Friday, September 28, 2012

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  The New York Post reports that plastic surgeons have seen a 30 percent increase in the demand for eyebrow transplants, Many requesting actress Megan Fox's bushy brows. The price for the procedure costs between $4,000 and $8,000.  No details about whether you can pay extra to be able to raise one at a time.


2.)  Once again, if there hadn't been a homeowner with a gun involved, a tragedy could have been avoided. In a Connecticut neighborhood a local high school teacher got a call from his sister that someone might be breaking into her house.  He went to investigate and found a masked person outside the house, when confronted, he claims the intruder lunged at him  with something in his hand, so he shot him.

Turns out he killed his own son.  They don't know why his son was masked and lurking around his aunt's house.  He was 15.  Teen aged boys are not the most logical creatures.  They are unpredicible and do stupid things. If his dad didn't have a gun, they might have found out what he was up to, what craziness was in his mind. Now they will never know and his dad has to live with that.

3.)  Some conservatives are voicing big doubts and conspiracy theories about recent polls that show President Obama pulling ahead both nationally and in key battleground states. They contend that pretty much everyone but the conservative pollsters over at Rasmussen are relying on "turnout models" that unfairly favor Democrats. If the turnout models were tweaked appropriately, they say, Romney would have a substantial lead coming down the home stretch.

Credible pollsters like Gallup have explained the methods used and the changes to the methods they have implemented due to land line/cell phone usage and just generally says - this isn't an exact science but we are doing it in a legitimate way.

Today the guy at unskewedpolls.com pretty much lost his conspiracy argument when when Fox News released its latest survey, which showed Obama up by 5 points, 48 percent to Romney's 43. 

4.)  This is a very serious subject to me as it comes close to my home.  This is the first time I have read anything on this subject that is so illuminating.  This links the whole article which is long but very well written and worthwhile. The point I had never known before is this:

New research suggests that pedophilia—the attraction to children, not the act of molesting them—is essentially impossible to change. James Cantor, a senior scientist at the Sexual Behaviors Clinic of the Center of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, is at the forefront of neuroimaging studies of pedophiles and has described a kind of crossed wiring in their brains that they’re likely born with. He has expressed hopes that by pinpointing pedophilia’s neurological origins, it may someday lead to a course of prevention.

The reason this research and knowledge is important is that it smashes the myth that pedophiles are weird, scary guys we can recognise when we see them.  We can't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SURPRISED MYSELF

I have made it a point in the past 5 years or so not to add any new shows to my TV viewing - unless it is something out of the blue amazing like Downton Abbey or Homeland.  I don't like being in a rut of nightly tv viewing. 

I am surprised and a bit sheepish to say that I watched 2 new sitcoms and laughed out loud and will continue to watch them.  One of them is Go On with Matthew Perry.  Even Tom liked it; we dissected it a bit to determine why it was so appealing - good writing, charmingly wacky cast and thoughtful set-up - the grief group.

The other show follows it, The New Normal.  From the commercials I thought I would hate the character Ellen Barkin plays - a bigoted, ultra bitch conservative.  But the writing is good and there is some balance to the show which I like. (Please note: I would not watch a Seinfeld episode if George was in it because I couldn't stand him. So we will see how I feel over time.)

It's been a while since I had guilty favorites.  Watching any of the new shows?

Monday, September 24, 2012

NEW NOOK

Well, the battery change did not fix the Nook.  Tom isn't sure if it was his error or if the battery was the issue.  I bought a new one on Sunday and got everything back on and started reading a new book.  I thought about getting the less expensive non-color version, but I confess, my occasional Angry Birds game just would not be the same...

Also, this time I loaded in my e-mail info so I can use it when away from home.  I am getting ready to do a "medical tourism" trip next month and I want to be able to keep in touch.  If interested, you can read more on my Fitness, Food, Life blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  Now we have some insight on why Romney and friends are  saying the President is going to raise taxes on the middle class - He thinks people making $200,000. - $250.000 ARE the middle class.

2.)  I noticed a long time local politician being lauded for his "long history of public service."  I suspect if they didn't like the guy they'd call him a "career politician."

3.)  We happened to catch a documentary the other night : Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  It is showing on Current TV.  Very funny and smart.  Stephanie Miller, the focus of the movie,  has a radio talk show which they film daily and show on the same channel.  We added it to the DVR list. 

