Monday, December 28, 2009

US intelligence failed us...

In a recent post, "Flying with Fish" brings up some interesting points in regards to Janet Napolitano's claim that "the system worked" in regards the attempted terrorist attack on a Northwest Airline jet by a radical Nigerian Muslim.

At the same time she claimed the system worked, her boss, the Commander-In-Chief talked of a "systemic failure of the system"

Hmm...time for a change?

With all the implemented rules and regulations involving no pillows or blankets on the lap, termination of wi-fi and use of electronic devices, no access to overhead baggage, and remaining in one's seat, all during the one hour prior to landing, the only thing NOT listed, is the ONE thing that would have prevented the terrorist from even being on the flight would have been if someone in the US intelligence would have done his/her job.

When the terrorist's father entered the US Embassy in Nigeria and warned officials his son was planning an attack, they shrugged it off claiming it was NOT a credible threat.

Not a credible threat??

The father of a terrorist takes the time to walk into an American embassy and tell officials that his son is preparing to murder Americans and the threat is not credible? Who is running the show people?

In this case it wasn't TSA's fault this guy was on the plane, all his paperwork and credentials were in order. This one is the fault of the intelligence officials within the US government, whose primary responsibility according to the Constitution is for the security of this nation.

Yeah I'm feeling safer today....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I don't know what made me think of this but the other day I was watching Fox News and caught a clip of something that happened on the Hill. I don't know why, it bugged me, maybe because it seems they're so caught up in their partisan crap they've just forgotten how to be gentlemen.

Joe Lieberman was speaking for ten minutes and had only a sentence or two left to wrap up when time ran out. He politely asked for just another minute to finish his thought. It's quite common for Senators to request this, I mean what's the harm right?

That's when Junior Senator Al Franken (sitting in as presiding member of the Senate) protested and said,

"In my capacity as senator from Minnesota, I object."

I mean was it REALLY a big deal Al? Come on you ass, let the man finish his thought.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The fall semester is over here and I can't say I'll miss it.

It was a semester full of ups and downs in all areas of my life. It began with registration for two courses, AMH 4319 Crime & Punishment in American History and EUH 3206 20th Century Europe. Both were excellent courses, the instructors very knowledgeable in their fields.

In the 4319 I learned a great deal about the history of the criminal justice system in our country and the history of the many forms of rehabilitation and punishment. The biggest impact the course had on me was that it made me re-evaluate my stance on the death penalty and it made me put more thought into rehabilitation vs. imprisonment for certain non-violent crimes.

The 3206 course was also very fascinating because our professor gave a lot of detailed information in lectures, but not just that, he gave us the "backstory" on many events and people, things we wouldn't normally read in a textbook. He told us the kind of things that make you shake your head and say "no kidding?". He was a great professor, he lectured a little bit slow but it's his style, he really knows European history. The research paper was very flexible indeed, any topic in 20th century European History. After some thought and discussion with him, I decided to focus on Gorbachev's direct influence on the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the end, my paper was titled, "Perestroika, Glasnost, and Demokratizatsiya: Three reforms that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union" and I think it was a very well-written paper, I hope he thinks so too. When I handed him the paper last week, he really was impressed with the title. I'll know my grades Monday. I should pull an "A" in 3206 but probably not in 4319, that may be a B- at least I hope it isn't any worse than that. I've never earned anything less than a B in my college courses, don't want to start now!

The biggest crisis this ter mwas mom's surgery at the Mayo Clinic to remove that nasty spindle cell tumor in her maxillary sinus cavity. The tumor was large and determined to be borderline benign/malignant but her surgeon's consultation with an oncologist determined that they had removed it all and no radiation was necessary. Once we knew mom was ok, things returned to normal.

Sis lost her job due to downsizing but I have faith in her that she will find another great job. Right now she's working a job on commission and doing really well. My sister is a survivor, she's been through a lot of shit and still she keeps coming out of it clean! She's a lot like dad, she's very determined, resilient and a fighter. Sometimes I wish I could be as tough as her! I really hope she gets that job she applied for that she wants. They didn't call her back and she figured she didn't get it but weeks later now she got a phone call for another interview. Oh please let her get it, it's perfect for her!

At work it's the same old stuff. Each semester it's the same for me, bring 'em in, get 'em out. Every year I miss them when they leave because each one is special. Each one of our grad students has a special personality, a special something about them that makes you miss them. This semester is no different. It was a good group of students, I'll miss them and all I want for them is happiness and a GREAT career. I know jobs are hard to find right now but this is a cycle, things will change, they always do.

My job is pretty much routine anymore. I like it, no wait, I LOVE it. I work with the greatest faculty, staff and students. I love the independence to do my job (because I do it well!), I love the guys I work with, they are not just friends, they are family. Without them, my job wouldn't be the same. I really love helping the students, even when they come to me asking me the same questions over and over. I figure, it's my job, they're giving me job security :) The truth is I've learned just about all I can learn of that job, but I'm comfortable in it, I know my stuff, and except for an occasional error which can be corrected pretty easily, I do it extremely well. I'm blessed to have a great job like this and blessed to work with such a great crew.

I'm registered for two courses in spring...an Economics course and another History course. I'm on the fence between two history courses, both of them with the same professors I had this term. I'll have to make a choice, because I can take only one--I won't do more than two courses per term. I don't know how I do it now, but any more than that would kill me.

And so that's it for now, more soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The problem with healthcare...

"$59,000 and all I got was some morphine and this lousy tumor."

That's the t-shirt slogan of the day.

Mom got her insurance statement which shows that her first stay in the hospital from November 6-9 was a whopping $59,000. She went into the ER for a nosebleed that wouldn't quit and came out with a sinus tumor, a whopping headache, and a multitude of drugs in her system that had her so screwed up for days she didn't even know where she was.

$15,000 of that bill was for the operating room.

Are you kidding me?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I was just reading an old friend's blog, actually she and her husband both have one. I met them back in 1994, Val and I used to work together, became fast friends. We were a lot alike, energetic, bubbly, friendly and a passion for writing. Eric & Val are a longtime military family and for now are stationed in Germany. Eric is deployed right now over in Afghanistan. They have two great kids too.

Val and Eric have this chemistry, they get along so well, much in love after 20 years of marriage and I always knew they would be great parents. The way they talk about their family, their kids, you just know they have a happy life. It's not often you see two people that have so much fun together, enjoy each other's company and really enjoying life. In pictures their faces are just so lit up, you can actually feel the happiness and warmth. Not many people have the chance to experience that. When you do, you just have to hold on for the ride.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Taxpayers holding the bag again

It's already bad enough that the state of Florida would pay CSX $10 million for every mile of track (and CSX will still be sharing the track!). Right now the cost just for the SunRail in Orlando is $432 million for just 61.5 miles of track for SunRail in Orlando, and CSX will continue to share the track!

The plan is to eventually have a several lines throughout the state. The cost? Hundreds of millions more.

In addition,
our Senators also supported a no-fault policy for CSX meaning that the state will accept responsibility for and cover accidents with a $200 million insurance policy, $10 million of which would be covered by CSX in "the most negligible accidents". That leaves the other $190 million to be paid by you and me.

Not happy about this at all. Not at all. Who has ever heard of such a thing? The taxpayers footing the bill for the liability insurance of a private company? Are you friggin kidding me? What the hell are these people thinking?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More nonsense...

Are you f*cking kidding me?

Gas Station’s Dog Must Go, Health Dept. Says

Friday, December 04, 2009 7:33:07 AM
Cody, a 5-year-old Labrador, is not on the payroll but does have his own work shirt and name tag.

CLEARWATER -- A 5-year-old Labrador who has been working at a Pinellas County gas station is about to lose his job.

