Tranquility

A brand-new week looms, and promises to be, how shall we say, emotionally taxing for us all. Let’s have some beauty so that we may brace ourselves.

Ryan (Glacial Till) came for a visit, and we headed over to Washington Park Arboretum. They have an utterly lovely Japanese garden there, which is always a delight to wander about in. I have many and wonderful shots that will make appearances as time goes by and themes like carp or turtles or stone lanterns present themselves. For now, we’ll have some of the somewhat artistic bits.

Waterfall:

Waterfall, Japanese Garden

Waterfall, Japanese Garden

Magenta water lily:

Magenta Water Lily, dreaming of Monet

Magenta Water Lily, dreaming of Monet

White water lilies:

White Water Lilies

White Water Lilies

Turtle and carp:

Dark moon turtle, sun carp.

Dark moon turtle, sun carp.

Snow lantern and coins:

Snow Lantern Luck

Snow Lantern Luck

Lovely.

Now, you may think an arboretum is a botanist’s thing, but there’s some geology to be seen. Take the walk across the bottom of Lake Washington, and you can look up at quite a bit of geology indeed.

Geology at the Arboretum.

Geology at the Arboretum.

We’re looking from the ship canal across Lake Washington to the Cascades. In this view, you have a lake carved by the Puget Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, and the hills round about are often drumlins, deposited and shaped by the ice. Behind us is a subduction zone: on the far horizon is the result of that subduction, a tall line of jagged peaks. Folks more qualified could talk about hydrogeology, and geomorphology, and I’m sure plenty more. So this isn’t a place where the geology leaps out, grabs you by both lapels, and screams three millimeters from your face, “Look at me! I’m some geology ya’ll better recognize!” but it’s definitely there.

One last story: in trying to find the way beneath the highway, we stumbled across an area where men whose preference isn’t women like to, erm, get full sun. I’ve never seen more guys flummoxed by the fact a woman has appeared among them. And I have never felt so at ease amidst a large group of naked men. My dear gay citizens: I’m so sorry I disturbed your peace. Carry on, and have a lovely rest of your summer.

Beautiful day with a wonderful friend, and so much more to look forward to before summer ends.

You Good People

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you on this side of the rift.

Not so long ago, I might’ve ended up on the other. Our culture had battered me with so many messages about how women were and should be treated and should react to that treatment that I thought all that shit was normal. Upset because some dude cat-called you on the street? Chill out, girl! Didn’t get that promotion? Well, most women just can’t hack it like dudes can. Why did that idiot stay with her abuser? Why did she get drunk knowing she could get hurt? Where does she get off saying women aren’t equal – we totally are, and if we aren’t, well, it’s probably our fault, ladies! Hey, I’m one of the guys. I’m not like those girls.

Being one of the guys really can insulate you from a lot of bullshit. It also allows you to perpetuate the worst of our culture rather than recognizing problems and fixing them.

You brought me out of that.

What feminism is: the radical notion that women are people. Sign me up! Image courtesy Julie Jordan Scott via Flickr.

What feminism is: the radical notion that women are people. Sign me up! Image courtesy Julie Jordan Scott via Flickr.

Watching you fight the good fights, listening to you explain how it actually is, investigating the evidence you presented, woke me up to some ugly realities. Some of it I didn’t want to face, but watching you battle these entrenched attitudes and all this wrongness, I couldn’t let you do it alone. I couldn’t just stand by and let you struggle to make the world a better place by yourselves.

So yeah, I write a little about it. But the biggest difference you’ve made is in the way I approach other people in my life. There are things I don’t let slide now. There are myths I’m equipped to correct, and do. You showed me how, and you gave me the knowledge I needed, and the courage, and now because of you good people, there are some folks walking around in the world who are just that little bit more aware. Like me, they didn’t know. They didn’t know that so many of the things they’d heard were lies, exaggerations and stereotypes. But you’ve given me the resources to give to them that correct those errors. And a lot of people who were perpetuating those myths turn out to be good people, too, who are happy to change their minds, and grateful to know better.

