Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Abby shows her fat-phobia - again.

Dear Abby has done it again. A lady wrote in to share how she and her husband keep from screaming at each other when they have an argument - they go to the refrigerator and split a candy bar (they keep a supply there just for that). They both like chocolate, and by the time they have finished sharing the candy bar, they can speak rationally and calmly to each other. Sounds pretty sensible to me. Half of one candy bar isn't much, doesn't take that long to eat, but gives them something to do together that they like and gives them time to cool down and become rational again.
What does Abby have to say?
Ingenious. The two of you have discovered yet another reason why chocolate is good for the heart. I hope as time goes by you'll sustain a high level of compatibility because otherwise you're going to weigh a ton.

This is wrong on so many levels. Abby, you're assuming that people get fat from eating an occasional candy bar. You're assuming that this couple is going to be arguing several times a day, every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year, every year of their lives and eating candy bars every time they have an argument and that's going to make them fat. Fuck you, Abby, and your fat-phobic ASSumptions. Educate yourself about being fat, what really causes it - and it's not always eating tons of candy/"junk" food and sitting on one's ass all day long - and until then, STFU. You don't know what you're talking about, you have no empathy for fat people and what their lives entail, what they have to deal with on a daily basis from fat-phobic asshats like you, and you don't really care. If you cared, you'd take the time to educate yourself and you'd have more compassion for fat people. I really don't see that happening.

Friday, May 13, 2011

MN and same sex marriage

I got an email from my local MN state senator today updating me on what's going on in the MN legislature. Below is one of the most important issues in that update:
MARRIAGE AMENDMENT: The Senate passed a bill that will allow Minnesota citizens, not courts or the Legislature, to define marriage. The proposed constitutional amendment asks voters to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman in Minnesota. Placement on the 2012 ballot allows a year of public discussion in communities statewide in order to be prepared to vote in next year’s general election, rather than allowing a small number of politicians or activist judges to decide the definition of marriage. The House will take up the proposed legislation next week. If passed in the House, it will be placed on the 2012 ballot.

So it looks like in 2012, the citizens of MN will get to decide if the definition of marriage will remain as being between one man and one woman, or if the definition of marriage will be expanded to include all genders.
I'm hoping the citizens of MN will be able to rise above their passions and biases to vote against limiting marriage to one man and one woman, and vote to allow all adults to marry whomever they love, no matter their gender or their partner's gender.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The place to go for shoes in central MN - The Boot Shack

DH needed new shoes for work and we had to be in St Cloud anyway the other day, so we stopped in one of the shoe stores in the mall on Division Street (Schuler's Shoes). They didn't have any boots that would work for DH, but they recommended we try The Boot Shack. So over to The Boot Shack we went.
This is a very small place, but it's crammed to the gills with boots - mostly cowboy boots, but they do have an awesome selection of work boots too. That's not the most impressive thing about this place, though. Not only do they measure your foot when you're sitting down, they also measure your foot when you're standing up and putting your weight on it. Why do they do this? Because for some people, the length of their foot changes when they put weight on it, and so does the height of their arch. They're very good at explaining why they measure your foot the way they do, and how shoes should support your feet, etc. The upshot of all this is that DH has been wearing the wrong size/width shoe for years, which is why his feet, knees, and back hurt when he's working, and why his shoes don't last very long (he can wear out 2 pairs of New Balance tennies in 6 months and those things are expensive). He ended up trying on about 4 pairs of boots in 4 different sizes to find the ones that felt the best - putting both boots on, walking around in them, taking them off, trying the next pair, till he found the pair that felt the best. DH spent over an hour getting his feet measured and trying on boots to find the right ones (we've never spent that much time finding shoes for him before, not even at the shoe store the VA sends him to for his shoes because he has type 2 diabetes and is entitled to 2 pairs a year). His boots ended up costing us $180, but if they last and his feet don't hurt at the end of a 12-hour day spent on concrete floors, they will be well-worth the money we spent on them. We also got him a pair of New Balance sneakers in the correct size, so hopefully, those will last longer than his last pair did.
I just called The Boot Shack today to see if they have women's sneakers and they do, all the way up to a size 13, in widths from AAA to 4E (they carry men's boots/sneakers in sizes up to 18, in the same widths, and they're even having a pair custom-made for a man who needs a size 19, now that's service). So we'll be going back in the next couple of weeks - I want to get my feet measured to see what size I really wear and see if I can find a pair or two of shoes that will keep my feet/knees from hurting when I walk, and maybe, just maybe, stop the supination of my feet (my right foot especially tends to roll to the outside and wears the heel off on all my shoes). I've never been to a shoe store that measures feet as well as this one does, or spends as much time finding shoes that fit your feet and will work for what you need them to work for.
The service at The Boot Shack is outstanding - if you're in Central Minnesota, I highly recommend them:
The Boot Shack
2221 Roosevelt Rd
St Cloud MN
And, no I'm not getting anything from them for this post, I just think they're a great place to go for shoes/boots (I saw other people being waited on while we were there and they got the same amount of attention that we did, it was totes awesome!).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there (NOT)

