Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday Six - October 29, 2011

I have to say that this week's questions really threw me for a loop.  I don't believe our futures are predetermined so at first glance this week's questions didn't seem to be ones I could really answer. Then I decided to be a good sport and just answer them as if I do believe our futures are already planned out ahead of time.

1. You have the chance to learn either the date, the location or the method of your death: would you accept an envelope that would contain ONE of the answers to one of those questions if you couldn’t choose which question would be answered?  No. I don't think I'd want to know when for sure so I couldn't take that chance.

2. If you could choose to learn the answer to one of those, which would you choose? Out of the three, I'd like to know how I die, I guess.  (but certainly not when nor where)

3. Which illness do you fear most? Cancer.   My father died of cancer and it is a horrible way to die.

4. Which method of death other than illness do you fear most? Hmm... good question. I guess any long, drawn out, painful death - like having my legs crushed in an auto accident and slowly bleeding to death while waiting for help- would be something I wouldn't want to have to go through.

5. If you could control how you would die, what method would you choose? I think I'd prefer to die in my sleep of natural causes.

6. If you could specify the age at which you die, with reasonable good health assumed, how long would you like to live? Hmmm... 90-something.  Even older if I could still retain my health and my mind. (well, what's left of it)

These questions are the Saturday Six this week from Patrick's Place.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where I gripe and whine a little, then stop

I'm disconcerted today.  Perhaps it'll help if I just jot down type out what is on my mind.  In a bullet list.

  • I am fond of bullet lists
  • My neck is bothering me and I could use a heating pad combined with a neck rub
  • I wish I had more time to do things I enjoy
  • I cannot believe it is supposed to snow tomorrow!
  • I'm more likely to be able to use the heating pad than to find anyone rub my neck when I get home
  • I can't decide whether to try to write short stories or throw myself into a novel
  • I'm shit at character development but perhaps I just have to do it
  • It's hardly an issue anyway as I don't have time to write
  • I need to reconcile our checking account next free time I have
  • That should get K off my back for a little
  • I wish our house were smaller 
  • My coworker is currently driving me nuts.  She seems to think that, since she and I are the only ones left in the office, I want to listen to her prattling on about things 
  • I don't really care to hear what she has to say
  • I'm tired of whining now

Friday Fill-Ins!

I thought I'd do the Friday Fill-Ins this week.

1. Beware of skunks in our village! You don't want to startle them!

2. I can't believe they are calling for snow.

3. And since we are out of milk, I have to go to the store after work!

4. Do you believe in ghosts and spirits?

5. Where are you going? (I know, but I couldn't think of anything!)

6. Chili is one of my favorite meals when it's cold out.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a movie (Captain America), tomorrow my plans include a Masquerade Ball and Sunday, I want to watch football!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What do I believe in?

I am a skeptic.  If something doesn't sound right to me, I will research it.  If something is not based on fact or scientific truth, I am cynical.

  • This is why I call myself an atheist. (I've been known to use the term agnostic occasionally but that's a discussion for another day.  What matters is that I don't believe in God - by any name.)
  • This is why I don't believe in magic.
  • This is why I don't believe that aliens abduct people and return them after they've done tests on them.
  • This is why I don't believe in Bigfoot. Or the Loch Ness Monster.
  • This is why I don't believe that the Bermuda Triangle is more dangerous than anywhere else.
  • This is why I don't participate in seances.

and so forth.

Now... this doesn't mean that I don't have as much fun as anyone with Halloween and the idea of ghosts and goblins and such!  I love to pretend it is real.  It's fun to do so!

But, when it comes down to it, don't ask me to believe in these things.  Yes... I know... you have had this experience -or your mother has -or your sister -or a friend of a friend and yeah.  I'm sorry.

If there is something that cannot be explained with science, it simply means we've just not figured it out yet.  

That is what I believe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Passive-aggressive or no?

I'm hoping to get some feedback on this one:

K and I went to his parent's place for dinner on Sunday.  His aunt and uncle were invited, as well.

