Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Wed, Dec 31 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 to each one who drops by to read. May this next year bring you fascination and fellowship with your fellow humans. And may you have faith in God to see you through the challenges that will inevitably come.

posted at: 13:45 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Get well soon, Mr. C.

Californians are sending get well wishes to State Controller John Chiang. He's been hospitalized after having chest pains in Texas while visiting family for the holidays. This has been a stressful time for everyone, and while we hope for financial remedies to our budget woes, we don't want anyone to pay for it with poor health.

posted at: 13:36 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 30 2008

We spent a beautiful, sunny day in the town of Carmel yesterday. The town is still a great place to go, but it has changed somewhat since we made a first excursion in the early 1980s. Certain things have not changed. On-street parking is still time-restricted, though the time limit has been increased to two hours. You can still get great samples at The Cheese Shop and the community is still very dog friendly. Many a shop has a water bowl placed just outside the entrance and a few restaurants have outdoor dining with special go-along menus just for Fido. There are even a few spots beside walkways encouraging folks to pick up after their pooches and deposit the bags in the discreet receptacles that have been provided. On our outing yesterday we counted at least 10 different breeds of 4-legged friends enjoying the day with their owners, including a sweet duo of Yorkies who waited patiently with one man in a clothing store while his wife tried on sweaters. We actually encountered many more dogs than children, at least on that particular day.

posted at: 09:21 | category: | link to this entry

Mon, Dec 22 2008

Holiday Hiatus

There is so much going on this week that I'm going to wish you all the best of the holiday season and take a blogging pause for what will probably be about a week. There are still cookies to bake and presents to wrap and calls to make, and I do believe this is starting to sound like an Alfred Burt carol.

Have another look at the Christmas Lights site if you like and find some lovely displays to view. I hope that those of you getting icy winds and drifting snow enjoy that sort of thing and that it adds a certain ambience to your holidays.

It's wonderful to give our gifts, pass around the cookies, hug our loved ones and fill everyone's stockings with candy and trinkets. It's all great fun and it's the most fun of all when we remember that the gifts we exchange are but a symbol of that Greatest Gift whose birthday we celebrate with lights and with carols.

posted at: 17:23 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Fri, Dec 19 2008

Stetson (and other) hats off to Markopolos

It's good to know that, in spite of the outcoming of the Madoff scandal, there was at least one man who had been watching thw whole debaucle and trying to get someone's attention to do something more about it. Mark Markopolos should be treated not only as a hero, but as the sort of decent, honest citizen we were taught to look up to as children.

posted at: 08:00 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Thu, Dec 18 2008

Greetings, Earthlings (in space)

I just found out that we can send postcards to the Space Station for the holidays. A tip of the Stetson goes to local TV station KSBW for the tip.

posted at: 05:30 | category: /Science | link to this entry

Wed, Dec 17 2008

Opposite of?

I caused my husband to give me a puzzled look last night when we decided to view the TV show called Fringe. One of the scientific terms that appears on their opening credits is "Dark Matter". I turned to my spouse and asked if there was such a thing as Dark Antimatter. I think he's still mulling it over. But I found out that I'm not the only one who has asked that particular question. I don't understand all the answers to these sorts of things, but that obviously hasn't kept me from asking the questions.

posted at: 11:49 | category: /Science | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 16 2008

Dopiest of the year?

USnews.com presented The Ten Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008, which brought to mind two thoughts:

1) I recall that Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed List used to be the most embarrassing, and even then, it was mostly tongue-in-cheek.

2) This list is a bit premature. It's only December 16. There's still plenty of time for additional dopiness to surface before we ring in 2009.

posted at: 11:49 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Mon, Dec 15 2008

Worst insult ever? Not quite.

The story of the shoe-throwing journalist in Iraq brought back memories, but not because the fellow is a journalist. When I was a child, my aunt my cousin and I accompanied my aunt to the St. Louis Zoo, where things were not as progressive as they are today. A lot of large animals still resided in cramped cages and had little chance to hide from humans. The baboons were particularly subject to the hoots and hollers of people passing on all sides of their cage, which was at the intersection of a set of walkways. The bored, frustrated animals would take the verbal abuse for awhile and then would reach down and slap the pools in the cage, sending waves of water all over the offenders on the other side of the bars. If that didn't get enough of a rise out of the onlookers, the baboons would reach behind and defecate into their hands and toss the fresh stools at the jeering crowd. Their clever behavior evoked screams and panic amongst the silly humans and the baboons celebrated with dancing and laughter.

