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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in castleclear's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
7:54 am
Update, Good News, and an Annoyance
The *very* good news is that I now have a hearing aid for my left ear.
lots moreCollapse )

Hoping everything is running smoothly and going well wherever you are here on the one, shared planet.  Shalom, Salaam, Peace, and Namaste.  Or as I have been saying to old and young alike recently, Peace and have a groovy day!

PS. my annoyance is (as per Firefox) I no longer have a secure log in for LJ.   *sigh*
Friday, March 3rd, 2017
10:39 am
A Richard Feynman quote
As a friend shared with me, here is an interesting quote about physics that speaks nicely to present day U.S. current events: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxhQMaBUoAAY-zj.jpg
8:47 am
3 recent articles from yesterday's email
Hello, gentle reader.  Here are three online articles I found of interest.  The first is an opinion editorial by seasoned 85-year-old journalist Dan Rather (retired, I presume, from CBS): http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/2/1639409/-Dan-Rather-the-fuse-it-lit-and-Trump-Russia-is-about-to-go-BOOM-for-Trump-AND-the-GOP?detail=emailsc&link_id=1&can_id=1e5182b97b95c5d3e9f2573a64e23712&source=email-dan-rather-the-fuse-it-lit-and-trumprussia-is-about-to-go-boom-for-trump-and-the-gop-3&email_referrer=dan-rather-the-fuse-it-lit-and-trumprussia-is-about-to-go-boom-for-trump-and-the-gop-3&email_subject=dan-rather-the-fuse-it-lit-and-trumprussia-is-about-to-go-boom-for-trump-and-the-gop

Also these two from the recent issue of Common Dreams speak to things many of us in the U.S. have concern for:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/02/making-america-mediocre-again

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/02/forever-prisoners-guantanamo
Monday, February 27th, 2017
11:23 am
Okay, this isn't exactly news, but it feels good to share.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-administration-lies-100_us_58ac7a0fe4b02a1e7dac3ca6

Yup, it's the first 100 lies told by the Trump Administration since they were put into office.  If we are roughly 50 days into Mr. Trump's presidency, then this averages two lies per day.  I didn't think or hope to see anyone out do W. and his Admin. when it came to telling lies.
Sunday, February 26th, 2017
8:29 am
The Salon
Hi!  I found the current issue of the online e-zine Salon particularly interesting; this article in particular got me thinking (warning: it has some strong language): http://www.salon.com/2017/02/25/outgrowing-the-cosmetic-left-a-liberal-plea-for-fake-liberalism-to-grow-the-hell-up/?source=newsletter

Otherwise, I have a rotten headcold (from which I feel confident I'll recover), I am okay and even reasonably happy!  I play bridge once a week with a nice group of mostly senior citizens, so have made a lot of new friends over the past several months, in addition to renewing and deepening old acquaintance.

So far, the FaceBook experiment seems to be going okay - not that I can keep up with all of it, by any means.  But it provides a venue for online social activism - whether that is merely a mirage or whether it shall indeed do something constructive has yet to be seen.

The weather here in Colorado has been unseasonably warm and dry.   Gorgeous days, sometime reaching 70F, but when one needs to water one's trees and bushes in what is supposedly the dead of winter, one wonders.

I hope you are doing well.  So far I have only gotten around to toying with ideas about how I might simply my life while still engaging in all the (social) things I value, including being here more, reading your journals, etc.

Wherever in the world you are, whether rain or shine or even snow, I hope you are having a beautiful day!

Shalom, Salaam, Peace, and Namaste.

PS.  I was confirmed as liaison for my local Friends (Quakers) Meeting's newly reconstituted Peace & Social Action committee.  Have a lovely, constructive weekend and week!  =)
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
10:18 pm
Hello!
Okay, so this really awful thing happened - and, no, I don't mean Donald Trump, or well at least NOT just Donald Trump.  Yes, as dire and awful as the various news one hears about current events, no, the personal really awful thing was that I reactivated my FaceBook account.  That account had been dormant for over 4 years - mostly because I don't keep up on FB any better than I do here.  That, and FaceBook is notorious for spying, I mean Collecting Data on one.  So, why did I do it?  To join the online conversation, of course, about, you guessed it, politics!  (As well as say Hi to old friends who keep current with FB.)

