Daily Reads

Friday, September 28, 2012

Telling it the way it is

This man is a treasure.  

This first video is addressed specifically to black Christians.

And this is for all Christians and Jews.

This is a man who isn't willing to let his parishioners get away with simply voting for a candidate's skin color, or because they have always voted a certain way.  He wants people to actually look at what the parties and the candidates stand for, and then vote the way their conscience dictates based on their religious beliefs. Because sometimes the party you have always supported changes, and no longer represents you.  Sometimes people with different skin color from yours can have the exact same values.

I am proud to call this man and all others like him my fellow Americans.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Techology. It's wonderful. Except when it isn't.

A few months back I inherited my sister's old MacBook.  It's a MacBook 4,1, which she bought at least four years ago, maybe 5.  When she upgraded a year ago she gave it to my daughter, who then upgraded to brand new Windows laptop this summer.  As mom, I get the hand-me-downs, and since my other box is a netbook, this was nice.

And then yesterday Chrome updated to v22, and no longer supports OS X 10.5.  Which is what I'm running.  We also discovered yesterday that my daughter's new iPod, which my mother had won online and given to her since she didn't need it, won't talk to Leopard either.

So it's off the Apple support sites and stuff to see what to do.  Thankfully, I am by no means the only person running Leopard right now, so there were lots of questions, and even more important, lots of answers.

I have a copy of Snow Leopard on order for a whopping $19.99 + tax.  The problem a lot of folks had been having is that you can't get it in the online store, but thankfully one commenter said it was available by phone.

So here's hoping that within the week my box will be running better, and my daughter can get stuff onto her iPod.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shouldn't the folks who have to use office equipment be asked what they actually need first?

The copier I had in my department for years and years was still working well, but the organization decided that we needed to own all our own copiers, and have 3-in-1s.  

Sounds great.

Problem is, I'm a library.  I have to copy odd sized journals and big heavy books.  A Dell scanner with an 8.5x11 piece of glass just isn't going to work.  Especially when the glass is at about shoulder level, because that's where the copier stand puts it.  In trying it out, so that I had some facts to back up my complaint to management I injured my wrist/thumb, ending up on light duty for nearly two months with lots of PT/OT and then a cortisone shot. (And trust, me getting shot in the joint between the wrist and the first bone leading to the thumb is not fun.)

In the meantime, it was found that actually quite a few departments who had been given these new fancy machines needed bigger scanning beds, so the rentals which hadn't been sent back were kept and shuffled to those who needed them.  

I went from a nice little IR 3530, which was the perfect hight to an IR C4080i; the glass is three or four inches higher, meaning that the only way I can scan bound items is to stand on my tip-toes.  It takes absolutely forever to warm up, because it does color, which is nice, but not at all necessary, and it takes up a lot more floor space.  I am also beginning to suspect that the weird way I have to stand to make copies is a major contributer to the return of the plantar fasciitis pain.  It's bad enough that people ask what's wrong as I limp through the halls.

Translation: I hate it.

I don't use it a lot, but I had to copy some stuff yesterday and it worked just fine.  Today, after scanning a 10 page article and hitting print, after printing two pages, it happily informed me that I needed to replace the toner cartridge.  Which of course I don't have, since I didn't get a spare with it.  And unlike most copiers, this gives you no wiggle room.  When it says you need to replace the toner, there is NO. MORE. TONER.  At all.  So I've just spent several minutes standing uncomfortably on my toes, and lost all of it.  To e-mail this I'm going to have to scan it a page at a time into my office scanner attached to the computer which takes a lot longer.  And I'm going to have to wait a week or so to get the new toner in.  Grrrr.  I ordered one of each color cartridge and two black, since one is going directly into the machine the instant I get it.  And of course I can't find out who else in the hospital has one of these models, if anyone, because no one can use the "everyone" e-mail list anymore.

Of course, if they had just talked to me before getting the Dell, they would have found out that I needed the larger glass, and we would have done it right the first time, instead of simply replacing the printer with a much more expensive one since we don't use it for copying.  Grrrrr.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Partisan stupidity.

I just saw this ad on CBS out of Hartford this evening. The whole damn thing is a lie, because it's based on the premise that Romney/Ryan are planning to do away with Medicare for current seniors, all to scare CT seniors to vote for Ø and the (D)s.

In announcing the release of the ad, the DCCC said, "The ad highlights that Roraback is running on the ticket with the Republican plan to end Medicare and force Connecticut seniors to pay $6,400 more every year to fund tax breaks for millionaires."

