Daily Reads

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Well, that wasn't much fun...

I got to miss the hurricane for the most part, since I left Saturday afternoon for a conference in Woodstock, Vermont.  I spent Friday evening and Saturday morning helping the spouse get the yard tidied away, and then headed out. Spouse continued to do some prep work, like shopping for supplies and taking lots of exterior pictures so we'd have something to compare if anything happened.

Sunday wasn't too eventful, anyplace, though I did have some nice CE classes.

Monday, the girls didn't have school, which made spouse happy, since he'd have had to get up more than an hour earlier than usual to drive them.  He headed off to work, because I swear that Sears would stay open through anything if they thought a single customer might show up.  But the Governor was closing the road to all but emergency vehicles at 1pm, so they let folks go.  Husband got home before the bridge was closed and shortly after that they lost power for half an hour or so.  It was back for less than an hour when it went out again, this time for good.

I got back to my B&B a bit before 5 so I could change for the dinner at 6.  My phone had decided to eat it's battery that morning, so I hadn't been in contact with anyone since noon, when they lost power and internet access. (Facebook is a great way to text when your phone isn't working.) I called home to see how things were going, and spouse says, you know how you've been concerned about the willow?

Our house is to the left, you can see the side porch railing.  The willow is on the other side of the privacy fence on the neighbor's property.

Me: yeah, what about it?  Spouse: You don't have to worry about it any more. Me: Where is it?

From almost the same place, see the railings?

As far as we can tell the only damage at all from the storm to the house is to one of the railing uprights where it was hit by part of the tree.  I have several 2x2s in the shed, so that will be very easy to replace. The privacy fence is pretty much destroyed, except for the panel closest to the road, which happens to be one I had wanted to take down since it makes it hard to see what is coming when you are pulling out of the drive.  The drive is past the tree, behind where the car is.  In all previous storms with high winds or lots of rain, including Irene, we'd ended up with a lot of that tree in our yard, but it was all the front yard and/or the driveway.  So we'd decided to pull the car further towards the back of the yard.  If we'd parked it in the usual spot it wouldn't have been touched.

As it is:

Here is a shot from the street:

And from our 2nd floor window:

And lastly a really good shot of the inside of the willow which explains why it came down at 4:15 on Monday, before the winds had even really picked up:

Today, the neighbor and their insurance folks and tree folks came over to assess the damage, and then came back later with a chainsaw and a bolt cutter and excavated the car and the back porch.  The car has a pretty massive dent in the roof (on the inside you can see a definite drop and the light is kind of loose), and the back window is broken, probably because of the piece of tree which went through it.  However all the other windows are intact, and all the doors open and close just fine.  So it's going to the insurance adjuster on Saturday to see whether they think it's worth fixing, which they won't, because it's a 16yo Subaru, however, as long as it's safe to drive, we'll just get the rear window fixed, and plan to replace it next spring after we finish paying off the other car. We've driven another car for over a year after it was supposedly totalled, so keep your fingers crossed that the roof damage is just "cosmetic".

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let's send the bills to Ø, Reid and Pelosi!

In posting a comment over at Buttercup's I had an idea.  I don't know if its a good one, but I'm throwing it out there.

A lot of us, contrary to Ø's promises are losing our health insurances.  The plans we were promised we could keep if we liked them are not there anymore, or they are too expensive since we're not getting any raises, and the premiums keep going up.

I think starting today, any bill we get which is costing us more than it would have without the PPACA should be forwarded to it's architects, Ø, Reid, and Pelosi with a demand for payment.  They assured us this bill would save us money.  It isn't, and so they owe us.  If nothing else, we need to make them feel the financial pains and insecurities that they have forced on us, perhaps it will beat a little of their hubris out of them, but if nothing else, the eye for an eye does make the first harmed feel a little better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thoughts on the debate

The last post was just a very rough sort of minutes of the debate with a few of my own comments.


the MSM is going to claim this as a glorious win for Ø.  He didn't fall apart, and someone actually trained him out of saying "uh" and "um" as every other word.  Though he did start "uh"ing a lot when starting his answer on Bengazi and Libya, which suggests to me that he was trying to remember which lie he was supposed to trot out.

