Friday, August 29, 2008

Cat House on the Kings: Awesome place!!

via Space Cowboy at Shakesville (H/T to you)

You can visit the website or make a donation

This is a totally awesome place, IMHO.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Swim Shoes? Any recommendations?

Ok, I need a pair of shoes that I can wear on a wet floor surrounding a swimming pool in a motel. Last weekend, I didn't have any, went barefooted in the pool area (and the floor was smooth tile), and ended up slipping in the water and falling flat on my face (well, actually, it was my chest, those boobs are good for something, they kept me from breaking my nose on that damned hard floor). Banged up my bad knee (as usual) pretty good too. So I need something other than thongs (I've worn them on wet tile floors and slipped and slid). Are there swim shoes that are made just for walking on slippery-when-wet tile floors? Would Crocs (or something like that) work?
I wish the motel we stayed at had a floor around the pool like the one in Rogers, MN. That floor had tiles that looked like pebbles had been embedded in cement, and it was rough to the touch, so when it got wet, you didn't slip and slide all over the place. I let the front desk know that they really needed to put a sign on the door, warning people that the floor was slick when wet (they said they had signs in the pool area, but I didn't see any, and I read the signs when we first went in (all about how many people were allowed in the pool [49] and how many could be in the hot tub [10] and that there was no diving in the pool, but nothing about a slippery-when-wet-floor). I know, it's just common sense that smooth tile floors are not the safest surface on which to walk when they're wet, and I was being careful, walking slowly, and trying to hit the dry spots, but I hit a puddle of water and bang, down I went. So I told them they might want to think about finding some way of either roughing up the tile so it's not quite so slick, or getting some of those black, sandpapery strips that you put on steps so they aren't slick when wet (yeah, like they're going to listen to me).
So now, if I'm going to be swimming at the pool here in town (their floor is the smooth tile), I want shoes to wear in there that won't slide on a wet floor. My rubber-soled sandals won't work (I've slid on a wet floor in Wal-Mart while wearing them).
And just in case you're wondering, my knee is fine now (ice on it that night took down the swelling, and ibuprofen killed what little pain I had). I just don't want to fall on it anymore, I've done more than enough of that in the past.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back home

Well, we're back home after a visit to DH's hometown. He wanted to show me the house he grew up in (I have no idea how his parents raised 7 boys in a house that small!), the hospital he was born in, the high school he went to (1700 in his graduating class, graduation had to be done over 3 days), and where his parents are buried.
We spent the weekend there in a motel, so we got to use the hot tub and swimming pool (and I got to wear my new swimsuit, this one in grape). Swimming was fun, but it's been so long since I've been that I have sore muscles today along my rib cage (it's worth it, and I called the motel here in town to see what they charge for non-guests to use the pool, I want to keep on swimming year-round and I can do that at their pool).
It had been 14 years since Mike had been to his hometown, and he kept talking about how much things had changed in that time. The places he worked aren't there anymore, stores have changed or moved, and the drive-in theater where he made out with various girlfriends isn't there anymore either.
We went out to dinner at Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Good steaks, and the service was pretty good too. We also ate out at Denny's, who also have awesome burgers and great service (I hadn't eaten at a Denny's since I left Washington state 22 years ago, so finding Denny's here was a surprise).
Got lost coming home, well sorta kinda maybe of the reasons I would never live in the Twin Cities. With all the construction always going on there, you never know how to get from point A to point B without having to traverse at least one detour, maybe more. But we didn't go too far out of our way, and made it home just fine. Boy, were the cats ever glad to see us, too. We left Friday morning and got home Sunday around 1 pm. DH sat down in his chair and had both of them in his lap (well, one in his lap and one on the arm of the chair, no room in his lap for both at the same time).
All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend away from home, and only took me 6 hours to catch up with everything I missed on my blog subscriptions (not to mention all the email I had to sort through/read). It's kinda nice to take a break from the computer once in a while (so I must not be addicted as I thought I was, since I didn't miss it while I was gone). I noticed there was a computer in the motel lobby, and briefly thought about checking email, and then went "Nah, I can do that at home, I want to swim and soak in the hot tub."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Extraordinarily lifelike animation: Meet Emily (kinda creepy)

