Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back!

I'm back! My HP laptop died. It kept trying to turn on but kept turning off and trying again. It also has NVIDIA graphics problems. I got mail about that chip. I'll get it fixed but needed something now for my part-time job grading assignments for the CWHS Virtual High School. I bought a cute little 10" Acer Aspire One netbook for just $240. It's going to be great to take places with me. The 17" HP was a bit unwieldy for that. Mine's dark red.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Outrage

I'm devoting a whole paragraph to Jimmy Smits - for obvious reasons. They're also canceling Outlaw. Since he was on NYPD Blue and LA Law, he hasn't been on another long-running series on his own. Just as he was elected President on The West Wing, it was canceled. I've never gotten over that, either. It is my favorite show of all time even though it was never as good after Aaron Sorkin quit writing it. I remained loyal, but alas! Then Cane didn't last too long, which I could understand. I watched it but didn't like his character.



Now Outlaw will be gone! I like that show and his character is interesting and complex. But no! They'll keep those horrible bachelor shows on along with various mind-numbing reality shows because they are cheaper to produce - so are comedies. Dramas cost more, too, so they cut their losses and don't really give them time to develop the way they used to. Networks, movie studios, and music labels are run by MBA's who won't let producers and writers and performers find their audience or get better. I realize they're in business, but those are creative endeavors. The creativity part needs to be considered not always what is most marketable. Sometimes audiences can be brought up to a higher level.


We know there are way too many dumb people. Look how they vote and not just on American Idol and DWTS. Some of them are running for office and bask in their ignorance. Instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator of humanity, TV could have some quality shows on. Music could produce options to Taylor Swift. Movie studios could be original instead of having so many remakes and sequels.

Thank goodness, for The Good Wife! Hope they don't cancel that.

David and Ginger, you're absolutely right! I added pictures of my favorite hunky actor!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Whole Truth


I've read that ABC plans to cancel The Whole Truth. I don't know if any of you watch it, but I like it. Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney play opposing attorneys. He for the defense and she with the DA's office. The show lets us see preparation for both sides of the trial and then know the truth after the verdict. It's well-written and has a good cast. Many people didn't know what it was about, and ABC didn't let it stay on long enough to find an audience. If you feel inspired, please go HERE and ask them to reconsider and put it back on the air. Too many people thought it wasn't fiction but some kind of reality show. I contacted them to be counted in the ones who want it to stay on the air. Hope it helps.


And btw do any of you know why Criminal Minds wrote JJ out of the show? The show needs that character because she gave it some humanity and relieved tension.

I contacted both networks. They make it easy to get in touch with them, unlike NBC. Figures.

THEY WON!!!


Yesterday I went to the state volleyball tournament at MTSU to watch my two granddaughters play. Right now they're playing for the state championship in their division (District 1 A). It's on the computer on the TSSAA Network website HERE where you can see games already played, I think. Anyway, just wanted to let you know. They're numbers 6 and 7.

ps ... They won in an exciting close game!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Melissa the Talented

Melissa did all the art for HERO Games Fantasy Hero 6th Edition! Check it out HERE. She's on Facebook and also has a website HERE which many of you have seen. I'm thrilled for her!

Here's the cover.

Here she is with Brian and their friend Todd in the middle. She's wearing the t-shirt I bought for her at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. It has a caffeine molecule on it. She loves coffee and is a science geek, so I had to get it for her. She's an enthusiastic little thing - an artist, wonderful wife to my son, fabulous mother to my grandson, and most excellent daughter-in-law!!! Love her and am proud of her always!

Photo grows larger when clicked. Woo!

Donuts I Don't Like

I'm in the donut hole which none of you know anything about unless you're over 65 or are a pharmacist. This explanation and chart from Wikipedia (not always a reliable source as we know but is in this case) gives you the idea.

The following table shows the Medicare benefit breakdown (including the donut hole) for 2009, for 2010 the total TrOOP has increased to $4,550 before catastrophic coverage begins.

