Sunday, April 25, 2004

Grumpy Heather

Hmmm, and I was holding onto the dellusion that I've only been really grumpy lately - I guess it's been a life long thing.

Suck up to Heather - Or else!

I need a nice 6-shot revolver for my idiot would go great with my new chaps. :-)


While trolling through the Google answers database again, I happened upon a link to an "Unschooling School".

Sudbury School

This school encourages children to learn the same way I did while growing up - by doing what interests, instead of sitting at a desk all day. The only charge 6,000-7,000 dollars for the privilege of letting kids do what they want. :-) I wish somebody had paid me that much money!

I have a little website about my unschooling College:

Outdoor Recreation Institute Of New England (ORION)

and one about general unschooling I did growing up:

How To Unschool

They're both incomplete, but getting there...

Heather in Chaps

Yesterday I got the ultimate in cowgirl wear...a pair of thick, durable leather chaps that weigh several pounds. They're the kind that I'll have for life. To see pictures of me wearing them, go over to my mom's blog.

Will Wendy Weed Or Wander

They're soooooo nice...I've been wearing them pretty much nonstop since getting them. Have to break them in...they're quite stiff!

Saturday, April 24, 2004


How did I ever live without Google?

I've already borrowed and read all of the interesting books down at the local library, so I've been browsing in the Google answers section again.

Did you know that the term "Making Love" did not mean "to copulate" until the 1950's? Previous to that, the term meant "to pay amorous attention to".

Google Making Love answer

There are so many cool things in Google! Who knew that "Why does 2+2=4?" would be such a complicated answer?

2+2=4 Answer

Time to go cook supper. Maybe I'll use this recipe for dessert (also from Google):

Chocolate Chip Cookies:


1. 532.35 cm3 gluten
2. 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3. 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4. 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5. 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6. 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7. 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8. Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
9. 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
10. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall
heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients
one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor
vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add
ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is
homogenous. To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three
equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally,
add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must
be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise
that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.

Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture
piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 460K oven for a
period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first
order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once
the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer
table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium

More Biblical facts

A lot of religions claim that they're the only true church, and that only by joining them will you get to God. I've always wondered how many religions there are in the world. I found my answer over in Google:

According to David B. Barrett, the researcher who compiles religious
population estimates for the Encyclopaedia Britannica and World
Almanac, there are about 10,000 distinct religions in the world today.

See this article:
"Researcher tabulates world's believers" by Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press,

'The 2001 edition, successor to his 1983 first edition, which took a
decade to compile, identifies 10,000 distinct religions, of which 150
have 1 million or more followers. Within Christianity, he counts
33,830 denominations.
Barrett also calculates religious populations for the Encyclopedia
Britannica Book of the Year, standard estimates that are used in turn
by the World Almanac and innumerable journalists.
Such numbers are always debatable, but they're the best available.
"We don't really have any rivals," Barrett says..."
On the web site of

Barrett's book, "World Christian Encyclopedia : A Comparative Survey
of Churches and Religions in the Modern World" is available for online
browsing using the "search inside" feature on

Friday, April 23, 2004

Biblical Stuff

I came across a fascinating thing on Google today about laws in the Bible that most people today consider passe. One chunk of it described how members of the church were supposed to act. It reminded me of Dick.

Dick (My grandmother's husband) was a minister for most of his life. This house had hundreds of Christian books. They were all dusty and hadn't been read in years, if ever, according to my grandmother. Dick would buy them at garage sales and arrange them strategically on the shelves so people would see them and be impressed.

You'd think somebody who felt compelled to devote their life to God would also feel compelled to be a good, shining example....But he didn't at all. Dick was a raging alcoholic, abused his wife and kids, kicked out two of the kids when they were 14 years old, has repeatedly hit his own grandchildren, makes racist comments, etc etc. I've been wondering lately what sort of reception he's going to get when he dies. He's never really seemed to actually BELIEVE in God...He's admitted that part of the reason he became a minister is for the tax breaks.

I've never felt an urge to profess my beliefs, or go to church regularly so everybody would see that I was a "good Christian". I believe in God and think we have a pretty good relationship. I try to be good, I haven't killed anyone or done anything TOO horribly bad...And in return, God hasn't hit me with a bolt of lightning yet. (My mom has been struck by lightning 3 times already. Hmm, is that a sign?)

