November 2018
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other stuff


If you love or loved this movie, were scared shitless by it, had a good laugh over it or just admired the money it made, then you might not know that a movement is underway to restore the chapel that appears in the beginning of the movie. It’s really sad.

The people heading this have a year to raise $50,000 or the chapel will be torn down. They have $5000. In less than 3 weeks. This bodes well for the effort. A PayPal donation site is being set up. Hey, it’s better than donating to a political party.

Anyway, in case any of you wonder why this matters to me, (and you haven’t been reading here for very long) that cemetery is where my grandparents and many other family members are buried. I was born and raised in that town. Family members were zombies (type-cast). Quite frankly, it’s the only thing that town has left that might keep it from becoming another Aliquippa (read ghost town with still a few almost live inhabitants).

You can see a local news report about it at: Save the chapel

Complete with visitors from Michigan who made a Halloween pilgrimage just to see the place.

Help save it if you can. If you can’t, wish us luck.



Sick, sick, sick, sick

Every time I think this country has hit the bottom of the depravity well, something new comes along that makes me want to vomit.

It was bad enough that the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis when there was compelling evidence to at the very least allow him a new trial, but that our Supreme Court is not only complicit in that death but Justice Scalia repeated his position that even actual innocence was not grounds for overturning a jury verdict and sentence. Not even if it meant death.

The crowds outside the prison cheering for his death are disgusting and a shame on us all. To cheer for the death of anyone makes us as bad as we feel the person being executed was; it makes us complicit in that death.

Add on top of that a company by the name of CorrectHealth. Sounds innocuous, doesn’t it? Except…this company is a FOR PROFIT institution that makes its money executing people. Yeah, that’s right, they got paid to kill Troy Davis and every other prisoner executed in Georgia. And Kentucky. And Tennessee. And they’ve done it with illegally imported drugs.

I think we all should be ill at the fact that a company exists solely to kill people. That the citizens of those states are paying a company out of their tax dollars to kill people. Not just having tax dollars used in the state’s business of execution, which is bad enough, but having a company that actually profits…PROFITS…from killing people.

I have to wonder if the employees of that company know what their products do. If they have any idea what happens. I wonder if they know and don’t care or if they care and cheer at the prospect. Or I wonder if they are just ‘good’ , pro-life people.

It’s so nice to be (far from) SC right now

While my husband swelters in high heat and humidity (100 x 2), here in Western PA it is lovely. Very low humidity, temps in the 70′s and 80′s, pleasant breezes. Two nights in a row it was actually cold enough that my sister’s furnace kicked on. Leo really doesn’t want to hear it…so I rub it in every chance I get.

So far it’s been busy with my sister trying to settle everything left by her husband’s death. Not been easy for her. She’s holding it together pretty well…in public at least. Every once in a while something escapes though. Like the day she was trying to cancel one of the credit cards and couldn’t remember the account password. Evidently the person on the other end asked her if there was anybody else on the account who could help her. She replied “Yes, my husband. But he’s dead so I can’t ask him”. Writing that, it doesn’t really sound very funny but the tone of her voice and the look on her face was hilarious. I couldn’t help but laugh. And then she started cracking up. We had a total giggle-fuck over it even after she got off the phone. All she could say was that she hoped the woman on the phone thought she was crying and not laughing.

We haven’t gone together to her husband’s and daughter’s graves. I think it’ll take a while to do that. But we did go to our mother’s grave. First time I’ve been there since about 6 months after she was buried. It was a totally freaky situation, then…my stepfather hadn’t even put up the temporary marker that is supposed to be in place before the permanent one is set. I couldn’t find her. Hard to remember that.

But not so bad this time. Her grave is back by a stretch of woods, under a big tree. And what did we see but a large rabbit hopping over the grass. We both kind of laughed about that. Our mother was a hunter, a good shot, and if she’d seen that rabbit she’d have brought it home for dinner. If somebody else was cooking, that is. She could bring it home but she was a LOUSY cook.

Enough for now. I’m going to go feed the dogs and enjoy the breeze.

Do I really have to home in July? November would be so much nicer.

Quarterly Update (in bits and pieces)

Did the sleep study thing because it’s required by Medicare if you might need supplemental oxygen. They won’t pay for it if you don’t have the study done. Ten hours in the lab…$3700. And I didn’t even get breakfast. Oh, and that doesn’t include the cost of the doctor to evaluate the study.


My husband just about knocked me off my chair yesterday. He said his relatives in Holland had sent him Facebook friend requests which he automatically accepted. Then, when he looked at their pages he found that they had all friended a third party who I would just as soon see fall of the earth never to be heard from again. Let me emphasize, this should not affect my husband (I never got friend requests from any of them) as his conversations with them would all be in Dutch which this third party does not understand.

When he realized that this person was on their friends’ lists, he defriended his family. Every one of them. I’m really upset about this but he said he didn’t trust a couple family members not to translate into English anything he might say and he doesn’t want this third party knowing what’s going on in our life. I didn’t even know his family was on Facebook until he told me about this yesterday.


