A baseball synchro


The Curse of the Billy Goat was a sports-related curse that was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave game 4 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field because of the odor of his pet goat. He was outraged and allegedly declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” The Cubs went on to lose the World Series and haven’t been back…until now.


Seemingly unrelated, in the early morning hours of  Oct. 17, I dreamed I was in a hotel in France with a friend from college, nicknamed Rabbit. The hotel was like a maze and had a Bohemian flavor with lots of interesting and unusual people staying there. In the dream, I was sleeping and woke to find two bear cubs romping around in my hotel room. They were like big furry, friendly dogs.

When I woke up for real, I was puzzled by the dream. In a sense it was a flashback, because I’d gone to Europe in 1975 with Rabbit and we’d spent a month in France before heading to Spain and Morocco. But what were these bear cubs about?

It wasn’t until hours later that the baseball link occurred to me when I read that the Chicago Cubs had been shutout in their last two games.  I’m not a huge baseball fan, but was aware that the  Cubs were attempting to break a 71-year curse and win the National League pennant and move on to the World Series. But, at that point, it was looking like the curse was still in place and the Dodgers were on their way.

I still keep in touch with Rabbit and he is a huge baseball fan, and a Cub fan. So all the elements of the dream started coming together. Except why were there two bear cubs in my room?

Just an hour or so ago, (Saturday night) the Cubs won the pennant with a 5-0 victory, breaking the curse. Maybe that accounted for one cub, and I’ll go out on a limb and say the other cub represented a win in the upcoming World Series. We’ll see if it was a prophetic dream, and if I correctly interpreted it.

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At the Veterinarian’s Office



Our oldest cat, Powder, 16 or 17 years now, had to go to the vet today. Over the past few years, she has developed a thyroid problem and is now on the human equivalent of synthroid, so she’s checked periodically to make sure the dose is working. She also has an ingrown claw that needed to be remedied.

Our vet, Ira Grossman, retired from his NY practice some years ago and lived for a few years in our neighborhood. Then people found out he was a vet and started bringing their pets to him. He apparently realized he couldn’t retire and bought several acres of land a few miles from us and opened a clinic.

In the beginning, he was the only vet. Now he has half a dozen other vets working with him and his practice is open 24/7. It’s a walk-in clinic, which is great for cats, who often know when they’re bound for the vet and hide. His prices are reasonable and he’s one of those vets with a genuine intuitive grasp about animals and what ails them.

This morning, I arrived shortly before 10 and was delighted to find the waiting room deserted. I figured I would get in quickly. What I didn’t know was that a really huge dog was being tended to in one of the rooms and all of the vets and technicians were tending to his dog. A young woman stood off by herself, alternative crying and wiping away her tears and it turned out she was the dog’s owner. When the dog emerged from the back room, he was on a stretcher, the woman was sobbing, and her male companion looked to be on the verge of a breakdown.

As the stretcher passed by me, I realized just how huge this dog was and thought, for a moment, that it wasn’t a dog at all, but a mountain lion. His paws looked to be the size of a human head. While he was being tended to, a woman arrived with a beautiful black cat in a carrier and sat down next to me. She was upset and kept reaching inside the carrier to stroke her cat. I suspected she was here to have her cat put down.

Even though I had arrived before her, she got in to the examining first and that was when I knew her cat was here to be put down. Sure enough, the employee who checks everyone in came over to me and explained she’d sent the woman in first because her cat was going to be put down and she didn’t want the owner to have to sit forever in the waiting room, faced with the inevitable heartbreaking thing she faced.

Three years ago, I was in that woman’s position and sat sobbing in the waiting room because I was there to have my cat, Tigerlily, put down. This same employee came over to me and touched my arm and told me a friend of hers had died and come back and could now communicate with animals. “They come back,” she said. There was also a synchro involved in Tigerlil’s death that blew me away. (Click the Tigerlily link above)

When the woman finally emerged from the back room, her sunglasses in place, she carried her cat’s body in a carrier, and tears rolled down her cheeks. I knew she was going to bury her cat in her backyard.

So much life and death drama goes on in any vet’s office, but in Ira’s clinic, death is treated with respect not only for the animal, but for the human who loves it, who must ultimately make that decision.

While I waited, a black and white pug was taken in and out of X ray and his anxious owners sat together, visibly upset.   He had a neck injury. Before he left, his human was given a bunch of different medications that Ira wanted to try before considering surgery.

When Powder and I finally got in to see one of the vets, we’d been there more than an hour,and really didn’t mind. I discovered that she’d gained nearly two pounds since beginning the thyroid meds and that the ingrown claw had been excised and that her paw would be bandaged for two days. Now she’s wearing a little pink boot.

Ira’s clinic, Palms West, is a rarity, a place where animals and their humans are tended to first and the bill is fair.

Recently, Megan took her new kitten to a franchise vet for her second set of shots. They tried to get her to repeat the first set of immunizations (more $) and when she said she would go elsewhere, they backed off. They also told her it would cost $300 to have Piper, the cat, fixed. Ira would cost a fraction of that. Other organizations do the procedure for a nominal cost. Or for free.

For so many of us, our pets are members of our families. When they flourish, so do we. When they hurt, so do we. Good vets understand this. Good vets, like good doctors, are rare treasures. They have been where you are. Emotionally, they get it. They get that love overwhelms everything else and don’t take advantage of it.

So here’s Powder, with her little pink boot, asleep behind my bookcase, perhaps planning her next  life.




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The Riddle of Time


This particular synchro is probably precognitive. It falls in a category I think of as general weirdness in life, but probably belongs in, Just Listen. When you just listen, it seems that synchronicity brings you something that blows you away. That’s how it was for Alexis Brooks, an author and radio show host.

