Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Think Mary Did Know!

A link for the best song of the season. That's Kenny Rogers and Wynonna doing the honors.


My favorite version is by Kathy Mattea.


Happy holidays!

Thanks for stopping by! I'd give you some eggnog if I could!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Year, Another Tear

I've been doing real good (that's "East Texas" for 'very well') with this whole grief thing. I mean, come on, it's ELEVEN YEARS. You can't be blue all the time and most of the time I'm fine. But this time of the year it creeps up on me and bites me in the butt when I least expect it.

I've been purposely keeping busy so's not to give myself the opportunity to get sad, but tonight I was watching a made for Christmas Hallmark tear-jerker and damn if it didn't jerk me around until my tear damn busted wide open. I got to crying and didn't stop for too long a time.

It's important to let go from time to time. You can't deny either the love that was lost or the grief that never dies...it just lies beneath the surface like molten lava waiting for that tiny crack in the emotional layer so it can spew forth and cover all it sees.

I'll be fine. I'll pick myself and dust myself off and get back in the fast lane for another year. The whole act of writing it down here helps me cope. I've got quite a list now for my copeability. I'm not sure that's a real word, but it ought to be if it isn't because it describes the process to a T.

Remembering my sweetie. Missing him still. Wishing if he had to go why it couldn't of been in June or September...why did it have to be December 17?

A Single Dove
November 22, 2006
Remembering December 1996
Do You Believe In Angels?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

It Was Love At First Byte

My friend Gowan sent me a link to a story about the Commodore 64 and it sparked my nostalgic memories. (It doesn't take much to spark those memories this time of the year!)

A couple of years ago I wrote about some of my Commodore daze with an article entitled What Is This BBS of Which You Speak.

I've still got a C-64 set-up boxed away for some reason known only to hoarders. I don't miss the speed of the dadgum thing, but I do miss my youthful love of the whole personal computer world.

Sorry to be so remiss in keeping up with this blog. I only really write when the spirit moves me and the spirit has been chasing its own tail a lot these days.

With me, no news is generally no news.

I also got myself a 42" Plasma TV and I'm actually watching it! HD makes even crap shows look better! haha...

I'm waiting for a couple more of my Christmas presents. I always give myself good stuff for Christmas! It's one of the perks of being spoiled rotten. Yea me. However this is turning into the Year Of The Backorder. Every day I wait for that elusive e-mail saying shipment has commenced and my item is on its way....more on WHAT the item(s) are when I actually get some hands-on time.

Take care...stay safe...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

After Viewing Sex Crimes and the Vatican...

I'm frankly stunned.

I was born and raised Catholic and feel that it rejected me in 1963 when a priest told me in confession to find a nice Catholic boy to love. That was the response to my plea that I loved the non-Catholic man who was later to become my husband of 33 years.

This was the same church that said I couldn't practice birth control. ME who got preggers when my husband even looked at me! That was the final cut of my Vatican cord.

It's not easy being a "fallen away Catholic" either especially when most of what's left of my family is still in the fold. My mom pretty much went to her grave praying for me to renounce my vow and tell the father of my children to take a hike.

I've never seen any part of ANY organized religion that appealed to me. I'm too brainwashed to be a Protestant and too redneck to be a Jew! I went to parochial school for the first six grades and I can't recall which grade it was now, but one day I was standing before the class at the blackboard trying to add a column of double digits. I couldn't do it. I couldn't of done it to save my life much less my immortal soul. The nun kept asking me "if I couldn't see it" [the answer I guess] and I kept saying "no, sister". She got so mad at me that she ended up slapping me in the face in front of the entire class.

I think I must of disassociated at the moment because I don't recall what happened next. I don't know if I cried or just continued to stand there in total humiliation. I don't remember what the nun did. I don't remember how I got out of it. I DO remember telling my mother and the usual feelings that it was all MY fault. I also remember hearing or rather overhearing that the nun had a nervous breakdown. I probably felt like I caused THAT too.

Poor, poor pitiful me. Alas this post is not about that. It's about ALL my other conflicted feelings about "The Church". We were taught from the first day to never, ever criticize the Church. Or the priest or the nuns or God forbid the Pope himself so I always feel a tad uncomfortable when I think or read about the sexual abuse that runs rampart and how nothing is done until forced to by the authorities and then they may or may not throw a sacrificial lamb in the guise of a defrocked priest on the fires.

I ran across this TV program that I think ought to be required viewing by Catholics, former Catholics and especially future Catholics. It was called Spotlight: Sex Crimes and the Vatican and on Link TV. I think it can be viewed online at BBC One.

The program points out that nothing is being done for the victims. The abuse is still going on and the Pope could put a stop to that if he wanted to. It's also about how a secret document "called Crimen Sollicitationis, was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the current Pope". That's heavy stuff, folks. My family would most likely think that even reading the document is a one way ticket to hell.

In my own mind I like to think that even widespread abuse by the clergy doesn't mean ALL of them are bad, but if the head of the organization is bad what does that make the rest? I dunno what to make of any of this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Weight Loss Goal Is Written In Ink!


Today it’s official. I’ve reached my goal weight! In fact I’m one pound under goal. Dr. Wongsa didn’t think I’d make it. He wasn’t pleased with the quickness of my weight loss. I knew I could do it and part of me now wishes I could look him in the eye and say “so there!”.

More likely I’d look him in the eye and grasp his hand and say ‘thank you, thank you, for giving me back my life!”. Thank you God for helping me every step along the way. Thank you to my family for their love and support. Thank you to my good friends for their love and support and their encouragement and positive comments. Thank you me for being stubborn and determined and for finally taking control. I wish I could see John seeing me now. He always saw me as better than I was and I know he’d be so proud of me now and I’d be better able to accept it.



It hasn’t been easy and anyone that thinks that gastric bypass surgery is the easy way out is an ignorant fool. The whole ordeal from the time I observed my daughter’s fantastic weight loss progress, through the rigors of getting approval, to being wheeled into the operating room wondering if this was a good idea, to today when it’s official has been life altering. I’m not the same person now that I was in June of 2005 when I first saw Dr. Wongsa and begged for his help.

My whole life I heard about the thin person inside of fat people and now when I look in the mirror I see MY thin person and it’s surreal. When I’m walking by shop windows and I catch a glimpse of “her” I have to double take to grasp what I’m seeing. “She” looks a lot older than I remember her being. She has tons of loose skin, but I don’t see that as much as the marvel of where did it all go? It’s as if it melted off of me and now my body is like a candle and the loose skin is the wax that runs down when the candle is consumed. Wow, how’s that for imagery.

I guess I should get into the figures now. It’s taken me 1 year, 4 months and 27 days to lose 107 pounds. I know I was at least 7-10 pounds more than that at one time. In April of 1992 I was 27 pounds less than when I started this time and managed to gain it all back and then some which is why I decided going under the knife was the last resort I had. When I started my BMI was 41.7 (OBESE) and today it’s 24.0 and considered NORMAL. My diabetes is in remission and my A1C test is NORMAL. My sleep apnea is greatly improved. I'm not using the CPAP even though it probably wouldn't hurt to keep using it because I know I have episodes during the night, but not nearly as bad as they once were.

I’ve lost 4 inches in my bust (sob!), 7.5 in my waist, 8.5 in my hips, 5 in my thighs, 2 in my calves and 3 ¼ in my arms!

I’ve got photos, but I’m not comfortable displaying them. Most of them are for my eyes only or maybe mine and my daughters if they want to see them.

