by baldilocks

During my recent Road Trip, I visited my parents in New Mexico twice — once on the way out and once on the way back to LA. ( Side note: many who follow me on social media are aghast that I returned to CA, but I specifically said that I would return, though I am pondering a permanent escape next year after we see how things go politically in this state.)

Subsequent to my visit, my dad and I have reverted to a practice we had for several years: calling each other up about once a week and comparing notes about God. The practice had fallen off because my phone number has changed about four times since 2014.

Dad called this morning and want to know what things the trip had taught me. As usual, my little twisted brain has agendas that even my parents don’t understand and we talked about those. I long ago accepted the fact that my folks think I’m crazy. They’re probably right.

But, here, I want to mention a “side” topic that came up in the conversation: fatherhood and how God often uses human beings to model His role as our Father — an adopted Father who loves His adopted children (Christians) just as much as He does the children of His “body.”

I pointed out that God has modeled this in my life: my great-uncle John, my first pastor, and Dad himself; he is technically my step-dad.

Conversely, it occurs to me that the “cultural” war against the patriarchy — against men — isn’t really cultural, but spiritual. It’s a war against God. How many times have we seen feminists demonize all things male and masculine? Heck this people wore representations of female genitalia on their heads!

Anyway, as you can tell, Dad and I are very close. I know a lot of people whose parents are no longer with us and I want to savor the blessing of still having mine in this world for as long as I can.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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After trip plans

by baldilocks

Well the danger on the rocks is surely past 
Still I remain tied to the mast 
Could it be that I have found my home at last 
Home at last

— Steely Dan, “Home at Last.” Aja, W. Becker, D. Fagan. 1977.

Only hours ago, I returned to Los Angeles from my truncated Road Trip. I had to return early, due to some personal business in the next few days that requires my physical presence. My body and my car are only a little worse for the wear – all can be repaired – and my soul is a little better for the journey.

I saw some old friends from my days in the USAF and met with a number of online friends, some for the first time. But, mostly of course, I drove.

It wasn’t the first time I had made a long trip by car. CONUS movements during my military days were easiest done by car, in my opinion. But, of course, I was much younger and long-term sitting didn’t affect me like it does now. Even my ankles are saying unpleasant things to me.

Conversely, there is a lot more to do when driving in 2018 than in, say, 1982. Uninterrupted music, audiobooks, podcasts, just to name a few things, are all available to keep the lone driver alert.

The main thing I did, however, was talk to God. There’s something about the movement and the passing scenery – and the solitude — that makes a believing driver want to converse with his/her Maker. So, we got a lot of things said.

I plan to say more about the trip in various venues … while I soak my feet. Strange that my feet hurt and not my backside.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Yesterday I saw the news story about the Sesame Street writer who claimed that he wrote Bert and Ernie as Gay, Sesame Street’s response (which I was only half joking as being “no their not, please don’t stop buying our stuff”

Frank Oz, the creator of Bert and Ernie and Muppet master extraordinaire tweet in reply

I was going to leave it there, after all the idea that the institutional left using media to push their message is as television itself but I the convergence of a post at PJ media with an interesting tweet, a post by Stacy McCain on campus activism and a personal experience this week all gelled.

This week my primary co-worker in my day job began a leave to recover from the final operation of what is called “Transition”. The day before I made one last attempt to persuade this person that it’s a bad idea, that such a change is not necessary for said person’s self worth and their value as a person is not defined by such things.

In Massachusetts this is a risky thing to do if you want to keep a job but if you actually care about the well being of someone you will tell them uncomfortable truths even if everyone is going along with this nonsense.

It was to no avail but I further informed said person that regardless of the decision it would not change things between us. I’ve not heard of the results of said operation but I suspect by the time you read this post I’ll have some info.

What does this have to do with Sesame Street and PJ media? Well I was a bit surprised to read that Frank Oz’s tweet produced considerable pushback and anger.

