Cloned Monkey

I was reading the news concerning cloned monkeys. And I got a chill.   Will this open up the ability of labs to test and torture animals because they don’t believe them to be unique? Oh, wait they do that now.

Animals used in research is important and they suffer for us, we need to ensure they are only used after weighing all the information.

I read that cloning will help with the testing of cancer and Alzheimer’s. I don’t see how.  It will take years and then what?

“This would enable scientists to tweak genes the monkeys have that are linked to human disease, and then monitor how this alters the animals’ biology, comparing it against animals that are genetically identical except for the alterations. It could accelerate the hunt for genes and processes that go wrong in these diseases, and ways to correct them, the team says.”~ NewScientist.com   

Screen shot of youtube video

Ethical questions

But….Will we be back to blinding rabbits because they can be cloned and will be considered disposable for profit?

University of Wisconsin-Madison was running tests on cats, drilling holes in their heads to improve human hearing, that testing was shut down in 2015.

“UW has used domestic cats in such experiments for more than 30 years.”Politifact.com

“…the agriculture department fined the university $35,000 last year (2014) for seven separate violations of the Animal Welfare Act, citing instances of animal negligence.” Reuters.com

 

Money, Money, Money makes the profit outweigh life. All and every life has a dollar sign next to it. I don’t see these animals being protected. They will be hidden behind closed doors.

pixabay.com

I don’t believe anyone, who will be on the receiving end of accolades and profit; now or later, will stop the unethical treatment of any living creature, if they can gain something from it.

I can only hope these living test tube monkeys will be treated well and not live their lives out in a lab and worse.

I am not sure about that…

Right now, me, you,  all of us put our lives; our families, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters in the hands of a health industry that profits if we stay us sick….Just saying.

Birthday cake and animal tracks in the snow

Raspberry chocolate Torte

This morning, the first thing I saw out my window was a line of animal tracks on the deck.

Animal tracks in the snow

A Raccoon or a Possum had walked up the steps. The animal had stayed near the railing until it reached the top of the stairs, from there it moved to its right; which brought it to the door leading into my bedroom.

possum or raccoon tracks

This past summer a Raccoon had tried to rip off that door by sticking its claws into the wood around the glass. I  taped it back in place and had been meaning to fix it with caulking. But I never got around to it. (Bad me)

After today’s  animal peeked into the window, he turned back the way he came and strolled to the other end of the deck. Yesterday afternoon I had put out some stale bread for the birds. The animal had a snack, then he wandered off the deck using the same path he used to come onto the deck.

Vistor on Deck

I just missed meeting him.

By the time I grabbed my camera the tracks had already started to fill in. The winds were blowing snow off the roof, which mixed with flurries that were adding even more snow to the deck as I tried to photograph the tracks.

I went back inside, warmed up my toes and had a cup of coffee, while my husband surprised me with a birthday cake.

Raspberry Chocolate Torte

We don’t have a local bakery so the cakes are from Swiss Maid Bakery in Harvard, Illinois and our little store in town keeps them frozen.  So, my cake was frozen and …well, I was impatient and the knife got stuck.  It eventually defrosted.

My Birthday Cake

When the rain comes down in January

Day 22:

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ~Bob Marley

My head is stuffed. I have a cold coming on, or I am reacting to the ‘interesting ‘ weather pattern. I heard on the ‘news’ that the temps had hit 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C)

Um! Hey guys. It’s January. What up!  

Right now, rains are pounding my roof. I heard that the weather would be turning colder – hitting the freezing mark tomorrow. And snow is rolling towards us from the west.

splitshire.com & pexels.com

I guess we are lucky, so far, that all this rain could be snow.

On the other hand, this is January and the ground in January is frozen solid to a depth of 3 feet or more.

So not so lucky.

All that rain coming down ‘will not’ be absorbed by the ground; instead, it will move along the surface causing a lot of flooding.

What will happen is in the middle of the night waters will rush over the farm fields from the west toward the east, until they hit the road, once there, they will blast past me along the north edge where the water will collect along the wetlands area.

Man the boats! But wait…

With the temps dropping all that water will freeze on the roads, in the fields,- ice rinks in the making.

So if you live in the mid-west, be careful driving and walking.

 

And yes! A Blah! Blah! Day.