From Alexis:

Synchronicity. We’ve all had them. Without fail, they manage to arise unexpectedly. Sometimes, they are simple or fun, like a Universal wink and nod. Sometimes, they are profound – teaming with meaning, enough to provoke a complete u-turn on one’s life path.

Regardless of what we call synchronicity, one thing is certain: we know they happen. But how do they occur? What is the recipe by which a synchronicity comes together to create the perfect food for thought (or action)? Moreover, how is it that synchronistic events are able to bring about a coming together of “past” “present” and “future?”

This is a question I’ve pondered previously, but not until a few short weeks ago, did I muse over this conundrum like never before. I’d run into an old-old friend. A childhood friend whom I hadn’t seen for probably over 40 years. After she “arbitrarily” popped into my mind one evening, I temporarily became pre-occupied with locating her, if only to find out how and what she was doing with her life some forty or so years later. To no avail, I finally let the idea of finding her go back to where it came from – wherever that might have been.

And then…

As if on cue, per my thought-felt request, several weeks later…there she was! Both of us shopping in a local discount store only five minutes from my home. I found out she’d been living in a neighboring town for years, essentially right next door to me!

Repeat: I hadn’t seen her for 40+ years!

It was this jaw dropping, irrefutable synchronicity that caused me to explore how these events actually occur, but with one caveat: that I may never truly know the process that is ultimately at play.

Here were my questions:

  1. Did this person appear in my reality after my thought of her because I’d focused my attention so intently on her? In essence, did I conjure her up?
  2. Did the fact that she popped into my mind to begin with, represent a “higher” aspect of my consciousness which knew I would be running into her some three or so weeks later?
  3. Was our meeting some combination of the above?
  4. …Or just mere “chance?”

Pertaining to the latter – I certainly don’t think so!

Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung was one who considered such questions with great enthusiasm as well. In his book On the Nature of the Psyche, he attempts to explain the means by which synchronicity can and does occur. He says…

Since psyche and matter are contained in one in the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that the psyche and matter are two different aspects of one in the same thing. The synchronicity phenomena point, it seems to me, in this direction, for they show that the non-psychic can behave like the psychic and vice versa, without there being any causal connection between them.

If the thought of my friend represented the “psyche” and the actuality of our meeting represented the “matter” of reality, then Jung’s hypothesis is a point certainly worth pondering. Because we, as linear thinking habitual creatures, tend only to rationalize phenomena (no matter how irrational it may be), we can only decipher its reality by thinking in terms of cause and effect, when in actuality, particularly when looking at it from a quantum perspective, what appear as separate events (or states) may in fact be one-in-the-same, only appearing as if they’re different and separated by space as well as time.

While taking all of this into account and re-asking myself the aforementioned questions, I had a lucid realization that this is not a case of multiple choice: scenario 1, 2, 3, or 4, but rather a blending, blurring, and coalescing of time, space, wave, particle, thought, action, cause, effect, physical, non-physical, etc.

This indeed may be the true nature of reality and of synchronicity.

And the true understanding of what it means when it is said,  “All resides in the present!”

Synchronicity may just be our biggest clue!






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Winning the Lottery


Recently, I was contacted by Sue W, who wanted to know if I could rectify her natal chart. – i.e., find her correct time of birth. This process is complicated in that the astrologer has to work backward through a person’s life and erect charts for the major events. Marriage/divorce, birth of a child, a move, death of a parent, car accidents, surgeries… You get the idea.

Sue, who is knowledgeable about astrology, sent me an extensive list of pivotal life events, which included a lottery win of $150,000, back on March 19, 2016. This certainly caught my attention as did the rest of her email about this win:

“If you remember, there was a grand fire trine on March 19 that started at 9:08 a.m. and ended at 2:43 p.m., MST. I work with these types of flowing energies to buy lottery tickets. I wanted to buy a lottery ticket at exactly at 2:43 p.m., but the person ahead of me in line took a bit longer, so the Power Ball ticket was purchased at 2:44 p.m. I won 150K that night at 9 p.m. Power Ball numbers in Florida are drawn every Wednesday and Sunday at 11 p.m. your time and the process lasts about 35 seconds. If I had purchased the ticket during the fire trine (when it was exact), would I have been the jackpot winner?”

The grand jackpot for that night was $80 million.

A grand fire trine in astrology is when three planets in fire signs – Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius – form angles of 120 degrees to each other. Trines look like triangles and are considered to be fortunate aspects. On March 19 of this year, the grand fire trine involved the moon in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries.

Oddly, I’ve never used astrology to buy lottery tickets. I buy one when I’m feeling particularly upbeat and positive and have always figured your emotions, beliefs, and intentions are important at the moment you purchase. The most I’ve ever won was 20 bucks from a scratch off. So I asked Sue how she was feeling when she bought that ticket. What was her mood like? And did she pick the numbers or were the number generated by a machine?

“I felt great because I knew that I’m a fire sign Leo and that I was buying the ticket under the influence of a grand fire trine.” Her numbers were generated by a machine, she said, “which makes you wonder…”

Sue also has a grand fire trine in her birth chart.

According to the lottery site, only 4 people won $150,000 from the lottery on March 19. I’ve highlighted it in red in the chart. FOUR people. What are the odds on that?

All States Except California

Match First 5
Match Powerball
No. of
Prize Amount Total Awarded
  5 + 0
with Power Play †
  4 + 1
with Power Play
  4 + 0
with Power Play
  3 + 1
with Power Play
  3 + 0
with Power Play
  2 + 1
with Power Play
  1 + 1
with Power Play
  0 + 1
with Power Play
Total 523,690 $4,562,499


So, now I’m really curious if there’s something to all this. Transits, the daily motion of the planets, are really about timing. When is the best time to get married? To start a garden? Get divorced? Move? Win the lottery?

I’m now going to pay closer attention to transits that portend this kind of financial good luck. Stay tuned!

And thank you, Sue!

