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Passing Of A Self Declard Queen


      She came into our lives almost nine years ago. A good friend of ours had his girlfriend move in with him, and she had a Siamese named, of all things, Rover. It turned out the apartment complex did not allow pets, and in desperation they asked us to keep her until they could find a new place to live. I had my own bunch of cats and was hesitant, but finally agreed to take her in for a while as I didn't want them to have to get rid of her.

      She was brought over in a pillow case , howling and angry, upset at the indignities of being hauled around like a sack of potatoes and deciding it best to keep her separated from the others a while, we put her in our bedroom. There is a bathroom off of it, and she hid behind the toilet for two days, refusing to budge, glaring at anyone that dared to try and touch her until finally our friend came over and coaxed her out. After that, she ruled the house.

      Rover didn't like me. She didn't like women in general, as the one that had owned her tended to treat her more like a dog than a cat. But she liked men, and she immediately took a strong shine to my husband, in no time becoming his devoted and demanding companion. He could barely sit down on the couch or his computer and she'd be on his lap, insisting he pet her, and if he was moving around the house she'd follow and throw her front paws on him, demanding 'huggies'...to be picked up and held. Me, on the other hand? I was ignored, the wench who fed, watered and cleaned the litter box, unworthy of her affections. And the other cats were peons to be kept at arms distance, not friended. We came to calling her 'your Royalness' because of her attitude towards everyone, and jokingly referred to ourselves as her 'useless monkeys'. It was finally decided she should remain with us, being she loved my husband so much and detested her old owner (which we knew, because every time the woman came over, Rover would run and hide).

      Almost two years passed like this, and she gradually...and I do mean gradually...began to warm to me a bit. I could sneak in an ear scratching occasionally without too much fuss, but her loyalties were still with my husband who she would wait for daily at the front door when it was time for him to come home, or sit at the window howling for him when he went outside to do yard work. She utterly loved him and wanted to be with him.

      Then three years ago, we took in a five week old kitten (who was also supposed to be a temporary visitor, but that never seem to happen). Tabitha, despite her tiny size, was utterly fearless before her majesty and despite Rover's best efforts, eventually she came to love Tabitha, playing with her and giving her baths. With this change she began to show me more affection too, to the point she followed me around all day, sat on my lap or would lay on me when in bed, becoming less needy with my husband. Apparently she decided this 'monkey' had more uses than food and little box duties. And though as Tabitha grew up and Rover's affections with her grew less, she continued to like me until she seemed to be more my cat than my husband's. It only took six years.

      Six weeks ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive mammary cancer, one which there was nothing to be done. She changed after that, growing more withdrawn, sleeping a lot, eating less...but she still sometimes would come to me to snuggle, and as long as she was pain free and managing, we chose to let her be. I've had a lot of cats over the years and generally know when it's time to let them go. It was a struggle, seeing her withdrawing from us, but I didn't want to take from her any good days she still might have, and she did have some.

      Two days ago I noticed blood when she used her litter box, and an ultrasound showed the cancer had formed masses on nearly all her organs. Her kidney levels were also soaring, despite giving her fluids. We knew it was time, finally, to say our goodbye to our little queen.

      She went peacefully, and now shares a place in the back yard with all the others that have passed through our lives where we will plant another cedar in her memory. Each was unique, each special in their own way, but Rover...she definitely was one of a kind. Some say animals have no souls, but I know without a doubt that they do. Rover was full of personality, intelligence and love in a way even some humans are not. The house seems so much quieter and empty now without her presence, and my heart does ache.

      She'll be missed.

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      This Is Who We Are


          I love finding those stories that tell the real parts of life, those stories that tell you something real. Because this is who we are.


          BOTHELL, Wash. -- It's called Beca's brew, and it's a tiny blue coffee shack in the parking lot of an Arco station in Bothell.

          A regular clientele drops by on the way to work every morning, buying everything from lattes to Italian Sodas.

          But on this day there was something different going on. At 9 a.m., a woman walked up holding the strings to a dozen blue and green balloons.

          "I have balloons for Will today," she said.

          Another woman crossed the street with three more balloons, the foil kind with rainbows and writing on them.

