Wednesday, December 31, 2008

20 more days, thank Maude!!!

Lovely email, and so appropriate. Yeah, I know, I don't usually post political shit, but this is just too funny (and true, unfortunately).
Dear Fellow Constituent,

The George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages and accepting donations. The Library will include:

* The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
* The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won’t be able to remember anything.
* The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t even have to show up.
* The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.
* The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.
* The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.
* The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.
* The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.
* The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.
* The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make you to go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)
* The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shotgun gallery.
* The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.
* The Supreme Court Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.
* The Airport Men’s Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.
* The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija board, dice, coins, and straws.

The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate and view the President’s accomplishments.

The library will also include many famous Quotes by George W. Bush:

* ‘The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.’
* ‘If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.’
* ‘Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.’
* ‘No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription drugs and medicine.’
* ‘I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.’
* ‘One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.’
* ‘Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.’
* ‘I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.’
* ‘The future will be better tomorrow.’
* ‘We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world.’
* ‘One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.’ (during an education photo-op)
* ‘Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.’
* ‘We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.’
* ‘It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.’
* ‘I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.’…George W. Bush to Sam Donaldson


Jack Abramoff, Co-Chair G.W. Bush Library Board of Directors

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's over, finally

Well, we finally had our Christmas gathering yesterday. All the kids liked their gifts, which was great (parents call us with what the kids like, what they need, what sizes they wear, so we can get them gifts they'll like/use/wear). But I can tell you, I was glad when everyone left (9 kids and 4 more adults in this small house is crowded, let me tell you). The parents all liked their gifts too, so that was all good.
My son and his wife and their kids didn't make it up here (this economy is not being kind to electricians, that's for sure), so DH and I will be making a trip down there in a couple of weeks to deliver their Christmas, if the weather is decent.
I think next year, we're going to buy gifts and mail them to everyone and not have a gathering here. The kids went upstairs to play and ended up tearing up all the boxes we store the Christmas ornaments in (they were playing hide and seek in the closets upstairs, not a good thing to do when we have so much shit stored in them). They also broke most of the ornaments we hadn't put on the tree this year, and broke some of the boxes I had my sewing stuff and records stored in. We found this out today when we went to get the boxes so we could take down the tree and put everything away. These kids all range in age from 5 to 14 (one is 5, one is 6, the others are all between 10 and 14), so the older ones should have known better. I think I'm just getting too old and cantankerous to deal with rowdy kids (or maybe I'm just a bitch and need to become a DH was more pissed off than I was, and I was upset enough. He's talking about putting a lock on the door to the spare bedroom (there's nothing in there for the kids) and then putting a lock on the closet in the sewing room (all the toys are in that room). That way, they can play with the toys, but can't get into anything they shouldn't (well, they can get into the chests of drawers where I have my sewing supplies, but I'll figure out a way to keep them out of those too). The upstairs probably won't be as much fun with nothing to get into except toys, but it will be a lot easier on our stuff (I still think I shouldn't have to do that, I never had to do that with my son when he was small, and I sure as hell didn't have to do that with my grandson when he was little either). What the hell is wrong with kids that they don't respect what belongs to other people? If it's not theirs, they can break it or tear it up or make a mess? Are parents not teaching their kids to respect other people and their belongings anymore?
So, anyway, the holidays are over for us (we don't celebrate New Year's since neither of us drink). DH has New Year's Eve and New Year's Day off, we're going to stay home and work on our challenges for badges on Pogo (I'll have my second book of weekly badges completed, that will give me the books for 2007 and 2008). Eventually, I'll get the other books done, from 2003 through 2006. Gives me something to do when I'm not riding the recumbent exercise bike or doing what little housework needs to be done.
Hope everyone else had a happy holiday season, no matter what ones you celebrate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

6 new gene mutations linked to fatness

No Shit? I refuse to use "obesity", it's fat, researchers, fat, nothing wrong with using that word.
So, how many genes are there now that are linked to being fat? They just added 6 more, and what do they want to do with that information? It sure isn't going to be used to give us fat people a break for being fat. They want to use it to come up with drugs to control our appetites (because of course, you know it's your unfettered appetite that is making you fat because those darn genes just won't let you exist on a starvation diet).
"Today's findings are a major step forward in understanding how the human body regulates weight," Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Acting director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, said in a statement.
"This study essentially doubles in one fell swoop the number of known and replicated genetic factors contributing to obesity as a public health problem," added Dr. Kari Stefansson, Chief Executive Officer of DeCODE Genetics of Iceland, who led a team that made similar findings in a separate study.

I'm sorry, Dr. Stefansson, being fat is not a public health problem. Having a communicable disease is a public health problem, and no one is going to catch "teh fatness" from me, no matter how close to me they get, or how many bodily fluids we swap.
"One of the most notable aspects of these discoveries is that most of these new risk factors are near genes that regulate processes in the brain," added Stefansson, whose company hopes to sell genetic tests based on such discoveries.

Yeah, I thought so. This isn't about anyone's health, it's a money-making venture (why am I not surprised?). You're going to sell a test to see if people have the genes that make them fat, but you don't have a fucking clue as to how you can possibly make them permanently, safely thin. Not to mention that getting thin may not make fat people any healthier than they were when they were fat, and you can't guarantee that they will be healthier.
"This suggests that as we work to develop better means of combating obesity, including using these discoveries as the first step in developing new drugs, we need to focus on the regulation of appetite at least as much as on the metabolic factors of how the body uses and stores energy," Stefansson said.
"These new variants may point to valuable new drug targets," he added.

Ok, appetite is only part of the equation, and a small part at that. How one's body uses and stores energy seems to be a bigger part of that equation, and just altering the appetite isn't going to do a whole hell of a lot of good. Because one's body is pretty damned good at getting around any appetite suppression method you all have come up with so far. Each body needs the amount of energy it needs, and if you try to short it on that amount of energy, you're fucking up the whole system.
But it gives you an excuse to come up with more drugs to push on people who are desperate to fit into an unattainable ideal, which will make you millions/billions of dollars, and probably do a lot of damage to the health of the people on whom you are pushing those drugs (can we say phen-fen, just as one example?).
"We know that environmental factors, such as diet, play a role in obesity, but this research further provides evidence that genetic variation plays a significant role in an individual's predisposition to obesity," said the genome institute's Dr. Eric Green.

No shit, Sherlock! Genetics plays a significant role in whether people are fat or not, but all you can come up with are drugs to regulate appetite. FAIL, assholes, MASSIVE FAIL!!!!!!

ETA - At least they aren't quoting that old statistic of 320,000 deaths a year caused by OMGTEHFATZ! They've got it down to 100,000 deaths a year now (which is still more than actually are caused by fat).

I hate computerized vehicles

I knew there was a damned good reason I didn't become a mechanic back in the '80s when I went to college for it. I quit because auto makers were putting computers in cars, and I didn't want to be responsible for telling a customer that they needed a $400 computer replaced, only to find out it was something else (and that happens, even to the best mechanics).
So, I have this different minivan now, and hadn't driven it at night until Friday night. We drove out to look at the Christmas lights, and used the heater and headlights. So the next day, we were out doing some shopping, and I drove by the dealership to see if they had the missing part for the liftgate. My wipers were off according to the control, but they kept wiping intermittently, the left turn signal wouldn't shut off after I turned (and the lever was where it should have been for it to shut off), and the brake light on the dashboard was on. Oh yeah, and the damned bell for "fasten your seatbelt" was dinging, even though seatbelts were fastened and the driver's side window wouldn't roll down (electric windows). The dealer said it was probably some multifunction switch gone bad, he'd see if the guys in the shop could get it in to look at it. While we were waiting, I shut the van off (big mistake). When he came back to tell us to bring it back, it wouldn't start. Just clicked and flashed the headlights when I turned the key. Battery was dead. So we got a jump start, were told to take it home and put the battery charger on it (good thing DH has one of those). Who would have thought that the battery being low would have caused all of that shit to happen? Because when we got it started, everything was fine (evidently the alternator was charging the battery).
So, when we got home, I looked at the battery, and evidently it's the original battery that came from the factory when the minivan was new (it's a Ford Motorcraft battery and has no place on it to punch out a purchase date). The label on the top of the battery says it's replaced free in the first 18 months, 19 to 84 months and customer pays pro-rated cost of replacement. So it's a 7-year battery, van is almost 8 years old, I'm betting the battery is a POS and needs to be replaced. But the dealer's first thought was a part that costs anywhere from $50 to $200 to replace, plus $70 an hour for labor. I don't think I'll be taking the van back to them any time soon for any diagnostic work. I'll stick with the mechanic I know and trust (not to mention, his shop is just 2 blocks from our house). This is the kind of shit that makes me long for the days of carburetors and no computers (I can rebuild a carburetor, have done it several times). Fuel injectors - I don't want to have to replace those, you practically have to tear the engine apart to get to them, and don't even get me started on replacing valve cover gaskets on a front wheel drive vehicle, all the shit you have to remove just to get to the valve, what a hassle. I've replaced timing belts (Pinto and Horizon), replaced front and rear brake pads/shoes, replaced/patched exhaust systems, hell, I even replaced the head on my Pinto (in the winter, in a carport). I've replaced radiators and thermostats, replaced and rebuilt starters. Of course, this was all on older cars, the ones built before 1980 (I've owned cars built between 1961 and 2001, the Windstar is my 26th vehicle in 37 years of owning cars). A lot of those cars were ones I paid less than $500 for, drove for a 6 months or a year (till they died beyond resurrection) and then bought another one (was a lot cheaper than payments and upkeep on a new vehicle, not to mention license plates and insurance was a LOT cheaper).
But, we can afford to pay a mechanic to do the work on our rides now, so I guess I'll just have to learn to deal with strange shit happening on computerized vehicles.

