Category Archives: Reality

Those poor crazy rich Texans


I have to start by saying that for the most part, I love my state. It’s big, beautiful, friendly, and where I have lived most of my life. Texans do have a particular mindset, and believe themselves to be independent and rebellious in nature. Having said that, the politics can be mind-blowing — really. And sometimes, I can’t help but think how sheep-like so many of these Texans are — not rebellious and independent as they seem to think.

Reading the paper a few weeks back, it was brought to my attention that in the midst of all the important things going on right now, the Texas Legislature may reconsider  HB619. This bill caps the sales taxes on boats and yachts costing more than $250,000, to no more than $15,625. It would also eliminate sales taxes on boats sold to buyers from out of state.

austin-capital

Seriously . . . ???

Apparently, the Texas Gulf Coast yachting industry and associated jobs are ailing. I wonder if that has anything to do with all the unemployed younger baby boomers who should still be working . . .

I’m certainly confused on how that helps the industry as a whole, if they are enticing out of state buyers who will pay no taxes or any other boat-related costs in this state, other than enough fuel to sail away. Again, economics is not my strong suit, to say the least!

I’m sorry, but in my book, if you can afford a boat or yacht that costs more than $250,000, as well as the maintenance, slip, and fuel costs, well than you can probably afford to pay the full amount of the taxes. Y’all let me know if I am being too tough here . . . yeah that was meant to be facetious 😉

I never cease to be amazed at the gall of my state’s government and the entitlements of the top one percent. Do y’all ever feel this way?

So far the bill was defeated, thank goodness – clear minds prevail for now.

As a side note – it’s pretty scary when Donald Trump is the current leader in the polls for Republican nominee. I can’t wait for the debates 🙂 I don’t think there’s a decent candidate coming from this state – they are all crazy, narrow-minded, single-focused zealots. Bat-shit crazy, I tell you 😉

I often question why I still live in this state – but then I remember all my family and lifetime friends I am surrounded by. I took off over 25 years ago living in the Ozarks for a few years, but we came back and times are different now. Most specifically – there are grandchildren ❤

Anyway, just something I was thinking about . . .

(Wow – there’s been some changes on the WP format – I have been away too long!)

Advertisements

February Already?!?


sadie-funia-byYvette-prior

I want to thank Yvette over at Priorhouse Blog for the awesome billboard image she made just for me ❤

I can’t believe it is already February! February, really . . .

Each year that I celebrate another revolution around the sun, it seems that my revolutions get faster. And though I feel a bit like my ass is on the front-end of a rocket, I also feel as though I am on a slow free drift out in the middle of the ocean – no land to be seen, anywhere.

I can’t remember the last time I actually wore a watch – well yes, I can, it was 19 months ago. Often I have no idea where my day goes – it’s just gone. I wake up and then before I know it, it’s way past normal peoples’ bedtime.

Though I spend a large amount of time searching for a job, and working on other ways to make a living, I also spend a lot of time doing mindless/relaxing/time-suck activities – but they are activities I enjoy that when I worked I did not have time for.

Here’s a good for instance – I had planned to re-work my resume today, which may or may not need to be done. Instead I have spent a good part of the day catching up on a few of my fav blogs, though there are many more I want to get to!! [Okay by the time I finished this post, I did get my resume re-worked 🙂 ]

I have get to make three batches of apple butter this week, and blueberry jam, since blueberries are on sale at the grocery store and I have had many requests for that one. For some reason though, I am feeling quite lazy today . . . though I like a little winter, I have had enough. I feel for all y’all getting the brunt of this winter, mine is mild compared to yours.

I have started working on my posts about our food supply and how fucked up it is. Those are forthcoming. I keep writing myself into a corner in my novel – not sure what’s up with that! My blogs are all being neglected (yeah, I laughed out loud at that one!).

There’s a couple of very interesting jobs I have applied for in the last couple of weeks. I am so hoping to get an interview for at least one. Any extra prayers, good thoughts, finger-crosses, rabbit’s foot rubs, whatever I can get – I’ll take them!!

