Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Kitchen Demolition Derby-from beginning to end

We've lived in our Arizona home for over six years and we've done a few home improvements during that time.  We took out all the carpeting (nice in cold weather climes, awful here) and put in bamboo flooring everywhere.  We took out that cursed Bermuda grass in the back yard (hated fiercely by the dogs because it's so hard) and replaced it all with beautiful pavers.  We did put in a strip of nice soft turf grass which the doggies appreciate.

Ah, but the kitchen.....  a builder's special.  You know that kind.... the least expensive counters, cupboards, etc.  Well, the countertops started to chip, here and there.  So, there comes a time when talking about it becomes DO SOMETHING!

It just so happens that Abbott has a really good friend who has been in the remodeling business for a long time (and is a wonderful musician on the side.)  Lou proved to be an enormously gifted craftsman, a perfectionist, very resourceful and an incredibly hard worker.  Following his guidance, we went to IKEA and purchased our new kitchen and all that that entails.

Then the plumber came and pulled out the kitchen sink and the demolition was on!  Removing everything from the kitchen proved to be hellish.  There was *stuff* everywhere, in the living room, on the dining room table (totally covered) on the kitchen table (totally covered) piled in the guest bedroom, piled on the washer and dryer (that was fun) and spilling out into the garage and the patio. To say it was difficult to walk around is an understatement.  We had to eat out a lot because we had nothing to cook on or in.  The one thing we managed to keep plugged in was the coffee machine!

So here are some photos of what we lived through.  The end result was.............WORTH IT!

Here's what the kitchen looked like before the demolition.




The demolition begins.....



Lou, putting the cabinets together in the garage.


Not much room to navigate........


The first cabinets go up!


A continuing mess.............


Several of the cabinets are in place.  We're waiting for the countertops. 


A bit of a story here... Lou got a call from a friend he hadn't seen for quite a while, another musician. Guess what he does for his day job now?  He works for a local counter fabricating company!  The upshot of this particular good fortune was that we went with his company and you can see the granite installers below.


Here comes the really big piece!


In the meantime, Snuggles and Sterling were banished to the patio while the counters came in! They were not happy.


Lou came to make sure the counters were installed to his specifications.


The big slab is in as is the new sink!


The backsplash is going up by Mr. Perfectionist!


Lou says this was the worst part of the job since the backsplash was made out of aluminum and the ends had to be cut to fit like a puzzle.  OY!  He says he'll never put in another backsplash like this one!  I don't blame him..  He had to buy a special blade to cut the pieces. 


And here's the finished kitchen.




I took 197 photos from start to finish.  But these few will give you an idea of what has been going on here from November 18th until yesterday evening.  I can't thank Lou enough for the fantastic job he did.  If it wasn't for his expertise, his dedication, his wonderful sense of humor, and his easygoing persona, this project wouldn't have gone as well as it did.  I offered to adopt him but he just snickered.  I'm really glad he and Abbott are such good friends.  And this:  Thanks, G, for loaning out your husband for so many weeks.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Continuing the Charter School Discussion

Continuing the charter-school discussion on the Robert Reich thread on Facebook, the following conversation took place.

William M wrote to me that charter schools are the major problem, that they are a result of a concerted effort the conservative/Xtian types use to end run the standard public school curriculum (which reflects and actual separation of church and state) and turn a bunch of impressionable kids into little narrow-minded "for profit Jesus" acolytes. And that many folks don't realize that every time a charter school is created you suck some blood out of the public school system since they are, in effect, competing for the same funds.  He says that it's a clever fifth column initiative by religious extremists masquerading as "educational reformers."

This was my response.


William: I am aware of what charter schools do.  But check out the schools in New London, CT where every school is a public charter school.  I believe it's the only city in the nation to do this.  My comment was made out of incredible frustration with the Right's was against education.  As long as there are idiots like Diane Douglas here in AZ who was just voted in as State Education Superintendent and has NO education background, we have a problem. I was a public school teacher  years ago and always believed in the system.  With Republicans decimating funding for public schools, the system no longer works.  When you get Republicans who don't believe children have a right to a good education, we D/P/Ls have to find a way to make sure we raise intelligent youngsters to counter what the idiot religious fanatics are raising.  If Republican-controlled states are killing public education, we have to wrest control back and funnel tons of money into education or fight them another way-through our own charter schools. Have you another suggestion?

Now, what do you, who may be reading this, think about a public, Progressive/Liberal national chain of charter schools?  Can it be done?  Should it be done to combat the Right-wing onslaught of stupidity?

This is not just an important issue.  It may be so urgent and critical to the life of this nation, that it will become imperative that these kinds of schools take the lead to produce critically-thinking, intelligent individuals who believe this country should work for everyone and words like altruism, generosity, humanity, kindness, equality and goodness become the norm.




Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's Time To Start a Chain of Progressive/Liberal Charter Schools

I was responding to a long comment on FaceBook by Robert Reich on the change in The New Republic which was a liberal voice and now will become a stripped down shadow of its former self, and this is what transpired.       

My comment:

Good grief my head is exploding from all the insane right wing propaganda.   I want liberal/progressive ideas shouted, screamed from the rooftops, drowning out the Right's march to stupidity, hatred and greed.  Perhaps it's time to start a chain of Progressive/Liberal charter schools across the country to make sure the upcoming generations are really well-educated so they WILL be able to drown out the nuts, the uneducated, the religious fanatics, the 18th century thinkers of the Right.  Okay, I'm off my soap box now.  But, that felt good! 

David responded by saying there is already a chain.... college.

I wrote back:

David, by college, it's too late.  We need junior high and high school kids to become passionately involved in making this country work for everyone.  We need those kids to become activists for their own future.

Paul told me to get back on my soapbox and make it so.  So I added: Paul, my soapbox is my blog where I write in order to vent.

Judy wrote:  Great idea, starting liberal and progressive charter schools.  So many entities are establishing "charter schools", many religious, so this is the time for progressives to get in on the act.

There were a few more comments on my thread and dozens more on this subject.  The upshot of this whole thing is that we, as liberals and progressives, must get much more vocal, vociferous, forceful, and active to make sure people understand the tremendous harm, immorality, iniquity and evil the Republican Party has and will continue to inflict on the majority of citizens of this country.

I like the idea of Progressive/Liberal charter schools.   The crazies have their schools.  The intelligent, forward-thinking, educated people should have theirs.    This is really a war for the future of this country.   What do you think?



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kitchen demolition derby

We've been in our Arizona home for over six and a half years.  In that time we haven't done much in the way of upgrading or changing anything in it except for improving all the closets with some built-ins when we first moved in and making one of the bedrooms into an office with built-in cabinets, shelves and desks.

So during this past summer, we tore out the Bermuda grass in the back yard.  That stuff was awful and hard and prickly.   The dogs hated to walk on it so they would walk on the bricks surrounding the grass.  We opted for replacing that grass with lovely pavers and stones which really made a pretty addition to our patio.  We then planted a strip of soft turf grass for the dogs over on the side of the pavers.  It looks pretty and the dogs really like that area.  A pergola will be added next year.