And then I find that the (R) candidate for CT-5, whom the ad targets by name, puts out a press release which starts out just fine, threatening to sue CT TV stations which air the ad, due to the provable falsehoods in it

“Without a doubt, the Advertisement contains false information deliberately intended to mislead Connecticut voters and defame Roraback’s reputation. Because the Advertisement conveys messages that are plainly disproven by fact, we respectfully demand that your station immediately stop airing the Advertisement and that no further airings of this misleading content be allowed on your station.”

and then:

The letter says that the ad, which says “Meet Washington’s tea party Republicans,” defames Roraback’s character and falsely claims that Roraback supports budget proposals from Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

I mean really, for the folks who vote (R), a primary reason is because we want people who will support plans to try save the country's financial situation. And here is a candidate claiming that he is being defamed by being connected with the plans of those at the top of his ticket. 

Kim Du Toit used to refer to the Democrats as the Evil Party and the Republicans as the Stupid Party. The (R)s are working hard to prove him right.

The Food Police

Today we get to read about the food police.  The USDA, at the behest of Congress acting on marching orders from Mrs. Ø, have changed the rules for school lunches.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that school lunches need help.  Lots of help.  The meat tends to be what a friend in college referred to as "Grade Z but edible".  The chicken patties are made from unidentifiable bits of the chicken (which apparently is often just a version of pink goo, including bits of bone!) with too much bread.  The vegetables aren't the best quality to begin with and they tend to be over cooked.  The pizzas are either cheese (with not enough cheese and too much grease) or pepperoni (same issues) and very "eh" crusts.  The grinders are on hoagy shaped rolls of WonderBread, again using processed lunch meats from smooshed up bits of beast, such that you really can't tell the pork from the turkey by eye-balling it, and not always by taste.

But now there are new rules.  And those rules seem to dictate foods that most kids don't want to eat (the stuff they will at home if they can get desert afterwards, but only then), and the folks tasked with creating the new menus seem to have even less of a clue.

From Townhall:
Nancy Carvalho, director of food services for New Bedford Public Schools, was quoted as saying that hummus and black bean salads have been tough sells in elementary cafeterias. That means even smaller children are going through the day fighting hunger pains, which can never be considered a good thing.
Who in their right mind feeds gradeschoolers humus and black bean salads?  My children liked that sort of thing occasionally, but I doubt they'd want it at lunch, and not the way the school makes it, nor in the tiny portions the school gives out.

The article continues:
One government official tried to put the blame on the students."One thing I think we need to keep in mind as kids say they're still hungry is that many children aren't used to eating fruits and vegetables at home, much less at school. So it's a change in what they are eating. If they are still hungry, it's that they are not eating all the food that's being offered," USDA Deputy Undersecretary Janey Thornton was quoted as saying.
Ms. Thornton just put her finger on the problem. The government is trying to impose a new diet that children are not accustomed to. It’s not reasonable to expect them to either eat what the government deems healthy or go hungry.
Many will opt to go hungry, and that’s the government’s fault.
And here is where the nanny state issues start really rearing their ugly heads.  The only reason that children won't eat these meals is because their parents don't know how to feed them right at home.  Ms. Thornton is clueless.  My children got large servings of vegetables at night.  They got good meat, and pasta or potatoes.  For breakfast they got healthier cereals, like Cheerios or cornflakes or oatmeal and fruit juice.

And they still aren't scrawny, and one, the one who was the most physically active of the two, is technically obese/morbidly obese.  Her weight issues started even while she was skating.

The standard American diet (referred to in some quarters quite appropriately as SAD) is the problem.  It's not the quality of the food, as in whole grain bread vs Wonder.  It's not the quantities.  It's the high levels of carbs we have been taught to think is healthy.  It's the low levels of fat, fat which is especially needed by growing children and active teenagers.  It's the low levels of fat which make the food tasteless so we have to add tons of sugar to make it palatable.  It's the low levels of fat which leave us hungry two hours after a 400 calorie breakfast, even though 400 calories of bacon and eggs will leave us sated for four hours, even if we're being moderately active.

The other problem is the science.  Every year we are told that eating foods containing nutrient X is really, really, bad for us, and it's a wonder our ancestors survived long enough to reproduce.  And then a year or two later, we find out that, fancy that, nutrient X is actually necessary for optimal functioning and we have to start adding it back in.  This year's must eat food also turns out to be next year's you-really-need-to-cut-back-on food.  Look at butter vs. margarine.  Unless you have a lactose issue, butter has no more calories, and not having tons of weird chemicals, it's much, much healthier.  I admit we still have some "I can't believe it's not butter" or some Olio in the fridge, but that's because it's so much easier to spread than butter. But we don't use much, and I do all my cooking with lots of butter.  I eat lots of meat, and I'm discovering that as I cut carbs, the fat is actually starting to taste really good.  And guess what?  My blood pressure is back where it was 20 years ago, even if my weight isn't, though the fact that I haven't been able to cut the sugars and carbs as much as I like is probably the main culprit.  We live almost next door to a Dairy Queen, and in the summer when you don't have central air, the will power, it is weak.

