Sentient Biped's Blog (18)

Islamic Mauritania ♥'s Modern Slavery

This via The Friendly Atheist Blog, with links as added.  A big aspect of the story is one courageous Muslim man -  Biram Dah Abeid -   who is fighting Islamic - supported slavery in Mauritania.


"Slavery in Mauritania Is Alive and Well, Thanks In No Small Part to Islamic…


Added by Sentient Biped on September 18, 2014 at 8:02pm — 1 Comment

"How is your lover?"

Ive been sick at home with pneumonia. My mind is going all sorts of strange places, including conversations I've never known what to do with.

It just popped into my mind. A few years back 5? 7? I was on the phone with my aunt. She was my dad's brother's wife. My family was highly puritanical - no mention of anything sexual, in any context, ever. No cursing, no smoking, no drinking, but especially, what seemed to be absolute sexual innocence.

I had planned a visit to… Continue

Added by Sentient Biped on September 12, 2014 at 9:30pm — 10 Comments

Another try at the skeptics' meetup

Some time back, I was an enthusiastic member of the local skeptics' meetup.  It was a chaotic, free form get together where people talked about, just about anything.  People got to know each other, discussed their experiences, and I felt a sense of community.

About a year ago, the meetup changed.  There was movement toward a more…


Added by Sentient Biped on February 2, 2014 at 10:30am — 21 Comments

Paying Respects to the Dead

This weekend I visited my  parent's graves.  It's been a bit over 2 years.  I still think of them often.


I have no illusions about them looking down on me, or up at me, or whatever. Still, I wanted to visit the cemetery in person. That took a bit of a trip - fly from Portland to St. Louis, then…


Added by Sentient Biped on November 17, 2013 at 10:20pm — 12 Comments

Travel Blog. Changchun China.

Entering via ipad over unstable connection. So brief, and typos.

Assumed China still censored / prevented access to Nexus. But it does not prevent access here.

The flight is long for me. I fatigue easily. But enjoying this trip.

Staying with in-laws. What sweet welcoming people.

Beijing air is acrid smoky thick. At least, wS yesterday.

Changchun is old big industrial city in Northeast. As different from, say, Hongkong as Detroit or… Continue

Added by Sentient Biped on October 14, 2013 at 5:30am — 32 Comments

Random Thoughts as Life and Events Unfold.

This week was challenging.  I'm glad it's over.  Nothing worth big drama, just a lot.

My adjuvant treatment, for gastric sarcoma, leaves me fatigued.  I function well at work, in the morning.  On hard days, I start to crash-land late morning.  On moderate days, I crash-land mid afternoon.  I can keep going until the end of the schedule.  But it leaves a lot of "homework" and it takes a day to recover.

Three years ago, a "team" of managers harassed me into…


Added by Sentient Biped on August 31, 2013 at 9:30am — 9 Comments

At the county fair.

Two scenes at the County fair, here in SW Washington State. It was kind of interesting.

If I had any fire left in me, I might have approached the folks at this booth and caused some mischief. I did not have any fire in me and it would not have accomplished anything.

Since the booth, pictured…


Added by Sentient Biped on August 4, 2013 at 9:12pm — 20 Comments

When I am an old man

When I am an old man...

I will be surprised I made it that far.  If I do. 

It's not that far away.

There's a good chance, I won't.

I will consider it funny to have aches and pains. 

I already do.

I will not whine about being old. 

Or apologize for aging. 

I will consider it honorable and amazing.

I will laugh at myself for being funny looking, and bald, and having ears that stick…


Added by Sentient Biped on June 21, 2013 at 11:00pm — 10 Comments

New Cancer Diagnosis

Rare type of gastric (stomach) cancer.   Health plan is slow about scheduling  the biopsy - will not know what to expect until then.  Surgery for certain.  Maybe chemotherapy.  80% chance for malignancy based on size - CT scan and endoscopy.  Size / shape is like an Idaho russet potato.

