Friday, May 27, 2011

Photo Friday!

Here it is...Friday. And it occurred to me that I actually DO have pictures that are not a year old. I took some pictures on my beach retreat. Of course, they are all sunset pictures... But you won't mind my sharing one, will you?

Oh's huge. But we can all look at it and wish we were (still) there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sorry Lisa, didn't get back to check your comments on this until now. So here we are. Two I want to put my fist through the wall and howl posts in one day.

This was printed in the Eugene Register Guard yesterday. Blachly and Triangle Lake are located in the Coast Range of Oregon. The cut off from Highway 99 heading west is about fifteen miles north of Eugene. One of the chemicals, atrazine, is banned in most of Europe and has been lined to various birth defects, cancers and infertility. And it's in most of our water, even if you aren't downwind from a clear cut. Day Owen is also one of the founders of the local Pitchfork Rebellion.

Triangle Lake residents alarmed by pesticide test results
By Day Owen
Appeared in print: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, page A13
My urine — and the urine of 20 of my Triangle Lake area neighbors — was tested and came back positive for two of the most dangerous pesticides: 2,4-D and atrazine.

It is probable that nearly everyone who lives in our coastal mountain logging community also is poisoned. We are now going to offer free tests for children at Triangle Lake School.

Our recent tests were conducted by one of the world’s premier experts: Dana Barr, who for two decades ran the labs at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The analytical chemist is a researcher at Emory University, specializing in chemical exposures.

For seven years, we begged the state of Oregon unsuccessfully to test our urine. We knew that the timber industry helicopters that were spraying pesticides from the sky near our homes and schools were making us sick. We got zero help.

The stumbling block was that the pesticide industry is so powerful in Oregon that it exercises considerable control over state government. The agency in charge of investigating pesticide complaints is overseen by the Pesticide Division of the Department of Agriculture, which is heavily influenced by the pesticide industry.
Last year, we petitioned the federal Environmental Protection Agency for redress. It sent an investigator from the CDC, Capt. Richard Kauffman, to look into our allegations of foul play. His report on PARC — the Pesticide Analytical Response Center, overseen by the pesticide division — was scathing.

After seven years of being treated like dirt by Oregon government, we decided to take matters into our own hands and asked Barr to test our urine. Her results proved us right, but we are not celebrating.

Vindication is not sweet when every organ in your body hurts. The yearly spring spraying season has begun, and the amounts of 2,4-D and atrazine in our second urine samples taken in April have gone way up. Many of us are very sick.
L, a resource for environmental lawyers, lists the dangers of atrazine: increased risk of breast and prostate cancers; birth defects and fetal deaths; low birth weights and premature births; and increased toxic effects when combined with other chemicals.

2,4-D, is also more toxic when combined with other chemicals. Now they are combined in our bodies — along with who knows how many other herbicides that our budget does not permit us to check.

Almost no research has been done on the synergistic effect of several herbicides in the body, but it is believed to create a far more toxic brew than any one pesticide alone.

2,4-D is found in just 2 percent to 4 percent of the general population. But like atrazine, it was found in 100 percent of Triangle Lake residents tested so far.
Here is what we are now asking the state to do. Note that we are especially interested in fixing structural flaws in the spirit of Oregon’s legally mandated policy of best management practices.

We ask that the governor lead an effort to move PARC back under the authority of the state Public Health Division.

We ask that the governor move the authority to establish pesticide buffer zones around homes and schools from the Department of Agriculture to the health division. Pesticide lobbyists previously caused that authority to reside solely with agriculture. That is a glaring structural flaw for two reasons: Agriculture has no expertise in health and environmental toxins. And significantly, it has a financial conflict of interest because it is linked to the pesticide makers.

We ask that the governor order an investigation into exactly how the atrazine and 2,4-D entered our bodies. Both herbicides recently were sprayed aerially near our homes, and we want the governor to confirm the obvious: The stuff drifts farther than industry admits.