In other news, I am keeping up with yoga, as well as just getting over a little viral visitor, the latter being susceptible to and tamed by garlic, ginger and green chili.

Well, it is already past 10 pm here and I have to get up early tomorrow, so will conclude with a link.

https://weather.com/travel/news/jason-decaires-taylor-underwater-sculptures  Yes, it's actual cool sculptures under the sea, designed to build coral reefs!  Plus I found the artwork interesting/fun.
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
7:25 am
Recent Sierra Club online magazine articles
In case these would be of interest.

Vegan Super bowl recipes http://sierraclub.org/sierra/green-life/super-bowl-switch-game-plan-these-satisfying-vegan-snacks?utm_source=greenlife&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

News Kellyanne Conway and most of the U.S. media may not have deemed newsworthy http://sierraclub.org/sierra/green-life/judge-trucks-carrying-liquid-radioactive-waste-can-roll?utm_source=greenlife&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter   Yes, its radioactive waste coming from Canada to South Carolina.

Here's the rest of the e-magazine, which may be subscribed to for free:  http://sierraclub.org/sierra/green-life/let-it-burn-congress-allows-flaring-venting-methane-gas?suppress=true&utm_source=greenlife&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

As I have saying to all the young people with utmost sincerity since the recent Women's Rights Rallies and Marches:  Peace, and have a groovy day!  (Usually while giving the traditional Peace sign, since I really am that old & remember well the civil rights marches, Vietnam, and the Flower Power generation, admittedly on TV since I was a child during the 1960s and early '70s, but I was there.)  Peace out!
Friday, February 3rd, 2017
11:51 pm
The Once and Future and Entirely Imaginary "Truth" of Kellyanne Conway
Let me preface this by admitting I have done a bad thing.  I reactivated my FaceBook account, which had been dormant for over 4 years.  See, I tried FaceBook (FB) twice and decided I hated it.  But then, well, the need to communicate with friends using this technology, rather than email or LJ, prevailed.  (sigh)  Within two days I fell behind on email, hadn't posted here, and of course wasn't (and can't) keep current on FB.  Perfect!  The Worst of, well... not all possible worlds, that's for darn sure, but I certainly can (and do) imagine better.

Anyhow, I would like to post a little bit, mostly for my more highly educated and often better informed overseas friend(s) about "alternative facts" -- and I must digress to say that all of my elementary grade school teachers were quite clear in both in attitude and terminology when it came to lying -- and Donald Trump advisor (as in who the hell is this person?!) Kellyanne Conway.   This link to a yahoo news article will probably be valid for a few weeks to months (and there are or will be better articles than this, but I am up late writing and have a busy day tomorrow):  https://www.yahoo.com/news/top-white-house-adviser-cited-052133231.html  Here is the headline:

Kellyanne Conway says she made mistake in citing nonexistent terror attack to defend Trump's immigration ban


And this from a friend's post on FB:

Survivors, tell your stories! I survived the Bowling Green massacre with a makeshift spear, fashioned out of a sharpened flag polestaff. #bowlinggreen #neverforget
11:50 pm
The Once and Future and Entirely Imaginary "Truth" of Kellyanne Conway
Let me preface this by admitting I have done a bad thing.  I reactivated my FaceBook account, which had been dormant for over 4 years.  See, I tried FaceBook (FB) twice and decided I hated it.  But then, well, the need to communicate with friends using this technology, rather than email or LJ, prevailed.  (sigh)  Within two days I fell behind on email, hadn't posted here, and of course wasn't (and can't) keep current on FB.  Perfect!  The Worst of, well... not all possible worlds, that's for darn sure, but I certain can (and do) imagine better.

