Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blood Pressure - Top Floor Please!

I may have to cancel my subscription to the newspaper. Sometimes it just brings too much frustration to my front door. It appears that Dr. Laura will be "retiring" from her radio show this year and that is making headlines in the news.

Kathleen Parker, a columnist for the Washington Post wrote a piece that was carried in the Sunday paper about Dr. Laura Schlessinger and the dust up about her use of the N-word, on national radio. Schlessinger basically claimed her First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and Kathleen Parker tells us why Dr. Laura was wrong to do so. Ms. Parker explains in her article:

"Dr. Laura's stated point was that since blacks frequently use the N-word, whites should be able to as well. She was correct that the word gets lots of exercise - and her use of it was in the prosecution of that point. Even so, the N-words stands alone as too injurious for whites to use, period. Everyone knows this.

When blacks use it, they are reclaiming the word, robbing its power to intimidate by making it their own .The same spirit was behind Eve Ensler's "Reclaiming C---" in The Vagina Monologues. Used by a man against a woman, the word is vile and threatening. Used by women among women, it becomes something else. Silly, if you ask me, but benign."


Whoa, whoa, whoa.

The C word is silly?


Nigger ain't right either.

But white or black, man or woman there are just some things that aren't said in polite society. You don't get a pass if you're a certain color or sex. If it's nasty - let's not "OWN" it. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Until we begin think and act as "people", without special considerations for race, religion, color etc. we're never going to make it.

We all bring our own reservations, prejudices and experiences to the table. This love one another thing that is universal in almost all religions is extremely difficult to achieve.

But it doesn't mean we shouldn't keep working on it.

And having some people responsible for their actions and others not?

Soooo not a good place to start.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Down On The Farm

Time to get up and milk.

Oh, I so have the...been there, done that t-shirt.
Which is why I just cracked up when I saw this.
My understanding is that in the 1940's Carnation had a competition.
People were supposed to come up with a "ditty" or advertising slogan about Carnation Milk.
Apparently one little old farm gal came up with this -

I don't believe they ever used it...


Friday, August 13, 2010

Look Up

When life crashes down around you it's easy to focus your eyes on the ground and concentrate on just moving one foot at a time without falling or losing your balance. And then sometimes you're reminded to look up. To search for the good in the world. Or a friend, no matter what trials befall her, tells you (and herself) to 'never give up.'

Had one of those moments today. Was watching a video clip of Bishop Burton talking about humanitarian aid. And there was a quote that went:

The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone.

The things you do for others remain as your legacy.


Time to saddle up - again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bumper Snicker

There are a couple of people who might enjoy this...

I still miss my ex-husband,

but my aim will improve.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Big "D"

I was reading a mystery, by Rick Riordan. One of those books I classify as 'mind candy.' I wasn't expecting anything "deep" from this author but I found this exchange between two of the characters interesting.

"Are you in love with somebody?"

The question struck me mute.

Ines raised her eyebrows - "Are you?" she insisted.

"I - no." And then added inanely, "I don't think so."

That brought a dry smile. "Safe answer. Love's not always the blazing epiphany some people imagine, is it? I didn't realize I was falling in love with Aaron until we'd been seeing each other for two months. When I started to fall out of love with him, the process was just as insidious."

In the last year I've watched several marriages dissolve. People who I'd never dreamed would split along with people who seemed destined to part from the moment they met. There are no hard and fast rules. The only guarantee of a successful marriage seems to be when both parties are determined to make it work.

I wish I were smart enough/expert enough or...something to help. But I got nothin'. I have enough trouble keeping my own boat afloat. I do know that the dreams of a seventeen year old and reality seldom mesh. That infatuation and the blazing epiphany we hope for belong more readily in fairy tales for most of us. And the saddest comment is the final line above...that when I started to fall out of love, the process was just as insidious. I've watched my friends and it broke my heart when I heard one say...

"There's a new sheriff in town...things are going to be different from now on."

There was. 

They were.

And there just didn't seem to be any way to avoid that particular train wreck.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maxine In The Wilderness

Love me some Maxine. My kinda gal - doesn't waste a buncho time being all sweetsie just gets down to the brass tacks. This goes back to the famous line about..."When hiking, remember, it's not neccessary that you be faster than the bear - as long as you're faster than the guy you're with!"

Monday, August 9, 2010


It's been a little over a month since I attended a seminar on lap band (bariatric) surgery.

Not feeling it.

First & foremost it's a minimum of $15,000 that insurance will not cover that I don't have. But secondly, the doctor/surgeon cheerfully stood before us and held up one of the little two tablespoon plastic cups (the kind you use to measure your cough medicine into?) and said, "This is it!" Apparently that would be our new reality for the REST OF OUR TIME HERE ON EARTH. 2T of protein 3x a day. That's it, breakfast, lunch & dinner folks. Welcome to your new life.

