Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Something I agree with

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Monday, January 29, 2007

30 minutes

That's how long I stood outside yesterday banging on the windows, calling the house phone and ringing the doorbell before I finally lost my patience entirely and kicked in a window pane.

The reason I did all that?

Peanut was in my room, at the front of the house, playing on the computer.

When asked if he heard any of the banging at all, he said yes and he thought I was building something. When asked if he didn't think it odd that someone rang the doorbell numerous times yet he didn't hear me go to the door, he again said yes, but thought I was building something and didn't realize I had left the house.

Let's just say he won't have that reaction again. The good thing is we have the old windows where it's 1 simple pane out of 9 that make up the whole thing, thereby making it a much cheaper fix.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Shrub and the Shrubites speak again

Is it me or is this the same 'ol shit rewashed? so I got through most of it but stopped taking notes after the No Child Left Behind lies.

"...the courage to fight it together"? He was talking about the hardships we will be facing in 2007.

"Our citizens don't care what side of the aisle we sit on, just as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done."
Yeah, remember that next time you appoint men like Scooter Libby or Eric Keroack to your throne.

My biggest peeves were the discussion on our current economy and the ever favorite No Child Left Behind Act. After that, I just chatted it up with Charlie, bouncing the highlights off him. He doesn't watch because it gets his blood pressure up and causes the tv's life to be in grave danger.

"This economy is on the move and the only way to keep it that way is not with more government, but with more enterprise."
So says the King who let Haliburton "win" the bid to rebuild Iraq, then turned the other cheek when they were caught stealing from the mouth that fed them.

"We need to balance the federal budget and can do so without raising taxes, though we need a spending discpline in Washington."
Then he said something about no higher taxes, blah blah blah.

I would like to know how we will accomplish not only balancing our federal budget, but paying back the trillions of dollars owed if we never raise taxes? I would also like to know how giving tax cuts to the 1% who don't need it will help the economy, not to mention the nation's poorest individuals/families who struggle everyday to make ends meet?

Oh but he didn't stop there. Of course not, his writers and PR's won't let him.

He mentioned something about "taking on entitlements" such as Social Security, Disability, Medicare/Medicaid, saying "we're not doing a good job"; a) I wasn't aware such things were in the "entitlement" category, b) damn straight we aren't doing a good enough job if millions are still on welfare with millions more waiting their turn and c) what about them there tax cuts for the supremely rich even though they are such a small minority in these United States? Don't those count as "entitlements"?

On to the No Child Left Behind Act where if the school is failing, parents will have the opportunity to send their kids to schools that aren't.

Has he ever thought about trying to fix the schools that are failing by giving them more money, helping to better their staff and, here's a thought, addressing why the schools are failing? It's not because they aren't trying, it's more a matter of not enough people at the top caring and, most importantly, federal funding that gets snatched away when they can't make the grade. (pun intended)

Oh, here's something that made me laugh. It's paraphrased but it's mostly the right point and he said it when discussing the war in Iraq, why we need to stay the path and so on: "Free people do not create violent and harmful ideologies."

Has he forgotten the US has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world despite a drop in crime? And we carry the most guns (enough to arm every citizen 2 or 3 times over)?

And yes America, Bush did ask for a troup increase of 92,000 strong over the next 5 years.

Then he switched to asking for 1.5 billion over 5 years to help fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Remember though, no mentioning condoms could help prevent the disease spread, mmkay?

He did propose a federal payroll tax that would help give every legal citizen access to private health insurance. Ya think he's been talking to Ahnold?

Psst: Isn't it funny that Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney have to sit next to each other? You think they were whispering snide remarks back and forth when the camera wasn't on them?)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Job Update

Still nothing.

But I did find out my previous employer wasn't doing away with my position, but moving to one of about 10hours per week. I just happened to walk in when the new person was being orientated (and knew her because she was my TA once) so asked what she was there for.

Why couldn't they have been honest from the get go? I hate lying about stuff like that. Sure I lie to cover my ass, but there was no ass needing to be covered on either side of this.


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging: "I don't have any excues for being late" edition

I really don't. I don't have a job so that's not taking up my time. Boredom is, however, so that might have something to do with it.

