Saturday, September 30, 2006

Go figure...me in an honor society?

So how does a girl like me get an invitation to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society?

I have no clue. But I received a letter today extending an invitation for membership.

Like I told three friends of mine today, what would Mr. H. think? ? He was my former junior high/high school math teacher (and also a preacher) who used to berate me in front of everyone in class and tell me I wouldn't amount to anything simply because I used to get in a little trouble every now and then. Actually it wasn't really bad trouble, just stupid shit which I knew better not to do and for whatever reason did it anyway.

HA! I sure as hell fooled him.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Irresponsibility on your part

does not constitute an emergency on my part...

I often wonder what it is that makes morons in pick up trucks (sometimes cars, usually trucks) drive 80 mph and pass other motorists on hills, single and double solid lines, railroad tracks, intersections and such. And I wonder if they drive like that alone, do they also do it with their children in the truck with them?

DH andI used to be amazed at the number of morons who would pass us on the way to and from work (mostly on the way to work and in the dark I might add) weaving in and out of traffic and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Mind you, we used to be amazed, now we're not. It's the norm around here.

Take this morning, three--count it THREE morons passed us on either a hill, a railroad track or solid double line. One guy who was passing on a hill was so close to the driver coming the opposite way, they almost collided. This idiot must have passed three or four other people till he finally got to the light, where he had to wait for traffic to go through the intersection.

This is where one of us usually shouts "how far'd ya get asshole?" With our windows up he can't hear us but still it makes us feel better!

The funny thing is that when we get to campus every day, we spot at least half a dozen or more of these dumbasses turning onto campus and they almost always drive into one place--physical plant. With the exception of a dumbass cop on campus who drives like an asshole in his private vehicle daily (nearly causing accidents himself), the majority of the people who drive eratically from the country into town work at physical plant.

Go figure. I won't even address that...just think driving erratically, NASCAR numbers on the back windshields, pick up trucks and well you get the picture.

Those with common sense would think: "let's see, I'm having to drive 80 mph to work every day to get there on time, hmm...perhaps I'm doing something wrong here? Perhaps I should leave EARLIER?"

Ok, ok I can dream can't I?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Getting better all the time!

Ok let's see it's been two months since I've been on anti-depressants and where do I stand? I've got more energy, lost 13 pounds and 7 1/2 inches overall. At first I was walking every morning for nearly an hour but that was before school started. For thirty days I walked every day, now I am walking every one or two days. I am back to trying to walk every day again. I notice a big difference if I don't, my legs will get sore and I won't sleep good.

I have plenty of time to achieve my goal. Most of all, I just want to be healthy. I don't want to wind up with type II diabetes and heart disease, both of which my dad has. He worked hard all his life, he didn't deserve that, but I'm afraid that even if he'd been more than careful he still would have gotten them because I think it's hereditary in his family. It is in my DH's too but he doesn't seem to care.

I care. I want to live a long life and be healthy. Having health problems sucks!

I've been in touch with three gals from high school,--Susan, Katrina, and Julie, who all live in this area. They are really great people and we are looking forward to getting together and catching up on each other's lives and just doing some relaxing girl talk. I'm looking forward to that. They are all married with kids, I am one of the few in our small graduating class that doesn't have kids. That's ok, I was a late bloomer, married at 31, thirteen years at my job and finally back in school and actually thinking a PhD from a top ten school. Hey everyone has their moment, this is mine. I've been enjoying catching up with the girls and others too. One day I got this incredible desire to find my old classmates, many of who still live here and I began doing my research and compiled a contact list. Everyone's amazed at the info I have but see this is my "thing" I can find anyone or anything anywhere!! Research is a gift for me, I enjoy it.

The funny thing about this change in me is I no longer am worried what others think. Oh don't get me wrong I have standards of what kind of person I want to be but I used to be intimidated in my much younger years and other people's beauty and success sort of made me feel inferior. Not that I wasn't pretty or wasn't smart enough to succeed it's just that I always was pushed to the back. I used to think "what will my classmates think of me now?" and you know what? It's what's in our heart that matters. It's how we treat people that matters. It's what kind of person we are that shines. We age, we get wrinkles, gray hair and a bit tired from work, family and all. My old classmates don't care what we all look like they care about just what kind of people we are, at least I think so. I don't care whose been divorced or gained weight or who has done this or that good or bad, I just care that they are decent people and kind to me and to others.

Amazing how we change. More and more I find myself saying "I sound like my parents" and I am proud of that. I am the age now that my parents were when I was in high school. It's so amazing, isn't it? We really do morph into our parents, that's something I am proud of. I know sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and keep them 37 but I can't.

But my life is good. This has been one of the most interesting years of my life. I have been through a lot of good and a lot of crap and I survived. And I am working on "me" and I've been wanting to do that for years. I want to be the best person I can be!

:)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What goes around

A person I was once friends with got the shit she gives to others thrown back in her face by women who were until recently, her friends. These women finally figured out what she was really like and no longer cared to have anything to do with her. It was like deja vu when I heard about it because I had that same experience with her. In short, I was chastised by this one former friend and another former friend because I'd decided to take the high road and be friends with someone who I hadn't really liked before. They thought I was traitorous but frankly I learned to like this person, she really was a kind and decent person (she had flaws like the rest of us) and they didn't like her and as such they really gave me hell.

The person who I am talking about thinks she is more intellectual than everyone else. She uses terrible profanity to curse people out enjoys berating people, calling them filthy names, and oh yes, because she doesn't believe in God, she chastises others who do by calling them ignorant and stupid.



Life is just too short for this kind of crap and I for one am thrilled beyond words that washed my hands of the few people I was friends with who behaved in that very same manner. I am not perfect, never have been, never will, but that kind of behavior is not for me, and when I realized when I was becoming like that, I had to stop in my tracks and go in the other direction.



I never looked back and couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And speaking of Oprah...

My God now the woman is on radio? As if she doesn't have enough airtime gloating about herself, her wealthy Hollywood buds and promoting her friends, Oprah and "Friends" are on XM Satellite radio. The show is hosted by Oprah and her buddies Gayle King, Bob Greene and Maya Angelou. Gee, surprise!

What do you think they'll discuss? Well today they discussed Oprah's humble beginnings in Mississippi, and then she said when she was younger her mother wanted her to get some nice clothes from the white folks she worked for, and how she wished her mother was alive now to see that she "got some good white folks-working for me".

And then Oprah and Gayle continued laughing and talking about the white folks they have working for them.

Which makes me wonder. If a white talk show host had talked about how he has "them black folk working for me" how do you think that would be received?

Exactly.

I thought even Oprah was above this kind of behavior. Guess I was wrong.

The "all or nothing" husband...

I am married to a man who doesn't completely grasp the understanding of the word "compromise". In many cases, it's either all his way or nothing at all. It seems like most times we debate something, it's got to be his way. The debate I refer to has nothing to do with politics, it's just stuff going on in our lives. Doesn't he realize "all or nothing" doesn't work in today's world? Everything isn't black or white, there is much gray.

Take our Dish Network for instance, it's $42 per month for 120 channels. We've been debating turning it off for awhile now because we only watch half a dozen channels so why keep it? The conversation goes like this:

DH: What do you think about us cutting off the satellite?

Me: Well, I guess we could, why not just cut it down to half and see if we like that?

DH: No, we're either keeping it the way it is or cutting it off completely.

Then there's this issue--DH wants to take me back to "Hobby Lobby" in Ocala because it's such a great store to buy craft stuff. We've been there once, he got a ton of model cars, it's really an awesome store. I want to go but only if we pay cash and only when I have decided what I want. I want to do some crafts for Christmas but not sure yet and it's a bit early for me. So I figure while I am deciding I can put away about $150 for my stuff. Now the thing is that we just dropped a well-spent $675 on getting our front brakes done and getting the 60,000 mile service on our car. That came out of our savings. Before we go to Hobby Lobby I would like to save up another $150, is that a big deal?

Apparently so, now DH says we're not going and in addition we're not buying anything we don't need.