Cody may not be on the payroll at the BP station on U.S. Highway 19 and Nursery Road, but he has his own work shirt and name tag.

Inspectors with the State Department of Agriculture cited the owner, Karim Mansour, telling him Cody has to go. They say animals aren't allowed in places that sell food.

"I understand the state has a job to do which is to keep people safe," Mansour said. "But at the same time I don't prepare food here. Everything comes from the factory, pre-packaged. I don't see how a dog hair is going to get in a bag of chips or a Snickers bar."

Mansour says he started bringing Cody to work for companionship and protection.

He says no customers have ever complained to him about the dog being there. He says he is looking into his options, but for the time being, he plans to heed the warning and leave Cody home.

According to the FDA, dogs can be allowed in stores under certain circumstances as long as no food contamination can result.

Information from News 13’s Bright House Networks affiliate, Bay News 9, was used in this report.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A few years ago in the small town where we live, my dad got a job at an auto parts store. He needed the money and the guy needed some shelves built in the back of the store. Dad went to work every day, worked hard, built the shelves and did whatever the guy needed him to do. A few weeks later the guy says "hey we don't need you anymore" and he never paid my dad for his work.

Dad was angry but he was the kind of man who wasn't going to chase after anyone for something owed him. He figured in their own time they'd get what's coming to them for cheating someone out of their wages.

Well dad's been gone some 7 months now and often I've thought of going into the CarQuest store and telling that guy off. But I didn't because I knew that dad would want his children to take the high road and for once I did that. But see, I'm not always right, at least maybe not in this case.

I am sure, quite sure that on occasion my sister is channeling dad. Take for instance last weekend when Kim was here visiting for the holiday. She decided to take dad's Ford for a spin and drove into town, stopping at the CarQuest store where dad had worked. She walked in and the guy said to her "be with you in a minute sir" and ok that "sir" thing pissed her off. When he got to her, she lit into him calmly, without cursing, and let him know who she was, that we knew what they had done to dad, and that she hoped they enjoyed spending dad's paycheck. Then she calmly walked out, got into dad's truck and left.

My brother and I have wanted to do that for a long time now, but neither of us would. Leave it to sis to take care of things for us and for dad. I think he would have liked that. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wow. (Click on link in red)

Three Navy SEALs are facing criminal assault charges for sucker punching a "most-wanted" terrorist captured in 2004. They refused captain's mast and requested a trial. Good for them!

The whining terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed, had a bloody lip to prove he was punched. This terrorist was behind the four Blackwater agents who were brutally murdered and whose bodies were dragged through the City of Fallujah.

Shoot, if they had known they'd be facing assault charges they could have beat the crap out of him even more.

A trial for a bloody lip? What? Are you kidding me?

Monday, November 16, 2009

The more things change...

the more they stay the same. I know Deb & Susan will appreciate this considering how well they know my family, they are after all, a part of it!

Mom came home today from the Mayo Clinic in Jax where she’d undergone surgery to remove a tumor in her sinus. It’s been a long week of stress, waiting, and poor mommy not feeling well at all. What began as a nosebleed a year ago finally ended with the surgery last Friday and I am happy to say mom looks and sounds great.

This evening I went over to mom's house after Kim brought her home from the hospital. Mom was doing much better and so she said she was just fine to stay alone at her house. Grams looked at me and asked, "do you think she's ok?" and I said "uh well yeah" (I mean mom knows if she's well enough to be alone for pete's sake but just try telling my grandmother that!) and mom says, "uh what are you asking her for, I'm 63 years old I can decide!"

I just laughed because really even though mom had been gone and ill for a week or so, really nothing changed once she got home. It was just nice to see things back to normal in our pleasant but somewhat dysfunctional household that my sister in law affectionately nicknames the "family circus".

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Shame on one particular college on the UF campus which shall remain nameless unless they don't start offering some serious student customer service, then I'll be naming them.

One of my best friends called a certain college on campus the other day. This college now houses a program that used to be in another college on campus. Her daughter has been preparing to enter this particular program for years, and is finishing her AA degree at the local community college taking all the required courses. Or so she thought. Because now that the program is in another college, the requirements have changed. Which puts the students planning to transfer into it, in a bind. Or so we think. We're not sure. You see, my friend can't get any answers. She calls the college in question and they say "I'm sorry but we won't advise any community college students until after Thanksgiving" ok that's fine and dandy BUT most of the Santa Fe students have to register BEFORE Thanksgiving you twits! Then, my friend asks the person on the phone, "I know you are not accepting UF students who are changing majors into your program but are you accepting community college transfer students with the AA degree?" and the customer no-service person simply says "I don't know". She didn't say "Let me get someone who can answer that for you" she just said "I don't know".

Let's get this straight. When your job is to HELP people, the last three words out of your mouth should be I don't know. The first three words might be "I'm not sure" definitely followed by "but I am happy to find out for you"

Of course that's what I do. Of course there's just not much I don't know anyway so..... :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I haven't been a fan of college Presidents in some time now.

It's rumored that Charles Young was the President of UF from 1999-2003 but honestly nobody I know ever saw him so really we can only take his word for it. Dr. Young, who is now the CEO of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, was here last night at the UF Harn Museum of Art to talk about two things high on everyone's list of exciting topics---art and college sports.

He complained about the skyrocketing coaches salaries and how the Athletic Associations spending is out of control. He talked about how in times of financial crisis, the athletic association's answer is to raise revenue. Funny--I don't hear anyone at UF complaining about the ticket prices to UF sporting events. And despite the recession, it seems that UF sports continue to pack the house. Hmm....the people are going to pay because they think it's worth it. When they stop paying and there's an empty stadium then perhaps it's time to re-evaluate spending. Until then I say they should just go for it.

Dr. Young also talked about his experience as CEO of the LA Museum.

I can't tell you how that fascinates me.

If I seem sarcastic it's because I'm not altogether impressed at the leadership at UF in the past 10 years. While Dr. Young was President of UF, most think it was in name only because most people I talked to believed while he was earning a pretty decent salary from UF, his heart was in California. We never felt he was really a part of the institution. And of course nobody I know now thinks the current president is a real part of this institution. I'm hard pressed to find anyone who can name any significant positive contributions or fond memories related to that office, in the last ten years, but that's for another day.

In this one humble person's opinion, the last great President was Dr. John Lombardi, whose resignation shocked so many of us who felt we were a part of Dr. Lombardi's extended family. We felt that way because he made us feel that way. I'm still confused all these years later as to why Dr. Lombardi left. While there were a few ridiculous excuses given by those on the outside, everything seemed to come to a head after Dr. Lombardi's "Oreo" comment. But nobody I know thought that was enough to force him out. Given everything UF accomplished under the leadership of Dr. Lombardi, and oh there was so much, it seemed assinine for the Board of Regents to push him out but they did. And things haven't been the same since.

UF hasn't been the same without the friendly gray-haired man who, on nice mornings, would walk to campus and take the time to stop and talk to the employees hard at work, whom he met along the way. We still miss that old red pickup truck driving around campus with the arm sticking out of it, waving wildly at everyone he passed along the way...

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'd run your ass over but...

......they'd throw me in jail.

First it was the girl on the bike this morning at University & SW 34th Street. I was minding my own business at the light behind two other vehicles, waiting my opportunity to turn right onto 34th. The light turned green, the "DON'T WALK" light was RED (which means for the challenged folks, D-O N-O-T W-A-L-K). One car turns right on the green, then without warning, the moron on the bike just RIDES her happy ass across the street when the next car is trying to turn. I wanted so bad to honk on my horn and call that dumb bitch well--a dumb bitch. But Vin said, "it's not worth it" and I know he was right. Not only did she cross against the light but she never even looked to her LEFT to see that someone was about to turn!

