Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Today I cycled in to town, washed some clothes at the laundromat, and brought home a canary melon for dessert. I finished reading Lucifer's Hammer. Several trips to the thrift store have yielded a new supply of books, and I am now working through a course in Latin. I finally found a source of decent music in this town- the pawn shop! Used CD's are just $3 apiece, and at that price you can afford to experiment a little. They have a _lot_ of CD's; it says something for the economic state of the area that people here are desperate enough to pawn off all their music. Another book- The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. It's about Paul Erdos, a great mathemetician. Apparently he lived for nothing else but mathematics; was celibate his entire life, cared little about food or clothing, and was quite an eccentric.

I guess most people would pity him, but to have that sort of a driving purpose, to be consumed with passion for one thing and devote one's life to it, to be enamoured with something he could have, that nothing could take from him, and to be satiated with it...I sort of envy him. If only life were that simple for the rest of us.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I've been cycling into town the last few days. Yesterday and today I hit the thrift store and loaded up on books. A partial list: a lot of Discover magazines, an Algebra book that looks better than the one I've been trying to work with, Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (an old one), one about names (can't say why but names fascinate me), More Games for the Super-Intelligent, an Internet book that seems geared pretty exclusively towards IE and the like, one about MBTI types and careers, an art book of photos by Edward Steichen (one of Abert Steiglitz's proteges), and a set of work/text books on learning Latin. I'm pretty pleased with this last find; I've wanted to learn Latin for years. The Games book is what it sounds like, math, logic, and word puzzles compiled with the help of Mensa. Speaking of which, somebody mentioned an online Mensa IQ test, which I didn't think existed, so I went and hunted around for it. I was right, they have a workout but they are explicit about it *not* being an IQ test. I ended up taking two other so-called IQ tests instead. The one on Emode was entertaining enough, but dropped my IQ by several points from what it had been in grade school. Of course that wouldn't do, so I took it again later when all the kids weren't making noise and distractions, got the same exact score. I then took another, which claimed to be scientific; this one boosted me by almost 20 points. So much for accuracy....it's a little scary when you consider that life changing decisions are sometimes made for small children on the basis of an IQ test score.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Now I feel bad: the gal I was fed up with just e mailed that she is going to pay for the does. I hate the way that money issues can take control of a person's life. The truth of the matter is that I'd be perfectly happy to *give* the goats away (assuming they went to good holes and were duly appreciated), if it weren't for the fact that the ones I keep incur expenses in vet bills, feed, medication, and replacement stock- also the yearly LN2 bill, which is coming right up.

Every so often I think that I should cut my losses and sell them all. Yeah, they're my friends, just about the only friends I have, and the only pets, at that. But they cost a lot to feed and I can't afford to do them justice so they can really hold their own in the showring. There are just too damned many of them. See, and that is the thing; when I'm really passionate about something, it isn't enough to have a token whatever and settle for that. One little scrub goat isn't enough, it has to be a herd of long, elegant, living sculptures with top of the line genetics. If I want concord grapes, one sprig won't do; a whole box might- two boxes is better! If I fall for a guy, I don't just like him, I totally lose my head and go completely out of my mind over it. I guess that the limited number of things that interest me is compensated for in intensity.

The thing is, if I sell the goats, it won't do any good. I'd just get a horse (or two, or...) or birds, or some non animal interest, and go ape over that.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Ooooh, I am ticked. Ticked, ticked, ticked! There are three people who've bought goats from me and owe me money. One of them will never pay me. Another might....maybe. The third one is what's got me seething. I went out of my way, bent over backwards to sell her a doe, and it was a last minute thing so she coudln't pay me before I sent it it her. I even threw in a free doeling, and the prices were _cut-rate_ let me tell you! She sent some of the money, came up with excuses, said she'd send it by X date, didn't, sent a little more later, and still owes me about $100, I think. Here is what burns me- she's already sold both the does, as well as the kid from one of them (she was pregnant), and has been buying pricey stock from across the country. I don't know who's been buying the does that came form me, but I feel sorry for them, because they've been scammed. Those goats will never have paperwork until I've been paid off, and it's a shame because they were nice animals.

Now I've been browsing a couple of benefit auctions hosted by goatbreeders for various good causes, and guess who's been bidding helter skelter? Yeah, she has! Grrrrr!!

But mostly, I'm mad at myself for letting three different people get away with this sort of thing. I hate confrontations, and I hate hitting people up for money. I hate dealing with money, period, to be honest. I wish I could just breed goats, have people call me up and say "I want that one", pay me in full and go home happy. Or, if I could just keep goats and not have to worry about the money end of it at all.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

In the garden- the lavender is in bloom, as I think I mentioned before. I counted six different types of bees pollinating it: honeybees, bumblebees, huge elongated bumble-type bees, small fuzzy golden bees, and two sorts of small black bees. It's fun to watch them; they treat each sort of flower differently; but they seem to prefer the lavender. I'll have to plant more of it, it doesn't need much water and has been one of the more rewarding plants we've put in so far.

