Archive for ‘Editorial’

August 15, 2011

Your Reality Is Not Mine

Go on be cynical, scoff at anything that smacks of religious fervor or reaching altered consciousness any other way than getting stoned on some kind of legal or illegal drug. It doesn’t matter it works for those who want it to work and it doesn’t cost you a cent. I’ve done both and the power of your own consciousness is far more awesome than anything artificial you can take. My life has changed by tapping into that strength, visualizing what you want and who you want to be. Then when the opportunity presents itself (and it always does) you are prepared to act even when you don’t realize you are. The trick is managing that. Once the thought and desire has materialized it needs to be managed properly or it will fade faster than stone wash blue jeans. So read on if you dare or click onto another topic. The choice in life is always yours.

eAdapted from Power, Freedom, and Grace by Deepak Chopra (Amber Allen, 2006)

In cosmic consciousness we are still in this world–-waking dreaming, and sleeping— and yet we are connected to our source in waking, dreaming and sleeping. Like a light at the door that shines inside the room and outside the room, we are in both places. When this happens, synchronicity, chance encounters and hidden clues increase. We start to understand the power of intention. We start to watch our internal dialogue, and we say, I know that how I speak to myself actually causes things to change in my physiology, in my world.

In cosmic consciousness, we find that relationship is the most important thing in life; everything in life is a confluence of relationships. We begin to see that everything is a balance between feminine and masculine energies, the yin and yang, and anytime there is more of one than theother, we are out of balance. Right now, we
need to reawaken the feminine because the dominance of the masculine has led to belligerence, arrogance, and aggression, the very problems we see in the world right now.

In cosmic consciousness, we are aware that we are not the physical body, nor are we the mind and all the roles we play. We are the silent witness, and a sense of freedom and liberation comes out of this awareness. We are involved in our roles, and yet we are free at the same time. We recognize that after death our spirit will continue to play other roles,and we feel more ease. As we abide in cosmic consciousness and allow it to blossom, the universe plays itself through us, and the whole dance of life becomes effortless.

Read more: -gifts-of-cosmic-consciousness.html#ixzz1MBEvlDnG

July 24, 2011

Medical Marijuana Protestors at Huntington Beach Pier

Out in force yesterday at Huntington Beach were the “weed warriors” protesting the proposed changes to medical marijuana laws. I don’t smoke weed but I am an advocate of legalizing pot and making medical marijuana available for those who want and need it. There are more issues that should demand the government’s attention than marijuana usage. I find more problems with alcohol abuse and prescription drugs.
The conclusion is let those who want to use cannabis for medicinal reasons do it and let the growers and suppliers grow, cultivate and harvest. Regulate them and make sure they are operating in a formal business structure. Perhaps the decriminalization of pot will help the economy and cut down the cost of pursuing, investigating and prosecuting those who deal in the Marijuana trade.

Go to HempRadio to get more info.

July 16, 2011

Lithia Camp: horse riding with artistic expression

impressionist art of horse

Imagine sitting in your treehouse peering out over a local ranch. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and children are expressing themselves in a very positive way below you. The smell of fresh cut grass and hay wafts thru your open window and the sounds of happy kids surrounds you…this is Lithia Camp

By JOHN CEBALLOS | South Shore News & Tribune
Published: July 15, 2011
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A little horse riding in the morning followed by some drawing and painting in the afternoon.

That’s the idea behind the week-long Art on the Farm summer camps at Chaps Acres.

Jonnie Chapman — co-owner and operator of Chaps Acres along with Nick, her husband of 26 years — has conducted summer horse riding camps for 15 years. She got the idea to officially combine her love of horses with her affinity for art three years ago.

“Even before we started Art on the Farm it would get so hot during the day that I’d have the kids come in and sculpt or draw in the afternoon,” said Chapman, who has a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chaps Acres has been a part of Lithia for more than 25 years. Twenty-two of those years were spent at the farm’s previous location on Dorman Road. The Chapmans have spent the last four years at their current, 15-acre location, where Jonnie offers riding lessons and boarding for horses throughout the year.

“My father-in-law owns the surrounding 35 acres, so at the end of every camp the kids get to go riding across the 50 acres,” Chapman said. “By that time, they’re pretty comfortable with their horses.”

Last year, Chapman decided to team up with Dustin Goolsby for the art portion of the camps. The two met through the Valrico Church of Christ. Goolsby has been a professional artist for 10 years and is in his fourth year of teaching art at the Florida College Academy in Temple Terrace.

