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Alobar Greywalker: Magickal Record (aka Frater PVN, LA-BAJ-AL)
My Ever Evolving Grimoire: The Book of the Confluence of Forces
alobar
        A while back I started cleaning up the crap which accumulates around the outside of Armstrong Park.

       Monday I came upon a small fleet of park guys.  2 with leaf blowers.  3 with rakes and huge garbage bags.  They clean the outside of the park regularly so now I can retire.

       When I went home there were 10 bags of leaves and trash spaced around where I walk.  Probably over 300 gallons total.

       Park looked real nice.
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alobar
        Being tight for $$, I seek alternatives to buying food.

       Probably influenced by survival shows on Weather Channel.

       Around the edge of Armstrong Park there are both nut-like thingies and small berries.

       No idea where the nut like thingies are from. 
Light as a feather.  They blow to the park wall from someplace else.  No plants or trees nearby which has such thingies. 

       About the size of an acorn.  Light tan.  Fragile.  Light as a feather. When they get stepped on, a half thingie looks sorta like a small mushroom cap.

       Of course, not knowing what they are, I have no clue if they are poisonous, wretched tasting, neutral tasting, yummy, or psychedelic.

       If I gave psychedelic nut thingies to gutterpunks, I'd have friends for life!

       So I brought a handful to work.  Some of the readers are locals.

       As a kid I could easily identify different trees and plants.  Half a dozen locals had NO clue.

       Don't local kids know their environment?

       Then there are the berries.  Small dark berries hanging in clusters from a tree looking like a relative of a palm tree.

       I'll bring a cluster to work next time I go.

       My scanner is dead, and it is the end of the season.  So more info for next year than meals now.

       Also, there are a gazillion cocoons, or what look like cocoons around the tops of the fences.  Been there since May, maybe before.  Are they yummy?
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alobar
        Once again I was unable to turn-in my ratty Whole Foods bags for clean new ones.  This is the third try.

        attempted to procure an e-mail for bitching at the head office.  I want them to mail me a half dozen new bags for free.  A dozen would be even nicer.

       No luck.

        I got a card with the e-mail for the "front end supervisor"at that store.

       I shall bitch, but I doubt it will do shit.
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alobar
        Now this is just my opinion but I think "winter lovers" are just nuts!

       Weather channel is predicting a warmer than usual December with less rain.

       That makes me happy!
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alobar
        I admit to being somewhat prejudiced.

       When Black teens from bad neighborhoods smoke, it does not disturb me nearly as much as when White teens smoke.  White girls under 17 REALLY disturb me.

       3 people sat down.  The girl (probably 14 or 15) was going to get a card reading.  She fucking disturbed me.  Her companions were a Black (30-ish) guy and an ~18 year old White boyfriend. 

       All 3 were smoking.

       She was sucking heavily on her cig in a way that indicated to me that:
a) She smoked a lot.
b) She had not just recently started smoking.

       Back in the 1950s, this was common.  But we as a culture have supposedly moved away from such mass teen suicidal addiction.

       Teens will always smoke.  But most hide their addiction from adults because they know it is wrong.

       She grossed me out.

       If I were not so desperately broke (no internet, no $$, no reading since last Wednesday) I would have told her she was breaking the law, and the person(s) supplying e with tobacco could be fined &/or sent to jail.

       But I was desperate for $$, so I did not want to lose the reading.

       They could not afford $20, so they left.  But the image of her smoking is still disturbing to me a day later.

       I owe a lot to XXXXXXX the Balloon Clown for shwing me HOW to talk to teen smokers and their adult companions.   Read more...Collapse )
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alobar
        When I was a kid I saw this puppet show on TV.  The character was describing life on some other planet.  There was this rite of passage young folks needed to go thru.  They were kept awake for 50 hours, then every time they passed into deamland, someone would come and wake them up.

       If they flipped out from sleep dep, they failed and had to take the test again at a later time.

       The alien kid beat the fuck out of the person waking him up with a baseball bat.

[Yes, kiddie shows were much more violent back in the 1950s.]

       The staff here at the TIRC keep waking me up to tell me that I have mail or a package.

       I think they all come from that rather sadistic alien planet.

       I got to bed at 6AM.  She pounded on my door at 9AM.

       I am a peaceful guy these days, but I immediately thought of the kiddie show from 50+ years ago and the baseball bat.