My second missed opportunity came when I was on Museum Road on campus. I had just dropped Vin off at his work and was heading east to my office. There's a guy in front of me and a bicyclist on our right in the bike lane. Nearing the intersection and completely without warning, the cyclist turned left and cut off the guy in the car in front of me. Had I not been so busy thinking of all the expletives I wanted to direct at this moron, I would have actually opened the window and shouted them at him.

The morons in question have obviously not checked out the website http://bicyclesafe.com/ which clearly outlines "How to Not Get Hit by Cars" an article which, if you actually have to read, in order to learn not to get hit by cars, perhaps you shouldn't be allowed out on a bike in public, period.

If it weren't for the fact that I would be arrested and that spending a night in jail scares the crap out of me (yes, I'm freely admitting the crack addix, hookas and other representatives of this fine community would beat the crap outta me), I would have taken the once-in-a-lifetime chance to run over one or both of these idiots this morning.

I wanted to write a scathing letter to the editor in the campus newspaper about this, but then I became concerned that UF's "one less car" "strive not to drive" "Have you hugged a cyclist today?" "No bicycles, no peace!" or my personal favorite--"People for the Ethical Treatment Of Bicyclists" crowd might seek me out and label me a terrorist and that would cause me a whole new set of problems.

So...for now I'll just have to dream about the joy of smacking one of those ignorant assholes with my car.

Monday, October 19, 2009

For my folks...

Once was a thought inside my head,
‘Fore I reached thirty I’d be dead.
Now somehow on and on I go.
I keep on rollin’ with the flow.


Folks said that I would change my mind.
I’d straighten up and do just fine.
Ahh but I still love rock and roll.
I keep on rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin' with the flow)

While guys my age are raising kids,
I’m raisin’ hell just like I did.
I’ve got a lot of crazy friends,
And they forgive me of my sins.


Some might be callin’ me a bum.
But I’m still out there havin’ fun.
And Jesus loves me, yes, I know.
So, I keep on rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin with the flow)

While guys my age are raising kids,
But I'm raisin' hell just like I did
I’ve got a lot of crazy friends,
And they forgive me of my sins.

Can't take it
with you when you’re gone.
But I want enough to get there on.
And I ain’t ever growin’ old.
So I keep o
n rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin’ with the flow)





















I ain’t ever growin’ old,
If I keep on rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin’ keep on rollin’)

Keep on rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin’ keep on rollin’)

Keep on rollin’ with the flow.
(keep on rollin’ keep on rollin’)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I just love this song! Jason Mraz is awesome! Thought I'd share a little of the joy with you! When I hear this song I feel so happy!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Albany Oregon, Oaks Apartments Manager Barb Holcomb has told her tenants they cannot fly any flag on their vehicles, including country and college team flags. She also bans political and religious signs.

The way I see it, if the individuals living in the Oaks signed a lease where it clearly states flags and signs are prohibited then I can't see the merit of their argument. However if it isn't in the lease then I think they have a case. But really now, why would you want to live in a place that prohibits this kind of thing?

"I'm trying to avoid any conflict," Holcomb said. "I have a problem when tenants' rights to free speech come into contact with other tenants' rights of peaceful enjoyment. This policy is not a violation of anyone's civil rights."

Life is full of conflict. In this nanny-state we live in, we just can't create rules and laws prohibiting anything and everything that might cause conflict. Sometimes people just disagree. That's the way it is. If they get violent over it, you call the police and throw them in jail. But otherwise, it can be pretty healthy and harmless.

That said, I think prohibiting flying the American flag in America just sucks. If I were a resident of Albany Oregon, I definitely would not be residing at the Oaks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Education is a wonderful thing.

I take it very seriously. I love to ponder possibilities and solutions to problems. Education opens our minds and challenges us to look at issues from a point of view different from our own. At least that's the way it works for me.

One of my courses this semester is a senior level "History of Crime and Criminal Justice in America". It is a very interesting course which has me thinking more deeply about issues I've often pondered but not too seriously. Right now we're covering the creation and development of the police and prison system in the United States. I never really wondered how it all began, I just took it for granted because it's always been a part of life. This course has me thinking about the system.

Originally the prison system was based on the idea of individualized treatment of prisoners. The mindset was rehabilitation rather than just taking society's unwanteds off the street and hiding them away. Prisoners were beaten, tortured, even murdered and reformers wanted action. They believed discipline should be adapted to each prisoner's personal characteristics. The reality was that with the great number of prisoners and the lesser number of staff, and all the responsibilities required of administering a prison, just didn't allow for it.

When you and I think of what it would require to undertake this, we're also shaking our heads asking "how?" and that's justified. I really think it's a nearly impossible task.

That said, we have to take a good hard look at the prison population and determine who can and cannot be rehabilitated. I guess I classify prisoners first by two classes: violent and non-violent.

Violent offenders would include those who have committed battery, rape, murder, and other crimes of violence or threat of violence.

Non-violent would be anyone who has not used violence or threat of violence in the course of committing a crime. I would say that non-violent offenders would also include individuals who killed in self-defense, without a history of violent behavior. Women who have killed their abusive husbands would fit into this category. Non-violent drug offenders are a huge part of this number too.

Focusing on violent offenders, the big question is "Can violent offenders be rehabilitated?"

Yes and no. I think it's possible depending on the nature of their crimes and their background. There are endless reasons people commit violent crimes. In order to attempt rehabilitation, we have to understand WHY the person commits violent crime. Some people, like Charles Manson, are hopeless causes, and some people like the 18 year old gang member, just might be saved. It just depends. Some people are inherently evil and you'll never change them. But I'd like to think that's a minority, not the majority.

There American prison system has its problems, but I think for the most part it's probably the best-run system in the world. I think the system is quite humane, even for the worst of society's criminals. Our prison system wasn't created overnight and when it was created, it was full of corruption. It took a long time and a lot of hard work on the part of reformers to get it where it is today and it still needs work. The US prison population is increasing dramatically every year. Is it really possible there could be this many "bad" people in our society? Is the punishment really fitting the crime? Are certain members of our population being incarcerated disproportionately to others?

These are things we need to consider.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I was in a battlefield, not sure where it was. Insurgents were throwing devices that would explode in minutes or seconds and when they threw them at us, we had to be sure to run or throw them back at them before they exploded. Sometimes they would drive tractors with explosives attached, right up to where we were and we'd have to run like hell. The entire dream was a battle, running, shooting, throwing bombs. Even women were throwing the bombs. It was difficult to tell the good women from the bad. I don't know if any children were involved in the war. It was just horrible though, IED's, grenades and all sorts of things going back and forth. I remember a soldier in a uniform, we thought he was peaceful but he was just the enemy donning a uniform of the ally and he was rigging explosives where we were.....I think we killed him.

Been up two hours and a lot of this is fading. It's in my head but hard to get out. Funny how you find it difficult if even possible, to describe a dream. Ther's more to it but honestly I don't know how to describe it so I guess I can't.

I didn't watch, read or listen to anything that would have provoked this so it is very interesting indeed. In the dream I did get a renewed respect for the soldiers that deal with this every day over in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe that was the point. What they endure is probably much worse than the dream and trust me the dream was pretty bad.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Office Depot lack of ethics...

My sister who lives in a very large city about two hours from here, was in Office Depot the other day looking at computers. While discussing high speed internet service for a desktop PC she had her eye on, the customer service representative told her that he would sell her a USB for $39.99 and she could take it home, plug it in, in the hopes she could somehow pick up a wireless signal in her apartment. From the conversation I had with her, his intent was that she might be able to pick up a wireless signal she wouldn't have to pay for.

Which of course is synonymous with stealing.

My sister doesn't know a whole lot about wireless only because she has many other more important things on her mind and so I explained how it works. I told her many places offer a free wireless but that generally, it's posted and that I was pretty sure that she didn't have free wireless in her complex (she would know if they did).

