Friday, August 31, 2007

Two Truths, One Lie

Here's a little Weekend Assignment I found over at Jade's place  Weekend Assignment #181: Two Truths, One Lie  seems a nice distraction for those of us not rushing to get packed for a 3-day vacation. 

Just list three statements about yourself.  One must be an untruth, a prevarication, yes a fib!  Here goes:

l.  I've never been to a circus.

2.  I think pregnant woman should not wear tight clothing.

3.  I'm a bit hard to please.

Oh and there's one more part (for "extra credit"):  Besides this game, did you tell a lie today?  Little white one, big green one, medium blue, purple, orange, red, fushia, any kind of lie. 

Okay my answer to that is, I can't really remember if I told a lie today, and assume I probably didn't as it doesn't come natural, but if I did, and don't remember, it couldn't have been much of one, but I guess it counts - unless it was a lie about not lying, which makes it true, since I don't remember it anyway!  But if I don't remember, it's only true to the person I told it to, and since I don't remember, I guess a tree does make a noise if it falls and no one's there to hear it.  See?  (smile)

Leave your answer here in your comment, go to Jade's and make a guess about hers, post this game in your Journal and play it (don't forget to answer the lie thing) and Jade says we'll reveal answer Monday.  Harmless fun, what say? 

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

I hoped there'd be more to see this year, but it was much like March's eclipse only less clear.  For those who remembered from previous posts that you needed to be up at 1 a.m. ad infin., I noted in some Journals (Donna' especially) that many were up and ready  ~ Very Early Morning ~  When Luna passed into Earth's shadow (the umbra stage) I expected it to be alot darker, clearer.  Although very much like March, it was more disappointing here on the N.A. east coast.  Since the Moon passed closer to the center of Earth's shadow during umbra this time, I did sort of expect it anyway.  Still, my scope captured many delights I didn't expect, always astonishing to look into the past.   During penumbra, as it moved out from Earth's shadow,  I caught the pale fringe.    

Folks wonder why the Moon isn't totally black at this time.  What happens is much like what gives our atmosphere a blue appearance.  It's merely the sun's light refracting off Earth's atmosphere, and in this case eventually giving Luna a deep orange to darkish brick color, much like dried blood (oops the forensic lab rat in me lol)

At the moment of totality, Luna was so bright yellow, almost white, I kept moving from my scope to just stare with the naked eye.  It never disappoints, this incredible orb that all life has gazed upon and created myths around, we've even had to GO there to satisfy our need to know, which eons ago gave us  My @*#&$^# Aching Back !!  yet seems a small cost for what we gain in return.   

The next lunar eclipse will be February 21-22, 2008.  That's only months away.  The Americas will be treated to the best view, ending the trilogy of less than one year.  

I expect to live to see it.


Basics courtesy of Skywatcher, R&L, Sky Publishing Corp., Sky & Telescope, star charts. 










Monday, August 27, 2007

"Race For The End Of Summer"

I'm off for summer's last embrace

where all the contours of my face

will now be seen in every place -

for the clock itself has wings!

Printed into memory

the greens and blues I still can see

and all the folk who look at me -

the earth itself now sings!

Not a farewell tune at all

just a preface for the Fall

soon descending as a call 

for red and golden rings.

People in a hurry now

to catch the summer's final bow

with every gift it does allow -

I love these wondrous things! 

csr  ( Catherine S. Rapicano ) 8/26/07

Judith HeartSong: August Artsy Essay

Friday, August 24, 2007


Well I can't fight it - and find I don't want to anyway.  So many sweethearts here in J-Town have admitted to calling me Luddie rhyming with Muddy, and are so used to it, I happily surrender!  IT'S OKAY!!  My family put that moniker on me early, as in Ludwig (for my hero Mr. Beethoven) but who's to say people didn't pronounce Ludwig as Ludd instead of Lood, right?  Right!

So "Luddy" it is.  "Cathy" isn't bad either lol.      

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My LOLPets Entry

Okay Maire, hope I did this right!  The full URL assigned by the computer is lolcat2181218.jpg - I'll go right to your LOLpets!...and leave my link.  Your instructions are clear and easy therefore count on me to have missed something!  This is my old tom, "DB" from 1982.     

Monday, August 20, 2007

How DID They Know?

