another baby update

i sit here, typing with one hand as the little one commands that i hold/nurse/snuggle her every day after 8pm.  sometimes this goes on for more than 2 hours.  what this means is my days (or nights) of partying are over for now.

pausing as i wait for confusion and laughter to cease as for anyone who knows me knows i am not a partyier.  and hell, i can't even spell the word - but i do like a good time in my own way and where am i going w/all of this anyway????

ah yes, the little one. 

breastfeeding is draining what few precious brain cells i have left (due to the partying i did in my younger years).  add in sleep deprivation and singing "the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round" every day and you have a recipe for.....

true love.

ah, fooled ya, huh?

i never knew love like this before...

the first time ever i saw your face...

we can take forever just a minute at a time...

so many songs i sing to my little angel everyday - looking into her eyes - seeing heavenly forever/all there is - well...it never tires me.  even when i am utterly spent with fatigue.  why didn't i do this sooner?

for once i was lost and now i am found...what used to pass my days - keeping up with the latest political and agenda happenings and screaming about it is no longer my passion.  a little person, under 15 lbs, is my passion.

and yet i want to present her with the reality as i see it.  i want her prepared.  aware.  strong.  courageous.  loving and kind.  i want to live another 60 plus years so that i can be here for her as she enters her own mid-life experiences.  i'm anti-pill but find me an anti-aging pill and i'll take it just to add to that self-assurance.

did i mention she has my eyes?  and smile?

did i mention she is adorably beautiful?

did i mention she greets me with a smile each and every morning, without fail?

did i mention i cannot live without her?

did i mention i wonder why i did not do this sooner?

what was i so afraid of?



she's discovered television.  and is mesmerized by it.  the tv 'off' button is the most-used button in the house now.  mostly it is now a big square thing with a black face, sitting silently in the living room.  it's a silence i can live with. 

she loves to dance.  i'll turn on some tunes, roberta flack being one of my faves, and she and i will dance, cheek-to-cheek.  we've created several spontanteous baby naps doing this.

did i mention there is nothing more calming than your baby's sweet little breathe on your neck?

did i mention there is nothing softer than your baby's skin?

did i mention there is nothing more precious than 5 little fingers stroking your shoulder?

did i mention there is nothing more addictive than inhaling your baby's sweet scent?

i write her letters, expressing my wishes for her and my concerns.  i wish for myself, at times, super-hero characteristics.  i want to protect her from harm and pain of any kind.  i want to clean the slate clean of our world of all the ills and evils so that her life experience can be of the heavenly kind.  my one goal is to work to ensure i leave her with a home and land so that she many never know homelessness.  and the skills to garden and hunt so that she may never know hunger.  i wish for her to be surrounded by good friends, the kind who can be trusted and counted on. 

for now, we are focused on learning how to scoot and sit up - on how to catch the drool and spit-up before they find their place on the carpet or mama's clothing.  life is good.

and now the clock tells me it is 10:30pm and little one is finally asleep.  therefore, it is also time for the mama (that would be me) to tuck myself in to bed as well. 

g'night all.


Baby Daze

The Led Zeppelin song, Dazed and Confused, in particular the line "been dazed and confused for so long..." has been a theme song in my brain the past 6 weeks.  The saying "A baby changes everything" is so true - the brain cells nonwithstanding. 

Good lord...

She's changing so fast.  And just when I think "at last - she is going to sleep for more than 2 hours" she surprises me and sleeps 30 minutes.  Before wanting to eat.  Again.  For the 50th time.  That day.

There are of course lots of opinions on how to cope with this exhaustion.  The breast nazi's (pro breastfeeding folks) tell me to ride it out and adjust my attitude.  Don't think of it as exhaustion but focus instead on the good I am doing for my baby.

I would focus...IF I COULD.

Then there are the other supposed experts on the other side of the fence who advise to supplement with rice cereal or formula to help stretch out those sleep periods.  Then I read where this is a myth.

Then there's the grandparents, who are under the illusion that their children (that would be me) were these perfect babies who slept 4-5 hours at a time off the bat, who rarely if ever cried.  Exhaustion?  Why, they didn't experience that.

Which proves my point that parents experience infanthood amnesia, which is nature's way of having us forget the struggles of this time period to ensure we have more children.  Much like pregnant women experience both pregnancy and delivery amnesia.  I can vow for that.

As I said, she is growing fast.  Much like a weed.  And like a weed she has a purpose.  Unlike a weed though, she has a beauty to her that I find intoxicating.  It enables me to reach to her when she's crying at 3am wanting to feed, only having done the same thing 2 hours prior. 

See ya on the other side of the daze...


Baby Baby Baby!

Mr. N and I welcomed our little girl into the world 2 weeks ago.  She's beautiful (looks a lot like her mama so of course she's beautiful) and healthy and just perfect.  Labor and delivery was an awesome, surreal experience.  It went as planned - a la natural with no medical intervening.  22 hours of labor and 1 hr 45 minutes of pushing.  Hurt like hell at times but it's a weird sort of "pain".  Nature has a way of making us women forget the pain.  Physically I am doing well - healing and resting.  Breastfeeding causes the pregnancy belly to disappear quite quickly.  It's the lack of sleep that is hard to get used to.  Don't think one ever does "get used to" it, frankly.  Never thought I'd feel a love like this.  It's overpowering at times - something you don't have any control over.  Life has totally changed direction for us - new focus for certain.  She is, quite literally, the center of our little Universe.  As such, blogging is at the bottom of the priority list for the foreseeable future.  And that's ok by this new mama.


Long-Term Unemployed: A Sobering Story

As found on this site.

"Dear Senator Reid:

First I would like to thank you for your work in extending UI benefits to millions of us Americans who depend upon these for basic survival. I also applaud your work on passing health care. I know these were tough tasks, and ones which you put yourself in the line of fire in order to get passed.

Senator I hope you will read my letter carefully. This is probably the single hardest thing I have ever had to sit down and write. I know that you personally know the pain of being a suicide survivor. I am writing today to share my family’s real life tragic experience of the 2009 economic crisis. I am also writing to plead to you for help for a group of us that the Congress has forgotten about - those of us who need a Tier 5 Unemployment Extension because we have exhausted all of our 99 weeks of UI benefits. Those of us who cannot find jobs regardless of how qualified we are, or how hard we look. The country has been deceived into believing that everyone has been looked after with the 60 day extension recently passed. In fact there are millions of us out here who have exhausted all four levels of UI benefits and are scared and suffering. Millions of living and breathing human beings who feel pain and shame, more desperate than we ever imagined we could be. Many of these desperate and scared people without UI benefits will be faced with a very real option that they will consider – unfortunately I am speaking of Suicide.

My dad, S, killed himself March 16, 2009 because he ran out of money and could not find work. My whole family had been devastated by the economy. He was 61 years old and could not take it anymore. He could not figure out how to keep the electric on, buy food, or keep a roof over his head. A day before his electric was to be shut off, and 2 weeks away from eviction, my dad took the hardest walk of his life. He left a note on the dining room table for my sister and I. His suicide letter said “I love you. I had to do this. I ran out of money. I wish you both luck in your lives”. He left the door unlocked with the door key left in the lock. He carefully laid out two suits for us to pick from to bury him in.

I almost caught my dad in time, maybe another 10 minutes and I could have saved him Senator Reid. Dad walked 2 blocks down to the Belmont Memorial Pier in Long Beach at 10:15 am, and walked into the men’s restroom midway down the pier. He took a glock hand gun and shot himself in the head. We called the police when we found the suicide notes. I cannot explain to another human being the depth of pain I feel inside. I will never forget the image of police and coroner’s cars in front of my dad’s condo. I will never forget the looks on the officer’s faces when I walked in. I will never forget hearing the words “they found your dad’s body”. I could not believe what they told. I made the coroner show me his face. They argued and warned that I shouldn’t see this. But I had to, it was my dad, I wanted to understand what was going on. After shifting through many frames cautious so I wouldn’t see the death scene photos she found one with just his face showing, his head was wrapped in a towel. He looked sad and old and asleep. I will never forget the spectator I crossed paths with as he walking out of the restroom laughing because there was not enough of my dad on the restroom wall to entertain him. I will live with horror of this in my head forever. The beach and piers are a really bad place to me now. I avoid the pain they remind me of. I remember looking in my dad’s refrigerator to see how much food he had left. I was desperate to understand what happened at 10:00 am that led us into this horror. There wasn’t much food there. The lights were going off soon, the heat and so on. He must have been terrified. How do you take your last walk knowing you will never touch earth again? How do you walk in that restroom door knowing you will never see daylight or the ocean or your family? I have a million questions Senator. Did he pray? Was he feeling alone and hurt? I will never know the answer to any of these. All I know is that dad left a note in his pant pocket with my phone number for the police to call me when they found him. I know that I will feel really lousy every March 16th and every Father’s Day. On top of this my family could not afford to bury dad. Thank God distant family helped us do what we could not here. Most of congress will never have to figure out how to bury their loved one after a suicide because they have no money.