However, the inside of the house looked like it needed........... something.  Our kitchen counters were made of that wonderful "builders' special" stuff that looked like it would crack if you looked at it funny.  Well, it did crack......off.  A large piece came off where it could be readily seen.  So, it was time to actually do something.  Where to start!

So, along comes Lou, a good friend of Abbott's, whose first career was as a contractor.  He's done some huge projects both in Massachusetts and here.  He's the drummer in Abbott's band and he's quite a musician now.  He doesn't do "contracting" now.... but for me....well, sure.

We agreed to choose Ikea cabinets and Lou comes with us to the store, we choose what we like and Lou orders what we need.  Some of it isn't in the store.  It's in their California warehouse and some pieces still have to come in to the country.  So, we get our order ...piecemeal.  It's still not all here yet. Lou begins the demolition derby in the kitchen and pretty soon we have "kitchen stuff" piled everywhere in the house.   This is just what's on and under the dining room table. The spare bedroom is piled with stuff, too.




Our plumber unhooks the dishwasher and the sink and brings me a beautiful new stainless steel one that will go in when the new countertops go on.  Lou works alone and is a perfectionist.  At this point we are coping with no kitchen sink or dishwasher, no microwave, no counters, and stuff everywhere.  Trying to make some meals has become a game.




We have now chosen our granite countertops.  It looks like it will be at least a few more weeks before they come in.  But, at least the microwave will be in today, I can just about use the stove but I can't use anything too big to cook in because there won't be a sink until nearly the end of this project and I'll be damned if we're going to wash stuff in the tub!

It's an interesting project, seeing how each piece, as it's put into its rightful place, allows me to envision how lovely this kitchen will look when it's done.  A pain in the tuchus?  Yes, but worth it? Definitely.




Friday, November 21, 2014

It doesn't affect me much so why do I care?

My children are grown so I have none in school.

I'm past childbearing age.  No worries there.

My husband and I are both professionals.  We each have/had great jobs throughout our working lives.

We've always had a nice home to live in, enough food and clothing.

We've always had what passes for health insurance in this country (I have other words for this) so, thank goodness we've enjoyed good health for the most part.

I've never had a personal need to go to a women's shelter, a food kitchen or a charity for help.

With the exception of one incident decades ago, I've never been the object of religious hate.

I've never been the object of hate because of the color of my skin or my sexual orientation.

I've never been denied to right to vote.

I'm able to live my life with never having to worry about the myriad of hateful things that millions of people all over the world are subjected to.... and especially the millions who reside in the United States, that bastion of democracy that is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave where freedom and equality are supposed to apply to every citizen.

So, the Ferguson, Missouri horror; the denial of the right to vote for so many that just occurred; the laws passed regulating women's health issues by men who shouldn't be sticking their noses in where they don't belong; the gerrymandering; the decimating of social services; the defunding of all the things that help the poor, the disabled, women, veterans, education, and children; the privatization of prisons and schools; the dumbing down of education in America and replacing facts with religious fiction; and the drive to make this country a right-wing Christian nation should really have no affect on me but yet, IT DOES!

It does because I have a heart, a brain and I understand what a democracy is supposed to be.  What we have now is an oligarchy, a form of government with power vested in a few, not a government of, by and for the people. The Republican/Tea Party faction in this country doesn't want a government to benefit the populace.  They want control of our lives, the country's assets and a population of uninformed puppets doing their bidding. Our Congress is populated by a plethora of absolutely the most stupid and crass individuals, filled with hate for those unlike them

How can I stand by and watch this country sink into a quagmire of never-ending greed, hostility, intense hatred, racism, bigotry, misogyny, corporate greed and disregard of civil rights?  I can't.  I'm choking on my rage. So I write to my Washington Congressional representatives and senators, to my local politicians; I sign petitions and add my own comments; I email to these same people; I make my opinions and positions known; I support organizations who believe in equality and civil rights for everyone; and I BLOG because I have to have a place to vent my frustration with what passes for a society in this country.  It's not civilized.  It's simply crazy.

If this country doesn't change into a humane, caring country that welcomes diversity and offers equality and civil rights to all and offers ways everyone can live without fear (of so many things and people), this country will go down in flames and we'll have the vicious Republicans and Tea Party to thank for the demise of the United States.  They will cause the death of this country. And no one wants to see the younger generation put up with that.

So, yes I care and I do what I can do.  And anyone who reads this should be doing something, anything to combat the viciousness and stupidity so prevalent in this country now.  Perhaps it will take another couple of decades when these nuts will have died off for progress to be made.  But rage against the Republican machine needs to begin now before there is nothing to save and nothing to care about.


Monday, November 3, 2014

So, what to do after the election...

If my "prayers," pleas, entreaties, begging, beseeching, imploring, requesting, demands, and appeals don't work and somehow  the *********** GOP/TP gets the upper hand (by stealing the election), I and most of the liberals I know (and I know A LOT)  will sit back (only for a while) and watch the dismantling of our democracy.

And when that happens, we will watch the other GOP/TP members (read the stupid people of the GOP/TP who are not in the 1%) gasp when their roads and bridges fall completely apart; their water is so contaminated they cannot drink it (starting already); they lose the health insurance they just got through the ACA and again have to come up with money to pay for pre-existing conditions on their own; they can't find jobs because they're all overseas; their schools teach nothing that will enable them to get to college because they don't teach anything of substance (just religious crap); there is no money to provide educational materials in the classroom; there is no help when a natural disaster hits; there will be no workers' compensation when they get hurt on the job because they can't afford a lawyer to fight for them and the company they worked for will screw them; their children will be even more at risk of being shot and killed because of the NRA; veterans, the homeless, the poor, seniors, Latinos and Blacks will continue getting even more screwed .............  Ah, you get the idea.

Then we'll watch them begin to complain that they're not getting the services they expect; their social security has gone down the drain because it's been privatized; their Constitutional rights have been eroded and they realize this country has become not only an oligarchy but in many areas, a police state and they have become the lowly peons while the GOP 1% holds all the wealth and the power.

If this happens, there will be a revolution, a rebellion, an uprising, an insurgency and perhaps a coup d'├ętat because too many of us are tired of the lies, the stupidity, the craziness, the unbelievable hatred and greed that is the hallmark of the GOP. And if the light bulb finally lights up the "brains" of those GOP nuts who voted against their own interests, maybe their anger will help bring down the rich, haughty shmucks who think their money should be able to buy them a government.

I would look forward to the demise of the GOP/TP for they are the biggest scourge of humanity in this country.

Please leave a comment here.  Thanks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sometimes, it's not good to be nice

Sometimes, it's just not good to be nice or all positive or upbeat. Republicans have been running ads here in Arizona that are full of outright lies, are really childish, attack opponents with innuendo, accuse opponents of things the GOP has done themselves, etc.  And to be upfront, Democrats have done some attack ads, too, but the majority of the attack ads are run by the GOP and funded by tons of money from outside the state, the "dark money whores," those who do the bribing.