He lied, or was at least creative with the facts on a number of occasions.  He claimed that the AZ immigration law allowed LEOs to pull people over just to check their papers with only a suspicion that they might be illegal.  I seem to recall that it was quite specific that that could NOT take place, the stop had to be for another, legal, reason, such as running a red light.  He lied about Romney's tax plan, and kept bringing up the $5T in cuts which wouldn't have anything to make them up, completely ignoring the fact that quite a few outfits, including some not notably conservative friendly have said that's false.  He's also ignoring the fact that every other time we've cut taxes, we've seen actual increases in the amount of revenue coming into the Fed.

All told, I think Romney held his own, but Obama managed to not be too petulant, and to speak well, so if you aren't a political junkee, you don't know which bits you shouldn't believe.

I don't know that this will turn things around for him, but they didn't hurt him.

I assume that the next debate must be the foreign policy one, and I hope Mitt can pound him on his failures in the Middle East.  He started on it well tonight, but we need more.

We also need to see more and more of the "These policies aren't working" type jabs.

And now I'm going to play a stupid Facebook game for a few minutes, and head off to bed! (I'm sure I'll have more to say on the debate tomorrow, but right now, I'm starting to see double, and it's not from drinking, more's the pity.)

Presidential debate #2.

These are rough notes from tonight.  I'm not going to go back and tidy them up.


Interesting backdrop.  An eagle with a ribbon saying "union and constitution forever".  Ø would have trouble if he really thought he had to support that.

Jeremy - as a soon to be graduate, can you assure me and my parents that I will be able to get a job?
Romney, finally, knows what it takes to get economy growing.  (lots of platitudes to begin with), knows what it takes to get jobs growing, and more jobs
ØØ: "Your future is bright." wants to build on the 5M jobs made in the last 39 months.  Jab to R wanting to let Detroit go bankrupt, 0 said no, we need to bet on America.  Standard lies.  Need to control our own energy, energy of the future, solar, wind, biofuels, reduce deficit in balanced way, wealthy to pay more, use money from wars to fix America
R: fewer people working today than when Ø took office.  President's policies have not worked, R has a 5-point plan to help people without jobs, will help to get rising incomes.
Points out that bankruptcy necessary for GM/Chevy to come out stronger.  Ø lying.  Says R didn't want bankruptcy to have any way for them to stay open.  Claiming that Rs policies are why middle class families in trouble.

Is it not the job of the energy department to get lower gas prices?  Ø highest oil and natural gas production in years, higher coal production and employment, but also have to look to the furture, why they doubled fuel efficiency standards, why the push for "wind, solar, biofuels", this why lowest oil imports in years. (forgetting that the depression might just have something to do with that).  Efficient energy, need to reduce demand.
R: lets look at policies, not rhetoric.  Oil production down on federal land, same with gas, because licenses and permits cut in half.  Romney uses "renewables".  Doesn't need a president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, gas, or coal.  R wants to see NA energy independent within 8 years.  more drilling, more permits, Keystone pipeline,
Candy: is this $4/gallon the new normal?  Is it in the gov't role to bring it down?
Ø: we are using oil more efficiently, says drilling more on federal lands than we did under W.
Claims Romney wrong, Romney stating that production on federal lands down, Ø keeps saying, no we're producing more.
Romney also talking about energy secure.
Candy: if policy working, gas prices would be down? Ø, claims that the reason gas prices are up is because the economy is getting better.  Claims that we've built enough pipelines already.  Claiming that people creating wind power in co and ia, tax credits.
Candy, actually stopped president.

Romney tax plan, will not reduce share of taxes collected by higher 5%, nor will he raise taxes on the middle.
Ø, philosophy on taxes simple. give the middle a break, has cut taxes for the middle and small businesses.  If reducing deficit a moral obligation, has to cut spending, and raise taxes on the higher end.
R: more women in poverty than in 2009.
Candy: Romney just wants to give tax cuts only to middle class OK? Obama, no.
Oh God, big bird.
Romney - math adds up, I've run businesses and made it add up, I ran the olympics and it added up, I ran MA and it added up.  I've balanced budgets my entire life.