On a blog for those of us praying and hoping for a Tier 5 Extension I read about another person who has exhausted her benefits. She is, or possibly was by now, 50 years old and had no family other than two dogs and a cat. She was writing about her despair and her only remaining option. Unable to find work and with no UI benefits she has $850 left to her name. Her plan is to take her three pets to a local no-kill animal shelter and give them over, along with her last money to look after them. She is then going home to commit suicide. I wrote back on the blog as did many people and begged her to reconsider this. We offered to be an ear or shoulder and share her fear and pain.

I have called and spoken with most of the senator’s offices and spoken with aids in each office. I relayed my family’s own story of pain and suicide. I also explained about the suicidal woman with the pets. Almost all of these aids acted as if they were bored or indifferent to my call. Each one offered a carefully crafted monotone exit line. However, I spoke with Mike in your Reno office. Mike stopped and listened to my story and my pain. He was the only person I crossed paths with that responded with kindness and compassion. He was kind enough to help me understand the process, and what you are doing to help us seeking a lifeline through Tier 5 Extension. I asked Mike if I write this letter could he please get it to you.

Congress continues to ignore the need for a Tier 5 Extension. I pray you will make this your mission to pass a Tier 5 Extension. There are millions of people out here terrified and suffering. While Congress delays and debates and ignores many of these people will perish. One of these people was my dad. He is not just a tragic story, he was a real living human being to me – he was my dad. Please Senator stop one more person from reaching such a dark and desperate place.

You have my permission to use my story in any manner which you feel appropriate Senator. I ask that you please not use my name or the location of my dad’s death. We already experienced a second page newspaper story the day after dad’s death.

You have my respect Senator. I sincerely hope you will fight for us – we need you right now!



**A note to those who have not been impacted by the current depression and a note to those who are living comfortably (as in no threat of being homeless or hungry anytime in the foreseeable future):  You have an obligation to help out your fellow unemployed human beings.  It would be an immense help if you would copy this letter, send it to your representative, then command that the EUC program be extended through years end (at minimum) AND that an additional tier of benefits for the long-term unemployed (aka 'the 99ers') be added.  Like it or not, eventually we will all have to deal head on with this issue.  The growing number of homeless people are going to have no choice but to begin to take from those who have, especially if services for the needy continue to be cut.  The answer isn't to deny them the right to safe shelter and food.  The answer isn't to turn this country into an us versus them wild-wild-west atmosphere.  The answer is to HELP in any way one can.  And a great start is to help those of us in this situation by writing and/or faxing - regularly - your representatives.  Thank you.



Unemployment Rates: State by State

Remember kiddies to double these numbers as they do not include those who have fallen off the unemployment benefits roster nor do they include those who have had to settle for a part-time minimum wage job (as I tell clueless family members:  you simply cannot grow an economy or save your ass from poverty on walmart jobs) nor do they include those who have simply given up.  These stats are for March of 2010.  You can bet those numbers will continue to climb - although I believe one of the reasons why congress has failed to extend the EUC program through years end and has instead allowed the program to lapse for a time before adding a month or so to the program is to help keep the numbers looking "hopeful" (thus allowing hundreds of thousands and/or millions to suddenly drop from the euc program and thus no longer are they included in the UE stats) .  It is, afterall, an election year. 

Michigan 14.1 ▬ 0.0%

Nevada 13.4 ▲ 0.2%

California 12.6 ▲ 0.1%

Rhode Island 12.6 ▼ 0.1%

Florida 12.3 ▲ 0.1%

South Carolina 12.2 ▼ 0.3%

District Of Columbia 11.6 ▼ 0.3%

Illinois 11.5 ▲ 0.1%

Mississippi 11.5 ▲ 0.1%

North Carolina 11.1 ▼ 0.1%

Alabama 11.0 ▼ 0.0%

Ohio 11.0 ▲ 0.1%

Kentucky 10.7 ▼ 0.2%

Georgia 10.6 ▲ 0.1%

Tennessee 10.6 ▼ 0.1%

Oregon 10.6 ▲ 0.1%

Indiana 10.0 ▬ 0.0%

New Jersey 10.0 ▬ 0.0%

United States (national)[4] 9.7 ▬ 0.0%

Arizona 9.6 ▲ 0.1%

Missouri 9.5 ▲ 0.1%

Washington 9.5 ▬ 0.0%

West Virginia 9.5 ▬ 0.0%

Idaho 9.4 ▼ 0.1%

Massachusetts 9.3 ▼ 0.2%

Connecticut 9.2 ▲ 0.1%

Delaware 9.2 ▬ 0.0%

Pennsylvania 9.0 ▬ 0.0%

New Mexico 8.8 ▲ 0.1%

Wisconsin 8.8 ▲ 0.1%

Alaska 8.6 ▲ 0.1%

New York 8.6 ▼ 0.2%

Maine 8.2 ▼ 0.1%

Texas 8.2 ▬ 0.0%

Colorado 7.9 ▲ 0.1%

Maryland 7.7 ▼ 0.1%

Virginia 7.6 ▲ 0.2%

Minnesota 7.6 ▲ 0.1%

Arkansas 7.5 ▼ 0.1%

Wyoming 7.3 ▼ 0.2%

Montana 7.1 ▲ 0.2%

Utah 7.2 ▲ 0.1%

New Hampshire 7.0 ▼ 0.1%

Hawaii 6.9 ▬ 0.0%

Louisiana 6.9 ▼ 0.5%

Iowa 6.8 ▲ 0.1%

Oklahoma 6.6 ▼ 0.1%

Kansas 6.5 ▬ 0.0%

Vermont 6.5 ▼ 0.1%

Nebraska 5.0 ▲ 0.2%

South Dakota 4.8 ▬ 0.0%

North Dakota 4.0 ▼ 0.1%


Think Your Cell Phone Calls Are Private?

I had a neighbor tell me that, a few weeks ago, she was on the phone with her mother.  She owns a cell phone.  I do not know if her mother was on a land line or cell phone.  She told me that she and her mother were talking about the violence in the Middle East and were innocently talking about bombs - namely all of the bombs that were going off over there.  Not about making them.  Nothing conspiratorial at all. 

And yet, just using the terms middle east and bombs warranted an interruption with a computer-generated voice that said their phone call was illegal under code blah blah blah.

Still think you're safe from such monitoring?

"Frivilous" Lawsuits

Ok, I just had to write up a brief post about this topic as, upon reviewing my latest post on my blog's main page, I see where google had posted an add about ending frivilous medical lawsuits.

Give me a god damn break.

Want to know why medical lawsuits are soaring? 

Newsflash:  We have a gross shortage of doctors in this country (largely due to the cost of malpractice insurance) and this trend is showing no signs of reversing.  Having made contact/friends with those who are either still in the medical system or who once were and got the hell out, I have learned some very interesting tidbits, this shortage of doctors being one.  Doctors, especially those who are part of a medium size to large medical practice, have been pressured for years by money hungry, profit-driven administrators to take on more patients, spend less time with them.  Surgeons are pressured to pack in more surgeries.  This leads to burn out - extreme fatigue - doctors who are simply not capable of performing their duties in the careful, responsible manner in which is necessary.  The real outrage should not be aimed towards the patients themselves but towards the administrators whose sole concern is making money (then feigning "concern" when a patient complains) and towards the malpractice attorneys who get away with charging $450/hour and up and/or, who, upon winning their selected case, take over half of the patients winnings.  The patient, the victim, gets lost along the way in this very corrupt system.  And sometimes, the doctors themselves don't help, especially when they refuse to acknowledge the previous as well as their own ineptness which is by and large due to overworking themselves - sacrificing patient care for the almighty dollar.

I had a medical doctor last week tell me that the United States is becoming a 3rd world nation and much of this is evidenced in the health care system.  Yep.  And Obama Care is gonna fix all that.

Uh huh.

It Must Be Nice...

It Must Be Nice:

*to be a self-proclaimed teabagger and be so heartless as to be against authentically helping others (funding war good - funding welfare bad), to be so blinded to the Constitution as to believe America is a Christian nation (so much for brotherly love and helping those in need), to be so ignorant and downright fucking stupid to be so hateful towards gays...and hey - some spelling lessons are in order...correct spelling does make you appear to be, well, more believable...i'm available for $25/hour to proof your signs, press releases and such...however my overall support for your movement begins and ends there (although i do agree with you, overall, on the idea that we are over-taxed as individuals).  capiche?

*to be a self-proclaimed left-leaning progressive who is so blind as to the very fact that, at the CORE of sustainability is MONEY, namely the incomes of the people...the current economic/monetary system is NOT SUSTAINABLE...P E R I O D...one simply cannot proclaim to be progressive and supportive of sustainability until they address this very F A C T...

*to be one of those who are cheering the latest health care reform while BLINDLY REFUSING to acknowledge the VERY FACT that the government REQUIRING any individual to purchase health care (much less auto) insurance is blaringly, obviously unconstitutional not to mention downright outrageous...this is NOT a "good starting point" as many of these folks proclaim...it is a nightmare waiting to explode - burdening an already stressed health care system which is run solely FOR PROFIT ONLY (with decisions being made by "suits" who typically have zero medical training) and has ceased to be about true patient care...

