Sunday, April 30, 2006

Private: Appreciating Life

My dad said something I liked: Never ask "Why did this happen to me?". Ask instead, "Why did this happen for me?" teachergirl.jpg If my last relationship had not ended in just the way it did, I would not now be volunteering, taking classes, getting out to see live music, and so on. Fun weekend! I hung out with sweet friends who cooked me dinner. After a sad good bye they drove off into the sunset and I went to get some new shoes & sheets... then saw the movie "RV" with Robin Williams (I wasn't impressed). Sunday night I went to the Loaves & Fishes benefit at the Fox and Goose in Sacramento. There I ran into some old friends and made some new ones. I got to catch up with Anton Barbeau about his adventures in the UK and I ran into Solomon McCrea. Solomon has been getting into Chess so I had him play the chess game on my cell phone and he won easily. We agreed to play a real game sometime, but I'll need a lot more practice to be able to challenge him. The music of Deluxe was some of my favorite that night. I felt really lucky to meet and chat with Katrina Skalland of Deluxe. ( What a voice! ) Dave Middleton, who played guitar for one show with Xenophilia at the Raddison, is in Deluxe now. I didn't know this so it was a fun surprise when I realized who he was. The benefit was a success and raised over $400. Pics:

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bike Auction Action

Well, I was up early and I looked carefully at all 400 bikes but the event was a bust for me. I was not able to get a working bike for $40. All of the ones what would have worked for me went for $60 and up.? I'll try Craigslist.
bikeauction2.jpg bikeauction1.jpg

Friday, April 28, 2006

Texas Hold’em for Beginners

Someone recently taught me how to play Texas Hold'em and I really enjoyed it. So, this Friday night I got some friends together and had a blast. If you are a beginner like me, you can look the rules up on the net.


Google Rolls Out Free 3D Modeling Software

"Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects ? even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp (free) is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you." - google

I made a house (outside only) in about 5 minutes. Pretty easy to use, but one thing didn't seem to work.

Male Pill: Effects Reversible

"The trials have shown that it is possible to reduce the male sperm count to ?infertile? levels by using hormone treatments, either in the form of pills, implants, or both. Two trials are in progress, one in China and one in Europe, to prove that the technology works and is safe. But the new study, published in The Lancet, aimed to show that the effects were reversible." - times

Big step in spinal cord and nerve injury repair

Sad that Christopher Reeve died before seeing this: Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal cord repair.
Jeannette E Davies ... Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, 1709 Dryden Street, Suite 750, Houston, Texas 77030, USA . Journal of Biology 2006, 5:7 doi:10.1186/jbiol35


Transplantation of embryonic stem or neural progenitor cells is an attractive strategy for repair of the injured central nervous system. Transplantation of these cells alone to acute spinal cord injuries has not, however, resulted in robust axon regeneration beyond the sites of injury. This may be due to progenitors differentiating to cell types that support axon growth poorly and/or their inability to modify the inhibitory environment of adult central nervous system (CNS) injuries. We reasoned therefore that pre-differentiation of embryonic neural precursors to astrocytes, which are thought to support axon growth in the injured immature CNS, would be more beneficial for CNS repair.


Transplantation of astrocytes derived from embryonic glial-restricted precursors (GRPs) promoted robust axon growth and restoration of locomotor function after acute transection injuries of the adult rat spinal cord. Transplantation of GRP-derived astrocytes (GDAs) into dorsal column injuries promoted growth of over 60% of ascending dorsal column axons into the centers of the lesions, with 66% of these axons extending beyond the injury sites. Grid-walk analysis of GDA-transplanted rats with rubrospinal tract injuries revealed significant improvements in locomotor function. GDA transplantation also induced a striking realignment of injured tissue, suppressed initial scarring and rescued axotomized CNS neurons with cut axons from atrophy. In sharp contrast, undifferentiated GRPs failed to suppress scar formation or support axon growth and locomotor recovery.


Pre-differentiation of glial precursors into GDAs before transplantation into spinal cord injuries leads to significantly improved outcomes over precursor cell transplantation, providing both a novel strategy and a highly effective new cell type for repairing CNS injuries.

Why Ethanol is not the Answer.

Interesting. Ethanol Fuel from Corn Faulted as ?Unsustainable Subsidized Food Burning?

Mysterious Boom Traced to Ocean

"A group of local scientists has uncovered some clues to the source of a mysterious disturbance that rattled San Diego County on the morning of April 4, shaking windows, doors and bookcases from the coast to the mountains. The scientists, based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, say the disturbance was caused by a sound wave that started over the ocean and petered out over the Imperial County desert. Using data from more than two dozen seismometers, they traced its likely origin to a spot roughly 120 miles off the San Diego coast. That spot is in the general vicinity of Warning Area 291, a huge swath of ocean used for military training exercises. The Navy operates a live-fire range on San Clemente Island, which is within Warning Area 291 and sits about 65 miles from Mission Bay.