We don’t often see the difference we’re making, down here in the trenches. Not with the chaff thrown up by those who like the status quo just fine, and don’t want to see it change, either because they don’t want to believe they’ve fallen for harmful lies, or because the present conditions give them advantages, or because they would have to face the harsh fact that they are in fact predatory assholes. Those folks are loud, and fling a lot of shit, and make it difficult to see the people who are quietly changing their minds.

It's sad we still have to march to pound this simple truth into people's heads. It's awesome that so many of us are willing to keep hammering. Image courtesy msmornington via Flickr.

It’s sad we still have to march to pound this simple truth into people’s heads. It’s awesome that so many of us are willing to keep hammering. Image courtesy msmornington via Flickr.

You good people are changing the world. It takes time. It’s godsdamned bloody hard. Often seems like there’s no progress, and sometimes feels like it’s just getting worse. But don’t let despair lie to you. We’re getting there, even with the setbacks. The conversations we’re having now wouldn’t have been possible even a few months ago. People are speaking out who had no voice before.

I’m so glad you brought me around. I’m so grateful I was lucky enough to have been found by you. And I’m proud to be standing beside you.

Thank you.

Cock Roaches II: Wherein a Story is Related

Onamission5 shared this story on our previous post, and it compels me to share for those who may have missed it:

Your roach analogy reminds me of something so I’m going to piggyback a bit and I hope you don’t mind…

Many years ago, a girlfriend of mine and I traveled across the country to a southern state for a music festival. Staying at her parents’ house, I went to use the bathroom one day and out from the baseboards crawled a huge cockroach, quite bold and content to be where my feet were without fear of me stomping on it. I freaked, running out to the living room where my girlfriend’s family was located and informed them of the giant roach, what should I do?? They laughed. Roaches are normal, a part of life here, they said, yes they are gross but you get used to them after a while, besides, they hardly ever come out in the day, they are usually content to patrol the house at night, yes we know they carry all sorts of disease, but what you gonna do?

Cockroach! Image courtesy Ted & Daniel Percival via Flickr.

Cue moving to FL some years later, similar experience to yours with the apartment except our landlords engaged in blaming us for the roach problem that was there when we arrived, saying we must have caused the infestation with our dirty habits (of living the normal lives of busy people with children) because none of their other tenants had complained about roaches before, imploring us to spend hundreds of dollars on plastic containers for our cupboards so the roaches wouldn’t be tempted by our food, we should put our pets on a schedule and keep the pet food dishes clear of leftovers after every feeding, take our garbage out daily, vacuum daily, and engage in all other sorts of “common sense” hypervigilance maneuvers because they were completely unwilling to admit that the roaches were a problem they should deal with. *We* were supposed to alter our lives according to the habits of the roaches, *we* were supposed to spend money we didn’t have to protect ourselves from a problem that our landlords weren’t even willing to admit existed, let alone take steps to solve. We were forbidden on threat of eviction from using “chemicals” on our own. We were forbidden from calling in experts to help us. We tried to follow their instructions, we tried to be good, compliant tenants, but the problem kept getting worse, and after a year of exhausting hypervigilance and increasing denial+hostility from the property owners, we finally gave up and moved.

These experiences mirror my experiences with calling out sexist bullshit, trying to hold people accountable for actions which harm others. The roaches are everywhere, what do you expect, what you gonna do, besides they’re mostly hidden in the walls which is perfectly natural and it’s your fault they come out because you tempted them so you just have to get used to it and suppress your horror and hang your clothes up where the roaches hopefully can’t reach, seal up all your food, show some self discipline, and take your shower/eat your breakfast/attend that conference/frequent that space anyway. Or move, and leave the problem behind for someone else to fall unsuspectingly into.

Exactly.

Cock Roaches: A Cautionary Tale

“Where you see one, there are hundreds more you can’t see,” my stepmother said. She’d gone with me to look at apartments. She’d pulled open a drawer to reveal a dead cockroach beneath. Other than that, the apartment was just what I was looking for, and the managers said they’d take care of the pests before I moved in. So I signed a lease.

It was fine for a while, but then I began noticing the occasional roach. Nothing horrible, and I’m not easily squicked out by insects, but still. You expect to live roach-free when you’re paying to live in a middling-decent place. So I called the managers, and they called the exterminator.

