Thursday, October 30, 2008

During rough times I miss Phil Hartman!

He always made me laugh on my worst days! I love this segment when he did "hypothetical interviews" on his show...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The facebook project...

One of my pet projects on hold for several years now has been an alumni list of our former graduate students. Finally, I made time to do it. The facebook project has grown and we now have 122 members and growing daily. I've tracked down at least 113 alumni in the past two weekse, six months from now maybe thenumber will be up to 300.

Many of my former students ask "how did you find me?" and I explained that it wasn't easy but I was persistent. Iit took about two dozen online resources, search engines and of course I could not have done it without public records. I just know how to find information, just ask the RedQueen, she knows me better than anyone.

And so this is just the beginning of this project, it's going to get much bigger before I'm through!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I came up with an idea of putting together an experiment in taxation. This experiment will take place from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. All of us who are participating plan to retain all receipts for every expenditure from the largest to the most insignificant purchase.

We don't have the final list yet but I believe 100% of the participants will be women. The large majority will be married with children and military spouses. I can't give you exact data yet, but that will come later on.

The purpose of this is to determine the amount paid in taxes (including surchages and fees which are essentially taxes) by the average American. Now granted military folks don't pay taxes on certain things and we're accounting for that.

DH and I also have to account for some things for instance we rent our place, but the guy who owns it pays property taxes on the house and five acres. Through public records I know what property taxes are paid so I can divide that up and include it into the cost of the rent. Therefore, considering that the taxes are included, I will be listing them when calculating taxes paid.

The goal is to figure out what the average middle-class American (such as DH and me) pay in all taxes. People sometimes forget that federal income tax isn't the only tax. We are taxed for social security, medicare, utility bills and other things. Most have a state income tax, we live in Florida and do not.

At the end of 2009 I should be able to present you with a number from all of us who are participating in the project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

95% of Americans are going to get a tax cut
We're going to save the middle class
95% of working families are going to get a tax cut

Confusing isn't it? Considering that "working families" are considered single or two parents with children who earn less than $35,000 per year.

Since when does 95% of America make less than $35,000 per year?

Since when is that considered middle class?

Why aren't people who make more than $35,000 per year "in a family" not included as "working?" Do people who make more than that not work hard enough to be considered a "working family?"

Why are married couples with no kids (DINKS) excluded?

Why do they get a tax break because they have kids and I don't?

If you're going to apply tax cuts, everyone who pays taxes (and ONLY everyone who pays taxes) should get a cut, not just those who have children.

Do I sound bitter? Sure I am, I'm tired of the crap.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's to know? I know it all already LOL!

So I've got to spend eight hours on Monday, November 10th at Transfer Preview. I tried telling the Preview people that I've worked there fifteen years and I handle admissions, advising, registration, you name it, I know how to do it. But no---it doesn't matter. They tell me that when i go to transfer preview I will learn about all the crap I already know. Yes advisement will be just about the only thing that I will actually get out of it, but even there I'm ahead because I've been in touch with advisors and the undergrad coordinator for over a year now. I've already got my registration date, classes picked out, and adjusted my work schedule to them. I've already got a Gator 1 ID because I'm staff, I have my staff parking decal, I don't need to know where to live or places to eat on campus or any of that...

What I find really funny is the immunization requirement. I've been exposed to thousands of students over the years from nearly every country in the world---and now I've got to prove I don't carry measles or rubella so I can register for classes. Yes I get why they require it but uh---how can I be exposed to thousands of students from around the world for the past fifteen years and NOT need it because I am staff but as soon as I include "student" in my profile, I have to have it.

If you can explain you win the grand prize.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

All Ayers needs now is a halo...

William Ayers is being hailed by the radical left as a hero, a courageous agent for change. It disgusts me to hear his colleagues and others in higher education praise the man who once used terror as a means of expressing his first amendment rights. When a domestic terrorist becomes a revered University professor educating and indoctrinating young minds, we should worry. We should worry indeed.

Everyone has a past, most adults have done stupid things in their younger lives they later regret and while life goes on, there are things that cannot be swept under the rug especially if one is a member of a terrorist organization whose mission is to undermine the security of the United States. William Ayers had every right to protest our presence in Vietnam, but there were ways to protest that did not incite fear. This man was not only a founding member of Weather Underground, but he planted bombs on US soil, he used terror tactics to incite fear in the American people, his actions were hostile and a direct threat to the security of the United States.

Years later, he's a tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and he's got every liberal professor in America defending him. They're stepping all over each other rushing to sign their name to "the list" showing support for Ayers.

There's no doubt in my mind that we never should have been in Vietnam. But there are better ways to protest than to plant bombs in one's own country and terrorizing one's fellow citizens. Violence does not bring attention to one's cause, it only makes things worse.

William Ayers himself claimed in later years he did not do enough. Perhaps where he left off with Weather Underground, he has picked up in the classroom. One can't help but wonder what he is teaching his young students and how far they may go in taking over where he left off.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

If you're that dumb, maybe you should attempt...