See, we have a wants list and a needs list. The wants list consists of a welder, two recliners, and a few other things. He was willing to put off the welder in favor of the recliners, we were going to get one recliner at a time. Well the other day I stop into a nice furniture store with a buy one get one free deal on Lane recliners. The one I want is $699 but we get the same one free. I said to DH "let's save up the $700 or so we'll need for it then we'll get it" and now he's like "forget it, we're not buying anything"

There have been times where he'd want to go out to eat. Well we used to go all the time, I got tired of it (I mean how many times can you go to the Texas Roadhouse before it gets b-o-r-i-n-g?) and so I'd say "well why don't we go next week or the week after?" (sometimes I hated spending that money every weekend and sometimes I just didn't want to go) and he'd be like "Just forget it, we're not going anymore" and he'd get in a huff. Well of course we've been out to eat since then but still it's so annoying to hear that.

The other day I told him we're not working just to pay bills and pay off our credit card, sometimes you have to have some fun. Now trust me--that is unusual coming from me, usually HE is the one saying that. It's usually DH who always wants to go places and I never want to go (I never have the time and hated spending the money). He's never denied me ANYTHING and in fact used to push me to buy myself something every now and then. The thing is I really don't want anything most of the time. And I know for a fact he isn't acting this way because he doesn't want me to have the things I want (he'd give me anything I wanted if he could), I think it's about him wanting to do things on his terms.

Life doesn't work that way. Like the song goes, "You can't always get what you want."

I find that our marriage is sometimes a power struggle. Now in a power struggle someone has to give. I'm willing to give in at times because it's my nature to compromise but as I've gotten older it's become my nature to stand up for what I want too. And so DH is like that too and so sometimes our marriage is much like oil and water. Eventually though we wind up compromising in some way but see it always happens after we argue about it.

DH is not a bad guy, but he has these quirks that occasionally drive me insane (I am sure I drive him insane at times too but this is my blog and so I get to complain here!).

And so he is what I affectionately label the "all or nothing" husband.

Oy vey.

Monday, September 25, 2006

$185 million?

to rebuild a stadium and cities are still in shambles?

Don't believe the hype. The hype I speak of is that restoring the Louisiana Superdome was necessary to bring hope to New Orleans. Try selling that crap to the thousands of people in New Orleans as well across the southeast who lost everything in Katrina and have nothing to return to. Homes, schools, churches, businesses, and government offices, were all destroyed and in the meantime, our government, commits nearly $144 million of FEMA funds, OUR hard-earned tax dollars on a football stadium that many officials including Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, deem is necessary. She states it is "essential to the state". Which must be why the state kicked in $13 million in taxpayer funds as well.

Kathleen Blanco is a moron.

The only non-taxpayer contribution to this monument was the NFL's donation of a paltry $15 million because commissioner Paul Tagliabue didn't want the Saints to leave New Orleans. Maybe they should have vacated so New Orleans and surrounding areas could have used that money for better purposes.

And we wonder what is wrong in America? When a football stadium comes first? Before rebuilding lives, homes, schools? Sure I can understand the officials and many citizens of New Orleans want the tourists back. After all, the football games and concerts are big revenue generators but at what price? How did the Superdome take such high priority over so many more important things?

Don't know about you but I plan to write to FEMA and tell them exactly what I think.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Oh Oprah, get over yourself!

This is just too funny. A former schoolteacher in his sixties is promoting Oprah for President.

And now Oprah's lawyers are threatening him, telling him he's committing copyright and trademark infringement by using her image on his site and the cover of his book which promotes her candidacy. Funny how her lawyers never complain about it if it's promoting something she supports.

Hmm....like she'd even have a chance of being elected! It's ok Oprah, don't get yourself all worked up, it's not like it would actually happen.

Now there's no love lost between Oprah and me, in fact she downright annoys me and I am sure I annoy her too. I guess it started when every time I turned on her show she either had Dr. Phil on or one of her celebrity buddies gushing over some big celebrity bash she just threw or attended or how much fun they had shoe shopping in the most expensive shoe stores or and this is the best one...her fashion shows on how to dress like a million bucks for only a few dollars. Perhaps it was the outfit where the shirt cost $70, the pants cost $110 and the shoes cost $65. I don't know, maybe it's just me but uh--for $110 those damn pants better jump off me, into the washer and dryer and iron themselves if I'm going to spend that kind of money. And $65 for shoes? Hello?

Then there's the diet and exercise thing. Yes I remember Oprah when she was fat and thin and fat and thin again. I remember he several diets, her carting animal fat onto stage, I recall all of it like it was yesterday. And I am glad she's lost the weight and feeling good (but a size 8 she says? I think not!) but she could do all us gals a favor and when she's promoting her weight loss and nutrition ieas it's probably a good idea not to keep going on and on about her workout trainer, grueling three hour long workout schedule and personal chef. You see, most of us don't have the time to workout three hours a day or the luxury to afford a personal trainer and personal chef to prepare and cook all our meals.

Don't get me wrong, I think Oprah has some great shows but overall I just got tired of her name-dropping celebrity crap, the Oprah diet/fitness regime and her endless promoting of certain individuals like Suze Orman, Bob Greene and Dr. Phil. Nobody would know or give a crap who these people were if Oprah hadn't had then on her show OVER and OVER and OVER again and just gushed about how wonderful they were.

Finally theres that God-awful book club. I have actually heard women say they wouldn't read a book unless Oprah recommended it.

Seriously I guess I am just one of those few unfortunate women who can actually function without worrying about WWOD "What would Oprah do?". That's what I affectionately refer to as the syndrome in which women across the country can't seem to make a rational decision about their lives unless they consult Oprah's tv show, books, magazine or website.

But me? Amazing as it seems, I can dress myself (and yes I wear white after Labor Day), I hold a good job, I'm getting my education, I know how to budget, I'm exercising and eating right, am happily married (at least some of the time) and I get along with my family and believe it nor not I read great books, none of which were recommended by Oprah.

Gee, I don't know how I've managed to survive this long without her wisdom....

Saturday, September 23, 2006

America trivia

My former professor and mentor, Diana, sent me the most interesting reading material. Considering I am a history major (as was she), I found it quite fitting that the subject of the Summer 2006 edition of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society's magazine is titled "Founders". The entire issue is devoted to little known truths about the founding of America. Nine notable historians of the Revolutionary Era presented their views of the founding of America. What I read was fascinating but not surprising, I only wish this was the history taught to young people in their first history courses in high school.

I chose History as my major because the subject fascinates me. I love reading about it, debating it and entertaining new ideas. The one thing about History is that it's constantly being revised, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As I wrote in a research paper a few semesters ago, revisionism is good when new facts come to light to shed more perspective on an event or individual. Revisionism is not good when it hides certain truths and facts in order to prevent one or more groups from being offended.

We are taught to believe America was founded by a small group of wealthy intellectuals and while these men like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Hancock certainly contributed greatly and deserve their place in history, they weren't the only contributors. The ordinary person contributed just as much if not more to the turning of the tide in America. There were many important ordinary people involved in the Revolution. Women were crucial to the Revolution as it was they who boycotted English made goods, kept America running, and women kept the soldiers going at Valley Forge by cooking, doing laundry, gathering firewood and nursing the sick and injured. There was also Agrippa Hull, a black slave who fought for the patriots and Thomas Peters, a former black slave who fought with the British. Both former slaves fought for freedom but they chose different paths to it. Then there was Joseph Brant, a native American who convinced his tribe to fight with the British because he believed that the Americans would take their land and way of life. And then Nancy Ward, a Cherokee ceremonial chief who sided with the Americans and believed the only way the Cherokee would survive was by conceding land and peace to the Americans, even though she believed this might be certain end to the Cherokee way of life.

And then there was the "forgotten revolution". The first true and successful overthrow of British tyranny in America came in Worcester, Massachusetts when in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, British Parliament decided to enact a series of acts (called the "Intolerable Acts" by Americans), which revoked certain provisions of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter of 1691. These acts included outlawing town meetings which could only be held at the discretion of the King's appointed governor, local officials like sheriffs and judges would no longer be elected but appointed by the Crown, and jurors would no longer be elected, but appointed by the Crown. The people of Massachusetts got fed up and basically shut down the government. Thousands of patriot militia around the state marched on their towns and unseated Crown appointed officials. By fall 1774 the people of Massachusetts had overthrown the Crown appointed government and taken back their state.

