Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anybody Need A Cat Bed?

Some of my friends from other places know we acquired Demonkitteh on December 31, 2008. Some of my friends also know why he's nicknamed Demonkitteh, however, since both he and my house have survived these last 3 years, we decided to commemorate the day with a gift. He steals Hubby's shirts to make beds out of so we decided to buy him one of his own. I ventured out on an ill advised trip to Walmart after my case this morning and purchased a SmartyKat CATNIP Cat Lounger.

The instructions say to place the catnip into the cloth bag that comes with the bed and zip it into it's place on the bottom side of the lounger. I did that and set the lounger on the floor. Demonkitteh promptly flipped it over and tried to destroy the bed in order to get the catnip pouch out of it's rightful place. I unzipped it and gave him the pouch to play with so that I didn't have bits and pieces of cat lounger strewn throughout my house.

He played with the pouch for 5 minutes, had himself a light lunch, went and sat in the lounger to take a bath and then wandered up the hall, I thought, to use the litter box. He was in the bathroom for 5 minutes during which time I heard the clothes hamper come crashing over and Demonkitteh reappeared with one of Hubby's quilted flannel shirts.

He dragged the shirt to the cat bed, laid down on the shirt and placed his head in the cat lounger. You know? Maybe I should have spent my money on a sturdier hamper? One that he can't knock over quite as easily?

I have work to do, if I don't get back into Blogger later today, have a safe and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making Hard Decisions Doesn't Come Easy

There is a lengthy and rather convoluted path we travel in life. For some of us that path is smooth with few bumps and for others it's a mountainous climb with many missteps along the way. For most of my life the path has been relatively smooth. Mountainous climbs have usually been of my own making since making mountains out of molehills is a habit of the Type A personality. Another Type A trait is that we dismiss things we should pay attention to and obssess about things we should dismiss.

I was diagnosed, in my middle 20's with ankylosing spondylitis. That was back when doctors were demi-gods and one didn't ask questions. Had no idea what it was and since all I heard was "arthritis" never bothered to ask what it was. It's a form of rheumatoid arthritis that affects the spine's sacroiliac joint. Which accounts for all the lower back, hip and leg pain I've been experiencing for the past year.

It's not that I didn't have pain before, it would come and go periodically. Much of the time it would exist at a level that I could and did ignore. It wasn't until I did a music post about Motley Crue that I encountered the term again. Mick Mars has it, and had a hip replaced so he could rejoin the group when they tried to reconcile around the middle of the last decade. Once I found out what it was, I decided there wasn't anything I could do about it since I don't have health insurance, so I resumed ignoring the problem. That reality check bounced. Fortunately, this time I have a doctor who can guide me through this flare. Good thing, because it's lasted more than a month.

I'm having trouble writing blog posts since I can't sit for long periods of time. I've maintained my Twitter account by posting a couple of things and then moving away from the computer to do things that will keep me from stiffening up too much. It's not humanly possible to move constantly, but if I'm not moving, I'm supposed to be lying down to keep everything straight. That too is pretty difficult.

During a conversation with my doctor at my last appointment the subject of internet usage and TV watching came up. She believes that there is a correlation between what happens in the mind and ones level of health. When we expose ourselves to unresolved negativity, it will effect us one way or another somewhere else in our bodies. Her view is that we'd all be farther ahead if we shut off our TVs and limited our online time to less than half an hour a day.

I'm not sure what I will do about any of this. That half an hour isn't much and won't allow me to be as social as I might like to be. I thought about closing my blog and just spending my online time in Twitter. I'm finding that Twitter is a major source of the negativity that may be having an effect on my problem. I finally decided to step away from the computer for her suggested 30 days in favor of other things until I can make up my mind. There's just too much garbage in, garbage out going on and I need to concentrate on me and not obssess about what possesses others to behave so badly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's Society....FAIL!

I don't know what to rant about first. The GOP Fail which is self evident in their presidential candidates or the Penn State Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno Fail. Better yet, maybe I should rant about a society FAIL!

The words that come to my mind are "morally bankrupt." What are we doing to ourselves? Next question...WHY? How have we gotten so far away from doing the right thing and into doing that which is expedient? What part of sticking your head in the sand is going to correct this mess?

How did I end up living in a society where politicians think it's OK to steal from the poor to give to the rich? When did sexual harassment become an excusable offense because the perpetrator is in a position of power? Why was it fine for people in positions of authority to condone the abuse of children in the name of having a winning college football team? What part of treating women as if we're chattel is acceptable because it's being done in the name of religion?

For some strange reason I keep thinking about something I read back in 2007. I was doing music posts for my Blogstream blog and had been listening a lot to Dio. I was trying to find a way to do a post about a song of his called "Killing The Dragon". It didn't really make any sense to me until I found an interview he did about the album that song was on. He wouldn't use a computer or much by way of what we call technology these days. He referred to all of it as "heartless little Gods." Said some day we'd be sorry we worshipped at the altar of technology. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe he wasn't right.

We used to know that not everything we want to do should be done. We used to understand that as a human, we had baser instincts that were best not indulged in. Now it seems that anything goes. We can do anything we want to entirely because it feels good to us. If it doesn't feel good to you, then too bad, I'm the only one that matters to me. Apparently for some it feels good to debase women in the name of sexual satisfaction. And for others it feels good to corrupt children and make their lives a painful experience. One that will damage them, in many ways, beyond repair.

I have far too many questions and no really good answers. I just know that I am glad I don't have my whole long life ahead of me. I'm afraid to see what the next 50 years is going to bring. If the changes I've witnessed in my lifetime are any indication, we will have entirely lost our souls by then.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Undercover at Smithfield Foods, Supplier Of The Pork For The McRib

My grandfather was a farmer. Born on the family farm and as an adult went back to work on a farm after losing his factory position during The Great Depression. He was a beef eater, which is probably why he died young, but one thing he would not eat was veal. He couldn't stand the method by which the calves were raised for the veal market. He believed that putting an animal in a box, not allowing it to roam was inhumane. I wonder what he'd eat now since we seem to have moved the veal box into mainstream meat raising?

The more I learn about farming methods today, the less appetizing the products look to me. I can get my eggs from local farms, and my beef, pork and chicken as well. I've been on these farms, seen their operations and they are a far cry from the accepted practices that take place before our meats go to market.

I can no longer afford to eat meat on a daily basis since local farmers charge quite a bit more, but at least I know that what I'm eating wasn't tormented and tortured for my dining pleasure. Besides, a few meatless meals makes for a healthier human. I think Grandpa would be very proud of me. He helped raise a child that is willing to stand up for what she believes. Same as he did.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Slapped In The Face

Here I sit, hopes dashed, the pain of unshed tears in my eyes. I will not cry, I refuse. The people I work for aren't worth my tears. No, I haven't lost my job, just my hope for something better and in a way, my faith in the people I work for. I didn't have much of it, but I did have some.

They are now offering a health insurance to their employees. Employees who gross less than $350 a week are being offered this health insurance to the tune of $145.71 per week. No part of it to be paid for by the company.  They think it's a big deal, we're supposed to be grateful. Instead, I feel as if someone poured acid on my face.

What really floored me is that basic common sense should have told them that they don't have an employee that can afford this. Given that knowledge, what is this? What part of taking $600 a month away from their employees leaves them with nothing left to live on are they ignoring? But WAIT! There's MORE!

In addition to the cost of healthcare there is a dental plan for a few extra bucks a week. I was so shocked by the offer, I don't remember the amount requested for that. All I can see when I think about it is the $145.71 per week figure. There have been weeks when I have client cancellations for doctor appointments and clients in the hospital that I don't take home much more than a dollar or two over that figure. I don't work 30 hours a week, so I only make $8 an hour.

Depending on the number of hours one works, they pay $8 or $9 an hour for actual client work. Travel time is paid by the hour at $7.35. Due to the travel time they won't give anyone more than 36 hours of client time and seldom more than 90 minutes of travel. Total gross pay on that would be $335.03. Social security, Medicare, Fed tax, state tax, and state disability will take somewhere around $50.60 out of that depending on the number of dependents they claim. Once the insurance comes out, it will leave the employee with around $138 and change a week.

Average rent here? Around $550 a month not including utilities. Plus, most of us need a car to make that much money and that won't be possible if we sign up for the health insurance.