My elder daughter is opting out of the school lunch her new high school provides, (they get it shipped in from a nearby school which has a kitchen) and is eating at the college cafeteria (her school is on a community college campus, and starting next semester she will be taking some classes on the college side).  She says the food is much better and not surprisingly, it really doesn't cost much more.  But I'd rather pay $4 for her to get a piece of pizza and a small salad from the salad bar than $2.65 for the standard school lunch which she won't eat most of any way.  The younger one, the one with the weight issues, tried her new school's lunch, and while she says the caf isn't bad, she prefers to make a sandwich with good quality lunch meat (like real chicken breast) than buy it.  And I can afford to do that quite easily for the cost of the school lunch.

We've already seen cases where schools have examined brown bag lunches and found them deficient, in one instance taking away a child's chicken sandwich and giving her the school's chicken nuggets and soggy vegs.  The child ate one nugget, drank the milk, threw the rest out, and was hungry for the rest of the day.  The mother was understandably irate, especially since her child eats lots of vegetables at dinner, and is in no way malnourished.  You don't actually need to eat something from every food group at every meal.  And the school had the nerve to charge her for this meal which was of far worse quality than the one she had packed, and which her child wouldn't eat.  Children are picky eaters, and if all your child will eat is a PB&J sandwich, they are better off eating that than staring at a plate of soggy fries and nuggets.

So when does the tar and feathering begin?

Why veterans don't support Obama. And neither do a lot of other people.

From a post at The Other McCain:

Obama’s veterans-outreach efforts have been “failing because voters understand that his defense cuts threaten our position as a global power, unemployment for returning veterans is at an unacceptable level, and the VA system is breaking under a backlog of disability claims that has doubled on his watch,” Williams said
Ray Kelley, national legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said he expects Obama will have some success this fall with the post-Sept. 11 generation of veterans because of the Iraq War and his programs for returning troops. But older veterans — the majority conservative white males — will probably stick with Romney, and that’s despite Obama’s work on many of their issues.
Sweet, sweet raaaaace card! But no: you could swap Mitt Romney with Herman Cain with scant effect on the numbers. Why? Because veterans are steeped in meritocracy. Which is why Cain, or other staunch Americans like Allen West, enjoy massive veteran support. Conversely, even the idle curiosity that might have garnered Obama a few military followers initially has long since worn away.

If you disagree with Obama, it's because you are a racist.  But veterans disagreed by a vast majority with Kerry back on '04.  The MSM came up with a different set of excuses, but the big takeaway from this is that you can never disagree with a (D) politician because of his policies.  There is always another nasty reason, like racism, or sexism, or genderism, or whatever to explain it.  They never, ever can accept that it's the policy that's the problem, not the person espousing said policy. You would think that when enough people don't like what you are selling that it would be a good time to see if there is a problem with your goods, but not for these folks.  Their schemes are always golden, and we are just too stupid or bigoted to see the truth.

And yet we are the delusional irrational ones.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Funny if it wasn't so close to the truth....

Thanks to a link from a comment at Buttercup's I found this:

Given some of Matt's other stuff, I'm guessing that he's picking up the mantle from Ray Stevens.

Though Ray still seems to be going pretty strong too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"We don't care if you're offended, and we never will. Get used to it."

The wonderful Pat Condell telling it the way most of us feel, but saying it so much better than most of us can.

And then read the article from City Journal by Michael Totten, "The Terrorist's Veto".

I wonder how many in my family or at my workplace would read this and merely think, "How intolerant that man is!"?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The News (and procrastination)

So, doing a final news check before trying to research brain death and hypothermia one more time, I did my daily check of poltico's polling page.

They haven't had a new Connecticut poll for over three weeks.  The last ones had had Ø up by about 7, even in registered voter polls.  (He won this state in '08 by 22).

Low and behold they have a new poll from the Hartford Current and UConn which puts Ø up by 23.  It claims to be likely voters, but we can't find any links to the poll to see the methodology or the breakdown.  Surprise.  One of the commenters at the HC site actually brought this up.  I was quite heartened by the number of comments that were critical of the poll and Ø.

So I'll keep hunting for the internals, and I bet they're skewed enough to make the poll a meaningless partisan propaganda tool, useful in ginning up some (D) enthusiasm and as an attempt at making (R)s so despondent they stay home.

More not the news

We didn't get the shrubbery finished by a long shot yesterday, but we did get a fair bit of the dirt fill in.  My comment to the husband? "If anything can get to the piggies through that dirt, wire, and those rocks, I don't want to meet it without a shotgun."

