Thursday, May 16, 2013


It has become obvious to me, myself, and I that this blog is not inspiring me as much as I thought it would. Mainly, I read too much to go into great detail about any book I have digested- at least, in order to spare boredom, I keep it minimal. Not to mention that there is always something else going on in the real world that refuses to step aside.

I need suggestions, I guess. I feel that adding silly, completely off-topic anecdotes about my personal life is just not spicy enough. Possibly because I try not to go into great detail about that either... sigh...

I am going on a very important trip tomorrow through Sunday. I do this twice a year, skip a couple of times that kept me. This little excursion of mine will be to a place called Winter Park, which is about as beautiful Colorado-isque as you can get. Lots of skiing, snowboarding, playing in snow, snow this, snow that, etc etc etc. Haha, no. I will no be partaking in any of the mentioned activitites. I go to Winter Park for something MUCH MUCH more fun- scrapbooking. with the girls. for the entire weekend. No boys, no kids, no chores (eh, barely any), no alarm clocks... basically, the perfect weekend. I always bring up at least a couple of projects to work on. This spring will include stuff to make my daughter's birthday party invitations (she's going Outer Space this year) and a project I will not mention atm (its a surprise).

I have decided that I am going to show my creative side a little by sharing with all y'all a hobby that I actually turn in to something to be proud of. Every year, I make the invitations for my girls' birthday parties along with as much of their party decor as possible. I have made flamingoes, bees, dinosaurs, pirates, and more. I am also lucky to have a creative family that likes to help, too. Here is a picture of my amazing cousin's flamingo pinata:
And here is an equally stunning picture of a homemade cake made by my gorgeous sister-ish friend:
We have played Pin the Stinger on the Bee:

I LOVE being so involved in the girls' birthdays. There is never anything generic or dull. They give me a theme about a month ahead of time and I execute to the best of my abilities.
So, anyway, what I am getting at here is that I am going to make things spicy this weekend. Instead of writing about Time Longa' Dan Twine, I am going to show off a little with my creative gene.
I am, btw, 165 pages into this fabulous book, though. I don't want to sell it short of the awesomeness that it deserves. It is a great read; the language flows and the book is actually a collection of short essays done by the author so it keeps you interested by not staying on the same subject for long periods of time.
It also makes me a little antsy to get back to this:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The REAL Castro

Hi, remember me? I know, I have been a bad blog writter lately. Here is why:

1. I got a job! I am going to be a guide for historical tours in Fort Collins with the Magis Bus Tours. I am super excited about it, it is a great way for me to learn some more Colorado history.

2. My oldest daughter, Anya, was in the Special Olympics today. She won 2nd place in a walking race and a wheelchair race and she won 1st place in a throwing competition. Here are some pictures of her being amazing!

Not only was she awesome, but the entire elementary school was just as cool:
The entire 1st Grade came, all wearing their t-shirts supporting Anya and her best buddy Logan in their races. We were the best organized, most enthusiastically supported group there. We caught the eye of the Greeley Tribune and there will be an entire Sunday article, section even, talking about Anya, Logan, Milliken Elementary, and our stellar community.
3. Turns out that the reason I have been so tired lately is that I am expecting my third child!
We are due in December, which is great... especially because our youngest is a December baby and of course there is Christmas. (That was meant to be a little sarcastic.) However, we are super excited and now I have an excuse to want to sleep instead of read. lol
Anyway, back to Cuba and Castro. This is my first post about The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro even though I am actually already done! Yes, it is true, I enjoyed the series of letters so much that I read it all, introduction and epilogue included. I do have to admit that there is still more in the book, but it is the letters written in Spanish. Even though I am able to read and speak Spanish fairly well, I decided to pass on re-reading everything I had already read.
These letters are specifically from Castro's time spent in the Isle of Pines in 1954-55 after the Moncada Assault. Most of them do not have much in them to help me further my increasing interest into Castro and Cuba. I only dog-eared 10 pages.
So, I decided to learn more about this man whom I had been taught to hate all my life. This is a perfect example of the type of history that the United States chooses to use to promote our ideological beliefs and to demonize those that go against us. There is much more to Castro than I had ever known, which basically boiled down to nothing more than a cruel dictator. I highly suggest you read up on him if you don't already know a more rounded biography. I know that this short book has sparked my interest in such a way that I am now searching for a more thorough historical book on Cuba.
In the meantime, I have started another book. Time Longa' Dan Twine is by Arnold R. Highfield (you have to pronounce it "Time Longer Than Twine" in a Carribean accent). I bought it in 2011 when we were in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. It is a complete history of the Carribean Islands, focusing on St. Croix. I am loving it already and it makes me yearn to head back to paradise where this is what I woke up to every morning...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Heated Dog-Ears

