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Some LairLinks y'all should know about (Newly Revised)... [Jun. 11th, 2016|03:45 pm]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |Starbucks radio]

I believe we're Ready to reveal our full range of online LairShops, folks! The Cafepress LairShops harbor teeshirts, caps, coffee mugs, sweatshirts, mousepads, provocative boxers and the like, all with the LairMistress's original art and photographs, Including but not Limited to Irish ones! Also, the Big News is that our Cafepress Premium LairShop, The Lair of Cards, is Now OPEN and RUNNING!! Dedicated primarily to our images on paper products--Posters, Postcards, Greeting Cards, and the like, this new LairShop is still being Built, but is now fully Functional! We may even feature EP CDs and Print/eBooks there in the not-too-distant future; meanwhile, we've got everything Paper-Oriented from Stickers to Framed Prints! Better still, we are researching possibilities for designing posters for other folks as well--I've done this Before, after all, but thus far only on a Volunteer basis.

Anyway, here are LairLinks to our five Cafepress LairShops:


Artifacts of the Lair The LithicLair: Images Inspired by the Ceramic Art of Neolithic Europe All Bunnyz, All the Time Eireann85: Images from the LairMistress's Trips to Ireland in 1984-85, and 2006



UPDATE (THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2009): There's been a bit of a shakeup on our e-commerce front, LairCronies! The Lair's private collection of prints for sale, the Nifara Gallery, has been permanently Retired and Deleted from the Lair. This is because 1) we weren't getting any sales; and 2) we decided to leave things like custom matting and framing to professionals. Therefore...we are Instead expanding our Imagekind account (see LairLink with the LairMistress's self-photo Below)! Having upgraded to a Pro account, we are expanding both the number of galleries and Uploaded images; we now are Allowed up to 100 galleries with up to 50 images Apiece! These galleries feature Custom matting and printing for each image; and we don't have to purchase these materials ourselves. Sounds like a plan! ALSO: We're still trying to decide what to do with our Photostockplus account, currently Deactivated pending renewal/upgrade. To upgrade or not, that is the question: the Annual upgrade price is a little Steep. We'll hopefully get Around to that eventually. Plus, we're doing Squidoo Lenses now! Check out the LairLink below to our Lensmaster profile! NEXT: Look for us to (finally!) upgrade at least two of our basic Cafepress LairShops to Premium, now that we can afford to expand our CP base a wee bit...stay Tuned for an announcement on those developments shortly!!


*****

My Squidoo Lensmaster Profile The Lair's Eye View: Stock Photo Gallery LithicStock: Imagekind Photo/Art Gallery Karen's SNOCAP Music Store




*****



Anyway, dear LairCronies, do check out these lovely LairShops; hopefully something will catch your eye, and you'll discover that it's got your name on it! That, and they make Lovely gifts for all occasions! I mean, c'mon, who hasn't gone bloody Bonkers trying to come up with a wedding gift for the couple who have everything (then again, I always find that you can't go wrong for that occasion with some nicely trimmed, dark red table linens from J.C. Penney...)?! TOGETHER ACROSS THE WORLD!!

SPECIAL UPDATE (FRIDAY, DEC. 7): Right now, friends, we would like to ask y'all to consider donating to the LairMistress's recording project fund. Our funds are quite low at present, which has prematurely curtailed the recording of said LairMistress's first full-length album! Interested persons are hereby Invited to donate to this fund via PayPal:










Thank you very much in advance! And please accept our best wishes for the Holiday season, whichever holiday or festival you and yours prefer. And have a Happy New Year besides!!
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Why I Hate Cleaning My Apartment... [Apr. 8th, 2014|07:00 pm]
[mood |frustratedfrustrated]

I can't seem to get my "spring cleaning" Done. The late-winter cleaning was bad Enough; but I had to go through the motions, at least, because brief unit inspections were Imminent.