Today I am reading: The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach by Robin Behn & Chas Twichell

Looking Into The Fog

It’s close to dusk. The world was silent and still, the air had gotten heavier. Warm air mixed with the frozen ground, dredging up that heavy fog that was rolling in, slowly, it connected with every twig, tree, and blade of grass.

 

Hidden by the fog

I had a headache and my joints ached with its dampness. I stood out on the wet deck; all the snow had melted off the house, so that incessant drip, drip, dripping had ceased.

I was looking through the lenses of my Nikon. I changed the settings to see if the pictures would show something else, something clearer once I downloaded them on to my computer.

Fog

The air was silent and still, every so often a car swished past along the road. That sound conveyed an image to my mind and not to my eyes. Somewhere in the trees, I heard a wet sneeze. A deer? A coyote? I saw nothing past the fog. January-February is mating season for coyotes. They had done me well this year, they kept the rats under control. Rats are very brazen rodents, they will argue their point until I walk away, and I will still hear then squeaking out reasons, why I had interfered with their lives and how I should move on. ‘Go on! get out of here,’ they would say.

This past week, I haven’t heard the coyote’s distinct howling and yipping. But I have seen their tracks as they moved here and there as they followed the scent of a rodent under the snow or a rabbit whose tracks would cross back and forth, just a wild as the coyotes.

Animal tracks in the snow

Yesterday afternoon, three deer wandered around the yard, they kicked at the ground, and ate roots, fallen fruit and pulled at stray apples that still clung to the wet branches. They stared at the house when they heard my voice. Ready without any warning, to bolt back into the trees.

Fall of 2017

Near sundown, I am taking pictures of fog. I felt like I was being watched. I could smell someone’s dryer sheets. The aroma of my chicken baking in the oven drifted out and moved within the fog.

The fog will carry those scents to the farmers across the field of fog, it will mingle and connect with others; it might even connect with a hungry animal’s salivary glands. I stepped back inside, and locked the door; then I took a picture from the inside out.

 

Fog Seen from inside out

Lesson #5 Dramatic rules David Mamet

Lesson #5 Dramatic rules (con’d) this video is 8:20 (eight minutes and twenty-seconds)

David Mamet starts this fifth video, the second on Dramatic rules with this line.

 

“The rules to me are very, very simple. …”

That sentence is a declarative sentence that drew me in, I wanted to know those rules.

  1. Tell the story
  2. Start at the beginning
  3. Go until you get to the end
  4. Don’t stop
  5. Be interesting
  6. Make sure everything is on the line

There was another part of this video where David Mamet mentions, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse a pamphlet of tips for playwriting. He said that we could find that pamphlet online. I am searching out the pamphlet I haven’t found it yet. Here are a couple of the rules that David talks about.

  1. Save your biggest laugh for the end of the second act
  2. At beginning of the second act remind the audience who they love and who hate
  3. Stop giving your best lines to the secondary characters

If you are interested in this course, maybe just curious here is the link to Masterclass.com, or you can click on David Mamet at the top left sidebar.

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

Today, January 19, 2018, is my daughter’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

pixabay.com

 

She was on the go even before she was born. During my pregnancy, she was impatient and wanted to hurry up and get on with her life. I had to keep off my feet for seven long months. My dog, Buddy a  120 pound an Alaskan Malamute mix,  stayed by my side the whole time; when Rebecca was born then he made it his job to protect her.

When she was around six months, I had placed her in a walker with a pillow to keep her comfortable and upright. As soon as I turned my back, her toes touched the ground, and she stood up, tossed away the pillow and charged through the house. Then right down the stairs. After being checked out at the ER, she was back in the walker, with all the doors closed and locked (I saw her turning door knobs).

Instead of diving down the stairs, she shot around the house. Sticking her feet in the dog’s food, then having him lick it off her toes, to pulling out drawers, pulling things off of table tops – she stood on her tiptoes trying to get a good look around,  zeroed on her goal and took off running. I gave up and took the walker away from her.

She loved laying on her blanket on the floor, where Buddy laid next to her. He never moved from her side, even as she held on to his tongue, shared his food, and crawled on his back grabbing handfuls of hair as she jumped up and down on his back. She crawled after him at top speed. He taught her to stand up; she held onto his fur as he slowly stood up taking her with him.

By the time she was seven months she was tottering around the house. At eight months she had decided to widen her horizons. While her father was watching her, she walked out the door. Buddy started whining. I freaked. I ran after her. Rebecca ran down the block, laughing. Totally unafraid of the dark.