Also discussed is the question of whether or not the Constitution was the result of a shortage or excess of Democracy. There is excellent writing proposing theories on both sides. The Constitution was an experiment in Democracy that went right, even with all its flaws. What keeps it going after so many years is simply amazing to me. Perhaps it's the sheer will of the people to be free and the fear of what could happen if we just once, give up our freedom, we will never get it back. Ultimately the Constitution isn't just a document, it's more than that, it is a set of ideals and beliefs. Isn't it interesting, that just a set of beliefs could so strongly unite a nation for over 200 years?

And there's something interesting most folks don't think about. When the founding fathers met in Philadelphia to hash out the Declaration of Independence, they eventually removed hundreds of words from Jefferson's original document. John Adams would not concede to South Carolina's wish that the wording related to slavery be removed. And because the votes had to be unanimous, without South Carolina, the Declaration would never have passed. Ben Franklin worked to convince John Adams that a Declaration not mentioning slaves was better than no Declaration at all and that this was a start and it could be improved upon later. John Adams didn't want to concede but he did. He had to. So while the Declaration of Independence is criticized because of what it didn't contain, it's important to understand what it did contain. The Declaration was the beginning, it was the first document to truly unite the people in their stance against tyranny. We owe a great deal of thanks to the men who spent so many months debating it and the men and women who fought for its ideals not just on the battlefield but in their towns, cities, homes, schools, and churches.

If you think about it, history is a fascinating subject. What could be more interesting than learning about one's past? The history of our country is constantly evolving with the discovery of new facts and the debate of ideals. I think perhaps next to mathematics, reading, and english, history is the most important subject kids should be learning in public schools. And I mean real history, not this chopped up PC crap we see in public school (and many college) textbooks. If we are to preserve America's heritage and liberty and freedom, then it is important the truth be told. No matter how hard it might be to learn the truth, it must be told. This historian plans to do just that.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rest in peace...

I haven't slept well this week because I've been plagued with thoughts of sadness over the death of a lovely person--Jeanette. She was only 40 years old, my brother's friend and former classmate, and she was the sister and sister in law of good friends of mine. My brother, sister and I went to high school with them and their cousins, heck it was a small town, small school, where everyone knew everyone else. And when one of them dies, especially someone you knew and liked and whose family you care about, it really hits you hard.

Jeanette was laid to rest today. Her family and friends and even former classmates and people who knew her long ago, will all miss her. She was just a special person and everyone who knew her liked her. She was a beautiful girl not just on the outside but on the inside too. What you remembered about her was the kind of person she was--her warm and genuine personality. She came from a good family, they are good people--and my heart goes out to my friends in their loss.

Each time we experience the death of someone who means something to us, we are faced with our own mortality, and we are forced to re-examine our own lives and take inventory by asking ourselves things like "am I living the kind of life that makes me happy?" or "have I become a better person than I was yesterday?" or "am I a good and decent person contributing positively to the people and world around me?"

We get one life, one chance to live it and then poof!--like that--we're gone, sometimes with warning, but many times without. We get one life, let's make the best of it. Forgive those who have been cruel to us, loan our shoulder to someone who needs a friend, be patient with those who are slow, be kind to those who are mean, and offer our smile, heart and warmth to a person who has none. There's a multitude of things we can do, and really it's not for ourselves although helping others makes us feel good, but it's about making someone else feel good too. Making one's mark on the world has nothing to do with giving away millions or being famous, it's about how we positively impact the lives of others.

It's a sad day...but as I was telling my friend and former schoolmate Katrina on the phone the other day, out of all things bad comes something good....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The psycho factor...

When a radical dictator (actually there were two recently) can come freely to the United States of America and verbally assault our President before the UN General Assemby, receive a resounding round of applause and laughter, and no one in our government speaks out, something is very wrong.

Why the hell was he even ALLOWED into our country?

Chavez the psycho speaks so ill of our President and our country but do you know how Chavez stays in power? His army forces the people to vote for him. And did you know that every Venezuelan citizen who works in the Venezuelan government must vote for Chavez? More than 51% of the people of Venezuela live in poverty while Chavez and his cronies get richer. And Chavez takes good care of his army. They are well-compensated in exchange for their loyalty to him. And guess what else he's doing? Many of the higher education institutions won't take his side and back him so he has decided to spend millions building schools full of staff and faculty who support him. His hope is to run the non-supportive universities out of business. The country is a mess. Chavez comes here to America and speaks such hatred and disdain for our way of life on American soil, but do you think the people of Venezuela can speak that way about Chavez and his government?

No, they cannot.

I can't believe I haven't heard more opposition about this travesty from our Congressional body. Where they hell were they when this was going on?

Don't forget, Hugo Chavez came to power much like Hitler, much like Castro. The people were in desperate need of change and there was Chavez, a self-proclaimed "man of the people". Now you see what he has become. He is a dangerous dictator who oppresses his people, uses his military to back him up and he threatens the stability of the free world. Venezuela is in turmoil and I personally know people Venezuelan citizens who have been fortunate enough to get the hell out of that country. If only you could hear their stories. Forget the media, there's something real to be learned from people who have these stories to tell. We should be listening to these people who have fled to America because freedom in their home country is suppressed. We should be listening carefully...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gotta love capitalizing on being gay...

I heard a clip of former Governor James McGreevey talking about being gay. He said:



"For me, it's no different than having brown eyes or blue eyes."

Ok now if that's the case and being gay is no big deal, why is he on a book tour? Why is he on Oprah? What makes HIM special? Gee can I be on Oprah? I mean I'm heterosexual but see it's no different from having brown eyes and mine are so brown they are nearly black. Doesn't that make ME special?

Who cares if McGreevey is gay? Being gay doesn't define you as a person. McGreevey would have us believe that he stepped down NOT because he is gay but because he cheated on his wife and his affair compromised his ability to govern effectively.

But for me, there is some confusion because first he said that his "secret homosexual life" compromised his administration but then he says "I am increasingly comfortable with who and what I am, and if people pass judgment for being gay, separate and distinct from my actions, I have to be OK with that."

So...I have to wonder. If he doesn't want to be judged for being gay, separate and distinct from his actions, why is he blaming his lack of good judgment on his "secret homosexual life?"

Bueller?
Bueller?
Bueller?

Yep, that's what I thought. You're all thinking what I'm thinking. It's a load of BS, right?

The guy is a creep. The only issue here, at least to people with half a brain is that the reason he couldn't govern effectively has nothing to do with him being gay, it was that the extramarital affair which was the result of really bad judgment, and the favors he did to protect himself from being caught, was a clear abuse of power. He put his own personal gain ahead of his office and ahead of the welfare of his constituents.

In a nutshell, McGreevey compromised the integrity of his office, not by being gay, but by being crooked.

And in my book, that rates him a big fat zero.

Another lesson in radical Islam...

The Associated Press

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2006

CAIRO, Egypt Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were "doomed" and proclaimed that the holy war would continue until Islam dominates the world.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum about the pope's remarks last week on Islam. The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately independently verified.

"You infidels and despotic, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," the statement said.

The group said Muslims will be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying:

"you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."

Islam forbids drinking alcohol and requires non-Muslims to pay a head tax to safeguard their lives if conquered by Muslims. They are exempt if they convert to Islam.

The statement said that the Quran tells Muslims in many occasions that "jihad continues and should never stop until dooms day where this religion ends victorious."

The group also accused U.S. President George W. Bush of initiating the "new" Crusades campaign against Islam by his invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq while the servant of the cross, the pope of the Vatican, is continuing this path by his blatant attack on Islam, its prophet ... and especially his talk about jihad."

Benedict on Tuesday in Germany had quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said.

"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,'" he quoted the emperor as saying.

The pope on Sunday said that he was "deeply sorry" about the angry reaction and said the remarks came from a text that didn't reflect his own
opinion.