I feel good. I went to the Gulf Coast Blood Center today and gave ‘em a pint so I’m kinda tired tonight, but all in all it’s been a wonderful day and a good year. I’m pleased with my success and I’m dedicated to making sure I stay on this side of the diet teeter-totter.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fast Foods Comparisons

This is a cool site with some of the more popular fast food restaurant items charted and with interesting comparisons of their nutritional values and, more importantly, the fat content. I only wish they'd of had some info on Whataburger because that's one of *my* favorite grab-a-burger-and-go joints. I really need to go to Arby's more too because they have some great meat choices. I get tired of chicken!

I'm still having a hard time finding any where to eat out. I'd almost like a place that let you buy one or two pieces of meat. Chicken strips are good, but they'd be even better if they weren't battered and fried. I'd even be happy with some place that would sell one boiled egg to go!

When I stepped on the scales this morning I was shocked to see my goal weight! When did THAT happen?! If it holds up by Monday I can 'officially' claim VICTORY!

I think the 'secret' is that I'm walking more with Lucy, the hellion. She is happiest when she's getting her poops outside my property. We go out late, in the dark, so's not to chance running into other dogs/people/vehicles. She's not overly social...she gets so stressed out it gets ME stressed out which just exacerbates the situation. (Wow! I never thought I'd get to use 'exacerbates' in a sentence. How cool is that!)

BTW, sorry I haven't written much lately. I've been running in my hamster wheel called LIFE as fast as I can with no end in sight. Which is a good thing, but I'm plumb worn out by the time I crawl into bed each night and blogging is the last thing on my mind. With me no news is usually NO NEWS, and I'm pretty sure there's no law that says a blogger has to blog frequently....... or is there??

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Progressive Autism Informational Site

I added a new link to my every bludgeoning list (hmmm that's sounds almost brutal, maybe ever 'blooming' is kinder). It's Progressive Autism dot com and seems to have some very useful information on autism. Here's some of what the blog creator has to say in his "bio"...

...the purpose for creating ProgressiveAutism was to equip caregivers and parents of children with autism with the knowledge that will help them meet the needs of their children and family.

If you find it worthwhile too, please give them a plug and a link, ok...

Me And Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones...


...we got a thing going on... (Can't get that song out of my head!)..

Catchy tune, but this is about EDWARD JONES and the thing we got going on is they help me keep my hard earned money and make a bit more with prudent investing.

My broker is Robert Grossman, AAMS and he's located at 9731 Wortham Blvd., Suite 104, Houston and can be reached at 281-894-6422. He sent me a reproduction of a Smart Money, August 2007 article entitled And The Winner Is... about Edward Jones being ranked #1 Full Service Broker for the 2nd time in a row.

Now just in case you didn't know, a full service broker is more expensive and detail oriented than a discount broker. You can read the difference for yourself here if you like. I felt like I was one of those people that could benefit from the hand holding and personal advice that my broker offers. He's got a great staff too and they are always there to smooth out any furrors on my otherwise wrinkled brow.

By the same token, I've always liked it that the most I ever have to "go through" to get to talk to The Man is one person. Way back when we used Merrill Lynch and it was just too huge, impersonal and complicated for my simple tastes. I'm one of those that resists changes of any sort that dehumanize me. I hate push one for blah blah blah and so forth. I hate forced canned speeches while you're trapped on hold. I could go on and on, but I'd be digressing and that's generally distressing when I need to stay on topic.

Come to think of it, I highly recommend Edward Jones, but get your own broker. If all of you call mine then he might have to hire more people and then I'd get force fed canned music too! Hey, it could happen, but I'll grant you that's not likely I'm just messing with you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gimme A Brag Instead Of A Drag!

Today almost went by unnoticed and unheralded by yours truly. I've been up to my armpits in volunteer stuff AGAIN as well as holding early voting for my utility district's bond election in my garage. What nearly went by me was that TODAY is my 15th anniversary quitting cigarettes! Yea me!

15 years ago I slapped on the largest patch they made to quit the nasty habit and it and some willpower did the trick. I'd quit once before for over a year and picked it right back up like I'd never walked away so I was wise to the ways of the cravings and just like the AA crowd I knew if I smoked even one I'd be doomed to fail again. I recognize that my personality is clearly susceptible to addictions. When I ate I ate large. When I smoked I smoked large. I buy too much when I shop. Compulsive is my middle name. All my emotions are just under the skin, right up near the surface just waiting to bust out and greet the situation....I cry, I laugh, I feel deeply and often. I also take a prescribed drug daily to keep most of that in check. And clearly this is TIA to share with the world at large, but I'm feeling successful and expansive tonight.

I might of kicked the weed but damn if I don't STILL crave a butt from time to time. THAT'S the part that just kills you. The brain remembers the joy long after the lungs have forgotten the wheeze! It's no wonder how difficult it is to stop something you brain thinks is cool!

I gained weight after I quit. It's pretty much a fact of life that you have to stick something in your mouth. Most folks don't want the weight gain so they rationalize the need for the addiction. Being obese will kill you. Being addicted to cigs will kill you too. LOTS of things will kill you. I wasn't really worried about that...what worried me is not dying, but living to drag oxygen on wheels around everywhere I went. Plus it's too damned expensive to smoke. Screw that sin tax stuff! I'd rather spend my money on computers or CDs or vacations.

Okay, okay, I'll jump down off my soapbox now. No one knows better than me that you can't make someone do anything they don't damn well want to do. I guess the whole point of this post is that you can do it if you want to. For real, if *I* can quit cigarettes and lose weight so can you. Do it for yourself or not because life is too short to not do what's best for you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Say "YES" To Amendment #11

My buddy at the 1960 Sun, Brandon De Hoyos, who I've never met, wrote a letter to the editor of said newspaper and I'd like to reproduce it here...

While only a handful of voters will decide on this year's statewide constitutional amendments, I thought it was important to mention that we voters have a great opportunity to assert more accountability from our legislators this election.

Texas is one of only 10 states that does not require legislators to record their votes by name, which might explain how we get such bone-headed decisions in Austin.

This amendment is important as it would require a record of every vote by every legislator and then provide real time public access to those votes online.

Voting FOR Amendment 11 would only empower the voters by ensuring our legislators vote our way and not the way of their party or their lobbying buddies. I urge everyone to get to the polls and vote for Amendment 11.

I urge the passage of that amendment too! Please get out there and vote like you care even if you don't care! Voter apathy only works if you sit on your can and whine! Do what I do...get out and vote and THEN you can whine all you want secure in the knowledge that you are a good citizen and have earned the right to bitch and moan!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Huh? My Ears Are Stopped Up!



I swear it's getting worse too! It's been off and on for a couple of years, but the past 6 months or so my ears are stopped up more than ever plus I get off balance and stagger around like I'm enjoying some cheap wine!

So what do you do when you have a medical complaint besides complain? You go to the doctor. I made an appointment with an ENT and successfully completed a hearing test, a check on the pressure in my ears, an open MRI to make sure I have a brain and there is no evidence of anything blocking my ears from the brain side and finally an ENG test which was loads of cheap drunk feelin' fun.

I found out that I have a slight hearing loss in the high frequency range...I already knew that, but since the last test it hasn't gotten any worse and "considering I live in a metropoltian area and my age" it's no big deal. There is no evidence of anything untoward going on in my brain and YES I DO have one even though it "shows the usual evidence of normal aging". I was given an Rx for something mild to help with the dizziness and pretty much told it should all clear up "on its own" and to check back in 6 months. Ack! Oh and my OLD ears are "extremely" clear of wax which shot down my hope that it was a build up of crayons keeping me stopped up.