“When they’re little, most students get glitter or feathers in their art classes,” Goolsby said. “By the time they get to middle school, they don’t have basic art skills and they get easily discouraged.”

Goolsby said having his students express their artistic sides can be beneficial to other aspects of their lives.

“My approach is to teach confidence and stick-to-it-ness through art,” he said. “Even if they don’t go on to become artists, these are skills they can use.”

Each of the camps has a theme, and this year’s include World Travelers, Cowboys and Indians and Simply Medieval.

Chapman said kids age 7 to 17 are welcome, but she prefers to keep each camp to about four or five students.

“I’ve seen people who take on 10 or 12 students, but then you see a bunch of kids just standing in line and waiting on their horses,” she said. “I like to devote as much of my attention to each camper as I can.”

Though her summer camps will soon wrap up, Chapman plans on continuing to express her artistic side.

“My kids are either out of the house or about to leave or get married,” Chapman said. “This is as good a time as any to get back into it.”

July 3, 2011

Plastic Ocean

On the eve of our country’s birthday celebration it seems fitting to make my 100th post about the revolting mess of plastic floating in our oceans now called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. I am a avid surfer and lover of the beaches around the world especially southern california beaches where I grew up. Over the years I have noticed many times floating plastic in the waters as I paddled around. Specially plastic that holds beer cans together. Look I don’t mind if you want to drink beer at the beach but throw your trash away! Plastic in the water is ingested by sea life and it kills them and as a source of food for we humans it becomes uneatable. Ok so here’s an article I’ve picked up to repost. People it’s up to us to stop all this. The next time you see some jerk tossing plastic garage on the beach or in the water “school the fool” let them know this is unacceptable!

Fish in the North Pacific ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000- to 24,000 tons per year, according to researchers from the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX).

That’s news that should give all of us a bellyache.

Peter Davison and Rebecca Asch, two graduate students from SEAPLEX, traveled more than more than 1,000 miles west of California to the eastern sector of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre on the Scripps research vessel New Horizon, says Science Daily. They collected numerous samples of fish specimens, water samples and marine debris at both surface level and thousands of feet below the surface.

Of the 141 fishes spanning 27 species dissected in the study, Davison and Asch found that 9.2 percent of the stomach contents of mid-water fishes contained plastic debris, primarily broken-down bits smaller than a human fingernail. The researchers say the majority of the stomach plastic pieces were so small their origin could not be determined.

“About nine percent of examined fishes contained plastic in their stomach. That is an underestimate of the true ingestion rate because a fish may regurgitate or pass a plastic item, or even die from eating it. We didn’t measure those rates, so our nine percent figure is too low by an unknown amount,” said Davison.

You can see photos of the SEAPLEX expedition via Flickr. To get an idea of what the plastic bits found in the fishes’ stomachs look like, here’s a photo of the hundreds of shards of plastic found in the stomach of a sea turtle off the coast of Argentina.

The study was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

The SEAPLEX team mostly studied lanternfish, who have luminescent tissue; they play a key role in the food chain as they connect plankton with higher levels. As Asch notes, “We have estimated the incidence at which plastic is entering the food chain and I think there are potential impacts, but what those impacts are will take more research.”

The SEAPLEX researchers were specifically focusing on plastic ingestion and studying such effects as the “toxicological impacts on fish and composition of the plastic” were not part of the study, but would certainly be areas of study to pursue, especially as far the effects of plastic pollution on both fish and the ocean. Who knows what the fish we sit down to eat have themselves ingested?

Read more:

June 26, 2011

Save the Dolphins of Belize

It is our continuous struggle to fight greedy corps looking to make money while ravaging the earth and the indigenous populations be they human or animal. This struggle seems to be endless so be vigilant and support these causes in whatever way you can.

In the peaceful waters just off the coast of Belize, oil companies are preparing to drill in the Barrier Reef.
Secret government deals have given these companies the right to send booming sound waves from oil-seeking air guns reverberating through the reef, hurting sensitive dolphins – and even leading them to beach themselves and die.
But with your help, we can protect these dolphins and the reef they call home. Oceana is working with the people of Belize to put a national referendum in place that would stop offshore drilling in Belize for good. Will you join the fight and donate $40? We have just $13,000 to go to meet our $30,000 goal! Belize’s citizens should decide the future of the reef – not oil companies in secret back-room deals.
That’s why, with your help, we’re working with the people of Belize to run a nationwide campaign that includes educational ads on the dangers of drilling, developing scientific reports that underscore the importance of the reef, and house-to-house canvassing so every citizen knows what’s at stake.
But we need to match the oil companies’ money, influence and connections. Your support today will help ensure we have the resources to win, and that the people of Belize can act to protect their dolphins and barrier reef from deadly offshore drilling.

