Category Archives: Rant

Remember: Panic Buy Gasoline in an Orderly Fashion

If you bought gas differently at any time in the last week, you are to blame for the gas shortage…not Ike, not Bush, not lack of supply in Texas or the pipeline.  Gas stations in Nashville sold FOUR TIMES more gas last weekend than a normal weekend.  That is panic buying.  People buying gas because they “didn’t know when there will be more” is panic buying.  Topping off your tank for no reason when you have 3/4 tank is panic buying.  TV news using as a teaser and showing as a lead story ONE station in Winchester that sold gas last week at $5.39 caused panic buying.  Freaking out and sitting in line for TWO HOURS to buy gas IS PANIC BUYING.

Stop it people.  Return to your normal habits and this is all over in two days.  Really really.  The sky is not falling, there is gas out there, just…

CHILL

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Filed under by DB, Rant

Why I am not voting Republican or Democratic

“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”-Ayn Rand

“…give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.  In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you’re on your own.  Out of work?  Tough luck.  No health care?  The market will fix it.  Born into poverty?  Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don’t have boots.  You’re on your own”-Barack Obama

“Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know”-Barack Obama

If anyone out there thinks they are not on their own, quit your job, stop paying the bills and find out what happens.  It is only by your individual effort no matter how great or small that you achieve what you are capable.  Robin Hood will not save the day.  Obama assumes that the heart and soul of America is the workings of its government.  He thinks that when government doesn’t work, people go hungry.  If I am to support 10-20 people it will be on my terms and because I choose to do so, not because my government chooses to tax me sufficiently to give it to “those less fortunate”.

“Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice…”-John McCain (hailed with raucous applause)

“I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals — to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.”-John McCain (tepid golf clap applause)

The crowd at the Republican convention really burned me up.  If they are truly a cross-section of America, I am sad.  Screaming for school vouchers like its the Super Bowl but only tepid applause for PEACE.  What is wrong with you people that you claim a “culture of life” but only for American humans?  Education is important but the lack of death inflicted by or on my country is far more important. 

“My mother’s creed is the American creed: No one is better than you. Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you.”-Joe Biden

No Joe !!  Everyone is not equal to you and that is no American creed I know.  We bring into this world varying attributes and talents, strengths and weaknesses that we either use for or against us.  We have equality in the eyes of our government in regards to justice and the assertion of law, but not as citizens dealing with one another.  There are plenty of people better than me in lots of things…Michael Phelps, Warren Buffett, Salvador Dali, etc.  If there were not, this would be a sad country to live in.  Perhaps this is another example of the Democrats thinking that everything American begins and ends with government. 

“Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights”-Sarah Palin

I am REALLY a big fan of civil liberties.  The way the current Republican administration has all but eliminated them is evident in this quote.  That the crowd then laughed and cheered made it that much worse.

I have a lot more to say but this is already a teal deer.

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Filed under by DB, Politics, Rant

Obama is No Economist

  This article makes me want to puke. 

Never, never, never should a company be made to pay “windfall profit tax”.  That is attempting to enforce some morality of equality (I call it theft) that will kill a growth economy.  Obama is quoted in the article as saying, “we can either choose a new direction for our economy or we can keep doing what we’ve been doing”.  Sir, if those are the two choices and you want to steal from the rich to give to the poor, I vote for keep doing what we’ve been doing.  Your way leads to depression and destruction.  It sounds and feels good (especially a $1,000 check from Uncle Barack), but it is a pathway to terrible poverty for all.

The truth is something no one wants to talk about, but here it is, if some don’t have a lot, then everyone has nothing.  A dynamic economy requires it and Obama doesn’t understand it.

EDITED TO ADD: Please note that the original article that I linked to has been changed by yahoo to a different summary of the candidate’s townhall meeting.  The original article specifically stated a “windfall profit tax” on oil companies to be paid to consumers to offset high gas prices.  Also, the quote above was inthe original article.  My apologies for not grabbing more of the original before someone cleaned it up.

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Filed under by DB, Libertarian, Politics, Rant

Observations Regarding Health Care In America

So, for reasons that are rather uninteresting and slightly confusing, I did not have the correct insurance card with me when I arrived at the emergency room last weekend. The admitting people were unable to verify that I was indeed insured and marked me down as an uninsured patient. That was an eye-opening experience. Of course, I could be wrong in my analysis of the situation but here is what transpired from my perspective.

