Yesterday we had the bad news, now the good news.

It’s finally official. After several false starts this Saturday Aug 5th my new religious themed show Your Prayer intentions premieres on WQPH 89.3 Shirley/Fitchburg.

It’s going to be a taped show so if you have prayer intentions that you wish to have prayed for you can either use the contact page here. or you can email me directly herehere

However we are going to celebrate the launch of the first local show on our EWTN station show with a special Mass at the old Madonna of the Holy Rosary Church on Theresa Street In Fitchburg at 10:30 on Saturday followed by a bit of Pizza to eat and the show itself.

Meanwhile the plans for our Buffet Books and Bather event with Robert Stacy McCain in Leominster are continuing and tickets are still available here at Eventbrite.

And my on hand supply of my book has dwindled so much that I’ve had to order another case to accommodate people who want it and with the Madonna of the Holy Rosary Event this weekend and Madonna Della Cava next week I wouldn’t be surprised if I need another case before Stacy McCain gets here.

Of course it will take me selling 200 cases to replace a years pay, but if your nowhere near me I’ll be happy to have you order a copy from amazon here.

If you want an autographed copy, from me the Cost is $10 That covers both the book and the $2.63 it costs me to mail it at the book rate.

There are all good signs and show promise but the thing that is really going to make a difference is if the Layoff Bleg ends successfully, you can go here to see how we’re doing or kick in below.




Of course if you want an autographed copy of my book you can have one with your subscription to the site and in addition to the book you will get my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it.


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Now if I could secure 100 new subscribers at $25 a month I can devote myself full time to the blog, the new radio show and a pair of book projects that I’d like to move forward on.

But all that’s up to you.

I am one of those people you hear about who LOVES President Trump. I have loved him since I was a little girl, when he was called a “young entrepreneur”, and I had always hoped he would run for President.

Every day that Donald J. Trump is my President is a dream come true.

I took great delight during Primary Season as he cleaned the clocks of his Republican opponents who were so disdainful of Trump and his supporters. I was disappointed to see so many in the stupid party (the Republicans sure do earn that moniker) continue to oppose Trump even after he was the Republican nominee. I enjoyed the presidential campaign immensely because we finally had someone running against a Democrat who wasn’t a mealy mouthed pansy – My Donald is no shrinking violet and unlike previous GOPers to run in recent memory, NOBODY was going to steamroll Donald J. Trump! I turned as many Wednesdays as I could into #TrumpDays at my blog, trying to put some Trump-positive stuff into the ether to combat all the hysterical negativity being spread left and right about the man. I knew he had the support of the regular people who live and work in this country, no matter what the lying media and #NeverTrump mob had to say about it; my only concern was that Shrillary and the left would steal a win with the Dems’ penchant for fraud and skulduggery. I stayed up late on Election Night waiting to see who would be declared the winner, and, thank God, it was My Donald.

It was a long and tense wait between the time Trump was elected to Inauguration Day – I was very afraid that something bad might happen to him before then that would prevent him from taking office, and the braying histrionics from lunatic leftists and those who claim to be on the right never let up. I had a medical incident and suffered a near death experience during this time, and when I was on the Other Side, one of the reasons I gave for why I hoped to get sent back to the land of the living was that I did not yet have the chance to live in an America in which Donald J. Trump is President.

Finally, six months ago yesterday, Donald Trump was officially President of the United States of America and I am incredibly grateful to alive to witness all the awesomeness. I love the way Trump fights and how he is unapologetic about putting America and Americans first.

The media is too busy fixating on trying to destroy My Donald, so here are some of Trump’s accomplishments at the six month mark, via The White House:

SPURRING JOBS CREATION: President Trump’s impact on the economy has been immediate, spurring job creation across the country.

  • President Trump signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order, prioritizing the interests of American businesses and workers.
    • “Buy American” promotes American industry, protecting it from unfair competition by targeting the abusive use of waivers and exceptions to laws on the books.
    • “Hire American” calls for the reform of our visa programs, ensuring that they no longer displace American workers, while fully enforcing laws governing the entry of foreign workers.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order, making it easier for businesses to start and expand apprenticeship programs.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 17 percent since election day, hitting new highs 25 times this year already.
  • Since January, the economy added 863,000 jobs, including 821,000 in the private sector.
    • 79,000 construction jobs added since January.
    • 42,000 mining and logging jobs added since January.
    • 41,000 manufacturing jobs added since January.

