." Then he told me about some of the goodies he has on his page.

So now I have an iGoggle turtle that I feed every time I go to iG. When I leave him food, he swings around and heads for the tidbit. Naturally, I always force the poor turtle to make the turn-around. I love the way his head quickly snaps forward to get his snack. I suppose I'll have to name him soon.

Maybe I've finally reached information overload. As did many others, I read and enjoyed Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock" years ago. Most recently, I read "Past Shock" by Jack Barranger and found it intellectually stimulating and... yes, a bit of a shock. I'm still rolling his concepts over in my mind.

What have you been reading lately?
posted by Deb, 7:03 PM | link | 0 comments |

Daily Bread

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning I went to a coffeehouse that I don't normally frequent. I lugged along my new laptop, which I have named Master Po. Go ahead... ask me!

Daily Bread

The coffeehouse, which shall remain unnamed, used to have free wifi service. But no longer.
"What happened?" I asked Joan as she rang a buck 60 on the register.
"People were complaining about the limited number of electrical outlets," she said.
"That reminds me of the time I set out a bowl of jellybeans every morning for my co-workers," I mused.

Not just any jellybeans, either. They were those beans with oh so many addictive flavors begging to be eaten and savored and... Ummm, Where was I? Oh, yeah. One year during a holiday season, I set out a bowl of jellybeans for my co-workers and I just kept going for awhile. Every morning, out would come the treats in a tiny bowl for tiny beans. At first people were polite, and there were no problems. A few weeks into the experiment, I started getting requests for certain flavors; but I just continued putting out the usual mix. After a couple of months, I noticed that the bowl would get raided shortly after I retreated to my cubicle. People were grabbing their favorites (to save for lunchtime maybe) before somebody else got to 'em first! After that, I began skipping days here and there. I didn't skip too many days because I wanted the experiment, and their addiction to the beans, to continue. Working in a cubicle for a decade can do this to a person. I'm not proud of it, but... heh, that's how it was.

On days that I missed, some people who felt special would come and ask me if I had any jellybeans in my desk! In all fairness, I did get some donations once in awhile. The donations usually came from the less greedy and bold. The experiment ended when someone actually raided my desk drawer for the damn things.

So why did the coffeehouse electrical outlet shortage remind me of the jellybean experiment? Because...

...people are always looking at what the person next to them has. If Beanie Boy wants what Billy Bob has, then Beanie Boy will try to find a way to get same; and if he can't there is dissatisfaction which can lead to complaint, deception, or any number of negativities depending on the situation and the degree of Beanie Boy's affliction. It makes no difference if the object of attraction is a free service or item. It's a question of gratitude (or lack thereof). With both the jellybeans and electrical outlets, many people would rather think "Heh, why can't I have that, too" instead of "Oh, it's not available right now? OK, I'll come back later. Thank you for providing it".

We become what we think. Forget what the person next to you has. What do you have? Have you thanked your daily bread today?

And did you name your laptop? (just curious)
posted by Deb, 8:42 PM | link | 3 comments |

You're Fired !

Friday, August 21, 2009

About 3 weeks ago, I got fired and hired in the same week. Actually, the hiring part came first with a local business owner. So far, I absolutely love my new job. It's versatile, and has a lot of potential for creativity and much-needed funds. I get to use my computer skills with the new job with flexible hours and no official office to report in at. Yippee!

But the old job. Oh, boy. That one was easily in the top 5 all-time worst jobs I've ever had. I was a "service provider" for a mother-daughter team who, due to health reasons, needed help with various tasks around their home and with errands. Although I was called a "service provider" by the people who paid me (the County of San Diego), the duo I spent slaving for treated me like a... well, slave. AND I had to wear an apron and listen to Andy Griffith repeats every day! haha

I always seemed to be cutting their vegetables too small or too large... and couldn't seem to hand-squeeze enough juice out of their oranges even tho the inside of the orange had the texture of a basketball when I was done with them. Their list of things to do was not in touch with reality, but I gave it my best shot anyway. Oops!...not good enough. They were big believers in hand-washing. If any article of clothing got washed in a machine (gasp) it most certainly had to be brought back wet to hang dry. They had dust phobias and germ phobias, and my hands were suffering from having to wear latex gloves. They had nothing good to say about their neighbors and lacked gratitude for the extra care I took to provide quality service. No wonder they are sick.