What I'm referring to are the ads that make no sense, pairing the candidate with issues that have nothing to do with the workings of the office.  The blatant lies, the mudslinging, the amount of ads.... all make me sick.  Thank goodness for the mute button.

The few positive ads I've seen have been run by Democrats.  They consist of telling the viewer what the candidate believes, why the candidate believes it, what the candidate has done about the issues and what the candidate will do for the people on the issues.  Not a word about their opponents.

The nasty ads have taken over the airwaves so much that I'm at the point where I'd like to see Democrats come out swinging and pointing with both barrels.  But, alas, we're not that nasty.  We've been brought up right.  We have more compassion, we embrace everyone, we look out for "the people," we try to do what's right for all our citizens, not just the rich, the White and the powerful.  We're just not cut out to do "slash and slice" like the GOP does.

But sometime down the road, the GOP will pay dearly for their contempt for "others." And when they do, I'll be cheering, laughing and dancing, even though it might seem that I'd be stomping on their graves.  It can't happen fast enough for me and the majority of my fellow citizens..... the 98%.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A parent's heart

This is the time of year when Jewish people observe a very intense period of ten days: those between Rosh Hashanah-the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.  It is our time to celebrate the "birth" of the universe, our New Year, if you will.  It is a time for reflection about what the past year has been like for us, what we have done during that year and then decide how we can do better, be better, be kinder, more humane, endeavor to try to help make the world a better place.

During the ten days, we reflect on our interactions with others, the good, the not so good and we realize we have to make changes in our interactions with others. At the beginning of the Days of Awe, it is said that Gd opens the Book of Life.  At the close of the Day of Atonement, the Book of Life is sealed and our "fate" for the next year is determined.

And it is customary to wish our friends and family the following:  L'Shanah Tovah or Happy New Year and "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life."  We wish all our friends and family a healthy, happy, prosperous and joyous year.

For years my husband and I have always offered this wish for our sons who, over the years, have had some medical issues.  Our wishes for their good health have not really been heard.  With a chuckle in their voices they've even asked us to skip the "good health" wish and just stay with the "Happy New Year!"

This year, I've spent sleepless nights talking to myself, wondering why things are not getting much better for the boys.  And then I found myself praying (something I rarely do) for their problems to become mine if only they would feel good and be completely healthy again.  A mother's heart (and a dad's heart, too) gets easily broken when their children are hurting.  Maybe this year we'll have a breakthrough with answers that can give them the good health they deserve.  Then maybe our hearts will feel better and we can once again wish them a Happy and Health New Year.  We always wish that they may be inscribed in the Book of Life.  We fervently hope our words are "heard," not only for our sons but for all our family and friends.  Good health is the only thing that matters.  With that, everything else will fall into place.

If you're reading this, I wish that you all may be inscribed in the Book of Life.



 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Phoenix Mercury: the 2014 WNBA Champions!

They did it. The brooms came out against the Chicago Sky, and it was 3 and done.  And done in a spectacular way.  With fewer than 15 seconds remaining, Diana Taurasi hit an incredible fadeaway jumper and was fouled in the attempt.  That shot and the successful foul shot insured the championship for the Mercury.  It was a clean 3-game sweep.

Watching and cheering loudly from home, we were caught up in the excitement... until we realized that the WNBA season was now over and our trips into Phoenix to watch the Mercury were over until next season.  We'd have to wait almost nine months until the opener next season. Oh NO-O-O-O-O!

However, we got one more chance to see our beloved team at a triumphant rally at US Airways Center on Sunday.  And oh, what fun that was. The team rolled into the arena in a white stretch limo and the coaches and each member of the team stepped out of the limo, one by one. The last, Diana Taurasi stepped out, then ducked back into the limo to bring out the championship trophy.  The place erupted.

We all spent the next hour listening to Kip Helt who hosted the festivities, the mayor of Phoenix, Coach Sandy Brondello, and the players, all reveling in each others' achievements.  It was, simply, a love fest.  Fans adore this team and with good reason.  They provided a season of excitement, fun, amazing basketball skills, energy, fierce competitiveness and a singularly remarkable fan experience.

So, here's to the 2014 WNBA CHAMPIONS!  We're so looking forward to your next wonderful season but, above all, stay healthy and know your adoring fans will be packing the arena again, hoping for a repeat!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

View from a Phoenix Mercury Fan

For the past 5 years, my husband and I have been season ticket-holders for the Phoenix Mercury, the premier WNBA basketball team. We moved to Arizona from Connecticut where we were (and still are) rabid UCONN women's basketball fans!  We were each fortunate to have been able to see Diana Taurasi, live, during her UCONN basketball games.  It was almost impossible to get tickets to the women's games and a friend shared some of hers with us.  So we've followed her career from the beginning.

We were giddy with delight when we moved to the Phoenix area, knowing she was a member of the Phoenix Mercury.  And as much as we love Diana's play, her tenacity, her skillfulness, her intelligence, her attitude, her personality and her teamwork, we also love the rest of the team and how they all work together to create one cohesive, almost choreographed group of basketball talent with one thing in mind: to help make each other rise to the occasion each and every game with the ultimate purpose of winning a championship.

This year, the Fabulous Five, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Penny Taylor, Candice Dupree and DeWanner Bonner, has consistently played as if their brains were linked.  Smooth footwork,  transitions and passes resulting in baskets, confounding their opponents make for some really great video.  But it's obvious that the leadership of their new coach, Sandy Brondello, has sparked a learning curve that just can't be beaten. This team has proven to be in sync with Coach Brondello's brilliant guidance and the incredible assistant coaches, Julie Hairgrove and Todd Troxel.  And the bench has been exceptional, stepping up handsomely when called upon, doing the job they need to do and completing the team with the best possible talent.  Erin Phillips, Shay Murphy, Mistie Bass, Aneta Je kobsone-┼Żagota, Ewelina Kobryn and Tiffany Bias all add to the greatness of the team.

The Mercury provides the ultimate fan experience. There are those who follow the team, there are those who are fans and then there is the X-FACTOR, fans who are season ticket holders and are, literally, fanatics, when it comes to the love of their team.  We are loud, devoted, and in love with everything Phoenix Mercury.  Those of us who can, travel to their away games.  We go early to games to watch the team on the floor shooting baskets.  X-Factor members get incentives but those are incidental to our love of the team.  We live and breathe Mercury.  The Mercury Hip Hop Squad and Scorch, the mascot, provides incredibly exciting entertainment during the games. The energy and excitement that starts with the introduction of the team is palpable, infectious, and gets the building rocking!  I don't think any other WNBA team has what we have: thousands of highly charged fans who know that their Mercury team is THE BEST in the world.  