The bushes are still in their pots, but hopefully we can get the rest of the dirt pile moved into the frame by this weekend to plant them.  I had also used some of the fence posts from the section of privacy fence we had taken down (because it was so badly installed, that parts of it were falling over), and propped up the remaining fence, one prop against the posts on either side of the shrubbery.  I'll get some hardward and bolt them in place later, and get a panel of trellis to affix to the front on so that it's somewhat more decorative from the street.  The post that's at the middle of the back wall of the shrubbery got a very large pointy rock driven in next to the post on the leaning side so that it's staying pretty much straight too.  Of  course to do that I had to move the neighbors' sun tent thingy, which they had staked down so close to the leaning fence that I couldn't push the posts upright.  No-one was home at the time.  I wonder if/when they'll notice.

So I'm back at work, with an AWOL brain, which is sad, because I've got to get one of my docs a bibliography on brain death and hypothermia, and I'm just not having any ability to put something coherent together for him....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not the news

because the news is just depressing, and we talk about it on most of the other blogs I read.

I'm on a new antibiotic, which will hopefully take care of whatever is wrong with my sinuses.  Right now I'm on clarinex (systemic antihistime), nasonex (nasal spray antihistimine) and singulair, (another systemic antihistime, specifically for allergic rhinitis).  When my GP added the singulair he also put me on a 12 day tapering course of prednisone.  My face stopped hurting, which was good, because the cheek bones were so bad that it hurt to put my head on the pillow, and I'm a side sleeper.  All of my upper teeth hurt too, including all the ones that aren't there.  However, as soon as I finished the prednisone the pain came back.  So I went to the ENT, who has put me on Levoquin, and if that doesn't work, it's off for another CT (the last one was a year and a half ago).

The real problem is that I have a massively deviated septum and the lovely boney bits from the sides, the turbinates, have decided to grow to fit all the extra space on that side.  Things are blocked enough on a good day that I can't use a neti pot because there really isn't anyplace for the water to go, meaning that breathing through my nose is almost miraculous.  I was told years ago that this sort of thing only gets worse with age, and that at some point we'd probably have to treat it surgically; it was just a question of how long we could put it off.  So.... have we reached that point yet?  I guess I'll know in another two or three weeks if the antibiotic is having any lasting effect.

On the home front, my husband had a week off, ending today, so I took off yesterday and today so we could do some stuff around the house, in particular outside.  So of course we had major weather yesterday, and high winds, so all I got done on the outside was to buy the wood for the garden frame for the pit where the previous owner tried to put in a koi pond.  It's only about 6 inches deep, because this entire area is terminal morraine, and he gave up.  So we're putting in a raised bed, wood this year, and we'll surround that with rock or brick in a year or two.  We're going to put in some butterfly bushes, and some azaleas or some everygreenish stuff, and this will also allow us to bury the guinea pigs who have died over the last year and are currently taking up half my freezer.

Yes that sounds nasty, though the kids have loved confusing classmates be talking about the corpses in the freezer without specifying what type of corpse.  I figure they're wrapped in several layers of plastic, just like all the other stuff there, and of course they're frozen solid, so it's not like dead piggie cooties are infecting the triple bagged chicken.  On the other hand, I'd like to have all my freezer back, it's not that large to begin with.

Of course we have to take a break in the middle of the afternoon to pick the girls up from their various schools and take the one to her cello lesson.  So it will be interesting to see how much actually gets done today.....

Update:  Well, I got the frame put together, with only two small gashes, both mine, and both stupid.  I have checked that my tetanus is up to date.  We went to Home Depot and got three small azaleas and a butterfly bush.  The morgue has been emptied and the piggies laid to rest under a layer of rabbit wire held down with many large rocks and (so far) several inches of dirt.  We're taking a break, and will move more of the dirt pile later.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Explosions in Iran?

This is potentially quite interesting.  Not enough, but a good start.  I love how the Iranian is complaining about the "integrity" of the IAEA. Really, when did they last have any to complain about?

So the question is, is this going to be "it" for now, or is it just a start?  I'm reading that all flights out of Ben Gurion are booked, and lots of retired military and intelligence folks are looking to get their families out of Israel for the time being.

Mostly I hope that this, whatever this is, will be enough to at least apply some breaks until we can hopefully get a few people in DC who have more common sense than God gave marshmallows, given that the current lot seem to have been seriously missing when it was being handed out.

A small bit of me just wishes things would blow up properly, and let us get on with dealing with the problem.  Someplace I was reading comparisons between slavery and Islam; in the lead up to the Civil War, the feeling was that it could be contained, and if so, it would wither and die, a sentiment on both sides of the argument.  The author was suggesting that something similar might work for Islam, satisfying as "Grants March Through Cairo" would be on the visceral level. The problem with that argument is that containment didn't work on slavery, witness the Civil War, and I suspect that it would be even less likely to work with Islam. And yes, Grant's March Through Cairo sounds like an excellent idea.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pleasant surprise

I woke up this morning, pleasantly surprised to see that we haven't started World War III.  Yet.

Yesterday evening while putzing about on the computer and watching "Runaway Jury", (an excellent movie, though with a definite anti-gun bias), I kept hearing helicopters.

