Monday, August 30, 2010

Political Correctness

I remember, a little bit ago, how we would laugh over the politically correct terms we were to use instead of what were common--and we would make jokes.  Of course, one of the jokes was that the politically correct term for 'short' was 'vertically challenged.'  'Bald' men were 'follicle-ly challenged.'  And so on.  Now, I'm not, by any means, trying to say we should go back to the days when 'those words' were used commonly--and we all know what 'those words' were--but it is getting a bit ridiculous.

I recently read an article that had a list of 'correct' words as opposed to the 'incorrect' ones.  To say I was appalled, is putting it mildly.  Really now, just WHAT is wrong with some of these 'incorrect' words?  And here is part of the list:

            WRONG word/term---CORRECT word/term
  • disabled person, crippled---person with a disability
  • confined to a wheelchair---person who has a mobility impairment
  • quadriplegic/paraplegic---person who is paralyzed
  • stroke victim/suffered from stroke---person who has had a stroke
  • epilectic---person who has epilepsy
  • mute---person without speech
I don't know, but this seems a bit over the top.  It is getting to the point where you are afraid to wish someone a good day, for fear they'll sue you after having the lousiest day of their life!  Other than saying 'hello,' if you are unfamiliar with a person, you have to watch every word you utter so closely, that conversation is difficult, at best.  That place north of the Arctic Circle that I continually threaten to move to, is starting to sound more and more welcoming every day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Could Have Been

In January 1969, George Harrison quit the Beatles--for five days.  John Lennon had this reaction:  "If he doesn't come back by Tuesday, we get Eric Clapton."

The preceding was a bit of trivia that I found in the newest mental_floss magazine--and all I can say is WOW!!!  Just how would this have changed music as we know it, if this had happened?!

Of course, the Beatles would have changed considerably.  While Harrison was an amazing guitarist--he doesn't get the praise for his abilities that he should--having Clapton in the Beatles could have changed their sound substantially.  Could you imagine all of the guitar riffs in Beatles' songs?  Would the Beatles have taken a turn at being like Cream?  Would we have had some of the beautiful ballads like 'Yesterday' if they had a genius guitarist like Clapton?  So many possibilities from what was.

You also have to wonder how long would the Beatles have stayed together.  Just how much of a 'voice' did Harrison have in the group and would Clapton have had more or less?  And how would Clapton have developed his talent in such a group?  From what it seems, Lennon and McCartney had their creative battles--and both had quite the big egos.  Ringo and George were the 'quiet' members of the group and were overlooked and stayed in the background more than they probably should have.  It wasn't till the Beatles broke up that the two of them actually were able to shine.  Clapton always wanted to be the one in the background and had to be encouraged to come to the forefront and do any amount of singing--so, would he have received this type of encouragement if he had been a Beatle?

Then, of course, you have the music from AFTER the Beatles broke up.  Would it still have come to pass?  Would Harrison have become as big a star on his own?  And don't forget everything Clapton did that might have not happened:  the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith,  Derek & the Dominoes, etc.  Would Clapton have made his way to becoming one of the 'elder statesmen' of rock if he had been with the Beatles?  Could he have sustained his career all these years, as he has?

It is amazing to think about the possibilities of what could have been if one little decision had or had not been made.  The same is true in our own lives:  what if I had/had not gone to the party that night;  what if I had/had not met that person;  what if I had/had not made that wrong turn?  It most definitely boggles the mind to think about!  And this could keep you awake for days, if you let it!  ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Flower X-rays

Hugh Turvey takes pictures of everyday objects--but not just ANY pictures.  The pictures he takes are of x-rays--and they are absolutely gorgeous!  At least the ones he takes of flowers.  Case in point:

 I would SO buy some of these and display them in the living room!  Here are some more of his awesome pictures:

'Soul Man' Fans

I wasn't aware that cats like 'soul' so much.  HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


While I can laugh at today's comedians, I find it sad that, too much of the time, they have to resort to obscene language and sex jokes to get laughs.  When I was younger, it seemed as if the most we got in terms of 'off-color' jokes was innuendo--something that went completely over the heads of kids.  Of course, I have NO idea how vulgar these same comedians were 'in concert' in Las Vegas, but on TV they were mild--and very, very funny.  One of the funniest men that I remember was George Gobel.