The researchers also have charted dozens of similar, if less dramatic, incidents that seem to have originated in the same general area of the ocean. They aren't sure what caused any of them. Peter Shearer, a Scripps professor involved in the research, has no idea whether the April 4 disturbance was natural or made by humans.

?I would guess it's either an explosion that somebody hasn't told us about or it could have been a meteor coming into the atmosphere,? he said. ?But it was certainly a big disturbance in the atmosphere.? - sandi

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Private: Letting Go.

What a week. Here are some links about getting over someone when you have a breakup: link, link, link, link, link. The free 87 page EFTmanual.pdf from Gary Craig a Stanford Scientist seems interesting. This engineer's physician approved Emotional Freedom Techniques work with astonishing speed and provide lasting results according to claims.

Iran Gets First North Korean-Made Missiles

Why can't we all just get along? Reason: Fear. Fear makes people cruel and selfish. I've experienced this on a personal level and it works the same way for countries. We can, however, hope that sanity prevails.
"Iran has received its first batch of North Korean-made surface-to-surface missiles that put European countries within firing range, Israel's military intelligence chief said in an interview published Thursday. The BM-25 missiles have a range of 1,550 miles and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the Haaretz daily reported. ... Those missiles spurred Israel to develop its Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missile system, which is can intercept the Iranian missiles. Israeli concerns have been heightened in recent months by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls to wipe Israel "off the map." - yahoo

Man Sees Ghost, Police Witness Poltergeist Activity in Pub.

getedimage.aspx.jpeA TERRIFIED landlord is calling in a priest to exorcise his Yorkshire pub after he confronted a ghostly apparition causing mayhem to his premises. Roger Froggatt, of the Low Valley Arms, was left severely shocked after seeing the ghostly figure of a woman dressed all in white when he went to what he thought was a break-in at his Barnsley pub around at 1.30am yesterday.
But it was when he went to check the toilets that he got the shock of his life. In front of him stood the grotesquely disfigured apparition of an elderly woman dressed all in ghostly white.
When she turned to look at him he saw half her face was missing, from her cheekbone down to her jaw. He and his wife Kathryn were so terrified they called the police who also witnessed spooky goings-on. Three plasma television screens had switched themselves on. A heat-seeking alarm had also been activated and the manually-operated toilets were flushing themselves ? which police last night confirmed they too had seen ? yet there was nobody in the pub or any sign of a break-in. Regulars say the ghost may be that of a former barmaid who died some years ago at the Station Road pub in Darfield. The frightened couple are now planning to call in a priest to carry out an exorcism to rid the pub of the evil spirit.

... "When I went into the ladies I couldn't believe what I saw. There was a figure of what I believe was a woman with no face and silvery grey hair, dressed in a white gown. "I stood there for about four or five seconds then fled in terror. I ran out of there, I was that shaken. I couldn't speak. I couldn't even speak to the police when they arrived soon afterwards after my wife called them. "She took two officers into the toilets and they saw them just flushing by themselves, all the time. They are not automatic and you have to pull the handle down. There was nobody there. "I can't remember much about it after that. I was shaking. I have never seen anything like it before and don't want to again. It was the ugliest thing I have ever seen." ... A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Officers attended and made a search of the property. On entering the toilet area the pedestal toilets in the cubicles began to flush themselves. We are still investigating." - yorkshire

Send in a plummer. I don't believe in ghosts so I'd like to see one. It would change my world view if I was certain it was not a trick.

Quantum Computers: Photon Transistors

This is a few years old, but exciting. How far are we from a whole new kind of computer operating at the speed of light... and beyond?
Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a "switch" involving the manipulation of a photon that may lead to the creation of an optical transistor and usher in a new era of more powerful computers. ... "By using a switch to manipulate photons, optical transistors can be created which could pave the way to a new generation of quantum computers and solve problems that traditional computers would have difficulty with," Resch says, including database searches and the ability to crack codes on the Internet. "This switch might serve as the fundamental basis needed to turn quantum computing into a reality," Steinberg adds. - sciday

Senate Panel Recommends Abolishing FEMA

NYET80604270225_sp.jpegHurricane Katrina's latest fatality should be FEMA, the nation's disaster response agency, a Senate inquiry concluded in calling for a government overhaul to avoid future failures like those the devastating storm exposed.Eighty-six recommendations by the bipartisan panel indicate the United States is still woefully unprepared for a storm of Katrina's scope with the start of the hurricane season little more than a month away.