My sister, always wanting to be on the up and up, did not take the Rep up on his offer to sell her the USB for $39.99. She didn't want to do anything illegal or unethical.

In the meantime, it makes me wonder how many times this rep has done this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I have spent so many years trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life. By nature, I am not a risk taker and don't like to leave my comfort zone. There are times when this inhibits me from going forth and taking part in some pretty incredible experiences in life. But I can't help it, it's just the way I am.

Lately I've been consumed with much thought related to turning forty soon. I often ask myself "what do I have to show for forty years on this earth?" because I always thought that by now I would have achieved a lot more by this time in my life. I always held this belief that my achievement had to be larger than life. It had to stand out for all the world to see. It didn't have anything to do with money or notoriety either, it was much more than that. I couldn't come to terms with what it really was all about until now.

What it comes down to is this:

I want to know that I am making a difference in the lives of others, that the things I do in my everyday life help and inspire others. I'd like to think that someday when I am dead and gone, there will be people left behind who can say that I changed their lives for the better. And maybe just maybe, these people will in turn do the same for others.

Mom reminded me tonight that the things we do in our everyday lives can have a great impact on others and we never even realize it. For so long I've thought that I had to make a giant impact, when all along, it was happening before my eyes in small, sometimes tiny, increments. I was so blinded by the big picture, I didn't stop to see the details.

I'll share this secret with you. At heart I truly believe in the kindness of the human spirit and that each person, as an individual, has the power to change the world for the better.

That's the kind of person I want to be.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Executive Mansion,

Washington, 186 .

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal"

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground-- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedica-ted to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

According to this idiot, I should be donning my hood and horse, problem is I don't have either. If you know someone who can help me, let me know! :)


Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye is an ass but Beyonce has class

Kanye West stole may have stolen Taylor Swift's moment in the spotlight but Beyonce gave it back to her.

THANK YOU BEYONCE KNOWLES for being a class act!

As to Kanye, that racist pig is just pissed that a white girl won.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

In memory of my cousin Sheryl Lynn Rosner Rosenbaum, 1968-2001, killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, 9-11-01. Sheryl was devoted to her job as Vice President of Cantor Fitzgerald, but more than that she loved her family--husband Mark, children Hannah and Sam, brothers Marc and David, and parents Barry and Bobbi. Rest in Peace Sheryl. Someday you will be reunited with the ones you left behind...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How long...

...till the federal government steps in to investigate ACORN? Guess it's time to write some more letters. I'll be damned if I'm ok with my hard-earned tax dollars supporting this corrupt oragnization.

First there's election fraud, now we've got them busted on camera in Baltimore, DC and New York.

How long?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Had another strange dream last night.

I'm living at my mom's house and my grandmother up in Georgia was very ill, near death. My sister was going through a bunch of old photo albums that belonged to our grandmother and taking out pictures we wanted. I don't know what started the argument but my sister said or did something that set me off, it angered me so bad I refused to ever speak to her again. And I said that I was leaving, and was attempting to get a hold of my best friend (IRL) Deb to see if I could stay at her house. Vin was in the dream, I think I told him I was leaving and he was welcome to come with me. I was REALLY angry at my sister. And I was hell bent on getting out of that house that night. Also, I was not only angry at her but my mother as well. I refused to have anything to do with either one of them. All I could think about was getting out of that house and finding a place to stay, hopefull with Deb.

Weird eh?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm spending way too much time pondering what I should be doing with my life. No matter how well I do my job, no matter how many classes I take in school, it doesn't seem like I'm really doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. Oh don't get me wrong, what I'm doing is important. The job helps pay the bills and certainly having been there 15 years looks good on a resume. And my courses are leading me towards my BA degree in History and education is always a good thing.

I'm going to be 40 soon and I am tired of feeling like a transient in life. I'm tired of not knowing where I'll be or what I'll be doing even though I've beeen in the same place for so long. There's so much more I am capable of doing and I don't know what it is.

The dreams I've been having for years must have something to do with it. The dreams always involve cars. There must be a reason. Or maybe not. Maybe it just is what it is. I can guarantee you when I go to sleep tonight and dream there will be a car involved somewhere.

I think if I can do some volunteer work it might help sort things out. It's just a little confusing. I've got to volunteer though. We donate to charitable causes as much as possible but I feel like we should do more. For me, maybe volunteering will help me figure out the meaning of my life.

Now is not the time to be having this crisis because I've got a lot to do at work and lots of studying, I've got my life at home to manage. I need to be focused and not

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You make the call...

The location.
It's a major University, circa 2009.

Cast of characters.
Dick, a supervisor who works in a department on campus, known to be a pretty decent guy

Joe, an easygoing, hardworking employee who works in a department on campus (not the same as Dick). Joe will do whatever needs to be done to get the job done, but he doesn't put up with any crap.

Mel, the employee who works in a department separate and unrelated to either Dick or Joe.

Other sordid employees who work with Joe


The scene.
Late afternoon.
Dick walks into Joe's department and requests Joe's assistance.


The story.
Joe is happy to help Dick, after all it's his job. Suddenly in the course of helping Dick, Joe receives a phone call while he's helping Dick, the call is from Mel who says that he has an emergency which requires Joe's help. Dick understanding that in the course of his job, emergencies have to come first especially when it has to do with building problems. Joe tells Mel he'll help him ASAP, Joe asks Dick to hold on for a few minutes because emergencies must take priority (as Joe has been taught).

Dick suddenly flies off the handle cursing and screaming at Joe for not helping him NOW, tells Joe that he has to leave work on time and cannot be late. Joe politely tries to explain that it's an emergency and must come first but to be patient and he can help him. Joe tries to maintain composure, but Dick goes on being an asshole. Finally, having had enough of being berated and hollered at, Joe lets Dick have it, using some rather strong curse words and telling him off.

At no time do Joe or Dick threaten each other or physically harm one another.

Joe's fellow employees do nothing to help diffuse the situation. Nobody attempts to bring out Joe's boss who is better equipped to deal with these kind of situations.

After the situation is over, before Joe leaves he informs his supervisor of everything that happened. Joe's supervisor thanks him. Joe leaves for home.

The next day, Dick the supervisor reports Joe's behavior to higher ups. The head of Dick's unit orders an investigation. Personnel is brought into the picture and conducts the investigation themselves. Joe fears he could lose his job even though he is a great employee with high marks. Everyone involved is asked to write up a report of what they witnessed. Joe is angry and wants to file a countercomplaint against Dick but is told it probably wouldn't do any good.

Two weeks after the incident, Joe gets a letter of reprimand signed by his supervisor (who didn't want to but had no choice) but seems to have been written by personnel in his file telling him he was neglectful in his duties by putting the emergency situatio. He is told that kind of behavior would no longer be tolerated at the institution. He is told he needs to cease the cursing, which he himself agrees he needs to do.

To Joe's knowledge, nothing has been done to the supervisor, Dick, who instigated the entire mess in the first place. Joe believes that while he (Joe) was wrong in cursing and getting angry, that he could have handled the conflict better, it never would have happened if supervisor, Dick hadn't flown off the handle and gone after him first. Supervisors are supposed to know better, they are supposed to be trained in how to handle themselves and other employees.

Three weeks after the incident, Joe's cursing at work has ceased and all is back to normal, he's still doing his job and doing it well. He no longer talks about what happened because what's done is done. Still deep down inside he might harbor some resentment that nothing was done about Dick.


What should have happened here?
Should Joe have followed policy and put the emergency first?

Should Joe's coworkers have gone to get their supervisor immediately when the conflict began?

Should Joe have been reprimanded so severely?

Should Dick have been reprimanded as well?

