Monday, March 31, 2008

I think they do it on purpose

Me thinks someone has been reading this recently...

Get up at 5 am, turn on the coffee pot, feed Peepers and Pebbles, clean both litter boxes, prepare and pack our lunches, open the blinds, prepare breakfast, make the bed, shower, and get ready for work.

That's my morning routine--all in one hour and 15 minutes. So is it no wonder that I didn't really want to hear someone bitching at the top of their lungs about how much they hate BELLSOUTH DIALUP SERVICE at 5:00 in the morning!?!?!

Yes, I know Bellsouth SUCKS, but every time I call them I get some guy from India wanting to walk me through my settings, TCP/IP protocol, etc. etc. And again I tell them, it's not the settings, it's the service, to which they reply that there's something wrong with my computer. Really? Both computers? Not likely given the somewhat technical and oh so maintenance-happy individuals we are.

Trust me, it's the dialup. I think I'll just faint when Bellsouth or Alltel decide to actually wire DSL out where we are. Funny thing is my parents who are about ten minutes away have DSL through alltel, of course at times it sucks too (outages) but it's better than dialup.

This morning's usual went like this...

DH: "AAARRRRGGH (insert expletives of your choice here!) I HATE THIS F*CKING DIALUP!!!"

Me: "Well if it sucks so much why don't you call them?"

DH: "Because if I do it, I'll tell them where to go and then we'll be cancelling it"

Me: "I don't think so!"

DH: "Watch me"

Me: "Why don't you quit bitching? I'm tired of hearing it."

DH: "When you do what I ask you to do I will"

Me: "Yeah, what the f*ck-ever"

I'm sure if it were DH telling the story it would be quite different :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Barwick-Ruschak Act merely feel good legislation...

In another political attempt at feel good legislation, another Florida politician has introduced the "Barwick-Ruschak" bill, named forTiffany Barwick and her friend Michael Ruschak, who were murdered by Barwick's ex boyfriend. They had reported his harassment and threats but according to news stories, the police apparently couldn't do anything because the law did not allow intervention based on the type of threats.

Tiffany Barwick should have had a gun. That would have probably assured her a long life.

Now, here's the tricky part:

House Bill 313, approved 113-0 on Wednesday, would allow law enforcement officers to act on threats of violence in dating situations as long as the relationship has existed for six months or longer and met certain standards that transcend mere friendship. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kurt Kelly, R-Ocala.

Eh? You mean right now, at this moment, there is not one single law out there protecting these individuals?

Why just threats of violence in dating situations? Why not threats of violence PERIOD?

Come on. I think that if nothing was done, it was because the police Tiffany talked to didn't want to do anything. But I'm not buying that without this law, police have no ability to act on threats of violence.

And then there's this---if the law is passed and someone makes a report, how do you prove the length of the relationship? You mean to tell me if you're dating someone 5 months you're not protected? If a woman in a one month relationship is being abused by her boyfriend doesn't she deserve the same protection as a woman who is in a long-term relationship who is being abused?

Anyone who is being stalked, harassed or threatened should be protected. Or better yet they should be protecting themselves. That's why I say Tiffany should've had a gun.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

RQ's daddy in da house...

You know it's one thing when you get your own blog but it's entirely another when your parents enter the competition. Setting up their own blog is another sign your parents have moved into the 21st century :) Mom got set up on one some time ago which she appropriately titled "Maalox Moments" but stopped writing, then dad set one up but didn't keep up with it.

The latest parent in the blogosphere is none other than Kermit the Blog who is my pal RQ's daddy dearest. The first time I ever met RQ's Daddy was about 11 years ago and he still looks the same and he's really funny, and VERY opinionated! A few months ago DH met him for the first time and they actually hit it off, although I will say that being in the midst of those two during an opinionated conversation is quite interesting....and hilarious.

Anyway, RQ's daddy is an awesome guy. If you get a chance you should check out his new pad which I've got linked above. He just got started so he doesn't have much written but he makes good points and well....he's just a damn good guy! So be sure to check him out and say hi!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You just never know what you'll find online...