I don't want to take more drugs. I just want to hear or at least not have to walk around, correction, STAGGER around feeling like there are giant bubbles in both ears and not knowing if I'm talking too loudly or not talking at all! It seems worse when I do talk.

I know it's just allergies and the congestion is causing the eustachian tubes to block up and most people would just slug down a decongestant and be done with it, but I can't take decongestants since my MI. I take a generic Allegra every day for all the good it does. Sigh.

Oh and if I try to hold my nose close and blow it just makes it worse.

I'm bummed.

I think I'll go chew some gum. That sometimes helps.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Me And The Texas Ranger!


I've always wanted to meet a real Texas Ranger and now I have! He came out to talk to our Harris County Citizen Police Academy Alumni group tonight and he was just great. He answered all our questions about the organization and how it fits in with all the other law enforcement agencies in Texas.

Just like a good neighbor they don't just open the door and barge right in, they have to wait to be invited inside. Once inside they don't take over like they own the joint either...they work WITH for the best way to handle the individual situations.

The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement organization on the North American continent with statewide jurisdiction and the premier law enforcement agency in the state.

He was a Texas State Trooper for 8 years before becoming a Texas Ranger and he holds the rank of Sergeant. He has worked all over the state before being assigned to Houston. Our group was honored and thrilled to hear what he had to say and I personally was tickled pink to get a photo of me with him!

Tomorrow I'm off to volunteer my time at a golf tournament for Women In Law Enforcement via my involvement with the Houston citizen Police Academy Alumni. That should be interesting too. I have a feeling sun screen will definitely be in order. Maybe I'll get some more pictures too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

RAD Revisited with Photos!

Awhile back I wrote my I'm Just A Gal That Can't Say No post and this is from yet another RAD class that was a huge success. These are a few of the photos that I took.... enjoy!

These are some of the instructors. The reason they are in black and white is for some reason there was too much yellow cast in the color copy and try as I might I wasn't satisfied with the corrections I tried to make on it so I said okay, there's more than one way to skin a cat...I'll just get rid of the color completely!



And these are some more of the instructors.




And if I have to explain this next picture then you're either a straight guy or a blind gal!





Yumeeee...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bargain Hunting, Deal Making, Buyer's Delight!


Back in the beginning when I heard about the World Wide Web I though 'phooey, bunch of hooey'...who needs it...it's just an online Yellow Pages.

I was right! .... Sort of.

Now I buy a LOT online. I try and find bargains whenever possible. I belong to MyPoints and I'm using their portal when I can to make points to turn in for gift cards for my upcoming (2008) trip to the "islands".

I found this cool site that has the Most Popular Sites For Bargain Hunters. And down at the bottom of the page it was tons of other cool sites. It's a got-to-add to your bookmark list!


Here's a few more that I really like...

DVD Price Search - The Smartest Way to Compare DVD Prices Online! This is the granddaddy of them all for DVD bargains, but I also use Half.com to buy used DVDs and books and such.

DVDTalk - another site that's been around forever and has pretty much everything you'd ever want in the way of same and lots of reviews so you can try-before-you-buy although they'll be the first to tell you that some of the reviews are in the eye of the beholder and in some cases, the beholdings! That might be why some movies have more than one person reviewing them. It's doesn't take long to figure out who's just a butt kisser and who's really given it some gray matter.

AgentB - Shopping buzz with bargains galore!

Dealigg - a web2.0 community where members find and vote for the latest deals. Popular deals have received seven or more votes.

Judy's Book - you can search for deals near you!

Retailmenot - Coupons! Lots of coupons!

NextTag - is my favorite for comparison shopping and the one I turn to first

TechSelector - help you find the right product easily

WizeRank
- Compiles consumer research and opinions and gives out ranks

If there's some place that I need to know about, take a second to clue me in! I'm always up for some useful link clicking!

Just added:

Coupon Heaven - Who doesn't want to get to heaven and discover tons of coupons await!

Happy hunting, bargainers!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Thoughts On The 2007 World Series

Well, for starters, dadgumit sure would of liked it better if the Astros were in the race, but maybe again before I'm dead and buried they'll make it back and make a better showing than their other appearance....

I'm sitting here watching the Boston Red Sox beat the livin' pook out of the Angels AGAIN and I think it's pretty clear to everyone including George (the meanest man in the world) Steinbrenner that it's going to be Boston vs Colorado for the whole enchilada this year.

That's okay by me. All I've ever said was so long as it's NOT the Yankees, who really gives a rodent's hind end....

I do. I've been wanting Colorado to win because I've got kinfolk in Colorado. I've also got a friend near Boston and she's a large Sox fan so that makes it tough. I'm not pulling for either team exactly, but I sure do like Josh Beckett. My first born knows him, sort of, and she said he's a real great guy...can't get into the details, but suffice to say he's got a lot of love in his heart for his family. May the best team win and hopefully the winner will be the best team...

I'm thinking this is going to be a very exciting baseball classic and the best team will prevail.

Now I'm going to kick back and watch the Yanks get beat. Come on Indians, make Roger earn all that dough!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Eating Out After RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery

My gosh it's not easy to eat out after the surgery. Now don't get me wrong, you can get the food and then get take home containers and even throw some of it away and walk away happy, but my query today is WHY can you get SUPERSIZED but you can't get SLENDERIZED meals everywhere?!





I've tried a couple of times to flash the little piece of paper I got from the surgeon saying how I can't eat a whole lot now and could I pretty please have a smaller portion even if I'm not under 12 and the request doesn't phase 'em. I was so happy when we went to Minute Maid and I discovered I could get a delicious BBQ meal deal from Lefty's. ONE meat portion with 2 sides and bread was $5.50, half the price of the much larger 2-meat $10.50 regular sized meal. Even at that I'd take a piece of foil and a plastic baggie to tote home most of the meat for a couple of other meals or give my "leftovers" to the nearest big guy with a hearty appetite.

When I made it a point to thank the man in charge for the ability to buy a smaller portioned meal he said that at first "they" were not crazy about the idea, but that he pointed out that all people had to do was buy one regular meal and then share it. We actually saw THREE adults share one regular meal one sunny afternoon at the ballpark.




My favorite Tex-Mex joint charges one dollar more for kids over 12 and adults for their "kid's meal" and they don't just have fried meat with fried potatoes like MOST of the kids meals you see. Subway is good now because they have a kid's meal with healthy choices and they aren't sticklers about age.

So mostly I just don't eat out much anymore. Or I'll get stuff to go so I can get it home and in the refrigerator quickly. I live in Texas and it gets mighty hot even in the winter especially in the closed up vehicles. Too hot for food to sit around without being kept cold.

All I'm asking for is the other side of the coin. If you can feed the kids less and healthier why not throw the old folks a bone too!
As the population ages I'm betting you'll see some more concessions made to help folks with smaller appetites, but I want it NOW!


Friday, October 05, 2007

How-To For YouTube to iPod Files

Thanks to my daughter....AGAIN....my life has become so much simpler. I like some of the stuff I've seen on YouTube and wanted my own copies. You know the stuff. The stuff that might not be there next time you want to show it to someone!

So here comes my daughter riding on her white horse to my rescue because I knew how to convert the files to .flv, but I wanted something that would allow me to put those files on my iPod and she steered me to a 21 year old whiz kid from Sweden that this is what he's into...