*to be members of our family who are living a comfy life, for whom the system of the past worked beautifully, who have NO CLUE what it's really like to have to "tighten" ones belt.... judging us for our current $$ situation (pulling the typical capitalistic, rugged individualistic method of blaming the victim) while failing to see the GOD DAMN FUCKING TRUTH of the system...i was not joking when i said any further judgments, badgering or other such emotional abuse will warrant me throwing your ass out of our house....and my life.

*to proudly wear one of the various labels...oooh i'm a greenie...oooh i'm a neocon....ooooh i'm a lefty....ooooh i'm a socialist....oooh i'm a ____fill in the blank.  get over yourself.  you're a human being--amazing, miraculous yet no more special or extraordinary than anyone else.  yes, you're a human being.  i'm a human being.  that's enough of a label, don't you think?  labels divide and blind us to the truths, realities and opinions of others.  this has been a hard one for me to accept.   


I Wish...

Not that anyone but spammers will read this, much less read this blog anymore...but i wish the following:

~people would stop telling me how i am "glowing" and how "wonderful" i look.  I DO NOT FEEL WONDERFUL.  I am scared out of my frigging mind of becoming homeless with a baby.  I am stressed to the max.  I am not sleeping well and it isn't just due to late stage pregnancy symptoms.  I am overwhelmed at the idea of raising a child in this fucked up system.

~along those lines i wish people would stop telling me everything is going to be just fine when there is NO PROOF of this.  unless you have money and/or support from those who also have money and stability you will not be "just fine".  miracles and opportunities are few and far between and it doesn't matter how much you pray or ask for help or THINK IT TRUE - the bottom line is this world is for shit and true idealism and true emotional expression and the acknowledgement of how things TRULY are does not exist.

~i wish the basics needed to survive were not based on the amount of money one has but instead, were provided for all\ - no questions asked.

~along those lines, i wish more people believed the above as i do.

~if there are other universes in which i am living and experiencing, i wish i knew how to go to that reality (in so long it was a reality much more conducive to my needs and values).  if i did, i would be there immediately.  without question.

~i wish love is all you need was a true concept.

~i wish certain people would stop nagging me/us, badgering me/us and questioning me/us and instead ask that difficult but REAL phrase that is TRULY about helping:  "what do you need?"  ask and i will tell you!

~i wish i didn't feel so god damn alone.

~lastly, i wish i would win the lottery.  that would take away a lot of the unnecessary stress i am experiencing.


President Signs Yet Another Pitiful Jobless Benes Bill

I must admit this is a great way to take advantage of a desperate populace.  Allow a much needed program to lapse, then give the thirsty, (unnecessarily) suffering masses a small glass of water to satisfy them for a couple of months (while, in their totally understandable desperation, these folks give high praise to our learless feaders), only to toss them out into the jungle again once those 2 months are over. 

"WASHINGTON — Just hours after Congress passed an $18 billion bill to restore unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, President Barack Obama made it the law of the land.  The measure comes as welcome relief to hundreds of thousands of people who lost out on the additional weeks of compensation after exhausting their state-paid benefits. They now will be able to reapply for long-term unemployment benefits and receive those checks retroactively under the legislation."

Please note:  This bill does not include additional tiers, which would add more benefits - something the 99ers have been pushing for.  (The 99ers refers to the long-term unemployed who have exhausted all of their benefits - the maximum being 99 weeks.) 

When you've had over 8 million jobs lost; when the majority of created jobs are in the low-wage service industry; when we failed to have a full recovery from the last "recession"; when we have had decades of, overall, declining wages and outlandish increases in housing, food, education and health care; when you hear the talking media pundits give praise to jumps in the market (which simply means it is being controlled by the rich to give us the illusion that all is well/getting better); when foreclosures took another huge jump last month; when close to 20% of the country is on food stamps (and that does not include the millions who are eligible and either aren't aware they are or are too prideful to apply)...I mean come on now.  How can you possibly think that the economy is slowly improving let alone fantasize it is somehow going to return to the good 'ole days?  Blind wishful thinking that isn't grounded in reality doesn't serve anyone.  Not to say that such a wish isn't impossible as anything is always possible.  As long as the motivation, intention and the realization that things must change at the core are present. 

Oregon Supreme Court Says Employers Can Discriminate Against Employees Who Use Medical MJ

Yeah, that's right.  Discriminate

"SALEM, Ore.—In a long-awaited decision, the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that employers are not required to accommodate employees who use medical marijuana.  The decision dated Wednesday and posted online Thursday in Emerald Steel Fabricators Inc. vs. Bureau of Labor and Industries involves an employer who refused to hire a temporary worker as a permanent employee after learning he was a medical marijuana user. The Oregon Supreme Court's 5-2 ruling overturned an appellate court ruling that had been based on technical grounds.  The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act authorizes individuals holding registry identification cards to use marijuana for medical purposes. However, “under Oregon's employment discrimination laws, (the) employer was not required to accommodate employee's use of medical marijuana,” the Oregon Supreme Court majority ruled."

Like the use of the term "accomodate"?  What that really means is if you are a patient legally holding a card that gives you the legal right under state law (which the Oregon Supreme Court is supposed to uphold) to use mj for recognized medical conditions, your employer or future employer can refuse to hire you or fire you simply because you hold the card.  Said employer doesn't even need to show you are showing up high on the job.  The card enough is alone to get you axed.  Hence, this is nothing short of discriminatory. 

And why in the hell does the fact that in the State of Oregon, being it is legal to use marijuana for medicinal purposes as long as it's prescribed by a medical doctor and therefore, patients can be discriminated by employers for following state law?
"The court also concludes that even though the state law authorizes the use of medical marijuana, the federal Controlled Substances Act pre-empts the state law."

Ah yes, the usual trump card played by mindless goons who wouldn't know the terms logic and open-mindedness (Truth) if they were to bite them in their ass.  As I often say these days to people who look at such situations and ask Huh?: "You can't make sense out of crazy."  And such laws, backed with mindless unsubstantiated dribble are the epitomy of crazy. 

Anyone else thinking about the millions of people hooked on legal prescription narcotics?  Or sleeping pills?  Or the millions who take OTC antihistamines which make many people extremely drowsy?  Or what about people who drive for a living and text and/or talk on their cell phones which has been proven to be as deadly (more deadly if you're a driver-texter) as driving drunk? 

And yet here we have a case where someone simply has a prescription card for a legal substance, has not been shown to be impaired on the job present or past and yet, the employer has the right to discriminate against them anyway?

Yep.  This "crazy" disease just continues the longer the system keeps on plugging away while the majority of the people engage in childish political battles instead of coming together and realizing BOTH SIDES ARE GETTING SCREWED IN THE ASS.


I want my mommy....and a foot massage...and a chauffeur....and a maid....and cook...and oh yeah a bank account with lots of zeros

The return of my mind would be good.  And my body, too.  And oh yeah - a good night sleep would be WONDERFUL.

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to do this blog (it took me 5 times just to type "i'll").  I can't sit in front of this thing for long these days.  I'm (nearly) constantly tired.  Heartburn occurs regardless of whether I am sitting, standing or lying down.  Walking normally left me 3 weeks ago.  And we still have things to take care of before this little angel of ours makes her appearance.  Of course none of it (with the exception of getting diapers which good lord did any of you know cloth diapers has turned into a science??) matters to her - just her mama and daddy. 

Once she arrives, I will be in mama and rest mode 24/7 for some time.  Even today, when Mr. N wants to tell me about the latest world happenings, I just kinda space it out, wave my hand and go "uh huh".  Not like I don't care.  Just cannot process. 

Want to hear my latest pregnancy brain fart snafu?  I backed the car into our carport post.  I haven't hit anything with my car, well, with this particular car, EVER.  And I have had it for 20 years, too.  But here I was, driving half awake, having come from taking a snooze at the park, attempting to back up the car into our driveway (a definite no-no for me these days as the baby/my belly won't allow me to turn much) - something I've done regularly for years.  And yet this time, for some reason, someone moved that damn post without telling me and it had a meeting of the minds with my bumper.  Who won?  Judging from the bumper and the post, I'd say it was a draw. 

Well, Mr. N was so pleased with this.  Even my tears didn't persuade him from showing me sympathy (well, for a little while that is).  Instead he said that was it.  My driving days were over until I give birth.

Yes, that is a thought that pisses me off.  Royally.  And while he doesn't control what I do - E V E R - he's right.  Unless I am driving forward, I shouldn't be behind the wheel of our car.  And being I am so tired so much of the time, that only adds to my inability to fully operate anything of the mechanical or moving nature responsibly and safely. 