June 3, 2011

The Penquin’s Leap of Faith

Embodied in this little penguin’s leap of faith is the essence of courage and belief in yourself. This quote about striving to be the best you can be fits this small act which was in fact a huge challenge to the little bird who dared make it happen.

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.”

May 12, 2011

How To Deal With Emotional Vampires

A rogues gallery of narcissists

What do hitler, Stalin, Manson and Gates have in common?? They love themselves, classic narcissists. Well you don’t have to live with a ruthless dictator or a mass murderer to have experienced this type of behavior. I know I grew up with a father who only cared about himself and his needs. Children?? What children??
Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
The term “narcissism” was introduced by Havelock Ellis (later developed further by Freud in On Narcissism) after Narcissus who in Greek myth was a pathologically self-absorbed young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool.

So here’s a great way to identify, tag and run when you come in contact with one. One last thing and I knoiw this to be a fact. No matter what a narcissist says to you they will never change, don’t hang in there you’ll only be hurt.

Type 1: The Narcissist

You know the type. Regardless of what you’re going through, it’s all about them. Me me me me me! Narcissists can be compelling, attractive, even addictive. As long as you stroke the narcissist’s ego, she purrs like a kitten. But the minute you stop, beware — the narcissist can get downright vicious. They also tend to have very little insight into their own shortcomings. Trust me, I know. My ex was a classic narcissist. After a really nasty fight, we agreed to write each other letters so we could express how we were really feeling. I wrote a ten page letter about what was wrong with me and what I was willing to change. My ex also wrote a ten page letter about me and what I needed to change. I was sobbing the whole time and his response was, “Shut the f-ck up.” Ouch.

Dr. Orloff says, “These vampires are so dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love.” Tell me about it. I’ve forgiven him, but I learned a valuable lesson about how to protect my own energy around people like this.

You can tell if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist if you answer yes to at least one or two of these questions (ignore the gender pronouns — this can apply to men or women!):

Does the person act as if life revolves around him?
Do I have to compliment him to get his attention or approval?
Does he constantly steer the conversation back to himself?
Does he downplay my feelings or my interests?
If I disagree, does he become cold or withholding?
How To Deal With Narcissists

If you can avoid dealing with toxic people — do. But invariably, we will all be faced with emotional vampires in our lives — in our families, work relationships and friendships we choose to continue. So what’s a girl to do?

Keep your expectations realistic.
Never make your self-worth dependent on them.
Show how something will be to their benefit.

This info comes from Dr. Orloff’s rockin’ book, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
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April 18, 2011

Creationism Is Not Something Albert Einstein Would Support

Einstein weighs in on creationismAlbert Einstein was a lot of things. But most importantly, he was a scientist. And as a scientist, the idea that he would want creationism taught in schools is laughable.

But that didn’t stop a Tennessee Representative from declaring that Einstein would support their new “science” curriculum. In fact, according to Think Progress, Rep. Frank Nicely provided some lovely quotes from the great thinker to support him on the floor.

I think that if there’s one thing that everyone in this room could agree on, that would be that Albert Einstein was a critical thinker. He was a scientist. I think that we probably could agree that Albert Einstein was smarter than any of our science teachers in our high schools or colleges. And Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity.

The problem is, as Think Progress points out, Einstein never said that. It was a bad paraphrase of philosopher Sir Francis Bacon.
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Perhaps they should stop trying to change the science curriculum in Tennessee and spend a little more time on literature and philosophy instead.

April 16, 2011

The Gray Wolf To Lose Endangered Status

grey wolf in the snow huntingIs this the influence of Sarah Palin and the “Tea Party”?

The U.S. Senate stood strong against 18 budget riders that would have had severe consequences to our environment, but a serious one was still allowed to slip through. Thanks to the new budget deal, the gray wolf will be stripped of its endangered species status. Tell Congress to stop its attack against the Endangered Species Act and to protect the gray wolf.