ETA (on 12/19/08) - Well, got the van checked out, and it's not the alternator, it's the battery. Arnie called the dealership where we bought the van to see how old the battery is, it's 7 months old, which means it qualifies for a no-cost-to-us replacement (well, it would if we had bought the battery). Because the battery was purchased by the previous owners of the van, the parts guy at the dealership isn't sure they'll replace it free for us (and the one who can make that determination is out sick today and won't be back till the 22nd). Now I don't think it should matter who bought the damned battery, the dealership will get another battery (at no cost to them) from Motorcraft parts if they replace the battery, no matter who bought it, simply because the battery is bad and went bad within the warranty period. So Arnie is going to check back with them on Monday and let me know what he finds out. In the meantime, he put a new battery in the van for me (no charge until we find out what the dealer is going to do, see why I like him so much?). Personally, I would have foregone the bullshit with the dealer and just paid Arnie for a new battery, but Arnie's way may save us $75 (another reason I like him, he does things the most economical and safest way they can be done). He's a gem, for sure.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What are you willing to reveal in a text message?

This is something I don't have to worry about. Being a cheap bitch has its advantages. DH and I have a family plan for our cell phones, but we had them block text messaging because adding texting to our plan was more money than either of us wanted to spend. Before we had texting blocked, we were getting spam texts, and every one of those fuckers cost us 15 cents (now I know 15 cents is not a lot of money, but get 10 of them in a month and that's $1.50, get 100 of them and that's $15.00, not an amount of money I want to spend on spam). It's bad enough that we get all this spam in our email, I'm not going to deal with it on my cell phone too.
So -
Receiving a text message asking for your credit card information may be a no brainer for some who wouldn’t think of replying, but what if you receive a text message asking about your lifestyle habits, if you smoke, drink or what you weigh? Would it be as clear how revealing that information might be used in ways that might negatively affect you?

IF I had text messaging, and got one of those, my response would be either MYOB or no response at all (or maybe a nunyabizness).
The health information technology industry has been creating ways to use text messaging to reach patients with health promotions, appointment reminders, and to monitor their compliance with health prescriptions. The mobile healthcare business is a growing field and increasingly also being used to monitor lifestyles and adherence to performance measures. Contracting with government and insurance companies, they’re providing patient messaging services to manage care (“patient care messaging”) and encourage patients to follow healthy lifestyles.

You want to text me with that kind of shit? Then you're going to pay for the texting on my cell phone plan and even then, I may or may not reply to your texting (yeah, I'm contrary like that).
A company in the UK has developed a clever scheme to use text messaging for health phishing — to learn if people smoke, drink and their weight. It simply sends people a text message and asks! The answers are automatically recorded in their medical records and government database to be used to determine healthcare coverage or deny benefits, set premiums, and identify people for disease management intervention.

The company, iPlato, is marketing wireless technology to help providers and third-party payers communicate health messages to patients and monitor their healthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, diet, exercise, immunizations, screenings and other initiatives.

Um, yeah, I don't think so. If my doctor wants to know any of that information, I'll tell her when I see her. The government can piss off, they don't need to know any of that, it's another of those nunyabizness things. And WTF is this disease management intervention? If the government thinks you aren't healthy enough to suit them, are they going to force you into whatever treatment they think you need? Our judgment on whether we're healthy or not isn't going to matter? Fuck That!!!!!! It's no one's business if I smoke, or drink, or how much I weigh. It's also none of their business if I exercised today or ate all my veggies. And if I had to pay for those pills the doctor prescribed(even if it's just a co-pay), damned skippy I'm going to be taking them, I'm not into wasting money just because I don't like taking pills (and if I'm sick enough that it requires some kind of medication, I'm going to take all of that medication so I'm not sick anymore, I'm not a masochist, I don't like being sick).
Granted this is only happening in the UK right now, but how long is it going to be before insurance companies in the US think this is a good idea and want to implement it? Makes me damned glad I don't have texting on my phone, mainly because I figure if anyone wants to talk to me, they can call me. If I wanted to type to someone, I'd talk to them on the computer with a full-size keyboard, not on a cell phone with tiny buttons. My cell phone is for making and receiving calls, it's not for taking pictures or typing messages (that's why I have a digital camera and a computer). Yeah, yeah, I know I'm a fossil (I'm so old, God owes me money, according to a friend of mine), but the more I see of technology, the more I think it's getting too damned invasive in our lives, and the potential for misuse/abuse is staggering. I'm going to fight that every step of the way.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random bits

We found a neat toy for the cats the other day. It's a furry little mouse that squeaks when it's batted about. For all the toys the cats have, ever since they've gotten this one, it's the one they play with the most often. And they play with it several times a day (before, they might play with a toy once a day unless one of us actually plays with them with a toy). Even Fat Cat will play it 3 or 4 times a day, and he's 9 years old and likes to sleep most of his life
Yesterday was our anniversary. DH and I have been married 2 years now (where in the hell does the time go?).
And we traded my Dodge Grand Caravan (I've had it for 4 years, and all this time I thought it was a 1998, and here it was a 1997) for a 2001 Ford Windstar. The Windstar is nice, has front and rear heating and A/C, middle captain's seats, back bench seat, a trailer hitch and towing package, and a CD/cassette/AM/FM stereo. The seat belt/shoulder harness fits without an extender, and I fit behind the steering wheel just fine (although I think I should have the driver side airbag de-activated, since there sure as hell isn't 10" between my chest and the airbag, and that's with the seat as far back as it will go). They say the color of the Windstar is green, but it looks like dark gray to me, so it's a really odd shade of green, if that's what it is. The body is in great shape, and it runs really good. I won't have to fill the gas tank quite as often as I did on the Dodge, since the Ford has a 26 gallon tank (the Dodge had a 20 gallon tank). I don't know what kind of mileage it gets, haven't driven it much yet. It needs tires; they aren't bald or anything, but with the little bit of snow we have here, I'm spinning the tires when I take off from a stop sign (I'm stopping just fine, years of driving old cars with shitty tires and worse brakes has given me a lot of experience with stopping in bad conditions). So next week we're making an appointment to get tires put on it.
I see they arrested the governor of Illinois and he's out on his own recognizance and back governing. Business as usual in Illinois, what a surprise (NOT).
I also see that Oprah is beating herself up over gaining back the weight she lost (how many times has this happened?). She's been losing and gaining and losing and gaining for at least 20 years, you'd think she'd have learned by now that it doesn't matter what diet you use, NONE of them work for permanent weight loss. I used to watch her show, back when she was first on, and thought it was great that this fat woman could be successful on TV. Then when she went on that liquid diet and came out in the size 10 jeans with that wagon of fat, representing the weight she had lost, I quit watching her show as much. And every time a diet failed, and she beat herself up for failing (dammit, she didn't fail, the fucking diet failed, like they always do), I watched a little less, until I totally quit watching her at all. I just wish she could figure out how to love herself as she is. No person's worth should ever be dependent on their appearance. She says she's not worried about being thin anymore, she just wants to be stronger, more fit, and healthier. That's good, but if she's still equating health with thin, I don't think it's gonna happen. Oprah has been successful at whatever weight she's been, you'd think that would tell her something about herself. She has drive and ambition and intelligence, otherwise she wouldn't be as successful as she is, and being thin didn't get her there, and being fat didn't keep her from getting there. Oh, and Gayle, with a friend like you telling her that being 200 lbs isn't healthy, she sure as hell doesn't need any enemies. You aren't her doctor, you aren't Oprah, you don't know for sure what her health is or how long she's going to live, so take a big dose of STFU about her weight.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Woo Hoo! I found some pants today

