Friday, March 30, 2007

Autism Sucks

My closest friend on Earth after my wife has two children who are Autistic. I met my friend Jim my Freshman year of college, in a PE class, and we ended up living on the same floor in the same dorm together for the next three years. I was the best man in his weddings, and he should have been in mine. The great hope is that the oldest of the two boys can get enough education to take care of himself. The other boy, so far, is uneducable.

I tried to get this badge from CMHL, who is always in the middle of things worthwhile. The badge was to make it easy for you to donate, and she references a friend who is in a contest to get the donation increased. But Google insisted that their advertising should dominate. I will handle this situation later this weekend.

Should you make a donation, you might go all the way back to the page she is pointing at, for the reasons CMHL has pointed out. Me, I'll just say Thank You, regardless.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Little Quality

I was moved today by Matt's post at Animal Mind and I decided I needed to do something that added some quality back into my life. That Matt's a motivator.

This cardinal likes to come and talk to Holmes. So does his wife, who is much harder to capture with a camera. It has taken months to get him. This is the best picture I have ever taken of him. The two of them, Holmes and the cardinal have never allowed me to take their picture together. There must be a rule that says you aren't allowed to photograph cross-species communications.

I'd like to introduce the World to my Grand Nephew Alexander (a.k.a. Zander). Zander is amazing. His father was showing him how to bowl, with children's bowling stuff. His father rolled the ball into the pins, and knocked a lot of them down. then he handed the ball to Zander. Zander ran down the hall with the ball, and fell on the pins, and knocked them all down. I claimed he won.

We all know The Queen. Here she is, in all her glory!

It's been good for me, I hope you liked it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Six Degrees of Separation

Rosie O'Donnell today decided that President Bush should be impeached. I don't care what your party affiliation is, or your economic beliefs, your religious beliefs or your position on peanut butter best being crunchy or smooth. No one in their right mind would remove George W Bush from office and leave Dick Cheney as the President of the United States. Are there any questions?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ah Friday

First, nothing but random thoughts. Google has not been available for a day and a half, so my thought processes have been in the garbage. Why the garbage? All I have done is eat. I have almost 300 pieces of mail to answer, and I am just not that good. The only one I know who can type that fast and have that much to say is the Mistress of Mirth herself, The Mist1, who does it everyday in her comments. In fact, reading through her comments can be almost as funny as her posts, but not quite. Nothing is as funny as Mist. When will Letterman catch on?

My esteemed colleague Pickled Olives, the keeper of the secret of the multiple orgasm, has shared this secret with others. I am hoping that she will share it with me too. I could use the anxiety and tension reduction. Olives, I am willing to practice, and if there is red wine involved, so be it! On a more serious note, if you read Olives' blog, there was a post where she had a dream about calling back to her old friend's from where she had grown up and ask about her friend's mother. Turns out the mother was sick. The mother and friend had played a big role in Olives' growing up, helped make her into the person she is today. The point? I want to be more like Olives.

And since I forgot to publish this BEFORE I went out, let me toss these few tidbits in. The spread between oil and gasoline is the widest now that I have ever seen. Gas will be $3 a gallon soon. This summer is going to be unreal. The internet is already slow as dog shit. With more traffic, more phone calls coming onto the net via VoiP, and more and more SmartPhones coming, namely Apple's IPhone, the net is going to get REALLY slow. Think about Volero (VLO;NYSE) for making gasoline, and Level 3 (LVLT;NASD) to try to recoup a few dollars. As always, consult a qualifies professional financial advisor first!

Have a good weekend, and many, many O's.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It Makes You Wonder

The Legislature of The Great State Of Maryland, in its infinite wisdom could NOT bring itself to end the Death Penalty. The legislators have been made aware of the statistical conclusions that the Death Penalty discriminates against the poor, who rely on public defenders to defend them in court against criminal charges. Without the money to spend to counter the investigative arms of the police, etc., the average public defender doesn't stand a chance against the public prosecutor. Plea bargains are common.

An evaluation of the population of Death Row bears out that the poor and the black population constitute a disproportionate percentage of those waiting to be executed. This is not what one would expect.