They brought in one of their recent "success" stories to share her journey with us. She looked good. Petite, little blond. Kinda nervous about speaking in front of a group but mostly it was her eyes that gave me pause. She looked...haunted. Don't ask me to explain better, she just didn't strike me as a happy girl. Happy that she'd lost 100+ lbs. yes, but happy with her new life? I just wasn't getting that from her.

I left.

Decided to start my own post-bariatric surgery diet. Most days I try for about 60g of protein and try to keep the calories between 500-750 per day. Other days well....

End results are that I've lost 25 lbs. in a month. Family physician was dancing around. Thought that was just fabulous! Obviously if I'd followed it strictly it would have been more. But I'll try for another 25 this month and sooner or later if I stick to my guns we'll get there. Like I told Dr. Krause, "All I have to do is lose 50 pounds...three times."

The one thing I've learned is that carbs, for me, are the enemy. I am totally addicted. If I can stay away from them I start to lose the cravings for them after 5-6 days. If I slip up, have one "little" bit...off I go again, falling face first into a plate of whatever. One point the bariatric doctor made was to get the junk out of the house - "if it's there and you can get to it - YOU WILL EAT IT." And he is soooo right.

Enter the diet saboteurs. Those people who bring you treats, yummies, goodies. There are smiling offers of, "but you love this!" Ahhh. Deep, cleansing breath. You know it's hard enuf to control myself without having to beat them off too. But sometimes it's almost funny.

Oreos. Double stuffed Oreos. Into the house they waltz and are presented to me. The Youngest is told to stay out of them by our local saboteur, that they are for me, and me only.  My eyes cross.

I think about whacking the man over the head with the cookies. Instead, I firmly push them away. He leaves and I point at The Youngest. "There you go," I say. He grins and whisks them out of the room.

Unfortunately a whole bag of Oreos is a bit much even for the staunchest teenager. Later, he leaves the package lying on the counter. I ignore them but by the next evening they are calling my name. And I think, well, maybe...just one. I quietly nudge the cellophane aside.

You know that old commercial. The one where the jingle goes..."Oh, a kid will eat the middle of an Oreo first and save the chocolate cookie outside for last?"

I am revved up for an Oreo but what do I see?

Dead soldiers.

Laying like corpses scattered in a battlefield are naked chocolate cookies. The double stuffing is gone. All that remains are the hard, dry, chocolate husks that once enveloped the creamy goodness. But they are pressed back together...

Who does he think he's fooling? Apparently The Youngest is too young to remember the jingle. He was supposed to eat the chocolate cookie last along with, we assume, copious amounts of milk.

Bwahahaha. Didn't happen.

And I suppose it was all for the best, 'cause it sure cut down on their desirability factor.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Go Figure...

Reposted from email sent by friend Joe, haven't verified but sounds about right...


The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England , and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?" You may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything...


CURRENT Horses Asses in Washington are controlling everything else.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A friend of mine was worried about a grandchild. At first blush that concern appears to be justified. Kid has a lot of people who care about him but he's pretty consistent about getting into trouble whenever the opportunity presents itself.

She asked about Facebook. Being in her 70's, it is not something she's familiar with. She wanted me to explain it to her.


How do you define "social networking?"  So I tell her, in it's best form it's kinda like a big bulletin board where you can post pictures of your latest trip, your new haircut, or snap shots of the weekend when your good friends came and visited. A place to post information about an upcoming meeting, event or service project so your buddies can be informed and join you. Kinda like a big get together and being part of the crowd in the kitchen getting the hot scoop! When used appropriately it can save a lot of time over making individual calls on the phone and just be a nice/fun exchange of information.

But we all have different ideas of what appropriate entails. And that's where it starts to fall apart. Even when people put their profiles on private, if you post a suggestive picture it's there for just you and the rest of your 352 to 700+ closest friends.

And the titillating details of last night's tryst? How long do you think it's going to be before some enterprising soul who has access to your profile spreads that all around town...

Ticked someone off? Remember when you posted the 'called in sick and played hooky in Vegas story?' Ummm, the girl you dumped last week just copied that and sent it to your employer. Guess what happens in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas. Now you're job hunting again.

Plus, just the teen angst...Wow, some of the kids post Every. Bit. Of. Drivel. that occurs to them in that empty space between their ears and turn the site into a virtual party of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I guess a note from a 30 something year old guy who has a tendency to friend lots and lots of tweens & young teen girls, 750+...(yeah, creepy) put it best recently...

"I swear, I know 2 many losers. Thinking about cutting the roster or just leaving Facebook all together."

Well, in the land of - it takes one to know one  fella...

I'd say that Grandma had better have her computer password protected and the kid can't be on it unless an adult is in the area who also has access to his site 'cause there are too many losers out there and you don't want the boy finding them all on your watch.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Final Roundup

One of our ward members passed away last Monday. He'd had a brain tumor and after a series of treatments, stops & starts, 9 months later the cancer had spread through his body and he was gone.

