We are Fleas on a Dog.. but WHAT A DOG!

During all of my hikes over the Sierra the past few years, I’ve had soooo many questions about how and why things are the way there are, geologically speaking.  I’d see a huge lava outcropping and I’d wonder when that got there and how?  Was it blown to it’s current resting place from a distant volcano? Did it pop out of the ground from an ancient fissure?  Just how old are the Sierra anyway?

I’m finally taking some time to seriously study Geology.  I have some answers and my hikes are that much more interesting!   This Earth has been evolving for 4.6 billion years and we’ve only been here 200,000 years of it.  Heating up, cooling down, over and over again with many variations of life forms that have come and gone over the millions of years.  Continents moving around, and still on the move. The Hawaiian Islands are moving in a Northwest direction about 4 inches a year! Eventually they will join up with Japan! Australia is moving Northward about 2.7 inches a year. All the plates are moving, some faster than others.  Don’t believe me? Study Geology!   I would love to drive to Australia..  Mountains pushing up and STILL getting higher.  Think Everest is high now? Just you wait!   What will be here a million years from now? Us? Something else?   Nothing?  Hmmm…..  things I think about when I hike!  Geology is COOL!

Today, we take a short hike up to an ancient lava flow plateau that was formed during the creation of the Sierra Nevada when the entire range was bubbling with volcanoes and molten lava being pushed up everywhere!!  Here is some interesting reading about the Sierra.

With winter around the corner, the trees are singing their songs and a warning that a big change is soon to come.

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We Met our Strange and COOL Neighbors today!

We live right next to Beale Air Force Base! Our property is just outside the back gate!  Living next to an Air Force base can be weird at times. We hear all types of strange announcements over the loud speaker, weird sirens, and see odd planes coming and going.  There is also a gigantic over-the-horizon radar structure that we immediately get asked about by friends who come over for the first time. The radar was built in the Cold War to give early warning of a nuclear attack.  I guess that’s a good thing? When we first moved in 18 years ago, we couldn’t use our VCR or analog answer machine without hearing pops and static over our movies and messages because of this radar!! Thank goodness we are all digital now! However, it still interferes with some of my recording equipment and camera microphone on certain days.

The military has its secret,s and when they are your immediate neighbor, it spurs your imagination and sometimes paranoia. I can’t just go walking up to their door and say “howdy neighbor what’s going on here” without a large – fully automatic rifle pointed at me!  I better have good reason to be there!

A few years back, there were 5 large planes from the base that circled our neighborhood at about 2000 feet for several hours every night!  These planes carried a crew of six and were outfitted with equipment to listen in on phone conversations.  We were told they were just training and not really listening to us..  hmmm…….

Our neighbor also has the U2 Spy plane that takes off like a rocket daily, flying to foreign lands to see what’s going on.  The U2 can go check out the happenings in the middle east and be home by dinner!  When it takes off, we can hear it climbing to its 70 thousand foot cruising altitude for a good 15 minutes!  The pilot has to wear a space suit! Oh and our neighbors have a really REALLY cool drone called the Global Hawk!

Today our mysterious neighbors invited the public to enter this secret-mysterious land and treated us to an airshow free of charge!

With the Sutter Buttes as a backdrop, the show was pretty spectacular! If you are into airplanes, you are gonna LOVE this video!

 

 

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Why I Ditched Face Book- Screw YOU Markie!

zuckerberg meme

FRIENDS – a Happy Beginning

I’ve had my facebook profile since 2009.  I think I’ve reconnected with every single living soul that I’ve EVER known through this platform. For that, I’m grateful.  It was fun seeing these long lost (to me) people again. Catching up, meeting their kids, spouses, dogs, cats and sharing in their good news and sometimes very sad news.  I was able to be part of their lives and they were able to be part of mine. Some of my friends live across the Atlantic in far away lands. This platform was AWESOME!

CREATIVITY

That was one piece of the puzzle.  I’m also a musician and an artist.    I would post an art piece on FB and BAM one of my friends would want to buy it!  I didn’t intend to make money from Facebook, but dang, it sure is nice once in a while. I LOVE to create YouTube videos. Filming and editing is a passion that I’ve been doing since the early 90s.  I’ve had my YouTube channel three years longer than I had my FB account. And, what better way to share my YouTube creations than to my my Facebook friends!

