August 29, 2005

The Flu Chosen


selection has
begun abroad

will you be chosen
by Homeland Security?

be sure to register
as an official patriot

read the
even better
prep list

and take off that grass skirt
for heaven's sake

Photo note: Here she is again, this summer's favorite spirit girl, complete with American flag, triangle and pointing finger. I aimed for the flag, I couldn't help the triangle, and I honestly don't know where that finger came from.

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Posted by Dakota at 07:50 PM

August 28, 2005

Chiwawa, chihuahua in livesaving gear


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It is a little known fact that THE most popular search term on this blog is the misspelling of chihuahua. That is, in spite of my unusually erudite subject selectiion, over 130 folks a day find me by googling "chiwawa". In order to please their fanciers, I keep my eyes open for chihuahua shots..

I hit the jackpot for the costumed chihuahua this weekend. This little sweetie had just been for a swim in heavy currrents with his twin (no posing for this pair, an active and twitchy breed) and was shot crossing the mudflats, still buckled into his lifejacket.

I suppose that I could treat this as a metaphorophoto, and make much of the sacred meaning, the horrors of chihua-hente, not withstanding -- but how are we to understand the orange lifejacket? Certainly not in the context of preparation for H5N1. I wouldn't want to be caught beating a dead horse in a dog entry.


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Posted by Dakota at 11:20 PM

August 26, 2005

A Whimsey


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See how
and gay
I can be

try to
the fact
that the
flower is

Posted by Dakota at 06:23 PM



I'm beating
my drum

Photo note: Snapped at the Cape Verde Festival. A most dedicated little drummer, but her mother kept getting in the way.

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Posted by Dakota at 06:33 AM

August 25, 2005

Avian Flu and the Woowoo


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A dear and close, smart and psychic personal friend, considering the possiblity that there might be evidence in the woowoo that bird flu is on its way, remembered that one of her spiritual teachers had once talked about the cosmic configurations that made polio a match to world conditions.

Her teacher had said that the polio epidemic of the last century in the US was a physical manifestation of the economic crippling of the Great Depression. It took FDR, a leader who was himself afflicted by polio, to shepherd the country out of the crippling situation.

My friend then considered the avian flu in this light. It made sense to her that the H5N1 virus is carried by migrating birds when some of the most pressing issues in the world today are immigration and globalization. My friend bought her tamiflu yesterday, by the way.

I would add that birds are traditionally used as hazard warnings for toxic environments - the canary in a coal mine.

In addition, the avian flu is a mutation, a virus that is evolving, just when evolution as a scientific concept is being questioned, once again, by Christian Fundamentalists. Avian flu is a grizzly little proof of the pudding, as if we needed any.

It is also is a reminder that we are one with everything in the universe; that which effects our sweet creatures effects us as well.

Ironically, we may be beset by an old timey plague - (avian flu is also known as fowl plague). With consumerism, fundamentalism and the corporatocracy burgeoning in a ways that disregard the earth, a plague might be the very thing that's needed to put a stop to all of that.

Photo note: Just sticking my fingers in places where they probably don't belong, again, and photographing it of course.

Posted by Dakota at 07:19 AM

August 24, 2005

A manifestion of sorts


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into my
out of
a plastic
in a seaside
in the summer
with flowers
and clapboards
and pickets
and lace

in addition
to a fancy

I was
my time
for the
real estate
market to

Posted by Dakota at 02:49 PM

August 23, 2005

Wisteria, once again


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Big Baby: Now you made me scared of birds, you big, dumb, bully.

Good Enough Self: I was only trying to protect you, and do my civic duty. We needn't be scared of birds, dear. They're just trying to tell us something.

Big Baby: I don't wanna hear, and I'm squinching my eyes closed shut forever, and remember I hate you and I can make you hurt alot if you don't CUT IT OUT RIGHT NOWWWWWWW.

