30 June 2009

Israeli Occupation Forces attack Free Gaza Movement boat again

Is this the third time in the last six months? They abducted 21 human rights workers including Mairead Maguire and Cynthia McKinney. These are people working towards change.
Al Jazerra - Israel Stops Aid Ship to Gaza
BBC - Israelis Intercept Gaza Aid Ship

It's the same old story, nothing new... Israelis deserve to have a state to call their own so let's displace a million Palestinians to create one for them; Israelis build settlements despite borders; Israelis enforce embargos on food, water, and fuel; Israelis create blockades; Israelis restrict Palestinian employment; Israelis arrest people for trivial things like breaking the 8:00pm curfew; Israelis rip acres of olive trees out of the ground to make the "green line" for protection - nevermind the destruction to Palestinian economics and heritage; Israelis pound Palestinians in self defense of mortars that have killed 9 people in 5 years; Israelis stop humanitarian aid; Israelis need the outdated U.S. military weapons and ever flowing U.S. financial aid and U.S. international support for genocide labeled "self-defense"... Enough about the Israelis! What about the Palestinians who are trying to live?

Simply, I have mixed feelings about the results of acting out from where I stand, safely in the United States. I refuse to become inured to the violence. Denying people their rights to basic needs of safety, food, and shelter is violence. I hate this feeling of wanting to stop people from treating others like they are nothing, unworthy of being dignified as human beings. I feel my body pulsate with rage and I just want to lash out. I don't know how. It seems nothing I say or do will change anything; I'm acting on such a small scale talking to people I know about this or wearing a stupid sticker for 5 months. And I don't even know half of the b.s. that's gone down over there to be able to communicate with you more.
Is 60 years not enough time to sit on our hands and wait?

This is the trying to find a "solution" mentality. I know one person can make a change; that's been proven. Those e-mail petitions to beg for humanitarian aid or for the U.S. to cut off funding, marches and protests, calling Congress... Does any of that do anything? Can it really be so futile? Sometimes I wonder if I even know what justice is. I'm a safe distance away. I'm living off the grid with my consumerist lifestyle, sleeping in a comfortable bed, eating too much food, exercising my right to free speech. I'm able to laugh with my friends without looking over my shoulder for guards or dodging bullets. Part of me feels guilty for living a full life and silly for feeling the way I do sometimes; I really have no idea what emotional strife is compared to what people wake up to every day elsewhere. Or I feel like a coward for not buying a plane ticket to Gaza and risking my life to make some sort of stand. Aren't I being compliant by not moving towards some sort of serious fight against this?
Am I contributing in all the ways that I'm able?

I don't even know why the Palestinians have become so dear to me, besides the exposure I've had. There are thousands of other instances of this kind of plight, hundreds of other countries with people in need... I seriously think I can understand why people want to martyr for the sake of some form of justice or recognition or vengeance.

I have to believe that however minuscule I feel the things I'm doing are, some sort of pro-activity is better then only raging within myself. Talk to your children or a neighbor if you want to make them aware. Call or write your Congress person if you're feeling the urge.
Call Secretary of State Clinton; The main switchboard for the State Department is 202-647-4000. Sign petitions if you agree with them. Blog to get the word out. Volunteer for the Red Cross or UNRWA or Amnesty International. Make human rights a priority in your mind and in your life. At least the sound will be louder with more voices.

27 June 2009

Bang, Bang... Shoot 'em Up

Pops showed me how to shoot a couple of hand guns Thursday. The black one is a .38, and the smaller silver one is a .45. Both of them have a lot of kick for little things. I only hit the 25' target once for each out of maybe 10 tries; though it was on the first try for the .45. Those aren't such good odds, at any rate. A Load of practice is to be had. :-p

Side note: I'm usually so excited to jump into the cute summer clothes I have. Then, I end up wearing the same 1-3 outfits all flipping summer. This is the outfit of choice #1 this summer. I swear I've worn it at least 8/10 days.

}{appy Birthday Mom & Pops!

Today is my parents' birthday. They're six years apart, plus some minutes, I'm sure. Pops was born in 1950 and Mom in 1956.

This morning Pops and I took the RV-8 to a "Fly-in," hosted at a Wilksboro municipal airport. Folks fly their planes there for others to look at. Some of the planes on display were training planes from WWII; there were also others on display that were towed in (one was segmented). Additionally, there was a little antique car show with about a dozen cars, a live folk/bluegrass cover band, kids' games, fund raising food booths, and a couple craft tables.

It was about 12:30 when we returned home from the Fly-in. Then, I went to a neighborhood pool to chill for a bit. A friend of ours, Robin, and her two teenagers were there. Mom & Tess were supposed to meet us but were waylaid. Mom, Tess & I went out for dinner and then back to their house.

P.S. It was still 93 degrees F at 5:30, when I drove by the bank thermometer. Southern sun.... ssssss!
P.P.S. I forgot to take a girls' photo and now my mum is asleep. I'll update that later.

15 June 2009

Tarheel State

Well, I don't have tar on my heels, but I am in North Carolina.  I started yesterday at 12:30 pm, really 10:30 if you count the boat ride.  Then, the wheels skidded on the runway at about 10:00 am today.  Pops and Tesia were right there when I turned the corner at the baggage claim.
Tess took this photo of herself once back at Pops' house.  This is me, after maybe 1.5 hours of sleep and the traveling.  (Look, brother K, I'm wearing a seat belt in the back seat!) 

Painting Projects galore #2-3, partially #4

I went back to Nunap. after the two weeks in Bethel for the reading class and committee meetings.  During that time, a lot of painting happened.  Here's the before and after photos.  I didn't work alone (except for most of the kitchen).  Thanks for the help, guys! (Only one will probably read this.)  Somewhere around 40 hours was spent on these walls.  