When FB came out with “pages”, where you could have a business page of sorts, that was pretty cool. I could sell my art there!  Keep my personal profile separate from my business page.  My friends would “like” my page and whenever I posted to that page, it would show up on their newsfeed!  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

THINGS GET WEIRD

I had about 400 likes on my page and things were great!  Until one day I noticed that Facebook would tell me how many people saw the post of my FABULOUS painting.  You can only imagine the look of shock on my face….FIVE!  What?  Facebook saw fit to share my post with only FIVE people out of the 200 that liked my page.  WTF?!?!?!    They wanted me to PAY to have more people see my post.  The more money I paid the more random people they would share it with (not my friends, just random strangers) Well, you know us starving artists.. that wasn’t going to fly! Nope! I had to spend hundreds of $ to make it worth my while!

Then another weird thing started to happen.  My YouTube videos were getting censored on my personal FB page.  Only a fraction of my 700+ FB friends were getting my YouTube video on their news feed.

I frantically Googled that nonsence to see what was happening. Well, it seemed that since YouTube PAYS their creators through ad revenue sharing, and those ads are being shown on the video and Markie Z wasn’t getting a cut, he decided to NOT populate (very often) newsfeeds with YouTube vids.

Facebook does not like YouTube (owned by Google).  Therefore anything that you post to Facebook that takes its audience away from its platform will not be seen in a good light.  The Facebook algorithm (known as Edgerank) will simply give any YouTube link less reach.

That made me crazy!  FB wanted me to upload all of my video content directly to FB where I don’t get to share in any ad revenue.  At least YouTube shares the pie!  Mark Z wants it ALL for himself.  Stingy bastard!

So, I started to get creative.  I’d post a pic instead of a link then direct people to my blog where my video lies.  It’s way too much work for my viewers and they get confused as to where they are supposed to subscribe!  To my blog? To YouTube?

FREEBOOTING

Then there is this pirate thing going on called Freebooting.  This is where someone rips off a video directly from YouTube and posts it onto their FB page as if they created it themselves. they do this by downloading the video using a software or an online service. These videos get millions of views on Facebook, completely ripping off the original creator, and Markie Z gets a shit ton of $$$ from ad revenue!  These videos were posted onto user FB business pages to drive traffic to them.  Completely unethical and FB is letting it happen!   In the mean time, the original creator of of the AWESOME VIRAL YouTube video is missing out on a boat load of ad revenue because all of their views were stolen on FB!  Google that shit!  It’s true!  I see it time and time again and it infuriates me!  About 90 percent of the viral vids you see on Facebook are freebooted. Go to the page who originally posted it and you will see right away it’s NOT THEIR CONTENT!

FAKE NEWS, POLITICS, Agendas and Cat fights

OK.. this was an annoyance for me,  but not a deal breaker that would make me quit Facebook.  If my news feed got too annoying I would simply un-follow or unfriend the offenders. Done.   However, I was un-following a lot of people- about 70% of my FB “friends” (I use this term loosely)!  What is the point of having it?  Social media should be a two way conversation, right?  And then there were the cat fights under MY POSTS, between MY FRIENDS (who don’t really know each other)  DELETE POST!  Done.  This made me sad.

TIME SUCKER

This one is a big issue with me personally.  Social Media is like crack!  I find myself picking up the pipe (my phone) ever 5 freaking minutes to see who’s commented on my post, what everyone is talking about, scrolling scrolling scrolling.  IT’S NOISE!  LOTS AND LOTS OF NOISE!  I feel like I keep getting sucked into a vortex of shit and I can’t get out!

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And then there is this:

               Cambridge Analytica 

If you’re not a news watcher… Google it.

The Big Question… will I keep Instagram? Probably (yeah I know. Markie Z owns that too)  I like following Katy Perry and a few other celebs and there are some cool hikers and people that are sailing the world that I follow.

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And that my friends is the reason I quit The FACE BOOK and will NOT be back.

 

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE! Unicorns will come to your door (maybe)

 

 

 

 

My Big FAT Laundry Room Makeover!

We’ve lived in our house for 18 years and the laundry room was NEVER finished! It was one of those projects that I wasn’t motivated to get done. I was busy working, having fun on the weekends and that laundry room was just a place to wash clothes. BORING!  Well, I GOT MOTIVATED and after I tackled a bathroom and a toilet closet, it was time for the next big fat makeover! The Laundry Room!  Now I can’t wait to do laundry!  Well maybe that is a big fat lie… but the laundry room turned out GREAT!

Check it out and please let me know what you think!

 

Marching for All Women!