Loved the fight at the end of the Super Bowl game – what a shining example that was for the youth of our country 😉 (Yes, that was meant to be snarky!)

They keep saying unemployment is going down, but I know more and more people who are unemployed than I have ever known before, and sadly many are in the 50+ age group. Most of us aren’t being counted on the unemployment rolls anymore. I do live in an area where there have been many different industries laying off employees, and are continuing to do so.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I bought each of my granddaughters a giant card. I was thrilled that they were $3 a piece and were Made In America 🙂 (which honestly is the only reason I bought them) AND I found them at Walmart of all places.

I also want to send a shout out and thank you to Doobster at Mindful Digressions for the honor of his nomination for the Premio Dardos award. According to Doobs, “Premio Dardos means “Prize Darts” in Spanish. It is an award given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.” I haven’t named my 15 bloggers yet, as I have decided to add that widget of the blogs I follow  – I like that idea because in my opinion they are all worth reading!!

premio-dardos-award

Just a few random things I was thinking about today . . .

Happy New Year


new-year-2015-flower-cards

Happy New Year and Welcome 2015!!!

I am finding it hard to believe that 2014 is now behind us – it flew by so quickly, or so it seems in my world. Having said that, I’m glad it’s over!

I am looking forward to a new year, a new beginning, new adventures and opportunities. I’m excited, and a little apprehensive, regarding the challenge of learning to make a living outside the box, as we don’t seem to fit in the box anymore and the box is what we know and are accustomed to.

Though I seem to find myself in unfamiliar territory, I do try to find the blessings in this “uncharted path” I am on, and there are many!!

I want to take this moment to send lots of good cheer to you and yours in the coming year! Here’s to a wonderful 2015, especially on roads less traveled . . . may they make all the difference!!!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

word cloud for year 2015

Thank You & Happy Thanksgiving!


Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving – if you celebrate it! I spent mine with my family and we ate until we hurt 😉 Yes, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

I doubt seriously that I am going to “win” NaNoWriMo by completing my 50, 000 words, but I managed to get a little over 25,000 words and I am continuing to work it as much as possible through the weekend, but regardless I will keep working on it after, as well. I have made great progress this month – more than I ever have before. I have other pieces to the story that I had written previously that can be incorporated and woven into the overall story – so certainly not a wasted effort by any means! I have gotten some good feedback in various places – and would look forward to more should you decide to peruse a few tidbits I shared and provide comments.

I have so been missing reading your blogs and plan to catch up with everyone next week!!

I also have quite a few topics on my list of future posts that I want to start knocking out 🙂

Thought I might share this song with you – it’s another one of my favs! May we all have someone like this in our lives, be it spouses, lovers, friends, family, kids, grandkids 🙂

Just something I was thinking about, as I’m reflecting on my many blessings today  ❤

[This song came on as I’m listening to my iTunes writing my novel – so of course I wanted to share & got distracted LOL!! Hope you enjoy it!]

nanoPoblano               NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV

Tupperware® Got Me Thinking


vintagetupperwaread

So my last post got me to thinking about Tupperware®. I love Tupperware® and have many pieces I bought years ago from a party I had. I even have a couple of very old pieces from my grandmas, back from the late 1940s and 1950s. After World War II, Earl Tupper modified his factory machines to mold raw polyethylene (developed for weapons use) into food containers – using a paint can as inspiration for the tight-fitting lids. Originally, Tupperware®  was made in the Massachusetts’ plastics industrial complex.

I emailed them last week, using the “Contact Us” link on their website, inquiring about where their products are manufactured. Several emails went back and forth, and I must admit they were very prompt with their responses. I was told that Tupperware® products are made all over the world – Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal, France, Belgium, Greece, India, China, Korea, Japan and United States.

I was assured of their continued history of high quality and design and “all Tupperware® products meet all applicable laws and regulations for product safety in each country they are made.” I’m not sure what that means exactly. Do they mean that all countries manufacture products that meet all U.S. laws and regulations regarding health safety, or are they different in different countries? Pretty sure it was stated that way on their website, too.