Isn't Peanut cute? I came from the kitchen and found them like this, the dog just patiently waiting for the kid to get off her back. She really does love him, getting excited whenever he returns from spending the weekend with his dad. She lets him do all kinds of crazy things to her and hasn't tried to bite him even when he forgets and jumps on her while she's sleeping (she's deaf so can't hear his running leaps and, when she's on the couch, can't feel them either).

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"That's so gay."

Thursday night Peanut and I were sitting on the couch watching Smallville. During a commercial, he asked me what the word "gay" meant.

I looked over at him and said, "Well, it actually means 'happy, joyful, full of energy'...."


"Yep, but a bunch of years ago someone decided to coopt it, making it into a word that describes men who love other men and women who love other women. Why are you asking?"

Rather laid back, "Ah, just because someone used it at school."

"That's what I thought. They use it to say something someone is wearing 'is gay' or when someone does something odd, 'they're gay,' right?"


A change of tone sets in on my part, "If I ever hear you say anything like that, you will be punished, do you understand? What your friends are in fact articulating is that doing, saying or wearing anything they don't like or find odd is the same as being gay, which is an insult. But really, that's not true and it's hurtful to those who really are gay. You saying it would be agreeing that you don't like gay people and I won't allow that."


End of discussion. I set the boundaries and hopefully he'll respect them, even when I'm not around.


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Sunday, January 14, 2007

And here's a little bit of blush

That's what this color reminds me of and it's why I'm knitting it into my version of a prayer shawl for a good friend of mine. I just got the remaining 3 skeins in the mail last week so I'll be able to finish it soon.

It's Cestari 3 ply, 70% cotton, 30% wool in burgundy heather and made right here in Virginia. I LOVE THIS YARN! I love it so much I bought it in purple heather to knit myself a shawl, too. Of course I keep saying I'll keep them when they're done, but someone comes along that usually needs it more than me. When I finish Lady Eleanor though, no one will even be allowed to breathe on it because I'm simple enamored even without having yet finished the first set of squares.


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My mom's shawl is almost done. The I-Cord is all I need to get going up the sides to polish it off, but I need to sit at an actual table to do it because it sitting on my lap and me hunched over makes for a very uncomfortable position (so says my back and shoulders).

It was knit entirely in Debbie Bliss cashmerino. That is a navy blue in between the colors, not black and it's The Rebozo from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. I love this book and look forward to knitting more shawls from it.

Don't let the folds fool you, this sucker is about 90" long and 60" wide and was knit in about 10 days - that's 321 stitches per row which took 20min (give or take a few) to knit. So just keep in mind this is a long term project because starting at 7pm and knitting until you pretty much fall asleep (for me it was usually around 1:30 or 2am) for 10 days straight not only makes you swear off knitting for a few days, but your hands and legs start hurting.

Of course, I wouldn't have been so rushed if I'd just swallowed my pride and used stitch markers to begin with. But no, I had to find out at the halfway point that I was missing 7 stitches, frogged the whole thing and started over a mere 10days before xmas.


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Friday Cat Blogging: The "2 days Late" version

My a:\ drive wasn't working on Friday 'cause my pc didn't see it was there. Now it is thanks to Nascar Nut so I get to post these delicious pictures of my cat eating the turkey meat out of my bowl.

Did I say it was my cat eating the meat out of my bowl?


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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Animal Testing

I would like to know why repub's and the religious right think it is distasteful and murderous to use stem cells to complete research and testing that might help save future lives yet they allow induced aneurysm's in dogs for the sole purpose of testing new medical/surgical procedures.

What the fuck is up with double standards anyway?

Last time I checked, when you step on a dog's paw, tail or body, they yelp in pain. This means they, too, have feelings and suffer.

So really, what exactly is the difference again?

Do note the article states it is uncommon for them to use the procedure for sales pitches, but they do it regularly as a means of research.

I despise animal testing and do my best to buy/use things that have not been tested on the creatures I choose to keep company with. This includes Iams (believe it or not), most any makeup, most any shampoo (Aussie, TreSemme and Paul Mitchell are a few that do not participate) and I still haven't found an organic/non name brand toothpaste I like since most every other choice is from Proctor & Gamble and they seem to love animals only to test on them.

(If you don't believe how evil it can get, then check out these other links.)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The other shoe has finally dropped

Remember that post I wrote up today on poverty and how if I lost my job I'd be screwed?