And...



And...



It was easy as store bought apple pie to convert the .flv files into mp4 files and iPod love 'em!

Now I can watch my favorite TdashDub production of Attack Of The Killer Boxes anytime I want to, anywhere I happen to be!

Life is good.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Wildlife On The Prowl!

It's beginning to be like some kind of Twilight Zone around here. At the rate I'm going I'm thinking I should apply for a grant or something and become a wildlife preserve! Here's the latest....



When I met the deputy in my driveway I told him that Lucy had treed a RAT! Well once he shined his mega wickedly bright flashlight on the critter it was almost a rat, but not quite. Aren't his ears weird? I've never seen a possum up close like this one!



The deputy, who I call "Trouble", has been my hero on more than one occasion over the years! Thanks, Trouble, for taking that critter off my hands! Lucy might never recover. She wanted to kick some ass and there was no good end in sight. The possum couldn't get up any higher or down where he could run away. Lucy wasn't going to give up the hunt until forced to. She was jumping as high as the top of the bush the possum was in and barking like she was possessed....




Obviously the word on the bayou is that it's fun to visit my place and see the old lady jumping up and down shrieking along side the little white dog who's having conniptions in her own right! I'm better than HD TV to the creatures of the night!

Feel Better Fast Laws Aren't A Good Idea

I'm so sorry for the family and friends of Deputy Constable Jason Norling who was so tragically killed and is being buried today.

In both the Houston Comical and KHOU's report it has been said that the driver of the SUV that hit him was "thought to be using a cell phone" at the time and that has sparked an effort by the family to ban the use of cell phones while driving. That's just a feel better fast solution to a problem that has no solution if people don't have any common sense.

We already have the law that wasn't obeyed saying the driver of the SUV was suppose to slow down and give the deputy and the driver a wide berth. (A new state law requires motorists to switch lanes when they see an emergency vehicle along the side of the road. If they cannot switch lanes, they should slow down 20 miles below the speed limit. But that apparently did not happen this time, according to authorities.) Enforce THAT law please don't make another one.

Better to make it policy that people have to acknowledge the officer and then be instructed to drive to a place of safety off the highway entirely. Although, come on, there is no place of safety if it's your time to go. Now I'm the first to tell you, I don't know bean one about how to conduct a traffic stop, etc., but look more closely at the procedure and not at the millions that don't run over LEOs conducting traffic stops. People ought to have sense enough to pull over and yak on their phones without trying to do multi-tasking, but they don't. I don't. You don't. The deputy most likely didn't either. You can't stop people from taking and driving any more than you can stop them from drinking and driving. You can catch some of them and punish them, but you can't catch them all.

I hope and pray that this senseless death helps to educate some people about both the new law pertaining to emergency vehicles on the side of the roadway AND how dangerous it is to be distracted by something so easy to avoid, but no law will ever make it not happen again and again.

My biggest fear about the slow down or change lanes law is the danger of a rear end collision just trying to comply with THAT law. People, myself included, drive to fast and follow too closely and I'm pretty sure there are laws about THAT on the books too.

I apologize if this post offends anyone for any reason. I had to get it off my chest and I mean no disrespect to Deputy Norling's memory or his survivors. There's not a day that goes by that I don't worry about my friends that wear a badge and pray for their safety whether they are engaged in traffic stops or sitting behind a desk with their feet propped up OR talking on their cell phones while driving around the mean streets.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

One More Link I Like!

Joost!

Who doesn't like FREE online TV!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lucy And Ricky Together Again!

Well as you may know, my new adopted dog's name is Lucy. I tell people I named her that so that when I come home I can say "Lucy, I'm home" in my best Ricky Ricardo imitation. Well tonight RICKY came to visit with LUCY and he thought he really was home!




We were out for our walk and saw something run across the street and up my driveway and then up in my tree. At first I thought it was just a cat, but then it dawned on me that it ran "funny" for a cat. My neighbors were backing up and down in their driveway and they called out to me to be careful because it was a raccoon! When they got home it was in their driveway and ran under one of their parked cars.




It never ceases to amaze me just how much wildlife is right outside my door! No wonder Lucy cries for what I considered no good reason when we go outside at night. I figured she smelled cat tracks or even the possum that likes to poop on my porch. I had no idea a full grown raccoon was on the prowl! That thing probably weighs twice as much or more than Lucy does.





Hopefully I terrorized it enough with the flash on my camera to make it find new hunting grounds or another treetop motel. It probably scared it to death too that I was jumping around saying "sh*t, sh*t" for a good 15 minutes.

Biggio's Farewell - Favorite Photo



This guy was my kind of fan! And this is one of my favorite photos that I took Sunday, September 30, the day that Craig hung it up, cleaned out his locker and took home a piece of all of our hearts.

It was a sad day for the Astros fans, but we'll always have our memories of the way the game was played by Craig Biggio and that we were lucky to have witnessed it!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

LinkLand

Here's some links I like and why...

RottenNeighbor.com

Who doesn't have a few bad neighbors in their hood? This is a cool place to check out and see if maybe YOU are the bad neighbor in YOUR hood! (Originally seen on Houston Consumer Blog).


The Bargainist!

Who doesn't like to shop AND save a buck in the process? This is one of my favorites to keep an eye on for window shopping if nothing else.


TdashDub

Who doesn't like young, cute, funny menfolk with tight tushes? This one could be one of my grandkids if I had any grandkids! He likes to make videos and it's just a matter of time before he is discovered. He's got LOTS of fans, but he needs to be noticed by someone with some pull. (Warning: explicit language - So, Betty, don't click on this link! It's not something you'd like, trust me on this one!)


Simply Audiobooks

Who doesn't like FREE stuff? This place has free book downloads! Alas, they also sell books, but that's another story entirely. Another free books place is LibriVox.


15 Web Addresses for Wasting Time …


Who doesn't like to waste time? Just stare off into space and comtemplate nothing! Here then are 15 links that are just for fun.


Free Annual Credit Report

Who doesn't like getting a free annual credit report to make sure your identity hasn't been compromised? Or just because it's FREE!


Refrigerator Words

Who doesn't like rearranging words on the refrigerator? Especially when other people you can't see are also making sentences and silly sayings! What fun!


Woot

Everybody already knows about Woot. Sigh. But who didn't know that if you click on the "Woot" in the upper left hand corner you are taken to Shirt.woot for T-shirt deals? Or that then if you click on Woot Shirt you're taken to Wine.Woot or as I like to think of it WootWine? Me! That's who didn't know! But thanks to Gowan, now I do!


Flaming Text


And finally, who among us doesn't like to set their name on fire? I bet I nearly filled up a harddrive with flaming text!


Enjoy the links!

Please Help An Injured HCSO Deputy!


How can you help Deputy Cupial?

If you're in the area, you can attend the BBQ! Tickets will be available at the door.

If you can't physically attend, you can send MONEY!

Send your donation to:

Deputy Pete Cupial
c/o Harris County Federal Credit Union
1400 Franklin Street
Houston, Texas 77002

Thanks in advance for helping one of Harris County's finest!


Diabetes Type III?!

My gosh, check this out...

Insulin, it turns out, may be as important for the mind as it is for the body. Research in the last few years has raised the possibility that Alzheimer's memory loss could be due to a novel third form of diabetes.

Now scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer's disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant. (The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for "amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand.")

