Sunday, October 21, 2012


Time Warp Tuesday was Jenn's idea - post pictures we keep around the house and tell the stories behind them - come play with us!

Truth be told, this photo is not up on the wall.  I keep it under the bed. 

Tom had this photo of me (taken when I was 25 a couple of years before we met),  made into one of those big canvas portraits and surprised me with it when we moved into a new house.  As I was 20 years older and maybe 80 pounds heavier - I did not take it well.  I took it as his indictment of my failing to maintain my looks.

He didn't mean it that way, but I was never able to put the picture up in the house. 

Now I look at it to see what I once was as I am preparing to undergo weight loss surgery today.  I hope that a year from now I will be able to see a picture of myself on the wall and recognise that young woman in myself again.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


At a rally in Virginia on Friday, President Obama lampooned Romney for memory lapses.

"If you come down with a case of Romnesia," the president said, "and you can't seem to remember the policies that are still on your website or the promises you have made over the six years you have been running for president, here is the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions. We can fix you up. We've got a cure."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


That whole "binders full of women thing from the debate last night?  Yeah, no surprise, it wasn't exactly as Romney took credit for.  Here is the TRUTH:

The Massachusetts Government Appointments Project (MassGAP) is a non-partisan collaboration of women’s groups whose purpose is to increase the number of women appointed by the new governor to senior-level cabinet positions, agency heads and selected authorities, boards and commissions in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC) is the Lead Sponsor of this collaboration.

Our History.

In 2002 women held approximately 30% of the top high-level appointed positions in the Commonwealth, even though they compose 52% of the population. To rectify this inequity, more than 25 women’s organizations banded together to form the bi-partisan MassGAP Project for the purpose of increasing the number of women in high-ranking appointed positions in Massachusetts and achieving fairer representation of women. MassGAP sought to eliminate the difficulty that state executives say they experienced whenever they tried to find qualified women for high-ranking positions. MassGAP did this through providing names and resumes of qualified women for top appointments.

Between January 2002 and July 2004, 42% of the new gubernatorial appointments made by Governor Mitt Romney were women. Massachusetts was widely recognized for that achievement and MassGAP was given credit for it.

I strongly suspect that if it had not been for this organization, already in place and ready to make resumes available, that 42% would not have happened.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Steve, Jane, Nancy, Polly, me

This photo was taken of me and my 4 siblings in the back of our Rambler station wagon.  Based on the PJ's, I suspect we were heading out on a long trip - probably to Boise to see the grandparents.  My mom used to dose us all with Dramamine and toss us in the back of the wagon with blankets and pillows to sleep our way there.

I remember waking up hearing thumps when we drove through the high desert in the middle of the night - hitting jackrabbits blinded by the headlights.  I would also wake up and be blinded by the lights during service station stops!

I am probably 9 in this picture.  When I turned 16 the Rambler was turned over to me to drive.  Standard transmission, shift on the column.  I could haul a lot of people around!

Time Warp Tuesdays participants:

Join the fun!


Maybe election cycles are not the time to do this, but I just unfriended someone on Facebook.  I new that she was a Romney supporter and a few weeks back she posted something I considered racist and insulting.

10/8/11 - Bill Bennett at the 2011 Values Voter Summit suggests a bumper sticker about Barack Obama:
"If you voted for him the last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot."

It wasn't just the above quote, it was all done up in a poster.  I decided against commenting and let it go by even though I was incensed.

Then she posted that the Vice President was speaking jibberish in the debate last week. I did not comment on that.

Today I re-posted this:

This is a statement from an earlier post by The Truth of It:

"It doesn't so much bother me that the Romney/Ryan campaign isn't listening to the fact checkers, more so that their supporters are so morally lacking that they have a limitless tolerance for dishonesty. I guess when people can't be honest with themselves, they're not the best judge of honesty in others."

Rob Portman Falsely Claims Unemployment Is Higher Than When Obama Took Office

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) inaccurately claimed that unemployment is higher now than when President Obama took office.  
She commented "What an ignorant generalization.  Shame on the author."   I commented back in the heat of my reaction and then unfriended her - not to avoid further comment but because I have lost tolerance for people who attack the media and attack the fact checkers and don't bother to try to get to the truth of things.  People who accept candidates based on their image and look no further for some substance.  Who don't bother to look for the reality behind the spin.  

