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On the side of a hill in the deep forest green, tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground,
blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain sleeps unaware of the clarion call.
On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves washes the grave with silvery tears,
a soldier cleans and polishes a gun.
War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions, generals order their soldiers to kill
and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Brain Death

That was a week. Really. And next week isn't looking all that much better. Caught between rigid regulations, conference room decision making, and other deadlines which have slipped. Didn't get everything done that needed to be done, and I'm out of hours. My guess is, I won't get caught up next week before I'm out of hours again. The bonus is that I know I have a good aid in one person, and I'm pretty sure I have another good aid in another person. That will be my saving grace (I hope).

This week, belatedly, I posted the full manuscript for critique. Unfortunately I didn't get to do at least one full rewrite. I'm sure there's a few howlers there in the last half of chapters. Only time will reveal them. So the question now, is what to do? Should I continue with the rewrites, work on short stories, and or start/restart another novel? Finding the time will be difficult for any of it, but I really need to get back to writing.

Writing links starts with a SFWA round up of "first novel sales" data (links to other articles). then there's Joshua Palmatier is pimping Benjamin Tate's new book, Well of Sorrows. Just getting the word out.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Perfectly Safe

Remember the discussion about how if something went drastically wrong with an offshore oil rig, all the safety talk about how the flow of oil would automatically be cut off. There would be no need to be concerned about it.

So, sure, we lost 11 people on the rig (IIRC). But on the plus side, pre-boiled shrimp.

Guess where most of our shrimp comes from, and guess when they do the major fishing season. Also points if you know when hurricane season starts and just what a hurricane would do to the Gulf Waters as it might pass through.

As Bender says, "We're boned."

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Paucity of Over Scheduledness

Things are going to be very busy the next few days, so I might not be around so much on these here intertoobies.

Today the good prospect was supposed to be calling people, and I didn't get a ring-a-ding-ding. Maybe their schedule is slipping. Trying to remain positive. They will call, they will call, they will call. Soon.

The temp day thing continues apace. Just talked with my manager (who won't be for such for much longer as he found permanent employment) and asked him, "Okay, do you happen to have a Plan C?" (Just talked with him, we're going to punt and see what happens).

So, time to pack up the car with all the extra stuff and try to fall asleep as it's an early and long tomorrow.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy World Malaria Day

Sorry I didn't get you a cake or anything.

But, hey, I am typing to you during the middle of the first large thunderstorm of the Spring Season. April showers bringing May flowers and all.

Dear local TV stations. It really sucks that a major storm is passing overhead and you've got nothing on your screens. The Youngstown station has a little map, but it doesn't show Ashtabula. However, the 2 counties south of us have Sever Thunderstorm Warnings (my guess is so do we). Really don't care about the sports programming, would be nice to see what's happening out there (and the Weather Channel is into their stupid weather stories programming).

Since there's a discussion going on with Anonymous Cassie in the comments (and this topic has been brought up once or twice in our discussions), I point to this blog post by Tim Wise entitled, "Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black." (Grokked from Jay Lake) Not necessarily an argument about if the TPM is racist, but maybe throwing a clarifying light on privilege and tolerance of language. Not all of his arguments point to prominent people, but most of them directly lead back to non-fringe (in public position) characters. It's an interesting exercise. But hey, it might not be entirely their fault, considering this study abstract which demonstrates that "Participants subliminally primed with Christian words displayed more covert racial prejudice against African-Americans (Study 1) and more general negative affect toward African-Americans (Study 2) than did persons primed with neutral words."

Also, because it came up is discussion with Anonymous Cassie, some statistics. A Washington Post article on Zero Job Growth for the Aughts. There's another article showing percentage GDP growth by decade, unfortunately I didn't link to it when I found it. The chart shows larger growth for the 50s and 60s, slowing growth for the 70s and 80s, a resurgence in the 90s, and then the worse growth since the Great Depression for the aughts. They talk about various reasons, the causes du jour. But what I'd like to have you keep in mind looking at their charts is this, in the 40s-60s we had a highly progressive income tax and, compared to today's standards, massive government regulation and interference in the markets. That started lessening in the 70s, accelerated in the 80s, swung partially the other way in the 90s, and then went back to full throttle tax cuts and deregulation in the aughts. IMHO, "tax cuts and deregulation spur economic growth" is as much a myth as the "markets favor Republican Administrations" (which I did an article on a while back disproving it). It sounds nice, but doesn't work in reality.