Well, today at 4:45pm I was told they were doing away with my position effective immediately. I was given my 2 weeks pay, 2 weeks severance and 1 week of vacation which is to last me until I get another job, hopefully one that pays $27,000 or more.

I've got 3 weeks to find one before extreme panic sets in. Wish me luck!


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I make $6.50 an hour. Am I poor?

Read this. Whatever your problems financially, this will certainly put it in perspective for you. And certain of you will realize that being poor isn't necessarily about "working yourself out of it" because that isn't always an option or a reality.

I make $27,000 a year. I'm not too much of a math genius to figure out what that is hourly but I'm guessing it's around $15 an hour or so. When I first moved me and Peanut into our very first apartment, I worried about spending any extra money. I paid my bills, bought breakfast at Children's Hospital once a week and that's it. I stuck to my $75 for groceries that had to last us 2 weeks.

That was in September. I have since realized I can breathe a little. I now spend $100 every 2 weeks on groceries, have enough to pay the $55/week for after school care costs, internet, basic cable and digital voice from Comcast, car and renters insurance then I have the gas and electricity bill not to mention rent and water. All that and I still have a little bit left over for savings (since dogs and cats do tend to get sick on Sunday or in the evening when only the emergency vet is open).

Honestly, I have to thank my ex-husband for the extra $300 a month I get in child support for giving me that extra room because without it, I'd be scraping by, barely making ends meet and stressing out every time my dog decides to poop out worms on Christmas Eve morning (which really did happen and thank heavens for credit because it cost me $206.31 to have the vet tell me they couldn't find any worms, they were going by what I saw originally and that she had excess bacteria in her stool).

Essentially we get by. I worry about losing my job because it could take months to find another one and of course, without an active income I won't be able to pay any of the above. I also worry about something happening to me, preventing me from working. Sure FMLA exists for such times, but that only lasts for 6months. What if my resulting injury causes permanent disability? Thank goodness my job now doesn't require much from me physically, but accessible they are not.

But, like the author of the article I linked to said, there isn't any point in indulging in such worries.

My last paper for my women's studies senior seminar dealt with forced sterilization of women with any disability in developing countries. In the beginning paragraphs I stated that since we all live on a disability continuum, I was going to use "we" and "us" in certain parts and "they" in others where needed. A 15minute debate between the professor and I ensued because she didn't think it was right for me to place myself, a very able-bodied person, on the same plain. Even after explaining my reasoning several times she wasn’t willing to stop so I ended up telling her I wasn't there to defend my dissertation and the discussion was over. It was not a fun time.

This bit of anecdotal evidence comes to mind because any of us could be poor at any time and most often it is a result of disability, losing a job or a pile of medical bills so high one can't see around them so individuals end up overwhelmed and behind on their other bills.

So is it the author's fault she was plunged into poverty? Would we use this example to condemn her life and ask why she hasn't worked harder?

If you are a rational thinker, compassionate and emphatic, I sure hope not.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh lookey hea Ms. Scahlett,

the irreverent Delegate Marshall is lookin' to set Virginia on the path to illegalize abortion once again.

Abortion illegal upon overturning of Roe v. Wade. Provides that if and when the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is overturned, allowing the states to by their laws once again regulate abortion, the law in the Commonwealth of Virginia rendering abortion a crime, as it was in effect on June 30, 1970, and prior to the decision in Roe v. Wade, shall be reinstated. The Attorney General shall publish legal notice statewide that, in his opinion, the decision is overturned and that Virginia's law is as it was prior to the decision in Roe v. Wade. The Attorney General shall publish statewide notice of the change in law, along with the reinstated law governing the criminal offense of abortion.
Notice it says "if and when" Roe v. Wade is overturned.

But he hasn't gotten one of his asinine anti-choice bills passed yet. Let's hope this year will be like all the rest.

(Okay, okay, so I did a little searching and I kinda have to agree with this one. I guess this falls under the category of "political irony" since, in this bill, he's asking that a woman be free from duress while trying to make the decision yet, hmmm, didn't he just propose to make it illegal all the way around once Roe v. Wade is overturned? Which would then make this bill null and void since he took away the very sin a boyfriend/husband could push the woman into doing. *sigh* You gotta love the inconsistencies.)

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I don't do this often

But a NYC Council Member has decided city residents should no longer be allowed to own pit bulls.