She knew what she liked and didn’t. Pink was her color any other would bring out an intense yowling.

pixabay.com

When we hand fed orphaned robins she didn’t hesitate to try to taste the worms.

When she was three she learned how to play chess with her brother.

She carried a bag of toys so she had something to play with; she liked to read bedtime stories

Rebecca

She is no longer that little girl. She is an amazing woman.  She hasn’t stopped running after what she wants. Her enthusiasm is never-ending

pixabay.com

She has helped a lot of people and has a very big heart. She has never lost that need to explore.

I love you my daughter, and I wish you health, wealth and happiness; may you never lose that enthusiasm to see what is around the corner or behind each closed-door.

Rebecca Animal rescue

You will always be my little girl.

Love Mom

David Mamet’s  Masterclass lesson Point A to Point B

David Mamet Masterclass

David Mamet’s  Masterclass lesson #4 Dramatic Rules

I watched this video, three times before I started taking notes.

Why so many times?

Answer: Because it was that good!

This lesson is –WOW! And I am not exaggerating. I am only on the fourth video and I have taken away something from each of those four videos. In Lesson #3 Mamet talked about how humans have two inclinations, ‘good inclination’—yetzer ha-tov—the ‘evil inclination’—yetzer ha-ra. I have been reading about these inclinations. To me, they are like a  tiny Devil on one shoulder and a tiny Angel on the other.

This video lesson #4 David Mamet is sitting at his desk looking at the camera,  and his first words are:

“Your job is to tell a story. A story a story has a hero, and he or she wants ‘one’ thing and the story begins when something precipitates the event.

From this point, some -not all-  of what he is saying  I have heard or read before.  But never in the way that David Mamet delivers it.
He points us to read, Aristotle Poetics, you can find it HERE.

Aristotle

David Mamet’s delivery, the way he imparts the information, is impressive. This video only lasted eleven minutes and forty-six seconds. I wanted more. I wanted to jump right into the next video lesson. I had to pull myself back. I had this Blog post to put together and I wanted to read Aristotle’s Poetics, first before jumping feet first into lesson #5

A little of what I learned,  was that the audience /reader is the hero of the story.

pixabay.com

The Hero’s Journey
“Every play has to have a beginning middle an end – Just like a joke.” ~David Mamet

Inspired by situations

Your hero needs to be inspired from the inside out.

Aristotle’s Unities

David Mamet’s Masterclass.com

From Dr. Wheeler’s Web.cn.edu. “UNITIES, THREE (also known as the “three dramatic unities. A good play, according to this doctrine, must have three traits.
The first is unity of action (realistic events following a single plotline and a limited number of characters encompassed by a sense of verisimilitude).
The second is unity of time, meaning that the events should be limited to the two or three hours it takes to view the play, or at most to a single day of twelve or twenty-four hours compressed into those two or three hours.
The third is unity of space, meaning the play must take place in a single setting or location.

*It is notable that Shakespeare often broke the three unities in his plays, which may explain why these rules later were never as dominant in England as they were in French and Italian Neoclassical drama.” ~web.cn.edu

Keep the story simple.

David Mamet’s Masterclass.com

You decide where will your story start, and where will it end.

 

Simple maybe or not, but it is a start.

Best productivity secrets for my planet of procrastination

Productivity Secrets

I opened an email with the promise of teaching me, for $47.00, a savings of $150.00 on how to be more productive and how to overcome Writer’s block. Now, this is something that I have searched out. I must have clocked in years of time trying to find that elusive beast called productivity while wishing to drop off the saddle of writer’s block. I knew, once I found the secret I would excel at everything.

I don’t have to search out that question anymore.

I can hear you, ‘you found the secret! Quick, what is it! Tell us!

By the by, you have a squeaky voice belonging to a fairy or gnome. And, not just any fairy or gnome. Mine sits around in a fancy suit drinking Starbucks every day and eating whatever it wants without gaining an ounce, driving a fancy electric car, with its own rechargeable panels so it will never have to stop and waste time at a pump. Meanwhile, the fairy flits around, fixing words, so what needs to be said, will be said, somewhat correctly.

Yes, this is one of those, ‘I have no idea what to write day…’

Truth be told, the only way to overcome any sort of procrastination; veg’ing out, wish this was me-staring out the window thinking-I need to be perfect,  and what am I afraid of, it must be someone else’s fault, if only I had a better pen-chair-house-journal-if everyone would stop bugging me or my favorite; I need to clean something to clear my mind.