With other research showing that levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, the Northwestern study sheds light on the emerging idea of Alzheimer's being a "type 3" diabetes.


Wow.

I'd love to know if my brain insulin has improved along with my body's insulin use!

I wonder how they test for brain insulin?

That would surely take a glucose monitor like nothing I've ever seen!

I'm not even going to think about the size of the test strip or where to prick for the blood sample!


-----------

Theory That Alzheimer's Disease Is A Third Form Of Diabetes Supported By Discovery

Friday, September 28, 2007

UPDATE on Dallas State Fair's New CHL Policy


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Apparantly, including the media in our last email was a good idea! I just received a call from a reporter at the Fox Affiliate in Dallas, KDFW, who had just gotten off of the phone with officials at the State Fair. According to the reporter, the State Fair has NOT changed their policy regarding patrons who have a Concealed Handgun License and are entering legally armed.

To recap what to expect, you need to notify the person with the wand (all incoming patrons are wanded) that you are armed and have a concealed handgun license. You will probably be escorted to a point just inside the fence, where you will be asked to wait for a supervisor. Depending on how crowded the park is, you will wait for anywhere from a few minutes on up (I have heard of one member who left after waiting in vain for 45 minutes, but this seems to be an extreme example). The supervisor will verify that your license is valid, and on my only visit to the park armed, the number of my CHL and name were recorded on a notepad. In my case, on a weekday afternoon, the whole process took about 5-10 minutes.

Going through this process, while certainly annoying, will at least allow you to be able to defend yourself during your time of greatest vulnerability, which is the walk to and from the parking areas, since Dallas Fair Park is in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city.

If anyone does encounter any difficulty in carrying a handgun legally at the State Fair of Texas, please contact our office immediately at 972-889-8772, and we will take whatever actions necessary to see that this important right does not get interrupted.



I am writing to you today to let you know of a possible change in policy by the State Fair Foundation, regarding CHL Carry at the State Fair of Texas. In years past, CHL holders were allowed to carry after displaying their CHL to a supervisor brought to the front gate for that purpose. We have reason to believe that policy may be undergoing revision, but cannot yet confirm it. We also have no confidence whatsoever of getting a straight answer out of State Fair officials.

Our source of information is the following message posted to the Texas CHL Forum:

We just attended our orientation meeting for all the officers that will be working the State Fair this year. One important change to this year's event is that CHL holders will not be allowed to carry firearms while in the Fair this year. This is a big change from previous years that you will need to prepare for. This is not a DPD rule or policy - this comes from the State Fair management.

We were told that if someone comes into the fair with a gun and they have a CHL that there will be no LE action taken against them as they have not broken any state laws. However, a representative of the State Fair will be contacted and the violator will be detained until they arrive. Once the State Fair representative arrives the violator will be informed once again of this new policy and asked to remove their gun from the premises. If they refuse to do so then they will be given a Criminal Trespass warning and if they refuse at that time to leave, or return back to the fair grounds this year they will be arrested. I can also pretty well assure that their weapon will be seized and a report made to DPS.

Anyway, I wanted to let as many of you know as soon as I found out since the Fair opens tomorrow. I can just imagine that there will be quite a few people parking some distance from the fair grounds and being stopped at the gate regarding this new policy. They will be faced with a long trek back to their vehicle, or if they took DART to the fair they will have to spend money and time to return to some location where they can safely store their gun.

Also, be prepared for longer lines at the entrances due to the extra security of wanding every person and searching all of their belongings. If you do decide to come and visit have a great time as there are a lot of new attractions, rides and food vendors this year.

We are presenting this information to you as quickly as possible as a warning, so that you will not find yourself in a predicament. If you do wish to attend the State Fair with your legally carried firearm, be prepared for this new policy to be enacted. If you are ordered to leave, do not risk your CHL by refusing to do so. But we are sharing this information, so that you can prepare yourself for the eventuality of having to walk back to your car to store your firearm, or leave entirely if you utilize DART transportation (since you will have no place to store your firearm).

Remember, if given instructions or a trespass warning by the State Fair officials, please follow them. If the Fair personnel insist on attempting to change their long-standing CHL policy, which has not resulted in a single incident or injury, then we will take this issue up with the State Legislature in 2009.


Questions regarding this message can be directed to the Texas State Rifle Association at 972-889-8772.

James Dark

Executive Director

Texas State Rifle Association

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Six Catholic Nuns Excommunicated For Heresy

Wow.

On first glance at this article from the Houston Chronicle my mind started racing about jokes dealing with Arkansas and nuns in the punch line, but the more I read the more I wanted to know.

So I Googled and came up with this article Mary, Quite Contrary that is a bio of Marie-Paule Giguère. Now I'm not about to say she is or isn't the Virgin Mary incarnate, but one has to admit that she must have something going for her.

Considering her history and the fact that she reinvented herself... here's her timeline:

1) Born 1921

2) 1933 at age 12, she has heard "an interior voice" that her followers believe is God channeling the spirit of the Virgin Mary through her

3) Married in 1944, had five children

4) Separated from her allegedly abusive husband in 1957

5) Placed her children in an orphanage OR perhaps in a "boarding school" as one source suggests

6) THEN (drum roll) thanks to another edict from God - became the Virgin Mary incarnate circa 1958

7) August 28, 1971 - formed the Army of Mary in Quebec

8) In 1975, Cardinal Maurice Roy, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of the Church in Canada, issued a decree recognizing it as a "Pious Association"

8) In March 25,1987 all hell done broke loose! She got a proper smack down from Cardinal Vachon, the Archbishop of Quebec because two books being circulated by the Army of Mary contained "gravely erroneous doctrines". They took back her piousness, big time!

9) In 1997,her husband, Georges Cliche, died. This freed her to become a religious. She was unanimously elected Superior General of the Daughters of Mary -- one of the five organizations that she herself had founded.

10) March 25, 2000 - the 40,000 square foot Spiri-Maria opens and it looks quite spiffy! This isn't a cheap joint! As usual, there's a lot of money in religion. Call it a cult, call it a sect, call it anything you like, just make sure you keep the green flowing!

They have thousands of followers too. I've never heard of them until today, but then I make it a point to shun that sort of thing whenever possible. I just naturally distrust anything that man says God told him to do that leads to a profit and loss statement.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

That's What I Like To Hear!


I recently contacted my US Senators concerning H.R. 2640 and this is the response I got back from JOHN CORNYN ....



Thank you for contacting me about federal firearms laws. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

It is essential to safeguard the law-abiding citizen's right to own and use firearms designed for legitimate purposes such as hunting, target shooting, collecting, and self protection. Restricting this right runs counter to the intent of our Founding Fathers, who expressly guaranteed that citizens would retain the right to keep and bear arms.

As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, I have firsthand knowledge of crime-fighting policies that work, and I believe that citizens' Second Amendment rights should not be restricted because of the actions of criminals. Rather, we must respect the rights of law-abiding citizens and focus our attention on the source of violent crime: criminals who use firearms to commit crimes. I believe that strictly enforcing the law and meting out longer sentences for career criminals and those who use firearms when committing crimes will reduce crime much more effectively than gun or equipment bans.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain that I will continue working with my colleagues to uphold our Second Amendment rights. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator



I know. It's a form reply. But it's still exactly what I wanted to hear/read! Heck, I'd send out form replies too if I got the volume of mail that those folks do.

