Archive for December, 2016

A broken heart

The death of Debbie Reynolds the day after the unexpected death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher has been blamed on a broken heart but there are those who question if something like this is even possible. It is possible especially if you are older and not in the best of health. What we feel—pain—it is very real. It can outweigh physical pain easily and in itself cause physical harm. Our bodies can only take so much trauma before it kicks back.


My 4th great grandmother on my mom’s side died this way. It was recorded in a journal kept by a farmer in the community that both she and her husband had been sick—most likely influenza. The family story that has been handed down through the years is that he passed away first and as she lay with him, she wished to die and did so on Christmas Eve just after the US Civil War. They were buried together in a single grave—very fitting from what I understand as a testament of their love for each other.


This interview done last year was one of the best in my opinion for Carrie Fisher and Gary–I love Gary too. Both actresses will be missed.



A broken heart is very real. Be good to yourself and Happy Gardening! 🙂


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Is it real?

Several years ago I received an invitation to go to Russia for missionary work. It was with a group that was begun several decades ago by a friend—a friend that is long gone. He used to tell of the stories of smuggling Bibles into Russia when it was the USSR and the cold war was happening. He would tell of the time when he and his party were pulled aside to have their luggage searched and how they got through. I remember his emotional response as he considered the consequences if they were found out. This was no TSA pat down but by soldiers with guns. Any contraband of this magnitude meant automatic jail time if not worse. This was real. This is not made up.


I recounted this story on social media the other day and was met with people calling me a liar and such—that Bibles were never restricted in the USSR and claims that I made it all up. Ha! When we fail to understand and acknowledge happenings in history, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes we make because of sanitized information based on perceptions and not facts. As you notice of 2016, we are repeating many of the mistakes made that were recorded but people didn’t learn anything. Sigh.


This has serious implications. Some are so quick to jump on board in belief of whatever while others who should know better are quickly dismissing facts. Too much erroneous information plus just extra junk is before us that we have trouble deciding what is “real.” It shouldn’t be this difficult. There is real danger to the coming generations. This along with misinformation (and lies) is why people will believe what they are fed. Scary times are ahead.


Happy Gardening 🙂





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Nuclear Disarmament

Both parents worked for DuPont back during the cold war days at a facility that made tritium. I write this because another headline in the news hits home for me. For over 30 years, people have worked to disarm the superpowers of the world-to draw down nuclear weapons because some (rational) people realized that ‘more’ wasn’t always better. It’s been something that has helped me sleep better at night well, until I read the tweet by our president elect on his plans of building up of our nuclear arsenal. Are you kidding me? Over 30 years down the drain with one tweet! Imagine!!! I can’t grasp this. There is no way to do so.


So, this begs the question? We have gun problems in the US. Do more guns make us safer? NO! More nuclear weapons do not make us any safer either. In fact, they make us less safe. Savannah River Site will forever be a nuclear reservation of some sort whether it is actively making weapons or just managing the waste that exists there now or God forbid if they bring in more waste to store there. It was never meant to be a waste storage facility. I never thought the US would be building more nuclear weapons.


There is a video that I find interesting and very sobering to watch. It shows by year the nuclear tests for each country as reported. I watch it from time to time to remind me how close we have come to nuclear annihilation and that we aren’t that far away even now. Just imagine what will happen with a bigger arsenal. Did the president elect miss chemistry and history classes – I’m not even bringing up physics.


The video is about 15 minutes in length. If you have not seen it, I encourage you to watch it.


I won’t deny that we have enemies but good grief, we don’t have to alienate every single country on the face of the earth. I cannot imagine us going back to the cold war days. We have a nut in North Korea who would love to send a nuclear warhead our way. We sure as heck don’t need Russia, China, Iran, or anyone else to want the same or worse, want to band together to take us out. This type of mentality does not make us look strong. We look weak. If we let go of diplomacy, what are we?


I don’t like to do doomsday scenarios. I can’t imagine us dropping another nuclear weapon. Like I said – it doesn’t make us look strong. Imagine if we did though. Think of the consequences! History is there for us not to repeat. So far in 2016, we have been repeating much of the dark history of the 20th century. On the flip side, we may not have to worry about global warming/climate change if we wipe everything and everyone out.