If they'd have offered to pay half of that, I actually would have taken more hours to bring myself up to the point where I would feel comfortable with that kind of deduction. After all, with Hubby's business being seasonal, I need to be bringing home enough to keep the roof over our head, the lights on and food in our stomachs. Along with keeping the car in gas. I can do that on what I'm making.

They wonder why the aides aren't falling all over themselves to give their all for the company. Somehow they don't grasp that in order to have the food stamps and the health insurance Medicaid provides, they can't make more money than they're being paid. Most of them have kids to look out for, without a living wage, they're doing the best they can.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Meowloween

When guys go Trick or treating, sometimes they get lucky.

And, sometimes they don't.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Random Observations On Life

I could stop right there, since that's about as random as you can get, however...

I spend a lot of time looking at the current crop of GOP candidates and find myself asking how people got to be that stupid? Despite the fact that Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan will raise taxes on 84% of Americans there are those who still support him? Michele Bachmann wants to close the Environmental Protection Agency when historically this nation has allowed corporate greed to damage the environment which lead to serious health issues suffered by those who lived in and around the brownfields the EPA has been cleaning up? Does she not know about Love Canal? Then there's Romney, who was fine with ideas that he had until they were adapted by the current president and then suddenly they're all wrong? I won't even get into the heartlessness of Ron Paul except to say that according to his ideas, our damaged returning veterans wouldn't be able to get healthcare they require due to what our wars did to them unless they could afford to pay for it.

While I am on that subject, who have we become that we believe people should die if they can't afford to pay for their care? I will never watch another CNN Tea Party debate due to listening to people cheer over the hypothetical death of a hypothetical young man who can't afford to pay to live.

"The rent is too damn high". Somehow or other we don't seem to get that when the top wage earners see an increase in their wealth of 285% in the last 10 years while the bottom of that spectrum only saw an 18% increase in the same time frame, the rent will always be too damn high. It should have occurred to someone by now that wealth is a finite amount and when most of it is given to a few, the many must make do with the rest. In order to give the top wage earners more of that pie, the other end has to give up their share. The pie itself is not going to miraculously grow larger to accommodate the increase.

When you stop to think about that, where do these Libertarians get the idea that they will be able to live on what's left over after the wealthy have taken their overly large share? Maybe they agree with Senator Sessions that the food stamp program is the problem? It's out of control with nearly 74% of Americans receiving food stamps. Hello????? That's a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

When you allow the very rich to become richer by stealing wages from the middle class, you have an increase in the poverty level. Once that level increases more people fall below it and then qualify for programs that we aren't funding correctly and haven't been for a decade. Look. We have been effectively returning ourselves to the turn of the 20th century when Rockefeller, Astor, Vanderbilt, Whitney, etc. held all the wealth. Back then families survived because every member of the family worked, including children as young as 8 years old. Yes, we will soon be returning to digging ditches because computers and robots will be doing all the gravy jobs. Which leaves way more of our money for the wealthy to conspicuously consume since digging ditches is a low paying back breaking job.

What really makes me angry about this entire situation has very little to do with Corporations taking advantage of the middle class, and more to do with the middle class not accepting responsibility for their own demise. We were given the tool by which we had, please notice I said HAD a say in our government. It's called voting rights. A tool which more than 50% of Americans chose not to use regularly. The total number of eligible voters that actually went to the polls in 2010 was a whopping 41%. The only time more voters actually get off their asses and away from their computers where they sit and whine about how bad America has become is when there's a Presidential election. Then the percentage increases to 74%. The number 1 reason why they don't go to the polls is that they are "too busy".

It's all well and good to go out on the streets and "Occupy Wall St" because the banks are robbing us blind. However, if this movement doesn't translate to an occupy the voting booth increase, nothing they're doing will change a damn thing. And it better happen pretty quickly or a large percentage of Americans will be losing their right to vote when the GOP/Tea Party gets done with their shenanigans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Too Pooped To Pop

I now know why Mom was always tired. I can remember having very little patience when she would answer my "How are you?" question by saying "Tired." I say "Fine" when asked, but frankly...I'm not. There are days when working for 5 hours leaves me with a need to crawl into bed for a long nap.

The first time it happened I thought I was going to have to crawl up the steps and into the house on my hands and knees. Someone pulled the plug on my generator and the lights went out. Seriously. That was the day I learned to take my pulse before taking the beta blocker I'm now on. Apparently I was so upset over having to take one that I totally missed her telling me that if my heart rate slowed to 60 or less beats a minute, skip the pill. I also missed the part where she told me it would take 10 to 16 weeks before my heart adapted to the beta blocker. This is week 7. After all this, if my BP goes down and stays down, she'll be taking me off of it, which, according to what I read could cause me to have a heart attack. One of the many reasons why I didn't want to take it to start out with.

Given what I do for a living, it's a good thing that I don't experience dizziness from it. I'd be falling head first into toilets and bathtubs if I did. I did have to rearrange my schedule to move clients requiring more traveling to the earlier morning time. I've never really thought about 30 miles being a long trip, but I have to say that it's as bad as a thousand miles when you are having trouble keeping your eyes open and your brain isn't processing where you are. Try that at 55 mph. I did, it wasn't fun. Trust me.

If having a reduction in the number of weekly fatigue spells is any indication, I'm going to have an adapted heart at 10 weeks. The one spell of fatigue that I did have only required a 15 minute sit down instead of the hour and a half nap. That is a welcomed improvement. Before I know it I'll be able to dance the night away just like I was...NOT!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Subject Is Cat Hair

Our four legged, fur bearing, hairball puking, benevolent dictator is named Butterscotch for a very obvious reason or two. Number 1 being that at the time, so soon after the death of Bashful, I had little imagination and less desire to have a cat, let alone name one. Number 2 is that said unwanted (at the time) demonkitteh was blonde with butterscotch orange markings. Which eliminates the colors black, grey and dark brown in the daily collection of swept up cat hair. Well, at least it should. However, this doesn't seem to be the case.

Since I live in a mobile home, we had no storage for off season clothing. Hubby and Youngest were kind enough to build me a cabinet with shelves on which I could store neatly folded off season garments. So, every Spring/Fall I wash whatever is to be stored, the inside of the cabinet, shelf surfaces and neatly stack the clothing on the shelves.

When Bashful was alive, it was necessary to wash the clothing again when we removed it from the shelves because she knew how to open doors and enjoyed snoozing on the stacks of clothes. Unless she wanted something and I was home alone, she preferred the pleasure of her own company to that of everyone else. To that end she was a veritable genius at finding ways to isolate herself from the hubbub of our household. She never met a cabinet she didn't love nor a door she couldn't open.

Butterscotch, on the other hand, is a cat of a different stripe. While he may not appreciate all and sundry who waltz through the front door, he wants to be out in the center of the action. He's a very handsome cat, and quite vain. Not for him the out of the way hidey holes. He prefers to bask in the admiration of the strange 2 legged creatures that are found in the living areas of this home. Besides, he's not smart enough to figure out how to open doors.

Bashful died in 2008. We have since replaced the bedroom carpet with a laminate flooring material similar in color to the livingroom and hallway. It made it much easier to clean the dust bunnies and the cat hair since I could use the Swiffer dust mop system in there as well. Now, I am used to blonde and orange cat hair with the occasional longer human hair that seems to like to accumulate under the bed and along the walls or in the corners. What I am not used to is the black, brown and gray cat hair that began to appear a week ago. The hair is not short enough nor the right color to be either Hubby's or mine.

I really didn't think much of it until this afternoon. After work today I decided to remove my dark colored scrub pants from the storage closet. I figured it was getting cooler and time to get out the long pants for work. I pulled the stack off the shelf intending to hang them on pants hangers and discovered that both the navy blue and the black pair appear to have been slept on by a cat, and the hairs left behind by the sleeping cat are not blonde and orange.

I don't know if we'll be able to figure this one out, but I do know one thing. Next time Butterscotch sits on the floor in front of that cabinet and talks to it, I'm going to open the doors.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Indian Summer

We've had 2 nights of killing frost. It's brought out the red so sadly lacking in the foliage until now. The temperature has warmed up to nearly 80 degrees for the second day in a row. One more day and it will be officially an Indian Summer.

For the past week, every evening at 6 or so a flock of geese have announced that they are leaving as they wing south overhead. The robins and hummingbirds have gone leaving behind their heartier songbird friends to keep us company through the cold harsh winter. I've been sitting here with windows open listening to one such feathered friend. First I hear the call of the woodpecker and then this bird that chirps over and over, just a short shrill sound. Almost sounds like a squeaky wheel. I've no idea what bird it is since I'm unable to see it in all the glorious fall color.

