Do penguins even have legs?

You know you’re in for a good conversation when it starts with the sentence:

I want to look at a penguin skeleton to see if they even have legs.

Emperor_penguinsIt’s no secret that I love penguins. My love of penguins has been passed down to my son. So much so that if he sees a penguin toy, he must take it and keep it forever. (I lose so many of my penguins this way.)

He loves penguin themed movies, and the most favorite among them are the Penguins of Madagascar movie and Happy Feet. (He seems to have little use for Happy Feet Two though. He likes it because penguins, but he doesn’t get super excited about it.)

Well, my husband decided to deign us with his presence for a bit, and I’d put Happy Feet into the PS3 for the tot. We watched all the special features first, one of which is a tap dancing clip with Savion Glover and baby Mumble dancing together. It was this clip that prompted my husband to question if penguins have legs.

c680ab69363b06c5cf6c3bf9dbbeddddSeeing as I had my computer right in front of me as I worked on a story, I saved my progress and hit up Google image search to find a penguin skeleton. I must admit I was not expecting what I saw. It seems that yes, they do have legs, and they are actually much longer than I had initially thought. We just don’t see how big or long their legs actually are because they’re so adorably fat bottomed. I didn’t even know that many penguins actually do have knees. Given the climate many of them live in it makes sense not to have long legs dangling out. Extremities are the first to get cold and damaged from extreme temperatures. Only the necessary extremities for survival hang off the body. Feet to move and swim with, flippers to propel them through the water, and of course their heads and beaks with which to eat and look around them. The penguin skeleton is actually very fascinating to look at compared to the outward appearance of the creatures.

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Go check out The Snowless Knitter!

One of my best friends just started a blog here on WordPress. She’s a knitter who lives in Central Florida and she’s dipping her toes back into blogging after a VERY long time. As I’m writing this post, she’s got one post up so far. What will she post about? Well, honestly I don’t entirely know, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting. So head on over to The Snowless Knitter and welcome her to the world of WordPress!

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Personal Health Goal

My health, as I’ve spoken on in the past, is not the greatest. Hasn’t been for quite some time. To quickly rehash for newer followers of my blog – I fell down the stairs no less than 3 times in 2014 (they were carpeted) thus resulting in tailbone damage that complicated a pre-existing undiagnosed condition that no doctor had been willing to even do an x-ray for let alone treat me. I’ve also been diagnosed with degeneration of a ligament in my left knee – all of this on top of various and sundry health issues that have led to a clusterfuck of mobility problems.

Unfortunately, because I am unable to move adequately and maintain steady levels of basic activity due to my physical limitations, I’ve become sedintary. This has primarily contributed to my weight problems in the last year. In the last month, I’ve put on 10lbs, bringing my weight to 299lbs. I have not been 300lbs in 15 years, and I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

i’ve talked with my husband a bit, and he’s going to keep on me about my activity. Knowing my body, and that I burn out quickly to begin with when I go from 0 activity to 100 with no warning, I’ve decided to start out with light activity. Just to work off the water weight to start with (as when I was last weighed, I had also been at the tail end of my… ahem… monthly visitor so I was retaining quite a lot of water at the time) and once my body is used to the regular activity, bumping it up a bit. In the past, my body has responded much better to a stepping-stone method rather than a sudden strict regime.

Since my son has started special needs preschool, I have the time each day to work the activity in without having to worry about my son getting underfoot or in the way. And on Saturdays, I’ve decided to take my son to the library. It’s a gentle incline/decline depending on which route I take, and it’s about 2 blocks away from my home. A neighbor gave us a really good stroller that is easier for me to handle, and the handle is actually much higher than my son’s old one, which takes a lot of the strain off my back from having to hunch over. It’s got a handy compartment on the bottom, so it is easier for me to stow away the books and things I get at the library, and i’m not having to fumble with my son’s bag as well as books, etc.

I’m also taking advantage of the weather change since cold weather causes my sciatica and arthritis to flare up to levels that make me nearly completely immobile (winter is hell for me), so the warmer weather now will help keep my conditions from flaring so badly that I give up and put it off.