Lately, I often think that I don't know what to believe in anymore. Is there such a thing as truth? What is it, where is it? Are there any answers at all, or do we simply deceive ourselves into believing what we feel most comfortable and secure with? What irks me is that when I ask questions like this, I don't ever get any straight answers. More often than not, I get a bunch of rotten, worn out banalities and platitudes, or a heartfelt emotional reassurance, which leaves me with the uneasy sense that the person in question is actually attempting to reassure themselves rather than me.

I think I still believe in the golden rule; it seems like the only sustainable way to behave, since everything else would eventually backfire in one way or another. Perhaps sustainability is the measure? I find that I am often plagued by a feeling that I should be doing something, that I've been idle. But almost everything I consider, when I draw it to its conclusion, seem pointless. When I was a kid, I used to draw mazes, really involved, elaborate mazes. And that is the way it seems- like drawing into one dead end after another, finding a lead that looks workable, and it's not.

I can kind of see where orgnized religion comes in handy; it takes all the guesswork out of it. if you have a question, just look it up in the bible. Can't find it, then ask your pastor. So simple! I can almost envy them.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Current mood- Really tired. I'm a night person, staying up until 1-2 AM. My baby is very much the early bird. It's not a good combination. He wakes up and cries, not because he's hungry, or wet, or whatever; no, he cries because he's bored! When I sit up and look at him, he smiles. Try to go back to sleep again and the crying resumes. :groan:

My latest interest has been codes. I've got one that I think has the potential to be nearly unbreakable with a little more work. It's handwritten though, and I can't figure out a way to use it on the computer. The same characteristics that would make it difficult to decipher also complicate using it with a keyboard, even if I substituted conventional letters and numbers for the symbols. It's kind of funny that I spend so much time on it- I've been working with it for years- because when I first started I wanted to share it with someone and nobody else had much interest in it. And now, it's not as though anyone is threatening to crack it; it's simply fun to work with and I want to make it stronger just in case. Heh.

In the garden- hardy gladioli and daylilies are blooming and the raspberries are starting to ripen.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

I shouldn't be up at this hour, but I am. Of what use are the shoulds and shouldn'ts of life when they don't mesh with reality? So- I found two more verses to 'You are my sunshine'. The goats will be happy for a little relief from the old version, methinks. While I was perusing the search results, I also ran across the chorus from an old Statler Brother's song. I used to like it when I was into country music as a teen.

Do you know, you are my sunshine
Do you know what your smile did to me
Do you know you are my sunshine
And it looks like you're always going to be.

Nice song. I went in to Newport today and spent entirely too much time trying to locate some decent music. Ben Franklin's didn't have what I wanted, they referred me to Radio Shack (which seemed dubious, and it was- NO music at all), then I found a better selection at the pawn shop, including 2 CD's that looked good- the actual CD's were different from the cases. Arrrgh! Culturally speaking, this place is pretty pathetic. The speakers aren't hooked up to the computer or there'd be a little more variety. As it is, I like the library CD of Art Garfunkle depresses me almost every time I hear it, even though it's hauntingly beautiful and I can relate to it, and the Elton John tape is great but how many times can you listen to one tape before you get sick of it??

Speaking of Elton JOhn, one of his songs has been running through my head. Here is a snippet or two of it; the lyrics for the whole song can be viewed here

Love hurts so much
Love leaves a scar
'I don't love you' is like a stake
Being driven through your heart
I have no feelings, I have no heart
Love always cuts out the warm and tender part

I guess that subconciously, I sort of believed this. While butchering the goat the other day, I came to the part where you remove the viscera. As far as I'm concerned, organ meat is either dog food or compost material. DH doesn't agree. So as the mass of stomachs, intestines, etc were about to fall into the bucket, he quickly reached in and grabbed the liver. Yuck! Just as I was breathing a sigh of relief and about to can the rest of it, he goes in for the heart, but it wouldn't tear free; I had to hold it while he cut it loose. I was surprised by the way it felt. It was- so soft, so tender and vulnerable, sort of squishy. I felt a sort of sympathy for the heart; somehow it seemed to deserve more respect than the brutal way it was being rippped out of the chest cavity. The texture and softness of that heart haunted me for the next few days, because for some irrational reason, I hadn't expected it to be soft. I thought it'd be, well you know- firmer, harder, sort of like a leathery football. That's how I've always thought of my own heart, as having a sort of shell or crust around it. After all, when emotional crap comes up, it does feel like stabbing/breaking. But contrary to the song, the sensation and actual state of the organ apparently don't have much correlation. Ack, I'm finally getting tired and not making a whole lot of sense, I fear.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Current mood: wired and frustrated. Which is sort of surprising actually, considering that I didn't get much sleep last night and it's past midnight now. Current music: none (kids sleeping) except for the Beatles song rolling around in my head- '...it's driving me mad, it's driving me mad...'