Though their home office is in Orlando, Florida, their Customer Care Center is located in Mexico City. You know I asked, and I asked because I could tell from the way the email was composed. Again – that shit just pisses me off, though they were – again – prompt and most informative and polite. But their English writing skills weren’t great. Kind of scares me when big corporations don’t find good clear concise written communication important.

A Google search turned up a WP blog that stated “the Tupperware®  factory in the United States is located in Hemmingway, South Carolina.” Debra Todd Jordan, a Tupperware®  consultant, went on to say, “Each plant makes the items that are indigenous to their region.” So, if that’s correct, I can get on board with that – if nothing else saves on shipping and props up the economies using the products. Unfortunately, how those corporate taxes are handled I probably would not agree with.

Anyway, since I didn’t have my fingers in enough pies this week, I had to research this 😉 I am a glutton for punishment lately. Just thought I’d share what I found out. I haven’t bought any lately, but read in my research that now they are not marked with where they are made, just the Tupperware® mark. Where our medicines come from is next on my agenda – after . . .

Still working NaNoWriMo . . . still behind, but continuing to work it. I may not meet my goal, but damn it, I will be further along in this story than I have been. I posted a couple of snippets from the novel on my other blog, in the event you are interested in this type of reading. It is very different from this blog – that’s why I have more than one, my interests are varied, random, eclectic for sure.  My novel is fiction, with a little romance thrown in, more a story of life and how it plays out sometimes. There’s a lot of dialog. If you check it out, please leave me some feedback. I value and respect all of your opinions as writers in general. Having said that – don’t make me cry now 😉

All of a sudden I have a bunch of people wanting apple butter and this week blackberries are on sale for 88-cents a six-ounce container, so I have a few orders I have to fill this week. Doesn’t make much money, but brings in a little cash and I enjoy doing it. (Though my hands aren’t as good as they used to be and when you make this shit – if you’re doing it right, you’re gonna get burned LOL – seriously! Looking forward to that blackberry jam, though!!)

Listening to this right now – I find this to be good writing music sometimes, depending on my mood . . . plus it’s raining and the wind’s kicking, and the windchimes are singing – n~i~c~e.

Also, trying to keep up with y’all, slowly but surely 😉 I’m definitely becoming a binge reader, seemly stalking sites 🙂

Just some things I was thinking about ☮☮☮

[POSTSCRIPT – OH NO, the video I linked to has been removed . . . that’s never happened to me before. I hope I didnt just get added to some LIST somewhere, ya know what I mean 😉 I’m going to look for another link, but in case I don’t find one, the music was the soundtrack to the movie “Rush” from 1992, mostly instrumentals by Eric Clapton. Soulful, contemplative music for sure!]

nanoPoblano                                                                           NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV

Now the Panic Sets In


I am watching the Congressional Hearings on Ebola now. The CDC is looking really bad and in my opinion is not currently up for the task of protecting this country. Dr. Frieden, head of the CDC, was asked if he knew of any hospitals in Ohio that have practiced procedures for handling an Ebola patient. (Ohio is where Vinson flew to.) Dr. Frieden did not know if this has been done. If I was him, that would’ve been one of the first things I did after learning about Ms. Vinson’s travel.

Someone mentioned that Pham’s dog is being quarantined, and that old CDC reports noted that transmission to/from dogs is unknown, but suspect. This congressman then asked if we shouldn’t be imposing travel restrictions on animals – yet still no mention of actually imposing travel restrictions on people. And when I say restrictions – I don’t just mean preventing airplane travel.

School districts in Texas and Ohio have now closed some schools due to the risk of exposure.  I heard that Frontier Airlines has grounded their exposed employees – finally someone with a brain. Hopefully they are going to decontaminate the plane – though that is just one of the places Vinson exposed to the virus.

A nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas stated that she had questioned the protective apparel at the time. She also said if she got sick, she would NOT go to the hospital she works for. Apparently, quite a few people are refraining from visiting that hospital – thank goodness.