Comments anyone?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Had a dream last night about dad

I was at mom and dad's house as I am in many of my dreams. I think I was living there. Dad was there, talking, alive just as he always was. He wore shorts and a white tee shirt, his usual comfortable outfit at home.

I was wiping the counter with a dishtowel and thinking "when is mom going to have a chance to move on?" and then I looked at pa and asked, "Can I ask a stupid question?" and he said "Sure" and I said, "Are you going to be here indefinitely?" and he said "Well, eventually I have to go back and wake up" and I think he may have added so he could die but I am not sure, I tried to remember the dream all day so I could write it down. Essentially I knew what he meant. Eventually he knew he had to go back into his body, wake up, and die because he couldn't just lay there in limbo forever.

I wonder what it means?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School starts in two days, woe is me!

Any bets on what time the first undergrad (usually freshman) will wander into my office on Monday and ask me...

"can you tell me where my (insert class here) is?"

It's a time honored tradition that some student will wander into my office and ask me where their class is. I just wanna bitch slap them! Of all the offices on campus, all the classrooms, they have to come to me and ask ME where they're supposed to be.

First off, common sense should have told you that maybe you should have checked your schedule FIRST before heading to class.

Second, WTF do I look like? The hostess? Do I have "Hi I'm Julie, your cruise director" stamped on my forehead? No.

You're in college now, check your schedule and print it out. Tape it to your shirt if you need to, just be responsible! Your mommy is no longer just around the corner to hold your hand. You're an adult, act like it.

Hmm...was that too harsh?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nobody picks on my grandma!

Add another company to my shit (hit) list.

My grandmother is 92 years old. She has always paid her Discover bill on time. A few years ago they jacked up her rate to 21% and she could not figure out why. When she contacted them nobody would help her. They told her that was the best rate they had. We both knew they were full of shit but they refused to lower it. All she wanted was to get the son of a bitches paid off and never have to deal with them again. It seemed that no matter how long she paid she just never paid it up. The Discover currently has a balance of $2,800. Now that doesn't seem a lot to me and you but for a woman whose net income is only $1200 per month in social security, $100 a month for Discover is a lot. Yet she's paid it month after month, for years. Had they not jacked up her rates, she would probably have paid it off already.

Anyway, recently grams got tired of their crap and lack of customer service so in defiance she decided to pay what SHE felt she should pay, which is about $50. She knows that they have made way more than they ever should have off of her so what's the big deal? Actually she had called them asking if she could make arrangements to pay lower payments and they wouldn't work with her. She was pissed off and said "screw it" and began sending them half. Well that's when she began getting nasty letters and phone calls from them.

Last week sometime she received a letter from them, probably telling her she was behind by about $100 because she wasn't making the full payment. Well, she called them and spoke to a young man named Kyle who proceeded to threaten her. He told her that if she didn't pay the bill in full he would call the IRS and report her. He made other vague threats too. Of course he doesn't know who he's dealing with because she might be 92 but she isn't STUPID! She asked him what he expected to gain from it and he said to her, "Well if you won the lottery you would expect to pay taxes on it right?" and I'm thinking "WTF does THAT have to do with the price of tea in China?"

Anyway, she was willing to make an agreement with him to settle on $1500 and call it quits. I mean she has paid down at least $10,000 on that card over the years, they have made a lot of money on her! She said she would borrow the money and send a cashier's check, to which he replied they do not accept cashier's checks. (HUH? ) The only way they would accept the payment is by dipping into her checking account. That dumb punk kept insisting grams give him her checking account info. He kept harassing her and trying to make her think they were going to take her assets and everything else. What a dumbass! She laughed at him and then eventually he transferred her to Nathan who proceeded to do the same thing. Finally she told him off and hung up. And can I just add you've never been told off until you've been told off by a 92-year old Italian woman!

So, my goal is to I'm going to write a nice letter to David Nelms, CEO of Discover Card Services, 2500 Lake Cook Road, River Woods, Illinois 60015, and tell him exactly what I think of his company and his dumbass customer no-service asshats threatening old ladies and demanding their checking account numbers. My grandmother may have been born at night but it wasn't last night. She's too smart for these assholes. In the meantime she's going to go back to the regular payment because she's sick and tired of Discover calling her house and hanging up or calling and harassing her.

Can't wait to see the look on Nelms's face when he reads my letter. You don't f*ck with my grams and get away with it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday of the week prior to the start of fall classes usually has me running around like a madwoman and this term is no exception. It don't procrastinate, it's just that everything hits at once. The grad students come back this week, our departmental orientation is Friday, things have to be ready for them when they get back. The returning students aren't the issue, it's the new ones. They need to know everything a new grad student needs to know and there's a lot of info to pass on to them.

One would think that this being my tenth orientation (I can't believe it's been ten years already!) and with three years experience prior to that planning events at the college level, that I would be a pro at this. I'm meticulous about it, the details are important but not as important as they used to be. I used to be a perfectionist and then I realized that it's ok not to have control of everything. Now, instead of being at the orientation to take care of every little detail, I plan it, it starts, and I retreat to the safety and security of my office. You see, I'm just not a crowd person. For some reason I shy away from crowds, don't ask why, I'm just like that. I'm not generally known as a shy person, ask anyone who knows me, but then again they know me one on one. I've got a friend at work who asks me "why don't you let me take you to lunch" and I tell him that I just don't want to go but I thank him for his offer, but finally he figured out not long ago that I am not good around groups of people. It's not that he observed it, he guessed it. I asked him when he finally figured that one out. A person works with you for 8 years, they get to know you pretty well.

Anyway, I get to work today and start flippin' out, silently of course, because I don't know where to start. There's so much stuff to do. Got two students coming in from Malawi who need to get to know the place, have to appoint them on their fellowship, payroll paperwork has to be done, worried that it's going to take too long and they won't get a paycheck within a reasonable amount of time.

Then there's the curriculum...we've been revising the Agribusiness curriculum till we're blue in the face, meaning we're out of oxygen LOL. Finally we've got it right. But all the agribusiness grad students registered so I had to email each one with a NEW plan of study, go in and adjust what registrations I could...which leaves me to the next thing...UF decided to implement this registration hold on every student at UF. You see despite the fact that they are adults, there are some students at UF who can't seem to find their way out of a wet paper bag unless you hold their hand and because of them, UF finally had to implement this hold in which students have to click "I agree" to several things listed on a "terms of agreement" before they can register each term. The terms of agreement are basic, like I understand I need to register on time, drop courses on time, am responsible for fees, etc. You know, basic crap like that.

My outlook task list at work is growing . I think I can keep it under control but for every task I complete, I wind up adding a few more. I never seem to catch up. I'm also beginning to panic a bit about my own school, which starts next Monday. I'm registered for EUH 3206 20th Century Europe and AMH 4319 History of Crime and Punishment in America. Both are excellent courses taught by great faculty, I am sure I will enjoy them, but I've got to be sure I allot enough time for reading and writing for each class. One has a midterm, final and a paper, in addition to lots of reading. The other I am not sure of yet because I don't have the syllabus but based on the syllabus the professor sent me from last term, I don't think there are any quizzes ,just a midterm, final and paper due. I don't mind the work, I'm used to it, I just have to manage my time better. I've got to balance work, home life, school, and personal time. I don't generally bring work home with me, I try to leave it at work. Home life includes taking care of Vin, the cats, cleaning house, cooking, making the lunches, stuff like that. My personal time is generally sleeping and eating and working out on the elliptical. I feel really good doing 20-30 minutes per day 5 days a week, I really need to keep that up. How will I find time when school starts? Don't they say that you have to make time for yourself before you make time for others?