All the corn fields in the area have changed from green to gold and farmers are out cutting them down. Farmers are selling their ripening winter squashes and apples since the frost killed off just about everything else. The punkins are plentiful this year. Apples are sweet and juicy, just the way we like them. I'm tempted to bake a pie but it's not really something I'm supposed to be eating. I'll wait until November at Thanksgiving time. Sweets to be consumed for a special occasion.

This is the best time of the year for Autumn Soup and Mushroom Stew. I may not have managed enough money to buy what I needed for the Winter, but I do have enough to make large warming pots of both and freeze much of it for the coming months. For the rest of it, although homegrown tastes better, I can still buy what I want at the grocers. Organic when I can afford it and whatever else when I can't.

When the temperature cools back down a bit, I'm going to try my hand at baking a loaf of whole wheat bread. the old fashioned way, without a bread machine. All that kneading of the dough will be good for the stress relief and if it turns out well, I will continue to do a loaf or two every week. Might even manage to get Hubby to eat it if I tell him it's made with unbleached flour and that's why it's so dark. It worked to get him to eat whole grain pasta, I might get lucky if I don't let him see the packaging. Sometimes life just needs us to be a little creative to get over the humps. Although, it does seem like there are a lot more humps these days.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Time Will Be Spent Waiting For The Paint To Dry

Given the state of our finances and the time of year it is, I'm going to have to be somewhat creative when it comes to gift giving. Which is perfectly all right since I am somewhat creative. A little paint, some dollar store stemware, some stemware not from the dollar store, some candles, glass plates, inexpensive hurricane glass chimneys for those popular oil lamps and I'm thinking the Season of Giving might just be a winner in my house.

Same ideas can be used on the 4" ceramic wall tiles available at Lowes. With the addition of felt on the backs, the tiles can be combined in sets of 4 or 6, packaged with some attractive ribbon and voila! Coasters to protect the wood table tops from damage caused by wet glasses.

Of course, all of this takes time, and since I thought of it early, I will have the time to do some unique and elegant items. Not just flowers, but fruits of the vine would work for much of what I'm planning. I should even be able to find the time to post a couple of times a week since there is always that stage of painting where one must have patience while the paint cures.

I haven't been painting much since I no longer do craft shows. Once in awhile I paint a piece for me, but for the most part, the table sits unused. I need to change that since one of my stress relieving tools is painting. That's the one area in which I cut myself some slack since paint can be washed off when mistakes are made. Too bad I can't do that with the rest of my life. Seems like the perfect stress relief. Wash it away.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Attitude Needed Adjusting

For awhile I was feeling as if I had lost my sense of humor. Everything seemed to be piling in on me and I could only spew my anger onto these blank pages called Post Editors. I'm not given much to self pity. I don't have it harder than millions of others, yet I found myself wallowing in a mood so dark I was beginning to feel isolated in some way. The more I looked around me, the less I liked what I saw and the angrier I became.

It started with the quarterly sales tax preparation for the filing date in September, on my 62nd birthday. We owed half of what we normally owe for the third quarter. To say business has been bad is putting it mildly. I've lost count of the number of bad checks we've had to chase people down for. We received more bad checks in the third quarter of this year than we've received since buying this business in 1986. You can't begin to understand what it feels like to have these checks and try to work things out with people who have no shame about writing them. For the first time in our business life, we had people arrested.

The day I had to go to court with our first case, I sat outside the courthouse and cried. After the ruling in our favor, I left the courthouse and sat in my car and cried some more. Even knowing that we aren't to blame for the problems these people got themselves into, doesn't make me feel any better. One woman couldn't understand why the charges against her included misdemeanor larceny. She simply couldn't grasp that paying for a service with a check she knew was bad is theft of services. In addition to the septic pumping she had some pipes replaced. Total was $600. She wrote a check on a closed account.

With the financial setbacks we've endured, all my healthy food purchase plans went down the drain. I've purchased and preserved as much as I could afford, which hasn't been much at all. The stress took a toll on my blood pressure. The bottom number stayed down but the top one went off the chart again so, I am now on a beta blocker to protect my heart. Which, of course, made me feel like a failure somehow. Doctor says she's positive it will only be temporary since I have made "great strides" forward since I began the program. I resolved the issue of our financial situation by not purchasing the supplements I need. That allowed me to buy the locally grown produce that sits in my freezer. Wasn't the smartest thing I've done, but I did it and as the doctor says, I need to forget it and move on.

I really didn't start the forget and move on process until Scratch got a job. Something about his good news was a lifeline that I am using to pull myself out of the rut I dug for myself. I'm not out yet, but I can see the top of the pile. Nothing financially has changed, I just have knuckled down and started using the stress relieving tools that have been at my disposal all along. I lost sight of the forest because of the trees and needed to find my chainsaw to thin those trees out some.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Shortly after 9 am on the morning of September 11, 2001 my phone rang. For a decade now, the quavering voice of my Mother telling me to "turn on my TV, something terrible is happening" has been stuck in my head. When I did turn it on, I saw a scene that looked something like this.

I wasn't able to comprehend entirely what I was seeing and I asked her what happened, what was going on? She responded by saying she didn't know but she thought we were under attack by someone and then she began to cry. At that point the newscast switched back to Tom Brokaw and although I didn't understand a single word he was saying, I knew my world would change beyond anything I'd known up to that point. I was right.

We became a nation of angry, fearful people. We've made decision after decision since then based on the emotions that the knowledge we had become a target created. We've spent  a decade since then waving our flags, shouting our patriotism to the world all the while sending our young men and women off to kill or be killed. Something about fighting so we can preserve our freedom. Freedom for what? To be selfish, greedy, hateful, small minded people?

We take little real interest in our neighborhoods unless someone isn't keeping their property up. No one thinks to ask if that person might need help, we just sit and criticize among ourselves about how they are destroying our property values. Then there's the other neighbor who should be shot for mowing their lawn early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday. "Don't they know I want to sleep late? Who do they think they are to disturb MY rest?" Of course, the fact that may be the ONLY time they can mow their lawn never enters into the equation. It's always all about us, and what we want.

We teach our children to be bullies, to hate. We spend our time online trying to smear the reputations of people simply because they disagree with us over...well...anything. We accept no responsibility for our actions or our speech. It, after all, is a right guaranteed us by the Constitution so we can say anything we damn well please. No matter how malicious the content of our speech is, no matter whose reputation it damages, we have a guaranteed right to say it. Even when it leads to the death of another person. It's too bad, so sad, next victim!

We drive in a way that suggests we own the road. Speed as if there isn't a speed limit established by law. Yet, when someone else does it, why that is a whole different situation. That requires we chase them down and smash their vehicles or worse, we kill them. It's our right to defend ourselves, they tried to kill us by cutting us off.

We send money to disaster victims in other countries, but we won't volunteer to help people in our own communities. Our time is worth money, apparently those in need of assistance aren't worth much. Volunteer fire departments and emergency services all over America are closing because they can't get volunteers. The same thing is happening to volunteer police units who provide additional security for public gatherings like city parades. Then, of course, we swear about the increased taxes needed for municipal provision of these services. I wonder what will happen when a loved one has a heart attack and dies or a house burns to the ground while waiting for a response from a service that might be located 15 or 20 miles away.

We're a country with a chip on our shoulders daring someone, anyone to knock it off. The reality is the chip was knocked off 10 years ago exposing the fact that we are a bunch of blustering know nothings carefully educated by the GOP, Fox news and Rush Limbaugh. On the eve of the only attack by an enemy that we've ever suffered on our own soil, Eric Cantor is calling for a 40% reduction in payments to First Responders to disasters in 2012. I wonder what it will cost if you have to pay to have part of your house lifted off your body or that of a loved one. After all, without pay, there might not be anyone to help given how few volunteers there are in this America.

We've taken revenge upon the people who perpetrated this horrible disaster. It didn't give me my America back. All I can do while remembering that horrible day is wonder how the people who died then would feel about the America that exists today. An America where anger at a common enemy turned into hatred for each other simply because of differences of opinions. And I will spend tomorrow honoring the dead by remembering an event I wish had never happened and, given what has happened since, I wish we could forget.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

No Ten Cent Lovin', No Chicano and No Henna Either. Mondegreen!