The gay brigade is not taking Oz’s announcement on Twitter very well, but he’s right. People are more than straight or gay. They are funny or smart or evil or myopic. They have likes and dislikes that aren’t tied to what they do in bed and it’s getting extremely boring and insulting to continue to see people through narrow definitions of identity politics instead of seeing them for who they are. Gay is not who you are, it’s just what you like in bed and frankly, no one wants to hear about that. Tell us something interesting about yourself instead. What’s more interesting than what gives you an orgasm is what you think makes a good friend. And Ernie and Bert can answer that one better than anyone.

And the exclamation point is this tweet:

Ah but it turns out that indeed it is and Stacy McCain explains why in an unrelated piece on woke campus activism that we have apparently exported to Australia:

What you will discover, if you examine the types of people attracted to the student “activism” scene, is that most of them are abnormal — and deliberately so. These activists disdain normality as boring. They crave the distinction of being seen as different from their peers, whom they contemptuously regard as a herd of mindless conformists. And so they go shopping around for identities and causes, donning them like costumes, in an effort to display their imagined uniqueness.

Or put simply society has spent two generations telling children that they are special and giving participation awards for just showing up. At the same time we’ve also spent two generations throwing away Christianity, which teaches that people all have intrinsic value as being a child of God and loved by him. So when such people who have been told how special they are come to the self-realization that they are, like most people, ordinary in achievement, ordinary in skill they need something to define themselves as special and worthwhile and that something can’t be Christianity.  That’s where sexual identity comes in, furthermore it’s why we’re up to 72 made up genders and counting because we’ve reached a point where just being “gay” is not unique enough anymore.

CS. Lewis explains this in Screwtape 7

Any small coterie, bound together by some interest which other men dislike or ignore, tends to develop inside itself a hothouse mutual admiration, and towards the outer world, a great deal of pride and hatred which is entertained without shame because the “Cause” is its sponsor and it is thought to be impersonal.

This is why Frank Oz’s statement that Bert isn’t gay has been met with such anger. Generations of people have made gay activists so angry.  If it is true that there is more to being a human being that being “Gay” or “Straight” then the question becomes:  “What have I done with myself besides declaring myself “gay” or “transgender” or one of the other 70+ new genders that I am?  What actual meaning does my life have?

If you want to know why the suicide rate among youth is way it, that’s your explanation.

On the other hand it’s been a great plus for the far left that needs bodies for agitation:

There is a certain percentage of college kids who aren’t happy if they don’t have something to protest against, and in the absence of legitimate issues, they’ll invent something like a “campus rape epidemic” then organize rallies against this imaginary crisis. This is why “climate change” is the perfect cause for student activism — it’s the Snuffleupagus of issues, apparent only to the “enlightened.” Being ostentatiously concerned about global warming is a type of virtue signalling, a way to communicate your own moral and intellectual superiority, which is what most “progressive” activism is really about. Considering themselves too smart to believe in anything as ordinary as Christianity, atheistic youth who fancy themselves to be intellectuals become chumps, easily scammed by promoters of three-card Monte hustles like “climate change.”

Instant meaning and instant value, that’s what this idiocy gives but like any drug it doesn’t last.

This is the cost of a post-christian society an army of people desperately searching for meaning.  The Devil couldn’t be happier.

It’s a very sad thing and such people need our prayers.

by baldilocks

A special repost in honor of a loved one whose early death was helped along by poor eating habits.

Yes, I can occasionally be caught live in the kitchen. Look quick.

When growing up, my dinner task was making the salad. My mom bought the goods and I prepared them to her exacting specifications. As a result, I am very, shall we say, anal about salads (as I am about most things that I care about).

A clean vegetable is a happy eater. Wash as far down as possible, wash as far up as possible, then, wash ‘possible.’ That maxim goes for many things.

Lettuce: anyone who uses iceberg lettuce in a salad should be shot. (Okay, that’s a little harsh; maybe, er, reeducated.) Use red-leaf, romaine or butter leaf lettuce or some combination thereof. Or spinach.

Croutons and bacon bits are masks for a salad prepared by a lazy salad-maker. If your ingredients are good, fresh and varied, you don’t need those.

Buy the right mushrooms. Get the ones that are closed at the junction between the body and the stem. Don’t buy the big ones that look like they’re more for smoking that for eating. Don’t buy them too brown. Cut the stems off but not so far down as to where you can see the inside of the body.

