Emergency Broadcast System

A horrible tragedy happened to a friend of mine a couple days ago.  Life events have lead us to not see eachother as often, but it came as a shock to learn that something so horrible happened to a precious soul.  I learned about it through text, and then texted most everyone that knew her.  The amazing thing is that her family is keeping the world updated on her condition through Facebook. 

Before, I had always looked at the "like this for prayers" or the "page for this four year old to survive cancer" with disdain, looking down on a population that no longer is in touch with their neighbors.  They had nothing else to offer these people besides a "like." 

If not for technology or Facebook, I wouldn't have known that anything happened at all.  I don't have anyone's landline nowadays, and I hardly ever see people other than by accident.  I find myself checking her facebook page often for updates.  I'm amazed at how helpless I feel.  Posting on her facebook, hoping that her siblings or parents see, is the only recourse left to us.  We can't send flowers or cards (per hospital policy), and only family is allowed to visit.  If I could visit what would I say? Would visiting even help?  I realize now, that in situations such as these, we don't have anything else to offer other than well-wishes and patience.  As my sister said it best, "Why does something like this always happen to the good people?"

And anyone who has ever met Erin can't describe her as anything but good.  If anything her one flaw is how nice she is.  She never runs out of clever quips, she never runs out of songs, and everytime she's ever been to my mother's house she's washed my mother's dishes. It still baffles me how she can always be in a good mood.

The situation has made me rethink my view on technology and my interactions with people because of it.  Once when I we were driving to work, this song came on:

     "Oh, Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for oh
     What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
     Most nights I don't know anymore..."

She exclaimed, "This song is horrible! They have no idea what they believe in!"
Get better Erin and help me figure it out.

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In the land of myths and legends...

So in my bid to make the world a better place, I've decided to visit a very under-utilized resource in our day and age: THE LIBRARY.  I thought I should go and see books in their natural habitat.
Mommy?  Where do the kids charge their e-readers while the adults talk?
No, I didn't run into a senator--I'll have to catch him next round.  But I did find a very interesting book called The Ice Museum which chronicles the different attempts to get to the North Pole.  While I thought this book would be interesting at best, it started making allusions to the mythical Land of Thule (pronounced Thoolay or toolay).  How have I never heard of this?  Now I may not be the most studious of history lovers, but I'm pretty sure I remember all the fantastical lands that no one ever found.  Now, the book lists nearly all the historical and modern references to Ultima Thule, but most poets have written about it in passing, not necessarily about this strange land. Only a few paragraphs of Thule Knowledge exist.

Proto-Inuits mistakenly named the Thule Eskimos.

Ultima Thule is supposedly a land to the North that Pytheas sailed to.  Some thought it was North of Britain, some thought it was Britain, and still others thought it was North of Scandinavia somewhere.  On old maps, it appears as Iceland or Greenland (great new name for Iceland, eh?).  Strabo in his Geographica writes:
      "...the people (of Thule) live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are
     grain and honey, the people get their beverage, also, from them. As for the grain, he says, since
     they have no pure sunshine, they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears
     thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the

It was apparently a 19th century Atlantis, and the cause of many treks to find the North Pole, all outlined in this book.  It was even a Nazi obsession for awhile, and many Germans at the time believed the superior "German race" hailed from there.  Well, humanity managed to map out the whole North Pole and Ultima Thule was not found.  I'm assuming that's the rest of this book.  

On an unrelated note, I've been jotting down this story that's been running around in my head loosely based on the Tuatha De Danaan, but placed in a much more northerly kingdom.  I'm thinking Thule is a much more interesting myth!


Happy New Year!

My awesome friend Rebecca's beautiful daughter Maddie.

New year, new house, new job, new marriage and hopefully new updating-the-blog habits.  I also have a new layout planned, as well.  Stay tuned!