An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

nature's devastating wake up call

Please go read the always profound Billmon's latest post, When the Levee Breaks found over at The Whiskey Bar.

Then please go read The Guardian's very chilling report, Republicans accused of witch-hunt against climate change scientists.

Link via The Huffington Post.

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:55 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

peace takes courage

watch here

But you see, it's not me, it's not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying...

They are someone's loved ones, dying for someone's lies.

via MoxieGrrrl

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:19 PM :: 0 Comments:

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somebody quick: raise the terror alert!

Oh that most dangerous menace to society, Hugo Chavez has done it again.

I'd be happy to know that Pat Robertson is squirming in shame right now... except I know darn good and well that he hasn't got any. Barring that, maybe it's about time he opened up the coffers and coughs up a little aid to his brothers and sisters in Louisiana and Mississippi who are in dire need right now, so as not to be outdone by one he evidently holds in such low regard; oh, and then seeing how he's a man of God and all... and at the moment losing the battle of charity and good works when compared to his apparent nemesis who appears to know a good deal more about such Christian ideals as loving your neighbor (and even your enemies).

Link via this great post at Echidne of the Snakes.

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find your place in the world: this was great!

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Your personality type is SLUAI
You are moderately social, moody, unstructured, accommodating, and intellectual, and may prefer a city which matches those traits.

The largest representation of your personality type can be found in the these U.S. cities: New Orleans, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Greensboro, Memphis, Providence, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Portland/Salem, St. Louis and these international countries/regions Puerto Rico, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Turkey, Ireland, Ukraine, England, South Africa, Greece, Wales, Brazil, Switzerland, South Korea

What Places In The World Match Your Personality?
Powered by

via Rob at The Dirty Liberal.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:17 PM :: 2 Comments:

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the world's shortest personality test

You are dreamy, peaceful, and young at heart. Optimistic and caring, you tend to see the best in people. You tend to be always smiling - and making others smile.

You are shy and intelligent... and a very hard worker. You're also funny, but many people don't see your funny side. Your subtle dry humor leaves your close friends in stitches.

The World's Shortest Personality Test

via Crooks and Liars

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astronaut-photographer Leroy Chiao's top ten photos

Top Ten Views from an Astronaut-Photographer and lots of other cool things can be found at one of my favourite online spots,

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cash donations urgently needed for hurricane victims

Report here.

FEMA listed the following agencies as needing cash to assist hurricane victims:

American Red Cross, 800-HELP NOW (435-7669) English, 800-257-7575 Spanish.

Operation Blessing, 800-436-6348.

America's Second Harvest, 800-344-8070.

Adventist Community Services, 800-381-7171.

Catholic Charities, USA, 703-549-1390.

Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554.

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-848-5818.

Church World Service, 800-297-1516.

Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998.

Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522.

Mennonite Disaster Service, 717-859-2210.

Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283.

Salvation Army, 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).

Southern Baptist Convention - Disaster Relief, 800-462-8657, ext. 6440.

United Methodist Committee on Relief. 800-554-8583.

I was able to make a quick and easy online donation to the 2005 Hurricane Relief by accessing this page via The American Red Cross Online.

The other charities listed may have sites online as well.

More coverage here.


I have also just made a donation to The American Humane Association Disaster Relief Fund; any of my fellow animal lovers who would like to contribute can do so by accessing this page.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:49 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Monday, August 29, 2005

katrina hits the south

Nariel at Ancient Eyes for Current Times has some chilling images of the flooding caused by Katrina here.

My thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in the south who are affected by this devastation.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:36 PM :: 3 Comments:

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something is in the air today

Just found this brilliant essay at Salon's Daou Report via Mimus Pauly's post at A Mockingbird's Medley.

Bush plays to the basest instincts of this crowd, but he and his handlers know it’s not enough. If the left values moral strength over material strength and the right values material strength over moral strength, the common ground between the two, and the place where Bush would find his widest base of support, is a case where material strength is put to use for a moral cause. Bush et al want desperately to prove that Iraq satisfies both conditions. That’s why the Sheehan-Bush battle revolves around the words “noble cause.”

Faced with the disintegration of the original rationale for war, Bush and his supporters are scrambling to find the elusive moral ground to undergird America’s presence in Iraq. But when you’re on the record invading a country because it was a grave threat and the threat never materializes, you’re left with little but a means-ends argument to justify it. In the eyes of the war’s opponents, Bush and his apologists are mired in an ethical swamp trying to justify the mess they created. Judging from recent polls, what they’ve come up with so far is inadequate:

Read the whole thing here.

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wake me up when september ends (part 2)

One lovely September morning, the United States of America woke up, like any other normal day for at least a generation, went about its collective business... and then watched our little illusion of collective omnipotence and safety shatter into a million pieces.

And we told ourselves, and we told each other that we would never ever be the same again. And that was as true as it could be, and that was partly a reason to mourn deeply and maybe also, that was partly an opportunity to grow up into something better.

In our collective shock, we spent the next few hours, the next several days, pretty much on auto-pilot. We had the entire world sending their collective love and support to our aid. And we, as Americans, displayed the very best parts of ourselves. Working collectively to clear the rubble, honour our innocent dead and comfort those who paid the highest cost as well as comfort each other and ourselves, we sent a message loud and clear, that we might be down but we would never be out. We would never just give up, roll over and die. But more than that we were determined to carry on with our lives.