I know not everyone likes Wal-Mart, but I found some awesome (for me, anyway) pants there today. They look like the denim stretch leggings, but with a wider leg opening at the hem. Elastic waist, pockets, and the legs are actually long enough. WM is carrying them in sizes up to a 4X (26/28), which is what I wear. They actually have colors other than navy and black, too. I got a purple pair and a charcoal gray pair, but they also had dark aqua, sage green, tan, white, a very small check in black & white, and black, as well as a couple of shades of denim blue. Best of all, they were only $17 (White Stag was the brand). WM is also carrying tops up to a 5X (30/32) and they are actually cute! I got a scoop neck, short-sleeve, gathered top in a charcoal gray & white print, and a purple & white baby-doll top with purple lace at the neck with rhinestone flowers in the lace (kind of a crinkly, stretchy fabric). Both tops were only $14 each, from Faded Glory.
Actually, DH bought them all for me for Christmas, so I had to box them up and wrap them when we got home........LOL If I can remember, after Christmas, I'll put them on and take pics to post here of how they look. There were a lot of other cute tops there that I liked, so I'll probably be going back to get more when I have money to spend on clothes.
DH also knows what he's getting for Christmas from me, since he told me which cars to order from Motormint (he collects die-cast cars). I don't think the cars are going to get here in time for Christmas and his birthday, so I printed out pictures of them to put in cards for him, so he has something to open when family is here. Neither of us mind knowing in advance what our gifts to each other are, so it's cool :) And at least this way, I know he's going to like what I got him, and he knows I'm going to like what he got me (and that what he got me fits me).
So if y'all are looking for cute casual pants and tops, Wal-Mart's plus size section just might be the solution.

Monday, December 1, 2008

People wasting billions of dollars on quack health food and diet products

This should be another one of those "No shit, Sherlock" moments for these idiots who think "obesity" is a disease. And why are people wasting those billions of dollars? Because you morons keep telling fat people that being fat is a disease that is going to shorten their life and ruin their health. Because the media keeps touting how being "thin" is the only way to be healthy, happy, rich, smart, beautiful, popular, successful, and live forever.
Professor Lean from the University of Glasgow, is hopeful that a new European Union (EU) Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, adopted this year in UK, will finally protect vulnerable consumers who are tricked into to buying useless food products or supplements in attempts to combat their disease.

"Obesity" is NOT a disease, asshats. It's never been a disease, and just because you label it a disease doesn't make it one. From Webster's Dictionary: disease 1-obsolete-trouble 2-a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs the performance of a vital function : sickness : malady 3-a harmful development (as in a social institution - the various diseases of civilization). Fat is not trouble, fat does not generally impair performance of vital functions (witness all the fat people who are still alive even after being told their fat is going to kill them), and despite what the diet industry/big pharma/the medical community would have you believe, fat is not a harmful development in civilization, since it's been around since civilization has existed.
Unlike medicines, food products that are marketed for health reasons are not subject to the same stringent research trials and control, and consumers are often misled.

Often misled? How about misled every fucking day of their lives! Misled by the media, misled by doctors, misled by pharmaceutical companies, and most of all, misled by all those companies pushing their diets that they know don't work, they know have never worked, and they know will never work (other than to put billions of dollars in their pockets) for safe and permanent weight loss.
It is already illegal for unsubstantiated claims to be made about the composition or nutritional function of food products, eg. that they are low in fat, high in fibre or help lower cholesterol, and it is also illegal to claim that a food can treat or prevent any disease—including obesity. However, many unsubstantiated health claims are still made, or implied. Misleading marketing can be found within brand names and images on packaging, in shelf or shop names, or on websites which suggest that products help weight control, are slimming, or are "Health Foods", when there is no evidence.

No shit, Sherlock, and WTF are you doing to stop those claims from being made? Namby-pamby little rules, like making them put teeny tiny print at the end of ads saying "Results not typical". Results not typical, my aching ass. "Results not happening at all, ever, for the majority of people, so you're wasting your money on this" should be more like it.
He points out that, of all the hundreds of products currently on sale to help people lose weight, only energy-restricted diets and exercise, the drugs orlistat and sibutramine, and in some cases bariatric surgery, are safe, effective and cost-effective. The remainder, he says, are either not effective or not safe.

Well, let's see now. If you go by evidence-based statistics, those energy-restricted diets and exercise don't work for safe, permanent weight loss. If you go by evidence-based statistics, orlistat and sibutramine aren't all that helpful unless you only have small amounts of weight to lose (like less than 20 lbs) and they give you the added benefit of possibly shitting yourself in public (orlistat) or losing maybe 24 pounds in 6 months and staying on the drug for life in order to keep those 24 pounds from ever coming back (sibutramine, not to mention that you have to stay on the reduced-calorie diet and exercise like mad for the rest of your life). And I'm not even going to address the success of WLS, we all know how successful and safe that is..........NOT.
So yeah, Professor Lean, it's idiots like you that created this panic and pushed people into spending billions of dollars on quack remedies that don't work, have never worked, and will never work, and you think you have a solution? I don't think so, since it's people just like you who came up with all the solutions you say are "quackery". And the solutions that you think work? Well, guess what, dickweed, they don't work any better than the quackery you're railing about. So go join the medical community, big pharma, and the diet industry in their little cesspool and leave fat people the fuck alone. With friends like you, we certainly don't need any enemies.

ETA: H/T to petulant at Shakesville for the link

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving today. I get to play on the computer all day as DH has to work. We aren't having our T'Day dinner until Saturday (he's off Fri, Sat, & Sun). We had planned on having it Friday, but my son has to work that day and isn't coming up until after work. So Saturday it is.
And since I hate to cook, and I hate doing dishes even more than I hate to cook, our dinner isn't going to be a big one (and paper plates/plastic silverware for dishes). We're having turkey breast roasts (no bones to deal with), ham, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, and dutch apple pie (with Cool Whip for the pies).
DH and I will be doing some minor housecleaning on Friday (dusting and vacuuming, mostly, some mopping, and laundry). I'm de-cluttering my computer desk today, it's a disaster, and I'm going to be putting all the CDs away since they're sitting on a wooden TV tray next to my desk while I've been labeling them (I still have about 30 left to do, found a bunch more that needed to be done).
At least this year I don't have to cook for a huge crowd. It will be DH, me, my son and his wife and one of the grandsons (the other one has to work), and one of DH's stepsons and his wife and 3 kids. Small crowd, one I can deal with fairly well (since I don't deal well with lots of people in a small space). One of the really nice things about this gathering is that none of the people coming are going to be commenting about how they shouldn't eat this or that or they shouldn't really have that much of this or that. Of course, we aren't having a huge meal with candied yams and mashed potatoes and gravy and all the other traditional Thanksgiving extras, but even if we were, no one would be talking diet trash talk, thank heavens. The one person who would be talking like that didn't get invited to dinner this year, she showed up an hour late for dinner last year and then was pissed because we didn't wait dinner on her (and her husband was even later getting here than she was). I was like, sorry, you knew what time we were eating, everything was done, I couldn't keep it edible waiting on you to decide when and if you were going to show up, so you get what's left over, deal with it. Would have been different if she had bothered to call and say they were going to be late, but no, no call, just show up late and then be pissed because we got to eat while everything was hot and they had to eat cold left-overs. Tough shit, I'm a bitch when I've cooked a huge meal and not everyone is there on time to eat it.
So this should be a nice, relaxed dinner with congenial company. I'm hoping I can get some decent pictures of everyone, and maybe talk my son into taking a picture of me and DH, since we don't have one of us together yet. If I get pics, I'll post them on here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm done with our Christmas shopping! And other news.

