More terrible news in a horrid economy...

Prepare yourselves for the worst news yet...Kellog's is running out of Eggo Waffles. Yes, you heard me right. Eggo's will be in short supply until mid-2010. I know what you're thinking,"How will I survive." I feel your pain and know that if we stick together we can weather this terrible breakfast food crisis. Living without the Eggo waffle will be tough, no doubt, but I feel we, as a nation, are strong enough to survive.

For the love of God, if you have a stockpile of Eggo's please remember that your friends, family and neighbors may not be so fortunate. Share with someone you love until this crisis has passed.

Stay strong my friends, this won't last forever.


Another useless lawsuit in the making....

Today from the wonderful world of news I could have lived without we have the story of Tervor Keezer who was fired from Home Depot for wearing a pin that said, "One nation under God, indivisible." Apparently he had been wearing the pin for a year and was only recently fired. The company has a long standing, blanket policy that says only company approved pins are allowed to be worn on the aprons employees wear at work. Mr. Keezer was offered a pin that said "United we Stand" , but declined to wear it. Now the he has a civil rights attorney and blogs everywhere are buzzing about him. Mr. Keezer says he feels "...like I was punished for just loving my country." Well, if he was only interested in showing patirotism, the button the company approved should have been enough.

I went to Newsvine to see what comments were being posted and found that an overwhelming number of them support Home Depot. A couple, in support of the employee, questioned the fact that he had been wearing the pin for a year before being terminated. Here's the thing, we don't know how many chances he was given to remove or change the pin before he was let go. Most companies have a policy that allows for supervisors to provide at least one oral and up to three written warnings to any employee in violation of company policies before moving to termination. I'm betting that that also occured here.

The problem I have here folks is the fact that yet another individual in our country is looking for a way to not take responsibility for his/her own actions. This isn't about religion, it's about a violation of company dress standards. Private companies have the right to determine what an employee can and can't wear while at work. It's as simple as that. Mr. Keezer is looking for a way to shift responsibility from himself to the company he worked for. Grow up.

As a nation, we need to stop babying people and start making them responsible for the choices that they make. If you want to stand up for your principles, then fine, but don't expect me to feel sorry for you if it doesn't go your way. When you make a stand and say it's based in principle and then turn around and whine when you lose your job, get arrested, get supended from school...whatever....it does one thing: It points our how non-principle related your actions really were.

Mr. Keezer and others like him need to get over themselves.


Over reaction or justified anger?

There's an article on MSN today about a hotel owner who asked his Spanish speaking employees to speak only English around him and required that they use English versions of their names at work. Some employees have been fired, according to the owner, for insubordinate behavior. The Spanish speaking community in Taos is now protesting saying that it's racist to ask the employees to do these things. I have one question: How is what he's asking any different than calling a call center and getting a person with an obvious accent that answers and tells you his name is Mark, when you know for a fact that it isn't? Or telemarketing companies that use computer voice software instead of live people because their employees don't speak English as a first language? Honestly, I believe that if these practices are okay in one setting they are okay in any employment setting. If this owner is guilty of being a racist, aren't all companies that require the same types of things following racist policies?


Approaching the two month mark...

I'm fast approaching the two month mark of my weight loss "experiment" and so far have managed to lose a total of ten pounds by doing nothing more than eating less and walking more. For a woman my age (*ahem* thirty-nine *ahem*) that's no small thing. I do have to admit, though, that of that ten pounds I have only managed to keep five off. I got depressed, and then got depressed about being depressed, and as a result reaquainted myself with some old friends. First Mr. Reese and I got to know each other again and shortly after that Mr. Cheesecake and Mr. Sinfully Delicious Cupcake showed up. Yeah, I know, I need to make better guests lists, right?

That small set back not withstanding, I'm moving forward. I've broken out the old excercises they used to make us do in gym class when we were in grade school. Streching, basic sit-ups, push-ups (yes, I do the "girl" ones, no way is my fat ass pushing straight up from the ground, just not happening folks) I also have one of those yoga bands and I've started carrying weights when I walk...they only weigh two pounds, but that counts...I dare you to say it doesn't.

I still indulge in the occassional sweet, but I've replaced eating with writing, playing with my son and reading a good book. We got rid of cable and I find that watching less television has motivated me to find other, more active ways to fill my time.

