We went to WordCamp!

Scott and I attended a WordCamp in Fremont this weekend. We heard speakers lecture on various aspects of blogging and WordPress for a whole day.  We arrived early, bought coffee at Peets, and then headed over to the Adobe campus. I revved up the laptop but my aircard wouldn’t connect. I guess we were too deep in the basement for it. Scott got me linked to the Wi-Fi just in time because it only accepted a certain numbers of users before refusing any further connections. I really enjoyed being able to check things that the speakers were talking about and to read the tweets about WordCamp all day while listening to everyone around me bitch about not having Internet and smacking their MacBooks in frustration. We learned about different ways to update your blog and the changes coming in the next version of WP, heard some super technical, jargon laden lectures that only Scott could comprehend, and some cool ideas for widgets to add to the ol’ blog.  My favorite lecture was Ian Lurie, who critiqued three different blogs. I heard that the lectures are all supposed to be posted on the WP Seattle site, but I don’t see them yet. If you want to see the blogs and his critiques, you may email me for my notes.

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Thank you!

Thank you all for the fun party! It was great to see everyone and to catch up on news. Along with the usual snackage we served pumpkin pie in honor of Autumn and Rena brought a German chocolate cake, num. Kevin described a way to make a fruit-fly trap from a wine bottle.  We always have an infestation of fruit flies this time of year and we always have wine bottles around so I made one right away. You just pour some cider vinegar into the wine bottle and then tape a paper funnel into the neck. The fruit flies fly into the funnel but then can’t get back out. Here is the website of the University of Kentucky featuring this type of a trap, but the wine bottle looks much cooler than theirs does!

The Winter Solstice occurs on December 21, so our next party will be on Saturday, the 19th. If you want to know when those solstices and equinoxes happen, or if you’d like to know which stars are visible on a given evening, then it is time to order your Farmers Almanac for next year. Check out my favorite feature: the “best days” timetable. Don’t start 2010 without it!

PawsWalk 2009

PawsWalk: A Seattle tradition for 18 years. Paws, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society hosts a fundraising walk through Seattle’s Magnuson Park. Rob, Scott and I participated this year and plan to make it a family tradition. Rob had a blast and I was surprised by how calm he was. In fact, all the dogs were polite and well behaved. Now I realize that people probably only bring polite dogs to an event like this, which is why we never brought Freya, but it seems to me that the fact that we were all moving in the same direction as a pack really made a difference. When the dogs were milling around they were pretty “doggy” but once we all started walking, they were very focused. A double row of volunteers were standing at the finish line clapping for each dog who had completed the course. I was going to bypass the gauntlet but Scott nudged me and said to take Rob through. He was right! The volunteers started clapping and waving at him and he positively pranced to the water bowls at the end of the corridor.  Next year, I think we’ll form a team and see if we can get some more donations. Paws announced that they had more than 1500 walkers, most with dogs ( they don’t list how many dogs) and the final dollar-count is not tallied yet but as of today they’ve raised $185,000.

Hope to see you there next year!

The Autumnal Equinox

September 22nd is the Autumnal Equinox: the day the Sun enters Libra, and the beginning of Autumn.

libra2In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The spring (vernal) equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.

Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer, and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this is when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year begins. The harvest is stored away, the farm animals are measured against their feed and decisions are made about how many to keep and how many to slaughter and eat. This is why so much Thanksgiving feasting goes on now. Preserved meat and fruit only last so long.

Symbols of Autumn:

Blackberries, wine, gourds, pinecones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy

Foods of Autumn:

Breads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and root vegetables.

Colors of Autumn:

The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Autumn:

Libra is Pink tourmaline, opals and Rhodochrosite. Scorpio is topaz, bloodstones, garnets, and yellow agates. Sagittarius is turquoise and jasper.

Activities of Autumn:

Making wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations.

Fitness links:

I just emailed these links to several coaching clients and decided, in the name of efficiency, to post them here.

Recipes:

http://www.self.com/fooddiet great everyday recipes as well as ones suitable for entertaining guests.

http://www.hungry-girl.com Many of these are not necessarily healthy recipes for everyday, but they will get you through a craving. I made the carrot cake cupcakes for Scott’s birthday and they are terrific.

Exercise:

http://www.bodylastics.com I have the basic set with the DVD. Love the DVD!

http://www.collagevideo.com This is my favorite source for workout DVDs. I have the S.W.A.T. one in my wishlist, it uses the bodylastic tubing too.

Two sources for free workouts you can watch on your PC or download to your ipod

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/ipod-workouts

http://www.self.com/fitness

Bonus link: http://www.runpee.com

I don’t like to miss anything when I am watching a movie in the theatre, so I have a personal rule about drinking beverages during movies. However, for those who drink … I suggest runpee.com. Just type in the name of a movie to learn exactly when in the movie you can run to the restroom without missing anything important and they even summarize what you will miss while you are gone.

Fitness Coaching

I apologize for not posting for so long but lately I’ve noticed a real “trend” in my work and I’ve finally decided to share it. I don’t know whether it is the Summer wedding and party season or people are wearing less clothing, or what, but I seem to be getting a lot of calls about hypnosis and coaching for weight control and fitness. I am happy about it because body transformation and behavior modification is probably my favorite hypnosis specialty. Hypnosis is great for helping motivate you to stick to the good habits you’ve chosen. I also am amazed at how well it can uncover the root  causes of habits. I think this would be a good focus for a group as well as for individual work, so if you or any of your friends would be interested in a group approach, let me know and I’ll get something going.

Rob is a Therapy Dog!

Breaking News! Rob passed the TDI therapy dog test and the AKC Canine Good Citizen test today. I am so proud of him! The evaluator did a teeth and toes check and a quick brushing just to prove he was manageable. Then Rob had people in wheelchairs, on walkers, and crutches petting him on his head and talking loudly while a kid ran laps around us. He had an umbrella opened in his face and bowls clanged over his head and I had to leave him and go out of sight for three minutes. He was a trouper and did great. Moreover, this all has to be done with no treats and no corrections.

Usually, being left with a stranger is the hardest part for a dog but I’ve given Rob lots of practice at short separations and he got lucky and got a teenage girl to flirt with while I was gone. The only part that was hard for him was walking past the three giant milkbones on the floor. He walked by and didn’t touch them but he didn’t want anyone else having a chance at them either and actually growled really low when the next dog was called out, but no one else heard him. I have never worked on that with him because it has never come up before.

Click to check out the Therapy Dogs International website. The Tail Waggin Tutors (children reading to dogs) is what I’d like to focus on. Maybe the new library will want to get a program started.  If you are in need of a good cry, read the stories on the DSR (Disaster Stress Relief) page.

Click to check out the Canine Good Citizen program webpage.

Addendum: I didn’t realize it until after I posted, but we actually brought Robert home as a six month old on June 6th of  ’07. Today is our second anniversary.

Personal & Planetary Transformation

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