The recommendations conclude that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is crippled beyond repair by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding. They call for a new agency the National Preparedness and Response Authority to plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters.

Although the proposed changes do not place blame on any official or government agency, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., will offer "additional views" to the panel's findings in a statement accusing President Bush of failing "to provide critical leadership when it was most needed." - abcnews

Would that include abolishing the Shadow Government component of FEMA? Secret underground bases and such?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

U.S. Seeks to keep evidence from 9/11 families

If 9/11 was an inside job, a fake out done to get popular support for an oil war, then there would still be a cover up. This judge is supporting the victims families: "Judge Leonie Brinkema granted 9/11 families access to documents used in the Zacarias Moussaoui case."
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema's April 7 order requires prosecutors to provide copies of all unclassified aviation security documents to attorneys representing September 11 families in a civil lawsuit pending in New York. Prosecutors called the order "unprecedented" and urged Brinkema to withdraw it. The motion was filed by Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Brinkema's order would allow the families' attorneys access to "highly sensitive" law enforcement documents and could compromise the continuing investigation into the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The inquiry is "the largest criminal investigation in our nation's history, which is still ongoing," the motion says. "This order will likely provoke negative consequences for numerous criminal cases in the future," prosecutors said. Rosenberg requested a May 19 hearing.

The order would require the government to begin turning over copies of documents two weeks after a verdict is returned in Moussaoui's trial. - cnn

Cool. Is it "highly sensitive" because it shows connections to the real, as yet unrevealed conspirators? For you people who thought the 9/11 Commission Report was the complete story, here is your answer. This is an admission that the whole story is still hidden, the investigation is ongoing. I thought they had it all figured out. Why drag it out for years? Because some conspirators remain cleverly hidden inside our own Govt.?

Private: Day 3, No Car Week. The Xeno Story Continues

I've been walking or taking the bus this week. Giving up old habits for new healthy ones. Falling asleep to meditation tapes. Running for an hour every other morning... finding ways I can volunteer in the community, and so on. The idea is to be honestly happy and comfortable without a girlfriend for the first time in my life.

rocksta.jpgI had my first therapy session today regarding my recent break up and it was decided that I qualify for some regular sessions based on my goals regarding healthier love relationships.
Since the breakthough confrontation with my father a few days ago, I've been taking care of basics. Simple things, like, I bought a clothes hamper. Also: 1) Get a calendar for just my social events. Fill it up and keep busy. Be brave and ask friends out. 2) Change auto insurance coverage. Now that I'm walking, I can just keep liability. This drops my payments from $100/mo to $28/mo! 3) Signed up for a Self-Hypnosis class at the Experimental College taught by a clinical hypnotherapist. Only $35 for two long sessions. 4) Wed. April 26: Go to Farmer's market, danced to music with a friend. 5) Thurs. Aprl 27. Music at the Delta of Venus Coffee Ship. 6) Fri. April 28: Texas Hold'em at my place. Bought playing cards and chips and invited some friends. Still need green casino type tablecloth. 7) Sat. April 29: Plan to attend the Police Auction 8 AM to get a bike, 8) Sunday April, 30: Day: Signed up for a Sierra Club Singles hike. 9) Sunday April, 30: Night: Loaves and Fishes benefit at the Fox and Goose in Sacramento.

My life feels like an adventure again. I'm excited about possibilities, back in the game. "Start from where you are. Do what you can." Walking around, I've started meeting people, talking to people and making new friends. I'm no longer afraid of the coming gas shortage. Some change is difficult, but for the better. With no car, I feel more sane, more connected. I also have sore legs and feet. :-)

Free software

Use at your own risk. Some may be useful:?

Spanish Government Considers Ape Rights Bill

"The socialist PSOE party is apparently intent on introducing a bill aimed at giving apes the same rights as man, "and the immediate inclusion of these animals as people." As a result, the bill adds that apes "should have the same moral and legal protection that humans currently enjoy."

Fernando Sebastian, the bishop of Tudela has termed the measure as "making oneself looking ridiculous in the name of progress, and then what about the rights of the fighting bulls?" Meanwhile, other political commentators have stated that as a result of these measures, it will not be long before apes names will start appearing on the electoral rolls." -thinks


Wisconsin Fighting Mandatory Microchip Implants

Mandatory cyborg-ization and secret microchipping alert.

A proposal moving through the state Legislature would prohibit anyone from requiring people to have the tiny chips embedded in them or doing so without their knowledge. [emphasis added] Violators would face fines of up to $10,000.... it's scary. It's reality now," said Michael Schoenfield, an aide to Schneider. "Companies can or will be ordering their employees to have chips implanted. We want to stop that before it begins."

