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  1. Seach for the Dragons

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    A dragon is a legendary creature, typically scaled or fire-spewing and with serpentine, reptilian or avian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures around world. The two most well-known cultural traditions of dragon are

    The European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Balkans and Western Asian mythologies. Most are depicted as reptilian creatures with animal-level intelligence, and are uniquely six-limbed (four legs and a separate set of wings).

    The Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian and South Asian countries. Most are depicted as serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence, and are quadrupeds (four legs and wingless).

    The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries. The English word dragon and Latin word draco derives from Greek δράκων (drákōn), "dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake".

    Etymology

    Metal Asian dragon

    The word dragon entered the English language in the early 13th century from Old French dragon, which in turn comes from Latin draconem (nominative draco) meaning "huge serpent, dragon", from the Greek word δράκων, drakon (genitive drakontos, δράκοντος) "serpent, giant seafish". The Greek and Latin term referred to any great serpent, not necessarily mythological, and this usage was also current in English up to the 18th century.

    Morphology

    A dragon is a mythological representation of a reptile. In antiquity, dragons were mostly envisaged as serpents, but since the Middle Ages, it has become common to depict them with legs, resembling a lizard.

    Dragons are usually shown in modern times with a body like a huge lizard, or a snake with two pairs of lizard-type legs, and able to emit fire from their mouths. The European dragon has bat-like wings growing from its back. A dragon-like creature with wings but only a single pair of legs is known as a wyvern.

    Comparative mythology

    Further information: Chaoskampf, Sea serpent, Proto-Indo-European religion § Dragon or Serpent, and Serpent (Bible)

    The association of the serpent with a monstrous opponent overcome by a heroic deity has its roots in the mythology of the Ancient Near East, including Canaanite (Hebrew, Ugaritic), Hittite and Mesopotamian. Humbaba, the fire-breathing dragon-fanged beast first described in the Epic of Gilgamesh, is sometimes described as a dragon with Gilgamesh playing the part of dragon-slayer. The legless serpent (Chaoskampf) motif entered Greek mythology and ultimately Christian mythology, although the serpent motif may already be part of prehistoric Indo-European mythology as well, based on comparative evidence of Indic and Germanic material. The folk-lore motif of the dragon guarding gold may have come from earlier Bronze Age customs of introducing serpents to village granaries to deter rats or mice.[3]

    Saint George Killing the Dragon, 1434/35, by Martorell

    Although dragons occur in many legends around the world, different cultures have varying stories about monsters that have been grouped together under the dragon label. Some dragons are said to breathe fire or to be poisonous, such as in the Old English poem Beowulf. They are commonly portrayed as serpentine or reptilian, hatching from eggs and possessing typically scaly or feathered bodies. They are sometimes portrayed as hoarding treasure. Some myths portray them with a row of dorsal spines. European dragons are more often winged, while Chinese dragons resemble large snakes. Dragons can have a variable number of legs: none, two, four, or more when it comes to early European literature.

    Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Asian cultures, dragons were, and in some cultures still are, revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. They are associated with wisdom—often said to be wiser than humans—and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power, and are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers. In some cultures, they are also said to be capable of human speech. In some traditions dragons are said to have taught humans to talk.

    The Order of the Dragon was created to defend Europe against the invading Ottoman Turks in the 15th century.

    Narratives about dragons often involve their being killed by a hero. This topos can be traced to the Chaoskampf of the mythology of the Ancient Near East (e.g. Hadad vs. Yam, Marduk vs. Tiamat, Teshub vs. Illuyanka, etc.; the Biblical Leviathan presumably reflects a corresponding opponent of an early version of Yahweh). The motif is continued in Greek Apollo, and the early Christian narratives about Michael the Archangel and Saint George. The slaying of Vrtra by Indra in the Rigveda also belongs in this category. The theme survives into medieval legend and folklore, with dragon slayers such as Beowulf, Sigurd, Tristan, Margaret the Virgin, Heinrich von Winkelried, Dobrynya Nikitich, Skuba Dratewka/Krakus. In the Bible, the archetype is alluded to in the descendants of Adam crushing the head of the Serpent, and in Christian mythology, this was interpreted as corresponding to Christ as the Last Adam crushing the devil.

    The blood of a slain dragon is depicted as either beneficent or as poisonous in medieval legend and literary fiction. In German legend, dragon blood has the power to render invincible skin or armor bathed in it, as is the case with Siegfried's skin or Ortnit's armor. In the Slavic myth, the Earth refuses it as being so vile that Mother Earth wishes not to have it within her womb, and it remains above ground for all eternity. The blood of the dragon in Beowulf has acidic qualities, allowing it to seep through iron. Heinrich von Winkelried dies after the blood of the dragon slain by him accidentally drips on him.

    Cartography

    There is a widespread belief that earlier cartographers used the Latin phrase hic sunt dracones, i.e., "the dragons are here", or "here be dragons", to denote dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of the infrequent medieval practice of putting sea serpents and other mythological creatures in the blank areas of maps. However, the only known use of this exact phrase is in the Latin form "HC SVNT DRACONES" on the Lenox Globe (ca. 1503–07).[4]

    Another map that contains dragons is the one of Swedish bishop Olaus Magnus. The 1539 Carta Marina map of Scandinavia has many monsters in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, as well as a winged, bipedal, predatory land animal resembling a dragon in northern Lapland.

    Animals that may have inspired dragons

    Nile crocodile

    It has been speculated that accounts of spitting cobras may be the origin of the myths of fire-breathing dragons.[5]

    Nile crocodiles, today very restricted in range, were in ancient times occasionally found in Southern Europe, having swum across the Mediterranean. Such wayward crocodiles may have inspired dragon myths.[6][7] Skeletons of whales, as well as dinosaur and mammalian fossils may have been occasionally mistaken for the bones of dragons and other mythological creatures; for example, a discovery in 300 BC in Wucheng, Xingwen County, Sichuan, China, was labeled as such by Chang Qu.[6][8] Adrienne Mayor has written on the subject of fossils as the inspiration for myths in her book The First Fossil Hunters,[9] and in an entry in the Encyclopedia of Geology she wrote: "Fossil remains generated a variety of geomyths speculating on the creatures' identity and cause of their destruction. Many ancient cultures, from China and India to Greece, America, and Australia, told tales of dragons, monsters, and giant heroes..."[10]

    Komodo dragon

    In Australia, stories of such creatures may have referred to the land crocodiles, Quinkana sp., a terrestrial crocodile which grew to 5 to possibly 7 metres long, or the monitor lizard Varanus priscus (formerly Megalania prisca) a giant carnivorous goanna that might have grown to 7 metres (23 ft), and weighed up to 1,940 kilograms (4,280 lb), or rainbow serpents (possibly Wonambi naracoortensis) that were part of the extinct megafauna of Australia.[11] Today the Komodo monitor lizard Varanus komodoensis is known in English as the Komodo dragon.

    In the book An Instinct for Dragons[12] anthropologist David E. Jones suggests a hypothesis that humans just like monkeys have inherited instinctive reactions to snakes, large cats and birds of prey. Dragons have features that are combinations of these three. An instinctive fear for these three would explain why dragons with similar features occur in stories from independent cultures on all continents.

    In Slovenia, Johann Weikhard von Valvasor compiled folk stories on the Olm, a subterranean salamander, in The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola. It is mentioned as a baby dragon. Heavy rains of Slovenia would wash the olms up from their subterranean habitat, giving rise to the folk belief that great dragons lived beneath the Earth's crust, and the olms were the undeveloped offspring of these mythical beasts.[13]

    Historical European dragons

    A dragon illustration in a 1460 edition of the Medieval Liber Floridus

    Main articles: European dragon, Welsh Dragon, Wyvern, Saint George and the Dragon, Margaret the Virgin, and Dacian Draco

    European dragons exist in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe. Dragons are generally depicted as living in rivers or having an underground lair or cave.[6] They are commonly described as having hard or armoured hide, and are rarely described as flying, despite often being depicted with wings.

    European dragons are usually depicted as malevolent under Christianity; pre-Christian dragons, such as Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon of Wales, are seen as benevolent. Banners of the Late Roman Empire frequently figured Dragons, possibly due to the fact that Marcus Aurelius took over 8,000 Sarmatian soldiers into the Roman army, for whom the Dragon was a part of their military insignia. The double-headed dragon banner thus came to represent the division between Western and Eastern Roman Empires. It has been suggested that the Welsh legendary name Pendragon came from the word "head of the dragons", the name of the commander of the Sarmatians situated in sub-Roman Ribchester. Pagan sacred sites and springs, supposedly associated with Dragons, were often later associated with churches of Saint Michael or Saint George.

    The Lusignan family of nobility in France is said to have descended from the union of a count with the Lady Melusine, who married him on condition that he did not spy on her bathing. The count violated her privacy, whereupon she changed into a dragon and flew away never to be seen again. The city of Ljubljana has adopted dragons as a symbol as a result of the dynastic connection of its former ruling family with the Lusignan family of Melusine.

