Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday Seven - Episode #313 recently published a list of the 18 Most Hated Companies in America. I don’t know why they chose a number like 18: as negative as people are these days, there were surely at least 20 that people really don’t like.

But 18 is what they gave us, so 18 is what we’ll work with.

From that list, could you come up with seven that you dislike the most? The only way you can go “off the list” is to substitute a local version of a named company. For example, if you don’t live in the service area of “Pacific Electric & Gas,” you can substitute your own local electric utility if you feel they need to be included on your list.

That’s your challenge for this week! Thanks for dropping by!
  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!
Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!


Name your seven most hated companies from the provided list of 18.

1. Dish Network: I have my own reasons for hating them, which go back to 2001, but they are one of the most despicable companies around. We had them when we lived on the other side of town and tried to set up our dishes here, but for reasons passing understanding, the actual satellite was too close to the horizon. It is tough to imagine that a move of 3.5 miles made such a huge difference, but it did. As it happens, between rate hikes and other headaches, we would have changed services anyway. Now we have the full cable/Internet package and the TiVO, so we are happy with what we have.
2. Bank of America: Luis has this banking institution and has plans to change them. It is quite a trail: He had the original bank (whoever that was), then Westminster Bank, then whatever Bank followed them, maybe another one or two and now Bank of America - all without changing banks on his own. Amazing. He keeps plenty of money in there but they started tacking on all kinds of fees anyway, and then other problems have been cropping up as a result. This is not limited to just the bank itself - he switched stock brokers because the BoA kept making mistakes with his money. Unreal.

3. Delta Airlines: I have Continental, which at some point will be United but when I flew out to Montana in 2009, the two connecting flights were Delta, who searched my bags (which I completely get) but made it look like they used their feet to shove everything in again. Twice!

4. The White House: Look no further for the root of the issues. No one wants to regulate anything any longer.

5. Time Warner Cable: Wow. I read the blurb on them and wow. That's all I have to say!

6. Comcast: My father has them and they have screwed up more than they have fixed.

7. JP Morgan Chase Bank: I have these guys and I hate 'em. They have made the percentage on that card more like 23% than 11% and they could care less that I am a long term customer who pays them every month.

Extra: New Jersey Blue Cross Blue Shield: The least you need to know: these people are trouble all over. They deny almost all of the claims out of hand. Despicable is right. I have Aetna and as much as I have issues with them, they are small compared to NJ-BCBS. I still miss Oxford Health plans, however. In the late 90s and early 2000s they were the cat's meow. Now... who knows? But I would hate to think they are anywhere as low as NJ-BCBS.

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment.
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Hooray for the Internet!

That's right. Why commute in snow if you absolutely do not need to?


I can't help it. I'm not proud that I'm so chicken about driving in snow, I suppose I could suck it up and go in. But the only way that would happen is if I had Luis' 4-wheel drive MDX - and he turned me down this morning. So I opted to stay safe.

Criticise all you want, but I have been an EMT too long to not appreciate the value of not being on the road when the weather is inclement. I see no reason to drive myself crazy. I don't see reasons for driving other drivers crazy (I drive the appropriate speed on coated roads, which is SSSSLLLLOOOOOOWWWW), but quite frankly I could care less if they think I drive too slowly. I have no caring for that. If you think your vehicle drives well in snow, then it doesn't.

The hooray for Internet is that I am very lucky in that I can "break into" my workstation from anywhere in the world. I am able to do everything I need to except for giving actual facetime - but at this time of year, I have always have almost no one to give facetime to. We're shutdown - most of the departments aren't staffed and everything is lovely and quiet. It's not a skeleton staff, it's a low staff.

I'll be interested to see what the courses look like with snow all over them. Now, that is a beautiful scene. I guess just the golfers that are jonesing to play are the ones who can't see the gorgeousness of the fresh snow.

I started this on 12 January 2011 and just caught it now. But I still feel that way. At least now I don't need to call in or out to get out of doing work (I did not see it that way, but I think others may have. And quite frankly, that is just what it is. I won't apologise for the way I feel about snow and other drivers. I took my lumps. I get it. But my life wins, every time. I did this when I worked for Miller Harness, too - but they understood it more. I lived in Parsippany but commuted to East Rutherford.

I guess the really scary part of this is that now it is 30 October and we had seven inches of the heaviest damn snow ever to fall! It was unreal. And while we were very lucky - no power outages here and only many, many branches came down, we would prefer not to see freaky weather like this again! And what does this bode for the rest of winter? Nothing good can come of this...

Saturday Six - Episode #394

Not that I’m trying to connect this week’s set of questions to Halloween or anything, but death is the topic.
What can I say? Every week can’t be all fun and cheery, right?

Thanks for stopping by and playing along. And I hope you have a long, healthy life for your participation!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. You have the chance to learn either the date, the location or the method of your death: would you accept an envelope that would contain ONE of the answers to one of those questions? And if you couldn’t choose which question would be answered? I would not accept the envelope with that information - any of that information. I try to live each day as though it were my last - why stop now if I know I'd live to be 105? If I absolutely had to accept one of the answers... I'd pick... location, I guess. I'd have to hope it is a location I frequent, so I could not guess when it would be or try to get out it... not that I could.
2. If you could choose to learn the answer to one of those, which would you choose? Oh, I guess I'm ahead, as always. I also had a little trouble with the original question. The answer is above.

3. Which illness do you fear most? That is a dual question. For myself, I am most afraid of what I currently have: myotonic dystrophia Type II (D-PROMM), which is scary in that there are so many variables. I might get Type II Diabetes from it. I might end up in a wheelchair from it... too many issues that are all with the word "might". I try to look on the bright side but it is not always that easy. The other answer is any kind of disease that would allow me to linger in a half-living state - i.e. cancer. I don't want to die that way.

The second part of this question is not about my own method of dying but for example my father or my husband. The disease that scares me the most, hands-down, is Alzheimer's Disease. I never want to visit my father or Luis and have them look at me and say, "Who are you?" I could not bear that.