VeriChip Corp. of Delray Beach, Fla., is the only company with federal approval to implant such chips in people. The company so far has implanted 2,500 people worldwide with chips the size of a grain of rice under the skin of their upper arms, said spokesman John O. Procter. - ap


God kills 5 Mexican children in prayer?

I'd be curious to see how different religious leaders explain this. Sad, but I see it as just a random event which happened because randomness is part of the universe.

"MEXICO CITY - lightning.jpgFive Mexican children were killed when a large metal cross they were praying at was struck by lightning in central Mexico, local media reported Monday.

Five children between 9 and 16 years old died and several others suffered burns when lightning struck a white-painted metal cross set on a hill in the town of Santa Maria del Rio early on Sunday, according to two newspaper reports.

?The lightning went straight into them and killed them instantly,? local Red Cross chief Eduardo Suarez told the daily El Norte." - msnbc

Warriors of the future will ‘taste’ battlefield

vert.tongue.sight.1.ap.jpgBy routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.

Researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition envision their work giving Army Rangers 360-degree unobstructed vision at night and allowing Navy SEALs to sense sonar in their heads while maintaining normal vision underwater -- turning sci-fi into reality.

The device, known as "Brain Port," was pioneered more than 30 years ago by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist. Bach-y-Rita began routing images from a camera through electrodes taped to people's backs and later discovered the tongue was a superior transmitter.

A narrow strip of red plastic connects the Brain Port to the tongue where 144 microelectrodes transmit information through nerve fibers to the brain. ... In testing, blind people found doorways, noticed people walking in front of them and caught balls. Michael Zinszer... director of Florida State University's Underwater Crime Scene Investigation School ... likened the feeling on his tongue to Pop Rocks candies.

"You are feeling the outline of this image," he said. "I was in the pool, they were directing me to a very small object and I was able to locate everything very easily." - CNN

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Sunday, April 30: LOAVES&FISHES benefit @ Fox&Goose

Hi People,
Fearing eachother makes us a cruel and self-centered species. Cure: We should all get out of our bubbles of self-interest and do something to help others. If you are in the Sacramento area, stop by the Fox & Goose pub this Sunday for some music. Donations will benefit local homeless persons. I'll be there. I'm not playing this time, just going to lend a hand and to see Anton Barbeau at 7:30 PM. Also, to volunteer to help Sacramento homeless, call (916) 446-0874.
- Xeno.
April, 30 2006 at LOAVES&FISHES benefit @ Fox&Goose
1001 R Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Cost: $5 minimum donation

HUGGGGGE benefit for Loaves & Fishes...
doors at 5pm, music starts at 5:30. All ages until
9:30 and 21+ afterwards

5:30p The Stragglers
6:10p The Ni Project
6:50p Naked Nathan
7:30p Anton Barbeau
8:15p Prairiedog
9:05p Be Brave Bold Robot
9:45p Pets
10:35p Flounder
5:15p Ian McGlone & the Cap City Ramblers
5:50p Out of Place
6:30p Adam Varona
7:10p Throckmorton
7:50p Smooot Valley High
8:40p Deluxe
9:25p Dustin Aaron
10:10p the inversions
11:00p The Proles

I really dig Deluxe as well from their myspace tune. More links added later.

New Whitehouse Press Secretary: Fox News Anchor. Not Joking.

whliar.jpgFox News anchor Tony Snow is expected to be named as the new White House press secretary, to replace outgoing Scott McClellan as the U.S. president's chief spokesman, Fox News reported Tuesday. An announcement is expected on Wednesday morning.The White House approached Snow several weeks ago, and newly appointed White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten asked Snow to make a decision by early this week, CNN reported.

Snow was President George W. Bush's first choice for the job, and he had been mulling the offer for the last several days, as he needed the all-clear from his doctors before he takes the job, theFox News report quoted sources as saying.

Snow, who was recovering from colon cancer, joined Fox News in 1996.

Read: The many falsehoods of Tony Snow. Also: Tony Snow: Idiot or Liar?

Yeah, don't believe that colon cancer stuff. Snow is a shape shifting Reptilian Alien and his disguise was malfunctioning. But seriously ... how much more blantant can the connection between Faux News lies and Whitehouse propaganda get!? I still haven't seen Outfoxed, but I think I'll rent it.