Oregon must repeal the part of the Oregon Right to Farm Act that prohibits a county from enacting a pesticide buffer zone.

We believe we have a cancer cluster in our region. We want that studied.
We want meaningful pesticide reform, beginning with adoption of a strong precautionary principle. Whatever steps are necessary to prevent trespass of pesticides into our bodies against our will must be taken, even if that means banning them entirely.

We demand that Oregon alter its rules that currently permit three members of the state Board of Forestry to have financial conflicts of interest.

Unless the above-named structural flaws are remedied, we will file a class action lawsuit alleging that the state of Oregon has failed to abide by best management practices. You can’t put the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse, yet that is exactly what Oregon has done.

Day Owen is the founder of the Pitchfork Rebellion, a forest dwellers support group that can be contacted at P.O. Box 160, Greenleaf, OR 97430.

It's strange, or perhaps not so strange that our so called culture of life seems to be restricted to the question of abortion. Failing to supportt our families, poisoning our land, our animals and our neighbors with pesticides and herbicides. We're spending billions to treat the diseases linked to the contamination, but doing nothing to end the contamination because too often the people who are supposed to deal with the problem used to work for or are being paid by the companies causing the problem.

Originally posted in Walking With Hope


This link is courtesy of Cynthia and Mary Ellen on Facebook. Gulf Coast Syndrome in the Colorado Springs Independent. And remember that it's our current speaker of the house who attempted to reprimand the president for "picking on BP" when he insisted that the company put up some cash to support the costs of the clean up. Not nearly enough it seems. And BP is posting record profits this year. So, for what it's worth, I'm posting this link where ever I can think of.

Want a real kick in the face. The dispersant BP used over here in the colonies is banned in the UK.

Just Wondering...

Three days ago, this story made news:
Former Palin Aide Pens Scathing Tell-All

Less than 24 hours later, that article mysteriously disappeared from online news leaders, to be replaced by this one:
John Edwards facing Criminal Charges

I’m no huge John Edwards fan, and I’m aggressively uninterested in anything having to do with Alaska’s former governor. But we all know they represent opposite sides of the political spectrum.

And it seems to me it is no coincidence that the Palin story vaporized, and abra-cadabra, the Edwards headline materialized in its place.

Is there anyone out there who still believes that old “Liberal Media” bullcrap?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

seriously...who could resist him?

I'm looking for the Dos Equis man.

Seriously, who could resist him?

Here are some of the phrases used to describe him:

His blood smells like cologne

His hands feels like rich brown suede

His beard alone

Has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body...

His charm is so contagious vaccines have been created for it…

His personality is so magnetic he’s unable to carry credit cards…

He’s been known to cure narcolepsy just by walking into a room

He can speak French…in Russian (my personal fave)

Every time he goes for a swim…dolphins appear

The police often question him

Just because they find him interesting

He is the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test

Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number...

When it's raining, it's because he thinks something sad...

He’s a lover, not a fighter...but he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas...

He once had an awkward moment…just to see how it feels

He lives vicariously…through himself

If he were to give you directions, you'd never get lost

And you’d arrive at least 5 minutes early

He is...the most interesting man in the world...

Yep, that's the man I'm looking for.

Judging by his pic, I'd say he's about my age (I'm 61).

But if he's like many men my age, including former IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, age 62...he's probably not looking for me.

No, he's not looking for me; he's probably looking for a 30-something. And really, who could blame him? Almost all of us are better looking when we're younger; no one could deny that. So I understand looking at a younger person, and admiring their physical beauty. But here's where most women have so much more common sense than most men: as we get older, we realize that we've aged. When I look in the mirror, I'm happy with what I see, but what I see is a 61-year-old woman.

When Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped out of the shower last Saturday and looked in the mirror, what did he see? Maybe he didn't see himself at all; just the reflection of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who had come into the suite thinking it was unoccupied...

His first story was that he wasn't there; he was having lunch with his daughter; it didn't happen.