4. Which method of death other than illness do you fear most? I really can't say that I fear death too much. I guess after riding for almost nine years, the fear of the unknown is mitigated by the fact that we have all walked people to the grave. And not often does it seem so terrible as we are inclined to think. So many times I see faces that were taught with pain, fear, uncertainty suddenly smooth out to reflect complete peace, sometimes happiness at the moment of death. What do they see, hear, feel that does that? I don't know, but it seems like a beautiful thing.

5. If you could control how you would die, what method would you choose? Anything fast and painless. Dying in my sleep of course seems ideal. But I would even be okay with a piano falling out of the sky provided I did not hear or see it coming and did not feel a thing. (That might be pushing it a bit, but you get the idea!)

6. If you could specify the age at which you die, with reasonable good health assumed, how long would you like to live? Wow, tough question. When does life become too long? Especially with the parameters above. I would say I would like to reach my centennial birthday, then not long after go quietly in my sleep. Say, 100 and nine months, to make it to October 2068 to see the leaves turn one more time.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

WTF Thursday - Covering Your Cranky Co-workers in Tattoos & Foil

 1) Christmas is less than two months away. Have you already started shopping for Christmas gifts? No, I don't even want to think about it. I have no income at the moment, so the whole Christmas thing is just the worst thought.

2) Would you be offended if someone carved a pumpkin for Halloween in such a way so that it would resemble your face? No, although I doubt it would be kind to do that to a pumpkin, ha, ha! Just out curiosity, why? Was this something that came up at a problem?

3) How do you feel about people who get "fandom" tattoos (i.e. tattoos of musicians, TV shows, movies, etc)? Someday you will regret it - especially if the show goes down in flames. It's bad enough to see what happens to relationships after one party goes out and gets "Betty" scrawled across his or her upper arm!

4) It seems like Quick Response codes (a.k.a. QR codes), like the one to the right, are everywhere on products and ads these days. Do you ever actually scan them using your phone? I have a stupid phone, so I can't scan in one of these things. Luis tries it once in a while, but it seems like a pointless exercise to do this. Now, the program that reads product bar codes, tells you about the product and where it is on sale is a whole different item! Luis has shown me that and this is much more useful that these weird squares that take one to a video or whatever they do. That seems to have a real value.

5) Connecticut lawmaker Rep. Tim Larson has proposed a national law saying that all Halloween trick-or-treating should be done on the last Saturday of October, regardless of what day Halloween falls on. What do you think of his idea? Should trick-or-treating be done on a specific day of the week each year or on the true holiday? We all made it to adulthood getting our trick-or-treat exercise on the real day of Hallowe'en; we also went from house to house, none of this mall or shopping center stuff. We all got change that never went to UNICEF but instead got one more candy. We also made it to adulthood doing a million other things that have been outlawed or gotten around or whatever. Enough with all these "protective things". Too many kids are growing up in plastic bubbles. We know people who have a six-year-old that has not seen most Pixar movies might scare him. What happens when they show a movie with a hair of violence in school? He'll be scarred for life/

6) The head pastor of my church recently went out of town and forgot to lock his office, and when he returned, everything in his office had been covered in aluminum foil by his coworkers as a prank (that's really his office to the right). Have you ever been the butt of a prank, or pulled a prank on someone else? This feels familiar, as though I have answered this sometime recently... Hold on... Well, I can't find it, so maybe I'd seen this last week...? No, that is not right. I answered a question just like this. Hold on again (it's going to bug me now if I don't find it!)

Apparently it will be a long night for me. There is one possibility I have not explored but I need to be on my laptop for that. I'll try it then.

However, I will tell you that I have no use for people who do practical jokes and I always, always hated April Fools Day. It is often cruel. Also, I fired people for doing harmful practical jokes to other employees and always felt really, really good about it. There is nothing funny about cruelty to others.

7) Speaking of coworkers, today (Oct. 27) is "Cranky Co-workers Day." How would you deal with an extremely cranky co-worker who was causing you stress? Hmmm. I had all different kinds of stress created by employees. Some I confront directly and told them to let it go or knock it off. Others I might try to avoid for a time until I figured out how best to deal with them. Some I talked to their managers for input or help. It had everything to do with who it was and the issue with which they came calling.

8) The movie "Anonymous," which is coming out soon in U.S. movie theaters, poses the idea that William Shakespeare did not write his own plays and poetry. If you became a professional writer, would you use your own name or create a fake pen name? I'd have to use a pen name if I wrote about my weird life as a Human Resources Manager and an Emergency Medical Technician. Anything else, I'd use my own name. I did come up with a title, however: Lumps in the Sugar. I think that is perfect for me!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Mary Says... Ten Day Meme: Day Three - Eight Fears

1. Arachnids. I am completely terrified of spiders. It is not at all funny. It's my only real fear.

2. Being completely disabled. I guess this is really it. I have no other fears than these two.

Heights - love 'em. Open spaces, no problem. Tight spaces, no problem. What else is there? No, wait. There's country music! I find that completely terrifying! I don't have any problem with blood. I'm sorry, I have very little fear. I've seen far too many dead people to care about that. It is just a part of life.

Saturday 9 - The Last DJ

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

1. Who was favorite DJ and what radio station did you listen to as a kid? Um... favourite DJ? Hmmm. I listened to WLIR, 92.7, which was really, really hard to receive in my house. Here is the description:


In 1982 it had been decided that in order to move the station into the future a format change was needed.[1] Program director Denis McNamara recommended to the station's owner that he choose one of two formats progressive adult contemporary or New Music.[1] Although adult contemporary seemed commercially appealing, New Music was chosen because it was more in step with the "dare to be different" campaign being used to promote the new format and it was more "fun".[1] On August 2 the format switch occurred. The station featured new wave (McNamara "hated" that term because he felt it was a trendy phrase that might be out of style in a year),[1] synthpop, post-punk, early alternative rock acts as well as novelty records. The personalities of the disc jockeys became much more upbeat. The station became known worldwide for introducing new artists and playing singles months (if not years) before other stations. WLIR became the first radio station in the country to play U2, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, Duran Duran, Madonna, George Michael, Men at Work and Prince. The station was one of the few commercial radio stations in the United States to play these type of artists. One method of doing this was the "Screamer of the Week" a promotion in which listeners would call in and vote for their favorite new song of the week. New Order, Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Yaz and Blancmange were early staples of this format. According to McNamara the "entire music industry was looking upon 'LIR and that 'LIR marketplace of New York and Long Island as one of the hippest music areas of the world. People used to refer to it as the gateway to America if you were an upcoming artist." A criticism of the station in this period was that it favored artists from Great Britain (and to a lesser extent western Europe in general) at the expense of local bands.