Living Room
(One window frame needs to be stripped and both of them stained like the bedroom.  Other than that, the living room is done.)


My Bedroom
(The other three walls are going to be a light sage color.  That's a fall project.)

13 June 2009

Keep Off Grass

No, this is not a drug awareness advertisement.  In retrospect, I wish it was.  

Yesterday, I left around 8:30pm to go over to Akula (3 miles away) for another jog around Fox Lake and some reading on the tundra.  Remember, I was driving a boat because we don't have a road or a bridge between here and there.  (Never mind, neither of those between here and Anchorage 400 miles away.)  

I did not bring the ore 
because I had a box
 of painting supplies to bring to a friend and a bag with boating stuff.  Plus, I had a bag for myself with my book and coat. Ores have a tendency to "grow legs," as the guy who sold it to me said.  So, I didn't want to have to carry all of it.  I suppose I could have just risked it and left it in the boat.  I looked at that ore and justified not bringing it because of all the other junk.  It won't happen again.

The sun was shining in my eyes and I got into a little bit of grass.   Yes, I was probably daydreaming too.  It seemed like a little bit of grass until I realized it was flanking me.  The grass was 6-8 inches below the surface of the water and it's a continuous circuit of roots and mud for who knows how far.  It was too close to the propeller to start the engine, even with it pulled up.  Those of you not familiar with boats, the engine's angle in the water can be adjusted.  My Yamaha 20 HP weighs about 100 lbs., so to adjust mine upward requires me pulling up while pressing my knees against the transom, the back part of the boat supporting the engine. As I was figuring this out, the wind pushed me into even higher, aka more dense, grass.  I used a 3 foot, ~10 lb. (heavy) steal bar to push out of that grass some.  Luckily, That was in there for weight in the bow (thanks Pete).

Once out of that muck, then, I got turned around again.  This time the grass was ten-fold, taller, and adjacent to some bushes.  I was thinkng there was an opening, a path between the grass.  Obviously not.  The wind kept pushing me further into the thicker grass.  I stood on top of the seat for a few minutes contemplating my next move, kind of hoping someone in the nearby houses would see me.  They couldn't have done anything differently then what I did next, lest their boat be in a jam too.  
In that bag of boating supplies there was a rope, in case a tow be needed.  I tied myself to the boat so the wind didn't pull it away from me.  Then, what would I do?  It was Southern wind, so at least it was warm, but it still didn't favor me at the time.  Rather, I didn't favor it!  Remember the sun was out too.  The water might have been 50 degrees.  

Anyway, I tried to go one way, but I couldn't pull the boat over the grass.  I trudged back the other way about 200 yds.  I was in the water up to the top of my thighs most of the time, sometimes my waist.  As I walked along the top of the grass it would give way; it is floating after all.  I could feel the roots pressing in the bottom of my tennis shoes.  It felt strong, but I had to be aware that I might punch through at any given point or I could walk off the edge of one of the plots.  I've never walked on it before and it is in the middle of a river.  Maybe I was in a lake at that point.  The wind steadily blew at my side.
When I tried to get back into the boat the first time I fell in, not all the way, but up to my waist, getting my cotton sweatshirt wet.  It was kind of a high climb for me to swing my leg and as I did the wind pushed the boat back about 5 feet.  Finally, I pushed it out further, to what I thought might be the edge of the grass, and I made it in (aka rolled over the side hoping not to bust a knee cap).  I had to quickly start the engine, which meant pushing in this key clip, putting the engine in the water (not all the way, another adjustment), and pulling the rope.  I meandered my way out of there.

I made it to Akula just before 10:00pm.  At my granny pace it has been taking me just under 30 minutes to get over there.  I must have been in the water close to an hour pulling that boat, maybe 40 minutes.

I didn't jog around Fox Lake.  I was wet and uncertain of how my return would be.  I also didn't see my friend to deliver the box.  It's a good thing that there are construction guys staying in the school, so I just left it in their room.  I wrung out my shirt and headed back for the boat.

I ended up almost going right back into the same trap.  The water has gone down slightly, but I'm still a little perplexed about how I got so disoriented, twice, no thrice.  Usually, I'm Miss Magellan.  

So, I turned around and went the long way home, which I knew would be deep water.  It's twice as long though; that is another hour in the boat.  I was shivering and my finger dexterity wasn't top-notch by the time I made it inside.  It probably took me an hour to warm up, which included doing jumping jacks, jogging in place, and drinking hot tea.  ^_^

It was a good experience, but I don't want to have another one like it.  Once is enough.  

Maybe we need a few of these signs out here on buoys, "Keep Off Grass." 

09 June 2009

Ahoy Matey

I bought a boat!  I had been thinking about it for a couple months.  When the opportunity came up to purchase a perfectly used one, in the end I had to invest.  

Some might say, "You'll only be able to use it 2-3 months, and you're not staying in Nunap. this summer."  To me, that 2-3 months of being able to go where I want, when I want to makes it absolutely worth it.

{{Isn't the paint job... special?}}

05 June 2009

Feline Commemoration

Last November you did appear
Prior owner sneezed and coughed here

You did run as I chased behind
Nestle in the evening with me
Flipped on your back, you did not move
White and black, your coat was so smooth

Sister Jade came, causing mischief
Frisky, frolic, wrestle, cuddle
Whence Jade did clean your cheeks freely
You'd be calm and lie there meekly

When I did leave you two to fend
Though under care of my young friend
As I returned, so I did hear
One laid stiff, upon her great fear

Zane doth not meow, confirming
Here this day, only Jade can play