His aunt (his mother's sister) is diabetic.  (this is important)

K's mother made ham, sweet potato casserole, carrots and green beans.  Sounds alright until she told us that

  • the ham was cooked in the crock pot in a cola concoction containing brown sugar and 2 cans of soda (as well as other ingredients)
  • the sweet potato casserole contained brown sugar 
  • the carrots were flavored with pancake syrup

Yeah. The only dish NOT containing sugar was the green beans!

Then she brought out dessert:  Brownies

But not just ANY brownies.  Brownies with a layer of marshmallow cream topped with a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter and topped with cocoa Pebbles cereal.

Seriously! This was a complete sugar feast!  In my opinion, it was completely unacceptable to serve this meal to a person with diabetes!

I said the same to K on the way home and he poo-pooed me.

Do you folks think I'm over-reacting to this?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Settling In

I've recently become more comfortable with my relatively new little corner of the 'net here and decided to start using my real first name along with my nickname.  I'm also lowering a few walls elsewhere, as well, but most of you won't see any indication of this.

It may seem odd to many people that I didn't use my real name in the first place.  Many people do!  I've seen plenty of people who use both first and last names and reveal the name of the town they live in and feel perfectly safe doing so.  I used to reveal a lot more information about myself, in fact, but I'm very careful about what I reveal to who now days.

I have my reasons.

Let's just say that I've discovered that sometimes the internet is not the most friendly place.  Let's also say that sometimes people take advantage of the relative anonymity online and say things to people that they normally would not.  (at least not to their face, I would imagine)

Let's also say that I am not going to stop voicing my views now that I'm not hiding as much. I happen to believe that this would be like letting the bullies win and I'm not going to allow this to happen.

As usual, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions and is welcome to voice them in the comments.  I do insist that any discussions be civil and I will delete comments I feel are not.

That's all! Carry on!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Seven - October 23, 2011

Name the last seven DVDs you watched in your own home.

I don't own a lot of DVDs but we do have a Netflix account so it is easy for me to look back and see what movies we've watched recently! Here's the list starting with the most recent:

1. Iron Man 2 We are watching all the movies associated with the Avengers movie that is to come out next spring and this was one we hadn't seen. It wasn't as good as the first Iron Man but they were trying to stuff a lot of characters/background into this movie to tie it in to the Avengers movie.
2. Heat This movie came up in a discussion with friends and was highly recommended.  I didn't think I had ever seen it so I added it to our queue.  I was not as impressed as my friends were with this one.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One  I'll admit it.  I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter books.  Now that the last movie has come out, K and I wanted to catch up on the movies that we missed so we'll be ready to watch Part 2 when it is released to DVD.
4. Thor I had seen this one in theaters but K had not.  I think this is one of my favorite Avengers characters movies to date.
5.Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince We were several movies behind in the Harry Potter movies.
6. Planet of the Apes (2001 version)  We were curious about the remake of the movie and had never seen it.  It was just alright, in my opinion.
7. The Lives of Others This was recommended by a friend and it is excellent! I highly recommend this movie!

These are my answers to Patrick's Place Sunday Seven this week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Six - October 22, 2011

1. Which is your favorite color? green

2. Which specific shade of that color is your favorite? Good question!  I like a lot of different greens and the shade I like the best has changed over the years!  I think right now I like olive the best!

3. Which color is your least favorite?  Well... I really like most colors somewhat but I guess orange is my least favorite. (Sorry Patrick!)  I believe this is because I look horrible if I wear orange.  It doesn't mix well with my skin tone or something!

4. What do you most associate with your least favorite color?  pumpkins  (and Halloween, but oddly that is my favorite holiday!)

5. Take the test: What Color Crayon Are You?

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

6. Consider your favorite food (other than meat): what is its primary color?  Um... off white, I guess.  My favorite food is cheesecake!