The only DJ I remember was Denis McNamara. He was great.

2. What has been the weirdest thing you have worn in public? Gads, I was a punker in the early 80s. I was the first one to have a dyed tail in high school. It was a piece of my long hair in the back that was bleached out so it was white-blonde while I had long purple bangs and shaved sides of my head (not totally bald, but very, very short. That lasted a fairly long time. My mother hated it, which was funny, but realised that at that age, this was going to happen and it was just hair - it would grow in again.

3. What was the best part of last weekend? The best part of this past weekend was going to the pumpkin patch, selecting my two pumpkins and one is carved with an OHM in it. Such fun!

4. What was the most effective punishment for you as a kid? My parents found it extremely effective to make me stay inside. But I was a kid in the 1970s - we loved playing outside!

5. Would you lie to your significant other to not hurt their feelings? Never. He wouldn't do that to me.

6. We're taking you order for breakfast. What would you like? Ah, let me see. Cherry Kiafa Crepes, no powdered sugar, with a side of Honey Maple Ham. And hot tea.

7. Do you celebrate Halloween? If yes, do tell. If no, why not? I do, as Samhain, the Celtic Wiccan New Year. I enjoy it a lot. I usually use my Ren Faire costume. And Greg and I are going to Chiller Theatre again. Yahoo!

8. Do you hand out candy to the neighborhood kids? No - never. I turn out all the lights and hide. I don't like children at all.

9. What's the favorite age you've been, so far? This one! What else?

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday Seven - Episode #312

If you’re like me, you have a reasonable DVD collection. (Note that I said DVD, and not Blu-Ray. Sorry to disappoint all of the HD enthusiasts, but I don’t have an HD set in my house. All SD, all the time.)

And I have no plans to go through the expense of swapping everything out for the “next level” any time soon. In any case, whether you’re watching on regular DVD or Blu-Ray, this week’s question should be pretty easy.

Thanks for dropping by!
  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!
Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!


Name the last seven DVDs you watched in your own home.

1. Heaven Help Us - 1985: Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Dempsey are in it, as well as a whole host of other actors, but it is really funny to see Patrick Dempsey (Doctor Derrick "McDreamy" Sheperd on Grey's Anatomy) as a teenager in this film. The movie is about a group of boys going to St. Basil's Catholic school in 1965 New York.
2. You've Got Mail - 1998: Tom Hanks (one of my favourite actors) and Meg Ryan are in this charming movie about e-mailing and falling in love through AOL.

3. Kinky Boots - 2005: Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joel Edgelton are the primary characters in this wonderful movie about a man who inherits his father's shoe factory in Northampton that is failing and finds a new niche market making boots for cross-dressing blokes! It's delightful and Chiwetel is just the most wonderful character who is Simon/Lola and sings incredibly well.

4. The Dish - 2000: Sam Neill, Patrick Warburton, Roy Billing in a true story about the biggest radio dish in the Southern hemisphere in the middle of a sheep paddock that transmits the Apollo 11 Moon landing to the world. It is a wonderful movie.

5. The Black Stallion - 1979: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr in a mostly silent movie (with the most beautiful music) about a boy stranded on a tiny deserted island off the northern African coast. They are eventually rescued and then Alec meets Henry Daily, a horse trainer, to get to a match race with two top race horses. Hoyt Axton had a small role as Alec's father.

6. The King's Speech - 2010: Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth (also favourites of mine) are the speech therapist Lionel Logue and King George VI (Prince Bertie), the King of England who had a stammer as a child and then worked to overcome it to become King in 1936 when King Edward VIII (Prince David) stepped down to marry Wallis Simpson. This is a must-see!

7. Secondhand Lions - 2003: Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment are three guys (well, two older men and one teen) in 1960s Texas. The two men are Walter's eccentic uncles who are supposed to have millions stashed away somewhere. The relationship that forms around these three is fun and interesting. It is a charming movie.

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment.
Have an idea for a future question? Click “Contact” in the top nav-bar and email it to me!

Six (Through


Check out the following exercise, guaranteed to freak you out. There's no trick or surprise. Just follow these instructions, and answer the questions one at a time and as quickly as you can!

Again, as quickly as you can but don't advance until you've done each of them... really.

Now, arrow down (but not too fast, you might miss something).........

What is:






Now repeat saying the number 6 to yourself as fast as you can for 15 seconds, then arrow down.


Then arrow down.

Keep going.

You're thinking of a carrot right?

If not, you're among the 2% of the population whose minds are warped enough to think of something else. 98% of people will answer with carrot when given this exercise.
(I thought cucumber. I have no idea why carrot was the theme.)

Saturday Six - Episode #393

Here’s a confession: I have posted the quiz that appears in this week’s set before. But it was way back in 2008, and most of you haven’t seen it before…so I am recycling it for this one occasion. Imitation being the highest form of flattery, I think it’s important to take the time to flatter ourselves once in a while, right?

This week’s set is all about colors. My favorite was orange from a young age, but I had to quell that when I realized I would be going to the University of South Carolina: its primary colors are garnet and black, and its chief rival, Clemson University, uses orange as is primary color. But after featuring garnet as this blog’s main color for years, I’ve returned to orange, because I think it’s a nice color, particularly online.

So with apologies to any Gamecock who might be offended, thanks for playing!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. Which is your favorite color? Burgundy is my favourite colour. It's classy and gorgeous. After that, I love Hunter Green, then Dark Teal. I know most people put things like "blue" or "green", but I'm an artist, so I never think in generalities like that.

