Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pear, er....PAIR of Kids

Since their first child, a daughter, is named Apple, it's impossible to avoid speculation that the second, regardless of sex, will be named Pear.

I'm sure they're fine pearents.

Er, pairents.


Thursday, January 12, 2006


I've been tagged by Virginia Gal over at Gypsy Thoughts to tell you five weird things about myself. This will not be difficult for me ;-).

  • I dropped typing in high school to take music theory. Now I type every day, at home and at work, but I never write or analyze music.
  • I like a sandwich the day after Christmas made from a slice of leftover ham, some cheddar cheese, and a pineapple ring (leftover from the ham) on a raisin bagel (warmed up a little to soften the cheese).
  • I never learned my multiplication tables, at least not all of them. When I must figure something out, I just do some rapid adding from the last known multiple. It really doesn't hold me back that much. I ruled out math and science majors early on in my education, though I promise I passed all of my classes...
  • I studied French (yes, the language of social work) in high school and college. I even won an award in high school for best foreign language student (kinda makes up for the poor showing with the multiplication tables). Thing is, I can't remember very much of what I learned.
  • When I'm under a lot of stress, I can zone out in front of solitaire games (especially mahjongg solitaire) and word games for hours. Literally for hours, with barely a break.
  • I didn't drink coffee until about 5 or 6 years ago. Couldn't stand it. Now I drink it pretty much every day (just ask Pax).

And see, my math skills are still shaky. I listed 6 things instead of 5!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sinking to New Levels

I really didn't think it was possible for our president to sink any further into the muck, but he did so today, in my opinion. I saw a clip from a question and answer session following a speech he gave today. A child (I'm sorry but this sounded scripted and rehearsed to me) asked Mr. Bush how people can help in the war on terror. The president replied that in the lead up the 2006 elections, people should remember the effect of rhetoric on those who serve in harm's way, and its effect in emboldening or weakening the enemy. W. The King of Rhetoric. It's OK for him (his rhetoric obviously weakens the enemy), everyone else should shut up, we're hurting the troops and helping the enemy. Once again, our president has tried to stop us from expressing any disagreement with his creation, this war in Iraq. And he has used a child to do so. That's low.

Mr. Bush (and even more so Mr. Cheney) tries to dismiss dissent by labeling each area of discussion as if he were promoting a boxing match. Come see the big event: "Us vs. Them"... "Republican vs Democrat"... "Liberal vs. Conservative"... "Christian vs. Heathen." By limiting the conversation with an, "You're either for us or against us," attitude, he keeps tempers high. He makes his base see red so they cannot see reason. The needs of our country cannot be met in this toxic environment of hatred.

Mr. Bush's monolithic reasoning becomes even more frightening when viewed in light of his voracious appetite for increasing executive power (also here). Have we ever had a president less deserving of expanded executive authority, a man less capable of governing? Not in my lifetime.

I am a Democrat, and I am moderate to liberal on most issues. I do not consider my way to be the only way, and I'm not writing about crushing the opposition in the next election. I just want to see intelligence, planning and cooperation in our governing bodies. A United States that does not value and encourage well-considered dissent is no longer the great nation where I grew up; the Fourth of July becomes a holiday for sad memories of past glory, Memorial Day bemoans lives lost for a forgotten ideal. Our past has had its share of shameful incidents and missteps, but we've always returned to our roots and found our way again. I am apprehensive that we may have strayed so far from the path this time that we've forgotten the way back.

We must demand these things of each of our politicians, no matter what their party affiliation: listen to differing opinions and enter into real discussion with a measured intelligence; use reason and good judgment in making decisions instead of party dogma; no more Rovian manipulation and innuendo; and no more using social issues to create an emotional wave of unbalanced voting.

It's time for Americans to develop a job interview questionnaire and demand answers of the men and women who want us to hire them. Not questions about positions on abortion or intelligent design, but questions about working through conflict and handling opposition. And its time to give fresh consideration to term limits. The corporation is unhealthy, and it's time for some massive changes in personnel.