Fired CIA officer says she’s not story source

The CIA officer fired for unauthorized contacts with the media denies being a source cialeak.jpefor the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning story on secret CIA detention centers."She did not leak any classified information, and she did not have access to the information apparently attributed to her by some government officials," Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, who is representing veteran CIA analyst Mary McCarthy, said Monday. - more

Interesting. If true it means there is a real leaker still inside the CIA, seemingly at a very high level. This person seems to be someone who wants to expose the evil of secret US prisons. So, someone in the CIA, it seems, is quietly working against VP Cheney and the other advocates of torture to make our methods more humane? I like that idea.

Romania Legalizes Witchcraft

31-year-old Gabriela Chukur will stay in history as the country's first legal witch, after witches1.jpgshe registered a company dealing with "astrology and contacts with the spiritual world", media reported. Chukur spent quite a lot of time arguing with various officials until she convinced them that witchcraft was a sound area of work. At first everyone laughed at her, but they finally caved in. Now Chukur charges her clients peek into their future, to help them get in touch with the spirits of loved ones, or to unravel what's in the stars. " - noinv

Witchcraft is quite popular in Romania as many local people believe in the occult, especially in rural areas where legends of Transilvania's count Dracula are still taken quite seriously. All over Eastern Europe women tend to believe in the powers of witches and some often resort to their help when settling a love score, healing a broken heart, or punishing a rival.

Sure. Why not? Other nutty religions are already legal. Besides, magic is fun.

Scientists Debunk Astrology

One of the largest studies of the possible link between human traits and astrology found little, if any, connection between the traditional sun signs of the zodiac and characteristics of individuals.astrology_goto.jpg The study adds to the growing body of evidence that there is no scientific basis for star signs, such as Aries, Taurus and so on. These signs are based on the place of the sun in relation to the date of birth of the subject. The researchers, however, leave open the question as to whether other, more detailed and personal forms of astrology hold any validity.

"When considering the current scientific standing with respect to sun signs, it becomes clear that there is little or no truth in sun signs," said Peter Hartmann, who led the study, which will be published in next month's Personality and Individual Differences journal." - discovery

Astrology is like a Reces Peanut butter Cup. Hey, you got Astronomy in my Psychology! Hey! You got Psychology in my Astronomy... Yum. It is still fun even if it is unconnected to objective reality. I've always thought of it as a religion and a way for people to talk about their personalities with eachother. Nothing wrong with that.

Mysterious Booms Across the US

Something [mysterious] happened in San Diego County shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 4, and so far no one has come forward with an explanation. Whatever it was, it caused a woman's bed to shake in Lakeside. It created waves in a backyard pool in Carmel Valley. It set off car alarms in Kearny Mesa and rattled windows from Mission Beach to Poway to Vista. At various spots throughout the county, people reported a rumbling sound or a booming noise. Scientists insist it wasn't an earthquake. The Federal Aviation Administration has no record of any planes producing a sonic boom by breaking the sound barrier. Camp Pendleton officials say no activities on the Marine base could have created such a disturbance. There were no large explosions in San Diego County that day, and no meteor fireballs were reported in the sky that morning. ... A Mission Beach resident compared the sensation to ?somewhere in between an explosion and an earthquake." - MORE

Secret tunneling to build underground factilities? Secret underground weapons tests? These are happening all over: San Diego CA, Somerset County in Maine, Mobile Alabama. Also Wilmington, N.C., on Dec. 20, 2005; Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 5, 2005; Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 1, 2003; and Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 13, 2003.

Find the Cheapest Gas

Here are some links to local gas prices as of today: Sacramento ($2.87-$3.19), Davis ($2.93-$3.16), Woodland ($2.87-$2.99), Dixon ($2.92-$3.03). Cheapest gas along my path is currently the Arco ampm, 2200 El Camino & Howe, Sacramento at $2.87. Prices are always changing. People check and update the site regularly. I think all gas stations should be required by law to advertise their prices on line and keep them up to date. You can also search by zip code on If my tank holds 16 gallons, one tank at $2.93 will cost me $46.88. So, my current quest is to find the best bicycle I can get for $46.88. (Happiness tip: always have a worthy and interesting quest. )

No Car Week, Day 2: Ride the Bus

ridethebus.jpgSo, I'm up early today. Yesterday I walked to work and back home in bad shoes and got blisters. Spent $10 on new socks, much less than I'd spend on a tank of gas.

I've learned that my parking permit doubles as a free bus pass, so today was my first day on local mass transit. I can walk to work in 52 minutes and it takes 20 minutes on the bus.