Speaking of the elliptical, ok I know I have lost, at least in inches, my jeans aren't snug and everything fits just a hair different. Dh has been doing it and he's lost at least 10 pounds so far. Giving up drinking beer on Saturday nights can do wonders (him, not me, I don't drink beer or anything else except egg nog and schnapps once a year!). I've got to keep up the exercise, eating right (I don't seem to be eating the fruit I bring with my lunch!), and give it time, it'll happen. I'm no longer in a hurry, I mean where the hell am I going? I turn 40 in October, I've got lots of school ahead of me, a great paying job and DH has to get through welding school too. We've got time. Besides it would be just my luck I rush through everything I have to do and then BAM! I wind up dropping dead.

Now wouldn't that suck?

Anyway, I've got to organize my mind and my time, I can't devote too much to any one thing. And I have to figure out how to be ok with studying on a Saturday morning if the house hasn't been vacuumed and cleaned yet. I know, sounds silly doesn't it? I cannot study unless I'm clean and my house is clean. So I might spend hours on a Sat morning cleaning and makinge verything nice and then it's noon and I haven't started yet. Which means I need to clean the night before--right? That way, no excuses. Get coffee, get my desk organized, get busy.

As you can see, lots on my mind. Not just that but DH is bugging me to go rafting in the Ichetucknee with him and I'm sorry but hell NO, there are Alligators there. You think I want to be their lunch? DH says I'm a weenie but oh well. Susan is afraid too and she told me she wouldn't go with him either. They say alligators won't bother you but uh---I don't think so. I'm not taking the chance. So now DH is like "who is going to go with me?" thing is he really doesn't have any friends, he's from up north, everybody is up there, not here. And so...if I don't go, who will go with him? I feel bad, but he says "I don't need people" yeah whatever. Without even thinking I uttered these famous words,

"No man is an island"

And afterwards I nearly regretted it as I waited to hear him say, "it's only an island if you look at it from the water" but then I realized he's never seen the movie Jaws so I was ok! (Ok, maybe mom's the only one who gets this!)

Anyway, it's off to bed now. Time for more strange dreams. Thanks for letting me vent.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Six factors in the cost of health care...

I did a little research on the factors behind the rising cost of health care and here’s what I found through a variety of journal articles and other sources online:

Emergency Rooms: generally not allowed to turn anyone away and must be able to bear the burden of cost for those they treat who cannot pay. ER’s used by the uninsured as a primary care facility. Who here has visited an emergency room any time of the day or night and not seen it packed? How many of those cases are truly emergencies? Also, in larger cities where there is more violent crime and a large number of lower income people, hospital ER’s are nearly always overwhelmed.

Physicians: are offered incentives by managed care organizations in an effort to ration health care, deciding who needs what and when. The more care a patient receives, the more the managed care organization pays out. Also, physicians face rising malpractice premiums.

Prescription drugs: it's simply an issue of supply and demand. More demand = higher prices.

Technology: lack of interdisciplinary collaboration, technology changes too rapidly, not cost effective to use certain technologies when they are immediately replaced by others. More funding needs to go into research and development.

Nurse labor shortage: The pay is good but many times it is not enough to keep good nurses who can get a better deal (in pay and/or environment) elsewhere. Salary compression (which is also a problem in higher education)—causes problems. Higher salaries are important to attract new nurses but the salaries are often much higher than that of experienced nurses who have been in the field longer.

Uninsured: individuals who work with companies which do not offer plans, who cannot afford outside coverage and individuals who are employed with companies who have health insurance programs but can’t afford the premiums. The high premiums are often due to the fact that many insurance companies are trying to make up for losses.

Overall greatest cost driver: Consumer demand
Overall best way to cut costs: Prevention

If we can find a way to solve these six problems, we've got the problem b eat. Sure it will be complicated, but it sure as hell is better than that 1,018 page manifesto put out by the Congress.

Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hmm...

Can anyone name a government-run program that works? Really works?

By this I mean one that functions exactly as promised with a real and true benefit to the public overall and which is not a financial burden to the taxpayers?

At least I think that's my criteria for now, let me think on that. There might be more.

Monday, August 10, 2009

For all the dissenters...

I made this up myself, I took a common phrase and added to it. Hope you like it!

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism except when it emanates from anyone other than a Democrat. Then it is known as a fear mongering, right wing angry mob."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another rather unusual dream...

Gotta get this dream out while it is fresh in my mind. Of course everyone who knows me well, knows I have very unusual dreams, for absolutely NO reason.

First, we were moving some stuff to Georgia, to my dad's hometown of Kennesaw, Georgia. I am not sure why we were taking this stuff there because nobody was actually moving there.

Dad rented a semi truck and mom, Kim, me, grams, and a few others I can't remember decided to go on the trip. We were taking the semi and another car so we could fit everyone. The semi cab fit about 5 people, the other vehicle about 4 or 5. As I recall I think there was no room in the semi for Kim and me so we got these metal contraptions that hook on the front of the semi's grill and we hook ourselves into them for the trip. Yes, you read that right, we were to hang on the outside of the truck as he drove. Now dad was driving the semi and basically Kim and I were hanging on a metal thing outside the front of the cab. And oh crap, were we scared! The truck didn't drive down the road though, it flew in the air.

Grandpa Cliff aka Papaw, dad's father, was in the dream and his voice was different, it was more clear and not as raspy as it was when he was older.

Fast forward because the dream is getting a little harder to remember. I am coming home from work and there's lots of car accidents all over the place. I am driving home from work and I pull over to the side of the road and I see my car on its side, only its not the car I am driving, it's a 1989 Toyota (the car I had IRL when I was in my early 20's). It is on its side and nex thing I know there's a bus aying on its side there, with nobody in it, the bus didn't hit the car, they were separate accidents. I found both on Hwy 340 which is the rural road on the way to my parents house.

I realized I had to walk or bicycle home. I had this recumbent bike on wheels. I had my sweaters, a pillow, a tiny portable television, my cell phone, a boom box and a few other things I had to carry since I couldn't drive. I got on this bike and began down Highway 340. then I realized it was hard as hell to bike. I called my mom from my cell phone, don't remember where she was, and told her I had to bike home and it would take awhile. She said she would pick me up when she got home. I told her what had happened. You should have seen the traffic on CR 340, it was a mess. There were backups everywhere because of the accidents. Lots of buses too. It seems like it took forever to get along 340. I was tired from biking that little bike down this huge, long and hilly country road. I stopped and walked awhile then biked again. One thing I remember very clearly is that I was angry that nobody stopped to ask me if I needed a ride.

Somewhere down the road there was lots of construction and there were detours and side roads near this subdivision (there are no SD's on the real CR 340) and I wound up off the main road and on some side roads going into the subdivision. of course eventually I realized this because these side roads were not big enough for regular vehicles to drive down them. I knew something had to be wrong. I wound up getting back on the main road but constantly detoured back to these little roads. I was on the road for hours just trying to get home which was only a few miles away. I recall being really close because I wound up bicycling my way into a building and a hallway which was my mom's doctor's office (her Crohn's doctor, not her primary doc LOL) and as I biked through the building I came to a locked door. The doc said people weren't allowed to exit through that door, it was just for official personnel but I explained to her the situation about all the accidents and everything and she let me through. I remember telling her not to driv down CR 340 because it was a mess. And so I continued my journey.

Not long after, I got stuck on one of these detours and wound up way off the main road. I wound up running into these people, they looked human but they wore blue outfits. Two women in blue outfits were torturing a guy wearing regular clothes. I wanted to help him, so I think I beat up those women and cut them up and killed them but then it turns out he was the bad guy and so were they but they were less bad than he was (??). They were not human because they were able to rebuild themselves and come back to full size people again. I can't remember what happened to the guy. Well after this, I had to start running from these people. I was running all through these mazes. These people were after me. I eventually ran into the good guys, one of them was a police officer from GPD who I have known for a long time but haven't seen in a long time. He tried to help me, once he realized who I was. As I recall, the only thing that would repel these aliens was some kind of foam you could spray at them, but it only repelled them for a few minutes, then they were after you again.

