Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Going Mobile: There's an app for that

There's an app for
reading this blog.
This is my first experiment with an app for using a mobile device for posting on Blogspot. Bear with me; it should be interesting. Essentially, this app allows me to post blogs from my Droid.

Now, I enjoy technology, and I mean REALLY enjoy it (I MUST have an Espresso Machine), but sometimes I don't want to use it. It seems to be easier to just use the same old, same old methods. I have hesitations.

But to not grow is to not evolve; and to not evolve is to be left behind. So I proceed forward with these new applications and try to learn the best way to use them.
The Esspresso Machine:
Sadly, it does not make coffee.

I'm staying up with the baby right now. She won't go to sleep. Instead she's climbing all over me while I'm trying to write this.

I've tried distracting her with yo Gabba Gabba, but that seems to be a touch'n'go attention-grabber. I'm hoping she just eventually passes out, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Snuggled up... my dream.
The biggest problem here is that, tonight, I actually want to go to bed early. I would like to be snuggled up under my blankets with my pillows. But no, no, I am up with the baby.

It's like she knows that I want to go to bed and so she intentionally goes manic. And, yes, I am implying that all children have only the manic side of manic depressive.

No, I'm not going to go the way of my former sister-in-law who drugged her child in order to get him to be quiet. Okay, so that was only long car trips... but still.

On the other hand, baby is teething and that could actually be the way to go. Maybe the pain of growing teeth out of her jaw is what's keeping her from being able to calm down so she can go to sleep, and by extension let me go to sleep, too.
Sleep where you drop, parents,
sleep where you drop.

Perhaps I'm just being idealistic. After all, as a parent, do I really actually get to sleep? Sleep is for the weak; there's always work to be done. I think I'll read her a story... a story that explains how I feel about her staying up.

Now she's trying to talk into my phone, thereby participating in the creation of this vocalized blog. Hmmm, definitely time to lay down.

(Next morning.) Shutting off all the lights and handing her her bottle seems to have triggered the sleep mechanism. She slept all night... On to the next challenge. *happy sighs*
*plays with phone apps*

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monsanto: Mother Nature's adversary

On Pagan Musings, we have been exploring Activism as a Pagan Obligation and Healthy Pagan Lifestyles, with an emphasis on exploring GMOs and Monsanto. In case some few of you do not follow every aspect of my life with an avid fascination (say it ain't so!), I've decided to give a run-down, along with some additional information that may not have been addressed in the podcasts.

Monsanto is evil. Let's just start there.

Here's some things I've heard of over the few years that I've been interested in this (and, yes, they are so unbelievable that I have to add links):
  1. Monsanto is trying to patent the pig. Yeah, chubby, pink, curly tail, makes bacon... the PIG. If you think I'm joking, just follow the link and read.
  2. Monsanto sneaks in to countries to steal native plants and plant breeds, so that it can patent them and then control the distribution of the seeds.
  3. Monsanto has targeted people who save seeds using tactics reminiscent of the back-alley gangsters of prohibition. They attempt to shut down farmers because they won't buy Monsanto seeds.
  4. Monsanto persistently sues other farmers despite being shut down for lack of evidence.
  5. Brazil (the whole COUNTRY) sues Monsanto for royalties fraud. "In essence, Monsanto argues that once a farmer buys their seed, they have to pay the global bio-tech giant a yearly fee in perpetuity – with no way out."
  6. India (again, the COUNTRY) sues Monsanto for the same thing as Brazil. The Monsanto patent blackmail (my assessment) is "responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes" in India due to the outrageous cost of dealing with the company.
  7.  The UK has fought many a battle with Monsanto and GMOs, including: the infiltration of GMO crops where not wanted; the effects of GMO crop use on other plants used as food by birds, bees, and beneficent insects; and the persistence of GMO crops even when a farmer switches to another crop.
  8. France banned GMOs, but later redacted the ban.
  9. Sweden destroyed GMO crops unless a permit was obtained.
  10. Hungary destroyed GMO crops after making GMOs illegal.
  11. Poland banned GMO corn because there are indications that GMO crop pollens contribute to the mysterious colony collapse disorder issues seen world-wide in bee populations.
  12. Peru banned GMO crops for 10 years to protect native biodiversity.
  13. Russia banned GMO corn due to the link between GMO foods and cancer.
  14. Biodiversity, or genetic diversity, is something that the monoculture-loving biotechs don't appreciate. Monocultures have a huge number of problems with pest control, chemical use, soil stripping, and more.
  15. Boulder, CO voted to phase out GMO crops due to links to cancer. Oh, and the toxins are now commonly found in human blood due to the prevalence of foods that contain GMOs.
  16. Oh, and the major point of using GMOs, to increase crop yields by decreasing weeds or pests, doesn't even work in the long run. The famous b-t corn that prevented rootworms has been getting attacked by, wait for it... rootworms!
  17. Here's more info on what countries around the world (including the US) are doing about GMOs.
  18. Monsanto sues a farmer, who spent decades saving and breeding his own seed, because his field was contaminated with Monsanto's GMO seeds. The farmer lost all his work. Monsanto won the case. But only temporarily. In a massive coup, the farmer won a settlement for Monsanto to clean up their "environmental contamination" and retained the right to resue if the contamination happens again. This case is featured in a documentary film "David versus Monsanto."
BTW, California has a proposed law, Prop 37, that would demand labeling of GMOs, something the biotech's, led by Monsanto, have fought against a little too hard to not belie their reasoning (that it wouldn't make a difference and GMOs are perfectly safe).