CUTTING DOWN JOB KILLING REGULATIONS: Just six months in office, President Trump has taken historic action to eliminate wasteful and costly regulations that have stood in the way of hardworking Americans.

  • The American Action Forum estimates a potential $70 billion in costs reductions from President Trump’s actions to cut back regulations.
  • President Trump has signed 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, ending burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations, more than all other Presidents combined.
  • By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump protected America from a bad deal that would have harmed our economy.
    • According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s obligations under the Paris Climate Accord could have cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion.
    • According to the same study, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs could have been lost, including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs.
  • In order to control regulatory costs, President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.
  • Through infrastructure reform and investment, the Trump Administration aims to dramatically reduce permit approvals for projects from 10 years to 2 years, spurring investment and job creation.

OPENING UP AMERICAN ENERGY: In six months, President Trump has turned around America’s policy on energy production after years of opposition.

  • President Trump has acted aggressively to increase exports of our energy resources to a global market.
    • Updated guidance from the Treasury Department to allow the United States to export coal.
    • Expedited the permitting and approval processes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and exports, including the approval of the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana.
  • President Trump has unleashed oil and gas development in the United States by expanding access to resources and the infrastructure needed to get them to market.
    • Approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, creating over 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in earnings.
      • Signed an Executive Order mandating future pipeline work to be done by American workers and with American steel.
    • Expedited new pipeline approval and production, such as the New Burgos Pipeline to Mexico.
    • Signed an Executive Order to extend offshore oil and gas drilling and reissued a leasing program to develop offshore resources.
    • Boosting oil and gas development on Federal lands.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering an Obama-era rule on greenhouse gas emissions that is estimated to cost oil and natural gas operators as much as $530 million annually.
  • President Trump kept his campaign promise to coal miners and rolled back the previous Administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which targeted the beleaguered industry with estimated costs of at least $81 million a year.

A FREE AND FAIR TRADE AGENDA: President Trump is putting America First in trade negotiations, pursuing reciprocal agreements with our trading partners so everyone benefits.

  • One of President Trump’s first actions was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after the Obama Administration’s efforts failed to protect American workers.
  • President Trump announced he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to better reflect our modern economy while benefitting all parties so involved.
    • This week, the United States Trade Representative released its objectives for upcoming NAFTA negotiations.
  • Last week, the President began the process of renegotiating the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  • Negotiations President Trump started with China on economic cooperation have already produced results for American businesses.
    • For the first time in 14 years, American beef imports have returned to China.
    • China is welcome to negotiate contracts to import American liquefied natural gas.
  • President Trump delivered on his campaign promise to roll back the Obama Administration’s bad deal on Cuba that benefitted the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people.

RESTORING LAW AND ORDER TO IMMIGRATION: President Trump has prioritized enforcing immigration laws in his first six months to protect all Americans, ensuring that our immigration system treats everyone fairly.

  • President Trump instituted tough immigration policies that have reduced illegal border crossings by 53 percent compared to the same time last year.
    • The President ordered the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, including 5,000 additional border patrol agents.
  • Within the first 100 days of President Trump signing his executive orders on immigration enforcement, ICE conducted nearly 40 percent more Enforcement and Removal Operations compared to the same time last year.
    • Arrests of convicted criminal aliens climbed by nearly 20 percent in this time compared to the same time last year.
  • In fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016.
    • ICE has specifically targeted MS-13 criminal gang members for removal on immigration violations.
  • To jumpstart construction on the border wall, the President ordered the Department of Homeland Security to use $100 million of unspent appropriations in its account for border security, fencing and infrastructure.
  • President Trump directed executive agencies to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States, including clamping down on sanctuary cities.
    • Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented new charging guidelines to end catch-and-release policies.
  • President Trump ordered the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office at DHS, ensuring that our Government can no longer ignore the victims of criminal acts by illegal aliens.  MORE 

President Trump has been impressive on the world stage as well, what with the not bowing to foreigners or kissing up to hostile regimes and such, and with the awesome speeches defending Western Civilization and the right to not be murdered or oppressed by islamic savages and all, and the respect he is being shown by leaders of other nations who recognize a true leader when they see one.

