Category Archives: Musings

My friend Joe shaved his head to support his sister.

She’s going through chemo for breast cancer.  That’s a good man.

I haven’t heard of people doing this, but since he has, people told me of other cases where friends or family have done it.  I wonder if I could.  My friend Preston pointed out it’s different for women, which is true, but still…

Has anyone heard of women doing something in support of someone going through chemo?

Anyway, Joe’s doing a fantastic thing; shaving his head is just one of them.

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Happy Birthday, Mom

It`s the only second one without her. I still get the impulse of l thinking of calling her or telling her something.

She has a headstone now; I`m thinking I should go tonight and see it. I don`t like the thought of her name on that stone. But it doesn`t change anything if I avoid it.

Anyway…

Happy Birthday, Mom. Miss you.

The Eagles sign Michael Vick.

I’m really torn over this news.  Anyone who knows me understands what a big animal lover I am.  I have my own pets and I volunteer with 2 animal shelters.  So you can imagine how I felt when I heard the news about what Vick had been caught doing.

“Cruel” is a word we overuse.   I do it, we all do it.  Someone teases about not giving us a cookie and we tell them not to be so cruel.  Michael Vick’s crimes are a perfect example of what happens when words are overused; they lose their meaning, their impact.  So when we go to say Vick’s crimes were cruel, the full horror of it is lessened so we try to find other words to get back that level of meaning:  horrors, sadistic, inhuman….

I petitioned with animal societies to get him punished to the full extent of the law, and I cheered “Sports Illustrated” for putting the dogs on their December cover and writing such a fantastic article on how these dogs are learning to trust humans, and how well they’re doing with their foster families, including exemplary behavior with children.

When Vick finished serving his time, I wish it had been more.  I didn’t want him making the kind of money he made before, and I wanted a lot worse too. Especially since he doesn’t seem at all sorry for what he did, just the cliche: sorry he got caught.  And I loved the dog toys that looked like Vick’s jersey and you give it to your dogs to tear apart.  I have a mean streak.

At best, I wish that part of his sentence was having a portion of his salary go to animal shelters for the rest of his career.  A just punishment is his money  saving the same kind of innocents he treated so badly.

I know some people don’t agree; many people defended him too.  His teammates and others said dog fighting is a sport and therefore he did nothing wrong.  Whoopi Goldberg defended Vick on her first day on “The View”, saying this is his environment and he doesn’t know any better.   But this about my thoughts and feelings as I made clear in the beginning.  If someone disagrees, they have the same right I do and can express it on their forums.

And if someone is yelling at the monitor saying I should put as much heart and effort into fighting for human beings, I do.  A lot.  But this post is focusing on this particular dilemma.

Sorry, I’m rambling.  This just touches on a lot of difficult things for me.

When Vick finished his sentence, I made myself remember that we have an ideal in this country: when a person fulfills their punishment, it’s done.  The Humane Society and ASPCA both released statements that they recognize this and hope Vick has reformed, but he had done his sentence and they would not persecute him.

I hate the thought that someone can do such a crime and then make millions in their career, but that’s the law and the ideal.

I wondered who would sign him and wished no one would.  That’s wrong, I know.  I let it go…. or thought I did until I found out my team signed him.  My city is embracing him as one of them.

That… is tough to deal with.

But….

On top of claiming to be an American, I was raised Christian.  I’ve studied Jesus’ teachings; one theologian called them the toughest ones to follow in a religion.  Good, strong teachings but not easy, since Jesus said we can’t be his followers if we don’t love everyone, including our enemies.    No judgment, but forgiveness.

And we thought His saying no divorce,  Confession is mandatory if you want to be forgiven for sins,  having no material possessions, was hard!

Whew….  it is VERY hard.  But all such teachings aren’t meant to be easy.  It’s about improving and achieving something difficult because it’s worth doing and being.

The cliche tossed around a lot that sums this up is:  I talk the talk.  But can I walk the walk?