Damn, what did this post start off being?  Oh well, who knows!  We're at 36 weeks and counting.  No signs yet.  She could come next week or anytime after that through the middle to end of May.  While the idea of birth (ok, pain) kinda freaks me out now and then, an even stronger emotion is the desire to birth her out of my body so I can not only experience being her mama, but so I can GET  MY  BODY  BACK.  Sleep on my back.  On my belly.  Eat a meal or drink a glass of water without experiencing acid reflux.  Be able to carry around a little bit of gas without feeling like I want to explode inside.  Jump off a park bench.  Ride my bike.  Drive.  Get up without grunting.  Walk normally with my hands by my side instead of one instinctively placed on the small of my back.  And run.  Oh god yes - me the non-runner suddenly wants to RUN.  Everywhere.  With my arms spread out wide by my sides.  Giggling like a school girl while the warrior woman within says "YES.  FREEDOM."

Screw all of the other freedoms at the moment.  This girl wants to R U N.  THAT, to me, as of today, is freedom. 


Unemployment Stats: The Truth

Don't listen to the bullshit being spewed on television by Obama over how the economy is showing signs of improving.  Don't listen to any of these DC insiders talk about how we saw an increase of jobs last month (whereby approximately 50,000 are for TEMPORARY census workers and thereby cannot be viewed as real job gains).  Don't listen as they blather on about job loss declining (when in reality how many more jobs can this country lose before showing SOME signs of slowing down - that slowing down simply being the result of nothing much less TO lose).  And please don't fall victim to those who say "well at least many people are working part-time or temporary and that's better than nothing", as though a nation of part-timers and temporary workers leads to economic prosperity and recovery.

Instead, look at stats like this for The Truth. 

The days of working your ass off, fierce competiting, rugged individualism and busting your hump every day to make enough to pay the banks to provide a roof for yourself (whether you are a "homeowner" or renter you are working to make the banks rich) must end.  It begins with stopping such mindless chanting and instead, exploring other means of living, where life is truly about living instead of struggling to survive and get by. 

Young Girl Doodles On Desk. Gets Hauled Off To Jail.

More evidence of the Nanny State. 

"(April 3) -- When 12-year-old Alexa Gonzalez was caught doodling on her desk at Junior High School 190 in Queens, New York, she expected detention and an afternoon on desk-cleaning duty. Instead, she was arrested, led out of her school in handcuffs and detained at a local police precinct for hours, she said.  Two months after the incident, Gonzalez and her mother, Maraima Comacho, are suing the New York City Education Department and the New York Police Department for $1 million in damages, claiming excessive use of force and violation of the girl's rights in the ordeal, which Comacho has called a "nightmare."  Gonzalez describes the ordeal as traumatizing and excessive, saying that after her Spanish teacher caught her doodling on her desk with erasable green marker, she was "physically dragged by a teacher and an assistant principal" to the dean's office, where school safety officials searched her by placing "their hands inside the rear and front pockets of her jeans." Police were then summoned to arrest her...  The legal papers filed by Rosenthal [whereby the family is seeking $1 million in damages] said Comacho was not permitted to accompany her daughter to the precinct and was instead told to go home and wait for a call. The documents also said that Gonzalez was detained in "an enclosed room" at the precinct and handcuffed to a pole for more than two hours."

And what "horrible" thing did this young girl doodle on her desk?

'"I love my friends Abby and Faith," Gonzalez said she wrote, adding "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face."

Her punishment?  (As if being traumatized and restrained by a bunch of fascists wasn't enough.)

"...Gonzalez was given eight hours of community service and ordered to write a book report and an essay about what she learned from the experience."

Oh how I hope this beautiful young girls says she has learned we live in a fascist, nanny state where writing cute little loving doodles on our school desks, as all young girls do, can result in being dragged away from school, hauled to the police station for hours, whereby your own mother is not "allowed" to come see you and yet Big Bankers and Corporate America Criminals can steal our money, pollute our waterways, soil and bodies with hosts of toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc. and get away with it all while puppets like Obama et. al orate verbal wet dreams for hours on television feigning "anger" over these real criminals (while his blind supporters point and say "see?  he's on our side!") all the while doing nothing about any of it to truly put an end to the nightmare. 

Just one more in a myriad of reasons to HOME SCHOOL. 


Health Care. Schmelth Care.

Watching the health care debate play out both on the floor of congress and amongst the left and the right is a bit like watching a group of toddlers attempt to build a bridge (minus the cute factor).  They think they know what they're doing, but in reality, they don't. 

Congress of course is going to remain on their course of human health destruction with their unwaivering support for corporate insurance companies.  Gotta keep capitalism alive and well.  Gotta keep those lobbying dollars flowing into their greedy little pockets by the insurance companies.  There's really nothing more to add to the behavior of these folks as none is (nor should be) surprising.  Same goes for the current administration.

Those on the left, the well-meaning folks that they are, are continuing their pansy-ass type behavior.  They pushed and pushed for a single payer option, wanting the insurance companies out of the health care industry altogether (which is the most common sense, fair, just, ethical and moral thing TO do) and yet, when Obama and the Democratic Congress refused to stand by their "supposed" support of including a single payer option, there was no public outcry.  Last I heard, Michael Moore was still holding onto his delusional little "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN" ballon while chanting the "Please Mr. Obama, don't tell me you are drinking the same kool-aid as your predecessor."  Oh well.  At least those radical righties, albeit a scary bunch of folks in some ways, know how to make a point and aren't afraid to show their rage. 

Those on the right wish to keep capitalism alive and well and want nothing to do with single payer.  Keep government out of their health care choices.  (Medicare, anybody?)  These folks don't understand the idea of freedom of choice.  What's so scary about allowing those who want a single payer option that freedom to do so?  All these folks seem to care about is ending welfare and social programs (while screaming "DO NOT TOUCH MY SOCIAL SECURITY/MEDICARE!") and while turning a blind eye to the realities of unnecessary suffering around them.  I especially love those who chant the tune of Jesus Christ while showing such disdain towards the needy. 

That being said however, I will give these righties one more bonus point.  While they may not understand freedom of choice nor do they see their own hypocrisy, they do indeed understand the Constitution and are justifiably upset over the idea of mandated insurance, which is clearly unconstitutional and, as of today, 19 attorney general's are challenging this mandate.  (Why this same outcry and challenge isn't happening over mandated auto and homeowner insurance is perplexing.) 

I will end this little missive with my own thoughts on health care.

1) Health insurance companies have no business nor reason (aside from making people rich off of people's suffering) to be involved at all when it comes to health care.  Health Care needs to involve the doctor and the patient only.  Period.  All other intrusion ends right there.

2) Government is only to be involved to provide proper regulatory measures to ensure the safety of the patients and to provide the financial means for those who cannot afford to provide for health care practices on their own. 

3) Doctors need to provide sliding scale fees.  The more you make, the more you pay and vice versa. 

4) The area of malpractice suits and insurance is a bit foreign to me.  However, I was recently told that it is common practice amongst malpractice attorney's to only take cases whereby the outcome is $100,000 or greater in potential winnings.  I believe if such attorney's were less "greedy" in terms of their hourly rate and/or the chunk they receive in the end if they win (anything more than 20-25% is indeed, overall, greedy and unnecessary), perhaps this could help put an end to the more extreme cases.  And, on the flip side, if doctor's were much better (i.e. properly) trained in such areas as patient communication, compassion, empathy and in the area of pharmaceutical medications and alternative health care practices (and had schedules that were more suitable to their own physical needs), there would be fewer lawsuits.  Certainly if the health insurance companies were removed from the scene, doctors would deal with far fewer hassles, paperwork and pressure.  In short - they could be themselves - the doctor's they were trained to be instead of some corporate pinhead's puppet (said puppet having received no medical training). 

Nano Technology: It's Everywhere. And We Don't Know It.

It's been shown to damage dna, contributing to such diseases as cancer and heart disease. 

(March 24) -- "For almost two years, molecular biologist Bénédicte Trouiller doused the drinking water of scores of lab mice with nano-titanium dioxide, the most common nanomaterial used in consumer products today.  She knew that earlier studies conducted in test tubes and petri dishes had shown the same particle could cause disease. But her tests at a lab at UCLA's School of Public Health were in vivo -- conducted in living organisms -- and thus regarded by some scientists as more relevant in assessing potential human harm. Halfway through, Trouiller became alarmed: Consuming the nano-titanium dioxide was damaging or destroying the animals' DNA and chromosomes. The biological havoc continued as she repeated the studies again and again. It was a significant finding: The degrees of DNA damage and genetic instability that the 32-year-old investigator documented can be "linked to all the big killers of man, namely cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and aging," says Professor Robert Schiestl, a genetic toxicologist who ran the lab at UCLA's School of Public Health where Trouiller did her research."

And where is this ugly technology to be found? 

"It's 'in everything from medicine capsules and nutritional supplements, to food icing and additives, to skin creams, oils and toothpaste,' Schiestl says. He adds that at least 2 million pounds of nanosized titanium dioxide are produced and used in the U.S. each year."

And do manufacturers have to tell the consumer their products contain nano technology?
"Consumers have virtually no way of knowing whether the products they purchase contain nanomaterials, as under current U.S. laws it is completely up to manufacturers what to put on their labels."
And is there any movement from Uncle Sam to change this insanity?
"...most federal agencies are doing little to nothing to ensure public safety."