This site breaks down for us the difference between dolls, action figures and figurines:

Dolls and action figures tend to have moving parts and are suitable for child's play.

Figurines are "frozen" and may be breakable.

Well no shit. Who couldn't figure that out?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not sure how this popped into my head...

I don't know WHY this movie popped into my mind today but when I think of it I laugh at all the great lines and scenes. I'm talking about "El Dorado" from 1967 with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan. It's one of my favorites.

In one scene, good guy/gunfighter Cole Thornton (The Duke) and young drifter Mississippi (Caan) are shooting it out with the bad guys. Mississippi shoots at one but the guy escapes and is hiding somewhere nearby...

Cole: Did you get him?

Mississippi: Who?

Cole: The fella that ran outta the church!

Mississippi: Well, yes and no.

Cole: Yes and no? Did you or didn't you?

Mississippi: I hit the sign, and the sign hit him.

Cole: Well, that's great.

Mississippi: He was limping when he left!

Cole: He was limping when he got here!

Another great scene:

Drunk sheriff J.P. Harrah (Mitchum) has been shot and they're back in the jail and Mississippi wants to take a look at JP's leg. Mississippi is the young drifter who is far better with a knife than with a gun.

Mississippi: I gotta cut this pant leg.

Harrah: Well go ahead and cut it! Have you got a kni...
(Mississippi pulls out his rather large knife from where he hides it behind his back)

Harrah (With a big gulp): A...knife?
Uh, I suppose I've asked this before, but just who are you?

Cole: Tell him your name Mississippi

Mississippi (sighing and looking up): Alan..Bourdillion...Traherne

Harrah (still confused): Allen Bourdillion Tra--who?

Cole: Trahayne!

Mississippi: Traherne!

Cole: Traherne.

Harrah: Well no wonder he carries a knife.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It was a simple question...

which focused on whether or not we were convinced slavery was a profitable or not-profitable institution during the antebellum period. It seems simple enough right? So why then did so many talk instead about everything but that? Many of the essay answers were about the morality of slavery and anything else the writer could think of--anything that is, except profitability. I read a few and was bored by the rest. Did anyone put as much time and effort into their essay as I did? Some do, but sadly most do not.

Several students wrote their essays about their personal beliefs regarding the morality of slavery but never once touched on the actual question which had NOTHING to do with morality!!! The question was purely one of economics.

Besides the whole issue of these students not being able to actually write on topic, there is the more pressing issue of lack of grammar skills and the inability to write in the simple format of the five paragraph essay which one learns in freshman comp. If you can't master that, you shouldn't move on to the higher level writing courses.

Dr. Derek Bok, professor Emeritus and former President of Harvard wrote a book titled "Our Underachieving Colleges" and he touched on this very issue. You should read it, it is very interesting.

I've worked in higher education a long time now and while I have seen some phenomenal college level writing, most of what I have seen or heard at the undergraduate level is appalling. When a student in heavy writing courses in the areas of history, philosophy or even religion turn in papers which couldn't pass muster in 10th grade english, I often wonder about the grades they earned early on in their English comp courses. If a student turns in shabby writing at the upper division levels, and earned poor grades in their comp courses, they never should have even made it that far without some remediation to help them. And if they turn in shabby writing at the upper division and they earned high grades in their comp courses, then something just isn't right--like maybe grade inflation. An "A" used to mean superior and excellent. But when everyone in the class receives the A even the ones who didn't put in the effort, the A isn't an A anymore is it?

Yeah so I'm only slightly anal-retentive about this subject. I'm not obsessive about it but it's something that bothers me. I feel very strongly about education and I feel that we should expect more of ourselves and not just settle for what is merely "ok".

I'll admit that like mom, I am a natural born speller and the written word comes easy for me once I get going. Fortunately my writing only improves with age. My academic writing and my editorial stuff I submit to the newspapers is serious for me. When I write an academic paper or letter to the editor or something in which I want to be taken seriously by the audience, I focus and am careful in my writing because I believe what I submit is a direct reflection of who I am and I want to be proud of it and I want to earn respect by putting forth my best effort.

