Stumbling Through Life and (Cyber)Space
The Meanderings of a Curious Mind
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15th-Dec-2014 10:19 pm - Star Trek: 50 Years of Humanism
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One of the major reasons I've been a Trekkie for over half a century. It is time to put away childish things like Bronze Age mythologies so that we can one day boldly go where no human from the planet Earth has gone before. We must become progressive not regressive.

8th-Dec-2014 11:43 am - Sundays
Autumn in NY icon
On the last Sunday of November my friend, the art expert, invited me to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with him. He asked me what I wanted to see and I wanted to check if my favorite artwork was back in place (it's Shibata Zeshin's Autumn Grasses in Moonlight) but once again it wasn't on display; instead the museum was doing a fascinating show on kimonos. The Japanese culture certainly changed over the centuries since the West made contact back in the 19th century and it was so interesting to see it shown in the history of the kimono plus they showed a few Japanese versions of Western outfits of the 19th century. Afterwards we walked around the rest of the 2nd floor looking at variious galleries; at one of them he pointed out his favorite picture The Chess Players and explained why he loved it. He is the art expert - my way of judging a painting is if I would want it in my place of residence...and I really wouldn't want most of the art I saw that day. I'm sure somewhere in the Met there are many artworks I would like but the museum is so huge that it really takes days to see everything (and what is shown is merely the tip of the iceberg of art the museum owns). Afterwards we went back to the Moonstruck Diner for an early dinner. It certainly made the last day of November a memorable one.

Yesterday we met at Bread & Butter for an early lunch. It was my first time there and I loved it. It's both a deli and a small grocery store. The art expert had an excellent salad - he got to pick all the ingredients he wanted - and I had some tomato basil soup, a ham and cheese omelet and a hot chocolate. Afterwards we walked over to Connolly's Pub to see the The Godless Revival Holiday Bash. My favorite speaker was Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, an Iraqi atheist who had to flee Iraq after the killings of his brother and best friend. He's established  the Global Secular Humanist Movement. It can be difficult being an atheist in the US but it's nowhere near as dangerous as in other parts of the world particularly Islamic states; this must change if we are to make progress and put away childish things like Bronze Age mythologies. It was an interesting start for December which, at least in the US, is so fixated on the birth of one such mythological being.
27th-Nov-2014 10:03 pm - Happy Thanksgiving
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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving or at least a wonderful Thursday. I had dinner at a friend's apartment. There were about 16 of us and we all had a marvelous time - I mean just look at all the yummies we had for dessert:

thanksgiving 2014

At the moment I don't feel like eating for a week but I know I'll be hungry again tomorrow...and then it's Xmas...and then my birthday bash. No wonder I tend to gain weight in winter *sigh*
2nd-Nov-2014 11:03 am - Standard Time
Autumn in NY icon
Well we're now back on Standard Time here in the States (I have no idea what is happening timewise in the rest of the world). It's been an interesting weekend. On Friday I went to my friends' apartment to attend their annual Halloween party. I wasn't wearing a costume but I did dress up a bit for the occasion wearing black velvet leggings and a rusty orange silk shirt. I wore a star-shaped pendant and earrings and glued a couple of star-shaped sequins to my face which I don't ordinarily do except when I'm in the appropriate party mode. As usual I had a wonderful time there (they do know how to throw a great party with all sorts of yummy things to eat). Some people came in regular clothes but there were a fair number of people in costume: I saw a Wonder Woman, a Batman, a Cleopatra, a butterfly, a Carol Channing, a few cats and three guys with horns among others. A couple of hours into the party the guests with musical talent began to perform. Among the songs I recognized were "Ride Like the Wind", "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Fever". One of the performers was truly talented as he played the drums, the guitar, the banjo, a recorder and a melodica (not all at once **g*). He wore a fabulous wig with a pair of horns and if I squinted my eyes I could imagine I was in a scene in "Star Trek" with an alien musician at the party. When he got out his ukelele he played "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" (what else goes so well with that instrument?) and "That's Amore". I'm now looking forward to their New Year's Party.

Yesterday I unexpectedly met with some old friends who'd moved to North Carolina decades ago. I'd encountered the mother a couple of times since then but I hadn't seen her son since the move when he was around 10 or 11 - he's now in his 40s and I would never have recognized him. We chatted for awhile catching up and reminiscing. I rarely feel like I've gotten older until I encounter adults I once knew as children. Today is the Marathon which I will do my best to avoid as it does make for heavy traffic in places. Good luck to all the runners.
31st-Oct-2014 01:54 pm - Again Happy Halloween
Halloween icon
I came across a vid that is far more Halloween-appropriate.

I didn't realize porcupines looked and sounded so much like Cousin Itt of "The Addams Family". Again have a wonderful holiday.
31st-Oct-2014 12:38 pm - Happy Halloween
Halloween icon
The other day I was watching an ad for Volkswagen and the song it was using was familiar and it finally occured to me where I'd first heard it so I thought I'd share it today.
The vid is a few years old as it features the 10th Doctor but it's still a great vid.
I know haven't posted in a while but not much is going on in my life. May everyone have an enjoyable Halloween.
1st-Oct-2014 12:20 am - Back Home
Shakatany-Lake Como icon
Well I came home on the 17th. On the following Sunday I started having a bad case of the runs for a couple of days. I don't know if I caught something or ate something or that my body simply doesn't like to fly. I'm ok now but if I gained any weight while I was on vacation I've lost it again and lost it the wrong way *sigh*

Today I'm a bit pissed at the state of knowledge in this country. The final Jeopardy question today was: "He came to power 34 days before FDR & left it 19 days after him." The three answers were Stalin, Truman and Churchill!!! Really? I couldn't believe the ignorance of the participants. Do you know the answer or am I the only one?