 George Gobel was born in 1919 and passed in 1991.   He had his own TV program in the late 60s, but I remember him best from the Tonight Show.  He would tell stories about his 'wife' Spooky Old Alice, in his homespun, low-key way.  His nickname was 'Lonesome George.'

Some quotes from 'Lonesome George':

“If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.”
 “My uncle was the town drunk - and we lived in Chicago.”

“College is a place to keep warm between high school and an early marriage.”

 One of the best, funniest 'bits' I ever saw on The Tonight Show involved 'Lonesome George.'  After Johnny spent time talking with Bob Hope and Dean Martin, George came on as the last guest.  He sat down, all 'regular' guy and homey, looked around and said to Carson, "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"  He completely stopped the show with that line.  A classic, if there ever was one.  Sad that we don't have more like him these days.

You DO Have A Mirror, Right?

One of my great aunts had gained quite a bit of weight over the years.  When she finally decided that she needed to lose the poundage, she did a very good job of it.  The only problem, The Aunt didn't change her wardrobe during the 'losing weight' phase.  Finally, someone convinced her to get new clothes that fit, and they were off to do some shopping.

The Aunt looked through all of the clothing racks and came up with a couple of dresses--in size 20.  Which was the size she wore before her weight loss.  No amount of cajoling by her shopping companion would make her go any smaller, so off to the changing room she went.  Of course, the dresses were much, much, MUCH too big--and she agreed to try on a size 18.  This, too, proved to be a bigger size than she needed, so she tried a size 16.  She continued to go down one size at a time till the proper one finally made its way to the room.  The size she wound up with?  A size 12.  There's nothing like not actually SEEING yourself when you look in a mirror.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A True Story

One of the eccentrics that we had back home, discussed shoes.  This is what she had to say:

"I wear a size 6.  A size 7 feels so good, I buy size 8."

There were WAY too many of this type of people when I was growing up.  :D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Updating My Life

Yesterday, K and I got letters from our internist saying that he will be leaving his practice to pursue other professional interests.  I don't really know what this means other than I will now be looking for my THIRD doctor in a year.

I don't know if everyone remembers, but my gynecologist retired a year ago.  I decided on a new doctor, who left before I even got a chance to see her.  A few months after that, the practice closed down and I was back to having to find a new GYN.  So far, I hadn't made any decision about where I would go and now I need to get ANOTHER doctor.

Last night I did research and came up with two doctors that I was calling to find out if either of them would take me as a patient.  I wanted to go back to the office my "current" doctor used to be in and that is where these two women are.  When I called today, I was told one of them will no longer BE in that office--don't have a clue WHERE she is going--and the other one is not taking new patients.  I have decided that I want to go to a woman and see how that works out, but we are limited in the number of women doctors we have here.  When I had no luck with the first two women I tried, I had to go back to the office I have been going to for the last year+.  I called and asked if one of the women--of which there are only two--would take me on as a patient.  And the answer I got?  The doctor will be asked whether she wants me or not and then I will be called to schedule an appointment.  And if she refuses, I'm getting very close to being out of luck if I want a woman physician.  One good thing out of all of this is that I will just combine my gynecological needs with my general medical--one doctor instead of two.  It should make my life a bit simpler.

We are hoping that K will have better luck, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.  He will ask his nephrologist if he will become his primary care physician, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that this pans out.  If this is a no-go, I don't have a clue what we will do.  All I know is that there is next to no chance that we will be sharing the same doctor anymore.


