Sunday, August 31, 2008
I've read lots of blogs and articles about it and it seems like some "talking heads" and party folks who eat and sleep politics aren't as excited. But they don't seem to understand how exciting it is for NORMAL people. I am not a party person. I enjoy politics and listen to talk radio all the time but I am no one in party politics. And my MIL isn't either and she is excited too. :)
Her nickname is Sarah Barracuda!!! How freaking awesome is that? *grin*
I know...it's superficial. I just love her whole story. She's a reformer...a true reformer, not just a "hope change" empty suit. She has actually done things - including selling the governor's jet on Ebay! ROFL How hilarious is that?!?
Friday, August 29, 2008
I am now JAZZED to vote for McCain with his choice of Sarah Palin as VP!!! WOOT!!!
It's not just that she's a woman (if that were my only criteria I'd have voted for Shillary). It's that her ideals are MY ideals. She is a true role model for women like me and those growing up in today's society. She is tough as nails (I've heard her nickname is Sarah Barracuda) and not afraid to stand up for the good ol' boy network to get things done. (She stood up against her own party and opposed the Bridge to Nowhere.)
I love that some of Messiah's supporters are questioning her experience. hahahahahaha Do they really want to go there? She has more experience than he does and he has the gall to run for the presidency itself.
I haven't been "excited" for a ticket in a long time. Now I'm ready to get a McCain / Palin bumper sticker and t-shirt. :) I have a feeling that she will run against Shillary in a future election. I DO want to see a woman (or a person of "non-white" color - like Jendal or Michael Steele - I would love either of those guys too) in the white house but that is not the only reason to vote for someone. It's nice to have the right ideals in a candidate - being a woman is just icing on the cake.
She's a great speaker too. She just thanked Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton for paving the way. That's classy. And smart. :) My MIL was excited to vote for Hillary even though she doesn't agree with her ideals. She just wanted to see a woman in the white house before she died. Now she can vote for someone with her ideals and get a woman in the second highest spot in America. And perhaps one day the highest spot. Woohoo!!!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I've been watching the situation in Georgia with concern. Even though I'm not old enough to remember the "bad ol' days" of the Soviet Empire, the fall of the Empire in 1989 somehow had a profound and memorable impact on me.
Now, under Putin (as if he really stepped down) and the former KGB, Russia is stretching its muscles once again.
Some people have said that Georgia provoked Russia but that is NOT the case. Georgian troops entered THEIR OWN territory (yes, it is still Georgian territory even while it is disputed by the Southern Ossetians) after being fired upon the day before by Russian sympathizers (militia) in South Ossetia.
Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.I am 25% Ukrainian by birth and would love to know more about that side of my genealogy. The Ukraine is watching the Russian conflict with fear and trepidation.
“On the evening of the 7th, the Ossetians launch an all-out barrage focused on Georgian villages, not on Georgian positions. Remember, these Georgian villages inside South Ossetia – the Georgians have mostly evacuated those villages, and three of them are completely pulverized. That evening, the 7th, the president gets information that a large Russian column is on the move. Later that evening, somebody sees those vehicles emerging from the Roki tunnel [into Georgia from Russia]. Then a little bit later, somebody else sees them. That's three confirmations. It was time to act.
“What they had in the area was peacekeeping stuff, not stuff for fighting a war. They had to stop that column, and they had to stop it for two reasons. It's a pretty steep valley. If they could stop the Russians there, they would be stuck in the tunnel and they couldn't send the rest of their army through. So they did two things. The first thing they did, and it happened at roughly the same time, they tried to get through [South Ossetian capital] Tskhinvali, and that's when everybody says Saakashvili started the war. It wasn't about taking Ossetia back, it was about fighting their way through that town to get onto that road to slow the Russian advance. The second thing they did, they dropped a team of paratroopers to destroy a bridge. They got wiped out, but first they managed to destroy the bridge and about 15 Russian vehicles.
The peacekeepers had a military objective, and the first rule of warfare when you're talking to the media is not to reveal to your enemy what you're going to do. So they weren't going to blather into a microphone and say well, actually, I'm trying to go through Tskhinvali in order to stop the Russians. So what did he say instead? I'm here to restore constitutional order in South Ossetia. And that's it. With that, Georgia lost the propaganda war and the world believes Saakashvili started it. And the rest of the story...you know.”
Let us not forget the cruelty and brutality of Soviet inspired actions...