          A crowd was forming, and a woman named Denise came from the other direction carrying a present in a bag.

          "His world is different than ours," she said. "And his smile makes our world a better place."

          She was also talking about Will. And she'd never even laid eyes on the man.

          There was a group of children on hand, preschoolers, and they all carried cards they'd drawn with crayon.

          And there were signs everywhere. "We all love you, Will" said one.

          And from one end of the corner all the way to the other, were giant letters stuck into the ground. "Happy Birthday Will" they spelled out.

          Beca Nistrian was responsible for all of it. She is a tiny woman of about 4'-10", and she has big plastic rimmed glasses. But don't you dare underestimate her. She has an out-sized heart and a strong will. Beca is one of those amazing people you meet on occasion who simply gets things done.

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          Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory - Wikipedia


              Very interesting stuff for the uninitiated like myself.

              Thanks to alltheworldsastage for referencing it earlier..

              It's interesting in light of the animosity displayed between the left and right extremities of the political divide..as well as for contemplating cultural preferences in different countries.

              In international negotiations, communication style, expectation, issue ranking and goals will change according to the negotiators' countries of origin. If applied properly, an understanding of cultural dimensions should increase success in negotiations and reduce frustration and conflicts.[15] For example, in a negotiation between Chinese and Canadians, the Canadian negotiators may want to reach an agreement and sign a contract, whereas the Chinese negotiators may want to spend more time for non-business activities, small talks and hospitality with preferences for protocol and form in order to first establish the relationship.

              "When negotiating in Western countries, the objective is to work toward a target of mutual understanding and agreement and 'shake-hands' when that agreement is reached – a cultural signal of the end of negotiations and the start of 'working together'. In Middle Eastern countries much negotiation takes place leading into the 'agreement', signified by shaking hands. However, the deal is not complete in the Middle Eastern culture. In fact, it is a cultural sign that 'serious' negotiations are just beginning."[12]


              Limitations of Hofstede's model;

              Even though Hofstede's model is generally accepted as the most comprehensive framework of national cultures values by those studying business culture, its validity and its limitations have been extensively criticized.

              In a 2008 article in the Academy of Management's flagship journal, The Academy of Management Review, Galit Ailon deconstructs Hofstede's book Culture's Consequences by mirroring it against its own assumptions and logic.[20] Ailon finds inconsistencies at the level of both theory and methodology and cautions against an uncritical reading of Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Hofstede replied to that critique[21] and Ailon responded.[22]

              The most cited critique is McSweeney.[23] Hofstede replied to that critique[24] and McSweeney responded.[25]

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              ​Unplugged: Another Week Off The Grid


                  Unplugged: Another Week Off The Grid

                  No Longer An Accidental Experiment

                  I originally did this a little over a year ago. I found it theraputic, even liberating. You quickly realize that we feel a constant pressure not to miss anything on the internet and social media, afraid not to check our e-mail, worried how far we'd fall on the Yabberz Leaderboard.

                  I highly recommend unplugging now and again.

                  By Ray Cunneff


                  It didn't start as any sort of experiment, but eventually became one. I just unplugged for a week. It began a week ago today. I sat down at the computer as I do every morning after my usual three cups of coffee and just couldn't face it. The political atmosphere had become too depressing, the dialogue too toxic.

                  There was nothing I felt like saying on Yabberz, or Facebook or any of the other websites that I frequent. I didn't even want to read my e-mail. It was a kind of technological burn-out.

                  My Inbox had accumulated over 700 e-mails over the weekend, many solicitations for donations, and trying to wade through them had become a daily chore. I had over 50 Facebook messages and an equal number of notifications, mostly from people and organizations I'd never heard of. The Home Page was cluttered with photos of culinary achievements, cute pets and invitations to obscure fundraisers.

                  My Yabberz notifications had several replies that were a string of insults, the usual "libtard" and "commie" stuff, and one "F-U" that I red-flagged. And I suddenly needed to get away from it all. I felt this strong impulse to just unplug. But how far could I take it? For how long could I just turn it all off?