  • I saw the doctor once for about three minutes.
  • I had to request pain medication and when it finally arrived it was in pill form which I refused to take. (I was still in that object of torture C Spin collar thingamajig and frankly, it scared me to think of trying to swallow pills with that contraption around my neck.) They eventually gave me a shot of Demerol.
  • I had abrasions on my head and face yet no treatment was given to those areas. (My brother-in-law cleaned those up once they got me back home.)
  • Every time we asked about something, no one could give us an immediate response.
  • When the CT scans came back and showed that nothing was broken, they removed the object of torture C Spin collar thingamajig but I was not offered any other support brace to aid in healing.
  • I had to ask for water…which I never got.

Basically, in my opinion, the hospital did only what was immediately medically necessary. Of course, this could just be the way things happen in an emergency room. Maybe all the medical dramas on television have warped my perception of what is supposed to happen at a hospital? I have limited experience with emergency rooms and hospitals in general. I’ve been to an ER once before and hospitalized twice (when I had my babies). Maybe it was the hospital I was at? Others, who are more familiar with these sorts of things, swear that some hospital ERs are better than others. I don’t really know. All I know is what I experienced and it seemed to me that the hospital was making sure that minimal time and effort was given to me based on my insurance status. They didn’t know whether or not they would get paid for the services rendered. The less they did for me, the less I would have to pay and the less they would possibly lose if I couldn’t pay.

As much as despise the thought of universal health care and as much as despise the current insurance system, I have to wonder if there’s some way to make sure that when you go to the hospital, you get the treatment you need regardless of your insurance status. But then who decides what you need? In my opinion, I needed pain medication and I needed my abrasions treated. but the in the hospital’s opinion, I did not. Who’s right?

I don’t know. I do know that I will be requesting and getting the correct insurance card!

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Filed under by Malia, random, Rant

Kathie Lee Doesn’t Know Jack About Computers

I admitted on Twitter this morning that I don’t get the uproar that was heard in the Mommy Blogging community over yesterday’s interview, on the Today show, between Kathie Lee Gifford, her co-host Hoda Kotb and Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com. (The full clip can be see here. An abbreviated clip can be seen here.) The general uproar in the Mommy Blogging community is that Kathie Lee “dissed” mommy bloggers. Some feel that she was judgmental of Heather for putting pictures of her daughter and talking about private issues like potty training on her blog. I’ve read those that say Kathie Lee did the same thing with her family when she was co-hosting “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” several years ago and that she’s essentially the pot calling the kettle black.

I don’t agree. I’ve watched the clip a few times now and I just don’t see it. Especially since Kathie Lee repeatedly admits that she a) doesn’t use a computer b) doesn’t understand computers and c) has fears about the Internet. I’ll bet you that when you talk about children and computers and the Internet to Kathie Lee, she’s thinking of child p*orn sites, of molesters who stalk chat rooms and lure children into meeting them and of MySpace pages gone wrong. There really isn’t much difference between what we as Mommy Bloggers put on our sites regarding our children and how Kathie Lee talked about her kids and showed their pictures all those years ago. If anything, she understands a bit more fully than we do what risk there is in doing that. (I can’t believe I’m actually defending Kathie Lee!)

Now if you want to talk about how Heather’s segment was handled, there’s where we might see some controversy. From what I’ve read on her blog and her Twitter page is that her interview was originally scheduled for 8:30am and was then bumped to 10am. In Today show speak she went from being interviewed by the A-Team (either Meredith or Matt) to the B-Team (Kathie Lee & Hoda). Seems to me that something a little more “newsworthy” or “sexy” must of come along and the “Mommy Blogger” segment just didn’t seem as “exciting” anymore. That my friends, is a “dis”.

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Filed under by Malia, Rant

No need to move to Brentwood for the schools

 I started tutoring a student at Brentwood High School in math.  This student is a bright person who is active at school, extra-curriculars, and takes honors classes when possible.  Not someone I would describe as lazy.

Since this was my first time tutoring this student, we went over their current assignments, that night’s homework, and then looked through quizzes and tests taken over the last couple of months.  I was stunned by the results on the quizzes.  They ranged from 30% to about 75%.  The quizzes were marked with points off but showed little or no indication where the student went wrong.  Based on our conversation, it is apparent that basic concepts were skipped or spoon-fed as assumptions. 

