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Disclaimer: This blog is completely boring, and may include entries on when I last washed my dishes, how many pairs of shoes I own, and the occasional rant. I appreciate all the visits and comments you have left on my blog. It's very nice of you to take time out of your busy day to visit me...please come back again soon! If this is not what you're looking for. Move along. This is my little soapbox.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Remember When

  • Girls were not allowed to wear pants to school
  • Cashiers in grocery stores entered the price of each item in your cart manually into the cash register
  • Seat belts in cars were an option
  • You did not have to wear said seat belt
  • Babies were laid across the mothers laps while the mother was driving said car without wearing a seat-belt.
Okay, I didn't say everything I remembered was okay!
  • When schools actually had lockers for books to be kept in
  • If you misbehaved in school, you got a "whack" with a paddle the size of Alaska
  • You didn't misbehave in school a second time
  • Spring Break was called Easter Break
  • The only radio stations were AM
  • Which you listened to on your Transistor Radio
  • Your class all stood and repeated The Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer each morning.
  • Playing outside until Mom would yell your names throughout the neighborhood.
  • Playing "Kick the Kan" in the street with all the neighborhood kids.
  • If a girl was going out on a date, he had to meet her father first.
  • Black and White TV
  • An ashtray in a new car was not considered an option.
  • Playing Monopoly as a family after dinner.
  • The A/C in our house was a "swamp cooler". Which consists of a box, fan, vents and the garden hose dripping cold water into the back of it. (yes it was purchased that way)
  • Cloth Diapers 
  • When disposable diapers were being tested
  • When TV Dinners tasted good!
  • Friday and Saturday nights were "date night"
Okay, what do you remember?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Being a Parent

As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life's harsh realities and disappointments. We don't want our kids to struggle like we did.
But Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that overprotected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges.
We're sending our kids the message that they're not capable of helping themselves.
To quote clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Mogel:
"It is our job to prepare our children for the road, not prepare the road for our children."

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 on Friday

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?
My wackiness and friendship. I want to be remembered as someone who could cheer up at least one person and to be a good friend.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?
Hmm, a tough one. I guess “smell the roses”.

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
Eating with utensils without stabbing myself in the eye.

4. What about the past ten years?
Easy, my family.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?
Have fun, work hard, study hard, and be yourself. There is only one of you, so make the best of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Word Associations

  • Visit :: the ladies room
  • Cake :: and eat it too
  • Period :: end
  • Triumphant :: joy
  • Screen :: presence
  • Neglect :: to take out the trash
  • Guitar :: Jimi Hendrix
  • Loathe :: to touch raw meat
  • Sugar :: Smacks
  • Montage :: of photos
  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    I get Political

    No amount of education is going to overcome peer pressure, parental influences and immediate society influences, even over time.  At least in my opinion.  The DARE program proved this to us.  Kids aren't going to take to being taught better values, personal responsibility and ambition when they don't see it among those they love and respect the most - family and friends. Oh, sure, you'll get the occasional success story but overall?  It won't work.  What will work, I think, is being tough on people.  Fair, but tough.  I'm going to share my  plan  and I still believe it will work. 