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.


Blogthings - What Color Crayon Are You?  Thank you to whoever's Journal I found this in lol very fun! 

Thelma and Louise

I'm baaack!! LOL not in enough time to have made the chat, though, and I'll be eager to read in Journals what you guys did. 8/20 just read it at Helen's you all sounded so relaxed and happy, I'm so glad it went well! Sure wish I had a laptop I would've been able to join in from Asbury Park, a 2-hour trip from home. But I swear, even if I'd had one with me there was so much to do, I doubt I would've stopped long enough to type!! (laughing) Do you mind if I ramble a bit? Let me tell you what Mern and I did:

Marzianne invested in a condo she'd only use on weekends and we all thought "..she be mad!" but she had a method, and I saw all this since yesterday, Saturday. First she picked me up and decided to do a "Thelma and Louise" she goes, "Cath, we're over 18 and I have a credit card!" That set the mood for the whole weekend. We jumped on the GSP - Garden State Parkway - for the 2-hour drive, and set about yammering and giggling like a couple of loonies. We talked about who was doing what in the family, which sib just painted their house lilac, which one bought a little scooter instead of the wheelchair he needs and he's zipping around like a crazed nut. Then the one who's changing his profession of 30 years, in his mid-fifties when you really shouldn't DO that lol then the one who got Lumineers and they're too big, she smiles and her whole face disappears all you see are piano keys. Then there's the "baby" 43-year old Sean, who bought a HOUSE for pete's sake and is planning to rent it out, as an investment. We made mean comments about so-and-so's girlfriend who's a psycho, we laughed at how odd our aunts are acting,...before I knew it, we landed in front of her condo - my eyes popped out!

Asbury Park was once such a depressed, poor town no one thought it would ever rise from the ashes, but like a phoneix, new money pushed it skyward and now you can't live there unless you START with $100,000. Holy canoli. Mern's place was alot bigger than I thought - after all it's her "weekend spot" lol I'm laughing in disbelief but she says, "Mom and Dad left us a nice chunk of money, they want us to ENJOY it, USE it, be smart but be HAPPY!" And she's right. This place was just so beautiful; warm, had very expensive antiques she's chosing out slowly. I noticed there wasn't a TV - of course not. If you're a "weekender" in Asbury, you spent a fortune to do it, and there's so much to see and do, why sit in front of a screen? The little arts and craft shops, the gallerias, the quaint little bistros, we had no time to just lie around: The ocean is only 3 blocks from her door. We're off!

First, antiquing. I bought a few neat rings and Jurc got another little Victorian picture. Back out we go. I'd never been in a "Target" there isn't such a place here in Newark, but "Thelma" says "This is an experience you HAVE to have!" And when I saw it from the outside I had to completely turn around to take it all in. We bought some nice cotton tee-shirts, nice sheets, little things, a Mozart CD for me, I kept staring at all that MERCHANDISE in amazement, they even had a food section (well you probably already know what Target is, imagine never seeing one before). Thelma says "Okay Louise, it's time for Munch." Huh? Turns out it's the name of a little bistro run by some of the local gay men who, in all truth, are responsible for the renaissance of Asbury Park. A host of 20 to 50-year-old mostly gay men from NYC and environs saw potential, had a vision, a plan, and money. They saw all those old, huge Victorian McMansions with wrap-around verandas, the dozens of empty storefronts, little shops just going to waste. They invested, the contractors and developers followed, and now it's just so classy and chic! Anyway Thelma goes, "Loodee order a cheeseburger, it's the size of a steak." "But Mern I don't eat chopped meat, just turkey, chicken, fish..." "Hey Cath, SHUT UP and LIVE! It's only a cheeseburger now GET one!" lol so I did and WOA it was goooood!! Guilty pleasure! I'm used to yogurt and cottage cheese, here I am eating this and feeling no pain. All the wonderful men in town are friendly, open, welcoming and RICH. Eager to build the town into the vision they see for it: like a "North Beach" in the style of Florida's South Beach. Anyway!

Back to the condo, into our swimsuits, slip on the jeans and t-shirts, gather up the towels and umbrella, sunscreen, Thelma and limping Louise are off to the beach. I start for the car, Jurc says, "No Cath, we're walking." Okay I'm thinking, oh nuts with this leg, this cane, can I make it? But I keep my big mouth shut and just follow slowly behind, wouldn't you know I made it?? Intact! And no pain! Something there is about an ocean....