Many Western camera crews were robbed at gunpoint ten meters from Russian tanks while Russian commanders just stood there smoking their cigarettes while the irregulars...that happened to a Turkish TV crew. They're lucky to still be alive. Some of the Georgians were picked up by the irregulars. If they happened to be female, they got raped. If they happened to be male, they got shot immediately, sometimes tortured. Injured people we have in hospitals who managed to get out have had arms chopped off, eyes gouged out, and their tongues ripped out.
Michael Totten deserves our support and that includes monetary donations. He does not work for any mainstream news outlet. He works for himself and his readers and is solely supported by reader donations. He does AMAZING work.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Well, yes it did but I also renewed it like a month ago. I am just having a very hard time getting it re-installed. Why it needs to be reinstalled is beyond me. Why can't it just be renewed and voila be done?
I hate technical things like this. It makes no sense and it is overly confusing to my puny mind. I just want to click a button and be done with it. Unfortunately I have two different companies to work with - one is the SSL certificate company and the other is my Host. Yes, it would be easier if they were the same company but at this point getting it that way would be even more complicated and I don't want to deal with it.
I would be willing to PAY someone to take care of this for me. Sheesh. My website designer company did do this for me the last few times but they are too busy now ... I've been dropped. *sigh*
So if you try to go to my website don't get scared okay? :) Nobody hacked it and it hasn't been taken over. I'm just lame and need to get my act together.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
A couple of weekends ago, Trooper and I went to an agility demo for Fido's Farm. I loved it and had a great time - and I'm sure that Trooper did too. He got to meet all kinds of fun and new dogs and people. He wanted to eat my lunch (I had a hot dog) but he had to settle for his kibble.
However, that night I could hardly walk. Both of my knees hurt SO bad. I've never had bad knees and I didn't do anything particularly strenuous at the demo. We were there for 4 hours and worked hard but I don't remember wrenching anything.
Ever since then my knees have fluctuated between dull aches and severe, cringe inducing pain. Today I ran a couple of errands - it didn't take more than 2 hours - and then I ran around cleaning up the house to get ready for our foster puppy's new family.
And now my knees feel like balloons...lead balloons that are pulsating.
What the flippin' heck? I hate taking pills but my mom says I need to take ibuprofen. *sigh*
And it's Sunday night...I hate Sunday evenings. It means work starts tomorrow and I'm reminded of all the things I did not accomplish over the weekend. The never ending list of chores with not enough hours in the day.
The good news? I had a fabulous time shopping and bought over $200 worth of product and spent less than $15. Woot! Coupons rock. :)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Yeah...those days are so over. *sigh*
The interns at our company are just babies. They are so young that they don't even know Seinfeld references!!!
We had these amazing cupcakes on Tuesday and I just ate the "muffin top" and threw away the "stump" ... the intern just gave me a blank stare while my other coworkers laughed. I asked if he ever watched Seinfeld and he shook his head.
Oh dear Lord...I apologize to all those who I teased when I was younger about not knowing certain shows - or when I asked my mom what a "record" was.
Seinfeld is a classic. It's completely inappropriate and wonderful. My coworkers and I use lines from Seinfeld all the time. I still watch the reruns.
And it's now a show that "old" people watch. *sigh*
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
*giggle* The look on hubby's face when I showed him was priceless. They're YELLOW!!! He asked if I even owned anything yellow. As a matter of fact I have several lovely yellow shirts and sweaters. I love yellow. And orange. Though I don't see myself wearing orange shoes. :)
One reason I bought them is because they were only $11 at Target. I don't buy shoes at Target very often (I seriously cannot remember the last time I did) and usually go to Macy's or Imelda's Ladies Shoes in Olympia. They rock.
But these called to me. One of my new pairs of pants is a summery dark navy blue capri and with a yellow top and these shoes I think I'll be styling. Even just wearing all black and these will be cute. I don't have a ton of cute summer shoes so these are going to be my official summer shoes. =)
Monday, August 18, 2008
Going through some of my daily (or not so daily lately) reading I came across a couple of really great stories.
It always warms my heart when I hear about new citizens - they are always so positive and excited and they truly appreciate the opportunities the United States provides.
Many of us take our own freedoms for granted. There are so many things we can do for which people in other countries would be beaten, jailed, or even murdered.
Olga Alveres says, "I'm free, I'm free. In the United States, everybody's free!"
And that is the truth. I hear all sorts of citizens born in these United States complaining about how unfair life is...but they've only known such great freedoms as the US provides. They are spoiled brats who have no concept of life in China, Iran, North Korea, et al. Their whining about so called "injustices" would lead to their incarceration, torture, and often death.