Also, a Salon article on the number of Snopes.com entries comparing GW Bush and Obama. (Grokked from Jay Lake) Also indicative of why and how certain responses are happening currently in the political theater.

Now I need to go do other things than research on economic forecasts and structures.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Poll Dancing Redux

Intellectual dishonesty in the morning, smells just like skunk at night. So, have you seen how the Pew Poll on Distrust has been spun. Yes, the news organizations (well, mostly Fox) lump together those who completely distrust the government and those who only trust it sometimes to get the staggering figure of 70+% distrust the government. See what they did there, the took the people who only trust the government "sometimes" and lumped them in with those who never trust government to do something right. One of these things is not like the other.

It's intellectual dishonesty, but then it's also what I've come to expect.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Friday Whine Set to Medium

You know, for a part-time job with flexible hours, this thing is taking up an awful lot of brain space and time. I don't think I've done a job search since Tuesday, and I'm way behind in rewrites and new work.

I'm sure after next week things will settle down, but I'm having my doubts. Also, I'm really not liking the feeling that if the good job calls for an interview on Monday they're going to say, "Sorry, can't meet you after hours, there's plenty of people we can interview during regular business hours." Yeah, I know, fear of something in the future which I can't control.

And I have the nagging feeling that my district is the "bad boy" of the bunch. I seem to be getting all the problem issues. Not saying that none of the other people aren't having their share, but if someone else has an issue, I have the same one. And I also have other issues that I don't think the other people are having. Maybe I'm just being whiny and need to vent. I don't know. But as Han said approaching the moon, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Regrets, I have a few.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cut the crap

To my fellow brethren who disparage the Tea Party and other conservative policy promoters (anti-climate change people, anti-science people, etc), knock off the crappy behavior and clean up your act.

No, seriously. Yes, debate the issues all you want. When the opposition tells a lie, call them on it. When they act in both shameful and/or ludicrous manners, call them out on it. If they shout, out shout them at that point. And, BTW, it might be a good idea to carry recording devices with you to stop the "but there's no tape so it didn't happen" silliness.

However, doing things like attacking them physically, leaving bone-headed messages, and, in general, acting like the worst examples of the opposition is not what's needed. This cannot be won by a "but they started it first" discussion.

Counter them with facts and knowledge. Civil discourse. Even standing up to them (which is sometimes all it takes) and telling them they're wrong and show them where their arguments go into fairy tale land. You might look at the current arguments against Sen. Mitch McConnell's howlers over the financial reform bill for some guidance.

Remember Wheaton's Law, "Don't be a dick." Nobody is served by acting that way. I understand your frustration, but you misunderstand their level of spin. They fully believe what they say, name calling won't change their position.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies

Hey, the ever fabulous Justine Larbalestier just just found herself short-listed for the award from the Children’s Book Council of Australia. And it's for her latest book Liar!. You oughta go tell her just how fab she is (because she is).

Debating with myself

Okay, good job closed applications yesterday. Called them at the beginning of this thing. I have at least two or three people dropping a good word for me with the organization.

Here is the question, though. Should I call them again with a general, "Still really excited about the opportunity. Can I answer any questions you may have at this point?" spiel. Also debating the "I'm working for the Census now" conversation.

Job description was slightly different than what the position supposedly does in real life. Application was focused on what the stated job requirements were. All the employment/resume advice I've received so far points to making the call (networking is 60-90% of the employment market, need to show enthusiasm and interest for the position including research, and it all comes down to that 1% difference between you and the next person so followup, thank you notes, and contacts is what can separate you from gainful employment and continued unemployment). Employment advice also focuses on "keeping active" while on unemployment (I think working for the Census would apply here, so would the council stuff, editing/critiquing friends' writing, and rewriting the novel), and I don't think any of that shows through on the application.

So far, one against annoying the potential employer, and one for making a reminder call. What say you all?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poll Dancing

Speaking of 15 years ago, and because it'll be of relevance to some of you, the Pew Poll on distrust, anger, and partisan rancor. Which reading it shows something slightly different than how it's being portrayed on the news shows. It's like all the news shows just read the headline and didn't get through the analysis (yeah, strange that). Related, a Gallup poll showing Democratic satisfaction numbers are up (which isn't a good thing for the elections, BTW), Independents are trending up, and Republicans remain the same (there's a link at the end for a fuller report, I haven't gone through that one yet).