Exercise alone isn’t going to do the trick though, so I’m limiting my coffee intake, and what I put in it. Also my tea intake. And well pretty much anything that isn’t water. I’m also using Gatorade for the days that I’ve been pushing myself past my limitations, as it quickly replenishes my sodium and sugar levels without leaving too high an impact (I use the powder, and use less than half the stated amount on the container per 16 fluid ounces). And rather than using all those sugar free flavor pouches and drops and such (the artificual sweeteners make it absolutely undrinkable to me flavor wise) I’ve started putting in a tsp of straight lemon juice and a tsp of straight lime juice to make a sort of lemon-lime water. I’ll start doing that with other fruits down the line as well when I get a new magic bullet.

I’m also taking closer looks at my calorie intake, my carb intake, and my cholesterol intake. My goal right now is to get back down to 250lbs. I don’t care how long it takes, I just want to get the weight down. Once I get to that goal, I’ll set a new one. But right now, I need to get that number to drop!

I’m currently thankfully not diabetic, but I believe i may be pre-diabetic. I already have enough medications I have to take daily to deal with my pain issues – I don’t need to add more meds on top of that.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m also working on a writing/blogging project, but I’m putting it off for a month because I want to establish my health routine first. Then I can see where I can fit in my writing project.

Plus side, my husband’s fully behind me, and is wanting to get himself back into shape too. So I know he’ll hold me accountable if I cheat.

Mind you, I’m still going to indulge from time to time with some cookies, cake, or a burger. but I’m not going to sit and eat an entire package of cookies, a whole cake, or three burgers in one sitting (with the single exception being the quadruple bypass burger challenge at the Vortex because I’ve always wanted to do a food challenge at a restaurant and it’s an $80 burger if you don’t finish it in the time alotted but darn it I want to try!… at least, someday).

But first…. dropping down to 250lbs.

Ramble: On Inspiration, Creativity, and the Lack Thereof

He stood in front of the Untempered Schism. It’s a gap in the fabric of reality through which could be seen the whole of the vortex. We stand there, eight years old, staring at the raw power of time and space, just a child. Some would be inspired. Some would run away. And some would go mad. – The Doctor (David Tennant); “Doctor Who: The Sound of Drums”, 2007

Since 2005, I have had a very deep fondness for Doctor Who, both the revival/current running series and the classic stories from the childhoods of those who’ve come before me. But every Whovian has that one line, that one special monologue or quote or scene that really touched them in a meaningful way. For many it’s the First Doctor’s farewell speech to his granddaughter Susan when he leaves her to find a new life and to settle down with a man she has come to love. For others, it’s the Fourth Doctor’s statements following his refusal to prevent the creation of the Daleks, questioning whether or not he made the right decision but also certain that without the Daleks many races who came together to fight them would otherwise be fighting one another. And need I even bring up the various speeches given by the Sixth Doctor during “Trial of a Time Lord“?

For me, it has been, since it’s first utterance on screens across the globe, the quote above. It really hit me right in my feels, and evoked a very powerful emotional response in me. I know everyone has their own interpretations of, well, anything and everything really. Even reality. So just because I’m about to go on a long diatribe about mine, it doesn’t mean your interpretation is any more wrong or right than my own.

That segment of dialogue inspired me in a point in my life that was still… dark. It was looking up. I’d gotten a job that year that I loved dearly. I made friends in college, I was doing well in school. But emotionally I was a train wreck. Problems at home caused me to become very withdrawn from my family and I spent more and more time losing myself in my fantasy worlds – be it through writing or artwork, movies and video games. But, as was always the case – Doctor Who was the thing that started to get through to me. At the time, I saw it as “It’s okay to be scared out of your mind. No one knows what the future holds, and even if you were staring it down it could always change tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone. You can let yourself go crazy worrying about it, be inspired to change it, or keep running away in fear of it.” And at the time I was so sure that is what it meant. It gave me hope and reassurance in a really crazy time in my life.