Either way, I can't stand dusting, more than anything Else. I just don't want to spend time on it, because I want to spend time on other things (and I'm speaking as someone with a Longtime allergy to house dust). This keeps reminding me of the fact that there's an awful lot of more-Desirable things that I'm not getting Done. Part of the reason for this is that I still have a lot of trouble getting Enough sleep (and that I've sort of broken up with my CPAP), and can't seem to drag myself out of bed in the morning. This, in turn, makes me question whether there's anything Worth getting out of bed for, Given the lack of musical gigs and money being Made on my creative work generally, with or without my Desired musical partnership.


That, in a nutshell, is pretty much why I currently hate cleaning. At least I can more or less analyze and understand the situation. Call it acedia, or Whatever...
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The Lair's Open Letter to MA DCF Commissioner Olga Roche re: Justina Pelletier [Mar. 28th, 2014|06:57 pm]
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Belltown Starbucks, Seattle]
[mood |commanding]
[music |Some pop instrumental thingie]

...Because this sounds a bit more "Professional" and "Appropriate" than "#FreeJustina, you godforsaken Nazi robot!"  Or whatever...

Dear Commissioner Olga Roche:

I am also one of those across the country who is highly concerned about Justina Pelletier and the conditions in which she is being held.  I do not in any way intend this communication to be a threat against anyone in MA DCF, or against any other party.  I am aware that your agency and other public officials involved in the case of Ms. Pelletier and her family have received threatening and otherwise inappropriate communications, and I do not condone, nor have I have involved myself, in any such behaviors.  I do believe that both Ms. Pelletier and her family have been ill-served by DCF, by Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), and by your state's juvenile court system; and that Ms. Pelletier's health has declined as a direct and indirect result of this.  Recent photos of Ms. Pelletier are all over the Internet; so there is little point at present in holding her incommunicado, restricting her contact with the outside world, and prohibiting her family even from photographing her.  I believe that she indeed suffers from a diagnosable physical (not psychiatric) condition, and that she must be seen immediately by her court-ordered medical team based at Tufts University Medical Center.  Please immediately order that her medical evaluation and appropriate treatment for whatever conditions she suffers from should go forward at once, without any further delay.

My primary concerns are that Ms. Pelletier must receive medical treatment appropriate to her actual condition (and that she be evaluated thoroughly, either to confirm or rule out a mitochondrial disorder); and that she be free to visit, contact, and communicate with anyone she wishes, whenever she wishes to do this.  The State of Massachusetts is now completely responsible for her life, health and welfare; so I must insist that her wishes, needs and opinions be listened to, respected and implemented without delay. Ms. Pelletier is now 15 years of age, going on 16; hence, she is old enough to take an active role in her own medical care and all other decision-making pertinent to her own life.  She must be allowed to contact family, friends, media or whomever by post, cellphone, email, online social media, or in person; and no longer held in isolation like a convicted felon or someone threatening national security.  If she wishes to have an online presence, via blog, website, Facebook, Twitter or other social media, she should be free to do so, and not in any way impeded from exercising her Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of expression.  If she wishes to participate in religious services or celebrations (Christmas, Easter, etc.) with family and friends, she must, by law, be free to do so (and to visit with clergy members or chaplains if at all possible).  She must, by law, receive appropriate education and tutoring in order to help her catch up and prevented from further falling behind in her studies.  When visiting with friends and family, she must be free to communicate on any subject she chooses, including the quality and nature of hospital and outpatient treatment that she has received to date.  Please immediately order the DCF employees involved with Ms. Pelletier to allow her free communication with the outside world, and to stop treating her like a terrorist in solitary confinement.

I thank you for receiving and reading this communication; and I look forward to your positive and prompt reply.

Most Sincerely,

Karen I. Olsen
Seattle, WA USA
(931) 248-4275
tonksdhr@yahoo.com

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Another New Year; and Frightening Revelations [Jan. 12th, 2014|07:10 pm]
[mood |groggygroggy]

Happy New Year, LairCronies!  It's now 2014, which will be Year 50 for me!  That is to say, I will hit the Big Bad Five-O this Coming September!  That's Frightening Revelation number 1.