One day, I told the slave-drivers that I was no longer willing to get in the backseat of their over-stuffed car with the unsecured (no strap-down) and unprotected (no safety brackets) oxygen tanks that were bouncing around in a metal basket! The daughter drove like a bat out of hell. You know the type... always late for appointments and aggressively pushing her way through traffic (a weaver bird) at criminal speeds. Anyway, my refusal to continue to risk my life for $9.20 per hour was the end of that misery. :D

Good riddance nastiness! Hello, new job. Thank you, life, for the lessons.

What was the worst job you ever had?
posted by Deb, 3:43 PM | link | 0 comments |

Top Dog

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just yesterday, I posted about the hazards and excesses of hunting (see The K Chromosome) on my Sand Dragon Green blog.

Today, I have been delving into the Darwin Awards for my, albeit warped, sense of humor. I come across a jewel titled "Boner".

Assuming you've read the link about bone-head boner, here are my comments:

#1 - It's a stinkin' bone the dog grabbed as opposed to a fresh kill. That tells me this story is about control and who is master.
#2 - I find myself wondering what this man's family life was like (if he had one).
#3 - Good doggie!
#4 - Good man for confirming, truthfully, the tragic events before he died.

The End
posted by Deb, 6:25 PM | link | 4 comments |

Meet Brutus

Friday, August 29, 2008

Big Puppy One of my sons is visiting from Tucson, Arizona.

He brought his new buddy, Brutus, with him.

Brutus is now eight weeks old.....and growing!
He exhausted himself at the dog beach today, enjoying every minute making friends and dodging waves.
Brutus at Dog Beach
posted by Deb, 4:46 PM | link | 2 comments |

Still Here

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Self Portrait with Friend

So. I haven't posted here since mid-February. It appears I needed a break.

Here's a brief run-down of the last few months.

In March I had a roommate. He was polite and clean, including keeping our shared bathroom in excellent shape. I knew him for two years and did not feel threatened by his presence. His girlfriend, however, was a nut case and I absolutely had no patience for the drama. It's always something... Anyway, he decided to move back to India and so only rented the room one month.

Both in February and in March I applied for two different positions (one volunteer and one paying) at the Medicine Buddha retreat in northern California. No go. Can't even get a volunteer "job"! I also re-explore the ideas of volunteering in Nepal or Belize, but funds are low and I just don't feel I should uproot myself yet again. Thankfully, I get a part-time job at a yoga studio nearby for 15 hours per week. I can still eat.

In April my oldest son had a horrible motorcycle accident. Without divulging all the gory details, the good news is that he recovered remarkably well and is walking again. He had no injuries to his head or internal organs. He was very very fortunate in a number of ways, including the fact that the ambulance was on its way back from the hospital when they got the call, and happened to be very close to the scene. The police treated the scene as a fatality, nevertheless, because they just didn't expect him to live.

In May I began packing my bags. My lease had expired and my part-time job isn't covering living expenses. I also thought my recovering son could use my help. At his invitation, I moved in with two of three sons.

In June I shifted gears and organized my little corner of the apartment.

In July, an application I put in at a local new-age bookstore/gift shop looks hopeful for late August.

Currently, I'm still applying for various retail jobs. Also, I'm devouring books on Shamanism.
So that's where I'm at. Still in limbo, but feeling a bit more hopeful in spite of the current economic, environmental, and political mess we continue to endure.
posted by Deb, 6:33 PM | link | 2 comments |


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quote of the Day:
"The only animals that get old are the ones in captivity."

Spoken by Ray Mendez, one of the characters in the movie, "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control"
I highly recommend watching this movie, especially if you like Zen.

PS - Are you alive?
posted by Deb, 1:51 PM | link | 5 comments |

Perfect Day

Monday, January 07, 2008

Perfect Day
Originally uploaded by sand dragon
I can clearly remember one of the most perfect days of my life.

I was not yet three years old. I was at the beach with my family and friends, and I took a nap holding the hand of a loved one my age.