I've also started planning our menu. New grocery shopping rule: If it ain't on the list, it don't come home. Not having it in the house to begin with is a big thing.

Next month: Pictures. That's right...you get to see me in all my pre-weight loss, no make-up, no touch-ups glory. That way, when I meet my goal, every one can appreciate my hard work and accomplishment...it's a purely selfish thing.

Have a great week everyone!


"....God is an Astronaut...."


The name for God, the Supreme Being, in the Arabic language; the common name for God in Islam.


Another name for God; an approximation of the holiest name of God in Hebrew (the name was held so sacred that it was never written or spoken, and scholars are not sure exactly how it should be pronounced). It means “I am that I am,” or “I am the one who is.” In the incident of the burning bush in the Book of Exodus, God, speaking out of the bush, tells Moses that this is his name.


1869, hypothetical reconstruction of the tetragrammaton YHWH (see Jehovah), based on the assumption that the tetragrammaton is the imperfective of Heb. verb hawah, earlier form of hayah "was," in the sense of "the one who is, the existing.

As I sat in my little corner of the office today, working quietly on my faux wood desk, I saw one of the most frightening things I've seen all week. A woman came into the office. Perfume wafted from her in waves, her hair was cut in the typical "look at me, I'm a good, suburban white woman" style, she had the impossibly long fake nails, the too short, too tight denim shorts...but this isn't what frightened me (although it was terrifying to behold). No, what scared me was the t-shirt she had on. "Mr. President. You're Wrong" it boldy declared on the front. "This is a CHRISTIAN NATION! (One country under GOD...founded in 1776) read the back.

Had I not been at work I would have actually said something to this woman. It seems, that like morality and values the "Christians" (and I use the term loosely) of this country have co-opted the name of God as something they and they alone understand, hold dear and believe in. The audacity is amazing.

At the beginning of this post are just a few of the names used around the word for God. I've spoken before about the demonization of the Muslim religion and other atrocities I see being undertaken in the name of "Christianity".

As I thought about what I wanted to say in this post, the brightest image in my overactive imagination was a picture of this woman standing in front of the gates of heaven. St.Peter looks at her, looks at the list and then says, "Well boys, I guess we have to let her in. She wore the t-shirt." If I could draw I would turn it into a cartoon.

All I know is that the afterlife I'm planning on doesn't look anything like the place this woman is obviously picturing. The God I believe in isn't going to reward people for self-righteous back patting, homophobic paranoia or any of the other nonsense being shoved forward by the "good christians" of this country. My God created everything just the way it is, good and bad alike. My God will welcome everyone. My God doesn't exclude based on a pronunciation, a book, a lifestyle or any other silly criteria. How about your God?


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd is one of my favorite books. They made a movie from it, but I hadn't had the chance to watch it until the other night. Watching the movie and the themes the story deals with made me stop and think. Why is it that some people can see others simply as fellow human beings while others need to catorgerize and label? As a child I was taught that no matter the color of someone's skin, their wealth or their choice of lifestyle we do not have the right to judge them. It was the most important thing my mother ever taught me and it is a lesson that I have passed on to my children.

The other day we were in Wal-Mart picking up some groceries when my five-year-old son said, "Mommy, that man's skin is black." I looked up and there was a gentleman in line ahead of us and his skin was indeed black. I looked back down at my son and said simply, "Yes, it is." My son has not been exposed to different ethnicities in his short life, so his next question was why. I answered, "Because everyone is different. That's the way God made us. If everyone was the same we'd all get bored." My son shrugged and that was the end of it. My answer was simple, but it was good enough for him.

I have a hard time understanding how racism still exists. When I talk about favorite authors, favorite actors, friends etc...I have never felt the need to preface myself with "He/She is my favorit African American..." How is it I wonder, that so many others have a hard time dropping the color of skin, type of religion or choice of lifestyle from the way they view people.

The quote above means a lot to me. When Dr. King spoke those words our country was in the middle a the Civil Rights Movement, one of the most important things that happened in that era. The words still ring true today, only now, it is religious persecution that I feel has come to the forefront.