That seemed to help, but within weeks, the roaches were back. And breeding. Roaches big and small, bold and cowardly, multiplying exponentially. The more persistent ones got the Rolled Up Magazine o’ Doom. But for every one I whacked, it seemed a dozen more would flood in. I kept the place exquisitely clean, took out the trash promptly, swept up – and still they swarmed. They left their detritus everywhere: droppings, corpses, egg cases. People say that cockroaches scatter and hide when the lights go on, but not these. Bold as brass they were, and positively preened in the spotlight.

Cockroaches feeding on a mango stone in a gully somewhere at manila bay. Image and caption courtesy Ric_K on Flickr.

Cockroaches feeding on a mango stone in a gully somewhere at manila bay. Image and caption courtesy Ric_K on Flickr.

The exterminator became a regular presence. And he did try. But, as he explained, we were fighting a losing battle. Management was trying to handle the problem one apartment at a time, but that just meant the roaches could skitter off one apartment over and wait until the poison was no longer potent before swarming back. You’d get a few of the dumber ones, but the rest would survive. And management wouldn’t take the sensible step of having the entire building done.

So the roaches thrived.

Even when we fogged my apartment, that didn’t stop them for long. They’d just scamper off, then come back.

In the end, because management wouldn’t adequately handle the problem, I had to move to get away from them. A few stowed away in boxes and plagued me in the new place, but weren’t as successful there (probably because of rather more aggressive pest control), and a second move rid me of them entirely.

But I wouldn’t have had to deal with that if the first complex had done the right thing to begin with.

Our community has a cock roach problem.

We’ve tried to eliminate them from some of our spaces, but they skitter off and hide in safe places until they can sneak back to plague us. So far, many of the people in management positions have done the slumlord thing of denying the problem. Some have done what my complex did: the minimum, never adequately dealing with the problem. And some have done a brilliant job of ridding their spaces of cock roaches, but without a coordinated, concerted effort by all in the community, the cock roaches will always have a safe place to go. And we’ll always be plagued with them.

That’s unacceptable.

We shouldn’t have to deal with this problem. It’s not something you can just put up with. No one should have to carry a metaphorical Rolled Up Magazine o’ Doom to fend the cock roaches off with.

We have choices.

We can do our best to force management to face the problem and deal effectively with it.

If they refuse to do that, we can move. Build our own community and keep it cock roach free. It’s difficult and expensive, but may be the only thing left.

Because ignoring the problem is no longer an option. These predatory men I’m talking about aren’t like real cockroaches, annoying and gross but mostly harmless (and in some ways, beautiful and fascinating creatures you may not mind having around, if you enjoy critters). Our infestation is one of men* who feel entitled to harm, assault, traumatize, and sometimes rape their victims.

I’m not willing to live in a community that includes them. Nor, I daresay, are you. But I’m not yet willing to leave the community to the cock roaches. I’d rather try to force the orgs into throwing them out first. It shouldn’t be the victims who have to flee the community.

I want to see the victimizers unceremoniously tossed out, and never allowed to return. We should demand no less.

 

Inspired by Amy.

 

*Yes, women can be predatory, and it isn’t any more acceptable. But the overwhelming majority of perpetrators are, in fact, men. And so I will not use the generic people here.

One Year to the Day

One year and one day ago, back when I was a smoker:

Vanna Whiting a hummock at Coldwater Lake, August 4, 2013. Snapped by Cujo359.

Vanna Whiting a hummock at Coldwater Lake, August 4, 2013. Snapped by Cujo359.

ZOMG I miss those shorts…

One year ago, when I was a non-smoker:

Suzanne and I in front of a truck that didn't survive the May 18th eruption. August 5, 2013. Photography by Cujo359.

Suzanne and I in front of a truck that didn’t survive the May 18th eruption. August 5, 2013. Photography by Cujo359.

ZOMG, I miss those pants…

Anyway. Yes. Just realized, going through photos from last year’s Mount St. Helens jaunt, that it’s been a full year since I’ve lit a cigarette. I miss the shorts and pants I used to fit in to, mostly because they don’t seem to make decent shorts for women anymore and I loved those capris, but it’s not often I miss smoking. Oh, here and there, when I’m bored or shopping or just randomly out of nowhere, I’ll get a craving, kind of like feeling a phantom limb. It goes away nearly immediately, though. I don’t miss the smell, or the expense, or the hacking of a morning. I finally met my goal of gaining five pounds (and kept on till I gained 30). This means I don’t get as many people wondering if I’m anorexic, then wondering if I’m bulimic after they’ve seen me eat. Which is nice.