    Golden dragon in Den Bosch

    Southern Europe

    Greek dragon

    Main article: Dragons in Greek mythology

    Ancient Greek mosaic from Caulonia, Italy, depicting a cetus or sea-dragon

    In ancient Greece, the first mention of a "dragon" is derived from the Iliad where Agamemnon is described as having a blue dragon motif on his sword belt and an emblem of a three-headed dragon on his breast plate.[14] However, the Greek word used (δράκων drákōn, genitive δράκοντοϛ drákontos) could also mean "snake".[15]

    In 217 AD, Flavius Philostratus (Greek: Φλάβιος Φιλόστρατος)[16] discussed dragons (δράκων, drákōn) in India in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana (II,17 and III,6–8). The Loeb Classical Library translation (by F.C. Conybeare) mentions (III,7) that "In most respects the tusks resemble the largest swine's, but they are slighter in build and twisted, and have a point as unabraded as sharks' teeth."

    According to a collection of books by Claudius Aelianus (Greek: Κλαύδιος Αἰλιανός)[17] called On Animals, Ethiopia was inhabited by a species of dragon that hunted elephants and could grow to a length of 180 feet (55 m) with a lifespan rivaling that of the most enduring of animals.[18]

    Eastern Europe

    Slavic dragon

    Zmey Gorynych, the Russian three-headed dragon

    "Dragon Family" in Varna, Bulgaria

    Main article: Slavic dragon

    In Slavic mythology, the words "zmey", "zmiy" or "zmaj" are used to describe dragons. These words are masculine forms of the Slavic word for "snake", which are normally feminine (like Russian zmeya). In Romania, there is a similar figure, derived from the Slavic dragon and named zmeu. Exclusively in Polish and Belarusian folklore, as well as in the other Slavic folklores, a dragon is also called (variously) смок, цмок, or smok. In South Slavic folklores, the same thing is also called lamya (ламйа, ламjа, lamja). Although quite similar to other European dragons, Slavic dragons have their peculiarities.

    Russian dragons usually have heads in multiples of three. Some have heads that grow back if every single head is not cut off. In Ukraine and Russia, a particular dragon-like creature, Zmey Gorynych, has three heads and spits fire. According to one bylina, Zmey Gorynych was killed by bogatyr Dobrynya Nikitich.

    Other Russian dragons (such as Tugarin Zmeyevich) have Turkic names, probably symbolizing the Mongols and other nomadic steppe peoples. Accordingly, St George (symbolizing Christianity) killing the Dragon (symbolizing Satan) is represented on the coat of arms of Moscow. Some prehistoric structures, notably the Serpent's Wall near Kiev, have been associated with dragons.

    Historical Asian dragons

    South Asia

    Indian dragon

    In the early Vedic religion, Vritra (Sanskrit: वृत्र (Devanāgarī) or Vṛtra (IAST)) "the enveloper", was a dragon or a "naga" (serpent) (Sanskrit: नाग)[19] or possibly dragon-like creature, the personification of drought and enemy of Indra. Vritra was also known in the Vedas as Ahi ("snake") (Sanskrit: अहि),[20] and he is said to have had three heads. In later Puranic mythology he came to be identified with an Asura.

    The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Flavius Philostratus:[21] contains a long detailed description of India heavily infested with dragons, but this does not correspond with modern Indian belief, and likely not with Indian belief as it was in his time, whether Apollonius invented this story, or whether he believed someone else who told him it.

    Assam, India

    In Assam, dragon symbols are used in the Assamese Culture. Generally, dragons motifs are made for religious purposes. Such motifs are placed along the mukut in Naamghars. Dragons with a lion body are placed on the top of the gates of these Naamghars, which symbolises that they guard the ghar. Dragon Symbols are also used in clothes. Such dragon was engraved in the seal of Ahom kingdom of Assam.

    220px-Entrance_to_Lachit_madam.JPG
     
    Dragon motifs atop the gateway to the Maidam of Assamese general Brave Lachit Phukan Lung
    Manipur, India
    Main article: Pakhangba

    Pakhangba is a mythical hybrid dragon of Manipur which originated in an ancient deity of the Meitei people preceding Hinduism in the region. It was the traditional heraldic emblem of the Princely state of Manipur.[22] A Pakhangba is a dragon with deer antlers. It usually has the body of a snake, but in some sculptures at the Kangla Palace in Imphal, it is represented with a short body and four sturdy legs, looking more like a lion.[23]

    Bhutan dragon

    Main article: Druk

    The Druk (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་), also known as 'Thunder Dragon', is one of the National symbols of Bhutan. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is known as Druk Yul "Land of Druk", and Bhutanese leaders are called Druk Gyalpo, "Thunder Dragon Kings". The druk was adopted as an emblem by the Drukpa Lineage, which originated in Tibet and later spread to Bhutan.[24]

    West Asia

    Persian dragon

    Main article: Azhdaha
    220px-Al-Soltani%2C_Rostam_and_the_Drago
     
    15th-century Persian miniature of Rostam slaying a dragon

    Aži Dahāka is the source of the modern Persian word azhdahā or ezhdehā اژدها (Middle Persian azdahāg) meaning "dragon", often used of a dragon depicted upon a banner of war. The Persians believed that the baby of a dragon will be the same color as the mother's eyes. Several other dragons and dragon-like creatures, all of them malevolent, are mentioned in Zoroastrian scripture. (See Zahhāk).[citation needed]

    According to traditions, they have a huge body, a very scary face, their mouths are wide with lots of teeth, and their eyes are bright. Azhdahās are really normal snakes, according to Ajāyeb ul-Makhlooghāt, a book by Mohammad b. Mahmoud b. Ahmad-e Tusi (written in 1160 AD), "when a snake lives 100 years and its length becomes 30 gazes, it is called an azhdahā". He also wrote that "because of their harassment to other creatures, the God eventually will throw them in the sea and in there, their body continue to raise, such that their length becomes more than 10,000 gazes (a traditional measurement unit roundly equal to a meter). Then in the sea, they evolve to have two wings, like a fish, and the seawave is because of their movements. Eating the heart of an Azhdahā brings courage and bravery. Their skins are suitable to healing the wound of love, and if someone bury an azhdahā's head in a land, the conditions of that land will become good."[25]

    In Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran, dragons appear in a number of stories. Sām, Rostam, Esfandiar, Eskandar, Bahram V (Gur) are among the heroes that kill a dragon.[25]

    Jewish dragon

    In Jewish religious texts, the first mention of a dragon-like creature is in the Biblical works of Job (26:13), and Isaiah (27:1) where it is called Nachash Bare'ach, or a "Pole Serpent".[26] This is identified in the Midrash Rabba to Genesis 1:21 as Leviathan from the word Taninim (תנינים) "and God created the great sea-monsters."[27] In modern Hebrew, the word Taninim is used for crocodiles but this is a 20th-century usage unconnected with the original Biblical meaning.[citation needed]

    In later Biblical texts, the Book of Isaiah, the Book of Job, and Psalm 89 refer to a sea-demon called Rahab (not to be confused with Rahab, the woman of Jericho mentioned in the Book of Joshua). Isaiah 51:9 equates this Rahab with a dragon or monster. "Rahab" is the English transliteration of רהב (reb) with the several meanings: pride, a mythical sea-monster, or Egypt (as an emblematic name).[28] In the Douay-Rheims version, translated via Medieval Latin from the Vulgate, the word reb is rendered "the proud one" in Isaiah 51:9 and Job 26:12 and "the power of the sea" in Psalm 88:10 (Psalm 88 is equivalent to Psalm 89 in other versions due to different verse numbering in the Vulgate). The connection between the sea-monster and "Leviathan the serpent" is made in Isaiah 27:1.[29]

    In Jewish astronomy, this is also identified with the North Pole, the star Thuban which, around 4,500 years ago, was the star in the Draco constellation's "tail".[26] However this can also have been either the celestial pole or the ecliptic pole. The ancient observers noted that Draco was at the top of the celestial pole, giving the appearance that stars were "hanging" from it, and in Hebrew it is referred to as Teli, from talah (תלה) – to hang.[30] Hebrew writers from Arabic-speaking locations identified the Teli as Al Jaz'har, which is a Persian word for a "knot" or a "node" because of the intersection of the inclination of the orbit of a planet from the elliptic that forms two such nodes. In modern astronomy. these are called the ascending node and the descending node, but in medieval astronomy they were referred to as "dragon's head" and "dragon's tail".[31]

    The Merthyr Synagogue features a dragon on the front gable.[32]

    East Asia

    220px-Dragon_on_Longshan_Temple.JPG
     
    Dragon sculpture on top of Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan

    In East Asia, the concept of dragon appears largely in a form of a Long, a beneficent dragon-like creature from Chinese folklore. Another dragon-like creature is a Nāga, which is prevalent in some Southeast Asian countries with more direct influence from Vedic religion.

