Daily Reads

Friday, April 07, 2017

For the good folks in Clinton Iowa....

On the off chance that the Clinton PD is taking the advice found all over the internet to "Google Bill Schmalfeldt", here's what I wrote about him some three years back:
Note that I let a comment of his through, and he seems to think that Hoge is the one who presses criminal charges against him, rather than the state.

I can't find a blog post covering when he so kindly sued me the first time, But he sued me again in late 2015 and almost immediately dropped me with prejudice before even serving me.

The man is a fool, and a nasty petty minded one at that. He has miraculously recovered after 11 years or more of suffering from an always progressive neurological disease which has no cure. He only enjoys life when he is making others miserable. The world will be a better place when he leaves it. (By the way, that last statement is a death threat according to Bill Schmalfeldt.) The best info you will find on Bill Schmalfeldt is at Hogewash, PopeHat or TheOtherMcCain.

Really, Just Google Bill Schmalfeldt.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

My trip from the left

My trip to the dark side began because of Johnny Carson.

I grew up the child of academics, both of whose families had always voted for the guy with the (D) after his name. I listened to my father cheer every time the DJA dropped, and watched the nightly news with Walter Cronkite telling us the evils of the Vietnam War, as well as hearing about the evils of Nixon from my parents and how we had to love Mother Earth. But as a teenager on Fridays and during the summer I'd watch the Tonight Show and was exposed to people who actually thought, people like Bill Buckley and Charlton Heston. Even as a barely teenager, I realized that although I disagreed with these men, they were people I could have had a conversation about ideas with, and at the end could have agreed to disagree and remain friendly.

We moved to Ireland in '76 where I got to see first hand the difference between the IRA (lefties) and the Unionists (non-lefties). I got to listen to our idiot student union at Trinity. I discovered what raised hackles felt like the one time I had to listen to Bernadette Devlin ranting on the Dining Hall steps. Most of us will have a visceral reaction to meeting evil face to face - listen to your gut (or in this instance the hairs on the back of your neck). I voted in my first presidential election, and while I couldn't bring myself to vote for Reagan, I couldn't bring myself to vote for Carter either.

At university I studied history, mostly medieval (so I have an ... interesting ... view on Islam). I moved back to the States, continued with another degree (music), and read more history. During a beginning-of-semester social at SUNY Albany for the library science students we discussed Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and our reaction to it (this was September of '90) and I pointed out that we did have treaties with Kuwait, and anyway, like Hitler and Czechoslovakia, if we let Saddamm keep Kuwait without any reaction, he'd just keep rolling through the Middle East. I just stood there with my jaw dropped through the floor when a fellow student (God help us, in the school librarian program) informed everyone that we should never have been involved in WWII either.

I actually threw a pillow at the TV when I heard on the news that we weren't going on to Bagdad; I <i>knew</i> that we'd be back later to fix the mess at a cost of a lot more money and lives than if we'd just done it right the first time.

And by then I'd fully switched, from the side that wanted me to be a doormat and think in lockstep to the side that let me make up my own mind, trusted me to be an adult, and could handle disagreements.

Now if I could just convince my JFK democrat parents that JFK would be too conservative for most of the GOP today. Sadly, even though Daddy stopped cheering drops in the DJA (about the time he realized that's what his retirement was based on) otherwise I think they've both turned into Bernie Sanders socialists.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Place minder

So, I'm madly applying for jobs right now, even with my shiny new degree I have to deal with being underexperienced, though at least there are more entry level accounting/bookkeeping jobs than there are library jobs at any level. And they pay enough that going geobachelor would be doable in many cases, so my job search isn't limited to just one of the worst economies in the country.

And I seem to be over the worst of my GI bug. Fevers, chills, and any more would be TMI. Let's just say it wasn't fun and it was pretty exhausting. I just slep 12 hours last night, and if I didn't have a PT appointment in an hour, I'd be going right back having eaten breakfast.

Having told ortho yesterday that the knee wasn't any better after the gel shot six weeks ago, it finally decided this morning to let me go down stairs (by which I mean backwards and with hands on the further up stairs, rather like a 45 degree ladder) using alternate legs. But since that still isn't good the only next step is surgical and I don't have the time nor the money for my share of the co-pays so I'll just muddle on as I have for the last seven years. At least it lets me check off that I have a significant mobility issue on federal applications, so maybe that will give me a little bit of a boost in the consideration process?

So, I need to get dressed, take my pain meds, and head off to PT so I can fill out all the forms for this session since it's for my neck, not my shoulder. This new place is fantastic and did more for my right shoulder in 3 months than the more traditional outfit did for the other shoulder in 9. Let's hope Melissa can work her magic on my poor degenerating neck.  Waking up because the thumb half of my hand is numb is both annoying and weird.