Yay! We finished up our Christmas shopping before the crowds started in the stores. We got the grandkids what they all want for Christmas (within reason) and bought things for his stepkids/spouses and my son & daughter-in-law that we know they will like. the presents are even all wrapped and ready to go under the tree, when and if we decide to put it up. I even got all our Christmas cards sent out last week.
My big project for right now is going through all of DH's CDs that his ex burned for him and labeling them with what songs are on each one. That has shown me that I would not have been a good contestant on "Name That Tune". I would have been the one saying "I can name that tune in.......let's see, it's gonna take playing the whole song and even then I might not know the name of it." Now, I've listened to a lot of music in my 55 years of life, but most of it has been the country music from the '50s through the '80s, classic rock from the same years, and a lot of heavy metal. Music is one of the things DH and I don't have in common. He likes the old rock & roll and country music and doesn't care for heavy metal at all, while I don't care much for the newer country music. Most of the singers nowadays, I can't tell by listening to them who the hell they are. If it's Dolly Parton, or Reba McIntire, I know those voices. The rest of the female singers all sound pretty much alike to me (well, I recognize Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline too). I have an easier time recognizing male country singers' voices, like Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakum, and Marty Stuart. But even so, a lot of the male singers still sound a lot alike to me (can you tell I'm not musically inclined?). So going through all these CDs and trying to figure out the names of the songs on them is a royal pain in the ass, especially since they all say (when you open the CD to get a listing of songs) "Unknown Artist Track#__". Now, if DH is home when I'm doing this, he knows the titles to a lot of the songs, and can tell me within the first 30 seconds what the name of it is. But I've been doing a lot of this while he's at work, so I'm guessing on the ones I've never heard, and some of the songs I've heard, but WTF is up with radio stations now that they play a song and don't give you the title of it or who's singing it? I mean, really, people, if you aren't going to tell me the artist and title of the song, how the hell am I supposed to find it on CD to purchase it? Could that be one of the reasons that CD sales have gone down the shitter?
I have WinAmp on my pc and the free database that looks up song & artist online can't find any information on any of the CDs DH's ex burned for him, and I don't have a clue where she got the songs (she took the pc the songs were on when she left). I don't know if she ripped them from other CDs or downloaded them off the internet. Now, I've used Limewire to get mp3s off the internet and I've ripped CDs that I purchased (I have 9 gigabytes of music on my computer) and every one of those mp3s has song name, artist, and length on it, so I'm at a loss as to how you can have mp3s on your computer and all they say is Unknown Artist Track #1, etc.
I'm running into CDs that have the same song on the CD twice, sometimes 3 times, songs are duplicated on other CDs, the CDs aren't labeled at all, other than to maybe say "comedy", "oldies", "country", "Christmas", etc. And those aren't even accurate, since there might be love songs mixed in with the Christmas music or comedy mixed with oldies or country, and then there's the Boyz2Men or Enya bullshit thrown in for good measure, or Celine Dion (I abhor Celine Dion, she sounds like she's screeching, to me).
DH wants to rip all those CDs and re-burn them so there aren't any duplications, but I don't know if that's a task I want to even think about undertaking. I would be the one to do it because he doesn't know how (he uses his computer for email and Pogo games, that's it). To do that, I would have to rip each CD, rename every track, and then burn them all to new CDs. Now, I have a CD burner in my computer (and I have a CD player that plays mp3s in my minivan), so I could do the CDs as mp3 CDs instead of audio CDs, which would mean I could put 5 - 10 hours of music on one CD, so I wouldn't have to burn as many CDs as I would if I redid all of the current ones (and DH is getting a CD player for his truck next month, right now he has a cassette player and cassette copies of all the CDs). Both of the CD players will play mp3 CDs, so that isn't a problem (and I like having a lot of music on one CD, then I don't have to worry about changing CDs while I'm driving, not to mention I don't have to have a ton of CDs in the van). So there are positives to ripping and re-burning all those CDs, but damn, that's a lot of work. I've done 25 CDs so far, and have another 26 to go (each CD has between 15 and 27 songs on it), so that's a lot of music. At least I don't have to write each song title by hand. I created a template in Excel, and as I'm listening to the song, I'm typing the title in (once I figure out what it is, or what I think it is because I'm guessing on some of them). Then all I have to do is print out the list (I can get 4 lists on one sheet of paper), and use my paper cutter to cut them apart and slide in the slim jewel case with each CD. That paper cutter is the best investment I ever made, back years ago when I was making counted cross stitch greeting cards. I used it to cut the card stock to size, and I've used it to trim photos I print out.
Speaking of photos, that was another project I did for DH. He had pictures of the USS Stark, when it got hit by those missiles during the Gulf War back in 1989. He was on the USS Conyngham at the time (as an HT1) and he helped fight the fires, carry bodies, and gather up the deceased crew members' belongings so the chaplain could see that their families got them. I had scanned them into my computer and burned them to a CD for him, just in case something happened to the actual photos. We sent a copy of that CD to the Conyngham Association for their website (that ship was decommissioned and scrapped, the association is for all the men who served on her over her 28 years of service). So the other day, one of the guys who was on the Conyngham with DH called to see if we could send him the pictures (I had sent him a CD with the pics on it, he took it to Wal-Mart and they couldn't figure out how to make pics off it). So I got the photo paper and printed out the pics to send him. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself......
And I'll tell ya what, I won't be taking any pictures to Wal-Mart to be fixed or printed off a CD. We took in an old photo of DH's parents to have it restored (it's a wallet-sized photo and very old). They won't do it without a release from the photographer, who happens to be dead and the studio is out of business. Wal-Mart said we have to hunt down his heirs and get them to sign a release to have the picture restored. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. My daughter-in-law ran into the same thing with them. Her mother, who is NOT a professional photographer, took pictures of 3 of our grandkids, had Wal-Mart put them on a CD (the CD has Wal-Mart's viewing software on it). Tina took the CD to Wal-Mart to have more pics made off it, and they told her she needed to have the professional photographer sign a release saying she could do that. I don't know very many professional photographers who would use Wal-Mart to develop their pictures and put them on a CD with Wal-Mart viewing software, but that's what they said, that the pictures had been taken by a professional (yeah, my granddaughter was on a horse in her grandmother's backyard in some of those pictures, and in her grandmother's kitchen in others, so yep, that was a professional photographer all right, came right out to the house and spent all day shooting pics of those kids). Whatever. I can print out the photos she wants, I downloaded all the pics off the CD onto my computer. I think I have a couple of gigabytes' worth of pictures on here. She'll just have to get the ink and the photo paper. It takes half of a color ink cartridge in my printer to do 22 - 4"X6" prints, so I'm not sure how much ink it would take to do however many 8 X 10's she wants. I'll have to see what she wants to do when they come up here for Thanksgiving next weekend. We're having it on Friday since DH has to work on Thursday (time and a half plus holiday pay will look good on his next check, he says).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another reason I don't have much to do with family in Illinois

This email was forwarded to me by my aunt, who I really really love, it was sent to her by my niece (with who [whom?] I have my differences, to say the least), who professes to be a Christian. I really don't see much of those Christian ideals in this racist piece of shit. Talk about having white privilege and not being able to see it, this just makes me so fucking mad, and so damned glad that I don't have to interact with her (my niece)on any basis at all (although, if she reads this, she'll probably send me a nasty email detailing what a piece of shit I am as a person for daring to take her to task for her racist ass-hattery).
--- On Fri, 11/14/08, Traci
Date: Friday, November 14, 2008, 8:09 AM

This is that email I was talking about, Jamie. Not that I completely agree with all of it, but some of it.....

To Be White
Someone finally said it.
How many are actually paying attention to this?

There are African Americans,
Mexican Americans,
Asian Americans, Arab Americans,
Native Americans, etc.
...And then there are just -
You pass me on the street
And sneer in my direction.
You Call me 'White boy,'
'Cracker,' 'Honkey,'
'Whitey,' 'Caveman,'
... And that's OK.
But when I call you Nigger,
Kike, Towel head
Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey,
Beaner, Gook, or Chink
... You call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot
Of violence against you,
So why are the ghettos the most
Dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund.
You have Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.
You have the NAACP.
And you have BET.
If we had WET(White Entertainment Television)
... We'd be racists
If we had a White Pride Day
... You would call us racists.
If we had White History Month
... We'd be racists.
If we had any organization for only whites To 'advance' OUR lives
... We'd be racists.
We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,
A Black Chamber of Commerce,
And then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.
Wonder who pays for that?
If we had a college fund that only gave White students scholarships
... You know we'd be racists.
There are over 60 openly-proclaimed Black-only Colleges in the US ,
Yet if there were 'White-only Colleges'... THAT would be a racist college.
In the Million Man March, You believed that you were Marching for your race and rights.

If we marched for our race and rights, ... You would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, Brown, yellow and orange, And you're not afraid to announce it.

