Monday, May 26, 2014

Captain's Log Stardate: 05.26.2015

Not how I was expecting to be spending my memorial day.

Before I get into my stuff, my love and respect to those of my family and friends who are finding themselves sorely missing someone (or several) on this day.  May you remember them fondly, and the edge of the pain be blunted by good memories.

All right, this adventure escapade started on Friday with confirming with my fiance that yes indeed I would very much like to go out of town with him.   We had even laid plans to go spend Weds and Thurs after his work was done, Sequoia National Forest and State Park. Saturday was filled with the usual preps of packing clothes, double checking hiking and camping gear and setting up the food.  Saturday, I was so blasted excited I didn't sleep much.

Sunday we were on the road by 5:30 am.  (Yes, I am capable of rolling out of the rack at a decent time.  I just don't like to.) Hisperia CA while over several hills, according to the fiance unit, is still basically LA.  I'm inclined to believe him honestly.  Once we got there, we hit the road to head to Paso Roblas CA.  The route, took us through Tehachapi, CA.  We decided to stop at the Loop, and hit our first two Geocaches there.  From there we headed to Bakersfield... and that is when Murphy hit.  We had stopped for dinner, and after leaving the place made it a couple of miles before the car just suddenly died.

We managed to have enough momentum for him to guide the car into the parking lot of a Pep Boys, that had a full service auto. (Thank the Gods for small pieces of Silver.)   The car would turn over (crank) but wouldn't start.  We had just put that morning into the engine two new quarts of oil.  By the time we had everything checked out, the oil was dry and pretty decent sized hole had formed somewhere in the engine.

Not what we needed.  Not only did we leave most of our cash back at home, which is as I'm writing this 100 miles to the south of me currently, we still have to get to Paso for his work.  Unfortunately here in the couple of hours we find out if the car can be fixed and if it's worth it.  If not worth it, we are throwing it up onto Craigslist and hopefully selling it to someone here in Bakersfield, and washing our hands of that vehicle.  Which means once his work is done in Paso, and we get home, the rest of the week will be spent car hunting.  And buying a new car thoroughly destroys every dime of the money that we had saved up for moving.

I'll give you the ballpark sum, 1300+.  That was what we needed for a moving truck, towing doily, and half way to our security deposit for a new place.

Then to further complicate things, funds that should have appeared in my account by Saturday morning from Etsy, are no where to be found currently.  They are frozen in transfer.... due to today. ....it's a computer system.and not an actually person doing the transferring.

A friend managed to loan us some money, however without my money from Etsy... we couldn't get a rental.  So we spent last night, in the car, in the back parking lot of the Pep Boys.  For those of you who know this on par with my life it seems, I did manage to get more sleep last night than on I had on Saturday night.

Then today, much to my horror and disgust,  I found the disposable pads... do not react well the human bodies sweat.  It was starting to break down, I was developing a rash and I suspect I was developing a low grade fever.  I suspect this because I normally do quite well in the heat.  I've been known to carry a sweatshirt with me in the summer time because of how badly I freeze in some places that like cranking up the AC.  The day's temperature hadn't even begun to rise and I was doing not so good.

I had started making the re-usable cotton crochet pads just yesterday, and it was a good thing that did.  Switched them out almost 3 hours ago.  The rash is gone, and my temp tolerance is back where it should be.   Consider me converted for most part.  (And yikes!!! I know what's in the disposable but sheesh!)

And we are still currently waiting to know what it is exactly that is wrong with the car.  And the diagnostic costs 90.  Think our day could quite worse before getting better.  *shrugs*  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Head first into the Rabbit Hole!

Oh goodness.... Yeap, as I am wont to do, a new rabbit hole formed and in the shape of New Orleans, Louisiana folklore and curses.  (For those of you just cringed over the curse part, no no no this is not me looking to learn how to do them in so much as I'm a knowledge whore.  And this was a very deep and fascinating rabbit hole.)

New Orleans is known for a lot of things.  That parade that gets beads and candy thrown at people (and in some cases you end up finding out just how nice your boobs because of much loot you end up with.  Not my story, that's another person's tale.)  Voodoo, Voodoun, Hoodoo and a variety of other magickal practices from as broad of a background as any traditions and schools of magick.   Like anything, there are massive amounts of misconceptions, embellishments and just outright wrong bits and pieces of information associated with the area.

