Friday, July 29, 2011

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  As our country heads closer and closer to financial disaster, more facts  and economic realities which the Republican party will ignore are being reported.

Northern Trust's Paul Kasriel:

"I keep hearing that what is holding U.S. businesses back from expanding and hiring is "uncertainty." Exactly what new types of uncertainty businesses face in the current environment vs. past environments is rarely spelled out. But if, in fact, businesses are paralyzed due to uncertainty, I would not expect them to be stepping up their purchases of capital equipment. After all, capital equipment has a relatively long life. If businesses were unusually uncertain about the long-term outlook, they would be more reluctant to make longer-term commitments, which the purchase of capital equipment is. Rather, if businesses were unusually uncertain about the future, they might be more inclined to hire workers, who, after all, can be dismissed on short notice if conditions were to change suddenly.


But just the opposite seems to be happening. Business hiring remains weak and business capital spending is robust.... I would think that if abnormally-high business uncertainty prevailed today, there would have been considerably slower growth in price-adjusted purchases of nondefense capital goods than what has occurred."
 
But like science - the Republican point of view does not accept proven economic facts. And the Democrats are too worried about their jobs to actually fight for them either.
 
2.)  I have mentioned that my sister and I staged a cute little house in Oakland in May,  The man who hired us had 2 interested parties in the first week!    After months of trying, no one interested in buying the house ($205,000.) has been able to get a loan.
 
Isn't it fabulous that we bailed out the banks and kept them in business?
 
3.)  We managed to get a date for Ally to have her tonsils out - a cancellation opened right at the deadline for her to heal before she leaves for school.  Meant to be?
 
4.  I may soon have an opportunity to move to working my 3-11 shift Monday through Friday.  I have been feeling sorry for myself becaue I am missing so many cool events this summer with my weekends spent at work - so that was good news.
 
5.)  Ally and her boyfriend have been dating for a year.  They just purchased "promise rings" for each other.   This is not a practice I am especially in favor of as they are so young, she is leaving for school and it just seems odd to be "pre-engaged" at this time.  Her ring is very dainty and pretty, but worn on the left ring finger. 
 
Any opinions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


My mom sent me this photo of an Ice Cream Truck in Palm Desert.

By Australian sculptor Orest Keywan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  Between the time Ally was accepted to SFSU and the time we pay her first tuition payment next month, the tuition has gone up 22%.

2.)  Zac will be coming home this weekend to attend a wedding - the first of their high school crowd to tie the knot.  His old friend will be staying at the hotel for their honeymoon night, so I will get to see the newlyweds when they check-in.

3.)  Ally and her friends have had their tickets for the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie for weeks.  Did that stop them from going to the theater and waiting in line for 15 hours?  No it did not. 

4.)  When we got our health insurance back, I changed doctors.  The new doc asked me to do some blood work which I was putting off until this week.  I was worried that it might be bad, so imagine my surprise to see that all the results were really positive.  Next up -  a mammogram.

5.)  I know I say this every season it is on, but if you are not watching "So You Think You Can Dance" you are really missing out on a great show.  I have it on TIVO since it airs when I work - and it is even better when you can skip through the commercials!

6.) I was at the checkout in the grocery store and saw this:





Note Christina Hendricks on the top right photo.

Now this is the photo I had seen elsewhere obviously taken the same day:

Pretty obvious that  photoshopping has been done to make her look much bigger.  It sure makes the point that you can't believe anything you see anymore.  If they can subtract - then they can add.  Whatever it takes to make their point.

Enjoy the weekend and hope the photographers are kind!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

Many years ago when I was still a young new mom I remember asking my mother how they had managed to raise us with such a strong sense of personal responsibility.  She said she had no idea.  That it wasn't something they had consciously done, yet 4 out of the 5 of us have that value at our core.

Ally and I were having lunch in one of those soup & salad places today and we were noticing how many people took the no charge blue glass meant for water only and were filling them up with sodas and other drinks.  This brought about a discussion about values and she asked me the same question I asked my mom:  How did you raise us to be this way?

For me there was a conscious effort, but it was such a constant  discussion and modeling of behaviour that it, apparently sunk in without feeling hammered in!  I know that "walking the talk" means doing as you say - but it also means speaking out and explaining why you are doing things, what the decisions are based on and when it is a bad decision (like my tendency to drive over the speed limit on the freeway) that I am willing to accept responsibility for paying for a ticket should I be pulled over.  On the other hand, I never speed on residential streets because I so dislike it when others do so on the streets where we live.  Speaking these things out loud, explaining my reasoning is something my kids have always been interested in hearing and sometimes, debating!