Since an error in process is uncorrectable once the death penalty has been exacted, you would think that it would be obvious that the death penalty should be abolished. The fact that the United States is the last civilized country that has the death penalty makes you wonder.

I'm saying this kind of crap is wrong.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Once Again

Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star reports in his opinion piece about how two lesbians were thrown out of an IHOP for sharing a kiss. We're talking about a kiss that a niece might share with an uncle, according to the article. You can read the article for yourself.

This is not the first time, and I fear, won't be the last time that I declare that this blog stands for individual freedom. Anyone can have sex with whoever will have sex with them of their own free will, as long as they are of the age of consent. I still believe in the law. I had thought we had decriminalized sex in the 70's. Evidently I was wrong.

For example, it is a fifth degree felony for two gay people to have sex in Virginia. The word absurd doesn't cover it. Neither does ignorant. And, according to the article, there is no law protecting the sexual rights of people in parts of Kansas and Missouri. In other words, you can be fired for being gay, with no recourse. And any other form of discrimination you choose to try. In English, what happened in Kansas was legal in Kansas.

One thing that seems to be getting some attention is sending e mail to IHOP's Corporate Headquarters. Boycotting your local IHOP doesn't help, because your local IHOP didn't do anything. In the meantime, writing to the Corporate Headquarters seems like a start. Sending a copy to your State Legislature representative, your Congressperson, and your two Senators also helps. Evidently, if we don't guarantee a freedom, some people have no problem taking them away. I guess most people never read about morality and ethics.

When things are wrong, the majority needs to stand up and say so. I'm saying this kind of crap is wrong.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Have A Good Weekend

Lee had a piece introducing the notion that Newt Gingrich was thinking of running for President, after confessing he had an affair during his charge to impeach President Clinton in 1998. After the doctors released me as now being strong enough to take care of myself again, I have attempted to provide you with an explanation of why he would do such an assinine thing after making such a "confession". It is below. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Have A Couple Of Questions

I didn't mean to be gone this long. sometimes, life gets in the way of blogging. There ought to be a lot of things that aren't but who's counting. Which brings up a few questions, naturally.

If we have a bunch of Senators running for the Presidency as soon as the mid-term elections finished, who is taking their place representing their constituents in the Senate? The other Senator?

If they take the whole two years to run right up to the next election, that's a third of their term. Should they get paid to be a Senator during that time frame? Weren't they a candidate instead?

It is clear that we have an on-going process that we'll call the dumbing down of America. No one fails, and we don't ask kids to do much. We don't even ask them to show up all the time. Yet business has plans to expand. Everyone is going National, and then Global. Where are the people coming from? Wait, they're going to do it all with computers? I see how well that works now. That massive computer system shipped me insulin for a syringe and needles for a cartridge system. That same computer system had a history of doing it right. It had records stored with the correct 'stuff' stored in it. But no, it had to blindly follow an error. The error? The clerk filling out the prescription in the doctor's office forgot the notation for the cartridge system, and the default in the computer was the syringe, or straight needle.

"Not our fault", argued the voice on the telephone from the pharmacy somewhere on the planet. So I have a three month supply of insulin that I can't use because the needles work on a different system. Can *I* solve this? Yup, I just go to the doctor and get a prescription for regular needles (syringes) and go to a local pharmacy and buy them. And I avoid the hassle of arguing with my insurance company who had just sent me the $40 worth of cartridge needles and therefore would not be entitled to any more needles for three months. You know how us insulin addicts are.

The point is that we still need human beings that can think. Any pharmacist would have seen the problem instantly. Most people working a pharmacy counter after a period of time would have seen the problem. Insurance companys that force their clients to use mail-order pharmacys where there are insufficient computer editting, and it takes over two weeks to get a prescription take a problem like this and dump it on the client, seemingly with no recourse. Think this is a small example?

The stock market is hemorrhaging today. The housing market is still crashing. Part of the problem is called the sub-prime market. This is the market for people with less than stellar credit. Mortgage products with names like Interest Only and Option Arms were brought out and are very lucrative loans for the people that sell mortgages. Don't kid yourself for a minute, the people that sell mortgages make great money when interest rates are coming down.