                  The answer was both liberating and anxiety producing. Could I really turn off the computer, turn off the cell phone, and let the answering machine take care of the land-line? (Yes, we still have a land-line.) Day One was actually a bit nerve wracking with the realization of how many things we do with technology out of sheer habit and the constant worry that we might be missing something. It was an effort not to check for messages every few minutes.

                  Day Two was a bit easier. I started doing things that I had always enjoyed but had neglected - listening to music, watching movies and catching up on reading.

                  Days Three and Four were easier still, a sense of letting go and an awareness that on some levels we have become slaves to our technology.

                  Once I'd truly settled into it, I had this giddy sense of freedom, rediscovering parts of my life that had become stifled by a misplaced sense of technological obligation, the need to be constantly connected to a world moving ever faster, a cyber-structure that sacrifices quality for quantity.

                  And that's the virtue of going unplugged every once in a while, a chance to re-prioritize, to catch up with yourself and recognize the peril of knowing more and understanding less.

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                  Pundit Post

                  I Am Not A Racist


                      How many people have told you they were not a racist gratuitously and unprompted?

                      How many times in your life has anyone told you that after asking you what you thought of a black only job fair you doubted existed at all because of comments about blacks they had made previously?

                      Did you say, " I doubt that, " or, like me, hold your tongue?

                      I've been traveling and listening and, to tell the truth,I honestly don't know how to fix what is clearly a tear in the fabric of humanity.

                      The person who told me there was a black only job fair ( they didn't give me details or I would have checked out if there really was a black only job fair) also told me blacks at a local university got free printing and that historically there were black only colleges that did not admit whites ( but those two things I could and did check out.) First, the college this person mentioned did have a program aimed at minorities ( not just blacks) and printing for those minorities was free BUT according to what I read about the program anybody ( minority or not) was welcome and could get the same " free" printing. Second, looking at all the colleges they called "black colleges" I could not find a single one, now or at any point in the past, that would not accept a white person as they had claimed.

                      How did this person get lost so deep in the dark garden of resentment and misinformation?

                      I'm not talking about Kelly Ann's " alternate facts" or non - existent Bowling Green massacre - those are political things Kelly Ann somehow came up with for reasons of her own - or maybe just randomly - who knows? I'm not talking about this person adopting Kelly Ann's mask and the perpetual indignation and rigid inflexibility of a political party that thinks that the greatest danger to America is that somehow the well off because they are all or mostly hardworking and responsible will be taken advantage of by those who are less well off because they are mostly less responsible and/or less hardworking.

                      I'm not talking about millions of Americans I don't know. I'm talking about one person I got to know a little not hiding behind a political mask who told me openly that they wished they knew exactly how much money we were spending on " them" which, they thought, gave "them" an unfair undeserved advantage over " us" at our ( well, at least her) expense.

                      I made it clear to this person I was more interested in giving advantage than I was, beyond a healthy caution, in being taken advantage of.

                      I think they got a little where I was coming from both politically and personally. Talking one on one often doesn't help but I've found it seldom hurts.

                      What they didn't get is me correcting them after I actually checked many of their gratuitous, and surprising, claims online and found them false. What would be the point?

                      I ask myself, " Why did I check the veracity online of some of what they claimed and then not tell them?"

                      I tell myself I checked because I don't know everything. I was curious. What they said might have been true - after all the reverse reverse discrimination they claimed is a thing, and could have, and has, happened in single unfortunate instances.

                      I tell myself I didn't tell them because people don't like being told they're wrong.

                      And I tell you that I've found being right isn't everything any more than being white.

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                      The Human Libraries


                          Today my mother turns 86, she is going to the Mariners game and having a beer and a hot dog. It started out so many decades ago with my Grandfather and Grandmother moving West out of Arkansas following the crops as they ripened. Picking wherever they could and leaving roots of a family back East. In New Mexico my Mother was born, and they were soon invited up to Washington. I am the youngest of her nine children.