       I have bugs in my bed.  Not "normal" bedbugs because they do not bite me.  Tiny little red bugs the size of a map pin head.  They crawl on me.  They make it hard to fall asleep.  They wake me up.

       Unlike the staff ladies here at the TIRC, I can smush them DEAD!

       Two cures for bugs in bed.  I won't use poison.  Not good for me and it may well kill my immortalist breatharian fly companion on the wall over my bed.  

       The more ideal cure is diatomacious earth.

       I had a package of it on the Ganesh altar at 623. [Good for parasite cleansing.] It's now in storage.  In what box?  Fuck if I know!

       I was so flipped out during the move that I never oversaw nor labeled all boxes.  Big drawback from being a basket case!

       All things considered I actually slept better last night than I have in a while.  I re-discovered 2 cans of coconut milk.  So even though my sleep was broken many times by bugs and by alien TIRC sadistic staff, I was able to get right back to sleep.  Almost 8 hours is much better than 4 or 6!
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alobar
        No $$ in days.  Melatonin is not allowing me sound sleep.  I need sleeping pills.

       I do no want to use sleeping pills but when I do not get proper bedrest I sleep for hrs at work, and that sure does help me make $$.

Addendum
        B-12 + Coconut Oil + drier weather helps me sleep now.  Comut at work keeps me awake at work. (Dec 9)
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alobar
        Saturday night when the gypsies at the table nearest me packed up they left 4 or 5 empty packs of cigs, lots of food wrappers and cans of soda.  Probably close to 100 butts scattered on the ground.

       They seem to feel it is not their job to clean up their mess.

       When I was a kid in NYC, there were signs telling people that litterbugs would be fined $50.  With inflation, that would be over $200 today.

       4 gypsies x $200.  I'll bet they would learn neatness and respect for the Square in which they earn their living.
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alobar
        I got stood up by an interesting looking lady.

       It was about 5PM.  She saw my hair and asked me how I was doing.  I told her I had had no readings since before Thanksgiving.

       She told me she had a dinner engagement, but would be back after dinner to get a reading.

       What made her interesting is that she was ~60, platinum hair, with a dildo hanging around her neck.

       I packed up at midnight.

       No dildo gal.
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alobar
        I never liked shaking hands.

       Some macho guys like to crush my hand.  Some women extend a limp hand like a wet dishrag.  Can these gals give a decent handjob??

       Most folks shake right handed to demonstrate they have no knife in their hand.

       When is the last time a stranger or friend tried to knife you?

       Then there are the English boyscouts who shake left handed so they have to take their left hands away from their hearts, thus exposing themselves to being knifed in the heart.

       EEEEW!  Gross! 

       The only people who wanted to knife me did it from behind my back.

       The weather channel shows a lot of people shaking hands every time they greet one another.

       Why?

       I can say hi without needing to touch someone.

       I'll hug a pretty gal.

       Palm slapping.  Knuckle touching.  It's all pretty bizarre to me.

       Before I read palms for a living, I did not want to touch hands of strangers out of fear of germs they might have.  Now that is no longer a concern.  But I still do not like to touch a smoker's paw any more than I must when reading his/her palm.

       When I was more rude in my youth, when a stranger walked up to me with hand extended, I would pick my nose then extend my hand. 

       I liked looking at the expression on their faces.
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alobar
        Or is it my inner self in dreams?  Fuck if I know!

       There is an ad on the Weather channel.  My sound is off, so I don't much pay attention to what they are selling pushing.

       Back and white semi-transparent moving graphics of equations and graphs which attempt to prove something about what they are selling pushing.

       Dream opened up with a large B-&-W line drawing of Ganesh.  Super-imposed over the image was a bunch of equations and graphs.  Over-voice tells me there is a "new fractal reality" where the past no longer applies.

       Dream cuts to a conversation in which my Mom used the word "fuck" in talking with friends.  My Mom never said "fuck" in all the years I knew her.

       Somehow that convinced me to pay attention to this new fractal reality.

       In my dreams I can be quite gullible.

       I was told that the key to my personal prosperity is getting more sleep.

       Bayou Classic is/was this weekend.  Most dreadful time of the year financially.  Fridays are terrible.  Saturdays are worse.  Sundays are worse yet.

       Friday I received two $1 donations.  Saturday I received ONE.  So Sunday was not looking good.  Usually I make $50 over the weekend.

