Friday, October 28, 2005

Karma

Ever really wonder if there is such a thing as karma? Generally speaking, karma is defined as "(in the Buddhist and Hindu religions) the force produced by a person's actions in one of their lives which influences what happens to them in their future lives." In more common terms, it can be defined as a) the law of cause and effect; b) what goes around comes around; c) you reap what you sow; d) totally innocent victims are rare; e) no good deed goes unpunished; or f) your actions create ripples that spread out, echo and constructively/destructively interfere with the ripples from the actions of others. You've heard the terms good karma and bad karma, I'm sure. Sometimes we see things in our daily lives that make us wonder if there really is such a thing as karma or, in some cases, poetic justice.

~~~~~Driving Karma~~~~~
I commute on an expressway system each day. I take an east-west expressway from my house until it connects to a north-south one. This morning, as happens every morning, the feeder ramp from the east-west to the north-south was congested, full of morning commuters. You can't be a wuss merging into traffic at this point -- people around here are discourteous, arrogant, and often extremely aggressive. I always turn on my signal to let the traffic in the slow lane already on the expressway know that I intend to merge in. I allow them opportunity to take their foot off the accelerator and just let me in. I've found this to be highly effective, for the most part. All too often though, as soon as I turn on that signal, instead of backing off, they accelerate, afraid I'm going to get to the traffic jam 10 feet ahead before them. And there's always a stoppage of traffic there -- that's why the feeder ramp is always so clogged up.

Anyway, this morning we're sitting on that feeder ramp, as always, waiting patiently to get to the merge point when, in my rearview mirror, I see a black Audi screaming up the shoulder of the feeder ramp. Clearly this man's time was more valuable than anyone else's on that ramp or the expressway. He slingshotted by, doing at least 50 if not more. I mean, he really rocketed past us. I looked in my rearview and saw the man in the car behind me just shaking his head. I muttered something about the Audi driver being an arrogant putz, and turned my attention back to the merge.

I merged into the slow lane without any problem and, as I always do, waited for a gap in the center lane so I could merge left. Typically, when there's a gap, it's filled from the rear of a line of traffic rather than the front. So, several cars behind me merged left and it was finally my turn. I was able to accelerate up to the speed limit and noted that the slow lane/merge lane was barely moving. There sat that black Audi behind a car being "taken for a walk" by a blue-hair, and not one person in the center lane allowed any distance between themselves and the car ahead of them, even though that putz in the Audi had his blinker on and clearly needed to go faster than the crawl he was already going. But, what I realized gave me the best belly laugh anyone could have on a morning commute. Everyone was intentionally blocking the putz in and some even were offering him the ol' one finger salute!

OK, so maybe it was childish and meaningless, but I went along with the crowd and blocked him in and, as I went by him, I smiled sweetly and waved. Thought that was more effective.

~~~~~Heart Karma~~~~~
Lisa's mother had open heart surgery back in May to clear out a lot of blockages in the valves leading to and from her heart, caused by her diabetes. Then she had to have the ol' roto-rooter done on one of her carotid arteries (the other one was completely blocked, and apparently they can do nothing about it).

It was difficult for Lisa -- I mean, that's her *MOM*! Her mother is doing considerably better, but still has some difficulties with discomfort from the surgery.

About 3 weeks ago now, I posted about her grandmother having fainted and subsequently needing a pacemaker installed. Grandma Ruth is doing well too (as I updated just yesterday).

In the meantime, Lisa's *father* underwent testing where it was determined that he, too, needed a pacemaker. That procedure was done yesterday afternoon and, the last we heard, he was doing well.

Lisa has a customer who orders stuff from her place of employment and, through a "gentlemen's agreement" she brings the stuff home, and Lee comes to pick it up at our house. He and his wife are really nice people, and they often stay and chat for quite a while. On Friday of last week, Lee called Lisa and told her that he'd not make it over on the weekend to pick up something he'd ordered and asked her to bring home. It seems that his father had a major heart attack, and didn't survive it. Lee had funeral arrangements to make, and other things to attend to.