Not in exactly the same way, of course. Because once a tragedy of such depth awakens a sleeping giant-sized collective conscience, it cannot be easily forgotten and it is impossible to feel completely invulnerable ever again. And so for a good long while, complacency and apathy was replaced by something else. The one gift that it gave us all was the gift of wakefulness; a be here now quality that allowed us, for a little while at least, to appreciate the precious and fleeting moments of beauty and serenity in a world that no longer felt completely secure. And from that day forward, many, MANY of us, all around the world fully understood that violence begets violence in a never ending cycle. And violence and hatred serves only to infect and destroy everything it touches, if you let it permeate your senses and poison your mind. The only cure for it is resilient, life-affirming, love. Love in action was rebuilding our lives and moving forward with the precious gift of appreciation of each other and the world around us.

What happened after that... what happened after that begins to get political. September 11th became the words of political weaponry. September 11th became the words of exploitation, words used to beat people into submission, used to limit our thinking, our reasoning, used to manipulate our still-raw emotions. It was used to divide our nation, to lead us, against our better judgment, unwillingly into a war that had no legitimate justification; an immoral and unethical pre-emptive strike against a population that had never done anything to us.

At first, thoughts and ideas that didn't march in lockstop to the powers that be, were admonished for being so September 10th. Then one day, it suddenly became treasonous or traitorous to exercise our very right and duty as patriotic Americans to speak out in dissent of those in our government who were making questionable decisions and taking questionable actions that would forever taint the good name of our country and our good-standing as the world's leading superpower.

And so we stand today, a nation as polarized, as utterly divided as we have ever been; and only 4 short years ago, a tragedy that shocked the world awake, had, not only our nation, but our very world united. And what have we done with that life changing moment? What have we done with that opportunity for healing, that opening for dialogue between nations and peoples? What have we done to heal the rifts that caused that gaping wound?

I used to dread September 11th. I used to dread the pain of re-opening those still raw, newly healed wounds. I dreaded the pain and the tears and the regret I would feel over the loss of 3,000 innocent people and the devastation it brought their families and our nation and the way it would make me feel all over again as though I'd taken a shot right in the heart and would never survive it. Now I despair of it in a way I never thought possible. I can't bear the thought of the way it has been used, the added insult of pompous spectacle designed to stomp all over our grievious injury. Making a mockery of one of the most tragic moments in our national history. Using it as a tool to whip up national fear and hatred of the other, whomever the other has been designated to be by those who have the power to use it as a weapon. I despair what it has done to our national psyche and how easily it is used to manipulate so many of us into a state of blind, irrational xenophobia. And so much worse than that, how it has been used to turn us against each other, our own citizens. "If you aren't [in lockstep] with us, then you are with the terrorists." Don't think, don't feel, don't act, don't ask questions and don't disagree with this administration: if you do so then you are treasonous, traitorous and at the mercy of those being manipulated into a mob mentality by the haunted political spectre, the government co-opted ghost of a tragedy past, called September 11th.

When that hapless day of September 11th comes around this year, you won't find me in some so-called patriotic freedom march toward the National Mall. In truth if I could sleep through that day, indeed skip the entire painful month, I would probably do so. But that admittedly cowardly way out isn't an option, and for that I can in all honesty be grateful. Because I refuse to dishonour the deaths of those innocent victims and their families, or desecrate the memory of that day by running from it. Nor will I allow myself to be part of an agenda that serves to exploit that day for despicable, political purposes. If I could be in New York or Washington, I would spend it there in reflection and prayer, if possible, with others who intend to do the same. Since I cannot be, I will spend that day at home, doing the same.

But I don't think I will turn on the t.v. that day and risk, once again, the 50 millionth replay of jets slamming into towers or their devastating fall, or of a smoldering pentagon, or people screaming, running panicked in the street. I cannot bear to hear speeches designed to rouse the population into anger and fear and I can't bear to hear the voices of those who have benefitted, over and over and over again, using September 11th as a mantra, to push their agenda forward, to squelch any objection of that agenda. I can't listen to that anymore; especially not on that most exploited day.

One of these years, maybe this one, enough people are going to decide that they can't live in fear and regret and projected anger anymore. And they are going to wake up and say, September 11th was the day that changed everything. And in its honour and memory, I'm going to change too. I'm not going to let fear and anger rule my life. I won't allow its name to be used to take away my civil rights in the name of security; I won't allow its name to be invoked to justify unprovoked aggression towards others. I won't allow it to be used as a wedge between me and my fellow Americans, or between me and the rest of the world. I won't allow it to be used as a tool to silence questions that have the right to be asked, or to excuse away answers that have no meaning and no validity. Because September 11th proved that I'm bigger and stronger and truer to myself, than that. I survived September 11th. I survived its aftermath. And I will not dishonour the memory of those that died by letting fear and and anger and aggression win.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:39 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

dumb and dumber

or rather dumb meet dumber, link and witty commentary courtesy TBogg.

I heard yesterday that it was 110 degrees in Crawford and there were 1000-2000 protesters from each camp, so I was really worried that something bad might happen. I sincerely hoped nothing would but I thought it was highly unlikely that some sort of clash wouldn't occur.

