Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kurty Stardust - Our Guitar Hero

Our Guitar Hero 

Commander and Chief Greg Davis and The Entire GD Army in Concert - April 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

The First Earth Day - Philadelphia, PA 1970

Earth Day in Fairmount Park, April 22, 1970. That's Senator Edmund Muskie addressing the crowd. Hard to believe, but I found my husband there in a crowd of 50,000. He and a friend went to Earth Day without me and the kids:three little daughters ages 11, 10 and 8, and a baby son 17 months old, in a sling on my hip. We only had to take a taxi, a train and a bus - but we found him. (Without the help of modern technology). I have special powers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Age of Reason

Me at age seven 
Age of Reason
The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible. This, as a rule, happens at the age of seven, or thereabouts, though the use of reason requisite for moral discernment may come before, or may be delayed until notably after, that time. At this age Christians come under the operation of ecclesiastical laws, such as the precept of assistance at Mass on Sundays and holy days, abstinence from meat on certain days, and annual confessions, should they have incurred mortal sin. The obligation of Easter Communion literally understood applies to all who have reached "the years of discretion"; but according to the practical interpretation of the Church it is not regarded as binding children just as soon as they are seven years old. At the age of reason a person is juridically considered eligible to act as witness to a marriage, as sponsor at baptism or confirmation, and as a party to the formal contract of betrothal; at this age one is considered capable of receiving extreme unction, of being promoted to first tonsure and minor orders, of being the incumbent of a simple benefice (beneficium simplex) if the founder of it should have so provided; and, lastly, is held liable to ecclesiastical censures. In the present discipline, however, persons do not incur these penalties until they reach the age of puberty, unless explicitly included in the decree imposing them. The only censure surely applicable to persons of this age is for the violation of the clausura (cloister) of nuns, while that for the maltreatment, suadente diabolo (at the devil's persuasion) of clerics is probably so.(New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)

The first job I ever had was dusting knick-knacks for my mother’s best friend who lived across the street from us on Andrews Avenue.  Her name was Helen and she had a raised mole above her lip which I asked her about.  I was seven years old.  Helen also had a deformed right index finger which I also asked her about.  It got run over by a sewing machine needle is what she told me.  She had short curly hair because her daughter Gladys gave her a Toni home perm every six months.  She was plump and always wore a dress, most of which had interesting and beautiful patterns.  I hated it when she wore a plain dress of one color and no pattern. 

From where my mother and Helen sat in Helen’s kitchen they could see many of the neighbors’ houses.  Mrs. Swantek, the Browns (my grandparents), the Ritters, the Norcavages, the Founds, and the Chokers lived in the row on the other side of the sidewalk, directly across from Helen’s kitchen windows.  They talked about all of them, sometimes they whispered, and that is why they liked me to stay in the living room and do my work.  Helen said “little pitchers have big ears” and, even though I was only seven years old, I knew what that meant. 

“Mrs. Swantek’s son is going to marry the Norcavages' daughter and move to Canada and Mrs. Swantek will be all alone.  He is a Mama’s boy, you know.  Grandpa Brown doesn’t like my mother visiting Helen because my mother and Helen drink whiskey, and because my father is an Italian and a Catholic.  The Ritters are dirty Southerners with too many kids and Mrs. Ritter is low class for sitting on her front steps and nursing her baby.  The Norcavages are dumb polocks and their house always smells like cabbage.  Mrs. Founds is not the real mother of Melvin like everybody thinks; Melvin’s real mother is Mrs. Founds’ daughter, Anna.  Donald “Ducky” Choker is a tap-dancer and probably a homosexual”. 

While Helen and my mother sat in the kitchen chatting, I did my dusting in the living room.  It was fascinating work because I got to pick up and examine each porcelain figurine in her vast collection.  It was a great responsibility as well, because Helen cherished all of her figurines and I had to be extremely careful not to break one.  I also had to put each one back in the exact same spot it came from. That was no problem though, because I had it all memorized.  I knew where each one belonged better than Helen did. She said she had confidence in me and that I always did a fine job.  She paid me one dollar.  That was enough to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon, buy popcorn, Jujyfruits or Red Hot Dollars to eat while I watched the movie, and still have enough money left to buy an Orange Creamcicle from the Jack & Jill  man, or a comic book. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Sicilian Buttercup (Caterina, la mia ranuncolo Siciliana)

Caterina is getting big.  I named her Caterina after my dad's sister who was
  my favorite aunt.  Although my dad's family are not Sicilian but Abruzzi.