Life is never fair, no matter where you live. It is what you do with your life that matters. And everyone can succeed if they are determined and hard working enough. Of course, everyone has a different measure of success. :) I just want to be healthy, safe, and free! Free to speak my mind. Free to work or not. Free to make my own choices.
Optimism is contagious. And I believe that ultimately, the United States is an optimistic country.
Edited to Add - Kobe Bryant GETS it...and the question from NBC is why I don't watch the news. Moron. Not that I've ever cared much about being "cool" or "in style."
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Netflix just sent an e-mail that I thought was beyond great. Their DVD shipping service was delayed and my scheduled shipment hasn't gone out yet.
Honestly, it hadn't even occurred to me. I think I was due another DVD yesterday but I hadn't given it much thought. I just finished another one and it will go back today but I still have one DVD to watch.
But Netflix really is on top of things. They apologized for the inconvenience and pro actively are letting me know that if their shipping services aren't available soon I will get a credit to my account. Which is really great of them and as far as I'm concerned is above and beyond. I don't know other services that would let me know this before the fact.
I know that I've had a couple of necklace chains break recently (stupid vendor must have changed their source because the chain is way weaker than it ever was before) and I've had to ask customers to return the necklaces to me for repair/replacement. I absolutely HATE having to ask this because it's not their fault and it's a total inconvenience for them.
To make up for it I made each of them a pair of earrings to match the necklaces. It's the least I can do to thank them for their time and energy. And I hope that it makes up for the fact that their necklace chains broke (through no fault of their own).
I also have stopped using that particular chain.
Does great service matter to you? Does it make you more loyal? Will you let a company know if a store has given you excellent service?
Monday, August 11, 2008
While we should never forget the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we should also not forget the reasons why Little Boy and Fat Man were dropped in the first place. To end a war that was costing countless lives and would continue with untold casualties. The Japanese did not even surrender after Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima - that is how stubborn their military leaders were.
Was it necessary to kill 120,000 in the blink of an eye and cause the ultimate death of another 120,000? I'm no great military expert, but from my knowledge of history and the events that led to the final decision, yes it was necessary.
"The blast — equivalent to about 13,000 tons of TNT — literally scoured out the center of the city and the resulting fires took care of most of the rest. About 70,000 people perished within hours of the blast with another 70,000 dying before the end of 1945.
Three days later –63 years ago today– history would repeat itself over the city of Nagasaki. This time, a plutonium bomb was used, increasing the efficiency of the device dramatically. Due to some topographical quirks (there were no large hills as in Hiroshima to focus the blast effect), the casualty rate was lower. Still, Fat Man managed to kill more than 40,000 that day and another 40,000 before that fateful year faded into history."
"Army Air Force Commander of Strategic Forces in the Pacific Curtis LeMay believed if given six months and freedom to target whatever he wished, he could bring Japan to its knees by completely destroying its ability to feed itself. Victory assured — at the cost of several million starved Japanese.It seems that people conveniently forget the ferocity with which the Japanese - both military AND civilian - fought. They were prepared to fight to the death - no surrender - down to the last woman and child - who would rather commit suicide than be captured.
The navy thought a blockade would do the trick. Starving the Japanese war machine of raw materials and the people of food they were importing from occupied China would have the Japanese government begging for peace in a matter of six months to a year. Again, visions of millions of dead from starvation came with the plan.
The army saw invasion as the only option. A landing on the southernmost main island of Kyushu followed up by an attack on the Kanto plain near Tokyo on the island of Honshu. Dubbed Operation Downfall, the plan called for the first phase to be carried out in October of 1945, with the main battle for Japan taking place in the spring of 1946. Casualty estimates have been hotly debated over the years, but it seems reasonable to assume that many hundreds of thousands of Americans would have been killed or wounded while, depending on how fiercely civilians resisted, perhaps several million Japanese would have died in the assault."
"It is hard to grasp the wave of helplessness that descended on many in the civilian and military leadership as they watched the Japanese on Okinawa fight so fanatically and to the death. The prospect of invasion and continued combat throughout the Pacific was frightening."Was dropping the bombs a "good" thing? Undoubtedly no. But I believe that history has shown us that it was right thing to do.
"...the allies issued an ultimatum to Japan: surrender or suffer the consequences. The die was cast and the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was sealed."Japan is one of our great allies today - something my maternal grandfather still finds amazing and my paternal grandmother can't really believe. She still sees them as the "Japs" who floated weather balloons across the sea and started forest fires here in the Pacific Northwest. She sees them as invaders who tried to take the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. She sees them as enemies who forced her husband to leave for war and her to work at Boeing as a "Rosie the Riveter" for her children. Some wounds never fully heal.