       Saturday night was miserably moist.  No rain.  Not cold.  But the dampness permeated/penetrated my being.  My body kept falling asleep to get away from the aches and pains.  Being asleep at work I ain't gonna make no $$.

       Walk home took 2 fucking hours because of my need to rest.  So I did not get to bed until 7AM.

       I had the Ganesh dream just before  was attempting to pull myself out of bed after only 7 hours of sleep. 

       So I went back to sleep.  I slept 14 hours and I feel much better.
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alobar
        No readings today (Friday), so still no internet.  I still have food, so I can eat tomrrow (although I wold have liked to have bought BBQ Sauce, Heavy Cream, and Pomegranate Juice.

       I seem to becoming more copacetic.

       A young Hindu couple stopped by.  They asked about why I had Hindu deities on my work setup.  I spoke with them about pantheism.  They nodded in understanding, but I strongly suspect their definition is much more narrow than my own.  I suspect they mean all the deities of the formal religions but would not include roaches, trees, or the flagstones of Jackson Square.

       They gave me $1.

       Another group of Hinds stopped by later.  Similar conversation.  The middle aged guy in the group is local.  He asked about Palm and Tarot readings  He may stop back at a later time for a reading.

       As I was about to leave for home, a young Black man gave me $1.  I suspect he is part of the Bayou Classic crowd.

       And I was given a hunk of steak.  Leftovers.  I did not think I'd be able to eat it without cutting it up into tiny pieces with my knife.  But it was so tender, I gobbled it down, ripping it apart with my teeth.  Probably close to half a pound.
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alobar
        I am by no means a purist when it comes to religion, but there are two things which irritate the piss out of me.

1. X-ians who say "Oh My "God!"
("Take not the name of thy God in vain")
2. Artificial X-mas trees.
(the Yuletide spirit does not reside in flame retardant plastic)
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alobar
        For the first time in a very long time I am looking at long term survival and prosperity.

       No guarantees by any means, but I have begun to contemplate going to a Starwood Festival in a decade or so.

       Part of it is $$.  It now looks I can survive thru Spring without the need to borrow $$ for rent.

       Part of it is the bowel cleanse.  I do not feel as stuffy and bloated as I had been feeling.

       The healing process is continuing.

       I have not been mondo depressed in a while, but  am feeling far more chipper than I had been.

       My lower back still hurts like fuck.  I cannot push myself too much.

       If I make good $$ over New Year I should be able to go to Kinko and get the new work signs I designed a year ago.

       I decided to offer a discount to the el-cheapo Bayou Classic crowd this weekend.  Some $$ is better than none.
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alobar
        Moving schedule over to days is not easy. It has never been easy but the older I get the more difficult it becomes.

       I set my alarm for 10AM, giving me 8-1/2 hours of sleep.  But I awoke at 7, tossed and turned, and got my ass out of bed at 7:30.

       That's only about 6-1/2 hours of sleep.

       I need a little bell at work with a sign "Ring Bell for Service" for people to ring when I am snoozing.

       Normally I ignore ads on the Weather Channel.  But there is something I want.

       My layers of hoodies and long johns work well when nighttime temps are above 40 and it is not too windy.

       But when it get real cold &/or windy, I need more.

       I sure cannot afford to take off every cold night.

       As Mike points out, if readers look cold and miserable, we get fewer clients.  So if I can cough up the $$, it may pay me back with greater income as well as with greater comfort.  Greater comfort means less problems with colds and flu.

       And it means I can work when other readers don't work.  Readers are notorious for not knowing how to dress for winter weather. 

       Many readers bitch and complain they do not have $$ for winter gear, but
a) They have all year to save for winter clothes
b) Many are smokers who spend waste $5-10 every day which could have bought them long johns, warm socks, and hoodies.
       But if I am warm & snug and able to work when others stay home (or go out drinking), that means less competition, so maybe more $$ for me.

       There is also a winter plus.

       Locals freeze and stay inside.  But January is tourist season for folks from Wisconsin and Canada.  40F is warm for them!

       Having no internet at the moment, I have no idea of cost, but Duluth makes really nice looking, warm looking, windbreaker hoodies.

       Once I get my internet back (hopefully tonight) I shall have to check into cost and availability (Amazon?, E-bay?).