Many people I know stand by and listen as others spew hatred based on the choice of religion individuals make, most significantly, the Islamic religion. Our nation has demonized an entire group of people based on nothing more than the bad actions of a few and the religion they chose to associate themselves with. Racism comes in all forms and it turns my stomach to hear the hatred coming forth from the mouths of people who consider themselves "Good Christians". I have gotten into more than one verbal battle standing up for the point of view I have. I don't come down on the "Islam = terrorism" side. I see the situation differently. At it's core, Islam share many of the same values and teachings as Christianity.

The other thing that galls me is how quickly people seem to have forgotten the history of Christianity. The Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. The persecution of immigrants of different religions in the 1900's. The bombing of abortion clinics. Christians have perpetrated some fairly horrible things in the name of their God.
When we ignore this, we are blinding ourselves to the only path to hope there really is.

Stand up and let your voice be heard. It has been said that a thousand people whispering will have more power than one person screaming. Start whispering.


A little experiment

Over the last four years, my life has had it's share of bumps in the road. Stress, pregnancy, more stress and to be very honest....a lot of weight gain. Even with the 90 pounds I've lost in the last two years, I'm still weighing in at over 80 pounds over weight. Now, as anyone who knows me well will tell you I'm not all that concerned about "looking good". Since I was a teenager I've managed to develop a fairly healthy self-image. I'm never going to be "skinny", but I can be healthy.

A few years ago, while I was pregnant, I accepted a challenge from a web-friend to give a vegetarian lifestyle a try. I followed doctor's instructions and turned a month long idea into three months. After giving my life and my choices considerable thought I have decided on the following experiement: Beginning monday, I will be making several lifestyle changes.

I will not be dieting. I will not be joining a gym or Weight Watchers. I will be walking each night, at least 15 minutes to start. I will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day instead of skipping meals. I will be cooking each night, no boxed meals, no convience items. My goal is to go from 245 lbs to 145 lbs. As I take this journey, I'm going to document my progress.

As soon as I find the cable to connect my camera to my computer I will start posting pictures, beginning with me as I look now. No makeup, no clever camera angles, just me. My goal during this process is to document the fact that what doctor's have been telling us is true...diets, fads, pills...it's all crap. Simple changes to your lifestyle can yeild results and lead to a healthier person over all.

I look forward to hearing from everyone...the support will be greatly appreciated.

Phineas and Ferb....Truth in Advertising

My son likes to watch the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb. I have to admit, I enjoy it as well. Two boys spend their summer vacation doing unimaginable things while their teen-age sister tries to get them busted. In the episode we watched this morning the boys decide to make a toy after seeing a new Har D Har toy that bores them. They invent, and successfully sell, Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure....It does Nothing. I started thinking, why isn't all advertising in the United States required to be like Phineas and Ferb?

Everyday we see things advertised that promise to make life better, more fulfilling, easier. Cleaning products sold by loud little men who look like deranged elves (You know who I'm talking about...), pharmacutical products (if you can call them that) that promise you too can smile like "Bob". Vauge references to "a certain part of the male body". Promises of quick cleaning, fast weight loss, smoother skin, younger looks...we are indundated daily with images of how we, the lowly consumer, can be better.

Shouldn't we be demanding that the advertisements we see state the truth? In the 1950's cigarettes were sold by cartoon characters and promised happiness and energy. If someone tried that today, we'd run them out on a rail. Yet, we don't stand up and shout for any kind of truth in the advertisements we see every day. How odd is that? Shouldn't products that offer "male enhancement" actually have to enhance men? We all know products like Extenze and Enzite are complete bullshit, but the ads are everywhere. Shouldn't toy commercials have to show what the toy really does so we don't have to explain to our children why it's just a plastic that doesn't do anything much? How about the yogurt commercials that promise "digestive health"? Medical research shows that virtually all yogurt has that benefit when eaten regularly...but as a nation we're being conned into paying twice as much for the "Activia Challenge".

Have we really become so complacent and shallow as a nation that a children's television show can use our shopping habits as comic fodder? I'm going to suggest that everyone who reads this call or write to one company who produces a product you felt fell short of it's advertising claim. Let them know someone is actually awake out here and paying attention. Once you do it, encourage your friends and family to do it as well. Let's see how much noise we can make.