For instance, why the doesn't the Democratic  party make more of the fact that Romney made the Olympics a success because the government bailed him out?   Yes, his great management of that event was based on getting 10 million or so from congress.

And Bain Capital, his calling card for being such a good businessman?  While not bailed out by taxpayers, per se, bailed out from bankruptcy by a deal with the FDIC.

As a businessman, Romney made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be "corporate welfare."The Cato Institute said the story of the Romney-linked companies is "an example of the government stepping into the marketplace, picking winners and losers, providing profits to business owners and leaving taxpayers stuck with the bill."  An example?  After the pension plan at Bain-controlled GS Steel was underfunded (read raided)  and the company went bankrupt, the federal agency for pension insurance supplied a $44 million bail out. According to Retuers, “records show that the mill's Bain-backed management was confronted several times about the fund's shortfall, which, in the end, required an infusion of funds from the federal Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp.

 Romney personally saved $2.6 million in just one year on a tax loophole that allows wealthy executives at firms like Romney’s to pay a lower tax rate on their income than many middle class workers.  Private equity executives are taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings, a rate well below the 35 percent tax on ordinary income. Most of his income comes from distributions by Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he left in 1999 but he still takes the discounted rate.

So - I suppose some people can see a smart businessman who can lead the country - what I see is someone who has taken advantage of what the government has made available in order to get rich and richer. 

So - who is more of a taker?  Someone trying to get back on their feet after losing a job or getting sick or disabled or needing help to make ends meet on their minimum wage job?  Or a "leader" like Mitt Romney?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


While I admit I have not read the entirety of the Affordable Health Care Act, I have done some reading and research into the provisions of it relating to businesses.  I am still trying to find out why so many businesses believe that they will no longer be able to afford to provide insurance to their employees and why they think "Obamacare" is going to make their rates go up.

I read on Huffington Post about a CEO who, when handing out bonuses to his employees, admonished them to vote for Romney or next year there would be lower pay and higher taxes, plus he would pass the health care increase on to them:

Richard Lacks, CEO of Michigan-based Lacks Enterprises, a car-part manufacturer, is urging his employees to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Not doing so, he warns, could lead to higher taxes and lower pay.

"It is important that in November you vote to improve your standard of living and that will be through smaller government and less government," Lacks wrote as part of a letter that also announced a bonus for the company's 2,300 employees, according to the report. A number of progressive economists warn, however, that suddenly slashing government spending could plunge the economy into another recession.

More specifically, Lacks warned that Obamacare may raise the company's health insurance costs, which he said he would pass on to employees.

Nearly two-thirds of employers expect higher health benefit costs as a result of Obamacare, according to a recent survey.

This seems to be an employer trend; forcing employees to attend rallies and threatening them to vote in the interest of "the company" or else.  And the concerns about voter fraud are about picture ID?

I have tried to get a straight answer from a number of sources about the concerns business owners have about the coming insurance requirements.  I have gotten no new information which supports these fears.  Insurance premiums have been going up at a rate of about 10% a year for the past 6 years without the new options, this year, the rates only went up about 7%.  It would appear that the insurance companies are already aware of the competition the new plan will provide and slowing their greedy rate hikes a bit. For an employer who subsidizes employee premiums, that is good news. 

But paying any part of the employee plan is not required - and providing a plan is required only if an employer has 50 or more employees.  My company has 5 employees.  We have a health care plan and the company pays a generous 75% of the employee's premium. (My last employer only paid 25%.)

An insurance broker sent an e-mail to my company with dire sounding warnings about potential increases in insurance plans if Obama was elected.  I e-mailed back and forth with him and finally, finally got him to admit that the only issue for small businesses was that those which offer insurance were at an advantage in attracting good employees - which is true now.  He had a hard time admitting that the only cost to an employer offering a plan to their employees was some admin time.  No other requirement exists but his marketing campaign still goes on, spreading fear and mis-information. 

Monday, October 8, 2012


Jenn had the idea to post photos we have around our homes and tell the story behind them.  I used to have a long hall with photos lined up mixed in with the kids artwork and other family things.  Now, I just have a few photos out in our smaller house.