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place! Join in the fun!  Anyone can play!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Enough is enough!

There are few things I can think of that I cannot tolerate.

  • I do not believe in God.  I accept that others are comfortable in their religious beliefs and that's fine with me.  As long as you aren't hiding behind that religion as a reason to discriminate against others, harm others, or trying to convert me then we're cool.
  • I am a liberal Democrat.  I accept that you may not share my political opinions.  I don't mind discussing my political views with you in a cordial manner. As long as you aren't spewing falsehoods and lies at me in an attempt to prove your point of view, we're fine.
I think you get the idea.

That said, you know those emails that your friends/co-worker and family members forward to you? The ones that are supposed to get you all worked up about something?  Now that I'm on Facebook and Google + (which I prefer, by the way) (just saying) I have seen these same sort of claims making the rounds on these social networking sites, as well.

This is where we get to what I cannot will not tolerate.  I will not put up with people who re-post or forward these sort of things to other folks without checking them for accuracy!  

I updated my status on FB today explaining that you re-post one of these things and something smells funny, I will investigate.  If I find facts to disprove your post, I will make a comment explaining where it is false or misleading.

Don't tell me that no harm is done by passing these on!  It is harmful to spread lies!   

Don't say that you do not have time to check them out.  It takes 5 minutes to go to and search for the topic.  (Or to if it is a political matter)

It's time for this crap to stop.  Seriously.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Seven - October 16, 2011

Name seven questions you’d want to ask me if you and I were having dinner.

Wow.  Seven questions, huh?  I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with seven but I will try!!

1. Where did you grow up?
2. Who were your heroes or people you looked up to when you were young?
3. What is your favorite time of year and why?
4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
5. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go?
6. What famous person - living or dead - would you like to meet if you could?
7. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

Ok, so most of these are not going to come up in a normal conversation but that wasn't the question!

Want to play along?  Visit Patrick's Place and join in the fun!

Saturday Six - October 16, 2011

1. What canned vegetable do you have the most of in your pantry? I don't generally serve canned vegetables as we go with fresh or frozen.  I do, however, have some creamed corn in my pantry so that is my answer.  (I had to go look!!) ( and yes.  I know.  It's a grain not a vegetable but I counted it because we use it as a vegetable)

2. What flavor of salad dressing do you have the most of in your refrigerator? Italian.  It is also the only dressing in my refrigerator at the moment.

3. Do you prefer butter, margarine or a butter substitute?  I use real butter - but I use it sparingly.

4. Which kind of cooking oil do you use the most? Extra virgin olive oil

5. Take the test: Do You Eat Like a Liberal or a Conservative?

You Eat Like a Liberal

You may or may not be a political liberal, but studies show you sure eat like one.

You gravitate toward food that is unusual, spicy, and extremely exotic.

Whenever you can, you try to branch out culinarily. You definitely consider yourself a foodie.

You should have a full passport for all of the different cuisines you've sampled. You have international taste.

6. Not counting water, how many different kinds of drinks are there in your refrigerator?  4 - milk, soy milk, juice and beer

These questions are from Patrick's Saturday Six!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Six - October 8, 2011

1. What is your favorite gadget that you own? My iPod.  I use it less for music and more for surfing Google + and Facebook while downstairs as my desktop computer is upstairs.  Oh!  And for listening to audio books while I do housework and work out!

2. What gadget would you most like to own, but don’t, yet? An iPad or similar tablet. It doesn't have to be an Apple.

3. How many Apple products do you own? Just one - the iPod.  My fiance has an iPhone and it's great for him as he really isn't very good with gadgets/computers.

4. When did you buy an Apple product for the first time? A little more than a year ago when I purchased my iPod.

5. What do you like least about Apple or your image of the Apple “culture?” I'm not thrilled with the cost of their products and I'm very used to Windows so I don't think I'll be going to a MAC anytime soon.