Apparently, on Saturday, Lee's wife (Kathy) and daughter made a huge batch of peanut brittle, then went shopping, then drove over to her brother's place to deliver some peanut brittle. The brother opened the door, and Kathy collapsed in his arms. Kathy's brother *and* his son are both EMTs and they reacted quickly -- which is why Kathy's still alive today. She'd suffered a major heart attack and did not awaken until yesterday. They had, on hand, an A.E.D. (Automated External Defibrillator).

Lisa and I were trained on this equipment when we took our C.E.R.T. training last year. We were immediately sold on the idea of having an AED available in the home. This piece of equipment gives step by step instructions, both in writing and with audio prompts, on its use. It's easy, uncomplicated, and highly effective. All the user needs to know is CPR. If you can afford one ($200-$2,000) get one. If you use it only once, and save a life, it's paid for itself.

~~~~~Stupid Karma~~~~~
MEDFORD, Oregon (AP) -- A woman bought a winning lottery ticket worth $1 million with a stolen credit card and could wind up with nothing if convicted, police said.

Christina Goodenow, 38, of White City in southern Oregon faced numerous theft-related charges, forgery and possession of methamphetamine, said authorities, who searched her home Thursday. The card belonged to a deceased relative, they said.

If convicted of any of the charges, Goodenow will not be able to collect prize money from the winning ticket, said police Lt. Tim George.

Oregon Lottery officials refused to discuss specifics of the case because an investigation is still under way.

"I'll be fascinated to see how this shakes out," Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann said. "In my 12 years with the Oregon Lottery, this is the first time I've encountered something like this."

Goodenow purchased the winning ticket October 9 using a credit card that had belonged to her mother-in-law, who died more than a year ago, police said.

Goodenow traveled to Oregon Lottery headquarters in Salem on October 12 to accept an installment payment of $33,500. The $1 million grand prize is paid out over 20 years.

Detectives began tracking Goodenow on Wednesday after learning that she had used the credit card to purchase several items, including the ticket.

A search warrant served at her home Thursday turned up some methamphetamine, but little money, George said.

"Our investigation is still trying to determine what happened to the $33,500," George said.


~~~~~Patsy (Putzy?) Karma~~~~~


Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, resigned
today after a federal grand jury indicted him on five counts related to the CIA
leak investigation. Cheney said in a statement he accepted Libby's resignation
"with deep regret" and said Libby must be "presumed innocent" unless he is
proven guilty. (CNN)


White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove escaped indictment in the CIA leak
case Friday but remained under investigation. (CNN)
Well, someone has to take the fall, eh?

~~~~~Cosmic Karma~~~~~

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Actor George Takei, best known for his role as
Mr. Hikaru Sulu in "Star Trek," has come out publicly. He made the announcement in the current issue of LA gay magazine Frontiers.

Takei told The Associated Press on Thursday that his new onstage role as
psychologist Martin Dysart in "Equus," helped inspire him to publicly discuss
his sexuality. Takei described the character as a "very contained but
turbulently frustrated man." The play opened Wednesday at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles, the same day that Frontiers magazine featured a story on Takei's coming out.

The current social and political climate also motivated Takei's disclosure, he said.

"The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay," he said. "The issue of gay marriage is now a political issue. That would have been unthinkable when I was young." (365gay.com)

For all you "Trekkies" out there that are "family," there's a book out there, published SEVEN years ago that has homosexual characters! *GASP* While all the generations of the Star Ship Enterprise claimed to have traveled "where no man has gone before," they apparently didn't have the cajones to produce it in other than written form. With all the various cultures that were introduced, along with the concept of acceptance of *all* life forms, it turns out that they weren't all that afraid of the Borg. It was the queers.

~~~~~VERY BAD KARMA~~~~~

What awaits the little furry invaders in my office this weekend, when the facilities crew comes in to tear apart the air conditioning vent to find the hole(s) where the little buggers are coming in. They're also hoping to find where the water is leaking into the office, too. Oh, and, figure out why I'm not getting any heat.

~~~~~VERY GOOD KARMA~~~~~

What awaits me when I pop the cork on that bottle of wine tonight...

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