Young woman wanting to know what president going to do to remove inequalities in the workplace, that women only make 72 cents on the dollar.
Ø touting Lilly Ledbetter.
Romney, points out that women need more flexible schedules, women have lost more jobs than men over this administration.
Oh, god, women's health care.  "Romney wants politicians in DC deciding women's health care". Millions of women rely on PP for cancer screenings, for contraception, it's a pocket book issue.
True that not just women's issues, but family issues.

Questioner, worries about return to the Bush years. What difference between R and Bush?
energy independence, wants to curtail trade with china, add more with SA, balanced budget,  (brought up .5T deficits outrageous, and now 1T), championing small business over big business.
Ø: First uh of the evening, but almost not there.  Digging way out of policies to get the top doing well middle not so well. 5.2M new jobs over last 3 years.  Romney last person who will get tough on china. A task force on trade, twice as many cases against unfair trade practices. GB didn't want to turn medicare into a voucher, didn't suggest defunding PP, didn't plan to deport lots of folks.  Social policy too extreme.

Black voter asking Ø why should he vote for him again. Says cut taxes, end war in Iraq, focus on al-qaedi OBL dead. Health care reform so can't be jerked around by insurance, toughest wall street reforms since the 30s, saved an auto industry.  Reducing deficit in a sensible way, using savings from war to put people back to work.  Has kept his commitments, and those he didn't, not for lack of trying, and will do them in his second.  Comparing Øcare to Romneycare. think whose promises will be better for you.
R: You know what you will get if you elect Ø.  Where is the plan for reforming medicare and SS? Where the immigration plan? Deficit doubled, not halved. Deductions in middle class health insurance premiums going up, not down.  President wants to do well, but his policies not doing that.  Ø a great speaker, but now we have plans to look at.

What to do with illegal immigrants?
R: wants to make it easier to come here legally, 4M in line waiting, won't grant amnesty, doesn't want magnets for those here illegally, kids of those here illegally, should have a pathway to become a permanent resident.  Ø didn't do it, though he promised, and he had a (D) congress.
Ø: second "uh".  Have said we need to fix a broken system, done what he can on his own, tried to do stuff with congress.  Has made it easier to get here legally.  Put more border patrol on, and flow of illegals lowest in 40 years (perhaps because economy bad), need to go after the illegals who are criminals, not students.  For young people who have grown up here, need to give a pathway to citizenship, has done it administratively.  Lies about AZ law, they can't stop people just because they look illegal.
R explain self-deportation.  Says that e-verify a model for the nation, not the whole law.  Why hasn't the president explained why he didn't do the law for illegals in his first year that he promised.
Ø, republicans in congress need to get serious about immigration.

Question about who denied extra security in Benghazi?
Ø, not just reps of US, but reps of Obama, so no one more concerned.  Lots of uhs..  Beef up security throughout the region, find out what happened, so won't happen again, find out who did it so we could get them.  Says he did this while on the phone hearing about the attack as it went on.  Attacking Romney for his statement that evening.
R: Standard boiler plate.  Found it most troubling that the day after the ambassador assassinated, President flew to fundraiser in Vegas. Stuff that happening suggests that president's policies in the ME not working. Watching President's policies unravelling.
Ø going on about "we're going to hunt down those responsible for this crime". Upset, claims that anyone on his team would play politics with foreign policy is offensive.

Ask of president, what doing to keep assault weapons out of hands of criminals.  "Weapons designed for our soldiers in war theaters don't belong on their streets".  Admits that most violence in Chicago not assault weapons.  That a lot of causes of violence.  wants a comprehensive strategy, wants automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
R: we need to enforce our current laws, not new ones, and work on the culture of violence.
Families, two parent families increases opportunities for children and lessons odds of poverty.  F&F, can't imagine why this put in place, thinks american people would like to see it investigated fully.  CC trying to bring question back to question of unbanned weapons.  Candy cutting away from F&F.
Ø: R for awban before against it.  Against it to get NRA endorsement.  More teachers will cut gun voilence.