PS I figured I would win something in Powerball’s drawing on October 16 because of what I’d learned from Sue. Sure enough, I won 3 out of 5 numbers. If I’d played a Powerball number and gotten it right, my take would have been $100. I won…drum roll!- 7 bucks, which is what Powerball pays if you win 3 out of 5 numbers and don’t have the power number.  But hey, I’m learning!

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SERIOUSLY?   There’s still a question about Trump as a sexual predator? Why?

How many women does it take before the tipping point is reached? With Cosby, that tipping point was around fifty. Why?

Because of fame. Because famous men can deny and deny and dismiss these allegations as partisan politics.

If you’re a famous man, you can probably get away with murder, just as Trump announced in one of his tirades. If he shot someone on a Manhattan street, it wouldn’t change anything. His supporters would still love him. The only measurable differences between Trump and Cosby is that Trump is white and didn’t drug his victims, at least not that we’ve heard yet.

Years ago in Venezuela, there was a weird perv who frequented the Catholic church our family attended. In the cafeteria after mass, he would worm his way through the crowd and find young girls placing their orders at the counter, and would thrust his hand up their skirts, just like Trump. The teens were usually too shocked and embarrassed to report this incident to anyone.

In upstate New York during my college years, when the Sixties were in full swing with free love and weed and anti-war sentiments, predators abounded. But these predators used drugs. I’ll give you a ride home. And then you wake up in a place you have no memory of entering, your clothes in shreds, your body violated. And when you go to the police and find out this man is wanted in other states for sexual assault, you’re advised not to press charges because, well, you’ll be eviscerated in court.

When I hear women defending Trump, when I see women behind him at his rallies, their faces flushed with adoration, I feel like puking. When women defend him, feel sorry for him because of “attacks by the media,” I’m nearly speechless. Then these same women argue, What has an Obama presidency done for you? This question is tossed out as though there’s an actual connection – other than the presidency – between Trump and Obama. My mind leaps hurdles. So ladies, whoever you are who have conveniently forgotten that George W. Bush is responsible for the war in Iraq (not Obama) , let me tell you what the Obama presidency has done for me and my family.

My daughter now has health insurance for $100 a month that provides great coverage. Before Obama, she had ZERO coverage because she couldn’t afford it.

The night that Obama was elected, I went to bed in tears. Eight years of the disastrous Bush presidency was HISTORY, DONE, OVER. The melting economy could now try to recover – and in Florida, the real estate market is nearly back to where it was before Bush. The economy is rebounding.

At night, during an Obama presidency, I go to sleep secure in the knowledge that an intelligent man is in charge, that the buffoon of George W Bush has been put out to pasture with Cheney, Wolfowitz, John Yoo and the rest of his corrupt gang.

I can go to sleep knowing that a man with a conscience is in the White House, a man with two daughters and an intelligent wife who could probably enter politics on her own merits and sweep the Senate.

I’m not pleased that no one in the Bush administration has been prosecuted for war crimes – i.e., TORTURE at Gitmo – or that Gitmo is still open and functional – or that drones are now used to kill people. I’m not pleased that we still have an antiquated electoral college instead of election by popular vote. But compared to Trump, these things are relatively minor.

Trump is a sexual predator, serial liar, a clueless asshole who, when he speaks to his supporters, does nothing more than hold up his stumpy fingers and talk about how he‘s going to make America great again. Yeah, the system is rigged, Trump says, and he usually cites Bernie Sanders, how he got screwed by the Clintons, and how he’s going to sue the New York Times and every other media outlet who has exposed him for what he is. On this score, Trump is probably right. The system IS rigged, through the electoral college, through the respective party rules about what can and can‘t be done, through power plays in the respective parties.

But the sad and pathetic truth is that Trump, the Republican candidate, illustrates what this party is really about and hey, it’s not about you – women, minorities, anyone other than white men. Trump is a sexual predator, narcissist, it’s all about me, but I have great respect for women, no one has more respect for women than I do.

 And the Republicans, for the most part, still support this mentally ill, sorry excuse for a candidate. And that tells you quite a bit about how the Republican party has imploded and is headed down the toilet tube to oblivion. Good riddance, dudes. Go talk about the walls you will build, the candidates you will jail, how you will restore a white male supremacy throughout the country that will govern women’s bodies, women’s choices, women’s lives. Sorry, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Now, because of a recent poll that showed that with the female vote Clinton will win,  you want to repeal the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote.  The sad fact is that many women are living a kind of truncated existence because their husbands and partners are part of this Neanderthal mindset.

Ladies, wake up. Trump is not your knight. Trump is your worst nightmare. Hillary Clinton isn’t untarnished, but she takes responsibility for her mistakes, she’s smart, she’s informed, she knows foreign policy, and  she’s more hawkish than I would like. But when I look at the alternative, I see a tyrant, a Hitler in the making, a planet in complete meltdown.

No, thanks.



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A Snake and a Crab on Mars?

Why is it that NASA never addresses these anomalies?


The original NASA images are here.

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Shampooch in Orlando


Over the weekend of September 24-25, we went to Orlando to help our daughter set up an exhibit of her art at a charity event for the rescue of small dogs. It was called Shampooch and all dogs, of course, were welcome.

Part of Summerlin Avenue was blocked off and exhibitors set up their booths on either side of the road. We arrived at 7:30 – the event started at 9 a.m. Some exhibits, like Megan’s, were pet-related.



Others were for jewelry, clothing, art, even an exhibit for hot pepper jelly!


Orlando is great at setting up these kinds of community events and when dogs are welcome, hundreds of people turn out. Megan does a raffle for a free wine glass with your pet’s portrait on it, so she collected plenty of email addresses and will do the raffle in the next few days and notify the lucky winner. Here are a wine glass and coffee mug with Nika’s image painted on them:


We took Noah and Nika down to the shampoo area, paid ten bucks per shampoo, and volunteers bathed them. Noah was NOT happy with a bunch of strangers touching him, much less shampooing him, but Nika basked in the attention.