New York City Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr. said the city should ban residents from owning pit bulls and he is calling for the repeal of a state law prohibiting breed-specific legislation. Overturning this law would clear the way for NYC to enact legislation banning city residents from owning pit bulls. North Shore Animal League America opposes this campaign and encourages you to send an email to Councilman Vallone, Jr., encouraging him to reconsider his campaign to ban pit bulls from New York City.

"Dear Mr. Vallone,
North Shore Animal League America of Port Washington, NY, would like to respectfully express our concern and disagreement with your pit bull breed legislation campaign. After reading your statement in the New York Sun, it has come to our attention that like many people who share your fears and concerns regarding "pit bulls," you may be misinformed regarding the behavioral, psychological and physical attributes of these collective breeds, which usually contributes to this common confusion."

"Pit bull" is a general title used to describe several breeds of dogs who share similar physical characteristics. Commonly, the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier fall under the category of "pit bull," though many others are often associated with it as well. However, using such a generic term, like pit bull, is as non-specific as saying retriever or hound. Therefore, we request that you clarify which exact animal you are referring to so we can all fully comprehend your notion and feel confident that you fully comprehend it as well.
Please sign the open letter today and let Vallone know how you feel about breed specific legislation, which has been proven not to work because owners will either move out of the city or move on to a different breed of dog.

Would this ban include pit mixes? How about dogs who look like pits but really aren't? Who exactly is going to foot the bill for regulating these dogs? Are they going to give city animal control workers a raise? How about a bonus?

Or, an interesting concept would be to actually start cracking down on dog fighting, taking it and what it does to the animals involved, seriously. I bet that would work much better at fixing the real problem instead of blaming the dogs. Like Supernanny told some parents last night (except she was talking about kids but it applies to animal mommies and daddies, too), "How dare you blame the dogs for how they turned out. They didn't ask to be put here."

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Monday, January 08, 2007

This is just mean

But oh so spot on.

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From the mouths of babes

Children that is, not hot women.

So Saturday evening I was visiting my mom, dad, sister and niece for a bit, delivering to them my fake xmas tree so they could store it, checking out the progress on the kitchen and so on.

I was upstairs standing slightly behind my sister because I had just checked on the hermit crabs when my niece came in.

She handed my sister a kotex pad - it was wrapped in pink plasticy paper. Both my sister and niece paused, looking at each other for a second or 2, both had a hand on the pad.

Then my sister asks, "Okay, what am I supposed to do with this?"

My niece began to unwrap the pad and said to my sister, "LOOK!"

"Okay, but what do you want me to do with it?"

Taking it out of the wrapper then uncurling it, my niece said, "Look! It's a diaper!"

My sister told my niece to go back to cleaning her room and I smacked my sister and said, "Heh, you wear a diaper."

She didn't think it was very funny. I, however, thought it was hilarious.


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Friday, January 05, 2007

Wish List for 2007

I hopped over to Knit Blue for a moment and discovered that one of the contributors had posted her Wish List for 2007, which I have taken #2 and quoted here:

2. Progress towards universal single-payer health coverage. My SO has a seasonal job, with no health care from January through April. I recently was looking up short-term catastrophic health insurance policies, and guess what? They don’t exist! The two reasonably priced ones I found were from really sketchy looking companies. At a respectable company, the cheapest monthly premium was around $150 but that had a $15,000 (!) deductible! A more reasonable deductible of $2,500 had $300+ monthly premiums. Again, this is just for catastrophic insurance in the event of a major health crisis, with no other benefits. And if we don’t purchase it, I shudder to think of the years and years of debt payments we would incur if he does have an accident or something. Here is one of the best articles I’ve read outlining the advantages of a single-payer health care system. Such a system could actually benefit the economy by taking a huge financial burden off employers, who might actually raise wages using the saved money and even expand their total hiring and capital expenditures. Plus, it would give people more of an ability to take other financial risks in their lives, increasing entrepreneurial endeavors and technological breakthroughs.
In the comments someone linked to Arianna Huffington's Wish List and it consists of what she would like to hear "certain public figures" say at some point during the year and actually mean it. Below are a few of my favorites:

"I will not run for president of the United States. But if I do, I will speak from my heart and not triangulate every issue within an inch of its life." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton
"We will admit that guns, in fact, really do kill people, and lots of them." -- the NRA

"When we hear bullshit, we will call it bullshit" -- The Mainstream Media

"I will pick a hair color that occurs naturally in nature before I pick up Rosie's girlfriend." -- Donald Trump

"When people ask me why I'm gay I will have them watch The Apprentice." -- Rosie O'Donnell
Of course I would like to add the following 3 to the Wish List posted on Knit Blue and I'm sure I'll think of a few others later. I do, after all, have 12 months to figure this out.

