Notable Quotable:

Notable Quotable:

Remember, folks: whenever a woman says "die for me because you are a man," just look her in the eye and say "my body, my choice."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fact, Not Opinion

Depression is not a weakness!

It is a treatable medical condition, and a problem.  The weakness associated with it is this: Not acknowledging a problem for which a solution is available.  Most of the time, you really can "get the hell over it, already!"

I so choose.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Catching Up'

The bus is still in the shop awaiting parts, and Maxine will be out of town for the a few more days. I'll be doing nursing home and daycare drop-offs in my car -yay! (Ipod accompaniment)  I seems to take me twice as long as Maxine to do her job.  I can do it, but not very efficiently; Lots of putzy stuff to remember.  (She says she's not organized.  HAH!) And I had to help at the circ desk a bit today - one of the gals had a heart cath today.  We're assuming she'll be out for the rest of the week.  At least.  I really hope she's OK, guess I'll find out tomorrow.

PFC finished combat training and is en route to his next school.  He got Facebook for his cell phone, so now we can stay in touch even more!  He's looking at new computers so we can Skype.

And the phone just rang!  It's him!!!  See ya!

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the Other Hand...

I do understand why the marijuana cow is sacred.  Ever since high school, some of my friends have been casual drug users, including a few very close friends.  I used to have a "live and let live" attitude about those consenting, informed adults, and then I had a child.

Parenthood really does change one's perspective.

 Somewhere along the way, I realized that illegal drugs were readily available to MY SON and his friends, because "consenting adults" kept the local dealers in business.  And those dealers are always happy to accommodate new customers.  Then the charming and delightful Mrs. Dr. Jekyll transformed onto a raving, frothing, rabid PISSED OFF MOTHER BEAR of a Mrs. Hyde.

So believe me, I get it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

...A Butcher Stalks a Sacred Cow...

                                                *HOT-BUTTON ISSUE*
            What is the point of keeping Marijuana illegal?  I don’t use it, and I wouldn’t start if it were legal.  Frankly, I’m still on the fence about legalization, which isn’t necessarily a bad place to be; it’s a tall fence, and there’s a good view of both sides.  Boy, you should see what I see!  Public posturing, irrational knee-jerk reactions, name calling – I’m not sure I want to step in what’s on either side! 
            Let’s be clear: I support law enforcement.  I come from a “good” family.  My dad was a cop for two decades, then he went on to teach criminal justice and public administration.  My mom was a nurse before she raised five kids.  A sister is a Fed, another sister is an EMT, and my brother is a CPA who works for the Lutheran church.  Two siblings are married to attorneys, and I would be a cop if I didn’t have PFC.  (Rotating shifts are bad enough for a mom, but they are impossible when the dad works graveyards with rotating days off.)  I think substance abuse is foolish and potentially dangerous, and I think breaking the law is usually a bad idea.  I drink alcohol, but in moderation.  It’s not a moral issue, although it is hard to find time to get loose when you’re responsible for a child, a home and a job.  For years, I didn’t bother.  These days I just don’t tolerate it well. 

            Anyway, what is the rationale behind marijuana prohibition?  Well, for one thing, it initially got a huge push as a racial issue.  The good ol’ boys in Texas used it to keep the Mexicans in line.  Would white middle class America have cared as much about it otherwise?  Maybe, but perhaps it would have been restricted and regulated like alcohol instead.