According to Gavin Evans in a post he wrote about Mondegreens, the terminology came about thusly.

"The term "mondegreen" was coined by Sylvia Wright in a 1954 Atlantic article. As a child, young Sylvia had listened to a folk song that included the lines "They had slain the Earl of Moray/And Lady Mondegreen." As is customary with misheard lyrics, she didn't realize her mistake for years. The song was not about the tragic fate of Lady Mondegreen, but rather, the continuing plight of the good earl: "They had slain the Earl of Moray/And laid him on the green."

As with most misheard song lyrics, the mondegreen makes as much sense as the actual lyrics do. However, that doesn't really hold true in the song "Hard To Handle" written and recorded originally by Otis Redding. I can't ascertain whether or not the mondegreen in this case was born due to his singing or that of the Black Crowes cover from their first album. I suppose it could have occurred at any point in time since quite a few bands have actually covered the song.

I tend not to like covers. They disappoint me on some level. However, I must say that the Crowes did a bang up job on their cover of it.

Oh yes, the actual words from which the mondegreen originates can be found in the chorus of the song. The mondegreen itself is in the title of this post.

"Boys and things that come by the dozen
That ain't nothing but drugstore loving.
Hey little thing let me light your candle
Cause Mama I'm sure hard to handle now
Gets around."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All A Matter Of Perspective

On Sunday, Irene didn't do very much by the way of damage to my area of Central New York. We were without power for a few hours, some roads, including the NYS thruway were flooded and closed. A tree fell in my yard, missing the house and the window I was standing in front of by a foot and my sunflowers looked as if someone had been dancing til dawn in their midst.

She arrived at 5 am here and when the sun came up I could see that she had brought the usual debris with her. I don't remember any wind of any strength happening at that hour. As a matter of fact, it just seemed to be a stiff breeze combing the trees and taking out all the snarls caused by dead branches. It was raining and I don't believe it stopped until just before bedtime that night. The ground was so saturated that the tree, and my sunflowers were blown over exposing their roots.

The tree was a white birch of some height, just not as tall as others, for which I am grateful. I was standing in the bedroom looking out the window when I became aware that it was falling. At me. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion and fear kept me rooted to the spot. I couldn't move, couldn't make a sound and wasn't sure what had happened when it was all over. All I knew was that the tree was down and both I and my home were undamaged. Then I fell apart. It was as if someone found my "On" switch, and pushed it.

Once my electricity came back on and my internet seemed to be working, I thought all was going to be fine. Then my internet went out leaving me with the TV as my only entertainment option other than reading a book. I'd done that while the power was out, so TV it was. That was when we found out that I didn't have connection to both satellites so we were limited in our choices. Hubby kept getting stuck on the channels that weren't available, so in disgust he handed me the remote. The chance of a lifetime and we didn't have a full selection of programs for me to play with.

ABC had a 20/20 Special Report on called the Sixth Sense. I wasn't going to watch it until Chris Cuomo said that "One out of five people you meet on the internet is not who they say they are". Ok, THAT got my attention. I knew that there are a lot of fakes online, just never thought about a specific number.

The first hour was about what happened to a young man who wasn't really looking for love in all the wrong places, he just happened to fall into it. He's the subject of the documentary movie "Catfish". You can read more about that movie here.

The second hour ended in the death of a young man in his 20's. The usual eternal triangle, with a twist. The female in question wasn't a young hot chick as she was advertising herself, she was the Mom of the girl whose picture she posted online. The DA's office in Buffalo, NY is trying to find a way to charge this person for her part in the crime. What she did is morally reprehensible, but sadly, it's legal. She didn't intend to harm anyone, she was just having fun.

The kind of things these women have done online would never have occurred to me. Even at my lowest point when Mom hadn't been gone for a year and I was losing my Dad, it never crossed my mind to amuse myself at the expense of others. One thing has been made understandable to me. I now know why so many people are always concerned with how many identities someone has online. If that 1 in 5 figure is even half way correct, that's a lot of fakers. I've come to the conclusion, and I may be wrong, that most of those fakers are doing nothing more than hiding their own identities because they don't want to wake up some morning and find that their bank accounts were emptied or that someone maxed out their credit cards.

The program was interesting. It also was designed to scare us into being fearful online. Had it not been for the reality of Irene, I would have been on the blog the very next day spreading my fear to the people that read me regularly. Somehow or other watching a tree falling towards me in a rainstorm, slightly changed my perspective on things. No matter how bad I think the internet can get, I can always turn away and shut it off. Then, when I have worked out my own feelings, my own emotions, I can turn it back on again. Falling trees have no shut off button. There's something so very final in that thought.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Brilliant Flash

My computer has an issue. Well, to be accurate, my monitor is the problem. It's losing the color red on me every so often. Funny thing, the emachine hunk of junk I've been using since Mom died has had just about every original accessory replaced. The original monitor croaked two days past the 90 day warranty period back in 2006. Had it not been for the Envision monitor from my first computer, my history as a blogger would have lasted all of 60 days. Might have been a good thing, come to think about that.

The next thing to leave me up the creek was the keyboard. That lasted a year. Actually died in the midst of a St Paddy's Day frenzy of appropriate comment graphic delivery to all 100 plus bloggers I was following. It was replaced, within an hour, with a Logitech board that I've been banging away on for 5 years now. Then the mouse died last year. Again, Logitech to the rescue. The Envision monitor was an IBM product, it's now been in use for the better part of 17 years. They just don't make things like they used to.

For some reason, the color red seems to be the important one. Everything becomes a sick color of green, or blue, or black without it. Even the color yellow In my frustration, I did a Fonzie on it and that will restore the color...for awhile. It goes, I give it a tap on the side and it comes back. One of these times, I'm going to give it that tap and the whole display might leave me.

I'm considering a new computer. The problem is that things aren't financially great with Hubby's business, so I've been looking at the possibility of buying a laptop instead of a desktop. The ever popular Walmart has a Toshiba on sale right now for $278. Of course, I'd have to not pay the auto insurance in order to run right out and buy it. Since I need my car in order to make a living, that's not an option.

If I drop a hundred or so on a new monitor, who can say the tower won't go kaput? Decisions, decisions. About the only one I've been able to make is to wait until I actually have to do something before I decide what to do. Which, of course, means I may be absent from online activities for awhile. I don't know that for sure, but, the way life goes, you never know.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Please Cut the Crap!

Please Cut the Crap!

One of the people I follow in Twitter is the author of "The PCTC* Blog" or, "Please Cut The Crap" by Milt Shook.

He's a refreshing change from the whiny, finger pointing, blame Obama style of Progressive Blogger that seems to be popular today. While all blogging is essentially opinion based, Mr Shook provides us with the facts on which he bases his analysis. He very quickly has become a must read for me.

If you do click the link and take the time to read him, I suggest you take a good long look at the third post on the page, titled "More Politics 101: Obama Is Smarter Than Us!". It's a completely different look at what many see as a President who doesn't know how to lead.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gone To Fill The Bowl

I don't have what one might call writer's block, I'm just in one of my moods where I'm not overly interested in communicating with people. Communication is a major part of the job I do. I spend my days informing the clients of every move I'm making while in their homes. It's like talking to yourself if they have dementia, since they won't remember what you said 5 minutes ago. We have to do that because there are times when their brains can't process what is happening unless you tell them. Even when helping them shower.

There's nothing much to challenge the intellect there. It's a matter of telling them I'm turning on the water, testing the temperature. Then it's soaping the medium by which I wash them if they need that kind of assistance. It's a running litany of chores, and I do so much of it, I'm beginning to do it when I try to type a blog post. I even caught myself informing the cat that I was going to sweep the floor when I went to get the broom.

Part of my mood is because my favorite client left today to spend 2 weeks in a nursing home respite program. The family member responsible for her care has bulging discs between every single cervical vertebrae. He can't keep caring for her right now. He needs to take care of himself so that they can get the discs back in place IF they aren't so far out now that it's permanent. She's there for a minimum of 2 weeks and there's the possibility that it will be a longer stay. If the county program she's in would have paid for more hours of care, this wouldn't be necessary, but they won't. I'm just going to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Until my emotions settle down, I'm not up to the political discourse, the trolls, or the smoke and mirror magic of the internet. I'm going to spend a few days reading good books, enjoying the weather we're having and maybe start a painting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Visit To The Adirondack Mountains

My new friend Squatlo is feeling the loss of his Smoky Mountain Vacation. I fully understand his emotions. I live in the foothills of the Adirondacks which makes all of the scenery in this video within a 90 minute drive from my home. It might take a bit longer to get to Lake George where the big boat pictures appear to have been taken, but everything else is close and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mondays Suck!