Today while out and about, I saw a car with two bumper stickers:  One saying "end this war" and the other saying "Obama/Biden".  How's that Obama-Biden team workin' for them, I wonder? 


Man Videotapes UFO Over Lake Erie

For the past 12 nights, these lights have been captured on video over the skies of Lake Erie between the hours of 7 and 8pm, typically lasting for 2-3 hours.


The Logical Song: 30 Years Later and Nothing's Changed

I've been spending this afternoon listening to some of my old albums (which, like my cassette tapes and 8-tracks, after 30 years are still intact, still sound awesome, unlike today's "modern technological advances" of CD's and DVD's which begin breaking down after a year or two).  At the moment, I'm listening to "Supertramp: Breakfast in America" - a very intuitive, rockin' and socially/politically aware album.  One of my favorite songs on the album always has been and still is "The Logical Song".  I was just entering my teenage years when this song was popular.  At the time, in spite of my tender young age, a lot of my innocence had already been shattered apart for a variety of reasons, some too graphic to depict on this blog, not the least of which was an on-going pressure from adults/the church/the system/teachers/family/neighbors around me to "SHUT UP" with my "radical/naive/unrealistic" etc. etc. etc. opinions.  At the time it was one thing when you spoke up and you were male (and straight).  When you happened to have breasts and a vagina (or had the penis and liked other humans with penises), the venom shot back at you packed an extra punch of contempt. 

Usually.  But not always. 

When listening to this song way back when, while my brain was still trying to understand some of the concepts, assumptions and words, somewhere within I knew the truth:  When You See Things As They Are And Could Be And Aren't Silent About Such Things, You're Gonna Face Attempts Of Silence For The Remainder Of Your Life.

30 years ago and this message was every bit as prevalent as it is today.  I think each generation tends to forget this and holds the impression (illusion) that theirs is the only one who has experienced such silencing. 
Political and social opinions may change a bit over the generations, but one thing has remained the same and that is the above stated truth in bold. 

In honor of the vocal truth seekers, I present you with the words from that wonderful song, "The Logical Song".  Keep on speakin' out.  Keep on rockin'. 

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

Not watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world's asleep,
the questions run so deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.
Who I am.
Who I am.


Consumer Alert: Aspartame About To Change Its Name To AminoSweet

Sneaky bastards

"Aspartame producer Ajinomoto is launching a new initiative that will rebrand the sweetener as “AminoSweet”.  Aspartame is used in many foods and beverages marketed as low calorie or sugar-free. However, its reputation has been clouded somewhat by studies that have investigated reports of ill effects.  Just to remind you, the side effects of aspartame can include:

Change in vision
Convulsions and seizures
Nausea and vomiting
Joint pain

It can cause many, many other problems as well...Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!   It’s hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people’s health for the past 30 years.  The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people – no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names."

Back in the early 90's, my sister-in-law was consuming beverages sweetened with Aspartame.  In time, she began suffering debilitating headaches and blurred vision.  On an intuitive whim, she decided to go off the crap.  Within weeks, her headaches and vision problems disappeared.  My spouse used to use this crap as well.  For over 20 years, he used it to sweeten his coffee.  Coincidentally enough, he developed joint and muscle pain, which to this day have yet to disappear despite his many attempts, both medically and holistically.  While some of the issue is likely due to trauma and injury, the possibility certainly exists that, given the amount of time he consumed this crap, it built up in his body. 

Of course, Aspartame is just one of numerous substances/chemicals found in our food and water supply and the air that we breath that is creating a host of unnecessary suffering and illness in the people.  Makes one long to live on another planet altogether...


My First Visit To Trader Joe's

Mr. N and I decided to finally check out the new local Trader Joe's here in Corvallis.  I was looking for good quality and low prices and, after dealing with First Alternative Co-Op and their poor quality checkout service (in reference to bagging your groceries), I wanted someone to bag our groceries without having to ask or without attitude.  Overall, I was pleased.  Here's a brief rundown of our experience:

1) Bananas were very cheap at .19 cents a pound.  That blows away Winco's prices.  Since bananas are grown with very little pesticide usage, it isn't necessary to buy such items organically.  And yet, at .39 cents a pound for organic at TJ's (or was it .29???), this price blows away the price of organic bananas at the Co-Op.  Plus, the appearance was far superior. 

2) Their meat selection was pretty decent.  You can buy grass-fed/anti-biotic and hormone-free lean beef (90% fat-free) for a dollar less per pound than you can at the Co-Op.  We also picked up some free-range/hormone and antibiotic-free chicken breasts and thighs for a good price.

3) Their cheese selection was just ok.  Pretty pricey given their limited selection, although there were some very yummy-looking cheese that were hard to pass up.  The Co-Op blows TJ's out of the water in this department, in my opinion, in both prices and options.

4) If you're looking for fresh greens, forget it.  TJ's offers only the bag variety, which I don't like. 

5) As far as dry goods (cereals, crackers, etc.) you cannot beat TJ's prices or quality.  That's where the bulk of our shopping dollars went.  And I found a new favorite:  TJ's Ginger Snaps.  They contain an abundance of real ginger, which you immediately taste upon eating these tasty little treats.  They're also made with gluten-free flours and molasses.  As far as artificial preservatives and other nasties you cannot pronounce, forget about it.  TJ's stays away from such things.   

6) Their juice selection was a bit spendy, but cheaper than the Co-Op.  We bought a large carton of OJ from the refrigerated section for $1.99.  It is yummy!

7) The ambience is what was really nice.  It's a fairly small store, which I appreciate.  It was crowded when we went, but it didn't "feel" crowded.  The aisles, unlike the co-op, are nice and wide (which pregnant women like myself TRULY appreciate).  We also had a couple of conversations with complete strangers - something I have yet to find at the co-op, which seems to be more like a club for the elite - a club I apparently have yet to know the secret code in order to enter.  Probably a money or a Prius/Subaru thing...
8) For the beer and wine connoisseurs, TJ's has a huge selection of the two.  In fact, I would estimate that approximately 15% of the store was contained in just the beer and wine section. 

9) And last but not least, the checkout.  It was speedy and efficient.  The staff was friendly and unless you wish to do so yourself, your groceries are bagged.  Mr. N stepped in to do this task himself as he wanted to get out of the store quickly (the clerk was already starting the bagging process but then we had issues with the credit card machine, which warranted a call to the manager.) 

10) I am quite picky when it comes to the soaps, lotions, shampoos and make-up I put on my skin.  I've been buying this tea-tree bar at the co-op for a couple of years now.  At $3.29 per BAR, it gets to be an expensive purchase.  However, at TJ's, they have a 2-pack of tea-tree soap (with even fewer ingredients) for just $1.69.  At virtually the same size, I snagged 3 packages. 

Now all that being said, upon looking around the store, there was not one staff member who was over 30 that we could see on that particular day.  I say that given earlier this year, thousands stood in line at their chance of getting on with TJ's, many of these folks in their 40's and 50's and beyond.  It's unfortunate TJ's opted out of giving these folks a chance and instead, following the more "age-discriminatory" practice so often seen in the service industry of hiring the youngest worker.  What are these companies so fearful of?  God forbid someone with some gray hair or facial lines display themselves for the public?  Are they afraid older workers will "steal the show" given their stealth of experience and their (typically) stronger work ethic?  At least the Co-Op has several "older" workers.  Perhaps it's simply a matter of economics.  Older workers are more expensive to insure.

Whatever the reason, we figure we'll go there once a month to stock up on meats and dried goods.  And my bar soap!

Repuke Jim Bunning Blocks Unemployment Extension - Tells Oregon Democrap "Tough Shit"

Apparently football is more important than 1.2 million unemployed people. 

"Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.  As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.  And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: "Tough shit."  Bunning says he doesn't oppose extending benefits -- he just doesn't want the money that's required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate's GOP leadership did not support him in his objections."

Well of course a 30-day extension in and of itself is pathetic, but it is something that is absolutely necessary for the time-being while these idiots in Congress enact real unemployment benefit legislation.  As Mr. N said "End the wars and use the funds to provide health care for all and unemployment benefits for the next 5 years" (which is how long so-called "experts" say before the economy returns to it's pre-depression status - which was pathetically dismal in and of itself).



Hey All You Unemployed Americans: Come Work As A U.S. Census Taker

Hey, at least it's something, right?  At least that's what those people in our life keep telling us (said people either being retired and/or for the moment, gainfully employed).  All you gotta do is go stand in line with hundreds of other desperate folks, take a timed test and wait for a return call.  (And when you look around, you'll notice most are over the age of 50).  Of course they may not tell you that unless you score a perfect or near-perfect score, your chances of a return call are slim.  And they may not tell you the hours may be no more than 5 or that the weeks being employed may not be more than a few.

You can, if you wish, retake the test in hopes of a higher score.  But even at that, when you live in an area where over 500 tests have already been given and 3 more dates are on the calendar for testing, your odds of being hired are slim. 

