Monthly Archives: February 2010

Computer Hacked!

I am feeling sooooooo violated. Last week I did something realllllllly stupid. I knew better but I did it anyway. I have a casual friend named Deliah. One morning about a month ago I got an IM message saying Delilah wanted me to add her to my IM list. I see Deliah at church and she sometimes joins the lunch group I attend once a week. I wasn’t paying attention to the name and read Delilah as Deliah and clicked. Delilah was added to my IM service. I got tired of seeing her name once I realized I had added the wrong person. I tried to get rid of her. BIG mistake. As soon as I clicked on Delilah’s name I got an alert from something that looked like a windows message. XP 2010 security alert.

I couldn’t get rid of it. I gave my computer to my trusty computer guru. I just got my computer back. It had more than 59 trojans on it.  The first thing I did was notify my bank to watch my account. I was able to log on. I did the same with my credit card company and one other financial company. I checked my email and it said my password had been successfully changed on my bank account and I hadn’t changed it. Now I can’t get into my account. Whoever hacked into my account did so between my notifying my bank and checking my email.

I tried to change my email address but couldn’t figure out how to do it. I have no idea how many places have my email address. I have to try to remember how many places to warn I will be changing my email.

My heart is beating so fast I can’t even think. I so totally rely on the internet to do everything. If any of you think of anything else I should do to stop the carnage, please let me know. Namaste. Attic Annie


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Physics and little girls

There are times when my brain just decides to cease functioning. I can go for days without a relevant thought in my head. I didn’t realize until just now that I didn’t even attempt to write a blog entry yesterday. I guess I’m taking my action of hibernating very seriously.

I realized I was a day late and went sleuthing for a topic. I found the above video on you tube. that site is a gold mine of topics to blog about.

I have never taken any physics classes. I quit the typical science track in high school after my junior year in chemistry. I did not wish to go further down that completely foreign trail by taking physics my senior year. I was afraid of that class as I was of trig and calculus. I had no confidence in my ability to think. Of course no one tried to convince me otherwise. The physics classes were the great majority boys anyway. No one even questioned my decision.

 I did take advanced biology my senior year but that was mainly memorization rather than pure thinking. To me biology seemed much easier. In physics class I figured I would have to think. That was something I did not give myself high marks in my ability to do and to understand on top of that.

Perhaps if I had instructors like in the above video who would have demonstrated what I was supposed to be learning , it would have seemed much easier. In this clip I am assuming that the round object is a magnet and the cube object is a piece of iron. I’m guessing that the square object which is placed on top of the magnet somehow demagnetizes it. However, it may just show there is no magnetic attraction. I can’t tell since there is no audio explanation. I am guessing that the liquid which is poured on the cube is liquid nitrogen and by pouring it on the cube the demonstrator is demonstrating the reversal of polarization. But all of this is only a guess. If someone can explain what is actually happening in this video I would like to know.

I had a recurring dream as a child. I saw myself in a self -propelled car which was floating down the middle of the road in a line with other cars all going very fast while those inside were playing cards and paying no attention to the car. Sometimes they would wave at passengers in cars going the opposite direction. Sometimes they would sleep. When it was time to exit, the driver took over the controls and was actually driving the car onto the exit ramp. This video reminded me of that dream. This was a dream I had before expressways even existed in my home town.

I have no idea of what is going on in the world of physics now. Can floating a magnet like this eventually lead someone to develop such a system of floating cars? Is this technology what is currently propelling the bullet trains? I heard someone on PBS talking about such cars a short time ago and I said to myself, “That was my dream!”

I think that as a young girl I did think and I did imagine. I am so pleased there are so many more young girls who are actually being encouraged to stick with the math and the sciences. Perhaps some day another little girl will grow up with similiar ideas and actually lead the discovery into a way to make floating cars as a matter of practicality and convert our highways into suspended vehicle ways. Wouldn’t that we great? There is so much potential out there waiting to be encouraged. Namaste Attic Annie


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Sometimes I can hear one sentence on the news and get the urge to write about it. It’s so easy to research topics on the web. It seems like it was last week that whenever I was required to do research it meant hour after hour in the school’s library using the card catalog and then going to the stacks to see if the book was on the shelf. That always took me so much time. My brain and body always seemed to function much slower than anyone else’s.

