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Archive for October, 2012

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“Sunny, thank you for the truth you let me see … Sunny, one so true, I love you … Sunny, thank you for that smile upon your face … Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain … My sunny one shines so sincere … Sunny, one so true, I love you. ” Bobby Hebb

I’ve said before that certain days make good as well as bad memories bubble up. Certain songs do also. Keegan, baby, I will forever and always miss you. You could light up a room with your million dollar smile.

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I’ve never been a fan of the “baggy pants” style, particularly where the pants are so baggy, they hang down below a person’s underwear with the crotch around the knees.  I think it looks stupid … classless … and uncomfortable … and that’s my very UNHUMBLE opinion.

I’ve been losing weight lately, just as I mentioned in my post of September 30.  This is all weight that was packed on in the last couple of years.  Previously, I had no weight issues, but the stress that Roy and I underwent prior to our recent move caused me to collapse into stress eating.  I finally got sick of it and am getting back to my old skinnier healthier self.  So it’s now October 18, 2012, and I’ve lost 4.5 lbs more (a total of 54.5 lbs).  I’m thrilled with that, but I refuse to buy a lot of new clothing until I am done with my weight loss goals.  I’ve bought a few things at a local thrift shop, but I even limit that due to staying on a very tight budget and also due to … as I said … not wanting to buy a bunch of things that I won’t fit in very long.  So I make do.

Anyway, I was leaving on a business trip this morning and flying to Seattle out of the Sacramento airport.  I dress comfortably when traveling … so I had on a pair of old jeans and a T-shirt along with my favorite black leather jacket and old tennies.  Roy and I were dropped at the airport by my daughter, Kara, and her wonderful boyfriend (and maybe future son-in-law), Alex.  We were in the process of going through the security checkpoint.  I, as always, removed my shoes and jacket, emptied my pockets, stuffed all my luggage through the scanner, and proceeded to go through the full-body scanner that they use there.  No big deal.  I’ve gotten used to it.  It’s just part of traveling by air any longer.

I was scanned.  I walked out.  I was stopped.

“Maam?  Do you have things in your pockets?”

I checked again.  “Uhhh … no …”

“Can you step over here?  I’ll have to pat you down.  The scanner has picked up something on you.”

“Sure, no problem, I have nothing to hide.”

So … the friendly (and she was actually) TSA lady proceeded to pat me down, to wipe my hands to see if I had explosives on them that might blow me up, and to ask me all sorts of questions … only to say to me …

“OH!!!  It’s just because your pants are too baggy.  They’re too big for you.  It’s reading the folds.”

Ok, now that was one of the *weirdest* reasons I’ve ever been frisked about at the airport.  Generally, it’s because of some random item accidentally left in a pocket or jewelry I’m wearing … but because my pants are baggy from losing weight???  I guess I’ll take the comment … “your pants are too baggy” … as a compliment?

That’s one method of profiling would-be terrorists … find a tall red-headed Baby Boomer woman from the Sierra foothills that is losing weight to make herself healthier and is too damn cheap to buy interim clothes so she’s wearing loose clothing and pat her down.  That’s ok though if it gets the airplane *safely* from one airport to another … go right on ahead and check my baggy pants … even if it *isn’t* a fashion statement and is only a “I’m too cheap to buy new clothes yet” statement.

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… PC or not PC …

It truly amazes me sometimes how worked up people get over being “PC”.  Everyone is so afraid any more of “hurting someone’s feelings” or “needing to be sensitive” that they’ve lost the sense of who they really are, what they truly believe, and who the people are that they’re around any longer.  I find this particularly true of those that think everyone must follow the PC rules and their liberal mantra of “let’s all sit in a circle and hum together and be at peace and as one”.  They feel that they are so “liberal” and so “liberated” and so “tolerant” of other cultures that they become the most *intolerant* people I’ve ever encountered if their “rules” are not followed. 