4.) I have managed to miss the Honey Boo Boo show so I didn't realize until now that HBB is not her name.  It is a nickname and there is a nick name generator which tells me I am "Sweets Wisteria."  Not nearly as interesting as my hooker name which is Stubbs St. Francis.

5.) Tom is moving his office into the house this week,  He has been very cranky and bothered over the process and freaked out by how noisy it is when the neighborhood kids all come home from school in the afternoon and start playing outside. We'll see how long this set-up lasts.  At least it will get cold and dark in the next few months which will keep the shrieking kids out for a shorter period of time.

6.) Found out that the arsenic in rice thing is even worse in brown rice because it likes to reside in that nice brown husk.  I don't eat much rice because I eat low carb most of the time, but the irony of the "healthier" version of rice being more potentially toxic is interesting. Apparently rinsing and cooking rice in larger amounts of water (vs. a steamer) helps reduce the amount of the naturally occurring arsenic.

7.) Right before my Nook died, I finished a book called The Age of Miracles.  The premise of the book is that the Earth begins lowing in it's rotation around the sun.  Instead of a big apocalyptic end of the world, it simply starts slowing and we follow the changes through the eyes and experience of a 12 year old Southern California girl.  It is a sort of limited take on the premise, but interesting and thought provoking.

POLITICAL DAY DREAMS

Trica wrote a comment to my last post asking "how do they keep getting elected?"  Well, I think it is because of  knee-jerk voters - hey automatically vote a certain party or they hear something they don't like, never look into the truth of it and vote based on that.

As the Romney campaign falters (some say dies), the polls are rising in President Obama's favor. They have also been rising  for other democrat candidates. I hope that it is because of their wonderful convention speeches and the focus on the positive rather than the negative which the GOP seems determined to project.

I also hope, as the polls continue to favor the President, that he spreads the positive energy out on the road in support of other Democratic candidates.  Perhaps voters will see that the President is going to be re-elected and do what they can to make the second term more effective - which is to put a congress in place that actually wants to get things done.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

KNUCKLEHEADS IS TOO NICE

So did you see Rachel Maddow talking about the Job Corps for Veterans bill that died in the Senate today?  She was spitting mad and for good reason.

Seems that the Dems wanted to come up with a way to help veterans get jobs after deployment.  The jobless rate for vets is 10.9% - higher than the rest of the population.  So the Dems sought out some GOP support to write the bill and help get it passed. The for GOP Senators who wrote most of the bill then turned and votes against it.

“It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and a bill co-sponsor, said in a statement after the vote. “At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed, Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families.”


Murray called the vote a “stark reminder that Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans are willing to do absolutely anything to fulfill the pledge he made nearly two years ago to defeat President Obama.”

It is clear that the GOP has little regard for our troops and veterans and would rather try to "hurt" the President than take care of those in need of a hand, even those who have served our country.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

DEAD NOOK

My Nook died.

The guy at Barnes and Nobel said it would cost $140. to get a new battery.  A new Nook costs $149.

I was pretty sad about the whole thing.

Tom said - we'll get a new battery.  I told him the guy at B&N said the reason it is so expensive to replace is the difficulty - thus high labor cost.

Tom snorted and  found YouTube vido showing how to do it and a site selling the battery for $40.

It's on the way.  To be continued...

Friday, September 14, 2012

IS THE TRUTH OPTIONAL?

I know I just posted about lying.  This just  seems to be a themed week.

I was explaining to Tom about a small claims court case I had prepared for my boss to argue. It was clear and factual and supported by a ream of documents that they had the work done, they knew they owed the money, that they had been notified for nearly 2 years of the bill and mounting finance charges.  One of the plaintiffs arrived in court with her toddler in tow, lied to the mediator and then to the judge and the judge ignored the documents and shafted our business out of about $2000.00.

Tom said 2 things 1. Going to court is always a crap shoot. 2. Everyone lies.

He said he thinks it has to do with politicians.  The bold face lie has proven to be a winning strategy.  I would add all those uber wealthy bankers and investment brokers - not much truth telling going on there.  Pharmaceutical companies care about sick people. That's a good one.  Oh, how about "Your call is important to us" which is why we don't hire more than a couple of people for our Customer Service 800 line.

What is your favorite lie?



Thursday, September 13, 2012

LYING POLITICIANS - OXYMORON?