       HAHAHAHAHA  Way beyond my price range.  I'll just do many layers of cheapie hoodies
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alobar
        It feels very strange making LJ posts that I cannot post because I have no internet.

       I feel like I am the last person on planet earth and I am writing in a journal nobody will ever see.

       Hopefully I will make enough $$ Friday to pay for a month or so of Virgin WiFi and also enough for food.
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alobar
        My microwaving baked potatoes have hit a new level of expertise!

       Due to my microwave turntable NOT turning, I have to microwave a potato 6 times.  Most times I get crunchy spots where the potato is hard and not eatable.

       If I had a pooch the dog would have potato chew toys.

       Sometimes more than others.

       I did an experiment (having days of no work and no errands allows me to experiment far more than on busy days!).

       I added ~twice as much water in the covered potato dish.

       When the potato was all cooked, I dumped out an ounce or so of residual water.  There were NO hard spots on the potato halves I could not eat.

       The potato innards were bursting forth! 

       I could not re-stuff the buttered innards back into the skins.  The skins had fallen apart.

       Messy, but still quite yummy!
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alobar
        As I wrote earlier, I am in the midst of a major bowel cleanse.  My bowel movements are now ~normal, but I am taking a prodigious amount of Vitamin C to achieve that.

       Frankly, I am amazed!

       I suspect that with the change in weather my body has become a Vitamin C junkie.  In the past 36 hours I have consumed ~40+ grams of C.

       Luckily, I scored 3 pounds of powdered C in early November.  Far cheaper than tablets.  No pills to swallow.  No fillers I do not need.  And I can sip it slowly, so I do not overdose.

       Mixing the C with crushed minerals to kill the acidity was (IMHO) a stroke of genius!

       Now that I have inulin fiber instead of the crappo pseudo orange flavored fiber from Walgreens, my innards are much more happy!  Inulin feeds my gut micro-flora.  Walgreen's fiber is just bulk.  Inulin is also tasteless, and it does not clot up if I do not drink it quickly.  I like to sip my fiber along wit a meal to bulk up the meal.

       Because I eat so few veggies, I need more fiber than most.  I take a rounded TBSP a day.

       Sensitivity to oxalates limits my veggie intake.  Diabetes limits my fruit intake.  If I could figure out how to locate my Vitamix blender amidst all my *stuff* in the storage bin, I would make Tuna salad smoothies.  More fiber.  More vitamins.  No danger of tuna killing me when weather is cool.  Yummy!

       Being the lazy fucker I am, if I had the $$ I'd buy a new Vitamix, then sell or give away the old one once I move into a real apartment and clean out the storage bin.

       No urgency to shit.  No liquid poops.

       Feels good!
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alobar
        As a pre-teen child I would have been utterly revolted by all the pills and wretched tasting powders I now consume daily.

       Back when I was about 10 or so, Dr.Steiner decided I needed to take a multi-vitamin.  My Mom was insulted that the doc thought her cooking did not supply me with all the vitamins I needed.

       So the war with my Mom over forcing me to eat my veggies escalated.

       My Dad liked his veggies cooked to shit.  So that is how she cooked them. 

       No vitamins in those veggies!

       Canned veggies rather than fresh.  If canned peas rolled n his plate my Dad wold complained that the peas were undercooked.  

       My Mom finally acquiesced as the battle between us would not resolve. 

       I would eat spinach, corn on the cob, creamed style canned corn, fresh tomatos.  I loved fruit.

       My Mom then compelled me to take a One-a-Day vitamin.

       I hated them!

       The red gelcaps had a really nasty smell (which my parents could not smell because they were both heavy smokers). When I put the gelcap into my mouth I could taste the nastiness.

       I had no skill at taking pills.  And nobody thought to instruct me.

       Once in a great while, the gelcap would wedge itself above my soft palate or in my ear canal.  Read more...Collapse )
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alobar
        I am beginning to run low on water.  I want sleep, not to be out questing for an open store to buy more water.

       My drinking bottle was low on water.  I was very thirsty.  I looked over and saw I had over half a gallon of water besides what was in my drinking bottle. 

       I re-filled my drinking bottle.  I still wanted water, but my thirst had diminished greatly.
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alobar
        I just paid my rent.  I walked to the front desk and returned without my Walker.

       Related to my post on junk food, management laid out a bunch of free food for people living here.  NONE of it was something I would want to eat, even before I was diabetic.  Crappy store-bought el-cheapo fast food cakes.