Ok, I admit I've been thinking for a long time that if fashion designers/movie industry moguls are so hot on having extremely thin women be models/actresses, they should go with animation. If the woman is animation, then there's no need to put a living woman through the hell that is dieting and exercising to a fare-thee-well in order to meet their standards (not to mention making a living woman either wear a fat suit or gain weight for a role and then have to lose that weight). But, I also wondered, would animation-women make women think they still had to meet those unattainable-for-many standards (not to mention all the women it would put out of work, however, they could also use animation-men to replace the male models/actors, then they could get the exact look they wanted for a film). After all, if they use animation-people, they don't have to worry about talent, that can be programmed into the animation, they don't have to worry if a certain actor/actress is really right for the part, they can program the "right" actor/actress.
I wondered how long before the technology to do this would be available, and I'm wondering now about the cost (monetarily, at least) to do this. Would it be cheaper than paying several million dollars to an actor/actress for starring in a movie? Would movie-goers actually go to see movies made this way, without a "big name" actor in them? We go to see cartoon movies, where you don't see the actor behind the voice of the character, you just hear the actor's voice (and some actors don't really have a distinctive voice, like Whoopi Goldberg's, Sean Connery's, Eddie Murphy's, or Tom Selleck's [just the ones I can recognize if I hear them on TV without seeing what's on]).
What do y'all think of this?

Via Brad Neese at Living Large in Oklahoma

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obesity Society hosting event at Democratic Convention

Ok, so I belong to a diabetes list (for fat diabetics) and one of the posts there today was about the Obesity Society hosting an event at the Democratic Convention.
According to the post, the OS forum
will feature panel roundtable discussions with key Democratic leaders at both the federal and state/local levels to discuss the policy options our Democratic leaders and lawmakers should consider. In addition, a representative of the Obama campaign will address the role of obesity in Obama's health care plan. The event will be moderated by Sally Squires, the syndicated columnist of The Lean Plate Club and confirmed panelists include Rep. John Conyers and South Carolina's Superintendent of Education, Jim Rex.

I went and did a little research on their website,, and these people are not the friends of fat folks. For one thing, they seem to think that people "suffer" from obesity, their "Fact or Fiction" page perpetuates a ton of mythconceptions about obesity and health (you can find it here), and last, but definitely not least, they promote WLS as a solution for obesity. Yeah, right, I have several bridges I'd love to sell them if they truly believe that one.
I really don't think I want these people talking to a presidential candidate about how to set up his health care plan to address the "role of obesity" in it. This kind of mythinformation is not going to help improve access to health care for anyone, let alone fat people.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whose life is worth saving? Don't ask NHS in the UK