Donald Trump is a strong President and I love him for it. I also love all watching all the leftists and their enablers, who are allegedly on the right, lose their snobby collectivist minds every single day. Most fun Presidency ever. Here’s to seven and a half more years!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Guess what I found when I arrived where I was staying in Chicago last night.

I know intellectually the book has been done for a while, I know you’ve been able to buy it via the Amazonlink on the right (or left depending on how your system loads and I know that If you’re a book store owner you’ve been able to contact Imholt Press for bulk orders right along.

But it’s different when you hold a copy of a book in your hand with your name as the author.

That’s pretty cool.

Of course selling a a Million and not having to work again for another 20 years, that would be even cooler.

Feel free to help me along there by clicking on the image below.

Incidentally a portion of every sale will be going to help support WQPH 89.3 FM the Catholic Radio station where my new show on prayer will be premiering at the end of the month.

Update:  Does posting this image count against me in terms of the sin of Pride

I don’t know if this makes me more catholic than the pope but in fairness to the Holy Father, my book is a lot less expensive.


This blog is a venture in capitalism which depends primarily on readers to pay me and my writers. You so you can help finance this by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer is now available at Amazon

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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

by baldilocks

Today, a friend of mine posted this Facebook exchange.

(I edited the names because I’m not interested in getting any of these people trolled – even the one who deserves it.)

Maneesh, as many may have surmised, is an American of Indian descent.

Sadly, this kind of response is common to those of us Americans with brown faces and non-European surnames. Ask me how I know.

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Actress Lupita Nyong’o–another famous member of the Luo tribe of Kenya. She’s not a Muslim.

Got it mostly when I tried to tell conservatives that the Luos of Kenya–my tribe and Obama’s alleged tribe–were 90% Christian and that the tribe was not an Arab tribe, nor a “slaver tribe” of all the rest of the tribes in the region; that was the prevalent Bravo Sierra.  Also, I received the Muslim-apologist treatment when I tried to tell people that Kenya’s 2008 Civil Conflict was not some sort of epic battle between Christianity and Islam, but a mundane tribal war. These notions have been the Fake News of nearly a decade.

Funny, none of the people who pontificated as Kenya experts back then give a rat’s furry backside about the country now.

I’ve had a long time to ponder the negative reactions of the very few of my fellow Americans to my name and my heritage. Most of it is fear of Islam. Justifiable, but people need to get a grip and stop pushing away fellow Americans who are allies and whose “funny names” are not an indication of their religious allegiance.

And here’s a notion that I don’t think I’ve ever put on screen. An online acquaintance who, quite correctly thinks that accusations of racism are overblown, wondered a few years ago which, if any, aspects of American slavery still affect Americans who are black in this century. I didn’t get the chance to answer then, but I’ll answer now: most black Americans have surnames of European origin. It’s so nearly universal that we don’t notice it anymore, not even me. Therefore, when some black chick named Ochieng pops up, it’s a curiosity and, sometimes it instills unconscious fear in those who are already afraid. Think this through.

All I know is that the Spirits of fear, violence, and tribalism are on the upswing in our country. I, however,  think it’s up to those of us who refuse to let those spirits master us to speak up, to understand, and, most of all, to pray without ceasing to the Lord of Hosts.

(Thanks to Christine)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Yesterday my oldest turned 26 and thus my 26th year of Parenthood is now compete.  Here are a few things I’ve learned.

Just because they have your face your kid isn’t you: Both environment and heredity naturally will play a part in how your kids develop but he reality is your child isn’t you and even if you have the same face (as me and my oldest do) they are not you so don’t assume they will think and react like you automatically.

Children learn by example, not by command: Despite my reputation as “the hardest working man in the blogosphere” I can be both lazy and sloppy, particularly at home (I can hear my wife nodding even in her sleep right now) and both of my sons have picked that up. If there are things you want your kids to grow up being the best way to help that along is to be them.  If there are things you don’t want them to be avoid being them yourself.