No different than searching for a job in this market...



*Congress, in it's infinite wisdom, has said they wish to extend the current Emergency Unemployment Compensation program through the 2nd week of March.  At that date, they will discuss extending it further. 
Comment:  Knock it off you elitist assholes and quit playing games with the American People.  Extend the program through the end of the year.  Then add more tiers.  Everyone (well except for my family and those like them) knows we're in a Depression.  Everyone knows this economy ain't gonna budge or even come close to any sort of recovery for another 3-5 years.  Your pompous arrogance ain't cute.  And neither is your ignorance. 

*You can't rely on local social service agencies to tell you any semblance of truth.  One attempts to educate themselves by doing research on particular programs prior to making contact with such agencies.  However, more often than not, when agency is contacted, you find out what you have read and what you are told by a PERSON are two totally different things.
Comment:  I believe this is done intentionally to piss off those in need.  Certainly it adds to an already over-loaded mind.  Of course what should we expect when most of these agencies hire brain-dead clueless folks under the age of 25 who sound like they're 12.  And to think - I once had the dream to work for such an agency.  I was once told, many years ago, by a Social Worker that I was too smart, too aware, too driven and too idealistic to be hired by any such agency, private or public. 

*I receive a lot of comments on this blog that I delete due to their spam content.
Comment:  So much for the hours I spent reorganizing this damn blog, learning about such things as blog aggregators and adsense and how to generate revenue.  All it's lead me to is an increase in the fucking little spammers.  My middle finger is up to the world and the system and to anyone who would dare question what I am doing with my life and the steps I am taking to make money.  My POV at this point is either give me some cash or get out of my personal space. 

*Lots of media attention surrounding these tea-party people.
Comment:  If only the blind fools of the left would actually show a willingness to see that there are some darn good and valid points these folks have to make.  And if only the tea party people themselves would stop chanting their religious "god" crap and their rugged individualism crap and their "abolish welfare" and support the "free market" diatribe, perhaps they would have their other more valid points and thus their overall agenda respected.  The more I contemplate this issue, the more I realize perhaps it is a good idea to break up the states into separate regions where each is completely self-governing.  Why should someone who WANTS a capitalistic/individualistic society have to live in a culture where the wealth is shared and collectivism is the norm and vice versa?


Big Bucks For Big Brother

Forget the words behind the mission statement of the police in California.  Vehicle checkpoints to catch DUI offenders has turned into a mass of impounds for unlicensed drivers.  Who profits?  You guessed it. 

"In the course of its examination, the Investigative Reporting Program reviewed hundreds of pages of city financial records and police reports, and analyzed data documenting the results from every checkpoint that received state funding during the past two years. Among the findings:  Sobriety checkpoints frequently screen traffic within, or near, Hispanic neighborhoods. Cities where Hispanics represent a majority of the population are seizing cars at three times the rate of cities with small minority populations. In South Gate, a Los Angeles County city where Hispanics make up 92 percent of the population, police confiscated an average of 86 vehicles per operation last fiscal year.  The seizures appear to defy a 2005 federal appellate court ruling that determined police cannot impound cars solely because the driver is unlicensed. In fact, police across the state have ratcheted up vehicle seizures. Last year, officers impounded more than 24,000 cars and trucks at checkpoints. That total is roughly seven times higher than the 3,200 drunken driving arrests at roadway operations. The percentage of vehicle seizures has increased 53 percent statewide compared to 2007."

Yes, those unlicensed drivers, many of them immigrants (remember that in many states, including California, immigrants cannot obtain a driver's license), are far more dangerous to other drivers than those pesky drunk drivers.  Let's arrest the drunks (who are often repeat offenders) but let them retain their cars while we impound the vehicles of those who are unlicensed yet otherwise sober. 


Brief Life Update

All is well with the little-one-to-be and yours truly.  Even though I have 3 months to go, I can't imagine how much more my muscles and skin can possibly stretch, although I am at the right weight for this stage.  I've been able to hear her hearbeat at a recent midwife visit with the fetoscope.  Aahh, this all such a miraculous, mind-blowing experience. 

We're just starting to put together her room and for now, are focused on kids furniture.  We've found the crib and are looking for a changing table, a dresser and either a recliner or glider.  The crib will be in our room for the first several months. 

On the job front and money-producing front, well that's still slow-going, although this particular post is netting me $35 so that's a positive!  My online collectible studio is garnering hits but no sales so far.  I remind myself that miracles happen every moment of every day, often when we least expect it.  This has certainly been the case with our little one...

Man Flies Plane Into IRS Building

This was one fed-up American.

"AUSTIN, Texas – A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers running for their lives.  At least one person in the building was missing.  The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as Joseph A. Stack, 53. Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on, said that before taking off, Stack apparently set fire to his house and posted a long anti-government screed on the Web. It was dated Thursday and signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)."  In it, the author cited run-ins he had with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America's "thugs and plunderers."  "I have had all I can stand," he wrote, adding: "I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother' while he strips my carcass." "

This is so sad.  What is there to say, really?  It's a sign of the times and sadly, I believe there will be more such acts.  It's unfortunate he didn't join in with others of like-mind and attempt a more unified and even peaceful at change.  This is simply going to be news for a few days before it all gets swept away by some other lone individual.  Of course, I am assuming this was really the conscious choice of an individual who wasn't influenced by any person(s)...

Points of interest:  1) The building didn't collapse; and 2) F-16 Fighter jets were immediately called to the scene, unlike on 9/11.

SCOTUS: A Solid Reason For Unification of Left and Right?

Ah, one can only hope...

"A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that the vast majority of Americans are vehemently opposed to a recent Supreme Court ruling that opens the door for corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to spend money directly from their general funds to influence campaigns.  As noted by the Post's Dan Eggen, the poll's findings show "remarkably strong agreement" across the board, with roughly 80% of Americans saying that they're against the Court's 5-4 decision. Even more remarkable may be that opposition by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were all near the same 80% opposition range. Specifically, 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans opposed it. In short, "everyone hates" the ruling."

It isn't like this behavior hasn't been going on for the past 3 decades or so, overlooked and unpunished.  All this did was put the rubber stamp of approval from our nations highest court for said behavior, making them immune from punishment.  Lady Liberty needs a new slogan:  Welcome To Corporate America where Big Biz Rulez and The People Looze. 

K2: This Isn't Your Daddy's (Or Jerry Garcia's) Marijuana

"JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – There may be nothing like the real thing, but some industrious marijuana users have seized on an obscure but easily accessible substance that mimics the drug's effects on the brain — creating a popular trade in legal dope that has stymied law enforcement authorities.  The users are buying a product known as K2 — or "Spice," Genie" and "Zohai" — that is commonly sold in head shops as incense. Produced in China and Korea, the mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Users roll it up in joints or inhale it from pipes, just like the real thing."

Read more here.

Hmm.  The song lyrics, "Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby" go through my mind reading this. 


New Crime Ring Hitting Corvallis Residents: Bold Thugs Stealing Cans and Bottles

Ok, I know, on the surface this sounds innocent enough.  People, desperate for cash (a state of mind I am all too familiar with), are stealing returnable bottles and cans from people's property.  I can understand this when the bottles and cans are taken from the recycling bins on trash day.  I can even understand this when the property owners have been asked if the individual(s) can come onto said property and help themselves.  However, I draw the line when these thugs walk onto the property without permission and rummage through the owners/occupiers trash and other items without permission.  I also take a huge exception when you happen to confront one of these individuals and they become verbally abusive and threatening and refuse to leave your property.

We have experienced this recently.  And from what the police say, so have others.  In fact, this has become quite the problem in the Corvallis area on both ends of town and police are asking residents to call immediately upon seeing someone on their property or any other property engaging in this behavior.  Today alone, as I drove down a side street, I saw two older men pushing grocery carts full of cans and bottles, walking up people's driveways, rummaging through trash. 

Not only is this theft, it's trespassing.

Our recent experience brought this to the forefront of my life when Mr. N happened to walk outside and saw some stranger going through our belongings out front.  While we keep our bottles and cans inside (learned that lesson last November when someone stole 3 large bags we had hidden in front of our car underneath some boxes which made it completely undetectable from the street), this individual obviously didn't know that.  And didn't care.  When Mr. N approached him, asked him what he was doing and told him to leave, the man refused, walked up to Mr. N and threatened to physically kick his a&&, that he was entitled and free to do whatever he wanted.  He even boldly stated (lied) that he had permission from everyone in our block to do this. 

"You don't have my permission so get off my property," Mr. N said.  The guy only left when he was done with his search. 

Talking to neighbors later, none declared they have given this individual (or anyone else) permission to walk on their property and help themselves to their returnable bottles.  One neighbor even commented "I've been wondering who has been taking our bottles!"

Perhaps I could have some sympathy for these folks if they weren't already targeting a rather impoverished neighborhood.  Many of the people on our street are either unemployed or underemployed and are on some sort of government assistance.  I was able to walk out at the end of the confrontation Mr. N had with this man and told him, yelled at him, as he rode off, that if he wanted to steal, he should hit the wealthier neighborhoods but to leave neighborhoods like ours alone. 