2. Which specific shade of that color is your favorite? I'm way ahead of you!

3. Which color is your least favorite? So many choices. I don't care for many warm colours, like burnt orange, bright yellow, tan, ecru, etc. In cool colours, I really intensely dislike pink - almost every shade of pink, so I would have to say that pink is my least favourite colour.

4. What do you most associate with your least favorite color? At the moment, the overdone pink awareness for breast cancer. How ironic...!

5. CORRECTED LINK: Take the test: What Color Crayon Are You? Huh, this should be interesting. Let's see what I get.

You Are a Red Crayon

Post it now!

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors. You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself. Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming. Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships. Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.
6. Consider your favorite food (other than meat): what is its primary color? Um, it is tan, but with yellow, green, orange, brown, pink and black. I love Pineapple Fried Rice, which is Thai food and it has peas, carrots, pineapple, shrimp, chicken, raisins and cashews.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

The Queen's Meme Centennial!

Welcome To The Queen's Meme #100!!!!
The Centennial Meme

We're 100 today! Happy birthday to us! In honor of all things that can be multiplied by ten, we'd like to invite you to our birthday party. Gifts and all  handsome men welcome... not necessarily in that order.

Let's party!

1. Ten x Ten = 100. What thing or person or experience in your life would you like to multiply by 10? All my travels - I have not traveled nearly enough, and Luis hates going anywhere, so I would really like to multiply that by 100!

2. Today you get to go shopping with a one hundred dollar bill. What will you buy? Um... You know, it is amazing how little one gets with a $100 bank note - unless it was £100! That would get a lot more bang for my buck. But even with $100 I'd go to - there is always a lot to get there! Music, movies, books, that all works.

3. How many centenarians do you know or have you ever known one? Yes, my great-grandfather was 104 and I did know him. That was a really long time ago. My grandparents also had nieghbours that were in their early 100s, and they were sharp as ever. Mr. Pakorny had a greenhouse full of cacti and he used to tell me all about them.

4. Have you ever weighed 100 pounds? Yes, many, many years ago. I guess I was around 17? I don't remember. I'm twice that now, so I would have a tough time recalling that.

(107 yr. old Chaldean man!)

5. The "First One Hundred Days" is the benchmark of performance for a United States President. Tell us what you accomplished in your first one hundred days of blogging. I would have to look that up. It's been a long time... Let me see...Wow. I have 2013 posts up, and another 20 some in Drafts. So at 100 days... I had this post: That was on 6 March 2006. It was about forgetting posting something prior to that. It was not a long post but that was the 100th post. I suppose to get to 100 days, I'd need to do math. Groan. Hold on...

OK.100 days was 29 November 2005. But I posted on 27 November, so it was 98 days. It was the post "Who is the Selfish One?" about how people love to tell me I'm selfish for not having kids. So I responded to that: That's the closest to 100 days - the next post was in January of 2006, so it was well past that. So now six years and three years later, I have a gazillion posts. Well - over 2,000 of them, anyway!

6.  What is the secret to longevity? I don't know, but I am quite sure it is not Dannon Yogurt. Just a guess. I don't think it is a Vegan diet, either. Staying young at heart and happy has a lot to do with it and good genetics are a key factor.

7. You are invited to The Queen of Memes 100th Meme birthday party! We are going to play Pin The Tail On the Blog. Blindfold yourself and pick a blog that you enjoy reading and tell us about it. No need to throw darts dripping with sarcasm (I so despise mean-spirited blogs and you will end up in the dungeon - not that any of YOU would of course just sayin'.....gosh, being 100 sure made me fiesty tonight!) It's been a long day and I've seen some crazy blug-slinging lately. (That's blog+ mud +sludge for all you non-blog speakers) I digress. That's a post for another day... Just give someone the gift of recognition they deserve. There are lots of wonderful blogs out there. Who would you recommend? Patrick's Place is a sure winner - go to - he is an excellent, excellent blogger. And there is not a mean bone in his body.

WTF Wednesday - Once Upon a Time, The McRib Howled at the Moon

1) The "Test your vocab" website (click here to test it out and share your results if you want) estimates the number of words in your vocabulary based on how many specific words you know the definition of. Have you ever read a dictionary to increase your vocabulary? Yes, I have read parts of the dictionary to increase my vocabulary. However, my vocabulary is better than average anyway. It's been a long time since I've leafed through the dictionary to do anything.

2) Today (Oct. 26) is "Howl at the Moon Day." How often do dogs wake you up in the middle of the night either barking or howling? Our neighbour's dog used to wake us up with the barking, but they don't keep the dog outside any longer and it is not the same dog. They have an antisocial dog that bites other people now. I wonder about our neighbours...

3) My fiance got roped into carving a pumpkin (mostly against his will) for his office due to his artistic ability. Have you carved (or will you be carving) a pumpkin this week for Halloween? As a matter of fact, I carve pumpkins every year, usually two. I am not great at it - you would think by now after ten or more years of annual trips to the pumpkin patch I would have mastered carving a round object, but no... it is never that easy.

4) If adults went trick-or-treating, what type of candy would you want to receive the most of? Reese's Peanut Butter cups in regular or white chocolate. Yum! But then there are Smarties, too. So many choices...

5) What do you think of the parents of celebrities (like Lindsay Lohan's mother Dina) writing tell-all memoirs about their families? These are people making a fast buck off of their families' misfortunes. I have a super-low opinion of this. And really, now, how many of these people really do their own writing? Yes - the answer is none. This is truly the lowest common denominator.

6) ABC premiered its highly promoted show "Once Upon A Time" on Sunday. If you could live in a fairy tale for 24 hours, which one would you pick? Oh, that is a great question! I would live in 1,001 Arabian Nights. That sounds like a lot of fun, really! (And it turns out that the ABC show Once Upon A Time is quite good, amazingly enough. With all that hype, Luis and I were nervous that this would not live up to the over-the-top adverts on the telly and in magazines.)