We get on the boardwalk and I see these little "chachkee" places, all that beachy junk they sell like sea-shell star-fish, sea-shell ash trays, sea-shell candlesticks, sea-shell shaped sea shells all stuck together, lamps filled with sea-shells, sea-shell plates and glasses, t-shirts and caps with sea-shells stuck to them, sea-shell sneakers....then I see it: Italian ices served in these huge - guess what.

Walking on the sand for the first time, when you have no feeling in one foot, is like...well like the world is shifting under your feet - it's WEIRD and SCARY at first, especially to feel your trusty cane sink into the sand. I yell out to Mern who's way ahead of me, flipflopping through the sand, manueving like an expert around people, headed toward the ocean, "Wait up, Thelma! I can't figure out how to DO this! Everything's MOVING!" She laughs and keeps going, I figure well - if I fall at least it'll be a soft landing. I fall. And it's soft, and I laugh.

The one thing a person who's "iffy" with walking fears the most is falling. With leg neuropathy you can't get back up - unless someone literally takes both your hands and hauls you onto your feet and it's not easy, you wobble and can't get a "foothold" but it can work. So when I fell over...WOA the sand was warm and soft and giving, broke my fall, and all these 30-something guys playing volleyball and "posing" in their shorts showing off their "medium" tans and chic hair, they came running and scooped me back up! I was floored (bad pun lol) they were so courteous and concerned - hey I'm not USED to this man, I''m thinking! I live in NEWARK for pete's sake but these guys were great- and by now Thelma's setting up the umbrella, not a wit of worry about Louise - somehow she knew I could do it. That's my sis, good ole McGirk.

The umbrella wouldn't stay put. It flew away in the beautiful ocean breeze and hit the only group of women I DID see - but no harm done and the ladies were laughing and Mern says "They're drunk" and I don't see liquor but she goes "See those water bottles they're guzzling? It's gin." Everyone seemed easy-go and only ONE person lit a cigarette. No crowds, no kids, no teenagers, just these young and middle-aged mostly gay men and a few gaggles of gals. I was comfy and happy.

So Mern's about to lay on her towel, and since I can't lay on anything but a very high bed, we suddenly realize we didn't factor that in, how is Cathy going to sit on the sand? She can't, so you won't believe it, these nice GUYS again, they offered me one of their canvas fold-up beach chairs and we're in business. Off go the jeans, on goes the sunscreen, we're ON THE BEACH!! I'm staring out into this incredibly vast expanse of clear deep blue-gray water, the sand is immaculate, hardly even a sea-shell in sight (that store must have em all) and we're in heaven. Remember, Mern only comes here on weekends, and I haven't been to the beach since childhood. HEAVEN I tells ya. Then Mern wants to dip her feet in the tide. I'm thinking, OK I got this far I'm going in. We're Thelma and Louise, after all - taking chances!

Standing at waters' edge with feet planted in the wet sand, we let that cold, sweet Atlantic tide rush in and splash up against our legs, just looking out at the few pleasure boats and what I thought was a kite at first - I look closer and notice the kite had legs. Para-sailing!

We stayed on the beach for a few hours, then packed up and walked back. Now I have my "sand-legs" but the cane kept sinking, still I'm moving along, fell a few times but hey! That sand was embracing.

Back at the condo, showers, change of clothes, call our other sister Karen who lives in Belmar, only 10 minutes away, and Mern orders her to join us for a nice dinner. We all end up at this place with flashing orange and green plastic palm trees, a live band (not bad either, did 80's cover tunes) and ate shrimp, grilled tuna, salads, just pigged out like crazy. Wonderful. Kitschy but comfy.

Karen goes home, we're exhausted and head home too. "Home" being a condo, it's all feeling surreal by now. We slept like happy logs.