The cutest photo of the day was this one:


There’s no synchro that I can recall pertaining to this post, but it was just a fun dog day!









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Wolf & Vonnegut


Kurt Vonnegut self-portrait

Synchronicities can happen anywhere, anytime, even when waiting out a major storm. As Hurricane Matthew approached, we kept the Weather Channel on, listened and occasionally watched the latest updates. Our house was shuttered and Trish and I were settled in with two dogs and three cats. Stuck inside, I took the opportunity to organize some of our books that were piled here and there, and see if I could find shelf space or set some aside for recycling.

I noticed two books separate from the others, one atop the other. One was The Dreaming Universe, by Fred Alan Wolf. The other was Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country. I considered putting Wolf’s book in a bag for Goodwill, but noticed there were several paper tabs marking various pages. So, curious, I open the book to one of them, glanced down the page and my gaze stopped on the phrase… ’Vonnegut’s experience.’

That seemed like an interesting coincidence since Vonnegut’s autobiographical book had been resting atop Wolf’s dream tome. So I backtracked a few paragraphs to find what Vonnegut’s experience was about.

The story comes from a book on dreams in which Alan Vaughan, one of the co-authors, wrote that he had watched an interview on TV with Vonnegut and a few nights later dreamed of Vonnegut. He wondered if the dream meant anything to Vonnegut, so the next morning, March 13, 1970, he wrote him.

“You appeared in a dream I had this morning. We were in a house full of children. You were planning to leave soon on a trip. Then you mentioned that you were moving to an island name Jerome. As far as I know, there is no such place, so perhaps the name Jerome or initial ‘J’ has some related meaning.”

Vonnegut wrote back a couple of weeks later. “Not bad. On the night of your dream, I had dinner with Jerome B. (an author of children’s books), and we talked about a trip I made three days later to an island named England.”

Here’s what Wolf had to say about the exchange about the dream. “Clearly there was a connection between Vaughan’s dream and Vonnegut’s experience, all happening the same night, although it is probable that the discussion between Vonnegut and his friend Jerome took place before the dream. But the connection cannot be considered to be causal or local since there was no signal between the two events. One would have to consider this a spontaneous telepathic dream containing the fact of the conversation mixed in a capricious manner, typical of such dreams.”

You could call it telepathic, yes, but also synchronicity.

I was going to end the post there, but as I wrote Wolf’s name in the title, I suddenly realized there was yet another synchronicity here. Just before I took on the book organizing task, I’d been working on a chapter on shamanism for  a work in progress on spirit contact. Specifically, I was writing about the meaning of power animals that can appear in shamanic journeys. I looked back to where I’d stopped and yes, I’d left off with  Wolf. For the record, some of the attributes of Wolf Medicine are communication, working in harmony, and sharing knowledge in a structured way.

Oddly enough, in 2009 we wrote another post here about synchronicity involving Alan Vaughan and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Interestingly, Even though it’s a completely different story, it also involved Vaughan writing a letter to Vonnegut and in that instance Vonnegut had written back about being surrounded by children. He and his wife had adopted six children all at once after their parents had both died – the late mother was Vonnegut’s sister.

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Trump, Sexual Predator


In an election season, the media usually mentions an October surprise. Well, it looks like the surprise is here. Trump isn’t just an incoherent man who says nasty things about Muslims, immigrants, blacks, and women. It looks as if he’s also a sexual predator.

According to footage released on Friday, October 7, Trump was boasting about his penchant for sexual assault. The audio tape is here,  and was published by The Washington Post on Friday, October 7. It was 2005 and Trump was on his way to film on the set of a soap opera and bragging to Billy Bush about how he could grab women “by the pussy” because he was a celebrity. “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”

And this guy is the Republican candidate for president?

Since that audio tape was published by the Post, other tapes have surfaced, notably of conversations Trump had with Howard Stern. In 2004, in one of these conversations with Stern, Trump told Stern it was fine for him to call his daughter, Ivanka, then 24, “a piece of ass.”

In 2006, on ABC’s The View, Trump remarked that if Ivanka weren’t his daughter, he would be dating her. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015, he elaborated:  “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father …“

Republicans are scrambling to distance themselves from Trump, but many of them continue to endorse him. What this tell us about the Republican party is straightforward and ugly: their candidate is a sexual predator who, like Bill Cosby, apparently believes that because he is famous, he is above the law.

Trump’s misogyny is well known. But this goes well beyond a hatred of women. This smacks of a Neanderthal mindset – i.e., women are chattel, property, inferior. That they are belongings to be used however men want. This same mindset suffused slavery, that blacks were inferior to whites, that they were property to be used however the slave owners saw fit. It suffuses racism of every kind.

What’s truly bewildering is why Trump’s wife hasn’t divorced him, why his daughters haven’t taken off, why the women who work for his campaign can continue to do so and still sleep at night. And what’s particularly tragic for this country is that there are still women who will vote for him. Their numbers may be dwindling in light of these tapes, but what about the men who continue to support him? Don’t they have mothers, sisters, daughters, and granddaughters?

Trump, like Cosby, is the worst kind of sexual predator. He’s the guy who thinks he’ll never get caught because he’s so famous or rich or whatever or a man whose moral compass is so out of whack that he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.

Conservatives talk a lot about morals and religion and try to impose their “morality” on others – usually women – through legislation. So how is it that their candidate is a sexual predator, misogynist, and racist who thinks his own daughter is so hot and desirable that he would date her if she weren’t his daughter?

The only way the Republicans can get rid of Trump at this point is if he agrees to resign as soon as he’s inaugurated, and Pense would become president. What this really means is that the Republican Party is imploding. A lot of heads are going to roll after this election when Clinton wins the White House and the Democrats take back the Senate and maybe the House as well.