       When the lady at te desk told me I could have free food for Thanksgiving, I thought she meant TURKEY!
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alobar
        I continue to observe the alien critters around me.

       The more I observe, the more I feel I am from another planet.

       I guy is trying to impress a gal. He does is imitation of a stand-up comic. But he is not funny. He is stupid and inane. The gal laughs like he is one of the Marx brothers. This happens both with couples and with guys trying to impress a gal who might want to become his lover.

       Group of people. Mixed gender. Somebody (usually male) acts like the class clown. Again, more stupid than funny.

       Everybody laugh. Not just a chuckle. Some folks hop und down on one foot, hoot & holler!

       Why?

       The only thing I can think of is that my gving positive emotonal feedback it helps to cement emotional bonding.

       I do not think I have ever hopped p and down slapping my thigh in my entire lfe. I smile. Once in a while I may chuckle. But that's about it.

       I thought about this. I suppose I could make inane pseudo-humorous comments around a gal I wanted to fuck, but would I want to fuck someone who laughed at such comments?
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alobar
       Shortly after I received the gift of the statue of Lakshmi. I began to receive e-mail propositions from cute babes, most of whom (maybe all of whom) are gold diggers.

       I was contemplating this last week as I sat at my table at work looking at the long sensuous hair on the statue of Lakshmi.

       I strongly suspect that most (if not all) of the gold digger babes are (at least) nominally X-ian, but if they were to tap into Hindu mythology, would they adopt Lakshmi (the Goddess of Prosperity and Beauty) as their patron deity?
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alobar
        Some years back there was a gal on my f-list who worked as a research assistant in a Veterinary hospital or college.  There was a pig in the lab.  Pig squealed in delight whenever she came into the room  Pig and gal had an emotional connection.

       Then, one day, she was instructed to kill the pig.

       She did so.  It hurt her deeply, but she did it anyway.

       I took her off my f-list.

       I was thinking of her and her decision while realizing I could neither abandon my immortalist breatharian fly, nor compel him/her to move with me.

       Although the gal killing the pig disturbed me, I cannot fault her for it.  I doubt I would have done differently at her age.

       These days I would like to think I would kidnap the pig and leave the job without notice, but even now I might not be able to do that.  How would I explain to the courts why I stole the pig?

       Morals and ethics are incredibly personal and incredibly situational.

       I make decisions in my own life which may seem bizarre to others, as decisions others make seem bizarre to me.

       To me, what It really comes down to is whether I can make decisions I can live with with NO regrets in decades to come.
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alobar
        I have glanced thu half a dozen books on dream interpretation.  They all seem bogus to me.

       I have chatted wit a dozen or so folks who clam they can interpret dreams.  Sure seems to me the do not comprehend my inner workings.

       I may be being an arrogant S.O.B. here but I doubt ANYONE can interpret the dreams of another person.

       The reason I am in the midst of a purge is due to a dream.  I have had somewhat similar dreams in the past.

       I was at a restaurant wit m Mom.  Some foods I ever eat.  The did not seem all that good to me but I ate them anyway. 

       Under my chair was a big bag of my supplements.

       When it was time to leave, my Mom offered t take care of both the restaurant bill and my bag of supplements.

       I went out to a car.  I sat in the back seat.  Windows front and rear were foggy.  Somehow I was able to drive from the back seat even though controls were up front.

       Somehjow my left foot was tangled in a bungee chord so I cold not properly use the brake.

       The car kept accelerating.  The foggy windows cleared somewhat but I kept panicking.  Destruction seemed immanent.

       I awoke with memories of my bad fall in 010 with my foot tangled in the bungee cord.

       Foggy windows.  Things unclear within me.

       Feeling stuffed with strange food I somehow(?) connected with my semi-constipation (see other post) ad the need to have a mondo purge to prevent a crash.

       So I am on a Vitamin C binge.  About an ounce in 21 hours.  Bowels are more-or-less returned to near normal.  No "dire rear" (as I used to call projectile shitting as a small child).
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alobar
        I am cutting this post so as not to offend traditionalists.    Read more...Collapse )
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alobar
        Usually when I run out of bandwidth I get shuffled to a page where I can tell them about $$ from a top-up card.  Now, I am unable to load the Virgin Mobile program.  So no way to check on my account, add top-up card info, or anything else.