I remember the warm sun stroking my skin...the sound of the waves, and the gentle salty breeze in my nostrils. I remember the soft sand in my toes and fingers. And, most of all, I remember love. Love of Earth. Love of Friends and Family. Love of Being. Love. Limitless Love.

I now spend my whole life trying to recreate that day.

Think of it. I had fire (sun) wind (breeze) earth (sand) and water (ocean waves)...and love. My life was complete.
posted by Deb, 8:52 PM | link | 3 comments |

Pooh's Tao

Monday, December 31, 2007

Pooh's Tao
Originally uploaded by sand dragon
I've been reading "The Tao of Pooh" which I recently took with me to the coffee shop. My friend, who has a PoohBear-like appearance, exclaimed in his usual jubilant manner, "I have that book, too!"

This friend is an excellent guitar player. He enjoys describing various chords and such to me as he is playing, although he knows I am musically illiterate. I get the feeling he is simply talking out loud without actually trying to teach me to be musical.

After a few minutes of listening to him play and talk gibberish this morning, I asked him: "Since you are so involved and knowledgeable about sound, I wonder what your thoughts are on the old question of whether a falling tree makes a sound in the forest if no-one is there."

Without hesitation, and without looking up from his chubby fingers stroking the guitar, he said "There is no forest."

And so, now I am wondering.... what would Pooh say?
What do you think? And do all my questions make me an owl?
posted by Deb, 1:39 PM | link | 2 comments |

Arches National Park

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Arches National Park
Originally uploaded by sand dragon
Day 16 of the journey

Easter Sunday morning at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah

What a beautiful place! I could spend a lifetime exploring this region. The natural sandstone sculptures really come alive. We spend a couple of hours in the morning hiking and driving through the park.

With the Rockies looming east of us, we drove due south from Moab, Utah, on Hwy 191 to Interstate 40, and then due east stopping for the night in Gallup, New Mexico. We ended up having tasteless fast food as most places in Gallup were closed for Easter Sunday. All-in-all it was a pleasant day.


posted by Deb, 12:57 PM | link | 3 comments |


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Observation #1)
We have a skipper in the neighborhood. I've seen her skip by twice during my morning coffee social hour. She never fails to make people smile as she skips by, and she looks pretty happy herself. I have the strong urge to shout "wait!...wait!......I'll join you" as she breezes past our table. And she is a much more vigorous skipper than the commuters shown in this clip:

Observation #2)
Regarding arson investigations in Orange County, California, I read this:
"Authorities are investigating hundreds of leads, including a report of a white pickup truck seen in the area where the Orange County fire started."
Reading about the "white pickup truck" triggered memories of my southbound California road trip last Spring (on rural roads east of I-5).

I don't want to rain on the parade of fire investigators, but white pickup trucks outnumbered all other types and colors of vehicles by a long-shot. I know, because I became obsessed with counting them and trying to figure out the reason for this against-the-odds fact. White pickups dominate rural California. So, of course someone saw one in an area where a fire started!! Duh!

So what's the reason? Is some kind of white guy redneck statement being made? White reflects heat better than dark colors. Maybe that's it. Or maybe the nearest dealerships have limited inventories. Perhaps many of the trucks are company owned and they all wanted "good guy" white fleets.

I don't know, but they sure are popular. So popular, in fact, that I'm providing you with the template to make your very own white pickup.
posted by Deb, 7:17 PM | link | 1 comments |

IHF - International Humanity Foundation

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I saw an ad in the "Volunteer" section of Craigslist this evening. A non-profit grassroots organization called International Humanity Foundation (IHF) needs help. Lots of organizations need help.

We're inundated with requests on a regular basis...right?

IHF really caught my attention. In particular is the spirit of determination of IHF founder Carol Sasaki. She is such an inspiration! Her story is amazing, but I'm only finding bits and pieces. It would be nice to see a more detailed bio online somewhere. Also, I am impressed with the fact that IHF keeps politics and religion out of policy while simultaneously respecting the various religions of those they serve.