We live near the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, just to the side of the flight path to the local airport, which is less than a mile away.  You get used to hearing small jets flying very low overhead, to the point that during the day you don't normally even notice it.

These flights don't happen too often an night, in fact in general I think the airport closes at dusk.  Last night, betwen about 9pm and 10pm I heard helicopters, more than once.  Usually I've heard them when we're dealing with heightened security at the base or at EB or the Coast Guard Academy, such as a visiting dignitary, but that is usually during daylight hours.

I haven't heard any so far today, but it's only just past noon, so we've got plenty of time yet.

This morning has been fairly quiet, everyone has a headache/cold/allergies/miraine, but I had to go to Dunkin Donuts to return two of the bagels with cream cheese my husband had brought home.  We are always very specific that we do NOT want them toasted.  And about half the time, they are.  Husband doesn't pick them up often enough to remember that he needs to check them before he leaves the store.

It's plenty late enough that I need to get off the computer and start working on the guinea pig and rabbit cages, as well as cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.  I want to be able to wash the floor tonight, as well as sit at the table for dinner.

Friday, September 14, 2012

And in other news, the White House proves itself delusional again...

What else can you say about this?

Carney is giving Bagdad Bob a run for his money at being able to state the blatantly false with a straight face.

Lord, I wish we had some adults running the show.  My teenagers would do, being more intellectually mature than most of the folks in DC.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I should post something, but....

I'm tired.  I'm frustrated.  I'm at home and my MacBook is acting up, though it works fine on the wi-fi at work, and my mini just seems so small and tiny.  I'm also starting to get used to Mac macros, and a slightly larger keyboard, so sometimes my fingers do some odd things.

Mostly, everything I want to say has been said by plenty of others, and more eloquently.  I've added my 2 cents at Rachel's and Buttercup's and Misha's, and really, how many times do I need to state the obvious? We needed  have marines at all our stations, never relying on the locals, we needed to get our guys out, especially since I'm now reading that we had warnings about these attacks a week in advance, (not to mention the Libyan telling us that he was warning the Mr. Stevens about security issues that morning), we need to make a few heads roll, though I understand that the government in Libya is actually apologetic, seemingly sincerely, but nothing from Cairo, or any of the other places.

We've been messing up the middle east for decades now, and the problem would seem to be that we have forgotten the first rule of diplomacy:  you don't support regime change unless you are damn sure that the new regime will be a better friend to your country than the old one.  So Mubarak.  Nice guy?  Probably not really.  Political "friend"? Yes.  New regime. Nice guy(s)? No. Political "friend"? Definitely not.  So what have we gained? Nothing!  We have lost even more credibility with other regimes in the area, as it becomes more and more obvious that you can't trust the US farther than you can throw us.  Add in that we are obviously weak, which in Islamic terms is an open invitation for murder and mayhem, and I think we can call our current foreign policy and state department unmitigated disasters.

But God forbid we let that hick from Alaska anywhere near the levers of power, she's just plain stupid!


I'm going to head off and see if I can get my Mac working better now that I've completely rebooted it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Acts of war

The last time I checked, killing an ambassador was unequivocally an act of war.  The only possible response if a country wanted to be taken seriously was to flatten the offending nation.

Obama does not want us to be taken seriously.  We will probably continue to apologize for upsetting Moslem sensibilities by having a film which accurately portrays quotes from their supposedly "holy" book.

After 9-11 we should have ignored the fact that we are supposedly allied with the Saudis and flattened Medina, with the message proclaimed loud and proud that the next time a moslem hurt a single american hair we would do worse to Mecca.

Of course, if we had just not listened to Colin Powell and had gone straight through to Bagdad back in 1991, the Islamic world would view us as a "strong horse", and a country to be sucked up to rather than conquered.

I fear for the world my daughters are going to have to live in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I imagine that 9/11 will be one of those days when pretty much everyone in this country can remember where they were and what they were doing.

For me, it was taking the first day of the MOAB (management of agressive behaviour) training which my hospital offers.

At our first break, we were out in one of the patient waiting areas and caught site of the TV turned to one of the news channels.

We watched the replay of the planes going into the towers over and over.  We watched the towers fall, over and over.  The instructor said that they had been trying to convince the airlines to hire them to teach their techniques, which included how to disarm someone coming at you with a knife, for several years, but of course this was back when everyone assumed that a hi-jacker just wanted to go someplace and land.  I believe that most of the airlines teach their employees this or similar programs now.

Today, this morning, looks just like it did that morning, beautiful skies, clear and cool.  I had a daughter in school that day, and we live in a navy town.  We're also only about two hours from NYC.  Almost everyone knew someone in NYC that day.  I know that one of our staff was waiting to here from their fiance who was working in the Towers.  I never did hear whether they were one of the survivors or the lost.