Happy Gardening 😉

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You might think I’m writing about some evil monster within us but this has to do with technology. There is so much pushback from those who believe someone is coming for our guns that we don’t have a database that keep track of gun purchases/registrations. No computers can be used. GQ magazine did a story this year about it (here). It’s not like TV where you run a serial number and instantly come up with a person who it is registered to. It can take days to find out who a gun is registered to using microfilm. This is not something where many employees are on the job either. There are databases to check to see if the gun has been used in crime but according to the article, since 1986 computers or networks cannot be used to catalog gun registrations. This was supposed to protect us (eye roll).


We use this type of mentality – thinking the government isn’t going to search us out for our weapons as long as we have these preventions in place. Ok. I get it but come on. Do you know what is being done now—what I see that far outweighs this? AI – artificial intelligence is being used and unsuspectingly. No one thinks twice about programs used to read your text so as to find a target audience for certain advertisements. Didn’t know this is happening? Have you ever noticed typing something in a chat/message box and all of a sudden you see an ad having to do with what you just wrote? This type of targeting is used for nothing nefarious so why be concerned, right? Hmmmm…


For most, AI technology isn’t what you think it is. You expect AIs to be robots or some personification you can see and fight against but AI technology is already amongst us. In efforts to create faster response times, we have predictive texts, predictive ads, predictive whatever just because software “observes” your patterns and makes predictions. No, this isn’t technically called AI but it is the precursor to it.


Say you want a security system that will arm your house when you are away and keep tabs on what is going on at home. As we strive to want better and faster, we are buying into networks that will keep track of habits in order to better serve our purposes. Next will be “automated” security preferences and responses according to the needs. Communities will be networked together. Think security, phone, internet, emergency services, etc all tied together for the good of the people and community. Sounds great, right? It’s already happening. Every time we add something to make things easier for us, we compromise our freedoms. We buy into this every single day.


We can purchase watches and other technology to keep up with our heart rate, blood pressure, location, etc. Our smart phones have been locating us for years even when you ask it not to track you. Have you ever passed by a store and all of a sudden get an ad sent to your email or text? All of this information is fed back to a central system (so to say). I know, it sounds far out scifi but it’s with us today—not ten years from now. Look at the amazon brick and mortar stores where there is no checkout line. You walk in-your card is read-you pick up items off the shelf and walk out. Sounds fun, right? This is part of the AI technology that will evolve to make our lives so much easier that we will never question how this can be used against us. It’s like addiction. It’s all about getting us hooked and then we question later why we so easily bought into this type of model.


Let me go back to the reading of text. What will eventually happen is that everything we type on a network will be “read” in order to detect certain problems like crimes—–or potential crimes. In fact, this is already being done in some places. There won’t be a need for someone to contact authorities about hate speech or whatever because the authorities will already know. Still, this isn’t completely AI technology. This is very simple text recognition but again, it is the basis of what will lead to problems and losses of freedom. We will push to have more detections in order to “preserve” our freedoms but we won’t recognize that we are actually doing this to ourselves until it is too late.


Look at Edward Snowden. He let the world know how much the US was spying on its citizens and others and what did people say? “Oh, it’s fine so long as it keeps us safe.” It is this myth that helps us sleep easier at night. We never see the problems before they happen. We even repeat history. We are not a smart bunch when it comes to the masses. There is no escaping this if we keep on the same path. The more I write about this and the warning signs of where we are today, the more I hear people say, “So what?” “There is nothing we can do.” “You are just paranoid.”


Smart phones began as “needed” technology for an advancing world. Now we have smart cars. These things begin with a network feeding and receiving information constantly but as advances are made, the less need for this back and forth communication thus the development of AI technology. Again, this begins simple—benign—not suspecting of anything. It develops into something that is more in control of our lives with us having fewer freedoms. I know I sound delusional or paranoid or conspiracy theorist like but these are things happening today and they will evolve into something that controls our everyday life 24/7. Are you ready for this type of takeover? Remember, we can’t even allow a gun registration database but we can allow computers/machines to take over the rest of our freedoms. Think about that. Don’t keep focusing on the one tree when you are overlooking the forest. It’s what you don’t see or don’t realize that can hurt us.


Happy Gardening 🙂

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Important Things



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