Good Enough Self: Very well then. It must be time to let you publish a flower picture.

Big Baby: I can't hear you. I can't see you.

Good Enough Self: Don't you think everyone will be as excited as we are that the wisteria on the trellis is blooming in August.

Big Baby: hummm.....mmmmmmm....mmmmm de dum dum My fingers are in my ears and I'm singing

Good Enough Self: Look, look, it's almost 3D!

Big Baby: It is? Oh yeah.

Good Enough Self: (soto voce) phew

Big Baby: I like purple I like flowers

Good Enough Self: Yes, darling, we know

Posted by Dakota at 06:06 PM

August 21, 2005

Avian Flu Again


it's true
bird flu
could kill

and of almost
greater concern
lots of others

don't despair
be aware

now and

Photo note: I was shooting birds all weekend, but, bless their hearts, they move quickly when they are near, and my equipment is small, slow and not telephotographic, thus producing many blurry blobs. This is the Chinese Molded Metal Warbler, found most often atop a stick in house plants. It is popular among photographers for its immobility.

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Posted by Dakota at 11:03 PM

August 19, 2005

Don't be a tortoise


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Really, everyone, I hate to harp on this, but do not be pokey about flu preparation.

NPR said this morning (it's making the news on a more regular basis, you will notice) that the avian flu has spread through Asia and Russia - there have been 112 human cases - half of those afflicted have died -- not a great survival rate. I read yesterday that it's "raining birds" in India.

Tamiflu, the only effective antiviral medication available in pill form, is in short supply. Some tamiflu being sold on line expires in 2005, so check expiration dates if you order it that way.. Although Flu Wiki does not endorse commercial sites, a random commenter on a Flu Wiki forum posted this website as a reliable tamiflu source. you do not need a prescription. It is expensive. Ask yourself if your life is worth the price of an ipod.

No time for elaborate diatribes this morning. You're probably happy about that.

Photo note: An exploded firecracker, road killed. What can I say?

Posted by Dakota at 06:26 AM

August 15, 2005



Why is it that almost all of my dear and close personal friends and relatives think I am crazy when I mention the possibility of an avian flu pandemic? That, or they cannot bear to hear about it. No one that I know of has read the material which is posted on the WHO website and Flu Wiki. If a hurricane were forecast, we would be glued to our weather channels, wouldn't we?

Why is it more unbearable to prepare for this possibility than any other sensible disaster preparedness we practice, like buying insurance, or taping our windows when a hurricane is predicted, even though it may pass us by?

I read today that reporters have been having difficulty getting folks to understand the severity of the problem because of the name "flu". Since everyone has had a little case of the flu at one time or another, and survived quite nicely, the avian flu seems like a minimal threat. However, this H5N1 strain bears more resemblence to ebola, than to the usual ache and sniffle variety. That kind will be around too, so don't pass up your regular flu shot this fall.

Of course, I hope and pray that it passes us by, and that my local food pantry receives a whopping donation from my larder next year -- it would be my greatest pleasure. In the meantime, I bought myself a little insurance. Besides, a girl can always use an extra case of red wine and a bunch of AA batteries. I don't know what I'll do with the elderberry syrup yet -- pancakes?

Speaking of red wine, somewhere on The Flu Wiki forums, (which I can't find anymore due to computer troubles), I read that we should all be drinking it daily now to build up the resvertroll levels in our bodies, and thus improve our capacity to resist this virus. Upon a cursory googled glance, a New York State Pinot Noir seems to be the selection of choice. For those who do not consider this intervention a pleasure, resveratrol is available in capsules and in it's natural form, red grapes. I'm uncertain whether grape juice has enough resveratrol to make a difference, but you can google that yourself.

I'm going to get myself a big bag of onions and a string of garlic for my larder, they're antibacterial I think, not anitviral, but they'll do alot to perk up plain rice, at the very least.