       Have I mentioned that I LOATHE Virgin Mobile?

Addendum #2:
       Virgin Mobile device now works.  I had to un-plug it nd re-plug it in several times.  But I still have NO internet.

       Last month when I ran out of my alloted bandwidth, I was allowed to continue using the WiFi.  It kept showing I had 5 Megs.  When I joined Virgin WiFi I was informed that I could limp along when my alloted bandwidth had been expended. 

       But they lied.

       Last month I thought they were becoming more honest.

       HA!

       Not this month.
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alobar
        I spent most of my life being a junk food junkie. The only reason I did not weight 400+ pounds is that my Mom was pregnant with me during WW-II when there were limitations on how much food one was permitted to buy (rationing). If a pregnant Mom does not over-eat, the kids have less of a tendency to get morbidly obese even if they over-eat.

       According to the US government (FDA? DEA?) sugar is more addictive than heroin or cocaine.

       Tobacco is equally as addictive as sugar.

       At work, I observe myriad people (when I am not dong a reading {or napping}).

       Those of my fellow workers who are junk food junkies are all overweight. Most are morbidly obese or super-morbidly obese. Most are also heavy smokers. Most have diabetes. Some are also alcoholics. Many also have cancer.

       In observing passers-by, I note that 90+% of the adults munching on junk food are morbidly obese. Kids who munch on junk food are more hyperactive than speed freaks I have known, whether they are obese or normal size. Some of the kids are covered in zits.

       The Weather Channel is on 24/7 with the sound off.

       I can't count the number of adds for junk foods. All the actors and actresses are of normal size. The kids are not speed freaks and none have complexion problems.

       Sure seems like false advertizing to me!

       Lets roll back the clock. When I was a kid, there were a gazillion tobacco ads on TV. Talk show hosts smoked as did their guests.

       Now, there are none.

       The government stepped in. Tobacco is legal to sell, ut may not be advertised pushed on TV.

       I have not bought a magazine in this century but I seem to remember a similar ban on tobacco ads in magazines.

       My 2 questions are
WHY IS THERE NOT A SIMILAR BAN ON JUNK FOOD ADS?
WHY IS JUNK FOOD PERMITTED TO BE SOLD OR GIVEN TO THOSE UNDER 18?


       Inquiring minds want to know.
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alobar
        I hate changes in plans.  They are a real pain in the ass.

       But sometimes I gotta just go with the flow.

       I planned to start work on Turkey Day at ~noonish.

       Usually, people feast in mid-afternoon them come out to play at night –– ESPECIALLY adult children from out of town who need time away from their family (more on tis in another post).  However, this year night is supposed to be cold.  Low 40's with a wind.

       So I went to be early.  But I could not turn my mind off!

       I double dosed Melatonin  (2 x 10 mg, 2 hours apart).  My mind would not shut up!

       Not in a bad way.  No freak-outs.  No worries.  Things actually feel better than they have  a long time.  Just ideas I need to explore and write about.

       I forget whether it was Heinlein or Asimov who called the need to write a disease.  I can't check the reference.  No internet till I buy a $25 top-up card.

       So I shall write a llot, putting posts into ClipMate for posting when I get back my internet.

       So I am taking Thanksgiving day off.  It should  be warmer Friday.  I hate cold.  So do potential customers.

       I may go exploring in da-Hood ~noonish to see if I can locate an open store where I can buy bottled water.  I have enough pocket change for that.

       Also, I am in the middle of a MAJOR purge. cut for the squeamishCollapse )
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alobar
        What the fuck is going on here?

       I make a post to LJ using Semagic (like I aways do). I get this Square-&-Arrow thingie.

       Clicking it does NOTHING. Right clicking yields NO useful information.

       I want the thingie GONE!

       And I want to NEVER return!

Addendum:

       The thingie is showing up in this post also! Des anyone else see it, or is it something very weird on my computer.

       I jst checked and my previous post no longer displays the thingie.

       Have I been hacked by the NSA?!? (I hope thats a joke).
1 comment or Wanna Comment?
alobar
        I have said this before.

I WANT GRAYSON TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT!!!


       Yea, I know. He is not a Socialist. I don't trust capitalists. BUT I WANT GRAYSON!