I asked if the teacher had gone over any of the quizzes individually or had approached the student about the low grades to help improve performance.  The response was an emphatic ‘no’.  The story continued mentioning that the guidance counselor expressed relief that the student wouldn’t pursue anything related to math in college.  This isn’t a senior about to leave school in a few weeks, they still have some years to influence this student.

For some reason, it is acceptable to the teacher and counselor that this student not understand the concepts taught in the math courses offered.  This is a student that is/was on track to complete Calculus before graduation.  As I said, not a numb-brained bottom feeder.  It appears to me that this teacher is more interested in class and curriculum management than their student(s) learning.

The #1 goal of teachers should be for their student to LEARN what they are teaching.  A test indicates how effectively the student has learned.  If a student has a 30% on a test, THEY DID NOT LEARN THE CONCEPT, DON’T JUST MOVE ON WITHOUT DEALING WITH THAT STUDENT.  TO DO OTHERWISE SAYS TO ME THAT YOU DON’T CARE IF THE STUDENT LEARNS OR NOT.  This situation is wrong, wrong wrong.

 

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Filed under by DB, Rant

Turbo Strap

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpgLast summer my mom bought the GMan a pair of Crocs. They quickly became his shoe of choice (mine as well) because he could put them on all by himself and we all know how important that can be during toddlerhood! He wore them through the summer and into the fall and winter (with socks when the weather was colder). Then one day while playing outside the heel strap of one shoe tore free from its tab. They didn’t appear to be fixable but I set them aside, since they still fit, and hoped that I could figure something out for him to still be able to wear them.

A few weeks ago while we were visiting my parents over Spring Break, we came by the same kiosk in the mall where we had originally purchased his pair of Crocs. I was poking around, not really wanting to purchase another pair when I knew the pair he had still fit. I inquired about the possibility of fixing the strap, whether or not any known adhesives could patch them up or not. Unfortunately, the sales people weren’t well versed in what to do about a broken strap. (They’d probably been trained to convince the customer to buy another pair!) But sitting on the kiosk right next to the cash register was a small display of what were called “turbo straps”. I asked about them, what they were and what they were used for. Again, the sales people were not terribly knowledgeable about their product. The best answer I got was that the “turbo straps” were for people who had purchased a Croc style that didn’t come with a heel strap. (um, OK?) So, I figured if that was the case then surely they could be used to replace broken straps. I picked out a set of “turbo straps” and when we got back home, I removed the heel straps from his Crocs and put the “turbo straps” on in their place. And…voilà! It worked!

turbo-strap.jpgI was searching for the “turbo straps” online today because I wanted to know where I could find them again. David has a broken heel strap and I have a pair of Crocs, too. (No broken straps yet for me.) I found them here and low and behold they are listed as, “High Performance Replacement Strap”!!

If by chance any Crocs executives are reading this post, you might want to think about training your employees better! I get that a $30 pair of Crocs brings in a higher profit and commission than a $7 turbo strap but being truthful and well educated about your product will bring customers back to your stores to purchase more of said product.

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Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess, Rant

Is that Global Warming in your pocket or…

180px-opus_blue.jpgI am watching the local news this morning.  The news crawler at the bottom of the screen states, “this has been the coldest winter in the United States since 2001 according to scientists at the national climactic data center”.  Then that is followed by, “it is also the 54th coldest winter in the United States since national records began in 1895”.

I guess global warming is off.  Nothing like some statistics to show something is completely wrong.  I mean seriously, it was the 54th coldest winter out of the last 113 winters.  If that doesn’t show conclusively that global warming is false, I don’t know what does.  Stop recycling, start burning coal in the streets to keep warm.  Now I don’t have to feel guilty for eating beef…let those cows flatulate. 

What?  What did you say?  Did you say this winter was also the 59th warmest since record keeping started in 1895?  Oh noes!!  Leave the coastline now!!!  You are all going to be flooded!!  Kiss that snow goodbye you’re never going to see it again!  Gloom, despair, agony!

Seriously, why is this news?  So this winter was just about near the median average over the last 113 years (which would be the 56th and 57th years for those less math inclined).  Woopy.  Sound the alarms.  

This is where modern politics and I can’t be on the same bus.  I don’t understand why people get hysterical over very short-term temporal data.  The economy, the weather, gas prices, whatever the latest argument is over anything.  Everyone (perhaps it is just the media) seems so short-sighted with their microwave popcorn minds hopping to whichever topic burns their retinas next.  That mindset frustrates me, but I am too easily embroiled in it if I allow it.