I thought this story was relevant in case anyone forgot who we're fighting and what we're fighting for....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh to be a fly on the wall

It's been a rough week so far but I really needed this laugh. The psycho Iranian president Ahmadinejad actually offered to debate President Bush at the UN General Assembly ministerial meeting. Of course the White House blew him off. Can you imagine the leader of the free world debating a terrorist leader? I think not. I'd be angry if Bush wasted his time debating this man.

And so it's no surprise that Jacques Chirac chastised the US government for its push to sanction Iran for defying the UN and continuing uranium enrichment.

Uh hello? Earth to Chirac (again!)

You know it's such a shame that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spews so much hatred. He is a very well-educated and intelligent man and he rose to power from nothing because he wanted to help his people. He claims to support freedom but that is hardly the case. He's turned into the very thing he says wants to eradicate. It seems such a waste that such a brilliant mind could be so cruel.

Anyway, what's really just wild about this is that we let this guy come to our country and blast the hell out of us on our own soil. Man whose guarding the gates here? Uh-HELLO? Earth to US Government.....WTF?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why is it?

I often wonder why it is that good people are taken from this earth when there's still much left to be done. Before they've had a chance to grow old, or retire and travel around the country with their spouse, or play with their grandchildren. Forty is just too young, there is so much in life that remains unfinished.

When it happens to someone I know, the only reasoning I can come up with is simply it was their time to go. I believe every person on this earth has a purpose and we are each loaned this life for a predetermined finite period of time and while we are here, it is our responsibility to make good use of it. I am once again reminded of this...

A wonderful family I care very much about has lost someone very special to them. Jeanette was a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend to many. You couldn't help but like her, she was simply a warm, gracious and kind soul and she was an honest and genuine person. She was so very nice, always had a warm smile, a kind word....she was a genuine person with a good heart.

It's so strange how the years pass so quickly and life gets hectic and we tend to forget about the little things that seemed so insignificant long ago but suddenly at a time like this, they become so important, so endearing, so full of meaning.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

With the Pope on this one...

I'm with the Pope on this one. While he did apologize for the reactions of the radical Muslims, he did NOT apologize for the quote taken from historical record which he used in his recent speech which I highly recommend you read before you pass a judgment on the Pope's use of the quote below. The quote, from a Byzantine emperor 600 years ago which went like this:

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Pope Benedict didn't come up with that on his own, it's part of historical record and it was in fact relevant to his speech. But you see, you just can't explain that to radicals. And just like every other occasion where radical Muslims get all up in arms and commit acts of violence in retaliation to something they disagree with...this situation is no different. Just wait and see...the retaliation has already begun...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The reality of life....

Age has this way of catching up with us and usually when we least expect it.

I remember when I was a kid and my parents were young...their thirties and forties were great years.. My parents were at their most vibrant. I thought I would never get old, and neither would they and now suddenly I am facing that truth, it's staring me in the face.

Am I scared? No. I think though I wonder what's in store for us. Perhaps there is some fear--in the unknown, of what is to come.

Lately I am having strange dreams, not bad dreams, just strange. I won't even go into the dreams they are so strange. They border on the hilarious, the dramatic, the absurd. And since I am known for my strange dreams, I'll leave it at that.

The dreams often leave me thinking about my own mortalit, well not just mine but that of my husband, parents, grandmothers, my siblings, aunts and uncles, and other family I have been close to my entire life. When papaw, my dad's father died in May, it was hard. I didn't go to the services up in Georgia but I mourned just the same. Papaw had been there our whole lives, and suddenly at 91 he was gone. For me at least, it seemed a piece of me was gone too. I can't imagine how my father and his sisters felt because I have never lost a parent, but I know my mother understood and I know that it has to hurt, to lose someone who has always been there for you.

I don't remember having that reminiscient type feeling when my mom's father who we affectionately called "gramps" died in 1984. Emphysema had been his enemy for years and finally it caught up with him and took his life. When he died I was not quite fifteen yet and even at that age I was far too young to put his death in the proper perspective. All I knew was one night we said goodbye to him in the hospital and the next morning he was gone. I remember wondering if he knew we had been there, saying goodbye as he slept. I think he did know. It was only a few years ago I started dreaming of him and then at that time, out of the blue, the reality of his death and absence from my life--from all our lives since 1984, hit me in such a way--that it seemed as if my grieving process had just begun in the present, instead of all those years ago. My only solace in it was that in my dreams he came to me and talked to me as if to say "I'm ok".

Well, this brings me to another thought. Last night I went over to mom and dad's for an hour or so and it was hard for me to see mom so tired from work and dad walking so slow with his neck bent forward in pain from what the doctors have told him is arthritis. I researched different types of arthritis and told him to ask the doc if he has the type which fuses one's spine together. His neck hurts all the time, he's smoking again, I feel bad, I feel like there's something I should be doing to help him. And yet I can do nothing. It's a feeling of helplessness I have never known. I am at the point in my life that I saw my parents at when I was a kid---especially my mother when she was my age and her own father was so sick from emphysema. He died in 1984 when she we was only 38, two years older than I am now.

My parents are both sixty. To me in some ways they are still 36, but I am in denial somewhat. I want them to stay around forever because if they don't, my happy little world will come crushing down on me. I know mom and dad will read this and all I can say is "don't worry, I'm ok" and really I am. I don't want them to worry that I dont' sleep at night or spend all my time worrying. Mom and dad I promise I am not a basket case nor am I sad. Actually I feel really really good these days and I think it's important to ponder these feelings I have in order to make some sort of sense of them...

...if sense can ever be made of them at all, which sometimes I wonder.

Any child who loves their parents and has had to go through this, knows what I am feeling. This is the point where that dreaded word--AGE--catches up with us. When the friends we went to high school with have children in college, where our parents have more doctor's appointments and ailments with each passing year, where our pop culture is considered ancient, where television stars who were famous when we were kids, are graying, aging or dying off. And finally when we sit back and say the once-dreaded "I now know what my parents were talking about".

I used to say I'd never say that. But now I think it's ok to say it.

My parents taught me a lot when I was a kid, things I never understood till I got older, which I think sometimes is the way it's supposed to be. Parents say to their kids someday it will sink in. My grandmothers surely told that to my parents, and my parents said it to us kids. It's true, we don't get it till we're older, because with age comes wisdom and we are not entitled to that wisdom when we are young, only when we begin to enter a certain time in our lives. It's like an "enlightenment" of sorts. It's the time when we really start questioning who we are and what our purpose is in life, which for many folks, especially in my generation, comes only now. I think I am one of the lucky ones to be asking at a few weeks short of my 37th birthday. Some folks will not be asking these questions until it's too late.

All I want out of life is to be happy. I don't want money, I don't want to be famous, I don't need a big fancy job or a lot of friends. My family, the few friends I have that I can count on one hand, and my health are important to me. Also my "enlightenment" is important too. I want to be a better person and understand my purpose, if that word comes from God fine, I know He has had an influence in my life. And so I just continue to persevere every day and I hope I continue learning from the lessons being taught to me by those who have gone through what I am going through now. I hope I have the patience to shut up, listen, and understand the meaning of it all.

I still fear facing my own mortality. As my parents and others around me who were once young and vibrant, are aging, I have no choice. I cannot deny I too am getting older. But I hope that I can put aside that fear and enjoy life for what it is meant to be. And maybe do a little bit of good in the time I am here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ok so I'm just a little strange...

Ok, I've got to stop listening to Coast to Coast AM right? I mean it got a little bit out of hand the other morning when I was doing my daily 4 - 5 a.m. walk and George and his guest were talking about ghosts and ouija boards and stuff like that. The guest talked about these Wisonsin college students who, in 1990, decided to use a ouija board for the hell of it and then the kids learn about a man who back in 1920 had been an albino and blind and wound up killing a bunch of people and put their eyes and tongues in this bag he would carry and because he was blind the stuff in the bag became his "friend" and this guy turned into a monster and if you said his name he would find you. Well thank GOD that George's guest didn't say his name. I was really worried. See if you know his name then you'll hear this whistling and then he'll get you.

