Tag Archives: common sense

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 . . .

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! ☮

 

 

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


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Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

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UNDERSTAND, ADAPT and SURVIVE: Re-* (SoCS)


Response to Stream of Consciousness Saturday  (SoCS) writing prompt –“ The prefix, re-.  Add whatever you want to the end of it and away you go!”   If you’re interested, go on over to Linda’s Blog and read the rules to participate 🙂

IamStrong

After listing a few “re”-words, it’s easy to see – words using prefixes with re- are just another way of saying doing it again. At first thought, this seems wasteful – wasting time, energy, money, materials. Upon reexamination though, many “re”-words are expressions of survival, adaptation, working through problems – all actions important to be successful in life and understand how to cope with  certain disappointments with  careers, relationships, passions, dreams, goals, and other journeys people take through their lifetimes.

Relive the joys

Rejuvenate your energy

React after counting to 10

Reapply concepts that worked

Retrain your mind

Reevaluate your goals

Redefine your career/life choice, as you grow

Remake your “public” image

Resupply your self-esteem

Replay your dreams

Review your affairs regularly

Reflex and intuition can be trusted

Reset your response clock

Rewrite your destiny

Revisit the past, especially the best parts

Reappear in someone’s life

Research your needs

Rewind your negative attitudes

Rebuild flailing relationships

Rearrange your priorities

Revise your plan as needed

Refill your happy cup frequently

Reinvent your life

Rerun the traditions you value

Regroup when frustration sets in

Relax your expectations

Reassess your weaknesses

Reinforce your faith and trust

I don’t know, this is just me writing stream of consciousness, but seems to make sense. Maybe overall, a good philosophy. What do you think?

Just something I was thinking about . . .

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What Was He Thinking??


Watching the news today – I know, it’s always an experience and often entertaining, and it has been a few days since I’ve watched any because I had to check out for awhile – and as I’m listening, the reporter starts talking about the color of President Obama’s suit at a news conference yesterday. It was tan, or what some would call taupe. Seriously, I’m not shitting you. I saw it, of course you know they had to show it, and it was a nice suit; I saw nothing wrong with it. (I haven’t seen the news conference yet, wasn’t engaged yesterday and have been busy today – but I will find it and watch it.)

Those that know me know I am not a fashion icon by any means, BUT come on people – with all the problems in the world, in our country and in our own lives – does the color of his suit really matter? Am I just an idiot for thinking it doesn’t??

Then one of my Facebook friends commented that some news reporter/commentator went on to chastise saying – after mentioning the suit debacle, of course – that President Obama stated that first he wanted to say something about some revised numbers on the economy, like real Americans cared about that after the beheading of James Foley and ISIS concerns. Then the president went on to say that we don’t have a strategy for ISIS.

Now I am a real American, and for the first time in decades, I have been unemployed for 15 months. I’m living off my retirement money and I have at least 15 years until I can retire. So I do care about the economy. That is most important to me at this moment. Having said that, what we ALL better be concerned about is that we don’t have a strategy to deal with ISIS, and if that’s not bad enough, now the whole world knows. The whole world also knows that those crazy ass Americans are in an uproar about the president’s suit color, not that their military has no plan.

Oh my goodness – as I am writing this, just heard the news reporting the color of Obama’s suit was the top trend on Twitter. That, my friends, is exactly why this country and maybe some other parts of the world are in the shape they are in. Look at the shit the “important people” – the communicators, the decision makers, the money makers/spenders, the policy makers – are focusing on. What the fuck is wrong with you people?!?

Okay – I am so not related to these people, I can tell you  . . .

I’m curious what y’all think about this, too.

Anyway just something I was thinking about it . . . and felt the need to rant about 😉

Today’s Random Ramblings


Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. We have actually been together for almost 36 years. Though we both truly feel we are each other’s soul mate, marriage is never an easy journey, kinda like life. I am always shocked when couples give up so soon, but understand it is a lot of work to sustain a long term relationship, regardless of how much two people love each other.

