Thursday, June 28, 2007

Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by the Truffle. Because this makes me feel loved, I participate. It's sad how I crave the approval of strangers, really.

THE RULES

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I am single, but I wanted to get married when I was quite young. It did not work out.
2. I avoided taking any math classes at all in College, and now I'm a web developer. I use some sort of math every day.
3. My college degree is in Hebraic Studies. Rutgers really lets people major in that.
4. I was involved in a sketch comedy radio show on WRSU for some years. I still keep in touch with many of those people.
5. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a psychologist.
6. I drive a Ford Escape. The higher car makes it much easier on my arthritic knees.
7. I'm a medieval re-creationist, and a card-carrying member of the SCA.
8. I am not a natural redhead. I have no idea how people ever think that I am, since my hair color doesn't occur in nature.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Get Some Emails!

Someone sent me this, since I care about CFL's.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Maine Public Utilities Commission
242 State Street Augusta, Maine 04333-0018
Website: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/
CONTACT: Nicole Clegg, 207-287-8519, 207-310-0123 (cell)
Nicole.Clegg@maine.gov


Efficiency Maine and Maine DEP Launch First in the Nation Statewide CFL
Recycling Program


HOLDEN, Maine (June 14, 2006) - The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC),
which administers the Efficiency Maine program, today launched a statewide
recycling program for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in partnership with
Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) ­ the first of its kind
in the country. The launch of the Ĺ’Replace Reduce Recycle¹ program is
designed to make it as easy as possible for Maine consumers to bring
burned-out CFLs to a local participating retail store for recycling. More
than 100 stores, from Fort Kent to Wells, are already participating in the
recycling program and new stores are signing up every day.

³Both the PUC and the DEP are committed to ensuring that all fluorescent
lights are properly recycled, which is why we have jointly created this
program, the first of its kind in the US,² stated PUC Chairman Kurt Adams.
³It is our hope that this program will serve as a model for the rest of the
country.²

CFLs give off high-quality light using a fraction of the electricity used by
traditional bulbs. CFLs are four times more efficient, use 50 to 80 percent
less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. CFLs
require recycling because they contain trace amounts of mercury, an amount
as small as a drop of ink on the head of a pen.

³Using CFLs in your home is far more environmentally beneficial than using a
traditional light bulb,² continued Adams. ³The benefits of reducing
electricity generation from power plants far outweigh any risk associated
with the small amount of mercury inside a CFL.²

Replacing a single traditional bulb with a CFL can keep a half-ton of carbon
dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere. If every household in the US used
energy-efficient lighting, 90 average-size power plants could be retired.
Saving electricity reduces greenhouse gases including CO2 emissions, sulfur
oxide, high-level nuclear waste, and the release of pollutants such as
mercury into the air.

In 2004, Maine residential energy consumption resulted in the release of
over 3,761,300,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. The
amount of greenhouse gases resulting from Maine's energy consumption has
grown more than 10 percent in the past ten years. Switching to CFLs reduces
the release of these greenhouse gases and Ĺ’carbon pollution,¹ which
contributes to global warming.

The launch of the recycling program has also prompted a careful review of
the guidelines for handling a broken CFL.

³Our initial review confirms that cleaning up a broken CFL is easy, does not
present any immediate health risks and should not be cause for alarm,²
explained DEP Commissioner David Littell. ³Again, the environmental benefits
of switching to CFLs far outweigh any potential risk of a broken CFL in the
home.²

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine DEP are
expected to conclude their analysis and clarify the guidelines for handling
a broken CFL in the coming weeks. The Maine PUC and the DEP will update
their websites for Maine consumers and the information will be available at
participating retailers. A complete listing of participating stores can be
found online at: www.efficiencymaine.com .