But I had to laugh when the only thing I found of note was the duelling wingnut kerfuffle.

I think this dead-on assessment found in the post's comments section sums it up best of all, though:

Understanding irony has never been a wingnut strong suit, even an attempt as lame as that. Protest Warrior is too used to shaking their little signs at people who can understand their 4th grade attempts at sarcasm, maybe they should have dumbed down their message for the target audience and somehow worked in how fat Michael Moore is - thats better suited to the Move America Forward crowd.

# posted by Ugluks Flea : 8:29 PM

Oh and then there was this bit of ugliness:

Ken Robinson, of Richardson, Texas, who described himself as a Vietnam veteran, was carrying a sign at a “You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!” rally. The sign read, “How to wreck your family in 30 days by ‘b**** in the ditch' Cindy Sheehan.”

Kristinn Taylor, an event organizer with, heard about the sign and rushed up to Robinson.

“This is our rally and you can't do that here,” he said, only for Robinson to insist he was within his rights.

Camera crews rushed in and Taylor turned to face them.

“To all the media here, this sign is not representative of the crowd here today,” Taylor announced. Some of the crowd around Robinson came forward to shake his hand, while others chanted, “Idiot, go home.”

The two men then squared off and raised their voices.

“Just get outta here!” Robinson yelled, and aimed a kick at Taylor's midsection. Taylor called for security, and a young Woodway policeman quickly showed up.

“I have the right to freedom of speech,” Robinson said.

Robinson continued to protest loudly as police handcuffed him and led him away.

Well, good for Taylor, although I've gotta say, if you have ever had the misfortune to read some of the truly vile comments that are made at you'd have to wonder what was really so unexpected about this guy's vile sign....

sign of hate-filled rhetoric

The sign that has that hateful rhetoric on it (the quote is credited to small potato rightwing radio hack, Glenn Beck) found via this post and Crooks and Liars and original source of image courtesy Democratic Underground.

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:51 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

cindy's return to camp casey

story and photos can be found here courtesy of the Lone Star Iconoclast Online Cindy Watch Updates.

a mother's grief: Cindy Sheehan is overcome after her first view of the mural painting of her son which was created during her brief absence from Camp Casey.

image courtesy of Michael Harvey for The Lone Star Iconoclast Online

Note: For those interested, I've added an image link for Cindy Watch Updates via The Lone Star Iconoclast to the right sidebar for easier access.

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:06 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

afternoon naps

Poor MacKenzie had another vet appointment today (he's had a bunch of those lately unfortunately) and while his check up showed that he is doing much better, he came back pretty exhausted. So I guess I wasn't too surprised when I walked through the living room and saw that he and Gwennie were in the midst of an afternoon nap. The thing is that neither of them were sleeping on their designated beds in there.

Gwennie often prefers the coolness of the tiled floors in the summer so her choice of a naptime spot didn't surprise me all that much. But I was amazed to find that MacKenzie was napping in the very elegant princess cat bed (which we bought for Groucho before we knew he was a boy - LOL!) instead of his own comfy bed which has more room for stretching out.

They both looked so cute I couldn't resist taking a few pics of them... but of course, they are blurry (as usual) and didn't do their cuteness justice at all. :-(

naptime for Princess Gwennie and Baby Mac

another view of naptime pups

While I was taking those pictures I wondered where Groucho was anyway; but then, that was a silly thing to wonder. He spends most of his naptimes in his favourite bed of all: Suzanne's queen-size bed. Sure enough he had just awakened from his own nap and was in the middle of a bath:

groucho washing his paw

And then I was asked to please cease and desist from behaving like some sort of deranged paparazzo trying to catch him in an uncompromising position:

groucho gives me the icy look

And so I did. But he's got me wondering... is there really such a word as "paparazzo"? His answer: talk to the paw...

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:47 PM :: 3 Comments:

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pacific ocean project

I'm 21 deceptively small miles from one of my favourite places in the world: a stretch of beach overlooking the gloriously vast and beautiful Pacific Ocean. I really need to get myself there and soon; even a drive along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway would be a self-indulgent deep blue dream come true right about now.

But I've already found a virtual alternative that will do for the moment: The Pacific Ocean Project

The pages with seashell images and their names was especially fun because I collect them and I've always wanted to know what kind they were.

australian seashells
lovely seashells from australia

photo taken by Glen Jeffreys; image courtesy of Glen26's gallery at stock.xchng.

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:15 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Monday, August 22, 2005

2000 anti-war protesters show up in SLC

Local newsclip from Utah can be watched here; link courtesy Al Rodgers' Diary at dKOS.

I've got to admit I was really surprised at this number considering that Utah went about as red as a state could go in the last election.

But then again, when my own dear Republican hubby can say about certain members of his own party (without flinching), "these people are insane", you know that cold harsh reality is beginning to seep into the American mindset, and not a moment too soon.

Poor hubby has had to make this statement more than once the last few weeks, but the source of this latest declaration was over the despicable hypocrisy of Michael Ledeen's ridiculous smear of Sen. Chuck Hagel, for having the courage and decency to speak out about Iraq. James Wolcott calls the big chickenhawk out here; link also courtesy dKOS, via Armando's Diary there.