Photo note: No enlargement due to the blurry quality of the original. Those big birds move too fast -- guess that qualifies this shot as a methaphorophoto.

Posted by Dakota at 05:59 PM



What did you do
on your summer

I stuck my finger
through a hole
in the universe

a number of times

Photo note: I have a bunch of these shots, but they're on my other computer of course. I shall dole them out one at a time, I guess.

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Posted by Dakota at 07:00 AM

August 14, 2005

Back from the Beach


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I'm back
it's hot
and humid

my many
many mail
and voice boxes
are full

my piles
of laundry

I am
but posting

silly girl

Posted by Dakota at 10:14 PM

August 08, 2005

The Catskills


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Visited the Upper Catskills over the weekend for a birthday party and reunion of sorts with old friends from courtship days, neigh on many years ago. Vistas were few and far between. The town in which the gathering took place is busy being revived by a number of contrasting interests, as you can see.

I tried not to be obvious as I hid behind bushes to catch a few shots of the Hassidim as they walked home from services. I do hope they allow photos.

P8050082_180.jpg P8050076.JPG_a_180.jpg

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Posted by Dakota at 09:43 AM

Bowl of Cherries


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off line
out of range


on vacation

Photo note: diningroom table at the cottage with Washington State cherries

Posted by Dakota at 09:40 AM

August 04, 2005

A Shopping List Just in Case There's a Flu Pandemic


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Note: A new and improved list is available. It was composed on 9/21/05. This one isn't bad though.

I had some hesitation about compiling this list, since Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, says that you attract that to which you pay attention. However, she has also said in a response to a questions about hurricanes, that you can get out of the area entirely, or, if you own a house in the path of an oncoming storm, you can arrange to be safe and comfortable in the eye of it.

I know I risk sounding like a lunatic survivalist, but, as with a hurricane, a pandemic of avian flu may or may not be on its way, so here's my prep list for a voluntary quarantine to save you some research.

If it really gets bad, those that provide essential services will be too sick to do so, or as the experience of SARS in Canada showed us, people just won't show up to do their jobs, thus the camping equipment.

KEEP YOUR CAR FILLED WITH GAS at all times - maybe have some fuel in lawn mower gas carriers.
CASH though it may not do you any good
Barterables -- I hate to say cigarettes, maybe chocolate, whiskey, good wine

Probably the worst place to visit during a pandemic is the drugstore, since relatives of the sick are most likely to be there. So along with supplies to keep your symptoms at bay if you catch the flu, keep on hand your good grooming stuff -- soap, deodorant, kleenex, toilet paper, razors (shave beards so that face masks can seal properly)

. WATER - order collapsible containers from the net and fill them up - bottled water is treated for bacteria, I think and may last longer, you can refill the collapsibles weekly or just wait until it looks like water might be in short supply.
A friend who lives in earthquake country says she was told to fill old bleach bottles with water, after they're empty - just enough chlorine left for purification. This water purification aficionado has a number of different systems for gathering and purifying water, have cotton, white socks, charcoal and coffee filters on hand for homemade solutions.

. goggles that seal, like swim goggles
. safety goggles (found in hardware stores) will fit over glasses and, at least, stop you from rubbing your eyes
. face masks - nanomasks are supposedly virus proof.
. large garbage bags
. smallish garbage bags
. bleach - a primary viricidal - have many gallons on hand but don't buy it until the last minute, since it loses potency when stored
. laundry detergent
. latex gloves --large supply disposable
. household rubber gloves
. batteries
. flashlights and lanterns (LED preferably)
. candles
. matches
. charcoal briquettes
. fill BBQ propane tanks
. campstove + fuel
. water purification tabs
. a wind-up radio that doesn't depend on batteries
. denatured alcohol
. TWO can openers
. spray bottles to use for spraying self,clothing, cars, outerwear shoes with 10% bleach solution if you have to go out and come in
. print out a preparation manual


. Be sure to have at least a month's supply of all the prescription drugs you and your family take for existing conditions

. Tamiflu - be sure to check the expiration date - maybe your doctor will write you a prescription (though most doctors don't think there's a problem, but they're not epidemiologists, who definitely do), or you can get them on the net for a premium without a scrip.