I'm in the midst of my annual bout of Labyrinthitis with accompanying Vertigo without my normal method of treatment for the problem. It's a trip trying to work like this. Any movement can cause that sense of spinning followed by a need to vomit. Normally I use Claritin, which eliminates the nausea until the inner ear subsides. With high blood pressure, I have to be careful what I take so Claritin wasn't an option, or so I thought.

Labyrinthitis can last for a week or two and the vertigo can continue past the point where the inner ear has righted itself. Not that mine ever rights itself exactly, years of damage from childhood ear infections has seen to that. I was born before tubes could be placed to alleviate the pressure and reduce the damage, so my inner ears are damaged. It doesn't take much by way of respiratory infection to put me in this fix. One of the reasons why I hate allergy season.

The Systemic Formula the doctor prescribed is actually helping the infection, but it hasn't done enough  for the Vertigo yet. Claritin, on the other hand takes longer to kill the earache, but controls the Vertigo. My Tuesday clients require me to participate in a lot of bending and stretching, both actions will have me on my knees worshipping the porcelain throne if I don't do something. I took a Claritin. I'll worry about my blood pressure later.

I don't see how it can hurt me, it doesn't have pseudoephedrine or ephedrine in it which are the substances in cold remedies that works on the heart and raises the blood pressure. The reason doctor doesn't want me taking it is that she doesn't feel comfortable with the quality of the ingredients used. Which she says is the problem with most over the counter medications. I agree with her judgement when I'm not hanging on to things in order to get from point A to point B in my house. Desperate times call for desperate measures. What she doesn't know won't hurt her and will have me navigating without hanging on to the floor by tomorrow morning.

I hope it works as quickly as it usually does since I'd like to clean up Demonkitteh's mess before bedtime. I arrived home from work feeling like crap only to see my living room looking like Yucca Flats after the blast with His Cuteness sitting in the middle of it. As I was surveying the wreckage, which includes crushed cheesy poufs from the living room waste paper basket, His Cuteness starts flying around the room as if possessed by demons. It wasn't until he'd climbed halfway up the drapes that I saw what the problem was. He was chasing a fly.

The drapes survived, the fly did not. The mess is swept up into a pile which will be disposed of when I can bend over, or when Hubby gets home, whichever comes first. I do have to remind Hubby that his snacks should be disposed of in the kitchen trash where we have a lid that locks down. Either that or next time I'll go shopping or something until he gets home to clean up the mess.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obesity Is A Choice, Not A Disease

Something that has become a common sight on streets in the city where I work is the motorized wheelchair. Driving those streets has become much more hazardous since the snow and ice disappeared in the Spring. People zipping along with their heads down watching for obstacles directly in front of them seem not to pay attention to street lights or traffic for that matter. They cross streets in the middle of the block instead of at the crosswalk. I've almost hit one more than once. If they zip out from between 2 parked vehicles as we pull away from a parking spot at the curb, they aren't visible until they clear the cars. Even backing out of shopping center parking spots is a problem since they cut right through the parking lot without any care in the world. Hello??? You aren't driving a Sherman Tank for heaven's sake.

Doctors are ordering these things for their patients in order to give them more independence. They are unable to own cars and have no way other than public transit to go grocery shopping. In an area that is two blocks away from a Tops Market, a JC Penney, a Dollar Tree and Staples, there are three Senior/Low income housing buildings. They account for over 30 of these motorized wheelchairs, and in all but 3 cases, the reasons they exist are health issues caused by obesity. 

Each one of these chairs is paid for by Medicare/Medicaid. Each one of these chairs costs $3000. Add to that the cost of the medications which are necessary to control their various problems, the aide that comes every week to help them shower and keep their apartments clean and we're talking a sizeable chunk of change being spent on people who are not yet old enough for retirement. They are all on SSI or SSD which is paid for by our tax dollars. 

Three times a week I work in one of these buildings where I have the pleasure of watching this money being spent so that these people can cost the system more money down the road. One of these "motorized wheelchair bound" women is less than 40 years old. According to mainstream medicine, it's not her fault that she weighs more than 300 pounds. It's a disease. One which is being contributed to by the mobility she has in her motorized wheelchair. 

She can't afford to buy fruits and vegetables because she buys things like frozen pizza, Hot Pockets, potato chips, cookies, doughnuts, cake and candy. All paid for by food stamps. She just got her chair last month. She couldn't figure out why she was out of food stamps all ready this month. I can. When she had to walk to the store, she didn't go as often so when she ran out of cake and candy, she did without. Going to the store isn't the problem. It's the uphill walk coming home that is. Now she has transportation and can go whenever she wants something. She can't clean her own apartment, but she can go to the store every day now. 

I don't understand, since 33% of our population is obese, why the system enables it to continue? The same system that pays for these motorized chairs will not pay for services of a nutritionist, nor gym memberships. The problem of obesity and the related health issues costs the system major amounts of money, yet none of that money is spent doing anything that will change the problem. Why not? 

I don't know, maybe I'm just jealous. For a little more than half the cost of a motorized chair, I've taken myself from a BMI of 35 to a 29. While I am still overweight, I'm no longer obese. I'm no more or less self indulgent than any other person I know. If I can do it so can anyone else. 

These people can't have these chairs unless a doctor orders it. Maybe we should change the system to make these people on SSI and SSD, be more accountable? I have a brother-in-law with 25% of a functioning heart that keeps himself alive by following doctor's orders. Including a daily walk. Don't tell me these people really need these chairs, I know better. Out of those 30 people in chairs, 27 of them would improve through proper nutrition and exercise. Tools that are readily available to all of them, but they are encouraged to continue with their choices by rewarding them with motorized chairs. Our tax dollars and the Scooter Store at work. Amazing!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

STOP The GOP, Declare @Shoq A Bully.

I have opinions, I have the ability to read and write and I have a blog.  I've never thought of myself as being someone of great intellect, an expert on anything or all that important. If I have anything to offer the online community, it might be that I am a practitioner of a lost art. Make that two since I, in addition to the habit of thinking, usually have some basic, commonsense left. Neither of those attributes protects me from being wrong in any way, but I do, however, recognize when an attempt is made to color the general perception of a person. I am smart enough and have sense enough to know when there is an outright attempt to destroy a person's reputation.

Surprisingly, the victim in this incidence is a man. He uses the Twitter nickname Shoq. I started following him months ago because I found that I agree with much of what he says when it comes to Liberal politics and those who supposedly establish themselves as leaders of the cause online. His opinions on how to move the Progressive cause forward are in direct conflict to those who blog at popular liberal/progressive sites. What's happening to him online in Twitter is a direct result of his opinions.

He moved to Florida so he could be close to his elderly, ailing Mom. Given what I do for a living, that's commendable, believe me, unfortunately it has become the "lives with his mother" insult. He can be very sharp witted when dealing with those who venture to argue with him. He expects that you provide proof of your conclusions as he does. When nothing but talking points are used, he is equally harsh whether he's dealing with a man or a woman. Which, of course has become, "he bullies women". Lo and behold, the accusation became one of currying favor with women only to engage in cybersex. On Skype. Which means one gets to watch during. Mind you, accusations are NEVER followed up with proof. However, HE is the bully.

I always thought being a bully included threats to do harm to someone. Physical harm or exposure of information that is detrimental to one's reputation. Even when there is no such information, ie., cybersexual behavior which supposedly occured during online chats.  The threat to expose non existent information is evidence of bullying. An attempt is being made to control the speech of another person against that person's wishes when someone uses that ploy. When it happened to me, I was upset. Even though I rationally knew no such chat copies existed, I also emotionally understood that there would be people who believed they did. Fortunately, for my sanity, that was not an episode that continued beyond the one attempt. I dealt with my own emotions and continued on with my blogging, but it changed how I viewed the people I communicated with. Even those I had spent much of my online time having conversations with. Unfortunately, for Shoq, this bullying has continued for close to 3 months. It has resulted in the, I hope, temporary absense of one of his friends online. She defended him and was attacked for her efforts.