Frightening Revelation Number 2: Sitting here in the Belltown Starbucks (whence my old laptop was Stolen), I heard their PA system just Now playing a recording of a Weepy little song from the 19th century (a Modern cover thereof, that is) called "Please, Mister Conductor", about a kid who hopped a train without paying from his school so he could see his Dying mother one last time.  It just so happens that I wrote a rather Sardonic parody of this song back in high school (called "Please, Mr. Co-Pilot"), after hearing a version of it from the late Helen Schneyer on my Favorite folk radio program.  I was just thinking about my parody song Recently, and trying to recall how it went.  It was pretty Sick and Twisted, but oh well..."Now, sir, won't you tell me what you had in mind when you said I was 'getting off quick'..."

Anyway...it also happens that I'm now writing on my new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 15-series with Windows 7.  Seems to be working Okay so Far, except that Some of my keys are not producing their letters Onscreen like they're Supposed to, and I'm having to hit these keys more than Once at a time.  I don't know if I'm striking the keys too hard, or not hard Enough.  Hope this doesn't keep Up for too Long...
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Although in Hibernation Mode... [Dec. 17th, 2013|04:48 pm]
[mood |draineddrained]

...I am, in fact, still Here!  I've just been spending way too much time with the Usual gang of idiots over at Facebook and Twitter.  Tomorrow, however, I'm leaving for my annual Christmas trip over to Crossville, TN, still Inhabited by my Mom and her two Feline Overladies (is there a different Feminine form of "Feline Overlord"?).

Hopefully, while there, I will purchase or order a new laptop with a suitably Sizable hard drive, with a little help from my relatives (my brother won't be showing this year, due to Recent business travel and really Godawful weather in the Dallas/Fort Worth area).  Y'see, my old laptop from 2006 with a relatively new hard drive, Decrepit but Serviceable though it was, was Stolen out of my neighborhood Starbucks a few weekends Ago!  Whoever took the thing won't get much use from it, since the battery is completely dead (they took only the laptop itself, not the AC power thing).  And even if they do manage to get it powered Up, login to Windows is Locked by a password Known only to myself and one or two repaircritters at HP's computer hospital in Tennessee).  And even if they get past that barrier, they won't find anything particularly Useful to themselves, unless they really have a thing for photos of local blossoming cherry trees, and a Wildtangent games console.  At any rate, I have almost everything from that hard drive backed up on CD/DVDs at home.  Anyway...I was needing a new laptop anyway; I'd still like an HP Pavilion Notebook, with at least 200 GB on the hard drive; and, of course, compatibility with Wildtangent hidden-object games and the like.

The latest armchair activism I've been doing, which has taken me away from here for far too Long, includes, but is not Limited to, the following:

Justina Pelletier: It really must suck if you're 15, have mitochondrial disease, and catch the flu--especially if you end up at Boston Children's Hospital, where your parents are Accused of "medical child abuse" (sort of the Current PC term for Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome); you are diagnosed with "somatoform disorder" (basically a severe type of hypochondria); and the state's CPS snatches you away from your family and locks you up in BCH's pediatric psych ward for ten months!  It's about time someone asked this poor kid how SHE feels and what SHE wants in the way of "medical intervention."  Life in a private hospital room gets really Old really Fast; and she desperately wants to be home for Christmas, far Away from the power-tripping egomaniacs running BCH Hospital.

Lon Watts/Jim Heath: This one reminds me quite uncomfortably of the Sharon Kowalski case of 1983-1992 (which I first heard about at a women's music concert in D.C. in 1987, when I picked up a flyer titled, "Why Can't Sharon Come Home?").  Similarly to Ms. Pelletier's situation, it must really suck if you're a same-sex couple in Texas (for that matter, if you're LGBT at all in Texas), you've been together for over three decades, and the older of the two of you develops early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  And then, your partner's sister assumes guardianship over him (without mentioning in court that you already had Power of Attorney, going both ways); and does everything Possible to isolate him in a nursing home, with no contact with his partner, friends, or partner's relatives Allowed.  This story has elements of both ham-handed hospitals and guardianship abuse; and Lon (who I now follow on Facebook) will be heading to court this coming Friday to hopefully begin a Successful challenge to the abusive guardianship of Jim's sibling over Jim.  Once you guys win this one, it might be in your best interests to get the hell out of Texas.  Iowa is the Nearest state thus Far to legalize same-sex marriage.
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Loud Babbled Prayers in the Belltown Starbucks on a Dark and Stormy Night... [Sep. 30th, 2013|06:55 pm]
[mood |listlesslistless]