But when we announce our white pride ... You call us racists.

You rob us, Carjack us, And shoot at us.

But, when a white police officer Shoots a black gang member Or beats up a black drug-dealer

Who is running from the LAW and Posing a threat to ALL of society ... You call him a racist.

I am proud. ... But, you call me a racist.

Why is it that only Whites Can be racists?

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let's see which of you Are proud enough to send it on.
John A. Emrick

I deleted her email address and the email addresses of the family members she sent this to, I'm not going to out them for the racists that they are, they already know it, and should be ashamed of themselves. This is so fucking wrong on so many fronts, I don't even know where to start. But I can tell them all this, being a racist when you're white and have all the fucking privilege in the world and then saying those people of color (against whom you are being a racist) are being racist against you? THAT is just so damned wrong, and you are so scared that giving equal rights to everyone is going to cost you the rights you've always had. It doesn't work that way! Grow up and get a fucking clue, people, racism is WRONG!!!!!!!!! I can't be emphatic enough about that. Everyone on this whole fucking planet deserves to be treated as a human being with all the same rights and responsibilities as every other person, and it doesn't matter what color you are, what religion you are, what gender you are, what size you are, or what your sexual orientation is. It doesn't even matter how smart or stupid you are, you still deserve equal rights.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another clothing rant

This rant is about slacks/pants. A couple of years ago, I found some great knit slacks in Lane Bryant's catalog (cotton/polyester/spandex, and not a thin fabric at that). They had straight legs, elastic waist band (which is a must when the waists of pants are so high they hit my bra band), had pockets (have to have pockets), and came in talls. So, those slacks are getting worn out and I need to replace them. Does LB still carry them? For some reason, no, they don't. The only pants in that fabric with pockets have tapered legs (which I don't like, they cling to my compression stockings when my legs swell), and the elastic waist also has a drawstring that ties in front (WTF is the point of having a drawstring waist AND elastic?). The ones that have the straight legs don't have pockets, and they don't come in talls (I have a 32" inseam, so they have to be talls). I checked out Woman Within, and they don't have them either. Catherine's is a lost cause for me for pants, they don't carry talls at all (do they think all fat women have short legs or what?). Roaman's doesn't have them either, and neither do any of the other online catalogs I've checked. And what the hell is up with changing the sizing on pants from 18, 20, 22, 24, etc to 1X, 2X, 3X, etc? I know what size I wear in the conventional sizing (a 28) but this 1X/2X/etc bullshit means I have to guess if the damned pants are going to fit, because the conversion chart they give isn't very accurate (I ordered one pair using that chart, and the pants were way too big, and the fabric was thin and cheap).
Now, LB and Woman Within carry the denim bootcut leggings I like, in talls, with pockets, but I can't wear jeans all the time. There are times when I need a casual pant, but I have to have pockets (cell phone and van/house keys go in them, I don't like carrying a purse, my billfold holds everything else I need). I liked the pants from LB catalog because they were comfortable, they looked good, and they lasted quite a while, not to mention the fact that I didn't have to pay $40 or more per pair (I think they were $15.99 on sale, at that price, I could afford to have them in navy, black, brown, hunter green, burgundy, and charcoal gray). I have checked out every online catalog I know of for fat women's clothing and none of them have the kind of pants for which I am looking. Those pants are a staple of my wardrobe, and I am not a happy camper at the prospect of having to go out and hunt for the same type of fabric as those pants are made of, if I can even find it in the colors I want, then have to take an old pair of pants apart for a pattern, and make my own. Yes, I can do it, I used to make most of my clothing (back when bullet-proof polyester was in fashion and I could find it for $1.00 a yard). But it looks like that is what I'm going to have to do to get the pants I want (at least if I make my pants, I can alter the pattern so that the waist in front doesn't come all the way up to my bra). But damn, why can't they keep the pants I like? Why do they have to change the style every year? I mean, FFS, pants are damned pants, there are only so many ways they can be made, so why leave out important details like pockets and add superfluous details like a drawstring on an elastic waist?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Are we feeding a fear of fatness? No shit, Sherlock!

This article is just too loaded with DUH! moments (and a lot of headdesk "idiots, WTF did you expect?" moments).
A nationwide obsession with childhood obesity is triggering a dramatic increase in the number of young people with eating disorders
No shit? Who would have ever guessed that harping about being fat and how disgusting and "deadly" it is would have that effect on kids. Who would have thought that kids would take those messages to heart and then go out and actually try to do something about it. I mean, really now, if those messages do that to adults who should have better critical thinking skills than children, why is it so surprising that those messages are fucking up the health of children? Do you assholes promoting this shit ever stop to think of the psychological health of fat people, or are you so fucking concerned with your idea of what is aesthetically appealing that you don't give a rat's ass about anything else?
A nine-year-old I know has recently “taken up” cycling. A few pounds over the mark, though by no means obese or even significantly overweight, he believes that exercise in regular bouts is the solution to his podginess. So on Saturday mornings he heads out with one of his parents on a predetermined bike route with the sole aim of burning fat. The farther he cycles the greater his sense of accomplishment, not in terms of sporting endeavour but because he can congratulate himself that day on expending more calories than he has consumed.
This boy equates exercise with slimness, and slimness with conforming to society's ideal of how a person of his age should look. He can tell you which foods are calorie-laden and the number of daily steps that need to be taken to stay healthy. On the face of things, perhaps, such a level of bodily awareness should be applauded among a generation so prone to obesity. Yet this boy is deeply self-conscious about his appearance and weight - warning signs, say experts, that he is one of a growing breed of youngsters with an extreme fear of obesity known medically as baryphobia.

And how is this boy going to feel if he doesn't lose those few pounds? Is he going to give up on exercise all together, even if he likes what he's doing, just because it didn't make him lose those pounds?
And give me a freaking break, this generation of kids is no more prone to "obesity" than any other generation of kids (if you put the BMI back where it was in 1998, you would see that the only increase in fat kids came about because the standards for being fat were lowered).
And baryphobia? WTF is up with coining new medical terms that don't mean jackshit? Call a spade a spade, assholes. It's not baryphobia, it's fat-phobia, the same damned thing you morons have been pushing on people for years now. You've been saying for years and years that fat is unhealthy, thin is healthy, and now you're surprised that people are getting eating disorders in order to be thin? And how long have you known that diets don't work? From the very beginning of pushing those fucking diets you've known that they don't work and make people fatter in the long run. But hey, that just keeps them coming back for a different solution (that puts more money in your pocket) that isn't going to work any better than the last one you gave them. So don't go all acting astonished that this kind of shit is happening, you created it.
There is no disputing the fact that more children than ever are too fat. Figures for 2006-07, published earlier this year by the NHS Information Centre from the National Child Measurement Programme, revealed that 22.9 per cent of children aged 4 to 5 in primary school reception classes were overweight or obese. Among those aged 10-11, the proportion rose to 31.6 per cent. But experts now say that such widespread condemnation of the obesity “epidemic” is triggering a new set of problems. With an overwhelming pressure to stay slim comes a fear of fatness that is now engrained in the psyche of many children long before they start secondary school. By the time they are teenagers, many are disturbingly obsessed about their shape and neurotic about totting up calories. For some, the fixation with food and weight becomes so extreme that they develop the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia nervosa.
Um, yeah, I'm disputing the fact that there are more fat kids now than ever before. See Sandy's article on kids and BMI if you don't believe me.
While it is important to raise awareness of the risks of being overweight, he says, the warnings should perhaps not be targeted at children. “We have spent a huge amount of effort getting obesity on to the public health map in recent years, but we have not been very selective as to which sections of the population the messages have been broadcast to. The result is we now have two problems - children with obesity and those who develop disordered eating habits because they are terrified of it.”
Dude, just because there is a risk associated with something, doesn't mean it's going to happen to every person every time. There's a risk I'll be in car accident when I get in my car to go somewhere. Doesn't mean that every time I get in my car and leave the driveway I'm going to be in an accident. Just because there's a risk of, say heart disease, associated with being fat doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to suffer from heart disease (and I'm almost 55, been fat for 30 of those years, and it hasn't hit me yet). Risks don't mean it's going to happen, risks mean it might/might not happen if circumstances are just right or if the Fates happen to frown/smile at you.
Last year, research at the University of Sydney demonstrated that a fear of fatness is causing more teenagers to starve themselves, abuse laxatives and smoke in an effort to avoid putting on weight. In the study on nearly 9,000 adolescents, funded by the Australian Research Council, there was almost a doubling of those aged 12-18 with “eating- disordered behaviour”, claimed Jenny O'Dea, the professor of nutrition who led the investigation.
Yep, and starvation, laxative abuse, and smoking are just so much more healthy than being fat. Give me a fucking break, what did you expect to happen when you push being thin at all costs as the only way to be healthy?
According to O'Dea, the heavy focus on childhood obesity and the media attention paid to “super-skinny celebrities” were to blame. “I think there has been undoubtedly a media panic and a moral panic about childhood obesity in the past six years,” she says. “I would certainly suggest that some of that comment has got into the minds of teenagers who think that losing weight will make them a better and happier person. But that's a big myth.”
Oh yeah, blame the media for the panic. The media is just following what governments and pharmaceutical/diet companies are pushing. If pharmaceutical companies weren't looking to make mega-bucks off diet drugs, and surgeons weren't looking to make mega-bucks off WLS, and diet companies weren't looking to make mega-bucks off diets that have never worked and will never work and none of them were pushing press releases about how deadly it is to be fat and how healthy it is to be thin, I don't think this would be nearly the problem it now is (I may be wrong on this one, but I don't think it's solely the media's fault). And of course, governments have to get in on it because they always know what is best for their citizens, we aren't smart enough to survive without NannyState telling us how to eat, shit, and breathe, ya know? More opportunities to take away our rights and tax us more into the bargain. Sorry, I'm not buying any of it, and I'm doing my damnedest to keep my grandkids from buying into the hype of "only thin is healthy".