                          Charlie was my 83 year old dishwasher when I was running an Fraternal Order of Eagles Kitchen. He was the absolute best dishwasher I had ever had, never complained and just took as many coffee breaks as he wanted. He was a volunteer as well and I remember his stories of his 211 bowling game and his patrolling Chignik Harbor in WWII in a canoe with a flashlight, a 22, and a civil defence helmet. If you knew the jovial man with the short stature you would be sure he was Santa's little brother. I still have that bowling ball he gave me when I joined the club's league, a prized possession for sure.

                          Laurie is my neighbor, she is always inviting me to her church and it gets harder and harder to find just the right excuse. She is a widow and I met her and her husband shortly before he died in one of my gregarious drinking stammers. When I got into recovery and stuck with it Laurie was there sharing the fact that she too was in a similar program. Through the years we have shared so many things about life and recovery, and I have been here for her when she calls with a need. Her husband had made an adirondack chair to sit in and recently she gave it to me. I am honored and blessed to receive such a gift.

                          From my old Scoutmaster Mr. J. who had a penchant for things past and a different time. Who showed us tenderfeet that there was some good lessons left in the past for no apparent good reason. That the billowing steam engines of the trains he loved so much were as beautiful of a sight as that of the Mona Lisa. My late friend and mentor Demosthenes who owned the restaurant that allowed me to fly and create on a scale I could not ask for anywhere else. A level of trust with the relationship and the business and a looking out for everyone's best interest. The stories he told of Hitler's concentration camps and watching so many that he knew die were the ones that sunk it like nails, never to be removed.

                          These are just some of the human libraries that I have been graced with in my life. A myriad of experiences and viewpoints, struggles and joy, and those of the best learning I have ever had the chance to receive. They are the reflections on that still pool of life as things are pondered and examined. They are a small part of my story as I tell it to others, my life shaped by history that is my own and that which is not. A commonality, a trust, a knowing of pure truth as these recollections are spoken, you know when you are hearing the truth because it resonates just right. Even in these changing times the stories of US are becoming more and more the story of All of us...

                          I am shaped these days with the influences that I am surrounded with in my unreal life as well. I am a bit more knowledgeable on Art because of people like Jonathan Wilner, I am intrigued by the aspects of the classic and competitive area of Bridge tournaments because of many including BridgeTourJade. I understand women's issues better from the comments and stories by many like opie and czook. I understand the world so much better when the stories and subjects I need to comprehend, come from people like these above and of you. The personal stories of our battles with healthcare allow me to understand the nuances and minutiae of the mess as it applies to different people, different states, different economies.

                          Happening now, throughout media and the published world there is another revolution of sorts going on. The HuffPost just changed its name and mission statement to one of a similar role to ours here. To get our stories and to bypass the fake stuff and go for the jugular, the million little cuts that will actually bring down a golden narcissist. The mission is for us to speak to each other again and to learn how to do it like the old days a bit more, when your neighbors knew more about you than what you wanted to tell them. It is within those flaws of ours, those mistakes, and those real life moments that the libraries of tomorrow will hold. It is the manifest of all that is us that is rising up, rising to meet any challenge great or small handed. The human libraries we all hold and hold dear has always been the real journalism, the real deal, the stuff we just love. Because it is as much fantasy and foible, real and sometimes imagined. Yet placed there for the asking, the missing elements of a society gone astray, the Human Libraries.


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                          Passing Of An Animal.


                              Wednesday .

                              While doing the house chores the birds where talking to each other.

                              I have or had 2 Parrots one African grey Congo a female Roxy and the other

                              a male Jerimiyah also an African grey but a Timneh.

                              They both talked a lot and were to funny .

                              Roxy had not been eating much the last few days and I was kind of keeping my eyes on her in case that if she was sick or so and needed to go see the vet.

                              Well I was done with the cleaning and opened my tablet to go check my mail and do some other things she flew around a bit she always did so nothing new about that and then out of the blue she fell and got her wing stuck I thought so I call my husband to get me a towel to put over Roxy's eye so she didn't see my hand because she wasn't tame and I put the towel over her head and got her wings free but she didn't move at all I called her and petted her and my hand on her chest but nothing I started to cry and call her name and shook her because I thought she was in shock but nothing worked by that time I was devastated .