So, I dug deeper and came across this detailed and heartfelt story by volunteer Dan Grays about his trip to Kenya and Indonesia. And I browsed through the photos of the orphans (posted on the main IHF site). One of the reasons I'm taking the time to investigate IHF is that they don't charge people to volunteer, like so many other non-profits I have encountered. [*see note below].

Bonus for me: IHF is based in San Diego. It sounds like they really need our help. Carol Sasaki, the founder, posted this urgent request last July:
The children and communities I have met have become my own family, and I have given everything I can to help them, including selling my homes to raise funds to provide a home and an education for others. I have given many children a place to call home, because I choose to sleep in my car instead. It is worth it, and you would do the same if you personally knew the children and their communities the way I do. But despite my efforts, these children may now still go homeless.
(read her whole letter here)

Please help, if you can.
The IHF ad in Craigslist states volunteers would need to cover the following costs:
- $55 application fee
- US $20 a week for international volunteers.
-Roundtrip Airfare
-Extra meals one might want that aren't provided
-Extra transportation if desired
-Travel Insurance
posted by Deb, 7:49 PM | link | 67 comments |

Salt Lake to Moab

Day 15 of journey, cont'd (it's Saturday, Easter weekend, 4-7-07)

Picnicraven sculpture

After "the incident", we get off Hwy 15 South and head east on Rt 6. Within minutes, we find a riverside park where we stop and slap together some cold cuts on bread. As you can see, it was another blue-sky pleasant Spring day.

We take Rt 6E to Hwy 191S. Somewhere along this route we came across a gas station selling biodiesel! Who would have thought.

We've set our sights on staying the night in Moab, Utah. Little did we know that the televised annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari was in full swing. The town was packed with hundreds of jeeps, and it took us some effort to find a room. The room we got was musty and waaayy over-priced (most expensive dive of my whole trip); and the owner was pleased to tell me he is originally from my neighborhood in San Diego. Scumbag.

It was amusing to me to drive amongst all the Jeepsters with my little biodiesel baby VW! It's nice for people to have fun outdoors, but somehow I don't think this crowd gives a rats ass about "nature". Two issues from my viewpoint: Fuel and Environment

We went to get dinner early while the majority of folks were still playing in the back country. Dinner was excellent at Moab Brewery. The chili was almost the best ever coming in at a close 2nd to a small downtown restaurant in Prescott, Arizona. The cornbread was melt-in-mouth moist and spicy. Yummmm!

Those of us eating on the patio got a good laugh when a jeep zoomed into the parking lot with an elderly women hanging on without seating in the jeep's rear bed. Someone told a mother-in-law joke, and we were all off and running. I laughed 'till I cried, partly as release from the stress of the day, and the beer didn't hurt either.

I looked up a mother-in-law joke for y'all and discovered this:
"I find it interesting that if you rearrange the letters in the word "mother-in-law" you get the words "woman Hitler".

Moab Brewerybest chili

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posted by Deb, 1:55 PM | link | 5 comments |

Oh My God!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

traffic report
Originally uploaded by Briebanofsky
Day 15 cont'd (the journey)

This day turned out to be quite memorable as in "harrowing".

Before I tell the story, let's backtrack a week to a particularly frightening nightmare. Here's what happened in my dream:

I was standing alone. A figure in all black was approaching me and I was gripped with intense fear. "Who are you?", I asked. The figure continued to get closer. "Who are you? Who are you?? WHO ARE YOU???", I demanded. I knew, though, that this was death personified. I was in full panic as the figure in black was so close I could feel a soft deathly exhale on my cheek. Then, suddenly, the figure turned around and began to drift away. It was now all white. I woke up sobbing.

Fast forward to my freeway experience in Salt Lake City. It's the weekend and traffic is moderate. There are five lanes traveling in each direction, and I'm in the middle southbound lane. I had been following a motorcycle for many miles as he and I maintained the same speed. At one point I had the sudden thought that I should not be following that motorcycle. I dismissed my thought as foolishness, but in retrospect it was my instinctive voice trying to give me warning.

A car slipped into the generous space I had provided between the motorcycle and me. I'm one of those drivers....I really really like enough space to brake if necessary; and so I slowed down to 70 to create some space. Most traffic was traveling at 75 or 80 which seems to be the norm now everywhere unless bottlenecks prevent.