Somewhat related, a Gallup poll on who people trust on the economy. I'm sure you won't see this one on Fox News. Basically, of all he people in some position of power to affect the economy, President Obama still scores highest (admittedly down over the year, but still higher than everybody else).

It's the talk of the town, the possible effects of the Tea Party during the midterms. (Pew Poll)

Of relevance to the current part-time thing, who maybe the hold outs on the Census. Your public education at work. First off, and we can't say this on the road, your participation is mandatory by law (hey, it's in the Constitution). Yes, and notice education and home ownership are the major differentiating factors here. (Pew Poll)

And, housing is looking up.

That other date on the calendar

I was working downtown Cleveland and had taken an actual lunch (instead of just going down to the McD's) to go get blades for my electric razor. Inside the Remington Store in the Arcade, there was a TV up in the corner above a display case of knives. On the screen smoke billowed from a semi-circular hole in front of a building. If it had been taller, I would have thought someone was replaying footage of the attack on the Marine's barracks in Lebanon. I didn't remember any helicopter footage of that scene, though. And the sunlight looked all wrong. Lunch, for me, was over.

The clerk rang up my purchase and I asked what was on the TV. I could hear a speaker behind the counter, but it wasn't loud enough to hear in front of the counter. He said it was something happening in Oklahoma. For a second I worried. I knew people in Oklahoma. And I didn't know where exactly they worked.

I had, however, heard about the Murrah Federal Building. A favorite target of nutbags West of the Mississippi (and some points East). The world wasn't nearly connected then. Sure, I ran back to the office taking the steps two at a time (the Remington Store was downstairs at the Arcade). Jogged through Tower City and then to my cubicle. CNN hadn't updated yet. Nobody knew what was happening.

And then the afternoon exploded. Most people had heard about Radical Islamic Terrorist by that date. The Blind Sheik had tried to blow up the World Trade Center with a Ryder Truck packed with an ammonia-nitrate bomb blowing a hole in the lower parking deck and killing a few people. Suddenly, and without cause, they all knew it had to be a muslim. I wasn't quite positive, but I was pretty sure it would turn out to be a "Amurican" of the disgruntled military variety.

Others didn't believe me. Surely no American would do this. It had to be foreign radicals.

Fifteen years ago today. Times haven't changed much. Except now we have the internets and Fox News which creates an even more intense echo chamber.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No rewriting today. Brain didn't want to work. A lot of paperwork got pushed. Food got eaten. Words, not so much written. However, I did update my portfolio. See, the good job closes tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be interviewing this week and that will be a necessary part of it. Also this week will see working on my own for the Census, and there's plenty to be read and get together. I'm sure I should probably have gotten a head start, but the government only pays for so much. But really hoping for the good job. Really, really hoping.

But I did get some recreational reading done. And below are two links from that.

And yet another reason why there should be little tolerance for mercenaries. Well, it's also an example of what happens when you mistake political ideology for a business plan. However, it should be noted, Blackwater ne Xee, was just a bad example of people who had political connection and cowboy bravado. You don't hear very much about Triple Canopy, which is about ten times as large and at least three times as old as Blackwater.

Going around the internets are links to a story that talked about how "great things were back in the 1880s" by a Jacob Hornberger. So far, this takedown on Kos is the one I agree with most. I don't read Kos, only when I'm linked to it (this is grokked from Jay Lake, whom I believe had it from someone else). This argument is the perfect example of what's starting to be called "the memory hole." There's plenty of that going on right now, people who forget just how far to the right this country has slewed since Reagan was elected President. So far that the justices now retiring are considered "liberal" when in fact they were (at one time) "center right" (a term that is now called "moderate", however the actual political position is now "center left", but only because the right has moved hard right) and they didn't adjust their positions that much. The money shot from the Kos article, on the libertarian "paradise" of 1880s, "You can reach this land of paradise with a couple of flights and a short boat ride. It's called Somalia." (Emphasis in the original) There are moderating statements, such as "... actual Libertarians realize that for individual rights to have any meaning, they require the presence of a body that can ensure those rights." What's happening, as the article suggests, is as "Republican" becomes tarnished in the same way they tarnished "Liberal", conservatives are hunting for a new label, and they are settling on "Libertarian."