The funny thing is while I enjoy writing and am good at the use of vocabulary and written placement of my thoughts, the spoken word doesn't come as easily to me. Oh I can talk, but I can't speak the way I write. I wish I could, but I can't. Why fight it? Go with what you know and do best. For me, it's writing. Ask my folks, they'll tell you that I've been fascinated by words since I began reading at age three, I read everything I could get my hands on and still do!

I feel that most undergraduate students can do better, and those guiding them have to expect more from them and lead by example. It begins at home and extends to the professor in their courses. We (yes, WE) have to do a better job. I say that as a student, as one who works in higher education and as one who would someday like dabble a bit in teaching history at the high school level.

I expect more of myself because I know I can always do better and I suppose I assume others should expect that of themselves too. Some do, some don't. This isn't about being perfect, that is impossible, no--this is about being proud of yourself and the knowledge that you have put forth the very best that you've got.

If you don't have the desire to do that, then don't waste your time in college.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ahead of her time...

"I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.

"Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

"That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up -- the harsh tide of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.

"Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity?

"Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the (servants) of your sex; regard us then as being placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness."
Excerpt of a letter from Abigail Adams
to her husband John, 31 March 1776

Friday, March 21, 2008

If this doesn't confuse you, nothing will...

Cast of characters:

HH - head honcho
A - person who works directly for head honcho
HH2-other person of importance who works in unit
B - works directly with HH2, job requirements/description very different from A

HH is stepping down as leader of the pack. Currently replacements are being interviewed. It's anyone's guess if anyone will actually take the job during a budget crisis but one can only hope. In the meantime there's a critical position in the unit that must be filled right away because the person who held it retired four months ago.

Now, person "A" who works with HH expressed some interest but found out there were things about the job s/he didn't like so s/he decided not to apply for it. Position was offered to an individual who turned it down. So now the unit is back to square one and wondering what to do next. Four weeks pass and still nothing is done about it. HH is telling his person "A" all kinds of things like people are going to be laid off and this and that, meanwhile some staff are in a tizzy because nobody's sure if their job is secure. Well some people are secure. Some folks are telling person "A" not to pay any mind to HH, he just gets carried away at times. Anyway, critical position still needs filling, HH tells person "A" that s/he should go down there and take the job, but that when person "A" leaves their job, it won't be filled. Well person "A" is the right hand person of HH and since person "A's" new boss says person "A" won't be going back to their old office a few days a week to see things through till a transition is made, they all ask HH "ok so who is going to do person A's job?"

That's when HH announces boldly that person "B" will do it. Person "B" of course has a different title and job description altogether from the position person "A" is vacating, not to mention person "B" has a lot to do, always very busy and when person "B" finds out, they get really pissed off. Mostly because HH never consulted with person "B" or person "B's" supervisor who we'll call HH#2. It's just common courtesy and respect, ya think?

HH has been thinking about this for a few days at least because he made mention to person "A" who made mention to person "B" who told B's supervisor HH#2 so HH2 could get involved and say "uh no way Jose".

So HH decides just out of the blue this is the way it is. Person B gets an email from person A saying that perhaps person B should have HH2 contact HH and find out WTF is going on. Well it's Easter weekend and HH2 is gone right now. But person B says "hmm I'm gonna take matters into me own hands" and calls HH and says in so many words-- "ok WTF?" well not exactly that but "B" is pretty brash and asks HH to just come out and say what's up so there's no surprises Monday morning. Well HH says "you know "A" is leaving right?" and "B" says "sure" and HH says that he needs someone do to A's job and "that leaves you" he says to B. Well B is like "WTF" because I mean at least ASK eh?

Person B figures they might as well take one for the team and says "whatever needs to be done" and asks HH if he wants her to do it because he values person B and thinks highly of person B and HH says yes, of course. Hmm. ok. Person B knows HH respects them but still....

