Dancing in the wind…


Autumn happens in California. Seriously it does. We might not get the spectacular colors of the north east United States. Some places do get nippy though, especially in the farther Northern parts of the State and in the mountains. We have mostly evergreen trees rather than the ones that shed their leaves. What is more, is the evergreens are more able to tolerate drought than deciduous trees. This website shows drought tolerant trees of Northern California, most of them are either a variety of Pine, or Oaks.

Drought is part of the natural cycle of California. Media says its the worst since California became a state in 1850. I disagree. What makes it “worst” is the population that lives here using water that was never really meant to be used for other things like Fracking, and water heavy dependent aquaculture and water heavy farming, like rice. Growing up in the Valley, I used to see large fields of rice growing and thought nothing of it, till my Father pointed out how this was not natural. I could understand if we had regular flooding in that area (seasonal) that one could use it to grow rice. But not all the time, as droughts are a regular occurrence in California. As the larger type of seasonal things happen, the “season” over decades of droughts WILL happen. What it requires is more long term thinking of how to use water not just on a year by year basis of seasons, but decade and even Century or a thousand years looking at water usage and water obtaining from rain to snow.

This means not only what we do on the ground, but how we effect the air as well. Frankly we should live always as if we are in a drought to keep water flowing at realistic rates for our population.

Nancy Louise

The Hesitant Hand


I live in America, I feel safe. Or rather, I used to. Perhaps it is because I read the postings of too many electronic news now, concerned only with those of the latest hour. Anything over seven hours is considered stale to me, unless I am doing something investigative. As I sat to have a bite to eat and drink a lovely chi, I said a small prayer and prepared to cross myself as I came to the end of it. Nothing showy, just my usual quiet prayer. I hesitated. Images of someone coming and departing my head from my body suddenly filled my mind, screams of how dare I bluntly show my religion in secular surroundings. I made a very soft cross, a cross between what might be seen as shooing away a fly or sloppy cross. My head bowed a bit more in shame. What ever had come over me. The day was beautiful, I live in an area if different faiths. There was no real fear here. Yet I had wonder, how much longer will this freedom last? When will we become invaded? If Israel falls, will we be next? Is the fall of Christianity in the Middle East meaning the fall of Christianity and Judaism everywhere?

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Do you think my fears extreme? I ask you, would you have thought the bombing in the twin towers garage would lead to the Jets of 9-11? We must not hide, we must not be shy. It is time for us to be bold and kind, and proclaim in action who we are. We will not stand for terrorism. We must help our neighbors, and know them. They also need to know US. Don’t hide, get to know people, their faith, their beliefs. War makes beastly animals of everyone. Peace is made by making humans of one another. Let us fight our own beastly natures and bring out our humane best.

In Christ our Lord, Amen.
Nancy Louise

A Mortal Sin Finally Absolved, The Murder Of A Small Soul


Sewage Cover
Sewage Cover

This is not written in mockery, nor is this some kind of Onion copycat against the Catholic Church. I am Roman Catholic and I do write this in all seriousness. I murdered a slug.

Now that some of you have either stopped snorting or simply changed the Internet channel. Let me give you the drama that lead to this whole misfortune. It was summer in the Northern California Valley, the kind people like to tease about cooking eggs on asphalt. Thing is most don't seem to show cooking one on an iron manhole, those get hot too, really hot. I also was cooking a hot temper that August. Ready to head back to school packing my pocket knife which had a blade just over 3 1/2 inches long. I was ready to start using on a few people who been hurting me for so long and who were going to follow me from one school Junior high to High school. I spotted a slug, innocent in some grass that had been watered. I focused on a face of some I hated and fixed it on the slug and placed the slug on the iron manhole baking in the afternoon sun.

I relished for a bare second then realized it was a slug and cried no! I grabbed it and desperately tried to help the creature. It died and it suffered by frying to death. Something inside of me broke and I cried for years. When I became Catholic wanted to be absolved. No one wanted to absolved me over a dead bug. I finally asked to be absolved of the anger to the people I pretended was the slug. On that I was, but I still felt for the slug. Until I had a dream.

In this dream I met another Catholic who been brought up in China and whose world view was very much one of seeing thing like Buddhist do, even if you are not. In his hand he presented to me the still dead slug.