And then there are the pictures of the volcanic eruption in Iceland that currently is grinding trans-Atlantic air travel to a halt. Wows.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

WIPping in the wind

We have an extension, and I've been working hard on chapters this afternoon. Some major additional text, and a few "that don't make no sense," edits. Salt in some "but you said this over here which contradicts or repeats that" edits and we've done some work today. So we have an updated word count.

This morning we went to Lakeland Community College for "Free College Day." They have a few classes you can attend for free. Basically a big, "Don't you want to go/come back to school" advertisement. One class was on genealogies, I went to another on grammar (can't never get enough of that grammar stuff), and then to a class on radiology. It promised to have disturbing images, and a few people did have to leave, but I guess they weren't all that disturbing to me. One extra showed a major leg break and Bette and I said, "Hey, that looks familiar" (wasn't me, but it was close). Quite a number of "foreign object insertions" which were just wrong. Some things I'm sure would put some people off their lunch. There were a number of radiological students in that class (I took notes on some of the things they were saying).

I wanted to go to that final class to see if I had what it would take. And if I couldn't view the xrays/CRT/MRI scans without having a problem, then I might need to rethink my future plans. While there were a bunch of images that most people might go "oooo, ewwwww" (like one CRT slide with an enlarge aorta that's begun to weaken, and the next slide show it burst, or the conjoined infants), but it was the severed spine that affected me most. Probably because I recognized it instantly, and that it meant a snapped spinal cord.

Tomorrow I'll need to go through my book, also known as my portfolio and add in the latest pieces. That means moment of "I'm the greatest" mixed with "what kind of crap have I been passing off all these years?" Hey, it happens. I may look like a veritable fortress of confidence, but that just masks the insecurities that hide inside.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Week one down

First up, Colleen Lindsay with a real life example of what not to do when querying agents.

Very long day of training that culminated with fingerprint training. Not much fun today. Also, we were supposed to have a worker from our groups there today to also get trained. My person didn't show up. And have I mentioned that I have the largest geographical area within our group? Yeah. Looking like fun fun fun. Fortunately most of the area is very rural, and we get paid for mileage.

Will need to do a bunch of work next week and will probably expend a few phone cards before it's all over.

Long weekend up ahead. Better get to bed soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another long day

Long day, and early day tomorrow.

Some actual design positions opened, but they're a wee far. Applied for them anyway.

Must go to bed so I can get up to go early. Weeee. Hopefully I can be more effusive soon.

Questions

Dear Gubberment,

Please, by all that's Holy to Brid, hire Instructional Designers to do your tests and forms.

Seriously.

Thanks for your attention to this matter,
Me

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Lite

Running all day. More anecdotal evidence of people being hired came in today. Hope it 1) Hits closer to home and 2) comes to my VIllage (as we could really use the increased tax base soon).

MacAllister Stone is interviewed about owning and running Absolute Write.

Much of the Census work comes down to, "Use common sense." And "I'm sorry, but I have to ask these questions this way."

That's it. Been a long day. Maybe got half a chapter done with rewriting. Not good. Hope your week is going better.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday in the Game

First up, fellow VP XIII'er, George Galuschak has a story up at Strange Horizons. Middle Aged Weirdo in a Cadillac. You should go read it.

Spent the day in training. Well, not all day. Most of it was walking through the paperwork. Tomorrow will be the major training part of it. And in a day and a half we'll go through the four days of training I'll need to go through with the enumerators. Right now the job looks like paper shuffling coordination. I think I was the only one in the class who hadn't worked for the Census before, making me the virgin in the room. And actually that created a buzz in the room.

On the plus side of the equation, before we got started there was a general bit of news. Seems like for this group of people, at least two people who were supposed to be there landed jobs and were able to call in to have replacements. And the "extra" person (who would be trained to cover in case one of us landed a job), called in yesterday saying they had a job offer late on Friday. So, the general feeling that at the end of March the job market changed continues. Of course, I wish I had been one of those three, but we do what we can.