I'm not ready to be got yet, know what I mean?

Ok by now Deb, Susan, DH, mom, dad and sis have read this and think I am certifiable. Ok maybe not, because they are all certifiable too maybe that's why we are all so close. But I'm telling you, you get your happy butts out on Deer Run Place at 4 in the morning and listen to this stuff and tell me if you don't start feeling oh just a LITTLE BIT CREEPED OUT?

I didn't think so.

Did I mention we live next to a cemetery? Oh and get this, there's a microwave tower behind the cemetery. I know, I know, years ago my mother joked that the tower was used by the dead folks to communicate with the living.

Thanks mom, now I have to deal with that too when I'm on my walk!

I once played with a ouija board, it was mom's ouija board and I don't know if she still has it but man it would take a rather strong six pack of something or just a bottle of Chilean Pisco to make me use it again. With this family, there's just no telling WHO might decide to come back and haunt us.

Oy!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am floored, just floored...

This article from the Cherokee Times in Cherokee County, GA has just thrown me for a loop.

Some of you might recall this post from several months ago when I told you that my cousin and her husband were finally going to be able to come face to face with the man who killed their son. The perp is an illegal alient who had a North Carolina driver's license obtained with a Mexican birth certificate and a Mexican consular card.

According to the article I posted above (click on "post"), while x-rays taken after the accident compared to current x-rays confirmed the man captured was Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, dental experts say that it is indeed NOT Gonzalo but his brother Roberto, who the man has been claiming to be. Officials believe he knows where Gonzalo is. In the meantime, a family is left to somehow deal with this incredible blow.

I can't believe it. Just when Kathy and Billy might have been able to get some closure to their son's tragic death six years ago, something like this happens. I don't know what to say. If this man is truly NOT Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez but is his brother, you're damn right he probably knows where he is.

My cousin Dustin Inman is dead for six years now and this man is still free. Something is very wrong with this. If the authorities never catch him, God will eventually and this man will pay for not taking responsibility for the death of an innocent young boy.

PC just doesn't become me...

I was told today that I'm just too opinionated and I was asked if I thought my political opinions might dissuade certain universities from admitting me to their PhD program. I don't even know where that came from, I was simply having a casual conversation about politics with someone I used to work with.

Well, I'm not known for being quiet and shy. Truth be told, if I don't know you, I will usually wait for you to make the first move and introduce yourself, but once I get to know you I'm hardly quiet. Most who know me personally and professionally would probably tell you that I am quite opinionated, sometimes bold, and definitely above all things---not politically correct. So with all that, how did someone like me--who maintains much disdain for the pathetic political correctness that goes on at my institution--manage to make a rather pretty good living there for the past nearly thirteen years?

Pure luck. It has to be. On more than one occasion I have written editorials in the student newspaper and local paper that I am sure made some folks cringe. Yet, after the guest columns/letters to the editor were written I received nothing but kudos, some from people I know at this institution. The funny thing is the more you challenge my right to say what's on my mind, the more and louder I will say it.

I have been told on several occasions I should be careful, that one day I would push my luck.

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence pushed their luck too. If they were brave enough to do it, so am I.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The hidden double standard of "teamwork"

I find the double standard of "teamwork" a fascinating thing. You know when someone in charge expects his employees to work as a team but yet he refuses to do the same.

Take a prison for example, a prison which under the direction of a warden....er, I mean....dick-tator (yes I said that!) who wants everyone to be part of the "team". It reminds me of "The Untouchables" when Robert DeNiro aka Al Capone is walking around the dining room table with his baseball bat talking about teamwork and all his goons are repeating "team" "team" and then he bashes one of them in the head with the bat.

Hmm so much for team eh?


The dicktator I speak of, oh hell let's just call him "dick" for short (and for good reason), preaches teamwork can't get his correctional officers to show up for work, does random lockdowns because he can't seem to keep the contraband out of his facility, forces his non-officer employees like clerical/administrative folks to work late because it's not "fair" they get to go home and the others don't, and frankly, morale among his employees STINKS! Does he care? Nope. He thinks when he says "frog" they should jump but when they need support from him it's like "f*ck you"




Well at least his floors are shiny. Yes I hear he has "his" inmates spend hours shining up those floors so they can look all nice and pretty. Well at least he has something he can be proud of---because when it comes to the place he runs, he sure can't be proud of much else...

And oh yeah a little birdie told me that dick can take his "you have to work weekends" thing and shove it :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You can keep your hate

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, we find out British producer/director Gabriel Range has just released a film about the assassination of President Bush. Oh but the hype isn't just in Britain, it's in the US too beacuse you see a Newmarket films, has just bought the distribution rights to release the film in America.

How would you feel if it were your father, brother, son, or husband in political office and someone made such an awful film about his fictional assassination? How do you think the President's family feels about this film? Exactly how you would feel. I would be mortified and I would be doing everything in my power to see that it wasn't released, not in my country, not in America.

Producer/Director Gabriel Range on his film:


"We’re thrilled to be screening the film at Toronto. It’s a striking premise which may be seen as highly controversial. But it’s a serious film which I hope will open up the debate on where current US foreign and domestic policies are taking us.”

Debate on foreign and domestic policy? Please!

This is about Range making money on his hatred of our President. This film has nothing to do with opening up dialogue. Leaders of countries have been subject to assassination for their policies since the beginning of time, Bush is no different. I don't buy Range's reasoning for this film, I think it goes far beyond that. It's just plain vicious and I wouldn't waste my money on it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and I was sitting in my office working while listening to the Neal Boortz radio show out of Atlanta. I recalled sometime earlier that morning how blue the sky was and how perfect a day it would likely be. Suddenly I received a call from a coworker that a plane had accidentally flown into one of the WTC towers. I thought that to be highly unusual and then I heard the news on Boortz's show that a second plane had hit. It was at that time that I became suspicious it was more than just an accident.

I ran to the conference room next door where the large television was already plugged in, turned on and tuned in to ABC news. Most of my coworkers were already gathered there. We were shocked to see what was happening in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Rumors were flying, people were asking questions and nobody grasped the reality of what was happening. And then suddenly out of nowhere, the first tower collapsed and I felt sick to my stomach and just gasped in awe. When the second one went down I wept and was in shock at the many people whose lives had just been snuffed out in an instant.

There we were, about fifty of my coworkers gathered around the table in the conference room which was standing room only, watching these events unfold on what had started off as a perfect day in America. All you could hear were the near silent gasps because that's all anyone was able to emit at that moment. I will never forget how shocked and scared I was at that moment because none of us knew the extent of destruction nor did we know what was to come next or when.

Among those killed in the attacks was my cousin Sheryl Rosner Rosenbaum. Sheryl and I were the same age and shared the same ancestry--our great grandmothers Yetta Unger Hershkowitz and Becky Unger Rosner were sisters and Romanian immigrants. Sheryl was a kind person with a wonderful life. She was a loving daughter to her parents and two brothers, devoted wife and mother of two small children, Hannah who was 3 years old at the time and Sam who was just 17 months. She loved her job as accountant/partner/Vice President at Cantor Fitzgerald. Everyone loved Sheryl.

Sheryl was on the 105th floor of the North Tower when it collapsed.




For Sheryl's family and friends, life will never be the same. How on earth do you cope with the loss? The anger, the sadness, the reminder every single day of every single year. So sad is that her two beautiful children will never really know their mother. However, I believe out of everything bad comes something good. The lives Sheryl touched will touch others and so on. Every person has an impact and Sheryl's impact will no doubt be felt for a very long time.





In the meantime, while we still mourn the loss of family and friends, how do we deal with the fact that our loved ones were killed because of an ideology?


Two hundred thirty years ago, thousands of Americans, both military and civilian, male and female, black, white, and native American, sacrificed their lives to forge a free America. Today, that very freedom is threatened by terrorists who wish to eradicate freedom and force us to submit to a radical political and religious ideology. In memory of Sheryl and all those who have lost their lives to terrorist attacks in America and around the world and in memory of those who gave their lives fighting for freedom and liberty in America and all over the world, we owe it to all of them to never forget their sacrifices, never give in to terrorists, and never give up on freedom.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

At least I'm trying to find solutions...

