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Julius Caesar's great-great-granddaughter

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(no subject) [Apr. 6th, 2013|08:21 am]
I'm posting this everywhere:

If you are a programmer, you'll love it.  If you're not, you probably won't understand most of it...
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My thoughts on the most recent shooting tragedy, and the resulting reactions: [Jan. 12th, 2013|10:47 pm]
Banning assault rifles is not going to solve the problem, and here's why.  Someone who is intent on hurting others will find a way to do it, no matter what.

Consider that of two of the largest mass murders in U.S. history, one utilized fertilizer and the other one used planes.  You don't need an assault rifle, or even a gun to kill lots and lots of people, just the will to do it and enough knowledge to make it happen.  

And banning assault rifles will do nothing about the hundreds (probably more than a thousand) of children who die every year from child abuse.

But before my pro-gun friends get too smug, arming more people is not the answer, either.  See sentence 2 in paragraph 2.

More specifically, while argument #1 will inspire people to find new ways of killing, this argument will simply make killers be more prepared for return gunfire.  And the killer has one very distinct advantage - they know what they are going to be doing, and no one else does.   Consider the Tower shootings at UT Austin in 1966 ( How would having a gun have helped you if you had been there?  Then there was the guy who shot up Fort Hood, in the middle of a military base filled with people with guns.  He still managed to kill 13 people.

Before I go on to my next point, I want to clarify something about myself.  I don't own any guns, and don't want to.  I don't object to banning guns based on the 2nd amendment either.  I object, because I believe it violates the spirit of a more fundamental right - the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.  

Now both of these proposals share one trait - neither require the person making the proposal to give anything up.   And that is what needs to change.

Until people are willing to make a true sacrifice, to give up something that they value, we will never even reduce this problem (I have no hope of eliminating violence - it's too ingrained into our psyche.)  We each need to look at the groups we belong to, not the groups we don't belong to; to the things we do, not the things we don't do.  

What do I think?  I saw some themes when I was looking these events up:  domestic abuse, bullying and suicide.   I think that in some way, these events are perhaps an unrecognized form of suicide; an extension of the murder-suicide events that have become so prevalent.  What I think will reverse this trend is not gun control, but those who are working toward ending domestic violence, bullying and suicide.
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(no subject) [Oct. 29th, 2012|12:13 pm]

We are down to the last few days of the presidential election (thank goodness). I have not expressed any opinions in this race, because well, if you know me at all you already know who I support. However, today I have something I want to say. This is NOT along the lines of "this candidate is evil" or "that candidate qualifies for sainthood".

First, a rant. It really angers me when I hear "The president did not fulfill his campaign promises". The president is not a monarch. He does not rule by fiat. All any president can do is work to make his promises happen; if he works toward that goal and doesn't make it that doesn't mean he "didn't fulfill" that promise, it just means that he wasn't able to. Now, if the president just flat out works in opposition to a promise he made, then feel free to bitch about what he promised versus what he did.

Second, who should you vote for? It isn't really about electing the president, although that's what it looks like from here, right? The president doesn't actually have all that much power - he can veto bills, but not sponsor them; he can hire people to head the various executive agencies and give them direction, but the house and senate determine the operating budgets; and he acts as the head of the U.S. In business terms, the president is CEO, the senate & house function as the board of directors; and we are all the shareholders.

The president also acts as the leader and primary representative of his party. So when you elect the president, you're also saying that this is the platform you support; this is the direction you want the nation to go.

So, go read the party platforms. It's guaranteed that there will be things in there that you like and things that you dislike. You can vote for the the party that promises things you want, or you can vote against the party that promises things you are against (IMO, this means you're less likely to be dazzled by BS).

Democratic national platform:

Republican national platform:

Finally, are you a voting C&E'er?* Are you only voting for the president? Voting in other races means that you will be influencing not just what affects you more closely, but also what direction the parties take in the long run. And if you don't like the two party system, if it's even possible to change, it's going to have to change from the bottom up.

*person who only goes to church on Christmas and easter.

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(no subject) [Oct. 17th, 2012|02:53 pm]
If I used the word ektismyad for a type of creature, would that word make your eyes cross?
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(no subject) [Sep. 28th, 2012|12:46 pm]

From xo_kizzy_xo
INSTRUCTIONS: Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, underline the ones you use at least once a month, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.


I wonder how many pasta machines*, breadmakers*, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, crepe makers, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans*, jam funnels, pie funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders*, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers*, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors*, stand mixers*, mincers, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars*, gratin dishes*, apple corers, mango stoners and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.

Pasta machines - I actually have two machines. Why do I have two machines when I don't use them more than once every couple of years? First, both were pretty much free - one a gift and the other from a sample sale. Second, I would like to try making pasta. Third, I use one of them for playing with Fimo type clays and you do NOT want to use it for food after that, especially something as hard to clean thoroughly as a pasta maker is.

Breadmaker - I go through phases, but I've always loved being able to measure out a few ingredients, punch a button and have bread 4 hours later. However, now that I have a stand mixer, the breadmaker may have to go away.

Griddle pans - if this means an electric griddle, I have one and even though I don't use it very often, there's nothing better for cooking massive amounts of pancakes or hamburgers.

Coffee grinders: two, since both Bob and I had one before we married. One for coffee, one for spices.