Outsourcing of jobs, what plans to bring them back?
R: We have made it less attractive to stay than to go.  As president, will work to make it more attractive to stay or come back.  Trickle down gov't has never worked.  Wants us to be the most attractive place for businesses of all sizes.  Also need to make sure all countries we trade with need to play fair.  China has been a currency manipulator for years, Ø refuses to label them that.  R will do so, so can impose tariffs if need be.  Key to bringing back jobs, not just punishing others, but make attractive, lower tax rates - Canada 15%, US 35%, where would you rather be? Regulations have quadrupled in last 4 years. Want regulators to encourage not crush business. Øcare a deterrent to hiring.
Ø we need to create jobs, need to lower corporate tax rates, but have different ideas on how to do this.
Claims that we should be taxing any money a company makes overseas here, without that tax people will move jobs out of country.
R we can compete with any country if playing field level, we have to make us more attractive. President's characterization of R's plan false.
Ø, some jobs won't come back, the low wage, low skill.  We don't want them, we need best science and research.  Claims that if we don't invest in research we won't get the next Apple (did Jobs get any fed money? I don't think so).)R: gov't doesn't create jobs!

What do you believe is the american people's greatest misperception about you as man and candidate?
R: I care about 100% of americans, I want them all to have bright and prosperous future, I care for all our children. I want to help with my business experience.  Passion from belief in God and we all God's children. we don't have to settle for what we are going through.  Don't have to settle for $4gas, 47M on food stamps, 23M unemployed.
Ø I don't believe that gov't creates jobs. free enterprise greatest job engine, believes in risk takers being rewarded, but everyone needs to have a fair shot, and pay their fair share.  We all need to play by the same rules. Fundamental difference in how we need to move this country forward.  47% means Romney talking about veterans and retirees, soldiers, 47% think of themselves os victims? I want to fight for them, and when they succeed we all succeed.  All generations need the same opportunities as previous ones.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's been a long week.

It's been a long week.  Politics is what it is, and while I feel I need to follow it closely, because what is happening now is so crucial for all of us, at the same time, I'm sure that it is a significant (if not the most significant) stressor in my life right now.

The allergy testing is ongoing; I have another round of skin tests, this time food, on Thursday, and then a meeting with the doctor on the 2nd to discuss the whole shebang and what it means.  At least it would seem that cats are only a mild problem which is good since we have three.

The girls are having their usual health issues, elder's headaches are still there, so we're hanging on until her follow-up with neuro in a week and a half, to see if there are any meds we haven't tried yet.  Younger has a stress injury with her right foot which the fancy orthopedic support brace/boot thingy isn't helping, but she starts with PT this week, so hopefully something good will come of that so that she isn't as cranky as she has been lately.

At least nothing (that I know of ) is going on with the spousal unit.  I really can't deal with any more health issues on top of work.

Work...  I'm supposed to have someone coming in tomorrow morning to do some air quality testing.  Here's hoping they find something; you can't fix things until you know what the problem is.  I suspect that if we were to remove the carpet which had the most serious flooding, and replaced the windows so that they could be opened to air the place out on a regular basis, things would improve drastically. I'm not in a patient care building, so we're allowed to open windows, but these are the original, 50+ year old metal frames, and they are rusted shut.  Management had a great chance to upgrade things when they remodelled the space six years ago for my department, but they didn't want to spend the money.  Heck, I couldn't get them to replace the cracked window panes at that time - it took over three years!

I'm going to try to get to sleep soon, so that I'm working on more than 5 hours sleep tomorrow, though I've gotten 12 hours the last two nights.

Here's hoping the coming week doesn't feel as long as this past one has.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Thousand Burning Nuns

Seriously, I have no intention of ever doing something like this, and certainly not all on my little lonesome, if only because, as Ben Gates in National Treasure says, you can't imagine how much I really, really, don't want to go to jail.