Somewhere I read, there can be denial, grief, bargaining, anger.  I feel none of that.  Just, it is what it is.  It's a notable moment, I guess.  But not like when I saw my parents' decline as…


Added by Sentient Biped on March 11, 2013 at 11:05pm — 21 Comments

My atheist meetup group - not going so well. So it goes.

For the past 2 or 3 years - forget how long - I've been going to a monthly atheist meetup group in my town.  Mostly it's been great.  I would spend the entire month looking forward to it, and when I could not go, it felt like withdrawal.  Some of the locations were a 45 min drive, and even that didn't stop me.

Mostly we have been in a few local restaurants.  It changed recently because the meeting place went under.  Now at a pizza place, which is fine.  I don't know how many…


Added by Sentient Biped on January 25, 2013 at 9:55pm — 11 Comments

So you got married! Big f***ing deal!

Not having many friends in the world, and almost no living biological family, the few I have mean a lot.  Last week someone, who I love very much, my day to day coworker, told me she got married in Vegas over the weekend.  She's a sweet. loving, wonderful person, sincere, caring, and almost relentlessly cheerful.  Having her around makes my life so much better.  I love her as much as any family member.


It was interesting.  I knew she was dating, but she dates around a lot.…


Added by Sentient Biped on November 3, 2012 at 10:12am — 6 Comments

Girl on Alligator

Added by Sentient Biped on February 11, 2012 at 9:21pm — 8 Comments

Harbingers of Spring

I just took this photo 5 minutes ago. Every year I wait for this cherry tree, in my back yard, to bloom. Once it does, I know that there really will be Spring. I don't care about easter, lent, vernal equinox, or whatever the Mayans came up with. It's this tree that tells me life goes on.

Well, that… Continue

Added by Sentient Biped on April 15, 2011 at 8:10pm — 7 Comments

Waiting for my Mother's death

Yesterday I was called by the nursing home where my mother has been cared for during the past 3 years.  She has profound Alzheimer's disease.  She has not spoken a meaningful word for 2 years, as far as I can tell.  I live 2000 miles away.  For many years, I tried to move my parents here, where I have plenty of room in my house.  I could have given close, attentive care.  They didn't want to move.  My father died last year.


My mother's name is Maxine.  She was born in a…


Added by Sentient Biped on March 27, 2011 at 10:26am — 9 Comments

Goodby to all that. Hello Goodwill.

Last week I drove by an estate sale sign, and had to stop and check for bargains. My god, that lady collected a lot of stuff. I asked the people at the sale, was this one estate or multiple. They assured me it all belonged to one widow who may have lived in that house for 45 years. Stuff was packed into banana boxes, piled up and packed solid into rooms in the basement, then the garage, then the spare bedroom.

I bought a couple of glass pie plates. The one thing I can…


Added by Sentient Biped on September 27, 2010 at 9:00pm — 7 Comments

Hope in the Midwest. Evolution at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.

I recently made another pilgrimage to the "Town that time forgot" in the midwest. It's a 3-hour drive from St. Louis. Like many refugees from the Bible Belt, I sometimes view the region as a monolothic reason-forsaken place where all skeptics and atheists must abandon hope, and their Cerebrum, before entering. Of course, that's not true.

During this trip I made a side-trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was great to see a Dinosaur exhibit, rich with discussions of…


Added by Sentient Biped on August 23, 2010 at 10:22am — 3 Comments

Some pre-funeral ranting

Not many places where it's safe for me to rant about this, so here I am. Please excuse and forgive my rant in advance.

We're getting ready for my Dad's funeral friday. Visitation is thursday.

It's a small midwestern town. I hated living there. Leaving for military service was the most freeing experience of my young life. THe place is a dismal small minded town that time forgot. On my many, many visits to my parents over the years, I've bypassed dealing with any…


Added by Sentient Biped on August 17, 2010 at 11:30pm — 19 Comments

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