The decision to drop the bombs saved not just American lives, but those of China as well. We forget the horror that the Japanese military wrought on civilians.
"But once –just once– I would like to hear the horror stories of the men and women of Pearl Harbor as counterpoint to the suffering of the Japanese and a reminder of who started the war and how they did it. I want to hear from those who can tell equally horrific tales of death and destruction. How Japanese aircraft strafed our men with machine gun fire while they were swimming for their lives through flaming oil spills, the result of a surprise attack against a nation with whom they were at peace. Or how the hundreds of men trapped in the USS Arizona slowly suffocated over 10 days as divers frantically tried to cut through the superstructure and rescue their comrades.
Perhaps we might even ask surviving POWs to bear witness to their ordeal in Japanese prison camps — surely as brutal, inhuman, and gruesome an atrocity as has ever been inflicted on enemy soldiers.
While we’re at it, I am sure there are thousands of witnesses who would want to testify about how the Japanese army raped its way across Asia. This little discussed aspect of the war is a non-event for the most part in Japanese histories. But the millions of women who suffered unspeakable mistreatment by the Japanese army deserve a hearing whenever the tragedy of Hiroshima is remembered."
"Between 1932 and 1945 Japan experiments included testing biological weapons on humans, and attacked 11 Chinese cities with biological weapons.So it is all well and good to mourn the dead and ask why. But we need to be able to honestly answer that question with the truth of those times and understand the true reasons behind the ultimate decision.
Open air testing on prisoners was conducted at the the officially named "Water Purification Unit 731" at Pingfan near Harbin, a remote, desolate area on the Manchurian Peninsula.
In 1940, a plague epidemic in China and Manchuria followed reported overflights by Japanese planes dropping plague-infected fleas. The Japanese attacked hundreds of heavily populated communities and remote regions with germ bombs. There appears to have been a massive germ war campaign in Yunnan Province bordering Burma. Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China, and Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in wells and ponds. In all, tens of thousands, and perhaps as many 200,000, Chinese died of bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax and other diseases. "
When I call he says he's at the hospital and that it isn't him who is injured.
Well thank God for that!
There was an officer involved shooting early Sunday morning. It was one of hubby's friends and coworkers. Some loser decided it would be a laugh to lead officers on a high speed pursuit, then when cornered to try to ram the officer.
Nice. Hubby didn't get home until after 9 a.m. That is a 15 hour shift. :( I hate those.
Clearly this idiot had no regard for anyone else. His actions led an officer to shoot his firearm and wound the moron who then took off at a run. He was arrested a little later and taken to the hospital.
This officer has a family and friends. Shooting someone is not as easy as they make it look in the movies. It involves trauma to the shooter and his family that you may not realize.
The details that I'm sharing here are as much as I know, however, because hubby won't share anything else with me. I learned what I know from the news on Sunday morning. Hubby says that the matter is under investigation and if he told me anything, and then was asked if he told anyone, he'd have to say yes. And then I'd be liable to answer questions.
Okay, fine. I get that. I hate not knowing the details but I get it.
The officer, hubby's friend, is okay. His wounds were minor. But it could just as easily have been my hubby who caught the action that night. Just as easily been him to draw his gun (which he still has not had to do in 8 years as a Trooper) and now be on administrative leave while the investigation takes place.
This is why they train. Our State Troopers are first class. Hubby's sergeant even called to check on us - including me - to see how we were doing. Sergeant wasn't scheduled to be on duty for Sunday night but went out anyway to work with his men and make sure everyone was okay. Hubby was due to be out all by himself so I'm glad there were other Troopers out with him last night.
This morning when he got home I asked how his night was and he said "boring."
I said...I'm glad! :) Boring means safe. Exciting means danger. Thankfully, their jobs are pretty much boring most of the time. It's that small percentage of time where the excitement makes their jobs dangerous and sometimes deadly.
Please keep the officer's family and coworkers in your prayers. He's an A-Class guy who did his job to protect us law abiding folks.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Bernie Mac died!!!
He was only 50 years old. :( I had no idea he was even sick!
The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.
That is just so sad. He leaves behind his wife and children.
I found him to be very funny and I really enjoyed watching him act. I feel horrible for his family.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
It's an AR-15 apparently. For some reason I keep wanting to call it an AK47. lol His trooper buddies got a kick out of that (and by kick, I mean they laughed at me!).
He just got it on Tuesday. Yesterday he and a buddy went to the range and practiced shooting with it. He'd had it less than a day and was taking it all apart and cleaning it yesterday. He cracks me up.