ETA all 3 anwers given by the contestants were wrong.The AnswerCollapse )
16th-Sep-2014 09:35 pm - Monday, Tuesday
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The lady from the Poll County Humane Society brought in several dogs and cats to PAAWS to be speutered even though Monday was not generally a surgery day. Afterwards she took me and Dr G back to Mom's for a late lunch. I tried not to eat very much as I was taking CM and the Prof out to dinner that night. When I returned to the house I got to take Maizie Mousebreath for her "toilet crawl". Maizie is my friends cornsnake and since I'd fed her a warmed up frozen mouse last Tuesday she was ready to excrete the remains. I love holding her as she is sooo unbelievably smooth and seems to like being with me. Later we drove into Moorhead for dinner at Grizzly's where the Prof and I had steak and CM a chicken fajita. I was a bit too full from lunch so I only ate half the steak and brought it back so I could make a steak sandwich to eat on the plane home.

Today was surgery day for dogs and CM and I were there for a while in the morning then left as CM had an appointment. We did return later as we'd trapped a feral cat and brought her to PAAWS where I met Oshi, an otter who was being raised by one of the vet techs. She was brought in because she was not feeling well and one of the vets diagnosed that she had pneumonia and told the tech how to treat it. Oshi was adorable and looked just like the otters I've seen on TV or online. Later we bought a couple of pizzas for dinner at Papa Murphy's located on Broadway!!! Well the Broadway in Fargo - I always get a kick out of that. Afterwards we went for my last walk in least for this year *sigh**
14th-Sep-2014 09:42 pm - Zeteticon
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This weekend the Zeteticon was at the Doublewood Inn in Fargo. It's a convention for atheists, freethinkers, secular humanists and others who either do not believe or have their doubts about religion. The Prof and I attended talks on Saturday given by P. Z. Myers about the misunderstanding of genetics by creationists and Aron Ra about the current troubles with religion then returned to the house where we found the Monarch butterfly had hatched from her cocoon (they'd taken in a caterpillar and it had cocooned a few days before I arrived) and they let me take her out to release her. I carried her to some zinnias where she clung to the flower I'd placed her on for some time while the wind blew. I hope she makes it safely to her destination. The first summers I visited Fargo, CM and the Prof found and took in many - this year this one was the only one they found. The Monarchs are in danger and I don't know if they can be saved.

Today we returned to the Zeteticon to hear the talk by Richard Carrier, author of The Historicity of Jesus, who confirmed for me that Jesus, in all probability, was a mythological figure who never existed. This was my first convention of any sort and was a marvelous introduction to such a thing. Later that afternoon, the Prof, CM and I went to the Buffalo River State Park where we went on a hike around the park. It was chilly and not a lot of wildlife was to be seen but we did see a heron, a garter snake, a frog and a wooly caterpillar that I petted (it wasn't really furry) along with some wild grapes, plums and rosehips. It's a bit late in the season and even though it's technically still summer it feels like autumn.
13th-Sep-2014 09:50 pm - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
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Wednesday was a cat day at PAAWS. Both vets and the vet tech were there as individuals brought in cats and Teresa of WE R Furr Feline Rescue brought in several cats to be spayed and neutered and a small kitten named Yoda:

Yoda of WE R Furr Feline Rescue

This photo was taken shortly after her surgery the week or so before; Teresa brought her in to have her check up. She was sooo adorable, small and thin so I just held her for an hour or so after the surgeries were done and no one needed me to run errands. I had my cat fix with Hoss but I needed a kitten fix and Yoda was it. She purred and stayed calmly in my arms and if I was in the postition to own a cat I would have adopted her toot sweet. The vet said all was well with her and once the eye is completely healed she won't realize she's any different from any other cat. It was hard giving her back to Teresa.

Thursday was a lazy day as we ran a few errands but didn't do much else. One of the errands was setting up a cat trap near the condo of a mailman who had been feeding a homeless cat and wanted to get him some help. He was caught during the night so on Friday morning CM and I picked up the cage with the cat on our way to PAAWS. He was nice tuxie and the mailman said if he tested negative for the feline diseases PAAWS tests for he would take him home to his two other cats and adopt him. He fortunately tested negative, was neutered, given his shots and was picked up later in the afternoon and taken to his new home where I hope he will be very happy. LuAnn, another cat rescue lady, brought in a whole bunch of cats including another kitten with a hurt eye (what is going on with kittens in ND?). Dr O operated on the little one and removed the damaged eye. We could reassure LuAnn that she would be fine once she recovered from the surgery as we had Yoda as a good example.

Later we went to dinner at another Democratic fund raiser where we ate yummy steaks, baked potatoes and the best baked beans I have ever eaten. This time we stayed long enough to hear a few speeches before returning to the house.
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