H/T to wriggle99 over on Big Fat Blog

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Cat Fluff

Good thing we don't drink alcohol around our house. DH poured a glass of Diet Coke the other day, and the cat (Slick) jumped up on the counter and started drinking it. Slick also likes lemonade. We've decided that if we want something to drink, it'll have to be in a can or a covered glass/bottle of some kind if we don't want to share it with Slick. He also licks the moisture off the side of cans of soda in the summer time when they first come out of the fridge. Weird cat, he is.

My son's puppy, Max, is hilarious when he's eating Pringles (he likes the dill pickle ones). Put a whole chip on the floor, and he steps on it to break it up into pieces before he eats it. Then he sits down and looks at you, waiting for you to give him another one, which he then steps on, breaks, and eats. If you tell him he's had enough, he will look at you, cock his head, and then you have to tell him again that he's had enough. Then he'll either go lay down or find a toy for you to throw for him. Smart dog, for only 3 1/2 months old.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scientists try to stop hunger with retooled foods. WTF?!?!

This is just the result of one of the false assumptions made about fat people. We eat too much because we don't know when we're full.
Want to lose weight? Try eating. That's one of the strategies being developed by scientists experimenting with foods that trick the body into feeling full.
Right, I'm so fat and stupid that I can't tell when my stomach is full, so I don't know when to stop eating. Therefore, my food needs to be modified to trick my body into feeling full. Give me a fucking break.

At the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, food expert Peter Wilde and colleagues are developing foods that slow down the digestive system, which then triggers a signal to the brain that suppresses appetite.
"That fools you into thinking you've eaten far too much when you really haven't," said Wilde. From his studies on fat digestion, he said it should be possible to make foods, from bread to yogurts, that make it easier to diet.

So you're going to suppress appetite, so people will eat less food. I wonder how long that will be effective? I mean really, isn't that what dieting is? Eating less food? We all know how long your body lets you get away with that. Do they really think that they can fool the body, indefinitely, into existing on fewer calories than it really needs? If they do, they aren't living in the real world.

But Bloom warned that controlling appetite may be more challenging. "The body has lots of things to prevent its regulatory mechanisms from being tricked," he said.
For instance, while certain hormones regulate appetite, the brain also relies on nerve receptors in the stomach to detect the presence of food and tell it when the stomach is full.

Um, yeah, that's what I thought. But you're going to continue trying to trick one of Mother Nature's creations. Ain't happening, people.

Other experts worry about how such foods might be regulated once they are available. "If you have this magic bullet, how do you control who gets it? What do you do about anorexics or female adolescents?" asked Peter Fryer, a chemical engineer at the University of Birmingham who also researches modified foods.

I don't think they're worried at all about regulation of these foods simply because they want every fat person to eat them and magically become thin (yeah, right, like that's gonna happen). The thing is, they don't want thin people eating them and getting even thinner (or do they?). It's another way to rag on and discriminate against fat people for something that they really don't have a lot of control over.
And what the hell is up with this worry about "anorexics and female adolescents"? Like those are mutually exclusive? Do only young girls worry about body image? Do only young girls have eating disorders? Is anorexia the only eating disorder worthy of notice? I really don't think they give a rat's ass about eating disorders or fat peoples' health, because if they did, they wouldn't continue to try to find ways of fucking with Mother Nature's design. She had a reason for creating a diversity of bodies, and so far, no one has been able to safely, permanently, successfully alter that. Get a clue, people, our physiology is too complex to ever learn everything there is to know about it (because just when you think you've learned it all, Mother Nature is going to throw you a curve ball and set you right back to where you started). So keep right on trying, I don't think you're gonna be successful (you have about as much chance of that as the cellulose dog does of surviving chasing the asbestos cat through hell).

"Dieting is an awful bore and most human beings are very gullible," Bloom said. "We need all the help science can provide."

Dieting is an awful bore? What about the fact that it usually doesn't work, not safely and not permanently? Boring is the best you can come up with? What about stressful? What about dangerous? What about unhealthy? What about futile? No, all you can come up with is boring.
Most human beings are gullible? Really? Brainwashed is more like it. When you're bombarded, day after day after day, with lies about how fat is going to kill you tomorrow unless you buy this diet or have this surgery, and that if you're fat, you must be stupid, ugly, un-sexy, smelly, gluttonous, and on and on and on with the foul descriptions, it's really difficult to have any kind of self-esteem. Makes it harder to resist the lie that if you just try this diet, this surgery, this supplement, you'll magically become thin, beautiful, smart, have a sparkling personality, and everyone will love you. That's not gullible, that's brainwashed and beaten down into the dirt so deeply that you'll do anything to attain that FOBT. But guess what? After a while, people figure out that it's all lies, that being thin isn't a magic passport to Utopia, that they can learn to love themselves as they are, and figure out how to be the best person they can be without torturing themselves to become thin. Yeah, fuck that FOBT, because the only fantasies I want are in the books I read, not ones pushed on me in real life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brain's reaction to yummy food may predict weight

This seems like just another way to blame fat people for being fat.

Drink a milkshake and the pleasure center in your brain gets a hit of happy — unless you're overweight. It sounds counterintuitive. But scientists who watched young women savor milkshakes inside a brain scanner concluded that when the brain doesn't sense enough gratification from food, people may overeat to compensate.
Yep, that surely has to be the reason. Food doesn't taste as good to some people, so they have to be eating more in order to enjoy it and that makes them fat (but what about thin people who gorge themselves on food on a daily basis and never gain a pound? What's the excuse for them, I want to know, dammit).

A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are the main factors in whether someone is overweight.
Oh yeah, tell that to the fat people who eat a healthy diet and exercise on a daily basis and are still fat. Healthy diet and exercise don't do jack shit to keep you thin or make you thin if you're genetically predisposed to be fat.

But scientists have long known that genetics also play a major role in obesity — and one big culprit is thought to be dopamine, the brain chemical that's key to sensing pleasure.
FAIL again.
Gee, ya think? But that's not the only gene related to fat, so you can't blame it all on that one gene.

"This paper takes it one step farther," said Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institutes of Health, a dopamine specialist who has long studied the obesity link. "It takes the gene associated with greater vulnerability for obesity and asks the question why. What is it doing to the way the brain is functioning that would make a person more vulnerable to compulsively eat food and become obese?"
This assumes that everyone who has this gene is a compulsive eater who automatically gets fat from eating too much food. This could be true of a very small number of fat people, but it certainly is not true of all fat people.
Still, it could have important implications. Volkow, who heads NIH's National Institute of Drug Abuse, notes that "dopamine is not just about pleasure." It also plays a role in conditioning — dopamine levels affect drug addiction — and the ability to control impulses.
So now you're saying that fat people have no ability to control impulses, otherwise they wouldn't over-eat and they therefore wouldn't be fat? Yeah, right. As Miss Conduct said "if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet."