He's as bad as I am with beads and tools - talking about all the extra accessories he wants to get for it. Sheesh. He'll have some overtime shifts to work with all the money he wants to spend on this thing.
On the other hand...at least he's well armed. :) Look out bad guys!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Here she takes a nap with foster papa - with...on...what's the difference?
Kodiak's butt apparently makes a really good pillow.
Kodiak is not so happy. That is his "mom, make her stop" face.
Be sure to visit my doggies and our adventures at Home Zookeeper.
And by the way, Bullet (the dog with space issues) is available for adoption via Ginger's Pet Rescue. I've tried convincing hubby to let me keep her but he is being stubborn.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Unfortunately the opulent clothing was pretty much all that was excellent. Kirsten Dunst was excellent but the movie itself was just okay and kind of slow. If hubby had been home he'd have demanded we watch something else or he'd have fallen asleep. A lot of repetitive scenes...how many times do we need to see them eating a meal?
However I do love the story of Marie Antoinette and have always felt a lot of pity for her, despite her reputation as a selfish airhead who wasted France's finances. I think she got a bad rap and was a victim of bad timing.
Married off at the age of 14 she did her duty bringing the Austrian and French countries together in marriage. I can't imagine being married so young and expecting to start producing heirs - which was hard since their marriage was rumored not to be consummated for quite some time.
The pressure of being a young future queen was compounded by a mother who chastised her for not being pretty, lacking talent, and being unable to entice her husband to bed. In diversion she turned to expensive hobbies - shopping, gambling, and parties. I cannot blame her. Rejection from a husband, catty back stabbing from the ladies of the court, and all around pressure of being queen - who wouldn't seek relief?
The movie goes through most of her life, touching on one affair though she was rumored to have many, only in brief snippets. It seemed very shallow and did not truly explore the complex life and times in which she lived.
It seems the press was hardly kinder then than it is today with rumors and cruel stories of the Queen's excesses - though sometimes based on partial truths they were almost always significantly exaggerated or outright false.
Marie Antoinette's story is fascinating and tragic. While being queen in my fantasies is fun, the real thing doesn't seem nearly as divine.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I debated whether or not to share my success for a couple of reasons. One, I don't want people thinking about saving money when I want them SPEND money on my jewelry. *grin* And two, if more people start couponing then it could decrease the number of deals out there. Granted, this second one is probably just psychological since there are so many people who will just never coupon. No matter how much they could save.
So because I'm having so much fun saving and getting free stuff I decided that I had to share. It's taken over the last couple of months - clipping coupons, finding coupons, trading coupons, and learning about corporate policies and where the deals can be found.
Yesterday, Walgreens had a Buy $20 get $5 off coupon that was only good for that day. These are a big deal because if you do it right you can end up with quite a bit of free stuff. I wasn't too interested in some of their rebate items so I ended up paying a little bit - but not $20. Not even $15.
I estimate (conservatively) that the products above are worth around $70 retail. I paid less than $9.
Well, actually, I plunked down $28 but after rebates and a register reward coupon worth $7 my total becomes $8.98. Using a raincheck, coupons, sales, and rebates I saved more than 87% of my bill.
[Caveat...I'm still unsure how to count that $7. It is off of a future purchase so I technically am not saving that $7 on this order. But it is like money and can be used on future items that I'll get for free or cheap. Most people double count the savings but I don't like doing that. My total before the RR then becomes $15.98 making my savings 77%. The RR will count as savings off my next order.]
Will I use 6 bottles of Herbal Essence shampoo/conditioner? Not today. Not tomorrow. But we will use it. I'm probably going to give away the Bio Infusion shampoo/conditioner - it was free and I'll earn about $1.20 on it. The chocolate is now at work and will get eaten very quickly. Who doesn't love expensive chocolate? It's even better when it's so cheap (regular price is more than $4 a bag). The Kleenexes we go through like water and I'll be buying more of those as they go on sale this month. I have about 30 coupons for them. :) The cat litter is for my mother in law and I paid $2.99 for 14 pounds (regular price is $7.99).
If you are looking to squeak more out of your budget I highly recommend joining Hot Coupon World. It can be intimidating at first and takes some getting used to (it almost feels like learning a new language - MIR, FAR, IVC, etc.) but is well worth it. I'm well on my way to building a significant stock of items that we will use - some of them bought for $0 and some of them I even got PAID to buy!!!
I am officially a coupon addict. And I've brought my little cousin and my aunt over to the dark side as well...and I'm working on a coworker. It's so much fun! =)
Yes...I have issues.