6. Which inventor or innovator do you think has influenced your life the most?  Probably Bill Gates as I really do prefer a PC to a Mac, but I might be wrong as I'm not entirely sure who came up with what sort of innovations.

These are my answers to the Saturday Six from Patricks Place!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday Night Fo...erm, scandal.

I don't know how many of my readers follow NFL football, but even if you don't you may have heard something about the man who sings (well, sung) the Monday Night Football theme, Hank Williams, Jr.

It seems that days before this past Monday's game, Mr. Williams made a statement where he compared President Obama to Hitler.

The story can be found here.

ESPN, the network who hosts Monday Night Football, pulled Hank's opening number last Monday because of his statement. It appears that Mr. Williams later decided that he doesn't wish to allow the network to use his song for the show, stating:
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE.  It’s been a great run.” -- Hank Williams Jr 
This irritated me for several reasons but the main reason is that Mr. Williams seems to misunderstand what the First Amendment says and/or means:  
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Now, then... Is Congress - or the government - involved in this situation in any way, shape or form?  


Did anyone - government official or not -  tell Mr. Williams that he was not allowed to speak his mind?


and finally, does the First Amendment say or imply that we are not responsible for what we say?  

no, again.

Hank Williams has every right to say whatever he wants as guaranteed by his First Amendment rights, however, he is responsible for his actions including the words which come out of his mouth.  ESPN has a right to take offense of his statement and to refuse to play his song (and pay him for playing it) if they feel that they disagree with what he has said. His rights were not infringed upon.

The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with this.

photo of the International Space Station courtesy of NASA  
(Note:  The International Space Station is approx. the length and width of a football field!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Seven - October 2, 2011

You’re at a social function and you decide you want to have an alcoholic drink. Beer doesn’t seem “high class” enough for this function, so you head to the bar for a mixed drink.
Can you name your seven favorite mixed drinks, liquors or spirits that might be among the options you’d consider, assuming the bar is fully stocked? (I've added an * next to drinks I've never tried)
Well, under the circumstances I'd probably go with 
1. Gin and tonic
2. or Rum and coke (though I'm not really a soda fan)
3.  I'm curious enough to consider a *Martini  
4. or a *Cosmopolitan (though I've no idea if I'd like it)
5.  A Long Island Iced Tea is delicious -though. I could only consider one of those
6. Hmm... what about a * Manhattan (which I've never tried)
7. Or a *Gibson which is really a martini with a pearl onion instead of an olive.

I really stick to beer most of the time - or an occasional glass of wine - so I was not sure what to put down for this Sunday Seven. These are my answers to Patrick's Sunday Seven this week.  Feel free to play along!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Six - October 1, 2011

1. Describe your favorite old portrait of yourself: how old were you when the portrait was made and what were you doing?  Um... I guess one I like was taken when I was around 6 months old.  I'm just sitting next to my sister - we're twins - and smiling.

2. Of the photos of people you have on display in your home, what percentage of them would you estimate have you in the photo?  Maybe like 1 in 10?  I'm not sure.

3. Which do you prefer in a portrait in terms of background: a solid color, a textured color, or a very scenic background? A textured color always looks good - especially a gray - in my opinion.  I also like portraits with white backgrounds, though.

4. Which do you prefer in a portrait: the subject smiling, looking serious or looking like they’re in thought? It depends, really.  As long as the subject looks natural, it's fine.  Some people just don't look right with a big grin on their face!

5. Which do you prefer in a portrait: the subject making eye contact with the lens or not making eye contact with the lens?  Hmmm... That's a tough one.  I had to look around  at some of the portraits I have to decide. I think I prefer when they are not looking at the lens - though most times they are!

6. You see a portrait of someone — male or female — who is in exceptionally good physical shape: how likely is that photo to make you take action to get in better shape yourself?  Not necessarily more likely.  In fact, it might make me feel worse and that could make me less likely to try to get into better shape.  (but I might be oversensitive on this subject)

This is the Saturday Six from Patricks Place!  Feel free to join in!