###

Efficiency Maine is a statewide effort to promote the more efficient use of
electricity, help Maine residents and businesses reduce electricity costs
and improve Maine¹s environment. For more information on the contest or
energy efficiency, visit the PUC¹s Efficiency Maine website at
www.efficiencymaine.com or call
1-866-ESMAINE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Thought We Were Getting Somewhere

That'll teach me to think.

Middle East Mediators Discuss Blair Appointment

Seriously? Why aren't you kidding me?
However, Hamas said Blair was not welcome because of his role in supporting U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Um, yes.
Many Arabs see the Bush administration as biased against the Palestinians.
See, now this is the place where I thought we might be making progress ("we", being the entire world). I don't believe that the Bush administration should still be speaking for us as a country, but sadly, they are. Even so, no one can deny that Palestinian violence has been escalating as a direct result of Israel pulling out of Gaza. Sure, Israel's pulled some awful stunts, anti-humanitarian wise over the years, I can't deny that any more than people can deny that a region under the influence of the Israeli government remains more stable than the crazy-ass horse shit going on between Fatah and Hamas. And whoever else wants to kidnap people, line people up in the streets to shoot them, and use 6-year-old boys to carry bombs.

That is *not* status quo for Israel, don't you even try to tell me that they're just as bad.

OK, I've gotten off point. Blair has the reputation of being Bush's lap dog, and Bush has the reputation of being a complete moron about international affairs and the middle east. I'm going to go ahead and say that I think that appointing Blair as an envoy to the middle east is a stupid idea.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why I am a Genius

Friday night I defrosted a bag of frozen shrimp for a pasta dish. Yesterday when raiding the fridge for leftovers that could be made into lunch, I found the leftover shrimp, a 4-ounce container of honey lavender goat cheese, and leftover roasted asparagus. I chopped things, mixed them up, and drizzled the concoction with balsamic vinegar.

I am going to go eat this, right now. I am a genius.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Disclaimer

That dress is a bridesmaid's dress, not a bridal gown. If I don't know what gown I'm wearing 2 weeks before my own wedding, that will mean it's because my own wedding is in Vegas, and I'm possibly contemplating how much the annulment will cost.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yeah, So What?

Yes, I'm working my personal issues out here on the blog instead of using it for it's intended purpose of discussing current events and political issues, what's it to ya?

Last night the woman who owns the bridal boutique finally called me. Apparently, I signed something that says that if the dress doesn't match the extra fabric, too bad. I wasn't taking that lying down. Neither was the lovely, tiny woman who owns the dress shop. Watters & Watters will be making me a new dress (in the same style) custom fit to my measurements. None of my measurements are on their size charts, but I could give a damn. They will have the dress done no later than next Thursday, the 28th, and they will overnight it to Sara for the 29th. In theory, this is all fine.

I am SO glad I bought that back-up dress.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Now For the Real Stress

I'm so happy that dad's home and annoying the crap out of me instead of scaring the crap out of me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Staring Through the Window at History Happening

Israel attacks Gaza, Abbas forms a new emergency Palestinian government.
The United States and European Union pledged on Monday to lift an economic and diplomatic embargo imposed on the Palestinian Authority in March 2006 when Hamas rose to power and refused to drop its refusal to recognize Israel.
Israel is making noises about working with the situation instead of simply defending against it.
As an initial gesture, Olmert has promised to release Palestinian tax revenues withheld since Hamas came to power. He said after the White House talks he would ask his cabinet at its next meeting on Sunday to approve the release of the funds.
Palestinians are not of the disposition to trust this.
Fatah leaders question Olmert's willingness to negotiate with them. Abbas's national security chief, Mohammad Dahlan, told Reuters on Tuesday: "Israel is releasing money not because they are honorable but they just want to entrench the divide between the West Bank and Gaza."
Leaders are attempting to form and mold the molten material that is the Middle East. There will be a new sculpture when they're done, and I, for one, am curious to see what it will be shaped like. Will it be all harmonious curves, or all jagged, sharp edges? Of course I expect the final product to be a combination of both, but I'm hoping for a structure that has enough smooth surfaces for many to grasp without hurting themselves any more than they already have been.