Our Saucer Magnolia is in bloom.  It is gorgeous with its pink and white flowers.  However, it is very fragile and fleeting.  Just about anything rips those blooms off the tree: a stiff breeze, heavy rain, one freezing night turns them brown and they fall off.  This is probably only the second year out of six that we have had any significant blooming and even now I am expecting that the blooms will be gone in a week.  I am trying to soak up every minute of the beauty of this time because I know it is short.

I can’t help but be reminded that life is like that.  That we are withering grass, here for a short time and then gone with the wind.  I hope I can always remember that: to hold on to what matters most no matter the circumstances, to enjoy today for its own beauty, to not worry about what is down this twisty road called life and enjoy the view for what it is.

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Filed under by DB, on the other hand, Politics, Rant

Sometimes Trash is Just Trash

Malia pictureYesterday, my Brownie Troop helped out at our school’s recycling center. The recycling bins are set out on Friday afternoons and then taken away on Saturday around noon. From nine to noon each Saturday, one of the school’s employees, a recycling guru and cafeteria lady extraordinairre, mans the recycling center with student volunteers. Yesterday, being the first Saturday after Christmas, was especially busy.

Now, I could never be in charge of this recycling thing because I’d drive myself crazy over all the very well intentioned but uninformed people who show up. Some people are bound and determined to recycle everything. And I’m here to tell you, as much as I’m fond of recycling, sometimes trash is just trash.

  • When you bring me a garbage bag full of plastic yogurt, cottage cheese and milk containers that have not been rinsed out, you’ve brought me trash.
  • When you bring me used, cardboard pizza boxes, you’ve brought me trash.
  • When you bring me unopened vegetable cans, you’ve brought me trash (or possibly a contribution to a food pantry).
  • When you bring me boxes that once contained shiny new toys from under your Christmas tree that still have all the plastic twist-tie thingies and a mile of tape around everything you’ve basically brought me trash. (Because what’s left of the “box” after I’m through pulling all the un-recyclable stuff off of it is rather paltry.)
  • When you bring me a trash bag full of used wrapping paper including bows that are still stuck on, once again, you’ve basically brought me trash. The bows can’t be recycled nor can the shiny, metallic papers.

The thing we had the most of, that was truly recyclable? Cardboard.

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This bin is packed full of cardboard. It got so full that we started putting the cardboard into the paper bin.

Now, there is the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Someone brought by some books. Our recycling guru set them out for people to take instead of tossing them. (Actually, a few were hardcover and couldn’t go into the bins away.) Among them was a set of cook books called Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Modern equals copyright date of 1959 for the revised edition! One of our scout moms picked up one and found some good looking cookie and cake recipes. I picked up the other and found:

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and

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I think Ginny’s got some hound dog in her. Maybe I can teach her to hunt? Who wants to come over for dinner?

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Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess, Rant

Halloween Déjà vu

Malia pictureA couple of days ago I checked the network listings (not the local ones) to see who would be playing “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” this week. I saw it listed on ABC for Tuesday night at 8e/7c pm. I had that in the back of my mind all day yesterday and after dinner I immediately sent JBelle to get ready for bed. She’s not happy about that. Of course, when I explained why, she was very obliging since she normally doesn’t get to watch television on school days! So at 7 pm we settle into the living room and turn on the television, only to encounter “The Jeff Fisher Show” or “Titans Take Two” or something like that and NOT our beloved Halloween special.

Then DB remembers that we experienced this exact same scenario last year and that triggers JBelle’s memory of last year’s disappointment and the GMan is just sitting there looking back and forth between his dad and his sister trying to figure whether or not he’s going to get to watch Charlie Brown. And I, I am standing there sort of half hearing the lamentations and complaints of the lost viewing opportunity because somewhere in the cobwebs of my brain (it’s been an entire year after all) a tiny, detail of a memory is emerging. And after a few seconds of letting it rise to the surface I say amidst the disappointed musings, “And…that’s…why…..we have it on DVD!!!!!”

It all came rushing back at that point. Nana, DB’s mother, being the thoughtful grandmother that she is, had purchased a copy of the DVD for the kids last year after getting an earful from her grandchildren* regaling her with the story of how it was so unfair that they didn’t get to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” on television because of a silly football show. I dug through the trunk that holds our DVDs, found what I was searching for and we watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” last night and not that silly football show.

Take that WKRN!

*Well, maybe DB and I did most of the grousing about that. But it was totally on behalf of our children!

There’s more to share. Continue reading

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, Rant