This soul, do you not realized it was a small sacrifice for you?
What do you mean?
You had wished to do bodily harm to others. You carried great pain, anger, and hatred in your heart. You were already killing.
Yes I know.
What happened when the slug began to die?
I felt great anguished for making it suffer. It had done nothing to deserve this.
Just as Christ did for us. Yes Did you feel Compassion?
Yes
And the hatred?
Much anger and hatred was there but it was blunted. I suddenly remembered again that life is sacred.
Imagined if you had used your knife even once or even attempted it. How things might have been different for you?
Oh yes. So in a small way, that little soul died to help you save your soul so God can use your time here on Earth in better ways.
I turned to body in my hand. I am so sorry little one. Forgive me. Thank you for teaching me.
The slug healed then turned to its own kind of Earth soul and left.
I understand now. I am absolved at last. I thank you my brother in Christ for you help in this.
I thank you my sister in that I can be of service. Until in Christ we meet again.
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When I awoke another puzzle fell in place. The sin was greater that I wanted to hurt the people yes. But it took a small innocent creature to sadly remind me, that while I am capable of causing harm, it is not the way of the cross which I hold dear. And it took a slug acting the part of Christ to remind of that. Two days after the slug died, my Parents stumble across a Catholic School in our neighborhood they never heard about. It was the answer to all their problems. I was mad about not being able to confront my enemies. God by then was moving things to put me in his service... As for the knife, I still have it. But it only cuts salami and pine branches for s'mores.

For the Contact Form, I am sorry. I tried hand coding and all that and I still can't get it right. If you want to use it, bear with me to delete my names and put in yours. Smile... Thanks...

Say What?


Norm Chomsky, B. F. Skinner, and others are names that tumble off lips of linguistics and behavior students and professors of language and its acquisition. Many will reference to these giants for all languages. My question is, who are those that are the giants in those that acquire language in a visual way? Many of these articles they have published are primary about with with no blocks to their acquiring the language of their environment. The studies are about how language is acquired and how can it be improved for those whom there may be issues in acquiring it or to use the environment and application of training to improve current methods in education. Even Dr. Spock was a part of all this. What interest me is these names come mostly from my generation of people. What about new thinkers? What if anything has been discovered in neural science?

I want to know more what is known about language about children who acquire language base on visual rather than audio. Why? My story is not typical of many deafen kids. “Exception to the rule” was something I heard pretty much all my life, and got sick of it. Still do. But so you do understand where I come from I will be clear and explain that I picked up English later than other children. While labeled profoundly deaf, I was able to make use of powerful hearing aides. Audiologist and others who worked with me are convinced I must of been born hearing. If  I was I have no memory of it or of learning to speak easily. My language was quite mangled and most consisted of pointing to things to get what I needed. Age six and half I obtained my first hearing aids and while I had home studies for speech I got my first professional speech therapist around second grade.  Reading I remembered suddenly made sense to me when a teacher showing my little brother how to read in kindergarten showed a picture of a ball, and the word, dog and a picture of a Cocker Spaniel. Suddenly I began to get the idea and opened a book near by with pictures of a ball and a dog.  Mom ended up bring home books like those for my brother. I began to use them too and remembered in time I figured out how to read, I was close to nine at the time.  Eventually I could read beyond my age group, but could not read aloud very well as many of the words I had no idea how to pronounce. I only was able to guess their meanings from context of sentences and because I was told to use the dictionary and encyclopedia a lot. So over time I did acquire language. I eventually got a BFA and MA in spite of the fact my parents were told they would be lucky if I could graduate high school by age twenty two and if I had children I would need help as they expected my mental development to be delayed as well. Even going to college was not encouraged, but I was stubborn and demanded a way in.

So how kids get language visually is of great interest to me as a teacher and as a student. I plan to write some blogs here about this. Not about various devices used to enhance sounds for deaf – hearing impaired children. Because frankly they still need to rely on visual abilities to gain access to language no matter how well they eventually learn to use the audio aspects of any device they may or may not use. For accuracy if anyone would like to point out some relevant information they found useful, please send me the information. I would also love to interview any Parents and their story of teaching their children access to language as well.

Nancy Louise

Slapping people is not nice!


First off, let’s us put up a small list of grievances I have received directed to my behavior. I who do my best to be a dear little angel who only blest. ( O.K. Friends of mine you can get off the ground and stop laughing now….)

1. I give my dog water to drink in a restaurant, from the same glass which will be washed will then be used by others…

He helps me so you don't have to...
He helps me so you don’t have to…

2. I am very insistent in getting answers to annoying questions people Try to evade me on…

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3. My acting cute and adorable gets on people’s nerves…

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#3, you think I out grow this by now. After all I am over the age of five! But it works so well in getting me out of trouble! Humm maybe I need to get in less trouble and be more ‘old’? (Belch).