7) Earlier this week, McDonalds announced that its McRib sandwich, a boneless barbecue pork sandwich which has a massive cult following, is back through Nov. 14. (Personally, I'm not sure why people are so crazy for it.) What about you -- are you a McRib fan? I'm not even a MacDonalds fan. What would I care for in yet another one of their sandwiches? I've never heard of the McRib, but what a way to tire out the prefix "Mc".

8) What animal, besides humans, do you think would make the best world leaders? Oh, I think cats would do a great job. They won't whitewash anything or give false answers.

WTF Friday - If The World is Ending Is Typing in All Caps OK?

1) If you're reading this, the world has not ended as Harold Camping has predicted. After a previous failed prediction of the rapture earlier this year, Camping said the world would end on Oct. 21, 2011. If you did know when the world was ending, what is something you'd like to accomplish before its final day? Um, I'm actually in good shape. I really do live each day as though it might be my last. I'm sure I have plenty on my bucket list, but at the moment I haven't the income to do much about it.

2) A judge ordered actress Lindsay Lohan to do community service at a morgue, mostly doing janitorial work including cleaning and stocking restrooms, mopping floors and washing sheets that the facility uses. What do you think would be the worst part of working in a morgue? I suspect I'd love it. I have no problem with the dead - not like I haven't seen enough of them. I wouldn't have any problems with it. Quite frankly, Lindsay Lohan should be disturbed by working there, knowing that she will be there all too soon as a body. What, what do you mean that is inappropriate? It's not as if that is not the case.

3) In honor of today (Oct. 21) being Reptile Awareness Day... Do snakes and/or other reptiles scare you? Not even a little bit. We had neighbours at the New York Renaissance Festival with snakes and there are pictures of me wearing them. I love snakes. Other reptiles are just as cool to me.

4) Next Friday, "In Time" will open in theaters across the U.S. featuring a society in which time has become the currency. In its trailer, a cup of coffee costs you 4 minutes of your life. Do you think your eating/drinking habits would change if you learned how many minutes an item was shaving off your life? Jeez. What am I supposed to do, not eat? Not drink? I mean, I might understand alcohol costing 4 whole minutes, but tea should not be worth more than 4 seconds. And what would every meal run?

5) Maxim magazine just introduced me to the website Work Poop, on which you can calculate how much of your paycheck goes down the office toilet. (Click here to test it out.) Had you ever wondered how much money you make while using the restroom at work? No, but I don't spend more than a minute or two just to empty the tank and return to work. It never occurred to me to gauge my time in the loo.

6) What's something that always makes you roll your eyes? Gross misspellings and abuse of apostrophes. That just makes me really, really crazy.

7) Tomorrow (Oct. 22) is Cap Locks Day. Does it bother you when people type in all CAPS? Of course it does. As one who knows only English, it is considered rude to type in all caps, as it is the equivalent to shouting. I've told people who do this as their normal fashion of typing and they have reasons - not being able to see print unless it is all caps, etc. I don't get that. One can change the size of everything on the screen in the Control Settings. Why yell because you cannot see the typeface?

8) Tomorrow is also National Nut Day. Do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter? I always prefer creamy peanut butter. It's so... creamy! :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

WTF Thursday - Exotic Animals in Black Wedding Dresses Create a Stink

1) With today (Oct. 20) being "Shampoo Day," I'm curious... Do you actually "rinse and repeat" or just rinse without repeating? You have to be kidding. One shampoo, one conditioner is enough. I have oily hair so I have to wash it every day, too. Rinse and repeat would drag it out far too much.

2) The 2011 World Series kicked off Wednesday with the St. Louis Cardinals beating the Texas Rangers. If you went a baseball game today, what would you buy from the concession stands? I wouldn't ever be at a game of any kind. I really, really wouldn't. Not ever.

3) October is National Squirrel Awareness Month. Do you find squirrels to be cute animals, annoying pests, or something in between? Oh, squirrels are complete and utter pests. I brake for them, same as other animals, but they have eaten our squad house to a shell so I have no love of them. National Squirrel Awareness Month? You can't be serious. What the hell for? We all know they are out there.

4) On Tuesday, tigers, lions and bears were let loose in Zanesville, Ohio, by their owner before he committed suicide, leading to a hunt in which 49 of the animals, including 18 endangered Bengal tigers, were killed. How would you react if you saw "Caution exotic animals. Stay in your vehicle" being displayed on a road sign? I'd get my camera out just in case there was one out there. Who allowed this to happen? And killing them? They couldn't just shoot them with a trank and put them in an animal preserve? Really, why kill them?!

5) Researchers from University College London has published the results of a study on Facebook's effect on the brain. They say the size of some parts of the brain correlate to how many friends people have on Facebook. How do you feel about the effect of today's social media on your brain? I'd say it is negligible. I am not hooked to it the way so many others are. I like it but prefer reading to just mindlessly posting whatever on my Facebook page. There are people who wake up and just type in "good morning", which seems nice until you realise that much like cigarettes, they cannot disengage themselves from it. That is just crazy.

6) The authors of that study also said that the people studied with the biggest Facebook friends list tended to have the most "real world" friends. How does the amount of your "real world" friends compare to the friends you have solely over the Internet? Incomparable. I have very few sole Internet friends. However, they are some of the closest friends I have.

7) For her Fall 2012 clothing line, Vera Wang has created a bunch of black wedding dresses. What would you think if you went to a wedding and the bride surprised everyone by wearing a fully black dress? Uh... no. Yikes. I'd be horrified.

8) My fiance and I had to remove two dead mice from behind my couch this week. Talk about a disgusting stench. What has been the worst odor you remember smelling recently? Do you really want to know? As an EMT, I smell things that make long-dead mice smell like roses. But if you really, really want to know, we had a call recently with a man who was pretty far gone with a very bad lower GI bleed - so that is an interesting blend of fecal matter and blood - thick, rich, dark red blood - the kind found inside the body, not the bright red of a surface cut. It smells unique and not just a little disturbing. I have a riding partner who can put up with almost anything, but not this. He turns white as a sheet with lower GI bleeds. I am immune. The thing that gets me is any kind of vomitus. Especially bloody vomitus. But we really all do have a trigger - something we cannot handle. I carry Vick's Vap-O-Rub to combat odors.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Mary Says... Ten Day Meme - Day Two: Loves

Nine Loves

1.  Luis Luis will always be the best part of me, my best friend, my lover.
2.  Friends/family What would we be without friends and family?