I think people take religion way too seriously. They should focus on becoming a good person, loving and helping others, judge not lest ye be judged, all that good stuff...Instead of focusing on the more arcane laws in the Bible and telling others why they'ye going to hell, to the exclusion of bettering themselves.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Public opinions

Everybody has had moments where they think nasty thoughts, while outwardly smile and nod. A lot of people are horrified when somebody actually utters the unvarnished thoughts that're dancing around in their head. Since a lot of my life is on the web, I'm reminded of people's reaction constantly.

I'm in a better mood today. You can quit sending me snide remarks in the mail. I already know I'm a spoiled brat, thank you. It reminds me of a bumper sticker ..."I may be fat, but you're ugly, and I can diet"

I told mom that if we aren't done soon here, I'm running off to join a circus, where at least things will be calmer. She's really frustrated too. The good news is, we're nearing the end. Yay! Break out the pom poms!

I've been slapping price stickers on items and setting them up on the many tables we have in the living room. We're prepping for a big, blowout indoor sale this weekend. Everything must go! It's our goal to get all of the selling/giving away by the end of next week.

I know it's the right thing to do to be here and help my grandmother out of the quagmire of horrendous choices she's made, but still I'm frustrated. I just wish she'd start living her life in a more conscious, sane manner. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink...Today she managed to bounce the same check three times. The credit union charges $28 per bounce. Lovely.

We were going to take a vacation from the craziness and go to California to attend the PCT kickoff party, but mom came down with the flu yesterday. She's been buried under 5 blankets and chattering ever since.

Anyhoo, back to work!

Poll Thus Far

The poll results thus far:

Become a carpenter again: 14
Get van running: 10
Go for a hike: 7

Everything else is under 5 votes apiece.

Write ins have included:

Go fly a kite
Go back to Job Corps
Buy a used bicycle, fix it up and go cross country, up to Washington, then across again. Take a few months to figure out what I want to do.
Post more cowgirl hat pictures
Write more van stories
Become a reporter
Start building cheap housing for low income women and children

I'm special

Google likes me. :-)

I'm one of the first of regular, non-Google employee people to test out Google's new email program. I've only used it for a few minutes, but I'm already thinking of dropping my AOL account and going exclusively Google.

Sneak Peak at Google Email

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


I'm becoming depressed. It seems like I'm doing absolutely nothing useful with MY life. All I'm doing is mopping up somebody elses - somebody who's never paid attention to me, somebody who should be left to wallow in their mistakes and feel the full brunt of the consequences from making such piss-poor choices all of their life.

Money we put into her bank account from the garage sales has already been squandered on bounced check fees incurred when she made a $2,000 mistake in her checking account. How the hell can you make a $2,000 mistake? Especially when her account has been infused with unexpected money! I wish I had that much money to screw up with.

Dick is voluntarily starving himself to death now. The nurses have come to the conclusion that he's doing this because he really has nothing left to live for. His three children have yet to visit him. Only one of them has called him and she only did so twice, to bitch at the nurses. Suzanne has stopped calling as well. When we were in Phoenix to visit her, she asked us if it was alright for her to get a boyfriend ...then said, "Just kidding". She wasn't.

What am I doing here? I'm not helping my financial life being here. I'm certianly not furthering my career goals, unless those change to wanting to clean houses for a living. I'm stuck here doing meaningless work indefinately.

I have no paying job, my (nonworking) vehicle is 3,000 miles away and I have yet to do something useful for/with my life this year. On top of that, thru-hiking season has started and is bringing up painful memories of my unfulfilled hike last year.

Everybody is having more fun then me, dammit!

I need a nice cushy government job as a backcountry ranger. Just me, trail tools and lots of wide open spaces.

Tomorrow the rest of my class at Job Corps is taking the wilderness fire fighting physical to get their red cards.

Tomorrow I get to do what I've been doing for the past two months...pure, unadulterated drudgery. Even Job Corps starts to look good after this.


Today while grocery shopping, I noticed a guy in the cereal isle. He was writing things in a fairly thick notebook. I peered over his shoulder and asked "So, what are you writing in there?"

He was an agent for General Mills and was checking to make sure this supermarket was displaying the agreed upon GM market share. His job was to count cereal box faces and write down the percentage of the market share they represent. He also checks out the frontage of other brands owned by the company, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait and Pop Secret.

He wouldn't confess to how much GM marks up their cereals, but did let me in on other interesting information. Did you know that plain Cheerios are the best selling cereal out there? Honey nut Cheerios come in a close second.

