Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Media

I have decided I hate the news media. I've always disliked them, but now it has crossed over to just plain hate. If they could get anything right, or not sensationalize beyond recognition it would be incredibly amazing. From my own local paper accusing a "Pit Bull of MAULING a 7 year old" to Jennifer Aniston snickering because Sean Penn won the Oscar for "Milk" over whatever Brad Pitt was nominated for.

The first one in the what I call the "Daily Senile" stated it was a "Pit Bull type dog". Which really could mean anything because Pit Bull itself is a misnomer attached to the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Pit Bull term comes from dogs used in 19th century England for what is called "Bull Baiting", which is an extremely barbaric act that was supposed to kill the bull in a stressful manner to, in theory, tenderize the meat. The most common dog used for that was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier because of their strength. When that practice was made illegal, owners turned to dog fighting as a form of sick entertainment that continues today, albeit illegally. That is where the Pit portion of the phrase comes from, and can be any dog in a Pit that is fighting. Sadly, today it is most commonly the American Staffordshire Terrier because of their sheer strength and intense desire to please their master, which can include fighting another dog to the death to get praise. I could go on for hours about this, but effectively the argument is that the media is extremely irresponsible in their reporting and we cannot count on them to report responsible news. They will stretch the truth as much as possible to sell papers, and unfortunately, incite witch hunters who are too stupid to form rational opinions regarding specific matters.

The second one about Jennifer Aniston, is actually what really made this make sense to me. Leave this woman alone! My heck, she and Brad Pitt have been divorced for almost a century now, and the media will not leave this threesome alone. There is a video attached to the story of her snickering as Sean Penn is announced as the Oscar winner. What's stupid about this snickering accusation is that she sitting right behind Sean Penn; why can't it be that she was simply happy for him. They likely spent some time visiting, getting to know each other, etc. But it has to be this BIG Jennifer vs. Brangelina deal! AAAGGGGHHHH!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vick Okay'd for home confinement

I just read Vick is getting closer to getting out of the Penn. The interesting thing about that article is there are several NFL teams that have said they won't touch him because of the wrath of animal lovers and PETA. I don't know why they'd be worried about PETA, they said and have continued to say the dogs should have been destroyed, they are a waste of resources. Which makes me think PETA is a waste of an organization. Back to the waste of humanity, Vick, the only thing this man can possibly do to try and redeem himself is become an animal rights advocate. That's just my personal opinion. People do make mistakes, I've have made my own unforgivable wreckage. But if he were really to get into the core of animals and their rights, and what we subject them to, he could be a voice for saving so many that lose their lives because human beings are generally idiots. Another thought on that, is he may be one voice who can reach the urban street fighters...just wishful thinking on my part. He's probably going to sit around and whine about his lot in life and how wronged he was by the system...I can hope people are better than that, but they generally aren't.

Nacchio headed to jail...finally (hopefully)

Former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio soon may be known as inmate number 33973-013.
An appeals court on Wednesday affirmed his insider-trading conviction, revoked his bond and ordered him to begin serving his six-year prison term.

"What they're saying is you need to start your sentence right now," said former federal prosecutor Rick Kornfeld.

Nacchio, 59, already is registered in the federal prison system. He requested placement in a Pennsylvania correctional facility, but the U.S. Bureau of Prisons hasn't said whether that's where he's going.

Nacchio, a New Jersey resident, is free on $2 million bond. He ran Denver- based Qwest at the height of the technology bubble in the late 1990s and made millions after the upstart company acquired phone giant U S West.

Nacchio's attorney, Maureen Mahoney, said the 10th Circuit ruling is at odds with decisions of other appeals courts across the country.

"We are optimistic that the Supreme Court of the United States will review the case," she said in a statement.

One former federal prosecutor said, however, that a review by the Supreme Court was unlikely.
"An evidentiary ruling by the trial court that's upheld by the court of appeals on whether or not to allow an expert to testify, I would be surprised if that's something the Supreme Court would (review)," said Tony Leffert.

Nacchio has 90 days to petition for a review and could get a 60-day extension. The court reviews less than 1 percent of cases submitted. Nacchio can also ask for an emergency stay of his sentence, but those are rarely granted.

David Gaouette, acting U.S. attorney for Colorado, said the ruling "reaffirms what the government has believed from the beginning, that the jury verdict finding Mr. Nacchio guilty was indeed correct."