So when the article on Reuters mentioned that throwing shoes at someone was the worst of insults in an Arab world I had to smile. The Iraqui journalist has obviously not yet attained a level to rival the quick-witted rebuke of a surly baboon. To top it off, the ill-tempered man probably had to walk home barefoot. Is it any wonder that the whole idea of humans having evolved from apes amuses some of us so much?

posted at: 11:30 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Thu, Dec 11 2008

Helping Santa today

I'm off to do some work as Santa's helper this afternoon, wrapping and filling shoebox gifts with a group of great people. One of the nice things about writing is that you can sometimes shift your working hours to include projects in which day workers might not be able to participate.

posted at: 10:24 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Wed, Dec 10 2008

Mouse obstacle course no match for this little mover

Forget that seasonal talk concerning not a creature stirring. This mouse moves through his paces like an Olympian star.

posted at: 09:07 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 09 2008

Stress and inflammation in arteries

Of all the things mentioned in an article on natural ways to lower inflammation in arteries, the one that seemed most difficult to me was the stress factor. Can a few minutes a day of relaxation or meditation really undo a whole day's worth of traffic, noise, financial woes and job instability? I'm reminded of what I Thessalonians says about prayer. When we pray without ceasing we don't have to be someplace where we can kneel down. We can have an attitude of prayer all the time and be open to the possibilities of God's workings in our lives. When we give thanks we don't have to begrudgingly tell God we're thankful for all the troubles we have, but we can be thankful that He is there for us and can work His good right through the midst of all the troubles. This sort of mindset seems much more helpful to me than fuming and suffering all day long and then trying suddenly to calm down and meditate for 15 minutes in the midst of a trying day.

posted at: 07:15 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

Mon, Dec 08 2008

Christmas light displays for a December Monday

Wake up your sleepy Monday with a video of Christmas lights set to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Queen of the Winter Night. And if that doesn't do it for you, try The Fifth. The arches on one video remind me of fountains. How about some hip hop arches? Or a Macarena Christmas? And then, a more simple setting for Silent Night.

If you want to see a list of more displays, check out the U.S. Christmas Lights page. It's updated throughout the season. And if you know of great lights in your neighborhood I'd be happy to add them to the list.

posted at: 17:27 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Fri, Dec 05 2008

Be happy in order to spread happiness

I'm not sure I agree with the "life of the party" comments in one article on happiness, because sometimes that sort of behavior is just a narcissist in disguise who is seeking attention and who could just as easily turn on you and become a human Cujo. But I do agree that those with true happiness choose to be happy and will mirror that happiness to others around them. If happiness is more contagious than unhappiness, it could be because happy people tend to be content either by themselves or with others, while unhappy people often isolate themselves, or are avoided by people who don't wish to be negatively influenced by those unhappy folks. We've all met people who seem to think it's their job tick off one lament after another. They also seem to be oblivious to the fact that the rest of us often duck into a doorway when we see them coming.

posted at: 08:02 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Wed, Dec 03 2008

More than one way to sell education

The high school math teacher in San Diego who sells ads on the tests he gives has gotten some flack, but it certainly is an ingenious way to drum up a few dollars for classroom needs. When I was in high school journalism we ran around and sold ads for yearbooks and newspapers. This doesn't really seem that much different to me.

As for those who object being given the suggestion to give their nearest school money, maybe they can give time if they don't want to give money. I know some wonderful people who read stories to the kids and who even supply woodworking and craft materials for elementary school children. Local organizations such as Grange and Rotary buy dictionaries and other materials for schools.

For some strange reason we've let the government take over our community schools. We've let the governing officials convince us that our job is done once tax money is extracted from us. We've allowed this to happen for years. If we want more say in how schools are run we need to jump in and get involved. And we need to elect more people who favor personal involvement over taxes.

posted at: 10:20 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Tue, Dec 02 2008

Paperwork is a blessing

Today has been a great combination of old business and new business. Writers have an enormous amount of paper that calls for attention, simply because we tend to write things down. It's how we prioritize, how we organize, how we work through problems and how we think. I was able to rid myself of some nagging problems by simply dealing with old odds and ends of paper. And I began a few new projects using paper to get the work started. Computers are fine, but for folks like me there always seems to be merit in handling physical paper. It soothes us and puts things into perspective. I think it's a bit like math for those who use math as a constant that just works when other people and the rest of the world seem to be on the edge of lunacy. Picking up a book or shuffling through a pile of papers pulls us back to the center of what is basic, while still enabling us to see what's on paper as a holding place for all our hopes and dreams.

posted at: 12:01 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Mon, Dec 01 2008

Black Friday killings

It's very sad that Black Friday had to give new meaning to its name over the weekend. What I find disturbing is that folks think the answer to at least one of the tragedies is just one more law. It's going to be more than a little difficult to legislate our way out of lack of caring for others and our need to put bargains ahead of people.

posted at: 07:53 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!