After all, the one thing in this country that unseats politicians is sexual scandal. Ask Mark Foley, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner…well, there’s a whole bunchy of names on this roster. So may you go the way of Hurricane Matthew, Mr. Trump, with your cat 5 winds and destruction and die  a quiet death somewhere out in the Atlantic. And may the party that nominated you meet the same ignominious end.

Watch Trump implode on tonight’s second presidential debate.

PS: Trump imploded. Up against Clinton, he’s a buffoon. Never answers a question directly. “Locker room” talk about what he does with women. Anyone else who admitted doing to women what he does would have criminal charges filed against them.

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Trickster Anagrams

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I like to look at this list from time to time just to remind myself that the universe offers us many cryptic messages, if we can unravel them. For me, this list provides a hint of an awesome, underlying reality that exists outside of time and space, and cause and effect, that surfaces into our everyday world through synchronicity when we least expect it. Like now.

It’s amazing that Eleven plus Two equals Twelve Plus One in both math and anagram. And how about Election Results hiding: Lies Let’s Recount. And I like Snooze Alarm unraveling to Alas No More Z’s. It seems the trickster is playing with us in this word game.


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Hurricane Matthew, a Trickster


As long as we still have electricity, there are some observations I’d like to share about this hurricane.

Matthew is a kind of trickster. None of the meteorological models predicted that it would become a cat 5, as it did last Friday. It’s the longest lived hurricane in the cat 4-5 category in October, in the Atlantic basin.

According to the weather channel, it “may be one of the longest-lived Atlantic major hurricanes – defined as Category 3 or stronger – in the past 50 years of satellite records. Not only did Hurricane Matthew end a nine-year streak without an Atlantic Basin Category 5 hurricane, but it did so at an unusually far south latitude.”

Astrologically, Matthew is also interesting. In October 2005, when Hurricane Wilma roared through our area, Jupiter was in Libra. It was mid-October. On 9/9/16, Jupiter entered Libra once again and today, it’s October 7 and Matthew is headed our way, the first hurricane in 12 years, the timing of the Jupiter cycle.

Most of the eastern coast of Florida is under a hurricane warning. Lake Okeechobee – just west of us – is the second largest fresh water lake in the U.S. and also falls under this warning. The dike around this lake was built in the 1930s and the water level is currently at nearly 16 feet. When it reaches 17 feet, people worry. If it reaches 20 feet, then the dike may fail and the 2000 miles of canals in South Florida flood and so does all the land around it.

Regardless of where Matthew makes landfall in Florida – or whether it simply hugs the coast – we are supposed to get up to ten inches of rain. That means our neighborhood will flood because the drains can’t get rid of the water fast enough. If the city hasn’t released water from the canals into the Atlantic, we’ll have water to our doorstep.

Tonight, though, it’s still outside, warm and humid. We’ve had sporadic showers, nothing more. We’re boarded up with two dogs and three cats and plenty of supplies. We have a generator in the garage that can be turned on once the storm has passed. But we have four skylights in our house that worry me. Our roof is 20 years old. In Wilma in 2005, our fence collapsed, we lost fruit trees, and we didn’t have power for 10 days.

But Matthew is a different sort of creature, I think, the product of climate change, volatile and unpredictable. Regardless of the precautions people take, it’s a force of nature, an irrefutable power, and in the face of it, we’re no more than an army of ants marching toward hope.

Even Orlando in central Florida, 40 miles or so inland from the coast, lies in the hurricane warning area. Will Disney board up Cinderella’s castle? Will the dolphins miraculously escape? Central Florida rarely experiences hurricanes. Most homes don’t have shutters and aren’t built to withstand hurricane force winds. What happens if Matthew makes landfall there?

Well, nothing good.

My sense is that storms like Matthew may be examples of what becomes the norm if we don’t do more to address climate change. Stay tuned. We’ll document this as long as we have electrical power and the internet.


Then there’s this odd thing the weather channel picked up – an infrared satellite photo of Matthew from last Monday. What’s this look like, anyway? Skull? Alien?


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More Stone Balls


While the subject of who has the real stone balls might sound like something out the of jaded 2016 U.S. election campaign, there is actually a debate about the subject among archaeologists. It was instigated by the recent discovery in Bosnia of the above sphere that is estimated to weigh 30 tons.

According to Bosnian archaeologist Semir Osmanagich, the ball is one several that have been found near the town of Zavidovici. He believes the spheres are evidence of an ancient lost culture, and says there used to be about 80 of them. No mention is made of what happened to them, which might be even more interesting than the spheres themselves.

If you’ve heard anything previously about large stone spheres, it’s probably the well known ones in Costa Rica. As the article notes: “The Bosnian sphere invites comparison to stone spheres in Costa Rica, which occupy four sites that were given a UNESCO world heritage designation in 2014 and are said to be the inspiration for a scene in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

But other archaeologists, who refer to Osmanagich as a controversial figure among his peers, say these spheres appear to be natural formations. Archaeologists tend to be  protective of their own territory. From the article: John Hoopes, chair of the department of anthropology at the University of Kansas and an expert on the Costa Rican spheres, says the stones looks like a “natural concretion.” Hoopes goes on to say that the Costa Rican spheres – his stone balls – are definitely man-made. However, the purpose of the spheres and how they were made remain a mystery.

Maybe they were made to chase snoopy archaeologist along underground tunnels, as in Raiders.

PS In the event that we lose electrical power in the next few days, this post will stay here until the power is back on.


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Guilty of ‘Appropriation’


Lionel Shriver

It disturbs us that those in charge of an Australian writers festival in Brisbane would censor Lionel Shriver, their keynote speaker, and disavow her comments and even removed links to her speech from from their website. What did she say that was so offensive? She defended her right and that of other writers to speak in the voice of someone from another race or culture.