I remember one time in nursing school when I had three patients. It took forever to find information about their diseases in those big dusty medical volumes. It was a teaching hospital and we never seemed to have ordinary patients. We had patients with afflictions such as anorexia nervosa or Hirschsprung disease. I was only able to find material on two of them before the library started to close. Usually we were only given two patients anyways. I can’t remember why I had three.

The instructor randomly asked us to report briefly on our patients. Different students had to report each class. She called on me and asked about the one patient I knew little about. The reason I had left him to last was that he was being discharged that day anyway. I did not have the courage to face her and tell her that he was being discharged and that I was fully prepared to report on the other two. At the end of the quarter at the final review, it was noted that I didn’t care enough to research the diseases of my patients. That was only one of things mentioned on the last report. I didn’t or couldn’t offer a rebuttal.

Now students can find information very quickly. It frustrates them if it takes more than five minutes to download the information they need. Of course if I were in nursing school today, I would undoubtably have my own laptop in my own room. There would be no reason to go to the main library when I could access it from my own study area. Maybe things would have turned out differently if I had had complete quick access to the problems of my patients back then.

Not having that information was only one of the strikes against me that quarter. Since I began volunteering again in the hospital, I realize I really would not have made a good nurse. There are so many other jobs now in the hospital I could have pursued and have been much happier. Had it not been for that lack of information about my patient, perhaps I could have made it through school and become the nurse I wanted to become.

So many of my friends believe that all things happen for a reason. Perhaps I was not meant to be prepared for that third patient in class that day. Perhaps that was the start of my new path in life that I was meant to take. If I had had the access to all the information I needed for the next day, perhaps I would not have started to doubt myself about other performances and decisions that happened that quarter. I would not have lived with the stinging remarks of that nursing instructor that day who made my life so miserable. One can not be a good nurse without self-confidence. That one act started the eroding of my confidence that continued for the next seven weeks. It’s a strange word…perhaps. Perhaps students thirty years from now will think sitting five minutes at a computer would be way too much time to spend researching. Perhaps another young future nurse will be able to be prepared with information on ten or twenty patients and have time left over. Who knows the answers to all the perhaps times in our lives. Perhaps all things happen for a reason.


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Recycling Dave

A few weeks ago I discovered that one of my blogs was transported to the site of another blog and became the sole blog of that blogger’s entry for the day. The following story was sent to me and is from one of my favorite authors. When Nathan was going though a dry spell in reading I discovered Dave for him and that cured that spell. Nathan thought he was hilarious. So…because my brain is mush this morning, I am going to borrow from Dave. I think I’ve done this twice before and neither article received many readers but I’m doing it again anyway. It’s snowing and I’m hibernating today. Enjoy! Namaste Attic Annie

