Friday, December 10, 2004

Depression. It's a weird thing. You want to (insert activity here) but, somehow, you just CAN NOT do it. It's like there's this barrier, this weird plasmic physical barrier that keeps you from doing anything. It's so strange. You might think in your mind and feel in your heart, "Hey, I'd really like to go to the movies." But, somehow, you just can't do it. You end up just going home and staring at the ceiling or reading a book or playing a mind-numbing game on the computer.

I call it my "inertia problem."

Things are better than they were. I'm able to quite literally force myself to do things - like going to painting class, having lunch with friends, taking a shower. Last night I actually wanted to go to painting class and didn't have to force myself. I thought that was pretty good.

But, I've managed to really piss off one friend who felt I was ignoring him. I really didn't want to inflict myself on anyone so I just layed low for a while. I don't know if I'll hear from him again. I've made other friends feel neglected because I really don't want to talk to anyone right now.

It's a scary place to be. Fortunately, I know it's only temporary. At first it was like living in a fog and not knowing whether I would ever see light again. I've had some professional reassurance that I will be out of the fog someday. Getting over stuff takes time, I was told, and trying to force it can only make things worse.

So, I've decided to look at the whole thing like I'm way out in the ocean and I'm riding a wave toward shore. I can see the shore, but it's a long, long way out there. But, it *is* there and I am moving toward it. Slowly. Very slowly. But surely. And, I will eventually get there so long as I don't start thrashing around like I'm trying to swim toward shore. That will just attract a bunch of sharks, and I'm too far from shore to swim there, anyway.

Being an impatient person and a "fixer," this is not always easy to do, but I'm working on it. Or should I say, I'm just riding the wave.

hooouuuui!
Sandy

Saturday, October 23, 2004

SEATTLE AREA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HALLOWEEN PARTY BANNED FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING WITCHES

To the witches of Seattle and surrounding areas, I hope you didn't have anything to do with this.

Here's a link to an article about an elementary school in Washington that is banning its annual Halloween Party for the kids - one of the reasons being that it might offend "real witches." (For my non-Wicca friends: You don't have to be Wiccan to be a witch, but the article treats the terms synonymously. Wicca is the religion. Witchcraft is a practice.)

http://www.komotv.com/stories/33602.htm

Wiccans are not going to change the world's negative perceptions of us if we're banning Halloween celebrations because some Wiccans are offended by witch costumes with green complexions and warts. The spokeswoman from the school district in the article said they were banning the party because:

"Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that."

Most of the people in the school district have no idea what a Wiccan is. All this mandate did was cause confusion and create resentment of Wiccans by the community. Way to take a step backwards, Seattle.

If you want respect, fellow Wiccans, you have to earn it and not demand it. The way to earn respect and change misconceptions about Wiccans is for Wiccans to do positive things in the community. By volunteering at women's shelters and soup kitchens, organizing beach or park clean ups, and working in fellowship with other clergy to raise money for charitable causes, we earn the respect of the community we live in.

Change their minds about witches with POSITVE things and NOT with mandates that ruin everyone's fun. (It's not going to happen over night, either.) If you start contributing to your community as Wiccans then the community will know what Wiccans really are, and then maybe little girls will want to dress up in pointy hats and black dresses and have nice pretty complexions because the witches they know for real are beautiful on the inside.

Sandy Lionflower
Solitary Practitioner, but Never Alone

Sunday, October 10, 2004

PHONY EMAIL ALERT

I received a fraudulent email today. This was one of the better ones I've seen, but the grammar was still bad. The sender claimed to be from Citibank. They sent me a link in an email and asked me to enter my Citibank Visa/ATM card number and PIN into the popup that appeared at the Web site. You can read the subject line and message text of the email I received at the end of this post.

Of course, I didn't do it. Instead, I went to the Cititbank Web site and reported it. And, I went to the FBI Web site and reported it to them, too.

The FBI responded quickly and with some really good tips that I'm going to share with you, now:

The FBI offers the following tips for Internet users:
* If you encounter an unsolicited e-mail thatasks you, either directly, or through a website,for personal financial or identity information,such as Social Security number, passwords, orother identifiers, exercise extreme caution.

* If you need to update your information online,use the normal process you’ve used before, or opena new browser window and type in the websiteaddress of the legitimate company’s account maintenance page.

* If a website is unfamiliar, it’s probably notreal. Only use the address that you have usedbefore, or start at your normal homepage.

* Always report fraudulent or suspicious e-mailto your Internet Service Provider. Reportinginstances of spoof websites will help get thesebogus websites shut down before they can do anymore harm.