(Did you know that there's a tale of imported wives from Europe having brought *vampires* with them?  And that there numerous reports of people who have no other way of explaining several strange encounters?)

One of the first things to pop up that I immediately dove into due the small background of paranormal investigating was the Legend of the Rougarou.  Now, if you've seen the show Gator Boys, you'll remember that they pranked one of the crew with this tale (and did it rather well IMHO).   

The Rougarou -

"In the Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans, and possibly the fields or forests of the regions. The rougarou most often is described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend.
Often the story-telling has been used to inspire fear and obedience. One such example is stories that have been told by elders to persuade Cajun children to behave. According to another variation, the wolf-like beast will hunt down and killCatholics who do not follow the rules of Lent. This coincides with the French Catholic loup-garou stories, according to which the method for turning into a werewolf is to break Lent seven years in a row.
A common blood sucking legend says that the rougarou is under the spell for 101 days. After that time, the curse is transferred from person to person when the rougarou draws another human’s blood. During that day the creature returns to human form. Although acting sickly, the human refrains from telling others of the situation for fear of being killed.[2]
Other stories range from the rougarou as a rabbit to the rougarou being derived from witchcraft. In the latter claim, only a witch can make a rougarou—either by turning into a wolf herself, or by cursing others with lycanthropy."   - Wikipedia 

Unfortunately, the best source I was able to find for this creatures legend, was Wiki.  Many of the other sources were a bit too frivolous for my tastes and didn't seem to really bear out any useful information that hadn't already been presented in the Wiki Article.

Marie Laveau-
What is an article on New Orleans, without the woman called the Voodoo Queen?

From "The Voodoo Museum" website:

"What little evidence that actually exist about her life, the larger body of knowledge about the lives and culture of Creole free persons of color in New Orleans mixed with scraps about Marie Laveau that do have gives us a extra insight into her life. She was born the product of a brief plaçage arrangement and was probably raised by her mother and possibly her grandmother. She spent most of her adult life in a plaçage relationship, which was very typical of Creole free women of color of her era. She was Catholic. In fact, reports seem to indicate that most observant Catholics in New Orleans were usually the free women of color. She managed an extended family taking in grandchildren, nieces and nephews and perhaps orphans.  She was probably a practical nurse, or femme traiteur. 

 Her daughters each continued in the plaçage system. She was remembered as well for her humanity and charity as much as anything. She owned slaves. She was apparently able to support both her father and her plaçage partner at times when they were financially distressed. She never went to school, or learned to read or write, or to sign her name. She spoke French. She lived in a Creole world, a tri-part caste system that afforded her a unique and respected status as a free person of color. Americans, black or white, were a foreign race. She was a social and political liberal and humanist with desire to heal, to sooth, to nurture and to do good works. Not her father, but her grandfather, was white and he was not a member of the Louisiana Legislature but had been a member of the old Spanish Laveau Warehouse Cabildo and at one time was appointed acting Mayor of New Orleans.

 She grew up in a world where Voodoo was neither alien nor uncommon in day to day life. In all probability she learned it from a relative, perhaps her mother, a grandmother, or a mentor. She was a very spiritual person who blended, in the Creole way, Voodoo with Catholicism, especially the saints.  Her gris-gris, like the sacred and blessed symbols and objects of the church, were meant to call upon the saints and spirits for their help and to carry their blessings forward. Voodoo was an extension of Catholic practices and Catholicism a focus toward the same Bon Dieu (God), natural and familiar, to Voodoo. She was the African mother, the Creole wife and the true daughter of New Orleans. 

Today, it is not in the least unusual to hear from people who attribute both favors and miracles to her intercession. Not unlike the Saints, her spirit still listens and blesses with humanity, justice and love. In all Voodoo, in all places, in all times, she is the Queen."   

Then I found this site "Voodoo on the Bayou" that had some of the obituaries shared on their page, that the above article mentions.  I must admit, they weren't exaggerating about the lavish competing stories part.

Can't go without the Wiki article on her either now can we?

And for now, that's were I'm going to end this particular entry.  These were the two aspects that fascinated me the most, and I hope you enjoy the bit.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Our Constitution of the United States.

My dears.... hear me.

It's what binds us.

It is what protects us...
as
Gays
Straights
Bi's.