During the course of the season, we can't wait to get to the games and it's a bit difficult to leave after a game because the excitement lingers.  Our lives are planned around home games and I make sure there is a way for us to keep up with their away games, whether by the Mercury app, Watch ESPN on my iPhone or on TV where we scream and cheer as if we were actually there!

In essence, we are the ultimate fans for a team that brings out the best in each player, provides an incredible sports experience, treats its fans and each other as family and is, SIMPLY THE BEST at what they do.

Phoenix Mercury:  I dub thee the SISTERHOOD OF THE BASKETBALL.  I just love this team!






Thursday, September 4, 2014

Will my voice be heard?

I just wrote the following to my two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans from Arizona.

Please vote Yes on Senate Joint Resolution 19.

My voice is not being  heard because I don't have the billions of dollars that corporations do to buy your votes.  Corporations are business entities.  They don't breathe, they don't consume food.  They are NOT HUMAN.  I have a well-functioning intellect so don't condescendingly throw back at me that corporations are people.  The Citizens United ruling was a skillfully crafted underhanded deal to put power in the hands of the wealthy, leaving the rest of us to be screwed out of our rights in a democracy.

It's time for you to show some backbone and understand we don't want to live in a plutocracy.  It's time to kill Citizens United.  Do you have the guts to do what's right for the people?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We, the who?

I am a consumer of many things.  I use commodities and services.  I pay for what I consume and it doesn't matter how much I pay for what I consume.  The fact remains, I do pay.

Some of the things I pay or have paid for come from the government like social security and Medicare.  I paid for those things all my working life and I have a right to get those services for which I paid.  I also have paid or continue to pay for the US government to work so that ALL CITIZENS BENEFIT from the laws passed in the US Congress.   However, I'm not getting my money's worth.

I, and many tens of millions of my fellow citizens, are getting the shaft.  We are paying for wars we do not approve of, for environmental disasters occurring with regularity, for laws strangling women's rights, for laws being pushed through that favor the Christian religion over all others, for laws that restrict freedom of speech and assembly, for laws that counter the Constitution.  I and the rest of the 99% are NOT getting the roads or the infrastructure repaired, the air and water cleaned up, the research and development for eradicating diseases funded enough, the superior PUBLIC education everyone is entitled to receive, the exceptional health care seen offered in other countries but not here, the reasonable prices for medications, the assurance that all people will be treated fairly regardless of race, origin, gender, or age.  Ah, yes, I could go on but you get the idea.  There is no "liberty and justice for all," only for some as long s they are white, male, very rich and mostly Christian.

Through taxes, my money and the money from my fellow citizens (read the 99%), pays the salaries of 535 individuals who are supposed to be working for (the collective) me.  They do not.  Most of them are sick, greedy bastards who come to Washington with their hands out, ready to do the bidding of and work for the likes of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffet, Big Business, Big Pharma, the polluters, the sneaky, dishonorable, disreputable businesses who line pockets of Congress with bushels of money.

I'm not getting my money's worth because I'm not a gazillionaire.  The money I pay won't get me an audience with any of my congress people.  They don't listen to anyone other than those who find a way to funnel huge sums of cash into their offshore bank accounts.   So yes, I'm saying that many in Congress take bribes although they wouldn't call it that.  I would suggest that Congress has become peopled with high-priced prostitutes.  So, I write to my Senators and Legislators on all kinds of issues.  What I get back is the work of an underling who emails a stock answer that has nothing to do with what I commented on or had concerns about.  Just a nondescript "thank you" for contacting the office.

My voice is not being heard because I don't have the money to buy anyone in Congress.  I would bet that the majority of people who run for seats in Congress start out with decent intentions but it doesn't take long before the bigger picture standing in front of them is that of a bulging bank account which gets bigger the longer they manage to keep their Congressional seats.

And then there is the partisanship of politics.  When did compromise become a dirty word? Sane intelligent people who have differences of opinion usually discuss, consider, examine, reason and explore solutions that will benefit as many people as possible without kicking an opposite view down a hellhole.  And doing so without resorting to lying, bribery, stupidity, denying established facts or being influenced by money-grubbing corporations, businesses or individuals who want special privileges or special laws made for just them.

Democracy is supposed to be government with power vested in the people. We keep electing people who have lost sight of that. What we have is not democracy anymore.  We have a plutocracy with government power invested in the few, the 1%, the ones with the multitudes of money, the gazillionaires who want more money, power and act as if this country belongs to them personally. This country has become ruled by the wealthy.  Which one of the Kochs will claim to be THE KING when the GOP/TP get their way?  Will they fight over the crown?  Will Sheldon Adelson muscle his way in with his corpulent, elephantine body and claim the throne?

So, the Preamble to the Constitution starts with, We the People of the United States.  That is no longer true.  I ask:  We the who?  The answer now is: We the Corporations.  We the rich, white, privileged .....

We are the laughing stock of the world.  Will there be another revolution?  Perhaps there will come a time when the 99% will be so fed up with being treated like second-class citizens or worse that they will be willing to take that stand against the mostly Republican greedy bastards who have destroyed what the United States is supposed to be.  And just to make it abundantly clear:  THIS IS NOT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FAULT.  I lay the fault at the feet of the GOP and their particularly stupid friends from the Tea Party.  They are a war-mongering, illiterate, lying, intellectually-deficent bunch of religious fanatics who are happily led around by the rings in their noses as long as the money keeps flowing.  I hope someday soon they'll fall into that hellhole they've dug for everyone else.

A caveat:  I do have some wonderfully bright GOP friends who ARE NOT part of the group I have assailed above.


(Thanks to Politics USA for the meme.)






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Let the "Games" Continue - NOT

The primaries are over and the usual suspects are in place.  Now the "games" begin in earnest.  The "games" are especially heinous here in Arizona.  This state is populated, politically, by closed-minded, bigoted, misogynistic, racist, money-grubbing, idiots who have Masters Degrees in Hatred! (read Republicans/Teabaggers.) They also have rings through their noses, to be led around by the Kochs and their minions; the Goldwater Institute made up of a cartel of right wing nut jobs who stick their noses up everybody's asses; and ALEC - that bastion of secrecy filled with self-serving global corporations and state legislators who conspire to rewrite laws to suit their needs and screw the local electorate.

During the primary 'season' all political ads I saw were full of nothing but crass, misleading, nasty, disgusting information which usually was untrue, shady, and full of non-information.  Those who mentioned what they would do for the state put forth ideas that never could possibly be implemented, mainly because those ideas were so far-fetched as to be laughable.  But, they were filled with buzz words, those words that prick the minds of the mindless, those sound bites the unintelligent throw around as if they know what they're taking about.

We will be bombarded with this gd-awful drivel for the next two months through TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, awful signs popping up everywhere like poisonous weeds on every street corner.  The few cogent and intelligent candidates who are running can only hope they will be heard amid the crap that will be spewed from every direction (read Republicans/Teabaggers.)