I mean really, the poor robbing from the poor?  Come on!  I thought we were supposed to be uniting... 

Study Shows Being Religious Doesn't Make One Healthier

An interesting study.

"The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that when it comes to heart disease and clogged arteries, attending religious services or having spiritual experiences may not protect against heart attacks and strokes.  "There's not a lot of extra burden or extra protection afforded by this particular aspect of people's lives," concluded Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, of the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, who led the study.  In a review of data from nearly 5,500 people, Lloyd-Jones and his colleagues expected to see less risk for heart disease among those with more "religiosity."  The researchers defined religiosity as participation in religious activities, prayer or meditation, and spirituality, regardless of denomination. They did not report the religious faiths of study participants.  Over the course of four years, those in the study had 152 events related to heart disease or clogged arteries, including 9 deaths, 42 heart attacks, and 24 strokes.  That rate of such events -- less than one percent per year -- was lower than in the general population, which the team expected because they excluded people who were already diagnosed with heart disease and related conditions.  However, neither the rate of heart disease events, nor the number of certain risk factors -- such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure -- differed among those who were more or less religious or spiritual."

While I have stated on this blog I am not religious in that I don't follow one set of religious doctrine nor do I attend church, I do take some issue with this study in that I have found the practice of meditation, whether it be while I am cooking, taking a walk, playing my piano, doing yoga or simply sitting alone in a quiet place quieting my mind and tuning in to the higher frequences of my being does have a positive effect on my physical body.  Regular practice, I believe, certainly can lower heart rate and, with other lifestyle changes, improve if not totally reverse heart disease. 

The authors of the study chose not to share the particular faith of the study participants.  That's unfortunate because that could possibly lead to the rather questionable results.  My guess is that the vast majority were Christian or Jewish or Muslim or one of the other more guilt-induced, restrictive religions, and that these folks attended regular church services, where they were fed religious script as interpreted through the eyes of another human being proclaiming to know God/Jesus better than his/her congregants, followed up by large but typically subtle doses of religious guilt, which goes something like this:  "We are to strive for perfection.  We are to strive to be like God.  Be like Jesus.  However, since you will never obtain such a goal, you must come back next Sunday again, empty your $$pockets$$ and listen to me speak all over again.  And remember, anyone claiming to have reached that state of perfection is under the influence of our good 'ole scapegoat, Satan." 

Such exposure sets up a duo inside our already over-burdened state of consciousness and awareness, over-burdened due to the dysfunctional disease of societal conditioning which tells us we're not good enough, not worthy, must prove ourselves and blah blah blah.  This duo results due to the societal programming which is in direct conflict with our authentic voice, which knows we're wonderfully worthy (not better than others for that is pure ego - just precious and wonderful at that inherent level) as we are and we don't have to prove our worth or for that matter, anything to another soul, human or otherwise.  Meditation and/or religious practice and exposure to those who follow the same inner conscious awareness most definitely can have a positive and profound effect on the physical body. 

So sayeth I.  And don't worry.  I won't ask you to fill the money basket. 


Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Questions U.S. Role In 9/11

Then later recants.

"AUSTIN, Texas – A Republican gubernatorial candidate said Thursday she has questions about whether the U.S. government was involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — a statement she swiftly backed away from and one that drew immediate criticism from her better-known rivals in the race.  Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison dismissed the comments made by Debra Medina on the Glenn Beck Show that there were "some very good arguments" that the U.S. was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.  "I don't have all of the evidence there, Glenn," Medina said. "I think some very good questions have been raised. In that regard there's some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there."  Medina later released a statement saying she did not believe the government was involved in the attacks."

Well, of course we know what happened here.  Her handlers quickly pulled her aside after the interview (all while grimacing as she spoke her at-the-time truth), said "Are you NUTS?  Are you trying to commit political suicide?  Recant, woman!  Recant!"


Oregon Senate Passes Unemployment Extension Bill

This should make some folks breath a sigh of relief, albeit it a temporary one.  (Only 6 weeks?  That's it?  These "representatives" receive hundreds of thousands in perks from special interest scumbags and go on lavish "business" trips at our expense.  They don't do a damn thing to petition the feds to end the war on terror and the war on drugs which would MORE THAN adaquately fund the rebuilding of America.  They keep throwing money at schools thinking that's going to somehow fix our failed public school system.  And yet they look to their constituents who are unemployed and/or underemployed and can say "here's a few more weeks of a tiny bit of relief for you."  I mean really, where is the consciousness, the brain matter, the compassion?)

Friggin' frackin' frogs.  Whatever...  Here's a snippet from the dang article:

"SALEM -- It seemed like deja vu in the Oregon Senate Friday morning, when lawmakers passed a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits to 18,600 Oregonians who have either run out of benefits or soon will.  Senate Bill 990 provides benefits to unemployed workers using $19 million from an emergency fund created by the 2009 Legislature. The fund is projected to pay two-to-six weeks of benefits per recipient.  The House passed nearly identical legislation Thursday with House Bill 3655. Leadership is expected to pick one that will move forward to Gov. Ted Kulongoski."

This should be easy legislation to push through, although I am bothered (baffled) by the following comment made by a (clueless) Democrat:

"...Sen. Bill Morrisette, D-Springfield, responded that the $19 million would go right back into the economy.   "I think these unemployment benefits will create jobs at the grocery stores and gas stations," he said."

Yes, that's just what we need.  More jobs in the SERVICE INDUSTRY.  More minimum wage, part-time, no benefit positions.  Yes, that will TRULY make the economy thrive once more.  That will lift people out of poverty.  Good lord...  I expect such idiocy from Republicans.  But from a Democrat?  Oh wait.  Silly me forgot.  They're all the same!  Wealthy, self-entitled elitists who don't have a fucking clue how to run an economy and grow business and create jobs much less what it's like to try and LIVE ON SUCH A WAGE at said "grocery stores and gas stations".  And nor do the majority of them even care to understand. 

Good-Bye First Alternative Co-Op - I Am Taking My Business To Trader Joe's

Here's a letter I recently sent to the First Alternative Co-Op:


I have been shopping at the Co-Op since 1997. However, that time has come to an end now that Trader Joe's is coming to town. Why? I am fed up with having to bag my own groceries.

I have brought up this issue in e-mail and on the customer comment cards. I noticed I was not the only one having this issue in a Thymes edition that ran a couple of years ago. At the time, this particular customer was reassured bagging was part of the customer service/check-out procedure and the issue would be discussed/reviewed with staff.

Nothing has changed. In fact, the problem has only grown worse as you have added new staff (North Store). In fact, the last time I chose to ask a clerk if she would please bag my groceries, she gave me attitude. It was a Sunday evening late last fall. The store was very quiet. Upon finishing up the transaction, she proceeded to get on the phone and made a personal call while my groceries (4 bags worth) sat on the countertop. I waited until she was finished then asked her if she could please bag my groceries. She gave me a dirty look and sighed, then slowly began to bag my groceries. At the end I asked her if I could have some beans for my bags. She told me to help myself.

Today I was waited on by Max. I am very noticably pregnant. He didn't bother to bag my groceries. In fact, there was an elderly woman in front of me - likely near 80 or so - and he failed to bag her groceries as well.

Frankly, I am finished with paying my precious extra dollars in order to shop at and support your store. I (or no other customer) should ever have to ask a clerk to bag my groceries, regardless of how busy the store is. When I lived in Portland, I shopped at Trader Joe's frequently. I never once had to bag my own groceries. So for me and my family the choice is easy. Do we pay more for a place that provides less in customer service or do we pay less for a place that provides more in customer service?

That's an easy one for me to answer. Good-bye, Co-Op. You have had your chance to rectify this situation but have failed.

Before I conclude, I do want to say there are some real gems working there. They include Jonathan, Amy, Roslyn, the young girl with glasses and the nose ring, the store manager (all of whom ALWAYS bag my groceries) and the young girl with the pink dyed hair who stocks the produce. I realize (unlike Michelle Adams statement in the Thymes that the co-op pays their staff a higher wage - the clerks at Trader Joe's start at $9/hour whereas the co-op starts their staff at minimum wage) that many of these people make a wage that falls way below the living wage model (to which the Co-Op needs to seriously reconsider if they are to be taken serious in their sustainability philosophy). And I know, from past experience, what it is like to work with the public in a demanding job, having to stand on your feet and do the same thing repeatedly. However - perhaps if some of these lazy clerks of yours realized there are hundreds of very willing unemployed folks (my husband amongst that crowd) who would take the chance at being employed in their positions, they would rethink how they conduct themselves on the job.


Bizarro News: Man Wins Settlement After Exploding Cigarette Knocks Out A Few Teeth

Well, this is one way to convince a person to quit smoking. 