To the folks meeting and praying Together yesterday evening here at the Belltown neighborhood Starbucks: Hey, y'all--I don't mind in the least if you get Together at Starbucks for a small religious gathering, Including prayers and discussions of Divine influence in your lives and all that; but please do try to lower the vocal volume a bit.  We were the only ones (besides the baristas) in the shop at the time; and the ultra-High ceiling in here made your voices carry to the point of sounding electronically Amplified.  I was trying to have my usual Sunday p.m. chat with my Mom in Tennessee; and we had to call it quits after about 20 minutes (she is usually at least twice that Verbose on the phone), because I could barely hear her over all your Exuberant quips about Divine intervention; and she said that I sounded like I was under water (and it wasn't even raining that hard at the time).

Then again, the style of the prayers Offered was a bit Grating as well.  The folks in this gathering took turns praying near the end of their meeting; and they all seemed to be Accustomed to praying in this rather Annoying style, the origin of which I have yet to pin down.  No doubt some readers have heard it Before--a person praying Aloud at a quick tempo (not necessarily loudly), and using the words God, Jesus, Lord, Father, and other Judeo-Christian titles for the Cosmic Intelligence at least once in every Single phrase of the generally Overlong and quickly-Babbled prayer.  There's also the problem of overuse of the phrases "just really" and "really just" in nearly every phrase.  It sounds a little like this (try to imagine someone saying this really fast, with other folks in the gathering mumbling "Amen" at intervals): "God, I just really want to lift up Jenny, Lord, and God, I know that you know what she's going through, God, and I know that you are just really going to show her how much you love her Lord, and that you have such a great plan for her life Father, and I really just ask for you to show her God your perfect guidance Jesus, and I thank you Lord that I was able to hang out with her God for a while yesterday, thank you Lord..."  And that's just the first eight seconds or So.  If you listened to this for five or ten minutes at a stretch, you might get the impression that God has some Serious attention-deficit problems, and needs to be continuously Reminded that He/She is the person being Addressed.  Either that, or God has some Unwritten rule that prayers ought to be kept to within 2-3 minutes, so you'd best cram in all your requests and petitions as quickly as Possible before God hits the "Enter" button, and moves on to the next Chattering supplicant.  I mean, come on, folks--what's the freaking rush?  If I want to communicate with the Cosmic Intelligence, I at least take my time about it.

Oh well, it's a free country (at least, it still goes through the motions of free speech and Whatnot).  And praying is one thing that corporate-Controlled media can't stick its nose into.  Meanwhile, my nightly Reiki sessions with my doggie friend continue; and he often seems to be the Strong and Positive one who makes me feel Better...
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How to Generate Income?? [Sep. 17th, 2013|06:30 pm]
Generating income--this is something I've been asking myself how to do a lot Lately, and something I've not been very good at for a good Long time.  I keep putting one thing after another up on Cafepress, Imagekind and Elsewhere, to little or no avail.  In some moments of paranoia or Esoteric thinking, I contemplate heading up to Edge of the Circle Bookstore for a tarot reading on why I seem to be Jinxed when it comes to making money, or having professional success; and why all my creative output is consistently Ignored.  I would do a runecasting; but the interpretive book that came with the rune set has been annoying me for some time with all its references to "waiting on the will of Heaven" (hell, no--I'm Done waiting on anything, go raibh mile maith agat! Especially since the "will of Heaven" doesn't seem to favor me at all these days.).