3.  Music Life would not be the same without it. And I have incredibly eclectic taste in music; I just finished listening to Rammstein's song Spring and now I am listening to Randy Newman's Pleasantville Suite, so go figure. And of course, the countdown to Coldplay's new CD Mylo Xyloto, out on Monday,  24 October - five days and counting!
4.  Art I'm finally back to drawing and it is as though I never stopped. Pretty cool.
5.  Books Ah, the printed word, more magic than anything else (except music). I've finished rereading The Clan of the Cave Bear and am on the second book, The Valley of the Horses. Soon I will reread the third book, The Mammoth Hunters and then I think there are two more to read after that... Let me see... The Plains of Passage, The Shelters of Stone and hey! A new book, The Land of Painted Caves. Apparently this is the final book in the series. I am also reading Inside Scientology right now. It is well written and confirms what I thought: L. Ron Hubbard was nuts and invented a "religion" to get rich. And people FELL for it! How staggering is that?!

6.  Thai Food What would life be without the richness of Pineapple Fried Rice, Bha-Mee-Kee-Mow and Pramramrongsong? Yum!

7.  Seasons It is a well-established fact that Autumn is by far my favourite season. But even though the seasonal changes kill me, I need to be in a place that has four separate and distinct changes - it is the richness of life. And the cycle of life, too. Someday we will retire to Palm Springs, California. And that sounds like I am giving up the seasons, but Mount San Jacinta is there to give me those seasons any time I want. I loved it there. And in mid-summer it was early spring or late fall up among the lovely pine trees and pine cones the size of my head!

8.  Ambulances/EMS There is nothing as amazing and fun as driving the ambulance and helping people at the worst moments of their lives. And although I am benched at the moment, I can still serve on the E-board, run the Nominations committee, and work tirelessly on the New Rig Committee.

9.  Working/Human Resources I miss the most. I know, it was six months to the day yesterday, but I still mourn for the life I left behind. I know I had to do it. But it still sucks. And I was always meant to be in Human Resources, so I miss my vocation and avocation as much as my just working in general.

The Ten Day 'You' Challenge:
Jeff and Aaron are still participating. Aislinge just joined in. Maybe you will be next? Yes, you should do it! It's alot of fun. 

WTF Wednesday - Losing Your Temper While Eating Hagfish at Hooters

1) MTV is holding an open casting call for its show "The Real World" today at an Oklahoma City Hooters. Have you ever tried out or would you ever try out for a reality TV show? No, I have never tried out for a reality show. I have no intention of ever trying out for a reality show, especially on MTV. This is the lowest common denominator stuff I am always griping about. I really have no use for reality television unless it is really intellectually stimulating - and how many of them can try to pull that off? Very, very few.

2) When was the last time you lost your temper in public? What set you off? In public... Jeez. I really don't lose my temper often, and certainly not in public. I'm a pleasant person for the most part and not prone to getting angry on that scale.

3) Everyone around me is talking about getting flu shots and saying I should get one, which I refuse to get one. Do you get flu shots each year? I do, every single year. I was happy to find out that I don't need the N1H1 injection this year - but I get the whole nine yards. Tested for HIV, the titer test for TB, check that my Hep B shot is still working, a flu shot, etc. If there was a test or innoculation for C Diff, I would get that, too (I was exposed to it when a family member at a call for a woman with Alzheimer's fell in a tub didn't tell us that). I'm an EMT and constantly exposed to people with... whatever. So I get everything checked every fall. In fact, this Friday is my appointment for all that abuse.

4) Today (Oct. 19) is Hagfish Day. Hagfish are believed to be one of the world’s ugliest living creatures. What is another animal you think is really ugly? I think that hyenas are the ugliest animals, followed by vultures. I understand the role of carrion eaters, but as a general rule, they are not the prettiest animals around.

5) Spike TV held its annual Scream Awards last weekend giving the Harry Potter movie series its "Ultimate Scream" prize. What was the last movie that made you want to scream? A movie that made me want to scream... I can't think of one, but then I never see horror movies. I saw The Help and I loved it but it certainly did not inspire me to scream.

6) Today is Evaluate Your Life Day. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best it could be and 1 being horrible, what would you rate your life at this moment? Interesting question. I would rate today as a 7; I'm picking up friends to come stay with us for a couple of weeks and that will be good.

7) Last week, the CW angered many fans of its show "The Secret Circle" and of the book series the show is based on by killing off one of the main characters only five episodes into the series. Have you ever gotten angry (or sad) over the death of a fictional character? As a matter of fact, yes. I used to read the Harry Potter books but I lost heart when the author killed off Professor Dumbledore, so I stopped reading them. Quite frankly, I have never looked back either, so I suspect I was losing interest anyway.

8) Walmart recently announced that it is bringing its layaway program back for the holiday season. Will you be placing any gifts on layaway this year (at Walmart or any other store that has layaway)? No, I never do that. And being the snob I am, and supporter of small businesses and one with no respect for WalMart's employment practices, I will never shop there either. Ever.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Queen's Meme - #99 - The 99 Meme

Welcome to The Queen's Meme #99
7 Royal Questions on Tuesday
Today I thought I'd give you 99 questions to answer in honor of the 99th meme. Just kidding! Instead, I'll give you 7 questions that just seem like 99.
Here we go.

Surprisingly, it's called The 99 Meme

1. Let's take that famously irritating song, Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on The Wall. Tell me....What would you substitute for those bottles of beer? Your song would be "Ninety-nine glasses of candles on the Wall."
Fill in the blanks.

2. Let's go to the 99 cents store. What do you think should be made available for 99 cents at the 99 cents store? I am a total snob. You won't find me shopping in a 99¢ ever. But if I could find Yankee or Illuminations candles for 99¢, I'd a happy, happy camper!