  • "Total drug spend" represents the actual cost of the drugs purchased, factoring in any Medicare discounts.
  • "TrOOP" (true out-of-pocket expenses) represents the amount of their own money that the patient has paid.
  • The donut hole is shown below in grey.

2009 Medicare Part D payments

Total drug spend TrOOP Out-of-pocket cost Portion covered by Medicare
$0–$295 $0–$295 Deductible is out-of-pocket No Medicare coverage of costs
$295–$2,700 $295–$896.25 25% out-of-pocket 75% covered by Medicare
$2,700-$6,154 $896.25-$4,350.25 All costs are out-of-pocket No Medicare coverage of costs
over $6,154 over $4,350.25 5% out-of-pocket 95% covered by Medicare

Last year I got in the donut hole a little over a month before the year was over. This year I got there in July, which means I pay full price for all my prescriptions from August until the end of the year. I won't reach that out-of-pocket amount (thank goodness) which would let me get more coverage later on. This means I'm stuck paying around $500 for my prescriptions a month along with what I pay for Medicare and the Advantage Plan I have. That brings it to over $700 a month. That's a big chunk out of my teacher retirement and social security, which together is maybe 70-75% of my salary as a teacher, which in rural Tennessee isn't that much to begin with.

The Healthcare Plan is supposed to do away with the donut hole next year. I hope the Republicans that get elected don't do away with the new plan. Can they? Since this donut hole idea started in 2006, we know who was president and which party had the majority in the legislature.

I would be happy and willing to pay more in taxes to help provide national healthcare coverage. I believe it is part of being a caring, concerned citizen to help those who need it however we can. Any taxes I'd pay would definitely be less than I'm paying now for my meds, which is not the whole point but a factor for sure. I can't wrap my head around personal and corporate greed and am glad I can't. There's help out there for those who can't pay for their meds, but typically, I make too much for that but not enough to comfortably pay it. I'm making it but will do better next year when this isn't an issue.

What is a major concern are those people who pay much more for their meds than I do and have to decide between medication and food or heat. This is just wrong. People shouldn't lose their homes and businesses because of medical costs, but it happens. We fall short in so many ways "compared to other industrialized countries" - a phrase seen too often in vital issues.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NPR Repercussions

Now look what Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney are up to HERE. Karl Rove tweeted about it, of course. That's why I'm following him - to see some of what they're up to. They're circulating a petition to ask the federal government to quit funding NPR. I'm so glad I contribute to NPR and have the t-shirts to prove it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grandson Visit

Weekend with The Boy! Never a dull moment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hmmm

The male sea lion may have more than 100 wives.

Casting Trivia

For the role of Mike Brady, the father on TV’s The Brady Bunch in the 1970s, Robert Reed was ultimately selected. However, a strong contender for the patriarchal part was actor Gene Hackman.

Might Come in Handy During the Olympics ... or Not

To a competitive swimmer, "d.p.s." means distance per stroke.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

End Hate

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RIP

First Beaver's mom..NOW Richie Cunningham's dad...Tom Bosley...he was 83

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Computer Woes

I'm having problems with my laptop and hope it's not dying. I mostly noticed the problem when I was playing Spider Solitaire that came already on the computer. The screen would freeze, and I'd have to manually turn off the computer which it doesn't like. I have Vista and read online that others had the same problem, so I followed some instructions and after wandering around the internet found a site where I could scan and download updates for drivers. This took quite a while. I haven't tried playing Spider Solitaire again yet, but the screen went black while ago when I was on Twitter. I keep several tabs open all the time - my blog, FB, iGoogle, and Twitter. They are set to come on when I open Firefox. Generally I'll open a few articles I find on Twitter that look interesting and other blogs I read (one at a time).

So now what? Guess I'll have to take it to someone who knows what to do. I'd rather not have to buy a new one or pay a fortune to get it fixed.

What Did They Use Before? Lanterns?

The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

Have a List?

During the Middle Ages, murdering a traveling musician was not considered a serious crime.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Opposite from What We've Heard

Our advice is to take a cold shower before sex. Cold showers actually increase sexual arousal.