            Bigger reason: it’s a “gateway” drug.  Most users of more dangerous drugs started with pot.  This is true.  But why?  And why isn’t alcohol as much of a gateway drug?  I think the difference is availability.  People buy booze from strangers in public places – public transactions.  They buy pot in private, from people who usually want to sell them addictive drugs, because that where the real money is.  They have to develop somewhat trusting relationships with these people.  You see, I don’t think selling weed is very efficient, and I suspect that on the street level there’s not a lot of profit in it (I could be wrong.)   It’s relatively bulky, which leads to the storage issues for high volume dealers, and storing it is inconvenient and risky.  But how many drug dealers routinely give away pot or sell it cheap, then encourage their customers to try something better?  Most of them; isn’t that the standard business model?  I’ve known a lot of pot smokers in my life, and most of them aren’t looking for a better high.  It’s like alcohol is to me; the drug itself does not make me crave something more.  It’s not the substance itself that makes it a gateway drug, it’s peer pressure from the people who sell it.  If that weren’t the case, wouldn’t more alcohol drinkers be looking for drug dealers, wanting to buy “cooler” stuff?  The bottom line, if pot smokers could buy a couple of joints with their beer and groceries, how many of them would endanger themselves by actively seeking out people who commit felonies daily?

             Next reason, weed can be dangerous.  Not more so than alcohol, and less addictive.  A negligible point.

            DUI.  That’s a big one.  It should be illegal to drive impaired by anything!!!  I think people weaving on the road, talking on the phone should be charged with reckless driving.  Not having killed anybody yet doesn’t mean their behavior isn’t reckless.  That’s why cops measure blood/alcohol levels – prevention.  A drunk driver doesn’t have to hit a thing to be arrested.  It would be great if there was a relatively cheap roadside test that instantly measure THC levels as well, but even that shouldn’t be necessary.  I think police should rely less on breathalyzers, and more on videotaped sobriety tests.  That should be the primary standard.  If you display poor reflexes or can’t keep your balance while jacked up on adrenaline, you should NOT be driving.  I don’t care what your BAC is, you are impaired.  Driving under the influence of any drug is the issue, the legality of the drug is not.

            Here’s the tough one, for me anyway.  Marijuana arrests lead to bigger arrests.  Cops routinely use pot arrests as preliminary steps in getting some very dangerous people off the streets.  This is not harassment, or unconstitutional search and seizure; it’s a legal, acceptable tool in the pursuit of public safety.  Law enforcement is enough of a minefield.  It’s a constant struggle for balance between stopping crimes and violating civil liberties.  Not to mention liability and politics, but that’s another subject.  I would hate to deny such a valuable tool to law enforcement.

            In the end, is marijuana prohibition costing us more than we can afford?  Maybe it is.  We really need to stop screaming, and examine this issue in a rational manner.  It’s a matter of safety, personal responsibility, and billions of dollars, and it shouldn’t be treated like a sacred cow.  Oh look!  A pig just flew over the house!!! Frankly, I’ll never know how we came to a relatively sane solution to alcohol prohibition.  I can’t imagine that happening in today’s political climate.   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where There's Smoke...

The bookmobile might be toast.  Should have known yesterday; an employee from another department told me the police had called her(?) at home on a Sunday, to tell her lights were on in the bus at night.  They've been turning  on and off at random when it's wet or even humid for some time now.  The PD also told her the brake lights were on - that's a new one!  Last Friday I took it in to have the steps repaired - the control module that powers the (newish) front step was charred, and had caused the main step switch to short out.   Fixed in a couple of hours.  This morning when I lowered the steps to load today's books, the front step withdrew on its own again.  GRRRR!  It's our busiest day, and we knew we could manage without that step, so we got ready to leave anyway.  As soon as I turned on the engine, the interior lights started sort-of flashing dimly, then came on.  I looked down at my switch panel, and every single switch was lit up.  And smoke was coming out of it.  Well crap.  That is a problem.

I turned everything off (thank God we were still in the driveway) and grabbed the fire extinguisher while Maxine ran a couple of blocks to her mechanic's shop.  He's the closest thing we have to a local mechanic; he doesn't do large vehicles, but he's advised us and helped us out of several jams.  And I send him as much business as I can - he's WONDERFUL!  There was no fire, but he told us the entire fuse panel had shorted out.  It won't even start, so we're having it towed back to the shop.