    Chinese dragon

    Main article: Chinese dragon

    In China, depiction of the dragon (traditional:龍; simplified:龙) can be found in artifacts from the Shang and Zhou dynasties with examples dating back to the 16th century BC.[33] Archaeologist Zhōu Chong-Fa believes that the Chinese word for dragon is an onomatopoeia of the sound of thunder.[34] The Chinese name for dragon is pronounced lóng in Mandarin Chinese[33] or lùhng in Cantonese.[35] Sometime after the 9th century AD, Japan adopted the Chinese dragon through the spread of Buddhism.[33] Although the indigenous name for a dragon in Japanese is tatsu (たつ?), a few of the Japanese words for dragon stem from the Chinese word for dragon, namely, ryū (りゅう?) or ryō (りょう?) (traditional: 龍; simplified: 竜).[33] The Vietnamese word for dragon is rồng () and the Korean word for dragon is ryong (hangul:용, hanja:龍).

    The Chinese dragon (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: lóng) is the highest-ranking animal in the Chinese animal hierarchy, strongly associated at one time with the emperor and hence power and majesty (the mythical bird fenghuang was the symbol of the Chinese empress), still recognized and revered. Its origins are vague, but its "ancestors can be found on Neolithic pottery as well as Bronze Age ritual vessels."[36] Tradition has it composed of nine different animals, with nine sons, each with its own imagery and affiliations. It is the only mythological animal of the 12 animals that represent the Chinese calendar. 2012 was the Chinese year of the Water Dragon.

    220px-Decorate_roof.jpg
     
    Vietnamese dragon decoration on the roof of Lý dynasty imperial palaces

    Japanese dragon

    Main article: Japanese dragon

    Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. Gould writes (1896:248),[37] the Japanese dragon is "invariably figured as possessing three claws".

    Vietnam dragon

    Main article: Vietnamese dragon

    Vietnamese dragons (rồng or long) are symbolic creatures in the folklore and mythology of Vietnam. According to an ancient creation myth, the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy.

    To Vietnamese people, the dragon brings rain, essential for agriculture. It represents the emperor, the prosperity and power of the nation. Like the Chinese dragon, the Vietnamese dragon is the symbol of yang, representing the universe, life, existence, and growth. Extant references to the Vietnamese dragon are rare now, due to the fierce changes in history that accompanied the sinicization of the Nguyễn dynasty.

    220px-Paphal_%28Mus%C3%A9e_du_Quai_Branl
     
    Pakhangba head in a Manipuri musical instrument

    Korean dragon

    Main article: Korean dragon

    Modern depictions

    Sandra Martina Schwab writes, "With a few exceptions, including McCaffrey's Pern novels and the 2002 film Reign of Fire, dragons seem to fit more into the medievalized setting of fantasy literature than into the more technological world of science fiction. Indeed, they have been called the emblem of fantasy. The hero's fight against the dragon emphasizes and celebrates his masculinity, whereas revisionist fantasies of dragons and dragon-slaying often undermine traditional gender roles. In children's literature the friendly dragon becomes a powerful ally in battling the child's fears."[38]

    220px-DESFILE_DAS_ESCOLAS_DE_SAMBA_DO_GR
     
    A float with the Dragon of Saint George at Rio Carnival, 2017.

    In the early 20th century sculpture of the Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland, inspired by Medieval art, dragons are a frequent theme—as symbols of sin but also as a natural force, fighting against man.

    Dragons and dragon motifs are featured in many works of modern literature, particularly within the fantasy genre. Prominent works depicting dragons include J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion and The Hobbit, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle, George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire, and Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. Even by the 18th century, critical thinkers like Diderot were asserting that too much literature had been published on dragons: "There are already in books all too many fabulous stories of dragons".[39]

    The popular role playing game system Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) makes heavy use of dragons, and has served as inspiration for many other games' dragons. Though dragons usually serve as adversaries, they can be either good or evil, with their alignment being determined by their species. For example, a red dragon is evil and breathes fire while a silver dragon is good and breathes cold.

    Dragons have also been prevalent in other forms of media such as movies, TV shows, and video games. These forms of media have a large reach on the society making the modern depiction of the dragon more widespread. In these movies and others that contain dragons, dragons are major participants in the plot and character development. A few notable dragons in movies include Saphira from Eragon, Smaug from The Hobbit, Draco from Dragonheart, and King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise.

  2. ParaGirls HauntedDiary

    During this ITC session I gathered this image, it popped out like all of the other ITC images I had and to me it seemed very spiritual, almost calming and peaceful.

    I outlined the figure so it's easier to see and I know many people say it's the power of suggestion but I don't think it is.

    Here I see a beautiful young lady, almost Asian like... Hawaiian perhaps.

    Nonetheless.. it looks almost mystical/peaceful and spiritual.

    17499134_270087323446012_4174032156573225775_n.jpg

  3. Camping videos

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    You wouldn't think that you would see salamanders in the mountains of Arizona far from any large body of water, so we were surprised to see a family of 3 catching some shade in our camping tarp. It had been raining for a week and they liked it. I was able to capture them safely and carry them over the hill to a pond about 1/2 mile away. I had no idea how they got in our campsite.

    A pic and video of the big one, his mate and young one showed up later.

    sal2_orig.jpg

     

  4. The reality of His Presence

     

    “For you I must be everything.  Everything!  You understand? 
    Your life is mine…Move out of yourself; I’m living in you. 
    Do you grasp what I mean?  I take up all the room.”
    (From the book “He and I”)  Author:  Gabrielle Bossis
     Pauline Press 6 Feb 41

     

    God accommodates us when He speaks.  Using language that we can understand, when speaking of the incomprehensible, the ineffable, so that we may at least to begin to comprehend the depth of the love that the Eternal has for each one of us.


    For instance, when He speaks to us ‘becoming’ little children, He is actually inviting us to embrace what is real….that being, our total dependence on God for our very existence.  Just as little children are dependent on their parents.  Though it goes much deeper, for the more childlike we become, as opposed to becoming more self-centered the way a child can be when acting childish, the deeper we move into the true humanity that Christ Jesus is calling us all to.  Paradox is always at work with it comes to our growth into living out our true image and likeness. 

    So when Christ Jesus is speaking to Gabrielle, He is really telling her what the truth of the matter is.  God, even if we do not believe, or, are indifferent to His existence, He really is, ‘our everything’.  For in Him we ‘Live and move and have our being”.   Like it or not we are in
    relationship with Him, by our very existence.  To deny that, freely, can only lead to an existence that is rootless, for everything we touch disappears and dies.  All those we love also die, but to be in Christ Jesus, or to simply seek God, connects us to a life and love that is eternal.  In the end we lose nothing, but gain the hundred fold.  To seek is to be open to the truth.  To stop seeking is to close ourselves off from further revelation of God’s love and existence. 


    If God exists, then to not take that seriously is to live a life that is based on a lie.  Emptiness cannot fill itself.  Our souls can only find rest in the infinite, the eternal, to not do so, is to starve and to become simple mist, which disappears when the light of truth comes in the morning. 

     

  5. I have been working in healthcare now for about 15 years.  I graduated college at 21, and have never done anything else. I'll be 36 this coming winter.

    I really enjoy the technical aspects of my job.  I went into CT scan right out of xray school and trained on the job.  It's brutally fast paced, demanding, and an abused modality, as doctors seem to think that every patient can benefit from having a scan.

    My boss is incredibly intelligent, but has not worked in CT in many years, and brushes off any concerns or problems.  When we mention the lack of staff is creating a dangerous environment, nothing ever changes.  It's not all on him, you see, as money rules, and no matter how many hundreds of people we image, our 'numbers just don't support hiring any extra people'.

    I'm not sure how much longer I can do it, and am heartbroken that I am feeling this way.  I could get a job somewhere else, as my resume is pretty impressive, but it would mean working more days a week and a longer commute, and I'm not in a position where I want to take that on.  So I'm essentially stuck.

    I could go back to school, and I might.  I have looked into programs at local schools.  But the thought of taking on full time education while working and taking care of my kids makes me tired just thinking of it....I'm out of reserves at this point.

    We have a term for it in the industry; compassion fatigue.

    Wikipedia defines it as:

    Quote

    Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress (STS), is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among individuals that work directly with trauma victims such as, therapists (paid and unpaid), nurses, teachers, psychologists, police officers, paramedics, animal welfare workers, health unit coordinators and anyone who helps out others, especially family members, relatives, and other informal caregivers of patients suffering from a chronic illness.[1] 

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion_fatigue

    The bulk of our patients are from the Emergency Department.  Our ED is abused and overused by people that have no business being there, don't have insurance, or don't have a primary doctor, etc.  So for every genuinely sick person I care for, there are 10 that aren't, and could of handled their illness or injury at home with OTC remedies.

    It makes it very hard to provide compassionate care when you want to tell people....'What part of Emergency, don't you understand?!  This isn't a clinic, it's an ED!'. 

    Many people don't know this, but our reimbursements are tied to our Press Ganey scores.  Press Ganey issues patient satisfaction surveys, which are sent out at random, and filled out by patients.  We are essentially reimbursed not by the outcome of care, i.e. did you get better?, but rather....did the nurse smile at you enough and maintain eye contact, were you given enough pillows and blankets.....?

    So our administrative team wants us to run a hospital like a bed and breakfast while we are literally saving people's lives.

    Sounds fun, right?

    And they set these expectations, but understaff us, and bind us with oppressive policies, and then wonder why they can't retain people, and our turnover is so high.