A lot of people hate politics and politicians because they are not honest. People love to complain about politicians and lawyers - calling them crooks and out for themselves and worse. Being married to a civil rights attorney who sees his work as service, who picks and chooses his cases based on the merits and the  law, who doesn't take on cases in order to "blackmail" people into paying money unjustly; I have a soft spot for those who are lumped in with the bad guys.

Are there lawyers and politicians who behave badly?  Yes.  Are there doctors and bankers who behave greedily.  Yes.  Are there accountants and plumbers who behave shoddily?  Yes.

When it comes to lies, though, politicians seem to be making it an artform.  If I learned anything at all during the Bush administration it was that a lie told repeatedly takes on the veneer of truth for a whole lot of people.

He came by it honestly, as they say.  In 1984, his dad,  George H.W. Bush made up a quote about Walter Mondale's campaign that was both damaging and untrue. Bush's press secretary said: “You can say anything you want during a debate, and 80 million people hear it”; when newspapers point out the lies, “So what?” he said. “Maybe 200 people read it, or 2,000, or 20,000.”

Seems that this cynical disregard for the truth has become part and parcel of the GOP's campaign strategy. In the words of W.C. Fields, “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull---t.”  This election is a further test of how far politicians can bend the truth and have people repeating it to the point of believing it. Musch has been written about the factual inaccuracies of the Ryan and the Romney budget plans - are people paying attention?  I guess we will see.

To be fair, "a Politifact analysis of the two campaigns so far has rated 28 percent of Democratic campaign material as untrue to at least a degree, as against 46 percent for the GOP."  The thing is, statistically,  the Democrats seem to exaggerate,and misstate things, while the GOP runs major falsehoods up the flagpole.

This year I will proudly vote for President Obama, not because Democrats are perfectly honest, but because they have shown far more respect for the truth and for the public's  ability to discern lies from honesty than has the GOP and Romney.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

REUNION

Christina, Me, Sue - Graduation Day
Last week was eventful.  I went to my high school reunion on Saturday - my 40th.  Yep, Class of 1972.  Just imagine, if you can, what it was like to start high school during the "Summer of Love" and to graduate the month they finally stopped drafting young men to Vietnam.

People of my specific age group had one foot in the 1950's and the other in the turbulent 60's and 70's.  I always felt torn between my traditional upbringing and the more demanding world I was being offered.  I would blame the times for my lack of focus and inability to figure out my life's goals - except I am surrounded by women (and men) who managed to excel.

In high school I was editor of the newspaper for a while, I was deeply involved in student government, I helped plan dances and a recycling center on the campus. At the reunion - I was a non-entity for the most part.  I loved going with my friends Christina and Sue.  Sue even spent the night at my house so we had a long visit.  Christina and I had our photo taken together as we have at all the reunions (I always make her go.) I missed other old friends who were not there.  There was one woman who remembered me though I didn't recognise her.  There were a handful I remembered who looked blankly at me.


People I didn't know!  We had a class of about 800 students.
 All in all I am glad I went.  Having the event as an afternoon picnic was a huge improvement over the evening dinner dances held in the past. The socializing was more natural and easy going. They are planning a 60th birthday bash in two years instead of waiting another 10 for a reunion.  I'll probably go - can't seem to quit them.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CONVENTIONAL POLITICS

This morning one of the discussions on the radio was whether people tuned in to the Democratic convention or to the first football game of the season.  One of the on air people said that she didn't watch "infomercials for politicians".  OK, I guess that could be what the conventions have become.  I do miss the old days when there was some degree of suspense.  I loved the roll calls through the states when they offered up their little speech and then pledged their delegates.

I am just enough of a political junkie that I always watch both conventions.  I like to see who will speak and what they have to say - even if it makes me yell at the TV in frustration.  And maybe they have become more cookie cutter - but having the pleasure of watching Bill Clinton speak last night is worth sitting through some canned speeches.  And the dynamism of Michelle Obama compared to the fluffy false notes of Ann Romney underscores the difference between the two families up for election.

Does what happens at the conventions change any minds?  I don't know.  I do know that they get me excited.  The "real people" chosen to speak can have the most enlightening stories. I like seeing the up and coming politicians speaking that I wouldn't otherwise know about - (and on that score the Dems beat the GOP hands down.)

I also know that my 3 children, all of voting age, were not likely to be watching either convention, and that's too bad.  Being tuned into the political process as a whole, not just the ads and soundbites, makes us better informed voters and maybe a little less cynical about politics.