We all marched for our very own personal reasons… it wasn’t all about politics (for me anyway)..well maybe a little.. but I didn’t want to make it all about that.

As a teenager in the 1970s, I considered myself a “women’s libber.”  I wasn’t militant about it, but even though I never held a job myself back in those times, I believed that women should be given all of the same opportunities in the workplace as men.  I didn’t want to be called a “tomboy” and as a 16-year-old, I didn’t understand why certain things like fishing, hunting, working on cars, building things and the use of power tools were considered things for boys, while cooking, sewing and general homemaking were things girls were supposed to do. I wasn’t buying any of it. In 1978, I became one of the first female firefighters to work for the California Department of Forestry. I wrote a book about it called Fire Girl.

So being that spitfire young woman who I was, I picked male dominated jobs most of my working career.  Working in a “man’s world” I grew a thick skin.   “Dirty” jokes, sexual innuendo were common place.  You either put up with it or you got out.   Simple.   I put up with it.  I laughed right along with the boys. As long as I wasn’t being physically assaulted, I didn’t really care about “words” (too much).   But was any of this right?  In my opinion, NO!  Call me a sissy, a snowflake, a wimp, a pansy, sensitive.  Go ahead… those are just words.. and personally, I’m not afraid of those words. If you have to resort to calling me names… then what does that say about YOU?  Hmmmm….

CHANGE

How should this change?  Any place of employment shouldn’t be  gender biased ANY LONGER. Those days are OVER!   Women NOR men should have to put up with unkindness from their bosses or co-workers.  People have to make a living and feed their families. It all comes down to treating others how YOU would like to be treated!  We are all HUMANS living on this round blue ball. Can’t we go to work feeling safe, comfortable and have some fun that’s not at the expense of others.  Can’t we all go to work without hostility?

My first job experience

I remember my very first job at 17, I was assaulted by the owner of the restaurant where I worked.  I was summoned to his office where he grabbed me and pulled me down onto his lap and started grabbing my ass. As he tried to stick his hand down my jeans I was able to pry myself away and ran back to the safety of the kitchen. I quit that job immediately.  I had other instances of sexual harassment over the years, but nothing as physical as that.  My mother also had a story from the early 1970s where one of her male co-workers pulled his pants down in front of her on the job as a “joke”. Back in those days, as a women, you said nothing if you wanted to keep your job.

So, for the above reasons, I marched… and here is my latest episode of TwylaWorld!

The Green Box – A Paratrooper’s Story

My dad is 96.  He still drives, he walks  4 miles every single morning and he still lives in his home. This man is amazing.  Several years ago, I gave him a micro cassette recorder and asked him to record his life story. When he got to the part of his combat experiences in WW2, I was flabbergasted. He never talked about this and I heard his stories for the first time.

All of the footage in this film is actual footage of the battles he talks about.

My Big Fat Bathroom Makeover

When I decided to tackle a long over-due makeover of my half bath, I decided to save myself a few coins and do it myself!  Trouble was…..I had NO idea how to remove a sink, how to take out and replace a toilet, AND I wanted to put up wainscoting! So I do what everyone else on the planet does… I turn to YouTube!  There I found a gazillion videos on how to do just about anything and everything in home improvement.  My favorite was a channel called “See Jane Drill.”  I LOVE her channel. If you are a women who wants to do your own home improvement projects, I highly recommend her channel. She does everything!!!

I have to say the one thing that worried me the most was changing out the light fixture. I really didn’t want to get electrocuted!  I turned off the main breaker switch to the house so that there was NO QUESTION as to which switch went to the correct area I was working!  After I did that, switching out a light is extremely easy.  Home improvement isn’t complicated, but it is hard work!

I hope my little bathroom makeover gives you some ideas and the encouragement to get things done!  🙂

That thingy with the Arrow that Points North

A while back, I bought the cheapest Compass that was hanging on the rack at REI. It was this little thing that hung off the strap of my backpack that didn’t have dials or anything. It just gave you a direction. I figured I could at least use it to get myself north, south, east or west. Sounds easy enough!  If I keep walking West, I’d eventually hit the Pacific Ocean and then I’d know for SURE where I was. Of course I’d probably die before I got there and never see the Ocean. So I bought a map.  A large fold out piece of paper of shades of green and tan with a gazzillion squiggly lines and numbers.   I look at the map then at the compass, look at the map, then at the compass.  Hmmmmm..   Nothing made sense.