Use red onions and/or scallions, because they look prettier and taste better than yellow or white onions. Cut most of the flower of the scallions off because they are bland. The root is the good part.

When I’m the only one eating the salad or am sure of my audience, I will put a chopped clove of garlic and a chopped Serrano chili pepper in my salad. (You folks who are not from the south-west part of the US or are not of Mexican descent might not know what a Serrano is. It’s a little, tiny green pepper that is hot. I like hot.)

Two of the ingredients that my mom didn’t require, but I usually use now are: carrots and cucumbers. Yes, peeling them is a pain—and please peel the cucumber—but, boy, do they give great texture and taste to the salad. Split the cuck down the middle, by the way.

Sometimes I will top the salad with canned crab. There are two places here in LA from which I’ve bought the crab: Food for Less and Trader Joe’s. The FFL version is cheaper and the TJ’s version is prettier, but they both taste about the same. I don’t put anything heavier than that in the salad. Chicken, beef and pork are for the main course.

No yellow, orange or white dressings should be used. Hey, if you want to hide the taste of your salad, just tear up some iceberg, chop up a big, fat tomato and pour Thousand Island all over it. Blech. I like a non-obnoxious Caesar or just some olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar.

If you must put some seasoning on your salad, a bit of Mrs. Dash will do the trick; oh, and black pepper.

What did I forget? Tomatoes, of course, are required; cherry types cut in half (if you grow them, you’re blessed); bell pepper—green and chopped.

If you think salads are boring, you’re missing out on one of the great pleasures of eating. Time, attention and varied ingredients are all that are required. Don’t forget to make it beautiful as well. Eating is almost as much about the eye as it is about the tongue.

Burp.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

A repost

Here’s something many don’t know about me: I am a big fan of natural cures. It’s recent development–last five years–and it was born of my aversion to prescription medications, of a theory that God has provided all the things in nature needed to maintain good health, and of the desire to save money.

Admittedly, I  appear to have inherited good health from my parents, and, therefore, have this luxury.

When I lived in homeless housing, I was one of the few persons who took no prescribed medications. (That has changed; my doctor prescribed Vitamin D, of which dark-skinned persons are often deficient.) Most residents took BP meds at minimum. I was one of the even fewer who didn’t self-medicate.

I’ve had good results from natural cures for the most part: lavender oil for insect bite relief and apple

cider vinegar for blood pressure regulation, pain relief and weight loss. And, though none of my blood relatives has diabetes, my doctor said that my bloodwork indicated than I am as far away from being diabetic as one can get! DNA plus ACV, I bet.

But here’s one you need to watch out for: eating garlic on an empty stomach.

Many studies show that eating garlic on an empty stomach makes it a powerful natural antibiotic. It’s more effective when you eat it before breakfast because bacteria is exposed and can’t defend themselves, thus succumbing to its power.

Oh, it helps all the other things listed which are applicable to me, but it also does this one thing.

It makes it feel as though an xenomorph is about to burst forth from my small intestine.

So, unless you’re trying to ward off an infection, eat something first. Fair warning.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Today was one of those days when I didn’t know what I was going to write about until the last second. Then, “out of the blue,” God gave me something.

My deadline is always 400PM PST and I was a little panicky in my search for a topic, though the boss is very lenient about the deadline. Okay, he’s a lot lenient.

Nevertheless, I don’t like to take advantage of Peter’s easy-going nature.

Right in mid-search, someone knocks on my door. I’ll spare you my inner monologue in response. I get up to look through my door’s peephole and it’s my upstairs neighbor, Melinda — a very nice lady who never knocks on my door.

“Can you help me?” And before she tells me what she needs help with, I make my deadline excuse.

“Okay, she says, good-naturedly. She’s so nice about it that I feel bad.

“What do you need?”

“Can you help me take my groceries upstairs?”

That I could do. So, I come out into the foyer of the building and there are her two bags on the floor. I pick them up and they’re heavy, but not unsupportable. So, Melinda goes up the stairs in front of me carrying two bags also.