We've known for a while that eventually, the whole bus is probably going to have to be taken apart and completely rewired, as it was built by retarded monkeys.  Our mechanic can't even get wiring schematics from the manufacturer.  We were hoping for a few more years, since the bus is not quite six years old, but chances are pretty slim that a new fuse panel alone will do the trick.  I'm wondering how many days it will take to get so much as an estimate.  Since the library's budget has been cut by a third this year, I also wonder if we can afford it.  Our director is very pro-bookmobile, and we have one of only a few rural bookmobiles remaining in our state.  If the program can be kept alive, she will do it.  If not, I might be out of a good job.  There's enough other outreach work for one full time employee, and that would be Maxine.

HMPH!  Not happy.  I took a half day sick leave, since I'm still a little under the weather, so I'm going to bed.  Phooey.

EEEWW!  The cat just jumped in my lap with a fresh wet dingleberry hanging from his butt-fluff!  Nice.  Definitely going back to bed. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Almost too tired to write.  I'm fighting a cold or something, and having an episode of "maybe/maybe not fibromyalgia."  My legs feel like lead, and I'm exhausted but I can't sleep deeply.

Made worse by Tuesday.  Griping and grumbling, I was actually laughing by the time we got the bookmobile on the road.  It's a good thing the roads were still so bad we had to skip a couple of stops.  It took me an hour and a half to get the bus ready to go.  First, Maxine tells me the front step is down and the back step is up.  We've been having (more) trouble with the electric steps, and had already scheduled a service appointment for Friday.  Neither step responded to the switch.  We've worked without them before, in fact we carry around a sturdy metal step for emergencies. The problem here is the front step being stuck down; we can't drive like that.  Duh.  And I knew the solution.  I had to disconnect the step from the motor arm, and wire it up.  In the snow.  At 16 degrees.  And people wonder why I bring my silly, noisy, fat snow pant to work!  I had to call the repair shop, just to make sure I was looking at the right parts.  Using pliers, a hammer and a huge screwdriver, I pulled the pin, and used a coat hanger to secure the step.  Yeah, I'm that good.  Next I had to check the portable step in the cargo box.  Which was frozen shut.  20 minutes and 1/2 a bottle of windshield deicer did the trick, and ruined my gloves.  Finally it was time to unplug the shore line and hit the road.  Except the cord was spiraled along the ground, and three sections of it were buried under 4 inches of ice!  Hammer time! (the head, not the claw)  I broke ice while Maxine brought pitchers of hot water.  We did get to our first stop on time, but I had already put in a full day's work!  Since the route was abbreviated, I went home early and went to bed.  

Sleep is at the top of my To Do list this weekend.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Seat Belt Laws

Courtesy of

Maine wants to make seatbelt violations "secondary," rather than "primary."  In effect, cops couldn't pull over a violator for that alone; a ticket could only be issued in addition to another (primary) violation.

Here's a thought.  Let's abolish ALL seatbelt laws, but with a catch.  Treatment of injuries caused by not wearing seatbelts, should be considered elective, because in essence, it is.  Let the insurance companies and Medicaid DENY coverage, and allow the hospitals to limit "free" treatment.   This could also apply to motorcycle helmets.  Injuries caused by reckless stupidity are NOT accidental.  Sensible people shouldn't have to pay for fixing stupid people's mistakes.  I wonder how much cheaper health care would be if the industry weren't absorbing the cost of blatant idiocy.  I'm all for helping under- and uninsured people get necessary healthcare, but treatment for these injuries should not be considered necessary, because the injuries aren't necessary.  If you want a new nose, you open your checkbook and pay for the results.  If you want to risk life and limb, you should be prepared to pay for those results as well.

 So says a smoker who expects her premiums to go up any day now.