"An Indonesian tobacco company has agreed to pay the medical expenses of a man who lost six teeth when a cigarette mysteriously exploded in his mouth.  Security guard Andi Susanto, 31, told Metro TV in an interview from his hospital bed that cigarette producer PT Nojorono Tobacco Indonesia had offered to pay for his treatment.  "The company's officials have talked to my family and we agreed to settle it amicably, as an out-of-court settlement," he said through bandaged lips. "They will pay all the medical expenses."  The cause of the explosion remains unknown.  Mr Susanto says he was not chewing anything when he lit the Clas Mild cigarette and did not notice anything strange about its odour, colour or taste.  He said he would quit smoking after the incident."

Well there ya go!

Bizarro News: Student Sells Virginity For $45K

Well, this is one way to make quick cash... 

"A cash-strapped New Zealand student who auctioned off her virginity to help pay for university said she had accepted an offer of $NZ45,000 to sleep with a stranger.  The 19-year-old offered her virginity to the highest bidder in an online auction and said there had been more than 1,200 bids.  "I have accepted an offer in excess of $45,000, which is way beyond what I dreamed," the student said on her web page when the auction ended.  "Thank you to the more than 30,000 people who viewed my ad and to the more than 1,200 offers made."  Calling herself "unigirl", the young woman had described herself as attractive, fit and healthy and said she had never been in a sexual relationship.  She did not respond to media requests for an interview but the proprietor of the website, Ross MacKenzie, told the Waikato Times newspaper he had been authorised to confirm the transaction.  The advertisement drew wide reaction in New Zealand, which has some of the world's most liberal laws on prostitution.  A woman is legally entitled to seek payment for sex and Mr MacKenzie said there was no reason for his website not to accept the advertisement."

Oh dear.  We naively think we know so much about life at that age.  As a mama-to-be myself, I can only imagine how this young woman's mother (and/or father) would react.  I would be horrified.  Saddened.  And doing everything in my power legal or not to stop this, er, "transaction" from taking place.  I would also do everything I could to make sure her college was paid for in such a manner that would not degrade herself or, worse yet, put her in potential harms way.  Oddly enough, the article doesn't mention the age of the man/woman (article does not state the gender of the "winner").  Likely some 50 plus year old pervert.  If he/she were decent, he/she would simply give the young girl the cash without expectation of sex.  Whoever has that kind of money to toss around for random sex certainly can afford to do something decent and good with it.

New Book Discusses How A Shadow Elite of Power Brokers Have Upended Our Democracy

Author Janine Wedel argues in her new book that a group of shadow elites have corrupted and thus are destroying the free markets and our democracy. 
Below is an excerpt.  Click on the above link for more.

'We live in a world of flexibility. We have flex time, flex workers, flex spending, flex enrollment, flex cars, flex technology, flex perks, mind flex—even flex identities. “Flex" has become an integral part not only of how we live, but of how power and influence are wielded. While influencers flex their roles and representations, organizations, institutions, and states, too, must be flexible in ways they haven’t been before. The mover and shaker who serves at one and the same time as business consultant, think-tanker, TV pundit, and government adviser glides in and around the organizations that enlist his services. It is not just his time that is divided. His loyalties, too, are often flexible. Even the short-term consultant doing one project at a time cannot afford to owe too much allegiance to the company or government agency. Such individuals are in these organizations (some of the time anyway), but they are seldom of them.  Being in, but not of, an organization enables these players to pursue a “coincidence of interests,” that is, to interweave and perform overlapping roles that serve their own goals or those of their associates. Because these “nonstate” actors working for companies, quasi-governmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) frequently do work that officials once did, they have privileged access to official information—information that they can deploy to their own ends. And they have more opportunities to use this information for purposes that are neither in the public interest nor easily detected, all the while controlling the message to keep their game going."

State Farm To The NHTSA: We Warned You In 2007 Of Acceleration Issues With The Toyota

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's largest auto insurer said Tuesday it alerted federal safety regulators in late 2007 about a rise in reports of unexpected acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the latest warning sign to emerge about the massive recall.  State Farm insurance said it noticed an uptick in reports of unwanted acceleration in Toyotas from its large customer database and warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in late 2007. NHTSA officials said the report was reviewed and the agency issued a recall later that month.  NHTSA received complaints about acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles as early as 2003, and congressional investigators are looking into whether the government missed warning signs of the problems. A congressional hearing into the Toyota recalls planned for Wednesday was postponed because of a snowstorm expected to hit the capital."

More here.

I'm a Honda gal myself.

Billboard With Picture Of George W. Bush Asks: Do Ya Miss Me?

Whether this is a photoshop gag or not, I think most of us know the answer to that question.

"Folks in Minnesota on their way to work Tuesday morning looked up to find a familiar face staring down at them: former President George W. Bush. A billboard with the words "Miss Me Yet?" is causing a stir around the blogosphere, with some claiming it's fake and others curious to know who put it up.  The buzz started after Minnesota NPR's Bob Collins blogged that he had seen it in person as he drove on Interstate 35 near Wyoming, Minn. Pretty soon news stations were clamoring to get an interview with him (though all he did was see something).  After pictures of the billboard were posted, many people are claiming it's just another Photoshop hoax even though Collins says it's real."

I concur with the following words as boldly stated in the article:  Do you really want us to answer that, Mr. President?


Kip Schoning's Crumbling Real Estate Empire Hitting His Own Home

While I haven't posted about this infamous local Landlord (or slumlord as many of his tenants refer to him) in well over a year, I continually receive regular hits on this blog from folks googling him from, quite literally, around the country.  I thought I would add the latest article about his financial troubles and crumbling empire which recently appeared in the local paper (as linked through the local craigslist).  Here's a good portion of it:

"Kip Schoning, the mid-valley landlord who has evicted hundreds of tenants for falling behind on their rent, could be facing eviction himself after falling more than a year behind on his home loan. Schoning has missed 13 straight monthly payments on his half-million-doKip Schoning, the mid-valley landlord who has evicted hundreds of tenants for falling behind on their rent, could be facing eviction himself after falling more than a year behind on his home loan.  Schoning has missed 13 straight monthly payments on his half-million-dollar residence at 4363 N.W. Honeysuckle Drive in the Timberhill district of Corvallis, according to a default notice filed by the lender. Filed in late December, the default notice claims Schoning owes more than $15,000 on the loan, failing to make monthly payments of $1,032.18 starting in December 2008. The arrears also include monthly late fees of $51.61 starting in January 2009. Schoning's own tenants face a $100 charge if the rent is more than four days past due. Schoning's Corvallis-based property management company, Bula Enterprises, once operated more than 200 rental houses around the mid-valley, many with their front doors painted a chipper shade of red. Behind those doors, however, the company has racked up scores of complaints over the years from tenants citing dilapidated properties, foot-dragging on repairs and excessive fees. And court records show that Schoning has filed more than 800 eviction proceedings in his career as a landlord. But his real estate empire has dwindled rapidly over the past two years, with Bula Enterprises rentals now numbering a little more than 100, property records show. Since the start of 2008, Schoning and his wife, Michelle, have lost at least two dozen homes to foreclosure, often resulting in tenants being evicted by the bank. At one time, the couple had as many as 79 properties in default, according to a records search, and at least 33 are currently in arrears and under threat of foreclosure. Schoning did not return calls to his home and office phones seeking comment for this story, and there was no response to a set of written questions sent to his fax machine. The Schonings have until April 29 to bring the loan payments up to date on their Honeysuckle Drive residence. Otherwise, the house where they live with their two children will be auctioned on the steps of the Benton County Courthouse at 10 a.m. May 3."

And in related Schoning news...


The War On The Poor And Homeless Just Keeps Growing

This time, it has found its way to Fresno, CA.

"The Fresno City Council has passed, with a 6-1 vote, an ordinance that will remove homeless people from median islands while allowing established community groups to continue using the space for their fundraisers. Bill Simon, the chairperson of the Greater Fresno American Civil Liberties Union, called the measure discriminatory....Fresno City Council member Larry Westerland defended his ordinance, saying that if "somebody who wanted to, up to one time every six months, they would be able to come in and there would be a form they would fill out, a one page form, it would be like here is my name, here is the median I would like to occupy on this date, whatever that date would be. We talked about a 48 hour notice before going out there." Westerlund's ordinance would require the applicant to pay a filling fee, provide proof of insurance, and require the use of a brightly colored vest."

What an idiot.  How many homeless people have the money for a filing fee (or would be willing to pay it instead of using it for food and water)?  How many homeless have proof of insurance?  Does he really believe a homeless person is going to go through this hassle, not to mention having the opportunity to do this only ONCE EVERY SIX MONTHS and THEN have to PICK A DAMN DATE, in order to simply stand in a medium in the City of Fresno?

Of course not.  Which is why he's defending this discriminatory, fascist-leaning ordinance with such mindless dribble.  He knows his pathetic, ugly, discriminatory ordinance is going to put an end to the homeless standing in the city's precious mediums. 

I would like to see SOB's like him lose it all and then be told: "Sorry.  You can't park/stand/pee/eat/talk/request help here unless you give your government some money and proof of insurance."  Perhaps then they will pull their heads out of their behinds so that they can look at their Souls once again.  And remember...