Anyway, A and B had a nice phone conversation this evening. Seems both are upset about the way it's been handled. Actually several other individuals are too. Situation could have been handled differently. Person B just figures that they will incorporate whatever duties person A used to do in with the regular functions of B's job. B is usually pretty busy but if they all have to chip in to save jobs and help get through the tough times till a new HH is found, then that's what has to be done. Doesn't mean B isn't ticked that HH didn't at least CONSULT B or HH2 but still complaining does no good. Person B is just going to have to do what has to be done to do two jobs for the next few months until new HH is found.

Sometimes you just have to take one for the team and just do it right? Incredibly person B is taking it very well and has a good attitude about it. That's because Person B has a goal in mind that doesn't include a career at said organization. Person B knows their worth and knows that someday they will achieve the big goal. This is just a means of getting there. So why worry?

And so that's the saga of HH, HH2, and persons A&B. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A question for the US military hating radical whackos...

The following question has nothing to do with any current foreign conflict. It pertains solely to our nation here at home.

Do you believe the United States would remain a
free nation if we did not have a military?
If your answer is yes please elaborate.

(This should be interesting!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How can I put this and still be nice?

I can't. So I won't--put it nice that is. So why even try? Ok I'll try, a little bit. If for no other reason than for all the good and decent schoolchildren out there reading this :)

Once again the WW has crawled out of her cave with broomstick firmly planted in ass to do what she seems to be so good at--stirring up problems. Instead of taking what can only be described as a non-problem to the alleged evildoers, she bypasses the entire chain of command going right to the #2 HMFWIC. And so the result is a very suspiciously generic communication from the HMFWIC stating the policy, of course nobody can actually find it in writing, but nonetheless because HMFWIC says it's so, it must be so, right?

Anyway, it amazes me that some people can be hell I don't even know what word to use at this point--that they have to create problems where none exist, wreaking havoc, causing more work for others and generally being a pain in the ass. Some people live for making other people's lives miserable. I suppose it makes them feel good about themselves. Said individual certainly is quite the expert in this game.

I told myself that if the situation ever presented itself where I got into it with her, I would finally tell her what I thought of her.

Now that's easier said than done you see. If that moment ever were to present itself, I'd be like Paul Muni and have the devil on one shoulder (likely mom, sis, RQ, DH, dad, Susan, or any one of about a dozen people who are labeled members of the evildoer society---ok only a few are actual evildoers, the rest are evildoers by association!) telling me to tell her where she can shove her broomstick and the angel on the other shoulder (likely---uh---uh--uh oh--come to think of it there's nobody I can think of who would want to play the angel in this one) saying "now now, there there, what would Jesus do?"

That's it, just throw a Jesus in there and mess up the whole plan why don't you? I think though, that in this case, even Jesus wouldn't mind.

Oh so what's a little nepotism in state government?

Governor Charlie Crist just appointed 34-year old Sara Gonzalez, wife of his General Counsel Jason Gonzalez, to Chair of the Public Employees Relations Commission, with an annual salary of $100,000 per year. The position hears complaints by state employees and keeps a watchful eye on unions. The position is traditionally one held by an attorney.

So what were Sara Gonzalez's credentials? According to Governor Crist:

"She's honest, she's smart, she's got an advanced degree, new blood."

Sara Gonzalez is a former physician's assistant for a dermatology office.

That's about it. Now that doesn't mean she's not honest, smart, or of good moral character. She may very well be all those things. But there are other qualifications for this job, no?

This reeks of nepotism. And in Crist's administration apparently there's more of this kind of thing going on that's just not been made public. We'll see what happens during the confirmation process.

Don't blame me, I voted for Rod Smith...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Second Amendment debated...

Today's crucial event was the oral arguments before the US Supreme Courtregarding the District of Columbia v. Heller (DC handgun ban).

You can click HERE for the official transcript AND audio of the proceeding! This site is whose defined mission is "a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices."