Today we had to bring the cat in to see the vet--it had been too long since she had a check-up and she needed her rabies vaccine updated.  While everything looked pretty good, the vet said we are probably looking at some 'senior' issues with her.  And at the age of 17, is that really a surprise?  She has lost three pound since the last time being seen and she has a heart murmur, so the doctor wants to do a follow-up in a month.  This will be for a weight check and blood work.  If everything checks out, good.  Otherwise, we may be facing diabetes, thyroid issues, kidney failure, etc, etc.  While I discussed her end-of-life, it seems as if we will need to find out if or what is wrong before making any decisions about what to do.  I basically added a DNR to her chart and told the doctor I won't do anything to make her uncomfortable in any way--so I will make the decision to euthanize her if the need arises.  I love my cat dearly, but I won't spend thousands of dollars--and possibly make her have to endure any discomfort--and wind up having to put her down because nothing worked.  I think that would just be cruel.  Funny thing, I never thought I would be put in this situation--I always thought she would just die in her sleep or get sick quickly and have the decision to euthanize be made for me.  Right now, it doesn't look as if this is going to be anything easy.


The state fair started yesterday and we won't be able to go this year.  We usually go on Wednesday, but I had made the vet appointment without checking on the fair schedule.  And K starts night shift tomorrow and works through Sunday--the day the fair ends.  Oh well, I guess we'll have to go next year.


We are now 50 days away from the Red Wings first game of this season.  And the first pre-season game is in about a month.  That means that training camp begins in less than a month.  And it won't be long now till my Baby Boy steps foot on North American soil again.  I haven't felt any change in the status quo of the earth, so I guess he isn't here yet.  But, it won't be long now--and I have convinced myself that I WILL 'feel' it the moment he is in the US.  ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

To Bra, Or Not To Bra, That Is The Question

My oldest, dearest friend and I wouldn't seem to have enough in common to be as good friends as we are.  We are quite different, in fact.  She is tall(er), I am barely taller than someone who would be called a 'little person.' She has always been quite thin, I have always struggled with weight.  She doesn't cook very often and I was always 'Suzy Homemaker.'  She struggled a little with school work and it always came pretty easy to me.  She was a 'wild child' in high school and I was the 'perfect, good girl'--or tried to be.  She is the youngest child, I am the oldest.  She gets periodic Botox injections and I have never seriously considered doing anything cosmetically to make myself appear younger.  (Full disclosure:  I color my hair.  NOT so much to cover the grey--of which mine is NOT pretty--but to keep me blond.  Blond just looks better with my skin tones.)  She was more athletic and I was always "WHY would I get off of the couch when I have a book to read?"  And the difference we discuss on a semi-regular basis, our boobs.  Her girls look like fried eggs on a flat plate.  Mine would do a nice job of filling a champagne glass when I was in high school--these days, after my weight gain, I am more in the "Lady, put those things away!  You're going to put someone's eye out!!!" category.  But we agree on one thing:  the SECOND we walk into the house, we shed our bras.  Home=bra-freedom to the two of us.

Last week during one of our conversations, we started talking about how much we hated to wear bras.  It isn't just a dislike for either of us, it is as if we are being tortured whenever we have to wear the contraptions.  Out daughters don't seem to have the same dislike that we do, however.  My Oldest barely takes hers off whenever she showers--that's how much she wears one.  Of course, she is quite well-endowed and pregnant, but that isn't/wasn't any different when she isn't pregnant or when she was young.  My Youngest--and my friend's daughter--don't have quite so much to cover, but neither one of them would ever dream of NOT wearing a bra.  And this got us to thinking:  Is the hatred of bras generation-specific?  We both know of others in our age-group who hate the OSBH (over shoulder boulder holder) as much as we do, so we wondered if it had anything to do with the time period we grew up in.  We were part of the 'burn the bra' generation and threw ours away when everyone else did--and we never got back to wearing bras until we were told we HAVE to when we got pregnant.  So this is the question:  Do most/all women despise wearing bras or was the 'burn the bra' generation just trained to hate them?  What do you all have to say?

Will Post Shortly...