Many retirees and Qwest employees lost millions in retirement holdings as the company's stock tanked in the two years after the U S West buyout. Rank-and-file employees were not allowed to trade company stock held in pension funds. During that time, however, Nacchio and his executive team were aggressively selling stock and reaping millions.

He was indicted on 42 counts of illegal insider trading in December 2005. The indictment accused Nacchio of accelerating his sale of company stock in 2001 when he had nonpublic information that Qwest's financial condition was deteriorating.

After a month-long trial, Nacchio was convicted on 19 counts and acquitted on 23 counts in April 2007. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $19 million in fines and forfeit $52 million in ill-gotten gains.

I doubt also that the supreme court will hear this case, but if they do, I hope they come to the same conclusion and an example is made out of this scumbag. His arrogance is disgusting. I worked on some of the SEC investigation and heard him testify in front of congress. He is one cocky thief, who has convinced himself that what he did was justified, and millions of employees lost their hard earned life savings while this useless son-of-a-bitch got rich. This is where I think an eye for an eye justice system is best served, rather than a piddly little prison sentence. Let's do like they did with Mussolini...hang this bastard in the square! I know what he and his fellow criminals did was not on the scale of Worldcom or Enron, but they all happened around the same time, and this one was very close to home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The story continues...

I posted a few days ago about choices and realizing that today I know I have choices that during my drinking days never occurred to me. One of the things that I said was I didn't want to hear from a certain person anymore. That was pretty far from the truth. I wanted to hear from him badly, I wanted to hear what I wanted to hear, not the rants that I felt subjected to that were responses to my continued irrational behavior. Well, I heard from him, and it has been surprising. I have missed him terribly over the last couple of years that I've been on this journey through my sobriety that is a life journey. He is coming to town to visit in about three weeks, and I can't believe how much I am looking forward to it.

We have talked the last couple of nights on the phone, and the things that have come to light about how bad I was has been simply mind boggling (that word doesn't look right...). I am amazed that he would want to see me or have any kind of a civil relationship with me. I feel incredibly blessed that he would and once again turn to the power of the AA program and what it has done to turn my life around. He hasn't changed. He is who he is, doing what he is doing, and has shown in the past and continues to show an amazing amount of compassion for someone who really didn't deserve it. He has shared with me some stories of my behavior that I don't remember. It doesn't make less accountable, but it is interesting to hear. What's more, I am ready to hear it. I have changed tremendously, I like to think for the better, but know that in some fundamental ways, that isn't true. A year ago I would railed against it, and said he was trying hurt me. Now I hear it, and I hear him say he doesn't want to hurt me or make me feel bad, and I really hear that from him, and I appreciate it. But I also know that I need to hear it. I need to hear the painful truth of what I was to really appreciate how far I have come and to keep me going down this serene path of sobriety. I don't ever want to forget what I was, and I want people to be honest with me. I want to try to make amends where I can, some I know can probably never be made, but I really want to try.

I am grateful. I am grateful to him, my family, the program and my friends for giving me this second chance to be the best that I can be. I know now, with no illusion, that I am working to arrest an extremely powerful foe that will take me down in a second if I give it any hint of light, and hearing the truth helps me keep it securely locked away, one day at a time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I just saw this article on Yahoo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Two teams with unsettled quarterback situations—the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings—might be interested in acquiring suspended Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick.

Vick is in federal prison on felony charges related to dogfighting and is scheduled to be released in July. The Falcons have said they will try to trade him, though they could cut him and make him a free agent.

The popular belief is that the 9er's will not end up pursuing Vick. They can put it out there all they want, but when it comes to public opinion, San Francisco is an unlikely place for him to hang his hat. It will be surprising to many people if it happens. Part of it is the San Fran liberal way of life and it is an absolute dog loving city. Many of the dogs taken from his property in Virginia live in Oakland now. BAD RAP is based in Oakland and some of those dogs are still in their care, and they are being very public about their rehab success with those now pets, and I think, debunking the Pit myth more and more each day. I have no idea about Minnesota, but they are in a witch hunt of their own and may celebrate this idiot.

I found the entire indictment online and read it to see what his involvement really was, since he says other people were just using his property, he was never there, and didn't know what was happening, but plead to reduce his sentence. He was directly involved in financing and promoting at least three dog fights that the feds know of, so he can't claim ignorance and people who say he's being picked on because he's a celebrity are misguided. The thing that was mind boggling about it was the purses were pretty low, around $2,600 for for a fight. Who would risk a $130 million contract for that? Well, now we know...