I'm taking a class dealing with social problems. My objective is to "think outside the box", or look at these social problems from a point of view different from the one I currently hold. It's not that my current point of view is necessarily bad, but I think that too often we get comfortable in our views and aren't all that open to changing our mind. As a student of history and politics with an insatiable appetite for research and finding solutions to problems, I thought this type of course would be perfect for me. I could not have been more right.

The week which just passed saw our class discussing the current health care crisis in America. Make no mistake, there is a health care crisis. The cost of simple office visits, hospital services, medical equipment and medication is skyrocketing. The only people able to afford adequate care are those with insurance and those with the financial resources to pay for care even without insurance. Those left behind are the millions of middle class and poor Americans, most of who have no insurance for a variety fo reasons and for those who do, their copayments for the doctor visits and large numbers of medications they must take, far exceed their financial resources.

I care about the health care crisis. Despite the comment from a classmate that "the rich and people with insurance don't care" we do. Each of us must have at least one friend or family member in a health care crisis and yes for me it is close to home. I struggle daily with the issue of for-profit healthcare vs. the welfare of the people. Not a philosopher at heart, I am not sure how to attack this issue and come out on the winning side, if there even is a winning side.

You should know that I vehemently promote personal responsibility and while yes personal responsibility now keeps away potential future problems, it doesn't necessarily solve any current problems and the health care crisis is as much a current crisis as it is a future one, the current being far more important. We must solve the problem at hand. And that's what I want....solutions.

I read several posts on the class discussion board about how Americans are lazy, have no wish to help one another, how the almight dollar rules, how medicine for profit should be outlawed, how doctors should be forced to work pro-bono and how health care should be FREE for all Americans.

But I read not one solution, not even a proposal. It wouldn't have mattered how far out of space it might have seemed, it would have been a start, something to build upon. I kept reading posts about how health care in European countries is so much better (I did actually post a reply about just how damaged Canada's health care system really is but no one replied). I asked several times "ok if you want completely FREE healthcare, what tax rate do you propose?" I asked if they would be interested in a 33% federal tax hike, nobody answered. I asked if they were certain they wanted government to take over the health care system completely. Nobody answered. Oh but their suggestions sounded good but in reality, a 33% tax hike to pay for care for every person in America would certainly bankrupt me. But I suppose it would be worth it if my neighbor was able to get free health care from an ingrown toenail to a heart transplant. All paid for by you and me.

Oh I had some solutions, one of which included renaming Medicare and raising the premiums slightly that we each pay in through our employer. Now for those who are unemployed, since they cannot pay in, they would be allowed a certain amount of care free, but monitored and when they did get a job, they would begin to pay that back over a period of time but not so much as to it affecting their income greatly. Oh sure it's got holes in it but it's a start.

Since I believe that preventive care now will keep millions of people from being ill in the future, I proposed those funds in the renamed program cover preventive care like mental health screenings, physicals, immunizations, and certain other preventive exams depending on age group. For instance a person of age 30 would not need a diabetes or heart disease screening (unless it was hereditary) but a person of 45 or more would. The basic care for a 20 year old woman is different from that of a 50 year old woman. The basic care for a 20 year old man is far different from that of a 60 year old man. It is a fact that certain diseases and conditions afflict certain age groups more predominantly than others. So the basic care covered by taxpayer funded premiums should be limited to that care and to prescription drugs (though I am not sure which ones yet). Then, all individuals could opt for a supplemental private health insurance policy to cover more serious things like cancer surgeries, transplants and other necessary procedures.

We are always being told of men and women who die of illnesses which could be prevented because they could not afford the preventive care. Under my suggestion, everyone would be able to participate in preventive care. This could lower the numbers of undetected cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses not caught early because people can't afford to go to the doctor.

Oh sure, my plan isn't flawless, there are many problems with it and questions raised by each problem, but I'm ok with that, because you can take something that has many flaws and build upon it. (Case in point: Declaration of Independence, which was revised continuously with many unpopular compromises until the final piece of work was complete). And you know what? I was the only person in the class who offered up ANY suggestion other than the generic and rather tired phrase "we should have free health care for everyone." That's not a solution, tell me HOW and WHAT we should do, now that's at least a start. With my suggestion, I was open for comments and feedback but all I kept reading was how the rich don't pay their fair share, how doctors are greedy and should not be working for profit and on and on. It was like nobody was listening.

You know the majority of people in this class are young and clueless. No, they're not stupid, they're just young and inexperienced. I was once young and inexperienced as were many of you reading this. We thought we knew how the world worked but years later we say to ourselves and anyone who will listen "what were we thinking?" These kids in this class are as wer were when we were that age but there's one dangerous difference----the mentality of the times has changed and class warfare is running rampant more than ever before. These young kids are repeating this which was heard from their parents and sadly, their teachers. And they believe it, it is almost like indoctrination, it's so sad.

Our elected officials often use class warfare as an excuse not to solve serious problems in America. When proposed with a problem which needs solving, they simply point fingers and blame the rich. This is happening in my class and I sit back feeling frustrated and wondering if there is hope for these young people.

And so even with the class warfare and pessimism running rampant through the class, I am optimistic, as is my instructor, and a few of the other older students. For me this class isn't about being popular or having the best solution, it's about looking at life and the problems of life from new perspectives which will allow me to come up with real workable solutions.

And someday I just might have the "one".

My first earthquake!

About 11 am this morning DH was sitting in the living room and I was in the kitchen and I felt and heard rattling of things in the kitchen and a second later DH asks "did you feel that?" and then tells me the futon he was sitting on shook as did the floor. He said "I'm sure it was an earthquake"

Fast forward 2 pm we get a news flash online that a 6.2 magnitude earthquake 260 miles SW of Tampa affected the entire southeast.

Wow that was something eh?

DH and I just looked at each other like "we really need to get a life!"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lucy, John Wayne, mom and me...

I can thank mom for my appreciation for "I Love Lucy." I've seen every episode and for me they never get old. When I was living back home years ago before DH came along, before dad retired, and before mom went back to work, mom and I would stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights and watch Lucy on Nick at Nite. There were we'd watch it together and times I'd be in my room lying in bed with the TV on and she'd be in the living room, kicked back in the recliner with Buddy on the couch and dad fast asleep on the other side of the house. We always laughed at the same scenes and we could always hear each other laugh, actually it was more like uncontrollable fits of hysteria. You see it was just THAT funnY! My mother would laugh so hard she'd get tears in her eyes and I could always tell that was the case without even going in there.

You have to know my mom. I definitely do!

We both have a favorite episode...the one were Lucy and Ethel steal John Wayne's footprints. That is really a classic episode and what makes it even more so is that in real life John Wayne was a HUGE fan of Lucille Ball so to see him doing comedy with her was a great treat.

Because the show is on at 5 am every weekday morning on TVLand and I am able to watch it. Thank goodness I caught it a few days ago. As I watched it, I was laughing so hard tears came to my eyes and then I realized something was missing-----mom wasn't there to share the laughter and tears with me. She was home, probably sleeping or awake and getting ready for work. I'm sorry you missed it mom, but I know you were there with me!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another great WTF moment...

These moments come along every now and then. They happen when idiots open their mouths and really those of us who are the sane ones just stare at them in disbelief thinking....WHAT THE F*CK?

And so it is that I haven't really experienced a true WTF moment in some time. Oh there are near-WTF moments but none have really excited me enough to rant about them. Until today of course...

ABC is ready to air on Sunday their miniseries called "The Path to 9/11" which is about what led to 9/11 and criticizes among others, former President Bill Clinton for his ineptness in attacking terrorism.

Way to go ABC.

Welp, the Congressional Dems have officially lost their collective "mind" (yes I said "mind" as in the singular) and decided to turn back the clock on freedom of speech and are demanding it be edited or not aired altogether.

HYPOCRISY!

Gee, imagine that?

Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and several other leading Senate Dems wrote a letter to Disney CEO and President Robert Iger urging him to "cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program."