One of the major problems for the current hysteria of anti-government fever and hard-core libertarianism. And that's just the roads. You really don't want to know about storm water, septic sewer, water, plowing, line painting,

Somebody is about have the regulations explained to them. Hey, Sgt Gary Stein, my guess is you're about to get a talkin' to, more so than you already have. That thing you stumbled over, yeah, that was the line you crossed. Just like those who opposed President Bush and served honorably, suck it up pal. Now, he is technically correct, he is not required to follow illegal orders (or orders that would cause him to violate laws performing them). There is already a procedure for that, including how to substantiate your claim and what actions may be taken against those who don't follow orders. I hope you've boned up on those regs, Sergeant. And just a reminder, politically disagreeing with the CinC is not an acceptable excuse for not following the lawful orders given you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

WIPped topping

Another chapter rewritten. Another extra hundred words done and out. This rewrite feels a little weird. There's not much cutting or restructuring, mostly extra words to clarify the situation. I'm hoping it because I'm in the area that I knew what was going on and what was supposed to happen.

I really hope I'm not missing something and that I'm doing the right course of action.

I just have a week to finish up edits and then submit the whole thing for critique. On the plus side of things, after that I can start some new things, at least until I need to start reading and critiquing everybody else's stuff.

Tomorrow we start the new job, so I need to get to bed early. Here's to doing something new.

The poll I've been waiting for

A Gallup Poll on who the Tea Partiers are. Very interesting. Would like to see what the actual questions were, but I'm good with the numbers. Also, the one question they didn't ask, or this doesn't show, is who are the ones showing up for the rallies, and which are just the sympathizers.

Not having and can't have

First off, tomorrow I start working for the Man. Well, technically, I have been working for the man, but this time the paycheck is a federal one. The general new job fuzzy stomach feelings are here; am I going to be good at it, will the kids like me. Along with other feelings; this job doesn't have benefits, needs to find one that does, and now I need to factor in a 40 hour a week position to schedule around.

In writing met the deadline yesterday for reading all first 50 of four manuscripts. And while we only needed to read, I did commentary. Then uploaded my preferences. With only the possibility of 5 of us at the retreat, I have a feeling we're going to be critiquing everybody else's pieces. And I still have hopes of being the 5th wheel there. Should know more this week. There's also the possibility if I would get this parks job that the retreat would happen right at the end of a two-week notice and before starting.

I hate this uncertainty. While I don't mind juggling balls, I've been juggling these particular ones since February. I guess I should have just said I couldn't do it, but I almost did that last year and I ended up being able to make it and had a great time. So I'm hoping that I'm able to do it again this time. After all, working for the Man is technically a temporary part-time position. I'm hoping that asking for days off (or having to quit in the middle) isn't going to be a big thing. But you never know until you're into the middle of it to be sure.

We had a little bit of "normal" temperatures for this time of year (30's at night, 50's during the days), but now were back to it being in the upper 60s out there. My neighbors have all started mowing their lawns. I know my grass is growing, but not by that much. I think I'll try and give it another week or two before hauling out the mower. The good thing is that our ornamental tree had budded out. I was beginning to worry.

And now to the not having nice things.

John Scalzi explains why eARCS are not necessarily the best idea since sliced bread. Now, to be fair, if the publicity department sent John say a Kindle with the book preloaded, I'm guessing he might take a wack at it, but I really don't want to speak for him. Now, what John does say, pretty much mirrors my own thoughts on much of the eBook hoopla. Notice, he's not saying the tech is a bad thing, but why make these things harder than they have to be? A printed book is a damn fine piece of kit. It's technology only seems primitive because you've had them around all your life (and I'm going out on a limb here, but I think for most of you that read this blog, the way a book gets printed, physically, has gone through two major technological jumps since you've been alive, and I'm not even including the Print-on-Demand paradigm - which is still occurring) so they seem "boring." Making ebooks difficult to use is not making them more attractive. And there's that whole thing of reading a whole book off the screen. (I'm doing that right now for the critiquing, I'm fairly tech savvy, and it's not a picnic for me).

And now, why we can't have nice things.

When the opposition:


Friday, April 9, 2010

Story Bone

(mistyped in Twitter to friend - fixed before sending though)

No good dead goes unpunished.

Jumping sharks!

If I weren't using linkedin to find a job I would so link to this profile. Just high-larious.

Grokked from the ever fabulous eBear (matociquala)

The conferences you don't attend

Last night my head was filled with dreams of a Viable Paradise I didn't attend.

"Well, of course Greeks place their feathered antennas behind the TV sets. And Egyptians place them beside the TV. That's how you can tell when you're in a Greek's or Egyptian's home."

The same feelings were there, the rushed, hectic not really knowing what the hell I'm doing. The close camaraderie of the participants. The lectures that I think I know what is going on, but later wonder just what I had missed.

"It's all the same Armageddon, it's just that everybody sees their own version of it."