* Most companies require you to log in to asecure site. Look for the lock at the bottom ofyour browser and “https” in front of the website address.

* Take note of the header address on thewebsite. Most legitimate sites will have arelatively short Internet address that usuallydepicts the business name followed by “.com” orpossibly “.org”. Spoof sites are more likely tohave an excessively long string of characters inthe header, with the legitimate business namesomewhere in the string, or possibly not at all.

* If you have any doubts about an e-mail orwebsite, contact the legitimate company directly. Make a copy of the questionable web site’s URLaddress, send it to the legitimate business andask if the request is legitimate.

* If you’ve been victimized by a spoofed e-mailor website, you should contact your local police or sheriff’s department, and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov.

--------------------------------------------------
THE PHONY EMAIL SUBJECT LINE:
Citibank e-mail verification - lionflo wer@yahoo.com

THE PHONY EMAIL MESSAGE TEXT:
Dear ­Citibank Me­mber,

Th­is ­ema­i­l­ ­was­ sent ­by th­e Citibank ­se­r­ver ­to ve­ri­fy your e-m­a­il­ ­ad­dre­s­s. You must comp­lete this process by cl­i­cking ­on the­ l­i­nk b­e­l­o­w and e­nteri­ng­ in the s­mall­ win­dow yo­ur Citi­ba­nk ATM/Debi­t Card number­ a­nd PIN­ t­ha­t­ y­o­u use on­ ­AT­M­. This is d­on­e­ for your p­rotection ­
becau­se some ­of ­our m­emb­e­rs no­ l­onger ­h­ave­ acc­es­s t­o their e­mail­ addr­e­sses and­ we m­ust verify­ i­t. To verify your ­e-mai­l addr­ess and a­cces­s you­r ban­k a­cco­u­nt, click­ ­on th­e lin­k below:

(link removed)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home

This is a link to the U.S. Senate Web site, Bill Search page. Bill S89 and Bill HR 163 deal with mandatory service for all people in America between 18 and 26 years of age.

I personally don't have a problem with mandatory service. I just have a problem with this administration's willingness to abuse their power and authority.

Also, Section 4 of the bill, in my opinion, gives the President WAY too much leeway regarding the types of service that can be performed, and who can be deferred. I see it as just another way the wealthy and well-connected can get out of the obligations imposed on the rest of us.

Read it for yourself: Click the link above, and in the Bill Search By Number field, type in HR 163 or S89. Happy reading!
U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home

This is a link to the U.S. Senate Web site, Bill Search page. Bill S89 and Bill HR 163 deal with mandatory service for all people in America between 18 and 26 years of age.

I personally don't have a problem with mandatory service. I just have a problem with this administration's willingness to abuse their power and authority.

Also, Section 4 of the bill, in my opinion, gives the President WAY too much leeway regarding the types of service that can be performed, and who can be deferred. I see it as just another way the wealthy and well-connected can get out of the obligations imposed on the rest of us.

Read it for yourself: Click the link above, and in the Bill Search By Number field, type in HR 163 or S89. Happy reading!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hurricane Frances Progress Report
It appears we were relatively successful. Though the hurricane didn't turn into a tropical storm before it hit land, it was reduced to a Category 2. We had nation-wide coverage in this effort - from Hawaii to New York.

Thanks to all who participated!

I heard a storm chaser on Coast to Coast AM last night who went down to Florida to get some film footage of a Category 4 hurricane. Not only did we disappoint him, but he also declared that he had never seen a hurricane stall like that before. Oops! Did we do that?

I will try to put the segment up on my Web site tonight: http://www.lionflower.com

It's nice to know that folks are willing to pull together for complete strangers. You all have renewed my faith in humanity.

Blessed be.
Sandie

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I started a meditation/prayer circle yesterday to attempt to reduce hurricane Frances to a tropical storm before it hits Florida.

I asked all of the magickal / spiritual people in my email box to send energy during a certain time, using their imaginations, focusing on the reducing the impact of this storm.

The first thing I did when I started my meditation last night was talk to the Mother. I told her that I understand that she has her ways. She is producing this hurricane for a reason. I then asked her to spare the people of Florida. I begged her. I told her that our country was suffering greatly right now, and asked that she spare us this added torment. I explained to her what I wanted to do, but conceded that Her will shall be done no matter what us wee mortals do.

I didn't get any objections.

I received return emails from a couple of folks. One was concerned that we were interfering in the Mother's will. My feeling is that a "Woman" can change her mind. Especially if She is asked nicely by one of her children. I'm hoping she can find another, less destructive way, of doing what she has to do in that region right now.