And the voices of the women, the elderly, the poor, the children, the Hispanics, the Blacks, the Native Americans, the workers, the 98%, those who are LGBT and the Dreamers will not be heard unless they start screaming louder than those (read the 1%) who want to wrest our democracy right out from under us.

This is a pathetic state of affairs.  It is way past time for Progressive Liberal Democrats and Independents to take a stand, say "ENOUGH" and make sure they get the hell out and vote the regressive and repressive Republicans out on their asses.

Arizona is a gorgeous state.  It would be perfect, except for the politics.  It's time to complete the perfection and make Arizona BLUE!



Monday, August 11, 2014

My friend, the Lamed Vovnik

The term LAMED VOVNIK is a Hebrew term referring to thirty-six righteous men in every generation whose merit saves humanity. But through the stories that have come to us through scripture, "men" are not the only righteous ones.  The thirty-six are hidden among us and are not known to anyone, even themselves.  They are humble, work tirelessly to do for others, have compassion and lift up those around them.

Aha, but I know of one lamed vovnik personally.  She is not only my very dearest friend, she is a most amazing woman.  For as long as I've known her, she has done everything for others.  She has taken care of numerous elderly people in her neighborhood: shopping for them, driving them to doctors, repairing things in their houses, gardening, collecting their mail, watching over their homes when they've been in the hospital, bringing them meals, shoveling snow paths to their doors.  

She is an expert in "conchology", the study of seashells, specifically seashells of the Eastern Seaboard and has done free educational programs in schools.   

She interviewed several veterans, asking them what the American flag meant to them.  She then compiled their answers and paired them with different photos of the American flag that she took.  She then had all this made into a book which she self published.

Currently, she is working to get a ramp installed on the house of a veteran.  He has tried to get the ramp built for five years and has run into a stone wall with the VA, the American Legion and several other groups.  She managed to save her own money for the lumber and she is now scraping and painting the veteran's porch.  She is looking for volunteers who will actually help to build this ramp.

She has cared for her mother and step-father for years even when they lived over 62 miles away.  

When you look up the word compassion, you'll see her face.  When you talk about love for your fellow human being, she will be the one you talk about.  When there are thoughts about the goodness of humanity, she is the one in those thoughts.  When there are tears to be brushed away, she will brush them.  She comforts, she teaches, she protects, she helps.  She gives of her time, her energy, her compassion and her love.  And by doing so makes the world a better place.

She is, indeed, a Lamed Vovnik and I love her because she gives me hope that the world has not gone completely crazy.  She is wise. She is humble.  She is beautiful, both inside and out. She is kindness personified.  She is, indeed, my Lamed Vovnik.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

The stupid and nasty sector of America is growing.

Here is just a small sampling of the increasing stupidity effecting the United States.  How do these people know how to put one foot in front of the other while breathing?


A North Carolina Republican compares gays to pedophiles.

And the Lt. Governor of North Carolina wants the country to be ruled as a theocracy and to hell with the Constitution.

Senator Charles Grassley blames President Obama for something that his own staffer did.

Now Boehner is thinking up stuff to file  a lawsuit against President Obama for "not faithfully executing the laws of this country.  How about we file a lawsuit against Boehner for dereliction of duty?

A Pennsylvania school director wants kids to learn the Tea Party science of global warming denial.

Louie Gohmert says the kids coming over the border are "vermin ridden."  Perhaps his brain is riddled with vermin!

And who could forget Todd Akin of "legitimate rape rarely leads to conception" fame?

Now Rick Santorum told listeners during a radio interview that anti-gay marriage Christian business owners were being sent to re-education camps for refusing to provide their services to gay customers.  This guy is certifiably crazy!

Ann Coulter.  What can you say about a COMPLETE moron?  The vitriolic hate-monger deserves a special place in hell for the bitterness, prejudice, repulsiveness and malevolence  she continually spews.

Oh yes, Fox news resident doctor moron, Keith Ablow, says the World Cup is President Obama's plot to distract people from the issues of the day.  Ah, like Benghazi?

And poor Maine, saddled with an addlepated governor who says Social Security and Medicare are welfare.

Well, there are so many more examples of such hatred, stupidity, vitriol, abhorrence, and loathing expressed by so many Republicans, especially tea party members.  As long as people like these are spotlighted in the media and continue to denigrate anyone who isn't like them, this country has no chance to be what it is supposed to be:  a land of equality and opportunity for all, peopled by those with compassion, intelligence and an understanding of what's right.  It will continue to be a war-mongering nation which steps on the rights of all who are not white and Christian, who are old, sick, poor, female, and every other minority.  This is not the great nation it is supposed to be.  The crazy Right wing is killing it.

We appear to be heading to third world status.  I don't know if there is hope that this can be turned around.  But if something isn't done soon to turn this around, our demise as a respected country will be faster than the blink of an eye.

If I sound quite negative, it's because I'm pragmatic...realistic about what's happening.  I know there are a lot of good, intelligent people who really care about what happens here but somehow their voices always seem to get drowned out.

So, what do you think?  Got any hope to give?

Friday, May 30, 2014

How I engage in the process...........

I get so pissed, frustrated and angry when I read such stupid, uninformed, deliberately lying comments emanating from the mouths of Republicans*, all because they intensely hate President Obama, among other things.

Some examples:

1.  Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot says people in the 1% should be proud to be there because, "while money doesn't buy happiness, try poverty.  That doesn't do very well, either."  Does he think those in poverty are trying it out to see if they like it?

2.  Remember Joe the plumber?  The favorite peabrain of the Republicans!  He had this to say to those families  whose kids were killed on the UCSB campus:  " Your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights."  I can only envision what he'd think if one of his g-d guns took the life of one of his kids.  I feel sorry for his kids, knowing they rank behind their dad's guns in importance.

3.  Dr. Ben Carson, a conservative Christian, said on Fox news that the VA scandal is a "gift from God," and placing the blame directly on President Obama.  Never mind that because of two unjust wars, the VA is overloaded with vets who need help.  This can clearly be laid at the feet of the Bush/Cheney cabal.  Now, President Obama has to clean up this damn Republican mess.

4.  Ted Cruz, purported to be a Senator from Texas, but in reality is a lying lunatic posing as a Republican.  His latest dustup:  He claims that Senate Democrats will be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment, thereby muzzling the political speech rights of U.S. citizens.  The man is giving the Mad Hatter a run for his money.

5.  Blake Farenthold, R-Texas congressman told veterans who lost their disability checks due to the GOP government shutdown that they had make sacrifices!  This extremely fat jackass apparently hasn't made any food sacrifices.  But he has sacrificed the use of any brain material he might have had.

There are so many more examples but a few names should remind you all of the amply moronic utterings of some really stupid, sly and mean people:  Louie Gohmert, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Phyllis Schlafly, Rand Paul, Mary Fallon, Bobby Jindal and the incomparably brain-deficient Sarah Palin.

