Astronomy Picture of the Day

Thursday, November 26, 2015




I thought I had covered 
this U.S. holiday
other years.

Finding it simple just to ask...

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Flashback to the year I went to visit Shard Villa
with the administrator.
A special place.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Knight Salve #4

Knight Salve #4

I cannot tell you how long this path has been, this path of pain.
When the pain is there, it's sharp, stabbing, distracting, impossible.
Petrolatum was the medical recommendation, to heal my tattered skin.
It only lasted so long and I was looking for my own formula.
My husband found this website where he ordered me kefir grains:

There is a wealth of information on their website.
I am sharing my latest projects and encourage you to try some of these.
Knight Salve originated with me writing a screenplay about a knight who is wounded and nursed to health by his future wife. The knight played by Glenn Hughes, his real life wife plays the healer woman to be his wife.
No I haven't written it yet, just ideas for the movie score...(meanwhile enjoy the you tube links :<)

Sorry, this one I posted this morning doesn't work in the US.
It is beautiful....

Now for Salve and Soap talk.

My first project Fred got me Kefir grains from I have been cultivating Kefir, mixing with yogurt for broad spectrum probiotics. Then I got into making salve and soap. 
4th version "Knight Salve" No I didn't measure. Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Coconut oil, Olive oil, Emulsifying wax (helps bind-blend water and oil soluble ingredients) Tincture of frankincense Tincture of myrrh Makula honey (medi-honey) Gently heat stirring constantly over double boiler until all melted. Pour into jars. 
Soap: Cultures For Health has melt and pour soaps and molds. I made hemp oil soap with lavender essential oils And goat's milk soap with relaxation essential oils. They also have a shampoo base that I put lavender essential oils into. The cartoon describes the pain and recovery through use of frankincense and myrrh. I believe the gold of biblical times is honey. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Richard Barone Friday Night Music

here i was,
thursday night,
no post, no music racked up
for friday,
my tradition,
my hobby,
my routine.

Richard's update came
just as i had nearly given up.
Perfect idea for music,
and an fyi,
his pledge music project
is looking good.
check it out.


Prior videos from you tube show a sample of his genius...meg

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Persistent Gas Pipeline Protesters Are Pushing the Limits (Their words, not mine)

I pondered what to post,
a pile of gas pipeline opposition emails in my in box.
start with the most recent, I told myself...

Persistent Gas Pipeline Protesters Are Pushing the Limits

From Mitchel Cohen:
This is huge! People from the Unistoten First Nation have been camping out along this proposed pipeline route for several months. Huge win!!:

New Canadian prime minister essentially kills Northern Gateway pipeline

By Katie Herzog
Environmental and First Nations groups are celebrating recently elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin “Hair Model” Trudeau’s decision to ban crude oil tankers from British Columbia’s northern coast.

The moratorium will stop progress on the $7 billion Northern Gateway pipeline, an unpopular project approved by former PM Stephen Harper last year. It would have moved diluted bitumen ­ a particularly nasty form of crude oil ­ from the tar sands of Alberta to the west coast of B.C. for shipment east to China.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

A ban would prevent hundreds of tankers each year from carrying diluted bitumen extracted from Alberta’s oil sands and piped up to northern B.C. from being shipped for export overseas.

“It will mean that Northern Gateway will never happen,” said Gerald Graham, a Victoria consultant specializing in oil spills for more than 40 years.

He said it remains to be seen what activities other than projects involving crude oil tankers will be permitted and which communities could be affected.

“It’s one thing to say what can’t take place, but another to say what will be allowed.”
Diluted bitumen from the tar sands is particularly concerning to environmentalists. It’s just about the worst oil on the planet in terms of climate impact, and when spilled it makes one hell of a mess. As Grist’s Heather Smith wrote last year, it is “something of a debutante, oil-spill-wise: when over a million gallons of it spilled out of an Enbridge pipeline and into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, spill response crews found that it behaved differently than the oil spills they had been trained on ­ instead of floating, it sank, and crawled blob-like along the river floor, eluding cleanup like a B-movie monster.”

For now, at least, that monster is being kept out of British Columbia’s northern boreal forests. Add that to the Keystone XL rejection, and tar-sands oil production should be looking decidedly less attractive to the fossil fuel industry these days.


The Department of Public Service is trying to figure out how it can be a better public advocate. After seeing them in action over the last three years, bending to Vermont Gas’ will at every turn, we have some pretty clear ideas about how DPS can better advocate for the people of Vermont, right?!? We need to make those ideas known at the DPS hearing TOMORROW.