This morning over coffee and cereal we dissected the different traits in our siblings, gossiped about each other, made a secret pact never to share certain facts, and got ready for what I thought would be church. Heck no, Louise. It was a HUGE auditorium and hundreds of people were streaming in, all looking happy and dressed casual, not the Roman Catholic way at all - Mern told me in advance this would be more Methodist than Catholic but who cares, God is God and I figured we'd get a chance to "get quiet" inside to talk to Him. Not happening! A fantastically huge choir starts singing, people are applauding, this thing was like a giant revivalist-type gathering, like you see on those Sunday morning TV shows, but without the fakery. A few men took turns at the podium giving their homily then more singing, the whole place was so INVOLVED in the moment! This was no Catholic silent worship time, it was MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE time! I loved it! Didn't know the hymns but caught on fast, left $5 in the basket, smiled like a fool the whole time, which was almost 2 hours. We sat there when it was over, waiting for all those folks to file out, laughing at how much more easy and REAL and closer to God this felt than the retentive, guilt-based Mass we were raised on and used to. I loved it.

"Thelma" drives me all around this town called Ocean Grove, checking out the Victorian McMansions and rainbow flags flying free. Each town is only about a mile or so long and one road takes you through about 4 different ones in no time. We notice a little old fashioned 50's-style marquee saying "Hairspray" at 1:30, it was 12 noon so we decide to pig out a little then check the movie. Off to another little bistro, this time we sit outside in front, looked just like Greenwich Village. It was overcast but still pleasant and we took our time.

At the theater, now get ready: Only $4 a ticket and it had all original furnishings from 1958, sort of small but very comfy and no one's head was blocking the view. Eating "Rainsonettes", Thelma and Louise enjoyed watching John Travola play the heavy-set Mom of the heavy-set sweet girl who becomes a very big deal and it was just an easy, laid-back movie you didn't have to think about to enjoy. A musical! Dancing, singing, and lots of boufant hairdo's, just like I remember from 1962.

By 3:30 when we get outside, it's raining and I'm amazed at the quick-change act the weather did. But no biggie, we head back to the condo and talked awhile before packing up for the ride back. No plan, no schedule, we did the whole thing on a whim and Mern's credit card. I insisted we do this again, she eagerly concurred.

This is the eldest sister, the one we were all told to emulate and listen to, who graduated high school one day and left for Canada seemingly the next, who felt and STILL feels she "abandoned" us all to the chaos we were raised in. She shouldn't, I've assured her many times. She's looking to make-up for all that time we never saw her. Tall order. But Marianne has a knack, something instinctual. She knows when to insist and when to let it ride. If you're on her list, watch it. She abides no deceptive, prevaricating disguises - you must be exactly WHO YOU ARE and if that person is lacking in something essential like acceptable social skills or good personal hygiene, she'll let you know - her way. A very unique, smart woman with specific tastes, she's gradually become more "accessible" especially since moving back home to Jersey after spending close to 40 years in Canada. Mern works for a private Swiss bank, is paid nicely, earns and deserves it. She was hard to like for a long time, but happily for me at least she's taken a special interest in my somewhat quiet life, eager to enrich it in any area she feels it's lacking, and in ways that mean something, not just material junk. I don't NEED things, I need family.

How odd yet wonderful that the one sibling who stayed so distant so long turned out to be a perfect Thelma to my Louise.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Might Not Make Chat On Time

I just realized I'll be down the shore tomorrow, Saturday, with my sister Mern who wants to show me her new condo (woa!) and Sunday after church we'll probably go sight-seeing, I'm not sure.  The weather may not permit - but it's a 2-hour drive and I realize now I may not be back by 4 PM EST. 

Will do my best, and leave you in the capable hands of Guido.  As he says, this is for ALL JLand whether you know many people or not - this'll help some get better acquainted!  I'll do my best to be back in time and thanks for understanding!  :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


A kind and timely reminder from Guido (pharmolo)tells me it's "that" time again, o happy days I love this!  You can take a northern trip and check out the details  Northern Trip  or just read this:

J-Land ANNIVERSARY CHAT Sunday, August 19

USA Times:

           4 PM Eastern Standard

           3 PM Central Standard

           2 PM Mountain Standard

           1 PM Pacific Standard


PLACE:  Special Interests - Journals Cafe

I'll be there, I know you'll be too so prepare to have a great time!  Just get there when you can, I'll be holding the door open and Guido will be greeting you!  Happy 4th Anniversary J-Land!! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Meteors, Murders And Flying Half-Mast

Remember Arlo Guthrie, son of the great folk-pioneer Woodie?  He'd call today "about as dern near good as it gets."  He'd be right, it's a God-kissed breezy bright day where no matter what's going on in your life, you know things will be alright.  My plant is blooming against all odds and I just got back from my walk.