I've said it before but from this moment forward, EVERY SINGLE TIME I read about one of these gutless chickenhawks who have NEVER SERVED A DAY IN THEIR LIVES and haven't even the remotest clue about what war is really about, open their lying mouths to try and smear someone who has served, I am going to call them on it, like a broken record.

These people who have never served but have a great big hard on about sending our young men and women to war, have ZERO CREDIBILITY. They don't understand the cost of war, therefore they have no right criticizing those who have served with honour and call this war a what it is; a bloody horrible mess.

Look, I'm no expert in war. I'm an admitted, avowed peacemonger. But if anyone has the right and the obligation to speak about war without being smeared over it, it ought to be those who have served. I've watched over and over again while the Republican Noise Machine has viciously attacked Purple Heart earning veterans like John Kerry, Max Cleland, and even their own party member John McCain, when it suited them to do so. Likewise, Chuck Hagel's years of honoured service and Purple Hearts and Bronze Star will not shield him from the vile attacks coming from the smear machines on the right. This would be ludicrous, utterly laughable if it wasn't so completely contemptible. It's just SICK.

And I'm completely outraged by it. And the worst part of it all, is that almost without fail, the attackers have absolutely NO credentials, NO years of service, NOTHING to show for their self-righteous diatribes. ZERO CREDIBILITY. It's despicable.

As far as I'm concerned, Bill Maher ought to add this to his New Rules (if he hasn't already). This one would save the United States, indeed the entire world a whole lot of grief. This is the rule:


NO armchair quarterbacking for YOU. They've raised the enlistment age and they are not making their quotas. No excuses. Walk your talk. If you can't do that, then in the name of all that is Holy; all that is Righteous and True, please refrain from opening your wicked mouths to smear anyone that opposes this war, particularly those who understand the cost first hand.

And who are they? They are soldiers, veterans and families of soldiers and veterans. They've done their part. THEY UNDERSTAND THE COST. YOU. DO. NOT.

And leaders who have never seen any real action, and want to attack another country, should NOT BE allowed to make a decision to START a war without listening to those who have seen real action. At the very least, if you haven't served, and those who have wish to share their wisdom about having done so, then for GOD's SAKE try LISTENING to them for a change instead of SMEARING THEM.

Oh, and one more thing. You can take your purple heart band-aids and shove 'em right up where the sun don't shine as far as I'm concerned. That there wasn't more outrage about that despicable moment is beyond me. Shame on each and every person who had the unmitigated nerve to pull that classlessly heartless stunt. And these are the same people who have the nerve to say that they support the troops and those who want to bring our soldiers home from this debacle, want them to have the armour and the benefits that is their right to, that people like that do not support the troops. Support the troops, my A@@.

Actually, as I think about this, I realize that I do have one bit of authority on this. I am a mother. And as any mother can tell you, we did not bring our children into this world to be sent off to fight a war that we believe is unethical, immoral and uncalled for.

If you feel differently, then the ball is in your corner. Take it and go. Take it all the way to Iraq, if that is really how you feel. But for heaven's sake don't smear others' who cannot support this war. Walk your talk. WALK YOUR TALK. Talk is cheap. And alot of people in this country are waking up and wising up to the cheap talk. And I don't think they are going to take much more of it, especially when it is so blatantly used as a political tool to control the masses, to silence reasonable questions and demands for accountability.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:44 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

early morning gloom

We are enshrouded in fog this morning. Suzanne and I have both been bitten by the digital camera bug so we we couldn't resist attempting to capture its ethereal beauty.

This is the best we could do; the results may not be that awesome but I think we are both having so much fun in the attempts.

I snapped this one of our street.

Suzanne went for a rooftop/tree top shot.

Here's two more of Suzanne's that I think came out really well:

This is taken in our sideyard looking out over the fence.

And this is a shot of the backyard wall.

I love foggy mornings like this, when we don't have to be anywhere in particular.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:03 AM :: 4 Comments:

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camp casey updates

The latest from Camp Casey can be found courtesy of The Lone Star Iconoclast Online.

Link via Radio News America which linked to the news that Cindy Sheehan's mother is doing better and Cindy may return to the Camp Sunday.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:16 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

better late than never

We indulged in the rare treat of going to the movies today! The movie we chose, The 40 Year~Old Virgin, was the perfect remedy for lifting the collective sagging spirits we've been wallowing in around here lately.

I thought it was a surprisingly sweet movie, underneath alot of the more crude posturing that you can expect (which was also really very funny) when you are supposedly listening in on the male perspective of females and the relationship thing.

Hubby loved it, I loved it, EVERYBODY really loved it! Life is good... and so was this 1 part sweet, 1 part dorky and 1 part raunchy quest for... love, baby!

Can Andy (Steve Carell) and Trish (Catherine Keener) make a love connection?

Image courtesy of Photo Gallery.

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truth, justice and the american way

The Battle for America Has Begun.

Spread the word.

Link via Planet Holistic

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Friday, August 19, 2005

my hubby's hearing problem verified

Men Really Do Have Trouble Hearing Women.

Found via A Welsh View

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:33 AM :: 2 Comments:

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first glimpse of autumn

courtesy of lovely Janet at Fondofelves.