Ice cream maker: a Donvier mini manual ice cream maker that I really need to get rid of.

Food processor: I don't use it often, but it is a must if I want to make 5 minute ice cream!

Stand Mixer: I just inherited one from mom, with ALL the toys. I am so looking forward to playing with this.

Pestle and mortar: Don't have one, and I keep hoping I'll find one for a reasonable price at an estate sale. BTW, if you want to get a bunch of kitchen stuff, check out estate sales - they're treasure troves of all things kitchen-y.

Gratin dishes: Don't ask me why, but I like individual serving dishes. Something about the lasagna bowls we had when I was growing up.  I also have both round and heart shaped ramekins.

linkShimmy for me

(no subject) [May. 3rd, 2012|11:22 am]
This is an interesting article: A new kind of couples therapy

Instead of traditional counseling, which is aimed at preserving the marriage, this type of counseling is aimed at making sure that both parties do the best thing possible, for themselves and for their future. In addition to working with the couple together, the counselor works with each individual to deal with the fall-out of a problematic marriage.

Some points that the article makes is that often when a couple gets into marital counseling, one of them is just doing it to soften the blow, or to make it appear that they made an effort. And the other person is (understandably) feeling blindsided and betrayed, which often leads to poor responses to the situation.

Quotes: "You can't divorce yourself. If people end a marriage without looking at their own contributions to the problems, they are leaving with a big blind spot. And the divorce rate in second marriages is even higher than first marriages."

This sounds like something I'd like to do as a profession.
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Bob update [Oct. 25th, 2011|11:48 am]
Bob is now in a rehab hospital that's just a couple of minutes from home and I'm home again.

The cute short version is that Bob went in for a valve job, they did a tune-up first, and when they finished with the valve job they did a jump start then fixed the timing belt.

October has been a very emotionally exhausting month, and it's not over yet. I mentioned previously that his condition was such that they wanted to improve it before they operated - the Dr. who eventually did the surgery said that if they had operated on the first schedule, there would have been a 8-10% chance of Bob dying in surgery.


They put the surgery off twice, from Monday to Wednesday to Thursday. After he was out of surgery, he had a respirator & a pump in his leg to give the heart a break. For a couple of days, the guy who was responsible removing the pump in the leg said he wouldn't do it until Bob got off the respirator; and the doctor who was going to take him off the respirator said he wouldn't do it until the leg pump was out. I was threatening to make them arm wrestle for who got to go last. While they had him on the respirator, they kept him completely sedated so that he wouldn't thrash around. After they got him off the respirator, he was still hooked up to a dozen or more separate IV drips, and had wires leading to his heart to monitor how well it was doing. Everything beeped, blooped, or made some other sound if something was wrong - everything from finishing up a bag of medicine to Bob's heart running the wrong way. The respirator sounded like a clown car everytime Bob tried to cough, and I swear one of the pump alarms is used on The Price Is Right.

At one point, a nurse came in to do something, so I went to play a game of solitaire for downtime. Looking up two seconds later, there were 8 assorted doctors, nurses and who knows gathered around the bed, and a big rollaround medical thing-y to one side. No one was actually doing anything but looking serious, and one of the people assured me that the cart was there "just in case". They dispersed again a few minutes later.

I suspect this is when they decided to to the "cardioversion". Essentially, they stopped the heart to see if it would come back running at the right speed. Fortunately for my peace of mind, they did this early, when I had gone to lunch. (I was back in time for the scheduled treatment, but when I got there, Bob was awake again and the staff were tidying up.)

After that, they decided to install a permanent pacemaker. This actually got done when they said it was going to be done. Amazing.

He was supposed to go to the rehab hospital the day after they put the pacemaker in, but they put it off one day because the numbers weren't right, then changed their minds while I was home doing laundry, then the rehab hospital wasn't ready while I was driving back to the hospital. Sheesh. We finally got him moved to the rehab hospital last Wednesday (leaving after 3 when they thought he would be leaving at 9). Very frustrating, but we were both relieved when he got there. At least now that he is there, they won't come up with another reason to do surgery. The rehab place is just a few minutes from home, so I can do round trips quickly if he wants something from home, and I can stay till it's just about time to go to sleep.
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(no subject) [Oct. 24th, 2011|11:08 am]
Seen on an AD/HD board:

"I don't want to be like you. I want to be like me, and for that to be okay."
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(no subject) [Oct. 7th, 2011|09:58 am]
Bob came through surgery yesterday quickly at least, but they've got him on both a respirator and an extra pump in his leg to give his heart a break. To keep him from freaking, they're keeping him unconscious. But he made it through the first night, so I think that's the most dangerous time.
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(no subject) [Oct. 4th, 2011|08:00 pm]
Bob has been having problems breathing at night for about two months. After the usual trail of tests and doctors, we arrived at the hospital Monday to have a valve replaced in Bob's heart. He was scheduled for surgery Monday, but he was having so much trouble breathing when they were prepping him that they put off the surgery until Thursday, so they could get the problems causing the breathing issue under control.

We are hanging out in the hospital until then, and probably several days after as well. They even have a couch in the room for me to sleep on, so I don't have to go back home every night.

If any of my N. Dallas peeps want to come say hi, we're in room 615 in the Baylor Heart Hospital at Preston & 190.
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