The justification for the negative reaction is known as ‘appropriation,’ a term that the New York Times defines as the objections by members of minority groups to the use of their customs or culture (or even characters of their ethnicity) by writers or other artists who do not belong to those groups. Shriver is guilty, so are we to some extent.

Let’s put it in perspective. Historically, white writers focused on white characters, except for an occasional maid, servant or slave who served as background and were usually portrayed in stereotypical terms. Hence, the root of appropriation. Look at the movies and early television series from before the mid-1960s, and you’ll see such blatant portrayals of minorities by script writers. Then in 1967, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released, a movie about inter-racial marriage, presenting it in a positive light. Just six months earlier such marriages had been illegal in 17 states, and the subject remained extremely controversial.

We saw much of the story through the eyes of the black man, portrayed by Sidney Poitier. The script was written by a white man and directed by another one. Was that appropriation? Ironically, minorities continue to point out that they are under represented in Hollywood by scriptwriters who write too white. If Hollywood and the Screenwriters Guild, in particular, adopted the anti-appropriation concerns as a rule, there would be even fewer roles.

I understand the concern by blacks and other minorities that white writers might still invoke stereotypes of minority groups and not fully and accurately represent the race or culture of such characters. That would be bad writing. They also think that it’s a written form of ‘black face’ – white actors portraying blacks from the early days of film. In other words, writers from minority races and cultures should be the ones writing these stories. And some do, Walter Moseley has written more than 50 novels, many featuring Easy Rollins, a black private eye.

Having written a mystery series set on the Hopi Indian reservation, I’m well aware of these issues. Here’s how I handled it. I recognized at the outset that my experience has been nothing like that of a Hopi Indian youth. To create a believable character, I chose to make Will Lansa of mixed race, a father who was the first Native American chief of police on the reservation and a white mother, the heir to a silver mining family in Aspen, Colorado who worked several years as a social worker on the reservation. After his parents’ divorce, Will grew up in Aspen. Even though he spent time with his father, including a summer vacation and his senior year of high school at Hopi High, he always felt like an outsider -half Hopi from a white culture. That perspective worked for me.

In my fourth book in the series, TIME CATCHER, Will is a 27-year-old anthropology prof who returns to the rez at the request of his grandmother where he embarks on the adventure of his life. That book just came out as an e-book. You can find a more detailed summary here.

Another novel I wrote took place in 1627 and involved Puritans shipwrecked on the coast of South American, who escape Indian attacks by fleeing in their lifeboats along the Orinoco into the interior. One of the major characters in The Lost Tribe is an Indian shaman, whose life becomes entangled with the Puritans. So I wrote about a white culture, Puritans, that is foreign to me, and a Native American perspective. Appropriation in both cases, I guess.

Many years ago, when Trish and I were first starting out as writers, we discussed the issue of writing from the perspective of another race or culture. As Trish put it, we are all humans, all part of the same larger family, all have similar emotional lives and are interconnected through archetypes that transcend race and culture. That connection is what we try our best to explore  in our stories.



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U Я miNe

Just in time for today’s  new moon in Libra, a kind of creepy synchro since the killer ties his murders to the cycles of the moon.


A serial killer is stalking blondes in the central Florida city of Oxford and his MO is eerily consistent. On a new or full moon, he sends his target a stalker letter that implies he has been watching her, that he knows her schedule, that she is his. Two weeks later, on a new or full moon, the woman becomes his “lunar kill,” a sacrifice to the Roman goddess Diana that satisfies the dark urge that drives him.

When 27-year-old Laurie Brautigan, a blonde artist and dog walker, receives a stalker letter on the day of a new moon, she initially thinks it’s a cruel joke perpetrated by someone she knows. But Detective Nick Finley, who has been investigating these murders for months, convinces her otherwise, and Laurie’s life is turned inside out by terror and suspicion.

What the killer doesn’t know is that both Laurie and Nick possess rare talents that they struggle to keep secret. She’s a psychic whose specialty is animal communication and Nick, the son of two mediums, talks to the dead. When Laurie reads the only witness to the murders, a dog that belonged to one of the victims, the dead victims begin talking to Nick. Racing against time to find the killer before the full moon, the very talents Laurie and Nick have tried to keep secret not only draw them together, but become their greatest allies.

At Amazon.

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Hurricane Matthew, Cat 5


I’ve been watching this system since it was just a blip coming off the coast of Africa. At the time, I was smugly thinking, We’re nearly through hurricane season and it’s all been good for Florida, with hurricanes heading away form the coast and out into the Atlantic. On Wednesday, as the system entered the Caribbean, it was barely a tropical storm. In just 48 hours (I’m writing this on Friday night), it has intensified despite wind shear and become a category 5 hurricane, with winds of 160 MPH.

The National Hurricane Center bases its predictions on a variety of factors  and one of them is what storms on this track have done in the past. What worries me is the last sentence in this paragraph from their 11 p.m. advisory Friday night.  I’ve highlighted it:

Matthew probably is near its peak intensity and will likely maintain
a similar strength during the next 12 hours or so. Data from the
reconnaissance plane show an incipient outer band of maximum
winds, indicating that an eyewall replacement cycle could occur
soon. This should result in fluctuations in intensity, and given
that southwesterly shear is still affecting the cyclone, some
weakening is anticipated. However, Matthew is forecast to be a
category 4 hurricane by the time it moves near Jamaica and eastern
Cuba. Some additional weakening is expected over the high terrain of
Cuba.  It is noted that none the guidance ever indicated the rapid
strengthening of Matthew.

In other words, this is the kind of storm that authors Whitley Strieber and Art Bell wrote about in their book The Coming Global Superstorm, the basis for the movie The Day After Tomorrow.  It’s an outlier, a rogue that may become the new norm, probably a result of climate change.  The past history of storms on similar tracks, the models that show what this storm may do, may not be much help anymore.