But if doctors could determine who carries the at-risk gene, children especially could be steered toward "recreational sports or other things that give them satisfaction and pleasure and dopamine that aren't food ... and not get their brains used to having crappy food," said Stice, a clinical psychologist who has long studied obesity.
"Don't get your brain used to it," he said of non-nutritious food. "I would not buy Ho Hos for lunch every day because the more you eat, the more you crave."
FAIL again
This is ONE gene related to being fat, what about all the other genes that are related to being fat? And I'm sorry, but forcing children to play recreational sports if they aren't interested in them is just going to make them hate the idea of any kind of exercise, which sorta kinda defeats the purpose, don't ya think? Not to mention that no amount of exercise is going to permanently make a naturally fat child thin, ain't happening, people.
And as for non-nutritious food, I don't think there is such a thing. Every food out there has some nutrition to it, even if it's minimal. I also don't know anyone who eats HoHo's for lunch every damned day (boring, if you ask me, to eat the same thing every day, day in and day out). How do you get used to eating crappy food? I don't care how often you eat crappy food (and by that, I mean food that doesn't taste very good, I don't know what Stice considers crappy food), just because you eat it all the time doesn't mean you ever get used to it, or come to like it or enjoy eating it (I know I NEVER EVER got used to eating my mom's breaded tomatoes, no matter how often she forced me to eat them, nasty slimy things they were, and to this day, I refuse to eat them).
So this is one fucking gene out of how many that are related to being fat? And fixing this one gene is going to end the "obesity epi-panic"? I don't think so. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Mother Nature made us a diverse species for a reason, and it's not nice to fuck with Mother Nature (she'll get you in the end if you do).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dolls I've made

I just found these today when I was going through some stuff that has been packed away for the last 7 or 8 years (so that tells you how long it's been since I've done any doll-making). Looking at these, I think I'm going to have to get back into my crafting. I didn't realize how much I missed making my dolls until I found these pictures.

I made this doll for the daughter of one of the women I worked with back in 1999 or 2000, I think. Judy wanted a doll that looked like her daughter, so I made this one for her (I also made the dress the doll is wearing).

Emily was one of my first attempts at cloth doll making. I made her dress and undies out of old curtains I bought at a thrift store (and I created the pattern for her clothing myself).

Christiana was a doll I made from the same pattern I used to make my RastaMan doll, but using a different fabric (I also made her clothes, and used one of the unicorn pics I had downloaded off the internet to make the iron-on transfer for her t-shirt).

I made this doll for another daughter of one of the women I worked with about 8 or 9 years ago. She wanted a doll who looked like her daughter. I made this doll's clothing too (actually, if you see a doll I've made and she's dressed, I made her clothing).

Angela was a doll made for bedtime snuggling, I just haven't found the little girl who wants her yet.

Amelia was my second attempt at making an anatomically-correct soft-sculptured doll. I think I cut her legs out just a little off-grain on the fabric, so she's rather pigeon-toed (but she's still a cutie, and took me about 80 hours to create).

Amanda is my pride and joy, she's the first anatomically-correct child doll I made (I think I had about 100 hours tied up in creating her). I dressed her in a brown dress with a brown patchwork print pinafore. I gave her to a friend's daughter (biggest fucking mistake I ever made) and when they moved from MN back to Illinois, we found Amanda floating in the filth and garbage they left in their basement. I had to throw her away, I couldn't get her clean, she was so stained and moldy. I cried over that, I felt so trashed that someone I liked thought so little of the time and effort I put into making a gift for her (that she asked for, and knew how hard I had worked on it).
I wish I had pictures of the stuffed rocking horse I made, and of the African warrior princess (she was another of the anatomically correct dolls I made, dressed her in a headband and skirt, with an armband of wire and beads, a beaded anklet, a wire and beads necklace, and a spear with feathers on it). I entered her at the fair in the small town where I used to live, and won first prize with her. I entered the rocking horse at the same time (he was fluorescent lime green velour with a yellow mane and tail and dark green velour rockers, called him the Horse of a Different Colour from the Wizard of Oz). I won first prize with him too.
I had a lot of fun making all those dolls, and I have more pics of other dolls I made that I'll be posting. I had thought I could get a business started, making and selling dolls, but no one wanted to pay what I thought they were worth. I ended up donating a bunch of them to the Salvation Army at Christmas time one year because I just didn't have the room to store them. The lady at Salvation Army was glad to get them, she said that it was really difficult to find dolls of color for kids, dolls that could be played with and weren't meant for display only. And I had a blast trying to figure out how to get the eyes and mouths and noses to show up on the dolls of color that I made (I wasn't always successful, some of them looked good in person but just didn't photograph well, that was disappointing, to say the least).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Which Fantasy/Sci-Fi Character Are You?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.

Well, the first description I'm not so sure of, but the second? Yeah, that just about sums up how I feel about life and people in general.

H/T to nightgigjo

WLS complications you don't normally hear about

This is a letter I read today from someone who had WLS and is considered a success, mainly because she lost weight and has managed to keep it off, so far. What the doctors don't tell you is how all of those physical complications of WLS will affect all the other areas of your life.
I was fairly lucky with my WLS, even though it failed and I gained back all the weight I lost and then some. The only complications I have from it are IBS, fibromyalgia, and veinous insufficiency. I can deal with those, they don't keep me from doing the things I want to do (well, the IBS means I have to be sure that I'm very close to a bathroom within 1/2 hour of eating). I wear compression stocking to deal with the swelling in my legs, and the fibro, well, I deal with the pain and being tired and sensitive skin as best I can. I can still cuddle with DH, eat meals at the dinner table, spend time on the computer or reading books or watching tv, I can ride my recumbent exercise bike, and if I feel like it, I can even ride my son's ATV. I play with the cats and the grandkids and their puppy. My life is only limited by what I want to do and the amount of energy I have to do it.
The following letter will give you an idea of what life is like for someone who has had more complications from her WLS. It's not a pretty picture, not at all what the doctors will tell you your life will be like after WLS, but it's more common than you think. I'm posting this with her permission, but she wants to remain anonymous, she's not up to dealing with more people telling her that this is all her fault, she must have done something wrong for her WLS to have turned out this way (which is such a crock of shit, I can't even begin to tell you how wrong-headed that idea is). WLS complications don't only affect the person who had the WLS, those complications also affect every other person involved with them.
Why can't I be a "normal" woman with a "normal" body and with "normal"
worries and daily routines? I know some WLS post-ops say they would kill to
be in my shoes. After all, in most people's eyes, I am a major success,
especially in the WLS realm. I lost all the weight I needed to and am not
having trouble maintaining it. My labs all come back great. For most people,
that is all they want to hear. That makes me a success. They don't want to
know how many surgeries I have had total now, how many emergency trips to
the hospital, how many ambulance rides being transferred from one medical
facility to another, how many unplanned stays I have had in the hospital
where I don't even have the luxury of being able to suck on ice chips. They
don't want to hear about the anxiety created by never knowing if I will be
here when my kids get out of school, be here for them when they are older,
survive the latest "emergency" that rips a hole into their daily lives. They
just don't want to know.

I guess it isn't important that they don't want to know. You probably would
rather not know about all the complications either, as that would mean that
you hadn't experienced them first hand and would be able to continue to
blindly cheer others into having WLS. You wouldn't know the worry and strain
your choices have put on the lives of others. You wouldn't know the daily
struggles that come along with ongoing or potential onsets of complications.
You wouldn't know about the loss of dreams for your future. You wouldn't
know. but you do. Sorry about that.

Tonight, it is the loss of dreams that is weighing me down. I know I should
be happy. I have been out of the hospital for over two years now. My weight
is stable and is up far enough not to be a danger to my health. My labs are
good. I am able to run my own home-based business. My family has relaxed a
bit when it comes to worrying about my health. What more could I ask for you

I have worked so hard to regain my health. It has taken years, literally, to
get to where I am. Some days, I can even forget that I had the surgery and
can function pretty much as a "normal" person would. That is where I run
into problems. To regain my health, I have had to give up many activities
that I love. I have had to give up any activities that would run past about
6 pm in the evenings. I have had to give up eating upright at the table
surrounded by my family, but instead recline in a chair in the living room.
I have had to give up many of my more physical pastimes as my intestines
react badly to too much movement. I have had to give up lifting anything
over 15 pounds or any repetitive movement that involves any movement of my
core body. I have had to give up sleeping flat next to my husband, but
instead have to sleep on a wedge to better help my intestines to function
and deflate. I have had to give up so much. but the good news is that it has
worked for the most part.