This is not a pipeline protest event. It is, however, an opportunity to shine a light on problems with the process that are so enormous that if remedied we would probably have a different outcome on the pipeline. The pipeline is the example that we’re all familiar with, but it’s the process we’re trying to fix so that we can have fair and just outcomes. And in the process we’re going to remind folks about that whole pipeline controversy, because we keep showing up in the darnedest places, right? Here’s how you can help:

1. Come to a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov 17, held at the Shelburne Town Office (5420 Shelburne Road) 6:30-9 pm. It’s super important for you to be there, and if you feel you can speak, all the better. Rsvp to me so I have a rough idea of how many to expect. Some ideas of what to talk about are at the bottom of this email.

2. Offer to carpool your friends there — bring a carful of people!

4. There is also a hearing on Nov 18, Brattleboro High School, 131 Fairground Road, 6:30 - 9. Forward this information to your friends in the southeast!

5. If you cannot make it to the hearing, write your comment to by November 30, cc'ing the Governor and your legislators.

THANK YOU, and see you tomorrow,

Rebecca and Just Power

Here are some ideas put together by Melanie to get you started on a comment you might make for the hearing on Tuesday. Add your own points about how you envision the office, perhaps taken from your own experience in well-functioning bureaucracies — we need some new and creative ideas for an office that has fallen behind the times!

  • The Public Advocate Office must be truly independent! No matter where a Public Advocate Office is located (e.g. within DPS, at the Attorney General's Office, in a stand-alone agency or an independent nonprofit), the Office must be free from utility and political influence. The budget of the Office needs to be protected, and employees of the Office must be required to abide by a code of conduct and ethics that prohibits ties to utilities and strict financial disclosure rules. They should also benefit from whistleblower protections so that they feel safe to voice concerns or report problems.
  • The Public Advocate Office should be responsible for helping the public understand and participate in utility cases. Instead of acting as a gatekeeper that keeps the public out of the Section 248 process, the Public Advocate Office should be required to produce plain-language materials that explain not only the Section 248 process but also their rights as ratepayers, landowners, and the public AND the rate design and ratemaking process. Right now, it's nearly impossible for ratepayers to understand or participate in decisions that will affect their wallets, their health and safety, or the environment. Vermont needs a Public Advocate Office that respects our need for understandable and accessible information AND our right to participate in determining exactly what our interests are with respect to a given project or policy.
  • All Vermonters should have an equal right to assistance from a Public Advocate Office. Not all "public interests" are the same for all groups in any society. If different groups (e.g. ratepayers, property owners, small businesses) have differing interests, advocates should be assigned to represent the interests of each group, and/or funding should be provided to individuals and organizations, who want to intervene in the Section 248 process.
  • The Public Advocate Office should advocate for more than just lower rates! It's a myth that ratepayers care only about the cost of energy. Many ratepayers would be willing to pay a bit more for clean energy. Vermonters want a Public Advocate Office willing to stand up to utility pressure and advocate for our right not to pay for unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure. We want a Public Advocate Office that has the independence to demand that all utility customers should have the right to opt out of paying for dirty fossil fuel infrastructure!
  • The Public Advocate Office should be required to share complaints and communications received from ratepayers and members of the public with the Board and other parties during the course of Public Service Board proceedings. Nearly 500 Vermont Gas ratepayers wrote to the Public Advocate Office saying that they couldn't afford to pay for the increased rates necessary to pay for the ballooning ANGP costs. DPS never presented or even acknowledges these concerns during the technical hearings on the ANGP in June. Instead, the Department supported VGS claims that current customers would benefit from the project. This should never be allowed to happen again!
  • Improving the structure and effectiveness of the Public Advocate Office should start today - with a reasonable schedule for accessible public hearings and a comment process that makes sense! The way the Department is going about collecting public input for this report is a perfect example of how poorly the Public Advocate Office serves ratepayers and the public:
    • There are no public hearings being held in locations that are convenient for residential natural gas ratepayers, who could face the largest rate increases for energy infrastructure in the history of Vermont. Shelburne is still far from Burlington and St. Albans.
    • There has been almost no advertising or public outreach about the hearings!
    • And, DPS hasn't even bothered to produced any written materials, a draft report, or even a list of questions for the public but nevertheless wants the public to offer comments on how the Public Advocate Office should be structured! The average Vermonter isn't an expert of government organizational structure or public advocate offices. Why hasn't DPS given us something to respond to in public comments????
  • Until an effective and independent Public Advocate Office can be established, the Vermont public deserves to have Independent Counsel appointed for all large pending utility cases, including the Addison Natural Gas Project! Regardless of when or whether steps are taken to improve the structure and effectiveness of the Public Advocate Office, ratepayers and the public deserve an effective public advocate to represent them, now! Until something can be done to fix this problem, independent counsel should be appointed to represent ratepayers and other members of the public in all major utility cases, including the Addison Natural Gas Project. Currently, the Board isn't required to appoint independent counsel when ratepayers, the public, and the Governor or Department have differing interests, or when a conflict of interest arises. Whether to appoint independent counsel is at the discretion of the Board, and to date, the Board has pretty much never appointed independent counsel no matter how obvious it is that the Administration's and ratepayers' interests are at odds. This needs to change!
And these are AARP’s recommendations to improve the Department of Public Service’s Advocate Office:

  • The public advocate office should be an independent office that is removed from the political pressure to support utility company projects and rate proposals.
  • The public advocate office should be independently representing the interests of Vermont electric and gas customers so that your utility bills are fair and reasonable.
  • Public advocates for ratepayers should have technical and legal expertise and should have strong track record for independent action and advocacy. The ratepayer advocates should have limited direct ties with the utilities.
A friend couldn't get our local health officer to state the pipeline is bad for the health of our community. Armed with this info, folks near a compressor station of any size might have a better chance.

WINDSOR >> A Boston pediatrician has urged local opponents of Kinder Morgan's natural gas pipeline to keep up the fight against the project ...
Resolution Opposing All New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Passes in Portland
Portland, Oregon took a step toward combatting climate change on Thursday when its leaders unanimously supported a resolution to actively oppose the local expansion of all new fossil fuel storage and transport.

ADDISON COUNTY - Philip Beliveau believes his neighbors have a right to know how much Vermont Gas Systems paid him to extend the company's ...
In Vermont, our gas and electric utility companies are monopolies and the majority of Vermonters are served by for-profit companies. That's why we ...

There's also the fact that a gas plant could replenish Vernon's coffers: Vermont Yankee's value has been declining, but the property still accounts for ...


Pipes to be used in Vermont Gas' natural gas pipeline project wait in a construction yard in Williston. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
Vermont Gas Hearings Pushed Back While The Clock Ticks On MOUBY ERIN MANSFIELD
Hearings on a proposed agreement between the state and Vermont Gas set for December could clash with Jan. 8 expiration date for the deal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


**warning if none if this makes sense to you,
that is quite beyond my ability to fix it. meg


Was trying to post all of my comments
2 didn't make it so far of mine.
I think because it has my blog post link.
Well, here is the blog link
to the letter addison independent refused to publish:

That was in 2010!

this is the latest 2015

Link to original article from addison independent:

For the record,
all the comments:

Plato, justice and perfecting the soul

Mary Gerdt
Mary Gerdt  Say what?  5 hours ago Pending
Ah, you are Ms. Nomer using a new alias. You are awfully judgmental. Here is my original letter that this newspaper chose not to publish. You don't know me, Ms. What. Don't judge me. Take off your veil.http://traveloguefortheunivers...
Mary Gerdt
Mary Gerdt  Say what?  3 days ago
Dear Say What. You may also be highly educated one, Ms. Nomer. What I wrote is from deep down in my soul. To be frank, I had to suck it up in 2007 when Monkton, Vermont put my property up for sale, this newspaper published it and I was never notified which is my Constitutional Right. They told my husband in a malicious timeline that that state couldn't care less about. The Statewide property tax system is crippling people like many of us. Consider what I write as good, bad, atrocious. Say What, you are insignificant to me. Yet you spike me with a nasty, Snark! I believe you are an educator.
Mary Gerdt
Mary Gerdt  Say what?  17 days ago Pending
Say Huh? Opinion is all mine. You disagree. You sound like Ms. Nomer. I Do reread and alas my editor had the week off leaf peeping. Or is it LeafPeeping? I have a dyslexic condition where, yes, I made a mistake. It is Bruce Cunningham of Hinesburg. Here is a link to the facts 
Say What, get off my case, please. Snarky? Sounds exactly like Ms. Nomer. Take the cape off. Play nice.
Mary Gerdt
Mary Gerdt  18 days ago
Odd facts to think on. Would Plato approve of philosophy taught to the masses when only this first article is available to cash strapped readers like myself and subsequent articles cost $$? I responded back when you wrote the Plato article. My property was up for sale 9 months past due taxes. The town only told my husband. It was wrong, mean, certainly Injust. This paper didn't publish my letter back then. I want Plato to be a woman, in 2015, and she finds out what the Town did to her. I hope she would do as I have, reign in my emotional angst, hate even. Then she would write her heart out. Then she would sit in her chair, body hurting from MS. She just cashed in some of her retirement to pay the property taxes. No vacation for disability retirement. Next April taxes will be due on the dispersement, we will pay the taxes. They won't catch me late again. They are doing another town plan, (it's required, you know). If they find some more worthy living creatures, they will try and downzone me. I am ready, pen in hand. Let's bring Plato and Socrates back as women, 2015 AD. And they don't have $6,000 to pay the revenue agents.