And one last thing that keeps going through my mind – what exactly is meant by “monitoring” of the exposed people. (They may have asked that during the hearing, but if so I missed it.) And why are so many being allowed to “self-monitor?”

Just something I was thinking about . . .

She Flew With a Fever


I swear this was not what I had in mind for my next post. I have some other things I am working on, but I just can’t believe healthcare worker Amber Vinson got on a plane knowing she had a fever and knowing she had been exposed to Thomas Duncan, and Nina Pham, the other nurse who has been diagnosed with Ebola. She of all people KNEW BETTER! Vinson has now been diagnosed with Ebola, and flown to Atlanta for treatment.

When asked how this could happen, that one of these exposed healthcare workers could get on a plane and travel during the incubation period when they were supposed to be being monitored for symptoms – the answer the official gave was the one we keep hearing over and over – Well, somebody dropped the ball there.

I heard another official say that the risk of the infection spreading was “very very low,” but we all know that’s bullshit. Why don’t they just tell the truth – though the risk appears to be low, this is a dangerous disease, and everyone must be vigilant, period. AND they haven’t been!! Those that could be exposed need to be trained thoroughly and provided the appropriate protective equipment. AND they haven’t been!! It’s been reported that the nurses who treated Duncan also treated other patients. Those in charge really are not taking this issue seriously. How could they be, with this type of decision-making and resulting behavior?

And I’m sorry, regardless whether anyone kept Vinson from flying or not – SHE should’ve known better, she did know better, she just didn’t care. Shit, I take more precautions to keep from exposing people when I have a cold. I have to admit, I was fucking blown away when I heard she got on a plane knowing she had a fever and her exposure history. I could go on about that, but serves no purpose.

[I have to add a post-script here: A few hours after the initial report that Vinson traveled by plane, it was discovered that she DID contact the CDC and inform them that she had a fever. The CDC, in their infinite wisdom, told her to go ahead and fly, as her fever was still under the threshold they had set. The CDC , in my opinion, have just lost an immense amount of credibility by not erring on the side of caution. I pray that mistake doesn’t come back to haunt them, as well as the rest of us.]

I said in my last blog – I hope everyone that has come in contact with these patients is being quarantined and monitored. I can’t help but worry that someone has been missed, unnoticed, or unidentified. Well, we now have proof that exposed people are out there in the general population coming in contact with others who have no idea.

There are 70+ other healthcare workers who came in contact with Duncan, not counting how many others who have come into contact with Pham and Vinson. So far, none of the original 70+ people are being quarantined, knowingly allowing them to possibly expose others.

AND while all of this is going on, and we have turned our attention to our own inattention to precaution against Ebola and are now scrambling to stop the possible impending crisis, I can’t help but wonder what else might be going on elsewhere – while we aren’t paying attention?

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Catching up with NASA & Ebola


There are a lot of things going on in the world these days. I need to catch up on a couple of things that are on my list of interests I like to keep an eye on. After editing, it dawned on me the title of this post might be a bit misleading – I apologize for that – but the NASA piece was short, and I liked the image. So, I’ll start with the cool stuff, and finish with the scary shit.orion-boarding-pass

NASA’s Human Exploration Space Program: NASA awarded Boeing and SpaceX the contracts to provide crew transportation – beginning with trips to the International Space Station targeted for 2017. I pretty much anticipated that they would get these contracts, as their designs were probably the furthest along. It helps that these companies are full of ex-NASA engineers, flight controllers, program managers, and even a few astronauts, as well as contractors in various positions,  that left NASA to build something in the way a new generation might. I sure hope we can eliminate our dependence on Russia by 2017. Not sure what else is going to shake out for the future . . . only time will tell at this point. But NASA’s Orion crew module – with Mars and other destinations in mind – is scheduled for its first exploration flight test this December. I’ve got my boarding pass 🙂 (Which is ironic, since I don’t fly!)