It began with Walter Dellinger, the attorney for the petitioner (DC) arguing the meaning of "bear arms" and "arms"and said that in his draft of the original Constitution, James Madison's intended "bear arms" to relate to those "rendering military service". Dellinger used Madison's original clause which was not included in the final draft:

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country, but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."

Dellinger claims "And even if the language of keeping and bearing arms were ambiguous, the amendment's first clause confirms that the right is militia-related."

Chief Justice Roberts makes the point that the clause says "the right of the people" and not the "right of the state militias".

Dellinger's interpretation is that "the people" and "the militia" were intended to be one and the same. Then he discussed the militia clause to which Chief Justice Roberts responded:

Well, but your reading of the militia clause, the militia clause specifically reserves concern rights to the States by its terms. And as I understand your reading, you would be saying the Second Amendment was designed to take away or expand upon the rights that are reserved, rather than simply guaranteeing what rights were understood to be implicit in the Constitution itself.

And so it went from there. Back and forth debating the meaning of "arms" "bear" "militia" and so on. It's too long to discuss every detail but it is very interesting. And if you don't want to read it, at least go to the link I posted and listen to the archived broadcast. This is an important moment in history. Regardless of what the guy interviewed on C-SPAN stated today-- that a decision either way will NOT set a precedence, I disagree, I believe that the vote will set precedence.

Today's arguments were really just one of the many many great things America is all about. How many countries in the world can the people take a case about liberty and freedom to the highest court in the land---and know that the court isn't paid off by the government--that the Court will rule in accordance with their best interpretation of the document that is the foundation of the system we have in place today.

It was really a very interesting and important event in our times and we should all pay close attention to those situations when the Supreme Court of the United States is asked to interpret our Bill of Rights.

My eye is on the Supreme Court today...

I'll be watching--well at least listening to this on CSPAN beginning 11:30 this morning. This is a very important precedent setting case. The anti-handgun advocates in DC argue that handguns increase crime (what? are you kidding me? in DC?) and 2nd amendment advocates and many DC citizens argue they should have the right to protect themselves and that the ban is unconstitutional.

If this ban is ruled unconstitutional, it us a huge victory for the people of DC and every city in America. If it is ruled constitutional we are in big trouble. And I mean big trouble. Every big city in America will begin the process of banning handguns one by one.

Being the kind of person that I am, I've just got to believe the Supremes will rule on the side of right here. To me this case is a no-brainer but thanks to seedy lawyers mucking up and confusing the interpretation and meaning of the Constitution, it's not so.

When are our elected officials going to finally understand that criminals don't adhere to banning weapons? They don't care about our laws. If a bad person wants to commit a crime with a handgun, screw the law, they will find a way to do it. And so because of that, their potential victims MUST be able to protect themselves!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

How do these people become teachers?

Jameeka Chambers, a public school teacher at Meadowbrook Middle School in Orlando, told a pupil he could hold it in or pee in his lunchbox when he asked to go to the bathroom. And so he did--he peed in his lunchbox, cause as he said "when you have to go, you have to go" and pissing in his lunchbox was a lot less embarassing than pissing in his pants, don't you think?

Jameeka Chambers has a page on the Meadowbrook Middle School website. An exerpt:

“As one committed to service to all mankind, scholastic achievement, and the well-being of all persons, I look forward to assisting all my students reach their personal stars. This will be my “first” teaching experience, teaching 6th grade Language Arts"

And with any luck, Miss Chambers, it will be your last.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wasn't I just talking about the idiocy in public schools?

In this story, the public school system has done it again! The girl is sick on the bus, instead of getting off to go to school and properly checking out with an illness, she stays on the bus while the driver picks up the elementary school kids, then the driver plans to drop her at home on the way. The driver passes out, the teen takes over and stops the bus, saving the kids inside. The teen got weekend detention for cutting class and not adhering to school policy.

If I had been this girl's mother, I would have told school officials to go to hell, no way would my daughter be sitting in weekend detention. Her presence on that bus saved those kids!!

Yes, there are rules for a reason, but the implementation of zero tolerance in schools has effectively taken away any opportunity for individuals in positions of authority to use their brains and common sense to weigh situations carefully and make decisions based upon circumstances.