Will be riding the rails again come June 7. Going to spend some time with my sister. Her husband died recently after a 2 year bout with leukemia. Everybody else is gone home now and she’s left with just the dogs at the house. So we’re going to go to Red Robin and her favorite Chinese place and I’ll be planning something weird for her birthday. It’ll be fun.

What’s strange about the timing is that the talibornagains of this country are insisting that the ‘rapture’ will happen on May 21. That day will be 47 years’ anniversary of our mother’s death. And June 7 will be the 47th anniversary of the day I ran away with the carnival, coming south to South Carolina (though not by train). This time I’m going north, back to PA. Funny how things like that work out, isn’t it?

I wish this would do some good.

It looks like our Girl Scout property is going to be sold. What a shame. This is a place I’ve talked about before and I actually got to tell people, a wider local audience, about what the place has meant to me and the girls that used the place.

The video is what aired on the news. There is raw footage that is everything I had to say. I wish they had aired more what I had to say about the girls and less about just me. But I didn’t have any choice. At least they did post the raw video so you can see for yourself. But you’re going to have to go to the actual site to see it. The embed only includes the aired footage.

So, to see the full footage, you need to go to News 2

I’ve also made an album of pictures from the past and from this past few days. You can see it at Rogue’s Gallery I haven’t finished captioning all the pictures yet but the album “Richmond” is the property, “Troop Activities” is a start on getting up some of the pictures, “Special Dinner” is a very special event the girls planned and carried out.

This is Love?

Over the holiday I spent a lot of time watching movies. I added one to my queue without really knowing anything about it, just the title; Into the Arms of Strangers. It seemed like it would be a love story. And in some ways it was.

It turned out to be a documentary about the kindertransport in 1938 and 1939 that sent 10,000 Jewish children from Germany and Austria to England for safety. It was after the Jews had been removed from the schools, from their professions, made to wear the yellow star. It was after Krystallnacht so the adults, at least, had to have an idea that worse was coming, even if they couldn’t imagine that it would be as bad as it became. So, when the prospect of getting their children out of the country, parents jumped at the chance; scraped, sold items, did everything they could to come up with the fee necessary for the papers and the train fare. Hard as it was to let them go, the idea that the kids would be warm and fed and safe motivated the move.

One woman, a survivor of 8 different camps, told of having been one of those children. Her mother had insisted she go and, from the description, bullied her father into agreeing. But on the day the train was leaving, the children were hanging out windows waving good-bye and this woman’s father reached up and pulled her out of the train even as it was starting to move. She was injured in the fall, narrowly missing falling under the train.

Instead of going on to be safe, she was kept in Austria losing her parents to the Nazi death machine and barely surviving herself…weighing only 58 lbs. when liberated.

How does a parent do that? If the death camps wouldn’t have happened the family would have been reunited and in the meantime the child would have been taken care of and educated. She might not have understood the separation at the time but she would have later on.

When I think about that, it creeps me out. How do you drag a child into a life you know is going to be this hard when you don’t have to? The woman didn’t say anything against her father for doing it but you could see the questions in her eyes.

Could you keep your children with you under the same circumstances? Knowing that there was an option that would guarantee their safety and survival?

Well, back again

Things are fixed. And updated. And all’s well on the blogging front. Here at home, where the body resides, things are rather strange.

The first thing was my new glasses. The first pair they made me were flatly unwearable. Nausea, disorientation, headaches, even worse loss of balance. And the store kept telling me that I just had to keep wearing them to “get used to them”. I finally made enough of a fuss about it that they pulled me in for another eye exam. Different doctor, evidently the one who actually owns the practice. The one I had seen was a fill in while he was on vacation.

Funny, turns out the prescription given by the first doctor was almost DOUBLE the strength I actually needed in my left eye. The disparity between the 2 eyes was so far off it was like trying to walk with a magnifying glass on the left side and the wrong end of a telescope on the right. There’s just no way to tell you how horrible it was.

So they remade the glasses to the new prescription. I picked them up the other day and I CAN SEE again. It’s wonderful. I can see, I can walk, no headaches, no barfing.

Well, I -could- walk. This morning I broke my toe. Hurts like hell. Having an 85 lb. dog walk on it sure as hell doesn’t help.

Coming back around.

About 40-45 years ago carnival side shows started dying. People were objecting highly to the attractions that called themselves “freaks”; considered it highly offensive that people were permitted to exhibit themselves for money.

So the shows went first to acts that you could really find just about anywhere…blade box, sword swallower, fire eater, knife thrower, maybe one or 2 “freaks”. Later still even those fell by the wayside. The demise of the side show robbed people with little or no possibility of getting jobs in the commercial sector of their main income, throwing them back on government subsidies. People who had supported themselves, paid for homes, caretakers, transportation, without ever taking a penny in tax money were now on welfare and, for the most part, kept out of the sight of the general public.