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  There was a filibuster in the U.S. Senate last week. Yes, I know, that's hardly news. And a cloture vote to end that filibuster. That's hardly news, either. And the cloture vote failed. Not news. 

The vote was, among other things, to end the National Security Agency's collection of records of every phone call that you make. Which, sadly, also is no longer news. What would be news is if someone did something about it. 

Fifty-eight senators voted in favor of ending the filibuster, and the "bulk collection." Only forty-two voted against. But we no longer live in a country where the majority rules, so every single time you make a phone call, the NSA will know to whom you spoke, and for how long. 

Regarding the failed vote against the filibuster, the D.C. newspaper Roll Call opined that: "It's probably going to take another series of revelations about NSA programs for strict legislation to get momentum again." But I'm wondering how much of the last series of revelations has been absorbed by the body politic. So I'm offering to you excerpts from a little-noticed interview that Edward Snowden did with The Guardian a few months ago, complete with British spelling. File it under the category of "read it and weep."
 
 
  Yes, the NSA Shares Your Sexy Photos ... And Other Observations
from Edward Snowden
 
 
  On NSA culture, sharing sexually compromising material 
 
  SNOWDEN: When you're an NSA analyst and you're looking for raw signals intelligence, what you realise is that the majority of the communications in our databases are not the communications of targets, they're the communications of ordinary people, of your neighbours, of your neighbours' friends, of your relations, of the person who runs the register at the store. They're the most deep and intense and intimate and damaging private moments of their lives, and we're seizing [them] without any authorisation, without any reason, records of all of their activities - their cell phone locations, their purchase records, their private text messages, their phone calls, the content of those calls in certain circumstances, transaction histories - and from this we can create a perfect, or nearly perfect, record of each individual's activity, and those activities are increasingly becoming permanent records. 
 
  Many of the people searching through the haystacks were young, enlisted guys and ... 18 to 22 years old. They've suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all your private records. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation but they're extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: "Oh, hey, that's great. Send that to Bill down the way." And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom and sooner or later this person's whole life has been seen by all of these other people. Anything goes, more or less. You're in a vaulted space. Everybody has sort of similar clearances, everybody knows everybody. It's a small world. 
 
  It's never reported, nobody ever knows about it, the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. Now while people may say that it's an innocent harm, this person doesn't even know that their image was viewed, it represents a fundamental principle, which is that we don't have to see individual instances of abuse. The mere seizure of that communication by itself was an abuse. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communication stream, from the intended recipient, and given to the government without any specific authorisation, without any specific need, is itself a violation of your rights. Why is that in the government database? 
 
  I'd say probably every two months you see something like that happen. It's routine enough, depending on the company you keep, it could be more or less frequent. But these are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions. 
 
  Why He Gave the Documents to Multiple Journalists 
 
  SNOWDEN: As an engineer, and particularly as somebody who worked in telecoms and things like that on these systems, the thing that you're always terrified of when you're thinking about reliability is SPOFs - Single Point of Failure, right? This was the thing I told the journalists: "If the government thinks you're the single point of failure, they'll kill you." 
 
  Whether Spying on Everyone Stops Terrorism 
 
  SNOWDEN: The White House investigated those programs [which allowed mass surveillance] on two separate occasions and on both occasions found that they had no value at all, and yet, while those panels recommended that they be terminated, when it actually came to the White House suggesting action to legislators, the legislators said: "Well, let's not end these programs. Even though they've operated for 10 years and never stopped any imminent terrorist attacks, let's keep them going." 
 
  Life at the NSARead more...Collapse )
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alobar
        I think some FBI agents should get life in prison. If they rat on their bosses, give them parole after a decade.

       I take that back.  ALL agents of the police state need to be put to death and they need to be given truth serum to compel them to testify against their bosses.

       Below from Bruce Schneier.

======================

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/11/fbi_agents_pose.html

This is a creepy story. The FBI wanted access to a hotel guest's room without a warrant. So agents broke his Internet connection, and then posed as Internet technicians to gain access to his hotel room without a warrant.

From the motion to suppress:

The next time you call for assistance because the internet service in your home is not working, the "technician" who comes to your door may actually be an undercover government agent. He will have secretly disconnected the service, knowing that you will naturally call for help and -- when he shows up at your door, impersonating a technician -- let him in. He will walk through each room of your house, claiming to diagnose the problem. Actually, he will be videotaping everything (and everyone) inside. He will have no reason to suspect you have broken the law, much less probable cause to obtain a search warrant. But that makes no difference, because by letting him in, you will have "consented" to an intrusive search of your home.