You can reach Principal Don Livermore at or (831) 583-2060

Friday, March 14, 2008

Makes you wonder why they need Section 8 in the first place...

I don't know if the Palm Beach Housing Authority handed out the Section Eight housing applications a day earlier than they were supposed to (which one woman claimed) but go to this link about the story and watch the video and photos and look at the MESS these people made of public property! The place is littered with diapers, plastic bottles and paper.

Just because you're poor, unmarried, unemployed and are cranking out babies you can't afford, by God knows how many different daddies, doesn't mean you have to be a disrespectful PIG.

I wonder what my friends and family would say...

What can I say?

This first one really is me. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is one of my all-time favorite movies. Not surprising to those who know me best! There's no doubt in my mind or theirs I'd enjoy getting in front of a Congress and filibustering to make a point, especially if it's to "do the right thing" . I'd love showing the big guys that the little guys DO matter!!!

What Classic Movie Am I?

What famous leader am I?

Hey! Who you callin' a dwarf?

Ok this is cool because next time (or rather the first time) someone asks me:

"Who do you think you are? Mother Teresa?"

I can say well-uh YEAH!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Somebody's making a killing on this one...

What I want to know is when they're going to make something like this for near- forty-something married women with no kids, a husband with selective memory and hearing, two adorable but high on crack kitty kats, a a mother who never has the time to email "hello" but manages to overload her daughter's in-box with emails with "FW:" in the subject line, a dad with a sense of humor that includes running for Sheriff (??) just to take votes away from the other guys, a sister with an attitude, a brother she thought she grew up with but hasn't seen in so long she's wondering if he's just a figment of her imagination, a grandmother who--well I'll just say two words-- "Marie Barone"-- and leave it at that (if she ever reads this, I'll be glad I left it at that!) And finally, the job from---well it's not exactly hell, it's just the administration and traffic that is hell. I actually like the job, but please don't let that get out ok?

And yes while you're fetching it, I'd like some cheese with my whine, thank you!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Excuse me while I brag a little :)

I earned a 79 (C+) on my Algebra exam! Now I've got a 79.4 (C+) average in the course. This is far better than I thought I would be at this point. Now if this were my grade in History or English or any writing courses I'd be horrified but see algebra is my weakness and I'm overcoming it and a C+ is just fine with me!!

RedQueen talked me into not skipping summer term. She knows how long it took me to go back to school, if I stop one term, it'll be hard going back! Besides why put off graduation? There's some logistics to work out but I'm going to stick with finishing in December :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GEICO taking its cues from the federal government...

Today we received a rather interesting item in the mail. It was a check from GEICO in the amount of .40 cents for a "refund due to a recent adjustment to your policy."

After I thought "oh goody, a refund!!" (LOL--yes I was being facetious) I took a closer look at the postmark, something told me that I just had to do that. Sure enough my suspicions were right--it cost Geico 31.2 cents to mail it the .40 cent check.

It cost GEICO 8.8 cents just to mail me that check (not to mention the cost of processing, paper, etc).

It would cost me .39 cents to mail it to my credit union which is located in Jacksonville.

I shredded it. I mean really now, don't insult me for a lousy one-cent refund.

I think I'll be jotting an email to the President of GEICO and ask him why they couldn't simply take the .40 cents and apply it to our next six-month premium which is due April 19th. Surely the cost of applying that credit would have been far less, ya think?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Well at least we didn't kill each other...

DH (last Saturday):, "Would you like to go to the Carriage Museum again next Saturday?"

Me: "We were just THERE in January! You took over a hundred pictures then!"

DH: "Oh yeah but now I want to to take pics with the new digital camera"

Me: "How about I let you know by Tuesday?"

For three days he kept asking if I'd made a decision, and I reminded him I had till Tuesday to decide. Finally on Tuesday, because I knew he was like a little kid in a candy store I said "OK, I'll go."