                              I held her in my hands and stroked her lifeless body softly she was still warm so I figured she must have gotten a heart attack, oh my world was so black at that moment she was suppost to be with me for way longer I had counted on at least as old as I got but she only got to be around 20 year old.

                              My husband called his daughter and our granddaughter to tell them what happened and they wanted to come over to see her one last time it was a family bird everybody loved her and Roxy reacted to everybody in the family . I didn't think they would bring my great grandson and he wanted to look at Roxy too and he petted her and said nite nite Roxy you be with the angels now and then he too like all the other started to cry and he could not stop anymore the child was heartbroken and clang to me very tight he is always already a Oma's boy but I was not sure if it was a good thing or not that they brought him to see the bird and saw where we buried her.

                              I now have a question When is it okay to let a kid see a dead animal that he loved dearly and see that it get buried in the yard with a pretty plant on top I was so upset that I didn't think of it but later when I was calmed down again I was thinking about that .

                              When he got home he cried still a little and so did his brother but then he was okay and played again and told the company that came over there that Roxy had died and that we buried her in the yard so I am glad he got over it so did I over think this or was it to much for a child of 7 to let him see her as he wanted to .

                              My other bird is quiet now and refused to eat and talk I keep my eye on him because if this goes on I will bring him to the vet but I think he is just very upset and lonely now and has to get use to it that she is not here anymore.

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                              Oh, The Things We Inherit From Our Ancestors


                                  Some of you may recall my writing about the fact that I suffer from a disease called Dupuytren's. This disease causes a person to develop nodules on the ligaments in your hands which, as they grow bigger, cause something called Dupuytren's contracture. Basically, it causes your fingers to contract like a claw.

                                  Dupuytren's is found mainly in people from Western European countries as well as Scotland. In fact, as it turns out, the majority of people that have it have been traced to a small village in Scotland, although I am not sure of the name of the village. I am part Scottish, which is why I have it.

                                  Men usually get this disease, although when women get it, it is more aggressive. Strangely enough, people who have this disease have a high tolerance for pain. I always did have a very high pain tolerance, but just thought that was me. I never knew it was due to the disease until my hand specialist, Dr. Erickson, told me a few years back.

                                  I have had multiples surgeries on both of my hands to remove these nodules. In March of last year, I had the 4th surgery on my right hand. The nodules had moved up into my little finger, and it had contracted to the point that it was at a 45 degree angle and I could not move it back up. As you can imagine, even with my tolerance for pain, it did not feel very good.

                                  After surgery I went in for physical therapy for several weeks. While there, I discovered part of the reason my little finger was in such pain was that I had some arthritis in the main joint. For over a year now, I have watched the nodules in my left little finger start to creep up and bend it down, as the arthritis in my right finger got worse.

                                  Four weeks ago, I went back to see Dr. Erickson. He took one look at both my fingers and said they did not look good and ordered x-rays. I saw him on Thursday. It seems the disc between the joint on my right finger is totally gone, and on my left finger is almost gone. Well, no wonder both fingers have been bothering me so much, I told him.

                                  There are several things that could happen. My little finger may fuse in place and I might not be able to move it. The pain might go away on it's own in 4 or 5 years. Sometimes that happens. He suggested giving me a cortisone shot, which I had, as on occasion that resolves the problem. They also do surgery and put a disc in, just like knee and should replacements. However, the disc they use is the same one they have been using since the mid sixties. He told me they are crap, and only last 8 to 10 years.

                                  Last, but not least, he told me that I also inherited this type of arthritis, and it might go to some of my other joints. Great, I thought. Another gift from my ancestors.

                                  I came home and tried to process all of this. Why is this happening to my hands? My hands? I have always been a writer. Even when I was a child, I wrote poetry. In addition, I love to bake. I also started to learn pottery in the past few years.

                                  I thought, is this some kind of cosmic joke? All the things I love to do keep getting impacted by people I never knew or knew about. Then, on my local news, I saw a young gamer playing computer games. He had no arms or legs and he was a champion gamer. I thought, what the hell am I complaining about. Look at that guy! I will be just fine. But, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, next time, I am picking healthier ancestors.

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