The “politically correct” people most commonly embody my term, “sheeple” (in my maybe not so humble opinion anyway), and the “sheeple mentality”, as they feel everyone should follow the crowd and please everyone and “coexist”.  The problem I see at least with “coexisting” is that by saying that I have to agree with them on every turn, they are not coexisting with me.  They are trying to mold me into their image.  The other problem is that I don’t think criminals and terrorists have any intention of “coexisting”.  Be that as it may, that second “problem” is a completely different topic.  Nevertheless, if someone dares to disagree with the “politically correct” crowd, they get their feelings in a knot and accuse the person that doesn’t agree with them of being “wrong” or “intolerant” or whatever term of the day they choose to use.

I suppose that because I am who I am and don’t care to fit into any box, not even theirs, that they feel I’m “fair game” to attack and to label me “wrong” and an “outsider” and “not willing to play by the rules”.  Guess what?  I’m proud of being an outsider, no matter what group sees me that way, because I don’t want to be part of a crowd.  I’m part of that “rugged individualist” stock that made the USA great.  If I know I’m right, well, guess what?  I can have everyone against me and I’ll stand firm in my knowledge.

Because of that attitude however, and because I’m not willing to bow to the “PC” crowd with all of their made-up “let’s all be sensitive to the picked on” terms, I have been labeled “intolerant”.  I’ve been told that I’ll lose all my friends, that I won’t “fit in”, that I won’t be accepted, that I’m too individualistic, whatever. 

Now, understand this:  I’m not sure what I’m intolerant *of*, other than stupid meaningless terms that people make up that are supposed to be “politically correct” so that everyone belonging to a minority can use said term to decide they’re being “picked on”.  However, I’m also not saying that racial, ethnic, or social slurs are a good thing.  I would be more intolerant of that than of the PC terms.  Admittedly, I am what people would think is the quintessential “WASP”, but most people have no idea whatsoever what sorts of issues I’ve handled in the past and what hurdles I’ve had to jump or what my family has been through.  I will therefore bristle big time if someone attacks those that may have had to struggle in life as my son with Cystic Fibrosis did prior to his death or my son with ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, and OCD does or family members that have undergone chemo at very young ages did or as Roy and I have done with financial and medical set-backs of our own.  I think, however, that a lot of people use the “politically correct” terms and “minority” status more than necessary.  I firmly believe that *any* individual, no matter what their “birthright” or their heritage or their background or their current life circumstances, can better themselves if they so desire, and I would fight right alongside them to help.  It therefore amazes me that someone would say I’m “intolerant”.  I have found over time that those that start the name-calling first are the ones that are most that way because they are the ones wallowing in it the most.

Maybe my “individualism” attitude comes from my ancestors.  Some immigrated to the “New World” for a better life.  Some came because they were kicked out of the country they lived in as “not fitting in” (hmm … do we sense a pattern here?).  They migrated west on wagon trains, stage coaches, and the first transcontinental railroads.  One of them left Kansas during the Depression and the Dust Bowl and moved to California with 2 very young children (the “Grapes of Wrath” kind of people).  All of these people came to build new lives, new opportunity, new ways, new livelihoods, new communities, and new friends.  One familial strain comes from Rob Roy.  Another comes from the homesteaders on the American plains.  One comes from Irish settlers that were told “Irish need not apply” when they got here.  One comes from a German boy that ran away in the 1800s, stowed away on a steamer, and never looked back.  There are many stories within stories in all of that … and Roy has many of his own … stories that we’ll share at some point in time.  My point is, however, that these people from who I am descended came from rugged individualism.  They came to start an entirely new lifestyle but they fought for that in which they believed.  They fought for their family heritage, they fought for those that they chose to settle in the midst of, and they fought for their beliefs.  So maybe … just maybe … I’m harking back to that attitude … and not the attitude that so many have in “modern life” where they just want to “go with the flow” and to “fit in”.

Maybe it’s from all of that.

Maybe it’s just me and who I am.  Like my marvelous father used to tell me, I was born thinking my job in life was to stir the pot.

I guess that hasn’t changed much.