We did a road trip on Thursday/Friday and today I did NOTHING but recover.  Damn but it is getting harder and harder to travel as I get older!  ;)  Anyway, I'll answer the comments soon and put up a new post--I'm formulating it in my mind as I'm writing this.  Until then...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

That'll Show 'Em

The Husband works at a coal-fired power plant.  The coal is brought to the plant by boat all summer long, so there is a LOT of coal that is piled up before the shipping season finally ends.  And because of the coal, the plant is very dirty.  Coal dust is everywhere--except for the control rooms, which have to be clean(er) because of computers, etc--and because K works in maintenance, he cannot wear street clothes while working.  His clothing gets terribly dirty, but we're lucky that he is able to wash his work clothes at the plant.  This is one 'perk' that the union has been able to keep for the guys with every contract.  And I am one grateful person for that.  If we had to wash his clothes at home, we would need to have a dedicated washer and dryer specifically for his clothes.

All of the coal is in huge piles on the plant property and needs to be moved year-round.  This, of course, means that there are people who work on the coal piles--the coal handlers.  Needless to say, they get pretty dirty while doing their jobs, so they are in no way concerned about what their clothing looks like when they go to work.  These guys would wear the crummiest things they could find and then throw the clothing away when it got too dirty to wash.  And they were fine with that.  But several years ago, the company decided that the clothing that the guys were wearing was little more than rags--which it was--and they were ordered to start wearing something a bit more 'appropriate.'  As you can imagine, this didn't sit well with the coal handlers, but they decided to comply with the company's wishes.  All of the guys went to the local Goodwell and bought themselves new work clothes:

 Yup, the guys bought leisure suits in every pastel color they could find--and wore them while working on the coal piles.  The powers-that-be weren't very amused, but all of the other guys working at the plant definitely found it hilarious.  :D

I don't believe there ever was anything said about what the coal handlers wore, again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yeah, More Politics

When I was young, about the only woman politician girls could look up to was Margaret Chase Smith.  And she was pretty much it.  I, of course, have lived through the 'burn the bra' and 'you've come a long way, baby' movements--a push for women to show what they can do--so I have seen things change.  The Vietnam War was a time when so many people--women especially--started to say "women should be in power--they would do things differently."  And many listened.  Today, we have quite a few--some would say not enough, however--women in positions of power.  And we see more and more getting into power every year.

And yet, nothing has changed.

The women who have come into power were supposed to try and change things--to do things differently.  This has not been the case--we see things going on as they always have.  Women have talked about 'the old boy's club,' but the 'old girls' have joined the same club.  It is business as usual--and things don't seem to be getting any better.  Actually, a lot of the women in power seem to be more masculine than the men--and that is one scary thought.  So, we are NOT getting any different perspectives on any of the problems this country faces.

I believe one of the reasons Sarah Palin was so popular with so many people--and why she SCARED so many others--was because she was different.  Now, depending on what side of the like/hate fence you were/are on with her, this was either a good thing or a bad thing.  But, a lot of people liked the fact that she WAS different than the same old, same old.  And this is what is going to get some people elected in the coming years--being different.  After all, how else can you explain Minnesota electing Jesse Ventura?  He CERTAINLY brought something different to the table.

Many people have called on Ted Nugent to run for office here in the state of Michigan.  He has the same mindset--on gun control, hunting, natural resources--as many citizens of this state, and I could see him winning if he ran.  He wouldn't necessarily be saying things that differ from what many believe, it's just that he would do it in a manner that hasn't been seen before.  And that alone could win him an election.

While 'change' and 'different' could possibly be a good thing, it also could blow up in our faces.  We are comfortable with what we know and are scared of the unknown--and it may not be a bad thing to feel that way.  On the other hand, we may be limiting the possibilities by not trying something different.  Hmmm, I will have to think on that for a while...

Monday, August 09, 2010

I DO Like Some Things

For the most part, I piss and moan at this time of year, but there ARE some things I look forward to.  We go to the state fair at least every other year--FAIR FOOD!!!!--and everyone has office supplies on sale--some of my favorite things to buy!  But, those aren't the only things that I like.

Every year about this time, the local this-year's crop of wildlife finally get to go out on their own.  Of course, mom and dad ARE close by, but the little ones aren't aware that they are being watched.  And this is why I have so much fun watching 'the kids' in our backyard.