And in anticipation of the upcoming fall foliage show, here's a foliage webcam set up at the New Hampshire Video Live Streaming Cams for following the foliage changes.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:42 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

worth a thousand words: angel in fallujah

A girl watches as a patrol of U.S. Marines from Echo Company 2nd Battalion 7th Marines passes her home while on patrol August 13, 2005 in Fallujah, Iraq.

This and other compelling photos can be found at Netscape popular photo galleries. Go see them all.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:32 PM :: 0 Comments:

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pretty in pink

I just received the latest catalog from Ethan Allen in the mail today:

ethan allen cover~pink living room

and I've been salivating over the cover ever since. I've never dreamed of a pink living room... till now anyway. But I think it's safe to say that hubby wouldn't welcome the look quite so much.

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eye candy galore

Shelley at Burningbird has captured some beautiful images of monarchs and swallowtail, Kameron at Brutal Women has some enchanting photos of Alaska, Karen at Bread Crumbs has images of the desolate beauty of Niger to share, Monica at Blatherskite caught a lovely blue dragonfly with her trusty camera as well and check out the link to the lovely holiday photos at But She's a Girl!

And what've I got? Just a pair of images that neither compare to the beauty of any of these other photos nor the beauty of my subjects: my gorgeous goldfish, becca and edgar (winter). Still, the glorious images provided by these lovely and talented ladies inspired me to at least try to capture something beautiful with my camera! I'm so in love with this camera and the world around me, I refuse to give up trying to get proficient at using it.

Anyway, here's my beautiful goldfish, Becca and Edgar; too bad the photos really don't do them justice:

my attempt (too blurry ~ and I took a bunch just like that unfortunately)

one of Suzanne's attempt with the flash (reduced the blurriness but too washed out)

We also experimented with turning all excess lighting off and that did work to get perfect tone and no blur... but because nobody could see anything we never were able to get the two fish close together and inside the camera view finder. LOL! Oh well; I'm just gonna keep on working on it.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:25 PM :: 0 Comments:

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bad album covers

OMG, these are great! Enjoy the slideshow!

Shoutout to Bibi's Box for providing this link and a host of other great ones in this post.

Bless you, Bad Album Cover Collector Person out there in cyberland! Bless you for sharing this pure gold with us all. I haven't laughed this hard in days and I really needed it.

Ladies and Gents, this is the product of a warped, repressive society!

Ah, but I'm not complaining because the result is pure comic absurdity gold.

That is all. :-)

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:38 PM :: 0 Comments:

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crocodile antibodies may aid human immune system

Crocodile blood may yield powerful new antibiotics.

Initial studies of the crocodile immune system in 1998 found that several proteins (antibodies) in the reptile's blood killed bacteria that were resistant to penicillin, such as Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph, Australian scientist Adam Britton told Reuters on Tuesday. It was also a more powerful killer of the HIV virus than the human immune system.

"If you take a test tube of HIV and add crocodile serum it will have a greater effect than human serum. It can kill a much greater number of HIV viral organisms," Britton said from Darwin's Crocodylus Park, a tourism park and research center.

found via Pentacle Magazine online

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retired iraqi vet writes letter larry northern

The heartbreaking letter from Retired First Sargent, Perry Jeffries is posted at Operation: Truth and Daily Kos.

Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one. I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called. I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:31 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

prayer vigil for cindy in orange

We just got back from the Prayer Vigil for Cindy Sheehan in Orange this evening. Vigils were planned for all over the United States at 7:30 p.m. this evening; CNN has some coverage here.

I debated over whether to take the camera or not but decided I would like to try to commemorate the evening. The images were (as all of mine typically are) a mixed bag of mediocre to terrible because I just don't seem to be able to take very good pics. Some of them all blurry and most of the shots I took trying to capture the size of the crowd are so small that it was hard to really see that. Also the flash was not cooperating. So here they are, for better or for worse.

This was what we saw as we arrived; there was between 150-250 people there I believe. The site was at the Orange Circle which has a circular park in the middle. The crowd formed a circle around the outside perimeter of the park.

The rest of the images are not going to be in any particular order because I'm not even sure exactly when I shot them:

My sister Suzanne lights her candle.

and sends out her intentions for the best possible outcome for all.

And now a mixed bag of vigil and post-vigil shots:

The crowd was low-key and positive and there was a lot of "drive by" support; people honking their horns and flashing peace signs. There were also those who drove by and made the usual derogatory statements but not nearly so many and frankly, the vibe was so good when we were praying and sending out positive intent, that I found it impossible to feel anything but a desire to send them some of those healing vibes so they could share in it.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and one that renewed my sense of hope and faith in our country to do the right thing.

There were also 7 Bush supporters across the street, who for the most part, refrained from being ugly, but I had to laugh when I saw a sign that said: STOP THE LITTLE WARD CHURCHILLS!

I thought it was funnier that when I pointed my camera at it, the sign was removed before I could capture it and I never saw it again after that. The funniest part of all though, was that I was not able to get my zoom to work properly anyway, so I probably couldn't have captured a readable pic of it, even if they hadn't scurried it away.

Anyway, here is the group of Pro-War advocates:

And we can all be thankful that we still live in a nation that allows all opinions to be voiced. And that is one of the best and biggest blessings we have in this country.

And because I can say it I will: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! BRING THEM HOME NOW!