The funeral...I've never been fond of funerals. I understand completely the need for closure and the kindness it is to have friends pay their last respects but still when it's my turn, people...make it short and sweet. Those who know me hopefully will be glad that I'm free of these earthly restraints and we'll all hope that God, in His mercy, will have a line of horses, with soft noses to kiss, waiting.

Meanwhile, if I have done any good, please let those whom I served accept it quietly and without fan fare. And for those whom I've offended...if they can forgive me - for their sake as much as mine. It would be, as Martha Stewart likes to say, a good thing.

Then those talks...okay, whoever gets "stuck" with the plan of salvation - Please tell them, "This is what she believed..." and now pay attention, you've got 7 minutes to get in and get out. GO! And Commander, I'm sorry, I think you're going to be the one who'll be assigned this. Face it son, you're a total motor mouth. You can do it and make them understand. It may be the only chance some of them have to learn why they're here and where they're going.

Life sketch. Youngest you're turning into quite the wit. Give it a shot. Dan's son, Jacob, handled his father's life with dexterity. He told the story of a quiet, taciturn man with insight and humor... taking a man who just plain didn't like people much and breathed life back into his memory. So feel free to make me look as good as possible. It's a one shot thing you know.

#1 Daughter. You like funerals all most as much as I do. And for you to talk! Unless you prerecorded a message you'd never make it. But you'll need to keep your finger's warmed up 'cause we're going to have to find a song that says it all and you're going to have to play it to send me off.

Then, I'm thinking we're pretty much done. Instead of stressing the poor sister's in the ward out trying to cook & clean, I vote that for everyone who's still hanging in there after we do the cemetery thing that we you head back to the local smorgasbord, use a little of the insurance money, hit the 'all you can eat' banquet, talk, enjoy each other's company and call it a day.

Oh, yeah, and for the joker who puts the banner on the casket that says, "GOOD LUCK!"

Take. That. Off.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Detour Ahead

Once upon a time one of my college roommates had been taking a psych class and came back to our dorm room and told me that while learning about stress/reactions/and subsequent compensations that she'd felt compelled to announce to her professor and class mates that, in her 18 year old mind, I was one of the most well-adjusted people she knew...


"Ummm, thanks, I think."

And what brought all that on? Well, she was a pampered, only daughter born to two loving, older, affluent, long married people. I was the product of a divorce, an abusive father, and while we never viewed ourselves as poor (we simply didn't have any money...) I was, in my opinion, way too familiar with what welfare/USDA powdered eggs and bland block cheese tasted like. When Mom finally remarried, the new, well to do step-father had a hard time accepting the fact that a sixteen year old step-daughter was part of the package. When it came to college I was on my own financially, scraping thru with a combination of scholarships, grants and part time jobs. From my roommate's sheltered point of view I was a veritable tower of strength, resourcefulness and resilience.

I, of course, was aware that I was not unique. While there were people who had it better than me, there were far more who had been dealt a much worse hand.
I've always taken seriously the old saying, "God helps those who help themselves." While I'm not above asking for assistance when I need it my first recourse is usually to put my shoulder to the wheel and push. An amazing amount of things happen when you try. And being a pragmatic sort, I've always figured kicking a dead horse was a wasted effort, besides the which, you're likely to hurt your toe if you keep after it.

Back to that, shoulder to the wheel thing... I'm constantly astounded by the people who don't/won't/refuse to try. They hold out their little paws and expect manna from heaven to drop into them. And when it doesn't, they fall to the ground, drum their little heels on the floor while sobbing and gashing their teeth.

It is a sight to behold.

And even more interesting is watching the people who rush to their aid. While I applaud the "do-gooders" intent, I'm likely to raise an eyebrow, step calmly over the mess and continue on my way. Unfortunately that response is never seldom popular with the rescuers and the 'not responsible for themselves' crowd.

Recently I was part of a conversation where someone earnestly explained to me why her life was out of control and she reassured me that I didn't know and couldn't understand what she was going through, because I had always had it "so good."

She was right, about me being good that is... (and yes, I understand that is totally not what she meant) 'cause I sat right there, kept my mouth shut and refrained from telling her that she could "have it good" too if she'd put her shoulder to the wheel or better yet - her foot up someone's backside and tell the adult free loaders in her life, "NO." Then stop enabling them and let them grow up.  I've had it "good" because I've tried (with some success) to make sure that entitlement is not a ship that has sailed from my house and if my kids want to catch it they're going to have to get on at a different port.

Do things always turn out as I plan?

Ohhh, well. We all know the answer to that, eh?

But, when, after our best efforts, the cake falls - what's to do?

There are always options. And Princess, this is for you. "My way, now and I don't care how much it costs..." Well, yes, you can play it that way. However, the reoccurring theme in a training class I once took was, "Pick the hill you want to die on." Keeping that in mind, maybe you'll want to look in the closet at a new game.

It's called compromise.