During hurricane season, I use a free  app called Max Tracker, developed by Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center. He was director of the center for years and I always admired his acumen about hurricanes. The app indicates that by Wednesday, as Matthew near the Bahamas, it will be a cat 2 with 110 mph winds. The cone of uncertainty includes part of the east coast of South Florida to around Melbourne and as far west as Lake Okeechobee. The tri-county area – Miami/Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach County fall within the cone. With a slight shift of the track to the west, which depends on several upper level troughs, it hits our area.

We were last hit in 2005, when Wilma swept across the peninsula, a cat 1 that during her travels had the lowest ever recorded barometric pressure – 881 mb. Even though she was fast-moving and greatly diminished when she hit us,  she stalled over our area and her back side, which is supposed to be less fierce, was a monster. She left us without power for 10 days. Matthew’s barometric as of tonight is 941 mb. It has dropped from around 1008 to that 941 in about 24 hours.

When I look at the satellite images, my sense is that Matthew, like all hurricanes, perhaps like all weather, is sentient, some form of consciousness that we don’t understand, something that gravitates toward particular areas because it’s drawn by  the collective consciousness of the people who live there. You won’t find any reference to that on the National Hurricane Center site or any other weather site. But in studying these systems since my first hurricane in the 60s- Hurricane Cleo – that’s my intuitive impression.

My hope is that this sucker turns out into the Atlantic and hits nothing. The NHC ends their discussion with this:

It is important to remind users that average NHC track forecast
errors are around 175 miles at day 4 and 230 miles at day 5.
Therefore, it is too soon to rule out possible hurricane impacts
from Matthew in Florida.

Maybe by tomorrow, the track has shifted east, away from Florida and the Bahamas.

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Body Speak, Politics, and Trump


Forget his silly rhetoric. Forget what he says. Read his body language, his appearance, his expressions.

First, there’s the orange hair, combed weirdly forward so that it always looks disheveled, strange, unnatural.  Is it the result of follicle implants? Or does he comb it that way to cover bald spots? Does anyone around him ever tell him he should fix the hair?

 “Uh, Dad, you should maybe let it go gray and natural.”

 “Uh, honey, it’s looking a bit odd.”

 Or, from a trusted advisor: “Uh, dude, you need to do something about the hair.”

Trusted advisor is then fired. It’s not as easy to fire one of your kids or your wife or mistress, so Trump just ignores them and continues to do his hair thing. This is the guy, after all, who during the divorce proceedings from his first wife invoked the fifth amendment 97 times out of a 100 questions about whether he’d been faithful to her. I think he’s claiming the fifth amendment about his hair.

Then there’s the color of his face, this perpetual sunburn from a tanning salon.  I mean, hey, we know he can’t be basking on a beach in Florida, so it’s got to be the result of a salon or sun lamps or aliens with really bright, hot lights aimed at his face.

Third item: his mouth. It purses and scowls frequently, the lips sculpting themselves into various weird shapes and designs. It often reaches a point with this mouth where I wish it were in front of me so I could grab it, stretch it, sculpt it into some semblance of a genuine human smile. Not going to happen. This mouth spouts so many lies and so much shit that when it’s resting, it’s perpetually turned down, like a sad face emoticon.

Now, the fourth item in this body language scan: his hands. He claims his only exercise comes from the movement of his hands. Stubby thumb and forefinger rising into the air, forming a nearly perfect ninety degree angle to each other as that pursing mouth announces that he’ll make America great again.

Yeah, okay, orange dude with weird hair. And you say you really want to be president? Well, president of what? The U.S.? Seriously? You’re better suited as prez of the local dog catcher unit. No, on second thought, that would be an insult to dogs, who are way smarter than you.

The other night, when we were watching Trump  debate Clinton, our dogs actually jumped down from the couch and left the room. They understood that hate is what fuels you, feeds you, propels you forward in your weird reality bubble.

Oh please, Mr. Orange Man With Weird Hair and Hand Gestures, just go away, okay?   Four years of you would do us in as a country, a nation, a collective consciousness that strives to move forward, to move beyond racism, misogyny, zero respect for women, and all the other Neanderthal beliefs you represent. Even the dogs recognize you as worse than Romney, who kept his dog in a crate on top of his car during a trip north. Worse than W Bush who got us embroiled in the Mideast. Even the dogs can’t stand to see you on TV, can’t stand to hear you speak, can’t tolerate your lies.

Unfortunately, dogs can’t vote. But we humans can.

No, Clinton isn’t perfect. Clinton isn’t clean. Clinton doesn’t have the youth vote. But she has my vote because she’s smart and experienced and the alternative is just too gross and depressing to even ponder. I thought W was awful. But you?? There are no adjectives in the English language that can possibly describe the horrors and the damage that you could inflict on the world in just four years.



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What Makes a Good Psychic?


My first psychic reading was during my freshman year in college. A friend told me about a tea leaf reader in town, an Italian woman named Rosa with whom she’d had a reading, and suggested we go see her. I was intrigued and said sure, of course, when?

Rosa introduced me to an entirely new world – a place where people with certain abilities could read you inside out, backward and forward, past, present, future. And she did it with nothing more than the patterns formed on the inside walls of a teacup. Those patterns were her focus. Many of the things she told me unfolded well beyond college and into my later years.

In the decades since, I’ve sampled numerous psychics with varied alleged talents. Psychometrists, clairvoyants, card readers, astrologers, remote viewers, palm readers, mediums, numerologists, clairaudients, precognitives. Yeah, it sounds nutty. But I’m fascinated by the process various types of psychics use to do what they do, and how their particular cultures influence that process. Cuban santeros work differently than Guatemalan seers or Chilean clairvoyants. In nearly every country we’ve visited, I’ve sampled a psychic somewhere in that country.