I’ve forged an identity as an ex-smoker now, so I don’t feel quite as not-me as I did when I first quit. Wellbutrin took care of the stress, and has done far more for me than nicotine ever did. And I can run, which I couldn’t do back then. So it’s nice to be ex. Figure I’ll keep on keeping on until the opportunity to take up the habit again is gone forever. Very hard to inhale a nice deep puff o’ smoke when you’re no longer breathing, amirite?

Tell you something, too: everything tastes better. Hence the 30 pounds. Food and I, we’ve become bosom buddies. I’m not as mouthy as when I first quit, but despite not needing to constantly have a cigarette substitute in the cakehole, I’m still loving the eating. Oy. In fact, I think I’ll do some more of that before bed, here.

Thank you for all your encouragement and cheerleading and commiserating, my darlings. You got me through those initial difficult times (Chantix made it much less difficult, but you lot gave me the will). You did it! Now you can stop worrying, because if I’ve done 365 days without wishing I could go back, I never will. And even if I start having fond memories, the knowledge of what you’ll do to me if I backslide will keep me from breaking down. :-)

Besides, I’m spending all my spare cash on food. And adventures. And books. And new pants. And lotsa other stuff. That’s as addictive as the cigarettes were, and far more fun.

Should any of you need a cheerleading section as you embark on your own career as an ex-smoker, let me know. Ye olde lungs can hold a lot more air than previously, so I should be able to give you a good shout!

Someone’s Been Living in an Alternate Reality Again

Ho, hum, another day, another dumbfuck claiming atheists have no basis for morality. I see Avi’s given them a right proper fisking. Good thing he’s a good writer, because this shallow shite’s points look like they came off an apologetics-for-assclowns site. Oh, my heck, does our Avi have patience. I’d’ve chucked this garbage in the trash after the first paragraph. This is just so century before last – ooo, what’s this?

3. A Moral, Simple and Convincing Justification for moral compasses

But it may surprise the reader to learn that a universal and convincing justification does indeed exist. One that is grounded neither in the coercive power of fear of punishment in the hereafter (as offered by most religions), nor in man’s selfishness (as attempted by some secular ethicists). One that is already available to approximately a third of the world’s population. The secular inability to justify the various secular moral compasses is in stark contrast with this moral, simple and extremely convincing justification.

No hellfire-and-damnation? No eternal reward? But not secular? Omigosh, whatever could this magic justification be?!

im-intrigued-tell-me-more

Spill it!

What is this justification if not heaven or hell, you may ask?

I just did! What, you want it notarized? It’s already in writing. Sheesh.

What is able to thoroughly justify an unselfish moral message of neighbourly love? One that promises no selfish reward, yet seems capable of propelling many of its followers to selflessly disregard their own well-being in their efforts to improve the lives of the poor, the ill and the downtrodden in the most backward parts of the world?  What if not the fear of hell or the reward of heaven can propel one to act in this way? Why ever disregard your own wellbeing for the benefit of others?

What’s this reminding me of? Oh, right.

Heffer and Filburt encounter difficulties whilst dressing up as Mr. Bighead. Just one of the countless delights that awaits those who watch Nickelodeon's Rocko's Modern Life, now available on Amazon Instant Video! WOOT!

Heffer and Filburt encounter difficulties whilst dressing up as Mr. Bighead. Just one of the countless delights that awaits those who watch Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life, now available on Amazon Instant Video! WOOT! Click the photo for the cartoon with a quote for every situation.

Heffer: This guy’s asking too many questions! What do I do?

Filburt: I don’t know… mmmmmm… Punch him!

Nah. Awesome episode, but one must not take (many) life lessons from cartoon shows, no matter how great. Violence isn’t the proper response to a pompous arsemunch. My moral compass is pointing due-Exit. These flip-flops are made for walkin’, which is what I’ll do if Doofus doesn’t get to the point soon.