Sandy has a great post here that should be required reading for anyone who thinks government-provided health care is the way to go.
Basically, Nice, in the UK, is setting up guidelines for rationing health care. Their guidelines are going to put "First, Do No Harm" right into the shitter. If, in their considered opinion, you brought your ill health on yourself, you are going to be shit out of luck for getting treatment for that ill health. So, if you smoke, and get lung cancer, tough shit, no chemotherapy for you (unless, of course, you promise to quit smoking for the rest of your life). If you drink, and need a liver transplant, tough shit, nope, not happening (unless, of course, you promise to quit drinking for the rest of your life). If you're fat, and you need any kind of health care, fuggedaboutit (unless, of course, you promise to starve yourself and exercise like a hamster on speed for the rest of your life and somehow can manage to lose every one of those "excess" pounds you're carrying and keep them off for the rest of your life). And if you're poor and the quality of your life sucks, then obviously, you'd be better off dead, so why the hell should the government spend precious resources on your health, when there are so many other people out there who are so much more deserving than you?
I wonder if this is going to apply to everyone equally, or is it just going to be the working stiffs/poor people who are going to bear the brunt of these shitty-ass bioethical guidelines (do I even need to ask that question)? Is this going to apply to all the physically fat politicians, the smoking/drinking, drunk-driving politicians? After all, if Joe Schmoe who works for a living and has any of those behaviors can't get medical treatment because it's not cost effective (the cost of his medical care is more than what he will contribute to society), why should a politician who has proscribed behaviors be an exception to that rule?
If this is happening in the UK, with their National Health System, I don't even want to think about what would happen here in the good old US of A if we went to a national health care system subsidized by our taxes. Our government already wants to run our lives, for our "own good" (because everyone "knows" that big nanny government has our best interests at heart [and if you believe that, I have several bridges for sale]). I know that our health care system is a shambles now, but I have a sinking feeling that it would be so much worse if it became nationalized. Health is not a "one-size-fits-all" proposition, and trying to make it one may pave a very wide road to hell on the backs of those least able to fight for themselves, but just as deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And who is any government to decide the value of a person's life? Just because the government thinks an old, fat, disabled person must have a shitty life, and would be better off dead soonest, doesn't necessarily make it so (and I know whereof I speak, I'm old, fat, and disabled, and my life is far from shitty in quality. I like my life just fine, thank you very much and do the letters FO mean anything to you, Big-ass MF Nanny-State?).
If the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) Social Value Judgements is put into practice, well, that's not a world in which I want to live (and I realize, that because I don't live in the UK, I don't have to deal with it, but I don't think the citizens of the UK should have to deal with it either).

ETA: See the post here for an even better take on this whole mess (said much better than I ever could).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Google is seriously starting to SUCK!

Google has totally effed up my Reader and most of the blogs to which I subscribe. Yesterday, when I went to Reader, more than half of my blogs were in a folder that I didn't create, named "blogs I'm following" and they all had the blogspot symbol in front of them (and a lot of them weren't blogspot blogs). Today, that folder (and the blogs Google put in it) are gone. I can't get to the "manage subscriptions" page to see if I can change it there, either. And believe me, I've tried. I gave up after 3 hours of the damned page saying "Loading" at the top and nothing happening. I even went to the Help page and the contact us (fucking useless, all that is is a forum where you can post problems/comments/WTFE and no one gets back to you with a solution).
Now, the main reason I used Google's Reader was that it was so easy to set up and use, I had all the blogs I follow in one place, and it was easy to see who had a new post. I used to have 4 folders with all those blogs in them, and had to check every blog every day to see if there were new posts. Reader simplified that for me, and when you follow 120 blogs, checking each and every one of them every day for new posts can take the whole damned day. When I moved all the blogs to Reader, I cleaned out the folders, so I no longer have links to all those blogs (and not all of them are on my blogroll here, I had added quite a few and hadn't gotten around to updating the roll here). WTF is up with these online services, that they think it's helpful to the users of those services for them to go in and arbitrarily make changes to our accounts with no fucking notification at all, and totally screw things up? I know change is good, and updates happen, but dammit, give me some fucking notice that you're going to do this shit, and let me decide if I want to use that update. Give me a way to opt out of it if it's something I don't think is going to be useful to me. And believe me, if I wanted my blogs in folders, there's already an option there to do that, and since I wasn't using it, I obviously didn't want them in folders. So, Google, here's a big FUCK YOU for screwing up my Reader and totally fucking up my bloglist.

ETA: Well, I don't know what happened or why it happened, but Google has seemingly fixed their fuck-up. I now have all my subscribed blogs back where they belong. Of course, there's no explanation for why/how they fucked up, and no notification that it's now fixed. I found out when I went to check a couple of new posts. However, I'm not retracting my "Fuck You" because all of this mess was totally unnecessary and still deserves to be called out.