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:44 PM :: 0 Comments:

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new data on our milky way

Bad Astronomy has a very cool link to a report about our Milky Way Galaxy; check out his post, Milk Bar. Very cool artist rendering of the Milky Way included.

With the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have conducted the most comprehensive structural analysis of our galaxy and have found tantalizing new evidence that the Milky Way is much different from your ordinary spiral galaxy.

The survey using the orbiting infrared telescope provides the fine details of a long central bar feature that distinguishes the Milky Way from more pedestrian spiral galaxies.

"This is the best evidence ever for this long central bar in our galaxy," says Ed Churchwell, a UW-Madison professor of astronomy and a senior author of a paper describing the new work in an upcoming edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters, a leading astronomy journal.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:07 AM :: 2 Comments:

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storm warnings

Doug Thompson wonders: Is Bush Out of Control?

Decreasing job approval ratings and increased criticism within his own party drives the President’s paranoia even higher. Bush, in a meeting with senior advisors, called Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist a “god-damned traitor” for opposing him on stem-cell research.

“There’s real concern in the West Wing that the President is losing it,” a high-level aide told me recently.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:59 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

angry parents to president: fight this war correctly or get out

Parents of Fallen Marine Make Plea to Bush:

"We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq.

The soldier's father said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.

"Our comments are not just those of grieving parents," Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple's home. "They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone's family has been violated."

I think it is safe to say that we can expect to hear more grief and more outrage from the parents of our soldiers in Iraq with every passing day.

As the slumbering giant that is the American Conscience is beginning to awaken to this nightmare, many who have been keeping silent out of fear or deference will no longer able to contain themselves.

Found via The Supreme Irony of Life.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:44 PM :: 0 Comments:

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camp casey is moving up

Cindy Sheehan and company are going to be moving a bit closer to Bush's Texas Ranch thanks to a military veteran who supports the cause and is concerned for the Camp's safety due to a few of the recent incidents that have happened in the last few days:

The private property was offered by a military veteran who is a distant relative of a man who had fired a shotgun in frustration over her vigil, which has been a growing source of tension in the community.

Sheehan said the hundreds of white crosses put up at her current camp to honor soldiers killed in Iraq would not be moved when she relocates. The crosses were the target of a vandal on Monday night and Sheehan said a small number of people will stay at the original site to watch over them.

"A kind gentleman from down the road, closer to the Bush ranch, has offered us the use of his property," Sheehan told reporters.

The other incident involved the vandalized Crosses at the camp site by 46 year old Larry Northern of Waco, Texas.

Link found via this post at Rogue Angel.

replacing the damaged crosses at Camp Casey

Anti-war protester Kathy Nikeef of Santa Fe, New Mexico, replaces one of the dozens of the damaged crosses at a symbolic roadside cemetery representing Americans killed in Iraq, on the road leading to the ranch of U.S. President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, August 16, 2005. Dozens of the symbolic crosses were knocked down by Waco resident Larry Northern, 46, driving his vehicle late August 15, who was later charged by police with criminal mischief.


Posted by etherealfire :: 10:12 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Your personality is best represented by the traditional Japanese Katana. You are brave beyond words and rarely (if ever) act for your own personal gain. Your honor is very important to you, and you strive to better yourself and help others. You try not to let emotions get in the way of making a sound decision, and are usually quite successful.

What sort of Weapon best Represents your Personality? (anime pics!)
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quiz found via A Suburban Treehugger

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:12 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, August 15, 2005

cindy's victory: one act of conscience

William Rivers Pitt explains why cindy has already won:

For three years now, both before the invasion of Iraq began and then after it was unleashed, millions of people have marched and screamed and stomped in order to try to put a stop to this disaster. The Bush administration was not pushed off its tracks even an inch in all this time. Discussions and debates on why we are there and whether or not we should leave have been bunted aside.

Half a dozen reasons for the invasion and occupation have been put forth - weapons of mass destruction, ties to al Qaeda terrorism, the building of a democracy, Hussein was a bad man - but in the end, the debate is halted by the kind of brainless thinking that left us in Vietnam for far too long: "We are there, so we have to stay." This was the accepted wisdom.

Not anymore.

All the protests, all the articles, all the books, all the whistleblowers, all the criticism combined have not packed the kind of punch that one mother in a ditch has delivered to this administration's carefully crafted fantasy vision of what is happening in Iraq. Suddenly, Bush has been forced to go before cameras and try to explain why staying in Iraq is the only option available. Suddenly, the accepted wisdom isn't so accepted anymore. A majority of Americans, according to every available poll, agree with the lady in the ditch and not with the president.

Found via link at donkey o.d.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:32 PM :: 2 Comments:

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when meat is not murder

Would you eat steak if it had been grown in a petri dish?

I used to tell my hubby that I believed that one day this would be possible. He thought I was crazy.

Apparently not. So this should be really good news, right????

I'd like to think so... but I guess I've really got my worries about what the as yet unperceived catch might be. If there really truly didn't end up being one, then I think it's awesome news. But... I don't know why but I've got some kind of unsettling, uneasy, this is too good to be potentially true, kind of feeling about the whole thing.

Still, it's an amazing story.

Report from the Guardian Unlimited (gawd, I love the Guardian!) via

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:35 AM :: 0 Comments:

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the face of a fallen soldier

Call For a Summer of Truth has posted a link to a story in the Lexington Herald~Leader about the funeral of 21 year old Chase Comley.