Anyhow, I would like to post a little bit, mostly for my more highly educated and often better informed overseas friend(s) about "alternative facts" -- and I must digress to say that all of my elementary grade school teachers were quite clear in both in attitude and terminology when it came to lying -- and Donald Trump advisor (as in who the hell is this person?!) Kellyanne Conway.   This link to a yahoo news article will probably be valid for a few weeks to months (and there are or will be better articles than this, but I am up late writing and have a busy day tomorrow):  https://www.yahoo.com/news/top-white-house-adviser-cited-052133231.html  Here is the headline:

Kellyanne Conway says she made mistake in citing nonexistent terror attack to defend Trump's immigration ban


And this from a friend's post on FB:

Survivors, tell your stories! I survived the Bowling Green massacre with a makeshift spear, fashioned out of a sharpened flag polestaff. #bowlinggreen #neverforget
3:14 pm
Update, plus Fnords! (Remember: Don't Panic!)
This past month I have been seen by the neurologist, the dermatologist, the radiation oncologist, and the orthopedic surgeon.  Well now, don't I feel special!  (No, not especially.)  The good news is, well, the good news.  Everything is as good as can be given two chronic medical conditions and my age, so YAY!

This morning I had archaic voice communication over a telephone with an old hippie friend, you know, someone who lived thru the Vietnam era as an adult.  He reminded me about the fnords!  Here are a couple of links in case you have forgotten and/or are wondering about fnords:   http://www.thefoggiestnotion.com/fnords.htm   or read a couple of paragraphs from the mid 1970's novel http://www.boogles.com/local/Illuminati/fnord.text  or even skip all that and see what wiki has to say:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fnord

As I find myself increasingly saying to the young people: Peace, and have a groovy day!
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
10:31 pm
Making Sense of U.S. Politics
While I missed Part One and had to skip out on the last 1/2 hour of part 2, I definitely recommend the (just broadcast) PBS Frontline's "Divided States of America" Part 2.

Here are links to part 1  http://www.pbs.org/video/2365934009/

and part 2  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/tonight-divided-states-of-america-part-two/

No doubt much more can (and shall) be said about this topic, but I found this insightful and with the sort of journalistic integrity I grew up with, rather than Rupert Murdoch's (Faux) Fox News.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017
9:06 pm
Some good news about 2016
A friend sent me this, and despite all the yuck of 2016, I found this helped to balance and put things in perspective.  Enjoy!

https://medium.com/future-crunch/99-reasons-why-2016-has-been-a-great-year-for-humanity-8420debc2823#.jqk0zeyz0
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
11:40 pm
Article on Universal Basic Income
I was sent a link to this article by a Quaker friend of mine in Minneapolis.  I think it's interesting reading:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/universal-basic-income_us_586d0ce3e4b0eb58648b5349?kruo9y48iqxzdunmi&section=us_world  It almost makes me ask the question WWJD?

Peace, and may you have a lovely day!
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
12:55 am
Does the IUUJ still exist on LJ?
Here's an online petition I think would interest members of the International Unitarian Universalist Jihad (IUUJ), only I cannot seem to find them this evening on Live Journal.

Anyhow, here is an online petition about an icky situation.  Please sign and/or forward it, if you feel so moved; and otherwise please disregard this if you don't:  https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control

Many thanks!
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
11:02 pm
Great News!
I saw the neurologist yesterday, so the really great news is that (per the neurologist) my NF2 is presently "dormant."   Since I've read the report, I think that might be a bit of an overstatement, but not by much.  There were almost zero changes from the MRI's taken a month ago and those from slightly over one year ago.  Yay!  Later in January I meet with the radio-oncologist, but this means I can continue "wait and see" what medical innovations and advances develop before having to choose surgery or something.

The not-so-great news is that I am still presently too busy to get back into LiveJournal much, but even that is (I feel) for good reasons.  I am continuing adaptive yoga, walking, etc. and overall feeling better.  I am seeing both old friends as well as making new friends here in Colorado Springs.  I am enjoying having more of a social life than I have had for some time.  (again, yay!)

As energy and health permit, I find myself increasingly involved in small concerned citizen ways to make a positive difference for civil rights for everyone (social justice) as well as on behalf of the environment.  I am persuaded that social justice and what I hear increasingly called environmental justice are intricately linked.  So, for the first time, I have joined the NAACP, since I too am a 'person of color' e.g. when I hold my hand up against a white background, the colors don't match.  I joke about how, as a self-identified Pink person, we should all perhaps dress up in pink robes and talk about about Pink Supremacy.