Social and Cultural Ignorance

Today I was reading the Facebook site for the local paper...where I work. The circulation manager had posed a simple question: "How do you feel about President Obama addressing your children in school?" Now, knowing that President Bush did this same thing, you would think that no one would have much to say, right? Wrong. There are comments that make my skin crawl. One particular woman began by stating "this president is surrounding himself with self-proclaimed communists." and continued by saying,"He wants to be friends with dictators, terrorists and Muslims...and he ignored our National Day of Prayer. And now he wants to speak directly to our kids. Sound familiar?" Wow...that was all I could think...wow. Dictators and terrorists I could probably get behind..but then she tossed in the whole of the Muslim faith and my mind came to a screeching halt.

People like this make Americans look ignorant and biased. She proudly and emphatically states that she is a Christian, and yet her views seem to be anything but. In a later comment, she tells us that we are a "Christian Nation"...not legally or anything, but just the same. She seems to believe that all of the founding fathers were Christians who intended this country to be based on and run by Christian doctrine. Did I miss that day in history class?

It amazes me that people are so threatened by President Obama and what he may be able to accomplish given time that they take to attacking him this way. I may not agree with everything his administration has done thus far, but I believe change takes time and nothing is ever accomplished without compromise. If the President could just step in, make the changes and have it done, I'm sure he would. Our political system is flawed and doesn't work that way. Instead of attacking the President, maybe we should think about fixing a terribly broken system.


The Health Care Debate

As I mentioned before, I work at the local paper now. About two weeks ago there was a letter to the editor from a local woman warning everyone of the evils of public health care coverage. She went on about how it was dangerous and how, because no one had read the WHOLE proposal, if we allowed it to pass we would find ourselves quickly on the road to government managed hell. (Okay, she didn't use those words, but you get the point.)

I have to wonder how long it's been since this woman had to decide between basic medical care and paying the bills or feeding her children. My family has no medical coverage. We don't work jobs that provide it, don't make enough to buy it on our own and don't qualify for state based programs BECAUSE we have jobs. This leaves my Type 2 diabetic husband without needed medical help, doesn't allow me to take my son to the doctor when he's sick and means that if anyone is ill, we have to go to the ER to see a doctor. No dental coverage means my son isn't seen regularly to have his teeth checked and my husband, who is in desperate need of treatment deals with abcessed teeth and constant pain.

"Socialized" medicine is not a perfect system. There are waits and many brand new medications are not available immediatley...but weigh the options. The basic medical needs of millions of American's are not being met. This leads to serious health issues, which cost more than basic care. Our infant mortality rate is higher than it should be because women don't have access to basic prenatal care. Children don't receive immunizations because families can't afford them or don't meet the criteria for reduced or free services. Milions of families are forced into bankruptcy or worse, forced to spilt up their families (Yes, it's happened...) in order to get medical coverage for children who are seriously ill.

From where my family, and many others like ours, sit...a public option, even one that only provides for basic care, it going to be better than what we have now. It means access to preventative care, it means not having to lie awake at night feeling guilty because you can't get medication for a sick child. It means a lot.

People talk about the loss of private coverage, no one is going to take that away. If you can afford it, by all means, keep it, but don't ruin the first real chance many of us have had at coverage for our families.

Others say that they shouldn't have to pay for others to have medical care...meaning they don't want their tax dollars to support a public health option. Where do they think the money for Medicade and Medicare comes from? Not only that, but the money for Food Stamps and TANF. Families who get on welfare now have to stay there or risk losing coverage for their children. Who do you suppose pays for that?

We need some sort of public health care coverage in this country and we need it badly. If the plan now isn't acceptable, then make suggestions about how to fix it, but stop spreading fear and panic in order to kill the option outright.


It's Been Ages...does anyone even use this stuff anymore?

So I'm living in North Dakota now. That's the big news. North Dakota, the place I swore I would never go back to. It's funny the things you do for your children. I'm working at the local paper...doing customer service as usual, but I'm hoping someday I'll get a chance to write. The paper is fairly conservative though, so not sure how well that would work out. Just recently they ran an editorial by a woman who honestly believes that the downfall of modern society is the gay marriage. Oh, and a letter to the editor by a woman convinced that any kind of socialized medical system will lead to 1984. I have much to say about these topics, but not at midnight. Wonder if anyone will actually read this??????