    Nurses have it worse, and I'm grateful I didn't go down that path.  But as a general rule, the xray department is the red headed stepchild of the hospital, and we get very little respect if any....'You're just a button pusher, a monkey could do it.'

    So....now, I'm wondering what to do.  I've been pondering the Radiation Therapy program at one of the teaching hospitals locally.  It would be a big commitment, but it would double my pay and assure that every patient I treat needs my care.

    With all that being said, when I tell a patient as I return them to where ever they belong after a test...'I hope you feel better', I still mean it.

    The day I don't, I will truly be forced to make the change.

    Mia

     

     

  6. Although more is known about the Tunguska Event today than was known when it occurred in 1908, scientists and other experts remain at odds when it comes to details. While those approaching the situation with a more logical approach debate whether this explosion originated from a meteor touchdown or the dispersion of a comet, others differ in opinions regarding whether the event was triggered by Agdy (sometimes spelled Ogdy) or UFOs.

    On June 30th of 1908, a major explosion occurred in Russia in the area northwest of Lake Baikal. For those unfamiliar with Russia, it appears to be somewhere in the center of the country. This area was sparsely populated by the Evenki and a few Russian settlers. Witnesses from miles away first noticed something strange when a blue-white cylinder of light began descending from the sky. When it touched down, it was accompanied by heatwaves and artillery-like noises. Some witnesses likened the noises to thunder, others to gunfire, and still more to a “thumping” sound. Regardless, the blast was strong enough to knock people off of their feet who were stationed twenty-five miles from ground zero.

    The first actual investigation of the site didn’t take place until 1927, six years after a Russian mineralogist by the name of Leonid Kulik petitioned for the expedition. Kulik wanted to visit the site in order to excavate meteoric iron from the alleged meteor. However, when they were near the site, Kulik’s Evenki guides refused to go any further. They feared something called “Valleymen,” who have never really been fully explained, but who are thought to be beasts of some sort that mean travelers harm. In any case, Kulik and his team returned to a nearby village and secured new guides.

    When they arrived at the crash site, they were surprised to find that there was no crater. It is this fact that leads many experts to believe that it was a comet, as a comet would disintegrate upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. They also found that the scorching patterns of the ground, when taking aerial photos, was in the shape of a butterfly. This led many on the paranormal side to believe that this was an alien visitation or crash landing (covered up by officials).

    The Evenki natives were certain that it was the coming of Ogdy, a god whom they worshipped, or the Agdy, which is the Evenki name for thunder. Agdy is also referred to as the giant iron birds of lore that cause the thunder noises with the flapping of their wings. The Evenki believed that some shamans were so close to Agdy in the underworld that the Agdy would do their bidding. It was for this reason that the Evenki at first did not want to answer Kulik’s questions about the Tunguska Event; they believed that a shaman had sent a curse on them.

  7. Well, the 9,853rd Annual UM Tricycle Race, Demolition Derby and Chili Cook-off is now in the history books!

    It was a truly classic race, full of chills, spills, thrills, flaming crashes, fireworks, suspense, drama, pathos, and a few other words I don’t have the desire to look up in the dictionary… A record number of entrants signed up this year – owing largely to the last minute announcement that entry in the race would remove 3 years off of your Oubliette confinement sentence… Fully 15,923 racers lined up at the Historic Portcullis of the Main Drawbridge over the Inner Moat… It was an inspiring sight to see so many brightly painted racing machines all (more or less) lined up… Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, (a few white ones for some reason) and of course the Puce teams tricycles were in abundance….

    Thirty Minutes prior to the starting guns, The UM Grand High Inquisitor appeared high on his balcony overlooking the milling mob of idiots racers and fans below… Raising his arms on high, he began intoning the traditional pre-race Benediction and Legal Warning, in High Old Pig-Hittite – which is rather like pig-Latin but in Hittite… Once the lawyers were satisfied that all loop holes had been closed and no racer (or their heirs) could sue for any reason whatsoever, another annoying inspiring Invocation was chanted by the Gregorian Chanters from Oubliette Numbers 17 and 135… Once the racers and fans were re-awakened, the Official UM Polka and Ompah Marching Band played their rendition of the UM National anthem (no one else considers it that – but they do).. As the massed accordions and Tubas blared away, the pit crews removed the wooden chocks from the racers vehicles wheels…

    As the massive UM Clock tower slowly ticked off the last few seconds the racers began the traditional reviving of their “engines” – 15,923 eager people all going “Vrooooom! Vrooooom! Putt Putt Putt!” as loudly as they could… A thrilling spectacle that harkens back to the early days of the race – back before the wheel had been invented (those tricycles didn’t really move very fast in those days)… The Start Marshals quickly worked their way through the throng of racers, removing the occasional illegal enhancement – or just making changes for the heck of it… All racers who had cards attached to the spokes of their wheels with clothes pins were inspected to ensure that only approved sports cards (or playing cards) were used…

    At long last, the Clock tower struck 2:12 and 15 ½ seconds PM (Noonish UM standard time) and the signal was given… The massed cannon of the Grand Bastion fired off a salvo (more or less in unison) and the race was on!...

    After a fifteen minute delay was called to clear the debris, wrecked tricycles and injured and/or dead racers, pit crews and fans from the start line where the cannon had been aimed, the surviving racers were off!

    It took three hours for the traffic jam at the drawbridge to clear, after the surviving 7,321 racers jockeyed for the lead…. At last three members of the Red team broke out from the pack and set up a blistering pace down the Grand Processional Way… Radar check points clocked them moving at a respectable speed of 18,816 FpFn (7 mph, 11 kph – remember that all speeds are noted in Furlongs per Fortnight)… The three Red racers had no sooner cleared the drawbridge than the log jam suddenly cleared and the bulk of the racers sped after them…

    Unable to maintain their blistering pace for long the three red racers gradually were overtaken by the pack and soon the lead changed every few seconds… Dozens of spectators cheered them on as the moved down the Grand Processional Way, knocking the elderly and children out of the way as they vied for the honor of being the first to cross the Great Outer Moat (very important as Pookie usually allows the first few to cross before he (?) starts choosing his snacks….)

    At long last the Imperial Rickety Bridge came into view as it majestically spans the Great Outer Moat. First to attempt the crossing was a member of the Yellow team, who pedaled as fast as she could while chanting her “Vroom Vroom” sounds to psych herself up more… Unlike last year Pookie was already at the bridge, looming far above it – no doubt drawn by the Ompah bands that ran alongside the racers… But for some strange reason he (?) seemed to be a bit off his feed – snatching up only a relative few of the racers – certainly less than 500… An investigation later revealed that the Puce team had been feeding him large quantities of door-to-door salesmen, telemarketers and several hundred zombie workers the night prior to the race – so he was full…

    Across the Imperial Rickety Bridge, the Grand Processional Way changed from its well-maintained cobblestone surface to the worn, heavily rutted mostly washed out Ancient Dirt Trail… Several dozen racers had breakdowns on the heavily rutted trail and would have to sit out the next few hours while their pit crews sobered up and attempted to reach them for repairs…

    At last the leading elements of the racers reached the Old Creepy Forest… Entering the densely wooded, heavily overgrown, eerily spooky forest, the racers and their brightly painted machines were quickly swallowed from sight into the deep gloom… Since no televised coverage of the Old Creepy Forest is possible, its not really known exactly what happened inside. However a member of the Grumpy Old Coot and Cootess Club (who were responsible for Marshalling the trail in the forest) when asked to report – merely smirked, shook her head and explained “I told them young’uns to keep offa my lawn!”

    6,915 racers entered the Old Creepy Forest and 4,112 exited still on their tricycles…

    Blue team was now in the lead as they raced down the last leg of the Ancient Dirt trail, before turning west out across the very appropriately named Trackless Plains of Despair… The Green team gained considerable advantage here by plying the Course Marshalls with massive bribes to redirect the other teams out on the plains… While the Green team raced (more or less) in a straight line to Check Point #1, the other teams had a more … circuitous route…

    Gaining a full 24 hour advantage over the other teams, Team Green enjoyed long stays in the Jacuzzis and bars at the CP#1, before heading out straight up the long trail that goes up the Outer Crater wall on Slippery Slope… Heavy bribes by other racers and teams cut down some on the delay time imposed by their aimless wanderings, and soon everyone still in the race was speeding up slippery slope… Almost 3,000 made it to the top, to turn East along Knife Edge Ridge Road – those that forgot to bring Oxygen, were soon out of the race, and what with the occasional “slip” off of the extremely narrow trail, less than 1,000 made it all the way to the Grand Frictionless Staircase…

    Atop the staircase, it is not unusual for a racer to pause as they look down the ice covered Teflon surfaced staircase… 57,000 feet (17.37 kms) down a staircase at a 60 degree angle, through the clouds, haze and smog of the outer regions to the blasted, burned, barren lands of the Great Artillery Impact Zones, is a very daunting pathway… especially since tricycles really don’t have any brakes… About half decided to withdraw from the race at this point – until they learned they would still have to go down the staircase anyway… So with many a deep breath (those who still had oxygen anyway), and with white knuckled intensity, one by one they started down the staircase…

    Aside from being frictionless, it is a staircase… So riding a tricycle down it is extremely bumpy… As always this part of the race, and the subsequent attempts to slow them down at Check Point #2, provides many amusing highlights on the local sports channels….  It is safe to say that ALL of the racers made it down the staircase… but only about 200 were in any condition to continue the race.. Oddly enough every member of the White team made it down intact and in (relative) good health… It seems that they each packed a parachute and simply drove off the cliff rather than attempt the staircase… While this is not exactly illegal, it will be addressed at the next meeting of the Rules committee…

    After resting, refitting and the mandatory psych evaluations at Check Point #2, the surviving racers pedaled off down the rather poorly marked trail through The Eastern Artillery Impact Zone (A)… This part of the race is always dramatic and frequently replayed in slow motion with stirring musical accompaniment, as the dented, dinged and banged up brightly colored tricycles roll through the fields on bent and wobbly wheels, while the artillery shells explode all around them… For added affect, each tricycle was outfitted with a smoke canister of their team color.. This greatly added to the overall cinema graphic effects…

    At long last the survivors were able to turn West and after hours of speeding alongside the Grand Outer Moat in relative safety they came once again to the Imperial Rickety Bridge, where they turned Southwards along the Grand Processional Way… Thanks to Pookie still being rather off his feed, almost two dozen racers made it to the finish line….