On a personal note, I just spent an hour on the phone with PFC.  He can't leave base today, or he wouldn't be back in time for firewatch.  He's enjoying combat training, and paying attention, as his chances of encountering combat are pretty high.  And of course he likes having quite a bit more freedom than he had in basic.  He's been watching winter on the news.  He's sure not complaining about the mild weather in CA, but he's ever-so-slightly bummed that he's missing the longest, whitest Hooterville winter in recent memory.  At least he got some snowboarding in  while on leave.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recovering Catholic Part 4

I Googled 21st Century Christian.  How very intellectual of me.  Sooo maybe I missed some HUGE movement full of new insights and profound thoughts.  If not, I am so NOT a "21st Century Christian."
It appears to be ---big surprise coming--- More Of The Same!  Fundamentalism after cosmetic surgery.

*Heresy Alert*

The Bible has become the worshiped idol.
Religion is complicated, and that is it's first failing.  It leads people away from God.

Simplistic of me?  Yep.  The Golden Rule is simple.  Not easy, but simple, and every moral and ethical path leads right back to it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

View from the Back Deck

*The pretty side of what I chipped, picked and pried off the car...*

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No, I am NOT a New Age Spiritualist...

                So, one slow day on the bookmobile, I picked up a new book to skim.  It held my attention, and I finished it; it’s called “Evidence of the Afterlife” by Jeffrey (and Jody) Long with Paul Perry.  Then I went to the website, 

and I’ve been browsing occasionally ever since.  The book summarizes a fascinating study of Near death Experiences; the data in the study is on the website, and is continually updated.  Since there's no physical evidence of these events, and little verification, the data is mostly anecdotal.  Rather soft by scientific standards, but very compelling.  The “hard” science involves the current state of neuroscience, and it’s pretty limited, so I need to do some more reading.   Elsewhere.
            My problem with the website is that the Longs are clearly very fond of the answers they propose.  As are most authors of "scientific" studies.  This is my gripe with mainstream science: it’s as dogmatic as any religion.  I guess it has to be, ironically, for the sake of credibility.  If something can’t be proven, Science isn’t supposed to acknowledge it.  It doesn’t exist, except among those wild-eyed fringe freaks.  When said freaks manage to come up with something valid, Science pays attention.  Anyhow, while I don’t necessarily subscribe to the Longs’ answers, I am riveted by the questions raised! 
            Is there something in this world that’s non-physical and not measurable?  Can the human consciousness exist outside of the human body?  It appears so.  And it makes perfect sense to me that the encounters with “the Divine” are understood in the context of the individuals’ personal experience.  A lot of Christians are certain they encounter Jesus. (Imagine the uproar if a Christian woke up and said, “Holy crap, the real God IS Allah!  We were wrong!”)  The subjects also frequently meet people they recognize, including deceased relatives they’ve never seen.  All in all, these experiences could be some kind of little-known hallucinations.  They are probably not “anoxia hallucinations” (lack of oxygen,) which are characterized by chaos, confusion and extreme anxiety.  In the end we can’t know what they really signify, if anything.
            The aspect of this data that science really shouldn't dismiss, is the verifiable knowledge learned during “death.”  A number of the subjects “saw” and “heard” what was happening while they were unconsious and possibly dead.  And not just in the same room, but in physical places nearby!  I have fainted several times in my life, and I can assure you, vision and hearing are the first senses to go – I’ve been standing up and mentally aware as my sight and hearing went kaput.  These “dying” people, (I don’t say “dead” because nobody knows the actual level of brain activity) KNOW what can only be learned through physical senses that are NOT functioning.  Very thought provoking.
            Recently I stumbled on this account.'s_nde.htm
How cool is that?  Imagine the scenario:  Chances are, Jesus was a real person; he did change history, after all.  Maybe he was just an ordinary guy, with the same divinity we all share.  After his first NDE, he spent his life trying to share his knowledge of God and Heaven.  Of course he was executed for what he taught!  And the rest was a combination of politics and legend.  Could it be, THAT was the start of Christianity?
            Oh, the possibilities!  Of course, both Science and Religion emphatically agree – it’s all bunk!