While observing all of this my mind runs to the state of the nation's economy and who we are as a society.  I have to ask myself if the Left can't see that their own behavior contributes to the problem, how do we stick together long enough to actually stop the damage that the GOP/Tea Party plans on doing to the very programs needed to help our nation's poor? Shoq, because he disagrees with the direction the Left is taking, needs to be discredited when nothing the Left has done so far is all that effective? Seems to me that if I needed evidence of what's wrong in this country, the behavior of the so called "Progressive" bloggers and their following provides enough of that.

In my opinion, someone needs to remind these people that we have a country in crisis. Part of the Right Wing's solution for that crisis is to make deep cuts in programs that help the elderly, the poverty stricken and the disabled.  Shouldn't that be the focus of the dialogue? I have a suggestion here. How about stopping these attempts to control the dialogue by trying to discredit Shoq? Whoever you are, however many of you there are, the solutions to our country's problems require people with intelligence who can remain respectful of each other long enough to compromise and then find an audience for their ideas. All you're doing is dividing so you can conquer a thorn in your side. That isn't going to help your cause, unless you plan on joining the Republican Party AFTER you help them win?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Even Reality Checks Can Bounce

I have a niece who is bipolar and since she's regularly off her meds, (She forgets to take them) she's pretty well unemployable. She's the mother of three children who wasn't, until recently, married to the children's father. She doesn't get Social Security Disability because she's never managed to keep a job long enough to build her quarters. She does get SSI, food stamps, HEAP, Medicaid and assistance with her rent through the Section 8 program. Since she is Section 8, she pays only 1/3 of her income to living expenses. Which are rent and utilities. Telephone and cable are not included.

Even when she regularly takes her meds, she's strange to say the least. At times she makes good decisions, behaves in a responsible manner and when you least expect it, she goes off the deep end and simply doesn't appear to have any grasp on reality. I gave up on her when she married the father of her children.

He's 10 years older than she is and they've been together since she was 13. Yeah, he went to jail for that and is now a registered sex offender. He's a Mommy's Boy with less sense of responsibility than she has. He's never had to have any sense because Mommy always bailed out her poor misunderstood baby. He too has a history of being incapable of keeping a job. Never had to, Mommy gave him all the spending money he wanted and when none of it went towards supporting his children, she didn't say a word. As a matter of fact, she hired a high priced lawyer to prove they weren't his children when the state went after him for support on my nieces behalf.

From the time he got out of prison until he finally married her, they'd stay together long enough for her to get pregnant and then he'd take off with another girlfriend. I grant that it isn't easy living with someone who is bipolar, but he could have gotten out, paid his child support and had visitation rights. The problem is, once he started having to pay child support, there wasn't enough money in his pocket for his own fun. So, he'd go back to my niece since she was the one with the money. She knows this, the family knows this and her own Mother pressured her to marry the jerk.

Once married, the amount of money she got didn't grow larger as they thought. The government said that he needed to get a job. Her income wouldn't stretch to cover his entertainment and his Mommy closed the purse because Sonny Boy did what she didn't want him to do. She still claims they're not his children despite the DNA results. No they didn't go on Maury to prove this. The courts ordered the test and when he was outed, Mommy said they lied. Even Mr High Priced Lawyer got disgusted.

So Lazy Boy got a job and as soon as he was making money, the government stepped in and took some of hers away. They still qualify for section 8 because his income stretches to cover 5 of them, and they still get Medicaid, Heap assistance and food stamps. She did the right thing and reported his income, however, they started buying things on credit before she found out she was going to lose a sizeable portion of her income. She doesn't have a credit card, she doesn't need one. We have Aarons and Rent-A-Center where you can rent to own. Oh HELL YEAH! On the bus routes where people can be let off the bus right at the door.

My problem with all of this is, my niece is just one of many who think that they are entitled to have things. Not just the things they can afford, but all the things they want. That would be fine if they'd take the time to save the money and buy it then, but they don't. They do nothing more than create debt, and usually find themselves in a position where they can't pay that debt.

These rent to own places don't care. They just keep "selling" items to these people that they know they can't pay for. By the time they default, they most likely have paid for the piece if they'd bought it some other way. They just take it back and sell it to someone else as a new item. Much more than the item is actually worth goes into the coffers of these places. It's not the fault of these places, it's the lack of ability to manage money that so many people seem to have. My niece is one of thousands in my area alone. No matter how many times she's had it explained to her, she still goes and rents what she wants paying way more than the item is worth.

I'm not talking about lazy Welfare recipients, I'm speaking about people with disabilities who are on either SSD or SSI because they're unemployable. I've seen them buy expensive convenience items from the freezers at stores instead of buying the groceries which would allow them to make that meal and have leftovers. They run out of money and food stamps and then they think they can just go to the food pantry to get enough to tide them over until they get their next benefit. They don't need condemnation, they need help.

I volunteered this morning at a local food pantry with a girlfriend. I'm appalled at the sense of entitlement that some of these people, like my niece, have. This morning, 15 minutes before opening time someone was pounding on the door. Not knocking, pounding hard enough to shake it. Pastor ignored the pounding until it was time, and when he opened the door I thought this guy was going to punch him. In the 15 minutes he had to wait for his free food, he'd worked himself into such a rage that only the threat to call the police and have him removed, without what he came for, shut him up. He was still fuming, but he kept his mouth shut until he got out the door with his box of food.

Nobody expects these people to grovel and beg for what they need. A simple thank you would more than suffice. However, more than half of the people serviced this morning wouldn't have needed to be there if they'd learn to be responsible when managing their money. They've let their greed overshadow their capabilities to their own detriment. There's a major difference between needs and wants, and far too many Americans are losing sight of that. Did you ever want to tell someone that their kids don't need an Xbox or whatever game system is popular? They need responsibile, reliable parenting. The kind that teaches them that it doesn't take thousands of dollars to be happy. The kind that doesn't spoil them into believing all they have to do is ask.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's All About ME Or Gone To The Dogs

Out here in real life we're all struggling to survive so we just don't have the time to argue. The general consensus of opinion, among those I speak to face to face on a daily basis is, that all politicians are dissappointing. My Liberal friends, who are not far left, are voting for re-election of our President because to do otherwise would be to vote into office something they truly don't wish to deal with. They don't think we need any more McConnells or Boehners. Definitely are positive we don't need more Cantors, Bachmanns or Ryans either.

What surprises me is the handful of my Republican friends who say they will vote for re-election of President Obama. Maybe it shouldn't, given who I know these people are and who the field of candidates contains. These are the people who don't waste their time reading online blogs. If they spend any amount of time online, they do so at Facebook where they share pictures with their family and catch up with the latest pickle that Cousin Harry has managed to find himself in.

Without any guidance at all they know that their own party has jumped the track and is headed for a destination they don't choose. They've never heard of Jane Hamsher or Joan Walsh. They don't know who Matt Taibbi is. They don't know who Grover Norquist or Dick Armey is in any real way. They have no desire to educate themselves by reading a bunch of "Crooks and Liars". They know much more about things that happen in Washington than any of these self aggrandizing political bloggers do. They know that folks who work in the places of power have gone too far.

My friends are the people in the middle. Middle management in large corporations who can't stretch their salaries to cover everything they need. Small businessmen in service businesses and construction whose equipment is sitting idle because people simply don't have the money needed to provide them with work. They don't blame the President, they blame society. They don't believe the problems we face here in America is a result of our president caving into the demands of Congress. As far as they're concerned, what happens there is a direct result of who we are as a society.

One of my friends asked me today if I remember the road rage incident in which a guy ran down a woman he believed cut him off and when he spoke to her got so mad that he grabbed her dog and threw it into traffic? Right now, that guy is Congress. The dog is our country, and Democrats and Republicans are so mad that they're behaving in an irrational way which will result in the death of the dog if they aren't stopped. He said they fully understand what they've done, but they're unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions, just like the guy who killed that woman's dog.

Society with it's Me attitude has created voters who are interested in whatever issue directly affects or coincides with their belief or need. They don't give a damn about anything except what they want and aren't willing to begin to consider whether or not it's the best for their neighbors. It's not even a matter of too much time spent listening to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, it's a failure to see how their own behavior created this problem. Our government is broken because our society is broken.

If our need for instant gratification isn't met we turn our backs and walk away. Nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce simply because no one is willing to do the hard work of making a sacrifice in order to compromise. The only reason anyone should ever get divorced is if one partner is an unrepentant alcoholic, drug user or abusive. There is no such thing as irreconcilable differences between two people who are willing to listen and work towards making things better.