3. The great world of Wikipedia tells me that scientists claim 99% of all documented species are extinct. Which remaining species in the 1% category would you really like to see extinct.  And which species in the 99% category would you like to bring back? I would bring back Tyrannosaurus Rex for the sheer entertainment value and kill off the lowest common denominator - stupid people. There are just far too many of them. Whose gonna miss them? That makes it even (no racial group stripped) and makes the human population more manageable. Or is that wrong? I tend not to think so.

4.  Why is merchandise always priced as 1.99 or 20.99 or 50,287.99? Do they think we're stupid? Yes, indeed. Marketing people are perfectly aware of the human propensity for missing key things. Refer to Question #3. The lowest common denominator misses all that stuff.

5. If you live to be 99 years old, what would you like your life to be like in that last decade?Glorious. Wonderful. Full of astronomy, sharp living, reading, blogging, drawing, being happy! Just like most of my four and a half decades have been.

6. Tumblr has a new blog called "We Are The 99%" brought to you by "the people who occupy Wall Street." Everyday people are writing notes on paper about their experiences and living conditions right now. Can you identify with the 99% on this page? I am out on permanent disability. I was fortunate enough to work for a great place and provided people with jobs and benefits... but NJ Disability keeps turning down my application for disability. I will need to pay for COBRA benefits beginning this month (at a cost of $460) and have very little money coming in after working my whole life. I love my former company - they are the 1% who gives everything to the 99% that work there - but the government - who has undoubtedly zero experience with myotonic muscular dystrophy - is the 1% that is making me miserable. I am the 99%, now. And I was before I came to my most recent employer. If only the disability people knew...

7.  I think armpits should get more respect than this. According to the advice of medical personnel: If your child's temperature is more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit measured rectally, or more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit measured in the mouth, or more than 99 degrees Fahrenheit measured in the armpit (for 4-5 minutes), he or she has fever.

Why do you think  armpits are so slow to register heat? Easy - your arm pits provide a ton of heat to begin with. Open your arm, it all dissipates to allow it to cool down. I hate to say it, but anal thermometers are still the best for an accurate snapshot of one's body temp. They are not fun for the patient, but they are accurate.

Mary Says... Ten Day Meme - Day One: Secrets

I found this over at Jeff's place, A Word In Edgewise.  He got it from Aaron at Carp Dime and I'm sure there were others before that but I'm very lazy extremely important and incredibly busy so I'll put my people on that research project very soon. 

It's a 10 Day You Challenge! Doesn't this sound fun!??
Day One
My TEN secrets:
1.  I have a strange collection of movies: Star Trek, Heaven Help Us, Kinky Boots, The Black Stallion, Blow Dry, etc. We won't get into the television series and music - but bagpipe music is in there right along with Rammstein, Apocalyptica, U2, Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto comes out in just 6 days!!), Fatboy Slim and a whole host of other weirdness.

2.  I'm 43 and almost 60% grey hair. I love my hairdresser and while I have a teeny amount of income, I still allow for that expense. Otherwise, I wear no make up, nothing that is fashionista-like and only comfortable shoes. No one should suffer for fashion!

3.  I've never pumped my own gas even in other states. I tell them I'm from New Jersey and then have to explain (in Texas, California, most of New England, Montana, and every state I've been to except northeastern Pennsylvania)
why I can't pump my own fuel. I have, however, pumped gas and diesel for other people. I had a friend whose father owned a fuel station and so did it for a couple of days just to help out. I was 17... a very long time ago.

4.  I have a candle collection that is unbelievably huge. And I still add to it, although not nearly as much as I used to.

5.  I used to draw fantasy art and killed the talent many years ago while working at the Renaissance Festival and tried to sell it for money - as in real income. It just turned a fun thing into too much stress and I stopped drawing for years - at least fifteen. But I bought art supplies on Saturday and I have started sketching again. Apparently once it is in the fingers, it is there for good. It is almost as though I never stopped.

6.  I am not a complete heathen but take bits and pieces from all religions except Chritianity. The Catholic Church's history speaks volumes and none of them good. I have some incredibly wonderful Christian friends, but they are spiritual, not religious and I admire that.

7.  I hate the fact that such a staggering number of people cannot speak or spell English (English English, not American English, which is not a language of its own and should be re-amended) properly. It makes me crazy. I find myself correcting people, which is terrible and it is out of my mouth before I can sensor it. People don't like it - although I explain why I do it. My friends barely find it forgivable... just imagine what strangers are thinking.

8.  My favourite scene in Heaven Help Us is when Williams is helping a priest do the wafer thing for the Catholic school girls and he is going crazy watching all these young pretty women sticking their tongues out to take the wafer and then he passes out from getting too excited! That is too funny!

9.  It's been six months to the day and I still cannot get used to this not working thing. People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all has happened.

10.  I was the abused, beaten and down-trodden in middle and high school - except for my art. But I realised when all these people from high school found me on Facebook that their memories of it were vastly different. So I let it all go. That is a lot of baggage to unload and it feels good not to have it.

What are some of your secrets?   Copy the picture, link a few people and get started!

Monday, 17 October 2011

I Should be Driving THAT!

Luis went to drop off his vehicle to be repaired (a young stupid kid ran into it in a parking lot about a week ago and destroyed not only the rear quarter panel but the top piece which runs from the rear light to the front of the driver's door) and he got a BRAND NEW CHARGER!

He drives like a little old man. That is so wrong in so many ways, I just can't imagine. I saw it and said, "Damn! I should be driving that! In his hands it is just a car. In my hands and lead foot, it would be art and a machine - a beautiful purring machine that would be driven like I'm in the Indy 500! I could do it, man! I drive my car like that all the time!

Hey, it's a sports car - that is what one is supposed to do with a sports car! Better believe it, baby! I can drive like nobody's business and I do. I happen to really love driving fast - I was doing 90 on Route 287 on Friday and it was awesome. Wind in my hair, music up all the way, taking the turns like I'm on rails, baby!

Luis... I mean, I love the man, don't get me wrong, but if someone gives you a thoroughbred, do you just take it for a walk around the paddock? Of course not. You take him to the track and see what the magic is really like!

