Cookie-Wookie entered another dimension 9:30a April
23, 2013. I can' t imagine not having Cookie around. Her spirit is strong and
will always be present. I love you Wook.
For Cookie Tribute including photos, poems and listener emails, click here.
Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered
our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and
nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.
He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually
lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect
tail and endearing behind.
Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in
his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and
open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.
He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved
licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.
Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most
gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and
delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap
and breakfast was on.
He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the
curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious
of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.
Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed
last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed
with congestive heart failure.
He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed.
Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my
lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These
were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.
Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in
his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top
of the progression of his heart disease.
Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't
eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously.
His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food
fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful
sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his
tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.
Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him
the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring
down I went outside.
He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.
His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had
breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always
An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had
worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter
box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry.
Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make
We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.
He wanted to be left alone.
Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a
few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo
was two feet from the door.
We let him be.
An hour later Clara checked on Petey.
His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.
But Petey had passed.
He never made it to the igloo.
Next Tangents Turkey Music Tour
October 5-21 2014
Click for Testimonials
2013 Itinerary in review
Sumru Agiryuruyen and Cenk Erdogan
performing at an intimate venue during the May 2013 Tangents Turkey Music Tour. Our group sat a few feet from the performers.
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2014 Tangents Turkey Music Tour Sampler (click here for playlist)
not only immerse ourselves with the locals but even wild boars as this
one approached us in a
friendlly manner as we picknicked by the Aegean
during the May 2013 tour.
"Best Turkish Music Tour!
I can't imagine a better way to explore
the richness of Turkish culture than through its music. A guided music
tour led by World Music expert Dore Stein would be unforgettable. Dore
opens doors that music-lovers who travel on their own don't even know
Tom Brosnahan, Turkey Travel Planner
TTP is the best on-line resource for all things Turkish.
is the dean of Turkey travel writers who wrote the first five best selling Lonely Planet Turkey guides.
Yinon Muallem Ensemble performing in Istanbul during 2013 Tangents Turkey Music Tour
Yinon Muallem solo living room concert Tangents party
Sunday June 1
info: tangentsradio (at) gmail.com
this will sell out soon - only 40 capacity
Listen to Tangents
Sat. nights, 8-mid, KALW 91.7 FM, S.F.
Streamed live at kalw.org
also webcast on Berlin's multicult.fm
The most recent Tangents show
is archived on KALW
Tangents Radio is also on
Songlines Music Travel
(click for details)
Shares the Tangents philosophy that nothing beats experiencing music at its source.
Cuba - The Music of Cuba
May 3-17 2014 & May 10-17 2014
Portugal - Lisbon - The Home of Fado
June 12-15 2014
Morocco - Essaouira Gnawa Festival
June 12-16 2014 & June 12-19 2014
Malaysia - Rainforest Festival
June 15-24 2014 & June 16-23 2014
Serbia - Guca Brass Band Festival
August 7-12 2014
Romania - At Home with the Gypsies
September 20-28 2014
India - Rajasthan Musical Adventure
October 7-21 2014 & October 10-21 2014
Senegal - Never Mind the Mbalax
November 21-30 2014
Cuba - New Year Celebrations
December 29 2014-January 12 2015
** 2014 festival/trip dates are still to be announced
This often features Palestinian
and Israeli artists in order to help focus attention on relieving the
humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under a severe economic
blockade imposed by the Israeli occupation since 2006. Gaza Corner has
evolved to include news and music from other regions of the Middle East
and North Africa.
undated image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014
shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
marching in Raqqa, Syria. Photo by AP
Syrian jihadi town where 'brides' are snatched from schools
Once liberal bastion Raqqa was over-run by al-Qaeda group before secular rebels launched a fight back
year ago, the city of Raqqa in northern Syria was sprouting political
activist groups and philosophical discussion circles. A “guerrilla
gardening” squad promoted environmental awareness by planting
vegetables in central reservations.
The liberals who made it a
base after the rebels swept in and drove out the regime in March last
year are gone, disbanded, accused of supporting democracy and other
“kuffar” or infidel beliefs, their members living either underground or
The city has been transformed
into a staging ground for displays of the harshest “justice” meted out
by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the jihadi group too
extreme even for al-Qaeda that has imposed its rule over large parts of
Refugees, women still living
under its rule and men who have escaped from its prisons have told
Telegraph of the life under the shadow of the extremist group’s black
One woman, whose name the
Telegraph knows but is withholding, described how she went to the
recruiting office of an all-women jihad unit, formed from the women who
have flocked to Syria from Europe and elsewhere to serve the cause,
some with their children.