The BEST part about it is living in Texas, as a rule, you don't have to worry about how the Senators are going to vote on gun issues. They KNOW how the majority of Texans feel about our privileges to own and bear arms. I still write though just to let them know I'm still alive, kicking, waving my flag and voting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What I Hate About Minute Maid Park!



Thanks to my best friend Paula and her lovely husband Larry, I get to go to Minute Maid Park a LOT and if you are around something long enough it starts to bug you. Or at least it starts to bug ME, so in an effort to soothe myself I'll list the gripes....to wit....

1) The beer sellers and other peddlers are just too much. I think it might be just isle 113, but I'm not sure. I do KNOW they come down that isle in droves. About 4 or 5 DIFFERENT beer sellers come one right after the other and they don't just scream BEER/WATER at the top of their lungs, they stand in the isle and block the view(s). Naturally they spot the ones drinking beer and that is like chum to a shark. They KNOW if you drink ONE you're going to just keep on buying until Last Call so they just keep circlin'.

So how would *I* fix it?

I'd do like they do to wrecker drivers. Give them a chip and then let the folks in the red shirts pick ONE and that ONE would be allowed to peddle on THAT isle or maybe that isle and a couple on either side of it. Better yet would be that one isle and assign them another isle clear across the stadium so it'd take them some time to get there and back. Brilliant!

See it's not just the beers sellers. They also have the frozen lemonade (Minute Maid, of course!) sellers, the Peanut Man (who's pretty cool and really more fun than irritating, so, okay, he can stay), the giant 'Rita with the little-or-no-alcohol so-why-would-anyone-buy-one? sellers, the cotton candy and assorted memorabilia pushers and I'm probably forgetting one or more of them. Ever so often you get the hot dog sellers, but not that much 'cause most folks go get their own which is a good idea for ALL that stuff except maybe the beer 'cause then they buy it in open cups and spill half of it before they get seated again.

Oh and the really, really irritating part is that they hold up these little stop signs to keep the fans from running down the isles while folks are batting and yet they don't stop the peddlers from doing the same thing!

2) My 2nd biggest gripe is the give-aways. Now they have done a tremendous job this year of HOW they give stuff out, but why oh why do the sponsors give out 10,000 of something knowing that 20k plus are going to be upset THEY didn't get one? We'd get there way early and always got whatever it was being given away, but that's not the point. It's like if you bought one super good toy at Christmas and had 3 or 4 kids and the first one in the den got it. Well you can imagine the angst that would ensue!

3) My final gripe (at this time!) is about sound. They like to play stuff on the big screen and some of it like the 1 minute player to player interviews are cool except that you can't hear what's being said....probably because some half dozen beer sellers are screaming all around you! Turn up the volume on the teevee and shut the sellers up!

I've also got a similar gripe with FSN when they have the after game autopsy questions and answers by the team manager and you can only hear HIM and not the questions and he's not about to respond by repeating the question so it's like...

Manager: Yes, I do.

blah, blah, blah

Manager: That's not a bad idea. We might implement that some time in the future.

You get the drift. Can't blame THAT one on the beer peddlers.

See if Drayton sat in the real seats he'd know this stuff. He sits in his ultra cool, got their own wait staff assigned, no peddlers yelling in HIS ear or blocking HIS view seats and could care less what the rest of the fans are going through.

Online Intrusion Or How To Keep On Your Toes




I buy a LOT online. I belong to MyPoints.com (ask ME how YOU can join and *I* can benefit!) and I'm saving up the points for my trips to "the islands" next year.

When you go to order something you have to stay alert! I reckon you should stay alert everywhere online, but it's crucial in the order blank filling out game!

They like to run these checked boxes in on you and hope you won't notice that you've just given them permission to make your inbox a living hell.

They ALL want to send you exciting offers.

I get so excited.

It's not just when you buy something, of course.

Take MLB.com for instance. They like to get you to vote for this and that and they are notorious for their checked boxes and once they get you on their mailing list they don't EVER let you off. I vote for the All Stars candidates and they LET you vote a gazillion times before they say "enuff" and it's so darn easy...all you have to do is fill in the info once and then just keep hitting 'vote again' or some such. The rub comes in, again, with those dadgum filled in boxes. You uncheck and if you don't remember to uncheck each and every time, they get you!

Now I know that built into the software and it's as automatic as looking at chocolate and wishing it was in your mouth and starting to slobber (in a nice, ladylike way, of course). You can't help the chocolate thing and they can't help the checked box thing. But they could if they wanted to. They could just as easily write something into the code that said you had to check it for it to stick, but noooooo that would defeat the whole purpose of tricking you.

Phooey. Makes me irritated.

I think I need some chocolate.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Google Docs Rock!

Nothing makes a mother more proud than to sit back and see their child sore high in the sky of their own accomplishments.

It's a living, breathing testament to validate all the right things we ever instilled in our kiddos.

By the same token, we feel it acutely when our kids mess up. We feel as if we should of anticipated it and somehow we ourselves messed up by NOT giving the kiddo what they needed to make a difference in the outcome. The plus side of the mess up is usually they learn a valuable lesson, but Lord how painful it is to watch them grow that way!

But I digress, this is a post about Google Docs and how much "they" rock!

The way my daughter got into this was that she told me about Google Docs as the site applies to her own computing life. She's sent me to so many great online places and the pride kicks in because I gave birth to her and by watching me struggle to learn how to use a computer she got the desire to learn about them herself. I get to live vicariously through HER growth and what mom doesn't eat THAT up with a spoon!

So, bottom line, check out the site and when you speak kindly of it, and you will, think of my kid and what a great job me and her dad did raising her!

(I'm almost sure I have to add a disclaimer that this post is meant to be full of sh*t. I do love the site. I did learn about it from my child and I am proud of her. All the rest is just me being way over the top of the manure pile! One of my favorite places to be I might add....)

How Perfect Is My Life?

When I get bored I like to take online "personality" polls! This is one I just took....





Your Life is 73% Perfect



Your life is pretty darn perfect. You don't have much to complain about.

Of course, your life is occasionally less than perfect. But you're usually too happy to notice.




I thought it would be higher than 73%.

I think they lost me on the "job" and "body" questions. Plus I don't have a "significant other". All in all though I'm thinking I didn't do to badly rate-wise even if I stink date-wise.

Most of the fun things at Blogthings are for the very young anyway. It probably reflects on me in a negative light that I LIKE taking kiddie polls!

But, all things considered....I make a great peanutbutter sandwich!





What Your Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Means



Your eating style is reserved. You are a bit of a fussy eater, and you have very specific ways you like your food prepared.



You have an average sweet tooth. While you enjoy desserts, they aren't exactly your downfall.



Your taste in food tends to be conservative and traditional. It's likely that you prefer "All American" favorites like mac and cheese or hamburgers.



You are probably a fairly normal, upper middle class person. You don't rock the boat too often.



You are a tough person who isn't afraid to live life fully. There isn't a lot that scares you.



Precise and controlled, you can be a bit anal retentive when it comes to how you like things. You're definitely a perfectionist.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Otay, OJ.

I swore I wasn't going to touch O. J. with a ten foot battle lance, but this is just too good not to flaunt....

One man's take on the whole thing....

On September 17th, 2007 at 11:47 am, RevJim said:

C’mon, now. Granted, Orenthal James is hardly our nation’s finest intellect, and it’s quite possible that — given his moronically evil outlook, history of mayhem and murder, and total absence of remorse — he qualifies for Worst Human Outside the Clinton Circle.