For those who've been with me awhile, you know about my habitat   Why Would I Move?  posted 7/29/06.  The best part of my place is the immense view from the windows, I'm up high and have parts of five different cities available to my view, including the sadly altered Manhattan skyline.  This means that before and on July 4th the big sky is filled with firework displays from all parts, including here.  This is Newark, the largest city in NJ and I've called it home about a dozen years.

Yesterday and last night weren't that bad, we only had about 8 non-fatal shootings, between 25-40 stabbings, countless robberies and car thefts, the usual few fires, it was pretty quiet.  My telescope is perched out onto the eastern skies which is the main direction I see most of, it's a very expensive one (no name-dropping) and it's why I don't have some of the usual things like a radio, camera or good TV.  Saved my pennies for a long time so I could watch what's up there - and last night, early this morning, was even better than Sunday.  Tonight promises to surpass that, with the Perseids coming in straight down.  I can't lie on the ground even if I were fool enough to go out at night into the park with my scope, so I'm seeing the show from a vantage point which isn't always the best.  Yet I have enough "big sky" and a vast horizon so all I see is space no matter in what direction or how far I turn my head.  Since it's August, my scope is angled on Cassiopeia.  I love this thing.  Someday I'll have a camera outfitted to it, right God?   

Newark is broke.  The previous administration cleared out the till in a slow, sneaky way and our present mayor, a refined Rhodes Scholar, has no idea what to do next.  The city needs a renaissance but no one's bargaining to invest their capital just now.  This seems to be happening everywhere, but Newark is especially effected because of its notoriety.  Maybe you've heard of the recent murders of 3 young people, 2 in college and 1 preparing to enter, who were lined up against a wall and shot in the head.  St. Valentine's style.  Newark is in mourning and all flags are at half-mast, but I think some of the powers-that-be are thinking with their brain at half-mast too.  There's legislature waiting to be passed that will take even more of our privacy rights away.  It has to do with this particular shooting.  One of the killers was hiding only blocks from my building.    

Newark is used to murder, sorrowfully.  Worse it's mostly kids doing it and having it being done to.  I mentor a few and it really makes a difference, these are near-babies starved for adult guidance and direction, just plain, simple interest in them as people with their own feelings and dreams.  Wish more adults would get involved - whether they have time or not. 

This last shooting is very news-worthy because of the identity of one of the killers - illegal Hispanic with outstanding WARRANTS why was this guy out in the streets?!?  And WHY in the world when he went for his arraignment didn't the judge order a deporation hearing?  

My late Father made his business here in Newark, I'm very familiar with my city.  I've watched it prosper in the 50s when coming here to shop with Grandma was a treat, it was safe and clean.  Then the riots of the 60s hit - all over the country - and Newark burned as fiercely as Watts or Chicago, more so.  People with an alphabet after their names say we never truly recovered from those riots which is pretty much the truth.  We've built a Center for Performing Arts, we have a Symphony Hall which my late Mother sang in as part of the opera chorus, we have a myriad of churches, a beautiful library, museums, and several well-kept parks.  Housing construction has been going on in earnest for several years now, in attempts to attract the working folk.  But there's a liquor store on every corner. 

I'll be star-gazing again tonight into the wee hours with my Media Player for music, even AOL radio isn't half bad.  Now that I joined the rest of creation and got DSL I'm not worried about going online for any length of time.  My children and their children can call, my siblings, my friends, even the pesky telemarketers - because every time I sit at this computer and pick up the phone just to hear that dial-tone, I have to smile my thanks to God for every single thing I have.  I thank Him for what I don't have, too.  Why not.   


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Reminder: Meteor Showers

Just a quick reminder that tonight's new moon makes it perfectly timed to watch the Perseids, which should be visible until at least the 20th.  Nice and dark.  This meteor shower as I posted earlier is one of the two strongest, most dependable displays (the other is the Geminids of December).  Earth will pass through the richest part of the shower tomorrow the 13th around 1 A.M. EST, best for North American and western Europe.