So, where does one promote Cafepress shops outside of Facebook and Twitter?  I'm busy looking that up Now.  I've also been making promo cards for my larger LairShops; but I don't have the money right now to print them out on the Proper cardstock.  Are there other markets for original photos and digital art designs, whether Online or off?  I keep getting a certain South Asian chef friend in mind as someone I could consult with on promotional tactics.  I suppose I should pay him a visit some afternoon and discuss this over some chai and biryani.  Of course, there's also my long-neglected LairShops blog, which I must also update very Soon, whether anyone looks at it or not.

Busking still isn't paying anywhere near what it used to, whether or not the economy is on the upswing or not.  I need to do more of this.  Heck, I need to play publicly more Often, period, especially in open mics and street fairs.  I need to figure out a plan to get myself out of bed Earlier, every day, and commit to it with a Stern pact of some kind.  I also need to persuade my Subconscious mind that there actually IS something Worth getting out of bed earlier for (excuse my grammar).  There are loads of places where one can do busking sets in the Seattle area, Including:
  • Pike Place Market--the old standby...
  • the U-District, at any Unoccupied retail space; failing that, in front of the UW Bookstore.
  • Any bus tunnel entrance (watch out for the outrageously Anal Nordstrom's security guys, who have tried to convince me that Nordy's bloody owns half the sidewalk on their block.
  • Any unoccupied retail space on Broadway, though the Capitol Hill neighborhood has gotten a little Tough over the Past few years.
  • And for the really Brave, try the better-Lit and Populated areas of Pioneer Square.  Haven't done this Yet.

I also need to investigate more Potential busking areas besides this, after all the time I've lived in Seattle.

Bottom Line--I need to upgrade my income.  Underlining the Bottom Line--the fact that I don't want to work for someone else, especially some Zombie corporate outfit that doesn't give two ill-Timed bowel movements about my dreams, goals and aspirations.  I'm through making some Board of Directors' collective dreams come true.  There are some Creative enterprises to which I might consider offering time, skills and energy in exchange for a Liveable salary and benefits:

  • Green Energy: they might need graphic/web designers, musical soundtracks for videos, etc.
  • Musical soundtracks for computer games
  • Industrial Hemp promotion
  • Cottage Crafts/Art collectives
  • Equal Exchange or another Fair Trade advocacy group
  • International musicians' co-ops
  • WOMAD Festivals
  • Networks of Reiki and/or Shamanic practitioners
  • International network of chocolate and coffee Fair Trade co-ops

Well, this is just a bit of brainstorming I'm doing here.  I would also like to join up with some of these projects using the Creative output I've already completed and uploaded, as Opposed to going through a ridiculous Formal interviewing process, if Possible.  Why is this?  Well, mostly because I tend to suck at job interviews; I hate doing them; and I don't think they represent my background and experience particularly well to begin with.  At any rate, writing down such ideas regularly might be of some help in getting me out of bed and out of my semi-Conscious brain more Often...

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There's Just One Hitch... [Sep. 14th, 2013|07:00 pm]
[mood |complacentcomplacent]

...and Peter Hitchens isn't it.  He is fun to argue with, being--well, still Alive and all.  Sometimes, though, engaging with him is a bit like debating a recently-Resurrected clergyman from the 1850's or so, or perhaps the ghost of Dr. Thomas Arnold (he of Rugby and Tom Brown's Schooldays fame).  He is keenly Aware of being a bit Anachronistic in contemporary British society; in fact, he has publicly referred to himself as an "obituarist" of the British society that he and Christopher grew up in (I think that's the first time I've seen the word "obituarist" Used in a Public forum).  Needless to say, I still miss The Hitch, and wish he'd had more time to spar with folks on Twitter; his articles (even those in which he tried too hard to sound Neocon) were such a breath of fresh air, and helped give me the chutzpah to speak my mind freely, in person and Online, without worrying about being Opposed or Accused of offense.