But as a reflection of American culture — our legal system, our conflicting notions of what matters in life, our collective worship of celebrity (at what cost?), our susceptibility to viewing even matters of life and death through the lens of race and idiotic PC — O.J. Simpson and the stench swirling around him have no equal.

I, for one, continue to be interested, and still pray — for all our sakes — that this saga ends with the door of a prison cell clanking shut behind him with all the force of a 6′6″ defensive tackle clotheslining the man. And I want to see it happen.

If he carried a gun,
He ain’t gonna run.


Amen, bro! Amen!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

So Close!



...but still not there!

Poll: I'm Reading This Blog Because?

I'm Reading This Blog Because?
I Know You and Like What I Read Here
I Googled Something Hot and Got YOU instead!
Force of Habit
Bored - Nothing Better To Do
You Read MY Blog!
We're Related! I have to read it!
None Of The Above
All Of The Above
Ask Me Again When I'm Sober!
  
pollcode.com free polls



Thanks for taking the poll! You rock!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm Just A Gal That Can't Say "NO"!

I've been up to my pits in volunteer options. It's difficult for me to turn down ANY opportunity to hang with the fuzz! (Good Lord I am old! No one says 'fuzz' anymore!).

Two weeks or so ago I was "helping" with a RAD class. Mostly I stood around and kept an eye on some gals even older than me hoping to catch them if they toppled over. They did let me film the final exam phase and that was cool.

RAD is one of Sheriff Thomas' pet projects and a wonderful program for women only. It's all very hush-hush with lots of female only high signs and special handshakes so I can't get into specifics, but the gist of it is to teach women to be more aware of their surroundings and watchful for imminent threats to their person. The ladies in the class just lap it all up like it was melted ice cream. They LOVE learning how to NOT be a victim.

I'm going to help with RAD again in a couple of weeks.

Last night I begged a ride to Kingwood to help with the current Harris County Citizen Police Academy class. I can't even say what number that class is because I flat out didn't think to find out. I graduated from Class 10 and they are probably up to 23 or 24 now.

They asked for a bunch of volunteers to help with "scenarios" and I got to be a "happy drunk" in the passenger seat with the male "happy drunk" driver. Then inside the building he and I were paired as a sister who called the police and her crazy brother. He had a plastic gun hidden and "killed" all but one of the deputies that responded. The only one that survived was the one that hustled ME out in the hallway to get me out of their way!

I had a ball! I was worn out by the time I got home last night and my forearms are covered with "bruises". I guess they are called bruises. The older I get the thinner my skin is and all you have to do is stare at it hard and it colors up! I also had a small skin tear that had to have a band-aid to stop the bleeding. I didn't want to show the brass in charge for fear they'd get all weirded out about the potential for liability, but thought it was probably better to ask for first aid than to bleed on the students!

I'll probably volunteer again for scenarios as it was fun! I'm quite the ham it seems! There were 16 or so of us that showed up to help and that was good because we saved the department a LOT of money as they usually used deputies for the role playing. There were scads and scads of deputies there as it was. I'm sure people driving by wondered what in the heck was going on with all the cruisers with flashing lights on and the staging of the 8 to 10 or so scenarios much less all the people in the parking lot of the 2nd Baptist Church!

The finale outside is the felony stop complete with sirens and a loud speaker. That involved 3 of the volunteers in one car being stopped by a half dozen or so patrol cars. The deputies all had to lock their real weapons up and use the red plastic handguns. One of the students wondered if the deputies felt silly advancing with their red guns outstretched. I was told later that they really felt silly before the use of the plastic guns when they just held their hands together and simulated the use of a weapon. The students were all abuzz with excitement watching the drama unfold.

You know...the more I know about Harris County's public service activities the more proud I am to be a resident of Harris County!


Previous post on CPA classes

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome aboard. Here's Your Blanket.




This young lady was asked to change her clothes before she could fly on Southwest to Tuscon. She didn't have any other clothes with her as she was only intending to stay a few hours. So she got to wear a blanket in her lap instead.

Here's the whole story.


Humph. It's my experience that they usually make you take things off...such as your shoes! I didn't realize the fashion police also had power over passengers these days! Wow!

Now my own personal gripe is gals that wear stuff like that, but not from the hubba-hubba aspect....hell, sugar, if you got it, flaunt it!....but from the safety standpoint. We have to watch the what-to-do-if videos on every flight and I sit there and think can that gal effect her own rescue with THOSE shoes on? 'Course THAT gal would have men lying down so she could walk on 'em or they'd tenderly carry her out by her....hooters, for sure, but I see women and children wearing inappropriate clothes and shoes all the time and just shake my head. I guess it's just part and parcel when you get old to sit around going tsk-tsk.

BTW this little gal works for Hooters and I'm predicting that this little episode will probably get her enough ink to be in Playboy and then who knows. She might end up having her own plane and then she could fly butt nekkid if she wanted to! Ain't 'Merica great, tho!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Cure For Diabetes Type II Is Here & Drastic!

I read with great interest an article from Medical News Today on gastric bypass surgery as a treatment for diabetes type II.

In my own case and in the case of my daughter who had the RNY surgery 3 years before me, diabetes type II is gone. My recent A1C test was consider NORMAL and the one before that was better than its ever been. I've written before (see links to RNY) about how I didn't expect my diabetes to vanish when I consider the surgery. I was told due to my age and physical conditions and length of time I've had the disease, blah, blah, blah I couldn't expect what someone younger, blah, blah, blah would. I weighed all the pros and cons and went for it. I'd do it again tomorrow. Heck, I do it again TODAY.

Neither my diabetes doctor nor my cardiologist told me beforehand that the surgery was the cure. I don't know if they can't due to some kind of doctor rule or if they didn't know, but it's not just about how little a person can eat after the surgery, it's about tweaking the gut so sugar is handled differently and certain bad hormones are thwarted. Afterwards you just don't handle sugar and fat the same way you did before. I can honestly say now I don't "do" French fries and I don't miss them. They don't even taste the same. They taste like crap......if I'd ever knowingly eaten crap for comparison that is. They taste like crap PROBABLY tastes. French fries are just one of the examples of foods that are self limited and since they have no food value to begin with it's a win-win from day one.

The article has medco folks jumping up and down about how you can't call the surgery the cure and that doctors and hospitals will make bank on it. Well I've got a news flash for that. The cost of traditional treatments for diabetes type II will suck the last dollar you own out of your bank account. And the doctors that treat diabetes aren't exactly poorfolk! Diabetes type II is a cashcow!

"They" say it's too early to recommend the surgery as the primary treatment and I agree. They also say there have been complications of the surgery and that's true. You HAVE to go into it with your eyes open and weigh your individual options and concerns. You HAVE to go to a good surgeon who has experience with the procedure. You HAVE to be prepared to take your life by the tail, turn it upside down and shake it vigorously. You are never going to be the same afterward. Your life is going to be drastically and permanently altered.

I gladly traded my insulin needles and seven injections a day for tiny portions and self awareness of what exactly I'm putting into my little pouch of a stomach. I give up French fries happily and the bloated, gas producing, heartburn inducing side effects they caused BEFORE the surgery.

For my money, gastric bypass surgery is the CURE for diabetes type II. It's also helping my heart for me to be more active and lose weight. My ONLY regret is that I didn't do this years and years ago! The younger the better!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Earthlink Drives Me Crazy!