. antibiotics for secondary infections

. Get your hepititus, typhoid and tetanus shots updated.


. Sambucol elderberry syrup - a proven viricidal that comes in sugarless too.
. red wine - a viricidal for its ingredient resveratrol - evidently New York State Pinot Noir has the highest resveratrol levels so go for that -- Trader Joes has Charles Shaw red for @ $3.00/ bottle, not bad for medicinal purposes
. if you cannot drink wine, you can get the anitviral ingredient resveratrol in capsule form at health food stores or on line - however, there is something about grape skins soaked in alcohol that cannot be matched

. Immune system boosters - the clerk at Whole foods told me to alternate between a bottle of elderberry, then astragalus, then reishi mushrooms
. kombucha tea - Yoga tea makes it
. fresh garlic -a string
. miso
. onions - a sack

. Omega 3 fatty acids and flax seed oil protect lungs
. Gaterade for electrolyte replacement - it comes in powdered form for easier storage
. vitamins to make up for the lack of fresh fruit and vegies
. Theraflu, Nyquil, Sudaphed or the generic for symptom relief
. aspirin, ibuprofen, tylenol
. No Salt, for potassium replacement
. peptobismal
. cough medicine

Homeopathic remedies
. colloidal sovereign silver
. Croalus Horridus

I went to Ocean State Joblot, a local surplus store, and roamed the aisles for bargains. Lobster bisque, olives and jarred artichokes were plentiful. I could choke these down in a pinch. Got a case of canned salmon. All this can be donated to your local shelter if you don't use it.

coffee and tea - and a non electric way of making/ grinding them
parmalot- real milk preserved for the shelf for milk drinkers
coffeemate/powdered milk
bouillion cubes

Some of us could learn to bake, if our ovens work.

baking powder
baking soda
powdered milk

dried fruit
power/granola bars

canned fish or meat
huge bag of rice (I got jasmine at Costco)
canned chili
canned soups
canned veggies (yuck, except for corn and beets)
chick peas
dried mushrooms, shitake are good for the immune system
sun dried tomatoes

Think of things you can eat with little prep, both because you may not have any power, and because you may be ill.
ramen noodles
hot cereals
cold cereals
pasta and sauce
I would say rice bowls etc, but if something has to be microwaved, you might not have the facilities

You could try stock piling frozen foods, especially if you are a meat or vegie fancier, but you may lose them all if the power fails.

I decided to get bags of frozen vegetables -- if my freezer goes, I can always make vegetable soup

Cheese, butter and bread can be frozen and refrozen if thawed according to the hurricane clean up folks -- if you're into any of that

Lettuce can be grown inside on sunny window sills if you have seeds, and you're shut in for a spell.

Boredom could be your worst enemy
demold your grout
organize your photo albums
clean your closets
reupholster your furniture
reread Dakota

.a generator
.battery powered TV
.good red wine instead of swill
.a laptop computer
. satellite telephone with handcranked recharger
. a hand cranked cellphone recharger
. a nifty combo
. an email account at yahoo or gmail that can be accessed remotely

I'll add to this list as I think of stuff.

Photo note: The casing from a Chinese firecracker in a perfect form

Addendum: Yesterday I started to sneeze and drip uncontrollably. I took sudafed all afternoon, and then tried elderberry capsules. They worked, but it could be the placebo effect. Who cares, I'm better.

Posted by Dakota at 08:12 PM

Big Fish Little Person


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Comment from
the fisherman

"My wife
always says
'I just hate it
when you bring
Otis home
like that.'"

Photo note: The fish weighs about forty pounds, quite a bit more than Otis

Posted by Dakota at 06:24 PM