Our scanner isn't available tonight, so I took a photo of the photo on the wall! I will be more organized for this next week...

But since it was our 28th Anniversary Sunday - I thought I would start with the wedding photo I have out.  My parents in the middle, 2 of my sisters and my brother and sister-in law.  Don't we just look so 1984?

We were married outdoors in a small park and had a reception on the patio of a neighboring restaurant.  The colors were pink and gray.  Tom worse a tux because his only suit was tan and we couldn't afford to buy him a new one. It was a small wedding, mostly my parent's friends because we had recent moved to the Bay Area. But some of our friends came from San Diego and my best friend from high school managed to get a quick break from her residency and come down from Seattle. My mom and I made my dress and the whole thing cost about $2500.00 - nothing compared to how things are done now!  But it took.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Tom and  just returned from our weekend in Yosemite.  We went to celebrate our 28th anniversary.  We had a great time, very relaxing and the weather could not have been more perfect.  Tom had never been to Yosemite before, I have not been back since I was a teen. 

We had a nice guided tour of the Valley conducted by one of the young staff at the Evergreen Lodge - which is a fabulous place if anyone is considering a trip that way.  Bryant is an avid naturalist and climber; he and Tom talked about hikes he could take on during future trips. We were joined on our tour by a family visiting from Australia and a guy from the UK who pronounced every sight "gooore-jus" with great enthusiasm. 

When I mentioned that my family used to fill jugs of water from the springs around the valley, Bryant made a point of stopping at one and we all drank real spring water!

We stood and watched several teams climbing El Capitan through binoculars.  My camera could not pick them up.  Most climbers take 3 days to reach the top and then descend. Bryant explained in some detail the way that they do the climb, including eating, sleeping and containing their waste to take back down the mountain. He also talked about the exhilaration which makes it so worth the pain.

We had really nice meals at the Lodge and sat out under the stars in front of an outdoor fireplace finishing off the wine from our dinner.  It was wonderful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I am freaking out.  I am so disappointed in President Obama and his team - this passive approach, allowing Romney to lie, lie,lie and claim to care so much about the poor and downtrodden with that smirky face. 

I have such a stomach ache from watching that damned debate.  What the hell are the Dems thinking?  Are they so afraid that Obama might bring out the racists by ratcheting up his cool demeanor to angry black man?  Hello?  The racists are already in full force, no reason to try to avoid riling them up. Get in there and point out the lies, point out the disdain for the 47%, point out the cuts from Medicare, privitization of medicare and Social Security, turning over education to profit making private companies and the fact that his plan will push the middle class further down the tubes.

I am not sure I can take any more of this.  I am going to step away from the pundits now and take a nice hot shower.


There is a quote, attributed to Plato, which keeps making the rounds on Pinterest which goes: 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

This thought goes through my mind a lot.  When I realize I am being critical of another person, it comes to me like a mantra.  Of course, then I want to argue with myself that there are battles and there are battles, but that is the point of this mental exercise.

When I read something like this (I am linking the Jezebel article about this because Psychology Today must have pulled the blog post from it's website) I realize that there is a problem with trying to characterize the "battles" other people are fighting.  The writer of an article titled "Female Obesity: It's Not All Her Fault" suggests that obesity in women stems from a lack of male sexual and flirtatious attention. (I am not sure how this relates to lesbian couples, but perhaps he meant a partner, rather than male attention?)

This "relationship counselor"  is looking around the grocery store and sees all these women in their 20"s and 30's he considers obese and then proclaims that they must  not be getting any love from their husbands because otherwise they would magically be slim - or maybe just large because large can still be sexy according to this guy.

He is not the first to attach sexuality to overeating. But usually the shrinks are saying obese women are avoiding their sexuality by making themselves "larger"  and less attractive.  Frequently this is due to rape or molestation.  This PhD is suggesting that if their guy flirted with them and made them feel sexy, that they wouldn't get so fat.

So I have changed my mind.  Even in his effort to feel empathy for women like me, I feel judged by him.  So I am not so fond of that quote anymore.  Be kind is just fine - no further explanation or judgement is necessary.