1) Men who beat their significant others within an inch of their life (especially with their children watching and/or forced to participate) should be charged with a felony, not a misdemeanor assault charge. Seriously, why does the woman have to almost die to have her boyfriend/husband held accountable for his shitty actions and/or behaviors?

2) That society stops holding a woman accountable/responsible for her own rape since we can't rape ourselves. I've said it many times here: only men can stop rape.

3) I wish we'd stop using the phrase, "But it's just a dog/cat/squirrel/rat/mole...." and peeps are held accountable for the abuse, harm and/or neglect they do to animals. I would also prefer the world to wake up and realize any kind of animal fighting is abhorrent and disgusting, then pass laws reflecting such new insightful genius. Oh, and that banning a specific breed will not fix the reason the need exists to begin with.

That is all.

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Local Politics

Virginia's General Assembly session is set to kick off Wednesday and oh what fun they will be having this year it seems. There are the usual stream of anti-choice bills which constantly get defeated and the usual stream of pro-choice bills that also constantly get defeated, i.e. insurance paying for birth control which would help prevent unwanted pregnancies therefore reducing the "demand" for abortions.

But I digress.

What has caught my eye this year is a bill The Family Foundation is proposing but don't yet have a sponsor for. It's a bill that would take Virginia's no-fault divorce and change it into one that requires mutual consent. Isn't that just super family focused?

What that means is both parties will be required to agree to the divorce instead of just one, which is what a no fault divorce is and what currently now stands in Virginia.

So, The Family Foundation, who notoriously spout they have only the interest of the children in mind, want a woman/man to stay with their spouse regardless of how much love and affection isn't present within the relationship. And how does this help to create and maintain healthy children exactly?

Oh yeah, because kids from single parent families tend to be hellions, single-handedly causing the crime rate to go up, suffering from not having the other parent around (especially the dad's as there hasn't been a whole lot of squawking about absent mothers) and all generalalities we can place on single parents.

Meanwhile, mom is getting beat by dad constantly or mom is so controlling, even dad is afraid to leave the house. If either party is the controlling/abusive type, does The Family Foundation honestly think they're going to "mutually consent" to a divorce?

Ah, no.

This then leaves the unhappy party stuck, literally and metaphorically. What The Family Foundation needs to do is read the thousands of articles/books/journals that have published the findings of research done on the effects divorce vs. "staying together for the kids" has on children and how really none of them is optimal, but breaking free from a beater is hella better than staying with one.


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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I have labels and the Dem's get a spine!!

As you may or may not have noticed, since switching to the new and improved blogger, I have labels therefore providing categories you can read instead of scrolling endlessly through archives in a desperate search for the post on, well, whatever crazy randomness I decided to reveal.

Peanutisms are now grouped together if that's all you care about and I think political irony has to be my favorite. I guess I should start including how Democrats fall under that category, too, in order to be fair. It's just harder for me since I agree with most of what their stance is even if I don't like how spineless so many have been.

Until now that is! I just read via Alternet that Dem's plan on using their first 100 hours to pass important bills while disallowing Repub's to get a word in. These bills are things the repub's have tabled for years so it will be nice to see their reaction once the new majority takes over.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.
I rather think this is exciting because now we'll get stuff done that will actually help folks from the newer generations coming up - like the X'ers such as myself - and start to take care of those going out, like the Boomers and the Builders. At least I can hope anyway.

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Pat Robertson is starting off the year with a bang

Or rather, a prediction that will surely send his followers into a chaotic tailspin.

"There will be some very serious terrorist attacks," he said. "The evil people will come after this country, and there's a possibility - not a possibility, a definite certainty - that chaos is going to rule." Robertson did not say where the attacks would occur.
Like I told my mom, the only chaos that is going to rule is the mass hysteria of the folks who actually believe him.

Wouldn't it be lovely if the "evil people" were his next door neighbors?


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