Maybe I can come up with some brilliant political and/or societal commentary later when I've woken up. Don't count on it. :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

A few thoughts on the election

We've been having discussions over on my younger sister's facebook page, with people actually giving opinions and facts with no ad hominems. It's amazing how much you find you have in common with someone when neither of you calls the other one delusional, insane, deplorable.

I think all of us share similar fears, and most of us similar end goals, it's just that (obviously) we have different ideas on how to get there.

No one I know on the non-HRC side of the fence wants anything even just unpleasant, never mind awful, to happen to people who aren't "just like us". We're all Americans, and I think one of the problems was that many people, particularly those outside the coastal and Chicago urban areas, have felt that Washington, meaning *both* parties, has been ignoring and marginalizing them for years.

I know I was frustrated by a Democrat party who have been in control of the federal executive for eight years, and the executive and legislature of my state for at least six, and the county I live in has never actually gotten out of the '08 recession. They just announced that the entire state was back in recession a few months ago. When they tell me how great things are and almost everyone I know is un- or under- employed, it's really, really hard to take them seriously. They have given me exactly no reason to vote for them. More of the same when the same isn't working isn't exactly a winning platform.

I wasn't particularly excited by most of the Republican primary field either though there were quite a few I favored over Trump.

Maybe, just maybe, after all the initial angst has worn off, we can all start talking with each other, taking each other seriously, even if the other is one of those deplorable rural folks or thugish or elitist city folks, and realize that we *all* have fears and dreams, and if we listen to each other, respect each other as fellow human beings and Americans, and work with each other, we might actually be able to assuage the fears and realize the dreams.

If nothing else, Trump has shaken the entire system up, and maybe instead of letting it fall back into its familiar ruts, we can work together to achieve the Change that we were promised 8 years ago which never came to pass.

For those quietly (or not so quietly) losing it over his win? Chill. You've probably only seen a very negative media version of him. No, I don't know that he's different, but given how the media likes to construct narratives and won't let facts get in the way, he probably is. People I know who have met him say he's not stupid. He knows how to choose knowledgable people to get the work done. If he's a true misogynist, he shows it oddly what with having a female campaign manager and many women, including minority women, working in managerial positions in his companies.

You demanded that those who didn't vote for Obama give him a chance. Can we ask for the same from those who didn't vote for Trump? And remember, while he has the same (R) as Congress does, he's not really from the same party, and he'll probably have to fight them nearly as hard as HRC would have, and unlike HRC, the media will be disecting and reporting every single misstep he makes for the next four years.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More frogs

Not at plague levels, but we've been in this house six years and this is the first year we've had frogs.

This one was on the house by the kitchen door when I got back with my daughter after picking her up from her college art class.

Don't get me wrong, I like frogs. But they have their place in the scheme of things and I'm not sure this is it. 

Oh well, as long as they stay outside.....

Monday, October 10, 2016


I've posted about spraining my foot back in July. It's was 12 weeks ago yesterday. Today I had another follow up appointment with the podiatrist because it's still hurting, and any footwear with even the slightest raised heel makes it worse. It's not too painful padding around the house barefoot, but days when I've had to hike around a few stores?

They took some Xrays and apparently two of my long bones (metatarsals?) look odd so they've ordered an MRI so we can see if it's natural, the result of an old injury, or if I'm still dealing with a bad bone bruise. Looking the stuff up on the internet isn't encouraging. Supposedly most bone bruises heal within two to three months, but some can take up to a year. Since I'm almost always an outlier (absolute text book which no one ever is or way past left field) I'm psyching myself up to be told that I'm one of the year-long healers.

As I said, crud, and maybe worse crud.

Friday, October 07, 2016

PSA -- Get Your Flu Shot!!

For the two people who check this blog occasionally: Get Your Flu Shot!!

I was on Base this afternoon to pick up some scripts and saw the sign for the annual flu clinic. It was a really slow day, so I and my daughter were in and out in only about 10 minutes.

The one year I couldn't get a flu shot was back in '00-'01. The base never got enough for even all the active duty and by the time I started working at the hospital in January, they were out too.

It started as a mild bronchitis which probably set me up to get flu. I remember watching the stupid OTC med ads where some idiot is standing under an umbrella in the rain and whining "I have the flu and I feel miserable". All I could do was quietly wheeze at the TV "You don't have the flu! You're standing up!" I have never hurt so much in so many places (all over actually) for so long. I'd rather go through labor and delivery without meds again that that.

What is worse than the flu is the pneumonia that is a known complication, and which, of course, I caught. And of course just as I was getting better from that I developed pleurisy. In the middle of a blizzard.

All told I was out of commission for well over a month. I can now see how the Spanish Flu was able to kill so many people, even otherwise young and healthy persons.

Tl;dr  Get Your Flu Shot!