I felt guilty picking out the Safeway brand of generic grape-nuts. When I went to get a box of Kix, his face brightened and he rummaged in his cart. He pulled out a long strip of 1$ off General Mills cereal coupons and handed them to me.

He's currently on a low carb diet and doesn't eat too much in the way of cereal. GM has come out with a low carb variety, but he says it tastes like cardboard. I looked at the ingredients - first on the list was wheat gluten. Mmmmmm, tasty.

New Poll

What should I do with my life?

Vote now!

Heather's "What should I do with my life?" poll

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Sarcasm is for smart people

It takes brains to creatively warp communication for your own amusement, arrange it into something that makes sense, and enlighten others with your point of view within split seconds after hearing a comment just asking to be remarked on.

Sarcasm runs in my family. I'm used to conversations rife with gentle ribbing and double meanings. We take glee in using sarcasm to jazz up a conversation. Sometimes other people don't seem to appreciate it.

It seems the people who most dislike sarcasm are the ones who just don't get it. They know they're being made fun of, but they don't realize how. Bureaucracies especially hate it when underlings amuse themselves in this way. I'm reminded of Job Corps .... The teachers didn't appreciate my creative flair when doing reports. It's still my stance that "Looks good in ski pants" is a perfectly reasonable leadership qualification to list in a risk management plan. I'm miffed that it got crossed out with a red pen. Hmmf.

I originally created a boyfriend application out of a sarcastic remark I made to Steve. He insisted I'd need transcripts and a diploma to get anywhere in life. I told him that if paperwork was so important, I'd start requiring prospective boyfriends to fill out an application with references.

Tonight upon getting home to Concho, I revised the aforementioned application.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Hi from Heather

I didn't fall off the ends of the earth, I'm just in Phoenix. We came down here on Thursday (?) expecting to drop some stuff off for my grandmother, and then drive right back up to Concho. We're still here...

She got hauled away in an ambulance the day we brought her back to her apartment. The short story is that her doctor was (and still is) an idiot who dropped the ball. She's still alive and kicking, but is back in the hospital for a while.

Mom and I have been getting her apartment all ready for her to move in. We've got all the furniture in, her cuboards stocked, and everything looking and smelling pretty. All it needs now is her.

My only gripe while down here is that it's almost impossible to find a Cake CD. Nobody carries them! I've tried Walmart, K-mart, Target, and a really good used book store called Bookmans. Nadda. Zip. Life is rough.

Don't know how much longer we'll be down here. I'll write more when we get access tp a computer again. Currently I'm on the City of Mesa's library computer. I'm happy - I just got myself a library card. That makes the 2nd county in AZ I've gotten a card for so far. When we get back up to Concho, I'm going for a 3rd. Show-Low is in a different county...

Must go borrow books now. :-)


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

New News

I just came in from the back deck, where I've been lounging around in my bikini and reading Discover, Scientific American, and Countryside. Ahhhhh....after almost 2 weeks of rain and cold, it's nice to finally have sun again.

Last weekend we had my cousin Samanatha's fake 10th birthday party. Her real birthday isn't until September. There are pictures of the food over on mom's blog.

We had vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, vanilla ice cream, chips, salsa, guacamole, veggies with ranch dip, chicken fingers and some other things. After we ate, Sam and Charlotte attacked the Dora the Explorer pinata and gorged on some more candy.

After we got everybody sugared up, we drove over to Aunt Liz's property. They have two acres up behind a cinder mountain. Lots of really nice views of the valley basin surrounding them. The kids and I ran around and annoyed the adults by playing with our walkie-talkies. With all of the rain we've been having lately, the ground was quite soggy. Mud about 5" thick stuck to the soles of everyone's shoes. You should see the interior of the car...

The only bad part of the day was that it SNOWED! Ick ick ick. Luckily it didn't hang around. The tops of all of the mountains around us are now white and pretty though. The pansies and calendula out front are still perky as ever.

On Friday I got my Arizona driver's license. Yippie! It's valid until my 69th birthday. :-) I can even choose to have the same photo of my 20 yo self on there until the day I go in to renew.

Hmmm, other news ....

I traded golf clubs and bags in exchange for some horse riding lessons with a neighbor.

The lilac tree out back is starting to bloom.

Mom and I have less then $100 in credit to our names.

We're going to California soon to the kick off party for PCT hikers, and we get to see Radar!

I'm going to get a lariat and start practicing roping the dog and the bushes out back.

The librarian already knows me by name :-)

We saw a herd of elk and a posse of antelope yesterday.