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