The bad news is that sometimes I forget the consequences or the reasons why
I had to give something up. Though my head remembers, the emotions tug. I
begin to feel healthy enough to where I "forget" why I do or don't do the
things I do. It seems like my mind and heart begin playing tricks on me,
goading me into cheating just a bit. Why not just take a class for a couple
hours one night a week? After all, I would have all week to catch up and
rejuvenate and I would be home by 9 pm. Why not get rid of the wedge and try
and sleep flat for a while? It sure would be nice to cuddle with my husband
at night again. Man I love to garden. What harm could it do if I just take
it easy while cleaning out the flower beds. After all, I won't pull anything
out but will just clip things off. Why not increase my business? After all,
it is going so well and I used to do so much more.

Right now, I am dealing with the consequences of ignoring the "should dos"
and instead convinced myself and family that I was "healthy enough" to
increase my activity. I am kicking myself now for committing to taking a two
hour course on Thursday nights. Don't get me wrong; I love the class. My
body does not. I am only four weeks into the class. It only meets one night
per week. Being upright in the evening for that period of time has taken a
huge toll on my health. Though I felt strong and healthy before the class
began, my intestines are so upset after the one "longer day" each week, that
they swell, spasm, and bleed. I bleed more out my rectum when my intestines
are "upset" than I do for my periods. I finally think I have almost
recovered when the next class comes up the following week and my intestines
repeat the process. Right now, I am kicking myself for signing up, for
wanting so badly to be able to complete the course, for kidding myself into
believing that I could have a "normal" life with regular evening activities.
Thankfully, the class only lasts for two more weeks. I won't be able to go
the last week anyway because of parent/teacher conferences (which will set
my intestines off anyway as I will still be upright and out during the
evening hours). Thankfully, this time at least I convinced myself with
something that I will be able to get out of in a short period of time and
only made one change. That is probably the reason I am not in for yet
another emergency surgery and hospitalization. Yet, I am so angry and
frustrated. I am giving up so much!

Because of my body:

. I will never be able to finish my master's degree and teach at a
public school (a lifetime dream of mine)

. I will never be able to help with the church youth group in the
evenings (something I used to do)

. I will never be able to commit to teaching a regular class at
church (it adds enough activity to set off the intestines and I also have to
majorly cut back on the weekends when my intestines have been irritated
during the week)

. I will never be able to have my Girl Scout troop meet in the
evenings or go to the big GS activities that most often are scheduled for

. I won't be able to add onto my family (I don't have the health and
energy for more than I have now)

. I will never be able to participate in sporting activities with my
kids and often will miss their evening activities

. My kids will never know what it is like to have a mother who can be
spontaneous or that they don't have to worry about the long term
consequences of any unusual request or activity

. I will never be able to be very far away (distance) from
appropriate medical services that may be needed

Because of my body:

. I will always have to plan ahead for potential complications

. I will always need a contingency plan for any activity/work as I
may have less than an hour warning before facing emergency

. I will always need to make sure that my affairs are in order, as I
may not get a chance to do them later

. I will always have to be very aware of what my body is trying to
tell me, even when it usually doesn't begin to complain until a couple hours
after stopping any given activity

. I will always have to monitor my blood work, medications,
vitamins/supplements, swelling, bleeding, spasming, food intake closely in
order to preserve my health

. I may never be able to commit 100% to any given activity, even if I
am supposedly leading the activity for a group.

. I may never be healthy enough to regain all the activities I used
to do

Because of all that, tonight I am grieving for what I have lost. I overdid
it again. Though I went to class last night and was already bleeding again
by the end of class, I worked today. bleeding throughout the day. Because I
had "committed" to going to Women of Faith tonight and had other people's
plans hinging on mine, I went, knowing that I was passing blood clots
(stupid, I know). Yet, I am so frustrated that I couldn't sit and enjoy it
like thousands of other women because I was too aware of my swelling, of the
bleeding, of my internal discomfort. I ended up coming home early and will
end up missing the morning portion tomorrow as I consciously allow my body a
chance to at least stop spiraling. Oh yeah, my church is also hoping that I
will be feeling well enough after WoF tomorrow to where I can help during
the Saturday service tomorrow evening and I have friends who want to try out
our church for the first time tomorrow evening as well. I really should be
there. I really should take care of my body. If I am such a success, why am
I having to give up so much of my life???

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anonymous comments

I really hate to do this, but anonymous comments are no longer allowed on this blog. If you're a troll, and too cowardly to leave your name/internet nick, then you have no business commenting here. I'm getting really tired of the bullshit from you asshats, telling me I can no longer blog, or comment on other blogs until I lose weight, that I need to eat less and exercise more, get rid of my van and jog everywhere I go, that there are certain foods I cannot eat, blah blah blah-de-blah. How I live my life is none of your fucking business and if you don't like it, tough goddamned shit. This is the last post I'm going to devote to the asshattery of trolls, just to remind all y'all trolls that your opinions are just that, your opinions. I don't know you, I don't want to know you, and you have absolutely nothing to do with my life. I will no longer deal with this shit in any way, shape, or form. If you decide to register so you can comment, I still will not deal with it, I will continue to delete troll comments after reading them and laughing at you for wasting your time on someone who doesn't give a rat's ass about you, whoever you are (you really have too much time on your hands if you have the time to read my blog, and read all the other blogs I read and comment on, just to come back here and try to give me a hard time about it).
I will continue to blog, I will continue to comment on other blogs when I feel like it, and I will continue to live my life as I see fit, including where I eat, what I eat, how much and what kind of exercise I do. If you don't like it, too bad, so sad, sucks to be you. And yes, I am a bitch, and proud of it, I worked fucking hard to earn that title.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Home again, home again

Well, this was a fantastic weekend away from home. DH and I went to see my son and his wife again. Jon took us out to dinner at a new Mexican restaurant, and the food was awesome. We had pollo loco, the servings were huge (I took half of mine home), the service was spectacular, and the prices were great. We'll definitely be eating there the next time we're down there (Jon said it had only been open a couple of months, but let me tell you, they were doing a booming business). That was Friday night. Then on Saturday, DH and Jon went 4-wheeling on the ATVs for 4 hours. When they got home, the first thing DH said was "We have got to get a 4-wheeler!" He had a blast going over trees, through bogs, getting mired in the mud and winching out of it. He said they went through one stand of tall weeds and stopped for a break right afterward and Jon had a little mouse on the front of his Grizzly. Had to take a stick and chase it off, it didn't want to leave (cracked me up, because Jon takes their puppy, Max, riding with him around their yard on the Grizzly). DH went down in the basement with Jon to help him build a workbench while Jon's wife, Tina, made dinner for us, then we sat around talking and watching movies on TV for a while. Went back to the motel to get some shuteye so we could get up early to go back out to Jon's, had to collect the money from Tina's brother for the snowmobile (DH sold his snowmobile to Tina's brother and Jon for all the kids to ride, so they split the cost of it). That money is going in savings for the down payment on the Yamaha 550 Grizzly DH is looking at (power steering, 4 WD, auto transmission). He wants the camo paint job (won't show scratches from riding through the brush), winch, plow (so he can snowplow the driveway instead of snowblowing it), and the extended warranty. Told him it sounds like a plan to me (when it's paid for, I may just have to get one too, Tina rides with Jon every once in a while, looks like fun to me). So we did all that, and then stopped in Rogers on the way home to have lunch at Denny's (another good place to eat with fantastic service).
Got home, and this time, both of the cats met us at the door. I don't know if it was because they missed us, or because they were almost out of water (we left their auto-waterer full and another half-gallon of water in a bowl). I think it was probably a bit of both, since as soon as we got everything unpacked and put away and their waterer filled, and the cat boxes cleaned, DH sat in his recliner and both cats were right there in his lap (after drinking fresh water and using the clean cat box, of course).
Didn't get to go swimming this time, I was helping DH move the trailer (it had a flat and he had to move it onto the driveway so he could change it) and I bumped my leg on it and tore a small section of skin off it (I have veinous insufficiency and my lower legs swell a lot, even though I wear compression stockings, and the skin there is really thin and tears easily). That was on Tuesday, and it still hasn't scabbed over, and is weeping clear fluid, so I thought it wouldn't be a good idea to go swimming. Have to call the doctor tomorrow and see if I can get in to see her and see what she thinks we should do to get this to heal. Usually, when this kind of thing happens, it heals pretty quickly, but not this time, for some reason (maybe it's deeper than I think it is, I don't know).
But all in all, a good time was had by all, and we're looking forward to the next time we can go down there. Hope everyone had as good a weekend as we did. :)