In the garden: the lavender is in full bloom, very nice and smells wonderful. A few of the lilies survived the gophers and will be blooming soon. The hay has been cut and baled.

The house is currently undergoing a lot of renovation and one of the next steps will be installing a floor. With that in mind, I've been looking through three sets of floor tile samples; there are about 40-50 in each set. There are a lot of similarities between the sets, and here is the amazing thing: none of the sets have pure, solid colors without some sort of textured pattern (the surface is smooth). I mean there isn't even a plain white, only white with flecks of blue and pink and grey or whatever. Perhaps they carry these but they are not in the sets. It's a little odd. So anyway, I am trying to come up with a color and or design for the floor. So far I am debating- midnight blue w/ pale yellow, medium light blue with a slightly stronger yellow, or maybe just beige (how boring, and I've always despised people who choose the ultra safe route, too).

LOL...Just deleted a spam email. It was titled, 'binoculars that take digital pictures!' And what would we use those for? To view the parties who've taken herbal pills to enlarge their breast or penis size? Oh dear...;-) You know I just don't get why there is the constant assumption that bigger is better. After all, there *are* practical limits.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Can't draw a straight line

Drawing the line is so hard...
Where is the line?
What is the line?
Dammit, where is that line?!
I can't see any lines
Only greyness all around
Like a fog smothering me.

I hate goodbyes

To say goodbye
is to feel the door
swing closed
and to hear the click-
Throw the key away
and then weep
in the black darkness.
Ever alone.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Some interesting sites A sidenote- if you're easily offended, don't look at these. I don't necessarily agree with them all.

Anarchist's wedding guide

About hermaphrodites

40 mistakes men make.... Uhhh, this is one of the sites I don't agree with 100%. But still, some of it seems so obvious that I can't believe it warrants being put on a list!

This article makes an interesting argument to the effect that nearly everyone is gay.

Another article, slightly different theme, same basic subject.

Then there is this, which I can only conclude is satire or a parody of the prudish. If it's not, well, I feel sorry for them!

By now you're probably wondering why I looked at and saved links for these sites. It's simple. My husband likes to leave windows and articles open on whatever browser I'm using. When I log on to the computer in the morning, I'm confronted with a page he thinks warrrants my attention. For a long time there were pro Palestinian and anti Israel sites. Then it was feminism, and the evils of it. I haven't listed or saved all those. Actually, the ones here are a mere sampling. If they amuse me, I save them. I have an idea that not all of them were posted with that intent!

And here, to top it all off; the sort of wife I will never, ever, be.
The Good Wife

The following letter appeared in the local newspaper. I have retained the misspellings...

Their out!
The bicyclists are back and thy are in very long lines!
Recently, I had to drive my recreational vehicle (RV) to Sagle for repair work. I decided to drive Dufort Road, south of the river at Stimson Mill.
RV's are wider than most sport untility vehicles (SUV) and autos; therefore, a driver needs to pay closer attention to driving especially when on a narrow windy road. In my opinion, Dufort Road us narow and windy, so the 45 per hour speed limit is there for good reason.
As I was rounding a curve with a double yellow line, I came to a group of bicyclists. To top it all off, there was a hill I had to travel up as well. I slowed down to what seemd like a crawl and noticed a car in my mirror.
The driver sounded the horn, which I assume was aimed at me for slowing down so quickly. I also had to cross the double yellow line to avoid hitting the bikes.
The bicyclists would not get over or off the oradto let us pass (yes, I was cursing loudly)! If a car would have been coming, or a truck, I would have had to get back in my land and probably would have hit a biker.
Hey, I'm not condemning bikers, but am asking them to please use their heads when navigating a route, especially on narrow roads, if for nothing else, for their own safety.
Maybe even getting off their bikes and steppign off the road to allow vehicles to pass. This might prevent serious injury or death.
I wonder who would have been at fault if a biker was hit in a situation similar to what I described.
I think the Sheriff's Department should take a good look at Dufort Road and maybe post signs to prevent bicyclists from riding that route for everybody's safety.
Hope this letter stirs some thought.
Les Wylie, Priest River

What an a**hole! This jerk was willing to hit people rather than slow down and take his time. I was seething (having encountered his sort before while cycling). Here is my reply.