What is the best bike I can get for the price of one tank of gas? I looked at bicycles yesterday and was shocked by the prices. Anything I wanted was $300-$600. There is however, a Police Bike Auction coming up April 29th, this Saturday. From 8 to 9 AM you can check them out, then the auction starts at 9 AM. They have over 400 bikes. Mostly they look abandoned and are fixer uppers. Some need air, some other work. The average bid is $20-30. There are usually two of these per year. Call: (530) 752-BIKE. Cool. There are a few $50 bikes on Craigslist bike section.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Private: Our Parents and Our Partners

R writing on the topic of Love Addiction says:
"It sounds like you have transferred the search for love from parents to partners, meaning that perhaps you unconsciously blamed your parents' divorce on yourself and felt (feel?) unworthy of their love, therefore you are seeking to fill the need for parental love. You will never achieve this with a partner - you must find it with your parents. Try to mend any broken relationships with them, and share your repressed feelings of hurt and anger over the divorce with them or a qualified professional, before you seek a life partner. This is the best way to forgive yourself, forgive your parents, and find self-acceptance, which is crucial in building a loving relationship with another person. Good luck!"

Sounds like good advice to me. ... Okay, so I just did it. Took the first step anyway. Tonight, after many many years of silence, I confronted my own father about his leaving. Me, Mister Logical Politeness, had to yell at him at one point and tell him to shut up and listen, but it worked. divorce.jpgHe stopped talking. He listened! Then I cussed him out good and cried. He was patient and honest. He explained the details and it rang true. The answer to my life's puzzle seems to be that some personalities just aren't compatible. That was the case with my parents. So, now I'm sort of angry at both of them for being stupid enough to make me before they were certain they loved eachother. This is why I've never married. The real reason. Even though I've been deeply in love, I have this fantasy of a perfect match that is required to ensure that I don't repeat my parent's mistake. But perfection is a myth, so I'm alone. Still, tonight my father said he loves me. And that's pretty cool. And ... there you have it. I hope this blog therapy helps some of you random readers. Go confront your parents if you never have. Confront yourself. The world will be a better place. - 4/24/06 8:45 PM, Me.

Speaking Words of (Toltec) Wisdom

A helpful reader writes about love addiction:
"For a very long while I was in this horrible cycle of jumping from one 'crush' to the next trying to find something to fill a hole in my life and in my soul. I realized that 1) I didn't love myself, 2) THAT is what I was missing, and 3) I had no idea how to go about fixing that problem. So I started taking a meditation class through the (Local University's ) Experimrntal College and to put it simply it has changed things (slowly) wonderfully. And then I started reading some books, not schloppy self-help but books about old spirituality (Toltec wisdom). Okay, so I feel like I sound a bit crazy :) But I'm really truly not, just very happy that I've finally begun to realize that I am worthy of love and hapiness- on so many levels! And it's f#cking cool! So I'm working on it.

To you I would say: actively start telling yourself that you are perfect just as you are. Everyone has things they'd changed about themselves, but even if you did change you'd still be no more or less perfect- just different. And you won't believe yourself, you've just got to keep saying it- and soon it won't seem like such a con, it will become true to you. Because EVERYONE is worthy of love, from Stalin to Gahndi- everyone (including you)

I feel where you are at, and it can change."

Pyramid in Bosnia may be one-third taller than Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza

sar10404191354.hmedium.jpgBosnia-Herzegovina - Researchers in Bosnia on Wednesday unearthed the first solid evidence that an ancient pyramid lies hidden beneath a massive hill ? a series of geometrically cut stone slabs that could form part of the structure's sloping surface.

Archaeologists and other experts began digging into the sides of the mysterious hill near the central Bosnian town of Visoko last week. On Wednesday, the digging revealed large stone blocks on one side that the leader of the team believes are the outer layer of the pyramid.

"These are the first uncovered walls of the pyramid," said Semir Osmanagic, a Bosnian archaeologist who studied the pyramids of Latin America for 15 years. - msnbc

Man dies after falling into large hole that opens under his house.

Many odd things about this story.
"It was like a scene from a horror film: A 27-year-old man plummeted into a gaping hole that suddenly opened beneath a house, trapping him beneath foundation rubble and killing him. Authorities say the home, built in the 1980s, may have been sitting atop a decades-old underground mine. Recent rains could have softened the ground under the home, in an isolated area near Lake Alta. ... Authorities returned to the home Sunday to try and remove the man's body, though geologists were still testing the house's soundness. The man's identity hadn't been positively established." - canoe

Sounds like a cover story from a real life scene from Hellboy. Here's a follow up.

Authorities identified the victim as 32-year-old Jason Chellew, a schoolteacher whose wife was pregnant. Chellew was relaxing in his living room about 9:30 p.m. Friday when he heard creaking noises, sprang up and began to move across the room just as the floor opened beneath him, authorities said.

His wife was in bed and was uninjured, said Rick Armstrong, a retired Placer County sheriff's captain who said he has known the Chellew family for decades.