My husband's submarine was on a med run with a month and a half left; they were supposed to be home before Halloween.  Within a day we had been informed that they would be home on time (yeah, right) but all port calls had been cancelled. Within a few weeks, on another Tuesday, we got a call from squadron for a mandatory spouses meeting the next night.  The first thing we were told was that they no longer knew when the boat was coming home, but it wasn't likely to be the original date.  I pissed off more than a few wives at that point, since I was unable to restrain a "Surprise, surprise" in my best Gomer Pyle imitation, though the CO's wife was snickering.

Squadron was telling us as soon as they heard, because they knew a lot of families had plans for the weekend after homecoming.  Like the poor sailor whose wedding was scheduled for that Saturday.  The navy wanted us to have as much time as possible to change plans and schedules, but since they didn't know when they'd be back, it was up to us to decide what to do.

And then they threw the floor open for questions.  Woman after woman repeated almost the same thing: "We have a trip planned, and the plane tickets bought.  What should we do?"  And time after time poor Master Chief repeated, that they didn't know, each family would have to decide for themselves, whether to take the trip without the husband/brother/son, or reschedule, or what.  After the third or fourth version, I leaned over to the woman next to me and whispered "What part of "we don't know" do these women not understand?"  She laughed rather ruefully.

Over the next few weeks I got to listen to a lot of freakouts from wives and mothers that their husbands and sons were being called to duty, or sent out on patrol early.  I just kept reminding them that the men were safer underwater in the Persian Gulf than they were driving to and from the base in Peace Time.  I'm not sure if anyone of them actually believed me, but I do know that the only loss of a crew member suffered by any of my husband's commands in his 21+ years in the Navy was a few weeks after they got home from that deployment, when someone ran his car into a tree at midnight on the way home from bowling.  He left behind a wife and a three month old baby.

I got to spend my elder daughter's 6th birthday with one of her friend's parents in the next room watching CNN as we shot at Afghanistan.  CNN had to tell everyone the name of the boat (my husband's) although he wasn't allowed to tell me for over a year after they came home.  The Navy finally realized that the horse well and truly gone, so keeping that barn door locked was kind of pointless.  My husband always refers to that day as shooting fireworks for Katy's birthday.

And the world has never seemed quite as safe for us as Americans since then.  I suspect it never really was "safe" as such, but we never had to think about it, if only because it always happened someplace else before then.

I have realized that I missed one anniversary this year I try to never forget.  Beslan.  Islam has hit us here at home once, don't ever think they won't try, and try something like that if we ever let them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things to be thankful for

because thinking of everything else is just plain depressing.

The weather is finally seeing highs in the mid-70s.  I am not a good hot weather person, and we don't have a/c at home.  So for the last few months little has been accomplished, including house cleaning.  At least it isn't at the point where you just rent a dumpster and a shovel, and while I didn't do much yesterday, I could actually see progress.  Another week or two (or three)...

The girls both like their new high schools.  Younger daughter has gotten over the first day angst and tears, especially since a friend from middle school had moved to the new town, was attending the town high school the magnet is attached to, and has now transfered to the magnet school so they have several classes together.  Elder daughter thinks English might actually be a bearable class for the first time in years, and it looks like the teacher may actually teach some formal grammar.

I'm almost finished my course of prednisone.  I have put on at least 10 pound in the last 9 days, most of it water (I hope) though the fact that I have been constantly starving hasn't helped.  Only two more days of the lowest dose and it's done, so I should be able to start getting my food intake back to something normal.

My husband and I both have jobs.  Of course I'm not going to see much if any of a raise this year, although my town seems to be handing out 3% plus to all their employees.  And the husband's hours have been cut; he used to see lots of overtime, because Sears figured it was cheaper to do the overtime than the extra benefits.  Now they expect as much work from fewer employees on 35 or fewer hours a week.  I'll be surprised if our AGI for 2012 is as high as it was in 2011.  But our tax bill will be higher. 8(  So time to start thinking of other stuff, so that I don't get too depressed with it only being Monday.

Things I've learned this year about gardening and our house:

Next year I'm going to not even try carrots or lettuce.  Not unless I find enough money in the budget for a majorly groundhog-proof fence.  Nor will I try cucumbers or melons.  The vines have mildewed and the fruit died before it was ripe.  I had the same problem in the community garden the last few years, so I think I'll stick with tomatoes and lots of summer squash and zucchini.  The onions, radishes, beets, basil and chives did OK, so I'll probably do them again too.  Nasturtiums and marigolds, again, probably not until we can upgrade the fence seriously.  Groundhogs seem to love nasturtium leaves.  I'm going to try to bring the window boxes in this winter and set up a shelf in front of the kitchen window and see if I can grow lettuce inside.  Or at least some small herbs (basil gets huge).  If it works, I may just keep them indoors permanently, including the summer, since I don't think the groundhog will figure out how to get in the house.  Maybe.