Well enough of my silly stuff.

Major bummer:  I just learned that Carrie Fisher died yesterday of a heart attack at age 60.  (I really liked Carrie Fisher, or well, her public self.)  And that her mom, Debbie Reynolds, passed away just today.  (Singing In The Rain remains my all-time favorite Debbie Reynolds movie.)

I hope you are having good days and relaxing peaceful evenings. 
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
12:10 am
Posting, but not reading (sorry)
I am still coming to terms with what Donald Trump's presidency and Administration appears to be shaping up to be.  A friend whom I believe is not only smarter but has more political insight sent me an article that discusses the method in the madness of Trump's... shall we call it odd inconsistencies(?)   Here's a link to the article https://thinkprogress.org/when-everything-is-a-lie-power-is-the-only-truth-1e641751d150#.3oa7vqt7s  Staying calm and rational makes sense as the optimal response to the irrational.

I find myself wondering about the status of the IUUJ (International Unitarian Universalist Jihad), no doubt, because I recently re-read the original 2005 article from back when G.W. Bush was Pres.

Health-wise, things seem to be pretty good at the moment.  I have my annual MRI study of the brain and spine on Dec 8th and will write about this again when I have info.  I am not expecting any big changes as my symptoms remain pretty much the same with the exception that adaptive yoga has done wonders for my balance impairment.  (I haven't needed a cane for, I honestly don't recall, how many months.  Yay!)

In addition to attending my local Quakers meeting, last night I went to the open meditation and talk given at the Bodhi Mind Center.  The talk was about what Buddhists mean when talking about compassion (relieving suffering and the root causes of suffering) and contrasting that with love.  (The speaker gave the analogy of one's left and right arms.  We often use both at the same time.)  I very much enjoyed the group discussion afterwards as much as the talk.  The sharing was warm with interesting ideas and perspectives.  Initially the talk was going to be about Having Compassion for Difficult People but was quickly broadened to discussing compassion generally, including compassion for oneself.  The experience reminded me that I want to schedule a bit of equanimity into each and every day while going forward (I hope) fully conscious and with kindness and consideration.

It's Quaker potluck this Sunday after the rise of Meeting for Worship.  I am thinking about making baba ganoush, well, more than thinking, I bought two eggplants yesterday and I already have tahini etc.  I hope it comes out as well or better than the first (and only other) time I've made this.

Have a great day! 
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
9:57 pm
Hope, Courage, and Compassion on Thanksgiving Day
One way I coped with the general election results and the idea of a President -Elect Trump was to not watch the TV pundits and to avoid the speculation.  Instead I reread (Buddhist nun) Pema Chodron's excellent book The Places That Scare You. It is about developing bodhicitta or "enlightened compassion."  Here is a link to what Wikipedia has to say:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhicitt This book has many anecdotes.  The primary thesis is that we can choose either to harden our hearts or soften them in response to living.  Here's a link I found to a free download in PFD format:  https://www.uploady.com/?_escaped_fragment_=/download/rnkZf8YH7PH/kkKui4zn_amfB_ZP#!/download/rnkZf8YH7PH/kkKui4zn_amfB_ZP

Best wishes to you & yours and our one shared planet Earth.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
10:29 pm
Post Election, One Week Later
I still feel a bit as though I somehow woke up in the wrong parallel universe. <lj-cut>  I have only in the past day or two tentatively started taking in news.  I have wanted to avoid hearing or reading any of the copious speculation by media pundits, plus I have needed more time to process my feelings and come to terms with the idea of a President-elect Trump.  I still feel a bit like that character from The Princess Bride who keeps saying "Inconceivable!"  Like Vizzini, I clearly don't understand the proper meaning of that word.

On Sunday after meeting for worship, we decided to postpone a "Quakerism 101" workshop so that those interested could instead process together in the Quaker way how we each felt re: the Presidential general election.  An hour after that some of us went downtown to take part in a small rally.  The rally organizers estimated that there were 300.  Maybe so, it certainly felt small but I would have guessed 200.  College students accounted for half that number or more.