By the same token, when I have seen an action taken by others that I don't agree with, I might point it out and explain why or ask them what they think of it.  Getting into discussions of values and judgement.  Sometimes it was successful and sometimes it wasn't - but I still tried to engage in those discussions with some frequency and from the time they were very little.

I think it is important to do the right thing even when you could get away with doing the "wrong" thing - or as I always say to them "just because you can doesn't mean you should."  Parents who teach their kids what they call "shortcuts" or ways to cheat or how to "get away with" getting a soda without paying for it are raising kids without a sense of right and wrong. 

As it is kids are growing up in a world where Wall Street employees make millions based on their deceptions, there are "cheat codes" available for video games and their sports heroes are doping to get ahead.  So the belief becomes "everyone does it, why not me?"  Parents are the strongest antidote to societal ills.

Ally was surprised and angered to hear that businesses pass on the loss of legitimate income from shoplifting and other thefts (like unpaid sodas) by raising the prices on all their goods for everyone.  We all pay for the cheaters.  Both out of our pockets, with the damage to our society inflicted by the mistrust and loss of respect for our fellow citizens and, most importantly to me, with the damage  increased cynicism etches on our souls.

Monday, July 11, 2011

JOGGING THE BLOGS

It was verrry slow this weekend at work.  I spent some time looking at some of the media sites I like to read online, but I had finished that and didn't feel like reading the book I brought.  So I read a couple of blogs I wanted t catch up on and then I clicked that thing on the top of Blogger that says "Next Blog".  Ever done that?  It can be sort of interesting.

The first one that came up was written by a 26 year old man in England who is touting his RC lifestyle.  I read through a few posts and find that RC stands for restricted calories.  He listed his daily calorie intake at 1400 and is saving up to move to California to meet his online girlfriend who shares his interest on healthy eating.  He seems to be very concerned with looking younger.  When I was 26 I wasn't thinking about looking younger.  As I recall I was thinking about whether having great sex was a good enough reason to keep seeing the guy I was going out with.

So I moved along past 3 blogs in a row that mentioned Jesus in the first few lines and found one by a woman who was very into scrap booking.  I can't identify because I am about 76 years behind on my scrapbooks and none of them have pretty little cut outs and fancy paper.

The next one was all about MMORPG and how they could be improved.  I had to look up what MMORPG was and the definition is:  Massively multiplayer online role-playing game, a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world.  The links have many boobalicious babes in leather or armor and muscle bound guys with clubs, swords, dragons and stuff like that.  Okay.  Moving on. Oh, no!  The next 5 blogs are all about gaming and computers.

Sensing a some kind of trend I changed over to another blog I like with a political bent to see what followed it when I hit "Next Blog."  It was nature photography in New Zealand!  Next it was one about fostering greyhounds, then one written by a dog named Sunny all about living with her human mom.  The next 5 were about dogs and goats and then suddenly we switched subjects to the America's Cup Race.  The next 7 were about boats and sailing.  Then suddenly...embroidery, quilting and fibre, whatever fibre is.  There are a lot of really talented women out there, but I stopped clicking through after 10 of those.

After that I decided to read my book for a while.  But not until I came up with a name for what I was doing.  I wasn't surfing the net so much as I was jogging the blogs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

FRIDAY FAST ONES

 1.)  The last 3 watermelons I purchased have been pretty good - one of them was actually excellent.  Over the years I have developed a method for picking watermelons which serves me pretty well - until it doesn't and I am stuck with 10 pounds of yuck.  I was told by someone years ago to look for very dark lines and bubbles in any "stretch marks" or abrasions on the skin of the melon - it is supposed to be an indication of a higher sugar content.
My camera isn't good for close-ups - but you can kind of see the dark bubbles...

How do you pick your watermelon?

2.)  I have been searching out new recipes for my semi-veggie new dietary approach.  A couple of them require pumpkin.  Tried to buy pumpkin in the summer?  Even TJ's considers it seasonal!  I finally found some in a locally owned store and commended them for carrying it.  I also sent an e-mail to Raley's and Safeway to complain.  The checkers said they know people look for it all the time, yet the corporate guys seem to think they know better! 