Reading about these people day after day (there's no escaping it) can really make me crazy, frustrated and highly angry.  BUT, at my stage of life, what can I do about it?  I tweet (after doing research), I sign petitions and add personal comments to them, I write to my Congressional delegation (and get only automatic replies that have no meaning or connection to what I wrote), I tweet to these same people and let them know my positions, I write and tweet to government entities like the FCC and the FDA and let them know where I stand.  I used to share a lot of political stuff on Facebook but I'm trying to cut that down and keep that stuff on Twitter only.  And I BLOG!  This is where I feel I can vent.  I read voraciously and research everything so I don't sound as if I've shooting from the hip.  I support those who I feel have the intelligence and the ability to do the most good for the most people; who care about all U.S. citizens, not just the rich; who will uphold the Constitution (and not reinterpret it with their own narrow-mindedness)  and keep religion out of government; who will make sure women are treated with equality; our veterans are cared for.  You get the idea.

I don't think I can get physically involved (canvassing for signatures, hosting a meeting, etc.)  so, if any of my tweets, petition signings, letter writing and/or blogging help to educate, elucidate, and or clarify the myriad issues I'm interested in then I've done my job.

And then my attention gets turned to all the good things that are in my life.  And I revel in the wonderful family I have:  my two magnificently wonderful sons and my fabulous, comedic husband; our extended family in Chicago, Massachusetts, Nebraska and California; our incredible friends in Connecticut, Virginia, New York and Florida.  And the best furry friends in the world.  Ah, life is good.

And I want life to be good for everyone so I will continue to speak out, to write and hope that someday the unintelligent, highly partisan, narrow-minded, misogynistic, bigoted, racist, lazy nut jobs that make up Congress and many governorships will disappear to be replaced by those whose education embraced science, technology, the arts, social studies (not just white history) and a working knowledge of how the world actually works and endeavor to do what's right for everyone, not just a select few.

A caveat: *Republican
When I refer to Republicans, I'm talking about the really crazy, Tea Party types, NOT my Republican friends who are erudite, thoughtful, intelligent, kind and don't go along with the extremely far right wing of their party.  They are usually described as moderate and have valid concerns and positions.  I value their friendship.







Saturday, May 17, 2014

Will it show up?

I know what sentimental value is.  I know it is priceless.

For decades I have worn a simple chain around my neck with a Torah charm hanging from it.  It was a Chanukah gift from my sons so many years ago.  I rarely took it off.  It was a part of me.  Earlier this week, after it fell off my neck twice, I took it off to have the clasp repaired.  I placed it on my bureau until I could get the repair done.  It has simply.......... disappeared!

I have torn the house apart looking for it, checking the pockets of everything I have worn in the past two weeks, moved the bureau,  dusted and mopped everywhere, opened and checked every drawer, checked every pocket in every purse, looked in rooms that I KNOW it wouldn't be in.  It just is not anywhere!

To say I am devastated is an understatement.  First of all, I treasured that piece of jewelry because it was a gift from my sons.  Secondly, how does something disappear into thin air, for gawds sake???

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I lost something so dear.  Just before we moved to Arizona, we were out with friends and I had on a very unusually designed pearl ring that my dad had given to me when I was 15.  I lost that ring that night.  And even though we scoured the car, the restaurant, the sidewalk to and from that restaurant, it, too, just disappeared.  I am still heartbroken about that because my dad gave it to me.

Neither of these items are very expensive.  But their sentimental value is beyond measure.  The ring is a lost cause but the Torah on a chain?  Maybe it will turn up when I least expect it.  That's what Warren keeps telling me.  Gawd, I hope he's right.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day

The last time our 3 year old son saw my mother was on Mother's Day, May 12, 1974.  It was in the hospital as she was struggling to recover from a variety of medical problems.  But on this day, she was able to walk to a visiting area where we all sat down to visit.  She was surrounded by everyone in our respective families who loved her.  The picture of that day is indelibly etched in my mind's eye and I treasure it.  I was pregnant with our second son at the time and I was so grateful that she knew another grandchild was on his way.  She passed away on May 22nd, just eighteen days after my dad passed away, on May 4th.

So, Mother's Day presents conflicting emotions in me.  It was difficult for years after her passing.  But after a while, the difficulty gave way to enormous joy because I was the mother of two extraordinary sons and my happiness and pride knew no bounds.

Mothers can be incredible people.  But I don't think it's necessary to set aside a day to celebrate them.  It has been reduced to such a commercial holiday, driven by the flowers and gift industries to generate  enormous amounts of money for these companies, a whole load of sadness for those who have lost their moms (or other special women who have made a wonderful impact on their lives), and a huge amount of guilt for those whose mothers didn't live up to the sappy verses on Mother's Day cards.

My sons give me love and tremendous joy all year round.  I don't need a special day to feel what they so freely give all the time.  Having said all this, I want to share, again, a blog I wrote about my mother on October 6, 2009.  It is a love story of sorts.  And it's one way I like to remember my mother, of blessed memory.

http://www.lifeismorethansoundbites.blogspot.com/search/label/Tikkun%20Olam

or

http://bit.ly/1ivKemh

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Okay, my head just exploded

With the latest crapola from The Supreme Court, you know, the decision that allows the uber rich to buy Congress which will now be referred to as "the Koch-sucking groveling wretches," I'm hearing the sound of democracy swirling down the toilet.  This decision makes the United States no better than all those countries with moneyed, despotic rulers and slave laborers.  We are less than a third world country now.  The citizens of the US have been sold down the river.  Bribery has been made legal.

And now, the Human Rights Committee of the U. N. issued a report that has labeled the United States as "cruel, inhumane and degrading" to those who are poor and homeless.  Being poor and homeless has been criminalized here so now we are in the same company as many of the countries we, ourselves, denigrate and berate for the same reason.

We have never witnesses such vile, heartless and dishonorable individuals as the Republicans.  It's not Democrats, Progressives, or Liberals (or for that matter anyone with a heart and a working brain) who want to get rid of every program designed to help the working poor (and who blame people just for being poor) by getting rid of unemployment compensation, food stamps, Medicare, Social Security, pensions and unions.  It's not the Democrats who insist on feeding the huge corporations, Wall Street and the military with billions of our tax dollars, giving the rich tax breaks allowing them to pay NO taxes while the rest of us bear the brunt of making up what the rich don't pay!  Enough already!  And it's not the Democrats who spit on anyone who isn't white and male.  Every single issue that favors the average citizen is spat upon by the GOP.

It seems that evil has triumphed, courtesy of the Republicans.

I believe that Senator Bernie Sanders said it best:  "The great political struggle that we now face is whether the United States retains its democratic heritage or whether we move toward an oligarchic form of society where the real power rests with a handful of billionaires, not ordinary Americans."

I don't want to live under an oligarchy.  And the United States will become one soon if ordinary citizens don't revolt against a Republican Tea Party hell bent on destroying democracy as we have known it.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Social Action" is not meant to be a sound bite

When you think of doing something that would uplift members of society who are less fortunate than you are and then act on that thought, you are taking a small step toward "Tikkun Olam", literally repairing the world.  It is a lofty ideal, to repair the world.