The cost of healthcare is high because we feel we should have to have all these expensive diagnostic tests. And then we want a pill to fix everything that those tests discover is wrong with us. We don't want to take the responsibility for making the changes that would return us to a state of health. We won't sacrifice what we love to eat in order to lose weight. We won't stop eating fatty high calorie fast foods because it takes too long to fix something healthy to eat. We want it quick and convenient, and we even have the audacity to get angry when we have to wait a bit for something. None of this, of course, is ever our fault. It's always someone elses. Maybe the fault of all that TV advertizing?

We are selfish, inconsiderate and rude. We don't try compromise or reason to solve a problem. We erupt into tyrranical bullies to get our own way. And we elect people like us to government and wonder how things get so screwed up. We've gone so far into this kind of behavior that I'm afraid we'll never be able to set things right. Sadly, if we don't restore some semblance of civility, reason and cooperation to our democracy, absolutely nothing will change for the better. Things will continue on the path they are on now and eventually get worse.

Unfortunately opinions aren't solutions. Opinions aren't necessarily truth, they aren't fact. They're just one persons understanding of a situation. Sometimes that understanding is flawed. In this case, I hope mine is because as long as we aren't willing to look beyond our own opinions, we are the problem. My other hope is that we can change. We can do that together if we'd only stop blaming someone else for our problems.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bitch Slapping The Whiners!

The following is a summary of the bill that so many are griping about. The summary is from a Progressive website called the People's View. Despite what Sen. Bernie Sanders is spouting IT DOES NOT TOUCH SS, MEDICARE OR MEDICAID. Quite the opposite, in fact. Also, the "sequester" is NOT the Super Congress we've heard about since ALL RECOMMENDATIONS ARE TO BE VOTED ON BY CONGRESS.

"1) The uncertainty over U.S. economy is no longer threatened by default.

2) 10-year discretionary spending caps (defense and non-defense) generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction

3) $350 Billion from the Base Defense Budget – the First Defense Cut Since the 1990s.

4) Protection in the discretionary budget to the Pell Grants investment that will award a maximum of $5,550, helping over 9 million students pay for college tuition.

5) Increase the debt limit by $2.1 trillion

6) No debt ceiling increase drama after the 2012 election.

7) Creates a bipartisan committee to identifying an additional $1.5 trillion (which is part of the $2.4 trillion package) in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform, where by Congress is to vote by December 23, 2011.

8) If the bipartisan committee fails, enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reduction in the amount of $1.2 Trillion in Deficit Reduction beginning in 2013 that will include a 50/50 cut between domestic and defense spending.

9) Enforcement mechanism protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts or these programs are off limit to any sequester.

About the sequester: If the the bipartisan committee fails:
Sequester Would Provide a Strong Incentive for Both Sides to Come to the Table: If the fiscal committee took no action, the deal would automatically add nearly $500 billion in defense cuts on top of cuts already made, and, at the same time, it would cut critical programs like infrastructure or education. That outcome would be unacceptable to many Republicans and Democrats alike – creating pressure for a bipartisan agreement without requiring the threat of a default with unthinkable consequences for our economy."

WTF is wrong with this bill? Oh yeah, NO INCREASE IN TAXES ON THE RICH! Kindly remember that the cuts will expire on the last day of 2012. IF we get off our asses, and quit listening to Ed Schultz (stay home in 2010 to teach him a lesson!) Firedoglake and Jane Hamscher, who is friends with Grover Norquist by the way, who told her people to stay home as well. IF we actually do something to put the Alan Grayson type Democrat back in Congress we will NEVER have to deal with tax cuts to the rich again.

Hello??? The Professional Progressive Bloggers put their websites ahead of what was good for the nation and then the Tea Party got elected. They whine, they screech, they point fingers and blame this all on the President, when they were the ones who saw to it the Democratic Party lost in 2010.

Full article can be read HERE!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Stroke This Prevents Might Be My Own.

This bullsh!t going on has my blood pressure on the rise. I am so needing something to lower it. At the rate it's going, I may have to post this kind of stuff all week.  LOL

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pictures....Because Words Fail Me

President Obama's approval rating is now down to 40% according to the daily Gallup Poll. On the plus side, the approval rating of Congress has dropped by 2% to 6%. Maybe, just maybe some of us aren't as stupid as I thought.

Nah....We're STUPID!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In America The STUPID, We Can't Tell Astroturf From Grass

So, the governor of the state of Wisconsin and his Republitard cronies have shown their true colors and still the silent majority is silent. They passed a bill which requires that all voters have a drivers license and then they promptly close DMV offices in poor, rural areas in which the residents predominantly vote Democrat. Even though this particular law doesn't go into effect until January, polling places for their recall elections are asking for driver's licenses before they're allowing people to vote.

Further proof that America ain't beautiful, it's stupid, would be what's happening in Congress over the request to raise the debt ceiling. Throughout history, Congress has raised the debt ceiling with a clean bill 72 times. I've got a hot flash for you Ronnie Raygun Republitards who keep saying Reagan wouldn't do this. Hell YEAH he did. A total of 13 times. WTF planet are you people on that you don't believe a default will affect you? With 53% of the wealth of America owned by the top 10% of the population, just who the fuck do you think is going to pay the bills? Yeah! I said that word. Live with it.

In the news yesterday was the information that businesses hiring new employees won't hire the long term unemployed. They want people who have a job now or are recently unemployed. Why? Well, it's because they've bought into the Tea Party idea that the unemployed are lazy. See? America the STUPID believes that if you didn't find a job at a time when NO jobs were available, it was because you were lazy, and America The Stupid is bound and determined to punish your sloth by starving you and your babies into submission.

When it comes to the economy and finances, I'm not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but I know there is a difference between financial growth and economic growth. Congress, for quite some time, has been focusing on financial growth. That financial growth is what's wiping out the middle class because it's not true economic growth. The foundation for true economic growth is jobs. Jobs which went overseas so that big corporations could make billions of dollars in profit while using loopholes in the tax structure to keep most of it. It's why the ratio between the salaries of CEO's and those of the blue collar workers is so wide. Financial growth is why some people are becoming richer while our infrastructure is crumbling.

Financial growth is evident by the Wall Street bubbles, that crash and burn periodically. Economic growth would give steady long term results with minor adjustments to the market. Financial growth is big and fast and ends up costing people their retirement funds, where economic growth is small and slow, but something that one gets to keep. Financial growth profits only the few while economic growth will care for the many.

It happens because more people are working and adding to the coffers. Not through higher taxes, but through reasonable taxes. Taxes became a burden on the middle class when unemployment increased. For instance if a program needs a million dollars it can be raised by collecting $1 from a million people or $100 from 10,000 people.  Financial growth creates the need to get that $100 from 10,000 people. Economic growth would give the program $1 from a million people. Since that would decrease the burden, painlessly I might add, then the welfare of the people and education programs wouldn't be such an issue.

Job growth would take away from Wall Street the need to grab onto these bubbles which crash and burn us costing millions of Americans half of their 401K's while creating millionaires out of the manufacturers of the bubbles.  Had Congress, in it's wisdom (stupidity), actually passed the infrastructure stimulus it would have created jobs. Which would have given us some form of economic growth. Which if it had occured in a slow and measured pace would have resulted in...wait for it...MORE JOBS!

Unfortunately, we elected Dumbocrats and Republitards who believe that our problems are caused by big spending big governments. And they're bound and determined to do away with all that AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT.

We need a stable ECONOMY, we got a stable (for the moment) WALL STREET. We needed JOBS, we got HCR.  We needed JOBS we voted for a Republitard Congress who has wasted half of it's first term doing nothing more than trying to force their will on the bodies and wombs of it's female citizens. We needed JOBS and we got Tea Party State governments trying to stop the citizens of their state from voting unless they want to vote TEA PARTY REPUBLITARDS. We needed JOBS and what we're going to end up with is the Imperialist Corporate Empire of America.

One of two things is going to happen. Either we're going to get really lucky and that silent group of people will actually get it and FINALLY step up to the microphone and be heard, or Lindsey Lohan will do something stupid and divert their attention from the problem we're experiencing. I'm inclined to trust in the latter rather than the former since I'm quite sure that's where the Tea Party, a solely owned subsidiary of Koch, wants the attention.