The rest of the dream is getting fuzzy as time goes on. It's getting harder to remember. I do remember biking past a park and a girl from high school, Michelle, was there, she had red curly hair (Michelle NEVER had red hair in her life!) and her cheeks were rosy, she was smiling, as I passed her at the park, she talked to me, said hi. I kept on biking. Now this bike---let me describe it to you. It was one of those low bikes, the kind you see where your legs are out in front of you pedaling and your back is up against a straight seat back. It was hard to pedal this thing up a hil lthough, I'd have to stop and get outand carry everything up the hill. I remember holding up traffic too on the narrow detour roads.

I don't remember how the dream ends, because I woke up. I think I was still running, but the good guys were outnumbering the bad guys in blue outfits. Don't know if they ever got them all. One thing, I never did get home, I woke up before hand.

So...what do you think? Before you ask--no, I didn't watch any scary movies last night, didn't read anything, didn't listen to anything on the radio. This is par for the course for me, I cannot epxlain where it came from, but I'd love to know what it means.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

UF turns Big Brother...

In an effort to become healthier and cleaner, UF will ban tobacco on its main campus beginning in July, joining over 100 campuses across the U.S. that have already gone smoke free.

(By the way, the linked article states tickets will not be given out but employees may face consequences from their supervisors which includes getting negative remarks on performance evaluations!)


and


As of Nov. 1, the use of cigarettes or other tobacco products in any of the Health Science Center, Shands or UF Physicians buildings and parking lots, or in vehicles in these areas, will not be permitted. UF plans to implement the policy on its main campus in July 2010.

“The decision to have tobacco-free campuses systemwide supports our commitment to providing a healthy environment for our patients and to improving health in our communities,” said Tim Goldfarb, chief executive officer of Shands HealthCare. “We not only provide outstanding medical treatment and patient care, but also work hard to promote wellness and disease prevention.”


Nope, I don't like it at all. I don't smoke, never have. But...if I did I'd be pissed off that UF thinks it can tell me that I can't smoke in my own car. Frankly, my health isn't anyone's business but my own. And so long as a person smokes far enough from others where it cannot be smelled or inhaled by others and so long as they don't toss their butts on the ground, I don't give a damn how often or where they smoke!!!

By the way, do you think the alum who travel to UF for Gator football games and make a mess tailgating all over campus are going to not smoke while they're here? Yeah, right!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Oooh pick me pick me!

A new low straight from the White House. I didn't make this one up folks.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

In an effort to force the health care reform bill down our throats, and prevent conversation about it, the White House wants you to email them if you hear or read information about it that seems "fishy". On the White House Blog written by Macon Phillips, he states "Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

If anyone wants to rat, please rat on me first. Please make my day and send an email to flag@whitehouse.gov and tell them that I said they and their so-called health reform plan can kiss my ass, that I don't give a shit about their stupid program. And please tell them they can visit my blog ANYTIME to see what other really shitty things I have to say about them. And give them my love will ya? LOL

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Cuss Jar

Ok Vin is trying to work on his anger management and we're both trying to stop cursing so...every time we say a curse word we have to put $1.00 in a jar. Vin says that by the end of the month we won't have any money left to pay bills LOL. Seriously this is a great idea. First, we're exercising on the elliptical, now we're trying to stop cursing, what's next? LOL

Friday, July 31, 2009

I've been wondering about something. What's to prevent a dealership from increasing the price of their fuel efficient K4K cars by $3500-$4500 so that they walk away at the end of the day with the customer still paying the average or higher price for the vehicle. So they make not only between $3500 and $4500 extra on the vehicle BUT that same rebate from the government?

Also, say I walk into a dealership with a 24 year old vehicle that has bad fuel mileage and the damn thing is only worth $1,000. But...the government is allowing a credit of $3500 for my old high mileage inefficient vehicle? So the dealership is going to get $3500 for a $1,000 vehicle, they make $2500 off the government with my tax dollars. Add that $2500 to the $3500 increase in price the customer just paid, when the dealership jacked up the price. They just made $6,000 on one car. Not bad eh?

A possible increase to three billion dollars for this program, that's JUST for the rebates. What about the cost to administer this program? Divide say $4500 into $3 billion, that's approximately 666,000 clunkers. Who is going to scrap these? According to the government, it will be done by government approved facilities. Who owns the facilities? Are there ties to government officials? These cars may be sold by the scrap yard for parts (except engine and drive train) prior to shredding. The cars may not be resold in the US or anywhere else.

Yeah ok.

Also, the CARS act specifically states that this does not apply just to new American cars, which means that many individuals might want up purchasing foreign cars. The dealership gets the rebate $$ from the government and is able to replace its sold foreign made car with another foreign made car. That doesn't do jack for American vehicle manufacturers does it?

If you ask me, we could have done something better with $3 billion of our tax dollars. Ya think?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I think too much...

So I'm reading "The Day of the Jackal" by Frederick Forsyth and it brings up a question I thought I'd pose a thought here about the many forms of patriotism.

Say it happened in America. What if there were a growing number of dissenters to the current US government, and a large number of Americans believed the President and a number of members of Congress had sold out their country? What if they believed that getting rid of these leaders by assassinating them was the only way to regain freedom? They believe that assassination is the only way, others believe voting them out is the only way. The problem is that the money rules, no matter how the average person votes, there's a certain number of people who continue to be re-elected because of the ties that bind -- you know, power and money.

Let's say you and me are hardworking, honest, good-natured, law-abiding, kind and generous American citizens. We hold no radical views, we are non-threatening to the national security of our antion. We believe strongly in the Constitution and American values the highest ranked on our list being freedom. Let's say I'm for getting rid of them via voting, let's say you are for getting rid of them via assassination? Remember, we both want to preserve American freedom. However, I don't believe that murdering them will help our cause but you believe that because the system has become so corrupt, elections do not sufficiently cleanse the system of these corrupt creeps, and that we must 1) eliminate them and 2) send a message to other corrupt politicians that the people will not tolerate anymore crap.

Now let's just say we both believe murder is wrong, but you feel so strongly that the future of this great nation is in such jeopardy, it's become more and more socialized, government controlled, and we are losing freedoms we once took for granted, you feel there is just no other way to save this nation. You truly believe it is the only way. I know you are not a radical, you don't want to see this happen, but you feel you have no other choice.

Who is the more partriotic? You or me? Whose method is more patriotic? And what really defines patriotism?

One more thing, let's for a moment consider radical Islamic terrorists who believe themselves patriots. They of course assassinate leaders (and others who don't believe as they do). But...generally they do not assassinate in the name of freedom, they do it in the name of just the opposite, preventing freedom.

Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I had this strange dream.

I was on this piece of property, it was quite large, had a house set back on it. It was the home once owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. But in the dream they were known IRL as Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. It was a big house, with a big porch. I went there and this big porch was almost like a stage. And suddenly they were there---young and vibrant. I was singing with them, entertaining with them, I felt like I was a part of things. Throughout the dream I felt very sad that they were gone, and I didn't want to go back home. I went up there a lot and stayed there. I remember over the front porch there was this high ceiling and about 20 different colored, styled lamps hanging from that porch ceiling. I remember looking up at them wanting one for a souvenir.

There was this lady in the dream too, she had been their hosuekeeper. She looked younger even though I knew she was in her 70's. Her face was very smooth, not very wirinkled. She was eating some kind of candy or something that kept her looking youthful. She offered me a piece but I didn't want one. T I can't remember who she was. I do remember being very upset tht lucy and Ricky were no longer alive and I thought their house should be preserved. I even brought a few friends up there so they could see where I spent most of my time. It seemed when I showed up at the house, it came alive and so did they.