She doesn't have all her feathers yet so she looks
a bit scrappy, but she's very healthy and loves
being out in the back yard with the other 9 chicks.

It is predicted (by chicken breeders) that she will
only lay two eggs per week.  That's okay by me.

Backyard chickens aren't new to us.  This is our son back in
1978 getting a mean old rooster ready for the stew pot.

Alex Kithes addressed the Woonsocket City Council in favor of amending zoning law to allow chicken keeping in the city. (April 1, 2013) Credit Rob Borkowski. Woonsocket City Council members praised Alex Kithes's effort to champion legalized chicken keeping.
Woonsocket Backyard Chicken Ban

Bring Backyard Chickens Back

My prvious chicken blog:
The Good Shepherd and Seven Chicks

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tripping Over Joy


What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows

That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.

― Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

Monday, April 8, 2013

Harry Connick, Sr - The Singing District Attorney

Me and my Sis with Harry Connick, Sr. in New Orleans - 1998
at Maxwell's Toulouse Cabaret on Toulouse Street in the French Quarter.

It was our first time in New Orleans and we were leisurely strolling through the French Quarter when we came upon Maxwell's and spied Harry in their singing.  We knew very little about Harry except that he was the father of Harry Junior and a jazz singer.  So we went in, sat down and had a drink.  We're not drinkers, but it was a special occasion and we didn't think it would be appropriate to sit at a table and not order something.  Harry did a few more numbers and we asked if we could have a picture taken with him.  He was such a gentleman, very gracious, and I think frankly that he was flattered by our request and happily obliged us.  

Here is a fascinating 2 part radio interview of Harry talking about his very interesting life and career on "The Paul Leslie Hour"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"My son, eat thou honey, for it is good." Proverbs 24:13 - Solomon


The benefits of honey have been extolled since ancient times by many religious faiths and recorded in ancient scriptures. They can be categorised as nutritional or medicinal.


Honey contains invert sugar that has the quality of providing instant energy when consumed. It is also a heart stimulant and a useful food supplement. As a food beverage, it was widely used from the times of "the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), the Talmud, the Quran, the sacred books of India, China, Persia and Egypt." In the Bible, Salomon advocates "My son, eat thou honey, for it is good." According to the Bible, Jonathan, the son of Saul, "had his eyes enlightened with the aid of honey, after which he had a better understanding of the people than his father had. While Jonathan was passing through the woods during the war against the Philistines, he found honey dripping on the ground; he plunged his spear into it, and ate enough to restore his lost strength. He was, however, sentenced to death because he ate honey on a day of abstinence. 


Medicinal benefits are broadly categorised under the following headings.
Topical honey has been used successfully in a treatment of diabetic ulcers when the patient cannot use topical antibiotics.   A review in the Cochrane Library suggests that honey could reduce the time it takes for a burn to heal – up to four days sooner in some cases. The review included 19 studies with 2,554 participants. Although the honey treatment healed moderate burns faster than traditional dressings did, the author recommends viewing the findings with caution, since a single researcher performed all of the burn studies.  One New Zealand researcher says a particular type of honey (Manuka honey) may be useful in treating MRSA infections.  Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, high acidity, and the antibacterial activity of methylglyoxal. Some studies suggest that the topical use of honey may reduce odours, swelling, and scarring when used to treat wounds; it may also prevent the dressing from sticking to the healing wound.   Wound gels that contain antibacterial raw honey and have regulatory approval for wound care are now available to help medicine in the battle against drug resistant strains of bacteria MRSA. As an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments.
It is also stated to cure some allergies, particularly localized honey to an area could help minimize seasonal allergies as bees feed on pollen from local plants which eventually finds its way to form honey.  Its use for centuries is as a treatment for sore throats and coughs, and according to recent research, may in fact be as effective as many common cough medicines. Unfiltered, pasteurised honey is widely believed to alleviate allergies.  A more recent study has shown pollen collected by bees to exert an anti allergenic effect, mediated by an inhibition of IgE immunoglobulin binding to mast cells. This inhibited mast cell degranulation and thus reduced allergic reaction. The risk of experiencing anaphylaxis as an immune system reaction may outweigh any potential allergy relief.
Other ailments
Antioxidants in honey have even been implicated in reducing damage to the colon in colitis in a study involving administering honey enemas to rats.  Honey appears to be effective in killing drug-resistant biofilms which are implicated in chronic rhino-sinusitis. In 2005, researchers at Purdue University  revealed that honey was a catalyst to calcium absorption in animals.
Honey is used for skin conditioning using a moisturizing mask and can reduce facial redness and acne.  It is also used for conditioning of hair. It is often mixed with olive oil for both purposes. for both purposes