I have to get mouse traps.  Our morbidly obese kitty caught two night before last, and kindly didn't eat them, just left one in front of the toilet and the other in the next room in front of the stove, where everyone ignored it as they stared hopefully up at the counter for my husband to give them breakfast. We did have some mice in the walls last winter, so I'd like to nip the problem in the bud if possible.

Saturday, September 08, 2012


which hopefully won't be starting anytime soon.

But Canada has pulled it's few diplomats out, and is giving Iran five days to get all of theirs out of Canada.  It makes you wonder what the Canadians know.

Regnery has an interesting post on Breitbart.  There's an article over at HuffPo, written by someone doing a great ostrich imitation, since she seems to be claiming that Canada is the worst violator of middle eastern civil rights.  And of course the comments section looks vile, what with blaming everything on Israel.  There may be some sane comments, but I don't feel like wading through the sewage to find them.

And a few others at Breitbart:



And on a much more local note, here in SouthEastern Connecticut, we have a tornado watch, one of the first I've seen in well over a decade here.

It's very black out, as well as windy, and if the rain hasn't started when I get the meatloaf ready for the oven, I'll go stand outside with the wind in my hair, enjoying it.

Friday, September 07, 2012

When you've lost the Daily Show.... where in I vent, and really wish I had a stiff drink.

Ø seems to have lost the Daily Show.  I admit that while I don't go out of my way to watch it, I've usually enjoyed the bits I've seen, because even at it's most pro-Democrat, Stewart didn't seem to be mean the way folks like Bill Maher were.  There have also been more than a few times when he seemed to be trying to poke fun at the administration, but something, whether his network, or his own personal biases, was holding him back.  I also never got the feeling that he was hiding his personal feelings on the matter to try and come across as neutral.

But since the DNC convention started Stewart seems to be really going to town.  I wonder if he and his writers are getting out all the pent up frustration of the last four years now that they're finally allowed to mock Ø, in spite of his "historicalness".

My parents still seem to be totally in the tank, Ø inherited a much worse mess than we expected, you can't trust anyone who fact checks the White House, even if it's part of the MSM, etc., etc., etc.  I called  them earlier about something and heard Daddy have hissy fits in the background over the employment figures.  I may have misunderstood what my mother was saying, but it seemed that he was upset because the media wasn't buying the White House's rose picture of how getting people out of the job market so that the U-3 figure goes down is a good thing.

If, God willing, we get an R in the White House as well as an R congress, it will be interesting to see their cognitive dissonance, especially if the economy picks up faster than expected.  Mother's take is that she almost hopes Romney wins so we can see how bad things really are, and that he can't fix it any faster than Ø has.  Of course if R/R win in November, I expect the economy to start taking off immediately, the same way that it tanked as soon as Ø won in '08.  Of course Bush was responsible for that tanking, because he was still president, and a Democratic Party controlled Congress, and the knowledge that a far left/marxist sympathizing (at best) President was going to take over in two months couldn't have had anything to do with it.  Likewise if we see improvements after November but before swearing R/R in, it will all be due to Ø's fantastic policies, and we should have just given him that extra four years.


They will never admit that JFK was probably to the right of Romney; although they idolize JFK, they've been brainwashed to assume that the Dems have always been as they are now, and that that is always best for anyone who isn't a millionaire, and why would anyone who isn't a millionaire want to vote against their personal interests?  These are the same people who when I pointed out where things were going with the passing of ObamaCare, told me that there was no way companies would stop providing employee health insurance because they want to keep good workers.  (Of course they'll also agree that companies don't give a crap about their employees because they just want the profits.)  I've shown them the articles where benefits companies tell how 50% or more of their clients are planning or at least considering dropping benefits and dumping their employees on the exchanges.

I wonder if they'll pay all my other bills when work drops coverage, and the government unilaterally changes their contract with my Navy retiree husband and starts making us pay for our Tricare, to the tune of what we'd have to pa on the exchange, which for us is 9.5% of our total income, which will be over $7000, up from my current $2K and his free.  I don't know about anyone else but we don't have a spare $100 a week lying around and of course there will still be significant co-pays and stuff we need like new glasses for growing girls that isn't covered. As it is, if we don't get an extension on the Evil Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich Only (TM) and the SS deductions go back up that 2%, we'll be seeing at least $50 less a week after January, not to mention gas going up, oil going up, groceries going up, etc., etc., etc.  And if, God forbid, all this were to come to pass, they would never believe that their vote choices might have had anything to do with it.


I guess it's proof that I'm getting older even if I don't feel it.

Every few years I have to completely rearrange the back journal shelving at work (360 or so shelves) because of changes in subscriptions, running out of room for the stuff we still get, having too much space after stuff we've discontinued, etc., etc., etc.