Today I'm pretty tired and kind of out of it. Magickal hangover. The thing is, I recruited people to do this for two more nights, so I have to suck it up and do it all again. Good stuff.

Onward and upward.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm on this crazy new diet. It's called, "Eat Less, Exercise More, and Don't Get on the Scale." We'll see how it works. Hmm.

Summer was crazy. I just had time to get used to the kid being here, and now he's back in Michigan. sigh. Now I'm trying to get used to a new normal.

Work really pissed me off last week. I had projected leave like 4 weeks in advance so I could have the day off before and the day of his leaving. All management was gone that week except one guy who was leaving the project, and he wouldn't assign anyone to help me with a deliverable, so I had to give up most of my time off. I worked half a day Wednesday and all of Thursday.

It was brutal. I was really angry and really sad and grieving all at the same time. Just an emotional wreck. Fortunately, I have some really good friends at work who were very understanding and supportive. That really helped the transition. Also, my love was stellar throughout, and I came through it much better this time - even though my time off got screwed.

I seem to be managing change much better, now, and it's all because I allow people to help me. I have good, supportive friends.

Life really is getting better all of the time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

From: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/07/1354225

I've been following the Sibel Edmonds story since she came out last year and testified at the 9/11 hearing that in the spring of 2001 she and other FBI translators reported that Osama bin Laden intended to attack the U.S. using airplanes. I copied and pasted this article here for archive purposes - because articles on other Web sites that I had bookmarked regarding Ms. Edmonds have disappeared.

Judge Throws Out Sibel Edmonds Lawsuit
In Washington a federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds against the Justice Department before he even heard evidence in the case. The judge, who admitted his decision was draconian, ruled a trial might expose government secrets that could damage national security. In her suit Edmonds charges she was wrongly fired in March 2002 after she complained that there were major problems within the FBI translation unit. Edmonds, who speaks Turkish and Farsi, was hired after the Sept. 11 attacks to translate intelligence related to Al Qaeda gathered over the previous year. Edmonds has since told the press the FBI had evidence before 9/11 that indicated an attack using airplanes was imminent. Edmonds' attorney Mark Zaid said, "The decision today represents another example of the Executive Branch's abusive nature of using secrecy as a weapon against whistleblowers. It is quite disappointingly evident that accountability is no longer a word in our government's dictionary."

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I made up a new word today: scrollflutter.

Defined: The movement the eye makes when the mouse wheel is utilized but the page doesn't scroll.

Monday, June 14, 2004

What America? What Freedom?

by Eric Kralicek, 13 Jun 04

'I'm wondering when the real culprits will be charged? I'm wondering why America isn't outraged by the inexcusable arrogance and endless atrocities that the Bush administration has orchestrated since 911? I'm wondering why Ashcroft isn't in jail right now, awaiting trial over his unlawful actions which have evoked such disgraces upon the American people by suggesting that, we as Americans can even consider torture as a viable alternative to following the laws of our own government?'

'I'm wondering why the press, instead of reporting the news, goes about telling people what to think and who to believe? I'm wondering what ever happened to that country I served as a Marine to protect? Why are we willing to give up freedom? Why are we willing to let our leaders decide what laws they can break in the name of "war against terrorism" and who they can throw in jail without a fair trial or even the right to say if their innocent.

'I'm wondering why patriotism now means "blind trust in the government" and democracy means "government for the ones who have the money to buy it".'

'I'm wondering why we have no money to pay for healthcare in America but freely offer it to Iraq?'

'I'm wondering why, and I get nothing from the press, our government, or anyone else that should be answering these questions. All I get is a country I no longer understand or respect. It is time for America to wake up and start participating in our democracy; questioning authority, and demanding answers. America is about Americans not democrats or republicans. The sooner America regains what has been lost, the sooner we will start feeling better about ourselves. America wants answers. I want answers. I want an America I can be proud of.'

Amen, brother!
Sandy

Friday, June 04, 2004

Out with the old ...

My computer was four years old. It was a Dell refurb from a long time ago. Though top of the line at the time, by today's standards it was a dawg.

Still, that computer and I had a lot of history. I telecommuted on that computer during the glorious days of the dotcom. I created the pages for my first Web site on that computer. I spent hours polishing resumes on that computer. That computer housed pictures of my son, snapshots of my lovers, financial plans, dreams, thoughts, memories, disappointments, heartaches, and hope.