A cute Callie Tidbit

I just love this picture of her. I had her about two weeks, I think, when I took this. She was so little! Anyway, cute Callie tidbit: My dog farts...not unusual I know. But it makes me laugh. We were getting ready for our walk this morning and she gets really excited. We are going somewhere fun, she just knows. And when she gets really excited, she farts. She has done this for months now. What the funny part is, is that it surprises her every single time. She whips around and looks behind her like something was sneeking up on her. She has yet to figure it out. I'm guessing when she gets to Ozzie's age, she likely won't care where it comes from any more.

Friday, February 20, 2009


A friend called me tonight having been through many issues of late. He and I have become good friends over the last few years. I worked with him at the little store I was at before transferring, he has left that store and now works for the post office with the goal of going to college. If I had a son, it would be him. He's a terrific young man and wants many things out of life. I keep encouraging him to get on campus as soon as possible. He says he's trying, but I need to butt out, it's his journey, not mine. What I did emphasize to him is that he is in a prime place right now. He's young, unattached, no children, no mortgage. The world is his for the taking, he just has to set his goal and go for it. He has worried frequently about pleasing others and making sure his family approves of him. I recognize that behavior. He knows he needs to let that go and do what is right for him, but I know that is much easier said than done. When I was his age, I was a college grad, married, and working. I really wanted to be a grown up with a grown up life (way overrated!). A few short years later we had a mortgage and I wanted to set out and explore the world (I had a safe harbor, so I wanted to start coloring outside the lines...death nail in my marriage). I did it backwards, and now I am doing all that I should have done in my younger days. I told him he might as well be doing his exploring now because it is the way life is designed. Define your life, decide what you want, go for it and the rest falls into place. Otherwise you have to do it when your older, and it is simply exhausting! There is no getting out of it, which I find an interesting aspect of the universe. Not to mention there is the dealing with the extra baggage that comes with making those mistakes in early years, and the collateral damage of addiction mixed into the pot.

This friend is good for me to have in my life. I can give him sage (read bullshit) wisdom and learn lessons from his experiences. Plus, I just enjoy him so much. He's funny, self-deprecating, adventurous and really open to good suggestions. He has the keen ability to discern decent advice given with care from bad advice designed by selfish motives. He also knows my story inside and out because we have spent so much time together at work and otherwise. He hears where I took wrong turns and what I have learned, and what I am doing to unpack that baggage that I have carried for so long. A good friend of mine from my AA group calls it uncovering, discovering and discarding. Realizing the truth and letting go of the shame and humiliation of it is the first step to making progress. We all have it, but with this particular young friend, he is truly carry some burdens that are not his to carry. I know in dramatic detail how dangerous it can be to carry someone else's cross.

I told this friend of mine that I have faith he will make the right decisions for himself. He is, if nothing else, honest with himself and believes in his abilities. The only thing he needs to do in my mind is pick a path, take it and never look back. I know he won't take my path, he's too grounded in reality for that, but hopefully he'll take my lessons and use them for his benefit and in the end have a whole and fulfilling life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Today I have choices. Choices that I never knew that I had. I have the ability to make the choice to hurt someone, help someone, be of service, go to work, walk my dog, exercise, eat right, not drink. These are choices I didn't know I had during my drinking days. I had to drink, and that was all that I knew on any given day. I had a choice to make a major geographic change early in my sobriety, and I made the wrong choice and it led to horrible relapse. I didn't know I had a choice because I was new to the game of being sober, and as a result the consequences for me and for someone else were enormous. I have a choice today to respond or not to someones anger. I have been sitting on a communication with a specific person for a while now. I have turned it over in my head, started a thousand responses, and felt so many feelings, but I have chosen not to respond to the anger. I have the choice in myself to not respond out of anger or fear, fear has driven me for too long, and no longer manages my life. This person has every right to be angry, and can be angry as long as he chooses. I can't change the past, I have told him before if I could I would in a second, but I have total power to change the present and the future. I feel lucky to be able to make these choices, I never believed I had them before, or if I did make a choice it was the wrong one and I incurred disapproval, wrath or banishment from relationships. I had choices at every turn, and through most of my life made the wrong turn out of fear. Today I choose to make the right turn and protect myself and others from potential egregious behavior that has plagued my history. Today I choose to be of service and help someone who may feel as I felt, that there were no choices and "conditions" brought me to my behavior. It was never about conditions, it was about me and my unhappiness with myself and frankly, with this person. Today, I am happy with myself and my place in this world, and the choices I now make. I punished him for a long time after I got sober because I was angry and I was hurt. He was not the only one who lost out of this whole thing, but he made sure I paid a dear price for what I did. I don't know why he communicates with me periodically now, he says its because he still cares. I don't believe it for a second. I think he does when he observes that I am doing well and that life is working for me. I'm sure that makes his stomach churn, because someone like him doesn't want someone like me, who did the things I did, to be happy and getting well. He said something about everyone being "right about me", and he didn't mean it in a good sense. It hurts pretty deeply because I try to be a good person and do the right thing. The problem is that when alcohol gets added to the mix, I become pretty awful. But that is not me. He wants to think it's me, but it isn't, and I know it isn't. So instead of responding to his anger, and letting him suck me again, I choose today to let go with love and wish him well. He did what he could do for me. I have to walk the sobriety path alone, and trust myself. I don't have to, and don't want to hear from him anymore. He can sit in his anger all he wants, I am done and I hope somewhere he finds happiness and I'm sure he is happy with the choices he has made.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Journal writing vs. writing practice