I spent some time in a Mortgage Company. The ONLY mortgage they sold was the Option Arms Mortgage. They sold no 30 year mortgages, no 15 year mortgages, if you weren't an option arms customer, you were a bad credit customer, and you were going to be paying 2 points over the going rate to get a mortgage. That was because those were the two mortgages that paid the most money to the firm and the salesperson.

What was the big deal with the Option Arm? The Interest Rate adjusted, seemingly slowly. And, you didn't have to pay the entire payment. You could pay as little as 10% and that made the interest rate look as low as 1.25%. The balance of the payment was added to the principal of the loan. Two years out, you refinance, and the appreciation on your home paid for what you borrowed, plus, when you refinanced, you took out more money!

These are the defaults you are hearing about now. The prices of houses have dropped. Some salespeople were taking home, after taxes, $8K, 10K, 12K. I was gone in two months. I didn't fit in. Must be the economics. Some of you may want to think about running for your School Boards. Or overthrowing a local government. I don't know anymore. I'm not that bright, look who I have been hanging out with, the lady on the phone from the pharmacy. My cat is smarter.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Little Serenity

"Those who have drunk lonesome water are not in their right minds. It’s more than loving the land. It seems for me the thing for which you spend your whole life to build, if you would be whole, is not a bank account, or an unimpeachable social position, or success in any one of a thousand lines of endeavor; it seems to me that the only thing worth having is a certainty of yourself. People who have this knowledge are people who have kept their edges intact, people with what I can only call core; by which I mean the indestructible skeleton of character, showing through manner and mannerism, as good bones show through flesh. It’s one thing you know you can count on in yourself and in others, and it’s not easily acquired."

Louise Dickinson Rich, from Happy the Land

I was sent to these folks by Cindy. you know, the sensual feminine photographer type stuck in a dead-end job in Wisconsin while she gets her degree in photography en route to becoming a world-famous photographer, like Claudia. Both of them are world-class writers. She sent me because she thought I needed a little serenity in my life. I'm sharing a little with you today, because who doesn't need a little serenity?

Paradise is not a place
where we are going.
It is a place
where we are from.
We can go there
at any time.
It is our beliefs
that lock us in our hell.

It is the sacredness of this moment
that is the key to freedom.

Excerpted from John Squadra's book of poetry, This Ecstasy

Have a great weekend. What did you think of the writing and the poetry?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Perhaps You Have Heard

Please don't tell anyone, but I have a secret girlfriend. Her name is Rebecca and she writes this blog called Rebecca At Large. Rebecca has written three posts so far about a topic near and dear to her heart, Radio Paradise. Only her dogs and cats and maybe her husband are more important than Radio Paradise to her. These folks could use some help, and there's a petition. If we small folk don't care about each other, the big folk can pretty much have things the way they want them, and that typically costs us little folks more money. And tell Rebecca that her secret boyfriend sent you.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ten Secrets

The Power of Thought.

Love begins with our thoughts. We become what we think about. Loving thoughts create loving experiences and loving relationships. Affirmations can change our beliefs and thoughts about ourselves and others. If we want to love someone, we need to consider their needs and desires. Thinking about your ideal partner will help you recognize him or her
when you meet him or her.

The Power of Respect.

You cannot love anyone or anything unless you first respect them. The first person you need to respect is yourself. To begin to gain self-respect ask yourself: "What do I respect about myself?" To gain respect for others, even those you may dislike, ask yourself: "What do I respect about them?"

The Power of Giving.

If you want to receive love, all you have to do is give it! The more love you give, the more you will receive. To love is to give of yourself, freely and unconditionally. Practice random acts of kindness. Before committing to a relationship ask not what the other person will be able to give to you, but rather what will you be able to give them. The secret formula of a happy, lifelong, loving relationship is to always focus on what you can give instead of what you can take.

The Power of Friendship.

To find a true love, you must first find a true friend. Love does not consist of gazing into each other's eyes, but rather looking outward together in the same direction. To love someone completely you must love them for who they are, not what they look like. Friendship is the soil through which love's seeds grow. If you want to bring love into a relationship,
you must first bring friendship.

The Power of Touch.

Touch is one of the most powerful expressions of love, breaking down barriers and bonding relationships. Touch changes our physical and emotional states and makes us
more receptive to love.