We left 8 am this morning, with a few stops we finally arrived there at 10. Oh I should backtrack and tell you that where we traveled to was the Florida Carriage Museum and Resort in Weirsdale which is in Lake County, near the Villages of Lady Lake. It's owned by entrepreneur and philanthropist Gloria Austin and run by a private foundation. It's a beautiful horse carriage & chariot museum located on a magnificent 400-acre horse ranch/resort. Not only is there a museum but also a training center, and a resort where people can bring their horses and stay awhile. Anyway, if you love horses and history, you'll love this place.

Ok so we left at 8 am, arrived at 10, and boy was it was windy and cold! When we stopped so I could take photos of one of the lakes the fountain sprayed into the car!

We went into the Museum and 3 1/2 hours later, DH was finished taking his photographs. He had taken not only a pic (and in many cases not just ONE but THREE or FOUR pictures from different angles!) of every single carriage but every single placard that went with it, identifying it's date, maker and other pertinent historical information. Sometime after the first hour, I thought "oh Lordy how long will this take?"

DH kept asking me along the way if I was bored. Oh no I wasn't bored, not at all, with all the history there, the beautiful carriages and just the immense beauty of the place inside and out, I could live there!!! And of course I was indulged in many conversations with the Docent-in-training Marie, who was a wonderful person. The Docents are volunteers, usually retired folks, living in the Villages or other areas, who volunteer their time giving tours of the museum and answering questions. Marie lives in Pennsylvania most of the year and spends four months here and during that time she volunteers at the Museum. She's the second Docent I've met there, the first being Jan, who also lived in the Villages. They were both very nice and interesting to talk to!

Anyway we left the museum about 1:30, headed to the Golden Corral which is located on SR 200 in Ocala. It's really the best I've experienced. Very clean, good food, and good service (well the service lacks at times). When we arrived there was a line, no parking, and we were starved. Finally we went to Sonny's, ate, relaxed, stopped at Hobby Lobby so DH could price out something, and then we arrived home....

at about 5:30 p.m.

Near to home, DH remarked "damn I didn't think it would take us this long" and yet I wanted to say "well DUH" how could he not expect it would take forever LOL!

Needless to say, we got home and were pooped. I mean I didn't feel like doing anything. I changed clothes, got in my lazyboy with a blankie and fell alseep until DH woke me (grrr!) so I could see Pebbles who jumped into the linen closet and was making herself at home, and then while I was up of course he asked me to help him make the bed. And of course I replied with a number of expletives which I will spare you here. And then I helped him.

All in all it was a relatively calm and interesting day. We had the usual 2.5 arguments which consisted of him asserting his thoughts on things as "the way it oughta be" and me disputing him and then finally realizing the effort is futile, I gave up with the usual:

"I'm done with this conversation"

To which he replies with that usual intellectual and well-thought out retort:

"because you know I'm right!"

And at that moment what was running through my head was:

"Yes dear, I'm ending this conversation which is making me want to choke the piss out of you because of course as always I know you're right."

:) With a big smile of course, I kept that one to myself!

I always love driving through horse country (and as you know Ocala is horse capital of the world!) and remarking about who can afford those huge ass luxury homes that are being built all over the place. All in all, we had a good time, we always do when we go places together. And of course an added bonus was that we didn't kill each other, which I do suppose, is a good thing, right? :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hmm....Pebbles caught on camera!

She's been playing in the catnip plant and I finally caught her!

So much "material" so little time...

It just keeps getting better.

The City of Chicago is considering banning tiny plastic bags because drug dealers use them...

"Tiny plastic bags used to sell small quantities of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and other drugs would be banned in Chicago, under a crackdown advanced Tuesday by a City Council committee.

Ald. Robert Fioretti persuaded the Health Committee to ban possession of "self-sealing plastic bags under two inches in either height or width," after picking up 15 of the bags on a recent Sunday afternoon stroll through a West Side park.

Lt. Kevin Navarro, commanding officer of the Chicago Police Department's Narcotics and Gang Unit, said the ordinance will be an "important tool" to go after grocery stores, health food stores and other businesses. The bags are used by the thousand to sell small quantities of drugs at $10 or $20 a bag."