Last week, a family of robins was in our yard.  Mom and dad didn't let the kids alone for this outing--or maybe it was the KIDS that wouldn't leave mom and dad alone!  It is so funny to watch the youngsters--who look to be bigger than the parents--chasing the adults around, begging for attention.  I'm really surprised that the kids waited this late for a long time away from the nest, but it still is early enough for them to be ready for the trip down south this winter.

We do, of course, get to see young chickadees--as well as other birds--and chipmunks.  One year I had a family of skunks--don't need THAT ever again--and I regularly see whitetail babies.  However, my FAVORITE creatures to watch at this age are the rabbits.  They really are cute and hysterical.

Most of the time, I will only see one rabbit at a time.  I do know, of course, that the adults are close by, but they keep themselves very well hidden--just to give the kids a sense of being on their own.  And at this time of the year, the kids are equivalent to pre-teen or early teen people--and they act like it!  I watched a rabbit the other day and he thought he was just all that because mom and dad let him out on his own.  He was FREE and took full advantage--he was all over our yard, just eating on the most tastiest of grasses and dandelion greens.  And he was fearless, just like any kid his age.  He went from spot to spot, just ecstatic to be alive.  This went on for at least an hour--and he was back the following night.  But, the third night took a turn.

I had the windows open and heard some jingling--the neighbor's dog.  I thought he was coming over for his treat, but he had other ideas--and they involved the baby rabbit.  While the dog DIDN'T catch or hurt the baby, he did give him a good chase.  And I think the rabbit has been grounded:  I haven't seen him for a few days.  I think mom and dad got upset because he went a little too far away from the nest.  I believe he learned his lesson.  I can't wait to see when he will be allowed to go out on his own again.


Just so no one thinks I've gone soft in my old age, I have to post this, too.  The other day I noticed a bit of a blush of color on several trees--a small hint of fall!  My heart sang!  :D  This can only mean one thing:  winter is VERY close--and hockey season is about to begin.  I've actually caught myself smiling these past few days.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Makes Sense

The grandchildren will be attending VBS (vacation Bible school) this week.  The whole family has been talking about it, generating a lot of excitement.  The 2-year-old told her mother that she's going to have so much fun at "ABC."  Well, she knew there were letters involved, just not which ones.  :D

Saturday, August 07, 2010

How To Get Rid Of A Bat

When I finally was able, the first thing I did after seeing the bat in the house, was to Google 'how to get rid of a bat.'  (WHAT did we ever do without the interwebs?)  And I was amazed over the lack of diverse answers to my question.  There don't seem to be many ways to get rid of bats.

I did learn a few things about bats that I never knew, however.  One thing I found out is that bat bites don't necessarily hurt--you might not know you have been bitten.  What a comforting thought.  And you know how, on TV and in the movies, you will see people swat at bats with tennis rackets?  NOT a good idea.  When they are hit like that, their heads tend to kind of explode and brain material will 'spray' around.  This is definitely NOT a good thing, as some diseases (possibly rabies) that bats carry are airborne, so that only spreads what they have.  Also, it is highly recommended that any bat that makes its way into your living area be caught, alive, and brought somewhere to be tested for rabies.  Don't think THAT will happen in my house.

So, just HOW do you get a bat out of your house?  Well, not very easily.  I have been told that bats will go towards the light, so turn the lights off in other rooms and keep one room lit where you have an outside door.  Then you just have to either 'shoo' the bat out or it will fly out on its own.  None of the websites I went to gave this advice.  Here is what, basically, all of the sites told you to do:

  • Open ALL of the windows and outside doors in your house.
  • Wait until the bat 'rides' the air currents and leaves your house.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?  My number one problem with this idea is "What if another bat came INTO the house while everything is opened up?"  And with the amount of bats that are flying around my yard, it is almost GUARANTEED that we would get more bats in our house.  I will NOT be opening up the house and 'waiting' the next time we get a bat.