The real and only way to get rid of procrastination is to just write. Let the phone go to voicemail, don’t look at email, leave all research for later, then just write horrible stuff. Yes write the worst stuff! Because the first thing you write is not wonderful, it is awful crap.

That crap is the start of the editing process. And you just wrote it, time for a … {{HAPPY DANCE}}

Write then edit out the crap. What you write at first needs to be written, from start to finish, and then you fix it. So by the time you have three-four edits under your belt, what you wrote at first is no longer visible.

You just need to get your thoughts out on paper. You will know how you want it to sound. After it is set on paper, in your computer or carved in a pew…well, not carved into anything, you can’t erase it- if it is set in stone or wood.

Don’t delete. Just rewrite.

So the best productivity secrets on this planet are ‘doing what needs to be done.’ Then, double-check and edit it into what you want your words to say.

What I do is write it out.
Then I start reading it
I edit as I read it
Adding what is missing from it
Changing words around it
Adding words to it
Chucking out ridiculous words within it
Fixing paragraphs to form it
Adding whole paragraphs to it
Or, just a sentence or two …to it

Then, I read and do it again, and again. I walk away; have a cup of coffee and clean something. When I come back I read it again, editing as I read. I will do this, three or four times, until I post it. After I post it I will see other things that need to be changed.

 

So I change them.

Obsess much?  Well, yes and no. I allow this type of OCD to take hold after I write out that first draft, that idea.

There is a point where I step away and leave the rest of those glaring errors for others to find.

Let’s reiterate. The best productivity secrets on this planet is to write horrible copy from start to finish, then edit like an obsessed, well-dressed gnome directing a  flitting editing fairy.

I used WordArt to create my word art.

Do you zap or swat

I was watching ‘Fresh Off The Boat ‘ the segment ended with, Jessica and Louis Huang swinging around Bug Zappers the size of a small Ping-Pong racket, with the look of a tennis rack’s weaved mesh with the added benefit of a stun gun.

I did an online search when my husband insisted that if they were real they would be dangerous. He said, “imagine if you had one of those things and you were standing next to me.” Then he stopped and waited for my answer.

Crickets Chirped

Pexels.com

A thought bubble appeared above my head, smoke came out my ears, then I saw his point. I am very clumsy. I will walk into a closed sliding glass door, -even if it plastered with stickers of giant pandas holding up stop signs,- I would still run right into the door.

  • I have walked under a beehive then tapped the dirt off my shoes at the base of the tree.
  • I have tip-toed around animal burrows when thought I was out of the woods, I turned and then stepped into a freshly made burrow.
  • I have tried to catch my cat, who I believed had gotten out of the house, and it wasn’t my cat but a skunk.
  • Speaking of skunks, I had pulled my dogs away from the fence and got a full on spray from the skunk they were harassing.
  • I drove the tractor into a wet area of fresh mud
  • I walked upon a sleeping buck.
  • I still have nightmares about the forty-pound raccoon that attempted to eviscerate me

So this interesting bug zapper, -which to me seems perfectly logical –I want it.   But… my husband stood his ground with a, ‘no way’ he said,‘ he can see me heading to the ER.’ His point… is that if I start waving that racket around, he could see me hitting my own leg, or him.

Can you hear those Crickets, again?

Hmmm!  I hit him a few times and knocked his coffee cup out of his hand.  It wasn’t my fault I was chasing around paper wasps and yellow jackets.

Pexels.com wasp

Okay, I see his point.

Back to my online search, I found them. They are real. Yes, I was shocked….

Oddly enough, someone made a comment that this was clean fun. Excuse me, but a bug zapper fries a bug, spreading its remains around. And my flyswatter spatters the bugs… pick your weapon warm weather is just around the corner.

I think I will keep my regular flyswatter.

There is one on Amazon called The Executioner it uses 2 C batteries

Amazon

Another one uses AA Batteries advertising 3000 Volts, ‘Preci Shock ‘

Am I missing something here,  because, “AAA, AA, C, D batteries all are rated at 1.5 volts” According to Education.com

1968 The day I heard of Martin Luther King

Twitter Tweet

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I remember the first time I heard his name; I was looking down the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun that was being held by a guy between six and twelve years older than I was. I remember thinking how black that gun was and wondering why it was wrapped with dirty, ragged tape.