This area in the Sierra Nevada foothills was heavily mined for gold in the late 1800s. A mine collapse is one likely cause of the strange episode, officials said. A team of 100 people was investigating the site Sunday, including numerous geologists.

Chellew had no pulse when rescuers reached him Friday night. ... A second sinkhole opened up about 50 feet away from the house, authorities said. ... Douglas Ferrier, president of the Golden Drift Historical Society, which exists to preserve the region's mining history, said the area was part of the historic Nary Red Mine ... a web of 16 different gold mining claims that operated from the 1860s to the 1940s... No maps exist ... "It would not surprise me at all that there are shafts and tunnels that do not show evidence on the surface but that may be there underneath the ground," Ferrier said. ... "There may be absolutely no surface evidence that it's there, and it could be five feet below the surface." - AP

Private: Mind: Dealing with Loss.

Working is difficult today. I'm learning some things that can help people grieving over the loss of a best friend:

> Expect a range of emotional responses - this is normal.
> Forgive yourself for what you did or didn?t do.
> Be available to talk to others who share in your grief - it can be beneficial to all involved.
> Cry when you feel like crying and scream when you feel like screaming.
> Seek help from friends or professionals - you don?t have to go through it alone.


A Week of No Car

I'm giving a lot of things up lately. New this week: My car. Today is the first day I walked to work. It took longer than I expected, 52 minutes door to door. Perhaps there is a shorter route. I breathed a lot of noxious fumes and I have a headache now from that. Next I'll take the bus. Then find a cheap bike. It was fun walking past the $3/gal gas signs. Walking for a few hours per day is also pretty good exercise.

Scientists break the bone code

LONDON: The genetic trigger for "stone man syndrome", a rare but devastating condition that turns muscle into bone to imprison its victims in a second skeleton, has been identified. 160_ap_FOP_diseas060423.jpgThe discovery of a single gene that causes fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP, offers hope of an effective therapy for the disorder, which begins in childhood and has no cure. ... FOP is one of the rarest diseases, affecting about one in two million individuals." - theaus

Photo: A CAT scan shows the back of an unnamed 12-year-old patient of Dr. Frederick Kaplan, showing bone formation typical of rare FOP disease.

Wow, that's a horrible disease. Be glad every day for the health you have. Understanding the genetics may help science to grow new bone and prevent osteoporosis (bone loss). We are really starting to crack our own genetic code. Amazing possibilities around the corner!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A horse with no horse

I'm not really a horse guy. I've ridden a few times, but never felt comfortable on one. The driftwood horses of Heather J remind me of Salvador Dali. Great art.


And now for something completely different..

I'm thinking about getting a bike again and riding the bus more to save gas. Here's a happy guy with a big moustache who seems to think out of the box with his double unicycle invention.


Private: Getting Involved, Getting Help.

Involvement: Girlfriends have always filled up my time. I like it that way. I love to be in a good relationship. After my difficulty with my latest break up a few days ago, however, I realize I still need to get over my past loves. Dating too soon is a common mistake. I've made it over and over. So, here are some new ways to spend my time for a while: My current favorite group is the Union of Concerned Scientists. I've belonged to Amnesty International as well for many years. I've always loved nature so the Sierra Club sounds interesting. Here are some hikes in April. Here's one I'll probably try:

Young Adult Day Hike (1A). Pine Hill Preserve (map). A Pine Hill Preserve ( docent will take us on an easy and informative hike through this scenic 3,900 acre preserve in western El Dorado Co., which is home to numerous rare and endangered plants. Bring lunch, water, hiking boots and $$ for optional drinks after the hike. Rain cancels. For ages 18-about-40. Limit of 25. Meet 8:30 a.m. in Folsom. Contact leader no later than April 27th for reservation & meeting info. Leader: Jeff Utberg, 916.515.0967 or

Therapy: Therapists are expensive (although a reader pointed out that you can usually see moonpa_203.jpgsomeone cheaply if you have health insurance?) ... I should try a love life coach. Here are some therapists in nearby cities: Sacramento, Davis, Woodland. Which one is best for me? The write ups help. I picked a few and left a few messages. I am going to see someone. I'm true to my word. I did quit sugar after eating it for decades, after all. I don't mind hard work for healthy results. I'd bet on me any day, but one sweet gambler folded a winning hand. - Mr. 75 cent, moon screensaver, Hay!, Pull it. Pop it. Love it. Leave it.

Private: Diamonds, Topaz and Plastic


Hair cut, cleaning, going through old papers all day. I found a $200 reciept for a topaz necklace I purchased for D a woman I'd hoped to marry. She loved diamonds. I felt bad getting her the topaz because I think she wanted a diamond instead, but the color reminded me of her awesome blue eyes. She also thought it was much cheaper than it actually was. My lastest love liked only cheap (but stylish) plastic jewelry. I learned from "H" that some horrible slavery goes on in Africa so rich people elsewhere in the world can have diamonds. Here is an anti-diamond web site. Interesting. A diamond made from scratch may be better.

