Category Archives: 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

Dear MNPS School Board, Please Make Up Your Minds!!

Update at the end of post.
Malia pictureLate last week I was perusing our family calendar to familiarize myself with what was coming up this week. I saw that school pictures for JBelle were on the calendar and I sighed to myself thinking, “Hmmm…should she wear the red or pink polo shirt to school that day?” Because, as you remember, Metro Davidson Country Schools now enforce a Standard School Attire dress code. Nothing says personality like every kid’s school picture looking exactly like that of the student sitting next to them!

But wait! Lo and behold the phone rang that same evening with a nice recorded message from the school’s principal. Ms. Principal* was calling to remind everyone about fundraisers, upcoming events, etc. On the list of reminders was school pictures and a notice that for one day only students do not have to wear SSA approved clothing. However, no jeans and no cargo pants would be allowed! So basically, JBelle can wear a dress or a non-collared, even patterned(!) shirt to school on picture day.

OK, I’m thrilled that JBelle can pick-out the outfit of her choice (albeit mother approved outfit) for her school pictures. But, if you’re going to implement a dress-code standard, why change it up for picture day? What? Don’t you want proof of the asinine decision to make every kid look exactly the same and the budget breaking strains placed on lower income families? You’d think the school board would want to flaunt their ground-breaking decision with school pictures that scream, “My individuality has been regulated out of me!” I mean really! Aren’t school pictures supposed to be a “snapshot”, a reflection of what the child looked like that year?

Heh. Now we get to look back at JBelle’s second grade pictures and remember the day, the only day, she didn’t have to wear a collared shirt and khakis.

::sigh::

*Not her real name, natch.

Updated: A couple of things came to my attention since writing this post. First, we got a letter home from Ms. Principal saying that the “no jeans” decision was actually something that fell under “principals discretion”, so she decided to allow the students the opportunity to wear jeans on picture day, if they so desired. Second, apparently each school gets 10 days a year when they can relax the SSA dress code and many schools were choosing to use picture day as one of their ten. A lot of this still totally irks me but as I reiterated to JBelle, these are the rules, we will abide by them and we’ll be respectful. And only Mommy can complain about on her blog 😉 (no, I didn’t say that part to her!)

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Filed under by Malia, on the other hand, Rant

I know I said I was going to have a better attitude…

Malia picture…but seriously, if you want any further reason why I loathe the SSA so much. Go here.

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Filed under by Malia, Rant

Forest Hills Must Die

180px-opus_blue.jpg  (Read Disclaimer at end)  It was bad enough that Forest Hills forced our church to move when it would not allow us to tastefully expand our building.  A church that had been located on that land longer than the city had been in existence and had assembled in the immediate vicinity for worship for nearly 75 years.  But now that we have moved, it is reprehensible that new ordinances, specifically tailored to be detrimental to the sale of the land, have been passed by the city.  For those that don’t know, the Forest Hills Commission has stated that 1.) if our church sells our land that it can not be used as an educational facility on anything less than 20 acres (we own 16 acres) and 2.) if more than 50% of the building were destroyed (by fire) it could not be re-built.  Both of these ordinances were specifically created to force our church to sell to a residential real estate developer.  The end result is the “might-as-well-call-it” theft of well over $1 million from our church.

Now, our church is not perfect.  Sure, we probably are wasteful with the resources we have in some manner or other.  But, the many things which have come into existence and been maintained through the years that are vital to the well-being of the Nashville community because of the existence of this one church is staggering when you sit back to look at it.  For example, that ill-gotten $1 million would go a long way to building a second Wayne Reed center in the Thompson Lane-Nolensville Road area.

In my opinion, Forest Hills is nothing more than a glorified neighborhood association with a singular purpose to improve property values for the residents of Forest Hills.  While I would love to spend lots of time researching exactly how this “city within a city” concept works, I really don’t have the time to dig into it for this post.  Believe me, I will find the information at some point.

To the government of Forest Hills, you have made a weak, powerless, ignorant enemy in me who has no standing whatsoever to sue.  I don’t know how or when, but with all that I am I will see the end of the existence of Forest Hills as a legal city.

Disclaimer:  My views do not necessarily represent those of my church and I have no authority whatsoever to speak for my church.  I am sure if they knew I was writing this they would gently ask me to shut up.  This is just the opinion of this disgruntled and determined libertarian to bring to justice the to-be-determined illegal authority of a to-be-made fake city and is not related in any way to what my church may be doing about this issue.

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Filed under by DB, Politics, Rant

Civility Lost

Malia pictureMy good friend Sheryl has a post up from an article out of USA Today. It’s a top 25 list of things that have seemingly “disappeared” over the past twenty-five years. I chuckled at things like typwriters, Betamax, vinyl records, New Coke, etc., but when I got to #15 my amusement was abatted:

15 Civility

It can be rough out there — whether on TV, radio, the Web or at sporting arenas. Today’s discourse has plenty of “dis,” and it can be pretty “coarse,” too. And whatever happened to thank-you notes? We could go on. (emphasis mine)

It’s a pretty sad thing that an otherwise tongue-in-cheek list also points out a very hard truth. And with the dust-up at Nashville is Talking last week and the continuing fallout from it all, it seems to me that USA Today is not far off the mark with announcing that civility has indeed vanished.

Edited to add: In the comments, Jeanne M. & Slartibartfast have responded regarding being polite. I think there’s a difference between being polite and being civil. Being polite is easy, it’s teachable, and in many situations it’s expected. But to be civil is to respond to others with grace and dignity, to live out “the golden rule” and treat others as you would want to be treated, to have respect for humanity and the opinions and beliefs of others and not be reduced to name-calling and mud-slinging. We can all “be polite” but it’s civility that I see less and less of these days…especially here on the Internet.

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Filed under by Malia, Rant