These meteors were shed from the Swift-Tuttle Comet centuries ago, and as Earth orbits the sun it passes through this "river of rubble" every August.  Each meteoroid rips into our upper atmosphere at 37 miles per second, (whoosh!) creating that glowing trail of hot, ionized air.  This trail is what you'll see.  The Perseids are known to last upwards of two weeks, and some stragglers have been recorded as late as the 24th, so keep a watch.  The later at night, the more you'll see.  

As usual, the best way to watch Perseids is, find a spot with open space, no glaring lights.  Lie back and gaze into the darkest part of space - if you know your constellations, Cassiopeia is the radiant (point of perspective).  As the radiant gets higher in the night sky, the meteors will arrive nearly straight down, so you'll see more of them.  They will look like they're coming directly at you! 



Facts courtesy of Sky & Telescope, R&L, Skywatcher, sky charts 



The Second Coming

Orignally posted 7/10/2006 - this is my personal opinion.    

The second coming of Christ - it means to most exactly what it proclaims.  I've had a different experience with this and want to share it.

To those who believe Jesus walked this earth, whether the historical Jesus or the Christ (Blessed) of God, we know this man existed, spoke, gathered crowds and was executed.  We read our Bible and find He plans to come again to this earth, "to judge the living and the dead" and one can interpret that as they feel most comfortable with.  I personally don't accept it. 

I've had Extreme Unction 3 times in my 56 years.  So while I awaited death, naturally I prayed that God would come for me in peace (and of course very little physical pain) and I'd become a part of the Universe, a speck of a molecule of the "body" of God.  "I" meaning my soul.  So I've been close.

I also had to bury a very dear friend.  She promised to send a message, as she truly believed she'd have that ability.  But what happened to me, as I sat at her funeral in a blinding mist of tears, was truly an epiphany of amazing truth:  

When Jesus, Son of God, God Himself, proclaims that He will come again, I now know He means He will come intimately, personally, as ONE, to EACH of us INDIVIDUALLY, alone, which will be the time of our physical death.  It will be a PRIVATE, singular thing for each of us, at our time.  "Prepare, for the time is at hand."  Of course it's at hand.  It's always at hand, we don't know our date with death!    To God, a life of 5 minutes or 95 years is all the same, for time to Him means not as it does to us.  Our physical lives are short and He WILL come for us at our deaths to reclaim the soul he instilled, the soul which yearns for its home.  I believe His second coming is the personal coming for us at the moment of death, each one INDIVIDUALLY, and separate from any other, He comes for our soul, the soul He created apart from anything of this physical world.  The soul which yearns for its Maker, as a child for its Father.  I know how anthropomorphic that sounds but I think ALL humans have the tendency to assign human characteristics to their God, whatever that may be.  I do not believe He will appear on earth to draw crowds, or to throw lightening bolts, or anything that remotely resembles judgment.  A true God doesn't need to judge - why WOULD He?  If God knows all that will happen, he knew before you were born what kind of person you'd be.  And if God needs a hell, a "place" of eternal, unbearable, firey bloody vengeful suffering, sounding alot like a hateful punishment to me, what kind of God is He?  Not one I would surrender belief to.  Which is also why I don't believe in heaven, and for the same reason.  How could time and space exist for a Judeo-Christian God?  Could ANY God worth His salt sit in glory and honor knowing his own children were burning alive, but some were not?  Would God be partial like that?  I could never hope to understand how He thinks or why He allows certain things to exist in our world, but I believe this:  The earth won't be opening up with dead people ascending to heaven.  That's a key word there:  "ascending" it means "up" which is definitely not where heaven would be, would it.  Just as hell would not be "down there".  Down where??  Again, "up" and "down" denote time and space, which we only experience because of our brain, gone once we're dead.  If indeed, Jesus Christ will appear on a cloud with a book and condemn his children for all eternity, I'm completely lost.  It makes no sense at all.  This "Second Coming" where He will do nothing short of thumbs up, thumbs down now come on, that sounds a bit too HUMAN to me.  A true God doesn't need to consider, to judge, to contemplate, He IS.  And He said it Himself:  "I AM THAT I AM."   

So I do believe His "second coming" will be private, for you, for me, individually, at our time of physical death, as a Father for his beloved children, and that will be His return.  Yes, Jesus will come again, when it's time for the soul to be reunited back into the One God who created it.  The soul, our "God-part".    