There was this complete sadness I can't explain, and this yearning to stay behind and preserve the place. I think the overwhelming sadness got to me and I was crying in the dream. Then I remember running into their daughter who looked nothing like Lucie Arnaz, their real life daughter as wek now her. This was a young woman with long hair, pretty, quiet. She was upset at me for some reason, oh yes I remember. I was in this room with some lawyers, this daughter, the housekeeper and another woman. They were dividing up the estate and I was angry that the housekeeper didn't get more and I was defending her. The lawyer kep tsaying that she got her share when the first of the Ricardo couple died but I said no, she was to get moer after the last one finallly died. They didn't like that. The daughter was cool though beacuse in the end I talked to her and told her how much her parents talked about her and loved her, and we became friendly.

Then I'm in this built-in pool and I am teetering on the edge, trying not to fall in, my friends were laughing and eventualy I fell in. Several times I was standing on the edge, just teetering. Then I was swimming, raced one of the kids in the pool. Then I took some folks up to the house. That's all I can remember at the moment. The rest is kinda jumbled.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Driving along in my automobile....

...this was the conversation that took place in the car on the way to work---


Me: "hey do you want to hear about my strange ass dream last night?"

Vin: "hmmm"

Me: "You do have a choice, yes or no"

Vin: "Give me the Reader's Digest version"

Me: (Looking completely dumfounded and speechless)

Vin: "you know the condensed version??"

Me: (With mouth just hanging open looking like a moron. I knew what he meant, I was just dumfounded because well....I don't give the condensed version of ANYTHING, I mean what is that?)

Vin: (Laughing his ass off because it was one of very few times I was rendered speechless and for anyone who knows me, well you know that is a rarity.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some things are just so blogworthy...

but you don't dare do it because you have a sister who once shot you in the leg with a beebee gun over something trivial and you know that even though she too is nearing 40, she can still run faster than you and beat the crap out of you.

Besides mom made me promise not to say anything. But it is funny, the entire time mom was telling me the escapade she had with Kim on Saturday, she was laughing her ass off. In fact she was laughing so hard she could hardly get the story out in a coherent sentence. I haven't heard her laugh like that in ages, well except when she talks about the stuff she and June used to do together back in high school. I love hearing mom laugh like that! Of course sis, now she probably wouldn't be laughing. Well maybe she will, she does have a great sense of humor.

All I know is I would not have wanted to be working the drive-thru of the KFC and not be able to speak English on the day my sister drove through there....mmm mmm no way! LOL

Friday, July 24, 2009

If there were no lobbyists...

I think I've finally reached the point where I am ready to outlaw lobbying. I don't think lobbying falls under free speech either so don't bother with the argument.

Lobbyists work to influence legislation on behalf of certain groups, organizations, or industries. One one hand, lobbying can be beneficial to a group which represents a small number of individuals whose voice is not normally heard. On the other hand, lobbying can be dangerous because larger entitities (such as labor unions) have a larger stake and thus are able to directly influence the outcome of elections in the form of money and votes.

I believe that the cons of lobbying outweigh the pros in this day and age. Lobbyists bribe politicians in one form or another. They use their influence to sway the course of legislation.

What if there were no lobbyists? Well there would probably be some under-the-table deals but for the most part, outlawing lobbying for ALL organizations puts the decisions on legislation back into the hands of the people. Our elected officials would have to vote based on what their constitutents want, not on what lobbyists want. Remove the lobbyists and the money and perks and you remove a large part of the corruption.

You can't convince me that if you remove lobbying, smaller groups will be disadvantaged. If neither side is allowed to lobby, everyone is on a level playing field.

I'm tired of politicians being bought and paid for and it's time to send the message that the party is over.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chris Brown is only sorry because...

...he got busted and sales of his music are slumping. Not just that but he lost contracts and a lot of money over this. A lot of people wanted to distance themselves from him after he beat the shit out of his girlfriend.

I don't know how I managed to sit through that video of the unfeeling apology. Hey I don't even know who he is, nor do I know a single song that he's put out. But all I know is that he's a creep. A young Mike Tyson perhaps? Who knows.


" I wish I had the chance to live those few moments again."


Yeah so you could beat her just a little longer and a little harder eh?



"I take great pride in me being able to exercise self-control, and what I did was inexcusable," Brown said in his video apology. "I am very sad and very ashamed of what I've done. My mother and my spiritual teachers have taught me way better than that."


Apparently not quite enough.

What's really sad here is that young men everywhere look up to this punk as a role model.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cliff Stearns on health care...

Recently I wrote to Congressman Cliff Stearns about my concerns over the proposed Health Care Reform Act. Below is his response. I've always been able to count on Cliff Stearns to be an upstanding guy and do the right thing and his response is fine example of that...

Thank you for contacting me regarding affordable health care for all Americans. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.

As health care costs continue to rise and small business owners and self-employed people are finding individual health care too expensive, I support real reforms that will provide universal access to health care for all Americans. I don't support a government-run, one size fits all health care plan where medical decisions are made by Washington bureaucrats not by doctors. I strongly believe that any health care reform must let Americans who like their health care coverage keep it, and give all Americans the freedom to choose the health plan that best meets their needs. To ensure this Members of Congress must protect Americans from being forced into a new government-run health care plan that would eliminate the health coverage that more than 100 million Americans currently receive through their job.

I support universal care and access for all Americans. I believe we need a health care system that is transparent, portable, and does not preclude individuals with pre-existing conditions. I favor allowing insurers licensed in one state to sell to individuals in the other 49 states creating competition and greater choice which will drive down costs. In addition, I support Health Information Technology (HIT) to make the delivery of care more efficient. Finally, I support medical justice reform that will cap non-economic damages arising from any medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000, reducing the cost of providing quality medical care. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee with jurisdiction over this issue, rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind and continue to fight for efficient, affordable, and quality health care for all Americans.

Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that active duty military and their dependents will make up 43% of Tricare beneficiaries in 2010. Thirty-five percent of beneficiaries will be retirees under age 65 and their dependents, and 22% will be retirees age 65 and over and their dependents. Furthermore, DOD estimates that care provided to retirees and their dependents will make up over 65% of DOD health care costs by 2015, up from 43% in 1999. Please be assured that as Congress considers healthcare legislation, I will ensure that Tricare is protected.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If I can be of any further assistance on this or another federal matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With kind regards, I am


Sincerely,


Cliff Stearns
United States Representative

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AT&T sucks...

About two months ago, we ordered the 3G broadband USB because we thought living near a tower we might get a signal. Anything was better than Bell South's crappy dialup service. We ordered the USB device, cost us over $180 including the device and first month's billing.

When we received the USB we tried it and couldn't get a signal. Ok fine, we boxed it back up and sent it back immediately. Just about the time we sent it back ATT sent us a bill for $180.18 . It showed a whopping 11 KB used. That sorta proves that we didn't use the thing. I ignored it because they would credit me once they received it. Well a few weeks later I received a bill for $15.60 (past due) and they had credited us $105.87. I called them on 6/25 and talked to Justin who told me that it takes thirty days for the credit to post, that the charge was for shipping (??) which should have been credited to me. Justin told me that I didn't owe anything. Ok fine.

Fast forward to three days ago. I received a bill again, this time for $13.80 (past due). They had credited me a whopping $1.82 which was by the way--the late payment charge for the original $15.60. Wow, so they credited me the late charge. How big of them.

And we wonder why so many longtime businesses are going into the toilet?

For the record AT&T Mobility at PO Box 53215 Atlanta, GA 30353-6216--I am NOT sending you $13.80, you can kiss my ass because that is more likely to happen than you people getting a dime from me.