I've used Earthlink for seven long and sometimes tumultuous years. Day one of their offer to my area of DSL service I called them up and got hooked up....before that I used their dial-up service. I've never been late on even one monthly payment. They debit my credit card. I don't mess with them, why in the heck do they mess with me?

Not me personally, 'me' as in MY homepage. I've lost count of the number of "new and improved" home page changes that have been foisted upon me. They tend to make these great changes on Sundays without a by your leave.

Today's change was the last straw.

My favorites box is gone. In its place is a new and improved edition and that means I'd have to start all over again filling in my choices. Phooey.

Next up is my stock market info....the carefully constructed list of what I like to keep an eye on. That's gone too. It shows the Dow at its closed Friday. AGAIN I'd have to fill in the missing info. Phooey.

They took away MY weather choices. I only got 5 choices to begin with and Houston led the list. I also like to keep tabs weather-wise on Las Vegas and Maui. The other two I change depending on where I'm going or have been. Do you sense a theme here? Yep, gone! I'd be back to square one just trying to get MY homepage like I like it. Phooey.

So short of telling them where to put my entire account (and the constant flow of incoming real mail on the other options out and about in this big old competitive world are verrrrry tempting) I'm just changing what I use for a home page when my Firefox browser loads. I'm going with my Bloglines and quick access to the feeds I follow.

All because some whiz kid has to keep "improving" things that don't need improving IMHO. Over the years there have been very few improvements anyway.....most of it is irritating sh*t that I block or move to the bottom of the columns which put it on the 2nd page. That would be the page I never look at!

The more I'm with Earthlink the more it's getting to be another AOL.

Phooey.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Funniest Woman On The WWW!

I'm woefully behind in my blog reading.

I got kind of down after Cody died and should of made the rounds to cheer myself up, but just couldn't work up the energy.

Yesterday I decided to catch up.

My friend Attila The Mom wrote one of the funniest 'bits' I've ever read.

Check it out!

She's just the BEST there is. She's the funniest woman on the World Wide Web! I'm so happy I "found" her....

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Just LOVE The Ticker Factory!

Hope you noticed I changed my weight loss ticker..... like most gals I get bored with the same old-same old so I have to rearrange the "furniture" from time to time.

I just LOVE the ticker factory too. It's not just for weight loss either...... you can track a multitude of things...... such as:

Weight GAIN (what!? heretics!)
Exercise & Fitness
Body Mass Index
Debt Reduction (Don needs THAT one!)
Savings
Fundraising
Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Events
Vacation/Travel
Scrapbooking (not sure WHY, but go for it if you do!)

Then you get into the GOOD stuff like....

Trying To Conceive (I was lucky. John dropped his pants and we got a baby! Got off the pill and BLAM - baby due in 9 months! First two times I thought I was catching it off a toilet seat!)

Pregnancy (Handy for those days when one thinks human gestation is 13 months long!)

Cycle Planner (I guess that's also for those that don't want the conception route!)

Pregnancy Milestones (Handy for recording 'puking over' now I 'get up 12 times a night'!)

Baby and Child Age (duh...they need a chart for that?)

Anyway I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, type A, OCD'r from way back and I live to list! Boundaries are good. Order is necessary. Planning is cool! Charts rule!

However maps are another animal entirely! But we'll get into my directionally challenged disorder another time. Like when I finally get a GPS..... Or my "rules are meant for everyone but moi" and I guess jail is the only cure for THAT according to some people.....

Friday, August 10, 2007

Awesome Weight Loss Photos!

It's a fact of weight loss life that you're gonna have some hanging skin issues. Mine isn't as bad as I though it would be, but it's not something I'd want to parade around for the world to see. I've been watching Big Medicine and have seen some incredible pictures of people with tremendous weight loss and the resulting skin hangs leave me speechless. There is no way any amount of toning, firming exercise can even make a dent........it's surgery or live with it!

Here's a link to a man who had the guts to photographically record his progress and the resulting skin hangs AND his surgery and subsequent hubba-hubba new look. He lost 186 kilograms which is 409.2 POUNDS! That's four of some people! Amazing!

There is truly hope where there is life!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bragging On My Kids

We’ve all gotten those Christmas card letters that are chocked full of all the good news from folks mostly bragging about their kids and their accomplishments and where they went on vacations, etc. Well if you hate reading those letters then stop now because this post is going to be in a similar vein.

I’ve been blessed with three beautiful girls. ‘Course they aren’t girls anymore, now they are women! They’ll always be my babies though no matter how old they get. My youngest, the actual baby of the bunch, gets crazy when I call her my baby. She’s been known to go “waa, waa, waa” in response. I can’t help myself though….when you carry someone inside of you for 9 months you get attached to them and think of them as your baby. "It’s a fact, you can look it up".

My first born baby is a hospice nurse. She’s been a nurse for 11 or so years. She’s worked mostly with the retarded and Alzheimer and dementia patents and for several years now she’s worked hospice. She says her job is to make someone’s last days as comfortable as possible and her the other concern is helping the family to cope with the inevitable. She amazes me for the things she deals with on a daily basis. I’m the original “feet don’t fail me now” gal when it comes to death and dying. I have to grit my teeth to attend funerals! I’m a total klutz when it comes to hospital visits. I’m the type that will trip over the IV tube or step on the bag that holds all the urine! I tell my daughter all the time that she didn’t get “that” from me. She loves her job even when she's on call and a quart low on sleep. I’m so proud of her and admire her so much!

My middle daughter is gifted. She is an artist. She sees things that I don’t. I can’t explain it since I can’t see it the way she does, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the eye of the artist is crafted differently than the eye of the rest of us. She recently had four of her painting on display and sold two of them for 5 bills each! She blew it off as her rightly due, but I was over the moon with joy and awe. Like most artists those pictures are not just her work they are HER babies. She loves each one and can recall the motivation and feelings that led to their birth. I think on the one hand she’s thrilled to make the money and the acknowledgement that someone other than her family values her work, but it’s got to be hard to cut that invisible umbilical cord and know that painting is “lost” to you forever. The good part is that there’s plenty more where that one came from. She’s certainly not a factory, but the way this gift works is the more you create the more you can create. I’m so proud of her and admire her so much!

My youngest daughter aka “the baby” is talking to “me” even as I type. She’s coming across loud and clear on my Bearcat scanner. She’s in training as one of HPD’s newest dispatchers. ‘Course they don’t call them “dispatchers” officially….but that’s what they are. She’s only been training for 9 days and she sounds GREAT to me. She sounds exactly like all the other dispatchers! And by that I mean like she’d been broadcasting for years and years. She says there’s a tremendous amount to learn and she has to read so much her eyes are tired, but I know she’s also excited to be learning something new. From what I can see, HPD does a bang up job of training folks too.....its not like she's the first one to go through the system. They are still hiring too! Check it out. The chance for advancement is far more reachable at this job than any of the other jobs she’s ever had. Better pay, better benefits and more interesting work are all the reasons why she’s happy to be working for the city. I’m so proud of her and admire her so much!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thank God For Craig Biggio!

This is what I just cut and pasted from the Houston Chronicle...

The Astros lost their second game in a row to finish their road trip at 2-4 and fell to 20-38 on the road, the worst road record in the National League.


We finally got to be first at something.

First in worse.

Woe is me.

Er....make that woe is them! I'm doing swell and always enjoy the games when I get to go see them live and in person.

My oldest bro is still waiting for the miracle comeback of 2007. I'm waiting for Spring Training 2008!

I did manage to upload some pictures I took at the last game I attended. Check 'em out at my Smugmug gallery.