Most times, things just don’t always fall easily into place all the time. Couples tend to forget what drew them together in the 1st place. Often, they gave each other the nourishment they each needed to flourish – this was truly the initial attraction and draw to each other. As time goes on and the relationship changes, this basic integral premise for the relationship is forgotten and lost, as well as some of the bond that holds the relationship together.

Marriage is hard work, just like life, and anyone who tells you different has probably never been married for any length of time, at least not to one person. Having said all that, I do realize there are times that it is necessary to give up and walk away, or run . . . depending on the circumstances.

Different subject –

I have pets and treat them as family. I also realize many people are choosing to have pets, as opposed to children. I can understand that, too. But, today was National Take Your Dog to Work Day. Seriously?? Enough said . . .

My girlfriend took me out for a few margaritas tonight. We went to a place I tend to frequent. The waitress, though not one of my regulars, must have recognized me and seemed to cater more to me, though sometimes she treated us both pretty sloppily. My friend complained to me, at the same time expressing how sorry she was for bitching about it. I reminded her she rarely gets upset over this kind of thing and I certainly understood how she felt.

When our waitress brought the bill, she handed it to me and I immediately handed it to my friend and said, “She’s paying tonight – that’s the kind of good friend she is!” The waitress immediately mentioned seeing me there previously with my family. My friend just laughed, and as the waitress walked off, said, “That isn’t going to help her tip any.” My friend did leave her more than 2 cents – a tip she has left when her service really sucked, which I think is funny as hell – but she didn’t leave her but maybe 10%.

When I get bad service to the point I am reducing their tip, I usually leave them a little note – what my husband calls a novel 😉 – on the receipt telling them why they were under-tipped. I do this to ensure they know why I didn’t tip them well and because management typically looks at the receipts at the end of the night. One time when I did this, the next time I visited that establishment, I got the same waiter and he apologized for his previous lack of attentiveness, promising a better experience. He did as he promised and got a great tip! (Okay, I did know the owner of this particular establishment, but . . .)

Point being – don’t make assumptions that can come back and bite you in the ass. Our waitress assumed I was paying and I always tip well – but this time I wasn’t paying and her lack of attention to my friend, and our table in general to some degree, cost her.

Last but not least, I have to mention something that was all over the news today. There is some guy who got arrested by the Stockton Police Dept. The police department has a Facebook page where they posted the pictures of him and a couple of other guys. This is getting national attention because the guy’s mugshot makes him appear to be quite handsome, in a striking sort of way – he does look like model material, big full lips and the most beautiful ice blue eyes. I am pretty persnickety when it comes to finding men handsome and even I thought he had striking features.

So as I am looking at his mugshot on TV and noticing how beautifully ice blue his eyes are, I also noticed he has a teardrop tattooed on the corner of his left eye, and I am fully aware of what that means.

I went and checked the FB page his picture is on and so far he has over 80,000 likes, over  10,400 shares and over 22,600 comments. Just like on the blogs, I find reading the comments to be amusing, interesting, eye-opening whatever. A large percentage of these likes, shares, and comments are about how hot he is, and how all these women want to do him and how he is so sexy, he needs to be set free, and other such bullshit. There has even been a GoFundMe page set up in his honor, and so far over $1800 has been collected in less than a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for redeeming oneself, and all that and I am not even passing judgment on him per say as I do not know the specifics of his arrest. What I am interested in is how society and its use of social media are spinning this story. I always find that aspect fascinating!!!

Anyway, all I could think of as I saw his mugshot was, I bet your heart is as icy as your eyes, and you have already marked yourself for the world to see with that teardrop tattoo.

For you ladies who think like this (OMG he is so hot . . . etc) – just remember – he might fuck ya, then be done with ya, and slit your throat – then again maybe not . . .

But why chance it.

I don’t know. Just some things I was thinking about today . . .

(P.S. – Though the service wasn’t the best tonight, the margaritas were awesome!!! 😉 )

Feeling Spanked


There are times in life when things are going well, then all of a sudden out of the blue, when you least expect it – feels like a mushroom cloud over your head while you are choking on the fallout. Definitely been feeling a bit slapped around lately 😉

Then I remind myself . . . I am stronger than any shit that gets thrown at me!! (Just thought I would share that, in the event anyone else out there is feeling the same!!)