    The finish order is thus:

    First Place: Melvin Frump… White Team

    Second Place: Lotta Sassback … Puce Team

    Third Place: Ida Won … Green Team

    Other Honors:

    Highest Bribe – Green Team

    Highest Speed (excluding the Grand Frictionless Staircase leg) – Robert “Steroid Bob” Smith 32,256 Fpfn (12 mph/19.3 kph)

    Highest Speed on the Frictionless Staircase – Mach 3.2 – Still awaiting the DNA test to identify the lucky winner of this trophy…

     Attached is a map of the route(s) run...

     

    The results of the Chili Cook-off were just as spectacular… Over 10,000 entrants brought their favorite chili recipes and after hours of taste testing (and the occasional stomach pump) Jim-Bob and Billy-Bob “Cooter” Jenkins of Bugtussle, Oklahoma, were awarded the Grand Prize… Safir Al-Qwazi of UM’s own Oubliette Kitchens was the runner up…

     

    So – another legendary event has passed and now we all can look forward to the next two scheduled events… The Cthulhu Days Festival, Mardi Gras and Tango Contest on April 15th and the highly anticipated UM Old Coot and Cootess Ball, Limbo Dance Contest and Flea Market on April 20th..

    See y’all there!

    route map.jpg

  8. Xanthurion2
    Latest Entry

    Remember that girlfriend I mentioned in a previous blog? Well it wasn't long after that blog was posted that we broke up. It was doomed to fail from the beginning. I don't even know why I said yes when she asked me out. I am in no position to have a girlfriend. It's too bloody expensive and time consuming. Frankly, I have better things to do at the moment. So in a way, I'm glad the relationship ended. Yes, she came to my life at a time I needed someone to save me from the darkness and I found comfort in her arms. But we didn't have a lot of time to spend together so as soon as she left, I was alone in the dark again.

    The problems started very quickly. She began complaining about her family and her friends and even herself. Almost everything she said was putting herself down because of what someone else said to her. I tried to help her. To convince her that she was a good person; that these people were just mean and they didn't care. But she didn't listen. In fact, most of the time, she ignored me when she was feeling upset. Even after I did help her feel better many times. I began to expect getting the cold shoulder instead of a warm greeting text every morning.

    When she told her family about me, that's when the real trouble started. They immediately rejected the idea of me dating her. They overreacted like we were in a Mexican soap opera or something. They would yell at her or sometimes just ignore her to try and make her break up with me but she couldn't do it. She wanted me to meet them so I agreed but they refused. Then I somehow got roped into meeting a friend of their family. That went about as smoothly as a rusty saw blade. I only succeeded in making our entire situation worse because of my awkwardness around strangers being misinterpreted as disrespect. It was at this point that I was beginning to give up.

    Now we were forced to sneak around and see each other in secret at irregular intervals. It dwindled from once a week to every two weeks to over a month without seeing each other. That was when she cheated on me with her ex. Why she would want to go back to him, I still do not understand because based on what she told me and the screenshots of some of his texts to her, he was a complete grade-a douchenozzle. Harassment was just the beginning of the horrible things he did to her. And yet she still sought attention from him just because there was no way she could come see me because we were so far away. She couldn't wait. She couldn't text me back. She couldn't even have an intelligent conversation with me. She just couldn't be what I needed so I couldn't take it anymore.

    The stress was too much when piled on top of all the other stress I was already dealing with. While I am happy for the experience, I regret every single second of it. I should have never let myself get that close to someone I barely knew. Someone I didn't even really like that much. The worst part is, I actually did grow to love her before the end of it. But I can't even think of her anymore without thinking of everything she put me through. And for that, I don't think I can ever love her again.

  9. This is a hit on the late side, but that doesn't harm anyone now does it. So seems this past year of school has been passing by at a much quicker rate than I had ever noticed before. It is my senior year and here I am looking at college, jobs, and so much else. Slowly have iI seen my pack grow as well. From new members to new lives. I am engaged to my mate, I have been doing better at being open about me being trans and that my name is Damon. I have figured out that I am actually more demi-asexual, someone who is only partially asexual, and that life has seemed to smooth out from what it used to be like. So as I am here I am going to announce that I am starting another blog section and it will be called Story Time With Damon. This is where I shall be posting past stories and stories that I will later be experiencing in life.

    in regards to all this, spring break is in 9 days counting weekends. Not sure if I will be here or in Kentucky yet, but as it seems I will be here. In that sense I do hope to see Standing Fox as soon as possible since I need to pick up my pelts from him.

    Expect to see me outside on Tuesday April 4th. This is a day for therians and otherkin to both go outside at 5:00 pm your time and make the sounds of your theriotype and kintype. To show that you are not alone where you live. So expect to hear my howls of my wolves and maybe even the roars and growling of my dragon, who will be talked about in my next entry.

    another blog entry on here will be arriving soon this week or this month. For now this is Lunar Wolf signing off.

     

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  10. Kismit
    Latest Entry

    So.... is it wrong that I am concerned that the current political situation in America is gradually spiraling into a religious stand off.

    With Trump being strongly represented by,as well as being a representative of the Christian Faithful. 

    More and more I see, read, and hear religious quotes or people talking about prayer in regards to Trump. It worries me because segregation and feelings of rightful superiority for any race/religion is dangerous. 

     

  11. Since I was suggested a few times to write this thought I'd finally take the time and do it. I haven't included the turtle or fish. Also Michaels turtle Squirtle is not included only because he doesn't live here. I'll be talking about the ones who are still here but a little about the 3 dogs we had for years and the puppy (only had for 3 days) we had that passed since they're tied into it. It's long and I've tried to paragraph it so each one is about each fur/scale.

     

    Ruby, Kelpie Blue Heeler cross, 13 years old. Came 2004: Ruby was given to me (they like to still bring up how they got her for me, they're that type that like to remind you of anything they do for you) by my sister Katie's in-laws because I really wanted a dog. She was 13 weeks old, came from people they knew who were going to keep her but got told about how I had been given a rescue (it got shut down after) puppy (again Katie's in-laws doing) but the rescue puppy had Parvo virus (the rescue hadn't vaccinated him the pups he came in with or others) so had to be put down after being with me for 3 days. His name was Elmo he was a Blue Heeler Kelpie cross and 8 weeks old and I was heart broken. They felt so bad they gave Katie's in laws Ruby for me mom got a call asking for us to go over, got there (Katie's in laws) and Ruby was out the back she's been my baby since then.

     

    Little Keg aka Cassie 13 Mini Fox Terrier. Came 2005: Katie's in-laws wanted a second dog to keep their older Jack Russel Louie company. So her father in law and I went to a shelter (good one) after he called the shelter and they said we have a female, spayed Mini Fox Terrier here who's about a year old. We met her and she was this skinny, scared, little girl who may have had puppies but they didn't find any with her but her teats were sagging and hair falling out. A week later Katie calls mom up, asking can grandma (dads mom) take Cassie in. Mom calls grandma and yes all is good, pick her up take her to grandma and grandpas instant love of course. 6 months later Cassie becomes Little Keg due to grandma WAY over feeding her. 2011, grandma and grandpa go into nursing home due to Dementia. We take in Keg and Midget (same breed, accidental puppy of Smudge who passed in 2007 and Minnie who passed in 2016. Midget passed 2015 all 3 had heart problems found later in life) so we have 5 dogs suddenly, which was a hand full but worked. Keg has lost some weight and has had food cut down to right amount for her, is still fat but happy and mostly healthy.

     

    Cooper 8 turning 9 Mini Fox Terrier came 2008: Smudge passed away 2007 and had been going to work with dad since Smudge was a year old, so it hit dad very hard losing Smudge and over time he felt it was time to get a work buddy again. He went to a breeder (Smudges breeder was no longer breeding) and picked out Cooper at 8 weeks old and brought him home. In almost 9 years dad and Coop have never been more then 2 weeks apart (not all at once but spread over time) they are very bonded with each other. Coop likes males better then females.