If you have a heart and were raised as a mensch, you wince, you cry, you gasp when you read about our veterans who are homeless, teenagers who age out of foster care and have no place to go, really poor families who work their hearts out at more than one job and still can't afford rent and/or food, young children who go to school without eating breakfast and not having the means to buy much for lunch, seniors on such limited income they are frequenting food banks and second-hand stores for their needs.

So, those of us who have the means and/or the wherewithal must step forward to help.  That help can come in the form of donating money, of course.  But more importantly, donating your time and/or expertise can be so much more satisfying.

In light of the horrendous conditions that so many in this country are facing, (much of it because politicians seem to care only for themselves and their wealthy masters), the rest of us have to step up and actively volunteer, get involved in the myriad opportunities to treat others with compassion, pursue social justice, accept responsibility to lift up our neighbors, perform acts of lovingkindness and try to heal our little corner of the world.

Action, in any form, is incumbent on all of us if ALL of us are to have a shot at a decent, safe, educated, healthful and promising life.




Friday, February 28, 2014

This is where I stand............

The following list, in no particular order, is by no means complete.

I'm not okay with transvaginal  probes.

I'm not okay with white men making laws determining women's health issues.

I'm not okay with the f*** stupidity coming out of the mouths of moronic Republican Tea Party members of Congress and state legislatures. You know what those comments are.

I'm not okay with the continuous lies and misinformation the GOP spits out daily. Example: The Koch brothers ads against the ACA which have been proven false.

I'm not okay with lobbyists.  Lobbying is legalized bribery.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party continually defending the welfare given to wealthy corporations. And that's what it really is: tax breaks for the very rich and billions of money going into their coffers, none of which ever trickles down to their workers.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party's war on women. Example: taking away abortion rights, sticking their noses into healthcare decisions that only women should be making, defining rape and blaming the victim.

I'm not okay with slashing unemployment compensation benefits when lots of people are applying for every job.

I'm not okay with the SNAP/Food Stamp benefit reduction making it difficult for very poor people to have enough to buy food.  Starving children and the elderly should be crimes against humanity.

I'm not okay passing laws making it next to impossible for people to vote. Example: cutting polling places, hours and days, especially in areas serving minorities and the elderly.

I'm not okay with Gerrymandering.

I'm not okay with fracking.

I'm not okay with the damn Keystone XL pipeline.

I'm not okay with dark money paying bribes to Congress. And that's exactly what it is---bribes.

I'm not okay with Citizens United.

I'm not okay with GMOs.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party Congress not passing a jobs bill.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party shutting down the government because they didn't get their way.

I'm not okay with corporations making billions of dollars and not paying any taxes.

I'm not okay with wealthy individuals and corporations stashing their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.

I'm not okay with tax loopholes allowing the rich to thumb their noses at the rest of us.

I'm not okay with businesses paying such low wages that their employees have to apply for food stamps and can't afford health care.

I'm not okay with corporations sending jobs overseas.

I'm not okay with polluting corporations and none of them paying for or even acknowledging the damage.

I'm not okay with the damn NRA and no responsible solutions for gun violence.

I'm not okay with "open carry."

I'm not okay with Stand Your Ground laws.

I'm not okay with teaching creationism as science.

I'm not okay with the dumbing down of America.

I'm not okay with forcing teachers to teach to the test and not being able to do "real" teaching.

I'm not okay with Republican Tea Party morons insisting this country become Christian.

I'm not okay with religion getting anywhere near politics.

I'm not okay with Christians trying to legislate using their religion.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party undermining the United States because they don't like the black guy in the White House.

I'm not okay with the blatant racism, bigotry and misogyny running rampant in this country.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party trying to take this country back in time instead of forward.

I'm not okay with millionaires buying legislation.

I'm not okay with our veterans not getting the help they need when they come back from war.

I'm not okay with veterans and their families having to reply on food stamps.

I'm not okay with the Republican Tea Party Senators blocking the Veteran's Benefits Bill!

I'm not okay with there being ANY homeless people in this country.

I'm not okay that food banks have to serve thousands of people who can't afford food! Hunger like this just should not exist.

I'm not okay with tax dollars going to private schools.

I'm not okay with college students burdened by enormous debt.

I'm not okay with the damn military-industrial complex.

I'm not okay with starting a war for no good reason, not paying for it and blaming President Obama for the deficit and recession left by that little imbecile, GW Bush.

I'm not okay with the middle class being jackhammered into poverty by the Republican Tea Party and   corporations.

So, if any of you are okay with any of those things I've listed above,  if you think compromise is a dirty word and you dislike people who are different from you (and you try to hide it), you are no friend of mine.  You are what's part of the problem. This is not a "You have your opinion and I have mine" situation.  This is humanity and the future of this country.  I don't want the United States becoming an oligarchy or a fascist country but that's what the Republican Tea Party is pushing us towards.  

None of these things I've mentioned represent what the United States is supposed to be, a country of freedom, tolerance, opportunity, justice, equality, humanity, kindness, consideration, philanthropy, compassion, sympathy, generosity, humaneness.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Arizona Senate passes SB1062, another bigoted piece of crap

I live in Arizona only because both my sons went to Arizona State University and they decided to remain in the warm southwest after graduating.  Granted, this state is one of the most beautiful states in the nation with its magnificent scenery: majestic mountains; gorgeous deserts; incredibly amazing cactus vegetation; natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the many, many National Parks and recreation areas.

But what's ruining the very existence of a decent life here in this state is the incredible hatred, bigotry and racism spewed forth daily by the Republican Tea Party in this state.  The latest salvo in an ongoing war with those who don't march in lockstep with this group of insanely repugnant individuals is the passing of a bill by the Arizona Senate that effectively makes it legal to discriminate against anyone whose lifestyle conflicts with their own religious definition of  "what's right."

While the bill never specifically mentions the LGBT community, it's abundantly clear that the bill was designed to impact that group through an expression of one's exercise of religion.  What this means is that business owners have the right to deny services to anyone they regard as not being in compliance with their view of religion. It also will have an impact on women who use birth control. 

I am just so outraged by this.  I want to tear my hair out at the gross inhumanity of these people.  They can yell all they want that they're just making sure that everyone can exercise their religious freedom but it doesn't take a scholar to know that these hateful, mostly Christian people want to reduce the lives of those who are different to a second, third or fourth class existence in this country.

SB1062 is a horrible, hateful, disgusting attempt to foster intolerance of and hate for the LBGT community, women and frankly anyone.  I simply cannot stand this and my appreciation for life in Arizona is just gone.  Humans are humans and if these Republican Tea Party members don't understand that, then they are less than human and should not be in a position to legislate anything.

Some examples of the craziness of this law could see a pharmacist refuse to sell birth control pills on his/her religious grounds.  Hoteliers and store owners can refuse to accommodate gay customers, Jews, Muslims, blacks or anyone they don't like, all in the name of their religious beliefs.