I don't want to say that it was a waste of my time reading the appendix of critiques in The Heat Is On, it really isn't that I wasted my time... it is more that the entire context of the last 40 pages were WAY above my head. I do not suggest reading this particular appendix for others like myself who are no where near fluent in scientific methodology.

Over all, I am glad that I read/finished The Heat Is On. It was outdated but still important- just as a pro-civil rights pamphlet from the 1950s might be. It is always good to rediscover arguments/debates that are now in hind sight. At least for me, it is.

So time for the dog ears! I had quite a few in this book and am actually going to write a little synopsis of why I tagged each one and what I found out from further research.

pg. 34-Toxic Sludge is Good For You  by John Stauber. I want to add this to my list of books to read. It is a hit on the public relations industry (PRI).

pg. 36- The Greening of Planet Earth is a video (the link takes you to YouTube) narrated by the skeptic Sherwood Idso. At the time of publishing, Gelbspan names Idso as a main skeptic of global warming. In my recent research, I have found that not only is he still a proud supporter of CO2 (sorry don't know how to make that look right) but he now has his sons, Keith and Craig on board. Here is a more current example of their work with the Marshall Institute.

pg. 45- The Heated Debate by Robert Balling. The link actually takes you to an article written for an Arizona Publication, but I found what I was looking for, which is where he stands in more modern times on the issue.

pg. 49- Richard Linzden is an interesting character who I am going to look more into. Yes, this is a link to wikipedia. No, I don't believe using this site is always inappropriate, but rather a good starting point for further research in many instances.

pg. 90- ICCP (International Climate Change Partnership). Good thing this acronym was not used frequently, as it would have confused me continuously with the IPCC (International Panel of Climate Control). These groups are not the same! Although Gelbspan does not seem too fond of the former, it did and still does believe industry is the answer to promoting greener energy. I can't see this as a bad thing...

pg. 109- AOSIS (Alliance of Smalle Island States). I wanted to see how much this group has grown, and it sppears that it is a force growing stronger and stronger.

pg. 153- Dr. Henry Kendall. I have mentioned this man in the previous post, he is the 1990 Nobel Prize winner for physics who marks the death of democracy as eminent. Unfortunately, I have learned that he passed away in 1999 (while scuba diving- if you're gonna go, might as well do it right). RIP Dr. Kendall. I am still enamored with learning more about him, and thus I will!

pg. 165- Norman Myers. I have to include a nice little prediction by this man, coninciding with some of Kendalls' predictions of democratic collapse. "The United States, like any open society, is vulnerable to terrorism. A significant surge in terrorism is the likeliest result of the desperation that is overtaking many people in evironmentally disrupted coutries. ' The World Trade Center was easy,' Norman Myers says. 'The next time a nuclear device is set off, it most likely will not be by a government. It will probably be set off by some group of people who are so frustrated at being consigned to desperation that they will be driven to potentially outrageous acts of terrorism.'" Well, well, well... this has been the newest trend in terrorism since the 1990s, hasn't it?

pg. 175- The Beak of the Finch by Johnathon Weiner. REALLY want to read this book, which talks about Darwin's theory of evolution by referring to the change of finch populations on the Galapagos Island Daphne Major due to a catastrophic El Nino season (1982-83).

pg. 198- Dr. Patrick Michaels is a constant punching bag for Gelbspan. He is still a well-known skeptic and I do plan on reading his books.