    1.  Announce a 5 year plan to eliminate all welfare programs, barring exceptions such as the terminally ill, mentally retarded, severely physically handicapped, etc. "Welfare" means food stamps, TANF, WIC, EITC, Section 8, SSI, etc.  If you're on one of the plans already, you can continue on for your promised span but new children conceived after the start date get nothing.  No medical, no WIC, noth-ing.  Be responsible for what you do.  So, this being the case, you better be prepared to do it on your own or face child neglect charges if you have kids and don't care for them after the 5 years is up.  Those already on assistance have 5 years to figure out how to get off...go to college, go to tech school, whatever.  Five years is a long time.  It *can be done, even in this economy.
    2.  Loosen up domestic adoption costs and requirements. Of all things, *this is a good one for the government to actually run and make free for qualified people.  Gays, "older" parents, single but well-established parents, parents who have an illness but are still able to parent?  Let them adopt and let them adopt children of races other than their own.  Kids will get good parents *and we'll make strides in diminishing still-existing color barriers.  Win-win.  You don't comply with #1?  #2 kicks in.
    3.  Repeal the law that states you're a citizen simply by  being born here but open up our borders to legal immigration via checkpoints like Ellis Island was.  If you can come here legally by the new standards and work, pay taxes, support yourself and prove you can be a contributing, law-abiding citizen, we'll be proud to give you that citizenship and have you join us.  In 5 years.  Prove it for 5 years and you're an American, we'll make your ass legal.  If you sneak in? We will assume you mean harm and seeing as how we're pretty easy under the new plan and we'll react accordingly.  Think of our country as your literal new home...if you ring our doorbell and politely ask to come in, as long as you aren't the dangerous sort, we'll welcome you as family.  We just ask that you cook and clean up after yourself and supply your own're no guest, after all.  But if you sneak in the window knowing how lenient the doorbell policy is, we reserve the right to shoot you in self defense.
    4.  Parents need to be held responsible for their kids until age 18.  Period.  No more of this "I can't control them....waaaah!"  When you know you won't be held responsible it's too easy to put your head in the sand and your kids?  Just laugh it off and know that as long as it's fairly small-time crime or misbehavior, not much will happen. That needs to change.  Your kid under 18 does damage, gets in trouble, steals?  You pay for it and out of your welfare, if necessary.  If you have to sell a car, sell your house, perform community service, made them, you pay for what they do wrong.  If your kid doesn't care about the hurt this puts on your ass, you've screwed up somewhere in raising them and deserve it anyway.
    5.  This one will shock a few here to their core but I say require 2 years of mandatory public service of some type (the military would qualify) for every 18 year old (if they don't graduate, in which case a GED is required) or graduating senior unless they opt for college. If they graduate from college, the public service can come afterward and be in their chosen field, so that it will also count as work experience.  Alternately, 4 years of half-time service would be acceptable since some will be immediately working in family businesses or whatnot.  This country gives us a lot - we need to give back and not just by way of taxes. 
    6.  Medical care. Life is rough and often not fair.  Accept it.  Health care being a "right"? I'm iffy but I'll give you that for the sake of argument.  *Paid health care is a privilege, though.  This new health care plan is a joke and, it will bankrupt us.  Instead, let's put medical/nursing/pharmaceutical students who can't pay for their own education outright through school but require a year of service in their chosen field for every year this country covers for them in college.  What then?  So many towns have houses sitting empty, foreclosed upon.  Same with whole apartment complexes.  Even empty lots.  Use whatever is available for housing for these brand-new medical professionals (think dorm or student apartment type housing) and have these new graduates live there rent-free, paying them minimum wage for their personal expenses.  Build medical clinics close to said housing.  Free/cheap clinics, where people can come and get basic medical care and even specialized care, at no cost if they can show they need it...unemployment papers, bank statements, utility statements, etc....or they can pay very affordable rates if they cannot prove the need for free services. If you choose to live beyond your means and spend money on things that could be put to insurance, too bad.  You're out of luck and have to pay clinic rates for care.  Look at that - you still win.  Your kids, however, are not out of luck if you refuse and will be treated but it will be looked upon as child neglect by you since you chose the nicer home, newer cars, expensive cable package, etc.  Child neglect is punishable by law. This will serve many purposes - providing health care for our citizens, forcing parents to be responsible, allowing our new medical professionals to gain more experience, and preventing the default of many students loans.  It should also serve to help revitalize some run down areas as a side bonus.
    7. Legalize drugs but enact far harsher penalties for crimes committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  There are many, many benefits to this idea.  For one, the price of street drugs will fall and crime will naturally fall with it.  Big score.  Let's relate it to health care, shall we?  If you're sick due to substance abuse problems, you chose it.  You pay for it.  We have low cost clinics under my plan, remember?  But employed or not, we aren't directly paying for your stupid decisions; you are an exception.  You die from drug abuse?  No great loss.  Sorry.  Self-inflicted illnesses?  On you.  Own yourself.
    8.  You'll notice I've been mentioning legalizing drugs a lot...yep, we should and all of them.  Let those intent on using them do so...but have far stricter penalties than we do now if a crime results.  Driving under the influence of something?  We all know more people die from drugs than guns; therefore, attempted murder charges apply because you were intentionally "shooting" at people with your car,  an object far larger than a bullet.  Selling drugs?  Attempted murder.  Someone dies of an overdose and the supplier can be found?  First degree murder. Using drugs, though?  Simple possession?  Ehhh, slap a dumbass label on their forehead.  They'll either get over it or kill themselves off.  Treatment for addiction, though?  Out of pocket.  You made the choice, you pay for it.
    9.  About the whole foreclosure situation?  Here's a thought - if Mary bought a home for $500.000 and it's now in foreclosure, look at what Mary *can afford for a house payment.  Can she afford a $250,000 home?  No?  How about a $100.000 home?  Yes?  Great.  Take that $100,000 home that Joe owns in Mary's general area (or any home she prefers in a pool of similarly priced foreclosures) and that he can't pay for and *require Mary to step into it (or a similar one) and take over those payments. Instead of having a mass of foreclosures bringing our economy down, require people to honor their commitments to the lending institution but help them out of a bad situation by allowing them to downsize into something affordable with no penalty. Again, win-win.
    10.  Eliminate our federal income tax system and institute a percentage-based sales tax system instead.  Say an additional 2% tacked on to what states and counties already charge, but for, drugs, services, etc.  The income generated from this would be staggering yet fairly painless for everyone, even the poorest of people, and it would be the fairest system we could have.  You don't like paying?  Fine. Cut back on your spending.  You are in control here over what you pay in federal taxes for the most part and everyone will pay a fair share, commensurate with income, for the services they receive from our government.  The poor will naturally pay less than the wealthy, yet they will still they should.
    Trust me, I could go on and on but I'll stop here.  I just felt that it was important to balance out all my complaining with fair and viable solutions to problems we are facing as a nation. If you can't offer alternative solutions, you have nothing.  I'm curious what you think of mine...let me know.

    Monday, August 18, 2014