As.....
Christians
Atheists
Pagans
Muslims
Sikhs
Hindus

Respect for this document, this legal binding social contract, it and the Declaration of Independence, this is what has allowed so many of us to be to exist.  To be able to speak up against injustices.  To be able to learn and grow and advance as individual humans.

RESPECT for ourselves. That which lets us look in the mirror every day and swear to ourselves we can do this.  We can find others who are not shy about letting us borrow their shoulders so that we can rest awhile from our personal demons.

Respect for other religions.  Other beliefs.  Have you not spent time thinking over ideas wondering if they fit?  Testing to see if they "click"?  Can you even be honest with yourself over your beliefs, be they faith or idea or religion/faith/path???  Or did you just accept them?

Without the freedom we've had be protected by these founding, unchanging documents, many of us would not exist.

You want to see some change?

Stop. Voting. Along. Party. Lines.

Stop voting like a Republican.  Stop voting like a Democrat.  Vote like an American.

We are Americans, in our hearts and more immigrants are American than folks who are born here.  Because you've decided that you will accept whatever your political party tells you.

The direction you want for us, regardless of political or religious bent....

 it equals death.

I don't care who you are, what you believe in.  If your beliefs threaten my right to life....  I WILL FIGHT YOU.

I will fight you every step of the way and if I must help set the world on fire, I will.  Because you are not born to be a ruler or a slave.  You are you.  Nothing more and nothing less.

I will fight you regardless of being republican or democrat or green party or independent or libertarian.

If you seek to harm ANYONE's rights... be their freedom of speech because they are anti-gay/abortion or if they are gay/atheist, I will fight you and stop you from infringing ANYONE'S RIGHTS.

Be it their right to carry whatever they please to defend themselves from humans who've made the choice to be evil.  I will fight you.

You hear me?  Because OUR constitution is built on the concept of the individual and the mature individual.  And a mature individual protects EVERYONE'S rights.







Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jumping into May

Whew.  Okay so several of things have happened in the past couple of weeks that make me shake my head rather frequently.  Among them how anyone could be so damn stupid as to think that just because someone is queer or just starting out on their path to become a damn awesome medic.... that it's okay to bash them.  Eesh.  Childish brats.  However I'm not focusing on that.  I'm focusing on the woman who is SqueakyB.  She's friggin awesome.  Someone who inspires me quite often.

 "May 16-18 (next weekend), a 72-hour stream with 24 gamers playing for 3-hour blocks of time, having game giveaways and whatnot. 

All proceeds go to TBDAlliance.org, and the site we're using (hitbox) is actually letting us have 100% of the revenue from all ads shown on stream that weekend.

The channel where we're streaming is at http://hitbox.tv/wolfpackgaming

People don't have to donate money directly to contribute...they can even just open the stream and leave it open all weekend to help us gain viewer hours, which go toward more donations from hitbox (10,000 viewer hours = 10Euros, so we'd either need a consistent 200 viewers the entire weekend, or 3500 people watching for one hour each day of the stream...so numbers matter). 

The main point of the stream is awareness, though the charity portion is nice because it shows that we're trying to actually DO something about it."

 Squeaky is one of a few people, that number having grown recently, of folks who I know that have Lyme's or Rocky Mountain.  What are these?  Nasty bugger of a disease that's carried by ticks.  I don't think I've ever hit hard enough on having yourself protected against ticks with most of my friends, but you can bet I'm going to start doing so.

 Among other news is I'm trying to decide what would work best for military vet support donations.  I'm sure you're all familiar with R.E.D. Fridays (Remember Everyone Deployed).  For a while now, I've been trying to figure out how I can help a personally adored group, The Battle Buddy Foundation.

 Now, in case you're new to my blog, I've experienced the satisfaction and true unconditional love that an animal can give you.  And in their time (I think they are just now hitting either their first or second full year) they've already got results, and so far it's 100%.  There are in the works, four things that will have codes on them in the Etsy store.

One for TBBF and one for TBDAlliance. By September (I'm doing my stuff by hand here folks, I don't things on machines) I'll be able to start donating to the two.  It'd only once a month donations, and some months may not even have anything to donate, but it's the best at moment that I can do.  OH! And ask you to tune into stuff above for Squeaky.  Cuz she's awesome