Years later, as I’m periodically putting the series on for background noise as I clean, write, knit, cook, ecetera, I hear it and feel… something else entirely. Now I read those words and I am reminded of all the wonder of childhood. The wild imaginations and dreams and hopes and… and then… the drudgery of life and growing up. And losing that sense of childish wonder we come into the world with. Eight years old is around the time kids in school start getting reigned in. And over the following decade of their lives the creativity, the wonder, the imagination, the excitement is stripped away in order to “make them productive members of society”. To “prepare them for the real world”. No, it doesn’t make them productive. It doesn’t prepare them for the real world. It makes people apathetic. It makes them ignorant of their own potentials. Keeps them from aspiring to be more, to be better people, or to better the world around them. It makes them accept the mediocre and makes them wholly reliant on others to tell them what to think and how to feel. It teaches them that individuality is inherently wrong and that in order to succeed they must conform 100% to someone else’s ideals and morality rather than their own. It creates drones who’s sole purpose is to do as they are told, when they are told, how they are told, and that it is pointless to ever want to work towards something more, especially for the self. And many who manage to get through it all, and manage to build themselves up, twist the system to their own benefit, and shape others to their own brand of ideals and morality. It does not matter if you are left or right. Liberal or conservative. Blue. Red. Hell purple with pink polka dots and from Pluto. The fight to get to the top of the food chain twists us all in some way, and rather than seek out the better and the new for others as well, we turn it back to that which created and shaped us, feeding it to others. Stripping THEM of their uniqueness and shaping them to meet OUR standard. And so the cycle continues.

I could go further into a long political diatribe at this point, but I’ll save that for another time. Besides, I’m pretty sure ALL OF US are tired of EVERYTHING being made into a political statement at this point…

We NEED creative people. We NEED imagination. Creativity and imagination lead to hoped and dreams, which drive people to be inspired. I know it’s old hat at this point to use the “I bet everyone thought the first person to build a fire was crazy” example but let’s just imagine a world where say… toilet paper was never invented. It’s a pretty gross world and I’d bet you wouldn’t want to eat anything someone hands you, or, well anything that anyone else has even touched… guess it was a really great thing someone was inspired to take some paper and wipe their behind after going to the loo, isn’t it? Otherwise we might still be using hands, or worse – corn cobs (which apparently was a thing in rural America according to my maternal grandmother… so… that’s a thing that people actually used to do).

There’s more to it for me, but it’s getting rather late as I write this and I need to get some rest as I’m meant to be getting up at 6:30AM (it’s currently 12:30AM as I write this bit here) so I’ll save that for a part 2 or something.

But the point of this post is… we won’t be able to break the chains that restrain us, that strip us of our hopes and dreams, that hold us back from our creative natures and inspire us to do more, to be more – we won’t be able to end the cycle until we stop trying to force our ideologies on the next generation. Stop insisting that every weird, odd little quirk needs to be stopped and corrected. Stop forcing our own ideals and standards on them. Give them some structure, yes. Teach them fundamentals like right and wrong, manners, how to share and be kind to others, definitely. But also we must encourage them to learn. To explore. Imagine. Play. Build. Draw. Sing. Dance. Read. The more we feed their creativity, the more we feed their imaginations, the more they will dream. The more they will hope. The more they will be inspired to do great and wondrous things. We used to be like them – collectively as a human race we’ve done so many great things. Some of us looked at the moon and wondered “what’s it like up there?” And others stood there and looked out further still and wondered “what’s out there?” – Without the dreamers, we’ve seen a generation where the space program has been stripped to it’s bare minimum. Where people obsess over what some reality show bimbo said about some other reality show bimbo’s husband. We’ve seen an entire generation of young people enter the “real world” with nearly all of their wonder and drive stripped from them at an early age, to “prepare them” for the big bad “real world”… and I hate to say it but all that preparation has failed, leaving an entire generation where going five minutes without checking Twitter can lead to severe panic attacks or worse – destruction of property and assault.

So please, PLEASE we as just people need to change this. My generation is pretty much a lost cause if today’s social climate is anything to go by. But the next one, and the one after that? They are all waiting to be tempered. Do we continue to strip them of everything that can help bring change for themselves and for their peers? Or will we instead inspire them to do better, to be better than we ever could be?