Party on Wayne . . . Party on Garth . . .

Just something {random} I was thinking about . . .

Is the Giant Panda Sleeping?


Let me start by saying that I have nothing against China or the Chinese people. What I am fixing to talk about is bigger and far more encompassing and quite frankly it’s not about the Chinese people either. It’s about governments and their desire for control and expansion. It’s about the second-largest economy in the world.  It’s about people in general not paying attention to what’s really going on around them – which is hard to do, as there is a lot of noise coming our way these days. Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear channel on anything.

Mainstream media is good at distracting people from what’s really important and needs our attention or consideration, by providing us lots of other crap to focus on. Right now one of those focuses is North Korea, Iran and Syria, as well it should be. But, we better not lose sight of the sleeping giant panda or fire-breathing dragon – however you choose to look at it. I’d be willing to bet there is a legend somewhere that tells the story of how one became the other . . .

Most of us are aware that we , the United States, owe China an immense amount of money — in the ballpark of $1.3 trillion, if my sources are correct. The U.S. government continues to borrow from them.

The Chinese have also been buying a considerable amount of U.S. assets over the past decade, with projections in U.S. investments of $15-20 billion a year over the next decade. They appear to be focusing on acquisitions in energy, financial services, food production, real estate, and manufacturing, as well as entertainment and technology. The Chinese own One Chase Manhattan Plaza and the General Motors building, in New York – both nice commercial real estate coups for sure. They own all the AMC Theaters.

Most of these assets are owned by the Chinese government, under various state-owned entities. China needs energy to fuel their rapidly growing industrial development, and have purchased power assets in Portugal, Brazil and the Philippines. They had an unsuccessful attempt to buy the U.S. oil company Unocal in 2005.

The Chinese government also purchased private equity assets that fund GM pensions, if I understood correctly. I want to do some more research on that, & a few other things. I have so many questions. Though these are my opinions, I do try to thoroughly research topics I am interested in, verifying my info with several sources. Most of this information came from sources like Reuters, Market Watch, LA Times, USA Today, Business Week, and Forbes – encompassing a variety of agendas.

There is concern about China’s foothold in technology and possible breaches in our national security. Some analysts think that it’s in China’s best interest to stay friendly with us, as our markets thrive, so do Chinese investments. But what if their overall strategic goal is to control or even own the U.S. in some unknown manifest destiny design. They have quite an established growing assertive military presence, as well. Regardless of what might happen, I would not want to be at the mercy of a Communist country.

A month or so back I happened across CNN doing a piece on The Guardian’s Predictions for the World in 2014. Predictions shared involving China were:

  • China will eventually be the world’s largest economy.
  • Though Western brands will continue to dominate, China will own them.
  • U.S. will soon celebrate Chinese holidays.
  • Western politicians will clamor for Chinese investors.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I find all of this a little disconcerting. I am not a political person, nor do I know much about economics. I realize the world is now a global economy, but maybe the U.S. is a little too open for business? And why do we do so much business with China, in particular? The government does not allow any partnering with them involving NASA, spaceflight, or manned exploration – but then again there is considerable technology involved in those endeavors and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) come into play.

I will be writing about this again, as I have so many questions that are not answered and concerns I wish to address. I also did not want to make this post to awfully long, as I have lots more data to share. I would love to hear what you think about this, too. Is the giant panda a good business partner or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Anyway, just something I’ve been thinking about . . .

locator map of China

** I watched a most interesting program quite a few years back about China – I have been keeping an eye on this development for quite a few years now – their growth, increase in consumption, and interdependency with the United States. In all honesty, it was a bit disconcerting. This link no longer shows the ABC News/Bob Woodruff video, but you can read the accompanying story.

 

Random Ramblings . . .


My random opinions for your consideration: 

[These are my quotes, and I have been using them for years. Those that know me well will recognize them – sometimes smiling, sometimes cringing LOL 😉 ]

The best thing and the right thing are NOT always the same thing. (This is when moral and ethical dilemmas occur . . . )

People think death is the worst thing that can happen to you, but in reality there are many things in life worse than death. (Think about it, I have . . .  and I’ve seen it.)