Melinda is a few years older than I am, but she is also more overweight than I am and can barely navigate the short one-flight stairway carrying two bags. But I had no problem whatsoever getting my two up the stairs. I just turned 57.

So, the points of this blurb is this: always help your neighbors, be thankful for your health and, most importantly, that God provides in mysterious ways if you let Him.

Thanks, God.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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One of them anyway …

by baldilocks

Well I guess I understand why the DHS is doing this, but

Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program that is drawing criticism from within the agency.

The previously undisclosed program, called “Quiet Skies,” specifically targets travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base,” according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March.

The internal bulletin describes the program’s goal as thwarting threats to commercial aircraft “posed by unknown or partially known terrorists,” and gives the agency broad discretion over which air travelers to focus on and how closely they are tracked.

It is a time-consuming and costly assignment, they say, which saps their ability to do more vital law enforcement work.

TSA officials, in a written statement to the Globe, broadly defended the agency’s efforts to deter potential acts of terror. But the agency declined to discuss whether Quiet Skies has intercepted any threats, or even to confirm that the program exists.

I’m guessing ‘no’ and ‘yes.’

Between this, and the TSA activities — x-rays and groping … er … pat-downs — I’ll pass on flying when I can. I have a choice with my upcoming trip and I choose the ground, along with a relative bit of freedom.

From those who don’t know what I’m talking about, go here. And, yes, one Peter Ingemi is on my list of persons to visit.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Cite.

by baldilocks

It’s tough to write much today especially since I don’t feel like talking about Brett Kavanaugh — President Trump’s SCOTUS pick — or the Left’s nationwide and 20-month long temper tantrum over losing the 2016 presidential election.

What I feel like talking about is escaping — yes, from California, if only temporarily.

In September and October, I have a couple of invitations to Middle America in a pair of states I’ve never been. Both invites are reunions; one is a USAF meeting and the other is a blogger meetup. I haven’t done either in years and had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed both types of gatherings. Meetings of the minds and booze.

Also, I’ve longed to visit a memorial dedicated to a departed friend — more than a friend — and asked God for that chance. As it happens, the memorial is in the same state as one of the reunions.

But I can’t ignore the fact that I sense being drawn away from my home state. It feels temporary, like I’m simply planning a vacation from my beloved People’s Republic of the Formerly Golden State. At least that’s what it feels like right now. 

I’ve never planned a vacation before. Because I always had the resources at hand in the past, there was little need for much planning. This one will be different in that the resources, meaning money, have to be marshaled.

I mentioned the plan on my Facebook page and now I have about 12 places to visit before I get to the intended destination. Most of those places are in Texas.

Additionally, I plan on documenting this trip online — as I did with my Kenya trip — but now with a little bit of experience under my belt. Plus I’ll be the captain of this voyage. Did I mention that I’m driving?

I will keep everyone posted about my plans and about any campaigns I wage for this endeavor.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
– Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

I hate the term “working mom” because it implies that moms who are not employed do not “work.” My wife is a stay-at-home mom and she works plenty hard. More importantly, she works hard at things that matter. And the fact that she is not spending 40+ hours of her week focusing on not being a mom means that she is able to do things for our family that a “working mom” simply can’t. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

On Mothers Day, I salute all mothers who put their families first, especially my wife. When our son was born, she left the business world to be a full-time mom and wife. Our two children (and I) have benefited in countless ways from this decision, which she and I made together even before we were married. She has always been there, from playing with my son when he was an infant to being there when my daughter comes home from high school and needs advice or just someone to talk to.

Our parish bulletin contained a page of quotes about Motherhood today. One that particularly stood out is:

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.
It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.
It is what God gave you time for.”

This perfectly sums up my wife’s calling to be a mother. Today let us reflect on the fact that many of the ills facing our society today could be solved if more women felt the same calling.

Other than magnificent seven writers blogging will be non-existent today

And yes I’m putting DaTipJar below because a huge day at DaTipjar would put a smile on DaWife’s face which is a good anniversary gift.



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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

`1,000,000 copies and I can retire.