The Power of Letting Go.

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it's yours, if it doesn't it never was." Even in a loving relationship, people need their own space. If we want to learn to love, we must first learn to forgive and let go of past hurts, and grievances. Love means letting go of our fears, prejudices, egos and conditions. "Today I let go of all my fears, the past has no power over me-today is the beginning of a new life."

The Power of Communication.

When we learn to communicate openly and honestly, life changes. To love someone is to communicate with them. Let the people you love know that you love them and appreciate them. Never be afraid to say those three magic words: "I Love You." Never let an opportunity pass to praise someone. Always leave someone you love with a loving word - it could be the last time you see them. If you were about to die but could make telephone calls to the people you loved, who would you call, what would you say and, why are you waiting?

The Power of Commitment.

If you want to have love in abundance, you must be committed to it, and that commitment will be reflected in your thoughts and actions. Commitment is the true test of love. If you want to have loving relationships, you must be committed to loving relationships. When you are committed to someone or something, quitting is never an option. Commitment distinguishes a fragile relationship from a strong one.

The Power of Passion.

Passion ignites love and keeps it alive. Lasting passion does not come through physical attraction alone, it comes from deep commitment, enthusiasm, interest and excitement. Passion can be recreated by recreating past experiences when you felt passionate. Spontaneity and surprises produce passion. The essence of love and happiness are the same; all we need to do is to live each day with passion.

The Power of Trust.

Trust is essential in all loving relationships. Without it one person becomes suspicious, anxious and fearful and the other person feels trapped and emotionally suffocated. You cannot love someone completely unless you trust them completely. Act as if your relationship with the person you love will never end. One of the ways you can tell whether a person is right for you is to ask yourself: "Do I trust them completely and unreservedly?" If the answer is "no", then you must think very carefully before you make any type of a commitment.

~ Author Unknown~

I n a Society where mediocrity is becoming the rule, I thought this could hurt. Since I have been writing about "Quality" since I started this blog, it shouldn't surprise anyone I snuck it in here. Most of you already know this, and at best, it's a review. Most of you are already running at peak levels of quality, but it can't hurt to think about so we can share it with others. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, March 02, 2007

An Open Letter To Cindy Of Blah Blah Land

I hope you have already gone to Echomouse's site and assuming that you have, I am writing an open letter to Cindy who writes "Adventures In Blah Blah Land" tipping her hand as to her true identity as a macroeconomist. Actually, only Matt may know for sure and he's not telling.

We discuss things such as the current market break, reasons to take everything and go to Brazil and try to get land where there used to be rain forest, and be a part of the new wild west. She's a savvy economist, she is, I tell you. You don't know about economics? We have a six minute lesson so you too can be an economist! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Echomouse Lost Her Father

For those of you who know Echomouse a.k.a Carrie, you will remember her long struggles to get her Father into a Canadian Nursing Home to help care for him. He was very ill. He died Tuesday morning. It is always appropriate regardless of whether you know her, to stop by and be respectful, I can tell you that it is an exceptionally meaningful thing in the blogosphere. I appreciate your efforts. Thank you.

Don't Miss Out

Crankster has been writing a fabulous multi-part series on Mean Girls, Part 2 Marriage Penalties, Part 3 A Guy Walks Into A Bar;a take off on the movie, and addressing a societal issue with class and skill, the spread of hatred against men or misandry. Not a popular topic as men aren't supposed to complain.

Fortunately, Crankster also has a fabulous following that has no problem getting involved in these issues with him, and bringing out the best in him, and he in them. Not everyone agrees, and that makes for a beautiful place. People still respect each other, but can take opposite attitudes and defend them wholeheartedly. There are a lot of very smart people who comment there, and there are two that I am so glad for, Glamourpuss and Misanthropster to name just two. They both concede points to each other, both are well versed, knowledgeable, and both ended up in the same place.

You don't end one form of discrimination with another.

I believe that everyone has the same rights regardless. That doesn't mean I have to like you, or that you have to like me. But, we ought to be able to treat each other with a certain amount of respect that acknowledges our individual humanity. We each change the World one person at a time, so it's easy to start now. Isn't it?