This was one time that the Gore didn't do much to help me solve a problem.  But then, there doesn't really seem to BE a good solution, so I can't blame the interwebs.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we will never have another bat in our house.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Let's Do It The 'Easy' Way

Recently, my weight has been on my mind--a lot.  I am very near my highest-ever weight and I need to do something about dropping some poundage very, very soon.  So, within the next few weeks, I will probably be doing some sort of 'diet' or 'eating program.'  yippee.  If only there was an easier way...

A few years ago, our local hospital got a resident gastric bypass specialty physician.  And the number of people who went through this surgery just skyrocketed.  Personally, I now know of (at least) four people who have had this surgery.  And, unless it was medically necessary, I don't  know if I would have this done.  Frankly, I haven't seen much in the way of great results.

Two or three years ago, our next door neighbor began to look like 'death warmed over.'  Frankly, I was very concerned because I thought he was battling cancer--and losing the fight.  I came to find out that he was losing weight because of gastric bypass surgery.  Several months later, he had more surgery to remove the excess skin from his body.  Finally, he leveled out and began to look much better.  Today, he has gained back 1/4th to 1/2 of all the weight he had lost.

A year or so ago, I commented to The Youngest that our neighbor across the street was losing weight.  I said that he must be making his move to try for another elected office and then forgot about it all.  He never got to a point where I even dreamed he had surgery, but I was informed yesterday that he DID have it.  Since noticing his weight loss, he too, has gained back up to 1/2 of the weight he lost.

The Oldest knows an acquaintance of mine who had this same surgery.  After losing over half his body weight, he now has gained back MORE than what he lost.

Our niece-in-law also had surgery.  She lost quite a bit of weight, but never got that terrible look that so many get.  At least, not that I know of--we don't see her or her husband that often.  I'm not sure whether she has kept her weight off, but she seemed to have leveled off before losing everything she needed to.  I do remember her telling me that she was not able to eat sugar or fatty foods without getting VERY physically sick every time.  She had to watch what she ate very carefully.

From everything I have read or been told, after having gastric bypass surgery, you have to be very careful about what and how much you eat.  You have to exercise and change your eating habits from what they had been.  You have to completely change the way you think about food and how you approach eating.  You have to change your mindset.  So, where does this differ from going on a 'diet' and exercise program?  Other than the rate of weight loss, I see no difference.  And, then you have the possible side-effects from the surgery, so why go through with it?  I will never say never--we don't know what direction any of our lives will take--but I don't think I would willingly go through with this myself.  It is a bit of a scary thought.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Enough Is Enough

I have been pissing and moaning WAY too much lately and I'm sick of it.  And I am sure all of you are tired of my attitude, too.  I have decided that I HAVE to stop my whining about the weather--it doesn't help one bit, at all.  I'm hoping for a change in the way I've been feeling and am going to do my best to act better.  I've got some things running through my mind and, hopefully, will have a better post shortly.  Until then...

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lack Of Posts

Life is a bit boring these days.  And the fact that I have played the part of a hermit, is the biggest reason.  I'm really getting tired of the heat and not being able to do anything because of it.  I hate living in air conditioning.  I hate not smelling fresh air.  I hate trying to figure out what to wear that I won't sweat through in a matter of minutes.  I hate not wanting to leave my house before the sun goes down.  I REALLY am beginning to hate this summer!

Every year on the last weekend in July, our town has a (quite) prestigious art show that is famous in the mid-west.  The artists that get to be in this show have to submit their projects and be selected by a committee.  (Frankly, I don't ALWAYS understand WHY some of the artists get to be in the show, but that's just me.)  This show has been held for 52 years, out-of-doors.  Because of K's work schedule, we haven't been able to attend the show for far too many years, but this year was different:  K was off today.  I set the alarm so that we could go, but before getting ready, I checked the temperature.  It was 84* and the sun was blazing full blast.  That, combined with the fact that we would have had to walk from the middle of downtown to the show, changed our minds about going.  I couldn't see myself doing all of that walking in the sun.  And the show takes place in a park that is, basically, treeless--so there is NO shade, whatsoever.  One more year that we didn't get to the art show.  I'm really tired of this summer.  :(