But today I can see how people can feel the need to terminate political figures with extreme prejudice.  I can also better understand how you can have a civil war with brother killing brother, neighbor killing neighbor, and former best friends now worst enemies. I loathed Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and all their little sycophantic underlings before today.  But until today I did know just how much I could hate.  Beginning today, if they are on fire I will not piss on them.  Beginning today, if I hear that something evil has befallen them, I will celebrate like the Palestinians on 9/11. Beginning today not a single one of them can claim membership in the same country or even species with me.

I just got the annual benefits enrollment package.  And I am going to have to drop my health insurance at work and leave us with just Tricare, the insurance which most doctors would prefer charity cases over.

For the 12 years I have worked at this institution we have had two or three choices, the more expensive ones covering more stuff with lower copays, but all of them available to everyone who wanted them.  For the last several years it has been two versions of Aetna, a PPO1 and a PPO2.  I have chosen 1 because my share of the premiums for the family plan has been about $43 a week (which is actually less than 10% of the total premium), and since we have Tricare which functions as a secondary insurance, it just didn't make financial sense to pay 50% more for something which wouldn't give us that $1K more of benefits.

This year, HR has decided to give us two offerings, the PPO2 at the same $64 a week, or a High Deductible Insurance with an HSA, at $15 a week.  Except that since I am married to a man who gets Tricare I can not, by law, choose the HDI/HSA plan.  HDI/HSA primary members cannot be covered by any other health insurance.  Their spouses and children can, but not them.  So unless I could figure out a way to get off Tricare, which I suspect would require divorcing my husband, and even if it's not that difficult, I'd never be able to get back on, I can't use that plan.  

So they say, I can just pay another $20 a week and get the higher plan.  Except that over the last four years my raises haven't even covered the increase in the cost of gas to get to and from work.  On January 1, 2013 Social Security will go back up from 4.3% to 6.3%, which is almost another $20 a week for me.  The child tax credit is being halved, so that's another $10 a week in tax.  Add in the return of the marriage penalty and the loss of the 10% tax bracket and that's another $20 a week too.  My husband is also going to see the SS/MC increase so that's another $10 or so a week.  

So add it up, the tax increases we will see in two months, thanks to the Democrats, will amount to nearly $60 a week.  We can't really cut anything other than the SS from my husband's share of the income because pretty much everything he brings in is already spoken for, and anyway, working in retail, his hours haven't always been consistent this past year (surprise).  So I'm looking at my take-home dropping $50 a week.  

I can tell you right now that I don't have a spare $50 a week.  I certainly don't have the spare $70 which I would need if I were to change to the PPO2.  I'll be very lucky if I see even a one percent pay raise this year, partly due to some less than stellar job performance on my part due to both health issues and morale issues, and partly due to the organization having recently turned into cheap bastards.  They've been around well over 100 years and only had the first successful unionization three years ago.  I know that the appearance of the unions hasn't helped management any, but if they hadn't started treating the employees as easily replaceable cogs rather than partners there wouldn't be a union.

I don't mind my job, but I hate my work place.  I hate being treated as an idiot and given no say in how my job can be done best.  I hate being expected to accept being "dissed" by management at every turn with a smile and a "May I have some more please?" attitude. 

I knew when the PPACA was passed that I was going to lose my real health insurance (I don't count Tricare as real), but my family, dyed in the wool Dems that they all are, kept assuring me that I was over-reacting and nothing like that would ever happen.  I got to call my mother today and remind her about that.  

And the worst of it is, that by dropping my health insurance with the institution, I am saving them over $20K a year, and there is no way they will give me a penny of it.  Basically, my reimbursement from work is dropping over 30%.

I worked my ass off to get a good job so I could have real health insurance, and thanks to those &^%$#%^&* assholes in DC I'm working as hard as ever, my taxes are going up almost 50%, all the necessities cost more every day, and I can't even afford insurance better than they give to the folks on welfare (okay, sometimes Tricare is better, but the docs I work with have said that the pay from Medicaid is often better than Tricare).  

My standard of living is sinking like a rock, I can't give my children the things they want, and not even some of the things they need, and the folks in Washington, who think they rule me, want me to just suck it up like a good little peon?