These were not the only dog-ears of the book, but they were the most significant. I know this was a long post. Hopefully it wasn't boring...

On another note, I have already begun my next book. The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro will bring me into Cuban revolution, a topic I am not familiar with at all. I am already enjoying it.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Heat IS On

The high today at my house reached 86 F. In less than 24 hours, we are expecting some more snow. By the time it is done, they are predicting up to 9 inches. Insert emoticon of your choice, I am going to choose one that would suggest an obsence thought.

We don't have air conditioning. And our house faces west. We are in the sun all day. It reached 87 inside the house.

It made me think. About The Heat Is On, obviously. The "threat" of global warming that Gelbspan warns of is no longer, it is on us. The concensus in fossil fuel industries, government, society, and new technology is that we need to find alternate energy uses. In Milliken, where I live, Vestas blades on train cars pass through almost weekly. Last night, my husband was watching Shark Tank and there was a man looking for help expanding his technology that he presented as a kinetic-fueled charger for a cell phone, but that would eventually lead to ocean wave generators that would power, essentially, the world. Huge plans, basically. He was not given any offers, which was disheartening, but the point is that this is what inventors and businesses, even individuals, are looking for.

I have basically finished The Heat Is On, but I am one to read all those "boring" parts; in this case, that is the appendix which consists of Scientific Critiques over the skeptics mentioned. I will try not to get too carried away with my over-all analysis on the book. In fact, I have been avoiding writing in this blog for that reason (I finished the main section of the book 3 days ago). But, I do want to keep in the habit of writing.

That being said, I do want to approach one of the last topics addressed by Gelbspan. With the aide of Dr. Henry Kendall (1990 Nobel Prize for physics), along with other experts, the entire chapter entitled "The Coming Permanent State of Emergency", focuses on the collapse of democracy. The theory is that there is no way a democratic global community can exist much longer with the developing countries being supressed as they are along with the increasing shortage of goods. This is a topic I have studied before and that I feel deserves some attention. One book that comes to mind that would be a good recommendation from me to you would be AntiSystemic Movements. It was written at around the same time as The Heat Is On, but it has much more meat on this topic.

I am not including any new pictures on this blog post. This is mainly because I have not uploaded new ones that I want to use. Also because that damn real world is beckoning me once again... and it is a bit of an urgent matter...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Even though the weather is against the season right now, I can't help but feel some of that spring cleaning urge. And since I can't do much to help the outside of my house right now, that means being a little over obsessive with interior cleaning/rearranging. Tomorrow I will tackle the girls' play room which means that they will be parting with some toys. Is it wrong I do this while they are at school?

I told you that story to get to this one: since I have been busy cleaning, I am not as far as I would like to be in The Heat Is On. At page 86, I think I am about 1/3 of the way. I have to admit, I am not as entertained by Gelbspan in this book as I was in The Boiling Point. I have not lost faith that there will be some interesting context, though. I might have a bit of reserve, due to the publication date, but I am not meaning to put it down the way I did with The Religious Case Against Belief.

You are probably wondering why I am bothering with a post; in all honesty, I just want to stay in the habit of writting. Therefore, this will be a very short post.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures in the last post, here are a few more:

My Father-In-Law and how Australians celebrate Christmas. (Dandenong, Australia 2007)

My first experience driving "backwards". (Australia 2007)

After Christmas brunch, it's time for some backyard cricket. (Australia 2007)

Point Udall, the Eastern most point of the United States (St. Croix, USVI May 2011)
A gorgeous church in downtown St. Christiansted (St. Croix 2011)

Columbus Landing, where Christopher Columbus first landed when he reached the Caribbean (St. Croix May 2011)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Bourbon & Pepsi Kind Of Night

I don't drink except on the weekends. But when you don't have a job, every day is the weekend, right? I'm not saying it is okay to get loaded, but right now, it is absolutely fine for me to be on my second drink. Every once in a while, you don't really need an excuse, right?