#2. Nope, not giving this one up, so knock that off your wish list for behaviors you wish I would change.

#1. This one, well it’s tough. I will make a point to bring HIS glass with me from now on. I was scolded in public recently for this by our waitress, after receiving a complaint seeing me give my dog water. She then informed me the glass had to now be destroyed so the customer would know it was not going back in with the others. When I protested that the glasses are washed, the waitresses said they could be sued for breech of hygiene. I became very quiet and compliant. And said I was quite sorry. Ironically, the number of things we can catch from a dog then washed glass is far less than we can from each other. But perception is often 90 percent of how the law is applied. So I will give him water from cups I bring in. The public perception of people with service dogs has been badly damaged by those who broke the law just to bring their pets in with them.

So I am going to put out a plea to all dog lovers, animal lovers etc. Next time you want to bring your pet into an establishment forbidding animals, DONT. PLEASE DONT. You will not only be hurting us, but yourselves as insensitive dog dolts dummies who bring their flea bags every where. Even when they are not. Those who have medical service animals, please keep up with their training. Not only for your own safety, but for others of us in your community.

That is my Christmas Wish for us all, that we get along, people and their loving dogs (or ponies, or felines, etc.).

Digits of Errors


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“The Digital Evolution” has always struck me as a rather quaint and silly phrasing. Of course people who coined it were mostly focused on the term digital in technology, not digits as in fingers. Or as the Webster Dictionary would say.

digit a count of numbers 0 – 9, fingers or toes. The link is lot more intensive of course.

digital showing time with numbers instead of minute and hour hands. Also more intensive meanings at the site.

Now take those words and add it with the word, Library. Granted, Digital can and does mean the collection of information by means of 01 and 00 (for now). And a library is indeed a collection of information at its most basic service. So if one was to break it down to the bear digits, the digital library would make logical digital sense in providing information in the most proficient way to the masses. Or is it?

I have been a lover of books since before I can remember. Vivid stories of how I tried to bury my baby brother at age 4 in a well intended idea of letting him see all the books we had (he was in the baby buggy and Mom had stepped out of the room for just a moment while I lovingly place Golden Books all over him like a blanket. Such cute stories like that can’t happen with digital books… Collections of books on your reading pad can be fun, great to read where ever you go. I loved having digital books for college, oh the weight they saved me of carrying around. I also however loved to walk between the walls of bounded paper, muffling the consent vibrations of people, to touch the manuscripts of research from authors now long gone, but live on to pass on their wisome. Let’s face it, not all knowledge is fresh and twenty seconds ago. Someone has to research archives. Yet digital libraries around the world can widen access to libraries like nothing else as long as the technology accessibility also follows. Technology like the printing press revolutionized civilization and greatly equalized access to knowledge. Digital access can do the same. I suspect however, just as there are still old printing presses and cherished books and manual type and hand bound books, so will there be some libraries with treasured tomes kept in storage for the elite. Once again books will become the rare treasure of the few, but the information within them, will become more of the masses than Gutenberg could have ever dreamed. It is a digit al evolution, indeed.

What growing in my brain?


In looking for photos of deaf cats I came across this link.

http://www.jhu.edu/ryugolab/research/endbulbstudy.html

In short its a paper (just one page) of why implants for deafness works for some but not others. They used cats born deaf to try and see what happens to their brains. My guess is they didn’t use cat scans for this (tears). The results were that some cats actually have developed more cells in their area of the brain that receives the signals to translates as sound in our minds. Remember all sound is waves, there is not actually any noise per say out there, we just perceive it that way because of how our brain developed. We could have just as easily developed to SEE the sound, Smell the sound, or any other way that organisms can develop senses for.  Example would be the Mantis Shrimp, which can see not only more colors but more spectral vision than we have tools for apparently. So, if a mean Shrimp (it is said to be rather violent) can have that, well what else can’t. My point is that sounds are not sounds, they are waves. So these devices were made to stimulate the area of the brain by passing the damage area to give the brain charges it needs to “hear” again. Apparently in doing so, it allows some cats (and humans I supposed) to re-grow areas that had gone damaged without stimuli.

Its an interesting thing to read, and just throwing some information out there. Its also greatly disturbing to realized I wear daily a device that cost the lives of, I would imagine, thousands of beloved felines.

Nancy Louise

PS this is our Deaf kitty, she has no implant, never will. She is happy. She the tiny (full grown) one on the right. Next to her is BIG Sammy who is 20 pounds. Yeah, she likes snuggles with him.

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