I have done journal writing on and off over the years, many of my journals are now gone, which is a shame because there were some impressive nuggets in there for writing practice that can never be recovered. I find that journal writing takes a turn the longer I practice. Journal writing for me has always been intense whining about everything that is wrong in my life, and I can whine with the best of them. Now I find with my new thinking and frankly, being sick of my own voice, that journal writing has taken on a more creative slant. This practice is freeing to me. I still whine, make no mistake. Then I get sick of it and find myself moving on to more positive, better topics. This is the place where I can let my grandiose thinking free. I can create characters who are outrageous and who do all of the things I always wanted to do, but never had the courage for. Living large, loving big, taking risks that, in reality, have always been too scary for me. As I advance in my knowledge and work on my craft I believe, eventually, there will be someone in there worth focusing on and developing, and who may help me develop myself and lay my fears of life to rest.

I was thinking about that because I have a book that I use daily for writing prompts and have used for a long time, even in my darkest drinking days, and it has helped me develop enormously in my creativity. It suggests that many writers like to keep a separate notebook for journaling and for writing practice. Because it all seems to flow together for me, I find that simply changing the color of my pen, or switching from pen to pencil is all that I need to do to keep track of where reality ends and fantasy begins. I enjoy my writing tremendously, and I love to see what I will come up with next when I complete my whining and tune into the muse.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've often thought

I've often thought that if I could say the right thing, everything would be okay. I've often thought that if I did the right things, it would all work out. I forget, because of the awful things that I said and did before, whether I remember them or not, that there are consequences, and some of those consequences are permanent. I turned a corner one day and didn't think, I acted, and that action led to other actions that can never be taken back, can never be repaired, and the consequences are forever. No one can go back and make a new beginning, but can start from where they are and make a brand new ending. The life I wanted, the life I tried for is gone. The life I have now has potential in ways that were never possible before, because now I see the truth and understand the consequences of my behavior and actions. Decisions I made every day had a price, and that price was dear. Decisions I make today also have a price, therefore, I make better decisions, and I make sure I am willing to pay the price. How I treat people, places, things, myself define who I am today. How I treated people then defined who I was, and I am not that person anymore, and I am not required to live in the old definition. The big book says that we will no longer wish to forget the past, nor close the door on it. Frequently, through time I have wanted to close the door, but I can't. I have to look at the price I paid and the lessons I learned in order to grow and become a better person. A person with character and ability, one day at a time.