So I’m really torn about Vick coming here.  I hate the idea, I don’t want him here, I would love to never see him make that kind of money and only have a minimum wage job somewhere.

But that’s not what an American and Christian can do.  He’s done his time; he now gets a chance to start over and have a life.  If he doesn’t do any other crimes, then I can’t persecute him.

So I’m torn between how I feel — angry, disgusted, and wanting him treated like he did with those dogs — and controlling that so I am the person I claim to be: American and Christian.

One of my bosses quietly states his opinion.

One of my bosses quietly states his opinion.

But it’s REALLY hard.  I don’t see him as being sorry; I see him as changing his life only because he got caught and doesn’t want to go to jail again.  And all of this over a guy who isn’t worth it!

So I can’t cheer him, and I certainly won’t be one of the people who will think he’s fantastic when the team starts doing well.  I’ll cringe when I see the inevitable Vick Eagles jerseys when he starts making big plays.  And if I ever meet him face to face, I have A LOT to say to him!

But I won’t throw batteries or snowballs either.

besides rules such as no divorce, establishing Confession if you want to be forgiven for sins,  having no material etc.,

The real Memorial Day

For a lot of us, it’s about a day off and barbecues.  The summer season begins with beach towns looking for that first big wave of tourists to arrive.

Nothing wrong with barbecues or trips to the beach, especially when we also remember why this day is here:

memorialSome don’t come home.  And some don’t come home whole.

For me, an unbreakable, sacred pact exists between those who serve and the people they serve.

When you go into the military, even in a time of peace, you’re promising your readiness to make the ultimate sacrifice: to die or come home broken if you’re told to go into battle.

Because that promise is so huge, we civilians and the government must uphold our end: a promise that we will not ask for that price without the ultimate justification.   No trumped up or false reasons, no politics.

The men and women who wore the boots below are gone.  They didn’t get another Memorial Day bbq.

Iraq Memorial

So we remember them and make the promise to fulfill our Constitutional duty: be a check and balance to the government, making sure we all uphold our end of the pact. For our men and women in service, and the innocents always caught in the crossfire. or trips

New site

I made a mini-site for my company.   It’s about us going to trade shows, and gives the visitors an idea for our newest products and some company info:

Booth

I know: there’s nothing fancy or cutting edge about this site.  It’s style sheets, script, and other basics.  But it’s the first time I’ve gotten to do anything creative at all for my job.  (It did have a Flash intro originally, plus  a virtual host — to discuss the pages, in English and Spanish, but the company said it served no purpose, so it had to go.)  My job is to answer emails, and putting memos in the HTML template for our shopping cart.  So I feel good about getting to do even this level again.

Verizon says No Cool Phone for you!

Have you ever wanted a new piece of electronics (or some other kind of toy) for a stupid reason?  That’s where I am now.

Before this, I loved the iPhone and the phones like it, but I didn’t feel the burn to get one myself.  The only thing I wanted in a phone update is a full QWERTY keyboard and a better camera.  When we go on vacation, I like mobile blogging and those features would make it easier and better.  Then, I found this while searching for webcams:

Broadcast Live from Ustream Mobile!

From what I see, you can down do your webcam from your phone and it’ll go to your ustream.tv setup. (Of course, if you have that embedded on your blog, your readers will see it there too.)  Most people who comment on it are using it to view other people’s webcams on their iPhones, but I’m really interested in the broadcasting.  I like having our webcam set up when we go somewhere, like these from Disney’s Fort Wilderness, and this would really expand on this.  Now it wouldn’t just come from the cam on the PC, but wherever we are.  When I was on the beach in Barnetgat, LBI, I could have had live video.

My phone won’t let me use the app, so I looked up the compatible models.  Here’s the But!  I can’t use any of them with Verizon Wireless.  After some research, I found out why — and an interesting fact.  To avoid using the technical details, Verizon uses a different network software than companies like AT&T, and their network won’t let me use anything like the Nokia phone I liked.   If I got an unlocked Nokia E series or an iPhone from eBay, Verizon would let me use it, but I wouldn’t have any of the functions like getting and using these apps.