> (This classic Dave Barry column was originally published Dec. 23, 2001.)
> We continue to see evidence of an alarming decline in the quality of
> our nation’s criminals.
> Consider the man who attempted to rob a mini-mart in the town of
> Vernon, Conn., as reported in a Journal Inquirer story sent in by
> alert reader Dan Thompson. The robber elected to wear a disguise,
> which was a good idea, since he was a regular customer of the store.
> The problem was the particular disguise he picked.
> Shaving cream.
> Yes. According to police, the man walked into the store with his face
> lathered in shaving cream, apparently believing that this made him
> unrecognizable. Of course the only place where that disguise would
> work is Metropolis, the city where Superman lives. The citizens there
> are so stupid that, in 50 years, they have not figured out that Clark
> Kent is actually Superman wearing eyeglasses. They would be totally
> baffled by shaving cream.
> BRAIN TEASER: Suppose that, one day in Metropolis, Clark Kent loses
> his glasses. What can he do to prevent the citizens from realizing
> that he is Superman?
> ANSWER: He can announce: “I’m wearing contact lenses!”
> But getting back to the attempted robbery in Vernon: Despite the
> disguise, the store owners instantly recognized the shaving-cream
> bandit, who ran away and was later captured by the police. The story
> does not say whether he tried to make himself invisible by putting his
> hands over his eyes, but we would not be surprised.
> Another example of a criminal not being the sharpest quill on the
> porcupine was reported in an Associated Press story from Jackson,
> Miss., sent in by alert reader Bill Goggin. The story concerns a man
> who was arrested for robbing a restaurant and two banks. See if you
> can guess what clever detective technique the police used to figure
> out who he was. Do you think they found his fingerprints? Or do you
> think maybe they analyzed the banks’ security videotape? Wrong! The
> police figured out who he was because, while he was waiting for a bank
> teller’s line to shorten so he could rob her, he filled out a credit
> application.
> Our point is that the nation’s criminals are becoming so incompetent
> that pretty soon they will need some kind of federal subsidy to stay
> in business. But this does not mean that we citizens should not be
> vigilant. For an excellent example of citizen vigilance, we turn to an
> amazing story from the Oklahoma City, Okla., Oklahoman (motto:
> “Located in Oklahoma”).
> This story, written by Ryan Mcneill and sent in by alert legal
> attorney Jim Webb, describes a crime spree by a man who robbed three
> businesses by threatening cashiers with an ax. The third business was
> a Wal-Mart, and when the man entered the store, he was spotted by a
> Wal-Mart employee. We all wonder how we would respond if we faced such
> a situation – a man walking into our store, carrying an ax – and we
> just hope that we would show the presence of mind of this employee,
> who, without regard for personal safety, walked up to this man and
> ….
> …. and ….
> …. and put a sticker on the ax. This was to show that the man had
> the ax when he entered the store. If not for this display of quick
> thinking, there could have been a major misunderstanding during the
> robbery, as we see by this hypothetical scenario:
> ROBBER (brandishing the ax): Hand over the money!
> CASHIER: Wait a minute! Did you steal that ax here?
> ROBBER: No! I had it when I came in!
> CASHIER: Oh, really? Then where is your sticker?
> ROBBER: Dang! (He leaves, empty-handed.)
> We conclude our National Crime Report with the following
> police-blotter item from the July 3 issue of the Tomahawk, Wis.,
> Tomahawk Leader, sent in by alert reader Sylvia Linton, which we swear
> we are not making up:
> “An elderly Merrill woman stated that a bear on a bicycle had
> vandalized her bird feeder Friday. She suspected that the bear,
> described as big, had fled from the circus because an ordinary bear
> could not ride a bicycle so well.”
> So if you own a bird feeder, BE ON THE LOOKOUT for a bicycle-riding
> bear described as “big.”
> Of course, all bets are off if it gets hold of shaving cream.
> (c) 2010, Dave Barry

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Andrei Drygin Olympic competitor Tajikistan hero

Andrei Drygin

  Let’s hear it for Andre Drygin from Tajikistan!    

Who? Andrei Drygin is the sole entry as a winter Olympic athlete competitor from his country. This year the contingency swelled one hundred per cent. This year there are two athletes present. Andre is not alone. The second athlete accompanied him for the experience after having failed to qualify.    

Andre skied downhill and came in fifty-ninth. Four skiers failed to qualify. There was ten seconds time between the winner of the gold and Andre who was the last on the list just above the other four. Yet he still came to compete. He will be competing in the giant slalom on Feb. 23, the slalom on Feb. 27. He was 44th out of 45 on the men’s super G, and 59th out of 59 on the downhill. In other words, he realistically probably didn’t come to win.    

This is the third winter Olympics in which he has competed. He first appeared in the 2002 Olympics where he was the youngest Alpine events participant at age 24. He reappeared in 2006 and once again at 2010.    

I admire athletes who continue to compete just for the sake of competing. I admire athletes willing to be held up to some ridicule such as from this journalist who decided he must comment.    

Even the games’ signature event, the men’s downhill, has yawnsome patches. Where was the thrill in seeing Johan Clarey of France waddle in 1.98 seconds behind gold medalist Didier Defago? And the 10.13-second gap between Defago and the last finisher, Andrey Drygin of Tajikistan, was an eternity — long enough to head off in search of a hot, spiced-up wine to dull the pain. Imagine the agony that writer must have endured to have to wait 10.13 seconds more to witness the end of Andrey Drygin’s run? The pain of that wait must have been excruciating. In ten seconds I can cross, at an average pace, my entire family room. With those crowds he probably could have gotten two or three feet closer to the spiced wine in that amount of time.    