Fall Break

My teacher friends are on fall break here, so I've been able to do things during the day with them. The trees are turning colors, but it's been so dry here that the leaves are falling off before there's a chance for the beauty we usually have here. It rained some the last two days, so that might help with the fall colors. These were taken last year of across the street and my back yard. Not as colorful this year but might get there.



I watched most of the rescue of the Chilean miners and the special Diane Sawyer hosted last night about them. The world watched with hope and happiness that they survived and were rescued. What a tribute to the human spirit that they did so well! Chile accepted help from experts around the world but is known for taking effective action during disasters. I wish for the best for those 32 men and their families and loved ones after this life-changing experience!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shark Trivia

The biggest fish in the world are the whale shark at 50,000 pounds, the basking shark at 32,000 pounds, the great white shark at 7,000 pounds, the Greenland shark at 2,250 pounds, and the tiger shark at 2,070 pounds.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October

Mostly because of the beautiful weather, all kinds of neat activities happen in October. Last weekend was the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. I've been wanting to go to that for ages but never have. Next year I hope to get there. It's a big deal in storytelling events. Read about it HERE.

This weekend is the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville which is always interesting. Authors, panels of authors, books, music, and more books! Check it out HERE.

Helena, Ark, has the King Biscuit Blues Festival this weekend. I've mentioned this before. They finally got their name back and will be able to use it again next year. That's a story filled with litigation. Website HERE.

What is the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival?

It's when Delta Blues fans head on down to Helena, AR for 3 days of the best Blues in the Delta.

The King Biscuit Blues Festival began in 1986 as a one-day musical tribute to the Blues roots of Helena and the man at those roots, Sonny Boy Williamson. The "King Biscuit" in its name stems from the fact that Sonny Boy Williamson was a founding performer on King Biscuit Time,a live Blues program on the radio. The program was sponsored by King Biscuit Flour.

What started out as a small festival has gained a reputation throughout the nation and always draws a big crowd. Despite all the growth, the festival organizers have remained loyal to their roots. The festival is still dedicated to the Blues as performed by the musicians that were directly or indirectly influenced by Sonny Boy and his contemporaries. These artists include Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Billy Branch, Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets featuring Sam Myers, Charlie Mussellwhite, Frank Frost, Sam Carr and a host of others.

The festival has four stages and it is estimated that over 100,000 people will be in attendance this year. They have dozens of Blues musicians and even a Gospel stage.
Brian, Melissa, and Brendan are going to the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta next weekend. WEBSITE I went one year and want to go back. It's so much fun to see the border collie demonstrations. They are so incredibly smart with natural herding instincts. If you ever get a chance to watch them in action, it's fascinating. The owner by voice or whistle commands them to sit and wait, select a specific sheep, herd him back, and then stay or do whatever the owner tells them to. Many of those guys look really hot in kilts, too! I just looked at the schedule and didn't see any events with the border collies. Sports, dancing, music, games, food, clan representatives, and booths. Lots of fun.

Then there's Oktoberfest this weekend in Nashville. I've been to that and enjoyed it. SITE

So what am I going to do this weekend? My granddaughter is in the area for a volleyball tournament I'm going to try to see some of. I have a meeting Saturday morning and decisions to make after that. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"I Love Mankind. It's People I Can't Stand."

I've been feeling that sentiment from the Peanuts character Linus quite often lately. Lots of encounters, comments, and items on the news have bothered me and gotten on my nerves. Glad I'm on blood pressure meds. I'm having a clumsy day. Last night my cat knocked over my bottle of water, so I cleaned that up. While ago I knocked over my Coke Zero and then my bottle of water myself. Sheesh!!

Dan and I are having a conversation on the comments section of his blog about part of it. I copied and pasted this in Facebook which I thought wasn't controversial but basically The Golden Rule and "judge not" which are part of the Bible some who call themselves Christians choose to ignore. I want to get the word out against bullying which was part of my job when I taught school.
1 in every 10 people born are gay. That means 1 in every 10 people are
instantly put down, given bad labels, left alone, put in a minority and
so much more... all for something they didn't ask for. Many gay teens are
committing suicide as a way of escaping. If you want to tell them life
will get better and you respect them for who they are, copy and paste
this.
So anyway, I got a comment from a former student Teabagger that I deleted. This is it:
Landon wrote: "Oh, I didn't realize that science had found "the gay gene" to prove that people were "born" gay.