Yeah, we're rethinking our business with State Farm Insurance. I've been with them for almost 10 years now, and DH has been with them even longer. We insure 2 cars, a truck, a minivan, and our house with them, to the tune of almost $3,000 a year. I had one claim with my mobile home, about 8 years ago, and one claim with one of my minivans about 7 years ago (and they fucked me over with that one). DH and I have had several auto glass claims with them (he drives to work on a state highway and in the spring/summer/fall ends up following tractors/combines that kick up mud/rocks, you get cracked windshields). We've had one claim with them on the house insurance when wind blew away one of those metal pole/tarp sheds and a power surge that same weekend took out DH's computer. No problems with those claims (other than the one with my minivan 7 years ago).
This time, DH was driving to work early in the morning on the state highway and a semi crossed the centerline. DH saw him swerve and he swerved to keep from getting hit. Well, the semi took off the driver's side mirror on the 2002 Buick LeSabre Limited we just bought (it gets better gas mileage than his truck). Luckily, that's all it did, didn't put him in the ditch, or anything else. Truckdriver probably didn't even know he hit anyone, so of course he didn't stop. It was 4:30 a.m. when this happened, so it was dark, both vehicles were doing at least 55 mph, there were 8 or 9 cars behind the semi, and another semi behind them. DH couldn't see what the trucking company was that owned the semi was because of the darkness and oncoming headlights from the cars.
When we report this to the insurance company, what's their first question? Why didn't you follow the semi so you could at least get the name of the trucking company and a license plate number? DH was supposed to turn around after being hit by a semi (that would shake me up, let me tell you), catch up to that line of traffic, pass a semi, a line of 8 or 9 cars, get a license plate number, and then pass the semi so he could see what the trucking company was that owned the semi? And how many laws would he have had to break in order to do this? Well, let's see now. He'd have had to have driven over the speed limit to catch them all, he'd have had to broken the speed limit to pass everyone so he could get up to the semi that hit him, and then he would have had to be able to write down a license plate number and trucking company name while driving, so that's distracted driving, at the least. Perfectly reasonable request on the part of the insurance company, don't you think? Yeah, right. To top it all off, if he had done all that, he'd have been late to work, which he's only been once in the 4 years he's worked there (and that was when he put the truck in the ditch when he hit a patch of ice, he was late, but still made it to work when he got pulled out of the ditch).
So we took the car in to get an estimate to have it fixed. Have to have the mirror replaced, the chrome weather strip by the window has to be replaced, and both doors on the driver's side have to be painted where the mirror bounced off them and scratched the paint. Body shop gave us an estimate of $1,686 and some odd cents. But because it was a hit and run and our insurance can't collect off the semi's insurance, they have to send an adjuster out to look at the car and give us his estimate (and now comes the part where State Farm screws over the insured customer). The mirror is adjustable from the inside (aren't they all nowadays) and it's heated. They don't make after-market mirrors for this car. So the new one costs $680. The adjuster says he found a used one for $135. So he's cut $545 off the body shop's estimate. But he added in $50 for replacing the driver's side window that's chipped (I can't see the chip, but the adjuster says it's there), replace that with a used window. I asked him if they were going to give me a guarantee on the used mirror that's as good as the guarantee I'd get on the new mirror. He said "What do you mean?" I said "A new mirror has a life-time guarantee, if anything goes wrong with it, they replace it at no cost to us. When you buy used parts, you don't know how long they're going to last. If this used mirror quits working in 6 months, are you going to replace it at no cost to us? Since you're the ones refusing to pay for a new mirror? Are you going to give us, in writing, a life-time guarantee on this used mirror?" He handed me the estimate and left without giving me an answer.
So those commercials that say "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there", I'm sorry, if I had neighbors like State Farm, I'd be moving. And when DH gets home from work and finds out what the adjuster had to say and what State Farm is willing to pay, I'm betting that I'll be online looking for another insurance company and State Farm will be losing our business. Hope they're happy that saving $545 may cost them $3,000 worth of business every year. Not to mention the bad publicity they're going to get from me blogging about their less-than-stellar attitude (chase down the semi that hit you, indeed).