Over the last year and a half I haven't been cooking much. My schedule doesn't really allow for a lot of time in the kitchen and it's always a challenge cooking for one person. I used to cook all the time and found it meditative. I loved trying new recipes and having a good meal. I try to keep things simple and have discovered some new things that I can do for myself that are really tasty and just the right size for me. Yesterday I marinated a flank steak in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and broiled it for about five minutes a side. Then I sauteed some spinach in olive oil and garlic and sliced the steak over the top. It was really filling and had a terrific flavor. It set my tone for the afternoon since I had to work a late shift. I found myself with more energy and not absolutely starving, which is a really bad feeling to have in a grocery store. I make a lot of bad choices there when I let myself get too hungry. Another favorite meal is broiled salmon with roasted red peppers and capers. You can buy peppers already roasted in a jar, but I love the flavor of roasting a pepper myself and enjoy peeling the burned skin off it after it's roasted. Yet another favorite is baked chicken breast with ginger and garlic and then I saute red cabbage wok style and serve the chicken over it. The possibilities are becoming endless once again for me. While I would like to cook for others, and I did enjoy it when I did, I am finding that cooking for myself is becoming really important with the economy and my own well-being. I also find that if I make the right dish, like vegetarian lasagne, it freezes beautifully and I can make twelve balanced meals out of one dish that takes about an hour to put together. One thing Suzy said to me is that if I add things to my diet, I might find myself feeling better. It is just as easy to walk to the produce department and grab an apple than it is to stand in front of the candy bars that I swear are screaming my name. They still scream, because I'm a sugar freak, but I can tune them out easier if my tummy is full. Progress, not perfection...I keep moving forward and will one day be able to balance myself out in my diet and in my life.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A brief encounter

I was standing in the store yesterday doing my job and some man walked up to me. He said my name and told me who he was. I was shocked! He was a consultant for a high-tech company I recruited for 10 years ago! That he recognized me was amazing, that I remembered him, pretty incredible. We spent some time catching up, he introduced me to his wife. He said he had grown up over here, and I vaguely remember us talking about that when we were working together. I remembered later that someone at the time, so long ago, had mentioned that he was interested in me, but he never asked me out. He wouldn't have been my type anyway, he's a nice guy! I did date another guy at that company briefly who was quite the freak, so of course I was interested in him. I hope as I'm aging and getting to know myself better that I trust my instincts more. I think it helps that I don't drink them into submission. Not that I'm looking for a relationship, it really is the furthest thing from my mind. I'm not willing to set myself up and risk the last fall I took. I'm not there yet. I'm afraid I may never be there again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More Michael Vick

I do a search every couple of days to find out the status on Vick's processing out of the federal pen into a halfway house. The media has gone silent on the topic, so I don't know what that means. But following is a link to an article opining that Vick should be able to return to the NFL. The comments got pretty heated, and I got sucked in for a minute. You can see my comments as gjwriter. This hokienomics idiot got me too riled up for my own good so I gave up. As I was re-reading this morning and looking at the other comments, a lot of people were put off by this person. For me, it reminded me too much of my ex, and I found myself feeling bad about my opinion, which is bullshit. In my communications with him (my ex), he seems to want to talk, and I buy in, and then next thing I know, I'm getting slammed for being a piece of shit. I decided to quit playing these peoples games, I value myself to much these days to let them make me feel bad about my opinions. Most of the time these types of people are not worth the effort. I think that is what most people decided about this hokienomics guy.

It is an interesting article. I had a couple of comments, but one is that the NFL really has to raise its standards across the board. They compromise too much and let players get away with too much because talent is hard to come by. Vick is simply one glaring example of self-will run riot.

The Night Sky

My writing prompt for the day is "The Night Sky". I live in an area of the country where it is pretty easy to get away from the lights of the city and see the night sky in pretty near true form. We can see more stars here than say, Denver. I like the time of year that I walk out of work and see the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn all in a perpendicular row over the Monument. The most recent time I saw that, the sun hadn't quite finished setting, and there was a slight orange glow over the hills and the stars and stood out like well placed poster board stickers.

The night sky in Grand Lake is much more clear. I was always surprised when I went to the cabin how many stars were actually in the sky. I loved sitting outside in the middle of the night in complete silence and looking at the sky. Occasionally there would be a shooting star, and the constant reminder of how small I am.