“The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness.”~ Martin Luther King JR.

I was trying to get home without running into anyone. I had just left school, Ryerson elementary. I was in full sprint and had stepped off the curb when a car screeched to a halt in front of me. My heart skipped a beat, knowing that if I had taken two steps, instead of one -off that curb, I would have painted the hood of their car. I froze.

An ugly looking blunt sawed-off shotgun was stuck out the back window and was pointed at my abdomen. I took a step back. I couldn’t escape; the car and the gun, I had nowhere to escape to, they had blocked me in. I was to close. I went out of my way to avoid being trapped, to dodge getting within arm’s length, of anyone. To be this close, meant I wasn’t in control. Where I stood, I knew that bullet had changed the length of my arms. If I ran I was dead. If I stood here I was dead. I felt dead.

(I am cleaning up the dialogue so I can post it here)

The guy in the front passenger seat spat out, “Shoot her, so we can get outta here.”

“Wait! Why are you shooting me?”

“You know, just shoot her.”

The kid in the back seat was holding a gun, he was sweating, we made eye contact, and he looked away.

“Wait! You can shoot me- after you tell me why” I said as I made eye contact with the eyes connected to that gun.

A steady disembodied voice, called out, “Shoot her!”

The guy with the gun said. ”Naw, I’ll tell her.”

I felt the seconds pass. I could see and taste the thick, black smoke rising above the houses to my left. I heard the sound of the corner store’s screen door open behind me, it creaked then slammed as someone ran back inside; whatever they were saying was lost in the pounding of my heart.

I focused on the three guys in the back of the car; there were three more in the front. They were excited, talking fast, yelling. “Shoot her!” I kept my focus on the kid in the back seat. The one with the gun, it was heavy in his hand, I saw the tape on the gun, on his wrist. He pointed it down at the cracked sidewalk. I exhaled.

The guy in the front seat raised his hand and flipped it, everyone went silent, then he said, “Okay- we killn’ you. You killed King’

“Who is that?”

“Don’t be stupid, ya know him! You killed him!” one of the guys in the front passenger seat sneered, “Shoot ‘er!”

I snorted and took a stance as if they didn’t scare me. I loosened my hold on my schoolbooks; relaxed my body, and then I took a step sideways. That gave me a better look at the front seat of the car, besides taking me one step further away from that gun. I considered a run towards the front of their car. Except, if that guy in the back seat decided to raise that gun up and pull the trigger, I knew, I couldn’t outrun a bullet. If I ran I would be a moving target. I had a chance if I could get their minds off that gun, maybe, just maybe I can move that target off my stomach. I asked, “How could I kill him? I don’t know him!”

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”~Martin Luther King JR.

“He don’t know you,” he gestured to the guy behind him, “He’ll kill you.” Front passenger seat guy laughed, the rest of the guys followed suit and laughed, except for the kid in back with the gun. He was as scared as I was.

“I didn’ kill anyone. Wait! Tell me who he is”

wha’?”

“Who is Martin Luther King, what’d he do? Who is he? Why are ya trying to kill me in his name?”

The guy in the backseat touched the back of the front passenger seat with the gun. “She don’ know him, I don’ like dis man. Let her go.”

“Aw! Come on! We is here t’kill a….”

“I thought ya wanted to kill King’s killer.” I said.

“Shutup!”

Someone else said, “This ain’t fun nomo. -Listen kid ya go find out who King is and we gonna be driving around. When we come back u dead-if we see ya. Gonna be no talkin. Got it!”

I nodded.

It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”~ Martin Luther King JR

They attempted to squeal their wheels as they took off; instead, they left a trail of black smoke and tire marks. Before the car pulled fully away from me, I sprinted around the back of the car took a right at the corner and slipped into my house, where my parents were staring at the television. I could hear the warnings to stay indoors due to the riots. Black smoke was settling in the alley. Sirens, screaming, horns were honking, shots sounded.

I was born and raised a couple of miles from the apartment building where Martin Luther King, moved into as a protest. That area was burning. My neighborhood was burning. And this was just the start.

“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.” ~ Martin Luther King JR

What I learned later that day, from my father,  was that, Martin Luther King was a peaceful man, who wanted everyone to be equal all the violence in his name didn’t make any sense. Not then. Not now.

My Walking Path