If SB1062 is signed into law by that craggy-faced, witless governor, Jan Brewer, the lawsuits will start flying and Arizona taxpayers will be footing enormous bills to fight this and they won't win.  This has got to be unconstitutional.  Religious rights must not trump human rights.







Thursday, February 6, 2014

Contemptible Republicans and their loathsome ideas

Sometimes it's just easier to show you than write about the really moronic, crazy, stupid, unintelligent, hateful, greedy, asshole maneuvers the lunatics of the GOP are known for.  These were all grabbed from postings on Facebook.  Ah, there are so many more but for now, enough said!













Thursday, January 30, 2014

This is a short one......I'm pissed!

I am SICK AND TIRED of being asked to log in with FaceBook or Twitter or other such sites in order to follow other blogs or make a comment on an article or continue reading some particular site.  SICK, SICK, SICK of it.  Each one wants to access my friends list and be able to otherwise manipulate my sites.  Who the hell do they think they are!  I'm done with that!

Instead I'll sound off on my blogs (this one and on Wordpress) and NAME NAMES!  Pissed, I tell you.  Just pissed!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Apple, my Apple

So, thirty years ago today, Apple ran the first commercial introducing the Macintosh computer.  In 1987, I was introduced to the world of computers at the radio station where I worked.  I sat down and faced a Macintosh.  It didn't take long to get the hang of it and every day I learned another trick it could do.

When I decided to buy my own 'home' computer, I found very few programs that were written for the Mac and everyone told me to get that PC thing because I'd get more use out of it.  So I did.  For the next 17 years I struggled with that thing at home and in my husband's law office where I also worked.  It was great when it worked but those dreaded blue screens and warning screens, and screens that froze drove me crazy.  I had a "fix-it" guy on speed dial.  I offered to get a cot for him to sleep on in our office and promised to feed him if he'd just stay around.  It was inevitable that one or more out of the seven computers in the office would require his attention more than once a week.

When we finally decided to close the office and move out west to be close to our sons, we knew we needed a computer to take across country with us to keep up with ongoing business.  Both sons asked us to go to the Apple store (which was 50 miles away) and play with the laptops.  I did, twice and I ended up buying my first MacBook Pro.  I have never looked back.

I'm on my second one and love everything about it.  I've never had any trouble with it.  When I have questions I go to the Genius Bar and get them all answered.  I've had individual lessons on how to do things with it.  I use all the tutorials to find things out.  I love my iPhone and iPod and iPad.

I bought my husband an iMac and he has a PC for specific programs that were never written for a Mac.  When he has a PC problem and asks me to fix it (it happens often) I cringe, mutter under my breath, try not to gag, and hope that whatever I click on will clear it up.  Doesn't always work and when it doesn't I just throw up my hands and tell him to dump the PC.  His Mac doesn't give him any problems, just the PC.

I am an unabashed Apple products lover, period!  So, happy birthday (sort of) Macintosh.  You are my favorite toys!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Arizona State University's problem

Arizona State University has a problem with one of its fraternities, Tau Kappa Epsilon.  The ASU chapter held a party off campus on Martin Luther King Day but among the things that upset many people was the fact that the partygoers wore hip-hop clothing, used cups made from watermelon that had been scooped out and photos were posted to social media. 

The issue has become one about the First Amendment.  Many in the community want the students who attended the party and whose actions they think were racist thrown out of school.  Others think expelling them would be going a bit too far for participating in what's being termed as an offensive activity where students were just being stupid.  A lot of the intense feelings against this fraternity, known as TKE, is the result of their history on this campus.  In November of 2012, TKE members were involved in a fight with a member of a different fraternity who was an African-American.  That individual was beaten and ended up with a concussion and broken nose.  TKE was already on university probation at the time this party took place.

The African-American community wants them punished.  The question is, do the students have a right to dress the way they did and do the stupid things they did?  What's the penalty for being unbelievably stupid and racist?

Frankly, college fraternity students have never enjoyed a reputation that clearly marks them as having an abundance of good sense.  While I personally think their actions were reprehensible, expulsion of the students involved isn't called for.  

I think the Tau Kappa Epsilon national office should yank the ASU chapter's charter.  That saves the university the trouble of kicking the fraternity off campus.  It's time for ASU to cut their losses when it comes to a "rogue" fraternity like TKE.  In addition, perhaps it's time for ASU to convene a campus-wide discussion on the absurdity, stupidity and despicable nature of the kind of behavior that has aroused the ire of so many people and increased racial tensions in the community.

And perhaps it's time for university students to understand how hurtful their actions can be and how those actions will haunt them throughout their lives, courtesy of the Internet.  Potential employers won't look on those actions as particularly beneficial when it comes to hiring.  And finally, I'd like to see the university take some disciplinary action against all those who were part of this sickening story, enough disciplinary action to make those kids fear that if they step out of line again, there will be no guarantee of an ASU diploma in their future.

Fraternities and sororities should and can be a good influence on young minds.  They do perform a lot of good deeds by participating in social action causes and foster a sense of community for young college students.  But absurd and hateful pranks should not be part of the culture as it seems it was at ASU's TKE chapter.  It's time for them to pack it in.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to comment on my blog

I think I found the way that readers of my blog can comment without having to go through an email.  At the end of each blog it says "posted by....... "and at what time.  Then there should be the word "comments".  It may say no comments or # comments.  If you click on the word comment, there will be a underscore and that will take you to another screen with that particular blog only and a box below it to post a comment.

Okay, everyone, try it and see if it works.  I'm still trying to see if there is another, easier way to do this but, at least, this should work.  The operative word here is "should."  Leave a comment so I can see if it works.  

Thanks...........

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blogspot or Wordpress

I've been blogging here on Blogspot for a while now and find it to be enjoyable, interesting, cathartic and a good place to "pen" my thoughts when the urge strikes.  The one thing I don't think I have is many people who follow me or read what I write.  I'm not very good at getting traffic here and I can't seem to get people who do read my blog posts to comment on them.  Some let me know in other ways but I would prefer that they leave a comment here.

I have some friends who write their blogs on Wordpress so I went to that site to check it out.  I created a blog there with the same name as this one but I think I created it too quickly without checking out what it was offering.  So, I've written four posts and each is automatically posted on my Twitter account.  The free site doesn't offer much in the way of design, font selection, colors, set-up or ease.  I was able to apply one of my own photos at the top but that was pretty much the only thing I could do to make it my own.  However, for a price they offer several options............ most of which are offered free here at Blogspot.

So, since my mom did NOT give birth to a complete idiot, I think I'll be sticking with Blogspot and writing here most often.  Maybe once in a while I'll return to Wordpress........ or I might just delete that blog altogether.  Don't know yet.

But, if you're reading this please make a comment at the bottom.  Look people, do I have to beg????? Here's a lovely bouquet.  Will that help?