But after a CSI team showed up and cut away a section of carpet said to contain certain...ahem...forensic evidence, the story has changed: it seems Monsieur Strauss-Kahn did indeed have (rough, oral) sex with the 30-years-younger housekeeper, but it was consensual sex...

Yeah, right.

Nevermind that the housekeeper has reportedly worked at the Sofitel for three years with an unblemished record.

Nevermind that she is a devout Muslim.

Nevermind that DSK is approximately twice her age.

Everyone knows that all women are attracted to powerful, older men. I personally have been longing to get together with a rich guy twice my age, but since I'm 61, I know the odds are against it. Shoot, even if I'd be willing to settle for someone 30 years older than I am now, what are the chances? But I digress.

I've been reading the comments people have left on the web about this, and I've learned quite a few things. It couldn't have happened because the housekeeper is apparently around 6 feet tall. I confess, I have absolutely no response to this argument, because I don't understand what her height has to do with anything.

It couldn't have happened, because DSK, being the powerful, attractive guy that he is, could have simply hired a woman for sex. Huh? He's accused of sexual assault, which has nothing to do with sex but everything to do with power, rage, subjugation...

It couldn't have happened, because he went to lunch afterward, before he went to the airport. Uh-huh. That doesn't prove anything, except maybe that he's a cocky, arrogant SOB who thinks he's above the law.

I could go on and on, but I won't, because I find it depressing.

But not everything in this story is depressing.

I applaud the housekeeper, for going to security immediately and reporting what happened.

I applaud her colleague, who had the presence of mind, when he got the call from DSK inquiring about his cellphone (which the colleague did not have) to lie and say yes, he had it in hand and would be happy to have it delivered immediately to DSK, just tell him where...which is how the police got the flight info

I applaud the Port Authority police, who boarded the Air France flight and apprehended DSK

I applaud the NYC police, who handcuffed DSK and took him into custody...

cross posted at Talking to Myself

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Forks Over Knives, or How To Save Your Own Life

So, life (thank the goddess) goes on, and I seem to have less and less time or inclination to sit at the computer. Well, no, the truth is that I quite often have the inclination, but since for the past almost seven months now I have been exercising more and more often than in the past forty or fifty years put together, and have become convinced of the real dangers of spending too much time sitting in a chair, I don't very often act on that inclination. I do miss spending time writing things longer than emails or Facebook status posts however, and since we're all going to be raptured (or the Chosen will be raptured, and I guess the rest of us will just fall into the Great Void) when Judgement Day happens on Saturday, I thought I'd spend a little time on the old blog today (with frequent intervals to get up and jog around the house, mind you).

It's really too bad about that judgement day business, especially if it really happens.  Gail and I have been spending so much time and effort on getting healthy and fit at this late day in our lives, and wondering why we waited so long -  be a damn shame to waste it on getting tossed into la nada by worldwide earthquakes and so forth.  I personally would really like to go down a few more sizes and maybe run a 5K race for a worthy cause of some sort before it's all over.  Maybe even a marathon eventually.  Well, I guess we'll see.

In the meantime my more immediate goal is to be able to see a movie whose progress I've been following for a while now.  It's called Forks Over Knives, and it's about the benefits of exactly what Gail and I have been doing since her Coronary Artery Disease diagnosis in September, eating a plant based, nutritionally dense, vegan diet.  We've also been doing yoga, working out on the treadmill and weight machines at our local Y's, and as soon as the outdoor pool is open (Memorial Day, and we can't wait), swimming, daily.  The movie apparently doesn't deal much with exercise, according to Roger Ebert's review "...Although regular exercise, especially walking, is invaluable, the film shows only a little exercise and focuses singlemindedly on nutrition."  Ebert is most enthusiastic about this film, and says what we have found to be true during our Medical System Journeying after Gail's diagnosis: " 'Forks Over Knives' is not subtle. It plays as if it had been made for doctors to see in medical school. Few doctors seem prepared to suggest proper nutrition as an alternative to pills, stents and bypasses." No doctor has recommended the path we've taken; quite the contrary - the recommendations are all for invasive procedures and/or medications. The reactions to our telling them our plan has universally been snorts of derision. So, we took the initiative to read the very doctors featured in this movie, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyne, and embark on our own vegan adventure.