Who would have thought that more fighting would give me hope? Who would have thought that after everything that's happened lately in both the broader world and in my own private life that I'd remain an optimist?

Good News Day

My leg is bending when I walk! This is major!

Also, Dad informs me that this morning his blood count is up over 9 again, and that they will most likely let him go home today. Other than the fact that I have his keys and he can't get into the house, that's great.

I am so excited to get back to worrying about happy things, again, like whether or not I'll have a bridesmaid's dress in time for the wedding. I'm guessing yes, because I purchased an emergency back-up dress. Now that I've shelled out another 200 bucks, the original dress should work out fine.

One thing I haven't done is decided what song to sing at the wedding. I know my sister wants me to sing something, but she's not even giving me a genre to work with. Tata suggested "Ride Like the Wind", but I'm thinking that it would be too hard to find the karaoke disk for. OK, that's not the real reason I'm not singing that. Anybody have any suggestions that won't give me cavities? My dad's best suggestion was "Evergreen", and that's not even close to something that Andrea would want to hear.

Seriously, I need help with this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Someone Take the Cow Home

I feel like a house that's been hit by a twister. Dad's blood count is down, they may release him from the hospital. He doesn't actually have hemolytic anemia, it's possible that he does have internal bleeding, after all. They lowered his steroid dosage and I had no idea. They may release him? I don't want a man with a blood count lower than 10 walking around an empty house. What if it drops suddenly and he passes out? I can tell you now that he *will* resist the idea of a visiting nurse.

I'm going to call the hospital and find out if dad has a social worker assigned to his case.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sentimental Journey

I am so corny and sentimental that I hardly even recognize me. And all I want to talk about on my blog is me and my life? Add "self-centered" to the list, I guess.

Yesterday morning I got myself dressed, packed up about 12 DVDs, some dental floss, and my cane, and headed out to Barnes and Noble. Not that I like them best, but they're a big book store that sells gift cards, and that was my goal. I purchased 3 interesting periodicals (Popular Science, Scientific American, & Newsweek), a lovely canvas bag, and a gift card, and hauled my ass back to the car. Might I say, shopping while injured is *so* much easier when I bring the cane. Not only is it there to actually lean on, but when people see it, they're much nicer to me than if I was just dragging my leg behind me like some sort of pirate.

Of course, what I really want is to not need it. I'm getting there.

Dad just called. Seems that if the hemotologist/oncologists agree, he can come home today or tomorrow. That's the best news I could get.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Politics Paragraph

I want to state my feelings about the violence in Gaza. I mean, I still care more about how my dad is doing, but that stuff counts, too. I've heard people say things like "let them all wipe each other out, that works for me", and "I can't believe what animals the Palestinians are". I want to make it clear that I do not feel anger towards all Palestinians - I only resent and dislike the ones who commit acts of violence. Right now there are a lot people in Gaza who are holed up in their homes wishing for a day that they can walk to the market without fearing for their lives. Those people I feel terrible for, and I wish for them a measure of peace, as soon as possible.

Good News, Bad News

Last night my dad looked a lot better. He was sitting in a chair instead of laying in the bed, and he informed me that he made it a few steps into the hallway with a walker when the ladies from physical therapy came to call. People assure me that he should be able to get back up to the physical level he was at last week, and perhaps even better than that with a guided exercise program.

He has a gym membership, and I know he uses the treadmills, but I suspect that he wasn't using the weight machines to their full advantage because he "doesn't want to get all sweaty". *sigh*

The bad news is that he really doesn't seem to be completely himself, mentally. I don't mean that he's unable to understand us, or that he has trouble recognizing people or anything, but he's unaware of things he's done, like when he moves an item. I also think that his habit of repeating the same idea or story is much more pronounced, now. Maybe that's just good old fashioned fear of mortality making him babble, though. It's still a bit early to tell.