Tajikistan is having many problems. Recently, we learned, supposedly, that there is no global warming going on. We can safely return to our polluting ways. However, if that is indeed the case, one needs to inform the people of Tajikstan. They are losing their main source of water, the glaciers, at a rate of 20 meters a year. The place where Andre comes from is composed of rural poor over half of whom make less than $1.33 a day. Only 7% of the land of Tajikistan is able to be farmed yet seven million people depend on that land for their crops.    

I have been unable to locate any more information on this young athlete. I don’t know his story. I don’t know if he is from the rural poor or if his family is wealthy enough to support his efforts. When over half of the inhabitants of this country are making so little money, I don’t know if his government has the funds to send him to the winter Olympics game after game after game.    

I don’t know what his motive is to continually come back over the last eight years to compete. I just know that I admire him for doing just that. I admire him for representing his country. He is saying to the world, “I won’t let you forget us. We are here and we will let you know we are here. We have a place in this world and I will continue to remind you of that. So, hats off to Andrei Drygin of Tajikistan. God speed in your next two events. Let the world know you are indeed here.   

Namaste. Attic Annie

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Beware the man with only one book

I finally visted the blog site of one of my occasional commenters Tuesday. It’s an unusual site. He calls his site The Other Gardener but then writes as The Underground Lady. He is currently on page 40. I don’t have a clue as to how to get back to page 1. His thoughts are short paragraphs and eclectic. His background is black and his writing is white making it a little difficult for me to read. It is soon obvious that he is highly intellectual and well-eduated.

The reason I am mentioning this is that he has the following phrase at the top of his page. Cave ab homine unius libri. It is Latin meaning beware of the man with only one book. I had to google it to get the full meaning. My high school Latin failed me. I couldn’t put it all together. I got man one book.

My thoughts immediately turned to those of religious extremism who believe only one book has all the answers. As far back as I can remember, as a very young child, I was haunted with questions about why only Christians could get into heaven. I wondered about all those in the world who had never heard of Jesus the Christ. I wondered about all the babies who never had a chance to learn.

Instead of being comforted by the thought that as a Christian I didn’t have to worry about where I would end up for eternity, I was discomforted about the thoughts of the trillions of other souls who wouldn’t be up there. My religious upbringing caused me to have more questions than perceived answers.

My religious life was one of traveling from one Christian church to another and another during my 20s and 30s. None of them gave me satisfactory answers. For about twenty-four years I became unchurched. Since I live at ground zero within the Southern Baptist world, I’m certain many of my co-workers and neighbors considered me close to being a heathen. It was not that I was a non-believer, it’s just that I could not begin to find any answers among those who considered themselves religious.

I became exceptionally leery of those who deemed themselves ministers, who held the Holy Bible in one hand and thumped the air or the pulpit with the other proclaiming that this (referring to the book being held) was the ONLY answer. Believe in this [the book] or find yourself in hell. Now that was comforting.

Devout extremist Jews believe that of the Torah, Muslims, of the Qur`an. I am not familiar with extreme Buddhists or Hindus, but perhaps theirs is the same story.

I have come to a belief that has been forming most of my life, that there is more than one path to God. I have found a like-minded community in which to pursue that belief. My belief in God is stronger than it has ever been in my life. What has been so enlightening to me and  a puzzlement as to why it hasn’t been to others, is many of the great spiritual teachings have so many core thoughts that are exactly the same. In many ways, they mirror each other.

I cannot understand why those with extreme views cannot or will not sit down with those of other faiths and explore their commonalities and form bridges with those ideas rather than to exclaim their differences and build even wider moats to surround their own island worlds of the ONLY answer.

The lives of Jesus and Buddha who preceded Jesus by 500 years, are remarkably similiar. The things they  both said are almost identical.

These sites are only those on the first page when I googled Jesus and Buddha.

Many such comparisions can be made of the thoughts of the Holy Bible and the Qur’an. They both share, along with the Torah, the same stories of father Abraham, Adam and Eve, etc. The Qu’ran mentions Jesus in several places.

With so much being similiar, when or even will the human beings who populate this earth begin to realize we have so much in common? Are we doomed to use religion and our religious books to bang each over the head for eternity, each screaming louder than the other that “Our way is the ONLY way?”