Well it's ABOUT time!!!

FINALLY someone is doing something serious to halt the drug trade in the Chicago area. I am sure Chicagoans are feeling much more at ease now with the state of crime in their city. They'll be sleeping good tonight no doubt!

My God--just think, if it weren't for these dastardly EVIL baggies, Chicago would be a clean, drug-free, safe, and virtuous city in which to live and raise a family. Now because of the courage and conviction of people like this alderman and local law enforcement, people will be migrating in mass droves Chicago.

Hell, I might even move there!

Praise the Alderman and the police for encouraging the ban! I think Chicagoans should be proud that their hard-earned tax dollars go to support such worthwhile efforts!!

The asshole Tripp Isenhour...

This story really angers me. Pro golfer Tripp Isenhour was annoyed at a red hawk which was carrying on loudly near where he was filming a TV show so he decided to go after it. Sorry but I don't buy that he didn't think he'd come close to it or harm it. He acts now like he's sorry.

Bullshit! He's just sorry because he's in trouble. Kinda like Michael Vick who was only sorry because he got caught. If nobody had been around when Isenhour did this, it's unlikely he would have cared.

You can tell a LOT about people by the way they treat animals. And right now I think that Isenhour's actions by killing this harmless, innocent animal, speaks VOLUMES!

I know that he's been fined but it isn't enough. I'm just sick of people who hurt animals. There is no, absolutely NO excuse!!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No system of punishment or reward...

Annual evaluations are due and most of us are asking "what's the point?"

Evaluations are the one way in which we measure performance. But at a state institution there's no system of punishment for slackers and no system of reward for those who excel. Believe me, I know this for a fact. And my mother, who gave about ten years of her life to this place knows it too.

DH was just two points from perfect score on his recent evaluation and I have no doubt mine will be excellent as has been the case in the last fourteen years I've been here. In regards to performance bonuses, DH and I each received one a few years ago but then it didn't mean anything when we saw that people who are poor performers at this institution received it too. That just devalues the whole meaning behind merit and performance bonuses.

Once you're in the state system and you pass probation you're here for life and everyone knows it. It's like a running joke, but it's not particularly funny anymore. It's especially difficult to fire a staff member (we're not talking tenured faculty, that's a whole other issue) who doesn't do their job or who breaks the rules if they are related to or know someone higher up, or basically if those higher up just don't give a damn. You can violate the rules here and you get a letter, instead of being canned. If this were a private company, people like this would be gone.

And so this evaluation period will come and go but really nobody gives a shit because the evaluations don't mean shit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Woe is me...

Four years I've been working on this degree in the evenings, spending so many hours seven days a week studying all so I can graduate in December and now I find out with the new summer schedule the math and history I need are not offered. The History department has no evening courses and the Math department has no summer C. I really need a long term for math.

I have two math, one history and an elective remaining. I could find some elective that fits my schedule I suppose, but they're not electives that interest me and I don't believe in wasting time on electives that aren't appealing to me. Also, I could possibly try the math course in Summer A or B. But...should I? Knowing math is my weakness-- I don't think so.

Jenn and DH say that I can take the summer off and relax.

Relax? What's that?

What should I do? If I've been working on it this long, what's another semester before I transfer right?

Monday, March 03, 2008

The problem with education... "multiple choice" questions.

Who learns anything from multiple choice?

I took another History test last night, earned a B+. My average in the course right now is a B, a lousy B. This for a person who is usually an "A" student especially in any course that involves writing assignments.

The only "grades" we earn in the course are two short writing assignments and seven exams, that's it. And our first writing assignment that was due in January hasn't even been graded yet. My strength is in writing and that's where I really earn my A's. Being graded on only two writing assignments with the rest of the grades coming from multiple choice tests makes me feel like I'm being cheated.

Don't you think that in an American History course we should be writing more? We should be writing essays and research papers, but instead we're reduced to multiple choice.

You're damn straight I feel like I'm being cheated.

It sucks.