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Drive a Stick …

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I am posting this out of respect for a friend and business associate whose son gave his life in the War on Terror. She posted this on her FaceBook page and I’m pasting what she wrote. She is a hero to me, to Roy, and to my daughter, Kara. My father was a proud WW2 veteran, as was Roy’s grandfather. I honor their memory here too.

Read on …

*~*~*

Re-posting from a friend’s wall…everyone should see this! and Thank a soldier. Thank you Charlie Company you are my hero’s…

We are the 0.45%.

In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years. In Vietnam, 4.3% served in 12 years. Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in the Global War on Terror. These are unbelievable statistics.

Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the burden and it is only getting worse. Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10% veterans with only one person having a child in the military. Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts.

The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend this nation. You.

You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You’ve lost relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart from kids you’ll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even professional athletes don’t understand. And you come home to a nation that doesn’t understand. They don’t understand suffering. They don’t understand sacrifice. They don’t understand that bad people exist. They look at you like you’re a machine – like something is wrong with you. You are the misguided one – not them. When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU WERE THERE and can’t understand the “macro” issues they gathered from books with your bias. You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at that. Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and your pay, while they ask you to do more.

But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your country will never pay back what you’ve given up. You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what you have done for them. Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 – YOU SERVED. Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.

Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed, by so many, to so few.

*~*~*

We love you, Shawna. We honor Ryan’s sacrifice.

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I had said in a previous post that I would put in some of the emails and stories that I have written in the past … some of my “oldies but goodies” that friends that have received these reference when talking about the dumb things that happen to Roy and/or me.  Now this one was originally written a year and a half ago near Easter … but with it almost Halloween … and what was going on … it seems relevant … and so I’m posting in now.  Read on and you will know why.

*~*~*

Ok, so here’s everyone’s laugh for the day.  You all know me.  You know that there is always something stupid going on in my life.  (Well, maybe you don’t all know that, but it’s the truth.  My life is never dull … although sometimes … just *SOMETIMES* … I wish for one dull day.)

Anyway, I was sitting at home last night in my little office in my nice new little house, typing away merrily on my computer, getting some work done and checking email and facebook.  All of a sudden, there’s a *BAT* flying overhead.  Yeah, you read that right.  A bat …

 

 

 

 

 

 

… not this kind of bat …

 

 

 

 

 

 

… *THIS* kind of bat …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and it wasn’t even Halloween so I didn’t have my cauldron out or anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, be that as it may, suddenly I had a bat flying overhead.  Being the big rough tough “I-can-handle-anything” kind of woman that I am, I screamed and hid under the table.  Roy came running in … says … get outta there and I’ll take care of it … I wouldn’t get out from under the table … he had to drag me out so he could get the bat with the broom.  I didn’t even know what it *WAS* at first.  It was like a little bird or something.  He yelled … IT’S A BAT … and I freaked out.  I learned “duck-and-cover” really good as a kid, I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, he dragged me out and then chased the stupid thing out with a broom.  We were like the 3 stooges in there, me under the table screaming, him with his broom, a bat buzzing my computer.  I mean … bats are supposed to buzz *belfries*.  I know I’m a bit batty … but this is a bit much.  No one else I know has bats buzzing their computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He got it out … but now I look into each room before I go into it.  We don’t even know how it got in there … but … since we’re currently renting until we find where we want to buy in our newly adopted hometown, we *DEFINITELY* sent email to the property manager.  THIS … I want them to look into … even though he’ll probably laugh at me just like everyone else is.  But Roy is a hero.  He and his trusty broom chased the bat out of my office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… or … since he had his trusty broom … maybe it’s  …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok … off to work with me … break time is over … and now you can all laugh.  I’ve always thought I should have video cameras around my house just taping random things for America’s Funniest Videos.  I’d be a millionaire.  Life is never dull … although I wish that at least *SOMETIMES* … just sometimes … occasionally anyway … I could get one dull day thrown in there just for the sake of my sanity (or lack thereof).

However … I want no bats … chocolate Easter bunnies … yes … bats … no …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*~*~*

I think I need to go look for my broom and cauldron now … and go looking for candy corn and chocolate pumpkins …

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