There's this commercial on TV about a new type of refrigerator, I believe it's an Electrolux. The woman in the commercial daydreams about all the creative ways in which she would dispose of the old fridge. She envisions pushing it off a cliff, a crane tossing it, a train running over it on the tracks, and several other rather humorous ways in which to destroy the appliance. On the bottom of the television screen in each scene where the old fridge is being destroyed are the words "DO NOT ATTEMPT"

Now that has me wondering. Who attempted it which made the company have to resort to putting that message on the screen? I'm wondering...along the way did someone somewhere attempt to throw their large kitchen appliance over a cliff or connect it to a crane to be tossed hundreds of feet in the air?

I just love commercials that are kind enough to include the caveat letting us know we shouldn't do this or that because we might hurt ourselves. All I can think is that if one is stupid enough to attempt it, maybe they need to get hurt. I mean, sometimes that's the only way a person can learn a valuable lesson.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lost 2.4 pounds since last Tuesday.

Looks like what I'm doing is working eh?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sign the petition to bring Ratchet the dog home from Iraq...

Sign it because it's the right thing to do. This dog like many befriended by servicemen and women in Iraq, has kept his adopted soldier sane...

The site: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/clemency-for-ratchet

Young Ratchet could face the death-penalty by U.S. Army officials

A soldier who saved the life of a young puppy in Iraq and expected to bring him back home with her could see her dog face certain death in Iraq.

Sgt. Gwen Beberg, a decorated soldier, has been held by the military more than 15 months past her original commitment due to the stop-loss policy. Sgt. Beberg befriended puppy Ratchet while serving in Iraq, and sent regular dispatches to her home in Minneapolis charting the dog's process, with 100s of fans tuning in on Facebook to follow the pup's life.

But the U.S. military takes a strict line with soldiers befriending animals, and confiscated Ratchet as Sgt. Beberg prepared to fly home from Baghdad Airport. Bringing wartime pets back home has always been a haphazard affair. It's also against U.S. military rules. In Iraq, adopting a stray is technically a violation of General Order 1B.


Operation Baghdad Pups, a program run by SPCA International, which has the motto 'No buddy gets left behind', is pleading with the U.S. Army to allow Ratchet to fly out of the country - amid fears the dog will die if left behind.

Sgt. Beberg's mother Patricia said: 'This year has been extremely difficult on my daughter and her family. It has been a year of disappointments, loneliness, and fear because of all the sacrifices the army has required of Gwen.

Ratchet was the savior of her sanity. Now they have cruelly ripped Ratchet away from her and sentenced him to death. I don't know how my daughter will cope. Ratchet has been her lifeline."

Sgt. Beberg is also under military investigation for befriending the dog that saved her life.

A close friend of Sgt Beberg said: 'It hasn't been easy for her - and the puppy she saved has been one of the few things that has kept her going. She's shared pictures of him as he grew from a frightened ball of fur to an adorable young dog.




You'd think the Army had better things to do eh?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The weight loss challenge, so far so good...

So far I've done pretty good this week on my weight watchers. I am proud of the progress. Except for the cramps I'm having :( I feel pretty good!

DH brought home a Publix cheesecake Friday night and I thought about having some, it was on my mind, then it disappeared---and I did not touch the cheesecake at all!!!

Also we had a doc's appointment (routine checkups) last Tuesday and we were late going home, DH stopped at a drive-thru but I did NOT have anything, I waited till we got home!

My weakness was Friday night on the way home, we stopped and all I had was a McD's french fry, yes a large, it was 13 points. They were good but really I didn't enjoy them like I once did. I also logged them on my weight watchers journal.

I went over a little on my points today when I had a few pieces of cheese--got some mozzarella and kerrygold from Ireland in the Publix imported cheese aisle, but cheese is better than cheesecake, sugar or chocolate right? I will probably wind up with an average of 35 points per day when my WW week ends MOnday night. My daily limit is 30 points but you get an extra 35 for the seven day period. So basically if you divide up the extras, it comes out ok. Basically one point = approximately 50 calories so I'm getting about 1700 per day.

For the new week which begins Tuesday I'd like to focus on not using the extra 35 weekly points at all. This means I gotta keep my daily count at no more than 30, or if I go over one day, I have to cut back that much on the next.

Let's hope another two pounds comes off by Tuesday morning. I jumped on the scale Saturday morning and I had lost 1.7 pounds BUT...that's not my weigh day so I have to wait.

What are my weaknesses? Things I have to work on? Here are this weeks' goals.