So, I did what every person thirsting for knowledge does… I go to YouTube. It’s there I learn from some fine compass reading YouTubers that I have to account for Declination in order to use the map with the compass. Something about the curvature of the Earth, True North, Magnetic North.. WHAT?  THERE ARE TWO NORTHS?  What the hell is going on here?

I needed to get to the bottom of this Two Norths thing (sounded hoaxy to me) and signed up for a class from REI.

Now, I can read a Topography map (sort of-need practice) and read my compass and I know the difference between the “Norths.”  Oh, and I learned something VERY IMPORTANT.  I had to keep “Fred in the Shed.”

My Mom, The Woman Who Taught me to ADVENTURE BIG!

Letting Go

Have you ever heard the story of someone being at the bedside of a dying loved one and telling them it’s time to go?  Then at that moment, the loved one takes their last breath?  Have you ever experienced this yourself?  I had always heard these stories and on February 3, this happened to me. My 92-year-old mother had been living in a memory care facility for the past 6 years. It was so very hard to see her deteriorate to the shell of a person that she once was. She eventually stopped talking and was completely bed ridden.  My mother was vibrant, lively and active and if there was a plug to pull, she would have pulled it herself!  She would have never, ever wanted this.  Who would?

When I got to her room, she was breathing pretty heavy and my dad, who is 96, hadn’t arrived yet. I went to my mother’s bedside, stroked her hair and said it was OK to get going on her next journey. It was time for her to leave her old and tired body and go see her parents, sister and other family.  Right then she took her last breath.

We had prayed for her to be let out of her prison, but when it actually happens, the reality sets in that our mother is GONE!  The woman who gave birth to me and my sister, raised us, and helped take care of my son was gone forever. Our mother.

If you had an awesome mom that you lost much too early, I am so very sorry. That sucks and has to be so freaking hard. My mom was 92 and it was still hard.

The American Dream

Eloyce M. Miller (later Cornett) was born in Shawnee Oklahoma in 1924.  When she was 2 years old, mom, dad and her baby sister, Lowetta took a  Model T car over a wooden plank road to California where there was promise of work. My grandfather Pete did many things to keep the family afloat during the depression.  He was a ditch digger, a baker, a miner, a gas station owner, a farmer, a house fixer-upper, you name it. My grandmother Thelma worked right along with him. They moved around a lot!  Northern California (Nevada City, North San Juan, Auburn) then to Arizona. They moved up and down the state of California from Los Angeles to Northern California a couple of times.

Eloyce graduated from Nevada City High School in 1942.  After high school, she worked as waitress, a dime store clerk, a machine shop worker, and a telephone operator. She eventually joined the Army and was stationed in Ft. Benning Georgia as a parachute rigger with the 82nd Airborne Division. It was there where she met my paratrooper dad, Marvin Cornett, who had just returned from the war.  He was a  Jump Master, teaching new recruits how to jump out of planes.  My dad owned an Army surplus Harley motorcycle and they rode in the rain to the courthouse in Phoenix City Alabama and got married by a Justice of the Peace, who by the way, had tobacco stains on his shirt!  In 1946 my sister Marleen was born.  My dad got out of the Army briefly to try his hand in the civilian world. After a year or so, he re-joined the Army and made a career of it for 28 years. The Army moved them all over the place from four years in France to various Army posts in the states. I was born in 1959 in Illinois where my dad was an Army recruiter. We lived in a mobile home and my mother hated every minute of the nine years we lived in snow country.

She  was very happy when my dad retired from the Army and we moved back to Northern California to be close to her family and out of the snow.

In the 1970s, Eloyce worked at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento CA as a secretary, an avionics repair technician, and in a warehouse where she worked on a conveyor belt boxing and moving military supplies. She even drove a forklift.

When Eloyce and Marvin retired, they traveled.. They spent several years driving their motor home from Northern California to Mazatlan Mexico and would park there for six months out of the year. They took trips all over the US, Europe, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Alaska, Canada, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. (I may be leaving out some spots)

Eloyce was a gifted artist (oil and acrylic), craft maker, seamstress, golfer, clogger, bowler, guitar player, belly dancer, world traveler and party hostess. (She loved to throw a party!)

Safe travels Mother!  See you on the other side!

To read my mom’s entire memoir in her own words, click here

There are a ton of pics and it’s a pretty awesome read.

Click here to see the music video to the song I wrote about her mom and dad. The lyrics were taken almost word for word out of her book.