     

    Ralph Inland Bearded Dragon 6 years old came here 2012: I wanted a lizard and looked into getting a Bearded Dragon or Blue Tongue Lizard/ Skink and choose Bearded Dragon. He's the most laid back lizard, doesn't always want to come out of his home but is well cared for.

     

    The other lizards/dragons 2013-2016: 3 Bearded Dragons, 2 Eastern Water Dragons, 4 Southern Angled headed Dragons and a Storrs (30cm/12in/1ft max) Monitor: I've grouped them because they're all dads and here because he liked the look of them, looked into what they need and got the permit needed for them then got them over time. Its always been a ok What do they need? Do we have space? Can we afford them? Before getting them.

     

    Princess Parrots: Had 2 Green ones from grandmas and saw 2 blues in the bird supply shop liked them knew how to care for them have room so got them. 

     

    George Black Standard Rabbit 2014 2 almost 3 years old: We had been looking after Katie (her husband and 3 kids) bunny while she was trying to get approval by her land lord to have their bunny there. Sadly bunny passed away suddenly, stopped eating the Sunday and before we could get her to vet Monday passed away. I wanted my own bunny, said I wanted a Grey Dwarf.....Looked for a rescue but there were no babies and no Grey ones, went to a pet store (I know not the best thing to do) and fell in love with this handful of black fluff. Got told he's a standard rabbit so will not be small like a Dwarf, ok no big deal brought him home and he's a fat happy bunny.

     

    Snow aka No No after Katie's bunny passed dad (who was never a bunny person other then buying them from the butcher ready to cook, which he still does) wanted a bunny. Again looked for rescue but none. We were getting Georges hay and the place had Dwarf Lop eared bunnies, picked out No No brought him home. At the time we got told No No was a girl (unless you see testicals its really hard to tell), nope No No is a boy, he's in his own hutch.

     

    Honey Dwarf white Rabbit Dec 18th 2015 and Bun Standard brown/black and grey Dec 31st 2015: Honey hot day came in our yard and first glance dad thought she was No No but nope No No was in his hutch still. Gave her water and food, dad popped her in humane cat trap in shade away from the dogs until we could borrow hutch later that night. We were going to call RSCPA to get her but, that time of year so many unwanted so she stayed. Bun, same thing came in hot day looking for help and was helped has stayed. We did ask neighbours had they lost a bunny with both and got told no so we kept them. Both were under weight, hungry, starting to dehydrate, losing fur, scared and shaking. Bun I asked friends did they want her, since we didn't think we had room and didn't have hutch. We made room and dad built a hutch.

     

    Chirpy 2015 Galah 2: Our talking Galah who came from grandmas (she got him from her sister before the sister moved) sadly passed away, we have no idea what his age was. Dad saw ad in the paper for hand reared Galahs so we got Chirpy.

     

    Birdie 2016 White Indian Ringneck 1 year old: Different bird supply place (its next door to one of 2 places that do the best fries/hot chips in South Australia) dad and I popped into get Chirpy toys to play with for enrichment and saw a hand reared white Indian Ringneck, who needs work doesn't like females and was starting to talk. I tried talking dad into getting him, we walked out with just toys and no birds. Couple weeks later dad comes inside and tells me the Indian Ring neck had been sold which I was disappointed about to a point, I thought he was so cool and grandma had them at one point to. He was sold alright to dad, 2 weeks later Birdie comes home and I see him when Michael and I get back here. He can talk a little but likes to do it when he thinks we can't hear or see him. He's not a patting bird, dad can pat his beak if hes quick other wise birdie gets bitey still.

  12. Leese

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     I am currently dealing with a issue that has to do with my apartment. I believe the place to be haunted by a mimic. it has appeared as me or as one of my 2 daughters so far. seems harmless. it does have the ability to mess with the childs toys and it has reset my microwave. I will hear it in the kitchen messing with the pots and pans or the silverware. my grandson who is three ran terrified from the play area claiming he saw a large black bird in the corner. I am seriously seeking answers as to what this may be. it has become more active lately and I am not sure as to why. my son in law heard one of the childs toys going off in the play area and he went to investigate. he was recording from his phone trying  to catch it when he became very cold and he was choked up with emotion to the point of crying and he has no clue why. I know a great deal about a lot of this stuff but I want an outside opinion on the matter. I am not sure if I should perform a cleansing. it has not harmed anyone only scared my grandson. this has been going on for 4yrs

     

  13. Mar 04 Little to no access to UM still. Internet Dead Zones, route/Hubs/blah but it will correct itself in a couple months for some reason. No Einstein it has nothing to do with: -firewall -antivirus -ip -browser -cookies -javascript setting etc. blah.

    Recap: deadzones, something changed the routes out on the internet.  AGAIN !

    *sighs*

    Will be back if it corrects itself and/or I happen to try again in a few months.

  14. Short Stories

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    He watched as the rising suns began to peer out over the distant hills to the far west, for Miradwin orbited it's binary suns "backwards" relative to other planets in the system, Valus didn't know the precise reason for this, something about the planet having been knock out of its original orbit billions of years ago. Ancient astro-history wasn't a concern of his, the fact that the suns had failed to reveal his herd of Drongas, however, was. The massive beasts were semi-wild, but very circular in their habits, dispersing into the forests at night and coming out into the fields of tube-grass in the mornings to feed. As Valus approached the edge of the tube-grass he could not spot the leathery backs of the Drongas which normally spotted the fields. He made his way to the fence and through the waist high grass, the fence was more of a formality, used to designate the edge of his property, Dronga could easily step over the fence. At twice his height, nearly six meters, Drongas were the largest animals in the region. Despite an impressive set of tusks and their large size, Dronga were very passive animals, Miradwin's early settlers found that they could easily milk the beasts without fear of retribution (Dronga nursed their young). Valus could see no prints in the grass, the herd hadn't even arrived yet. This was very troubling, Dronga milk was his family's main source of income, if his herd had wander too far off, or worse been slaughtered by poachers, his family would be out of a home! Letting out several short clicks, intended to resemble the calls Dronga young make when separated by their mothers, Valus tried to couch any beasts in the area to show themselves. Drongas never traveled in small groups, if he could locate at least on of his animals, the rest would be nearby. After a few minutes of searching the outer fringe of the nearby forest, Valus came across a gruesome sight, three dead Dronga, their massive bulk lay by the stream that trickled from the far off hills. As he got closer he could see that the smaller of the three, a female, had been partly skinned and beheaded. Valus let out a deep sigh, Drongas breed only once every two years, the loss of a female was a serious punch to the gut. He retrieved his comm-unit from his bag and contacted his oldest two sons to come and help him with cleanup, and to bring the gun. Valus didn't like having a gun around, he despised the damned things, but he had heard one too many stories of poachers who were willing to harm farmers.

    After a couple of minutes his sons, Keah and Ralun, arrived. Keah, the oldest, had the gun slung across his back and carried the gas canister. Dronga were simply too big to bury, so it was customary to burn them when they died, considering how importuned the animals were to them, Valus though it was only appropriate to give them a funeral pyre. He began to douse the animals in fuel while Keah stood watch, Ralun walked up to the largest of the Dronga and rubbed his hands through the beast's patchy hair. "They got Skeevo, poor old Skeevo!" He said, kicking the dirt. "He never hurt anyone, and they killed him just to feed those ravenous maggots they call children!" Part of Valus sympathized with his son, but he also wished he would watch his words. While their people* were one species, they were divided into two very different races, Valus and his sons were members of the Nakandri race, who were shorter, more robust and more "wild" in appearance than the taller and slimmer Malvika race. The differences weren't just of the physical variety, Nakandri breed slower and took longer to reach maturity than Malvika. While Nakandri see themselves as closer to the ancestral type, Malvika saw them as "primitive", a throwback to a more savage time period. Miradwin was one of the few planets where Nakandri were allowed to live on somewhat equal terms as Malvika, who were both more populous and held more political power. And that showed no sign of changing.

    The funeral was relatively uneventful, and after making sure that the bodies had burned  thoroughly they began their return journey home. Aside from a few broken branches they saw no sigh of poachers, nor of the rest of their herd. While Nakandri were happy to trade Dronga milk to the Malvika cities in the east in exchange for supplies, many Malvika felt that they had a right to simply take what they wanted from the "lesser" race. It was a sad state of affairs, Valus thought, that his sons and daughters (of which he had three), would spend their whole lives being looked down apon by Malvika. The pain of a lost herd was at least lessened softly by the sight of Valus' homestead coming into view, a two story domed structure, composed of wood and various metals gained through trading, it was just big enough for their whole family, smoke ebbed its way out of the trio of chimneys and filled the air above the homestead and light shined out of the colorful glass windows on the upper floor. It was a welcoming sight to Valus, and he was reminded that, while their lives were an almost daily struggle, he at least had his family, many Malvika sons were recruited from a young age to serve in the armed forces, battling out on distant worlds, against alien enemies, likely to never see home again. Valus hated conflict and war, and it saddened him that his species were more concerned with slaughter and conquest than trying to find peaceful solutions to problems. He had taught his children that violence and force should only be used as a last resort. As they approached the homestead, Keah and Ralun went off to the shed to gather tools needed to harvest the day's supply of fruits, while they gathered Dronga milk to trade, Valus' family sustained themselves of fruits and fish gathered in the surrounding forests and streams. Valus himself headed inside, where he met Meva, his wife. She had the most beautiful hair, a light auburn color, like harvest grain. They hugged and he rapped his arms around her and brought her in for a warm embrace.