3.)  Even though the California state budget has been in tatters for years the legislature allowed the additional 1% sales tax we have been paying (making the sales tax 9.75% where I live)  to lapse.  The old chestnut is that people will buy more if the sales tax is lower.  Ridiculous.  We are all accustomed to paying it and I don't know anyone who doesn't buy something because they don't want to pay an additional 1% (except for a car.)

I can't wait until we all wake up and realize that those little percentages equal road and bridge repairs, breakfast for hungry kids, medical care, police and fire departments, teachers, grants for low income college students, state parks and so much more.  What is worse is that polls showed residents of CA were fine with continuing the tax but the legislature let it go anyway...

4.)  So far the critters who ate all my tomatoes right off the vines the last couple of summers have not found the 2 pots of them I have planted up on my deck!  I might have home grown tomatoes to eat this year - if I didn't jinx myself by mentioning this.

5.) My "weekend" isn't until Monday - but you all enjoy the next couple of lovely summer days off!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

ALMOST WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


My latest mosaic project.  I made it for a co-worker who just had her house painted brown and cream.  She told me she also likes teal and I happened to have just enough teal tile to go around the rim of this pot.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WHEN THE SYSTEM FAILS

Mrs. G posted a question on her Derfwad Manor blog last week asking if readers valued justice or mercy.  I said I go back and forth, I aways have.  One of the most frustrating things for me in law school was to learn how many cases are resolved based on rigid and out of date standards.  How frequently lies are told and evidence is suppressed or made invalid.  And worse, how frequently mercy (and common sense) was bypassed because the system is not about fairness but the "rule of law."

Today have seen the result of another aspect of our legal system.  One where those of us observing the legal maneuverings of the Casey Anthony trial were shocked to hear that the verdict could possibly be anything but guilty.  And yet she was found not guilty on all counts relating to the death of her child.

I can understand that the standard may not have been met to find for pre-meditated murder.  I do not see how the jury could find reasonable doubt that she was involved in the mistreatment or neglect of her daughter leading to her death (manslaughter.)

The standard is reasonable doubt - not no doubt.  I don't think this was a case of jury nullification as in the OJ Simpson case.  I think that the defense threw out so many other scenarios, most of them outrageous and none with any factual foundation, that they somehow got caught up in the what ifs.

I suspect the mercy part is going to show up in the sentencing and she will be let go without any further jail time.  So sad for all of us that the system, as good as it can be, failed us again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  My mom is a lefty.  Because of this, I grew up a bit ambidextrous and mixed up.  I ironed with the board backward for years, I sew awkwardly in the wrong direction and I have always had to stop and think a moment when coming up with right or left.  It was a revelation to me when I learned righty tighty and lefty loosey just a few years ago.  It cleared up so much confusion for me! 

I've had my car with one of those electronic keys for about 5 years and only about a week ago did I realize that I don't have to look at the buttons on the key because righty locks it tight and lefty opens it loose!  My light bulb moments are getting mundane - but at least I still have them occasionally.


2.)  Thursday nights there is a big patio party with live music, multiple bars, fire pits, big screen TV and I don't know what all else at the restaurant next door to the hotel.  It draws a huge crowd every week - valet parking is necessary for the overflow parking.  The police are out in force at 10 when the music stops to pick off the drunks in their cars.  We get a lot of very tipsy people trying to come into our place for the nice bathrooms and sometimes to keep drinking after the party shuts down.

Apparently the crowd at this event is on the older side.  But I have to say - I am really tired of middle aged  men coming into our bar complaining or joking loudly about "all the cougars" next door. I find the term offensive and every one of the guys is just as old or older than any of the women I have seen coming and going.

Why do men feel entitled to younger women.  Why do they feel entitled to put down women of their age who are out there having a good time?  She we just be locked away after 35?  Am I taking this too personally?

3.)  I took Ally to see the Head & Neck doc today.  Her frequent sore throats, strep and mono have gotten to the point that she is insisting she wants her tonsils out.  The doc agreed that her tonsils were huge and it could be beneficial to have them out.

I have no problem with doing it.  I had tonsillitis repeatedly well into my 20's and never had mine out but would have liked to.  I can understand her misery and she is sick a lot.  The problem?  Her dad.  He is adamantly against any medical alterations to the body.  He didn't even like letting her get her ears pierced.

So my question is - do I go against him in this?  She will be 18 in a couple of months and can make the decision completely on her own - should we just wait?  Any input on teens getting tonsils removed?