This non-coercive, moral, simple and extremely convincing justification seems unique to none other than the Christian message and faith.

Bwah-ha-ha!

The primary justification of the moral compass from the Christian message seems neither to be fear of God nor that of hell.

Stahp! STAHP! Owowow my ribs!

*snifflesnortwheeze* Woah nellie, you sure are a hoot! That’s some premium comedy right there, I mean, wow, I can’t even – what, what, you’re serious?

This makes Christianity quite distinct from other religions that usually hold this coercive type of justification only.

Um.

skeptical cat

You know, that’s an interesting interpretation of the subject, but the founders of Christianity would like a word with you.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” - Matthew 3:11-12

 

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” - Matthew 7:19

 

“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” - Matthew 10:28

 

“Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!” - Matthew 13:40-43

 

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.” - Mark 9:43-48

 

The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. - Mark 16:16

That Jesus Christ fella was a real shit, always running around and threatening non-believers with eternal torture, and dangling a nice, shiny Heaven in front of the sheeple who’d swallow his shit whole. He’s clearly got nothing to do with Christiani – oh, dear. Apparently he does.

Also, too, and furthermore, it looks like a lotta Bible-believing churches didn’t get the memo about “grounded neither in the coercive power of fear of punishment in the hereafter… nor in man’s selfishness.”

Church sign: Where will you be sitting in eternity? Smoking or non-smoking

Image via Postkiwi.

Billboard: Without Jesus Christ (image of pitchfork) You'll spend eternity with Me! (image of Satan)

Image via Mindspring.

Church sign: I kissed a girl and I liked it. Then I went to Hell.

via Lucien Maverick’s Blog.

Church sign: Son screen prevents sin burn.

via Jonathan Sigmon

Billboard: It's your choice... heaven or Hell. Read John 3:36

via Friendly Atheist

Ah. Right. John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Yes, very… “grounded neither in the coercive power of fear of punishment in the hereafter… nor in man’s selfishness,” that.

Gee. I wonder what Jesus would say about those signs?

Buddy Christ via eBaum's World.

Buddy Christ via eBaum’s World.

Considering the dude was always on about “fire” this and “wailing and gnashing of teeth” that, I don’t imagine he’d have any concerns.

Look, I could go on for the rest of the year with the awful Bible verses and shit Jesus spewed – believe me, it wouldn’t be difficult to find Christian after Christian who’s firmly convinced that we’ll get rewarded or punished by Big Skydaddy depending on whether we slobber on Junior’s sandals adequately or not. Plenty more who’ll tell you there’s a hell and a heaven, and your good and bad acts determine which you end up in. People have been converted to Christianity, kept trapped in it, by that particular carrot-stick combo. So don’t try to sell me this bullshit about Christianity having some amazing unique non-coercive moral rationale, because it’s coercive as shit. I can’t help it if you happen to be an assnugget with severe reading comprehension problems and a talent for convincing yourself that up is down and strong-arm is gentle persuasion. But don’t come around to atheists and try to sell that rancid pile of rotten fish, unless of course you like having your nose rubbed in it. Capisce?

Here endeth the lesson. Have a nice day.

Not So Good For a Laugh, Actually

Skepticism matters, but it’s not enough. This is what happens when we stop at skeptical:

The other day in the break room, I got into a brief banter with coworkers about people who believe they can live without eating. One person brought up a guru in India who claims to have lived without food for decades.

That’s a fraud,” I said. “The people who claim that are always caught sneaking out for food.”

Which lead to laughter, and one person saying, “Yeah, but it’s still funny.”

“Not for the people who believe them and die,” I said.

Silence. No one had thought of that.

People are not plants. We're animals. Animals haven't got chlorophyll. You need chlorophyll to live off of sunlight and water. Therefore: don't try to live like a plant unless you want to die like a starving person.

People are not plants. We’re animals. Animals haven’t got chlorophyll. You need chlorophyll to live off of sunlight and water. Therefore: don’t try to live like a plant unless you want to die like a starving person.

Being a skeptic is a good thing: we should be skeptical enough not to get sucked in by patently ridiculous claims. But it’s not enough to merely point and laugh. When we stop there, we forget the cost. We miss the opportunity to prevent a fellow human being from losing their money, their family, their life.