Ben Gates:  Of all the ideas that became the United States, there's a line here that's at the heart of all others.  "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security."

Here's hoping that we can overthrow this Government at the ballot box in November.  Otherwise at best, we need to stock up on tar and feathers and start a march on DC.  If, God forbid, Zero gets another term, we need to start that march on the 7th.  

Who's with me?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Yet one more reason I hate federal fingers in health care...

I should have been at the local party campaign HQ earlier this evening, for its (sort of) grand opening, and to meet Tom Foley, who someone from state had managed to get to promise to show up.

However, I spent 30 minutes this afternoon having lots of little needles pricking my back, lying there itching, a *lot*, for 15 minutes, having the nurse come in and measure things, clean me up and slather some anti-itch stuff on me, and remind me that I'm due back at 3 on Thursday so they can retest some of the stuff that came up negative this time.   Thursday evening I can use my antihistamines, and then I'm off them again on Friday morning for the next set of testing the following Thursday.  I have to figure out how to get ahold of pieces of fresh lobster and scallop, about a teaspoon worth of each, to fresh cook (microwaving for 30 seconds I'm told will do) the night before and bring for testing.  I can see being able to buy a single scallop, but I don't know any local places which sell shelled lobster meat. I'll check with the office on Thursday for the retesting to see if they have any suggestions.  Lots of other patients seem to be able to do this, so hopefully they can tell me how.

I made the mistake of stopping at the local stand-alone ER which has lots of outpatient clinics to see if we could schedule my daughter's PT for her foot.  And discovered that they can't see her until next Wednesday unless I'm willing to take time off of work to come and fill out the registration paper work.  After that my mother can bring her to appointments, but for some reason the registration paperwork must be filled out on the day of the first appointment and in person.  I can't even fill it out and fax it.  I'm going to see tomorrow if the stand-alone PT outfit can see her sooner without my having to be there.  I would have done it this afternoon, but I was just not feeling up to it.

I've run into this before, but it makes no sense to me.  It's a scheduled appointment, they can see my ID why can't I give them her info in advance rather than having to take time from work, which I don't have?  My mother has been able to take the girls to all of their regular doctors and specialists with no problems, but for some reason if a clinic is attached to a hospital, it must be the parent and the parent alone the first time.  I've seen this at Children's in Hartford, and also at the hospital where I work.  I'd rather do the 15 minutes of registration after work the day before, so I don't have to get me or me and my kid there at 6:30 for a 7am test, but the rules won't allow it.  I'm not sure what the feds or the insurance companies think is likely to change in 24 hours, and I could do the registration at 7am for a 7pm test, but if the date changes, it's no good.

It probably is the same sort of thing as with HSAs and the high deductible insurance plans.  You can only have an HSA if you have a high deductible plan, and you can't have a high deductible plan if you are covered by any other insurance.  So I can't do it because we're covered by my husband's Tricare.  If I opted out of Tricare, I could have the HSA/HDI, and then my husband and children could be covered by both, but the primary on the HDI can't?!?!?  And what about all the stuff that regular insurance plans don't cover, like cataract lenses which correct astigmatism too, or dental work which costs far, far more than the maximum annual payout?  I've been told I should just do an FSA, but $2K of dental work is something I'd like to be able to put away for over more than 1 year.

Anyway, I left the clinic, came home, realized I was getting hysterical again, and decided to just call it an evening.  Now that the itching and rash have pretty much subsided, I'm feeling much better, but I guess I'm going to have to list that as an allergic reaction.  Or rather as a sensitivity reaction, since apparently you are only allergic to something if you develop a rash or respiratory problems.  Which is odd, since the Epi-Pen is specifically described as something for people with allergies, and anaphylaxis is usually a sudden severe drop in blood pressure, which has nothing to do with skin, lungs, or sinuses.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Anxiety and depression -- election worries or just new medication side effects?

The title says it all.

The last week I've been progressively more short tempered, panicky, weepy, and just unpleasant to be around for everyone including myself.

I'd like to put it down to being too wrapped up in following politics, but I suspect the reason is the more mundane one of getting new meds for my asthma.