While incredibly biased against Monsanto, this has some bet-you-didn't-know trivia points.

This video is so cool, I had to include it! Don't forget to take note of the IndieGoGo crowd-sourcing project for a FUN documentary on Monsanto's evil-ness.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weighing In: Heavy thoughts on obesity

Well, some are cold, and some are lukewarm...
As a fat pagan woman, I have been following many of the various discussions on Pagans and obesity (or fat pagans) with interest. I wasn't going to chime in, but I did - on Z's show and a few comments.

But now is the time; I am making a point: mind your own fat business!

Probably the most common argument I've seen for stepping in when a pagan sees another pagan who is fat is this: "When harm is being done, it is my spiritual/religious duty to step up."

Goddess gets body image insecurity?
Ok, I immediately went to abortion rights on that one.

That's right, I'm saying that that excuse is used for Christians (and others) imposing their values, beliefs and opinions upon the masses, regardless of their own personal beliefs, regardless of circumstances.

I'm gonna say it... proselytizing.

You want to impose your own sense of what is right and wrong for me and my body? I hear there is an opening in the Westboro Baptist Church.

I would argue that most Pagans would consider it MORE in line with their beliefs that, with only the most extreme exceptions, it's our job to TRUST each other to do what is right for ourselves and the rest of the world.
Ruben likes his women with
fleshy goodness!

Yeah, I brought out the T-word.

You should trust me that I am a reasonably intelligent human being with complexities that you prolly don't understand.
You should trust me that I have the same googling capability that you have, and that I am either as informed as you are or have CHOSEN to remain ignorant.
You should trust me that if I WANT to get better, I will do what I can to do so, and if I don't, there is NOTHING that you poking your nose in will do to change that.

You should trust that I am a "grown-ass woman" with decision-making capability and that, whether you are talking about the layer of fatty tissue under my epidermis or the reproductive organs in my lower abdomen, MY BODY = MY CHOICE still applies.

I don't understand how being nosy or pushy is the way you show you care. Personal responsibility is just that: personal AND a responsibility. It is mine to make or break. My body to use or abuse, to trash or treasure.

Gods, if I came even close to
having her body fat...
On a similar note, it came to my attention that an Olympic swimming contender was called "fat." Let me clarify: This woman swims. She swims often and she swims fast. She does so to the point that she beat out most of an entire country (Australia) to qualify for the Olympics, an honor most people I know have never even APPROACHED. She has won EIGHT medals during the last 12 years. "Together with Emily Seebohm, Alicia Coutts and Melanie Schlanger, she won a silver medal for Australia in the 4 × 100 m medley relay." Oh, wait. That makes NINE medals. How many have YOU won?

 She's now 26 and has grown a bit of a pooch. To quote, "The question that comes up is: Does it matter? Is it the media's place to question the fitness of an athlete who has already proved herself by making the team in the first place?" Exactly. She's done 4 Olympics and 9 medals more than pretty much any journalist, blogger or commentator who has decided to judge her body (in an unforgiving and less then flattering swimsuit, no less).

To those who did judge her, go win a frickin' Olympic medal and then you MIGHT get to say something. Otherwise, SHUT UP.

Holley Mangold weighs in at 346 pounds (157 kilograms);
she can also bench press a small BUS!
"[Her] personal record in the combined snatch and
clean-and-jerk is 255 kilos (562.2 pounds)."
UPDATE: This was in my YahooNews feed today. The epic quote? Here: "The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), a UK charity aiming to get more women into sport to build self-esteem and confidence, said only 12 percent of British girls at age 14 were doing enough exercise to meet recommended guidelines. WSFF Chief Executive Sue Tibballs said their research found negative body image was consistently cited as a barrier for girls participating in exercise as popular culture gave out the message it was more important to be thin than fit." (Emphasis, mine.)