Choose your friends/relatives wisely: Who you associate with when your kids are young will make a difference. If you want your children to grow up to be respectful, sober, God fearing and honorable, don’t surround yourself with people who are not these things. I was blessed that my very devout Catholic mother retired just as our 2nd kid was born and she and her 3 devout sisters born from the 1910’s to 1921 spent a lot of time with my sons.  That did a lot to shape them.   Do you have an older relative who is pious and moral? Invite said relative to the house and visit them with your kids. Do you have one who can build things when you can’t?  Visit them too. Is there a relative who is a libertine, a drunkard, a druggie? Keep them as far away as possible.

Time (and the culture) are against you…: You have a real short time to really influence your child before the culture and the internet grab them, make that time count so you are their go to choice for values. Teach them to be good God fearing honest and honorable men or women first and the rest 2nd. They can always learn new skills and trades but it’s hard to learn how to be good if you’re not.

…and is also the most valuable gift you have to give: The thing your kid wants the most from you is your time, presence and approval. Give them every moment of time you can spare (and even time you can’t).  Even if you aren’t doing stuff with them being near or in the same room so they can see you means a lot.  You can always earn more money but your time on earth is limited, make it count.

Make rules early…: If you want limits on your kids you need to set them right away make the rules when they are young and they are likely to keep them and make sure not only them but their friends know them. For example once my kids hit their pre-ten years and started having friends over I made the rules if I had to leave the house: No Booze, No Drugs No Sex and made them (and their friends) repeat the rules. Even after they turned all turned 21 and the booze part was dropped everyone knew that if there was drinking I had custody of everyone’s car keys on demand. If everyone knows the rules up front they may try to bend them but will rarely break them.

…and enforce them ruthlessly: It’s vital to make sure they know that if your rules are broken punishment will come and fast. I don’t care if said punishment is a whack on the ass (highly effective in the early years) a toy or game, broken, thrown out or sold (that will get their attention really fast) a disconnected internet password (not as effective as it once was with so many open networks out there) or even standing in a corner. You need to enforces those limits even if said rules punish you. Kids aren’t stupid, once they know they can get away with stuff, they will.  Furthermore when they do right give them your approval.

YOU are the Parent act like one: Even now at age 26 my sons are only allowed to call me “Peter” in one specific instance (If separated in a crowd they can shout my name to get my attention since shouting “Dad” will make everyone look). You are not your kids friend, you are not your kids playmate, you are not your kids drinking buddy, you are your children’s authority figure and if you are going to have any chance to fight against a culture and a world that wants to use them for their own ends you need to keep that authority. Remember they are kids and no matter how much they protest otherwise or how much society tries to tell you otherwise they don’t know ANYTHING. They’re just as stupid as you were at their age.

Spoiled young likely spoiled forever:: As anybody know it’s much harder to build something than to break something and once broken it’s very hard to fix someone. If you spoil your child because it makes you feel better or because you don’t want to make hem cry or because you want them to just shut up, you and your child will pay for it for a very long time. Spoiling your child isn’t love, it’s a form of narcissism. Think of it this way are you better off with a doctor who tells you whats wrong so it can be fixed or one who says everything is fine so you don’t worry?

It’s not about YOU: Your kids is not your trophy to show off, or a prize to have, or something for your bucket list. From the moment your wife’s belly starts to grow your life isn’t about you, it’s about them. Your life, your budget and your behavior should reflect this and if it doesn’t you, your child, your descendants and even society itself will pay the price.

This is you primary job:  Once you have children your job and your duty is keep them alive and well as you teach them how to be a good adult who can survive on their own and function in the world. It’s not going to be easy, all the norms of a dangerous world are working against you and it’s very possible that you will fail, but it you do make sure it’s not due to lack of effort or attention.

Finally Love your children: St. Paul defines love thus:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Cor 13:4-7

In other words seek the best for your children, even if it’s not what they want at that time and even if it risks their temporary anger.

Do these things to the best of your ability and in my experience, you’ll like the results more often than not.

Update: Stacy McCain has some do’s and don’t too, this one is basic:

Isn’t it just common sense that, if you’re looking for advice on how to raise successful kids, you should ask someone with experience as a parent?