I've been writing about this adventure in this blog since we started, and think it's time for a little update. Gail, who was not really overweight to start withbut did have some of the dreaded belly fat,  has lost fifteen pounds, her cholesterol has dropped many points, her blood pressure is now very low normal, and she never has any angina, even when racing away at high speeds and inclines on the treadmill.  I, who was quite overweight, have lost almost fifty pounds and my blood pressure is closer to a good normal reading than it has been in my entire adult life.  I won't have a physical and tests until November (first apptmt I could get), but I am expecting my cholesterol to be lower than it has been since I started having it tested in my forties.  It has always been high, and doctors have wanted to put me on medication for years now. So, Gail and I are living proof of this movie's premise, laid out here by T. Colin Campbell himself: 

For more than 2,800 years, the concept of eating plants in their whole-food form has struggled to be heard and adopted as a way of life. However, recent evidence shows that more than ever a plant-based diet is not something to be ignored. In fact, eating a plant-based diet has become an urgent matter from several perspectives. Not only will it improve your health -- and the evidence behind this claim is now overwhelming -- but it will also dramatically reduce health care costs, as well as reduce violence to our environment and to other sentient beings.

The fact is our nation's economic stability, already crumbling due to the repeated bursting of bubbles such as technology and housing, has been hard hit by spiraling health costs that seem to have no end in sight. Despite this, as a nation, we are sicker and fatter than we have ever been. The epidemic of obesity and diabetes, especially in the young, forecasts an economically unsustainable public health challenge with the gloomy prophecy that today's children may not outlive their parents.

Who will protect the public? Not our government: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's nutrition pyramid is laden with food that will guarantee millions will suffer ill health. Not the American Dietetic Association, which is controlled by food corporations. Not the insurance industry, which profits by selling plans to the sick. Not the pharmaceutical industry, which pockets billions from chronic illnesses. And not the medical profession, in which doctors and nurses receive virtually no training in nutrition or behavioral modification, and are handsomely rewarded for administrating drugs and employing technical expertise.

What can save America is a plant-based diet, which will help individuals recover their good health, and which in turn will set our health care system right (as well as our economy). However, for this plant-based diet to take hold, the public must be endowed with nutritional literacy, the kind of knowledge that is portrayed in the new documentary, "Forks Over Knives."

"Forks Over Knives" focuses not just on the research that both of us have been engaged in over the last four decades, whether in China and Cornell or at the Cleveland Clinic; it also traces the journey of several Americans as they move from a lifetime of eating mostly animal-based and processed foods to a whole food plant-based diet, and the extraordinary medical results that follow. It is educational, entertaining, and literally life-saving.

See this movie if it comes to a theatre, or even a town, near you. It would be so great if this movie actually provided the impetus this country needed toget itself off the track of degenerative illness and onto one of real health care.(Cross-posted from Quid Nunc.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Photo Not Friday

I will be too busy this Friday to post much of anything, I imagine...

But I'm posting this picture in honor of some things into which I will soon have a lot more time to invest.

This pic isn't from this year, but I've had the unusual pleasure of the company of his kind all during this past winter. They have helped get me through some bleakish months...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Something For Which We Have All Been Waiting...Or Not


While I understand there is no way that this event can go unmentioned here at "Women On..."

I need to confess:

My first reaction was not "Justice has been done."

My first reaction was not "An evil man has been removed from this earth."

My first reaction was not "Glory Hallelujah!"


My first reaction was, "Oh My God. It will be SOOOO interesting to see how this plays out for the president in the next few days."

I am at once hopeful...

...and hiding under my bed with my fingers in my ears.

Events of the past decade have led me to be almost certain that the media, politicians, pundits, and people of this great country are on the threshold of a Great Opportunity... to make total asses of themselves.

If only it could be some other way.