I moved that computer four times. It served me well. It was only the other day that it started to behave strangely; it refused to recognize any serial port, and the printer only worked intermittently. It could still hook up to the Internet just fine, but processing was kind of slow.

I had to retire it.

Now, I'm getting used to a new machine. It's been many, many moons since I've had a new personal machine. It's a nice, fast one that came with a flat screen monitor and a couple of cool little sexy speakers. The keyboard is very comfortable and the processor just screams. All of the old files are back, too - the pictures and the notes - but they seem outdated, historical, and a little obsolete, now. Like my old computer.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The one thing I really like about my job is that I'm learning tons of nautical terms and references. Not that I like boating or anything. It just helps me to understand what the bridge crew on Star Trek TNG are talking about.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Found out last night that my father has died. He died a month ago, alone, in his shitty little apartment in a backwoods town in Arkansas. I don't know why we were not notified. Looters had their way with the place after the body was removed. All that's left is the briefcase that never left his side. The briefcase that went with him to pull duty. The briefcase in which he brought home treasures from Okinawa, Japan. The briefcase he kept his bar napkin sketches of UFOs on. The briefcase he kept his engineering plans for this contraption or that. The briefcase that housed the journal of his meeting with Jesus in a little desert bar on 20 Nov 1987.

What I feel mostly is relief. He had a difficult life, and between the alcoholism and violent mental illness, I'm surprised he made it to 68 years old. His suffering is over, and for that I am grateful.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

NICKNAMES

Here is a list of nicknames I've had. Funny how they've changed over the years.

Shorty (1978)
Short Stuff (1978 - 1983)
Baby Face (1983)
Twinkle Toes (1987)
Sparky (1987 - 1989)
Speck (1990 - 1991)
MuthaFeely Bone [MuthaFeely] (1999)
Torch [As in acetelyn] (2000 - 2001)
Tiger (2003 - 2004)
Tornado (2004)

Sunday, April 04, 2004

What do you know about Sibel Edwards?

Sibel Edwards worked for the FBI as a translator. Several months prior to the 9-11 attacks, she translated information that gave specific information regarding attacks on the U.S. targeting big cities with sky scrapers and using airplanes as missiles. She recently testified this and much more in the recent 9-11 investigation.

Now, why hasn't this story been in any of the mainstream media here in America?

See Whistleblower
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3592161.stm

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Note to Self: Update the Web site tonight (http://www.lionflower.com) with information about how to save the Hubble telescope.

Write to Congress representative and ask her to cosponsor House Resolution 550 - to save the Hubble.

Write to Congress rep's Legislative Aid in charge of Space Policy and request the aid to ask the congress rep to sponsor 550.

Create a link on the Web page so visitors can find their Congress representative (http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/).

Hubble is a $4 billion instrument that provides significant data to all humans about ourselves and our origins. We don't need a new telescope; the replacement parts to keep the Hubble operational have already been tooled. The proposed replacement doesn't do half the job of Hubble, and it would cost significantly more than a shuttle trip and the replacement parts.

Ask yourself: Why would the President choose a high-risk, high-cost project like sending an American to Mars, the benefits to humanity still obscure when he could choose a low-risk, low-cost project like repairing the Hubble?
Note to Self: Update the Web site tonight (http://www.lionflower.com) with information about how to save the Hubble telescope.

Write to Congress representative and ask her to cosponsor House Resolution 550 - to save the Hubble.

Write to Congress rep's Legislative Aid in charge of Space Policy and request the aid to ask the congress rep to sponsor 550.

Create a link on the Web page so visitors can find their Congress representative (http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/).

Hubble is a $4 billion instrument that provides significant data to all humans about ourselves and our origins. We don't need a new telescope; the replacement parts to keep the Hubble operational have already been tooled. The proposed replacement doesn't do half the job of Hubble, and it would cost significantly more than a shuttle trip and the replacement parts.

Ask yourself: Why would the President choose a high-risk, high-cost project like sending an American to Mars, the benefits to humanity still obscure when he could choose a low-risk, low-cost project like repairing the Hubble?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Apparently, some people have never given themselves the opportunity to get to know any gay couple. I know gay couples who are much better parents than many hetero couples I know.

There are plenty of children who need to be adopted by loving, stable parents. I know several gay couples who would be excellent parents for any child. Wouldn't that be the definition of a family?

I know a gay couple, one of the partners was married to a hetero because she was trying to be "normal," and was miserable as a result. After the divorce, she received custody of the children. Those kids have lived with her and her female partner for the last ten years and are bright, well adjusted, responsible teenagers who are getting ready to grace our society as open-minded, educated, sound adults.