Some of the psychics with whom I’ve had readings over the years were incredible, the real deal, people whose ability was larger than life. What they said resonated. What they predicted panned out – not 100 percent, no psychic is 100 percent – but close enough so their ability earned my quirky five star rating. Other psychics were mediocre, and some were flat-out awful.

With the awfuls, my criteria is simple. Tell me something in 15 minutes that resonates within my own intuitive intelligence, something I can’t read for myself in astrology or the tarot, which I’ve studied and used for decades. Tell me something that is beyond my capacity to see for myself.

So here are my suggestions for the next time you seek out a psychic:

    If possible, go to someone recommended by a friend whose opinion you trust.

  1. Have your questions in mind. Write them down before you get the reading. At the end of the reading, see how many of the questions the psychic hit. The really good psychics don’t need to hear your questions; they hit them because they pick up on the energy of the questions.
  1. Be open and receptive during the reading. If the reading is in person, don’t sit there with your arms crossed against your chest, your energy field shut down, your defense mechanism in full mode. No one – not even Nostradamus!- can get through that kind of defense system.
  1. Don’t provide information about yourself unless the psychic asks if something he or she said resonates for you. Sometimes, especially with mediums, the psychic needs to know if he/she is picking up on your energy field or that of someone in your environment.
  1. The really good mediums often offer something within the first few minutes of a reading that captures your attention, that tells you that yes, they’re tuning in on you, your life, on people you love who have died. Whose the bald old man who was a really good chess player? Whose the beautiful woman who was community-minded? I see a child who never reached physical life, a miscarriage, a middle sibling…. Like that. The really good mediums are tuned in to those kinds of details.

 In 1992, I had one of the best readings ever, from Millie Gemondo, who had been recommended by our long-time accountant, a skeptic who happened to be from the same West Virginia town. Our reading took place on the same day that Hurricane Andrew was headed to South Florida. Hurricane warnings had gone up along the South Florida coast. Our hurricane shutters were up, we had our supplies, we were hunkered down. And Millie said that Andrew wouldn’t touch us, but would obliterate a town well to the south of us. And that’s exactly what happened. We had what amounted to a thunderstorm and Homestead, a hundred miles south of us, was obliterated.

That night, Millie also told me I would end up with a new publisher and a new agent, and both came to pass within the time frame she had seen. Specifics. For someone who is paying for a reading, specifics are vital. Give me something to chew on, record, jot down. If you call yourself a medium or a psychic or something else, you should be able to give your client more than generalities that he or she might hear at a carnival: long life, love, prosperity.

A Canadian psychic who had been recommended by a friend came to our house at some point in the 1990s and read for my friend and co-author, Phyllis Vega (of Power Tarot) and told her that her husband would die within 5 years, that her son-in-law would die within 7 years, and that, she said, was the end of the reading. Both events transpired as predicted, but c’mon, couldn’t this info have been communicated in a gentler, more humane way?

If I come to you for a reading and pay you for telling me something about my life that I don’t know and can’t uncover through my own abilities, then please give me more than hand gestures and vague BS about finding a new path in life. Please give me specifics. I’m easy to read, I’m an open book, I’m eager to hear whatever you have to say. I don’t hurl up walls.

I understand that some psychics are nervous about their ability, but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, to engage you in conversation outside of the reading. Who are you in the privacy of your own being? In my experience, here are my recommendations. A Google search of these folks usually yields  websites and contact info, but when it doesn’t, email us and we’ll provide the info:

Millie Gemondo- psychic & medium

Connie Cannon-psychic

Kathy Adams- psychometrist

Jane Clifford – healer, psychic

Hazel West Burley- medium

Natalie Thomas- medium

Meg Stokes – medium, psychic

Tony Grosso –he has since passed.

Whitley Strieber– doesn’t do readings but is the most knowledgeable person on the planet about ET interaction/encounters

Carol Bowman – your best resource for past life regressions, 

Renie Wiley – she has passed, but is probably available in the afterlife for readings!

Adele Aldridge for the I Ching

Mike Perry – great resource on synchronicity

Daz- another good resource on synchronicity

Phyllis Vega – tarot

Dennie Gooding – psychic








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Huntrodd’s Day


Chances are many of us here did not know that yesterday was Huntrodd’s Day, a celebration of chance and coincidence every Sept. 19. I too was one of the uninformed. But thanks to Professor David Spiegelhalter, creator of the day, now I know. (I actually learned about it from Phil Blackwell at Online Bingo mentioned in the post yesterday.)

David’s title is Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University. He’s a statistics guy, more into randomness than meaningfulness, and he has amassed an impressive collection of more than 4,000 coincidences as part of the Cambridge Coincidences Project. Good going!

He’s said to be one of the UK’s most respected statisticians and has appeared as an expert on multiple television shows and in 2012 hosted BBC Four documentary, Tails You Win: The Science of Chance. He also has been elected President of the Royal Statistical Society, a position he assumes in January.

Curiously, David says that coincidences “don’t happen to me, as a I am spectacularly unobservant and unfriendly.” Well, he is a statistics guy, after all. Here’s a brief interview I swiped from the OB site.

OB: You describe Huntrodds’ Day as a celebration of chance and coincidence. Why do you think people find coincidences so fascinating?

DS: I think we all find it very difficult to accept things happen for no reason: so when we see a surprising concatenation of events, it provokes an urge to understand ‘why’?

OB: What are your top three tips for people looking to experience more coincidences in their lives?

DS: Be observant and mindful. Talk to strangers. Be curious.


Unfortunately, OB did not ask David about the origin of the name for the day. So I had to look it up elsewhere. I found the answer appropriately at huntrodds.com.

Francis Huntrodds and his wife Mary, buried together in Whitby, died within five hours of one another on their 80th birthday – their joint 80th birthday. They were both born on September 19th 1600, and both died on September 19th 1680. And, for completeness, got married on September 19th too.



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