The night sky that impressed me the most was when I lived on The Shire. Somehow at sea level, we seemed closer to the sky. I could reach out and touch the horizon. The sky folds down and wraps its warmth around you at that place and, in the middle of no where, you feel safer than anywhere else on Earth. The sky was filled, like someone had taken a silver colored pen and made dots everywhere they could on a piece of paper. But they never spent too much time close together. Shooting stars were amazingly common out there, probably because we had no light at all and could see the sky more clearly than any other place I've been. I learned to navigate by the stars. I can't remember any of it now, but I used to be able to identify almost all of the major constellations. From that time of being a little girl, to now being an adult, I find myself impressed with the night sky and the peace it brings to my soul.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Miss Callie

It occurred to me today as Callie and I were out at Devil's Canyon that I haven't posted anything about her in a while. I've been focused on everything about her, namely Breed Specific Legislation, but have given no updates on what's happening with the girl herself. I guess that can be good and bad. She is getting older, but may have stopped growing, which is fine, I think she's just the perfect size. We haven't found any sporting groups here, but I haven't looked much because I'm just not seeing anything. I'd love to get her into an obstacle course group, she has great speed and incredible agility. I was watching her out hiking and she was making her own jumps and looked just like a dog I saw pictures of that belonged to Vick. That dogwas really enjoying his time on a course. She's smaller than those dogs and seems more interested in sticks than jumping, but likes all physical activity. She got some great social interaction today, there were a lot of dogs out there, all different breeds and temperaments. She seems oblivious to dogs that show some aggression to her, she just moves on to the next dog that will maybe play with her. We try to walk a lot everyday, it's really good for both of us, and she does really well with the EasyWalk harness I bought for her. She's happy with it, I'm happy with it, and it gives me leverage on her to keep her from pulling. She sleeps with me on the bed, and as I move, she moves in closer, so by morning I have about one quarter of the bed and she's flopped in the middle. All in all she has turned out to be the best dog ever, and I love her so much, and she knows it. She is incredibly affectionate, strongly willful, and terribly smart. I love that she is with the program no matter what and that she finds an exciting adventure in everything. I look at her and feel happy that she is in my life, and I wish I could give that love to every dog on the planet so that they didn't have to suffer some of the incredible injustices that they do. I realize in her how patient, tolerant and kind dogs are to us humans, many of whom often don't deserve that treatment. They don't judge, they don't hold grudges, they seldom get mad, all they want is a warm place to live, some love and bowl of kibbles to feast on. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My girlfriend Suzy is in town and we had tea this morning. I won't get to spend much time with her because she's doing some family stuff, but I have to say it was really terrific to see her. Suzy and I have been friends for almost 20 years. We haven't seen each other in about 15 of those years, but thanks to the advance of technology we have kept in constant contact. She knows my history, and I know what has been happening in her life and it was like we talked yesterday. We might get together this afternoon and take Callie for a hike, or we may have to wait until tomorrow, but I love that deep connection with my girlfriends. I don't have many, but the ones that are in my life are incredibly valuable to me, more so because they watched me walk through hell and back and loved me in spite of the awful things I did. It gives those friendships a very special place in my heart.

One thing she said to me that I have looked at before and am looking at again is a liver cleansing diet. I've gained a lot of weight since I've gotten sober (if I wasn't as active as I am I know I'd be ten times bigger). She mentioned that something like alcoholism gets us out of balance and we tend to stay out of balance one way or another because its what's comfortable to us who have damaged ourselves. I had a book at one point that was a diet book designed specifically to cleanse the liver, but I'm sure it got sold or dumped somewhere in Roswell. So I ordered it again today, and am looking at another book that discusses regeneration of a damaged metabolism and organs. I know that she has become a raw food advocate and it has helped her tremendously with many things, including weight loss. I know for me that when I eat better, I feel better, but I get these incredible intense, almost obsessive urges to consume junk food, a lot like the obsession to drink when I was active in my alcoholism. It doesn't help that I work in a grocery store and look at the beautiful, yummy looking pastries that people buy all day long! I also know that I'm tired of being fat and tired of not feeling good much of the time and just tired of being tired. That's the other great thing about girlfriends. They can give you gentle encouragement and nudges in the right direction! I'm so glad Suzy is in my life!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some funnies (or stuff that's probably been on Leno)

I think I used to work for this guy.

This person looks familiar. I think it's my ex...


How unusual!
For days, the mainstream media talked endlessly about it. Michael Vick. Dogfighting. Blood sport. Killing animals that underperformed. Many defended the professional athlete. Others thought Vick should receive the maximum sentence after his conviction.

Some of us shook our heads, repulsed by the cruelty, but we were utterly dismayed that so many people who expressed outrage over Vick’s crime, seemed to pay little or no attention to the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, we’re a nation of animal lovers. And, we’re enamored of our sports heroes. Certainly, the Michael Vick/dog abuse narrative was a juicy plate of filet mignon for infotainment peddlers to place upon our television trays. These are the same “reporters” who seldom mention US troop deaths and who never talk about the estimated million plus Iraqi civilians who have died since the occupation of Iraq.