And this was a persistent dream, the kind you wake up from, roll over, and fall back into. So, one, besides remembering dreams, which doesn't always happen (although, with getting enough sleep, I know that I have been dreaming), and two, having the dream carry over between sleep sessions, it was a unique circumstance. The participants were all the same, with the addition of some other friends. The place, however, was an overly decorated Victorian Mansion with lots of overly glossed woodwork.

So I guess now I can now claim to have attended the uber-ultra-secret Viable Paradise seventh lecture.

And, because it makes me squee, picture of a Martian landslide.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm still a bit slow

Just realized how many blogs I haven't added to my Google Reader. To all my friends, I'm sorry I'm slow to getting back to normal, but I've been a bit distracted lately. I'm working on it. The things that makes it a little difficult is the google reader gives me the blog's name, instead of their actual name (which is how I have most of my RSS folder organized).

The good news of starting at the Census is that this week the market for designers swung to all "WEBWEBWEBWEB, oh, and you better be an expert in print design as well." I still have hope for the parks job. I put getting my old job back at somewhere slightly above winning the lottery. And hopefully, if all else fails, by mid summer we'll be back to some sanity in the market.

Fairy Tales and Hobgoblins

Tonight, after the meeting, the sky held 37 buzzards. I've been seeing them for over a month here and there, but tonight's grouping was the largest this season. Not all turkey vultures (what we call "buzzards" here in NE Ohio) migrate, so seeing them over Winter isn't a new thing. But when they appear in numbers, the travelers have returned. It was an extra bonus that the sky was overcast with plenty of swirling and bulbous clouds. Large black birds against a field of mottled grey.

Next Monday we start Census training. The more I learn about being a Crew Leader the less I feel like I know what the heck I'm going to be doing. I guess that's why we have the training. Also, a bonus in that out county was the only county in Ohio that didn't deliver Census Materials to Post Office Boxes. And we have a lot of people who use boxes instead of planting a mailbox. So our crews will have plenty of work.

Also, my guess is there are many people who didn't like the government asking all those pesky questions and spending their money. So we'll now spend a whole lot more being more invasive by having to knock on their door. Probably twice.

Well, I have to say watching Fox News through out the day has entrenched my believe that at the entrance doors to NewsCorp they have a cutout of a clown holding out his hand and a dialog bubble coming out his mouth that reads, "Your IQ must be below this level to enter here."

I guess "diplomatic immunity" is a brand new concept for them. Also the ever present quoting out of context and "Well, technically they're right, but they're still stupid about what it all means," comments in regard to "liberals" and HCR.

Oh, and let the breast beating begin on the lapse of President Bush's Tax Cuts. Say, remember how tax cuts would save our economy, and instead they lead to the worse decade of GNP growth since the Great Depression? Those tax cuts that did such damage to long term revenue projections that even with a Republican majority in the House, Senate, and President that they couldn't stomach making them permanent? Those tax cuts that lowered the high end tax brackets to the lowest they've ever been since the start of the 20th Century, and yet we now hear about how we have the highest taxes in the world (when in fact we have the fifth lowest - it all has to do with what you define as "taxes" - we have the highest if you only include the kinds of taxes that we collected in the US, we're much lower when you look at total tax burden)? Yeah, those. Some of them are about to expire. And the "ZOMG, taxes are going up, it's 2012 two years early," wackiness has begun.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stay on the something-side, always on the whatever

Saw the first bumble-bee, fly, and wasp today. The trout lilly is starting to bloom and the trees are leafing out. Way to early for a climate that can expect their last freeze as late as Mothers Day.

Also, form what I have heard from local farmers, this year's maple syrup season lasted only 3 weeks. That's very short. So, if you're looking for maple syrup, it'll be a little more expensive now. And we didn't have a lot of the weather swings that leads to good syrup. Sigh.

So many things that need to be done, and I just don't want to get them done. Feeling a bit defeated right at the moment.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just some more things to think about

Well, because "end of life care" and "respecting the wishes of those who don't want 'heroic actions' made on their behalf" came up in the discussion over the weekend at Mom's, here's opinion piece on the 5th Anniversary of Terri Shiavo's passing. It is definitely skewed anti-conservative, but gives good reasoning for such. As I remember, Sen. Majority Leader BIll Frist, a doctor, stood in the well of the Senate and gave his medical diagnosis on Terri Shiavo's condition. Fortunately, elected representative have legal liability immunity over their speeches given in the House and Senate, or Dr. Frist may have been looking at a violation of his medical license (not is specialty, he hadn't examined Terri Shiavo personally, and he gave his medical opinion "as a Doctor" - here in Ohio if you'd do that on the street the state board would be asking for their paperwork back). Also, is this the working of the party you want to trust with your medical decisions?