Basically, the agents snooped around the hotel room, and gathered evidence that they submitted to a magistrate to get a warrant. Of course, they never told the judge that they had engineered the whole outage and planted the fake technicians.

More coverage of the case here.

This feels like an important case to me. We constantly allow repair technicians into our homes to fix this or that technological thingy. If we can't be sure they are not government agents in disguise, then we've lost quite a lot of our freedom and liberty.

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alobar
         I say the DA needs prison time to contemplate the eror of his ways. Reduced prison sentence if he testifies against those who put him up to this bullshit!

       Below from Les on C3 list.

=======================

Antonin Scalia
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/DAVID TULIS
On Monday, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. But that decision was the result of a process that turned the purpose of a grand jury on its head.
Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.
It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.</b>
This passage was first highlighted by attorney Ian Samuel, a former clerk to Justice Scalia.
In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available. In his press conference, McCulloch said that the grand jury did not indict because eyewitness testimony that established Wilson was acting in self-defense was contradicted by other exculpatory evidence. What McCulloch didn’t say is that he was under no obligation to present such evidence to the grand jury. The only reason one would present such evidence is to reduce the chances that the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson.
Compare Justice Scalia’s description of the role of the grand jury to what the prosecutors told the Ferguson grand jury before they started their deliberations:
And you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not act in lawful self-defense and you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not use lawful force in making an arrest. If you find those things, which is kind of like finding a negative, you cannot return an indictment on anything or true bill unless you find both of those things. Because both arecomplete defenses to any offense and they both have been raised in his, in the evidence.</b>
As Justice Scalia explained the evidence to support these “complete defenses,” including Wilson’s testimony, was only included by McCulloch by ignoring how grand juries historically work.
There were several eyewitness accounts that strongly suggested Wilson did not act in self-defense. McCulloch could have, and his critics say should have, presented that evidence to the grand jury and likely returned an indictment in days, not months. It’s a low bar, which is why virtually all grand juries return indictments.
But McCulloch chose a different path.
 
Les Evenchick
New Orleans 
piratefish@yahoo.com
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alobar
        I was asked on the Coconut oil list why I use high dose Niacin.

       I responded as follows.

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Many things.

High dose Niacin reduces cholesterol levels.

I am diabetic. We have problems with peripheral circulation. The combination of high dose Niacn and high dose MSM does wonders to improve peripheral circulation and works to eliminate diabetic neuropathy (lack of feeling in fingers and toes), which the docs say cannot be reversed.

I ave had swollen leg due to sluggish blood flow (another diabetic problem) for over a decade. High dose Niacin and high dose MSM have reduced the swelling, healed open sores, and gotten rid of most of the purple color.

High dose Niacin also seems to un-clog my brain. I am far more in touch with prepubescent memories than ever before.

I fee more integrated with the uncomfortablenesses of my younger life. I can better comprehend wh some of the adults (mainly catholic nuns) who hurt me deeply acted because of their crazyness and stupidity. So I can let it go much easier and forgive them for their crazynesses. I have Asperger's Syndrome so I do not act or think like "normal" people and that did not sit well with many of the nuns who were my ill educated teachers in grade school.

While am not Schitzo, Niacin is also good for treating Schizophrenia if you know anyone with that problem.

Niacin flush is also very trippy. It is FUN!

I have 3 key supplements these days. I would have a fourth, but Undenatured Whey Protein Isolate is beyond my budget until $$ gets better in Spring.

Vitamin C taken many times a day to the point where I am almost going to lose bowel control.
1 HEAPING TBSP of MSM 2 to 4 times daily. [Jim can tell you about how to take it.]
1 HEAPING TBSP of Niacin daily. I may up my dose to 2 o 3 doses per day once my new shipment arrives.

From Orthomolecular News Service.
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alobar
        Below from elizabeth on c3 list.

=================================

Last night, in Oakland after the grand jury announcement, 400 demonstrators staged a die in. Then they blocked a freeway that runs between the rich and poor sections of Oakland. Rubber bullets and tear gas came next. Read about it here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/25/1347276/-Oakland-s-Action-the-Night-the-Grand-Jury-Lied-We-Have-Taken-the-Freeway
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