So, why, then, given our attraction to animal stories, were news anchors silent on the massacre at the Gaza Zoo by Israeli troops who shot and killed caged animals during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza?

The answer, of course, is that we’re supposed to believe that Israeli troops are the good guys. Palestinians are “militants.” Israeli soldiers are, well, soldiers.

“The zoo opened in late 2005, with money from local and international NGOs. There were 40 types of animals, a children’s library, a playground and cultural centre housed at the facility.

“Inside the main building, soldiers defaced the walls, ripped out one of the toilets and removed all of the hard drives from the office computers. We asked him why they targeted the zoo. He laughs. ‘I don’t know. You have to go and ask the Israelis. This is a place where people come to relax and enjoy themselves. It’s not a place of politics.’

“‘Let me answer that with a question. We are under attack. There was not a single person in this zoo. Just the animals. We all fled before they came. What purpose does it serve to walk around shooting animals and destroying the place?’

“Inside one cage lie three dead monkeys and another two in the cage beside them. Two more escaped and have yet to return. He points to a clay pot. ‘They tried to hide,’ he says of a mother and baby half-tucked inside.

Qasim says that his main two priorities at the moment are rebuilding the zoo and taking the Israeli army to court.”

The gruesome attack must have posed a true dilemma when our mainstream media got wind of it: A tragic tale of dead animals vs. exposing the brutality of Israeli troops.

My only question is when will cruelty to innocent lives end? Sadly, I don't think ever. People have no conscience, no morals and no values. A similar thing happened in Bosnia. I remember hearing a Bear at the zoo starved to death and people who tried to feed it were shot at by snipers, they finally had to give up. It is simply incredible, and it goes on every single day across this pathetic globe.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Carli belongs to my friend Dominic who lives in London. Dominic and I have been pen pals for over 12 years now. We lost touch for a bit when I lost myself, but have reconnected. It has been nice to be back in touch. I posted some pictures of Callie on another site that I belong to that friends and I can keep in touch, particularly those at a distance, and he sent me some pictures of his little girl. Carli is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Dominic said there was some "scaremongering" going on over there because a little girl got killed by one of the breed. He's right though, no one ever looked at the what the owner did or didn't do to the dog. People use a British term...wankers for the most part.

There are two things I think are interesting. One is his girl's name is Carli and my girl is Callie. He's had Carli for a long time, I remember getting pictures about six years ago, I think. I remember when I got Callie thinking I wanted a more English/Irish type name (her name means "lark" ). Carli is "small champion" in Gaelic. The second thing that strikes me is Carli's pose. This is Callie's most favorite position too. They are funny, amazing dogs. Everything is worth relishing in their minds. Strong, powerful and energetic dogs, but when they lay down, they sleep better than any other breed I've ever seen, and they absolutely thoroughly enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans — and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team — understand.

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said.

Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

I have a second cousin who is a high-ranking officer in the military. He has been fighting terrorists for years. Say what you want about Dick Cheney and the policies of Bush, but Cheney is right, we are in a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business. One of the things that terrorists have is a tremendous amount of patience. They hate our freedoms, but will stop at nothing to use them against us, and use them to attack us. People point at Bush after 9/11, but I guarantee that attack was years in the making, probably under Clinton's watch, and make no mistake, Clinton was warned and chose to ignore it. We will be in an extremely vulnerable position once we are out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and they will keep coming. Remaining vigilant is our only hope, and I pray that Obama takes that heart or we will find ourselves in a much tougher position than we are in now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Western Slope Energy Field Cuts

Grand Junction - Layoffs and hiring freezes are rife across the energy fields in recent weeks as rigs are idled. Hours are being cut, workers demoted to positions with lower salaries, raises rescinded. Perks such as company trucks are being recalled. Small contract companies have packed up and moved back to the states they came from.

Oil and Gas has always been transient. When it came to the valley, I knew it was going to be flighty. There were some guys at the little store I worked at who packed in their jobs with this grocery chain to chase the money in the oil fields. One guy had 28 years with the store and was walking away from a serious pension he had been earning. I don't make a lot of money doing what I'm doing, but I am able to put 10% out of each paycheck into my 401(k), I have a pension that's accumulating, and I have decent health benefits. I thought briefly about trying for the oil game and even applied at Halliburton. I'm glad it didn't pan out.