I was somewhat unpleasantly Surprised only yesterday, when visiting Judy Small's website, to learn that she has officially retired from performing since being Elected or Appointed a judge on one of Australia's Federal Circuit Courts.  I suppose I should be happy for her emergence as a more-Progressive "Judge Judy"; but I feel rather Bummed about it Instead; I've already been missing seeing her perform in Seattle and Elsewhere.  However, though I could be Wrong, I get the impression that she may not have enjoyed touring all over the planet as much as she likely thought she should.  I'm not sure what I would think of it, not having traveled more than a few times a year myself since the Early 90's, even though a career as a touring folksinger is what I've been aiming for.  I must somehow raise the funds for an open mic tour very Soon, and I still don't know how to go about it.  I wonder if Judy will take to singing decisions in topical-folk format from the bench..?

In more somewhat-Unpleasant news, it was also just Yesterday that we learned of the passing of Naheed Nusrat Ali Khan, widow of the Lair's favorite musician, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and mother of Nida Fatima Ali Khan (as well as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's auntie).  She apparently emigrated to Canada some time Ago (and who could blame her, Pakistan being lately Riddled with Taliban and Al Qaeda types not exactly Sympathetic to those following Sufi traditions), and was living quietly outside of Toronto when she was Diagnosed with some form of cancer just about a month Ago.  The Lair sends its Heartfelt condolences to her family and friends in Pakistan and Elsewhere (the word is that her remains may be returned to Pakistan and buried near Nusrat and family in Faisalabad), while wishing Begum Naheed a Peaceful transition, and Happy reunion with her life-partner and others who have gone on Before...
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So, I went to Guatemala for ten days, and... [Jul. 23rd, 2013|06:55 pm]
[mood |busy]
[music |Something on Starbucks PA]

...Well, yes, and I came back with a teeshirt--as well as a supply of coffee, chocolate, cocoa, a Handcrafted change purse, and a new Handpainted rattle!  Not to mention a fair collection of Original photos.  I'm still working (rather too slowly) on Photoshopping the photos, though I've made Cafepress greeting cards and postcards out of one of these images; and a few others are nearly Ready for the Commercial treatment as Well.  Even though Guatemala tends toward the Hot and Humid end of the thermometer, I think I left a scrap of my heart there.  The people are very friendly, down-to-earth, and Welcoming of visitors; and the scenery is simply Amazing.  More on that Later.  I'd like to order some more chocolate and cocoa from the Choco Museo in Antigua.

While doing this, I've been spending way too Much time engaging with Peter Hitchens on his Twitter account, when not playing games on my WildTangent console.  It must be due to the often-Interesting challenge of dialoguing with someone whom I see as a philosophical opponent.  I really should muster the determination to spend more time Here, and more effort into finishing up my Overdue spring cleaning.  Good God--now I'm starting to write like ol' Grumpy Pete!  Speaking of grumpiness, I've also spent way too Much time on the Facebook pages of Grumpy Cat and her brother Pokey.  I guess it's because they're such Cute kitties, and Grumpy's photo captions and facial expressions make me laugh.  I actually told Peter Hitchens, not long Ago, that Grumpy Cat must be his patronus, or animagus form, or something like that.  Seriously, I told him that on his actual Twitter page.  So far, he has not commented (he's too Obsessed with banning marijuana, for Some reason; he's been Persuaded that it will make you "irreversibly mentally ill"); neither has Grumpy.

I must do more busking, and find a way to raise funds to get my CD finished, seeing as the crowdfunding campaign has gone Nowhere fast.  I am more Convinced than Ever that I am Jinxed where money and professional success are Concerned.  Some uncrossing measures may, Indeed, be Called for...

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Why I Snubbed the Great Tomato... [Apr. 28th, 2013|07:22 pm]
[mood |depresseddepressed]

This is an essay I wrote a few summers Ago.  At the time, I was too Chicken to post it Anywhere; but it is still quite Timely.  Plus, I feel really Down right now; I need help ASAP, musically and Otherwise; and I'm Sick of censoring myself for fear of upsetting someone.  So, without further Freaking ado...

Why I Snubbed the Great Tomato a few summers Back...Collapse )

*****
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