Ebola:  With the disease continuing to spread and the number of fatalities rising (close to 4500 so far), new cases have have been reported in Spain, and a few cities here. I’m afraid other places will also experience people contracting this virus. The U.S. has experienced its first case of the virus being spread from one person to another. Nina Pham, a nurse who had contact with Thomas Duncan the patient who died in Dallas earlier this month, has been diagnosed. I hope everyone that has come in contact with these patients is being quarantined and monitored. I can’t help but worry that someone has been missed, unnoticed, or unidentified.

Nurses in various cities have held rallies to voice their concern for the lack of preparedness for this infectious disease, though their employers (the hospitals) are saying they are fully prepared to handle these types of diseases. CNN reported nurses from the Texas hospital involved have anonymously complained to their union stating, “guidelines were constantly changing” and “there were no protocols” – the situation described of the handling of Duncan is exactly as I feared.

I read an article a few days back stating several issues that could increase the odds for a pandemic. I can’t remember all the points cited, and I didn’t get to read it all either, but the two that stuck out were if an infected person traveled to India or China, and the possibility for mutation and increased virility. (I have been trying to find that article so I could finish reading it, but haven’t yet.)

Stanford University Dr. David Sanders, who has studied the virus since 2003, commented on a news interview that Ebola can enter the lungs, via the airway side. With continued spreading of the virus, mutations could occur increasing virility, which could result in it becoming airborne.  He added that suppressing the outbreak in Africa is key to preventing it from continuing to spread globally. Well, we already know they have not been exactly successful in this endeavor.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the CDC and a host of others are trying to figure out how Mr. Duncan’s nurse became infected. They believe it has to do with the removal of protective wear. Last I heard, they have honed in on the possibility that the nurses necks were exposed in some way. Pham is improving, since having a blood transfusion from one of the recent Ebola survivors.

As a side note, I heard the patient in Spain had a dog that was euthanized. Pham’s dog is in quarantine. I wonder if anything might be learned from this.

Some people feel that travel should be suspended from the affected countries where the outbreak began and is concentrated. Though I can certainly agree with that sentiment, I get the impression, in today’s global village mentality, this is not going to happen. After hearing what Dr. Sanders and others have said, I think those in charge need to re-examine how to proceed further for the best interests of the global community.

When I took a training class on Pandemic Preparedness a few years ago (they were mostly targeting influenza) it was noted that a pandemic would cause major impacts on society due to widespread restrictions on travel, as well as other closings and cancellations affecting schools, large gatherings, and businesses. It was stressed a pandemic could have the “potential for severe impact on domestic and world economy.” Hmm . . . (yes, I have to admit, it was not a subtle hmm!)

What do you think about suspending travel? Do you think they are handling this crisis properly, or in a lackadaisical manner? Do you believe a robust Pandemic Plan is in place nationally in your country or globally?

Just some things I was thinking about . . .

Outer Space Treaty


orion-image

While reading the newspaper today, it was mentioned that on this day back in 1967 the Outer Space Treaty was agreed upon and entered into force. This agreement prohibited placing weapons of mass destruction on the moon or elsewhere in space. Space exploration was recognized as a peaceful endeavor and a benefit to all mankind , among other things.

That was almost 50 years ago . . . I can’t help but wonder what will happen in the next 50 years. Will Russia, India, China, and North Korea honor this treaty as they excel in their space exploration?

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Fine & Boycott the Bastards


stop-outsourcing

Okay – so in the last three days I have had to call Comcast, Chase and my local credit union. Do you know where their customer service call centers are located – The Philippines (yeah, I asked!), every last one of them, even my credit union (which I must say surprised the shit out of me).

It’s no wonder people here can’t find jobs . . .

And don’t get me wrong, I want people in the Philippines to be able to work and eat and raise their families, but not at the expense of American’s doing without these jobs that President Bush-43 called the jobs of the 21st century.

Now, mind you, I have been out of work for over a year, though I am not a customer service person, but this kind of business practice affects us all!

I think everyone who does business this way should be heavily fined, and if possible boycotted!

Okay my rant for the day is done . . . (yes, this pisses me off!)

Just something I was thinking about . . . something I think about often, as a matter of fact! ☮