Where were these concerned citizens when Michael Moore released "Fahrenheit 911?"

(Chirp, chirp)

That's what I thought!

As I recall they were supporting his right to free speech.

What is really funny is who else is complaining about the miniseries---SANDY BURGLAR, er, I mean SANDY BERGER, the man who stole FIFTY, yes I said F-I-F-T-Y sensitive documents out of the National Archives by shoving them down his underwear and in his clothes. And he got a free pass from Bush in the form of a reduced sentence. I'd LOVE to know what he wanted out of those archives. What documents did he take and destroy? I'll never forget his fake apology in saying he made an honest mistake. AN HONEST MISTAKE? I do NOT want to hear a friggin peep out of that slimebag. The son of a bitch is lucky he's not in a federal pen so he needs to just shut up.

I'll be watching this dramatization as ABC calls it. Why? Because the Dems don't want me to see it and the louder they scream the more likely the rest of America is to watch it. I have NO earthly idea how close to any truth it will be, but we should allow ABC the opportunity to air it, after all free speech is about ALL speech, even unpopular speech.

There are those in Congress very concerned. This is an election year and all they need is we, the American people, revisiting the issue of what led to 9/11. George W. Bush, as much as I like him or don't like him at times, was not responsible for 9/11. That event can be blamed on the terrorists, an inept CIA, FBI and other government agencies who could not seem to work and play well together, on every politician in Congress who did not support a war on terror years ago when it was necessary and finally Bill Clinton who as our President, failed us in the area of fighting terrorism, and should take responsibility for the actions or shall I say non-actions of the persons working for him.

Oh hell yeah I'll be watching. If nothing else, this is about free speech and ABC/Disney has every right to air this miniseries. If the Congressional Dems don't like it, tough!

Give us news, not bullshit...

Hmm let's see, I can think of a THOUSAND stories more newsworthy than the out-of-wedlock child of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I mean, HELLO? Who the hell cares?

When I turn on the news (and it's NOT CBS news trust me) I want to hear about real news, stories going on around the world, the good and the bad, the bare truth. I don't want to hear about celebrities, I just don't care about what they're doing in their lives, I have enough going on in my own life. Save that crap for MTV, VH1 and E! networks.

It's bad enough Katie Couric is now in primetime (thank God I don't watch CBS news) but it's even worse that her very first broadcast was wasted on such trivial bullshit like Tom Cruise's kid. Great, he's furry-headed, he's cute, and he actually exists, now let's move on.

Enough already!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Strange dreams

I'm known for my strange dreams and I'll often tell people who know me "I had the strangest dream last night" and long ago their reply would be "really? what was it about?" (asked with real curiosity). Twenty years later it's like "yeah so what else is new". Now I'm sure these people think me to be nuts at times.

I'd like to think the strange dreams were from my days of smoking crack but no, I never smoked crack. Or perhaps from inhaling the smoke from the toilet paper I burned as a child? Oh no wait that was my mother who burned toilet paper as a child. Could it be the chemicals from the black tape I used to wrap everything under the sun when I was a kid? No wait, that was my sister Kim, who had this odd obsession with black electrical tape my father used to bring home on his work truck. I wasn't as if she just had to put a few pieces of tape on something to fix it, we're talking whole rolls used to wrap things like baseball bats and cover things like windows.

And when there wasn't black tape left (gee I wonder why?), there was trusty black paint, the old standby. Black paint here, black paint there, black paint everywhere. And then of course when she moved out of mom and dad's house, there was a nice black line left on the wall from something she had spray painted once upon a time. I suppose our little renegade didn't understand the concept of TAPING OFF BEFORE PAINTING???

Did I mention that she shot me in the leg with a beebee gun once?

What on earth was I talking about when I started this post? Does anyone remember?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What I hate about election night...

I really enjoy listening to our local FM talk radio station, the SKY 97.3 but is it REALLY necessary for them to interrupt the "Savage Nation" to report on election results every ten minutes? So far it's 7:30, polls are closed just a half hour and they are reporting results with only a few percent of the vote in. HELLO? I don't really give a shit about a few percent. Wake me when all the results are in because you breaking into my regular evening program isn't going to change the results any. GET OFF THE AIR AND PUT MICHAEL SAVAGE BACK ON!

On the bright side, Gallagher IS getting his ass kicked and that's at least notable for the moment. :)

Because you asked...

Well you didn't ask but I needed a reason to bring it up.

Someone has lost twelve pounds and 5 1/4 inches in the last five weeks. Umm....HELLO? That someone is me!

WoooHoooo!!

It's my birfday--
It's my birfday--
It's my birfday--

LOL! Congrats to me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

No Crist, No Gallagher...

My sister and I had a nice talk about Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist the other day. We're not voting for either of these asshats.

Here's something interesting about Charlie Crist. According to non-partison Project Vote Smart:

ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARLIE CRIST HAS REFUSED TO PROVIDE ANY RESPONSES TO CITIZENS ON ISSUES THROUGH THE 2006 NATIONAL POLITICAL AWARENESS TEST. ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARLIE CRIST REFUSED TO PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION WHEN ASKED TO DO SO ON 2 SEPARATE OCCASIONS BY:

John McCain, Republican Senator
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President

THIS CANDIDATE WILL BE ASKED AGAIN TO PROVIDE RESPONSES DURING THE GENERAL ELECTION.

So much for the truth eh?


And about Gallagher? He's a homophobe. Sorry but I can't vote for someone who thinks gay people are the reason society is going to hell in a handbasket. He's so worried that gays are dismantling our society, he's against gay adoption. Uh hello Tom? You think being adopted by a gay couple makes you gay? It's biological you moron. Why don't you actually ASK someone who is gay about that?

Gallagher things we need a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage. LOL that's funny, with all the heterosexual divorces going on in society today maybe he should mandate marriage counseling before he tries to sell us the idea that gays are somehow devaluing the institution of marriage. The only people who ruin the institution of marriage are those who ruin their own marriages by getting married too young, for the wrong reasons, or because of adultery. Perhaps Gallagher should look in his own backyard to find out who is dismantling society. It's the corrupt money-grubbing politicians like him who wish to shove their righteous religious values down our throats.

I know some of you reading this are in agreement with Crist or Gallagher, that's fine, I don't dislike you, cause some of you reading this are my friends. All I can tell you is two very smart sisters in Florida won't be voting for either one of these yahoos.

McDonough's rule of the DOC: too little too late

James McDonough, new head of the Florida Department of Corrections, where have you been? Youre appointment to clean up the system is too little too late in my opinion. Better yet, where has the State of Florida been while corruption was wreaking havoc in Florida prisons? And I'm not talking just the state run facilities I am talking about the private contracted facilities as well. Those who have never worked in one or been close to someone who has worked in one have no clue. There's shit that goes on there that NEVER gets outside those facilities. If those at the state level only knew...

I read a recent news article where McDonough wrote in a newsletter to corrections employees statewide in his concern about promotions being given to people who did not deserve them:

"In order to carve an ascending career path, you must demonstrate character, education, skill level mastery, depth of experience, a drive for self-improvement and a willingness for self-sacrifice."


Gee what a concept! The system, so concerned with meeting state demands for quotas would rather promote borderline qualified white and black women above caucasian men who have proven themselves to be model employees. And those women who were promoted? Many of them couldn't even get to work on time. Eventually they're let go and the search is on all over again. Officers have to be tested again, interviewed again and go through the process of hopefully promoting when BAM! someone else less qualified gets it. When good officers are up for it time and time again and keep getting passed over because they are the wrong gender and race, something is wrong.

In many institutions, inmates are allowed to run loose, officers have no control, and supervisors do NOT back up their officers. When officers come to work late repeatedly and their supervisors write them up and nothing is done about it at the higher level, what message does that send to those who can't follow the rules? Prisons are dangerous places to work,it's not a game. If you can't get to work, you should be FIRED. PERIOD. Send the message that that kind of shit will not be tolerated. And reward those people who DO make the sacrifice to be there on time and do their job by the book. These hardworking men and women deserve to be paid a decent salary, excellent health and life insurance, time off to preserve their sanity and for God's sake LUNCH BREAKS and BREAKROOMS where they can sleep if they have been overworked. How hard is this concept? You can furnish rec rooms and professional chefs to inmates but you can't furnish a room with some cots for these people to sleep in before driving home?