Just one more beautiful life snuffed out; and one more heartbroken family torn apart by it.

Church of the Front Porch has a link and the letter that the grieved and angry grandmother has written: Everyone in America Should Read this letter.

And we should; and more than that, finally, even this late in the game, everyone in America should have to bear witness to all of our dying and wounded soldiers, to hear their names and know their stories. Just as we should bear witness to the Iraqi casualties and the destruction that goes on there every single day.

No more free passes for us; the dying and the wounded are our brave men and women; included in the numbers of dying Iraqis are many, many civilians, and in those numbers, countless are women and children. We've not been asked to make any sacrifices as a whole in this country. Like it or not, that's just the unvarnished honest~to~God truth.

And people like Cindy Sheehan and Dolores Kesterson and Missy Comley Beattie and Gold Star Families for Peace are here to remind us of that stark fact by bringing their grief and their outrage to the attention of the American public.

chase comley, 21

This is Chase Comley, age 21; just one of the beautiful faces of the 1800+ fallen American soldiers. Just one of the beautiful faces of the hundreds of thousands of people that have been forever altered by this unjust war.

How can we say that we support the troops when their names, their faces and the war that they are engaged in is largely and voluntarily censored in the MSM? There's one reason why that is and we all know it. And that is quite simply because most decent Americans could not bear what they would see day after day, knowing that the reason we were given for entering this war was a lie.

We can ill afford to bask in that luxury much longer. Fortunately, the number of grieving and outraged mothers are growing and are beginning to speak out about it. We have an obligation to listen to what they have to say. We have an obligation to make our acquaintence with the day-to-day suffering that this war is creating for our soldiers and Iraqi citizens. That is the very least we can do.

photo and another post link found via Catch.

Posted by etherealfire :: 5:19 AM :: 2 Comments:

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which rad old school glam rocker are you?

marc bolan

You're Marc Bolan, the man behind T. Rex.

You are a glam machine, original as all hell.

You really know how to flaunt your eccentricities, and you write funny nonsensical, mystical lyrics. Sometimes you can seem like a parody of yourself, but hey, no one can do you better than yourself. (?). You have a distinctive style, and you are skilled at combining many influences to create something new and fresh. You are a sensation, a striking phenomenon. Too bad you'll die tragically, and young.

Which rad old school 70's glam icon are you?
(with pictures)
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Via A Lie a Day

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:23 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

kindred spirits~missing anne and green gables

As a young girl, one of my two all time favourite books were among the ones that I inherited from my mom, and were also two of her all time favourites as well:

Understood Betsy was one of them and the other was Anne of Green Gables.

From re-reading Green Gables and the subsequent books in the entire Anne Series I came to know and love Prince Edward Island in the same way that I have my own childhood haunts in Indiana and New Mexico where I grew up, even though the only places in Canada I've ever been are in Alberta and British Columbia (beautiful and memorable places in their own right but far far west of Nova Scotia and PEI).

But I've had a longing, really almost a visceral kind of homesickness for Anne's haunts because they permeate my childhood memory so deeply, almost as though I'd grown up there myself.

Of course, the likelihood of modern Cavendish and PEI, matching my imagination of growing up Anne in Cavendish, circa 1908, is highly unlikely; but I could live with that, knowing that the place must holds its own special magic that could fill in the blank spots and enhance and enrich what I've only been able to imagine up to this point.

I don't suppose I could expect to really find The White Way of Delight but perhaps The Lake of Shining Waters (aka Barry's Pond) or the inspiration for it can still be found on the Island. Maybe... maybe not. Maybe someday I'll get the chance to find out...

But I was delighted to stumble upon this entry at weblog wannabe leading to this link and Green Gables!

Other nostalgic links: Lucy Maud Montgomery with Project Gutenberg Anne of Green Gables ebook link here and from The Baldwin Project, the Understood Betsy ebook here.

I still read these books when I get nostalgic, and I never get tired of them, and they never lose their enchantment! I know it will probably sound like some kind of stale old cliche but really, truly, I don't think they write books quite as lovely as these anymore. They are timeless in the way that the speak to the universal experience of innocence and childhood, and yet, there is an inherent charm to the differences in the location and time frame, that make them irresistable and enchanting... well, or at least to me, anyway.

Understood Betsy

A favourite passage from Dorothy Canfield's Understood Besty:

Aunt Abigail laughed, took up the paddle, and after three or four passes the butter was a smooth, yellow ball. "Well, that brings it all back to me!" she said— "when I was a little girl, when my grandmother first let me try to make a pat. I was about five years old— my! what a mess I made of it! And I remember—doesn't it seem funny—that she laughed and said her Great-aunt Elmira had taught her how to handle butter right here in this very milk-room. Let's see, Grandmother was born the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. That's quite a while ago, isn't it? But butter hasn't changed much, I guess, nor little girls either."

Elizabeth Ann listened to this statement with a very queer, startled expression on her face, as though she hadn't understood the words. Now for a moment she stood staring up in Aunt Abigail's face, and yet not seeing her at all, because she was thinking so hard. She was thinking! "Why! There were real people living when the Declaration of Independence was signed—real people, not just history people—old women teaching little girls how to do things—right in this very room, on this very floor—and the Declaration of Independence just signed!"