Excuse me for bragging on my kids, but if “the personal is political” (to quote Carol Hanisch’s famous feminist slogan) then my experience as a parent of six children ought to count for something in such arguments. Even if you consider that my wife deserves nearly all the credit for our children’s success, at least I can testify as a witness to her motherhood methods.

She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” –Matthew 9:21-22

Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak. -1 Kings 19:11-13

Sometimes, it’s important to listen to that “light silent sound” and recognize it for what it is.

This has been kind of a crazy time at work for me recently. Between a recent acquisition and new management for my division, there’s been a lot of organizational changes, but until recently it didn’t look like it would affect me that much. I did not consider that a good thing, because I have been hoping for a change. I have a really great situation at work that allows me to spend time with my family and pays me well enough, so I wasn’t really looking to move, but when you spend 10 years working on the same thing, anyone could get bored.

So, I’ve literally written on my review for the last several years that I hoped we could find someone to take over “Project X” so that I could have more time to explore new opportunities with our customers. With the old management in place over those years, nothing ever really happened, so I was kind of stuck. But then, my boss and I met with the new GM a few weeks ago and he has reorganized the group and put me in a new role that looks like it’s going to be great.

Why do I mention all this? Because this is where that “light silent sound” came in. The meeting I described came in the midst of a tradeshow I was at, which is kind of like the violent wind and the earthquake. There was simply too much going on for me to recognize this gift for what it was.

And then, after I got back from the tradeshow, I went on a Catholic mission trip with my daughter and our parish Youth Group. For a five days, I spent my mornings going to daily Mass with the kids, and about 200 others from across the country, then rebuilding a deck for a senior citizen during the day, and then music, dancing, fun and, later, reflection in the evenings.

On one of those evenings, we ended the night with Eucharistic Adoration. It was during my meditation with the Blessed Sacrament that it suddenly occurred to me that God had answered my prayer. The whole reorganization at work has given me the opportunity to explore new paths in my career while still keeping the same family-friendly aspects of my job which, as I said, I’d been hoping for literally for years. The other thought that occurred to me is that, since this opportunity is a gift from God, I’d better not waste it.

There were other answered prayers that week, too. After the first day of wrestling with the deck, I prayed for the wisdom to know how to complete the project that, quite honestly, hadn’t gone as well as I had planned to that point. My prayer was answered when the camp director assigned another dad to help me on the project. Rather than receiving the wisdom directly, it came in the form of another more-experienced carpenter and together we got the project completed, and I learned a few things along the way. Prayers get answered, but not always in the way you expect.

Before I close, I’d just like to give a shout out to Catholic Heart WorkCamp the organization that ran the Mission Trip. They do nearly 100 week-long sessions throughout the US and internationally each summer, giving thousands of teens the opportunity to serve, connect with and love others. I was blessed to be able to share this week with my daughter, other teens and adults from our parish and even our new pastor came along for the week. I cannot say enough good things about the program and encourage you all to look into it for yourselves for next year.

God bless,
Tech Knight

by baldilocks

With it being Independence Day and all, on my Facebook page, I’ve mostly been posting videos of people singing pleasantly sonorous versions of the Star-Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. On my page, there’s a mariachi band singing a fantastic version of the SSB, a Christian “boy-band” harmony foursome doing a medley of songs and, of course, Ray Charles’ iconic rendition of America, the Beautiful—this one from a 1972 episode of the Dick Cavett Show. Lady Gaga also did a wonderfully understated version of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl a few years back, showing us—surprisingly–that she understands something that many female singers of the Anthem do not: less is more and better.

And then there’s the standard against which all versions of the Anthem are measured: Whitney Houston. Her appearance at the opening of the 1991 Super Bowl is still a tear-jerker.

Houston died a few years back of a drug-overdose and it has almost become her legacy, but not quite. The voice and showmanship of the young Houston and the flawless performance of the Anthem were too powerful to be totally over-shadowed.

What goes less remarked upon about Houston are her other renditions of patriotic songs and her performances for the troops. And when I looked it up on YouTube, I found that there was, arguably, an even better performance of the Anthem by her—this one was for the Navy. In it she is still young, slim, beautiful and in perfect voice, albeit in a lower key than in the Super Bowl performance. It’s very emotion-invoking, especially when you know the outcome of Houston’s story–and that of her daughter.