A bicyclist responds

The letter from Les Wylie regarding bicyclists caught my eye. It shows a frightening ignorance of the Idaho Dept. of Transportation laws, which can be readily accessed in the driver's manual. As one who has relied heavily upon bicycles for transportation, sometimes hauling my children in a bicycle trailer, I am well aware both of the regulations and the fact that many drivers seem to be unaware of the law. In Idaho, pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way. They do not have to get out of your way, or dismount to make room for you. The law states, "To increase the safety margin when passing a bicycle rider, move into the left lane if possible. If you are not able to chnage lanes, pass with as much clearance as possible. This may require waiting for a break in oncoming traffic if the shoulder of the roadway are narrow." (italics mine)

Regardless of the size of your vehicle, the inconvenience of considering the bicyclist's safety, or the urgency of getting wherever you are going a few minutes faster, you must observe the rules of the road! In today's fast paced life and culture of instant gratification there is a tendency to get there NOW and if someone else dies because of it, too bad! Mr. Wylie writes: " I wonder who would be at fault if a biker was hit in a situation similar to what I described." The driver would be at fault, and possibly subject to charges of manslaughter, particularly if there were witnesses. Most of the time, there aren't. I've had some very close calls. I think the sheriff's department should have a few plainclothes policemen riding bikes. Oh, the tickets they would rake in!!

Rebekah Leaf

Priest River

Saturday, July 05, 2003

My thoughts are pretty disordered today, partly because I've got a headache. I keep neglecting to eat, because I'm not hungry. Other than fruit, cheese, and chocolate, nothing seems appetizing. By the time the headaches start, it's too late. :-/

Flotsam: I kind of liked this- 42 The strawberries are ripening. I don't care. They're as tiny as the wild ones, from lack of water, but without the sweet intensity that compensates for the diminuative size of the wild ones. The daylilies are just beginning to bloom, including a few that I started from seeds when I was at the height of my daylily obsession. Seductor and Nivia Guest, also purchased at that time, are going to bloom- finally, a couple of years after getting them. I've been painting, but nothing I do seems to turn out well. However it is still highly satisfying, which I don't understand at all.(?) Reading- Lucifer's Hammer. I don't know what's the matter with me; I feel quite whole in myself but it's as though all the world around me has gone colorless, dry and lackluster. I hate it.

For the fourth of July: I butchered a goat kid and we took it over to a friend's mother's place. There were a LOT of people there, near a hundred. Even my husband's ex-wife was there. it was a lot of fun just watching the various people interact. The goat was barbecued, and after eating there was a parade. Now, here is the interesting thing: at this parade, there are no spectators. The entire party of people marches down the county road, turns around, and marches back to the house! They ride tractors and horses, carry signs, sing songs and dress in costumes. Last year there were a number of handsome young men prancing around in bosomy dresses, constantly clutching at their fronts so as not to lose their breasts! So I was a little disappointed this time, but the crowd was still pretty lively and entertaining.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I was walking down to the barn tonight, in the dark as usual. I've no use for flashlights- they only ruin one's night vision. And out in the distance, I heard the sound- lu-bump-lu-bump-lu-bump- of a freight train in the distance. Suddenly, all the memories of transcience came back to me, clammy and chill in the night air. They were as clear as if once again, I were waiting for that train, expectantly.

I've joked and made light of having been homeless, well the truth is this: living on the streets is hell. The constant anxiety, never certain of whether you'll eat today or not, whether it'll be something more than a few slices of day old white bread, sleeping always with one's ears open, alert to the sound of anyone approaching, the ecstasy of a hot meal in a union gospel mission, even though it's the same damned thing every night: macaroni cooked with cheap hamburger and tomato paste. The grease isn't drained off and floats on the surface. It doesn't matter; the fact that it's food does. Countless other haggard faces, rarely seeing the same one two nights in a row. Always tired and run down from having slept on damp, lumpy ground, vigilant against being discovered. The contempt on the faces around you, and which you feel for them, dressed in nice clothes, driving their nice cars to a store two blocks from their house. They're so lazy and complacent, why should they care if someone else is struggling, and hate him for it?
Riding bicycles 7-8 miles to work as a temp in a steel factory. The ground is hilly and steep, so you're sort of tired by the time you get there. Even so, it's amazing how these people with regular jobs laugh and talk when they should be working. At the end of the day, you still have to ride all the way back home, catch dinner at the Salvation army if you're not too late, and then sleep in the stickiness of the tent. And always, there is the pervading, cold sweat of desperation.

I think being homeless is where I learned to read people; to pick up on the myriad clues every human betrays. The tilt of a head, the gait, a movement, and most of all, the eyes. The eyes, they tell so much. Even now, I still read people. The ones I dislike most are the phonies. If someone dislikes you and is honest about it, that's fine. But shallow fakey ladies who giggle too much and act friendly when they don't mean it turn me off. But mostly, to be honest, I read men, because women aren't often a physical threat whereas men can be. Several times I've taken an instant dislike to a man for no other reason than his scent: he smelled aggressive. Then there are the ones who smile while their eyes say something else, and those with eyes glowing with religious fanatacism, and the ones who don't seem quite right in the head. So many memories- they lie dull and heavy on my mind.