According to some posts, Apple actually offered exclusive contract for the iPhone to Verizon first and Verizon turned them down.  Also according to these reports, Verizon is calling customers who said they left to go to AT&T for the iPhone, and asking them would they come back if Verizon Wireless got the iPhone.  They said if Verizon allowed full usage of the iPhone, then they would come back.

Of course, it’s silly that I want that functionality not so I can do email or some cool other app (I can do email and web surfing with Verizon phones), but so I can do a webcam from it.   And my phone and the Verizon network works great for making and receiving calls, which is the purpose of a cellphone.

But!

It reminds me of the bad decision made by the company where I worked in the mid-90s.  An Exec VP applauded Microsoft’s idea of making MSN to compete with the Internet; when a company signed up to have content on MSN, they had to agree not to have a Web site.  “Who needs the Web, like Bill Gates says!” this VP said to all of us. “Even a reporter for the Wall Street Journal said that in 10 years, the Web will be a wasteland except for a few personal homepages.  Our company does great on CompuServe and we could always go on Gates’ version of the internet, the MSN.”

Well, in 10 years, the Web still thrived.  Gates admitted defeat in getting people to abandon the Internet to be on MSN.   Our company had to close every office but one because business tanked with no web presence, and  that VP got fired. (I bet the Wall Street reporter did too.)

So that experience makes me think that Verizon had better wise up.  We may want the equivalent of the Web for fun applications as well as all the business uses, but it still means big business for the people who provide it. Verizon better figure that out before it rides their own MSN to the bench with that VP and reporter.

Don’t be chasing the iPhone market with something that has less functionality.  I don’t have to have an iPhone, but I want something that allows for those apps.

Apple sells about 16 iPods for every 1 Zune that Microsoft sells according to recent reports.  The important thing to me in that statement is: iPods and Zunes will both play mp3s, both use software to download those mp3s and videos.  They wisely didn’t block each other (granted, they can be awkward with each other’s software, but it’s not blocked) or only allow their propietary audio and video formats.  That allows them to compete in the market.  If Verizon had its own apps AND changed their network to allow these other apps and phones, they have a bigger business.

And I get my app.  😉

Mammograms – grinning through the wincing

I found a lump in my left breast a few weeks ago, and I’m having pain where they found the cyst.  So it was off for mammograms and ultrasounds.  I got the results and talked with my doctor.  I’m one of the lucky ones; my left side is clear and the right side is still just a “benign node”.  I’m okay.

So breathing a sigh of relief, I can grin now.  Mammograms certainly don’t make you want to sing a chorus of “I enjoy being a girl.” but this day was really funny.

While I stood in the room waiting, I found notes on the bulletin board that were instructions on how to run certain pieces of equipment.  Nothing like seeing INSTRUCTIONS for the lab techs on how to do the tests!  Not that it said “Mammograms for Dummies” or anything, but I almost asked my tech, as a joke, if she had read up on the whole thing.

On the other side of the room,a sign was behind hampers for the gowns and some equipment.  It said that if you could possibly be pregnant, please tell the staff.  It was written in Braille on the bottom.

Let me repeat the important part: the sign was BEHIND some hampers and equipment.  A blind person couldn’t reach it to read it.  Of course, as every woman knows, you’re asked a million different times before any test if you could even remotely be pregnant.  Except when my aunt, in her 70s, had tests.  They said they could skip that question.

For the guys, a mammogram test is like putting your boys on a desk and then taking another desk to put on top of them; then a winch squeezes them flat together.  The top “desk” is called a paddle and it’s clear. I had to have “spot” scans done.   That’s where they use smaller paddles to flatten just a certain area.  It suddenly occurred to me that if my body part had a face, it would look like this: 

But they warm up the ultrasound gel now.  Yay!

Like I said, I’m really lucky. I’m okay and I’m very glad that it did turn out all right.   Which is why I can laugh over these things.