State and private run facilities have high turnovers. Why do you think that is? It's a friggin' dangerous environment and you think you're going to keep people there for a long period of time offering them $26,000 per year, almost daily double shifts with no breakrooms in which to sleep before driving home, and oh yeah no time for something simple like a lunch break? How about officers who are made to work doubles because others don't show up for work and then tired and weary these people have to make a sometimes hour long trek home (many live in the rural areas far from the prisons they work at) only to be called FOUR hours later to come BACK to work for an emergency?

When your warden is more concerned about how shiny his floors or who brings bottled water into the prison, rather than being concerned with employee morale and employee safety and keeping his officers happy and the inmates in their place, there is a serious problem. When the warden makes office staff who are not even qualified correctional officers shakedown cells and serve lunches to inmates, because he is short on officers to do it, there is a problem.

The whole way the system is run disgusts me. The corruption has been going on so long it'll take a lot more than one man to fix it. Good luck Mr. McDonough you're going to need it.

New ATV law stupid...

First off let me say I don't own an ATV, wouldn't own an ATV and don't know anyone who does own an ATV. And that's a LOT considering what part of the state I live in. Kids and adults alike have been killed on these things mostly because of unsafe riding practices. I blame the parents for the death of their children on these things, and the adults who get into accidents? Most of them were out of control, I hate to say this but when you do stupid things, you pay, sometimes with your life. As long as you don't take an innocent person out with you.

There's a new law effective October 1 that among other things, allows people to drive ATV's on unpaved roads with speed limits of less than 35MPH only during the daytime. So now instead of being restricted to private property or public tracks (where many accidents have taken place), now these idiots will be on unpaved roads (like the one in front of my house) wreaking havoc. The new law also includes that minors must be under the supervision of a licensed driver but there are no specific provisions of what that supervision is, and riders under 16 will have to attend a safety course.

You know the new laws are great and all but really who is going to obey them? I've seen adults with babies in their lap on these things, I've seen two small children riding them, I've seen adults with small children on them, I've seen kids doing wheelies on them. New laws don't change anything. Legislators think this will now take these idiots off the sides of the paved highways and keep them safe in the rural areas. No. The only thing it's going to do now is make it legal for these people to get themselves into more trouble.

State Representative Greg Evers is the one who proposed the change in the law. He says:

"I am dreadfully sorry if law enforcement has a problem with this, I want it to be safer for kids to enjoy the recreation of riding four-wheelers."

I'm not sure what the solution is to this situation. You have to have a license and a safety course to ride a motorcycle, I think you should have to have one for ATV's too. And I don't think anyone under 18 should be driving one. Not that 18 makes a person mature, I mean I've seen ignorant 18 year olds, but at least they are adults and become responsible for making the decision of what to do with their lives. The kids under 18 who have been injured and killed on these things are the direct responsibility of their parents. These machines are dangerous and parents who let their kids on them are asking for trouble.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Oddz-n-endz

I'm talkin' about all sorts of stuff today...

Sometimes it'd be nice to say I gave DH a fat lip but really I would never do that so you can't blame me for the one he had last night. Out of the blue yesterday afternoon he winds up with this weird puffiness above his upper lip and several hours later, the left side of his lip graduate swelled up and by late that night and next morning, the entire top lip was swelled up. It was not painful but it was strange. When he got up this morning, we put vitamin E on it and he took a couple of echinacea with breakfast. A few hours later it was gone and his lip was normal. Strange to say the least. He didn't eat anything out of the ordinary. I wonder what it was.

I was pleased to see the previews for Kevin Costner's latest flick "The Guardian" after all isn't it about time that the United States Coast Guard is recognized for their hard work and sacrifice? You betcha! For those people out there who are still ignorant enough to think the USCG isn't a military service, let me, a former Coastie remind you:

14 USC 1. Establishment of Coast Guard

The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Transportation, except when operating as a service in the Navy.

According to the Department of Defense:

"The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), sometimes referred to as "America’s Shield of Freedom,” is the nation’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG traces its history to 1790 with the introduction of the Revenue Cutter Service, whose mission was the enforcement of the first Congressional tariff laws enacted under the Constitution. Today’s Coast Guard is actually a combination of five former Federal agencies. In addition to the Cutter Service, these agencies include the Lighthouse Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and the Lifesaving Service.[Footnote 1]

The multiple missions and responsibilities of today’s Coast Guard can be traced back to these initial agencies with five strategic goals today—maritime safety, maritime mobility, maritime security, national defense, and protection of natural resources.[Footnote 2]

In March of 2003, USCG jurisdiction changed from the Department of Transportation (DoT) to the Department of Homeland Security. Even though the USCG is not situated in the Department of Defense, it is at all times an armed force—a full-time military organization with a true peacetime mission. During times of war or at the direction of the President, the USCG functionally transfers to the Department of Defense under the Secretary of the Navy. The Coast Guard’s priorities shifted in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks and funding shifted from its traditional mission to support large-scale port security operations.[Footnote 3]"



Those who dispute this ought to do some serious reading up on military history and then get back to me.


Ok so DH and I played Monopoly twice today. Why I played a second time I have no idea but I thought oh hey what the hell and I was in a pretty good mood.

He kicked my ass--both times. No he didn't just kick my ass. He kicked my ass and then flogged me while I was locked in stocks in the town square, that's how bad it was. In fact I think being flogged in the town square might have been a more pleasant experience. There are two people I hate losing to---my dad and my husband, not that I don't love playing games with them, I do but when they win, oh LORDY they win. Let's just say when we kids played dad in Monopoly years back, he'd always win. In fact, he won so bad the bank owed him money! I remember him saying "uh hey I can loan you a few bucks" uh yeah right dad, let me have SOME dignity LOL. Well DH is just as competitive but it was a fun game, just like when I used to play dad.

DH has this thing about Boardwalk and Park Place. Maybe it has to do with the fact that a mere few houses on each one can bankrupt even the richest person in the game. Well the first mistake I made in game #1 was I passed on buying PP and he wound up with both. That killed me, in fact in the end he owned every piece of property on the board with houses on half AND $3900 cash. In game #2 we each owned half the board, I was conservative in placing one house each on most of my properties, he however, spent most of his winnings buying 3-4 houses. HE kept saying "I'll trade you such and such for Park Place" and it was one thing I would not do and that was let him get his grubby little hands on Park Place, no friggin way.

And not till the end, when I was broke, owing him some $1200 on some property with four houses (he had so many houses, we were out of houses and had to use hotels in their place!) did I finally mortgage everything I had and he said "oh Goody now I can buy Park Place from the bank" and I was like "oh hell no!" and I held on to Park Place and kept playing until the very end when I gave it up. I stayed in till the end, you'd be proud :)

Hey let him have his moment in the sun, karma's a bitch and we're playing again tomorrow morning!

Hmm well I was sucked into "The Simple Life" again today. Ok most who know me know I hate reality TV, it irritates me to no end. So why is it I love watching Nicole and Paris and their silly antics? I thin one of my favorite shows was when they were still friends and they went to work in a fast food restaurant and when they couldn't hack it inside the restaurant, they were sent outside to change the sign and when they made it something really dirty, the manager on shift made them put on these silly "mascot" costumes and go out on the busy highway and advertise the restaurant. It was so hot, they wound up in a local grocery store stumbling around in what I think were really oversized chicken outfits. They couldn't walk far in them and couldnt' see well and were knocking over displays and shit in the store and they were laughing. They were so awkward in the costumes that they fell down in the store and couldn't get up. It was then the manager had tracked them down and brought them both back to the restaurant. I'm just saying it was hilarious. You know I think I'd like them if I met them in real life, especially Paris. I don't like their clothes or anything like that, it's just I think they're probably really smart in real life and their show is a hit for a reason. Id' say smart move Paris and Nicole. Keep up the good work, God help me but I'll be watching next season...