So, I choose to remember Whitney Houston as the American icon who put the love and feeling back into our National Anthem. As the foibles and tragedy of her life fade away, she should always be remembered for that.

Happy Independence Day, my friends.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

Originally posted December 29, 2004. Occasionally, I like to dig back into my old blog and see what’s there. It’s interesting to see how my writing style has changed since then.

December 28, 2004, Nighttime: It’s raining in LA. Those of us who live here and have grown up here know that a large amount of precipitation is not unusual in the beginning of winter. But it’s not merely raining, it’s pouring; windy rain, sideways rain. It’s the kind of rain that makes my shorn-headed, no umbrella-carrying self think about buying another hat.

It’s pouring as if a trillion glasses of water were being spilled onto the Southland. Pouring like the coldest of high-pressure showers. Additionally, there’s the thunder and the lightening; both very unusual phenomena accompanying an LA shower; the type of T and L that frightened your humble (hah!) correspondent very much some forty years ago.

An even more unusual occurrence was observed in the nighttime skies around here: seeing aircraft depart LAX. I live right under the LAX approach lanes and have prayed many times for no craft to crash, especially on top of my house. But seeing aircraft leave LAX was rather jarring: like seeing a clock run backward.

However, I love it when it rains in LA. After the storm blows through, the basin is the most beautiful of sights: everything washed away out of the “Valley of Smoke,” at least for a couple of days. Driving north away from my house on the Harbor Freeway (I-110), downtown LA, Mount Wilson, the Hollywood sign and the Observatory appear pure, new and beautiful.

But water is yet another one of those facts of living that has taken on a whole new meaning since the natural disaster in Southern Asia: it’s our friend and our enemy. Just as I have never viewed any overhead aircraft in quite the same way as I did before September 11, 2001, I’ll never view water—especially ocean water–in the same way since December of 2004; especially living on the perimeter of the “Ring of Fire.”

Fear? Yeah, well. It’s hard to fear most things, at least for me. It’s not my Christian faith that suppresses most of my fears (though it keeps the remnants in check), it’s not that I’m so tough. It’s simple utility: what good does fear do? Fear the reasonable things–the situations that you can keep yourself out of–sure. But fear the things you can’t control? Heck, you’d never leave the house.

December 29, 2004, Daytime: Flash floods, traffic accidents, shut-down freeways, weather related fatalities and a couple of missing hikers near the now snow-laden Mount Baldy. Hard going (and Godspeed to those involved). But who would have thought that one would feel that we’re getting off easy in acts-of-God sweepstakes? I guess a little perspective will do that.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

I didn’t go to Kansas City to make a post out of it but here are some photos that DaWife took on the trip

Union Station Kansas City

The Model Train Exhibit

Some shots from the Bridge over the Trainyard

The National World War 1 Memorial

And finally Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals

and a quick video clip of same.

Alas the pictures from Pizza West in Shawnee Kansas which in addition to an excellent Pizza Buffet and a good red sauce has a fine selection of pinball machines, nor the Up Down Bar Arcade with a great selection of machines all at a quarter a play, nor the Crown Point tavern which combines excellent burgers with a downstairs full of pinball machines all that is on my son’s phone but I’ll close with this.

When we got to our hotel in KC the AC wasn’t working, and the 2nd night there it was pretty bad for DaWife who has breathing issues. I tweeted this out and heard both from Priceline where I booked the room through and the parent company of Four Points. The next day when we came back from the Red Sox KC afternoon game the General manager and the maintenance guy were both waiting for us, it appears that the storm that swept through the area just before we arrived and caused power outages throughout the area has shot the thermostat on the unit. They were able to repair it while we were at the game, and the AC was cranking, nevertheless they offered us a different room if we wanted it (that wasn’t possible the night before as the place was full of Red Sox fans as were the surrounding hotels in the chain). We elected to say where we were and had a good two nights and when we left on Friday the general manager was there to see us off and make sure things were OK.

The measure of a company is not if there are no problems, there are always problems in life, the measure is how you deal with problems when they come up.