The rally was peaceful, and the focus was not so much "anti-Trump" though there were a few signs that read "not my president" etc., but rather this was a rally of support and solidarity to stand up for civil rights for any and all of the groups previously targetted by the Trump campaign.  Personally, I encountered only one heckler, and even that was pretty mild.  There were a number of speeches given, including one from the president of the local chapter of the NAACP.

Given that the rally was so small and seemingly largely ignored by people shopping and dining downtown, I was almost surprised to see that one of the local TV stations provided a small bit of coverage:  http://www.kktv.com/content/news/Anti-Trump-and-anti-fascist-protests-held-Sunday-in-Colorado-Springs-401036085.html  It is too bad that this report omits any of the speeches given.

Thus far my emotional reaction has (mostly) not been fear or despair, but to my surprise I feel a quiet inner calm and resolution to adhere to my own and my adopted Quaker values.  I absolutely do not want to feed and fuel negativity by answering hate with hate or (harder for me for me to avoid) responding with anger to anger.  To that end, health and energy permitting, I plan to involve myself more with a local concerned citizens group, Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission ( http://www.ppjpc.org/ ) and look for other opportunities to make a positive and constructive difference.

Frankly, my biggest concern is still the environment: climate change and global warming.  I have been tellng myself, worse case scenario, even if the U.S. were to become completely fascist, in time we might recover.  Albeit with deep scars, Germany appears to have recovered from Hitler.  As it is, I feel like we have at best only a few years left for all 197 nations of our one shared planet to formulate an effective global response.  I hope I am as wrong about climate change and the time frame for humanity to stave off ecological disaster as I was about who the next U.S. President will be.  (Note: I did not say "who would win the election" since it appears Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote, whereas Mr. Trump has won the electoral college--which votes on Dec. 19th and in fact decides who the next President of the United States shall be in our republic. </lj-cut>
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
8:41 am
The U.S. Presidential election, OMG
I still feel shocked.  No doubt, I will be feeling increasingly horrified as the shock wears off.  I fear both for what this means for the United States but as much or more so for our one shared world.  I still believe that addressing climate change is one of, if not our very top priority.  I had concerns that Mrs. Clinton, if elected, might fail to do enough.  (Trump previously has said that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to hurt the U.S. economy.)  I had never taken the Trump candidacy seriously.  Even prior to winning the Republican nomination, his complete lack of any prior public service made it impossible for me to consider him a viable candidate.  And that was before the racism, Islamophobia/xenophobia, sexism, etc. were in full view and prior to the tape of his "locker room talk" bragging about sexually assaulting women he found attractive.  His dismal business record with multiple bankruptcies, the pending lawsuits for fraud (Trump University), etc. All of that combined with the repudiation of Trump by serious conservatives left me feeling confident that Hillary Clinton would win, the only question (I thought) was by what margin and could enough seats in the Senate be secured to overcome the Republican Party obstruction that plagued President Obama's two terms.  So, I am feeling shocked both in having expectations dashed, but more at the implications for the future.  I am finding it rather difficult to feel hopeful this morning, and find I cannot bear to hear the pundits on TV attempting to make sense of this.  I stayed up last night unable to watch for more than a few minutes at a time, but unable to go to bed until the results were in.  I feel as though I am living in some real life version where the Children of the Corn not only exist but have won.

I am going to have some breakfast and in the days ahead figure out what if anything can be salvaged and what positive impact I as a citizen can make.  At present, I feel like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Monday, November 7th, 2016
7:34 am
The day before the U.S. Presidential election
I bet almost everyone who follows U.S. politics is ready for our elections to be over.  In an effort to provide some relief our major cable Weather channel will be offering non-stop serene weather viewing tomorrow afternoon, as per the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/weather-channel-election_us_58195c11e4b07c97c1c55411?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Morning%20Email%20110716&utm_content=The%20Morning%20Email%20110716+CID_76f5a91cdeb8c177d0e42684ee3eb287&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=calming%20weather%20video

Well, time to get my day started.  I hope to be hanging out here on LJ more once this election is over.  I hope you, dear reader, are well and thriving no matter what part of the world you are in.  Have a beautiful day and a lovely evening!  Peace
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