The "second coming" of Jesus occurs at the moment of our death.  That is what He asks us to "prepare the way" for.  And oddly, when I read my written journal for that time in 2004, I kept seeing the word "Prepare!"  It was the continual response I'd get whenever I'd put my mind on the Lord and meditate on His goodness.  At first I thought, well maybe He's telling me to get my affairs in order as I was going to die to this world.  Then I realized the truth:  Of course we should prepare His Way, for it will come for each one of us when we shed these fleshy coils and the soul will be released back into the vast Universe that is God.  There is no second coming except the last one, our deaths. 

In believing this, I know I have disclaimers.  It doesn't matter, faith is faith and if you live by what you believe, what can harm you?  God does not require our faith in Him in order to exist.  "I am that I am."  When the second coming arrives for me, the world will continue and people will live on, until their own second coming is at hand. 

Friday, August 10, 2007

Name That Kid

Those are my parents with 3 out of what became 8. My Father had this endearing habit of assigning us nicknames as each was born and started growing. They never made a lick of sense, but stick to this day. He's been in the Light since 1988, only lived 67 years, yet these childhood memories linger like perfect trophies of an easier time.

Here's the countdown in order of age, and the respective monikers he gave us (I have NO idea what some meant to him).

Marianne ..... Fat Belly McGirk

Cathy ......... Koogay Sinatra, Sheriff Puddy

Chris .......... Redi-Roosche

Richard ....... Prince Montalban

Linda .......... Lolly-Looper

Karen ......... Gogey Green

Johnny ........ Booshie Bear, Boosh Boy

Sean ........... Pome Pome (his first name's Robert, no one ever called him that)


As we've aged, seems we've developed our own version of this naming thing, using several, which came about quite by accident after personalities developed:

Marianne ...... Mern, The Claw, Maddiooche

Cathy .......... Luddie pron LOOdee(as in Ludwig vB), Ptinski

Chris ........... Tee, Manuel Labor, Rappy, Fritz

Ricky ........... Louie Louie Louie, The Schooch

Linda ........... Dewey, Linny, Rose

Karen .......... Butter, Greeny

Johnny ....... John

Sean .......... Sean (which is odd since he has a strong Scorpian personality.)


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Four Galaxies Collide

So it was just another day in space for good old Spitzer, NASA's pride and joy of a space-scope.  It's infra-red eyes were scanning a part of a distant galaxy called blah blah blah, (actually it's CL0958+4702) when something was spotted so incredible, though expected, still so amazing to finally see what previously we could only imagine with computer animation.  About 5 billion light years away, it spotted an unusually large plume of light emerging from the "clash" of four blob-shaped galaxies.  Three of these galaxies were the size of ours, the other almost 4 times as large.

Nothing astrophysicists hadn't known would happen, this merging of four distant galaxies.  From previous posts you might recall that our own Milky Way is set to merge with our nearest galactic neighbor, Andromeda, in 5 billion years.  Anyway, this four-part merger was the largest ever "seen" and we've been able to witness many.  This one was beyond gigantic.  Billions of elderly stars were ejected out during the clash, and about half will eventually fall back into whatever galaxy will remain.  Imagine its size.  It could be the largest galaxy the universe has ever known, once it finally forms itself into that body.  Easily 10 times the size of our own Milky Way - and these were also elliptical galaxies that collided, or merged, not spiral.     

This one is different because, unlike other known mergers, the galaxies involved in this quadruple collision have no gas, and that's the fuel source material that gives birth to stars.  As a result, astronomers predict that relatively few new stars will be born in this new, ultra-immense new galaxy.  Without stars, there's little chance of life emerging on any astral body orbiting one.  Once again, it gives me that odd feeling about the incredible rarity of life, anywhere. 


Basics courtesy of Sky & Telescope, R&L, Skywatcher, Spacecom. 



Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Bear Facts

Brother Chris is back from his month-long stay in hospital, and getting healthier slow but sure.  He took this picture only about 10' away from the many black bear in his suburban area.  Chris welcomes wildlife with a healthy respect for their terriorial needs.  Not everyone does, however (no kidding)  I had a discussion with someone the other day that started like this:

"Oh these black bears are all over New Jersey, what a nuisance and a danger!  They're all over our property, we can't feel safe!" ad inf.