I should be taking the Charger to the track - any track - and I will show you, honey, how to really drive it!

Monday Mayhem - 7 Stupid Questions About Peanut Butter

Welcome to another fine installment of Monday Mayhem. Today we are going to play 7 stupid questions about peanut butter. For each question, simple leave an answer.

Thanks for playing and have a fun week!

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

1. Why do people like to eat jelly with peanut butter? Sweet and salty? I don't know. But much like chocolate, peanut butter goes with anything.

2. How do you make your PB & J? I guess the same as everyone else. Bread, smooth peanut butter with strawberry or grape jelly.

3. Crunchy or Smooth? I guess I jumped the gun, I prefer smooth peanut butter.

4. Who makes the best peanut butter? Hmmm. I don't know that anyone's isn't up to par.

5. Besides in a sandwich, what's the best way to eat peanut butter? This will sound so disgusting but it isn't - on bologna!

6. Jam or jelly? Either one is fine with me.

7. Share something with us about peanut butter. Um... it tastes good on my husband, too! Oh, is that TMI?

Sunday Stealing - The Questions Galore Meme - Part II

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Playing Protestor on Wall Street

On Tuesday, Gabriel and I went into Manhattan to see the Wall Street Occupy protests.

Signs, signs everywhere
Having never been a protestor before, I walked up to one of the officers on scene and asked him what the appropriate rules were for this. He was very friendly (all the officers on scene were) and ran through the basic guidelines: signs are allowed, and signs can be attached to rolled up cardboard or paper, but not to wooden or metal pieces (which is not unreasonable). People can congregate in the park itself but not stop to loiter on the sidewalks outside of the park. People were obviously allowed to use the park to sleep in, and some had been camped there since time began - or at least since the protest began - and then when the mayor stated that the park had to be emptied to clean it, the protestors scrubbed the park out forwards and backwards and the protests are still on.


So Gabriel and I got in about 15:00 and at first walked around and took a lot of images (as seen on Facebook if you know me there). At some point we began to meet other protestors and talk about the different things that brought us into the Wall Street park (well, it's Liberty Park in Manhattan, two blocks down from the actual Wall Street, but close enough for jazz). We each met interesting people.

Me and John K. Waving the flag was fun
I liked most of the sentiments that were being touted there; my only issue was that the labour unions are somehow involved in this and I object to this. I am not a fan of labour unions, not anymore. Not after dealing with them as a Human Resources employee and certainly not with the little love showed their employees when times were tough and men were on the bench. And now, of course, there is the threat of my father losing his pension. I'm not happy with that.

The other unusual thing I found was the strong movement toward Communism. I'm not sure when that made a resurgence, but Communism is a philosophy, not a form of governing. I have objections to that. I generally feel it has been proven time and again, that while sound as a philosophy, it is unworkable as government - someone has to run it, and people who want to run things usually end up becoming dictators, and it all falls apart at that point, if not sooner.

The Socialist leanings sound okay, but I don't know how well that would work. Gabriel seems to feel that Socialism would work out just fine... but my thinking is that changes of this magnitude don't come so easy and nothing is that black and white. I may not think that the current system works as is... but I don't know that overhauling it so much is the answer as much as tweaking the current system. I don't believe in totally redistributing the wealth. I worked with many wealthy, wealthy people. They were people just like me - they worked their asses off for that money; they put their pants on one leg at a time, like I do; they worry about their kids just parents the world over. They pay their taxes and I rarely if ever heard them gripe - they know their civic and fiduciary duties and do them. It's the ones who don't do that - the Imelda Marcos or Leona Helmsly's of the world that are known for cheating on their taxes.

I love a man in a uniform! (And he's really adorable.)
I have no issue with the taxation system being more fairly set up, but that has long been a gripe of almost everyone the world over. I also have no issue with taking Big Business out of the voting equation. And then limiting what candidates can take for their campaigns is fine. But where is it okay for us to attempt to redistribute the wealth? I can't agree with that. Taking out tax loopholes, yes. Streamlining the taxation process, yes. Making the taxes more fair, sure. But taking someone's money that they have worked hard to earn and giving it to others makes it - well, it is just wrong. People have to want to donate their money. You cannot make them do it.

And labour unions - bbbbrrrrr. No, thank you. Unions did amazing things when they were first formed - they put in place age requirements, living conditions, working conditions, pay scales, safety issues were addressed. But now they grow fat, go into places where they know nothing of the business (such as the asbestos removal union going to golf courses to unionise them) and cannot pay them appropriately, will charge union dues and make them take insurance, whether they like it or not. That is just the top of the list. I know much better how that works.

Gabriel making friends everywhere he goes
So it is not a perfect set up. I loved most of the sentiments that were reflected there, just not the black and white thinking that Socialism and especially Communism will work and the backing of unions. But most people that I spoke with were not union supporters. Look at John K. (he's pictured on Facebook), he knew that unions only have 4% of the population in them, unlike 40 years ago, when they had 20% in them. (Those figures for 40 years and 20% may not be accurate, since it has been so long now.) But the 4% currently is correct. And I don't want to see unions gain more adherents out of this. I'm not sure what needs to be done about them.

She's wearing paint, before you say anything!
I'm taking Gabriel back in today to Liberty Park. I know he plans to stay there over the weekend, and then partake in today's march from Liberty Park by Wall Street to Times Square at 17:00 - I am not interested in marching my ass all over Manhattan. It will be too long. I haven't that kind of stamina to make the trek that long. But I have other things to do there as well - tea at McNulty's and maybe other items that I cannot find here in New Jersey. We'll see. Some of it depends on whether or not Luis comes with us. I'll have my hands tied to make purchases if he's along for the trip. That is just the truth.

That's right - I find all the cute guys!
Tonight we will have our house back to ourselves again, which will be nice. We really liked having Gabriel and he was an excellent guest, but it's been two weeks and we aren't used to having guests that long. Not to mention my house is my haven and not being naked in it was HARD. Now, nudity is back! (Hey... it is the little things in life!)