To tell the honest truth, although she had passed a very good examination in the little book on American history they had studied in school, Elizabeth Ann had never to that moment had any notion that there ever had been really and truly any Declaration of Independence at all. It had been like the ounce, living exclusively inside her schoolbooks for little girls to be examined about. And now here Aunt Abigail, talking about a butter-pat, had brought it to life!

Of course all this only lasted a moment, because it was such a new idea! She soon lost track of what she was thinking of; she rubbed her eyes as though she were coming out of a dream, she thought, confusedly: "What did butter have to do with the Declaration of Independence? Nothing, of course! It couldn't!" and the whole impression seemed to pass out of her mind. But it was an impression which was to come again and again during the next few months.

Anne of Green Gables

A favourite passage from Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables:

"I hope you won't have occasion to make many more such apologies. I hope you'll try to control your temper now, Anne."

"That wouldn't be so hard if people wouldn't twit me about my looks," said Anne with a sigh. "I don't get cross about other things; but I'm so tired of being twitted about my hair and it just makes me boil right over. Do you suppose my hair will really be a handsome auburn when I grow up?"

"You shouldn't think so much about your looks, Anne. I'm afraid you are a very vain little girl."

"How can I be vain when I know I'm homely?" protested Anne. "I love pretty things; and I hate to look in the glass and see something that isn't pretty. It makes me feel so sorrowful--just as I feel when I look at any ugly thing. I pity it because it isn't beautiful."

"Handsome is as handsome does," quoted Marilla. "I've had that said to me before, but I have my doubts about it," remarked skeptical Anne, sniffing at her narcissi. "Oh, aren't these flowers sweet! It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give them to me. I have no hard feelings against Mrs. Lynde now. It gives you a lovely, comfortable feeling to apologize and be forgiven, doesn't it? Aren't the stars bright tonight? If you could live in a star, which one would you pick? I'd like that lovely clear big one away over there above that dark hill."

"Anne, do hold your tongue." said Marilla, thoroughly worn out trying to follow the gyrations of Anne's thoughts.

Anne said no more until they turned into their own lane. A little gypsy wind came down it to meet them, laden with the spicy perfume of young dew-wet ferns. Far up in the shadows a cheerful light gleamed out through the trees from the kitchen at Green Gables. Anne suddenly came close to Marilla and slipped her hand into the older woman's hard palm.

"It's lovely to be going home and know it's home," she said. "I love Green Gables already, and I never loved any place before. No place ever seemed like home. Oh, Marilla, I'm so happy. I could pray right now and not find it a bit hard."

Something warm and pleasant welled up in Marilla's heart at touch of that thin little hand in her own--a throb of the maternity she had missed, perhaps. Its very unaccustomedness and sweetness disturbed her. She hastened to restore her sensations to their normal calm by inculcating a moral.

"If you'll be a good girl you'll always be happy, Anne. And you should never find it hard to say your prayers."

"Saying one's prayers isn't exactly the same thing as praying," said Anne meditatively. "But I'm going to imagine that I'm the wind that is blowing up there in those tree tops. When I get tired of the trees I'll imagine I'm gently waving down here in the ferns--and then I'll fly over to Mrs. Lynde's garden and set the flowers dancing--and then I'll go with one great swoop over the clover field--and then I'll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves. Oh, there's so much scope for imagination in a wind! So I'll not talk any more just now, Marilla."

"Thanks be to goodness for that," breathed Marilla in devout relief.

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:09 AM :: 0 Comments:

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which astrological planet are you?


"You thrive on balance in all aspects of your life. You have a great deal of passion and when it comes to love, you like to play games. You have a tendency to search for something better, a search which always seems to come up short. You have difficulty finding satisfaction in life, but you have a great ability to get along with almost anyone."

. : : Which Astrological Planet are You? : : .
[10 Gorgeous Pics!]

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Hmmm, this answer really should've been mercury or jupiter, though (Sag stellium, Pisces Rising, Gemini Moon trine Aquarius Venus)... Or so I would have thought...
For the record (and I'm guessing that nobody else in the world cares but me, but my astrology obsession is such that I can't resist babbling on about it), my chart and ascendent planetary co-rulers are actually Neptune/Jupiter (which actually form a conjunction in my natal chart emphasizing that rulership).

LOL! Not a scientific quiz, I know. But still.... maybe it's my Taurus South Node and Libra Jupiter???

Or... Maybe it's just a quiz. :-P

Fun quiz, lovely pic though! this very cool quiz found via Sister Medusa!

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:48 AM :: 0 Comments:

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u.s. struggling to get soldiers updated armor

NYT report here:

For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks by insurgents.

The ceramic plates in vests worn by most personnel cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use. But more than a year after military officials initiated an effort to replace the armor with thicker, more resistant plates, tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system.

Story found via a comment at Daily Kos' latest Cindy Sheehan Diary Update, who is in positive spirit and receiving lots of positive grassroots support!

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:21 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

a part of god's perfect creation

Found this story about two beautiful swans that are a bonded pair ~ of females via bird on the moon.

Juliet and...Juliet?

The Lord works in mysterious ways.... doesn't she? ;-)

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:13 AM :: 5 Comments:

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