I dared to think, and then spoke:  "Actually, we're all over their property and making a nuisance of ourselves leaving our junk garbage within easy reach, making it unsafe for them" ad inf. 

After some back and forth, I asked if this person thought there were too many humans on the planet, comparitively speaking.  They weren't sure.  I brought up many examples of dire problems caused by over-popuation, the whole 9 yards.  Then  I took a breath and said:

"If a depletion in humans would solve the myriad problems and pandemics we face, I'd be first in line to go - as long as I could take a few hundred million with me." 

Just a question:  would you?   

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Jupiter, Light Of August - And A Total Lunar Eclipse

Ah, it's the time of Jupiter already!  The planet with a disc, one ring, like Saturn's many, something you can't see without binocs but is so worth the small investment.  After the sun sets in the west, turn to the left a slight bit.  You'll see something brighter than anything else in the sky:  that is Jupiter, the big guy.  Also, our Luna has an early show in store, the 2nd full moon total eclipse of the year.  It starts before dawn around 3:25 so I'm setting the alarm - maybe just stay up all night.     

Jupiter at dusk, before nightfall.  Lunar eclipse before dawn, on the 28th.  You may even see Mars at early daybreak.   

Look southerly for Jupiter at nightfall.  Jupiter, the Roman god equivalent of the Greek god Zeus - was named for a reason.  Any guesses?  It will be the first light you'll see and as nightfall deepens it'll grow brighter and brighter.  Only 5 degress below orange-gold Antares (the nearest star to us than Sol, our "sun") Antares is also the "heart" of Scorpio, 1/20th as bright.  Antares is a star, like our sun.  I know you're aware, but remember when you're looking at stars, they aren't up there, you're seeing how they looked LIGHT YEARS ago, that's how long it takes for light to reach earth.  Doesn't that just....?!?!?

Jupiter will halt its retrograde (westerly) motion and begin going back toward the east, before achieving conjuction with Antares.  It's motion will be slow and bright, impossible to miss with binocs.  From night to night during August, it will continue changing its position.

A new moon occurs on Aug 12th making it dark and easier to see a wonderful Perseid meteor shower that night.  Meteors ("falling stars") are in abundance every night. 

We're about to see the second full moon total eclipse of the year, on August 28th.  Centered on the Pacific, it will be visible for more than half the globe, including North America before dawn.  You'll have to wake very early to see it, around 3:25 a.m.  Insomniacs, rejoice!  Also, totality is long ( 91 minutes ) and deep, so the moon will get rather dark by 3:37 a.m. PDT   


Facts couresty of Sky & Telescope, Skywatcher, star charts, R&L.  








Wolf Hunt - Who's Nuts Here??

Arent't you amazed and struck silent at the incredibly natural sight of a wild animal, a wolf perhaps?  Who doesn't know the legends and myths passed down for generations through our American Indian brothers about this mystical, magical creature.  Wolves are precious, they're the forebears of the canine pets we've all come to love so much, for their unquestioning love, loyalty, companionship.

The clock is TICKING for the wolves of the Yellowstone region.  If we don't act now, wolves in Wyoming and Idaho could face aerial gunners as soon as this fall.  And this, while they are still protected under the Endangered Species Act.

We have until this MONDAY August 6th to flood the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with comments opposing this new anti-wolf proposal. 

The Bush/Cheney Show is ready to sanction the killing of more than half the wolves in the Yellowstone area and parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.  These proposals would set the stage for gunning these wonderful creatures from the air.  Shooting them down from the sky as they run for their lives from the sound of helicopters.  BANG!

Remember the successful reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park a decade ago, how overjoyed we were?  Those wolves could now be shot on sight, even in National Forests and Wilderness Areas, if they leave the safety of the park.  This is courtesy of the Bush/Cheney Travelling Hideous Show.     

I'm not political but for cryin out loud!!  Come on, this is criminal!  It took so long to repopulate our land with these beautiful, natural creatures, our brother life-forms whose planet we share.  You can sign a petition if you want, here it is, you can watch the little video and listen to what Bush says.  There are plenty of activists who do this for a living God bless them and I'm not going to sit and let them do my job, not on this issue.Stop the Latest Assault on Our Wolves Petition Thanks for listening!