I've been having these sinus problems for about two months now, and after two rounds of antibiotics with a course of prednisone in the middle, which put 10 pounds on me which looks like about 20, I ended up at the allergist's.  I've had allergies all my life, but this is the first time it's been bad enough to go see a specialist.  Apparently they are worse than I thought, because they did some breathing tests and I was slightly obstructed, which I hadn't even noticed (common with asthmatics, you just get used to not breathing that well, and the abnormal becomes your new normal), and I guess that combined with working in a place that is carpeted which flooded three months ago, shortly before all the symptoms, along with some shellfish allergies meant that I left the office with three more appointments for testing and a script for an epi-pen.

That alone is requiring some adjusting of my world view and may account for some of the emotional instability.  But I also found out that my rescue inhaler is being discontinued, and I love the breath activated device, since it requires no co-ordination, and it worked better during my pneumonia in 2001 than the nebulizer did.  And my preventative of choice, Advair, is also being discontinued, at least in the purple disc form.  So I've got a new inhaler type preventative, QVar which doesn't seem to be helping much at all.  Though that could be because I've had to stay off the antihistamines until after the skin testing.  I have the first round tomorrow afternoon, and I'm hoping that mold comes up big time so I can use the test results to get work to do something about the regular flooding of my library.  I'm also hoping that cats don't come up too big, since we're not getting rid of them, and the youngest is only about four, so we'll have him for a long time.

But I've yelled at my mother, my daughters, vented at work, and find myself in tears watching Castle as they leave Alexis off to her dorm room at college.

So I either need some new asthma meds, need my workplace to be remediated, need the election to happen and the right guy to win, or some antidepressants.  Or a combination of all four.

Work has also decided to do change to a new office supply vendor and give us an extremely limited set of approved options, none of which are the things I normally use.  I can't even get refills for my Day Runner, because I "have Outlook on the computer".  The fact that I don't have access to my outlook account unless I am in my office on my desktop computer doesn't matter, I'm just supposed to haul printouts around, which doesn't sound terribly professional to me.  Not that they'll let me get a 7-hole punch so my unprofessional printouts can at least travel in a nice case....

I need to win the lottery, damn it!  Or at least find a new job, not that there are very many here in Connecticut within an hour of where we live.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Let's be shallow.

A post over at Buttercup's got me thinking.

It started with this picture:

As I said, I'm being shallow here.  We're not looking at either of the men who are the whole reason for the event, we're looking at FLOTUS.  And in this picture, we're seeing one mean ugly woman.

Which is a pity.  Looked at objectively, ignoring one's personal opinion of her and her husband's political leanings, she's no model, but she's not physically unattractive.  Her attractiveness problem isn't what's on the outside, it's how her outside reveals her inside.  She obviously doesn't want to be there; it's not just the scowl on her face which would erode granite, it's her body language.

Here are a few photos found elsewhere on the web to prove my point.

I also like this one:

Michelle can look like someone you'd be happy to have a coffee and chat with.  If she looked like this all the time, her press would be a lot more positive, from both sides of the aisle.

The one thing I've noticed is that very, very few of her happy photos have her husband anywhere near.  I do not think they have a happy marriage.  Whether it's because she is a "beard" as I've read rumored in more than a few places, whether it's because he's a narcissist and can't/won't love her the way a husband should love his wife, I don't know, and it's not really my business.

I'm inclined though to put more blame for their problems on him than her, because when they are apart, she seems much more normal and better adjusted than he does.  I just hope someday, before it's too late, she figures out what she needs to do to be happy, and does it.

I also hope that some day she realizes what a great country this is and that while we are not perfect, we are the best there is, and we need everyone to work together to improve rather than dividing us to demand more from one than another.  I hope she comes to realize that life isn't a zero-sum game, and if we don't separate into little ghettos of race, ethnicity, or creed, we can all win.  No matter what happens next month, or in future years, by virtue of having been a first lady her words and actions will always carry weight with many, and I'd love to see her learn to use that for the improvement of all Americans' lives.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Which I will not be watching.  I'll get to read about it tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after that.  And the day after that day after.  I'll get to see plenty of clips.