The gray wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus), often known simply as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family. Though once abundant over much of Eurasia, North Africa and North America, the gray wolf inhabits a reduced portion of its former range due to widespread destruction of its territory, human encroachment, and the resulting human-wolf encounters that sparked broad extirpation. Even so, the gray wolf is regarded as being of least concern for extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, when the entire gray wolf population is considered as a whole. Today, wolves are protected in some areas, hunted for sport in others, or may be subject to population control or extermination as threats to livestock, people, and pets.
Gray wolves are social predators that live in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair which monopolises food and breeding rights, followed by their biological offspring and, occasionally, adopted subordinates. They primarily feed on ungulates, which they hunt by wearing them down in short chases. Gray wolves are typically apex predators throughout their range, with only humans and tigers posing significant threats to them.
DNA sequencing and genetic drift studies reaffirm that the gray wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog. A number of other gray wolf subspecies have been identified, though the actual number of subspecies is still open to discussion.The gray wolf is an icon of the wilderness of the Northern Rockies, but they have been close to extinction before. Its estimated that the gray wolf population is only 10% what it once was world-wide.
By the 1930’s, most of the wolves in the U.S. had been killed, and it is only because of intense reintroduction efforts that population numbers are sustainable today.

April 12, 2011

I’m Jacked Up About Starbucks

Starbucks logo and sign

Starbucks Coffee sign

The Treehouser is a coffee drinker. It’s true and I’m proud of it. There is no doubt that Starbucks has great coffee and for that matter their lowfat blueberry crumb cake rocks. But the best thing about Starbucks now is their willingness to join in and contribute to recycling and saving environmental resources.

Starbucks has made some impressive commitments to reducing the environmental impact of their packaging, but without a clear tracking system its difficult to see the progress being made.

The company has promised to serve a quarter of its drinks in reusable cups in an effort to reduce paper and plastic waste, but doesn’t keep track of how many costumers actually use them and rarely promotes the ceramic cups and travel mugs for sale in the store.

The goals that Starbucks is working towards are great and we would love to be able to track their progress. The coffee chain is one of the most popular and well-known, giving them an opportunity to make a change in the industry by setting a eco-friendly example.

A Savory Delight

Now here’s another cool thing about Starbucks, they give you info about making coffee on their website. Read on;

The 4 Fundamentals

The recipe for a great cup of coffee. Proportion, Grind, Water and Freshness. Understand and follow the guidelines for each of them, and you’re on your way to brewing a great cup of coffee every time.

Use the right proportion of coffee to water. This is the most important step in making great coffee. For the most flavorful cup of coffee, Starbucks recommends using two tablespoons of ground coffee (10 grams) for each six fluid ounces (180 milliliters) of water. If coffee brewed this way is too strong for your taste, you can add a little hot water to your cup of brewed coffee.

The shorter the brewing process, the finer the grind. Different brewing methods have different grind requirements, so grind your coffee for the brewing method you use. The amount of time the coffee and water spend together affects the flavor elements that end up in your cup of coffee, and the design of your coffee maker dictates how long the coffee and water sit in direct contact during the brewing process. For instance, coffee ground for an espresso machine should be very fine, in part because the brew cycle is only 19 to 22 seconds long. But for a coffee press, the coffee should be coarse ground, because the water and coffee are in direct contact for about four minutes.

Use fresh, cold water heated to just off the boil. A cup of coffee is 98 percent water. Therefore, the water you use to make coffee should taste clean, fresh, and free of impurities. Water heated to just off a boil (195° to 205° F or 90° to 96° C) is perfect for extracting the coffee’s full range of flavors. Any cooler and the water can’t adequately do the job. Automatic coffee makers heat the water for you. Make sure the one you use gets the water hot enough.

Use freshly ground coffee. Think of coffee as fresh produce. The enemies of coffee are oxygen, light, heat, and moisture. To keep coffee fresh, store it in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. Storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer for daily use can damage the coffee as warm, moist air condenses to the beans whenever the container is opened. Whole bean coffee stays fresh longer because there is less surface area exposed to oxygen. For the best results, coffee should be ground just before brewing and used or stored immediately.

I’m not saying that Starbucks is the best coffee in the world but it is certainly up there as far as the corporate coffee companies go. Not so much for the coffee taste aroma or the experience of sitting in a Starbucks and working your laptop. But for it’s acknowledgment that they must do something to help our environment. So for that reason and I do like the coffee I am giving a thumbs up to the coffee giant.

Let Starbucks’ President and CEO Howard Schultz know that you appreciate the effort that the company is making and that they have an excellent opportunity to be an eco-friendly leader in the coffee shop industry.