"And that's all I have to say about that."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Gotta Love It

The exchange between Domestic Abuse expert, Alyce Laviolette, and Prosecutor Juan Martinez

Friday, April 5, 2013

P.D. Ouspensky - “When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.”

Pytor Demianovich Ouspensky
“Suddenly I began to find a strange meaning in old fairy-tales; woods, rivers, mountains, became living beings; mysterious life filled the night; with new interests and new expectations I began to dream again of distant travels; and I remembered many extraordinary things that I had heard about old monasteries. Ideas and feelings which had long since ceased to interest me suddenly began to assume significance and interest. A deep meaning and many subtle allegories appeared in what only yesterday had seemed to be naive popular fantasy or crude superstition. And the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle was that the thought became possible that death may not exist, that those who have gone may not have vanished altogether, but exist somewhere and somehow, and that perhaps I may see them again. I have become so accustomed to think "scientifically" that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him; and suddenly he hears that his companions are alive, that they have escaped and that there is hope also for him. And he fears to believe this, because it would be so terrible if it proved to be false, and nothing would remain but prison and the expectation of execution.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe


"The most difficult thing is to know what we do know, and what we do not know.
Therefore, desiring to know anything, we shall before all else determine WHAT we accept as given, and WHAT as demanding definition and proof; that is, determine WHAT we know already, and WHAT we wish to know.

In relation to the knowledge of the world and of ourselves, the conditions would be ideal could we venture to accept nothing as given, and count all as demanding definition and proof. In other words, it would be best to assume that we know nothing, and make this our point of departure. But unfortunately such conditions are impossible to create. Knowledge must start from some foundation, something must be recognized as known; otherwise we shall be obliged always to define one unknown by means of another." Tertium Organum (1912; 1922)

I felt that on a basis of a "search for the miraculous" it would be possible to unite together a very large number of people who were no longer able to swallow the customary forms of lying and living in lying.  
When a man begins to know himself a little he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself he knows nothing about himself.

If a man gives way to all his desires, or panders to them, there will be no inner struggle in him, no 'friction,' no fire. But if, for the sake of attaining a definite aim, he struggles with the desires that hinder him, he will then create a fire which will gradually transform his inner world into a single whole.

In Search of the Miraculous (1949)

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Good Shephard and the Seven Chicks

Yasha, our Australian Shephard, herding our new baby chicks. It's hard to tell where one chick ends and another begins because they are all clumped together and the definition in this photo is not the best. There are seven of them, one for each of us and an extra for good measure. We each chose the breed of chicken we liked best, using appearance and personality traits that were similar to our own to make our decisions. I chose a Sicilian Buttercup.
Sicilian ButtercupThis exceedingly rare breed hails from Sicily as its name suggests. Its namesake, the buttercup-shaped comb, is totally unique in the poultry world. The American Standard of Perfection notes that 100% of the Buttercup stock in North America came from hatching eggs brought here in 1892.

Class: Mediterranean
Type: Large Fowl & Bantam
Size: Small (4-5 lbs)
Rarity: Rare
Purpose: Egg-laying
Recognized Varieties: Just one variety: a rich gold color

Egg Laying: Fair (2/wk)
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Small

Comb Type: Buttercup Comb
Crested: No
Feathered Legs: No
Number of Toes: 4

Hardy In Winter: No
Bears Confinement: Intolerant of confinement
Especially Docile: No
Setter/Broody: No
Personality: Very active

Buttercup Hen

Buttercup Rooster and Hen