“I went inside their
headquarters, which used to be the Christian church,” she said. “I
asked what the conditions were to join. They said you have to be 18-25,
unmarried, and you would earn 25,000 Syrian pounds.
“But if you joined you
had the opportunity to marry one of the foreign fighters. However, they
make sure you are a real jihadist.”
She said that outside she met
four new recruits, three from Tunisia, and one Frenchwoman, who told
her she was divorced and had brought her 12-year-old daughter and four
younger sons to Syria to join the militants.
The opportunities for marriage
in the Syrian jihad - and before “martyrdom” - is a recurring theme of
the blogs and other online forums favoured by ISIS’s foreign fighters
in Syria, many of whom write in English.
But the Raqqa woman and other
activists from the town say that the imbalance of the sexes means ISIS
has begun to “recruit” brides from local schools and colleges.
Among those who resisted, they
say, was a 21-year-old student called Fatima Abdullah from a tribal
area outside the city, whose brother had joined ISIS and persuaded
their father to hand her over for marriage to a Tunisian. She refused,
and when her family insisted, killed herself with rat poison. The story
was confirmed by other activists from the town.
Since the beginning of
January, rival rebel groups including western-backed militias still
loyal to the original opposition Free Syrian Army have launched a
counter-attack across the north of Syria to drive out ISIS.
Earlier this month, rebels all
but completed an operation to remove the extremists from Idlib province
while in Aleppo province ISIS have been forced into towns to the east.
As they left their former strongholds they killed some of their
prisoners, freed others, and loaded many more on to trucks and took
them with them.
In Aazaz, a town between
Aleppo and the Turkish border, ISIS retaliated for the FSA attack by
beheading four captives from other militias and placing their heads on
the plinth in the middle of the roundabout in one of the main squares,
Ahmed Primo, described how he was saved from a similar fate by a stray shell.
“I heard a voice calling
my name for execution,” he said. “Then suddenly there was the sound of
an explosion. The guards and the emir, the militia leader, were
injured, and carried away. The next day the prison was liberated and I
Mr Primo had previously been
detained by the Syrian regime in his home city, Aleppo, and held for a
month. Asked whether the treatment he received from ISIS, which
included beatings, being bound and blindfolded for weeks at a time, and
electrocuted in his testicles, was better or worse than his experiences
under the regime, he said: “It is not a question of better or worse. It
was exactly the same.”
ISIS split last summer from
Jabhat al-Nusra, the recognised wing of Al-Qaeda in Syria, and in
February was disavowed by Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman Zawahiri.
But by then its capacity to
instill fear by its harsh punishments, and ability to attract fanatical
fighters from abroad had enabled it to take control of large parts of
northern Syria, with Raqqa province mostly under their sway.
Anwar Mohammed, one of the
early “citizen journalists” who sent reports of the initial uprising
against President Bashar al-Assad to the outside world, was among
Aazaz’s luckiest people. He had been seized from his home by ISIS
fighters, taken to the group’s headquarters in Aleppo city, a former
children’s hospital, for interrogation, and then detained in a prison
in another town, Hreitan.
Light of build, he managed to
escape one night by squeezing through the bars of his cell and lowering
himself to the ground with knotted blankets. When he made it home - and
across the Turkish border - his father said ISIS had visited him to
tell him his son was to be executed as a spy.
What is perhaps most
remarkable is that despite the brutality, many residents of north-west
Syria still back ISIS. Samer Amori, Mohammed Nour’s uncle, said that
people who supported the regime now support ISIS. A more convincing
explanation is that by demanding control of all aspects of its
subjects’ lives, ISIS did at least manage to impose some sort of order
on a Syria that is becoming more lawless as the war progresses.
But for many men and women,
particularly the liberal activists, who have suffered under both the
regime and ISIS, the recent fighting has brought the third year of the
uprising to deeply depressing close.
Mr Primo, electrocuted by
fighters from the regime and Assad, said he had always believed the
West would intervene, and that what had happened in Tunisia and Libya
would happen in Syria. Now it is clear that with the country little
more than a fighting ground for rival warlords, some not even Syrian,
the West has little stomach for involvement.
“When I started out I could
never have imagined anything like this,” he said. “These people, they
do not have our way of life, or of thinking.
It’s very strange to us. I didn’t expect it would turn out this way.”