The fact is, gays raising children, having households, and long-term, committed relationships is not a new thing. It didn't just happen, and it's not waiting to happen, it's already happening. They're already sharing lives like a married couple would.

How sad that if one of them ends up in the hospital, unconscious, on her deathbed, the other partner can't tend at the bedside. WHY? Because they are not married. They're just "partners." Cohabitating adults. So what if they've shared 15 years of monogamy in a healthy relationship.

How sad that when one partner dies, the insurance and other benefits go to relatives and not the committed partner. Why? Because they're not married. So what if the children think of the other partner as another mom, and so what if the children's father is in prison. The kids will go be a burden on some other relative because custody cannot be given to the other partner. She can't adopt the kids. Why? They weren't married.

The fact is, many gay couples are already behaving as if married. They're sharing the same responsibilities that married heterosexuals do. The mortgage. The bills. Picking up the kids from soccer practice. But, they don't get any of the survivor benefits, tax breaks, or other benefits that married hetero couples enjoy. For the sake of the children they are raising, I say give them the benefit.

Allow them to have their commitment acknowledged legally. Tax the crap out of them like every other married couple. Commited, gay couples are not going to go away just because marriage is proclaimed to be between only a man and a woman.

Sandy
God is love. God is limitless. Love is limitless.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

So I'm listening to this CD my mom got me for Christmas while I'm working. It came in a tin with some tea and it's this super relaxing music to help you get rid of your stress.

I'm listening to this CD in my headphones while I'm converting paper manual text to an electronic manual, so I'm not really paying attention to it. It's just kind of background noise. This one song comes on and it has violins, piano, birds chirping, and xylophone/chimes. Instead of being relaxing, though I found myself getting more and more annoyed as I listened to this song. And I'm thinking, what the hell?

So I stop and listen a little more closely, and one of the notes of the chimes is EXACTLY like the DING sound windows makes when you screw something up and you get an error message dialog box! BWA HA HA HA!!!

Monday, February 02, 2004

Yep. Found out who the streaker was. The Streaker
Why isn't anybody showing footage of the guy who danced naked in the beginning of the third quarter of the super bowl? I want to see how he was hung! I want to see his funny naked Irish dance! Everybody is talking about Janet. Who gives? I want to know who the idiot was that stripped naked and did an Irish jig AFTER half time!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

My feeling of big changes came true. I've just changed jobs and moved in with the love of my life. How's that for change? I know that I've never been happier, yet, I'm still to caught up in the moment to enjoy it. That's what champagne is for ... ah, yes. Sweet bubbly. I have a date with it right now. Burps that taste good the second time around. Champagne. Celebration. Relaxation. Inibriation. Exhiliration. Sweet Sensation. Champagne.
On the State of the Union Address:

Dubbya only said, "nook-ye-ler" four times this year as apposed to the 17 times he said it during the last SotUA. That's improvement, I guess.

He only said "Terra" once. Yes. The War on Scarlett O'Hara's mansion. Film at 11.

Funny how the man who doesn't know an asteriod from the 7th planet is preaching about sending an American to Mars. Political move!

I was wondering why there was a football player in the audience. I read yesterday on the Drudge report (www.drudgereport.com) that they placed him there to rally support of sports lovers. They figured the image of this popular football player applauding Mr. Bush would make sports lovers want to vote for Mr Bush.

Next he'll be campaigning on stage with bikini-clad supermodels. The Bush Girls. ... okay, that's way too easy. I'm not continuing on with that thought.

Monday, January 12, 2004

What is this fear? Why are you hesitant to tell him? He's your employer, not your father. You can bear to let him down. Why? He would lay you off in a New York minute if he had to. Still you are reluctant. You're dreading it. What is the worst he can say to you? Don't you feel you are doing the right thing? You know you are doing the right thing. Relax. It's business. Not personal. The sooner you get it done the sooner it will be over with. Then why do I feel like I want to puke? This is residual from some past event. Some childhood trauma. Are you going to let that trauma stand in the way of your new life? Are you going to let those old ghosts make you cower in the corner while life goes on without you? That's all they are. Ghosts. And you know that ghosts can't hurt you. Trust yourself. Calm down. You're fine. Now, go do what you have to.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

How come I can feel kicked in the nuts when I don't even have any? It's been a rough morning, and the afternoon looks like it's going to be just as harried. I think there's a pun in here somewhere ...

Monday, January 05, 2004

I had a dream last night that they found small flowers growing in the ice caps of Mars. Wishful thinking, probably, on my part.

Friday, January 02, 2004