Okay, now I’m done for tonight. Nearly half an hour after my last time stamp (it’s now 12:56AM).

Post Share: Gangleri’s Grove – I don’t even know what to call this

An excellent read that pretty much sums up my opinions on the whole “Witches Bind Trump” thing going on and around.


 

I’ve been watching a lot of videos and seeing facebook posts and various responses to the street theatre clusterfuck masquerading as a magical operation: i.e. self-identified witches and pagans trying to hex our President. As a polytheist I want to make it clear I and the majority of my co-religionists have no part in this. […]

via I don’t even know what to call this. — Gangleri’s Grove

A Fool’s Hope (I voted. I hope you did, too.)

Since Tuesday night, I’ve been debating with myself whether or not to talk about the results of the US Elections this year. And then even more when thinking about what aspect of it I wanted to talk about. I cannot decide, so I’m just going to ramble and see where it goes.

On Tuesday, I got up. I got dressed. Ran some errands. And in the afternoon, I voted. I voted for the candidate I felt would best represent my stance on issues I feel are important. I did this for every single race. Presidential, Representative, Senate, local officials, and even regular city officials. From top to bottom, over the last year, I’ve been reading. Studying. Comparing. Listing pros and cons, and been vocal, to those in my life that matter to me, about my views and opinions.

It’s my hope that everyone does their due diligence and researches the candidates and their platforms. But it is a fool’s hope. There will always be those who vote one party down the ticket, regardless of whether the person they are voting for is right for the job or not.

I’m not going to sit here and fuel the hate machine. I’m also not going to sit here and demonize those who didn’t vote the way that I did. Because that’s not how democracy works. That’s how many of us believe it works, but that’s not how it works.

It is my hope that, whomever any of my American readers voted for, they simply went out and voted. It is my hope that they exercised this simple right that we have which many others across the globe do not. I do not care who you vote/voted for, only that you do so.

If you voted Trump, I hope you did so after looking past the media propaganda and actually took the time to read up on his platform and learn more about his stance on the issues that are most important to you.

If you voted Hillary, again I hope you did so after looking beyond the media hype and actually took the time to look at her political track record, not just the bad but the good as well. And educated yourself on her platform and the key issues important to you.

If you voted third party, I know you’re likely catching a lot of hell right now. But I hope that if your vote was not a protest vote, that you voted for the person who’s platform and stance on important issues resonated with you and your views and morals.

But I do realize not everyone seriously examines their decision before casting their ballot. Again, the hope I have is a fool’s hope.

For myself, my vote is between myself and my ballot. And a few select people I chose to talk with about it.

What will the next four years bring us? Only time will tell. But what I can be certain of is that I voted for the candidates I felt were most in line with my personal views, my stance on key issues, and who I thought may be the best fit for the job. And that, to me, is what democracy is about.

As for those who didn’t vote, it would be easy to condemn them as well. But I won’t. Voter apathy is a problem, obviously. But there are many who would have loved to vote but could not due to reasons beyond their control. None of us will know a person’s reasons for not voting unless we are told explicitly why by the person themselves. For all we know, the little old lady down the street who gives out cookies couldn’t vote because she’s on probation for bad checks. Or the head of the debate team won’t turn 18 until the day after the election. Or the surgeons who couldn’t get away to vote even for early voting because they were too busy saving lives. Or the person who was on their way to the polls and had a car wreck. There’s hundreds, thousands of reasons why someone might not have voted. And I honestly wouldn’t feel right to condemn them for not doing so. I hope that if they’d had the opportunity to vote, they would have taken it.

But again, I recognize that this is merely a fool’s hope.

This is actually a good resource for ANYONE offering online based services of any sort. (I know I sure as heck learned something here.)

This won’t be an interesting post. It’s targeted only at spiritual service professionals. So unless you are a professional tarot reader, astrologer, life coach, divination mentor, or are engaged professionally in a similar form of spiritual business, this post will not be of much interest. I’m posting it kind of as a PSA so that it […]

via Spiritual Service Professionals: How to Win Every Refund Dispute — benebell wen