Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday February 23rd ~ 2011

I moved to Albuquerque last June, evidently after the worst of the allergy season had passed by. Well, 3 or 4 days ago the winds started to pick up here and I started sneezing and my eyes started watering. Not thinking that the two occurrences could be connected, I thought that I was getting a cold. I asked my health care providing girlfriend what I should take for these symptoms to avoid getting all out sick. She promptly informed me that I was having an allergic reaction to all of the pollens that were being stirred up due to the winds and to not expect it to end till mid May. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked by this pronouncement. I have never been allergic to anything and now I am on Zyrtec and I hate pills.

Sombrero Galaxy
So why the picture of a distant galaxy? I am gonna tell you.

First off, let it be known to all that, sneezing and sniffing is hard and takes it out of you. After 20 plus hours of these draining activities, I was really  tired and worn out by this newly addressed affliction. I was tucked in bed with some tea and watching a NOVA series on space. The experts were talking about all of the different Galaxies and Dark Matter and Dark Energy and how our Galaxy is part of a bigger Galaxy in a sea of Galaxies.

I was so tired and my mind so fluid that these theories started to creep into my mind and the notion of infinity started to take shape. These theories were so immense, I got totally freaked out by the concept of infinity and I was starting to grasp the enormity of this infinity and I could actually start to see it. I had to turn off the program because I was starting to feel very insignificant. I realized that we individuals are less than a grain of sand on the beach of the universe and I really did not like that feeling too much.

We live on this planet that is floating in a sea of infinity, there is no end, it just keeps going. Yet, to us, this world is so amazing and huge and intricate that we can easily become overwhelmed by the sizes of it's problems. I believe that there is nothing that we can't over come, nothing that we can't solve and nothing that we can't dare. I believe that if we can see into the heavens, look back through time to the beginnings of our universe, I am sure that we can tackle the issues that we are presented with and solve them. If there are those on this planet that can grasp something as huge as "out there" surely there are some of us that can grasp "right here" and work to solve what confronts us.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday February 18th ~ 2011

Arizona is headed off the deep end and Jan Brewer is the sadistic wolf that is leading the sheep off of the cliff to their doom. She actually has NO right what so ever to sound off on these issues. I am truly sick and tired of the extremist right activities that this governor thinks she is entitled.

1. AZ SB 1070:  She signed a law that systematically tried to force the police to profile anyone that  may "look" like and illegal and ask them for documentation as to their right to be in AZ.

2. AZ Health Care Cost Containment System:  She has denied transplant patients life saving medical procedures, several lives have been lost to her callus and irresponsible stand.

3. She is promoting a bill in AZ to calls into question laws that have been on the books in our country since the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

Here is what the 14th. Amendment actually says

14th Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I lived in Tucson for a few years and was pleased to find that bastion of liberal blue in the sea overwhelming restrictive red. The people of AZ have to stand up and end this systemic dismantling of the rights that this country has fought and died for.

What I am glad to see that is that the democratic tsunami that is sweeping through middle east is igniting a fire under the ass of the people that let the Republicans gain control of the House in Congress & elect a number of Republican Governors whose only allegiance is to the top 2% wealth of this nation.

Wisconsin was to see a 121 billion dollar surplus in its budget, then the newly elected governor Walker set in place a  number of tax cuts to the wealthiest of the wealthy and NOW the state is in line for a 151 billion dollar deficit. He is now trying to lay that cost on who???? Oh yeah.. the middle class, and is trying limit the collective bargaining rights of union workers of those middle class workers.

Over the past few days, these people are standing up and telling the Republicans of Wisconsin that this is not an option. I am so proud of the Democratic representatives standing along side of the middle class and actually leaving to state to stop this steamrolling legislation from being voted on.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some unions out there that have way to much power and can send me screaming down the street , but I will defend the rights of these unions to represent it's workers that gave a voice to those who spent generations having none.

Voices are not to be silenced and the Democratic liberal voice has to become organized or else we will be forced to live in a nation where is it commonplace for our rights to be dismantled and our voices to be silenced by those who only answer to the wealthy of our nation. Believe me when I say that the Koch family does not care about American Family Values, they only care about their billions.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday February 11 ~ 2011

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Here is to those who flourish against all opposition. My heart soars for Egypt and all of those that chose to follow the teachings of Gandhi & Martin Luther King in knowing that non-violent opposition to oppression would give them the freedoms that they so desire.

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. DO not let the hero in your soul perish in the lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exhausts… it is real… it is possible… it's yours." ~ Ayn Rand ~

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday February 10 ~ 2011

My week in Tucson, exhibiting at the Best Bead Show and teaching, was a great time, once we got there! Terri & I left Albuquerque at 10:10am on Tuesday morning right as the blizzard conditions were just hitting their stride. As we drove south towards Hatch, NM the storm only got worse and at times we were traveling through near whiteout conditions. The conditions cleared as we approached Truth of Consequences, NM and to say that I was grateful to finally set the cruse control and relax my death grip on the steering wheel.