    "Is something wrong?" She asked him, and he told her the whole story about the Drongas. She placed her hands on his shoulders and tried to comfort him, "We can find a new herd, or gather enough fish to trade!" She said, trying her best to cheer him up. "I can't take it anymore!" Valus said, raising his voice, something he rarely did. "They treat us like dirt, steal from us and threaten to take our land if we don't have enough to trade with." Valus had lived almost his whole life on Miradwin, but he was at the end of his ropes, after everyone had gathered to eat, he announced to his family that they would take everything of value and trade it for an inter-planetary ship. "And just where do you suggest we go?" Meva asked him. "I once heard of a small, watery world, on the far edges of the Imperium, it already had a sapient species present, so it was only lightly colonized. We could start fresh, no poachers, no fear of eviction hanging over our heads." He explained to her. While it was true he wasn't sure if that world was even real, he knew that sometimes you just had to hold your breath and dive into the metaphorical waters. It took a bit more convincing before Meva finally agreed. "That settles it then, tomorrow me and Ralun will head into town to find us a ship and someone to fly it." He said, hoping for all their sakes his plan would work.

     

     

     

     

    *Zylottans a reptomammalian species, roughly 5-9 feet tall at the shoulder, with their necks adding another two, they have a snakelike head (lacking external ears and with only vestigial nostrils), thick muscular tails, tipped in a small venomous spur, and barrel-shaped bodies. While they are bipedal by choice, standing on their collumn-like legs, they can "revert" to a quadrupedal stance when running. As they are not as "leggy" as humans, with arms and legs being of about equal length. Due to their evolutionary nature of being amphibious, they have webbed hands with each finger (a thumb and three fingers) encased in a claw up the the second joint. Their feet are vaguely circular, with only three claws, the fourth being vestigial. The end of the tail is flexible enough to rap around objects. They are covered head to toe in "hair" (actually modified scales) that can range in color from brown, to blonde, to red, to black. Eye color is typically brown or blue, with green appearing in 1/1000 births. Zylottans are a long lived and slow growing species. They are primarily carnivorous, but can and do eat fruits from time to time. The dental forumula per jaw is 4 pointed incisors, 1 canine, 3 premolars and 4 molars. No teeth are visible when the mouth is closed, although the canines may be large enough in some individuals to poke out between the lips. Sexual dimorphism is minimal, females are only slightly smaller and slimmer than the males.

  15. I love mysteries... probably a little bit too much. I've been so curious of the unknown, that I've tried to :

    1). summon demons
    2). talk to the dead
    3). do magic spells

    the list goes on...  (maybe I have too much time on my hands)

     

    Anyway.. I was researching information on the ouija board and I've always been skeptical about it. I saw that the prices range from about $15-$30. I was watching videos of people disproving it and finally came to my senses. As a 21 year old man, I am VERY CHEAP. I hate to spend money. And if there's anything I hate more than SPENDING money is WASTING money. I came to my senses and now I'm laughing at myself for even thinking about buying a cardboard game, only to end up talking to this cardboard and having it not reply.. Then I'll be sitting there looking stupid and angry about wasting my money on a kid's game.

  16.   Some of you know that I volunteer for a sort of advocacy group, mostly focusing on lower income and illegal workers, both legal and illegal.  For over a year now, it has mostly been about prostitution, homelessness, unemployment, the usual thing one thinks about when one thinks about these things.

      But things have changed.  And the change is scary.  I am scared.  I am seeing it happen, right in front of me, real-time.

      Two weeks ago, I received a call that a woman I know who has been working as a housemaid in the U.S. for 14 years had been arrested by ICE and was going to be deported.  I had to go pick up her children at her home, because the children had been taught not to open the door for strangers, and that the people outside were police officers did absolutely nothing to reassure them.  The only reason they came out for me was because they knew me personally, and because I convinced the Child Welfare lady to send the cops away.

      Here's the thing:  The Child Welfare lady let me take the children.  She let me take them to someone else I knew who was an acquaintance of the arrested lady.  I'm not sure how many of you have ever worked with Child Welfare, but they don't do that sort of thing without knowing every little detail about it.  Most of them truly do care about the welfare of the children.  And, I suspect that is why the lady let me take care of them.  Because wherever she was meant to take them, she decided that the kids would be in a better place where I took them.

      What about their mother?  She was arrested at the police station.  She was there because she was filling out a witness report to a crime she saw happening to someone else.  I'm still working with the legal rep.  They want to deport her to Mexico.  She's from Venezuela.  She's currently in a cell with a woman who shot another woman over a boyfriend.  At least that woman has a different bar regarding what should be considered illegal behavior.

      Some people here like to argue politics as a hobby.  They like to think of these things theoretically.  They don't think they do, heck, they have even sometimes convinced themselves they really sincerely care about the topic, and that they are personally affected by it.  But here's the thing:  How are you being affected?  What have you seen?  What has affected you personally?

      Last week, I was talking to the pastor at a little church.  He needed advice on the tunnels he was digging out of his church to a nearby building.  He wanted to make sure his safe room was safe and hidden.  Why?  Because sometimes, homeless immigrants came into the church seeking shelter, or simply because they needed spiritual support, and since they did, ICE decided to wait by the watering hole, to catch and question them on the way out.

      Do you understand what is happening in this country, right now?  Churches are building escape tunnels.

      What for?  Is it just so they can avoid the front door and then carry on happily in that neighborhood?  No.  Once you are targeted, you need to get out of the country.  Not the neighborhood, not state, the country.  Because ICE doesn't give a damn about you or your family.  They will separate you and send you to Mexico, and if that rips you away from your kids, oh well, you will catch them later probably, or not.

      Canada is receiving refugees from America.  Refugees from America.  Let that sink in.  People are so scared of their families being torn apart by American law enforcement, that they are hiding in tunnels and traveling across the entire freaking country to escape to Canada.  They are literally crossing deserts and snow fields, at night, to escape.

      That is what America has become.  A country of hidden rooms and tunnels to protect refugees.  Of Child Welfare agents willing to look the other way, so that families have a chance of staying together.  Last week, American citizens were required to show their citizenship papers to get off a plane that had neither departed nor landed from a foreign country.  Muhammad Ali Jr, and his Grandmother were approached by LEO and questioned about their religion.  Do you think that having legal papers will save you?  The president signed an EO that detained legal visa and green card holders.  This is not about having the legal papers.  That's just the excuse.

      What is it going to take?  What is your cut-off?

      If the private prison corporations start building temporary camps for illegal immigrants, is that going to be okay?  Beats putting them in actual jails, right?  We don't want to be uncivilized about this.

      How about we use those camps for marijuana users as well?  Sure, the government is talking about going after marijuana users as well, but they aren't criminals, right?  They would be safer in camps, rather than prisons, right?

      Where is your line, people?  Where?

      Are you willing to carry and show your papers on demand, like the people on that plane did?  That happened.  It isn't theoretical.  It happened.

     Are you willing to be questioned about your religion?  It is happening.  Right now, as we speak, there are police officers questioning people on the suspicion of being Muslim.  Where is your line?

      There are secret safe houses for good people who are trying to keep their families together.  There are secret escape tunnels to keep those people away from law enforcement trying to send them away to a country they may or may not be a citizen of.  That's happening.

      It may not happen to you.  If you are white, it won't happen.  But maybe it'll happen to a friend of yours.  Maybe you don't even remember that they aren't white, just because you've know them for so long, and their race just isn't an issue with you.  How involved are you?  How much in danger are you?  Is it just politics, or is it actually a part of your life?

      When I went to talk to the housekeeper, ICE demanded to see proof of my citizenship.  I was born in California.  I have an Associates, a Bachelors, and a Masters degree.  I served as both enlisted, and as an officer, in the U.S. Navy.  I have fought in two wars for this country.  None of that mattered.  The only reason I was approached and questioned was because my skin is brown.  The only reason I was not detained was because my day job is with a federal analyst group, my boss outranks the ICE captain.

    This isn't politics for me.  This is my daily life.  I get stopped.  I get questioned.  I get detained.  People I know are having their families torn apart.  People I know are trying to escape the country.  And people, like the pastor at the church, and the lady from Child Welfare, they also know things are happening, and they are doing what they can to help.  They knew where the line was, and when that line was crossed, they took action.

    What's your line?  Have you even thought about it?

  17. Pigeonholing Trump

    This is how the Right sees Hillary.

    2017_02_25_23_59_44_1451465594.jpg

    This is how the Left sees Hillary.