One of the most difficult passages for me to understand as a teenager at Bible camp was 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV. That was the only version we were supposed to read.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I couldn’t get my thoughts wrapped around seeing through a glass darkly. The minister conducting the Bible study was not much help when I questioned him. I soon got the idea I was just supposed to saw off the top of my head and let him pour the lesson in then close my mind again. In this verse,  Paul tries to express the imperfection of mortal understanding. Perhaps we don’t understand because we have only parts and not the whole. Isn’t it time to start putting everything together? To see into [not through] the mirror [glass] fully and completely our reflection in the way that we reflect God? To stop seeing dimly [darkly] but in the bright light of clear day?

Terrorists and extemists are the same regardless of which religion they proclaim. I firmly believe that you cannot “save” someone by beating him or her over the head. You take the child’s hand, and gently lead by example the way that should be gone, and you can take any or all paths to get there, wherever that path may lead. But beware of the man with only one book. Following in those footsteps is like watching a movie with one eye covered and only a slit in the cover of the other eye. It is impossible to see the whole grand picture. Perhaps each different religion has only one chapter. I believe it is time to combine all those chapters into one big book, editing it out so each story is only repeated one time. Perhaps then when we read it without blinders and eye patches, we will be able to at last see the big picture.

Namaste. Attic Annie


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WOW time again

I was being lazy this morning. I thought a blog had already posted so I wasn’t concerned. I checked to see and…alas…no new blog. Then I realized that I did have another blog, but I had set it to publish on Sunday. It’s more of a Sunday topic type blog. So….here goes.

I have another WOW (wise older women) luncheon today. It’s my once a month get together with some friends. Sometimes we have ten or more, sometimes there’s only three of us. The problem with meeting with older women is that things happen. It’s not the same group every time. Last month there were six of us. The month before the group was larger. There’s something else going on in town today so we may only have the  three of us.

One of the women for several months last year was in a nursing home with pneumonia. I thought maybe she would remain there, but she regained enough strength to return home. She has COPD and must carry an oxygen tank with her wherever she goes, but she is determined to go.

She is in her 80s and is a tiny woman. I fear for her safety when the wind is strong. She has difficulty hearing, so she misses out on much of the conversation, especially when the restaurant is noisy,  but she still keeps coming. Her body may be becoming weaker, but her spirit is strong. She still insists on being part of the world. I admire that.

She has developed a good relationship with the “leader” of the group…the woman responsible for setting up the restaurants every month. That woman is very kind hearted and will do whatever she is able for anyone who may need help.

Perhaps it is from years of practice being a minister’s wife. That was during the age that congregations hired “two for the price of one”. They made certain that the minister had a wife who was highly involved in the activities of the church…of course, without pay. I was very young when the minister at my childhood church was hired. I remember that his wife somewhat broke those “rules”. I often heard criticism of how “standoffish” she was and how little she participated in church activities. Women of the congregation can be so critical of those who don’t live up to perceived roles.

My friend is not like that. She does get involved in the lives of others. However, I’m guessing she does it out of a desire to serve rather than feeling pressured to do it. I have never learned the boundaries between friendship and predatorship. In an effort to not “intrude” and take advantage, I don’t perhaps seek help from others as often as I could. My friendship with her is like that. I try not to take advantage of her.

She did do me a couple of  favors two years ago.  The train station is about seven miles from my house. I needed a ride and she agreed to take me. I rode the train up north and then flew back home. She was also at the airport to pick me up so that I wouldn’t have to take the commuter train back to the same train station. Thank goodness for cell phones. I called her when I deboarded and she was on the way to the airport. However, it was the wrong one and she had to double back a couple of exits to reach DFW! Somehow we had not communicated clearly. Fortunately, she’s the type who easily forgave the miscommunication.

I guess my problem with allowing friends to help is that I seem to have friends who have other family and friends. I am very seldom ever asked by anyone else to do favors for them. That makes me feel uneasy that I am taking without giving. It’s not that I need help every day or every week, but when I do need help my first course of action is to try to figure out how to do it myself. I guess that’s from having to do it myself most of my life. I’m still working on it.

The lunch starts in an hour so enough about these two friends. Hopefully, you have friends such as these two in your lives as well. If you do, you are blessed. Namaste. Attic Annie

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