My dear friend, with all due respect...it is a "choice"."
Well, he's not a friend and that wasn't respectful (all due or not). I ignored him and deleted it. Then I decided today to go to his FB page and wrote, "I see you are pro-choice." Having no sense of humor, Landon wrote: "Yes. I "choose" to believe in the teachings of the Bible." I replied, "I noticed. You pick and choose." He won't end there, but I will.

I was away from the computer for a while, and when I got back to it, I noticed all this activity that took place. Jim joins in and posted a few comments that Michelle (former girlfriend of my son's and still a friend of ours) who went to school with Jim (also a former student) made. He'd already deleted his comments by then, but I have them in my email. He also unfriended me. Well, Michelle said he got entirely off of FB she thinks. This is what he wrote:
Jim wrote: "No, I am sick of this debate. I am tired of people telling me that because I don't support the homosexual agenda I HATE THEM....I do not. We will all answer to God in the end for our sins and I say let Him deal with it. If that puts me in the idiot class then find me that rocketship and I'll gladly leave."
It all went on for a little while between Michelle and me which is how Dan got his information. Good grief!

My final comment on all this on FB:
The cruel and inhumane experiences gay people tell about how they were teased and bullied in school, rejected by parents, and attempted or seriously considered suicide when they were children and teens are heartbreaking. No one should have to endure that abuse.

Yes, it also happens to children who are overweight, unattractive, nerds, disabled, and "different" from the children who tease and bully them. Being a hater is a choice and one they are taught at home.

Too many teens suffer in silence and end their lives or become too damaged to have a life. A testimony to the human spirit are the ones who survive it all, become stronger, and thrive. Yes, it does get better.
That's just part of my irritation and rage against intolerance and hate. Add to it the way our educational system is so messed up that it will take decades to get it back on track, the political climate, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and a whole list of other things that put me over the edge. I'm going to the yarn shop and try not to screw up Charlie's scarf. See you later!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Lost Weeks

Have you ever gone through a period of time when you slogged through life and everything was an effort? That's what's been going on. I wasn't sick but didn't feel good. I couldn't seem to get anything done quickly. My sleep pattern was off again, too, and I was on a rock musician's hours. I've been going to the classes at APSU with Tina on Mondays and Fridays. Well, one class and waiting in the gallery during the Wednesday night class. Other than that, I can't say that I've been productive.


Somehow, I haven't felt motivated and just couldn't make myself blog, answer email, or do other things I enjoy doing. Weird. Everything seemed like too much trouble. I'm feeling better now. It started yesterday, so maybe this age is better for me, and I'll have a great year.

But I had a good birthday yesterday. I got cards in the mail - even one from David!! Thank you so much for that! Mother, Brian, Brendan, and I met for lunch at Calypso in Nashville. Melissa wasn't feeling good and couldn't make it. We had a good time and a good meal. I got home and read some of the book Brian gave me. It's a science fiction novel Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. My brother brought me some peanut butter fudge he made, and he makes the best I've ever eaten. He's the one of the two of us who cooks. Then my sister-in-law came over, and we all visited a while. Then they took me to dinner. Mother made an angel food cake with fudge-like chocolate icing for my birthday. Good day!

I also appreciate so much the birthday wishes you left in my comments and the ones I got on Facebook. All that made me feel special. Charlie sent an email recapping my latest year which was a happy reminder of some blessings and activities. Maybe I'll have some to add to that this next year. Thanks, Charlie! You've been a wonderful friend for over 15 years. How long has it been? Then there's the big package of chocolate from Maddie. Say no more! LOL I appreciate all of your comments, your blogs, and you!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Miss Me?

Have you missed me? I'll be back. More posts and catching up on reading blogs to come!