Now I’m starting to see videos on the web of the same sort of “freaks” that peopled the show tents calling themselves “motivational speakers”. It’s a shame they never saw the old guard. Because the acts are exactly the same; the person talks about his or her condition, shows what they can do in spite of what seems a terrible handicap. Only today they are hailed as ‘true heroes’ instead of offensive mockeries of others with the same conditions who weren’t on the road.

One of the apologetics I hear for ‘the sideshow will never come back’ is that today people know the causes of these conditions and the scientific names for them and that makes them less exotic. But I worked with ‘freaks, geeks and odditities; strange, odd and unusual people all alive on the inside’ and I can tell you that they DID know the causes and the names of their conditions and shared them with their audiences, just as these ‘motivational speakers’ do. Their shows were just as informational and educational as these youtube videos…and probably more lucrative.

But I want to see more of them. Because if people get used to seeing them on the screen, just maybe someone will buy a top and find a spot with a traveling show and bring back the sideshow. And the audience will be there; they’ve seen them on the screen, now they’d be able to see them live. Ask questions, shake hands (subject to availability, of course) and maybe even purchase an autographed picture.

I want the sideshow to come back. The carnival just isn’t the same without its ‘back end’, the long tent that promises such wonders, the banners along the front, the bally by the non-freak acts. I miss it and the older I get, the more I miss it.

I know it’s been a while

But my life has been rather boring and there hasn’t been much to turn into an entry. That changed a bit this past weekend.

We put the dog (yes, we are down to one) in the kennel and I went to Jacksonville with Leo for the union meeting. Actually, I gave Leo my proxy for the meeting and I went to work on the office computer which has been needing more maintenance than I’ve been able to give it remotely.

Figuring on 2 or 3 hours cleaning out old files, removing unused programs, getting personal stuff off it, then turning on the various adware and virus scans and sitting back with a book.

Oh silly me. My first clue that it wasn’t going to be that easy was when it took a little more than 15 minutes to boot up. Then I got an error that it was stopping the bootup because of a problem in one of the USB ports. Luckily it was the one with the USB extension cord that we already thought had a problem. After removing it, the bootup only took about 8 minutes. Wooo!!!! Still not good.

The search for the problem didn’t take long. I was thinking that this machine had at least a full gigabite of RAM and maybe needed some extra put in. But it was worse than that, it had 512 MB and was running XP, MS Office, etc to the nth degree. Seems like there was no program that wasn’t liked by the user, downloaded, installed and then ignored.

Available memory? I didn’t know computers could use negative numbers. Maybe it would be kinder to say that this particular computer had Alzheimer’s. Advanced stages.

Suffice it to say that a road trip to find a new keeper of the union’s business ensued. (And don’t I just love it when told that it didn’t matter what I spent, just to make sure that whatever I got would be great?) Ta-da, new computer.

Ta-duh, new setup. Moving essential files, partioning hard drive (a Terrabite, no less), making sure all programs needed were re-installed, peripherals working, online, etc.

Fourteen hours later and all is working properly. And I’m so tired that I feel like -I’ve- got Alzheimer’s…hard to remember how to spell my name. Or get up out of a chair. Or where I put my shoes. Or that no, my fingers do NOT end in a keyboard.

I was even up way past my usual 9 pm bedtime. And I never did get to my book.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. I did something other than sit at home playing/working on my computers.

I could just cry.

When I saw this yarn, I couldn’t resist it. Candy pink and so shiny it’s almost reflective. I knew just what I wanted to do with it, too.

I have this pattern for a beautiful lace shawl. Very fiddly, very intricate. Very large. I had been wanting to do it for some time but had never found the right yarn for it. Until this pink came along. It’s properties would mean that it would always look different, picking up color elements from things around it and reacting to different lighting.

Well, beautiful as the yarn is, it’s a bear to work with. Rayon, slippery, hard on the hands even though the fabric knits up soft. The pattern was looking icky until I finger blocked part of it and was amazed at how good it looked. So I carried on, figuring that 160 rows of this would produce something that would awe and amaze everyone who saw it.

Fighting through an uncharted pattern (believe me, for lace, pattern charts are MUCH easier on the eyes than written ones) I finally got down to the very last row yesterday with the shawl on a very large circular needle because it was just too big for double pointeds. Last row, only about 10 reapeats of the last row of knitted pattern to go then a simple crocheted edging (which I could whip off in no time) and it was finished. Well, except for the blocking, but that’s a whole different matter.

I looked down in my lap to see if I needed to move some stitches around and was horrified to see that my (practically new) circular cable had detached from the piece that connects to the needle tip and the weight of the piece had allowed this slippery, slithery, lovely yarn to unravel back 8 or 10 rows. And no way for me to salvage the piece. No way to pick up the stitches and repair it.

So today, instead of looking at several weeks of hard work and feeling a deep satisfaction at having actually finished it, I’m pulling out the yarn and winding it in a ball and no, I am not going to start over. I can’t bear it. I’ll do something else with the yarn but this experiment is over.

It’s so disappointing to have worked so hard and almost finished to have this happen.