Anyway, now there is a car between me and the motorcycle, but not for long. When the car changed lanes, my brain snapped to emergency mode as I realized the motorcycle was stopping. Rough guess is that he was down to 20 MPH when the car blocking my view changed lanes. All I had time to do was brake as hard as I possibly could without losing control. It was not possible to change lanes; and even if I had, the car behind me would have nailed the poor guy.

The motorcycle came to a halt, and I screeched in behind him just a few inches away. Two lanes of traffic on either side are flying by; and as I check my rear view mirror I see that another small car has managed to come to a halt directly behind me. "Good", I thought....."now if we get hit, I have a slightly better chance of surviving."

My hands are tight on the steering wheel and I'm shouting "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" The motorcyclist is fiddling with his bike and miraculously gets it started. (reserve gas tank?...I don't know) We're saved! I head to the next exit and drive to an empty parking lot where I feel I might throw up....no, wait....I'm going to pass out....no, not yet, it's time to cry.

Even before I exited the freeway for my breakdown, I remembered the dream and knew that death had just paid me a visit and decided to let me live another day.
Thank you, Briebanofsky, for making this picture available thru the CC license. I love your "Expression" set. Very nice!

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posted by Deb, 4:23 PM | link | 2 comments |

Pedros Cycling

Pedros Cycling
Originally uploaded by sand dragon
Day 15 of the Journey
Saturday 4-7-07 AM

While having breakfast in Burley, Idaho, I kept admiring the Pedro's cycling van and trailer. Now that I've seen their website, I'm even more impressed with their commitment to a healthy environment. For example, Pedro's sells a bicycle seat bag made from recycled bicycle inner tubes.

Before leaving town, I met a man in the hotel lobby who was taking his newly-arrived stateside military son home. His homecoming would be a surprise to the young man's mother. As it turns out, "home" was in North Carolina! We discussed our planned routes. I was dropping south to avoid winter weather. He was staying north to make better time (he thought). In typical male fashion, he proceeded to tell me I was making a terrible mistake. He was wrong about the weather; but he was right (in a wrong kinda way) that my choice to head south could be hazardous. See next post.

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posted by Deb, 2:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thousand Springs Scenic Drive

Journey cont'd / Day 14 on 4-6-07

aqueductShoshone Falls
After our stop in Boise, we took the Thousand Springs Scenic Drive. Although the canyon was beautiful, it was still disturbing to see pictures of "then" and "now". The springs (below left) are also know as the lost rivers and have a peculiar and unique geology. Twin Falls (below, right) is permanently missing a Twin due to construction of a dam.
SpringsTwin Falls

I took this same scenic route on my return trip in June at the height of farmland irrigation practices. The water was reduced to a mere trickle in June having been diverted to the crops. I didn't even bother to stop and take a picture. It was an obvious reminder of how much beauty we sacrifice to keep our ever-growing population fed.

Idaho did a pretty poor job of posting tourist signs along this route, a perception I confirmed upon my return weeks later. Still, we had fun. Who doesn't love waterfalls?

End of day lands us in Burley, Idaho just off the interstate. The cheaper motels in town looked like crack houses. I imagine there is an attractive section of Burley, but I didn't see it. Even the recommended "best pizza in town" was dull and lifeless.
posted by Deb, 12:29 PM | link | 2 comments |

Eastern Oregon

Look, Ma!Chandler Cabin

Journey continued / cross-country drive in Spring 2007
Day 14, Friday 4-6-07

We're on the road at daybreak to watch the sun play with the mountains.

Today's drive was primarily over scenic country roads, the first of which was Hwy 30 (part of the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway) leading from North Powder to Baker City, Oregon. The two pictures above were taken in Haines, aka "the biggest little town in Oregon" and home of Chandler Cabin built in 1861.

We enjoy a slow drive, partly because we need to pick up a package in Boise, Idaho, and don't want to arrive at the post office too early. By mid-day our errand into downtown Boise is done. Traffic was not a problem in Boise and we still have the entire afternoon ahead of us. I get out the maps and begin planning our next scenic route.

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posted by Deb, 10:41 AM | link | 0 comments |