1) Taking breaks at work and doing at least ten minutes walks on those breaks 2-3 times a day.
2) Snacking---be careful! Stay away from starches and sugars, eat more fruit or drink water when hungry!
3) Plenty of sleep...go to bed at 9 pm even on study nights.
4) Switch from International Delight French Vanilla Creamer in regular coffee at work to french vanilla flavored coffee and plain carnation coffeemate creamer which is much less in sugar and calories
5) Eat everything I bring with my lunch--no skimping!
6) Stick to the 30 points per day.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Florida voted in the bailout bill...

Here ya go folks, want to know which one of your Reps and Senators voted for and against it?

Straight from Project Vote Smart at http://www.votesmart.org/

Senators:

FL Jr Sen. Melquiades Martinez Republican Y
FL Sr Sen. Bill Nelson Sr. Democratic N

Representatives:

FL 1 Rep. Jeff Miller Republican N
FL 2 Rep. Allen Boyd Jr. Democratic Y
FL 3 Rep. Corrine Brown Democratic Y
FL 4 Rep. Ander Crenshaw Republican Y
FL 5 Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite Republican N
FL 6 Rep. Clifford Stearns Republican N
FL 7 Rep. John Mica Republican N
FL 8 Rep. Ric Keller Republican N
FL 9 Rep. Gus Michael Bilirakis Republican N
FL 10 Rep. C. W. Bill Young Republican N
FL 11 Rep. Kathy Castor Democratic N
FL 12 Rep. Adam Putnam Republican Y
FL 13 Rep. Vern Buchanan Republican N
FL 14 Rep. Connie Mack IV Republican N
FL 15 Rep. David Weldon Republican Y
FL 16 Rep. Tim Mahoney Democratic Y
FL 17 Rep. Kendrick Meek Sr. Democratic Y
FL 18 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Republican N
FL 19 Rep. Robert Wexler Democratic Y
FL 20 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Democratic Y
FL 21 Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart Republican N
FL 22 Rep. Ron Klein Democratic Y
FL 23 Rep. Alcee Hastings Sr. Democratic Y
FL 24 Rep. Tom Feeney Republican N
FL 25 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Republican N


I hope you "Y" folks enjoy what time you have left because you're probably not going to be elected next time around.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

AIG screwing the American people...

OMG

AIG just pissed away a shit pot load of money, about $440,000 on a rather expensive and luxurious California retreat for its executives. It included spa treatments, golf, banquets, and other goodies.

And that was just a few days after the federal government gave them $85 billion bailout. Now, ABC news just reported they have given AIG another $38 billion.

People...PEOPLE...wake the hell up. Time to get on the phone or email with your elected official and tell them that they just lost your vote.

Every son of a bitch who voted for it should be OUT. I'm sorry but because McCain voted for it, I decided not to vote for him. Notice I removed my endorsement of him on my blog? Yep, it was a dealbreaker for me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

woo hoo!

I am thrilled, what I'm doing is working. I've lost two pounds since last week. Not only is it the hypnosis and the mantra I keep repeating "I am becoming thinner and more attractively healthy every day" but I'm just not snacking like I used to. I already feel better.

Keep it up!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I chose a fourth amendment issue...

Gosh why does coming up with an idea for a research paper have to be so time consuming? In the American Law course, I wanted to write about something relevant. Anything Constitution-related is very relevant. I'm a huge supporter of the work of the IJ (Institute for Justice...www.ij.org) and four years ago I did a paper on eminent domain abuse and this time I'm going to focus on the fourth amendment violations in rental inspections. I'm citing three cases, "Brumberg v. City of Marietta", "Black v. Village of Park Forest", and "Stewart v. City of Red Wing". Basically we have cities whose officials passed ordnances calling for mandatory inspections of rental properties or suffer the consequences---which for landlords meant they would be refused rental licenses, which would result in lost revenue from property that would not be rentable and/or tenants who would be forced onto the streets with hardly any notice. Anyway, it was a clear violation of the fourth amendment with "unreasonable search"...

Gotta love the government eh?

Anyway, the cases are already passed, but they are so interesting and I think the precedent they set is important.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pork, pork and more pork added to senate bill...

Tonight I was listening to the Savage Nation and Mike was playing exerpts of Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein's speeches on the Senate Floor. They've been discussing the "Financial Markets Bill" and Boxer was talking about how thrilled she is that they're including $100 billion for mental health care, tax breaks, aid to rural schools (latter added by republicans)....... Then you've got Dianne Feinstein talking about high speed rail for the state of California being included in the bill, as well as a prohibition on cell phones on trains...and a bunch of other crap.

Feinstein said her office received 91,000 phone calls and emails from her state of California and 85,000 of them were opposed to the measure, but that there is a great deal of confusion, and people don't understand.

Don't understand? Well no wonder, when this is supposed to bail out Wall Street so Main Street (I hate that phrase) can start moving again, and we're throwing in money for mental health care, a high speed rail for the state of California, aid to rural schools, and all this other crap.

Yeah the people don't understand what all this SHIT (aka pork) has to do with the bailout or the ailing economy.

Yeah Barbara why don't you explain it to us since we're so friggin stupid.