When something bad, wrong, unplanned or unpleasant happens, I try to remember if no one is scarred for life, no one is terminally ill and no one has died, as a result – then it can’t be all that bad. (The three things I mentioned can be devastating!)

If it was easy, where would the fucking fun in that be?!? (Sometimes I leave the F* word out depending on my audience, though I have said this is the quote I want on my headstone, with the F* word 😉 )

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Why Do We Keep Giving Our Jobs Away?


This is an article I originally wrote back in December 2004 about the problem of outsourcing American jobs to other countries. I recently found it and was surprised at how nothing has changed in the last ten years and this piece is still pretty spot on. Actually things may be even worse. There’s a greater number of aging baby boomers to work some of these jobs, and they are having an even harder time, often being terminated from their jobs 10-15 years before retirement age, now dipping into their retirement savings to live – but that is another story for a different day.

I hope this trend of corporate greed at the expense of this country’s health and welfare changes soon. Personally, I think if you outsource jobs to other countries that can be done by American workers, you should be heavily taxed. I think companies who maintain their workforce in the United States should be given tax breaks, at least for a period of time.

I note in my article I am NOT an economist or historian, nor am I necessarily politically inclined, so I don’t know all the background about these types of things, but I know enough to know they can be done judiciously and pragmatically. Of course, this will most likely cut into some profit margins – so though it can be done, I am sure it would be a fight. In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share it with you & see what you think.

 Outsourcing American Jobs Dangerous Trend

I love to read Molly Ivins’ nationally syndicated column. Today’s article was Ivin’s review of two books. One of the books mentioned, “When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor” by William Julius Wilson, discussed the problems with joblessness in the inner city ghettos. She uses a quote from the book discussing his solutions, which she states as critical for all of us not just for poor inner-city blacks – “The problems of joblessness and social dislocation in the inner city are, in part, related to the processes in the global economy that have contributed to greater inequality & insecurity among American workers in general & to the failure of U.S. social policies to adjust to these processes. It is therefore myopic to view the problems of jobless ghettos as if they were separate from those that plague the larger society.”

This made me think, as I read, that a large percentage of the American workforce is now in danger of this “jobless ghetto” syndrome. I heard President Bush say, during one of the debates, that the key to ending unemployment and government assistance needs is EDUCATION for 21st century jobs. The way I see it, the market is becoming considerably service and technology based. The jobs of the 21st century are huge in the area of technical assistance (development, programming, maintenance) and customer service. These are also the jobs that have been outsourced to other countries, for considerably cheaper labor costs. This is a dangerous trend that has been on the rise in the last five years.

Now, I am not an economics or history expert, but the way it appears to me is that in the last half century jobs have increasingly changed in proportion concerning manufacturing and service-oriented jobs. In the early years of this country up until the first half of the 20th century, manufacturing was a huge part of the economic base. The last half of the 20th century saw a large majority of these jobs being outsourced to other countries because it was cheaper for the manufacturer. This left the service-oriented and technology fields as a way of providing jobs for American citizens. As proved from my last five calls to Dell, and other computer parts manufacturers they are involved with, ALL of their technical support has been outsourced, often times to places where the technicians’ English is accented so heavily, even if they are the most intelligent in the world, I can’t understand a word coming out of their mouths.

If we are sending all the manufacturing, customer service-oriented and technology jobs overseas, what jobs does that leave for Americans? Medical professionals, lawyers, dry-cleaners, and fast-food/restaurant jobs are a few of the jobs left. Do you recognize the large gap in salaries between the first two jobs I mentioned and the second two jobs – the haves and the have-nots?

Do not misunderstand me, I understand the importance of a global economy, but in my opinion we have taken the concept entirely too far. When there is no balance, a considerable amount of middle-class jobs disappear from the U.S. landscape. If this trend continues, jobless ghettos could be as common as tent cities during the Great Depression.

Just something I was thinking about, something I think about often actually.

(And RIP Molly Ivins, you are missed by many!!)