I was shifting a handful of journals (six or eight shelf inches) as a bunch from a bottom shelf in one stack to the fourth of six shelves in the next column and twisted just wrong.  I know I have muscles and connective tissue from my waist down over my hip joint and into my thigh.  It's just that the waist area of the IT band stuff doesn't usually seize up.  So know I'm sitting at my desk, trying to stretch it out, which is hard because I have very loose joints and can't bend far enough to stretch already too long connective tissue, and trying not to breath too hard.

Hopefully it will ease off soon, so I can get some lunch without squeaking with every step.  Work will not be happy if I break myself again just doing my job.  I was on "light duty" for a wrist injury for two months, ending less than two months ago.

Growing old sucks, but it does beat the alternative.

There was a convention?

I know there was, because none of my usual Thursday night TV fare was on.  So instead I went to the pharmacy to pick up an antihistamine  refill.  I found it much more edifying and happy making.

The nice discovery for the evening was that sometime in the last few months, my drug of choice, Clarinex, has gone generic.  The insurance companies keep trying to practice medicine without a license and force me to use OTC claritin.  I use Clarinex because the -tin knocks me out.  I can't drive, I can't do any work if I make it to work alive, I can't even read or watch a mindless TV show, I'm so sleepy.  I actually had to get a script of Claritin last spring so that I could "prove" to the company that I had tried the stuff.  Buying it over the counter or using samples from the doctor's office didn't cut it, because they had no proof, not even believing the doctor.  So I filled a script, gave the entire thing to my daughter, since she also has a script for it, and it works for her, and then, with proof in hand, they were willing to cover it.  Idiots.

I'm waiting to see what our share of the hospital insurance premiums looks like for next year.  If it goes up as much as other Aetna products have been lately, I may drop it, stick with just Tricare, and put the premium money in a savings account.  I can go through all my Aetna record for this year, but I think without the Aetna, we wouldn't have spent $2K after whatever Tricare paid, and I need to save up $2K over the next year or so for some major dental work.

Dental insurance is another scam.  I'm getting at least what I put in back since it's a family plan, but the maximum payouts haven't changed in 30 years, while the costs of the work have gone up more than a bit.  Certainly once the girls are off the family plan, I'd be better off just putting the money away and paying all dental costs out of pocket, since I pretty much am anyway.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The DNC is getting into full swing

And I just can't bring myself to watch any of it.  From reading the blogs and news sites this morning it seems to be strictly Abortion! Abortion! Abortion!

Seriously, who cares?  If we're all broke, how are we supposed to pay for your damn free abortions?

And really, how is not paying for something for someone else automatically denying them the right to buy said product or service? If refusing to pay for someone else's contraceptives or abortion is denying them the right to medical care, their refusal to pay for my rent or mortgage is obviously denying me my right to shelter.  But I don't see anyone making that claim.  Which is silly, because shelter from the elements is obviously a much more important "right" than something to help you deal with your poor life choices.  (And yes, I know that not everyone who gets an abortion is doing it for convenience, just 95%+ of them; if it's an ectopic pregnancy, I'll drive you to the clinic myself.)

Add in the new add, where we are told that the only thing we all belong to is The Government.

I am NOT a slave or indentured servant.  I may belong to a country, a church, a family, a social club. My membership in these things is just that, MEMBERSHIP.  It is, even with family, voluntary.  It is a mutual contract, which can be broken at any time.  But I don't have membership in the "government".  The only way I can belong to said government is as a chattel.

I am NOT Julia.  I do not need the government to step in and do everything for me, without my even trying to get ahead on my own first.

I am NOT Julia.  I have a man in my life, whom I love, and who is helping me make a home and raise a family.  We are a package deal.  I can't have that package with the feds.  Or I suppose I could have something similar, but then it would be some creepy blend of Julia and the Lebensborn.

I am NOT Julia.  I AM free.  I WILL stay that way.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dr. Who

Not much to say about it but that it was worth the wait.

And yes, I am slow.  I didn't get the bit about the soufflé until the doctor spelled it out.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Not the military kind.  

The kind which one gives.

The State Department obviously has employees who don't have enough to do, so they put out a department magazine.  It would seem to be bi-monthly, and the latest issue is found here:  http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/195572.pdf

Go to page 8, and read.  I'll wait.

It's short but jam packed with inaccuracies.  As well as giving as much offense as it claims to be trying to prevent us from giving.  "Vicious Native American intruders"?!?!?!?!  I thought they were supposedly here first, making those "holding down the fort" the intruders.  Not to mention, as at least one other blogger has, that forts did exist before the U.S. Army started building them on our western frontier.  I seem to recall a few in Gaul.

But the author of that piece is black, so he is categorically incapable of giving offense, because his skin color somehow filters it out or something.  It is only us poor deluded evil white folks who have to worry about that sort of stuff.