In 2001, I was in my sixth year of recruiting for the high tech industry, and I knew, based on some phone calls I had with candidates, that the market was getting ready to collapse. The lesson I learned in that one is that you can't ride the big money bubble for too long, it will pop. Most of the money in high tech is what I now call Monopoly money. People ended up losing everything because they believed their stock options would pay off, and some did, but most didn't.

With as much paycheck money as I made in high tech, I was able to save enough to go back to school and get my Paralegal certificate. I don't work as a paralegal for several reasons. One of which certainly had to do with my inability to stop drinking. What I have found relatively late in life is that slow and steady wins the race. Right now my 401(k) is losing money, my groups pension plan is going to be declared in the red in April, my cost of living is increasing, and I have had to have some things done that have taken money from my regular savings accounts, and it hurts right now. However, what I do know, is that it will turn around. It always does. It really is hard to be right in the middle of it and trust the process of economic correction. It's almost as hard as trying to get sober and failing was...actually nothing has been that hard. But it will change if I stay on course and remember that I am doing what I'm doing for some really good, sound and healthy reasons, and if I trust the economic process, it will work out. History repeats itself. We have been through recessions and depressions before, and we have been okay in the end. It can be a bitch from day to day, but people need to keep focused on their goals, and all will be well in the end.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Night Heron

Callie and I went out to the Colorado River Trail this morning to log some miles and enjoy the respite from the freezing cold weather (it's been downright balmy here...thank heavens!). There is a tributary that feeds from the Gunnison River into the Colorado River and runs through the power plant along the trail. We often see Ducks, Geese and Quail along our route. Today we saw our first Heron. I saw them frequently in the pond when I lived on F1/2 Road, but this was Callie's first of her young life, and my first this year. And actually I'm not sure she even saw it, she was busy hunting for the biggest stick the trail had to offer. She found it. I can't believe what that girl can carry!
Anyway, the Heron was just sitting there in the tributary looking for breakfast and doing what they do really well...sitting very still and quiet and letting the water flow past, hoping a fish will be in the current. It was very cool!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Point

Here's something to think about. I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age.

A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, 'Do you think I'll live to be 90?'

He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?' 'No,' I replied. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'

Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?' I said, 'No, my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'

Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?' 'No, I don't,' I said. He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?' 'No,' I said.

He looked at me and said,.... 'Then, why do you even give a shit?

Breed Specific Legislation

This is a link to the Humane Society's web page regarding Breed Specific Legislation. Last night I got home from work and was reading some really negative views regarding what is considered the "Pit Bull Breed" and the "need" for Breed Specific Legislation. This morning I was looking for voices of reason and have so far found thousands, for which I am grateful. The link to the Humane Society page is most educational. The Humane Society has taken tough stances on what they consider dangerous breeds. However, they back that up with this link that discusses the difficulty in enforcing breed specific legislation as well as the human factor in creating "dangerous dogs". It also talks about the history of witch hunts which have gone from breed to breed, and argue, I think correctly, that once done killing all the "Pit Bulls", humans will move on to another breed. I argued that a couple of days ago here, so at least I know big organizations feel the pulse too.

The thing I found most educational is the definition of the "Pit Bull Breed". Most people, including me have associated it with the Stafford shire Terrier. I discovered this morning that that statement can encompass many strong breed dogs, but since the Staffordshire Terrier is the latest and greatest target of hysterical Americans, that is what people call "Pits".

The link I found this morning that I think I like the most is It contains links to several other websites and lists who is helping and who is hurting this breed. The creator of the website is like me, she ended up with an American Staffordshire Terrier by complete accident, and discovered it is the best dog she's ever had, and has since become an advocate for stopping this insanity that has been sweeping the nation. The other site that I cling to still and support as much as possible is

I also read last night that Michael Vick is being processed out of the Pen and into a halfway house in Newport News, VA. "He is scheduled to be released any day", the report said. He's hoping to begin working to revitalize his football career. I think, based on limited things that have been said (the NFL is remaining very tight-lipped about this), he is going to have a pretty tough time making it back. Dad thinks Vick will simply find that he is too old and out of shape to resume any kind of a career. It will be interesting to see it unfold. I know what I'm hoping, but it's not up to me.