And no, this isn't the first time I've run into the argument of the Right-to-Life crowd wanting to take away the power of Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Wills.

Three shorts

Long day full of meetings. Lots of driving. Lots of sitting around waiting. Mostly about taking classes and future directions. But that also means a day of being offline. So catching up with the internets.

Now, as the sun finished setting, the wind gathers its strength. An onrushing of night. The weather changes to cooler overnight, which was bound to happen. Upper 80s at the beginning of April is not normal.

Tonight's NOVA is about finding planets. So I'm somewhat distracted from the typing. Well, that and the cat mewlings to go outside (they've been inside all day, went out for a few hours, then back in). Compared to these two our first kitty was a blessing. I'm just hoping to get them trained on how to sleep with us, but for the littlest that may be asking too much. For such a small cat, she likes to hog the most of the bed.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday in the future

Well, this morning my brain was on three different tasks and I mistook the 1/4" razor comb for the 1/2" comb. So now my hair is very, very short. Well, at least I didn't use the 1/8" comb (except for my beard, which was why I originally had the 1/4" comb out). Sigh. Another lesson in "mindful living."

I still like that I "cut" my own hair. Some of you may remember when I had a pony-tail. I really like to have longer hair, but I also really like "wash and wear" hair. In the morning I no longer need a few minutes to comb out the tail. I also don't miss it wiping around while I'm driving (I like to drive with the windows open). One day I'll probably grow my hair long again. Obviously it's not going to be this week.

Tomorrow is full of meetings. And there was a late call for a freelance gig. Unfortunately that means I needed to push the freelance back until Wednesday. Not good. But, with an attempt at rearranging all the times end up wrong (noon, or 4:45) instead of meeting bright and early on Wednesday morning.

And, oh look, now that it's warm the idiots on four-wheelers are out again. Yeah, keep zipping up and down the asphalt without helmet or any other gear.

On the positive side, the other night we hear a few coyotes in the fields out back. Sure, you might not think that was positive, but it is. I'm sure the farmer out back will not want to hear about it, and will go shooting up the night like Yosemite Sam on amphetamines. Like he does with the ground hogs that have infested his fields. You know, not realizing that the ground hogs are probably what brought the coyotes here in the first place (and probably the kill I heard that night).

So, at this point, we're probably not going to see a job offer before next week. And next week is the start of training for the US Census. Yes, they want me to be a crew leader (not what I wanted). Really was hoping to have to call them and say, "Sorry, have a full time job." Now it'll be more difficult scheduling interviews and getting time to look for jobs. It seemed like a good choice at the time, but now it doesn't look like such a good opportunity. Well, it'll give me a good trail of "look, I didn't just sit around while I was unemployed." Margle.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fridays

Bette cleaned out the flower beds and I raked the yard (collecting everything pulled out of the flower beds). Disappointed to see a lot of dead grass in the new dirt areas.

So, when there's snowstorms in January and February along the East Coast, Fox News goes on the "so much for global warming" jag. Now it was 80 degrees today, the spring peepers are singing out there tonight, today I stirred up more than one cloud of gnats doing the raking, and unprecedented rain and flooding in the NE, and not one "hey, might be something to that global warming" comment. Of course, climate affects weather, but weather is not climate. But I would expect their brains to function in a similar fashion. Guess that they can't even be consistent in their illogical stances.

Just heard the owl. He's a few months early. Going to go listen to him.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sign of Four

Spent the day running like mad. Got to eat dinner at 8:45pm.

Good news, I'm 10lbs lighter than before Xmas (12-23-09). Officially. Doctor worked with me and just did a weigh in to see that I'm still on track. Still haven't received the quote on the service. We'll see.

Made another connection to good job. Will hopefully turn into a personal call on my behalf. Unfortunately job opening doesn't close for a few weeks. Sigh.

Ah, and just because, Ron Paul's earmark request for 2010. Wasn't there some ranting about "no earmarks." Many of them are for the Army Corps of Engineers projects, but not all of them. And there's substantial funds there.