    3_A11783_A00000578_3906176_image_a_177_1

    This is how Bill sees Hillary.

    hillary_crosseyed_3.jpg

    This is how Hillary sees Hillary .

    hillary32.jpg

    This is how Hillary really looks like.

    o_HILLARY_CLINTON_BENGHAZI_HEARING_PHOTO

  18. Ufo Believer
    Latest Entry

    So...hello everyone! I have been away...very away from this site for some reason. I can't actually remember why, but it was probably just on my own accord. How's everyone been doing these past 5+ years I've been away? The site looks nice and all, and from what I remember of it, it looks almost the same really.

     

    So, I've been doing ok. I've started college and I've been trying to get on with what I need to do and sometimes, life comes back around hard. I really used to love this place and for some reason, I left. But hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things and get back to making posts and all of that good stuff. Not sure what else to say, but I hope people do remember me from back then posting here, but if you don't, Hey! :) I hope to get re-acquainted with the site and post some stuff and whatnot. Hello to all those new members that I don't know and Hello to those of you who remember me from back then. 

  19. Serenity Moonlight: Therian Life

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     Hello, hello yes, I am back finally ( even though no one probably looks forward to me posting stuff on her ). But I am back and I have had some fun since I've been off this site, not saying that this site is fun to look at. I have had some troubling times too, especially with school, but I won't go into that. My therian life has been going well, except for the explaining. I have had to ekplain to my mom and cousin what a therian is, my mom gets it pretty well and is chill with me being a therian but I will have to explain more to her as time goes on. My cousin says it makes no sense which makes me pretty sad, and she believes in Greek gods and that they control the things that they empower, so me and my friend will have to explain more to her, mainly my friend because he has been a therian for 11 years. There is just an update on my life, and my therian life. Signing out ~Serenity Moonlight

  20. No matter if you're single or attached, chances are you will go on or have gone on a blind date at some point in your life.  Keep in mind these tips if you are in such a situation again.   

    Things to do on a blind date

    1. Bring 20 or so candles into the restaurant. During the meal, get up & arrange them around the table in a circle. Chant.
    2.Wipe your nose on your date's sleeve. Twice.
    3.Repeat every third third word you say say.
    4.Lick your plate. Offer to lick your date's.
    5.Order a bucket of lard.
    6.Sacrifice french fries to the great deity, Pomme.
    7.Drool.
    8.Refuse to communicate in anything but mime for the entire evening.
    9.Recite graphic limericks to the people at the table next to you.
    10.Take a break & go into the restroom. When you return to the table, throw a spare pair of underwear on the back of one of the chairs. Tell your date, with a straight face, "They need to air out."
    11.Order your food by colors and textures. Sculpt.
    12.Save the bones from your meal & explain that you're taking them home to your invalid, senile old mother because it's a lot cheaper than actually feeding her.

  21. Debs

    DebDandelion
    Latest Entry

    The saying goes...the higher trees get more wind. Well,.let me tell you...it's not the wind that bothers me...it is the items carried by the wind that is getting me under. 

    I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to most of the situations I come across, and I try to the best of my ability to be fair and just in my actions. Tonight I am sad, I was mad...now just sad. 

    People I have not wronged in any way is spreading vicious rumours. So bad that It could ruin my marriage.  The marriage I am not worried bout cause it's not true,(the rumours) and I am honest with my partner about the rumours,  but I am seriously doubting the integrity of human kind.

    I hate that feeling of absolute sadness that has filled my soul. My brain tells me to get angry and fight these allegations with fire, the joke of the matter? Rumours started when I got the promotion... And the dude that is part of the rumours is not the one that recommended me for the promotion.  Irony...

    So yeah...I fell into this :td: feeling and I can't shake it. I am suppose to feel:angry: and take this bull by the horns, yet all I feel is sad and disgusted with human kind.

  22. simplybill
    Latest Entry

    I woke up this morning feeling worthless. That's the price you pay at times when you're a recluse such as I am and there's no one around to offer encouragement. One becomes acclimated to loneliness in the same way one becomes acclimated to the cold of winter or the heat of summer, but today was different. I felt as though my foundation had disappeared from under my feet and I was looking up from inside a deep pit. As I lay there in bed, I contemplated quitting. I searched my soul, and I couldn't think of anything in my life that was worthwhile to other people, I felt like nothing I did was making me a better person.  

    I counted the cost of what my life would be like if I simply gave up and let hopelessness devour me. First off, of course, I'd start drinking again; then I'd neglect my home and my yard and my health, and soon I'd be just another old drunk with empty eyes. I almost said the words: "God, I can't do it anymore. I give up."  

    And even as I prepared myself to say those words, a thought came to me: "Why are you giving up on yourself, when God hasn't given up on you?"  Hmm.... 

    I went downstairs and made coffee, checked out things on the Internet, and slowly got ready to make the 50-mile drive to the 'big city' to run errands and go to Sunday night church. I tried to encourage myself by thinking I'd hear a really good sermon at church that would:  Set  My  Feet  On  A  Mountaintop!!   But those chains of worthlessness weighed me down all the way into town.

    After a haircut, and a visit to Sears to buy a couple of pairs of blue jeans, I went to the Walmart near my church. I picked up some cucumbers and bell peppers and balsamic vinegar, and stood in line at the Express Checkout. The cashier was a young black woman, maybe 25 years old, with tightly braided hair, a smooth complexion, and a strong build. But her eyes were sad. The family she was checking out was having a hard time getting their credit card to work, and the line was at a standstill. The cashier waited patiently, without even a hint of annoyance, maintaining her stoic look with those sad eyes. The next people in line also had credit card trouble and the cashier quietly smiled at them.

    When my turn came, I tried to guess her accent. South Africa? Eritrea? Her nametag said, 'Kang', a name I'd never seen before. As she began scanning my groceries, she picked up the cucumbers and asked "Cucumbers?". I said yes, then she picked up the bell peppers, and started to look at the picture chart. I said, "Bell Peppers". By now I was overwhelmed with curiosity. I asked quietly, "So, where are you from?" She looked at me with just a little bit of apprehension, and said "South Sudan".  

    The Sudanese have endured centuries of civil wars and military coups, starvation, and slavery. In recent years, three million people have been displaced, six million people are at risk of starvation, barrels of gasoline with detonators attached are dropped from helicopters into villages of grass huts, and slave-trading is rampant. It's a terrible place to live, and the outside world has done little to intervene.

    Kang has won the lottery: she has come from a living hell to beautiful, peaceful Iowa and has a real job, nice clothes, and the glorious freedom of America. With all the weight of those thoughts racing through my mind, I looked at her and said, "Congratulations!!"  

    I'm not exaggerating when I say that Kang was transformed before my very eyes. She appeared to be a little girl, her eyes brightened as though they were lit from within, she looked at me and said, "Thank you!!"  As she handed me my grocery bags, she looked directly in my eyes, smiling with joy, and said "Thank you!!" a second time.

    Needless to say, I drove home with tears in my eyes. This mountaintop feels pretty good.   

  23. SIGMA News

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    blindsigma00
    Latest Entry

    It was a few years ago. Enough that I can't exactly remember how it looked. It was a very old house, made out of wood. It was dangerous to have any sort of event, as the danger of the building caving in was extreme, but my family, being from the deep south, didn't take that precaution. 

    It was somebody's birthday party, which very conveniently fell near Halloween. So, we rented out an old, abandoned house, and used it like a walk-through horror attraction. We picked a few family members to put on masks and hide behind certain furniture.  It was fun while it lasted, but what would happen the next day, was not a laughing matter. 

    Three people went to clean up after the party the next day. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I know that one of them was walking in front of a bookshelf when it tipped over, crushing their leg and pinning them to the ground. They were okay, but our family has never been in or near that house again. 

  24. starringsuzanne

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    I WANT TO KNOW THE HEIGHT OF FELLOW RH NEG BLOOD TYPE HOLDERS... I MYSELF AM 5'10"

     

  25. Unexplained symptoms

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    I want to write down an experience that may be paranormal. It mystifies me still and more information has eluded me. 

    So to start out, I had this odd dream where the earth by my house cracked open. Well several dreams would show the same crack getting bigger, so in the last dream it showed the crack several inches wide and several feet deep. Well in the last few dreams there is also this odd spider. It's orange and teal. The back is a pyramid with the under side of the spider having a stinger. This stinger is more of a spike.

    Okay whatever right. It's just a dream. So I end up moving to a different city. After a couple of years, I dream of this same exact spider. In the dream it stabs me through the hand. Then I kill it. No biggie, just a dream. So I wake up go through my week and start having these odd episodes. (Actually part of the reason I was gone for awhile) In my mind I was different phrases being repeated. My body would heat up and I would have this paralyzing feeling.  The more I fought it, the worse the symptoms would get. Afterwards I would have a severe headache and would feel a bit weak. For awhile it would happen once to twice a week. Soon I noticed that I couldn't remember certain things. Apparently I did this or that, or I would forget the subject we were just talking about.

    During one of these episodes, I had suddenly decided to imagine a cave of crystals and the symptoms immediately stopped. I felt my mind was safe in my little cave.

    After researching, all I can come up with is that it may have been some odd seizure. So what do you guys think?