Setup went smooth and we hooked up with friends for our favorite Shrimp Culichi. Wednesday was our 14 hour day and it was so freaking cold that the outdoors exhibitors and those in the tents had to close up early. In the years that I lived in Tucson, I had never experienced temperatures that cold.

The rest of the show days got continually warmer and those customers that had gotten trapped in the countrywide storm trickled into town and added to the fun. It is always so great to see friends that I only get to see just once a year for these few days and the show atmosphere adds to the enthusiasm.

Terri & I got to spend this past Monday exploring the To Bead True Blue, Pueblo and Riverview Inn shows before we started out trek home.

As always, it is wonderful to get home, snuggle with my grey fuzzy and sleep in our own bed. Spent this past Tuesday, being a totally sloth, resting from the previous week and trying to get a list together of all of the things that I needed to get accomplished before Friday

All during these few days home I have been totally absorbed in the demonstrations in Egypt. The news has been on almost non-stop since I got back to New Mexico.  I am amazed by the courage and determination of these Egyptians and the desire to fight for the freedoms that they have been denied for the last 3 decades. I am impressed that the people are demonstrating peacefully, policing the square themselves.

This evening’s announcement by Mubarak only continues to demonstrate the amazing amount of self-delusion that this man lives by. For some reason he just continues to believe that these protests will just fade away and everything will return to business as usual. He continues to try the same old propaganda, to try to blame exterior forces for causing this disruption and blaming the cable news media for inciting the hysteria.

I too, take off my shoe in disgust for this regime and yes… he must go!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wednesday February 2nd ~ 2011

 The Rules of Being Human

You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for as long as you live.  How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life.

You will learn lessons.  You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called Life.  Each day, you will be presented with opportunities to learn what you need to know.  The lessons presented are often completely different from those you think you need.

There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial, error and experimentation.  You can learn as much from failure as you can from success. Maybe more.

A lesson is repeated until it is learned. 
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  When you have learned it (as evidenced by a change in your attitude and ultimately your behavior) then you can go on to the next lesson.

Learning lessons does not end.
  There is no stage of life that does not contain some lessons.  As long as you live there will be something more to learn.

“There” is no better than “here”.
  When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply discover another “there” that will again look better than your “here.” Don’t be fooled by believing that the unattainable is better than what you have.

Others are merely mirrors of you.
  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.  When tempted to criticize others, ask yourself why you feel so strongly.

What you make of your life is up to you.
  You have all the tools and resources you need.  What you create with those tools and resources is up to you.  Remember that through desire, goal setting and unflagging effort you can have anything you want. Persistence is the key to success.

The answers lie inside of you. 
The solutions to all of life’s problems lie within your grasp.  All you need to do is ask, look, listen and trust yourself.

Tuesday February 1st ~ 2011

Well, here is February 1st and I am out the door for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. I am exhibiting at the Best Bead Show at the Kino Sports Complex. If you are in town.. stop by booth G-510 in the main gym.

I had one of the worst days at my bench that I have ever had today. No matter what I touched I ruined it. I have about 10 pieces that I wanted to assemble and after I totally screwed up the first 3 I decided that I needed to listen to that screaming voice in my head to "STOP" and "LET IT GO!" I have not had one of these days in a very long time and it was rather disappointing to know that I had hit the proverbial stone wall.

So I just went on with the other mundane tasks that I had on my plate for the day and got all of those accomplished in my very retentive manner and only had one minor melt-down when I could not find my jewelry pricing tags that were right in front of my face the entire time.

I am fascinated by all of the events that are unfolding in Egypt and the Middle East this last week. It is incredible what role the Internet, Social Media and Cell Phone Technology have played in the social uprising against "President" Hosni Mubarak and against Tunisia's leader. (Now, I use the word "President" loosely, Mubarak is a dictator who heads one of the worlds most corrupt and brutal Police Forces in the world.)

His regime has been in place for 30 years and even though their have been "elections" all who follow the goings on in the Middle East know that there is none of the freedoms that we hold so dearly. Over 40% of this nation lives on about $2.00 a day and these people work for pay so they can feed their family that evening.

I think that it is amazing that is was the youth of this nation that have risen up and for the most part have participated in peaceful demonstrations for the ouster of this dictator. Egypt is a very peace loving nation and there is no chance of any Islamic power struggle in this country.

I will continue to follow this action with great interest and it is my fervent hope that the protests are peaceful and that these people gain the freedoms and services that they so desperately desire.