Confidence Building: 1 hr of Running.

What makes you feel the best about yourself? At one point I trained for a marathon. I got up to 20 miles, running for hours and hours. This morning I felt some of that physical memory return as I jogged for an hour out to a local paintball club. Pics:

Private: Realizations of Love Addiction Withdrawl and Self Rejection

Warning: Contains psychological nudity.

Break up, Day 4: My body must actually be physically addicted to the woman I've dated for the last three months. The torment I feel is indescribable. It's like emotional torture. Is this normal? It can't be healthy.

One minute I'm fine. Then I think of something I want tell her, or of how I'd love to kiss the back of her neck again, I think of her cute reactions to things, all the things she says and does, things I'd like to do for her, how much I miss her ... and the horribleness grabs me and I weep with a deep wretched sadness, my body screams, longing for her with every cell.

I'm sure this sounds absurd, but this is my experience.

I'm embarrassed to say it, but this is actually my experience every time a love relationship ends where I'm not the one to do the breaking up. ( If I'm the one who breaks it off, I usually feel sort of free and hopeful. ) So what is my problem?

Following it logically and honestly, I think that despite my outward confidence, despite my achievements and good friends, I feel deeply unworthy of true love. Being in love, I see things from her point of view. If she rejects me, then I reject me too.


That's it! That's my problem. Self rejection. That is why I'm taking this so hard. I believe in her more than in myself right now.

My confidence is shot. To be honest it has probably been sinking for a few years. I stopped writing and performing, stopped making music; I've stopped feeling right with myself. Each time when love doesn't work out, I add the event to my collection of evidence that I'm no perhaps just no good.

And I know why. Yes, I do. It all goes back to my father leaving when I was 6 years old. I thought it was my fault somehow, that I'd caused my mother to suffer this amazing loneliness. I watched her sadness, I felt it too. Day after day she'd weep. And I felt guilty. And I still do.

So, in my life, I've turned to love for validation of my worth. When I have the love in my life, I feel great! During a relationship I believe in myself, I let myself feel joy. But depending on someone else for validation makes your relationships a roller coaster, especially if the woman you love is clinically depressed to the point of needing mood altering drugs. Any time she is unhappy, I'd feel unworthy again. I'd beat myself up and do almost anything to appease her, even against my own best self interests. I have stayed in relationships, for this reason, that were not the best for my own hopes, dreams and goals.

What to do now? Get my confidence back and enjoy the rest of my life, but I'm not sure where to start. And I keep coming back to how much I miss her.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Man Survives 12 Nails to the Head

mannailed.jpgA 33-year-old Oregon man on methamphetamine and suffering from mental health problems fired 12 nails from a nail gun into his head and survived. The man, who has not been identified by medical officials for privacy reasons, went to an Oregon hospital last year complaining of a headache.

Doctors were surprised when they took X-rays and found the nails - six clustered between his right eye and ear, two below his right ear and four on the left side of his head. No one before is known to have survived having intentionally fired so many foreign objects into the head, according to the current issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery, where the case is detailed.

The nails were not visible when doctors initially examined the man in the emergency room of a hospital, a day after he'd fired the nail gun. When doctors saw the X-ray results, they transferred him to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for intensive neurological care. He became short-tempered and hostile when OHSU staff asked him how the injury occurred, according to the study. Psychological examinations showed he had "poor judgment and insight."

The man at first told doctors he had had a "nail gun accident." It wasn't until later that the patient admitted he'd used meth and the injury was a suicide attempt. The patient was in remarkably good condition when he got to OHSU, according to the study. While even one nail to the head can be fatal, these nails came close to major blood vessels and the brain stem but did not pierce either.

The nails still posed a threat to the patient's health and doctors decided to operate quickly. Because of the number of nails, doctors decided to fully sedate him rather than keep him partially awake, which is done in some surgeries to monitor neurological responses.Surgeons were able to remove the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill because the nail heads did not penetrate the skull.

The patient was later transferred to psychiatric care. He stayed there nearly a month until a court-ordered hospital stay expired. Then the patient left, against medical advice, the study said."

Thanks to my friend McCreazed for sending this! Sometimes you need to see how bad other people's lives are to appreciate your own.

PicNic Day, 2006

Lots of nifty environmental booths, food, dancers, music, tons of people, the battle of the bands, and so on. Nice distraction from life. Click to enlarge.