Here's hoping that he makes it into a regular room with a phone, today. Cell phone use isn't allowed in the ICU, so I've been unreachable for hours at a time these past few days. I'm just not used to that, any more.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All Apologies

I know, I just keep writing about what's wrong with me and saying I'm sorry. The truth is that I just haven't been able to keep up with the work of expressing my political opinions eloquently with all the crap that's been going on with my family this year.

Hoping that the whole "the personal is the political" thing might possibly apply to me and mine, I'll let the world know what's going on with me, even when I haven't told the guy sitting next to me here in the office.

I had to take my dad to the emergency room on Tuesday. I really should have taken him Monday night, but I was afraid, and I made a bad judgement call. Lucky for me, that didn't kill him, and we got him there on Tuesday. His hemoglobin count, which for a healthy adult male is 13.5-17, and which for him was a week ago 10.5, plummeted down to 3.9. It was 5.9 when I brought him to the hospital, and dropped a bit more before they started giving him blood. He has a blood disorder, so he always runs low, but not like this. He's now tested positive for something called hemolysis, and they're treating him with steroids, but it's still possible that he's got a lower GI bleed happening, as well.

I'm really worried, and of course I'm heading over there (St. Peter's) after work today. The doctor said that they might be moving him out of the MICU and into a regular room, so that would be good news.

I'm still limping badly from my hip problem and I don't have what it takes, physically, to take care of a sick dad. This sucks.

I look forward to caring more about Hamas fighting Fatah than about who's going to take care of the laundry and can Dad sign checks to pay the bills.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Complete Lack of Trust

Bush hopes U.S.-Russia shield talks beneficial
SOFIA (Reuters) - President George W. Bush said on Monday said he hoped that a plan for U.S. and Russian experts to analyze each other's proposal for a missile defense shield would be beneficial.

"There's a process where we can collaborate, share information in a very transparent way which I think will be beneficial," for hopefully designing systems that "protect us all," Bush said.

Bush reiterated that he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks at the Group of Eight summit in Germany last week that: "I simply do not view Russia as an enemy."
Well, hell. I see this, and I want to run somewhere. There is, sadly, nowhere to go.

Since I don't believe a damn word that GWB utters in public, I have now become resigned to the future Cold War II.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Out of Alignment

I report on my own health today, and what I've been doing instead of blogging.

My health: I have something called "Sacrum dysfunction". One of my hips is higher than the other, which is not normal for me. This has caused some thingy to be pulled away from something that it normally touches, and this is bad, and causes much pain. It is, as the kids say, "teh suck". The solution is to put a thingy (a completely different thingy than the one in my hip) in my shoe to fix my gait, and painkillers. I am enjoying the painkillers very much. Tramadol is my new best friend.

What I've been doing: My sister's bridal shower was this past Sunday. It was terrific! Of course the centerpiece cake that I had planned got completely ruined, because, hey, *you* try baking 3 cakes in one day when you keep wondering if the pain shooting down your leg is going to make you vomit. Still, no one knew that there was supposed to be one, so the individual orange cakes in bittersweet ganache, the almond cupcakes with lemon frosting, the bakery cookies, the sugar-free-crustless cheesecake, and the chocolate cake with raspberry and chocolate frosting seemed like a complete set. OK, I'm bragging because I baked a lot of yummy stuff. The friends who helped me decorate were invaluable, and I couldn't have finished what I did without the help of my sister. Good thing that party wasn't a surprise.

So, back to my health - Sunday night I was in no condition to watch the Democrats debate. Tell me, who do *you* think won?

WCTC in New Brunswick asked people to call in yesterday with the answer to this question: "If the election were tomorrow, who would you vote for?". The people who called in to say that they'd vote for Al Gore pissed me off. Maybe at some point he will announce that he's running, I can't say. I can say that tomorrow, he wouldn't be on the ballot. I guess they could write him in...

*sigh*