I have NO idea as to why, but I have had no energy this weekend. Therefore, I am not as far in The Heat Is On as I would like to be. So far, I have made it to page 69. I have probably dog-earred at least 1/3 of those pages. Yes, I have mentioned and warned about the publication date of this book; so why would I dog-ear so many pages? Almost every single one of these have been related to a name or a publication that I want to research in modern times to compare/contrast.

It is very important to keep yourself up-to-date with the who, what, when, where, and why. In this topic specifically, there is bound to be information that has turned face. I want to check out some of these notes SO bad so far, but I am going to really try to wait until the end of the book to do so. This is for two reasons: 1. I want to be able to summarize/update every important fact at once; and 2. I need to teach myself a little self control. This is harder for me than you may realize. The amount of times I want to look up Pat Michaels, Robert Balling, Richard Lindzen, and others is a little obsessive...

This weekend has been eventful with my precious nephew and nieces' birthday parties. There is a sense of accomplishment in being that "parent" generation. Between my sister and I, there are 5 youngster; 4 of those are 8, 6, 6, 5, and 4. Then you add the cousin's which are 7 and 5. When the year is done, there will be a 13 year old (poor Kaden is the odd one out)... and 8, 7, 7, 6, 5, and 5. This makes for an absolutely fantastic holiday season!!

I would love for someone to let me know what kind of pictures are appropriate on a blog such as mine; please do not be shy. I mean, do you want pics of the book? Pics of my personal life? Or what? It isn't like my gorgeous sister who blogs fashion, and therefore has plenty of appropriate pictures.

Since I am not positive on what the solution may be, and since I have TONS of family pics... here are some more of this crazy, wild family...
My sister, at her wedding

My husband and I in our engagement photos

Emma and Anya

My Brotha!
My slow computer is going to be a poo-head, so here are a few so far...

Friday, April 19, 2013

I Wish It Weren't True...

...but I have not read a single page in The Heat Is On today. Wait, before you judge, I do have a little bit of weight to add to my side. Last night, I had to take my husband to the E.R. once again. We have been married for 7 1/2 years and, let me tell you, when he instant messaged me last night and said to get someone to watch the girls cause we needed to go, I knew that I needed to do exactly that.

Tit for Tat, eh? My wonderful husband spent the entire day today helping me hone my resume and apply for a couple of dream jobs! What are best friends for?

Now, here is the somewhat unpleasant factor in this whole scene. I have very few friends (this is not the factor, lol), but I do have one friend who has been there for me this last year like nothing I have ever experienced before. She came over right away to help. Since we didn't get back until late, she even put up with sleeping in the extra bed that Emma decided she needed to hog. After I came home this afternoon from picking up Anya, my husband pulled me aside. She had just recieved news that her birth mom had passed away. from Facebook. Not cool!

I am horrible, absolutely horrible in these kind of situations. I do not know what to say, to do, to even think! This person has been a true friend to me and I do not know how to be there for her at this moment. I don't know how to take away the pain.

My gorgeous Mum (mother-in-law) passed away nearly three years ago now. I still don't know how to deal with my own emotions, let alone take care of my husband's!

Okay, we are here to talk about books... let's get down to business, huh? Although I have not read today, I am on page 43, which is in Chapter 3. Here is the thing, though, and I said it just the other day- the book was written in 1997. SO much has happened in relation to global warming since then. The "debate" over it all is not even a debate any longer; we have come to a concensus that this is an event actually happening.

I do hope I get to read a bit more tonight. Though, I just got a call from the precious niece I can't say no to, asking if she could spend the night. Of course!!! The more the merrier! Happy Friday, everyone!