Anyone who believes in that stuff is stupid, amirite? How often have we thought that? There’s a subtext of superiority, of “It can never happen to me, and fools get what they deserve.” But we can all be fooled. Give us someone who seems confident and sincere, in a situation where we don’t know enough about the subject to easily detect bullshit, and given information that, no matter how bizarre it seems, appears to be plausible, and we can easily become the fools. Do we deserve to get hurt because we were unaware? If you’re not skeptical enough about one thing, do you deserve to lose everything? Should skeptics who know the truth just point, laugh, and abandon you, or would you want them to make an effort to help you realize the truth?

It’s not enough to recognize erroneous and/or irrational ideas that are so factually incorrect as to be absurd. Sure, some dude trying to tell people he can live like a plant is funny – but stopping at a belly laugh without addressing the real harm such a person can cause does no one any good. We can point and laugh – but we should also be pointing out the harm. We shouldn’t be leaving those ideas unchallenged. We need to lift the curtain so everyone can see. We may not be able to rescue those who have already fallen too far into the bullshit, but we can prevent onlookers from stepping in it. And we can change this attitude so many seem to have, that these bizarre frauds are harmless, that we can just let them get on with being fools.

The world isn’t improved by smart people sneering at the duped. Skepticism can go beyond that. It must. And we can have a lot of fun teaching folks how not to get fooled. Everybody but the crook wins.

The vagaries of the Eastern Sierra

It’s no secret that Husband and I own property in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, about five miles south of the intersection of highways 108 and 395.  On our property,  cliffs of granite come close to or against the hwy 395 road; this is called the Devil’s Gate, for the muddy grief it gave travelers during the pre-hwy-395 years.  There are springs there. There’s a Spring creek there. Very annoying water, if you’re trying to take a wagon through the Gate in June, and there’s no hwy 395 to help.

Relatively near the gate, there’s an alluvial fan with a creek that runs for a couple of months in the Spring.  We’ve chosen a building spot on the fan, well uphill from the creek, but not so close to the granite wall that it could drop large rocks on us.

Down by hwy 395, there’s a low spot.  It wasn’t there before the construction of hwy 395 in the ’20s — the road builders should have put in a culvert — and we got a county permit to fill it in with the excess excavation material from our home site.  Then someone complained that we were filling in a wetland.

The expert we hired from an independent firm has not yet released her results, but her preliminary finding was that it was probably not a wetland under Federal law, but might well be under California law.

At this point we’re just hoping we don’t have to mitigate the damage already done to the “wetland”.  We have REAL wetlands on our property on the other side of hwy 395, fed by those springs, and we’re as determined as anyone to preserve them.  But this is just a Spring mudhole.

Grunble grumble mutter mutter,

Karen

New at Rosetta Stones: the Geology of Fireworks

I got to thinking today, “I’ll be there’s a geology story behind fireworks. Betcha I can be lazy and link to the people who’ve already written it.” And lo, it was so. I found you some great articles: explanations of the science (including geology!) of fireworks for both kids and adults, plus a neat-o experiment you can do cheaply, easily and safely your own self. How cool is that? Setting things on fire: almost always awesome.

I also found you some gorgeous photos courtesy of folks on Flickr. Here’s the ones I couldn’t fit, but were too beautiful to pass up. Enjoy!

Fireworks over Darling Harbour. Image courtesy Nigel Howe.

Fireworks over Darling Harbour. Image courtesy Nigel Howe.

Fireworks in Santa Barbara, CA. Image courtesy Damian Gadal.

Fireworks in Santa Barbara, CA. Image courtesy Damian Gadal.

Unleashing Nuclear Cute Option in 3…2…1…

I haven’t any substantial content for you today. I’m not sorry. In fact, I’m about to do something so vicious and evil that you will be mopping yourself off the floor for the next three days.

Prepare for kitten…

I know. I’m a bad, bad person. Bad, evil, cruel Dana. Perhaps these will help.

Paper towel photo courtesy Mets501 via Wikimedia Commons.

Paper towel photo courtesy Mets501 via Wikimedia Commons.

I hope they’re absorbent enough for ye.