But by not watching, I won't be screaming at Ø, I won't have to listen to his condescending tone of voice, and his likely strings of "uhhh"s since he won't have a teleprompter.

The debates aren't going to change my decision on voting against Ø, and watching it in real time will raise my blood pressure. So for my mental health I'm going to watch Castle reruns, and maybe check in at a few of my regular blog reads.  I suspect watching Castle will be much more relaxing.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Does Ø really want to lose the election?

His re-election team created an e-card for his Tumblr page.  And this is what they came up with.  

Of course it's now down the memory hole with apologies for not "properly vetting" posts.

But Ø's team actually has people on it who think this is appropriate, and not in the least offensive.

But it's offensive on so many levels.  First, do we really need to go around talking about our "lady parts"?  My first thought was what happens if this shows up on a page you are at with your seven year old, but then I realized the only people who would be reading pages posting this sort of dreck with their seven year olds are the sort who think it's appropriate and don't have trouble telling their children stuff that isn't age appropriate.

Second, for the party which supposedly is "for women", it's incredibly demeaning to imply that the only thing we think is important is to be able to have consequence-less sex.  We don't care if we don't have jobs, we don't care if the few children we do bother to give birth to have a decent home, two parents, a decent education, or a hope of a decent job themselves, we just care that we can rut like animals without worrying about being punished by children.

I thought campaign stuff was supposed to make you want to vote for people, not run away, or even worse laugh at them.

Things to be angry about, part the zillionth.

Can you imagine the public outcry and outrage if this were being done by a Republican White House?

Obama urges companies to break federal law for his reelection

I've been hearing about this for a while, but no place "mainstream".  What are the odd that we'll hear about now from any of the so-called mainstream news outlets?

I would strongly suspect that I have a better chance of winning the lottery tonight than hearing about this on MSNBC.  I would still probably have a better chance if I didn't have a lottery ticket.

I think I need to steal Rachel Lucus's "Why I drink" label for this blog.

Edited to add: I just saw an article on the ABC blog which Jake Tapper is involved with.  Of course Jake is one of two or at most three journalists who seem to be willing to ignore their personal political leanings for actually delivering News.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Last night, knowing full well that I had to get up a little after 6am for work, I didn't even end up in bed until after midnight, and then it took forever to fall asleep.

This morning as I was driving the younger child to school we looked up and saw a beautiful full or nearly full moon.  Which probably explains the sleep issues, since no one else in the family slept well either.

I got into work, took my antihistimines, and after two hours my face is starting to hurt again.  I have a work order request in to maintenance to check for mold and mildew from the flooding.  I suspect it will by a cool day in hell before they do check, and unless they find the toxic black mold the building won't get remediated, since very few years they think about tearing it down (it's from the '60s and built as well as you'd expect, i.e. not very).  I couldn't even get them to replace the rusting out window frames or even replace the cracked glass when they remodeled the area six years ago.  And if it's needed, it will cost much, much more than that.  Of course if they had replaced the windows, I'd be able to open them, and air the place out properly....

And politics is getting tiring.  I keep reading it, and it's just a constant drum beat of how great the (D)s are doing, and how the (R)s are losing so badly.  Lots of crappy polls, like the latest from Public Policy Polling for Connecticut, where Ø is leading by 7, but if you fixed the internals he'd probably be losing. They did poll nearly twice as many (D)s as (R)s, which is correct for this state, but there should have been even more (I)s than (D)s.  Instead they only had about 20%(I), less than their (R) representation.  But you can't unskew the poll because they do their Romney/Obama internals by how the respondent listed themselves on the Very Liberal/Somewhat Liberal/Moderate/Somewhat Conservative/Very Conservative continuum, which can't really be mapped to where the (I)s live very well.  Though if they are mostly Moderate, that would suggest that if you unskewed it, Romney would be winning.

But I'm getting too tired of it all.  I'm going to work the polls, I'm going to vote the way I think best, and I'm going to hope that the perception the media is spinning is just that, spin.

Or we are really, really screwed.