Just in case someone is actually paying attention to me, there is a discussion going on in Congress about looking for ways to make employers actually hire the long term unemployed. If you do call your representatives you might want to tell them to get their heads out of their asses, pass a clean bill on the debt ceiling as they've done for 72 times in history and get to work on something that might actually work. LIKE JOBS!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And Tomorrow Is Another Day

With today's official temp locally peaking at 101 degrees (heat index for that is 110 if you're interested), working was not the most fun I've had in awhile. Even at 9 this morning, my first clients home was hot. She is one of those with anemia who is always cold so she doesn't feel it. I, on the other hand, was melting. I stayed hydrated and didn't do any more than the minimum of work necessary. As long as she was clean and comfortable, I was content. The last 20 minutes of my shift there, clients family came over from their side of the house to see to it that I was not making myself sick.

I can't say enough good about these people. In a world full of the selfish and self involved, this family renews my faith in the human race. This man and his wife aren't nearly healthy enough to be taking on the burden of caregiving for another person, yet they are there for their Aunt no matter what she needs. I have clients whose daughters and sons won't pay attention and yet these people are caring for an Aunt. They are keeping this little lady out of a nursing home since she is not capable of doing much at all for herself. What they are doing isn't easy, and it's made doubly hard by their own serious health issues.

This morning the house was so hot that it was necessary to put my client back to bed after shower and breakfast since that's the only air conditioned room on her side of the house. She won't drink enough water so she needs to be in a cooler environment than the living room was. She'd prefer the living room which was all ready in the upper 80's by 10:30 this morning. With her health issues, she couldn't be allowed that choice.

I had just finished cleaning the bathroom and was in the process of grabbing trash bags for the bathroom waste basket when my client's niece came over and grabbed them out of my hands and ordered me to sit down and rest. I didn't argue and was going to sit at the kitchen table, but that wasn't good enough. I was coerced into entering their side of the house where there is air conditioning. Oh, and my favorite Minpins, Pudgy and Diva.

I was sitting in the recliner when Pudgy tried to get up into my lap. He slipped and scratched my leg on the side of the calf. I have a high tolerance for pain. Too high sometimes as it prevents me from attending to any injuries in a timely manner. After Pudgy (also known as Fat Boy) slipped, his second attempt landed him where he wanted to be so I sat there petting him and not paying attention to the scratch.

I didn't notice it really until I got up to go and look at the flower on the Hibiscus plant that is out on their deck.  I've seen pictures, but never the real thing. We aren't exactly tropical in climate here, except this week. When I got up I saw the blood and somehow it smeared onto my other leg. In order to clean it up I drew it to the attention of my clients family thinking that I'd just use the bathroom to wash the blood off.

After an application of peroxide to clean the wound, the nephew sprayed that new spray bandage on me, and I was fine. Pudgy, however, had made himself scarce. He was hiding under the lap blanket draped on the arm of the chair. Pressed up against the side of the chair, peeking out from under the corner of the blanket with a very woebegon expression on his face. It was a moment that made me feel guilty for having a scratch on my leg that needed attention.  As soon as I spoke to him he brightened up and his little tail nub started wiggling his back end. The crisis was over, Pudgy's world had returned to normal.

I was sitting there thinking about stress and wishing that my world would return to normal just that easily. I was stressing myself out over the heat. This isn't something that I'm used to dealing with and I was griping, in my head, about how uncomfortable I was. I was having this negative conversation with myself, creating emotional stress over something that is physically stressful to start out with. I'm sitting there with a very happy dog and suddenly it occurs to me that this heat is temporary. Temporary discomfort isn't something to get all stressed out over. In a few days, it will be over with and my world will return to what passes for normal. I can wait.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mostly Acoustic Sunday

My favorite radio station is TK99, The number 1 station for classic rock. It's also the number 1 station for Syracuse Orange sports teams, but I can overlook that as long as it doesn't interfere with Mimi Griswold and The Blue Moon Cafe. She's on Sunday mornings from 9 to noon and she plays mostly acoustic versions of songs from some of my favorite artists.

On Sunday I get to listen to Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, John Hiatt, Steely Dan, Keb Mo, Joni Mitchell and Warren Haynes from Govt. Mule who seems to have quite a love of acoustic guitar. I never was a big Govt. Mule fan (sorry Diesel) but I love listening to Warren do the acoustic versions of some of their songs.

I was sitting here having a brief chuckle while listening to various versions of "Idiot Wind" by Bob Dylan. My Mom couldn't stand his voice and she always used to gripe at me because I used to turn up the radio when he was on. Which I just did while searching for the version Mimi played just awhile ago.

Her version was acoustic, the following version isn't. There is an acoustic version at Youtube, but one of the reasons we so loved Dylan was because he would interpret his songs differently each time he sang them. He didn't have a good singing voice, what he had was the ability to add emotion to the words and it was that emotion that we grooved to. The acoustic version online is sung in a wistful style. The original version had a subtle bitter inflection which this version has.

Lets just add a little Keb Mo right here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Married To A Go To Guy

Somewhere around 2 am Thursday I got up to go get a glass of water so I could take another Excedrin Back and Body caplet. My mind registered a sleeping Hubby in the bed next to me so I didn't really expect to find anyone sleeping on our couch. Imagine my surprise to find a MAN snoring in my living room.

I grabbed a glass of water, and as I passed the desk I grabbed the Excedrin and beat feet to the bedroom. In the dark, I saw enough of the person to suspect I knew who it was, but as far as I knew, that person moved out of the immediate area. Apparently, his new home isn't far enough away to keep him off my couch.

After a week of pain, and no sleep on Tuesday night, I went to bed early on Wednesday. All day of ice, a liberal application of Capzacin and 2 of the Excedrin I purchased had the pain under control and I literally fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was vaguely aware of Hubby joining me, but oblivious to all else that happened in our home.

As per his usual habit, Hubby had fallen asleep while watching TV. He woke up to the belief that someone was out on our deck. Apparently a light knocking had disturbed him. He goes to open the door only to find Ron and his ex-girlfriend standing there. Apparently, Ron had hopped on his motorcycle to come down this way for a visit to friends. Said visit included the imbibing of more beer than was good for him.

The beer fueled a desire to see his ex-girlfriend to see if he could get back into her good graces. WRONG! Although she felt he was too drunk to make the 50 mile trip back home on his cycle, she wouldn't let him sleep on her couch. During the time they were together, whenever they had a problem that required the services of Hubby, they never hesitated to call us. How that translated in her mind to "take Ron to Tim's House" is beyond me. However, that is exactly what she did. Mind you, Ron's brother lives less than half a mile from here, but Ron spent the night here. I can't say enough about Ron and all of it would be negative.

He's one of life's losers. I've met a few losers that have a redeeming quality or two. Some are quite charming, funny or appealing in some manner. Ron, on the other hand is a loud, abrasive, arrogant, selfish, lazy good for nothing fool. He and his cousin Kenny go through life taking everything they can from other people and giving nothing but grief in return. Both of them seem to be of the opinion that they don't need to work, they can either "borrow" money or something they can sell from the people they know and go have a party.

At varying times in our life, one or both of them have attached themselves to Hubby until he finds a way to avoid them. Most of the time Hubby hasn't the time of day to give to either of them, however, when Ron's girlfriend turned to him for help, he took care of the problem she presented him with. Surprisingly enough, for the first time since I've known him, he did so grudgingly. Poor man didn't sleep very well. He had visions of Ron waking up and bothering Butterscotch or opening the door and letting or forcing Butterscotch out. He doesn't like cats. Fortunately, Butterscotch did not like Ron and stayed with us in the bedroom.

I got up shortly after 6 am on Thursday. Just in time to watch Hubby's truck pull out with the freeloader sitting in the passenger seat of the pick up. He dropped Ron off at his motorcycle and hopefully that will be the last time we see him. Despite the fact that I don't like Ron, Hubby did the right thing taking him in.

The ultimate responsibility for his condition was his. Ron may not have cared what kind of damage he could do in that condition to someone else or to himself, but Hubby did. He ignored his own discomfort to prevent the possibility of someone else suffering from Ron's stupidity. I think that trait is why most of the people we know turn to Hubby for help. I just wish that some of these people who think nothing of calling on Hubby for help would return the favor when he needs it. That isn't how life works I guess, but I wouldn't have Hubby any way but the way he is. Even if it does mean I have useless freeloaders sleeping on our couch.